FEMIZINE #2 (August 1954)

OCR/retyping this issue by Rob Hansen.

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Not that we have seen the pyramids (or even a pyramid) as yet despite our fifteen month sojourn in this arid land. The word "Editorial" has become distasteful to us though - it is used too often ---- We also have no great liking for writing in the first person plural, so we will cease forthwith.

In the next issue I am seriously thinking of going all Cockney and using the title "The Six-inch Nile'.

It might be a good idea to point out here and now that I am fully aware that the words "Summer 54 have appeared on both the first and second issues. It might stop you from mentioning it in a caustic way in your letters. The reason for the extended season will be obvious to anyone who has spent some time in Egypt. Any fanzine printed here between April and October can be labelled "Summer". During this part of the year it is hot! In fact, it is so hot at the moment that by the time a stencil has been half done, the cuts begin to melt and fill in again. This would be a wonderful excuse for any bad duplication if it wasn't for the fact that if there are any bad patches they will probably be at the bottom of the pages. Even I couldn't expect anyone to believe that I start a stencil at the foot and type upwards -----

I'm using waxless stencils anyway -------

Talking about cutting stencils, there have been several people lately giving good advice on the subject. I have had a few enquiries about the stylus I used in the last issue. Here then is my own contribution to the noble art. The stylus was not a real one. If you can't get hold of the real thing, all you need is a paper clip (preferably W.D. -- better quality) and a nail file. Straighten out the paper clip and file down one end until it is smooth and rounded. And there you have one stylus, fanzine editor for the use of. It really works too, as the illos in FEZ 1 and the article headings in this issue prove (I hope) ----------

My nails have never been quite the same since -----

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This issue incorporates a number of changes, as you will doubtless have noticed. First there is the format. I always did intend to go quarto because I thought it was the most popular size. A number of people said they liked the half-foolscap size, but I couldn't stick to that because it holds too few words per page. There are thirty pages as promised, not counting covers. The type is not smaller, but you will have to blame Sandy for that. He bought the typewriter when he was on leave in the U.K.

Now for the "cover". The present one is an emergency measure because I don't want to hold back the Con Report any longer. In any case, there will be no beefcake. It seems there has been a change of mind - a woman's prerogative - and the idea now is to get a stylised illo that can be printed and used for each issue.

The poetry in FEZ 1 met with a very mixed reception. The reprint programme will continue up to FEZ 3. After that it will depend on whether there are any originals written or not. Apart from subscribers etc, this issue of FEZ is also going, out to those people who received FEZ 1 and have not yet subbed. If those people still do not send any money to Frances, well, they have gained another free copy. It's just too bad. We would prefer to have them as regular readers though -----

FEZ has developed a number of good friends among the men despite (or because of?) our all femme-writers policy, Amongst these are Harry Turner who has in hand the problem of the future cover design, and Stu Mackenzie who is helping to distribute FEZ 1 to the members of the London O who could not attend the Con. Speaking of Stu, I must confess to jumping the gun somewhat and taking a part of his letter (in "Mail and Female") too seriously Further correspondence with Stu has now cleared up the situation. There was no serious intention. (Will the people at the back who are shouting "A feud, a feud', please sit down?)

The letter column also reveals that no one is quite certain of what to call the femmes. I thought that the terms were standardised as follows:- FAN - male singular, and how!! FANNE - female singular, rhymes with 'vain' naturally. FEN - male plural, origin bogged down among the Wild Irish. FEMMES - female plural. Could we get together on this?

There will be no advertising in FEZ. However, the names of other zines have been mentioned quite often both in the letter section and Con report, as well as in the review column. This leads me to proclaim that FEZ is not afraid of competition. In fact, we interlineate on the subject thusly

----------all those in favour say "i"---------

Continued on page 24

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joy goodwin


They came in their flying saucers by the thousand: the little Venusians: the fragile men who looked as if they would not hurt anyone. Their pale skins and their golden togas made them stand out wherever they landed. But Earth could not deal with them. They twittered amongst themselves and glared at the crowds with anger. Then stalked through and headed for the town centres.

