It Goes On The Shelf

No.7 November 1990

Published at The Sign of the Purple Mouth by Ned Brooks
4817 Dean Lane, Lilburn GA 30047-4720
Website -

Cover art by Sheryl Birkhead
Bacover & p.10ff by Rick McCollum; Brad Foster art pp.6,7,9 & 13; Scientifantasy art, see p.4; p.11 art by Chuck Ermatinger. [NB - Yeah, I know the page numbers mean little in the HTML version.]

Hurricane Lily has passed us by and it's almost Halloween - even if it is in the high 80s during the day - so it must be time to get started on this year's issue. Will I still have a job when Congress gets done squabbling over the budget? Is it so warm because the Greenhouse Effect has cut in? Who did kill Laura Palmer? Is there any cover art in that big box where the IGOTS stuff accumulates? I dunno, am I getting senile? Probably, but I can't tell, why should I care?

One thing in the box is the typescript of a book by Mae Strelkov. This is the third of seven books about her childhood as the daughter of missionaries in China. She writes that her daughter in Canada has one book, and Buck Coulson another. She's interested in having them published - anybody out there have any ideas? I can make the text look sort of like a book, but promotion and distribution are beyond me on a non-sf book.

Arthur Machen - Selected Letters ed. by Roger Dobson, Godfrey Brangham, and R. A. Gilbert, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, England, 1988 (distributed in the US by Sterling Pub. Co., NY). I just got this a few weeks ago, I think my first order for it went astray, and I haven't finished reading it yet. A long overdue book, and well produced, with a number of photographs of Machen and his correspondents. The letters are arranged by correspondent, which seems a logical way to do it, and the first section consists of 40 years of letters to A. E. Waite. One rather misses having only one side of the correspondence! You might think that letters dating back to the turn of the century would make dull reading, but I found them fascinating. Most points that would be obscure to the reader are well covered in the footnotes. The price in pounds of the book is gives as 13.95, which would be about $24 from Sterling, if it can actually be obtained from them. My copy was kindly sent by Rita Tait at the Arthur Machen Society (19 Cross Street, Caerleon, Gwent, NP6 1AF, United Kingdom), in exchange for some copies of Guinevere and Lancelot, the Machen book I published nearly four years ago now - still in print though.

The Green Round Press (at the same address as the Machen Society, see above) has just reprinted Strange Roads/With the Gods in Spring by Arthur Machen in a very attractive hardcover. This is their first book, and the second, now in preparation, is The Memoirs of Purefoy Machen. Purefoy was Arthur Machen's wife, and this is the first I knew that she had written any memoirs. These are limited editions (350 copies of Strange Roads ) and I don't seem to have anything here that indicates the price. These two short essays (the whole book is only some 50 pages) are published here for the fourth time, all four of them quite limited editions. They are concerned with man's relationship to God and Nature, in a very indirect way. They can be read with great pleasure again and again, but don't expect to find any conclusion!

The Poor Mouth by Flann O'Brien, Picador/Pan, London, 1975. Illustrated by Ralph Steadman. This used pb just came in from Diane Fox down under in Down Under, who sents me odd books from time to time. It's hard to tell how much of the peripheral material here is true and how much is part of the joke! Flann O'Brien was one of the names used by Brian O'Nolan (the other was Myles na Gopaleen) - even I knew that - and it says here that he wrote this book in Gaelic as An Beal Bocht and it was published thus in 1941. The Poor Mouth (the phrase apparently meant the same in Ireland as it does in the Southern US) is the 1973 translation by a Patrick C. Power. But O'Brien (or O'Nolan) wrote in English himself - so why a translator? And how is it that both the title and the hero's name, Napoleon O'Coonassa both sound more like they came out of New Orleans than Dublin? Well, it is said to be a satirical novel - perhaps it would help if I had ever read whatever it is that is being satirized! As it is, the life story of O'Coonassa and his neighbors O'Bannassa and O'Loonassa seems rather pointlessly bizarre. The Steadman illustrations are nice.

There must be some internationally distributed index that lists IGOTS as being published by The Purple Mouth Press and gives my address - all quite correct. But what do they say about it that induces people in Nepal and Iran and Bulgaria to write and ask for a copy, and after I send one, I never hear from them again? What were they expecting? The latest such request comes from Mohsen Roshani, a `Senior Adviser' at "Tabage Yek" in Tehran, Iran. If any of you librarian types out there know how IGOTS is listed internationally, please send me a photocopy.

