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[page 41] MailinG CoMMenTS Where do I begin? The #37 mailing was so tremendous I am still goggle-eyed. I took it with me on vacation and read every word, and thought of so many comments to make at the time--but who makes notes efficiently while on vacation?! Enjoy! Enjoy! And I did. . .but now that I spread this huge folder out before me, I am at a loss to remember all the sage comments I thought of a couple of weeks ago, and can only think what a fine mailing it is. . .and how the devil did N'APA ever let _me_ in? Here might be as good a place as any to tell Roytac heaid a terrific job of OEing the current mailing, and hope he feels, as I do, that it must be a tribute from the membership of N'APA that we're all behind him. And now to work: CITHARA The Sixth - Lesleigh and Chris Couch I can't say that I agree with Lesleigh about a gun control law solving any problems. Just as we license those who drive cars, there is no assurance, per se, that the license would prevent turning the instrument into a lethal weapon--if that were the case, there would be no deaths on our highways involving licensed drivers. Likewise, a lot of people who might legitimately get licenses for guns could misuse them. We license hunters, too--not their guns, but their permission to hunt--and each year there are dozens of deaths due to hunting accidents. A gun control law might lull us [page 42] into a sense of false security. The problem goes much deeper than a gun law--it rests with a strange turn our society seems to be taking, and the lack of respect for the individual, as you yourself pointed out. And until I can be secure that law enforcement has teeth in it and applies to the poor as well as the rich, the black as well as the white, then I prefer to have my loaded revolver in my dresser drawer. Oh, if they pass a gun law, I will get a license for it. . .but how many other people will get a license for the guns they have in their top drawers? MAELSTROM -Frederick Hypes The newsletter is marvelous. And since I'm a Heinlein fan, I was particularly interested in your scoop that Stranger in a Strange Land was being filmed. Oh, pray they do not ruin it! I feel almost about making Stranger into a movie as I feel about filming LotR-- it's just too tremendous. Of course, when you come right down to it, I guess the same problem is present in filming ANY fantasy or science fiction piece. . .in reading, each individual reader forms his own mental picture of characters and places, and is disturbed when others interpret them differently. Or perhaps that's half the fun. . .I dunno. At any rate, I'll be standing in line to see that one! The interview with Lin Carter was excellent, more so because I like him, and like him still more since he had a word of praise for some other favorites of mine--Keith Laumer, Jack Vance, and Fritz Leiber. And fascinating, too, was the point that he is working on a Tolkien (watch your spelling, Fred) book. Gary's article on Ray Bradbury interested me, also. Guess it is because I haven't read SF until fairly recently, and any knowledge of the authors gives me much better insight into their stories, and the over-all picture of the progress of SF as literature. I don't know why it is so important to want SF to be LITERATURE, but it seems to be of great concern. I'm happy that it is becoming a part of high school and college lit courses, and is being recognized by TV and the movies as a source of fresh material, of course; but what great difference, if you enjoy it, whether it is "literature" or not? Perhaps this ties in with Bradbury's quote re tipping the cup--where a book has been published, there is evidence that someone has poured out at least some degree of talent. If it is high-quality talent, the book will survive as literature; if a lesser degree of talent, or talent not yet developed, the book will not survive. If any reader finds the talent, no matter how great or how small, has been poured from the cup in the form of SF, he may find it is not his cup of tea, and he will never consider it literature. Let's just be thankful that there is an increasing number of persons becoming acquainted with and enjoying science fiction, and taking it into their hearts enough to consider it literature --even some lit teachers! FRING - Carol Ballard I know what you mean about running out of book storage place! My shelves were all full before I took up SF. . .now I have utilized all the what-not shelves in the kitchen for my [page 43] paperback library. An unlikely spot for reading material, but, then, every other available wall in the house is already covered with shelving. You should try to collect books AND tape recordings AND a music library, together