The Best from APA L: 1967 will not be published in time for the WesterCon. The publication date has been advanced to NyCon time; and frankly, it may be cancelled altogether. I hope not. At any rate, I'm no longer planning on having it ready in time for the WesterCon.
With only one month to go on the original schedule, I've been forced to consider whether publication is really feasible? I've decided that it isn't. I don't mean that I don't want to see the 3rd Best from APA L, but it's not as important to me this year as it was the last two years. I have other things to occupy my time this month before the WesterCon, too -- the rehearsals for "Gilbert & Sullivan Meet Captain Future" are going to be held on every weekend now, and I still have the comic-book "sub-convention" to plan. So, compared to the last couple of years when I could devote all my fan time during the last pre-WesterCon month to publishing The Best, this year I've got other things to do. Also, having moved out to Santa Ana, I can't depend on the help I had before, either; I'm going to have to do it all alone. There's also the trouble of no longer being able to get into DupSupply with any regularity to buy supplies, and have photostencils made. Either I have to do without the DupSupply discount, which would mean paying 25% to 33% more on all purchases, and doing without photostencil work, or I have to find L.A. fans I can get to do my shopping at DupSupply for me, which means subjugating my needs to their schedules. And I still have to get together with some people to have original art done, or old art redone, just at the time when they're busiest with their own projects for the WesterCon. Possibly I should've begun serious work on The Best earlier, but as I said, it hasn't meant as much to me this year. At any rate, I can see that I can't get it out by WesterCon time, without putting a lot more effort into it than I'm willing to do.
But I don't want to scrap the project entirely. (For one thing, I do have about 30 pages of material that I don't want to go to waste.) So I've tentatively rescheduled publication for WorldCon time. Hopefully after the WesterCon I'll feel more like working on it. At any rate, I'll have a couple more months to get supplies, make arrangements with other fen for special artwork and the like, run off pages, and so on. If it turns out during this time that I still don't feel like finishing the project, I may just scrap it, or publish an incomplete Best with the 30 or 40 pages I'll have on hand. I just don't know.
Anyhow, don't expect a Best from ALA L in time for this WesterCon, because there won't be any.
Dana Brown -- I don't know who you are, but I hope to see more artwork by you. This cover is a delight in the old Paul style. Do you specialize in Paul-type work, or was this done deliberately as a pastiche? If this isn't your regular style, I'd like to see what that looks like.
Paul Lebow -- From the novelists' point of view, I doubt whether it would've made too much difference if the Clone had been turned loose in L.A. rather than Chicago. The environment wanted was a big urban population center near a large body of water. In the book, the Clone was loose in Chicago, and the problem was to stop it from getting to Lake Michigan. If the story had been set in L.A., the same problems and solutions could've been applied with regard to the Pacific. The scenes in the subway and the stockyards would've had to've been cut, but the freeways would offer a dramatic substitute to the former. Yes, I agree that this is the best example of the "blob" stock plot that I've ever read. The only place the story fell down was when the author started working the hero & heroine into the story; the book's merits depend almost entirely on the impersonal, newscast-style descriptions of how the Clone grows and engulfs Chicago.
Ken Rudolph -- Up to a few years ago, the purpose of moving into a new slan shack would be to give the LASFS a new home, rather than the other way around. One of the main reasons the Fan Hillton was established was to give the LASFS a permanent home; ditto with Mathom House when the Fan Hillton was torn down; and when the LASFS was evicted from Mathom House, there was a cry for a group of fans to congregate in a new slan shack somewhere to house the LASFS. The Silver Lake Playground was to be only a temporary makeshift meeting place until the new slan shack was found. But things have changed now, since Silver Lake seems more stable than any slan shack is, and we do hope to stay here until we can buy a genuinely permanent LASFS clubhouse. There might be an obstacle to moving a slan shack into the same vicinity, though. We found out the hard way at Mathom House that public clubs aren't allowed to meet in residential zones. Possibly this will work the other way around -- in the areas where the LASFS is allowed to set up permanent housekeeping, will fans be able to do the same? ## In any case, slan shacks come & go so swiftly that I'm sure that a new one established now wouldn't at all affect another move later to the vicinity of the new LASFS clubhouse, if such is possible. And, if the Lab crew is looking for a new slan shack now, why doesn't it look in the neighborhood of the Silver Lake Playground?
