Aztec blue #5 (September 2001), 22 pp., incl. cover by Brad W. Foster; available for the usual
Editor: Murray Moore, 1065 Henley Road, Mississauga, Ontario L4Y 1C8
Aztec blue, the most recent venture of veteran faned Murray Moore, has reached its first anniversary. Thish offers a short piece by Henry Welch on “What’s in an Annish” and two essays of fanhistorical interest. One is Howard DeVore’s account of antics with his first printing press, a miniature device that could handle nothing larger than a business card. Proof that less can be more.
The other long item is a 1957 trip report pivoting on that year’s London Worldcon. The occasion for reprinting it is the recent passing of the author, Boyd Raeburn, prominent in Canadian fandom in the 1950’s and 60’s. Tributes by Curt Phillips and Robert Lichtman praise Raeburn’s literary skills, and the essay, mysteriously titled “The Moth and the Arctic Steamroller”, demonstrates them. In a month-long sojourn, the writer visits and dines with fans in France, Switzerland, Germany, England and Ireland. Nothing astounding happens, but the tale rolls along pleasantly and offers a glimpse of the days when one could, without irony, describe Geneva as having “a quiet, small-town atmosphere, . . . like a scrubbed, fresh farm girl”.
Next morning by fast efficient diesel train through the pretty Romily countryside back to Manchester, and on to a EGA plane which zoomed at a snappy 160 mph over to Belfast. Having actually arrived at the historic Oblique House, I was so bemused that I casually strolled into the famous attic without pausing to think appropriate solemn thoughts as I crossed the threshold. John Berry arrived muttering “I feel vicious” and a demonstration game of Ghoodminton was staged for the benefit of Steve Schultheis and myself, John playing against Walt and Madeleine. While certain portions of Berry “factual articles” may be open to doubt, I now have no reason to disbelieve his descriptions of Ghoodminton games. As played by the Belfast fans, it’s a natural for television.
-- Boyd Raeburn
Seven and a half pages of LoC’s, almost all interesting or amusing, complete the ish. Browsing through them, we learn that Eric Lindsay is hoping to turn GUFF, the Australasia-Europe fan fund, into an annual event, that the Seattle portion of Murray Moore’s not-yet-published CUFF report is 3,524 words long, that Ron Solomon has discovered that the old story “A Subway Named Möbius” is a factual description of the Boston T, that John Berry is back from Albania, and that Bill Wright not only intends never to go there but has been reminded of a most atrocious pun involving Pandit Nehru and Fidel Castro. Teddy Harvia contributes a cartoon featuring an alien disguised as the editor’s front door disguised as a hall costume. The Brad Foster cover is, I surmise, the same alien back home relating its adventures to its cub.
The Knarley Knews #90 (October 2001), 22 pp., incl. cover by Sheryl Birkhead, $1.50 or the usual
Editor: Henry Welch, 1525 16th Avenue, Grafton, Wisconsin 53024
That The Knarley Knews has appeared every second month for the past fifteen years harrows me with fear and wonder. Thish contains a lot of travel: the editor’s drive to MilPhil, Lysa DeThomas’ explorations of caves in Israel and Sue Welch’s experiences in Maui. On a more serious note, Knarley writes soberly and sensibly about the September 11th atrocities, and Lysa reflects on the permanent terrorist threat faced by her Israeli friends (and the American media's tendency to downplay it in favor of phony even-handedness). Rounding out the essays is “Charlotte’s Web”, Charlotte Proctor’s informal book and movie review column. This time she writes about Eric Flint’s time travel/alternate history novel 1632 and a PBS movie bio of Harry S Truman (the President who has, IMHO, swung the most giddily from underrated to overrated; of course you’ll find no debunking on PBS).
LoC’s make up almost exactly half the issue. Knarley has a first-rate stable of correspondents, though I was disappointed to see Lloyd Penney’s repetition of the old untruism that “there are more sex scenes in the Bible than in some porn novels”. Not at all disappointing was Harry Warner: “If artificial intelligence comes into existence, I can guess the nature of one of its earliest controversies. Some AIs will contend that they exist as a result of evolutionary progress while another party will believe that creationism by mysterious entities called humans resulted in AI’s existence.” A couple of correspondents chime in on the tail end of a conversation about a credit card problem: A fan charged various items at a Worldcon. Visa, seeing charges within a period of a few days to merchants located all across North America, decided that the card must have been stolen. I can imagine such a misapprehension - except that hucksters are so slow about putting charges through that the ones that I run up at Worldcons tend to be spread across many, many weeks. Thus we see again the virtues of Sloth.
Sheryl Birkhead’s cover is recursive.