with housing hi-fi equipment, a photography lab, and now pubbing equipment and a fanzine collection. What I need is a hundred-room castle. . .and even then, I'd probably have to line the moat with bookshelves. ASH-WING - Frank Denton Just to formalize the mailing comments, so nobody will think I have ignored my co-editor's zine, I will publish the fact that I felt Frank had a mighty good first issue. But due to the length that HOOM is running this time, I'll say no more; Frank already has my comments via tape and letter. RACHE - Bruce Pelz Beautiful, beautiful cover! And I enjoyed every word of the con discussion. As I wasn't able to make any of the cons this summer, I shall file it for future reference for that glorious day I finally DO achieve my con-attending ambitions. HUGIN AND MUNIN - Richard Labonte A most impressive issue. The ACUSFOOS (sounds like a tribe right out of ERB stories) must be an active SF club, indeed. It strengthens our point about the young people in fandom. . . they ARE a breed apart. I liked Charles Grey's "Ghost Army." He gave his climax away a bit with his "huge roaring birds," or perhaps even earlier than that, with his opening sentence stating "an entire Roman army disappeared without trace." From then on, the reader was suspicious and alert to clues in the geography. I'm wracking my brai, though, to be critical, as invited in your table of contents. . .I couldn't write a _better_ story, however, so let's just say I enjoyed it. Susan Wood's review of Asimov's "Is Anyone There?" was particularly interesting, as I was in the process of reading the book at the time I read her comments. If it's not too silly a statement, I would say that Asimov has a very down-to-earth approach to outer space. If more non-SF fans read the book, I think they might gain more respect for this type of fiction and its contribution to our current society. I think it will be a worthy book to place on my "outside reading" list for Sociology class this fall. Such a fine issue should call for many lengthy comments-- but there is such a thing as space to contend with! I'll probably discuss it further in a letter, Dick. . .that is, when the Canadian mail strike is over. Maybe it is by now. I can never find any news of it in the local and Richmond papers--have to get hold of a Washington paper. Come to think of it, I didn't see the little notice about Canadian mail posted in the local P.O. this morning. Perhaps at long last I can get that stack of Canadian letters off the desktop and get them on their way. [page 44] TROGLODYTE - Hank Luttrell Remind me to send for an issue of STARLING #13. . .I get absent-minded (and broke) keeping up on all the zines I want to read. I did get a copy of SIRRUISH, however, and must agree that it is all you (and numerous other fen said it would be. I will feel as if I were an outsider to fandom until I see 2001. It's playing in Richmond and in Washington, but with vacations and house guests and all those other time- consuming summer activities, I haven't made it yet. I seem to have a penchant for reading books and seeing movies after everyone else has finished discussing them. Planet of the Apes was my one scoop--by some miracle it came to Waynesboro before they started showing it on the late-late TV shows. ORIENTBREEZE -Askold Ladonko The mailing comments on ORIENTBREEZE #7 were so interesting, I couldn't wait to see a copy of your zine; and I wasn't disappointed when No. 8 came to hand. Enjoyed the "What Tourists Will Never See" article, and appreciated your word picture of Venezuela. Could not resist a smile, either, at your portrait of tourists. As a part of our vacation trip, we visited Brookgreen Gardens, near Myrtle Beach, S. C., a spot of incomparable beauty in my estimation. Huge, old live-oaks line the pathways, all the trees drip with moss, giving the entire garden a mystic, aged look; little pools reflect classic statues, and waren waterlillies, which Goldberry herself would find a delight, float on their surface; benches, set along the paths in shady bowers, invited quiet contemplation. But more fun, if your sense of humor is in good working order, is to sit on those benches and watch the tourists go by almost at a run, usually dragging two or three squalling kids along, looking neither right nor left. At intervals, frequent enough to supply the relatives back home with evidence of the visit, they stop to take a hasty snapshot. There is no danger lurking in the Gardens, as might be an excuse for the Venezuelian visitors to pass up some of the beauties. No, tourists will never see their own, safe homeland. I couldn't help but think as I watched them in South Carolina that if the average tourist acts that way abroad, it is no wonder they write "Yankee, Go Home," on their buildings. Yes, I recognize and respect the name of Gandhi, and I daresay most of fandom does, too. I have rather a high opinion of fandom as being well-read, alert people. Let's be conceited and say we're "above average." But [page 45] it's not surprising that the average tourist might not recognize the name of Gandhi when they can't even read a "Do Not Litter" sign in a place of beauty. SANDRALYNN - Ned Brooks I liked it! (It had my name in it.) Do you really test different settings on your typer? Me, when I get a new machine I set it on the highest setting (10 for my Smith-Corona electric) and for the hardest touch, and there it stays for the life of the machine. Of course, the way these masters run off may not speak so well for my technique. Guess it's rebellion from office management jobs and teaching of office practice, where you carefully explain the importance of the settings for maximum efficiency. Frankly, I can never see much difference (I hope none of my students and stenographers read this!). I also gleaned that you like Simon & Garfunkle. . .suppose you have their album "Bookends," which I adore. Just trying to think of something to put on that tape I owe you. . . VOMBIS - Roy Tackett Really enjoyed the biographical sketch. You're right--it's amazing how you can correspond with people for months and not find out anything about them as _persons_. As a matter of fact, it is a little shattering to think you are writing to a wise, well-matured (old, that is) sage with an astounding vocabulary, a reading background to put your own to shame. . .and then it slips that he's a 16-year-old high school kid! Not that I mind--some of my best friends are 16-year-old high school kids--it's just that I like to KNOW! BOTKIAN WEAPON - Pat Barnwell Glad to see another ditto zine in the mailing, and enjoyed the art. Yes, I do remember "Outer Limits," Pat. As a matter of fact, I still watch the reruns on Sunday afternoon, and I regretted its demise. Sometimes I read a favorite SF story, and think how nice it would be if, say, Andre Norton's "Witchworld" series could be televised-- and then I think twice and hope TV never gets hold of it. Wouldn't the ERB Martian books be a marvelous TV series? Don't answer that. . . think what they did to Tarzan. Oh well, the movies seem to be getting some idea of what SF can be like. . .maybe TV will discover it one of these days. Keep up the good work, Pat of Patton Pa.! [page 46] GUANO - Art Hayes Everyone else criticizes Roytao, so I'll have to chastize him about here. . .for putting three (3) copies of GUANO in my #37 folder. Question for the OE: Do I have to comment three times? Re the OE making the operational rules under which N'APA would operate, I wonder if anyone who hasn't been OE would be able to give a good set of rules as a part of his platform. Often I know exactly how I am going to teach a class--but when I get into the classroom with a particular group and an individual "atmosphere", I have to change my lesson plans completely. I even knew exactly how I was going to publish a fanzine--until I started to put out the first issue and found my plans weren't as good as I thought they were. Wouldn't any OE find himself in the same position, perhaps-- something that sounded good in a platform wouldn't work out so well in actual practice. We might find the classic politician with an inspiring platform elected as OE, and, like the classic politician, the platform would vaporize once the election was over. I agree that the OE should have room in which to operete, but that freedom should be based on trust of the individual elected. From the standpoint of a faned, who knows how annoying things like personal business and jobs and even illness, can interfere with deadlines, postmailings seem like a good thing. However, I can see how they would drive an OE wiggy. . .we ought to try to walk in the other man's moccasins before we condemn him. Besides, the excellence of the No. 37 mailing leads me to believe that we are more interested in publishing z1nes than dissecting by-laws. THE SEEDLING - Evelyn Lief "Escape"--very well written, but the climax given away by your cover illustration. Enjoyed reading about Lunacon, and your review of 2001. As I said, I haven't seen it yet, but feel that I have read so many reviews of it that I will be familiar with the picture when I see it, and might even get the feeling that I've "been there before." I have a copy of the paperback (Signet Q3580 - 95ยข) so I suppose I will read that before seeing the film--I should be thoroughly indoctrinated by then. "I Hear a Child Dying"--Very moving, but, no, I'm not responsible. After the emotion-packed days after the King and Kennedy assinations I did feel a