¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no. 2146
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2146th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3594, June 29, 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 #2629


Last Wednesday evening, Roz Gibson visited me at the hospital with a bunch of loot from the Anthrocon in Pittsburgh the previous week. This included two books she had been given for me to review for Anthro, plus the loan of the stuff she had bought for herself there. (The non-adult stuff, anyway; we agreed that it would not be cool to freak out my nurses by leaving a lot of X-rated Furry art in my room.) Susan Rankin, who sent me a review copy of the first book collection of her A Doemain of Our Own Internet comic strip, drew a nice personalized "get well" cartoon for me in it. Gibson's comments about Anthrocon were mostly about the horrible elevators in the con hotel; she admitted that the rest of the con had gone pretty well.

On Thursday, before I had a chance to more than start on the books Gibson had left, Michael Burlake came to take me to the LASFS meeting and to give me more review Furry books from Anthrocon. His Anthrocon report downplayed the bad elevators (so fans had to use the fire stairs to get between the party floors; so what else is new?) and compared the rest of the con to "like the San Diego Comic-Con but without the crowds". This was the first Furry convention in a "real convention center" instead of a hotel, so there was as much room for the Dealers' Den and the Art Show as anyone could want, without crowded aisles. Attendance was about 2,500; a new record for a Furry convention. Burlake thought that most of the fans that had been dubious about moving the con from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh are now big fans of Pittsburgh.

At the LASFS meeting, I got more L.A. Public Library books from Kay Shapero, and June Moffatt loaned me three more murder mysteries; so I have plenty to read for the near future. The LASFS meeting was dominated by a heated discussion of a request from Galaxy Press to either get the LASFS' mailing list to invite everyone to the next Writers/Artists of the Future Awards presentation ceremonies, in San Diego, or for the LASFS to mail out the invitations to be supplied with postage & expense money by Galaxy Press if the LASFS does not want to give out its mailing list. Ed Green made it clear that the Board of Directors would make the final decision, but he wanted to get the sense of the membership on the question. There was unanimous agreement (I think) that the club should not make any exception to its long-standing policy against giving out its mailing list. Most of the debate roiled around whether the LASFS should even risk the appearance of having given out the mailing list by sending out Galaxy Press' invitations, whether the club should compromise by offering to include a Galaxy Press flyer or public notice in De Profundis, or other variations. An important unanswered question was whether the invitation was to a free event or if there would be an admission fee. The lavish Awards presentations (including a dinner) used to be free to its invited guests when they were at the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition Center on Hollywood Boulevard, but several fans thought that an admission was being charged since they had "gone public", at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle last year. The debate ended with a consensus that the LASFS needed to get more information before treating the "invitation" as either a public service for LASFS members or as just advertising for a commercial event, and then act accordingly.

This debate lasted so long that Burlake had to return me to the hospital before the start of the evening's program; a discussion of "what are you reading now?" At the moment, I am reading one of the library books that Kay Shapero brought me: Keys to the Kingdom: Book Four; Sir Thursday, by Garth Nix (Scholastic Press, March 2006). Next up is one of the review books from Anthrocon: Tales of the Fur Side, "Art Work by Dark Natasha; Poems and Stories by Vixyy Fox" (United Publications, June 2006). I strongly recommend Nix's series to anyone looking for adventure fantasy that is not too close to The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter books. Sir Thursday has a great opening paragraph: "The westernmost extent of the Great Maze ended in a line of mountains. Sixteen thousand feet high, the mountain range merged into the ceiling of the House, and there was no valley or gap or crevasse that might lead through to the other side. For what lay beyond the great barrier of stone and ice was Nothing. The mountains were a wall of the House, a bulwark and buttress against both the corrosive effects of the Void and attacks by Nithlings, creatures that emerged from Nothing." (pg. 1)

