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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Loc on The White Notebooks 7 (Pete Young, ed.)|
Thank you muchly for The White Notebooks 7. I especially do like parks, like High Park in Toronto, and Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC. Many of the parks I’ve been in have little alcoves where you can retreat from the world around you, and have a little lunch, and time to yourself. There are many parks closeby in Toronto, with lots of picnic tables and benches…there’s never enough time to explore and relax, and this time of year doesn’t exactly help.
There’s lots of fogeys of all ages in fanzine fandom, but I think there’s only a few that are younger than 50 or so. I am 57 now, and Yvonne retires at the end of this year. Some people won’t respond to online only fanzines, but I try to respond to them all. Yes, there are friends we are losing all the time…we very much miss Mike Glicksohn. But, we realize this, and are determined not to be living life with few or no friends, so with our interests in steampunk and local groups, we have many friends from that interest, and in many cases, feel like the oldest in the room. My own feeling towards fandom changes with time, and I remember an old Rotsler cartoon…”Fandom, so neat, so nifty…too bad it’s full of fans.”
My loc…I am still looking. The jobs appear online, but whether or not they are real, I don’t know. I think the at-home weeding will be starting soon, for there are many books on the shelf I have read once or twice, and since, they gather dust. My fanzine collection fills a locker I shouldn’t have, so I might be forced to give it away.
Belated condolences on the death of your father. I suppose we are at the age where death becomes an everyday part of it, whether it is a loved one, a friend or someone whose artistic works you loved. 2016 was certainly bad for that, and now, 2017 seems set to repeat that. My parents taught me to read extremely early, but as far as my own interest in science and space, that’s my own development. Mum brought home the anthologies from the library, though. I admit that I have not read any SF for several years now, no doubt going through my own hiatus. Perhaps when I am working again, I might get back in to SF. As I read your comments on your father, Yvonne is going through the same kind of thing with her mother. Gabrielle lives in a French-Canadian retirement home near the shore of Lake Ontario, she is in her mid-90s, and she is slowly losing her grasp on the moment. Yvonne is visiting with her as I write.
Add to Brexit the horrors of the Donald Trump presidency. We have plans to go to Michigan in July of this year, but given the erratic behavior of Trump, we might not be able to go now. Time will tell.
I write as I wait for Yvonne to come back from her mother’s place…the place she lives reminds us both of a hospital, for when you stay there long enough, it feels like many of the people there are simply waiting to die. A horrible thing to say, but that is our impression.
I will sign off, and say my thanks for this issue. I hope to have much better personal news with the next issue; looking forward to it. See you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Probe 169 (Gail Jamieson, ed.)|
Thank you all for issue 169 of Probe. Good to see the club is still busy and social, and of course, I am a member of your Facebook page. It’s interesting that Andrew is enjoying all the SF available on TV…for me, my interest has waned because there is so much of it now. I never saw the most recent Star Trek and Star Wars movies (more on that later), and I don’t feel I am missing anything. Funny how that changes. I really enjoyed The Magicians trilogy as a series of books, but the series hasn’t done anything for me.
Instantaneous transport…a great theme in so many good stories. I am sure that if we could transport, or teleport, it would become an everyday event, and we’d become jaded. We’d notice it more if it suddenly wasn’t there to use. A good story, showing us that instantaneous transport isn’t nearly as instantaneous as we were led to believe.
I grew up with Star Trek, and it’s always been my favorite SF property. And then, the reboot came along. I saw the first and second reboot movies. Have I seen the third? No, I haven’t, and I don’t really care to. I preferred the familiar characters (yes, many of the actors have passed), and I really wanted to like the reboot movies, but I don’t. I’d prefer the original timeline, and I’d prefer we carry on from the last of the TNG movies. I don’t care to know what happened in the past, I want to know what happened next. The next ST series is called Discovery, and it will be shot right here in Toronto. But, it goes back on the original timeline…or does it? I am not sure. I want to like it, and I’d like a walk-on role, but I am not sure with it. Time will tell. It was supposed to come out in 2017, but now looks like it will be postponed until 2018.
The Cleansing…I hate to say it, but it reminded me of all the horrible things happening in the US these days. We are very close to it all, and we are very much disturbed by it all. There are times, we’re simply too close.
And so…I think I am done for now. I hope you’re all enjoying late summer; we’re quite cold today. We will see you with issue 170.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Opuntia 362 - 365 (Dale Speirs, ed.)|
It never takes long, but now, I’ve got four more issues of Opuntia, 362 to 365, and comments on each follow after the end of the paragraph.
362…Toques on a cowboy hat. Well, if there’s anything more Canadian than that, I can’t think of it. I don’t get to downtown Toronto very much these days, so I don’t know what decorations were there. I am sure there were lots in the big buildings there, with homeless shoved to the side. Merry Christmas, indeed. I agree, most newspapers will not exist in paper format within the next ten years or so. This will make it easier for most people to stay ignorant about the world around them, which in turn will allow politicians to do as they please without the knowledge of their electorate.
With the recent deaths of Mary Tyler Moore and Mike Connors, I continue to feel like my own personal reality if falling apart, little bit by little bit. As I read your newest essay on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I realized that of all the actors listed here, only David McCallum is left alive.
That’s an interesting photograph of the Queen visiting the bullion vaults of the Bank of England. I’ve read recently that many countries brag about their gold stores, but some of them truly have no gold at all. It’s only the reports of their gold hoards that props up their currencies.
363…Yes, it’s the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the celebration is called Canada 150. I remember the centennial year…why isn’t anybody using the term sesquicentennial? Too many syllables?
Right now, our temperatures have been just above freezing, and we have had a couple of days above 10°C, so there’s no snow on the ground at all. All that rush to get the snow tires on the car… I also remember the fuss over the Maple Leaf flag, too. Some of the designs reminded me of drawings 7-year-olds would make in art class at school, to go on the fridge at home. Such a political mess, and I know there are some who still don’t like the single red leaf design.
364…I had the idea of putting together a steampunk anthology, and floated the idea to Edge Publishing, but true to my form, the Clockwork Canada anthology was in the publishing stages. Who knows, perhaps I can do another one at some point.
