Books read this week, not including comics, number 3 good ones:
New Worlds of Fantasy, edited by Terry Carr (Ace, 75¢), is a 253-page anthology of 15 stories, all fantasy, and mostly modern in style. ("Modern" is used these days, as far as I can tell, to cover everything not in the sword-&-sorcery or WEIRD TALES school of writing.) This anthology is somewhat outstanding due to the fact that there are very few mediocre stories in it. There's much excellent stuff -- to my taste -- and some horrible stuff -- to my taste. (I gave up on Avram Davidson after two pages.) With the exception of a fair amount of material from F&SF, most of this is from sources that most of us haven't seen. There's some material from the British zines -- mostly the now-defunct IMPULSE -- and the rest is from the slicks. The best, to my mind, is Brunner's "Break the Door of Hell", a fantasy of the sort he used to write for SCIENCE FANTASY when it was in its heyday under Carnell. If you want a comparison, it's like one of Vance's "Dying Earth" stories, only with more punch. Small title-sketches for each of the stories by Kelly Freas help make this worth the 75¢.
John Brunner's Born Under Mars (Ace, 50¢) is, again, the sort of stuff he used to write years ago. Not SCIENCE FANTASY stuff, though, but NEW WORLDS stuff -- Slavers of Space, The World Swappers, and similar fare. This is good space opera, by a man who knows how to write it. The plot involves a complicated interstellar political situation, with two opposing groups -- both ex-Earth colonies -- fighting a not-quite-hot war, and Earth trying to remain a powerful neutral. The action doesn't take place on Earth, though, but on Mars, which has a relationship to Earth similar to that of Ireland to England at the beginning of this century. The protagonist is an ardent Martian nationalist, who stumbles into the middle of a Centaur-Bear espionage operation, and is faced with a number of problems, including finding out what's going on, deciding who to support, and seeing if this can be used to Mars' advantage. Brunner has just about abandoned this school of writing; I won't say it's a pity, because he's writing more polished stuff than ever. But grab this one while it's available; there may not be many more.
The Werewolf Principle, by Clifford Simak (Putnam, $3.95) isn't worth the hardcover price to you, but watch for it in paperback. In many respects, it's a rewriting of his Time and Again, with a mysterious human (?) hero returning to Earth after many years, and slowly finding himself the center of a strange problem that may affect human destiny drastically. The exact problem and all the details are completely different, though. This isn't Simak's best book, but it's a lot better than his worst.
Tom Digby -- I think not allowing deadbeats to bid at auctions is either going too far, or not going far enough. If you aren't going to let them bid at auctions, you might as well exclude them from all programs, or just throw them out of the club. Where to put the dividing line between practical restrictions and Going Too Far is a problem. Unless we want to go all the way, I think our present measures -- forbidding deadbeats the vote, and publicizing their status -- are sufficient. ## I'm wondering if any of our chronic deadbeats are planning to run for club offices in the upcoming elections? They can't, if they owe dues, of course -- but I'm going to be looking out for those who're usually in arrears, and have only paid their debt at the last minute so as to be eligible to run.
Fred Hollander - I've already picked out who I'm backing for the Executive Committee for the next six months. I've listed my choices for three of the offices so far, and I'll make my nominations for the remaining two, and tell why these are the best people for these jobs, over the next couple of weeks. I will be interested in seeing who all is running, though. So far, I think the Secretarial post is the only one for which more than one candidate has already declared.
Bruce Pelz -- Okay, to be as specific as possible: Lupoff's One Million Centuries (his only fiction), Juanita's Crisis on Cheiron (her only fiction), Van Arnam's Lost in Space (his only fiction), and Johnstone's The Arsenal Out of Time (his first novel, and only s-f). Are these books good or bad, do they show promise of their authors' becoming great or good s-f writers (or great or good writers, period), etc.? Only I think that everybody is so tired of this argument over shall-we-discuss-'em-or-not that the subject is dead. I may just get up and review 'em all, as revenge for your not accepting my idea. ## We do have two kinds of deadbeats, don't we? Those who don't pay their dues, and those who won't kick in their $ to join in the first place, even though they've attended well over the limit of free guest meetings.
Bĵo Trimble -- It was great seeing you and the family down here again. A pity everyone is so far apart down here; you have to use up so much visiting time just in getting from one place to the next. ## Good luck on the novel. Is it the nurse novel, the fantasy, or something new?
Chuck Crayne -- Not only ain't there no fans in the LASFS anymore, there are darn few potential fans among the newcomers. Time was, when a newcomer only came around to the club because he was interested in science-fiction. Thus he had a lot in common with Fandom and fans, and either became active in Fandom himself, or at least shared a fair amount of interest in what went on in it, because he could learn things about the s-f field and about his favorite authors that way. There are a few new LASFans like that today -- mostly the Third Foundation crew -- but I'll turn green if I can figure out why the other newcomers latched on to us. The social life, obviously -- but if they share enough of our social interests to keep coming around, why don't they seem to care about those interests that go to make up Fandom?
Ken Rudolph -- You and enough others have expressed interest in a LASFS picnic outing to the L.A.Zoo that I'm encouraged in these events once again. If it's convenient to everybody, Saturday, Jan 13th will be the date of the picnic. Time; 10:00 a.m. -- we want to have enough time to see everything of interest without having to rush around;, not to mention enjoying our picnic lunch. More details will follow. ## We are planning another trip to the Arboretum, come Spring when more flowers are in bloom, and the peacocks have their full plumage. ## I understand that there's a new sightseeing complex around the Knott's Berry Farm area. The Movieland Wax Museum has been joined by a Japanese Deer Park -- wander around and feed the live deer. There are no picnic facilities, however -- do we want any non-picnic outings?