Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, August 17, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Ninty-Sixth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1514, August 18, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Cleveland in 2 weeks||Los Angeles in 1967!||Salamander Press #197.|
With his Apa L zine this week, Andy Porter included a news release from F&SF, dated for Sept. 1, but with a note that it can be announced now. The news is to the effect that the October issue of F&SF will be a Special Isaac Asimov Issue, in the style of the Magazine's earlier Ray Bradbury and Theodore Sturgeon issues; the first such in over three years.
This is a Good Thing, of course. It pays an undeniably deserved tribute to one of the modern master-shapers of the science-fiction field. It also draws forth a new s-f story from the Good Doctor, at a time when the Good Doctor has virtually withdrawn from the science-fiction field of writing. And it's good publicity, for the Magazine, for Asimov, and for science-fiction, since the Good Doctor's name is one of the few that is readily recognized and sells outside of the ranks of the hard-core s-f buyers.
However, it is noticeable that of the three authors that F&SF has honored with Special Issues, all have practically withdrawn from the science-fiction book & magazine writing field at present. It's not that the honor is a kiss of death, or anything -- after all, Asimov has been busy in other fields for almost 10 years now, as have the others. He has, approximately, a story a year in the s-f zines. The same goes for Bradbury; I don't think Sturgeon has written anything for the s-f prozines since his Special Issue appeared in 1962. (I believe all three have written s-f for the outside slicks, such as LIFE, BOYS' LIFE, PLAYBOY, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, but the stories are still few and far between, and often tend to go unnoticed.) Bradbury has been admirably busy in theatrical directions; Sturgeon is/will be turning out literate (on his part) s-f scripts for television (including the new "Star Trek" show); Asimov has novelized The Fantastic Voyage and still has his regular science column in F&SF.
So I have no complaint with the awarding of Special Issues to Messrs. Asimov, Bradbury and Sturgeon. However, I am wondering whether this honor just happened to go to three once-prolific s-f authors who've turned their talents elsewhere, or whether this near-gafiation from the s-f field is a criterion for selection for such an honor? There are other authors, many of whom are just as prominent, still writing in the s-f field, who have not yet been so honored. Robert Heinlein. Philip José Farmer. Fritz Leiber. And many others. I hope that these authors will not have to cease their output of s-f for us before they can become eligible to have Special Issues of F&SF devoted to them.
In fact, why not a regular schedule of a Special Issue once a year? F&SF has long had a reputation for producing a special, better-than-usual anniversary issue every year; why not add another Special Issue schedule to its yearly output? One a year should not be too exacting a routine. There are enough really good authors in the field that the Special Issue could be carried on for a decade, at least, fully retaining its value by featuring recognizably First Class s-f authors. Besides the aforementioned Heinlein, Farmer, and Leiber, there are Clifford Simak, Murray Leinster, A. E. van Vogt, Jack Vance, Andre Norton (hopefully this would draw another of her regrettably rare short stories from her), Fred Pohl, John W. Campbell (a new s-f short story from him would be welcomed, too), Poul Anderson, and others. F&SF could doubtlessly continue its policy of honoring s-f greats who've currently withdrawn from the field -- Bob Bloch, L. Sprague de Camp, C. L. Moore, Eric Frank Russell, etc. And long before this list has been used up, there'll doubtlessly be more new authors added to the field of the recognized "old masters " - possibly Roger Zelazny, Larry Niven, Cordwainer Smith? This is a program that F&SF could carry on for years; honoring the authors, providing good publicity for one and all, and hopefully leading to at least one new short story or short novel a year that might otherwise not be written -- especially if the writer is someone like Campbell, de Camp, Norton, or Simak, who just isn't writing short s-f any more.
I recommend this editorial statement to the editors and publishers of F&SF. Andy, I'll supply you with extra copies of this zine, if you want to show it to any of your bosses.
Bruce Pelz -- Well, I might put in an application for the Blackguards, if I get a fancy membership card for my $1. As long as Apa L is around, though, I think I may be getting enough DNQ's, dirty gossip, character assassination, and vile rumors for my tastes, free of charge. Feh.
Jack Harness -- I like it, but you're going to have the blazes of a time trying to sell Ace Books anything with an opening line like, "Even as he raped the girl in the green dress, ..." It would be nice to see you complete one of your writing projects for a change, though. I do request more of this, but I wonder if a page a week of this for Apa L is a proper working schedule. Are you, like Dave Van Arnam, running something that you have written through Apa L? or are you offering to write a page a week for Apa L, if we want it? For the sake of your story, I'd say to forget about Apa L and concentrate on it.
Ruth Berman -- Ah, I think I see what you're up to. Carry on; I'11 be waiting to see who you feature -- and in what setting -- this week.
