The View From Entropy Hall #36 edited by Ed Meskys

THE VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL #36, 20 August, 2005, for APA-Q #500, from Ed Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, 322 Whittier Hwy, Center Harbor NH 03226-9708, Back issues at and websites.

Corrections made after APA distribution in braces. I guess this could also be called NIEKAS #46.8. 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.


I prefer to get your fanzine by email (TXT, RTF, or DOC preferred) instead of print. This saves you the expense of mailing it, and allows me to read it on my talking computer. However my ISP filters some out as spam. If you send me your zine by email, use the option which requires a receipt. Thus you will know whether or not it got thru. Sandy does not have a spam filter on her email so as a last resort you can send it to her ( or on a floppy or CD.

{Even better, send me a short email saying you are being filtered and I can have your eddress put on a " white list" by my ISP so future emails will not be blocked.}


ENTROPY continues to circulate thru APA-Q tho the APA has become extremely irregular. The last issue was prepared in time for the Jan 22 distribution of APA-Q but the APA did not come out until mid-May. It is not right to send copies to non-members until after the mailing or distribution occurs, so #35 was held for four months. I hope John Boardman will have matters in hand so the current distribution appears in time. This is intended for APA-Q #500 (happy anniversary!) due to go out Aug 20, 2005.

As usual the " Comments" section below represents thoughts inspired by reading other fanzines in recent distributions. These thoughts are, for the most part, complete in themselves and do not require a familiarity with the materials which had inspired them. They represent my thoughts and concerns as much as any other part of this fanzine, and I hope for your reactions to this as much as to other parts of ENTROPY. Some of these are essays on single subjects longer than the editorial sections like this one.


As usual I bussed to South Station to Boston and caught Amtrak to NY. As per instructions I took a commuter train one station to Secaucus Junction where I was supposed to get a free shuttle to the new Lunacon hotel. It wasn't running and the cab was very expensive. I enjoyed Lunacon as usual, and had no complaints about the hotel. However I heard later that Esther Friesner was treated very badly by the staff and vowed not to return to another Lunacon held at that hotel. I shared a room with Edwenna and Jane Sibley, which was quite economical. I was on a half dozen panels, all but one of which went very well. (The exception had an audience of only one.) On one panel, on Hugo recommendations, {Singularity} by Bill De Smedt came up, and the author was in the audience. He gave me a copy of the book on 15 CDs and I will review it next ish. One problem with the hotel was that it only had one large meeting room, no medium sized rooms for rather popular panels. Therefore they had a dozen or more tracks running so the attendees would be divided and not crowd any one of the small meeting rooms. I enjoyed the panels I attended and hearing the pro (Michael Swanwick)and fan (Skip Morris) guests-of-honor. Both were interesting and knowledgeable speakers. ¶ The trip back to NY was much easier and cheaper. The hotel did provide a shuttle to a bus stop, and the bus to Port Authority was quite inexpensive. I rode with Tom Endrey,, a former Lunarian from Hungry, who helped me negotiate my way to my subway. Next year I will take Peter Pan Trailways from Boston to NY, which is $30 cheaper than the train, and which puts me in easy reach of the commuter bus to near the hotel.

John Boardman, Mark Blackman, and I made our usual round of bookstores and restaurants after Lunacon. All the bookstores we knew in downtown Brooklyn were gone, but Andrew Porter told us of one on Montague Street a few blocks west of the municipal complex. Across the street was a branch of Teresa's Polish restaurant, 80 Montague St., between Hicks and Henry Sts. Andy met us there and we had lunch together. It was just as good as the one we usually went to in lower Manhattan. (An embarrassing moment came when I left an Anthony dollar for a tip and people thought I had only left a quarter. I like the dollar coins and get a roll of them when I cash a check, and keep them in one pocket. They are handy for small payments without digging out my wallet. I paid my bill with mostly Sacageawa (spelling?) dollars, which are gold colored, but the Anthony is easily mistaken for a quarter.) We then visited a nearby large Barnes & Noble bookstore with a large selection of remaindered books and the Syrian bakery on Atlantic Ave. Andy showed us some interesting architecture and building decorations in the area, and we went to the Subway Museum in the neighborhood, at Court and Schermerhorn. Unfortunately it was closed on Mondays, so we returned the next day. John and I took the 5th Ave. bus to 17 St. and the Polish markets where I bought Lithuanian bread and Polish pastries called Kruschik and Punchko to bring home to NH. (In an early ENTROPY I had mentioned that these were called " punc`ku in Lithuanian," but I didn't know the Polish name. The SF scholar, E.E. Bleiler, had sent a LoC giving me another name for them which I had forgotten again. When I asked in the market what was the Polish name, I was told " punchko." Obviously there is more than one Polish name for these, and the name I had learned from my mother was a loan word. Also, Mark Blackman, as usual, bought haman-taschen for me to bring back for Sandy. He also picked up something called rugala for her to try. This reminded me of a pastry I used to buy for myself and for Marsha then Brown called Frozen Dough in the late 60s. The whole bakery chain where I got them went belly-up a short time later.) I also bought fresh (non-smoked) kielbasa and accoutrements to cook and eat with the Boardmen. Next day we did the subway museum which had an excellent exhibit on the building of the original NY subway. We had lunch as usual at the Indian restaurant at Broome and West Broadway in lower Manhattan, hit a bookstore or two in the Grand Central area, bought some maps for Sandy and for Perdita at Hagstrom Map & Travel, 51 W 43 St, and visited Recording for the Blind and Dyslectic where I left some books to be taped. We were going to stop at Strand Books near Union Square but were too tired and went straight home. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings John read me many of the DAGONs he failed to save in a format my computer could handle, which made possible the mailing comments thish. Next morning I caught the train and bus home.


by Jane Yolen, Magic Carpet Books, trade paperback, 259pp., $6.95

This volume combines the three Harcourt hardcover books, {Passager} 1996), {Hobby} (1996), and {Merlin} (1997).

This series follows Merlin from when he is abandoned in the woods by his mother at the age of eight until he teams up with the younger Arthur. The first book, in a prologue, shows his being reluctantly abandoned in the woods by his mother at the urging of her mother, for his own safety but with no other explanation. Later you realize that it was because he had prophetic dreams which might have been feared by her community. He survives alone in the woods for a year, forgetting speech and the meaning of words, and almost naked as his clothing deteriorates. He then stumbles across the home of a falconer, who entices, lures, and tames him the way he would a hawk. Passager is a falconry term for a wild hawk who is just beginning to be tamed. He comes to live with the falconer, and remains for four years. There is an afterword about his mother continuing to worry about how he is surviving.

Most stories say little or nothing about Merlin's youth. I can only 's first two books in her Merlin series, {Crystal Cave} and {Hollow Hills}, but even these pick up at a later age. In {Sword in the Stone}, for instance, Merlin shows up as an adult to tutor the young Wart. These three books are very short They show him maturing and learning, and slowly developing his talents until they spring forth at the end of the third book. In her afterword Jane speaks of the many contradictory legends of Merlin and his origins, and says that she took elements from a number of these and added her own touches. This is what any good writer will do.

In the second book the falconer is dead and his home and barn burned down with all animals dead, and he is on his own again. Before long he has teamed up with a traveling song and magic show where his prophetic dreams are both a benefit and a problem. This reminds me of Lloyd Alexander's {The Rope Trick} (Puffin, 2002, 195 pp., $5.95) where the " Added Attraction" plays a similar role. In falconer's terms, a " hobby" is a more nearly tamed and trained falcon. He and the magician have problems because various worldly powers want to capture and keep him for his prophesies, and kill the magician to get him out of the way. They are harassed by a murderer and thief. At one point they think they leave him dead of an accident by the side of the road, but he returns to hound them again. In the third book he is on his own again, fleeing into the deep woods to escape. He stumbles into an outlaw village where he is welcomed, but then caged to be the village prophet. He sees an attacking army which does kill all in the village except him and a young boy. The boy helps him escape from his cage, they realize they are bound together, and that his " true" name is Merlin. In the escape he performs his first true magic. The boy is named Arthur.

This is a very different view of the origins of their relationship, and I found it a very interesting take on the legends.


Seen on a booksellers' list:

[Tolkien, J. R. R.] Dick Plotz, and Ed Meskys, editors. The Tolkien Journal. Volumes 1- 13. New York: New York Tolkien Society (1965 - 1970). First (only) editions. Each measures 11" x 8.5". The issues vary in pages from a single sheet comprising volume one, up to 23 pages for the later issues. All are in VG or better condition, with no major flaws. This journal includes contributions by Peter Beagle, P.L. Travers, Howard Nemerov, W.H. Auden, Clyde Kilby, and others. Most of the issues are illustrated after drawings. The contributions range from the stupefyingly dull, such as analyses of the geology of Middle Earth, to more interesting topics such as Tolkien's linguistic contributions and the publishing controversies surrounding the ACE editions of the Lord of the rings in the United States. This publication was probably the first Tolkien fanzine published in the United States after Paul Zimmer's ANDURIL which consisted of only one issue. $250.00

Bill Burns

[I am croggled at the price asked and wonder whether it sold. There was a final issue of TJ in 1972, after which it merged with MYTHLORE. I still have copies of about half the issues and sell them for $10 the partial set. Also I PALANTIR from Los Angeles came before TJ, and perhaps Greg Shaw's ENTMOOT. And didn't Alpajpuri (Paul Novitsky) start his zine earlier?-ERM]



I've mentioned my own rotator cuff tear & surgery of 2001. My surgery, however, was done on an outpatient basis (i.e., no hospital stay). I also had that reaction to the anesthesia and, as it had to be out of my system before they'd release me, I had to be catheterized (the surgeon & recovery room nurse fought over not doing it). Denied physical therapy, I still don't have full movement in my right arm. ¶ Yes, Judge is too old to learn to drive on the other side of the road. ¶ I continue to be astonished – and pleased – by the new high-tech reading gadgets for the blind. 20 years ago, I spent much of a visit to a friend dictating recipes & cooking directions as she typed in Braille. I confess to being disquieted by the notion of a blind pilot. ¶ The NYP[ublic]L[ibrary] exhibit on the Subway (gee, I never get mentioned in these things) was meager compared to the Transit Museum's. ¶ " " Homis" (hummus, chickpea spread) is in every grocery here, Greek & Israeli brands. (Much as the US Govt subsidizes milk, Israel's subsidizes hummus.)


