Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lloyd Penney, Etobicoke, ON, Canada

A big slab of fanzine came in the mail a while ago ...
Challenger 27. A big zine deserves a big LOC ... let's see if I can write one.

Front cover [Ripley and the Alien]... Isn't that sweet, their first date! I don't want to know where they went for dinner, or what they had ...

As I type, I am reminded by one of the daily newspapers here that this day, January 28, is the 22nd anniversary of the Challenger shuttle disaster. A complete coincidence, I assure you...

I've seen Warren Buff's name only a couple of times elsewhere in other zines, and after reading the latest SFC Bulletin, he may soon be the SFC's new president. If indeed he's a newcomer, then good for him for jumping into the fray with both feet.

Warren won the presidency of the Southern Fandom Confederation, and is also involved with Raleigh's NASFiC bid for 2010.

Condolences on the loss of Jesse. Pets have so much to teach us on love, care and grief, valuable lessons for all of us. Do you think you'll get yourselves another little companion of the canine variety? Looks like little Whistler provides some companionship. Yvonne and I have never had pets, but we were all set to bring a kitty home when Yvonne had her allergies tested, and felus cattus was near the top of the list. So, no Momcat for us, and I miss her.

Rosy's allergic to cats, too, but that hasn't prevented her from adopting Whistler and DaVinci and rescuing every feral kitten she can. For her, I think, the worst sights of our post-Katrina tour of New Orleans were the starving strays wandering the ruined streets.

I don't envy Zenkitty's predicament. [Dating] truly is a mating dance, to know what to do and when to do it. Once you've either figured it out, or faked your way through, or did it right through sheer dumb luck, you should be able to develop a long-term relationship with someone. Yvonne and I celebrate 25 years of marriage this coming May 28, so I get the feeling we did it right. (This is the sheer dumb luck part, on my part, IMHO.)

Once again, congrats to Taral on his FanGoHship. Yvonne and I have come out of con management retirement, so to speak, and have offered our services to the Anticipation committee. Yvonne is now working with British fan David Clement and others to put together an exciting space, science and technology programming track, and she should also be working in Finance. I offered to run their fanzine lounge, and after putting forth a detailed business case...

Well, I ran into Murray Moore on the Toronto subway a few days ago. He congratulated me. Oh what?, I asked. You got it, he said. Got what? The Montréal fanzine lounge, you got it. News to me!, I said. Murray replied that it was on the Anticipation website, and I confirmed it when I got home. I have all the paperwork and notes from the lounge Yvonne and I ran in Winnipeg in 1994, and given that fanzines are mostly electronic, I think this lounge will be much more relaxation- and programming-oriented than sales-oriented. I hope that soon, I will have an idea of what my budget will be, what kind of space I will have, and what I can do in it.

I've always wanted to visit Montreal and am wild about Warp, the local club's genzine. Indeed, we hope to see you there.

Why do I get the feeling that big-kid Chris Garcia might make a great dad? He knows the difference between childish and child-like, to know that children have a natural sense of wonder, the awe of so many new things and neat things in the new-to-them world around them. Good for Chris and Evelyn in finding the common ground, to go WOW! in all the right places, and to know almost instinctively that the best way to enjoy that goshwow feeling is to have someone to share it with. Yvonne and I used to bring our niece Nicole to conventions, and we got her to one Worldcon (Orlando 1992), and she got to meet her favorite author at the time, Ben Bova, and she also enjoyed time with everyone's grand-dad, the wonderful late Hal Clement. But reality intruded, she has a little one to look after, she barely remembers those days, and we are just her weird aunt and uncle again. Almost ...

I would still like to meet Sir Arthur C. Clarke. [Too late, alas.] Like Heinlein, people in the space industry claim Clarke as one of their own, and I suspect that if Clarke does have a tinge of transcendence in his writing, perhaps he expects that should humanity rise to a certain level of technology and/or knowledge, we might be able to transcend ourselves and our world in a way as yet unknown to us. Maybe we'll glow brightly and transform into shining beings of pure thought and light. Who knows? Sufficient level of technology being indistinguishable from magic, and all that.

Julia Morgan-Scott, don't worry about fat arms. Recently, on-line discussions have been about how it sucks to grow old. We may stay relatively young between the ears, but our bodies (heard them called meatcases) suffer the ravages of time. Expanding waistlines, male pattern baldness, wonky joints, flat feet, retinal separations, cataracts, macular degeneration, partial deafness, etc., etc. ... Used to be we'd brag to each other about all-nighters in the consuite. Now, it's a game of one-ups-manship on whose maladies are worse than others. Fat arms also hug real good, so don't worry ...

My doctor recently let me know that I have a mild case of arthritis on my spine. Great! Something to look forward to in ten years.

