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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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April 28th, 2016
02:27 pm


Loc on Spartacus 13 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Thank you for Spartacus 13. This might have to be a fast loc, as starting tomorrow is our local SF literary convention, Ad Astra 35, and we are vending there! Actually, we check in tonight, and have to bring a station wagon load of stuff, so fast loc it is! Who knows, I might actually have something intelligent to say.

I am regularly astonished at the horrific insanities that are coming out of the mouths of Republican candidates, and it just gets worse. Just about any of their policies would violate international laws and the morals of most intelligent people, yet the make their announcements almost blind to what most people would say about it. They have a lot of support, which says so much about a sizable chunk of the American electorate. I think I can safely say that the rest of the world is fearful about what the electorate will do, and who they will elect. I am sure I have already said all this elsewhere, but it is hard to believe that the Republican Party has attracted so many people with such vile ideas, attitudes and policies. (I must wonder about some Republican voters, who do not like Democrat policies, but are hard-pressed to vote for anyone under the Republican banner. What do they do? Hold their nose, or simply not vote?)

Any time there’s a report about Trump’s latest horror-show tactics, we’ve gotten to the point we mute the sound on the TV. Anything he does and says is beyond disgusting, but he’s now polished himself up to follow set speeches to make him sound even somewhat presidential. America, fascism creeps in with a smiling face, or in Trump’s case, a smug grin.

I knew of andrew offutt, but did not know him personally; not sure I ever met him. But then, I expected that; I don’t go to many American conventions, and actually haven’t been at one since Loscon 39 in 2012. Exchange rate, change in fannish interests, and just plain happy to be on this side of the border.

This weekend, not only are we going to our annual home convention to see our goods, but we are also taking the main computer at home to our regular computer guru Raymond in Mississauga for general clean up, and for a new video card so we can look up two monitors. Also, we are splitting a room with our good friend Cindi from the Windsor-Essex area (across from Detroit), so I just hope we are able to do everything we want to do! Going to be a crazy weekend; hope we survive it.

Thanks for this issue, and bring on some more.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 26th, 2016
03:41 pm


Loc on BCSFAzine 513 (Felicity Walker, ed.)
Dear BCSFen:

BCSFAzine 513 is here, and it seems the faster I write locs, the sooner the issues come out. So, here’s me doing my part for the zine. Here’s what’s to say…

The American election, with apologies to American friends, is simply a disgrace. I won’t say the Democrats are innocent, but the poor excuses for humanity that are running for the Republican nomination…well, they should be grateful that “None of the Above” won’t be on the ballot.

I read about Graeme’s disappointments when it comes to retirement benefits. Based on what he said, I shouldn’t expect much, given how many times I’ve been unemployed. Yvonne retires in less than a year, so I must find something good and long-lasting soon.

My letter…we did go to the Toronto ComicCon to have a look at the dealers’ room (interesting), and to meet up with Jason Isaacs. Yvonne got her picture taken with him, and we even had a little chat. His wife is from the Toronto area. Kitchener Comic Con was enjoyable, and sales were good, and as I write, Ad Astra 2016/35 starts in a few days.

Thanks to John Purcell…the resumes flood out, but there are times I think it’s all lies and nonsense, and the jobs don’t actually exist. We are also looking at craft shows and garden fairs as other places to see our goods. Right now, cons are all we’ve got, but we are looking at events in Hamilton, and in the east end of Toronto.

Earlier today, the Hugo Awards final ballot was released…already, there are people unhappy with the results. I regret not having the ability to nominate or vote, but when I see how others react, I don’t feel so bad.

Right now, I am getting all our boxes of merchandise, plus boxes of support items (bags, pens, paperwork, etc.), plus interesting furnishings, ready for Ad Astra, and I will be checking in to the hotel in Richmond Hill Thursday night so I can get downstairs as early as possible to get set up in plenty of time. Yvonne will have a regular working day, so as soon as she can, she will come out to the convention to join me and help with sales. As soon as this convention is done, we will start preps for Anime North in Toronto, just a month afterwards.

Thanks for this, take care, see you the next time.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 25th, 2016
12:32 pm


Loc on OSFS Statement 445 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Thank you for Statement 245, and as this week begins, Ad Astra 2016/35 is at the end of it. Hope people Lots of racing about, getting things ready to go…we will check in late on Thursday night, and Friday morning, I will get our two tables in the dealers’ room set up. In the meantime, let’s get some letters written, and this one is the first.

Reykjavik, Iceland is a place we’d first thought to go to on our upcoming trip to England, but we have a very tight two-week window for a vacation. A shame…there’s never enough time or money to do all the things you want to do. A great phoenix aurora, great shot.

Coming events…besides our tables at Ad Astra, we will also have a table at Anime North in the Crafters’ Corner area, so if not Ad Astra, see you at Anime North. We will also have tables at special steampunk events in Mississauga, and in Coldwater, Ontario, up Highway 400. Literally days after the Coldwater event, we are off to England!

