Gegenschein 64 May 1992


As part of a continuing series of reports on "whither fandom", I have my writeup of Syncon 92, the Australian National SF Convention, held at Easter. It was fun, and there were no organisational problems visible. However, the attendance was round 150.

This basically indicates that traditional fandom in Australia, or at least in the Eastern States, is dead .. or at least, severely ill. I'm no great enthusiast of large conventions, however this attendance at a Natcon is ridiculous. Last year we could attribute it to the well known stuff-ups that were apparent to all fans, plus the relatively small population draw of the host city, Brisbane. However Sydney has a population of close to three and a half million. I can't accept that the recession alone can knock down attendance by a factor of three.

At the panels I attended, I recognised most of the attendees. With the average stay in fandom a matter of only a few years, I should have recognised only a few of the attendees. And, of course, the golden age of sf being youth, the attendees should not have been in a position to comment at length on childraising, home mortgages, and other preoccupations of the middle aged, middle class. In short, where in the hell are all the new fans? And why can't we find them?

Syncon 92

The 31st Australian National Science Fiction Convention, held at Easter 1992, at the Shore Inn, Artarmon, an inner city suburb. Jean and I reached it rather handily, since it was a relatively short drive from Jean's place, but did not book a room there, for the same reason (also, we were being cheap, and Jean isn't into late night parties).

The committee appeared relatively organised, with nothing at all equivalent to the fiasco of the previous year in Brisbane. The events on Friday all started on time, and we were even able to quickly unload the mounds of books we were putting in the auction. The convention package included a rather nice Souvenir Book, which included the text of some of the talks, and black and white reproductions of art by the artist guests. The con had sensibly relegated some of the lists (Michael Whelan's work, past Ditmars, past masquerade winners, membership list, alternate history reading list) to a separate appendix booklet. And there was a sensible pocket program, which included the restaurant list and map of the hotel.

Most appreciated tongue in cheek comment was in Gerald Smith's helpful guide to fannish terminology. I quote:

gafiate: Getting Away From It All, i.e., leaving fandom. Often practiced by convention committees once the convention is over (and sometimes before).

I managed brief chats with various people, while distributing my Haldecon flyers, and my Australia in 1999 flyers, and passing out copies of Gegenschein 63 (thus saving postage, I hope). Jean had much the same tasks, except her fanzine was Weber Woman's Wrevenge.*

Despite this, I managed to catch the opening ceremony and Sean McMullen's excellent keynote speech on the history of Australian SF art and artists, The Art of Science Fiction. This talk was printed in the convention Souvenir book, but lost a lot without the many colour slides of the actual artwork. Sean is to be congratulated for all the work he put into this presentation.

Having talks by people outside the mainstream of fandom once again proved popular, with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki's Science, the Universe and Everything delighting the audience.

Pointing out that most new fathers believe they spend an hour a day playing with their young children, but actually take only three minutes, he led into how he and his family took their few month old child on a four wheel drive trek across the Simpson dessert, as part of a round Australia trip on many month duration.

He told, with videos of the events, the true and actual origin of Murphy's Law, and provided a wonderful more recent example from one of the Soviet Venus probes (the thirteenth one, actually), in which a "soil penetration" device landed on a discarded camera lens cap, rather than on the Venusian soil.

However the piece the fans most enjoyed was research (from New York, where accidental experimental evidence is apparently abundent) on the injury rate of cats falling from multistory buildings. The rate is highest at seven stories, having increased in a reasonable linear fashion. After that, most cats survive the fall, and the injury rate drops (as it were). Since a cat falling more than seven floors has already reached terminal velocity, this proves cats would be ideal astronauts, since they can survive a fall to Earth (discounting asphixiation and thermal stress on re-entry) from anywhere.

Our dinner group Friday consisted of the great convention running firm of McDonnell-Herman, Jenny and Justin Ackroyd, and Jane Tisell, who relaxed at Jean's palatial building and construction zone at Ryde, while I chased up pizzas. The libel laws being what they are, I'd better not report on the conversation, except to say it was fun.

We headed back to the convention on Saturday in time for the first afternoon session, artist GoH Michael Whelan presenting his slide show of paintings, with comments on what he was thinking and asttempting while he did them. I was amazed at how many were familiar to me (I really hadn't realised just how prolific and excellent his work is), and was more than happy to watch nearly two hours of this presentation. Since it was only supposed to be an hour, this left the next few panels very late indeed. The committee were however wise in not trying to wind up "on time", as they had almost everyone at the convention at the Whelan presentation.

DUFF contender Roger Weddell had asked me to sit in on the next panel, The Fine Art of Fan Publishing, but the attendance was sufficiently low that we just formed a round table discussion. GUFF winner Eve Hauser from Czechoslavakia told of the 50 clubs and over 2000 fans there, and their many problems with recent political changes cutting down the supply of translated SF. FFANZ winner Rex Thompson, artist and editor of Paradox Lost reported on New Zealand, where at least they don't have language problems. Ron Clarke was there, these days probably the person with the longest continuous history of fanzine publishing and convention attending in Australia. Jean Weber, these days the only Sydney fanzine editor, was on the panel. We pointed this out to Gerald Smith, and suggested he might do something about it. Terry Frost turned up. Unfortunately, the final portions of the discussion rather degenerated into Ditmar-land, with a pointless argument about which of the nominations (if any) were really fanzines (and which were news zines, media zines, pro zines, small press, and so on).

This panel ran rather naturally into Jack Herman's current history interests, with History of National Conventions: Part Two, The Later Years, on conventions after the first Aussiecon in 1975. Roger and I were likewise on this panel by invitation, and again we were able to run it as a round table. Jack had the handbooks for most of the Natcons since 1975, and we attempted to draw conclusions about the decline in numbers from the days of four and five hundred attendee conventions. Some of it, perhaps even the major part, is the question of Big Name authors to draw crowds, but I believe an equal part is the lack of publicity outside traditional fandom. The attendees at this panel found out about the con mostly by flyers at Galaxy, or at club meetings or word of mouth.

