I've been seeing some interesting stamp tricks lately. John Boardman stuck a Puce Stamp on the lower left-hand corner of the envelope. The New York post office promptly cancelled the Puce stamp, leaving the postage stamps untouched. (Which proves that, contrary to Walt Kelly, Puce Stamps are not "absolutely worthless"; the New York post office considers them worth 5¢ apiece.) Margaret Gemignani had an even neater trick; she put her 5¢ Washington stamp on the upper left corner of the envelope. This evidently baffled the Rochester, N.Y. cancelling machinery; the cancellation is on the upper right-hand corner as usual and the stamp remains as good as new. Just goes to show that individual initiative can always defeat mechanical responses.
Dave Mason, an old Fanarchist (old Fanarchists never die, they just gafiate) is once again interested in fandom. Says he wants to receive fanzines, and will pay by "letters, material, drawings, or UGH money, or in a special artform of which I am a Dispenser, namely covers done in linoleum cut". Says he has a press for wood engraving and line cut. Sounds like a good deal for somebody. (Pauls, Boardman; if he lives up to his reputation -- I never knew him personally -- he should supply you with some good material.)
Rummaging thru some old fanzines, I ran across a copy of Dave Rike's FANZINE MATERIAL POOL NEWSLETTER. Is Rike still hanging on to the stuff he collected for that thing, or has someone taken it away from him by now? It lasted about as long as Rike's projects usually do.
Somebody (I can't recall who, and I've mislaid the blasted letter - probably find it 5 minutes after this issue is all stencilled) wrote to inform me that Nova Publications has a new address and that I had misinformed my readers by giving the address last issue. Since the address I gave is the one listed in NEW WORLDS #128 (March issue) and also the one used by Ted Carnell in his letter of information on the I.F.A., I somehow think that any currency sent to it will reach Nova eventually. Even if they have moved in the last couple of weeks. Also, several fans have mentioned that SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURES has folded, or will fold in the near future. Sorry to hear it, if true.
While trying to find the missive mentioned above, I did find one that I'd started to Sharon Towle two weeks ago and never finished. If I owe you a letter, just be patient; I'll get things straightened out eventually. (Probably during my two-week vacation in July, unless we go to Canada then.)
I've been rather skeptical about the alleged quality of EROS ever since it first came out. I've also made a few non-committal replies to enthusiastic correspondents who recommended Ginzburg's AN UNHURRIED VIEW OF EROTICA to me; it hardly seemed worth what they were charging for it. Now I see I have at least one erotic expert who agrees with me. We got an ad for a BIBLIOGEAPHY OF PROHIBITED BOOKS (a three-volume set for only $35 - goodness!) Excerpts from the introduction to this tome, by George Legman, are included in the advertising brochure. In a swipe at "hack items", Legman says: "I rather think that no one would refuse the palm to a curious item of less than one hundred pages of text, in large, more-than-readable type, plentifully ventilated with blank chapter-heads and irrelevant poetry, vanity-published -- and very well publicized -- in New York, 1958, by its author, a Mr. Ralph Ginzburg, at that time "junior editor" on the staff of Esquire magazine, and entitled in purest doublethink, An Unhurried View of Erotica, evidently a typographical error for "An Unheard-of View ...", which sets the all-time highwater mark for total and grotesque ignorance of this very difficult subject, combined with a delicious and insouciant journalistic retailing of historic lies, twice-told tales, phoney rumors, original nonsense, and agglomerated dreck. I understand that Mr. Ginzburg now publishes something called Eros."
Mr. Ginsburg is still putting out his own advertising, stressing that Eros is the first artistic treatment of sex and maintaining that previous to his brainchild the only publications dealing with the subject did so in a cheap manner. (Juanita wondered what Hugh Hefner was going to think of that crack.)
The whole thing reminds me of a bunch of fans squabbling over the relative merits of a couple of fanzines.
Along with the latest issue of his fanzine (reviewed next time) John Boardman sent along a pamphlet, PEOPLE WITH STRENGTH, published apparently by the Committee To Aid The Monroe Defendants, 168 West 23rd. St., New York 11, N.Y. This concerns the plight of the Negroes of Monroe, North Carolina, who shot back at the Ku Klux Klan members and are now charged with various crimes. It's pure propaganda (the writer slides neatly over the fact that the Negro leader is now a "political exile" in Cuba) but it's needed. I'm suspicious of Williams' motives; as far as I know, Argentina and various other South American countries do not have extradition agreements with the United States, so there was no need for him to pick Cuba unless he favored Communism. However, that is beside the point at the moment. The question is whether or not a Negro can get a fair trial in the south, and I doubt if many of our readers would have the gall to say "yes". Therefore, the Monroe Negroes will be convicted and have to appeal the decision. And appeals cost money. I am not (as the pamphlet-writer does) arguing that these defendents are innocent victims of racism. I do think that they deserve a fair trial, and I'm willing to send a couple of bucks along to help them get it. I would prefer to send it directly to one of the individuals involved -- I'm suspicious of Committee for this or that -- and I may just dig in a bit to find a name and address and do just that. But I am going to send something. The Committee sells three pamphlets for 35¢, if you're interested infinding out more about the case. Or just write them for information and maybe they'll send you one.
Recent reading here has included NO STONE UNTURNED, by Louis Brennan (remaindered at $1.98 in Milwaukee). This is a fascinating journal of American prehistory. Brennan seems to be a sort of archeological L. Sprague de Camp, propounding his theories with gusto and heaping sarcasm on his opponents,much to the delight of the spectators. He'd get along well with de Camp, too, as he exhorts for independent invention against diffusionism. (I agree with him, which increases my own joy in the book). While his major interest is in prehistoric humanity, some of his asides are interesting as well. Such as his theory that the sabre-tooth, with those long fangs and relatively poor chewing apparatus, was a blood-sucker. (How'd you like to get hit by a furry vampire the size of a sabre-tooth? There's the basis of a good adventure story, right there. Especially if, as Brennan speculates, the animal was disemboweling you with his rear feet at the same time.) Pleasant dreams. RSC
Data Entry by Judy Bemis
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