Pavilion Digest: February 2009

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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William Sherman
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A Few Easy Pieces

Postby William Sherman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:21 am

Name: William Sherman
Source: unca20090314.htm
Dear Mr. Ellison (upon your return) et al.:

Tally--congrats on being invited to a convention. As a patron of cons in the Boston area, my advice for your first con would entail just soaking up the experiences. Think of yourself as a fan selling books. You'll be little-known to fellow fans, but some will seek out new authors, so be friendly and polite, and enjoy.

To everyone: excellent obituary in today's "New York Times" on Mr. Farmer. Recommend highly.

Off to re-read "Riders of the Purple Wage" in "Dangerous Visions".


William Sherman
Boxford, MA

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Postby markabaddon » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:31 am

Name: Mark Goldberg
Source: unca20090314.htm
Robert, your story was one with which I can identify. As you know, my kids are aorund the age of the child you saved. Unyielding vigilance is the price a parent of small children must pay but sometimes every parent forgets that for a moment. It strikes me that it could have been MY kid you saved and, even though it was not, I am very glad you acted as you did. Never question what you did in regard to this incident, you performed what we would call in Judaism, a mitzvah. Nice job, my friend, and I hope you continue to look and feel well.

Harlan, my deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. The world is a poorer place without Mr. Farmer.

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To William Sherman

Postby TallyJohnson » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:24 am

Name: Tally
Source: unca20090314.htm
Thanks for the advice. It seems to be a good place to make a debut, since it's more of a local Con. Since I am a fan who may be selling books, the big test will be not to go in costume.

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Postby Alan Coil » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:37 am

Name: Alan Coil
Source: unca20090314.htm
I have never been a guest at a con, but have attended many, and seen many a guest sitting behind a table.

1. Most of all, you need to be prepared mentally. People can be both overwhelmingly great or overwhelmingly disgusting. If you are mentally prepared to be complimented or insulted by any visitor to your table, you'll survive the experience. You may find times when nobody talks to you for an hour, or you may find times when there is a line at the table.

2. Make sure you have access to drinkable water at all times. Dehydration affects the mind, which could make dealing with people more difficult, or make your thinking fuzzy.

3. Make sure there is time for you to get to a bathroom every couple hours. Getting caught needing to go, then having to wait for an hour will make you tense. And scrub yours hands completely after--not because of anything you might have, but because of what others may have.

4. Take some anti-bacterial hand wash to your table. Use it every few minutes. Many attendees at the comic book convention in New York a couple weeks ago came down with colds. These conventions are germ incubators, and not every person you come into contact with practices good personal hygiene.

5. Wear comfortable shoes. Don't wear new shoes. I made that mistake. After about 3 hours of a planned 2-day convention stay, I had a huge blister and was done and on my way home.

6. Have fun!

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K. M. Kirby
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Ahoy, Conventioneers

Postby K. M. Kirby » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:36 pm

Name: K.M.Kirby
Source: unca20090314.htm
Are all these recent, con-related postings referring to the Wondercon? I'm there now, getting in some early volunteer time, and will probably have a free weekend pass for the asking.

Also, in all probability, a ten-minute con video piece should be postable by monday.

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Harlan Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:00 pm

Source: unca20090314.htm
Er, uh, harrumph.

I spent about an hour very very early this morning, after an unsteady up&down, walking-around-in-a-dark-house restless night, poring over stacks of old photos. About two dozen of them, sent to me over the years (or delivered by hand) were of you. As a baby. As a baby with a fedora. As a baby with me lying on the carpet in muu-muu, entertaining you. You walking. You falling down. You putting inedible objects in your gawping maw. Your cheeks. At both ends of Terra InCogcheekdom.

How much is it now worth, to you, fellah, for me NOT to release these pix to FIELD & STREAM? Or to WHO'S WHO? for their infamous WHAT'S THIS? section.

I'm listening.


