The View from Entropy Hall (Online Archive) - From Ed Meskys - RR2 Box 63 - 322 Whitter Hwy - Center Harbor NH 03226
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Issue #28

The View From Entropy Hall #28 for APA-Q 449, 29 July 2000, from Ed Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, 322 Whittier Hwy, Center Harbor NH 03226-9708, [email protected], 603-253-6207. Text online at: {Corrections made after APA distribution in braces.}

I have finally finished NIEKAS 46 and it is in the hands of Jim Reynolds who is doing the typesetting. The text is done and he is inserting the artwork now. I do not have a final pagecount but I expect about 80.

I have started #47 which will be a revised and expanded ONCE & FUTURE ARTHUR and I will use the format of a trade paperback to try to get more sales.

I am losing several hundred to a thousand dollars on an issue and must improve sales to try to break even.

It is about a year since you saw me. There are many reasons for this including finishing NIEKAS, Sandy's health problems, and too much travel. I enjoy the latter and am in fact off to 10 days in NYC tomorrow.

Sorry I am so behind on comments. I had about 2/3 of the distys read to me and taped the readings, but just haven't had the time to go back through the tapes to do the comments.

Sandy had her gall bladder removed in April after many complications and two weeks in the hospital because an endescope punctured her intestine and it would not heal.

My next priority is to publish 3 months late the Spring issue of the NH FEDERATIONIST, then plan out the blind con I am putting on in November.

I am going to Worldcon and Darkover this year, then Boskone next. Missed Lunacon because of Sandy's health but hope to be back next year.

I have had major computer problems with hard drives(!) crashing and have lost my mailing list for everything. I have a year old backup on tape which will have to do, but I have to learn how to retrieve it from the backup tape.

This one is especially for the enjoyment of Mark Blackman:
RANDOM FANDOM. Paul Barnett continues to explore America: `I've survived addressing the NY Science Fiction Society without being lynched. I was somewhat nervous since, before I got started, two of the society's officers had an extended discussion of a point of order, which seemed to involve throwing the furniture around, using naughty words at the tops of their voices, and debating whether or not both of them had lawyers and if one of them (the society officers, that is, not the lawyers) was a sex pervert and child molester. Oh my. I quivered and went to the bathroom a lot.'

And this to horrify all Tolkien fans:
ALL THE SOUNDS OF FEAR. Peter Jackson, director of the coming three-part Tolkien movie from New Line Cinema, chillingly declared: `The Lord of the Rings is a classic English story. However, I think that New Line is concerned that having no American accents will alienate a US audience ...' [BB] Shooting begins this year. Recalling Disney's Winnie the Pooh, we eagerly await the `Of Herbs and Stewed Gopher' scene.

And a quote in their whimsey dept. for Anne Braude:
(Russell Letson reviewing Greg Egan's Teranesia, Locus 7/99) [DB] `As a contribution to natural history, the book is negligible.' (The Times on The Wind in the Willows, 1908) >LETTERS From: [email protected] Dear Ed and Sandy, Your mention in your Apa Q zine of what to do with your collection struck fairly close to home. Since I semi-retired in May 1998, I've been working on getting my collection in order, and I've almost done it. Once upon a time, I thought that ten four drawer file cabinets should be enough to accomodate my fanzine accumulation until the end of time. After careful consideration, it seems the end of time must be approaching. I'm running out of space, and I don't even keep quarterly apa mailings in file cabinets. I keep them stacked on bookshelves. As the prozines, I have about 90% of all the prozines (both pulp and digest) ever produced in the U.S. Some copies of the early Amazings and Wonders are in poor condition, but I do have them. At the moment, there is very little interest in SF magazines. The field seems to have entirely converted to novels, and readers under about forty just aren't interested in magazines. LASFS has trouble selling digest magazines from the last 10-15 years at ten cents each. Maybe at one time I thought I was accumulating SF for posterity, although I was certainly also doing it for my own amusement. When I finally shuffle off this mortal coil, my heirs will have to figure out what to do with the accumulation. If they want to inherit the house, they have to also take what's in it. They will also have to get rid of my body, but I think they can figure that out for themselves. (This may sound a little cold, but I don't want to make my relatives too darned happy at the thought of my demise.) Yours truly, Milt Stevens, 6325 Keystone St., Simi Valley, CA 93063 From: Bill Bowers [[email protected]] Hi Ed, But mainly this is a thank you for the copy of your "The View from Entropy Hall #27", which you had Sandy forward to me. I've finally gotten around to reading it, and enjoyed it. Your musing on the dispersal / disposal of your various "collections" really struck home. I'm not quite as old as you -- I'll be 57 in July -- and I haven't been 'collecting' quite as long (sf since 1960; fanzines since 1961), but I probably have a reasonable approximation of sheer bulk. I do, however, have a slightly more compelling reason to try to bring order to my kipple, before it falls to some one else: The osteoporesis limits my physical ability to move stuff around, but the fact that I also have emphysema -- and the unavoidable realization of my own mortality lends a bit of urgency to getting done the things I really want to get done with my life. In a moment of fiscal madness -- Social Security Disability allowances are not conducive to luxury living! -- over the holidays I purchased four used four-drawer filing cabinets, and have begun the slow process of sorting out my fanzine collection. I may not have 50 boxes; then again, I may have more! (The major trouble is that it is impossible to do something like this without stopping to browse, and, hence, get easily distracted.) Ah, well. I, naturally, have some regrets in life. But being involved in fanzine fandom for over 40 years is certainly not one of them. Take Care, ---Bill