The new reading machine sounds amazing. Let's hope it lives up to its promise. And considering the increasing length of the Harry Potter books it is really amazing that they got all of the fifth book on one compact disk.


This year has been somewhat eventful for me. My previous address, which you visited, suffered a flood last September, and I have moved to another address in the same neighborhood. This was the fastest move that I have ever done. Two days after the flood I was moved. I chose a new address which is not in a basement. I am officially tired of basements. I now live on the second floor. I am not expecting any floods.

It's interesting that you will be attending a conference on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Lord of the Rings. I once had a discussion

in NIEKAS in which I referred to LOTR as a classic, and L. Sprague deCamp disagreed, on the grounds that nothing can be a classic unless it is still a popular and well respected work for at least fifty years after it is first published. I guess that LOTR has finally made it. It is more popular today than ever before. At this point there is little doubt that it will remain popular as long as civilization as we know it endures.

There are a few other great epic fantasies. Probably the strongest competition to {Lord of the Rings} is Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, which is very impressive. Even so, LOTR has a certain purity to it that nobody else can quite match. And the movie trilogy is wonderful. --

David Palter


Dear Ed,

I'm very sorry to hear of your rotator cuff problems. I once had a nine-month bout with frozen shoulder, myself, so I have some small idea of the scale of pain involved. I tried numerous therapies, and the one that worked was to just wait as patiently as possible for it to heal, and take Tylenol 2. The rest were just ways to make myself feel better by spending money.

I'm fascinated by your tale of a pocket sized reading machine on the horizon. May it not keep receding with the horizon. This here technology stuff is starting' to get almost good. I just finished recording one of my novels ({VERY BAD DEATHS}) for Blackstone Audio books, right here on Bowen Island, in a wondrous place called The Treehouse Studio, and the software Rob Bailey used took about 80% of the brute donkeywork out of recording, mixing and editing. I find it awesome that you can now fit an entire book--even a largish one like my own {THE CALLAHAN CHRONICALS}--onto a single mp3 disk. MUCH handier than 20 cassettes, or 12 CDs. That's going to kick start the audio book market, I think. Our new Toyota Echo came with a CD player that plays mp3s, and so do both our computers, and our DVD player. [At the NFB convention July, 2005, they demonstrated a " beta" version of this machine which was about 6 x 3 x 2 inches. You pointed it at a page, clicked the shutter, and it started reading out loud 5 seconds later, whether it be an agenda passed out at a meeting or the instructions on the side of a box of cake mix. The voice was loud and very clear. Five hundred prototypes will be distributed to beta testers this fall, and a production model is promised to be on sale at our next convention in July, 2006. They promised that the price would be under $5,000 tho they hope it will be around $3,000. It uses high end off-the-shelf PDAs and digital cameras, so it will improve and the price will drop with normal advances in technology.-ERM]

Love to Sandy. I once wrote, "Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Never piss one off." May your arm function return in full soon, and good health dog you the rest of your days.



I am very late in replying to your very interesting January letter, which I was very pleased to get. I don't have a lot of news, but what there is good. In the past six months I have been involved with several fantasy related projects that were fun. First, Wheaton, a Christian college near Chicago, learned about my JRRT connection thru a friend doing research there. The college has a special collection of such writers as Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, and Dorothy L. Sayers. While I was not, and am not, ready to part with my eleven letters from JRRT, I photo copied them and was able to supply them with some other related materials: books, articles, and some copies of a clutch of letters from Michael Tolkien and one from Priscilla to my good friend, Anne Etkin, in Maryland. I had some pleasureful phone conversations and correspondence with a young archivist at Wheaton, and the whole experience was fun and interesting. I gave all my back fanzines, American and British, to K[ansas]University]'s special collection years ago, but there was still enough stuff here to enjoy revisiting after a brief attic search. ¶ Recently Charles Noad, whose name you might know from the Tolkien Society in England, asked me and Bill, my ex, to look over his chronology for the early years of the North Farthing Smial as we were in on the founding of it at a party in December, 1972, at the home of Vera Chapman, aka Belladonna Took. The TS founder in London and hosted two of the first four or five smial meetings. In 1973 the smials are(were?) the smallest cells, if you like, of the TS, meeting in the homes of members for talk, papers, etc., as opposed to the larger, more purely social inmoots held at pubs. This was a lot of fun. Both Bill and I have remained in touch with Charles, and, indeed, with Belladonna until her death in the mid-90s. We enjoyed reading Charles's notes, dredging up pleasant memories of London 72-73, and looking over old snapshots for clues.

The third project, and the smallest, was to read over and offer some suggestions re an essay Jim Gunn had been asked to contribute to a volume of pieces about the Harry Potter books. I worked for Jim for several semesters in the late 70s or early 80s as his teaching assistant for VERY large classes, cross-listed by English and Journalism Departments as " Science Fiction and the Popular Media, graded papers, put together slide presentations, and even taught the class once, maybe twice, when Jim had to be out of town. Regular girl Friday stuff. I have always regarded him as a friend and his wife is one of my dearest friends. So this was an invitation that delighted me. Jim is retired from the KU English Department but still goes into the office every day, still writes every day. Since Jim is chiefly SF, not fantasy minded, and since I know the HP books backwards and forwards, I was able to make a few small suggestions and also to lend him Townsends " hist of children's lit," with its chapter on the school story, a genre he already knew well. . He had made this the focus of his particular area, the HP books and the and the tradition of the school, especially the boarding school, story. Enjoyed discussing the topic with Jim, of course.

This is getting longer than I planned, and I still haven't gotten to Gilbert & Sullivan, recent readings in SF, Rowling vs. (ugh!) Duane, and even a soupcon of family news. ¶ My elderly aunt and I will be going to a matinee of Bernstein's " Candide" at KU this afternoon. I, too, wish I could afford the DVDs of the BBC G&S productions. I remember seeing them all on TV, originally, quite a few years ago. Liking them all a lot, except for " Yeomen of the Guard" which had outrageous cuts. The movie of Pirates which you just saw was the film version of Papp's Central Park production, the one where Linda Ronstadt, Keven Klein, and a tinkered-with orchestra, few or no strings. I have a home-made tape of it and think Klein's Pirate King is delightful. But I wish people would revive " Ruddigore" instead of plunking out the " Doesn't Matter" patter trio, which has surfaced elsewhere a couple times. Indeed, although I saw an excellent Pirates in KC last fall, I wish people would give it a rest. And Pinafore. And Mikado, too. I've never seen Utopia, and only once Sorcerer, Ida, and Gondoliers. ¶ Haven't seen many films since last year. Potter and Tolkien. I liked the first, FELLOWSHIP, very much, and TWO TOWERS pretty well, but I thought RETURN was a dreadful mess. There has been ample time to do the ending right if they cut all the phony drivel about Arwen and Aragon, and a proper finish to Eowyn and Faramir's story would have provided romance for those those who craved it. The fight scenes were well managed, and Olifants outstanding. But the paths of the dead were ludicrous, dark ride in the amusement park level. Have not yet bought #3 but I suppose I will. The only other fantasy or SF films I saw last year were COWBOY, surprisingly witty and likeable, and THE INCREDIBLES. Oh, and LEMONY SNICKET TOO, not bad at all.

As for books, I'm still working, with time off for good Behavior, on ''s massive SF/fantasy trilogy, a gift from my son last august. The books are looong and detailed. Richly imagined. Melville admits that Mervyn Peake was a big youthful influence, but these books are nothing like {Gormanghast}, except in the density of the worlds the two authors have created. Melville is more futuristic, more imaginative, too. The first book, {Perdito Station}, was, for me at least, more to be admired and respected than actually liked. New Crovozone is not a very pleasant city. The second book, {The Scar}, maybe because of a strong female protagonist and/or its open air pirate adventure atmosphere, was much more enjoyable. The third, {Iron Council}, is my next major read. I also re-read Jim Gunn's {Campus}, a futuristic nightmare projected from the chaotic and anarchic college campuses of the 60s. It's more intense and emotional than most of his other novels. Seems to gain from the perspective supplied by the passing years.

I won't cross swords, or pens, with Ed over Duane vs. Rowling, as I disagree with him so intensely that I could not discuss this without becoming, well, rude.

Hope all is well with you, Nan


Dear Ed Meskys,

I'm French, PhD in history of philosophy (at Paris, La Sorbonne) and a Tolkien Scholar too. I'm the director of an annual journal devoted to Tolkien: La Feuille de la Compagnie. Our last issue is entitled : Tolkien, les racines du légendaire, Genève, Ad Solem, 2003, 416 p.

