Lokta Plokta

Julian Headlong

I see that not content with destroying Critical Wave, the people responsible for SFX have now decided to take on the journal of superfluous technology by launching a sister publication called T3; a magazine wholly dedicated to digital cameras, PDA's, laser pointers, and cars with unfeasibly large airbags. Once Plokta has been driven to the wall, then the SFX crew will be free to launch their hyper-glossy version of Attitude, their deluxe format Ansible, and their full colour D West -- the (eery) Graphic Novel [September 1997: That was originally "the (very) Graphic Novel", but the OCR software has made a serendipitous mistake. I like it so much I'm leaving it in. -- Webmaster], and so to take over all of fandom! I suspect it's all a plot by a certain MJ "Simo" Simpson, crazed by losing the TAFF ballot, he is seeking revenge by planning the conquest of all fanzines. We must resist! Take a stand on your seats and fight back! We will fight him on the benches, we will fight him on the suites, we will never surrender! Uh, sorry, I think I got carried away there. Anyway, does Plokta have a plan to survive this unfair competition?

Yours superfluotechnophillically, Julian

Ken Cheslin

I did think of writing after getting P2 actually, and reading that review of TBE5, but wasn't sure then, or now, if you weren't the sort of person who... let's say... seeing the folk sleeping in doorways, like in London, might have the attitude, "how unsightly, turn the buggers out, turn hoses on them or something" and have no sympathy for their plight. My reaction was not one of anger, I'm too much of a door-mat for that, rather 'he's right, he's right, I'll just crawl away and flush myself down a toilet'.

I really envy you, having the means to produce neat fanzines. Maybe folk like me should just pack up. You're right about me not having email, ...got an ex-Oxfam typer (£7.50 it cost me) and a roneo, and living on a pension. I feel ashamed aspiring to pub a fanzine, it's best left to a better class of fan, ones with jobs and computer and p-copiers... oho, now I am letting myself get cross. Anyway, I really do think that the review was a bit over the top... not for the content... but how it was put... and you never mentioned the content... supposing that you did or could read it.

A Vincent Clarke

In no. 3 a box was marked "Plokta is insufficiently serious" as a reason you thought I hadn't locced No. 2. Funny that, 'cos the reason I didn't LoC was because I couldn't make up my mind if your fanzine reviews in No. 2 were meant to be serious. I was wrestling with this question for so long that Plokta 3 plopped in before I'd put dot-matrix printer to paper.

You see, all the fanzine reviews seemed to be based on the look of the 'zine, and occasionally the technology used. I've come across this just once before - in an Australian fanzine in the mid-80's - but the guy who wrote those reviews was an absolute fanatic, and he could be excused because he offered various Helpful Hints, and didn't sneer at out-dated technology. As I said, I couldn't make up my mind. Such apparent snobbery! It seemed incredible that a fan should worry about that sort of thing, instead of what was actually written in the 'zines reviewed.

Lloyd Penney

Not quite an Attitude, hm? With Langford the Hugoman to lead the troops, most UK fanzines I get have an attitude problem. I did read in an ish of Attitude that Alison has trouble finding bras that fit, and here, I read she's budding. I think I see the connection here. (Famous breasts, Alison? Not to us colonials what ain't seen 'em. Yes, I am a rude bastard, and proud of it.)

[If you don't watch out, the famous digital camera will come to the rescue here]

Sounds like Steve's sausages were prepared by the Thenardieres from Les Miserables:

"Food beyond compare, food beyond belief,
Mix it all together and pretend it's beef,
Kidney of a horse, liver of a cat,
Stuffing all our sausages with this and that."
I'll ask master chronologist Steve... will 2000 have two leap days? I'd heard that it would, and that before computer techies can figure out what to do about the year 2000 in computer calculations, they have to put together a software patch to allow for a February 30 in the future.

