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 #32
THE VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL #32, January 11, 2003, for APA-Q #479, from Ed Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, 322 Whittier Hwy, Center Harbor NH 03226-9708, [email protected] Back issues at and the website. {Corrections made after APA distribution in braces.} I guess this could also be called NIEKAS #46.4. To help you move around, I mark new subjects with "

>," authors of letters with "|," fanzines commented on with "~," and paragraphs with "

> \." My thanks to Sandy for cleaning up and formatting the last few ish.


> \NIEKAS is a general circulation fanzine I publish very irregularly, and is available for $4.95/ish, higher for special single subject issues. A four ish sub (good for quite a few years) is $20. I have most back issues, back to #21, at prices determined by scarcity. A published letter of comment or used text or artwork brings you the issue containing it free. I am eager to trade NIEKAS and ENTROPY for emailed or disk fanzines in text format (NOT PDF which my talking computer cannot interpret!)


> \Despite some minor shortcomings we found ConJose an enjoyable convention. We did not have a NIEKAS table in the huckster room so we were not tied down to it. Because of cross-border duty hassles we will skip having a table at Torcon, and might give up on tables altogether if future cons have as good a fanzine lounge as ConJose. Copies of NIEKAS got into the hands of a number of new readers. I failed to get new subs, however, which is a major problem. As current readers die or lose interest in fanzines the subscription base is going down. Ted White's excellent review of NIEKAS on the website failed to bring a single inquiry. I have limited funds for my hobby and need subscribers to pay at least part of the cost of producing NIEKAS.

> \But back to ConJose! The programming was excellent and I went to a program item almost every hour of the con. Often I had to select between two or three interesting items. This was slightly exacerbated by a lack of coordination between program items of similar interest. On several occasions items appealing to the same audience were placed opposite each other. I especially heard complaints of this at the panel on the interaction of religious interests and fandom. However considering the large number of program items, it would take a Herculean effort to categorize all of them (often one item appealing to two or three different audiences) and get them into non-conflicting time slots. It would have helped if some tracks were assigned to specific rooms...say, fannish, space, other science, writing, art, etc. Of course some items would attract a large general audience and so have to be in a major hall, not a track hall. Perhaps that is what actually happened. I did not have time to give the program an overview to remember where items occurred.

> \I LIKED the 90 minute slots...75 minutes for a panel and 15 minutes for talk afterwards and moving to the next item. If an item got out early because the panelists did not have enough for 75 minutes, you could spend a little time in the huck room, exhibits, or grabbing a snack.

> \The Fan lounge had an excellent location, right next to the con suite. This made it easy to find, and I hope other cons follow suit. It was well run, and no matter when I stopped by there was interesting conversation. On the rare lulls one could go next door to the con suite itself.

> \Karen Anderson celebrated her 50th anniversary in fandom (she entered with the 2nd Chicago Worldcon, TASFIC, in 1952) by throwing a party in the consuite. She had several excellent dishes she had prepared which she served to her guests, as well as a single malt and Aqua Vit. She held court among her many fannish friends and we all had a wonderful time.

> \We missed the opening ceremonies, but the closing ones were a romp with parades, singing, and other antics. After the gavel was turned over to Torcon 3 Torcon reps handed us boxes of their Smarties candy in the form of Lego Blocks, and we were told to bring the boxes back to Torcon and build something. (Smarties are the British and Canadian equivalent of Stateside M&Ms.) The official dead-dog party that night had an auction of con leftovers, cases of unused soda and candy from the con suite, computer accessories, maintenance hardware, and much else. However people quickly bored and their talk disrupted the continuation of the auction. If you had a way of getting it home, you could get real bargains, like six cases of soda for $5. I bid on a 50 ft extension cord but lost.

> \I was on one panel, on the future of First Fandom. It was originally established as the home and activity center for those who were in fandom before 1938. There is dissention on how to admit younger members as the original founders of fandom die off. Several strategies had been tried, such as a subsidiary "Second Fandom" organization on one extreme and accepting anyone in fandom over 20 years as a full member. The solution seems to have the original membership remain (perhaps modified to 1939 or 1940) with later arrivals as "associate members." Dues are only $5 a year, to Howard deVore, and I am somewhat interested, as I would like to read their journal SCIENTIFICTION. However they cannot provide it to me as a text file, and it would be another magazine I would have to try to find a live reader for.

> \Many excellent con reports have been published and I will not try to repeat them. I did enjoy the con, and hope the crew will be ready to bid again in another nine or so years.

> \The con didn't start until Thursday afternoon so in the morning we went to the San Jose Public Library, right across the street from the con center. It is the home of "Books Aloud", a private library of recorded books for the blind. I used to be a client of theirs 20 years ago (I first heard of it when Alva Rogers had left money to the program in his will) and re-established my membership. Tuesday morning we wandered around central city and hit used book stores, then took a cab to the Egyptian museum run by the Rosicrucian's. Despite its cult connection it is a good museum with an excellent collection. After that we wandered around the fringes of town, and then walked back to the center. Wednesday we didn't feel like going out to Winchester House, which we were told is not worth the expensive trip and admission charge, and is extremely uncomfortable to tour. We were also told by those who went that it just wasn't that interesting. The Children's Science Museum was closed for modifications, and there was nothing else to do. We ended up taking a bus to a mall and wandering around for a couple of hours. After we got back to town we had dinner, retrieved our luggage, and went our separate ways. Todd had to go back to work so took the trolley out to San Jose airport, and Sandy and I took the Caltrain to San Francisco, where we checked into the downtown Youth Hostel. The Hostel is on Mason St., between Geary and O'Farrell.

> \Sandy had seen much in the Bay Area nine years earlier when we had been there for ConFrancisco but much remained. Thanks to Jim & Joyce Quigg we had gotten out to Muir Woods, Mt. Diablo, the Livermore vineyards, and Sausalito. We had done a bit of the city then, and concentrated on it now. First day we took the boat tour out to Alcatraz. At the landing area are some buildings with exhibits and films on the history and program at the prison. This included the Indian takeover after the prison was closed, and was quite sympathetic to their cause. Then we did the walking tour, climbing the high hill to the prison itself, while the guide gave us more info on the treatment of prisoners and on history. Finally at the prison itself there was a carry-along tape-recorded tour of the facility, with historical notes on famous prisoners, incidents, etc. The boat rides and full tour took about six hours, tho if you did not want to do everything you could be done in about three hours.

> \We spent considerable time in the Fisherman's Warf/Ghirardelli Square area. We lucked out being there for a once-a-month event and an annual event. As I say elsewhere, we found a Lithuanian beer in a mall built into an old fish cannery. We also found a small maritime museum which was mildly interesting, but as we were leaving we noticed an announcement of a free monthly concert of sea chanties in the hold of a ship, and it was that night. It was in the form standard for con filk parties...each person had to sing a song, request one from the regular performers, or pass. During two intermissions coffee, cocoa, and hot cider were served, and CDs by the performers were given as door prizes. Afterwards walking back to the "F" trolley line home to the hostel we passed the cable car turnaround, and a half-empty car was about to leave. We hopped on as it passed only one block from the hostel. The closed cabin was full so we sat on the outward-facing outside benches, with Judge in the walkway into the cabin. He did NOT like going up and down the steep hills when he kept sliding back and forth, and was very glad to get off.

