Norcal Headquarters 2013
Your latest issue of Shavertron was delayed by about two and a half years while Ye Ed slaved for The Man to crank out War Over Lemuria (McFarland & Company) which was released with no fanfare other than the sound of Ye Ed hitting the floor out of sheer exhaustion on April 25, 2013. Why no fanfare? It is not McFarland's policy to hype its authors, having no PR department.
In any case, the book languished in Limbo for a month until Tarcher-Penguin released it's book The Man From Mars: Ray Palmer's Amazing Pulp Journey. Then the Red Sea parted and the dead rose from their tombs playing golden trumpets. About one month earlier, Tarcher-Penguin's PR department, clad in full battle gear, launched full page ads in ASIMOV'S and ANALOG magazines. The author Fred Nadis, was featured in The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post. Author interviews appeared in several magazines.
Then there was much buzz about Shaver and Palmer in the SF and pulp fiction discussion groups...buzz buzz buzz. People began to wake up to the fact that, as if through some occult revelation, there were TWO books in print about Shaver and Palmer. Of all things, fandom began discussing Rap and Shaver again! Huzzah!
In our corner we had Timothy Green Beckley -- Mr. UFO -- fresh from his appearance on that Ancient Evil Alien Mummy episode of William Shatner's Is That Weird or What? where he claimed the shriveled-up mini-mummy was not an alien at all, but a homicidal Djinn. Thanks to Mr. UFO, we brokered a radio interview with Michael Mott and Tim Swartz on Unraveling the Secrets where we completely unraveled for two hours.
Then, glory be! We had a reunion of sorts with fellow fanzine editors from the good old days, Gene Steinberg and Geneva Hagen on The Paracast. It was a great show. Gene and Geneva told of their first encounter with Richard Shaver in the 1970s! The interview then went soaring into the airwaves everywhere but here at Shavertron headquarters in Norcal. You can download the show from their archive. No need for a radio.
Meanwhile, War was getting decent reviews on various blogs and review sites, and even a testimonial from Earl Kemp, featured in War Over Lemuria. Earl was an editor for Bill Hamling before the Feds put them both in stir for publishing lurid 1960s sex paperbacks (explained in War). Earl eventually helped both authors, Toronto and Nadis, and wrote reviews of both books for EFANZINES.COM. He called it "Racing to Lemuria." It's a sordid tale of two authors beating their brains out for their publishers.
There's an added dimension to this. Earl wrote a foreword to War but McF wouldn't go for it, so Earl posted it between his two reviews. Therefore War has no foreword. We conned Richard S. Shaver and his old friend Richard Horton to write forewords for book 2, Shaverology: a Shaver Mystery Home Companion. Sadly, they are no longer here to read them. But Earl is, and we'd like to publicly thank him for the support he gave us throughout the ordeal culminating in our nervous breakdown and first book.
But it's the SECOND book that's got us excited as a grasshopper in a Kansas City grain silo! Shaverology is the first of what is hoped to be many offerings from Shavertron Press. It began as a glimmer in Ye Ed's eye after War was published. McFarland mandated a book length on us that left too many casualties on the cutting room floor. We hated to see so much carnage of good material, so we joined forces with designer Lora Santiago. The casualties became the seed of Shaverology. Thus from the misty bogs of Northern California, an usurper appeared to challenge McF's throne -- Shavertron Press! In time, Shaverology grew to be larger than its forebear!
Now, don't get us wrong! War Over Lemuria is still THE library reference book for the untold story of the men behind the Shaver Mystery. In fact, these two volumes are meant to compliment each other. And in case you're wondering, book 2 does NOT repeat what was revealed in book 1. They are two separate, completely different books. Book 2 is more profusely illustrated, however.
Due to all that was just explained, the update to this year's Shavertron website has been languishing on the back burner for far too long -- but we haven't been sitting on our duff, no sir! Soon to appear on this year's contents page will be a fully-illustrated interview with Richard Shaver's daughter Evelyn Ann Bryant, detailing her journey into the art world, following in the footsteps of her artist parents. Other offerings will include more Shaver and more Rap, and more of whatever we can come up with without keeling over from exhaustion.
BTW: if you want a copy of Shaverology you can order it from the Shavertron website e-store. There's a promo code that will take $3 of list. Otherwise, you can find copies of both books on Amazon.com.
Now, if you've ever wondered what it would be like to read Shavertron in French, David Hauguel can help. He's the editor of a blog called Shavertron which is French for Shavertron. David's designed a couple of great mastheads for our website, and he's helping us improve the California Shavertron's dismal search engine rating. No matter what keywords you punch into a search engine, like "Richard Shaver" or "The Shaver Mystery" or even "Shavertron," we end up somewhere around the Viagra ads. So with this issue, Ye Ed is attempting to fix that. Thanks, David!
And just for the record, while Ye Ed was typing up this editorial, there was a loud crash in the office, as if something had exploded. The ceiling fan that had been cooling the room sheared off one of its four spinning blades and crashed against a wall, narrowly missing Ye Ed. Dero tamper...or cheap Chinese ceiling fan? Need we say more?
The Fine Print:
The original Shavertron was a fanzine devoted to the Shaver Mystery and the life and times of Richard Sharpe Shaver and his editor, Ray Palmer. This leaves the playing field wide open since the Shaver Mystery is rife with ufos, a race of evil weirdos living inside the earth, mind control, a high-tech Elder Race pre-dating our history, abductions, conspiracies and, of course, the sci-fi pulp zine scene of the late 1940s.
The "mystery" began in a 1945 issue of AMAZING STORIES magazine when Shaver sent a manuscript to Rap titled "A Warning to Future Man." Palmer and Shaver collaborated from there on to bring Shaver's cosmology into the world of sci-fi pulp zine literature.
The Shaver Mystery gasped its last breath when Shaver and Palmer died within two years of each other in the mid-1970s. We stopped publishing Shavertron in 1992 since most Shaver Mystery readers were gone (mostly dead) with few left to take their place.
Writers like Jim Pobst, Brian Tucker, Doug Skinner, Tal, Timothy Green (Mr. UFO) Beckley , Mary Martin (The Hollow Hassle), Branton, Bill Bliss and Gene Steinberg did what they could to keep the Mystery going.
The scene eventually merged with watercooler chit-chat about UFOs, abductions and government conspiracies, all of which were a big part of the Shaver Mystery. Back in 1947, the Shaver Mystery was a bizarre topic of household conversation (probably at cocktail time). Today it's obscure sci-fi history...though it is now being rediscovered by a new circle of oddity seekers and outsider art buffs.