Log in

No account? Create an account
Lloyd's Locs Box - Fanzine letters of comment Below are 20 entries, after skipping 20 most recent ones in the "Lloyd Penney" journal:

[<< Previous 20 entries -- Next 20 entries >>]

February 5th, 2018
03:04 pm


Loc on SF Commentary 95 (Bruce Gillespie, ed.)
Dear Bruce:

I hope I’m not too late in responding to this issue…I have had work since early September 2017, but transit time is close to four hours every day, and work and transit eat up my day, nearly every day. But lately, my part-time job, which had pretty full-time hours, is now very part-time, so I’ve had a week and a bit off, unwillingly. That goes for tomorrow, too. Well, that doesn’t make me much money, but it does allow me to get some writing done, and get caught up on a huge number of zines, including SF Commentary 95.

Definitely end of an era…I know of some people who may cut communications with you because your zine is no longer a paperzine. It has never mattered to me; communications is the most important thing here, no matter the medium, Marshall McLuhan notwithstanding. I hope you enjoy your retirement… Yvonne is certainly enjoying hers, and not missing her old office, no, not one bit. However, I am still at the mines. I am working for a mystery shopper company, editing the reports that come in so the company’s clients can better understand the horrible English most of our shoppers have. I usually have a pile of reports to work on, but not lately, not entirely sure why. If I am worried, I am sure my bosses are. In the meantime, Yvonne’s savings and investments should keep us going for some time, and what little I have been able to save up in my own spotty employment history will serve as a much-needed supplement when I retire in about 7 years.

As I go through many zines, there is the theme of lost friends. Ansible has huge lists of lost contributors to our SFnal interests each issue, and it is depressing. It certainly depresses Dave Langford. Randy and Milt, Tom Petty, Brian Aldiss…I think I may be suffering from survivors’ guilt, perhaps more than just me.

Brian Aldiss…just one of many I wish I’d met. We recently weeded our book collection, anad all Aldiss books stayed right where they are. Too much enjoyed to be consigned elsewhere. (Fortunately, for us, there is a chain of stores in Toronto that will buy your unwanted books. We assembled ten boxes of books, and got $100 for them all. Not as much as we had hoped for, but they are books I will probably not miss. I suspect I will have to prune the collection more in the future.

Well done to Bill Wright! Bill, new issues of IRS are much missed. I understand all about time, I am quite behind the times myself when it comes to keeping up with all these fanzines these days.

Martian fiction has its days, and may yet have it again. I think I read a little while ago now that Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) was sold for a mini-series. That always raises hopes that the story line won’t be too heavily sacrificed for time, but we shall see. I have a copy of Beren and Lúthien at home, a lovely book, and if there any demand for the book, it is for a wondrous last and fresh look inside the world of Middle-Earth, a world I wish I could explore further.

Losing folks like Joyce Katz, Milt Stevens, Ursula K. LeGuin, Randy Byers, and so many others…it does get depressing. Everything I look at an RIP list in Ansible, there goes the fabric of my life in SF, one talented life at a time.

I certainly agree with Doug Barbour on Murdoch Mysteries…it’s quite enjoyable, the plots do make ytiou think, and the bit of anachronism here and there makes us smile. This programme is now on its 11th season, and as much as I might hope for a 12th, perhaps either is the right time to wrap it up in some spectacular fashion.

My letter… Yvonne’s retirement party was great, and very well attended. She is happily retired, although she still admits to a little bit of guilt at not going into an office every day. It is tough to kick a 50+-year habit. Yet, she is job-hunting, in order to keep saving for a planned return trip to England in 2019.

As I wind up, I confirm via text message that for the seventh straight working day, there will be no work for me at my office. I am sure they will say that they don’t blame me for looking for something new, and I certainly am looking. The resumes stream out again, and the fingers are crossed. I am hoping for a call from another company soon. In the meantime, we are gripped in the cold of a Canadian winter, and spring can’t come too soon. We celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this May, and we are looking at a way to renew our vows that won’t drain our bank accounts. Take care, and thanks for this issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

February 2nd, 2018
03:32 pm


Loc on Nowhere Fan 4 (Christina Lake, ed.)
Dear Christina:

I have been sitting on this issue of Nowhere Fan far too long. After two years of job hunting, I finally did find some work, and ate up all of my spare time, but this part-time job has been extremely part-time just lately. So, time for writing appears, and I have seized it. Comments on issue 4 will follow.

Took me a few seconds to see a Britain-less map of Europe. Canada was almost broken up some years ago by separatist factions in Québec, so I know about the dangers of losing your country. More than ever, we live in a world where we are stronger together than apart, so I said no to Québec separation, no to Scottish independence, and no to Brexit. Nitwits like Boris and Nigel stepped in, did the deed, and then stepped away again. Chaos, panic and disorder, our work here is done. They won’t suffer for it, but so many others will.

Wish you might be coming to Toronto for Corflu 35. I wasn’t even sure that I was going, but there are so many people from far-flung elsewhere, I must see them; it will be the last time ever, I am sure, so it’s worth the expense. We don’t go to a lot of cons any more, but we have moved to older interests, like costuming, and we now go to steampunk events, and have some fun. Worldcons…our last one was in Reno, and that will definitely be our last one. They are so expensive now…and, we decided that rather than travel for a Worldcon, we would travel for us. We did go to London and Lincoln in 2016, but we had our own fun, and didn’t let anyone know we were temporarily local. We plan to return to Britain in 2019, and may stay for three or four weeks.

I remember learning some Dutch for the Dutch Worldcon in 1990…and I did use it. Once. Yvonne and I went to a theatre, and I asked for a large Coke and a medium Coke, please, in Dutch. Alstublieft. And, I did get it, and that was all we needed. Everywhere else, English was good, especially in line at the Albert Heyne stores.

Thanks to our trip to London in 2016, we now know the insides of Gatwick airport, and the pleasures of Pret a Manger. Our wandering eye can wander a lot further than our wallets will let us, so tales of Helsinki will go read, but not commented on, and I am afraid the same will go for Dublin.

My loc…in the time since this past issue has come out, Yvonne’s mother passed away, and part of her inheritance paid off the credit cards, so she was able to officially retire debt-free. The combination of her retirement, our financial advisor training new people (oops), and my continually precarious employment is making life a little uncertain, but Yvonne intends to get another job to finance our return to England. I might even be able to throw a few bucks into the kitty, but with me, it’s not likely.

That’s it for now. As more than one said in this issue, do this more often, okay? We may never see each other again, so a fanzine will have to do. See you with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

11:36 am


Loc on Challenger 41 (Guy Lillian III, ed.)
Dear Guy and Rose-Marie:

Thank you for Challenger 41, and sorry it has taken so long to respond to it. I am sure you’ve got 42 on the go, hope this makes it. Work has kept me from keeping up with writing, but lately, my part-time job has been extremely part-time…Monday was the only day I had work on this week. So, while I look for something a little more full-time, I have the time to write.

Personal demons? Now, now, keep it down, or EVERYONE will want one! Do I have a personal demon? I wouldn’t call it as such, but we are always full of doubts, and now that I am at the sunset stage of my life, I can easily say Oh well, I tried my best, and carry on as always. I am very lucky to have Yvonne with me so I can reveal my innermost doubts and questions, and she helps me deal with them. I am extremely lucky, for Yvonne and I celebrate our 35th anniversary this coming May.

I think many cities have businesses within them called Sweeney Todd, and they are usually hair salons. Toronto has a very successful Sweeney Todd, and local fans who were also hairdressers worked there for years. Local fandom had the best hair for years.

SW in black and white…I enjoyed that series of movies for many years. And now? Never saw Rogue One, and have yet to see Episode VIII, and probably won’t. I guess it’s just gotten too difficult to care about it, and even diehard fans have said that the series is getting repetitive.

Greetings to Greg Benford…I just saw on Facebook the picture of you and your brother, David Brin and Freeman Dyson. I am sure anyone close by never knew who was gathering at that table that day.

