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

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July 26th, 2016
04:06 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 22nd, 2016
03:20 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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02:42 pm

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Loc on The Art of Garthness 15 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

Thank you for another Art of Garthness, issue 15. Is 15 the highest number a zine title of yours has gone to? Congrats on keeping personalzines going in fanzine fandom. There aren’t many left. I will do my part to help with that by creating some locol content.

Life is a learning process for us all, and we pick it up as best as we can. Social norms might be hard to realize, but grasping them, and then monitoring them fort slight and gradual changes is a challenge for all, especially as we get older, and the rate of change seems to accelerate in our subjective eyes. And, I think at some point, we eventually say screw it, I am tired of keeping up, and I’d say we’re at that age. Many do see the changes in social norms, and make the conscious decision to say yes or no to personal changing along with the social norms.

I am glad Graeme is taking on this website, with all the details he wants to put in it…he’s lucky he has the time to do this, seeing he’s retired. So many of us aren’t retired yet, and I can honestly say that I expect to be working to survive long after I turn 65. I also have to find work because Yvonne retires in less than a year and a half. Life does happen, and all our fannish activities have always taken time out of our busy schedules. I do put together a list of conventions in the Toronto area, and I can send that list to you and Graeme, if you’d like. My list not only contains SF conventions, such as they are these days, but also furrycons, toy collectors’ conventions, gaming cons, media SF cons, anime cons and more.

The more I see the idea of Donald Trump becoming American president take shape, the more concerned I am. Neither candidate is angelic, but so many are seeing Trump as the reincarnation of Hitler, and other fanciful notions. It happens from time to time, but this is another time when the machinations of the world convince me we’re off to hell in the proverbial handbasket. Reality does suck at times. We live in the relative safety and sanity of Canada, and good for us for that.

While I have struggled to find employment, Yvonne has been regularly employed, and has thriftily put some money away for a vacation. We were saving for some years to go to the London Worldcon in 2014, but we couldn’t save enough in time. Yvonne wisely kept saving, and now, we are less than a month away from going to England for two weeks, the first vacation we’ve had in a long time, and our first overseas non-Worldcon trip. We will have lots of touristy, Harry Potterish and steampunk fun during those weeks, and we are so looking forward to it. It will take away, at least for a short time, the stresses of not working, and having to find something real soon now. We were able to purchase our £££ at a reduced rate thanks to the Brexit, and we will enjoy ourselves that much more.

My loc…you’re right, we do find other things to enjoy, and that’s why Yvonne embraced Harry Potter fandom, and why we both embraced steampunk. Other enthusiasm and other communities have indeed arisen, and caught our eye. In the long run, it is being busy and indulging your whims that is important.

Caught the end of the page, and that usually means I have done blethering, at least for the moment. Thank you for this issue, and seeing what day it is, have a fun and relaxing weekend. I am sure you’re already working on the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 21st, 2016
09:41 pm

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Loc on Alexiad 87 (Joseph Major, ed.)

Dear Joe and Lisa:

Thank you for Alexiad 87, and as is my habit, here comes some commentary on what I find inside. Inside is also a good place to be on a hot summer day.

I know where you are, Joe…I have not been able to find work, and my employment benefits are about to run out. However, much of the benefits have gone into a bank account, and I still have some savings, so that will keep me going. We are definitely going on our long-awaited trip[ to England for a couple of weeks of tourist, Harry Potter and steampunk fun, but as soon as we’re back, I must find some kind of work. I have progressives, too, and it seems every year, my prescription changes radically.

There’s a topic for discussion…are we past the age of the collector? We see value in what we gather, and we hope for a payday sometime in the future, but few others see value in our collection…is there yet value to realize as cash, or is it now just pretty paper for recycling?

I have now such a difficult time generating any interest in the Hugos, but it is always interesting to see who is bidding for future Worldcons, and there is now more of the world in it. I won’t be able to go to any of these, but still, seeing bids from New Zealand, Paris and Qatar shows some life in the old con.

The locol…I do not believe I’ve become over-specialized in my work, but I think I can safely say that my skills have become obsolete. I have been trying to apply them to advertising and other industries, but no luck…so far.

Our Syrian refugees have been fitting in locally just fine. In fact, Yvonne’s office has hired one of them, and he has started off well. There was plenty of screening to make sure we weren’t facilitating a terrorist cell anywhere, and most of the refugees we took were mothers and children and fathers. I hope nothing bad will happen, but all possible screens were in place to make sure.

I gave this a second read, and I am afraid I have done what I can. Thank you for this issue, and I hope I can do better with the next one.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 20th, 2016
12:30 pm

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Loc on Fornax 10 (Charles Rector, ed.)
Dear Charles:

Thank you for yet another Fornax, issue 10. I must concentrate here, it’s been a hot day, even with the AC on, so rather than just go lie down someone cool, let’s get with it, and  so some writing today.

