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

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February 15th, 2019
07:31 pm

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Loc on Spartacus 30 (Guy H. Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy:

Spartacus 30 is here in all its .pdfedness, and it’s about three weeks old, so I’d better get with responding to it. It’s almost the weekend, and the total catch-up is at hand!

Commiserations on the passing of Gary Tesser. I didn’t know Gary, but we are all losing friends and big names from our happy hobby. I am told that when we lose interest in our hobbies, it is a sign of depression. I may plead guilty to that; I am not sure what else to say.

Greg Benford’s ejection from Loscon…I would not blame Loscon for what happened. We are asked for a level of decorum wherever we might go, but different people demand different levels, and as disclaimers on some comedies say, different people have different senses of humour. I won’t say more, other than if different people had been in the audience, none of this may ever have happened. All I can do is shake my head. I blame today’s politics for all of this hypersensitivity.

Well, the Orange Fool has declared his so-called emergency, and wants $5 billion…NOW. Do you get the feeling the whole country was held hostage? This money will probably come from cuts to programmes that will affect the most sensitive of all your fellow citizens. He’s truly dug through the bottom of the barrel, and is pulling up the dirt underneath.

So many movies not seen, so I can’t get excited by the Oscars, with a parade of sensitive egos strutting in front of a world-wise audience. We were a part of some recent awards, though… Yvonne is a member of CAFTCAD, The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design, and their own CAFTCAD Awards were staged last weekend. We helped with some set up, and stuffed swag bags. More strutting egos, but we were busy with getting things done, which is where we are getting a good rep. Fandom trained us for this, and we are putting all of this experience to good use.

Right now, I am listening to BBC Radio 2 thanks to the Weeb, and I think I am now done. Hope you and Rose have a great weekend…it’s a long weekend for us, the Family Day weekend. Take care, see you next zine. (FAAn Awards are live…keep me in mind for Best Loc Writer.)

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 14th, 2019
11:47 am

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Loc on NASFA Shuttle Vol. 39 Nos. 1 & 2 (Mike Kennedy, ed.)
Dear NASFen:

Greetings to all in the year 2019! I’ve got here and January and February Shuttles, and now it is time to get back on track, and respond to both issues. (Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way…)

January… How many members are going to Dublin for the Worldcon? We will be heading over to Britain this year, but not for Worldcon. Yvonne is taking both of us to England in late May to mid-June, three weeks. We’ve had some ask why we wouldn’t go to Worldcon, but we’ve been to plenty of Worldcons, and we want to see England again, and we suspect, for the last time.

Have you been getting any information about Amazing Stories? I have been one of the magazine’s copy editors/proofreaders for the second and third issues, and I have just been accepted to do the same for issue 4. I hope the print version of Amazing is selling well.

Companion of Honour to Margaret Atwood. She is very much a literary icon in Canada, and she lives in Toronto somewhere. I wasn’t sure if she would actually qualify for a British award, but here, she certainly does.

The Costume Designer Guild Awards…Yvonne belongs to CAFTCAD (The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design), which, I believe is the Canadian version of the Costume Designer Guild. Just recently, CAFTCAD has their own awards for costuming in Canadian film and television… I would need to see if any of those nominees and winners were genre-based. (Yvonne will be putting together her resume to try to become one of those costume people working in the local film/TV industry, and who knows? She might win one of those awards. For the awards ceremony this past weekend, we stuffed the swag bags for guests.)

Letter from Sheryl… I think you might be referring to the rather strange Hallowe’en episode. I admit it gave a lot of us pause to wonder, and have a bit of a WTF moment. We know the writer of the episode, and he was honestly disappointed that more people didn’t really get the episode. It was also the first episode in the series’ history to have different theme music at the beginning. Our 2019 trip to London will be three weeks long…we wish it could be longer, but the cash only lasts so long. I think three weeks is the longest we could take, anyway. In the long run, we’re homebodies. Frankie Drake Mysteries is pretty popular here, too, and it kindasorta takes place in the Murdoch universe, but in the 1920s.

February… Less money is indeed everywhere. I read elsewhere that Canadian author incomes are down at least 20%, and no one here can make a living on their writing. It’s a sad state of affairs when our writers literally can’t afford to write, but most of that comes from the money we were spending on buying books. Now that e-books have a sizable percentage of the market, our authors are making less money.

So many more awards. One of the reasons I feel so out of the loop is that these awards are going to books I haven’t read or movies or TV shows I haven’t seen, and I am not likely to read or see these award winners.

Just found out yesterday, as I write that the Martian Rover programme has finally come to an end, with the 14.5 years of data coming from Opportunity, a mission only meant to last 90 days. Well done to the NASA folks, especially to those who created the rovers, which went way beyond their warrantee.

Time to fire this off to you, and see what else I have to do this afternoon. Time to write, make jewelry, or just put my feet up for a while…it’s good to have some choices. See you next issue!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 12th, 2019
02:56 pm

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Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 78 No. 1 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

Thanks for the January TNFF, Vol. 78, No. 1. There’s a terrible snow storm just outside my windows, winds blowing, and threats of ice pellets and freezing rain, so I am staying inside where it’s warm, and where’s there a working computer to get all of this done.

I always loved room parties, promoting conventions and other fannish projects. I don’t get to as many conventions as I used to, but the ones I do get to have no parties at all, or if there are any, it’s invitation only, and we don’t find out about them until after they’ve happened. Do convention attendees like gathering at parties as much as they used to? I have to wonder.

Good to see that there’s lots of good writing coming out the club. Another club I correspond with, the Science Fiction and Fantasy South Africa (SFFSA) also had many good writers within the group. I have suggested that they produce an anthology of club writings for perhaps professional publication, and I could easily recommend the same to you all.

My loc… I am hopeful that issue 3 of Amazing Stories will see actual print soon. I think it is at the final proofing stage, and may be sent to the printers RSN. I did find Secondary Universe, and it was a very sercon convention in a string of more fannish events held at American university campuses.

The storm continues to rage outside, so I will get this loc ready to go. One good thing about e-mailing my locs is that I don’t have to go outside in this mess to mail the letter. Take care, stay warm!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 7th, 2019
02:57 pm

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Loc on CounterClock 34 (Wolf von Witting, ed.)
Dear Wolf:

Thank you for yet another CounterClock, issue 34 this time. Always an anticipated issue, and always a challenge to respond to. I’ve got a couple of coffees in me, so I will give it a shot.

