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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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October 31st, 2017
08:17 pm


Loc on MarkTime 117 (Mark Strickert, ed.)
Dear Mark:

Here it is, Hallowe’en eve, and Yvonne and I are home. Not out trick or treating, or partying somewhere… Oh, well, that’s okay, we’re getting a lot done, and I have realized that I am about two months behind in responding to zines. Time to try to catch up, with some words about MarkTime 117.

I hope you’ve been keeping up with transit in Toronto. Bombardier is in trouble with everyone these days, but they are continuously backed up with supplying the contracted-for streetcars. In better news, the Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina line) will open its six-station extension from near the old Downsview air base, up to York University, and up into York Region and the city of Vaughan. Yvonne and I intend to take a day and go and explore the new stations.

I have friends with Little Free Libraries on their property, but there is somewhere in the USA where these little libraries are illegal, and having one on your property is a felony. Do you know where that is?

Wizarding World…Yvonne went to the big Harry Potter facility north of London, UK last year, and yes, it is huge, and now, she wants to go to the World of Harry Potter facility in California. We will be saving our shekels for that, but as Yvonne is planning her retirement in six weeks (!), she wants to get a part-time job in her retirement, and sock the money away for travel.

Zines…well, I am not a member of the N3F, but I still get their zines, and they publish my letters, so close enough, says I.

My old loc, just over a year old…I have been working for a mystery shopper company in North York for just over a month and a half now, so at least I have a little money. I use my Presto card regularly. A 10¢ Canadian Tire bill? Don’t spend it all in one place! The TTC won transit system of the year for 2017, and all we can say is, how the heck did that happen?

All I can do at short notice, and so little spare time. I blame the new job, and the fact it takes 90 to 120 minutes to get there, and the same to get back home. The commute takes away a lot of time. Anyway, take care, my best to the family, and I hope you’ve been out tricking the neighbourhood!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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October 18th, 2017
08:57 pm


Loc on Opuntia 388 - 393 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

I keep falling behind so much, and the stack of zines continues to pile up. I have six issues of Opuntia to catch up with, issues 388 to 393, and here goes with an attempt.

388…More great pictures. I never knew such sources of ochre and quicksand existed. I am sure the fact there’s bound to be a stupid hiker here and there means there’s at least one skeleton in those quicksand pits. I know, no one should be able to die from quicksand they do in the movies, but still…

I need to discover where the used book stores are again in Toronto. I can think of three offhand, but some of the big ones on Yonge St. have gone under after 30 years or so. Books in, books out…we have 8 boxes of books that will be going to an exchange near the beginning of next month.

389…With all these end-of-the-world movies, one to tag onto the list is one coming out shortly, Geostorm. I don’t know the movie’s plot, and I don’t really care to, but it does look quite disastrous. Perhaps the box office will prove to be this movie’s true disaster.

I still quite enjoy the use of my relatively new candlestick phone. It is a push-button version, but I do still have to hold it by the centre shaft, and pick up the receiver to hold it to one ear.

390…Wonderful stamps, and I may have one or two of them. I am sure there is a major philately club in Toronto, but it is probably as political as any other organization I’ve belonged to. I will happily pass on it. One fandom has lost its appeal (not long from now), I might embrace our stamp collections again. Clubs these days are simply Facebook pages, where you can join, and do very little, just like most of the members.

391…I remember when I was looking for a suitable school to get my journalism degree at, and one of my choices was SAIT. If it’s become a trade school, it probably doesn’t have its journalism courses any more.

The Earth is slowing down and will stop? Good news for those who’d like to stay up all night, for night would be endless. I suspect Earth would be relatively lifeless at the time, so finding something to do in that endless night might be difficult, especially if you are struggling to stay alive…whoops, Earth is dull, there’s no atmosphere…

392…The floral designer is working overtime. We live just down the street from the Etobicoke Civic Centre, Etobicoke’s old City Hall, and the local Parks Department workers keep the grounds very flowery, and pleasing to look at. We still have much of it, because of abnormally high temperatures for this time of year.

The Distracted Pedestrian…we have dozens of them here every year. A past episode of CSI refers to this kind of passing as Death by stupidity. I do, too. One of the best clips I have seen online shows a young lady too concerned with her smartphone to pay attention where she’s going, and she flips herself right into a deep fountain.

I see a letter from Milt Stevens here…unfortunately, Milt entered hospital a while ago, and sadly passed away. Another friend gone. (And, there’s his obit in the next issue.)

393…Interesting article on early steampunk literature. Modern stuff can be difficult to wade through, so I might hope that the early stuff might be better. Help me out here, Mike Perschon…

Six issues, and I will try my best not to let things go so much the next time you get a loc from me. Take care, and stay warm this fall.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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October 8th, 2017
03:45 pm


Loc on Ansible 362, 362½ and 363 (Dave Langford, ed.)