They gazed and twittered, then turned to mutter in low voices to each other. No Venusian turned to speak with a human, though several of the more brave of us attempted to attract their attention. If one was touched, he would brush past indifferently.

We waited and wondered - at a distance.

The army sent small platoons to every town where a saucer had landed, to watch and to guard against violence. The police took reports. The radio babbled speeches from the World Government at Geneva. Television followed the Venusians on their rounds of inspection. Daily we became more hysterical, especially when the Venusians ignored all attempts to divert them from their visits to slaughterhouses, zoos, farms and pet shops. We worried as to why they did not attempt to speak to us. Worried why they had come - and in such numbers. What did they intend to do?

A week after they landed, we knew. At dawn, I woke to find myself behind a wire-mesh barrier. With me were two men, a woman, and two children. The cage was 20' by 20', with the mesh going all round. The next cage held the same complement. And the next. My head ached and I felt dizzy. I looked at my companions.

"You know where we are, don't you?" I whispered, horrified.

The taller of the two men looked at me.

"Yeah, I know. They must have drugged us somehow last night. What happens now?"

I looked at him steadily, a little contemptuously.

"We get out of here first. Then we let..." He cut me short.
"Don't hope. I've tried everything. We won't get out. I did get the cage door open, but you can't leave. There's some sort of force field round us that we can't break through".

I admit I moaned. I didn't like the sound of it.

"Do you think they'll give us any food. And what are they going to do to us?"

He didn't answer, but pointed outside. There were the Venusians with their companions. I felt sick. I had suddenly remembered their keen interest in the slaughterhouses. The tall man looked at me again.

"Remember that test rocket we sent up, the one that must have landed?" I nodded. "They must have learned to talk -somehow- to those damned monkeys. Look at them nattering away together".

I looked. The Venusians and the monkeys were walking arm in arm gazing into cage after cage. Well, at least they feed us.


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A woman's eye view of the Convention compiled from reports by

frances evans, ethel lindsay, and ina shorrock,

with a "neo-fanne's" impressions supplied by

irene boothroyd,

and a few interruptions from


FRANCES: The convention really started for me on Friday night, when I met Ethel at the Bus Depot after her long trek from Scotland. There were quite a number of people arriving and we all trailed down to the Grosvenor where we helped swell the growing tide of fanhumanity. That is an apt simile because the sound inside the Grosvenor resembled the roaring and pounding of foam on some distant beach. I must confess I didn't pay much attention to the talk swirling around me because there was too much excitement in the air, and I thought that Ethel would be feeling tired after her journey. Apparently I was right, for we left early.

---------- I don't need to travel down from Glasgow to be insulted--------- ...Ethel

At home the fannish chatter continued, but in a more relaxed surrounding, and at a subdued level - until Sandy turned up. Sandy was on six weeks leave from Egypt, and he had already spent four of them skulking round Manchester ensuring that he would not be recognised by any members of the NSFC. To aid him in this he had bought a pale green sports coat, a slightly darker green pair of slacks, a black shirt and a grey tie with a pink lining! Needless to say the disguise was a complete success. The reason for it was that he was supposed to be a "surprise guest", but as it turned out there was only a small element of surprise left by the time he got on the stage on Saturday.

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After lots more talk, and a supper that included Russian Salmon, and after Sandy had succeeded in insulting Ethel, we threw him out and settled down for the night.

Saturday dawned too early - much too early. I thought I thought I would never manage to get ready by the time the car called, and I was right. The car was needed to carry the copies of FEZ 1, a blackboard, and an assortment of other things for the Con, as well as two bodies. Having arrived at the hotel, we soon set up the FEZ stand and then we settled down to wait for the other people to arrive.

INA: Pat Doolan and I, with the rest of the Liverpool Group, arrived at the Grosvenor just after 10.30am. We had to battle our way through the crowds of fen (and Brian Burgess) waiting to greet us on the steps and in the foyer, in order to reach the reception desk.

After finding our rooms, which were all in the same corridor, we wended our way downstairs to the Con room. On the way we met Sandy Sanderson who greeted us with "Shush, I'm still in Egypt". It was unfortunate that Sandy was on his own. Joan Carr was unable to get there too.

