'Mimosa 17 letters column'; title illo by Sheryl 
{{ With the addition of our e-mail account, we've been asked if we prefer receiving letters of comment via the Internet, as opposed to the traditional way, on paper. Actually, we do. Electronic letters of comment do not require the transcribing that a written letter requires (not to mention the handwriting analysis that some letters need). But we've also seen that e-mail letters of comment take less effort (and cost) for the sender; you can just compose the letter and send it, cutting out the middle steps of getting the words on paper, addressing the envelope, and attaching postage.

We find we're doing more and more of our correspondence via the Internet. It's what we used to get the word out about the fire, and we even used it earlier this year to publish our first e-zine, (Title Goes Here), which was mostly a Mimosa 17 progress report and fire update.

Anyway, whether or not you use e-mail, we welcome your letters of comment. We're continually gratified by the number of letters we receive, and we will pass along all your comments to the contributors, whether or not they see print here in the Letters Column. We'll begin this time with some comments on Dan Steffan's cover set for M16. Several people asked if we were, in effect, models for the satyr and nymph. Answer: not even close. Richard is much less out-of-shape than the winded satyr appears to be (and doesn't have a gap between his front teeth), while Nicki has not worn her hair that long in well over a decade. Comments we received about the cover set ran the gamut, from Gary Brown, who wrote: "Wonderful cover! And even more wonderful back cover!" to the following comment... }}

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Ned Brooks, Newport News, Virginia
I was horrified to hear about your fire. Must be divine retribution for running that silly satyr on the cover of Mimosa.

In Mike Resnick's article {{"Roots and a Few Vines"}} I enjoyed learning that the 1963 Discon was also Mike's first worldcon -- but I don't remember everyone wearing a tie. I certainly didn't -- in fact, I probably thought all those guys in ties were comics fans, because they all called each other "Mr." in their fanzines back then.

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Rodney Leighton, Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada
Great covers! I think this Dan Steffan guy should drop the 'tef' and sign his excellent pictures 'Dan SFan'. Beautiful, very well done. It's kind of a shame to put a face like that on such a babe. At first I thought she should have been on the front cover but late realized that they were in their proper places. I liked all the art in this issue. Teddy Harvia's little ...what do you call these things? Minitoons?... are delightful. Well done and amusing. My favorite of all was Rotsler's profound statement on page 41, followed by Peggy Ranson's depiction of Sharon Farber and her victims. It must be a lot of work to put all these illos where they fit best, huh?

{{The pay isn't too great, either, but the benefits have been pretty good. }}

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Sam Long, Springfield, Illinois
Interesting cover. The fellow on the front looks quite pannish -- and not a little out of shape (though look who's talking!), but mythologically speaking, the maenad he's chasing shouldn't have horns or pointed ears.

I enjoyed the Willis article {{"I Remember Me" }}. The hat he received sounds very fannish. A few years ago, I won a beer-drinker's hat, a plastic baseball-cap-type headgear with two beverage holders, one on each side, and plastic tubing to put in the cans or cups to conduct the potable to your mouth. (The tubing had a small clamp near the mouth end to prevent the drink from siphoning out when you weren't actively drinking.) The hat works as advertised (I tried it) and it occurred to me that, with the addition of a propeller at the top, it could make an exceedingly fannish head-dress. Not long after the hat came into my possession, Ethel Lindsay wrote and said, "My village is having its annual fête on 4 July this year, and so it has an American theme. Could you send me something 'typically American' to wear to it?" So I sent her the beer-drinker's hat -- and a Chicago Cubs (natch) baseball cap. The beer-drinker's hat was, I understand, rather a hit during the fête, but the baseball cap proved more useful to Ethel in the long run. As it was, she gave the beer-drinker's hat to a fannish auction, and it eventually sold for about £5. Ethel later told me that Ken Bulmer, acting as auctioneer, modeled it for prospective buyers. Maybe that's why it didn't bring more than £5.

