LASFS (to me and many, pronounced “lahss fahss”; to June’s late husband Len rhyming with sass mass) was founded in 1934. Our memorial for her was June 28th. We meet every Thursday; it was our 4,220th. No one could take Our Gracious Host’s place, but I told him that if he couldn’t attend I’d take notes.
On the way I found classical-music radio Station KUSC broadcasting Chopin’s Waltz No. 9 (Op. 59 No. 1, 1835) “L’adieu” played by Garrick Ohlsson.
We’ve been renting the Null Space Labs in North Hollywood. We outgrew our third clubhouse, sold it, and are looking for a fourth. Our meetings start at 8 p.m. This time we thought we ought to serve snacks, so we did that starting at 6.
We’d had another blow that day: Harlan Ellison. He would have a separate memorial.
Club business didn’t take long. Usually a lot is monkey business. We left that out and went on to what the unusually large attendance had come for.
June’s oldest son Bob Konigsberg had been able to visit her from his home in Los Gatos three hundred fifty miles away. I’d sometimes found him at Moffatt House, serenading her. Tonight he told us she loved railroad songs, like “The Wabash Cannonball”.
A gadget in Bob’s hand, coupled with one Matthew Tepper had, let us hear from June’s daughter Caty, still on the road. It’s called Bluetooth, I muttered to Lee Gold, because you put it in your ear. You know it’s named for Harald Gormsson, she muttered back, quite rightly shushing me as I started to explain that the Greek dance Hasapikos (Turkish kasap, a butcher) is so called because sailors do it.
Caty told us she’d seen how much LASFS meant to her mom. As it happened no one broke into “Mutual Admiration Society” but we could have. June and Len were like that too. Caty thanked us all and said she heard us thanking her.
Barbara Gratz Harmon had married Jim Harmon about the time June married Len. They had double-dated. Len and Jim both died in 2010. Tonight Barbara talked about June.
Barbara lives in Burbank; the Moffatts lived in Downey. With Len and Jim gone, June spent Thursday nights after LASFS meetings at Barbara’s, and drove home the next day. Barbara is a cellist in several orchestras. When she had to practice late at night, June took out hearing aids and slept jes’ fine. When Barbara was on jury duty for five months, June had a key to the house. Barbara’s dog Leslie loved her.
June became unable to drive. She passed the written exam but couldn’t see well enough. Carol Sperling, among other things founder of the Blustering Gales, a local Sherlock Holmes club – detective fiction was another Moffatt interest – told us about taking June around.
George McUrso did some of that too. Eventually he had, as regular Thursday night passengers, June, Barbara, Charlie Jackson, and Rowan Dao (who was also the youngest Blustering Gale).
In 1991 George (then using the surname Mulligan) had been given the Evans-Freehafer Award for service to the LASFS; he was one of June and Len’s nominators when they were given the Evans-Freehafer in 1994.
Like Carol Sperling, he had other adventures driving June. They went to an Edgar Rice Burroughs fans’ Dum-Dum, and the Orange County Museum of Art. He learned what a great film Oklahoma! was. Once at Clubhouse III he was looking for The Mouse That Roared. After a while June thought it was time to go home. Just then our librarian Gavin Claypool emerged calling that he had it, and The Mouse on the Moon too. June said “Can we get out of here before he finds any more mice?”
Matthew Tepper said June had agented his Lzine when he lived in Minneapolis and San Francisco. She asked him to find music for Len’s LASFS memorial. Tonight he began to play it from a gadget he had – “No, that’s Mussorgsky” – then we heard “I Go Pogo”. The Moffatts were Pogo fans.
Barry Gold had found LASFS in 1964. June’s equanimity and aplomb, he said, had won her the name Mother Jaguar. June and Len made him feel he’d known them for ages. Near the end while visiting her he’d sung “Bouncing Potatoes” and told Bob Konigsberg how Poul Anderson was driven to write it.
Charlie Jackson said he’d just finished re-reading The Wind in the Willows when she died. Comments in her APA-L zine were headed “Onion-Sauce” (ch. 1). With Len and June, he said, as we agreed, seldom was heard a discouraging word.