Dear David:

Thank you kindly for issues 362, 362½, and 363 of Ansible. As time goes on, I find myself slowly moving away from this whole fandom thing…modern SF has left me behind, and even fandom is doing that, too. Local fandom has very much evaporated, and we attend only one of the local pubnights. So, I shall try to keep with fanzines, as it may be the only way I will feel like I am participating.

362… It sounds like the Finnish Worldcon was a real success, but in some ways, I am glad I wasn’t there. It would have been too big for us, and I suspect we would have been trampled by the masses. The fan Hugos…I thought Abigail Nussbaum was a professional writer? In so many ways, the silver rockets are not for us any more.

I might as well add my own thoughts in here for what’s in 362 and in 362½, the passing of Brian Aldiss. He was one of so many SF authors whose work I enjoyed, and who I wanted to meet, but never could. I am near the end of weeding our large SF collection, and all of our Aldiss books will stay with us. Yet another giant of the field, another important name in my lifetime of reading great SF, passes, and leaves only his readers as those who care. Did the British press mark his passing? It is heartening to see that the Washington Post noticed, and wrote up a fair obituary.

I cannot make any remarks on the obit list that I haven’t already made…we are making a few plans for convention attendance locally and in Michigan, but we’ve already has to forget about Dublin. I hope all enjoy themselves there. I tried a few of the URLs for the Hugo stats, but they don’t seem to connect to anything.

363… I hope the eye laser op was quite successful. I had a very young cataract operation about ten years ago now, and I know that at some point, the baby cataract in my left eye will need some attention, too.

Ditto the RIP file, yet again… I expect Rob Sawyer has sent to you this year’s winners of the Aurora Awards, which includes him, twice. I have recently expressed to the rest of the board of directors of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association my feeling that as someone who has been unemployed for nearly two years, and who has just recently found work again, I have not had the time to do the job I was requested to do for CSFFA, and therefore I am a poor choice to try to run again for the BoD. They are not pleased with me, but such is life. I did not nominate or vote in this year’s Auroras, for I am totally unfamiliar with the field, and did not feel qualified to express any kind of opinion. This is more reflection as to my position in fandom as a whole. Steampunk, such as it is, has provided us with something fresh, and much of what we were able to do for local SF fandom, we are now doing for the local steampunks, and we now truly feel part of that community.

All done for the time being… I hope things will improve re fandom, but as always, we go where the positive vibe and creativity are. See you at the end of the year, and my greetings to Hazel.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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October 6th, 2017
08:15 pm


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 76 Nos. 8 & 9 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

Thank you for Vol. 76, Nos. 8 and 9 of The National Fantasy Fan. I am pleased and relieved to report that after nearly two years of job hunting, I finally did find some good employment, and I am now drawing a paycheque. Of course, being at work through the day means I have greatly reduced writing time, I am sure you’ll understand. That’s why here’s comments on two issues, and I think I am cutting the deadline on a third issue really fine. Sorry about this, George…J

No. 8… Sorry about no letters of comment, I am falling more and more behind all the time. This may wind up being a sorry attempt to give you a letter, but at least, I am trying. The same excuse should probably be relayed to Bob Jennings and Tightbeam. Bob, I will try to catch up.

Titles of books have to catch the eye, indeed, but there are times I think there are only so many titles available. How many times have I seen a book with a title like, for example, Rules of Engagement? A quick Google will show there may be dozens of them. Finding an original title may become a real job.

I have seen the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, a third is on the PVR, and the fourth comes on in a couple of days. I hear so much about it, and I think it could be excellent. Yet, others love The Orville, and a ten-second glance at the show turned me off it entirely. There’s the basis for an interesting discussion.

No. 9… Congratulations to Jon Swartz on his award, and well deserved. I think more and more, getting the membership of any club to do anything is closing in on impossible. It does take more than your membership monies to get things done. And more and more, clubs are now just pages on Facebook, where no dues are required, and perhaps 99.99% of the membership is passive, waiting for things to happen.

My letter… the steampunk events for the summer have come to an end with the huge Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, inside Fort George. Now comes a couple of Harry Potter events…one was last weekend, and the other is this coming weekend. This fall/winter sees us at two craft fairs, with hopes that we shall do well at both.

Your founders…I wonder if the John L. Millard listed is the John Millard who was the chairman of Torcon I, who I met once at the first real meeting of the Torcon III/Toronto in 2003 organizational committee meeting? Please let me know… I think Taral Wayne might be able to give you some details.

