The View From Entropy Hall #35 edited by Ed Meskys

THE VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL #35, 22 January, 2005, for APA-Q #498, 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 #46.7. 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. >INTERESTING QUOTE In the Trufen listserv Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey signed off with the following quote, which I find excellent. "Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeezing one's eyes shut and wailing 'does not!'" -- author unknown

Last issue I mentioned that NESFA Press ( or P O Box 809,
Framingham MA 01701) has reissued {Silverlock} in a new hardcover edition,
including excerpts from SILVERLOCK COMPANION. I have now received my copy
and it runs 510 pages and costs $26. Here is its actual table of contents:

A Book Like No Other by Karen Anderson
A Word of Praise by Poul Anderson
An Appreciation of the Commonwealth by Jerry Pournelle
Silverlock's Progress? By Larry Niven
Silverlock by John Myers Myers (including A Map of the Commonwealth)
Three Draughts from Hippocreme by Darrell Schweitzer
A Reader's Guide to the Commonwealth by Fred Lerner & Anne Braude
Readers Guide Sources by Fred Lerner & Anne Braude
A Silverlock Library by Fred Lerner
A John Myers Myers Checklist by Fred Lerner
The Inside Scoop on John Myers Myers by Himself
John Myers Myers, the Last Goliard by Celia Myers
John Myers Myers, the Man Behind Silverlock by Fred Lerner
The Maker's Muse by John Myers Myers

The Songs of Silverlock by Karen Anderson
Notes on the Text

The original edition was published by Dutton in 1949. Enthusiasts' ravings
and intros by Anderson, Pournelle, and Niven got it reissued by Ace on two
occasions many years later. Standards of acceptable language had changed in
the meantime and obsolete slang words were replaced in the Ace edition. Most
of the original words were restored in this edition, but the editors listed
the variant words and their reasons for making their choices.

One of the speakers at the 2004 National Federation of the Blind convention
explained how he piloted across the English Channel and how he set an
altitude record for ultralight aircraft. He had a sighted co-pilot for
emergencies, but did all the flying from take-off thru navigation to landing
himself. He is planning to fly from England to Sydney, Australia It is
12,500 miles and will take at least 35 days. The ultralight has a range of
300 miles and he will hop across Europe near the Mediterranean, across
southern Asia, and from island to island in SE Asia and Indonesia.
Unfortunately there is no stopping place between East Timor and Darwin, a
distance of 450 miles. He will carry extra fuel containers, but he will also
carry a lawyer's briefcase. That way, if he crashes the sharks will leave
him alone out of professional courtesy. He cracked many other jokes.

Rumors of this talk among those who did not make the convention drew
questions and incredulous remarks on the NFB listserv. This is one response:
No, it is not a joke. he recently set a new altitude record for ultra light
aircraft and flew across the English Channel in one. He plans to fly from
England to Australia later this year. He demonstrated his talking
instrumentation, that he uses, that helps him fly. His micro wave altimeter
is accurate to four inches and he uses GPS and radio for communications and
navigation. You do not need a pilot's license to fly an ultra light
There are lots of blind people who like flying and do it with the aid of
other pilots. I have been legally blind since age 16 and have about 280
hours logged at the controls of various light aircraft. I have done both
take offs and landings too. There is not much that is beyond our capacity
given the right conditions, equipment, and opportunity.
David Evans, NFBF
Nuclear/Aerospace Materials Engineer
Builder of the Lunar Rovers

Note: the text of the very humorous talk can be found in the December, 2004,
BRAILLE MONITOR, available at

>From Arthur Hlavaty's NICE DISTINCTIONS #5:

Back in 1976, when est was just becoming popular, there was a book
entitled *est: Playing the Game the New Way*, by Carl Frederick. He was sued
by the organization for using their name, and I believe the book was taken
off the market, but I bought and read it before that. It was a book about
manipulative behavior in the good sense. (That may be where I first
encountered the idea that when reason fails, the only approaches are
manipulation and force.)

Lincoln fought to maintain central control, but his spiritual descendants
insist he was opposing slavery. The Confederacy fought to maintain slavery,
but their spiritual descendants insist they were opposing central control.

"LeHaye and Jenkins marketed and sold well because they were first to do
this genre . . ."

Not so! As Carl E. Olson observes:

Secondly, LaHaye's bio states that he "conceived the idea of fictionalizing
an account of the Rapture and the Tribulation," and in an interview with
Pentecostal Evangel magazine he claimed that "Left Behind is the first
fictional portrayal of events that are true to the
literal interpretation of Bible prophecy." If by that he means novels
that are based on dispensationalist beliefs, he is incorrect. End-time
novels in the dispensationalist mold actually date back to the 1920s
and 30s to books such as In the Twinkling of an Eye and The Mark of the
Beast by Sydney Watson; others followed in subsequent decades.

More to the point is Salem Kirban's "Rapture novel" 666, published in
1970. The plot and characters are remarkably similar to those found in
LaHaye's "original" "Left Behind" novel. Kirban's novel opens as a
non-believing reporter experiences the Rapture (as an observer, not
participant) while on an airplane flight. Upon returning home he finds
that his Christian wife is (of course) missing; he reads her Bible,
stumbles upon 1 Corinthians 15:52-53, and comes to believe in Jesus
Christ. Soon he discovers that the Antichrist is a rogue Catholic
leader. After managing to infiltrate the Antichrist's inner circle, he
witnesses the forces of Russia and China descending upon Israel, only
to see them destroyed by the returning Christ at the Battle of
Armageddon. The publisher of Kirban's novel was Tyndale House, LaHaye
and Jenkins's publishing house.

