Letters Column title illo by Sheryl Birkhead
{{ As we mentioned in our Opening Comments, this may be the final time we include a Letters Column in Mimosa. The next two issues will be 'Fanthology' issues, most likely higher in page count than any previous issue, so we'll need all the extra space we can get. It's possible we'll have a Letters Column in the final issue, Mimosa 30, but we're not ready to decide on that just yet. Nevertheless, we would still like to hear from our readers! Your comments are important feedback to the writers and artists who contribute to each issue, and we promise your comments will find their way back to our contributors. As for the letters we received commenting on Mimosa 26, the most popular topics were the cover art collaboration of Ian Gunn and Joe Mayhew, and the remembrances of Joe. We'll start there. }}

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Rodney Leighton, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, Canada
I seem to be having conflicting emotions about the pending end of Mimosa. I know, it's two years away but that's pending in fantime, is it not? On the one hand, I will miss these fabulous covers with the amazing detail and depictions of entire stories in a foldout page; on the other hand, I can use the 15 or 20 minutes I spend coggling at Mimosa covers to do something useful like reading an entire fanzine or something.

{{ We're guessing this issue's cover must have taken up about a couple of hour's worth of your time, at least! }}

One thing I can't quite figure out is why I always get choked up and emotional at some section of Mimosa. I mean, most of these folks who have died mean nothing to me personally. Joe Mayhew was kind enough to talk to me in a couple of fanzines. I don't know why I grieved for him. Certainly a remembrance of a person no longer with us in body can not be called the highlight of the issue. I did think that the section devoted to Joe, both your part {{ "Joe -- A Remembrance" }} and the essay by Kip Williams {{ "A Cup of Joe" }}, was the best part of this issue.

I also have some conflicting feelings about the photos you are now using. It was great to see that photo of Joe, although I had the eerie feeling that if one took off 50 pounds, many abilities and a large dose of geniality and added a large degree of grouchiness, one would be looking at a picture of me. It is always nice to see pictures of fans, giving me a face and figure to associate with what has been only names. On the other hand, you destroyed the image I have had of Leah Smith for about 10 years now. Interesting how when you create a mental image of a person that sometimes they look almost like that and sometimes very different. Joe looked a lot like I thought he did. Leah looks altogether different.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Marisol Ramos-Lum, Playa del Rey, California
I never met Joe Mayhew but I wish I had. There are so few people in library world (that I have met yet) that appreciate the value of fanzines and SF fandom. So it is sad to know that he has already passed away without me having a chance to meet someone so interesting. Joe seemed to have been a very nice person, whimsical and foremost talented cartoonists and writer. I thank you for writing about him, showing his art and sharing his writing. At least, this sampling made me feel that I have known him and I grieve for his passing.

I thoroughly enjoyed Forrest J Ackerman's piece about his house in the "Secret of the Ackermansion." Boy! I was salivating throughout the whole article. Being an information science student (a.k.a. library student and archives student) and a SF and Fantasy fan Forry's home is my dream home. May the Ghods let me accumulate such an awesome collection in the years to come.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Jon D. Swartz, Georgetown, Texas
My wife and I visited the Ackermansion back in the 1960s, and were lucky enough to be there on a Sunday when several SF writers were in attendance, including Bradbury and van Vogt. We got the grand tour, including the chair Lincoln had sat in, and Forry told us his 'read every last word' story. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that particular yarn, and was even quoted in a syndicated column by the columnist, a bibliophile who apparently had been asked the question himself a few times.

Sad to hear of the demise of Joe Mayhew. I believe I met him years ago when I spent a summer in residence at the Library of Congress working on my reference book, Handbook of Old-Time Radio. All the librarians there were most generous with their time and advice and helped me find my way around the LoCs extensive holdings. I remember vividly siting at a table in the Recorded Sound Division, surrounded by books I'd previously only heard about, thinking that I was in a researcher's heaven! A corner was devoted to area SF associations and their activities (maintained by Joe?). Alas, I was focused on completing my OTR research and had little time for SF or anything else.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Dave Rowe, Franklin, Indiana
The cover was bitter-sweet being started and completed by two great guys (and talents) that will not be seen again. I will always remember a letter from Ian which mentioned he was making a display for Melbourne SF Club about the Ditmar Awards: "Not that anybody seems to know what a Ditmar Winner is. Perhaps I should pin myself to the board."