-----Did Daphne find her black effort?------- ...Sandy

JOAN: Perhaps a few words of explanation are due here. Frances mentioned that she had seen Sandy the previous night. At this stage only she, Ethel and Brian Varley knew that the boy was in England. On Saturday morning he hung around outside the hotel dodging groups of fen. When the front entrance was clear he slipped through, but just as he was going upstairs Dave Cohen came down, He managed to keep out of Dave's way, and eventually he made a dash up the stairs. This took him as far as Ethel. In fact, he almost knocked her down. Nobody else witnessed this, so he went into a coffee room while Ethel got Brian's room key and gave it him.

---he is very choosy about who he lets sub to Nirvana---

Brian's room (naturally was two more flights up, but Sandy couldn't leave the coffee room because it was at one end of the landing and corridor that led to the Con room, and Dave Cohen was stood facing it. Eventually Dave moved back into the hall. There was nobody outside the coffee room and nobody coming up the stairs. All seemed quiet. Sandy made one wild dash and on the next flight he went straight through the L'pool Group. Hurling a few words behind him to stop them from spreading the news, he threw himself into Brian's room and proceeded to recover with the help of the gin he had thoughtfully taken with him. He was on his last glass when Brian called him down to make his presence known. Sandy tells me that he will never try to "surprise" anyone again.

INA: The Con room was very crowded with folk greeting each other and setting up their displays. Womanlike, the first thing I looked for was the FEZ display which was not bad,

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considering we had very little to display really. In the FEZ corner I met Ethel Lindsay and Frances Glynn, Frances Evans was at the door very busy helping Brian Varley to collect subs. I hope they eventually managed to collect all that were owing, as the London O and a few others seemed a little, shall we say, shy.

FRANCES: As is usual at Conventions, very little happened before lunch. Various people were introduced and money was collected. The Bran Tub got under way - -

INA: Pat and I had to do some shopping, so we missed the opening, but we heard that the Bran

---------I AM tempting you------- ...David

Tub was a great success. Not surprising when you consider that most of the parcels Frank Simpson handed out for 6d each contained good value.

After lunch at the hotel - the only meal we had there (except breakfast on Sunday for those who could crawl down for it) - we found we were being moved from the original room on the first floor, down stairs to another hall next to the bar. This was very convenient for most of the attendees and was probably the reason for the Con being the success it was. It seems the manager objected to our fixing posters with sellotape to his newly decorated walls in the first room, although some of us thought for a moment that the zapping might have also started him thinking.

FRANCES: Quite a number of us dined out at the Ping Hong. Ethel, Terry Jeeves and I, Geoff Lewis and his friend, and several others sat down at one table. Shortly afterwards Brian Varley and Sandy arrived, but Brian had to return to help change rooms. Eventually about five tables were taken up by fen. Apart from the food, the most interesting points of the meal were the quote cards from Vin¢ Clarke that were passed around, and the various conversations. I remember that

----Ethel's lost something----- ...Frances

at one time I was hotly defending Terry with the words "But Terry's a gentleman at heart". In a somewhat mournful voice Terry muttered that it was only "because I can't get any morals", which is double punning with a vengeance.

INA: The afternoon session began with a seemingly serious talk on the Atom by Frank Simpson, a research chemist. This talk was much enlivened by little notes being passed around. One, a remark about a diagram thus ⌒ ⌒ on the blackboard Frank was using, read: "Is that a drawing of Sandy's camel, or a plane view of Marilyn Monroe?"

Next on the stage was Alistair Paterson who wanted to know what sort of covers we wanted on our mags. This was a clever device, because obviously fen opinions would differ so widely as to make it farcical. Jim Rattigan and Terry Jeeves assisted by sketching for him on the blackboard.

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Joy Goodwin voted for more of the Bonestell type, and I heartily agree. The less we get a la Bergey Girls, without spacesuits, the better I'll like it.