The reason LaHaye and Jenkins did well, I think, is because LaHaye cashed
in on a post-Peretti trend whereby nearly every evangelical leader wrote a
novel of some sort (IIRC, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, Larry Burkett and
Bob Larson all "wrote" novels in the early- to mid-'90s), and where those
other authors wrote mere political thrillers and murder mysteries etc.,
LaHaye went explicitly supernatural and wrote a fantasy that encompassed
elements of the thriller and the mystery, etc.

BTW, for more on the end-times novels of the 1910s etc., see here:

--- Peter T. Chattaway


\Magic Carpet Books, a YA division of Harcourt, re-issued the three volumes
of Jane Yolen's Young Merlin Trilogy under that title. The original books
were {Passager} 1996), {Hobby} (1996), and {Merlin} (1997), and they are
combined as {Young Merlin Trilogy}, trade paperback, 259pp., $6.95

They have also issued a special 50th anniversary edition of Edward Eager's
{Half Magic} and a 20th anniversary edition of Diane Duane's {So You Want to
Be a Wizard}, which includes a short story about Kit and Nita. I have read
these but am out of time. I will review them in the next ENTROPY. But these
are wonderful books, so go read them now.

Here are excerpts from an obit which was circulated on the NFB-Talk
listserv. I do not know where it was first published.

Dr. William Dobelle, Artificial Vision Pioneer, Dies at 62 By DAVID TULLER

Dr. William Dobelle, who developed an experimental system of artificial
vision for the blind that involved the transmission of electrical signals to
electrodes implanted in the brain, died on Oct. 5 at New York-Presbyterian
Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. He was 62. The
cause was diabetes-related complications, according to a spokeswoman for
Avery Laboratories, the company based in Commack, N.Y., that Dr. Dobelle
acquired in 1983.
Dr. Dobelle led one of several teams of scientists around the world seeking
to develop
technology for artificial vision. He received widespread publicity four
years ago
after his system restored limited navigational abilities to a volunteer who
was blind. The system, which remains experimental, uses a tiny camera
mounted in glasses worn by the blind person. The camera images are relayed
to a portable computer and transmitted to surgically implanted electrodes
attached to the brain's visual cortex. Dr. Eli Friedman, a nephrologist and
professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and a longtime friend
of Dr. Dobelle, said in an e-mail message, "He tenaciously held on to the
concept that an external sensor creating a digital image could convey a
signal to the brain that would be interpreted as usable sight."

Dr. Dobelle was born in Pittsfield, Mass., and showed an early talent for
invention. He applied for his first patent at 13 for artificial hip
improvements that he developed with his father, Martin, an orthopedic
surgeon. He entered Vanderbilt University at 14 and, in 1956, he built an
X-ray machine. In an interview with Wired magazine two years ago, Dr.
Dobelle recalled his early attraction to the field that became his life's
work. "I've always done artificial organs," he said. "I've spent my whole
life in the spare-parts business. I just inherited it from my father. By age
8, I was doing real research." He completed his undergraduate education at
Johns Hopkins University, where he also earned a master's in biophysics.
Later, he received his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Utah and
was director of the division of artificial organs at Columbia-Presbyterian
Medical Center. Dr. Dobelle conducted much of the work on his artificial
vision system in Europe at the Dobelle Institute, a center he founded in the
1980's that is now based in Lisbon.

Many years ago John Boardman taped for me a talk Dr. Dobelle had given at
Brooklyn College, and soon after that John and I attended a talk he gave at
the NY Lighthouse For the Blind. John sent me an obituary different from the
one above.

The system would only be tested on persons who had grown up sighted, so they
could relate stimulation of the visual cortex with visual memory. A ten by
ten array of electrodes was placed against each side of the visual cortex
for a total raster of 200 dots. The electrodes were stimulated one at a time
and the user pointed at the apparent direction of the light spot. A computer
program assigned pixels in a TV camera to the appropriate electrode.

I read in print an article about this doctor (an obit?) and was quite
annoyed when he was quoted as being amazed at how a totally blind person
with his prostheses could get around, despite the limited resolution. The
implication was that the doctor believed that a totally blind person was
incapable of independent travel and totally hopeless without at least this
tiny bit of artificial vision. .

I have read several pieces in various magazines over the last 30 years. The
total raster of light spots is only 200 dots. In an early quote a researcher
said this was not enough resolution to read regular print one letter at a
time. The researcher (not necessarily the same one) as he who just died)
thought that perhaps blind persons with this system could sight-read Braille
faster than touch read it. Grump~!'

When I visit New York I like to go to the White Eagle Polish market on 5
Ave. near 18 St. in Brooklyn and stock up on three breads from the
Lithuanian Bakery in Elizabeth, NJ, a straight rye, a rye with a touch of
molasses called "Boston Bread", and cheese babka. I just got the following
letter, so it looks like I will no longer do so. There is another Lithuanian
bakery, Silver Bell, in Brooklyn and their Lithuanian rye bread is as good
as that of Lithuanian Bakery, but they do not have "Boston Bread" or cheese

Marvin Korman had an article in JBOI BOICE, a tape magazine, in which he
offered to email anyone interested a recipe for a hearty multi-grain "health
bread" which he had modified from a recipe used in his father's bakery. I
baked this bread but substituted fennel seed for the "coarse groats" which I
did not have in the house. Here is his reply:

Dear Ed:

I am glad that the Health Bread worked out for you. The fennel seeds seems
like a bit of a stretch but why not?

