The View From Entropy Hall #34 edited by Ed Meskys

THE VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL #34, 31 January, 2004, for APA-Q #490, from Ed
Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, 322 Whittier Hwy, Center Harbor NH 03226-9708, Back issues at and website.
Corrections made after APA distribution in braces. I guess this could also
be called NIEKAS #46.6. To help you move around in the email edition, I mark
new subjects with ">," authors of letters with "," fanzines commented on
with "." My thanks to Sandy for cleaning up and formatting the last few ish.
Dave Locke pointed out to me that when I quoted him on an open listserve
leaving in his eddress that spammers found it there and so flooded him with
junk mail that he had to change his eddress. He said that this had happened
before and he had asked me to delete his eddress in such quotes, but I do
not remember such requests. Either they came at a time I had to do away with
days of email because of travel or I am really getting senile, but now I do
have the message. You will note that I have given no eddresses in this
ENTROPY unless specifically requested to do so. I might be slow but I do
eventually learn.
I had not thought about where spammers found eddresses. I only know that the
amount of spam I received slowly grew until I was getting 30 to 50 messages
a day. I do not know what happened but about Christmas day 2003 for a few
days spam messages were cut short and the word "spam" was added to the
subject line, and then stopped completely. For about two weeks I got no spam
at all, and now am receiving only 1 or 2 such messages a day. I do not know
why this has happened, but I am very happy about it.
For the first time Sandy and I are taking an active part in the NH primary
by working for Wesley Clark. We are totally disgusted with Shrub. He has
lied to us about weapons in Iraq but did a bait and switch job on us. We
went into Afghanistan to get the terrorists but then moved on to Iraq
instead, probably to favor his Texas oil buddies. He made our country look
like a bully and we could no longer be proud of that. Anyhow, we have heard
Clarke speak twice and are impressed with his program and qualifications. We
have a giant Clark sign on our lawn and talk him up with friends, and pass
out mini Clark candy bars with literature. By when this is published the NH
primaries will be over and we only expect him to place second, but we will
have done our part. Whoever takes the nomination, he (or she) will be better
than Bush. I hear on the NPR that the country is drastically split into
pro-Bush and anti-Bush camps with very few undecided in the middle. Even tho
Sandy is a registered Republican we will do our best to help defeat Shrub.
I wrote about our delightful time in Toronto when we went up for Torcon in
my annual Christmas letter and will be glad to email a copy to anyone who
did not receive it. I do want to elaborate on some subjects I could not
devote enough space to.
I was croggled at the large number of trolley lines around central Toronto.
It seemed like almost every street had trolley tracks, and this reminded me
of the Brooklyn of my childhood. I liked the transfers between major trolley
lines and the subway. For instance, where the Bathurst trolley crossed the
Bloor subway it went off street and into a building to make easy transfers
without paper tickets and had an indoor waiting place for people
transferring from the subway to the trolley.
I rode the two conventional subway lines a number of times going here and
there. The University Yonge subway line is like a large "V"with the point at
the Canadian National railroad station. The two lines go north from there
only two blocks apart for a while, then diverge as their streets turn out.
About where they do diverge the long east-west Bloor St. line crosses.
There is another, short, east-west line crossing the right (Yonge St) branch
which I did not get a chance to sample. From a passing reference on the "3rd
Level" listserv I gather this is not a conventional line, but a new type
like that in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have also heard it has not been
extended because of infighting about which areas it should serve.
Same weekend as Torcon the Electric Railroaders Association had its
convention in Toronto but it did not interest me. They had chartered
trolleys for all day rides on the Toronto system, covering all the tracks,
with stops for photo opportunities. They also rode the subway and took a
charter bus to a railroad museum an hour or two outside of Toronto. One
evening they had slide shows and the other an awards banquet. I have been a
member off and on ever since the late George Nims Raybin introduced me to it
in the late 50s, but this year have let my dues lapse. I cannot attend local
meetings and their magazine is down to two issues a year, and up to two
years late. I would be interested in learning of other magazines or websites
where I could get news of new developments in rapid transit, and read
historical articles about subways and elevateds and plans for never-built
One day Sandy and I went out to the Black Creek pioneer village re-creation
where actors portrayed residents from the late 1800s. It is relatively new
and small compared with Williamsburg (city life in urban Virginia of the
1700s) and Sturbridge Village (Massachusetts village life in 1830) but has
ambitions of growth. Sandy and I like to go to such re-creations to learn of
past lifestyles and crafts, and speak with the actors. We have also been to
the "village on the Erie Canal" in Rome, NY, also new and small, and
Strawberry Bank in Portsmouth, NH. The latter is different in that different
buildings or even rooms in buildings portray Portsmouth life from the 1600s
thru World War II. It is also quite small and, in the middle of a modern
city, does not have much opportunity for growth. We saw everything in 3 or 4
hours. We would like to hear of other such re-creations and try to visit
them. I have heard that there is one outside of Detroit but do not know what
period it covers. Also one outside of des Monies IA has five farms covering
life in five different historical periods, one a re-creation of the "little
house in the prairie." I do not know whether we want to see Plymouth
Plantation in Mass. As I have little respect for the Calvinist bigots who
wanted freedom only for their small clique. I read in Lies My Teacher Told
Me they had bribed the ship captain to land them well away from the Virginia
colony most of the passengers were headed for, Shanghaiing them into their
Toronto has a large Lithuanian community so I had assumed I would find a
bakery to bring home Lithuanian bread, a restaurant to have a Lithuanian
dinner, and a Lithuanian church. Before the con I had corresponded with
David Palter who had failed to find a Lithuanian restaurant or bakery but
did find a Lithuanian church and cultural center way out west on Bloor St.,
and the church supposedly served a Lithuanian lunch after services. Nearby
was a Lithuanian consulate and cultural center. We went out there Saturday
afternoon and found everything locked up. The church was a Lithuanian
Lutheran church, really croggling as Lithuania is 90% Catholic and the major
minorities are Jewish and Russian Orthodox. Latvia north of Lithuania is
Lutheran so I guess there are a few in Lithuania and I wonder what brought
them to congregate in Toronto. The schedule posted outside the church was
totally different from that given us over the phone, so we gave up and did
not try coming back the next day.
In February NESFA Press has re-issued John Myers Myers' Silverlock in a new
hardcover edition. This includes as an appendix the "Glossary" giving the
references to the items referred to in Silverlock reprinted and corrected
from our SILVERLOCK COMPANION. Several other pieces from the Companion are
also included. Meanwhile, the Companion is just about out of print. I have
only about a dozen copies left. While they last you can still get them for
$7.95 each plus $2 per order shipping & handling.
For more details and ordering information for the new NESFA edition check or write NESFA at PO Box 809, Framingham MA 01701-0809.
"New device brings virtual vision to the blind" by Roibeard O'hÉineacháin
A NEW Swedish computer interface device makes it possible for a blind person
to touch virtual objects, much like a sighted person can see objects or
pictures on a computer screen. The apparatus, called the Phantom (Sensible
Technologies, US), investigated by a Swedish research team, is a haptic
interface which transmits forces to the user's hand or fingers in a way that
mimics the sensation of touching real objects, Charlotte Magnusson PhD told
the 7th International Conference on Low Vision. She noted that 'haptic' in
this sense refers to the perception and manipulation of objects using the
sense of touch. The device's users either hold a pen-like object or place
their fingertips into thimble-like cups. When the user moves the pen or the
thimble against a virtual object, the device transmits resistance to their
hand or fingers, she explained.
In the study involving 25 blind individuals aged between 12 and 85 years,
only the oldest subjects had difficulty using the apparatus, and most
quickly acquired competence in identifying mathematical curves, describing
virtual objects and finding their way around a virtual reality modeling
language (VRML) environment. All received training in the use of the device
and practiced before participating in the test. The testers were able to
observe the test subjects' manipulation of virtual objects and navigation in
virtual environments on a computer screen.
All subjects performed successfully the task of finding, examining and
identifying abstract 3-D geometrical objects in tests, but they tended to
have difficulty distinguishing cubic objects from rectangular ones. A task
involving the recognition of three such objects in a grid turned out to be
more problematic, and although most users got the locations and the number
of objects right only nine users managed to get everything right. When asked
to identify and describe more realistic types of objects such as a vase, a
grand piano and a stool, most subjects performed well. Among four who were
presented with a virtual guitar and sword, three could identify the guitar
and all could describe the different parts of the sword, although none of
them could identify it as a sword because it was not sharp. "This shows that
the key visual elements and the ones you touch are not necessarily the same,
so you have to be quite careful when designing these virtual models. The
blind users are not greatly disturbed by the VRML approximation, but poorly
modeled parts make it difficult to understand the virtual objects," Dr
Magnuson said.
Another test involved a series of mathematical surfaces. All of the seven
subjects who did this test could understand, describe and discuss the
mathematical surfaces. This test only involved users that had a special
in mathematics.
The final test involved a haptic VRML environment consisting of six houses
with moving blocks representing cars on the roads. These 'cars' could hit
the subject, and when this happened the sensation of being hit was this
accompanied by a loud and annoying screech. Most subjects found it easy to
navigate between the houses, and users who were 'hit' by a moving box (a
'car') said they found it very realistic. "Apparently this was a pretty
effective environment. First of all, they enjoyed it and they also found it
fairly realistic. This is an example of an environment that illustrates the
importance of context, as it would be quite confusing if the users had not
known that it represented a traffic environment," Dr Magnusson said.
She noted that the test results indicated that the subjects sometimes
appeared to find complex but realistic environments easier to navigate than
more simple but abstract ones. Similarly, the subjects in some cases
appeared to find geometrical objects more difficult to identify and describe
than more realistic models. She stressed that these results must be subject
to further testing because the tests in the present series involving
abstract or realistic objects were not strictly comparable.
