The Truth about Alternative 3

   In our June   issue,   we   told  you  about  the  controversial  book
   Alternative 3, by British author Leslie  Watkins.   In  out attempt to
   find out if  the shocking theories in the book were  true,  we  called
   Avon Books, the  American  publisher;  they  said  the book was out of
   print in the states.  We called Penguin Books in London and found that
   it was listed on their NON-FICTION  list.   A senior editor there told
   us that it was officially classified as FICTION BASED ON FACT.  The
   author's agent told us it was most definitely fiction.  We wrote to
   the author himself to try to get the real story, and here is the
   letter he sent us.

   Dear Ms. Dittrich:

   Thank you for your letter, which reached me today.  Naturally, I am
   delighted by your interest in Alternative 3 and by the fact that you
   plan to sell it in the Windwords bookstore.  I will certainly
   cooperate in any way I can.

   The correct description of Alternative 3 was given to you by the
   representative from Penguin Books.  The book is based on fact, but
   uses that fact as a launchpad for a HIGH DIVE INTO FICTION.  In answer
   to your specific questions:

      1)  There is no astronaut named Grodin.
      2)  There is no Sceptre Television and the reported Benson is also
      3)  There is no Dr. Gerstein.
      4)  Yes, a "documentary" was televised in June 1977 on Anglia
          Television, which went out to the entire national network in
          Britain.  It was called Alternative 3 and was written by David
          Ambrose and produced by Christopher Miles (whose names were on
          the book for contractual reasons).  This original TV version,
          which I EXPANDED IMMENSELY for the book, was ACTUALLY A HOAX
          which had been scheduled for transmission on April Fools' Day.
          Because of certain problems in finding the right network slot,
          the transmission was delayed.

   The TV program did cause a tremendous uproar because viewers refused
   to believe it was fiction.  I initially took the view that the basic
   premise was so way-out, particularly the way I aimed to present it in
   the book, that no one would regard it as non-fiction.  Immediately
   after publication, I realized I was totally wrong.  In fact, the
   amazing mountains of letters from virtually all parts of the world-
   including vast numbers from highly intelligent people in positions of
   responsibility-convinced me that I had ACCIDENTALLY trespassed into a
   range of top-secret truths.

   Documentary evidence provided by many of these correspondents decided
   me to write a serious and COMPLETELY NON-FICTION sequel.
   Unfortunately, a chest containing the bulk of the letters was among
   the items which were mysteriously LOST IN TRANSIT some four years when
   I moved from London, England, to Sydney, Australia, before I moved on
   to settle in New Zealand.  For some time after Alternative 3 was
   originally published, I have reason to suppose that my home telephone
   was being tapped and my contacts who were experienced in such matters
   were convinced that certain intelligence agencies considered that I
   probably knew too much.

   So, summing up, the book is FICTION BASED ON FACT.  But I now feel
   that I inadvertently got VERY CLOSE TO A SECRET TRUTH.  I hope this is
   of some help to you and I look forward to hearing from you again.

   With best wishes,
   Leslie Watkins

   Unfortunately, Alternative 3 is no longer available.   We  (Windwords)
   bought all the  remaining  copies from the British publisher and those
   quickly sold out.  If the book is reprinted, you can be sure we'll let
   you know and we'll carry it in the Windwords bookstore.