There, I hope I’ve been able to offer some information and leads; that’s what I like to do the best. Fandom survives when information is distributed to as many people as possible; that’s why I have always liked fanzines. Please keep them coming, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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October 1st, 2017
02:43 pm


Loc on Warp 99 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)
Dear Cathy:

Wow, it’s Warp 99! Hard to believe you’re up to that number, and can hardly wait to see what appears in Warp 100! Better respond to this one first, though…

My loc…first of all, I can say with relief that I have found some work. I work for a mystery shopper company in North York, working as an English-language editor/caller. The pay is not the best, but is much better than zero, which is what I was making before. With luck, I can stick around for a while. With the minimum wage going up in 2018, a raise is in the works for me already.

Our own activities…yesterday, as I write, we attended a Harry Potter event in St. Jacobs, Ontario, connected with the Waterloo Central Railway. The previous weekend, we drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake for this year’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition. This coming weekend is Thanksgiving, and we can stay home!, and I certainly give thanks for that… Ad Astra has landed on the second weekend in July, and because of prior engagements, for the first time in 35 years or so, we will not be able to go.

Movies…we rarely go to them these days. I quite enjoyed the original Disney Alice movie, but still, we never did see the sequel, and perhaps it’s just as well. We’re talking about going to see Blade Runner 2049 and Victoria and Abdul, but given costs and time…

I need to do more research for upcoming conventions, but I hope to soon send out more lists. I hope everyone is finding them useful. I think I may be done for the moment. Everyone stay warm as the fall approaches.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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02:17 pm


Loc on Alexiad 94 (Joseph Major, ed.)
Dear Joseph:

I am cutting the deadline a little fine (well, I did start this on September 29), but yet, here I am with a loc on Alexiad 94. I am pleased to report that I have finally been able to find some work, as an English editor/caller for a mystery shopper company. The pay isn’t the best, but it is better than what I was making, which was zero. After nearly two years of searching, I can finally pay my own way, and perhaps gain a little more pride and self-respect. I hope you can find something soon, too.

I have been able to keep my weight down to 210 or so, better than I was, but I need to get back on the diet, or find something else that can get me below 200 lbs.

I am finding that for many SF awards, even the fan awards are being won not by fans as we know them, but by fans working with pros, or even pros doing things not for pay. Hugos, Auroras, I am not sure about other awards, but it does seem that many of us have lost our franchise to vote or even be considered. Perhaps we’re well past our Best Before date? The NASFiC is Puerto Rico might have been the last event of its kind on that island, given what’s happened to it. The hurricanes have made sure there won’t be tourism there any time soon.

I am personally out of step with SF as well. It’s been so long since I could keep up with it, and then my inability to afford any reading has led me to not really wanting to do any reading. My opinions on literary conventions have soured somewhat, I admit…few of the literary conventions I go to have anything for people to do. Like media conventions, attendees have been reduced to passive consumption, as in shut up and watch and listen. I find there’s not much to do, and the steampunk conventions I have gone to have supplied me with lots to do and participate in. As always, I have gone where the creativity is, and at these conventions, I can make jewelry and sell it, or show off my latest costume creation. I am going where I can do, and that seems to be away from the traditional conventions I’ve gone to in the past.

My loc…we are saving now for our return trip to England, and we are looking at a return date of sometime in 2019. We can learn from the mistakes we made in our first trip, and perhaps save some cash. Local friends are planning to go to England next year…we have loaned them our binder with all our plans and ways to keep track of tickets and passes, in the hope it will make their own plans that much easier.

After some unseasonably warm weather in September, we are now back to our cool fall. Surprisingly, while some trees have started to turn colours, most of the threes here are still lush and green. Makes me wonder if they will simply drop all their leaves at once, like a certain Whomping Willow. Thank you for this issue, and we will see you again with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 29th, 2017
01:07 pm


Loc on The Zine Dump 41 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Well, I am finally back to work. I am working as an editor/caller for a mystery shopper company in Toronto, and at least I can say I am pulling down a paycheque. But of course, that allows for even less time for some more fun activities, which includes letter writing. Here’s a fast loc on The Zine Dump 41.

As always, too many friends leave us because of health or crime. I gather Milt Stevens was rushed to hospital, so good thought for his immanent release. How’s the new teaching job at EFSC? Good to see we’re all working now. Yvonne is planning a huge bash in December, for it will be her 65th birthday, and her retirement, so she will be celebrating both.

And now for zines…I have seen some new titles, but I am trying to cut down, so I haven’t been going for anything new. In some ways, I want to keep going, but there have been times when I think I might want to drop fanzines altogether. They do take time I might not have, and sometimes, the response range from nothing to complaints. I have a huge decision to make.

I never did get anything to John Purcell for WOOF, so I will simply have to deal with a couple of sideswipes there, too. Corflu is coming in Toronto this year, but chairs Catherine Crockett and Colin Hinz have not been sharing information.

Margaret Atwood has won more prizes, and one of them is an Aurora Award. Rob Sawyer won himself two major prizes, Best Novel and Best Series of the Decade. I did another package of recent Vanamondes, wish I could get them regularly, but lack of time and money is something I understand perfectly these days.

