Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, December 7, 1966. Intended for Apa L, 112th Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1530, December 8, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 36321.
|Los Angeles in 1967!||Los Angeles - Tokyo in 1968!||Salamander Press #224.|
Thanks to the late-night help of a brace of you, FORRY! got out on schedule. All of it was completed on stencil, at any rate; there are still six cut stencils lying about of a Harl Vincent story that would've run about twice as long if I'd had time to finish it, plus a half-dozen contributions that I never had time to put on stencil at all. This doesn't count the two contributions that Jack Newkom and Rick Norwood wanted to write on the spot (which I refused, since the completed fanzine was already being collated), or the one from Terry Jeeves that arrived altogether too late (like yesterday). FORRY! ran to 82 pages; we finished running it off and collating most of it by 3:00 a.m. Friday morning, and everybody went home except Rick Norwood, who slept on my couch for the rest of the night and then helped me staple 220 copies for the Banquet the next day. Actually, Rick proofread the copies before I stapled them, and we caught miscollation errors in about 1/5 of the copies; a shamefully high percentage. This consisted mainly of sheets that were blank on one side being collated in instead of caught and discarded -- the sort of thing that a collator would have caught (& that they were all told to watch for). Interestingly enough, most of these errors were found in one section of the fanzine, and we know who collated that section, too -- someone we've accused of being responsible for much of the miscollation in Apa L, which he has steadfastly denied.
So then we went to the Banquet, and an excellent Banquet it was, too. I understand that Walt Daugherty only sold 185 tickets, which was the legal seating capacity of the room, but I'd guess that there were over 200 people present in all. I recognized less than half the people there, but from the names I heard mentioned, a lot of BHF's from LASFS' past were in attendance. I saw Jimmy Kepner and Terri Pinckard for the first time, and T. Bruce Yerke told me that he'd never really liked science-fiction. Walt was running was running around trying to keep everything under control, and did a good job of it. Forry finally arrived about 8:00; the food was served shortly thereafter, and around 10:00 the speeches and presentations began, lasting another couple of hours. Most of these were short and to the point, though unfortunately the last few tended to get longer and duller (or maybe it just seemed that way), and at one point, a comedian I never heard of (but whom I presume is a friend of Forry's) went into a very unfunny nightclub routine. On the whole, though, there were no complaints.
I decided it would be best to hand out FORRY! after the Banquet, so that people wouldn't have to balance copies in their laps while they were eating. However, so many people went and helped themselves to copies out of the two boxes I'd brought that I believe over half the copies went out that way, and I noticed that a large number of these already had Forry's autograph on them before I went up to formally present him with his copy of it at the speechifying. I saw people doing things to them such as folding them, rolling them up, putting drinks on them, etc., that froze my collector's soul; however, that was their business -- after all, most of the attendees were not fanzine collectors -- and I've still got plenty of mint copies for sale to those who do want them in pristine condition. Bĵo was worried that my system of letting the guests pick up their own copies (either unofficially from the boxes or officially from the two stacks I set up by the exit after the speeches & presentations, for people to collect as they left) would result in the fanzine collectors grabbing whole handfuls for themselves; however, I took the attitude that I hadn't come to the Banquet to keep watch a couple of boxes of fanzines. Besides, as far as I could tell, most of the people picking up three or four copies were just getting them to hand out to the other people at their tables; the only person I caught taking that many for herself was Wendy Ackerman, who figured she had a right since the fanzine was, after all, for Forry -- and as we were going to give Forry 25 extra copies free, anyway, I let it go; I'll deduct 'em from those. (And Forry wants to buy an additional 25 copies on top of that; he must be planning on giving 'em away on a more liberal basis than any of us could ever afford.) At any rate, the total gone at the end of the affair tallied closely enough with the number of people present to satisfy me that, with possibly a few exceptions not worth bothering about, they went one-to-a-person.
I've still got about 50 unstapled copies of FORRY! that aren't spoken for yet; and I'm waiting to see if Forry mentions the Banquet and the fanzine in FAMOUS MONSTERS. If he does, I'll have no problem getting rid of the remaining copies; in fact I may have to rerun the stencils. (I sold one copy at the Banquet, in fact, to an 11- or 12-year-old monster fan who wanted one copy to read and one copy to keep in mint condition.) The LASFS voted $50 to pay for FORRY!; expenses so far have run to around $110, so the 25 copies each being bought by the Collectors Book Store and by Forry should bring this back down to the level of the club's budget, and any copies sold from here on will go toward paying the LASFS back on its investment and even toward a possible profit. We'll see.
