¡Rábanos Radiactivos!

Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2231st Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3679, February 14, 2008.
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

Denvention 3 in 2008! Anticipation in 2009! Salamander Press #2714


Last Tuesday, the 5th, AT&T and my hospital finally got my temporary room connected to the Internet. I had 740 e.mails waiting, 99+% of which were spam. I spent the next couple of days catching up with what I wanted to read, including Gus Arriola's obituary on February 2nd, unfortunately. This was well-covered in Apa L, I see.

On Thursday my sister Sherrill brought me to the LASFS meeting. I was pleased to see guest Jamal Hannah; we had corresponded briefly in the 1980s. Animator Bob Miller brought two copies of The Animated Movie Guide, which I co-wrote for editor Jerry Beck, to have me autograph them for presentation to a couple of industry celebrities from Weta Productions Ltd. near Wellington, in town for the Annie Awards ceremonies the next evening. Miller offered to treat me to a $100 admission to the Awards, but unfortunately he could not afford an extra $100 for admission for my wheelchair-pusher as well. It was a formal event, anyway, and I do not know what happened to my tuxedo since my stroke - though from the photos posted on the Internet of the Awards, some of the attendees went out of their way to dress as anti-formally as possible. (I did not know there were shirts more garish than Hawaiian shirts, but leave it to cartoonists to invent them.)

The Annie Awards were well-publicized on Saturday. I was very pleased that most of the nominees that I voted for won, or my second choices did. Ratatouille and its short "Your Friend the Rat" won in practically every category they were nominated in, including those where they had multiple nominations. I had voted for Janeane Garofalo as the voice of Collette in Ratatouille for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, but the winner, Ian Holm as the voice of Skinner the villain, had been my second choice. Brad Bird took home two awards personally, for Directing in an Animated Feature Production and for Writing in ditto, as well as Ratatouille winning for Best Animated Feature. Bird has certainly made up for being robbed over The Iron Giant. (Not that he was robbed in its awards; ASIFA-Hollywood has always recognized Bird's talent.)

On Monday, Lee Gold e.mailed me that, "Barry was appointed LASFS interim webmaster on Sunday. Are you interested in working with me on revising your article on LASFS history, and getting your articles on Loscon, Westercon, and LA worldcon history up on the LASFS webpage somewhere?

I am forwarding a comment from Bob Lichtman on your current LASFS history. You may wish to join the trufen Yahoogroup and discuss this. Other participants are Ted White, Lenny Bailes, and Andrew Porter."

Yes, I am interested. I have advocated this for some time now. Lichtman's comment is, "Fred's LASFS history at this link is interesting but I boggled at the paragraph about pros at the club in which he mentions Fritz as one who came around in the '50s but lumps Rotsler in with a bunch of latecomers when in fact Bill's history with the club dates back to the '40s." I had meant that Leiber was a famous pro when he joined the LASFS in the late 1950s (since the late 1930s in fact), while Rotsler did not become a well-known pro until the 1970s even though he joined the LASFS and was a famous fan much earlier. My comment can be revised for clarity. If anyone has any questions about any of the statements in my LASFS history in the Loscon Program Books, or suggestions of details that should be added to the history, please make them now. Two additional fanhistorical articles that might be exhumed and posted for current interest and possibly being brought up to date are my history of the first twenty-six Westercons in the Westercon 27 Program Book in 1974, and my unfinished "An Illustrated History of the World Science Fiction Convention" (up to 1949), in the 2nd and 4th Progress Reports of the 1976 Worldcon.

On Tuesday, Sherry took me to visit the Eaton Collection at the UCRiverside Library for the first time since August. It was a beautiful day, in the high 70ºs; the hills were all green with new grass (except where they were green & yellow with wild mustard) from the rains, and the nearby mountains were capped with snow. All the highway repair work that had been going on last August was finished, and our drive to Riverside was about 20 minutes less than usual. We got to the Eaton Collection about noon.

Dr. Melissa Conway, the curator of the Riverside Library's special collections, joined us about 12:30 for lunch; she had been listening to a presentation on feminism in early s-f by one of the candidates being interviewed for their Science Fiction Studies position. One of the things I wanted to see was a biographical profile of me in Contemporary Authors ("A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, and Other Fields"), vol. 255, published last year. The publisher, Thomson Gale, would like me to buy a copy of the book for $200. The UCRiverside Library gets the series automatically, so I settled for a photocopy of the two pages with my profile, pages 298-299. It is mainstream egoboo. Sherry & I brought two new boxes of donations to my collection, and I spent the afternoon with Chuck Wilson, the University Archivist, sorting those out plus one of the "miscellaneous" boxes from my collection in 2005 that contained a hodgepodge ranging from stuff I picked up during my trip to the 1979 Worldcon in London, to dust jackets of s-f, mystery, & Western novels that I salvaged from wastebaskets during one of my library jobs in the 1960s, to some 1970s Filmex guides, to a 1999 brochure from Culver City to all residents on "How to survive Y2K" that I had considered of hysterical historical interest. The librarians agreed with me, although it is not exactly s-f. Melissa Conway asked me to promote the 2008 Eaton Conference, "Chronicling Mars" with Ray Bradbury as Special Guest, at the LASFS which I agreed to do; although we had a dismaying realization that the 2008 Eaton Conference is on the same weekend as CaliFur 4. Yarst! Aside from that, it was a favorably productive day. We made tentative arrangements to video-interview me for an oral history program during my next visit. Dr. Conway also hopes that I can visit in January 2009 when a Fulbright doctorate scholar from Jadavpur University in Kolkata/Calcutta arrives to do research on how early s-f clubs & fanzines may have affected professional s-f literature in the 1940s & '50s. The Eaton Collection would like to interview the Moffatts for this, too.

