Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Zine Dump #13
CHALLENGER heartily endorses the "One-shot special trip fund" to send John Hertz to the Yokohama worldcon in 2007. Contact email@example.com and send donations to Janice Murray, P.O. Box 75684, Seattle WA 98175-0684.
And don't forget The Antipodal Route, my account of our 2003 trip to Australia for the Down Under Fan Fund, on sale for ten dolla'. Make your checks or money orders out to Joe Siclari but send them to me, or contact us at GHLIII@yahoo.com for PayPal information. All moneys go to support DUFF!
Finally, LOC and load for Challenger issue #25, coming up before year's end! Contributions sought and welcome!
Alexiad Vol. 5 No. 3-4
Alexiad Vol. 5 No. 3-4 / Joe & Lisa Major, 1409 Christy Avenue, Louisville KY 40204-2040 / firstname.lastname@example.org / $2@ / Keeping any kind of schedule is an unattainable fantasy for me, so I am awed by the ability of Joe Major to do so with this exceptional publication. But that isn't where my astonishment stops, because Joe also manages to fill each issue with entertaining and insightful reviews of books ranging in topic from here to next Tuesday: the search for the coelacanth, the "troubled-teen industry" (Major has an article on this topic in Challenger #24, available RSN on my website), frivolous lawsuits (I beg your pardon!) , the "helping culture", and fiction from Spin to Ron Goulart's series of novels featuring Groucho Marx, detective. All are handled with rare aplomb and high ability. And great lettercols! If a zine may be judged by the quality of response it engenders, then Alexiad must be our akela, and lead the pack. I am so green with envy that I must have been fertilized. (What did I just say?) Don't neglect Lisa Major's asides on horseracing. Did she spot Rosy in Dreamer?
Ansible #231 / 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. / http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/Ansible / Langford's one-sheet newszine touches on personalities ("Harlan Ellison has launched further exciting litigation"), British conventions, and the usual hilarious segments, "As Others See Us" (a.k.a. "Sci Fi Weirdos and Their Flying Saucers") and "Thog's Masterclass" (croggling sentences from writers who should know better). The always-too-extensive R.I.P. section includes two guys I knew slightly, John M. Ford and Charles L. Grant -- both younger and far more accomplished than me, and both tremendous losses. The zine ends with the shock, at presstime, of Tucker's death. Indispensable, of course.
Banana Wings #26-27
Banana Wings #26-27 / Claire Brialey, 26 Northampton Rd., Croydon, Surrey CR0 7HA, U.K.; Mark Plummer, 14 Northway Road, email@example.com / Two issues here of a handsome Brit pub notable for its saddle-stitching, nifty and often retro ATom artwork (although #27's cover is a new piece by Taral, illustrating his article on Red Dwarf), and strong fannish emphasis. This concentration can be a trifle off-putting, as when editor Brialey, in #26, writes about writing, or rather not writing, in an article about being too distracted to write other articles. Often, though, it strikes a welcome chord, as when James Bacon writes about an antique British fanzine (all of ten years old) and Plummer discusses insolent young fans -- uninterested in the glorious fannish past -- with Greg Pickersgill. Also ace reading are Taral's long piece on the TV series Red Dwarf , which makes me wish that show was available around here, and Tony Keen's dissection of Dan Simmons' "use and abuse of ancient history," which demolishes Simmons' bitter post-9/11 reading of Thucydides. (I speak as a fervent Simmons admirer, by the way.) Indeed, we don't need more ruthlessness in dealing with our terrorist enemies, but greater wit -- a weapon we have yet to unleash upon Al Qaeda. Nic Farey's bitter words from a jail cell are understandable if (forgive me) familiar b.s to this public defender; what does he expect when he continues to drive under suspension? If he's right that local judges get a cut of the lawyers' fees, then he should alert the state Bar and the FBI, because that's both unethical and illegal. The most compelling article in these two issues is Arnie Katz's "Just Plain Lovable", wherein A the K analyzes personal popularity in the fannish world; the followup lettercol thrives with response. The lettercols, speaking of which, are excellent, rich with superb voices from the Chorus. One last point of editorial agreement with BW: I, too, heartily endorse Australia for the 2010 worldcon.
