Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, April 14, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Seventy-Eighth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1496, April 14, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||Cleveland in 1966!||Salamander Press #168.|
There were two fan jaunts to Disneyland last week, it seems; Al Lewis and Mervyn Barrett went last Thursday, and Jerry Jacks and I went the following day. Al had come by my house late Wednesday evening to find out if Tom or I wanted to join his party, but Tom had to work both days, and I felt it was too late to rearrange my plans, as much as I'd've liked to spend a day getting acquainted with Mervyn.
Thursday evening, at LASFS, I asked Al how Disneyland had been. "Terrible!" he answered. "The crowds were the worst I've ever seen 'em. We did get to cover most of the best attractions before we had to leave to come to LASFS, but we spent most of the time waiting in lines. There were lines all the way around the Matterhorn, so we didn't even try to get on the bobsleds."
All this made me pretty apprehensive about my trip with Jerry the following day, but it turned out that I needn't've worried, because our experiences turned out to be the exact opposite of Al's. For one thing, the first thing we discovered when we got to D'land bright & early at 9:00 a.m. was that the park was open until midnight on that and the following night, which gave us plenty of time to cover everything. The second thing we discovered was that the crowds were the lightest I've ever seen 'em -- being Good Friday, I suppose everybody was attending Mass or visiting relatives -- and except for the usual hour wait to see the Golden Horseshoe Revue (which, as usual, I decided wasn't worth the wait), I don't think we had to wait in line more than ten minutes to get into any attraction. Some, including the Submarine Ride, we just walked on to. (Though admittedly, we did wait until the evening, until after the lines that had been there around mid-day, had dwindled away.) At any rate, for the first time in several trips, we were able to see everything we wanted to, covering D'land quite thoroughly, in one day. We finally left around 10:00 p.m., having used up a couple of ticket books apiece, quite satisfied with the day's outing.
Disneyland is the same as it was the last time I was there, about last December, for the most part. None of the new attractions are open yet, though work has progressed considerably, and the big opening date is still "Summer, 1966"; hopefully, in time for the WesterCon crowds. The four big attractions announced include the New Orleans Square and the attendant Pirates of the Caribbean feature, and two World's Fair imports, "It's A Small World" and the ex-Ford dinosaur "Forest Primeval" show, this last to be tacked onto the Grand Canyon diorama seen from the Santa Fe & Disneyland trains that circle the park. The SF&D tracks have already been relaid to cover a more extensive area around Fantasyland, to make room for the "Small World" attraction, and a brand-new monorail loading platform is being constructed in that area, back behind the Storybook Land ride and the Fantasyland Autopia. Disney hasn't run out of expansion room yet. On attraction that we were hoping would be open this year, though, the Haunted Mansion, is now not scheduled for completion for another three years, according to one of the attendants that Jerry and I asked. First will come a complete rebuilding of Tomorrowland, which many people seem to feel has become "Yesterdayland" over the past decade, though the only attraction I can think of that could really be called outdated is the Rocket to the Moon. At any rate, Tomorrowland in another couple of years is scheduled to be completely changed from the way we now know it. Those of you who want to revisit the present arrangement while it's still around, then, had better plan on a trip within the next year or so. Disneyland is always changing, which is one of the things that makes it so interesting and enjoyable.
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My book business seems to be going along quite well; I just sent off an order for over $40 in books to Blackwell's, the British bookstore with which I'm dealing. Those are all specific requests, too, rather than blind orders for titles that I expect to be able to sell at the LASFS; they're all spoken for. It should take about two months for this order to arrive, and, due to its magnitude, I'd just as soon not order anything more until it's arrived and been disposed of. I'll continue to have my catalogs around if anybody wants to place any more orders, with the understanding that I probably won't turn the orders in until around June, and the books probably won't get here until about August. Items of possible interest include many excellent childrens' books in the Puffin editions with which you're familiar, including C.S. Lewis' Narnian Chronicles, several of E. Nesbit's books, Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins, Tove Jansson's Finn Family Momintroll, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, and many others, at between 50¢ and 75¢ each. Other items include Alan Garner's Elidor, presumably a sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, a hardcover at $2.15; or A.A. Milne's childrens' books -- Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six -- in Methuen paperback editions (with all the Shepard illustrations) at 55¢ each, or all four in a presentation pack at $1.75; and many others. Build up your collections.
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So far, hardly anybody's bothered to say Boo one way or the other about my suggestion of an evening beach picnic on Saturday, May 14th, in commemoration of the LASFS' 1500th Meeting. If nobody's interested, I'll cancel the project before I start going to the trouble of buying food, asking people to make potato salad, etc. I realize that things are still pretty vague so far; there hasn't been a location or time set, or any real facts given. All the same, I'd like to know how many people are interested in the prospect of a nighttime beach wienie-roast type of picnic on that date? If nobody's interested in attending that kind of event, we can just cancel it. If people would be interested in coming, then we'll do more work in picking the location, deciding on the menu, and so forth. Let's hear how you feel about this type of event.
