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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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July 24th, 2017
03:46 pm

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Loc on SF Commentary 94 (Bruce Gillespie, ed.)
Dear Bruce:

Many thanks for SF Commentary 94. I am so far behind when it comes to writing letters, and catching up never seems to be an option for me, so I am just going to plunge into the pile and keep going. A loc for you, good sir…

As much as I like the new technologies that have radically changed our lives, I regret some of the changes, such as those to books, fanzines, magazine and cursive writing. Perhaps they are old, but they have formed a huge part of our lives, and now they are being phased out, and we are ridiculed for our desire to keep them around. So, there are still those who will not deal with electronic zines, and that is their loss. I understand the modern finances, and honestly, it’s a lot easier to store an e-zine than a paper zine. I have, at this time, no source of income, either. Even jobs where I had a second interview seem to have dried up, and those people so excited to talk to me gone silent. And, there are so few publishing jobs here…I wish there was a fund I could draw upon, but there are no other sources available. Bless Yvonne for being willing and able to support me at this time.

This past 12 months has been full of politics of the negative, as in to my south, and of the positive, in elections here and in France. There are many politicians who need a sharp reminder that becoming a representative does not give them the keys to the treasury at their discretion, but makes them civil servants, and the public their bosses. I remember my own high school reunion many years ago. Only one from my graduating class showed up, and I was told the rest lived in town, and weren’t interested in even showing up to the free event. My high school was torn down two years ago.

I have noticed in Australian and American politics that high-priced executive are hired as managers of major government departments, not to defend the organization, but to destroy it from within. The government seems determined to bring in the worst possible people to run the department in order to justify its total defunding.

I turned 58 in June, and feel old enough as it is. Yvonne is planning to have a massive retirement and 65th birthday party for herself, and all I can do is help with the planning. (Her retirement day may be her last day at work, which will also be her birthday. What a gift to give to yourself.) A belated happy birthday to you, Bruce. May there many more.

That is an impressive storage area on page 36, with lots of fanzines in storage. I am seriously considering giving my collection away, I think I know who to give it to, but I suspect that many of my zines will simply be recycled. We’re also weeding the book collection, and every volume that goes in a banker’s box is painful.

Patrick McGuire’s loc…no, there was no settlement from my last job, I was simply laid off, and after nearly 20 months, I am still looking for work. I’ve had a little telemarketing here and there, some work doing registration for trade shows, and a little voicework, but nothing even semi-permanent.

My loc, or locs…well, Murdoch Mysteries, our favorite Canadian show is not shooting its eleventh season, and it continues to look very good. We did indeed go to England, spent a week in London, and another in Lincoln. Yvonne is already saving for a return trip. I hope we can go, and I hope that I will be able to contribute to that saving. We are being steampunk vendors; we vended at a show last weekend, and will vend again in two weeks. It is fun, but it is hard work bringing all the table furnishings to each show. This is the year that both Yvonne and I mark 40 years in fandom; I hope we will have the chance to celebrate that.

Well, the locol will continue next issue, so I hope that I can, too. We will see you then, stay well, my greetings to Elaine.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 23rd, 2017
05:38 pm

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Loc on Opuntia 378 - 383 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Am I ever behind. I racked up all the past issues available, and there are six issues yet to comment on. Well, that’s what this is for, so here goes, issues 378 to 383.

378…A marvelous view of the Rockies on the front cover. You’ve got a photographer’s delight just outside your front door, and even more when you travel. I’ve been close to there only when travelling cross-country by train.

I think the idea of the Little Free Library is a great one, and I do see them from time to time. Still, I hear about insane things happening in the country to the south, and one I heard recently was a homeowners being dragged out of their house, arrested and prosecuted because they had a little library at the end of their driveway. Perhaps there was a zoning problem, or the boxes had to be registered. I will not agree with the two Toronto librarians who say the boxes are elitist. I could use one of the boxes, because Yvonne and I are reluctantly weeding our book collection, and getting rid of about 25% of the number.

Mad scientists? Even they have daughters, too. Who are these crazy women who marry the mad scientists? I admit to enjoying the original The Outer Limits, but I liked the remake much more. We do have a Selectric or two in our locker, as a just-in-case.

My loc…I have heard of costumed groups in downtown Toronto who needed protection from certain members of the populace. And, here’s our report on the World Wide Party! We found ourselves at a Tim Horton’s at 9pm on June 21, so we did what we would usually do, a toast to all fans in every direction.

379…More great photos, this time of glaciers. With the new government to the south, I suspect the glaciers who know need protection will melt away even faster than originally predicted. Our 150th birthday celebrations in Toronto seemed a little muted, with so many groups announcing they would not take part in such a symbol of Canadian domination and cultural appropriation. Nonetheless, we had ourselves a good time with local celebrations in Etobicoke. So much of the celebrations seemed more concerned with buying the right merchandise.

The numbers of invisible men in early SF because tedious after a while, even with high believability on the part of me, the reader. I admit my interest in SF continues to wane. I find less room for creativity in fandom today, and I am finding that creativity, and the ability to participate in other areas, like steampunk.

Milt Stevens’ loc…Bill Rotsler did indeed advocate that the best way to costume is to consider your body type. In today’s fandom, such an attitude is considered sexist, ageist, fat-ist and more. There are six-foot-tall elves, and 400-pound Sailor Scouts, and much more. The most important things is participation. I understand Rotsler’s Rules, but today, some of those Rules are very much out of date.

380…I have seen so many of the huge cranes as you depict on the front cover, and inside too, fold up like old Meccano sets when they are tasked to lift something so heavy, or even the slightest bit off balance. A punk piper? Dime a dozen, I am afraid. I remember seeing a video of one in Seattle, wearing a Darth Vader helmet, riding a unicycle, and having flames coming out of his pipes.

The original The Outer Limits was always fun as the stories were often good, even if the presentations were not. As do many, I prefer The Twilight Zone, scripts a little better, but the production values often superior.

381…The idea of Canada 150 was a good one, but doesn’t anyone know what a sesquicentennial is?, or are the citizens considered that dense?

