Lloyd's Locs Box - Fanzine letters of comment
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Lloyd Penney" journal:
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Loc on The Drink Tank 360 & 361 (Chris Garcia, ed.)|
Let's do this again…while you're traveling, I'll sneak around behind you, and I will get caught up with The Drink Tank! Comments on 360 and 361 follow…
360…I think many of us never had the kind of childhood Christmas advertised and written about. That ideal Christmas is quite fictional, and I know that the Christmases I did have with my two brothers saddled my parents with debts they often took months to repay. Yvonne went through much the same kind of Christmas, so we've adjusted Christmas for our own wants and needs. Yvonne gives me a list of what she would like for Christmas and her birthday (December 19), and she is prescient enough to know what I want, based on things I might say through the year. We set ourselves a limit on how much to spend (sometimes, we even meet that limit, but we usually go over), and she sets aside $50 every month for Christmas shopping for me and her family. When I shop, I do so with not a credit card, but with a debit card. Christmas should be a good time, and not one for worrying about debts.
Black Friday is an American shopping term, a pre-Christmas excuse to jump sales a little more. Black Friday has come up here for some reason, and we will still have Boxing Day sales, too. I refuse to jump on the bandwagons; I will buy what I want and when I want. I won't bother with Black Friday, and I don't wander out to the Boxing Day sales, either. Much of Christmas for me is US-based…Rudolph is a department store creation, and the modern Santa we see was created by Coca-Cola. I prefer Christmas hymns and Father Christmas, myself.
Beautiful museums and costumes…the science museum looks especially interesting.
361…An honest article about JFK from 50 years past the event. From what I've seen, there certainly isn't the emotional attachment to JFK today as there was in years past; he's just another dead president. We will never really know for sure who did it, and why, and how many shooters. If we haven't got it figured out yet, odds are we never will. It may be part of the bunch I hang out with, but with this 50th anniversary, the first thing people remembered media-wise was the New Twilight Zone episode Profile in Silver with Lane Smith and Andrew Robinson, where a time traveller comes to 1963 to see the assassination.
I am writing this as Loscon 40 is about to start. We had such a good time last year, and I can't believe it's already been a year since.
The locol! My loc…Joan Woods was a lovely lady, and it was so good to see her again in Reno, and now she's gone. Just one visit. The new job…they liked what I could do during the two-week trial, and I signed a two-month contract that takes me to Christmas Eve, and most likely they will sign me to another contract to take me well into the first quarter of 2014. We can have some Christmas now, and I have gotten most of Yvonne's presents for Christmas and her birthday on the 19th.
I think I am done for now, caught up again. Tomorrow, we go to SFContario 4, this time as dealers. I am hopeful for enough sales for us to break even, and if I do meet up with Dave Kyle, I will pass along my regards. 2014 will be here soon, and I think for Yvonne and myself, the new year will be full of changes for us both, some planned, and others sudden and not pleasant. We have a lot of commitments and plans, and perhaps not much money or time to get them done, but we shall see. This great job I have is not permanent, and could end in March, and Yvonne's job and office goes away the end of March, another victim of a hostile corporate takeover. So, we may say goodbye to a lot of things, and value what we have left. After all, it's not getting what you want, but wanting what you have. I will stop being cryptic, and bid you welcome when you get back home.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Lofgeornost 113 (Fred Lerner, ed.)|
Many thanks for Lofgeornost 113, another chapter in the ongoing itinerary of life. I can happily announce that I am a month into a good contract with an advertising agency in Toronto, just south of my home, and I have another month on the contract, with the near-certainty of renewal into the first quarter of 2014, and the possibility of being hired full-time. And now, we can have Christmas.
Before reading it here, I was not aware that the Kipling Society existed. Plenty of authors, usually posthumously, have societies named after them to appreciate and analyze their writings, so I am not surprised that one for Rudyard Kipling exists. Perhaps the first author Iwas aware of was Stephen Leacock, seeing I grew up in Orillia, Ontario. I've looked, and while there is a Leacock Foundation, I cannot find a Leacock Society, not only looking as his humourous writings, but also his excellent textbooks.
Retirement is not in my sight, partially because I am 54, and it's some time off, and partially because I see some people pass away because they retire and change their schedule radically, and partially because I doubt I'll ever be able to afford to do it.
Someone mentioned ornithopters as hinted at by the Dune books. I believe the University of Toronto tried creating an ornithopter, and actually flew it for a short distance at the old CFB Downsview airport area. It was awkward, but they did get off the ground and back, although I do not recall what shape it was in when it landed.
Wrap it up, and say thanks…that's what I shall do. Sorry there's not more written here, but response is the main thing. Take care, and we hope you and Sheryl have a wonderful Christmas.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on BCSFAzine 486 (Felicity Walker, ed.)|
Many thanks for issue 486 of BCSFAzine, and bits of time present themselves to allow me to respond. I have a lot less free time to write letters...and that is a very good thing. The new job keeps me quite busy, has given me a Christmas, and has kept us away from financial disaster.
In the industry I am in, most companies who produce large amounts of copy in both official languages may have had proofreaders for each language, and will eventually trim down to a bilingual proofreader, or no proofreaders at all. Where I am now, I am exceedingly lucky. They seem to like me, and what I can do, and I expect to get some employment out of it. I am, however, not resting on any laurels; I am still job hunting as in places to apply to once the current contract is done.
Perhaps I should explain what the new job is...I started on October 28 with a two-week trial at an advertising agency with offices literally south from where we live, a few kilometres. The two-week trial was successful, and has been extended to Christmas Eve, and will likely be extended well into the first quarter of 2014. I am proofreading the packaging of a new line of pharmacy merchandise, everything from ASA and ibuprofin to antacids to rubber gloves and toilet paper, about 800 product lines. I already know more about stocking a drug store than I really wanted to know. Hurray for this job coming along when it did; we can now have some Christmas, and look forward to 2014 with some money in the bank.
