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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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February 11th, 2016
03:59 pm

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Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 339 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

I’ve got here issue 339 of the Event Horizon, and there should be something to comment on within it. Now to see if I can make that happen.

I did see The Force Awakens…in some ways, it is a remake of A New Hope, but there are enough differences to make it an enjoyable film. Seeing Episode IV in the theatres in 1977 was my own entry into fandom, and while there was some level of excitement today, it wasn’t even close to being the same level as back then. More proof that I’ve gotten old. With that in mind, why can’t the original cast members look old? Hamill and Ford are showing their years, but criticism of Fisher for doing the same? I don’t get it. I think Star Wars will outlive us all.

We have been watching The Magicians, although some of the series is not familiar from the book. It is more than a mini-series, but with 13 episodes for this year, and the recent announcement of a renewal for a second season. We didn’t win the Auroras we were nominated for, and more and more, I think it is a fluke that we are on the ballot. More and more, fanzines are a specialty within fandom, so fewer people see what I do.

Time to go, dinner must be made. Thanks for this issue, and I am sure something new will appear in my IN box very soon.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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11:50 am

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Loc on Art of Garthness 9 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

Art of Garthness 9 is here, I am at home job hunting, and do I ever need a break from that. Time to write a fast loc, and relieve the depression inherent in the job search.

Planning is always good, and I know people laugh at lists, but lists keep me focused and in relative control of my life. I keep a single 2-page Word document I laughingly call Dumb Things I Gotta Do. It lists all the things I do have to do in the future, plus a calendar of things coming up on specific dates, all the things happening on the upcoming weekend, upcoming conventions, initial plans for the next weekend afterwards, things to do (and done) for our trip to London this coming August, and lined areas to make notes once the sheet is printed out. I simply do not trust my memory, so I keep this sheet with me at all times, ready to accept a written note while I think of things.

I am on Facebook, LinkedIn, Indeed.ca, JobRapido and many more job hunting websites. Of the bunch, the one I find is best for what I do? Indeed. Most of the jobs I apply to, I find there. Even my employment consultants think that LinkedIn is not all that great, especially the Premium version of it. I have found there’s a number of community colleges that can help you with job hunting, resumes and even job searching for you. Humber College does that for me, and thank Ghu for that.

The old tradition of trading zines between individuals and between clubs seems to be fading. There’s the attitude, you want it so badly, download it yourself. More convenient, perhaps, but again, the victim here is community, and it continues to fade away. With that in mind, congrats to Vanfandom for reviving the FRED, and I hope it builds the community again.

What I Learned From Fandom…all so true. Fans are not slans, but are mere humans, with all the usual weaknesses, and sometimes more.

Time to go, getting close to lunch time. Take care, stay warm, and see you with the next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 10th, 2016
12:14 pm

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Loc on Alexiad 85 (Joseph T. Major, ed.)
Dear Joseph:

Thank you for Alexiad 85, always a pleasure to see and read. As far Groundhog Day goes, our own groundhog, Wiarton Willie, says there will be six more weeks of winter. Not bad, Willie, we've hardly had any winter so far, so six more weeks of chilly and no snow would be fine. There aren't many Canada geese around here, although they usually congregate in our parks here.

I sympathize with your current plight, Joseph. I am still looking for more work, as well, and I know my government benefits can last only so long. My only interview has been on the phone, and was unsuccessful. Fanzine fandom is fading, even though I still get enough zines to give me reason to write 250 locs a year. (Did you get mine from last issue?) Fandom as we know it is fading, too. The fandom that is succeeding ours doesn't resemble ours, and I have to wonder what kind of community they have, if any. We are lucky to have found additional and related interests that have allowed us to have some fun, and make younger friends, good to have in our later years.

Jack Robins...he had written an article on being one of the last Futurians, and it was being printed in current N3F publications when his death was announced.

Your article on Asra Nomani's book shows that there is still a lot of prejudice against Muslims, to the point where they are being called today's target, with Jews being called yesterday's target. Some may disagree with that...with the Canadian government accepting and bringing in about 25,000 Syrian refugees, the US government is concerned about this, and some readers are fearful we're admitting rapists, but the refugees are screened, and most are comfortable here, and many are moving forward with good jobs, and a few, their own businesses.

I think I might have done all I can here, Joseph. I hope there is justice for you, and if not that, at least some new employment. I hope I find something new soon, too. It shouldn't be this difficult to make a living. This is why there is often talk of an annual guaranteed income in many European countries. I'd rather make my living the usual way, but I can see why this is happening. Take care, good luck, and see you next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 8th, 2016
07:16 pm

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Loc on The Reuctant Famulus 109 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)
Dear Thomas:

Thank you for yet another Reluctant Famulus, issue 109. A great cover, and an equally great bacover, both by A.B. Kynock. I’ll bet the contents are just as stellar.

I have heard a bit of the Kim Stanley Robinson interview, and we are destroying our planet as if there was a Planet B to go to in an emergency that will inevitably come if we don’t start acting now. We should have started terraforming Mars a couple of generations ago. Talking about the way we pollute the Earth is not science fiction, but science fact, obstinate Republicans notwithstanding. Science Fiction writers provide some intelligent speculation about what might happen, but scientists see what might happen if we act, and I hope we act soon. I have seen some reports that say that no matter how quickly we get started, it’s too late. We have fouled our nests past the point of no return.

