The View from Entropy Hall (Online Archive) - From Ed Meskys - RR2 Box 63 - 322 Whitter Hwy - Center Harbor NH 03226
Home | Newest Issue | Browse Archive | Email Ed

Issue #11

The View From Entropy Hall #11 for APA-Q 406, 5 Apr. 1997, from Ed Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, (322 Whittier Hwy Mbo), Center Harbor NH 03226- 9708, [email protected], 603-253-6207.


Well, Sandy and I did come to NY after Lunacon and thank you and Perdita for your hospitality! Sandy had hurt her foot shortly before leaving home (she got the equivalent of "tennis elbow" in her right heel) and stayed home while John and I went book hunting. I was VERY disappointed to learn that Barnes & Noble had shut down their bargain outlet in Manhattan. (I have since talked with Marsha Jones who said that b&n also had ONE bargain outlet in NJ on Rt 17 which she hadn't visited in several months, and hoped that that one wasn't gone too.)

Anyhow, I decided to cut the book trip short and only do the other two priority stores, SF Shop and SF Mysteries & More, hitting anything else we happened across. Sandy wanted some mundane YA books by Cynthia Voigt so John took me to the new Borders at the World Trade Center, on our way to SFM&M. John hadn't heard of the chain as this was their first NY store but I was familiar from visiting stores in Maine and California and getting orders from several other branches for the SILVERLOCK COMPANION that I had published a decade ago. I find it croggling that a bookstore in such a high rent location could survive. They had a very large area on the ground floor of one of the twin towers.

Then John took me to another new shop, Ruby's on Chambers St just west of Church, a block east of SFM&M. This was a very good used and remaindered bookshop and I picked up several good titles at reasonable prices. After SFM&M John and I had lunch at Noor's Indian restaurant, also on Chambers St., and then headed north for the SF Shop in Greenwich Village. After crossing Canal Street we passed two other new to us bookshops and I got a mundane book for Anne Braude that she was looking for...or I thought I did. When Jane Austin died she left several unfinished fragments and other authors have completed several of these. Still other authors have written sequels, especially fantast Joan Aiken. Anyhow, Anne wanted Sandidon as completed by someone whose name Anne has forgotten, published over 25 years ago, and long OP. I found a new collection of fragments, the collection given the name of the desired story. All was not lost since this collection had several fragments Anne had not seen before, but she is still looking for the completed book. She is also looking for a long OP sequel to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Doroty Bonavia Hunt, PEMBERLY SHADES, but this book is extremely scarce and she has little hope of ever finding it. Should any reader know where either of these could be obtained, please write Anne direct at 6721 E McDowell, #309A, Scottsdale AZ 85257.

As we neared the SF shop I was getting tired and suggested sitting down over a cup of coffee. John took me to Figero Coffee shop where we had excellent italian pastries and coffee. However it was expensive, costing almost as much as the Indian lunch. After picking up many desired titles at the SF Shop, on Sullivan near Bleecker, we cut it short and didn't go on to Forbidden Planet or Strand. FP has no used books and Strand is so chaotic that it is discouraging to growse there. Also my funds were running low and I didn't feel like the long additional walk to Books of Wonder.

We did stop at Balducci's Italian bakery just outside the West 4 Street subway station where I picked up some Canoli to eat in NY and some brown Lithuanian bread to bring home for Easter. Next day Perdita drove me to a Polish market on 5 Ave & 17 St in Brooklyn where I got some excellent fresh (not smoked) kilbasa and some bapkas, plain and cheese, a east european coffee cake which I used to bake myself for Easter and Christmas. Thirty years ago I used to buy something akin to jelly donuts, but infinitely better, whose Polish name I do not remember but called Ponc~ku in Lithuanian. My favorites were filled with prune jam, but now only strawberry ones are made and they are only available on weekends.

As usual I was very satisfied with my book purchases at Lunacon and in New York.