The title of my book that I will be recording for JBI is {In My Father's
Bakery: a Bronx
Memoir}. Incidentally, your mention of the "Lithuanian Bakery" in Elizabeth
NJ rang a bell. Last month I was invited to speak at the Atlantic Bakery
Expo 2004
in Atlantic City. Among the people I met there was the owner of the
"Lithuanian Bakery." He told me that the bakery which was founded by his
no longer sold breads in Greenwich Village (where I live) or in Brooklyn
where they used to deliver breads to many stores and restaurants. Now he
on various NJ outlets. So, if you ever get out to Elizabeth, you can find
him still there. Anyway, good luck in your quest for good Lithuanian bread.
It's the best.
Marvin Korman

from Ansible: _Greg Shaw_ (1949-2004), US fanzine fan and con-goer who
achieved fame as a rock music entrepreneur, died on 19 October; he was 55.
His extensive experience in fan publishing, including the early-60s Tolkien
fanzine _ENTMOOT_, spawned music zines like his long-running _Who Put the

I remember Greg from Barea fandom in 1964. He started ENTMOOT about the same
time as I decided to give NIEKAS a Tolkien emphasis, starting with #9. I am
sorry that I had lost touch with him.

At one time FACT SHEET FIVE listed every small press item they could find,
whether it be a SF fanzine, a political diatribe, or for collectors of left
handed widgets. Now Photon Press is listing publications with a literary
interest, which would include sercon fanzines like NIEKAS, but I doubt it
would include faanish ones like ENTROPY. Anyhow, here is a communication I
just received from them. Write them if you are interested.

Dear Editor,

Please excuse this form letter.

Printed below is the entry I have for your magazine for Light's List 2005.

There is of course no charge.

I hope I have the details right and would be grateful if you would let me
know of any mistake.

The numbers in parentheses in your entry are: (year checked - so 2004 is 4,
price of a single or sample issue in your own country's currency, number of
issues per year - "i" means irregular, number of pages in recent or typical
issue). If there are blanks and you are willing to include missing
I should be pleased. I have included either an e-mail address or web site
but not both - if you wish to change one to the other please let me know.

In case you have not seen Light's List a brief description of it is also
given below.

Yours truly, John Light

Your entry:-

Niekas Science Fiction And Fantasy (3,$4.95,i,64) SF, F articles, poems,
reviews RR 2, Box 63, 322 Whittier Highway, Center Harbour, NH 03226-9708,

Light's List 2005 is due end of January 2005. If you are able to mention it
that would be much appreciated. The details are as follows:-

Light's List of Literary Magazines 2005

Contains the names, addresses, price, frequency, page count and a brief note
of interests (e.g. "Traditional: poems to 30 lines, fiction to 2500 words,
reviews, artwork") of over 1400 UK, US, Canadian, Australasian, European,
African and Asian small press magazines publishing creative writing and
in English.

(70 plus pages, perfect bound). 20th annual edition ISBN 1 897968 32 9

UK: £4 including 2nd class post; Overseas airmail: £5 / US$10 / equivalent
in other currencies

Photon Press, 37 The Meadows, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1NY,
British Isles.


[Does the British word "twee" meaning terminally cute somehow come from the
name of this river?-ERM]

Addresses and Eddresses will be published only with specific authorization.

|MARK L. BLACKMAN [excerpted from BLANCMANGE 404]
Re Haldeman's "How many children died of starvation on Sept.
11?", it's to be expected that the US is more concerned with a terror
attack at home than about people elsewhere. What's more notable is its
selective obsessions abroad - Kosovo but not Rwanda, the Middle East but
not war between India & Pakistan, etc. []re David Palter comment> On Sept.
11th, as on Dec. 7th, war was declared on the US; however, only in the
former case was it by a sovereign nation; it has been shown to be
impossible to retaliate against nomadic terrorists. []re George C. Willick
comment> Btw, the US Army did just that--bury Muslim rebels' ashes with
pigs--during the Philippine Insurrection. []Re colonial powers deliberately
setting borders in Africa to create ethnic strife, interesting. Yet Britain
twice partitioned Palestine to separate Jews & Arabs, and Pakistan was split
off India to divide Muslims & Hindus. [I had the impression that Pakistan
split away from India in a civil war, and not by British mandate. ERM] []But
for the "Palestinians", "suicide" (genocide) bombers are not a last,
desperate ploy, but merely one more weapon along with rockets and insincere
peace negotiations. This is not 1945 - there's global media to play to. Arab
media calls them heroic "martyrs" and some in the West-ERM press excuse,
even glorify them. (60 Minutes II actually equated one & the Israeli whom
she murdered - "both girls died". That's melodrama, not news.) I suspect
that Dr. Johnson wasn't reporting Arabs' belief in false history, but
advocating it as correct. Jews have been in Eretz Israel for 3,000 years
(despite genocide & exile); Arabs invaded ca. 700 CE; Transjordanians poured
in in the '20s (my great-grandfather was already there) because the Mandate
had a higher standard of living; and the nationality "Palestinian" was
fabricated in 1964 (and referred only to Arabs in pre-'67 Israel and not to
those in [Egyptian-occupied] Gaza or the [Jordanian-occupied] West Bank). To
call Israel a Western colony is absurd - whose? Britain's? They opposed
immigration & independence; they're whom the Haganah was fighting! The US's?
The State Dept. opposed recognizing Israel. (The Arabs had oil, the Zionists
were socialists.) It's true that most Arabs totally oppose Israel's
existence--Israel's obliteration is still in the PLO Charter and even with
Egypt & Jordan it's "cold peace"; compromise is not in their mindset. Did
Johnson mention that Osaka is Wahhabi and that nearly all of the 9/11
hijackers were Saudi? (The Lang article was noted in The Jerusalem Report.)