Dian Pelz -- Your mention of wanting to be able to cook something at the Lab after LASFS reminds me of another difference between our current slan shacks and the ones at which LASFS used to meet. At the latter, refreshments would be available on the premises right after the meeting. Not cooked food, especially, but the LASFS coffeepot was set up and everyone had coffee or tea, and cookies were usually supplied. When we were meeting at Zeke's, that ghastly fizzy green concoction was also there for anyone with strong stomachs. Even after the LASFS was ousted from Mathom House and was meeting at the Alpine and Silver Lake Playgrounds, we returned to Mathom House after 10:00 for refreshments, for as long as Mathom House survived. Why, then, has no slan shack since played a similar role? Some people want a full dinner, yes, but there are still enough who only want a light snack that I wonder why we never got into the habit of setting up the LASFS coffeepot or supplying cookies at the Lab regularly. You used to make cupcakes and sell them at LASFS, as I recall; I would imagine that a refreshment concession at the Lab would bring even more customers. ## Mesopotamian history seems most confusing, but as to the "deviant" names in the king lists being usurpers, who do you tell which the deviant name is in a list like Shalmaneser IV (782-773), Ashurdan III (772-755), Ashurnirari V (754-745), Tiglathpileser III (744-727), Shalmaneser V (726-722), etc.? (It was Tiglathpileser, but I wouldn't have known it if the history book hadn't said so.) Maybe someone more familiar with Mesopotamian names than I am can spot one that looks out of place, but they all look about the same to me. About the only pattern that I've noted is that it's the kings with the shortest names that tend to be interlopers. At a guess, this would be because the interloper was originally a person of more common birth, or from a more primitive warlike tribe, where simpler names were the style. After making himself king of Babylonia or Assyria, he'd then see to it that his sons and heirs got a nice long noble name that had an important meaning. All the variant spellings of the same names don't help any, either. The king who's Tiglathpileaser in one history book is Tiglath-pileser in another, and Tukulti-apal-Esharra in a third. (The Encyclopedia Britannica article on Babylon and Assyria is great for giving several variant spellings for one king. I never knew that Sargon was more properly spelled Sharrum-kin -- which reminds me again of Tolkien, and Sharkey, which might've been Sharku (old man) in Orkish. Possibly just a chance similarity in sounds, of course.) Anyhow, when you consider how the spelling of the names is Anglicized to varying extents in different books, it's even harder to say that a given name looks "out-of-place". ## It's not the nationality of the ruler that interests me so much, either, as the existence of the state. In other words, I'm more interested in knowing who the king of Assyria was at a given time, than whether he was a native king with an Assyrian name or a usurper with a foreign name. The parallel with Ptolemaic Egypt isn't quite applicable, I don't think. Cleopatra ruled Egypt, yes -- that's the important thing; not that she personally was of a Greek family. In Mesopotamia, though, you didn't necessarily have one kingdom, with everybody fighting to be the one king of it. There were a lot of small cities all more or less close together, to start with, each of which had its own king. Each king tried to spread his personal power as far as possible over the others. If he conquered a city, he might let the old king remain nominal ruler as a vassal; or he might appoint a governor. Apparently every time one of these governors got solidly enough in power, he'd proclaim his city independent again and go off on a war of conquest of his own. So instead of having one throne changing hands, you had a lot of little thrones popping up and down all over the place, sometimes with two or more co-existing. By about 1800 B.C., Babylon and Assyria had made themselves important enough that all would-be monarchs did try to seize those specific thrones, but before then, you had a regular game of "king-of-the-mountain" going on between such places as Ur, Lagash, Umma, Larsa, Isin, and Akkad. From what I can tell -- the history books seem a little vague on the point -- by the time the Kassite tribe wandered in from the East and overthrew the existing Babylonian dynasty, Babylon was well enough established as a great metropolis that the Kassites moved in and established a new dynasty, rather than ruling Babylon as a vassal state from their old capital. So whether they were Babylonian or Kassite in origin, they became kings in and of Babylon. ## This bit about Cleopatra not really being Egyptian could be debated, too. It's a matter of semantics and popular acceptance, I guess. Similarly, the Manchu dynasty of China never got over the stigma of being a "foreign" dynasty, even after 200 years of ruling from Peking. The Norman dynasty in England began as a foreign dynasty; when did it become "native" finally? In fact, there's a fairly recent story along the same line, about the current royal family of Britain,which for a long time after George I came over from Hanover was considered Germanic and foreign. (It changed its name to "Windsor" during the First World War because of this, remember?) Anyhow, some prominent anti-royalist about this time referred to George V in a speech as their "dull, uninteresting, and foreign-born king", and King George is supposed to have replied, "I may be dull and uninteresting, but I'll be damned if I'm a foreigner!" The British obviously feel the same way; their royal family is "theirs" -- but how many Greeks accept their royal family as "theirs"? But Constantine II is currently King of Greece, whether you accept him as Greek or not. ## Yes, of course you're right -- it's Edward, Duke of Windsor, not York. That's what comes of typing fast and not proofreading. I must've been thinking subconsciously of Edward IV, who was Duke of York before becoming King during the War of the Roses. If his name had been Henry, I would've probably typed Lancaster by mistake.
