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

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May 15th, 2017
12:27 pm


Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 116 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)
Dear Tom:

Thank you for The Reluctant Famulus 116, hope I am not too late to get this into the locol. Time to have a good look, and see what I can concoct.

My first convention…not really worth an article, but I do remember it well. It was called Erincon 3, and it was held at Erindale College in Mississauga, just west of where I am, and the college is now called the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Many years ago, Spider Robinson wrote about a little convention he called Nonexistacon…that was Erincon 3. I could see why he’d call it that…very few attended it, for the chairman thought he’d save money by not printing many flyers. That way, he ensured poor attendance. I felt very new then, but Yvonne was new to the fannish scene back then, she told me about the convention, and we both headed out. I was accepted by local fandom then…only the local fanzine fans of the time seemed hostile to me being there. I didn’t let them stop me, and I still don’t.

I should check out Ben Minnotte’s YouTube channel on old kids’ shows. We all remember odd TV shows from our youth. I remember the Uncle Bobby show on Channel 9, but also Rocketship 7 on Buffalo’s Channel 7, hosted by Dave Thomas, father to Hollywood actor David Boreanaz. Anywhere else seemed to show only old Warner Brother cartoons. Programming has always been expensive, I guess.

H.P. Lovecraft appeared as a character in the CBC’s hit detective series Murdoch Mysteries. Even in that episode, HPL seemed to be obsessed with the idea of suicide, and the portrayal of HPL was interesting, and fairly authentic.

The locol…I seen plenty of people staring intently at their smartphones, bumping into other people, or parked cars, or falling off the curb. I just smile, and think that the phones may be smart, but their owners are not. The impeachment of DT45 is much to be wished, seeing it looks like they colluded with the Russian government to get themselves into power. But should Trump be impeached, you will get Pence and Ryan…I think there is very much the case for a fresh election. The Republicans already seem ready, but the Democrats do not. You’ve got to have replacements ready is that fresh election is coming.

I think I am done for the moment, and wish I could provide more. I have taken on a telemarketing role to give me a decent paycheque, and it’s pretty bad, but it is a paycheque, and I will take it until I can find something better. The registration and voice work help, too, and I am starting to feel useful again. Thanks for this issue, and see you with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 12th, 2017
03:49 pm


Loc on The Zine Dump 40 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Thanks for Zine Dump 40! I am getting to this rather early for a change, mostly because I was getting rather low on zines. How rare is it for me to say that. But, I have, and I have made some notes, and I might as well get them down on electrons. Here goes…

Yay for John Purcell, this year’s TAFF winner. He’ll be off to Helsinki and other places unknown soon. John and Valerie must be going a little crazy right now, and for all the best reasons. Now to see what he does in Yurp; we have a great representative. I will try to see if I can generate anything for WOFF, but most years, I fail, or simply don’t remember.

There are so few names on the Hugo ballot that I recognize, a symptom of my age. Whoever wins, may the Puppies’ influence be small, and their messes be minimal. Go Garcia and Glyer Go!

Yvonne and I produced a paper trip report for CUFF some years back, and with leads from friends, I got all $$$ available for it from FANAC and other sources offer such bounty for such reports. I think I picked up over a thousand bucks, and at the time, if I remember, was about Can$1300, much needed in the fan fund’s treasury. Nowhere did those who offered the bounty say which funds the reports came from. Not at the time, anyway. After I claimed and collected, they all specified that the funds had to come from TAFF, DUFF or GUFF, which shut our little fund out. CUFF no longer qualifies.

Chris Garcia has told me that he does plan to do another issue of Exhibition Hall, his quality steampunk zine. He used to have a lot of company, but when EH does arrive, it will be the only steampunk zine out there. All others have ended their runs, to the best of my knowledge.

Smirking over a cool PM, and an ugly POTUS? That would be very unCanadian of me. *smirk* France now has a cool leader, too. If we could help get rid of DT45, we would. Lots of people are behind the Department of Justice and FBI, who are now saying they are investigating Trump himself. Go for it!, rid all of us of him. Sorry, Rosy, PEI is currently occupied.

I think every time the word Vanamonde is typed up, John sends me some copies. So…Vanamonde! Vanamonde! Vanamonde! Vanamonde! VANAMONDE! VANAMONDE! There, that ought to get me some more mailings for a while…

Many thanks for all this zine, and as I wrap it up, I have to get ready for an evening with Yvonne. Doing the groceries, getting a few things at the store, but still, it is an evening with Yvonne, and I am happy. Take care, and have yourself a wonderful weekend.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 10th, 2017
11:36 am


Loc on zine+origami 1-4 (Rene Walling, ed.)
Dear René:

Thank you for all four current issues of zine+origami, and as I do with all the fanzines I receive, I will write up a letter of comment. I get the feeling this will be a full page..

Issue 1…I remember in some of the first science fiction books I read, there were mentions of conventions, clubs, Worldcons, LASFS and NESFA, and Hugo Awards. They were big and silvery and shiny, and they were what we all wanted. I was still relatively new to the community, and I aspired to win one. The closest I came was in 2010, where I was on the Hugo final ballot from the latest Australian Worldcon. When it was announced, it was interesting that so many others in the fanzine community looked down on me because of that…maybe some of them thought I bought and block-voted my way onto the ballot, I guess. I have lost some faith in the awards, but it’s more likely that I have lost faith in the fans who abuse them.

