I didn’t intend to do another TZD before the worldcon, but Challenger is done and the zines have stacked up, so why not? Besides, I can use this zine to help us plan for Denvention. Because we’ll get five nights for the price of two at a convention hotel, Rosy and I will stay at a motel a few miles from the convention center. But we’ll be haunting the parties and I’ll be all-too-visible at panels on Fan Funds (Thursday at 11:30 AM) and on Fanzines (Thursday at 3:30 PM and Saturday at 11:30). NOTE: After this last gig (“Pubbing Your Ish” – does anyone really talk like that?) Joe Major, a slew of others and I will enjoy our Fan-eds’ Feed at a local bistro. Join us!
During the con, by the way, feel free to dial 504/909-7084 for a cheap thrill. La belle and I would love to see you.
Speaking of Challenger #28, I’ve only begun printing hard copies, a time- and toner-consuming process, but the content is up and on-line at www.challzine.net. La belle thinks it’s a good issue. Please read, enjoy, comment, and contribute – Chall #29 is well underway, but needs your input. That issue’s theme will be sports, but write, draw, comment on what you will – I’m grateful for everything.
Some nice surprises this time – zines and fan-eds I haven’t seen in years, zines I’ve only heard of before, and a number of good genzines with strong editorial personality input. Many are even on paper. That’s the way I like it. Who says the printed fanzine is dead? As usual and for always, remember: The Zine Dump wants to see every SF-oriented fanzine published in English!
The schtick behind The Zine Dump should be well known by now. SF fan editors send me their zines – or alert me to their appearance on eFanzines.com – and I give them detailed notices. I hesitate to call what I pen here “reviews,” since my notices are seldom critical and I hope, never harsh. My belief about this hobby is that publishers need camaraderie and encouragement. “KTF” is for psychopaths. So send me your zine; I’ll temper what I say with humor and won’t be mean.
Alexiad Vol. 7 No. 3 / Joe & Lisa Major, 1409 Christy Avenue, Louisville KY 40204-2040 / firstname.lastname@example.org / $2@ / Joe will join me on that “Pubbing Your Ish” panel at worldcon. Assuming that the topic will be how a fan-ed brings forth a consistent product, he is surely one of the most qualified guys around, for there are few zines that appear as regularly – quarterly – with as high a quality as does Alexiad. After reminding us that South Gate is up again for the worldcon in 2010 – Well, Melbourne is even more southerly – Joe tells the terrible tale of WWII’s Le Paradis Massacre and laments the death of one of the last WWI veterans. Lest he be accused of ignoring our genre, he then reviews the Hugo-nominated novels (very tough on the lit’ry candidates) before heading into the wonderful wilderness of his eclectic interests: terrorism, history, warfare. Lisa provides a moving memorial for a cat and thoughts on the tragic Kentucky Derby, Joe reviews a convention and handicaps the Hugos. I’m honored at the high spot he affords Challenger. The tremendous lettercol is energized not only by the enthusiasm of the Chorus but by Joe’s rich responses. Finally, there is “Kenobi’s People”, a witty dash of satiric fiction, a style in which Major excels. A hearty interest in everything and an ability to converse about it with humor, passion and style – c’est Alexiad. N.B. If you’re planning on attending the Fan-eds’ Feed, contact Joe!
Ansible #252 / Dave Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5AU, U.K. / U.S. Agent: Janice Murray, P.O. Box 75684, Seattle WA 98125-0684 / SAE or google it. / Web news.ansible.co.uk / The invaluable monthly newsletter, focusing on British fandom but containing news and wit from the world over. If you have any experience at all in SF fandom, you already know Ansible and its jolly constituent parts, “How Others See Us” (usually pitifully), “Outraged Letters”, and the magical mash of malapropisms, “Thog’s Masterclass”. But the July issue is unfortunately laden with more terrible “R.I.P.”s than any month should have to bear. It’s bad enough to lose Jack Speer; I don’t know how I’m going to handle a worldcon without Algis Budrys.
Aphelion #123 / Dan Hollifield / www.aphelion-webzine.com / July marks Earth’s aphelion – its furthest distance from the Sun. Delighted by the coincidence, Hollifield leads off his editorial to this very attractive webzine with this information. Follows some pretty fair fiction, a gallery of Dan’s computer artwork, and a friendly forum. I myself am delighted to see that Dan is attending LibertyCon in Chattanooga this summer; maybe the bug of conventioneering will bite and we’ll meet one of these DSCs.
Argentus / Steven Silver / http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/argentus.html. / eFanzines
As the Crow Flies 9 / Frank Denton, 14654- 8th Ave. S.W., Seattle WA 98166-1953 / Bearlodge@msn.com / “Consider this the fanzine of inconsequentialities,” says Frank, but I refuse; it’s a perzine by an experienced if infrequent fan publisher whom I have enjoyed for years. These 8 pages of natter had a nine-month gestation, starting with one of the editor’s extended trips around the northwest. It’s no exaggeration to say he saw some phenomenal turf. Yellowstone, still not erupted (a fact we can surmise from the lack of an Ice Age around us). Crater Lake, the landscape I saw at 15 and still think the most beautiful location I’ve ever been. Visits from old friends, a leisurely tour of a huge bio of Sir Walter Scott (Mark Twain couldn’t stand Scott), ruminations on old movies, a recommendation of another mystery set in New Orleans, my favorite sub-genre, and alas, some family ailments that have fortunately worked out, museums, horse racing – and once a year, a zine to catch people up with you. Sounds OK to me.
Askance #9 / John Purcell, 3744 Marielene Circle, College Station TX 77845 / email@example.com / $2, trade or on eFanzines.com / A fine publication by one of SFdom’s most enthusiastic fan editors, Askance #9 opens with an unusual but glowingly attractive Taral Wayne cover. I don’t know which I enjoyed most, the superb section devoted to Joe R. Lansdale (appreciation by James Bacon, interview by Purcell) or Greg Benford’s “Odyssey Galactic”, an epic article about his series for Japanese TV. I want that DVD now. But wait – there is other excellent writing here – Lee Anne Lavell’s “Bumpy Byways”, Rich Coad’s clever “Tales from the Drive-In” (reminding me of why I have always valued The Boston Strangler and the nothing Burgess Meredith flick Hard Contract), Lloyd Penney’s review of QuasiQuote and, of course, the heartfelt eulogy for Jack Speer. Attractive, spirited, sharp – Askance is in every respect a superior scan. I look forward to FanCon in Dallas this October, when we’ll get to (1) see Greg again and (2) meet John at last. Neither, alas, plans an appearance at Denvention.