[For a start it's Mike who's the chronologist. It has been estimated that it will cost a trillion dollars worldwide to solve the Year 2000 Problem. Plokta worries that if your understanding of the calendar is widely shared, it will cost another two trillion to fix the solution.]

Perhaps you can ship Gary Farber to the UK in pieces. [If he doesn't get his passport soon, we will] He can ship those pieces he has the least use for immediately to the Ravening Maenads, and then a few pieces more, and more, until he's over there completely. If he's guesting at a con, there can be prizes for the Most Creative Reassembly of the FanGoH.

Worldcon storage rooms are great fun! Huge piles of equipment, paper, supplies, ribbons, gophers, etc., and never where they're needed. At the '84 Worldcon in Anaheim, I stumbled into a storage room, and promptly found all the Hugos. A veritable invasion fleet was sitting on a double bed, ready for launch.

I'll have to do something embarrassing... hm, describe my last rectal exam? No, not that... Okay, my CPU is a 286! (Oh, the embarrassment, the shame.)

Thank you kindly for two great issues, and now, a question. Where's the third issue? C'mon, make it snappy, I haven't got all day. [You'll have to make do with #4]

Blondes have more fun Terry Jeeves

What does Plokta mean - my dictionary of unpublished and incorrect acronyms says, simple, Plokta People Looking Over Kind Tame Animals. Of course, this is the 1803 edition, so it may be wrong.

I turned green with envy over the superb repro, makes my 9-pin dot matrix Epson and Samsung look archaic. (Don't add, "They are"). I was particularly tickled by the Farber Dollar.

I liked the overall zany attitude of Plokta, snag was it became tricky to decide which was real and which was tongue in cheek.

Teddy Harvia

"Anal-retentive", that pseudo-intellectual cliche, seemed clever the first time I heard it years ago but has since lost its kick. Here in the States we prefer the Anglosized version, "butthead" (no hyphen).

[And on a different postcard]

"Zaftig" was a word new to me. After reading the dry definition in the dictionary, I was inspired to search for it on the Internet. I got 110 hits, several of them forbidden to me by my provider. I love those graphics!

[And on yet another postcard]

In the amusing weather report cartoon, is the lightning coming from Leeds or striking Leeds? Is angst a natural source of static electricity? The woman in the elephant caption photograph is gorgeous. [Woo-ee! -- A]

Peter Wareham

On the subject of the demon-eyes-ation of Tony Blair, I liked the comment heard recently on the News Quiz. "The Tories hired this actor, painted his eyes red, turned them upside-down, and they're still not as scary as Tony Blair's own eyes."

This LOC produced on ASDA Quality Bond writing paper using a Zebra New Hard N-5200 blue biro. I really can't see the need for any higher level of technology than that.

Walt Willis

Thank you for sending me Plokta #2. Thank you also for sending me Plokta #1, if you did as suggested on your back page. I don't remember getting it, but I suppose it's possible that I did and have completely forgotten it and lost all trace of it. What with back trouble and a spinal operation and moving house, my filing arrangements, such as they were, have gone from the primitive to the non-existent. The other day, for instance, I lost the Solicitor's bill for selling our house, and buying the new one, and ran it to earth in a tray which was supposed to house only fanzines. Yes, I have checked it for Plokta #1, with no success. I don't suppose you got a cheque from me for £1780.55?

Mae Strelkov's passing mention of Bob Shaw brings home to me the magnitude of our loss. There's only James White and our wives left of Irish Fandom and I can't help wondering who will be next. And whether anyone will remember Backslash and Emdash.

[Another letter from Walt]

You'll be relieved to know that my copy of Plokta 1 has been found. I particularly liked the account of the Energiser Bunny, but my favourite was the poignant piece about Walter. You don't make it clear that Walter eventually was made redundant, but obviously that is the fate of thousands like him whose functions are more efficiently performed by computers, like unskilled labourers who have been replaced by earth-moving machines. It has always seemed to me that if the employers in question had to meet the social cost of making people redundant, eg unemployment benefit, they wouldn't be so quick to do so. There would be a lot to be said for making employers meet the full real cost of making people redundant.