I'm looking for two pages from Niekas. May I ask you if you can help me to get a copy (scan, photocopies?)? Here are the references:

C. S. Kilby and Dick Plotz, "Many meetings with Tolkien", Niekas 19, 1967 or 1968 ?, p. 39-40.

With my best wishes,

Michaël DEVAUX

66, rue du maréchal Foch

F - 14140 LIVAROT



Thank you once again for "Many meetings with Tolkien", very interesting.

I'm working on two projects right now. First, I'm publishing and

translating (in French) a set of unknown texts by Tolkien about Elvish

reincarnation (Christopher Tolkien gave them to me). And the date of one of

them is circa 1966. So, all interview or remembrance of that period could

help me... Second, I'm working about Tolkien and Italy (I'm in touch with

Priscilla Tolkien for that).

The identification of Stromboli with Mordor is welcome ! I've contacted a

specialist of the Stromboli and he said me that in 15th Sept. 1966, there

was no special activity of the Stromboli, only a "normal activity",

sufficient to please Tolkien. I'm asking myself if "Emyn Anar" (at the end

of the article) is "Emyn Arnen" or something else...

I've discovered that in Niekas, issue 18, spring 1967, p. 37-47, you

published "An Interview with Tolkien" by Henry Resnik. Of course, I'm

interesting by it because of the date. May I ask you if there's some

reference to Elvish reincarnation?

Even if that's not the case, may I ask you to send me in an e-mail the

lines about "The New Shadow" (at the end(?) of the interview)? I'll be very

happy to read that.

Last, if you are you interesting in reading the previous unpublished part

(10 p.) of the Tolkien's letter to Milton Waldman (1951) I have edited last

year, please let me know. That's the only thing in English I have to offer

you to thank you for answering my request.

Best regards,



Dear Ed:

As per our emails, enclosed is a check for the reprint rights for

" An Interview With Tolkien" by Henry Resnick, originally published in NIEKAS, No. 18 (late Spring, 1967, pp. 38-43, to appear in {On Tolkien: Interviews, Reminiscences, and Other Essays{ edited by myself and Marjorie Burns, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin.

The copy right/permission statement will read as follows:

Copyright © 1967 by NIEKAS Publications. Reprinted by permission of Edmund R. Meskys and NIEKAS Publications.

Thank you. I'll see that Houghton Mifflin sends you a copy of the finished book.

All best,

Douglas Anderson
11080 Mount Zion Road
Marcellus, MI 49067



You said: " From Arthur Hlavaty's NICE DISTINCTIONS #5: ...

" 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." That's cleverly put, but it leaves out an important political factor. Lincoln said that he would have left slavery legal if he could have preserved the union by doing so. The reason he could not preserve the union by doing so was that he was not willing to leave slavery legal for all (foreseeable) time -- he was not willing to support the South's demand to have half of the new states entering the union admitted as slave-states. If all the new states had been admitted as free-states, eventually there would have been a large enough majority to vote down slavery in the states where Lincoln would have been willing to leave it alone. The issue was central control -- but the issue of control that divided North and South was slavery. The South would not accept a policy that would have led in a few years to abolition. There were a lot of other issues involved, but the issue of slavery in the new states was the one that mattered.

" [Does the British word "twee" meaning terminally cute somehow come from the name of this river?-ERM]" According to the "Webster's Collegiate" I have to hand, there's no connection between "twee" and the river Tweed. It's from a baby-talk pronunciation of "sweet." Dates to about 1905.


[taken from mailing comments on #34 in BLANCMANGE #491]

I doubt that your zine is a source for spammers; likelier it's the sites that you/we visit. (Lately some overzealous spam filters have been rejecting messages from me that assuredly aren't.) ¶ Re Lithuanian Lutherans in Toronto, it's not surprising that a religious minority would leave a country for another. ¶

Well, there were leprechauns & dwarfs before Lilliputians. There were also Superman stories about the bottle city of Kandor, and the Brobdingnagian twist of Land of the Giants. ¶ I'm unfamiliar with Piercy or her book[{He, She, and It}]; but someone who hits so many staples of sf can't be ignorant of the genre. ¶ Karen Anderson loc Re [Pooh living under the name] Sanders, sort of like me saying that I was born under the sign of Dr. Katz, Ob-Gyn. ¶ Ruth Berman loc: Prince Albert is credited with popularizing Christmas trees in England, Pennsylvania Germans in the US.

Santa Claus is out of Dutch NY.

like tolerance (& free speech) - yes, you're patriotic. On 9/11/01 the US was attacked by a terrorist gang supported & harbored by the Afghan govt. Congress has repeatedly de facto - & arguably de jure – authorized military actions & responses. The "war on terrorism" (excluding the war on Iraq) is a "police action" (in a way that Korea & Vietnam weren't). ¶ Re {The King David Report}, one would do well to be leery of digs against Judaism from totalitarian German states. ¶ Yes, why doesn't the FDA go after the magnetism charlatans (or the FTC the name-a-star scammer)? ¶ Btw, Sir Ian Holm, Bilbo in the LotR films, was Frodo in the BBC radio play. ¶ Jim Caughran loc The "Palestinian" human bombs are not "last desperate gasps of a lost cause", but part of a calculated 2-pronged tactic, an appeal to the West for sympathy for their "desperation". (The main goal is to kill & demoralize Israelis.) Non-violent demonstrations are, as you say, "not in the Arab culture"; moreover, you're forgetting that negotiations gave them 93% of what they allegedly want in the opening offer, and Arafat rejected it. Also, Saudi Arabia & the Emirates assuredly "are rigidly fundamentalist" (like bin Laden, the Saudi royals are Wahhabist). ¶ Jukka Halme loc Swedes bid briefly for Denmark for Worldcon in '83.

Mark Mandel loc: True, the "war on terrorism" can't be clearly won. "Suicide" bombers didn't target the Allied occupiers of Germany & Japan, nor did ex-Confederates Union occupiers of the South.

Some terrorist organizations have folded with their leaders' capture or death (Peru's Shining Path, Germany's Red Army), but, you're right that al-Qa'ida isn't likely to be one. ¶ Re George Willick's comments re burying Muslims, Israel re-turns remains of bombers to their families (and Arafat throws them heroes' funerals). ¶ The Pooh illustrator was Ernest H. Shepard. (The comic-strip Maakies once had his Winnie beat the, er, pooh out of Disney's.) ¶ Lloyd Penney loc: Canadians & Brits do better at the Hugos when Worldcons are held there. ¶ Andrew Porter: And there's talk of building an arena for the Nets near the LIRR Terminal. ¶ Alex Von Thorn loc: Yes, "slash" pervades fan-fic of all "buddy" shows (e.g., The Sentinel, Starsky & Hutch, The Wild, Wild West).

The Mennonites (of whom the Amish are a branch) & Baptists were Anabaptists. So were the Calvinists; Calvinism began in Switzerland (John Calvin was Jean Cauvin), but took root in Scotland

(Presbyterianism) & England (Puritanism). The Baptists (moderate Calvinists) were an off-shoot of (Puritan) Congregationalism, as were the Separatists, known in the US as the Pilgrims. (The first Baptists were Separatists who considered merging with the Mennonites.) As you say, the Calvinists & Mennonites were never "connected", except insofar as they were Anabaptists &, of course, Protestants; and there are various doctrinal, ritual, organizational & political differences among all of these sects. The Southern Baptists began in 1845 when they split from the Northern churches, as you'd expect, over slavery; and what was originally called "Negro Baptists" in 1866, segregated from white Southern Baptists. ¶ Btw, [Connie Willis'] " Fire Watch" (a

novelette) was published in '82, about a decade before {Doomsday Book}, and in tone falls between it & {To Say Nothing of the Dog}. ¶No Jew I checked with ever heard of "Uncle Max the Hanukkah Man" (though SNL had a skit about "Hanukkah Harry" filling in for Santa), and in my experience "Chanukah bushes" are uncommon, or long ago faded in popularity (except among Jews in mixed marriages, who sometimes hang Jewish symbols on their trees). ¶ The meat dishes in Indian restaurants are chicken & lamb, not beef or pork. Btw, India is the world's largest Muslim country. ¶ Libertarianism has gotten a boost from Bush's assaults on civil liberties. My delight in Saddam's overthrow does not obscure the fact that Bush II ("Shrub" never caught on outside Texas) lied about Iraq. The body count is being hidden as it puts the lie to his "Mission

Accomplished" claim (at his Top Gun stunt). ¶ Re the [Jehovah's] Witnesses "reducing their own [odds] for survival" - ha - though it's likelier that they're sure of their place among the elect or are ensuring it by the good work of proselytizing.