I admit that I have not read any of Stieg Larsson’s books, although they seem pretty popular. I think we have all found in our fannish careers that you never know where a connection to SF fandom might crop up, and such is the case with Stieg Larsson. I didn’t know his fannish connections until a past issue of this very fanzine. I am pleased that my inquiry brought this article around; it should be the latest chapter in our history of fandom. My thanks to John-Henri Holmberg for allowing its printing, and commiserations that much of your contribution to the book was trimmed out. (An idea…we all need to respond to this portion of the zine. Wolf, you and John-Henri send all the remarks and comments to the publishers, for if there is a second edition, it can be an expanded edition, and John-Henri’s writings can be edited back in.)

A great introduction to fandom for the non-fans, and a good reminder of our origins for the rest of us. The origins of fandom and Swedish fandom are part of our history, and set the scene for Larsson’s appearance. Should this passage appear in the book at a later date, I might get rid of any first-person writing about your own entry into Swedish fandom. (I like the passage about being a part of a DX club. DXing is distant radio listening, and I have done that myself. I am a past member of the Ontario DX Association, which to the best of my knowledge, is long gone, another hobby killed by the Web.) It’s also interesting to see political leadings that came from correspondence in the fanzines, and some of the discussion on Richard Nixon looks like some of the current discussions on Donald Trump. I know how many people outgrow fandom to go onto other interests, but the revelation that Stockholm fandom, at the time, was full of jerks and idiots. Doesn’t that sound all too familiar? At least fandom may be seen as Larsson’s social launch pad.

I admit that I watch and read very little SF these days. Perhaps embracing steampunk, and stepping a little bit away from SF, was part of my mid-life crisis, I don’t really know. There is so much SF in books, in the movie theatres, and on television; we are spoiled for choice. Give it a few years, and television in North America will have a variety of Star Trek series to choose from. That will probably be when many walk away from it, as it won’t feel special any more. I don’t find Star Trek: Discovery to be bad; I am in fact enjoying it. We get to watch it in Canada because it is shot in a studio just east of downtown Toronto, which the US must subscribe to a special service to see it.

I remember at the Dutch Worldcon in 1990, there was in parallel with the Worldcon a Perry Rhodan convention, which at the time was celebrating the 1000th Rhodan novel. To see that it’s hit 3000 novels is frankly amazing, given that Perry seems to have become a solely European hero. I remember seeing Rhodan novels in the remainder bin at a big local bookstore, but most bookstores are gone, and the big bookstore chain here in Ontario is slowly becoming less of a bookstore, and more of a gift shop.

I will have to see if I can vote in TAFF. Often, my vote or nomination is the kiss of death, and money is very tight with my continuing unemployment. I now know all the candidates, having just friended Sarah Gulde on Facebook.

That’s quite the SF collection you’ve got, measured in terabytes. I am not sure I’d want all of that myself, but what little I have I have downloaded from YouTube. More and more, I have to trim down what little we do have, so not having a massive collection of SF is actually good for us. More trimming is coming in the future; it looks like as rental housing becomes less available and more unaffordable, we will have to make some very hard decisions.

A little personal report…I had been reading about the revival of Amazing Stories in magazine form, and it is out. While the owner of AS lives in the US, the editor-in-chief is Ira Nayman, a local pro/fan in Toronto. I offered my services as a proofreader/copyeditor, and I was readily accepted. It’s a bit of a dream to be working on Amazing Stories, and now, I am. I was one of a team of proofreaders/copyeditors on issues 2 and 3, and I hope to be called upon to work on issue 4.

Here and elsewhere, I think you’ve been talking about not so much gafiating, but taking a break, recharging your creative batteries. Thumbs up to that. Going away entirely? I hope you won’t. You and this zine have become one of the few, if not the only, gateways from European fandom to the greater fandom out there. I still think you’re enjoying this, and I am sure there is more European fannish history to be written about.

Anyway, I do look forward to issue 35, and I suspect you’re already working on it. Take care, and I hope that 2019 is a good year for both of us.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 6th, 2019
04:05 pm

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Loc on OSFS Statement 478 (Grant Duff, ed.)
Dear OSFen:

Thank you all for issue 478 of the Statement. I suspect this will be a fast letter…the ice storm going through southern Ontario is knocking out electricity and Net access, so I might just whip this up asap and get it out before there’s a more permanent outage.

We did get to see at least a portion of the lunar eclipse. It wasn’t complete, but still neat to see. Local chapter of RASC usually has something to say about it, but never saw what that was.

My loc… I am still working on my list, but have found a on e-day event in Ottawa in August called FanaticCon. August 11 - FanaticCon, Ottawa Conference & Event Centre, Ottawa. For more information, www.fanaticcon.ca, or Facebook page. I am not really sure what the subject matter of the convention is. Also, we found an interesting show called The Geeky Craftorium, which will be held in the Junction area of Toronto the month before Anime North, so a sudden new market has sprung up for us. It might take a little pressure off AN, too.

Are any members of OSFS also members of Steampunk Ottawa? We will be in Ottawa on May 19 to attend the Steampunk Ottawa 10th Anniversary Gala at the Serbian Banquet Hall in Nepean. Times will be tight, for we will be heading home first thing the next morning. I never know how much overlap there is between the clubs, but I thought I would ask.

Anyway time to go, the overhead lights are flickering. We will see how much damage the ice storm does. Take care, and see you soon, somewhere…

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 5th, 2019
03:58 pm

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Loc on Skyliner 5 (Alan White, ed.)
Dear Alan:

The fifth Skyliner is here! Well done. And I certainly like the front cover…more on that once I’m inside, and getting past the opening paragraphs.

Fan artists don’t get enough attention or feedback for their work, especially when an audience within the ancient fanzine realm should appreciate it for breaking up all the blocks of black type. I admit that as a part of the older generations in fanzines, yet much an outsider to the secret handshakes and all that, I do appreciate artwork that might not show up in the fanzines. (Locally here, I could suggest Kevin Davies and Lar deSouza as two marvelous artists who wouldn’t give me fan artwork when I needed it for publication, but who have artwork that needs more eyeballs rolling across it.)

I admit that I do not know of any of the current crop of fan artists who might be winning the silver rockets, mostly because I have no idea where to see that artwork. My thanks to Geneva Bowers for being willing to show off her good stuff to an older audience. I love the colour, and the basis that even in this rather negative age, there is still room and opportunity to dream, and love some life. I think in the next issue, Alan, who are the new fan artists, and where their work could be found. If we can show them where the fan artists came from, perhaps we should be shown where fan art has gone, and see it in action.

