Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2109th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3557, October 13, 2005.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|L.A.con IV in 2006!||Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Salamander Press #2592|
Last Thursday Rob Powell took me to an early dinner at Karen Anderson's home before the LASFS meeting. The dinner party of eight also included Lee & Barry Gold, Michelle Pincus, John Hertz, and of most interest to me, Melissa Conway of the University of California at Riverside's Library. Conway is in charge of the Library's Special Collections including the Eaton Collection of S-f which now incorporates my collection. We have corresponded since my donation, but this was my first meeting with her in person. We discussed my visiting the UCR Library to see how my donation has been integrated into its collection, after it has been more thoroughly unpacked and catalogued. That is in progress but they still have a long way to go since my donation totaled over 830 boxes of unsorted books, magazines, fanzines, convention progress reports and program books, and ephemera like flyers, name badges, illustrated party invitations, buttons and the like. Apparently my donation is the largest &/or most valuable of any sort that the UCR Library has received so far during 2005.
After the dinner, we all went to the LASFS meeting. Conway was introduced as in charge of the Eaton Collection. She came to the LASFS partly to meet me, partly to see the LASFS' Library, and partly to introduce the Eaton Collection to other fans to encourage further donations. There is a depressing history through the years of LASFen who have built up huge collections including rare/valuable books & magazines, which have been thrown out after their deaths due to lack of any planning for what should happen to them. (This would have happened to my collection if my stroke had killed me or left me otherwise unable to make my own plans for its disposal, since my landlord was ready to throw it out in cleaning my apartment to rent it to a new tenant.) There were discussions (more in conversations than as part of the meeting) about adding presentations on the Eaton Collection to the programming of the next Loscon, Westercon and Worldcon. Getting back to the meeting itself, the LASFS was still getting new guests as a result of the L.A. Times' "On a Sci-Fi High" profile of the club. Rob Powell & I donated our Wallace & Gromit masks & giant carrot seeds to the auction; I believe they brought $4.00. There were four cakes, at least some of which were to celebrate the combined (birthdays? ages?) of Frances Hamit & Mike Galloway. There was a plethora of reviews this week; most for Serenity but also for Just Imagine, Wallace & Gromit, and I forget what other new & old s-f movies & TV series. After the meeting Powell & I chatted with Michael Burlake, who has gotten his van repaired and will resume bringing me to LASFS meetings.
On Saturday, Rob Powell took me to the October Cinema Anime meeting. Most of the anime shown were additional episodes of titles already started (Kamichu!, Bleach, AirMaster, Last Exile, Fruits Basket, Galaxy Angel Z, Samurai Champloo), but we started the Slayers sequel, Slayers Next (26 more episodes) and the improbably delightful non-fantasy high-school girls' comedy Azumanga Daioh! There was a very intriguing trailer for Gankutsuou, a new CGI anime version by Mahiro Maeda (Last Exile) of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo as a s-f futuristic "punk rock opera" with a symphonic score by Jean Jacques Burnel that looks like a cross between Bester's The Stars My Destination and Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. I do not know to what extent this is actually operatic rather than a straight drama (it is a TV series, not a feature), but the music in the trailer is beautiful, as are the Lunar aristocracy's palaces in a lush CGI Art Nouveau style. I look forward to seeing it. The meeting's feature was a 2002 South Korean movie, My Beautiful Girl, Mari (in Korean with English subtitles) which won the theatrical feature Grand Prix at that year's Annecy International Film Festival. Although it is a beautiful film in a very intriguing computer animation style that I have not seen before, it looked tailor-made for my comment last week about no cinematic technique by itself being able to save an otherwise boring film. Nam-woo, an ineffectual young salaryman, reminisces about his childhood when he was such a shy highschooler that he often retreated into his own fantasy world. It must have been a half-hour before anything began to happen beyond establishing what an emotionally confused loner Nam-woo is despite his classmates' trying to draw him into their average teen social life. Beautifully done but *YAWN*; by the time the fantasy element enters the story (lovely but extremely slowly paced), it is too late to save the movie for the average audience. This reminded me of the 1940s Disney/Dali collaboration Destino that Roy Disney exhumed and completed a couple of years ago; it is very much an Art Film and way too long as a feature.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Fish Out of Water #139 - (Helgesen) I have been corrected before about "interred". Maybe one day I will remember that it is a synonym for buried, not entombed. ## While it is not the same as the Flying Spaghetti Monster argument, the Institute for Research in Human Happiness claims over a million followers (parishioners? - they have at least one church in Torrance, or did as of a couple of years ago), and they teach that dinosaurs became extinct because they were all killed by interstellar big game hunters in flying saucers. I would hate to see that offered in schools as a viable alternate viewpoint.
