Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, August 26, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Ninty-Eighth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1516, Sept. 1, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
Tricon: tomorrow! Los Angeles in 1968! Salamander Press #200.



By the time this issue of RR appears, the great Los Angeles caravan to the Tricon should be approaching Cleveland, if it hasn't already arrived. Picture us either bedded down for the night along some Illinois or Ohio grass-covered roadside, or holding a rump LASFS Meeting at the Con hotel along with whatever other fans have showed up so far. (Actually, due to the time differential, the rump LASFS Meeting will probably have been adjourned by now, and everybody'll be Down In The Bar.)

As I write this, just before departure, our exact plans are still somewhat in a state of flux, though not nearly as much as they were just last week. Our caravan party is finally all made up; the last doubtfuls decided Yes or No last Thursday (the 18th, not last night). So our party consists of the Trimbles, myself, Lois Lavender, Luise Petti, Fred Hollander, Jim Schumacher, Don Simpson, and Jock Root. Jock will be returning to New York from the TriCon, and his vacancy will be filled by Len Bailes, returning to Los Angeles and UCLA after spending the Summer exiled in North Carolina. (This is assuming that Len is coming back to college out here; the last word from him was that things looked good, but were not yet Definite.)

With three cars to choose from -- the Trimbles', Al Lewis', and mine -- we will be taking the Trimbles' VW Microbus and my '66 Chevrolet sedan. Up until this last weekend, we were going to take Al's Ford Econoline instead of either the Microbus or my car, because it was in better shape than the former and roomier than the latter. However, by the time Al got back from his own cross-country vacation last week, it was no longer in any condition to start out on another trip without another overhaul, which more or less decided things for us. The Microbus, then, will carry Katwen in her crib, all of the bulky Project Art Show hangings, food & luggage & sleeping bags, and a few passengers; t he rest of the travelers will ride in my car. I've had my Chevy checked over and all tuned up, and invested $60 in 4-ply tires to replace the flimsy 2-plys that came with the car when I bought it, so I'm all ready to go.

Our route has been decided, but the timing is still over. We all want to see as much and do as much as possible. A route up through Zion and Yellowstone to Canada, and across the Trans-Canada Highway, was almost immediately ruled out; we simply will not have the time to go so far. Since John has only two weeks vacation, we're more or less limited to driving right to Cleveland, and leaving immediately after the Con for Los Angeles again, with about one day's leeway each way. Should we drive slowly, viewing the scenery on the way to Cleveland, or hurry to Chicago, and spend the day seeing as much of the Museum of Science & Industry (a fabulous place) & other sights as possible? We'll probably decide along the way, by vote. The route we finally decided upon will have us driving up through Las Vegas to Salt Lake City (to raid George Barr's wastebasket), then across the Rockies, down into Colorado and across the Great Plains into Illinois and up to Chicago, then to Cleveland. We should arrive in Cleveland today (Sept. 1st, when you're reading this, as opposed to "today", when I'm writing it; excuse me if I get confused chronologically), no matter how we regulate our time during the trip there. The trip back from the TriCon will be faster, driving down across the Mississippi and through Missouri and Oklahoma to get onto Route 66, and then home. John wanted to spend the free day coming back in Hannibal, Mo., Mark Twain's home town, but our latest plans are to hurry on to Roy & Crystal Tackett's in Albuquerque and wait there until the Pelzes and Tom Schlück arrive (or if they get there first, they'll wait for us), then all join up and make a side trip to the Grand Canyon on the way back to Los Angeles. So far, it's still problematical as to whether we'll be able to co-ordinate and have enough time left to make a trip to the Canyon worth while; we may have to settle for Meteor Crater as a consolation prize.

That's a bout all I can say for now; what our actual trip will be like will have to be governed by what happens en route. Since Jerry is going to be flying to the TriCon directly after tonight's Meeting, and he says he'll be bringing his copy of this Dist'n with him to read on the plane, I should be able to reread this by tomorrow, at our halfway point, and see how accurate our schedule has actually been up to now. I'm looking forward to making the comparison.

- o0o - - o0o - - o0o -

Houghton Mifflin has just announced that its next hardcover printing of The Lord of the Rings will incorporate all of the new material that Tolkien wrote for the Ballantine paperback edition, at $5.95 the volume. I wonder if that includes the last paragraph of the new Introduction, asking the readers to buy the Ballantine edition as opposed to any others?

I suggested to Bruce just before he left that when he's in New York, he hunt out that button shop and invest in 25 or so of each of the Tolkien buttons. I'm sure he'll be able to sell them at a reasonable profit out here. I hope he does; I certainly want one of each. (Since I apparently can't get any of the N.Y. fen to supply me with the addresses of the two stores that carry them, so I could send away for some for myself.)