Indeed, you remind me that after his many struggles with life, Rodney Leighton has succumbed to death, through open heart surgery, and a heart that simply couldn’t be suitably repaired. I tried my best to respond to his assorted zines, but I suspect he thought little of me because I live in Toronto, the city the Rest of Canada loves to hate, and he was no different. I hope he shall be remembered for his zine activities.

I would love a sheet of 5 cent purples from the Republic of Whimsy. Such sets of stamps could brighten up just about any collection or letter.

382…I know the big TORONTO sign in Nathan Phillips Square is a copy from elsewhere, but it seems so many Canadian municipalities are also going with the big neon letters. The city of Hamilton down the highway also has a set, and I am sure there’s more here and there.

You’re right on the humidity. We were out today, and it is very humid right now. I have been all the way out west to the Sooke Potholes on Vancouver Island, but within Canada, I have never been east of Montreal. The Canada 150 celebrations…I’ve already said it in my comments on issue 379. Not enough patriotism, and too much commercialism, in my opinion.

Ian Tyson is singing again…good to hear. I remember he’d lost his singing voice for some time. Looks like it was a fight to get it back.

383…next time I am in Calgary, I’d like to visit the CBC building. I am sometimes in the big CBC building on Front St. W. in Toronto, but of course, there’s so much that cannot be seen because of guards here and there. Mayor Nenshi is also someone I’d very much like to meet. Great parade pictures.

Interesting comments on the life of Professor Moriarty…perhaps crime pays better now than it did back in the Victorian era.

Done for now. Sorry to let this go so long, but my time has not been my own lately. I hope tyo rectify things soon, and life can get back to normal, as normal as that gets. See you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 21st, 2017
02:36 pm

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Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 354 & 355 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

I am so far behind, and I have two issues of the OASFiS Event Horizon to comment on, so here goes. Volume 30, as well…congratulations on so many years!

Issue 354…Good to see Oasis continues on as your local convention. I see more and more people online wondering how much longer we can all continue with our conventions. Other newer fans may come in and change the convention you love around to reflect their interests, which you may not share.

Worldcons are a thing of the past for us, so I hope that those who are able to go to Finland for Worldcon 75 have themselves a fine time. Great costumes; you should see the ones we wore at Motor City Steam Con, the annual steampunk event in the Detroit area. Great fun all around.

My letter…our sales at Anime North were relatively good, but nothing spectacular, as they have been in previous years. Tomorrow as I write, there is a steampunk event in neighbouring Mississauga, and we will have a patch of field to pitch a tent and set up our tables.

Issue 355…I will start here by asking who of the membership is at the San Diego Comic Con, seeing it’s on right now? A Toronto fan, who’s been to Florida cons before, Dave Ross, is at SDCC as Powdered Toast Man.

Sounds like you’re once again discovering how expensive hotels are when you want to stage your convention. Around here, some conventions are moving from the suburbs into the big city, but they are a minority. Some are moving into the suburbs to find cheaper hotels, and there’s even a few cons who are leaving hotels entirely, shrinking in size and renting church basements. I don’t know how long it will be until our conventions are crowded out entirely.

I think I am done for the moment…the massive catchup continues, and it’s only the fact this is Friday that allows that to happen. Take care, all, and see you with the next monthly issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 7th, 2017
02:19 pm

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Loc on Spartacus 20 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Here comes a fast letter on Spartacus 20. I am so far behind with so much…I must get with it, and at least try to catch up.

Very true, that was an atrocity that happened in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. I have seen reports on the investigation into this, and the investigating police say that the maniac who did this was not connected to any terror network, and that he acted alone in this. It shows that even an individual can concoct true feats of terror all on his own, without assistance from elsewhere. It is a shame we react to this by trying to blame others without basis, and also a shame that we become so resistant to such events that they do not merit outrage, but they become just another event, just like the number of innocent Americans gunned down every day.

DT45 is making himself look foolish again on the world’s stage, this time at the G20 summit in Germany. He is sucking up to Vladimir Putin, and the Polish First Lady made him look like a petulant boy by snubbing him to shake hands with Melania Trump. He has once again warned Mexico of his grand Wall, and Mexico rolls its collective eyeballs at him yet again. Defend your democracy, America, your president has other plans, many of which will line his pockets before he does anything that might remotely benefit you.

John Purcell, do not wish for an asteroid hit. Just because DT45 is a monster, you want to take out the whole planet? DT45 is not my fault, I’m not paying for his presence. I think all we can hope for is a Democratic surge in the Senate, and hope that a strong Senate can make Trump a lame duck until the next presidential election, which cannot come soon enough.

My loc…coming soon near the end of August is Gabrielle Robert-Klein’s actual burial, in Cache Bay, Ontario, up north on the shore of Lake Nipissing, close to Lake Huron. Both Yvonne and I will be attending that. No more on Trump, the television reports are condemnation enough. We can only take some solace in that even some of his original supporters are seeing how monstrous he can be.

The job hunt is heating up…I have a second interview for a job coming up, and some other great looking job have suddenly appeared, too. Wish me luck, for a pray to working again soon, and pay my share of things, something Yvonne is willing to do for me, but it’s not fair to her. She retires at the end of the year, and I want to be securely employed when she departs the office scene. In the near future, we will be attending a steampunk convention in Romulus, Michigan, and our greatest fear is that we will be crossing the border. Recently, at an event at our local airport, a US Customs officer admitted that anyone such as himself will interpret the rules of entry based on whether he enjoyed his dinner, or woke up grumpy that morning. How do you prepare for this? The rule of law seems out the window. Anyway, take care, and I have a Challenger to work on soon. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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01:37 pm

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Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 76 Nos. 5 & 6 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:  I have fallen behind in issues of The National Fantasy Fan, so now, it is time for me to get with it, and do some catching up. I have with me Vol. 76, Nos. 5 and 6, and I hope I can get this in before No. 7 sees the light of day.

