Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, July 13, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Ninty-First Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1509, July 14, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Los Angeles in 1967!||Los Angeles in 1968!||Salamander Press #188.|
Life is beginning to fall back into a familiar schedule for me again, and it'll probably remain that way for about a month, after which I'll have to start preparing for my TriCon trip. As far as agenting for out-of-towners over this period goes, Jerry Jacks, my roommate, has volunteered to handle any of the contributions that come into our house while I'm gone, so the people that I'm agenting for can just continue to send their material to me, as usual. (Possibly adding "Apa L" after my name in the address so Jerry'll know which of my packages to open; or addressing 'em to Jerry for those two weeks.) I suppose we can take over any of the contributors for whom Bruce is agenting, while he's gone, if they haven't made any other arrangements. This is for handling published zines only; Jerry hasn't had enough experience with the mimeograph yet to run off any stencils.
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The large shipment of books I ordered from England last April has almost entirely arrived by now (and I gather that those of you who got part of that order are quite happy with your selections); and I'm about to send off another order. Let's see; Dave Fox, you wanted the matched paperback set of the Pooh books (Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six) for $1.75; and Ruth Berman, you wanted a copy of Elidor, by Alan Garner, and 5 books by Nicholas Stuart Gray (I don't recall whether they were listed in my catalog [currently on loan] as being available, or not, but I'll send in the order and see what happens). I believe those are the only definite orders I have to date. If anyone else wants anything, speak up now -- I'll try to get my catalog back for anybody who wants to look through it. I understand that Heinlein's Starman Jones is out in a Puffin paperback for 75¢; I certainly intend to get a copy of that for myself -- I've been hoping that Heinlein's juveniles would come out in paperback so I can collect them inexpensively, and I hope this is the start of the whole series. Of the books in this last shipment that were ordered on speculation (some of you decided to take a risk on interesting-sounding titles; others wanted to know more about them before committing themselves to spending money), Puckoon, by Spike Milligan (a 65¢ paperback), turns out to be a rather rambling nonsense novel, set mostly in Ireland at the end of the Revolution (give or take 1,500 years); about halfway between a "Goon Show" script and one of John Lennon's vignettes blown up to full book size. The two Tolkien items in Winter's Tales for Children #1 are two new poems, one one-page long about Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, and the other four pages long about a dragon. (The rest of the book consists of other original stories and poems by various authors; few of them are fantasy.) Elidor, by Alan Garner, is not a sequel to his The Weirdstone of Brisingamen or The Moon of Gomrath, but is a fine fantasy in its own right, about how four children in London come to possess magic talismans from an alternating universe, and must guard them from destruction while at the same time trying to keep them from becoming gateways through which the evils of the other dimension cam come through to our Earth. (As such, it's closely comparable to William Herschell's King Lizard, and somewhat less so to Andre Norton's Steel Magic or Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.) The Belgian Tintin books are, of course, the Tintin books, though I don't think there's anybody left in the club that's interested in paying $1.50 and over for comic-books-cum-children's-literature that hasn't already got all he wants (there are 13 titles available in English; 20 in French). Incidentally, it seems that TIME magazine some years ago referred to Tintin as "The opposite of Little Orphan Annie". If any of you want any of these, or any other British books, let me know by next week, because I'll be sending the next order off immediately afterwards.
Dave Van Arnam -- Well, this is better. A novelful of this type of writing, I'd be willing to read. It's freer-flowing than your previous excerpts have been, and the action is carried through satisfactorily from start to finish. And the language is no longer so terribly affected. A little affectation for the sake of mood can be a good thing, as Eddison, Pratt, Dunsany, Leiber, and others have shown; but your earliest excerpts were so affected that I frankly doubt that I could keep up my interest for a whole novel full of it. This is a good compromise, though.