It is three years since I published NIEKAS #44 and I thought I would give a progress report. First, some unfinished business. The first time Mike Bastraw was a partner and co-editor on NIEKAS 1980-1982 he came up with the idea of doing an anthology of 50 word or shorter stories, and we had "50 Extremely Short Fiction Stories" out for chicon 4. I solicited many of the stories but he made the final selection, picked the artists, and did the layout. We even got a 50 word intro from Robert Bloch, but unfortunately it wasn't all that good. Anyhow, we immediately started collecting stories for a second volume which at various times Mike was going to call "Voyage to the Planet of the 50 Extremely Short Fiction Stories" and "Attack of the 50 Extremely Short Fiction Stories," intending to use movie-title tie-ins in the cover art. Then Mike dropped out of NIEKAS for about 5 years and I didn't give much thought to what I called "XSF #2." When Mike rejoined NIEKAS with #36 we started slowly working on XSF #2. Mike came up with the tall-skinny format for chapbooks and we decided a pair of these would make up a single issue of NIEKAS. #41 was a MA thesis on Bradbury's ILLUSTRATED MAN accompanied by a collection of prose poems. Mike says he got Bloch to do an intro for that, too, and since it wasn't limited to 50 words was quite good. (Several years later, when Bloch was already ill, Bob Knox saw him at a Lovecraft meeting and asked him to sign the chapbook, and Bloch said he didn't remember ever writing that intro.) #43 was to be Sam Moskowitz's autobiography with SXF #2. Meanwhile Mike had completely laid out NIEKAS #42 and lost the entire job due to a software glitch on his Macintosh. This greatly discouraged him but he redid it and prepared and printed the Moskowitz. He had made the final cut of stories for XSF #2 and had about half the art. He sent out rush requests to a number of artists and several responded by overnight Fed Express, but one artist never came through. Mike gave the impression that only this art kept us from going to press and insisted on waiting for it and not reassigning the work. Todd and I saw the artist at several cons and made several phone calls but all we got was promises. Finally we browbeat Mike into allowing us to solicit other artists and we got close to a dozen more pieces. then Mike totally quit on us, would not give us the material to finish the project, and we had to announce that it is dead, with profuse apologies to all contributors. We didn't even have a complete list of authors or artists or the addresses of a number of them.

Recently Todd and I found in our papers a demo copy of XSF #2 with a complete table of contents, about 40 of the stories already typeset, and 30 of the illustrations. We prepared a chart and found addresses for some of the authors, and were able to get replacement copies of the stories. We do not have addresses for the remaining authors and are asking you to see whether you recognise any of them. A number of stories had been submitted by members of the Small Press Writers of America and I did try the follow-on organization for authors of lost stories. Also, if any artist has sent work for this which is not listed, could (s)he let us know, and if you still have the master copy, could you please send another stat. Todd and I are giving highest priority to finishing #45 and 46 but are working on 43B as time permits. We assume we will not recover all the lost stories and have collected several replacements from new authors and from among stories Mike had not selected. Should we end up with more than 50 we will publish all and call the extras a "bonus section."

Meanwhile work IS progressing on #45 and 46. #45 is a single-subject issue on dark and Gothic fantasy guest-edited by Joe Christopher. It is a monsterously large issue, probably double the size of any previous NIEKAS. All the articles are in my computer, some hand-typed and some scanned. One scanned so badly that I am currently re-typing it. Over half have been proofed and all but two have had the artwork assigned, and we are waiting for art for only two of the assigned pieces. The two articles awaiting assignment are Stephanie Chidester's "Transformations: Mirrors of Humanness in The Dark Fantasy of Ace G. Pilkington" and Catherine Jewel Wilterding's "A Masked Tale of Consequences: A Feminist Reading of Frankenstein." I never found any takers for the first piece and the artist who had taken the second had to back out because she developed cancer. If any reader is interested in illustrating one of these two articles please write me for a copy of the article and specs on what I need. (also, if any artist is interested in doing one of the unillustrated stories for XSF #2 please write me for copy and format).

The final steps will be typesetting from my ASCII files and printing. Nancy Hanger had typeset, wonderfully, #44 but because of press of professional work she could not undertake another issue. Sandy was going to try to do it with MS Word for Windows on her computer but got discouraged because of the many errors and false starts I made in giving her material. Jim Reynolds is now working on the ready articles on his new Macintosh. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will work out well and I do not have to look for another typesetter. A printer is lined up and the money is set aside.