Banana Wings 34 / Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer, 59 Shirley Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 7ES, U.K. / firstname.lastname@example.org / Handsomely produced and exceptionally well-written zine, inexplicably left off the Hugo ballot this year, BW has a consistent professional appearance and a Core Fandom tone, as established by two long reports on Corflu Silver by Claire and the very welcome Nic Farey. The on-going lettercol discussion of what qualifies a publication as a true SF fanzine reflects Core’s conflict between seeing fandom as an exclusive in-group or as a friendly community anxious to find and welcome like souls. Such is the Core Fandom quandary. Chris Garcia publishes a gonzo chapter of his TAFF report (pub and Mexican-joint crawling with James Bacon), Niall Harrison reflects on his career as a Clarke Award judge, David Redd mulls over the attraction of older SF and why the current genre doesn’t measure up … BW has seemed in the throes of an identity crisis for some time, as implied by the “Death of SF” subtitle to the last number, but this issue exhibits a stubborn determination to comprehend the editors’ dissatisfaction with the way things are, and to work it out by keeping the paper pumping.
Baryon Magazine 108 / Barry R. Hunter, 114 Julia Drive SW, Rome GA 30165 / www.baryon-online.com / free online, $5@ printed / What Barry’s exhaustive zine of book reviews lacks in layout and artwork it makes up for in comprehensiveness. The editor and the amazing Harriet Klausner give notice to no fewer than 105 tomes in this one issue, ranging from Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women (as Denny Crane, Shatner is still showing us how) to an irresistible collection by Dennis Etchison, Got to Kill Them All. This is one no-neck science fiction fan who ranks Etchison among the most innovative and evocative horror writers working. Among her many other detailed – and often generous – reviews, Harriet notes Robert Asprin’s Dragons Wild as “the start of what looks like … a great urban fantasy series.” Alas.
Batteries Not Included Vol. XV #5-6 (May-June 2008) / Richard Freeman, 513 N. Central Ave., Fairborn OH 45324 / $3@ US, $4@ outside / A very adult zine devoted to the porn industry, BNI collects writings from all over the edge. July features an excellent chapter from a new bio of the elephantine and horrible John Holmes, concentrating on the Wonderland murder case and featuring the incredibly strange scene of Holmes praying with the investigating officer. In June BNI runs “The Chapman Report” by Mykola Dementiuk, a segment from Times Square Queer, which vies for space with a review of Stalags, comics about “Nazi leather paraphernalia”, yet another interview with a narcoleptic porn actress (a standard), and a hilarious story about a 13-year-old kid, who, alone at home, let gatecrashers turn her parents’ house into Plato’s Retreat. I hope her dog has recovered from the OD of Exstasy and her butt has recovered from having her folks beat on it with a locomotive. In the May issue, the editor wonders what the typical industry product would be like if women really were like men. I wouldn’t like it as much.
BCSFAzine #422 / Garth Spencer, Box 15335, VMPO, Vancouver BC Canada V6B 5B1 / email@example.com / eFanzines / Garth’s “Connect the Dots” editorial imagines a game of sudden psychosis where “nobody makes sense anymore.” The aim of the game is to figure out “what it is people want from you.” Calling this the way life looks to the autistic, Garth is telling us something, but exactly what, who knows. News follows – a long section on the controversial changes to the Aurora Awards, information about Montreal’s 2009 worldcon (Ralph Bakshi as GoH; a Hugo base contest), Seattle vs. Reno in 2011, the SAG strike, and Dr. Who’s future. I agree on one point – David Tennant is excellent.
Beam / Nic Farey, P.O. Box 178, St. Leonard MD 20685 / firstname.lastname@example.org / Good spirits in this debut. A glorious faux label cover, articles about Corflu by Randy Byers and Ted White, a page of unlabeled photos therefrom, a cool, informative piece by Paul di Filippo about very antique SF in very antique magazines (Cosmo’s covers have changed since 1895), Rich Coad’s adventures in the 1990s’ dot-com boom, and some really outstanding graphics – “Werewolves of Fandom”, illos by Steve Stiles … I’d thought this sharp, colorful pub a oneshot, but Nic’s asking for LOCs and contributions. Beam will obviously keep beaming.
Bento / David Levine & Kate Yule, 1905 SE 43rd Ave., Portland OR 97215 / email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org /
Brooklyn! No. 60 / Fred Argoff, Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11230-4060 / $10 in cash per 4 quarterly issues / The warmth and texture of Brooklyn delight the senses, and this outstanding issue of one of the liveliest non-SF publications showcases artwork based on the marvelous New York borough. Its only drawback is that the paintings Fred has found must be reproduced in black & white. The written arts are also well-served by the editor, as Fred eloquently describes a frightening encounter on a Brooklyn street. Is there no limit to the power of Brooklyn? Argoff will let us know when he runs out of material.
Chunga #14 / Andy Hooper, Randy Byers, carl juarez, 1013 N. 36th St., Seattle WA 98103 / email@example.com / $3.50@ / Editors requests three copies of any zine sent in trade / Bright, airy, superbly reproduced, Chunga is among the most attractive zines we receive. Aging and near-sighted, I appreciate its large fonts. Excellent art – Dan Steffan’s cover and interiors especially. Steffan also contributes a fine reminiscence of Bob Tucker, the issue’s longest piece, Lisa Freitag’s worldcon report focuses on Tokyo shopping malls, Graham Charnock rattles my feeble wits (and misspells Quinn Yarbro’s last name, tsktsk), and Andy, in his editorial, predicts that Challenger might just break through and win the Hugo this year. “With two decades of devotion to fandom and science fiction to its credit, Challenger seems a good fit for a Western Worldcon.” I hope Hooper forgives my quoting that, but it’s something I really appreciate. When is Corflu 2009? I’m thinking of doing a special edition of Challenger for it …
Dancing and Joking / John Hertz, 236 S. Coronado St. No. 409, L.A. CA 90057 / available for $5 donation to the fan funds / John’s collected wit and wisdom, well worth it!
