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Lloyd's Locs Box - Fanzine letters of comment Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Lloyd Penney" journal:

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September 23rd, 2016
01:29 pm


Loc on BCSFAzine 515 - 517 (Felicity Walker, ed.)

Dear BCSFen:

I go away for two weeks, and everything piles up! Honestly! Suddenly, I have three issues of BCSFAzine to catch up with, issues 515 to 517. And, I will do that now.

515…I always figured that correspondence is key in this fanzine thing, so every loc I write goes into a file I keep on my computer, and I also put them on my LiveJournal. Does anyone use LiveJournal any more? Mine is my loc archive. If you wonder where my loc went, you can go to my LiveJournal to find it, or just ask me, and I will fish it out of my personal archive.

The American presidential race. ICK! URGHH! YUCK! I’ve never seen anything so ridiculous, and I’ve never seen the Rethuglicans sink so low. There must be a sizable percentage of right-wing voters who cannot stomach the ideas of Donald Trump as president. They should thank their lucky stars that None of the Above isn’t on the ballot. America a democracy? Well, so many brag about it, but right now, it is an oligarchy, and democracy goes to the highest bidder, which is definitely not the typical American citizen/voter.

My loc…we did okay at the Bazaar of the Bizarre, and at the Alice/Steampunk Invasion event at Historic Benares House in Mississauga. After that, we had our amazing trip to England, and what fun it was. Yvonne had her Harry Potter adventures in Watford and at the Platform 9¾ shop at Kings Cross station (went there four times), and we had our steampunk fun in Lincoln at The Asylum. Can’t believe it’s come and gone! Then, we went to Hamilton for the Locke Street Festival, and we vended there…rain and wind all day.

The Aurora Awards…I did not nominate or vote this year. I didn’t feel I knew anything about the field this year. Given the motion to allow pros to vie for the fan Auroras for unpaid writing, I suspect that fans will not be able to win the fan Auroras. More and more, the fandom we knew is going away, and motions like this push fandom closer to the brink of extinction.

I know Steve Baldassara, and yes, he’s a big guy. I’ve been called the same, and at one point, I weighed 230 pounds. Given my 5’4” height, I should never weigh that much. I cut back on snacking to get me down to 221 lbs., but couldn’t get below that. Yvonne found a low-carb diet we could both follow, so now I am down to 205 lbs., and hope to lose some more weight.

516…John Purcell, come to Ontario! There’s still some fandom here, plus steampunk that you and Valerie will enjoy. Trump and Clinton are now about neck and neck, and some polls predict a Trump victory. I am happy to be on this side of the border. Still looking for work, but I have applied to a lot of great jobs recently, and fingers continue to be crossed. (If you do go to Cape Breton…well, my father’s side of the family is originally from there. There are great bars in Dominion and Donkin. That’s about all I know.)

And there’s my birthday. I’m a young sprite of 57 years. How’s I get so old so fast? (We all ask ourselves that question.)

(Saw the other day that there is now a Harlan Ellison biography due to be released shortly. Brace yourselves…)

517…I think Bernie Sanders could be a valuable asset to a Clinton administration, if only his supporters could get rid of their hate-on for Hillary. MC Hammer pants…nah, too much material. Maybe in Vancouver. In Toronto, we’d need them made of flannel for those cold winters.

A question…who thinks Star Trek Beyond is the final reboot movie? I heard some good reviews, but for the first time in my life, this was a Trek movie I didn’t care to see, and I didn’t. Did I miss something good? Or is it just more exploding starships and lens flares?

Yvonne gets sleepy with caffeine. I get perkyperky. And, I’ve already had two cups today, which is probably why I am getting anything at all done today. I remember Jolt Cola fondly…it couldn’t say ‘twice the caffeine’ here, for it would then qualify as a pharmaceutical, and couldn’t legally be sold.

Mission accomplished. This weekend, Yvonne and I will head down to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition. Just for the Saturday…should be great fun. And, I may have some involvement with CSFFA soon…juicy hint at what may come. Take care, and have a great weekend.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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10:46 am


Loc on Opuntia 349 - 353 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

I go away for a couple of weeks, and the Opuntias pile up. I am now FIVE issues behind! Well, the catch-up starts now, so here are comments on issues 349 to 353.

349…I really like the Harvia cover…I think mostly because I liked “Midnight at the Oasis”. I am a little leery of anything that calls itself National. They can say they are the national centre for something, which implies that anyone in the nation can enter and use what’s inside, but I find that even if it is funded by the federal government, only a select few individuals and groups can use what’s inside; otherwise, stay out.

Recently, we were vendors at a huge street fair in Hamilton, and a violin player set up kittycorner from where we were, attempting to raise funds to assist the local firefighters who were down the street. We quickly found out he was a poor player with a very limited repertoire. I don’t remember what he was playing, but I heard Pop Goes the Weasel too many times. After one vendor shouting at him to shut up, and another requesting The Sounds of Silence (he got the jab), he moved off down the street, but we could still faintly hear him, squeak, squeak… In spite of him, that street fair was great fun, and we hope to return next year when it probably won’t be as rainy and windy.

Your article about Conan Doyle’s “The Lost Special” sounds quite good…we spent the last two weeks of August in England, and we did spend some time on England’s amazing train network. The Gatwick Express from Gatwick Airport to Victoria Station, Virgin First Class from Kings Cross station to Newark, and then East Midlands Rail from Newark to Lincoln. All comfortable, and competition with other train lines we simply couldn’t sustain here. Comfortable all the way, and reasonable food on Virgin First Class.

350…The Republic of Whimsy. I think we’ve all been there from time to time, and enjoyed every visit. Coming up in Toronto next year is the World Mystery Convention, the Bouchercon, so I hope there will be plenty of the nation’s Sherlockians will come to the convention. We had to leave the committee for personal reasons, but we expect to be there. Canvention…I may have more to do with CFSSA in the future. I suspect the motion to allow pro writers to compete in the fan categories will mean fans will not be able to win their own awards. With that, fans will not be interested in participating in these awards.

My loc…I confirmed just last night that the steampunk event at Historic Benares House in neighbouring Mississauga will take place again next July. I look forward to it.

I know you asked me to write an article on Baker Street in London, but to be honest, there isn’t much to it to differentiate it from any other shopping street in London, where there seem to be hundreds of them. When we got there, we walked up to 221B Baker Street, where the line-up to see it was more than a hundred feet long. We did not get to see it, but we did get to the next-door Hudson’s Gift Shop, which was quite comfortable, and not too crowded. We picked up some nice items. Down the street was the Beatles London store, and Yvonne walked in, expecting to see amazing things, and walked out disappointed and empty-handed. Lots of Beatles merchandise, and not much more. Beside the Beatles store was an Alef Bookstore, and we spent the most time there, perusing their items, and talking with the clerk. The people who ran and staffed the bookstore were Syrian refugees, making their way and making a living. They were pleased to find we were Canadian, for they knew how many refugees Canada has taken in. Aside from the Lebanese restaurant across the street re-labeled the Holmes Grill, there was little else to do. We had lunch at the nearby Pret a Manger, and hit the Tube again.

