Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Argument For Confidence

ENTRY 0004

In my last entry, I mentioned one item that still proves to be most elusive.  On the face of it, finding a copy of The DRINK #3 would seem to be an impossible dream.  But there is a part of me that is confident that I will be able to find a copy somewhere.

Why am I confident?  Well, it's mainly because I tracked down something similarly elusive once before.

In this case, the item was another newsletter.  The title was Sci-Fox, and it was produced by 20th Century Fox to publicize their science fiction films.  Sci-Fox not only had articles on upcoming releases (such as Independence Day), but also covered some of their classic SF films, such as Planet Of The Apes and Star Wars.  The latter was covered in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of its release.

Sci-Fox ran for six issues, in 1996 and 1997.  I'm guessing that someone at 20th Century Fox decided that whatever money was being budgeted for it could be better used elsewhere in the publicity department.  I mean, it was a really nice newsletter -- full color, and lots of photos.

My first encounter with Sci-Fox was at LACon III.  The second issue was on the freebie table, and I picked up a copy, or more likely two or three, to pass out to friends when I got back home.  There was a form in the issue for signing up to get on the mailing list.  Once I got back to Louisville, I photocopied the page, filled out the form, and I mailed it to 20th Century Fox.  I also added a letter asking if they still had any copies of issue #1.  Unfortunately, this time, I was not as successful.  a few weeks later, they sent me a very nice letter saying, "Sorry, but we no longer have any copies of that issue."

Sci-Fox was published quarterly.  I know I found issues on the freebie tables at other conventions.  I quite distinctly remember seeing Sci-Fox #2 again a couple of months after LACon III, at Windycon.  But I also received all the other issues in the mail -- until it ceased publication after issue #6.

I honestly thought that the chances of acquiring a copy of Sci-Fox #1, like The DRINK #3, would be astronomical, to say the least.  But then Ebay came along.  I don't even know why I did it, but one day I tried a search for "sci fox."  Oh, I got plenty of results -- most of them having to do with the Back To The Future movies.  (Those listings mentioned both "sci-fi" and "Michael J. Fox," which of course is what the search algorithm picked up.)  But much to my surprise, someone was offering a copy of Sci-Fox #1 for a low minimum bid.  The minimum bid was $1, and as it turned out, I was the only bidder.  Once the auction ended, I contacted the seller, did the usual where-do-I-send-payment thing, and about two or three weeks later, it was in my mailbox.

Unfortunately, my attempts to do a search for The DRINK on Ebay have not been as successful.  There would be references to it in listings for books published by Del Rey, but I haven't seen anything beyond that.  As I said, though, I am not going to give up.  Finding Sci-Fox #1 had to be something of a miracle, and I am more than willing to believe that a miracle is perfectly capable of happening again.


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