Out of curiosity I actually wrote to a few of the addresses listed in that massive compilation of weirdness, Factsheet Five - Gunderloy could be making it all up, right? One of the things that appeared in my mailbox was Dyslexic Catalog (Box 4763 Boulder, CO - 80306). I'm glad to see that DaDa is alive and well - as long as I don't have to try to understand it. Winterlong by Elizabeth Hand, Bantam/Spectra, NY, 1990, $4.95, 442pp. I suspect, judging from the author's explanation of why she wrote it, that I enjoyed this novel for all the wrong reasons! So sue me... It's a first novel (a sequel is in progress, to be called Aestival Tide ), with a bizarre and complex plot and an excellent (if occasionally obsessively repetitious) poetic style. The characters are rather psycho-sexual cyberpunk and the motivation not always clear, but the language and the plot flash right along.

Having lived in Chile as a child (age 8-15), I was curious when I ran across an address for a fanzine published there - Nadir, edited by Moises Hasson C. (Casilla 3657, Santiago, Chile) - and sent a copy of IGOTS offering a trade. Nadir (I recieved #9, published in Oct'88) is very much a typical genzine of the sort seen here in the 70s and 80s. Some 68 pages offset from typescript, about digest-size, all in Spanish. I can read Spanish well enough to get the sense of it, but not well enough any more to enjoy it as literature - it has been nearly 40 years since I read most of the Tarzan books in an Argentine edition. Reviews, fiction, essays and so on. The interior art is competent, and the cover (to which I can find no reference as to what is depicted) is excellent. The back cover is by the famous British illustrator W Heath Robinson, apparently from a pirated source, as his signature had been removed before Hasson copied it, but probably in the public domain now anyway, as it is at least 70 years since the original publication. A note from Hasson says that he finds IGOTS `strange' - well, I do my best... "Nadir" means the same in Spanish as in English, the opposite of `zenith', but the choice of title is not explained.

The Year of the Pigeons by John Moore, Collins, London, 1963. Illustrations and d/w by John Lawrence, 160pp. I think this is one of the books Richard Dalby sent me, but quite a while back. I ran across it in the bookcase by the bed and, like all of John Moore's books that I have read, enjoyed it very much. It's an account of what he saw of his corner of Gloucestershire, travelling mostly on horseback. Natural history, antiquities, local characters, the effects of modern chemical idiocies - great writing. I was intrigued to note a few typographical errors - rare in British books - which seemed to be of the sort that would be made setting type by hand. And yet the book is a mass-market (Moore is very popular in England) production from the 60s and sold for 18s, certainly less than $5, so it could hardly be letterpress.

I guess I'm just not in the mainstream of fanzine fandom any more - if I ever was. When I did It Comes in the Mail I certainly got more fanzines than I could shake a stick at (what an idiotic old idiom! ), but now I only hear about things later, and lucky to get them if at all. One such was the final, posthumous issue of Terry Carr's Innuendo (#12), which I particularly wanted for my Hannes Bok collection as it has a Bok cover completed by my old friend Steve Stiles. But it's a great zine altogether, full of delightful idiocy and great fanart on the traditional TwilTone. You might still get a copy if you sent $6 to Jerry Kaufman, 8738 First Avenue West, Seattle, WA - 98117. Find out what Walt Willis did to the Magna Carta...

Another fanzine I finally got and enjoyed very much is The Enchantment , Walt Willis' account of his trip to the US to be GoH at the 1988 TropiCon in Ft.Lauderdale.

Across The Wounded Galaxies - Interviews with Contemporary American Science Fiction Writers, ed. by Larry McCaffery, Univ. of Illinois Press, Urbana. What a great title, eh? And it's a nice d/w too, which is about all I can tell you. The d/w is all I have, and it doesn't even include a price. The writers listed are Benford, Burroughs (William), Butler, Delany, Disch, Gibson, LeGuin, Russ, Sterling, and Wolfe (Gene).

Dainis Bisenieks, who works for Owlswick Press, sends a handscrawl early draft of the jacket copy for a new "Dr. Eszterhazy" book by Avram Davidson - something to look forward to! A California Dreamer in King Henry's Court by Robert C. Plunkett, Silver Dawn Media, Simi Valley, CA, 1989, $16.95, 213pp 8vo hardcover in d/w by Tim Solliday. I don't like the dead-white paper, but the simulated leather binding is nice, and the d/w art is excellent. This is the first I had heard of Plunkett or Silver Dawn, but there is an endorsement on the back of the d/w by A. E. Van Vogt. They had my address from somewhere and sent a copy of the d/w, which was mangled by the PO in an odd way, so I asked for a review copy. The full address is 2828 Cochran St., Suite 301, Simi Valley, CA - 93065, and they ask for $1.75 p&h.