Rat Stew…I had hopes that as time went on, we would find ourselves in a social utopia, that we’d change things around to make life better for all. Instead, we are living in a dystopia, full of racism, pain and bigotry, and those who represent those dystopian ideas may take on the most powerful job in the world. I sure hope they don’t. You’d think science fiction, with its dream of a better world, would be more popular, but that hope for the future is mostly dead, supplanted by popular culture in the form of video games, online purchases, etc., to keep our minds away from the post important parts of our everyday reality.

My loc…indeed, we have been very lucky in our change of government, for the Trudeau government has been extremely busy with repairing the damage the previous Conservative government did. Our current PM is a lot more likable than our past PM, too. Right wing politics, for the most part, seems to be about seizing as much money as you can for your backers.

We are planning a trip to England in August, so we are hoping that we will be going, in spite of the fact I am still job hunting. Some work has to come my way soon, fingers crossed. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 7th, 2016
07:03 pm

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Loc on File 770 165 (Mike Glyer, ed.)
Dear Mike:

It has taken longer than I wanted, but I do have File 770 165 here, and I should get started on making some comments on it. Not sure how long this will take, but it is definitely worth taking the time to do.

The cover…I expected something like this to happen in the latest Star Wars movie. My best to Steve Stiles, and all artists still happy to draw for fanzines.

It is good to hear good stories about folks like Forry Ackerman so long after they’ve left us. There is always something new to learn and hear about. I wish I had some way to come and visit with LA fandom, maybe at another Loscon.

Ah, David Hartwell…someone else who has left us. I did know David well, but we know each other through our common love of Hawaiian shirts. He had come up to Toronto for Ad Astra a number of times, and certainly made his presence felt through local prodom and fandom. So many are mourning his very sudden loss.

Excellent article about the winners of the Rotsler Awards from Taral, and it reminds me of something that happens to many people…when the Big Name Fan passes away, their Significant Other is often ignored and/or forgotten. We try our best to keep in touch with Susan Manchester, Mike Glicksohn’s widow. And I have heard that Stu Shiffman’s SO, Andi Shechter, may gafiate and move from the Seattle area. Don’t go, Andi! In some ways, though, a fresh start somewhere else might help her deal with her loss and frail health.

I have a lot of old British coinage at home, withg lots of old Edwardian and Elizabethan pre-decimal coins, including silver and wooden threepence coins, silver sixpences, shillings and half-a-crowns. Yet, more modern British coinage can have its own strange bits, too. I have a couple of 20-pence coins. Who remembers when we went to Holland for the Worldcon in 1990, having to deal with 25-guilder notes? I always felt I was getting too much change back. We on the North American continent are too used to 20-dollar bills. It could be worse…29 Knuts to a Sickle, and 17 silver Sickles to a Galleon…

And now, the worst part of the zine…the obituaries. May we all have such an obituary to remember us by as that for Art Widner. Yvonne and I were welcomed to fandom by some neofen at one Ad Astra, around the time we’d been around for 25 years. Yvonne reminds some of our friends that we’ve been married longer than they’ve been alive. And, Peggy Rae’s passing was painful, too. We don’t go to Worldcons anymore, and while our bank accounts thank us, we’ve lost touch with so many old friends, and it hurts to see that so many friends, made long ago, have gone before we could reunite. We met Adrienne Martine-Barnes at dinner with Marty Gear, way back in 1983 when we were attending our second Worldcon in Baltimore, and helping Marty operate masquerade registration. The names come on and on and on, and there is a twinge for many of them. Terry Pratchett’s first North American convention was Ad Astra in Toronto, and Yvonne was his pick-up and driver to the convention.

My loc…health problems are being managed, I am about 10-12 pounds lighter, Yvonne’s had carpal tunnel operations on both wrists, and we’re better. We couldn’t go to the London Worldcon, but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t go to London later on. As of mid-August, Yvonne and I will be going to London and Lincoln, for some Harry Potter and steampunk fannish fun. I lost my job this past October, but I think we will still be in good shape for our grand adventure this summer. We are also ramping up our steampunk vending, and will be going to some local craft shows, comic cons and SF conventions like Ad Astra to sell our wares.

For M. Lee Rogers…I will be 57 on June 2, 2016. I promise to stay as young as I can, and no one’s getting rid of me soon. I should say 57 for extremely small values of 5 and 7.

And, well into the second page and done. Geography keeps us all apart more than ever now, and I regret that. The damned transporters are still down. I wish I had some news to report on here, but there is little happening. We both got nominated for Aurora Awards again, and once again, we lost, and did quite poorly. We have some pubnights and a few cons, but not much more than that. What little community there was here is mostly gone, and only social media like Facebook helps keep the local fans connected to any degree.

Thank you for the fandom yearbook…it’s a necessity now, to keep up with so many. Take care, and see you with the next one, or sooner, I hope.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 6th, 2016
05:36 pm

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Loc on Nice Distinctions 28 (Arthur Hlavaty, ed.)
Dear Arthur:

Thank you for issue 28 of Nice Distinctions…I know I took it off eFanzines, but thank you for your production of it. I am trying my best to keep caught up, so here’s a fast loc on a cold day.

