USPS kills plans for SF author stamps, fans rally to make them happen

The United States Postal Service recently made a serious oversight. Let's help them correct that, shall we?

In February of this year, it was announced that a five-stamp set featuring some of the best-known science fiction authors would be released in July. Well ... it's July, so where are they? Sadly, according to April's Linn’s Stamp News, those stamps have found their way into the indefinitely-postponed pile.

But does that mean fans of sci-fi should just give up? Absolutely not. We're incredibly relieved and proud that there's a petition out there to make those stamps happen. More than that, the petition is advocating that the Obama administration approve an expanded list of writers, editors and artists.

While the five initial authors (Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein and Frank Herbert) are all seminal creators of great science fiction, they don't stand alone. And as Heinlein's would-be 106th birthday dawned, lead petitioner Chris Barkley took a stand. In his support statement, he writes:

1) The USPS was going to honor just five authors until this past April of 2013, all of them male. This would be a gross misrepresentation of the effect women have had in this field of literature.

2) The general public needs to be made aware of the wide range of people who have affected American AND world culture over the past three generations. Without these creative artists, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could have been influenced to create Star Trek, Star Wars, medical techniques, modern computers and software, communication satellites or the world wide web.

Hoping to garner 100,000 signatures, Barkley has crafted a list of creators much more befitting our favorite genre.

Robert E. Howard (1906 – 1936)

H.P. Lovecraft (1890 –1937)

Henry Kuttner (1915 – 1958)

Cyril.M. Kornbluth (1923 – 1958)

Frank R. Paul (1884 – 1963)

E.E. “Doc” Smith, (1890 – 1965)

Paul A. Linebarger (Cordwainer Smith) (1913 – 1966

Hugo Gernsback (1884 – 1967)

Virgil Finlay 1914 – 1971)

John W. Campbell, Jr. (1910 – 1971)

Will F. Jenkins (Murray Leinster) (1896 – 1975)

James Blish (1921 – 1975)

Edmund Hamilton (1904 – 1977)

Leigh Brackett (1915 – 1978)

Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982)

Theodore Sturgeon (1918 – 1985)

Jack Gaughan, (1930 – 1985)

Frank Herbert (1920 -1986)

Judy Lynn Del Rey (1943 –1986)

Chesley Bonestell (1888 – 1986)

Catherine L. Moore (1911 – 1987)

Terry Carr (1937 – 1987)

Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr.) (1915 – 1987)

Alfred Bester (1913 – 1987)

Clifford D. Simak (1904 – 1988)

Robert A. Heinlein (1907 – 1988)

Ed Emshwiller (1925 – 1990)

Donald Wollheim (1914 – 1990)

Isaac Asimov (1920- 1992)

Fritz Lieber (1910 – 1992)

Lester del Rey (1915 – 1993)

Robert Bloch (1917 – 1994)

Ian Ballantine (1916 –1995)

Roger Zelazny (1937 – 1995)

H.L. Gold (1914 –1996)

Richard M. Powers (1921 – 1996)

Judith Merrill (1923 – 1997)

Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930 – 1999)

L. Sprague De Camp (1907 – 2000)

Gordon R. Dickson (1923 – 2001)

Poul Anderson (1926 – 2 001)

Damon Knight (1922 – 2002)

Harry Clement Stubbs (Hal Clement) 1922 – 2003)

Frank Kelly Freas (1922 – 2005)

Alice (Andre) Norton (1912 – 2005)

Octavia Butler (1947 – 2006)

James Baen, (1943- 2006)

Jack Williamson (1908 – 2006)

John Berkey 1932 – 2008)

Dean Ellis, 1920-2009

John Schoenherr (1935 – 2010)

Frank Frazetta (1928 – 2010)

Gene Szafran (1941 – 2011)

Joanna Russ (1937 – 2011)

Anne McCaffrey (1926 – 2011)

Leo Dillon (1933 – 2012)

Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012)

Harry Harrison (1925 – 2012)

Jack Vance (1916 – 2013)

 Richard Matheson (1926 – 2013)

 

100,000 signatures by Aug. 6 is a tall order, especially with only a handful counted so far. Then again, are we not a huge group of passionate fans? You can find the petition in full here.

(via file 770)