Meeting # 4092, 1/14/2016 PDF Print E-mail

I hope you all enjoyed the Tim Griffin concert before the meeting. There are three video captures on his timeline, so feel free to check.

Gavin Claypool presiding

Karl Lembke, Scribe

Patron Saints: Bruce Pelz and Christian McGuire

Powerball Loser President Gavin Claypool called the meeting to order at:20:03

Minutes were read and corrected. The minutes were named “One down, 25 to go” by Gavin.

The order of business is being changed around.


Milt saw the first two hours of The Chronicles of Shannara. It's sort of a junkyard of fantasy novels, and all the stuff that was excised from other novels was stuffed in here.  It starts with a silly contest.

Too many things were apparently taken from The Eye Of Argon.  How about a sorcerer named Allenan?

We have not yet determined whether his father's sister is named Aunt Abuse.

Scratch reviewed David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Napoleonic Wars in Space is loads of fun.

Jeromy announced no guests tonight, but we had a couple of visitors from over the weekend.

We had a group of young'uns from college show up for Board games. Mitchell, Chad, and Amanda. Let it be noted they drooled over the library.

Gavin mentioned we have a treasurer's report. It balances. The LASFS didn't win Powerball either.

We had discussions about the Club Telephone at the Board Meeting. Sunday, two calls came in from people asking about the Sunday open house. So the phone remains useful.

We had a short auction. No shorts were auctioned.

Here in meeting number 2 of the new year, we have two patron saints.  We begin with

Christian McGuire

Joe Zeff: He came from Time Meddlers, jumped in to help out and never looked back. He minuted Joe Zeff as “the guy with the sideburns”, not knowing his name.

The committee to correct everybody noted that Christian was actually a LASFS member a month before he joined Meddlers.

George McUrso: He, Christian, and Bob Null, offloaded a 24 foot truck after Westercon, by ourselves because the truck had to be turned in that night. Westercon 42, 1989. Truly an epic evening.  Christian is one of my favorite people here and an all-around great guy.

Christian McGuire was given three cheers [after the three cheers for Bruce Pelz].

Gavin notes there was discussion about the length of our patron saint discussions, but if anyone deserves to be talked about at length, it's Bruce Pelz

Scratch: Bruce was a collector. He was a collector of collections of collections, and he was good at it. Ask his wife.

“Still finding them.” she said.

George McUrso: very first LASFS meeting in 83, Bruce was prominent in that he was auctioning stuff off. One of the items was a collection of The Lockhorns comic strips. Some kids were bidding against him. George dropped out. The kids, having won the bidding, wailed, “But we didn't want it!”  “Fine,” said Bruce.  “Take their money, give him (George) the book”.

Milt: Bruce was the only completist fanzine collector in the world. There were very few APAs, and four people managed to join every APA around, and Bruce was one of the members, along with Jack Harness, Ted Johnstone, and Norm Metcalfe. Someone founded APAX intended to ban those four from the APA.  

People would collect things that Bruce would be unable to collect, and Bruce would collect them. One item was a slice of bologna that had been run through a ditto machine.

He also collected the keys to hotel rooms he stayed at at conventions.

Matthew Tepper: someone asked Bruce what he did with the bologna fanzine. He admitted to photocopying it and throwing out the original.

Joe Zeff: At one convention, there was a ribbon labeled “The Ribbon Bruce Pelz Won't Get”.  “You did get one, asked Joe.  “Of course I did!”

Unlike some fannish politicians, he was approachable. He would listen to you, and maybe even change his mind if you said something reasonable.

Larry Niven: He had a roll-away building in the back of his property that was filled with comic books. When I was assigned to do the bible for the DC universe, particularly Green Lantern, I read through his collection of Green Lantern from beginning to end.

David Okamura: I have evidence of Bruce Pelz and three other members of the LASFS at the 1962 convention in Chicago.  The four were in costume as the Justice Society of America. He reported on this in Alter Ego #6.

Gavin: has been a member only slightly longer than half of its existence, so doesn't have abroad a perspective as many might have. If Forry is the one who kept the club alive in the 30s – 50s, Bruce stands out as the one who kept it going through the 60s and 70s, and further.

Scratch: Bruce sold books in the patio at the Burbank Boulevard location in North Hollywood. He could find most anything if you expressed an interest in it. FIASOI.

Matthew Tepper: Bruce had been a reference librarian at UCLA, and when the opportunity was presented to take early retirement, he went for it. He became busier after retirement than he had been before. He named his bookselling outfit VERIP books.  Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan.

Bill Ellern: Once upon a time, visited Bruce at UCLA. Bruce revealed several entries in the card catalog, where the books had disappeared. One in particular “The Properties of Duodec”, an explosive used in the Lensman series. (Apparently having a yield matched only by nuclear explosions. – ed)

Matthew: Bruce loved putting in cards, including The Dynamics of an Asteroid by J. Moriarty, and Letters from the Underworld by T. Chardin, published after his death.