Great to see all of these names, and so much good artwork with the familiar hand. DeviantArt has several metric tons of the good stuff, and millions of tons of crap, I’m afraid, so it is difficult to find the veins of gold. Familiar names can only take you so far.

Excellent biography of E.R. Burroughs by 4SJ. I think many find that fame is fleeting, and fame will not take you everywhere. You would have to be extremely famous (or infamous) for everyone to have at least heard of you, or heard your name somewhere. Fame is a reward you must work inordinately hard for, and even then, fame may not be what you wanted it to be, or may prove to be a reward you really didn’t want. At least Burroughs reaped some of the benefits of his creations.

These days, monthly meetings are all we have left fanwise. We took the British model of monthly pubnights, and for many years, we had the First Thursday and the Third Monday events. The First Thursday went through a hostile takeover, and now, we just go to the Third Monday pubnight, held monthly at Orwell’s Pub and Grill, in the west end of Toronto. Orwell’s, established 1984! In many ways, there are more steampunk things to do, so we go do them. You’ve got to keep yourself entertained.

My loc… I have now worked on Amazing Stories’ second and third issues, and with some luck, I will be asked to do some editorial work on issue 4. Douglas Rain’s passing was well noted in local media here, because he was Canadian, and because he was mainly seen on the stages of the various festivals in Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Vegas fandom has indeed changed greatly, but I hope ther’s someone pestering Arnie from time to time. The worst thing he could receive from fandom is oblivion.

Yvonne and I were LASFS members for one year. Yvonne, in her travels, went to one too many remote meetings, and she got zapped by the membership committee, and I thought I’d share in the zap. The N3F thought I was a member, because I responded to many of their available publications. I had to remind them otherwise.

Good on yer for producing another brightly drawn Skyliner, another go around, another harvest from the nostalgia bush. Thanks for this, and I hope you’re getting more response from more than just me. Take care, hugs to the lot of you, especially Jacq (see her on Facebook), and see you all with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 4th, 2019
04:21 pm

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Loc on Ethel the Aardvark 196 (LynC, ed.)
Dear MSFCers:

Ethel 196 is here!, and my thanks go to all of you for that. Time to make sure I can get a loc in for the next issue.


The weather in Australia has been in the news a lot, especially with flooding in Townsville. I think many of us have friends in Townsville, we do, and so far, they are safe and dry. Our thoughts are with you, and I hope you can all get past this cycle of roasting heat and drought, and then flood. Never has climate change been so apparent.

Where do baby aardvarks come from? Sorry kid, no deposit, no return. The market’s glutted, anyway. And, good to see you had such a good Christmas party. This is one of the benefits of a close community.

As Potterfans, we did enjoy Fantastic Beasts 2, but like so many, we were a little confused by it all. The settings were great, so were the effects, and Johnny Depp chewed up the scenery as always, but FB3 is going to have to explain a few things, and J.K. Rowling has promised it will. I will take her at her word.

In 2014, at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, there was a massive display of the works of M.C. Escher, and I took pictures of them all. I think everything shown here was there. The paintings were provided to the National Gallery by Escher’s oldest son, Giorgio, who had lived in Canada since 1958, and who, I found died only last year.

Well, dinner is almost ready, so I will say that I enjoyed the whole issue, but will make no further comment on it, except to say that we hope you are all safe and dry. We are enduring temperatures of close to -35C, and an extraordinarily warm day has melted most of the snow we had on the ground. We hope extra high temperatures and floods will go away soon. Take care, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 3rd, 2019
01:53 pm

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Loc on OASFiS Event Horizon 373 & 374 (Juan Sanmiguel, ed.)
Dear OASFiSians:

Many thanks for issues 373 and 374 of the Event Horizon. I am catching up again, so here goes with a few comments on each issue.

373… Happy New Year to all at the club, and looks like the club elections worked well. You’ve got plenty of conventions to go to this time of year. Here, not so much. We’ve just gotten through a cold snap, with temperatures as cold as -35C, which is about the same as -31F. Friends in New York and Michigan have dealt with the same, but things may be warming up…just a little bit.

We’ve taken an online course on doing background work, and we also need to get in touch with a local photographer we know to get B&W glossy photos and .jpgs done. With that, strange to say, I might have the opportunity to do some paid voice work. Welcome to the gig economy. I can’t find work, so doing voice and background work may become our only want to get the odd paycheque.

I’ve been able to watch Star Trek: Discovery regularly on the local science fiction channel, mostly because Discovery is shot here. I have really enjoyed this new season. I tried The Orville again… Nope, not happening. I just can’t get into it. Meanwhile, Discovery is getting closer and closer to original Trek canon, and it will be interesting to see just how they do it.

374… More great early year cons. Pensacon must be pulling out all the stops with their huge guest list, and Whofans are going to get a real treat. And more and more genre movie, shows and actors are getting onto the Oscar nominee lists.

Oh, well…that’s about what I can do today, so here it is. Many thanks for these issues, and please do keep them coming!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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February 2nd, 2019
10:59 am

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Loc on Ansible 378 & 379 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear David:

Here it is, the depths of winter here, with temperatures close to -35°C, and a foot of snow on the ground. I’ve seen the BBC reports, too. We’re used to the extremes here, so we stay in, turn the heat up a little bit, brew some coffee, and do a little writing. That’s exactly what I plan to do, with the first two 2019 issues of Ansible, 378 and 379.

(Today is Groundhog Day, yet another bit of American foolishness…so far the groundhogs here are predicting an early spring. They’d better be right, or groundhogs go immediately onto the endangered species list.)

378… The mention of George Orwell reminds me to remind you that our regular pubnight here is on the third Monday of the month, at Orwell’s Pub and Grill, on Bloor St. W. in Etobicoke, in the west end of Toronto. We’ve been going there for getting close to 25 years now.

I checked past letters to you…I can report in with some personal news. With the latest revival of Amazing Stories, I have made a minor dream come true, and I am helping with the latest issues. Steve Davidson in the US may be the current owner, but Ira Nayman is the current editor-in-chief, in Toronto. I offered my services as an experienced proofreader/copyeditor, and I have worked on issues 2 and 3, and with luck, I will be asked to work on issue 4 and more. This may be as close to working on pro publications as I will ever get.

