Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2142nd Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3590, June 1, 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 #2625


Michael Burlake took me to last week's LASFS meeting. Not much happened; there was no program. We did not get one of the three parking spots for June. Kay Shapero trimmed my fingernails again. Michael & I discovered that the rear stair rails of the front building are just the right height to help me get some standing-up exercise from my wheelchair.

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On Saturday afternoon, at the Rocket City FurMeet in Huntsville, Alabama, the 2005 Ursa Major Awards for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts of that year were presented. The winners are:

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, (Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media; distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, December 7)
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series: Cake Dance aka "There She Is!! Step 2" ([Music video of the song "Happy Birthday to Me" by Bulldog Mansion], by SamBakZa; March)
Best Anthropomorphic Novel: Volle, by Kyell Gold. (Sofawolf Press, January)
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction: In His Own Country, by Kristin Fontaine (in Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe, #39, July)
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work: Tales of the Questor, Volume 1 [color edition], by Ralph E. Hayes, Jr. (Lulu.com, April; comic strip collection)
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book: Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse Comics; monthly)
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip: Faux Pas, by Robert and Margaret Carspecken. (Internet strips from #535 to #672)
Best Anthropomorphic Fanzine: South Fur Lands (2005 issues, from #36 [March], to #39 [December])
Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration: Cover painting by Stephanie Stone (Cybercat) for Transformations: A Forest Tales Story, by Bernard Doove. (Fauxpaw Publications, June)
Best Anthropomorphic Game: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, (Developer: Sucker Punch, Publisher: Sony Computer, September 26)

According to Rod O'Riley, the ALAA representative at Rocket City FurMeet, he opened the presentations by briefly describing the history of the Awards. The ten categories, each with an audio-visual sampler of the nominees, were presented by "Head Cat KO" (the RCFM chairman), Bill Holbook (past winner for the Kevin & Kell comic strip in 2003); and "2, the Ranting Gryphon" (a popular Furry stand-up comedian). None of the winners were present, but the Carspeckens' trophy was accepted for them by Phil Morrissey. The other trophies will be distributed later (probably mostly at Anthrocon, the largest Furry convention, in Pittsburgh later this month, this year).

Bill Holbrook has announced this on his Kevin & Kell website:

Posted May 29nd, 2006 by Bill Holbrook

I just returned from the Rocket City Furmeet, held in my hometown of Huntsville AL. Thanks to everyone who came by; we had a wonderful time. RCFM hosted the Ursa Major Awards, and as a past winner (in 2003) I was asked to present two of the category awards. For the second year in a row the wonderful "Faux Pas" by Robert and Margaret Carspecken won Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, and the winner of Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book was Stan Sakai for "Usagi Yojimbo" for the fifth straight year. Next stop: Anthrocon in Pittsburgh!

Also, WikiFur has posted the 2005 Ursa Major winners as the featured news on its front page, illustrated with the Award logo by Heather Bruton. I think that WikiFur changes its featured news item every week, so this will not last long. The information is also now in the permanent Ursa Major Award entry in both Wikipedia and WikiFur.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Vanamonde #679 - (Hertz) I would be interested in seeing your review of this year's Ursa Major Award winner for Best Novel, Volle, by Kyell Gold (St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2005, viii + 317 pages, $19.95) which could be described as a Furry X-rated homoerotic Regency romantic spy/murder mystery. Or your review of at least this large portion of Chapter 8, wherein (to oversimplify) Volle, Lord Vinton, a homosexual young red fox noble and the last of his family, is invited to an informal dinner at Lord Tishtunish's chambers in the royal palace to meet a prospective bride to "do his duty" of fathering heirs to his estate:

Preparing for the dinner that night was more of an ordeal than Volle had thought it would be. First, Welcis [his personal attendant, a skunk] insisted he take a bath, a water bath, and then he had to brush out every inch of his fur, even the parts that Volle would have preferred to take care of himself. The skunk handled it very professionally, so Volle was thankfully able to keep from showing his usual reaction to being touched there.

