Lloyd's Locs Box - Fanzine letters of comment
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Lloyd Penney" journal:
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Loc on Banana Wings 52 (Claire Brialey & Mark Plummer, eds.)|
Dear Claire and Mark:
Thank you for the April Banana Wings 52; hope I am not too far behind in responding. I have come across crazy times these days, and taking all bits of spare time I have to get writing letters.
There’s Stiles cover, who else? The fellow on the other side of the pentacle might have gotten a wrong number, and called Travelocity by mistake. Next time, a call to paranormal directory assistance will put you right.
Quiet life? Be careful what you ask for. When Yvonne and I retired from running cons after 30 years in the trenches, I think a third of our friends thought we had gafiated. We’ve had to convince them otherwise. We’re in the Fan Gallery too, and we’ve noticed that while it still seems to be extant, it is not being updated. I think the Gallery was a LASFS project, not sure. I keep hoping for reasons to update my own IMDB listing. We’ve done out GoH duties, and we are fairly pleased with our achievements. Doesn’t mean to say we wouldn’t like to achieve a little more before we’re done.
The next bloody British Worldcon is on tap for us, and as soon as further commitments are taken care of, we plan to visit the British consulate in Toronto and the British tourism office in Mississauga to get some ideas about how to plan for our trip. That’s why for us no Corflu, no out-of-town conventions at all. We’re saving as much as we possibly can while I am still on the dole, and we will be there with luck and a few skipped cons.
Hello, Jacq! I am getting used to the idea that there are many places I’d like to go I will never get to, and I think many fannish homes overseas will go on that list. Our ability to travel is being restricted, not only by lack of funds, but also health. TAFF still comes up in the conversation from time to time, but I wonder if we’d be able to run from place to place partying until the wee hours at our age and health. I have my doubts.
Wonderful Feature Letters. I start off with every intent of writing one, and then comes the regular reminder that there’s so much of fan history I am not privy to. Born too young, I guess, but that’s fine with me. And now, I am comforted in my insecurity by making it into the locol. My weekend is saved! Frabjous day.
I will agree that we are no longer part of the target audience for general conventions, as Murray Moore states. Our usual local cons have left us behind, or their demographic has changed radically. So, we’ve tried to find other cons, like some of the steampunk events, and a couple of weekends ago, we went to one of the little conventions that seems to be springing up all over the general Toronto area, and we actually did enjoy ourselves. We were among the oldest in the rooms, but that didn’t stop us. We made a few new friends, renewed some old contacts, and picked up some information and business cards. And for the record, this coming December marks 36 years in fandom for me, and the end of May shows that Yvonne and I have been married for 30 years as of the 28th.
We hope you enjoy LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio, and we hope to see you at Loncon 3. I bid good night, and tomorrow, we are off to clean up our regular local pub in exchange for 15 free meals throughout the year. Definitely worth cleaning every bit of glass in the place. Good night!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Interstellar Ramjet Scoop April (Bill Wright, ed.)|
Many thanks for the April Interstellar Ramjet Scoop. Always a pleasure to see, and a challenge to comment on. Challenge accepted, and let’s see what’s inside.
The newest Star Trek movie comes out here today, I believe, and I think we will be avoiding the initial rush. The reviews range from good to great, but we can be patient. I have liked all of Trek’s incarnations, but probably liked The Next Generation the best. The various movies were good fun, too, and will extend the life of the whole franchise beyond 50 years, which is amazing. As good as the movies have been, there are efforts to come up with a new Star Trek series.
We are finally getting a little heat here as temperatures have risen above 20C…wish one of those days was today. The summer will come, hopefully before the autumn.
Just saw who’s running for DUFF…you are! And so is Clare McDonald-Sims. I thought Clare was living in Florida these days? Two excellent candidates, wish you could both go. The FAAn Awards have been handed out…when it came to Letterhack, I finished a very distant second. However, I am on the ballot for this year’s Aurora Awards, and I am hopeful I might yet pull out a pointy trophy.
How was Conflux 9? I am sure Nalo Hopkinson was a great guest, and a sweet lady to boot. Haven’t seen her a round here in some tome, but that’s because she now teaches in California, I believe.
It took long enough, but the Hugo Award are now votable. Wish I had a final ballot vote this time around, but that will be saved for London, like most other things.
Time to fold it up and fire it off. Very shortly, I will finally be having my cataract operation, and I will also be having an interview for a job in advertising. This job hunting is ridiculous, and I hope a new job will put an end to it. Otherwise, I may have to make some very hard decisions. Take care, good luck with DUFF, and see you with the next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Science Fiction/San Francisco 140 (Jean Martin & Christopher Erickson, eds.)|
Dear Jean and Christopher:
Thank you for SF/SF 140! Finally, the warm weather has arrived here, and we’ve had our cherry blossoms, too. I have finally wrapped up a short-term work assignment, but had two telephone interviews, so things are finally starting to look up. Jean, you got a clean bill of health, so good news for you, too. Comments on the issue…
Hard to keep up? I don’t even try any more. I’ve tried to keep up with the fanzines I get, and with the steampunk novels I’d like to buy, but while I’m about able to do it with the fanzines, everything else, forget it. Murdoch Mysteries! Did you get to see Yvonne in the episode ‘Crime and Punishment’? Have you enjoyed the show? Very much a police procedural from the Victorian period, but some great writing on the show.