351…great pictures of the badlands. Zine indexes would be fine to have, but would there be anything of interest to future researchers in them? I would hope there is, but I have my doubts. I probably told you long ago that I grew up in Orillia, Ontario, Stephen Leacock’s Mariposa. We all knew Leacock well, and his home at Old Brewery Bay in Orillia’s east end is a popular tourist attraction.

I have noticed that some of the painted utility boxes in our area have been vandalized with gang spray-paint markings. Nothing is sacred…

352…Railway buildings should be a more preserved part of our heritage, and that isn’t always the case. The West Toronto station was torn down years ago by developers with no licence or notification, but nothing was put up on the site. In our rail travels in England, we saw large railway buildings in small towns, all maintained if not used.

I see so many cars parked right at the No Parking sign, and I am so tempted to smack people who pause by the No Smoking sign to light up.

When I lived on Vancouver Island, I knew that Canada’s national sports were lacrosse, hockey and hating Toronto. Toronto wants to be world-class, but that emotional response comes mostly from insecure politicians. I am old enough to remember on Bloor St. W., west of Jane Street, a restaurant that straddled a boundary line of blue laws. The west part of the restaurant was dry, and the east was wet. At the time, not only were you asked “Smoking or non-smoking”, but also “Drinking or non-drinking”. Toronto does whatever was fashionable in Manhattan last year? In many cultural things, yes, but right now NYC Transit is copying Toronto’s transit choices, and purchasing the subway trains you can walk through.

353…Street fairs here have some activities for everyone, but most of all, they are mean to sell stuff to you. The one I mentioned in Hamilton was fun, but I have been to street fairs in Toronto that were anything but.

Beakerhead looks like it was lots of fun. There is a very artistic show held in Toronto every year called Nuit Blanche. It does promote the arts, but it runs all night in a single night. I will get my sleep, and hear on the radio how it went. More and more, to me, arts are for the artists, and all the public is wanted for is to be an appreciative audience. Players only love you when they’re playing, as the song goes.

And I have made it to the end of the second page, so I will fold it up. This weekend, Yvonne and I will be going to the biggest steampunk event in Canada, the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, but just for the Saturday. Sunday is Word on the Street, the annual literary festival that winds up becoming a place for publishers to sell at reduced prices what readers didn’t buy over the past 12 months. We used to go, but I doubt we will this year. A busy weekend, nonetheless. We hope you have a great weekend yourself. See you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 22nd, 2016
04:16 pm


Loc on Beam 10 (Nic Farey and Jim Trash, eds.)
Dear Nic and Jim:

It’s taken a while, but my vacation took up a lot of time (and $$$$), so I am catching up slowly but surely on responding to fanzines. Beam 10 is up, and here goes with the commenting thing…

Paper copies would be nice…but finances are tight all around, and I might have to find other places to store my burgeoning fanzines collection, so it’s easier to store e-copies. I am definitely not a runner, but Toronto International Airport, literally just up the highway from me, is sponsoring what they are calling a Runway Run. The idea of a science club sounds good, but physical attendance is what’s needed. I belong to so many organizations through Facebook, and that’s as far as nearly all of them go.

I understand Kat Templeton’s dreams only too well…I wanted to win a silver rocket, too. In my days before fandom, I’d read the anthologies and see commentary about the Hugos, pro and fan, and thought that perhaps I could win one of them one day. Well, the closest I have come is a single nomination, but I have some certificates and a couple of Auroras, so at my age, I will simply have to say that I have done what I could do, and be pleased with it. I know awards are just paper and bits of wood, plastic and metal, but still, they are marks of achievement.

Thanks to John Wesley Hardin and Jacq Monahan, I’ve had the biggest dollop of egoboo I’ve had in many a year. I do try to respond to as many fanzines as I can get my hands on. With my recent trip to England now past, I am frantically trying my best to catch up with fanzines, like this one, for instance.

My loc…well Wolf von Witting did not win TAFF, for the second time. He says he will not run again, but should he finally bend, he will again have my vote. I was let go from my previous job in October 2015, and it is almost October of 2016, and I still have not found any work. It hasn’t been through lack of trying, but all the great jobs I apply have passed me by…so far. I still have some hope, and the support of Yvonne, who knows and understands. The Helsinki Worldcon would be a wondrous place to be, but only a lottery win at this point would get us there. Nope, didn’t get to see Anna in Toronto, either. A solid fanzine has everything I want to see in a zine.

I hate to see the RIP list in File 770 or Ansible, but we’re of the age where it gets a little close to home, so my condolences to all on the death of Joyce Worley Katz, especially to Arnie. I hope Vegas friends are keeping an eye on him, and trying to buck up his spirits a little. And, since it happened after the publication of this fine zine, more condolences to all on the passing of Dave Kyle. I will miss him and that red blazer.

Almost making the page, so I think this is a good sign. Off it goes into the æther. Thanks, you two, and I am off to tackle something more atop that mound of e-zines I have sitting on my desktop. See you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 20th, 2016
03:35 pm


Loc on Banana Wings 63 (Claire Brialey & Mark Plummer, eds.)
Dear Claire and Mark:

I expect this will be a short loc; I am so far behind in most of the fanzines I get. I try to be a week or two behind, but right now, I am five weeks behind. It’s all thanks to our trip to London and Lincoln. So, some quick comments on Banana Wings 63.

I am hoping that the linear convention report isn’t quite dead; I do have plans to do a trip report on our travels in England, which included a week in London, and four days at the big steampunk event in Lincoln over the bank holiday. Everything humans are involved in is political, but the Hugos have become so political, and dirtied by rampaging Puppies, it has become difficult to care about them. Maybe we will all have a silver rocket on our mantels with all the different categories you write about. Some will disagree with me, but the FAAn Awards may be sliding towards the same fate as the Hugos.

The letter column…fandom is indeed big, but only because of comic conventions, anime conventions, gaming conventions, and the thousands, if not tens of thousands, who go to those events. As far as our own interests here, we are part of the fringe, and frankly, part of the past. I find in Toronto that fandom has changed a lot, but we are trying our best to meet up younger fans. We don’t want to find ourselves alone.

Brexit…the less I say the better. I just wish some of the nits who brought about the Brexit hadn’t said, “My work here is done, I am out of here!”, but had stuck around to see the damage they’d done.