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Skel, Offerton, Stockport, Cheshire, England
I thought Mike Resnick's piece was the best thing in the issue. Truly fine material, though I must say it surprises me. The only other fanwriting I can remember of Mike's was his pieces in Lan's Lantern on his trips to Africa, which simply weren't my cup of tea.
Most of the other articles weren't all that far behind and were pretty much on a par, but I guess my favourite among them would be Esther Cole's {{"I Married a Science Fiction" }}. I'd read of Les & Es of course, but I don't recall ever reading anything by either of them. Es writes well and with a refreshingly different 'voice'.
Chat cartoon by Teddy Harvia
Ben Yalow, Bronx, New York
The Resnick article is wonderful. It's well written, as would be expected. But, even more important, it speaks to what fandom means to all of us who consider ourselves a part of it. And I'm honored to be recognized by name, and hope I've been able to help add to his fandom, as he has to mine.

The Sharon Farber article {{"Tales of Adventure and Medical Life, Part 11" }}, and the ER doctor's solution, reminded me very much of the Chicon IV post masquerade incidents. I was running the Services Division there, and the evening was quite interesting/annoying/amusing. The story there was as follows:

Chicon, as with most cons, had to solve the problem of what to do as filler for the masquerade halftime. In their case, they chose to have a mentalist act (a fan, of course). It was pretty successful, including the mass hypnosis part. But later that evening, we started to get lots of calls in Ops for the convention medical volunteers.

It seemed that lots of young women had interesting reactions to the halftime act. In fact, lots of them seemed to be going into trances a few hours later. And we had to go ask our volunteers to go check these idiots people out. Of course, nothing real was going on, but it took lots of time with each person, and the staff was getting run ragged.

Finally, the head of the volunteer doctors came up with the solution. The doctor would go to the hotel room to check out the lady in a 'trance'. And he would take a quick look, and then go talk 'quietly' to the friend who called. And he would explain, loudly enough for the 'patient' to hear, that he would be administering a medicine that would cure the trance. Now, there might be some initial nausea, but don't worry -- that's normal. And then the patient's fever might go up, and they might start sweating, but don't worry -- that's normal. And then there might be these awful chills, but don't worry -- that's normal. And maybe some pain in the extremities, but don't worry -- that's normal.

And he would keep on making up increasingly awful symptoms until the patient spontaneously woke up out of the trance.

It's good to know how well modern medicine works.

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Ruth M. Shields, Jackson, Mississippi
Despite my appreciation for all of the fan-historical articles, I have to admit that every time a Mimosa arrives, the first thing I look for is one of Sharon Farber's "Tales of Medical Life." This issue's chapter was particularly interesting to me because I knew a girl in high school who tried to convince us all that she was epileptic -- we might have believed her but she had already claimed to be an expert car mechanic, a witch, the victim of an inoperable brain tumor, and various other attention-getting devices which all lacked any evidence, so we were skeptical of anything she told us. (For all I know they might have all been true, but after seeing her try to put a bike chain back on I really doubted the car-mechanic claim.) She never had any seizures, real or faked, at school, which was a relief to all her classmates, and she survived graduation. I've often wondered about how the rest of her life has developed, and whether she ever found something genuinely impressive to brag about.

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Brad W. Foster, Irving, Texas
Sharon Farber's article this issue was wonderful! It's always fun to be in a position where you have knowledge that the person trying to put one over on you doesn't know you have, just for the pleasure of watching them try their best to get away with something, before you break the bad news to them.

I desperately want one of those bubble-blowing hats Willis described, if for now other reason than to be able to stand around, not saying anything but pumping out the bubbles, waiting for someone to come up and ask me about it, and I can go "Shh, can't you see I'm trying to think?" Well, I liked it! Surely some enterprising fan out there can take this idea and develop it back into product-status to sell at Worldcon?!?!?!!