There’s a few steampunk events happening here, such as the Steampunk Social at Campbell House downtown, but we can’t get to them! Too many other items we’ve already spoken for, and can’t get out of! Smaller conventions are popular here, too. With the absence of Polaris and Wizard World in Toronto, other small conventions are cropping up in nearby towns, like Guelph, Burlington and Hamilton, for interests such as toys, Transformers, anime and gaming. We took a risk on one small convention in Burlington, and had ourselves a great time. It’s called Art-O-Con, catering to comics, anime and horror. None of that interests us, but we found some familiar dealers there, so we went down the highway, found the hotel it was at, paid our $5 at the door, and found two rooms full of vendors we’d mostly never heard of before, plus fun times, new friends, and watching two huge Daleks freak out the front desk staff. We will be back, and there’s the possibility that we might be able to take a table there, and be a new vendor next year.
My loc…the Canadian Air & Space Museum did indeed try a crowdfunding campaign, and it unfortunately came up far short. The museum will remain in storage for the foreseeable future, but it may have a new home in the future, in a building close to the international airport here, just further up our bus line. Yvonne was very visible as a background actor in the Murdoch episode she was in. We have our tickets for the second Murdoch Experience and a similar event has been set up in Birmingham, England.
Who’s going to Clockwork Alchemy later this month? Wish I could! Up In The Aether in Michigan and the Steampunk World’s Fair in New Jersey will be here soon, as will the Victoria Steam Exposition in Victoria, British Columbia. We may have plans of our own soon, fingers crossed…
Guess I am done as I come to the end of the page. Off it goes, and off I go to bed. Good night, everyone!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on The Zine Dump 30 (Guy Lillian III, ed.)|
Got Zine Dump 30 here…as long as it’s 30 and not ― 30 ― , that’s fine with me. The old journalism student in me worries each time I see a number 30. Anyway, time to write up impressions and opinions.
We keep losing so many of our number. I know this is the fear that Dave Langford and Mike Glyer have had with their own zines, that the numbers who pass away will turn their newszines into obitzines. It does get depressing when you realize that many of the people who helped to shape who you are have passed away, and you get that horrid reminder of just how old you are. I’m getting that myself more often.
And now for the typed-up stack o’ zines…Theresa Derwin’s zine has been a great one to read as it finely walks the line between fandom and prodom. The steampunk edition was a good one; wish I could have commented on the steampunk novels a little more than I did. Can’t afford new books, and the local library doesn’t get these books, preferring more mainstream titles.
Some of us do endure the shame factor that makes us feel obliged to respond to a paper fanzine. I prefer to do what I feel I should to, which is to respond to the zines I do received, no matter their medium. In this case, the medium is the message, that paper is different from electrons, and I am sure there is more message to be conveyed…right now, I just figure it’s a zine, and its editor would like some response, please.
I should check to see which issue of Bento was my last one…I was getting used to getting them at Worldcon, too, but it has been a while since I’ve been to Worldcon. A quick search says that the last issue I responded to was issue 22 in 2011. It’s been a while.
It can be easy to be frustrated when you feel that your efforts are not recognized by your peers. My only Hugo nomination in 2010 was a great thrill, a taste of what I’d always hoped might happen to me. I do have aspirations, for I have enjoyed the thrill of winning fannish awards, and once you have the taste, you wish for more. I am currently an Aurora Award nominee, and will find out in distant October if I win. I have won Auroras twice before, but not since 1998. I’ve given up on a Hugo, but hope for an Aurora.
The convention Chris Garcia wrote about was called SFContario 3. We picked up Chris and the Lovely Linda at the airport, and we took them out to dinner and to the convention. After that, they saw Toronto on their own and had a great time. This convention has great taste in FanGoHs…this year, it’s Dave Kyle.
I can see why Nalini Haynes wanted to go beyond the fanzine format of Dark Matter, and has taken the zine to a regularly updatable website. News has to go out immediately, so for what she does, the website is better. And, you must admit that few of us encouraged her, and too many took cheap shots at her. This is what we’ve reaped for our snide mouths. I liked Dark Matter as a fanzine too, but she seems to have gone beyond it.
(Just for the record, Mike Glyer’s address has changed. There hasn’t been a paper File 770 in a while. And, I should go and look up DeProfundis online…Yvonne and I are now members of LASFS. I should also check to see if I am up to date re MarkTime…don’t have issue 107.)
Ah, if only I could join you in San Antonio…we are still saving up for London, and I think we can go, but only if we spend wisely. We’ve been asked by Slovenian fanzine editor Bojan Ekselenski if we might be going to the Eurocon in Dublin, afraid not a hope there.
Time to go, I have the last day of my current work assignment to carry out tomorrow, and need to hit the sack right now. Please pass on my hellos to Rose, and I guess we will see you with the next Challenger.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Mumblings From Munchkinland 33 (Chris Nelson, ed.)|
Thanks for another Mumblings From Munchkinland, issue 33 this time around. The old Etherline cover looks great! Time for comments, see if they many any sense at all…
More about the volcano…I saw something online about two peaks in Alaska starting to rumble and smoke. They are Mts. Pavlof and Cleveland, and good thing they’re on the Aleutian range of mountains, away from most things. They seem to be part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, so I shouldn’t be too surprised they’ve become active again. I like the Radaaz messenger bag. I’ve noticed mention online of four enormous solar flares in a short period of time; would such flares affect volcanic activity? Might sound ludicrous to some, but I certainly don’t know for sure.