I freely admit that I haven’t read any SF in some years now. I am also thinking of gafiating from local fandom, so I suspect that SF and its fandom have basically moved on without me. Like Michelle Zellich, I am not able to nominate anything for Hugos this year; I am not a competent nominator. And, we’re not going to Worldcon this year, so the point is moot. I think we have largely moved on to other interests.

I am a WASP male, so in many ways, I am part of the background, and I have read that I may be part of the last minority group. There are so many special groups…right now, I am unemployed, and for some companies, I may be considered qualified for the job, but because there are quotas for other groups, I do not fit their quota system, and I won’t get the job. Another differential factor…I speak English, but not French, so there are so many other jobs I do not qualify for because I am not bilingual. I have read much of Heinlein, but for me, he is like many authors that I have read and enjoyed, but no special comment.

I have done jury duty several times, twice in Toronto, and once in Peel Region, to the north west. At no time did I do more than read books, and with a laptop, write letters of comment to fanzines. I do not remember being paid to do it, but I made sure that waiting around was worth my time, and I got caught up on a lot of things. I know employers are never happy about this kind of thing, but they really can’t do much about it except try to make you feel guilty when you return to work.

There really are no perfect candidates; either they have done horrible things or have been accused of doing horrible things, which winds up being the same thing. And as we know, if your opponent tells the lie often enough, it often becomes truth, which makes the truth and the public the victims in every election. I just look at the potential results as a non-American, and Donald Trump’s presidency is truly dystopian for the whole world. Clinton is far from the best candidate, but Trump is much closer to the worst.

November gets closer and closer, and the world holds its breath. Fingers crossed, we will all breathe a sigh of relief then. We will all keep an eye out. Many thanks for this, and see you with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 19th, 2016
08:06 pm

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Loc on Spartacus 15 (Guy Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Thank you for a real paper copy of Spartacus 15. I watch the news, and it’s been horrific, so I can see so much that will probably be going into issue 16. However, let’s deal with the issue at hand…

I will be honest, I never thought much of Mohammed Ali, I thought he was a blowhard. Besides, being Canadian, I knew more about George Chuvalo, who fought with Ali, and nearly won. But you are correct, it was all an act, and he was a gentleman to the end. It was a shame disease took his voice and thoughts away from him.

The public has weak recall. Even the most horrific of stories like the shootings at the Pulse club in Orlando fade quickly off the front page, and fade from the public’s collective minds. And then, there’s shootings in Baton Rouge (twice, now), and another shooting in Minnesota…when does it end? It just gets worse, and is so because of the love of the gun. Not being American, I am like many who see such madness, and the love of the semi-sacred gun will ensure that the interpretation of your Second Amendment will continue to let people be killed, either by criminals, or worse, by police officers who seem terrified in the commission of their jobs. Seeing Lewis and Warren having a sit-in just showed me how little these two parties do not talk to one another, and how single-minded they are.

Hillary Clinton is the better of the two party candidates, but Trump mirrors how many people exude hatred and racism and misogyny. Seeing how much the American presidency affects the entire world, much of the world will be watching that fateful day in November, and fearing a relapse into facism.

Trump is a horrific candidate, and so was Ted Cruz. I am so glad Cruz proved so distasteful to all voters. I do wonder if it’s time for the US to have at least one new party. I think it is needed. As for the Brexit, I don’t think anyone truly knew what the reaction to this would be, and now that billions of pounds sterling has been lost, they sadly know, and all those who led the campaign have quietly walked away, except for the idiot Boris Johnson, who I expect will embarrass himself on the world stage.

A little something fannish from us…we will be going to England in less than a month. We will be tourists in London, we will see the Harry Potter facilities in Watford, and spend the August bank holiday weekend in Lincoln, attending the Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world. It all makes up for the fact we couldn’t be at the London Worldcon in 2014. Should be great fun.

Time to go…we are having even more computer problems, so we must deal with substitute e-mail addresses and back-up plans. It’s a pain, but it is all we can do. See you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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04:06 pm

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Loc on Nice Distinctions 29 (Arthur Hlavaty, ed.)
Dear Arthur:

Thank you for Nice Distinctions 29. I very much like the fact this will be a Trump-free zine; I wish this was a Trump-free world. Now that the Republicans are having their little convention, there’s already controversy with plagiarized speeches and racist commentary. What a madhouse…

I rarely read SF any more, and more and more just observe fandom as it fades around me. Yvonne’s gone on to enjoying Harry Potter and its related fandom, and the both of us are enjoying steampunk costuming. Perhaps the appeal of fandom has faded because the mess of the assorted Puppies, and the toxic politics of local fandom, such as it is, makes us shrug our shoulders, and look elsewhere to have some fun.