In one of those past letters, I referred to The Asylum, the big steampunk event in Lincoln. John Naylor, the chairman of the event, did mention in past e-mails that there had been the chance of moving Asylum to York, but with negotiations with Lincoln and Lincolnshire concluded, the eleventh Asylum will return to Lincoln during the August bank holiday weekend, as always.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that Margaret Atwood received a special award from the Queen. Atwood is Canadian, so I wondered if the Companion of Honour was for foreign nationals. Well done to Michael Palin and Philip Pullman. I suspect Pullman was mystified by the whole thing, and was tempted to refuse the honour.

379… Elephant with a wooden leg, hm? I can send you photos of a wooden elephant in Nantes, France. Yeah, more of that steampunk stuff…

I remember some years ago, friends in southern Ontario bought some of the puppets from the Thunderbirds, and they were shipped from Britain…a couple of them did not survive the shipping, and the rest were put on display at local conventions. I do not know what happened to them there, and I should ask, but I hope they were safely shipped back. I would wonder at the provenance of those puppets then, and the puppets mentioned here.

I’d read elsewhere about the SFWA raising per word rates to 6 cents a word now, and 8 cents later. Have you heard of any publishers who are considering going out of business or reducing frequency because of these higher rates? Few, if any, authors make a living from their writings these days, so I agree with the raises, but I am sure some publishers and editors don’t.

Yvonne and I plan to be in England from May 29 to June 19, and one of our plans is to go to the First Thursday pubnight. We see where it is, and we also see there’s no Tube station close to it. We may have to see if there’s a bus from a station that goes close. I hope we can make it; we have an extensive schedule laid out for ourselves, and our aging bodies can take only so much. We also plan to meet with the London steampunk group, the Tentacle. Organizers Jared and Marian Foley came to visit with us in Toronto this past summer, and we plan to return the favour.

I am done, and many thanks for continuing to create them. The 40th anniversary issue should be quite special. I look forward to that issue, and all the others in between now and then. See you again in a couple of months.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 31st, 2019
05:01 pm

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Loc on Opuntia 432 - 434 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Many thanks for issues 432, 433 and 434 of Opuntia, and now that I’ve got them, I will try once again to write a decent letter of comment. You’re probably colder in Calgary, but it’s pretty close here, and I’d rather be inside than outside.

432… Everyone trying to stay warm? I don’t like the cold, but I did grow up in it. I do remember -40 temperatures when I was a kid. The Calgary Tower makes a great torch with the fireworks coming off the top. And a chiss sweeze sandwich does sound pretty good right about now.

If I recall, Dog River, Saskatchewan, site of CTV’s Corner Gas, was referenced more than once as not far away from Mercy, Saskatchewan, site of CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie. Too bad they were on different networks; seeing the characters interact could have been some fun.

All the pictures of cupcakes is making me hungry. Food-based mystery novels can be fun. Yvonne has a copy of The 27-Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders by Nancy Pickard. I need to check to see if she has any other food-based titles.

My loc… I am pleased to learn there is no real separatist movement in Alberta, even with the dissatisfaction some have with the Notley government. And, the tenth CFL franchise will be named the Atlantic Schooners. I wish them luck, but pro sports can be a cash fountain or a cash sink. I wish them luck.

433…It has been a long time since there’s been cactus on the front cover, I suspect. I keep hearing about the benefits of hemp for good foods and a replacement for paper, saving a lot of forested land. It sounds like a minor miracle, but how much farmable land would we need to grow enough hemp for all our needs? The legalization of marijuana seems a big deal for some, but how come we can’t legalize all hemp for our benefit? Too much money in forestry, I guess…

I do like some of the Oka cheeses from Québec, but there’s never enough money to enjoy it again. A little stink Camembert is always good, too.

434… Bitching about Trudeau…some things never change. It was dull before, and it’s dull now. Let me know if they come up with a new tune to sing. Not even the yellow vests are original.

Any kind of matter transmitter can be fun, especially if the original aren’t destroyed, and the copies replace them. Wil McCarthy’s Queendom of Sol series was a great read, where people would fax themselves all over the known universe, and all the copies might gather to compare notes.

The chocolate is worse than the above cupcakes…good think I’m making dinner shortly! Purdy’s is great, and the closest Purdy’s to me is in Mississauga.

I will fold up and get this to you. I hope the warm weather is nigh for both of us. The job hunt goes ever onwards, but some jobs I have found lately look good. I have to stay optimistic. Take care, and see you soon.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 29th, 2019
04:25 pm

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Loc on Askew 27 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

Thank you for Askew 27, and it is time to move forward with it, and make sure some things are said. I feel I can say them for there are a number of right-wing supporters in this country too, and what I see there beggars belief.

With that, I will make some remarks on the Kavanaugh decision, to let this child become a Supreme Court justice. The news is a little dated now, but with Kavanaugh making the SCOTUS more right-biased, the news becomes worse and worse. Discrimination against certain groups, based on gender, skin colour or sexual orientation is now legal, and backed and encouraged by the Supreme Court. Wade vs. Roe is about to be done away with. American has always said it is not the world’s policeman, but it has done so to cater to its own self-interest. Its government usually demands that it be seen as a moral compass. Right now, the world needs that compass, but it sure isn’t coming from Washington. We all need to beat back the rise of tyrants in North Korea, Brazil and Venezuela, among other countries.

There is a measure of relief that the Democratic Party now has the majority in your House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi got the 35-day government shutdown ended, and Trump got nothing in return, but it does look like another shutdown will come, and Trump will continue to demand that ridiculous wall, and hold American hostage once again. Please, for the world, already suffering from political strongmen who often prove to be incompetent… Impeach, remove, prosecute, repeat. Clean them all out, and help return the world to a relative normal.

We do watch the news, our own and news from Washington, too. We keep hoping for senior Trump officials to be charged with serious offences, and now, they are. It is finally happening. So many allegations, bits of proof, charges and convictions, and all within two years. The corruption is unprecedented. Our own right-wing Conservative Party sounds very Republican, and our Conservative Party in power in the province of Ontario promised good government for the people, and so far has cut back on vital laws and programmes that have hurt hundreds of thousands of people. Based on my own experience, why anyone would willingly vote for a right-wing political party is beyond me.

Another topic, for our own sanity… we may be taking the FAAn Awards a little too seriously, but it just shows that we care about them. A good number of us also realize that these awards may be the only awards we even remotely qualify for any more.

Hurray for rogue protein molecules, turning people into cannibal zombies. You can’t go wrong with that! Wasn’t there a Frankie Avalon movie with that idea in it? And, I will have to see if I can afford a TAFF vote. Money is really tight, and the bills mount. Yvonne is also job-hunting right now, have been let go from the casino/racetrack to the north of us due to a lack of work.