[late comments on ENTROPY 34 from DAGON 586 & 588.Taken from an audio tape so punctuation not accurate, and omissions due to unclarity designated by ellipses in brackets.-ERM] I have heard that at or near Plymouth Rock there is a village for tourists where re-enactors wear period costumes and portray the first settlers. Do you know anything about it? [Yes, it is called " Plymouth Plantation," and I had not visited it because I did not care for their culture-ERM] I can understand your objection to the Puritan attitude [...] We would be better off today if there were less Puritan and more Quaker in our national outlook. But do not confuse the Pilgrims with the Puritans. , who arrived in New England a little later. The Puritans wanted to stay in the Church of England in order to purify it according to their Calvinist ideals. The Pilgrims were Separatists, or Brownest, after one of their early leaders, and they wanted each congregation to be free to choose its own beliefs and practices. During the English Revolution they were also called Independents and later Congregationalists for this reason. Oliver Cromwell was of their number. And the Puritan settlements were not leak-proof. Every so often someone would get upset with their attempted dictatorial control, and lead a secession that set up a different settlement with different beliefs somewhere else. Thomas Morton did this in Marymount, now Quincy, Ann Hutchins did it in New Nederland, John Wheelwright in New Hampshire, and Roger Williams in Rhode Island. My own ancestor, Samuel Boardman, crept off to Connecticut a few years after landing in Massachusetts in 1638 to join yet another spin-off settlement. Religious freedom was so important in Rhode Island that disgusted Puritan ministers in Massachusetts " the latrine of New England." [] I found the report of Lithuanian Lutherans in Toronto a bit of a surprise, but there are minority churches like this all over eastern Europe. There is a small Finnish Orthodox Church, presumably a creation during the Russian occupation to bring Finns into the state religion of the Russian Empire. There is

a Polish National Catholic Church in communion with Canterbury but not with Rome. The late fan, Frank Wilimczik, belonged. [I believe that this, like the " Old Catholic Church," split from Rome when Vatican I declared " papal infallibility" in the 19th century. These churches included properly ordained bishops, so maintained Apostolic Succession.-ERM] There is also a Polish Orthodox Church Ed Slavinsky had seceded to out of dissatisfaction with the Vatican II reforms. [] The Mennonites were Anabaptists reorganized by Menno Simons after the destruction of the Anabaptist Commonwealth in Munster in 1534. Many years later the Amish split off from the Mennonites, claiming they were getting too lax. [Paul Shenk, who grew up in a Mennonite community in Virginia, says that they regarded Conrad, a member of Zwingley's circle in Switzerland, as their spiritual founder. He initiated actual adult re-baptism in 1525 while Zwingley had only talked about it. What with the religious ferment of the time about thirteen Anabaptist congregations sprang up spontaneously, some with political and social reform in mind (like in Munster) and some purely religious. However they did take their name from Menno, of the Netherlands, who was active a decade later. --ERM] [] The owner of that highly eclectic bookshop on East 8 St. was the late Eileen Campbell Gordon. [] I would guess that not all nominal Hindus observe the full taboo on meat. Such dietary laws in all religions tend to come apart upon exposure to other views. Only a minority of Jews of my acquaintance maintain a strictly kosher diet. [] As a child I read and loved A.A. Milne's two Winnie the Pooh books and his two books of verse. As an adult, I am more critical. So is Perdita, who only read them as an adult. Pooh seems to be a copy of the stuffy London pub man quaffing down honey rather than port. Piglet is a born hanger-on. Rabbit and Owl are satires on, respectively, the businessman and the intelligentsia. Tigger is the intrusive bouncy character who attaches himself to you whether you like it or not. Only Eyour is somewhat sympathetic, especially for people like Perdita who are troubled by depression. There is some resemblance between Pooh and a character created over three centuries ago by the satirist John Arvid Knox [spelling?]. He created a representative of the British nation, a stout country squire, brave and [...] hearted, but not always very bright. We know him as John Bull. [] Wacky notions about science, including metaphysics, is common among political conservatives. Everyone knows about their objection to evolution and the figures accepted by astronomers for the age of the earth. But when Eisenhower was president, Alan B. Asken [spelling?], director of the National Bureau of Standards, reported adversely on a new battery additive. However some friends of Secretary of Commerce, Sinclair Weeks, had a financial interest in that additive. So weeks fired Aspen, which raised such a stink that Eisenhower had to fire Weeks. []If the Israeli Arabs, whom people often call Palestinians, really want to hurt the Jews, they will follow the example of the original Americans: stop the warfare and establish casinos. This will drain money out of the Israeli economy, bring the Gaza strip out of its chronic problem, and saddle Israel with compulsive gamblers. [] I think that my confusion between Parsi and Farsi arises from the fact that Arabic doesn't seem to have the letter P. Thus Hebrew peel becomes the Arabic Feel. [] Even many biblical scholars now admit that Genesis, as we have it, is a conflation from two or three sources. How else can we account for the creation stories beginning with Genesis 1:1 and the Genesis story beginning with Genesis 2:4. You will find commentary on this situation in 's Guide to the Bible}. There is even more evidence, I am credibly informed, in the original Hebrew. The words translated as " God created" do not agree with each other" " the word translated as " God," is plural. " Bara," the word translated as " created," is singular. The first sentence of the bible could, with equal accuracy, be translated as, " In the beginning the gods created heaven and earth," and in its first writing maybe it was so intended by the writer. Creation by several co-operating gods appear in the myths of several polytheistic religions. [My understanding is that, among non-funnymentalist theologians, the assembly of Genesis from multiple sources is a standard model. Couldn't the plural form of " God" be a sort of " royal we?" Such theologians do understand that more detailed knowledge of god and creation developed with time. I notice, in the Jerusalem translation, that in the early chapters Yahweh is not the only god in existence, but the strongest. " My daddy/god can beat up your daddy/god." -ERM] [] Andy Porter is not the only fan, now resident in New York City, to be mistaken for a native New Yorker. A mimeographed comic book created by some California fans in the 1950s represented Ted White, who then lived in Bay Ridge, as speaking with an exaggerated Brooklyn dialect. [I believe Ted didn't move to Bay Ridge until the 1960s.-ERM] Actually, Ted was born in Virginia and his family, like mine, landed in Essex County, Mass., in the 1630s.


Thanks for the interesting fanzine. I'm now in a Las Vegas apa. I've forwarded a copy of Entropy to one of the other Vegas fans here, Teresa, who is also blind. I thought she would find the information about being a blind pilot very interesting.



Thanks so much for Entropy 35. It was a treat to browse and will get a full reading later. Saw some familiar names in the LOC and happy to see they are

still around (I got silly with Lloyd and Yvonne at Eeriecon in Niagara last month).

And how often do you get to chat about streetcars and subways with fans? OK, Peter Dougherty aside ({Tracks of the New York Subway}). Though I am celebrating a quarter century in fandom (Noreascon II to Cascadiacon, twenty-five years of I rephrase that?) my first fanaticism was electric in nature, having motored my first streetcar in Boston at the age of thirteen (I didn't learn to drive a car until I was nineteen). I revisited my checkered past at the recent Philadelphia Trolley Meet (

Too many toys. ¶ To Lloyd: The C in CLRV stands for Canadian. How appropriate. :) I guess it was so the high quality products from Hawker-Siddley of Thunder Bay could stand apart from those cheap imitations churned out by the helicopter people at Boeing. Perhaps the latter thought that since their plant was built on the grounds of the old Baldwin locomotive factory they actually knew something about railcars. Boston ended up hiding their miserable failures in an abandoned stretch of subway (Sparking a great scandal when reporters found them and took pictures of the multi-million dollar junque) while San Francisco's Muni is selling off the last of their scrap for five hundred dollars a pop (About a two-hundred-thousand dollar discount off the original price. Buy now and save!). They make great backyard sheds, as proven by a local Boeing employee that has two of the unused Kawasaki shells (Probably from the cancelled Muni order) in his yard by the highway. [When Jim Quigg took me on my first tour of BART and the Muni Subway in 1981 he said that the articulated Muni cars were part of a joint purchase with Boston. When Boston did not have good results and cancelled the unfulfilled part of their order, he told me that Muni was happy with the cars and also took some of the rejected Boston ones. From what you say, they later found these unsatisfactory at a later time.-ERM]

Does anyone recall who the author was of Subway Named Mobius? Boston seems to want to test the theory put forth in the story, interconnecting all its lines so that they have no beginning, no end. Their latest project is one I actually did as my senior engineering project in high school, 1975, to make the long-needed link between its Red and Blue lines.. They only just thought of it, though. I wonder if trains will really disappear into parallel dimensions then.

On the price of Worldcons, it is sad that the costs never seem to go down on such things. I compare them to professional trade shows, where a registration can cost five hundred and up, and doesn't come with fun freebies like pinbacks promoting the latest foray of SF onto the silver screen. That seems to take some of the sting out. I originally used cost as my excuse to cancel my Glasgow plans, but with gas prices as they are the drive to Seattle will end up costing enough that I could have saved money just buying the damn plane.

My most recent read (Something I do shamefully little of these days) was Terry Pratchett's {Going Postal}. What a unique sentence for fraud and con-artistry: Appointment as Postmaster General. Kudos to Terry for doing his homework on the inner workings of the early post and the birth of philately. It read too much like a self-help manual at times. I think my supervisor is a banshee. It's not often I get to see such a unique insight into my industry (In "real life" I am a mail processor, a glorified grease monkey that watches a quarter million pieces of mail a day flash before his eyes).

Steve Carey

Bear, Delawhere


Hi Ed,

I enjoyed reading Entropy 35 very much. a smattering of comments:

On Braille: Um er, who'd want to "sight-read" Braille, especially faster than reading it in a tactile way? Honestly, I don't understand some folks. Speaking of which ... it's good to see that "grok" is in the dictionary. On airplanes: I had a friend once who flew a Cessna 150, and I got to try my hand at it. I could do some of the pre-flight chores, and achieved the dubious distinction of almost stalling us out once. I'd love to try flying a sail-plane sometime, because they're so ponderous and quiet. I'm not blind fighter-pilot material.

Looking forward to the next ish!

[and from a later letter, after I had commented that sighted people cannot imagine a blind person being a good Braille reader]

Ah, I had a dream once that I got experimental surgery and was able to see. I wasn't sane after the surgery. That was kind of a chilling dream. It only reiterates that I wouldn't elect to gain eyesight, as the learning curve and reality shift would be more than I'd want to handle. (I have never seen.)