365…Tomorrow is indeed the Lunar New Year, and we are celebrating by going to this weekend’s Toronto Tea Festival, held at the reference library downtown. The New Year will be the Year of the Rooster. The tea festival usually has some interesting giveaways for those of us who attend.
With our trip to England this past August, we did ride in the Tube a number of times. We’re spoiled rotten in that in Toronto a flight of stairs will take you from Line 1 to Line 2. In London, to get from one line to another, it’s long hallways, stairs here and there, fast escalators and sometimes, elevators, to get to where you want to go. The trains are fast and comfortable, although the Toronto trains are roomier.
The locol…Murray Moore is indeed the Secretary of the CSFFA, and I have accepted the position of Historian. I have yet to get anything done for them, given I am still not working, but I look forward to having some time to confirm the accuracy of past Aurora winners, and see what other news stories over the years could be inserted into the history of the CSFFA. Our next online meeting in this coming Monday, in fact.
I think I have done what I can here…I’m sure you’ve got more issues on the go. Send me a few more, and another letter will come your way. See you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Purrsonal Mewsings 55 (R-Laurraine Tutihasi, ed.)|
Thank you so much for Purrsonal Mewsings 55, and another chance to get caught up. Not only will I comment on the issue at hand, but also get caught up on other correspondence.
How common are horned lizards where you are? With global warming, a new species has made its way up into southern Ontario…we now have opossums, fighting for territory with the huge population of raccoons we have here.
I am not sure, but I think Jim Butcher is attempting a new series of books with a steampunk motif to them, and The Aeronaut’s Windlass is the first of them. What few steampunk novels I have read have been fascinating, especially those by Stephen Hunt, but others tend to go with the Victorian style of writing, and can be long and dreary.
The Canadian Star Trek stamps were merely stills from the series, but the Canadian Mint got in on things with commemorative coins. I can’t really buy things like this any more, so I have refrained from buying anything about the 50th anniversary, as much as I might have wanted to.
The locol…good to see that Rodney Leighton is still with us, and publishing. I would have to wonder if Ben Bova is as optimistic about the future given the new administration in Washington.
I see that you are following me on Google+? I went to the Google+ site many years ago, but I haven’t been on it for some years now, and with Facebook giving me the social media I need, it’s not likely that I will do anything on Google+. Facebook, LinkedIn and my loc archive on LiveJournal are about as much social media as I can handle.
You said to me in a past e-mail that Al Sirois wondered about the differences between The Asylum, the big steampunk event in Lincoln, UK that we went to this past August, and the usual model of SF conventions we’re all used to. Please share this with Al…
We all know the usual conventions we attend are usually at a hotel, and most, if not all, aspects of the convention are in hotel function rooms. We called The Asylum a convention, as did many, but they called themselves a steampunk festival. Attendees stayed in various hotels and university dorms (Lincoln has two universities), and we stayed at perhaps the best and most central of all hotels, the Castle Hotel. Con suite? Just a short walk west of our hotel was a school and schoolyard, and the schoolyard was transformed into a food court, with food trucks and stands, and what we called the gin bus. A double decker bus was changed into a bar on the main floor, with seating outside, and the upstairs was converted into a cocktail lounge, with a small bar at the front. We’d never seen anything like that before, and I can think of various places that would really benefit from this. The back of the schoolyard contained the registration tents, and a grassy area behind that held an Alice-style mad tea party on one day, which we very much enjoyed.
Let me check with The Asylum’s programme book, very detailed…the assorted panels, evening parties, banquets and concerts took place in eleven different venues all over the city of Lincoln, many of them in the area we were in, the cathedral/artistic quarter of the city. The dealers’ room was actually four different venues in the quarter, one in a church, and the others in outdoor markets in the centre area of the quarter crossroad between the cathedral and the castle. The evening parties were held in the Assembly Hall, an ancient building again steps away from our hotel. (Parts of the façade of the Assembly Hall date back to the 1400s.) Some of the outdoor events took place at Lincoln Castle, and we took part in the parade of the Illustrious Assemblage of Honourable Foreigners, in which all attendees from outside of Britain gathered to parade and show off their steampunkish costumes and national flags. We were proud to march in that parade as the only Canadians attending; indeed, we were the only North Americans there. We met others from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Only four days long, but a marvelous time. So much we saw, and so much more we didn’t see. Lots of walking, but so many bits of costume, so much creativity, and so much mad fun. Creativity is foremost, and with no iconic characters to model your costume against, no one will tell you your costume isn’t right or proper.
When you share this with Al, ask him to get in touch with me if he has any other questions about the event, and give him my e-mail address if he doesn’t already have it. Thanks for this issue, and I am sure the next one is on the way soon.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on For the Clerisy 87 (Brant Kresovich, ed.)|
Many thanks for For the Clerisy 87. I sure understand what you write about re time. I often do not find time for writing letters these days. I am having a helluva time finding work, and sometimes, correspondence is the last thing I want to think about. Yet, it gives me a welcome break from searching the job sites.
I will make an admission…I have read no books at all in 2016. Having had little money for books is one reason, but I am just not motivated to read any more. Maybe once I am working again, I might take a book off the To Be Read pile, and get back into it. Since reinventing ourselves as steampunk vendors some years ago, I find I enjoy making jewelry much more.
It’s been a long time since I read anything by Rex Stout. Do you think that the stories could be redone for television the same way Poirot and Holmes were? They might make good period pieces. I remember Maury Chaikin as Nero Wolfe, and he played up Wolfe’s eccentricities well.
The news has been hard to watch since October, and now that the Liar-in-Chief has taken office, not just America is under threat, but so is the rest of the world. He’s threatening to walk away from NAFTA if he doesn’t get a better deal, threatens our government, and threatens your democracy. It looks like Canada is one of the few remaining progressive countries left, and I have been asked more then ten times how to become a Canadian citizen, and do I have room on my couch. Most of those requests are serious. If this continues, some terrible history may be made, and I cannot see how anyone would, in their right minds, vote Republican ever again. The GOP has sold their souls.