Karl Lembke recalled having seen a reference to a card for an essay on the properties of kryptonite, written by J. Olson..  Bruce was a convention runner. An Evans Freehafer recipient, and served on BOD.

June Moffatt: once heard a young fan say “oh, that old guy.  He sells books.”

Bill: one last shot, when Bruce was selling books, he was liberal in telling people he despised the meetings. He couldn't abide that bunch of conversations leading to nowhere.

Matthew: Has a photograph of Bruce on his phone. Bruce is sitting on his chair, tenderly cradling a cat in his arms. It was an extremely old cat, somewhere between 24 and 27 years old.

Bruce Pelz was given three cheers!


Gavin Claypool: The library book of the week is by John Scalzi. The End of All Things, part of the Old Man's War series.

This weekend, C/FO meets on Saturday for those who are interested.  (It's also meeting for those who aren't interested, but those folks tend not to show up.)

Tom Safer presents the first two Night Stalker episodes here at 10 AM, preceding the C/FO meeting

Show up and support C/FO. Beef up their attendance so they'll stay around.

Sunday, Time Meddlers will show The Husbands of River Song, and other items of interest. And it's a nice group!

Monday, there will be another movie day. Tom Khamis will show Roger Corman 1950s monster SF pix. 2PM to 10PM.  Corman was recently honored by Sci-Fest as the first recipient of the Icon award.  

George McUrso announced the upcoming his date of birth is 3/11/56. He's having a get-together for his friends in this organization and the Blustering Gales. There will be a party at the LASFS March 5, from noon till 10. There should be food, films, fun, and frolic. Barbara Harmon will coordinate the potluck.  Instead of presents, bring your presence.

RSVP at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Coordinate with Barbara Harmon This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for the potluck.

Committee Reports:

David Okamura had a moment of science. The ESA Mars explorer is doing its closest fly-by of Phobos today.

Whatever happened to the autonomous barges serving as landing fields for rocket stages? They're still around, and one is in the Pacific. They're determined to make them work.

Hare Hobbs just learned Dr Demento put together $2 compilations of records. Warner Brothers is putting out some box sets of these old vinyl records on CD.  They'll be in stores where we're coming to take them away!

Michelle Pincus reported on Monday Night Festivities. Sci Fest had a fund-raising night Sunday. This was the Frankenstein radio play. It was very well done and awesomely good. If this is an example of Sci-Fest's work, you have to go see the next thing they do. There will be tickets on sale starting April 11 for a number of events.

There is no new business.

There is some old business.

The Board has been working on the Annenberg Leadership Seminar which we hope to attend later this year. This may even lead to funds for the LASFS, and Tim Griffin has successfully gotten funds from the organization. This is, however, a two-year commitment.

In order to receive a grant, we may need to have something worth giving money to produce more of.  We should be talking about other possible things the LASFS should be involved in.

In the meantime, our budget remains kind of tiny.

And so if there's anything people want to bring up, now's the time.

Milt: While on the Board, did a study of grants, government and private. There basically weren't any.

As for projects, follow NESFA into publishing. Many things might be of academic interest, but not commercial. Now with self-publishing, it doesn't cost a lot of money to make stuff available, and there are fields NESFA hasn't taken over.

Gavin: none of what we're doing is dependent on grants. There are other sources of funding.

We could publish resources such as a timeline of SF authors, sort of a map to the field.

The goal is not to find projects that will cost us money, but to find projects that are worth doing, and if they happen to cost money, we ask for some.

Marcia mentioned there aren't that many people around from the first Worldcon. Maybe we could record interview these folks?

There was discussion of fanzines and other recorded histories of fandom, including the LASFS.

Norm Metcalfe, still alive, is a trove of information and history of SF and fandom.

Milt mentioned Jerry Pournelle's suggestion that what we need is a review of SF, serving as a Sherpa through the trove that's published each year. But this requires lots of people contributing.

In order to publish stuff, we need stuff to publish.

Jeromy Miller tried to phrase things without alienating people, but all he hears is people talking about the past. What about the future?

Milt pointed out the club was really not successful at all times. 40S had insurgents, feuds of the week, and attacks from without. Total membership was 20-25, and that would split into factions.

Jeromy: We need to get out there. Mostly, what happens at LASFS stays in the building.

Tom Safer: on the topic of game tournaments, misses mah jong tournaments.

Fliers at Game Empire, Emerald Knights,

Gerald mentioned: Meetup groups and Facebook page.

The discussion wound down after some time.

Special Orders of Business:

The passing of actor Alan Rickman?

Younger fans know him best from his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, but he was also the voice of Marvin, the Paranoid Android in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, and before that he was Dr. Lazarus in GalaxyQuest and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. He also voiced the Caterpillar in the upcoming Tim Burton version of Alice Through the Looking Glass, reprising his role from the earlier Burton version of Alice in Wonderland.

Angus Scrimm, 1926-2016

The Tall Man in Phantasm, among others.

David Bowie

Labyrinth, among others.

Adjourn at: 10:09 pm
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