Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2208th Distribution,
LASFS Meeting No. 3656, September 5,2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:email@example.com
|Denvention 3 in 2008!||Anticipation in 2009!||Salamander Press #2691|
Last Tuesday, Victoria Meng came to visit me at the hospital. She is the UCLA animation graduate student that I had met a couple of weeks previously when she was driving Dr. Alan Cholodenko around L.A. during his latest visit to America. He has returned to Australia. Meng brought the DVD of Afro Samurai to loan me; a 110-minute animated movie (actually five TV episodes) created, planned & animated by director Takashi Okazaki at Studio Gonzo in Tokyo, but written & storyboarded by FUNimation Entertainment in Fort Worth as a blend of Afro-American/hip-hop/R&B with Oriental Buddhist/samurai/revenge themes for SpikeTV in America, with the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and an otherwise professional American cast. Animation or anime? It is so violent, erotic, and foul-mouthed that you have to be over 18 just to get into FUNimation's online preview website. I warned Meng that I would have to keep the DVD several weeks until I could watch it at my sister Sherrill's apartment (I can't imagine what she is going to think of it). We had a nice, long conversation about animation in general and anime in particular. She is from Taiwan, and said that she watched so much anime on Taiwanese TV as a child that she used to think that North America and Europe were connected because the anime programs switched back & forth between American and European locations so quickly and the buildings and clothing all looked the same. Sherry arrived at the hospital just as Meng was leaving, and they got into a friendly conversation for another 15 or 20 minutes.
Last Wednesday I got very good news. My nurse asked if I was going to the LASFS the next evening. When I said that I had been told I would have to stay in bed for at least another week, he replied that it would be all right to go out for three hours as long as I did not stretch it longer and I stayed in bed for the next few days. So I should be able to count on attending LASFS meetings safely enough for the foreseeable future.
Last Thursday, Sherry brought me to the LASFS meeting. It was considerably more dramatic than usual. Apparently the previous week there had been two weeks' worth of minutes to be read, and an attempt to auction off which should be read first was topped by a winning bid to read neither of them. Scribe Joe Zeff took this as a personal insult, and threatened to resign on the grounds of, why should he bother to write minutes if nobody wanted to listen to them? Debate as to whether the club's Bylaws required the taking of minutes, whether there was a distinction between taking minutes and reading them aloud, how errors were to be corrected if they were not read, etc., etc., was finally tabled on the grounds that this was not a good way to introduce the club to the guests present. Then Tadao Tomomatsu announced that Dr. Susan Gleason had been emergency-hospitalized several days previously with a combination of life-threatening ailments ranging from diabetes to pneumonia; her prognosis was guardedly hopeful. The most prominent of the guests present was Dino Andrade, who introduced himself as a cartoon voice actor in both anime dubbing and TV commercials (he is the current Pop in Snap, Crackle, and Pop). He came to the LASFS mainly to vigorously promote his new website for fans, Soulgeek.com; the place to go to if you want to learnhowtobecomeacartoonvoiceactor getanagent findaconvention findacompatiblefanguy/gal startyourownwebcomicstrip breakintoanime. It sounds more like the place to go to for mundanes who want to learn how to become neofen, than a service that veteran fans need. The list of club programming during September was announced, including nominating for the 2007 Forry Award on the 20th and voting for it on the 27th.
On Monday evening, Tom Locke visited me at the hospital to chat. We agreed that Harry Turtledove's just-published In At the Death is obviously not the conclusion of his long-running alternate history series, although it may be the last of his "Settling Accounts" novels about the warfare between the U.S.A. and the C.S.A. There are too many blatantly unresolved plot threads for there to not be more novels. I warned Locke that just because the Belfry website now includes 4,433 comic strips, that does not mean that a comic strip not on the Belfry must have been discontinued. Nancy is a strip that is still running that is not included on the Belfry. I assured him that I was not suffering overly much from the current heat wave, thanks to air-conditioning in the hospital and no power failures in this area; although I blame the heat for at least three crickets in my room trying to out-chirp each other (as he could hear). He loaned me Warriors Field Guide: Secrets of the Clans, a new childrens' book introduction to the Warriors series of talking-cat books by Erin Hunter. I enjoy the novels well enough, but I am not really interested in the comic books and other merchandising spinoffs.
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Since Apa L is read by only a fraction of the LASFS, I reprinted my comments of last week about the Forry Award, with the emphasis on maintaining it as an honor for s-f professionals but not fans, the next day in APA-LASFS. Craig Miller wrote this reply, which he has given me permission to reprint here.
I agree with you. Over the years, LASFS members have often nominated active LASFSians or others who are popular -- and sometimes even ones who contribute a lot to the club -- but who really are not in the realm of who the Forry Award was intended to celebrate.
I've known Charlie Jackson, to use your example, for close to forty years and he's a good guy. He's done a lot for the club. But his efforts are not what the Forry Award recognizes, nor should it.
When first set up, I'm sure the people active then expected it to go solely to authors. (I joined the club in 1968, a few years after the award's invention.) Since then, the definition of the field of science fiction expanded to include movies and television, rather than books and short stories and artwork. And it's gone to people who aren't authors/writers.
But it's always been for creators of science fiction. Asimov. Bradbury. Clarke. Heinlein.
The club has an award -- the Evans Freehafer -- for fans (and writers, too, I supposed) for their service to LASFS in the previous year. And it could, of course, introduce another award, such as you describe, for lifetime service to the club. That wouldn't be a bad thing. But inducting people for their fannish efforts onto the rolls of Forry Award recipients would be a Bad Thing. It would be a disservice to the award and to the club. Not because the people don't deserve recognition, but because the Forry Award is not the right tool with which to recognize them.
