Issue 15
Volume 4 Number 3
August 1999

In This Issue

 • Contents
 • Cover Illustration
 • Editorial
 • Stranger in a Strange Land
 • I Cuss, You Cuss, We All Cuss...
 • Dr Plokta and His Infeasibly Large Herpes
 • The P-Plan Diet
 • Lokta Plokta
 • Scenes From an Eclipse

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The Plokta News Network. News and views for SF fandom

The Plokta SF convention, from 26-29 May 2000.

[Plokta Online]

Lokta Plokta

Illo of mailbox Avedon Carol

Well, I think you ought to win the Hugo, because you've definitely got the spirit of the thing down cold. (Would this mean that you get the middle-of-the-night phone call from Martin Hoare?)

I'm certainly impressed with that cover, complete with homage not just to pulp covers but to Gor covers (that one is Frazetta, I think?) and, unfortunately, to Jim Lee as well. (I don't care how much tit you have to work with, they just don't go that high. At least Frank and Boris know where knockers are located.)

I have so little faith in the language skills of sign-painters and shop-keepers now that I honestly believe the "Ears pierced while you wait" signs, which are not a myth, are planned and painted with an entirely straight face by people to whom it doesn't even occur that that's the only way to do it. (Locally, we have a tyre place that offers "Punctures while you wait," for which I doubt they get many takers.)

Anyway, my mother was appalled, too, on learning that her daughters wanted to get their ears pierced. She informed us that we'd look like Puerto Rican whores. I confess, this seemed an even better reason to do it and we made clear to her that she couldn't stop us, so I guess our folks decided that it would be a better idea to make sure it was done right, and they took us to the doctor to have it done (and they paid for it). I've never regretted it (although you should always remember to remove long, dangly earrings before going on a protest march), but that's all the permanent body art I have any interest in getting. (And I don't care what anyone says, I like fake tattoos.)

I'd be tempted to deliberately violate the "Don't make jokes about Pat McMurray" stricture except that Pat doesn't usually inspire my one form of humour, which is sarcasm. [Why ever not? -- Ed]

I think this is the first LoC I've written all year. If I had any energy, I would print out Avram's poem on Post-It notes and stick them all over the Underground. (And also the North London Line. Especially the North London Line.)

Sigh. One thing you can say for Ken Livingstone: he made the trains run on time.

Joseph T Major

The Cover: Which says, for the record, "But Mum...!... Science Fiction is Grown-Up Intelligent Literature of Ideas...Honest!" Let us analyze this statement:

Grown-Up: The young lady on the cover is definitely grown-up. No denying that.
Intelligent: Surviving in such a hostile environment is a sign of clear intelligence. Indeed, the mechanism behind the young lady is an additional construct of intelligent design.
Ideas: Certainly she provokes some very grown-up ideas.

I would certainly let the kid read it. After I finished.

The Phantom Moose: or, Great Minds Think Alike. The cover of Mad portrayed its chronic poster boy Alfred E. Newman in the Anakin pose, with his shadow being Vader-with, of course, light shining through the hole where his tooth was missing.

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Mutilation: Piercing mavens say that you aren't really committed until you get your behind pierced and a barrel hoop inserted.

Lokta Plokta: Unless Terry Jeeves wants to go into more detail, I will point out that there were MI branches numbered up to 10 or so. Most of them were minor, but MI10 was in charge of helping British prisoners of war to escape. This was where the compasses in trouser buttons, saws in bootlaces, maps in the endpapers of books, and so on came from.

Marcus Rowland

Reading Alan Sullivan's LoC reminds me that I once wrote a Star Wars RPG scenario called "The Nuns of Gavarone" -- and sold it twice, in Britain and the USA. I should also admit to writing an RPG set in the world of Edwin Abbott's Flatland, with an adventure called "Where Angles Dare."

Re. Terry Jeeves' question re. MI1 to 4; no idea, but MI9 was the department that helped POWs and evaders to get out of occupied territory during WW2, run by Airey Neave. There's a book called Saturday at MI9, Neave's account of events, which may list the other departments. Unfortunately I don't currently own a copy or I'd check.

Sorry I still haven't sent you the article on snakes I promised; the ones I kept from the last batch are now about 2ft long, and Cornelia laid the next generation a couple of weeks ago, but I've been so bogged down with the RPG writing that everything else has had to go on the back burner. To be honest, it'd probably only consist of variations on the words "Breed snakes if you want yet another way to spend lots of money".