2…Now to see how many readers remember Abbott & Costello’s classic routine. Probably a fair number, given the average age of the average fanzine fan. I am somewhat heartened by the number of fans who do remember fanzines, and at least try to create their own. Perhaps it’s a retro thing for some. I try to meet and work and share interests with newer fans, and more and more, we have fewer things in common. I see the day where I might go to a convention, and know no one there, and recognize none of the activities being offered. I think that will be my cue to go and gafiate.

3. I admit to trying to gain the good graces of a BNF in my past. At the end of this year, I will hit 40 years in fandom. I have found those BNFs are just people with all the usual insecurities and faults, but perhaps with a little more ego and charisma than most. Most of them are good people, and all they want is to be treated decently, and not necessarily as importantly as many will do. Conrunning, in many ways, is a psychological exercise in trying to figure out what people want in a convention, and what will give them the good time they’ve paid for. People don’t often know what they want, from special activities and interests to the basic social opportunities many crave. Sometimes, it’s a crap shoot, and the best intentions and research can still provide a poor time.

Those who produce a con or zine care enough to want to make a difference, participate, and produce something people will like and appreciate. That’s what got me on the committee of our local cons, and kept me there for 30 years. One-shot cons are fun too, but only if you can convince others, including yourself, that the focus of your con will be popular, and you can do something different. One one-day con Yvonne produced was SF Saturday, which was held in Brampton, NW of Toronto. Much of the programming was based on what others said simply couldn’t be done. We had an audio listening room, programming on that new phenomenon called the Internet, and something on pulp magazines from the 1920s to 1950s, plus a high tea. People appreciated the new ideas and old ideas alike, and the panel on pulps started up an annual pulp event that still takes place to this day. However, because it was in Brampton, many people said they wouldn’t be coming because it was too far away, and in terms of attendance, the one-day was a failure.

4…I have read some Lord Dunsany over the years, and I have a couple of his books on my shelf. Some of his work has been very, very dark…this vignette is also dark, but also a point of light, for the old boatman who can finally, after all these years, rest. I am sure I read this many years ago; it is a pleasure to read it again.

Just about every zine, I open it by turning the page to read it. Not with these…fortunately, by following the folds, I was able to refold every issue. Many thanks for these, and I hope there will be more to see and read, and refold.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 9th, 2017
02:29 pm


Loc on Alexiad 92 (Joseph Major, ed.)
Dear Joseph:

Thank you for Alexiad, whole number 92. We had our big annual convention here, Ad Astra, and we had ourselves a very good time, as did everyone else there, fans and pros alike. There must be comments I can get ready for other topics, let’s see how I do.

I haven’t lost nearly as much weight as you have, but with a low-carb diet, I have lost just over 20 pounds, and I have been able to keep it off. 2018 sees Corflu return to Toronto…as of right now, registration is C$100. I am undecided as to whether I would want to go to a Corflu in my home town, and the price is quite steep with my level of income.

That’s a shame about the club in Nashville. 45 years is a long time for any club, and many clubs are just hanging on. Even up here, I remember Khen Moore well, what a character.

Blowing up the Death Star, and then rebuilding it…I remember an article that attempted to figure out how much a second Death Star would cost, and the figure was in the quintillions of US dollars. Yup, there goes the credit limit…

My loc…I am telemarketing in the evenings (yuck), doing some registration work for a company that supplies us to trade shows and conferences, and the odd bit of voicework…well, I think I might have enough to pay for my share of the bills. Time will tell. Our annual big litcon here, Ad Astra, was just last weekend, and we had a great time. In spite of the good reviews, some say they can see the end of it coming. I can see where they may be right, but I sure hope they are wrong. No result on that interview, by the way.

I have to start thinking about going downtown for the telemarketing job, so time to wind up and e-mail. Thanks for this issue, and better luck for both of us over the next month.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 5th, 2017
03:57 pm


Loc on BCSFAzine 521 (Felicity Walker, ed.)
Dear BCSFen:

Well yesterday was May the Fourth (Be With You), and today is The Revenge of the Fifth. With all this in mind, I have BCSFAzine 521 with me, and now, a loc with you, Felicity. Thanks for all the work in getting this zine on the go.

I’d like to see Dave Haren’s next letter, now that Obamacare is being repealed, and the insulting Trumpcare is being installed. I expect people will soon die now that the treatment they will need will be denied to them because of pre-existing conditions. The US is the only leading country not to have universal healthcare for its citizens, and they can afford it the best, too. Healthcare is now a luxury for some, and just the other day, Trump said that the Australian universal healthcare was great. Who really is in charge there?

We had our vendor’s table at CostumeCon 35 in Mississauga…sales were poor because the dealers’ room was tucked away downstairs with few signs pointing that we all were there. Ad Astra is on as I type this, and we are going for tomorrow/Saturday only. Even if we don’t have a table there, we already have some sales lined up.

