User talk:RLetson

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Hello, RLetson, and welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. If you are stuck, and looking for help, please come to the New contributors' help page, where experienced Wikipedians can answer any queries you have! Or, you can just type {{helpme}} on your user page, and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! By the way, you can sign your name on Talk and vote pages using three tildes, like this: ~~~. Four tildes (~~~~) produces your name and the current date. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to the village pump or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! —Viriditas | Talk 05:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Science fiction genres[edit]

I see you have an interest in treating the topic of SF genre theory. I recommend you head right over to Science fiction genres and related topics and introduce one there, because there isn't one. [[[User:Simonapro|Simonapro]] 21:13, 26 April 2006 (UTC)]

Naturalistic science fiction AfD[edit]

Due to your comment on its talk page, you may be interested in knowing that I have placed this article on AfD as a non-notable neologism. You can contribute to the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Naturalistic science fiction. --Constantine Evans 10:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Jack Vance[edit]

Thanks for prodding me to take a look at the JV page and its discussion page. I had gotten disgusted with the whole business about a month or so ago and had "unwatched" them both. I am astonished to see that Mr. Rhodes and the others have apparently decided to live with what is there right now. If I knew they would stay out of the way, I might be tempted to try a little editing. You, of course, have already done yeoman service there to remove the fannish POV stuff (and over-reaching academic-like original research). A lot of stuff in the article is actually rather interesting, BUT is not Wikipedian. That's the problem with trying to deal with it -- you kinda think it ought to stay there -- but it's clearly original research, which means it's almost impossible to rewrite.... Let me know when you think the coast is really clear, hehe.... Hayford Peirce 20:55, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


Now you see why I take an occasional Wikibreak of a couple of months from time to time. And why other estimable people like administrator User:23skidoo do also. Just to preserve their sanity. Although, actually, I feel more like SCREAMING.... Oh, well, another day, another Wiki-crisis apparently surmounted.... Hayford Peirce 02:28, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Russell, I ran into you on Jack Vance a while back; I don't know if you recall. I just wanted to let you know that the ISFDB has opened up for public editing, with a supporting wiki. The idea is that people with bibliographic interests who have sf collections can update the ISFDB for themselves. I thought you might be interested. Thanks -- Mike Christie (talk) 19:28, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Reur website and slack key guitar[edit]

I took your suggestion and Googled your book title, and went to your website. How's the progress on your book about slack key guitar?  I'm sure you've done a lot of research on the subject, which I'm glad to see.  I don't know of any haoles (other than George Winston) who are masters of the technique.

I think it's safe to say that most of us young haole kids at Punahou first heard slack key played on the ukulele, and played exclusively by polyasians.  I my own case (and I'm sure in Dave Guard's and Bobby Schoën's case as well), while we were in 7th/8th grade hearing Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" played 'slack key' back then by really good uke players was the impetus for many of us to try (and fail) to really learn the technique.  Like me, neither Schoën or Guard was ever able to play slack key, as the few Hawaiian tracks on their albums clearly demonstrate.  A couple of standard three-chord slack key riffs every once in a while is as far as they get, and that's all.

In the late '60's I took guitar lessons from a Hawaiian Portuguese guitar teacher in the San Francisco south bay area, specifically to learn slack key.  He started each session by demonstrating slack key techniques, then played a slack key tune or two, then for the rest of the session drilled me in chording and picking classic guitar etudes.  And that's as far as I ever got.  I reverted back to playing the era's standards; "Freight Train", "Puff", "Little Boxes", et. al.  Never any Trio stuff.  Then sometime in the mid-90's I bought Keola Beamer's excellent slack key guitar CD course, learned alternate tunings, chords, fingering, etc., but try as hard as I could, I still couldn't get it right.  And I harbor the suspicion that Dave Guard wanted very much to play slack key, but couldn't, and compromised by becoming adept with banjo picking and frailing.  Just my observation, though.