Mary Kay Kare

We've decided that if Plokta is the Home of Superflous Technology, Jordin's garage is the Home of Obsolete Technology. If you want it, it's probably out there, but only if it's more than 5 years old.

Caro Wilson

When I was a lass getting your ears done was an act of rebellion done not only because you wanted to wear earrings but mainly because you wanted to piss off your parents. Many is the horror story I heard at school when a girl's father had forced her to take out her new studs or she wouldn't be allowed back into the house.

My mum was absolutely furious when I got mine done at the age of thirteen when she had actually forbidden me to get them pierced until I was sixteen. I strongly suspect that her ire was more to do with the fact that I was supposed to be at home convalescing from having my appendix removed than that I had merely disobeyed orders. All I can say in my defence is that my big sister Claire egged me on and took me into Kingston to do the dirty deed. At least unlike Claire I didn't do it myself with a needle.

Mum was also vaguely horrified because to her, ear piercing was terribly old fashioned, something that her grandma had done. Modern girls didn't do anything so barbaric, no doubt having been put off by the horror stories told by their grandparents. Of course the equipment has improved out of all recognition. Piercing guns are hygienic and almost completely painless, which is more than can be said for clip-on earrings.

Anne and I both had our ears done last September although that was really Austin's fault. He bought a pair of earrings while on a business trip to Toronto that he thought would be an ideal birthday present for Anne. Not realising that Anne didn't have pierced ears, so for the rest of her birthday present we got her slightly tiddly and took her down to the piercing studio. I should add that Anne had been meaning to do this for ages but had always wimped out, we didn't press gang her or anything. I had been meaning to get another hole for a while so I had mine done first to prove that it didn't hurt.

The other thing I wanted to know was how do you get your ears done without waiting? Is it like shoe repairs and drycleaning. You drop your ears off, they give you a ticket and you come back in a week when they are ready? What happens if you get the wrong person's ears back? And how do you keep your glasses on in the meantime?

Eric Lindsay

Well, for a cabal you have gotten yourselves into a right old mess with that Hugo nomination, haven't you? How can you expect to be secret masters (or mistresses) of fandom if you aren't secret any more?

I am surprised that you haven't previously mentioned that prime superfluous geek Steven K Roberts. I've been following his strange career for about a decade now, back at the time when it was actually possible to pedal the bike.

Great to hear someone else who walks the length of a great shopping mall without buying anything. We are hundreds of kilometres from a shopping mall, so we tend to check them out carefully when we are in the area. Last time, after three hours shopping, I'd managed to get a salad sandwich for lunch, and a $4.95 mat for our doorway (and we had been looking for one in that colour for the past four months). The time before that we couldn't have bought anything, except the bookshop had a sale of computer books, so we each brought home a stack.

Pamela Boal

It has been one of those years, our boating constantly interrupted by medical alerts, both Derek and myself. Nothing truly major (at least not life threatening once medication was properly adjusted) but enough to keep me from sitting up at the key board or too busy looking after Derek. Everything seemed to be on an even keel and we were planning an extended trip on the boat when Christina Foyle died! How did that affect us? Well, daughter in law Gillian is a civil servant in the Ministry of Overseas Development and was due to go to Mongolia. Son Steven had planned to take a week of his holiday to look after their two boys but he is the manager of Foyles and Christina's funeral was on the very day that Gill was flying off plus the problem of just keeping the place running while the nominal owners and directors sorted themselves out, as Christina was believe me, the Boss! At last the place can move in to the 20th C. without losing it's unique appeal. If you have ever given up there because of lack of staff to help you, please know the first thing Steven is doing is employing more staff. Any way that is another matter of course we responded to their plea and went down to London to look after our grandsons. Even the nicest of boys are exhausting as the years pile on, especially in a house not adapted for my disability. I am recovered and we have no appointments for the next six weeks so we are off on the boat in the morning and hope to stay there for the whole of those six weeks.

Illo of alien loccer Martin Morse Wooster

As for the British Library shelves -- why doesn't the Permanent Floating Worldcon Committee buy them? What a treat it would be to have the very shelves used by Wells and Shaw be filled each year with fandom's surplus books. What a refuge Fandom's Reading Room would be during dull spots of a Worldcon (such as the masquerade). To take care of storage between Worldcons, the con committee could award a special Hugo to the fan most eager to store the shelves until the next con. Think of the scramble that would take place as fans fight it out to get their own Hugo! (I'm also reminded of the fanatical Missouri collector who spent $275,000 on bookshelves. He also loved buying all the remainders of authors he admired -- up to 4,000 copies -- and handing them out to friends as presents.