E.B. Frohvet
I can say little about baseball either in the real world or in SF. I played Little League as a child but I was never very good at it. As an adult, I have been attracted to sports of a more individual nature--jogging, bicycling, tennis. I watch college basketball in season but the NBA does not interest me. I watch tennis. Another reason I would OK moving the Worldcon is that it conflicts with the US Open.

However, indulge me in a little plug. I recently had a story published in a local small press anthology. This was a fantasy rather than an SF story, but it involves figure skating, another sport I have followed closely. I like to think that the versimilitude of having the details of the sport shown accurately may have contributed to its having been selected.

There are places that farm-raise deer commercially. Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, which is a fine brewpub and restaurant in Ellicott City (MD) regularly has venison on the menu and they get it from a commercial supplier, not from hunters. I don't know if it's slaughtered according to Jewish law but I suppose it could be done if anyone wanted to bother. I assume that eating deer or anything else that had been killed by shooting would violate Jewish law.

Marc Phillips wrote:
Here are some comments on Entropy.
You wrote:
"Anyhow, a number of media fen do begin to read tie-in novels, move in to the more sophisticated general SF, and into fandom." I've worked part-time in a general used book shop for several years and as you might expect I watch the SF section very closely. I've always hoped that I might meet another true fan or two there but it's never happened - at least not yet. What has happened though, is that I've noticed a few trends in the types of books that get bought and the people who buy them. Almost without exception the customers who come in to look at the Star Trek book section never even glance at the regular SF section. I've even tried talking them into trying certain writers, but it's an uphill battle. I once got a Start Trek fan to try David Gerrold's SPACE SKIMMER by telling her that it was a novel based on a rejected Trek script that Gerrold had written. More recently I did manage to get another Trek fan who had just read the Star Trek book THE JOY MACHINE by Sturgeon and Gunn to try a novel each by both writers and I helped her pick out MORE THAN HUMAN and THE LISTENERS. It's a start, at least.

Again, you wrote:
"While 63 is not THAT old, I do feel things closing in and worry about what to do with my books, magazines, fanzines, and other stuff." Most fans worry with that question sooner or later. It's a tough one, and I've not even begun to deal with it myself either. My first advice is that as long as you get any pleasure out of owning the stuff - even if it's just the pleasure of knowing that it's in the house, don't worry about what will happen to it, just enjoy having it. You deserve to enjoy it! Why not? You're the one who collected it in the first place. But if there's stuff that you really don't want any more and you just want to get it out of the way so that your family won't have to deal with it, make up a list of names and addresses of fans, collectors, and dealers along with notes as to who's most likely to want to buy what and give that to your family. One thing; you mentioned Howard DeVore and Bob Madle. I don't think that Howard is actively buying stock anymore, or if he is it may be on a limited basis. Best write him first and inquire. Madle certainly is and he has a younger partner now who plans to run that business after Madle retires. And there are other dealers, of course.

