Jessie Lilley
Buddy Barnett
Brad Linaweaver

November 2009     Web Edition     Issue #3

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J. Kent Hastings (L), Charles Hammill (father of the late,lamented
Chuck) shakes hands with Brad as Mike Everling looks on.(3-19-2012)


L.A. Letter

by J. Kent Hastings

I'm still in L.A. for another week it seems. It's been busy around here.

J. Neil Schulman is still writing his movie script, Lady Magdalene's, a humorous cop drama set in various Nevada locations. He sought seclusion for finishing it before the weather turns hellish at the Trailer of Tranquility in Pahrump (not to be confused with Superman's Fortress of Solitude), while I'm taking over some of his normal duties in California (getting his mother to doctor appointments and taking his daughter to school, for instance). I've always thought of "trailers" as little RV doodads you hitch to a station wagon, but some folks refer to a three-bedroom manufactured home with a two car garage as a trailer. I'd like to see how they'd tow it themselves.

My collaborator on the novel Anarquía, Brad Linaweaver, was struck by a hit and run driver while he was in a pedestrian crosswalk during a rainstorm. The power had gone out at his place so he decided to run some errands. He was thrown through the air and landed in the gutter, which he jokes, "is where everyone said I'd end up." Amazingly, he didn't die, wasn't permanently crippled and didn't even break any bones or have internal injuries. A nice Mexican couple dragged Brad out of the street when he got hit so he wouldn't get run over by traffic and they gave the license plate of the offending car to the cops. I hope the perp turns out to be George Clooney or some other deep pocketed Hollywood type, but maybe it was a stolen car or a gang bangers.

Don't get me started on why I utterly hate California's politics--it's why I moved to Nevada years ago. Here's an example: Because of torn ligaments and bruised muscles, Brad is using crutches he got from Cedars Sinai and was taking Vicodin for the first few painful days. Naturally, the ER was not allowed to fill Brad's pain pill prescription at the hospital, so I had to drag him to one of just a couple of all-night pharmacies in the area, which happened to be in downtown L.A. Just the sort of fool's errand he needed to be on in the wee hours. At least a nice policeman drove out of his way to "crime scene tape" Brad's car in the private parking lot it was in, solely for the purpose of preventing it getting towed. On a happier note, Brad just heard that the magazine he's publishing, Mondo Cult, got a nice order from Books a Million and will also be distributed by Tower in several states including California and New York. So, there will be an issue 2.

John DeChancie responded to the call the night Brad was hit and helped us find the open pharmacy and played musical cars. Brad was really hurting and could barely move, and wasn't sure if he had fatal internal injuries or not yet--but he was cheered up by John's opinion that Brad was a lucky son of a bitch because of all the money he could get from the accident. Yeah, the luckiest guy in the world. Speaking of luck, it looks like DeChancie will be collaborating with a famous SF pro, who attends LASFS regularly, on some new novels, but I'll let John discuss that in detail himself if he so chooses.

On the same day Brad got hit, Neil got word that a composer friend (whom I'll simply call David) committed suicide, coincidentally on the exact two-year anniversary of the death of our mutual friend Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3). David had made elaborate plans to make sure his surviving family was financially taken care of by an insurance contract that paid even in the event of his suicide, which he decided to do after a major business reversal. A real Death of a Salesman scenario. Neil took a break to attend David's memorial service in California, and to inspect the construction progress of Neil's new house in Culver City. It's looking great, but one of the workmen said there's a new law that requires a permit for a trash compactor. "California," he cursed. I wonder if a waste basket needs a DMV license.

And of course, I'm still trying to do a thing or two on the Internet. So that’s why you haven't seen me in fannish settings around Vegas lately.