When I read zines like File 770 and Ansible, there are often huge obituary lists, which shows just how fast fandom, and the people who create the SF and related stuff we are fans of, are dying off. It's depressing, but it is the nature of time.
My loc...we had a great time at the steampunk Hallowe'en party in Hamilton...check my photos on my FB page for one with Yvonne and I myself in our hosts' dining room. In the WAHFfile is Spider Robinson...you're missed, and as I write, it's three days until your birthday. Hope it's a happy one.
The elimination of the BC film tax credit may mean a lot of film work may be coming to Toronto, but I suspect that that work will be spread about to other locations across the country. There are some fairly extensive studio and soundstage complexes in Toronto, but there are also places to shoot in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Toronto's not the only place to do this outside of Vancouver.
Done for the time being, and sorry if this is a little late. Take care, everybody, and stay warm and dry.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Vanamonde 1044 and 1065 (John Hertz, ed.)|
I got your letter with two issue of Vanamonde in it, issues 1044 and 1065. I have expressed concern for Vanamonde, but it has been mostly my own hope to catch up with you and your fine single-sheet apazine. I have always enjoyed it, and anticipate any 5-pack or 10-pack of them you might send to me. The last batch you sent out was from a couple of years ago, and I wish I could catch up, and get the most recent issues. I certainly understand the costs of printing and postage, and I look forward to the next mailing. Thank you for two issues, which I shall respond to in the usual fashion.
(By the way, the word with three sets on double letters in a row is 'bookkeeper'. It may have been Ripley's Believe It Or Not! that said that if the bookkeeper was incompetent, you could call him a boob-bookkeeper, and there's five sets of double letters in a row.)
1044…Michelle Obama is someone I'd like to meet. Same goes for her husband, too. Even in this industrial age, it is good to see support for libraries. Should the need for books decrease (I hope not!), and the demand for e-books and similar downloads increase, I would hope to see libraries morph into centres of learning and/or community centres, with function rooms and rows of books and magazines, and lots of terminals. Our benighted mayor, who's supplied comedy gold for many comedians the last few weeks, started his term with the idea of shutting down about ten or twelve library branches in Toronto, with the feeling that they were a waste of taxpayers' money.
Harry Truman's wisdom, especially about leadership, is timeless. I have seen lately discussions about leadership, especially when it comes to chairing conventions. It's not always easy, I have chaired a few conventions in my time, and I have found personally that I didn't enjoy chairing a con as much as I liked being in charge of a portion of the convention, like the dealers' room.
1065…Pained husbands and pained wives…Yvonne and I kid about with "Yes, dear." "Did you remember such-and-such?" "Yes, dear." I can only imagine what some others think… I thought Sadie Hawkins Day was every February 29th?
I have noticed that for many conventions, a Fan Guest of Honour is a thing of the past. Slowly but surely, we are being trained not to be active fans, but passive consumers. Even with active fans, the rising costs of con management means you've got to get as many authors into the GoH mix to bring in the readers, and as fandom itself withers away, it's not likely there will be a Fan GoH on the flyer; too expensive. Loscon 40 is coming up soon, and I still say thank you to the committee for bringing the Penneys to LA for L39.
Finally, I am working again. I have found short-term employment with an advertising agency with offices a couple of miles south of where we live. I'm proofreading new drug store packaging. I started on October 28, and my current contract takes me to Christmas Eve. After that, it is very likely that the contract will be extended until well into Q1 2014, perhaps further, and perhaps go from being a contractor to an employee. I'd like that very much, and fingers crossed.
Many thanks for these two issues, hope to see more in the future.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Beam 7 (Nic Farey and Jim Mowatt, eds.)|
Dear Nic and Jim:
Thanks for an e-copy of your very piratical-looking zine Beam 7. Sworn to fun, loyal to none, let's have a peek. Welcome to Liberty Hall, spit on the mat, and call the cat a bastard…
Hi, Jim…hope working on the bloody British bloody Worldcon hasn't been too political. I know just about every one of them are, but I remember with Toronto in 2003/Torcon 3, it was terrible. The chairman of the board pulled the strings of the chairman, and after our very successful bid, and the three monster room parties Yvonne and I managed in Chicago, I was fired from the committee because the chairman of the board did not like Yvonne. (He was later fired himself, for getting rid of anyone who had Worldcon experience.) My firing led to us joining LA in 2006 as Canadian agents, and we were treated much, much better. LACon IV was a great Worldcon, and we had the best of times. We emerged from the Torcon fiasco smelling like roses, and the chairman of the board? Well, he smelled like something else…
TAFF! I have the feeling of a missed opportunity on our part, but we know that our presence at Loncon is still not guaranteed, even with me working again, finally. We're in relatively good health, but lack of stamina on both our parts would mean we'd probably be exhausted by the time Loncon itself came around. And, this will probably be the only time we will ever be able to make it to England, so we'd want to do it on our own schedule and time. So, we won't be running for TAFF. However, I've read that Brad and Cindy Foster are putting forth their names, and they would make great candidates. (Jump ahead to my loc…I appreciate your comments. We were looking forward to a possibly candidacy, but I think our health concerns are valid, and I am sure better candidates will emerge, like the Fosters. Besides, part of the candidacy is the promise that we would go, and right now, we are not sure we’d be able to, with still not much in the bank, and whether or not we’d be able to get the time off to go.
I think the saving grace of modern fandom is the scanner that makes .jpgs from printed photographs. There's so many conventions with great photo memories that could be shared if only people would scan their photos, and then put them online for greater distribution.
When I was a wee lad, my Scottish grandparents would send regular rolls of newspapers and comics to us for all of us to read. My mother would get the People's Friend, and portions of the Glasgow Sunday News and the Ayrshire Post. I'd get the Dandy and the Beano, and as I got older, the Hotspur and the Wizard. I must check to see if these publications still exist, I think most of the comic titles are gone. Nic and Jim, any familiar titles there?