I was particularly interested in hearing what Ron Ward had to say in his panel Science Fiction As An Education Medium For Technical Professionals, and about the two courses he runs at University of Technology for engineers. One is in conjunction with Humanities, to provide a (required) humanities course for engineers (they even have to write a short story), while the other teaches management techniques based on a world derived from A Bertram Chandler's Rim World stories.*

*While this was on, the fan auction took place, and Justin Ackroyd managed to raise $128.20 for me by selling several boxes of my old books. This provided a nice amount of funds to help publicise Joe and Gay Haldeman's presence in Australia for a mini-convention and writer's workshop on Saturday 13th June. If there is any money over, it will go on promoting the Australia in 1999 Worldcon bid. Many thanks to the fans who contributed.

Living With The Artist had Audrey Price comment on how to cope with Michael Whelan in creative mode, while Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride talked on the chaos of both being artists, and everyone commented on the black hole proportions of the chaos around Nick Stathopoloulos (how could they tell ... they couldn't get past the kitchen ... which he had just cleaned up!) Actually, I thought the Nick roast was on Sunday, so they were probably ... just practicing.

At dinner time, Jean and I dragged Lewis Morely and Marilyn Pride (and the ferrets) off to Jean's construction zone, for pizza, and an inspection and comparison of home renovation and construction techniques. Lewis appeared very taken by the California hot tub, and by the hand painted leaves and grapes on Jean's ceiling.

I forgot to mention to Lewis and Marilyn one of my favourite net signatures: Artists may soar like eagles, but ferrets don't get sucked down the intakes of jet engines.

On Sunday we again didn't attend until the afternoon, although this time I was determined to see the art show, and catch up on some books in the huckster's room. That proved vaguely possible, however I was able to restrict myself to a brief viewing of the Art Show (everything I really, really liked was either not for sale, or impossibly expensive for my tastes ... luckily), and a mere three books from Justin Ackroyd.

Nick Stathopoulos told of his work in rubber, paint, and film, with many slides, few showing the messy house. I think artists live in interesting times ... regardless of their circumstances.

I'd somehow been roped into a panel on Fandom - the Fifth Estate, whatever that meant, so Rex Thompson, Eva Hauser, Jack Herman, Ron Clarke and I tried to make moderator Roger Weddell explain what it all meant. We had started late, and also ended late.

The No Hal! No! Bad Byte! panel disappeared into the fan lounge, not helped by con chair (and moderator) Rod Kearins' disappearance. Although small, the computer fans managed to argue for a good hour after the "official" panel end. Since this was my only "official" panel appearance (I'd been invited onto the other three during the course of the con), I was pleased to hear voices raised in discussion.

Jean managed to sneak home during these festivities, thus avoiding the banquet, or eating out. I went and watched The Day The Earth Stood Still so as to avoid thinking about food. We met again at the Award ceremonies, to see who received the Ditmar Awards this year. Terry Dowling's Wormwood, Sean McMullen for short fiction, Eidolon for best fanzine, Bruce Gillespie for best fan writer, Nick Stathopoulos for best artist, and Sean McMullen again for the William Atheling Jr award.

Jean collected Lyn McConchie's award for best story in the convention's short story competition. Art awards went to Marilyn Pride and to Kerrie Hanlon (amongst others). The Australian Science Fiction Foundation made their first Chandler Award, to Van Ikin for Science Fiction, his long running magazine.

Personally I rather liked the choices this year (unlike some years).

I was somewhat surprised to find that the convention also gave out a number of awards for long time service to fandom. Ron and Sue Clarke, Jack Herman, Shayne McCormack and I each got one of Lewis Morley's fine castings. That was really nice.

We skipped the Sunday night parties, and visited exceedingly briefly on Monday for last minute huckster room shopping. Luckily, the expensive prints Jean agonised over had already been sold. I bought a paperback as compensation ... Jean didn't regard it in this light ... funny that!*

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USA Trip Report - 1992 Part 2

In Orlando - Thursday 6th February 1992

I finally got a good night sleep, despite strange clanking noises from nearby rooms, and a squeeky bed in my room (thus negating the obvious hypothesis about the noise). Awoke after eight, and grudgingly did my morning exercises. I even managed some trip notes, and then gave up and started reading yet another of the paperbacks I had. I was starting to get a little worried by 11, as I didn't know whether the Haldemans would have been able to replay the message I'd left on their answering machine. I knew their boat came in at 6 a.m. but wasn't at all sure how long customs would take, nor which port they returned to, nor how long the drive would be.

Luckily Gay phoned just after 11, so I headed downstairs, and found Joe heading off to a market. He said he was looking for a beer and some coke. I promptly pulled a (cold) English ale from my bag and offered it to him. Dave Rowe and Carolyn Doyle's gift ale rapidly found a happy home! Gay's mother and step-father were also along, all having just returned from a short cruise.

The Yacht Club, where we were staying, was a Disney resort, done up in very fancy bordello style ... but I think they wanted the Mickey Mouse image instead, to judge from the bars of soap. It was a pleasant enough place, downright fancy in fact, albeit far too large when searching for your room down the (wrong) neverending corridor, but that is another (neverending) story.

After lunch all of us except Dick headed off on the open jittney for EPCOT. The Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow was intended by Walt Disney as a true utopian experiment. Like most, it relied upon a charismatic and rich leader. Disney probably (justifiably) saw himself as visionary, although I've heard his employees sometimes thought of him as dictatorial. Like most utopias, the concept didn't long survive his death. It is now an interesting medley of slices of different foreign lands, with another major set of futuristic exhibits sponsored by multinational corporations.

I found it interesting when Joe and Gay took me there nearly a decade ago, slightly prior to the general public opening (Joe had been involved in some Disney related scripting). It remains interesting, even fascinating, but, damnit, it isn't an experiment, and it isn't utopian. I am told that there is a chance of some of Disney's original concepts being revived soon, so perhaps there is still hope of an experimental community. Colour me hopeless idealist.

We saw the 360 degree film presentations put on covering Canada, China and France. While only about twenty minutes each, they are fascinating. One tip. Don't go on a fine day; late on a misty rainy day, like we had, cuts down the crowds and the queues wonderfully. We dined at the Japanese restaurant, just as we did a decade ago, and except for larger crowds, it seemed about the same.

The laser light show and fireworks they put on in the evening is spectacular. I have no idea how they manage to do that much each evening, but as an unreconstructed fireworks enthusiast (in a country in which they are banned), I was really enthralled. Loved it all. Indeed, so impressed with lasers that I talked long with the Proni's (ray gun sales) about them at a convention, played with John Telek's plumber's pipe version at an Applix meeting, and just ordered a lasing diode and collimator so I can do more playing myself (wonder where I can get a really tiny power supply?)