I've never been to the National Parks out West, but my sister
had. Would you be able to appreciate them? [Not fully, but I appreciate the
descriptions I get and I keep Sandy company. Also I get into good
conversations with the guides and re-creators/role-players.-ERM]

There was an article in the NY
Times Science Section last month on dragons. A "dragon" skull in Austria
was really a woolly rhino. Pterodactyls certainly look like winged
dragons - part snake, part bird & part bat. An anthropologist suggests
that dragons are a prehistoric composite of carnivores, pythons, big cats
& raptors. Belief persisted in the West because both Pliny & the Bible
said that dragons existed (unless they were wiped out in the Flood); but
they were also in China, and the Aztecs had a plumed serpent.

Yes, ancient "historians" were paraphrasers, not stenographers. [] Tax to
the Temple was half a shekel; it was therefore necessary for pilgrims to
convert from other currencies (particularly offensive, idolatrous coins).
Money-changers charged 8% or less. (Jesus should go after my credit card
company, which charges 18%.)

re Mark Mandel comment> Hey, I made no claim, I merely repeated
what Bujold said to George Laskowski in an interview in Lan's Lantern;
even in her revisionist history, she concedes that it's "a vaguely
ST-universe". The militaristic Barrayarans & the civilized Betans
certainly resemble, respectively, the Klingons & Vulcans. (I'm reminded
of how easily, working in the other direction, Niven was able to adapt
"The Soft Weapon" to Trek, with Spock in the puppeteer's role![Is this in
the animated Trek story, "The Slaver Weapon"?]) I applaud
her for going beyond the Trek universe to create her own, original one.
(Always remember please to call it homage or inspiration.)

The "continental con" is technically NASFiC, but as a regular thing and
apart from WSFS, the notion was Robert Sacks'. [] The Floating Worldcon
Committee certainly saved Nolacon. Dragon*Con is competition to Worldcon,
drawing away not only attendees, but writers, artists & editors. Some
similarly complain that Lunacon isn't more like media cons (and is more

John Boardman wrote: "Wooden shoes [are] not exclusively Dutch. For
centuries they were worn by peasants in all regions of Europe that produced
enough wood, and in the public mind were symbols of extreme poverty caused
by brutal oppression." He never said how they came to be thought of solely
(get it?) as Dutch. "Mary-Jane slippers"? Well, Sherlock Holmes kept tobacco
in his.

Wag the Dog was made before the Lewinsky scandal broke and just lucked out.
. [] Re "Meskys:"' origin, noted, thank you; Russian for "bear" is "medved".
("Maske" would be an interesting name.) [Until I had it legally changed in
1958 my last name was "Maske" which my parents pronounced "mask-key." Since
I entered fandom in 1955 I was on some lists and fanzines under the old
name. As I have said elsewhere, a Russian speaking member of my Lions Club
born in Iran said that "mishka" is the Russian equivalent of "teddybear."
Also Alexai Kondratiev had said it is a children's word for bear. My father'
s Tsarist Russian passport gave his name as the Kyrillic equivalent of
"meshko," which immigration changed to "Maske." A few years ago I learned
that he had a cousin in Brooklyn who shared the name Maske, but I do not
remember his first name or anything else about him.--ERM] Jewish names
similarly underwent informal changes, particularly when the Tsar's press
gangs arrived. [] I thought that pooh is what bears do in the woods. I read
Winnie the Pooh as a kid, but it didn't grab me. In college I read The Pooh
Perplex, a parody of lit-crit.

Christmas was primarily a holy day, only gradually a festive celebration.
"The Night Before Christmas" was published and Christmas cards were being
exchanged (in England & the US) before Dickens' story. [] No, Clam Chowder
began as 2 friends playing at Maryland Renaissance Festivals; they don't
explain the name. [Sandy always believed that they accidentally met in a
Boston bar and found that they sang well together. ERM]

The question of where the energy (matter) to create new
universes comes from was mine. Leaving String Theory aside, I've posited
(for the purposes of fiction) that branched-off universes occasionally
rejoin, particularly universes that differed only in the most insignificant
details (eg, whether you had soup or kielbasa for lunch), thus we have
co-existing alternate versions of histories & legends (this "explains" the 2
creations in Genesis, the 4 contradictory Gospels, multiple versions of the
Arthurian lore, and other "some say..."s). And maybe improbable histories
fizzle out because they can't be sustained
(eg, if Coolidge could leap tall buildings in a single bound, if Arafat
were a pacifist).

"Slash" exists for Chakotay/Paris & Janeway/7 of 9 of Trek:
Voyager, for Starsky/Hutch, for West/Gordon of The Wild Wild West, for
the 2 guys on The Sentinel; there's even Harry Potter "slash" (well, it
is an English boarding school)!

Hi Ed - Thanks for the zine. I get about 200 e-mails a day and half of it is
spam. I have virus and firewall protection, but I don't trust filters. I
mark and purge most of the spam from the title/sender list. Sounds like your
ISP is filtering your e-mail - the question is, are they filtering out stuff
you would want to get?

Not surprising the haptic interface can't actually present a sharp edge -
that would require resolution of a thousandth of an inch!

I don't remember any Little People in fiction before Swift's 1726 {GULLIVERS
TRAVELS} - I haven't read a lot of fiction older than that! Cruickshank's
"Brownies" were very popular in the mid-1800s. But I suspect the idea of
Little People is very old - there are prehistoric figurines after all.
Best, Ned

Sounds like you started using a spam filter. Does someone help you set up
the computer? [Both my wife, Sandy, and a friend, Brian Thurston, help me
with computer settings, but neither has set up a spam filter. I am beginning
to think it is a service of my ISP.-ERM]

Too bad Clark was too late to stop Kerry. Kerry, whatever else, is DULL. I
think that enough people are upset at Bush to get him out, but he will use
the full resources of the Presidency to hang on. Last poll I saw continued
the division as you said.