Anyway, time to go. Many thanks, and see you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 26th, 2019
04:09 pm

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Loc on Probe 176 & 177 (Gail Jamieson, ed.)
Dear SFFSA Members:

Greetings from the cold half of the world, and thanks to you all for two more issues of Probe, 176 and 177. Each issue reads like an anthology. I will try to explain myself below…

Hello to Gail Jamieson! The short bit I sent along to make the club’s anniversary…was it enough? Let me know if not. It is indeed hard to believe that the club is nigh onto 50 years old. Fandom itself is coming up on 90 years, and recently, I saw something about the 80th anniversary of the first convention in Leeds, England.

Sigma Howard and Delta Jade… We tend to have unfortunate assumptions about sex workers. We don’t even think of them as human, but they are all too human in a terrible situation, with their own dreams and aspirations. If suddenly, they were offered an ideal life…well, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? “Take me with you!” For me, that’s one of the best lines in any work of SF, the idea that you could radically change your life for the better if only someone from elsewhere or elsewhen could appear, and you could take the chance to go, simply go. The story truly resonates.

Suicide Mission is a combination of military and fantasy. I’m not really a fan of either, but the combination does intrigue me. It certainly isn’t a happy ending, but it’s not a complete ending, either. Either it’s done, or there is room for more action afterwards or a sequel.

My loc…now that it is 2019, not much here has changed, and I can say that I am still looking for work. It’s been ten months since my last day of work, and it certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying. Ever feel like you’ve become too old to work in today’s workplace? I sure do.

177… To Andrew Jamieson – do people ready your Notes? I do. There is a lot of science all around us, I often see stories about newest discoveries in science, especially in particle science, and there is almost too much SF&F around us. I simply can’t keep up. I get other clubzines from around the world, and there is one big problem, getting club members to contribute to their own clubzine. The problem is worldwide, so there’s a little comfort in that. Not much… SA is indeed a different country, but you’ve learned to enjoy SF&F in its most basic form, written.

A Secret Life…well, I am sure there is a lot of fan fiction about being a secret wizard, given the popularity of the Harry Potter books, but this is a fresh look as being a secret wizard from birth, and trying to function in the real world, and in a happy marriage. Some marriages can accept his membership in a secret society, but in this case? Well, the idea of eliminating wands is good, too many explanations needed, and Magnus has got the most understanding wife in the world…as long as she can get in on it, too.

My letter…I remember that hotel lobby quite well. We had ourselves a great time at that steampunk convention, but even with that, it didn’t measure up to the previous year’s convention. That was the last time we were in the USA, and may be for quite some time.

How would humanity respond to the arrival of alien life? I good portion of us would welcome them with some awe and caution. Others might declare the Devil is among us, and act against them. Some would lose their sanity completely. It sure would be fun to find out, hm?

It is getting close to dinner time here, and I think I will be making it, so I’d better wrap it up and run. Many thanks for sending these fanzines halfway around the world, and if you can keep doing it, that would be great. If electronic versions are better, I will take those, and save you the postage. Whatever you decided, I look forward to the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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02:54 pm

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Loc on Tightbeam 292 (George Phillies and Jon Swartz, eds.)
Dear George and Jon:

Many thanks for Tightbeam 292. I hope I’m not too late for a fast loc for the next issue’s letter column. This month has been very strange, but at least there is the chance to once again get caught up.

The locol… Bob Jennings is right about Dragon*Con outnumbering the Worldcon by quite a lot. I have never been to a Dragon*Con, too big and expensive for me, but the Dragon Awards… There are no fan awards, and I am not even sure that the attendees of Dragon*Con can nominate for these awards. Can anyone set me right here?

I have a niece who is into anime, but is really liking the French/Korean production Miraculous. It is CGIed, with lots of anime influences. I would be interested to read Jessi Silver’s take on this rather popular production. (I Googled it up…thousands of assorted social media pages, artwork and fanfic galore, and that must mean millions of dedicated fans.)

Is anyone in the N3F subscribing to the newest incarnation of Amazing Stories? The editor-in-chief for this actual magazine is Ira Nayman, who lived here in Toronto. I offered my services to Ira as a proofreader/copy editor starting with issue 2, and issue 3 may be at the publisher. I am told issue 4 is immanent, and with some luck, I will be taking on the proofreading/copy editing responsibilities again. (Just for the record, I have been one of four proofreaders/copy editors for each of those issues.)

The bacover reminds me that this year will see the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. That was science fiction at one point; it is appearing more and more like science fiction today. I hope this world will smarten up soon, clean up this world and look more and more towards science, rather than the worst in politics. Please don’t make that last sentence science fiction…

Anyway, a loc as promised; I wish it had been longer. Many thanks, take care, see you all soon!

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 24th, 2019
05:27 pm

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Loc on Vanamonde 1313, 1317, 1320 and 1328 (John Hertz, ed.)
Dear John:

Thank for sending me some more issues of Vanamonde. You sent me issues 1313, 1317, 1320 and 1328, plus a nice letter, and I will respond to it all.

1313… Lord Byron does prove that you never know when your time is up, and seeing how prolific he had wanted to be, but never got the chance to do, this shows that should be as creative as you can be. You never know how much time is in your allotment. We get so used to the technology at hand, we are largely resistant to any new tech that might come to change things. I am thinking of the motion picture, the radio, the telephone, the television, the cellphone and the internet. All have their advantages and disadvantages, and the smart e-shopper should choose what is best for him/herself, and not be swayed by the mere fact that the tech or the model is new. I do use the internet, I use LiveJournal as an archive of previous letters of comment, and while I do have a flipphone, I do not have a smartphone. We have the tech we like, and the tech we can afford. Smartphones seem to have been pushed up to about a $1000 a shot, too much for us. We do have inexpensive tablets as well. Tablet + flipphone = smartphone, in our experience.

1317… Verifying your quotations is very much like verifying your sources for news. I wonder why that doesn’t seem to happen anymore? Too much of news is meant to support a political viewpoint rather than bring forth the news to the public. Truth is the first casualty of all of this overworking.

Your mention of WOOF reminds me that it’s been some time since I have contributed to it, probably since I managed it many years ago in Montreal, if I recall correctly. It is tough to want to contribute when no positive feedback comes of it.

1320… I know where to find classical music on the radio dial, but through lack of interest from my parents, I was never exposed to it. There is so much to this world, and there is only so much opportunity and lifespan to glean knowledge about a mere fraction of what humanity has created.