The best of luck to the Helsinki in 2017 committee. I had some hopes for Montréal in 2017, but not now, not with such a popular, but not-winning-2015 bid, they may have that year. And, outside of Loncon, I suspect that's it for us going to Worldcons. Too far, too busy, too expensive.
The locol, just to drive Rob Imes up the wall a little…only once was I asked to send a loc via Facebook, and easily done. We're entering an era where just plain e-mail is becoming passé. Some are wondering if technology will keep some from reading the final product fanzine…it might, if we only choose one technology that not all can access. Why choose only one technology? Choose all. Paper, e-zine, .epub, .mobi, more if you can, the more formats the better, and I hope more readers.
My loc…finally, I am working, this time at an advertising agency some distance down the road from where I live. The hours and pay are good, and getting there and back is quite easy. It’s only a contract, but I am helping with a big contract, proofing and editing new drug store packaging. I have drawn Mr. Spock onto Canadian five-dollar bills, but this is when they were made of paper. Very soon, Canadian bills will all be made of polymer, like Australian money. Can’t draw on polymer, can we? I guess someone will try it, and find out for sure. With that last loc, we did go to Ad Astra for the whole weekend, for we found out there were memberships waiting for us, and I don’t recall buying them…
(Huge hugs to Jacq Monahan! We’ll be sure to meet again…some sunny day…)
A great tribute to Larry Tucker. Detroit’s just a drive down Highway 401, but we were never able to get to many Detroit conventions. We got to Confusions in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1999, but never really got to meet anyone with the committee. That was our loss, but at that time, we were still meeting a lot of the local fans.
Nearly two pages, howzat? Just following up on the promise made on Facebook. Thanks for another great looking zine, always lots to talk and think about, which should be the goal of every fanzine and their editor(s). Eyes out for the next one.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on For the Clerisy 75 (Brant Kresovich, ed.)|
Thanks for another issue of FtC…I am stringing together bits of time here and there, and with some luck, a decent letter will come out the other end. Who am I kidding?
I looked into the career of Frankie Thomas, seeing the name was quite familiar…he was Tom Corbett, Space Cadet in the old TV series of the same name, and he was to be a special guest of honour at the 2006 Worldcon in LA, but died before he could be honoured. He also wrote a string of nine Sherlock Holmes pastiches between 1979 and 2002. I didn't mention all the movies he was in…he was a busy, busy man. I gather he was buried in his Tom Corbett uniform. He truly was a Space Cadet, and wore that moniker with pride.
I hate to say it…but I've never seen any of these movies. Heard of a few, like the Ritz Brothers movie, but from what you have to say about them, perhaps that's not a bad thing. I see few movies, and less television. We're currently enjoying the DVD set of Babylon 5, and last Christmas, I got Yvonne the Wizard's Box set of all Harry Potter movies, and associated DVDs/BluRays. I think that's coming up next.
My own letter…I can make remarks about American politics all I like, but the greatest meltdown right now is right here in Toronto, with the mayor Rob Ford admitting to crack smoking, heavy drinking and intoxication, and who knows what else. The city council voted nearly unanimously to have him step down to take care of his drug and alcohol problems, and he has flat refused. All of this nonsense is on CNN, Fox and all the late night shows. It truly is a slow-motion train wreck, and it would be even funnier if it wasn't so sad, and if the city wasn't slowed down to a stop because of this gigantic clown. Speaking of clowns, Mitt Romney and his partner in Republicanism have never looked better.
All done for the moment…went to a meeting for the 2017 Bouchercon, coming up in Toronto. Might be something you're interested in…if so, let me know, and I will get the information to you.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 312 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)|
Hello, all, and many thanks for the November Event Horizon, no. 312. I have bits of time here and there to whip up a letter of comment, and at 20 pages, big for an EH, I will need some extra time.
LoneStarCon 3, as I've written before, was a Worldcon I wish we'd been able to get to, but had absolutely no money to get there. I have found that trying to explain Worldcon, science fiction and fandom to the press is a thankless task, and one that is nearly impossible to do to completion. I find that many members of the press tend to glaze over with explanations about these things, and they're only here to take pictures of the funny-looking people; they can't possibly be doing anything serious. We still plan to go to the London Worldcon, but even though I am finally working again, nothing is certain.
I have a question that perhaps someone can answer…I keep seeing the term 'geek culture', and I think it means different things to different people. Is 'geek culture' the new term for fandom? I think I'm seeing a generation gap here, and I am curious as to how things are changing. And, thanks for pointing out that fandom does indeed have quite the history. Fandom goes as far back as 1929, and Worldcon started in 1939, and there are many other important dates for fandom and SF going back to the 30s and 40s. I know there are historians of SF and fandom, and I think their work is more important than ever. I see fandom changing into something people of my generation might not recognize, so I hope those historians will update their written histories soon.
I met Norman Spinrad at a local media SF convention a couple of years ago. I never thought I'd see him anywhere but at a literary convention, but he was there as a writer from the original Star Trek. He was pleased that I'd brought some of his best known novels (Bug Jack Barron, The Iron Dream, Child of Fortune), and got everything autographed. I liked Bug Jack Barron because of my own education as a journalist.
CostumeCon is coming to Toronto next year, so we will really miss both jan howard finder and Marty Gear. I am sure this con will also mark their passing. I am hoping that Montreal in 2017 might be successful for that year, but now I have my doubts with Helsinki, unsuccessful for 2015, now aiming at 2017 as well.
Thanks for this issue, and Worldcon-wise, London beckons. I hope, I hope…
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Flag 10 (Andy Hooper, ed.)|
Thank you for the fluorescent orange Flag 10…no worries, I used to have Hawaiian shirts like that… This issue will be a challenge to respond to, seeing most of it is an alternate recollection of a Worldcon, but it won't stop me; I may have to get as creative. Plunge in, wish me luck.