Bruce Pelz -- As I said overleaf, Jerry will be agenting for me and those I'm agenting for, while I'm gone -- and will do the same for yours. ## I've thrown out my working notes for The Best from APA L: 1966, and I no longer remember everything that was under consideration for reprinting. Some of the more important items, though, included some of your trip reports (Yosemite, the SOWSE report, etc.), a selection from "A Way of Life", Dave Fox's article on time capsules, Mike Klassen's barbarian-movie satire, the discussion on printing decks of playing cards (I wanted to get in one example of Dist'n-comment discussion on one subject, and there was quite a bit of intelligent commentary on this one from several people), something about the ITR leading up to the best of the humorous Ultimate Dictator of the Universe campaigning by such contributors as Bĵo and Flieg (Johnny Chambers' first Little Green Dinosaur was to close out this article, which would've run 10 pages or so; as it was, Johnny's sheet was published by itself), a couple of other pieces of Bĵo's (including her exposé of Earl Thompson as the man who can sell anything), June Konigsberg's account of her son's encounter with a neighbor's reaction to PLAYBOY (June was going to expand this into a fuller and more organized article for The Best, but never got around to it.), some of Dick Lupoff's book reviews, and, oh, I forget what all else. Two items that gave me trouble were Harness' "Labyrinth DuQuesne" and Glass' fannish mystery; both (plus Len Bailes' "The Man From H.A.S.I.") were good, but I didn't have space to reprint all 3 in their entirety, and I didn't want to have incomplete excerpts from 3 major stories and no long pieces of fiction published completely. As it worked out, I decided to publish one of them in its entirety, picking "The Man from H.A.S.I." as the best of the three, and decide later what to do about the other two -- and lack of time to do anything at all with them settled my problem for me. A couple of other articles that I probably would've reprinted otherwise, one by Ted White and one by Milt Stevens, got crossed out through being reprinted in Andy Porter's ALGOL first. (Likewise some of the Stiles cartoons in OPO.) "Gondorfinger" was ruled out as still being incomplete, and being too rambling, though I was considering other excerpts besides the one I published as "The Ultimate Weapon". Hmm, Jayn's Fable (or Parable, or whatever) was under consideration. And various small comments, poetry, and the like for fillers -- you can see how some of them were worked into the volume to fill up a page. Oh, others are coming to mind: Al Lewis' report on the teachers' strike, your poem in answer to one of Jayn's (except that I didn't want to include any feud material in The Best), Andy Porter's comments on being a reader for F&SF, and more -- The Best could've easily gone over 200 pages if I'd printed everything that was under consideration. As I began working on what I considered to be the best material first, though, I don't think that much got left out that's of higher quality than anything that was put in. (I know we disagree on the merits of Len's "Man from H.A.S.I." vs. Glass' mystery.) And since around 125 pages was going to be my limit in any case, The Best turned out almost exactly as it would have if I'd finished it earlier, anyhow. The only thing I really wanted in it, and couldn't get, was more original artwork -- more illustrated headings from some of the articles and stories (Digby's "Not A Bus", Shaw's "From a Novel In Progress", and Bĵo's Barbara Gratz story, in particular), and more illustrations from Harness for "The Man from H.A.S.I.", preferably illustrating scenes other than Jack himself. I'll be interested in seeing how much of this material, plus other material from this last year of Apa L, is reprinted in Dwain Kaiser's THE BEST OF FANDOM. ## Yes, and how about you publishing some more of your sword-&-sorcery, in SAPS, in Apa L, or anyplace? "A Way of Life" is okay, but I'll take s-&-s any day, and yours is usually of particularly high quality, too. What happened to those Reizferren tales, anyway? (One of those might look nice in next year's Best from APA L, illustrated by Dian...) ## All I know about the "T.C." reprint is that it was handed to me for inclusion in Apa L; I presumed that Jack ran it off, since he had the stencil, and since he was one of its originators, I didn't realize that I was supposed to get your permission as well before using it. Or should I have Rejected it?
Fred Hollander -- A very nice Con report. Do you know if any fans checked that golf course to see if any damage was visible or not? ## I suggest that the extraneous verses be edited out of "What Shall We Do With the Hotel Manager?" -- cut it down to 12 or 15 verses, at most -- for a filk song to Live in Fannish History. I recommend keeping verses 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,11,12,13,17,22,24,30,34,35; most of which have something to do with our specific complaints about the motel.
Tom Digby -- A very good piece of extrapolation on "slow glass". Have you sent a copy of this to Campbell? When I read the story, I wondered what prompted the idea of "slow glass", which is one I haven't heard of before? Is it an extrapolation on a real scientific process just being developed, or what? (Frankly, it's so far out that I can't imagine Campbell buying the story if the author just created the concept out of whole cloth. That is, the concept isn't that bad, but the story itself is; it's essentially a gimmick story with a rather unconvincing plot padded around the gimmick for its presentation. Given the gimmick, it would seem that so many better theories of its use and effect on society could be extrapolated than the one that Shaw has written here; so I was wondering if the concept of "slow glass" is a new, genuine scientific theory, and if Campbell was so anxious to get a story written around it while it's still fresh that he took the first thing to come along?)
Len Bailes -- Jerry says he'll never forgive you for your impersonation of Pat O'Brien playing Mentor of Arisia.
Hey, Dave Van Arnam, Andy Porter, Alan Shaw, or any of you New Yorkers -- I can't find the address of those button shops that Mike McInerney said were selling the Tolkien buttons. Can you supply me with the information? I'd like to send in for some, if I knew where to write. Mike said the stores might give discounts for bulk orders; is anybody else around here interested in buttons that say "Frodo Lives" in English or Tengwar, or "Go, Go, Gandalf!" in Angerthas, for 25¢ apiece? (Or such other phrases as "Mary Poppins is a Junkie", etc.?) Mike also said that the manufacturers were considering making some Stranger buttons, reading "Grok", "Water brother", "Thou Art God", and the like. I wonder how many s-f catchphrases there are that're suitable for such buttons? "Tanstaafl!" "F. - I.W." "Dirac Angestun Gesept" "The Gostacks Distim the Doshes" (or vice-versa, depending on which way you feel about it) "Four Legs Good - Two Legs Bad" The interlocked "HI" of Happiness, Inc., in John D. MacDonald's "Trojan Horse Laugh". Hey, how many lapel buttons are there described in s-f stories that could be copied? (Not that it would be commercially feasible to do 'em all, but for the record.)