Ed Green said there was no bigger heart than Len and June’s. They sponsored people, including him. A bright light had gone out.
I said – there was more, but I’ll stop here – Judaism taught that, whatever else after death there may be, the dead live in their good deeds. And we should take the torch.
(1) I KNOW, YOU’RE FROM THE SIXTIES! Somebody may be slipping drugs into the coffee at the Arizona Opera Company. Coming in October is their production of Hercules vs Vampires.
Hold on tight for an out of this world event! Hercules vs Vampires combines operatic singing and 1960s pop culture, synchronizing live music with the 1961 cult classic film, Hercules in the Haunted World. Watch as the original film, starring bodybuilder Reg Park and horror legend Christopher Lee, is projected above a live orchestra and singers performing the music to a new, original score. You’ll thrill as the mighty hero Hercules journeys through the underworld, battling fiendish monsters to rescue his beloved! Action packed, outlandish, and fun for the whole family, Hercules vs Vampires offers a fresh take on this gorgeously campy Technicolor world.
(2) BATMAN REMEMBERED. Adam West Day will be celebrated in the actor’s hometown — Walla Walla, Washington — on September 19.
He said proceeds will go to Camp Rainbow, a free camp in Idaho for children who have survived or are undergoing treatment for cancer and blood-related disease or disorders. West, who had a home in Idaho, was a vocal supporter of the camp.
Grant plans to wear his own Batman costume to the screening and is urging others to join him.
“This is bigger than just one fan,” Grant said. “This is a community getting together and doing something that should have been done long ago to honor someone that they love, and that they’re very proud of.”
[Maria] Turtschaninoff, who won the Finlandia Junior prize, is one of the most popular authors in Finnish literature today. She has had her book rights sold to over twenty countries and a movie has even been optioned. The first two books in her Red Abbey Chronicles series, Maresi and Naondel, have been called “feminist fantasy” by impressed reviewers.
“I’m not very interested in labels. I’m not that interested in messages either,” she says. “But I am a feminist, and an environmentalist, and a humanist, and all my values are reflected in what I write. And the mere fact that I am a woman who gets to write and who writes about women is inarguably a feminist action.”
Worldcon attendee Turtschaninoff says she is proud of the diversity in Finnish Weird, and says for such a small country Finnish writers have done quite well.
“From what I have seen, we in Finland are somewhat freed of the commercial expectations authors in, for instance, the Anglo-Saxon world face,” she continues. “This gives us some room to experiment, to go beyond what is expected. I believe Finland is fertile ground for bold, different and new voices and stories.”
(5) MEME OF THE DAY. A couple of SJW credentials have their own ideas about packing for the Worldcon.
White, who wrote the children’s classics “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little,” bought the 44-acre property overlooking Blue Hill Bay with his wife, Katharine, in 1933. He lived there until his death in 1985.
The Gallants, who also own a home in South Carolina, purchased it shortly after White’s death, and have lived half of each year there ever since. They are now in their 80s and plan to live full time in their single-level home in South Carolina.
The couple has tried to be respectful of White’s memory – and the history of the house – by updating the kitchen and refinishing the floors but otherwise leaving its character alone.
“They have not gentrified it,” said Martha Dischinger of Downeast Properties in Blue Hill. “They’ve not gone in and done weird things. They have made all the right improvements.”
The barn that was the setting for “Charlotte’s Web,” the beloved children’s book about a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with Charlotte the spider, is still there, including the famous rope swing whose motion was mimicked in White’s writing.
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
August 5, 1960 – William Castle’s 13 Ghosts brings “Illusion-O” to moviegoers.
August 5, 1988 — The Blob remake oozes into theaters.
August 5, 2011 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes premiered on this day.