Why use a title that is an obvious pastiche from the famous Mark Twain novel? It is a time-travel fantasy, and it has some wit and social commentary. Twain it isn't, of course, and the author needs a better editor, but I must admit the thing kept me up too late reading it. The beginning is much the stronger part, a bit like something by John Bellairs, and the ending is very weak, really just a stop with no resolution. Perhaps a sequel is planned.

Art notes - [1] We take no responsibilty for damages caused by attaching a bookshelf to a wall as shown on the cover... [2] The Scientifantasy art, (see p.12) is by Jon Arfstrom (pp.2,5), Joe Krucher (pp.3,9),John Cockroft (p.4), Jack Gaughan (p.8), and Hannes Bok (p.12).

I might mention that this book has an annoying number of the sort of typographical errors that are only caused by computer typesetting. Whether these are due to operator error or computer glitches I cannot tell. I am only really familiar with the old FancyFont that this zine is set in, but I have used TeX at work some. Perhaps because of this and the fact that I read in bed with my glasses off (I am very nearsighted) I notice these things more than the average reader would.

I Was Robot (Utopia Now Possible) by Ernest Mann, Little Free Press, Cushing, MN, 1990, wraps, 320pp. This pb sells for $7.95 from Rt.1,Box 102, Cushing, MN-56443. This is a mixture of philosophy, autobiography, and his own peculiar economic theory. Quite well written at the sentence and paragraph level, it is rather chaotic in overall structure. "Ernest Mann" is not his real name, and the book is specifically not copyrighted. He is said to have made enough money in some unspecified business to retire at the age of 42, and has since devoted his time to philosophizing and his bizarre proposal for a economic utopia in which all goods and services would be free and everyone would work for nothing. I pointed out to him years ago that, besides the difficulties with this inherent in human nature, the capitalist economic system, with all its faults, works because it is also an information system - that is, for example, the production of Cadillacs is regulated by the feedback data on the number of people willing to pay that much for a car.

Mann also has some interesting conspiracy theories. He speculates, for example, that the popularity of violent movies is due to promotion by a deliberate conspiracy between Hollywood and the Government with the intent of inducing a high enough level of paranoia in the populace to suppress rebellion. I find this no more unlikely than my own theory that Hollywood and the tobacco companies were in collusion from the 1930s on to promote smoking by making sure that all the role-model characters in contemporary films were inevitably to be seen puffing away on cancer sticks.

Project Pride is a community effort in Cross Plains, Texas, to preserve the Robert E. Howard home as a local heritage museum that would also display Howard memorabilia. Contributions should be made payable to "Friends of the Library" and sent to Project Pride, Box 534, Cross Plains, TX - 76443.

Deborah Laine-Felts, a modern woman with no apparent address (on this sheet - maybe there was something on the envelope I have discarded long since) but both a phone (201-445-3450) and a fax (201-445-2924) notifies me that `Golden Age' comic books are now available on color microfiche at, it seems, under $6 each, maybe. Sounds like a great thing if that's what you are into, though I must say that every microfiche reader I ever tried to use was a snare and an abomination.

Writers of the Future, Vol.VI, ed. by Algis Budrys, Bridge Publications, Los Angeles, 1990, wraps, 409pp, illustrated by divers artists under the direction of Kelly Freas. A $4.95 mass market pb with a Frazetta cover. The interior art is quite good, however. I must admit I haven't gotten to the stories yet.

You probably didn't see it in your local fishwrapper, but after ten years of expensive litigation, the `Plowshares Eight', who entered a GE plant in King of Prussia (!), Pa., and symbolically damaged some nuclear missile nosecones, were found guilty and sentenced to `time served' (awaiting trial) - about 23 months each. The judge admitted that he finally came to believe that the defendants were sincere in their anti-war convictions. He must be rather slow - since the facts of the event were never in dispute and there was no concievable way the defendants could profit personally from their actions, what other motive could there have been?

Tand 3 is a book-sized (92pp anyway) fanzine in the old style (right down to the FiberTone paper) from Mark Manning, 1400 East Mercer #19, Seattle, WA - 98112. Mark specifically refuses to take money for this, though a long list of other acceptable inducements is given, including the usual copy of your own zine. Excellent art, especially by Patrick Wynne and Taral. Good thing this isn't a place where I review fanzines, I would probably go on too long about it. It's nearly a year old now and probably no longer available anyway. But it does refute Dave Hall's notion (in a recent letter) that there is no fandom left for Arnie Katz to rejoin...