We all have our idea of an imaginary party, the one I'd really like to go to, only to find all (I mean ALL) of my friends are there, and they are all there to see me. They all have something to show me, or tell me about, or just want to banter a little and have a laugh or two. You're the life and the heart of the whole event. Describing that party would be a real challenge, but it looks like you have risen to it. I think I will be forced to poke reality into the fantasy of this dream…this is beginning to sound like the Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour movie Somewhere in Time. You're physically moving yourself back in time with the power of your mind, but will comb springing back to the modern day as soon as you pick up that 2013 Lincoln penny…
ConFrancisco was the target, but you got to Corflu Titanium in 2005. Wish I had; I've only been to two Corflus, one in Las Vegas and the one in Toronto. 2005 was also pre-steampunk for me and most others. I think at that time, the term was but a feverish thought in the mind of K.W. Jeter. This is an indication that perhaps I should change my Facebook avatar from time to time. This growing up, what nonsense. Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional. (As an aside, my Scottish grandparents, rest their souls, used to send me British comic books like the Dandy and the Beano. Rupert was but one of many cartoon characters I grew up with. Dangerous Dan, Roger the Dodger, and the Bash Street Kids are a few more.
In our youth, we look forward with anticipation and wonder. In our later years, we look back with nostalgia and perhaps a little regret. I wonder when the time is when we go from forward to back? Is that one of the side-effects of the mid-life crisis?
I look forward to whatever Bill Wright might put in his future fanzines. I gather he's had a few adventures in his time in Australian fandom, but this DUFFish trip may have been his best yet.
My own letter writing, I got lots of encouragement to do that from Mike Glicksohn and Mike Wallis. Both described the letter column as the heart of fanzine fandom, although I've had doubts for a long time. I've just wanted to participate as best as I can, and do what I can to support zines, paper or e-. Regular locs are best for me. Mike Glyer and Marc Ortlieb were also early supporters.
Fully agree with you on Journey Planet 16 and SF Commentary 85. Beautiful publications, and even when it is perhaps not as colourful or detailed as others, SF Commentary is still a pleasure to read, look through, or even hold if you are lucky enough to score a paper copy. (Which I did. SF Commentary 85 arrived in my mailbox this very day.)
(Elmo? Love it. Must get him an over-sized Elmo t-shirt. He’d wear it, too.)
Done for now, and going back into hibernation. It's getting COLD here! Even our nice warm autumn is but a fading memory. Thanks for this fine paper zine.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on SF/SF 146 (Jean Martin and Christopher Erickson, eds.)|
Dear Jean and Christopher:
Thank you for SF/SF 146…finally, I can report that I am back to work, after about 8 months of job hunting, and I can get back to a regular life, and you won't get bored with me making the same report on the search! Anyway, on to commenting on more pleasant things, like some fun fanac…
What have I been watching lately? Murdoch Mysteries, and on the provincial educational channel, episodes of Edwardian Farm, one of the great series on life on a British farm, this one about 100 years ago. Work has come along at the last minute, so money will be tight until we recover, so no movies for a while. That's okay, we still have 2 seasons of Babylon 5 to watch via DVD, and we also have all the Harry Potter movies on DVD/BluRay to watch, too. We won't be bored.
I think I've only met Connie Willis once, a lovely lady. I wanted to be a writer too, but there was always discouragement from everyone around me. "Sure you can be a writer, but what are you going to do for a living?" It's all I've wanted to do, and all the work I've ever had has been centred around the written word. If I couldn't make a living as a writer, I have as an editor, and in this computerized age, it's gotten a lot tougher, but as I have found out in recent days, it is not impossible.
A cavalcade of steampunk, indeed. I have only been to one steampunk event, and I am hopeful that I might get to another shortly. One seems to be in the preparatory stages for somewhere in the Toronto-Hamilton area, and I think I will be selfish and simply attend it for my own enjoyment. The event in the Dearborn area of Detroit is changing once again, and will be called, I believe Steamtopia. Wish I could go, but luck's been with me lately, who knows? I must relocate all renaissance faires around me; I think there are few such events, but one or possibly two in southern Ontario.
My loc…Canadian Thanksgiving is in October. A shorter summer means an earlier harvest, and a couple more paycheques to prepare for Christmas. My 36 years in fandom allows me to see the changes in fandom along the years, not just a few changes, but continuous changes over time. The steampunk store that will be opening in the spring in Peterborough, Ontario is called The Steaming Clock. We're in touch with it through Facebook, and I think there must be a roadtrip to Peterborough in April or so.
There is a big Filipino community here, so you'd be comfortable here. That reminds me of the news, the huge super-typhoon that ripped up so much of the Philippines. I sincerely hope you aren't personally affected by this, but there's so many who are homeless in this disaster. All from the Philippines are affected in some way, and I know aid is streaming in there now. We can hope for the best, but must expect the worst.
You may have seen on my Facebook page that I have finally found some work, and I am now in my third week on the job. I am working as a proofreader for an advertising agency literally a few kilometres south of where I live, the pay is good, and I am guaranteed work until Christmas Eve, and will probably be extended well into the first quarter of the new year. Couldn't have come at a better time.
Take care, hope everyone is well, and see you with the next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Prime Material 5 (Rogers Cadenhead, ed.)|
Here I am again, this time writing a few comments on Prime Material 5. I think I’ve got comments to you on all the zines you’ve done late, but if you’ve got another on the go, go ahead, I’ll wait…
These days, writers need as much help as possible, not only in constructing a good story (novel, short story, etc.), but also where to submit their writing. Myself, I only really know the book publishers and magazines, but there's the online market, and I don't know a thing there. Self-publishing used to mean vanity press, but now, sell your own work in .epub and .mobi formats for Kindle or Kobo…it's all changed so much. I would hope that Writer's Market would be keeping track of this for you. I would add to Allston's pointers to be knowledgeable about what you're writing about, and if you feel you are knowledgeable, become moreso. If your writing is shown to be wrong or wrongly sourced, you'll be blown out of the water, and your reputation might be ruined.