DASFAx July ’08 / Ivan Geisler & Sherry Johnson, 8046 Lee Ct., Arvado CO 80005 / Editor@DASFA/com / That’s a familiar Sheryl Birkhead “gleph” atop this issue – the six-legged “critter” from the cover of Challenger #28. A cute LOC from Sheryl is reproduced later. The zine needs a dose of such whimsy. In addition to reporting on the lamentable illness of the editor’s wife, it mourns the death of Bruce Dane, a longtime fan, filker, and computer whiz. Sourdough Jackson’s eulogy for his friend is quite moving. Concluding matters, Fred Cheaver’s adept book reviews.
Data Dump #123 / Steve Sneyd, 4 Nowell Place, Almondbury HD5 8PB U.K. / I haven’t seen a Data Dump since TZD #12, two years and 30 issues ago. As ever, I feel conflicted. Half of me rejoices in Steve’s hand-written appreciation of SF poetry and half of me wants to buy him a typewriter. Let the first half win, because Sneyd’s handwriting is electric with energy and enthusiasm. He exults here about a 1940 zine, Nepenthe, which he has recently acquired and presents “the Data Dump Award for SF Poetry Published in Britain in 2007”. Steve mentions in an appended note that his study of poetry in British genre titles and fanzines, Flights from the Iron Man, is now archived on eFanzines. This man loves his stuff.
De Profundis 427 / Milt Stevens, c/o LASFS, 11513 Burbank Blvd., N. Hollywood CA 91601 / www.lasfs.org / PDF versions available at http://barrydgold.home.comcast.net/deprof.html / LASFS’ clubzine is irresistible for its “Menace” … wackoid accounts of the weekly meetings, dealing with the clubhouse’s leaky roof, Shatner’s appearance at the next ComiCon, the Spoon of Sanity, the amphioxus’ relationship to Cheryl Tiegs and infinitely more. Glad to see Marc Schirmeister will be an honored guest at the 2010 Westercon; he’s overdue for heavy recognition. LASFS reads like an amiable madhouse; one wonders how they get anything done.
The Drink Tank Issue 175 / Chris Garcia, Garcia@computerhistory.org / eFanzines / It’s been a while since Chris handicapped this year’s Hugo race, but I wanted to thank him for placing Challenger so high. This latest issue, as I write, is filled with pictures of pandas – my icon and familiar Mib is most grateful. John Purcell describes a snake encounter in #174, and Taral Wayne discusses racism and faith in #173. The Drink Tank comes out so often that it’s hard to keep track, but notwithstanding this pitiful little notice, it’s a zine whose youth and energy are galvanizing fanzine fandom.
DUFF 2008 / Steve & Sue Francis, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com / Come see us on Thursday at the panel – and help the fund!
eI / Earl Kemp, firstname.lastname@example.org / eFanzines.com
File 770: 151 / Mike Glyer, 705 Valley View Ave., Monrovia CA 91016 / Mikeglyer@cs.com / Impeccably produced with sharp photographs and good art (this issue’s clever cover is by Taral Wayne), File has found – and superbly occupies -- a unique niche. Through interviews, anecdotes, con reports and news, File:770 seeks to do the impossible and cover the entire fannish experience. He employs the kindness of many first-rate contributors, among them Bill Warren (eulogizing Walt Daughtery), James Bacon (handicapping the Hugos and reporting on his South African honeymoon – a companion piece to one in Challenger #28), and John Hertz (with a wedding report, a report on a UC Riverside SF conference – featuring Pohl and Bradbury – and a spiel for “Southgate in 2010”, a.k.a. Melbourne). Mostly, however, Mike relies on #1, supplying wonderfully entertaining pieces on John the Eunuch (an interview with the authors of his adventures), Corflu Silver, and an appreciation of SF’s supreme toastmasters, Bob Silverberg and Mike Resnick. As a friend of Resnick’s and a fan of both, I heartily concur in his praise. This latter piece would be the best thing in the issue were it not for the article about “Rose-Marie Lillian: Award-winning Teacher” by her proud husband. The last time I predicted that File:770 would best Challenger for the Hugo, we both lost, so this time I will simply note the photo herein of Mike posing with several of his rockets, and say that I’ll never bet against him adding to the stash.
For the Clerisy Vol. 15, No. 73 / Brant Kresovich, P.O. Box 404, Getzville NY 14068-0404 / email@example.com / Usually .PDF , this special hardcopy edition of Brant’s zine “for lovers of reading” comes forth in honor of the June 21 “World Wide Party”. This short issue is devoted to capsule reviews of various tomes of all conceivable genres, westerns, historicals, political analysis, even an SF novel or two. Brant devours all, a connoisseur of the printed page. Here’s an interesting tidbit: the OED owes much to an inmate in a lunatic asylum. Why am I surprised?
Fosfax / Tim Lane, c/o FOSFA, P.O. Box 37281, Louisville KY 40233-7281 / $4
The Insider #268 / Michelle Zellich, 1738 San Martin Dr., Fenton MO 63026 / firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com / $10/year / The St. Louis SF Society’s clubzine is an exuberant collection of comics, science articles, and news items stolen from the internet, coupled with “important dates,” reviews by Michelle (Re Iron Man: “Woo hoo!”), and pages and pages of forthcoming events. Highlight: an article about Mike and Diana Glyer with color versions of some of the photos Mike runs in File:770. Have I mentioned that I’ve had a crush on Michelle for more than 20 years? Or hasn’t that been obvious?
