Lokta Plokta

[Some of these locs have appeared suddenly, out of a timewarp in Alison's study]

Mrs P J Boal

A coincidence further to the treacle well. I was sorting out maps and landmarks for directing members of a group to which I belong to the annual gathering to be held at The Ferryman, Bablock Hythe, there positively jumping out at me across the river and a few yards along the road is marked the Physic Well. Oddly enough although I have been there and know it to be called locally the treacle well I had never actually seen it on a map before.

Lloyd and Yvonne Penney

1. A picture of yourself as a baby. Enclosed is a photocopy of a photo of me as a baby on the left, and on the right is a picture of me with brothers David and Steven. Steven is the baby on my grandmother Mary's lap, and I am on the right picture. Standing behind us are, from left to right, my grandfather John Thomson, my mother and my uncle John Thomson. It was taken outside Uncle John's house in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1965. A photo of Yvonne as a baby, splashing a hand in a bucket of water as her mother scrubs the floor, does exist, but Yvonne would defenestrate me if I sent you a photocopy. Be assured that the photo exists, and because it isn't here, I get to stay alive.

Alan Sullivan

Mark Plummer's a TM? Goodness me. By the way shouldn't those bollocks be © A. Shepherd?

My deepest sympathies to Chris Bell. Technology is not merely sentient, it is definitely malign. Manuals have limited usefulness (they only work where the machine hasn't figured out a way to circumvent the procedure the manual describes-yet) and as for Technical Support... One of our IT people at work a month or so back was working on a terminal near mine, and called up technical support to help with his problem. Within a few minutes, I had to go away and get a coffee, because the conversation going on between them was far too much like the Bob Newhart "Bomb Disposal" skit for me to keep a straight face...

Murray Moore

Please accept my belated condolences about Marianne's deformity. I just noticed, looking at the cover of the "Babes on Test" issue, that the baby lacks toes.

Of all the books in all the genres in the world, you have to pick Patrick O'Brian's first Aubrey and Maturin tale as the token book in the "Warm Things in Your Lap" comparison. Is O'Brian a virus, a meme or ?

Multiple Award-Losing Fanzine, now and... for ever? Comedy is hard. Humorous and clever writing is celebrated in fandom. But when the votes for awards are counted.... If you want to win a Nova, therefore, you must publish issues as thick as Ansible, and articles as serious-constructive as the articles printed in Banana Wings.

Being an underdog is good, as long as the results include articles such as "Pirates Always Speaks in the Present Tense... Aaaargh!".

Buck Coulson

I agree with your comment that a cat has no useful features and disagree with Frohvet. Or, at least, our present cat has no useful features. He doesn't mess with papers. He doesn't do anything that would provide useful commentary to correspondents. He eats, and he sleeps, and that's about it. Now and then he comes around to be petted, and he isn't even much interested in that. And he's so stupid that after 6 months he hasn't learned to keep out of the way of the wheelchair, or figure out where it's going. The dog learned that much in 2 weeks, but the cat keeps getting bumped into and complaining about it. Admittedly, this is one of the two dumbest cats we've ever had, and his brother who died awhile back was much more interesting. Still, this one is a medium-sized black lump.

A friend of a friend once had to masturbate a wombat

Vicki Rosenzweig

Running for TAFF was interesting. I won't go so far as to say that everyone should try it once, but it does seem to encourage the fanwriting impulse, and I might even go so far as to call it educational. Not that I needed all the lessons: the low point, of course, was the attack on me, Ulrika, and Victor as not real fans, in a zine that (when I finally got a copy) was otherwise devoted to what seems to be a piece of fiction about Rainbow Brite. The lesson in this one was that our friends can do us more harm than our enemies: the attack was intended to help Tom Sadler, and resulted in the other three candidates assuring the world at large that we didn't hold it against him.

I don't understand what Lloyd Penney is trying to say about Lucy's virtual con suite. I mean that literally: it's not that I disagree, but that I can't figure this statement out enough to tell whether I disagree with it. ElderMOO isn't designed to replace the social elements in conventions, any more than the coffee shop on the corner is designed to replace a bar. It's an additional place for fans to socialize, if they have the appropriate technology and are so inclined; I don't think any of us have yet logged on to ElderMOO from a con [Wrong. Dr P], but I spent a pleasant hour at the last con I attended talking (in the Fan Lounge) to someone I'd first met on the MOO.