I looked that up in my Funk and Wagnall’s, plus my Webster’s, my Doubleday and my Oxford, and sure enough, the word grimoire does not appear in it. (My spellchecker isn’t putting a wobbly red line underneath the word, so it’s okay with Word 2013, I guess.) There’s some pretty ornate seals here. The word grimoire is now used here and there…there a book I have on the shelf called Gaslight Grimoire. The dictionaries have to catch up.

Taral’s excellent Trek article…well, I don’t usually watch Trek reruns, although we did see a DS9 episode the other day, and enjoyed it. We are watching Discovery, and it certainly is a different Trek. Still, I am like Taral in that instead of going to Trek’s past, I’d rather see its future. I expect to say, “And then what happened?” until the day I die.

Ethics in the future should be quite good. After this current monster in the White House, any sane candidate after him should bring in perhaps not a theocracy, but the idea that we have to be better than what was just here. With luck, American can become sane and ethical again.

We get some religious types at the door who usually start talking to us about our afterlife, and as perfect strangers, they are sure we’re going straight to Hell. We usually smile, say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and close the door in their faces. There’s a Kingdom Hall I can see from our balcony, and the JWs stand near local events, and Witness, usually with disapproving looks on their faces. The most pleasant types I run into are the Mormons, for they are usually from all over the world, Toronto is a new experience for them, and they explain their religion as best as they can, and seem quite understanding if the person they are talking to is not interested. I have had some great conversations with them, and while I am also not interested in Mormonism, I have been able to help them with information, for they are strangers from elsewhere here, and they are appreciative. (Yvonne and I have plotted to get a big sign ready…with Santa on one end and Rudolph on the other, a big “Merry Christmas from the Jehovah’s Witnesses!” in the middle, set it up in front of the Kingdom Hall, take a few pictures, and run away laughing…)

My letter in the locol…we are finding other activities to take part in via Facebook, and we are keeping busy. After our trip to England, Yvonne has decided that we shall return, so she is saving for our return trip. We’d like to go for three or four weeks, so we need to save like crazy, and we believe that we will be back in London sometime in 2019.

I wish there was more that I could say in this loc, but I am dry for the moment. It is Friday as I write, and I feel like I’ve had a four-day weekend, with the actual weekend almost here. I would rather be at work, pulling down a decent paycheque, but these days, it seems employers have other ideas. I hope 2018 will be a good year, or at least a year where we win the lottery, and we won’t have to darken an office door ever again. Life is interesting these days, with Yvonne fully retired, and me finally working, such as it is. I hope we can have some fun, and we have plans to celebrate our 35th. Take care, my best to Rose-Marie, and a good 2018 to all of us.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

February 1st, 2018
09:03 pm


Loc on X-Rayer 137 & 138 (Ray Palm, ed.)
Dear Ray:

As you said in your past e-mail, work is keeping me busy. At least it should. Monday was the only day of work I had this week, and as a result, I am looking for a new job with more reliable hours. So, I am writing!, and getting lots of stuff done at home. I have here issues 137 and 138 of the X-Rayer, so here goes with some commentary. (I see I have already commented on 137…well, I will try it again, and see if I come up with anything new.)

137… Cyborgs are an old trope, but they sure look badly designed here. They’ve got it bad, so no wonder they might go bad, too. We go back to the old theme of slavery, and put an SF spin on it. It still works. With this monster installed in Washington, you need protest songs, protest comics, protest demonstrations, and so much more.

The Galactic Guard…someone to look after us, and make sure we don’t destroy ourselves. Reminiscent of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Sometimes, I think a battalion of Klaatus won’t be enough to stop us. I am also reminded that someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves, much the cyborgs mentioned here, are currently being sought after by NASA for a one-way mission to Mars.

Sometimes, even in a city like Toronto, there isn’t much to do, only if you have a very particular interest. But, there is plenty to do, see, and take part in. I think you’ve got to move away, take a chance and see what there is out there in another city.

My loc…with some work on the go, I at least have some money in the bank. I see a fair number of jobs I believe I can do, or would like the opportunity to try to do. I apply, but I hear nothing. The books are weeded, the office is mostly de-papered, and we are slowly but surely cleaning out this apartment. We plan to return to that Michigan convention, but it has been moved to the Detroit suburb of Novi.

138…I have a Samsung tablet, a Galaxy Tab E. It is an old model, but it is exactly what I need. I took it to England in 2016. I scan my e-mail and Facebook while I sit on the couch, and I try my best to keep up with things. I suspect I will wait until it utterly fails, and then go and get another one.

The locol…it took Ronald Reagan to tear down a horrible wall, but Dolt 45 to threaten to put up a new one. John Purcell can print out all the fanzines he likes…I do save all the e-zines that I get, and put them in one big file on the desktop. I already have about 25 boxes of fanzines in my collection; printing all the e-zines I get would probably take that to 40, and I’d have no space for any of it.

With work going at an extremely part-time basis, we are planning to return to England, but next year. We should be able to gather the $$ together, but who knows what might happen? Yvonne is now officially retired, and is still bringing in more cash than I am. I shall end up by saying thanks for two issues of X-Rayer, and please do keep them coming.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 31st, 2018
07:18 pm


Loc on Beam 12 (Nic Farey and Ulrika O'Brien, eds.)
Dear Nic, and welcome to Ulrika:

First of all, mighod, it’s the end of January, and Beam 12 is dated November of last year. I have returned to work!, and getting to it and back from it eats up to four hours a day. Well, yeah, but it IS work, and it’s given me at least a little folding money. Time for comments, and to keep Gmail busy…

I’ve seen you on Facebook, Nic, and it looks like you’re having some fun with Lucy Huntzinger, among others. Good for you. I hope to have some fanzine fun soon, as Corflu returns to Toronto, and unlike the last couple of times, looks like lots of folks are coming. I just sent my cheque out for a membership today. TransAtlantic editors…that’s the only reason why Chris Garcia has a Nova award. I am tempted to do a big zine with him so we can both get Auroras.

And hello, Ulrika, I am not even sure if we’ve ever met. We’ve probably walked close in Worldcon hallways, and that’s been it. You weren’t careful, and look what happened, you’r editing a zine with this Farey guy. Tsk, tsk, tsk… I had something previous to the Wiz-z-zer, and that was a good old-fashioned top. I had a white Imperial top, and learned to flip that thing so it would dance all over a flat surface. One of my few triumphs as a kid. And, Fanny’s yer aunt.

Hello to Jacq Monahan! Hugs! And Randy Byers…I hope there will be a suitable big tribute on the Beam Memorial Wall in issue 13. (Randy, I had hoped that you would make the Toronto Corflu. I am sorry that you won’t.) A spiffy line-up, so let’s plough in… (One day, I will see a picture of Claude Rains dressed as a French policier, demanding of his fellow coppers to round up…The Unusual Suspects.)

I’ve got a copy of Robert Bloch’s The Eighth Stage of Fandom, and right now, I don’t know what stage I’m at. I am not a publisher, I haven’t read any SF got getting close to five years now, I’ve moved into steampunk and making steampunk jewelry…perhaps I have found my very own stage. Myself, I got into apas at first in my early 20s, and wrote for TAPA, APAplexy, The Final Frontier, and a couple of other apa-like publications. Then, I decided I wanted a larger audience than the membership of an apa or two, and that’s when I expressed interest in fanzines, and Mike Wallis and Mike Glicksohn helped me through. Now, I never got into methods of duplication, like mimeo or hekto, but I kept getting told the heart of a fanzine was the locol. Well, for me, the jury is still out on that one… I still have a LiveJournal account, but I use it as an archive of my locs, to the dismay of some. If you want to see all my locs since 2007, that’s where you could go. Facebook is the definitive time-eater. (For the record, the first fanzine I ever received was Marc Ortlieb’s Q36.)

I had been told a while ago that Charles Rector had some kind of serious illness, not sure what it was, but at some point, I made some honest comments in a loc, Rector responded quite rudely, and I dropped him and his zine. I had to trim, anyway, and after his e-mail, he was the first to go.

I still have hopes that Wolf von Witting might still get into one more TAFF competition. He lost by a handful of votes that last two times he ran for the fund, and I hope he might try it one last time. More Europe in TAFF is a fine idea. More North American might be good, too.

