Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2154th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3603, August 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 #2637


Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting. We got the club's handicapped parking space and did not have to park around the corner for the first time in weeks. I made arrangements to borrow three recorders to record the "Are There Too Many Cats in Science Fiction?" panel at the Worldcon for publication in Anthro later. I planned to discuss two novels on the "What Have You Been Reading?" program, but I decided to review Charles Stross' The Clan Corporate under Reviews instead, since there is a much larger audience before the meeting is adjourned for the program. The Clan Corporate, the third volume in Stross' "The Merchant Princes" series (after The Family Trade and The Hidden Family) about economic & political terrorism in three parallel worlds, is the most dramatic yet, putting protagonist Miriam Beckstein into a really depressing situation for most of the novel and ending on a horrific cliffhanger instead of a temporary satisfactory conclusion like the first two novels. For "What Have You Been Reading?" (which only four or five people stayed for), I discussed You've Got Murder, the first in Donna Andrews' series featuring Turing Hopper, an Artificial Intelligence amateur detective, which I am just starting to read now. Andrews says in her Acknowledgements that she was assured that she was writing a mystery, not science fiction (the publisher is Berkley Prime Crime), but I see no significant difference between Turing Hopper and Maggie, Amy Thompson's Virtual Girl which is marketed as s-f and approved as such by all s-f readers. Anyhow, You've Got Murder should be enjoyed equally by s-f fans and murder mystery fans, and I look forward to reading the next three Turing Hopper novels, Click Here for Murder, Access Denied, and Delete All Suspects.

On Sunday, my sister Sherrill and Michael Burlake took me with them to the Autry Museum of the American West to see the "Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest" exhibit on its final day there. It was very interesting, although it was more about modern jewelry and art objects in traditional motifs by contemporary Native American artists than historical jewelry. While there, we toured as many of the other exhibits as we could before the Museum closed at 5:00 p.m. We stopped for dinner at the Marie Callender's in Toluca Lake on the way back to my hospital. It was a very nice all-day outing.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Godzilla Verses #101 - (DeChancie) James Warhola is one of my favorite s-f artists, and is very underrated among cover artists, in my opinion. ## The LASFS' Gestetner is in the second half of the 20th century's technology. You should have seen the older mimeographs that the LASFS was using forty years ago. ## I agree that browsing through libraries (and bookstores) in person is much preferable to ordering & reserving online. The latter may be faster, but the former enables you to find so many interesting books that you never heard of before and would not know to ask for. ## To be honest, my personal memories of Help! are dim except for some of the posed cover photos with celebrities. I looked up current online information about the magazine to get the names of its writers. I do remember its heavy use of fumetti stories, which were told through posed photos with speech balloons added. ## True, Mad deliberately was changed from a comic book to a "real magazine", though I believe the reason was as much to get away from the 10¢ comic-book market and into the 25¢ magazine market as to get out of the "unwholesome" comic-book format. ## I do not know when the glass-walled public telephone booths of the later 20th century were introduced, but I do remember that the phone booths seen in movies of the 1930s & early '40s looked pretty opaque.

Toony Loons #8 - (Zeff) We are giving the MCI unwanted telephone hookup a low priority until after the Worldcon. Lee Gold has already told MCI that I have not applied for phone service and do not want it, so if MCI tries to bill me for it, we will refuse to pay their bills and turn them over to the police or the Better Business Bureau. ## Red-winged blackbirds seem to nest only in swampy and marshy areas, and the San Fernando Valley has pretty much drained all of those during the past fifty years.