I don’t write the locs I used to. I could knock off a couple of pages back when, and today, I am lucky to get a full page done. At least it is fall, and there’s fewer things happening outside, and I might have more time to give to my responsibilities. Hope springs etc., so I guess that’s it.  Thank you for this issue, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 26th, 2017
07:50 pm


Loc on Nice Distinctions 31 (Arthur Hlavaty, ed.)
Dear Arthur:

Many thanks for Nice Distinctions 31. I haven’t had much time for writing these days, having finally gotten some work for myself after a terrible time of unemployment of close to two years. I will make the effort to catch up.

Apas are things of the past for me, mostly because I got started with them before going on to fanzines. Mine were TAPA in Toronto, plus The Final Frontier, an old Trek apa, and APAplexy in Ottawa. Only the Ottawa apa still survives to this day, but there’s plenty of fond memories. We get to Detroit conventions about as often as you do, but we broke our long drought by going to Romulus, MI (yes, we encountered the Romulans) this past July for Motor City Steam Con, a most enjoyable steampunk convention. I think we may return.

Just for the record…the alt-right has its supporters up here, too. And, in many cases, those supporters turn out to be parents of friends and co-workers, and that realization is painful for many. As you mark 50 years of SF fandom and SF itself, I mark 40 years of the same, and find that in many ways, fandom has marched onwards, and left me behind. I find more community with the steampunks these days, and find that what I used to be able to do for SF fans, I can do for steampunks, and they are more appreciative than the fans ever were. In some cases, the steampunks are older fans who have looked elsewhere. I may have found a newer tribe.

So many have left us. George Romero has been living up here for more than a decade, much of it hidden. More and more leave us, and when Dave Langford puts Ansible together each month, he is depressed over how his fandom chips away towards obscurity. My words, not his.

I think I am done. Many thanks for this, and I guess we will see you with the next one, as always. Take care.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 8th, 2017
10:35 am


Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 118 (Thomas Sadler, ed.)

Dear Tom:

Thank you so much for The Reluctant Famulus 118. After my eyes stop hurting after rolling them so much over Brad Foster’s cover, I will dive into the middle of the zine, and see what comments I can pull out.

Editorial…I haven’t seen enough Doctor Who episodes to count on one hand, but it seems I am fairly familiar with the Doctors and their companions, and the various adventures they have. It’s never really caught my interest, but I do know members of several DW clubs and societies in the Toronto area. The Doctor has given them plenty of enjoyment over the years, and who am I to say otherwise? I am glad they enjoy the show as much as they do.

The Wow! signal…well, I am sure we were hoping this was a true sign of extraterrestrial life, but perhaps not yet. One day; I cannot believe we are alone in the universe, unless we are truly an anomaly. And if we are, why does the universe exist? This is a test, a 300-word essay, and give three examples…

The locol… I had read some time ago that one of the later Doctors, David Tennant, perhaps, had said that he would recommend to any of his successors not to stay in the role any longer than three to four years. It’s a great role, and it will make your name, but if you stay too long, it will cubbyhole you, and cripple your career. I thought this might have been a difficult decision for Peter Capaldi, as he was a big Doctor Who fan in his youth. Finally, it looks like I have some employment, starting this coming Wednesday. It is only part-time, but at least, I won’t be spending all my days at home, job hunting.

I wish there had been more here, but I think I have written what I can. Have a great weekend, and I look forward to the next issue. See you then!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 5th, 2017
06:54 pm


Loc on Eric the Mole 6 (Ron Gemmell, ed.)
Dear Ron:

Thank you for Eric the Mole 6, and no problem on three years…I figure three years in the making. Time to respond in near-kind with a letter of comment.

Well, we didn’t make it to Helsinki, and I doubt we will ever make it to another Worldcon, but still, I like to hear about how they went, who was triumphant, who embarrassed themselves, etc. While it seems you may be over-employed, I have spent nearly the last two years looking for some work. I am hopeful that over the next couple of days, I will be able to make a happy announcement. I am so tired of looking. It may be otherwise, but I think I am a victim of ageism; potential employers would rather hire someone who is younger, and therefore would take less salary.

I would also like to travel to places like the Åland Archipelago…these days, anywhere would be good. Just over a year ago, Yvonne spent two weeks in England, a week in London, and a week in Lincoln. Such fun, and we are now saving to return. That might take us about another three or four years to do. I miss the days where we would gather with our friends…our poor financial status means we can’t do that any more. If we are not travelling to Worldcon, we must live vicariously through the assorted trip reports we read.

My loc…we are both well. We are always looking for money-making opportunities. I have re-signed with a local company that supplies registration staff to local conferences and trade shows, so I might as well get paid for what I used to volunteer to do. Yvonne is a long-time costumer, and seeing our interests have veered over to steampunk, she created for herself a Queen Victoria costume. Last month saw a paying engagement to appear as the queen north of Toronto, so this may become something that might make her a little bit of money.