" For those of us who are working with these kinds of people, the results
are very encouraging. Our research shows that context is important to help
the user get the right understanding of a more complex environment. It's
also very useful to add sound or other types of input," Dr Magnusson
Charlotte Magnusson PhD, Lund University, Sweden
I warmly welcome Harcourt's re-issue of Patricia Wrede's four dragon books
in the Enchanted Forest series in their Magic Carpet line of YA mass-market
paperbacks. The books are: Dealing With Dragons, Searching for Dragons,
Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons. Each is priced at $5.95. I love
these delightful books and hope they will stay in print forever.
Miniature people hiding from us big lunks have a long tradition in
literature. Were there any before Swift's Lilliputians found by Gulliver?
This century has brought a flood from T.H. White's return of the
Lilliputians in Mistress Mashom's Repose thru Terry Pratchett's Carpet
People. As a kid I saw stories about "Teeny Weenies" in the comic section of
the NY Sunday News. I vaguely remember The Little People, an SF novel by
John Christopher about what had been taken as leprechauns really being
miniature men created in one of Hitler's laboratories, and even Inkling Owen
Barfield wrote Silver Trumpets, a story about miniature people hiding in a
keyboard instrument something like a celesta. (I couldn't remember the last
two titles but Ned Brooks and Wendy/Gary Meuse came up with them for me.)
But the best known of the 20th century miniatures are Mary Norton's
"borrowers." They live under the floorboards of a home and "borrow" things
left about the house for their own needs. Their enemy is the family cat, and
they are afraid of being seen by the big people. The stories are enjoyable
but have to be taken with a lot of willing suspension of disbelief. For
instance they make a tiny hole in the gas main and heat their food and tea
on a microscopic flame. Such a tiny gas leak could not produce a flame.
These stories have been reprinted many times, and at least one TV movie has
been made. Now they have been reissued in mass market paperback for $5.95
each by the Odyssey division of Harcourt & Mead, including the original
illustrations by Beth & Joe Krush. The Borrowers have many adventures, like
being captured by a big people family and put on exhibit in a glass cage,
and escape. They flee their original home and hide in a number of locations
like an abandoned tea kettle. The fourth volume includes a short story,
"Poor Stainless." The five volumes as published by Odyssey with year of
original copyright are:
#1. The Borrowers, 1952, 180pp
#2, The Borrowers Afield, 1955, 215pp
#3, The Borrowers Afloat, 1959, 11-191 pp.
#4, The Borrowers Aloft, 1961, 11-192pp, incl "Poor Stainless"(1971) 198-224
#5, Borrowers Avenged, 1982, 198pp.
On Easter Sunday, 2003, the Lifetime satellite network showed with DVS
(Described Video Service) the movie HOMECOMING based on Cynthia Voigt's 1981
YA novel (Fawcett Books, ©1981, $2.25, 318pp.). 4 kids are abandoned in
their car in a mall parking lot by their single mother. She lost their home
in Mass. And broke down on the way to a relative in Connecticut whom she had
hoped might help them, ending up catatonic in a mental hospital. The oldest
child, Dicey, in her early teens takes charge of the others and tries to get
them to the relative's home in CT. They walk many miles sleeping in woods
near the highway and get help from a Yale student who picks them up and
gives a ride the rest of the way. Their relative is dead but a neighbor
takes them in temporarily and passes them on to a minister who wants to put
them into different foster homes. Dicey wants to keep them together, learns
that there is a grandmother in peninsula Maryland, and takes the family
there. The second half of the story is of their working their way into the
life of the grandmother, who is crotchety and does not want the offspring of
her estranged daughter.
Sandy and I had both read the book, the first of a series, which is
excellent. The movie follows the book very closely, except for one minor
incident. When the mother fails to return to the waiting kids in the car
Dicey goes into the mall to look for her and to try to make some phone
calls. In the movie the guard who hassles her by the phone booth seems to
have sexual motivations not present in the book. Cynthia Voigt is one of our
favorite authors and we have read almost everything she has written. Sandy
thought the movie was even better than the book, and the voice over
description for the blind added to her enjoyment of the movie. It pointed
her attention to some things in the movie she might not have noticed
He, She, and It by Marge Piercy, Ballantine, 1991
I rarely have the time to reread a book but I did so with He, She, And It,
which I read less than ten years ago. The author is a mainstream writer and
Jewish friends are surprised to learn that she has written what could be
called cyberpunk SF. In her afterword, she writes that she had never heard
of cyberpunk when she wrote an earlier book in this vein, Women on the Edge
of Time. He, She, and It is set in 2061, after the war of 2017 which
resulted in plague, global warming, destroyed infrastructure, and rising sea
level. The air is polluted and there is no ozone layer, so to go out one
must wear cover-alls. Organleggers kill and dismember people they catch out
alone. The 20 major corporations, the "Internationals," are under giant
domes to protect their inhabitants, and in the winter the daytime
temperature only reaches 30 C (86 F) in the Nebraska desert. The slums
outside the domes are called "the glop." Everybody is plugged into the
information utility called "the network."
The main character is Shera, working in programming for Y.S., one of the two
dozen "Internationals," who has just lost a custody fight for her 2.5 year
old son, Ari. Her former husband, Josh, takes the son to his new posting to
a orbital space habitat while he fulfils a two year contract, so Shera takes
a private job offer from Avram Stein, the father of her first lover, Gadi.
She is psychologically wounded from the teenage breakup of their intense
love affair and could not really bond with anyone, including her former
husband. Throughout the novel she is driven to regain custody of her son.
She moves in with her grandmother, Malka Shipman, and works with Avram
Stein. She learns that Avram has been working the last 20 years to create an
illegal fully humanoid cyborg, his tenth model. He has named them after the
letters of the Hebrew alphabet so this one is Yod. All his previous models,
except Gimmul, had to be destroyed, and Gimmul is not sentient or have any
real initiative. Yod is indistinguishable from a real person but is very
intelligent and superhumanly strong. Also he does not sleep.
One of Shera's tasks is to instruct Yod in being human, and she eventually
becomes his lover. Throughout the book she tells Yod the story of Rabbi
Judah Levy of Prague and the golem Joseph he created to protect his people
from a planned pogrom. The golem and Levy's grand-daughter, Harah, come to
love each other. As the story of Joseph unfolds parallel events occur in the
lives of Shera and Yod. With Yod's help she gets Josh returned to earth and
then kidnaps their child. These maneuverings require her and companions to
go on-line, as in the movie TRON, and fight symbolic battles. Her mother,
Eva, is a cyber-spy and comes onto the scene briefly to help her. Eventually
Shera is free of her hang-ups and can have a normal emotional life, and Yod
is set free while in the parallel story Joseph is unwillingly deprived of
Can anyone help Jacqueline? Here is her request for contacts. Ed:
It was good to see you at Worldcon -- I'm sorry we barely had time to say
hello. I was running like mad the whole con promoting SimeGen: The Unity
Trilogy. Next July the first all new original SimeGen novel is coming out.
But in the meantime, I have a vampire novel coming out in its first trade
paperback edition in October, (it was a St. Martin's HC many years ago) and
the new publisher, BenBella Books has asked me for a list of 'zines that
vampire fans read so he can send out review copies of Those Of My Blood.
BenBella is also doing a nonfiction book, Seven Seasons Of Buffy with essays
by sf/f writers about Buffy, and Jean Lorrah and I have essays in that one
too. Jean has a vampire novel out now titled Blood Will Tell.
If you know of anyone doing a 'zine devoted to Buffy, Angel or Vampires in
general, please forward this message to them, or post it to any newsgroups
or whatever that might reach those who'd need review copies of any of those
3 titles. Or just tell folks to email to request review
copies and give their reviewing credentials and where to snail copies.
Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
for availability of new SimeGen volumes.
I have heard that the following website has a long series of pastiches of
writers like Tolstoy, Dave Barry, Mercedes Lackey, Mickey Spillane, Arthur
Conan Doyle, Monty Python, Jack Vance, Orson Scott Card, Hemingway, Twain,
Dr. Seuss, Ayn Rand, and more, showing what they would have done had they
written Lord of the Rings. Some are supposed to be very good but I have not
yet had the time to try to pursue the link. .
We had to replace our bathroom when my foot went thru the floor. It was a
little lean-to on the end of the kitchen, only 6 ×8 feet. The contractor
brought in a bulldozer to knock it down, dug a proper foundation, and built
a new one about 13 ×13 feet, which included adequate storage space and the
laundry. We are getting older so we built it handicap accessible looking to
further decline with time. It is beautiful and we had a party Columbus
weekend to celebrate its completion, but it went way over budget. Main
problem was trying to match the frame to that that of the old warped house.
This put us in a financial panic and we have cut back drastically. We
dropped Darkovercon and dropped many subscriptions and memberships. Somehow
we WILL scrape up enough to go to the Glasgow worldcon and I will go on to
the Tolkien fest in Birmingham a few days later.
But that wasn't the end of it. December brought more bad news. The Furnace
died twice and the problem proved to be a dead fire control starter box.
Total cost, $500. Then the heater fan motor in our car died and that cost
$250. Then during the cold spell in January our well froze and that was
another $160. Just before New Years while exercising the dog I slipped on
the ice and hurt my right shoulder. I am about to start physical therapy and
do not know how much of that will not be covered by Medicare. We are cutting
back still more but there is little left to cut. {It later developed that the outer
rotator muscle was torn. Copays on Medicare for MRI scan and surgery came
to some $300 and I still do not know how successful the surgery was.