The Shepard subway [in Toronto] is pretty conventional, really. Trains are
probably 4 cars instead of the 6 on the other subways. I was stuck without a
token when I took it; there are no humans involved at the stations, so my
ticket was useless. I think the main reason the Shepard subway hasn't been
extended is cost; subways are expensive. (In my opinion, the Shepard subway
should have been a light rail line about 2-3 kilometers north, on a swath
cleared for electricity lines. It would have been vastly cheaper, but the
merchants of Shepard would not have benefited.)

Sorry to hear of your series of financial hits. At least electronic fanac
isn't terribly expensive.

The Rapture people [like the Jehovah's Witless] likewise ignore the
Revelation of St John. It says, in fact, that 12,000 will be saved from each
of the tribes of Israel. Therefore, goyim will not be taken.

Thanks for Entropy. I'd prefer it more frequent and shorter; it's too much
to comment on fully. [Starting with the next ish I will try to do that.-ERM]
Jim Caughran

hello Ed...
thanks for entropy 34... it is always fascinating, even if I do not
okay... a friend living in the St. Louis area, Carolyn whet, is deeply
involved in excellent authentic recreations of past American culture of St.
Louis and the plains... most recently she was part of the bicentennial Lewis
and Clark exposition earlier this year... I shall inform her of your
interest... she is quite busy so it may take some time for her to respond to
your inquiry, but is a fascinating individual...


yes... i share your distaste for those Calvinist Puritanical hypocrites
seeking freedom for themselves alone... it is only too characteristic of the
wretchedly commonplace human religious expression seeking exclusive
advantageous association with whichever supreme power is in vogue...
practicing tolerance or seeking to understand truth or honor are apparently
beyond comprehension...
delphyne joan hanke-woods

Dear Ed,
Thanks for another =Entropy=.

Ruth Berman writes: "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

OK about Poul Anderson -- "Winston P. Sanders" is very nearly an anagram of
"P. Anderson's twin"! But Pooh merely lived under the name of Sanders;
there's no "Winston P." in either Milne's text or E.H. Shepard's
illustration. I don't recall any explanation of how the board got there.
best: Dave

For rail transit information, try <>

|Eric Lindsay
Hi Ed.
Many thanks for Entropy 34.

SPAM. Many service providers now filter spam on your behalf.

TORCON. I thought the Toronto subway system was great several decades ago.

FEELIES. Force feedback mice and joysticks have been tried in computer
games. I'm traveling and no longer have references. I note Apple Computer
claim to be building support for alternate methods of access into their next
operating system release.

DISASTERS. Sorry to hear of the various domestic money crisis with the
bathroom, furnace and others. I hope your life is smoother now.

We are on the road at the moment, driving around Australia. Don't very often
have internet access, because we are mostly in towns (hamlets?) that are so
remote that there are no phones in the rooms.
All the best to you and Sandy.
Eric Lindsay fijagh at ericlindsay dot com

[To add to Ruth Berman's comments on the origins of modern Christmas
Pick up the recent (1997) book {The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History
of America's Most Cherished Holiday} by Stephen Nissenbaum. What we think
of as the "traditional" American Christmas, the jolly old Santa Claus, etc.
was mostly invented! This was done in the early 19th Century by a coterie
of respectable Protestant English-descended New Yorkers to replace the
actual traditional Christmas customs derived from the Roman Saturnalia. In
New York, these included lots of drunken wassailing, near-or full riots and
"lord of misrule"-style customs which turned into institutionalized
extortional "begging" from the upper classes, supposedly all in fun. (New
York City's first professional police force was organized in 1828,
apparently in response to the Christmas celebration riots.) Leaders in this
bogus movement to domesticate Christmas included John Pintard and other
worthies of the New-York Historical Society, including Washington Irving and
the Rev. Clement Moore whose name has falsely been attached to "A Visit From
St. Nicholas" for so many years now.

The Christmas tree was imported much later from Albert et al.; the cards
likewise came later. Dickens was of little or no influence.

Here are a couple of URLs:
Michael J. Lowrey, Editor-in-Chief
Sunrise Book & Software Reviews

1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON
June 23, 2004
Dear Ed:
A downloaded copy of the View From Entropy Hall 33 is on my desktop, and
with the help of Word 2000, here's a loc.

Diane Duane has been busy with her writing, and we don't get to see her and
Peter Morwood nearly as much as we'd like to. We saw them last at the very
of Torcon 3. They've been hard to the writing grindstone, producing more
novels and short stories.

I think I told you about a spoken word project some time ago, a horror CD
called Fears For Ears. I've just gotten connected with a company in Toronto
called, and they produce similar CDs. In about a week,
we start rehearsals for a 12-part radio-style drama to be called Sectarian
Wave. The project will go onto CDs, and with luck, may be sold to the CBC or
possibly BBC. Check out the website, and you may find some things you like.

Yes, Canada has an annual national convention, called the CanVention. This
year, it will be in Montreal at Boreal, the annual francophone convention in
Quebec. There, the annual Aurora awards will be given out.

The Bujold controversy continues. It may have started with Lois McMaster and
Lillian Stewart writing a Trek fanzine many years ago, and some of the
themes in the zine being transferred to the Barrayans and Betans of the
Vorkosigan books.

I have decided that when I reach 30 years in fandom, and I shall in 2007, I
will ship my membership monies to the First Fandom group, and become a
member. I think even with my partial withdrawal from the fannish circus, I'
ll be here for the duration.

I hope that with people being at Torcon 3, they were able to see some of the
city's streetcars. The big modern ones are called CLRV's (Clean Light Rail
Vehicle, I think), but the TTC still runs some of the PCCs. They are often
used for special occasions, and the TTC still has a few Peter Witts for

Kevin Standlee is quite right about Worldcons versus Dragoncons. One local
fan went to Torcon only because it was in town. She's been to Dragoncons in
the past, and will resume going to them this year. I like Worldcons because
they are interactive. (We have decided, however, that Worldcons are just too
expensive, so we won't be going to any more of them. We have our memberships
for Boston.perhaps we'll consider selling them shortly.)