TAFF…I am hoping that Wolf von Witting might try and run for TAFF the third time, and see if he wins it, as did Curt Phillips did. I have thought of it myself and the two of us…hmmm…

I think I am done for this time around. I am hoping for a telephone call tomorrow telling me if I have a job I interviewed for last week. I have the best feeling for this job of all jobs I’ve interviewed for over the last two years, and I am hopeful. At least, I am hoping for the best, bur prepared for the worst. I apply for so many jobs, and I only want one… Take care, and see you the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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September 4th, 2017
05:20 pm


Loc on OSFS Statement 460 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Hello! It is Labour Day as I write, so I thought I could get some fanzine-oriented labours done. I have here OSFS Statement 460, and I have a few comments to make…

As I write the CNE Air Show is carrying on for the day, the last day of the Ex. However, the canyonization of Highway 427 carries on…the new condo buildings in our area make it nearly impossible to see the planes as they hurtle past, and just a few days ago, new signs proved that more huge condos are on the way. Soon, you won’t be able to see anything on the highway past the huge condos being built, or are already there. (After this part of the letter, we went downstairs to sit outside, and the Snowbirds flew right over us.)

I should get another list of events out to you…some days, the list becomes enormous. It is because there are so many interests covered by what we call fandom, but some interests have far too many events, in my humble opinion. We did have a wonderful time at the Coldwater Steampunk Festival, we did well at our table, and Yvonne was Queen Victoria, who knighted John A. MacDonald, portrayed by local actor Christopher Newton. Fan eXpo just finished up today in Toronto, so things can get back to relative normal, or as normal as it gets. Our next event is the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Not much this time, but it looks like we will have as busy a fall as we did a summer. We hope to see some of you there, and if not, see you next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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12:13 pm


Loc on Tightbeam 279 (Robert Jennings, ed.)
Dear Bob:

Thank you for Tightbeam 279, hope I am not too late with this letter. We’re just before the Labour Day weekend, so I am hopeful that I can get further caught up with things. (It’s Labour Day, still three weeks left of summer to go!)

Great LotR hobbitish illo by Steve Stiles. I wish I knew what Gollum was grimacing at… No locs? I did send you one on July 28. If you cannot find it, let me know, and I will resend it.

I have never liked alternate history novels, mostly because it seems 99.9% of them are military-based. I think I still have one Harry Turtledove novel that is not military-based, and I quite enjoyed it. Some alternative history novels aren’t so clearly marked, either. I had seen Yann Martel’s newest novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, in our local book stores. He’s best known for Life of Pi, but he’s had many books in between, especially books on politics, especially Canadian politics.

The movie The Circle…never heard of it. Some movies are simply not distributed to Canada, and others have such little time in the theatres, it is easy to never know it was here. Looks like the movie dwells on the drawbacks of fame. Could be interesting, a cautionary tale for many.

As Labour Day carries on, I am working on cleaning up my office, getting a few locs done, and helping Yvonne create one of her best costumes, IMHO... la vaporiste incroyable. The costume is online, and given her own French background, she hopes to show it off by the end of this month. Such is my mission to give her all the time she needs to get it done. And in the next couple of days, I hope to find out if a job I interviewed for could be mine. I’ve been unemployed for close to two years now, and it really shouldn’t be this difficult to make a living. Fingers crossed for a happy announcement on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I wish this loc was more, and here it is. I look forward to the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 30th, 2017
04:04 pm


Loc on zine+origami 5 & A (Rene Walling, ed.)
Dear Rene:

Thanks for two more issues of zine+origami, issue 5 and mini-issue A. I will see if I can whip up some comments good enough for the next issue you produce.

5…There’s been so many Worldcons, and so many guests. I cannot remember which bid now, but I was told by an unsuccessful bid that we were considered as guests. That’s about as close as we’ve come, but it is always great to be considered. I longevity is a factor, both Yvonne and I can say we’ve been involved in fandom for 40 years each.

Putting more world in the Worldcon is indeed good, and the way it’s happening is more of the world is bidding. Finland’s now had its first Worldcon, and Ireland is getting one. More overseas bids are going, and Worldcon may yet go to Paris. Perhaps the whole genre is no longer North American-centric, but Euro-centric.

I know I have said it before and elsewhere, but Worldcons are no longer an affordable thing for us. We are saving to travel, but we want to return to England. It is the first anniversary of our first trip to London and England, but we want to go back. Worldcons no longer have the charm they once did for us. Too much politics, and too many Puppies’ messes. I hope it recovers, but I doubt we will ever have the disposable income to go back every year, as we once did.