John Purcell’s loc…Canada won’t build a wall along the Canada/US border. I suspect Trump will on a whim. It will not only keep Canadians out, but also keep Americans from getting away. America, your basic liberties are being torn away from you by the idiot you elected, and the party behind his idiocies, and the nasty agenda they are pushing through to keep you all poorer.

Tomorrow is the deadline for Aurora nominations. To be honest, I have no idea what is in the Canadian SF field, and I have read or seen none of it. I am totally unqualified to be a nominator, and I think I will also be unqualified to be a voter. I can’t be the only one who feels that way.

All for now, and thank you for the real paper copies. See you with the next one!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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May 4th, 2017
02:19 pm


Loc on Interesting Times 6 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

It is a bit of a lazy day for me, even with this job hunt, so I have been working hard of getting letters written, and Interesting Times 6 is next. So, May the Fourth be with you, nearly compulsory these days, and here come some comments.

It is always good to see new places to get your SF&F published, but they come and go randomly. Sometimes, the only way I hear about one of these sites is when they shut down. If there a website that keeps track of all of them?, or is that a function of the professional SF writers associations?

Last I read of Ross Chamberlain, he was living in Henderson, Nevada, close to Las Vegas. I am not sure, but I think Ross recently lost his wife, so no doubt, life has changed, and it may take him a while to get back to regular fanac.

One recent convention was run by someone who had run conventions, but not a specialty one like this one was…there was some screw-ups, and it looks like he may retire from the field because he had a few failures. Yes, he screwed up, but I still encourage him to run conventions because I think they are an important social construct to keep people together, and encourage social behaviour. I believe in doing to have a good time, and the good times need to be worked on in order for them to work.

More on Yvonne’s science programming for Ad Astra…the programme track was indeed popular, and when she decided to retire from doing it, she asked the programming people with the con to carry it on, and they failed utterly. Even with all contacts provided, they just didn’t care to even try. Give the Mad Science Fair a try, and offer speaker gifts. If anyone knows how it should be done, ask Jaymie Mathews.

Job hunting…I am doing some voicework, some telemarketing and some conference registration work to try to bring in some money to the household. If you are interested in doing some conference and trade show registration work, contact vancouver@bbwinternational.com. It might help.

Anyway, done for now. I have to think about heading out downtown soon to do some more telemarketing. See you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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01:52 pm


Loc on Tightbeam 277 (Robert Jennings, ed.)
Dear Bob:

Thanks for yet another Tightbeam, issue 277 this time. I will make some comments on the contents, right after this very paragraph.

My loc…work is sparse right now, but at least I have a little bit of work. I’ve been doing a little conference registration work, some voice work, and some evening telemarketing work. Some little cheques do build up, and I keep going with it, based on a great line I have right now on a Technical Editor position with Capital One. Fingers crossed on that one. In order to stay portable, and able to move on a whim, from one apartment to a smaller one, we may have to liquidate our book collection, and possibly, probably, give away my fanzine collection. Just doing that will free up one whole locker.

Any addition to the Holmes collection is welcome, even if not canon. I like where Holmes enthusiasts put our favorite detective, even if it not canon. But, throw canon away entirely? I think not. I do like the Laurie R. Kind Holmes pastiches, and I very much enjoyed the movie on Holmes’ retirement, starring Ian McKellen. Besides, I have to wonder if elder gods mix well with Holmes’ logic.

I never did get enthused by Archie Comics, so I am expecting that I am not going to like this new Archie on television, with a lot of changes to it. Mrs. Grundy is what we call any fussy old ladies we come across who try their best to critique what we do while still trying their best to be sweet as pie. This TV show is going to blow all of that out of the water. Oh, well, not my interest, anyway.

IMHO, too many King Kong remakes. The original worked best for a traditionalist like me. I never did see the remakes, and that’s fine. I tried to read Strange and Norrell, I really did. I kept losing track of the thread of the story. It is a huge book, though… Maybe I will try again sometime in the future.

This loc seems full of things I have to get rid of, and things I don’t like. I am not usually that negative. Perhaps the next issue will turn things around for the next loc. We’ll find out, and we will see you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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01:12 pm


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 76 No. 4 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

Many thanks for Vol. 76, No. 4 of The National Fantasy Fan, and thanks for sending out zines to me, and to the membership in general. For me, this increases the amount of communication for fandom as a whole. Let’s see what I can say besides May the Fourth Be With You!...

I applaud John Thiel’s efforts to get more people involved. He got in touch with me to take on some Fan-Pro responsibilities, and I had to turn him down. First of all, I have to find steady work that pays well before I can take on any more volunteer responsibilities…that’s my number one job right now.  I already have a role with as the Archivist with the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, and I need to get started with the responsibilities that entails. I know John was disappointed, but I also had to remind him that even though I receive the N3F publications, and contribute to them, I have never been a member.

Fan-Pro Bureau…I first met Robert J. Sawyer as a fellow student at our alma mater, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, now Ryerson University. We both had short stories published in the school’s literary journal, the White Wall Review, and Rob was the editor for one year, too.