Meanwhile, the rotator cuff on the other shoulder also let go.}
Dear Ed,
Thanks a lot for your immediate response. It seems we may be cousins as all
Jasinskis in Lithuania were relatives. Some belonged to big gentry families
and others got poorer due to Tsarist Russia nationalistic policy that
allowed Russian landlords to take over the lands and manors belonging to
rebellious nobility. My parents came to Poland in the late 1940s after WWII.
Father and mother missed their families as they had lived apart for 6 years.
They met in Austria where my mom stayed liberated from the concentration
camp by Americans. She was caught and was sentenced as connected to the
British spy network in Austria. They met and returned from England were they
were sent by the Army Command after WWII to Poland. I was born in 1951.
Studied English (Literature and Translation) at Poznan University. In 1975 I
got my first job as an official interpreter at the Basketball European
Championship. But later, as it was a must in communist days I was ordered to
work as an English teacher in Szczecin. In 1973 I married a wonderful and
beautiful girl Maria. We had two kids Agnes, 30 now and Richard jr. who died
in a bike crash on his way to high school when he was 15. My son taught me
to love computers and we spent hours together at his Amiga PC trying to do
smart things. WE have 2 grandchildren: Lucius, 9 and Chantal, 2.5 who live
in Germany not far from our town, sea port city Szczecin (half million
I started to write for local papers in 1973 but it was as late as in 1977
that I got published, stories, translations, and articles, in national
In 1978 I started to send my articles, translations, and stories worldwide,
and I got popular, especially in Scandinavian countries. (they made me a GOH
at the Stockholm con several years ago!) I became a pro-writer in the mid
1980s. My book and serious prozine publications were published first in the
USA, in SF Chronicle and Fandom Directory. Then in 1986 my first book
entitled Science Fiction, as jpeg, was published in Poland. Then afterwards
came other books, incl. an anthology of American SF entitled Serial. I also
got involved in publishing and editing 2 Polish SF prozines, FANTASTYKA and
Eventually I found I cannot earn my living writing books only. Of course if
I joined the communist party and their union I could get the grants. But I
didn't want to. So I changed my job again and became a pro translator and
interpreter covering local needs as far as English, German, Russian and
French translations were concerned.
I have worked as a part time then full time English, Russian, and French
translator for the Polish shipyard in Szczecin for almost 20 years. But when
in 2001 the yard collapsed I had to work on my own. Since 1998 I have been
working as a Polish translator and FLT consultant for the British Council in
Szczecin (renamed the British Library and Information Centre). So as you may
see my English, especially spoken, is quite British. So British that when I
was doing an interpreting job for the US Army in Poland, US soldiers
nicknamed me "guv".
In the 1990s I started to make my own CDs on Computer Aided Translation and
made some dictionaries. Some of those are available on line in the USA, like
the one entitled NDT Dictionary.
I have also made quite recently a CD entitled AN ANTHOLOGY OF ENGLISH AND
AMERICAN LITERATURE, containing complete works of classical British and
American writers. It is very much needed by the students of English and
Literature. Now I am working on audio CD under the same title. Next project
I have in mind it is an SF CD.
What I'm looking for that is not available in Europe:
- Nicolson's SF ENCYCLOPEDIA on CD. I have printed edition but it's a bit
clumsy in use esp. as I work on computer mainly.
- latest paperback edition of Leo Frankowski's QUEST FOR RUBBER.
- Leo Frankowski's recent e-mail address as I want to translate and publish
3 of his books here. I love his fiction, esp. Conrad Stargard cycle indeed.
What I can offer: Encyclopedia of Polish SF (in Polish/English) that I made
in a convenient format. Books by Polish, Russian, American and British
writers in electronic form both as texts (.doc, .txt) and audio. I wonder
if you find it possible to help me somehow ? An exchange of materials or
cash transfer via regular non-electronic bank is a solution.
Yours, Richard
P.S. Next time I'll write about my American SF roots and US celebrities I
worked with and for.
(Richard) /full name in Polish: Ryszard P.Jasinski/
Polish and Russian Translator / Interpreter
Home Office: Ul.Kormoranów # 27/4 str PL 71 - 696 Szczecin
Tel: (+48 91) 455 80 59 eFax: (+ 44 870) 132 9652
Recently Rich brown wrote:
I've mentioned, previously, that my daughter Alicia has been writing
articles and fiction-like content for Turbine Entertainment's on-line
fantasy role-playing game, Asheron's Call. But now I can mention something
she'd previously had to DNQ/DNP me on, since it's finally official: Turbine
will soon be doing Middle-Earth On-line, and she will (among other things)
be moderating their forum and writing other material for it. Details at: and more at
They're paying me to reread THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!" she chortled to me in
an email a few months back. Sounds like it should be a lot of fun.
rich brown (DrGafia)
Dear Ed,
Entropy #33 came through with sufficient paragraphing that it made sense. I
ran through it rather quickly and probably won't go back for another look.
About Poul's Sanders pseudonym: It was indeed a reference to Milne. We never
heard of the zoo bear "Winnipeg," so had no idea how Winnie the Pooh got his
name. Poul did admire Winston Churchill, who was called "Winnie" during
World War II. As for the Sanders part, there's something in one of the first
Pooh stories about his living "under the name of Sanders." My Pooh books are
still packed somewhere, butIIRCChristopher Robin asks What did that mean?
and he's told that "there was a sign with 'Sanders' in big gold letters over
the door." E. H. Shepard did an illustration showing the sign. Randall
Garrett once guessed that the byline was an anagram and worked it out as "P
Anderson's Twin." Just goes to show you shouldn't trust anagrams; Poul
hadn't thought of that at all.
I've sold the Orinda house and moved to one in the northeast corner of the
San Fernando Valley. It's about the same age as the old one, half again as
big, on a smaller lot, at twice the height above sea level and with ten
times the view. Unfortunately it needed a lot of de-decorating (ugly
wallpaper and mud-colored carpet) and refinishing. I am finally beginning to
get unpacked. I'm only a half-hour's drive from the LASFS clubhouse and can
get to meetings pretty regularly. My street address is 7129 Samoa Place,
Tujunga CA 91042. I've no reason to keep the information from anyone. It's
listed in the LASFS Directory, and the only reason my phone number isn't
there is that I hadn't gotten service when the deadline passed. In case
anyone wants it, it's (818) 951-0274.
Thanks for the copy of Entropy 33 -- I've been enjoying your mailings. Some
random comments -- I would imagine that wooden shoes have been in common in
any territory where raising trees for wood was less expensive than raising
cattle for leather+meat. (I suspect that cutting and stitching leather takes
less time than carving wood, and so is less expensive in terms of
worker-hours, but suspect also that that difference doesn't add up to as
much of a difference as the cost of feeding cattle does.) I don't know about
Lithuania, but besides the Netherlands, France for a long time had a lot of
wooden shoes -- enough to make the habit of taking off one's sabot (wooden
shoe) to drop in to gum up the works of an oppressive employer's machinery
common enough to give us the words sabotage and saboteur.
One of the chapters of Milne's Winnie the Pooh mentions that Pooh for a
while "lived under the name of Winston P. Sanders" (Milne helpfully explains
that living under the name of someone means that that is the name written up
on a signboard over the door -- if I'm recalling correctly, a wind blew the
signboard to Pooh, and it wasn't a name that Pooh chose deliberately as an
expanded version of his own name.) Poul Anderson published a few stories
under the name of Winston P. Sanders -- I think for occasions when he was
going to have two stories in single issues of "Analog." Yes, it does seem to
be the case that Dickens' Christmas Carol made Christmas celebrations more
popular in England than they had been in a long time. It wasn't just
Dickens, though. There was also Prince Albert, who was used to lavish
Christmas celebrations in Germany, and the resulting royal Christmas
celebrations also tended to make the habit fashionable. I don't know how
much influence Dickens had on American celebrations (Albert probably wasn't
influential over here), but the large German (and Dutch) population in the
US may have been responsible. Martin Gardner's Annotated Night Before
Christmas, published in 1991, has a lot of information on the subject, and
no doubt there are others.
I don't think Sulu was originally going to have a major role in the "Star
Trek IV" movie, but he was going to have a larger role than he wound up
having. His autobiography, To the Stars (1994) has some comments on it. I
recall that he especially regretted not getting to film the scene where Sulu
talked with a little boy in present-day San Francisco and was going to
realize that the boy was his several-greats grandfather -- they ran out of
time to use the location when other scenes took longer, and the child who
was to play his ancestor had become too tired and cranky to do the scene in
the little time they had left. I think he also discussed some other brief
scenes that he would have had that got lost to scheduling (and didn't get
filmed at all, I think). Ruth Berman
Today's [June 10] Wizard of Id cartoon:
King: Those magnets you gave me to help with my back pain didn't work!
Wizard: They only work if you're facing north.
JOHN BOARDMAN (comments on 32 taken from DAGON 575)
Another character in a 1980s TV comedy had a major league baseball career in
his past. ABC's all too short-lived Hail to the Chief, which ran for seven
episodes in 1985, featured Patty Duke as Julia Mansfield, America's first
female President. Among her advisers was a Senate Majority Leader who had
been an outstanding pitcher in his younger days. Senator Sam Cotton was
played by Murray Hamilton. Herschel Bernardi played a Henry Kissinger type,
while Glynn Turman played the Secretary of State. (Years later, he played
Col. Taylor on A Different World.) Although President Mansfield's party was
never identified, I speculated at the time that, while Republicans might put
African-Americans in cabinet posts dealing with social services, America's
first African-American Secretary of State would be a Democrat. I
underestimated the ability of ambitious politicians to kiss up to get the
good jobs.