A…There’s been within the history of fandom many fans who felt that indeed Fandom Was A Way of Life, or FIAWOL. All fine and dandy, but money was easier back then, and living the fannish lifestyle was viable. Not so now, FIAWOL happens only if you are independently rich. So, for all of us, FIJAGH, or Fandom is Just a Goddamned Hobby. But then, fandom has changed so much over the last ten years or so, so we’ve found other things to keep us busy, like Steampunk. Yvonne is busy with costumes, which go back to our costing interests from the 1980s. I can assemble my own costumes, and make some jewelry to go with them, so I am busy and creative, something fandom once did for me.

Conrunning was once a way of life for us, I guess…we were on the Ad Astra committee for 30 years, and many other committees, as well. We still offer ideas and contacts here and there, but being on committee is one for us. Yvonne couldn’t wait to get off committee, and we did catch some grief for leaving, but it was a real turning point for us. Not running cons meant many people thought we were gafiating. No, we weren’t and people were surprised to see us still attending Ad Astra and other cons. Our newest involvement is Yvonne’s Queen Victoria costume…her first paid gig as Victoria was in Coldwater, Ontario earlier this month, and the second gig may be coming up in Michigan next year. What motivated us to work on cons? We were savvy enough to know that if you want the good times to happen, someone needs to work hard to make them happen.

All done with these two issues for right now…I will look forward to more coming soon.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 29th, 2017
10:05 pm


Loc on Vibrator 2.0.42 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

I have got Vibrator2.0.42 here, and once I get past the Turing fanzine printer on the front cover, I will get to writing a fast loc in the hopes of catching up.

Just your £5 notes are plastic? All of our money here is plastic. Should a paper note arrive in my change, it’s a rarity. And when we do get a paper note, we make sure that Sir Wilfrid Laurier is quickly turned into Mr. Spock. It’s become a Canadian tradition, Google it up.

Having Donald Trump as president for four years should turn around the politics in the US for the better. In that time, he will have pissed off most of the people who voted for him, and fired just about anyone who wanted to work for him. The electorate will say Donald, you’re fired, and it can’t come soon enough.

I never did vote in the FAAn Awards…even though I get most of the zines extant, I tried to think of various bests of, and couldn’t name any. I just enjoy what I receive, and the deadline came and went. Perhaps I will do better next time. Next Corflu is here, but I doubt I will be there.

It is late, and my eyes are crossing, so I will RAE,BNC the locol, and go directly to the extro, with my apologies. Thanks for 42, and I shall do better with 43.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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07:49 pm


Loc on Spartacus 21 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Many thanks for Spartacus 21. There’s still a lot of zines to respond to, and this one is next. I like the fact you’ve got a Michael deAdder cartoon on the front. He’s the political cartoonist for the Halifax Herald newspaper in Nova Scotia, and his cartoons often appear in a couple of the local papers here.

I remember Gal Gadot from her stint as the Israeli soldier on the staff of NCIS. The character was a tough one, but she carried it off well, so no surprise with the Wonder Woman movie (which I did not see). I did see something on Facebook about her husband, who happily sports a t-shirt that says that Wonder Woman is his wife. David Thewlis was better used in the Harry Potter movies.

The senior prom…when I was in my final year of high school, I knew about the senior prom, and knew it was coming up, and also knew that I would have no one to ask to it, so it wasn’t that important to me. I also knew that we were getting ready to move away to the west coast, and we did that three days after my final day of class. I got my high school diploma in the mail. I ignored any school proms or dances, for I knew no one wanted me. I also had the heartache and shame of fake Valentines, too.

Hurricane Harvey has dumped an ocean load on Houston and area, and DT45 is down there, somehow accepting the credit for cash dumps for damages yet to be totaled. I cannot make any criticism of the regime others haven’t already made.

My loc…we did go up to Northern Ontario, to Sturgeon Falls/West Nipissing, and the small village of Cache Bay, where the Robert family laid to rest Gabrielle Klein-Robert, Yvonne’s mother, and a very sweet lady to me. I will miss her hugs, and her sewing and quilting talents. We also got eaten alive by the horrendous mosquitoes, and the bites are still healing. We also did go to that steampunk convention in Romulus, Michigan…we had no problems crossing the border into the US. However, on the way back home, we were taken to task by Canada Customs because we had made purchases, and could not provide all of our receipts upon demand. Our pleas that we had not been into the US in over five years fell on deaf ears, but still, we were not directed over to another building. We may return to Michigan for this convention next year, and so we know. Given how DT45 is reacting to the least resistance Canadian officials are putting up over the NAFTA renegotiations, we don’t know if we will be allowed in next year.