Over the next few days Craig and I drafted a flyer in favor of keeping the Forry Award for s-f professionals, which Marty Cantor will collect the names of supporters for and print for the meeting of the 20th when nominations are made. If you want your name added to the flyer, see Marty tonight or next week.
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The new Science Fiction Awards Watch website has been really good for reporting all the Worldcon news from Yokohama almost as soon as it happens. I have been following it on a daily basis, and it is almost as good as having a Worldcon TV news channel - not quite as good as being there, but almost.
Congratulations to Montréal for winning the 2009 Worldcon.
This year's Hugo Award trophy: IloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveit
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
I Lithograph Ceres* - (Gold) Frankly, you seem to be the only person who can understand the paperwork that Medi-Cal keeps demanding for me, so I certainly hope that they do start sending it directly to you. Currently, by the time they send it to me at the hospital, and the hospital actually brings it to me, and I can give it to my sister to send to you, the deadlines for it to be filled out and returned have almost passed. ## I should be able to remember to e.mail you my ˇRR! every week. As to posting it on my webpage, I hope that it will not fill my webpage's bandwidth (or whatever) too quickly. ## You never encountered "scientifilm" before? You must not have read any of the LASFS' fanzines from the 1930s & '40s when 4SJ was urging all LASFen to write to the movie studios and encourage them to make more scientifilms or "stfilms". I am moderately horrified to realize that the 1960s & 1970s when I read this "ancient history" is now closer to it than it is to the present. ## The Yezidi have a website? I am constantly amazed at how close the Internet has brought all aspects of global civilization. "We are now living in the future that s-f predicted," even if we do not have flying cars yet. ## Yarst! I am entrapped in even more bureaucracy than I thought!
Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) After over two years, I am no longer sure how long it had been before my stroke that I had last seen my grandfather's gold pocket watch. It should have been the same day, since the watch was on top of the dresser in my bedroom where I had gone to bed just before my stroke. ## As Millie said, "Stoppit Stoppit Stoppit!!"
Fish Out of Water #238 - (Helgesen) Apparently D. C. Simpson got a lot of comments on the first of those three Ozy and Millie strips. He reported, "Also, I want to thank everyone who, in response to Thursday's strip, filled me in on the origins of the phrase "pleased as Punch," which most people say is a reference to the classic domestic-abuse-themed puppet show "Punch and Judy." (One person said it was a reference to Pontius Pilate, which seems wrong to me, but he wins for most interesting answer.)" ## If the 1920s were a period of linguistic coinage, it is too bad that it did not happen a decade earlier when Gelett Burgess tried to update American English. We need more of the words in his 1914 Burgess Unabridged, such as alibosh ("a glaringly obvious falsehood or exaggeration") - the aliboshs coming from our politicians in Washington seem to grow more outrageous every year; leolump ("an interrupter of conversations; an egotistical bore") - I name no names; snosh ("vain talk; a project that is born dead") - was the Mason Award a snosh?; tashivation ("the art of answering without listening to questions") - like Miss Teen South Carolina's recent reply to the question of why 1/5 of Americans today cannot locate the U.S. on a world map? ("Well, a lot of Americans may not own world maps ..."); and yab ("a monomaniac or fanatic; enthusiasm over one thing") - me on flags. How many LASFen can identify the one word coined by Burgess that we do use almost daily today; especially in s-f circles? See page 7 of Burgess Unabridged. Actually, I think that we ought to co-opt the Samoan word suiia that Burgess mentions in his Introduction, meaning change-the-subject-you-are-on-dangerous-ground. That would be really conversationally useful.
Godzilla Verses #154 -- (DeChancie) Thank you for continuing to contribute to Apa L from Pittsburgh. If you do stay there permanently, as seems likely, you will be well-positioned to attend Anthrocon 2008 there next June; the largest Furry convention. Anthrocon 2007 got great coverage in the Pittsburgh press, after the city discovered the local economy got $2.5 million from the fans the previous year. See "Furries Purr Over Pittsburgh Reception" in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 6, 2007; or "Anthrocons Convention Turns City Into 'Real Zoo'" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 7, 2007. ## The biggest void in space seems ominously similar to the Blight/The Great Emptiness in Alan Dean Foster's Pip and Flinx series.
De Jueves #1546 - (Moffatts) Sacramento is far from New York, but it sounds like Amtrak's policy is similar to William Vanderbilt's 1882 comment, "The public be damned! If the public want the train, why don't they pay for it?" The difference is that Vanderbilt was arguably more responsible to his stockholders than to the public and should not have been expected to continue a train that was losing money just because its cancellation inconvenienced a minority; and Amtrak is supposedly a semi-government public service that arguably should serve the people even if it has to operate at a loss.
Toony Loons #57 - (Zeff) I really don't like to eat take-out meals, especially when I would have to trade the nice, large tables at Los Burritos for getting the food to the LASFS without spilling it, having to ask someone to set up a table especially for me in the midst of a crowded meeting, and try to eat while paying attention to the meeting at the same time. If it means planning so I get fewer meals at Los Burritos, but that I can leisurely savor them when I do get there, so be it.
The Life of a God-Powered Being #1 - (Coleman) Huh? Or as the Japanese say, ... Is this a short story, or a synopsis for part of a novel, or what?