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Catching Up

Postby KOS » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:11 pm

Name: KOS
Source: unca20090314.htm
Catching up on randomous bits:

Re: "In The HouseOf Caesar": I actually got it from a website devoted to Robert E. Howard.

One "Rusty Burke" did some research. De Camp believed Howards famous couplet typed just before his suicide was a paraphrase from (quoting Burke) "Ernest Dowsons Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae (or Cynara)".

Burke found a copy of an 1926 poetry anthology that contained two poems Howard was known to have quoted, one in a story, the other in eulogizing a friend. In that same collection, "Songs of Adventure", was "In The House Of Caesar", and Burke believes the overall tone of that poem matches Howard's personality better than the Dowson piece.

Interesting subject, as I have been working with Gary Lee on a Howard Biopic script for a couple years. While it's more or less "finished", we're always tweaking it and looking for new angles. It got -this- close to being optioned, until it fell into "Rights Hell" with some Swedish (!) media conglomerate that owns all of Howard's characters. I think they're primarily known for video games (Paradox Entertainment), which doth not bode well.

Michael Mayhew: That you knew of both Amyx and Roach at USC means we were likely classmates, even if only at some remove. At the time I was there, a fellow who I believe was named "Mc/MacGregor: was the temporary department chairman. He was my teacher for the first production class, the super eight one. Kring was the TA in it. Roach and Amyx were in that class also. It's like basic training in the Atmy, you remember those people that went through it with you. I imagine Clarion and other writing workshops are like that also. Other names: Sam Kaufman, I acted (well, I tried to act) in one of Sam's films for that class; Joel Hailey, a Texan attorney changing careers; and Cynthia Cohen. I had a Japanese-American teacher for tech, taught me all about sound, sound editing and lighting, Rick Jewell taught a magnificent class on the history of RKO, with his coffee table book on RKO as the text. Marsha Kinder befuddled me endlessly with her interminable lectures on film theory, until I realized it was all post-modern bullshit, and stopped attending. Feh. Arthur Knight was a character. I took his sumposium class, and he taught my study section for that class (maybe he did that for all sections, I do not recall). The one thing I took away from the whole school was that it's people who make films, not Little Tin God's and Goddesses. People, with all the good and bad that is inherent thereto.

The only time ever I saw Philip Jose Farmer was at my first convention, MidAmericon in Kansas ity,MO, the 1976 Worldcon. He was about, approachable, and yet for some reason I never IIRC asked him for an autograph or tried to engage him in conversation. He seemed too happy. too much "in his element" for me to bother. Kind looking, always accompaned by a lovely lady who was likely his wife. He never failed to smile when someone did speak to him. I watched him in some awe, while waiting in line one evening outdoors. It was a semi-balmy late midwestern summer evening, the line was for the Hugo Awards ceremony, to be held in a municipal theater across the street fom the convention hotel. Farmer seemed happy, sharing stories and joking with other writers in line near him. I wound up sitting just two rows behind him. He had an easy personal style. In fact, now that I think about it, he was in life much like his prose: accessible, unobtrusive and yet deep. Famous or not, he treated those about him with the same easy manner and consideration. Overall, he appeared to be one of the rare people who are completely aware of their humanity, can from that awareness occasionaly transcend the human condition, yet also always remain quintessentially one with the rest of us. While part of me wishes I had said "hello", the better part of me is satisfied to have seen him as he was, and not broken the spell of that magic hour. I hope I have not drawn too much from what was such a limited experience of the man, but he charmed me nevertheless.

He was the best writer of pure adventure I have yet read.

"Riders of the Purple Wage" was the best single story in the best original SF anthology.

We shall not see his like again.


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Harlan Ellison
Harlan Fucking Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:39 pm

Source: unca20090314.htm
Please try to hold in check your insatiable need to know WHY I do some of the peculiar things I do, such as this. Thank you, in advance.

I wish to borrow a copy of Kahlil Gibran's lachrymose faux- OmarKhayyam book of "poetry."