I offer no solutions to the disagreements re the FAAn Awards. I am just pleased that after my 40 years of involvement, there actually is an award I might remotely qualify for. I hope people might be happy with results at Corflu this year.

My loc…Yvonne and I are coming up on anniversary no. 35, and we plan to take our vows once again, in front of friends. I stand by that paragraph, even moreso now. My current employment is editing mystery shopper reports, not the best or happiest work, but work it is, and I breathe a sigh of relief. It is, however, part-time, so it also gives me a chance to look for something full-time. Me getting naked for art? Not without a laugh track.

Other locs…if you were to look inside a N3F publication these days, you’d find me with letter of comment. It is possible, but not easy to do. A wonderful bacover, and I guess I am done for the nonce.

I will make it official, in case there’s anyone who’d care… I have mailed out my membership cheque, so I will be at Corflu this year. I know the hotel well, seeing a handful of local cons have been held there, so it should do well. I think I even know where the con suite will be, so bring it on, and I hope to meet some of you who I’ve only corresponded with for about 40 years or so. That’s not too many. I hope to see you there, and perhaps take a camera along for proof. In the meantime, Nic and Ulrika, thank you for this issue, and I hope there will be lots more soon, and I can respond to them sooner.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 28th, 2018
05:47 pm


Loc on Journey Planet 34 - 38 (Garcia, Bacon, Kamlot, Montgomery, Silver, Docherty, Meenan, eds.)
Dear Journey Planet Editors (especially Chris and James):

My, you all put out five issues of Journey Planet extremely quickly, and just lately, I haven’t been able to keep up with any fannish publications. It’s Sunday, I have a little bit of work tomorrow, and I have a little bit of time now to get caught up with at least one more fabulous fanzine, so to all of you, ta, and I will make the attempt to respond as best as I can. There might be an issue or two where I have absolutely have nothing to add because I am completely ignorant of the subject, but I will do my best.

JP34 (Bacon, Garcia, Kamlot, Montgomery)… I’ve only gotten to Disneyland once, and that was during L.Acon II in 1984. And what did I think of it? To be honest, not much. We got to see Tomorrowland, which was very much Yesterdayland to us, and when it came to anything else we wanted to see, the lines were quite long and daunting, so we went back to the Worldcon, and had a better time there.

I can’t disagree with Walt when it comes to trains. One of our adventures in late 2017 took us onto the Waterloo Central Railway, which takes us from Waterloo, Ontario, up to St. Jacobs and then Elmira. They stages a Wizarding World weekend, and we had ourselves some fun. We have seen another hobby railway in the Ontario town of Tottenham, one of four such railways around Toronto, and not far from us is the Halton Radial Railway Museum, great fun, where you can see old streetcars, traincars, and even old rolling subway stock.

I knew that Walt Disney’s father was Canadian, but I didn’t know exactly where he was from, so I looked him up. The village of Bluevale, Ontario is where the Disneys had land, and it isn’t that far away from the small town of Blyth, where we had more adventures in 2017. It isn’t that far away from the shore of Lake Huron.

JP35 (Garcia, Bacon, Silver)… Well, I could say at one point that conrunning was my fannish forte, but not any more. Yvonne and I spent 30 years on the Ad Astra committee, starting around 1980, and we retired about five years ago now. We also worked on various Worldcon bids, and other conventions in Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Montreal, Kitchener, Buffalo and Rochester.

Programming is one thing, with various ideas of what to talk about and discuss, but I find there’s many programming heads who will create programming around what they want to see, and not necessarily what the people coming to the convention want to see. You’d think that would be easy to do, but in some cases, I’ve seen a con only one person really liked.

In many ways, while there is great discussion about convention programming, Yvonne and I worked on a small one-day convention called imaginatively enough, SF Saturday. All the things we did in it were programme ideas so many people said, “No, that will never work.” This did take place close to 25 years ago, so we talked about the new thing called the Internet, we did panels on pulp magazines, and we had an audio listening room where a friend dressed as The Shadow played Old Time Radio disks. We weren’t able to attract many people to this event, and we did lose money on it, but the programming was well received, and the panels on pulp magazines got an annual pulp convention in Toronto started that goes to this day. Also, for some years, Yvonne ran the science programming for Ad Astra, and got many local authors, scientists, speakers, etc. together to discuss science and the space programme. We did a little something called Science In The Hallway, where science demonstrations were dine in the hallway as people were moving about the con. She and Diane Lacey were in charge of this so they were the Dark Ladies of the S.I.T.H. (Science In The Hallway)…

JP36…I can’t tell is this is Helen doing this by herself, and with James and Chris guiding her along, so I will go with whoever responds here. I think I have said all I can about my own opinions of Walt Disney. There is a Disney store in the Square One shopping mall in nearby Mississauga, and I haven’t been there in more than ten years. It’s just merchandise…

JP37 (Bacon and Garcia)… It is hard to believe that Randy is gone…when his illness was announced, and what exactly was happening, I think we all knew the outcome, but were hoping for the best. I am sure there will be something special to remember him at this year’s Corflu in Toronto.

A few days ago, the CBC broadcast their regular radio show about advertising and marketing, Under the Influence, and the host and creator of the show, Terry O’Reilly, commented about growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, and with his brother, buying and then subscribing, to Forry Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland. I don’t think Forry ever knew how far away his subscribers where, and how many kids he influenced in distant towns and villages.

Perhaps the only thing I can add to a zine with horror as one of its subtexts is say that one of horror’s best writers, now retired, is Edo van Belkom, of Brampton, just northwest of here. It’s what he always wanted to do, and he got to it in a time-honoured way…he wrote soft-core porn stories for various porn mags.

JP38 (Bacon, Garcia, Docherty, Meenan)… I wish I could come up with something similar for Toronto conventions, but we had little in the way of graphics, I have all the badges and programme books, and some of the t-shirts, but help would not be coming from anywhere local. The interest on my own part has faded, too.

I know there were two Scottish Worldcons…we were at neither. Both came along at times of little employment for either of us, and the costs were skyrocketing. I wish we’d gone, for I still have distant relatives in Scotland, but it wasn’t to be, and I suspect it never will be. As for Ireland…nope.

In 2016, we were in England, attending The Asylum, the big steampunk event in Lincoln, and we had a great time there. We also spent the week before in London. We are saving to return in 2019, with the hopes that we can get enough put together to spend three or four weeks there. Nothing is guaranteed, but we will see what we can do. I have some work, but it is part-time, and just lately, it’s extremely part-time. Yvonne is now officially retired, so money is a little bit more of a concern, and we might be willing to spend some of that money to go to steampunk and Harry Potter conventions elsewhere in North America. Just let me win a lottery, and we can do it all.

Two pages on five issues…not the best, but at least I am caught up. I hope I can keep up with you on future issues, and respond a little more timely. See you when the next one arrives.

                                                                                              Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 25th, 2018
07:28 pm


Loc on Vibrator 2.0.46 and 2.0.47 (Graham Charnock, ed.)
Dear Graham:

I gather you’ve been wondering where my Vibrator locs have gotten to, and frankly, so have I. This past September, I took a part-time editorial job in Toronto’s north end, and no regrets on that one, for I have had some pretty full-time hours. Unfortunately for my bank account, the part-time jopb is pretty part-time these days, which allows me time to do some writing. Here are some comments on Vibrator 2.0.46 and 2.0.47. (I may be the only one who still uses the 2.0. stuff.)

2.0.46…Taral has a witch-cat with a feline familiar? Like putting Goofy and Pluto beside each other, who does one speak, and not the other? This argument is only for people who like arguments. Fine art, and let’s go further.

