Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, August 11, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Forty-Third Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1461, August 12, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||LonCon II in 1965!||Salamander Press #117.|
Last weekend's Picnic was a bit of a change over the one of a couple of months ago. For one thing, it was a fair bit larger -- I counted 23 members & 5 (paying) kids; the club Building Fund made a profit of $1.87 after expenses. On the other hand, I don't think the physical comfort was as great at this Picnic as at the last one. For one thing, it was a much hotter day, and there wasn't enough shade. For another, we were right by the freeway, and the smog was abominably thick -- I had to breathe through a handkerchief a large part of the time to keep from choking, and several other people were also bothered. Still and all, things were enjoyable enough that nobody left early; the Picnic itself lasted about five hours, and after that, at least ¾ of us went over to a nearby Baskin-Robbins, then wandered across the street into a little park and sat around on the grass talking until after 7:30. The day was undeniably an enjoyable one, but I suggest that we avoid that particular picnic ground in the future.
The most pleasant surprise of the day was the appearance of Gregg Wolford; the first time any of us have ever met him in person, and the first time he's every met any other fans in person. It was a pleasant meeting all the way around; and I hope we'll see more of you, Gregg, at the pool parties the Trimbles will invariably be hosting at their new home.
One of the more fervent topics of discussion at the Picnic was the further existence of SHAGGY, and what form it should take; SHANGRI L'AFFAIRES or SHANGRI L.A.? Personally, I think things have been bad enough with SHAGGY dragging along the past three years, gasping out about two issues per editor, woefully behind any schedule. There's been continual talk of finding a new editor loaded with enthusiasm who'll breathe new life into it, but I don't think any of us really believe this'll happen. Though I hate to admit it, probably the main factor that'll keep this from happening is the existence of Apa L; any local fan really interested in publishing a fanzine is producing at least a fairly regular Apa L zine, and he just doesn't have the time for a good SHAGGY besides. I think the decision reached by Dian, in her capacity as club Director, and the rest of the Executive Committee, to kill off SHANGRI L'AFFAIRES (the official club fanzine) and resurrect SHANGRI L.A. (a private fanzine issued with club approval) is the best one; at least until any one member proves through an exemplary record in publishing SHANGRI L.A. that he can be trusted with SHANGRI L'AFFAIRES once again. Unfortunately, certain of the club members have taken this decision as a personal challenge ("How dare you kill SHAGGY off when I'm willing to try putting out an issue!?"), and we now have, if I understand matters correctly, three separate people or groups of people about to publish competing issues of SHAGGY in defiance of the executive edict, in an attempt to prove to the club that they are indeed worthy to carry on the publication of the glorious LASFS fanzine. This looks to me as though it'll just make a bad situation worse. It's been difficult enough to get enough good material to fill one issue of SHAGGY, without having three groups splitting material between them. For any fan who keeps records, three separate SHANGRI L'AFFAIRES #72 will just turn things into a laughing stock. In addition, this whole matter's already beginning to stir up bad feeling. SHAGGY is the club fanzine, and the club Executive Committee does have the final say as to what's done with it; while the decision to kill off SHAGGY for now is a debatable one, no one can deny that the Committee dies have strong arguments for its decision. It's not helping matters one bit for various members to say, "To hell with your decision; I'm going to publish a SHAGGY anyway and there's nothing you can do about it!" I hope everybody will cool down, put all their material and willingness to work into one effort, and produce a SHANGRI L.A. that the club can be proud of, instead of three separate, disunited issues that'll pull the reputation of the club fanzine even lower than it is now.
And it does look as though we're getting some really good material for a SHAGGY between the three groups. Last week, Ray Nelson and J.G. Newkom arrived at the club just as the Meeting was breaking up, and at Kal's afterward, Ray and Bill Rotsler got into a hilarious cartooning contest, turning out some great stuff. However, every time I asked for one of their creations for Apa L, I got told, "Sorry, but Blackbeard has first refusal on all these for SHAGGY." I'll be looking forward to that SHAGGY. (A SHANGRI L.A., Bill.) I didn't leave Kal's entirely empty-handed, though; Ray's son, Walter T. (age 6 ½) graciously drew us a comic strip. Look for it in here somewhere.
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION & FRACTIONAL
The Fractional Distribution, produced at every official LASFS function such as a picnic, Fanquet, Halloween Party, etc., was a fine ploy when it was started, but I do think it's outlived its purpose. Last weekend's fD, with its gag inclusions of a bag of potato chips and a bottle cap, just served to emphasize this. Aside from Phil Salin, nobody's contributing to the fD's who isn't already a weekly contributor to the regular Dist'ns; and none of us have the time to turn out more than one fanzine a week that's got anything in it worth reading. Bruce has already referred to the fD's as having a tiger by the tail, and I think he's right. I don't know exactly how to go about killing it off, either, but I'll agree to stop bringing contributions to our non-Meeting club functions if the rest of you will. How do you all feel about it?