I see everywhere, graphics that show that many people are fed up with “adulting”. “If you want me, I’ll be in my pillow fort, colouring.” I sure can see the appeal of that, with the news being full of deaths of so many people, black or police, so many celebrity deaths, so many messes. Maybe I’ll just set my alarm for 2017, and hibernate until then.

Can’t do that, though…Yvonne and I will soon be enjoying two weeks in England. We will make the best of 2016, and have some real fun. This will be our first overseas trip in 26 years. Brexit be damned, and the exchange rate is much better.

I kinda expected there would be negative reviews of the new Ghostbuster, and the nearly-here third Star Trek reboot movie. I am vaguely pleased to see very positive reviews for both. I’d like to see them…but, these days, we don’t go and see movies we do want to see.

2016 has been a horrible year for the celebrity, the well-known and the infamous. At the end of the year, the Year in Review will be too big and detailed to be stuck in a one-hour slot.

Ah, I am done, it’s been a difficult afternoon. Can’t wait to go to England, and have some memorable fun. Thank you for this issue, and please bring on the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 18th, 2016
01:42 pm

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Loc on Breaking It All Down - The Zine 9 (Alexander Case, ed.)
Dear Alex:

I have here issue 9 of Breaking It All Down – The Zine, and as I catch up on all the zines I have here, yours has risen cream-like to the top, and it’s time to respond to it. I am not sure how much I can say about it, but what I can say, I will.

Dale Speirs’ letter…the various Puppies have left a real mess behind for those people who manage the Worldcon. If anyone has looked good, IMHO, it’s the people who are using the business meetings to see how to avoid slate-nominating and bloc-voting. Perhaps there are many inherently good and positive characters in SF, but when we look at the world today, we are reminded that the F in SF stands for Fiction. I wish there was more truth in that.

Hyperbole? You’re going to use terms like these, others are going to use terms not usually found in a family fanzine. I did see the Star Wars Episode 7, and like many saw the similarities with Episode 4. In about a month, we are heading off to England for a Harry Potter and steampunk vacation, so that means we need lots of time to get the last preparations done before we head off to the airport. So, we’ve decided that we will buy some goods for ourselves there, and will pass on ConBravo for this year.

I can’t say anything about Little Witch Academy, but I do remember the grand adventures of Arslan, and I remember having a book with those adventures in it. Not the fantasy novels, but a much older book with pseudo-historical tales. The rest, there must be some market what appears to be bigger-than-reality men in fancy costumes, having unknown adventures. One character is named Richard E.O. Speedwagon? Nothing about the car or the rock band, hm? As you say, lots of music references and camp.

This year’s Anime North came and went, and once again, for the third time, we were vendors in their Crafters’ Corner section of vendors. As you’d expect, there were hundreds of anime-style vendors, but we were one of only three steampunk vendors, so we did very well. Anime North is always our best show every year, so we will be back next year, if they’d like us there.

The day grows late already, so time to go and get this off to you. Thank you for this issue, and I’ll be looking forward to the next issue, and see you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 15th, 2016
04:10 pm

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Loc on Opuntia 345 & 346 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Two more issues of Opuntia have arrived, so it’s time for some commentary on issues 345 and 346. I will try my best on these two…

345…I admit to not knowing a lot about the Mormons, but I believe the centre of Mormon in Alberta is at the big temple in Cardston. (Ah, there it is on the second page.) Not long ago, a huge temple for eastern Canada was built in Brampton, where I used to live, and I remember taking the public tour when it first opened. The Brampton temple has a huge white tower, and it does remind me of a big white rocket. I wonder if Fay Wray’s descendants know of this tribute to their most famous relative.

For Canada Day, I put up six 3x6’ maple leaf flags on the pigeon netting of our balcony, and they fit perfectly. I don’t know if anyone on Highway 427 noticed this, but I am sure the tenants of the buildings next door sure did.

Typewriters in fiction…ah, I yearn for those days when radio still had drama, and vocal entertainment. Even the CBC used to have radio drama not long ago, but it was shut down from lack of listeners.

Ah, steampunk!, one of my current interests. The book you comment on, The Steampunk Gazette (2012) by Thaddeus Tinker, is one book I have. Thaddeus Tinker is actually John Naylor, a retired BBC executive who got heavily into steampunk, and has chaired the annual The Asylum steampunk festival in Lincoln, England since it started; this year is its eighth year. The reason I know this is that Yvonne and I, during our upcoming trip to England, will be attending The Asylum. We’ve been in touch with John Naylor/Major Tinker for over a year now. I quite enjoyed the book, and should weight in our bag allow for it, I will bring my copy along for an autograph. I quite like the artwork, but what got us into it is the costuming.

My letter…yes, the Stampede is on, and Justin and Naheed seem to be out and about in their cowboy shirts and Stetsons. Goats trimming the parks…a good idea, if only goats would do as instructed. They do anything but, so I can see the need for goatherds, or someone to extract the goats from private yards they will invariably walk into. For me, Windows 10 has slowed down my system quite a bit, and I think it’s because W10 takes up so much more bandwidth than W7. I think I may need a wifi booster.