Vol. 76 No. 5… Good writing does catch the eye and mental ear as you read, but it is sometimes difficult to find it, even from the best of authors. I fully admit that it has been some time since I have read SF, and of all the best authors from the past ten years or so, I have read none of them. It’s been a lack of time, money, and to be frank, interest. Just recently, I have had to weed out a good chunk of our book collection, and it has definitely been harder than I thought it would be. Some of the books we have taken out are like old friends that helped to shape my SF interest, and I hate the idea that we will have to get rid of them. Yet, as we get older, we may have to be more mobile, as in find cheaper digs, and fewer boxes of books will make us easier to move.

I have to get caught up with Tightbeam…Bob, I will be trying my best to catch up very soon, that’s a promise!

My past letter…I gather LASFS has found a place to hold regular meetings. I did see reference to the Art Director’s Guild building, and a quick Google shows the Art Director’s Guild building is on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. I hope the quest for a permanent home for the society comes to a successful end soon.

Jo Siclari mentions The Mad 3 Party, the bidzine for the successful Boston in ’89 Worldcon bid, better known as Noreascon 3. That zine was one of the most enjoyable I had the privilege to contribute to. I would need to check the fanac.org site, but TM3P was successful enough to merit two parody zines, and I was roasted in both of them. Great fun!

Vol. 76 No. 6… Stacy Conradt’s article on possible titles for classic books does show that the right title can make all the difference to attract a reader without giving away too much of the book’s content or focus.

I should have mentioned it earlier, but continuing kudos to Jon Swartz for biographies of past members of the society, and of neglected genre authors. Great research, and vital information, IMHO.

I wish I could do more…I am so far behind with everything, and the job hunt is starting to heat up again, so I have to work harder at that, too. More the next issue, I hope. Take care, and see you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 3rd, 2017
05:22 pm

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Loc on Ethel the Aardvark 186 & 187 (Edward McArdle, ed.)
Dear MSFCers:

It’s a busy spring, leading into a warm summer, and I have spent so much time on the never-ending job hunt, it’s been difficult to simply sit down and write letters, thinking that I might miss a job listing. It’s been tough to get back on the locwriting, and I am behind again. So now, I have two Ethels to talk about, 186 and 187. Here they come…

186…Ethel looks slightly inflated here. Movie monster, or parade balloon? I am not sure here…
Congrats to Jocko on his fan writer nomination. It is beginning to look like I may no longer qualify for such a nomination at home, mostly because, so few people actually see what I write, and even the fan awards seem controlled by the pros. I wish I could vote on the Hugos, but am familiar with very little here, even the movies, and I haven’t been a Worldcon member in some years now. Ah, well, at least they continue on, even if I don’t.

The review of The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore sounds most interesting. Most people know the fight between Edison and Tesla, but George Westinghouse also had a part to play, I believe he was Edison’s financial backer, as well as an inventor in his own right. I’d like to see how much of the book is fiction, and how much of it is based on historical fact.

187…No guests and no senior committee at the May meeting, and the meeting was a success? Says something about the senior committee… Are you planning to bid for the Natcon, or do you already have it?

The Dayton Ward ST:TNG novel does sound interesting, as it truly does indicate a new world to explore. I see more about time management in ST novels, and I have hopes that we might have another new Trek series in the future. Right now, I have high hopes for Star Trek: Discovery, and it is being shot right here in Toronto.

To Ed McArdle…no fun to divest yourself of the comics collection, and right now, I am weeding my book collection, with Yvonne’s help, and insistence. It’s painful, but I know it has to be done. We all need a TARDiS box, with it being much bigger on the inside, to store a lifetime’s worth of books, comics, games, movies, etc.

We’ve just been through a huge long weekend, capped with our 150th anniversary celebrations, 150 years since the creation of Canada in 1867. It’s been busy, loud and bright (lots of fireworks), and there’s lots more to come for the rest of the year, but sometimes, a three-day weekend is about a day too long, and I can hardly wait for things to get back to normal. With that in mind, I think I will bring this letter to a screeching halt, and say my thanks for these two issues. See you with the next, and I hope to respond a little faster the next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 30th, 2017
02:30 pm

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Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 37 Nos. 5 & 6 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

Oh, so far behind! I will get commenting on what I have, namely the May and June Shuttles. Sorry to let it go so long, but the job hunt is taking up even more time. Plus, tomorrow is the 150th
anniversary of the founding of Canada, and this weekend is one huge celebration.


May…I know some of the Irish fans, and they are so looking forward to hosting a Worldcon in Dublin. They seem to be the only bidders for the 2019 Worldcon, so good for everyone, more world in the Worldcon. Meanwhile, on the TAFF front, John and Valerie Purcell are getting ready to do their TAFFish duty, and head off to Helsinki, Finland.

On the Star Trek: Discovery front…production se3ems to be well on the go in Toronto, although we hear very little about it. It will premiere with lots of flash and glitter at the San Diego Comic Con.

The calendar…I had myself a great birthday, and the numbers keep going up. I have to convince myself that being 58 is no different than any other age.

Corflu 35, in case anyone here is interested, will be here in Toronto. Unfortunately, as the job hunt does continue, the initial registration rate is already out of my affordability range. We will see what happens later on.

As always, it’s awards season, but so many nominations and winners. Looks like there might be an award for everyone. The Auroras are carrying on, and it should soon be time to actually vote.

My letter…we did well at Anime North, and we do have a couple of special steampunk events in our area…let’s hope we do even better.

June…what I wouldn’t give to come to your final convention. And, hope PieEyed Dragon has a happy birthday. His adventures are much missed.

There it is in print, Bill Ledbetter is a Nebula winner. We first met Bill at a space conference in Dallas many years ago. That’s where we found out that the space advocates usually look down on the SF fans, but usually get them to run their conferences for them.

Sheryl, our sales at the two conventions were…okay. We are looking into the idea of doing almost only trade shows, flea markets and craft shows in 2018, for we are thinking that our steampunk jewelry and other costume items may have saturated our local convention market.