Most of the articles for #46 are in the computer as well as the lettercol and some of the columns. Late lox can still be added, and I am not pushing columnists until the ish is nearer to being put to bed. The issue will have a focus section on sports in fantasy. I have an excellent lead article including reviews of six baseball fantasy novels by Nan Scott. I want articles on the similarities of baseball and SF fandoms, on the influence of the sports ethic of the '20s on pulp fiction including SF, and on the appearance of other sports in SF and fantasy. I will also consider other articles for this section.

Here is the status listing of the XSF2 anthology.


March 29, 1997 at 8:52 p.m. Page 1


page / story_title / author / story_status / artist / art_status / remarks

01 The First Wish Anne Braude have-set Larry Dickison have have address

02 Reciprocity Suzanne Burgoyne Dieckman have-set Kaja Foglio have no address

03 The End Phyllis Ann Karr have-set Kip Williams have have address

04 Give and Take Gary G. Osborne have-set Bob Knox none no address

05 One Gear Bruce Boston have-set Jane Sibley have ho address

06 Dawn's Light Ralph E. Vaughan have-set Bob Knox have moved-not known

07 The Legend of the Palm Tree Alan Ryan missing - none address unknown

08 It Came In Through the Bathroom Window Anne Ominous missing Eichmann (Knox) missing address unkown;art done by Knox as Eichman, missing