I cannot say anything about the passing of Randy Byers that hasn’t been said already. I only met Randy once at a Corflu, and dying of such a horrible disease…it isn’t at all fair, and he should still be with us, cracking wise. As long as we remember him…

John Purcell, Yvonne and I quite enjoyed the London Tube, but I admit that we are quite spoiled in Toronto with our own subway. If I want to go from one Line to another, I will take an escalator or set of stairs, and I am done. In London, enter the station (I have Victoria station in mind), go down the speeding escalator, down the platform to another passageway, set of stairs, passageway, elevator, etc., and when you get to the line you want, you are exhausted, and you realize you are still in the same station. We learned quickly that if you want to get to Kings’ Cross station, take a cab. It’s certainly more scenic. I asked Yvonne is she’d like to go to Paris some time, and the answer is an emphatic NO. London in just her speed. As far as narrow stairs, tiny bathrooms and hotels with no lifts, well, I remember Holland well… In London, we stayed a week at the Grosvenor Hotel at Victoria station, and that is certainly not the Motel 6. We plan to return to London in 2019, and we will pack a little lighter this time.

The locol…thoughts of suicide seem antithetical to being a reader, I’d think. We always want to find out what happens next, and the way you do that in life is to stay alive. My own loc…yes, I’ve been through The Great Canadian Bake-Off, and it’s a pure copy of the British original. With some of the folks who are coming to Toronto this year for Corflu, I think that I will go. And, I will not babysit the con suite.

Around our home, when Dolt 45 comes on the screen, on goes the Mute button. A video Mute would help, too. Anything he labels Fake News has to be the truth, because he doesn’t like it. I am 58 right now, and I am lucky to have some work. It doesn’t stop me from looking for something better, but the older you get, the tougher it is to find anything. Retirement looks better and better all the time, but I have seven years left to fill. Yvonne has been my salvation.

2.0.47…Well, that cover will get you some looks askance…no, John, wasn’t talking about you this time. Christmas was a quiet affair this time around, with some nice gifts for both of us, and New Year’s was spent at home. Parties are around, but it seems we’re not wanted, we’re just too strange, I guess.

A few days ago, there was news of yet another school shooting in the US. After that died down a little, it was revealed that the afore-mentioned shooting actually covered over the coverage of two other similar mass shootings. This horror has become an everyday occurrence, which is a horror in itself.

Hotels vary in quality…when we were in Lincoln, we stayed at the Castle Hotel in the cathedral quarter, and it was quite luxurious. We hope to return some day. I think we will be looking for Comfort Inns from now on. Over the last year or so, we’ve stayed at three of them, and been impressed each time.

It is near the end of January…2018 is looking busy for us, and we could have ourselves some real fun. As long as the money holds out, we will. Yvonne is now officially retired, and is busy shoveling out the apartment. We will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary in May, and we may do something interesting for that, too. Again, money. Let Pat know that I have received a copy of Raucous Caucus, and I look forward to getting around to responding to that ish, too. Thank you for these two issues, and I am slowly catching up with everything. See you with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 24th, 2018
09:04 am


Loc on Purrsonal Mewsings 60 & 61 (R-Laurraine Tutihasi, ed.)
Dear Laurraine:

Hello! It’s been a very long time, and I have been so busy with finding work, finally being successful, and then having all my spare time being eaten by the new job. I have a little downtime, so I have been writing as many locs as I can in a short time, and I have two issues of Purrsonal Mewsings, 60 and 61. So, here goes.

60… Connie Willis is a lovely lady, and I’ve only met her once. Same goes for the Trimbles, and we’ve had some adventures with them. A recent wonderful movie that covered the time period of Dunkirk was Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman being an amazing Winston Churchill, overcoming an undistinguished political career at the beginning to be a major part of WWII in his own finest hours.

The panel you describe about Star Trek fandom would be quite interesting with current discussions I see online about Star Trek: Discovery, and The Orville. Both shows have their fans and detractors, and I am sure a panel about these two shows at any con would probably generate more heat than light, but might be entertaining to see.

From the mailing comments on retirement…Yvonne is officially retired, is very much enjoying it, the cheques start arriving shortly, and she is quite busy with doing a general clean-up of the apartment. The detritus of two fannish packrats has definitely piled up over the years, and it is time for some hard decisions about what to keep, and what to recycle.

Ah, I see some mentions of what I’ve written…indeed, Rodney Leighton did pass away from heart problems. Stephen Hunt is a popular steampunk author who writes in a very dense style, dense with the ideas and concepts he fills his books with. I also believe that while he currently lives in Great Britain, he was born in Mississauga, just a short drive away from where I am right now.

My own letter’s update…we did go to The Asylum, and it was a marvelous time, but I am not sure we’d return. We do want to return to England, and plan to do so in 2019. We will return to Michigan for Motor City Steam Con (now in Novi, MI), and Yvonne will reprise Queen Victoria, and is scheduled to review the troops. In case anyone asks Kraken Rum is pure poisonous throatslit, and I am sure it goes well with Coke.

61… Some great astronomical shots. I’ve seen mention of antelope squirrels and rock squirrels in issue 60. On page 12 on the left, which squirrel is this one? I’ve never seen a three-coloured squirrel before. All the squirrels around here are black or grey. We do have red squirrels here, but they are an endangered species, thanks to the bigger blacks.

On the next page, there are elephants. The Toronto Zoo no longer has elephants, and Bob Barker made sure of that. We wanted to see Victoria and Abdul and Blade Runner 2049, but just never got around to them. It looks like SW Episode VIII may see the same fate.

I must agree with Bill Wright. SF fandom is usually full of people who have never been in charge of anything before, competing against those who have been in charge of too much, and their egos depend on it. We try our best, and we don’t often get along, but at least we do try. Some years ago, Yvonne and I finished up 30-year careers in running cons, because we knew that the good times take some hard work to set up. Near the end, we saw that expectations and laws were changing, and we asked ourselves, can we still do this? As soon as we had some doubts, we knew it was time to leave.

One thing Bill might not like, and I know Marty Cantor would rather excommunicate me for it…as soon as I complete this loc and send it to you, I will archive it on a LiveJournal account. Marty complained that I was publishing my loc before the faneds could, and he would never send me any LASFS publications. He has been good to his word, although I suspect he’s actually forgotten all of this.

I am on a day off, and with Yvonne retired she is a lady of (just a little) leisure, so we will soon be going out for coffee. It is cold outside right now, but the coffee shop is not far away. Take care, stay cool (but not indoor AC cold), and I hope this loc isn’t too late for inclusion in the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 23rd, 2018
04:17 pm


Loc on Askance 42 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

Many thanks for Askance 42. With such a fannish number, I should be able to create a decent loc, as late as it is. My apologies for that, so off I go, trying to make sure I can get something in for the next issue.

Again, congratulations on a quite successful TAFF trip. Looks like you were looking quite steamy in that photo with the GUFF delegate. When it comes to deciphering the Tube, we did what many others do, take a cab. We are now planning our return to England in 2019. I hope money and health will allow us to do that.

Our numbers continue to dwindle, and some big names have left us, so those of us left have got to step things up, keep pubbing, and start living a little healthier. Either do that, or be so bad, you’ll live forever. After all, only the good die young…

The locol…everyone assumes that Canada always has snow. We do get summer, you know. And on that say, we all go swimming. Right now, I can look out the window, and there is no snow on the ground. There are many areas of the US who cannot say that right now.

My letter…the fractured bone in Yvonne’s arm actually came back to cause her pain, and it seems a little treatment has once again made all things right. We still don’t know what happened there. She is now happily retired, and getting used to the idea that she doesn’t have to go to an office she doesn’t like in the mornings. I do have work! It is a part-time job with a mystery shopper company, and today, I wasn’t needed. Gives me more time to find something more full-time, I guess.

I will see what I can do about an article about a steampunk event we go to. It’s going to be a while, but I will see if I can get more pictures, too.

On page 28, you make a list of other places where Worldcon could be. I hope to be wrong, but I doubt you will ever see another Canadian Worldcon. I do not know of any other group of fans in the country who could do, or be willing to even consider it. Many moons ago, there was the idea of a Torcon 4, but that was shooting the breeze, and will not happen. I am pleased you got to meet Kees and Angelique van Toorn. We worked with them during our time as the Canadian agents for the Dutch Worldcon in 1990, we often broke bread with them at Worldcons, and we did go to Holland for the Worldcon, and had ourselves a marvelous time.