Ron Bennett's writing about Jan Jansen {{ in "Lord of the Jumble" }} brought back memories of a mid-`70s convention in Belgium. Jan was already the grand old man of Benelux fandom and chaired a panel with one other Belgian and a couple of Britons. When he opened up the panel to the audience the first question asked was, "What do you think is the main difference between British and other European fandoms?"

"Isn't it obvious?" said Jan. "The British have got the beer with them." And they had.

That was the con where Rambling Jake Grigg flaked out on Rog Peyton's bed and Rog, being too much of a gentleman and a friend, refused to move him off even after the room parties had finished and so Rog went to sleep on the stairs for the night.

Next morning he hobbled into the refractory and in a tired voice murmured, "Ghod! I feel like I slept on the stairs all night."

With regard to Ron Bennett's letter of comment in the issue: Rog Peyton has at least one other connection with fanzines -- he put together a one-shot reprint of Bob Shaw's and Walt Willis' The Enchanted Duplicator with some really fine and individualistic illos by Andrew Stephenson. But I don't know if it ever saw the light of day.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Brad Foster, Irving, Texas
It was kind of a bitter-sweet feeling on pulling this one out of the envelope to see another wonderfully inventive Ian Gunn wraparound cover. I mean, so happy to see a new Ian piece, and yet sad too. There was only Ian's name on the front, but when I saw the contents page listed it as an Ian Gunn / Joe Mayhew drawing, well, I almost did cry when I read that. (I looked for some comments in the issue about how this collaboration came about, but could find none. Anything you could tell us about this next time?)

{{ Several months before he died, Ian told us he was working on a new cover for Mimosa that would be a sequel of sorts to his earlier 'Spaceport' cover that appeared on Mimosa 18. We scheduled it for Mimosa 24, but after completing maybe two-thirds of the drawing, Ian became too ill to finish it. After Ian's death, Karen Pender-Gunn sent us a photocopy of what he had been able to finish, but that might have been the end of it except for a chance comment in Joe's presence at a WSFA meeting about the partially-completed cover's existence. Joe immediately asked if he could look at it, and when he did he asked if he could finish it for Ian. Karen granted permission, and barely a month after that, we had the finished work in our possession. It was only a few months after that when Joe himself became terminally ill. We consider the M26 cover a tribute to the memories of both Ian and Joe. }}

The Quilt Museum you mentioned in your Opening Comments {{ "Summer" }} sounds very cool. I know I thought like most people about quilts up until a few years ago, that they were just large collections of colored squares, nice but no big deal. Then Cindy and I saw a TV show about a quilting convention, and the variety of approaches to the basic quilt were astonishing! Some took the graphical design nature of the whole thing to incredible extremes, some even looked like oil paintings. If we ever get a chance to check out the Museum, we definitely will.

Mike Resnick's memories of writing 'one hand wonders' {{ in "How I Single-Handedly Destroyed the Sex Book Field for Five Years and Never Even Got a Thank-You Note from the Legion of Decency" }} was fun. I got into that sub-sub-genre in a much smaller way in the seventies, when the stuff went from soft to hardcore, and if you tried to put in a plot, it usually got edited out! (I actually had the entire last chapter of my first book cut out when it was printed, since there was no sex in it. Wrapping up plot lines? Not really needed, I found out quickly!) I made a few much-needed bucks off the sales of a half-dozen or so novels, and had fun trying to come up with different ways of describing pretty much the same few actions over and over again. Rule number one of smut writing: never use one adjective when four will fit. My main recollection of my experiences plays against two of Mike's points -- I thought it was such a hoot to actually have something I had written get into print, I had to fight the editors to get my real name put on them, and I only managed to get it put on the last one printed. The other thing is his comment of dealing with men: I don't think I ever spoke to a male any of the times I called the companies. It seemed to me the entire industry must be run by women. Which made for odd, slightly stilted conversations the first time or two, until I realized they seemed to think it was as all a hoot as much as I did, and we got along fine.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Milt Stevens, Simi Valley, California
The first thing I noticed about the Gunn and Mayhew cover on Mimosa 26 was the duck bagpipe band walking across the front cover. After careful study of the entire cover (and it does deserve careful study), I discovered the bagpipe band was really made up of Sirian Jnr rather than ducks. They just happen to look like ducks. Elsewhere on the cover, I found what appears to be a punk gopher in a ballet costume and a three-eyed potato wearing a Stetson. That was about it for things I could semi-easily identify. Most of the other hotel guests fall into a category somewhere between unnameable and unspeakable.