Instant Message 801-5 / NESFA, P.O. Box 809, Framingham MA 01701-0809 / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.nesfa.org / The New England SF Society is the best-organized business in fandom. As Mike Glyer points out, they’re one of three groups in American fandom which actually owns its own clubhouse. They produce high-quality books, superb conventions, and this monthly newsletter keeping members apprised of the many club activities. So be impressed, if not awed. To my delight, the meeting minutes reprinted here not only deal with income and outflow, projects and procurement, but with fannish nonsense like pun fines and Lis Carey’s new dog. The latest issue is a sad one, mentioning the loss of Jack Speer, Thomas Disch and several other trublues. I wish we could attend the August 16th Whale-Watch Cruise!
Interstellar Ramjet Scoop / Bill Wright, 4 / 1 Park St., St. Kilda, Vict. 3182 Australia
Janeens_news@yahoo.groups.com / Janeen. Schouten@nrm.qld.gov.au / Janeen’s fortunate address book receives all kinds of media and other news whenever it srikes Janeen’s fancy. Join up! Recent tidbits include a possible sequel to the Jolie vehicle, Wanted, and a heartrending entry about the next Red Sonja, Rose McGowan of Charmed. The illustrations are … well, she can hack me to pieces anytime. Crom!
Journal of Mind Pollution #32 / Rich Dengrove, 2651 Arlington Road, #392, Alexandria VA 22308 / email@example.com / JOMP is one of two generally-distributed publications Rich, a brother SFPAn, produces. Its contrast with JOMP, Jr. is supposedly that articles in the latter zine are more thoroughly researched than the presumably slapdash essays presented here. Nevertheless :heavy” pieces make their way here, including squibs on “The Nature of Truth” – scientific vs. philosophical vs. religious – “Childhood Sensawunda” and “The Westerns of My Childhood”. The latter two are charming rambles through Rich’s boyhood. A special delight is the cover to a Hopalong Cassidy magazine (Hoppy was one of my kidhood idols). Rich communicates best when he isn’t trying for Depth. The lettercol reads like a confab of Rich’s pals, which I can assure you, it is.
The Knarley Knews / Henry Welch, 1525 16th Ave., Grafton WI 53024-2017 / mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org / $1.50 @ / Busy with the Bar exam, Knarley?
Littlebrook / Jerry Kaufman & Suzanne Tompkins, P.O. Box 25075, Seattle WA 98165 / email@example.com / also on eFanzines
Lofgeornost #91 / Fred Lerner, 81 Worcester Ave., White River Junction VT 05001 / firstname.lastname@example.org / FAPA and trade / Fred begins this pink issue of his FAPAzine eulogizing Janet Kagan, a former schoolmate at Columbia whose Hugo win at Confrancisco was a highlight of that event. (In my con report I called her “a cute little redhead,” and she was.) In “The Men in the Village” he describes his interest in the various opinions encountered on “the blogosphere” and how the points in common he finds with the people there helps him meet their disagreements with better tolerance. This lesson would be enough to sustain any zine, but Fred goes on to review The Jane Austen Book Club and mention The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which I found sparkling in its language but plodding and murky in its plot. Reader responses to Fred’s last issue and his admission that he finds some SF standards unreadable provokes some jolly exchanges. In an aside, he expresses contempt for “anyone who uses the word ‘elitist’ as a term of disparagement.” True, true, true; intelligence or better class standing is certainly no guarantee of good character, but neither should be despised or rejected just for their existence. By the way, since someone mentions it, I recommend The Grapes of Wrath highly.
MarkTime 87 / Mark Strickert, P.O. Box 1051, Orange CA 92856 NOTE CORRECTED ADDRESS / email@example.com / $2 or t.u. / Received with Forty-Two #86, a temporary retitling to “celebrate” the postal increase. Strickert is a devotee of, and expert about, public transit. His perzines are illustrated with pictures of busstops and train stations and maps of transit routes. #87 contains notes on local m.t. by local writers, including Brooklyn!’s Fred Argoff, and a piece by Don Fields on the New Orleans (or “N’wlenz”) public transit system, concentrating on the wonderful streetcar lines rattling and swaying their way uptown, to mid-city and along the Mississippi. He laments that he was born too late to ride the streetcar named Desire … but he’s lucky, Desire Street is the worst slum in the city. There’s even a list of film appearances of the Chicago Transit Authority. You never can tell what you’ll learn just by opening your mail.
MT Void Vol. 26 No 16, whole #1463 / Evelyn C. Leeper, firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www. geocities. com/evelynleeper / Subscribe at mtvoid-subscribe@yahoogroups / Haven’t seen an issue lately!
The NASFA Shuttle April-July 2008 / Mike Kennedy, c/o North Alabama SF Association, P.O. Box 4857, Huntsville AL 35815-4857 / email@example.com / $1.50@, $10/year / Reporting not only on club bizness but the entire field, the Shuttle is one of the best newszines going. In these four issues editor Kennedy provides a lot of awards news, eulogizes Algis Budrys, writes a long report on the latest DeepSouthCon (which we missed), praises Wall*E (deservedly – it has my Hugo vote so far). PieEyedDragon contributes a chapter in an ongoing fantasy to every issue. Extremely sad note is the eulogy for Nelda Clark, once Mike’s partner and an extraordinarily nice lady.
Newsletter of the Middle Tennessee Science Fiction Society #69 / Reese, firstname.lastname@example.org / Link after link links subscribers to all kinds of Sfnal goodies – J.K. Rowling’s thought-provoking Harvard commencement speech, a Toscanini concert, a wonderful Salman Rushdie review of L. Ron Hubbard’s Death’s Deputy (“almost physically unreadable”) – Rushdie has occasionally been a fan! There’s an informative eulogy for Algis Budrys, author of Who? and Rogue Moon, whom I will miss like crazy. I hadn’t yet heard that Gene Colon was ill; when he was illustrating Daredevil he became known as the Master of Shadows. Buzz Aldrin lives up to his nickname by playing a fly hitching a ride to the moon in a forthcoming cartoon. This e-zine obviously doesn’t lack much, but we could use more information about the club and its members and, most vitally, the zine needs a flashy name.