Retirement…Yvonne is planning for it in less than two years, and I still have about nine years until I retire. I have almost always provided the secondary source of income, so as long as I can stay healthy, I was thinking of working past 65. Yvonne wants to work part-time on something other than accounting in her retirement, and I’d be happy if I could have more than two bucks in my pocket.

I have also been experimenting with voice recognition software. We recently purchased a Samsung tablet, and last week, I experimented with it, and dictated a loc. Worth a shot, and with a few edits, it worked fine. I am not sure if I will do that from now on…

I wish I could wave a wand, and make all Americans care about the politics of their land, and make the abuses of politicians visible and memorable. There wouldn’t be a Republican elected for the next few generations.

Justin Trudeau has been such a breath of fresh air here. He is friendly and sympathetic, he seems to be everywhere, he has represented us so well, and it seems his government has been doing more in the past three months than the Harper regime did in its nine years of fear-mongering. He’s already done some extensive work with the CBC, he is working with the big cities to bring about improvements to municipal infrastructure…Trudeau and his government aren’t perfect, but so far, the honeymoon is still on, and Justin shows he’s more than ready for the job. I hope papa Pierre would be proud.

I have looked aghast at the verbal sewage coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth, but I shouldn’t be surprised. Our previous prime minister had much the same ideas about Muslims, and part of his re-election campaign was about what he called a Barbaric Practices Hotline, where we could call and complain that someone was wearing a burka. So glad he was defeated, and now sits as an opposition backbencher.

So many familiar names on the final page. 2016 has been such a deadly year for the well-known… Natalie Cole, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, so many more. The rest of us should stay healthy, I think.

There it is, and off it goes, and thank you much for this. Wish it came out a bit more often. See you with the next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 5th, 2016
02:25 pm

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Loc on The View From Entropy Hall 53 & 54 (Ed Meskys, ed.)
Dear Ed:

Thanks to eFanzines.com, I have issues 53 and 54 of The View From Entropy Hall, and I’ve finally got the time to sit down with them, and write up a decent loc. Wish me luck in this…

I understand the laziness aggravated by age part. I got so far behind in so many things, I had to resort to lists to actually get anything done. They have become the memory that I seem to have partially lost. I gather the pressure to download Windows 10 for just about every computer will increase until Microsoft despairs of your inability to go their way, and they will install it on your computer while you’re not looking.

We simply couldn’t afford to go to Loncon a couple of years ago, but we just kept saving, figuring that we wanted to go to England, and no Worldcon would not be a barrier to going. This coming August, we will be going to London via new transatlantic service provided by Canadian carrier WestJet. We will spend one week in London, and then another week in Lincoln, and then head home. Two weeks is all we have, so we will make the best of it. Earlier in our plans, we had thought to take Icelandic Air, and spend a little time in Reykjavik, but our time is precious, and we have many plans for England.

Yvonne and I haven’t seen Carl Frederick in some time, either. We used to see him a lot in Toronto and Buffalo and Rochester, but he hasn’t been up here, and we don’t go to the cons in Buffalo and Rochester any more. Not enough interest, and not enough money. Been saving for London, after all…

54…I think we’ve all had a remarkably warm winter this year. Yesterday, we hit about 60°F, which is unheard of in February. We have returned to cold temperatures today, but we have no snow on the ground.

We’ve had to buy a new printer, Yvonne got me a new monitor with the idea of putting two monitors up on our CPU, and for our London trip, we’ve bought a tablet. We shall see how useful it is during the trip; I think it will be great for travelling. We shall see on that.

I think that’s it for now. Stay well, Ed, and see you with future issues.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 4th, 2016
03:02 pm

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Loc on Broken Toys 46 (Taral Wayne, ed.)
Dear Taral:

I’ve got Broken Toys 46 here, and thanks to buckling down and responding to a whole lot of zines, I can now respond in a fairly timely fashion. A lot of comments are likely to follow this paragraph.

Getting a pile of locs is a good thing, but if they keep piling up, you might need an issue 51, just to print all the locs over the past issues. There has to be a conversational cutoff somewhere.

Health? I have a sore foot from too much walking on a particular day a couple of weeks ago, pain slowly ebbing, and otherwise, I am fine, apart from the usual cereal-like noises my body makes when I rise. Fingers crossed that it stays that way. I wouldn’t recommend giving pints of blood as a way to lose weight or act as a diuretic. I also take prescriptions for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and I have my own blood pressure and blood sugar mechanisms, check BP and blood sugars every day now.

I don’t check out the online File 770 as often as I should, and what I have seen lately has been about assorted Puppies or who’s died recently, but as a journalism student from a ways back, Mike has been reporting it all, good or bad, and that’s what such a newsletter, e- or otherwise, should be doing. I think up next for my loccing is the issues of File 770 issued at the end of last year. I cannot see anyone else taking on the onerous task of letting the remains of fandom know about its own news, so long life to Mike, and may he do this job for as long as he wishes to.