Don't seem to have had many letters from IGOTS #6... Here's one from Alan Hecht, who actually encloses a $ and reminds me that I rejected his `xerographic art'. Well, yes - as I remember it was extremely abstract, and not, to my taste, even decorative. And it had large areas of black, which I could not have done with my mimeo equipment anyway. Now I have about decided to do IGOTS by xerox and use the mimeo for apazines, but I still don't care for this sort of abstract art. I don't insist that art be a picture `of something' - I rather like the dense patterns of Islamic and Celtic art - but these random lumps of light and dark that are apparently supposed to represent some psychological state or theory of composition leave me cold.

Adventures Unlimited, Box 22, Stelle, Illinois-60919, sends a nicely done catalog of utterly cockamamie books about Atlantis, the `face' on Mars, "alien bases" on the moon, and so on. They don't stop with books though - for the seriously demented with a few loose bucks there are tours to "attempt to reach" `El Moche Diablo' in Bolivia or the `lost city' of Colonel Fawcett (he lost it in 1925) in Brazil or the megalithic remains of a `gigantic temple' in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. No mention of how the explorers are to be protected from the drug dealers, guerillas, or local governments of these extremely doubtful places!

Number Dictionary by Bruno Furst, Memory & Concentration Studies, Chicago, 1946. And again in 1957... I suppose this little booklet must be part of some larger system, but the use or value of it is hard to imagine. It consists entirely of two sets of numbers, 00 through 099 and 1 through 1000 (in order), each followed by one or more words. The words for any number often start with the same letter, but not always. Not to choose a number at random, the number `666' is followed by the rather infrequently used words `hashish-ash' and `judgeship'. Some of the words are names - `Mitchell', for example, appears under `365'. A lot of these words, though of obvious meaning, would not turn up in conversation very often - "semi-shameful", "impaved", "maffick", "shadoof". Even I don't know what `shadoof' is. Other words are quite common. On the average, however, there are about 5 words per number, so there are only some 5000 words here altogether - a very limited vocabulary to include "maffick" and "shadoof"!

A David Spellman at Architectural Fantasies in Glendale, California, writes to ask if I sell or rent my mailing list - he must be desperate to find someone who wants a silly house! I can't remember if I bothered to answer, but I certainly would not.

Rusty Burke, 12510 Manor Court, Houston, TX-77072, writes at some length - "I've been meaning to drop you a line for some time now, to thank you for senting IGOTS, a wonderfully literate and amusing zine {Ah, egoboo! }. Never the best of correspondents (as certain long un-locced faneds can attest), I have for past year been so heavily involved in Howardian projects, both for REHUPA and for Necronomicon Press, that I've only gotten worse. However, one of those projects now has the salutary effect of impelling me to write, thus (I hope) keeping me on your mailing list.

First, the "business", then some comments on the last IGOTS: I've given your name and address to Billie Ruth Loving, the librarian in Cross Plains, as someone who might be interested in hearing about their project to turn REH's house into a museum, and who might be willing to get word to other fans. Basically, a local civic group up there, Project Pride, made arrangements to purchase the house, and are now seeking donations to help pay off the note (about $8500, I understand, which is peanuts in Houston terms - and we have a depressed real estate market), and to do some badly needed restoration work. I think if everybody who ever read and enjoyed a Howard story sent a buck, they'd have plenty of money for all the work they want to do. {See notice above for Project Pride address. }

It's a chance for the local community there to show that they do care about the hometown boy, and it's a chance for all of us who are fans of REH to do something concrete to keep his memory alive in Central Texas. A contribution of any size will no doubt be mightily appreciated. Fans might also want to consider joining Project Pride: membership's only $3 a year for individuals, $5 for families, and open to anyone. I'm signing up, as a way of supporting what they're doing for Howard, and because, hell, I really like Cross Plains. I've been there four or five times now, and will no doubt be back many more times: I like the country and the people.