JOAN: Personally I go for the more abstract styles as seen on "Beyond' ---------

INA: After Paterson, we of the L'pool Group put on our tape recording of a play by Walt Willis plus an American commentary by our own Don McKay, which went over well. It was the first time I had heard the recording although I had been to a rehearsal beforehand. I am informed that quite a few good lines were missed with folk laughing at previous ones, but Norman tells me Eric

----My impression of hell is where everyone keeps on talking and doesn't give me a chance---- ...Ted Tubb

Bentcliffe now has a copy of the script for publication in Triode (Price 9d from Eric at 47 Alldis Street, Great Moor, Stockport, Cheshire. - PLUG!)

JOAN: You see what I mean? FEZ is not afraid of competition!

ETHEL: I think the Auction came at this point. Once Ted Tubb had got into his stride there was no holding him. The speed at which he got through the material was fantastic, and I should know because being a glutton for punishment I had joined Frances in, collecting money. How I wish I had a perfect memory! Even if I could have remembered only half of Ted's remarks I would be happy, but they have all gone. All but one. I do remember Ted looking at Frances and saying "You glamorous houri". This was followed by a slight pause and then Ted slowly spelled the word, "h-o-u-r-i" so there could be no mistake.

JOAN; It seems to me that watching Ted at an auction calls for a certain amount of restraint. For example: if the neo-fan at your side sighs deeply and asks. "Don't you think poor Mr Tubb

----Funny how often artistically gifted people are not very bright----

is overworking? He looks so tired trying to auction those things" -- if the neo-fan uncorks that one it would be a very difficult thing not to reply rudely, "Indeed I don't. In my opinion, sir, Mr Tubb has one hell of an easy life. In my opinion he doesn't work half hard enough. And as for him looking tired - stuff and nonsense! It's all bunk my dear neo-fan. You will never see Mr Tubb looking any other way. Mr Tubb is merely bored and semi-drunk, and you are partly responsible".

Of course, this answer might be quite untrue, but Ted has the necessary appearance, and there is a deal of satisfaction in brutally offending one's neighbour at a Convention. From what I have heard, one instinctively feels like doing it.

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INA: In the evening there was a showing of the film "Things To Come", and unlike previous Loncons the film did arrive and didn't break down.

When the film ended, Liverpudlifans adjourned to lounge 133, specially booked for a party, but I remember little of this because Pat Doolan and I spent most of our time filling empty glasses. It was great fun.

ETHEL: The word "party" to me only brings thoughts of a succession of knees ----

FRANCES: Well, to me it was the first time I had experienced M/c's familiar weather indoors. The party was undoubtedly the outstanding success of the Con. It must have led to a few thick

---I'm just relaxing as a precaution against collator's cramp--- ...Harry Turner

heads, broken glasses, and broken zap-guns before it was all over, but everyone had a good time. In fact, about the only thing that wasn't a success was the attempt by the London O to introduce a "Miss Pat Mahaffey" to all and sundry. Neither all nor sundry seemed to be interested.

JOAN: A ruse by any other name ---? Sandy tells me this should have been called the TripleCon. CONvention, CONfidence trick and CONstance ---

INA: I retired from the party in 133 after 2.00am, but I had not long been asleep when a noise in the corridor told me the party had arrived. There was a terrific battle going on with Con rods (Thanks Don!). Having previously armed myself before reaching M/c I was able to join in. Those also in the corridor beside the L'pool Group were Terry Jeeves, Brian Varley, Eric Bentcliffe Fred Robinson (taking photographs) and Dave Cohen. After a while Alistair Paterson made an appearance, and was promptly doused!

JOAN: Now I know fen are crazy. They make fools of themselves over visiting American celebrities when there are any, and over substitutes when there are not. But nobody really minds.

----FEZ needs_some regular calumnists----

In fact it would seem that nobody minds anything that happens at a Con except the manager of the hotel in which it is being held, and perhaps en occasional guest who ventures into the corridor at half past four in the morning to see if it is an elephant that is charging up and down and gets squirted by a zap-gun for his troubles.

INA: Next morning I was one of the few who were up for breakfast. Sharing a table with Harry Turner and Sandy Sanderson, we watched a few others crawl in with their eyes propped open. The rest of Sunday morning I just cannot recall - probably my share of the Lost Weekend.

