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issue eleven issue eleven

Welcome to the Freakshow This issue deals with my dealing with a bunch of peoples I’d rather not deal with while trying to enjoy my movie, music and reading. This time, it’s the music of a band that’s 1 part Kurt Wiel and one part Jello Biafra, the images of Eisenstein and the reading of...FAPA? That’s right, this is what I did the day after I had the FAPA packet land on my desk. Start Things Off Right Shannon, the excessively pregnant girl who was hired to answer phones for here at the Computer History Museum, waddled over to my desk and dropped off FAPA. I was so happy. With WorldCon right around the corner, and a ton of things to do, I had to make my time with the mailing as best I could and since WorldCon was only four days away, no hotel trip would be possible. But there’s always Gen’s Dad’s place. You see, Gen, as my ex, has allowed me to keep watch her daughter Evelyn. Evelyn is the favourite grandkid. Why? I’m not entirely sure other than she’s very cute and very funny and much less drama than the other kids. I also get the feeling that Gen is the favourite kid of her Dad, so it makes sense. When the Grandparents go away, they have Gen watch the house, and when Gen can’t do it, she asks me to do it. This happened to be one of those weekends and I would have the entire place to myself...unless I asked The New Girl, Jen, to come over and hang, which for some reason I didn’t I got off work around 4 and drove over to beautiful Los Gatos. LG is one of those towns that has beautiful houses, beautiful people and huge prices for everything. You need a second mortgage to get a gallon of gas (and don’t ask about home prices). I drove up Shannon Ave and passed Steve Wozniak, the man who designed the Apple ][. I’d met him several times at the museum and once at WorldCon, so I didn’t feel the need to stop and get an autograph or anything. Of course, I did see a couple in a van get out and get him to sign something as I turned the corner onto Hilow, whcih led to Rosalie, the court where the house was.

Joe Collonge is a real good guy. He’s Gen’s dad and has he’s been very nice to me, even after we broke up. They still invite me over for BBQs and family holidays. They own a lovely house at the base of Blossom Hill. It’s a nice house, maybe 5k sq ft with a beautiful yard and a pool with a gazebo. They also have Leo: a pomeranian who happens to be diabetic. That’s why people have to stay over and watch the house: he needs his shots! I arrived around four-thirty, carrying an arm-full of clothes and my FAPA mailing. I had nothing else with me. I walked in and Leo was bouncing around the foyer. This dog is a bundle of love and he has a bark that he saves for the people he loves. He gives me those high-pitched barks every

ideal for running things like walkway lights and even gutter-cleaners. As they come down in price and go up in output, we’ll see more and more people using them. Hell, I’m the cheapest guy I know and I’m about 20% cost downsize away from using them myself. Number One Number Nine I’ve been reading a lot of memorializing about rich brown over the last few weeks. I didn’t know him, but when I’ve read accounts from people like Arnie Katz, Ted White and ShelVy, I know I missed out. I thought that the rich brown Memorial Issue of VFW was very moving. It’s rough having to fill pages. If you can just go about it, there’s never a problem, but when you HAVE to put out pages...well, then it gets hard. Most people think of me as an endless typing machine, but really, I have trouble filling ten pages each week. A lot of my issues of The Drink Tank are less than 8! I feel like I’m cheating my readers (all three of them) when I put out a small issue. You did good comments too! You managed minac with style! Sadly... Leo started licking my toes. He does that sometimes. If you’ve ever tried to read while something, ANYTHING, was licking your toes, you know it can’t be done. I put the zines down and headed into the kitchen. Dinner was going to be simple: Chinese food. Gen always buys too much and forgets about the leftovers. They had a huge meal on Thursday night, so there was lemon chicken and kung-pow chicken and mongolian beef and pot stickers and BBQ Pork Chow-Fun. Since I’ve been keeping more kosher (The New Girl is Jewish and follows the rules since she’s a convert). I got myself a bit of everything except the Pork. I ate the flat noodles, but not the pork. I settled onto the couch bringing the mailing with me into the living room. Here lives the Beast. A 60 Wide-Screen TV. There’s not much on Friday nights, but I sat down and turned on the TV anyways, using it as background sound for my reading of the mailing.