346…I don’t know what 99 out of every 100 anime costumes are from, but sometimes, I do recognize them. The end of May saw our own Anime North, which pulled in about 30,000 people. We had a crafters’ table there, and our sales were extremely good. I found the anime masks to be a little creepy. The CBC is usually a pretty good guest, and I have read that with more money coming from the government, the CBC ratings are rising. (As Calgary’s, Toronto’s Radio One is at 99.1 MHz.)

The American election is a true horrorshow, worse than any I can remember. Not only are Americans considering moving up here to avoid the shadow of a Trump presidency (shudder), but Brits are thinking of moving here to avoid the effects of the Brexit. We may have some more waves of refugees besides the Syrians. Some polls says that Trump and Clinton are neck and neck, so there may be some reason for worry. As you say, it may pass, but still, the idea of Trump with his hands on the reins of power should make anyone at least uncomfortable.

Some American readers who remember a character named Walter Diefenbaker in one of Sharon McCrumb’s books will have their question answered…where did she get the name Diefenbaker?

Well, about one month until we go to England, and while most of our preparations are made, there is still a lot to do. This weekend should take care of at least some of that, so we are looking forward to seeing what we can do. While I wait, I write locs! Many thanks for these two issues, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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02:05 pm

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Loc on Rodney's Fanac 7 (2) (Rodney Leighton, ed.)
Dear Rodney:

Many thanks for Rodney’s Fanac 7. I see I’ve already responded to this zine, but that’s okay, different things to say. I hope you’ve been getting these letters! And so, here comes another one.

A lot of us are around the age where we’re having a few medical problems, but yours sounds worse than most. You had mentioned suicide, so I am pleased you’ve thought otherwise. I know a lot of guys don’t like the doctor, but I go when I need to, and see my doctor regularly, if only to renew prescriptions. I will be seeing another doctor soon about pre-diabetes, and my ophthalmologist to see how my eyes are doing. Good for Perry and Dave hauling you off to the doctor. I’ve read recently the best thing for edema (swelling of the legs) is warm compresses. I hate doctors that don’t get back to you on tests…I think you want to hear the news from your doctor, good or bad.

Hospitals are not the happiest places to be, but the last couple of times I was there were for eye operations, and it was smooth sailing both times. A friend of mine in Ottawa worked for the VON, and that was her living…I think she’s close to retirement now.

The phones stores hate me. I don’t want to buy a smartphone, a simple cellphone will do for me, too. But, they don’t want to sell those to me. I have a flipphone that’s probably 7 or 8 years old now, but hey, it still works, and best of all, it does for me what I want.

Good pile of zines you’re getting. I get most of the titles you list, but there’s a few I don’t. That’s okay, I have more than enough zines to keep me busy regularly. PearleVision is a pretty good place. Last time I went to Vancouver, I crushed my sunglasses, and Pearle fixed them for no cost.

Graeme Cameron does write good zines. His non-SF and non-fandom zines catch the eye because they are so different. We all need a change, even in fannish zines.

When we lived in Brampton, we were lucky enough to get a family doctor fairly quickly. When we moved back to Toronto and Etobicoke, we decided to stick with our Brampton doctor. It’s so difficult, if not impossible, to find a doctor these days, we will stick with the doctor we have.

Just about at the page…whatever title you use next, please send me an electronic copy, or get Chuck to do it. Send along what turns your crank, and I will try to use these letters as some kind of conversation. I think that’s what you need most of all, a little virtual company. Take care, stay well, stay alive. See you the next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:16 pm

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Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 344 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

I have issue 344 of the Event Horizon, and a fast letter will follow. I can’t wait for this weekend to arrive, so I hope this is a good zine, and can put it together quickly.

My condolences to all of you about the shooting at Pulse. Terrible news, and now comes the deaths in Nice, France. I hate to say that is a terrible world we’ve created for ourselves, and no wonder so many escape into much more positive fictional futures, needing a break from such harsh realities.

My letter…just after saying we don’t get any SF plays here, there will be a reading performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the downtown area. They not only want people to come, but they also want people to come from the audience to read some roles, and we are going to see if we can participate that way. It’s in early August.

Big pro-run conventions…no descriptions of panels in a programme book? This shows me that many of these corporations who stage these big cons have no real understanding of what fans like. Sometimes, I think they think we are fans of EVERYTHING they offer, and so we will be at every panel, so who needs descriptions? This is just one reason I don’t go to the big cons here. However, many do, and those big cons thrive.

It sounds like Bill Shatner has improved his opinions about going to conventions…as he said, he needs to eat, and going to conventions affords him extensive travel. Around here, the big fuss this past year  was Shatner playing Mark Twain in Murdoch Mysteries, one of the more popular police procedural shows.