We are also having discussions about our early politicians, and whether we should disown them because they made decisions back then that are unpopular/sexist/racist today. Some are trying to rename schools named after Sir John A. MacDonald, our first prime minister because he was among the many who set up the residential school system that took native children away from their parents in the misguided attitude that these children needed a proper education in English, and a religious education with a Christian God. I don’t think these schools will change their names…in 1867 and later, these decisions were made with the best of intentions. We cannot make modern decisions on these 150-year old pieces of legislation, but all we can do is admit that their intentions were good, even if the results over 150 years was quite evil. I usually do not criticize political correctness, but in this case…

All done for the moment. I still have Challenger 41 to work on, and still quite the pile of zines on my desktop. I will get to those soon. Many thanks for this one, looking forward to more.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 27th, 2017
01:26 pm


Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 37 No. 8 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFans:

Thank you all for the August Shuttle, and here’s some commentary one day off the deadline. We are recovering from our long trip into north central Ontario for Yvonne’s mother’s funeral and interment. Now to see how much my tired brain can create.

I would like to see the return of OMNI Magazine, perhaps if only to see how much it resembles the original product. I remember enjoying it when I could afford it. If it has the right combination of science and science fiction, it could be good again, but given how much publications have faded in the past ten years or so, I hope it won’t be a wasted effort.

More and more awards…as I type, I believe this is just more than a week to vote on the Aurora Awards. I doubt I will vote, I am a very unqualified nominator and voter. I have been reading online more and more people encouraging others not to participate in the Dragon Awards, given its initial controversies.

The locol…I don’t get Ethel the Aardvark in paper format any more, Sheryl, but I do get it in my e-mail. I think the latest issue is no. 188. My loc…I have found one of the Canada 150 $1 coins, but I have yet to receive in my change any of the $2 coins. I may have to go to my local bank and ask for one directly. We have been to Coldwater, Ontario for the big steampunk event there, and we had a great time. Our sales were very good, and Yvonne as Queen Victoria was a huge hit. The job hunt still continues.

And, I think that may be all I can do. Worldcons are so outside my experience these days. I have already had to proclaim that I’d need a lottery win to go to more of them. Something much more of interest to me is the possibility of returning to England for another stay, and Yvonne is saving to do just that. With some luck, a job soon, but whether it would be enough to help with finances and saving for England, is yet to be seen. Thank you, Mike, for this issue, and keep them coming.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 25th, 2017
10:47 pm


Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 356 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

The August edition of the Event Horizon, issue 356, is here with me. And where am I? In the small town of West Nipissing, ON, not far from the top of Lake Huron, in a hotel room, getting ready for Yvonne’s mother’s interment in the family plot at Cache Bay Public Cemetery. Gabrielle wouldn’t want me to just sit and mourn, so here I am in our hotel room, with my tablet and keyboard, sending a loc all the way to Florida.

Give Back to Hogwarts…I must tell Yvonne about this play. We were in England this time last year, but we simply didn’t have enough time, or money to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. With the attempts to control the Hugos by assorted Puppies, and the heavy-handedness by the people who run DragonCon’s Dragon Awards, perhaps the World Fantasy Awards are yet untouched. I hope I am right. Anyone know differently?

My loc…the cons we like are the ones who reflect our interests, of course. Many of us have put in our time as conrunners to make those cons happen,
but now that we are retired (I am, anyway), other will run the cons, and redirect the con’s interests away from your own. It’s bound to happen. There are cons we don’t go to any more, but we now go to cons we do like.

Great costumes at Iccon! Lots of Batman costumes, and any family who will dress as The Incredibles is incredible all on their own.

It is late, and we need to get some rest for the funeral tomorrow, so I will say thank you for this issue, and I will keep an eye out for
the next.

                                                                                       Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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08:35 pm


Loc on X-Rayer 137 (Ray Palm, ed.)
Dear Ray:

I am travelling again…right now, I am in West Nipissing, Ontario, formerly known as Sturgeon Falls, and we have a comfortable hotel room as we plan to formally inter Yvonne’s mother Gabrielle into the family plot at the Cache Bay Public Cemetery tomorrow morning at 11am. I am not going to simply sit and mourn, I think Gabrielle wouldn’t want me to, so I brought some fanzines with me, including X-Rayer 137.

I always thought it presumptuous that any American government might join a galactic organization, not consulting with any other government on Earth.
There’s 200+ countries here… I cou;ld see a fictional world government making such a decision, but any US government? What ego! I could see DT45 doing this, and then crying ‘fake news!’ yet again.

I get the feeling the Alternative 3 programme on Anglia Television was meant to be as much of a shocker as War of the Worlds. I never did see the Space Man comic books,  but at least shows like Star Trek gave us all the vision of something much bigger than ourselves, a Federation of Planets with grand ideals, ideals that the average SF fan would eagerly embrace. It might need to be hidden from us, and I suspect for good reasons…should we ever discover life elsewhere than on Earth, there will be screaming from religious types. More fake news, perhaps.

My loc…in some ways, I did train for a career, but the requirements of the career were redefined as I graduated, and there I was with a degree that largely couldn’t get me work. I have been a good proofreader, copy editor and date entry clerk, and while there have been jobs for all those, I haven’t gotten any real work in close to two years now. Just lately, I have found some great jobs, and about 7 or 8 of them, and as I say, I only want one.