Much less of a loc than I wanted, but that is what I’ve got for you right now. Many thanks for sending it to me, and see you soon with the next one, I’m sure.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 15th, 2016
04:20 pm


Loc on Alexiad 88 (Joseph Major, ed.)
Dear Joseph and Lisa:

Right now, the address above doesn’t apply. While others are heading to Kansas City for the Worldcon, Yvonne and I are on a Westjet 767 heading off to London, England for a long-awaited and long-saved-for vacation. We should be flying over Quebec as I type; I suspect that I will be halfway across the Atlantic by the time I finish. It’s pretty cramped quarters right now, but if I am going to spend 7 hours on a flight, I might as well tackle a fanzine or two. Here are comments on Alexiad 88. (Just had a look at the deadline…I am way early.) (And, the date doesn’t apply, either. I was writing this on my tablet but the whole vacation got in the way. Today is September 15, about four weeks after I started.)

If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put a man on the moon today? Missed opportunities indeed. I read recently of a company who got US government permission to land on the moon (although I thought this was a purview of the UN). We know the fellow behind this venture, and we know his business tactics. All I can say is hide your chequebook, and believe it only when you see it. Investor beware.

Employment situation…same as before. When we get back, I really have to get with it. I do have a couple of hot irons in the fire, so I am hopeful that I will be working again soon. My benefits are exhausted, so there’s further incentive. (Still working at it. Found some great jobs to apply to,
The  Dragon*Con Awards and the 20,000-35,000 people at that one-day event in Louisville just shows me that SF is losing its interactivity. Time was fans could actually participate in the genre, and be a part of things, including the awards. Now, while we can vote in the DC awards, for the most part, we are now mere sources of funding. Pay your $$$, and sit down to watch what we do. Lighten your wallet in the expensive dealers’ room. Give us your e-mail address so we can spam you, and try to sell you more crap in the off-season. We retired from conrunning some years ago, and now, we are vendors. I hope we’re not part of the problem…

My letter…my employment benefits have run out, and now I am living on savings, and on Yvonne’s good graces. My skills have become obsolete, but recently, I found a lot of new jobs that require my skills. Resumes went out to each and every one of them, and fingers are crossed again.

England was great. We stayed at a hotel with Harry Potter-style rooms, went to Watford to see the big HP displays up there, stayed at the Grosvenor Hotel at Victoria Station, took the tube to Kings Cross station to see the Platform 9¾ shop (four times, actually), and the tube again to Paddington station to buy authentic Paddington bears, took tour buses to see lots of London, rode the London Eye, took the train up to Lincoln to spend four days of steampunk fun at The Asylum VIII, and then came home. It cost more than we expected, and more than we had saved for, but we are covered, and the next few years will be tight. This may be all the trip report I can do; I’ve had several ask for such reports, but right now, I must find work.

All done, made the page. Thanks for this, and see you the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 14th, 2016
03:01 pm


Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 112 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)
Dear Tom:

Thank you for The Reluctant Famulus 112. We came back from England two weeks ago now (maybe we were the aliens in London, a couple of happy tourists), and we are still getting back to speed, and I have fallen behind a lot. Time to at least make the attempt to get caught up.

Congrats to Steve Stiles on his long-awaited Hugo award! Accordion or tuba, music like that makes me look for a quieter place. The search for intelligence in the universe…if there’s anyone out there who might be looking in our direction, you should know that we’re slightly more intelligent than the news lets on we are. I have seen twice now that some scientists are looking at some stars as possibly having something resembling a Dyson sphere around them. We truly live in an SFnal age, so perhaps this shouldn’t surprise us. If they have superior technology, maybe we shouldn’t be trusted with it.

The locol…Sheryl, CTV is one of the privately owned television networks here. They have affiliated stations across the country, and are fairly well-known for not creating their own programming, but for simply buying programmes from American networks. CBC, on  the other hand, is publicly-owned, and while it does purchase programming from the US and elsewhere, does finance their own programmes. We have indeed taken our trip, and found that not only is it more expensive than we imagined, it is almost more expensive than we can imagine. We saved for five years for that trip, and while we have no regrets about going, we could have used another year or two of saving. The only impact the Brexit decision had on us was to see a lot about it on the BBC news.

And with the trip taken, the job hunt continues. When the kids go back to school, some jobs open up. Also, some companies use September 1 as the beginning of their fiscal year, so some jobs have appeared, and I have applied to them, and fingers crossed.

I wish I could have written more, I have been fighting a headache, and various aches and pains. Perhaps a nap on the couch is needed. Take care, and I will try to write a better loc next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 9th, 2016
02:26 pm


Loc on Ansible 348 - 350 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear David:

Thank you for the latest Ansibles, and thanks to my trip to England, my schedule is way off, and I am so far behind on so many thanks, responding to fanzines being just one of them. We flew to England, and did all the usual touristy stuff on the Tube (for a day or two), and on the tour buses (for the rest of our stay). After our stay at the Georgian House in Belgravia (££ and Harry Potter) and the Grosvenor at Victoria station (£££ - ouch), we taxied to Kings Cross station, not to Platform 9¾ (although we did get to the store a total of four times), but to Platform 4 to take Virgin Rail up to Newark, and then East Midlands Rail to Lincoln for The Asylum. Great, great fun, and to be honest, the demands for a full trip report are being ignored for the time being. I must find some work PDQ. Two weeks flew past far too fast, and reality has full intruded into our lives again. In the meantime, I have fallen three issues behind, so here are some comments on issues 348, 349 and 350, congratulations!

348…And congratulations to Sir Brian Blessed. I also remember him in an episode of Sir Tony Robinson’s Walking Through Britain. We do see a lot of BBC programmes here, especially on TVOntario, our educational channel. When Judith Merril lived in Toronto, we found her a little egotistical, and she certainly did not like local fandom and its local literary convention of the time. She was on the aforementioned TVOntario as the Undoctor, ripping apart the popular Doctor Who episodes of the time.

Usual remarks about the size of the R.I.P. section, etc., which I am sure will also apply to…

349…Ah, so that’s why the ® appears! Does the copyright extend anywhere else, or is it UK only?

On this convention list was The Asylum in Lincoln. Granted, there were many ticketed events here, but there was lots of food and drink, and lots of most amazing costumes, and the friendliest of people in Lincoln. We would return, if it didn’t cost nearly $15k for our entire vacation. We didn’t quite have enough saved up, so the pain isn’t too bad.

Yes, those usual remarks about the size of the R.I.P. section certainly do apply here. Sigh…

And last, 350…The rooster is on acid? And not Brad? Well done, Mr. Foster!

Another Worldcon I have missed, and I miss them less and less. I don’t have the money to go any more. And yes, we just came back from England…if I knew then what I know now, I would have had more vacations, and fewer Worldcons. Maybe once the Puppies are put down…no, I doubt it. Retirement beckons, and more debt is the last thing we need.

Again on the R.I.P. section, but now, it gets personal, with losing Stephanie Clarkson and Ruth Stuart. Not fair, especially Ruth. We visited her in her hospital room as she lay in a coma, and I read to her the first act of the newest Harry Potter book; she seemed to respond to it, but it was not to be. We miss her. She had a full fannish career, and was just starting a pro career. Not fair at all.