My letter…publishing is indeed pretty dead, but I have finally been able to find some work, in advertising. I am working for an agency literally down the street from where I live, and it looks like I will get a 3-month contract out of this. Yes, I did… While many companies who employ proofreaders are finding out, having a part-time, out-of-office proofreader is good and inexpensive, right up to the point where you need him/her, and they aren't available, having found another part-time contract. Having an in-house proofreader is becoming feasible and necessary for many companies. I sure hope I'm right about this, because I'd been out of work just too long.
Short letter, but at least I saw some comments hooks. Thanks for this, good to see there's the possibility of my locs being published, and see you with the next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Broken Toys 22 (Taral Wayne, ed.)|
Thank you for issue 22 of Broken Toys. A quick peruse of the zine shows me comment hooks galore, so I will get started immediately.
I do recognize Bohemian Rhapsody, and I do recognize where you're coming from. Myself, I feel like I am slowing down, things don't matter as much as they did. I don't read as much as I used to, I am not as active locally as I used to be (I miss it in some ways, and not in others). I do feel a little left behind, but I am sure there were some that felt that way when I got into local fandom in the early 80s. It's a generational thing, and I am finding there are other things presenting themselves that Yvonne and I are engaged in. In the long run, as long as we are having some fun and doing something creative, we're pleased. There's a space conference and the World Mystery Convention in Toronto in 2017 that we may have a hand in along the way. It's still some fun for me, but as I am well into my 55th year, I find myself thinking what you have, does any of this really matter? It's been a fun hobby, and sometimes I think people take up hobbies when they find there's nothing really important they can do/are allowed to do/can afford to do.
Congrats on the acceptance by the provincial government, and that nice retroactive cheque. I am sure you were wondering what you were going to do moneywise before it arrived. I'm in a similar boat, I am now working as a copy proofreader for an advertising agency, literally down the street from where we live in Etobicoke. I'd been living on EI and savings since March, and if this hadn't come along, I have no idea what we were going to do for the next month's expenses. Definitely go for the scooter, and get your mobility back. Ah, if only reading was exercise, we’d all be fit and trim.
(Got a contract extension today, and will have work until Christmas Eve. Then, I am told to expect the very strong possibility of another contract extension to take me at least into the first quarter of 2014. I am saved.)
I know what can be done with a computer, and it continues to amaze, especially now with 3D printing, and similar technologies that were a part of science fiction not long ago. Still, I miss the smell of must in searching out a used book store, seeing what treasures might be buried somewhere behind a shelf or a corner. I've found some amazing books that way, and I even bought some of them. Yvonne and I have extended that adventure into antique and vintage shops. When it comes to communication, the computer is superior, and I can write this up, save it and send it to you via e-mail, and it can be with you in minutes, instead of the days a paper loc would take. Superiority moreso, when it comes to communicating with friends in Australia or New Zealand or South Africa.
I never liked Hallowe'en much, mostly because I grew up in Orillia, north of Toronto, and most costumes were covered over by heavy winter coats to stay warm. I think as soon as I hit 9 or 10, I said I'd stay at home and hand out candy, I didn't mind at all. Even with local fandom being costume-minded, we usually didn't find out about the costume parties until they were past. This Hallowe'en, friends in Hamilton announced a costumed Hallowe'en party, and we dug out our steampunk costumes, and wore them there, and we had a great time. I realized it had been decades since we'd done that, and I'd missed it. We're in an apartment building too, and in the 15+ years we've been there, we've almost never had any kids at the door. The building super does nothing for anything at the front door, so Hallowe'en is a non-event here. Two huge condo towers are being built beside out building, so that might change as soon as people move in.
Coffee…where I work now, one of their clients is Second Cup, so we have it on demand, and I am quite spoiled; it's pretty good. If we had Starbucks here, I think I'd be sticking with cold water. I think most people aren't too concerned with the taste of most coffees, for they are more concerned with the effect of the caffeine. We all need our eyes opened in the morning.
Greetings to Dave Haren…only I see how many places I send locs to. Not just Canada, the US and the UK, but also Australia, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa and even Slovenia. In the past, I've received zines from Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, France and Holland. I learned a lot about fandom elsewhere, and I'd like to think that they learned about Canadian fandom from me.
I have suggested to Chris Garcia to showcase in an upcoming Drink Tank Galen Dara and the other fan Hugos winners, and let us see why they won. Obviously, we're not seeing what these people create. I still cannot fathom Tansy Rayner Roberts getting the Fan Writer Hugo; to the best of my knowledge, she is a professional SF&F writer from Australia, but as Eric Mayer wrote, perhaps it was her non-commercial writing that won her the award. Be assured that when the FAAn Awards come around, you do receive a Fan Artist nomination from me each year.
Just got back from the pubnight tonight. A fun evening indeed, and at least this time, I had something to smile about. I hope this contract extension will brighten my moods. At least there's the encouragement of the paycheque to keep me going. Thank you for this issue, and see you with the next.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Probe 157 (Carla Martins, ed.)|
Probe 157 arrived in the mail a few days ago, and while time is at a premium these days (I am working again), bits of time here and there are being used to write up a letter of comment. Let's see how I do this time…
I've read articles in the past where some space advocates and scientists and designers are tired of the 'Trek-izing' of future space craft and other technological designs. I know a lot of people in the space industry were impressed enough by shows like Star Trek to get into the industry, so there's a lot of influence there, but I think some are a little irked that designs to take mankind to the stars were based on the gifted insight of a Hollywood screenwriter creating a television show in the 60s. Hey, if they work, why not? By the time we do get to the stars, Trek may be a vague memory, anyway. I hope Alcubierre has the opportunity to develop this theory of his further, even if he is himself skeptical.