Time to go; it was definitely a fast loc, and I hope has some decent content in it. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 14th, 2016
02:19 pm

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Loc on Warp 95 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)

Dear MonSFFEN:

Thank you all, and especially you, Cathy, for Warp 95. I will get past the dentist’s nightmare on the front cover, and head inwards…

As with many, the combination of Bell.net and Windows 10 has greatly hindered my computer work and job hunt. There are problems with Bell’s Internet services, and they are migrating from one se4rver to another. As a result, I haven’t been able to download any e-mail for just over a week, I have no access to my Bell e-mails, and my Gmail account is getting a workout. Also, because of Bell’s problems, it is much easier and faster for me to access everything with my tablet than with my desktop computer. I begin the see why so many ditch the desktop for the portable units.

We were recently at a traditional favorite craft show, the Bazaar of the Bizarre, our first time in, and given how people said they’d do well, we thought we would, too. Before that, we had our table in the Crafters’ Corner of Anime North, and we did amazing well, it’s always our best show of the year. Only a couple of vendors made their tables back, and we sure didn’t. However, we do have two events coming up. The event in Mississauga is called Alice in Wonderland: Steampunk Invasion (check it out on Facebook) on July 24, and two weeks after that is the Coldwater Steampunk Festival on August 6. Eleven days after that is our trip to England, so we’re once again having a busy summer.

Earlier in August at the Canadian Stage Company in eastern downtown Toronto will be a reading performance of J.K. Rowling’s latest Harry Potter writings, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They are inviting people to take a role that evening, so I think both Yvonne and I will give it a shot.

I can’t help but feel that Houdini and Doyle is meant as a Victorian/Edwardian series for those who enjoy shows like Murdoch Mysteries, and I believe it is also made by Shaftesbury, but I simply haven’t had the time to see it, and from what I hear, it is well cast, except for the actor playing Arthur Conan Doyle, and the scripts are a little lackluster. I can’t say anything personally, but one evening, I will have to try it, and see what it’s like.

Today is a busy day…I went for a job interview this morning…two hours in transit for a two-minute interview in a dirty office…I don’t think so. This afternoon, I will be going up to Woodbridge to do some taping for BelMarra Nutriceuticals/Lombardy Financial. I am seeing a lot of the bus and subway today.

Everyone have a great time at the club BBQ in Angrignon Park, and please tell us of your day in the next issue. I look forward to it.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 13th, 2016
03:23 pm

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Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 75 No. 6 (George Phillies, ed.)

Dear Neffers:

Thank you for Volume 75, Number 6 of The National Fantasy Fan…it’s time to have a look through the issue, and see what I can say in reaction to what I see.

Congratulations to all on the Neffy Awards…I hate to say it, but I haven’t read any of the novels listed. Of all listed, the only one I can say I enjoy is Phil Foglio’s Girl Genius.

I hope those who read this zine will step forward to take over old bureaus, or take on new ones. The club is only as good as the efforts you put into it. Once you’re busy with some responsibilities with the club, you will be more knowledgeable about the club, and SF as a whole, then you’ve ever been.

Yay, something about Forry Ackerman! I had the pleasure of meeting Forry twice, once at a Worldcon in the 1980s, and again at a convention in Montreal in the 90s. The nicest fan you could imagine, and someone who knew all about the social aspects of fans gathering together.

My letter…I haven’t been down to Niagara Falls lately, but I do know there is now a huge comiccon on the Canadian side of the border that now gathers about 5000 members every year. We will soon be going on a fannish vacation to London, England. With the usual touristy things to see, we will also be going up to the Harry Potter studios north of London to see the exhibits, and then take a train up to Lincoln to attend The Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world. It’s about 35 days away, can’t wait!

Time to go, there’s lots to do today. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 12th, 2016
04:29 pm

[Link]

Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 111 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)
Dear Thomas:

Thank you for The Reluctant Famulus 111. That’s a great Harvia/Schirm cover, and it is so true, too. As I continue to look for work, it seems that every open job gets flooded with resumes, and there’s no real opportunities to find some work. It also makes me wonder if the jobs you see listed everywhere are real, if they truly exist, if someone isn’t just phishing for resumes to put in their files.

Fanzines are difficult to produce regularly…I tried, and I couldn’t. I guess I’m happier to simply contribute to each issue through the locol. I have to wonder if I can continue making these contributions. You’re right, we are all at the age where our own personal headlines are all about our health concerns.

I’ve seen that picture of the giant 5Mb hard drive being delivered. Many of us have much more than that, 16Gb or so, dangling off our keychains. Give it time…we will have much more storage available to us in such a small package. Terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, and bigger than that…

John Purcell has some words for Republican candidates, and I must agree with him. They sound horrible, and the world is hoping that Trump is not elected. We all need a double-dose of sanity; it’s something we haven’t had to deal with in some time. Today, Sanders endorsed Clinton, so hope is up, although many Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton. This election will be very close. Does Cthulhu still have a chance? I keep hoping for the Martians…Marvin will enjoy quite the comeback.