I can identify with most of the feelings expressed by David B. Williams in "That Was Then, This Is Now." I was born a couple of years before he was, but I attended my first con a couple of years after he did. Since it was about the same period, I went through most of the same steps. However, after joining LASFS back in 1960, there was never any period when I thought I had severed connections with fandom. There were several periods when I wasn't actually doing anything about fandom at the moment. So I've sort of been gradualized by the changes that have occurred to science fiction and fandom over the last forty years. That doesn't stop me from feeling that not all of the changes have been good ones. There are times when things seem to be too big and too diverse. I haven't felt that I really knew what was going on in science fiction for a couple of decades, and there are many more fanzines than I can conceivably keep up with. At least, I don't feel like worrying that fanzines are going to die out anytime soon.

There is one thing that is constant through the last forty years. Fans are never happy about the prices they are paying at the moment. They certainly were not thirty years ago. At LACon I in 1972, a worldcon membership cost $10 at the door with hotel rooms going at $14 single and $16 double. Were fans happy? Of course not. There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the outrageous price of worldcon memberships.

There doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that the inflation of the last thirty years won't continue for the next thirty years. At that rate, by the time I am 90 in 2032, a worldcon membership will probably cost around $1000 with hotel rooms going for about the same rate per day. I can't say that I really expect to be still attending worldcons at age 90, but the reasons for not attending probably won't be economic.

Mike Resnick gives a change of pace from conventions with his description of his career as a porn broker. I'm not in the slightest surprised that Mike was able to single-handedly destroy the market for porn novels, but I've often wondered why the market existed in the first place. Once a porn publisher has a backlog of several hundred novels, why not just reissue them every few years with new titles, new covers, and new pseudonyms. Who would notice the difference?

Years ago, when Larry Shaw was editing porn in Southern California, I addressed this same question to him. He admitted that the same question had occurred to him. He had no idea why they didn't do it. Larry revealed one interesting thing about porn marketing. The company he worked for had test marketed selling the exact same book in different parts of the country with books sold in one part of the country priced two dollars more than the same book sold in a different part of the country. The more expensive volumes sold much better than the cheaper volumes. Porn buyers must think that more expensive equals dirtier. Some economist might be able to do a dissertation on the perverse demand curve for pornography.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Ted White, Falls Church, Virginia
I don't want to get into the habit of correcting Mike Resnick, but he seems to get a few details wrong in his otherwise entertaining pieces. This time it's his statement that Bill Hamling "was the former publisher of Amazing and Other Worlds."

Hamling was 'Managing Editor' of Ziff-Davis's Fantastic Adventures, the companion magazine to the pulp version of Amazing, in the late `40s. As such he was no doubt also editorially affiliated with Amazing (under Ray Palmer's editorship). But he was never Amazing's publisher.

When Palmer was getting ready to leave Amazing, FA, and Ziff-Davis in 1949, he set up a pseudononymous publishing company and editor for his new magazine, Other Worlds, for its first few issues -- until he had officially left Z-D and could put his own name on the magazine. Palmer was Other Worlds' only publisher throughout the `50s, however, riding the magazine down into a subscription-sales-only publication largely devoted to UFOs (it became Flying Saucers from Other Worlds) and the Shaver Mystery.

Ziff-Davis moved their offices from Chicago to New York City, and this caused Hamling to leave the company and set up his own magazine, Imagination. Because he started the magazine before leaving Z-D (following in Palmer's footsteps), the first few issues were 'published' by Palmer and looked like a sister to Other Worlds. This may be the cause of Resnick's confusion.

Hamling put out two stf mags in the `50s, Imagination and Imaginative Tales. Neither survived the decade and the death of American News. But in the mid-`50s he started Rogue, an imitation Playboy. Heffner had offered him a significant stake (maybe 50%) in Playboy at the time of its startup, but Hamling turned it down -- and kicked himself for it for years thereafter. Rogue was an attempt to make up for that mistake.