Kip Morgan -- Well, Dave Kaler is right in that s-f fandom is "loosely banded", as you put it. We've tried tighter organizations, and we haven't liked them. Attempts to form a national or international s-f club for all fans to join have been made, and either died from lack of interest, or split up through feuding. There's still the National Fantasy Fan Federation today, which is over 21 years old, but it's far from representing "organized" fandom. In fact, it's generally considered a joke, fit only for neofans to join while they're learning about fandom. About 10 years ago, we tried to formally organize our World S-F Conventions, and we established an organization called the World Science Fiction Society, Inc. What happened to it is told in song and story, but it didn't last over 3 years. Now I gather that the tight organization of Comics Fandom likes in the fact that Mr. Kaler has proclaimed by fiat that anybody at all interested in comics is automatically de jure a member of the Academy, of which he is the head. I also gather that not too many Comics Fans take Dave Kaler seriously -- in fact, they don't take him seriously enough to bother deposing him. It would be nice to have some sort of central organization to direct Comics Fandom, but as long as there's nothing in sight to do the job, we might as well let Dave have his fun making proclamations. Frankly, the Academy is the only group so far that even pretends to be working; something may come of it yet. If it ever comes alive to the point that it does start doing things in the name of Comics Fandom, then will be the time to go to the trouble of cleaning it up.
Earl Thompson -- I'm looking forward to seeing the Project Gemini double-stamp. A lot of other countries have been doing this sort of multi-stamp-on-one-sheet thing for some time now, particularly the Communist countries that turn out a lot of stamps for the philatelic market. The Christmas stamps of a couple of years ago are the only things in this line that the U.S. has ever done. And those Project Gemini stamps are going to be the most stfnal yet; not only do they show an astronomical scene, but they were designed by Paul Calle, who used to illustrate some of the prozines back in the early '50s -- mostly GALAXY, I believe.
Al Snider -- N'APA is a fine apa to get in while you're working your way up the waiting lists of the others. I started out in N'APA myself, 6 years ago, and stayed in until just this last year, when I decided to cut down on some of my activity. To get into N'APA, you have to be a member of the N3F (I understand there's a move afoot in N'APA to do away with this regulation, but it's still in effect now, as far as I know.) Once you're in the N3F, you're then eligible to join N'APA, and you can get in right away, since there's no waiting list. Bruce will have to give you the exact info on the dues of these groups, but I'm sure there're no waiting lists for either. The N'APA mailings come out 4 times a year, in the middle of March, June, September, and December. To stay in, you just have to publish at least 6 pages every other Mailing, and to anyone who's used to Apa L, the prospect of publishing 6 pages in 6 months presents no problems at all. I don't know who all's in N'APA now, but I presume that there are enough non-L.A. fans that you'll find membership interesting. ## I'm not sure what kind of paper you mean, but I presume you're talking about what RR was published on a couple of weeks ago. That was Duplicating Supply's Velvetone Tan, and I forget the exact price but it's something like $1.35 a ream. It ordinarily sells for about $2.00 a ream, but the LASFS has a discount at Duplicating Supply Products Co. (2817 Beverly Blvd.), so if you want any paper, mimeo ink, stencils, etc. at a discount, go there -- and be sure to mention you're buying it on the club's discount. (You can't charge anything, but you will save some money.) This may not be as cheap as some of the stuff you can get at Self Help downtown, but you can get a lot of the standard top quality material at a big savings. The Velvetone also comes in red, green, blue, and yellow, and DupSupply's Copytone paper comes in these colors and several others, besides.