time I come over. He climbed up on me and got his pettings. He loves them. I walked into the kitchen, cleaned up a small mess that he left for me and then went into the guest room. This is a small room seperated from the rest of the house by the kitchen. It’s got a series of dimmer switches (Joe’s a lighting tech) and a fold-out bed/couch. It’s got it’s own bathroom too, so when others are around, I can slip in there and relax. I pulled out the bed and slipped down with the mailing, tossing the clothes onto the desk. Science Fiction Adventure Magazine Good to have you. I’ve often wondered about POD. I’m a historian by trade (as I’m sure all of the FAPAns around here are tired of hearing) and it sounds like one of those APAs that I’d love to be a part of. Your points on solar cells are well made, though I have to admit that there are cheaper solar cells being made for specific application that aren’t practical to use for the kind of power generation that most consumers would like. On the other hand, they’re more durable and though they put out lower levels, they are

Voice of the Habu I had a very good time at CascadiaCon, but I have to say that it didn’t have what I’d call a con vibe. BayCon always has that vibe, most WorldCons seem to, even some of the smaller cons I go to manage to pull it off, but CascadiaCon seemed to just be another fannish get-together. I will say that there was some interesting fannish programming, though it was another victim of the GoH Curse that’s been going on over the last couple of years. Sadly, WorldCon this year has the worst occurance: two seperate GoHs have passed away. Ah, you’re an ACM member! We do a lot of programmes with the ACM at the museum. The girl I’m dating got one of the first ACM eMail addresses which allowed her to be the one who has Jen@acm as her eDress. You know what, it may well have been Bill Gates. I ran into him on a flight between Seattle and San Diego about a year ago. I had met him a year or so before and he even remembered me! He flies commercial sometimes for some reason. YHOS I must admit that I was most looking forward to getting my copy of YHOS when I joined FAPA. And it’s got a Rotsler on the cover! My Dad’s favourite artist was Bill Rotsler, and when I did the issue of The Drink Tank that included the article about my Dad’s last days, I illustrated it with pieces of Bill’s that I ganked from various places on the net (mostly Earl Kemp’s eI, but I also scanned a few issue of KTEIC too to get an image or two. I gotta find someone who has a mess of Rotsler

who is willing to let me scan them and use a few every now and again. I wish I’d made it to CorFlu. I didn’t have the money to do it, nor someone to take my place watching Evelyn. That weekend was also the weekend that my Dad went into the hospital for what would turn out to be his last days. Still, I was pleased to hear that it was a good, if small, time. rich brown’s piece is wonderful. It’s that insight that I’ve always admired in rich that I’ll miss the most. The Annex Lafcadio Hearn? I’ve never heard of him, though I’m betting that I have read some of his stuff in old anthologies, but I just can’t place them. I read a lot of Asian-inspired short stories over the years. A lot of them are required reading in the Santa Clara Unified School District. Still, from what you write, I’m interested. Damn, I forgot Leo’s shot. He needs food and his Vetsulin so he can live to see another day. After I got finished with him, I returned to the living room. It was time to get a littlel more relaxed. I lowered myself to the full, outstretched position and hit play on the DVD player. I had no idea what was in there, but whatever it was, I was gonna watch it. The Movie I love silent films. I was a film major at one point, though I quickly high-tailed it out of there. I was around for the first part of film history, which was all silents. The first film I remember loving, after Boxing Kittens and Train Pulls Into Station, was

Sergei Eisenstein’s brilliant piece Battleship Potemkin. While I was laying there on the leather couch watching Leo try and hop up, I found that I had inadvertantly started one of Sergei’s earlier films: Strike. Strike is Eisenstein’s first film. He understood that filmmaking was editing and that narative came from imagery more than anything. He was a brilliant director and Strike might be the greatest debut of all time. The story is all about a group of workers at a locomotive factory who eventually go on strike, but management sends in spies and then things get bad for the strikers. The way he tells the story includes using images in montage including brutally violent images like a bull getting slughtered. Then again, they also slaughter the workers, so go figure. At once, Strike is stunning, political (from the wrong side of the aisle as I sit, but I really got into it) and beautiful. I love the transfer they used, clean and pure as the day it was released, and they had the Alloy Orchestra do an original score, which I thought was amazing. Their score for Metropolis is even better. I went back to reading since Leo had fallen asleep beneath the coffee table. He snores in a very funny way which made reading easier becuase I could pass myself along to it in a 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 rhythm. Visions of Paradise Good point about Planetary Romances. Who still writes ‘em? Would some of ShelVy’s stuff for Planetary Stories count? I know there are a lot of anthologies that say they cater to the sub-genre, but I’ve never read any of them. I only read a few comics in the paper