Dennis Lane's story has a true steampunk feel to it, and I am sure I would have enjoyed it more if there weren't zombies in it. I've never liked the idea, and I think it's been horribly over-used in print, television and movies. Still, a tale of the rising proletariat, even if they are dead… that's just my own preferences. With Marike Potgieter's tale, it's all about time travel, which is something I loved through the stories of Isaac Asimov. At least it's been attempted by the National Institute of Temporal Displacement…I should get a business card made up for the organization. Dr. Straussenburg has been driven mad, perhaps by knowing what he knows about the nature of time? How was he able to see into a window in time?
Cristy Zinn's story may be SF, but it is also reality today. As amazing as our technological computerized society is today, it's done away with millions of jobs around the world. Earlier this year, I lost a job I'd had for 8 years due to the company's IT department discovering how to computerize it. I can look back and see that while the job is now automatically done, the final result isn't as good as when I did it. I guess with automation, a substandard job will do to save money.
Many thanks for another great zine, with lots of interesting things to read about. I wish more clubs would do this, but either no one wants to devote the time to producing a publication for their members, either paper or .pdf, or the club doesn't see communicating with other clubs or other SF fans a worthwhile effort. I am very pleased that you do produce a paper zine, and you are willing to send it around the world; I am indebted to all of you. Many thanks, and see you next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Three Rocks 3 & 4 (Rogers Cadenhead, ed.)|
I downloaded the apazines you recently had loaded onto eFanzines.com, and with me right now are issues 3 and 4 of Three Rocks. Some quick comments on both issues.
3…I often found the idea of a chainmail bikini as patently ridiculous, and dream fulfillment for young boys, but the idea of actually creating one and making it actually resembling armour piqued my interest as a past (and more present) costumer. If it weighed 20 pounds, then I think that would be fairly light. The costumers and armour-makers I know would be intrigued with Wendy’s outfit.
Again, not a comics fan, but it’s always of interest to see superheroes I never knew anything about, especially those few ever knew anything about.
4…The prices of comics are, I imagine, prohibitive for some. That’s one reason I am not buying modern SF…I simply can’t cover the costs.
I’d like to see a list of big name intellectual properties with soon-to-be expiring copyrights. US law seems to be changed on occasion to allow for Disney to keep Mickey, for instance, but there’s got to be some cartoon characters standing on the edge of their copyright, all set to fall into the chasm of public domain.
Well, at least there’s some comments on these two issues, and I will get them to you asap. I’ve got one other apazine from you, and I will try to get that to you at a slightly later day. The zines are starting to pile up again, and I’ve got to get some response out soon. Many thanks, take care, see you soon with the next one.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Tightbeam 268 (David Speakman, ed.)|
Thanks for Tightbeam 268. I’m winding up the end of a weekend, and it’s been extraordinarily productive. There’s still a little time, so here’s some more to get done, a letter of comment.
A great locol, wish I had some more reaction to it. I can relay some news…the World Fantasy Convention has just wound up in Brighton, England, and Toronto fantasy readers are extremely pleased by four WFC awards going to ChiZine Press, including Helen Marshall and Robert Shearman.
A great short story by Lawrence Dagstine…with the news being as dystopian as it is these days, and far too many screaming political parties and lying politicians, I get tired of dystopian stories. This may be just such a story, but it was a good one nonetheless. I just wish we could be a little more positive in the future, but we don’t have much to serve as an example, do we?
So many movies coming out that connect to the various genres…SF, fantasy, horror; vampires, warlocks, witches, zombies, etc., and not a single one interests me these days. I think my love for this genre of literature may be rooted in the 60s to 80s, and very little beyond that. I don’t have much cash, if any, to spend on modern SF, books and movies, so that is probably part of the reason.
The sun is setting, and tomorrow is Monday, and I return to a two-week trial to see if I fit into an advertising agency. If so, I get a three-month contract that will at least put a little cash back into my bank account. Little steps, but steps that might reduce my already reduced involvement in fandom. Take care, folks, and see you with the next NFFF zine.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Journey Planet 16 (Chris Garcia, James Bacon and Pete Young, eds.)|
Dear Chris and James, and special greetings to Pete:
Many thanks for another handsome fanzine, and Journey Planet 16. It’s going to be a pleasure to look at, but when it comes to reading it, I am not sure how much I am going to be able to contribute. Philip K. Dick was a great SF writer, but not really one of my favourites. Time to sit down with it, and see what comments I can make.
I will admit there are some writers whose works and writing styles bring together admirers to comment and discuss their writing. Twain, Hemingway, Banks…Dick definitely belongs in that category. I have most of his books on my shelf, and while I enjoyed his works, there were other authors I liked better, and I admit to fully understanding why Phil Dick got the attention he did, unless it was counterculture rep and drug use, never was sure…I hope to find out more by the end of this zine.
Perhaps the only thing I truly know about Phil Dick is that he was a guest of honour at the 2nd Vancouver SF convention in 1972, retroactively known as VCon 2. What I have read is that after a short stay in Vancouver for the convention, Dick saw how much more liberal the Canadian drug laws were at the time, and considered becoming a Canadian citizen. I don’t know more than this, but I am sure that contacting Vancouver fandom, especially Graeme Cameron, would help to clear up my own doubts on the story, and add to the story being told here.
I would hope that most people would have more knowledge of Phil Dick beyond the Blade Runner movie, but it would seem not. They don’t even connect Minority Report, or Total Recall, or A scanner Darkly or even Screamers. I would want him to be remembered for his writings and the movies taken from that body of work, but I have my doubts there days that the general public remembers anyone or anything. I applaud efforts by anyone to write about him, or to keep his novels in print.
The final Dangerous Visions…I think most of us have given up, especially Harlan. Or who knows, perhaps he’s got something in his will instructing his lawyer to send the Last Dangerous Visions to his publisher a week or month or year after his death, so he can tell the whole damned lot of us to go to hell without him catching shit for it afterwards. I probably won’t care at that time; I am finding myself reading classic 60s and 70s SF because it’s what I have on hand, and I expect that’s what I will read until I give up on it entirely, which is getting closer and closer.