The locol…I still get a ton of zines, and respond to as many as I get. However, I am not pursuing new zines as much as I used to. I’ve got enough to do, plus other interests to devote time to.

If the UK buys all major coin finds and pays market value for them, is archaeology a profitable field these days? If shows like Time Team find them, I guess the coins found could help pay production costs. I do collect coins to some extent, but it may be for my own amusement, and not for any hopes for an increase in value. We’ve been buying Victorian pennies lately.

Derek Carter kept his SFnal connections quiet in his professional life, and I gather Barry Kent Mackay did much the same. In a radio interview, many years ago, on CKEY, I think, someone called in to ask about his involvement in fandom, and that call was quickly shut down.

An app on my phone that writes my locs for me? No, but recently, we bought a tablet with MS Word that has resident on it voice recognition software. A few days ago, to see if I could do it, I dictated a loc, made a few corrections to it by hand, and sent it out. Gollygee, Sarge, what’ll they think of next? We truly live in an SFnal era.

Fonts are indeed a lot of fun, and can add moods to whatever document you’re producing. I use Times New Roman, Verdana, Calibri, Arial, or other general text font, but I have a wide range of other fonts I can use, and I am always looking for more. I will not mention that font in Swill.

I checked my collection, and I do have a copy of Bova’s Mars. The Bovas have a daughter, and she was living in Toronto; I am not sure if she still lives here or not, but that’s the reason Ben and Barbara (RIP) would come up to Ad Astra most years. The novel has not dated well, with reality foiliung the basic plotline, but I remember it as a good read, and for me, that’s good enough.

Time to go. Thank you for this issue, and looking forward to the next.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 3rd, 2016
03:53 pm

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Loc on Ansible 342 & 343 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear David:

I am going with my usual habit of loccing every two issues of Ansible in 2016…it may be the only way I can catch up. Time to go with issue 342…

I gave up on Piers Anthony’s Xanth series a long time ago…40 separate titles? I can see my decision was the right one. Authors Beagle and Rohan aren’t having the best of times. Seems to be a lot of that going on in this deadly year 2016.

On the conlist…the August bank holiday weekend is The Asylum, the big steampunk event, and…Yvonne and I will be there. We were able to purchase our day memberships quite early, and later today, I will be looking for a special e-mail with a password that will allow me to purchase our evening event tickets tomorrow evening. John Naylor’s annual big event is getting bigger and bigger all the time.

The ever-expanding, always saddening, taking up a huge part of the issue RIP file. You know you’re getting on in years when not only do you recognize most of the names, but a few of them, you’ve met, and a couple were friends.

TAFF…I should vote this year. Wolf von Witting promoted the fund so much, I think he deserves a win for this year. I suppose I could do the same for the FAAn Awards…but I don’t have the enthusiasm I used to have.

343…Ted Beale and his friends don’t play nice, do they? And yet, they can’t figure out why so many dislike them and disagree with them. A smack upside the head probably wouldn’t do much for them, either. I hope there will be more to come from the Rob Latham case with UCRiverside, for no one seems to know why this happened. And, I do not understand why Peter Capaldi would be leaving Doctor Who any time soon…this is the guy who wanted to be Doctor Who when he was a kid, and ultimately made his dream come true. Why would he want to leave?

The RIP file…see my comments above. I know so many people who truly grieved when Alan Rickman passed away, including Yvonne. She is a big Severus Snape fan. But, who couldn’t shed a tear at the passing of Bowie. Such talent and imagination.

Done for the time being, I guess. The more SF and its fandom advance, the more I feel left behind. At least I can still participate by making a few comments here and there. Many thanks for these two issues, and Ansible has always been truly informing.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 2nd, 2016
10:04 pm

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Loc on Griff 8 (Ian Millsted, ed.)
Dear Ian:
Many thanks for issue 8 of Griff. We’re gotten ourselves an Android tablet, and of course, we’ve got to learn how to use it. So, here’s a loc composed on the tablet. I love the cover; I very much enjoy Wallace and Gromit.

We do go to a number of conventions through the year; especially now. As vendors, it seems that conventions have become the best way to meet with fellow fans. I have also had my own employment problems. I was laid off from my job without cause this past October, and I am still looking for work. I’ve seen lots of jobs to apply to, but no luck so far. I wish I had been able to go to Loncon, but we were not able to save enough money. We have continued to save as much as we can, and we will be going to London this coming August to do the usual touristy things, and also to do all the Sherlock Holmes things, Harry Potter things, and steampunk things in London and up in Lincoln. And, because of the cost of going to England, we will not be going to the Finnish Worldcon. I am glad it’s there, but I simply cannot afford to go to Worldcon anymore. Ian Triffit is correct in that conventions are where you meet your friends, but today, it’s all social media, and that’s where you find out about the conventions, too.

Ian, pages 15 through 18 are missing in this copy, so I will have to go straight through to the end. I do like conventions, for that is where your interests are often catered to. I don’t really cosplay, but I know people who do. Yvonne and I have been involved in costuming for the past 35 years, and we have returned to costuming through steampunk. I also hope that we continue with the large umbrella-style convention.