After the brushing, Welcis brought out a scented powder, more expensive than the common powder used in the baths, and brushed Volle lightly with it. It smelled of lavender, but the scent was so light that even Volle's sensitive nose had trouble detecting it further than a few inches away. The powder absorbed some of the moisture from his fur and neutralized most of the strong smell it gave off. It was considered impolite to conceal your scent, but foxes, mustelids, and other strong-smelling animals often muted theirs at formal occasions, out of consideration for others.

When he was dried and scented, Welcis helped him with his new formal clothes. Volle was glad of the help, because there were a few things he would definitely have put on incorrectly: the cravat, for one, which Welcis tied so deftly that Volle couldn't see how he'd done it, and the cloth belt for another, which apparently had to be tied particularly to one side and to the back, not the front. And then there was the lace collar, and the feathered cap ("which you must take off when you arrive," Welcis told him, and didn't reply when Volle asked "then why even put it on?"), and finally, Welcis deemed him ready.

He looked at himself in the mirror rather longer than necessary. The clothes not only looked very nice, but were also warm. Hopefully Tish wouldn't have a fire going. He steeled himself to meet his prospective wife, and followed Welcis to Tish's chambers. Tish
[a wolf] greeted him at the door with a formal grasp of his paw and touching of muzzles, then smiled and patted him on the back. "Come on in, boy! Everyone's here."

Volle remembered to take off his hat as he entered the room.

Tish's chambers were laid out much like his. There was no foyer, as Helfer
[a weasel, Volle's first friend among the nobility] had, but the parlor was larger than either Helfer's or Volle's. Because it was on the third floor, the windows were also larger and both were open to let the cool fall air in.

It was the furnishings that really set the room apart. Tish and his wife had decorated with two elegant tapestries, both depicting heroic wolves in battle. Tish's desk was twice as large as Volle's and was in immaculate condition, as far as Volle could see under the papers that threatened to engulf it. Behind it, two large windows looked onto the rear gardens. Two plushly upholstered chairs and a loveseat faced the large fireplace, and behind them, against the wall, two simpler chairs were set around a small wooden table. The door to the sitting room was also ornate, of dark polished wood that Volle thought might be ebony. It was unadorned except for the golden handle.

The two ladies were standing between the loveseat and the door, the larger wolf in front of the vixen. "You remember my wife, Tika." Tika came forward and curtsied, and Volle kissed her paw.

"Of course." He smiled, and she returned the smile.

"And this is Ilyana," she said, stepping aside.

She was attractive, Volle had to admit. He stepped forward and took her paw as she bowed, brushing his muzzle across it. Her scent was muted, probably with a powder like the one he'd used, but he could tell it was rich and warm. It reminded him in vitality of the smell of the inns he'd stayed at on the plains, though he supposed she wouldn't appreciate that comparison. Lightly laid over it was a flowery scent he didn't quite recognize.

Her light purple dress went well with her reddish fur. She too had a lace collar, though hers was more elaborate than his and cut lowerThe swell of her chest tapered to a narrow waist, defined by a dark purple cloth belt that rested on her wider hips. Her long tail was quite fluffy, and the white tip at the end was clean and bright.

She smiled and brought her paw to her muzzle, breathing in the scent he'd left on it. "Ilyana, this is Lord Vinton," Tika said belatedly.

"A pleasure to meet you," he said, straightening.

"The pleasure is mine." She had a high voice, but it was warm and soft. Tish smiled. "Shall we sit down for a first round of wine?" He ushered his wife and the foxes into their sitting room.

The sitting room, also large, was divided in half by an archway. The half they entered initially was set up as a traditional sitting room, with two loveseats, four chairs, and four small tables. At the back of the room was a handsome cabinet that smelled of liquor.

To their right, through the archway, a six-person table had been set with silver place settings, two candlesticks, and linen napkins. A formally dressed raccoon stood at attention to one side, where a tray of platters rested. He pulled the chairs out for the ladies and arranged their napkins, and then poured a glass of wine for everyone.

"Thank you, Alcis," Tish said, and raised his goblet. "To our friends. Your very good health."