Guys, if you do plan any kind of locol based on this issue of JP, I think it best to put me in the WAHF file. I think this letter just proves that while I liked his work, I didn’t find it really superior to any of his peers’ SF in that time. I get the feeling I will be in the minority in that, and this loc, such as it is, will be my own Minority Report. James and Chris, hope you had a good time at WFC in Brighton, Toronto is pleased that ChiZine Press took four WFC awards, and Helen Marshall is over the moon right now. Take care, guys, thanks for a great visual zine.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Alexiad 71 (Joseph Major, ed.)|
Dear Joe and Lisa:
Many thanks for the 71st Alexiad. I am rapidly catching up with my letter writing, mostly because yesterday was the day I started a new job with an advertising agency literally down the street from me. I am so relieved, and while it is a two-week trial to get a 3-month contract, it is the first work I’ve had since March. Let’s see what I can say here.
Netbook, laptop, iPad, smartphone…I have none of these, finding that for the money, for me anyway, the benefits are questionable and the potential costs of software and possible temptations to buy stuff online are more than I want to consider. I am no Luddite, but I won’t take on new tech until I can find a reasonable use that will benefit my life. I have a cellphone, Yvonne has one and a laptop, and this suits what we want and need. Also, old tech should never be considered bad or useless tech. That was brought home to me when years ago, I saw a group of university students hook up their Twitter feed to an old teletype machine. Not only did they get their messages printed out, but they could also respond to the messages using the teletype keyboard.
Dave Kyle is now our senior statesman? I am sure that’s a distinction he has never looked for. I am pleased to say that Dave will be at a convention in Toronto next month, and I look forward to chatting with him and signing his book.
Daniel Snowdon’s actions have lost-lasting effects, now with revelations that the US government, through the NSA, has spied on allied nation leaders for many years. A comment I saw on Facebook last night…the US has been proved to be doing terrible things, things they used to criticize the Soviet Union and East Germany for doing. I enjoy history texts, but must wonder about our future…who will write those history books?
Your commentary on oomphel… we’ve been living a dystopia in some ways. Dubya got rid of surplus production in the US by almost-never-ending, never-victorious wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and did so to boost the economy. But, it resulted in record debts, and of course, the Republicans blame Obama for debt they rang up themselves. Our own conservative leaders have been doing much the same things, and the next federal election should give them their just rewards. I can hardly wait…
I am pleased to say that after six months of unemployment, I am working again, and I hope for more than the proposed two-week trial or three-month contract. With this job in mind, we are still optimistic for going to London. I must agree with you that many consumers of science fiction these days are consumers, not participants. We’re being trained not to speak up or do anything, but simply sit down and watch. The mad dogs will knee us in the groin again and again, if we stick around to have it happen again and again. The FAAn awards will have to do for the moment.
The locol…Sheryl asks about change the elimination of the copper penny here. The price of anything, should it be something other than 5 or ten cents, gets rounded up or down to the nearest five or ten. I hope I’ve gotten the luck I need for my new job; thank you for your good wishes.
My loc…Joseph, better change my e-mail there. I haven’t been with Allstream for many years. Now that Helsinki is now bidding for the 2017 Worldcon, I think Montréal’s chances have become fairly slim, unfortunately.
For the moment, I think that will have to do. I have just finished up my second day at Perennial Inc., an advertising agency just down the road from where I live…a walk and a short bus ride gets me there is about 20 minutes. I am trying my best to stay there, but I shudder to think what will happen to us if I don’t. I am so relieved at having this job, and a number of people are happy to have me there, and have told me so. Anyway, the best of times to everyone for Hallowe’en, and may we have a relatively warm and snow-free winter. I don’t want to think about snowbanks… See you with the next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 33, No. 10 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)|
Hello!, and hello, Mike Kennedy, sorry you had to spend part of Con†Stellation in the hospital. Got this yesterday, went to a great steampunk Hallowe’en party last night, and I start a two-week trial tomorrow for an extended work contract. And deadline for contributions for the next Shuttle is tomorrow? One loc on the October Shuttle coming right up! *ding*
Hope the convention went well for organizers and attendees alike. It’s not fair to work so hard on it, and then be forced to miss it.
The locol…thank you, Toni, about my job search. I have been looking since March of this year, and as I’ve written above, I start a two-week trial tomorrow. Hope I can ace it and get the full contract. The bidding year of 2017 has gotten even more complex with the unsuccessful 2015 bid for Helsinki, Finland relaunching for 2017. I am still hoping for Montréal for that year, but the odds of it winning has gone way down, in my opinion.
Last night, there was a steampunk Hallowe’en party down the highway in Hamilton, we had ourselves a great time, and there was a wide selection of costumes, including our hosts in full steampunk. Best Hallowe’en party we’d been to in years.
Well, can’t write much about a four-page zine, so this may be it for right now. Happy to help with the next zine, see you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Breaking it All Down: The Zine 1 (Alexander Case, ed.)|
Many thanks for the first issue of Breaking It Down: The Zine. As many who will get this e-zine from eFanzines.com will tell you, we’re very much used to paper publications and e-zines, and not necessarily podcasts. If there was a site like eFanzines.com that listed all SFnal and fannish podcasts, half of the work, finding the podcasts, would be done for me, and I might be inclined to listen in and make some comments. For the moment, though, thank you for this e-zine version.
I think I am going to find that while you seem to have a wide selection of interests that can come under the fanac label, my own interests are much narrower. I have never developed interests in…comics, gaming, modelling, Doctor Who, anime/manga, and a few others. I got into what I could get my hands on, and that wasn’t much, but it’s kept me going for close to 35 years. In sequence…Trek, apas and fanzines, costumes, convention running, steampunk. Good for you re Prisoners of Gravity…I was actually a guest on an episode in Season 1, which seems to be the season they did lots of weird on-screen effects, and put coloured goop in Rick Green’s hair. I still have the PoG t-shirt.