There was never any merger of The Katzenjammer Kids and The Captain and the
Kids. The Captain and the Kids simply ceased publication in 1979 with the
death of its artist John Dirks, while the other still exists in a few Sunday
newspapers. (I have been unable to find out which ones.)
And comments on ENTROPY 33 from DAGON 578:
I see that magnetic "cures" are back again, or maybe they never left. Such
claims were being made over 200 years ago in France, and were rejected by a
scientific commission whose members included Benjamin Franklin. In boring
ol' reality, iron and iron alloys such as steel can be magnetized, but iron
compounds including hemoglobin cannot be. [] I remember radio dramas from
before the general use of television, and like them for the scope that they
give to the listener's imagination. This is one of the reasons that I
regularly listen to Garrison Keillor's show on NPR. [] I regret to note that
Farley Mowat seems to have gone off the deep end with his "Alban"
speculations, and become just another of the enthusiasts who seem to believe
that before Columbus the North Atlantic was as well traveled as the Long
Island Expressway. (Translation for Californians: The Arroyo Seco Parkway.)
In sober reality, "Albion" is an old poetic term for Great Britain, from the
Latin alba (white) as applied to the famous White Cliffs of Dover. "Alba"
is also applied to Scotland, poetically "Albany." The Duke of York whose
forces took Nieuw Nederland from the Dutch in 1664 also had the Scottish
title "Duke of Albany," which is why Voort Oranje was renamed "Albany." []
My own favorite song about America is "The House I Live In," but they'll
never make a national anthem out of it, or even put it into school
songbooks. For one thing, it was written by Abel Meeropol, who after the
executions of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg became the foster-father of their
children. For another, it speaks of "My neighbors white and black / The
people who just came here and from generations back." In the current
climate of opinion against political correctness and immigration this would
never go over. [] I want to defend Lois McMaster Bujold against the
imputation that "Bujold's Shards of Honor began as a Trek novel, with the
Betans Vulcans and the Barrayarans Klingons." Star Trek carries the clear
message that conflicts should be settled by reason and compromise rather
than by war. This is why Martin Luther King persuaded Nichelle Nichols to
stay with the show, after she was about ready to quit because her role
seemed to consist of nothing much more than the line "Hailing frequencies
By contrast, Bujold's novels about Miles War-Close-Again are a monotonous
glorification of war. [] David Palter seems to have contracted the notion
that Iraq has somehow attacked the United States of America, thus justifying
the American conquest of Iraq. If he believes this, he should take
"President" Bush into his confidence as to just when and where this attack
took place, because Bush has not announced any such thing. I decidedly want
to be called "unpatriotic," because I am. Patriots are people who beat up
men with turbans. I don't do that. I'll go with H. G. Wells's statement:
"Pacifism is not enough. It is necessary to be politically anti-patriotic."
[] The United States of America is not in a state of war. On 11 September
2001 it was attacked by a criminal conspiracy, not by a foreign nation.
Congress has not declared war on any nation as provided by the Constitution,
and America can go to war in no other lawful way. [] George C. Willick seems
to believe a number of things about Muslims that simply are not so. Five
hundred years ago Jews were the victims of comparable accusations. Willick
is right; "ignorance is a totally recyclable resource."
And continuing from DAGON 579:
Once Art Saha and I found Finnish beer at a delicatessen in Greenwich
Village. Can Lithuanian beer be far behind? [] Wooden shoes were
characteristic of the peasantry of many countries on the mainland of Europe
in previous centuries. The British saw them as symbols of extreme poverty,
usually due to oppression. Whenever the British government took, or
threatened to take, some action which would have the effect of impoverishing
or suppressing the common people, rioters would cry "No wooden shoes!" to
protest the condition to which the government allegedly wished to reduce
them. I have an illustration which comes from Wilhelm Busch's famous Max und
Moritz (1865), and shows a peasant on whom the boys were playing one of
their notorious tricks. The shoes are sufficient to show that he is a
peasant. [] Larry Beinhart's American Hero (filmed under the title WAG THE
DOG) was written during the presidency of Bush the Father, and displays a
belief widely held at that time, that Bush would easily be re-elected on the
popularity of his victory over Saddam Hussein. Bush War I had (according to
Beinhart) been deliberately staged to bring about this result. Neither
Beinhart nor anyone else realized that the bad economy would overrule any
support that voters might give Bush over his war. And so the book had to be
rather extensively rewritten to meet the quite different conditions of the
CLyndon Administration, right down to its fixation on the Balkans. [] Many
northern languages have euphemisms for the word "bear" - after all, if you
speak his name, you might summon him. In the 46th Runo of the Kalevala,
describing the great bear-hunt of the hero Väinämöinen, the Finnish
diminutive for bear, otso, is used, but the constellation is called octavo.
The original Germanic word for "bear" may be lost; the words "bear," Baer,
and björn simply mean "the brown one." (The American black bear is not
found in Eurasia.) The Russian word meddled means "honey-eater." The
Lithuanian word laukis, which is related to words meaning "wild," "outside,"
and "ferocious," may be another such euphemism. Perhaps the slang term
meska really is the original Lithuanian word for "bear." [Alexei Kondratiev
had told me that "miska" is a Russian children's word for bear. I mentioned
this to a Russian speaking member of my Lions club who was born in the
Russian ex-patriot community in Iran and she said it means something like
"Teddy-bear." Incidentally, the Lithuanian word for forest is "miskas." I
had assumed that "meska" was a loan word from this Russian source.-ERM] The
Lithuanian description of a bear by a word meaning "wild one" or "outsider"
reminds me of an ancient Hebrew usage. Hayah ha-Sadeh means "wild animals,"
but those words translate literally as "beasts of the field," a term used in
older translations of the bible. [] There have been 19th- and 20th-century
Christians who took literally the flat Earth described by Isaiah. In the
19th century a Scot named John Alexander Dowie founded a sect with this and
other batty beliefs. (Oysters, tobacco, and life insurance were forbidden.)
Dowie and his followers founded the town of Zion, Illinois, on Lake Michigan
north of Chicago, one of the many 19th-century attempts to found a utopian
religious, socialist, or free-love community on American soil. Zion
eventually fell under the control of Dowie's successor, Wilbur Glenn Voliva,
who held these same views. Finally, an election in 1940 put the town of
Zion into the hands of Methodists and other heretics, and little more was
heard thereafter about Dowie's sect. [] I think that Michael Heym's The King
David Report was officially published in East Germany; presumably the satire
on religion appealed to officials who did not grasp the book's satire on
history written to order for ideological purposes. [] Polpi is Italian for
"octopus." I can particularly recommend polpi affogato, "smothered
octopus." It is a popular meal on fast days in coastal areas.
Hi Ed - Thanks for the eZine!
You quoted Joe Haldeman as quoted in DEVNIAD as saying "Science fiction is
not about cheering us up about who we are, but about turning a searchlight
on who we are and doing something about it. ....How many children do you
think died of starvation and dehydration on September 11? More than 5000.
You won't read that in your fucking newspaper...because we don't care about
those children...We live on top of a seething cauldron of misery and pain."
I have long thought this is true, though the closest to anyone saying it so
bluntly that I recall is in a Ron Cobb cartoon of the 60s. It makes Dubya's
antics seem petty, especially since the problem stretches back in time to
the rise of civilization.
At one time the FDA had just about suppressed this sort of con game (magnets
in your mattress), but the "compassionate conservatives" seem to have had
compassion on the free enterprise of these snake oil salesmen. There is no
evidence that any number of permanent magnets has any effect on living
tissue. The hemoglobin in blood, and indeed all matter, is affected by
magnetic fields, but the field strength required for a measurable effect is
thousands of times greater than that available from permanent magnets.
Supercooled electromagnets have been used to abort a mouse fetus, and even
to levitate a frog.
Radio drama seems to have vanished. There is some surreal fantasy published
by the ZBS Foundation and by the Irish group Crazy Dog Audio Theater. You
probably know about the ZBS stuff. Roger Gregg of the Crazy Dog gang is a
very pleasant fellow and can be reached at:
I am not much for this sort of material myself. The audio dramas I liked
best were the old BBC Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, the Stephen King novel
The Green Mile, and an ancient British story I have on cassette, "Mr.
Goodjohn and Mr. Badjack" - apparently original drama, as I have been able
to find no published version or author attribution.
Best, Ned Brooks
Thanks for Entropy. Postage and printing costs are making electronic
fanzines more popular. There's a problem if only the rich can afford to
produce a fanzine. [As for being able to print on one side only] I print one
side of the page, then turn the stack over and print the other. Most
printers can do that, if not automatic two-sided fanzines. I've given up on
the printer collating the fanzines, however it occasionally feeds double,
which ruins the print run. [Unfortunately I use a dot-matrix printer with
fanfold paper-ERM]
You said, "However this book Wizard's Dilemma is very heavy for a juvenile.
No intended reader should have to contemplate having to make a choice
between saving her mother and rejecting evil." Not sure about levels of
heaviness here. Someone intending to destroy a mother is heavy-handedly
evil; maybe that's the point. I guess it would depend on the treatment more
than the subject.
You quoted Joe Haldeman about Americans not caring about the thousands of
children dieing daily of starvation and dehydration. The cost of a few
minutes worth of the Iraq war could give everyone in the world clean water.
And that would be much more effective in fighting terrorism and giving the
US respect in the world.