1328… I use mundane in the pejorative sense as well, but I find that there are far too many people who lack interest in the world around them; the familiar is all they want and need. See my comments on 1320. There is far too much to this world that a single person can enjoy, but the challenge is to find out more and more, and see how much of the world you can learn about. A lifespan of a thousand years wouldn’t be enough to learn it all, for we are creating more and more to learn about. Our brains are not built for all that knowledge either, but again, there’s the challenge to see how much you can stuff into it.

Your kind letter…anything to do with Corflu (except for the local one last year), NASFiC, Westercon or Worldcon is now far out of my affordability, I barely know where they all are. We need more fans winning the Fan Hugos, I fully agree. My only real interesting fanac is working on the newest version of Amazing Stories. Editor-in-chief Ira Nayman is local, and I have been doing some of the proofreading and copyediting for issues 2 and 3, and I have volunteered for issue 4.

I think I am done for the moment. Thank you for all those issues, I hope this find you well. I miss fandom as it was. May we find it once again soon.

                            Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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03:34 pm

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Loc on The Obdurate Eye 4 (Garth Spencer, ed.)
Dear Garth:

Thanks so much for The Obdurate Eye 4, and I am certain there’s lots to say within. Good to see Teddy Harvia on the cover again.

It is possible that you don’t get the spirit of statutory holidays because we’ve gone through them so many times, we are obligated to spend money we often don’t have, and we do things we’re tired of doing. We are already planning something completely different for next Christmas, and other so-called holidays can take a flying leap. We will celebrate the way we want, or not at all, if we so wish.

I am sure your conspiracy theory is fine, especially when it is concerning those Great Belgians. How many Great Belgians do you know, and have you ever been to Great Belgium?

We always work on our priorities, especially when we are in our 60s, of which I am almost there. Life gets in the way, as well as sudden changes in health and money. Don’t be afraid of the future, but you must prepare to change, and possibly change drastically.

My letter… Fandom Classic is where I like to be, but I have made some inquiries into some more modern fandoms, especially Dr. Who, gaming and some cartoon programmes. Now, I might be a little old (and broke) to take on some of these new fandoms, but I do see the exuberance that many of us might have had in a long-ago era. We are enjoying a relatively new network of steampunk events in Ontario, and we may be travelling as far east as Ottawa, and as far west as Amherstburg, which is south of Windsor. We may be tired, and some of our interests may be fading, but I do have the knowledge that Fandom As A Whole is still pretty vital, for it attacks new people as newer interests become apparent, and that fandom may come from anywhere in the world, if it isn’t worldwide.

Martin Hunger is in Toronto right now, and Christina Carr is back in Vancouver. At some point, they will both be here again, as soon as Martin can find some decent employment and living facilities. I can tell him that neither is likely. We are trying to find some more affordable accommodations, and we all know what my working situation is. I have indeed worked on issues 2 and 3 of the new Amazing Stories, and I have volunteered my services to Ira yet again for issue 4.

I wish the Fanac Awards had continued, but I am pleased with my showing of three wins for Best Letters. I will take what egoboo I can get these days, as it looks like my days with the Auroras are at an end.

The only addition I can make to your list of apas is APAplexy in Ottawa. It is still going after all these years, and may be one of the last bits of fanac left in the capital. I can’t remember who the OE or CM is.

Just made the page!, so off it goes, and off I go, too. Lots to do tonight. Thanks for this, and see you with the next one.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.     

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January 23rd, 2019
04:37 pm

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Loc on Journey Planet 39, 41, 42, 43 (Chris Garcia and many more, eds.)
Dear Chris:

I left a message for you on Facebook earlier today, saying letters of comment coming real soon now. I didn’t say how soon! I have here four issues of Journey Planet, 39, 41, 42 and 43, and I will make the attempt to write something on all of them. One look easy, and the others look like I am right out of my sphere, but I will give it a try, and see what I can come up with for you.

39… To Chris, James, and Michael… This is going to be one of the tough issues. I am not a comics person, so my exposure to characters and titles like Judge Dredd would be minimal at best. At least I can learn a little bit about the history of the character/title. I used to get British comics from my Scottish grandparents decades ago…they were all anthology titles, with a different comic on each page. Some of your British readers with remember Dandy, Beano, Hotspur and Wizard, and I think the Beano is still around. I guess 2000AD was similar, with different comic pages inside. It shows you how many fannish interests there are, more than you think, and more than you could possibly know. Fandom is larger than we could ever imagine. What else…hmmm…I do like the Bob Shaw Underpass on page 27…

41… To Chris, James, Pádraig, Anthony and Merlin… This may go the same way for me. I had never heard of Heroes Unlimited until something on a Facebook page I’m connected with. Looks like a comics fanzine, see disclaimer in the previous paragraph. Also, seeing the previous issue came out in 1969, fifty years ago, well, that was before my fannish time.

More and more, I see tributes to the departed Stan Lee everywhere. I may have walked past Stan in my assorted travels, but I simply can’t be sure. The cartoon on page 81 sure looks like something from one of the comic books mentioned earlier…Minnie the Minx! That’s it! All-American Boy…I heard a news clip on the 1993 killing of James Bulger by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson just the other day on the radio. One of them has his life back on track…and the other hasn’t. The comic also illustrates one gigantic American problem, my country, right or wrong, and with the current administration, what we see and hear is mostly wrong.

When it comes to Bob Shaw, again never met him except through the pages of fanzines. The Wooden Spaceships and The Ragged Astronauts remain on my bookshelf as fine examples of early steampunk writings. I also like that Maggie Gray (and probably others there) wanted to be a Bash Street Kid…so did I.

42… Now, this is the issue I can really respond to. I admit that when I first found fandom way back in late 1977, it was with a Star Trek club just forming in Victoria, British Columbia. Greetings to Sarah Gulde! I’ll bet you’re looking forward to an absolute wealth of Trek now, with Discovery, a new Picard series, an animated series, a Series 31 series, and more Short Treks on the way. We will be utterly spoiled. Right now, hurray for a PVR, and being able to tape episodes when you’re out at a pubnight.

We’ve met Bjo and John as well. We met them at a convention in Ottawa in 1983, and worked with them in masquerade programming at the 1984 Worldcon in Anaheim. I never did get into the fanfic, but I remember seeing huge fanfic zines, as much as 600 pages of fanfic in the biggest Cerlox bindings I’d ever seen. We’d met folks like George Takei, and he even contacted Yvonne when she was at work (close to the Toronto airport), and they went out for lunch to the surprise of everyone else in her office. Yvonne attended one of the Febcons in NYC in 1980, and both of us hit Febcon and ST America in 1981, again, both in NYC.