Winnie-the-Pooh.Winnie is short for Winnipeg, where the bear cub was bought.

Time to go.I've got to get myself ready for some training coming up. I will
be a poll clerk this coming Monday, which is election day here. Should be
quite interesting. Take care, and see you next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

[and from a later letter]

July 26, 2004
Dear Ed:
I have finally gotten around to getting to The View From Entropy Hall 34,
and I hope I won't be repeating myself from my last letter to you. Let's see
what I can type in phosphor.

If Canadians could vote for John Kerry or George W. Bush, Kerry would win in
a landslide, American politics being far to the right of just about any
other country. Kerry seems friendly to Canada, and he is bilingual French to
the best of my knowledge, but a Kerry administration might become
protectionist. No matter, the world seems to breathe a sigh of relief when a
Democratic president is elected. I believe that the war in Iraq was a
fictional event; Bush meant to avenge the humiliation of his father, and
Dubya at least knew that the American economy would improve if it was on a
war footing.

I'm glad you liked the streetcars in Toronto. They are one of the symbols of
this city. Many of the tracks you might have found on the street are service
routes to reroute streetcars or connect various routes in case of accidents.
The short east-west line is the Sheppard Ave. subway. It's the newest line,
and the most expensive; it cost close to a billion dollars to build, and its
critics call it the subway to nowhere. Black Creek Pioneer Village is quite
a distance away at Jane and Steeles Aves., Yvonne works on the other side of
the nearby university.

I may have told you last time about a science fiction drama I am involved
with. It is produced by a company in Toronto called,
and the project is called Sectarian Wave. The intended product is a series
of CDs, 12 25-minute episodes, with possible sales to radio or any service
that provides audio programming. I went to the rehearsals, and got myself
two roles, and final rehearsals and tapings start on August 3. The CDs
should be ready in October.

Worldcon.employment has been a continuing problem for me (laid off again),
so Yvonne and I have been forced to sell our Noreascon memberships, and to
basically decide to not go to any more Worldcons. They are simply too

My loc as published here.I did see Diane and Peter at Torcon, but not until
the last day of the convention. We did have a good time, but the horrible
way the Torcon committee treated us forced us to retire from a 20-year
career of running conventions in the Toronto area. We just don't have the
desire any more.

Time to go, it's getting late. I will wind up and say my thanks.sometimes,
it gets tough to sit down and write, and more and more, my letters are
described as mediocre and dull. I wouldn't want to bore anyone here.and, I
get far fewer fanzines in the mail than I used to, so I must wonder if I am
falling off mailing lists at an accelerating rate. Oh, well, plug along I
will, and keep writing, to satisfy myself if no one else. Take care, and see
you next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

You said: 'I could not send my latest ezine, Entropy 34, to you because it
had "unsuitable language." I do not understand what was unsuitable, but you
can read the latest [The View From] Entropy Hall on the eFanzines website
or send me another eddress where it will not be blocked.'

Thanks for letting me know, and sorry for the trouble. This email address is
the only one I have. It's a work account -- the hmce bit stands for her
Majesty's Customs and Excise -- and I'm afraid that in common with all
Departmental accounts it is subjected to 'inappropriate language filters'
which spare the sensitive eyes of Customs officers from rude words.

Looking at the eFanzines version of Entropy Hall, I'd guess that the
offending passage may be that which quotes Joe Haldeman as saying: 'You
won't read that in your [word beginning with F] newspaper'. Obviously I
can't repeat the word here, not because I'm prudish or think you are, but
because if I do then *this* email will also fall foul of the filter nannies.

Still, for future reference I'm happy to read Entropy Hall via eFanzines,
which I check most days anyway. And you are in good company, as Ansible is
often swallowed by the self-same filters.

Regards, Mark

This e-mail represents the personal views of the sender and is not sent on
behalf of HM Customs & Excise.

This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System. For
more information please visit

Hi, Ed, and surprise--On page 611, the page for "griot to gross" in "The
American Heritage College Dictionary" 4th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company,
(c) 2002, you may find the following: "grok (grok) tr.v. grok*ked,
grok*king, groks. Slang. To understand profoundly through intuition or
empathy. [Coined by Robert A. Heinlein (1907-88) in his Stranger in a
Strange Land.]

Ed, the pronunciation guide shows the symbol for a short vowel sign over the
o. Everything above is just as it is given in the dictionary, except that I
cannot put into italics what the book did.

One [recreation village]that I enjoyed, but that you are unlikely to be able
to visit, I'm afraid, is in Calgary, Alberta. Calgary is hosting the 2005
Westercon (July 1-4, 2005) and I'm on the committee. I went up there for a
committee meeting, and had time on the Sunday of the meeting weekend to go
out to the Heritage Park <>, "
Canada's Largest Living Historical Village." This was a lot of fun, and I
think well worth adding a day before or after a trip to Calgary for
Westercon in order to attend. Indeed, I was sorry I had to cut my stay short
in order to get to the airport to fly back to California.

ALEX VON THORN wrote [that he had] "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."

Grr! <transit geek mode on> The "historic trolley car" to which he refers
was of course not a trolley, but a cable car. The "streetcar along the
harbor" (the F-Market streetcar line running between Market & Castro Streets
and Fisherman's Wharf via Market Street and the Embarcadero) was a
trolley--it uses a trolley pole electrical pickup. Alex didn't actually have
to collect all of those tickets or transfers in San Francisco (other than as
souvenirs), as the "subway that got us closer to the city centre" (the
N-Judah streetcar line from 4th & King Streets to downtown via King Street,
Embarcadero, and the Market Street Subway), the surface streetcar to
Fisherman's Wharf, and the Cable Cars are all part of the same transit
agency (San Francisco Municipal Railway), and they do sell all-day passes
good on all of the streetcars, cable cars, and buses.