So, you should be recieving some information from them soon, and I hope you'll be able to contribute a little something to the cause, and I especially hope you can help spread the word around to other fans. And if you have any other publicity ideas, I hope you'll let me or the Project Pride folks hear 'em. {Sounds like a worthy cause to me. I was never much for publicity ideas... I suppose it might be possible to produce some photos or other graphics of the locale. }

And now a thought or several inspired by IGOTS 6:
If you still have a copy of the REH Last Cat Book I'd like one - I have the original Howard Collector appearance but there's no rest for the completist.
I dunno, "Multnomah" {the press that did The C S Lewis Hoax, reviewed lastish } looks to me like it could be a Hebrew word. I can't find it in any of my references though - perhaps some obscure Biblical name {But not in Crudens Concordance - I see from the news about the Metzger trial that it's a county name in the Seattle area }.
It seems to me that about one-third of the books published these days are intended for the remainder tables - which raises some questions in my mind about the economics of book publishing. How come Bonanza can sell a 655-page book for less than half what a trade hardcover sells for?
I think I understand Stanley Fish (as quoted by Marc Ortlieb) - but then I've delved into Taoist and Buddhist thought. Probably just as well that you engineering types go on pretending that objective reality exists. Otherwise you'd give it up and go surfing, and we wouldn't have all these neat gizmos. {If this PC clone and the zines I produce on it and the books I comment on don't have `objective reality', it's certainly a very elaborate delusion!}

Regarding Harry Warner's comments about the dumping of library books: in all likelihood, the person charged with buying books for the library thinks there will be patrons interested in reading a particular tome (or using it, for reference books). Some prove to be limited (or no) interest to patrons (librarians are probably no better at prognostication than sports handicappers); others may have seen some action for a time, but have outlived the interest. The library thus turns the books over to AAUW for sale, the proceeds going to purchase newer books. As to why they get rid of some books that you, personally, think wonderful - well, where were you when the book was waiting to be checked out? {Selling excess books is certainly preferable to destroying them, as they do some places. I know I have seen books in libraries that it is unlikely anyone would ever want. With modern computer links, it should be possible to check and see if a book that no one has wanted lately, but that appears to be of possible value, is still available through Inter-Library Loan. I have gotten several very obscure things that way. }

I wonder if you or any of your readers can help me locate the following books by Donn Byrne: The Stranger's Banquet (Harper's, NY, 1919), The Foolish Matrons (Harper's, NY, 1920; Sampson Low, Marston, London, 1923), The Wind Bloweth (Century, NY, 1922; Sampson Low; Marston, London, 1922), Brother Saul (Century, NY, 1927; Sampson Low, Marston, London, 1927), Stories Without Women (Hearst's International Library, NY, 1915), Ireland, The Rock Whence I was Hewn (Little, Brown, Boston, 1929; Sampson Low, Marston, London, 1929). I am also interested in obtaining copies of magazines containing stories by, articles about, or reviews of work by Donn Byrne. {I see that I have an even dozen of the Byrne books, including both the British and US editions of The Wind Bloweth, can't remember now if I sent Rusty anything. The two I have read and enjoyed very much are Blind Raftery and Crusade. I have a reading copy of Blind Raftery to spare. }

Am sending off posthaste for Rants and Incendiary Tracts {Reviewed lastish }, which looks like my cup of bile. Enjoyed your sampler of vituperation, as well - {Hunter} Thompson is my favorite journalist, and Generation of Swine shows he hasn't lost his bite. {Aleister} Crowley's verse was delightfully splenetic. Tournier's piece was interesting, but I don't care enough about politics to waste the effort expended in shooting at politicians. The Archbishop of Glasgow was a pretty fair curser, all right (by the by, should you ever run across another copy of The Steel Bonnets {by MacDonald Fraser}, that's the last item I need - unless one counts the hardcover Flashmans I'd love to have but can't afford - for my George MacDonald Fraser collection), but the Irish are a match for the Scots in such matters. You might get a kick out of the following, an Irish rebel song called Nell Flaherty's Drake (`Nell Flaherty' is a code name for Ireland, the `drake' is Robert Emmett, hanged for leading an abortive uprising in 1803):

My name is Nell, quite candid I tell,
And I live near Cootehill, I will never deny;
I had a large drake, the truth for to spake
That my grandmother left me and she going to die.
He was wholesome and sound and he weighed twenty pound,
And the universe round I would roam for his sake;
But bad scram to the robber, be he drunken or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
That a ghost may him haunt in the dead of the night;
May his hen never lay, may his ass never bray,
May his goat fly away like an old paper kite.
That the flies and the fleas may the wretch ever tease,
And a bitter north breeze make him tremble and shake;
May an African bug build a nest in the lug
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be broke,
And to add to the joke, may his kettle ne'er boil;
May he ne'er rest in bed til the hour he is dead,
May he always be fed on goose grease and fish oil.
May he swell with the gout til his grinders fall out,
May he roar, bawl and shout with a horrid tooth ache;
May his temple wear horns and all his toes corns,
The scoundrel that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig,
May each nit in his wig be as large as a snail;
May his door have no latch, may his house have no thatch,
May his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his kale.
May every old faery from Cork to Dun Laoghaire
Dip him snug and hairy in some pond or lake,
Where the eel and the trout may dine on the snout
Of the hangman that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