To be honest, I did not compose this as much as I dictated it. This is what Word on this Android tablet can do. Saves a lot of typing, and it is difficult to type on this tablet without a peripheral keyboard. Letters of comments continue to evolve, I guess. I think I am done, and what I must do is email it to myself and then polish and correct it, and then I can email it to myself, and then to you. Still lots to learn. Many thanks for this paper copy and as always, I look forward to seeing the next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:36 pm

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Loc on X-Rayer 114 (Ray Palm, ed.)
Dear Ray:

Fast loc! Got X-Rayer 114! Not much time to do this in! Can I do it? Doesn’t look good, but no one’s got a stopwatch…

I love the old ads, no matter where they appear. Could that vacuum cap go over Trump’s mouth? Just askin’…

An interesting picture in the church, and I do believe pareidolia is at work here, but people will see what they want to see. Might have been a bird trapped in the church. Faith is a wonderful thing, but too much faith will make you believe in what others couldn’t possibly believe, or in things that aren’t faith-based. If we see something we can’t explain, we will credit God or blame Satan, depending on whether we like it or hate it on first impression.

A Vlad the Impaler plushie doll…next up, action figures from great dictators of history. Perhaps posable Hitlers and Stalins? I’d better not say that too loud, the idea might already be trademarked. Is nothing sacred any more? Nope, and hasn’t been for many years. I blame the depths of pop culture.

It’s quick and down and dirty, and done! Off it goes into the æther, to arrive in your IN box with a thud. Take care, keep ‘em comin’.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 29th, 2016
01:05 pm

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Loc on Vibrator 2.0.22 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

Thanks kindly for Vibrator 2.0.22, and it`s Friday, so there`s time to have a casual look, and make some pithy comments. Who am I kidding?

Saturday Nite with the Cougars? Are the Cougars anyone we know? If Chris Garcia were here, he’d be commenting about Milfy goodness, whatever that might mean…

Happy birthday! Whenever…I know how old I am, I have trouble believing it, and if told I should act my age…well, that answer shan’t appear in a family fanzine. I do like the graphic that says that if I haven’t grown up by the time I reach 50, I don’t have to. So, I’m not going to. So there! Nyeahhh! (oops, way past deadline)

Countries like Britain, France, Germany and others stand out as beacons of freedom to so many, and terrorist groups see them as targets instead. I am still of the opinion that if we understood the terrorists’ thoughts, we could then act to shut them down.

My loc…the Canadian government has taken on a lot of responsibility at the Paris summit, and right now, it looks like we’ll have to radically cut down our emissions over the next few years. I doubt we will meet our targets, but expect that we will still do better than most. Is my past employer in trouble with the assorted levels of government? Nope, they can hire and fire at will. Not good, and not sure when it changed. The jobhunt continues anon…

Philip Turner should know that the CFL Edmonton Eskimos are under some level of pressure to change the team name. Not the same pressure the NFL Washington Redskins are, but still, it’s there. Might happen over the next couple of years. I think Edmonton won the Grey Cup this year, and there might be an expansion team in the new season.

Record speeds…most record players have the 33, 45 and 78 rpm settings, but I know that some school record players, and some turntables at radio stations, have a 16 rpm setting. I remember a vinyl disk about a foot across, and it was played in a class, and contained an approximate one-hour lecture. Yvonne still has all her vinyl, and she was a big Beatles fan.

Actually, Robert Lichtman, I think we have about the same e-zine storage. Just checked my folder of locced e-zines…3,699 files and folders, about 6.72 Gb in size. The folder they are in is titled Zines to Print, but I am never going to actually print them out, not unless I want to try and fill another bedroom with printouts.

Almost the page, so not bad at all. Off it goes in the æther. Many thanks, and see you with the next one! Which might be in my IN box right now…

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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11:10 am

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Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 75, No. 1 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

It is indeed a new year, so thank you for Vol. 75, No. 1 of The National Fantasy Fan, and congratulations to the N3F for 75 years of fanning, and keeping those with the common interest together. Plus, condolences on the passing of Jack Robins, whose article appeared in a most recent issue. 2016 has been a deadly year for so many. Stay healthy, you lot!

Thank you for the list of Kaymar winners. Another part of fandom’s history, and I am pleased to see that I know a fair number of the winners. I would be very interested in a copy of Fandbook #7…I have copies of the first two Fandbooks, both from the early 60s, and a copy of Ralph Holland’s Ghu’s Lexicon.

Something from 4SJ’s collection? A collectible indeed. And, the locol looks quite full, good to see. As any important decision will do, fandom will split down particular lines, and this has happened with the decision to change the World Fantasy Award from the bust of Lovecraft to a design to be decided. Some are for it, some are against it, and a few are furious enough to accuse others of stupidity or fascism. I think some people are just too eager to be offended.

Good bio of Harry Warner Jr. I just happen to have an old letter on my desk from January of 1991, a letter of comment to the final issue of Torus, an old fanzine I worked on with Keith Soltys too long ago. Harry, as a working journalist, was my example of what to do in fanzines, and so, I have been in the letter column for nearly 35 years. I am pleased to say I have won the Warner Award (FAAn) for Best Letterhack five times.

Reading the Robins article is that much more important, seeing he passed away about a month ago. I think that just leaves Dave Kyle? I believe Dave may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, so our prayers go out to him.

