The Merlin Conspiracy interview on Bookseller

HSchinske at HSchinske at
Sun Mar 2 19:14:37 EST 2003

In a message dated 3/2/2003 2:45:41 PM Pacific Standard Time, Margaret Ball <
margaret at> writes:

> > and if that doesn't work, there's a secret club in which writers can 
> > send money to Schnectady and get bestseller ideas in response.
> Schenectady? SCHENECTADY?!? Well, gosh darn it. No wonder I never made 
> it out of the midlist genre paperback ranks. It's nothing to do with 
> lack of talent; all these years I've been getting my ideas from some 
> cheap ripoff joint in Poughkeepsie. That's probably the outlet mall of 
> sf ideas whereas the Schenectady club is the Neiman-Marcus.....and I'm 
> not in their secret club. Sheesh.

Harlan Ellison used a similar line (about picking them up by the sixpack in 
Schenectady) at a Star Trek convention in Seattle some decades ago. It didn't 
get much of a laugh, and he said "Now, if I'd've said, uh, Tacoma, you'd've 
all laughed, but hey, this is a West Coast crowd ..." 

Helen Schinske
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