anymore. There’s Mallard FIllmore, a political duck comic that really makes me laugh. I love Rhymes with Orange, another of those Far Side-inspired strips, and I like Fmaily Circus, as awful and often schmatlzy as it can be. NonSequitor might be my favourite. I’m not 100% sure. I actively dislike The Boondocks (doesn’t make me laugh) and Sherman’s Lagoon (it’s no Robotman), and a lot of the others I’m not a fan of wither. But what do I know...I’ve always disliked Peanuts and that makes me some sort of monster. I woke up around 9 having fallen asleep on a pile of papers that turned out to be the mailing. Yet another mailing that I’ve magically managed to mangle in some small way. I looked at the TV, which I had left on, and discovered that they were showing one of the all-time great films of the early sound era. The director of Dracula was Todd Browning and he was something of a genius. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was the greatest of his time, but he was close. Maybe James Whale is his equal, if not slight superior. His nuances for the actors in Dracula earned him a reputation and led to him having his choice of films. He chose Freaks. Freaks is a movie where the good guys are the members of a circus side-show and the heels are the mundanes. Wanna make a movie about fandom? Use the same formula and everyone will totally love you for it. Sadly, the world did not react so kindly. The story is that of a midget who falls in love with a normal woman who is there simply to take his money. She’s also into the Strongman, who is contemplating ways of helping her take all the little guy’s moolah.

They plan to murder the little guy after she marries him, which he’s warned about by his best friend, a fellow sideshow midget who is in love with him. Oddly, he doesn’t take the advice (and I wouldn’t either because she was a HOTHOTHOT lady) and the rest of the freaks in the sideshow take her out and make her into the most grotesque of freaks. Frankly, I’m shocked that this was so controversial in it’s original release. It’s a beautifully made film and the sexual overtones aren’t nearly as strong as in most of the horror films of the day. Today, the film would be boycotted by the PC crowd for exploiting freaks, but they were made into real characters far better than any film before or since. I loved the performances and the direction was spot on. The script was strong, and now that it’s considered to be a classic (it’s on the National Film Registry) it’s being enjoyed by the grandkids of folks who so rejected it. Breakfast is always easy for me: it’s either Grape Nuts or leftovers. Since I had leftovers for dinner, and since breakfast is a meal where the laws of Judism don’t apply (humor me) I polished off the pork and the rest of the Chinese. I headed back to the guest room, finding another present from Leo on the kitchen floor and a small piece of rice in my beard along the way. After I cleaned them both up, I headed to the bed/couch and started reading again. Alphabet Soup I was really pleased when I saw that you’d gotten the FGoH at Burning Fan, Milt. I’m going to be there, hopefully running a fanzine lounge, though nothing’s for sure yet. I’ve gotta say that it’ll be a lot of fun, but I won’t be staying at the hotel because the cost is just too darn high! As far as the Hugos go, I’m fairly certain that we’ll see George RR Martin walk off with Best Novel (though I wasn’t a fan of the parts that I managed to read) and Charlie Stross,

who I really like, won’t be getting it this time. Well, Connie Willis is on the ballot and I’m thinking that we’ll see a repeat of 2002 when Vernor Vinge, the WGoH at Con Jose, walked off with Best Novella. It’s not a bad story either, so I’m OK with it, but there’s also Magic for Beginners. I think Kelly Link is the future of writing and I was so impressed with the story that I felt like I had to give it to friends. I’d love to see MfB win, but I’m not holding out much hope. As for Novelette, I’m not sure. I wasn’t a big fan of Two Hearts, but I didn’t much like many of the rest either. I’m thinking I liked the Burstein piece the best, with Doctorow in second. A weak catagory as far as my tastes go. Short Story has an easy winner. The Clockwork Atomic Bomb had my vote from word one. Just a wonderfuilly fun piece. There’s no way it’ll win (like last year’s Ben Rosenbaum piece) and I’m saying Levine walks away with it too. Revelations from the Secret Mythos!!! Wow, creepy cover. There are still Burma Shave-type signs on some roads between Barstow and Vegas. At leat one set that I saw were for a Church and I actually have to say that they were pretty inventive.