Not much to write about this time around, with preparations for Ad Astra, and our trip to London and Lincoln, England, in mind. I hope to see the membership at Ad Astra or Anime North, or even Mississauga or Coldwater! It’s the spring, and there’s lots to do. See you the next time!

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 22nd, 2016
04:00 pm


Loc on Art of Garthness 12 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

I have Art of Garthness 12 here, and I will attempt another loc, in spite of the fact it’s FRIDAY!!!, and we have some serious plans for a creative weekend. Not that locs aren’t creative…never mind, let’s write.

George Phillies is somewhere in the USA, being president of the N3F. Beyond that, if you need an e-mail address, let me know.

I can only imagine what the Judgmental Map of Toronto looks like…probably just as offensive. Is there anything like a dictionary of BC terms? I still have my BCRIC shares, and does anyone there say “Ickybicky” any more? I suspect that if you were to come up with a dictionary of BCese, it would be out of date as soon as you were done.

If we ever get it all right, and we master Anglo culture, whatever that might be, you’ll probably be too old to put it into action and practice.

I think in this past election six months ago, people voted for Justin, and voted against the Conservatives, which gave the Liberals a big majority, Harper the heave, and gave the NDP the chance to fire Tom Mulcair. So, perhaps voting for someone does work in this country. I recently saw an essay on File 770.com about the science in science fiction, and how we all started out as scientists to one extent or another, and how few of us actually pursued that scientific study and lifestyle, opting instead for good reading.

I voted in the FAAn Awards, and TAFF, and nominated in the Auroras. I hope that is all my responsibilities with fannish awards over and done with.

“…and the reliable loc from Lloyd Penney.” Thank you, good sir. You’ve made my week. Someone noticed! Harry Warner did tell me a long time ago that he liked my writing, and was pleased with the fact that I wrote a lot of letters of comment. For the record, these days, I write about 250 of them every year.

All done, and the weekend beckons! I hope you have a good one, too, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 21st, 2016
01:26 pm


Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 36 No. 4 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

The April Shuttle is here, and for once, I am tackling it early, with a greater chance of writing something coherent. Wish me luck as I dive in…

We’re having our income tax season early, too. We got ours done early, and we’re just waiting for our refund cheques to come in. We could use them, too.

Lots of Puppies make lots of Puppy messes the rest of us will have to clean up, but now that the Hugo electorate has lots of warning about what the Puppies will try to do to influence the Hugos, all voters will know what to do to make those messes as clean-uppable as possible.

Also, the TAFF results…I hope Wolf von Witting will try once again for TAFF. He’s got the time to get it done, and after two unsuccessful tries, he’s bound to win the third.

Lots of awards again…I am hopeful some friends will bring home some pointy trophies. Actually, I can’t call them pointy trophies this time, for the design will be changing. I don’t know what the new design will be, but I will share it around as soon as I see it.

Our plans for going to England are continuing on, still lots to do, and we’re only four months off. Yvonne’s working on costumes for us for the steampunk part of our trip.

Done for now, I think. The warm weather is finally here, and we’re already taking walks in the neighbourhood…Yvonne says we’re in training for England, to make sure we can walk around all we need without exhausting ourselves. See you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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11:13 am


Loc on Probe 166 (Gail Jamieson, ed.)
Dear SFFSAns:

Thank you for a real paper copy of Probe 166. It’s only been here a short time, but I thought I’d better get with it, and respond as soon as I could.

The older we get, the faster time goes subjectively, and that’s an unfortunate part of aging. Then, look at your activities in fandom, look at when you joined a club, or went to your first convention… I’ve been involved in fandom for 39 years now, and I’ve been going to cons for 38 years. No wonder time goes faster; it all blends together. Picking up new interests has made fandom fun and fresh for us again.

I have read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books over the years, and my library at home is mostly read. I still have two shelves of books yet to read, but as Andrew says, I haven’t read many books over the past few years. I am slowly getting through Planet of Exile by Ursula K. LeGuin, and Map of Time by Felix Palma. Why have I slowed down to such an extent? I am not sure… Fatigue? Declining interest? Other interests crowding in?

The Hour of the Rat…it’s a shame there’s so many dystopian stories out there. This story shows that we still discriminate, if not about colour, then about age or gender, and whatever we can think of. Interesting story, but I hope my retirement/elder days are a little more utopian.

Wasn’t it Bill O’Connor who had cartoons in Probe many years ago? The style looks very familiar. Hope to see more of them.

Yvonne and I are planning a trip to England! We will be going to London for the first week, with a side trip to Watford to see the Harry Potter exhibits, and then the second week in Lincoln to go to The Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world. We will be there for the second half of August, just four months away. Can’t wait to go, and have our first transatlantic trip in 25 years.