I'm definitely a tactile learner, and my Braille skills are better than my auditory ones. I never did speed up on my slate, though, having used a Perkins Brailler and now a Braille notetaking computer. I can use a slate, but painfully slowly.

|Chris Garcia

I've long been an admirer of Niekas and have caught up on many of the other Entropy Halls over the last few months. My father, John Garcia, met you briefly in the early 1970s and has always thought that Niekas was one of his three favourite zines. I quite agree.

The story of the Blind Pilot is an interesting one. NPR seems to be full of stories of blind pilots and blind hunters of late. In Texas, my Grandfather is still allowed to drive despite having almost no vision. There must be another sighted driver in the car, but still, he likes the opportunity. Circling the globe in an ultra-light is not a safe proposition, especially if you time it poorly and end up flying during the monsoon season. I met a gentleman who made the attempt and crashed his plane into the Pacific near Samoa and survived on a raft for nearly twenty-four hours before finally being picked up by a fisherman.

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Dobelle. I make my living as a computer historian and I've seen many of his prototypes in person. I had hoped that we might get one or two of them for our collection, but sadly we haven't had any luck. He visited the Computer Museum in Boston while I was working there, right before my move to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, and he was quite nice, though I only got a chance to chat with him for a few moments.

I know I've had what you describe as Boston Bread from a place in San Francisco. I believe they refer to it as Nob Hill Rye, though I have no idea why. It is a tasty bread, I admit, though I stopped going to that shop long ago because they opened a Portuguese bakery not a block away and sweetbread is my life.

Wonderful issue. I hope I can read more soon

Thanks, Christopher J Garcia


comments on entropy 35:

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." Indeed. The French had them too. They call(ed) them "sabots". The Oxford English Dictionary Online traces the origin of the word "sabotage" thus: " French, from saboteur to make a noise with sabots, to perform or execute badly, e.g. to "murder" (a piece of music), to destroy willfully (tools, machinery, etc.), from sabot." ¶ I've seen it said that sabotage was originally throwing a wooden shoe into the works in Luddite activity, but the OED appears to trace the French verb "saboter" to earlier uses. My old Larousse Etymologique (1938) dates it back to the 13th century, well before the Industrial Revolution and the Luddites, and French "sabotage" to the end of the 19th, well after them (and only shortly before the OED's first citation, from 1910). So the "wooden shoe in the works" is a legend, a false etymology.

Best wishes, mark by hand


1706-24 Eva Rd, Etobicoke, ON, CANADA M9C 2B2

Orange Mike's sig file is delightful. It shows the lack of breadth of a creationist's mind, and the humour of a scientific mind. ¶ Can't remember where it was online, but I did read a chapter of a Left Behind novel a short time ago. I didn't find it well written at all, but almost fanfic in nature, a Born Again's wet dream. Gather the whole series is like that, almost a justification of their faith, and a Nelson Muntz-like " Ha ha!" to the non-believers. ¶ It's a rule of thumb for journalists that one person dying at home has more of an impact than 100 people dying on the other side of the world. In the fight for superior ratings through looking more patriotic than thou, the American press is teaching its viewers that those other people do not matter at all. No wonder many Americans know nothing about what happens elsewhere. I rarely watch American networks, though I have access to most of them. For them, objectivity is a thing of the past. ¶ My loc of June 2004...the Sectarian Wave project is in post-production. Episode 1 was supposed to be available for download on July 25, but there seems to be some software problems. I would still say checkout the website, and download some of the radio shows they have. The 2004 CanVention was in Montreal, and the 2005 CanVention also happened to be the Westercon in Calgary. Next year's CanVention will be in Toronto. We did sell our Boston Worldcon memberships, and with this year's Worldcon in Glasgow coming up in literally a few days, we won't be there, either.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.


found "grok" in AHD4; OED Online has this for it. All is as shown except for

italics, boldface, underlining, and small capitals. In the pronunciation I

have substituted an 'o' for the non-ASCII symbol that represents the usual

English pronunciation of "short o" as in "lock".

grok, v.

U.S. slang.

(grok) Also grock. [Arbitrary formation by Heinlein (see quot. 1961).]

a. trans. (also with obj. clause) To understand intuitively or by empathy;

to establish rapport with. b. intr. To empathize or communicate

sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment. 1961 R. HEINLEIN Stranger in Strange Land iii. 18 Smith had been aware of

the doctors but had grokked that their intentions were benign. Ibid. xxiv. 250 Now that he knew himself to be self he was free to grok ever closer to his brothers. 1968 T. WOLFE Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test vi. 86 Instead they are all rapping and grokking over the sound it if they had synched into a never-before-heard thing, a unique thing. 1968 Playboy June 80 He met her at an acid-rock ball and she grokked him, this ultracool miss loaded with experience and bereft of emotion. 1969 New Yorker 15 Mar. 35, I was thinking we ought to get together somewhere, Mr. Zzyzbyzynsky, and grok about our problems. 1975 D. LODGE Changing Places iv. 137 Nestling earth couple would like to find water brothers to grock with in peace. 1984 InfoWorld 21 May 32 There isn't any software! Only different internal states of hardware. It's all hardware! It's a shame programmers don't grok that better.


The Carl Olson referenced in the middle of this message [Peter T. Chattaway's piece on end-time fiction] is my writing partner on {THE DA VINCI HOAX}. He also wrote an excellent debunking of the LeHay series, {WILL CATHOLICS BE LEFT BEHIND?} I read {IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE} and {MARK OF THE BEAST}, excruciating silly books given me by Mark Owings as a joke.

There are of course several Catholic End Times books, {LORD OF THE WORLD} by Robert Hgh Benson being the best known, {THE END} by Hugh Venning (Dom Hubert van

Zeller), {THE CLOCK STRUCK TWENTY} by SMC (SMC was actually Sister Mary Catherine Williams, an English Dominican nun) and a bunch of stupid recent ones I won't even bother to name.

Sandra Miesel


Dear Ed:

If you've got Microsoft Word, and you can't open any files, go into the "list types of files" subcommand and instead of "Readable Files" change it to "All Files". Then you can open any file in the computer, including the System folder (where you're likely to find weird stuff including the member of the team who was in charge of ordering pizza for the software developers).

Best, Andy


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse! You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment.


When Buz died a few months ago obits gave his full name, as above. While he was alive he made a big secret of it and few, if any, in fandom knew what it was.


Hi Ed,

Please print the following questions in Entropy. Any assistance, either with actual answers or with directions to places the answers may be found would be greatly appreciated, since I'm going batty trying to find useful specifics.


What are the periods of rotation for Io and Calisto?What are the periods of orbit for Io and Calisto? What are the Sizes or circumferences (in km) of orbital paths for Io and Calisto? What is the distance (in KM) between the orbital paths of Io and Caalisto? What moons lie between Io and Calisto? What are their orbital periods? Is it necessary to travel only in the orbital plane, or could one go, as it were, above or below the orbital paths of intervening moons? Do intervening moons have sufficient gravity to use any or all for gravity assist, depending on the distance between Io's and Calisto's orbital paths? Would this be necessary or desirable?


How would Io station and Calisto Station communicate? Radio, microwave transmission? Other forms of transmission? What would the delay time be? Are the orbits far enough apart and large enough that the delay time would vary? What about when the two moons were on opposite sides of Jupiter? When Io and Calisto are occulted with respect to each other, could transmission relays on other moons/space stations in Jovian orbit maintain uninterrupted communications? Is it possible that delay times would be low enough to allow "normal" conversation between someone on Io Station and someone on Calisto Station, or someone in low orbit around Io and someone on Calisto? What is the delay time from Io to Earth?

Thanks, Kerry

[Kerry is blind, like me, and has trouble accessing reference works. I phoned John Boardman and asked him about orbit radii and periods and here is what he found: Io, 1.77 days, 422,000 km...Europa, 3.55 days, 671,000 km Ganymede, 7.15 days, 1,070,000 km Callisto, 16.69 days, 1,883,000 km.

Thus the distance varies from 1,411,000 km to 2,255,000 km or 5 to 7.5 light seconds. Round trip time, for answer to statement, varies from 10 to 15 seconds, uncomfortable but manageable for a conversation. Io zips around Jupiter so quickly that every second day there might be a period of ten minutes during which communication is impossible. The two intermediate moons might block communications for a few minutes every so often, butthis would be only a brief inconvenience.- People with more information should write directly to Kerry.-ERM]


by Michael Guillen, Hyperion, 1995

is an interesting book giving the biographies of five scientists who made major contributions to our understanding of the world and the effects of their discoveries. The five are Isaac Newton and the law of universal gravitation, Bernoulli and the laws of the flow of fluids, Michael Faraday and how changing magnetic fields cause electric currents to flow in wires, Rudolph Clausius and the law of the increase of entropy, and Albert Einstein and the special theory of relativity.

Dr. Gruin is science editor on ABC's " Good Morning, America" and Instructor in Science and Mathematics at Harvard University. He is an exciting writer and gives many details about the lives of the scientists, placing them in the context of their times. For instance, it places Newton in the turmoil of the conflict between the Calvinists and Anglicans and the plagues which rocked England. Newton was insecure but stubborn. Because Hooke had denigrated some of his discoveries Newton withdrew from the Royal Society and vowed not to publish. He did mention discoveries in private communications and word leaked out. Hooke came to respect Newton's ability and asked for advice on his work on planetary orbits, which Newton ignored as duplicating work he had already done, but not published. When he did, many years later, explain his own work Hooke tried to take some of the credit, claiming his inquiry had set Newton on the right track. Newton waited for Hooke to die, then published a three volume treatise on all his work except optics, which firmly established his reputation and precedence.