Three issues covered in a full page? Not enough, but then again, it is Friday. That’s my excuse, anyway. Many thanks for these, and I will try not to fall too far behind the next time. Perhaps I should wish you and Hazel a Merry Christmas, just in case? Take care, and see you the next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 8th, 2016
08:48 am


Loc on Vibrator 2.0.29, 2.0.30, 2.0.31 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

We are freshly back from a lovely week in London, followed by a week in Lincoln, and we are slowly recovering from all this both physically and financially. (We’d saved a lot, but it wasn’t quite enough.) While we were travelling in and out of Gatwick, I had copies of Vibrator 2.0.29 and 2.0.30 with me, and I wrote a fairly long loc on them. And, of course, my tablet ate the document. So, let’s do this over again, and add issue 2.0.31 to the mix, too.

2.0.29…the cover sums up just about any election. Must bribe the electorate with their own money, of course. While we were in London, we watched BBC London News, and heard more on the radio. Our own political solutions came about last election when the Liberals swept out the Conservatives, and the world seems to be in love with Justin Trudeau. So, we’re fairly positive about politics here, but of course, that could change at any time. I pray there’s a political leader who can make things look positive for you. Who knows, the latest document demanding another referendum may gain even more steam.

While I have been here, and before that, too, British politics has been entertaining. After Farage and Johnson led Brexit to victory, they walked away from it as a job well done, and the entire country lost billions of pounds in stock value. Farage goes on to support Trump (!), and Johnson gets to be Foreign Secretary.  How did that happen? Theresa May seems a nice person, how did she get into this mess? And between Owen ??? and Jeremy Corbyn, perhaps None of the Above might win the Labour leadership. I haven’t kept up with what’s happening in Canada, so I suspect Justin Trudeau is doing his best, and former PM Stephen Harper has resigned as an MP, and is raking in his substantial pension, and has probably accepted a dozen or more corporate directorships in his lucrative post-politics life. Way to go, Steve…fleecing the sheeple.

We’ve also been fairly positive about immigration, taking taken on about 35,000 Syrian refugees. We may be taxed to the limit once the US elections come about, and should the worst happen, we will probably have to deal with American political refugees who will not want to deal with President Trump.

I try my best to not engage in political discourse, for I know it only leads to more time spent on Facebook than you really want to, but sometimes I slip up. However, I find fanzines are no better. I have very few zines on my Do Not Respond list, but another has been added to the list thanks to the faned questioning my personal heritage because I had reason to discuss his politics. Sigh…

America is a little closer geographically, but is still hard to understand, even with the extreme politics there. The lack of gun control there makes me leery of going there, even though they are literally down the highway from me. It can stay there.

We also saw on the BBC news the closing of the last of the BHS stores in England. In the province of Ontario, we had something similar, the BiWay stores. They seemed to be doing very well, and suddenly, they all shut down. They were good stores for lower to middle class shoppers. So many shops like this one have closed over the last 10 to 15 years.

Hello, Jennifer! I’ve been writing letters like this one for close to 35 years now. They can be fun, and they can also be an artificial workload, especially if you feel that you should respond to every single zine you get, as I have for far too long. I am trying to whittle some down, but it is too difficult to do that, and have a reason for it.

I admit I was surprised by the results of the Brexit vote. In this day and age of strength in number, the decision to leave seemed based on, as you say, xenophobia, racism, and a huge number of immigrants taxing an already taxed system. Given the financial losses, I suspect the results will be ignored until the public forgets it, and then the government will reverse the results when no one’s looking. Theresa May says she will carry through the Brexit results, but I do have my doubts. Think Scotland may use this to separate?

I am alarmed and amused by the number of American tourists who try to cross into Canada, their cars and trucks brimming with guns and ammunition, and Canadian officials confiscate the lot. Guns are controlled in this country, and you shall not bring your guns and ammo here. Then, they demand to see who’s in charge, and then claim they are Homo Superior because of their nationality. I have too many American friends to want to continue. Those in the know, know how they are regarded in the world, and try their best to do and be better, for which I thank them.

My loc…still job hunting. Being 57 years old must have at least something to do with it. The chippy we went to in London? The Shakespeare, a short distance from Victoria station. Wonderful grub, and a short walk from our hotel, too. Never did find one in the artistic quarter of Lincoln, but then, we didn’t have much time. Had a great bangers and mash dinner one night, though. Got the WiFi booster we needed, and I need to see if a second one might work better.

2.0.30…very much a shame about Joyce Katz. Greetings to Graham West, and the title of this article is a question many of us are still asking ourselves, depending on the interest we self-cater to within what we call fandom. It truly is a social mechanism so that we can gather, and not feel we’re the only ones interested in SF, or at least not feel that we’re single idiots reading SF, and that we can be a collective of idiots together, consoling one another. On my office corkboard is a cartoon your father did of me…

Three aliens on Earth…the first one speaks to three humans close by…
“Fear not, Earthlings, We have no interest in the conquest of your obscure little planet. We merely wish to know why we alone in the galaxy have not received a letter of comment from Lloyd Penney.”
The other two aliens talk with each other…
“Thought it was Harry Warner…” “No no, new kid now.”

Locol…can’t believe the Brexit won, either. Another referendum, maybe? I expect that should there be any stores interested in my vinyl records, I could sell the lot for about $500 or so, and free up a couple of shelves. I doubt we will do that, unless we desperately need to move and become more mobile than we are, which is what I expect will happen.

(And not even a four-hour power outage to my building is going to stop me from writing this…slow me down a little, sure…)

2.0.31…Nope, don’t see that happening at all. Congratulations, Steve, well deserved, and definitely hang on to that silver rocket. I gather it is the 50th anniversary of the launch (ha ha) of Star Trek, and also the launch of The Prisoner. I’ve enjoyed them both, but give me The Twilight Zone any day.

Eliminate Elizabeth on Canadian coins and stamps? Well, we’ve had royalty around us for plenty long time, so myself, I don’t mind if she is there or not. Every place has their level of xenophobia, but it is a matter of being informed and finding out the reasons for the state of the nation, instead of simply blaming others for your misfortune.

Ah, Steve covered his bases! Wise man. And, given all that I have done here, and I am on the third page, I think I can finally rest, and get this to you. Many thanks, sorry I fell so far behind, and I will try, as ever, to do better. The key word is ‘try’. See you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 2nd, 2016
09:54 pm


Loc on Kalien 82 (Jocko Allen, ed.)

Dear Jocko:

Thanks for the newest issue of Kalien, numbered #82. I gather the previous issue was number 83, but I do not judge. You can call it part 4 of 3 as Douglas Adams did, too. On with the loc, and the contents (and the right ingredients) within!