Batteries Not Included Vol. XIII #6-9
Batteries Not Included Vol. XIII #6-9 (June-Sept. 2006) / Richard Freeman, 513 N. Central Ave., Fairborn OH 45324 / $3@ US, $4@ outside / Whenever former "adult" actor Richard Pacheco writes for BNI -- the only zine I see built around video porn -- he brings a unique sensitivity to the product. This is certainly true when he opines about his own career, such as "The Old-Timers Game" in the September issue, but even in his interviews he evokes a depth and intensity of feeling one wouldn't expect from such a genre. Take, for instance, his transcribed talk with "starlet" Charli St. Cyr, from July. While the conversation, apparently dating from 1989, begins innocently enough, with Pacheco leering and the girl giggling, her sad familiar past is soon revealed -- the pitiable pattern of rejection and phony affirmation familiar to anyone who has dealt with abused children of any age. BNI is never afraid to treat its admittedly sleazy subject with intelligence, humor, criticality, and wit -- Jeff Jarvie's monthly hymns to Kylie Ireland, for instance, are hilarious. Definitely adult reading, BNI is never simple-minded, even when Dave Cummings is trumpeting the wonderfulness of his video sex life with teenagers. Perhaps without meaning to, the zine never loses sight of the humans struggling to get free, through sex or despite it.
BCSFAzine #397 / Garth Spencer, Box 15335, VMPO, Vancouver BC V6R 2H7 Canada / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www3.telus.net/dh2 /bcsfa / Though this quarterly (?) pub presents itself as "the newsletter of the British Columbia SF Association", and club events and forthcoming cons are noted, it is almost entirely the personal work of Garth Spencer. Some very interesting bits here. Nowhere else do we see fiction markets listed, nor the utterly incredible news item that Spain was considering granting civil rights to orang-utans on the basis of their resemblance to humans (speak for yourself). Felicity Walker provides some unique illos, and Cosmic Ray Seredin's Norwescon report is fun, particularly when he dozes off during a Bujold reading and dreams of Volkswagens. But I don't think I'll ever recover from this issue's lettercol, which seems to consist of Garth's responses to incoherent word cascades from internet spam.
Bento #18 / David Levine & Kate Yule, 1905 43rd Ave., Portland OR 97215 / www.bentopress.com / email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org / Subtitled "Puzzle Digest", this issue of fandom's most diminutive ongoing fanzine (it is literally palm-sized) is jammed with wit-bending puzzles, all designed by Kate. They look too tough for a dumb public defender, but I promise to try. A tasty piece on beets, another on learning Japanese by osmosis, yet another on Sudoku (speaking of puzzles), a Disneyland trip report (gimme that FastPass!), quite a few LOCs, plus more goodies. David's "'Tk'tk'tk" won the Hugo for best short story this year, provoking a spasm of gloom on his part that had all of L.A.Con depressed (HA! I thought he'd bounce off the ceiling!). Clearly, Bento remains a Hugo-nominatable fanzine, and it came close to the ballot this year, but is David now disqualified from the Fan Writer race?
Brooklyn! No. 53
Brooklyn! No. 53 / Fred Argoff, 1800 Ocean Pkwy #B-12, Brooklyn NY 11223-3037 / $10 in cash per 4 quarterly issues / Among my three or four favorite non-SF zines, Brooklyn! is a hymn to its editor's home and everyone's favorite punchline. His photos of Brooklyn buildings range from genuine landmarks (like the beautiful Dean Sage House) to dilapidated ruins to ordinary apartments and warehouses, and reveal a borough that makes aging a virtue. In this issue Fred describes returning to his childhood haunts, carries us along on a cross-town bus ride, treats us to another page of the borough lexicon. Evocative photos of Coney Island, invaluable advice about Brooklyn Heights and the Promenade ... Great zine? Tolja!
Chunga #12 / Randy Byers, 1013 N. 36th, Seattle WA 98103 / $3.50 or trade / A real pleasure to meet Randy at the worldcon! Chunga is consistently one of the most attractive zines published, thanks to excellent line art and airy layout. The writing is also diverting and funny, the bulk of it in-group stuff devoted to TAFF and Corflu, the twin towers of "that" corner of fanzine fandom. I especially applaud Steve Stiles' brilliant 1969 take-off on Krazy Kat. But Byers' heart-felt "God Cuts the Thread" bears no trace of fannish frivolity. It's a reflection on a horrible juxtaposition: mortality and the budding sexuality of teenaged girls. Prompted by a massacre at a local rave, Randy's piece is an anguished attempt to find affirmation in the most hideous and insane of realities. In that way, it reminds me of the superb though deeply painful film The Sweet Hereafter, and considering the recent obscenities visited upon girls in Colorado and Amish country, it speaks to feelings experienced by most Americans this fall.
