Well, it has certainly been a long time since I’ve written a letter of comment to anyone, so even though I’m writing this under threat of deadline, consider yourselves fortunate to get this. Now it’s your turn to reciprocate because Askance 29 is now posted on efanzines.com. Go there, read and loc. Jim Trash – a.k.a, Mowatt the TAFF Delegate- has a paper copy since he received one at LoneStarCon 3. I do have more print copies available, so maby Nic will get one, too. We shall see once I ship of contributor’s copies. There should be a handful left after that.
Speaking of TAFF and WorldCon, it was a total pleasure to meet Jim and Carrie Mowatt in San Antonio. They were delightful company and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. After their long jaunt around the North American continent, they should be completely exhausted by now, I would think. The marvelous photos and videos Jim’s been posting on Facebook have provided a wonderful chronology of their trip, and make me wish I could have been in Toronto, Seattle, Las Vegas, and New Orleans. Yes, indeed, those kids should be sleeping for a long time once they return to England. With any luck they should be awake in time for Loncon 3.
Am I correct in my assumption that Jim’s TAFF report – or at least a portion of it – will be appearing in your next issue (the 7th, if you’re able to follow chronological order, Nic). I hereby offer space in Askance for another segment, much like we shared parts of Jacq Monahan’s TAFF trip report in our zines. Makes sense to me. And that reminds me if Jacq is slapping all of her segments together into a coherent whole for sale to raise funds for TAFF. That in turn reminds me that I have some money to send to her from fanzine sales in the LSC3 fanzine lounge. It ain’t much, but every little bit helps to raise the necessary fundage to send someone from North America to Europe next year. Last I knew, Curt Phillips was considering standing for TAFF in 2014. He would be a splendid candidate/representative. Come the end of this year, or early next year, we will know for sure.
Now for some commentary specifically about Beam #6. Starting with that delightful Steve Stiles front cover, that certainly set the fannish and fun tone for the issue. It certainly redefines gender issues, doesn’t it? Did you ask Steve to draw this topic deliberately, considering the recent fannish bruhaha over gender parity in fandom, and which Andy Hooper marvelously lampoons in his Faan-fiction (or is it?) “Reassign Here, Please.” Wonderful fun from both gentlemen. I find it hard to write faan fiction, but maybe with a bit more practice I can improve. In any event, Andy did a great job. Here’s hoping you get more stuff like this from him.
Kat Templeton’s musings definitely deserve a response because there have been a couple times during my forty years in fandom that I have felt a bit of an outsider. For me, though, it’s not a matter of age – which Kat identifies as her personal fannish demon – but a lack of con-going in recent year and an over-all tendency to not work on conventions, even though I did do a lot of gophering at Minicons in the 70s and 80s, and also served as a sub-department head in Operations for a Minicon in 1984, if I recall correctly. So maybe my feelings of feeling not a strong part of fandom are mis-directed, but Curt Phillips’ words of wisdom at the end of Kat’s article ring very true. At the end of the day, if you think you’re a fan and you participate in fanzines, cons, clubs, and such in any way, shape, or form, then you are a fan. ‘Nuff said. Therefore, Kat, allow me to echo what others are bound to tell you: don’t gafiate. Just do what you can afford to do. If it makes you feel good, then that’s fine. Besides, I enjoyed reading Rhyme & Paradox. It is a fine start. Keep at it, my dear; you’ll be fine.
Hey, Nic: I don’t know that Steeleye Span song at all, but reading your filk version “One Pissed-Up Fanroom Morning” was amusing all on its own. Now I need to look up the real song to get the melody in my head and come back to these lyrics.
Well, I think I’ve nattered on here quite long enough. I am writing this on my new toy, a Samsung Tablet 4G, while watching MeTV’s Saturday night Skiffy line-up (the 1943 version of The Phantom of the Opera is on now on Svengoolie), so it is now time for some popcorn for Val and I to enjoy while we watch the old shows. Take care, you sod, and I look forward to seeing you again some time.
As far as I’m aware, the Steve Stiles cover for issue 6 was a happy accident although Nic should be able to give us the horses mouth info on that one. It is quite unusual though for such happy accidents to occurr. Nic, in particular is forever weaving incredibly complicated webs of interconnections that make up structure of the zine. Every element has usually been carefully constructed from planning, stratagems, networking, love and possibly a little belly button fluff. I can usually supply the latter.