Sarah, if you look at some of the Star Trek Welcommittee history and past Directories, you will find our names there. I was in charge of the huge list of Trek books that wound up clogging the Directory and taking up much of it, and Yvonne was in charge of uniform patterns and corresponding with fans in French. We were members for the final 15 years of the STW, which Shirley Maiewski, dear lady, shut the whole thing down, for that brand new Internet was doing a far better job than the STW could in getting the word out about Trek.

When did we leave Trek fandom? Just pressures of real life, marriage, and dwindling money supplies, which is a problem we’ve always had. Other fandoms beckoned, like fanzine fandom, costuming fandom, local fandom, convention running fandom…there’s always been lots to eat up your available time. And here we are in Toronto, where Discovery is shot. I’d like nothing better than to go the sets and have a look around. I know exactly where the sets are, but I am sure onsite security is at an all-time high. I have been told that Doug Jones is living here these days, and he is quite recognizable on the street.

Miles O’Brien…I had to wonder if he’d been named after the reporter of the same name who was a much-seen face as a science reporter on CNN. Colm Meaney has had his time here, too…I’d love to ask him about portraying a beefy police inspector in Victorian Toronto. One of the most popular shows to come out of Canada is Murdoch Mysteries, starring Yannick Bisson, but there were a handful of movies that came out before the series was optioned for television, and Meaney portrayed Inspector Thomas Brackenreid.

And yes, I did see the entire run of TNG, and Time’s Arrow and Measure of a Man were among my favorites. Many of these episodes were good dramas with good characters. The fact they took place in a SFnal atmosphere and background often had nothing to do with the success of those episodes. Good writing takes place in every genre.

For costuming’s sake, full disclosure! As a costumer and tailor, Yvonne made her share of Trek costumes. At one point, I had a full wardrobe (grey uniform, white shirt, landing jacket) from the Motion Picture, and we got the chance to show it off at one of the Strektaculars in NYC. Great shots here…

As I was writing, I had to wonder about how many fanzine fans might see all of this, and any street cred I might have built up there might be shot to hell by commenting so much on Trek fandom. That’s when I realized I truly don’t give a flying fuck any more. If I can’t brag a little bit about my own achievements in my 40 years of fandom, when can I? I turn 60 next June…

43… To Chris, James and Chuck… Silicon Valley…Again, I can’t comment much, never having been there, but knowing some people who live there, including Mike Wallis, a former Toronto fan who moved there to get a job in computers, and start a family many years ago.

And I am done! I am about to emerge onto the third page of this loc, and I suppose this is where I will leave it. Chris, please pass on comments on the Trek issue to Sarah; Sarah, I am on Facebook if you’d like to talk further. Sarah for TAFF? Right now, I am so money-tight, I would need to borrow some cash in order to vote. I wish all candidates luck. Thanks for all of this, Chris, and see you when you get some more done…I am looking in the hopper, and I think there’s at least one more of your zines there. It will have to wait a little while. Many thanks, see you soon.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 22nd, 2019
04:44 pm

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Loc on The White Notebooks 14 (Pete Young, ed.)
Dear Pete:

It’s taking me a while, but I am getting to all the zines that reach me. Right now, it is The White Notebooks 14, and I will get with it forth hence. Or something like that.

I haven’t read anything by Neel Mukherjee or Walter Mosely, but the background of the essay comes to mind a lot these days. I had great hopes that racism would eventually ebb away because we’d all be intelligent and educated enough to know there is only one race, the human race, and some have more or less or different melanin in our skin than others, as if that makes any difference at all. Especially with the MAGA-wearing kids harassing tribal elders in Washington, and the implication that racism is OK coming from its own government, I am disgusted and dismayed. I think there are many readers of Blaxploitation books, just as there are viewers of the old Blaxploitation movies. I am sure some might want to read or see them out of historical value.

I am not sure if I told you about this when we talked at the Toronto Corflu…you may have seen an issue of the newest incarnation of Amazing Stories online. The magazine may be owned and operated by an American in New Hampshire, but the editor-in-chief is local, Ira Nayman, and he had brought me onboard to act as a proofreader/copy editor for issues. I have worked on issues 2 and 3, and I hope to hear about issue 4 soon. This may allow me to come as close to pro SF work as I can get. I also have to get to a couple of book reviews.

I certainly understand John Hertz’ plight about money and employment. Right now, I have neither, and Yvonne is keeping me going while I spend next to nothing. The books you list…I have read some, and of them, reading just about anything by China Miéville left me feeling like I needed a hot shower, and some have agreed with me.

We’ve just gotten through a period of deep cold, with wind chills going down to -30C. Horrible times, but they have passed, and now it’s just cold outside instead of bone-chilling. Might as well stay inside and write, hm? Many thanks for this issue, and take care.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 18th, 2019
11:53 am

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Loc on My Back Pages 21 (Rich Lynch, ed.)
Dear Rich:

I am catching up from all the zines I received close to Christmas (hope yours and Nicki’s was a great time), and now, here I am in the new year, still catching up. As part of that, here comes a loc on issue 21 of My Back Pages.

I sure do remember Stan Mikita…one of Mike Myers’ movies mentioned a Stan Mikita Donuts store, as a bit of a stab at the popular Tim Hortons chain here. And yes, the Caps won the Stanley Cup, and well done. I will smile and say that the Leafs look pretty good this year, and should the Leafs ever win the cup again, that might be one of the signs of the Apocalypse. I am not sure if it’s so much a big deal any more, but I remember how much fuss there would be when the Washington Capitals would host or be hosted by the Ottawa Senators, and the rivalry would flare between the two capital cities. Perhaps now that Washington has a cup, and the Senators do not have one yet, that rivalry might start up again.

Beatles…never really grows old. Yvonne can brag about attending the only Beatles concert ever held in Toronto, and now that we are planning a return trip to England next year, we do plan a side trip to Liverpool, and take the grand Beatles tour. For the record, there is a funicular in Quebec City, and one in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

On page 7, the bridge with padlocks on it…I also think there is a similar bridge like that in Paris, same reasons as in Pittsburgh and Florence. I wonder where there are others bridges like this?

The New York weather bomb you wrote about…we are about to get something similar, some snow, but amazingly cold temperatures even for up here, around -25C or -13F, cold on either scale. And, it’s going to last to the end of this coming Monday. Undershirts and long underwear shall be our friends.