Cooperatively Yours Spring/Summer 2006
Cooperatively Yours Spring/Summer 2006 / 2424 Ridge Road, Berkeley CA 94709 / www.usca.org / Okay, so an alumni newsletter from the co-op dormitories where I spent my last two years at Berkeley isn't really a fanzine. I just wanted to note the headline event in this issue, the retirement of my friend George Proper, General Manager of the University Students Cooperative Association, after a career that began around the time that the GHLIII Press was born on the USCA mimeograph.
Corflu Quire Progress Report #1
Corflu Quire Progress Report #1 / Pat Virzi, 618 Westridge Dr., Duncanville TX 75116 / email@example.com / Clever title for the 24th Corflu, appealing to those of us old enough to remember stencils (or "staincils," as I pronounced the word) and the boxes of 24 they came in. Attractive booklet promoting the Austin con, mostly natter about possible plans (the convention isn't scheduled until February 2007), calling for help, listing prior events (based all over the damn place). About time I went to one of these things, but wow, $50 attending?
Dagon #601 / John Boardman, 234 E. 19th St., Brooklyn NY 11226-5302 / I wonder if John did anything special to mark his 600th issue, or am I the only faned left who makes a big deal about "milestone" issues? One thing about contemporary life in the U.S. of W., it will never leave John Boardman with nothing to write about. Alas, this time John has concerns other than his usual Page Two "comic display of mystical gullibility", Colin Ferguson Award to a science fiction militarist, "Patriotism is" horrors, and the many and various right-wing offenses against common humanity, good sense, and decency (such as Homeland Security's idiotic "No Fly" list) -- the death of his friend Brian Burley, and the illness of John's wife Perdita. His mini-articles on the alleged attempts to establish that pi=3 and the schizzy religiosity behind the Iraq War are spellbinding, but it's the personal stuff that resonates here.
DASFAx Vol. 38 #6
DASFAx Vol. 38 #6 / Annette Stroud, 2850 S. York #201, Denver CO 80210 / firstname.lastname@example.org NEW ADDRESS // With the 2008 worldcon in their future, one suspects the Denver club will find itself too busy for parties and readings and astronomical programs such as this issue describes. One hopes not. This issue of the DASFA clubzine notes the death of artist Tim Hildebrandt, whose Lord of the Rings calendars with his twin first excited my interest in Tolkein. Art and book reviews, the latter by Fred Cleaver, finish the zine; betcha Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End is bound for next year's Hugo ballot.
De Profundis 402-5
De Profundis 402-5 / 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 / With the October issue of the LASFS clubzine, much of its mailing list will be receiving it electronically. I imagine that the "cream of menace", the inimitable LASFS meeting minutes, will be the same on screen or on paper, for they are the raisin d'eater for this zine, and undoubtedly the funniest such in fandom. What strikes me most strongly is the inadvertent but definite emphasis on names. Personality is at the heart of this most senior of SF clubs. Hearty larfs and all, the club still gets a lot done -- check out that bulging activities calendar -- holding down the fannish fort as securely on the west coast as NESFA does in the northeast.
The Drink Tank Issue 94, 100
The Drink Tank Issues 94, 100 / Chris Garcia, Garcia@computerhistory.org / One of the most prolific publishers on eFanzines.com, issue 94 was distributed on paper at the worldcon. Worldcon memories form this issue's text, ranging from NyCon 3 to ConJose. I'm especially interested in John Purcell's memories of MidAmeriCon. He recalls a lot of good stuff: Tom Reamy's wonderful hardback program book, Mark Hamill's appearance and Patia von Sternberg's hoochie-koochie terpsichore at the masquerade (I remember Cliff Amos' intense interest in her dance from the front row). He misses, though, the appearance by Sally Rand, Tim Kirk's revolutionary Hugo base, and the first in-person meeting of Guy Lillian with Rose-Marie Green, a moment as historic as anything involving the Mayflower. Issue 100, Garcia's latest, contains the dreadful news that Chris' father has passed away at 51 -- younger than me, which is far too young.