Since you're a writer, here's a Dave Guard related idea for you.  The University of Wisconsin has an archive of materials collected by Dave Guard, and I believe they have an original copy of Dave's "Colour Guitar" book and course materials.  Maybe an article in it for you?  K. Kellogg-Smith 04:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Is biopunk a notable genre term?[edit]

Who in the science fiction field uses the term? The OED SF Citations site lists just two examples since 1993 (, but that's pretty thin evidence for a genre term--sounds more like a neologism that didn't make it. Genetic engineering and related biological motifs have certainly been part of SF since The Island of Doctor Moreau, but I'm not sure that all the works cited here as examples of "biopunk" are in fact that closely related. The non-literary part of this article sounds more like a manifesto for a movement than a neutral description, so I wonder whether there's some advocacy going on here. RLetson 05:50, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I think the fact that the term is used outside science fiction to 1) refer to a movement, and 2) as a synonym for biohacker makes it notable but we should probably go through the science fiction section and delete those works that are not "truly" biopunk. As for non-literary part of this article, I've tried to provide description as neutral as possible rather than promote a manifesto. However, feel free to make it more neutral if you can. --Loremaster 16:24, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

AfD nomination of Xenofiction[edit]


An article that you have been involved in editing, Xenofiction, has been listed for deletion. If you are interested in the deletion discussion, please participate by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Xenofiction. Thank you. George100 21:06, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Can you comment on the argument in the AfD that the problem is the name, not the subject? Thanks. --Kizor, not-logged-in ( 06:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC))

Space opera[edit]

I would like to know your opinion on the changes I made to the Space opera article the other day. I felt, and still feel, that changing external links into inline citations is always a good idea, and do not see the justification for Nagle's claim that the "result was a mess". What do you think? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 18:22, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it probably would have been best if I'd left the external links section alone, that I will admit. However, external links within the text of the article are, I think, another matter. Those stick out like a sore thumb because the numbers are bigger. Those should always be turned into inline citations. But, as I say, that's just my opinion. I am not sure what policy is on the matter. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 19:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


Are you satisfied with the current version of the Biopunk article? --Loremaster (talk) 18:18, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Off topic thanks[edit]

Russell, I really appreciate your mention of Outbound in the Locus review of Cryptic. Ironically, I received that issue of Locus the day I sold the very last copy of Outbound. Shsilver (talk) 15:55, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

SF themes[edit]

Hey, could you comment on the last section of the talk:List of science fiction themes, even if just to agree/disagree with my analysis. Every move i make to sort this list (so i can start adding more citations) gets reverted to a very old badly formatted version. With only me working on it, i'd like to form a consensus at least on the way forward, so i point out this consensus when my improvments get removed.

Any request to admins is replied to with "discuss any changes", which is pretty difficult as the only opposing viewpoint is from a "retired" editor who will not discuss. Thanks for any input you can give, even if only to disagree with me :-).Yobmod (talk) 14:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

the new Heinlein book[edit]

Hi Russell, I've been reading your Locus reviews on a regular basis and have always greatly enjoyed them -- you certainly have a distinct talent for doing this sort of thing! Just read your review of the new Patterson book -- another great review! And about a subject that interests me -- I will order the book later today. And I hadn't known about Fred Pohl's blog -- I'll check that out also. Hope that all is well with you, and keep up the terrific work! Hayford Peirce (talk) 18:15, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

"Thanks for the kind words and the shout-out (am I using that term right? I'm so OLD!)" I think that I know about as much about it as you do! Probably we should just "man up" and admit that we don't know what the hell we're talkin' about! Well, I've ordered the Patterson book from Amazon -- some excellent reviews and a very long one by a knowledgeable guy who considers it nothing more than a laundry list, since RAH was so reticent about his private life. I also looked at the Fred Pohl blog (thanks!) and added a correction to Fred's recollection about RAH in Tahiti. There was a lot of feeling there, and at Amazon, that Ginny spent a lot of her time sanitizing RAH. I have my own suspicions about certain "interests" of his, shall we say, that I would never put in print. Probably wrong, but mebbe not. My own feeling is that it was *this* that got RAH's nose so out of joint with Panshin -- Panshin kind of hinted at it.... Cheers! (And since I have a lifetime sub. to Locus, which I was smart enough (or dumb enough) to get about 30 years ago, I hope to be reading you for a long, long time!) Hayford Peirce (talk) 23:04, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Russell, it took me a while to get around to the Heinlein book but when I did I read it in four or five days. A very interesting book with a *lot* about RAH that I hadn't known. That was really a pretty grim childhood he had, plus v. bad medical problems. It's a wonder that he surmounted all of that. I then reread your review and found that it was a truly excellent appraisal both of the book itself and of the context in which Heinlein lived. Cheers! Hayford Peirce (talk) 21:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I always enjoy a good fight -- as long as other people are doing the fighting! I'll take another look at the Patterson site -- I'd glanced at it briefly, but only at the Errata... Thanks for the tip! Hayford Peirce (talk) 22:26, 3 June 2011 (UTC)