And with that, I think I’m done for the moment. Keep the issues coming, and if you decide to go .pdf, I will help out with the costs, and take that. See you next issue!

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 20th, 2016
07:15 pm


Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 110 (Tom Sadler, ed.)
Dear Tom:

Thank you, comrade, for issue 110 of the Reluctant Famulus. The dinosaur space race might have happened like that…when I see the evening news, I must wonder if the dinosaurs were a little smarter than we are. Crunchy, munchy moonwalkers…

Happy belated birthday! I try to remember that such numbers are just that, numbers, but while I have not yet reached 60, my sleep is usually disturbed, my joints make more noise than my breakfast cereal, and so days, I feel more than my age. The GOP candidates should scare the hell out of everyone, in America or outside of it. All of them seem to promise a dystopian version of America, and the rest of the world would have to deal with it, too. Should Cthulhu run and win, I am sure Donald Trump would look worse in comparison.

More Things on Mars…I hope there’s an alien settlement on the far side. Having real Martians to deal with would liven up life to some extent, and the world’s religions would have something catastrophic to deal with, and seeing them handle it would be entertaining…unless they would all want us to slay the alien non-believers, and that wouldn’t surprise me. We all desperately try to make sense of the world around us, so we see impossible figures on Mars, and in the skies, UFOs.

I remember seeing AmphiCars on the lakes I grew up nearby, and I gather they are true collectors’ items, and a few still appear from time to time, and even get back into the lake. There is someone with a typewriter collection locally, and I think he has one of the Danish typewriters on page 14.

The locol (I think I’ve seen that motley crew behind a panel table at least once)…I am still job hunting. I am doing a little freelance proofreading and voice work, but a full job is not mine yet. I hope it will by the next time I send you a letter.

I used to find Moxie product here, but no longer…I was told it was an herbal cola, but other said it was prune-flavoured. I think it was the herbs, but it had a lot of caffeine in it. These days, the energy drinks have even more caffeine in it, and I won’t touch them. I have enough trouble with getting enough sleep, without making things worse.

The plans for the trip to England continue apace, and it’s hard not to be excited about the trip…it’s about four months away. We plan to take lots of photos of London, Watford and Lincoln. In the meantime, lots of fanzines to deal with. Many thanks for this one, and please send me some more.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 19th, 2016
01:32 pm


Loc on OASFiS Evnt Horizon 341 (Jan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

Thank you for issue 341 of the Event Horizon, and there must be something to say about what’s inside. Let me have a look, and perhaps I can say it, or at least type it up here.

The description of the Batman vs. Superman movie…I doubt I’d ever see it in the theatres, so getting the full description saves me about $15. Characters like Superman and Batman are so often interpreted and re-interpreted these days, I think they simply become empty suits for the next actor to wear. One Superman or Batman can be so different from the past one.

My letter… binge-watching The Magicians may be how we do it, too. A few years ago, we bought everything connected with Babylon 5, and we spent the entire winter bingeing from time to time, and we watched it all. We’d like to do it again. We had a great time at the Toronto Comic Con, and Yvonne got her picture taken with Jason Isaacs. Ad Astra is in about ten days, and we’ll be getting ready for it shortly.

We are getting more ready for our trip to England…all rooms are ready, we’ve decided what we want to go and see, the flights are arranged, and with just a few more calls, we will be totally ready to go.

That’s all for now, take care, see you with the next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 18th, 2016
02:25 pm


Loc on Broken Toys 48 (Taral Wayne, ed.)
Dear Taral:

Many thanks for Broken Toys 48, all the best on that one. Time for comments as the BT countdown gets very close.

As I write, there’s one week to go before the FAAn Awards deadline. I am sure I will nominate, and Yvonne has expressed some interest, too. Hope always springs eternal, but these days, I simply hope to place well. I am sure there will be an avalanche of ballots during this week. Either that, or it is time for another FAAn Awards hiatus, which could be its end. It’ll then, or a little further along…

As many have said, it’s a shame cancer has claimed another victim, and Renata and the kids are alone, perhaps even with the rest of the Ford family around them. The best thing is that this idiot will not be around to bedevil the city of Toronto, or anyone else for that matter. Cruel? Perhaps, but he never got my vote, and Etobicoke will take a while longer to shake the idea that it’s full of fools that supported Rob Ford. One bit of entertainment is that Doug Ford is showing himself to be too extreme, even for the Progressive Conservatives, so perhaps the name Ford will disappear for a while from the city pages. What a relief that will be.

Today is the third Monday of the the month, so today, some of us will be gathering at Orwell’s Pub in the west end for a pubnight. I hope Steven shows up; I do enjoy his stories. Many of our books are on IKEA bookshelves against the wall in our living room. Seeing we may have 700 or 800 pounds of books on those shelves, I wonder what it’s doing to the floor underneath it. It’s never shown any sign of tipping or falling apart, knock on wood…

Toys are packed so not even adults can get them out of the box. We know a lot of tidy collectors, who say that such packaging are just fine with them. I have to wonder, though, are we near the end of the era of the collector, so that mint toys won’t gather prime values over time? Many of us are victims of the monetization of fandom, from which arose the big pro cons. Ick.

