Number 71  «»  December   2000

Published every time a zombie awakens by Bob Tucker at Bloomington, Illinois  USA

First Fandom is not dead, only doddering

Poor Pong's Almanac:  Rocket Scientist.  Learned Person with zippo lighter in hand  who stands next to
fuse beneath the exhaust tubes,  waiting for countdown to reach zero.

Lez-ette by Eric Mayer                Chapter One:  Hugo
                                                Chapter Two:  Paris
                                                Chapter Three:  Gernsback of Notre Dame

Lez-ette by Toni Weisskopf        Chapter One:  Vampire juvenile delinquent
                                               Chapter Two:  Vampire mom
                                               Chapter Three:  No reflection on me

EVERYFAN'S  MOVIE GUIDE DEPT:  Learn to tell the notable difference between sci-fi and science
fiction movies at a glance!   Become more hep than the highly paid reviewers!  Become snootier than the
snootiest critics!  Discern at first or second glance which is thud-and-blunder sci-fi (with holes large enough
for Mr. Einstein to drive his truck thru)  and which is serious science fiction worthy of Sir Arthur or Sir Joe.

     Closely inspect the movie posters displayed about the theater, scan the photographs published in the papers
or the glossy magazines and if necessary view the coming attractions clips.  They reveal the vital difference!
When clad in a spacesuit, does the brawny hero have electric lights inside his helmet the better to show his
face?  When he peers out across the swirling sands of Mars do those lights illuminate every line of his melo-
dramatic face?  And consider the winsome heroine---does her suit also have inside lights?  Do those lights
reveal a make-up job that took at least an hour to apply when she rolled out of her bunk or hammock at the
crack of dawn?  A make-believe dawn?  Does every actor in the movie (yes, even the villain!) wear helmets
equipped with battery powered inside lighting?  You have recognized sci-fi!

     Consider next the doors and doorways in the spaceship, no matter the size of the ship.  Are they of a normal
size and shape designed to accomodate humans as those humans move from room to room?  Are they perhaps
seven or eight feet high by two or three feet wide, having normal square corners?  Or are they monstrous doors
created by a demented set designer, doors large enough to accomodate Mr. Einstein's truck and having erose
edges, serrated edges, clunky boxed edges that would rend and tear any human caught in the closing of them?
Do those doors open and close with hissing steam, clunking metallic noises, sliding sandpaper noises, gulping
vacuum noises?  Congratulations, you have recognized sci-fi!

     Save the money you would have spent on tickets and use that money to make a down payment on something
expensive but worthwhile.  (Next month we will discuss lighted tanks of goldfish carried on spacecraft.)

DIG THOSE CRAZY DISCARDS DEPT:  In early November NASA announced that a mysterious object in
space was hurtling toward Earth with a high probability of impact.  Astronomers in Hawaii had made the
discovery in September but kept quiet until they could do further research.  They are uncertain as to what the
object is but have speculated that (1) it may be a spent rocket booster left over from the Apollo program, or
(2) it may be a small asteroid.  Not mentioned in the news story was an explanation of how a spent booster
could be as far away as an asteroid, or how it could be traveling at the speed of an asteroid.  A project
engineer said  "This is the highest probability of impact we have ever calculated for an object."   The impact
date was first given as 2030 but was later amended to 2070.

     The fools!  Don't they recognize an incoming spaceship when they see one?

Poor Pong's Almanac:  Chief Astronomer.   Learned Person who crawls out on lens to scrubmop surface and
is sometimes mistaken for incoming  asteroid.

GLORIES OF FANDOM PAST DEPT:  The Ghost Hugo.  The late Lou Tabakow of Cincinnati, Ohio,  was
awarded the only ghost Hugo in the long history of that trophy.  In 1954 he wrote a short story called  "Sven"
and sold it to his friend Bea Mahaffey, then editor of  Other Worlds.  In due time the story was scheduled to be
published and was listed on the cover of a certain issue because magazine covers go to press first---but alas,
Lou's story was nowhere to be found in the magazine.  It had been crowded out due to lack of space.  Readers
were left hanging, searching for a story that was not to be found.

     Lou's friends never let him live it down and the following year, at the 1955 Worldcon in Cleveland,  some
of those friends conspired to award him a Hugo for "The Best Unpublished Short Story."  He carried it home as
proudly as the other winners that year.  I've seen the Hugo, held it in my two hands and read the inscription on
the base.  There has never been another award  like it.

MAGIC MOMENTS IN HISTORY DEPT:  The encounter with noted novelist Sinclair Lewis,  circa 1948.
We rode down in an elevator together in a New York City hotel.  He didn't speak to me.  I didn't speak to him.
The door opened at ground level and we left the elevator.

Lez-ette by Leah A. Zeldes                 Chapter One:  Spaceman Tom
                                                       Chapter Two:  Mae West
                                                       Chapter Three:  Is that a rocket in your pocket?

Lez-ette by Joyce Scrivner                 Chapter One:  Man
                                                       Chapter Two:  Woman
                                                       Chapter Three:  Population explosion!

LETTER FROM HARRY WARNER, JR. DEPT:  "A widely known axiom in physics says that a loc may not
contain more words than the fanzine it concerns,  because an imbalance would rip asunder the space-time
continuum and replace it with low-grade plastic.  So I must be brief in these thanks for the second November
issue of e-Zombie.
     I well remember the Lez-ettes as an art form,  although I can't recite any samples from memory.  Have you
considered the probability that they caused the Japanese to invent haikus?   Same number of lines,  same
sparseness of words,  and I never heard of haiku before you started to publish Lez-ettes.
     Your summary of the brass bra tradition might be lost on younger fans who have never seen those old covers
on prozines published a half-century ago.  But maybe there are reproductions of brass bra art in  Frank  M.
Robinson's recent picture book.  Just think how the history of prozine cover illustrating would have changed
if the tendency to go braless had emerged among American females a few decades earlier than it eventually
did.  Thanks again for thinking about me."

LETTER FROM JOYCE SCRIVNER DEPT:  "I can't tell whether Thurman (et.al.)  want more brass bras or
fewer brass bras.  I do know they are *cold* when wearing them."

LETTER FROM TOM MESEROLE DEPT:  "You have told me on many occasions that you would leave me
40 acres of polyester.   Based on the latest Zombie,  does this mean the 40 acres are in Egypt?
     Can you confirm the rumor that brass when mined occurs in a small,  naturally ball-shaped form and that
when miners find them,  they pick them up and put them in their pockets?"

Confucius Pong Say:   When atom bomb drop from speeding aircraft,  tarry not to calculate angle of descent.

Copyright ©  2000-2001 by Wilson Tucker

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Issue #1 from the collection of Robin Wayne Bailey