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Thursday, November 16, 2006


Banana Wings #26-27

Banana Wings #26-27 / Claire Brialey, 26 Northampton Rd., Croydon, Surrey CR0 7HA, U.K.; Mark Plummer, 14 Northway Road,
banana@fishlifter.demon.co.uk / 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.

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