I will return it, same condition received, soon after I receive it. Perhaps two-three weeks at the outside. Condition no concern. I cannot bring myself to Amazon a copy, even if they have 10,000 of them available, at best price 1 cent. Because if I buy it, I won't be able to throw it out, and if I just borrow it, I'll DEFINITELY be compelled to return it.

So if you have one gathering dust in an old bookcase, would you please send it along c/o HERC? I thank you in advance.

Don't ask. Just don't ask.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

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Harlan Ellison
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Postby Harlan Ellison » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:42 pm

Source: unca20090314.htm
The title of the book is, of course, THE PROPHET.

By Kahlil Gibran.

Not any other of the 13 million books of sugary crap he created, just the first one, the original: THE PROPHET.


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RH47 and...

Postby Tom » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:46 pm

Name: Tom Morgan
Source: unca20090314.htm
RH47 arrived safely to my corner of Orange County today. Good job as always.

The talk of Philip Farmer and his story in DV made me want to post my description of reading that story, but I had the feeling that I had already done that. So I dug through the archives and found it. If you will indulge a repeat I will resurrect a portion of my post on impressions of the 2006 WorldCon in Anaheim. From 8-28-06:

Watching one of Harlan's speeches reminds me of when I was first making my way through Dangerous Visions and came to Riders of the Purple Wage. You sit down in a comfy chair to see what is next in this great collection. Then you start reading. And you quickly realize that the comfy chair is gone, you have been jammed into a roller coaster car and it is time to strap in and hold on tight. For over 70 pages you hold on and in the end you finally, slowly, release your grip and say "Whew". A Harlan speech is kind of like that.

I read of his death on the board yesterday and Harlans reaction to it. Later in the evening after I dropped Katie off at the library I drove across a couple parking lots to the mouth of the canyon so I could hear the end of All Things Considered on NPR. I had heard earlier that they were going to talk to J.J. Cale, a musician of whom I am a huge fan. I found a spot to pick up the station without too much static and heard J.J. talk to the obviously younger interviewer about making an album at age 70. He joked about how he doesnt write as many songs about sex and drugs and rocknroll as he used to (he wrote the song Cocaine, which Clapton covered for a huge hit). He also spoke of how the only bad thing about being an old guy is that so many of the people who understand what you know are gone. Made me think of Harlan.
The interview can be heard on the All Things Considered website, its a good listen. If any of you arent familiar with Mr. Cale you should remedy that situation. Pick up the first album, Naturally. It will hook you.

A good day to all here.

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Postby Moderator » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:11 pm

Name: Steve Barber
Source: unca20090314.htm

As Tom notes, RH 47 (at least 11% of it) arrived in LB.


not asking _why_, but wouldn't a library be faster?

Postby Hmm » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:03 pm

Name: Hmm
Source: unca20090314.htm
I find it hard to believe that HE (or his current assistant) doesn't possess a library card. Surely there is one reasonably closeby. And that *being compelled to return the vile thing* is built in to the very concept.

(Sorry Mr. Ellison -- I know you don't like nameless posts, but there a variety of reasons that people use them.)

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Wicked witch, Dorothy and Toto are at the 5 and Dime.

Postby remarck » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:04 pm

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20090314.htm

One word: Library.


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Postby remarck » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:06 pm

Name: Keith Cramer
Source: unca20090314.htm
Oh nameless poster...of COURSE Harlan is going to open up a can of whoop-ass on us wiseasses. Why hide? Go naked into the rain and be cleansed.



Tony Rabig
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The Prophet?

Postby Tony Rabig » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:19 pm

Name: Tony Rabig
Source: unca20090314.htm

On the off chance that you're just needing to nail down phrasing on a quote --

You might find the book's listing on Amazon, pick one of the editions that has the "Look Inside" feature available, and use its "Search Inside the Book" function. If you can't recall enough of the passage to get a hit when you search, you might just try searching numbers one after another -- you may get a hit on the page number and be able to scan quite a bit of the book that way depending on the edition and how much was made available.



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