Well, here we are…. finally. Sorry this issue is so terribly late-there were a few (well, okay, a whole bunch) of delays in getting our insurance finalized at IOBA and The Standard couldn’t go live again till that was accomplished. But we’re back with an issue I hope will be interesting and entertaining for you, and The Standard will be on the regular quarterly schedule hereafter.
Ken Fermoyle has had to step aside as my replacement editor. He has had to have some drastic eye surgery to save his vision in one eye-and won’t know for some time to what extent that has been accomplished. While Ken will still work all he can on The Standard, as he’s done for some time now, he understandably doesn’t feel he can take on the whole burden of the editor job with the uncertainty he’s facing although, thankfully, his vision is starting to show some improvement.
DeWayne White, of White Unicorn Books, has meanwhile kindly volunteered to take on the editor’s job. DeWayne will be The Standard’s Editor after this issue, and Ken will have the title of Articles Editor, helping DeWayne where and when he can.
A bit of background on DeWayne for you, though I’m sure many of you are well acquainted with him from various booksellers’ lists.
“I’ve been an avid reader almost all of my life, as was my Mother. I’m still a reader, mostly fiction outside of work and mostly SF&F but also some westerns, mystery, history, philosophy and others. I never really wanted to turn loose of my books and finally, after I could afford to quit trading them in 2 for 1, I started to keep them. This turned into collecting books, mostly used, so I had to learn the lingo and what it meant. This interest finally turned into a B&M with basically only SF&F new books, sometime in the mid 70’s. It was run as a business by my wife and I came in at night after work (I was a scientist in the US Civil Service at the time). I talked to the customers, kept the books for the store, and helped out here and there. There was a used bookstore down the street a few miles away that we frequented (I got a large part of my collection of used books from them over time). We started talking one day about us handling used books and they thought it would be a great idea. We had only been handling used books for maybe six months, mostly paperbacks and trades, when I had the opportunity for quite a promotion at my day job. After a family discussion, I decided to take the job. There were a couple of projects that I had to finish up at work. Because of that and other considerations I gave about 4 or 5 months’ notice. During that time we half-heartedly looked for a buyer. We finally decided to just close the shop after 5 years. We kept a large part of the hardbacks since we figured they would appreciate in value anyway and we might open up another store someday.
Skip ahead some 25 years. I was still an avid reader but had cut back quite a bit on my collecting, generally just buying those hardcover books which I expect to re-read sometime in the future (or to invest in, I keep telling myself) and paperbacks for the rest. We still had the store inventory we had kept. My wife was working as an insurance consultant for some class action lawsuits for a law firm. They had finished one case with quite a large settlement and the law firm decided to start investigating another “on spec”. Enter 9/11 and the following market crash. The law firm now didn’t have the funding for the “spec” cases and so, since my wife was working as a full time consultant for them by now, she lost her job. Since I was just a few years from retiring (I’m 64 now) and we had talked about starting an internet bookstore, my wife decided she would like to do that rather than keep working full time “at an office”. Since I had been working out of my home for the past six or seven years, I thought it would be great if we could both work at home. We started the White Unicorn Books online bookstore with my collection (maybe five thousand including about 15% paperbacks) and the store inventory we had kept (a few thousand books). Most of my books still aren’t online, but my wife has bought several thousand more and they are mostly online. We finally opened our own site. I belong to a few lists [including Biblio, Insider, and IOBA], which I read fairly religiously and sometimes even post. I look around on other places like rec.art.books and the ABE board. I got involved with the creation of Global Book Town and we joined when they finally became an organization. I’m still on the “advisory panel” there.”
And now DeWayne will have a new adventure as The Standard’s editor! I’ll be around in the background at least through the spring issue, to try to make it a smooth transition. I’m positive that both DeWayne and Ken will do a marvelous job with The Standard, and I look forward to seeing what new directions they move it in.
A special thanks to Deanna Ramsay for her efforts on this issue. Deanna suffered a concussion in falls from her horse in December, 2003, and is still feeling the effects. It has not been easy for her to get this issue together. And I want that special thanks to extend to her work on all the issues of The Standard that we’ve put out together-I could not at all have done my job without her. Thanks so much, Deanna!
A wonderful 2004 to all of you, and thanks for all the support and help that so many of you have given me in the past!
Shirley Bryant, Editor