09 Twinkle Suzanne Burgoyne Dieckman have-set Margaret Simon have no address

10 First Contact Don d'Ammassa have-set Bob Knox none have address

11 The Cure Janet G. Smyth missing - none no address

12 Why the King Wanted Her Phyllis Ann Karr replaced - none have address

13 When God Wasn't Looking Gary G. Osborne have-set Fred Eichmann (Knox)

have, have no address

14 Fatal Description Mike Hurley have-set Bob Knox have have address

15 Rommel Sunbathes on Mars Eric Morlin have-set Bob Knox have no address

16 The Summoning Ralph E. Vaughn have-set Margaret Simon have moved not


17 The Star Rangers Alexei Panshin have-set Bob Knox none have address

18 Malacandra Joe R. Christopher have-set Margaret Simon have have address

19 Minor Glitch Matt Rivero have-set Bob Knox none no address

20 Night Bloom Philip Hughes have-set Ree Young have have address

21 The Second Wish Anne Braude have-set Larry Dickison have have address

22 Enticott's Theosophy Norma Gjuka have-set Bob Knox none no address

23 Baron Dracula Meets a 21st Century Woman Ben P. Indick have-set Margaret

Simon have have address

24 Conditioning David Palter have-set Jim Reynolds have have address

25 Cultural Adaptation Mike Hurley have-set Ree Young have have address

26 Turnabout Jo Karr have-set Bob Knox none have address

27 Quest's End Bradley Strickland have-set Jane Sibley have no address

28 The Mud Man Annette S. Crouch have-set Eichmann (Knox) missing have address;art Eichman Pseud done but missing;

29 The Thirty-Ninth Princess Suzanne Burgoyne Dieckman have-set Richard Smith have no address

30 Skier's Lament James Anderson have-set Patricia Ricia Anderson have have address

31 Second Chance Bruce Boston missing - none Have no address

32 Mother and Wife Gary G. Osborne missing Kaja Foglio have no address

33 Mass Transit Ralph E. Vaughn have-set Robert Knox none moved,no forwarding address

34 Solutions Janet G. Smyth have-set Bob Knox have no address

35 Nothing of Importance David A. Kimbrell have-set Bob Knox none no address

36 No Contact Phyllis Ann Karr have-set Jim Reynolds have have address

37 The Little Prince Who Hadn't Learned How to Smile Suzanne Burgoyne Dieckman have-set Jane Sibley have no address;

38 Do Not Discard Philip Hughes have-set Kaja Foglio have have address

39 Siseneg Brian Ameringen have-set Kip Williams have no address

40 Tuesday Evening at the Haunted Castle J.S. Rivkin have-set Jane Sibley have

41 Signs Mary Lou Lacefield missing - none have address

42 How Bad Was it, Johnny? J.R. McHone missing - none no address

43 Father Knows Best Gary G. Osborne have-set Bob Knox none no address

44 I've had the Problem Myself Mike Hurley have-set Jane Sibley have have address

45 Plague Ralph E. Vaughn missing - none moved,not forwardable

46 A Burning Suit Phyllis Ann Karr replaced - none have address

47 Rommel Plays Chess on Mars Eric Morlin have-set Bob Knox have no address

48 Cousin Jo Suzanne Burgoyne Dieckman have-set Kip Williams have no address

49 Big Money Susan Looker missing - none have address

50 The Third Wish Anne Braude have-set Larry Dickison have have address

51 How the Right Whey a Curd to Him John Brunner have-set Fred Eichmann (Knox) have deceased

52 Warrior Race John Boardman must cut none have address;must cut again original long version;

53 Successful Stakeout Phyllis Ann Karr have have address;can replace lost story;

54 Susan's Dream Ed Hutnik have have address;can replace lost story

55 Perulandra Joe r. Christopher can get? have address;can replace lost story

56 Thulcandra Joe R. Christopher can get? have address;can replace lost story




>BLAnCmANGE (Mark Blackman). My main complaint about Lunacon this year was the VERY late arrival of the pocket program and souvineer program book. Since Sandy wasn't feeling well, we were stuck in the spillover hotel, and I couldn't find out what was happening, I missed all Friday programming. I did enjoy Saturday and Sunday including my three panels. I didn't party as much as usual because of the inconvenience of the spillover hotel, but did have a very enjoyable chat with Jack Chalker at the Millenium Philcon party. He said conglomerates are buying up the book distributors and then are only interested in distributing the mega-best sellers. This is putting a lot of pressure on the mass market paperback houses and these are cutting back on how much SF they are buying. Both the publishers, especially Baen which had a disaster with the Game-bridge the Newt book, and the authors are suffering. Anyhow I didn't get to see many of the people I usually talk with at Lunacons. And of course I missed the presence of the late Dave Schwartz.

You mentioned that the Trek books are not regarded as "canon" by the Trek industry. I remember hearing a Trek novelist saying on a panel at Arisia several years ago that when she wanted to say something about the Next Generation security chief, Tasha Yar's, family history the editors told her to cool it as they wanted the script writers to have the freedom to invent details as needed for their plots. After the character was killed off in the series the author was given the freedom to invent details on her history.

At Boskone John Ford said that after he wrote HOW MUCH FOR JUST THE PLANET he was told that humor was no longer acceptable unless it was exclusively at the expense of the vallains. Also after he wrote a book set a generation before the original Trek he was told all future books could be set only in the period of the original five year voyage. Sseveral books havebeen published dealing with pre-Kirk Trek including about Pike and Kirk's father, so I wonder why the cut-off. I am not a Trekker and have only read a dozen Trek novels.

You mentioned Elliot Shorter missing Lunacon because of a heart attack. Has ANYONE heard how he is doing now?

When John and Perdita travel this summer and you run APA-Q, will you be able to provide copying the way John did?

>DAGON (John Boardman). I liked the way you put the history of the Boskone and Arisia cons into perspective. NESFA did over-react to the 4,000-attendee "Boskone From Hell" and losing their con hotel, and despite some nasty snipeing from the Arisia crowd they were very supportive of the new con. I assume it was the Arisia people who had circulated the mock flyer for Boskone XXXX with Nazi Schwer as GoH. Anyhow, NESFA had been talking in APA NESFA about downsizing Boskone before the crisis because it was getting to be unmanageable. Then to discourage fringe fen and college students with no interest in SF they restricted content down to that of Readercon. Since then they have loosened up and I find Boskones very enjoyable. There are still people out to make trouble. A few years ago Todd and I found someone had left a stack of flyers attacking the administration of Arisia on the empty table next to the NIEKAS table. We showed these to a NESFAn who dumped them. I don't know whether it was a genuine gripe against the Arisia staff or an attempt to embarrass NESFA by making it seem that they were condoning or sponsoring the attack.

You mentioned May Day being celebrated when your parents were children. We are approximately the same age and when I was in grammar school in Brooklyn we had a maypole with the dance with interweaving ribbons in the classroom. When Stanley was in school there was no mention of it perhaps the Red Scare of the '50s caused a fear of confusion with the Red May Day celebrations? The Catholic church still regards May as Mary's month and has dedicatory ceremonies at the start.