LASFS’s new meeting place…I hope they find one soon. The great clubhouse on Tyrone Ave. in Van Huys is now gone, and the great search is on. I think they might be looking for something custom built for what they need. Good luck to them on all of this. I’ve been to the Tyrone clubhouse once, and Yvonne, twice.

This is a busy day at home, for once…lots of time outside getting other things done the last couple of days. It’s going to be extremely cold, windy and wet the next few days, so catching up on fanzines keeps me inside where it’s warm. Many thanks for this issue, now it’s time to whip up a loc on the latest Tightbeam.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:45 pm


Loc on OSFS Statement 457 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

I didn’t especially choose Star Wars Day to write this, but here it is. I have here issue 457 of the Statement, and I am sure there’s something inside to comment on.

A teleocrater is a predecessor to the dinosaur. I’ve had a couple of bosses like that, I’m sure you have, too. Their management styles are out of the Triassic period, too.

I must get a new list of coming events out to you…it looks like it takes up half the issue! I can add to your list that CostumeCon 35 recently took place in Mississauga, and that CostumeCon 38 will take place in March of 2020 in Montreal. More information to come soon. Our next event is Ad Astra this weekend, a hotel flea market in Toronto (we have a table), and not long after that is the big one here, Anime North, and again, we have a table there. In the summer, we plan to go to Romulus, MI for Motor City Steam Con, a big steampunk event. In August comes the Coldwater Steampunk Festival, where Yvonne will portray Queen Victoria.

I wish there were more events in Ottawa to go to. We haven’t been up with you in a long time. Are there any science fiction or steampunk events up there?

Time to go…I have found a little work, but it is evening telemarketing. Not any fun, but it is a paycheque I need until something better comes along. Take care, all, and see you sometime this summer, I hope.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 28th, 2017
12:22 pm


Loc on Vibrator 2.0.38 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

I might be a little late with this, but I have here for you a loc on Vibrator 2.0.38. As soon as I can make some sense of the cover (ah, on the website, I understand perhaps a little now), I will make it into the main part of the zine.

Please don’t worry about deadlines. It’s only the publisher that puts pressure on the editor for a schedule, and since you are both in this case, get off your back. Put out issues when you feel you can, or want to. We’ll be here, patiently waiting. I spend too much time on Facebook, too, and while that idiot in the White House irritates me too, but the reactions to his idiocy are quite entertaining.

It is always difficult to find a suitable place to live. Outside of a period of time in Brampton, northwest of Toronto, we’ve always lived in the Etobicoke section of Toronto, which is the western quarter of the metropolis. It is the quietest area, the greenest area, and it is still close to major highways and the subway. Before I married Yvonne, I lived on the west coast of Canada for a while, in the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, and we lived in a part of Victoria that was very Chinese. They ran all the local stores, so you were out of luck for milk or bread at the best of times, but if you needed oriental-style ingredients of any kind, you could often find various varieties, and more than a dozen brand names. They could never understand why we needed bread or milk when they had such variety of other things to offer us.

We are lucky to have some good hospitals here, but when I had a detached retina in my right eye, finding a hospital willing to treat me was difficult. All the ones in Etobicoke and neighbouring Mississauga turned me away, aware of the urgency of treatment, but they didn’t have a doctor able to see me and diagnose me. It took a nearby eye doctor to get me in to one of the big hospitals downtown for an op. One of the hospitals that turned me away later had me in for an op to replace a cataract with an artificial lens.

I respond to most of the N3F zines, and they distribute zines as well, so I see them send around various zines, including this one. At least George Phillies is doing what he can to get zines out there. If only there was some way to get more people involved in writing, illustrations and loccing those zines.

So many readers in the locol…I do not buy books, and haven’t for years, but I am at least now making the attempt to get through the vast quantities of books on my Yet To Be Read shelves. Not easy…it is a habit I must reacquire.

My loc…with Yvonne’s mother’s passing, only now have we been able to gather her family together for a funeral, which will take place this weekend. All places around Toronto are getting expensive, so either we move far away from Toronto, or we find ourselves a lottery we could easily win.

Paul Skelton wonders who got Mike Glicksohn’s fanzines…well, I remember talking to Mike about them at one of the last Mikecons, but eventually, it was Murray Moore who got them.  I wouldn’t have had room for them anyway.

Time to go, I have a voice taping this afternoon with a supplements company just north of Toronto, and it is my source of alternate funds, to help me pay my bills. Thanks for this issue, see you with the next, and all of you in the Charnock household, stay well, for heaven’s sake.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 27th, 2017
04:54 pm


Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 37 No. 4 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

Thanks for the April Shuttle! I am ploughing through a tall stack of zines, and your just happens to be next. Let’s see what there is to be said.

Mention of the Fan Funds reminds me that just recently, John Purcell was announced as the winner of this year’s TAFF race. John gets to go to the Helsinki Worldcon, and will probably travel much of Europe to meet up with fans everywhere. Lucky guy! He won by only one vote, too.

It’s good to see the Hugo nominations, and here is the first time I have seen all nominations in all categories.  I have read or seen almost none of the nominees; the SF world has truly left me behind. Once again, I have hopes for Journey Planet and Mike Glyer. It looks like the Puppies have left a mess again, but each year, it seems to be easier to clean it up. Perhaps they will eventually go away; we can only hope.