What a happy way to wind up a letter. Anyway, I should wind this up, and get back to the job search again, oh, what fun. Take care, and I hope you will have some time for another issue in the future.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Tightbeam 275 (Robert Jennings, ed.)|
Thanks muchly for Tightbeam 275. I am still way behind with loccing, about a month’s worth of zines are waiting for me, so time to attack.
Fandom thrives on criticism and controversy? In many ways, I hope not. I am not expecting sweetness and light, but if there must be criticism, let’s make it constructive. I guess with my own attitude, I really couldn’t do fanzine reviews the way people wanted them. I am just happy that people are still producing zines; the feedback will determine which direction it goes, but a harsh review just pushes people away. We are our own biggest problem.
My own loc…we did see the Fantastic Beasts movie. Did we see the newest Star Trek and Star Wars movies? Nope, saw Hidden Figures instead, Yvonne’s found out firsthand how much of an old-boys network the space industry is, and we also found out that the space industry is American, and non-Americans can keep their distance.
Fahrenheit 451 may have not aged well, but the basic message will soon be relevant again, given the new administration in Washington. I see that Orwell’s 1984 has become a best-seller again, and the double-talk coming out of the White House makes it relevant again.
If you have enjoyed the various Abbott and Costello movies in the past, and you’re on Facebook, you might like to look up Lou Costello’s son Chris, who easily talks about life with his famous father, and that he was like as a husband and father. Chris Costello is also in touch with Bud Abbott’s daughters, and he talks about them, too. Looks like autographed photos are for sale, and I am sure there’s some amazing stories to be told.
I think I must fold it up for right now, there’s still a pile of zines to deal with. Many thanks for this, hope your Christmas and New Year’s were a good time, and we will see you with whichever zine you send my way.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 75 No. 12 (George Phillies, ed.)|
Thanks for Vol. 75, No. 12 of The National Fantasy fan. This will probably be a fast loc given the time, and also given the fact I do not have any Internet access at all right now. Yay, Bell Canada! So, here comes some comments on the issue, and anything else that comes to mind.
Congratulations to the election winners!, but it’s easy to see that few voters participated. For the future, members have to participate more, and take part. Tell your newly-elected officials what you want to see in the NFFF, and given them your directions. They are there to represent what you want.
I did not know much of the origins of elves in our modern Christmas habits. I know of the origins of Santa Claus, from the Coca-Cola ads, so I definitely prefer the European Father Christmas.
It’s always good to see something about Ray Bradbury, even if it’s just his bio. I only met him once, at an American Worldcon, but he seemed overwhelmed by the whole thing. I wish I’d had the chance to sit down with him and chat. And, good to see something about John W. Campbell. To be honest, I hadn’t even seen a picture of Campbell until a couple of years ago. We all need reminders of these giants of our genre. I had never heard of the Kuslans…I don’t think their names appear in any of the better-known fan histories like All Our Yesterdays or A Wealth of Fable. There’s always something new to learn.
That’s all for now…I have the latest issue of Tightbeam to respond to, so I will get on that in a day or so. Many thanks for the last issue of 2016, and I look forward to the first issue of 2017.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on My Back Pages 17 (Rich Lynch, ed.)|
Thank you for the newest My Back Pages, issue 17. Sorry it’s taken a while to get to it, but now that it’s here, I am looking forward to it.
Long, strange journey over the next few years…no kidding. If you can survive this joker, you can survive anything. But in a few days, he will take office, and we will find out how serious this joker is. I do not like what I see.
I am also the type who’s behind a desk all the time, and I do need more exercise. Over the past few years, I gained far too much weight, and so came the low-card diet. Diets don’t usually work for me… but this one did. I have lost 25 pounds, and I am hoping now that the holiday foods season is done, I might get below that plateau.
The Velvet handshake, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the reunification of the Germanies, the split of Sudan…who would have thought that cartography would be a growth industry? Now, we look towards Great Britain with the Brexit, and it looks like it will be utter and complete. Get out the maps again, I think. Scotland intends to rejoin the EU as an independent country, which might let the Irelands rejoin, and the UK will consist of England and Wales only.
Yup, Regina is very flat, and the streets in Saskatchewan are straight. Very straight. I’ve been through it a couple of times on the train. (Your president-elect keeps wittering on about walls. The Republicans seem to like the idea of building a wall along the Canada-US border. They don’t seem to realize that building wall will keep them in.)
I remember being coerced by my father into helping him with re-shingling the roof of our old house. I also remember almost falling off the roof, and catching hell from my dad, who was much more experienced with that kind of thing. Ned Brooks’ death sure brought that back to mind. Tie yourself down next time you head up onto the roof.
Snowzilla…you can guess that I grew up in storms like that. In Ontario, we refer to the Snow Belt, an area between the cities of London and Orillia, Ontario, that seems to get tons of snow every year. And, I grew up in Orillia. Snowstorms like that were a regular event every winter, where you cleared the driveway with a shovel, and a pickax on occasion, and the sidewalks turned into corridors. We had an extra wide snow shovel that on occasion was used to transport snow into our back year, when we literally ran out of room to throw the snow. You wouldn’t like that.
All for now, and many thanks for the travelogues. Should another business trip take you up our way, let us know, and we can find some interesting dinner somewhere. See you with the next issue.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Lightning Round Vol. 3 No. 5 (Al Bouchard, ed.)|
It’s taken a while, but I do work in relative order when it comes to electronic zines. When I get them, they go in a folder, and I work from the oldest file in the folder. And so, The All-New Lightning Round Vol. 3 No. 5 is the next up. Or, I could have what Carol Merrill is bringing down the centre aisle…
No, I will go with the zine at hand. I keep lists of what I need to do, want to do, and all commitments I have for the future, and loccing zines is in there somewhere. There isn’t time to do it all, and do all the goofing off I want to do, too. I must manage my time better. Happy belated birthday…Yvonne’s was on December 19. We’ve had our snow and cold, but right now, we haven’t got either, but the weather forecast is calling for substantial freezing rain. Time to get snug, and wait out this mess.