I’d read about Ian Crozier’s passing in other Australian zines…if only we were able to show our appreciation of their fannish activities before they pass away. Fanzines back then could still bring fannish news from far away…they still do, but websites can do it better and much faster. It is a much faster world today, after all. Still, I prefer fanzines, but see their disadvantages when it comes to news. That’s where the new Ansibles help, and also regular visits to File770.com.
The bacover…I think I’d prefer the little seamonkeys in the mail. If there was a Chihuahua in the envelope, I don’t want to know how it got through the mail slot… What DID arrive when you ordered the little dog?
Many thanks for this one, Chris, sorry nothing more came to mind. A busy evening starts for me soon, so getting this loc done is important. See you with the next one!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Three Rocks 1 (Rogers Cadenhead, ed.)|
The weekend is almost over, and I am doing this again, a quick loc on your first apazine, this time Three Rocks 1 for Capa-Alpha. I better do this before my eyes glaze over. It’s been a busy day.
I might not be able to do much here…I have never been a comics reader. I went straight to reading science fiction short stories after my mother started bringing home anthologies edited by Terry Carr, Donald Wollheim and H.L. Gold, to name three. Actually, I did have a few comics when I was much younger, but for some reason, my mother saw fit to throw them out because I wasn’t reading them for the hundredth time.
Good luck on the new novel! I think if you get through to further rounds, the novel and its promotion may become your life. Some friends here have done that, and sometimes, their single intent is to sell their novel, and while they haven’t lost me as a friend, they’ve lost other friends.
No one wants to be marginalized, but you’d like to know what for. Did Jerry Ordway ever find out why? I wouldn’t mind doing a KickStarter for myself, until I can find some decent work.
Again, it’s a four-pager, so not much more to say than thanks for putting this up on eFanzines.com, and as more issues come out, there will be more to say. See you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Transcendental Basenji Sermons & Enlightenment 50 - 52 (Garry Dalrymple, ed.)|
I’ve got here issues 50, 51 and 52 of Transcendental Basenji Sermons & Enlightenment. I will see if I can make this letter as big as the name. At least I have some ambition…
50…I lost my mother to colon cancer this past June, but my father lives on, somewhere in Nova Scotia. My family is flung to the four winds in the country; it’s something I live with, but certainly don’t like. The inevitable with happen, my father will pass, and I hope the estate can be settled amicably between me (I am the oldest) and my two younger brothers.
Another Star Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness, is about to premiere in less than a week here, but I think had already premiered in Australia. Guess I’ll see it soon enough, but how have the reviews been? I did see the Masters of SF series as well, and I missed only one episode; I’d like that on DVD.
51…Gotta tell us more about the visit of Art Widner! Yes, he is proably the oldest active fan out there, and I hope he told you all about his car. I wish The Hobbit, if it had to be made into a movie, could be told with only two movie parts. Stretching it into three movies certainly showed in the first movie; the second one will be better…or else…
52…A short while ago, I applied for a senior position in the offices of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. I must check this week to see if I have any chance at it. I did some work for the RASC some years ago, but had a difficult time using the slaved computer programmes they were using…they had nothing written down as how to use the systems, and together, they looked like a bit of a dog’s breakfast.
I know Mormons frowned upon caffeinated drinks, but never knew their reasons for doing so. Like any other substance one can ingest, too much of it can be harmful. I did a little checking…the Mormon faith seems to be against caffeine AND hot drinks, for various reasons, so I don’t think a cold Coke is supported by Mormon.
About a page is what I can do…it is late at night right now, and I am half looking at the screen, and half looking at the inside of my eyelids. Best to pack it in, and send it off, and let’s see what the reaction is. Many thanks, and keep posting the Basenjis.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Alexiad 68 (Joseph Major, ed.)|
Dear Joseph and Lisa:
It’s well before the deadline, but it’s never too early. Here’s (I hope) an extensive letter of comment on Alexiad, whole number 68.
I never really watched NCIS, but what little I did, I usually saw Gibbs smack McGee on the back of the head for some reason, and I would change the channel. Recently, Marina Sirtis was announced as joining the cast of this show, so I expect she will portray a character exactly the opposite of Counsellor Troi from ST:TNG.
Hope you enjoyed the Kentucky Derby…it made news up here with a Canadian-owned horse placing second.
The ConCave con report…indeed, many Jophans have put their publishing quests behind them, because we need to carry with us medications and sometimes wheelchairs or other tools to help keep us mobile and alert. I have a cane I sometimes use for costuming purposes; soon, it may become an everyday tool.
Now to see Robert Kennedy’s Loscon 39 report…we did have GoH panels, they weren’t well attended, but at least they were held. We had fun with everything we were given to do, and other things as well. We had heard that many of the gophers who had promised to help out at the convention had bailed out, so we offered our services to the convention, and I took about half a dozen loads of soda up to the con suite, and a lot of prereg bags to the registration area. We also got much of Jerome Scott’s art show equipment into the art show room, and Yvonne helped to set Jerome’s records.
I never did see the Disney/Pixar movie Brave, but the main character, Merida, was perhaps plain, but in many ways a true warrior. Now that the movie is well past, and the settings and characters are becoming party of the Disney merchandising juggernaut, Merida is being redesigned and prettied-up for public consumption. Taral’s review confirms that my choice not to see the movie was the right choice to make.