This very weekend coming up is Corflu, so the FAAn Awards will be awarded soon, and a press release should be out. Also, I keep hearing about a horror convention coming up called Stokercon. I’m not sure if they are handing out awards, but the local horror writers seems, well, stoked about Stokercon. And, the nomination period for the Aurora Awards has just started.

Sheryl Birkhead has not got much good to say about CBS All Access… The only reason I’d know about this specialty channel is that the newest incarnation of Star Trek is presumably being shot here in Toronto, but CBS Paramount keeps changing the shooting dates. I have heard the show may be entirely re-planned, and we don’t hear much here, so all I can say is that I hope CBS gets things straightened out before 2018.

My letter…CostumeCon 35 was this past weekend, closeby in neighbouring Mississauga, ON. Our sales were good, but nothing to brag about. CostumeCon 38 will take place in Montreal, Quebec March 13 – 16, 2020. Now comes Anime North, and we are praying for good sales at this one.

Done for the moment, and in time, too. Thank you for this issue, and more will come shortly, I’m sure of it. Take care, and see you shortly.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:18 pm


Loc on X-Rayer 134 (Ray Palm, ed.)
Dear Ray:

Thanks for X-Rayer 134. I am still at home these days, so I get to write letters every day. I’d rather be working, but until that happens, here a loc on your newest issue.

James Dawson is right, old tech is not bad tech. Our modern tech could break down very easily. I do have a manual typewriter, plus paper, envelopes and stamps if they were needed; I used them all when I started out in this in the early 80s. I also have a tablet and Bluetooth keyboard. Somehow, I think if we had to go back to the older tech of typers and mimeos, we might appreciate them more, and value each zine more. And, I certainly agree with him re Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson. They wrote just about any Twilight Zone episode that Rod Serling didn’t,

Trump thinks he’s being the firm leader by trying to bully his allies. It’s not working…he just looks foolish. He was going to issue yet another executive order taking the US out of NAFTA, but calls from Canada and Mexico made his change his mind entirely. I expect more bullying will come with the NAFTA negotiations, but I expect we’ll just smile and roll our eyes.

Canada also has a bank regulatory commission, and it has been given new powers that make it not quite the toothless tiger it was before. It doesn’t exercise those new powers much, and I think the quotation from Matt Taibbi’s article explains why perfectly, that any action might destabilize an easily upsettable banking industry. The worst think is, they know how unstable they are, they keep the industry as unstable as it is, and with all of that, they can get away with just about any illegal transaction they can think of.

I am done for now…wish me luck, as I’ve had more interviews, and I am, as usual, waiting to hear back from them. More often than not, I don’t, but I have to keep trying. Thanks for this issue, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 26th, 2017
02:32 pm


Loc on CounterClock 28 (Wolf von Witting, ed.)
Dear Wolf:

It’s a chilly day outside, so it is perfect loccing weather. I have issue 28 of CounterClock here, so here comes come comments on the contents.

I’ve never heard of Bards and Sages Quarterly, unless it’s a fake title so that Denny Marshall could show off his talents. (Looked it up…nope, it’s real.) There are so many online SF magazines now, and I probably haven’t heard of most of them. Where am I going? I am still trying to find some direction at my age. Yet, I keep hoping someone will hire me, and I will be able to take some direction once that happens.

The idea of Fake News is only a product of the idiots that populate the Trump cabinet and White House. Fake News is only truth they don’t like. Reality is quite subjective, but there are times that I think the age of attempted real journalism is over, and reality, in the form of real news, is only what the individual decides it is. I despair for the future of history as a record of what happened, and with the shift away from the printed word, will our descendants have any idea what happened in their past/our present? As you say later, facts should be an absolute, but the term now includes the caveat, as far as we know, to the best of our current knowledge.

As I go through the records of my past, I agree with you, that Thomas Edison was indeed a heavy-handed thief. He should not be ignored as an inventor and genius, but he often bullied his competitors, and bought them out. He did ruin Nikola Tesla, and in the graphic novel/movie Hugo, oncle Georges was indeed Georges Méliès, forced by Edison into financial ruin, and forced to operate a toy store in Montparnasse Station in Paris.

I remember the celebrations at the beginning of this year for what would have been JRR Tolkien’s 125th birthday. I have read that the professor wrote The Hobbit in 1930 to entertain young relatives. I have read as much Tolkien as I can find, and I also have a selection of books about Tolkien and his writings. I enjoyed the LotR movies so much, and saw the first of the Hobbit trilogy of movies, and didn’t care to see more.

Quite agree about the artwork of fractals. They are a pleasure to see, and videos on fractals are truly hypnotic. It will be interesting to see how much father they can go.