All done! Please do keep them coming, and I hope someone will step into the rather large Tightbeam editor’s shoes. See you then.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 28th, 2016
10:54 am

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Loc on OSFS Statement 442 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Thank you for the newest issue of the Statement, no. 442. Always something to comment on inside, so let’s go digging.

I hope the convention list I send out is of benefit to the membership. I am under no illusion that it is complete…for me, it’s a list of all conventions between Windsor and Québec City, plus the addition of Detroit, Buffalo and Rochester, and anything up Highway 400.

We did get to the Yule Ball, staged by the Ministry of Magic Harry Potter group at York University, and we had a marvelous time. Best of all, we made a number of new friends (always good at our age), a very good dinner, and a couple of butterbeers on the side. We have now found another Harry Potter event in Toronto, staged by a special events group at a local college, and its location will be at Hart House at the University of Toronto this coming April. If you are looking for it on Facebook, look for Platform 9¾ .

In many ways, it is still amazing that we are finding now thousands of exoplanets. We truly live is a science fictional age. Now, we just need to go there, but that will have to wait for future generations.

Our upcoming convention attendance is also our upcoming dealers’ room tables list. Some news…on April 2, Penney’s Steampunk General Store will have a table at the Kitchener Comic Con, which happens to be at the Kitchener City Hall. And then, there’s Ad Astra 2016 at the end of April, where we have two tables. If Ad Astra still numbered itself, then this would be Ad Astra 35.

And that is it, I think. Many thanks for this, and please do keep them coming. See you next month.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 27th, 2016
03:55 pm

[Link]

Loc on BCSFAzine 510 (Felicity Walker, ed.)
Dear BCSFAns:

I’ve got issue 510 of BCSFAzine here, and I’ve sat on it long enough. Time for a few remarks on what’s inside. Many thanks for all your good work on this publication, Felicity!

American clown politics…even the American clown voters are getting tired of the rapidly declining number of Republican clowns who pile out of the clown car every so often. One of those occasions is the newest debate, and the head clown, Trump, has decided he doesn’t want to play because he is afraid of the moderator from Fox News. Canada has become an island of sanity in all of this political hackery.

I found out that employers in Ontario are under no compunction to reveal the reasons for any employee dismissals, and I had thought it was the other way around. I wonder when that changed?

Taral comes back to what I wrote on TAFF…the candidate who lost last time, Wolf von Witting, is running again, so I hope he will win. This is the second year in a row the candidate comes from Europe to go to a North American convention.

The revival of FRED! An excellent idea. Too many people miss the point of these pubnights…too many complain about the food, while the real reason is to get together regularly and strengthen community.

Aha, a VCon report! With a Montreal room party? Sounds like it was good fun, with some important panel topics. Who was there from Montreal? No complaints about the con? Bonus! Go for it, Graeme for VCon 41.

As we are occasional vendors, we are always on the lookout for new opportunities. We have two tables at Ad Astra the end of April, but now, at the beginning of April, we will have a table at the Kitchener Comic Con, just down the 401 from Toronto. It’s a risk, but an opportunity we will try out, and who knows, we might just get some good sales. Approximately 3,500 attended last year, so let’s hope there are some steampunk with some disposable cash…I hope they dispose of it our way.

All done for the moment, and a busy time coming up. The job hunt continues apace, as does the attack on a shrinking pile of zines. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 26th, 2016
07:23 pm

[Link]

Loc on Sporadic 34 (Bill Plott, ed.)
Dear Bill:

Thank you for Sporadic 34, and lucky you, you got to a DeepSouthCon. I’ve been reading about them for many years through the various southern fanzines, but I’ve never gotten to one of them. Southern fandom has always enjoyed a tight community, something other fandoms can only wish they had.

Bill, you’re a journalist? Journalism is my training; I have a BAA in it. However, I’ve never worked in it. The closest I came to it was doing some late night data entry for a newspaper. I have used my journalism degree to at least work in related fields over my career. Just lately, one national media company has announced 200 jobs cut in publications and other media, and one nearly newspaper, the Guelph Mercury, has announced that on this coming Friday, it will cease publication. It’s been going since 1867.

Wearing anything inappropriate at a con? T-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, costumes…just remember to put on some clothes, and you should be good.

Yvonne and I attended the New Orleans Worldcon in 1988…the food was amazing. We ate at Mother’s on Tchoupitoulas Street a number of times, and I know that some NolaCon attendees set some eating records in the French Quarter while we were there.

Yvonne and I have been costumers in the past, and have returned to those roots over the past few years. Much of our experiences with Worldcon masquerades were positive at first, but were much more negative afterwards…the politics were terrible, people screamed at one another, and in our last year of Worldcon masquerading, we tried to help with the masquerade, but just got shouted down. We happily gafiated from masquerades, and got more into conrunning, where we spent the next 30 years or so. With our interest in steampunk, our interest in costuming has returned, but with the caveat that we will not compete any more, but just enjoy the costumes we make.

The locol…I hope a museum was able to take Ned Brooks’ typewriter and mimeograph collections. There’s too many who might look at them and think piles of scrap metal.