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Joseph T. Major, Louisville, Kentucky
The Dan Steffan front cover has a certain interest to me. I work with a man who could have been the model for the satyr. Now as for the back cover, no such luck...

And so to 4E {{"Through Time and Space With Forry Ackerman, Part 1" }}, who fondly remembers the days when an associate editor could be so young that he had to ask his parents' permission (and when youngsters would ask for their parents' permission), and when legends merged with the common crowd instead of retreating into the SFWA Suite, the bar, the World Fantasy Con (oh, here I go getting ahead of myself), and other {fan} restricted zones.

Vin¢ Clarke, in his article {{"Nirvana -- The Ultimate Fanzine" }}, has shown himself ahead of a trend. While Wired magazine is heralding the wonders of the Information Superhighway to come (it has been compared to an exquisitely hand-lettered codex trumpeting the wondrous days of printing to come) Vin¢ and friends had been there and done that. The creation of Nirvana, the virtual fanzine, as recounted by the virtual co-editor himself, is a milestone in that progression. Soon enough we shall see the Net address so exclusive that no one is qualified to access it.

In the letters column, Malgorzata Wilk has an interesting short chronicle of Polish fandom. In seven years they seem to have gone from the thirties to the nineties; from impoverished but dedicated fans cranking out unsophisticated but immensely dear publications to a vast horde of media fans, gamers, filkers, gardeners, and other such fringe fandoms grown so far as to obliterate the original. If this rate keeps up, by the millennium they will be well into the twenty-second century, and we can view with a sense of wonder our Times to Come -- unless the Great Singularity (called the Rapture by fantasy fans) takes place and they ascend into the unknown, leaving us dazed westerners to look at the waste and puzzle our heads over why and where and who with.

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Josip C. Kovacic, Samobor, Croatia
Regarding Vincent Clarke's article, Nirvana was also a magazine that my friends and I published in school back in 1992. It was about sex, cheap movies, and of course, sex. No doubt that there was a bit of SF but that doesn't take too much publicity like other stuff. We published almost three numbers of it before they (the school council) caught us, and permanently closed the magazine. We had great fun publishing it.

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Vincent Clarke, Welling, Kent, United Kingdom
I've been reading bits of Ackerman's autobiography for years, including the marvelously titled Gosh! Wow! (Sense of Wonder) Science Fiction paperback, but it's nice to have it put together in Mimosa. I also have a fanzine by him called What's Wrong With Science Fiction? It is, of course, blank. It's a pity that he drifted (some time ago) rather into film fandom than kept to simon-pure fanzine fandom, but he has a spot in all our hearts. I remember when I met him a few years ago, all I could say was that I admired VOM. He took being congratulated for a 40-year old fanzine in his stride.

Also noted -- Es Cole's mention of the early days when "...all our income went into paper and postage." Ah, those innocent years! And then, inevitably, we grew up. To paraphrase someone or other, "growing up is an awfully big non-adventure."

Finally, I guess Mike Resnick's article explains why I've been a fan for 50-odd years. I don't know about other folk but I needed the extended family -- and got it.

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Walt Willis, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
The instalment of the Ackerman biography was fine, but instilled in me a great sense of guilt. Forry sent me a first instalment of his autobiography while I was publishing Slant, and I never used it. Partly because it was too long for Slant, which was handset letterpress, and partly because what I really wanted was the low down on his feud with Laney, so when a glowing prospectus arrived for a great new Canadian fanzine along with an appeal for material, I sent him my entire Slant backlog. Nothing further happened. The great new Canadian fanzine disappeared without trace, along with the Slant backlog. I never explained or apologised to Forry, and he never complained, which is one of the reasons I regard him as the most saintly person I know.