You asked whether Chicago is bidding for '08 or 09? 2008. They just do not
know where their election will be. There is a pending constitutional
amendment that, if ratified at Noreascon 4, will shorten the Worldcon lead
time from the current three years to two years. The 2008 Worldcon would then
be selected in 2006, instead of 2005 as currently scheduled. (Members of the
2005 Worldcon would be given "grandfather" rights to vote in the 2008
Worldcon, although people who were members of both 2005 and 2006 could still
vote only once in the 2008 election.) The proposal to shorten the lead time
has the backing of nearly every person who has chaired a Worldcon with a
three-year lead time, including me. We originally extended the lead time
trying to compete with mundane groups for facilities. That did not work--the
mundane groups are now running five or ore years ahead. While shortening the
lead time may lose us a few more facilities, it means that those facilities
still available will be very hungry for our business and thus more likely to
give us a good deal. Three years is actually one year too many to organize a
Worldcon. Experience has shown us that the extra year can't be used
effectively, and it just wastes resources, burns out people, and drives up
the cost of organizing the conventions. Shortening the lead time back to two
years is about the right amount of time to actually do the job effectively.

You asked "Have any other bids surfaced for that year or against Aussie?"
Well, there is the just announced "Civilized Worldcon Bid for 2008," The
Geneva Convention <>.
It's organizer, T R Smith, was "Bouchered" into doing this bid. I don't
think she plans it to be a real bid, but stranger things have happened. None
[against Aussie] of which I'm aware. Also, there are no bids for 2009 yet
that I know about.

You said "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 [and I]
might have considered going to that one." I will be at the Seattle NASFiC,
of course, because I'm CascadiaCon's Fan Guest of Honor. While I understand
the philosophical objection to a NASFiC, I've concluded that it's better
that such an event be held under the nominal control of WSFS than not. If
WSFS did not sanction a NASFiC, it seems almost certain that such an event
would spring up all by itself, and it is likely that such an event would
become much more of a rival for the Worldcon than the current event is.
Personally, I would like to see an American National Science Fiction
Convention (AmeriCon) that attached itself to some other US-based SF
convention annually. When Worldcon is within the USA, it would also host the
AmeriCon; when Worldcon is elsewhere, some other convention would host
AmeriCon. (This is similar to how Torcon 3 was also the 2003 Canvention, and
Interaction will also be the 2005 Eurocon.)

I have a very busy summer next year: Westercon 58 in Calgary on July 1-4,
then Worldcon in Glasgow a month after that, then NASFiC in Seattle a month
after that.

Kevin Standlee

Spammers don't actually read mail, the way Dave suggests. They have little
programs that infiltrate your system through the internet, that find your
address book and send it back to the spammer. Another way they get it is by
using software that searches the net for addresses with target words in
them - like "fan" or "sf". So if you had an address like "Ed_sfan" they
might get you just by that. And when you register software with some
companies (that make games, or reference CD's) the company may sell their
customer list to a spammer. Spammers also cruise Yahoo groups looking for
suckers. But I don't think they often open mail and personally read
addresses. The main danger of openly displaying addresses in your e-mail is
that it will get stored on someone else's system, and becomes vulnerable to
spammers who have access to it.

[Speaking of Lithuanians,] There's also a cartoon show made in Toronto
called The Kids From Room 402, with a character named Polly who's
Lithuanian. She's also pushy, maniacal, and obsessed to the point of
insanity with the importance of her Lithuanian cultural identity. That and
she collects spoons.

You said "Miniature people hiding from us big lunks have a long tradition in
literature." I know of some you haven't heard of. They're called House
Gamins, and maybe they're a little more like upright, talking mice. At any
rate, they aren't quite human and more than animal. The reason you haven't
heard of them is because I haven't written the novel "Wendy & the House
Gamins" yet. Someday...

Anyway, I'm going to have to cut this short and read the rest of your
100,000 word e-mail later. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures. Some are clever
little models. Others real. The older photos are actually from my
neighborhood, though I found them on the net. Then again, I'm not actually
sure how much use these files are to you... sorry.