I appreciate the fact that Fandom is Just a Pleasant Diversion. Fandom is dying, but really dying off. I still go to as many cons as I can afford, but now that Yvonne and I have become dealers, we need to find conventions to sell at. We really see now that most modern conventions have anime, comics, gaming and Doctor Who at their hearts, and literary SF is unheard of. Let’s all be fans for as long as we can, or as long as we can afford it.

Dinner is done, and the evening progresses as it will. Right now, I just want to put my feet up, and relax. I’ve had a busy day at home, cleaning here and there, taking out the garbage and recyclables, and jobhunting. Writing letters of comment are relaxing, and allows me to catch up on the fanzines I receive through eFanzines.com or my own IN box. Take care, see you again soon.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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08:41 am

[Link]

Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 36 No. 1 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

Thank you all for the January Shuttle. I'll try my best to write something to put in the letter column. It's Monday, so no promises. As I write this, I will be watching the first and second episodes of The Magicians.

Aw, no adventures of the PieEyed Dragon? PieEyed, you are missed, and I hope you will be back soon.

TAFF...Wolf von Witting ran a good race last year, so I hope he will win the 2016 TAFF race. He was a spokesman for TAFF, and was just as happy to see the fund go forward as win it. His good work has kept the fund going, and I hope he is rewarded.

I did see Star Trek: Axanar some time ago, and thought it quite good. It's a shame Paramount had decided to shut it down; I guess it simply made too much money for a non-profit, copyrighted effort. Some online said this was the kind of movie Trek fans really wanted, but Paramount doesn't see it that way.

So many awards for so many books and movies...I hate to say it, but probably the only books and movies I have seen that are listed here are the newest Star Wars movies, and the Childhood's End miniseries. Quite enjoyed them, but I am truly not an informed voter for any of these awards.

The job hunt continues ever onwards. I have a telephone interview tomorrow morning, and I am hoping for the best. Take care all, and see you with the February issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 23rd, 2016
09:48 pm

[Link]

Loc on Art of Garthness 8 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

Got another Art of Garthness from you, issue 8 this time. And, it’s time to make some comments, and clear up the regular pile of e-zines on my desktop.

I have a stuffed toy at home, a pink pig with wings. Yvonne’s brought it to work some years ago, because one supervisor used that phrase far too many times. Shut him up, shut him down…

Few of us learn to control our tempers, and I’m not so hot in that department, either. If we were so predictable, we probably wouldn’t be very interesting to each other. We all need an owner’s manual so that others will know how to deal with us.

How we celebrate Christmas varies from person to person, family to family. We have let much of Christ out of Christmas, but the way we do it today, presents on the 25th of December contains ideas Christ would endorse…happiness, joy, and families together. I know not everyone can celebrate it that way, and for many, it is a bad time of year because of being alone or not having any money, or manufacturers making enormous loads of money. Myself, I am tired of the commercialism, the demand for us to spend and run up huge credit card debts, and the carols in the mall that seem to start as soon as Hallowe’en is done.

I don’t do bucket lists, for I know I’d be disappointed in myself for not being able to do all I want to do, mostly because of a lack of money. We have been saving for the past five years, and have decided to go to England to be a tourist, and be a fan of both Harry Potter and steampunk. We will be going for the last half of August. That’s about as buckety as I get.

America needs more choice in the parties they can vote for. Republican? About as vile as you can get. Democrat? A better choice, but every party has a stiff, unyielding structure, and there must be other platforms available. All that’s needed is more parties. There are other parties, like the Libertarians, who have little exposure. Something new with lots of cash behind it is what’s needed. Civilized countries? What are those? We live with a veneer of civilization that gets thinner and more translucent every year. Civilization is on back order.

Has anyone heard from Paul Carreau re CUFF? I might have heard something about him not being able to travel, and he has repaid the fund. Staging FRED again is a good thing. Our own Pubnites are still going, although attendance is still low.

Hello to Allan Burrows! After Orthodox Christmas, there should be Orthodox Boxing Day. Like we need more sales…

My letter…still no job, and I haven’t even had an interview. Not a good sign, but the folks at Humber Community Employment Services remain optimistic, so I am too.

I have read online that an American court may be soon deciding whether cosplayers and costumers may be violating copyright if they copy a costume from their favorite show and wear them at conventions, as many do these days. I can see the current version of fandom taking a big hit here, should that decision be made for the entertainment conglomerates.

It’s a Saturday night, and here I am at home, writing to fanzines. Some might call that sad…I call it doing something constructive, in a warm home, late at night. Works for me!, and there you are. Off I go to see who else I can respond to. Take care, see you next one.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 22nd, 2016
01:37 pm

[Link]

Loc on OBIR 4 (R. Graeme Cameron, ed.)
Dear Graeme:

It’s Friday, the weekend beckons, and I still have a huge pile of fanzines to respond to, and you are next! Here are comments on OBIR Magazine 4. Quite the table of contents…

Aha, Baldrick! That was your cunning plan! I doubt you will get reviews from me, I’m afraid. Too much to do for others at this point. One of my new year’s resolutions was to get reading SF again. I’d actually put it off until I simply wasn’t reading anything at all. Right now, I am reading something from my To Be Read shelf, Star Prince Charlie by Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson. I read what I have, and can’t really afford much else.