De Jueves #1492 - (Moffatt) The fictitious book was described as a new children's adventure novel written & published in 1946 with illustrations by Howard Pyle, who died in 1911. I do not recall whether they were described as new illustrations, but Pyle was known for illustrating specific scenes in books, not drawing generic scenes. There would be no expectation that a new novel would be illustrated with old illustrations, even if they happened to be previously unpublished illustrations. ## There is a Cross of St. David flag, but it is distinct in color rather than shape; a gold cross on a black field in the same shape as the English red-cross-on-a-white field of St. George. It originated as an ecclesial flag, used by the Welsh Anglican Church, rather than a national flag. That remains the red dragon on a white over green field. Wales has been considered (by the English) as a part of the Kingdom of England since the 13th century, so there was no need to have a separate flag for it to add to the Union Jack when that was created in 1606. In fact, purists have complained that the Cross of St. Patrick flag is a fake, created in 1541 when Henry VIII thought it would add to his prestige to be called King of Ireland as well as King of England, when everyone knew that the isle had never been a single country before - it had been a collection of feuding independent petty kingdoms before England conquered them all. Nobody paid any attention to the "Kingdom of Ireland" at the time the original Union Jack was created out of crossing the flags of the genuinely independent Kingdoms of England and Scotland. The Cross of St. Patrick was not added to the Union Jack until 1801, in an attempt to make the United Kingdom look like a union of three kingdoms rather than two, which did not satisfy any of the Irish nationalists. I suspect the Kingdom of Ireland flag was never used in Ireland, or if it was, only by the supporters of the English nobility. It was certainly ignored by the general public before and after 1801. When the Sinn Feiners and other Irish revolutionaries of the 19th century began their terrorist attacks for independence, they created new flags that had nothing to do with the Cross of St. Patrick (a gold harp on a green field was popular). ## The pralines that you report sound like those my grandmother used to be sent from New Orleans. I suspect that as long as there was a reasonable amount of pecans in them, it did not matter whether the nuts were whole or in pieces. ## The Kurwood Derby story is a famous bit of TV lore. To quote one TV history website, "The name "Kurwood Derby" was a parody of the name of a popular celebrity of the time named Durward Kirby who starred on the variety program THE GARRY MOORE SHOW/CBS/1958-64 and later on CANDID CAMERA (1961-66). When Mr. Kirby's lawyers wrote Jay Ward, the creator of the cartoon series, and demanded that he stop using the name "Kurwood Derby" because it spoofed the celebrity's name, Jay Ward encouraged the lawyers to sue because he could 'use the publicity.'" (Of Moose and Men: The Rocky & Bullwinkle Story, a documentary aired on PBS in 1991).

Wonderlust - (Frame-Gray) "Infringement of free speech" begs the question of defining "free speech". The courts have already ruled against the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater and create a false panic, and I imagine they would be equally unsympathetic to anyone who brought a megaphone into a theater and began shouting "Shop at Blarg's Store for great bargains!", drowning out the movie or whatever the audience had paid to see. If ESPN had paid for some rights to film the poker tournament, then it MIGHT have some rights to dictate what was permitted at the tournament. Or it might not; it might have only the rights to film what happened naturally at the tournament. ESPN could ask the tournament's organizers to set any rules; whether the organizers would do so, or how rigorously they might enforce those regulations if they went against popular rights, is another question. This seems like the same situation when Doug Wright was putting on fan conventions and decreed that nobody was allowed to talk about other conventions at his events. ## I like cinnamon, but I never tried putting it in coffee because I don't drink coffee.

I Breed Goldfish - (Gold) I had not heard of Three Moons Over Milford up to now. The variety of s-f on TV today is truly mind-croggling. ## "Aeroporto" is Portuguese as well as Italian. ## According to Wikipedia, "Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to support the assertion that the blue laws were originally printed on blue paper. Rather, the word blue was commonly used in the 18th century as a disparaging reference to rigid moral codes and those who observed them (e.g., "bluenoses"). Moreover, although Reverend Peters claimed that the term blue law was originally used by Puritan colonists, his work has since been found to be unreliable, and it is more likely that he simply invented the term himself[2]. In any event, Peters never asserted that the blue laws were originally printed on blue paper, and this has come to be regarded as an example of fake etymology. Another version is that the laws were first bound in books with blue covers. (See related article: Blue laws)"

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