You agreed with John Boardman that suicide fighters "from the 911 attack on
NY to the Japanese kamikaze planes of WWII to Palestinians in Israel are the
last desperate gasps of a failing cause and in the long run hurts the
offenders more than the victims." This ignores the goals of the terrorist
attacks, which are not meant to be merely evil, as Bush has said, nor a
military strike in their own right. I just finished a book by Gwynne Dyer,
Ignorant Armies, which I recommend. Dyer traces recent history of Al Qaeda;
his take is that the aim is to provoke the US into an intemperate response
against Arabs. That would, in their scenario, trigger Islamic revolutions in
the Arab states. (While few Arab governments are democratic, none are
rigidly fundamentalist. (Iran is not Arab.)) Dyer gave high marks to the war
in Afghanistan; its actions were well-targeted and limited. But Iraq fits
well into bin Laden's strategy. Likewise, Hamas is trying to provoke Israel
into banishing Palestinian Arabs; if they did so, Jordan and Syria might
fall. In fact, I think that if Palestinian Arabs followed the successful
revolutions of the second half of the 20th century and demonstrated
non-violently, they would win. (India with Gandhi; Martin Luther King,
Poland and a dozen other anti-communist revolutions, Chile, South Africa.
And any one of those, possibly excluding eastern Europe, would have failed
spectacularly had they tried it violently.) But it's not in the Arab
Jim Caughran
Hi Ed,
I guess whatever opened Entropy for me after downloading took care of those
problems because I had no trouble with it. On the other hand, I probably
wouldn't have noticed the spacing.........
I am glad that you enjoyed the Diane Duane books. I am planning to read
these to the kids over the summer. John is just about done reading them the
current Harry Potter books (although the new one will be out in a few
weeks). As you know our daughter was born and adopted in China and we are
all Jewish (and our son was born and adopted in Cambodia). I am currently
reading a book about the early Jewish community in China (12th century I
believe) and would be interested in any other information your extensive
network of friends and fans might have. amysue chase
Dear Ed--
I received _Entropy_ 33, and enjoyed it. I appreciate Len Moffatt's letter
with the information I wanted about the Austin Hall character in Rocket to
the Morgue. Len is right that I ordered the Edward D. Hoch Bibliography
(11th ed.) from June in 2001, and so I should have known his address. Left
hand and right hand, I'm afraid. (I also ordered the first Hoch
Bibliography years ago. I like Hoch's stories very much, and I have a
theory that the short-story length is the proper one for a strictly
puzzle-plotted mystery.) I sent a letter to EQMM a month or so back,
suggesting to the editor that Hoch write some Janus-ended mysteries, like
Boucher's "Anomaly of the Empty Man" or the Captain McGrail stories by
Richard Sale. Hoch could do the form nicely, and I think they would be
John Boardman mentions that Herodotus said the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem
failed because mice ate the besiegers' bowstrings. C. S. Lewis has a
poem--"Sonnet"--about the contradiction of Herodotus and the Bible,
The Bible says Sennacherib's campaign was spoiled
By angels: in Herodotus it says, by mice--
The second quatrain:
But muscular archangels, I suggest, employed
Seven little jaws at labour on each slender string,
And by their aid, weak masters though they be, destroyed
The smiling-lipped Assyrian, cruel-bearded king.
The last six lines go on to make a general religious application of this.
Best wishes,
DON DEL GRANDE [tsaken from comments in HOW TO #87]
re Magnets: so, how was the dinner? [Quite good-we hope to go back to that
restaurant when funds loosen up-ERM]
Don't you have the relativity calculations backwards in that Tau Ceti trip?
If you're traveling at light speed between planets, then the elapsed times
listed should be actual time, and you arrive 33.4 years after you left;
however, as far as you're concerned, you've only aged four days.
Hello Ed,
Thank you very much for the Entropies. I browsed through the newer one and
found several bits that I thought I'd have a say or two. NIEKAS: I actually
have a copy of number 46, which I think is the latest one? I bought it at
last year's Lunacon, which I managed to attend (we lived in the States for a
year in 2001-2002). It is a very good looking zine with lots of goodies in
it. I wouldn't mind seeing new issues of it in the future. I hope you're
able to make them.
I am a book reviewer for few Finnish fanzines (and a reader for a large
publishing house) and one of the latest I read for a magazine called
Tähtivaeltaja, Star Rover in Finnish, was the first Diane Duane
Wizardry-book So You Want to be a Wizard? I enjoyed it a good deal. It was
well written, nicely characterized and filled with good humoured dialogue.
It felt like something from the 80's, but since it IS from that period, it
cannot be considered that big a faux pas.
I have never been to Lithuania, but I understand their fandom is rather
active. I have had contacts with some Latvian fans. I know a few of them and
have shared a room at Swedish con with a young neofan called Arturs, who
seemed to be a very kind-hearted and eager fan with a keen interest in
history and live roleplaying. Last Winter I had a chance to talk to a
Latvian femmefan who was studying in Finland and managed to attend a small
SMOF/relaxacon we had in Tampere. Apparently the Latvian fans are mostly
very young, VERY much into roleplaying and movie-making. She had brought
with her a short-film called Beyond which looked very good.
Never knew that Scandinavia bid for the Worldcon in 1983! I didn't know
(Swedes? Norwegians?) were ever that ambitious. There has been low murmuring
whether the whole of Scandinavia, or more properly, Nordic countries (since
Finland really isn't a part of Scandinavia) should think about bidding for
WC one of these years. I'm really looking for this years Finncon, where
there appears to be at least two panels discussing the possibility, budget,
logistics etc. of such an undertaking. Nordic Worldcon is in no way going to
happen soon, so don't hold your breath.
John Boardman talks about late Björn Kurtén, but calls him Swedish, when he
actually was Finnish. He did belong to our 6 % ethnic Swedish-speaking
minority, but he was still very much a Finn.I remember seeing him once at
the University giving a lecture on Mammoths. He was a very good speaker and
a witty one too. His paleofictions are very good reading. Funny to see ð and
Þ -letters outside Icelandic. Funny that a far more common "ö" was missing
from John's lettering of "Björn". All in all, a LOT to read and some nice
letters from the more "usual suspects". Me likes. Looking forward for some
All the best, jukkahoo
Jukka Halme
Taimistontie 4 b A 4
00380 Helsinki
[and from a later letter]
Good thing to hear that John was knowledgeable about Kurten's ethnicity and
nationality. I remember reading both Dance of the Tiger and Singletusk when
they were published in Finnish way back then. I have also read a few of his
non-fiction books. I distinctly remember a book called How to Deep-freeze a
Mammoth, or something to that effect in Finnish. It might be translated in
English too. It is a collection of columns, small articles and science. The
name comes from the real life dinner he had with several of his
paleontologic friends from around the world, and in which he did serve the
meat of an extinct bison! He had gotten a hold of an ancient, as the case
would be, piece of frozen buffalo that had been preserved perfectly through
all this time (30,000 years). If I remember correctly, the meat was deemed
agreeable, if not very tasty. But then again, things usually aren't, after a
few dozen millenia.
Does your computer actually talk to you, or is it just a name? If it has a
voicebox, how does it pronounce the letter ö? It should sound like o in
monsieur. [When pronouncing a word it ignores the umlaut or other accents,
but will say "o-umlaut" when looking at the word letter by letter. See also
my comments on DAGON 575 below.-ERM]
Hi, Ed. I find myself writing on a number of topics in Entropy 33, so I'm
gonna separate them with a row of three equals signs, indented and between
blank lines, like this:
... and I'll also occasionally stick in a sig lines appropriate to whichever
of my personas is involved in a section. Here goes:
John Boardman writes: "Parsi was and is the language of the Persians, but
Aramaic was the language in which their empire was administered, because
most of the subject peoples spoke Semitic languages." Small correction
necessary here. The Persian name of the Persian language is Farsi, not
Parsi. John may be thinking of the Parsees or Parsis, members of a
Zoroastrian sect of Persian descent; their liturgical language is also
called Parsi. But modern Persian or Iranian is Farsi. -- Dr. Whom,
Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoepist, and philological Busybody
Jacqueline Lichtenberg's mention of a comment about Theo Bikel (which I
didn't see; I think #30 was before I started subscribing) reminds me of the
way the Muses were playing with my head last fall, when I moved down to
Philadelphia to take a job at the University of Pennsylvania. I introduced
myself to the people in the neighboring offices, and noticed that one of
them was named Dan Bikel. I asked him how he pronounced it, and he said
"bick-ELL", with the accent on the second syllable. I said, "Thanks. I'm
interested because I only remember encountering that last name in the name
of Theo Bikel, the folksinger." Dan said, "He's my father" -- which was a
treat for me because, as I told him, I grew up listening to his father's
records: he was a major early influence on me. And soon after that I saw a
fannish-looking T-shirt, and above it a familiar face I couldn't place. I
said, "I know you! Who are you?!" It was Ben Newman, a filker I knew from at
least one con. And he, too, works in the same office. (That office, by the
way, is the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, but I'm paid by the
Linguistic Data Consortium. If you want an idea of what I do there, see my
Penn home page, . More interesting stuff -
or more-interesting stuff, YMMV -- is at my personal home page, .) -- Mark A. Mandel, The Filker With No Nickname Now on the Filkers' Bardic
Dave Locke comments on your formatting. I also found it rather difficult to
read, so I wrote a tiny Perl script that that makes it easier to read.. It
didn't perform perfectly on Entropy 33, but it did pretty well.
I saw some mail from you following up Entropy 33 about formatting, but I
didn't see any new version before packing up for the night, so I loaded 33v1
onto a floppy disk to read at "home". ("Home" for me in Philadelphia, in
quotes, is an efficiency apartment. *Real* home, without scare quotes, is
with my family in Massachusetts, until we get a place down here and move
them down to join me this summer.)