Hamling began publishing 'Nightstand' books -- soft-core porn novels -- around 1960. The series was created by Harlan Ellison and Bob Silverberg and virtually all its books were fed to it through the ***** ******** Literary Agency via black boxes (normal submissions were in gray boxes) and a Grand Central Station post office box. The books not only fetched an immediate $1,000 in payment, they earned royalties which Hamling paid promptly. In 1960 and 1961, Silverberg was writing a book every other week for this series, many of them published under the 'Don Elliott' pseudonym. Others writing these books included Larry Block and Don Westlake, and Block subsequently rewrote several of his as mystery novels. Harlan wrote the blurbs, earning around $50 for each book he blurbed, work which followed him to New York when he moved back in 1960 and stayed with me for several months.

I have no idea when Resnick entered the picture, but he was a latecomer to the sex-book biz. Most SF novels brought 'advances' (total payments) of only $1,000 in the early `60s, although an author could jack this up to $1,200 or $1,500 with later sales. But $500 for a book-length work was even then a pittance and I felt a mixture of pity and contempt for those whom I knew (including one notable ex-fan of the `50s) who actually wrote books for such payments. I wonder if those people were among Resnick's stable of hacks.

It was interesting to see Bill Mallardi in Mimosa {{in "Of Seabees, Moth-Girls and Heinlein -- Memories of Chicon III" }}. I first met him in 1961 on The Great Caravan to the Seattle Worldcon. There were half a dozen cars filled with fans who met each night at a specified stop-over, creating convention-like parties each night. This included a night in Yellowstone and a big party at Guy Terwilleger's in Boise, Idaho. I have only one quibble with his piece. He states that "Walt [Willis] and his wife Madeleine were attending the convention due to a Special Fund set up by Larry and Noreen Shaw."

The fact is that Les Gerber and I set up the Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund (TAWF), with the specific intention of bringing over Walt's wife with him this time. I wrote the letter to Walt proposing the whole idea to him, and I published the 'WAWish' of Void which kicked the campaign off. Les and I remained the titular heads of the Fund after we'd recruited Larry & Noreen to help with it. (We wanted someone older and more mature to handle the monies.) But it is undisputable that Larry & Noreen put the most work into the Fund, especially by launching Axe, a newszine, to help publicize the Fund. They were an indispensable part of the Fund and I don't want to take any credit away from them. But they didn't create or 'set up' the Fund.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

{{ Because there will be no Letters Column next issue, we're giving Mike Resnick a chance to reply to Earl Kemp's article in this issue that was, in a way, a response to Mike's earlier article. }}

Mike Resnick Cincinnati, Ohio
In answer to Earl Kemp's article in this issue:

Mea culpa. Hamling was indeed the editor, not publisher, of Amazing, and the magazine he published was Imagination, not Other Worlds. Got him briefly confused with Ray Palmer, who had his own publishing problems, but porno doesn't seem to have been one of them.

Rotsler himself told me in a letter that he was selling tons of illustrated books to Earl. He never suggested or explained that he was only doing the photography, on assignment from Earl. Comes to much the same thing; those books weren't selling on the quality of their prose, trust me.

It's been 30+ years since all this happened, and since I was selling to a dozen or more publishers and Earl worked only for Greenleaf, his memory of the events is probably better than mine. If Greenleaf didn't contact all the photographers directly, than Publishers Export or Dick Sherwin or Joe Sturman or Midwood or Bee-Line or Softcover or some combination of them did. All I know was that one day there was a viable market and the next day there wasn't.

I was in Reuben Sturman's office (he was the true kingpin of porn, well-connected with the Mafia, and my most regular employer from 1971-75; he died in the federal pen a few years ago) when word reached him that Greenleaf had just released a photo-illustrated edition of The Report of the President's Commission on Pornography. He announced with absolute certainty that Earl and Hamling were going down. I said I didn't see why, since the report was public domain and they'd published many photos that were just as strong. (This was post-Deep Throat and Screw Magazine.) He said it made no difference, that this was a slap in the government's face and that the Justice Department would never let them get away with it, and sure enough, Earl and Hamling both went to jail on some unlikely charge, something to do with some postal violation, as I recall. Earl then sold off all or part of his fanzine collection to help pay for his lawyers, and I picked up a complete run of Harlan Ellison's fanzine and some early Psychotics from him. I haven't heard from him from that day to this; I'm glad to know he's still alive and in good health.