Joseph Nicholas

I shall be in Australia on 24 February and thus unable to lead any resistance, wasn't the invasion force which landed at Fishguard on that date in 1797 almost wholly French? It was led by the Irish-American General Tate, true, and doubtless he had a few Irish-American friends with him; but I think the actual soldiery was raised and sent by the Directory, with little or no input from the ex-colonists across the Atlantic. They would have had an interest in the outcome; but no other stake.

Ian Gunn

Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, La La and Poe Now that Tellytubbies has finally hit the screens here in Australia, page 13 of Plokta 3.1 makes sense.

It's a weird little series. It reminds me of that other offering of British televisual strangeness, The Prisoner, complete with mind-control devices and sinister tannoys.

"It's another beautiful day in The Village Tellytubbyland..."

Carol Willis

This actually happened at Haverhill Magistrates Court a short while ago....

A chap, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, had been arrested for indecent exposure... it seems that when he got bored and there was nothing worth watching on daytime tv he would remove all his clothes and go stand at the window... whenever any reasonably attractive female went passed he would grin maniacally and start 'showing his appreciation' with a nice little back and forth motion of his wrist... literally jack happy you might say....

Anyway, he obviously wasn't that entertaining for someone spoiled his fun and called the local constabulary who duly arrested him hence the visit to the court.

When the set day came round, he turns up at court and rather than plead guilty or not guilty he requests a one month adjournment on health grounds -- his doctor's certificate says he's going blind.

Bridget Bradshaw

I have a confession to make: I discover, to my great embarrassment, it is not an elf on the postcard I sent, but a pixie! The pixies are the green ones. The elves are the blue ones. These things slipped my mind since I was a Brownie Guide. Sorry about that.

Fate is still afflicting my desire to own a Confabulation pint glass. You may know that Simon and I are unable to retain two glasses at once, as soon as we buy a second, the first breaks. None of our other glasses break, just the second Confab glass. Well, today our one remaining glass lies in shards. As Simon was fetching my Psion 3, he didn't notice it was still plugged into its adaptor, an extension cable, and the mains. When he got the Psion halfway across the flat, these cables hit the Confab glass and knocked it onto the floor, where it broke. At least superfluous technology was to blame. Are you planning to bring along any more glasses to the Corflu auction?

I notice Marianne is portrayed as only saying the word "Goo!" in your fanzine. Are you trying to fictionalise her, a la Seaman Dop? Is "Goo!" the new "Waaa!"? Or is it not "Goo!" she's saying at all, but "Ghu!", and you are misinterpreting her primal instincts for religion? (The Ghu/Roscoe divide only comes once children have better control over their vocal chords.) You should ensconce her at once into a crib made from a Gestetner with the innards taken out, and the cranking handle turned into a rocking mechanism.

Only owning one PC is a truly dismal situation...

Terry Jeeves

"Devil of the North" -- lovely idea, but I always refer to the "Angel" as "Man with Plank". It would have looked much better with more artistic wings. As it is, it reminds me of the pre-war ads beside railway lines for Hall's Distemper -- two men with a plank.

George or the PC reminded me of a pic in a model book. The photographer had carefully posed six plastic model planes on a garden table and then gone to get his camera. When he came back, the local moggie was sitting on his models and had bent quite a few. The resulting pic was far funnier than the original would have been. Fanzine covers, nice to see one of mine there (on Opuntia).

Steve Jeffery

Sorry to say this folks, but the March issue seems to be scrabbling a bit after the last, piratical post-Novacon number, as if you were more worried by the Corflu deadline than the space between pages 1 and 14. Maybe it suffers in comparison with the last, but it feels spread thin.

The Demon of the North is rather a nice idea. I saw the notorious Angel last weekend from the train down from Newcastle. It looks like a large figure with jumbo jet wings, or alternatively a man with a plank strapped to his back. Perhaps he's been to IKEA to buy some bookshelves. (Obligatory "flatpack furniture anecdote" No. 1 (and only)). Personally, I think a fannish touch would be to combine it with a wind generator, with either a beanie propeller or to give the jumbo jet wings a couple of working propellers each-then it could light up at night under its own power.