It did distract me a bit from my driving, as I think I missed one of them and I was trying to come up with the fill-in. And us Giants fans gotta stick together! I needed music. I had been reading in a room where there was nothing going on, nothing at all, and I needed something to break the quiet into managable pieces. I had bought a CD a few days before and hadn’t gotten around to listening to it. Since I wasn’t at home, I had no idea where to find a CD player. I took a tour of the house and found one right next to the giant bathtub. I mean, it was HUGE!!! I could have fit a Manatee into the thing and still have enough space to put a catfish in to keep it company. I took it and brought it into the guest room. The Dresden Dolls” Yes, Virginia I was on the fold-out and reading King Biscuit Time when the first powerful piano strikes echoed out of the player. The Dolls, as we fans refer to them, are a pair of performers who play on stage with white face make-up. Amanda Palmer is the singer and she plays piano. Brian Viglione plays drums. That’s it. That’s the band. Their first album was a nearmasterpiece. Songs like Coin-Operated Boy and Miss Me were both wonderful pieces. They did an odds-and-ends album called A For Accident that was even better in my opinion. They were distinctly anti-pop, even though they signed

to a big label. Their brand of music was smart and fun and I was a huge fan from day one. The critics were kind to this one, though not nearly as kind as they were to the previous albums. The best reviews said that it was fresh and slightly more pop than the first two, but the anger at the music industry (and particularly the critics) was more overpowering. The best songs here are stroneger than the best on the previous albums, While there’s nothing that will get play like Coin-Operated Boy, the songs are nearly perfect for a second album. The best sophmore efforts are strident and if the first piece is well-loved, they’re almost never received with vigor. There are songs about people criticizing her music, one about masterbation that belongs on a triple bill with Turning Japanese and I Touch Myself. There’s a great song about hating technology. There’s no better way to enjoy your reading than having good music playing. A Different Drummer I wish I could go to more Easterly cons. I’ve been to a Philcon (though not the WorldCon which was called the Mellenium Philcon) and that’s that. Confluence sounds like a good time. I’ve heard about the Phil Klaas documentary. I make docs myself, and I’m itching to make a doc in and around fandom, but I’m having trouble finding a team who’s

willing to take things seriously. Opuntia Envelopes. It’s hard for me to think of envelopes as not having been there at some point. I own a Penny Black myself and the modern envelope dating from taht period makes total sense. I was always told that Charles Babbage had something to do with the founding of the modern British Post Office, but I’ve never been sure what it was. I love the Mulready story. It’s one of those things that just proves that intelligent ideas done poorly are far less appealing than the bad ideas done right. I hope that makes some sort of sense. Let’s Ride The Lightning First off, bold choice naming the commentzine after a Metalica album, Robert! Second, I’ve actually watched a film a day from teh age of 12 through about 21, and then a two or more for another couple of years. I still manage one a day or so, with a few skips. It’s made it hard to date at times, but if I find a girl who likes her movies, I’m happy to watch them with her. I applaud your self-control. My bookcases house some 300 books I haven’t read. I buy about 1 a week (and am given about 2 a month) but that’s not the hardest collection I have. I’ve got a number of 35mm trailers and a 35 print of Dances the Wolves. Those are space takers! I got up and started doing light housework. I wanted the place to be clean so I wouldn’t have to do any last minute running around style cleaning. I let Leo outside and he was happily barking at any number of invisible beasties that wandered into the yard. There’s a Red Tailed Hawk in one of the trees around the house and I was affraid that it might try to take Leo, but he mostly hides himself under the table by the door, so I didn’t think there’d be much danger. I was wright, as teh hawk took out a squirrel when Leo was actually out on the lawn sunning himself. Maybe it’s all that extra fur that makes him look like less of a apetizing meal than a delicious fuzzy-tailed

rat.