The technical question which puzzles me at the moment is what to do with the electric Gestetner which now lies on the front doorstep of our old house, waiting for me to make up my mind whether to ask the local authority to collect it with their garbage truck, or ask my son to deliver it to the garage of my new house. The answer to this question depends on my decision as to what to do on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Irish Fandom in 1997. The issue of Hyphen that marked the 40th anniversary was run off on that Gestetner, but I wasn't satisfied with the reproduction, nor sure I have the energy to go through that exercise again. Obviously the sensible solution would be to acquire a computer-based reproduction system, but which one?

Jackie Duckhawk

Muffin has arrived -- 2 weeks late and renamed Christopher. His birth was facilitated with very little superfluous technology, I'm glad to say. (Midwife: "I can't seem to get the scalp electrode on... never mind, I'm sure he's all right really.")

[Another letter from Jackie:]

Recently visiting our local supermarket, we observed Ms S*r*h W**d*ll fiddling with something. Later, we encountered her and her fiance in the queue at the till, where she explained that their shopping trip had taken twice as long as usual because their walkie-talkies weren't working.

Christopher Robert Duckworth is now big, chubby and very placid, and is currently watching Playdays with his big sister. One wouldn't dream of dumping your first child in front of the TV at 2 months old, of course.

Rhodri James sent us a COA [From which the actual address and phone number have been edited]:

and eaten it. There is a house here. Rhodri James is here.


You take the house

You take Rhodri

> N

You are in **** **** Road. There is a telephone box here. You are staggering under the weight of your possessions.


The house neatly slots into place as 135 **** **** Road, Cambridge, CB4 ***.


You dial (01223) ****** and wait while the telephone rings. An answerphone tells you to email rhodri@wildebst.demon.co.uk as he isn't in at the moment.


"Ouch" says Rhodri. He wanders inside his house to get a drink.


You don't have the key. So there.

Karen Pender-Gunn

Dear Sue: [Alison, shurely? - Ed.] I think Pod is a wonderful name for the entity growing inside you. I think all such self-terminating tumors should be called such. I have been asked by a friend to make a space bear (read: Star Trek bear but we have to be very careful here in Oz about using that name -- the Trek Police will get me) and seeing it turned out well I might make some more. That would confuse the relatives.

Brad W. Foster

I've been using this old manual typewriter for so many years, there is a large groove worked into the space bar from being struck by my thumb some one hundred gigaga-zillion times now. I've got pieces held in place with clips, others taped on, and I have to hump-start the ribbon now and then when it wants to hang up in one spot. But, I still love this little hunk of metal! I always wish there was some way I could hook up this keyboard to the computer!

John Dallman

Thank you for my specially-stapled copy! Thanks to technological advancement, I only needed to add one staple to make this one readable, and look forward to further improvements. I don't know how you have created fanzines that turn themselves inside-out when opened, but I suspect that the answer may come under the category of "We could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you".

John Richards

I'm glad that Farber day went well although I do think that having Pam Wells grinning expectantly at you at the 'Ton when your psychic defences are already weakened by beer and the debilitating effects of London on a Thursday until you coughed up the cash just to be able to get away from the sheer bloody enthusiasm was an unfair tactic.

The SHSFG had just undergone its own minor population explosion with Liz McDonald producing Lydia Isabel on August 16 and Theresa Winship coming up with Alexandra two weeks late on the 22.

Paul Winship only just managed to live to see the birth of his daughter after having inquired of the midwife on the previous Friday if there was any way that Theresa could be induced before 7 O'clock so that he could make it to the Beerex.

In my opinion newsletters brought about through "furtive guerrilla activity" have a better chance of capturing the spirit of the event.

[Oh, no. You aren't catching us like that. Never again!]