No Award #17 / Marty Cantor, 11825 Gilmore Sty. #105, N. Hollywood CA 91606 / email@example.com / t.u. / The cover to this issue must stand as this season’s coolest: a lineup of famous SFnal Martians as visualized by Marc Schirmeister. Like all of Marc’s art, it sings with wit: why hasn’t this guy broken through to Hugo-hood? The beautiful color in the piece continues throughout the issue; Claire Brialey mentioned it in Banana Wings and I must hail it here. The zine: sports no themes except, perhaps, retirement, which features in several pieces, and filling one’s pages from e-lists. Enjoying his retirement, Marty writes about the new CD collection he’s accumulated, Roy Kettle tells us engagingly of aging Brit fandom (a cute illo from Terry Jeeves), and Dr. Marie Rengstruff describes a writing class reminiscent of the one I taught in North Carolina. Another item from the Inthebar e-list, John Neilsen Hall recounts troubles with the British phone company, and from Trufen. Curt Phillips imagines the perfect fanzine – his funniest writing in years. Marty praises the e-lists in his lettercol: “more fine material [is] being posted [there] than is being sent to fanzines.” From outside the lists come Milt Stevens, a frequent contributor, wittily “deconstructing” Jurgen; I’ve enjoyed Milt’s work since I first joined SFPA in 1971. Much as I enjoyed the text, I keep returning to Schirm’s cover; the man has a special wicked humor in his pen.
Opuntia 65, 65.1, 65.3 / Dale Speirs, Box 6830, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2E7 Canada / $3 @ or. / If the subject of Canadian ration books from World War II ever comes up in conversation, I’m ready! Dale’s even-numbered issues are devoted to “sercon” matters, which in this case means … Canadian ration books from World War II. Speirs inherited a bunch of these things from his mother, and from them creates a neat article about the homefront. 65.1 is a catch-all issue with LOCs, some obscure book reviews, and zine listings, SF-oriented and otherwise. Following a staggering set of italicized quotations from various scientific papers (“Neural correlates of Early Stone Age toolmaking”; “Domestication of the donkey”) the polymathematical Speirs opines on the leadership duties of a clubzine editor, in genre and out. 65.3: FAPA mailing comments. S’been many years since I did a Vainomoinen.
Pablo Lennis 247 / John Thiel, 30 N. 19th St., Lafayette IN 47904 / $2 / First impression: nice cover illo by “Nirlando/Catangul” (sic). Second impression: the late Ed Cox would have gone cross-eyed trying to find space to doodle on here! John fills his pages as if the idea of a margin was riddled with disease. Third impression: excellent fillo art by Ramos Fanas and the team of Manachino and Duncan. Some good “amateur” fiction and verse, Data Dump’s Steve Sneyd among the poets, with columns on SF forums and science. Who was this guy Pablo Lennis anyway?
Planetary Stories #11 / Shelby Vick, firstname.lastname@example.org / Associate editor, Jerry Page, email@example.com / www.planetarystories.com / ShelVy’s wonderful on-line zine, in praise and in emulation of the great pulp tradition, offers fiction and art from those halcyon times. Viz: the motto emblazoned on the late Jerry Burge’s cover, “The Return of Space Opera / Worlds Saved * Galaxies Smashed * Time Traveled / Where the Universe Goes for Adventure”. To further their aim, a contest is announced, asking readers to send photos of fans clad as pulps’ classic trio, “a BEM, a Bum and a Babe”. In addition to fiction – Jerry’s story is particularly good – the issue memorializes Jack Speer. The contributors included, and depicted, are Art Widner (unchanged since I met him in 1969), Bob Lichtman (whom I’ve never seen before), Arnie Katz (last saw him 12 years ago) and Patricia Rogers, whose “Adventures Speerology” has been quite the sensation on the SouthernClassicsGroup. The pulp era is well served by Planetary Stories; a unique niche in today’s fanzines.
Plokta no. 38 / Steve Davies, 52 Westbourne Terrace, Reading, Berks U.K. RG30 2RP; Alison Scott, 24 St. Mary Rd., Walthamstow, London U.K. E17 9RG; Mike Scott, 2 Craithie Rd., Chester U.K. CH3 5LJ / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.plokta.com / Great group-perzine from the Plokta cabal, twice a Hugo winner and a nominee this year. Always clever with their presentation, this time their cover mimics a Facebook page. “Bow down and worship me, worms!” (How could worms bow? They don’t have hips!) After an editorial catching us up on the various cabalites, the crew presents a photo-ful report on the Japanese worldcon – purty pictures – and Hugo-winning fan artist Sue Mason’s account of working for a builder of inexpensive houses, Do they have a Louisiana outlet? Giulia De Cesare writes of rescuing a frog from the claws of her cat. Jaine Weddell tells us all about mud. Alison Scott gets into rubber ducks and various sorts of ersatz graphs (I want to meet Mavis). All is light-hearted, insane, in-groupish but far too friendly to carry a trace of exclusivism – Plokta is a joyous mix.
President TAFF’s Bathtub b/w Two-Year TAFF-Life #5 / Chris Garcia/Suzanne Tompkins, P.O. Box 25075, Seattle WA 98165 CAVEAT EMPTOR – OLD ADDRESS / Chris begins his stewardship of the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund as Suzanne ends hers, all on a single sheet. TAFF is loaded with money and Garcia is loaded with enthusiasm, so we can expect a splendid adminstration – and a splendid report on his own TAFF journey, available at http://taff.org.uk/eg. But what’s Chris’ mailing address? Best use the one for The Drink Tank.
QuasiQuote #6 / Sandra Bond, 40 Cleveland Park Avenue, London E17 7BS, U.K. / email@example.com / What a sterling delight to see QQ again, one of the roses in the garden of great perzines that bloomed in British fandom a few years back. Let me praise the quality production values first and then move to Sandra’s content – which begins with sadness. Among the distractions blocking Sandra from publishing since QQ5 was the loss of both her parents. Her mother instilled the love of reading that has sustained Bond through her lifetime, and her father’s care for his wife brought him closer to Sandra than ever before. Such a shock would dull anyone’s urge to publish. Also in the interval, Sandra has gone to law school to become a solicitor – we lawyers are taking over! – and studied the guitar. Who needs fandom? Well, Sandra obviously does, because here she is, reviewing a few fanzines (I disagree about the in“distinctiveness” of Arnie Katz’s writing). nattering about Doris Lessing’s Nobel Prize and this year’s Corflu – which I really wish I’d gotten to – with amusing pieces by Ron Bennett and Erika Maria Lacey adding other voices to the issue. Must mention the varied, high-quality artwork. Good to have QQ back. Hope it sticks.