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Norm Metcalf, Boulder, Colorado
"Through Time and Space with Forry Ackerman (Part 1)" contains some interesting recollections. On page 6, Forry says that Abraham Merritt was "...the Sunday section editor of The American Weekly." Actually, he was the editor of the entire The American Weekly which had no Sunday section. The American Weekly was a magazine which was distributed on Sundays as a bonus with newspapers, primarily or entirely with the Hearst papers. It competed with a similar Sunday supplement, This Week. Both of them carried fiction along with factual and not-so-factual articles.

In Mike Resnick's "Roots and a Few Vines", Donald A. Wollheim didn't "pirate" stories by Edgar R. Burroughs in 1962. He began reprinting ERB stories which were in the public domain, following Dover's lead. What Hulbert Burroughs told me was that he began noticing Ace paperbacks on the stands for which he'd received no royalty statements. So he went to Cyril Ralph Rothmund, business manager for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and asked him. Rothmund didn't know anything about them, and upon investigating, Hulbert found that Rothmund had been content to collect a salary from whatever income arrived, while neglecting to renew copyrights, pursue reprints, further movies or other subsidiary rights. So Hulbert fired him and started inventorying the assets. That's when he found his father's notebook listing the 99 stories ERB had written, some of which were unpublished manuscripts. This gave him a bargaining chip with Wollheim. If Wollheim wished to reprint anything still in copyright or the unpublished stories, he'd have to pay. Hulbert also negotiated the deal with Ballantine so that they'd have exclusive rights to the Tarzan and the Mars stories, while Ace could have the rest. This (and their cover art) made the Ace Tarzan and Mars stories into collectors' items.

On the other hand, the anecdote about Edward E. Smith modestly being fannish rings true. He really enjoyed being around fans and discussing science fiction without being pretentious.

Also, movies were shown at science fiction conventions prior to 1969. One was shown at the 1939 World Convention, for example.

Despite a few cavils, this is an entertaining appreciation of fandom.

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Pär Nilsson, Halmstad, Sweden
Thanks for Mimosa 16. The cover was one of the best ever, and inside was the usual, excellent selection of articles and illos. I tip my hat (I actually own one, but I'm usually wearing various knitted caps) to Farber, Clarke, Willis, Hutchinson, Harvia, Ranson, and (of course) Rotsler. And it seems like I've graduated from Mimosa reader to Mimosa contributor. Oh dear.

On one hand, it's good of Ahrvid Engholm to share some Swedish fan history with the rest of the world {{"The Enemy and The Front" }}. But on the other hand, I feel that there are other, more interesting themes than Gurka and TDFF for such articles. On the third hand (the one growing out of my head), I suppose the same thing could be said about any fandom.

In the letters column, the second paragraph of Glicksohn's letter nicely summarized the pointlessness of heavy drinking, and Malgorzata Wilk provided an interesting glimpse of Polish fandom.
illo by Alexis Gilliland
Mike Glicksohn, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It was a fine idea to get Forry to write for you. Certainly few fans have his breadth or depth of personal knowledge about fandom and even though I've talked to and listened to him for over a quarter of a century, there were things in this first instalment of his history that I hadn't been aware of (the tale of the world's shortest science fiction story is perhaps the best example). Say, he suddenly wondered suspiciously, this isn't a way to get another book for Dick to edit, is it?

{{Interesting idea, but there's another project right now that's taking up most of Richard's spare time. Were you volunteering to be his agent??. }}

I've also known Mike Resnick for numerous lustrums and I've always enjoyed talking to him and listening to his anecdotes (and reading many of his professional works and much of his fan-writing) but I've never enjoyed or appreciated anything he's written as much as I enjoyed "Roots and A Few Vines." This is one superb piece of fan-writing; touching, tough, amusing, filled with historical nuggets, brilliantly crafted, as idiosyncratic as all of Mike's stuff and quintessential in its capturing of what makes 'our' fandom so worthwhile. If there is ever a Fanthology '94 this article should be its centrepiece!