James Steel

I am writing to express my deep concern at the possibility of serious structural failure in your august journal. On receipt of the latest edition of your fount of erudition I discovered that its peripheral connective devices were lamentably sub-standard, with the result that its narrative structure was only preserved by recourse to the otherwise superfluous numeration provided.

What you need is a better electric stapling machine.

You state in your editorial that only one reader has written in to say what PLOKTA stands for. Personally I think it should stand for parliament. It couldn't do any worse. Think of superfluous technology as an election pledge. A combination colour scanner and foot massager in every home! Videophone intercoms so you can see the person upstairs when you're shouting to them!

I heard recently of a new and exciting communications device using fibre optics. Apparently you take a length of thin fibre optic cable and two tin cans...

I should be going now, I think the interns have seen me.

Also, your web page should be more firmly stapled.

Buck Coulson

Beer drinkers; bah. Beer is for people who like to pretend they're drunker than they are. Beer is okay for conventions, though I fondly recall a Baen Books party at a Worldcon where I asked for rum and the bartender handed over a glass and the bottle. My knees tended to wobble for the rest of the night, and I spent lot of time leaning against walls while conversing, and nobody noticed. I'd just as soon have a cola as most beer, though one con where we shared the hotel with a microbrewery convention was memorable; that was good beer.

I resent your comment, Harry; I'm a fan and I've never symbolized anything. Besides, fans are among the most conformist people in the world, especially the "faaanish" sorts. They don't conform to the outside world, but boy, do they ever conform to each other! And, of course, to the fannish gurus who tell them what fans are supposed to be like. Admittedly, they're becoming less so, now that cons are getting bigger and peopled with stf readers who never heard of the fannish ghods and proper customs, but those give the trufans something to bitch about.

[Beer. Let us make it clear that when the Plokta cabal talk of beer we refer only to the most expensive cask and bottle-conditioned beers we can lay our hands on. Unless it's hand-crafted by ancient brewmasters in vats containing the bones of at least three dead heroes, we aren't interested. As cardcarrying members of the Campaign For Real Ale it would be more than our lives are worth to drink anything else.]

Frog with man in its throat Bobby MacLaughlin

The only remotely scandalous thing I've done lately is enter one of these twee competitions.....

"I like Premier Dairies Cream because..." I completed the line with:

"...I enjoy pouring it over my boyfriend and licking it off."

They sent me a runner-up prize of strawberries covered in double-cream white chocolate, with a little bottle of Moet & Chandon. Actually I think I could have won the first prize of a weekend for 2 in a French chateau in Champagne if only they hadn't thought I was a gay bloke and therefore wouldn't look that right on their publicity photos. Bugger. Or not, as the case was. Should have remembered to sign myself Ms.

[Bobby added lots of good tips on pain management in labour. However, Alison's thinking of using a stunt double for the labour scenes. Or possibly lots of beer.]

Dave Clements

The Tall Technical Tales panel at LACON 3 (unaccountably renamed by the committee to Amusing Stories from Science and Technology Research and Development, but still succeeding in getting a large audience) had lots of stories of superfluous technology. You can also do wonders with dry ice in a kettle or in a toilet, especially if you add green food colouring and some washing up liquid.

Julian Headlong

Further to my communication in Vol.1 No.2 of the JoST, I have found an interesting reference to the subject matter of your Journal in another academic work. On page 25 of the scholarly work The Shockwave Rider by J.K.H. Brunner, the author describes the aftermath of a power failure. "How many separate soft hums had ended? Computer, water cooler, water heater, air conditioner, alarm monitor...et cetera. It was not customary to recall offhand how many powered devices one owned; therefore he didn't."

I, on the other hand, have carefully counted the powered devices I own, and am pleased to report that I have at least 47 (not counting the car or any devices therein). With this small start I hope that a more analytical approach to superfluous technology can be made in the future.