Remember all those episodes of The Simpsons when the writers, in an attempt to make the situation as dystopian as possible, made Trump the President? Well, those writers are more prescient then they really wanted to be, and dystopia is here. He still got 3 million votes less, but still won the presidency, and he has gone forth to purposefully alienate Muslims, Jews, women, Mexicans and now, according to the news services (all fake, he says), he’s pissed off the Germans, without even trying. Could there be a worse candidate? Don’t answer that…
It does make me wish that with all he’s done, in violation of umpteen dozen rules and laws, including your Constitution, a senior judge could come down with a major ruling, invalidating the election, and declaring that a new one must be run. With observers from neutral countries, of course.
Our next show is in Guelph the beginning of February, Genrecon 2017. Our two weeks in England were glorious. We’d return in a heartbeat, but we would need even more money than we had saved. I have a local community college’s employment service helping me with my search, but if I had $5 for every resume I had sent out, well, I could go back to England.
Trump is the epitome of the saying I see so much of this time of year…politicians are like diapers, they should be changed regularly, and for the same reason. I wish the Electoral College had done their job, but I would imagine few of those EC members would know the reason for that College.
Age…we’re all of that age where infirmities crop up. It’s a pain, but as long as we don’t let those little aches and pains stop us from doing the fun things we like to do, we can still grow old disgracefully. I have often thought about exploring my own family tree, but the ancestry pages on line are a little too expensive right now. Maybe once I get working again. It would be great to full trace your lineage back to Louis Riel. Sixty? I am 57, and Yvonne retires at the end of this year. Time is flashing past us at the breakneck speed of one second per second, and we should be grateful it’s not any faster than that.
All done, and off it goes. Many thanks for this issue, and see you with the next.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Alexiad 90 (Joseph Major, ed.)|
Many thanks for Alexiad 90, and happy belated birthday. The best explanation for the Cubs’ victory in the World Series may have been a deal with the devil. That may also explain your president-elect. One unimaginable for another. Aren’t I just a fountain of delight? Something happier, I hope, will follow this paragraph.
I am still job hunting, although I have had some good interviews. I almost got on with Nasdaq Canada, but almost doesn’t pay the bills. There are some jobs in the works that I hope I will qualify for, once the potential employer figures out what they want. In the meantime, the resumes continue to flow out. While I do that, Yvonne prepares for her own retirement. She does so at the end of this year, December 29, to be exact. I honestly can only think of the Wall Street Journal as the only American news source I would trust. All others have a political bent based on their ownership. When I see local papers with a sports story on the front page, I think it must have been a slow news day, or the papers continue to hide the true news of the day from the electorate, thereby slowly taking away their franchise. Could be either.
I had heard of Buzz Aldrin’s collapse in Antarctica, but have heard nothing more, which says to me that Buzz continues to recover. I’d also heard that the new king of Thailand at first had not wanted to succeed his late father to the throne, but later accepted his fate. I wonder what his thinking was when he finally said yes to the life sentence of being a monarch.
Your description of Chico and Harpo Marx as aged and tired…I can certainly sympathize, and I feel that way right now. Then again, it could be the cold I am coming down with, and the fact that Yvonne is recovering from the flu. Your essay on the books that make up the two books of Altered Space reminds me that we did see a movie recently. Not Rogue One, and not the newest Star Trek movie, but Hidden Figures, the story of how three mathematicians, all black and female, helped to put John Glenn in space. An excellent movie, especially given Glenn’s recent passing. Indeed, an era has ended, and the movie reminded us all of that fact, combined with America’s problem with blacks and women at that (and this) time.
Conventions for me these days consists of cons, not usually on my regular circuit (much of which doesn’t exist any more), but on a relatively new (for us) circuit of conventions and shows where we can sell our wares. Our next convention is Genrecon 2017 in Guelph, northwest of Toronto, and we have a table there. It is a gaming/comics/cosplay convention, and we have felt like Mom and Dad looking after the kids there, but sales have been good in the past, so off we go. Our interest in Steampunk also means we can bring a costume or two along, and not feel too out of it.
Fandom is getting old? We are already there, at the blistering rate of one second per second. And minor illness isn’t helping. I am losing a fight with a cold, and Yvonne is fighting the flu right now. I am having trouble keeping my eyes open, and it is mid-morning. There is more to read, but I can’t do it with closed eyes. I will say many thanks for this issue, and I hope to have some good personal news for you soon.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Journey Planet 28 - 32 (Chris Garcia and James Bacon, eds.)|
Dear Chris, James, and all others who worked on these issues:
You two main instigators have been putting out a lot of issues of Journey Planet, and of course, I must respond. It’s what I do. Five issues came out pretty fast, 28 to 32. All of them have specific themes, and I do not know if I know enough about those themes to make relevant comments, but I shall make the effort, and who knows, I might go more than a page. No promises! Off I go.
28…Greetings to Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Selena Nash! Role-playing games…nope, never played those. I can see how people do like playing the games, but I’ve never been attracted to them. About the only connection I might have is that I was one of the top-hatted characters in a video promoting the latest steampunkish version of Assassins Creed. I do remember at our local convention, the gamers were RPGing in the gaming room, and some would leave the property for the ravine behind the hotel, and do some LARPing. We’d see them disappear down the ravine on Friday, and I’d swear some of them never emerged until the Sunday.
Congrats on the Alfie! I wondered what it looked like. Anything with games in it should have had an interview with Ed Greenwood, Elminster himself. How does a non-gamer like me know Ed? We were at school together in Toronto.
29…Greetings to Chuck Serface. I remember the original Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward, with all what I thought was the silly villains, and saw them all once, I think and didn’t care to see them again. I did see the first movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, but only at the home of a friend. I have never seen any of the movies in the theatres. Again, Batman is not a character I really care about, and have never followed him. In some ways, I am amazed the character has been as popular as it’s been.
I have noticed there are many Batmen in our area, and I suspect there’s lots of cosplaying Dark Knights. I am going to a convention in February as a vendor, and if I recall, Brampton Batman is a guest. I think there is also a Toronto Batman.