I have now been hearing about the launch of another Montreal bid…many of the local Toronto fans who currently work on other bids have now launched the Montreal bid with other Montreal fans, and 2017 seems to be the operating year. They are now accepting $20 bills being thrown at them, but I think they plan to make the general announcement at this year’s Smofcon, which is in Toronto this coming December.
My loc…I can only tell you what’s happening here in local conventions. If you have a point in asking what will happen to Dragon*Con under the Kramer scandal or to the SDCC, please make it. I care little if anything for Dragon*Con or SDCC, and I suspect that even if Kramer did not exist, the conventions would eventually collapse because of their sheer size and enormous quantity of time and labour needed to make it run. My cataract surgery date of May 9 did not happen; instead it was renamed a consultation meeting, and it looks like after the usual round of appointments, my cataract will actually come out around June 11.
We’re getting ready to head out to a little birthday party, so I will wind up and fire it out to you. Many thanks for this, wish this had been a little longer, and see you with the next one.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on The View From Entropy Hall 48 (Ed Meskys, ed.)|
Thank you for sending me issue 48 of The View From Entropy Hall. Bound to be comments to make, so I will get to it.
I fail to see why just about every place around has to have a casino, as if there aren’t government-sponsored way to drain our wallets. That’s the current discussion in Toronto, to have a casino somewhere in Toronto. MGM Casinos wants it in our current convention centre, and nowhere else. There are other places to put it, but MGM isn’t interested. There’s also a busy group trying to ban casinos in Toronto entirely. Given the social gambling addiction problems current in many communities with casinos, I can see why we might not want one here, but the province is willing to give Toronto a $100 million bribe every year, so I expect we will get one.
The current commander of the International Space Station is Canadian Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, who has spent most of his command making space real for thousands of kids around the world. He shall be coming down to Earth in a few days, but not before his crew can fix an ammonia leak on the ISS.
Re David Palter’s comments on the TTC…yes the Bathurst streetcar goes from Bathurst station going south only, and buses go up to the northern boundary of the city, and possibly beyond. However, streetcars can go north, for there is a streetcar storage yard off Bathurst, and some distance north of Bloor St.
My letter…my medication for high blood pressure is now accompanied by another for high cholesterol. The job hunt continues… Remember some years ago, I worked at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind? At that same time, I suffered a retinal separation in my right eye, and underwent an operation to basically spot-weld the retina back into place. That was seven years ago. I was told after the operation that I would probably have to deal with a cataract some time in the future. The future is now, I will have that cataract replaced with an artificial lens near the end of this month, and I have gotten myself a short-term assignment, working at… the CNIB. Cue Mr. Serling…
It is near the weekend, so I will finish up and prepare this for immanent departure towards your IN box. Many thanks, and enjoy the ever-improving spring.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Warp 85 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)|
Many thanks for issue 85 of Warp…hope I’m not too late to get something in. I am now at the end of three days into my temp assignment at the CNIB, the learning curve is very steep, and no guarantees that I will be able to get this letter off tonight. I will make the attempt, and see what I can do.
My letter…well, so much for announced plans. We weren’t planning to be at Ad Astra the Friday or Sunday; we picked up Cindi List from the train station and the construction mess that is downtown Toronto right now, and drove her up to the convention in Markham. Then, we thought we’d check to see if we could buy our Saturday memberships the Friday night, and that’s when we found we’d already purchased full weekend memberships the previous year. So, we stuck around for the Friday and had a splendid time, the Saturday was a lot of fun, and Sunday was pretty good, too. Good dealers’ room, even took in a panel or two, and I am thinking that we might buy memberships for next year (and keep better track of them), and perhaps volunteer for some panels. And, we drove Cindi back down to Union Station to catch her train. Very much a fun weekend, Ad Astra has got it right, you’ve got to make it down for it next year. Also in the letter…I took early leave from the Globe and Mail on March 13, and took cash in lieu of notice, which gave me more time to look for work.
I’ve got some Irish in me through my mother’s side, as her mother escaped Ireland and the Potato Famine many years ago. There’s much more to Irish folklore than just leprechauns, and I didn’t know how much.
The Hugos and Constellations…well, time for the voting we can all take part in, the Auroras. I am pleased to say that I am nominated again, and it has been some years since I have won one. Hoping for this year, fingers crossed! Time to get moving, and time to participate! I am nominated in the category of Best Fan Related Work, for writing letters and articles for fanzines and e-fanzines…kinda like for stuff like what I’m working on right now…
Webcomics…I am still reading Namir Deiter, Wapsi Square, Girl Genius and Sabrina Online. The ones I used to read…well, I used to read them…
Finally, a series I can say I have all the books, and I read and enjoyed every single one of them, and would like to see more. And, that is Wil McCarthy’s Queendom of Sol series. Ah, what we couldn’t do with some wellstone and one of Wil’s fax machines…we could have everything, and go everywhere. Excellent novels, and excellent covers, too.
A replacement for the defunct Con*cept… We attended a little convention in Burlington this past weekend called Art-O-Con 2. It was a big dealers’ room, plus a smaller dealer’s room and a small stage for a single track of programming. The programming really wasn’t of interest (horror, rampaging Daleks, etc.), but the old friends there, new friends, lots of contacts, and the possibility of maybe taking a vendor’s table there next year sure was. (We will see if our merchandise still does well at Steam on Queen 2, coming up next month.) Art-O-Con 2 itself seemed to be fairly easy to run, it allowed local dealers to show off their wares and make some money, it allowed local fans to gather and network, and admission was only $5, affordable for everyone. Maybe something similar for Montréal? Low cost, low risk, should work for everyone.