Paul Skelton…the Corflus I attended seemed a little clubby, with groups of friends gathering and staying together. I found little to do, and at the Toronto Corflu I went to, people disappeared for dinner so quickly, I looked after the con suite both evenings. Part of my frustration comes from the fact I’d like to go to more Corflus, but I doubt finances will ever allow for going to another, so I guess I am fine with the idea of not getting to another one.

My loc…there seems to be many online SF magazines who will regularly take submissions. I am not sure if they are paying markets, but more and more, aspiring writers will whip up their stories, get published in one of those e-magazines, spread the word, and get writing the next one. At least they get a byline, which is enough impetus for many modern writers. Money? You must be kidding. I suspect there are some writers who will spend their entire writing lives in the minor leagues of the online mags.

Steve had problems over the years keeping his weight down, and to be honest, so do I. I have weighed as much as 230 lbs., and am now down to 220. Getting past that and heading towards 210…well, there’s the rub. And, I am at the age where losing weight is not as easy as it once was. My own doctor doesn’t seem too bothered by my weight, as long as I am healthy, and making the effort to lose weight. But now that warmer weather is here, we hope to get out more, walk some of it off, and make sure everything fits fine for our travel in August.

Years ago, I asked my local bank about half-dollars, and they knew little. If the penny is to be eliminated (and I still find some here and there), a half-dollar should be introduced as general circulation coinage. I have also wondered if a five-dollar coin would be minted.

Well, I have gone further than I thought I would, so good for me, and good for the locol, I hope. Many thanks for this issue, and the penultimate issue will be out soon. See you then.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 15th, 2016
02:35 pm


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 75 No. 2 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

Thank you for Volume 75, Number 2 of The National Fantasy Fan. Perhaps they did come out, out of sequence, but that’s okay, fanzine numbering systems have been far weirder in the past. Comments to come.

I hope those Canadian entries in your Short Story Contest will find other markets in which to be published. There are now many outlets in Canada in which to get it published, like OnSpec and Neo-Opsis, both paper magazines, and a number of electronic magazines as well.

I belonged to several apas over the years…TAPA was the Toronto apa I belonged to for about seven years, plus APAplexy in Ottawa, which is still going, and I was the Central Mailer for a year, and a member for four, of The Final Frontier, originally a Trek apa, but became a general apa without changing the name. Software that combines .pdfs into one big .pdf…I must look into this. What other software packages are there available that can do this? I hope they are free…

My letter…we are generally ready for Ad Astra the end of this month, and just yesterday, we confirmed that we will have a table at Anime North, the big 25,000-attendee anime convention in the west end of Toronto. We should do extremely well there. I hope this will be a profitable spring.

I continue to enjoy the article on the Futurians. It’s important to keep the memory of our fannish past alive, for it continues to fade away from us at the rate of a year per year, and those years flash past fairly quickly for some of us. Are there more parts to come? There’s always something new to learn in a well-written fan history.

Well, off it goes, and I hope it will see light in the next issue. Take care, all, enjoy the new warm temperatures, and see you soon.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 14th, 2016
02:10 pm


Loc on Missives From Gre'thor 16 (Joe Casey, ed.)
Dear Joe:

Thanks for Missives From Gre’thor 16, and as always, it’s due a few comments here and there. It’s a good way of catching up with people, too.

It does get to the point where no matter what kind of computer you have, you’re going to have problems. My computer’s going in for cleaning and a new video board during Ad Astra. The only problem the computer has is Facebook. That takes up a lot of space. Television? We watch Murdoch Mysteries, documentaries on various channels including TVO, and the news. We’re busy with other things, like getting ready for our trip to England this August, and doing steampunk tables. We had good sales at the annual comic con in Kitchener, and we have two tables at Ad Astra the end of the month.

I have wondered that too, why do we have so much money for refugees, but so little to solve our own poverty at home? The problems in Attawapiskat are a sign that our natives and our poor have been ignored for too long.

I remember when the original Star Wars came out, we must have seen it dozens of times. A new Star Wars movie today? Saw it once, and doubt I will buy the DVD, which came out recently.

My letter…the local Murdoch group just announced their annual big event coming up in August, but that is only a few days before we go to England. We got ourselves a tablet each, and we are using it to get used to them for the trip to England.

Done for now, don’t be too political, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 12th, 2016
04:00 pm


Loc on The White Notebooks 4 (Pete Young, ed.)
Dear Pete:

Thank you for The White Notebooks 4, and it’s risen to the top of the To Be Locced pile. Time for some comments, and a little e-mail conversation.