On the other hand, when I read about Swedish fandom I'm never quite sure of they ever really understood the point of the whole thing. There has been a great deal of personal animosity throughout all that I've known about fandom there, and much of the time they seem to have picked up on the trappings of fannish fandom while failing to understand that it was all supposed to be F*U*N. (Not that we haven't had our own difficulties, of course, but the major ones seem to run on about a twenty year cycle and in Sweden they seem to be far more frequent than that.)

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Martin Morse Wooster, Silver Spring, Maryland
I continue to be amazed by Swedish fandom. I wish Ahrvid Engholm or Anders Bellis or John-Henri Holmberg would explain why Sweden is the only non-English speaking country that has produced fannishness. The Germans, I have heard, go to conventions, hear serious, constructive talks about the inevitable historical development of science fiction through the ages, and then retire early. The French have to move to America before they produce fanzines. But the Swedes keep right on feuding. Why?

I'd also like to see a Swedish-English fannish lexicon. What words do Swedish fans use when they insult each other? What is the Swedish for 'Yngvi is a louse', or 'egoboo', or 'fugghead'? Are there English fannish terms that Swedes use without translation? And what happened to Hans X's last name? Is he an incredibly famous Swede who would be mortally ashamed that he was ever in fandom?

{{Perhaps the latter more than the former. According to Ahrvid, Hans now has a successful professional career as a chiropractor, and has so far managed to live down the actions attributed to him as a fannish spy. }}

Malgorzata Wilk's letter was a fascinating look at a fandom of which most people know little. But I hope she will explain who Polish fans would want to be drafted by the KGB! That's not the KGB, is it? Are Polish fans eager to be spies? (Will that help them in fan feuds?) If not, why would they name fannish organizations after intelligence agencies?

{{But it was all in fun, Martin! 'KGB' stands for 'Cosmic Group of Safety' after being translated from the Polish. The teams in the fan game Malgorzata described all had acronyms that were meant to be send-ups of various spy groups. Even here in the U.S. this has been known to happen. Several years ago the super-secret National Security Agency had a league softball team called 'The Cagey Bees'. Think about it! }}

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Jeanne Mealy, St. Paul, Minnesota
Wow, what a set of covers! Looks like they would be best used in a fall zine, what with the bare, uh, trees and leaves flying wildly about.

Nice to see Kurt Erichsen's art illustrating "But, Again, That's Another Story" by Roger Sims; more, more! Whew, worldcons certainly have changed since Detention in 1959. It was great fun reading Roger's reminisces as well as those of the tag team of Rusty Hevelin, Bob Tucker, and Roy Lavender as they described the many capers of Cincinnati fandom {{"Tales of Cincinnati Fandom" }}. I hadn't heard the story about Tucker's mail before and giggled my way through it to the end. Tucker, speechless?

Like Patrick McGuire, I had a good time at the Winnipeg worldcon and would welcome a chance to return. Well, not in the winter. We get enough of that here. I was intrigued to hear that the word 'fandom' was apparently coined by a sports writer in 1910. I imagine an Oscar Madison-type with straw hat, suspenders, and food spilled down his front was desperately free-associating before a deadline: "A group of fans would be a... Kingdom, fiefdom... Fans...dom. Fandom, that's it!"

I agree with Steve Jeffery that many American restaurants serve too-large portions. I can't even finish a can of pop and would like to see an eight or a six-ounce size. Some places offer half-portions, which, while more expensive than half a meal would be, avoids the onus of trying to order from the children's menu.

Nicki's "Winnipeg Memories": I'm relieved there wasn't more damage after you hit the deer last November. Nicely-handled segue into talking about the worldcon as a quick experience rather than a damaging hit-and-run. My poor significant other might've done it differently: he broke a tooth at Tony Roma's and had to visit a dentist. I had a great time in Winnipeg thanks to the people (fans and non-fans), the food, the shopping, and the buses. I loved watching the storms from a distance, too. We used to do that as kids in southern Wisconsin, watching the wind sweeping the grass this way and that, the lightning and thunder getting synched as the storm got closer. Tremendous sheets of rain would swoosh across the fields as we gazed in wonder. If we were lucky we'd get to see ground-to-cloud lightning or a rainbow after the dark clouds had passed by.