One excellent way to dispose of pulps is to send them to Pulpcon to be sold at auction. This allows you a good price and keeps the pulps within fandom. Rusty Hevelin is the man to talk to about this.

"Magazines are another matter. Originally I only collected digests and not pulps, though I did get a few of the latter. I do NOT have the really rare digests like MARVEL TALES from before WWII, but have most post war digests through around 1970. I had concentrated on ASTOUNDING and UNKNOWN, and have all but two dozen Campbell ASFs and about half the UNKNOWNs. I have a very few WEIRDs from the '20s and the first issue of AMAZING inscribed to me by Hugo Gernsback and Frank R. Paul. I have other scattered pulps...not more than two or three dozen, and a score or two of ARGOSYs from before WWII."

All these pulps you mention are good ones and will sell readily. If I had the money I'd ask about buying them myself, but until I graduate from college in May and get back to the work force I'll not be buying much of anything. However, if you still have these for sale say a year from now I'd be very interested in buying them. I'll inquire about this at that time, just in case.

"Lately I have acquired only semi-prozines like MZB FANTASY, TOMORROW, HARSH MISTRESS, AMAZING" The recent SF magazines don't seem to have much of a resale value unfortunately. That may change eventually, of course. "I have a few early Ackerman FAMOUS MONSTERS and SPACEMEN just because they were by Forry."

I'm told that the early issues of these sell for high prices on the West Coast, though I've not actually seen much demand for them myself. (I sometimes sell used SF at cons in the South, if I hadn't mentioned that earlier.)

"I have many post-war British prozines, including some short-lived ones, again to about 1970."

Now these are something that I'd like to buy for my own collection! You don't see a lot of these come up for sale in my part of the country anyway.

"And then there are a few real oddballs like an issue of the Argentinian URANIA, LA REVISTA DEL ANO 2000." I've no experience selling this sort of thing. Might be good ones to sell on eBay.

"This is the first thing I will sell, and plan to start writing dealers in the next few months."

I'd like to be included in that if you sell them by lots. I'd be interested in the British stuff and the semipro mags since I lack those in my own collection. I can't afford to offer a fair price for the pulps myself, and my advice about Pulpcon stands. Ask Rusty Hevelin about this. " I also collect books about SF including histories, autobiographies, studies, etc., and have some 200-300 titles."

Have you considered setting up as a dealer on the internet yourself, or suggesting that your son do so? You would find that much of this material - particularly the pulps and the books - would sell steadily. After Lynn Hickman died his son Mark began selling books and pulps from his dad's collection at conventions in the Midwest. He did pretty well and found that he enjoyed bookselling so much that he's continuing to do it. Perhaps your son might want to give it a try. Is he on the Internet? He can easily research speciality SF dealers and see what the market looks like.

By the way, when you start contacting dealers e-mail me and I'll round up some addresses of some of the better ones that I deal with for you. "Finally there is correspondence. I have letters from J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and a number of now deceased authors in our field. Many are properly stored in a filing cabinet and I have no thoughts about what to do about them. Some are quite valuable and of real historic interest and I have no thoughts about what to do with them at this point. I have not discussed this with Stanley who would have first call on them." How about the SF Foundation in England? Andy Sawyer runs that and they seem to be pretty solid and should be around a while. I'll find you his contact info if you like.

I've often thought about the question of what to do with fannish correspondance myself. When Lynn died he left some of his collection to me including his correspondance files. Some amazing letters in there that ought to be of historical interest someday, but it's hard to get over feeling like I'm reading someone else's mail - which of course, I am. I think that such material ought to be preserved intact for a period of time and then be made available for research and that's what I'll do with Lynn's correspondance and such of mine as seems worth preserving. If you eventually don't find anything else to do with yours (aside from the obviously valuable ones like the Tolkien and the Lewis stuff) I'll volunteer to take it and store it with what I already have and would promise to do all that I could to see that it eventually winds up in hands that will make good use of it. Someday a researcher will come along who will discover those letters and will write books and articles from them, but the thing is, that fellow may not have been born yet. The importance of saving fannish correspondance seems obvious to me, although it's "time" has probably not arrived yet. It will though. I'm serious about that offer. Keep me in mind if nothing better turns up.