EI28 / Earl Kemp, eFanzines.com / Earl is one of my favorite members of "Core fandom" -- (I'd belong, but I thought the movie a waste of Hilary Swank) and his zine is great fun. Central to this number is an appreciation by Ed Gorman and the editor of Lawrence Block, now a best-selling crime writer, once a member of Earl's porn stable. Don't flinch; W.H. Auden once advised the young Edward Albee to get the kinks, haha, out of his wordsmanship by writing smut. Apparently Block gave good m.s. (Robert E. Howard filled his pages edge-to-edge), and penned something close to kiddy porn, viz the book Kemp calls classic, Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man. "Searing volcanoes," indeed. Moving away from what Earl calls "right-handers," Kemp next reveals another set of "Curious Couplings", ripoffs of one paperback's cover art by another, and wows me out of my socks with a long piece on Fantasy Press, complete with cover art and synopses. I saw that classic Hubert Rogers Gray Lensman cover on a moldy Astounding in Harry Moore's rain-swept carport after he died.
Emerald City #133
Emerald City #133 / Cheryl Morgan, email@example.com / http://www.emcit.com / With an analysis of L.A>Con IV and its Hugo voting, plus a shelf-full of exceptional reviews by Cheryl and associates (Peter Wong, Stuart Carter, among others), EmCit approaches its demise. Anyway! My favorite review in #133 is that of Talk to the Hand, a condemnation of rudeness in contemporary life, and
For the Clerisy #s 68
For the Clerisy #s 68 / Brant Kresovich, P.O. Box 404, Getzville NY 14068-0404 / firstname.lastname@example.org / $2, LOC, or trade / The first of these two issues opens with correspondents' notes of where they were on June 21st the date of Kresovich's "World Wide Party". I was at my office, what a thrill. He goes on to recommend a novel I read as a teenager, Brian Aldiss' Greybeard; it's good to see that neglected masterpiece receive due praise, 40 years post-publication. I see also that Brant has read Ken Kesey's glorious second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion -- wonderful last sentence in that book -- and that he has seen the biopic on Bettie Page, boy o boy. In the followup number he touches on Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, Gore Vidal's Lincoln, Comanche Dawn and H.G. Wells' When the Sleeper Wakes get the feeling that this journal "for the clerisy" (those who read for pleasure) is eclectic? It's also well-written and great fun. Nice notice for Challenger and TZD, too.
In a Prior Lifetime #15 / and Furthermore #19
In a Prior Lifetime #15 / and Furthermore #19 / John Purcell, 3744 Marielene Circle, College Station TX 77845 / email@example.com / Available on e.Fanzines.com. Wish I'd known Purcell lived in College Station; could've met him during last summer's SFPA Dump at the A&M Library. An energetic and enthusiastic publication, this issue features a reprinted "Towel Tale" from an '87 zine (reminding me of a pillowcase I inherited from a Berkeley girlfriend) and worldcon impressions from Lloyd Penney. The apparent highlight of L.A.Con for Lloyd was meeting Chris Garcia (see "Stalking the Wild Garcia" and Chris' riposte -- why the photos of snakes?). A tribute to Tucker rides the addendum zine. Must mention the artwork, which Purcell
The Insider June-August 2006
The Insider June-August 2006 / Michelle Zellich, 1738 San Martin Dr., Fenton MO 63026 / firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com / $10/year / Anyone who reads GHLIII fanzines knows that Michelle Zellich is among my favorite people, and not merely because she gives fierce footrubs (see The Fantastic Route, available through me). She is as open and sweet a person as fandom possesses. Here, in the clubzine-cum-genzine she edits, that joy in our genre resonates. Frequently interspersed with comics and photos, the items she reprints on science, technology, and people are presented with affection and enthusiasm. Even the August-September issue, laden with obituaries as it is (Jim Baen, KC fan John Vaughan, and of course, Fern Tucker, is almost defiantly joyous. Therein, the news that St. Louis will host the 2007 NASFiC (August 2-5, $90 attending), awards accounts, articles "shamelessly stolen from the internet," the despicable news that succulent Billie Piper has abandoned Doctor Who, club dates -- all fun. But in an editorial about baseball, wherein she reveals that she saw the Beatles perform live, twice, Michelle claims that she's a grandmother. No. No. No no no.
Instant Message 770-5
Instant Message 770-5 / NESFA, P.O. Box 809, Framingham MA 01701-0809 / firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.nesfa.org/ The first pages of the final issue in this run of NESFA clubzines are a set of eulogies for John M. Ford, the talented author of The Dragon Waiting and How Much for Just the Planet? Elsewhere, Liz Carey recommends Charles Stross' Glasshouse and Jo Walton's Farthing, and as can be expected by this most organized of SF organizations, a complete account is given of all club assets and liabilities. NESFA not only impresses me, it scares me. Earlier issues tout the Skylark Award, break down the Boskone budget, review the new Doctor Who (which has, at long last, won a Hugo), and do other things that this most able of krewes likes to do.