30…World War I is an important war to any Canadian. Canada had only been in existence for less than 50 years, and before that was simply a British colony, but because a country in its own right with our own battalions, our own contribution to the war, and our own glorious dead. I respect those who serve, but I reject those politicians who send our youth to pick a fight they start.
In some parts of Toronto, the cenotaphs that were put into place to remember the two World Wars are in trouble…James, you would probably know about the Royal Legion, and here, the Royal Canadian Legion. Now that all WWI combatants are gone, and many WWII are gone, too, Legion properties are being sold off, and some of them hold cenotaphs to commemorate their locally-born dead. Those monuments have to go, but where they go to is up in the air right now. Many small town and villages in Ontario have those slabs of marble and granite at the centre of town.
Hello to Lisa Macklem! She certainly knows how important the railway was and is to Canada…it was the deal, the transcontinental railway, that brought many of the assorted British colonies together as Canada. Speaking of rail…James, I suspect you’ve seen the multi-part series Full Steam Ahead, with Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman. We certainly have…comments? Those three do these documentaries well. I’d rather be informed than entertained, but if I can have both, that’s great, and their Farm series do both. We saw those poppies this past August when we were in London, and again when we were in Lincoln.
31…Oops, more comics. I was never a collector, never having had any comics to collect. The few comics I may have had as a kid, my mother threw them out if I wasn’t reading them again and again. Greetings to Pádraig Ó Méalóid! Now, as I say comics, I mean American-style comics. Later on, my Scottish grandparents would send me British-style comics, and I owned huge stacks of the Beano and the Dandy, and later, the Hotspur and the Wizard.
32…Greetings to Erin Underwood and Errick A. Nunnally. Boskone is a convention I had always wanted to go to in the past, going back to the 80s. We did some work with the Boston in ’89 Worldcon bid… check some of the publications, like Mad 3 Party, and you will see me there.
There’s some great photos there, looking even better with the addition of age. Even better are the programme book covers and ads. This con has been around for some time, and that’s why I’d been able to go to it. Still, Yvonne and I were at Noreascon 3, which may be the best we could do.
Well, what do you know? I did do more than a page. A page and a half isn’t bad at all. Not good for five issues in a row, but what can you do? Anyway, time to work on this further, wrap it up, and get it ready to head out to the JP address. Marvellous artwork and layout all over. Many thanks, take care, and see you with the next issue. We hope Christmas and New Year’s were spectacular for you. See you later in that SFnal year of 2017.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on SF Commentary 93 (Bruce Gillespie, ed.)|
Thank you for the paper edition of SF Commentary 93, a wonderful Australian souvenir. The least I can do is try my best to write up a decent letter of comment. Get a head start on things, too…
I have noticed that more and more, science fiction is being marketed and aimed at children, the same way the space industry is. Both are something for the kids to enjoy, as far as I see it. Why are they not being marketed to adults? Perhaps these days, they are not being seen as adult interests. Maybe they’re just dreams, and unrealistic ones at that. Yet, dreams have helped realize the world we have. Maybe such dreams are only for corporations to make money from, and our imagination is being bred out of us. We are being slowly but surely trained to be mere consumers, imagination free and just a cog in the economic engine. I so hope I am wrong. (Where did that come from?)
I am finding that my interests are starting to change. Fandom has been part of my life for most of my life, but here, it looks like it is starting to fade. It might just be me, but if there is a network any more, my connections to it are fraying. We don’t go to Worldcons any more, as they are simply too expensive. We’ve left conrunning after 30 years, and now, we are more into steampunk and being steampunk vendors. Maybe that’s just a natural progression. In the long run, we’ve got to enjoy ourselves, and where we do that is losing what importance it may have had.
(This is stream-of-consciousneess writing, based on your own writing about your own origins. I can look back at that, and wonder if I have graduated through all of Bloch’s 7 stages, and am finding new stages for myself.)
My life in fanzines has also been changing, too. I can now say that I have been in the locol of fanzines for 35 years, yet have never really been a part of any fanzine community. I have always been on the outside looking in, no matter where I’ve been. Again, it might just be me, but no matter what I’ve done, response is often tepid, and a few times, unfriendly. Would it matter much if I did not respond to fanzines the way I have? Believe me, I appreciate the efforts to keep this oldest of fan activities going. I am trying to do my part in that, too.
While I have enjoyed a lot of the novels about Mars listed here, my favorite was Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, with the added fourth book. It seemed about a logical as it could get, given the illogic of the average human being, and given the possibility of huge water reserves on Mars just under its surface. I could have used another book or two in that series. (Just curious…the cover artist for Brian Aldiss’s The Saliva Tree…looks like something Joe Mayhew might have created.)
You have a wonderful selection of books listed, and I wish I could read even one of them, but I do not have the money to get them, nor these days the time to read them. I also admit that the inclination to read them is fading. The more I feel I cannot take part to even a small extent, the more the interest fades.
I daresay this is probably the strangest loc I have every written, and the fact I composed most of it around 2am local time must have something to do with it. A little insomnia may have put strange ideas in my head. Maybe it’s just better to put this in the WAHF file…and I will try again with the next issue. We will see you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Fadeaway 51 (Robert Jennings, ed.)|
Thank you kindly for Fadeaway 51. I know of what you speak when it comes to locs…I am having a lit of writer’s block myself, trying to come up with something fresh for each loc. Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen, and I catch it for saying the same thing from one loc to another. There’s only so much happening in my life. Looking for fresh ideas coming up…
Penny dreadfuls, at least the few I read, were great and horrible at the same time. Great to read, because of their age, and horrible, referring to their writing quality. Bygone bookstores might as well be the story of such businesses in Toronto, too. Because I was so heavily involved with local conventions in Toronto for so long, I would know where every book store was. I still do, but there’s only about a quarter of what there was still around. I admit my interest in books has faded, but only because it is an interest I can no longer afford to indulge myself in. (There’s a library across the highway from me, but it is a small one, and often doesn’t have what I’m looking for. The Toronto Public Library is often a target for cutbacks, no matter the politics of the mayor at the time.) On page 12…is that edition of Cleopatra by H. Ride Haggard? Truly a monstrous typo, sometimes rivalled by a few products from Bluejay Books of some time ago.