May his dog yelp and growl with hunger and cold,
May his wife always scold til his brain goes astray;
May the curse of each hag who e'er carried a bag
Light on the wag till his beard it turns grey.
May monkeys still bite him and mad apes still fight him
And everyone slight him, asleep or awake;
May weasels still gnaw him and jackdaws still claw him,
The robber that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

(Lyrics from Blood on the Harp: Irish Rebel History In Ballad, Turlough Faolain, Whitston Pub. Co., Troy, NY, 1983, pp.434-5; `Dun Laoghaire', by the way, is pronounced "Dun Larry" or "Leary"). There are other verses I've heard, but you get the idea. {Hard to imagine this being sung casually, as in a pub, but it's a great curse... Rusty goes on a bit more yet (didn't you study for the ministry, Rusty?), but we gotta move on! }

At Midnight on the 31st of March by Josephine Young Case, Syracuse University Press, 1990, 144pp, frontis, wraps, $9.95. Or so it says on the flyer they sent me (address, 1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY-13244-5160; $2 for the first, 0.50 each additional book). I have the 1938 edition myself. A spooky booklength novel in verse about a small town that wakes up to find the rest of the world (as far as they can tell) has reverted to virgin wilderness. They note here that the story was done on radio and television in the '60s - I must have missed it.

Lightning Flashes and Electric Dashes, ed. anon., W. J. Johnston, New York, 1877, 144pp, illus. in woodcuts. This is subtitled "A Volume of Choice Telegraphic Literature, Humor, Fun, Wit and Wisdom" and is an anthology "contributed to by `All the principal writers in the ranks of telegraphic literature, as well as several well-known outsiders". Not one of these people have I ever heard of, but it's still a great book, full of the esoteric jargon and peculiar practices of the telegraphers who tied the country together before there were telephones or radio. The fiction and verse are in the ghastly turgid style of the period, but the technical material is clear enough. The Calahan woodcuts are wonderful cartoons. The final item is a parody of Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar called The Carnival of Oshkosh. The publisher apparently specialized in `telegraphic literature', as there are ads in the back for two magazines in the field, Oakum Pickings (literary) and The Operator (technical).

Don Franson (past president of the NFFF - I was a Director, but not as long as he was president, back in the days of Karo, when everything was stuck up) sends along two pages of fanzine reviews dated March'90 and mentions the apparent demise of the fanzine as a literary art form. Prove him wrong - send a copy of your fanzine to 6543 Babcock Avenue, North Hollywood, CA-91606.

The Illustrated Bradbury, by James Anderson, Niekas Publications, Center Harbor, NH, 1990, 56pp, illustrated by Larry Dickison, wraps, $5.95. This is saddle-bound along the 11-inch edge and only 4 inches wide. Address RFD 2, Box 63, Center Harbor, NH-03226-9729. Very technical literary criticism, and the art rather cold and stiff to my taste.

Obsessions by Anthony S. Magistrale, same publisher and format as above item. Illustrated by Robert H. Knox, 40pp, $3.95. This one is poetry, with an introduction by Robert Bloch. I don't find the poems very poetic, but some of them are funny stories. The art is excellently macabre.

A Book of Ordinary Writings by Vichien Poonvoralak, Bangkok, Thailand, 1989, 20pp, wraps. This arrived quite unsolicited and when I sent a copy of IGOTS and some comment, he sent another of the same. The rest of the address is `1387/6 Tak Sin Road, Bukkalo, Bangkok'. The pages are very sparsely printed, except for the first two, which provide a sort of bio/bibliography printed in black and red from 1973 through 1988, notes that he lived in England from 1982 to 1987 and has a math degree from the University of Warwick. As for the rest, it might as well be in Thai for all I can make of it. Rather depressing semi-paradoxes. He's only 37, perhaps he will get over it.

Bill Bridget (1022 North Runyan Drive, Chattanooga, TN-37405) sends a remarkable piece of fan-fold paper four sheets long, on which he has printed my letter to him of a year ago, his reply, and some computer graphics and the logo for a zine called The Incompleat Geometer, which all this is to be part of eventually, or Real Soon Now, which ever comes first. No sign of it yet. He either went to a lot of trouble taking paper in and out of the printer, or has some clever software, as these sheets are printed on both sides and in both directions. Since it is a galley of his fanzine, I can hardly reprint any of it here, but it's all about Aristotle and the Pythagoreans and the Gnostics and `pi' and naked drunks and, (though no one would expect it) the Spanish Inquisition.