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Dave Fox -- Hooray; I love a Favorite Fantasy List even more than a Favorite Science-Fiction list, because I prefer fantasy to s-f. Let's see, here; I've read most of your list. "Guy" U. Fletcher should be "George" U. Fletcher, of course; and if you've read Well of the Unicorn, have you read the play it's a sequel to? (Or at least set in the same fantasy-world setting.) Lord Dunsany's "King Argimenes and the Unknown Warrior", which I found in an old book simply titled Five Plays (by Dunsany). And of course you've got to read Pratt's second fantasy in the same style, The Blue Star, which is only available in Witches Three, along with two more excellent fantasies, Leiber's Conjure Wife and Blish's pseudoscientific werewolf short novel, "There Shall Be No Darkness". And pseudoscientific werewolf stories, naturally, bring Williamson's Darker Than You Think to mind; the chain of association could go on endlessly. ## Gee, I'd almost forgotten about A Prisoner in Fairyland; it's been years since I read it. But of Blackwood's fantasies, I always preferred Jimbo, myself; a beautiful novel in which the soul of a child, trapped halfway between life and death, seeks to escape the unknown dark power that has trapped it and the souls of countless other children in an eerie old mansion. (Hmm, I'm not sure that I remember just how he did get out of it, though I do recall that he made it; I'd better reread it.) Another favorite Blackwood book was John Silence, which leads to the entire category of psychic detectives -- de Grandin (Quinn), Carnacki (Hodgson), Taverner (Fortune), and so many others. Incidentally, if you like stories of psychic detectives, I strongly recommend that you look up a copy of Dion Fortune's The Secrets of Dr. Taverner. You may have a little trouble locating a copy, because Fortune was basically an Occultist, and her books are usually treated along with the farther-out works on astrology and pyramidology and the like, as far as I can tell. But Dr. Taverner is really an excellent series of short stories in the psychic detective tradition; I don't know whether Fortune thought she was writing a straight novel instead of a fantasy novel, or what, but she did an excellent job of telling a story without letting any "message" creep in to stifle it, as so regrettably happened in the case of Doyle's last Prof. Challenger novel. When reading it, I became so engrossed in the plot that I was startled several times when now and then I'd come upon something that reminded me that the author really believed in the possibility of such events being real. If the book didn't cost so much (it's put out by some Occultist specialty printing house), I'd like to add it to my collection. ## Thorne Smith's another author I read years ago. Back when the motion picture version of "Rhubarb" came out, a decade or so ago; I liked it, and looked up the novel by H. Allen Smith (which was also good, though in a more earthy sense than I'd expected), then went on to the Thorne Smith novels next to it on the library shelf, not even noticing at first that they were by a different Smith. There've been many attempts to capture Thorne Smith's style since his death, H. Allen Smith doing one of the better jobs -- Robert Bloch's many attempts are amusing but notably inferior -- but few have succeeded. P. Schuyler Miller has been raving in ANALOG recently about a talking porpoise named Penelope, but I thought it was quite poor in comparison. I think the best Thorne-Smithian fantasy I've read is Jonathan, by Russell O'Neil, which I recommend most highly. ## Hmm, I could go on for the rest of the page swapping Favorite Fantasies, but there're other things in this Dist'n that I want to say a few words about.
Jim Schumacher -- Very good, indeed! You've got a comic strip adventure that is, for a change, original (at least if it's a steal, I don't recognize the source), dramatic, and puzzling. Your art isn't the best in the world, but it's crude illustration rather than just poor cartooning, and I can see that a lot of effort must've gone into getting that nighttime effect. By all means, do another page so we can compare this with your "improved" dittoing; and so we can find out why Blake was on the building, who the beggar was, why the watch is important, where the Viking ship came from (and how and why), and so on. It's a pleasure to see a comic serial that has its dialog spelled correctly for a change, too.
Jerry Ljung -- You're right; Disney will probably do a better job of filming The Hobbit than anyone else could or would. The unfortunate thing about it is that it'll still doubtlessly come out like his version of "The Sword in the Stone", which I did enjoy to an extent, but which was so glaringly inferior to the original book -- and needlessly so -- that it left a sour taste in my mouth.
June Konigsberg -- Dian's cover on Dist'n #76 was an old one she'd already used on one of her fanzines, KABUMPO, THE LITERARY QUARTERLY. I apparently did a poor job of corfluing out the old title, and didn't know it still showed until after I'd finished running off the Apa L cover, by which time I had no more blue paper to do it over again properly. So I hoped nobody's be bothered by the ghost overlay. Sorry.