Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, August 4, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Forty-Second Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1460, August 5, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||LonCon II in 1965!||Salamander Press #115.|
Fifteen people turned out for the Theatre Party to see "Once Upon a Mattress", and we all enjoyed ourselves so well that I wouldn't be surprised if we turn out to be a solid nucleus around which all future Theatre Parties are built -- Parties to see plays like "Once Upon a Mattress", at any rate. The musical was quite well done; what it lacked in professional polish, it more than made up for in the liveliness and enthusiasm of its performers. I didn't see the original stage production, but I did see the television version (which was heavily abridged/bowdlerized), and I muchly preferred this college production. Bruce started a fannish parody of this in Apa L some time ago; as far as I'm concerned, the original play is enjoyable enough in itself that it doesn't need any fannish parody. If there was any flaw, it was that t he songs weren't delivered with all the verve of the spoken dialogue; in addition to which, the orchestra was a trifle loud and drowned out a lyric occasionally. Aside from that, I have nothing but praise for the entire production. Blake was excellent in his role of meek Prince Dauntless, but he was hard-put to keep from being overshadowed by others in the play who seemed even more projective with their roles; particularly the fellow who played King Sextimus, in the best pantomimist performance I've seen since Harpo Marx. Not wanting to give you a long list of meaningless superlatives -- you either saw it or you didn't -- I'll just say that those of you who missed it really missed a good evening. I'll hope for a better turnout at our next Theatre Party.
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
We've been trying to hold the line at 35 copies minimum for the Distributions, but it finally looks as though we're not going to be able to do it -- not without denying copies to LASFS attendees who don't contribute (and you know the arguments against that) or even possibly dropping some of our outside contributors. The LASFS Meetings have definitely been bigger since the WesterCon; just last week we had two pretty guests from Garden Grove who learned about us at the Con. In addition to this, Apa L has gained several new contributors lately, such as June Konigsberg, Gregg Wolford, Greg Shaw, and Andy Porter, so despite the constant turnover, our number of contributors isn't shrinking any. Last week, we had 29 contributors, not counting two non-contributors who helped assemble the Dist'n (thus getting a right to claim a copy) plus the usual copy set aside for the LASFS Library. That left only 3 copies for distribution; if Lee Jacobs hadn't had a zine in, he might well have missed out on a complete Dist'n again. I've already had to turn down two more out-of-towners who wanted to join -- Stephen Barr in Texas and Tom Dupree in Mississippi -- and I don't see how we can spare two more copies for Lon Atkins and Al Scott as things stand now, even though they are both fine fan writers and Milt Stevens is willing to agent for them.
I know most of us don't mind turning in 40 or even 45 copies; unfortunately, it only takes one who refuses to produce more than the minimum 35, and we've got to tell such people as Lee Jacobs and Betty Knight, who happened to miss this particular Dist'n no matter how often they've contributed in the past, "Sorry, you'll have to wait until after we've given all this week's contributors their copies, then we'll see if we have any complete copies left for you." This is the sort of thing that results in creating an ingroup and an outgroup, which is just the sort of thing we don't want in the LASFS or in Apa L. Therefore, the choice is clear between forcibly cutting back the contributing membership by dropping out-of-towners, creating an outgroup of non-contributing LASFS members and guests, or increasing the number of required copies of Apa L zines to 40. I take the latter solution; 40 copies of your zines will be required in the future.
Incidentally, I suppose you've all noticed by now that I tend to look upon Apa L from a public relations point of view, as something to enhance the prestige of the club, to captivate the casual guest into becoming an active LASFS member, and to prod the quieter members among us to more participation in the club through publishing activity. (Hi, June Koningsberg, Hilda Hoffman, Barry Gold, & others.) How much prestige is the LASFS going to get, how many guests will we attract into becoming regular members, and how many of our quieter members are going to be persuaded to become more active, through the influence of such zines as Jayn Ellern's, Mike Klassen's, or Owen Hannifen's in this last Dist'n?