Friday 7th February 1992

The drive to Gainesville was interesting for the variations from the dead flatness I tend to expect in Florida. We stopped to get oranges for Dick and Mary, and even found a few beers. Grin.

Joe and Gay make a habit of visiting a Wine and Cheese bar on Friday night for a meeting with some of the interesting people they have discovered in the area. I got to meet Robert and Patience Mason, whom I had first "met" a few weeks before by email on the Internet. Joe and Gay had told me I should buy Robert's books, and that I would enjoy them, and indeed I was able to locate copies at Phil and Ann Haisley's bookshop while in Florida.

Humberto Campins, astronomer, was the most active person, as he breezed in, talked, and subsequently rushed off for another meeting.

Charlie Hyde did a wonderful stained glass "tiffany" style lamp for Joe and Gay, and that was gingerly collected and placed in the van. I later installed a switch on it, when Joe hung it in their home.

Looked like a real fun group, and proof again that finding the right people, no matter how small the area from which you draw, is what is needed for having a good time.

Saturday 8th February 1992

What did we do today? Probably collapsed. Or maybe I read a bunch of books ... that seems my usual style.

Sunday 9th February 1992

Joe and I rode bicycles a few miles round trip to the local shopping area for minor food supplies. Florida is wonderfully flat, and despite it being far too long since I last exercised on a bike, I didn't have any problems, except with the seat. Someone really should invent a bicycle seat that works!

Lots of people over for dinner, Jeff, Denise, Emily and Kelli VanValey (ex neighbours, who are fun people). In fact, I kept wondering how Joe and Gay ever got time to get their work done (come to think of it, so did Gay).

Monday 10th February 1992

I wandering round the mall while Joe and Gay bought Easy Spirit shoes from friend Jeff VanValey (see Sunday dinner list), who worked at the mall. We managed lunch at Ruby Tuesday (yeah, I know, only Monday), and then continued T shirt shopping for a present for Rusty Hevelin's birthday. Gay found a suitable one, but I never did find anything I liked for Rusty.

Later in the day I wandered off with Joe looking for a present for Gay. I took advantage of the trip to visit a check cashing agency (the queue at the bank was intimidatingly long). It was a mistake ... paranoids all (and costly as well). Are traveller's checks the right way to go these days? You certainly counldn't prove it from my experiences in using them in the USA of late. However you need cash for some things, and credit cards can't be used everywhere.

We had leftovers for dinner. Joe style leftovers would make a fair range of restaurant patrons jealous, and have an astronomical calorie (sorry, kilo Joule) count.

Mike Glicksohn phoned to confirm our booking for Boskone, something that Joe had attempted to check via GEnie that morning. Read Daniel da Cruz's Texas on the Rocks and Texas Triumphant ... but I have no taste at all ... as everyone knows.

Tuesday 11th February 1992

Wander round various stores, looking for parts to fix various broken gear at the Haldemansion. I swear I will bring a proper tool kit with me next trip. Nearly did bring a miniature tool kit, but decided the weight wasn't really justified when packing back in Australia.

Gay and I headed for Calico Jacks, and Joe bicycled up shortly afterwards. Joe had recommended the place for the short shorts the waitresses wore, but the food was interesting. Gay had gator bites. I thought that aligators got to eat humans, not the other way round. They were sort of tough, and not something I'd bother to make a favourite disk, but had an interesting flavour.

That evening Joe took me to an local astronomy club meeting, which was a lot of fun, and seemed pretty well organised. I don't know of any local astronomy group up here, but keep feeling I should find one. There were instructions on making an astrolabe, and plans for observing.

On the way home we dropped into Calico Jacks again, to test the el cheapo 50 cent marguritas. There were vast numbers of collage students round, buying trays full of 25 cent beers. The marguritas were churned out by a frozen slurpee machine, which was different indeed ... but not particularly desirable! Definately a bar for the collage audience.

Wednesday 12th February 1992

We were up at an unearthly hour for the drive to High Springs, where we unloaded the bicycles, met up with another member of The Food Chain, Lynda Cochran, and cycled off (after trying to find a map, or native guide) in search of an interesting road. About five miles down the road we came to Poe Springs, an area being set up for future tourist access, and happily cycled round there looking at the planting, the boardwalk through the swampy areas, and the tannin stained water of the slow flowing river. It was great fun.

Our attempt to go on to Blue Springs ran out of steam when we discovered it was now a commercial site. Since we didn't want to pay to go in, we headed back to High Springs, making a total of about 13 miles on the bicycles.

By then it was almost time for the very neat High Springs Trading Co and Restaurant to open. Joe and Gay had a quick look at antique stores (the main street was full of them), while I mailed postcards, books, and a lazy frog from the Post Office.

The lazy frog was a ceramic laid-back frog I bought at Epcot, to send to the local French restaurant, The Lazy Frog, here in Faulconbridge. I'm delighted to report that it arrived the day prior to Jean and I making a booking for the first time since I returned to Australia. Even better, the mailbag full of books from High Springs also arrived, thus inundating me in books (see the reviews this issue).

I read Robert Mason's Weapon during the day, but it was fast paced enough that it didn't last long at all. I'd intended that to be my in-flight entertainment on the way to Springfield, Ma. during my flight to Boskone. Robert had made his Internet address available for communicating with Joe and Gay while I was organising my trip, and this made things much easier to arrange.

Dropped in and visited with him and Patience briefly while Gay took me to the tiny Gainesville airport, for a flight on a tiny twin prop commuter to Orlando. Yet another stay at a Day's Inn, to match my travel patterns to the flights Northwest were able to provide.

Travel Lurk. Northwest's USA Pass doesn't seem to be trip limited to one International ticket. Provided I use it in the same calendar year, it looks like I can get renewal books of 4 tickets for US$180 later in the year without paying for a new ticket. Northwest at Orlando confirm this works.

As in the previous overnight, this proved my chance to check out US TV. I wasn't impressed; umpteen channels (from my viewpoint) and still there is nothing to watch. Oh, actually, there was an awful (most senses) lot of Disney material available.

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Boskone in Boston

Thursday 13th February 1992

Days Inn breakfast (slightly better than the other place nearby, that I'd tried on my previous visit). You really can have trouble finding decent food in some areas. I had to leave moderately early for my flight to Springfield, where I was scheduled to arrive only about 20 minutes after Rusty Hevelin flew in from Daytona.