The study in sexism is a discussion that we need to have regularly, but I wonder if there’s been any complaints about having Bill Rotsler’s artwork accompany the discussion, unless it is meant to be a visual example of why we need that discussion. It would be fun if indeed Fandom Was a Way of Life, but I think we’re now at the point where it has become real fun, but financed only through the reality of a job, household, groceries and laundry, etc. I can happily say that my own involvement in fandom will hit 40 years this coming December, and that it has stayed fresh for me by changing up my fannish activities every so often. I got out of conrunning, where we’d been for 30 years, and got more into steampunk, which is still fairly fresh in itself. I cannot say I am aware of any fannish activities where I am that are exclusive female, but I will say that I am pleased to see any female activity in any local fanac, and will encourage their presence and activity, and leadership. This past weekend in neighbouring Mississauga, Ontario was CostumeCon 35, a rotational convention for costumers, its third time in the Toronto area. The majority of the membership was female, and many friends were there, and I was very pleased to see them. Lots of hugs for me that weekend.

Seeing all the Rotsler cartoons here and there reminds me that Bill Rotsler also came up with a list of Rotsler’s Rules for Masquerades (http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=52348). One or two of the rules may be dated, but the rest are still good, and common-sensible. Today, anyone can cosplay any character, and at CostumeCon this past weekend, it was proved, many times.

Movies…I hereby admit that I saw none of them that were listed. Given my enjoyment of past Star Trek and Star Wars movies, I did not see Star Trek Beyond or Rogue One. What movies did I see? Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Hidden Figures. Hollywood isn’t making any money off us.

The locol…I certainly enjoy the participatory aspect of the fandom we all enjoy. That’s one reason I write all these letters, to be a part of things. Yet, I also find that so many conventions are taking away from that participation. The message I get from these cons is…come in, buy a membership, there’s the dealers’ room to dispose of your spare cash. Now sit down, shut up, and pay attention to the entertainments provided, whether it is an actor cavorting about on stage, or an author at his reading.

John Purcell’s loc reminds me that he did indeed win TAFF, and will soon be the head of a fannish invasion force overwhelming Finland this coming end of summer. I hope you will try TAFF again. Third time’s the charm.

The rest of the issue, I shall say I read and enjoyed it, but I have no further comment to make. Perhaps the creativity gas tank ran dry, who knows. Time for me to wind it up, and hope you see this before bedtime. Many thanks for this, hope this helps to fill the next locol, and see you with that next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 25th, 2017
07:48 pm


Loc on Opuntia 371 - 373 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Three issues of Opuntia are here, and they need to be commented on in order to catch up. I have here issues 371, 372 and 373, so here they are in order.

371…I guess Calgary truly is part of the prairie if there are few trees that can survive. Other than green ash, what other species are thriving?

There are some new LRT lines opening in Toronto soon, plus a few more that will open within the next few years. Line 5 will go across nearly the full width of Eglinton Ave. W. and E., and will serve as a crosstown line.

I always wondered how mad (or just slightly perturbed) scientists, who usually spend most of their time in their labs, have absolutely drop-dead gorgeous daughters. The mothers and wives are never mentioned. There must be a book on how to build a mad scientist’s lair, plus potential costs. Labs are expensive enough, but lairs must be terribly expensive. Who funds those lairs, anyway?

My loc…well, the HMV stores are all gone, and almost all of them have been filled by Sunrise Records. I think the only one that wasn’t filled was on Yonge Street. You can imagine just how expensive the rent of a store on Yonge Street could be.

372…Great mountainous photos. I’d never heard of Theatre Five. I think I have mentioned before that I used to listen to the main CBS station in New York City, and hear the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, with E.G. Marshall. Great stories, and I wish there was another station broadcasting them.

I have friends who are experimenting with 3D printers, and I might be talking to them soon to see if they could produce items I might be interested in. In fact, seeing I have Windows 10 on my computer, I have software that could get me started on 3D printing if I had such a printer on my desk.

373…I had read a while ago that collecting of any sort was considered by some as a mild form of mental illness. I don’t think so, and many friends would agree. I have read some steampunk fiction, and admit that I liked the costuming more than the literature. Some do collect with the idea of making money, but any value that might be assigned to a book, or any other collectible, is quite subjective, and will probably never see the light of day, or that assigned value. We did make some money off a collector’s store many years ago, as we first sought to liquidate our collection, but we knew it was a fluke.

The only Olympic pins I have are the ones from the unsuccessful 1998 Toronto bid. I have learned something about the value of such Olympic pins, so I have them tucked away. I might get some $$ for them in the future, but I’m not holding my breath.

Interesting to see The Idler, I think I remember it. I suspect the next such publication that will shut down because of the lack of sales, is The Walrus. I wish it success, but can’t see it succeeding. Jonathan Kay is the editor, and his attitude, as seen on the CBC, pretty well ensures that the magazine will die eventually.

Just got past the page, so off it goes to you. Thank you for these three issues, and keep sending them to us. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 19th, 2017
04:03 pm


Loc on Askew 19 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

This is meant to be a loc on Askew 19, but I suspect, it’s just going to be a big congratulations! on being the TAFF winner for this year. I don’t know who your opponents were, but they gave you a run for your money, and a one-vote victory is still a victory. You’ve got to be making plans already.

I wish I could do something like that, but right now, it’s impossible, and not likely to boot. Right now, the job hunt is STILL going on, and even with good interviews, I still can’t get anyone to say yes to me.