David Palter writes: "Personally I believe that the current war on terrorism
must be fought and won." I agree that there are terrorists and terrorist
organizations targeting the US, but I would ask him what a "war on
terrorism" means, and how he would define "winning" such a thing. World War
II was over when the Axis powers surrendered to Allied forces, the American
Civil War when Lee surrendered to Grant. In each of those cases there were
two clear sides, each with a structure and a leadership whose authority was
accepted by an effective totality of the people it claimed to lead. The
leadership on one side decided it was beaten and conceded to the leadership
of the other side. All the combatants of the former side laid down their
arms, and those of the latter side accepted their surrender. Wars can be won
in other ways. The American government declared victory in Vietnam and left,
but nobody else in the world believed that claim.
That war ended sometime around when the Northern forces occupied Saigon
(which they renamed Ho Chi Minh City) and the Southern government
disintegrated. Whether there was a surrender or not hardly mattered; the
North won. If our vital efforts to protect ourselves from terrorism are a
war, who is the enemy? Whose surrender can we demand? If we demanded one and
got it, would that end the "war"? Osama bin Laden may be dead or not, and so
what? The American leadership and allies are still claiming to be finding Al
Qaeda cells and members, and they well may be doing so, but does anyone
believe that displaying bin Laden's body would make all, or any, of those
cells disband, or their members go off to tend their gardens? And this is
not a "war on Al Qaeda"; it has been extended into Iraq largely on the basis
of assertions of weapons of mass destruction that still have not been found.
What are the definitions and limits of this "war"? When can we say we've
won? How long do Mr. Bush and his (domestic and foreign) allies have a right
to say "We're at war, so we have a right and an obligation to suspend civil
rights, suppress information, cut nonessential (by our definition) spending,
(fill in the blank)"? Please do not misunderstand me: I am **NOT** defending
terrorism, terrorists, or Saddam Hussein's regime! But David says, "as we
have seen from the attack of September 11, 2001 (among other clues), we are
at war. We can pretend that we are at peace, but that won't prevent our
enemies from attacking us." I agree with the second of these sentences; I
expressed myself on the subject in song and contributed it to MASSFILC's
9/11 benefit songbook, and the lyrics are on my own website
At God knows, we are
threatened by enemies with deadly force. But being at war is not the same as
simply not-being-at-peace plus being-threatened. Words like "war" and "win"
carry a whole framework of assumptions that it is dangerous to accept
without examining them. I am certainly not the first to ask these questions,
but I invite David, and anyone else who thinks of this as a "war" that can
be "won", to consider them seriously.
Answering Lloyd Penney's implicit question about First Fandom, Ed, you said
"I just became a member by paying $10 and filling in a simple application.
30 years is the cutoff, and I have been in fandom for 47 years." Holy
Hannah! Then I probably qualify too, and I wouldn't call myself anything
before, oh, Fourth or Fifth. (Wait a minute, is anyone actually counting
past "one"?) Where do I apply? [I should have made it clear that this is an
Associate Membership." Full membership still requires fanac before around
1940. Write Howard Devore, 4705 Weddel St., Dearborn MI 48125 for more
George C. Willick writes: "'...a Muslim cannot enter paradise if the body is
buried with that of a pig or dog.' Assuming there is a paradise to
enter...the process is simpler than that...just bury two or more Muslims
together...a process I strongly encourage as often as possible (why pick on
dogs and pigs that are in limited supply?)." Let me choose my words
carefully lest I be accused of flaming. (Thinking hard... OK, ready.) I am
disappointed to see such a sentiment expressed in a community that I have
almost always found to be above bigotry, and I am disappointed to see it
appear in this zine, even in a LoC. I am also disgusted. If anyone doesn't
see why I feel this way, I invite them to examine Willick's logic. It
assumes, and therefore asserts by implication, that a Muslim is the
equivalent of a pig or a dog. I will stop now. I'm getting sick.
Ed, commenting on BLANCMANGE #396, you say: "You wonder about the propriety
of using "look" and "see" around me. Blind people use "look" and "see" as a
common idiom, like 'See you tomorrow,' or 'Let me see (perceive, handle)
that.'" Deaf people similarly use "hear" and "say" in English. I have to add
that qualifier because many American deaf people's first or usual language
is American Sign Language, which I wrote my dissertation on. I'm long past
anything like fluency, but I think the verbs meaning 'hear' and 'speak' are
usually literally associated with the sense of hearing and using the voice,
respectively. But there are plenty of other verbs of communication, such as
those usually translated as 'tell' or 'say-to-someone', and '(give someone
an) order', that aren't limited to speech at all and can perfectly well
refer to communication by signing or writing.
Your comment on BLANCMANGE #397: "Thus at the time Genesis was assembled
from two or three pre-existing documents (often called something like the
Yahweh Document and the Elal(?) [lord] document, it was believed that the
earth was flat and the firmament was a dome over the earth." True enough,
but there's also a line, in one of the Psalms IIRC, about the Lord
suspending the earth in the midst of the void. Not spherical, and you can
perfectly well imagine all that dome-and-waters construction in the middle
of the void, but I don't think I've heard of any other pre-scientific
cosmology that says that. I have the impression that, they either ignore the
question of what's under the world, or they might have it floating on the
water, or they put it on top of something specific, like an elephant or a
turtle. (Or both ... wait a minute, Mandel, the Discworld doesn't count.)
It took some daring to think, question, and realize that it wasn't likely to
be "turtles all the way down".
On BLANCMANGE #398, you ask: "And why the 'Sanders?' Pooh was not part of my
childhood and what I learned of him is from Sandy, and I do not know whether
Sanders plays any part in this." Pooh lived "under the name of Sanders",
meaning that there was a sign over his house with the name "Sanders" on it.
I remember the illustration. (But gaaahh! I can't recall the name of the
illustrator, and who has always ranked just below Milne in my appreciation
of the books!.) This is apparently how young Christopher Robin
misunderstood the expression. And Poul Anderson didn't necessarily mistake
the origin of "Winnie". It's a natural nickname for "Winston", which is a
very well known first name although uncommon, whereas "Winnipeg" is well
known as the name of a city but not at all as a first name. It would have
been a distraction. I've never heard the Winnipeg story before, and I'm
sure very few other Pooh fans, either now or in the sixties, have heard it
either. Winnie-the-Pooh is almost as famous as Alice, and many readers
would recognize the allusion in "Winston P. Sanders"; but who the heck is
Winnipeg P. Sanders? As obscure as Raccoona Sheldon.
"One magazine article claimed that it was Dickens with his Christmas Carol
which rehabilitated Christmas and popularized its celebration. Can any
reader collaborate this?" "Corroborate", rather. -- Dr. Whom
I think "polpi" is Italian for 'squid'. Lutefisk is preserved with lye, not
lime; from the American Heritage Dictionary, third edition: "A traditional
Scandinavian dish prepared by soaking air-dried cod in a lye solution for
several weeks before skinning, boning, and boiling it, a process that gives
the dish its characteristic gelatinous consistency. Now aren't you glad to
know that? ... You're not?
All the best, Mark Mandel
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON
August 6, 2003
Dear Ed:
I know it's some time since the initial May 10 publication date, but I have
a hard copy of The View From Entropy Hall 33, and here are some comments on
Diane Duane is someone I must get in touch with again; I am hoping to see
her in Toronto at the Worldcon. She and husband Peter Morwood have been
awfully busy getting lots of writing done over the past few years; we used
to see them in Canada and elsewhere in North American at various
The audiodisk I was involved with a couple of years ago, Fears For Ears,
tied for the Golden Ogle award for best F&SF audio a few weeks ago. is the site at which to buy the disks, and I may
bring some copies of the disk along to Worldcon to see if I can sell some of
National sf conventions do take place because even though it is called
Worldcon, there is the feeling that it is the American national convention
because it so often takes place in the US. Because the vast majority of
attendees and Hugo voters are American, national conventions and awards
elsewhere give some attention to those pros and fans in other countries.
The Torcon bid tables had lots of candy building blocks for people to snack
on, and some people gave us grief for putting them on the table, saying that
this might encourage children to eat their plastic building blocks at home.
Some of said that we are offering those candy blocks to adults, and we would
not be held responsible for the stupidity of others. The candies were legal,
and most people enjoyed them.
Torcon is about three weeks away, and we've been helping the LA in 2006
people get organized for staging parties here. So, we've been cataloguing
our party/con suite equipment list, and e-mailing back and forth all kinds
of party preparations. I can't imagine how we'd communicate if e-mail wasn't
there to help out.
Anyway, that's all for now.take care, and see you next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Dear Ed:
I didn't have any problem reading your zine. I just formatted it to remove
all the line returns and, frankly, edited out the parts I wasn't interested
A few comments:
There are (or perhaps were) three branches of the Polish restaurant
Theresa's: the one in the East Village, one on Austin Street in Queens, and
the one on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. That's the one I dine (all
too infrequently) at. Their prices are still very reasonable, despite my
increasingly trendy neighborhood!
There's an error in Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: for some reason Toni Weisskopf
assumed that I'm a native New Yorker, and learned my version of the song
here in Brooklyn. Of course, I learned it as a kid in Detroit, where I was
born. So my variant is Midwestern in origin, not something from an older
Thanks for the many comments on transit/trains; I too am a big fan, though
I'm not into the minutia that you are. Oh, and yes, the two Fulton Streets
pretty much line up. The Brooklyn side is now called Old Fulton Street to
the point about five blocks east where it passes under the Brooklyn-Queen
Expway (I-278), where it changes to Cadman Plaza West, which name continues
to just before Brooklyn Borough (formerly City) Hall. Then it's just Fulton
Street, or the Fulton Street Mall, which passes the old Abraham & Straus
(now a Macy's) in the downtown shopping area. Downtown Brooklyn, since they
replaced Myrtle Street with a pedestrianized park-like setting (site of the
Metrotech office/academic development, about 5 million sq. feet of office
buildings) now boasts half a dozen 35 story office buildings and the like.