I got off fairly quickly, and soon located the Delta area at which we planned to meet. No sign of Rusty. I found a neat little information machine that provided an interactive search for airport information, and worked out that Rusty would have landed at the other part of the terminal. But there was no Delta section over there. Managed to get some printouts of information about the area, but never did figure how to force the machine to give me a printout of travel distances to nearby cities.

Joe and Gay arrived through the Delta gate right on their scheduled time. They had a few adventures in making the flights (one cancelled flight, but they got put on a faster one). Gay soon had enough phone calls made to find that Rusty's flight had also been cancelled, and then found which one he was on. It wasn't due for a half hour, so we deposited Joe and the luggage in the bar nearest where Rusty would emerge, and headed off to the gate to meet the unsuspecting Rusty. He was surprised to be met, since he figured we would have already left the airport.

Using a taxi from the airport to the convention was smart - despite the taxi driver getting slightly lost trying to reach the hotel. I remain thankful that I rarely drive in US (or Australian) cities.

To ready for the appearance of Mike Glicksohn, I found a place I could get some Chivas Regal. Gay Haldeman bought me a Gary Larsen Far Side calendar, as she knew I was looking for one. Others spotted on the first evening included Bruce Pelz, Greg and Peggy Tokar (ex Aussiecon 1985), and Ben Yalow,

Friday 14th February 1992

Up early to find a cheap bagel, and accidently also found some herbal teas for Joe. Laurie Mann gave me her fanzine sometime during the day. I was tired already, when I caught Joe and Gay and Rusty returning from breakfast.

Hotel booking problem, but I now know why it happened. Deposit went to the Sheraton, but when Mike Glicksohn wanted to share the room, he wanted the Marriott. The deposit the con committee had correctly made to the Sheraton couldn't be transferred thru to the Mariott. The con committee were at least able to give me a check for the deposit, so my only real problem is how hard the credit cards are being hit on this trip. Took a while to get that worked out.

I wandered round to the operations room in the Sheraton to see if anyone was there, and helped Bruce Pelz move soda pop (in copious quantity), then helped slipcase books for NESFA to sell. I'm sort of surprised you can still get slipcases done, as they always seemed very labour intensive to me, in the days when I did them as a hobby.

Registration opened about five, with a good crowd showing up that evening.

Watched Gay and Rusty do their traditional How To Enjoy Your First Con, even though I could probably do the same talk in my sleep. After all, it has been a decade since I've seen that.

Mike Glicksohn arrived round 9 p.m. for the Meet the VIPs at the BosCave and the Zuccini Toss (which I never did understand).

Turning Points in Fannish History, at 10 p.m. with Mike Glicksohn, Moshe Feder, Laurie Mann and Joe Siclari. I'm not used to the concept of panels carrying deep into the party schedule.

Points raised included the addictive feel of sf (Moshe), the oppressed minority (although I think of it more as an ignored minority), Slan and the tendrils and all. Tucker creating fannish fandom and adding a sense of fun, and subtracting seriousness from what may have been a pompous group. The rise of Irish fandom. MidAmericon 1976 as a media event, more international attendees, and StarTrek bringing in women and mass memberships. Movies bring in people through their addictive qualities. This generated more movies, and a new ST show.

Los Angeles threw a party for their 1996 worldcon bid, and I partied until 4 a.m. Must be getting too old for all night fandom.

Saturday 15th February 1992

At Boskone the Pocket Program is an A3 sheet, with a timeline, a chronological list, room layouts, and a main events summary. The variety of pocket program shapes is astounding.

The art show was spectacular, by Australian standards. There just aren't sufficient professional artists in Australia to pack out an art show the way some of the US ones were.

While in the art show, I happened to have a long talk with John Douglas, now perhaps better known to fans as a senior Avon editor, about past use of Dwo Quong Fok Lok Sow's word processor for the OSI, for which he did the last manual (Charles Platt did the first). This was, at the least, a distinctly different topic of conversation. Been a long time since I'd seen him.

Preserving Fannish Whatnots with Peggy Rae Pavlat, Bruce Pelz, Joe Siclari and Ben Yallow, just prior to lunch. I love the idea, but like most attendees, had trouble coming up with any method that would long survive. Even if preserving the paper is possible, just where will old fanzines be stored? Museums or libraries will hardly store things for which there is little demand, and from which they derive no income.

Langford, Ansible and the British Fanzine Scene, in the Art Show room, with Dave Langford, Mike Glicksohn and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. A mistake, too hard to hear (even with Teresa interpreting) in that crowded room.

Dave Langford interview with Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Dave is always amusing, but shows up much better in small groups, or on paper. (Incidently, there were too many panels - I missed New Editorial Modes: Telecommuting and Consulting, as it was on round the same time.)

Dinner was a production, as Joe and Gay Haldeman, Rusty Hevelin, Larry Martin and I followed Mike Glicksohn through the light rain to The Student Prince, where we ate anything that didn't eat us first. They were having a "game" week, so there was bison, buffalo, lion, and even more obscure meat available. I stuck to stuff I'd be willing (and able) to kill myself. This was helped down by strange wines and liquors, complete with gold foil inclusions. We were forced to buy some more (to check the taste) on the way back to the hotel.

There was a GEnie demonstration, showing how many authors are now able to waste their time from the comfort of their home, at only slight direct cost but at considerable expense to their productivity.

More parties. But again I failed to make it into all night fandom.*

Sunday 16th February 1992

Why I Spend Too Much Time on the BBS with Roger MacBride Allen, Mary K Frey, David Honigsberg, and Ken Meltsner simply reinforced my prejudice against getting ensnared with BBS systems.

There was a con gripe session (official type) in the afternoon, but it peforce had to be reasonably self congratulatory.

Long talk with Donald Kingsbury, ex New Guinea resident (parents engineers there in the 1930s) after the closing ceremonies. He seems an interesting character, and I've very much enjoyed one of his books The Moon Goddess and the Son.

Helped carry things to the NESFA truck from Operations, thus esssentially closing the con the way I started it.

Dinner at Spaghetti Freddie's with Joe and Gay Haldeman, Rusty Hevelin and Larry Martin. Well, we couldn't find much else open on Sunday.

At Operations, talked with Peggy Rae Pavlat, who I hadn't had much chance to see previously at the con (despite sharing an apa).