Some years ago, Morley Safer (a good Canadian journalist who should have known better) did a story on 60 Minutes on what he referred to as one of the weirdest shows on British television, The Antiques Roadshow. It showed the hidden treasures owned the average Briton, and how much experts thought those treasures could be worth. Safer referred to the show as typical TV for the average mad Englishman, but now, we know better. I think the most popular part of the show is the reaction of the treasure owners who gape in amazement when they learn that the ugly vase Aunt Harriet willed to them might be worth at least £20,000 or so. The BBC's Antiques Roadshow has gone on for more than 25 years now, and traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. They had two major shows in Toronto at our Case Loma. The show has spawned the American version that can be seen on PS, and there was also a Canadian Antiques Roadshow that ran for two seasons on the CBC. Perhaps we don't have as many old treasures in our attics.

I admit, I didn't even know that Fats Domino was still alive; but then, his music is not mine. How old is Fats Domino these days? [He turned 80 on February 26, 2008.] I am more the Rush fan Warren Buff refers to. There are so nerdy SF-oriented bands out there, and I've tried to listen to them, but ... well, it's embarrassing, and I usually tune to something else. Perhaps the only exception is Jimi Hendrix's Watchtower. One thing I can add to this ... right now Patty Page is on a cross-Canada tour, giving concerts everywhere, and I didn't know she was still alive, either.

Amazing at how these rock gods are so cool, and then you actually meet them, and they are everyday folks, which for me, is even cooler. Ozzy likes a cuppa tea, Alice Cooper is calm and collected, and Rod Stewart has his own toy train empire in his basement. Not cool for some, but very cool for me.

The most popular musical playing in Toronto right now is called Evil Dead: The Musical. Sells out each night, apparently. Not sure of the plot, but I think the title itself attracts a lot of people. A lot of people hated the movie Xanadu (except for Evelyn Nelson and us), but now it is being turned into a musical, and I expect it will show up in Toronto shortly.

I wish my own Worldcon bid memories were as positive as yours were. We staged some pretty good parties for the Toronto in 2003 bid, as did Alex von Thorn and Marah Searle-Kovacevic. Two good teams held many good parties, and Yvonne and I got to stage the final three parties at Chicon 2000. Such a good time, and so many people came to the fore and excelled for the masses. And literally six months later, we were off the committee, not wanted by the Torcon 3 BoD chairman, and he tried to get rid of Alex and Marah, too. The BoD eventually got rid of their chairman, but the damage was done. We had a very good time working with the L.A. in '06 people instead, and helped out with L.A.Con IV, too. And while we did not assist with the Montréal in '09 bid at all, we are making up for it by being on the committee.

Yvonne and I were in Atlanta, and we voted for New Orleans in '88, if I recall. Atlanta was our last year in masquerades, and while we did not go to the '87 Worldcon in Britain, Nolacon II in 1988 was a great time. We hit the riverboat, went shopping for party supplies with Kees van Toorn (we split the beer he found), learned to make gumbo, roux and pralines at the Jax Brewery, enjoyed lots of panels and other special events and parties, and never did find the fanzine lounge, if I recall.

I miss Ellen Vartanoff. Always cheerful and smiling and elfin, the last I saw was in Toronto, as she was staying with friends in the east end of the city, and she was attending a paper show here. I also remember watching BoSh MC the Hugos on television as we were setting up a room party in Atlanta.

I never went much for autographs, with a few exceptions. I got a pile of Tim Zahn's books autographed, all published by the long-lamented Bluejay Books. Zahn himself said he didn't have some of those editions. However, my best autograph experience was with Robert Sheckley. Sheckley was at a convention full of media fans when I came up to him and asked him to sign five paperbacks of his novels. That smile would have melted icebergs.

The Zine Dump #19:]

Being a GoH at a convention is great fun, and lots of work, but well worth the resulting egoboo. Yvonne and I have guested at about a dozen cons around the Great Lakes, plus one in Vancouver. I could easily do it all again. Fan GoH for rent, cheap, and housebroken, too!

You do deserve the Hugo-based egoboo, and although Yvonne and I do not have votes to put in the box for Denvention, you have our moral support. I'd like to see the silver rockets scattered about, as should be the egoboo. There are lots of folks who should have that thrill.

Mention of Alexiad reminds me that the last Canadian was actually an American, until he recently had his Canadian citizenship restored. Also, Big Brown has two legs of the Triple Crown, and is favored to win the big prize. The final Arthur C. Clarke was co-written with Fred Pohl; I look forward to seeing it, and finding out what's inside.

I do not watch late night television because I'd rather sleep than be bored. I know who Colin Ferguson is, and I know he spoke at the Press Club correspondents' dinner, but know nothing of his politics. Perhaps it's just as well. Looks like it might be Obama versus Old Grandad in the presidential sweepstakes. McCain is not a typical Republican, and his daughter lives in Toronto, but still, the Democrats will probably win, and they have their work cut out for them, to restore America's standing in the world, and to apologize to countries who were close friends once.

Corflu Silver was a great time!. Las Vegas is a place we'd like to go to again and enjoy the Strip. I've enjoyed the Virtual Fan Lounge, and I hope to take part in more of these electronic bull sessions.

Arnie Katz is showing us a fandom of the future through the VFL. I am consistently in awe of the great work coming out of Vegas.


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