> \We also hit a chocolate festival at the Ghirardelli factory/mall. Some 20 restaurants had booths on the veranda. You bought tickets which allowed you to sample from five of them, the money going to a charity which provided meals to persons disabled by the later stages of AIDS. Scattered throughout the several levels of veranda were several performers and we stopped to listen and talk with a hammer-dulcimer performer. The sound was so robust I was croggled to learn it was not amplified. He explained that the instrument was a very well built and expensive one so it had good volume to begin with, and he hit the strings with extreme vigor. I had never been up close to one before, and he let me feel the instrument and hammers. I was surprised that it had nothing in common with the only other dulcimer I had ever felt, which was like a violin without the resonance box. Most memorable of the chocolates sampled was the wonderful Dutch chocolate cream liquor, Vermeer.

> \Speaking of candy, Sandy's friend Jan Shirley had commissioned us to stop at a "Sees Candy" outlet and buy some "Scotch Kisses" for her. We went into one of the two we found on Market St., did a tasting, and also bought some Scotch Kisses for ourselves. If we were not trying to lose weight, we would have loaded up on many other varieties! I also got information on selling Sees candy bars as a fundraiser for the NFB in place of the "World's Finest" brand we now use. They had two kinds of bars which sounded interesting, dark chocolate with almonds, and toffee (like a Heath Bar), plus other bars which matched those from WFC. However they did not have the equivalent of "Mint Meltaways" which is our best seller, and both companies have such large minimum orders that we could not market both brands.

> \The Bay Area has a wonderful assortment of public transit. Aside from the state-run Caltrain to San Jose, there are three major agencies in the Barea. Muni is the San Francisco Municipal Railroad which operates cable cars, standard historical trolley cars, a modern "Muni Metro" running light rail underground downtown and at street level elsewhere, standard diesel buses, and electric busses ("trackless trolleys"). BARTD or Bay Area Rapid Transit District runs high-speed and expensive commuter trains throughout much of the Barea. AC (Alameda-Contra Costa) Transit runs busses up and down the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, etc.)I believe Caltrain also runs a service between San Jose and Stockton. I got to use all of these except for the Muni Metro, which I had used on previous visits.

> \When I lived in the Barea in the 60s MUNI had four trolley lines, all starting along Market St., and then diverging into various directions. Two of these went underground to pass under hills. When BARTD was built under Market St., the trolley lines were also put underground on a second level, which then connected with the existing street-level (and short tunnel) lines in the outskirts. The rolling-stock was replaced with modern "light rail" trainsets. Sandy read me signs calling this the "Muni Metro," a term I had not heard used before. I wonder if this designation is new, or nobody had mentioned it to me before.

> \While the Market St. tunnels were still under construction I had read in the Electric Railroaders Association magazine HEADLIGHTS that Muni was considering building a new underground line along Geary St., but nothing came of this. I wonder if there are any thoughts of new subway lines in SF?

> \When the Muni trolleys were put under Market St. street level tracks were left in place. I wondered why this was so. Anyhow, the cable cars used to be just a part of the Muni system used routinely by locals in their daily travel. However they became such a tourist attraction with such long lines of tourists waiting to experience them that it often took over an hour to get on. The cable cars have become like a Disneyland ride, a thing only experienced by tourists, and Muni decided to try to take the pressure off by adding another tourist-attracting service. They reclaimed the surface tracks on Market St., made some connect links and extensions, took over dock-side freight tracks, and created a new line, the F line, along Market St. and the Embarcadero, ending in the Fisherman's Warf area. They got antique trolley cars from various cities, and repainted them in that city's "livery", and put them on this line. It passed only three blocks from our hostel and went to Fisherman's Warf/Giardello Square so we used it several times. They did add to the antique trolleys a modern automated PA system which announced stops and transfers.

> \BARTD is a modern high-speed system much like that in DC, but very expensive to ride. The original plans as published in the newspapers when I lived in the area called for a system about three times as extensive as the one which was built. Both the East Bay and San Francisco lines were to go on south to meet in San Jose, and it was to cross the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties. The final system was a lopsided Plus sign, going from the SW corner of San Francisco, diagonally across the city to a tunnel to Oakland, and then thru the Berkeley hills to Orinda and Walnut Creek, and then north to Concord. The vertical leg went from Richmond in the north to a little past Hayward in the south. From time to time an extra station was added extending one of the lines, and a decade ago construction started on a new branch going east from Hayward to Pleasanton and Livermore. That branch is now open, but ends in Pleasanton, five miles short of Livermore. I wonder why it was not finished. Now finishing touches are being put on an extension south from SF to the SF airport. Maps indicate that the next hoped-for expansion is to extend the Hayward line further south, but still not all the way to San Jose.

> \There is at least one opportunity to transfer from BARTD to Muni and to AC Transit. I heard the PA system on BARTD announce that transfers were available to a Muni trolley to a Giants ballgame. When we got off at the Ashby station in Berkeley to take a bus to Diana Paxson's we saw a machine which gave transfer cards to AC, so we took them. With these tickets we could get the Ashby St. bus for about half fare. There was some sort of stub for the return trip but we never had the opportunity to see how it works.

> \We stayed at the hostel four nights, then took a group tour to Yosemite National Park run by "Incredible adventures." It WAS a wonderful experience, and cost us only $200 each for three nights and two days. There were 14 of us plus the guide. We traveled in a van to a camp & RV site just outside Yosemite Park, where Incredible Adventures has a semi-permanent tent site. They run two tours a week all summer and early fall. After stowing our gear we walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Next morning we all worked together to fix and eat breakfast (cereal, milk, bagels, juice) and make sandwiches for packing. We carried large bottles of water and fruit, too. Yosemite is made up of two distinct areas, the valley and the upper park. First day we drove to the upper park and parked at (if I remember) at the 9,000 foot level at Mt. Hoffman. Our project was to climb to the top, at about 10,000 feet, but there was a rest area with snack shop, benches, and a lake for illegal swimming, and the timid were told to stop there. We were told it gets steeper and more difficult the higher we go, and is really rough near the top. Sandy and I decided to make for the mid-way rest area, but the path was very narrow (often just wide enough for one foot), very rocky, and with lots of upturned tree-roots. I was doing fine but always have more trouble going downhill than uphill and got nervous about the return trip, so I decided to stop half-way to the official rest area, sit on a large rock, eat my sandwich and fruit, and read my talking book. Sandy went on to the official area, ate her lunch, took a nap, and came back to meet me before the others got back from the top of the mountain.