I had never thought to pursue the relationship between Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou, but reading it here, my first thought was that such a story might make an interesting movie by itself, seeing how the two met, worked together and then drifted apart.
Locol… In my loc, that crystal tuft should be a cystal tuft. No matter, it’s not hindering my vision, and I have to make another appointment with my ophthalmologist. I read little mystery, but what I do read is by a friend, Maureen Jennings, creator of The Murdoch Mysteries and the Tom Tyler series. As I type, she is in Shropshire, England, seeing the sights and signing books. She should be home soon. I am still job hunting, and we really enjoyed our trip to England, and would happily return in a heartbeat. A week was spent in London, doing the touristy things, and seeing the sights, plus a few, like the Churchill War Rooms, that the average tourist might not have heard of. The second week was spent in the beautiful town of Lincoln, enjoying the rarefied atmosphere of The Asylum, the world’s biggest steampunk convention. Much fun.
It’s the weekend, and some time has gone into this writing, in between trips to the kitchen for some drinkables. Tonight, dinner and a movie, Hidden Figures. Should be a most enjoyable evening, so I’d better get ready for it. Thank you for this, take care, and see you with the next one.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Vibrator 2.0.34 (Graham Charnock, ed.)|
Many thanks for issue 2.0.34 of Vibrator. I do not like the looks of that front cover, as no doubt that’s a monstrous hospital machine that had its way with you, and scrubbed you out quite intimately. It might be the same level as me waking up in the middle of an operation, but I will continue to read, and see who’s got the worse heath story.
Dialysis. So many lights, beeps and boops, there might as well be a slot to put your coins in, pull the lever, and see if you win the jackpot. I have friends who are nurses, and other friends who have had far too much time in a bed…they all say that while many people go there to be healed or cured, some do go there, not expecting to walk out. It can be a very depressing place. My latest times were a car crash and a couple of eye operations, but at least Yvonne drove me home each time.
I cannot say America the Damned. I will say America the Cursed, and they brought it on themselves. They kept wondering what might happen if the worst possible candidate won, and they are about top find out. So will the rest of us, unfortunately. I read an article recently that said with the right-wing nonsense happening in the UK and Australia, and the ultimate dystopian reality happening in the US, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and German’s Angela Merkel may be the last of the progressive leaders. Dark time ahead for all, by the looks of it.
The locol…we’ve tried our best to eat and live a little healthier than we have, and it seems to be paying off in weight loss and a little more energy, but age marches on, and we still have to deal with a bit of arthritis here and there. I know we are lucky if those are our only complaints as we age.
How are you doing with the polymer fivers? All of our bills here are many of polymer, and we are having some unique problems. We were told the polymer can’t tear…oh, yes, it can. They can also stick together, and heat with shrink them. Paper is starting to look good again. At least on yours, Churchill is hiding.
We’ve never had mice up here on the 17th floor, but I used to have them in my dumpy little apartment when I was going to school. I would handle them by using a flat-bottomed lunch bag, and a smear of peanut butter. Mice don’t like cheese, but they sure like peanut butter. The peanut butter goes on the upper crease of the bag on its side, the bag rights itself, and the mouse is effectively trapped, happy with its peanut butter. Take the bag downstairs for a bag lunch for a neighbourhood cat.
Facebook’s gotten me in touch with cousins and more distant relatives, and I can credit a good portion of our social life to finding out about events on FB. It does take some time to keep up with, time I could better spend writing letters of comment. I hope you are right about the non-importance of Trump and Brexit, seeing how much damage they could do. Let’s hope no more hare-brained ideas come up before those two enter the history books as bad ideas.
Well, the end is nigh. Of the zine, I mean. Our best to the Charnock family, and we hope your new year is happy and healthy, it’s got to be better than 2016. It could barely be worse. It’s just past the end of December, but chuck my letter in at the end of the locol, many thanks. See you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 114 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)|
Hello! I hope your Christmas and New Year’s were a wondrous time, and now that the holidays are celebrated and put away for another year, it is time to get with it again. Here’s some comments on The Reluctant Famulus 114, my first loc of the year.
Your federal election…you know, I can’t say anything about the present-elect and the things he has said and done that hasn’t already been said, and much better than I ever could, but these next four years will affect everyone, not just the US. And, it’s not going to be pretty. Already, the destruction has begun, and millions of Americans are fearful. They will lose so much so the rich can get a tax cut. It’s horrific.
Chicken Farmer I Love You…why does that remind me of the old Burma Shave signs? You never knew when and where they would pop up. I have the book of the history of the signs, and it is an amusing journey through time.
While I have never used a hectograph, a certainly remember hector printing, and very much remember Mae Strelkov. It’s great to see an article about her, and to see that her own researches were not in vain. She is remembered long after her passing, and that’s blessing to her, her family, to all of us who enjoyed her colourful hectograph work through fanzines.
Looks like my loc for issue 113 may have gone astray, or arrived too late for this issue. I have to speed things up, but the never-ending job search is taking up a lot of time these days. Might have a job soon, given it is the beginning of a new (fiscal) year. We will see what happens in the next month or so.
Not the kind of letter I wanted to send to you, but it will have to do until the next time. Which I look forward to! I hope 2017 is a great year for us all. Take care, and see you soon.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on X-Rayer 127 - 129 (Ray Palm, ed.)|
Christmas was such a busy time, and I’ve got a big New Year’s Eve party to go to tomorrow night, so now, I have some free time. Here comes a loc on issues 127, 128 and 129 of the X-Rayer.
127…I still don’t know what to make of ET or UFO reports. People must have seen something to make them report like this, and many of them do sound alike, but I wish I could know exactly what they have seen. I don’t want to ridicule; I just want to know for sure.
In the early days of comic books, or movies for that matter, there was a question all of us asked…how did a brilliant scientist, usually male in those days, wind up with a daughter? And a beautiful daughter at that? Perhaps he was a studious sort, and that turned on the hot girls? We didn’t believe that, even then. Another scientist with two children? Yes, this really IS science fiction, isn’t it?