I find it interesting that both Newton and Faraday came from humble families and while Newton had little difficulty gaining acceptance in his intellectual world, Faraday was rebuffed for a long time. Of course Newton did have the advantage of a teacher who took an interest in him and arranged for him to go to Trinity College, Cambridge University, while Faraday was self-educated. I was also interested to learn that Faraday's family was involved with a Christian cult I had never heard of, Sandamanians. The author said they believed that only their members can be saved, and it existed among the poor. (Sort of reminds me of today's Jehovah's Witnesses.) The biggest fear of the members was of being excommunicated, which could happen for the most trivial of offences.

Johan and Daniel Bernoulli, father and son, were both mathematical geniuses, but the father was jealous of his son's achievements and did what he could to steal his glory and ruin his reputation. They were Huguenots, or Calvinists whose father had fled Belgium for Basil. Their strong belief in predestination greatly influenced important decisions made by all family members looking for signs of the will of God.

Anyhow, I greatly enjoyed this book because it gave the human background of the scientists and the social climate in which they lived. The author ended each scientist's story with a discussion of the consequences of his discovery in later times. I have only one caveat...the book was hastily written and poorly copy-edited. I caught two glaring, silly, errors and suspect there are others. In discussing the religious wars during Newton's lifetime he said that Parliament be-headed King William instead of Charles I. In discussing the consequences of Einstein's relativity he said that uranium had 96 protons instead of 92.

In discussing Bernoulli he said that the higher air speed over the top of an airplane wing causes the pressure to drop, sucking up on the top of the wing. I have seen many books agree with this, but have also seen other books saying this is a trivial part of the lift, most of which comes from air pushing on the bottom of the wing which attacks the air at a slant. I do not know which side is correct. Since it is so controversial I do not object to the author taking one side of the argument.


~BLANCMANGE 410 (APA-Q 490, Mark L. Blackman). In your review of material in older Blancmanges you repeated your comments on a panel you were on, at Chicon 2000?, on " Is Fandom Jewish?" When I got into NY fandom in 1955 it seemed to me that many of the people I met were Jewish but that didn't strike me as odd because so much of New York culture is Jewish. When I moved to Barea fandom in 1962 there were far fewer Jews, but there were a few. I accept what I find and usually do not think about it. It wasn't until now that I realized how few there were, tho they included two people I had interacted with a lot, Joe Rolfe and Al haLevy. Living in the boondocks now, I am part of no metropolitan fandom. I would guess that fandom has a higher proportion of Jewish people than the population as a whole, but as you point out Jewish family upbringing places a high value on literacy and learning. [] Interesting point you quoted Schweitzer as making about Hubbard himself writing the " ecology," as he was very interested in going back to his pulp roots, especially SF, promoting a new prozine which Terry Carr was to edit, and which aborted after his death. He also instituted the Writers of the Future which the Scientologists did continue. But Scientologist hierarchy is not really interested in SF, and would not have bothered to find a ghost writer to do this ecology. I have not read {Battlefield Earth} or the Ecology, but will trust Darrell when says it is in Hubbard's style. I have re-read some of Hubbard's old SF and some has held up, like {Slaves of Sleep}, but others have not like the collection of his " Doc Methuselah" stories from ASTOUNDING. [] I do NOT use voice recognition software. I have no trouble touch typing, and using keyboard alternatives to the filthy rodent, e.g., ctr-s to save, alt-tab to go to the other open file, etc. What I DO use is screen reading software which reads what is on the screen, echoes keystrokes when I want, etc. [] You asked whether NFB conventions have program books in Braille. Yes, when you register you can get one in Braille, in large print, on computer disk (for people who bring laptops). The NH state convention has print and Braille. I was croggled when I got a Braille pocket program at the 2005 Arisia. They had three other Braille using attendees, and a concom member works at Perkins School for the Blind where heesh had it done.

~BLANCMANGE 411 (APA-Q #491) In your review of old BLANCMANGES you mentioned that when you had your rotator cuff surgery reaction to anesthetic caused need for catherization. Exactly the same thing happened to me. I wonder how common this reaction is. Unfortunately in my case the surgery did not take tho with exercise I have replaced some, but not all, motions using other muscles. [] Your reference to de Camp's {The Arrows of Hercules} being dedicated to Asimov and Heinlein, his co-workers in the Philadelphia navy base during WWII, reminds me. I understand Heinlein always respected the " secret" classification applied to it, and would not even hint as to what they did even decades later. I read Asimov's two volumes of autobiography and one volume of memoirs, and he didn't mention the nature of their work. I have yet to read de Camp's autobiography and wonder if he said anything. Also, wouldn't it all be unclassified 60 years later? I wonder if a FoIA request could elicit some info. I did read somewhere that some SF writers...these 3, perhaps with others?...did some brainstorming on their own time to try to come up with stfnal ideas which might actually work and help in the war effort, but that nothing came of it.

~ BLANCMANGE 412 (APA-Q 492) Just noticed again in your colophon " fwa" for Fanzine Writers of America. Is this a real group or is it a joke? Is the group (if it does exist) a bit of faanish satire? Please tell more. [] Your " Re Dark Dungeons, JRRT was a Catholic, and we know what Chick thinks of Catholics; and Lewis was High Church Anglican, which to Baptists might as well be Papist." Leaves me with some questions and one correction. Not enough context here, so I do not know what these " " dark dungeons" are or who " Chick" is. Lewis has written that liturgy did not interest him, so he was low-church Anglican, not high. [] I think you made an excellent point when you said, " Sauron did not forge any Rings for the hobbits - I speculate that that's (aside from why he couldn't find the One Ring when it was with Gollum & Bilbo ) why they & Frodo had as much resistance to it as they did." I am going to pass this quote on to the listserv. This is such an excellent point that I am surprised that nobody had made it before. [] Your review of the movie " Finding the Future" makes it sound very interesting. You said it was a serious look at SF fandom and was filmed mostly at Chicon and ConJose. I wonder how widely it was shown, and whether it is available on video or DVD. If so I would like to rent and see it. [] You mentioned that the movie " The Passion" had inaccurate costuming. I was not interested in seeing it, even tho it was available with voice over description of the action, and in another voice, translations of the captions. It is just not my thing. Also the people involved in making it were the Catholic equivalent of Luddites, rejecting all the changes of Vatican II. Also, the languages spoken should have been Aramaic and Greek, not Latin.

[I never got e-text for BLANCMANGE #413]

~BLANCMANGE 414 (APA-Q 494) In your review of Blancmanges from about five years ago you said that Fred Hoyle didn't believe in evolution. I assume you meant evolution of the universe, not of life on earth. [] In the same review you had commented that some reviewers of the TV show FIREFLY thought combining SF & westerns was new but they had never heard of the ads on the bacovers of the early GALAXY magazines featuring "Bat Durston." I understand that the TV show of the 60s or so, WILD WILD WEST had combined SF and westerns. More recently BRISCO (spelling?) COUNTY had many stfnal elements. These were, of course, the reverse of FIREFLY, introducing stfnal elements into western stories instead of vice-versa.

And then there was the movie, " Outland," " High Noon" set in a mining camp in the asteroid belt. [] Enjoyed your Noreascon diary. As for Charlotte, initially I was taken in by the smear associating Charlotte with Dragon*Con. However when I learned better I still supported Boston because in my mind it was their turn and they do usually run a tight con. I did not have your bad luck with them and the hotel. It was rotten of the Noreascon committee to advertise " first come, first served" policy for the end-of-con yardsale, and then committee members taking for themselves all the printers. In 98 early on I had been asked to support the Baltimore bid and help out. Their bid was fun, too, and I voted for them. Three years later I voted for Phili because, despite many attempts, they had not had a worldcon since 1953. The Boston bid was a lot of fun with the flamingos, etc., but I voted for Phili. After voting against Boston two elections in a row I felt I had to vote for them. I had hoped Charlotte would win the NASFIC but since I was going to Glasgow and did not plan to go, I did not want to spend the sizeable amount on the voting fee. I do wish Seattle had waited to run for 07 so those who do go to worldcon and NASFiC could do so more easily. Also there is no way I could go to Japan and might have considered breaking my boycott of NASFICs and actually going had it been in Seattle that year. [] Was amused by your " Burke's Peerage reports that Kerry's blood is bluer than Bush's – that he's related to all the royal houses of Europe and can claim kinship with Ivan the Terrible, a Byzantine emperor & the shahs of Persia (not to mention, via Fritz Kohn, his grandfather, Aaron)."

~BLANCMANGE 415 (APA-Q 495) I noted your re-nomination as Lunarian secretary. I had lost track of things and had not realized you had returned to that office earlier, after all the troubles you had had with the clique which frequently hassles you. [] Your mention of Philcon moving to Valley Forge and perhaps December reminds me of a discussion I heard at Lunacon that Balticon, Philcon, and Arisia all lost around $10K due to rising costs. I forget at which panel this was. The person also said that unless it does better, the next Philcon will be the last. That would be a real shame. It would be the end of a long tradition. When I got into fandom in 1955 there were only five regular cons in the U.S., Philcon, Disclave, Midwestcon, Westercon, and Worldcon. Has Philcon lost any years since WWII? Do they count that party when a half dozen NY fen partied with a like number of Philifen in 1936 as the first Philcon? [] Your statement, " Speaking of the 12th Amendment, Bush Jr. violated that too - he & Cheney were both Texas residents (& voters, despite Cheney's hasty re-registration in Wyoming the week before his nomination; 'carpetbagger' apparently only applies to RFK & Hillary, but not Cheney or Keyes)" surprised me. It is years since I read the constitution and had not remembered that the president and VP have to be from different states. [] You mentioned that Al Nofi has re-located to Virginia. The last address I have is in Austin, TX; could you please email me the correction? [] I had read {The Pooh Perplex} while still sighted, even tho I had never read the Pooh stories themselves. I still found the parodies of litcrit amusing. Sandy is an avid Pooh fan and has read me a number of the stories. I believe I recently saw a reference to a second volume of or in the spirit of {Pooh Perplex}.

