Jerry Kaufman, Seattle, WA
Thanks for the paper version of Challenger 29 -- it helped pass the time on our recent flight to Denver. We were at last using the tickets we'd bought last year for our (cancelled) trip to Worldcon. (This visit was purely vacation - visiting with my sister and bro-in-law, and sightseeing.)
Earlier this year, we decided to keep our out-of-town travel to a minimum, so we're not going to Montreal. That saved us a bundle, which immediately disappeared as our furnace died and was replaced in March. I hope you guys have a fine Fanzine Feast despite our absence. Once again you'll probably lack a significant portion of Corflu attendees - I think most of us who go to Corflu can't really afford too many trips to big cons, and we'll be hoarding our nickels in hopes of getting to the UK next spring for Rob Jackson's Corflu.
I'm afraid much of this issue of Chall did not excite me, as I'm not a sports fan. I tried a paragraph here and there, but even the articles on baseball (the sport I know the most about) didn't grab me.
That's why there was other stuff in the issue! Nothing appeals to everybody, but with a variety of subjects in one's zine, you've got a better chance of catching your audience's fancy.I'll guess that you ran Greg's review of The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of because of Tom Disch's recent death. Disch's conclusions, as reported by Greg, and his decline and death, add up to one very sad summary of a life. It seems as though Disch decided that his life had long passed its high point and not only was the future not worth staying around for, the past may have lost its value, too. Disch was far from being a comforting writer, and the message of his death is also discomforting. (This may be cheap analysis on my part, but I understand the feelings, having had them myself from time to time.)
I greatly enjoyed Nicki Lynch on her and Rich's trip to Italy - it's a destination that's long been on my own list of places to see. I was amused by Kurt Erichsen's drawings of them - Rich is much taller than Nicki in life, but Kurt has shown them of about equal height. This reminds me of the cover drawing Ross Chamberlain did for an issue of our '70s fanzine The Spanish Inquisition. We conceived a scene in which I was torturing Mike Glicksohn by waving a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale under his nose while he was manacled to a dungeon wall. Ross had never met Mike (who is around my height, about five and a half feet tall), so drew what most people took for the six footer Bill Bowers, albeit wearing Mike's signature Aussie hat.
And that's the digression for this letter, which will now draw to an appreciative close.
P.S. If you're interested in reading Suzie's TAFF trip report, it's now available for $7 postpaid.