Getting very built up, it is. And new zoning would eliminate the limit on
building heights in certain areas, so that new office buildings could be
higher than 1929's Williamsburg Savings Bank. There's a new office building
rising over the revitalized Long Island Railroad terminal at Atlantic
Avenue, too.
Just a few random comments on the latest Entropy.
Kevin's talk about railroads reminded me of our trip to San Francisco before
ConJose that year. I acquired tickets or transfers from five different modes
of rail transportation that day: the local San Jose light-rail, the
intercity train to San Francisco, the subway that got us closer to the city
centre, the streetcar we took along the harbor, and of course the historic
trolley car that went up and down the hills. People who come to Torcon this
year, if they're really so inclined, can get four different kinds of rail
transportation, all of them from different flavors of Union Station across
from the Royal York. The intercity Via train from the train station connects
Toronto to the rest of Canada. The regional GO Train from the GO station
under the train station to suburbs from Hamilton to Bradford to Oshawa. The
subway from the TTC station goes north as far as Finch and meets the
east-west train at Bloor that goes the length of the city. And a local
streetcar, also from the TTC station, runs along Queen's Quay by the harbor
and then up Spadina through the fashion (garment) district and then through
Chinatown up to the Annex.
I appreciate the bit from Mark Blackman about Aramaic being the lingua
franca of the Persian empire. I didn't know that, and it's a very useful bit
of research I can use in a historical fantasy I'm working on ("in my free
time"). I like playing with languages. Having the Galatians as a
Celtic-speaking people in central Asia Minor allows for some interesting
character interactions. We're planning to have a language-building workshop
at Torcon, with Stan Schmidt, Lawrence Schoen, Meredith Patterson (who is
studying for a Ph.D. in "comparative linguistics" at Iowa State University)
and Elizabeth Patterson. Should be edifying.
His bit about the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam was also interesting. One
of my ancestors, Michael Patrick Farrell, bought land near Troy from a Dutch
landholder in 1850; my aunt still lives there.
Roberta Rogow asks if there are other universes that have gay porn. Actually
it was I who asked that in response to her writing about a convention for
shared universe fiction.-ERM I would have to ask: are there fanfic universes
that *don't* have gay porn? Keeping in mind that most of this stuff is
written by women (so it's really more like romance with explicit scenes than
actual porn).
-- Alex von Thorn
WAHF: David Palter, Donna Ring, George C. Willick
I received the following letter from Dave Locke and circulated it to the
Entropy list with a promise to fix the zine and re-mail it. Below are some
of the responses I have received. Ed Meskys
Ed -
Couldn't read it. It came through as one long unreadable paragraph from
start to finish. Went over to eFanzines and read it from there. Better, but
not much better. The root problem is two things: 1. you don't double-space
between paragraphs, and 2. You indent paragraphs, and this doesn't work
well because indents are interpreted differently depending on both extension
and reader program (you can see from the eFanzines HTML version that it
ignores indents altogether, which would be fine except that you don't
double-space between paragraphs...). If you do those two things
(double-spacing between paragraphs, and block paragraphing without indents),
it should be okay regardless of what format you put it in. All best, -- Dave
Mine was okay. The paragraphing came through. But I printed it off, and
read the printed version, so I may have avoided some problems. --Joe
Unfortunately, I find the plain text version difficult to read, mainly
because there is no extra line break between paragraphs. As it's quite a
large file, in future can you just send me a URL to where a text or pdf
version sits on or elsewhere? Thanks. -- Del Cotter
[I guess I will have to start a new "group" for simple notification.-ERM]
Yes I would second what David said. Please double space between paragraphs,
indents would not be an issue then I would say.
Dear Ed,
The letter you posted about not tabbing at the beginnings of paragraphs and
double entering between them was most helpful to me. As a novice with
computers I was making both mistakes, tabbing at beginnings of paragraphs
and not leaving a blank line between them. No one has mentioned this before
and I appreciate learning to format my writing in a more computer friendly
style. Thanks for posting that letter of explanation. Always turning pages,
Cindy Deren
Dear Ed,
Thanks for the update on Entropy. It sounds like Dave Locke is making some
good suggestions. If I may, I'd like to add a suggestion of my own. When
doing a mass mailing as you did, it's best to put the recipients email
addresses in the bcc field so they are not visible to everyone who gets the
message. it doesn't matter to me personally, but there are many folks who
consider their addresses private, or who are worried about spam, and prefer
not to have their email addresses broadcast. All the best, Moshe
[I apologize for broadcasting the list. I usually do use BCC but slipped up
this time. -ERM]
Those are interesting comments. I, too, have long lived with the problem of
easy paragraph demarcation, have also failed to find commands which identify
the lines beginning with indents, and I, too, have long since adopted
block-style paragraphs with blank lines between. The old Vocal-eyes program
made this problem disappear, because you could turn on a function which
announced the presence of indents as they occurred, and I've missed that
since switching to Windows. Louis
Well, this is actually quite trivial to fix at the recipient's end, but I'm
guessing that Dave lacks a regexp-capable text editor. But I do agree with
him that padding the paragraphs with blank lines would make it easier for us
sighted folks....Thanks for sending Entropy along, - Colin
Hey, Ed -- I didn't have the problem Dave describes in the copy I received.
It's in *paragraphs* and all. I haven't read it yet, but I look forward to
it. --Robert Lichtman
This doesn't cause any major problems on my email program. Doing it your way
is actually the standard way Microsoft handle paragraphs, as indicated by
Notepad and similar editors by them. I personally prefer double spacing
between paragraphs, but I will bet some people don't like that. Will send a
LoC soon, just to prove I can read it in the original version. Regards, Eric
Airlie Beach, Nth Qld, Australia ph +61 7 4948 0450
NEW Airlie-SF-Psion-Epoc
Really? It looks fine here.On Mac OS X's Mail program, that is. Jim
Hi Ed,
Yes, I think Dave's right. Double spacing between paragraphs would be
helpful. Also, if it's possible, it might help to make the headings, not
just a different color - though that does help - but also an h3 or h4 to
break the page up a bit. It won't necessarily alter what the screen reader
does with the page, but for those of us who have some vision the headings
would be signposts on the page. And, I suppose the fully sighted folks if
any would appreciate it as well. Solidarity and Peace Kerry
[I emailed it as a text file and am surprised that the headings came out in
color. I do not know what you mean by "H3 or H4." -ERM]
WAHF Margaret Carter, Matt Hayes, Fred Lerner, Rob Mott, Asta Morkoniune,
Mark Olson, Leah Zeldes Smith, "otzchiim"[whoever that is!]
who simply said they had no problems
I have re-formatted Entropy 33 to drop the indents (they were 3 spaces) and
add double enters at paragraph ends. Also I sent it as a word document
instead of a text file, tho that does use a lot more bandwidth. I hope this
is better, but Dave said:
"Good job, very readable. There are a couple of places, particularly toward
the end, where lines break up, but nothing that the eye can't take in
BLANCMANGE #401 (APA-Q #481, Mark L. Blackman) In your highlights of past
issues you quoted from #330, "The Separatists (Congregationalists; "the
Pilgrims" came here) split into (Anabaptist) Mennonites & Baptists." A good
friend, Dr. Shenk, who was head of the philosophy dept at Belknap College,
was raised Mennonite in rural Virginia and said they descended from the
"Anabaptists" from Switzerland, who predated Luther (if I remember
correctly). They had decided that infant baptism was invalid and had
themselves baptized again as adults, hence the name meaning "baptized
again." He said that the Mennonites and Amish are the descendants of the
Anabaptists. The Calvinists who came from the British Isles, primarily
Scotland, split into the New England Baptists and the Congregationalists,
from what I understand. I do not know the origin of the Southern Baptists.
If my information is correct, there was no connection between the Calvinists
and the Mennonites. [] You quoted yourself from #332 as saying there were no
Els in Manhattan since before WWII, they having been torn down and sold to
Japan as scrap metal. In the early 50s I rode the 3rd Ave. El from its then
terminal at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall to the Bronx many times, especially
between City Hall and Grand Central. At those points you could get a paper
transfer and switch to the subway. You had a 2 hour grace period on the
transfer and when I collected stamps I would get off the subway at Grand
Central, walk to the UN to buy stamps, especially on the first day of issue,
and take the El to City Hall and return to the subway home to Brooklyn,.
Then when they built ramps connecting the Brooklyn Bridge to the East River
highway the cut the El back one station to Chatham Square to make room for
the ramps. Several years later they removed the El back to a point in the
Bronx where it crossed another line, and still later removed the rest of it
replacing it with a bus transfer. There was one other little stub of an El
by the Polo Grounds. When the 8th Ave. El had been replaced with the IND
subway they left a very short stub connecting the ball field with one of the
Bronx elevated extensions of an IRT subway. While this was officially an El,
a portion was underground, tunneling under a hill on the Bronx side of the
Harlam River. A number of years later this stub was closed, and I assume
demolished. I wonder what they did with the underground portion.
BLANCMANGE #402 (APA-Q #482) You said that Connie Willis' Fire Watch is
set in the same universe as Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog.