I think we’re both of the age when we see these records of SF awards won years ago, and we reminisce about those good old days. We knew many of the nominees and winners, and on the odd occasion, we were the nominee and winner. Yvonne and I have a stack of Aurora nominations between us, and we even have three Auroras total on our shelves, and we look at those with some pride. Congratulations to you on the Chandler! We have found lately that as with bigger awards, fans do not seem eligible for fan awards, unless the definition of fan has changed. Used to be fans would win fan awards for the fannish things they did for fans. Now it seems that the awards go to those who work with the pros to promote the pros’ writings. I don’t know any of the people who win the fan awards. (I am very pleased that this troublesome trend has been bucked by Mike Glyer and Steve Stiles, who took home fan Hugos this year!)

Some people we know are sick of conventions, as they say they’re sick to death of hearing about them all the time. Used to be it was parties, but fandom is disintegrating around here, and I hear very little about what’s happening any more. Conventions are fandom’s lifeblood at this point, for they are now the only way for fans to gather physically. I belong to myriad steampunk groups, and they are almost all Facebook-based. The human contact is under-rated. Ah, so many familiar names from Ethel in the 90s and 00s. I still get it, and luckily, there’s still mention of KRin and Ian Gunn from time to time. Good to see Gunny is much missed and remembered.

I still hope there is time for us older fans…I was recently informed that we are under consideration to be FanGoHs at a western Canadian convention. We do not expect to be chosen; they will probably bring in a professional cosplayer or something like that. All we can do is rest on what laurels we have, and chase the new things that interest us. Must keep up with all those interests to stay active and alive. Many thanks for this issue, and I hope you will do some more soon. See you then.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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11:04 am


Loc on X-Rayer 122 & 123 (Ray Palmer, ed.)
Dear Ray:

I am not at the above address as I type this, but I am at umpteen thousand feet on a WestJet Airlines plane, flying out of London Gatwick, and heading home to Toronto Pearson. We’ve just enjoyed a two-week vacation in England, in London and Lincoln, and you’ve got to do something on a 7-hour flight! So here goes with a loc on issues 122 and 123 of X-Rayer.

Go for it re the horror movie. I have seen episodes of a series on life in South America, and some of the fish even in small rivers will take a big bit out of you, if not eat you. Ten-foot long piranhas, anyone? If it’s successful, it will make sure the Olympics are never held on that continent again. Rio de Janeiro, through the Brazilian government, made so many promises, and broke most of them. Our Canadian team did very well, but I did not watch the Olympics this year. Too busy getting ready for the trip we’ve just taken!

If indeed there ever were any real UFOs, it makes me wonder why there are so few seen these days? Perhaps we’re not very interesting, or not too advanced, not worthy of study. Or, they’ve decided we’re going to destroy ourselves, and they’d better get out of the vicinity. I wish they’d come back, and visit with us, and explain themselves. Then, we might hear what I’ve always thought to be the most poignant line in all SF films and television…”Take me with you.”

My loc…My ISP Bell Canada seems to be finally adapting to Windows 10. All e-mail problems were finally fixed before we went to England, and now, the problems are with Facebook adapting to another new version of the Android tablet’s OS. That’s getting fixed, but there’s so much to realign. Fortunately, updates for Android versions of popular programmes have been coming fairly frequently. Each one has been necessary, for Facebook. I gather that Canadians pay among the highest rates for cellphone usage and cable television in the industrialized world. Yvonne actually did call Bell Canada to demand a refund, and she got a 50% reduction on that month’s bill.

And then, of course, I also have here issue 123… I suspect that someone took a pile of ideas from assorted horror movies, threw them all together in a hat, and pulled out an unlikely combination of sharks and tornados. I have never seen anything with Sharknado in the title; too silly for me. Having been in England for two weeks, we’ve been in one hotel or another. The TV is moot; we watched the BBC while getting ready for the day’s activities. One hotel also had BBC Radio through the TV, and that was a nice change, being able to listen to the radio while we rushed around, packing or unpacking, or digging out personal kits.

I think most of us suffer from Too Much Stuff at some time. The solution we found was multi-part…the first step we took was to go to a collectibles’ shop to see if they were interested in what we had. They were, we brought in a big box of our assorted collectibles, and after some negotiation, we walked out of there with a mostly-empty big box of stuff, and $600. The shop closed down some months later; we were never sure if we had a part in that. The second step was to take a dealer’s table at a local con, and price things reasonably. We did that for a few years, and then we discovered that we could attend a convention and see all the people we wanted to see from the comfort of a couple of chairs behind a table, and make some money, too. Around that time, we also got interested in steampunk, being costumers back in the 80s and 90s, and I learned how to make basic jewelry with a tool set Yvonne gave me, and we were in business, and we still are. (The only thing wrong with being behind a table all weekend is that your friends find you there, see you are a captive audience, and pour out their tales of woe…the divorce is not going well, Dave is spending his inheritance poorly, I had my operation, I need another operation on my hip, this new restaurant I went to is crap, whine, moan, complain…that was earlier this year. The moaners, whiners and complainers chased a lot of business away, and all we got for our trouble that weekend was $250 and a migraine each.)

I’ve never met Cassandra Peterson as herself or Elvira, but I gather she is a sweet lady. I hope she enjoys her retirement, and that Elvira continues on, as campy and nubile as ever. The latest Ghostbusters movie? A success. The latest Star Trek movie? A total flop. A new Star Trek series is being shot, and it’s in Toronto, of all places.

All done for the moment; as I type, I am somewhere over the Atlantic. I will save this, e-mail it to myself, and get it to you…eventually. See you then!

(Of course, this was composed on the plane, and only now sent out at home. I see issue 124 has arrived, and I will get to that soon, I hope.)

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 16th, 2016
01:45 pm


Loc on Purrsonal Mewsings 53 (R-Laurraine Tutihasi, ed.)
Dear R-Laurraine:

Hey, it’s been a while since Purrsonal Mewsings arrived electronically, but now that it has, and time presents itself, I can whip up a fast loc. Here are some commentary on issue 53.

I must admit that Antarctica isn’t really a place I’d be interested in seeing. I think for you, the cold climate is different. I grew up with it, so I guess it isn’t any different for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in an APA, and I wonder if there is a current list of APAs extant. So many have simply gone away.

Still, the way you got to Antarctica is interesting. I have heard of Ushuaia, Argentina, as the stepping-off point for getting to Antarctica, and that is their means of making a living, tourism as they head off to the bottom of the world. It’s a shame you felt so badly through most of your trip.

So many people on Facebook are on their way to Kansas City for the Worldcon. It starts tomorrow! However, for us, no Worldcon, and I doubt we will  ever return. Tomorrow, though, we do leave… for England! As said in my previous loc, we will be spending a week in London, doing lots of touristy and Harry Potter things, and then afterwards, we will take the train up to Lincoln, and we will be a part of The Asylum, the annual biggest steampunk event in the world. We were looking forward to it so much, but now, it’s not a few months away, or a few weeks, but it’s now mere hours before we go!

We have been to quite a number of cons this year, but as vendors. As soon as we get back, we have four different cons or craft shows to go to. This has been a fun year, and more’s to come.