I think I am done for right now, and I hope there’s some useful ideas here. Take care, and see you sometime this year…we are not planning to go to Anime North, so it might be the fall before something else SFnal happens. If nothing else, see you next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Vanamonde 903 - 912 (John Hertz, ed.)|
Thank you for another big package, filled with ten issues of Vanamonde 903 to 912. There’s lots to say about them, so I will get with it, and say it.
903...While I have read some of Dickens' works, I haven't read them all. Let's see...Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and Nicholas Nickleby. Many works taught us that there appears to be no limit to the evil within any given human soul, but that there is some chance at redemption. Unfortunately, our current news services seem to illustrate the same thing, depending on which news service, I suppose.
Perhaps US law says that government must not impose or attack any religion, but this law seems to be broken with impunity depending on your political party. Many Muslims may be disappointed with the US if they are aware of this law. I have read that some states may be imposing Christianity upon their citizens, usurping federal law and responsibilities, and apparently, trying to set up a religious state which may meet head-on with the federal government. Could the feds intervene in the states' attempts to impose a state religion, and could this endanger the federation of the states within the country?
904...I gather that US $2 bills were somehow considered bad luck, and many businesses would not accept them, in spite of the fact they were legal tender. Many businesses still today, if they have them, will try to get rid of them asap, which may be the reason I have two of them in an album at home.
The Hugos...I want to be proud of them, as I have been for decades, but too many moan and complain about who wins the silver rockets without actually taking part in the nominating and voting processes. I did not have any level of membership in LoneStarCon, so I am not eligible, and I have no complaint, or right to complain, about the nominees on the ballot. Perhaps one day, I shall return to it.
Your comments to Karl Lembke...our government uses attack ads on a regular basis, unfortunately to near-perfection. They rip apart the opposition parties regularly, and it is starting to backfire on them...most of the voting public is tired of them, especially when the ads appear to be outright lies and gossip. However, they prefer to stay negative, and show how bad the opposition is, rather than showcase how good they are. The are masters of innuendo and misdirection, but they shall pay for it, in the next federal election, I suspect.
905...Life has become based on way to make life easier. Why bother? Let us do it for a fee... I'd prefer life to be better than necessarily easier, but we are at heart lazy, and the companies who make our lives easier know that only too well. Many of us are closer to slaves than artists, and go for ease over quality.
I answer on-line surveys for several companies. One offers points, each of which is a chance to win a fabulous prize, and another keeps an account for me, with perhaps 50 cents or a dollar for filling in each survey sent my way. So far, on this survey site, I have about $16 on account, and I will keep going with the surveys until I have a nice amount saved up. That might help us get a nice dinner in London.
906...I'd wanted an adult tricycle for some years now...you get your exercise, and can transport a certain amount of cargo safely. They are expensive, but these days, all bicycles are expensive. At one time, fanzine fandom was the bulk of fandom, but those days are past. I find the term Core Fandom exclusive, but even Arnie has moved onto to different terms. There seems to be fandom and Fandom in many eyes, but our interests have covered the gamut of what fandom as a whole can offer, and I guess with some of our interests, we'd be fans to some, and not others. You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself.
907...I remember Shards of Babel, a European newszine from Roelof Goudriaan. It provided me with a real fannish education in what fandom was like elsewhere. That's the main reason I like to get clubzines from elsewhere in the world, like Ethel the Aardvark from the Melbourne Science Fiction Club in Australia. I currently get the English-language editions of a clubzine from Slovenia.
908...I read recently about Longfellow's use of the name Hiawatha...the name is, if I recall, a reference to another, and the native referred to was an Ojibwa, possibly from my own side of the border. Some believe that with a feminine sounding name, Hiawatha is a she, but they are in error; Hiawatha was a diplomat between the native nations of Western New York. The Longfellow Hiawatha is a fiction.
Indian names are everywhere here, too. Etobicoke is a Mississauga Indian word meaning where the alder tress grow. Our own dollar coin goes back to 1987, outright replacing our one-dollar bills, and they were gold-toned to stand out from quarters, but also are 11-sided to ensure they aren't confused.
909...I have tried my best to be as competent as possible in the single language I have. Yvonne's first language is French, but is fluent in both French and English, and has picked up smatterings of Spanish, Greek, Italian, German and other languages along the way.
One of my favourite cops is Henry Crabbe, the main character of the British drama Pie In The Sky. Crabbe is a semi-retired detective whose retirement setting is to be the chef of his own restaurant. He is often pulled away from his kitchen to tackle mysteries; his superiors think he's a fat fool, but Crabbe always solves the case. Henry Crabbe was portrayed by Richard Griffiths, recently deceased. Griffiths also played Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter movies; I wouldn't have guessed that Crabbe and Dursley were portrayed by the same person, such a fine actor he was.
910...I think I would enjoy The Math Book quite a lot. I would like to learn a lot more about fractals, and what Benoit Mandelbrot had wrought over the years. I believe Prof. Mandelbrot is still alive; I recently saw a documentary about fractals, with extensive interviews with the professor. I'd like to go beyond the obvious beauty of the fractals, with features that duplicate themselves as you zoom further and further in, and find out more about the math, and whether this is something that can be generated on an everyday home computer.
A wonderfully painful Feghoot! Does the average fan remember Reginald Bretnor/Grendel Briarton and his funny punny stories? I fear not.