There was another skiffy figure involved at the highest levels of the biz, and that was Milt Luros. If you look as Cosmic, the prozine Don Wollheim put out for no budget back around 1942 or 1943, you'll see one of the cover paintings is by Luros. Next time I heard of him was when I toured his printing plant in the Van Nuys area around 1970. He had 14 buildings, and the ability to print stuff as beautiful and difficult as National Geographic, but instead he specialized in porn. He was an old guy by then, under indictment in 8 or 9 states, and he kept free by never setting foot or doing business in any of those states. One day, when he was flying to Cleveland (Sturman's headquarters) for a conference, his plane ran into trouble (real or imagined, I don't think anyone who knows will say) and the second it touched down in Idaho the FBI came aboard and made him an offer: divest himself of the printing plant and all porn holdings within 90 days or spend the rest of his life behind bars. He got out in two months and vanished from sight. For all I know, the printing plant is still there, churning out TV Guide or Good Housekeeping or something of similar respectability.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Lloyd Penney, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Another wonderful cover, by two artists I truly miss, Ian Gunn and Joe Mayhew. Yvonne and I have been selling our 1998 CUFF trip report, and Joe Mayhew had been slated to be our illustrator. It's possible that our report was on his desk when he died. Joe's pastel green cremation urn was the honoured guest of a party at Chicon 2000; we spent a few quiet minutes and tears with Joe there, and toasted him. Joe was a seminary student in his youth, in Kitchener, Ontario. We never did find out why he traveled so far north to take in such learning, but that may be what attracted him to two particular Canadian fans at Worldcon. He seemed quite familiar with Yonge Street, Toronto's main north-south street in the downtown area, so we were able to tell him what was still there, and what had gone.

I'm a little younger than David B. Williams, but I do remember the 50¢ paperback (slightly higher in Canada). They were thin in comparison to today's paperbacks, perhaps 200 pages at maximum, but they were still complete stories, action-packed FTL jaunts into the unknown, with robots, brass-bra'd maidens, spunky professor's daughters, and BEMs. That was my personal Golden Age, and I got my goshwow fix on a regular basis. I also read about those amazing worldcons and dreamed about going. I wasn't working when I went to my first Worldcon (Chicon IV in 1982), but it was still affordable for me. Today, we scrimp and save to go because everything is expensive, and all prices are in those awfully expensive American dollars, too! If the Hyatt Regency Chicago hadn't fouled up our hotel bill to our great benefit, we might not have been able to afford to go to Philadelphia this year. I can't see being able to afford to go to San Jose, and even a local Worldcon like Torcon might be a real hardship to afford.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Roger Waddington Norton, Malton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Reading the article by David B. Williams leads me to poke my head above the parapet and acknowledge being another displaced `60s fan, from that fabled time when fandom was small enough to know everybody and (almost) read everything. I can accept all the awards, even all the different conventions; but my sticking point must be the wave upon wave of new books (and why are so many of them fantasies?); or, as I like to put it, "So much to read, so little time!" However much it may be keeping the genre in the public eye, there's just too much for one fan to keep up with, and I've had to give up trying.

In fact, we have something more in common; my introduction to the current sf magazines also came with the discovery of a shop that sold the lot; albeit of a slightly later vintage. It was during my London years, and my Store of Heart's Desire was in an alleyway just off the bottom of Tottenham Court Road. One half was given over to the glamour mags of the time (the innocent years, before today's gynecology) as well as films and slides; the other half had every sf magazine then being published, certainly all of David's list (except the Columbia titles) plus the British New Worlds and Science Fantasy. Looking back, I do tend to wonder which side was more profitable. Any way, my first was also a single purchase (the issue of Worlds of Tomorrow featuring World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven), but after that, it became a weekly stopoff point to see what had arrived on the shelves. And my pulp-style discovery? That must have been the Worlds of If pile rescued from a secondhand booksellers in York, unless it was the pile of pristine, remaindered Astounding BREs I came across in a household goods shop in the centre of London. A shilling each, or three for 2/6d, in old money; I removed those week by week.