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ETHEL: Sunday morning I was still wandering around trying to get dressed when Frances came in. She brought with her a fame from Huddersfield named IRENE BOOTHROYD who certainly was a Trufanne for she had been thoroughly soaked with rain on her way to M/C. This didn't dampen her enthusiasm at meeting a gathering of fen. for the first time. Too late to go down for breakfast I ordered up tea and toast which we all shared. As usual. we had so much to say we hardly stopped for breath.

IRENE: Yes, I arrived cold and wet (went home cold and wet too) but hot tea and some stimulating conversation soon revived me. The first person I met down stairs was Brian Varley -

JOAN: Probably the one thing that all conventioneers had in common - how that boy loves money!!

IRENE: Brian has a strong preference for Canadian Whisky but is quite likeable, if a little younger than I expected. My guide had temporarily vanished so I took a walk around and

----Saturday and Sunday were just the Con---- ...Ethel

found a collection of old magazines - fascinating they were too. Being an innocent I thought "They're very old so they should be very cheap - 6d each at most - I'll have the lot". It didn't take me long to find the owner, who was very glad to see me. He said "Why yes dear, you can have the lot- 2/- each". When I recovered and he started his next remark with "Really Madam - " I knew I was a neo-fanne!

FRANCES: Sorry about the vanishing trick. Its the last lot of cream I bought --- Irene by the way is a "neo-fanne" who knows more about. SCIENCE FICTION per se than anyone I know. And that includes most of the NSFC and L'pool Groups, and a fair slice of the London O-!

ETHEL: Frank Simpson was still busy selling the Bran Tub, although the best items - ashtrays made by Pete Baillie - had all been snapped up. The morning programme which was to have

----Pro is an improper noun---- ...Sandy

consisted of the Fan-Eds panel got shifted to the afternoon, and my ordeal of getting up on the platform was postponed for a while.

I went out to lunch with Frances, Irene, Sandy, Geoff Lewis and Geoff's friend, and proceeded to Lyons, where we had a good tuck-in surrounded by clouds of conversation.

The Fan-Eds panel foregathered and I had an awful time persuading them I didn't want to speak first. Not that I need have worried once we got started. We spent so much time over each zine that we never did get through the whole pile. Two that I know for sure weren't reviewed because of lack of time were "Andromeda° and "Orion". Both good zines. I felt it was a pity. "Haemogoblin was thoroughly reviewed by Tony Thorne who did a

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very good job. I thought his review was very fair and heaved a sigh of relief when he turned two pages at once, thus missing my small contribution. There was some excitement over the review of "Space Times" which has figured in some rapid editorial changes lately. However it passed over in a more or less seemly manner. Eric Bentcliffe the former Ed., contented himself with labelling Stu Mackenzie, his successor, as "pompous'. Stu apparently missed the beginning of the session due to a change in the time. He got back in time to put his own views forward. I put my two cents worth in by saying that I approved of Stu's idea of reprinting Willis articles that had

----Ethel wishes she could speak English---- ...Frances

once appeared in the States. After all, we can't afford to sub to all the British zines these days let alone the American ones as well, 'FEZ was reviewed by Fred Smith. I was rather disappointed with this perhaps the thought of criticising the femmes scared Fred, at anyrate he didn't say one word I could take hold of. I would rather he had given me a chance to argue.

On the whole the Fan-Eds were very nice to each other, but of course, each one knew just how much work was involved, the only reward of which is some kindly comment. Being only an Assnt. Ed. myself I am free to say I think all fan-eds are wonderful.

INA: Next we had John Gunn on the stage He entertained us with some very clever "mind reading" and card tricks, and even though I was on the stage helping him I couldn't see how he did it.

IRENE: I seemed some to spend some time (too much) on eating and/or drinking, but I had some very interesting conversations during/after meals.

FRANCES: You can't spend too much on eating.

IRENE: You should worry! During one of the conversations Frances me that when she was first going out with her husband Cyril it was a toss-up as to whether they should get married or

--What I like about Romance is the way it gets people together-- ...Ted Tubb

buy a motor-bike. The bike lost. The reason for the indecision was the fact that Cyril lived some distance away -- "but he doesn't now" said Frances. I pondered over this profound statement for some time.