I was good in school, and came within less than a percent of being a Queen’s Scholar in high school. But, it was the people there who made school hell for me. Moving to the west coast was such a pleasant change as far as friends go, and that is where I found fandom. Then, coming back out east for school allowed me to meet Yvonne, and life has been very good since.

It is easy to call bollocks on all under the banner of Irrational Nonsense, but all listed are very popular, and if you were to gather together a revenues of them all, it would be counted in the billions of whatever currency you’d like. They survive through the ignorance of the general public, and honestly, that ignorance hits spectacular levels in the USA, where there in interest in all of that Irrational Nonsense. They love it all, and like most lies, if it is mentioned enough, it becomes truth.

The Star Trek postage stamp reminds me that not only will there be ST stamps issues in the US, but also in Canada. Paper copies are great, but as housing becomes more expensive, so does storage space, where our fanzine collections reside, and they cost us more to store all the time. I am very happy with paper copies, but it is much easier to store e-copies. I suspect that soon, I might have to dispose of my own fanzine collection, and I think I know who to give it to.

Murray Moore gets fewer fanzines, but I am pleased with an e-copy. Correspondence and communications are most important, the medium is part of the message, but it’s not enough to make the message unintelligible. My own loc…the job hunt continues apace, and my EI benefits continue to dwindle. I hope and pray for something soon.

Uri Geller is someone I never thought (or hoped) to hear about again, but it good to see that he’s come clean about himself, saying he is an entertainer. I would have called him a bullshit artist for a long time, but honesty better becomes him.

Yvonne will be home from work soon, and I have to get some dinner on the go…we’re off to a Harry Potter event held on the grounds of the University of Toronto for 7:30, and the sooner we’re on the road down there, the better. Many thanks for this issue, and I hope for more soon.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 11th, 2016
04:53 pm


Loc on Lighning Round Vol. 3 Nos. 1 & 2 (Alex Bouchard, ed.)
Dear Alex:

Finally got to it; my time has not been my own. Here comes some commentary on the first two issues of the new Lightning Round. Let’s try to make some sense…

Vol. 3 No. 1…I know how you’re feeling, I haven’t put out an issue of a zine for a long time, but responding to the zines I do does take a lot of time. I hope there’s more than me ion the locol.

Many people call elections the silly season…the current US election turns silly to scary. The idea that either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump may become your president scares a lot of us up here, so it should terrify you. No, we don’t want Ted Cruz back, and I suspect neither does Mexico.

Let us know more about the films you’re working on, and if you need some voiceover work, let me know. I do it here for film and media students from time to time, and I also have a regular paying gig, but I am always looking for more to put on my resume and IMDB page.

Vol. 3, No. 2… Are politics and entertainment two sides of the same coin? Yes, but only if you like horror movies. I have read that many people around the world, when they see the Republican candidates (ecchhh!), and read about how human rights are being curtailed by many states, openly wonder when American abandoned democracy, and embraced an oligarchy running the show, and controlling the money supply. I have not been in the USA for some years, and when I read the results of this continuing election campaign, sorry, Alex, I do not want to go there. It is a scary place for many non-Americans like me, and for many people, non-American seems to mean the same as un-American.

I saw the first two Star Trek reboot movies once each. I’d rather go back to the timeline followed by the last few TV shows, and find out what happened after Voyager returned home. I have also seen Star Wars Episode VII, and felt in many ways, it was a remake of Episode IV, but with new characters, and some new ideas, and a new generation of rebels. I see few movies, so when I want to see a movie, I want it to be worth my money, and it’s probably the biggest reason we rarely go. There’s a multiplex I can see from our balcony, but we might be there once or twice a year.

What we’ve done the last few years…save our money. We wanted to go to the London Worldcon a couple of years ago, but we just couldn’t save enough to go. But we continued as best as we could, and this coming August, we will be going to England for a trip to the Harry Potter exhibits just north of London, five days of exploration in London proper, and a long weekend full of steampunk fun at The Asylum in Lincoln, a two-hour train ride north of London. We expect great fun, and we hope to meet a lot of new people. We still go to local conventions, but mostly now not just as attendees, but as dealers. At the end of the month is Ad Astra, and we will have two tables there.

Done for now, and please do keep the issues coming.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 8th, 2016
02:52 pm


Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 36 No. 3 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

Thanks muchly for the March issue…I suspect the deadline at the bottom of the first page was a little screwed up, so that’s okay, here’s goes with a letter of comment anyway, sorry if it’s late.

It’s past Hugo nominations time, and I hope everyone with a membership made the nomination deadline. I am hoping the politics in the Hugos fade, but I may be too optimistic here. However, I will be voting in the FAAn Awards, and fingers crossed that I might win something. It truly is awards season again, and the Aurora Awards final ballot was announced recently. Let me know if you need it.

