Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2151st Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3599, August 3, 2006.
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 #2634|
Last week was very active for me. On Monday, a Furry writer in Canada e.mailed me a story asking me to critique it for him before he submits it for publication. Greg Bilan visited me at the hospital to give me a lot of free samples that he had picked up at the Comic-Con in San Diego, mostly of Japanese and Korean comic books and magazines promoting the current big-budget movies featuring DC and Marvel costumed heroes. There was enough here to read for a couple of days, if I had wanted to read it all. (I have a low interest in hard-sell advertising for even subjects that I like.)
On Tuesday, my sister Sherrill visited me to take me out during the afternoon to the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Burbank Media Center. This was Sherry's first solo trip with me in her new Dodge minivan, and it went very well, especially considering that we had to park on the roof level of the Media Center's parking structure and then Sherry had to wheel me down through the whole structure because the elevators were not working. We spent about two hours browsing through the bookstore. Sherry bought me Queen of Mars, by Al Sarrantonio, a new Furry novel; and I noted several titles (such as The Secret Country by Jane Johnson) of books to reserve from the library. Purely by coincidence, Rob Powell entered the bookstore just as we were leaving to get back to the hospital in time for dinner. He had come to buy Zahn's Dragon and Herdsman after hearing my favorable review of it at the previous week's LASFS program.
On Thursday, Michael Burlake brought me to the LASFS meeting as usual. Greg Bilan gave me a Saw III T-shirt from the Comic-Con, advertising the forthcoming horror movie. I am always glad to get free T-shirts (I am wearing some T-shirts now advertising movies I never bothered to see, from previous Comic-Cons), but I do not expect to wear a black T-shirt much until cooler weather. Kay Shapero brought me more books from the LAPL, including The Candle of Distant Earth, the final novel in Alan Dean Foster's interstellar "The Taken" trilogy which I can now review for Anthro. ("If your taste in anthropomorphic characters runs toward the exotically-bodied but mundanely-behaving cast of Pixar's Monsters, Inc. - if what you like best about the Star Wars movies are the aliens like the Wookies, the Gungans, the Hutts, and whatever Yoda is - then you should enjoy Foster's three Taken novels.") The meeting adjourned early enough that I had time to watch the first three of Tom Safer's Bugs Bunny cartoons to celebrate Bugs Bunny's 66th birthday before having to return to the hospital.
On Friday, Roz Gibson brought me another review book for Anthro, which the publisher at the Comic-Con gave her for me: Ursula Vernon's Digger, vol. 2; an ongoing saga of a wandering wombat's encounters with oracular slugs, vampire squashes, warrior hyenas, Skin Lizards who like purple (yes!), dead Gods and the Cold Things that torture them, and more. Digger has been compared favorably to Terry Pratchett, and The New York Times gave it a good review.
On Saturday, Sherry took me to Freehafer Hall for the Asian Cult Cinema screening. We saw three features, The Avenging Fist, Dragon Inn (the 1992 remake), both from Hong Kong, and Rudraksh from India, which filled the afternoon from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Avenging Fist was a good futuristic sci-fi/video-game action thriller in the tradition of Street Fighter and The Matrix. According to George Van Wagner's helpful program notes, it was supposed to be a movie version of the Tekken video game, but the producers couldn't clear the rights so they changed all the character names and costumes (but not the plot, which is generic) to something original. Rudraksh was my first example of a Bollywood Good (Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman)-vs.-Evil (Lord Ravanna)-battle-for-control-of-the-world supernatural horror spectacular in which Evil has all the best-choreographed musical numbers (but I couldn't figure out if Good or Evil wins at the end). Sherry got me a take-out dinner from Denny's as Rob Powell usually does at the anime club meetings; so she now is familiar with just about all of my going-out routines for when neither Michael Burlake nor Rob Powell are available. Sherry made arrangements to meet George and Vanessa Van Wagner at Fry's in Burbank the next morning to buy a computer for her apartment for me.
On Sunday evening, Sherry e.mailed me that the Van Wagners had spent the day with her, helping her at Fry's to buy me a new iMac, and at her apartment to assemble bookcases and a desk for "my room" plus some new furniture for her.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Cover - (Jackson) Is anyone besides you keeping the memory of Broderick Crawford alive?
Wonderlust - (Frame-Gray) The red cross on a white field is the flag of England, not of Britain, so it would technically make sense to wave it for the English soccer team. Is there a separate Scottish soccer team? When I was in Britain for the 1995 Worldcon, I noticed that buildings north of the Scottish-English border commonly flew the Scottish flag alone, while buildings in England flew only the British flag. There was hardly any sign of the English flag alone.
Vanamonde #689 - (Hertz) Wikipedia says of King Leonardo and His Short Subjects: "The animation for this show was produced by Gamma Productions, the same Mexican studio that did much of the work for Jay Ward. The similar animation style and the fact that King Leonardo shorts have often been packaged with Jay Ward shows such as Rocky and Bullwinkle and George of the Jungle in syndication have led many viewers to believe that it is a Ward show." So you are not alone in noticing the similarity. King Leonardo is currently being rerun on the Black Family Channel, Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. ## U.Cal.Riverside will probably be cataloging my collection for some time to come. If there will be cataloguers from the University Library at L.A.con IV, I would appreciate it if you would introduce us.
