¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no. 2124
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2124th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3572, January 26, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net
L.A.con IV in 2006! Nippon 2007 in 2007! Salamander Press #2607


Rob Powell brought me to last week's LASFS meeting, since Michael Burlake was in San Jose at Further Confusion 2006 (where I would have been if not for my stroke). There was another chocolate cake (yummy, though not as good as the previous week's), on a table with a big In Memoriam photo of Michael Mason although I was told the cake was brought by someone for his birthday and was not part of the Mason memorial. The program was a scientific film about the Hubble Space Telescope to celebrate its 15th anniversary. I only had time to see about the first ten minutes before we had to return to the hospital, but I was less impressed by the information about the telescope than by the unusual accent of the narrator. It was the first time that I had heard such pronunciations as ASStronomer instead of aSTRONomer. Chaz Baden & Arlene Satin went over my Anime L.A. program schedule with me, and rescheduled all of my morning panels to the afternoon since I could not guarantee that I could get to the con each day before noon.

On Saturday Powell brought me to the January Cartoon/Fantasy Organization meeting. It turned out that all of the 2005 officers were reelected for 2006 at the December meeting that I missed, so we have a Vice President who no longer lives in California and probably cannot attend meetings any more, and there is still not a replacement for me as Secretary. A couple of members were at Further Confusion in San Jose, but attendance was still about 20. Aside from showing the first episode of The Sci-Fi Channel's very raunchy CGI-animated space-opera comedy Tripping the Rift (produced in Montreal by the same studio responsible for the abominable Heavy Metal 2000, fittingly enough), the afternoon program was devoted to four episodes each of Chrono Crusade and Mai Hime. These were the last four episodes of Chrono Crusade, with the final episode a half-hour tearjerker. She dies, he dies, they all die. (And then the Stock Market crashes, Hitler comes to power, there is World War II, and the epilogue skips ahead to end with the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981, all purportedly predicted by Nostradamus. Nostradamus used to be famous for predicting that the world would end in 1999, but I have noticed that now that 1999 has passed, nobody mentions that prediction any more; just the past disasters that were usually linked to Nostradamus after they occurred.) Very depressing. Mai Hime remains the same mixture of high-school hijinks and teen superheroines fighting other-dimensional monsters who are thinly-modernized Shinto temple virgins battling Japanese supernatural demons. I was amused by a logical ethnic version of an American cheap amusement park game, Whack-A-Mole, at the high-school's festival; what more Japanese than Whack-An-Octopus? The feature was Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, which I have discussed previously here. It is up for both the Oscar and the Annie awards for best animated theatrical feature of 2005, I believe, and while I agree that it is the best animated feature of the year (with Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit second), the more often I see Howl, the more I like Diana Wynne Jones's novel upon which it is based better.

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iBooks' mass-market edition of my Best in Show anthology, retitled Furry!: The Best Anthropomorphic Stories Ever, is starting to show up for preordering on bookstores' Internet websites. The entries all agree that it will be a $12.95 trade paperback. The release date varies from February 6th to 9th to 28th, but the dates are all during February; so it should be out within the next month.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

De Jueves #1462 - (Moffatt) Loscon Green Rooms should definitely have more food, although whether the hotel contract makes this possible I do not know. ## The piano(forte) definitely evolved from the harpsichord, although they are two different instruments with different sounds. A harpsichord sounds more "brittle" or "tinkly" than a piano, and does not have the resonance/is not as loud. Most music for harpsichords is played on pianos today (I do not know whether rescoring is necessary), just like Mozart's piece written for Benjamin Franklin's glass harmonica is usually played on a standard instrument today, although occasionally someone goes to the trouble of finding a glass harmonica to play it just to be Authentic. ## I do not recall that I had any juvenile writings (other than school assignments) that could be published today. I was a voracious reader, but I did not try any writing until after I entered fandom and that was mostly book and movie reviews. My few attempts at fiction were usually crumpled up and thrown away within the first three or four pages; or were one- and two-page vignettes published in old fanzines for those who want to search for them. ## Yes, I love avocados, but I doubt I could peel one now. If you want to give me a bunch of avocados, I can give them to the hospital's kitchen to be divided among everyone's salads. Actually, I should find out if they are on the list of foods that I cannot eat like spinach. The hospital has already thrown out a box of Turkish Delight (genuine, from Turkey; not the popular British candy called Fry's Turkish Delight which is very good but tastes nothing like the real stuff) that I was sent as a Christmas present, from Monika Livingstone, because it is not on my approved diet. I do not think they bothered to check whether it was bad for me or not; it is not on my approved diet, and that was enough for them.