"And yours," Volle replied as he took a drink. The wine was excellent, full and smooth, with a rich taste that lingered on his tongue even after he swallowed. He caught Ilyana looking at him, and she smiled as she lowered her own goblet.

"So, Ilyana, why don't you tell Volle about your upbringing?" Tika prompted.

The vixen's ears swiveled demurely downward. "I was raised in lower Divalia by my parents, who are former nobility. I'm the youngest of five children, and I was schooled by a private tutor. My brothers and sister all have cubs already."

She flicked her ears and smiled. "I've been studying with Madame Duschene for the last year, but I could leave whenever I need to. She says I'm ready to enter society."

"Madame Duschene is a friend of mine," Tika interjected. "She says Ilyana is head and shoulders above anyone else in her finishing school. She's planning to have a cotillion just as soon as her family can raise the money. Oh, I'm sorry, dear."

Ilyana waved a paw courteously, but her ears had folded back at the mention of money. They came back up quickly, so quickly that if Volle hadn't been watching her, he wouldn't have seen the motion. "And what about you, Lord Vinton?"

The Los Angeles Public Library has a copy of Milt Gross' Dunt Esk!! ("illustrated by the author"; New York, George H. Doran Co, 1927, 235 pages) available, if you want to read it today. ## Keeping current on anime with the Internet is rather like keeping current on world events by reading the front page of the Los Angeles Times and watching the news on TV. You can get a shallow overview of what is currently going on, but you cannot maintain an "expert" status. I have already had to turn down a couple of requests to write articles about new anime series in greater depth then the information available on the Internet. The websites that promise "everything you want to know" about an anime title usually have the least real information.

Toodequirtle #13 - (Castora) The last Toodlequirtle? I still miss Merry Maladies. ## Yes, the "boo-SHAY" pronunciation was inappropriate, since Boucher himself pronounced it "BOUGH-chirr" on all occasions. I used to pronounce cartoonist Vaughn Bodé's name "bo-DAY", like the French astronomer, until I met him and learned that he pronounced it "BO-die". I commented to him about this, and he said, "Mebbe back in Yurop our ancestors said 'bo-DAY', but in Texas today we says 'BO-die'." ## A third party has sent me some of Kenneth Eng's correspondence to him, which is even more arrogant than his correspondence to me. He is aware that there are and have been younger s-f authors than himself, but he dismisses them as not having been "real" s-f authors like he is. I am uninterested in finding out what he considers the distinction between his "real" s-f and other writers' s-f to be.

De Jueves #1480 - (Moffatt) Cooling fruit juices (with or without alcohol) with snow from "nearby" mountains to make sherbets was one of the Middle Eastern customs imported to Europe by the Crusaders - or was it learned earlier from the Moorish conquerors of Spain? I forget. ## Er, I think that if you will look more closely, that 1978 L. Frank Baum book with the Martin Gardner introduction is American Fairy Tales, not Animal Fairy Tales. They are two separate books. The Animal Fairy Tales all feature animals: "The Pea-Green Poodle", "The Enchanted Buffalo", "The Jolly Giraffe of Jomb", "The Transformation of Bayal the Porcupine", "The Troubles of Pop Wombat", etc. The American Fairy Tales (which are all available online) are all meant for "modern American children" and feature such things as a wizard living in an East Coast tenement, but do not all feature animals. (Some do.) ## I can easily imagine crows chasing away pigeons, but not pigeons chasing away crows. Pigeons are cowardly. ## Blackbirds - the solid glossy black ones with golden eyes -- seem to be much less common in Southern California today, but they are not entirely gone. Contrariwise, I have not seen red-winged blackbirds in decades. If I remember correctly, they were most common around marshes (including the protected marshes at the La Brea Pits), and there are hardly any marshes in Southern California any more.

Vanamonde #680 - (Hertz) Thanks for the invitation to your Loscon party. I shall certainly try to attend. If neither L.A.con IV nor the Loscon XXXIII Con Suites will have Barrilitos or Jaritos soft drinks, do you think you may have some?