Sorry I Haven't a Clute. Nice title. Shame it stopped there really. A Child's Garden of Fandom was nearer the mark. (Where does Sue get these wonderful jobs, or is she building up the obligatory CV of offbeat occupations for a career as a writer?)

There was one Xmas present (and I'm afraid I bought it, in a fit of madness) where I sincerely wished at the end of the day that batteries weren't included; This was a sort of electronic play-mat, shaped like an electric guitar, and when jumped on would make loud noises like Steve Vai on an off-day. Horribly, there wasn't any form of volume control. On the other hand, I used to share a flat with someone who practised the melodeon for a Morris group, and there weren't any batteries you could take out and hide from that. We used duct tape over the sound hole, but the guy started to build muscles like Schwarzenegger trying to work against the air pressure.

Marcus L. Rowland

Snakes Alive! Re George The Cat: So, it's cuddly pets time, is it. Hmmm.... Let's see you out-cute this one then:

Best wishes from Cornelia (left), Sam (right), and Marcus L. Rowland [And congrats to Cornelia and Sam on the birth of their 19 babies]

carl juarez

Perhaps I may be forgiven for thinking once that Plokta was the sound one makes as one falls off your mailing list. To be truthful, you've been quite indulgent I now know. In conjunction with attempting a trade with Memory Hole the scales were cast from my eyes and I learned the awful truth about international postage rates, which had heretofore been kept from me -- in what I realize now was an act of benevolent mercy -- by Andy Hooper.

I mean, good God, what does Apak owe Martin Tudor and his longsuffering copier? Just the lifeblood of the would-be intercontinental frequent fanzine. But I digress.

Robert Lichtman

I've been meaning to write this letter for months, ever since I began seeing Plokta Vol.3, No.2 reviewed all over the place. I never got a copy. If there've been any issues since, I never got those either. My guesses are two-fold: you either forgot to send it or, more likely, it got lost travelling in our respectively fucked postal systems. What reminded me tonight was reading Victor Gonzalez's account of his trip to your faraway land this evening in the latest issue of Squib, which came today. I'm writing to you instead of to Alison since she has a small child and having had four of those myself in years past I know how they tend to consume all available time and mental space.

So, could I have a copy of the missing issue? Am I still on your mailing list? And, while I'm writing, is there any possibility of getting copies of the daily zines you did at Corflu? Okay, alright, I know I'm pushing, but even though I've been pretty lame at writing letters of comment on Plokta, I read avidly and really enjoy every issue and miss my Plokta fix.

[We're pretty sure we sent you a copy of Vol.3 No.2, but it seems that a number of copies of that issue went adrift in the mail. And of course, since then we've had trouble getting our act together so that this issue is delayed. We'll try and do better, but please write if you think you've missed an issue, so we can take it up with our distributor.]

We Also Heard From:

½R Cruttenden [Dear ½R, we'll be mentioning your name in conjunction with the insurance claim on the OCR...], Margaret Austin (It seems ages since I've seen a Plokta. Will there be a new one out for Intuition?) [Yes. Or rather, no. Sorry.], Paula McGrath (Ian Gunn gave me your name...), Henry Gibbens (OK, Gunny, but how do I go about introducing myself to total strangers?), Alexander Slate (agree with you that e-zines just don't have the punch that paper does), Yvonne Penney (We were at a pulp show this weekend and saw a wonderful t-shirt that read: "What part of http://www.getalife.com do you not understand?"), Jackie Duckhawk (Excuse any typos, but I have just been bricklaying (absolutely non-superfluous non-technological that girl) and my fingers are tired), Allison Ewing, Alasdair Hepburn, Calum Ewing-Hepburn & Fergus Ewing-Hepburn (Dodi's last words: "Fancy a quick bang up against a wall?"), Bruce Pelz (I suspect Elayne is not too thrilled at my braying quite so loudly every few minutes), Harry Warner Jr, Harry Andruschak [Alison has left these last two in London, so we can't print them], Sarah Prince (Real Soon Now I will provide [a photo] of myself in weird plastic and Nomex, since Doug Faunt requested one back when he nominated me so I'll have to get shot for it soon...), Tinlay Kadro (I'm hunting for material and I saw your zine reviewed in Twink)

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