~ BLANCMANGE 416 (APA-Q 496) You pointed out that while {Rocket Ship Galileo} was Heinlein's first novel published in book form, {Methuselah's Children} & {Beyond This Horizon} were serialized in ASTOUNDING first. Wasn't {Sixth Column} also serialized? Would {Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag} count as a novel or novella? [] I never knew the origin of the " 's" for possessive until I saw your " The possessive apostrophe shows the omission of the 'e' of the Old English genitive 'es'; but 'es' was also used for plurals, so putting an apostrophe before a pluralizing 's'('apple's') has reason, even though today's grocers don't know it." [] Very interested to read " Pizza was invented in the US in the 19th century, and imported into Italy, possibly by returned immigrants."

~ BLANCMANGE 417 (APA-Q 497) I was in junior high school from 1948 to 1950 (7 & 8 grades—I switched to a Catholic HS and did not stay for 9th). We had a history book published before WWII and at the end of the coverage of " The Great War" it said that should there be another such war it would mean the end of civilization. [] I liked your " We condemn the Vichy govt & collaborators with the Nazi occupiers ('Quisling' has become a common noun), yet hail those in Iraq." [] I also liked your " John [Boardman] is a one-issue voter (when he does) and his issue is war (to others it may be abortion or Israel); thus to him McGovern was a hawk and there was no difference between Gore or Kerry & Jr. Bush. (Similarly absurd, to him anti-death penalty Cuomo was the Muffin Man [I do not understand the significance of this-ERM], and "Hymietown" Jackson was electable. Btw, Jesse's being quiet these days

so as not to hurt his legitimate son in Congress.)"


I liked your remark on the Right to Life community, " Yes, they seem to care about babies only till they're born, though one wouldn't know it from their views on providing prenatal care." [] Again, I liked your remark to the effect that you express your distaste for " Rambo SF" by not reading it.

~DAGON 585 (APA-Q 591, 2004April3, John Boardman) I enjoyed your quoting Walt Handelsman (spelling?) in NEWSDAY that Mel Gibson's next film, based on the Makabees (spelling) overthrow of the Alexandrian overlords, would have the action of a Western, and should be called " Gunfight at the Oy Veh Corrall." [] In your discussion of the intro and afterword to Heinlein's lost novel, {For Us the Living}, you said, it had been written in 1938-9, a low point in Heinlein's life. " His first marriage had failed and his second one was destined to fail. He had washed out of a promising naval career due to ill health. In 1938 he had unsuccessfully run as a Democrat for a seat in the state assembly...." I had known about his getting a medical discharge from the navy due to TB, his campaigning for Upton Sinclair in 1934, his unsuccessful run in 1938, and his first, failed, marriage to Leslyn. But a second marriage failing? This implied another marriage before that with Leslyn. I asked about this on the Timebinders fan history listserv and the Trufen faanish listserv and D. Gary Grady provided many details new to me. He got his info from three websites:,, and The first website said this of RAH's three marriages, " The first marriage was a brief one. We do know her name and other information on her life (we helped track down her and her fate) but are withholding it until Bill Patterson presents the material in his upcoming biography on Heinlein (so don't ask, we won't tell). [Jim Linwood added that it was c.1930, lasted less than a year, and ended in divorce.] ¶ The second marriage was to Leslyn MacDonald in 1932. Despite her later problems with alcoholism, and the failure of their marriage, Leslyn was clearly an extraordinary woman, intelligent and talented. Her influence on Heinlein's early works cannot be ignored. ¶ Leslyn was born 29 Aug 1904 in Massachusetts and died 13 April 1981 in California. She remarried to a man named Mocabee. She had no children. ¶ Heinlein's third marriage was to Virginia Doris Gerstenfeld, called 'Ginny'. They married in 1948 and shared what was considered by those who knew them to be an ideal marriage. Ginny Heinlein was born 22 April 1916 in New York and died 18 January 2003 in Florida. Ginny was, without doubt, the basis of many, if not most, of Heinlein's strong, capable female characters, in particular Hazel Stone." Where had you heard that Heinlein's life was hell with his marriage foundering in the late 30s? According to the 2nd website this didn't happen until after World War II: " All the writing of this period (1945-1947) was produced under difficult and trying circumstances for Heinlein, because his personal life was going to hell. The relationship with Leslyn had disintegrated in alcoholism, beyond any possibility of repair. In 1947 he moved out while Leslyn applied for a divorce." The third website, which includes several brief biographies, has the interesting remark: " Heinlein's first novel was {For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs}, written in 1939 and not published until 64 years later, after a copy was discovered in the garage of Michael Hunter, who had been assigned to write about Heinlein as a student. Although a failure as a novel, being little more than a disguised lecture on Heinlein's social theories, it is intriguing as a window into the development of Heinlein's radical ideas about man as a social animal, including free love. It appears that Heinlein at least attempted to live in a manner consistent with these ideals, even in the 1930s, and had an open relationship in his marriage to his second wife, Leslyn." Several fen recognized the name of Bill Patterson as a fanzine publisher sometime in the 80s and Corflu attendee. Also Arthur Hlavaty noted, " It would appear that the drunken wife and the attractive younger woman in {Farnham's Freehold} represent the author writing about what he knows."

~DAGON 586 (APA-Q 492, 2004May8) Sorry, but I have no comments other my reply to your mailing comments reprinted above in " Entropy Comments."

~DAGON 587 (APA-Q 493) The Libertarian introduced resolution of the Kings County Republican Committee that " Whereas candy is bad for people contributing to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease; and candy is more deleterious to the health of residents of Kings County, overall, even than marijuana and cocaine because of candy's more widespread use; and whereas everything that is bad for people should be outlawed; now therefore be it resolved that the Kings County Republican Party support the ban on the manufacture, importation, sale, possession, transfer, and ingestion of candy in Kings County" sounds like satire of drug regulations rather than a serious motion as you imply. [] I liked your statement that Mel Gibson's PASSION movie " displays the horrific torture of an innocent inhabitant of the middle-east by soldiers of a foreign army of occupation" and comparing it with news clips of American soldiers torturing Iraquis.

~DAGON 588 (APA-Q 494, 18 Sept 2004) I like your statement, " If the Israeli Arabs, whom people often call Palestinians, really want to hurt the Jews, they will follow the example of the original Americans: stop the warfare and establish casinos. This will drain money out of the Israeli economy, bring the Gaza strip out of its chronic problem, and saddle Israel with compulsive gamblers." [] Your point ab Polynesian eco-spoilers destroying the ecology and livability of Easter Island is well taken. I understand that this is a chapter in Jared Diamond's (author of {Guns, Germs, and Steel} Norton, 1997) new book, { Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed}, (Viking, $29.95), about the collapse of various societies from the distant past to recent times. I am eagerly awaiting its recording. [] " Shoggoth on the Roof," a Lovecraftian filking of " Fiddler on the Roof," sounds entertaining.

