FOOTNOTE DEPT: In this erudite fanzine the airport indicator code BMI will be used for my hometown; it saves space and patience. Further, "ibid" means Take My Word For It -- Would I Dare Exaggerate? "op.cit." means I Guess So -- You Think Maybe I've Got A Memory Like An Elephant? And "ipse dixit" means Oh, Go Look It Up. There now, you are forearmed and also erudite. You are ready for the gala revival issue of LeZ, the broody fan's fanzine.
PREHISTORIC FANDOM DEPT: The first issue
of LeZ was published in December 1938, a bitterly cold month but a gala
day for fandom. They danced in the streets when word went around
that a new fanzine had at last arrived. Mr. Roosevelt was still the
president -- Franklin, not Teddy. That first issue was a two-page
rider to a weekly newszine called Fantasy News; it was composed on a genuine
prehistoric typewriter using genuine prehistoric wax stencils.
Jimmy Taurasi published his newszine and my rider on a genuine prehistoric
mimeograph and mailed them far and wide for one or two cents a copy.
To see a genuine prehistoric photo of an erudite editor toiling over
a prehistoric typewriter and cutting a prehistoric wax stencil go to =
http://fanac.org/Fan_Photo_Album/m01-020.html (photo credit Karl Blakney)
The last issue of LeZ, number 67, was published in December 1975 and was printed by an esoteric method called planography. The print run was five hundred but I no longer remember the postage costs. *op.cit. That issue contained a few illustrations among its 24 pages and was my trip and con report to a far away land called Oz, where I attended the worldcon in Melbourne and then prowled about Australia and New Zealand afterward. (And at some strange city in New Zealand I sat in a bar with Mike Glicksohn and drank mysterious purple liquids. *ibid. It changed my life and gave me a regal air. And Mr. Glicksohn bleeds purple to this day, much to his students' amazement. *ibid.)
Twenty-five years since the last issue? That's not too many. Those early issues were filled with Departments such as you see here, and now and again I inadvertantly made history by saying or doing something that landed me in the erudite pages of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia. That is a proud but no longer a lonely thing---the copy at hand contains 1386 pages and it's difficult to be lonely in that crowd. I am being crowded cheek-by-jowl.
TRAVELING JIANTS DEPT: The recent Chicon
was about 150 miles away but I didn't go there---I stopped going to worldcons
about ten years ago when I could no longer tolerate the huge crowds,
the atmosphere of a five-ring circus, and the giantism for the sake of
giantism. Worldcons used to be pleasurable and fun.
But this year Eureka! Parts of the con came to me. A few weeks before the worldcon opened a camera crew came down from Chicago to interview me:
Tom Veal, Dick and Leah Zeldes Smith. They spent a happy afternoon taping me and my infallible memory (*ibid), listening to my colorful lies and improbable fan
stories, and drinking my root beer. The movie was shown at the convention.
During the week just before opening ceremonies
the traveling jiants became more numerous with eight stopping in on their
way to the big city. Uncle Timmy Bolgeo of Chattanooga brought in
a carload of four, my granddaughter Joan Marie Knappenberger brought
in three from St. Louis, and then there was Cathy Cupitt
who stepped off the train from Australia. Fern and I met her at the Amtrak station and whisked her away home where we kept her for two or three days before letting her go on to Chicago. She was and is a delightful woman and she gets her own Department below.
There were yet more visitors after the worldcon.
The four traveling jiants from far off exotic Chattanooga came by once
again and treated us to lunch before going home. Later on Neil Tetens
and Tom Meserole stopped in while in the midst of their travels; Neil was
going to a train show in Minnesota while Tom was returning from one in
California. (We get a lot of free meals in this manner.) The
caused a shortage of ginger ale and pepsi in the household, but no one would touch the prehistoric bottle of Jim Beam tucked away in the cabinet---they looked askance at the mold floating on the surface. Fake fans all.
FANTASTIC COINCIDENCE DEPT: If you
are a gambling fan what are the odds on this happening--- You
are a university grad student in Australia working toward your doctorate,
you have chosen the subject "space opera" for your dissertation and you
are deep into research. You find that an American fan coined the
term "space opera" in 1941 in an obscure fanzine called Le Zombie.
You attend some conventions, you haunt the libraries in different Australian
cities, and lo! you find several issues of that zombie fanzine in the library
among them the precise l941 issue where the term first appears. Eureka! and all them there joyous expresssions! It happened to Cathy Cupitt.
CATHY CUPITT'S DEPT: She first found me in the SF Encyclopedia and our paths joined there. She contacted me by email and we exchanged information about her research and my coinage; we made arrangements to meet; and several days before the con opened she stepped off the train from Australia. (*ibid.) BMI has not been the same since she was here. She quizzed me to her heart's content and I struggled manfully to not tell too many exaggerated stories; I tried to stay as close to factual history as I remembered it; when I could not remember I fell back on the Encyclopedia. I want to believe that I made her trip worthwhile.
Eventually Cathy stepped back on board that train
and went to Chicago and the convention. She was on the program and
to see pictures of her go to=
http://kcsciencefiction.org/00world06.htm (Photo credits Keith Stokes)
When you reach that site click on Friday Daytime and Hugo Awards page three to find pictures of the charming lass from Perth, Western Australia.
CLOSING TALES DEPT: And so ends another issue of the erudite fanzine that has been entertaining fandom since 1938, nevermind the missing 25 years of silence. This not-too-humble editor thanks Roger Tener, Ross and Nancy Hathaway, and Timmy Bolgeo for providing models to emulate. If you did NOT get this issue it means I have screwed up the group-posting formula. You may hang me in effigy and bemoan the lost erudition. Brood now.
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