Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, July 20, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Ninty-Second Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1510, July 21, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Cleveland in 1966!||Los Angeles in 1968!||Salamander Press #190.|
Since returning from the WesterCon, I've been spending most of my spare time on a reading binge. You'll find some of the results of this in MOOMSNOPS #7, somewhere else in this Dist'n. (Fred Whitledge, this is an example of the sort of non-Apa L zine that can go through Apa L without being a total waste; why spend the time & effort publishing something that's meaningless to all of us?) Other books include:
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein, Putnam, 383 p., $5.95..
This is slightly different than the IF serialization, but the differences are minor enough to not bother anyone other than a nitpicker. This novel of Luna's fight for independence from Earth's authority is Heinlein's best novel so far in the '60's, and must not be missed. Try to read it now, though since all Heinlein is reprinted complete & unabridged in paperback these days, you can probably wait a few months to pick it up for something under $6 before adding it to your collection.
The Planeteers, by John W. Campbell, Ace #G-585, 150 p., 50¢.
The Ultimate Weapon, by John W. Campbell, Ace #G-585, 106 p., 50¢.
This Double-Book consists of two selections from "John W. Campbell's classic days"; a novel (The Ultimate Weapon; originally Uncertainty) and a collection of the Penton & Blake novelettes. This is an excellent example of what Harlan Ellison was denouncing at the WesterCon as the "Al Lewis school" of s-f; the hard-science, pseudo-Doc Smith and Hugo Gernsback stuff. They can't print too much of it for me.
Somewhere a Voice, by Eric Frank Russell, Ace #F-398, 174 p., 40¢.
A collection of 7 of EFR's s-f stories, ranging from the familiar ("Dear Devil") to the n ever-before reprinted. Not his best stuff, but not a clunker in the lot; the book is worth double the price. The cover and original interior illos by Kelly Freas are rather wasted, though; Harlan was right when he said that illustrations in paperbacks are worthless, due to the physical limitations of the field.
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, Random House, 1168 p., $6.95; Signet #Y2823, 1084 p., $1.25.
This book, in which society is taken over by the looters, the people who feel that the world owes them a living (or whatever else they want) free for the asking, is definitely science-fiction, and while it may be no more believable than "Little Orphan Annie", it's no more unbelievable than any of the horde of s-f novels (some of which were quite well accepted, too) in which the world is taken over by the advertising agencies, the insurance companies, the AMA, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Hollywood, the labor unions, ASCAP, and the like. It has the advantages of not being hackwork, too (also the disadvantages -- prepare to be preached at). Unfortunately, the message tends to get in the way of the action (I can't say that it gets in the way of the story, since it is the story); the result prompts me to paraphrase the joke of a decade ago: "After reading this book, I now know what a man and a woman do when they lie down together -- they discuss social philosophy." Still, the book does pack a punch, and it should not be omitted from any s-f library that attempts to be at all complete.
Worlds for the Taking, by Kenneth Bulmer, Ace #F-396, 159 p., 40¢.
A stock setting, but a non-stock plot in this field, as Bulmer describes the corruption of the protagonist in his climb up through the ranks of the Solterran Construction Service. Unfortunately, the writing is, again, stock; there's a fair bit of character contrast, but almost no character development -- one minute our hero is still pure, and the next he's corrupt, bang! Very British, to the point of becoming amusing: "Strang accepted the tea his wife flicked the robots to serve him. He sipped delicately, quite able to relish the beverage and concentrate on his next moves together. Tea was far better than Vodka and Jebal Juice; far better than any other drink. Tea represented a high peak of culture of which Earth could be proud in the galaxy." (But didn't Roger Zelazny just get through praising Coke as "Earth's second contribution to galactic culture" in This Immortal? the first being a social problem.)
Vietnamese Legends, adapted from the Vietnamese by George F. Schultz, Tuttle, 163 p., $3.50.
A collection of Vietnamese fairy tales, mostly of very short length. Some are more or less unique to the area, others are Oriental variants on familiar legends, including such as "Cinderella". Most of these are locally ethnic, though, and unfamiliar to the folk-tale fancier.
Mike Mars at Cape Kennedy, by Donald A. Wollheim, Paperback Library #56-981, 128 p., 45¢.
A juvenile popularization of our current space program, around a Tom Swift level plot. I breezed through this in about 20 minutes; it's really too juvenile for any of us other than the completist collector. If the paperback publishers are going to start bringing out the juvenile s-f novels -- which I certainly hope they are -- they'd do better to start with something like the Winston Juvenile S-F Library; there was a lot of good stuff in there. Oh, I suppose I should note that this is #3 in the Mike Mars series; as far as the paperback reprints have gone with the hardcover series of 6 or 8 novels, so far.