We have never owned cats…I am mildly allergic, and Yvonne more so. However, we certainly enjoy everyone else’s cats when we visit, and they usually spend an evening on our laps. We do have great memories of ChatChat and Chester and MomCat and Tiffany, all cats who are still a part of our memories long after they left this world. (MomCat’s picture is still up on a corkboard in our office.) We have thought about getting a cat, and right now, say no, because our lifestyle wouldn’t be fair to the cat. Perhaps when we are older, and are spending more time at home.

Anyway…time to fold it up and send it out. It’s getting close to lunch, anyway. Thanks for all of this, take care, say hi to Nicki for me.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 17th, 2019
11:55 am

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Loc on Warp 102 (Cathy Palmer-Lister, ed.)
Dear MonSFFen:

Thanks to all for Warp 102. Here comes a fast letter of comment so that the next issue can come around asap. It’s really cold outside, so why not stay in and get some writing done? (Greetings to Lillian Moir…it’s been a very long time.)

My loc…Fandom: The Next Generation may be here, and perhaps The Next Generation After That One, but we must keep in mind that they will find their own interests to be fannish about, and our own interests may fall by the wayside. I see mention of a panel on pulp magazines, and while it is a minor interest of mine, it is good to see that many pulp magazines have been preserved, and I hope someone is making digital copies of them, but even the best paper from that time can’t last much longer than it has. We’re looking at finding shows for 2019, and in the next few months, getting lots more jewelry and shirts made. Our next show might be Anime North, if we can get a table in time.

Warp of 1991, and I have a letter in it. Some things don’t change. I started writing letters of comment to fanzines in 1982, which means I have been doing this now for 37 years. I hope you’ve been enjoying the lists of conventions I put together; in some ways, it may be one of the few ways any fannish community stays together in Toronto.

Well done on the art showcase. I’d definitely like to see more. If you can get enough, perhaps an online showcase…

Star Trek fans will soon be utterly spoiled for Trek content, if they aren’t already. As Discovery continues, there will soon be another series starring Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, animated series called Lower Decks (I think), and now comes a spin-off from Discovery on the dark activities of Section 31, starring Michelle Yeoh. Trek has truly become its own industry, its own genre.

Anyway, as I write season 2 of Discovery starts, but we will be out at a local historical society meeting, so our PVR will do the job for us. Take care, all, stay warm!, and see you with the next issue.

     Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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January 11th, 2019
01:33 pm

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Loc on Alexiad 102 (Joseph Major, ed.)
Dear Joe and Lisa:

I have finally gotten to Alexiad 102. It’s Friday, and it’s very cold outside, and I have decided to write all day, and get caught up a little. I always say that.

Your Reviewer’s Notes say a lot to me today. The SF market is bigger than ever, as you say, for just about anyone can get an e-book printed, and the paper publishers are losing their relevance. With that, it’s another reason why I don’t recognize most of the authors. Add the fact lack of money, and for me, time, and I have largely left SF behind. I have some unread books on the shelf, but with changes in interest, they remain unread. The main reason? I can’t keep up with the genre, and I have let it go as it barrels on without me.

I hate the big, pro-run conventions. Costs have risen to the point where fan-run conventions are dying through not being able to afford to operate without demanding huge membership prices. Everyone wants it all, and only the big pro cons can afford to bring in hordes of actors and cosplayers. I could tell you so much about Torcon 3… The people who ran it had no conventions-running experience, and got rid of those few who did, like me and Yvonne. They also had no experience with fandom as you and I know it, most of them being wannabe pros. Our bidding process was so positive, and the result so negative. It is the main reason there will (probably) never be a Worldcon bid from Canada again.

I think what we’ve enjoyed, conventions with lots to see and do, and friends to meet with, is had their time in the sun, as have we. And now that we have reached that age we have, we miss these cons. Our interests change, too. After our 30 years each on the con committee, we shifted our efforts to Harry Potter, steampunk and steampunk vending, and to be honest, no regrets there. It’s allowed us to be busy like we were before, for a different audience. We value our friends, and our newer interests have allowed us to make new friends with some newer fans, including the steampunks, plus the assorted fellow dealers we meet at conventions and other events.

I am on Facebook, as it is the social media platform that offers text and visual communications that is closest to my own experiences as a journalist. I find Twitter good only if you have a regular message to get out to the masses, and extremely ephemeral. I knew very little of the San Juan convention, and the fact that Puerto Rico is still in tatters made this convention a poor choice for the times. It doesn’t affect you, hm? I suspect it does, and you probably miss it as much as I do. I already feel a little old and forgotten, and I think I have found a new arena where I can feel at least somewhat useful and appreciated.

I have never met Jo Walton, but I gather she was busy with a small invite-only con called The Farthing Party, and is now trying to get a Kickstarter going to start a new con called Scintillation. Let’s hope that it isn’t invite-only as well. Rod Edmiston’s essay on the Joy of High Tech sounds a little hollow…I admire high tech as well, but I’d like to think that it has been highjacked by big business as a means to increase profits. It looks like soon, I might not be able to get on the bus or do my banking unless I have a $1k smartphone and a Twitter account, and I have neither. We all have too many plastic cards with magstrips, but there is an effort to ditch the cards for the expensive phone. More and more such tech, for all the good it can do, is more exclusive than inclusive.

My loc… It’s not rainy today, but the temperatures are Arctic in nature, around -13C, or about 9F. I am going out later on my rarely-worn heavy winter coat. As soon as I turn 60, I start getting a financial supplement from the federal government to make up for Yvonne retiring and getting less money on her pension. I could have used that for the past year, but 60 is an arbitrary age, I guess. Yvonne’s assignment at the racetrack to the north of us expires at the end of this month, and she is looking for something else. She has agencies looking for her, and they are confident, but they are also quite silent right now. I was indeed one of the proofreaders/copy editors on issue 2 of the new Amazing Stories, and on issue 3 as well. I hope to continue this with issue 4 and any other issues Ira Nayman would like me to work on.

John Purcell’s letter…I know of at least a few fanzine fans who do not see anything electronic as a real fanzine, and therefore, will not read them, let along respond to them. I see this as hurting, not helping, so I respond to (nearly) all the zines I get.

Halfway through this, I started to get a dull headache, so I will say I enjoyed the rest of the locol, but will offer no comments. I don’t care to start any arguments, anyway. DNP…damfool right wingers. DNP Anyway, time to go, and see if I can solve problems I am starting to have with this computer. Take care, and see you next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

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