When we were neofen, there were older fen who grumbled at our presence, dismissed us outright because we were new, and thought we’d ruin what they’d fought to create. Now, we are the older fen, and few of us remember our neofan days. I do, and while I see what I know of fandom changing and maybe crumbling away, I am not going to grumble, for today’s neofen are doing just what I did. Friends are passing away, as are some of my favourite authors (Frederik Pohl is the latest), but I must remember that fandom has been around since the late 20s/early 30s, and while I stand just about still, fandom will continue on as it always has, and go on past me.
In the decades that I was on local con committees, it was those on the committee who were interested in anime, still fairly new to all of us then, who wanted more time and space for their own interest, something a convention usually couldn’t do, given a three-day weekend and a small hotel with limited function space. Our own local anime convention, Anime North, arose from this frustration, and I helped get our local anime fans moving with it by having long discussions with the first chairman. Anime North, our local con, is different from some anime conventions in that while many anime cons (I am told) are mostly dealers room and lots of screening rooms, Anime North has lots of panels people can participate in and offer ideas and opinions. In short, AN is interactive where other cons are not. I hope this interactivity will get other fans back to our local litcons, but this might not happen until some of the anime fans get a little older, and might start looking for something else.
I am afraid I’ve jumped fair far ahead in your zine, not having interest in books on manga or a gaming convention, but as soon as you get to Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, you’re right up my alley. Glad you enjoyed it, and I have a couple of editions of it on my bookshelves. Harlan Ellison’s mentor and friend in writing SF was Alfred Bester, and when Ellison was the creative consultant for Babylon 5 (one of my favorite television shows, and we are currently enjoying the episodes again on DVD), he named the PsyCop Bester after the SF writer. A friend of mine years ago was a big B5 fan in the show’s initial run, and didn’t believe me when I told her that Alfred bester was a popular SF writer from the 50s. She didn’t believe me, and I pulled down my Bester books from the bookshelf…she just gaped at them for a few minutes.
There we go, Alexander, I think I am done with my letter, and I hope this is the kind of feedback on the issue that you were looking for. Off it goes to your Gmail account, and I hope to see the second issue soon. Let us know if you’re enjoying this format of fannish communication. I am sure Ben Yalow, Jerry Kaulman and Suzle would like to know your feelings on this, too.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on fanstuff 39 (Arnie Katz, ed.)|
Just got fanstuff 39 yesterday, and thought I’d get onto this immediately, seeing your planned schedule for future issues. I hope there were no bad reasons for three months on not publishing, other than needed a mental vacation. Good to see this zine back, and I will see what there is to say.
We handle all the fanac we can, based on the spare time available, other responsibilities in your life and the money to make things happen, and the quantities of all those requirements can change at any time. I have taken on new interests and hobbies, to be sure, but I don’t let them interfere with my fanac. I think I am personally dealing with some of the feelings at the bottom of your list; extended unemployment is tough on your self-esteem, your wallet (making sure there’s lots of activities and things you simply can’t afford), and your home relationships, and it’s easy to be depressed. I have used letter writing as a way to forget those problems and get busy, and it has helped me a lot. I don’t think I would gafiate, but I do take occasional breaks. (During those times, I read a lot of SF, or work on my dealers’ table merchandise, like make more earrings and necklaces. Yes, we are filthy hucksters, and it’s our latest way of enlarging our fannish experiences. And, we’ve made some good money out of it, too.)
I am not sure we need The Gafia Company to get us out of fandom, but perhaps a fannish Welcome Wagon would bring in new blood and make it a little easier for gafiates to return. If only we were so welcoming to new people…sometimes, I think we have the numbers we do in spite of ourselves.
A World of Possibilities…most of us are in our 50s and 60s and more, and I guess we’re all finding it more and more difficult to suspend our disbelief when we read SF. Either we get more sceptical with time, or those disbeliefs are a lot heavier than they used to be.
End of zine! I guess you’ve had your break and creative re-charge. We all need that from time to time. Welcome back!, and keep the zines coming, but take the next break when you need it.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Ethel the Aardvark 168 (Peter Ryan and Richard Morden, eds.)|
Here it is, many thanks for issue 168 of Ethel! It’s always a treat. Now to open the present and see what you got me…
I’ve been reading your Facebook messages…after all these years, the club will have to leave St. David’s Uniting Church. What a shame…I hope there will be another church hall or perhaps community centre who would be willing to let you move in and take a room big enough to store the club’s archives and still have space for a meeting or social event.
Hello, President Natalie! It is good to be able to run an organization according to the way you see fit, isn’t it? I’ve run a couple of local clubs here in the past, and while there was a lot of responsibility, there were lots of people to do the job.
I certainly agree with Bill Wright’s article about A.E. van Vogt being a pillar of space opera. That term seems to have a lot of negative connected with it, but it is fine adventure in an otherworldly setting, often with an otherworldly supporting cast of characters. While most of van Vogt’s life was spent in the US, he was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Definitely the same for the illustrious Dr. A. I am pleased to be able to say that I met Isaac Asimov twice, one in New York City at a Trek convention, and again some years later in Baltimore, Maryland at a Worldcon. Cordwainer Smith I am less familiar with, but I do have some of his works on my shelves.
I still am of two minds when it comes to the two Star Trek reboot movies. The first movie got it going again, with Leonard Nimoy giving it an original Trek blessing the same way Deforest Kelley did it for the first episode of The Next Generation. I guess we judge these movies based on the original Trek we grew up with, at least I do, and I find the movies lacking or changed too much, too many changes in what we see as canon. I get the feeling it was written by someone not all that familiar with the original. I would like to return to the Next Generation timeline, and see what happened after Voyager. Who’s with me?
Good luck in finding the new home, and I hope there will be good news in Ethel 169. Take care, and see you then. (P.S. Just noticed in my records that I never received issue 167!)
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
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