I am done for the moment. Let me know if you’d like another Tale from the Convention!, and I will get that to you. Perhaps you’d like some shots of us at various steampunk events? I can relay some of them to you. Thanks for this issue, and see you with the next.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

03:37 pm


Loc on Alexiad 95 & 96 (Joseph Major, ed.)
Dear Joseph:

I have probably done this before, and will probably do it again…I have the part-time work I mentioned in my previous letter, and it has eaten up so much of my time. I missed responding to Alexiad 95, and the deadline for responding to issue 96 is coming up, so here is a letter of comment on both issues.

95…Some of the graphics found online make us laugh, like those of having enough adulating for one day, and retreating to my pillow fort to do some colouring. With the pressures of everyday life, perhaps going back to the colouring book and coloured pencils is the way to resolve stress. Not so much funny, and as I see with the odd trip to Michaels, adult colouring books are a booming industry.

Our numbers are indeed dwindling. The idea of fandom is fading as quickly. I suspect we will be doing this until we either grow bored, or have had enough, or there’s no one left to appreciate what we do. That day is sooner than we think, so let’s keep going in our self-entertainment until we are done. In the wider SFnal world, we have lost so many…Brian Aldiss, Jerry Pournelle, Randy Byers, Milt Stevens, so many more. We are all poorer for their departure.

With the review of Winston’s War by Michael Dobbs, I might ask if you have seen the movie Darkest Hour, about the rise of Winston Churchill to the prime minister’s office at the beginning of World War II. Gary Oldman is an amazing Churchill, and while it doesn’t cover much of a span of British and WWII history, it is an interesting interpretation of Churchill as the cranky old man with a spotty past rising to the biggest occasion. We chose that movie over the latest Star Wars movie; we’ve yet to see Episode VIII.

The idea of a convention in Puerto Rico was daunting, the idea of a NASFiC there moreso, but the more I read about the PR NASFiC, the more I am glad I did not go. It may have been one of the last events to take place there before the hurricanes came to utterly ruin the island. Worst of all, it has stayed that way while the Trump regime plays its games.

96…I am happy with any zines that come my way. I quite understand that life’s necessities get in the way of what you’d rather be doing. Our own Worldcon days were done with Reno; I doubt there will ever be another Worldcon even remotely near to Toronto. Just as well we didn’t go to Puerto Rico, we don’t have Twitter feeds.

Rich Dengrove’s loc…I did get the impression that Rod Leighton didn’t like me because I live in Toronto. I have lived elsewhere in Canada, and that’s how we all learn that the three national sports of Canada are hockey, lacrosse and hating Toronto. I did respond to anything Rodney sent to me, as best as I could.

Earl Kemp is quite right, keep it up. You care enough to compose and design and sent it out, and that is becoming rarer. Still, we have the traditions, and a core group who will continue to Pub their Ishes. You keep it up, and so will I. I don’t say it often enough, but kudos to Paul Gadzikowski for carrying on, and finding a unique way to deal with his loss.

2018 should be a better year for us…Yvonne is now happily retired, and is getting used to the idea of not going to work. Our apartment should look much better soon, as she takes on the task of cleaning out our apartment, and tossing out at least some of the accumulated detritus of fannish activities going back to the 90s or so. We have already weeded out our book collection, and that may have to be done again within a year or so. Last month saw me mark 40 years of fannish involvement, going back to the Star Trek club I helped to found in Victoria, British Columbia in December of 1977. And this coming May, Yvonne and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We have a lot to keep ourselves busy.

Take care, and keep fighting for work and health. Put out these fanzines as often as you like; you will have my support and response. See you with the next issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

11:27 am


Loc on The National Fantasy Fan Vol. 76 Nos. 10 - 12 (George Phillies, ed.)
Dear Neffers:

I have let things slide because I have been very busy with a new job, but I am now finding that this is indeed a part-time job, and I do have some time to catch up on things. So, I have The National Fantasy Fan, Vol. 76, numbers 10, 11 and 12 to comment on, and I shall do that with the next paragraphs.

Vol. 76, No. 10…Indeed, letters of comment, like this one, are always good, but the level of involvement has to rise when it comes to the health of the club. I hope it shall increase, and in spite of this busy pause, I shall do my best to keep up in this new year.

John Thiel is unfortunately correct when it comes to apas. Some of the most hallowed titles in apa fandom are either gone, or are urgently soliciting for members to stay alive. I was in apas before I got into fanzines, so I have my own collection of the original to my apa contribs. I am not in any right now, and I would simply not have the time for them.

Vol. 76, No. 11…I hope the voting turn-out is good. Any group with the population the N3F has should have high participation. The keyword there is ‘should’.

Good for you for ditching Wells Fargo. I have dealt with both banks and credit unions in the past, and credit unions are always friendlier and cheaper to deal with.

I have read some of David Keller’s books, and found that a couple of other names listed are Keller’s pseudonyms, so I have certainly learned something today. It’s always good to learn more of the history of our interest.

Vol. 76, No. 12…Hmmm…congratulations to all those who won in the club elections. Thirteen voters? Not nearly enough participation on the part of the potential electorate. Still, the process works, and the annual exercise is done.

I see that I have responded to Tightbeam 281, but I have 282 in my list of zines to respond to. Robert Jennings, a letter of comment is coming RSN, and that’s about the only time frame I can put that in. I will try my best soon.

Caught up. This year will be an interesting one for me. I have just celebrated last month 40 years of fandom for me, and our quest for things to interest us continues with more forays into steampunk. 2018 will see our 35th wedding anniversary, and there may be more celebrations coming up. I hope that 2018 will be a better year for all. Many thanks for these issues, and if I have my way, I will be a more timely correspondent…though I wouldn’t hold my breath for that promise. Thanks for all these issues, and see you with more.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 22nd, 2018
09:46 pm


Loc on Littlebrook 10 (Jerry Kaufman and Suzanne Tompkins, eds.)
Dear Jerry & Suzanne:

It has been such a long time since I have received this paper copy of Littlebrook 10, but a late response is better than none at all, which is what you might have been thinking of me. Well, time to respond here, and I shall try my best.

With the world of TAFF being a distance away from me, such reports allow me to live that fannish lifestyle vicariously. With the event being in England, at least I can say that I have done that. In 2016, Yvonne and I spent two weeks in England, one week in London, and one in Lincoln. The week in Lincoln was a steampunk event, and we had a great time. In London, we were tourists, and we did not get in touch with the local fans, and a few were a little upset with us. We do have plans to return to England in 2019, and we will put the word out to local fandom, and those who are interested, well, perhaps we can a pub night, and have a chinwag.

It may have been Moshe Feder who told me that based on my writing, he expected me to be tall, thin, grey-haired, and a former Marine. Well, zero for four for Mr. Feder. I am not sure why he felt me to be the exact opposite of who I really am, but perhaps we have unrealistic expectations of people. I had to smile and hope aloud that I wasn’t too much of a disappointment. (Would it help to tell you that I also make jewelry, but it has nothing to do with gems, but with gears and cogs for steampunk jewelry?)

The locol…not only did we mark the passing of Stu Shiffman here, but that of Milt Stevens. We are of the age where this may happen, to our friends if not us, and eating and living a little better may be our way of lengthening our lives, and if not that, at least assuaging our collective guilt. My own letter…after the intervening years, Andi’s strength continues to impress and astonish. Also, I said that the Reno Worldcon was our most recent Worldcon…it still is.

I am on Facebook, and I admit that I am on Facebook too much. I do have my reasons, though. FB has helped me reconnect with seven or eight cousins, lost by time, and also, it has become the source of our current steampunk activities. FB is the perfect place to advertise events, clubs, conventions, etc., to our benefit.

Happy 50th anniversary of your participation in this happy asylum. Last year, I marked my own 40th anniversary in fandom, and this year marks Yvonne’s and my 35th wedding anniversary. I never thought I’d be around long enough to mark such milestones, and I am perhaps luckier than I deserve.