"I have other, non-stfnal, items to dispose of eventually. Another interest of mine is subway and elevated railroad lines and I have a few books and many years of E.R.A. [Electric Railroaders' Association] HEADLIGHTS, and an almost complete run of TRANSIT MAGAZINE published for NY Transit Authority employees in the '50s. The latter had an interesting historical piece or one on a system in another city every ish." At this very moment there's a small explosion of postings on Trufen about this very subject. Moshe Feder is about to set up a separate list for this topic and there are several fans interested in it. You'll have no trouble selling this material.

"From my teaching days I have many physics, math, and astronomy textbooks." There actually is an active market for mathmatics texts. There are websites specializeing in the topic and a bookstore that I frequent in Blacksburg, Virginia (home of Virginia Tech) sold a collection of such texts from a retired mathematics professor for a very good price. Don't be in too big a hurry to dump those. Ed, what you really need is a professional book scout to assist you in identifying the good stuff in your collection. Of course, the problem with that is that scouts make their living by identifying such books for themselves and keeping the profits. Again, some web research could help here.

Science texts are, as you say, not very sought after because they need updating so frequently. May be some historical interest in the physics books though. Have you any books by Goddard or Oberth or any other early rocket people? I collect those.

"That leaves my thousands of cassettes and other recordings. I have runs of GALAXY and ANALOG on 8-1/3 R.P.M. phonograph records, hundreds of SF books on special format audio cassettes (to play six hours on a C-90), and blind-related books and magazines. I expect when I am gone they will be simply dumped."

Wouldn't the National Federation of the Blind be willing to take these and redistribute them? Listen Ed, if it comes to that, don't dump those recordings. If you don't find a good place for them, I'll come and take them off your hands and will keep looking until I find one. I'm currently a nursing student and as a nurse I know that I'll eventually hear of a blind SF fan out there somewhere who will treasure those recordings. When that day comes, have your family contact me. I can't stand for that sort of resource to go to waste, and I have a Lot of storage space available. "I had a NIEKAS table in the Huckster room, and sold Fred Lerner's new book on the history of libraries for him."

If you're going to have a dealer's table at cons in the future anyway, why don't you take along a few boxes of SF related stuff that you want to move out and see how it sells there? You might be surprised at how well stuff sells these days. I sell used SF books at cons and have been doing pretty well the last few years.
Your comments on copiers:
"...processes the color was dark brown rather than pure black." That sounds like a Thermofax. They tended to fade away to nothing in sunlight. [No, I know thermofax, on flimsy paper. This was a wet process...Verafax I believe. ERM]

DAGON (John Boardman): In Q432 I noted your remarks in commenting on BLANCMANGE to the effect that after WWII leaders of the Soviet Empire found it profitable to invent the other as an enemy and so invent the cold war. This gave the oligarchs on both sides power over their populations to their great profit. In your past writings I had the impression that you attributed the entire confrontation to the US, and am glad to see that you do not regard the Soviet Empire as blameless. While their conquest and closure from western influence of a sizeable portion of Europe was an expansion of their empire, the US committed similar atrocities in places like Guatemala, and continued to do so even as the "cold war" was winding down. I cite the overthrow of the legitimate liberal government in Chile by US agents, and the murder of the liberal Catholic bishop in El Salvador by US trained agents. The US government taught torture and terrorist techniques in its infamous "School of the Americas." [] In commenting on my reviews in ENTROPY #26 of Robinson's Mars trilogy and Clarke's 3001 you said "I share your doubts about the presence in Clarke's 3001...." I am afraid I do not understand what you meant. [] You listed a number of dissenting groups within the Catholic Church and while I agree with you on some, I consider at least two as unrelated groups. The Old Catholic Church split off and became a schismatic church over a century ago after Vatican I defined papal infallability. They are no more a dissenting movement than is the Church of England. The Catholic Workers are liberal extremists within the framework of the church, while "Pax Christi" is a radical conservative movement. The Michaelenes are a radical newage movement which claims Apostolic Succession through a small schismatic group analogous to but smaller than the Old Catholic Church. They do not claim to be an independent church but to be a religious order which solicits members from all denominations. I do not believe that any Christian denomination accepts their validity, though they seem to be closest to radically liberal Anglicans.