The late night event was Storytelling with Bruce Coville and Jane Yolen, dramatising exceedingly simple stories in a most effective manner. I was impressed at how effective old methods can be.

Monday 17th February 1992

Gay phoned as they were leaving to say Susan Manchester's car wouldn't start and she wanted company while awaiting a tow truck. Two visits by one tow truck, and a final ... much later ... visit by another ... none of which actually managed to start the car. We stood in the cold for hours, awaiting the mythical tow truck. When I last saw her, Susan was in the truck that was towing her car to the depot for more attempts to start it.

At Operations in the Sheraton (where my con had started), Sarah Prince (who had visited in Australia about five or six years ago) kindly gave me a lift, along with Bob Webber, to Bob's apartment in Arlington, relatively close to downtown Boston. Arrived round 3.30 or so, after perhaps a two hour drive.

We all dined in a strange Mexican restaurant a bus ride away down Mass Ave. I wasn't at all used to the amount of fish available, and coudn't even finish the deliberately small meal I'd picked.

Talked computers (perhaps to Sarah's dispair) until about 11 p.m. Bob was interested in the strange Applix DIY kit computer I use.

I remain convinced I've been in Boston before, but can't place the situation ... except I think it was round the time of a World Fantasy Con. Bob showed me Car-Free in Boston, and other ways of getting round, not that I really took advantage of them. I'd really like to visit Boston again, as it looked interesting.

Tuesday 18th February 1992

Up late, and after Bob went off to work as a system administrator, Sarah and I took an enormous bag of laundry off to Scrubby Bubbles, where we spent the remainder of the morning trying to dry out ... the laundry.

Just time for a peanut butter sandwich (not something I now have at home, because Jean is deathly alergic to essentially all forms of nuts, and I don't want to take a chance of polluting something by having them round).

Sarah had a 2 p.m. dental appointment somewhere near the Mobile bookstore. This is now an enormous warehouse whose contents couldn't be moved by a fleet of trucks. We entered, aprehensive of the likely cost. To my credit, I managed to resist both the remainders, and also the paperback sf shelves (it was a real struggle). I did, unfortunately, spend the better part of a hundred dollars (which was less than predicted only due to my enormous restrain ... stop that hysterical laughing) on computer books I hadn't been able to obtain at home.

Sarah wanted to visit a Commodore Amiga computer shop. I found it interesting, since I'd been given the impression that the Amiga was dead in the USA (it certainly isn't dead in Europe and Australia, with a heavy concentration of Melbourne fans using them). A decent range of software, reasonable (for a computer shop) salesmen, and what appeared to be a large range of second hand software, apparently being sold on consignment for the original purchasers.

Back to Bob's, and a late encounter with a restaurant specialising in great gobs of meat, mostly on ribs. Despite having deliberately tried to eat little all day, I couldn't manage to eat everything on the plate of beef ribs.

I did try the pork ribs also, although these were more what I think of as a very small pork chop. Different style to the Montgomery Inn Rib King in Cincinnati.

We didn't think we could manage From Beer to Eternity afterwards. Very wise.

Back to Bob's, and more computer talk.

Bob kindly gave me a computer tape for Martin to play with. "Car Talk" by Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, ghost written by Terry Bisson, the GoH at the next convention. It was really amusing, and I was later to send a copy to Susan Manchester, whose car broke at Boskone.

Hmm, only two conventions covered, and this trip report already spans two fanzines. I have a bad feeling about this.*

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Book Reviews

The quick reviews are back with a splash this issue, with both mailbags arriving from the USA, and heaps of books for review from local distributors Transworld and Pan.

I'll mention the ground rules again. I review science fiction, and have a strong prejudice for hard science fiction. I don't usually bother to review horror, fantasy, or sword and sorcery. Unlike the critical SF magazines such as Science Fiction and SF Commentary, I don't do long critical reviews, I do short blurbs to help potential readers find books they might enjoy. If you don't like that idea, don't bother to read this section. I don't review books more than a year old, because the cost accountants throw them in the remainder bins after that, and you can never find them.

Anderson, Poul, New America

Tor, Oct 1985, 287 pages, US$2.95 A$6.95

This collection of stories from the '70's on the theme of a new start on alien planets displays the sort of style that one expects from Poul Anderson. The stories are My Own, My Native Land, Passing the Love of Women, A Fair Exchange, To Promote the General Welfare, The Queen of Air and Darkness. Most promote individulistic values, while the award winning Queen is essentially a Sherlock Holmes story. There is also an essay on plausible means of star travel Our Many Roads to the Stars.

Now, I saw this collection on release in the USA in February, and it has now been released here by Pan (on 3 March). My big question is, why does it still appear to be the 1985 printing?

Anderson, Poul, The Long Night

Tor, May 1983, 317 pages, US$3.95

A golden oldie, of the long night of interstellar civilisation, after Van Rijn and Dominic Flandry, in this collection of stories dating from 1952 to 1968. The stories are The Star Plunderer, Outpost of Empire, The Tragedy of Errors, The Sharing of Flesh, and Starfog. If you enjoy Anderson (and who doesn't), this is a wonderful collection of tales of space and conflict.

Anderson, Poul, The Longest Voyage

Tor, Feb 1991, 241 pages, US$3.95 AQ$7.95

Tor Double, with Steven Popkes's Slow Lightning.

Before the industrial revolution, a ship 's captain landed on a barbarous island, finds they worship a creature from a crashed space ship. But this is a mere 52 pages of the book.

The Popkes is a strange story of alien contact, in a rundown Earth in which aliens are common, and the dominent economic force in society. Do I perhaps detect a slight whisper of US fears of Japanese economic power here? The story floats backwards and forawrds in time, and can be hard to follow.

Bradley, Will, Ark Liberty

ROC, April 1992, 336 pages, A$10.95 US$4.99

An ecological future saga, according to the blurb. A totally unbelievable near future hothouse world, with the expected collapse of the industrial world, and conflict between the have and have not nations. The first half was reasonably well done. The book then follows many generations of dwellers in an underwater sanctuary, with the viewpoint character the founder of that particular ark, his personality implanted into the central computer of the ark.

If you aren't too critical, some of the story is reasonably entertaining, but as a novel it is really too episodic, and the last section just doesn't hang together well at all.

Cantrell, Lisa W, Torments

Tor Horror, Oct 1990, 304 pages, A$8.95 (US$4.95)

Blood and guts horror, first released in Australia in April 1992.