I seem to have so little time these days to write locs like this one, but sometimes, the time accumulates, and I can get it done. I hope that’s been done right here. Off it goes to you, and I hope there will be an 11th Littlebrook, and I hope I can respond a little sooner. I will try. Thank you for no. 10 in the meantime.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 18th, 2018
02:21 pm


Loc on Warp 99 (2) (Cathy Palmer Lister, ed.)
Dear MonSFFen:

I have Warp 99 here, a little belatedly, and I am writing this so Cathy can put it in issue 100. Congratulations to all on 100 issues of anything! It’s a landmark to be proud of. Here come some comments, real fast.

99 red balloons, floating in the summer sky, panic bells, it’s a red alert…everyone’s a Captain Kirk. Soon, 100 it shall be, kudos to all who made it happen.

My loc…finally, I am working! And, have been doing so for the past four months. However, it is a part-time job, and right now, it’s about the same as a temporary lay-off, with no work do to. The hunt is still on, for something full-time, and at my age, that will be a minor miracle to get, but at least, I have some money coming in, and can have a little fun.

With Ad Astra jumping about on the calendar, it has landed on a weekend where we already have plans. We will be at Motor City Steam Con, a steampunk event in the Detroit area, so for the first time in about 35 years, we won’t be at Ad Astra.

Movies…we really enjoyed the first Wonderland movie with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, but this second movie…we never did see it. I am sure it is available on DVD or download, but all the places around us where we could have purchased a DVD are all gone. Can anyone tell me where I could get it? We still have not seen Episode VIII, and the way things are going, we might not. The latest movie we’ve seen? Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.

As of 2018…Yvonne is retired, and she is already enjoying it. Much of her time in the day is being spent cleaning up 30 years of accumulation of assorted stuff, fannish and otherwise. As soon as the place is clean, and we’ve tossed a couple of tons of stuff, Yvonne intends to get busy with creating, making some steampunk vests, and some of her best product, Hawaiian-style shirts. As for me, two big dates…my 59th birthday in June, and just before that, Yvonne and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Now to see what we do to celebrate, not sure yet.

Again, congratulations to the club on the upcoming special issue, and see you in that 100th issue.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 14th, 2018
04:20 pm


Loc on Opuntia 394 - 402 (Dale Speirs, ed.)
Dear Dale:

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future… Mine keep flashing past, and you seem to be putting out issues of Opuntia every few days now. I have here nine issues, 394 to 402, and I will offer what remarks I can.

394…As always, great photos of the Rockies. Such climbs can be dangerous, but I am one tourist who will not take any chances. Gravity kills, especially with unsure footing. Cascade Pond is much more my speed. Ooo, wireless telephones, what will they think of next? I wish today’s juveniles had a grand new technology they could wonder about. There’s nothing like it in today’s Indigo stores. Given how newspapers today are generally failing everywhere, seeing that ad about making good money in radio is a little painful to see.

Being a transit fan in Toronto is a busy time right now, as soon as Bombardier can actually get us more of the new streetcars. We have a subway extension up to York University and Vaughan, and I have more places to look for work. (I have been employed for over four months now, but part-time and minimum wage means the search continues. Yvonne, on the other hand, is quite happily retired as of the beginning of this year.

395…Hallowe’en can be a fun time for us, as long as someone thinks of us for a party. That doesn’t usually happen, so we just have a quiet night in, and we are usually better off for it. Purdy’s is everywhere here, but it’s been years since we’ve had anything there. As you say, quite expensive. I’ve never been a horror fan, which may be another reason Hallowe’en doesn’t really get me, or me it.

My letter…Yvonne took ten boxes of books to a bookstore chain that will purchase good books, and she brought back $100. We were hoping for a lot more… Nevertheless, that goes into the London fund to get us back to England in 2019, we hope.

396…I think we all look back at the romance of early space adventures, and perhaps wish we didn’t know as much as we do so we could enjoy that old goshwow feeling. Yes, they’ve dated terribly, but still, it would be great to enjoy that old thrill again. A symptom of age for me, no doubt.

The locol…In weeding our book collection, I was able to pull out all of our old Ace Doubles, and put them together. See above paragraph. The collector in me wants to keep them, the old SF reader in me wants those old days again.

397…Seeing Remembrance Day was on a Saturday in 2017, attendance at the various ceremonies in Toronto were well attended. There is often one just up the street at the Etobicoke Civic Centre, but if I recall, we were both quite ill. We watched the ceremony on Parliament Hill on the CBC.

I very much enjoyed the movie Mr. Holmes, with Ian McKellen as a quite retired and irascible Holmes looking somewhat dejectedly at the end of his career, but there is one cold case that he wanted to wrap up. I’d happily watch it again. McKellen said that he needed some make-up to look older, and was disappointed to find the amount of make-up needed wasn’t much…

398…Always great photos, and the one with local fauna is always the best. I have never had pets, as much as I would have enjoyed them, but there are a few cats who have made their impacts on my life. Fond skritches for Tiffany, ChatChat and Momcat. I miss having a purring cat curled up in my lap.

399…There is always something to do. In many cases, you just have to look in the right place. For me, that right place is Facebook, which keeps me apprised of the kinds of events I like to go to. Much of the sidewalk lettering around here is gone, but all that is left are the oval seals to indicated who poured the concrete, and when.

The idea of books as tombstones may be a little distressing, but I can’t argue as to the fact of the idea. Not only is there the idea of preservation of history, but also the rapid disappearing of the publishing industry.

400…Congratulations on that marker! We used to go and see the CPR Christmas train as it winds its way to Toronto, usually on a day of the week. We’d get crowds like that in your photo, but we’d want to see the train in spite of all the taller adults around us, and if we spoke up, or tried to find a better spot to see the train…well, one year, we were threatened if we didn’t move back. We’re not here for that nonsense, so we give the train a pass.

401…We’ve had our share of snow, but more than our share of the cold. Wind chills of -35C? We’ve had ‘em. We had a white Christmas, and a brown New Year’s.

402…Hmm, I’ve never seen a copy of Pulp Literature before. I guess I am still used to magazine racks, and there are so many magazines and online publications that will never see a rack in my neighbourhood. I have seen some notices of CanCon, the annual litcon in Ottawa, but I am sure I will find other things to do that weekend.

I would rather not be writing a letter of comment on nine issues of a fanzine, but I did want to get caught up with what I have in my fanzine IN box. With some luck, time will allow me to write something with more on each issue. Take care, and see you with issue 403.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

02:41 pm


Loc on Vanamonde 1247, 1248, 1254 and 1260 (John Hertz, ed.)
Dear John:

I apologize for not getting a letter to you sooner on the last batch of Vanamondes you sent to me. It must have been more than several months now, the letter you enclosed with the four issues was dated August 25, 2017. Better late than never, I suppose, so here are some comments on Vanamondes nos. 1247, 1248, 1254 and 1260.

1247…There are a couple of renaissance faires close to Toronto, but they are single weekend events, and they are not big on public participation. They seem to work on a huge faire-sized stage, and we can wander where we will, but they are actors performing, and we should know our place as the audience. I find that even with large clubs like LASFS, and many of the other SF clubs I am in touch with, having a club house, or anything to do with real estate, is quite expensive, and even regular meeting places demand a hefty rental fee just for an evening’s gathering.

I can certainly appreciate Peter Funt’s assertion that people are wonderful, and would definitely qualify that with the word ‘some’. Than then, there are some people who are amazingly dumb. Unfortunately, I tend to discover many of the latter, and would prefer to deal with more of the former. They make me wonder about the term ‘common sense’, and how common it is, or isn’t, these days. With mention of Winston Churchill, I wonder if you have seen Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman portraying Churchill. He does a marvelous job of it, and he’s won himself a Golden Globe for his efforts.

1248…This year’s Corflu will be here in Toronto. Given how dull past Toronto fanzine conventions have been for me, I had thought not to go, but seeing who’s coming over from Britain, and Pete Young from Thailand, I believe I will be going. I will need to find C$100 somewhere, but I may be able to scrape it up if I save here and there. Yvonne says she will not go, but I might be able to entice her out for a dinner on the Saturday night. (The past Toronto Corflus or Dittos were largely relaxicons, with few people attending, and me getting stuck babysitting the con suite while all others disappeared for dinner elsewhere.)