deep personal responsibility and guilt, a guilt for being a part of a society which would spawn [page 47] such killers, which would tolerate such disregard for human life. I saw all the bleak and terrible things about the world in which we live, and wondered where my parents had failed, and where I had failed, and whether, with the backgrounds they had, our children would fail in this lawless, warring, hating world. And then my thinking changed to something more positive. . .perhaps explained if I go on to your "A Black Man's Peace:" I believe in God, the same one that Martin Luther King (and Robert Kennedy, for that matter) believed in, and I serve Him in my way; I work for man, in that I work at my home and my job, in educating my child and (I hope) other people's children to their responsibilities as citizens and participants in our world today; I work for peace, although I have no headlines and no publicized marches and demonstrations to prove this statement; I am not black, but I sincerely feel that I love my fellow-men. Perhaps here is my flaw as a person, however; I will qualify that last statement-- I love my fellow-men when they make some attempt to be worthy of love. Even the God I serve sets down certain pointers to guide conduct that is worthy of His love. I cannot love those who kill and rob under the guise of freedom. I cannot love those who make no attempt to help themselves, but expect me to work for their welfare. I cannot love those who use other people for their own profit and greed. So, after all, I have to admit that I do not love all men. If that is my responsibilty for war and murder in our world today, then I am responsible. PATHAN - Paul Doerr Glad to see an ERB zine, as I'm fast becoming a real fan. Would you believe it? I didn't know until a short while ago that he wrote anything but Tarzan stories! Recently, I've been dashing around trying to collect all of his stuff, and enjoying it thoroughly. What an imagination! Will look forward to watching your zine develop. . .but, puleaazze, a little less ink feed on the mimeo or a thicker paper. At this rate I Will have to charge you for new bifocals! Lotza luck. . . UN-NAMED - Janie Lamb Liked the cuddely little whattzit on your contents page, and enjoyed your natterings. I'm going to have to quit these long-winded @long winded@ comments on everybody's zine, before HOOM ends up too thick to staple! Everyone had such fabulous zines this time, tho @though@, it is a temptation to read them all over again as I go through to make comments. I liked the W. G. Bliss story--have just gotten acquainted with Bill, and hope he will do a story for HOOM one of these days. [page 48] QWERT - John Godwin Hmmmm, I like that title--even _I_ can type it without making an error. I was overjoyed to see so many NO. 1 issues in this mailing. . .buoyed up my confidence as a new N'APA member, and all that. Until, that is, I got a look at the competition! Liked your art, especially. And your round-robin story. You should see the one Frank Lunney, Bob Roehm, Ed Reed, Leonid Doroschenko and I are writing. . .but, no, I'm having too much fun in N'APA to let them throw me out for printing THAT! KAYMAR -K. Martin Carlson I was about to skip that "Einstein's Relativity" article, but decided in all loyalty to N'APA and Mailing #37 I would read it. Whatcha know? I could understand it. So THAT'S what relativity is all about! PEGASUS - Joanne Burger A very nicely produced ditto zine, and a lovely cover. I am grateful for your Science Fiction Books Published in 1968 index, and shall certainly cherish it for reference. Thoroughly enjoyed your description of the Hemisfair, and appreciate all the money you saved me. . .now I won''t have to visit it! Nice first ish, Joanne. TOME - Jan Jurgenssen It's getting trite to say "nice first ish," but it WAS. Where did all these talented eds appear from?! I'm trying to shorten down these comments, but can't resist a "thanks" for the words to "Donna, Donna." My Israeli tapespondent has sent me a recording, but in Hebrew, and I was most happy to get the translation. Love the music, as I do most Israel @Israeli@ folksongs. AND ALL THE REST. . .Every contribution in the #37 mailing was read and exclaimed over, so please don't feel slighted if I haven't made a mailing comment on your zine. It's just that space (and time) are at a premium. Will be looking forward to your mailing comments on HOOM, and will really feel initiated when the #38 mailing comes out. John Closson closed his last letter to me with the following, which I pass along to each and every one of you. "May the long time sun shine upon you All love surround you And the pure light within you Guide you all the way on. . ." (Mike Heron, The Incredible String Band)