Card, Orson Scott, Eye for Eye

Tor, Nov 1990, 186 pages, US$3.95 A$7.95

Tor Double, with Lloyd Biggle Jr.'s The Tunesmith, a wonderful story of artistic talent breaking through restrictions, a precursor to Card's own Unaccompanied Sonata. Eye for Eye is a cautionary tale on the perils of bringing up children with a talent for death, and what might happen if they discover they have been used.

De Lint, Charles, Greenmantle

Pan Fantasy, 1992, 327 pages, A$12.95

Reprint of the 1988 Ace novel, of which I think this is the first UK edition.

De Lint, Charles, Yarrow An Autumn Tale

Pan Fantasy, 1992, 244 pages, A$19.95

Trade paperback of a 1986 Ace fantasy novel, comprising Shadowings, Thief of Dreams, Hounds and Ravens, and Yarrow.

Dickson, Gordon R, Wolf and Iron

Tor, April 1991, 468 pages, US$4.95

Novel length expansion of In Iron Years, set after the fall of civilisation. Jeebee Walter, a scientist who predicted the fall, but was not able to stop it, learns to cope with wilderness life in the frozen north. The grey wolf who becomes his companion is depicted in a remarkable and non-anthromorpic manner. This makes an impressive story of struggle and survival. I'd mention that the sf elements are minimal, granted the actual collapse.

Greenberg, Martin, editor, After the King

Pan Fantasy, 1992, 534 pages, A$35.00

Gigantic collection in honour of the 100th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkein. Many well known authors, including Donaldson, Pratchett, Silverberg, Anderson, Brunner, Turtledove, Norton, De Lint, Resnick, Yolen, Benford.

Gibson, William and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine

Bantam Spectra, February 1992, 429 pages, US$5.99

I've waited ages for the paperback of this well known "Steampunk" novel, set in a Britain where Charles Babbage actually perfected and built his analytical engine. In this alternate history, parts of the computer age arrived by the 1860s.

The book is both a detective story and an historical thriller, and contains some absolutely wonderful pieces of prose in what feels to me a 19th Century style. I was most impressed by the style. Indeed, it is a triumph of style over (lack of) content.

If you enjoyed the various Michael Moorcock pastiches such as The Land Leviathan or The Warlord of the Air, then you will probably enjoy this. If you would prefer some content in your alternate world, then I'd strongly suggest S.M Stirling's Under the Yoke, and (to a lesser extent) The Stone Dogs. As for me, I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it is far less than the book for which I waited. (They should have added Colin Wilson as co-author, just to get some content).

McCaffrey, Anne, Damia

Bantam, April 1992, 365 pages, A$29.95

Sequel to The Rowan. Gooey and mushy.

McDonough, Thomas R, The Missing Matter

Bantam Spectra, Jan 1992, 358 pages, US$4.99

Some neat future extrapolation as a research station on Pluto suddenly finds a black hole nearby (in astronomical terms). They make it the target of the trial run of an experimental ship. What they find is a wandering planet, translated through possible universes under the influence of the black hole. There is a little magic hand waving at this point, but essentially this ia a hard sf story throughout.

Middleton, Martin, Sphere of Influence

Pan, 1992, 330 pages, A$11.95

Fantasy novel, book three in the Chronicles of the Custodians (whatever that may be). Sounds vaguely Tolkeinish. Queensland author.

Modesitt Jr, L E, The Forever Hero (trilogy)

Dawn for Distant Earth (Vol I)

Tor, Jan 1987, 340 pages, A$8.95 (US$3.99)

The Silent Warrior (Vol II)

Tor, Dev 1987, 280 pages, A$8.95 (US$3.99)

In Endless Twilight (Vol III)

Tor, March 1988, 316 pages, A$8.95 (US$3.99)

Released in Australia in April 1992

I didn't really appreciate this when I first read it, and still think it would have held up better as a single volume. Indeed, much of the reason for my initial dismissal (several years ago when the US edition first came out) was that I never saw the first, scene setting novel, in which the devilkid from a deadly polluted Earth was caught by the second Empire ship to return to the ruins of Earth, and subsequently brought up and trained by the military of the Empire.

We follow Gerswin through growth and self discovery, back to Earth as part of a sentimental gesture by the Empire to cleanse their home planet. This covers his efforts, and how he conspires to obtain more help than the Empire's economics would have allowed.

The second book finds Gerswin self exiled from Earth, but gathering power and influence in the Empire as he plots to find a better way to rescue Earth. The sub-plot of his lone fight with the Assasin's guild is nicely done. There is also an exceedingly neat line of propaganda for self sufficiency in this book, which is perhaps the strongest of the three.

The final book shows Gerswin forced to deal with the decline and possible future fall of the Empire, virtually as a consequnce of his actions in promoting the technologies to recover Earth. The ending, although perhaps inevitable, is far too melancholy for my tastes.

Murphy-Gibb, Dwina, Cormac - The Seers

Pan fantasy, May 1992, 328 pages, trade paperback A$19.95

Irish fantasy ... with Druids.

Niven, Larry and Steven Barnes, Dream Park The Voodoo Game

Pan SF, 1991, 344 pages, A$19.95

Trade paperback of the third (and most complex) of the Dream Park series. Twenty five gamers in 2055, seems aimed at the RPG people. Released in March 1992 in Australia.

Norton, Andre with P M Griffin, Storms of Victory

Tor fantasy, March 1992, 432 pages, A$8.95 US$4.99

Thick Witch World book, containing two related novels.

Pratchett, Terry, Moving Pictures

Corgi, 1991, 333 pages (half the number of the beast), A$10.95

Tenth DiskWorld novel. Very funny, as usual, although I didn't like it as much as some of the others. Requires more knowledge of classic films than I have, whereas I was able to see most of the literary jokes in others in the series. If you are hot on Hollywood, you will enjoy it a lot, I'm sure.

Rankin, Robert, The Antipope

Corgi, 1991 (1981 copyright), 283 pages, A$9.95

First novel in the legendary Brentford Trilogy (I'm not really up on this particular legend).

Reeves-Stevens, Garfield, Dark Matter

Pan, 1992, 391 pages, A$10.95

A detective thriller more than sf, although several of the main characters are scientists, one of whom is making staggering discoveries in physics. The thriller and conspiracy side outweighs the sf side by a long margin. Not too bad however, especially if you are also into gore.