It seems a strange thing, but with my time machine of memories I can accept the worst with equanimity -- the roads not taken, the various upsets over the years -- except when it comes to the sfional. Then, as just now, it brings what could be only described as heartache; a longing to go back, to recapture the first impact of those magazines, see them again all new and unsullied and read them now as I read them then, full of wonder. But then, wasn't it Thomas Wolfe who said you can't go home again?

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Sam Long, Springfield, Illinois
I enjoyed Dave Williams' piece; it reminds me much of my own fannish history, save that I wasn't into pulps etc. as a kid in the `50s, and didn't meet Tucker until the `70s. I started in SF by watching Tom Corbett, Space Cadet on TV in the early `50s, and went on to movies (I remember cringing and covering my face with my hands when the Id Monster appeared in Forbidden Planet, for example), before I actually started reading SF in my teens. I do remember, though, one more-or-less SF children's book that I found in the school library and read in about the third grade. The title was The Spaceship Under the Apple Tree [1952], and it was the first of a series of children's books by (as I have since found out from the Internet) Louis Slobodkin. My Internet inquiries tell me that TSUtAT is fondly remembered by many folk of my generation; but, though I remember the title, I don't remember anything else about the book. I know that a kid (a young boy, I think) meets, and has adventures with, an alien whose spaceship -- it may have been a flying saucer -- has landed under the apple tree in the title, but that's all. I'd like to read (not necessarily own) it again 50 years on, just for fun. I note that copies are available via Amazon.com for from about $20 up to nearly $200 -- along with many other books written and/or illustrated by Slobodkin. *Sigh!* "Nostalgia ain't what it used to be."

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Patrick McGuire, Columbia, Maryland
In your Opening Comments, I enjoyed the description of your travels, especially of Metropolis, Illinois, the official home town of Superman. (We will pass quickly over the point that the place really sounds more like Smallville.) Shortly thereafter you mention Central City, Kentucky. Isn't Central City where The Flash used to hang out?

{{ Yes, but apparently not the one in Kentucky. From what we saw of it, nothing there seems to move very quickly. }}

I had seen Joe Mayhew around in fandom since the early or mid-seventies, and have attended parties and other events where he was also present; I imagine we must have spoken a bit over the years, although I can't recall specifics. I know we exchanged opinions via fanzine lettercols. Even outside of fandom, I once knew a coworker of his from the mundane world, another librarian at the Library of Congress. Our circles, however, never really coincided, and I did not even learn of his death until several weeks after it happened. Many things in the reminiscences published after his death make me wish I'd known him better but he often displayed a rather off-putting manner, both in person and in print. Perhaps I would have gotten past it if our paths had crossed more often.

John Hertz {{ in "The English Regency and Me" }} puts forward together four non-sf phenomena as comparable in their impact on fandom: Georgette Heyer, Walt Kelly, Ernie Kovacs, and Patrick O'Brian. I am surprised that John does not go on to notice that O'Brian, like Heyer, is set in the Regency: most of the O'Brian books take place in the Regency strictly so called (1811-1820), and all of the Aubrey-Maturin books are set within the expanded sense that John offers. There is probably a fan-sociological insight lurking in there somewhere.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Pamela Boal, Charlton Heights, Wantage, Oxon, United Kingdom
Hard to say which item most sticks in my memory, possibly John Hertz's "The English Regency and Me." To someone who has been around fandom for over thirty years, seen fads and topics come and go, it is good to know that there are parts of the richness and variety of fannish interests still to discover.

I attended Seacon `79 and yet completely missed the Regency costumes and never heard of the dancing. Although our correspondence tends to be erratic and spasmodic, Judy Blish, who attended the 1972 tea, is a dear friend (who shall be taken to task for never mentioning the matter) and I have met or at the very least read items by or about all those involved. Yet this fascinating and yes very fannish interest has through lack of knowledge passed me by. The chances of my now witnessing this courtly phenomena are low but long may it continue.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Ron Bennett, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
That is a terrific wrap-around cover by Ian Gunn and Joe Mayhew (wonder which of them did what) and with more reading matter and references than many an entire fanzine. I don't think I'd hang around for the bagpipe band, though, thanks all the same.