I have most of Campbell and Prepolec’s Sherlock anthologies, so I must see if I can look up their Challenger anthology. I have Doyle’s collected Challenger writings, so maybe I should reread the Doyle stories and see how his successors have done.

In one of the fanzines I get, there was discussion about changing the World Fantasy Award from a cartoonish bust of Lovecraft to something else to be decided. The editor was pro-change, and someone in the locol was anti-change, and therefore he called the editor a fascist. I have no idea if the letter writer was trying to stir some discussion, or just tried to win arguments with name-calling, but it does show the division of opinions in this. It may get nastier than this.

Anyway, a second go-through reveals no more comment hooks for me, so I will prepare this for e-mail transport. Hugs to Alyx, and see you the next time you decide to issue another fanzine.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:16 pm

[Link]

Loc on Journey Planet 27 (Garcia, Bacon, Buff, Montgomery, eds.)
Dear James, Chris, Warren and Helen:

I am back in letter writing mode, responding to yet another Journey Planet. Issue 27 looks quite interesting, and I look forward to peering inside to see what catches a comment from me.

One of the things I do like most about fandom is its history, and fans’ willingness to recollect and timebind. I think in our hearts, we have enough ego to hope that we do something that others will remember us for, once we’re gone. Today, we know many of those names…4SJ, Morojo, Harry Warner, Walt Willis, and so many more. These are people we know of, and we might have had a passing meeting, through one encounter, or papermail. Folks you list there, like Bruce Pelz and Peggy Rae, we did know them, and enjoyed their friendship. (Just lately, it’s been the untimely death of David Hartwell. So many people knew him…I really did not, and I feel the loss.)

I think connected to all of this is that this year is only three weeks old, and already…David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Natalie Cole, Lemmy Kilminster, Brian Bedford, Richard Libertini, Glenn Frey, so many deaths. 2016 is a dangerous year for the famous.

I’ve met Dave Kyle a few times, and he is always interesting to talk to, and is a walking symbol, for me, of all that is positive in fandom. He is smiling, he represents the best of our history through his red First Fandom blazer, and I wish him long life and good health.

I believe we met Chris Cooper some years ago in Boston. We had recently signed on with the Holland in 1990 Worldcon bid committee as Canadian agents, and we were having a bidcom dinner. Of course, given Chris’ height, and Yvonne’s relative lack of it, they had to put those two together. Let’s just say Chris had a 28-inch advantage over Yvonne, and the sight of the two having a chat (probably plotting the demise of the senior committee) raised more than a few smiles.

True, the loss of Stu Shiffman is great. We lose so many friends as time goes on, but we often make a serious mistake when it comes to their surviving partners. I refer to Andi Shechter here; I am told local fandom remembers Stu, but forgets Andi. When Mike Glicksohn passed away, we remembered Mike fondly, but Susan Manchester has been totally forgotten by local fandom. We try to stay in touch with Susan, but she has her own community of teachers, and local painters as well.

Chris highlights the greatest problem fanhistorians must deal with, and that is subjective descriptions of what happened. He said this, she said that, and both are telling the truth from their own viewpoints. What really happened? We may never know. We may be entertained by the various stories, but we will never be truly informed with the truth. Time adds ‘details’, too.

I am very pleased to see reminiscences about Joe Mayhew. I know many fans didn’t like him, but I think at least some of that dislike came from the fact that Joe had his opinions, and he was openly gay. Yvonne and I always had a good time with him, and because he spent some of his childhood in Toronto, we’d bring him up to date on what was happening there. One time, last time we were in Boston, he made a fairly typical remark about what Canadians were like. Here it comes, we thought… “Why is it all Canadians wear white socks?” “Joe, why do so many Americans think of others in such stereotypical terms? Canadians, like most others, wear all colours of socks.” I took the time to roll up my pant leg… “The fact that I just happen to be wearing white socks has nothing to do with it!” And, I was. We all laughed our fool heads off, and such good times are the basis of such memories that last a lifetime. At one of our last Worldcons, we attended a party, and Joe’s cremation urn had a place of honour on the mantel in the suite’s living room. His badge hung from the urn, festooned with ribbons galore. The most sought-after ribbon that weekend was a black one with Joe’s profile printed in silver.

I see artwork from Delphyne Woods. I think I have already regaled you with my Delphyne story, but… I always knew of Joan Hanke Woods, but really had no contact with her, except perhaps through fanzines. At the Reno Worldcon, we ran into each other, found she was now Delphyne, and she greeted me like a long, lost friend. We traded business cards, had some lunch together, talked about what we’d been doing in the intervening years, and we agreed to keep in touch, and I’d need some art from her. And then…she was gone, in more ways than one. I never heard from her or saw her again, and I heard of her passing. I am still not quite sure what happened, unless she knew she was ill at the Worldcon.

An excellent issue, everyone. We obviously care enough about this silly loosely-organized group of nerds we call fandom to remember those who have fanned before us, and reminisce about them. May we all make such an impact on the people around us, and may they remember us for our deeds and good times provided. Yes, I have that ego, too. Take care, all of you have a great weekend, and see you with the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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