1254…So many apas have disappeared. I am sure there’s a handful of them left, and I hope there’s someone keeping track of which ones are still extant. So many will not respond to electronic fanzines, even though the technology has allowed so many to publish where they might not have been able to afford it before. I do respond, mostly because the work to create the zine is the same, and the contents are largely the same, although they are not on paper.

1260…Well, I have tried and tried, but I must declare a RAE, BNC on this one. With that, I think I should wrap it up. I have finally been gainfully employed for the past four months, but part-time at minimum wage, I need to find better, and that is what’s taking up all my time. I hope 2018 is a better year for us all. Take care, and see you later on this year, I hope.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

January 9th, 2018
12:31 pm


Loc on The Reluctant Famulus 119 & 120 (Tom Sadler, ed.)

Dear Tom:

Way, way, WAY behind. I have so many fanzines to respond to, and so little time. Try as I might, there are too many shiny things around, and I am too easily distracted. So, I have issues 119 and 120 of The Reluctant Famulus, and a bit of time to get caught up with at least one zine…

119…Soon, stories about conventions may be all we have. I see legendary conventions going away, or fading, or simply being taken over by other groups, and being renamed and redirected.

An interesting review of a Boris Karloff biography. The problem of being stereotyped is a long-lived one. The few actors I have talked to like playing the villain over the good guy, but too many of either gets you stuck. I suspect not only Karloff, but other actors who were parts of the horror pantheon, like Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Lon Chaney, Peter Cushing, etc. felt stereotyped. Price was a fine actor, but also a gourmet and philanthropist, and he loved fine art. Back in the 70s, for some reason, he used to love coming up here and do campy horror bits for a children’s horror show. (Who remembers The Hilarious House of Frightenstein?) For all of them, the horror and the acting chops were just a small bit of the person.

Greetings to Alfred Byrd…we were in the Detroit area last year, and while we don’t know most of it, we do know Windsor and Essex County, right across the border from it. I’ve read about how much smaller Detroit is now, and how areas around Plymouth have been reclaimed by nature. We will be going to Novi this coming July.

God and Moses…you sure this wasn’t a Monty Python sketch? I had no idea Moses was such a nitwit.

The locol…Yvonne and I are not Doctor Who fans, but we do know a lot of them. The promotion for the latest Doctor Who special was enough to allow us to PVR the thing, and watch it at our leisure. Even those who don’t watch know something of the Doctor, and his extensive history, but it was interesting to see David Bradley take on the role of the first Doctor, and I thought he did pretty well. (Others who watched it have snarkily told me that because I never saw the first Doctor, I would think Bradley did a good job, for they think he didn’t.)

My letter…I am still employed, they like what I do, but it is only part-time at minimum wage, so it is only a stopgap measure. The job hunt continues, but this time with at least some money in the bank.

120…Many of us are missing Milt Stevens. I have read so many articles of praise for his involvement in fandom. I hope some of that praise went his way while he was still with us. May there be praise like that for us in some publication when it is our turn.

Cajole me into writing something about Doctor Who? Nope, not me, but I can say that when Sydney Newman, a fellow Canadian, came up with the idea of Doctor Who, he at first tried to sell it to the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The CBC honchos said no thank you, they had a Canadian version of Howdy Doody on at the time. Newman then went to the BBC, and we know the rest. Not only did Newman create Doctor Who, but he also created The Avengers, and nothing to do with super heroes. He was also the chairman of the National Film Board of Canada for some years.

Now that it is 2018, things have switched around. In much of 2017, I’d be at home job hunting, and Yvonne would be at work. Now, I am at work (usually), but now, Yvonne is officially retired. She is at the doctor’s right now, so we are both off today. And, I get to write letters like this one. Thank you for these two issues, and I hope to be more timely in the future.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

December 31st, 2017
02:44 pm


Loc on For the Clerisy 88 (Brant Kresovich, ed.)
Dear Brant:

Yvonne and starting to get ready to head out for an afternoon movie, and then a little bit of dinner out before coming home for a quiet New Year’s inside, where it’s warm. We’re just about frozen up here, and I am sure you are, too. We are reminded that -40° is -40°, whether it’s Fahrenheit or Celsius, and there’s no respite in sight. I have here For the Clerisy 88, and I think I may have a few comments to make.

I certainly understand about no time. I am so far behind on so many things, and it’s because of work. I have my first job in over two years, and while I recover financially, and spend 8 hours at work and 4 hours getting there and getting back, there’s little time for anything else, other than sleep.

I think I’d like The Natural History of Nonsense, the Scopes.org of its time. There is so much pure drivel being pushed at us in the name of politics these days, non-thinkers have no real way of knowing what is truth, and what is BS. I wish thinking for ourselves was more in vogue.

I think most Hollywood couples, as a wedding present, should get a copy of Gable & Lombard. They might learn something from reading it, but then, any publicity, even from a messy divorce, is good publicity. As a connect idea, Yvonne and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary in 2018.

I could use the Albert Ellis/Emmett Velten book, Optimal Aging. I turn 59 in 2018, and Yvonne’s just had her 65th birthday, and tomorrow is the first day of her retirement. Used to be anyone at that age was withered and old, and in the rocking chair on the front porch. That old stereotype is long gone. Sixty seems to be the new 40, and there’s a lot more to life than moaning about your age. We are still having some fun, and we are now saving to return to England, probably in 2019.

These days, I do not read nearly as much as I should. Perhaps I have had my fill of SF, for it has moved on, and I have not, and I just don’t have the time to read more than I do. I will retain my interest in books, though, and will do and read what I wish. I am sure I will return to my reading, at some point…

We wish all Kresoviches a happy and saner 2018. 2017 was insane for so many reasons, so fewer madmen and more sane words of wisdom are sought after. Take care, and issue 89 will come about when you can, and not before. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

December 30th, 2017
05:32 pm


Loc on CounterClock 30 (Wolf von Witting, ed.)

Dear Wolf:

Scramble, scramble! Issue 31 is nigh, and now to see if the Web and the calendar can get me into the next issue! Here are comments on CounterClock 30.

Ah, Worldcon 75. We were not there, for it was simply too far away and too expensive. I suspect I will be able to say the same for San Jose and Dublin. I think CounterClock has turned into the European SF news zine, which is fine with me. As hinted in my last letter of comment, Shards of Babel is still remembered for its breadth of coverage of European fandom, and I believe you’ve stepped into Roelof Goudriaan’s shoes.

Thinking seems almost out of fashion these days, thanks to a certain President. We must follow the party line, anything we disagree with is Fake News!, etc. Experts are only knowledgeable people whose knowledge has been recognized by at least some of the masses. If you haven’t been recognized yet, you may still be an expert; it’s all subjective. The masses haven’t discovered you yet. When others tell you to leave it to the experts, ignore them. This is your opportunity to increase your knowledge and experience. You may not be the current expert, but you could be the next one.

When I was a pre-teenager, I was quite interested in the duplicator at my school, to learn how to use it, and perhaps to come up with something to use it for. I remember not being the only one interested in that, too. However, while some schools might teach you how the duplicators worked, my school kept the thing locked up when it was not in use. I only saw it when someone was printing a school flyer, and when that was done, it was taken away and locked in a closet. I never did learn how to use such a duplicator or ditto machine, and that was my loss. I had thought to get some older fanzines from eBay, but I admit to being a little angry at those who might buy up such a zine, and then secret it away into their collection, never to be seen by anyone else in fanzine fandom. I do like fanzines, for they are one true participatory aspect of fandom. There are few other such aspects these days. I would want to be an active and producing fan, rather than a passive consumer.

The TAFF ballot has come out…I wish you’d been there. I am not sure I’d be a good voter on this, for I really do not know any of the candidates well. So, if I have a few extra dollars, I might just donate to keep the fund stable.