> \Judge outdid himself on the trip down. His work was far beyond anything he had been trained for at The Seeing Eye. He picked routes among the rocks and other obstacles, large steps up and down, places where the available footspace was only 4 or 5 inches wide, etc. He would look ahead and pick what is not necessarily the most direct path, but the one with the fewest hazards. I was absolutely flabbergasted at his performance, and we made it down in less time than I had anticipated. I had planned to largely rely on Sandy to help pick a path, and often lean on her shoulder to get past the roughest parts, but I almost never had to do so. Judge found the path and also gave me physical support for balance when I needed it.

> \We then drove to another parking lot at a lower altitude where we had a one mile walk down a very straight, wide, and paved path to the giant Sequoia trees. It was a steady downhill to get there but somehow I had a bit of trouble with balance, and tiredness from the mountain climb. We got to hug a tree 33 feet in diameter, and were told that another quarter mile on was the tree with the tunnel thru it, but did not go on. Going back up the hill Sandy had much more trouble than I did. She ran short of breath and we had to stop every hundred feet or so.

> \Back at the campground we fixed and ate dinner, a Mexican dish whose name I have forgotten. We piled vegetables and cooked meat we had chopped on tortillas, put cheese on top, and barbecued it until the cheese melted. (vegetarian alternatives were available.) Sandy and I, and some others, retreated to our tents right after cleanup, while the rest sat around the fire, talked, and drank beer.

> \Next morning after the usual routine of making and eating breakfast and preparing bag lunches we headed for the Yosemite valley. We were given maps of a dozen walks we could take, and a list of things to visit in the valley itself. Shuttle busses constantly went in a circle taking you from one site to another. Most highly recommended, but only for the sturdiest, was a 14 mile "panoramic" trail. We were warned that the first four miles were a steady uphill, but about half our party did it. Sandy and I started with a one mile walk to mirror lake which, in season, reflects a mountain. However at this time it was a grassy bowl, but still the walk was enjoyable. We took the bus back to the center and shopped in the general store, where Sandy found some excellent camping supplies at reasonable prices. We decided not to do another walk after lunch, but to go to the museum and model Indian village. The first demonstrator in the museum was a retired geologist, and I got into an excellent discussion of the geology of the valley with him. He was replaced by a Native American woman who demonstrated basket making. Then we went to the model village, a reconstruction of the type of village that had been in the valley up to the 1930s, with plaques explaining the various features and their uses. We also saw a film on the history of the valley and its inhabitants.

> \Again after cooking dinner Sandy and I went to our tent early. Next morning after the usual breakfast and sandwiches we cleaned up the camp site and got into our van for the four hour ride back to San Francisco.

> \It was a young, international bunch on this trip. After me at 66 and Sandy at 55, the next oldest was around 30, and our guide was in her early 20s. We had people from England, Germany, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. It was a very interesting group, and we enjoyed talking with them at meals and in the van.

> \We spent the remainder of our vacation at Grayhaven, the home of Diana Paxson and nine others, including her son Ian, his wife, and children. First morning we took a bus to Brennan's Restaurant, at the foot of University, where we had lunch with an old friend, Genia Pauplis, and a friend of hers. Brennan's has a large cafeteria style steam table with many excellent, hearty dishes, and their bar features outstanding Irish and Venetian (replace the Irish whiskey with brandy, which I prefer) coffee. I look forward to eating (and drinking) here whenever in the Bay Area. When I lived in the area the local SF club often congregated here after meetings. Genia is a member of two different chorals which perform sacred music, and gave us CDs of the groups. It was good to see her again after nine years. After that we went to the SF bookstore, "Another Change of Hobbit," on Shattuck Ave., where we bought several books and had a very nice chat with the clerk. (The owner, Tom Whitmore, was not in that day.)

> \We then went up to Telegraph Ave. and hit several of the bookshops there, and finally took the Ashby bus back up to Grayhaven. The other SF bookshop, Dark Carnival, was only a few blocks from Grayhaven but we never happened in that direction when they were open.

> \While on the bus to Brennan's we noticed an "Anthropology Museum" on the southern edge of the Berkeley campus, so we went back next day. It was about one block east of Telegraph Ave. It was an eccentric accumulation of several cultures and all came from one person's private collection. Some of the items were mildly interesting, but the exhibit was very small for such a large, expensive building. I suspect it was left to the University by a rich alumnus back when the campus still had a lot of undeveloped space and they could accept this legacy of an eccentric. We saw all there was to see in about a half hour.

> \We needed some kibble for Judge and were low on oatmeal for ourselves so I took us to what used to be the "Co-op" supermarket at Telegraph and Ashby, and we were very disappointed. It was all "organic" at super ridiculous prices, and I had been stupid not to have asked Grayhaven where they shopped, so we were stuck paying those prices. And the "organic" oatmeal was the flattest I had ever tasted!

> \In BART stations we had seen billboards for free Shakespeare in Golden Gate Park so we went and saw an excellent performance of Winter's Tale. Like so many of Shakespeare's plays it relied on misidentification of characters. I was very interested to see that the natives of Bohemia spoke Spanish. When there was a festival or fair in Bohemia the natives spoke and sang in Spanish, and the music had a Mexican taste. Unlike the NY Central Park Shakespeare performances, the audience sat on the grass, tho free cushions were available.

> \Just as was the case when we were there for ConFrancisco, the Lamplighters Gilbert & Sullivan repertory company was between performances. Some day I must get to the Barea while they re performing. Of course after 40 years their performers and administration will have changed completely, but I hope their performances are a s good as ever. One thing I liked about them back in the 60s was that they restored the traditional cuts made in most performances.

> \Several friends I had wanted to see were either out of town or too tied up to get together with us. Felice (Rolfe) Maxam, my original co-editor on NIEKAS, was in Hawaii for a vacation with her daughter, but did get back and we met for a few hours on our last day in the Barea.

> \I only wish to comment on two restaurants we experienced. Diana Paxson took us to a Greek sidewalk café on College St. which was outstanding. We found an excellent, inexpensive, Thai restaurant only a block from our hostel, on Mason just east of O'Farrell. When I lived in the Barea I loved the macaroons from David's Deli on Geary St., and got some to go when there for ConFrancisco. However those were stale and dry, and I was very disappointed. This time I decided to eat in the deli and order them to be served, hoping they would be fresh. They were excellent, but EXPENSIVE. Four macaroons and two cups of coffee came to about $10!

> \We especially enjoyed our stay at Grayhaven, getting to know Ian and his family, and meeting the other residents. Our first evening there we took part in a Norse harvest festival with about 50 attendees. The house has an enormous living room and all fit comfortably. The ceremony was in honor of Frey and involved ritual boasts, libations with beer, and tying petition ribbons onto a symbolic horse which is to be burned at a later festival. Afterwards we had a pot-luck supper.

> \The other household ritual was a weekly Sunday afternoon high tea where people dressed for the occasion. I also had a long talk with Marion Bradley's son, David, who said his mother had often spoken of me and of NIEKAS.