911...Are you a graduate from Wosamatta U.? I grew up with Jay Ward and his insane cartoon creations, especially Rocky and Bullwinkle. We still say "Fanmail from some flounder?" when the daily mail arrives.
Our reluctance to praise others has followed us into fandom and online. I often find that when you do something well in fandom, like write a fine article or perhaps run a successful convention, the greatest praise you can receive is silence. But, do something wrong, and you never hear the end of it, and moreso on e-mailing lists, Yahoo! groups and social media. We tear others down to build ourselves up...this may go back to the aforementioned attack ads.
912...I think I may have read in an N3F publication that Sally Syrjala has passed away. If I recall, she was on the Hugo ballot nine or ten times, but never won.
Mention of Alexis Gilliland still drawing for fanzines reminds me that David Thayer/Teddy Harvia has announced his return to drawing after a five-year hiatus. We should see some of his silly stuff very soon, I hope.
Coffee has its myriad fans because it can be good and tasty with various amounts of sweetener, milk and additional flavourings...or, with none of the above.
We have lost Ray Harryhausen. So many who defined our lives as science fiction fans has left us, indicating our younger age when we loved their works, but now our advancing ages when those fannish heroes pass away. I know that Mike Glyer and David Langford hate it when so many related deaths make their zines look like obitzines, but time marches on, and we humans are all too mortal.
John, many thanks for all of these ten issues, and even though these issues are 2 1/2 years old, they still made lots of comments rise onto the screen in front of me. I will have a good look at the DUFF ballot you enclosed. Thanks again, and send me another ten-pack any time.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Ethel the Aardvark 164 & 165 (Richard Morden & Peter Ryan, eds.)|
Just yesterday, I got a package from you, issues 164 and 165 of Ethel, and many thanks! You know, as much as I like receiving paper zines, I know how expensive they can be to produce and mail, so I'd be just as pleased with a .pdf, so save the production and postage charges. Comments on…
164…No president? Okay, I peeked at issue 165, everything’s okay…
My letter…we’re on the edge of spring, finally, although some places still have snow, amazing this late in the year. I am still job hunting, and I lost my evening job to automation, so for the first time in about ten years, I can say that I am completely unemployed. Still looking, and had a telephone interview earlier today. Maybe I could just win a lottery or something?
Excellent tribute to Ian Crozier, and good on all of you for keeping the history of the club in the public eye. There are few people who would describe themselves as fans who know much about the history of fandom. Merv Binns is so right; myself, I cannot think of any activity I could be a part of that could give me the friends and acquaintances I have all over the world.
When there was the announcement that The Hobbit would be two movies, we thought that was fair, but then it was upped to three, we had to wonder if there was enough material to prevent the first movie from looking stretched. Unfortunately, it does. We’re usually pretty good at suspending our disbelief, but… I think they should have left it at two movies, but I am not Peter Jackson.
165…It's coming up to the deadline...I remember when I had to print out my letters, and mail them, and hope they got there on time. Hurray for e-mail, which can get my words to you in mere minutes, around the world.
Greetings, president pro tem Terencio...keeping any club from looking it once belonged to your father or grandfather is a tough thing to do. Good luck on making everything fresh for a new generation.
The artwork inside...they could all make great t-shirt designs. Maybe someone with some cash doing nothing could make up some t-shirts to sell to the club and to the public?
The Sydney Road Festival sounds similar to an event Yvonne and I will be taking part in. On June 22, we will be vendors at Steam On Queen 2, a steampunk street faire taking place in downtown Toronto. We did amazing sales last year, and we are hoping for even more this year. Lots of vendors, belly dancers, singers and a beer tent. Who could ask for more than all that?
So many movies I have no real interest in seeing, and often, I can't get to the movies I do want to see. Coming up shortly, Star Trek Into Darkness and Monsters University. Hope to see them both.
Time to go...tonight is a fannish pubnight, and we definitely want to be there to see everyone. Thanks for sending me paper zines, but .pdfs are okay. See you with the next one!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on OSFS Statement 408 (Grant Duff, ed.)|
Thank you for Statement 408, the numbers continue to increase and show the longevity of OSFS. Comments follow…
I remember some years ago Stephanie Bayne tried to set up a pub night in Ottawa, much like the ones were have in Toronto. Would something like this be a fit for Ottawa fandom? You’d need a willing pub who would be willing to reserve an area for 20 or more people once a month, and a regular reminder that just because you’re meeting at a pub, you are under no obligation to drink or even eat there.
This coming Sunday for us is Art-O-Con in Burlington. This is the mini-con’s second year, it’s a one-day event, big dealer’s room and a single track of programming, and that’s it. $5 to get in, and we know many of the vendors, so I figure you can’t go wrong, and it’s an inexpensive excursion out.
A shame Wombat had to leave us, and I’d like nothing better than to go to Albany for his wake…is anyone from Ottawa going down?
My loc…I may have a short-term assignment soon. Can’t say where it is right now, but I have the telephone interview for it tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed, EI approved me, but I’d rather not have it at all.
The Higgs boson may have been discovered, but I have been reading about how its discovery still doesn’t quite answer all questions about particles and mass. Does the Higgs boson do more than expected, or is there something else yet to be discovered that will fill the remaining gaps in our understanding?
Who here is going to Anime North later this month? We will not be purchasing a membership, but we will be going up to the airport strip to meet with friends, and perhaps have lunch. That’s probably the best for us these days. AN can be overwhelming for anyone, and we don’t have the extra cash for a membership that really doesn’t cater to our interests.