All done for the moment, sorry this seems rushed. I will attempt to respond faster to the next issue. See you then!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 28th, 2017
12:30 pm

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Loc on Lofgeornost 127 (Fred Lerner, ed.)
Dear Fred:
The thunderstorms are rolling in, and the big computer is in the shop for minor maintenance, so while this all happens, I will bang out a loc on my tablet and Bluetooth keyboard. And, that loc will be on Lofgeornost 127. Here goes…


I know there was some level of slavery in Canadian history, but while the Massachusetts law that in many ways worked against the federal Fugitive Slave Act, it may have been relatively unknown compared to the activities of the Underground Railroad. Where I grew up, in the undersized city of Orillia, Ontario (think Stephen Leacock and Mariposa), not far out of town were the villages of Edgar and Rugby, where the most northerly terminus of the Railroad was. Not even the efforts of those conservators in the area have been able to save the buildings connected with the Railroad. I do see modern-day parallels between states and cities who disagree with some of the Trump regime’s harsh legislation.

Thank you for the explanation of your change of e-mail address. Yours was the only one I had on file that had an .edu suffix. Here at home, Yvonne is currently planning her retirement, in just less than six months. Getting a huge amount of information through government service agencies has not only been an education for her, but for me, too. I won’t be retiring for another seven years, but now, I have a better idea of what to expect.

I fully agree that basic copyediting and proofreading is neglected in modern publishing. As a professional proofreader/copyeditor, I admit to being biased. I carry on with my job hunt, and while I have just reached the age of 58, I suspect me age is taken into account, even after having removed all remnants of anything that might suggest my age in my resumes. Also, that last polish of quality control was easily eliminated by publishers to save money.

You also mention podcasts…while I don’t listen to them, rarely having time even to read these days, the CBC does have an interesting programme on Radio 1 called Podcast Playlist, which explores trending podcasts for the interest of their listeners.

I think I am done for the moment. If you find that I may not have responded to any issue, odds are that I did, and the e-mailed loc may have gone astray. Let me know, and I will relay the missing loc to you. See you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:29 pm

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Loc on Random Jottings 12 (Michael Dobson, ed.)
Dear Michael:

Thank you for Random Jottings 12: The Wheaton Murders, and thank you for another unique zine. I will make the attempt to write a suitable letter in response.

The Wheaton Murders took place in 1975. One might think that in this supposedly more enlightened age, the amount of racism we’d deal with would be greatly reduced. Today’s headlines deny that hope. There are also so many stories of police brutality again black citizens, especially since the election of the Orange Monster in Washington. No wonder so many despair for the future of our civilization, as the veneer of civility gets thin to the point of translucence. Believe me, on this side of the border, I do not feel smug. This kind of racism happens here, too.

Publishing is something that appealed to me from a very young age, but as parents are wont to do, they did not understand what I wanted to do, and thereby discouraged me from wanting to do it. I still got into journalism school, but could never get the opportunity to be a journalist. I figure that being a loccer, or fanzine correspondent, has been the best use of my journalist training, such as it was. I had wanted to publish my own stuff, but the costs of doing so has always been out of my financial reach, and they still are.

Congrats on getting the 2019 Corflu! For some years now, I had decided that after the two Corflus I had been to, one in Las Vegas, and the other in Toronto, going to more would be a thing of the past, and I am unfortunately right. The 2018 Corflu will be here in Toronto, but the initial registration price is C$100, already something I simply cannot afford. At the previous Toronto Corflu, I attended all three days, but in the evenings, no one seemed interested in talking with me, in spite of my best efforts, so I wound up being the guardian of the con suite both Saturday and Sunday nights. When Corflu returns here, I think I will be out of town that weekend…

(DNQ, DNP…One good reason for not going to the next Toronto Corflu is that Catherine Crockett and Colin Hinz, by default the chairs of the event, are, IMHO, incompetent event runners, even after some experience in running or helping to run a local literary SF con. I suspect that because of their poor reputations, and the fact it will be held in a country other than the USA, attendance will be sparse. I wish them luck, for they will need it. DNP, DNQ)
I see the value of recording that did happen in Wheaton that day, as best as possible, for the record.  In this day and age, it appears that gun-related murders are an everyday event. I heard on the radio today that 19 children are shot everyday in America, and six of those 19 die. I am not surprised that the Wheaton Murders were largely ignored by the press, who wanted some mystery to report on, instead of just the fact of the guilty party being hot and killed onsite. You show that the people who were shot and killed were more than just victims, but had their own lives and backstory. The same goes for the witnesses.

Bob Jennings’ letter…a couple of years ago, I spoke to someone at my bank to ask if I could get a roll of half-dollars, 50-cent pieces, and after a phone call to someone higher up, I was informed that the Canadian Mint only mints 50-cent pieces for collectors and mint sets. They are not produced in quantity to that anyone could buy a roll of them to spend. I thought that a pity, for I remember getting them in my change a couple of times when I was a kid.
So much has changed since I wrote my letter…as Obama opened the door to Cuba for business, Trump has come around to slam it shut. Businessmen have wasted a lot of money setting up their facilities in Havana and elsewhere on the island, only to have the Orange Monster smile that horribly smug smile at them. There must be so many asking when the nightmare will be over.

Well, I am done for the moment, and not a moment too soon, as a thunderstorm is riding over the city here, and making a lot of noise. Thank you for this issue, and I hope for a more prompt response the next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 19th, 2017
03:31 pm

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Loc on Askance 40 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

Sorry this has taken so long, and I am having some computer problems right now, too, but that is not stopping me from getting on with locking an e-stack of e-fanzines. Next up is Askance 40…happy anniversary!

And 44 years in fandom, way to go. I remember watching Star Trek on the Buffalo NBC station in its initial run, and reading SF anthologies from the library, but most of all, when the family moved to the west coast, finding a Trek club in December of 1977. I date my own activities from there, so at the end of the year, it will be 40 years for me. I think Yvonne can brag about 40 years right now. Glicksohn’s Maxim applies more than ever now. FIJAGH for me too, to ensure that you can finance those good times we all want.

After our own travels into England this past August, I remember our own travels into Kings Cross station in London. The escalators rise up at an angle larger than most I’ve been on, and they go upwards fast. The actual train station is huge, and wide. So many rail lines come to their terminus. The night life as described really isn’t for me. James should know that while we had a great time in London, we are now planning our return. Perhaps we can get together this time, and attempt a First Thursday.