~DAGON 589 (APA-Q 495, Oct 3, 2004) Your mention of Calvin coming from the Picardy [spelling?] district of France but establishing his first stronghold in Geneva reminds me. I would like to get the sequence of events right. I am trying to reconstruct memories of a course on the history of Christianity which I took some 50 years ago, so pardon my meanderings. Some thoughts also come from a book Sandy and I are reading together on " early modern England," the Tudor and Stuart period. I also thank Sandra Miesel for answering some of my questions. ¶ Of the modern dissenters I gather Martin Luther came first. I had thought that the Anabaptists had come earlier because I vaguely remember reading that Luther had preached against them, but maybe he was objecting to their going beyond his reforms. Anyhow, they arose in the 1520s. Their name came from their rejection of infant baptism, like modern American Baptists, and said that adults had to be baptized again. Hence the name " Anabaptist." As John Boardman said in the letter section, they became the modern Mennonites and Amish. ¶ Sandra's explanation of Calvinism corrected so many errors in my memory and said it all so clearly that I am quoting her direct: Calvin was 26 years younger than Luther. His {INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION} was the most important book of Protestant theology because it was so systematic and laid out an efficient form of de-centralized church government. He taught "double predestination", some people are meant to go to heaven, others to hell from the time of their creation. The "elect" have some assurance of salvation if their endeavors are blessed, which is not the same as saying that they become rich. The so-called "Protestant work ethic" is vulgar Calvinism, since it requires a sober, industrious, tightly controlled lifestyle. Calvinists were rigorous iconoclasts and destroyed a great deal of religious art because they considered all religious images 'pagan.' Calvinism underpins a lot of Evangelical Christianity in America today although Presbyterians are his direct followers. Calvinism came to dominate in the Low Countries and Scotland, was suppressed in France after terrible religious wars, and influenced the Anglicans under Edward VI." I had assumed that those whose endeavors " were blessed" would look upon financial success as such a blessing, so that their attempts to hold onto wealth gave the Scotts' their reputation for miserliness. Also, a fellow-professor at Belknap College had been an ex-Jesuit who had left the church because there were too many Catholic priests in the US in the 50s and the church would not sponsor his emigration from Europe. His first job in the US was as an assistant minister at a Presbyterian church in Newark, NJ, and when he asked his superior about predestination was told that they don't talk about that any more. ¶ Henry VIII had written against Luther before splitting from Rome himself. It wasn't until after Henry's split, and perhaps his death, that Calvinism took a strong hold in England. Luther and Henry kept the mass and retained belief in the " real presence" , tho Luther modified it with " co-substantiation," with the " real presence" only there during the duration of the mass. If I understand correctly, Luther split with Rome primarily over the corruption in the Curia which ran Rome, and their selling indulgences to raise money for elaborate buildings. A major personal worry was how could he be sure of being saved. He declared that only faith mattered, rejecting good works, even tho St. James had written (2: 14-17) " What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but not works. Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works is dead." On the other hand, Luther wanted to exclude this section from the bible. He eliminated 5 of the 7 sacraments and prayers asking saints to intercede for us. ¶ I don't think Henry had any doctrinal differences with Rome, other than who will rule the Church within England. He wanted the liturgy in English, but that was a matter of discipline, not belief. Under Henry's son, Edward, Calvinists became the dominant force in the Church of England. Henry's Book of Common Prayer was drastically re-written. From what I understand, while various factions came to and lost power in the Church of England Edward's Book remained in effect for 205 years. It broke the Apostolic succession of bishops because their theory of what a bishop and a priest was differed drastically from the Catholic one. I have heard this called " The Edwardian Rite" by Catholic scholars. (I gather that because of unease on this matter, a number of Anglican ordinations in the 20th century were concelebrated with the modern schismatic " Old Catholics." ) Again, to quote Sandra, " Queen Elizabeth imposed a religious settlement midway between Henry's and Edward's. There was a movement back to more ritualism under Charles I but the English Civil War stopped that. The Second Edwardian Book of Common Prayer was revised during the Restoration. High-Church Anglicanism with its beautiful ceremonies and church decor really comes from a rediscovery of ancient traditions during the Oxford Movement in the early 19th C." (Anne Braude tells me that the modern Episcopal Church is a broad umbrella which covers a wide range of practices and beliefs, from very high church barely discernable from the Roman church, to very stripped-down and almost Calvinist in its practices.) ¶ Finally the Waldensians. I first heard of them when my first wife's Western Civ teacher mentioned them as a movement in northern Italy in the 12th century, and he thought they were long extinct. A week later I saw a mention of them in THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER as a still-existing minor faith. Her teacher was surprised to see the story. A few years ago I ran into a woman in my Lions Club who grew up in New York City and attended a Waldensian church. I asked her about distinct doctrines but she was unaware of any. She regarded hers as just another Protestant church. Again, quoting Sandra, " They emerged in northern Italy in the 12thC, one of a series of 'evangelical' movements criticizing the wealth of the Church, elaborate rituals, Purgatory, the cult of the saints, images etc. Peter Waldo and Francis of Assisi started out with much the same idea of preaching a simpler, humbler religious style but the former left the authority of the Church and Francis stuck with it. Waldensians are often thought of as proto-Protestants, since they're some over lap in doctrines." [] Yes, {Rocket Ship Galileo} was Heinlein's first novel published in book form, but if I remember {Methuselah's Children}, {Beyond This Horizon}, and {Sixth Column} were serialized. The last was written during WWII and was loaded with " yellow peril" themes. The US is conquered by Orientals and a secret organization is formed to throw off the oriental overlords. They find a genetic marker for oriental descent and develop a weapon which only effects Orientals. I wonder whether Heinlein cringed over this in later life. He also wrote stories which went into later " fix-up" novels like {Man Who Sold the Moon}, {Green Hills of Earth}, and {Revolt in 2100}, but other parts of these books were not published until after {Galileo}. [] Glad you enjoyed your visit to NH. I had been meaning to get to Gibson's bookshop in Concord for some time, and the book-hunt with you was the final excuse. Next time I have to go next door to the store called " Bread and Chocolate." Two excellent vices.

~DAGON #590 (APA-Q 496 27 Nov 04) I guess the " Vote for Valdemort. Why take the lesser evil" bumpersticker is an update on the " Vote for Cthulhu..." ones. [] Your mention that the only thing William Tell had done was ambush and kill the Hapsburg Governor reminds me. The current Hapsburg pretender, age 97, was interviewed on NPR recently. His ancestor had been Emperor of Austria, but king of Hungary, which was not an empire. He spoke mostly of his current interest, which I have forgotten, and has no real interest in bringing back any sort of hereditary title. [] Your mention of Christians who are not comfortable with the conflicts between Genesis and science playing games with the words used in translating the scriptures into English makes me wonder about the Mormons. I remember the late Alva Rogers, who had been raised Mormon but who left as a teenager, describing the {Book of Mormon} as a bad sword & sorcery novel, with tribes migrating from continent to continent, continents sinking or rising from the sea, epic battles, etc. If Alva was not exaggerating, I wonder how modern practitioners deal with the historic impossibilities. They cannot hide behind ingenious translations since the book is already in English, albeit bad pseudo-Elizabethan English. Similarly in her collection of fannish essays, {Making Book} (NESFA Press, 1994), Teresa Nielsen-Hayden wrote about not being able to believe the {Book of Mormon} because it described great battles in the American plains between great armored armies, and no archaeological evidence has ever turned up of the weapons and armor. She did not want to simply leave the religion but with great difficulty went about getting herself formally ex-communicated. Perhaps there are liberal Mormons who accept their scripture as allegorical, the way liberal Christians like Anglicans and Catholics do. [] Your mention of the theory of an American aristocracy managing the country, and all but three of our presidents being related to each other, reminds me of the populist fantasy of presidents coming from humble beginnings. In the 19th century election campaigns for more than one candidate claimed birth or early childhood in a log cabin. Were ANY of these true? Did anyone make president who was not wealthy at the time of his election?

~DAGON #591 (APA-Q 497, 25 Dec 04) Guinness' movie, KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, is not the only comedy about a serial killer. There was also ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. [] Publishing {Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone} in classical Greek reminds me of {Winnie the Pooh} being published in Latin as {Winnie Ille Pooh} around 1960 and being on the NY TIMES best-seller list for over a year. That then started a fad of little kids' books in Latin, like {Ferdinand the Bull}, but none caught the whimsy market of the first. That generation of nostalgia buyers had taken Latin in school and could have fun trying to puzzle thru it, but how many of today's yuppies have had Greek? I could only see a very small market for this as joke gifts or things to show off to guests as " Take a look at this craziest thing!" Now watch me be totally wrong and it become a best-seller like Winnie.

~DAGON #592 (APA-Q 498, 05) I like your " As I have always said, if George W. Bush is a Texan, then Chico Marx was an Italian." [] You commented that you and Perdita had independently decided that the best place to send a donation for tsunami relief was Doctors Without Borders. Something really stupid happened at my local (Moultonboro) Lions Club, but it had a good result. A few days after the disaster we got a letter from our international headquarters in Oak Park, IL, saying that the Lions Club International Foundation, in anticipation of donations coming in from clubs around the world, had expended a large sum (several million if I remember) on relief without waiting for the funds to come in. This allowed them to do so quickly, when the funds were most needed. Now they were asking the individual clubs to send in their donations to restore the fund to be ready for other needs. Members of the club said that the money was already spent, and anything we sent in would not give additional relief. If all clubs thought that way, next time LCIF would not be able to act quickly, but wold have to wait for donations to come in from individual clubs first. The good result was that our club decided to send a donation to Doctors Without Borders. [] Your mention of James Lovelock's GAIA hypothesis, that the earth is a living entity. Now the earth does have many negative feedback systems which allow it to " roll with the punches," and compensate for changes which would have otherwise made the earth uninhabitable. Over the last few billion years as the ratio of hydrogen to helium in the sun changed it got about 15%? But changes in the ecology of the planet as a whole, the amount of greenhouse gasses, etc., compensated for this and the earth remained inhabitable. However I was very surprised by one of Asimov's last Foundation books endorsing the more mystical form of Gaia theory, and even going to propose that there was a mystical galaxy-wide force he called " Galaxia." I was croggled to see this from such an established materialist and skeptic as Asimov. []Your description of the 1943 German film of the Baron Munchausen fables makes me wish I could experience the film. However I would need someone to translate the subtitles and describe the action, a heroic effort I would not ask of anyone. This reminds me that at either the 1964 or 1968 Worldcon in the Barea they showed an east-European film of the Munchausen tales. At about the same time another film from the same studio based on the life and tales of Jules Verne got some national distribution, but I missed seeing it. Also in 1965 I saw on the Berkeley campus a marvelous Czeck puppet film of Midsummer Night's Dream. I found a remaindered book about the making of the film with countless color stills and production sketches, in which the director, Jir~I Trnka, wrote that he shot the film without dialog. He felt that puppet theater is like mime and does not need dialog. However the print shown had a dubbed in sound track of the " Old Vic" company from England performing the words of the play. Anyhow, it was a magnificent film. Next time you visit remind me to show you the book. Your description of the softcore-porn film parody of LORD OF THE RINGS, LORD OF THE G-STRINGS, shown late night on HBO-ZONE, sounds marvelous. I have to see whether anyone I know has a copy which I could experience. Your discussions of various politicians of the last seven decades reminds me of the 1944 election when Thomas Dewey of New York challenged FDR. A long poem made the rounds, including in the third grade, my abode at the time. It was obviously picked up from parents and quoted by the kids. I only remember the last two lines: " Roosevelt's in the White House waiting to be elected. /Dewey's in the trash can waiting to be collected."

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