I'd like to thank the club for voting me Senior Committeeman for the next six months. Considering how I usually spend a month or so around election time telling you all what kind of officers we need and what kind we don't need, it's only fair that I be put in the position of having to make good myself. Not that the job of Senior Committeeman is all that demanding; and I hope that Dave Hulan will be on the spot to serve as Director every week, so that I really won't be needed at all. I considered accepting the nomination for Secretary, but as long as I'm obligated to get Apa L out most weeks, I don't feel that I can accept a post that keeps me in the front room for the whole Meeting, every week. And now that Digby is no longer an officer, I hope we can get him to run off the table of contents for Apa L before the end of the Meeting, so that the distributions will be ready to be handed out by the time the Meeting breaks up.
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The barbecue/planetarium idea seems to be a popular one; 18 people have already signed up for the 25 openings I announced last week. Several people pointed out to me that Feb. 9th is a Sunday, not a Saturday. However, the planetarium is open on Sunday, and nobody seemed to object to a Sunday outing, so Sunday, Feb. 9th it is. Unless, as Don Fitch gloomily predicts, Feb. 9th turns out to be in the middle of the rainy season. We'll have to see as the date approaches.
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Ideas-that-flit-thru-the-mind-to-be-set-on-paper-for-future-consideration: after the Fugghead Contest is over, if the LASFS is interested in holding another contest of the same nature, we could run one to elect The Worst Villain In All S-F. It'd be interesting to see who comes out on top in a contest between Blackie DuQuesne, Ming the Merciless, Hellion Murdoch, the Master of the Universe, and similar black-hearted scum. Apropos of which, it's been a long time since a really memorable, hissable villain has come along in s-f. Or a cheerable hero, either. It's all sociological stuff these days. Yarst on the New Wave -- on all the rasty New Waves! I've been in bed with both kinds of flu for a good part of the last three weeks, and I've had a lot of time to read into my backlog of unread s-f. Most of it was mediocre. Some of it was good in a literary sense, and some was enjoyable because of humor, but there was nothing with real action/suspense and memorable characters. (I guess Ed Hamilton's World of the Starwolves came closest.) I like literate s-f, but I like well-written melodrama, too. Sigh. At least I got a lot of crud transferred from my unread bookshelf to my read bookshelf.
I'm rapidly getting bored with Keith Laumer's pointless action. He introduces a faceless character; on p. 3 someone opens up on this hero with a machine gun; hero kills attackers; someone drops a safe on him; he crawls broken & bleeding 50 miles through the desert; there's a pyrotechnic display of robots, rockets, blasters, and what have you; then somewhere around p 128 you're suddenly told that the hero has run out of villains so he's won and this is a happy ending. There's seldom a real plot to go with all this action, hence no suspense -- just noise & fireworks, which leave you with the feeling that nothing really got accomplished, except to litter the landscape with ruins & corpses. Even the most cardboard Ace novel usually makes the pretense of introducing a Problem and then solving it during the course of the plot. Laumer seemed fresh when he first made a bit splash with Worlds of the Imperium, but he hasn't offered anything worthwhile in a long time -- Retief got stereotyped long ago. A pity and a disappointment.
The annual reading of Zotz? I sent extra copies of the cover, HRINGSTAN, and PROBABLY SOMETHING to LOCUS. Let's see if LOCUS announces that our "annual custom" was held on schedule.
Cover -- (Barr) Nice topical humor.
HRINGSTAN #9 -- (Klingstein) You're likely to run into fans anywhere. I consider that I really joined the LASFS as a social group the day that I ran into Bruce, Jack, and Ted in a bookstore after I'd been attending the Meetings for a few weeks, and they invited me along on a trip to Pacific Ocean Park. On our last trip to Tijuana, we met JoAnne Wood, then of Bay Area fandom. I see Don Grollman in some bookstore or newsstand every few weeks, though fortunately so far he hasn't seen me. (Grollman is a creep; he seems to have forgotten about the LASFS and I hope nobody reminds him. Not everyone you see reading s-f at a newsstand is a desirable recruit for the club.)
WEST KOPY #6 -- (Whitledge) I generally try to make sure that everybody who contributes to Apa L gets a copy, though I'm annoyed by the growing tendency of some people to go to Kal's or elsewhere for an hour or so after the Meeting and expect me to wait around Digby's until they get back so that they can get their copies. I make what I consider to be a reasonable effort to see that everybody entitled to a copy gets one, but when I run out of people, and I'm told that so&so left and nobody knows when or if he's coming back, and I want to go home, I leave. You're lucky in that your father sticks around the card table, so you can go off and leave him to collect your copy for you.
SOMEWORDS #7 -- (Gerrold) I like the way you take artistic advantage of your xerographic printing facilities. This is something that I usually mean to try when I print RR on one of the Xeroxes at work, but I invariably end up just publishing the same material that I can put on a mimeo stencil, except for my fancy logo heading and the Fandom game cards. Keep it up.
DRAGON'S AERIE #6 -- (R. Gluckson) Properly speaking, the pulps are the old large-sized (8 1/2" x 11" or larger) fiction magazines printed on thick wood-pulp paper, and usually with untrimmed edges. Digest-sized magazines are not "pulps", even if they publish the same kind of material. The slang term that would cover both is "prozine". ## Yeah, Willits' interview was knowledgable on s-f up to around 1929, and gave the impression that it hasn't changed in quality since, confirming the popular stereotype of that crazy Buck Rogers stuff. We didn't really need that article -- although I don't suppose that one that said anything good about s-f would've been published.