There are just a few last things to do to be ready for our two weeks in England, so I will fold it up here, say my thanks, and get this ready for you. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 15th, 2016
02:52 pm


Loc on Fornax 11 & 12 (Charles Rector, ed.)
Dear Charles:

Thank you for the past two issues of Fornax; sorry I haven’t been able to keep up. We are very close to going on a vacation, so our time has not been our own. So, days away from our flights, here are some comments on issues 11 and 12.

11…No matter the corruption Hillary Clinton may be accused of, it doesn’t amount to the apparent insanity that is coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Looks like the US will be reduced to once again voting for the less of two evils.

So many good websites simply go away, and with one of them, I just printed out the contents of the website, and three-hole-punched it into a binder. In the current election, Clinton is starting to put distance between her and Trump, and she seems to gain a percent point lead with every stupidity that Trump utters.

The letter column…the Blue Jays are doing marvelous well, and will no doubt make the playoffs this year, but I have my doubts if they can win. They have been fighting with the Orioles all year, and have been soundly defeated by other teams. I hope they can overcome their own problems. Interesting to see that for the first time in some time, American voters are dealing with other parties. This is something I’ve always done. You probably will never have to deal with a minority government, though.

My letter…indeed, ‘other interests’ does include steampunk. No, we retired from running conventions voluntarily. I know of the TPP, and how much of a raw deal it can be for just about everyone. Clinton has announced her opposition to the TPP, and I hope that stays. My, you seem to think that I am deluded, or that I am blinded by hatred. Have we even spoken to each other?, or are you simply going to attack me personally because you do not agree with my politics?

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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11:40 am


Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 36 Nos. 7 & 8 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFAns:

Thank you for the last couple of issues of the Shuttle…I’ve been kept busy with preparations for our vacation. Two days from now, we are off to England for two weeks of touristy, Harry Potter and steampunk fun. Can’t believe it’s already here! And, to make sure we had a great time at the big steampunk convention, we have shipped our costumes to our hotel to ensure they are there for us. So, because of all this, I have the  July and August issues to comment on, and I will do that, now.

July…Well, I hope all those who are going to the KC Worldcon have a great time. I think the political attitude of the Worldcon, and many awards now, has soured Worldcon for us, so we will spend what little money we have having some fun for ourselves. We’re flying out from Toronto on the same day the KC Worldcon begins.

All the awards…good to see at least a few familiar names, like ChiZine and Gemma Files. The Aurora Awards were given out in Calgary, Alberta this past weekend, so if you need the list of winners… I can’t give them to you, for I will be out of town! We did not nominate or vote…we’re too far out of the loop now.

My letter…TAFF winner Anna Raftery was in Toronto a short time ago, but we did not have a chance to visit with her. I hope her stay was an enjoyable one. Last I heard, she was in Las Vegas, but I think will be in KC shortly, if she’s not there now. The Tragically Hip had their final shows in Toronto, and the final final show will be in their home town of Kingston, Ontario on August 20, and broadcast nationally on the CBC.

August…I gather the restoration of the original Enterprise was a long, drawn-out procedure, for while it hung in the Smithsonian, it was literally rotting away. It took a lot of restoration and cleaning to get that model ready for display in the public galleries. Good luck to the Worldcon business meetings on finding a way to foil the assorted Puppies and their intentions to game the Hugos for their own benefit. More familiar names…Kate Beaton and Donald Kingsbury, and many more in the Sunburst nominations.

Off this goes to you…by 6pm Wednesday time, we will be off to Pearson International Airport, and wait patiently for our WestJet flight to Gatwick. We will attempt to take as many pictures as possible, and slap them on my Facebook page. Still a list of things to do, but there’s just a few items left. Take care, and we will return by the end of the month.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 12th, 2016
03:26 pm


Loc on fugghead 4 (Dan Steffan, ed.)

Dear Dan:

I have been fortuitous to find Fugghead Four, and I can’t think of anything else to start with an F because it’s close to lunchtime. Famished? Anyway, as I look at that lamp with the awfully odd shade on it, I will dive in, and see what’s being said.

We’ve all been to picnics, we used to have office picnics where everyone would bring in something different so we could all pig out in the office lunchroom, and even fannish picnics where without serious instruction of what to bring, the event would 24 slightly different varieties of potato salad. Years ago, after going to New Orleans for a Worldcon, Yvonne and I would make jambalaya to popular demand. I seem to recall some kind of dish with miniature marshmallows in it, plus fruit cocktail, and it was dubbed Mormon salad… You just have to make sure you don’t overdose on Kraft Dinner, which up here is short for mac & cheese.

Great illo for The Cracked Eye! I wonder who’d be writing these little gems, hm? Got a good idea of who’d be illustrating them… Old mags like these remind me of the heyday of reading. There’s still a Canadian version of Reader’s Digest, but it’s tiny in comparison to the thick copies produced in the 60s to 80s. There are magazine services available here where I could read all the domestic magazines I wanted for a flat fee…I guess I am one of millions who aren’t all that interested in them.

Gafiation continues to beckon, and the temptations are there. Local fan politics, politics in general, I just try to remember Glicksohn’s Maxim, IF3… If Fandom Isn’t Fun, It’s Futile. I’ve been thinking a lot about that these days. Another thing that reminds me of that is that in a few days, Yvonne and I are off on a vacation to England, to take the trip we couldn’t take a couple of years ago to the British Worldcon. There’s no Worldcon, but London is still there, so we are off to see it and the beautiful town of Lincoln for a total of two weeks. I might write a loc or two…but I doubt it…

Anyway, that’s it, that’s all. Take care, many thanks.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 11th, 2016
03:19 pm


Loc on Opuntia 347 & 348 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

I haven’t done much writing lately…our long-saved for vacation is almost here, and there’s still things to do before we go next Wednesday. So, zines have suffered here a little bit, but there is a little time now to get with it, and respond to Opuntia 347 and 348.

347…The Stampede Parade always looks like good fun. I’d like a cowboy hat myself, but I am not sure where around Toronto I could get it. I am sure there’s plenty of places just out of town. I hope the city has good relations with the aboriginal groups. Toronto is on the land of the Mississauga nation.

I am on a diet, and so far, I’ve lost about 15 pounds. After seeing the food pictures, that’s probably down to 12. I admit I am not sure how to deep-fry coffee, but I’d sacrifice a pound or two to find out. Same goes for the barbecue. There’s an annual barbecue competition on Centennial Park in Etobicoke, but it is so expensive and crowded. We haven’t been there in some years, but if we really want good ribs, we’ve got an old pressure cooker that make them fall off the bone.

My letter…I do not understand why the CBC can’t bring back radio drama. I was told that they needed to monetize every second of air time, and radio drama was cancelled because there were few listeners. This was some years ago now…I would think that now, it could be presented to the listenership as something new, and inexpensive to make.

