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(Well, that's the name for the letters column this month, anyway. Cleverer suggestions will be eagerly entertained.)

Lloyd Penney
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON

Christmas Eve, 2006

Dear Petrea:

Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you on Picofarad does get in the way. Job hunting, eye operation, etc. It's been a bit of a blur. But now, the time is right, Christmas dinner is in the oven, and I've got some time to write LOCs.

The definition of planet seems to change on a regular basis. I fully expect Pluto/Charon to be reinstated at some point over the next few years. The more we discover what bodies are circling the Sun, the more we'll change the planetary definition.

Knowing John Hertz, he'd never start his own fund, but there are many people who think enough of his talents to do so. In fact, Murray Moore of neighbouring Mississauga set up the fund, and if I have some spare cash (ha ha), I will send it Murray's way for the fund. John is such a Nipponophile, he might not want to return home.

I've seen a news item just a few days ago where J.K. Rowling revealed the title of the final Harry Potter book...HP and the Deathly Hallows. I admit I haven't read the last few books, but I would like to catch up. I just wish hardcovers weren't so expensive. I keep my reading shelf loaded with a trip or two to a used book store I have an account with... nothing beats the adventure of exploring any really good and really old used book store. You never know what you'll find, and there's a certain musty smell that is part of the adventure, too.

I have four Doris Piserchia books on the shelf, The Spinner, Spaceling, The Fluger and The Dimensioneers. She was relatively prolific, and she seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. She finished her career writing a zombie novel under a pseudonym, and disappeared.

Isn't taking the train to a convention great? We've done that many time, especially to go to conventions in Ottawa, Montreal, Rochester and even the middle of Michigan. It is so relaxing, but only if your schedule matches theirs. I could go to conventions in Albany and beyond by train, but that would mean adding an extra day...the train between Toronto and New York takes a long time to get from one to the other, I think about 15 hours.

Ah, I will remember LAcon IV for a long time because it was so much fun. We were at opening ceremonies, too, and Space Cadet was just too corny for words, but it was one of televisions first attempt to expose us all to the adventures of space exploration. I wish the idea of exploration turned us on the way it did previous generations.

Many people thought Chicago was going to win. Because Yvonne and I decided to retire from going to Worldcons, we did not pre-support anyone, and we did not vote, to the chagrin of friends who were working with some of the 2008 bidders. Japan is out of the question, and Denver is just too much. It took lots of saving just to get to LA, and I don't think we'll be able to do that again.

We all cheered for Connie at the closing ceremonies. Harlan gets what he deserves. The closing ceremonies seemed a little short and unplanned, but then, we were all tired, and happy to see the whole thing come to a suitable end.

The convention calendar...we attended Astronomicon in Rochester in November, and were in Ottawa for the weekend of AC Cubed, but were at the Canadian Space Summit at Carleton University. I really wanted to go to Corflu 24 in Austin, TX, but moneywise, no can do. We will be at Ad Astra XXVI in Toronto in March, we used to work with the folks who run FilKONtario each year in Mississauga, and we most likely will be at Eericon Nine in Niagara Falls, NY.

Dinner is now done and it was delicious. We are getting ready to head out to view some Christmas lights as is our tradition, so Yvonne and I wish you a great Christmas and a happy 2007. It's the least we can do. I hope there'll be more enjoyable Picofarads then.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

And a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too! I spent my Christmas with a nasty cold and the first week of the new year participating in the local norovirus outbreak, but after that, the rest of it has to look good in comparison, right? Right, everyone?

Rumor has it that Doris Piserchia has one more unpublished story, which will see the light of day when and if The Last Dangerous Visions gets published.

Chris Garcia

Ah, Picofarad #7! Let me start here and go forward with all sorts of joy and wisdom!

The Eaton Collection is a wonderful place! I spend my Thanksgivings in Perris, California and drive by the Riverside Library on my way to my Uncle.s house and have never made it to the Eaton. met the folks and they were good folks. I think I was on a panel with a couple of them where we talked about how to preserve fannish stuff.

Good on you for offering your filk tape collection. I'm workin' on my Computer Filk issue of The Drink Tank and have managed to amass a rather large collection of tapes without trying very hard. It's rather strange. I've got a good sized collection of stuff that I use for the BayCon and SJ WesterCon Fanzine lounge that I really should donate since some of it's pretty rare, but I still wanna have it for the lounge. Someday...

Damn planet namers! They give us Pluto, which had a lot of the confirmation work done here in San Jose's Lick Observatory, and then take it away! Filthy tricksy sciencers!

Yeah, they cancelled TAFF. That sucked. I put a lot of effort into running, but alas, it was not meant to be. I'll just have to run twice as hard next year. I've even got a new motto, replacing Chris for TAFF: Again... Chris for TAFF

I'm all in for Rewilding! Yes, completely impractical and costly and kinda anti-human as it were, but still, I wanna be able to hang with Giant Sloths and the like! Of course, that would require serious life extension, which if it were available would make it ever harder to rewild as it were, so there you have it.

That Tomorrowland DVD set is awesome. I first saw part of it (the Mars animation section) at the Animation Show in San Francisco and I know I had to get the DVD when it was released a month or so later. I love that animation segment and the stuff with Willy Ley is great too. I'm a big fan of these Disney tinned DVD packages.

I desperately want to see The Two Doctors, but I can't find anyone around these parts who has it. I might have to redouble my efforts.

I've never read any of the Lemony Snicket books, though I know Danny a little bit from readings we did together a couple of years ago. I didn't realize that he was Lemony Snicket until about a year after I'd met the guy. Nice guy and the movie of the first three books was pretty darn good too.

I want to read The End of Harry Potter?. There's a big HP conference in San Jose in 2009 and I'm already developing my paper- Harry Potter: The Best Form of Suicide. It'll be an entertaining article for some zine if it doesn't get accepted.

The Prestige is a good little film, full of inconsistencies that you can miss if you're not watching it too hard (like I was the first time I saw it) but with Bowie playing Tesla, there's little that can go wrong. What's interesting is how closely the story follows an old school pro wrestling story. The rivalry, the attempts to steal what makes each magician special, it all feels like a metaphor for the cut-throat world of wrestling in the 1980s.

I can't remember if I was on the What's New in Fanzines panel. I assume I was (I think it was me and Milt Stevens and Vanessa Van Wagner and someone else). I know I was the announcer for that Match Game, though. That was a blast. Now, I'm a big fan of cheap humor, so I had a blast as a panelist on the Match Game After Dark, but I thought the one where you were a contestant was a much better game.

No question: Sterilized with Fear was absolutely brilliant.

The LoColumn is me and my good buddy Lloyd Penney! Even after his eye surgery, he's still out there LoCing like a madman.

I haven't been to Solvang in years. I used to love that place. They did the best German pancakes in this windmill pancake house. I might just have to drive down and have some in a few weeks when this whole Holiday Thingee is over with.

Good stuff.


Not only is Lloyd Penny LOCing like a madman, he just got a FAAn award for it! As for The End of Harry Potter?, US residents who don't want to pay for a hardback and shipping from the UK are in luck-- Langford's homepage now reports that Tor has a US paperback edition scheduled for release on March 20th.

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