I settled onto the couch in the living room again and turned on the TV. I’ve been wrapped up in the arrest of JonBennet’s killer. Unsolved murders are a hobby of mine (I did a full issue of The Drink Tank on the murder of William Desmond Taylor) and it just doesn’t add up. The woman in Pleasanton, a lovely town an hour north of me, told the full story that he told her and it is detailed, but hardly 100% credible. I started reading as I made myself a Chicken calzone that I raided from the fridge. They are good but they are filling! LOFGEORNOST!!!! By far the best telling on film of Joan of Arc’s trail is The Passion of Joan of Arc by Theodore Dreyer. It’s just about the greatest silent film performance ever. The woman who plays Joan is forced to do most of the film in close-up as she’s being tried and it’s heartbreaking. I’ve read a few accounts (including a couple that were contemporary to her life (plus or minus five or so years) and they are all pretty negative.

Feline Mewsings! I wanted to go to Westercon, since most of my friends were there and I wanted to see Kevin Roche’s dancing dinosaur costume. They also did The Match Game, which I’d had so much fun doing at BayCon just a couple of weeks before. I’ll get to do it at WorldCon, whcih is an exciting prospect. I love the Capitol Steps. Their song about Whitewater back in teh early 1990s made me laugh harder than anything...nearly as much as Norm McDonald’s constant jokes about Vince Foster. At this point, I got a phone call. I’m not a phone guy, but I answered it and was pleased to discover that it was The New Girl. We chatted for a few minutes, mostly about her job search and endless rounds of interviews at Intuit and the fact that we had a date later that was going to be a picknik out in the park around the way from her house. I really like the girl, and since things are new, I’ve been keeping things under wraps a little. We’d been out three times and we hadn’t even kissed. Yes...I’m old fashioned! After that, I remembered that I had a friend who needed a phone call. My dear friend M has been dealing with ovarian cancer (and having given birth to twins, one of which is named after me!). I gave her a call and my dear friend Judith answered the phone. “How you doin’ Judith?” I asked. “I’m annoyed.” The girl had a voice that always got to me. “I walked in on SaBean and M having a good ol’ time in the livingroom. Those two

are like a dman pair of high schoolers!” “You were around when they were in high school, Judith. You know that they’re showing remarkable restraint by lot constantly mounting one another!” I said, laughing lightly. Judith called over and M took the phone. “So, you’re still enjoying your time with SaBean.” “You’re damn right I am, kiddo.” She’d taken to calling me kiddo the last couple of phone calls. “It was nice when Jay and I could start sleeping together again, but SaBean helped make up for the time. She and Jay have been having fun too. It’s weird, but I love it.” M knew my stance on the whole arrangement: I completely aproved since I knew the three of them really loved each other. I’d given M a piece of two of my mind on her somewhat cavalier attitude towards sex at times, but this was completely fine. There’s no way anyone could deny that they were one of those trios that just deserves to be together. I did chide her for not being more discreet when there were guests though. “We’ve bought a place north of Santa Barbara. It’s beautiful and the twins will grow up with a giant house. The place that’s there now is seven bedrooms and two stories and we’ve got permits to expand it up to 100k feet. I’m going to have a legit mansion built!” I laughed. The wealth of the Heil family had allowed her to live comfortably, but she seldom acted like a girl who had millions and millions of dollars. I guess the fact that cancer was in her gave her a good reason to drop a bundle on a spread. At least I