De Jueves #1489 - (Moffatt) All the mystery authors that I have read so you don't need to loan me their books? Yarst! Donna Andrews, Dick Francis, Manning Coles, Dorothy Sayers, Georgette Heyer, M. C. Beaton, Joan Hess, Susan Conant, Rex Stout, Carol Lea Benjamin, Laurien Berenson, Carole Nelson Douglas, Rita Mae Brown, Richard Stark (who is Donald Westlake, but not the mysteries under his own name), Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Lilian Jackson Braun, and doubtlessly a few others whom I have forgotten at the moment. Lots of The Shadow and Doc Savage pulps. I dimly remember forty or fifty years ago enjoying S. S. Van Dyne, Earl Derr Biggers, Anthony Boucher, Andrew Garve, Fredric Brown, Henry Kuttner, and Harold Q. Masur, and might find it worth rereading their mysteries after so long. I have read some but not all the mysteries of Jack Vance, Lawrence Block and Ed McBain, and would like to read more. I enjoyed (in a nauseated way) Akif Pirinēci's first two Furry grisly murder mysteries, Felidae and Felidae on the Road, and I have been waiting for the third (Cave Canem), fourth (Das Duell) and fifth (Salve Roma!) to be translated from German into English. ## Both Glen Wooten who reserved my Worldcon hotel room for me, and the L.A.con IV Committee, tell me that the Anaheim Hilton will not accept reservations for handicapped rooms. They have them, but those who want them will just have to wait until they check in to request one and hope that one is available.
I Weed Goldfields* -- (Gold) I read The Brave Little Toaster in both its F&SF and expanded novel versions, and I saw the movie, and I never realized that any of them were based on "The Musicians of Bremen" legend. Aside from the basic setup of a group of fantasy Odd Fellows (anthropomorphized animals vs. anthropomorphized household appliances) joining together on a humorous quest, I do not see any similarity. Fantasy is full of questing groups. For a really good animated theatrical feature version of "The Musicians of Bremen", produced in Munich with financing and an excellent English voice track by Warner Bros. but suppressed/unreleased in America (but I had a bootleg video copy), I recommend the UNCUT version (not the British release, with some musical numbers cut out and the plot-dialogue replaced with inane non sequitur jokes) of The Fearless Four (Die Furchtlosen Vier) if you can find it. WB's executives really have a death-wish when it comes to financing good animation but then hiding it from the public (Cats Don't Dance, The Iron Giant, etc.), and spending the company's promotional money on animated creative failures like Looney Tunes: Back in Action. WB's current Ant Bully has just bombed, according to Box Office Mojo: "Few picked on The Ant Bully, which posted the weakest start ever for a high profile computer-animated feature. Produced by Tom Hanks and featuring the voices of Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, the Warner Bros. release gathered an estimated $8.1 million at 3,050 sites, less than the second weekend of the modest Monster House. With the number of computer-animated movies sky-rocketing, it takes a compelling story to stand out, not simply scattershot gags from anthropomorphized critters. The Ant Bully failed on this count and was further hampered by similarities to Antz and A Bug's Life, and the summer already had a C.G. feature with a neighborhood-creatures-versus-exterminator angle (Over the Hedge). Next weekend, yet another manic C.G. movie hits theaters with The Barnyard." (Will the public go for beer-guzzling, redneck male cows?) ## Thanks for explaining in detail what my sister needs to do to take over (or get into the loop of) handling my medical expenses, and for taking the time to help her with the necessary bureaucracy. Others not as nice as you might have just dumped the responsibility onto her as quickly as possible.
Fish Out of Water #181 - (Helgesen) I have read Bill Pronzini's Gun in Cheek, but none of his own mysteries. I think that I have read some Mike Shayne novels long ago (also some Mickey Spillaine), but I did not care much for them and hardly remember them at all, aside from the bank robber with the $25 bills.
It Was, Officially, + 119F In Woodland Hills - (Cantor) My apologies for missing the "hot" in your statement that you knew the person who invented hot Dr. Pepper. I did not know that boiling Dr. Pepper to create a sweet hot drink had been invented by anyone specific. The preparers of the Rose Bowl floral floats commonly serve hot Dr. Pepper to the volunteer workers who assemble the floats in the refrigerated hangars where their cut flowers are hopefully kept fresh. ## Congratulations for your support for the Malagasy economy, which is highly dependant upon the international vanilla bean market. ## You will probably be reproducing ”RR! for the Worldcon dist'n of Apa L, unless my sister is ready to take over printing ”RR! sooner than I expect.
Godzilla Verses #98 - (DeChancie) I do not drink coffee at all. But, strangely, I do rather like mocha ice cream. ## I discovered s-f magazines and paperbacks at just about the same time that you did. Would I become a s-f fan & collector if I entered the field today, when the magazines are no longer 35¢ or 50¢ and are not filled with new stories by Leinster, Sheckley, Heinlein, Anderson, Norton, Henderson, Bester, Silverberg, Dickson, Asimov, Sturgeon, Herbert, Pohl (well, Pohl is still writing), and others of their generation? I still remember the thrill I got from new paperback novels and collections by Clarke, Bester, Kornbluth. Who are their equivalents today? I do not mean to disparage Vinge, Niven, Haldeman, DiFilippo, Robinson, LeGuin, Pournelle, Ellison, and the other giants of today, but are their stories still as thrilling to the adolescents of today, or are they too cerebral for adolescent tastes? One of my favorite authors of today is David Weber, and do his stories appear anywhere other than in $25 hardcovers? How many adolescents today can afford to collect s-f magazines and paperbacks at today's cover prices?