The Reluctant Famulus 64-65 / Tom Sadler, 305 Gill Branch Rd., Owenton, KY 40359 / firstname.lastname@example.org / A warm, family feel to the 64th Famulus, thanks to Sheryl Birkhead’s charming “gleph” cover (the six-legged beastie seems poised to race an ant uphill) and the editor’s musings on genealogy and grandfatherly pride. But! The Rotsler bacover is stapled on upside down! #65 is an even richer issue. Apparently Tom’s getting used to Kentucky weather. Unlike my SFPAmate Ned Brooks, I like the look and texture of his unique paper stock, and the color logos are attractive. The cover is fine, and as an Al Gore voter, I’m glad to see that outer space is green. Perhaps following up on this environmentalist theme, Sadler’s editorial deals with gas alternatives. Within, some familiar and ever-welcome contributors, Bob Sabella on historical mysteries, Sheryl Birkhead, continuing the story of her whirlpool bath, Gene Stewart on “extraneous material,” a.k.a. “too many words,” and Kurt Erichsen, the brilliant fan artist who so often adds juice to Challenger, illustrates a fun article on moving a science lab. In his afterword, Tom indulges in movie talk, and caps matters with a wonderful reprint: a mimeo cover from a 1952 fanzine – right side up!
The Revenge of Hump Day / Tim Bolgeo, email@example.com / Amongst the usual weekly barrage of horrible jokes, fascinating science and execrable politics, Tim does fandom the spectacular favor of relating the story, as fully as possible, of the Knoxville church shooting. Chloie Airoldi, Con*Cat founder and one-time DeepSouthCon chair, was present – along with her son and granddaughter. (Her son, in fact, was one of the heroes who tackled the lunatic responsible.) They all made it through. Kudos to Timmy for this outstanding public service.
So It Goes #17, Vol. 3 No. 2 / Tim Marion, c/o Kleinbard, 266 E. Broadway, Apt. 1201B, NY NY 10002 / firstname.lastname@example.org / SIG began asa lowly dittozine, TiM says, but my, how it has grown. Enclosed in a plastic envelope with a set of red/blue glasses, SIG sports an amazing 3-D bacover by the great Australian artist, Dick “Ditmar” Jenssen. The zine begins with a melancholy tone, noting the deaths of Kurt Vonnegut and Kelly Freas, then NY fan Brian Burley, kids’ book illustrator Trina Schardt Hyman … and a couple of beloved cats. The sad tone continues with “Jonny Fantom’s” fictional con report, “A Worldcon in Brownsville”. Fashioned after an Isaac Bashevis Singer story, it stars some great individuals who have abandoned this mortal coil – Tucker, Terry Carr, Jack Chalker, Buck Coulson, SaM, Karl Edward Wagner … a convention populated by the dead, but reminiscent of their love for the SF community, and life. Taral Wayne’s illos are exceptional and the story exceeds its sadness. Taral next trades his drawing pen for a keyboard, telling the – again – melancholy story of Victoria Vayne, a fine fan-ed long and bitterly into gafia. Changing tone, Walt Wentz recounts being stuck inside the La Brea Tar Pits park. Ghosts of tar-lost sabretooths chase him forth. Jeff Kleinbard, Marion’s roomie, obviously put a lot into “Celtic Kabalist”, ingenious madness involving Steeleye Span, Hebrew numerology, the Tree of Life, Cohen the Barbarian and Fairy Faith. I didn’t understand a word of it. A terrific Rotsler portfolio, “Voyage”, leads into a most varied lettercol, including Bob Sirignano and Lester Boutillier among the correspondents, and then we’re at the back cover again … awed.
Some Fantastic 13-15 / Matthew Appleton, 28-13 Fort Evans Rd, NE, Apt. 201. Leesburg, VA 20176 / email@example.com / primarily via PDF, free, but $2@ for printed copies / Among the very few exclusively sercon zines being published, SF was apparently brinkling on the brink of destruction before co-editor Jessica Darago came on board. Thoughtful and detailed reviews of films, books (prose and graphic) and DVDs dominate. Notes on the new Superman franchise begins #13. Forgive an aside. Sara Ellis likes Brandon Routh’s charism-free interpretation of the role far more than do I, but is right on in saying that no one captured the spirit of Big Blue better than Chris Reeve. Example: Supes saves Lois for the first time. “Who are you?” she freaks. “A friend,” he replies, with an absolute conviction that both conveys the weight of Superman’s entire history and validates it. I, too, prefer Richard Lester’s Superman II to Ridley Scott’s. End aside. #14 begins with The Last Mimzy, which we found disappointing, and ranges in reviews from Pan’s Labyrinth to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Jessica leads off the latest number with a piece contrasting Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, the 1966 Hugo winner, with Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother from this year: both are stories of common folks using computers as tools for revolution, but of course, the technological difference between the decades is staggering. Also here, Steven Silver on the ancient classic Just Imagine, a silly SF/vaudeville musical that manages to charm despite its age and idiocy: “Gif me der goot ol’ daze!” Matthew contributes an editorial noting how less “upbeat” today’s science fiction seems to him, as if our undreamt-of technology, having been beyond the imaginations of Sfers in the past, has only proven that our problems are insoluble. I’m not sure about that, but the writing is apt throughout Some Fantastic, and the perspective welcome.
Southern Fandom Confederation Bulletin Vol. 9 No. 1 / Warren Buff, 2144B Ravenglass Pl., Raleigh NC 27612 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.southernfandom.com / SFC membership $15 annually / A very cute armored centauress fronts the first issue of Warren Buff’s SFC presidency – a job Warren blames me for. I’m impressed by the number of contributors Buff attracts – legal brother Pat Gibbs on the DSC Hearts tourney (soon, I hope, to be renamed in honor of Hank Reinhardt), Mike Rogers on reworking Toni Reinhardt’s epic SFC Handbook (already ten years old), Tim & Mary Miller celebrating 50 years of Texas fandom, Joy Smith and several others with con reports, Tom Feller listing fanzines and Southern clubs, and even a couple of LOCs. Southern fandom is the most self-referential zone – aggh! that word! – in the genre, but it’s also richer than most in tradition and personality. These qualities are well-celebrated here; Warren does an excellent job.