The Gilroy toucan Guinness ads are some of the 20th century's greatest advertisements, so it's odd that Guinness would put that disclaimer on its Web site. I can understand why the phrase "Guinness is Good for You" couldn't be used anymore: in America, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms would ban it as a spurious health claim. But how does the toucan ad you display "contravene current rulings in several markets?" What do the regulators assume -- that someone reading the ad would start balancing pints on his nose? Or think that consuming copious quantities of Guinness would result in the growth of a long striped beak?

I realize that there's much about British culture I don't understand. (Do you still call cough drops "throat pastilles?") But I've never heard of a City Farm before. Are these old farms that have been taken over by city governments, or parks where inner-city people can look at ducks and cows? Are they a recent phenomenon, or where they established in Victorian times? [The latter, and in the sixties, respectively.]

Are the photos of stadiums [Stadia! -- Captain P] you mention football stadiums? It would be even more common to buy such photos in America. But what's more geeky -- collecting stadium photos or owning thousands of beer mats?

Cuyler W "Ned" Brooks Jr

Much thanks for the copy of the June issue -- why was it mailed from Zurich? Do you get a better rate that way? I haven't the foggiest notion what "077" of whatever they use for money in Zurich is worth. Their basic unit seems to run at about $0.66, so if "077" means 0.77 then you mailed something by air mail across the Atlantic for about 50 cents-a good deal, but what did it cost to get to Zurich? [It goes by courier.]

I just had a letter from an Argentine fan who says he cannot pub his ish because the Argentine postal service no longer has an overseas surface rate. He would have to pay high airmail rates for all overseas copies. He says Spain -- where he sends a lot of copies, as the zine is in Spanish -- has done something similar.

Robert J Newman

"Live in Croydon once, but leave before you start talking Goat"? I've been living in Croydon for 35 years and I haven't started talking Goat yet. Try turning up at a Croydon SF Group meeting and making a "talking Goat" reference and half the people there won't know what you're talking about.

E B Frohvet

Marianne is a cutie. If I had been voting in the FAAN awards I would have nominated her for "Best New Fanzine Fan". However, no one saw fit to send me a ballot. A mere oversight, presumably.

Just out of curiosity, do you actually read my fanzine. I know it's not the sort of thing you're interested in, but do you look at it, or just straight into the recycle bin? [Yes, we just don't write locs, as we're too busy writing bollocks.]

Joseph Nicholas

Many thanks for your latest issue. Can I claim whatever fabulous prize may be available for being the first to spot the deliberate mistake of reversing the picture of Buck Coulson in response to Murray Moore's letter?

[Actually, the picture is fine. Murray Moore is reversed.]

Oh poot, there isn't a prize. (Besides, I'm probably not the first to have spotted the mistake.)

John D. Berry

Sitting here in the sweltering tropical heat of a New York summer, trying to stay in a direct line with the electric fan, listening to the doo-wop tape I picked up last month at a street fair in the West Village, while making vague swipes at the piles of accumulated stuff obscuring all surfaces of the livingroom -- god, there's sweat on everything; no, that's me -- and what do I turn up but the most recent issue of Plokta, which arrived not all that long ago. Can't think of anything more intelligent to do (more sweat! more doo-wop!) than write you at least a little note of comment.

Where would I be without British fanzines? I owe every bit of UK slang I know to a careful perusal of the island kingdom's fanzines, starting I guess with the youthful Ratfan zines from Roy Kettle and Greg Pickersgill in the early '70s. Well, yes, I knew what "fuck" meant -- though none of the earlier UK fanzines would have enlightened me if I hadn't. But without having already familiarized myself with the style of the Divine Greg, I would never recognized the slang that formed so much of the language in Riddley Walker -- much less realized that this "future" language was, apart from the spelling, only about six months ahead of us. (On second thought, strike that about the spelling.)

OK, you're the beneficiaries of a remark that could have been directed to any of several current fanzines from the UK. But I'm curious: do you have any idea just how the word "sad" came to have its current British slang meaning? It doesn't have it in the US: "sad" simply means unhappy, and it describes a person's state of mind, rather than being a comment upon it. In this country, you might describe an anorak-wearing trainspotter's situation as sad (though note that neither anoraks nor trainspotting have much currency here, at least until the movie), but you wouldn't apply the adjective to the person. "Pathetic," perhaps. "Sadly geeky," in the context of Steve Davies' computer-fair adventure. But not sad.