June Konigsberg -- You are sympathized with. Too bad you're already settled in your new home; our next-door neighbors just moved out Monday, and the half of the duplex is up for lease. You could've moved in and helped start a new fan community in West Los Angeles. Gee. Anybody went to start a new slan shack out here? No; seriously, 1825 Greenfield Ave. 's going to have to get itself a new roomer in another couple of months to stay alive. IBM has offered to transfer Jerry up to its San Francisco office at terms he can't resist - a promotion and a raise in pay -- so he'll be leaving probably sometime in October; and I'11 have to find another roommate to split the rent, or move to cheaper quarters. Len Bailes has first crack at it; I hope to hear from him at the TriCon whether he'll be coming back to UCLA or not; and, if so, whether he can move into 1825 Greenfield instead of the dorm. We'll have to see.
Fred Hollander -- You're right; I hadn't noticed it, but the Pelzes have apparently been having excellent luck for fans living in apartments, in regard to the lack of complaints about noise. Back at the Empire, when Bruce, Jack & Owen all had apartments in the same building, you couldn't even run the mimeo after a certain hour without complaints. ## Yes, the Trimbles put the "Cal Tech" strips through.
Mike Ward -- Another new apa? What is TAPA, semi.-monthly? ## It's interesting reading about the fanac in Boston, but we'l1 be hoping to hear more from you yourself in the future. Welcome to Apa L. Too bad you didn't get in in time to flood Apa L with pro-Boston campaign literature; the New York supporters have had almost a monopoly on our attentions, with Baltimore beginning to make a 1ast-minute showing. It's too late to do much now, though.
Dwain Kaiser -- As of right now, the LASFS Rex is out of order, due to a broken feed tray. We hope to have it fixed as soon as possible (in time to publish this RR, in fact, though the print run on RR is small enough that it can be hand-fed if necessary; something I imagine would be a lot more difficult with the Progress Report); but I would suggest checking with my place before coming out here with a load of publishing to be done, just in case. I'11 be at the Ozvention all day Saturday, and at this month's GPWAS Meeting on Sunday, so Jerry will have to run things.
Dave Van Arnam -- If running your fiction through FIRST DRAFT is what you mean by "neglecting" it, then I hope you neglect it more in the future. Though I do hope you talk about other things too, of course; fiction is fun to review for awhile, but it's nice when there's other material on which to hang comment hooks. How are you doing on selling The Black Magician to Lancer?
Alan Shaw -- So NY Fandom has stopped sending me threats about what it's going to do to Dwain Kaiser, and is now sending messages to Bruce Pelz about what to do about me, eh? For the sake of your continuance in Apa L, he'd Better Not. ## Andre Norton has had more than four short stories published in magazines, ever, but no.5 is almost impossible to find -- it only appeared in an obscure British pulp. I presume the unpublished sequel to "People of the Crater" still exists, though considering how bad that one was, I don't: think that even the mast diehard Norton fan would care to read it. ## Galactic Derelict is the direct sequel to The Time Traders, It's TT, GD, The Defiant Agents, and Key Out of Time, in that order. All are available from Ace Books by now.
Bill Glass -- Yes; where is that wise, kindly, benevolent old pickle barrel?
Jerry Jacks -- A trufan is always ready to return to Baskin-Robbins at any time. I'm sure Jack Chalker will agree with me.
Tom Digby -- That's one of the reasons for collating your own copy. ## But somebody already has invented a tire with the safety discs turned sideways, with little motors in them for suddenly driving at right angles. His name's Tony Stark, and Nick Fury uses 'em regularly. ## And I'll bet your Mouse Milk Dairy delivers to houses that get newspapers with headlines like "EXTRA - FOTZPA GOES UP!" ## You think you're kidding about sunglasses with little teeny Venetian blinds?
Len Bailes -- If you're interested in unofficial Apa L material, you should see all the stuff I've got that was printed but never run through for one reason or another. Like the issue of MAYHEM ANNEX that Felice phoned all the way down from Palo Alto just as I was leaving for LASFS one Thursday to tell me to pull out. Or the Harness cover that was run off, but never used because another cover was donated for that same Dist 'n, and the stencil to the Harness cover was lost before I could re-run it with another Dist'n number on it. Et cetera. And if you're going to include every- thing I've rejected from the Dist'ns, you're going to have to get all those flowers, magazines, snail shells, bottle caps, sugar packets, and the like. Have fun.
Barry Gold -- While I am interested in seeing the stencils for THE INCOMPLEAT BURBEE, THE STORMY PETREL, and whatever else you might have, reprinted, there's not much point in running them through Apa L a page at a time, in random order -- particularly when the pages are upside down, and end in the middle of sentences.
Andy Porter -- Better luck with your mimeo next time. And thanks for the WF button,