{{ Much of Joe's contribution was the upper two-thirds of the back cover. We were impressed by his ability to seamlessly blend his work into what Ian had left uncompleted. }}

Fitting tributes to Joe Mayhew. Strange, isn't it, that there are enclaves of fans around whose names filter through from time to time to other enclaves, so that one is, well, simply aware of their existence without really knowing them and suddenly, zonk! They're gone, leaving behind sadness for those who've known them well. Perhaps we should insist that we don't get to know people?

That's a super trip report, in your Opening Comments, with the visits to all those different museums. I'll bet you're inundated with people telling you all about their childhoodities, reading Superman, Batman, and, for all I know, Foxy Grandpa, Little Nemo, and even The Yellow Kid. I'll desist. It's still a sore point how my father dumped my comic book collection after having received a note from my class teacher to the effect that it might be an idea if I went to school to study rather than to swap comics. "You think you're going to grow up and make a living from comic books?" stormed my father, which, as I later became one of the country's first comic book retailers, was rather ironic.

But I am a museum freak, I suppose. Strangely, I can't rustle up any enthusiasm for visiting a museum for the first time... until I'm actually in the place. I'm sure that it is more than more coincidence, then, that the museum theme is continued in the mouth-watering piece, definitely all too short, by Forry with his tour of the Ackermansion. Wow, a personalised tour through such halls of treasures has to be the highlight of one's funnish existence. Just the thought of a complete run of Weird Tales alone is mind blowing thought... and then... everything else! One's cup surely runs over.

I loved "That Was Then, This Is Now." David B. Williams has a smashing, informal readable style. David is wrong on one point, however, when he says that the pulps he'd bought in poor condition were not "the kind of stock offered to collectors." It depends on the collector. There are collectors around who simply want the magazine, in any readable condition, just as there are collectors around who want copies of magazines that don't even have an eye-track which might impair them. The only condition that doesn't seem to be wanted is the magazine that's turning to the paper equivalent of corn flakes. And, for all I know, there may be people out there who'll pay for those magazines, too.

As first a reader, then collector and eventually dealer, I was always impressed by the superior quality of Gnome Press' books presentation. Of course, I had no idea of the printing techniques involved nor of Dave Kyle's participation. I wonder how much a production such as Typewriter in the Sky or I, Robot would cost to set up like that today. In his article, Dave mentions so many great names whose reputations were fashioned on sheer quality. I'm forced to wonder, also, how many of today's readers and collectors appreciate their work. Or for that matter have even heard of many of these worthies.

Esther Cole's Chicon II penthouse suite {{ in "Stalking the Vampire" }} sounds like a place in which one could have housed an entire 1950s British convention and have room (or rooms, if you prefer) to spare. Loved the bit about the poor woman trapping her head in the elevator door.

{{ That lady was (and still is) G.M. Carr, who was noteworthy then for her feistiness and tendency to easily become involved in quarrels. The incident caused Max Keasler, one of the more prominent fans of that time, to make the comment, "I hope the hotel doesn't sue!" }}

Roger Sims' memories of Chicon II {{ in "Remembrances of Chicon II" }} reveals the source of the story I've heard (and told, too) several times over the years, the Willy Ley "Villey or Villey" quote. So that's where it comes from! So that's who asked the question! See? Fan history magazines have their value (you should publish one!).

{{ So we'd been told... }}

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Steve Sneyd, Almondbury, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Intriguing proof how 'history' is a maze of divergent paths from different viewpoints -- Esther Cole says 350 people or "most of the conventioneers" came to the San Francisco penthouse suite at Chicon II in 1952, while the heading to Roger Sims' piece says there were "almost 900 attendees" at that same Chicon. And then medieval and classical chroniclers get criticised as poor historians for their divergent estimates of numbers in various armies!

{{ The 'official' number of attendees at Chicon II was 870. But if 350 people had been camping out in our suite for much of the weekend, we guess it would be easy to believe that it was just about the entire convention! }}

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Ian Stockdale, Palo Alto, California
Having lived in Chicago, I especially enjoyed that portion of your Opening Comments. Your account of the other parts of your journey was also engaging; looking at the juxtaposition of of photographs, I wondered if Superman was about to pick up the largest baseball bat in the world.

