Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, November 24, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Fifty-Eighth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1476, November 25, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|TriCon in 1966!||Pan-PacifiCon in 1968!||Salamander Press #136.|
At long last, my bookcase is finally up. Al & I finished assembly on Saturday; as was typical of the whole project, the put-together, which should've only taken about an hour or so, turned into an all-day job for me, as it turned out I'd cut all of the shelves too long and now had to cut 'em down some more. Al had left for the avocado-picking-cum-birthday-party at Chez Konigsberg by then, but I was sick of leaving that bookcase uncompleted -- particularly now that it was in a state of ¾-assembly in my room and I wouldn't be able to get to my bed until it was finished -- so I stayed home and polished the job off. Then came the long-awaited joy of digging my collection of books out of various packing boxes and temporary shelves, and setting them up all together for the first time since my collection outgrew its original small (30-or-so volumes) shelf, back about 7 or 8 years ago. At last, I'm able to see what I've got as a whole, rather than as a series of separated fragments; the total fills about 2/3 of the 7'x8' bookcase, and comes to 434 volumes, hardbound and quality paperbound, of which at least 400 are science fiction, comic/cartoon oriented (the Pogo collections, etc.) and children's fantasy. The two small bookcases in my room that had been holding that part of my collection that I'd wanted to keep handy, now serve as my prozine shelves. This still leaves a *large* number of packing boxes filled with paperbacks, and all of my fanzines, which are still sitting around on the floor; and I'd thought that getting The Bookcase up would Solve all my Problems! Sigh. Well, Al is selling his large living-room bookcase when he moves next month, so that should solve anything, it only means waiting another few weeks... But it's nice to be able to get at all my hardbacks at last, no longer having to remember which volume is packed away in which box. I consider my hardbacks the major part of my collection; they're what I'm really interested in, even if I do have more paperbacks and prozines.
Dennis Smith dropped by Saturday, in town to get some final information before putting out San Diego's 1st WesterCon Progress Report next month. A lot of the planning is still up in the air at this point, of course, but the basic details of location, Guests of Honor, panels, etc., are already taken care of, and the WesterCon seems to be putting itself together nicely. One thing Dennis was trying to figure out was how to emphasize in the Progress Report that everyone should get his room reservation in early; "Every Con Progress Report always says to 'Get your reservations in early' so how do I put special emphasis on the point?" Apparently hotel rooms in San Diego go faster than most at this season; he said that when he was making the rounds to select the Con hotel, a couple told him that they'd be glad to supply Convention meeting facilities, but they didn't have any private rooms that weren't already reserved during the July 4th weekend for the next two years. So apparently the chances of just showing up at the Con and getting a room are going to be slimmer than usual.
This weekend was the occasion of Forry Ackerman's annual Thanksgiving/birthday party, and I went over Sunday. Forry's done still more bookshelf-building since I was at his house last; the kitchen breakfast-nook is now lined with shelves of paperbacks, and the dining room-to-office alcove is also shelfcovered, obscuring the Famous Wallpaper. The office is now divided in two by a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, which supports (among other things) a collection of life-masks of Lugosi, Karloff, Carradine, Lorre, et al. Among the many guests were the Van Vogts -- Van says he's about to begin a 3rd A novel; apparently another sequel to World, because even he feels that Players was too complicated for a sequel to be intelligible -- and the Hamiltons -- and Ed says that he'd promised that original Paul cover to the PacifiCon, not to the LASFS, for their auction if it could be getting out here. Forry commented on the Italians' weird fondness for s-f theme anthologies, which they're having him compile; the last one was s-f stories dealing with cars/auto racing/the automobile industry, and now they want a collection of stories centered around letters/mailmen/philately. We came up with Arthur's "Postpaid to Paradise", Steve Benedict's "Stamp from Moscow" (and if anybody knows who Steve Benedict is or how Forry can contact him to get permission to reprint the story, Forry'd appreciate it), Leiber's "The Last Letter", Van Vogt's" Dear Pen Pal", Simak's "Leg. Forst.", and possibly a couple of others that I've forgotten right now. If anybody has any additions to this list, let's hear them. S-f seems to be going great in Italy; that spectacularly-produced anthology Destinazione Universo (or however it reads in Italian) that Robert Moore Williams was showing around here when it came out in '63 is in its 4th printing/edition so far.
Len Bailes was remarking at Kal's last week that he hadn't seen any of the new sandwich money yet, so we rooted among the change on the tables and came up with one of the new quarters. Len looked at it and produced the best commentary on it that I've yet heard: "Gee, it looks like if you bit into it, it'd taste chocolate!"
--BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Don Fitch -- Rainy days are a blessing after all, as long as they encourage such 8-page fanzines from you. ## I tend towards the view that Apa L doesn't have Members, just participants. This is probably just a semantic quibble; "membership" implies to me a set body of rules, a specific group of people who have Rights not held by non-members. Of course, to an extent Apa L does then have Members, since as long as there's not enough copies of a Dist'n for absolutely everybody, the contributors do have a Right to copies that mere Meeting attendees don't have. (One reason we're raising the copy count to 50 is in the hopes that this will guarantee all attendees, contributing and otherwise, a copy.) on the whole, though, I prefer the term "contributors" over "members", just as we call each week's production a Distribution rather than a Mailing. ## The idea of squirreling away copies of each Dist'n for future auction is an attractive one, as is any scheme to make money. But as long as we're having as hard a time as we are just to get enough copies for all the contributors and attendees, I don't see taking any more out of circulation. Besides, gathering from the out-of-towners' views on increasing the copy count, they aren't exactly overjoyed at the idea even to make Apa L more available to all; I doubt they'd be willing to take on the added cost of producing extra copy, the purpose of which is just to add to the coffers of the Building Fund. And, as you say, the LASFS itself has no authority to make much of a demand of Apa L in any case. ## As to getting more money out of the local attendees, I tend to agree with Bill Ellern that the club is probably milking the membership for as much as it can get, right now. Certainly regarding the weekly dues; enough people seem to find it a hardship affording 35¢ a week without asking 50¢ or so of them. The extra amount you'd get from those who'd pay would probably be balanced by the additional number of members who would stop paying altogether. I'm opposed to any yearly, quote, Membership Fee, unquote, because I think our current system of selling a Lifetime Membership is very handy for enticing new members. (In fact, I'd keep the weekly dues as low as possible for the same reason.) I'd suggest making your $5 annual fee an Active Membership Contribution; anyone who fails to pay it doesn't lose his Lifetime Membership, but becomes an inactive member, subject to the penalties suffered by those present members who don't pay their weekly dues. Hmm, make that Active Membership Contribution payable on a specific date, say the first Meeting in January, charged against everybody who's been in the club a year or more; in other words, don't hit the new members with too many fees at once. I'm in favor of raising more money for the club, but I think this can best be done by creating new fees, rather than by jacking up any of our current ones or by greatly altering the rights granted by payment of our current ones. Maybe Bĵo could draw up an Active Member card; some people will gladly pay any fee if it'll get them a new and distinct Membership Card.
Dave Fox -- Welcome aboard! It's been over a year now, and you're about the last of our regular weekly attendees who's failed to succumb to Apa L at one time or another; I hope we'll be seeing a lot of you in the future. As one of our oldest regular members -- from 1938 on, isn't it? -- I hope you'll be able to include some of the early history of the LASFS in your Adventures of a Solitary Fan, in future issues.
Gregg Wolford -- Tremaine's editorial pronouncement that "THE SKYLARK OF VALERON will never be reprinted" was accurate enough in its own way, and for its time. What he meant, of course, was that ASTOUNDING would never be a reprint magazine, and once it was through its first publication, readers would never find it in ASTOUNDING again -- which at that time, meant in effect that it would never appear again. Because paperbacks were unknown in 1934, and the idea of any publishing company putting an s-f magazine serial between hard covers was about as unlikely a dream as it would be today to expect an average Ace novel to be reprinted as a READER'S DIGEST Book Selection, or for television to come up with a really mature regular s-f program. So, all in all, I think that it was a very reasonable editorial statement to make. There's enough good material from ASTOUNDING around that period that is still unavailable elsewhere; just try to find a copy of John Taine's 1287 today.
Bruce Pelz -- Sorry about separating NYET VREMIA last week, but I didn't realize that the two sheets of paper were one entity, and I did want Dian's cartoon for the back cover. (Since Jayn didn't publish TOPAZE on that nice heavy paper last week.) I may start taking to putting NYET VREMIA at the back of every Dist'n, then, because I think Dian's LASFuss series would be great as a regular back cover. ## Incidentally, since your subject matter was a little more obscure than usual (we had to explain to Len Bailes after the Meeting who Mr. Garap was), possibly we'd better refresh everybody's memory; back in '62 at the Fan Hilton, just after Jayne had introduced her Ouija Board and everybody was trying it out to see if they could contact anybody on it, Ron Ellik got in touch with someone named Fred Garap who claimed to know Ron's grandfather, and who finally turned out to be a fish living off Belmont Shores. (He claimed he was a whale, but we were all pretty sure he was exaggerating.) I wish we had a recording of the night Bruce Henstell got into a violent argument with whoever he'd contacted, and was screaming and calling the Board all sorts of obscenities -- the Board was giving definite answers, but not the ones Bruce wanted.
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GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL
Green grows the laurel