Done for now, and off it goes. Thanks for this issue, and I look forward to the next one.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Relapse 21 (Peter Weston, ed.)|
Welcome back to you and Relapse...our next British fandom history text is here, and it is always an interesting read. This is the 21st issue, and here's my impressions of it, as best as I can from this distance.
I share your regrets at so many familiar names in fanzine fandom, not just British fandom, are going away, gafiating or passing away. I could put that idea towards fandom as a whole, too. Canadian fandom has had some fanhistorians work on its own history, and American fanhistorians have done a fairly good job, too, but we need more of them with more objectivity to get the whole job done.
Marvellous pictures...they're from a time where it was expected that you would dress well, no matter where you went. I have had but a few opportunities to wear a suit at a convention or similar gathering, and the fuss over such dress...at one point, I sarcastically said I should get a hall costume ribbon for wearing this, and they dug one up and gave it to me.
The story of the SFL and SFA in Leeds reminds me of a much more modern, but similar event. The Doctor Who Information Network is the oldest DW club in North America, and it is headquartered in Toronto. It's been around for quite some time, and as many clubs and assemblies do, it has a presence on Facebook. In my own Facebook searches, I found a Doctor Who Society of Canada, and I let the DWIN people know as soon as I could. Turns out DWSC has no idea DWIN existed when the group was formed, and it seems to exist on Facebook only. The two groups do work together on some things, but there is a generational difference between the two, and I think they look askance at each other while doing whatever it is they do.
Every time I see something about science fiction in the papers, how the public is embracing it, I look at it with scepticism, and think, no, they still don't get it, and they still think the whole thing is silly. When it's time to go to London for the Worldcon next year, Yvonne would like to go to the Harry Potter exhibit, whether it is in London or Cardiff. I have my doubts about whether even that would be presented properly, but then, I haven't been there.
Bravo to Charles Platt...there is still something magical about a fanzine. For me, whether it is paper or electronic, a fanzine is still a great chunk of communications and networking. It is a gift, whether you can hold it in your hand or not. And, it carries on an amazing tradition almost as old as fandom itself, so that's one of the reasons I still carry on with what I can contribute to the zines I receive.
I've just jumped onto the second page, and I realize that I am done for now. I shall get this off to you, and have a quick look at the usual mountain of zines that require my attention. Many thanks, and please do keep them coming.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Fanstuff 34 (Arnie Katz, ed.)|
I think fanstuff 34 is the latest issue of this zine, so I won’t wait further for another issue, but get on with responding. Let’s see what I can say.
We are all products of our environment and our time, and we cannot criticize F.T. Laney for being just that. Good thing that we are more enlightened about homosexuality, and our sexual orientation doesn’t mean we aren’t good people.
I’ve been reading about the Dragoncon boycott through File770.com. I think Dragoncon needs some changes…the complaints I hear about wouldn’t give me incentive to go. The full day of waiting in line-ups for various programming and events would make me wish for heading home again.
The FAAn Awards…we have voted, with lots of time, and this coming weekend is Corflu XXX in Portland. Wish we could have been there, but no such luck for me. I hope there a little luck for me in the FAAn announcements.
Fandom does indeed age you prematurely. Having to deal with the usual batch of fuggheads puts undue stress on a fellow, and keeping to multiple deadlines will do it too, I think. A hundred articles for anyone is more than enough to keep you wondering if you’re ahead or behind schedule. I have no real schedules to keep, just an IN box that never seems to empty. Indeed, Yvonne and I did retire from running cons a few years after 30 years in the trenches, but we know better than to say never.
It’s tired and I’m late…or something like that. I will send this and go to bed. I’ve done my bit, I think. See you with issue 35.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Fadeaway 34 (Robert Jennings, ed.)|
Thank you for a paper copy of Fadeaway 34…I’ve been getting a lot of paper fanzines lately, and there’s a lot of feelgood there. I’ve written a few locs earlier today, but now to see if I can write one for you.
Yvonne and I are amateur vendors on the side…I make steampunk jewelry and refurbish costume jewelry, and Yvonne makes steampunk hats and other items, and we’ve sold our stuff at SF cons and other events. When I first got into it, I was told by a much more experienced vendor that I’d never get out of it; there’s no way to fold it up. That’s okay, I expect I will be in the jewelry-making business for a while yet, but I will be monitoring the local steampunk market to see if there is space to sell more.
The Twilight Zone is my all-time favourite SF show…not only the originals, but also the 80s version, and some of the 2000 version. They were the first TV show to prove that a good story could hinge on story, and not necessarily character. He should be honoured as one of our greatest writers…he isn’t, because most of his writing went into a television show. Many of the stories in TZ could be classified as science fiction or weird fiction, or even a genre all its own, but the non-SF stories were also wonderful stories, each with a message. The original TZ opening sequence scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, and can still put a chill up my spine. I might also be one of the few who enjoyed Night Gallery, for there were some interesting stories there, too. I remember hearing that the collection of paintings created for Night Gallery were to be junked like so many pulp covers; hope that didn’t happen.
Boskone is one convention I always wanted to go to and see, especially seeing how much I enjoyed the 1989 Worldcon in Boston. Vernor Vinge was the GoH at Loscon 39 in LA this past November; would have been neat to see him again so soon.