We all make our own ways into fandom differently. For me, both SF and ST, but most of all, the people you meet as you enter, and the friendships you make, some of which will last a lifetime. High school was dull, and SF books helped to liven up my life with fast trips to what may lie hidden beyond the Galactic Rim. Some fans I know are a piece of work, that’s for sure… We are all horrible human beings in that we seem to need to find someone to put down so we can somehow feel we’ve been elevated. Now that I am on the other side of 40 years in fandom, all fans and interests are valid, for they have found an interest to devote themselves to and love, and to feel a part of things, and feel they are contributing to. Claire…those who do not believe the dead can rise again have never been at a science fiction convention on a Sunday morning. At the risk of losing whatever street cred I might have had with fanzine fans, I have returned to the fun of dressing up through steampunk fandom. There, I am creative in that with a couple of exceptions, I have created my own costumes (Yvonne made me a couple of vests), and I can put together steampunk jewelry for our own vendor’s table. Our journey through fandom takes us to some different places. Who knows where I will end up?

Ah, great covers. Only once did I take advantage of the talents of our assembled fan artists, and that was when I put together our CUFF trip report. David Thayer and Brad Foster collaborated on that cover, and I am sure the cover was half the attraction of the publication. I remember Alan White’s Delineator, and my copies are safely tucked away in my collection.

The Proceedings of the 1962 Worldcon…well, that’s one publication I don’t have. I know of some chairmen who were so busy racing around getting things done for their own conventions (lack of others to do it, few gophers) that they were not able to attend them. They were out getting more for the con suite, green room, registration area, etc.

I suspect that Paul Skelton is right about the fan Hugos, although I hope he’s wrong. Yet, Stiles and Glyer may have been the last of us to win a Hugo, and few of us will come even close in the future.

My loc…death is on my mind these days. We did lose Yvonne’s mother Gabrielle, and later this summer, we will be travelling north to Cache Bay, Ontario for her funeral. Yvonne’s brother Jules made it into hospital with blood clots and a very slow heart beat; a two-week hospital stay with medications, and the installation of a pacemaker, saved him from an early death. Had a little bit of work by working registration tables at local conferences and trade shows, and did a little bit of voice work, too. Yet, full-time work eludes me. I may be considered for some warehouse work, or some freelance proofreading work, but I must wait for decisions on both. We did our table at CostumeCon 35, and again at Anime North, and sales were good, but not great. More shows yet to come.

Al Bouchard’s loc…we ran some great parties at Chicon VI, and our reward for running them was my dismissal from the Torcon committee. Ah, they did us a favour, for we afterwards joined the LA in 2004 committee, and had ourselves a great time, and got a lot of good work done.

Ray Palm’s loc reminds me that recently, a comics artist from the Montreal area, Gisele Lagace, was on her way to a comics convention in the US, and was stopped and permanently prohibited from entering the US. No one seems to know why. (In case anyone wonders who she is, she often draws under the pseudonym Giz.

I am simply not going to be able to get anything ready for WOOF, John, which is my normal each year, but I wish you luck as you head off to northwestern Europe. I envy your ability to travel like that. TAFF does the trick for a lucky person each year.

Anyway, I will wrap it up, and see if I can get this to you. I am having wifi adaptor problems, and may get ourselves a new one tonight, or sometime this weekend. Speaking of which, happy weekend to the whole Purcell Posse, and thank you for this 80-pager. See you with the next one, and looks like I might have gotten this loc in just in time.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:30 pm

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Loc on X-Rayer 135 (Ray Palm, ed.)

Dear Ray:

A few computer problems will not keep me down, I have too much loccing to do! I hope this will get to you before the end of the day. Here’s comments on issue 135 of X-Rayer.

It is great to see that the creativity of one person inspired the creativity and success of another. I remember Cerebus from my earlier days of fandom, and if I recall, Dave Sim was probably a guest at some of my earliest conventions in the Toronto area. I believe Dave came from the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario area. I am not a comics fan, but I remember some of the biggest comic shops in Toronto in their heyday, and there was so much more than just DC and Marvel. I hope those other comics inspired many of the most successful modern comics artists.

Where I live in Toronto, our view of the city is slowly being eaten away by huge condominiums. They are turning places I wouldn’t want to live in into places I can’t afford to live in. Yvonne would like to move, and so would I, but finances don’t allow for it, and with my extended unemployment, moving is not likely to happen in the foreseeable future. We realize we need to be more mobile, should the opportunity to move come up, so we are now in the middle of (yuck!) weeding out our book collection. The dumpster is the last option for us, but it is an option.

I do like paper fanzines, and I still get some. However, part of the above-mentioned weeding may also include weeding my fanzine collection, or simply give the whole thing to friends. I am still wrapping my head around the whole thing.

I have some more leads for work, so hope still spring eternal, even after all this time. I will continue to hope for some work soon, and taking a day, like today, to write locs really does help take the pressure off from the jobhunt. Also, we have a problem with internet access, so I am hoping that a trip to our local computer tech will be short and painless.

I hope you have a good weekend, and see you next issue.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 15th, 2017
02:44 pm

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Loc on Lightning Round Vol. 3 No. 9 (Al Bouchard, ed.)
Dear Al:

Sorry I have taken so long with Vol. 3, No. 9 of the Lightning Round. I have found myself taking longer and longer holidays from locking zines, mostly because of other interests, and the never-ending job hunt. Some comments are sure to follow…

I think there’s an awful lot of Americans who are trying to wake up from the Trump/Republican nightmare. They accuse others of what they are doing themselves, they are trying to sneak into legislation the Obamacare destruction that will dump over 23 million Americans from health care, the world laughs at your president, and deservedly so. Some say he is demented or mentally ill, others say he is simply the worst kind of human being…I don’t care which it is, he has to be gotten rid of. The problem is, those who might come after him, Pence and Ryan, and just as bad, if not worse. The mid-term elections may be your only hope.