Interstellar Ramjet Feb.-June '06
Interstellar Ramjet Feb.-June '06 / Bill Wright, 4 / 1 Park St., St. Kilda, Vict. 3182 Australia / Rosy and I heard tell at worldcon that Bill Wright -- one of our most stalwart friends and guides during our DUFF trip -- has been seriously ill, terrible news which explains why we haven't seen an issue of I.R.S. since June. Wishing Bill the best, let's look at these three issues. All are blessed with absolutely gorgeous color covers by Dick Jennsen, a.k.a. Ditmar, any one of which I would have been honored to feature on Challenger. Within, after a short explanation of the painting by the artist, Bill's contributor Stefan yaps about the organized mayhem known as Aussie Rules Football, Wright hits us with "clerihews", and shows off photos of Bruce Gillespie's floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the nice cabinet for his Ditmar Awards. Oh! I want to go back to Oz!!! MELBOURNE IN 2010!!! (Get well soon, Bill!)
Janeens_news@yahoo.groups.com / Janeen. Schouten@nrm.qld.gov.au / E-mailed newsgroup with lots and lots of media information, remarkable this season for the series of editorial cartoons about the death of Janeen's countryman, Steve Irwin. Most depict crocodile tears, of course, but my favorite is Marlette's "And the Lion shall lie down by the lamb," a wonderfully touching tribute to a remarkable voice and his love for critters.
JOMP Jr. #25
JOMP Jr. #25 / Richard A. Dengrove, 2651 Arlington Dr. #302, Alexandria VA 22306 / RichD22426@aol.com / Not SF, but diverting geohistory, this entire issue is devoted to a Southern "supercontinent," a legendary body more imagined than explored, the product of Greek insistence on a "balanced" world map. Rumors of this place lasted for more than 1700 years. Sticking with geography, Rich next discusses the discovery of Australia; I've not only heard of the Batavia, but Rosy and I saw its keel, at a museum in Fremantle. Then he's off to Antarctica, which may not be "super" but well anchors Earth's southern hemisphere. Great stuff -- I wish I'd known all it says about the discovery Australia before our DUFF trip, or at least before I wrote it up. T'would have made a great introduction to The Antipodal Route.
The Knarley Knews #118-119
The Knarley Knews #118-119 / Henry Welch, 1525 16th Ave., Grafton WI 53024-2017 / mailto:email@example.com or mailto:LethaWelch@aol.com / $1.50 @ / Fandom's most consistent zine features some fine covers on these two issues by Marc Schirmeister and, I think, Alan White (it's not credited, but it's good enough to be his work). Both deserve Hugo nominations. Knarley begins each issue recounting his experiences in law school (his grades are disgustingly higher than mine) and sadly, mentions that typical-but-painful fannish sadness, the death of a cat. Jim Sullivan is in both issues; his tale of a nude funeral is as strange as it sounds. Sue Welch's column is intriguing in each number, as are the installments of Terry Jeeves' "Carry On Jeeves" World War II memoir. Terry is a treasure. Long lettercols, and some superb fillo art by Kurt Erichsen, Brad Foster, and the imperturbable Scott Patri.
Lofgeornost #84 / Fred Lerner, 81 Worcester Ave., White River Junction VT 05001 / mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org / FAPA and trade / The first section of Fred's August FAPAzine deals with his researches into the life of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans iconized in a statue near the casino in New Orleans. He concentrates on Joan's heresy and purity rather than on her apparent schizophrenia, a relief to see in this secular day. An essay on Michael Moorcock's World Fantasy Award-winning Gloriana leads to a long series of letters from chorus regulars and others, discussing the late Brian Burley, Scotland, Heinlein juveniles, and many another topic of interest to the intelligentsia among our number.
MT Void Vol. 25 No 15, whole #1356
MT Void Vol. 25 No 15, whole #1356 / Evelyn C. Leeper, email@example.com / http://www,geocities,com/evelynleeper / Took me a long time to get the title pun. A weekly e-zine in which Evelyn and her husband Mark comment on cons attended (Readercon this issue, worldcon next), books read, news items learned -- this issue, Hawaii's singing crickets and the parasites that attack them. Mark also reviews the feel-good movie of 2006, Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which I loved. (Take three of your best girlfriends and a giant box of Kleenex!) Neat to see Fred Lerner chime in, referring us to an article about "Neuroevolutionary time-depth principles", which, as if I had to tell you, deals with whether acrophobia is inheritable.
