[APAK logo] Issue #81, August 25th, 1997

Fanzine Countdown
August 5th to August 25th, 1997

by the Plokta cabal

1. Plokta #8, edited by Steve Davies and Alison Scott. An unbelievable masterpiece of the fan-writer's art. Reading this fanzine, I'm forced to conclude that I was hasty when ranking previous issues as #2, #3 or even also-ran. In fact, I feel like Saul on the road to Damascus, to be honest. At last I can die happy in the knowledge that my eyes have seen the salvation. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word...

2. Waxen Skins #3, edited by N**l C*lly*r and K*y H*nc*x. I've never quite understood what it is about Croydon, but this fanzine goes a long way to explaining the phenomenon. N**l and K*y blame 'something in the air' in the South London dormitory suburb as the initial cause of their steamy affair. This fanzine certainly doesn't pull its punches as they give a literally blow by blow account of the events that occurred while Mark & Claire were slaving over hot duplicators. And of course, we finally discover how it was that N**l got the sobriquet 'Toolman'. Between issues of Waxen Skins, N**l produces the shorter fanzine B&Q.

3. FNL #1, edited by Joseph Nicholas and Judith Hanna. After eighteen years, Joseph and Judith have decided to retire FTT. This first issue of their new fanzine carries the subtitle Fanatically Neat Lefties, and describes itself as 'a new fanzine for a new era'. The chief article this time is a fascinating tale by Judith of the perils of paragliding down the Amazon. I was engrossed by the detailed descriptions of wrestling with alligators, smoking the local weed with village chieftains, and seducing the nubile Amazonian teenagers. We were surprised, however, by reference to her testicles chafing and the difficulties of recharging her electric razor. Other articles this time include a lengthy polemic by Joseph on the plight of Senegalese twiltone farmers' collectives. Whilst there is some merit in his argument that sf fans are the only people who can help these rustic papyrazzi, I notice that FNL itself is photocopied on high white. Finally, ecowarrior Soggy the Moose provides a guest diary of the last six months, spent protesting against the proposed Harlan Ellison triple bypass. The protesters were eventually removed by colonic irrigation.

4. Platytude, edited by Simon Ounsley, with help from Michael Abbott, John Dallman and Pam Wells. Worried at the lack of fanzines emanating from Leeds, the Attitude crew lent their specific talents to help Simon produce this latest edition of his small, friendly perzine. Simon was clearly energized by the input -- this edition of Platytude is 87 pages long. Admittedly, much of the text is taken up with his revised style sheet. Notable highlights are the editiorial, Angst, Malediction and Scone, and his anecdotes of noted Leeds fan Ian Sorensen.

5. Dr. Plokta or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Internet #1, edited by Chris Bell. I have never met Mr. Bell, but was pleased to get this edition of his online fanzine. Chris professes a previous dislike of new technology, but this fanzine shows the extent of his conversion, demonstrating an easy facility with HTML, Java and Latte Macchiato. I was particularly impressed with the fully animated exploding bomb which provides the logo for this fanzine.

Also Received: Widening Gyre #1, Ulrika O'Brien; Ansible #120-122, Dave Langford; Opuntia #33, Dale Speirs; Ethel the Aardvark #72-74, Melbourne SF Club; Quipu #7, Vicki Rosenzweig; Wiggle, Rafe Culpin; Wild Heirs #19, the Las Vegrants; Sullivan's Lore, Alan Sullivan; BW #1&2, Claire Brialey and Mark (no shagging) Plummer; Trapdoor #17, Robert Lichtman; Mimosa #19, Nicki and Richard Lynch; Pinkette #16a, Karen Pender-Gunn; Squiggledy Hoy, Bridget Hardcastle; Attitude #11, Pam Wells, Michael Abbott, John Dallman; Converse#1, Kim Huett.

[PLOKTAK logo] Issue #80, June 20th, 1997

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* Previous article: The P-Files, drawn by Sue Mason.

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