After 3 1/2 years, it seems strange to think of LASFS without Apa L. Nevertheless, I think we all realize that it's served its purpose and lived its life, and it's time to set it aside -- not without regrets, certainly -- and look toward new things. To quote John Myers Myers, it's "great days were all yesterdays", and, while it's continued to have some readable material each week, and while it's been a handy place to put newsletters and other bulletins of immediate interest, it really died as a literary publication several months ago. Just as SHAGGY was a great fanzine in the late '50's and early '60's, then began an unstoppable decline because of changing interests, and had to be suspended for the good of its own reputation and that of LASFS, so Apa L is now the victim of changing interests, and most be suspended for the same reasons. The swing away from SHAGGY gave birth to Apa L. Now, we've lost interest in Apa L, and we're growing interested in reviving SHAGGY once more. Like a number of plants, LASFS must have the dying growth pruned away to give life to the new blooms. In another 4 or 5 years, the club may want to fold SHAGGY still again and revive Apa L; who knows? But as things are now arranged, next week will see both the collation of the last dist'n of Apa L, and the collation of the first issue of the revived SHAGGY. May SHAGGY receive the creative backing that we gave Apa L in its first two years of existence!
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We have another change before us that I see as a favorable sign of new life in the club: the motion to adopt new club colors. As Len Bailes said mock-seriously last week, "My God! 25 years of tradition out the window, just like that!" It's been a standing joke ever since I joined the LASFS that nobody liked green & brown, but we couldn't change to something else, because the club colors have always been green & brown. Well, now we're interested in getting up & moving, rather than standing on tradition, and I say hooray! I'm in favor of tradition when there's something behind it -- which is why I favor reviving SHAGGY rather than starting a new club genzine -- but what's there ever been behind green & brown besides Forry's interest in Esperanto and a brief club vogue for green & brown typewriter ribbons way back before World War II?
Personally, I favor black & silver. It's not just that I think this is a pretty combination, either; I think that they're logical colors for the club. Look at our coat-of-arms: a microscope to signify the scientific present, the microcosm; a spaceship in flight to signify the scientific future; the macrocosm; a design based on WEIRD TALES' readership club (of which the LASFS was a member) emblem, to signify fantasy. All right, then, black and silver (which is white for practical purposes) are "scientific" colors. They're "pure": actually the lack of color and the presence of all colors. They represent the extreme opposites: night & day, cold & heat, evil & good. They'll do well to signify the extremes of the LASFS' interests. They fit nicely with standard motifs of s-f, such as the black of space, and the white of the hottest suns, or the picture of a silver rocket shooting through the velvet universe. In fantasy, there's black & white magic, the white-robed angel and the coal-black demon, the silvery cabalistic symbols on the sorcerer's black robes and peaked cap. In practical terms, they're easy to reproduce; anything in black & white (such as our membership cards) will automatically be in the club colors. If we do want to use silver, aluminum paint is easy to get -- in spray-on cans, too. Black & silver is a combination that'll stand out. And, as an added filler of correctness, black & silver are heraldically proper -- sable & argent. While it's no longer necessary to strictly follow the rules of heraldry in adopting club colors, it doesn't hurt to do so when it's to our advantage because of a number of other reasons. (And, with the number of medievalists in the LASFS, I suspect that we'd be more interested in staying heraldically proper than would most other clubs, anyway.) So, for all the reasons above, and because it's a more attractive combination than most, I'm supporting black & silver as the LASFS' new club colors.
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I drove over to Ken Rudolph's place on Sunday to deliver the LASFS lettering guides for use on SHAGGY, and walked into a real SHAGGY publishing session. An actual, Roscoe-to-goodness, SHAGGY session, like there used to be in the good old days. The SHAGGY sessions stopped before SHAGGY itself did, a few years ago, which is one of the reasons that SHAGGY did fold; instead of a number of fans getting together to put out an issue, the state of affairs shifted until the editor did most of the work of publishing, privately, as though SHAGGY were his personal fanzine, and one that he wasn't really interested in. But Sunday -- there was Ken, and Flieg, and Schu, and Criss, and other fans who came & went; the floors and tables were covered with manuscripts, offset masters, typewriters, lightboxes, and paperbacks, prozines, & fanzines. People weren't just sitting around; they were typing, editing, drawing, arranging layout. "You can't believe how much fun I'm having," Ken kept repeating, as though he couldn't believe it himself. "I've got over 50 pages of material -- good material -- which means that not only this will be a good issue, but that I can hold back enough material to make sure that the next issue is good too. And with two good issues coming out on a regular schedule, we'll start getting those outside contributions and LoC's for sure." It does look good, real good. I'm sure going to try to get in to the session this weekend, to finish the typing and start the printing of the pages, so that we'll be ready to collate the zine here next week. And, in the SHAGGY sessions to come -- and it now looks like there will be sessions to come, and lots of them -- I hope to see a growing number of the fans who're active in LASFS today. The Third Foundation crew. Mac McCaughan and his pals. Even Valley Fandom, if any of the Valley fans are interested in L.A. fandom's doings at all, any more.
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I finally got the BayCon's PROGRESS REPORT #2, and the most noticeable thing about it, to me, is the amount of advertising for future WorldCons that it has. 5 of its 16 pages consist of full-page ads for WorldCon bids, which is a rather fantastic %age for a PR #2. There are 2 ads for St. Louis in '69, one for Columbus in '69, one for New Orleans in '73, and of course one for L.A. in '72. Plus an ad for this year's Deep-South Con, and one of Chuck's F-UN CON ads (the PR#1, I see on double-checking) enclosed with it.
All of this convention advertising, plus the increasing number of fanzines arriving in my mailbox, gives me the impression that national fandom is becoming more active, approaching the stage at which it stood when I entered it almost 8 years ago. Is the LASFS' resurgence part of this trend, or a coincidental action happening at just the right time? Whichever it is, I hope it lasts -- on our part at least -- through '72.