Dave Fox -- I notice that Minipays is rather oriented toward the European nations. How about such Asiatic states as Sikkim, or Republik Maluku Selatan (they still have a "legation" in Rotterdam, I believe); or, in our hemisphere, La República de Guaracha, or the Kingdom of Redonda (whose royal majesty granted a duchy to August Derleth, among others, in 1947)? And there's always Yakaboo... ## These LASFS reminiscences are what we want! Don't worry too much if you can't remember specific dates, or exactly who was feuding with whom, either. We can get most of the "important" information from the fan historians. It's some of the personal details about the club and its members that we'd like to know more about -- what it was like a t the old meeting places, various incidents that were memorable to you for any reason (such as being chased around the club by Ray Bradbury), etc. ## As to Fred Whitledge's reprints of the old Frank R. Paul illustrations, let me hasten to point out that any complaining I do about them is in my private capacity as an Apa L contributor; I have not banned them, or made any official ruling on them in my capacity as Official Collator. If Fred wants to keep on reprinting them, he can, though I personally hope he'll go back to doing something a little more original. The main thing that I have against them is that they're reprints of someone else's work, and that's all that they are. If they were overruns from a portfolio he was preparing, as is this week's Bok page, or something used to fill an otherwise blank backside of POURRI, that would be better. Or, if Fred wants to reprint a lot of his favorite illustrations, if he'd say something along with 'em, as to why he likes that particular illustration, or something about the story it illustrates or the magazine it's from ... or something. But all we're getting is one illustration without another word. It'd be as though my sole activity in Apa L were the postage stamp inclusions that I regularly put on the last page of RR; if that's all that I had in Apa L, I couldn't really consider myself a contributor, because those leaflets aren't really my work, even though I am the one who picked them up and brought them here. Fred doesn't even put a colophon or a title on his reprinted artwork; it's just an anonymous page with an old illustration on it. (This does annoy me when it comes to typing the Table of Contents; I'd like to be able to list it a little more specifically than [Reprint of Frank R. Paul illustration]. ) So my complaint is not about the subject matter, but about the fact that Fred is using it as an excuse not to do anything more original for us.

Jean Berman -- I think that sword-&-sorcery is a sub-class of pure fantasy, although I notice that lately, the term is coming more and more to be used for what one might call "prehistoric science-fiction". By this, I mean the story is set in a long-lost age, where the "sorcery" is supposed to be a sort of since-lost early science. Carter's Jockstrap of Lemuria stories are typical of this type; set in the long-lost prehistoric days of Lemuria, among the arcane science and since-extinct fauna and flora of that continent. There are no elements of "pure fantasy" here, as there are, say, in Leiber's Gray Mouser tales, which are also set in a "long-lost" age, but involve much genuine magic and wizardry. (At least the earlier Mouser tales did; even Fritz is coming more recently to explaining everything by the "since-forgotten science" method.) Conan fought genuine wizards and supernatural beasts; not proto-scientists and prehistoric animals. Of course, a good sword-&-sorcery should also have what might be called the "epic" quality: a lot of blood and action and dark doom. The Harold Shea stories are too light to be considered s-&-s, I think. ## I hope to have Bĵo's lettering for my RR heading back soon. Unfortunately, due to the large dark areas in the illustration that weaken a stencil, every photostencil I have made tears after about 200 copies are run. I'll probably have to make it lithoed onto about 1,000 sheets of paper at once, to get any large reasonably economic printing of it done. ## Putting a large portion of the best material in a Dist'n toward the front is Policy. I think that people would rather start in on some of the more enjoyable material than on feud material, or Bob Konigsberg's putrid comic strip, or the like. Actually, I find (and I think you can check me on this) that the easiest way of doing this is just to make sure that all the zines that occupy both sides of the paper go toward the front of the Dist'n. Generally, it's the bare-minac zines that leave blank backsides that have the least to say. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but it's a good operating rule of thumb. (This is regarding the primary arrangement of the Dist'n; if somebody arrives late, after I've got things set up, their zine is likely to go at the back end, no matter how good it is.) Also, after 90-odd weeks at this, I've come to recognize the people whose material seems to be generally well-liked by most of our readership, and I automatically put their material toward the front.

Fred Whitledge -- This is more worthwhile than your Paul reprints. Why not, when you do reprint an old illustration, add a note on the back to say why you chose this illo over various others, what you think of it in regard to the artist's work as a whole, etc.? Something so that it'll have a little more meaning than just being a pretty picture. (Also add the source: magazine, issue-date, and page, and the name of the story -- even if this information (or some of it) is incorporated is the photoreproduced material.)

Chuck Crayne -- You got a hatful of those buttons, of course? Whenever a fan sees a free-button display at a show or convention, he automatically gets as many as he can. That's where some of the best buttons floating around Fandom come from.

Tom Digby -- Well, that headline was 22 years old, but it's the latest I've seen on the sort of newspaper that a mouse-milk taker might get.

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