> \It is probably 20 years since I last stayed over at Grayhaven and I was glad to be able to take part in the household activities. I hope it is less than 20 more years before I return. Diana Paxson will be GoH at the Darkovercon in Baltimore next November and we look forward to seeing her again.


> \For the readers unfamiliar with the topic, I am discussing the methods by which the locations of the World SF Conventions are determined.

> \In 1952 there was no rotation plan and San Francisco made a major bid for the 1953 worldcon. They had a penthouse suite for a major bidparty. However NY City fandom had been trying to be selected to hold another Worldcon for some time, but had been rejected largely because of internal squabbling. They decided to throw their forces behind a Phili bid for 53 where they could participate in helping run it. They thus defeated the SF bid. SF did get the con one year later, in 54, but reports said that they had lost heart as a result of the fan politics and the con was not as good as it could have been in 53. This is all before my time, since I came into the fringes of fandom in late 55 and became active in 59. Walter Willis' report on his trip to the 1952 "TASFIC" (Tenth Annual SF Convention) worldcon made some caustic remarks about the business meeting politics and voting.

> \I think the rotation plan was passed in 1954 and was definitely in place at Newyorkon in 1956. Its purpose was to fairly distribute Worldcon sites among the regions of the country in an orderly and predictable manner. In Fancyclopedia II under "rotation plan" there was reference to "orderly progression westward" since the first 4 worldcons were NY, Chicago, Denver, LA, and The next four were Philadelphia, Toronto, Cincinnati, and Portland OR. New Orleans in 51 and Chicago in 52 broke that pattern, and the final rotation plan went in the opposite direction.

> \The original rotation plan said that when the con left North America the rotation was delayed by one year, and no zone was skipped. Thus it was NY in 56, London in 57, and LA in 58...not a central zone. Ditto in 65 and 70; SF Bay Area in 64, London in 65, and Cleveland in 66, and St. Louis in 69, Germany in 70, and Boston in 71.

> \In the 60s rules were changed adding a 4th overseas zone, but it would be on a five year schedule so that no one zone would have to go overseas every time in order to bid. (Voting was still by show of hands at the business meeting.)

> \Some chauvinistic fen did not like this zone so they sabotaged the whole thing by proposing a plan where the "worldcon" would go overseas every second year but the Hugos would remain in the US at a new national con to be held when the con was overseas. Thus they gave overseas fen the name but not the reality of worldcon. That change was quickly scotched but the North American rumpcon remained a part of the final constitution, and the 4th zone was lost.

> \When the last happened I was distracted from following fan politics in detail, so my memory is vague. In the SMOFs listserv Tony Lewis said that some fen were upset about the Worldcon going to Germany, a non-English speaking country, and were threatening to set up rules preventing the con from leaving North America again at any time. Perhaps their mechanism was giving the name but not the reality of Worldcon to foreign fen, as above? Anyhow, Tony said that NASFiC had to be created in order to retain the Worldcon as a real meaningfully world-wide institution. NASFiC was picked as the name and put into the Worldcon constitution to shoot down efforts by George Nims Raybin and others to establish an "USCon." Someone else on the SMOFs list said that the 4th zone was dropped because overseas fen were not sure they could mount a bid as frequently as every five years.

> \Now the rotation plan has been dropped completely and replaced by a "keep your distance" plan. The site being voted upon must be a minimum distance from the city in which the election will occur, but can be in any part of the country.

> \This is to the best of my memory of what I heard at cons at the time and what I have read in fanzines and fan histories. If any of my memories are false please correct me!

> \Incidentally, since then even without the requirement the con has gone overseas about every 5 years with an extra overseas con in 1987 and probably in 2007.

> \I do not like the concept of a NASFiC, and especially now that there is no zone plan, it serves no needed function. One justification for NASFiC was to have a con to fill the hole in a given zone, but now there is no zone. Some fen are afraid that a strictly national con would be started to compete with the Worldcon, but without the Hugos and other traditions would it be a real threat? Is Dragoncon, with its 20,000-30,000 attendees a threat to the Worldcon today? Even in those years when I could not go to an overseas Worldcon, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1987, and 1999, I was not in the least interested in going to the NASFiC. For their sake I hope the Charlotte fen get the 05 NASFiC but I am going to Glasgow. I might be tempted if Seattle gets the 07 NASFiC as we want to tour the Pacific northwest, but are more like to do a larger regional con, Potlatch, Oricon, or Norwescon, or just wait for the Seattle Worldcon bid in 09 or 11.

> \I do prefer it when con bids are unopposed. Otherwise one very hard working group is disappointed and all that work went for nothing. Some say that competition makes bids stronger, but it is not necessarily the stronger bid which wins. How many fen really study the talents on the bid committee, the quality of the facilities, etc.? How many vote for irrelevant is their turn as they haven't had a Worldcon in umpteen years, x city is easier or cheaper for me to get to, this city has more interesting tourist sites for after the con, the con has a cute name or attention getting gimmick, etc. I will admit I have voted for these irrelevant reasons myself, except the "closer to me" one.

> \"South Gate again in 2010!"

>ENTROPY LETTERS |MARK BLACKMAN [since ENTROPY goes to many not in APA-Q, I have reprinted these from his mailing comments in BLANCMANGE #382]

> \when I send e-copies of my zine do you prefer text to Word? [txt files are best though I can handle "Word" files. I could not open the disk John Boardman had given me Works) and had to have someone else convert it to text.ERM] Due to the costs of repro & postage, some zines have switched entirely to on-line. How did fans afford to produce zines during the Depression? (Postage was 3¢, but still...) [Christmas cards, and I assume fanzines under one oz, only cost 1.5c during WWII, and SaM spoke at an ESFA meeting of the thrill when depression fen found mimeo stencils at only 5c each. Mimeo was regarded as far superior to the usual hecto, but usually unaffordable. Zines were small and copy-count was low.ERM]

> \LoCs on Niekas #46 Cuyler [Ned] Brooks

>In old ditto'd zines that I have, the ink has faded, but the paper hasn't darkened. I have perfectly sharp photocopies from the early '70s. Re both photocopying & laser printing, I've seen "unfused" toner fall (brush) off paper. // Moskowitz had a vindictive side, holding grudges for 60 years. (One led him to distort fan history, claiming that Dave Kyle had had nothing to do with Lunarians in its first year; in fact, Dave was the Club's first President and SaM had missed the first 2 meetings, only being considered a founding member as a courtesy to his expressing interest in it. Correcting him on that was my last conversation with him.) # //Joseph T. Major