Godzilla Verses #89 - (DeChancie) See my request above to John Hertz. Come to think of it, we have not heard yet what Loscon XXXIII's attitude is toward Mexican soft drinks in its Con Suite. ## My ˇRR! title has been smudged on several occasions. I do notice, but I consider it a small price to pay for getting ˇRR! published at all. ## I hope your mystery set in 1937 will not have any take-out pizza parlors in it. (An obscure Don Bluth reference.) ## I write almost every day, except when my computer is mysteriously inoperable. Then I kick and scream and call on Vanessa Van Wagner to come to the hospital and do something to make it operable again. She does. Thank you, Vanessa.

MS Found in A(nother) Klein Bottle #36 - (Shapero) Divide California into three states? It already is: (Alta) California in the U.S.A., and Baja California (Norte) and Baja California Sur in Mexico. ## Expert or not, you do an excellent job of cutting my fingernails, and I appreciate it very much! ## "With bits of the Keystone Kops here and there." Yes! Over the Hedge struck me as silly more often than funny. It has a true Idiot Plot; if the characters showed any intelligence instead if being mere props for gags, the story would not have worked. ## I mentioned seeing musical vending machines in Tokyo in the 1980s, but I do not remember in which dist'n. ## When you do finish your next Central Garden story, let us see it. ## Probably finches, too; where you have sparrows, you usually also have finches. The most obvious difference is when they are on the ground. Finches walk, while sparrows can only hop.

Nightmare, With Datebook - (Gold) The Golden State Convalescent Hospital has been undergoing extensive renovations during the past week. I hope that this will include more air conditioning. ## I think the aquatic equivalent of a battlefield is still a battlefield. ## It occurs to me that the Panbestian Orthodox Church in Volle may be partly based upon Judaism, which, in retrospect, should not be surprising since the author's name is Gold. From Chapter 7:

"He [Volle] had to clean up early the next day, Gaiaday, to attend the Church services that the entire palace was expected at. They were held in the enormous cathedral, and people lined up outside to watch the lords go in.

The service was similar to what he was used to, except that the lords were seated by House
[animal species; the Canids, the Felids, the Mustelids, the Ursids, the Herbivores, and the Rodents], so he was separated from Helfer and ended up next to Lord Alister and two down from Lord Vanadi, who waved at him. Alister's tail kept distracting Volle by twitching throughout the service, brushing his leg as it did, so that what he remembered of it went something like:'O Gaia above, bless ye all the Children of Canis and keep them...' twitch '...and keep them safe and prosperous. O Gaia above, bless ye all the...' twitch. And so forth.

He found the differences interesting, but initially hard to follow, so he just stayed quiet when he couldn't figure out what to say, moving his muzzle and trusting his silence to be lost in the group noise. And he had to admit that the six-part hymn sung at the end of the service was more beautiful than anything he'd heard in a church in Ferrenis. The hymn was called 'Dicit a vocibus omnis,' but the people around him called it the 'Our Mother,' and told him when he asked that it closed every service.

When he'd entered the church, he'd considered it part of his cover as a spy. He was Reformed
[he worships Fox, not a generic Canis spirit] and would stay Reformed. But talking to Vanadi and listening to the service, he began to see that many of the differences were largely cosmetic. He recognized half of the prayers and most of the hymns (save the last one). At first, he'd thought that keeping the Houses separate was too divisive, but at the end of the service the Cantor paired the Houses up, and each noble had to greet some of their counterparts in the other house. They were then called to stand wherever they were, and the six-part hymn that concluded the service was sung at that time. 'Go in the light of your spirits on the path of Gaia, and blessings run with you always,' the Cantor concluded.

'May your path be smooth and true,' the congregation responded, and then there was a general shaking of paws and patting of shoulders as they filed out of the cathedral."

Fish Out of Water #172 - (Helgesen) Most fans who live only a few miles from a con hotel do commute, unless they want to host a party. I understand that at the recent CaliFur, the hotel required that the reptiles be brought in in closed containers to avoid panicking any non-fan hotel guests.

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