On the calendar, my birthday appears once more. And this time around, drumroll please, I will be turning a questionable 57 years of age. Oh, well, if you hit 50, and you haven’t grown up by then, you don’t have to. Words of wisdom, I think…

Our plans to go to England this coming August are still on the go, and as more plans are made, we’re more secure that we are going there to have the best time possible.

Time to go…I know I responded to the last issue, let me know if anything is missing, and I will re-send. Take care, see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 7th, 2016
11:15 am


Loc on MarkTime 113 (Mark Strickert, ed.)
Dear Mark:

Some time ago, you sent to me issue 113 of MarkTime…I guess I was waiting for issue 114. So, time to get caught up with you. I might not have much to say, but here goes with a letter.

I hate moving, but it seems you’ve moved a lot lately. I also used to have several post office boxes, especially with conventions and other projects on the go. So much is electronic these days. Going through the possessions and making some pretty hard decisions is one of the main reasons I hate moving. I think next time, we might rent a storage locker, and make the actual moving day a little easier by dropping stuff off in the storage locker for the two months before.

A friend of mine got Little Free Libraries re-started in Ontario, and I’ve seen a few here and there, for those of us who still see value in a paper book. I think we will soon be in the minority, if we aren’t there already. I can’t believe that in some jurisdictions, the Little Free Libraries are illegal.

Airlines I cannot fly in Canada any more… Let’s see, CP Air, Wardair, Jetsgo, Pacific Western, Quebecair, Royal (still have a purple airline blanket from them), Millardair, Canada 3000, Canjet, Worldways (worst ever), and many, MANY smaller airlines.

My job hunting is still on the go, but I will be sending out a lot of resumes over the next four days. In spite of this, we are still planning for our trip to England in the second half of August this year, for great Harry Potter and steampunk fun.

Well, I still got at least a small letter out of this. I am looking forward to issue 114 to see what lists were created, and I will say my farewells. My best to the family settling in, and I hope you don’t have to move for a long time to come.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 6th, 2016
02:36 pm


Loc on Ansible 344 & 345 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear Dave:

Thank you for issues 344 and 345 of Ansible, and while the inspiration hits me, I will try to write something coherent commenting on the issues at hand. I am just waiting for the coffee to kick in…

344…More and more, I see comments on the Hugos, political statements, the assorted messes left behind by Puppies, etc., and I am sorry those silver rockets have fallen into some disrepute. I read earlier today that DragonCon will have its own awards, and even getting the name of the awards right is a cock-up. In some ways, I regret not going to Worldcons any more, and in other ways, I don’t mind at all. Yet, it was a special event for us since the early 80s.

No comments on the R.I.P. file; they depress me no end, which pretty well makes it unanimous. I see people dying at a younger age than my own, and it’s a little scary.

I will make the assumption that you have seen the Aurora final ballot for this year; for the first time in a few years, neither one of us is on it. Seeing how poorly we did last year, I am not surprised; I think our time has passed. If you do not have it, it is resident on the Auroras website.

Anna Raftery defeated Wolf von Witting for TAFF this time; two years in a row Wolf has lost. He says he won’t run again, but I hope he will. Third time’s the charm, and he will definitely get my vote.

345…Publishing is such a tough field to get into, and an easy field to slip out of when you’re not looking. I am job hunting, and so many publishing endeavours close to me are shoe-string operations run by anywhere from one to four people. Commiserations on the end of your SFX column. I see this kind of thing happening in most issues of Ansible, and from time to time in local newspapers.

Every US election, the candidates the Republicans trot out become even more horrific. At least you have the Atlantic between you and these nightmares; they are right beside us, and what they could do to the US and its neighbours are beyond dystopian. Evidence consists of several episodes of The Simpsons, in which President Donald Trump is the worst thing that could happen. It’s a cautionary tale for us all.

Our holidays in London and Lincoln continue planning. I gather the Grosvenor by Victoria station is pretty ritzy, but we will be there for five days before heading up to Lincoln for The Asylum. Wish we could make a First Thursday there, but we will be there for the second half of August.

That’s all for now…hope everyone enjoys the Bishop’s Finger tomorrow night. Our own First Thursday has had to change locations, too. Our long-time location, the Foxes’ Den, went out of business after being around for close to 30 years. Tomorrow night, we start a new era, I hope, at the Midtown Gastro Hub further north in Toronto. It’s been the home for the local goth pubnight for the last seven years, so I hope it can be our new home, too. Many thanks, and see you next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 5th, 2016
02:20 pm


Loc on Askance 36 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

I am carrying on with a loc a day (or at least, good intentions) to help with the never-ending catch-up, and up next in my IN box is Askance 36. Nine years already? Here goes!...

Planning the tenth anniversary issue…perhaps I can send you some more Tales From The Convention!. I do try to keep track of what I send you, so maybe I can send some, and you can use what you wish.