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I am now a book reviewer for two anthropomorphic magazines. I have begun reviewing for the quarterly Renard's Menagerie with its issue #5, January 2008, now on sale. Anthro is still publishing the majority of my reviews; eight in every bi-monthly issue. My review column in Renard's Menagerie will be "Field Report", as opposed to Anthro's "Seen While Prowling". Well, anything is an improvement after my Yarf! reviews which were published as "Patten's Pontifications".

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

I Gauffer* Yetis - (Gold) I think "Mickey Rodent!" was supposed to be ugly while replicating the Disney cuteness as closely as possible - a difficult trick. ## Are rhinoceroses noted for being playful at any times and in any circumstances? ## I know that George Washington is supposed to have contracted his fatal illness when he returned to Mount Vernon after having gotten caught in a snowstorm and freezing rain. Before he could change into dry clothes, a visitor told him that James Monroe had just been elected Governor of Virginia. Washington was reportedly sure that Monroe would ruin the state, and went to dinner in his wet clothes regaling his guest with all the woes they could expect under Monroe's maladministration. The next day Washington had a bad cold that worsened into pneumonia. The visitor was reportedly a close friend; Washington was careful to stay neutral in politics in public. ## Golden State Hospital is giving me so many medical tests that I have lost track of what I have been tested for and what I have not. My impression is that if Medi-Cal will pay for it, the hospital will have me tested for it. ## You confirm my feeling that if I do try to attend any future Further Confusions in San Jose, I might as well try to drive with some fan as try to take an airplane; although Michael Burlake says that flying from the Burbank Airport is not nearly as aggravating as flying from LAX. ## Yes, I got most of my information about the history of the Iraqi flag from Wikipedia, too. The extensive reference library on vexillolography that I built up over decades is at the UCRiverside Library since 2005, and I did not have all those details such as the years 1921 to 1959 in my memory.

Fish Out of Water #261 - (Helgesen) Does anyone take the train from Los Angeles to Anaheim any longer? Yes, I see that Amtrak offers train service, but I suspect that it is used mostly by visitors; L.A. residents (who all have cars, of course) can drive the distance in 45 minutes or less.

De Jueves #1569 - (Moffatts) It would be nice if the total of Ed Hoch's stories can reach 1,000 when all are tracked down. ## The definitive French dictionary is probably Le Trésor de la Langue Française (TLF). To quote the Encyclopedia Britannica, "in full Tresor de la Langue Française: Dictionnaire de la Langue de XIXe et du XXe Siècle (1789-1960) etymological and historical dictionary of the French language, a comprehensive, large-scale work still in progress; its first six volumes were published in Paris in 1974-78. Volume 3 is evidence of the editorial decision, made following publication of the first two, to reduce the scope dramatically and to complete the work in 15 volumes rather than the 60 originally planned." The TLF was edited under the auspices of l'Institut de Linguistique Française, a national body apparently similar to the Postal Service in the U.S. in being a quasi-official part of the national government. It was originally published in 16 volumes between 1971 and 1993, and is now being updated and expanded as an online data base. ## Roz Gibson did not post a note about having reached San Jose until she returned home after Further Confusion: "Yes, ladies and germs, it is time for yet another of my patented bitchy con reports. You're in for a real treat this time, because it was a pretty miserable con. Later tonight I'll be posting my con work on FA. I'll provide a link for those who aren't on FA.

"Out here in the Pouring Rain..."

As per my previous post, it was pouring rain when we left Santa Clarita. I had to take the 101 north rather than my usual route of the 5, due to the mountain pass out of the LA area being closed by snow. I don't like taking the 101 because it's longer and less direct. It rained the entire way north. The whole way. Pouring rain. So not only do I get to drive an unfamiliar route, I get to do it in the rain.

Because I fucked up this year and didn't get my hotel reservations in on time, we ended up at the overflow hotel down the street. It wouldn't have been a problem if not for the fact that it poured rain the entire weekend. The con hotel was charging parking this year, so we couldn't take the car to and from the con. That made for a lot of walking in the rain. Yes, I brought umbrellas, but somehow I never seemed to have one when I needed it."
Etc., at considerable length. If Roz ever reported having a good time at a convention, the Universe would probably end. Her complete report can be read at http://martes.livejournal.com/460316.html#cutid1. Most of the con reports so far are very favorable. Further Confusion 2008 reported setting new records in attendance, 2,311, and in participating Fursuiters, 387; but Art Show sales fell to $52,068 due to a smaller Art Show this year. Out-of-focus videos of Fursuiters are already posted on YouTube. ## Bipedalism does not necessarily go with anthropomorphism. I have just finished reading A Marriage of Insects by Bard Bloom, which is the first novel I have read in over twenty years of reading anthropomorphic literature to be a comedy of manners featuring the romantic entanglements of four giant crickets of three sexes, two lesbian raccoons, and a snarky panther. The panther is not anthropomorphized physically but likes to hover telekinetically about the room making bawdy comments at the others' expenses. The raccoon-sized six-limbed crickets are bipedal or quadrupedal depending on their preference from moment to moment. Georgette Heyer would run screaming.

Let Us All Join John DeChancie For A Swim - (Cantor) Well, Bill Clinton enjoyed Tender is LeVine, but Jack LeVine is no James Bond.

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