J. Headlong, AFBIST (Associate Fellow, British Institute of Superfluous Technology).

Karen Pender-Gunn

A very kind Cheryl Morgan bought Ian a video of the Clangers from the UK and we are hooked! They are so very cute. I have never seen them before but now I understand the photo in Plokta 2. We got a Best of ... tape, are there any others? We need them! I didn't know Plokta stood for anything, am I dim? I looked it up in the dictionary but it wasn't there. Sigh. May you have lots of blue string pudding for tea.

Dave Hicks

That's it, go on, bugger up my arty fan-critical theories and see if I care! Thought it was good stuff but: "...there's less likelihood of there being a Plokta #2,3,4 and so on in the same vein..." I predicted, wearing my best poncey fanzine critic hat for Critical Wave #46. Thought you'd fragment and do all sorts of wild and crazy things, see, thought you'd bounce around between formats like a pinball on steroids. Fanzine critics don't like this sort of thing. Contracts have been taken out for less. If these were still the days of KTF reviewing you'd be central tunnel supports on the Docklands Light Railway by now for such impertinence.

How did you compile your mailing list? The usual method is by reading through everybody else's lettercolumns and copying out the correspondents' addresses. This is going to be a bit tricky for those who follow in your footsteps if editors start only printing e-mails addresses, isn't it?

[Point taken.]

Our brand new washer-drier arrived from Comet yesterday. We were most upset when the delivery men took the huge cardboard box away with them. A little decoration and it would have made a splendid guest room, accommodating at least four fans.

I continue to enjoy Plokta for being vigorous and regular -- or is that my bowels? -- and part of the modern, dynamic fanzine scene of which I will once again be a part a soon as I get off my arse (sorry, bowels again).

Antony J. Shepherd (Dop)

When I saw Sue's Beavis & Butthead picture, I had hysterics. The first time I ever saw Beavis & Butthead was when I was living with Simo. This is 'living with' i.e. to share a flat with, and NOT any other use of the euphemism 'living with'. Puh-Lease! Credit me with some taste!

[Oh yeah? You can't fool us, Dop!]

We watched, turned to each other, and said "Don't say one word! Don't you dare go 'huh huh huh -- that was cool!'" Anyway, we were more like Men Behaving Badly.

[In your dreams...!]

Jim Trash

Plokta looked very snazzy and awfully flash first time I saw it but all too quickly the novelty wears off and my palate hankers for more than justified text and oodles of pictures.

Where are the 256 million colours? [September 1997: Right here.] Where are the cardboard pop-up sculptures? Where is the scratch and sniff erotic fruit or flavoured Scott and Davies on a stick? All this we need plus the almost obligatory 3-d glasses and mounted CD (volunteers for CD mounting required - maybe it would help if the CD was shaped like Liz Hurley) I know you mentioned hankering after some of these but maybe you should forget hankering and get stuck in.

But it costs great wads of money, I hear you cry.

A problem easily solved. I hear that rich Californian women will pay huge amounts for small children so Pod could be a potential gold mine and the means by which you create a most extraordinary zine (well it'll be extraordinary until the next new innovation comes along). I'm not sure why these women can't produce their own babies but I suspect it has something to do with the 24 hour occupation of looking good. Let's face it, in the midst of ecstasy none of us really look at our best. If you've spent thousands of pounds on breast implants, facelifts, perfume, hair and personal trainers (that's just the men) it would seem silly to blow the effect by sweating, drivelling and drooling with someone who may run off and tell people you're not perfect after all. Your pussy smells, your breasts fart and you emit an off-key wailing in the throes of orgasm.

Soprano with chocolate sauce Does an opera singer orgasm in perfect pitch?

I want to know -- soprano volunteers step forward please. I have a feather, a rubber glove, a large jar of melted chocolate and I'm not afraid to use them.

Thanks for Plokta, it got into all the nooks and crannies -- or was that the toilet cleaner. I get terribly confused sometimes.