My letter…I regularly hear from fanzines I respond to who say that I am the only respondent. I have never felt that fair to the faneds who work to put an issue together, and get close to no response. That’s where I come in, I guess. If things are as bad as you think it will be, my couch won’t help. (Besides, take a number.) Check with your local Canadian consulate, and get the ball rolling. Might take a few years. I know some might say that Canadian citizenship is not a consolation prize if your candidate didn’t win. I suspect that once President Turnip takes office, you’re going to miss Dubya.
128…Based on what I’ve seen during my meagre Christmas shopping, Krampus was busy…elsewhere. I was hoping he might come to take away at least a few of the screaming, temper-tantrumming brats I see regularly. I’ve seen pictures of the Elf on a Shelf, sitting and exchanging a few stories with the Mensch on a Bench. Police state? I am sure he will try. I pray he isn’t successful.
Well, the locol is better this time around. I think one thing that made the old space pulps so fascinating to that young audience way back when is something we are sorely lacking in these days, a sense of adventure. Sorry, kids, video games just don’t cut it, and never did. Adventure would bring many like-minded people together in a positive way.
129…It sounds like you really need to move out of Plattsburgh. I am nearly expecting the Trumpjugen. Many say that his body language clearly says that he is out of his depth, and has no idea of what to do. He might resign because his new job is keeping him from his main business of losing money, and getting tax credits for it. These are truly the interesting times we were warned about. I know I am no0t safe up here, either…Turnip says he will break NAFTA unilaterally, and he really can’t do that. Both sides need the deal, but he wants a better deal for the USA. No smart person here or in Mexico would sign that, so it looks like free trade between Canada and the US would end suddenly. Ghod, I hope it’s only four years of this schmuck…
Time to go, Ray…it’s getting late, I’ve made the page, and tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Hope your Christmas was great fun, and 2017 has got to be better than 2016. Heck, I might even get a job, who knows? Stranger things may yet happen. Take care, and see you next year.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Spartacus 17 (Guy Lillian III, ed.)|
Getting a little more caught up at a time when most won’t be working on a zine. I have a bit of time waiting for Yvonne to come home early from work, so here goes with a few comments on Spartacus 17.
I am on the other side of the northern border, looking across, and still shaking my head. America always said it stood for the best in humanity…well, what happened here? America chose racism, sexism and isolationism over a flawed, but qualified and lucid candidate. The rest of the world is staring and shaking its collective head, too. Not even the electoral college did its job, so the world is stuck with Donald Trump, and the head of the free world is a truculent six-year-old in an adult’s body. No wonder Putin interfered with your election…he saw that if Trump were elected, he’d do so many bad things, Russia could seize the moral high ground, and look like the good guy for a change, and let America look like the bad guys. He seems pretty successful right now.
I suppose it is easy for me to complain, but Trump, when he is feeling particularly vengeful, could do so many horrific things to countries formerly known as America’s allies. The bull is in the china shop, to be sure, and Fear did win over Hope. I can’t say more than you have here, but all I will say is that I hope all the rules and regs in place to ensure that one person can’t change long-legislated policies will come into effect, and Trump can’t do all he wants to do. Eventually, if it isn’t already happening, Trump will look like a little monster in the eyes of the world, and the rest of us will have to hope that the next four years will go by quickly. As Trump himself said, you’ve got to love the poorly educated, for they are the ones who were easily fooled, and who voted him into office.
2016 seemed like a deadly year, and then along came so many more deaths…George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and mom Debbie Reynolds the day after. I imagine the year is no more deadly than others, but it sure feels worse, especially for those of us in our 50s who grew up with all the folks who died.
Indeed, Yvonne and I are two of John Purcell’s TAFF nominees, and we’d be pleased to send him to Finland. And bring him back, too. This may be the only way some of us will ever travel like that, and I can say that about myself, in spite of our two weeks in England in August. Most of that $$ came from Yvonne’s thriftiness.
Based on Al Bouchard’s reading of the US Constitution, has President Turnip been treasonous? If the answer is yes, who can act as accuser and prosecutor?
My letter…our two weeks in England was a great time. One week was spent in London, being tourists, and seeing many of the sights, like Big Ben, the London Eye, and so much more. The second week was spent in Lincoln, north of the big city, for The Asylum, the biggest steampunk event in the world. Our vacation was hella expensive, and if we had the cash, we’d do it all over again.
You’re right, SF would be a great diversion from these horrific politics, but I wonder what most people are doing…as for us, we are actually avoiding the news, and we are regularly downloading episodes of the British archaeology programme Time Team. Tony Robinson’s disdainful attitude is a much better choice than having to deal with President Turnip, and who he’s insulted recently. And, except for Murdoch Mysteries, there isn’t much more television we’re watching.
Wish we could have a more positive conversation. I am pleased with Justin Trudeau as prime minister, although he is still learning the job, and there’s more he and his government could be doing. Still, a Turnip administration will ensure that the world will be going through interesting times. Better luck to all of us. We hope your Christmas was happy, and your 2017 will be, too.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Opuntia 359 - 361 (Dale Speirs, ed.)|
Once again, there’s three issues of Opuntia to respond to, so to try to clean up the backlog at the end of the year, here are some comments on issues 359, 360 and 361.
359…Greetings to the goddess, and lovely to see you again. It’s good to see that children do remember on Remembrance Day, but I wonder if they will continue to remember as they grow up. I have read recently that a number of cenotaphs are under threat of neglect or even being torn down because those who do remember have run out of money, or the Legion branch property they were on is for sale or under redevelopment. Money to save those cenotaphs may have to come from a government, or at least transport those cenotaphs to a central location within each city.
Sherlockiana…”The Case of the Vanishing Barque”… the first mate is Thomas Corbett? I remember Tom Corbett as being an early space opera hero. This makes me wonder if the Sherlockian pastiche was based on one of the old Tom Corbett story lines. I haven’t been a member of The Bootmakers of Toronto for many years.