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Buck Coulson, Hartford City, Indiana
Concerning Richard's opening comments {{"The Contraction of Time and Related Conundra" }}, I think time goes faster as one gets older because there are fewer new experiences. One's first few cons are remarkable, individual events, but they are, after all, much alike, and soon become hard to distinguish from one another, aside from, perhaps, certain events which make them unique in one's memory. The same goes for all other experiences in human life; there's only one 'first time', and only a limited number of new experiences. In time -- you're not there yet but I'm beginning to be -- even the memories blur into an overall memory of conventions, or trips, or fanzines, or whatever, and there's a problem recalling which fondly remembered article appeared in which fanzine, etc. (At that point, you're not just an old fart, you're a senile old fart.)

Also, some information about the 'broken door' incident at Midwestcon referred to in "Tales of Cincinnati Fandom." I can believe they collected enough money to replace the door; Harlan and Jim Harmon both were out canvassing. But the door was not replaced; the next year the broken panel had been replaced with a sheet of plywood, so either the collection was very short or the hotel used it to refurbish its meeting room, which had been completely redecorated when we arrived next year.

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Juanita Coulson, Hartford City, Indiana
A correction to Roger's article; Bjo wasn't traveling to Detention in '59 to set up the first Worldcon Art Show -- because that occurred at Pittcon, in 1960. Before then, the only art at cons was in auctions (materials generally supplied by editors who'd bought all rights). I was a participant in the debate preceding Pittcon, when Bjo decided to bypass an endless N3F committee process and bighod do it; being all for that I volunteered to hold her coat and otherwise assist, and did. Remember it well...
illo by Brad Foster
Janice M. Eisen, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Forry Ackerman, Mike Resnick, and Roger Sims tell some enjoyable and interesting fanhistorical tales, and it's good to see Resnick maintaining his fannish ties. Actually, Resnick's story made me rather sad, as I realized what I missed, having been born too late for a Discon-style Worldcon. While I enjoy the enormous Worldcons of today, the sense of community -- including that link between pros and fans -- is missing. It's not a question of worshipping the pros, but that close association added something to the experience of being an sf fan. Corflu is great in its provision of a way for trufans to get together, but it's not the same kind of all-inclusive family reunion. Unfortunately, the family's grown too damn big.

Dave Kyle's article {{"Scot and Eng, My Fannish Lands of Lore" }} missed the mark. While it had a couple of goods anecdotes, too much of it was just lists of names, most of which didn't even has distinguishing comments attached to them. And there's information missing: Why did the River Police come in? Did they really arrest someone? What was that all about?

Vince Clarke and Walt Willis once again make me long for the glory days of 1950s fandom. Maybe it didn't seem as wonderful at the time as it does now, but I'd sure like to get a time machine and travel back there to visit Oblique House and the Epicenter (after my stop to see Burbage in Hamlet, of course).

Ahrvid Engholm, on the other hand, makes me glad I was nowhere near Sweden in the 1970s.

Esther Cole's article was the best thing in the issue. An absolute delight; thanks for drawing her out of the mists of gafia. I'd love to see a longer piece about the 'moon claim' project.

In the letters column, Mike Glicksohn's idea of a rib-off is one of the best suggestions I've heard in years. I'd certainly travel pretty far for that event; I hope some con organizers are listening.

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Dave Rowe, Franklin, Indiana
Dave Kyle's piece had me a little worried in that most of the names he mentioned for British fandom have gafiated long ago (some I regret to say are dead) so a fan's chance of meeting them at the Glasgow Worldcon are pretty slim. When was the last time anyone heard anything from Ron Buckmaster, for instance?