> Someone from MUFON once wrote to CARE demanding annual financial reports - he believed in little green (or gray) men, but not little brown kids. | 80% of Americans believe that the Govt is hiding data on E-Ts, 31% believe that a spaceship crashed in '47, 9% claim to have had contact with UFOs or know someone who did; and more have reported seeing UFOs than voted for Clinton in '96. (Btw, the National Archives & FBI's sites, which have info on UFO sightings, are & # The "noble savage living in harmony with nature" is a myth; primitives stampeded entire herds off cliffs to get meat from a couple of beasts. # Bikel was Tevye, Worf's foster father & B5's rabbi, but I'll always remember him at the '68 Democratic Convention singing "We Shall Overcome" as the cops rioted outside. # Re dragons, maybe it's racial memory of dinosaurs (like the Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur)? I wonder if fannish affinity for dragons is iconoclastic - dehorrifying a monster - or the human impulse to tame nature. Dragons in contemporary fantasy do come off as cats - noble, independent. # I too don't visit graves - (what made the person) the person's not there. People live on in the things that they did or made. And, too, I associate them with mementoes (relics). A friend whose parents were cremated has the ashes in an urn on his sister's mantel; to me that's macabre. // John [Jack] Speer Yes, Boardman can be intractable. Fortunately, in the past 40 years the world learned that racial discrimination is reprehensible and that the Vietnam War was asinine. # $tar War$ "Stop ABM" is what Bush Jr. wants to do. Bova's boosting of $DI ran in Analog in '82 or '83. Just about every computer programmer in Fandom said that it was infeasible. # Reagan disgraced the US, making it look like a nuclear aggressor - able to attack and to prevent retaliation - upsetting the "balance of terror" that was the basis of peace. | Yes, it was & is aerospace industry welfare, but, also, because Reagan proposed it, it's an indelible, sacrosanct article of faith for Republicans, as I note above.

> \Re: MZB, Agatha Christie & Joan Vinge - like MZB - had to keep their ex-husband's name as their professional name. # At that first Darkover Con (in Brooklyn), Bradley was stopped at the Dealers Room door for not wearing a badge. # Yes, there is a Fancy III [Fancyclopedia]website ( Works/Fancyclopedia/Fancyclopedia_III) & some entries.

> \LoCs on Entropy Hall Fred Lerner

> It's too bad that Bill Cody wasn't Jewish. Btw, it's doubtful that giraffe could be slaughtered kosherly - the long neck might prevent instantaneous - non-cruel - death. -

> \forensic astrologer? (Instead of a locked room mystery, a locked 7th House mystery?) At least Garrett's forensic sorcerer was whimsical. -

> \[taken from his comments in BLANCMANGE #384]

> \ VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL/Ed Meskys: Letters

> Piers Anthony Ditto also allows multiple colors. # Re writing what sells, true. (That's the inherent flaw in John Boardman's Colin Ferguson Award - he blames the authors & publishers when the real "creator" of "Rambo sf" is the audience's demand. My not buying those books is a more constructive response.) // Lloyd Penney Baseball lends itself more to fantasy than to sf. Looking at films, the best baseball fantasy is, of course, Damn Yankees. The Natural is mythic while Field of Dreams is mystical. An episode of Amazing Stories had a guy go back in time to be a ballplayer, his career appearing on a baseball card, while The X-Files did one about a Roswell-alien ballplayer (titled, of course, "The Unnatural"). In '60s sit-coms Mr. Ed & Herman Munster play briefly for the Dodgers. Borderline sf was It Happens Every Spring about a chemist who invents a wood repellent and becomes, after dousing baseballs in it, a pitcher. # Bujold's {Shards of Honor} began as a Trek novel, with the Betans Vulcans and the Barrayarans Klingons. # // Roger Waddington My oldest 5" floppies, done in Paperclip, are obsoletely unreadable and even my 5" floppies in WordPerfect are nearly so. // Susan Zeuge "Coatlicue wears a skirt of writhing serpents" - how did she become "the mother of all living things"? That sounds like a very effective contraceptive. | I'm sure that snakes' phallic shape added to their association with the generative cycle. # Re Worldcons, I find it ironic that the SmoFs who dismissed Charlotte because its Committee hadn't ever run a Worldcon are enthusiastically behind Japan. Charlotte is now bidding for the '05 NASFiC; it likely faces opposition. // The genre of history existed at the time of the Gospels - Herodotus, Thucydides, Livius - in fact, several books of the Hebrew Scriptures (i.e., the Old Testament) are histories. Still, even with TV, etc., many people misremember recent historical events & quotes. [What I had tried to say was that histories in the modern sense, with exact quotes and citations, did not exist then, and historians did not worry about only quasi-quoting their subjects, or the exact dates and true sequence of events. ERM] Jesus said that he came only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" and that he had not "come to abolish the Law ... not one dot or stroke", yet superseded it with a new - & contradictory - covenant. Paul further ruptured the 2 creeds to appeal to the more receptive (than Jews) pagans. And Muhammad never "work[ed] within the Jewish faith" nor "tried to reform it". Some of the Jews of Medina offered him - a fellow monotheist - refuge when he fled Mecca, but turned away from him due to his warlike ways (he raided caravans, murdered opponents & ultimately led an army into battle) and his belief that he was the Messiah. In response he had a "revelation" hostile to the Jews. Btw, the Chasidim are distinguished from the other Orthodox more by customs than by level of observance; Reconstructionist are akin to Conservative (they're stricter than Reform), but with a different slant (an emphasis more on Jewish culture); and Sephardim (less visibly split than Ashkenazim) are entirely omitted from your list. [Wups...I wrote Chasidim when I was thinking of Sephardim. From one example I had assumed that Reconstructionist Jews were atheists who kept the Kosher and other rules, Ashkenazim or east European version, as a statement of their Jewish culture.ERM] # While Jesus undoubtedly irked the Temple priests, it was the Romans who executed him as a political/military threat to their rule - note the "King of the Jews" charge. (For the contemporary sense of the term "Messiah", think of the later Bar-Kochba.) I've called The Life of Brian the most historically accurate Bible epic; there were dozens of wandering preachers claiming to be the Moshiach. | Driving the moneychangers from the Temple was fanatical, nutty. There was a practical reason for them - by law, the temple could only be paid in Tyrian (from Tire) coins, whereas the everyday currency in Judea was Greek & Roman coins, so it was necessary for there to be a currency exchange. |JOHN BOARDMAN [excerpted from DAGON 560] After reading Piers Anthony's {Balook}, which captured very well the feeling of a Heinlein juvenile from when Heinlein was at the top of his powers, I sent a copy of my review to him. He replied, but did not mention anything about not printing his address.

> \Yes, there has been a considerable mortality in s-f, pros and fans, in recent years. The ones that were younger than me have particularly given me pause: Lee Burwasser, Judy Sephton, Dave Schwartz, Robert Sacks...

> \With regard to Milt Stevens' letter, I feel that, as the 19th century was the century of unprecedented advances in theoretical and applied chemistry, and the 20th century for theoretical and applied physics, the 21st century is going to see advances in biology that will not only expand that field but will organize it in a new fashion, producing numerous practical applications. Genetic engineering, regeneration, cloning, and cures for major diseases are likely.