The NASFA Shuttle June-Oct. 2006
The NASFA Shuttle June-Oct. 2006 / Mike Kennedy, c/o North Alabama SF Association, P.O. Box 4857, Huntsville AL 35815-4857 / firstname.lastname@example.org / $1.50@, $10/year / A monthly clubzine whose scope reaches far beyond the Huntsville city limits, The NASFA Shuttle presents the most comprehensive awards news in American fandom and solid reporting on conventions near (like DeepSouthCon) and far (like worldcon). Not only that, but the Space City club also puts on a very enjoyable ongoing convention (Con*stellation) which has had the kindness to host Rosy and myself as Fan Guests. Their breakdown of L.A.Con IV includes both impressions (by editor Kennedy and Gary Shelton) and statistics (on the Hugo voting). (I still can't believe Challenger's strong third place showing.) It even lists the British Fantasy Awards and of course, mourns Bob Tucker. Great group, grand con, fine zine.
No Award #16
No Award #16 / Marty Cantor, 11825 Gilmore St. #105, N. Hollywood CA 91606 / email@example.com / The cover of Marty's extraordinary fanzine is a snarling depiction of Bill Rotsler. I have no doubt that even Bill must have had his occasional grouchy moments, but I doubt that, from his drawing desk in eternity, he's displeased by No Award. It's too good a zine. Marty presents a number of "reprints" (more like "repeats") from the various e-lists by fans of substance like Peter Weston, John DeChancie, rich brown and Rich Coad. I'm not ready to say that the net is home to all of fandom's good writing nowadays, but it certainly has its share. As always, Marty experiments with layout -- and as usual, produces a sharp-looking product. I must say that I miss the usual contributors, Milt Stevens and Ed Green.
Opuntia 61.1, 61.3, 61.5, 62, 62.1A
Opuntia 61.1, 61.3, 61.5, 62, 62.1A / Dale Speirs, Box 6830, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2E7 Canada / $3 @ or. / I've tried to explain Dale's zine-numbering system (to others, but actually to myself) too many times to remember. All I can say for sure is that if he bundled everything together, he'd produce one of the most comprehensive genzines in the mix. Certainly Dale hits on a slew of topics -- like religion, traffic, demaggoting sheep (okay, that's from a LOC), Nova Scotian currency, oil (or "Alberta Tea"; a terrific article), artist trading cards and stamps. One of the postmarks he displays comes from Cross Plains, Texas, and shows Robert E. Howard's typewriter; Rosy and I visited Cross Plains en route to worldcon; the writer's tiny home has been beautifully restored. Most affecting is issue #62, a philatelic view of 9/11 and "The Fall of the Twin Towers"; the patriotic sketches are predictable but also moving. I wish this was "one country."
Pixel #6 / David Burton, 5227 Emma Dr., Lawrence IN 46236-2742 / firstname.lastname@example.org / PDF only, from e.Fanzines.com. A word about e.Fanzines -- it's where the action is when it comes to zining these days -- very self-referential, almost to the point of incestuousness, but high in quality and refreshing in enthusiasm. Pixel is typical, quality work, with a number of well-known "Core fandom" contributors -- Dave Locke, a funny piece on dreams -- Ted White, with his pun of a title "Whither Fandom?", talking about Heinlein's effect on him, a topic on a lot of lips lately -- Chris Garcia praising the most praiseworthy "Bug" Bradshaw -- Peter Sullivan, reviewing fanzines in greater depth than my efforts here -- a fine lettercol beautifully illustrated by Manfred Klein; I love seeing unfamiliar artwork when it's this good. But where's the editor?
Plokta #32 & 33 1/3
Plokta #32 & 33 1/3 / 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 / mailto:email@example.com / http://www.plokta.com/ Congrats on the Hugo.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Printzine (The Christopher J. Garcia for TAFF Zine)
Printzine (The Christopher J. Garcia for TAFF Zine) / Chris Garcia, Garcia@computer history.org / Reprints from The Drink Tank designed to motivate readers into voting for the author in the current Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund race. Chris' "review" of Quentin Tarentino's future remake of Greed is hilarious; his account of a very strange date is very strange. Chris' greatest weapon in the TAFF battle is his ebullient personality, but such wry writing is right potent, too.