Gibbering Across the Top of the Page - (Cantor) Although I am now aware that the Uncle Wiggily stories were published in many formats, I am familiar with the Gentleman Rabbit from my childhood only in his late 1940s comic book incarnations in Animal Comics, where his adventures (adapted from Garis' text stories rather than written by Garis for the comic book, I assume, though I could be wrong; and drawn by August Lenox) appeared alongside Walt Kelly's earliest Pogo stories. Kelly drew Uncle Wiggily for several Animal Comics covers. ## I will forgive you for the rare wrinkled first page of my zine, but I wish you would correct the numbering on the misnumbered issues since you are aware of what the correct number should be, instead of leaving the errors as examples of "smartassery" or whatever you may call it.

Vanamonde #662 - (Hertz) As I recall, most fans embraced Wibberley's original The Mouse That Roared when it was published as at least political science fiction, and maybe real s-f if the atomic weapon the Grand Fenwickians captured was a fictional "new device" (I do not remember). One of my first book reviews was of Wibberley's The Mouse on Wall Street; I forget for what fanzine. I said something to the effect that not even Wibberley's humor could make economics interesting. ## Yes, I am able to spend more time at my computer again. Michael Burlake was at Further Confusion last weekend, and got review copies of several new Furry books for me to review for Anthro. I still find it impractical to try to watch DVDs on my computer, though, so I am not likely to resume reviewing anime.

I Brachiate Rhythmically - (Gold) Thanks for the identification of Bruce Pelz as the Herbie Popnecker at the 1966 Westercon. It is good that somebody keeps track of fannish historical stuff like this. ## Yes, please do start nagging the wheelchair company about the right brake extender for my wheelchair.

Long Time, No C #48 - (Zeff) I do not know if this information is of any use to you (or to John DeChancie), but Lawrence Watt-Evans has just sent out an e.mail to his fans (my thanks to Kay Shapero for putting me onto his mailing list) with news of his efforts to get his newest Ethshar novel, The Spriggan Mirror, published, which is pertinent to Wildside Press as a publisher worth checking out. I assume that Watt-Evans' e.mail is not meant to be private, and it will be all right to publish the pertinent parts here:

The bad part is that the publication date has been pushed back to September 2006. The rest of the news is all pretty good.

What happened was that last week Wildside Press contacted me and convinced me to let them publish the book, rather than FoxAcre. They want to have as much of the Ethshar series in one place as possible. The publication of THE SPRIGGAN MIRROR will be accompanied by reissuing THE MISENCHANTED SWORD and WITH A SINGLE SPELL in a single volume, if all goes according to plan -- working title is LEGENDS OF ETHSHAR VOLUME 1. If that does well, they'll follow up with two more omnibus volumes.

Wildside is planning a larger print-run than FoxAcre could have justified, which may mean a lower cover price. They'll be distributing it through additional channels FoxAcre doesn't use, as well as the usual book trade. The later publication date is to give them time to market the book and take advance orders.

I know many of you are impatient to get your hands on the finished book, so I regret the delay, but it'll mean more money for me, it'll mean the book will be easier to find, and those mean it's more likely I can keep the series going. Wildside is definitely interested in THE VONDISH AMBASSADOR if MIRROR does reasonably well.


Some of you may be wondering why, if Wildside's so enthusiastic, I didn't make a deal with them sooner. Well, last year Wildside relocated from Pennsylvania to Maryland, and the move did not go smoothly at all; they were almost non-functional the entire time the novel was being serialized. It was so disastrous I honestly wasn't sure they'd be able to get back on their feet any time soon -- but starting in October they've been getting quickly back up to speed. At a meeting a few days ago they convinced me that they've put all that behind them and are up and running again, good as ever. Let's hope it's true.

Wildside Press was already interested in Watt-Evans' Ethshar novels, so this may not be pertinent to how it would react to an unsolicited manuscript from an unpublished author. I also do not know how much Wildside Press may pay compared to one of the major s-f publishers; Watt-Evans did not take his Ethshar novels there until after Ballantine and Tor would no longer buy them. But Wildside Press seems worth checking into if you are rejected by all the larger s-f publishers, or you are an established author with a lot of books currently out of print and interested in getting them back into print.

Luny Tunes #9 - (Castora) I was going to ask if S&H Green Stamps are still redeemable, when it occurred to me to look first on the Internet. Yes, they are, although Sperry & Hutchinson now calls them greenpoints. Information on how to redeem them today is on the S&H website. ## I would think that National Gorilla Suit Day ought to be particularly celebrateable this year, due to the recent release of the new King Kong movie. Will King Kong costumes be easier to find than generic gorilla suits? But since the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year (next Tuesday, in fact), I don't suppose we can expect the LASFS to celebrate it. Dawk!

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