Ken Slater (Box 23, Upwell, Wisbech, Cambs. PE14 9BU, England), the place to write for any British sf you might want, writes that "The March of Slime" mentioned in IGOTS#6 was a tape-play made by the Liverpool Insurgent, a spoof of fannish efforts to get to a convention. He says he isn't sure if it still exists - I can assure him that it does, Harry Warner sent me a tape of it!

Cathy Doyle (26 D Copeland Lane, Newport News, VA-23601) accuses me of buying up all the books (not that there were many) in the huckster room at the 1989 SciCon. This year, she says, a Richmond bookstore called Novel Futures is to have a table at the con with nothing but books! What a novel (Cathy's joke, I wouldn't say such a thing...) idea! I hope they make more money at it than I ever did!

Music of the Spheres by Lotus Ray King, Saint Germain Press, Chicago, 1943, 32pp, wraps. This book of sheet music is the third of a set published by the "I Am" movement, of which I know nothing much. The pieces in this one are "Oh Helios - The Dawn", "Lord Maha Chohan", and "Seven Mighty Elohim". I see that Donald Ray King and Godfrè Ray King are also involved in this business - I never knew before that the Theosophists had hymnbooks...

Hymn of Asia by L. Ron Hubbard, Church of Scientology, Los Angeles, 1974, illus. with color photos and uncreditted line art. Speaking of theosophy, here's ol' Elron as the fulfillment of the Buddhist prophecy that 2500 years after Buddha a "red-haired or golden-haired man would arise in the West to complete the job Buddha began". It's been so long they no longer know whether to spell the fellow's name `Metteya' or `Metteyya' or `Maitreya', but whatever, Mr Hubbard fills the bill, he shyly admits. Quite a large book, and nicely made, but the text very sparse pseudo-guru in large (but beautiful) type. The color photos are of rather sparse shrubbery, for the most part.

Chester D. Cuthbert (1104 Mulvey Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) writes at length about the Van Vogt book mentioned lastish, which I had sent him, and the Guaranteed Annual Income and mentions in passing that Ken Ozanne bought two copies of The Outsider as library discards in Minneapolis - and I thought there were fans in Minneapolis!

Harry Warner (423 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD-21740) notes that he has a tape of The March of Slime mentioned lastish (which he later sent me). He also makes fun of the Archbishop of Glasgow's spelling (Ghu will get you for that, Harry), noting that his curse of the border reivers "from the top of their head to the soil of their feet" is almost worthy of Rick Sneary, who no longer makes inspired typos because he uses a spell-checker. Maybe there's still hope for me, I refuse to have any stupid machine telling me how to spell.

Vanna Speaks by Vanna White, Books on Tape, Mississauga, Ontario, 1987, $9.95. I hope no one imagines that I bought this vile object, which defames the name of `book'. I got it at the office, one of those parties where everyone brings a gag gift. It boggles the mind to think who would have paid $10 (back in 1987, when money was still worth something) for this dismal thing - especially if they were in Minneapolis and could have gotten The Outsider at a library discard sale for much less.

Vern Clark (I'm not sure I have a current address since he moved from Florida to Maryland) writes, calling me `Uncle Ned', may his propellor-beanie seize up and twist his head off at the neck:

Thanks for the recent batch of fanzines. Interesting reading your political rantings. Always thought you were a Republican for some reason, obviously I was wrong {hooha... } about that. Don't get me wrong, but most people who work in the engineering profession are Republican. {Yeah, but I'm a physicist... } I sure get a lot of flack for my own liberal viewpoint and anti-Ollie North attitudes at times here at Martin Marietta. {Is this Naughty Marrietta's brother? }

Enclosed is some xeroxs {sic } of scattered artwork recently sent me by my friend Rick McCollum for use in my fanzines. I doubt the readership of my zines and yours is likely to cross paths, so you're welcome to use any of it in IGOTS. His address is 440 Warner Street, Cincinnati, Ohio-45219. {Lovely stuff too, I will use one or two of them, much thanks. }

By the way, the Bok piece in DREAMS #41 {Vern's REHUPA zine } was from a fanzine not mentioned in your Hannes Bok checklist. Would you like to see the zine? If so I'll give it to you. {Would I... Slobber, gasp, drool... Vern doesn't mention the name of the zine in this letter, but I see it must be:
Scientifantasy , Vol.1, #3, Spring 1949, edited by Bill Kroll and John Grossman in Des Moines, Iowa. In near-mint condition too! This zine is reduced offset from right-margin-justified typescript (uncommon at that time), 32 pages saddle-stapled in a tiny 4.25 by 5.5 inch format. Much excellent art too, Jon Arfstrom and Jack Gaughan besides the Bok. Three pieces of fiction, including one by the late Lin Carter, The Kings of Yu-Istam. I think I will snitch some of this art for fillos, there is no copyright notice and I can't imagine any of the people involved would mind after 40 years.