After a while I began to realize that if I didn't talk to people they wouldn't answer, so I nerved myself to speak to a small quiet man who was really wonderful. He talked so well about so many interesting things that I would have been content to listen for hours. Then someone called him to give a talk from the stage and I found I had been listening to John Russell Fearn. I do wish

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someone had told me. Now I can't remember whether I made intelligent replies or whether he took me for a fool - probably the later, but I do wish I had known who he was.

ETHEL: After his solo performance, JRF joined the Authors Panel with John Brunner, Ted Tubb, Sydney Bounds, E.R.James, and Ken Bulmer. They had to answer questions from the audience, some serious and some not. In answer to the question "What is your favourite idea of a Con programme", I think John Brunner answered best when he said it was a programme that disintegrated at 11.30am. He at least must have enjoyed the Supermancon!! The answer to "What is Ted Tubb's sex?" was 'Yes..."---

Later we had three editors on the stand, Alistair Paterson of Scion, Peter Hamilton of Nebula, and John Carnell of Nova. I thought how very Scots Peter sounded among the Sassenachs.

----Could you consider blackmail as a guilt-edged security?----

They were discussing the reprinting of U.S. stories. Carnell was in favour of it if it was a worthwhile story. I see that Bob Tucker's "Wild Talent" will start in the next issue of "New Worlds" so he has not changed his mind. All three eds made themselves popular with the fans. Carnell endeared himself to all the Mancunians by saying it was the best Con he had attended this side of the Atlantic. Patterson endeared himself to me by paying me the compliment of saying "it was a pleasure to see a genuine Scotswoman in a genuine tartan". Peter is very nice too. He gave me en original from "Nebula".

The highlight of the programme was to have been the Trial of H. J. Campbell, ed. of Authentic, accused of the heinous crime of saying "bloody provincials" at the '53 Con. The absence of H.J. due to his motor-bike having broken down was not allowed to cramp our style. Ron Buckmaster donned a false beard and acted in his place. Dave Newman was Judge, Ted Tubb defending Q.C., Terry Jeeves prosecuting Q.C., and Peter Campbell as the clerk of the court. With this cast a prepared script was really a waste of tine. I ought to know -- I wasted the time in copying out the original script seemingly hundreds of times. After a couple of false starts everyone adlibbed at a great rate and quaffed innumerable pints of bheer (quite unlike the Old Bailey really!)

----We don't mind new femme-fans when they are single or attractive - but when they bring them in young...!---- ...Ethel

The result was a hilarious frolic, far better than the original would have been. One section of dialogue that I particularly remember went like this. Ted Tubb: "Is this germane to the facts?" Dave Newman: "Who is germane?" Terry Jeeves: "Charmain's sister!"

INA: I think the Trial would have fallen flat had it not been for Terry Jeeves and Ted Tubb. They put up a wonderful performance considering it was all off the cuff. Terry, as prosecuting Q.C., drew the biggest laugh with his five briefs. Three were sheets of paper, but the other two were

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panties, one black and the other pink. He also offered to give them to any maiden who would go to his room (104) for a fitting. However, to my knowledge, they were still in his possession at 3.00am. (Did anyone claim them after that Terry?)

JOAN: By a most curious chain of events it just so happens that I now possess the pink panties! The chain includes Ethel and Sandy, You can work it out for yourselves, but I bet you come up with the wrong answer.

ETHEL: One of my never to be forgotten memories of the Con was seeing Tony Thorne absolutely helpless with laughter at Ted Tubb's antics. The trial ended somehow - I'm not clear

----You're not only talking at cross purposes, you're crucifying me---- ...Sandy

how. The official verdict was to have been "Guilty but insane". I got hauled off to be interviewed by a reporter about that time. Not that the reporter printed anything I told him - they never do!

IRENE: I had to leave shortly after the Trial. My final impressions? Well they were rather strange. Those four syllabled words - an introduction to the most debauched man I know", who turned out to be most inoffensive behold Vargo Statten and Volsted Gridban turn out to be one man, John Russell Fearn - the faux pas I made (don't know what that means but it looks well in print) -

JOAN: Quad's father. It follows from "Pas de deux".