> \Susan Zuege's comments about the origin of dragon mythology are interesting; the identification in Revelation 12:9 of dragons, serpents, and the devil show how Christianity understands them. Indeed, I have seen in Christian bookshops bitter complaints about children's books and TV shows which make dragons friendly, or show that humans and dragons can live in peace with one another. I wonder whether this is why we so seldom see the 1940 Disney animated film THE RELUCTANT DRAGON, which carries the same message. As for the identification of snakes with goddesses, I am reminded of a visit we made with Karina, then 8, to the New York World's Fair in 1964. The Humane Society had an exhibit showing how animals of many kinds could live peaceably in a home, though I doubt that most people are ready for a llama on the living-room sofa. The woman who ran the exhibit was a great enthusiast for "Animal Rights", clearly a True Believer. She brought out a small python or boa, which Karina stroked fearlessly. "Isn't it odd," the woman gushed, "that the little girls like the snakes more than the little boys do?" Jawohl, Sigmund.

> \I also did not care too much for Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books. More generally, I have noted that I sometimes have much different reactions to different series by the same author. I eagerly read any of Glen Cook's "Garret" books as soon as they come out, but I have read only the first of his "Black Company" books, and have on my hands a number of other books I'd rather read than go further with the Black Company. I have the impression that, for all its popularity with fans of military fiction, The Black Company is very subtle anti-war satire.

> \In my article in DAGON #551 I gave the masses of various satellites and asteroids in milli-Earths (mE), not micro-Earths (µE). For example, the Moon's mass is 12.3 mE and Pluto's is 2.2 mE.

> \The best account I've ever found, which put the gospels into the context of the time in which they were written, was Archibald Robertson's {The Origins of Christianity}. The best indication that Jesus did not intend to found a new religion but to recall backslid Jews may be found in Matthew 15:24: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Only after his execution did his followers discover that there was a large number of non-Jews who were also interested in the message. This is curiously related to the outreach work of the Lubavitcher Hasidim today. Their street-corner recruiters will first ask you if you are Jewish. If you are not, they will say, "Have a nice day," and wait for a Jewish prospect. (I always deal with them by saying, "No, I'm not Jewish" in Hebrew.) The Lubavitchers would not be pleased to learn that that's how Jesus started out.

> \None of the shock art that has so upset people is likely to have lasting value. But that's not the point. The point is that politicians and preachers must not be allowed to ban artistic, or for that matter scientific, productions simply because they are displeased by them. But Time has apparently agreed with Mayor Giuliani; they have just named him "Censor of the Year" or some such thing.

> \I see a mention of Bouchercon in Entropy #31. I attended Bouchercon 33 this past October in Austin TX. It was a goodly amount of fun, partly because a friend of mine from St. Louis was there. I have decided I know almost nothing of the lesser mystery writers of today, but there were a number of historical panels on the first day which I enjoyed. I also talked briefly to Len Moffatt to started the Bouchercons (he was there with his wife). Len said that Austin Carter in _Rocket to the Morgue_ was based on Cleve Cartmill; I had assumed the character was based on Henry Kuttner. Do you know? Also, do you have Len's address? I'd like to follow up on this matter for a paper I'm writing next fall. --Joe

> \ It didn't make much sense to me -- probably because I am very, VERY tired and am coming in on it late -- but some of what I read did make sense and I enjoyed it. I liked the stuff about the time-traveling theories and such. XOXO Chrissie Hill

Ed -
> \Many thanks for the latest =Entropy=.

> \Steve Sneyd writes: "You also mentioned fandom histories. Rob Hansen wrote a series of these coming from the 30s to the 70s inclusive which were published some years ago. I doubt any are still in print, sadly." They're on line, though, at -- both text and HTML web-page versions. You mentioned earlier that you found web pages inconvenient: would you like me to e-mail the plain text files as attachments? [please, yes! ERM]

> \John Boardman wrote: "James Branch Cabell once mentioned casually, in one of his novels, that the young John Milton had considered writing an Arthurian epic. Then circumstances turned his politics anti-monarchical, and he went on to other themes." Cabell's {Beyond Life} (an essay or collection of essays dressed up as a novel) features a whole library of imaginary and unwritten books. The owner remarks: "Milton's own =King Arthur=, by the way, is his most readable performance."

All best: Dave David Langford
[email protected]

> \I finally got around to reading Entropy and enjoyed it. Keep me on the subscription list. If there is a charge, please let me know; I didn't see any price mentioned. [It is sent free to all who request it.ERM] One suggestion is some means to separate each topic in the electronic version. You could either draw a line of dashes, skip a couple lines, or insert a couple asterisks we could search for. Keep up the good work. |MIKE WARD Dear Ed,

> \Thank you for sending that to me. I read the entire thing in greater or less detail and it brought back to me lots of people I haven't seen or heard from in years -- as well as the advantage of reading reviews of books I will surely never get to myself, but have now had their best ideas encapsulated in accessible form.

> \I, too, wonder what to do with some of this stuff that has gathered around me over the past thirty or forty years. Perhaps the correct answer is a big, festive, fire -- a sort of Potlatch of untransferable books and papers. Why are people looking at me in such horror? The alternative is always eBay, if one is willing to spend the time to list and process it. I don't think I am. Mike Ward |WAHF Ben Indick, Terry Jeeves, Rob & Joyce Mott, David Palter.

> \"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg Trial

> \Quoted in Trufen by Dave Locke, [email protected]

> \At the booz store in San Francisco's "Cannery" mall I bought a Lithuanian beer, "Zhiguli," brewed in Shaulay. First, I was croggled by the use of "h" in the names. In Lithuanian h is not used, except in a very few loan words, and the sh and zh sounds are indicated by a mark over the s and z. Has Lithuania changed its orthography in the last year to conform to west European usage, or is this simply a modification for the U.S. market?

> \It was a 500 ml (17 oz) bottle, and the beer had a good hearty flavor like Danish and Dutch beers.

> \Two or three years ago I ate dinner at the Lithuanian Club in Baltimore which serves it Friday evenings except during the summer. There they served a Lith. Beer. I no longer have clear memory of the taste except that it was rather good. That came in the US traditional size of 12 oz. The brand name was Utenos, and was from the city of Utena. My Lith grammar is weak but I believe Utenos is the genetive (possessive) form of Utena.

> \Zhiguli is 4.3% alcohol, Utinos is 4.8. The labels on both bottles indicate intended US distribution...they have the medical warnings in English, and the bottle redemption values for the appropriate states.

> \The following was sent to me by both Anne Braude and Mark Blackman.

> \Biggest object since Pluto found in solar system By Richard Stenger (CNN)

> \A newly discovered body in the outer reaches of the solar system is larger than all the objects in the asteroid belt combined, astronomers announced Monday. The spherical planetoid, half the size of Pluto, is the biggest found in the solar system since astronomers detected the ninth planet in 1930. It orbits the sun from a distance of about 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) in a nether region known as the Kuiper Belt, a ring of thousands of primordial icy, rocky chunks beyond the planets that date back to the origins of the solar system.