Race these days is a kind of mental high-voltage power surge that is short-circuiting people’s minds. Do these writers really lack the imagination to see what creative direction Confederate is going to take? Every character, scene, and line of dialogue is going to be scrutinized, double-checked, and triple-checked to make sure it sends the message that white supremacy is evil. The primary creative risk for Confederate is not, as many commenters fear, that it will amount to alt-right white-supremacy porn but that it’ll be so focused on being the opposite of that it will keep pounding the same chords over and over. It’ll be so single-mindedly determined to prove it is on the morally correct side that it might be didactic and repetitive. A creative project that is principally concerned with selling the audience a political message (even one as unexceptionable as opposition to racism) risks being more of a sermon than a story.
(13) PERSON OF INTEREST. Chip Hitchcock theorizes: “It looks likely that the authorities have again gotten the wrong angle on a computer crime: Bail of $30,000 set for UK cyber expert Marcus Hutchins. To those of us who remember the mess the Secret Service tried to make of Steve Jackson Games, this sounds way too familiar.”
Ms Lobo said Mr Hutchins denied he was the author of the malware and said he would plead not guilty to all of the charges, which date between July 2014 and July 2015.
“He has dedicated his life to researching malware, not trying to harm people,” she said. “Use the internet for good is what he has done.
“He was completely shocked, this isn’t’ something he anticipated. He came here for a work-related conference and he was fully anticipating to go back home and had no reason to be fearful of coming or going from the United States.”
Mr Hutchins came to prominence in May this year after finding a “kill switch” to stop the WannaCry ransomeware attack that hit the NHS, as well as other organisations in 150 countries.
Mr Hutchins, who works for Los Angeles-based computer security firm Kryptos Logi, had been in Las Vegas to attend the Black Hat and Def Con cyber-security conferences.
He was arrested at Las Vegas airport minutes before he was due to fly home.
(14) THE SHIRT OFF THEIR BACK. Pulp Coming Attractions runs a weekly roundup about publications and products of interest to pulp collectors and fans. That’s where I spotted these magazine logo t-shirts —
Tavres, who scored six dates on MouseMingle, quit his full-time job as a technical program manager to work on the site. He’s close to finishing a mobile app and site redesign…..
MouseMingle is not just about finding love. Subscribers can also find friends and park pals.
“It’s not just about Disneyland, and it’s not specific,” Tavres said. “Everybody is welcome. I want people just to connect.”
“I couldn’t believe it when I learned couples were getting married from this site that I started,” said Tavres, who noted that Disney contacted and applauded him but added that he stress the website was an unofficial fan site unaffiliated with the Walt Disney Co. “I’m so happy for all of them.”
Tavres learned of the Guy wedding when Atwood-Knudson sent him an email thanking him for his creation.
Their wedding bands were set in three diamonds in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head and the character’s silhouette was featured in tabletop topiaries and as a cake topper.
The bride walked down the aisle to “Married Life” from “Up.” The new husband and wife left the ceremony to an orchestral version of “You’re Welcome” from “Moana,” shared their first dance to “Ma Belle Evangeline” from “The Princess and the Frog” and selected “Baby Mine” from “Dumbo” for the father-daughter number.
(19) FRANKENSTEIN LOVED GUACAMOLE. Do you find news like this anywhere else? Of course you don’t.
(20) BEETLEJUICE ANNIVERSARY COMING. Documentary for the Recently Deceased is an independent documentary about Tim Burton’s movie Beetlejuice. It will be available in 2018 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the film. Here’s a trailer —
[Thanks to Bruce D. Arthurs, JJ, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Charles Lee Jackson II, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
The anthology features some of the top names in science fiction, all past recipients of the award: Frank Kelly Freas, Forrest J Ackerman, John DeChancie, David Gerrold, Len Moffatt, C.L. Moore, Larry Niven, Fred Patten, Jerry Pournelle, and A.E. van Vogt.
The Forry Award, named after Forrest J Ackerman, has been presented by LASFS each year since 1966 to an individual for an outstanding achievement in the field.
Edited by Forry laureate Charles Lee Jackson, II, the volume includes fiction, non-fiction, art, and even a filk song, a cross-section of the talents of those who have been honored with the Forry Award.
The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society will soon release its first e-book, an anthology, Ad Astra and Beyond the Forry Award Anthology.