Nonetheless, I don’t want to take away from your victory! The fan funds sure do make things happen. A recently innocent inquiry on my part on the CUFF Facebook page seems to have gotten things going again. The funds are being raised, and there will soon be another CUFF vote. All we need now is candidates. (Non-fanzine fans have won CUFF in the past, but even with full explanations of what was expected of the winners, few actually followed through.)

The locol…hmm, New Fandom. Well, I figure that a part of New Fandom is Old Fandom just looking for something new to catch their fancy. Perhaps that’s why there’s a number of people I know through the more traditional forms of fandom getting themselves into things like steampunk.

My loc…guilty of sin am I. I kept reminding myself and Yvonne that we had to vote in the FAAn Awards. And we wanted to, we really did. I kept reminding ourselves to vote, and one day, I forgot to remind ourselves. And, we didn’t vote. Sorry, folks. I hope the results are what we all want. I can’t go to Corflu this year, so I hope to learn who won what. I should remind myself…

Eight-page zines get what they usually get, and that’s a short loc. Hate to say it, but it’s the same way here. Off this goes to you, and again, way to go on the TAFF race, and please do say hello to Helsinki for us. Hugs to Valerie, and see you the next Purcellzine.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 16th, 2017
07:18 pm


Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 352 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

Thanks kindly for Event Horizon 352. This will probably be a fast letter, seeing as the three-day Easter weekend is drawing to a close. Let’s see what I can do…

Hugos…still pleased that Steve Stiles won the Hugo for Best Fan Artist. He’s been drawing in fanzines and comics for decades, and he was one of the few names I recognized on the ballot. I guess we will see the next Hugo ballot soon, but I expect not to know anyone on it. Time marches on, and I simply have not been able to keep up with all the changes going on.

My letter…only recently have downloads been available for reading for the Best Novel Aurora. I rarely have the time to read to vote, so I usually only vote in the Fan Aurora categories. My love of reading is fading somewhat, and I find more and more I need things to do at conventions. I won’t just pay my way in, sit down, shut up and listen to the readings, there has to be more than that for me. I prefer to participate, and if I can’t, I just socialize.

Next weekend is the first of the big conventions this season in the Toronto area, CostumeCon 35, in the next-door city of Mississauga. It’s a five-day convention, but the real convention is in the middle three days. It will also be three full days of the dealers room for us. Anyone from Orlando and area coming up, or did everyone spend their money at the Star Wars event?

Take care, all…see you next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 14th, 2017
09:13 pm


Loc on Spartacus 19 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Time for another of your zines, this time, Spartacus 19. I am having a busy Good Friday with catching up with correspondence, and just finished up a loc to Chris Garcia’s Claims Department 19, mostly comics.

I had to tell Chris I am not a comics fan at all, and I was never a collector, so while I recognize Swamp Thing here, I have never read any of the comics. It’s tough to get to know anything like this when it was impossible for me to buy any of them, as a kid, and never any time after that.

Nonetheless, my commiserations on the passing of Berni Wrightson and Robert Neagle. We are definitely of the age where we may lose our friends…or be the friend that others lose. As you may have seen elsewhere, we’re dealing with our own loss…Yvonne’s mother Gabrielle passed away a few weeks ago now. Gabrielle Robert-Klein was a pillar of the French-Canadian community in Toronto, and died at the age of 94. The funeral is yet to come, and that will bring together a lot of French-Canadian relatives. Yvonne is looking after their accommodations with a local hotel, plus a nearby restaurant might get a lot of sudden business.

DT45…ugh. He is quickly pushing the world to the edge of thermo-nuclear war with Russia, China and North Korea, which is playing right into Putin’s hands. I suspect he is tired of looking like the bad guy, so with DT45 being a complete idiot, let’s make Trump look bad so we can be the good guy for a change. If the US intelligence community is gathering enough dirt on DT45 to make his impeachment easy to do, I wish they’d hurry up. It looks like many in the cabinet may be involved as well, so I expect impeachment, plus charges of treason to go around. I hope you are due another election after this mess is cleaned up, and I hope someone with more than one working brain cell gets in.

As has Al Bouchard, I have seen Robert Reich’s videos. I hope some senior representatives can gather together a level of support that will protect them as they strive for impeachment. It’s not just America’s problem now, it is the world’s problem. For Christ’s sake, someone fix it NOW! The future of the world is in the hands of an incompetent.

I fully agree with Taral re Canadian politics. Some of our politicians are self-important blowhards, and others, Like Kevin O’Leary and Kellie Leitch, are truly dangerous in the DT45 mold. One is even trying to claw back that gem of Canadian life, universal health care. And they want to public to vote for that? They are dumber than they look. Soon, NAFTA will be renegotiated, and DT45 promises hardball with his closest trading partner, for what reason, I cannot fathom.

If this is an alternate timeline, could someone flick the switch to the main one? The one where we’re all a lot safer and happier, and nuclear weapons pose no threat? This one isn’t any fun anymore. May we find the strength and smarts to dispose of this dictator, and try to regain a little world-wide harmony. It shouldn’t be this difficult. Many thanks for this issue; may the next one be much happier.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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08:11 pm


Loc on Claims Department 19 (Chris Garcia, ed.)
Dear Chris:

Wow, another Claims Department! I guess the twins have kept you away from most of your publications, but it is good to see it again, this time issue 19. As I have written before, I am no comics fan, but this won’t stop me from at least attempting a letter of comment.