As I have witnessed the deathwatch on Facebook so far this year, I am amazed how many names have died. 2016 has truly been a deadly year for the famous. I know so many people die every year, but each announcement was usually followed by, “Oh no, not him too!” It does get depressing.

I have been on convention committees for over 30 years, and there are no committees out there who invite people in to be guests of honour, and then intentionally abuse them. One committee I was on simply forgot about one guest, which started a long series of apologies and gifts. But, it was not intentional. As I read this, and I did see parts of it on Facebook, this sounds like it was intentional, as if some GoHs were more Honoured (and Honourable) than others. Sexual orientation shouldn’t be a reason for such discrimination. I would like to think that fans are more open-minded, but they are open-minded as the next person, which often isn’t much.

Good to see that Arnie is finding and enjoying some good radio drama from the CBC. Up to a few years ago, CBC Radio had voice dramas, but they are gone, and dismissed as immaterial in this modern age. Arnie might also like Vanishing Point.

Good to see another Chat strip! There’s a cat I’d like to see chase some Puppies. Eat the losers, Chat! And if not that, chase them away. I can think of a Worldcon or two that would like to see them gone.

Indeed, we miss the flood of Garciazines around here, but others like Garth Spencer and Graeme Cameron have stepped up to try to fill the gap. I responded to the newest Auroran Lights last night. I think you’d like VCon, Yvonne and I were Fan GoHs for VCon 25, and Yvonne was the science GoH at VCon 26, as she attended a space conference in Vancouver, literally the weekend before VCon 26.

My loc…each generation of fandom fractures more than the previous generation, and so now, that fractures may have reduced fandom to a fine powder. The job hunt continues, but I had a great interview with accounting firm KPMG, and I am hopeful they will take me on for a 6- to 9-month contract. We are already hearing about this year’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, and Abney Park will be back for the third straight year. I thought I had secured my place in that company, and if I did something wrong, I don’t know about it, and I cannot think of what it was. However, when I was there, two of the four floors of the building were under construction, and I might have been let go to free up money to finishing the construction and remodeling. Who knows… Just this past weekend, Yvonne and I were vending at a comic show in the city of Kitchener, Ontario, and we did well, and had ourselves a great time.

Check Connor asks what happened to all the various punks connected with Cyberpunk, Steampunk, etc.? Yes, there’s lots…Splatterpunk, Decopunk, Dieselpunk, Teslapunk, Atompunk, Clockpunk, lots more. I have some graphics I can send to you, John, to help illustrate this…who knows, they might even be attached…

At the end of the month is our regular annual home convention, the one we were on the committee for 30 years, Ad Astra 2016. This is the 35th Ad Astra, and there will be special celebrations, and we will be behind two tables in the dealers’ room, selling our steampunk wares. The little con in Kitchener was fun, so we should have a blast at Ad Astra; we usually do.

Off it goes, John…hope this was a decent loc, worthy or printing in the locol. Sometimes, I think I’m losing my touch, but all I can do is try my best, e-mail them off, and hope for the best. We had a freak snowstorm a few days ago, so the ground is white again. See you with the next zine.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 4th, 2016
08:23 pm


Loc on Auroran Lights 18 (R. Graeme Cameron, ed.)
Dear Graeme:

Many thanks for Auroran Lights 18, and this is the first chance I’ve had to respond to it. By coincidence, the names on this year’s Aurora ballot were revealed…we were both shut out this year. As long as the awards continue, that’s the main thing, but there’s so little we’re connected with any more. I tried to get this started before going to the Kitchener Comic Con, but good intentions, and all that…

Well, we did nominate for the Auroras, and we shall see how that goes…finances will dictate if we do our final vote. It is getting a little tight. Yvonne is on the Hall of Fame committee, so her work doesn’t start until July.

I remember many years ago when I started trying to write for paying markets, and failing miserably… The list of markets you provide is a real tool for writers, and for people who might be new to SF online. I think I did read online a short time ago that Tor/Forge is accepting submissions.

Comic conventions have little for me, usually, but I admit to enjoying the Kitchener Comic Con, which was this past Saturday. The convention was in the two-leveled Rotunda of Kitchener City Hall, and we had a table, vending as Penney’s Steampunk General Store. We always figured that if you were going to go to a small convention, sitting in one place for most of the weekend, the entire conventions will walk past you at some point, and such was it on Saturday. Valuable contacts, interesting goodies to buy, and $400 in sales made it a good weekend for us. Coming up at the end of this month will be Ad Astra 2016, and we will have two tables there.