> \The object, dubbed Quaoar, further strengthens the theory that Pluto is not a conventional planet but rather a Kuiper Belt object. "Quaoar definitely hurts the case for Pluto being a planet," said planetary scientist Mike Brown, co-discover of the new object. "If Pluto were discovered today, no one would even consider calling it a planet because it's clearly a Kuiper Belt object." The Kuiper Belt is home to many of the comets that periodically swing into the inner solar system. They and larger objects in the belt are pristine vestiges of the infant solar system, which could help explain how our space neighborhood formed. The new object is about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) in diameter and circles the sun once every 288 years. Its orbit is stable and circular in comparison to Pluto.

> \Pluto, usually the most distant planet, takes 248 years to complete a trip around the sun and orbits at an average distance of about 3.7 billion miles (5.8 billion kilometers). But the eccentric ice planet follows an extremely elliptical orbit and goes inside the circular path of Neptune from time to time. While traditionally classified as a planet, Pluto more likely is a Kuiper Belt object that was pushed into an erratic, Neptune-crossing orbit billions of years ago, according to astronomers. Like other Kuiper Belt objects, Quaoar is thought to contain rock, water ice and frozen organic compounds such as methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The surface, slowly cooked over the eons by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, could be dark and similar in consistency to tar, Brown and co-discoverer Chad Trujillo said.

> \The California Institute of Technology researchers presented their findings Monday at an American Astronomical Society meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. The scientific duo named the object Quaoar, pronounced KWAH-o-ar, after the creation god of the Tongva people, a Native American tribe in Southern California.

> \As telescopes and high-tech search techniques improve in the coming years, astronomers said they expect to find many more Kuiper Belt objects, including increasingly larger specimens. "Right now, I'd say they get as big as Pluto," Brown said.

> \byZerdine Nolen, illus by David Catrow, Harcourt Silver Whistle, 2002, unnumbered pages, $16.

> \This is another amusing large format picture book for small children from Harcourt. Mortimer Henryson loves the plant in his third grade classroom which the kids call "plantzilla." He gets permission to take it home and care for it during summer vacation. He had sat next to it in class, and had cared for it, brushing, watering, fertilizing it.

> \The plant spreads at home, and starts eating things. They worry when the pet chiwawa disappears, but it shows up later living in the plant's branches. But the plant becomes rather undiscriminating in what it eats, and there is humor akin to Lummox eating all in Heinlein's {Star Beast}.

> \The story is told in the form of letters from Mortimer or his parents to the science teacher vacationing in Hawaii, and the pictures. The pictures are amusing with many clever details scattered here and there. Plantzilla has become self-mobile, eats with the family at the breakfast table, and even reads the newspaper over Mr. Henryson's shoulder. In the bathroom while brushing his own teeth he also scrubs Mortimer with a washcloth.

> \Things come to a crisis when Plantzilla steals and eats the whole dinner roast, and the family writes the teacher saying they will ship the plant to him by overnight express, and we see them trying to pack him.

> \Next page all is well again, with no explanation, not even in the art. (Detailed descriptions of the art are essential to following the story.) They are happy to have Plantzilla, who has become a full member of the family, and made arrangements to keep him even after school reopens. We see Plantzilla playing several musical instruments while the parents are dancing. The turnaround seems arbitrary. What has happened? The plant has blossomed. Did the perfume have a hypnotic effect on the family so they no longer feared him, and he stopped frightening them by stealing the dinner roast and such? Did a part of the story get left out in publication? Does Plantzilla have psychic powers and has hypnotized the family into accepting him? Anyhow, all seem happy, including the dog who is nestling in a blossom.

> \The story was fun and it took my wife only about ten minutes to read it to me and describe the art. I think children would be absolutely delighted with Plantzilla's bizarre doings and the details in the artwork.

> \Since NIEKAS comes out so infrequently I try to send other publications to readers in order to keep up with changes of address, but not frequently enough, and some forwarding orders have expired. People who write or draw for NIEKAS that are among the missing are Susan Shwartz, Tom Whitmore, and Charles Lang/Wendy Snow. Also long time subscriber, Mari Kotani (last known address 9-11 Tanjogaoka, Hiratsuka Kanagawa, 254 Japan) Can anyone please provide me with their current addresses? And if you know them, the e-addresses?

> \Every fall I see news stories about thousands in front of Fort Benning, Georgia, protesting against the existence of "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" (formerly School of the Americas). This institute trains the paramilitary terrorists who have raped and killed missionary nuns, priests, and even an Archbishop (in El Salvador) who worked with the poor people in their countries. They destroy native villages and disperse their populations, and farmers' cooperatives. Training at this school includes torture techniques which are used extensively against natives and missionaries.

> \This immoral school has been in existence for decades and should be closed. Especially now that the US is making a big deal about fighting terrorism, it is reprehensible for our government to sponsor a school which trains terrorists.


> \I am catching up as best as I can on old Q zines as I get them on disk or by email. I have almost no live reading of fanzines now so cannot comment on other Q zines.

> \Last ish I had accidentally deleted before reading DAGON 559 and 560, but Mark Blackman kindly emailed me replacement copies.

~DAGON 559 (John Boardman)
In your comments on QUANT SUFF #137 you spoke of the theory that some physical constants might change over large periods of time. Around 1960 I was reading PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS and saw a series of (if I remember) 3 papers by George Gamow on that subject. He examined the consequences of such changes on the luminosity of the sun and on earth's orbit around the sun, and used geological evidence to show that such changes never occurred.

~DAGON #568 for APAQ #474 (John Boardman)
Loved your statement "As the Bush Administration said about President Chavez of Venezuela and the abortive coup against him, 'Legitimacy is not conferred by majority vote.' Bush should know." [] Found your continuing trip report very interesting, as well as the remarks on the nature of the new Euro currency. [] I was very interested in your history of the Katzenjammer Kids comic strip. I had not realized it went back to the late 1800s, and was very interested to learn how it fissioned to produce the Captain and the Kids in a rival newspaper chain. By when I was reading it in the 50s It was running in different papers under the two different names, but the story and artwork were identical to my undiscriminating eye. When did the two story lines come back together. I assume both were drawn by the same person in the 50s. How was the merger negotiated?

~Dagon 559, APA-Q 465.
I loved the story you reprinted from the Brooklyn College teachers' union newspaper about the HMO arbitrator who was given a ticket to a concert which included Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and wrote an evaluation of the work. In fact, I liked it so much that I will reprint it here for non Q readers. "A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Since he was unable to go, he passed the invitation to one of his managed care reviewers. The next morning, the president asked the reviewer how he had enjoyed it, and he was handed a memorandum, which read as follows:


1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus avoiding peaks of inactivity.

2. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems to be unnecessary duplication, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is required, this could be obtained through the use of an amplifier.

3. Much effort was involved in playing 16th notes. This seems to be an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be rounded up to the nearest 8th note. If this were done, it would be possible to use paraprofessionals instead of experienced musicians.

4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes.

5. This symphony has two movements. If Schubert did not achieve his musical goals by the end of the first movement, then he should have stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut. In the light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given attention to these matters, his symphony would probably have been finished by now."