348…As much as I like the attractions of the city, the attractions of the country are relaxing.  Woody areas, any park, and there is one across the street from us, are places we make time for to relax, and walk through. One of the shows we vended at this year was a bushy area in a residential area, with a historic house at its centre, and a big field with huge tress around the edges. Historic Benares House was both relaxing and profitable that day, and I hope the show will return there next year.

As we are leaving for vacation soon, one place in London we intend to go to is Baker Street. Not only is there the presence of Sherlock Holmes there at 221B Bake Street, but there is a big Beatles shop at 235 Baker, and we will be spending some time there, too.

Andrew Robinson was at VulCon this year? I met Robinson at a convention some years ago, and I had the opportunity to complement him on his portrayal of John F. Kennedy in an episode of The New Twilight Zone. That’s the last thing he expected to hear at a media convention, and we had a great chat about being on set with actor Lane Smith, and his experiences there before being hauled by his handlers for a session before a large audience.

I think I am done for the moment. Thank you for these two issues, and I will always look for more.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 10th, 2016
12:16 pm


Loc on Fadeaway 50 (Robert Jennings, ed.)
Dear Robert:

Thank you for Fadeaway 50…50 issues is quite the achievement. Congrats for that, and hope the knee is better. Time to see if I can make further comments in the next paragraph.

As I write, I had my regular annual appointment with my ophthalmologist yesterday. We’re of the age…I’ve had problems with my right eye, but now, there may be some with my left. I have a cystal tuft, and possibly a partial retinal separation that healed itself. Vision is fine, but now comes potential problems for the future.

We’d all like paper fanzines, but we all know the costs involved, and as time goes on, finding a place to store all the paper fanzines you get gets tougher, and the costs continue to rise. A .pdfed version does me fine right now.

I haven’t read many mystery novels over the years…SF has been my personal mainstay. But, I certainly understand the appeal, especially when it comes to making the reader think. Toronto is lucky in that there is still a mystery/detective book store (Sleuth of Baker Street), and next year, Bouchercon will be in Toronto for the third time.

There is always something new to learn…I had never heard of The Whistler. I suspect many of the American old time radio shows I know about came out of New York City and other east coast cities, and it looks like The Whistler came from the west coast, and perhaps Chicago later on. (On page 18, I see an ad for The Mark of the Whistler, also starring Paul Guilfoyle. The same Paul Guilfoyle who played Captain Jim Brass on CSI? IMDB says no, and not related, either.) Where could I listen to episodes of The Whistler?

Your conversation with Darrell Schweitzer…I still wonder of the end of the age of the collector is upon us. It’s not through lack of interest, but through the generations who remember such broadcasts and publications with fond remembrance. I have a few items at home which I think could be collectors’ items, but I have no idea who might be interested when the time comes for me to pass them along.

Perhaps the actor who best portrays Holmes for you is the one you saw the most of. The Rathbone movies were too Hollywood for me, and Watson was portrayed as a bumbler, which a Victorian doctor with a full roster of patients simply couldn’t be. The Brett episodes gave some of Holmes’ lines to a very intelligent Watson, and even to Mrs. Hudson. I would be pleased to have a full collection of Brett episodes on DVD, and regret only that he didn’t live long enough to complete the entire canon.

Greetings to chris sitko (no caps), and please do stay. I started responding to fanzines in the early 80s when I was in my early 20s, and here I am in my late 50s, still letterhacking away. Hope you enjoy this, Chris. I have my trusty desktop computer, plus now, I have an Android Samsung Galaxy tablet, but I do have a lot of paperbacks still on the shelf, tempting me from time to time. Some I know get all the writing of a particular author, and never read them; they seem content to have them available upon a whim.

My loc, and publishing…one of the local papers just announced 50 layoffs, mostly because people are just not taking to the tablet version of that paper. That doesn’t help me on my job hunt, which is still going on. The demand for reading material, or even simply readable English, is growing fainter all the time. Windows 10 has seriously slowed down my own computer, the one I am banging on right now.

One week from tonight…Yvonne and I will be on our way to England. We’ve been saving for this for five years now, and now, we have nearly everything planned and paid for in advance. We will spend a week in London, seeing some sights, and then up to Lincoln for a steampunk weekend. I suspect this will be our last overseas trip, so we will make it one to remember.

Thank you for this issue, and please do keep them coming. No doubt you are already working on the next 50. Many thanks.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 4th, 2016
02:57 pm


Loc on CounterClock 25 (Wolf von Witting, ed.)
Dear Wolf:

As promised, a little later than intended, here’s some comments on issue 25 of CounterClock. Congratulations on getting to 25 issues, few actually get to that number.

Many people do not understand what the various fan funds are about, and who can run for them. Yvonne and I have won CUFF (Canadian Unity Fan Fund) in the past, but it was by acclamation. I think most will agree that the oldest funds, like TAFF and DUFF, are kind of closed shops. Please do write the non-TAFF trip report, and I hope you will give TAFF a try again. Third time lucky… I think I came in 4th place for Best Letterhack, but I am never considered for Best Fan Writer. Maybe next time…

The advent of robots and other semi-autonomous mechanisms have improved things for many of us, but they also do away with many jobs. AI might do terrible things to humanity, for it is not human, and not saddled with such things as mercy and doubt. It is great to have this technology, but it must be employed intelligently, and if people say so, not employed at all. Can we?, will we?...should we?

The 160 best SF&F TV series…looks like all the shows I’ve always liked are there. Classic Twilight Zone, ST:TNG, ST:TOS, Babylon 5, Classic Outer Limits, Night Gallery, ST:DS9, 1995 Outer Limits, 1985 Twilight Zone, ST:VOY, ST:TAS, Time Tunnel, ST:ENT, Max Headroom, 2002 Twilight Zone, original Battlestar Galactica…all the Twilight Zones and Outer Limitses had great stories, which is what I prefer over great characters.

It is good to see that SF conventions can happen anywhere, and good to see one in Slovenia. I have received a few English versions of Bojan Ekselenski’s fanzine, and I hope there will be some more.

The costumes at the Zagreb Fantasy Convention looked great! Conventions outside North American prove that a convention does not have to be held in an expensive hotel. Schools and churches, with enough room, provide more than enough space. Cosplayers add character, and the costumes add to the weekend for the people wearing them, but in the long run, it is the friends you meet and make that makes a convention a great place to gather at. (If I recall, Ylva Spångberg put out a fanzine some years ago…) Big cons aren’t necessarily good cons, but there are so many who prefer the big cons over the small, based on what they can provide, mostly big-name guests. The small cons have their charms for me, mostly because guests are not the most important part of the event.

It is great to see the Worldcon go to Finland, putting more of the world in the Worldcon. Unfortunately, I cannot even imagine going, unless I win a lottery. But, we are doing some travelling shortly. Time for my loc… All I said about going to England, is finalized, and we leave in less than two weeks! No time for Iceland…we will be flying WestJet from Toronto to Gatwick, and taking the Gatwick Express to Victoria station. We’ll be in London for a week, taking in all the touristy things and a trip to Watford for some Harry Potter fun, and then up to Lincoln for The Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world, and then home again. We’ve been saving for this for five years.