Ragnarok & The Art Of Ignition - (Gold) A blood thinner (at least one) is among the medicines that I am being given daily, but the nurses blame my sores/abscesses/lesions on my sitting in my wheelchair all day long, putting pressure on my thighs and buttocks. That does sound similar to the cause of bedsores. Their cure (besides giving me antibiotics) is to put me back to bed between breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner, so I am not seated in my wheelchair all day long. This shifting of pressure does seem to be enabling the sores to heal. ## I have also read about boarding houses in old novels. The young heroes in Horatio Alger's late 19th century novels often lived in them. ## Thanks to the reference to the essay on Unobtainium. If I am right in remembering it from a Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge story by Carl Barks, that would predate the oldest known uses in the 1970s cited in the essay because Barks had retired by then. But the essay implies that the word could easily have been in use as slang before its oldest known printed use. ## The extension cord that you brought me means that my electric razor is more likely to be plugged into it. Unfortunately, the extension cord itself is likely to be unplugged from the wall by cleaners who do not plug it back in; and the wall socket is hidden behind my bed. I have to ask the nurses every day to make sure that the green recharge light is on after they plug the razor back into its power cord, to find out if the extension cord is plugged in. ## John DeChancie's front yard full of bouncing wild rabbits is a serendipitous image now that Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, full of bouncing wild rabbits, has just been released. ## Thanks for the additional information about California not using paper money during the Civil War. I wonder if that was true in Southern California as well as the gold mining area around Northern California. ## Thank you very much for getting my ASIFA-Hollywood membership renewed/comped. I really appreciate this. I have not been able to get to many of the ASIFA events since my stroke, but I do want to remain eligible for the free screenings of the major new animated theatrical features. Here is an upcoming ASIFA event that may be of interest to Charlie Jackson, Tom Safer and the Moffatts:
Saturday October 29th * 3:00 pm
Rare 1930s Columbia Pictures Cartoons
Unseen in over 70 years!
George Herriman's Krazy Kat was one of the first comic strip characters adapted to animated cartoons (starting in 1916!). When the cat made the transition to talkie cartoons, she became a he - as well as a little more Mickey and a lot less Herriman - in the process.
Krazy was featured in a long-running series of black and white sound cartoons produced by Columbia Pictures Corp. beginning in 1929 (and ending in 1939). This program will present many rare original Charles Mintz Krazy Kat cartoons in 35mm - newly restored by Columbia Pictures - including several that were never distributed to television or seen since their original release. This is one for the hard core cartoon buffs - and anyone else who loves funny, bouncy, pre-code musical cartoons from the 1930s. Don't miss this rare classic cartoon event!
Titles to be screened include:
PORT WHINES (1929)
FARM RELIEF (1929)
SLOW BEAU (1930)
JAZZ RHYTHM (1930)
HONOLULU WILES (1930)
APACHE KID (1930)
TAKEN FOR A RIDE (1930)
STORK MARKET (1931)
RUSSIAN DRESSING (1933)
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE (1933)
BOWERY DAZE (1934)
Not on Video or DVD - and won't be!
Saturday October 29th * 3:00 pm
AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Ted Ashley/ Warner Bros. Screening Room
2021 N. Western Ave.
ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD MEMBERS: FREE ADMISSION * GENERAL PUBLIC: $10.
Improbabilities - (Cantor) What everybody knew and what Jane Gallion believed were seldom the same thing. ## Unfortunately, I cannot type 0234 while holding down the alt key because I only have one usable hand and that takes two hands.
Godzillla Verses #57 - (DeChancie) This is not what you mean, but you should be able to get close enough to the Hugos to notice the artistic qualities of the materials used at L.A.con IV next year. The Worldcon traditionally includes an exhibit of most if not all of the past Hugo trophies. ## Several of the reviews of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride have commented on it being a modernization of a Medieval European Jewish folk tale; similar to Forbidden Planet being based on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Corpse Bride certainly implies there can be marriage and sex after death, although the Corpse Bride's dissolving into a cloud of butterflies at the upbeat-yet-confusing ending leaves this vague. ## I have not been able to figure out from Lawrence Watt-Evans' comments on his website whether he is serializing his new/ninth Ethshar novel (and charging his fans to read it there) because Wildside Press will not publish it, or whether he will have it published by Wildside Press after it is finished. He does say that Tor Books has dropped the series after the eighth novel and he has not been able to find any other major publisher interested in it. This implies that Wildside Press is similar to Sofawolf Press (to digress, Sofawolf's third printing of my Best in Show is now available); maybe good for republishing authors' out-of-print and unsold books at no cost to them, but offering little in payment (presumably a promise of royalties based upon copies actually sold). Have you contacted Wildside Press yet, or do you have any knowledge of what it does offer its authors? I looked over its booth at the last Worldcon I attended; as I recall, its stock was heavy on new editions of long out-of-print public-domain s-f and lots of books by a few authors who do not have much in print from other publishers (I mentioned Nick Pollotta last week), but there were dozens of titles, maybe over a hundred, implying success to some degree including author satisfaction among its living authors.