|WAHF: Laurraine Tutihasi

404 (APAQ 484) Mark L. Blackman. Interested to learn that Microsoft & Cisco
built their only R&D facilities out-side the US in Israel, where Windows NT
was developed. [] Sandy very much appreciated your procuring the
haman-taschen for her and delivering it thru me at Lunacon. She acquired a
taste for it while she "visited New York for ten years" and cannot get it
here. [] According to both {A Path Through Genesis} by Rev. Vawter and
Asimov's guide to the old testament the world view at the time the bible
achieved its final form after the Babylonian exile was that the earth was
flat with a dome ("the firmament") over it, and above the dome was water.
Hence in Genesis the separation of the waters above the firmament from those
under it, and in Noah's flood the floodgates in this dome were opened. In
one of the psalms Yahveh's abode is pictured as a city sitting on top of
this dome. [] In discussing Christopher Marlow's plays, I liked your comment
"Someone who is a bigot against all religions is a bigot nonetheless. (Does
Hitler killing non-German Gypsies mitigate his murder of Jews? Do we
overlook the Klan hating blacks because they also hate Catholics &
~BLANCMANGE #405 (APAQ 485). You said "Re RFB, acto Ed, each disk contains
60 hours of readings, which sounds like a special CD. Why would they video
(the "V" in "DVD" is for "video") the reader?" I just got all of the fifth
Harry Potter book on one disk which looks exactly like a standard CD. It is
recorded in "DAISY" format, which is currently used for new talking books in
Canada and other countries. I have heard them loosely referred to as DVDs. I
just heard that DVD now stands for "Digital Versatile Disk" instead of
Video. Page numbers are encoded on the disk, and the user can place
bookmarks. (S)he can jump to a bookmark or typed in page number. The next
generation talking book will also contain a text file of the book so you can
search for a specific word or phrase in the book. In the US, this format is
used only by RFB&D, which specializes in recording text and reference works
for students and teachers. I ordered the Harry Potter book in this format
because I was recently gifted with the special player for them, which starts
at about $175. The machine arrived anonymously and RFB&D can't tell me who
ordered it for me. Meanwhile, the Library of Congress National Library
Service for the Blind and Handicapped is working on what will be the next
generation and is sticking to cassettes until it is ready, probably in 2008.
This will involve putting books on "memory sticks," described as about the
size of a stick of chewing gum. The player and memory stick will have no
moving parts, leading to a much longer useful life. Eventually they hope to
simply download the digital file to your machine thru a broadband
connection, eliminating storing and mailing the memory sticks. [] I liked
your "Commentator Dave Ross noted that the pro-NRA/anti-gun control
Administration is seizing guns in Iraq. And Doonesbury had the head of the
NRA (La Pierre) protesting to Congress that "freedom means the right to bear
automatic weapons" in Iraq as in the US."

~BLANCMANGE 406 (APAQ 486). I note that this was your 29th anniversary
issue. Since it was published August, 2003, you have now passed your 30th

I commented on BLANCMANGE 407 last time.

~BLANCMANGE 408 (APAQ 488). Enjoyed your quote: as Doonesbury's Duke puts
it, it's [the Confederate battle flag] "a symbol of losing. I mean, they
lost the war! And who displays Confederate flags to this day? Redneck
losers! The state's lousy with 'em!"
~BLANCMANGE #409 (APAQ 489). Your brief review of Diana Wynne Jones' The
{Tough Guide to Fantasyland} makes me think of a book I read while still
sighted, {The Glass Harmonica}. I do not remember the author's name, and it
was later paperbacked under another title. The book gave cliché articles
about the tropes of fantasy, and while its wisecracking was amusing I was
disappointed in its lack of detail. For instance, the entry under dragon did
not go into the differences between the Chinese, Welsh, and Nordic ("Worm")
dragons. Everything was only clichés, albeit clever clichés. Makes me think
of the cliché props in the Harry Potter books.

~DAGON 580 (APAQ 486) John Boardman. Thank you for taping this for me
when the text file failed to arrive. [] In your comments to Don del Grande I
was struck by your realization that a space wayfarer traveling at close to
"c" experiences the same sort of lapse on return as a man who inadvertently
entered a fairie hill. [] In your comments to Mark Blackman, I was surprised
to learn that in its first year the Clinton administration had the Dept. of
Justice drop all its persecutions of Scientologists. Wonder why.
~DAGON 583 (APAQ #489) Your retrospective of the Colin Ferguson Award was
interesting, but I am afraid I have no comments this time.
~DAGON #584 (APAQ #490). Interested to read that the British magazine
PUNCH supported liberty and self-determination for all peoples except those
in Ireland and India. [] I have never read any of Twain's short stories
dealing with heaven but was interested to see that he had, in addition to
various varieties of Christians present, Jews and pre-Columbian Amerinds.
That was remarkably liberal for his time. I also read somewhere that in one
story an American arriving in heaven finds it so large that he cannot find
the section for his people among all the other peoples, including from other
worlds. The Library of Congress talking book library has issued a complete
collection of his short stories which I have to order. [] Larry Gonick's
Cartoon History of the World, Vol 3, sounds very interesting. Unfortunately
I do not see how I could ever get it in accessible form. I do wonder whether
one of the volunteer agencies like Volunteers of Vacaville would be
interested in handling it. You say Vol 3 covers the time from Mohammed's
birth to Columbus leaving on his first journey, with extensive coverage of
non-Western history. I would be especially interested in seeing what he says
about various non-Western cultures. Unfortunately if you reviewed this later
on I would not get much from your review since large portions would be
clippings from the book and not a text computer file which my screen reader
could handle. [] You listed the comic strips in the NY DAILY NEWS for Nov
23, 1963 (in a special facsimile reprint of the Kennedy assassination
issue), and I am croggled at the list. I last read the DAILY NEWS in 1962
just before moving to California, and a year and a half earlier it was quite
different. Actually I read the NY TIMES but my parents bought the NEWS and I
saw it. I associated Li'l Abner with the DAILY MIRROR and JOE PALOKA
with.JOURNAL AMERICAN? I do not think Mickey Finn was in the NEWS but do not
remember where it was. The following I do not recognize at all.either they
started after June 1962 or were published in a paper I did not see (or ,my
stainless steel sieve of a memory struck again): All in Sport, Apartment
3-G, Brother Juniper, Dan Flagg, On Stage, Rex Morgan, Still Life, Joe and
Asbestos, and Kerry Drake. [] I had often read that one emperor of China
banned ocean-going ships and ordered all destroyed, after extensive commerce
to as far as Africa and perhaps even to America, but did not remember just
when that was. It is interesting that Chinese world commerce reached its
zenith and collapsed just as Columbus was setting out on his first voyage.

When John Boardman visited me in October he brought a disk with several more
issues of DAGON but it was done in a format which WORD will not open.
Perhaps he can get them fixed in time for the next ENTROPY.

I will try to publish more frequently and do smaller issues. Please keep the
LoCs and e-fanzines coming.
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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