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Lloyd Penney
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON

September 5, 2010

Dear Petréa:

First of all, thank you for your kind words re this morning's Hugo announcement. I will hope that I might return to the ballot in Reno; being a part of the ballot year has been a true excitement. So, until that may or may not happen, it's right back to writing letter of comments for fanzines. And, I did say that instead of waiting for a paper copy to arrive, I'd go right to your website and respond to it there. Here we are, a loc on Picofarad #20.

2010? Sounds like the title of a science fiction novel, doesn't it? We are in the future, of course, but for our jaded eyes, perhaps it should look more SFnal. Yet, we have computers that can connect us around the world (the Hugo ceremonies this morning!), cellphones so we can talk anywhere, such modern tech as some older SF novels couldn't comprehend. I guess we want our future to look more nuts and bolts, more futuristic.

I guess part of the sale of Lunokhod-2 was the assumption that at some point, if you really wanted, you'd have to go and get it. I used to have one of those "deeds" that gave you title to a square foot of the moon, and I always figured that if one of the rovers was parked on my particular square foot, I'd want to charge rent, or possibly have them charged with trespass.

A history of Western idiocy? Definitely a non-fiction book. I see amazing examples of idiocy every day, on the bus, the streetcar, the street and most aspects of every day life. Why do they call it common sense when it seems to be so uncommon?

I never did see Avatar. *gasp!* I saw the tall blue giants, and yawned. It sure made billions for the studio, and Jim Cameron is even richer. Didn't win the Hugo, I notice...:-) And, it's being re-released to see if it can make another billion, just to make sure. I seem to immune to the excitement over this movie. I read that the writers may have simply taken the plot of Disney's Pocahontas, and re-did it with the blue Na'vi. Guess I still like movies with starships in it. Sophisticated tastes? Me? Surely you jest.

Looks like Orycon is popular enough to be change-proof when it comes to location and weekend. I could use a trip to the OryConvalescent home...Yvonne and I just retired from the Ad Astra committee after being on it for 29 years. We are going on to other conventions, but in anyone's books, 29 years should qualify for a gold watch of some kind.

My letter... I never did see Moon, but did enjoy Up and Star Trek, so that's where my votes went. Anime North, Ad Astra and Polaris have all taken place, and we had a great time. Anime North hit 18,000 warm bodies this year, and they are discussing the idea of a membership cap so their volunteer registration team doesn't burn out completely. Anime North had a steampunk fashion show again, as did the Fan eXpo in Toronto this year, our own rapidly expanding version of Comicon, and it mucked up tickets, attendance, you name it. Their screw-up was so complete, it made the news in various places.

If every Worldcon starts having both a daytime and nighttime fanzine lounge, I will happily take the credit, and smile, smile, smile. Anime North here has given substantial time and space to steampunk, and has a policy of trying to showcase non-anime interests so that they might be inclined to go to other conventions in town, thereby sharing the wealth, and bless them for that.

Conventions...local Joss Whedon fans have arranged at the last minute something called Whedonfest. I have no idea who these folks are, but I hope their sudden convention works out. For Toronto conventions, check out SFContario in November, Futurecon around New Year's and the Canadian National Steampunk Convention in late April 2011.

All done, and here's a loc as promised. I think you're working on of luck. Reno is now the standing Worldcon, we've got some money saved, and if things work out, we will have enough to get down there. I need to check if PRs have been sent out. We have purchased our memberships, but have not yet received PRs; we may have said we'd take them electronically, don't remember. Take care, and see you when issue 21 arrives. Yours, Lloyd Penney. Wow, 29 years. Orycon's actually had to change hotels twice in the last five years, but it did spend most of two decades before that at the same hotel.

You need to see Moon. It's out on DVD, so you have very few excuses left.

It's good to hear about an anime convention acknowledging other aspects of fandom. Many don't, and some people can be heard to mutter that the anime world is building a wall around itself to keep the money for itself, but most of the time I think it's just that the anime fans don't know much about the rest of fandom.

Thanks for the convention tips. Futurecon may not make it into the listings unless it posts its dates soon, though!

M. Lee Rogers
Hixson, TN

I wanted to express my thanks to you for bringing Picofarad #20 and #21 to ReConStruction. We talked briefly in the Fanzine Lounge. I was the baldheaded guy who brought the archives of the Southern Fandom Confederation to the Lounge.

Best of luck on your epic quest of attending a con every week for a year. I hope you are able to pull it off. My job in IT at a community college does not allow me to get to many cons. It was hard enough to get to Raleigh. Renovation happens at exactly the worst possible time of year for me, coming just before the start of the Fall semester.

I did not know that Ursula K. LeGuin was still writing. Time does not allow reading much SF or related genres. Her seminal (not Seminole) works in the 70's like The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed were very enjoyable and important works.

You are clearly trying to keep down the cost of your zine, which is perfectly understandable. Nevertheless, I hope you will keep at it and work in more general material. There is nothing wrong with the gaming content, but it does not appeal to everyone.

Take care. Maybe we will meet again someday.

M. Lee Rogers

Well, the confluence of gaming convention and game that provoked a long reminiscence was a coincidence. (Though, since he mentions it, readers, gaming is a great way to get hours of entertainment for a low price...)

Yes, Le Guin is still out there writing, though she seems to be concentrating more on poetry than sf recenly. Her Web site ( doesn't have a section for upcoming works, so you never know if the latest one is going to be the last. I'm hoping she has time for a few more.

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