Ray Zorn writes to forgive me for misquoting him in IGOTS#6, he must be from the Age of Phisterus, gets to write his age with an 8 now... He asks if I lump John Moore in with Maurice Walsh and Donn Byrne - Walsh and Byrne are somewhat similar at their best, though Walsh wrote a lot more crap in my opinion. But Moore is mostly a nature writer and his novels very civilized and lacking in thud & blunder, though in Mid-Summer Meadow the reader can hardly help but wish that the good guys would roll up their sleeves, hoist the black flag, and bust a few heads.

Avram Davidson writes (also calling me `Uncle Ned'!): I know very well you didn't believe me about Terra Sigilata {Who, me - I believe twelve impossible things before breakfast everyday! }, you didn't exactly say so but the tone of scepticism was obvious. So I enclose a tearsheet from the current NAT'L GEOG showing some examples of what it looked like. True, they are not from Greece but Central America and nothing is said about aluminum silicate, but the principle is the same and only a pedant would quibble. {I seem to have lost the enclosure, but it was a photo of a clay tablet baked with a `sigil' impressed, eaten by pilgrims to a Catholic shrine in Central America - we had been discussing the eating of clay. } As it happens although when I lived in Belize (then British Honduras) I never heard of them, but I did hear about the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Esquipulas. A Gov't Medical Officer said to me, "Every time we get malaria irradicated, someone brings it back from the Pilgrimage to Esquipulas." That's what I call faith. The cultus of this Black Christ was flourishing amongst the Mestizo people (locally called "Panyas" - from Spaniards - but seldom to their faces as it had a certain derogatory implication), with many candles lit and much rum drunk. I am sure the existence of this Shrine and Cultus of a Black Christ will add ammo to the argument among some Black people that Jesus was Black (whereas the Christian Identity Church claims he was Anglo-Saxon), but the Belizeans gave another explanation, namely that long ago an old church burned down and miraculously a wooden crucifix was spared although it was blacked by the fire. They also added that "Esquipulas" means `blisters' - I do not express any opinion about this. {The Archko Volume quotes an Anglo-Saxonish description of Jesus by some contemporary writer. }

As for your kaolin {I had sent him some lab-grade powder from down near Macon, Georgia - I called the company who supplied it to determine the value before I discarded the 5-lb bag some researcher had left behind and learned that they give these bags away as samples - market value about 7 cents/lb }, we added it to a milkshake and it was perfectly delicious. It also cured scabs, scabies, falling hair, weak arches, and bumps on the testicles (see Pliny the Elder). {I can't quite see Pliny from here, but there was a fad (it recurred in Atlanta while I was in college there in the late 50s) for eating the white clay, of which this powder is the dehydrated dust, direct from the creek bank. }

I will ask you to return the enclosed clipping {Oh, that's why I don't find it... }, which now fetches 37 cents in good condition. Thank you for a recent fanzine, which had absolutely the worst fanzine cover art since the death of poor Phil Harrell, unkindly called the Crudzine King. {I didn't know you knew Harrell... The first zine I ever got from him certainly had a bad enough cover, his own depiction of the walking haystack called `The Harrelling BEM'.}

I have no more to add, and shall mail this in a furtive manner, as I am being shadowed by followers of the Christian Identity Church as well as agents of the Church of the Black Buddha...what?... you didn't know ? Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois assures us, in his little book, The Negro, c.1918, that those aren't either snails on the head of the Buddha in all the images and illoes, no-ho-ho: they are curls . I incline to think that this makes as much (or as little) sense as the story that there are snails on his enlightened pate (the snails crawled there to shade him). I hope you don't think I made that up about Dr. Du Bois, it is there in his little book, and despite the snails and a few other lapses from good sense, it is an interesting little book. I do not think that world Buddhism has been converted to the Negro notion, but this just goes to show you the power of prejudice. I didn't know there were Negroes in Nepal (birthplace of Gautama Siddhartha B.), but there's a lot I didn't know and don't know. So chain up your curb and get with it. {Aye aye, sir! }

Typing completed October 23, 1990 -

Merry Christmas to All
And a Happy New Year!

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