The fan funds are a great idea…Yvonne and I were CUFF winners some years ago. We wondered aloud about TAFF a few years ago…really, we really can’t travel overseas right now, and even though the money is there for our use, well, we really can’t afford anything. I hope John Purcell will do us all proud with their trip to Finland and elsewhere on the TAFF dime. (Haven’t heard anything about CUFF for some time. I think the fund may be quite dead.)

My loc…I hear of Robert Mueller’s investigation of DT45, and I hope that will continue long after DT fires Mueller for getting too close to the truth. There are so many TV subscription services we could take advantage of, but we watch little television; we’re too busy with projects here and there. Netflix, CraveTV…no time, and no money, either. Could you imagine what Dr. A would say about DT45? I do like Justin Trudeau, but I have seen criticism of his government for being less transparent, and I hope he will do something about that. I suspect he will get a smaller majority the next election. I hope he will see these criticisms, and do something about it.

I have done what I can, Al, it’s a warm day, with threats of thunderstorms, so I will get to you before they move in here. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 8th, 2017
12:51 pm

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Loc on OSFS Statement 458 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Thank you for issue 458 of the Statement, and I hope I can be the first to wish OSFS a happy 40th anniversary! Any organization that can last that long is doing something right, and deserves to be preserved as much as possible. And now for some commentary…

I hope everyone at the Comiccon enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s appearance. With Alex Kingston there as well, it must have been a Whofan’s dream. Just last weekend, as I write, Paul McGann appeared at the big comic con in Niagara Falls, and lots of local Whofans travelled down the Queen Elizabeth Way to see him.

I admit to having seen the episode of “I Love Lucy” with George Reeves as Superman. As always, Lucy had some ‘splainin’ to do. A shame Reeves took his own life (there is still some controversy about that), but even with the slicked-down hair, he was still the perfect Superman for me, and generations before me.

I need to send out my newest convention list! As soon as I finish up this letter, I will get it out to you, and to Cathy Palmer-Lister in Montreal, too. Our latest convention was Anime North; we had a table there, and did fairly well…we are looking at getting into the main dealers’ room next year. Tables are expensive, but there is such a thing as subletting space, so I think we can do that.

My loc…well, we have more than enough places to go to this year…I think we might have to schedule a trip to Ottawa for next year. Are there any members of OSFS who are also connected to Steampunk Ottawa?

Great column on the star Betelgeuse, nothing to do with any Michael Keaton movies, and I think I am done for the moment. Many thanks for this, again, happy 40th anniversary, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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June 6th, 2017
03:41 pm

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Loc on Ansible 358 & 359 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear David:

Two more months of Ansible, nos. 358 and 359, and another letter of comment. Let’s see what I can do for you this time around.

358… We’re not going to Britain this summer, but we do see mention of The Asylum here and there, and there’s lots of good memories there. It actually takes place after the Finnish Worldcon this year.

Another enormous RIP section. When I first starting reading it when this issue arrived, I saw with dismay the entry for Leo Baxendale. As I grew up in Orillia, Ontario, Canada, my Scottish grandparents, who lived in Ayr, would send me regular copies of the Beano and Dandy, and when I got older, the Hotspur and Wizard. I always enjoyed the cartoon strips, and the great stories in the Wizard. I gather most of them are gone now, but I remember Dennis the Menace (not the blond-haired brat in coveralls, but the horror in red and black stripes), plus Minnie the Minx and definitely The Bash Street Kids. Leo Baxendale helped to form part of my childhood with his mad cartoons, and I am still sad to hear of his passing.

359…we understand Ken MacLeod’s predicament only too well. We’ve decided to soon start our massive weeding-out project, and there’s going to be some books that will hit the road soon.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale may not be SF, but is certainly making it one of today’s most favorite book choices, given the level of insanity coming out of Washington these days. Same can be said of Orwell’s 1984. Of the RIP list here, I met Richard Tucholka several times at conventions in the Detroit area.

I think I have done all I can, David…I am close to running out of money as my never-ending job hunt continues. I believe I am suffering from ageism on the part of employers. Still, there is some time, and the resumes continue to flood out. Take care, enjoy your summer, and see you with another Ansible soon.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:09 pm

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Loc on Vibrator 2.0.39 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

I’ve been goofing off long enough, and the zines are piling up once again. It’s time to respond to Vibrator 2.0.39, and see what I can manage.

Spring is here, too, all we need is for the temperatures to warm up, and the rain to stop falling. We’ve had so much rain, the Toronto Islands are mostly flooded. But, it is extremely green and lush outside. Temperatures are around 15C, a little cool for us. I want to drop the coat, and get into t-shirt and shorts, and get the air conditioning going inside.

I had a quiet family life, too, but we always had the feeling that we were all not really wanted, that we were all mistakes. So much life had to offer, and every time, the answer was no, you’re not getting that, you’re not going anywhere, you can’t have anything. You can imagine that once my two younger brother and I were on our own, the answer was yes, and life blossomed for all of us.

I can imagine that after withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord because of totally incorrect information, America is more…damned than ever. I hope the continuing Trump escapades will get more and more Americans to vote against him in the future.

The locol…shortly, we must prune our own book collections. Yvonne has been ruthless with her own books, but I am not sure I can be as ruthless. I have a long wall full of SF and related books, and every volume will be a difficult decision. However, it must be done.

A future Corflu is coming to Toronto, so I suspect that attendance will be as low as that past Corflu, if not lower. I am in the same boat you’re in, no money, and seeing how dear the initial cost of membership is, I might not be able to go to a fanzine convention in my own city.

All for now, take care. I will more than likely do better with the 40th issue. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 22nd, 2017
09:13 pm

[Link]

Loc on Flag 19 (Andrew Hooper, ed.)
Dear Andy:

Another Flag has flown through my mailbox, and thank you for sending yet another one to me; it’s much appreciated. Our Victoria Day weekend is coming to a happy close, so there’s time for some fast, down and dirty from my keyboard. Thank you for issue 19, and in return…

Pubbing your ish, and other fair activities…I have had the incentive to promote the idea of a new fanzine across Canada in the past. As a journalism student, I wanted to create a national newszine for Canfandom, in the tradition of Canadian Fandom, New Canadian Fandom and The Maple Leaf Rag. The resulting wave of hostility to the idea, and some roasted me for even deigning to suggest such a topic… well, the idea died fast. I have stuck to the locol ever since.