In which, by the way, I loved the apt description of a "blokes' crêche," even if -- again! -- neither word is part of American English, and you put the wrong accent over the "e" in "crêche." (Well, there is an American crêche, but it has to do with Christmas decorations.) [Neither our spellchecker nor our French dictionary agree with you.]

John Berry

My wife and I have just returned from a weekend in Salzburg to celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Friends suggested it was going to be a second honeymoon -- I officially deny this -- I strained my back carrying the heavy luggage, honest. The only utterly incongruous aspect was that a short distance from Mozart's Birthplace was McDonalds. Most of the people crowding round the Birthplace were Japanese, as I suspect they were the only ones who could afford the entrance fee. We also travelled to Berchtesgaden on a rainy day...the only thing that amazed me was that when any of the locals spoke to us it was always in English...they didn't enquire as to our nationality...I guess it was the rolled umbrella and white linen trilby hat which gave them the clues.


Illo: The Sheep Look OAP Herewith: Summatt for Plokta. In line with your perfectly understandable and laudable interest in Dolly, and her mysterious Aged Condition. (A condition that all sensible folk knew was impossible and only very sad, unrealistic SF fans would have thought of it, due to Ray Bradbury stories).

Oi! -- this stuff you wrote in the Editorial last Plokta: "As a professional artist, SMS has come to have certain expectations about how mags will treat his artwork, wishing to fulfil those expectations, we have been careful to take diabolical liberties without consultation." -- Bollocks! Real Promags, when they reverse the image so it fits in with the layout do not, repeat: NOT reverse the artist's signature so it's still the right way round!! Real Promags don't give a bloody toss!

Still:- Brave try kids!

PS: Eira said:- "'LoCs'...? Oh, does that mean letters of comment?! Does that mean they want us to write to them?"

Reassuring, isn't it?

PPS: I forget which Ray Bradbury story it was that involved a cloned kid that was dying of old age....

Brad W Foster

Go to the very end of "Shopping Habits of the Camiroi" to find a comment hook. No matter how hard people try to believe that the more bells and whistles they hang around a product the better it will sell, you still have to offer me a product I want. I too can appreciate the over-the-top presentations, but that would have no effect on me buying anything. Steve wanted to buy the stuff offered at the computer fair, he didn't want to buy anything at the mall. That's all. I love a fancy bookstore with beautiful shelving and thick carpets and big comfy chairs and perfectly arranged displays...but I'll also dive headlong into a dusty cardboard box of books left outside the store door. It's the books I want, the ambience is just, well, there...

Dr Plokta

Alison, you say at the beginning of the Toucan article that you're "teaching my daughter about the nature of irrevocable loss and grief." Does this mean that if one of her grandparents should die, you're going to get Peter Wareham to buy her an exact duplicate a month later?

Illo: Lloyd Penney loc Lloyd Penney

Congratulations on your Hugo nomination, but so determined are you that you're going to lose it...I may have wasted my valuable vote by putting a number 1 beside your title! Hmmph! Hope you get it anyway...the huge concentration of Hugos in and around the Langford household is causing rents in the space-time continuum. [Unfortunately, Steve and Giulia also live in Reading, within Langford's Schwarzchild radius.]

Thank Ghu piercings haven't gone any further in fandom than the traditional earlobes (and that's just the guys). In the trendier parts of Toronto some people have pierced themselves to such a degree, the words "Swiss cheese" and "colander" come to mind. One fanzine I received in the mail recently described piercings of the wobbly bits and further beneath...another shiver. I think I know why fans don't pierce themselves like that...with the way we travel, who wants to set off the metal detector at the airport, and then have to explain what caused it?

If the 2Kon folks are heartily sick of toucans, you might want to send them to the Cancùn in 2003 Worldcon bid. The toucan is their mascot, too. Meanwhile, the Toronto in 2003 bid is getting maximum mileage out of having a beaver as a mascot...we've actually heard from pre-supporters a couple of lines we hadn't heard before. Otherwise, all beaver lines are taken and overused. (Doesn't mean to say we don't want to hear them, though...and any new ones will be gratefully received and passed along.) Hey, maybe Marianne's toucan flew off to Cancùn....

Alan Sullivan

Far too many people don't seem to appreciate literature, ideas, or intelligence, unless it involved pictures of naked women with big breasts (and possibly a chainsaw, a big gun, or similar weapon of destruction)... I am very sick, and very sad, and too damn' old to care about what other people think... I like your "Bollocks" side-bars, by the way -- very Fortean Times...