Ted White -- Hey, great having F here in addition to your column in maLAise. Keep 'em both up; we may merge Apa F with Apa L yet. ## It's a good thing Al Lewis won't be seeing this information about the Travis McGee series for another month; I don't know that he could wait until the others start coming out. Though he's reading all of McDonald's books now, the McGhee series is still his favorite, I think. I just picked up a mint copy of Ballroom of the Skies from Walt Liebscher at the last Swap Session, which refreshed my conviction that McDonald was not a very good s-f novelist, though he turned out some excellent short stories in the field. I often think, "It's too bad he left the s-f field", only to wonder immediately thereafter, "If he was still in the field, would he be writing anything more than whodunits with a think s-f coating, or more Fortean we-are-possessed novels? Maybe it's for the best that he settled down to become a regular mystery writer." ## Yes, I've had experience with Ace's filekeeping system. One of my projects (originally a term paper for one of my Library School classes, and still projected for fannish publication) has been a complete bibliography of Andre Norton's works. I know there've been several of these by now, since Miss Norton is always happy to give the information to any neofan who asks for it for his fanzine, but this one was/is to be absolutely complete and annotated as to all editions of all titles -- it already runs to over 25 pages. Anyhow, one of the items of information I want to include is a list of the illustrators of her books, including the artists of the dust jackets or covers of paperback books (if not otherwise illustrated). Ace, of course, is the sole paperback publisher of her novels (with a few minor exceptions); and while such current cover artists as Emsh, Valigursky, Gaughan, and Morrow are easy enough to identify through their styles, I'm not sure as to who did the covers for some of her earliest Ace books (such as The Last Planet and Crossroads of Time), which were either by different artists or by artists whose styles have changed over the years. Wollheim's reply to my question (in '62, for the term paper) was, "Who keeps records? We pay 'em and that's it. But all of our science-fiction covers have been by either Emsh or Valigursky, so if any cover doesn't look like it's by one of 'em, it must be by the other." And he gave me a list compiled from his memory as to who did which cover, which I accepted as a documented source for my term paper (since positive answers get higher grades than question marks) even though I'm pretty sure it contained errors. I know Ace used artists besides Emsh and Valigursky before '62 no matter what Don says, and while such a cover as the one for The Last Planet may be by Valigursky, I wouldn't want to put that down as a definite fact in a published bibliography without more evidence. When I get ready to publish this, I can try to get Emsh's & Valigursky's addresses and write them directly for information; but if they confirm they didn't do a cover, where do I turn then? Does anybody have the slightest idea as to who did the cover to the Ace edition of Shadow Hawk? ## Yes, the Beatles are fine comedians, indeed. I've just seen the movie magazine released in connection with their new picture, "Help!", which gives the plot of the movie, including such touches as the evil Oriental High Priest landing his army in the West Indies by Goodyear blimp! ## I will unfortunately not be in New York on a Friday for a Fanoclast meeting, but I will try to contact you. I should have three days in NY -- Monday through Wednesday afternoon -- and while I'll almost definitely be spending at least one day at the Fair, that still leaves me with some unscheduled time. ## I'd like to see a list of the original titles of Ace novels, before Wyn is through adjusting them to his own tastes. Andre Norton for one has complained publicly about Wyn's titles for her books, and she's named quite a few of her original titles -- Quest for Kolder for Web of the Witch World, Wolfshead for Secrets of the Lost Race, etc. Do you know the original titles of any of Dick's other Ace books?
Gregg Wolford -- If the zines you mail to me on Monday don't get here until Friday, why should you be surprised that the Dist'ns I mail you on Friday don't get to you before ... er, whenever you do get 'em? That copy of the 39th Dist'n you got (composed of leftovers, since you missed the Dist'n) was very incomplete, consisting of about the 42nd or 43rd copies of whichever zines were turned in in such quantities. That's why the copy count is being raised to 40 minimum, with hopes of a continued 5 or more extra from most contributors. ## I'm not sure but what I agree with John Trimble on the proliferation of new apas for neos being a bad thing, though not necessarily for the same reasons. Any fan publishing a genzine -- something to be sold, or depending on some sort of reader response (trades, l.o.c.'s) for circulation -- is not going to fill it with a lot of top-of-the-head mish-mash. Not if he expects anybody to write in for future issues. A genzine is a shaky thing, and its existence depends on reader response to a much greater extent than apazines do. I can't think offhand of any reasonably long-lived genzine that hasn't been at least moderately liked by some readership group; contrariwise, practically every apa has in its history had at least one member who produced nothing any of the other members considered worthwhile, but who still kept producing his crudzine for a considerable period of time. We've got Barry Gold and Hilda Hoffman, to name names, though Hilda's zine has improved remarkably during the last few weeks. How long do you think they'd've lasted in publishing fandom if they'd started out with genzines of the same quality as their apazines? The apas do perform a valuable service these days as providing a proving ground for neos such as Barry and Hilda; how likely is it that they'd have ever joined pubbing fandom at all if it hadn't been for Apa L? On the other hand, with so many new apas in existence now, today's neo no longer has the old incentive to graduate from his local apa into a wider fandom, and he may never progress any further than the level he was at when he first joined publishing fandom. Apas used to be a pubber's sideline, while most actifans produced & traded & l.o.c.'d genzines with national fandom circulations, such as CRY, SHAGGY, VOID, YANDRO, etc. Any fanzine fan was pretty well known, by name at least, throughout national fandom. How many of today's neos are almost unknown outside of one or two apas, because that's where all their output is limited to? John's right; anybody who wants a good cross-section of today's fandom is going to have to join so many apas -- FAPA, SFPA, the Cult, OMPA -- that he won't have time to do more than minac in each. No more reasonably lengthy, well-thought-out articles that attempt to say something; apachat takes its place. The proliferation of all these new apas is dividing national fanzine fandom into too many individual, exclusive, cubbyholes.