The Revenge of Hump Day
The Revenge of Hump Day / Tim Bolgeo, firstname.lastname@example.org / The latest issuing of Uncle Timmy's e-mailed collection of awful jokes, awfuller politics, and informative science news opens with heartfelt eulogies for Bob Tucker from a number of different voices, very moving. Ol' Pong touched a lot of fannish spirits. To sample, e-mail Timmy.
Some Fantastic Issue 9
Some Fantastic Issue 9 / Matthew Appleton, 4656 Southland Av., Alexandria VA 22312 / www.somefantastic.us / primarily via PDF, free, but $2@ for printed copies / This excellent genzine is much less idiosyncratic than any of the other sercon publications out there, and in that way fills a necessary niche. You can't find items like this issue's interview with John Scalzi many other places. (It's terrifying to discover that Scalzi was born in 1969 -- but that is my favorite year.) Nor would a zine like The Drink Tank, say, run an article like Megan Baxter's "Portrayal of Gender Identity in Firefly". But uniqueness is a virtue and Some Fantastic does have virtue on its side; its articles avoid the pomposity of phony intellectualism and are often rather sassy. Reviews range from the DVD of Howl's Moving Castle to The Island (underrated, I thought, or maybe I just agree with Esquire about Scarlett Johansson) and reviewers range from Chris Garcia to Steven Silver. Best read: Jessica Darago on River of Gods, a book which might have won the Hugo had it been released in America simultaneously with the UK. Fine writing by fine writers, including people not often seen in fanzines; Some Fantastic is just what it says.
Southern Fandom Confederation Bulletin Vol. 8 No. 10
Southern Fandom Confederation Bulletin Vol. 8 No. 10 / Randy Cleary, 138 Bibb Dr., Madison AL 35758 / email@example.com / www.southernfandom.com / SFC membership $15 annually / Randy was re-elected SFC President and SFC Bulletin editor at the last DeepSouthCon. He does well at both jobs, but from his plea for candidates in his opening editorial, I think he's ready for a successor. Tom Feller, Randy's predecessor, provides detailed reports on Chambanacon, Chattacon, Concave and a Sherlockian event, plus notes on fanzines, printed and electronic, websites, web logs. News given includes the terrible news about Fern Tucker, Jim Baen, Dave Shockley, Howard deVore, and Louisville's Judi Lundy. The DSC and SFC By-laws follow an enormous list of Southern conventions, and are themselves followed by some lively LOCs. Pamela Boal! Haven't heard from her in years!
Statement #342 / Sandi Marie McLaughlin, OSFS, 18 Norice St., Ottawa ON K2G 2X5 Canada / mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org / memberships or trade / This journal of the Ottawa SF group, along with Warp, prove that Canadian fandom is in renaissance. Warp's a genzine, this is a newszine, but both are the equal of anything being produced by clubs in the States. Opening with club news and a LOC from the ubiquitous Lloyd Penney, the zine continues with a round-robin discussion of Battlestar:Galactica, anticipation for Toronto's World Horror Convention at the end of next March, and -- from frequent contributor Ken Tapping -- an account of the recent and traumatic Pluto controversy. I'd've kept it a planet, and so would he, and he's a real astronomer, and so there. Charles Mohapel chimes in with news about the Mars robots. Outside of Tim Bolgeo's Revenge of Hump Day, I can't think of another pub so into the science of science fiction.
Vanamonde Nos. 638-652
Vanamonde Nos. 638-652 / John Hertz, 236 S. Coronado St. No. 409, L.A. CA 90057 / Trade / Saw John at the worldcon but didn't get the chance to speak with him. His one-sheet zines for Apa-L are always erudite and entertaining, particularly when he exercises his penchant for haiku, eulogizes a friend (Bobbi Gear or, in Analog, Kelly Freas), reviews exhibits or ballet -- or talks about anything at all. How do I get a copy of Dancing and Joking?