Ted White -- At long last, the missing cover has shown up. It was certainly worth waiting for. Without kidding, I think this proves that you're one of the best artists -- as opposed to the cartoon artists -- in Fandom, and I think it's a shame you don't do more art. Of course, 4 to 8 pages of MALASIAN FLU a week, plus your other fanac, plus your sf novels, plus your other pro writing, can take up your time, obviously, and something has to go. Still, if you could find time for maybe a cover every three or four months, maybe? And would it be possible to get the stencil to this for the next BEST FROM APA L? ## Al Lewis once remarked that, while he didn't care two hoots for comic books, he enjoyed reading an intelligently-written article about them. I feel the same way about jazz & folk music, and your report. I don't believe we have much like that out here, unless you count the Beatles' appearances at the Hollywood Bowl and the yearly Jazz Night (or whatever it's called) at Disneyland, both of which are big & commercialized. Anyhow, while the former brings out a lot of Beatle fans, they aren't the same as folk music fans atall, from what I can see (generalizing from newspaper accounts & my sister, Sherry). ## Your repro is a lot better, thanks; we won't have to run your new typer out of Apa L after all. ## Sure, I know where you were in the evenings at the WesterCon; I was wondering where you were during the daytime, since by the time I got to one of your nightly parties, I was almost asleep on my feet and in no condition to talk to anybody. And I did my big Con report for my latest SAPSzine; are you still reading Terry's mailings, or should I send you a copy? ## I suppose that "little known masterpiece of a novel by Fritz Leiber" you're referring to is You're All Alone, in the July '50 FA? I agree; there's supposed to be a completely rewritten version that was published as a cheap paperback with a sexed-up cover a few years later, and I'd like to compare the two if I can ever find a copy of this second edition. And he boiled it all down into a four-page short story, "The Big Engine", in the Feb. '62 GALAXY. Fritz has done several versions of several of his stories; I'd like to've seen the original The Adventure of the Grain Ships, which he simplified & compressed into the somewhat disappointing (well, I was waiting for the full-length version) "Scylla's Daughter" for FANTASTIC.
Bill Blackbeard -- This is just what I mean about the current SHAGGY situation doing nobody any good. SHAGGY is supposed to bring enjoyment to the club, not bickering. I'm coming more and more to feel that the best thing all around might just be to kill off a SHAGGY of any kind for at least six months to let everybody cool off, then let the club decide what to do with SHANGRI L.A. instead of letting different groups within the club each attempt to take matters into their own hands.
Milt Stevens -- Well, at least Browne wasn't as bad an editor as Paul Fairman -- though I did like the Johnny Mayhem series. ## What industrial value would the power to turn into a toadstool have?
June Konigsberg -- All of the grunion hunts I've been on (all three of 'em) have been in the same category as snipe hunts; the grunion weren't running those nights. The snipe is a real bird, too, come to think of it. ## Rich Mann's collection of recipes aren't the first such to go through Apa L; I think Bĵo and Katya put most of the earlier ones through, and we were considering reprinting some of them in THE BEST FROM APA L. By all means, enclose your own.
Lee Jacobs -- It's always nice to see someone discovering Tolkien for the first time -- particularly yourself, as you don't impress me as the type who gosh-wows easily. I wouldn't exactly call The Lord of the Rings sword & sorcery; I think of it as epic fantasy, and I consider s&s to be a sub-category of epic fantasy (and a lot of your s&s isn't very epic, at that). The Lord of the Rings is so magnificent that I can't consider it as being sub-anything. However, I'd recommend that you try Conan and AMRA; if you like Tolkien, there's more than an even chance you'll like the other. ## Yes, I had the name of Fredregar bestowed upon me back when I joined Coventry and it's stuck with me (Jack keeps misspelling it as Fredrigar). Coventry was just aborning then, and the ARBM (Harness, Johnson, & Pelz) were sticking up Tolkien and pseudo-Tolkien names on everything in sight. If I'd been able to develop my own Coventranian character instead of having one thrust upon me, I might've been more active in the group than I was. On the other hand, considering what happened to Coventry, maybe I'm luckier I wasn't. Anyhow, Fredregar is one of the nicknames I don't mind answering to. (Jack will now list all the others.)
Jack Harness -- Hulan will definitely be the Official Collator when I leave; Tom pulled a Laney and announced Bruce before we asked Bruce, who said, "No." I waited until I got a firm acceptance before I announced who'd be taking over the post. Tom has an annoying habit of stating possibilities as definite facts, such as his open invitation to all out-of-towners to send their zines to Bruce or Dave while I'm gone. Bruce and Dave both said, "Maybe", when I suggested they serve as agents for a few of our out-of-towners while we're gone; neither were very enthusiastic about it, and I'd guess that anybody just sending their fanzines to Dave or Bruce and expecting to get the Dist'ns back, without clearing it with them first, may get a rude surprise. ## Gad, the nostalgia; I recognize a couple of your Capt. Marvel plots that I must've read over 15 years ago.
Greg Shaw -- A very good picture of what's wrong with today's preponderance of apazines over genzines. ## I'll be gone from Aug. 22 to Sept. 11, and I'll be back just in time to get the Sept. N'APA mailing out. ## Comics may've captured the young thud-&-blunder market, but what makes you think there isn't an old t-&-b market? I'd buy such a zine gladly.