As with most of us in this fandom, we have collected and gathered our share of books, records, tapes, CDs, comics, etc. All those books on shelves against the wall provide a level of comfort, an immersion in what we have loved, and lived. It hurts to even consider it, but as we age, we consider retiring (Yvonne retires at the end of this year), and that often means reduced income with rising prices. We may have to be more mobile than we are, especially with the stuff we love. Som we must divest ourselves of so much of that stuff, and that includes a large fanzine collection. I am not doing it now, but soon, and soon usually comes along sooner than we think. Shall I give the clubs back all the clubzines they’ve given me all these years? Should I give them back to the editors who sent them, especially if they have lost their originals? I know there’s nowhere in Toronto to donate them to…what about giving them to friends here? Recycle? That’s Plan D or E. In the long run, I don’t even want to consider any of them, but I know I must.

Great Shaggy history, and thank you. I haven’t seen the Trimbles in some time, not since John and I went plate wrangling while Bjo and Yvonne slung squares of birthday cake for the masses for Star Trek’s 40th anniversary, and that was at L.A.con IV, in 2006.

I see Andi Shecter’s Facebook feed…she misses Stu so much, to the point of pain. Such a love we should all have, she has such a loving heart, and it hurts so much. If I felt for one minute a hug would help her at all, I would offer it. There is so much geography in the way, though. I wish time could be easier on her.

So much commented here seems to have a theme of achievement, so I will go along with that. On May 28, 2017, Yvonne and I will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. As we often say, with the wind chill, it feels more like 40. (Don’t worry, we both say that and laugh.) On June 2, 2017, I will turn an ever-more creaking 58 years of age. And, sometime in December of this year, I will mark 40 years of fandom, from that first Star Trek club in Victoria, British Columbia, to school and a Trek dance in Toronto, where I met Yvonne, to apas and Worldcon masquerade entries, to working on and chairing local cons (30 years on the concom), to being in the locol for more than 30 years, to becoming a steampunk vendor, and now to being an old fan and tired, and relatively pleased with all that I have done. I am not gafiating yet, but the time will soon be nigh.

Anyway, that’s all for now, and many thanks for this issue. Please relay my greetings to Randy, hope his health is improving.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:37 pm

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Loc on Opuntia 374 - 376 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Yvonne and I are relaxing during our last day of the Victoria Day weekend, so I have a little time before this upcoming busy week to do a little writing. So, here are comments on Opuntia issues 374 to 376.

374…I know people who would participate in the Comic Expo Parade, but I don’t think there’s such a thing here. If I had a great costume to show off, I would do it at the Expo, but not in a parade outside. To me, those great costumes present a target to the usual thugs on the street, and I have seen that happen. Those in the parade where you are, they are definitely braver than I am. I am very glad to see that Naheed Nenshi would be a part of things, and add some support. Perhaps the re-enactors could be included the same way the steampunks usually are. You are right about the soldiers on page 5, they shoes shall match thy costume. Talk to the SKA people, they know all about that. Good to see the Otafest people, for they remind me that Anime North is on at the Toronto Congress Centre and four surrounding hotels next weekend.

My letter…indeed, the Net killed the video stores, and now the ‘record’ stores. Sunrise only survives because they sell DVDs, CD, retro vinyl, and merchandise connected to popular anime, gaming and SF/fantasy, plus some nostalgia here and there. My comments on Jonathan Kay and The Walrus might predate Kay’s sudden departure from the magazine, based on comments on cultural appropriation. As much as I like The Walrus, I expect it to fade the same way Frank Magazine did. Again, the Net…

375…I have seen one Canada Post van like the ones on page 1 here. I gather a second set of stamps has been released, and the Canadian Mint has been busy with coins that, according to a CBC report, are no longer worth the value stamped on them because of the plunging value of silver. I have to say, excellent artwork on the Trek collectors’ stamps. In a past decade, I might have added them to my own stamp collection, but I simply don’t have that kind of money or interest any more.

HISTORY #1 looks quite interesting. Alternative history stories way back then…they certainly wouldn’t have been called SF back then, but they are always interesting exercises in creative thought and what if.

Danger, Thin Ice…all children in adult bodies, with no common sense. No police or other authorities there to get people off the ice? (more of this in the next issue, too, I see.)

376…More marvelous mountain photos. I hope this summer has enough opportunities for us to go to some of the local national parks (there’s a couple) or even provincial conservation areas. I’d love to go to Château Lake Louise some time, but as you say, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Same goes for the Royal York Hotel here, and the Château Laurier in Ottawa. Wonderful buildings you can go through, but except for special occasions (the last Toronto Worldcon), we certainly wouldn’t be able to afford the rack rate.

I have some Dunsany on the shelves here…dark fantasy is interesting for the ideas expressed, but I have never sought to read more and more of it. Too dark for me, usually. What did interest me was the fact that the gods were real, but were not especially god-like. They had all-too-human egos. The Yann stories might have formed some inspiration for some of C.S. Lewis’ writings on Narnia. Also, I believe in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a character names Jorkens in mentioned…I wonder if Dunsany took the name from Dickens, or if simply Jorkens was a common surname at the time.

We do intend to celebrate the World Wide Party about a month from now…we are looking forward to it.

All done for now, and still mid-afternoon as Yvonne cooks lunches for work this coming week. I have a day-long assignment at one of the buildings at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds on Wednesday, and Friday is the first day of Anime North, usually our best convention of the year for sales. A crazy week indeed. The job hunt has me crossing my fingers, for I have resumes out for no less than five really interesting positions. I just want one… Take care, thank you for this issues, and see you when you sent out more.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 19th, 2017
09:21 pm

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Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 353 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

I have Event Horizon 353 with me, and I know you are all at Oasis 29, either going crazy running the show, or enjoying yourself, attending it. Our big annual anime event is next weekend, so I am getting this done now before my own crazy times arrive.