The anthology features some of the top names in science fiction: Frank Kelly Freas, Forrest J Ackerman, John DeChancie, David Gerrold, Len Moffatt, C.L. Moore, Larry Niven, Fred Patten, Jerry Pournelle, and A.E. van Vogt, all of whom are among the honourees of the “Forry Award”, presented each year since 1966 to an individual for an outstanding achievement in the field.
Edited by Forry laureate Charles Lee Jackson, II, the volume includes fiction, non-fiction, art, and even a filk song, a cross-section of the talents of those who have been honored with the Forry Award.
Forry Award winner Charles Lee Jackson II, who received his plaque during ceremonies at Loscon on November 27, sent along his acceptance speech:
Forry Ackerman would have been pleased that I’ve received this. He and I were friends for nigh on to forty-five years; in the ‘sixties I was a fan of his publications, and in the ‘nineties he was a fan of mine.
I expect I am receiving this not for the depth but for the breadth of my contributions to science fiction: the cartoons, comic books, short stories, novels, magazine articles, convention appearances, and work around the LASFS.
I consider this as both an honor and a challenge: I don’t want someone fifty years from now looking at the list of Forry laureates and saying, “I know Bradbury, and Heinlein… but who’s this pretentious jerk?” So I’ve got ten more books lined up for next year.
Thank you, Matthew, and my thanks to the LASFS, and to all of you for that fine round of applause.
Jackson’s books and stories are available on Amazon. To find out more about the fannish CLJII Empire of Entertainment, click here.
This year’s Forry Award was a tie between Jackson and Spider Robinson.
I am grattered and flatified to be able to report that I have tied with Charles Lee Jackson II for this year’s Forry Award, given out in memory of the late great Forrest J. Ackerman since 1966 by the members of LASFS, the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society.
It’s a lifetime-achievement honour, and the list of previous winners is so impressive I can’t resist reproducing it here… [Click for list.]
I have to say I’m in some damn fine company. Most of the gods of my personal pantheon are there. My only regret is that Jeanne can’t be here to share this with me.
My profound, sincere thanks to the members of LASFS. I look forward with great eagerness to receiving the plaque that I have read comes with the award, and I hope one day I’ll have an opportunity to view the special plaque in LASFS HQ on which I understand my name will now be inscribed with those above.
Spider Robinson and Charles Lee Jackson II have been voted the 2015 Forry Award, a lifetime achievement award presented by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The award is named after Forrest J Ackerman.
Debra Levin and Matthew Tepper wed in a Jewish ceremony at the LASFS clubhouse on June 30 in the presence of about 75 family members and friends.
A canopy lifted on four poles was carried into the main meeting room by members of the wedding party including John DeChancie and David Gerrold. The canopy was blue fabric with an elaborate yellow design.
The principals came forward in procession, Rabbi Marcia Minsky, who presided over the ceremony, Tepper in a top hat and black tuxedo, and Levin wearing a white wedding gown beautifully trimmed in lace.
Minsky was assisted by Mark Poliner. Tom Safer cued the music. Other participants included Joyce Sperling, Eylat Poliner, Charles Lee Jackson II and Jerry Pournelle, plus several more whose names I didn’t know.
At the appropriate point in the ceremony, various people had the honor of reading one of the seven blessings, in Hebrew if they were able, otherwise in English translation. Jerry Pournelle recited the third blessing in English: “Blessed are You, LORD, our God, sovereign of the universe, who creates man.” Barry and Lee Gold did a glorious job reading the lengthy seventh blessing, first in Hebrew, and then in translation.
Matthew waved off the applause that began when people thought the service had ended, because he still needed to stamp on the glass – then the couple was introduced and applause resumed.
LASFS officers figured prominently in the service. The groom is club president, while his bride is vice-president-elect. Marcia Minsky and Eylat Poliner, are co-vice-presidents, and Charles Lee Jackson II is a Special Advisor.
It was a great occasion, and a chance to greet some old friends including Elst and Carole Weinstein, Regina Renante, Marty Cantor, and quite a few of those named above.
Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society moved into its new clubhouse a year ago. They’ll be celebrating at the Science Fiction Showcase on September 23 where the following distinguished local sf personalities will speak:
Scientist Dr. James Busby
Film Maker Mike Donahue
Author David Gerrold
Author SP Hendrick
Emperor Charles Lee Jackson II
Author Larry Niven
Author / BNF: Fred Patten
Author Jerry Pournelle
Author Tim Powers
Humorist and Writer Phil Proctor
The event runs from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at 6012 Tyrone Avenue in Van Nuys. Admission is $10.
By John Hertz: If you thought an 89th-birthday party for Ray Bradbury at a bookshop would be crowded, you’d be right. If you thought it would be an occasion to buy his books and get them signed, you’d be right. As June Moffatt said when I reported by phone, these were good things.
Bookfellows, 238 N. Brand Bl., Glendale, CA 91203 (also called “Mystery and Imagination”, the name of their Website), is a new- and used-book shop with a fine s-f stock. The party started at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 22nd, Bradbury’s actual birthday. The Cosmic Joker keeps making me type “Bardbury”. This too may be a good thing.
On a giant greeting-card shopowners Christine & Malcolm Bell had written “You’re a living book”, so below I wrote “because you’ve set us all afire”. A chocolate cake with orange icing was decorated with a Jack-o’-lantern wearing eyeglasses. We all sang “Happy Birthday”.
Outside, which was no less crowded, only different, George Clayton Johnson was talking about heroes. I said, “You yourself are one of the heroes.” He said, “You’re observant as ever.” I bowed. He did too.
Inside, Matthew Tepper and Charles Lee Jackson II told me they hadn’t known about the party, just came looking for books. Tepper said, “This is the second time I’ve gone to a bookshop and found Ray Bradbury there.” It was so crowded Tepper took out a handphone and called Christine Bell to ask whether she had a book he wanted.
I told Jan Bender I was sad she hadn’t exhibited in the Worldcon Art Show at Montréal. She said she’d been daunted by the prospect of Customs problems. I asked if she’d tried the special procedure the Art Show had worked out, better, I’d heard, than Torcon III in 2003. She said she’d heard nothing from the Worldcon at all, indeed wondering if her Attending Membership payment had gotten lost, so that upon arriving she dutifully paid for an Attending Membership only to be asked farther down the line “Why do you want two Attending Memberships?”
Bo Derek brought Bradbury a birthday present, which shows how little I know about celebrities. It was a good party.
The FBI has exposed one of Boston’s “longest cons,” using fingerprints lifted off a wine glass and a 27-year-old immigration document to prove accused kidnapper Clark Rockefeller is really a serial fraud from West Germany.
FBI and Boston law enforcement officials announced yesterday that the bespectacled 47-year-old’s “true” identity is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, born in West Germany in 1961.
[Katherine Jacoby, Linda Sohus’ sister] said she is angry at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for not contacting her about the probe in which they identified Gerhartsreiter as a “person of interest” in her sister’s disappearance….
Police investigation expert Stacy Dittrich, a former Ohio detective who now works as a national crime consultant, agreed the sheriff’s department could have used dental records to identify the skeletal remains. “I just don’t understand why that hasn’t been done yet. That is the first thing that should have been done,” she said.
Homicide investigators have also received information from a Northern California art collector. He placed a phone call to Linda Sohus, asking about a painting he’d commissioned, possibly just a few hours before she disappeared. The PasadenaStar Newsreported on August 16:
Hours before she and her husband vanished 23 years ago, Linda Sohus seemed anxious, excited and frustrated….
“She basically said, ‘I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you,'” the art connoisseur recalled. “‘Things are just kind of crazy here. My husband’s gotten a job offer in New York and it looks like I’m going to have to move right away and I’m just running around like crazy.'”
Linda told the collector that her husband had taken a classified job working on a government satellite program, but couldn’t say more and quickly hung up. And then the newlywed couple vanished.
The Star News article also quotes Lydia Marano, Galen Tripp and Charles Lee Jackson II (current LASFS President).