Me and Mr. Potter

If I want to know what the last 40 years of fanhistory would have been like had I never existed, all I have to do is read Arnie Katz’ new article on numbered fandoms. It’s quite a public service. Usually one has to wait for the Christmas reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life to experience this kind of thing.

New Issue of File 770, the Fanzine

Cover of File 770 #153 by Taral Wayne

The new issue of File 770 is posted at eFanzines as a PDF file. (Paper copies were mailed on June 30.)

James Bacon and I do some last minute fanzine Hugo handicapping. My tribute to Worldcon toastmasters “Silverberg and Resnick – That’s Entertainment!” is in the issue. John Hertz reports several valuable news stories. Mystery writers Mary Reed and Eric Mayer answer my questions about writing historical fiction. I write up my Corflu Silver experiences. James Bacon tells about a day of his honeymoon visit to South Africa. There’s a great cover by Taral Wayne, and new illos by Alan White, Brad Foster and Alexis Gilliland.

The Barmy Cats Adventures

It turns out to have been a mystery only to me, that nagging question I’ve been pondering for several weeks: Why did C*****s D*****s pen “A Corflu Carol” (The Drink Tank #158), lampooning Cheryl Morgan with such rich humor I was embarrassed to admit how hard I’d laughed? Mainly because I didn’t know who really threw this barb, or whether Cheryl would find it funny (it might remind her of blunt comments made by trufen in past years). Now that I’ve learned the full context, I expect she had no problem with it at all, if it turns out she didn’t write it herself (I haven’t stumbled across that answer yet).

“A Corflu Carol” soars from its opening lines:

Fanzine fandom was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The register of its burial was signed by the costumers, the filkers, the conrunners, and the furries. Emcit Eljay signed it, and Emcit Eljay’s name was good for a fan Hugo. Fanzine fandom was as dead as a doornail.

Had I not (evidently) slept through January 3, I’d have already known this was either the answering salvo to, or perhaps a tangential development of, Cheryl’s comical new series of “Barmy Cats Adventures,” launched by the appearance of “The Clubhouse Affair” in The Drink Tank #157.

My encounter with “The Clubhouse Affair” waited ’til today when I caught up reading Cheryl’s personal blog. She explained the whole project on January 20, giving verbal snapshots of all the characters. Cheryl concluded, after reading the recent debates about Core Fandom, that it would be “quite funny to imagine a world in which the brave freedom fighters of Core Fandom really were engaged in a bitter struggle against the greedy capitalists of WSFS.” And in her hands, it is funny.