I think many of the guests at Megacon will be at the big Fan eXpo coming up in August in Toronto. Meat Loaf was recently in Toronto shooting a huge video, and I believe Tim Curry will also be coming.

As I study the final ballot for the Hugos, and even the Stoker Awards, I know I have been left behind, and no number of podcasts is ever going to get me caught up. I also am getting e-mails to hurry up with my Anthony Award nominations, but that won’t happen, either. I did not nominate for the Aurora Awards, as I felt myself to be an unqualified nominator. I suspect I will probably vote once the final ballot is released.

Our own vendor activities…we were vending at CostumeCon 35, and because we were stuck in the lower level of the con, out of sight, sales were poor to non-existent for just about everyone. We also did a hotel flea market, and sales there were poor as well. Next weekend, as I write, is, as mentioned above, our big anime event of the year, Anime North. There, sales should be good. If it isn’t, I would have some doubts about the salability of our merchandise, and whether or not people have the disposable income to buy at cons any more.

Forty years of Star Wars…when I moved to the west coast of the continent from Ontario in 1977, seeing this new movie called Star Wars was one of the first things I did. It is hard to believe that in just a few months, it will be 40 years since I first was captivated by that amazing little movie. I look forward to each of the Episodes…I did not see Rogue One, and only saw it as Disney’s indicating they were in charge, and they would put in front of us anything they wanted to make. I will wait patiently for Episode VIII.

Anyway, time to go. I hope you are enjoying the con, and I will be enjoying a long weekend here. See you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:35 pm

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Loc on Inca 13 (Rob Jackson, ed.)
Dear Rob:

Thank you kindly for issue 13 of Inca, and seeing we are on the cusp of a long weekend, I will attempt to catch up with a sudden dump of zines in my IN box, and my mailbox, too.

I might have heard of that conference on mental health for veterans. Our own government minister is Kent Hehr, and he’s been a good representative for veterans, certainly better than his predecessor in the previous Conservative government here. Glad you got to go to it. I’ve never met any of the royal family, but I do know personally one of the previous lieutenant-governors of the province.

To be honest, I haven’t read many reports of the 2014 Worldcon in London. Yvonne and I were saving for that, but simply didn’t have the $€£ to go. We saved for another couple of years, and we did get to the UK, last year around August time. We spent a week in London, and a week in Lincoln. We figured that Worldcon may have passed, but London is still there, and we saw so much…we are now saving to return, and perhaps we will have the time and geography to visit with all at a First Thursday.

The FAAn Awards…I know not everyone was pleased with how Murray Moore administered the FAAn Awards this year, so sure, give it a shot. Seeing that Corflu will be coming to Toronto, this job might fall to Murray again. Even with Corflu being local in 2018, the Can$100 initial preregistration price makes it a little dear for me. I am still job hunting, so I may have to just find out what happened at it afterwards.

I do like VIA trains in Canada, mostly for the huge windows. I’ve been cross-country on a VIA, and the ride was half the experience of the whole trip. Amtrak trains are a little worn, and have smaller windows. I have only taken Amtrak as far as Rochester, New York, but that is far enough. I must admit that when we took the train in the UK, Virgin First Class was a great ride. Bacon baps lost their appeal rather quickly, though.

I recognize the wonderful artwork on page 25 as being from one of oldest animated movies I remember, The Secret of NIMH. Wonderful reminder of a great little movie, too. Complements to Venetia on all the artwork.

My loc…that time of being unemployed is now up to a year and a third, although I will admit to being some telemarketing (was laid off), some paid trade show registration work, and some voice work to bring in at least a little money. I have some hot irons in the fire, and I am hoping that within the next two weeks, I will have some good employment news I can share with all, fingers tightly crossed.

Well, almost made the page, but I’ve done what I can here. I hope it’s all good for the next locol. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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02:05 pm

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Loc on Fadeaway 53 (Robert Jennings, ed.)
Dear Robert:

Thank you for Fadeaway 53. Just before a long weekend here, there are many things to get done, and a sudden large dump of fanzines from eFanzines.com and elsewhere means I am way behind again. Time for some fast writing.

I am sure that whoever sees the front cover will think that the large beast menacing the rocket is a cross between a bear and a pig. Seeing suck art of astronauts in trouble brings back such nostalgic feelings for the SF I read in my youth. Some things must change, I guess…

The idea of another planet that could support human life sounds SFnal and real, according to scientists, but while this planet is just fine for us, the chances of any other planet being just fine, or even relatively fine, for us would probably be slim. We shouldn’t treat our planet as if we already have another planet to go to, and all the tech is ready for us. And the idea of other beings out there so much more advance than we are…maybe they are there, maybe they aren’t. We might be the top of the heap uhniverse-wise, but if we aren’t, I expect those advanced beings wouldn’t even think to try to communicate with us, or, as I suspect, wouldn’t want to get in touch with us. See the previous notes on the planet.

The essay on the Johnny Jupiter show reminds me of what so many of us in Toronto used to watch, if we weren’t watching local channels, early in the morning. WKBW-TV, Channel 7 in Buffalo, had each morning, as part of their kids’ programming, Rocketship 7, starring Dave Thomas, Promo the Robot, and resident alien Mr. Beeper. Other little characters were introduced from time to time, but it was space-oriented for a short time, and then dedicated to general kids’ cartoons and other entertainments. I think this show was on Buffalo television for about 15 years. Dave Thomas’s other claim to local fam is that he is the father of Hollywood actor David Boreanaz.

Penny Dreadfuls…well, that’s what we name our cars. Yvonne drives a Hyundai Elantra Touring Wagon, and it is Penney Dreadful V. It succeeded a tiny Chev, two little Nissans and a really good Suzuki.

And for those who are still following…I have been able to get myself a little bit of work here and there, to make a few bucks, but I have some really hot irons in the fire, and with some luck, and the phrase “You’re hired”, I might soon be back at work, ready to get busy, and pay my own way at home again. A long, dry spell of unemployment, as Jefferson Swycaffer said.

I have thought of all the responses I could think of, and did all the typing I could. With all of that, I think I am done. I will get this to you, and wish you a great weekend! See you next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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