Statement #359 / Sandi Marie McLaughlin, OSFS, 18 Norice St., Ottawa ON K2G 2X5 Canada / email@example.com / memberships or trade / The Ottawa SF club’s newsletter features news of all sorts and interesting columnists – Ken Tapping on astronomy, Sheila Currie Adler on computers, Janet Hetherington on media news (Marvel’s series based on The Stand sounds ace). Chall pal Charles Mohapel contributes some neat stuff – like him, we’re very excited by the discovery of a complete print of Metropolis.
Steam Engine Time #8 / Bruce Gillespie, 5 Howard St., Greensborough VIC 3088, Australia, Janine Stinson, P.O. Box 248, Eastlake MI 49626-0248 / firstname.lastname@example.org, tropicsf@earthlink. net / GillespieCochrane.com.au / There are no zines as physically elegant as SET, with its professional saddle-stitching and slick color covers, this one by the ubiquitous Ditmar. C-editor Stinson, whose Peregrine Nations is a fine perzine, makes mention in her editorial of design changes, which contribute to the zine’s superior appearance. Bruce’s half of the page thanks Australian fandom for bestowing upon him its Peter McNamara Award for lifelong services thereto. Among those pictured, our DUFF pal Justin Ackroyd. The substance of this issue is dominated by George Zebrowski’s powerful keynote squawk to the Campbell SF conference, its subject the victimization of the SF writer by editors and publishers. A surprisingly lengthy lettercol follows, followed in turn by a fascinating piece, “Literary Censorship in Australia and Stapledon’s Sirius”. It’s accompanied by the only photo of Olaf Stapledon I’ve ever seen. He was human! The review articles that finish the zine include a salubrious essay on Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic and exquisite Mars trilogy (grown-up SF at its best; John Boone was the best SF character I’d seen in years), a welcome piece on David Weber’s military SF, and Dan Simmons’ The Terror, which this reviewer likes far better than did I. A beautiful journal; SET is attractive, intellectual and devoted to the field. Sercon pubs these days are rare – this one, Some Fantastic – but when of this quality, very welcome indeed. Aussies! Hail your own at the Melbourne worldcon!
Taboo Opinions #110-1 / Dick Geis / eFanzines / The great Geis’ brief expressions of opinions no one could find particularly taboo; in #111 he ruminates on Obama’s ego and McCain’s incipient senility and the current spate of bank collapses. In the previous issue he comments on the Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment decision – with which I agree, if anyone cares – and complains that nobody reads his posted fiction. Who could resist “Android Bedmates for Sale”? I’d like a copy of Like,Crazy – remember the blonde with the bongos?
This Here … #8 1/2 / Nic Farey, P.O. Box 178, St. Leonard MD 20685 / Like antidisestablishmentarianism, it has been a long spell since we last saw Nic Farey between staples of his own. Now two zines, this and Beam share an envelope and arrive together. This Here is that rarest and most accessible of publications, a perzine, but most of it is devoted to a long lettercol filled with LOCs so old they were written on clay tablets. They all come from 2001 – but Nic’s rejoinders are contemporary, and good reading. The two pages we get of personal stuff explain the malaise in his life over the past several, focusing on his conrunning. There’s much more to tell, I’m sure, so stick around and keep writing, Nic.
Time and Again #4 / Dave Locke, P.O. Box 485, Pownal VT 05261 / email@example.com / eFanzines / A clever title – it’s also the schedule. Time and Again has the oddest genesis of any recent fanzine; Locke says that it’s the successor to Pixel, which folded recently, and I don’t understand what that means. Anyway, it’s a good genzine, with no evident agenda except good articles. Curt Phillips reflects on firecrackers. John Purcell, as ubiquitous as James Bacon these days, remembers the happy days in 1999 when gastrointestinal ailments parked him on the slab. A less talented writer would have left me nauseated, instead of entertained. Lee Lowell writes about bad weather and hits home – I’m both fascinated and terrified by tornados. Chris Garcia – he’s here, he’s there – tells a nifty story about his job at a Computer History Museum and the replica they display of the Babbage Difference Engine. Talking about Fitz-James O’Brien, author of the magnificent “What Was It?”. Eric Mayer asks us to imagine the most frightening thing we can (I’m past being spooked by plug-uglies; abandonment and betrayal are what get to me). Best thing about the lettercol: editor Locke’s blue-hued rejoinders. I haven’t read enough of Dave since he dropped SFPA.
Tortoise / Sue Jones, Flat 5, 32-33 Castle Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2BQ U.K. / sue.tortoise@ btinternet.com / www.tortoiseloft.com / editorial whim
Vanamonde Nos. 788, 738-757 / John Hertz, 236 S. Coronado St. No. 409, L.A. CA 90057 / Trade / Among the surprises of this fanzine season was a contemporary issue of Vanamonde; John doesn’t usually release his eclectic Apa-L zine to general fandom for several months. The exception must stem from the quote he prints from the last Zine Dump, wherein I called Sadakichi Hartmann “the saddest sack” I’d ever seen. John devotes the opening paragraphs of this one-sheet issue to the fascinating, multi-talented Hartmann, photographic critic, actor, haiku artist and pickpocket. Elsewhere John opines on the origin of the term “wiener,” which I never realized stemmed from Vienna. Earlier issues touch on Karen Anderson’s 75th birthday, the passings of Walt Daugherty, Pavarotti and Wally Schirra, and everything else under the several suns.