A Beginner's Guide... (Alison Scott): Well, I can't say I understand the appeal of piercing (having a very, very strong aversion to needles and the like) but I can kind of understand the self-expression aspect. Naturally your mother was appalled. That's what mothers are for. Take comfort from the fact that you can still appal her, even though you are no longer a teenager... I'm a great believer in the indulgence of whims. Sadly, I never seem to have the money to indulge as often as I would like. Such is life....

"...And I Would Like To Spank..." (Alison Scott): Strokable clothing seems to be very popular in fannish circles. I must remember to check out a few of these Goth places that do such things.

Shopping Habits Of The Camiroi (Steve Davies): Shopping malls like computer fairs? Nah, it'd never happen. For a start off, it would mean shops trying to sell things cheaper than you can buy them elsewhere (very unlikely, considering that the all supermarkets seem to have agreed to have only a few pence variation in price between companies). They'd also have to have all their wares on display, and allow the customers to examine the goods, rather than having to content themselves with examining the uninformative (and in many cases, misleading) packaging. They'd never do it. Well, almost certainly never, unless they figured they could charge the customers over and above, for the "enhanced retail experience"....

Letters...: I can understand all of those Abbott-alikes, with the possible exception of Eric Idle (usually seen clean shaven, except in Life of Brian, as far as I can remember) and the definite exception of Tobes Valois. Tobes is unique and unmistakable (perhaps a future issue of Plokta could feature a Tobes cover-or if they're feeling really brave, a Tobes centrefold)...

Vijay Pulls It Off (Alison Scott): I refuse to make the obvious comment. Lead me not into temptation -- I'm getting there quite fast enough, by my own means as it is... By the way, when is Ian Sorensen producing the musical revue of this title in the manner of the dubious school girl related show Daisy Pulls It Off)...? The black tights with white trainers question? The answer's no, surely (Don't do old Zucker Brothers gags. Especially as my name's not Shirley -- Ed). [Actually, this alleged editorial comment was part of Alan's loc, and not written by -- Ed]

Everybody's Free... (Steven Cain): I'm not sure Tobes knows how to do that particular American dance....

Mind The Gap (Alison Scott & Avram Grumer): Oh yes, indeed. When it comes to the tubes/subways of this planet, there is a certain feeling if unreality inherent in the whole thing. Not so much Mind The Gap as Mind The Tube System According To Garp. Or even Mind The Gump.

Jackie Duckhawk

Hi, and thanks very much for Plokta, which was a very cheerful thing to receive while stuck in hospital (again!).

Does the source code for Marianne include potty training as shareware? If so can we download it please.

For Katherine the great loss of her life was her Butterfly Cup, a fairly ordinary toddler drinking cup which she dropped somewhere on a long shopping trip. I retraced my steps for as many shops as I could face...

I am told that spontaneity of life improves again when ones children get older, in particular when they are all out of nappies (source 1) or when they can all put their own coats on (source 2).

Helen McCarthy

The picture of Sue is sweet, but misinterpreted. She was trying a yoga pose known as the Lucky Cow, but we didn't have a Japanese boy handy to make sure her hips were properly turned out. (Very necessary, as Sue will doubtless confirm.) I've got a great photo of me doing the Cobra; my hands are slightly offline, but yoga technique has never been my strong point. [GIF! GIF!]

Still on photos, Vijay Bowen is the closest thing I've seen (apart from Rutger Hauer of course) to an acceptable substitute for chocolate. Loved those shiny tights. And Joseph Nicholas made the right fashion choice for white trainers -- black opaque tights are OK, sheers would have been too tacky. There's a fine line between witty comment on the Essex girl look and actually being mistaken for one.

I liked Alison's piece on whims. I think it might be a childcare thing that cuts back on the impulsiveness reflex, because everything to do with children involves some planning-even if it's only "who can we dump them on next?" -- that crafty move with Sue, Giulia and the shopping mall didn't pass unnoticed! Also, whimsicality isn't an unmixed blessing -- it gets you very funny looks, and can even get you banned. There's a Woolies that bans anyone unwise enough to get into a fight with a seven year old girl over who gets a Barbie crying out to be fetish-dressed.

Jerry Kaufman

No, really, I thought you'd be amused. I didn't really think the "Nepalese Good Luck Tantra Totem" would change your life (that's down to you), but I liked the series of statements it contained, folk wisdom like that "Kurt Vonnegut" speech you parody on your back cover. Besides, anything that includes Tantra in its title must be good.