I commented in last week's dist'n about good s-f cover art. By coincidence, both Sir Thursday and Tales of the Fur Side have very good cover paintings that are primarily very dark brown. Sir Thursday's cover, by John Blackford, might be roughly described as an early 19th century British military counterpart of Rembrandt's "The Night Watch". The scene looks posed but with vibrancy, as though the soldiers can barely wait for the artist to finish painting them before moving out into action. It has a life that is missing from the covers that I described as "military museum art" last week, and is the best of the covers for the Keys to the Kingdom series so far. The cover by Dark Natasha (Natasha Mleynek) for Tales of the Fur Side features anthropomorphized Cape water buffalo in native African dress superimposed over a close-up of a lion's staring gaze. I wish I could show both covers here, but they are so dark they would come out as solid black in the LASFS's mimeography; so instead I will cite the books' Amazon.com links, where their covers can be seen in full color. Sir Thursday is here (do not forget to hit the "See larger image" link), while Tales of the Fur Side is here.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

What's My Zine? #3 - (Castora) Your comment about being careful about applying mathematics reminds me of the apocryphal test question: "If a video rental store charges $1.00 per night, and rents 100 videos per night, how much will it make? How much will it make if it charges $100 per night?" It is a question of abstract mathematics vs. common sense; no real video store will rent nearly as many videos at $100 per night. ## The strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate Neapolitan ice cream is common, and has been so since my childhood. I have never heard of the chocolate being replaced by pistachio, although that would seem to be a reasonable substitution for Italian-specialty restaurants. (Although I have never seen it offered at Italian restaurants in L.A.; and theoretically it should be just as popular with Mexicans since they share the same red-white-green national colors.) The Wikipedia entry on Neapolitan ice cream says that it originally referred to any combination of three or more distinctly-separated flavors, and apparently four- and five-flavored ice cream blocks were originally common, although by the time it was introduced into America as a variety of Italian spumoni ice cream in the 1870s the strawberry, vanilla and chocolate had become standardized. ## The problem with commemorating Edd Cartier (1914 - ) with a postage stamp is that he is still alive. ## Cars may have quickly passed the $100,000,000 mark in box-office grosses ($159,768,282 after 18 days, as of this Monday, according to Box Office Mojo), but that is not as well as Finding Nemo ($195,066,147) or The Incredibles ($179,257,620) were doing by their 18th days out, and has barely passed up Monsters, Inc. ($157,743,626). It is still early to predict any final statistics, but it does not look like the public is finding anthropomorphic cars as appealing as cute fish or human superheroes. The anthropomorphized cars in the Chevron TV commercials were animated by Aardman Animations in Bristol. I loved The Brave Little Toaster (although I still wonder about its basic premise of a happy family whose little boy has to use the family's toaster, vacuum cleaner, desk lamp, bedside radio, and electric blanket to play with - don't his parents believe in giving him regular toys?), which I think was Thurl Ravenscroft's last major voice role (as Kirby, the vacuum cleaner) outside of Tony the Tiger in Kellogg Frosted Flakes' TV commercials. ## Any cheese on a hamburger is better than no cheese at all. (A doubtlessly reckless claim, since there must be some cheeses that I do not like.)

Fish Out of Water #176 - (Helgesen) In one of the novels that June Moffatt loaned me last week, Seven Black Stones by Jean Hager, a Molly Bearpaw mystery about murders at an Indian casino construction site in Oklahoma, there is a sentence on page 187, "Soon the conversation wandered to stomp dances and other things Cherokee." Most of the Native American tribal dancing that I have seen (mostly when I was in the Cub and Boy Scouts) involves a lot of stomping legwork, but I do not know whether "stomp dances" is a common name for all of them. ## That is "Stompin' At The Savoy", one of Benny Goodman's classics from the 1930s when the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem was one of the most famous night clubs in America.