Well, with Wingnuts keeping the back cover on this issue, I guess I should fold it up, finish up and say that I am done for now. Thank you for what’s there, and I’d like to see more, please. Not to worry about the contents of future issues, it should do fine. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 11th, 2016
03:51 pm

[Link]

Loc on fugghead 3 (Dan Steffan, ed.)
Dear Dan:

I got fugghead 3 here, and as always, just about any zine I get, paper or e-, deserves some comment. Let’s see what I can scrape off…

I know what Lynn means about bad jobs. Yvonne’s in one now, and I was let go from one, but way back in October. I’d like to have a job so I can complain about it, and plot to get away from it. I have been politicked out of companies I really liked being at, and now, let me just win the lottery, and the nation’s offices will never again see me darken their doors.

I remember the Vegas Corflu I went to, the food and drink was plentiful, and I did help Joyce take three huge cakes out of the back of their car, and nope didn’t take even a fingerful of any of them, although I was sorely tempted. The only other Corflu I’d gotten to was the last one here in Toronto.

I never did get any copies of BLAT!, but then, I was still pretty new to the whole thing back then. I know what you mean about the token Hugo nomination…I got one of those six years ago, and the egoboo was great, if transitory. I’ve had some fun with the FAAn Awards, too, but some have taken me to task for them, and I am not sure why. I guess they were making sure I didn’t enjoy them too much.

Geez, I didn’t even make the WAHFlist! I wonder if my locs wound up in the spamtrap. Take it easy, and keep the memories coming.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 7th, 2016
02:32 pm

[Link]

Loc on Ethel the Aardvark 180 (Edward McArdle, ed.)
Dear MSFCers:

Thank you all for issue 180 of Ethel…looks like lots of photos to enjoy, and a good long essay by Bruce Gillespie at the end. I think I shall enjoy this, and as I go, comments I will make.

Ethel’s into axe throwing? Give it a few years, and something like this may become an Olympic sport. Interesting to see the stone staircase and other stonework floating in mid-air. I guess the antigravs are working fine.

Well done on making KRin Pender-Gunn a lifetime member. For her, and all the other lifetime members, you’ve got to make sure the club continues onwards. Edward, hope you’re doing well, and thank you for all your work on these Ethels. I like the idea of vendors at club meetings; perhaps a larger church hall can be used for a fannish standalone dealers’ room/craft show, and tables could be sold for that to raise funds for the club.

It is so difficult to keep track of all the Star Trek books that have been published. Many years ago, I kept a huge list of Trek books for the Star Trek Welcommittee in the US, and did so until the Welcommittee disbanded. I can only imagine how big that list would be now.

Sixty-four years of fannish fun…good to see it’s still going. Happy 65th when the time comes.

A great essay, Bruce. I have been in the letter columns of fanzines for about 35 years now, and even today, I marvel at the gift economy that fanzine fandom has kept going over the years. I have many fanzines, e- or paper, or even tape, over all that time, and I’ve never paid for a single one. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make friends through such communications for a long time. I think fanzines still have some cachet for the older generation of fans, because it is something physical you can produce, something you can give to friends. An e-zine isn’t quite the same, but these days, where printing and postage are prohibitively expensive for most, both paper zines and e-zines satisfy the one thing many of us want, communication with our fellow fans. How else could I know what’s happening where you are? Toronto and Melbourne are a long ways apart, but Ethel (and other zines over the years) have brought us together for a long time. We can look at the history of fanzines, and see why we are the fans we are today. (I have spoken to some local mediafans about the fanzines we enjoy today, and the fans I talked to dismissed our fanzines as letterzines, not unknown in media fandom, but secondary to the tomes of fanfic that are mostly online these days.) My own start in fanzines actually came from being in our local apa called TAPA. Toronto (now California) fan Michael Wallis recruited me into TAPA, and I started a streak of 82 issues before leaving to concentrate more on writing letters of comment for fanzines. I guess I wanted a wider audience. If I recall, the first fanzine I received was an issue of Marc Ortlieb’s Q36.

See, this is where I wish there wasn’t the thousands of miles that keep us apart, and we could all gather someplace for a chat and some good food and drink. In fact, one of our fannish pubnights in Toronto is tonight as I type.

Now that I have reached page 2, it is time to wrap up. Many thanks for this most enjoyable issue, and as we swelter in a dry, hot summer, we hope your winter is warm and comfortable. Take care, and see you next Ethel.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 6th, 2016
11:04 am

[Link]

Loc on Askew 15 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

Many thanks for issue 15 of Askew. I’m sitting in the dining room, typing this up on my tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard, hacking away and doing my fannish duty. Yvonne is catching up on high finances on the big computer. We’ve got some Texas-type temperatures outside, about 90F, so the AC is churning away, keeping the place comfortable. It’s a perfect time for getting stuff done inside.