Harry Andruschak

My vacation to Antarctica is shaping up. I paid a $500 deposit for the trip, which will include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in addition to Antarctica itself. Overall cost is around $4,800 which comes out to $200/day. Not a bad price, really.

[And think of the possibilities for travel books; like "Antarctica on $200 a day"]

I found the most interesting reading to be the LoC by Skel. As a recovered alcoholic, I have an obligation to have zero units a day. Quite a change from the one or two litres of whisky per day I used to go through.

Mae Strelkov

Now about Gary Farber. Can he really be as handsome as in the photograph? No wonder Pam Wells wanted to import him to your land. But, you know, thirty-odd years ago when Seattle's CRY was appearing and I was a neo, I wrote asking a "lady fan" who's who. She sent back quite a list of "dangerous types", and I do believe "that little twerp called Gary Farber" headed the list. ("Whatever you do, don't get mixed up with him!" she warned). I was puzzled and uncomprehending, but as in the case too of, say, Ted White, our paths never did cross. I guess he's now an established saint?

I even got interviewed recently by Canal 7 of Jujuy's TV -- about my language studies, not my flawlessly-lived long life. I got so inspired, I'm writing up "Book One" on the studies, now, in Spanish (because they are interested in Quechua versus archaic Chinese similarities). English-speaking fans only yawn when I broach the subject.


Incidentally, how about a book-length study of such topics since you're not up to pubbing my report on our scenery, etc.?


The mountain range of which we own a good sector, has been declared a Forestry Preserve (or Nature Preserve) by the Government, to our delight. We can now chase trespassers away from hunting the last lorn specimens of wild life up there and warn them of penalties. Those who kill wild life for fun (or eating) will be locked up. (Tit-for-tat). They tried to get our young son and son-in-law and our faithful flunky locked up earlier when we started chasing them off finally.

So we are growing new halos. Please remember how saintly we now are!

Murray Moore

Is Plokta the future of fanzines? Issue 3, my first, impressed me by the sophistication of the technology and the fannishness of its producers and audience. You use 1990's bells and whistles to make a fanzine, the content of which shows that you and your readers were paying attention during Introduction to Fandom 101.

Are you wedded to your three-column format? I would prefer photographs to be 50 per cent larger, and every person identified. [Yup. 3 column, 2 staples, short. If it were 2 column, 3 staples, long it would be an aspirin Attitude.]

The visual and text references to fellatio remind me of the joke that happiness is not possible without a penis. This joke works better when heard, and the listener is not stopping to spell happiness. Or penis. Is Plokta penis in Hainish? Albanian?


You think my flat's Escherian? I should have shown you the infinitely ascending hallway (through the kitchen, along the hall, into the living room, up one step into the kitchen again - also available in infinitely descending mode for the easily knackered).

DM Sherwood

Believe in responding to every Fanzine that comes thru the Mails but Plonka Plokta stretches that principle to near breaking point, I am definitely of the Martin Tudor school here. Saying anything more is like writing a Philosophical Analysis of a Crunchie Bar I mean it's sweet to the taste and makes a nice satisfying sound (sort of a "Crunch" you know) when you bite into it.

Tony Berry

You ticked the box on the back of Plokta which says "We suspect you're dead." Yes, I am in fact dead, but before I went I uploaded the entire contents of my brain into the SIMM card of my new digital mobile phone (never did have many functioning grey cells). So I'm now living inside a Nokia. This is a wonderful little device, menu-driven, and full of superfluous things like playing different tunes instead of ringing, or simply vibrating (this function obviously aimed at women), displaying or sending written messages, plugging into a laptop that I haven't got so as to deal with faxes or access the Internet, and a million other functions I probably won't use. But I do like the little tunes, though it's a bit embarrassing when you're queueing in the bank and "Whistle While You Work" starts up.

Plokta 3 was enjoyable, well it must have been because my copy had been opened and read by Someone before it was delivered to me. Bernie Evans said that her copy had also been opened. This is very interesting. Something to do with the Demon Eyes photo on the back perhaps? I bet you're all being watched by MI5 now...