All done for the moment, Ray…I hope you don’t have to redesign the next issue to get this loc in. Thanks for this, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 24th, 2017
10:53 am


Loc on Lightning Round Vol. 4 No. 1 (Al Bouchard, ed.)
Dear Al:

Thanks kindly for Vol. 4, No. 1 of Lightning Round.  There’s so many zines to respond to…who says paper zines are old fashioned? More catching up to do, so here’s a loc for you.

I’d agree with the headline on page 1, but we really haven’t gotten that hot a summer here. We have been so lucky with our car, a 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring Wagon, a model no longer in production, but I see them everywhere. It may not be a van, but it is the closest thing to a station wagon we’ve been able to get. And, we’ve named it Penney Dreadful V.

I had met both Richard Tucholka and Jordan Kare along the way…I believe Yvonne met Jordan at a space conference, too. We don’t travel much anymore, at least not long distances. You might have seen pictures of our adventures on my Facebook page, pictures from the Coldwater Steampunk Festival where Yvonne was dressed as Queen Victoria. We were also at Motor City Steam Con in Romulus earlier this summer, and Queen Victoria was a hit. They might ask her to return in 2018. This weekend, we do have a distance to travel, up to Cache Bay, Ontario, for Yvonne’s mother’s funeral and interment.

The locol…the Purcells should be back from their TAFFish travels by now. My loc…I have been making a few inquiries, and Paul Carreau was last year’s CUFF winner, and as the last few have done, they have not taken on administration of the fund. It falls back on Deb Yeung, who won the fund some years back, and is the only source of responsibility for the fund, IMHO.

I know what you mean when it comes to Worldcons…I am not sure Worldcons reflect our interests these days. Steampunk has become for us the magic combination of affordable costuming, creativity, lack of politics, and events that are relatively close by. Fandom is big and encompassing enough to say that while we have moved out of conrunning, and into steampunk vending, we are still fans. There are so many interests to enjoy. We now can say that each of us have been involved in fandom for 40 years, and it is what’s keeping us alive and vibrant, and busy doing meaningful things, and having plenty of fun, too.

I am still at home right now and STILL jobhunting, although I have my resume in for some great-looking jobs. I will doing some preliminary packing today, and we will be leaving for Cache Bay tomorrow morning. I don’t know what else is happening on Friday, but we will be going to the funeral on Saturday morning, visiting with one of Yvonne’s elderly aunts, and then heading straight home. We hope to pull in at home before the sun drops on Saturday. Take care, and have a great weekend!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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August 21st, 2017
03:55 pm


Loc on Warp 98 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)
Dear MonSFFen:

Thanks to you and Cathy, I have Warp 98 here with me. I haven’t had much time lately, but here’s a fast loc just before deadline.

My past loc…reminders of SF from the past still crop up, but with often bad news. I read that just a few days ago, Brian Aldiss, one of the besxt known authors of British SF from the 60s and 70s, has passed away, at the age of 92. STILL job hunting, folks! The resumes are out there, and lately, there’s a lot of great jobs I have applied for. However, I just want one…

The Helsinki Worldcon is done. Next year’s Worldcon is in San Jose, CA, and in 2019, it will be in Dublin, Ireland. I gather this year’s NASFiC in Puerto Rico only attracted 200 people. We were at the Coldwater Steampunk Festival a couple of weekends ago, and it was great fun, and profitable, too. We’ll be back next year!

Cathy, you are unfortunately right about fen, and I may be one of them. There are fannish traditions that go all the way back to the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, and while they are time-honoured, they are not graven in stone, and some people think they should be. The appeal of fannish traditions going back that far is fading, and new tr4aditions are much more sensible. Membership fees should not be raised to keep the older fans fed and watered; not all of us drink. In many ways, the older fans have gone away, and the newer fans have their own traditions. We’ve moved onwards into steampunk fandom, where there’s great fun to be had, but no restrictive traditions.

Today is the day of the eclipse…anyone go out and look at it? I did for a second, but for many, it was a non-event. It was best watched on television, I think.

Ad Astra…I don’t think it is a shadow of its former self, but it is what new people have worked to create. I found this year had few true vendors, and many independent book authors and publishers, trying to sell their product. I think the dealers’ room will be better this year, for Robert Williams, one of the local steampunk vendors, told me in Coldwater that he will be the new Ad Astra vendor chief. He really wants us to be there; we will have to see what happens. Ad Astra 2018 will be held in July.

I remember Andrew Fazekas, having met him at a RASC event some years ago. He used to be the head of Montreal Central, if I recall.

Time to go, I think! Cathy, let me know if you need a new convention list. Take care, all, and see you with Warp 99.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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