June Konigsberg -- The LASFS Rex shouldn't eat over two pages at once as a consistent thing, if you know how to handle it. Did you riffle through your paper before you put it in the Rex to let air between the sheets, so they'd be less likely to stick together? Is your paper the same size as the sheets in the padding stack beneath? There are all sorts of things to watch out for, which is one reason I still prefer to crank the machine by hand rather than use the motor. ## Where did you get your slannish lion?
Tom Gilbert -- I'd prefer discussing the policy for the next BEST FROM APA L in person, rather than disagreeing over it in public here. When I said I think we have enough material now to publish a 2nd collection, I was thinking of a collection of moderate size, but admittedly not as big (yet) as the first one. I think the '66 volume should start selecting from where we left off, rather than going back and padding it with material we left out of the '65 volume. We might publish an excerpt from Al's trip report, but as he's almost sure to have republished it as a separate item himself by the time the '66 volume comes out, we won't want to duplicate it in its entirety. I think it's too soon to start making policy pronouncements about next year's volume yet.
I wasn't planning on having a fourth page this issue, but Ben Stark just sent me the following letter, asking me to correct what he says is an incorrect statement. Although the specific statement in question was in my SAPSzine, MISTILY MEANDERING, I believe I repeated it more or less exactly here, so I suppose Ben will want you to see this too:
Aug. 2, 1965
Norm [Metcalf] has loaned me his issue of Mistily Meandering No. 13.
I wish you would set the record straight on the lack of the huckster room at the Westercon.
As far as I can determine it was the Con Committee's fault that there was no huckster room. I got a letter from Rick [Sneary] dated Apr. 11 telling me the prices and some other information. I wrote him Apr. 22 stating that I did want 5 or 6 tables, but if I couldn't have at least 5 I didn't want any. Also I didn't want the room if the hospitality room was going to be in the same place. I received a reply from Rick telling me that was OK. He saw my point about thievery and food spilled on the books.
Bill Donaho gave a report to me sometime in June that Rick had given him regarding the room. It was not going to be in the same area as the meeting place. I was not happy about this but decided to let it go and see what happened. I did think I would receive a letter from the committee explaining but didn't. I went ahead and brought some stuff to take to the con and also sorted out and packed up a number of boxes. Does this look as if I didn't intend to bring anything down or thought there wouldn't be a room? Since I hadn't heard from Rick I decided to call him up. I tried the 24th of June and the 25th. He called me back on the 25th and told me the Committee had just that night cancelled the room. Why I didn't know since I had said I wanted the room and had never said that I didn't want it.
So, it is quite true the committee told me there was not room, but it is not true that I was not going to bring anything down. Quite the opposite is the case.
I wish you would please set the record straight in your next issue.
J. Ben Stark
113 Ardmore Rd.
Berkeley, Calif. 94707
P.S. I don't know but I expect that the committee could have gotten the room back after my phone conversation with Rick on the 25th. A phone call to the manager of the motel would have probably been enough.
This is basically the story as I heard it, with the important exceptions of the correspondence between you and Rick in April. From all I could find out, and I was asking the committee -- mostly John Trimble -- before the con, too, no response had been received from anyone in regard to buying huckster tables. I myself heard you declare, after the '62 WesterCon in Los Angeles, I believe it was, that you weren't going to haul all your wares down here in future because the profits weren't worth the effort. Admittedly, you said this in the standard context of "Never again!" statements that're commonly made after a tough job, but I gathered that when nothing had been heard from you before this con that you must've meant it after all -- and I gather that John, at least, was under the same impression. The question then arises as to what did happen to lose the record of the correspondence between you and Rick in April?