Politics is almost never a pleasant topic. We had much the same problems when Stephen Harper was the Prime Minister here; he was extremely unpopular, being nearly charisma-free, and he snuck around in limos like a Third World dictator. Now, we have Justin Trudeau, a king of charisma, the world seems to love him, and he recently walked in Toronto’s gigantic Pride Parade. There couldn’t be two more different PMs with different personalities, so politics has taken a positive spin here. But, all of this positive spin is overshadowed by the spectre of Donald Trump, the personification of bigotry, arrogance and misogyny.

You know what democracy is all about…if only all American voters were so well-informed. I’ve read of some American voters saying that democracy was invented in the USA, and we know that’s not true. The idea of Trump as the most powerful man in the world is truly horrifying, and even his presence would bring about financial collapse, and perhaps a new dark age. Hillary Clinton may not be the best candidate, but given the comparison between the two major candidates, like the previous paragraph, there couldn’t be two more different candidates with different personalities. I did like Bernie Sanders; his politics was almost Canadian, and he seemed quite progressive, but seeing that American political candidates need to be seen as more Christian than Christ, he probably didn’t appeal to the Christian voter. He’s Jewish (and so was Christ), but still didn’t appeal to the majority of Democratic voters. I hope there will still be a role for him in a Clinton administration.

Sounds like there’s a strategic vote going on…people aren’t so much voting for Clinton, but voting against Trump. A proud tradition up here. Myself, I don’t see Clinton losing, but given the non-Christian attitudes and policies of so many Christian voters, they seem to see their own biases reflected in a harsh Trump campaign. The Super PACs prove that anyone can grow up to be president, as long as they can lay their hands on hundreds of millions of dollars. Still looking elsewhere to move to? Canada’s looking pretty good right now. You wouldn’t be so far away from the rest of the family.

I always liked the writings of Richard Matheson. From all his scripts for The Twilight Zone, to movies like Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come, he’s always been one of my favorites. I wish I’d had the chance to meet him.

I am still trying my best to respond to each fanzine that comes my way, and I am just about keeping up with the flood. I recently got told I should only be writing for a handful of zines, but every zine needs some content, especially clubzines. Right now, steampunk is turning our cranks, and Yvonne’s been very busy making costume pieces for the both of us.  We are off to London in about 40 days, and during the August bank holiday weekend, we will be at The Asylum in Lincoln. We have a wardrobe box set up in our living room, and we will be shipping our steampunk wardrobe to Lincoln in time for the event. Yvonne’s made me a couple of vests, and I bought myself a tuxedo coat for formal events in the evenings.

The locol…we have many books on the history of SF fandom, from the early 1930’s to whenever the last club folds up. I sincerely hope there is someone after us who would be interested in seeing how we did things. I pray this isn’t simply a symptom of our vanity that we thought future generations would emulate us, or at least be interested in our activities. I hope Rodney’s well these days; he was musing about suicide in a previous issue of his. I hope he’s happier at home now.

My loc…we enjoyed our anniversary celebrations, my birthday, and Canada Day, too. As I said on Facebook, it’s a busy time of the year. We made some good money at our steampunk table, and we will have a table at the biggest alternate craft show in Toronto this coming weekend, so wish us luck on that. Old friend Mike Glicksohn gave us words to live by…IF(3), If Fandom Isn’t Fun, It’s Futile. I am sure others look down at me, but I have ceased to care. I am enjoying fanzines, and we are very much enjoying steampunk, and I see more and more familiar names joining us in this most enjoyable hobby.

I think I am probably done here, John. I will e-mail it to myself so I can polish it up on the big computer, and then I will send it on to you. Some of the problems we had with the desktop computer have been resolved by Bell Canada, so it’s working well now. There are times I wish we didn’t depend on computers so much, but time marches on, and we must march along with it, or be left behind. As we age, that happens anyway. Thank you for this issue, I see you’re on the brink of releasing another Askance, and I am looking forward to it. Take care, and let us know if we do make plans to move to Canada.

                                                                                              Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 5th, 2016
04:15 pm

[Link]

Loc on My Back Pages 16 (Rich Lynch, ed.)
Dear Rich:

Thanks for My Back Pages 16…as usual, I will try to respond with something intelligent, or relevant, or even funny. It might even be None of the Above, but that’s the chance I take. Here goes…

In just over a month, Yvonne and I will be heading off for a vacation in England. We’ll be flying into Gatwick from Toronto, which is more convenient for us, since we’ll be spending our first week in hotels close to Victoria Station, and the Gatwick Express will get us directly there. However, friends have said that Gatwick takes longer to get through Customs, and allow a couple of hours for an interminable wait. Well, we have already allowed for that, so no matter how long it takes, we will be there on time, even if we’re two or three hours in Customs. We are taking the red-eye across the Atlantic, and shall arrive early in the morning at Gatwick.

