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(That's the Japanese term for letters to the editor in a publication such as this one. I'm still looking for a permanent name for this section...)



You may say this is a zine of little volume, but the content is interesting, and that is what counts.

As much as it pains me to admit it, I am not much of a Harry Potter fan. I have only read the first book in the entire series, even as the hub-bub about the just-released seventh and last book is still raging. My 16 year old daughter went to a book release party in town at Barnes & Noble, and she said that it was a different experience. Personally, I think that it's very strange that people were actually doing the Times Square thing - counting down until midnight when the book officially went on sale.

I am glad that kids of all ages are reading these books, though; being a college English teacher, it is good to see people excited about reading a book. What I've read is most enjoyable, and I can see why folks would get really jacked up about the series. The movies I like - seen them all so far, except the latest one (just released, of course) - and my wife and children tell me that the movies are pretty faithful to the books, especially in the visual realization of Hogwarts and its environs. Even the casting of the Dursleys was very appropriate, I have to admit. In any event, it is good to see people reading and not just wasting their lives camped out in front of televisions watching stupid reality shows or playing stupid games on their computers.

Oh, well. My bias is showing, I'm afraid.

In response to Lloyd Penney's loc, it was good to see him and his wife Yvonne in Dallas on May 25th. I had a great time chatting with them; a lovely couple, they are, and I look forward to seeing them again next April down at Corflu Silver in Las Vegas.

Whow! Lots of cons - mostly anime and gaming, I see - you have listed here. As has been noted before, every single weekend of the year there is some sort of stfnal related activity going on. It's a good thing that I am not independently wealthy; if I was, I'd be trying to get to way too many of these things and drive myself completely nuts in the process - or at least nuttier than I am already.

Thanks for the posting, and let's see some more straightaway, alright? All right.

All the best,

John Purcell

Thank you! Yes, the listings are a bit heavy on anime cons especially, in part because there are well-established sites that nearly every anime con-runner knows about, so it's really easy to go out and find a comprehensive listing. For general sf cons, I have six sources I check regularly that hardly overlap, plus the previous year's notes, and all those together still aren't a complete list yet.

My secret ambition if I win the lottery is to go to a con every weekend for a year. (I don't think I'd have the stamina to do it for any longer.) Of course, first I would have to remember to play the lottery...

1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON

August 16, 2007

Dear Petréa:

Sorry it's taken a while to get to Picofarad 9, but life is in great flux right now. Might be starting a new job soon!, and free time will be greatly curtailed. I've got to catch up now and get things done before things get any more complex.

I thought that I'd get excited about the new HP movie and the final resolution of the series of books...nope, didn't. Not sure why. I saw the first two movies and enjoyed them, but never did see the third, and now that the fourth is out, oh well... I read the first four books, and nothing afterwards. A question... now that all seven books in the series are published, and faithful HP readers know Harry's fate, will they want to see the next three movies?

The list of geekiest vacations...I think I need a new definition of the word "geek". I always thought it had negative connotations, and now it seems much more positive. Or are we just getting used to the mundane world calling us geeks? I thought renaissance fairs would have placed on the list. Who knows what the world accepts or rejects these days?

Looks like you've found out first-hand what so many past readers have found... Dhalgren is nearly unreadable, and at its size, is a book usable in a library as a doorstop. Larry Niven's two books in his Integral Trees series were fun reading. The first book was mostly explanation of the universe Niven had created, but still, a small adventure inside a big idea.

Ah, there's my loc. We have made the decision about Worldcons, but we are going to Las Vegas for Corflu Silver, the big annual fanzine fans' convention the end of April 2008. This is the 25th Corflu, so it should be a very big event. We're going to do some touristy things there that don't include gambling, and we expect to have a very good time. Should Montréal win their Worldcon, we may have to rethink our decision. We'll find out in a couple of weeks.

Mr. Longbottom, when I said we would be summoning ogres... I expected to see Shrek here...

The convention list... Yvonne and I did get to Polaris. I was on some programming for a new spoken word CD I was involved in called Sectarian Wave, and Yvonne was there to help out at the Ad Astra tables. We had a good time, and saw lots of old friends. The Feral! convention is actually a summer camp for furries in the huge park north of us here, Algonquin Park. As far as future cons go, I won't be to another one until March 2008 with Ad Astra 2008, and then Corflu the next month.

All done, and slowly but surely getting caught up. Take care, many thanks, and see you next issue. Give us all some warning, and I'm sure there'll be at least a few of us ready with our computers to write you letters. See you then!

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

Faithful readers have always been ahead of the movies, so I expect anyone who's stuck with them so far will want to see the remaining ones. A surprising number of people are following the story via the movies only, so I don't think Warner Brothers needs to worry about the box office receipts going down too far.

I think "geek" at the moment is kind of like certain other cultural and ethnic slurs-- a term of pride if it's used by actual geeks, but still reason for offense when used by others. Then again, there's plenty of room for intramural warfare about who's an "actual geek" and who isn't.

Montréal's chances should be pretty good, being the further site from Denver and with the voting population this year skewed towards people who are especially willing to support holding a Worldcon in a place where English is not the one and only language. If it wins, I'm going to feel really bad for Kansas City, and I hope KC will keep trying, but I have to admit that I wound up voting for Montréal, myself.

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