Vanamonde #647 - (Hertz) I used to believe that statement that the Japanese language has no stronger expletive than "shimat(t)a", until I started watching anime.in Japanese with English subtitles and noticed so many stronger expletives like "kuso". "Shimata" is usually translated as "damn!" or "darn!" or more literally as "Oops; I fouled up!"; a good expletive when you make a mistake, but not a really strong general expletive. I made a point of listening at the Cinema Anime last Saturday, and "kuso" is definitely today's strong expletive to throw at your enemy.
De Jueves #1447 - (Moffatt) I do not know anything about the 677 Special Emergency Number for cellphones only. If there have been any e.mails about it, they have been among the spam that I delete without reading. ## Emily dissolving into a shower of butterflies probably is supposed to tie into the single butterfly at the beginning of Corpse Bride. That would be consistent with the feeling of oh-so-arty directing whether it makes any sense or not. ## Did you see the electronic press kit for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit that was shown after the LASFS meeting a couple of weeks ago? It includes live-action interviews with the major voice actors including Peter Sallis. ## I am pretty sure that Jayne Gallion really went to Las Vegas. I think that I remember fans asking if she went there because she seriously believed she would escape the supposedly-imminent earthquake that way, or if that was just a gag excuse for her move there for other reasons. ## My new pants have turned out to be the kind without belt loops. ## Some men in very cold climates have worn beards for warmth, or for the related reason that it is too cold to shave.
Merrie Maladies #29 - (Castora) Since the LASFS is in North Hollywood, it would seem to be a more natural subject for a profile by the Daily News than the L.A. Times. But since I have been reading the News for the past four months (it is the only newspaper the Golden State Convalescent Hospital gets), I have developed such a low opinion of it that I am in no hurry to see how it would botch such a profile. ## There is a difference between all of California west of the San Andreas Fault sinking below sea level due to a major earthquake, and California snapping off from North America along the state border and drifting into the Pacific Ocean. Many people did believe the former, while Jayne Gallion was unique in believing the latter, as far as I know - although since attending a couple of IRH events (described in ˇRR! several years ago) and discovering their beliefs such as that dinosaurs became extinct through overhunting by Big Game Hunters in flying saucers (one of whom was Satan), I am no longer so sure that really crackpot beliefs can be held by only a very few people. ## Since I lived in Culver City for over 35 years, I occasionally saw articles on local history (and ate at the Roll and Rye deli which has giant enlargements of 1910s through 1930s photos and maps on its walls). These usually included old maps showing Culver City starting in the vast unincorporated Los Angeles county between Los Angeles and Santa Monica cities, and with Los Angeles and Culver City growing as fast as they could until Los Angeles surrounded Culver City (except for the property owned by Howard Hughes, who was powerful enough to keep either from annexing it). Culver City's growth was entirely due to real estate developer Harry Culver (shown in the photos playing polo), who wanted to create a city befitting his giant ego. ## Blondie is currently copyrighted by King Features Syndicate, which is also listed as the "owner and copyright holder" of the title in the credits for the first Blondie movie in 1938. I consider this to be conclusive evidence that Blondie was never owned by its creator, Chic Young, despite his son's claim.
Long Time, No C #39 - (Zeff) Sofawolf Press has published 13 new books (no new editions of public-domain books) and collections of artists' sketches so far, plus over ten issues of three magazines. I do not know the financial arrangements for any besides my own Best in Show, but my work in editing it and the separate authors' stories were essentially donated as pro bono for the honor of Furry literature. We each got three copies of the book. It is Sofawolf's largest book by about 150 pages; 455 pages while the others are an average of less than 300 each. The publishers and I discussed in advance that the book was so large that it barely broke even at $19.95, and we agreed that we should not increase the price beyond $20 or drop any of the stories to make the book more cost-effective. The fact that Best in Show has gone back to press twice since its first printing shows that it is selling, even if Sofawolf is still not making a practical profit on it. I assume that the authors of the thinner books that are more cost-effective are getting some payment &/or royalties, although I am not sure. I do know that Sofawolf has refused to publish books that the publishers did not like despite the author's willingness to pay the printing expenses. I therefore do not consider Sofawolf Press to be a vanity press or "self-publication" since its authors do not pay for their works to be published and all its books have been approved for quality by the publishers; but it is admittedly not a traditional or a commercial publisher since its books are mostly only available through its own website because it cannot afford the wholesale discounts to get them into bookstores.