Dave's memories (which were delightful) come from the British fandom of the 1950s through to mid-1970s, and I remember Gerald Lawrence who was active in mid '70s turning up at the British Worldcon in the late-1980s and hardly recognizing anybody!

I certainly hope some of the people Dave reminisced about are there, but if any fan thinks Glasgow is going to be choc-a-block with old-time British fen, that fan is in for a disappointment.

{{There were some 'old-time' (which we're defining as 'older than we are') British fans at Intersection, most notably the fan Guest of Honor, Vincent Clarke. Besides him, we remember seeing or talking with (at various times) Ethel Lindsay, Ron Bennett, Peter Weston, Chuck Harris, Ken Slater, Bob Shaw, and James White. Missing, unfortunately, were some other fans we'd dearly liked to have met, among them John Berry, Terry Jeeves, Ken Cheslin, Archie Mercer, Ken Bulmer, and yes, Ron Buckmaster. We look forward to meeting them (and others) next time! }}

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Bernie Peek, Stratford, London, United Kingdom
Thanks for sending Mimosa 16; it certainly deserves a response, just look at that list of contributors!

The piece that really inspires me to respond is Dave Kyle's. I came into fandom in 1969 but I remember Dave and Ruth well. I visited their house Two Rivers, and I remember that it was surrounded by elderberry bushes. Dave and Ruth offered the flowers and berries to anyone who wanted to use them to make home-made wines. All they asked in return was a tithe of the results. I wonder what happened to all that wine when they returned to the U.S.A.?

A friend of mine had a near miss earlier this year, something like Nicki's close encounter with a deer. She was driving along one afternoon with not a care in the world when a bull poked its head through a hedge just in front of her. The field on the other side of the hedge was at a much higher level. A second later a second bull came hurtling through the hedge at full speed, without stopping. It flew into the air a few feet ahead and then dropped like a stone immediately in front of her. She just managed to swerve in time to avoid it.

It's difficult to swerve a 45 foot long canal boat. Particularly when you know that there is something large in the water ahead of you, but it's below your sight line. You can't stop quickly either, even from the 4mph speed limit. Apparently the bulls had been kept inside and this was the first time that they had been let out. This one didn't know about hedges, or thought this one was a figment of its own deranged imagination. The bull survived, but they had to tow it along the canal to somewhere where it could climb out.

Cattle can swim quite well. On another canal there's a pub named after a cow that swam the full 1.5 miles of a canal tunnel after it had fallen in. It's a nice pub, the staff and customers are very friendly. They were all lined up on the banks to welcome us as we came out of the tunnel. They were lining both banks when we came out. I wonder whether they welcome all visitors like that, or is it only the ones that have a bagpiper on the prow?

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Harry Warner, Jr., Hagerstown, Maryland
Ahrvid Engholm missed an opportunity to revise his closing line to better effect. "Ah, Swede idiocy!" would be a better climax to his article than the phrase as Fran Laney wrote it originally.

I'm happy to find that Forry Ackerman is finally putting into words some of his memories of fandom past. I feel confident that he could write five hundred or more sections equalling or exceeding in length this first part without even approaching the end of his recollections.

Also, now that you've restored Es Cole to fanac, dare we hope Les will follow her good example in the next issue or two? Her article is splendid, perhaps the best in this issue. She seems to remember her years as an active fan with such relish that I can't imagine why she ever gafiated.

There is an artistic error in connection with the Tucker-Lavender-Hevelin transcript. The illustration on page 39 shows a post office box bulging with the numeral 201 at its top. But Box 260 was Tucker's long-time address, as well known in fandom's first few decades as Room 770. Conceivably, he may have changed his address by the time the events described in his big mail martyrdom took place, but it seems heretical to associate a postal box with any other numerals with Tucker.