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The final films in USC's International Animation Film Series were shown last night, and those of you who didn't come really missed something. They were two of Jirí Trnka's puppet films, a Western ("Song of the Prairie") short and the full-length "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I'd seen the Shakespeare adaptation before, but the Western was new to me, and it was delightful. There was no discernable dialog, but the hero and heroine burst into an aria every time they came without shouting distance of each other (horse opera, n'est pas?), and you don't have to understand Czech to follow what's going on. Those present included the Johnstones, the Hannifens, Don Simpson & Ardis, and myself; most of us are rabid Disney-criticizers, but at the end of this evening, we w ere all looking forward to seeing what Trnka will do with "The Hobbit". We all agreed that his "Midsummer Night's Dream" bore no relationship to any of our preconceived notions of what the play should look like, but was superb in spite of this; and Ted said, "You feel that the changes he made were all changes that Bill [Shakespeare] would've made if he'd thought of 'em, which is about as much as you can say for an adaptation." I'm putting Trnka down on my list of possible subjects for showing at the Pan-Pacificon.
-- COMMENTS ON THE LAST COUPLE OF DISTRIBUTIONS
Chuck Crayne & Dave Van Arnam -- I think that Dave's thoughts on "taste" vs. "reality" here in #111 make an excellent commentary on Chuck's comments on THE VICTORIAN DIGEST vs. censorship in #110. I won't go into a dictionary definition of "censorship" here, because it's not strictly applicable in any event. However, a more cogent word might be "communication". Are you trying to say something, or are you just trying to call attention to yourself? As Dave points out, it might be more "realistic" to specify that his character gets splinters in his buttocks when he sits down, but the phrase is clumsy and unnecessary (where else would the character be expected to get them?), and hinders rather than helps the Mood of the story that he is trying to build. Similarly, when you read in any adventure story the phrase, "he swore horribly", it's not necessary for the author to add a string of "Fuck! Shit! Damn!" to let the reader know he's saying something stronger than "Mercy Maud!" To be "realistic" in these cases would be either a sign of bad writing, or of something wrong on the author's part; an overly strong urge to prove through his writing how mature or realistic he is. Similarly with THE VICTORIAN DIGEST (or Apa L), there's a difference between somebody trying to say something (in text or art), and just trying to call attention to himself -- and this latter is often done by means of a game known as Bug The Editor. If somebody has something to be said, I agree that he should be allowed to say it; offhand, I can only recall making one exception to this rule, and that was with Earl's fanzine that I considered a malicious bit of innuendo that could have broken up a marriage. (As it happened, the marriage broke up anyway, and as far as Luise is concerned, probably for the best; but I still consider marriage a serious enough subject that I won't help circulate anything designed to torpedo one simply because it looks like fun to jump on a couple that's having troubles.) On the other hand, if somebody brings a sufficient quantity of blank paper, or old banana peels, to me for Apa L, I consider that he's not trying to say anything to the readership, but is simply trying to bug me personally, and I have no compunctions against relegating it to the wastebasket. And this is the difference between "censorship" and editorial rejection, both by an editor of a publication and by an author of his own writings.
Sally Crayne -- Your piece in #110 (about the LASFS' current phase) is one of your best bits of writing yet, I think. I agree with what you say, too.
Fred Hollander -- Ah, but did the Ace Conrad get the "Hugo", or did the Award go to the F&SF serial, which is what was specifically nominated, even if it wasn't nearly as good? Or were both versions running simultaneously? Or what? This is why I agree with the Study Committee's recommendation that a work should only be eligible once, and that the author should have the right to select which version of the work he wants to enter in the composition. Otherwise, because of technicalities, people don't know what they're voting for; as when we had the riffle this year over The Lord of the Rings as to whether it qualified for a Best Series award or not. ## And now, how would you like to read the complete Conrad? Not that you can; it hasn't been published. I suppose you know that the Ace edition is not the complete manuscript, even if it does contain more of it than was in F&SF. This is true with many of Ace's books -- the most notorious recent example being "Howard Cory's" The Sword of Lankor, with its appearing-disappearing sword, due to about 1/4 of the book being unevenly cut out by the publishers. Gary Edmonson was complaining at last year's WesterCon that The Ship That Sailed the Time Stream, which I liked very much, was cut by almost a full half. Gordon Dickson's Necromancer is supposed to be something like 40,000 words short of the original story (which may be one reason it doesn't make much sense as it is). This would lay the groundwork for another good fannish project: a list of all of the science-fiction novels whose published form is not the complete story as the author wrote it. I suppose we could add the completely unpublished manuscripts to this list, such as Piper's Fuzzies and Other People, or Campbell's Empire. The list should include, in addition, the location of the original, complete manuscripts, wherever known; i.e., Bill Evans has Campbell's Empire (and Campbell himself may have a copy of it), Fuzzies and Other People is lost (unless it's been rediscovered in the last few months), and so on. (Doc Smith always complained that Cele Goldsmith ruined The Galaxy Primes; I'd like to have the original manuscript of that to compare with the published versions.) Where would you draw the line between minor or standard editorial rewriting and revising, and a major cut? (The hardbound and paperback versions of Bester's The Demolished Man are tighter and make a better novel than the longer GALAXY serial, although some good writing got cut in the boiling down. And Heinlein has said that he always over-writes and then cuts down to get his finished story.) It'd be an interesting project, and possibly an invaluable one if a new s-f specialty publisher should come along and want to bring out hardbound editions of some good paperback originals. Hmm, I may just have talked himself into taking the job, in fact.