Tim Groome

So what does Plokta stand for (apart from Truth, Justice and the Fannish Way)? I consulted my trusty dictionary, Scrabble set and Thesaurus (the intelligent one in Jurassic Park) and have come up with a few breakdowns of this devious acronym.

I promise to send a letter every time I receive Plokta, dib dib dib.

Dave Mooring

I've been brooding over the acronym. I could, I suppose, go on at length and may eventually strike the correct combination but even a rough calculation shows that a room full of programmers, fed bananas, would randomly type out the complete works of Proust first.

So how about a clue?

[Sorry, fresh out of clues. We've donated them all to needy fans who thought that Dr Plokta's fanzine reviews were serious.]

My kingdom for a goat I was intrigued to hear of Martin's assertion that yours is a readily disposable fanzine.

I ran some experiments.

Tearing it into small pieces, whilst satisfying, still leaves you with an undisposed pile of paper. Burning, because of the quality of the paper, leaves a nasty thick dark ash on which the odd word can still be made our.!

I can't in all honesty recommend eating as there is a small matter of bad taste. So as far as I can make out the only true and complete method of disposal is flushing, which is unfortunately prohibited in Yorkshire under the provision of the Emergency Powers, Drought Act 1967 (Reg 15 para 23406 iii).

All in all, I've come to a firm conclusion that Plokta is not disposable.

I'm still trying to paint for Novacon and struggling to find subjects other than cute cats and dragons that might sell. The up-side of this is that I get to spend lots of time in the front attic staring at the sky listening to the friendly rain dripping into the assorted containers on the floor of the back attic and being pestered by the cats.

Funny animals our pair, they are always determined to get into any ongoing creative endeavour. One of their most lovable tricks is to punctuate work, almost any time I put down a pen or stop to roll a cig one of them leaps into my lap demanding a look at whatever I'm doing. The result of which is I find (usually just before a show), that I've painted half a cat into the surface of a picture. I've had to give up working in pencil almost entirely, because I foolishly taught one of the cats the art of ambush, and he loves the sound of shading. So I have several half finished sketches all with big hard indented lines across them where my control has been amended by the sudden impact of two stone of rapidly moving cat.

Vicki Rosenzweig

The New York area convention Lunacon has for several years been at the Escher Hilton, and the only signs provided have been the ones pointing to the "transdimensional corridor" linking the con suite to the rest of the hotel function space. Most people eventually figure out that the small ramp leading down from the fourth floor puts them on the seventh floor, but this can take a while, especially in the sleep-deprived or intoxicated state common at conventions.

We Also Heard From:

Sharon Sbarsky (Please consider this a virtual postcard), Valerie Housden (You request on your final page a fresh supply of incriminating photos. Please remind me, which have I already sent?), Ben Yalow (I didn't ignore it -- I read it, and decided that anything added would be superfluous), David B. Wake (I would have liked to have read my obituary in Ansible), Steve Brewster (Thanks for explaining the 'Pod Cain' joke - I didn't get it at first, as I've never read Isaac Asimov. Perhaps when Alison's in labour (New Labour - New Plokta) the midwife will tell her to 'Open the Pod bay door, Al!'), Chris Suslowicz (See you at the next 'Ton, please bring me a copy of Plotka. (Which anyone with the "Superfluous Technology" of the appropriate dictionary will know means 'rumour or gossip'.)) [Er, don't you mean Plokta?] Andy Sawyer (Re your... etc. Allegedly? Allegedly? How dare you! You really know how to undermine a guy's confidence, don't you?), Simon Bisson, (with a tale of technology too superfluous for Plokta), Jean Weber (I continue to resist Windows '95), and Marilee Layman (enclosing a jacket for Pod with removable calyx and stem).

Tim Olsen
Mike Scott
Sue Mason
Memory Hole
Dr Plokta, adrift just off the islets of Langerhans.

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