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CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:19 pm
by RickBoatright
Please let me apologize for just now finding this forum, which I had no idea existed. That's my bad. I have published several stories which involve a character who is quite a fan of the Wizard stories and specifically of St. Vidicon.

In Eric Flint's "1632" alternate history universe which sent a 2000 AD West Virginia Mining town into 17th century Germany, I have a continuing character Father Nicholas Smithson. Father Nick has become a rather massive Christopher Stasheff fan, and proposes to the head of his diocese that they begin a Catholic group to promote technology devoted to St. Vidicon.

He's rather firmly shut down, but is told that the idea of the little yellow screwdriver as a talisman is a good one, and that the screwdriver he had as a prototype should itself have given him the name of the recently sainted individual for which the group could be named.

Eventually then, in the 1632 universe is established a group named after St. Philip Neri and devoted to the reduction of the action of Murphy's imps in the world. The name, logically, is "The Order of St Philip of the Screwdriver."

If I had an address to send to, I would love to send one to the blessed originator of the idea.

First story at:



Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:56 am
by kf6eml
Welcome, Rick!
I think I remember you from Baen's bar. As I recall, you're quite a prolific contributor to the 1632 tech manual - or is my memory faulty?
Sadly, this forum is not very active, but there are a few who check in regularly. Let your people know about the place; Dr. Stasheff checks in now and then, and his son posts regularly letting us know what he's up to (no good, usually!) and now and then he throws us a few literary crumbs.
They've been busy lately trying to get all of the good doctor's scribblings converted to electronic format, so your favorite works should all be available soon through Amazon.

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:06 pm
by Ortho the Frank

I'd love to read that story! Unfortunately, the link you posted only shows the first page, so I'll have to buy that issue of the Grantville Gazette from Amazon. For anyone else who's interested in reading it, the short story is titled "Canst Thou Send Lightnings?" and the Amazon link is:

I'd also love to be able to post your story here in the fan fiction section. Would that be possible? If not (most likely due to legal reasons), could we post part of the story here, with a link to Amazon for whoever wants to read the rest of it? Hey, consider it free advertising....

I'll post again after I've read it.

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:28 am
by kf6eml
As the author who was probably compensated for his writing, I'm sure that for legal reasons he is unable to tell you "Sure! Publish it!"
But given that it was a story in Eric Flint's 1632-verse, I'm willing to bet that if you "obtained" a copy of the story and put it up with a link to the book on Amazon and (especially), neither Baen publishing nor Eric Flint would be inclined to gripe at you about it. They might get a bit cranky if you were publishing it for your own profit, but aside from attracting some word-of-mouth from Mr Boatright, it's hard to see how you'd be benefitting.
Jim Baen was a huge champion of DRM-free publishing, and Eric Flint froths at the mouth about it. (He started the free library at

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:44 pm
by Ortho the Frank
Well! I read "Lightnings" last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I like technical, hard sci-fi, so it was right up my alley. It was well-structured and well-written. And as a formal academic, I appreciated Fr. Nick's conclusion at the end that although the Americans have a wealth of knowledge in their libraries, they lack the research skills (and patience) to make full use of it.

I called Chris last night and told him about it. He had a good laugh at "Saint Phillip of the Screwdriver" and though the St. Vidicon reference was a "flattering tribute." I emailed him a copy of the story, so hopefully he'll read it and post a response soon. He also gave me the go-ahead to send you his postal address in a private email.

Thanks, Congratulations, and Good Luck!

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:18 pm
by RickBoatright
You're quite welcome. As long as you post it with attribution, and with a link to the Gazette web site at and to then we (that is 1632, Inc.) have no objection to your posting the entirety of "Canst Thou Send Lightnings?"

I would appriciate it if you would also post a link to the free download of the first novel in the series "1632" which is available from Baen's site at

(Hey kid, try one, the first one's free!)

Thanks for the compliment

-_ Rick Boatright
Head Geek
The 1632 Universe.

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:30 pm
by kf6eml gave an error page.
Is it .com?

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:11 am
by RickBoatright
Oh arg. Yes, sorry.

-_ Rick

Re: CS fan boy and St Vidicon wannabe

PostedCOLON Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:29 pm
by Ortho the Frank
Okay, the story's up on our website. I think I've included all the links you requested. Let me know if I missed anything, or if I got the story text formatting wrong. Thanks!