I've also caught up with the last couple of months' worth of several of the prozines, but I'm not about to review all of them. Let's go on to:
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
I think I'll start lumping all of the feud material together in one section, at the back of the Dist'n, so those of us who aren't interested in reading it can ignore it all the more easily.
June Konigsberg -- Thanks for the SatEvePost cartoon. There are enough really good s-f cartoons in mundane magazines to warrant a collection of them. Judy Merrill occasionally prints some in YEAR'S BEST SF, but not nearly all of them. ## Silverlock, as all of Myers' other protagonists, is more unawakened to Life at the beginning of the book. I have more of a mental picture of him switched off, as it were, waiting for something to turn him on, than hovering in a neutral position between two opposing sets of qualities.
Before I forget to mention it again (disorganized this week, aren't I?), the problem of What To Do With Apa L While I'm Gone has been solved. Don Fitch has agreed to serve as Acting Official Collator for those two weeks. He'll organize the various contributions into the final order for the Dist'ns, and type up and run off the Table of Contents on his hektograph. (Jim Schumacher will be coming with us to the TriCon, so his mimeo will not be available.) Jerry Jacks will assist Don in making sure that the Dist'ns get collated, while Don is working on the ToC. And while there may be a rump LASFS Meeting at the TriCon on Thursday, Sept. 1st, there will not be a rump Apa L Dist'n there, also; so those of you who've been wondering about how to get such a beast can stop worrying.
Sally Crayne -- Thanks for pointing out the possibilities of the Anheuser Busch tour; that's something I hadn't known about before. It sounds like a tour I'd enjoy taking, even if I don't like beer. Let's put that down on the club's list of Things To Do Around Los Angeles. We still haven't gotten around to organizing that LASFS Party out to the Universal-International movie lot tour. After the TriCon, maybe?
One thing I've been meaning to do for quite a while now is to thank all of you who regularly print your telephone numbers in your colophons. The LASFS Directory is far enough out of date now that, short of keeping your own fannish phone book, Apa L is about the only place to turn when you want to phone some member whose number you don't know offhand, and who isn't in your regional phone book. (And asking Information is a drag.) It's just struck me lately that, whenever I want to phone such a member, I've been able to find his or her number within the last two weeks' Dist'ns. I hope this practice continues.
Tom Digby -- I hope you are able to make it to the TriCon. If not, the LASFS will be meeting at the same old station, since the regular Meetings stay put, no matter how many of us are gone. There have been WorldCons and WesterCons where there were more LASFS members present at the Con than at the regular Meeting back in L.A., but that never changes the fact that the regular Meeting stays at the regular meeting place. ## Looping freeway ramps always make me think of an old comic-book story by Gardner Fox (?) that appeared in STRANGE ADVENTURES back about 1952. it was on the Möbius Strip theme, and I suspect it was a steal of A. J. Deutch's "A Subway Named Möbius" in ASF back in 1950. There are other "things" that tend to remind me of s-f stories -- another freeway image comes from Margaret St. Clair's "Horrer Howce", with the black bullet-shaped cars that cruise the freeways, from which long, thin arms come to dismember the drivers of other nearby cars; and I've never been able to go through a tunnel since reading Alice Glaser's "The Tunnel Ahead" without thinking of that solution to the world overpopulation problem. Music, too; just as there're many famous songs that came from musicals or motion pictures, that always remind you of the musical or movie whenever you hear them, there are many classical compositions that I first heard over the radio while reading some s-f book, and whenever I hear the piece again, I automatically think of the story. An example is Liszt's "2nd Hungarian Rhapsody" and The Land of Unreason, by de Camp & Pratt. (A more mundane, and less fortunate, example is Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" (overture to act 3 (?) of "Die Walkure"), which I like very much, and Nazi newsreels about the Luftwaffe.)
Len Bailes -- Your typewriter isn't nearly as bad as your mimeograph; thank Roscoe you had Bruce run this off for you. I've just seen your SAPSzine. Ugh.
Jayn Ellern -- Nice to hear that the Manor will be preserved for a while longer, at least; it's always sad to see fannish social centers pass into oblivion. (Whatever happened to someone's project to get photos of all the past fannish addresses in L.A. still standing, such as Mathom House, the first Labyrinth's, etc.?)