In your comments to del Grande you speculated that the Three Magi became "Three Kings" in order for the King of Kings to have some kings to be king over. From Medieval times king meant an absolute ruler subject to no one. Could you clarify this, but I get the impression that at the start of the Christian era kings were local administrators subject to the Caesor? Incidentally, in the current translation of Luke they are referred to as astrologers. While that would be an accurate rendition of their occupation I am surprised at the use of the word giving the wackos some credibility when the church opposes modern asstrologers.

In your piece on Dave Barry's humerous article poking fun at flying saucer nuts you identified the debunker Philip Klass with the SF writer William Tenn. I could swear that I have read that while Tenn's real name IS Philip Klass, the debunker is a different person with the same name. Any reader have better info? You also mentioned Ray Palmer who did a lot to promote crazyness from the "Shaver Mystery" to flying saucers, and his changing his SF magazine OTHER WORLDS into FLYING SAUCERS FROM OTHER WORLDS. That didn't go completely over to the nut cults. For a fshort time every second issue emphasised the FLYING SAUCERS in its title and was only occult stuff, but the alternating issues emphasised OTHER WORLDS in its title and still carried SF. While he was still alive he started a zine with a title something like SPACE WORLD which I didn't see but which had a reputation for giving good coverage of the Soviet space program. After he died and I joined the National Space Institute, a space advocacy organization, it adopted SPACE WORLD and sent it to its members. The colophon still listed the publisher as "Palmer Publications." When NSI merged with the L5 Society they dropped SPACE WORLD and I suspect it is no longer published. Incidentally, I am thinking of joining the British Interplanetary Society in order to get their zine SPACEFLIGHT. I can only afford one space zine,both financially and in reading time, and AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY is far too rich for me. Would anyone have a different suggestion as to what zine I should get for real hard news of what is happening in space and what proposals are under consideration?

Enjoyed your recounting the story of Shalom Bayis from the DAILY NEWS claiming that Jewish law permits concubines, called Palagish, and the reaction among Jewish women. Obviously early rulers like Soloman had multiple wives and concubines. When did Judaism abandon this practice?

You brought up again fiction about possible civil wars in the US. In 1984 Spider Robinson wrote a grim novel about blacks taking over Manhattan and cutting it off from the rest of the country. I do not remember the title and have not read it for I feared it would be too violent for my taste. By any chance have you read it?

>JERSEY FLATS, TOO (Roberta Rogow). Could you review the book you read on SF Fandom? I understand its list price is $75 and that it is fairly good. It was published by a specialty publisher exclusively for the academic library market and I will never afford it unless the publisher remainders the left over copies to the author, the way Scarecrow Press did with Fred Lerner and his book on the literary acceptance of SF.

>MEDIA CENTER (Brian Thurston). I think I would like to see SPACE BALLS but I wonder how much of the humor is visual and how much I would follow from just the sound track. Do you own a video you could lend me?

>QUAINT STUFF (John Malay). After Sandy's father retired he and his wife bought a trailer in Branden, a suburb of Tampa. This park had many snowbirds from their part of New Hampshire, Franklin. Sandy had visited them before her mother died and her father became too frail to winter there alone. She did go to Bush Gardens but it was with her parents and did only those parts they wanted to see. What she did see didn't interest her. Your description of the mock steam train that smelled of diesel reminded me of the steam train in the California Disneyland. i vaguely remember reading that when DL was first built they had a real steam train as Disney himself had been a steam train buff. I seem to remember pictures of him on his private estate playing with a quarter-sized real steam train. However when I visited many years later the real power seemed to be electric. I've been to Florida three times. First was in 1979 in Miami Beach for the National Federation of the Blind convention. I did no sightseeing except for an all-day Gray Line tour to the Kennedy Space Center as I was very busy with the con. Sandy and I were in Orlando in 1989 and for the Worldcon and we did the Disney parks and Sea World. When not at the Con hotel we stayed at camp grounds or youth hostels and did other things in the area, including a tour of the KSC (again for me). I think I would like to get to Bush Gardens one day.

Back to Issue Archive      
End of Page

Hosted by