~BLANCMANGE#387, apa-q 467 (Mark Blackman) I feel terrible commenting on a zine almost a year old, but I DO procrastinate. [] I was interested in your mini-review of the 1926 silent film THE BELLS with, among others, Boris Karloff. In the early 1960s I used to see many old movies, often silent, at the Theodore Huff memorial film society. It was there that I met Julius Postal and invited him to a local SF meeting. (He had noticed me reading a Ted White fanzine, STELLAR, during reel changes, and made a comment to the effect that he was surprised they were still being published.) I have said elsewhere that I had invited him to a Lunarian meeting, but on reflection I was not yet a member of the Lunarians and must have invited him to an ESFA meeting. Anyhow, the Huff Society met in one of several loft buildings in the Union Square area broken up into meeting rooms of various sizes. A few years later a few Lunacons were held in one of these buildings. I wonder if they still exist. I occasionally saw silent movies (like Metropolis) at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also there was a theater in the upper west side...the New Yorker?...which showed silent films and it was there that I saw BIRTH OF A NATION. Finally, there was a theater in Greenwich Village, just outside an IRT station, which showed movies about a year after they finished their runs in regular theaters. I had missed seeing BELL BOOK AND CANDLE during its regular run and caught it there. Obviously this was all about a decade before I became blind. [] You asked for more about the course Sandy & I had taken on "Myth of America." It sounded like a great idea, what is the self-image of our society? How is it expressed? We looked at movies, fiction, and advertising. Unfortunately the content was rather slim, and we spent at least half of our class time looking at movies. It is hard to summarize what we found to be the prime myths about America, but I am e-mailing you a copy of my final exam essay. The teacher, who did not like SF, and had never heard of Digging the Weans, gave us as an assignment the scenario that after a disaster had destroyed civilization archaeologists found a ruined library and intact video tapes of the movies we had viewed and the stories and advertisements we had considered. From this evidence we were to try to re-create what US civilization was all about. If anyone else wants to see my essay please e-mail me and I will be glad to send it.

~BLANCMANGE 388 for APA-Q#368.
What has prompted you to view all those movies from the 1920s? [] I liked your comments about Harry Potter not getting punished for unauthorized broom-riding, but getting rewarded by being put on the team. As you say, wizard jocks can get away with anything, just like muggle jocks.

~BLANCMANGE #389 for APA-Q#369
You wrote about reading Foster's TAR AIYM KRANG. I read and greatly enjoyed it many years ago, but have not gotten around to any of the other Flinx novels. Some day.... I found it, like the movie FORBIDDEN PLANET, a joyous celebration of old-fashioned Space Opera. [] I found your comment, "Noting that Sauron did not forge any Rings for the hobbits, I speculate that that's - aside from why he couldn't find the One Ring when it was with Gollum & Bilbo - why they & Frodo had as much resistance to it as they did," quite convincing. I thought Sauron had not made rings for the hobbits simply because they were quiet and in the background and he did not notice them. I had seen speculation many years ago in some Tolkien fanzine that perhaps he had made 5 for the hobbits, to fill out the pattern. [] I liked your string of comments to the effect that right wing funnymentalists keep seeing Washington as being slaves of Communists, and not seeing the US in Vietnam, the whole cold war, etc, and not seeing religious funnymentalists in the White House from 1976 to 1988. [] You mentioned in passing that there is a Fulton St. in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. I believe both are just below (south of) their ends of the Brooklyn Bridge. Could someone with a map please check...does it look like one is a direct continuation of the other? And wasn't there once a ferry joining the two Fulton Streets? [] Loved your comment, "When the Republicans scuttled Clinton's health plan, they said that they had one of their own; yes, it's called "Social Darwinism", survival of the wealthiest."

~BLANCMANGE #390 for APA-Q#370
I enjoyed your detailed reports on Lunacon 02 and Jerseydevilcon, but have no comments. You mentioned that some Lunacon03 flyers gave the wrong dates. I have it on my calendar as the 4th weekend of March. Is this correct? I am planning to go this year, and make my usual stay in Brooklyn afterwards, barring disaster. ~ BLANCMANGE #391 for APA-Q #371 You keep mentioning SFABC. If you explained what it is, I have forgotten, or it was in an ish I didn't get to read. [] You report on the bar gatherings of the Beaker People Libation Front every month. However I have not seen mention of the other monthly NY fan bar gatherings in some time. Have they stopped? Have you gotten bored with them? Have they become cliquish and dropped you?

~BLANCMANGE #392 for APA-Q #372
I noted that Clam Chowder has re-appeared at Balticon, too. Several years ago they had broken up because one key member was going deaf, and they had scattered around the country so it was hard to get together to rehearse. A few years ago Darkovercon managed to get them to make appearances, and they have now produced two CDs. I had the impression that they were still only appearing at Darkovercons near Baltimore Thanksgiving weekends. I was surprised to see them scheduled for Boskone03, but then figured they are going back to their Boston roots. Now I see they were at Balticon02. Are they scheduled for Balticon03? Are they appearing at other cons too?

~BLANCMANGE #393 for APA-Q #373
In response to the wish that there had been an ASIMOV'S GUIDE TO THE KORAN you said, "Asimov's Guide to the Bible focused more on history than on theology. Still, I can imagine that Muslims wouldn't like infidels knowing of Mohammed's caravan-robbing career, or that his favorite wife was 9 years old." That is very true. I think the fuss made about Salmon Rushdie would have been trivial compared to what they would have done with Asimov, a Jew! However Rushdie was more important on the stage of world literature, and Asimov might not have been worth fussing about, from their viewpoint. Still I would gladly read such an analysis of the Koran were one to be written.
~[I never got BM 394]

~ BLANCMANGE #395 for APA-Q #475
As usual you expressed concern about Arab terrorists in Israel, and unfair coverage in the world press. I applaud Israel's demolition of suicide bombers' family homes, and wonder if things could go further. What happens to the corpses of the suicides? I trust they are not given back to the Palestinians for them to hold canonizing funerals. (I croggled at my use of a Catholic word to express a Muslim process!) I do not vouch for the truth of this, but I have heard it said that a Muslim cannot enter paradise if the body is buried with that of a pig or dog. If this is true, could the suicides' bodies be cremated together with swine or dogs, and the ashes totally stirred together? Then either dumped into the Mediterranean where they could not be retrieved? Or stirred into a garbage landfill?

> \This ends Entropy for now. I have to try to get it out more often so issues will be shorter!

> \It looks like I will not be able to comment on future Boardman zines. He has given Mark Blackman two more disks to email to me, but Mark could no longer open them. John writes in Works and I use Word, which will not open his files. When he has given me disks I had to give them to a computer expert in Concord to translate into Word or txt files. However now apparently the floppies he creates are corrupted. That is what Mark said when he gave one to a tame expert he knows. I wonder if there is a flaw in John's floppy drive.

> \Again, other members of APA-Q, please email me or mail disks with TXT versions of your zine so I can read them and comment! 1 entropy 32-

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