Robinson, Frank M, The Dark Beyond the Stars

Tor SF, March 1992, 408 pages, A$8.95 US$4.99

A great generation ship story. I thought that all the possible permutations of the hard sf story of the generation ship had been told, but this one had several surprises.

The Captain is (accidently) immortal, and the voyage has already lasted far longer than was ever expeceted as they search for some other lifeform. The Captain decides to take the ship across the dark to another galactic arm that will take many generations to cross. The crew fear the ship not last that long without replenishing supplies. The mutiny has been long in coming; generations long. For the Captain has been obsessed for generations.

Shatner, William, TekLords

Corgi, May 1992, 255 pages, A$10.95

Sequel to the previous Tekwar, drug and crime in the future. This time there is an acknowledgement of Ron Goulart, widely suspected of having written the novels. The Boris Vallejo cover is very restrained for Vallejo.

Silverberg, Robert, Majipoor Chronicles

Pan fantasy, May 1992 reprint of a 1983 PB, 317 pages, A$12.95

Second book in the Majipoor trilogy. I sort of assumed everyone into this would have seen it first time round.

Stableford, Brian, The Werewolves of London

Pan, 1992, 467 pages, A$12.95

Scientific romance, set in the 1870s, with Satanists, the mysteries of Egypt, occult experiences, and surprises in this alternate reality of real gods.

Williams, Walter John, Days of Atonement

Tor, January 1992, 437 pages, US$4.99

Although sold as SF, and set in the early days of the 21st Century, this is much more a mixture of police procedural (and very well done at that level, to judge by the relatively few books I've read in that genre), small town realism, even slice of life. Now, I don't like slice of life novels, and consider it a major triumph that Walter not only kept me turning pages, but even kept me up late continuing to read it.

The blurb summary. In small town Atocha, New Mexico, Police Chief Loren Hawn keeps things peaceful, by doing whatever is required. There isn't even much of a problem with the scientists and security people from the top secret lab on the outskirts of town.

However a dying man, from a bullet riddled car belonging to one of the scientists, is plain bad news. Even worse is the fact that Loren Hawn pulled the same dead body out of another car twenty years ago.

SF is often accused of being about things, rather than people. This is Walter's attempt at a story that is more about personalities than about physics (although those who remember his cyberpunk novels will know that he can magic up near future physics alongside the best of them).

I think it worked well, but your milage may vary.

Weis, Margaret and Tracy Hickman, Fire Sea

Bantam Spectra fantasy, March 1992, 410 pages, A$11.95 US$5.99

Third volume in The Death Gate Cycle. Nice to see these books reach Australia only a month after the US release. I guess the changes in the copyright laws are helping readers here, even if they are a pain in the rear for publishers and distributors.

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Letter of Comment

Once again I have more locs than I can publish. I tried to get round that by not putting all my trip report in any one issue, but that hasn't worked (I tend to write too much).

Jeanne Mealy

Re Geg 60 There ARE some female artists/writers, but they know that most of their market is male -- and mostly backwards male, at that.

Geg 61 Good essay by Andy Porter ("It Was A Proud and Lonely Thing to be a Fan"). While I certainly want many aspects of fandom to continue, I believe that what survives is what is needed to survive. People have to decide what they want to continue, then get involved. For instance -- here I am, finally attacking my To Be LoCed pile of fanzines after just over a year of just trying to keep up with things. I want to get more in touch with people Out There, and hear what they've been up to. ... [etc]

Well, I guess that's my response to Andy's essay -- and call to arms. I trust that other folks who care will step forward with their vote (which may well not be to write here, but get involved in whatever aspect of fandom they want to stick around).

Taras Wolansky

100 Montgomery St #24-H, Jersey City, NJ, 07302, USA 23 January 1992

I decline in fandom Andy Porter sees is probably an optical illusion, like the decline of the United States. Other fandoms have burgeoned in recent years, making the old fandom a smaller percentage of the whole, even when there is no decline in numbers. he may be right; but I'd like to see figures.

Michael D. Glicksohn

508 Windermere Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6S 3L6 2 February 1992

I do find a certain pleasure in responding to a Lindsay fanzine that was handed to me at a North American convention by passing on a loc at another North American convention by passing on a loc at another North American convention. It's been quite a few years since such a fannish transaction was possible and I'm delighted to see you contributing once again to the solidification of international fannish relations. Of course, you'll probably lose this loc before returning home and I'll end up yet again as a non-person in the lettercol of some future Geg. So it goes: I've been WAHFed by some pretty good faneds in my day (but not usually after just having slept with them for a weekend!)

You should have pointed out to Ms McKinlay that people who have intelligently thought out opinions don't need cast iron egos when they expose them. And even then fandom probably suffers fools with more grace than most other microcultures. Probably because we've seen so many and had so much practice suffering them!

Lee doesn't know how well off she is when it comes to postal service. For me a letter to the US is $0.48, there are no low rates for postcards, and we don't get mail delivery on Saturdays. Were I to mail this loc to you it would cost me $0.84 which is probably why I think it's a good idea to spend five hundred dollars to hand-deliver it to you in Springfield!

Buck Coulson

2677W-500N, Hartford City, IN 47348 USA 8 February 1992

Dead sheep, eh? Maybe someone was hinting you should be more wild and wooly.

I'm currently starting on Sharyn McCrumb's Zombies of the Gene Pool, and considering that half of the chapter headings are from F. Towner Laney, it's quite favorable to fandom. Though of course, when I finally got around to Bimbos I didn't see that it was all that derogatory. (Anyway, murder mysteries are seldom peopled with wholly admirable characters.)

Maybe I'd better deny that I play poker, too, now that the individual is described as "someone in a bush hat". I don't wear mine in elevators, anyway.

Dale Speirs has a point about the lack of skills of the unemployed. But the idea is not to be efficient but to get some work out of the people currently not contributing to society at all. The US needs a lot of highway and bridge repair, work on public buildings, etc. Mostly these days the work is done with big machines that require expert handling -- but the roadways in particular weren't built that way. You can lay concrete with a wheelbarrow, shovel, and trowel, and if that isn't efficient, who cares? The money is being paid out anyway, for no results at all. Let's go back to the chain gang!

{{I knew I could rely on you to support me. EL}}

Harry Andruschak

PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309 USA 11 February 1992

One of the things you will note in reading my fanzines is that I have a fabulous new time-waster, which is one of the reasons I am so far behind in my fannish work. It is the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Classes on monday and friday night. Full balls once a month on saturday night. Instead of spending my money on SF cons and SF books, I have bought a kilt, Prince Charlie, and most of the trimmings.