Titanium. Other than that, I can’t think that I’ve met anyone else. That’ll probably change with WorldCon. Ben’s Beat You know, I love Beetle Bailey and even Sad Sack, his comic book counterpoint. I’m not at all interested in anything that’s coming or going on around Broadway this year...except for Sweeney Todd. That’s got my attention becuase I love Sondheim. Wait...is that Assassins revival still running? wouldn’t have to go to NYC to see my favourite family. We talked, she told me about her treatments and about the twins. Having to deal with both at the same time is just brutal. She’s got Jay, her husband, SaBean and Judith living over full time, so she’s well taken care of. I slide back on to the couch and started reading again. The Road Warrior I haven’t gone to the movies as much as I should have this summer. I did see Nacho Libre (a movie made for me to a tee) and Pirates (the best Hamster-inspired action sequences ever!) and I thought that my man Nighy did a great job, as did Depp and the two comic relief characters who returned from teh original. Sadly, I made it to no cons this summer. Nothing since BayCon. WorldCon can not get her soon enough. The Official Organ Going through the list of members, I’ve only met Laurraine Tutihasi, R Twidner, Gordo Eklund, Colin Hinz, Janice Morningstar, SilverBob (though I was around ten when my Dad introed me), Mike McInerney and Milt Stevens. I think I might’ve exchanged a couple of words with Bob Lichtman at CorFlu I went back to bed. That’s right, I set down my mailing and just went back to sleep. I didn’t have anywhere to go, so sleep happened. My Date I showed up at her place a little early. Her name’s Jen, which is good because I’ve dated a number of other Jen/Gens over the years. It cuts down on confusion. I grabbed some lovely Thai food (musamaram(?) beef and Mango chicken. The chicken was overdone, but the beef and especially the sauce was unbelievable. There are a lot of Thai places in Mountain View and that one was the best I’ve had. I read her a few pieces from the mailing, because what says romance between than FAPA?, and she got a phone call about her job. I read Sweet Mary Jane and a couple of others and then she was finished. We lounged around with a bottle of wine and just enjoyed each other’s company. This is the part of dating that I really enjoy. You get to know someone, you have a few drinks and you start to like them. You never like a person as much as you do after the second successful date with them. We parted ways after a gentle goodnight kiss and then I headed back to the Collonge residence with a goofy grin on my face. I always get that goofy grin whenever

I see Jen. She’s a PhD student (in Human Computer Interaction), though she’s not a fan. She does read the occasional SF novel, and is a fan of MZB. When I told her my Dad was a friend of her’s back in the 1970s, she was very impressed. She also owns a bunny, which makes visiting kinda hard since I’m slightly allergic. My favourite part: she’s tall. 5’11. Nothing better than a tall woman. When I got back to the house, there was a book that I had to finish reading that the FAPA mailing had interupted. It was by a gentleman named Kenneth Anger. Hollywood Babylon I love old Hollywood, and old Hollywood scandal is even better. Reading all about the stories of 1920s drug adn sex scandals of stars like Clara Bow (USC’s biggest booster) and Mae West and the murders of William Desmond Taylor and Thomas Ince are all my kind of think. Why hasn’t anyone written Fandom Babylon? There are so many similarities between the 1920s Hollywood and earlier fandom than I’d know what to do with. Other than the dish, which is always glorious, there was a lot of just celebration of Hollywood. We look for ways to make these stars into humans because we can’t believe that anyone is as large and shining as stars seem on the big screen. Knowing they make terrible mistakes, have illegitimate children, sleep with the wrong people, murder, die, drink, and just plain live proves that they’re more like us than we could believe. We share humanity with these monster/angels that show on the screen, and sadly, the only way for us to understand that is to see them at their worst.

I finished off the weekend rewatching Freaks (I bought it on DVD) and then throwing in a few other films lying around the house that I’d seen a bunch of times. It was the end of a weekend that was just as slow and relaxign as could be. Of course, I couldn’t get the image of Jen’s smile out of my mind the entire time...or the goofy one off of my face. Art in this issue! Seth Melton did the image on this page. It’s called Freakshow, for some reason. The cover is from Alex over at BlueFlameDesign. He’s a talent. Hanspeter Ludwig did the photo manipulations that gave us the image on page 6 and the two posters for Waspwoman and Sina-Mese Twins. He’s German and I really love the way he works. The image on page six is called The Dying Swan. It’s such an expressive piece, that even though it didn’t fit the Freakshow theme 100%, I had to use it. Jean DeVincenzo took the photo of the Coney Island Sideshow poster. The aptly named Carnivalemacabre did the image on page 4. The RIngmaster girl on page two is by Cyzra, who I think is a good young artist on deviantart.com. She’s got an interesting gallery. The Half-Man/Half-Woman was by Gladys Clump while the dirty Freaks with Boob picture was by Sarabia. It’s a good little photo.