Retirement? Yvonne is looking forward to hers. As for me…well, I honestly doubt I will be retiring any time soon, or later, for that matter. It’s always money. However, I shall consider retirement as soon as I can secure a decent job I can retire from.

Partially because of money, and partially because our interests are shifting, I doubt we will ever be at a Worldcon again. The first few we went to, we could take the funds out of petty cash. Now, it take serious saving…we did not go to the London Worldcon in 2014 because we simply couldn’t save enough to go. (After we made that hard decision, we continued saving, and that’s how we couldn’t go to London then, but can go now.) Another reason for not going to Worldcon are the Puppies, and the messes they seem to leave everywhere. Just too political and right-wing for our tastes.

I think I have done what I can right now. We leave for England in about 40 days, and we are paying for everything in advance as much as we can. Tickets for everything! And, we plan to have just the best time possible. Thanks for this issue, great pictures, and we will see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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July 2nd, 2016
06:52 pm

[Link]

Loc on OSFS Statement 447 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Thank you for issue 447 of the Statement, and here I am taking a little time off from a busy Canada Day weekend to whip up something to keep my streak going.

Great flowers from the space station. I guess if you’re going further out than Earth orbit, you’ve got to learn how to raise a garden in zero-G, or elsewhere than in that orbit. The movie The Martian made it look relatively easy, so our facts have to catch up to our fiction.

I do get a lot out of Facebook, and it does take up a lot of time, but… there are times I think I have to cut back to catch up with other responsibilities, take a little time off of it, and relax a little more. The politics gets a little toxic at times, and local fandom isn’t much better, to be honest. Every so often we examine our involvement in various activities, and I think we will make some decisions soon.

The convention list…the Mississauga Fandom Fest was cancelled with about two weeks out. Our loc…nope, never did see the new Alice movie…I gather it was in the theatres, and out again before we could go. Guess I just wait for the DVD…

The job hunt is still ongoing, with no luck. I am tempted to scale it down until the beginning of August, and then make the resumes truly fly just before we go to England for the second half of August. We will have a great time, we’ve been saving for it for ages, but I am really going to have to get moving once we return. I hate this job hunting, but through the decades, I’ve gotten really good at it.

It’s now Saturday evening, and there are other things to get moving with, so thanks to all, and see you the next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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05:15 pm

[Link]

Loc on BCSFAzine 514 (Felicity Walker, ed.)
Dear BCSFen:

Thank you for another BCSFAzine, no. 514. Happy Canada Day to all, and here we are going into the second half of the year, already. Where does the time go? Time flies when you’re not looking. Here goes…

The locol…I hope Polar Borealis works, too. Any extra paying markets are a good thing, but there are so many starving writers out there. Please buy my book! They do need all the help they can get. Very welcome, John, hope you’re enjoying Murdoch. Based on what I’ve read, it’s become one of the most lucrative Canadian broadcast exports around the world, if not the most popular.

Congrats to Michael Bertrand on getting into VFS. I know none other than Order-of-Canada inductee Robert J. Sawyer is doing some retraining as a scriptwriter. Michael, are you thinking the same?

My loc…well, the US elections just get worse, and make the news, mostly through the huge differences between the candidates. We are getting ready for another vending event next weekend…after years of trying, we were finally accepted into a three-times-a year craft show called the Bazaar of the Bizarre. We hope to have some good sales. I think the only reason we were accepted was that on the same day, there will be a big horror con in Hamilton. Still, we will take what we can get. Our sales with Ad Astra were very good, and Anime North’s sales were great. AN is always has our biggest sales of the year.

The Aurora Award package is ready…Yvonne and I need to decide if we are knowledgeable enough to even nominate this year. We are out of the loop, and the distance between we and the loop gets bigger and bigger. Ah, I see we are past the deadline, anyway. I haven’t felt competent enough to nominate or vote for a while, anyway. Yvonne is on the Hall of Fame committee this year, and some decisions have to made there, too.

In about 45 days as I type, we will be off to England for the kind of adventure we haven’t had in many years, two weeks to tour London, see the Harry Potter exhibits, and go to The Asylum in Lincoln. We’ve wanted to do this for some time, and soon, we will. Still lots of preps to take care of!

Well, I hope the postal strike is short, if it happens at all. In this e-mail era, a postal strike just doesn’t have the impact it used to have. However, it is important to have the post office. There’s a campaign to let Canada Post do what many post offices do around the world, and that’s get into banking. Anything would be good to keep the PO afloat.

Enjoy your summer, everyone, and see you next time.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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