When I was but a kindergartner, and I was somehow able to get my hands on a couple of coins, I bought comic books. What title did I buy? Dennis the Menace. Loved them! But like many things, I put them aside after many readings to have a look at other things. And, because I wasn’t looking at them any more, she said, my mother threw them out, saying she didn’t like comic books anyway. Such was my comic collector career.

APAs can be fun. Many people spread out their fanzine chops to APAs, but I did things in reverse, true to form. I started in APAs (TAPA (Toronto), APAplexy (Ottawa) and The Final Frontier (various, Toronto and I was the CM). In the paper-only era, CM usually stood for Central Mailer.

Freddie Blassie…you know him as a wrestler, and I know him as a long-time-ago contributor to the Doctor Demento Show. I guess there’s a chance for some to make their mark on more than one world. Yvonne remembers the days of wrestling from Maple Leaf Gardens, with big names like Whipper Billy Watson, Tiger Jeet Singh, Haystack Calhoun, Gorgeous George and Yvon Robert. She also remembers a tag team pair who dressed as hillbillies. Do you remember them?

I hate to say it, but I think I am done here. I wish there was more for me.  Perhaps the next one, and definitely, the upcoming Exhibition Hall. There were a number of other steampunk fanzines, but they are all gone, which might make Exhibition Hall the last one in fanzine format. I definitely look forward to the next one, and I’d be pleased to work with you on an upcoming issue. Keep me in mind, and see you later.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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04:55 pm


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 76 No. 3 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

Hallo, all, and thank you for Vol. 76, No. 3 of The National Fantasy Fan. Good to see new names mobilizing the club for more events and more services. Show some love for these additions to your memberships, you lot! Now for more remarks…

Thanks to the Franking Bureau, I do get additional zines in my e-mail. Like I need more, to be honest, but I still like the fact that you send them out, and show your members just how important such publications are. Fanzine samplers sound great, and now to see if they work. I hope others will find them still a good way to communicate with fellow fans, or if it’s just retro fanac.

As far as I know, there are so many bids for future Worldcons from elsewhere in the world…Dublin, Helsinki (they got it!), Paris, New Zealand, more. It’s good to see more world in Worldcon, but for myself, that will mean that Worldcons will be quite impossible to afford. It was tough enough to get to US Worldcons, and I certainly couldn’t get to all of them, either. Should the rest of the world take on Worldcon more often than North America, I expect there will have to be some changes in Hugo voting, yet again, such as the voting only membership, and that’s when the real abuse, the ballot box stuffing, will take place. I hope I won’t be around to see that day, but I know it’s coming.

Are there any contacts for First Fandom as an organization? I was interested years ago in associate membership, but couldn’t find any contacts, and when I finally did, no one ever responded. I had to wonder if it still existed.

My best network is through all the various parts of fandom I have immersed myself into, or just simply dabbled in. It has served me well through the years, for I have tried my best to serve my network. The most valuable commodity in fandom is information and contacts, and I try to spread the word as much as I can. I have introduced friends to each other, and made my connections more intricate.

Been for a walk, to get some fresh air, but having a look at this loc…this is all I got, for the moment, anyway. So, off into the e-mail æther it goes. Thank for this issue, and as always, looking forward to the next. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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April 6th, 2017
06:58 pm


Loc on Lightning Round Vol. 3 No. 8 (Al Bouchard, ed.)
Dear Al:

It’s very soon! Quite unlike me, really, but I am locking your newest zine, only a few days old at most, Lightning Round Vol. 3, No. 8. Time for some commentary from the cheap seats…

Ah, DT45 is as slick as WD40, but much, much worse for you. Satire has lost its punch on DT45 because you can’t go much further over the top than he and his cronies have. His daughter has an office in the White House? Why? A place to conduct her own business? If DT45 has broken many laws, especially conflict-of-interest laws, why hasn’t he been hauled off to jail? Being the president should not make him immune from those laws.

Comics movies? Nope, not for me. I’ve seen none of them because I’ve never been a comics fan, and neither has Yvonne. Besides, $13 a ticket is a bit much these days. The last movie we saw was Fantastic Beasts, especially for Yvonne the Harry Potter fan.

Thank you for mentioning Isaac Asimov. I met Dr. A. twice, one in NYC and again in Philadelphia. I am sure there are some fans who have no idea who he is or was. By coincidence, I saw on Facebook that today, April 6, is the 25th anniversary of his death.

My loc…with one exception, all the mentioned irons in the fire have brown cold. So, I am forced to stay with the evening work. Yvonne likens Betsy DeVos to Dolores Umbridge, the Voldemort-backed headmaster of Hogwarts in one of the later books/movies. (How many are seeing the parallels between the story of Hogwarts, and the current US administration?)

Worst of all…the Koch Brothers are setting up an organization to completely rewrite the US Constitution to suit their own nefarious purposes. Time to rise up, America, or you really will be the sheeple they think you are.

What a happy note to end this with, hm? Anyway, thank you for this issue, and I hope there will be happier things to discuss in the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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