I will get this to you, and start the usual catch up…some say there’s not many fanzines out there any more, but there’s more than enough to keep me quite busy writing more and more letters. Thanks for this issue, and see you with the next.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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March 31st, 2016
01:55 pm


Loc on Science Fiction San Francisco 163 (Jean Martin & Christopher Erickson, eds.)
Dear Jean and Christopher:

Good to see another SF/SF, this one issue 163, and congratulations to Jean on our outside work, and to Christopher on more responsibility with SF/SF. Let’s have a look inside…

Have you set up your Wordpress site yet? I have always liked the magazine format, but I see the need for a Wordpress site for more modern readers. Looks like you’ve been extremely busy since last issue… winter is usually for us the off-season. We’ve attended the annual Toronto ComicCon where Yvonne got to meet with Jason Isaacs, and this coming weekend, Penney’s Steampunk General Store will be vending at the annual Kitchener Comic Con for the first time, and then, our regular annual lit convention, Ad Astra, and we will be vending there, too. Season 9 of Murdoch Mysteries has finished up, with a great announcement that Season 10 has been approved.

My loc…indeed, we did enjoy Ian McKellen’s “Mr. Holmes”. When I say The Farm, there are a series of series. Tales From the Green Valley, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm, Tudor Monastery Farm, and a couple more. You might have read elsewhere…not long after sending this letter out to you, I was let go from my job. Never learned why, either, and I am still looking for something good. I have had some interviews, and I am trying my best to stay positive. No matter, we are looking forward to this year’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition. Also, we have made the decision…Yvonne and I are off to England this coming August! A weekend in London, which includes a trip to Watford and the Harry Potter exhibits there, and then four days in Lincoln, home of the Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world! Much of it is already paid for, and we are going, come hell or high water. (We might even be bringing our Dr. Horrible costumes Yvonne’s working on!)

A few folks here asked me what I knew of Clockwork Alchemy, so I gave them the details I could find; not sure if they went to it. Maybe one day… Professor Elemental is great wherever he shows up, and I think he will definitely be showing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake this year.

Wish I’d been able to go to the Spokane Worldcon in some ways, glad I didn’t go in others. I think we have tired of the politics, and Spokane didn’t appeal to us as an interesting destination, and we’ve just found it too expensive for us now. We had intended to go to the London Worldcon, but had just started new jobs…we kept saving, and that’s why we’re going to London this year.

Upcoming geek year…not much for us. Maybe “Finding Dory”, maybe “Star Trek: Beyond”, perhaps “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”. There isn’t much that catches our interest these days.

Close to the page, but I think this will have to do it for now. We will be getting ready for the weekend comic con in Kitchener tonight, and will load the car Friday night for an early trip down the highway to Kitchener Saturday morning. Busybusybusy! Thanks for this latest issue, and I look forward to the next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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March 28th, 2016
04:22 pm


Loc on Opuntia 336 & 337 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

I have the latest two issues of Opuntia, 336 and 337, so it must be time to get responding to them. Easter Monday is rainy and blustery here, so writing a loc is as good an activity as any.

336…The long walkway under the highway is a great idea. Here, there is always discussion about what happens or is built under the Gardiner Expressway in some areas, but people are always afraid that a chuck of concrete off the bottom of the Gardiner’s deck will rain down on unsuspecting people underneath. There are but a few pedestrian overpasses around Toronto, and I can think of one or two going across the Queen Elizabeth Way going through Mississauga.

Happy Anniversary! With the change in numbering system, I wouldn’t have known. The Web is indeed 25 years old, which makes me wonder about all the changes to it we’ll see, not in the next 25, but the next 10 years. At least here, there are still many paperboxes on most corners, with the Star, Sun, Globe, National Post, two free subway papers, one entertainment paper, various employment papers, and ethnic newspapers here and there. I think, though, we’re on the edge on some of these papers going away. We’re quite spoiled here.

Steampunk does indeed have many fathers, but those fathers, like K.W. Jeter, are too soon forgotten. Steampunk has given us a new group of friends, new places to travel to, more studies in fashion history, especially for men, and a chance for both of us to create new costumes, and show off our creations to appreciative audiences. I admit I do not read much steampunk fiction, mostly because it can be extremely detailed, and a lot of it is written in a long, drawn-out Victorian-era style.

337…Weather-wise, we’re supposed to be very cold next week, but I think that will be winter’s last gasp. As I write, the high winds are blowing our balcony furniture around, but at least we have no snow on the ground, and haven’t had any for most of the winter. We see the benefits of this, and the drawbacks, and there might not be enough water in the soil for local farmers to pull decent crops up.

Not, if the Flames win another Stanley Cup, it will not be the Apocalypse, but should the Leafs win. 1967 was a looooooong time ago. We will keep our end of the World Wide Party, and hope there are enough observant fans for some good reports. And, my letter…I did ask about shad roe being served at the Wolfe dinner, and also about trout. They knew what I was talking about, but didn’t go into further detail; just as well.

Time to go…the wind of threatening to blow stuff off the balcony, so I’d better put it back into position, and away from the edge. I hope the winds won’t blow this e-mail away to Azerbaijan, or some such place. Take care, and keep the issues coming.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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