It was interesting to compare the various convention memories with current experience. Ron Bennett mentioned the 11:00am start of programming at various Eastercons. This, to my ears at least, sounds much more reasonable than the daily 8:30am start at Chicon 2000 (though a morning person might disagree, of course). Roger Sims recalls attending the entire program at an earlier Chicon. While that is no longer possible at a worldcon, there are still small conventions where it is both do-able and worthwhile. An example of that was the most recent Potlatch in San Francisco, which had a single track of all-around interesting and engaging panels. Many of them focused on (or at least touched on) Sturgeon's work, including a mention of his guitar playing (also mentioned in Bill Mallardi's article) and musicianship.

Regency dancing has been one of the 'must dos' since we started attending worldcons. It was interesting to read John Hertz's account of the background that lead to this admirable institution. I recall talking to fans back in the late 1970s, and hearing that Regency dancing was "of course" a regular feature of conventions. I didn't know too much about fandom, aside from the fact that it largely consisted of people who liked science fiction. The connection with Regency dancing seemed surprising, but refreshing. Unfortunately, it was over fifteen years before Ruth and I made it to a worldcon -- and the Regency dance at Worldcon -- but we've only missed one since.

I agree with John on the relative merits of the afternoon and evening schedules. The last several U.S. worldcons have scheduled the dance in the after noon, and we've ended up dashing (sometimes several city blocks) about from programming or staff duties to the dance and then back for dinner before the Masquerade. It's much more civilized to wait until after dinner, change into dance attire, dance, and then go on to the parties.

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

David B. Williams, Whitestown, Indiana
As I was reading your Opening Comments, I turned the page and the photo of a hectograph paralyzed me with fear. Your mention that, "It made us nostalgic for the past, but at the same time grateful we live in the present" hardly conveys the Lovecraftian horror these appalling devices should inspire. The worldcon demonstration was deceiving because the room was air conditioned. I still shudder when I recall a hot afternoon in St. Louis when I spread a sheet of paper on the gelatinous bed of a hectograph. When I peeled the paper off, it lifted not only the purple text but also a quarter inch of soft, quivering ooze. The hectograph could only be considered a practical method of reproduction by a slime mold.

At any rate, while I share the universal dismay at your intention to fold Mimosa with issue 30 (a canonical number, to be sure), I could take some solace in the event if it gave Rich the time and energy to polish up his history of fandom in the 1960s. I have learned more from the mere outline than I knew when I was actually experiencing the decade.

{{ Rich's 1960s outline is still a work-in-progress as of this writing. A major update is in the works soon, though. For those who would like to see where it presently stands, the web address is: http://jophan.org/1960s/ }}

In addition, consider the possibilities for creating the legend of a 'lost' issue 31, composed but never published. In issue 30 you could print a list of supposed content for the next issue, and faithful readers can tickle their wits to come up with the fabulous items. For example, the Rotsler cartoon that gave breast implants a bad name; "Fandom on a Nickel a Week," the travel memoirs of Claude Degler; and "FIJAGH!" by Charles N. Brown, reprinted from the final issue of Locus.

Who knows, the imaginary content might get you excited enough to keep publishing!

- - - - - - - - - -

We Also Heard From:
Harry Andruschak, Catherine Asaro, Eloise Beltz-Decker, John Berry, Bill Bowers, Ron Clarke, Carolyn Clink, Juanita Coulson, Chester Cuthbert, Ahrvid Engholm, Sean Russell Friend, Steve Green, Teddy Harvia, John Hertz, Ben Indick, Terry Jeeves, Robert S. Kennedy, Irv Koch, Erica Maria Lacey, Hope Leibowitz, Robert Lichtman, Eric Lindsay, Joseph Major, Lisa Major, Bill Mallardi, Karen Pender-Gunn, Derek Pickles, Charlotte Proctor, Thomas Recktenwald, David Shallcross, Noreen Shaw, Alex Slate, Fred Smith, Dale Speirs, Gene Stewart, Alan Sullivan, John Teehan, Henry Welch, Art Widner, Charlie Williams, and Martin Morse Wooster. Thanks to one and all!

illo by William Rotsler and Alexis 

Title illustration by Sheryl Birkhead
All other illustrations by William Rotsler & Alexis Gilliland

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