Movies…just heard the other day that Deanna Durbin passed away at the age of 91. The name was quite familiar, but I didn’t know that she was Canadian, from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The locol…software drives me up the wall sometimes, when you think it should work, but it doesn’t because of the OS. I spotted some of David Thayer’s/Teddy Harvia’s artwork in another fanzine…I didn’t know that he had returned to fanzine artwork.
I tried to squeeze more comments out of the locol, but I failed miserably, so I’m going to tie this letter up and fire it off to you. Many thanks for this zine, and I will do better next time, I’m sure of it.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Flag 4 (Andy Hooper, ed.)|
Thank you for mailing me a copy of Flag 4…time to see if I can crack the elusive locol with a sparkling letter of comment. Aw, who am I foolin’…
A shame about Iain Banks, but at least it isn’t a sudden surprise, and he’s had the chance to settle his affairs, and say goodbye to his readers. A further shame that he can’t be GoH at Loncon…he deserves the accolades, but won’t be here to enjoy them. Also, Jon Singer was a GoH at SFContario 3 last year; the committee has impeccable tastes in guests. This year, the FanGoH is Dave Kyle, and multi-Hugo nominee Seanan McGuire is the ProGoH.
I don’t have an iPod either, but I do have a collections of .mp3s, ready for it, if I ever get my hands on one. Most of the music is 60s and 70s rock, plus a few extra cuts that turn our cranks.
As always, a great fanzine list, and I get most of them…if anyone wants to send me a zine, they are most welcome, but I am no longer sending out the sticky quarters…I have more than enough fanzines to read and respond to these days. All I need to do is turn my head, and another four or five zines drop into the IN box or appear on eFanznes.com.
Nope, not going to appear in the locol, but I gave it my shot. Perhaps next time…
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Auroran Lights 8 (R. Graeme Cameron, ed.)|
Getting a lot done today as far as writing goes…next up is Auroran Lights 8, and here come the comments.
Maybe too late for the issue itself, but we have done our Canfannish duty, and we have nominated for the Auroras, and I think you got that call from Cliff Samuels, too. Once again, I am nominated in the category of Best Fan Related Work for writing articles and letters of comment for fanzines and e-fanzines. And, once again, I am in tough in this category. Lots of good competition, but lots of hope. I realized that while I have been nominated here and there, I haven’t won one of these great pointy trophies in 15 years.
I saw an inquiry earlier today asking if there were any CUFF candidates yet, seeing that today is the first day of voting. I haven’t heard of any yet, I haven’t spoken to Deb Yeung lately, so if she does have candidates ready to campaign, I haven’t heard that, either.
In this era of 3D printers, I wonder if a university could produce “Faned” figurines inexpensively for you, or if you have a contact at UBC or Simon Fraser. Worth a shot… I am not sure what materials a 3D printer can handle.
This weekend, Yvonne and I are trying something new…so many little conventions have sprung up all over the Greater Toronto area over the past few years, and we’ve decided to go to Art-O-Con, a single-day con this coming Sunday, May 5, at the Holiday Inn Burlington. Good dealers’ room, and a single stage, and that’s it. Only $5 admission, so you can’t really go wrong. We can’t just rely on the big local cons (and Polaris is gone), so we have to see something new.
All done for the moment…getting a lot done today, for a change. Many thanks, looking forward to the next zine from you.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Prime Material 1 (Rogers Cadenhead, ed.)|
I see you’re moving into some new apas, so I thought, I get plenty of apazines, and I loc them too, so why no? Here’s a few quick comments on Prime Material 1 for Alarums & Excursions.
Gaming? Not for me at all. I remember local fans playing Settlers of Catan many years ago, but it never caught my interest at all. (There’s a lot of things most fans like that never caught my interest…comics, anime, etc. For me, I started with Trek, then conrunning and costuming, and then fanzines, and now steampunk costuming. No generic fan am I.)
Perhaps my only connection to gaming might be the fact I went to school with Ed Greenwood. We both got our degrees in Journalism at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University), but while I was taking notes for my classes, Ed was designing that enormous dungeon he sold for megabucks. Wonder who spent their time wisely that day?
Well, it’s a four-pager, not much else I can do, but at least I gave it a shot. Perhaps later issues will contain more comment hooks. See you then!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 305 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)|
Dear OASFiSians and Juan:
Many thanks for issue 305 of the Event Horizon…looks like lots to see and read, so I will get with it asap.
I see the club is doing well, if it has to spend your profits in order to keep your non-profit status. That’s the biggest problem some non-profit anime conventions have…they are swimming in cash from huge attendance, and need to divest some of their profits to other projects, or find some way to invest, such as in short-term investments, treasury bills, RSPs and other instruments.
The Aurora Award nominations are out, and I am on the ballot! Let me know if you need the full nomination details in each category. Ad Astra 2013 took place, we wound up going for the full weekend, and we had a great time, so good to see old friends we hadn’t seen in years. That’s the main attraction for us now at conventions.
I mentioned in my last loc that a Toronto fan went to Megacon to see the TNG folks two weekends in a row…there he is on page 5, the rather muscular dude in the shot with the two Aquamen, Dave Ross.
Coming up next month (I can say that now)…Steam on Queen 2, this year’s version of the newly-crowned biggest steampunk event in the world. Got 4300 people last year, and we’re looking for more this year. Again, we will be vending there, and hope we can top our amazing sales of last year.
Done! Many thanks for this, and I will look for the next issue to see what’s happening in Florida.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
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