I guess I made that observation from my own distant point because of the rising number of European Worldcon bids, and many of them successful. I see reports of how busy European fandom is in this fanzine, and others, and how some American friends, once so busy in fandom, are now happily retired. Locally, I see some new fans who enjoying the social lifestyle fandom provides, but are not interested in the international network aspect of fandom, even when I might tell them about it. Fandom is Canada is mostly older people who worked diligently in keeping the good times going, but are now in their later 50s to early 70s, and have retired from both work and fanac. One of the few fannish networks still going here is the committee to keep the CanVention and the Aurora Awards going, and I have just left that group. The fandom I remember is mostly gone; I doubt there will ever be another Canadian Worldcon bid, let along Canadian Worldcon. I sincerely hope I am wrong about that. I should not simply deal with Europe as one entity, but as a group of entities, with fandom either busy or dying in each particular country. I suspect that each country’s fandom rose and fell with one or more busy types who worked hard to get organizations and clubs going. Some are here, others have done their bit and left, and others are yet to come.

You mention dealing with various currencies for TAFF funding. Is there a European country that can deal with multiple currencies? I know that here, our banks can handle any and all currencies, which came in handy when Yvonne and I were Canadian agents for various Worldcon bids. We handled US$, Can$, UK£, Mexican pesos and Dutch guilders, and Yvonne was able to advise on how to handle US$ credit card cheques.

Salutations à M. George Gallet. We met M. Gallet at the Dutch Worldcon in 1990. We got along well because of my involvement in fanzines, the fact we both had wives named Yvonne, and both our Yvonnes spoke French. The fact we were Canadians helped a lot, too. I am not sure if Yvonne Gallet was there at ConFiction.

My letter…Both of us are planning to return to the steampunk convention in the Detroit area. Yvonne appeared at one point at the convention as Queen Victoria, and she was a hit, so she has been invited back as the Queen to review and inspect the troops. We did enjoy all the steampunk events we attended in 2017, and some of them were fun and lucrative, too. We are hopeful for 2018, that it will have more opportunities to display costumes, be creative and a little silly, and further our contacts in steampunk especially with the convention runners and the vendors’ network there is here.

The main reason for being extremely late with this loc is that I did find work in September, and the zines simply piled up, what with me working 8 hours a day, but also spending nearly 4 hours a day getting to work and back again on public transit. Also, as of tomorrow, as I write, with the beginning of 2018, Yvonne is officially retired from work, and will start to draw a pension that is expected to be less than promised, so my efforts to find work have to increase to make more money, and make up the shortfall. I take every opportunity I can get to write, which isn’t nearly enough to get caught up.

And, we’re near the end of the zine. It looks like Real Life™ has gotten in the way. Your work life, your love life…perhaps a pause in zine production might allow you to handle any problems you have. I would never demand a zine on a subjective schedule; none of us want zine production to become a chore. But, of course, issue 31 is close at hand, so perhaps those problems are solved?, or perhaps put off for the moment? Don’t hurt yourself to keep things going, you may wind up resenting the zine for not allowing you to solve things. Cope, but make things easier on yourself so coping comes a little easier. Maybe all of that is why I never really had a zine of my own. As a loccer, I get to ride on everyone else’s zines, but not my own.

And my own extro…we had a great Christmas, and for New Year’s Day, tomorrow, we plan to get a little dinner, see a movie, and head home for the start of 2018, and then off to sleep. 2018 will see many things, including my 59th birthday, and our 35th wedding anniversary. Plans for many things are afoot, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. So before I fill up page 2, Yvonne and I wish that you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you have a happy and magical 2018. Take care, thank you for loading this in the back of issue 31, and I hope this is a loc you were hoping for. See you in 31 shortly.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

December 28th, 2017
02:34 pm


Loc on Askew 21 & 22 (John Purcell, ed.)
Dear John:

I am sorry for not being better in touch. There’s so much to do at home, and so much that needs to be done now that Yvonne is retired and at home. I have a huge stack of fanzines to respond to, but little time to do it in. I have two issues of Askew, 21 and 22, which came out the other day, so this is a fine time to catch up a little.

21…Your TAFF trip sounded like the best trip ever. I doubt I could ever do a trip like that. You’ve been the perfect TAFF candidate because you’re retired and in good health, and willing to be away from home for an extended period of time. A shame about Dave Romm…I only met him once at a Chicago Worldcon, I think 1991.

My loc…yup, I have hit 40 years in fandom, and with the odd occasion, it has hit back. The job I have, I have been there for just over three weeks, but it is a part-time job. Some $$ coming in means I can continue to look for better work, and I can’t think of a better time than to go for interviews at the beginning of the fiscal year. I need to find some pictures of Yvonne, but a friend of ours from Montreal provided me with a great photomontage of Yvonne as Queen Victoria at the time of her birthday. Have a look at my Facebook page to see her.

I look forward to the trip report. The van Toorns are great folks, and we got to know them way back in the late 80s when we volunteered to be the Canadian agents for the Holland in ’90 Worldcon bid. We did get to go, and it was our only trip to Europe.

22…Indeed, losing Randy Byers was a major loss for us all. May we all be remembered as such when it is our time to leave. Sorry I didn’t get anything into this locol, but better late than never. Ah, egoboo is mine, saith Rich Dengrove, and I thank him. I was surprised as anyone to realize how long I’ve been involved, and there are many who have been involved longer, but 40 is a pretty good number. Where’s my gold watch, dammit? J I don’t especially like the word cosplay, but it is the term being used these days. Thanks for all the feelgood from this issue, it’s been a while.

I need to see how many issues of Vibrator I am behind, but once I do that, here it comes, Graham. I will catch up, famous last words. True, I do blether on about steampunk here and there, but I find I need fanac that is participatory. Steampunk events let me do that. Modern-day litcons seem now to demand that you buy the books, and shut up for the readings. There has to be more for me to do than simply be a part of someone else’s audience.

I am on holiday layoff from my job, with a lack of work, so my Christmas present from my boss is to greatly reduce my paycheque, but at least I have a little time to write. Our next big event is our 35th wedding anniversary in May, and we are planning something interesting for that time. Thanks for these issues, and I have an Askance to comment on. See you then.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

December 27th, 2017
06:01 pm


Loc on Ansible 364 and 365 (Dave Langford, ed.)
Dear David:

I am way behind, that much is sure. But, better late than never, and better now than some time I cannot predict. With all that going, here are some comments on issues 364 and 365 of Ansible.

364… Margaret Atwood is such a revered figure here, I actually cannot see anyone here trying to take her down, in any way possible, so it is good to see non-Canadians doing so, and at least attempting to take the piss out of her. Good on yer, Greg.

We are going to be making the try to save enough money to return to England, this time with friends. We all want to do the touristy thing again, but we would also like to return to London (maybe this time to visit with friends), and return to The Asylum in Lincoln. Looks like we have 20 months to get everything prepared, so the initial preps are already underway. We may yet see you again!

Usual remarks about the RIP section, and it has stayed large, and looks to be getting larger. A shame about Milt Stevens. As someone who’s also gone through eye operations (plus Yvonne, who went through more than a dozen as a child), congratulations on improved vision. My ophthalmologist knows me well, and I know him well enough to be able to type ophthalmologist without looking it up.

365…After Christopher Tolkien left the Estate, I can only imagine how he feels about a Middle-Earth TV show. Before I can wonder about how he feels, I should wonder about how I feel about such a thing. I am hopeful that it will be of good quality, but I suspect we will see comedies and canned laughter. I hope I am wrong.

Same comments on RIP file…I shudder to think of who you will have to put in this file for the next issue.
Science fiction triggers poorer reading? I got no good books to read me, and I ain’t got no good grammer, neether.  Leland Sapiro is a name from the past. I seem to recall he was a student at the University of Saskatchewan, and may have published a few issues of Riverside Quarterly from there.

I wish there was more to say, but we are in that Twilight Zone between Christmas and New Year’s, so I am not sure what I can do. For us…Yvonne has her 65th birthday about a week ago, and she is officially on vacation from her office, but she has had her last day in her office, and as of December 31, will be Retired. In 2018, I turn 59, and we celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary, so we are planning a massive party, and in 2019, as above, we want to return to England.

We hope you and Hazel had yourself a marvelous Christmas, and pray for a happy 2018 for both. Sorry this is so close to the release of the January issue. Take care, and happy times for us all.

                                                                                               Yours, Lloyd Penney.

(Leave a comment)

[<< Previous 20 entries -- Next 20 entries >>]

Powered by LiveJournal.com