Vegas Fandom Weekly #108 / Arnie Katz, 909 Eugene Cernan St., Las Vegas NV 89145 / firstname.lastname@example.org / eFanzines / Only the latest issue of Core Fandom’s core zine, and one of the cleanest and most readable on-line publications. This issue has a nostalgic feel. Alan White’s b&w cover is reminiscent of Jim Shull. Arnie mourns Jack Speer, but moves afterwards to a funny tale of arm wrestling competitions at Corflu Silver. Dick Lupoff’s story about a onetime Sfer who became his supervisor at IBM becomes a moving vignette on the roads not taken. Taral Wayne provides a photo essay on his toy Nash Metropolitan, and SFC President Warren Buff tells how he lost his love for Dungeons & Dragons. More to come. Stay tuned.
Virtual Tucker Hotel #13 / Peter Sullivan / email@example.com / http://www.ustream. tv/channel/the-virtual-fan-lounge / eFanzines / Celebrating the Virtual Fan Lounge, the creation of Bill Mills, Arnie Katz’s 30-minute program “The Wasted Hour” (currently on its 6th episode, airing 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 7PM Pacific) and the chat room which follows it. Current topics, Jack Speer and the 1939 Exclusion Act. I don’t pretend to have the slightest understanding of virtual fanac, yet, but if yowill forgive some typical GHLIII hyperbole, it seems to me that it represents the future of fandom, and all knowledge thereof can be found inside these “walls.”
Visions of Paradise / Robert Sabella, firstname.lastname@example.org / eFanzines / The most expansive perzine we see, VoP comes in three sections – four if you count the lettercol. Most recent issue: June.
Warp / Cathy Palmer-Lister, MonSFFA c/o Sylvain St-Pierre, 4456 Boul. Ste-Rose, Laval, Québec, Canada H7R 1Y6 / www.monsffa.com / email@example.com / I am informed that, my musings in the last Zine Dump notwithstanding, Cathy is still editing Warp. This is entirely to the good.
WCSFAzine #11 / R. Graeme Cameron, Apt. 72G – 13315 104th Ave., Surrey, B.C. V3T 1V5 Canada / firstname.lastname@example.org / eFanzines / An issue devoted en toto to the 60th anniversary of the first Torcon, it exhausted the editor but should wow any reader. Graeme was “bound and determined to … print every scrap of information [about the con he] could mine …” and there is a lot. Much is owed to a ’57 fanzine devoted to the 6th worldcon, Canadian Fandom #33a, from which there are many reprints. The late Leslie A. Croutch, Graeme explains, was an exemplary actifan. He’s tapped for a cover (terrible, I’m afraid) and a gonzo con report (long before Hunter Thompson). His report is rich with the personalities in attendance. Ned McKeown also contributes some memories. All of this comes complete with Cameron’s footnotes, like a Flashman novel – and like Fraser’s, are themselves fun to read. Also from Canadian Fandom comes am excerpt from GoH Robert Blake’s speech, “Fantasy and Psychology”, is wonderful, of course; Bob nails it when he avers that the average Professor of Greek will engage in just as much “hoggish swilling of liquor” in the company of like souls as any Sfer. Various insulting newspaper articles of the period follow (fandom has had worse publicity, but … Robert Block?). They’re succeeded in turn by cool con factoids (the term “zap gun” and propeller beanies both stem from Torcon!), and fannish reports by the likes of Harry Warner, Dick Eney, and Bob Tucker, from Le Zombie. It’s indescribably Tucker. The Torcon Rosy and I attended many years later was, I fear, all but forgettable. The first Torcon, on the other hand, will live on in memory as long as fans gather … at least if WCSFAzine has anything to say about it.
Whistlestar 7 / Lenny Bailes, 504 Bartlett St., San Francisco CA 94110 / email@example.com / whim or trade / I know Len left Southern fandom behind a long time ago, but I can’t help identifying him with the grand regional craziness he helped found *urk* 40+ years ago. (For SFPAns, he’ll always be the star of Lenity.) Here is the contemporary guy with the first issue of his genzine in seven years. Among much else, it’s a publication rich with whimsy and righteously funny artwork, Harry Bell’s hilarious cover only the start. Alan White’s illustrations for Andy Hooper’s “Fanotchka Part 2” remind those enraptured with his incomparable computer art that he also wields a wicked pen-&-ink. The content varies from light-hearted and fannish (the aforementioned “Fanotchka”) to serious (Ted White on The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – “Too shaggy a dog by half”). We see both perspectives in rich brown’s “Morgenstern Lives!”, concerning the alleged author of The Princess Bride. brown’s sneaky wit is balanced by the wistfulness of Dan Steffan, eulogizing the article’s author in an afterword. “Banapple Gas”, Len’s editorial, is the most insightful part of the issue (as well as the most enjoyable; Bailes is an excellent writer). After turning an astute critical eye on the messy state of DC Comics, he addresses the debate between Core Fandom (in this corner, Arnie Katz) and … fandom fandom (in this corner, Andrew Trembley). Len identifies with the concept that “it is a proud and lonely thing to be a fan,” which posits fandom as a sanctuary for intelligent misfits lost in a dull mundane world. That self-view led to the forging of a community identity that brought joy to generations of SFers. You don’t see that perspective in the fandom active on the Net, Bailes decries. He notes that thanks to the blogs dominating communication within SFdom, professional and commercial influences have overwhelmed fandom’s traditional outsider status. In other words, SF’s amazing commercial success has radically changed fandom – it’s In to be Out – and it just ain’t fun anymore. In response, it’s tempting to say c’est la vie – being a living social entity, fandom is bound to grow away from older fans as it changes and they don’t. SF is about the future and the future will have its way. But it’s also part of the essence of fans to cling to the stuff we love – SF you read, paper fanzines … Core Fandom. So instead of retreating into bitterness that the fannish world has changed, let’s appreciate the common joy to be found in SF lovers of every stripe when they find one another, even if we’re not included in a particular niche. In a world of gamers, media and anime nuts, and older-pharts who despise you for not being them, there is always joy to be found in fandom – among other places, in stubborn, quality- and heritage-rich zines like Whistlestar. Ho-kay ... hopefully we’ll see you at Denvention at the fanzine panels and the Fan-eds’ Feed, and just in case anyone wonders about where we stand in the Real World … Hope, not fear. Truth, not lies. The future, not the past. Have a great worldcon! GHLIII