Vegas Fandom Weekly #86
Vegas Fandom Weekly #86 / Arnie Katz, 909 Eugene Cernan St., Las Vegas NV 89145 / "Bob Tucker Dead" -- the words slam at us from a box on the front page of this zine from e.Fanzines.com. The impact is stunning, the tone unbelieving, as if those three short words bespoke an event utterly beyond possibility. So it seemed. Arnie's next issue will, he says, properly memorialize Tucker, but here, the enthused, reenergized normal fare: musings on a possible name change, worldcon reports by two newcomers to the big con, the very attractive Teresa Cochran and James Taylor, who has seen fire and rain and now, Hugos. There's a photo of the great Ross Chamberlin, whom I was honored to meet at the Katzenhaus ten years ago, and lots of LOCs from other members of "Core Fandom". Core fandom, the defiant zine-oriented Corflu crew, is at the heart of this issue's central piece, Katz's imaginings of their future, perhaps taking over a small town a la the TV series Eureka, turning it into Fan Town, with Earl Kemp as Mayor and old mimeographs auctioned to raise funds. (The photos of mimeos illustrating this insanity remind me of a storefront I passed once on the Bowery, rusty Gestetners and A.B. Dicks stacked to the ceiling.) A fund is touted to bring Harry Bell to the Austin Corflu. Wish we'd seen the Katzes at worldcon, or afterwards, in Vegas.
Visions of Paradise #106
Visions of Paradise #106 / Robert Sabella, 24 Cedar Manor Court, Budd Lake NJ 07828-1023 / email@example.com / Most of Robert's three-part zine is now available on eFanzines.com: Wondrous Stories and Halcyon Days are there, but not The Passing Scene. Bob starts of the latest VoP by announcing a new, quarterly schedule; more power to him, and listing his ten favorite SF novels and ten favorite albums. We concur on The Stars My Destination, Lord of Light and Way Station in the first list and Bridge Over Troubled Water in the second. Most of The Passing Scene is taken up by Bob's daily diary, the busy life of a teacher -- to my relief, the great Fei Fei makes an appearance. I could have lived without learning of Bob's new prostate infection. His "Lighter Side" gathers moronic quotations from student test papers across the nation -- the kid who said "to keep milk from turning sour, keep it in the cow" deserves a scholarship to Yale. In Wondrous Stories we find sercon articles and reviews; that of One Million A.D. is particularly good. Why Bob calls his LOCzine Halcyon Days is anybody's guess, but its a diverting discussion among familiar members of the Chorus.
Warp Spring 2006, Vol. 30 02
Warp Spring 2006, Vol. 30 02 / Cathy Palmer-Lister, MonSFFA, P.O. Box 1186, Montreal, Quebec H2X 4A7 Canada / www.monsffa.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Any zine which opens with a lettercol in which The Zine Dump is quoted is okay by me, but as I'm a big fan of Warp, Id be cheering it anyway. The quarterly pub of the Montreal club, Warp has dropped its predilection for parody covers ("It was fun," says editor Cathy, "but I was running out of ideas!") but the variety that's marked past issues continues to distinguish the present. Barbara Silverman's "The Other Jawa" is an archaeological piece about a (practically) prehistoric town in Jordan. "Jurassic Beaver" is not about what you're thinking, but concerns a creature called Castoracauda lutrasimilis, apparently an extremely early mammal. Keith Braithwaite wrote the article on it. Another long chapter of a fantasy, The Last Mage, follows, preceding a nifty section on the work of Ray Harryhausen, again by Braithwaite. I must offer special thanks for this article. It brings to mind the 6-year-old GHLIII watching in terror a TV trailer for It Came from Beneath the Sea: a giant wormy tentacle lashing into upper-story windows and crushing pedestrians on a city street. How would it have affected that cringing brat to know that he would someday meet the man who made that tentacle -- as I did, at a New Orleans convention in the '90s. Anyway, the zine goes on to offer a fascinating 1913 tale translated from the French, an irresistible fan fiction melding Dr. Who with Smallville, a couple of fanzine notices, and club news. We've got to get up to Montreal sometime, because MonSFFA works it on out!
Westwind #275 / Northwest SF Society, P.O. Box 24207, Seattle WA 98124 / www.nwsfs.org / email@example.com / The clubzine for Seattle's Northwest SF Society is a high quality production, saddle-stitched on slick paper; this issue sports a beautiful b&w cover by fantasy writer and artist Kevin Radthorne, an interview with the same ("Can't hold a pencil or a paintbrush to save my life! Aren't computers wonderful?"), many photos from the club's summer soirees (including a tour through downtown Seattle in an amphibious "Duck" straight out of WW2), a story by local Janice Clark, reviews, fan news, birthday and convention listings. Best-looking and liveliest Westwind in many a.