In Q434 I was interested in your comments on the character Jar Jar Binks in THE PHANTOM MENACE. I did not think of him as a black stereotype but on reflection I do vaguely remember similar cowardly helpers in comic adven- ture movies of long ago who were played by black actors. As I sat through the movie my mind went back to a lousy Disney movie of the late '60s, THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN. Sandy felt a strong dislike for Binks because, as she put it, she does not like cowards. [] Your comparison of the optimistic world of peaceful compromise in STAR TREK to the total evil vs. good in STAR WARS is good, as is your comparison of supernatural forces in the two worldviews. [] In your discussion of the criticism of Binks as gay, compared to a Tele- tubby, you asked "Have you ever heard of a female Jedi Knight?" It is appar- ently possible in the STAR WARS universe, for at the end of one film Yoda and the ghost of Kenobi are discussing what would happen if Luke were to fail, and agree that one other might be developed, implying that Leah could become one.

In Q436, Great news about the return of Frank Hayes. I love his album "Don't Ask." "There's a Hole in the Middle of it All" is a delightful parody of Sagan's TV "Cosmos." Sagan's last, posthumous, book is titled "Billions and Billions"!

In Q 426 in your "Anakreon" column I found your history of the song "Dixie" quite interesting. So "Dixieland" was originally a mythical never- never land of earthly paradise. You compared it with "Nephelococcygia" (sorry, but I never heard of this one before) and "the Big Rock Candy Mountain." The last expression I have heard before but know nothing of its meaning. Could you explain what these lands are, where they are referred to, and where the stories originated, if that information is known? [] I like your implication that the Christian funnymentalists who reject evolution should reject a spherical earth, or at least the heliocentric nature of our planetary system. When I worked at Spaulding Youth Center in 1975-6 I commu- ted for a while with such a preacher who phys ed? there. He read with interest articles in TIME or NEWSWEEK about plate tectonics and that Los Angeles will be in the arctic in the far future, but still insisted that the earth was only about 6,000 years old. He accepted the large size of the universe and knew that his intellectual superiors among funnymentalists had an explanation for light coming from stars millions of light years away.

He lent me a tape about this, and its argument was that when god created the universe 6000 years ago, he also created all the en-route lightwaves! This sound a bit like the argument some use that the fossils were created in the rocks for without them the earth would have been incomplete. (Other funny- mentalists say the fossils were placed there as a test of man's pride--would they accept God's true word in the bible or use their own reasoning from the fossils and reject God's true word. My answer is that if God lied to us in the rocks, how can we trust him not to have lied to us in scripture?) Pournelle, Niven, and someone else in the dystopic FALLEN ANGEL had Chicago's Museum of Science and Industrhy featuring exhibits explaining this theory of created light. In this novel the evial funnymentalists have taken over what is left of the US after the start of a new ice age and have banned all real science and even SF. It reminded me a bit of the round-robin story, "The Death of Science Fiction" in Ted White's fanzine STELLAR some 40 years ago. Fen are hunted and must hide their interests. Many, many fen were Tuckerized to varying degrees. in FALLEN ANGEL, some had their names twisted in a clever fashion and their personalities and activities were retained. Thus Forest "Forry" or "4e" Ackerman became Tremont or "3m". Charlie Brown became Charlie Beige, and Ben Yallow became Ben Orange. Other names were used unchanged, but with no other connection with the real person. Thus Ron Ellik, a brilliant computer programmer killed in 1968 when his car hit black ice the day before he was to be married, was a truck driver in this book. [] I am surprised to see several references to web sites in thish of your zine. I thought you avoided the web as a waste of time and were very adament about it. Why are you now recommending web sites? [] If it takes 10 seconds for impact sound of an object dropped into a well, the depth is less than the 1600 feet or 1 km implied by s = .5at2, because the delay of the sound coming back up the well must be factored in. You need three simultaniouis equations... s = .5t2, s = cT where c is the speed of sound, and t+T = 10. Solve by substitution.

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