RSCDS is good exercise, lots of fun, and a wonderful way to meet single lassies. And they all say I look good in my Highland Attire.

{{I thought your kness looked nobbly, at Corflu 8-) EL}}

Lloyd Penney

412-4 Lisa Street, Brampton, ON Canada L6T 4B6 15 February 1992

My spotty involvement in Ozfandom has taken a jump. I volunteered to be the Canadian agent for Thyme. My first issue is #86, and I hope I can sell some issues of it here. Then I received a phone call from Greg Hills, asking me to nominate him for DUFF.

I'd like to have a look at the Michael Flynn book of short stories on nanotech. One thing I've noticed here. The idea of nanotech was a big fuss in sf circles, but as soon as the idea showed up in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, nanotech was suddenly declared passe. An indication that if Trek uses it, it must be dated.

{{Drexler's Engines of Creation was published in 1986 after all. EL}}

I get my strange ideas from a mail-order house in Schenectady. I guess that just like with fandom as a whole, my initial encounter with fanzine fandom was fairly rude because I was a neofan and an outsider. After getting "Pub Your Ish!" over the head many times, I noticed that some of the fans saying this hadn't done so in a long time. Well, I pubbed some ishes, and still didn't get much response from these detractors. These aren't strange ideas, but merely observations. Fortunately, that negative view of fanzine fans didn't take, and I had friendly fen with names like Glicksohn and Ortlieb help me and show me some of the rudimentary ropes.

Chester D Cuthbert

1104 Mulvey Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 1J5, Canada 19 February 1992

My frustration concerning the economy stems principally from my being so aware that present conditions are so totally unnecessary. We have a technology which is capable of producing abundance for everyone in the industrialized countries, and we cannot use it because it cannot be operated at a profit. The sheer stupidity of such a situation should be sufficient to bring about the changes necessary to correct matters, but we appear more willing to suffer than to change our thinking. Poverty can easily be eliminated, but we prefer to increase it. How can the rich profit from beggars?

John Newman is sympathetic to the unemployed, but feels that everyone should work to maintain himself. The present economic system does not permit everyone to work at things he is qualified to do. Also, why do we have machines? Isn't the reason to do our work for us? We should employ less human labor and use machines more wisely. This would give us more time for education and the wiser use of leisure. Only an economic system designed to cope with scarcity and utterly unsuited to deal with abundance prevents our living in relative affluence. Change will come, but not without an acceptance of an altered economic system which will recognize the fact of an efficient technology.

My own belief is that most work done by human beings is not necessary, but is accomplished in an effort to make a profit. As an efficient technology produces abundance, the price goes down, making a profit impossible. I don't deny that individuals and companies can make profits even in the worst of times, but overall the national deficits prove that a profit cannot be made nationally.

Isn't this worth debating?

Lyn McConchie

Farside Farm, R.D. Norsewood, New Zealand 4th March 1992

You're darn right everyone knows about people building prototypes in garages. We know here because Hewlett-Packard are running an ad on TV (which appears what seems like every five minutes) telling us about it. If I have to hear once more about how they started the business in a garage I'm going out to beat a computer to death in one.

Talking of publicity for conventions. New Zealand is in a unique position for that. Since we are so small, just about any GoH we ask will be from overseas. The media LOVE to interview overseas writers. Lots of free publicity in papers and on TV result. AND pretty well all of it mentions at some point, the convention, where it is, and when. That's in addition to any mentions of it by the interviewed writer. I don't think it's failed yet. Forest J Ackerman was received with utter delight by the NZ media when he arrived for our NatCon last year. With no effort on our part, he appeared on TV a couple of times (national) abd in quite a few papers. We confidently expect to see Terry Pratchett (GoH for Discon in Auckland at Easter) and Joe and Gay Haldeman, (GoHs for the NatCon on Queens Birthday weekend) receiving the same enthusiastic attention from our media. It does so help when papers and TV are OFFERING to publicise your con.

Ruth Berman

2809 Drew Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55416, USA 20 March 1992

Mike Glicksohn's mention of Bob Tucker as the heart of fanzine fandom reminds me of the bemusement I felt last year, reading several of Wilson Tucker's novels in a group. Before that, what I'd read by the pro-publishing Tucker had been mainly his short stories, and those do fit in nicely with the general atmosphere of comical, partying fannish Bob, being mostly very clever and funny. But the novels, read in a group, are very different - sensitive, pessimistic, quiet. I could almost have started wondering if Bob and Wilson are two different people after all.


Peter Edick, PO Box 201, Los Angeles, Ca. 90078, USA, Note the CoA

Linda Gerstein and Eli Cohen announce the birth of a son on Feb 18th, Peter Lawrence Cohen. Address 440 West End Avenue, 14E, New York, NY 10024

jan howard finder is looking for Arthur Upfield books (we have a little list).

Sheryl Birkhead "As you can see (from the illo in Geg 63) I am continuing to play with computer graphics. Such fun and power - but it most certainly (at least not yet) is NOT a time saving device. I do not believe in WYSIWYG - since what I continually see on the monitor is NOT what eventually gets printed."

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The Artists Rod Williams, page 1 William Rotsler, pages 2, 3, 4, 8, 10 Mel White, page 4 Brad Foster, pages 8, 9 (paper version)

A personal journal and science fiction fanzine * Written and published by Eric Lindsay

Gegenschein is published when I have enough material and time to do an issue. Comments should be sent to: Eric Lindsay, 7 Nicoll Avenue, Ryde, NSW 2112 Australia. (Obsolete)

Telephone: BH, Mon-Thu (02) 330 2254 (Uni Technology, Sydney), AH, Mon-Wed (02) 809 4610 AH, Thu and all day Fri, Sat, Sun, (Insulting messages on answering machine at) (047) 51 2258 (Obsolete)

Electronic Mail: eric at (Obsolete) zen maths uts edu au ISSN #0310-9968 Ask Jean about trades, since she keeps the mailing lists.

Copyright * 1992. All rights returned to the contributors upon publication.

Andy Porter's Hugo winning Science Fiction Chronicle (PO Box 022730, Brooklyn NY 11202-0056) is a monthly newsmagazine, essential reading for those interested in the USA and UK SF and fantasy fields.