One Nightmare Down, One To Go - (Gold) I think of "dogsbody" as a British word, too, and of course Diana Wynne Jones is British. The reason that I automatically thought of it for the anime TV series Ouran High School Host Club is that Ouran High School is portrayed as such a stereotypically British public school (with close-ups of Big Ben nearby), even if all of "the richest, most upper-class children in the world" do have Japanese names. ## Some LASFen might be offended if they were asked to go around to the front door because I was filling the back steps all by myself. ## Regarding movie reviews by nonexistent reviewers, some fans of American animation have claimed that the quote in 20th Century Fox's newspaper advertising for Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties of "Non-Stop Fun For The Whole Family." from the Film Advisory Board, and the FAB's "Award Winner - Award of Excellence" seal were both arranged between Fox and the Film Advisory Board well in advance of the movie being completed and seen/reviewed by anyone. Furthermore, they are identical or virtually identical to the review quote and Award of Excellence seal that appeared in the newspaper advertising for Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Curious George, and other animated features going back to The Trumpet of the Swan (2001) if not earlier. These awards do not appear in any listings of movie awards, and the supposed review quotes are never cited to published reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes website has 56 reviews quoted for A Tale of Two Kitties, only 11% of which are favorable, and none of which include a Film Advisory Board review.

Toony Loons #1 - (Zeff) Welcome back. How is the sale of your novel(s) progressing?

Godzilla Verses #93 - (DeChancie) No, I prefer my Dr. Pepper iced, but in winter when I am freezing or I have a bad cold and iced drinks do not seem appealing to me, I would rather drink hot Dr. Pepper than hot coffee or tea or lemonade. ## For Spicy Rabbit Stories, see BeeBee Bunny, below & over. Well, no, she isn't, but a lot of the males in the Nip and Tuck comic strip keep hoping. ## Good research into historical accuracy is worth the time. It will protect you from howlers like Don Bluth's 1930s take-out pizza parlors. Although I do not know what Brett Halliday's excuse was for his Mike Shayne mystery in which a bank robber gets away with a suitcase full of $50 and "$25" bills.

Vanamonde #684 - (Hertz) Isaac Asimov had not been dead for ten years when we discussed who should be the honorees on a set of postage stamps commemorating science-fiction notables in 1998. He would certainly be a leading contender today. "Doc" Smith, yes.

De Jueves #1484 - (Moffatt) I never got the impression in the Nero Wolfe novels that Theodore had anything to do in Wolfe's household other than taking care of the orchids. In fact, did Theodore even eat his meals in Wolfe's house? Wolfe and Archie ate together, and sometimes Archie ate with Fritz in the kitchen when Wolfe was being "difficult". But I do not recall any clear statement that Fritz and Theodore commonly ate together, or that Theodore ate alone in the orchid greenhouse. ## If Vaughn Bodé's continuing to spell his name its ancentral way after the pronunciation changed to "Bodie" can be called stubbornness, there is a lot of it around. Many modern English words that are not pronounced as they are spelled, such as "knight", were reportedly originally pronounced that way. The spelling has not evolved along with the pronunciation. ## No, there is no suggestion in Volle, in the text or the illustrations, that the Furry characters shave their fur to be more comfortable when wearing Regency-style dress. ## Where pigeons nest is a "modern mystery". They have been seen surreptitiously (they think) walking behind the big green freeway signs mounted on overpasses; presumably that is one place they nest. When a pigeon huddles in a traffic signal, it is so large that it completely covers the light and it is quickly chased out by the Traffic Dep't. Sparrows generally want more privacy than traffic signals. They prefer roof eaves, even the open eaves of the roofing above the fuel pumps at gasoline stations. I am pretty sure the LASFS has sparrows nesting in Freehafer Hall's eaves. ## Whatever Co-producer Gary Goldman may have thought that children would accept as historically authentic in a movie, did not make it authentic, which was his much-boasted claim of absolute 1930s authenticity for his movie that had phone-delivery pizza parlors. ## I do not think that I have ever smelled mimosa, either. I have wondered about the scent when watching The Uninvited, which makes a big point about the scent of mimosa as a sign that the ghost of Mary Meredith is present.

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