Good job on reproducing Mae Strelkov's artwork. Despite doing it in black & white, you've still managed to suggest the delicacy of her work. We've gotten some of her originals recently, too, and I know how difficult it must have been for you to work with it.

Robert Lichtman

I must give specific egoboo for the fanzine review haikus and the article on the secret life of Capt. B*rds*ye in Vol. 3, No. 3-1/2. To Vicki Rosenzweig's "Thousand Year Itch" and Alison's "Common People" in Vol. 4, No. 1. (And of the latter piece, I'm sure some other old-timey fan has already told you this, but if Surbiton does not exist then how did the late Ethel Lindsay live there? I have several dozen issues of her fanzine, Scottishe, published from "Courage House, 6 Langley Avenue, Surbiton, Surrey," through 1978 when she relocated to Carnoustie in Scotland.) And in No. 4, No. 2, I loved the cover, Marianne's Linux logo, and Alison's account of Marianne's Eastercon aviary adventures. And special thanks for the photos of Vijay Bowen and Joseph Nicholas on page 13-I'm undecided who has "better" legs. Too bad I missed HAA; when I get back to work I'll have to look it up on the Web.

Mae Strelkov

I'm sending some bird and animal pictures enclosed to Marianne. She looks sad in the June issue with a Linux badge on her forehead. She must be telepathic and knows that "that great mob of silly grownups" is trying to subvert her inborn common sense. I went through "brain-control" at her age in another fashion. All the grownups around me singing gospel hymns at the tops of their voices while wondering, "Is this sweet little child born to be lost?" I seemed so "naughty-looking" though I behaved "good".

Clones don't work out well, I've read. Clones of Dolly the Sheep turn out to be her age, no younger. (Clone me and you'll get a second disapproving great grandma, approaching the tottering age).

I don't mourn for vanished fellow fans like our good Buck Coulson. You see, willy-nilly, I expect to meet him and all of us in the bleeding choir invisible. (Save Sue's butterfly, that has migrated here to celebrate Spring ahead and fill our garden with nasty caterpillars.)

I've been scolded by a fan for "pushing around gobs of acrylic with a brush" -- I used oils -- instead of getting back to hectography. My attempts to turn crystal dyes into hectopaints failed, lately.

"It turns out Lego's going to have USB support before Windows NT"
Sue Jones

What impressed me most about your Hugo Nomination Special?

  1. The brilliant way that SMS picture has turned out in black and white? Having seen the original in the art show at Easter, I would have expected it to lose a lot of its impact along with the colour. It hasn't.
  2. The usual combination of the silly, funny and thought provoking among the articles and fillers, the tidy layout, good use of illos, etc., etc.?
  3. The purple staples?
I think it was 3) by a short head.

Now unravel a mystery for me. I wanted to send Kevon a picture of Giulia. (Kev's interest having been aroused by learning he's no longer the only Tasmanian reading Tortoise, he expressed a wish to see what the other one looked like. Plokta being the obvious place to search, I found a shot among the wedding photos in the issue you gave me at Novacon. Not terribly clear, but 'twould do. Duly photocopied and posted off, with the explanation that the person standing on Giulia's right was Sue Mason.

Giulia is half hidden in the other mass photo on page 5, but I couldn't help noticing that the person on Giulia's right is Sue Mason. Is a patter starting to emerge here? I wondered.

And there's Giulia, I think, in the background of the picture of Guy Dawson, and there's someone's arm on her right, could it be...?

There's Sue on her own on page 6, but that picture is cropped very close on her left side....

All this makes me wonder. Plokta enjoys giving us those "separated at birth" photo comparisons. Is a reverse effect in progress here? Are Sue and Giulia gradually merging? Will they end up as Siamese twins in a few issues' time?

Kim Huett

I knew my new home was in a better part of town. If nothing else, the emu, kangaroo and crocodile meat for sale at the butchers is a hint. So is the goat milk at the supermarket. My last place was lucky to have the regular stuff let alone anything else. To top it off the supermarket was sold right out of cumin today and that's an upperclass thing for a supermarket to run out of if you ask me.


Patrick Lawford (pathetic pleading to be kept on the Plokta mailing list), David B Wake ("You receive lots of fanzines, don't you?"), Bill Bowers ("Outworlds, I hope, will see the light of print by the end of July"), Ken Cheslin ("I hope to send out more pubs as trades ASAP"), Harry Andruschak ("I wonder if I should pretend to be Jewish so as to be able to wear a skull cap"), and Alasdair Hepburn ("If you know anyone who wants to be added to my hall of shamelessness, then let me know.").

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