In the 25 issues of this zine, I’ve had 19 letters? Excellent! I am glad you’ve been keeping track. A look at the calendar tells me that I shall be in the letter column of fanzines for nearly 35 years. Anna Raftery was in Toronto, but we did not get a chance to see her. I think she is now in Las Vegas. Please give TAFF another try, and you can make it to this side of the Atlantic!

Many thanks for this issue, and don’t quit; please do keep them coming. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 28th, 2016
10:05 am


Loc on Askance 37 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

You were good to your word, and you got me an e-copy of Askance 37. Now, I will do my bit, and try to write up a suitable loc. Nice Al Sirois illo for the cover, too.

I’ve never tried the playing and singing route, mostly because I can’t play, and definitely can’t sing. I used to be connected with the local filkers here, and there are many who also can’t play or sing, but still participate. Even some in the Filk Hall of Fame freely admit they can’t do either, but there they are in the HoF. You also mention how much rain you’ve gotten…where I am has had a severe drought for a couple of months now, with less than half the rain we usually get. The grassy areas are brown and crunchy. We’ve had about 20 days of temperatures above 30°C, or 86°F, which is a lot more than we usually get, too.

Sunday funnies? Well, I buy the Saturday Toronto Star every weekend, and the comics and the TV guide are the most important parts of the paper for me. Think there should be the funny pages in a fanzine? More opportunities for our talented fan artists, always a good thing.

I see so few movies, but we did see Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes. A wonderful movie, and the local Holmes club raved over it. McKellen is on in years, but he had to be aged further in order to portray a truly old Sherlock Holmes. I especially liked finding out where Holmes and Watson actually did live.

David Thayer’s Stars speak the truth, the Hugos are not what they used to be. Others will worry, but we won’t; I think we will return to Worldcon when it is local again, meaning in Toronto, or other places we can easily drive to, including Ottawa, Montreal, Detroit, Buffalo…not likely at all.

The locol…I believe I met Margaret Middleton some years ago, as a filker, she travelled around a fair bit, and came up to Toronto for its own filk con, FilKontario.

I see I offered another Tale From The Convention!, and then failed to do so. I must do better, and get with it. I did not get that interview with KPMG, and have temporarily suspended my job hunt, and the reason for that is our vacation! Since this letter, we’ve done a number of conventions and shows which we have vended at…besides the comic con in Kitchener, there was Ad Astra, Anime North (great sales that weekend, as always), a local alternative craft show called The Bazaar of the Bizarre, and another show at a historic house in neighbouring Mississauga, called Through The Looking Glass: Steampunk Invasion. Coming up is the Coldwater Steampunk Festival, and then our vacation, and in the fall and winter, the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition in Niagara-on-the-Lake (just attending, not vending), the Locke Street Festival in Hamilton, the annual Christmas Craft Show at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and finally, the annual Historic Bovaird House Christmas Craft Show in Brampton. We’ve been busy, and sales have been fair so far… Correct, no snow on the ground here. We do intend to take lots of pictures, especially with the tablet I have, so I can almost immediately relay them to my Facebook page.

Being in Canada, we can look over the fence (no wall yet), and see the politics in action, and wrinkle our noses in disgust. I will not mention who is disgusting us, no need to, for he must disgust most American voters, but if he insists on building the walls along the northern and southern borders, he must remember that not only will it keep us foreigners out, but it will keep Americans in, and isolated from the rest of the world. Please don’t let that happen. Hillary Clinton might not be the best candidate, but she will be the best candidate on the ballot.

I have mentioned our vacation a couple of times…in 20 days as I write this,

All done! Got to the full page, and a little more. Thank you for this, and see you the next time you decide to commit fanzine.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 26th, 2016
04:06 pm


Loc on X-Rayer 121 (Ray Palmer, ed.)
Dear Ray:

Thank you for issue 121 of the X-Rayer. This might have to be short and fast, but then, that describes me, too. Let’s see what I can do.

Great cartoon on the front cover, and so true, too. Some must wonder if the final days are close by, and are starting to read Revelations. I think it’s just our insanity on the rise, and the veneer of civilization becoming thinner to the point of transparency. Far too many deaths at the hands of terrorists and police.

Suspension of disbelieve if great, but even better if you can believe entirely, immerse yourself in a great storyline, and emerge at the end emotionally moved. I think many of us would like that in a novel, too.

Brides of Blood…how did these aloof scientists ever get married? After that, how did they ever father beautiful scientist’s daughters? A real bunch of stoiks. Nudity? I guess as long as they are natives, it’s okay. Isn’t the Legion of Decency a comic book? Perhaps it should be.

My loc…still having computer problems. My ISP is Bell Canada, and it hasn’t been able to provide me with e-mail service for over three weeks now. I call and get the usual regrets at the inconvenience, but it is beyond the inconvenience stage. I have no idea who’s been trying to reach me, and Bell doesn’t seem all that motivated to fix their problem. I haven’t given up on the job hunt, for my benefits have just ended, but I have suspended them, for we’re going on the vacation to England we’ve been planning for for years.

Done for the moment. We will see you with the next ish!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 22nd, 2016
03:20 pm


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 75 No. 7 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

I have TNFF Vol. 75, No. 7 here, and I will make the attempt to write something else for the letter column. Let’s see what I can generate…

A list of all SF conventions may be a difficult task, I know of others who are struggling to create a Canadian SF convention list. Most conventions do a lot of pre-con advertising, but not all, and sometimes, an event crops up out of the blue, with a week to go. Usually, that event is never heard from again. I went to an even event with Keri Dullea and Gary Lockwood some years ago in downtown Toronto…Dullea looks much the way he did back then, but you might not recognize Lockwood. I hope there will be issues of Tightbeam again soon, and I hope I might see them.

I have never really been a pulp collector, but I have held on to the issues I’ve been able to get over the years. I think I do have some issues of If; I’d need to start digging.

I enjoyed Superman way back when, but haven’t kept up with him over the past couple of decades. I always enjoy the George Reeves series, and all the Christopher Reeve movies, but my interest flagged after that. Perhaps the only thing that kept my interest was that one of Superman’s creators was Canadian, and that the Daily Planet was actually an homage to the Daily Star, now the Toronto Star daily newspaper. Postage stamps and collectors coins for Superman have been popular here.

I have seen flyers for Fan World in Niagara Falls…I don’t know how they will do it, but part of the con is in Niagara Falls, NY, and the rest of it in Niagara Falls, Ontario. They have some interesting guests, but I suspect it will literally be two very separate cons on the same weekend, a short distance apart. I guess a passport will get you back and forth…

A good healthy letter column! Always good to see. And with that, I think I will fold it up, and say thank you. We are less than a month away from our trip to England, and everything is coming together. I am planning to bring some fanzines with me to read and make comment on as we travel on the planes and trains. Many thanks, see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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