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John Purcell

Petréa -

I just discovered your latest ish hiding out on, so I glanced it over. Guess what? This resulted in some comments I'd like to wing your way.

First off, I too was very surprised at the loss of the Seattle in 2011 Worldcon bid. Not that it bummed me out, but it seemed to me that it was an active bunch of folks who were putting together a really good pitch. They threw a fine party at last fall's FenCon in Dallas, Texas; an ice-cream social is always a winner in these heah parts, but they ran out of ice cream too fast. Next time, get more and invest in a small, portable freezer.

You've been doing a lot of reading and such, way more than I have. Then again, my wife and I don't go out to movies that often-- we really should, come to think of it-- but we do watch recent movies on DVD when we get them on Netflix. Just this past weekend we watched Wall-E with our son (delightful movie), and the first season of Red Dwarf. The last was a birthday gift to me from my 24-year old daughter and her boyfriend: they gave me the entire series! Okay: I approve of this guy! He's a keeper.

Orycon 30 sounds like it was a lot of fun. I certainly wish Aggiecon 40 (March 26-29, 2009) was better run. When my next issue of Askance is posted in another week or two, my conreport is not going to be very flattering about Aggiecon 40. I was very disappointed.

The Watchmen movie seems to be polarizing viewers. I have yet to see it, but folks familiar with the graphic novel say that it builds beautifully on what's been set forth in the graphic novel, but therein may lie the problem. Not all movie-goers are into those, let alone having read the Watchmen GN. Myself, I am familiar with the basic story-line so I might enjoy the movie. It most certainly sounds like a very real Netflix DVD night-- when the movie comes out in that format in something like 5 months or so from now.

Neither have I seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I would like to see this one mainly because it is based on a little-known F. Scott Fitzgerald story. It has possibilities, and beyond that I really care to say no more.

Lloyd Penney has the right idea: treat new fans with respect and teach them well. I was fortunate to become involved with fandom and cons in a veritable hotbed of fannishness, Minneapolis, and in that magical year of 1973 to boot. The people you get involved with at first make that all-important first impression, so for me the fun element was ramped up from the get-go, and that really fueled my interest in fandom, cons, and fanzines. More of this kind of attitude is needed to attract new fans and hang onto them. New blood and that fresh spirit will help fuel our aging fannish selves, too, come to think of it. "Ahhh... essence of neofan: my favorite!"

That should do for now. I gotta get ready for a class in half an hour. Take care, and thanks for the posting.

All the best,

John Purcell

Yes, there was a lot of excitement among local fans about bringing Worldcon back to the Pacific Northwest. Sure, the Pacific Northwest will be running Worldcon in 2011 anyway, but it's not quite the same.

If you're looking to see how F. Scott Fitzgerald's work was adapted, you're going to be very disappointed-- the movie bears no resemblance to the story other than the title character's name and peculiar affliction.

The fun factor certainly seems to be what's drawing new proto-fans to anime conventions. Then, after a few years, they start talking about how they're getting tired of the party animals and the unwashed masses and the inappropriate behavior, and they'd like to check out something new... something with a more communal, family atmosphere... something like those old multi-fandom conventions they've been hearing about.

Speaking of Mr. Penney...

Lloyd Penney
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON

April 3, 2009

Dear Petréa:

Many thanks to you for another Picofarad, issue 16 this time. It's finally the weekend, and I am soooooo far behind in my loc writing. Time for a fast attack.

Seattle has had such bad luck when it comes to Worldcons, and it's not fan-centred, but in the local hotel industry. I know Alex von Thorn and Mara Searle who worked on the Seattle bid from their homes in Toronto, and while they are involved with many fannish projects, I know how much the Seattle bid meant to them. We may go to Reno, but I've never been to Seattle, and I used to live just north in Victoria, BC.

I have had Phil Foglio's Girl Genius recommended to me several times, especially as steampunk is rising in popularity, but there's so much to catch up on...I would need to devote time I probably don't have to spare. I read the original Frank Herbert Dune series, and that's fine with me. His son seems intent on flogging much more out of the series than Dad ever did, and I am not really interested in any more.

Panels at a convention are fun, which can be spoiled by the near-pro panelists who must do 7 or 8 hours of panels at a con, and that's just Saturday. Ad Astra was this past weekend in Toronto, and we had a great time...I ran a table in the dealers' room, Yvonne put some art in the art show, she also ran the science and space programming track, we had a tea party Saturday evening, and we got to show off our new steampunk costumes. I know Hugh Gregory...not the best on panels, and too exuberant to pay much attention to just about anything.

Yvonne and I were at LAcon IV in Anaheim in 2006, and while Disneyland was just over there, we had no compunction about going...we were there for the convention, not the theme park. There is one thing I do want from Disney, but I don't think it XL t-shirt with the graphics from the rather bad Disney TV animation Lloyd in Space. Obvious reasons.

Ah, someone else who enjoys and I loves the goggies and kittehs.

Not being a comics reader at all, I never read the original Watchmen, but I knew of many who did. Anticipation for the Watchmen movie was bugging these guys, and when it finally arrived, they all got kinda quiet. It may indeed be polished poo. (And I won't comment on S.M. Stirling's writing.)

I would like to be more optimistic about the future of fandom...that just might be me venting a little bit at all the changes there's been in fandom, and the fact it's changed from what I'm used to. I know Grant Kruger was trying to float the idea of a Worldcon in South Africa, and I do get Probe from the club in Johannesburg. I would like to find out more about the Indian SF convention.

The February 1999 ship detonation...that wouldn't have appeared on A&E or TLC, would it? There's so many shows about plane crashes and maritime disasters, and they are mostly made by Canadian producers.

Conventions...Ad Astra was last weekend, and it was a blast. Great times, lots of fun, made a little money and saw old friends. Today is the first day of FilKONtario 19.

All done for the moment...I look forward to seeing the next issue.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

Well, if you ever find yourself with an Internet connection and a bunch of time to kill, is one place you can go. Just sayin'.

As far as I know, no one has ever done a TV program on the adventures of the New Carissa. There's probably a chapter on it in the book local reporter Paul Linnman wrote about his career, which included covering those events. The book is called The Exploding Whale and Other Remarkable Stories From the Evening News. Whenever something gets blown up on the Oregon coast, he's there.

Thanks for mentioning Probe, which led me to another possible source for convention listings. Nice to see they're not just holding gaming conventions there.

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