Those two books are so drastically different from each other that I wonder
what Fire Watch is like. Also, when was it published?
blancmange 403 (APA-Q 483) I enjoyed your quote, "'Mean-spirited gossip'
quipped that Edward VIII was "third mate of an American tramp". [] Very
interested in the details of your trip to Israel this Spring to attend your
nephew's Bar Mitzvah, and the things you saw and did, and the repercussions
of the Iraq war on Israel. I remember when the blockade on the Gulf of
Aquaba was lifted and the port opened to Israeli shipping, but had not heard
that the Egyptians have again blockaded the gulf. []
I either lost or never received BM 404-406.
BLANCMANGE #407 (APA-Q #487) Found your Torcon diary interesting. Is
Chicago bidding for '08 or 09? Or haven't they decided? Have any other bids
surfaced for that year? Has any bid surfaced to oppose Aussie in '10? I have
never been to a NASFiC and do not like the idea but if Charlotte had taken '
05 and Seattle went again for '07 Sandy might have considered going to that
one. Sandy has never been to Seattle and we do not cross the Pacific. We
have sat out the three Aussiecons, but might have gone to Seattle just for
her to see the city. Maybe we would go to a Potlatch instead, and while
there tour the Pacific NW from Portland OR to Vancouver BC.funds permitting.
[] Your brief review of KS Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt brings up
my main grotch about so much alternate world SF, the reappearance of persons
from our time line. Also the re-occurrence of events. In a different
timeline, especially one so drastically different, it is unlikely that the
same people would have met and had the same children. Even in closer
timelines this is true. In Turtledove's Two Georges the lack of a revolution
would have had different people emigrating from Europe to North America,
different economic and medical conditions would have changed the number of
offspring in a given family even if the same couple did meet. As for events
I am thinking of a novel I read a decade ago (title forgotten) where a
lightning strike destroyed the first test atomic bomb, delaying our nuclear
program by several months. Thus the planned invasion of Japan did take
place, with great loss of life on both sides, but then the bombs were
perfected and dropped. In this timeline the two targets were again
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In our timeline Nagasaki was the third choice for
that drop, after the first two did not have favorable weather conditions.
How likely are the same weather conditions to be three months later?
DAGON 575, APA-Q #481 (John Boardman) I am croggled! When my computer read
your mailing comments on ENTROPY 32 it pronounced my name mesh-keyzz, almost
perfect! (The final s is voiceless, pronounced like the s in "hiss). When I
had the computer read my name letter by letter it said "ess" both times, but
Sandy says the mark IS over the first s on the screen. I have saved this in
my collection of exotic characters and have used it in my colophon thish I
also present it here: Meskys. [] I liked very much your filk "Eating Camel
Turds." [] In your discussion of funnymentalist attacks on D&D by claiming
it has led to murder and insanity I liked your point that many games have
obsessive followers and your list of 8 or so chess grand masters who went
insane or became pathologically obsessive.
DAGON 576, APA-Q 482 I liked your point that during prohibition booz
dealers were killing each other, which ended with repeal. Wouldn't the same
thing happen with drug dealers? [] You said: " Some sort of midwinter
festival, approximately at Solstice time, seems to be common to all cultures
in the temperate zone. Under the Soviet Union, Christmas was down-played in
favor of a New Year's festival, featuring a benevolent old fellow called
Dyadya Mroz ("Grandpa Frost"). In practice, this festival was no more
Christian than is New Orleans' Mardi Gras. Then there are those Jewish
household which have a "Hanukah Bush," under which presents are left by
"Uncle Max the Hanukah Man." I had the impression that most Jewish families
despise the outward trappings of Christmas and those few Jews who bow to the
cultural imperitive.
DAGON 577 APA-Q 483 I like your Kepler quote, justifying his casting
horoscopes for money, "God has created for every creature the means by which
it may be nourished, and for astronomers he has created astrology." [] Your
review of Rosemary Edghill, The Warslayer (2002, Baen, $8 pb)
makes it sound like a very interesting take off on the actors and producers
of the TV show XENA. Sandy bought and greatly enjoyed several Edgehill
novels after hearing her speak at a con and I have to get to them.
DAGON 578 APA-Q 484 You cite Josepha Sherman as joining Arthur Ransom and
James Branch Cabel in using Russian myths in their fantasy. Another author
who did so is C.J. Cherryh in Rusalka and Chernevog. I read the first of
these and understand it is based on Ukrainian folklore. [] We have very
limited TV service as we have chosen the satellite dish which gives us 10
"cable" channels plus the Boston feeds of PBS and all 6 commercial networks.
We only watch TV 4 or 5 hours a week so this $16.95 service is enough for
us. We are rather disappointed with the credulity of some of the programming
on Learning and Discover and I was glad to read in the "Skeptic" column in a
recent SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN that a new REAL science channel is in the works.
When it comes I hope I can add it to my service. Anyhow, I do not get any of
those cartoon channels you have been discussing. I had not thought about it
but I guess it makes sense to have an active market for girls 8 to 12 which
they call the tweens, and note your comments that that virtually all of the
protagonists are sexually undeveloped while their adversaries have breasts.
Your conclusion that the audience is made up of girls uncomfortable with the
changes in their bodies which are beginning makes sense. [] I was interested
in your reminiscences of the "Magical Childe" shop which used to be on West
19 St, and the mixture of clientele it attracted.Wiccan, Occultist, and
other strange beliefs. This reminds me of a bookshop we used to go to, on 8
St near Ave A if I remember. Its owner, Ms. Campbell (I have forgotten her
first name) was delightful and she used to have tables at occult oriented
cons like Darkover. I remember running into fen like Alexei Kondratiev in
her shop. We suffered a major loss when she died about a decade ago. [] You
mentioned a number of "Necronimicons" published over the years by Lovecraft
fen, and said that Lin Carter is reported to have been working on one when
he died in 1988. In the late 1950s in Ron Smith's sercon fanzine INSIDE &
SCIENCE FICTION ADVERTISER he ran a lot of Lovecraft related material
including a collection of quotations from the Necrinomicon in various
authors in the Lovecraft circle. There was also an article satirizing
Lovecraft. Much of this was in one of the later Lovecraftiana collections
put out by Arkham House.was it Trail of Cthulhu?
DAGON 579, APA-Q 485. I was very interested to learn that a form of
shorthand was invented by Cicero's secretary in the first century BCE, and
that it also existed in ancient China. [] I do not see how meat dishes can
be authentically Indian, since Hinduism forbids the killing of any animals.
I assume that Indian restaurants which serve meat are run by Muslims or
Sikhs (spelling?) from India. What is paradoxical is all the Hindu
decorations in that Indian restaurant we love on the corner of West Broadway
and Broome Streets.
DAGON 580-I never received the file for this.
DAGON 581, APA-Q 487 You commented that you hear fewer anarchy/libertarian
messages and more strictly military ones all over the place. Most of the
people I know here, even Republicans, are disgusted with Shrub. However
there are almost no undecideds. Those who are pro-shrub are violently so and
get angry at anyone who criticizes him. "I don't want to hear that
bush-bashing." He lied to us about why he wanted to go into Iraq, which was
a goal from the day of his stolen election. There are no weapons in Iraq but
he is chicken about going after North Korea which brags about its weapons. I
guess I am listening to the wrong people. Polls seem to indicate that he has
one of the highest approval ratings ever and I fervently hope something
happens to destroy it. Perhaps the squabbling over elections will delay US
withdrawal from Iraq and the rising body count will weaken him.
dagon 582, apa-q 488 You make the Euronews Channel sound interesting. I
am usually getting ready for bed between 9 and 10 PM and my public radio
station broadcasts weekdays a news program from the Canadian Broadcasting
Co. I find their very different view interesting. Also when I get up before
5 AM weekdays, 7 AM weekends, I hear the all-night news from the BBC world
service. (The Boston PBS channel also puts the BBC world service on the SAP
(Second Audio Program) voice channel when they are not using it for
described video service or Spanish translation, but we rarely turn on the
TV.) [] Very interested to learn that it was Kaiser Wilhelm II, during the
Boxer Rebellion, who gave the Germans the nickname of Huns. I wonder if he
lived long enough to regret it. [] Your list of the WWII era comic strips
and books and their reaction to the war brought back many memories. Your
comments about French fries becoming "liberty fries" reminds me of a
teacher in high school (1950-1954) talking about WW I and hamburgers
becoming "liberty steaks" and many German sounding street names in Brooklyn
being changed. [] Your quote from Adventures of Tom Sawyer about the
minister who made the number of the elect so small that it just wasn't worth
while reminds me of an excellent book by Bruce Coville and Jane Yolen,
Armageddon Summer about a preacher who convinces his following that only a
hundred and some people will survive the coming Armageddon, and they will
all be on top of this mountain in Mass. The craziness of those inside and
outside the fence is gripping. The viewpoint alternates between an
adolescent boy and girl who are both there at the behest of their fanatical
single parents,. That reminds me, the (as Fred Lerner calls them) the
Jehovah's Witless claim that only 144,000 will be saved. Then why are they
proselytizing, reducing their own chance for salvation?
HOW TO #87 (Don del Grande) /Thank you for emailing me the text file of
your zine. [] I used to watch M*A*S*H on TV but had never seen the movie or
read the book. I was interested to learn that the movie director had done
his best to make the setting obscure so that viewers wouldn't know whether
it was Korea or Vietnam, and he was upset when the studio added a caption at
the beginning making the setting definitely Korea. You said that its only
Oscar was for the script which had little to do with what was finally shot.
I am surprised to learn that the award is made on the base of the
pre-shooting script and not on the script as finally modified.

Again, everyone in APA-Q and those who trade fanzines, please send me your
fanzine by email so I can read it on my talking computer.
Niekas Publications
National Federation of the Blind of NH
RR 2, Box 63, 322 Whitter Hwy Center Harbor, NH 03226-9708

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