My letter…painting the utility boxes may eliminate graffiti in Calgary, but it does not deter the vandals in Toronto. Many of the utility boxes in my area have been partially painted over by local gangs’ territorial marks.
360…It is a symptom of climate change that while we certainly have some snow in Toronto, Vancouver seems to have more. I’ve had a few Purdy’s chocolates this Christmas, but in many ways, I can hardly wait for the holidays to be done. I have indulged, and have some pounds to shed. I am not going to feel guilty or shamed, for the season does have its tasty pleasures, but everything will fit better once it is all done.
I would like to find the DVDs for the original Wild, Wild West. For me, there are steampunk themes in it, and I remember seeing them as a kid, so the combination of nostalgia and current interest is enough to want those episodes.
361…The Christmas lights were special to us again this year. Each Christmas Eve, we head out after dark, and drive up and down local streets to see the displays of Christmas lights, and again, they did not disappoint.
The pay telephones are slowly disappearing here, too. Most people have something resembling a cellphone/smartphone these days, but I guess the payphones are there as an ultimate backup. I know of one up the street, and a back of four down the street, but cannot remember the last time I saw anyone using them. The subway stations here also have payphones in them, probably for those same safety reasons.
Cozy Mysteries…one book from Yvonne’s mystery bookshelf is called The 27-Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders, by Nancy Pickard. The cover says it is a Eugenia Potter Mystery, and is based on characters and a story created by Virginia Rich. It was published by Dell Books in 1994.
We hope your Christmas was a special time, it certainly was for us, but the year 2016 was, as others have said, 20-suck-steen. May 2017 be a better year for all of us, for it could hardly be worse for some. We finally do have a new year’s eve party to go to, so see you in that far-off, SFnal year of 2017!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on The Interesting Times 3 (Garth Spencer, ed.)|
Thank you for Interesting Times 3. I am now going to see how many locs I can write before the end of the year so I don’t look too far behind in things. And, your zine is up!
I hope Canada looms large in American headlines in 2017. I am not happy with the idea of pipelines, but like any technology, they have to be improved for them to work as wanted, and these pipelines may make it into American news consciousness. Also, I expect the new president-elect to insult and make fun of our prime minister as he continues on an admirable change from petroleum to less-polluting sources of energy. I sincerely hope that those in America who also champion wind and solar power will show the Canadian government as a fine example of what is needed to be energy sufficient in the future.
Just about anything that comes out of a Conservative’s mouth in this country seems calculated to offend someone. Perhaps we should encourage those views…in order to ensure that the Conservative Party never holds power in Canada again. Meanwhile, what the NDP espouses is excellent, but we have found that they end up being a conscience for the Liberals while they are in power. Elizabeth May’s Green Party does that, too. Fortunately, Justin Trudeau seems to be a good listener. I hope they will continue to serve as Justin’s conscience, to prevent Harper-style tactics, such as what was done with the Canada-EU Trade Agreement.
As much as I enjoyed them in the past, we don’t attend Worldcons any more. They have become too political, as shown by the Puppies’ attempt to seize the Hugos, and the enforced Code of Conduct. Too expensive is the reason too, but that’s too obvious.
Dystopias…Canada was looking dystopian until the election in 2015. Australia looks dystopian right now, the UK somewhat as well, and the US…well, again, that’s too obvious. I believe the president-elect has a trial to go to in January, having been charged with child rape. I believe he also has other trials to attend to in the new year. How on earth did he get elected? The word ‘dystopia’ may have to be redefined. And, I agree with John Purcell, we are living in a dystopia, and I would think that escapist literature, like science fiction, would be more popular than ever.
To John Purcell…my own apahack days were before I got into fanzines. I know, I did things in reverse. I really do not have the time for apas any more, either.
I think the average citizen has to put down the game controller and the six-pack, pick up his TV remote, and change the channel to news. The problem is, what do you trust? Most American media is owned by companies with their own agenda. My training was in journalism, and right now, I will not trust a single American source of news. I have some trust in the CBC and BBC, but they have a little bias because they are partially funded by the government of the day, which is usually musing about cutting those funds, no matter the leaning of the party in power. Even community newspapers are suspect these days. Where I live, in the Etobicoke part of Toronto, I cannot receive the local paper because they are convinced that anyone who lives in an apartment building is itinerant, and therefore, no interested in learning in what’s going on within the city. We’ve been living on Eva Road for nearly 20 years now, and in that time, the Etobicoke Guardian has eliminated sales in local stores, and corner paper boxes. They have effectively made sure that only people who live in houses can receive their paper, and in so doing, they have denied service to approximately half the population of Etobicoke.
Rant ends, step down from soapbox…and I think I am done. Thank you for this issue, and I hope there’s will be more. We hope your Christmas was wondrous, and may 2017 mean fun, joy and employment for us all. Need the money to afford the joy and fun. Take care, and see you next year.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Loc on Warp 96 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)|
Thank you for Warp 96! Christmas has come and gone, and we’ve had a great time, and as the New Year’s celebrations approach, I can take a little bit of time to respond to the latest clubzine. Let’s see what there is to say.
My letter…all the Bell problems are solved for the most part, but sometimes, there is still trouble with Windows 10. We enjoyed the summer’s steampunk events, and we did participate in the voice performance of the new Harry Potter book. And, believe it or not, I am STILL job hunting. I had a great series of interviews and tests with Nasdaq Canada, but I still couldn’t secure the job. I am praying for some employment in 2017.
That Trek display looked interesting, and I wish it had come here. I never did see the newest Trek movie, and I don’t really care to see it. I hate to say it, but same goes for Rogue One. They are are not attracting me the way they used to. I do know there’s yet another Indiana Jones movie in the works. I suspect Harrison Ford will look older than Sean Connery did when he portrayed Jones’ father.
Not much on the way of comments, but then, it is that void period between Christmas and New Year’s, so we hope your Christmas was grand, and we hope for the best out of 2017. 2016 seemed a deadly year for so many reasons, especially with the passing of Carrie Fisher just yesterday as I write. The New Year’s just gotta be better! See you then.
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
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