I remain unconvinced that misuse of 'fanzine' to refer to non-fanzines is evidence that the English language is changing. I think it's the result of stupidity of people who can't distinguish a fanzine from other non-profit publications or aren't aware that the language already has a half-dozen or more words for things that aren't fanzines. In past centuries, they were called screeds or tracts or pamphleteering. In more recent decades, they've been referred to as amateur journalism or the underground press or alternative press. A fanzine is the outgrowth of interest in a hobby or an individual or a form of entertainment. It isn't a publication devoted to someone's obsession with the flat earth theory or his propaganda for communism or atheism or his outpouring of hatred of authority.

You should have asked Malgorazata Wilk to lengthen her letter a little so you could have published it as a formal article. It's fascinating, this inside look at what it was like to be a fan in Poland less than a decade ago, and compare it with what it was like to be a fan in the United States more than a half-century ago: a lot of similarities. I'm glad to know that capitalism has been good for her.

{{Yes, an extended article would have been nice. But she is a busy grad student who lives several time zones (and postal systems) from here, and we didn't know if she would have the time to do an article for issue 16 by the time that we needed it. Running her letter as-is was 'a bird in the hand' kind of decision. We'd still like an article from her on Polish fandom, especially since there seems to be an interest in one. }}

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Steve Jeffery, Kidlington, Oxon, United Kingdom
I agree with Martin Morse Wooster and David Thayer here that the term 'fanzine' is not exclusive to SF fandom. In the UK the most well known examples of the best are football (soccer) fanzines. There are produced independently, often highly opinionated and partisan, and have -- compared to SF fanzines -- a much higher profile and distribution, even to the extent of being reviewed on some radio sports programs. Music fanzines go back at least as far as the mid 1970s, with seminal publications like Sniffin' Glue and London's Burning. Scrappy, cut-up/collage and photocopied, they could not be mistaken for the pro music press magazines like Melody Maker and New Musical Express. Now, with better production and circulation, the distinction is more blurred. But there are still publications, often in the indie/alternative field, where the term 'fanzine' is completely applicable.

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George Flynn, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Patrick McGuire is right about the age of the word 'fandom': I think I've seen citations from sportswriters as early as 1892 or thereabouts. As for the responses to Harry Warner's assertion that non-SF-related zines are "incorrectly called fanzines," the American Heritage Dictionary's definition may be of interest:

fanzine n. An amateur-produced fan magazine distributed by mail to a subculture readership and devoted to the coverage of interests such as science fiction, rock music, or skateboarding.

Hey, at least we still get mentioned!

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Merf Adamson, Harry Andruschak, William Bains, John Berry, Pamela Boal, Richard Brandt, David Bratman, Charles Broerman, Gary Brown, Ken Bulmer, Dennis Caswell, Chester Cuthbert, Richard Dengrove, Carolyn Doyle, Leigh Edmonds, Ahrvid Engholm, Kurt Erichsen, Nola Frame-Gray, Keith Freeman, Meade Frierson III, Janice Gelb, Steve Green, Ian Gunn & Karen Pender-Gunn, Rob Hansen, Gay Haldeman, Craig Hilton, Irwin Hirsh, Kim Huett, Lucy Huntzinger, Ben Indick, Terry Jeeves, Ali Kayn, Robert Klein, Keith Kurek, Hope Leibowitz, Robert Lichtman, Ethel Lindsey, Mark Linneman, Murray Moore, Lewis Morley, Richard Newsome, Elizabeth Osborne, Lloyd Penney, Derek Pickles, Ron Salomon, Steve Sneyd, Alan Stewart, Alan J. Sullivan, Roy Tackett, Martyn Taylor, David Thayer, Kristin Thorrud, Ron Trout, R Laurraine Tutihasi, Shelby Vick, Roger Waddington, Toni Weisskoff, Henry Welch, Malgorzata Wilk, and Mike Whalen. Thanks to one and all!

Title illustration by Sheryl Birkhead
Chat cartoon by Teddy Harvia
Other illustrations by Alexis Gilliland and Brad Foster

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