IRENE: I met and laughed at and with my favourite author Ted Tubb, who writes those human stories so well, and I was introduced to a most interesting man four times and still failed to remember his name. Above all, I had a wonderful day, and next year I shall try to make fewer "mistakes". I must remember that the older a magazine the more valuable it is. I must save up more money!

ETHEL: I cannot honestly describe the rest of the programme. I don't think there was and more, apart from a "give-away' auction conducted by Frank Simpson. I adjourned to the bar and

----You haven't got anything on me---- ...Frances

principally spent my time talking to as many fen as I could. I met Chuck Harris and James White. I asked Chuck if it was true that James was engaged, and to my sorrow he replied yes. I then tried unsuccessfully to make James' glasses steam up. I consoled myself with their autographing my programme. Brian Lewis came to tell me gleefully that a ticket I had bought had won the jumper raffled by the Medway people. I had put the name of Dave Cohen's little girl on it. For the rest of the evening we sat and talked.

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And how we talked! Incessantly. Came the time when Frances said she had to go. We were to meet the next day. The biggest success of the Con to me personally was the delight of finding Frances just as I had pictured her, and finding we got on like a house on fire!

INA: After saying farewell to some others who also had to leave that evening, a few of us went out for supper. (Four male members of the L'pool Group went out on more urgent business - bottles). We then returned for a drink at the bar and on once more to another late session.

----costume was red and green, like a traffic signal with no caution----

ETHEL: Sandy and I had been invited to join the party, and eventually - after Sandy had provided himself with a bottle, as our share of the drinks - we found our way to the room. I was successful that night in persuading Brian Varley to part with half-a-crown as a sub to FEZ. It only took me two days of hard work. We sat on the floor, on the bed, draped over the furniture in fact almost everywhere you looked were bodies. We talked and talked, making the lubrication essential. Brian thoughtfully poured some whisky over my hair, Terry kept warning me about "varlets", Pat and I were photographed "adoring" Norman, and round about 2.30am we discovered that someone had been writing down what we said. These quotes will appear as interlineations in the next issue of SD, so I cannot repeat them here. All too soon it was 3.30am, and a porter came to the door demanding that we break up.

INA: Yes, the night porter gave us the ultimate ultimatum at 3.30am. "Retire to your own rooms or leave the hotel!"

Next day we left the management with our compliments - and the empties! someone was probably surprised to find seventeen wine glasses in their bottom drawer - dressing table, room 194. (It would have been eighteen only Sandy's was his own as he took it with him).

To summarise, the convention programme was similar to those of previous Loncons and although Dave Cohen apologised far too profusely, I think most people enjoyed themselves in other parts of the Grosvenor if not at the "official" Con. They enjoyed meeting new faces, renewing old acquaintances, and the smoke-filled rooms!

ETHEL: So the Con was over for another year. But not the fun! On Monday morning it poured with rain. It was a pity too because I had looked forward to seeing the Whit Monday processions

----I have a tidy mind---- ...Ethel.

of the M/c schoolchildren. May did put in an appearance, but the rain spoilt everything. Sandy turned up at the Grosvenor about 9.30am, and he was just in time to say goodbye to the London

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O who were about to move off. Then, when we were in the hotel, Frances rang me up. Apparently the procession had put a stop to the M/c Transport Department! The rain was still pouring down, so Sandy suggested that he should go to collect her in a taxi. FRANCES: When Sandy turned up I was feeling rather miserable. The taxi had taken the longest way round "because of the procession" Those drivers must make a fortune over the Whit weekend. We got back to the hotel just in time to say goodbye to the London O who were about to move off.

By this time the bar had opened, and we decided that it was the best place to be because of the rain. When we had settled down with a drink, the London O came to the same conclusion as us and trouped back in. About an hour later we left

---Does she know the difference between esoteric and erotic?---

the bar and were just in time to say goodbye to the London O who were about to move off. This time they really did! The rest of Monday seemed like a dream. Everyone had gone, apart from Sandy and Ethel. I remember showing Ethel the sights of M/c - or at least I started to, but the infernal rain wouldn't let us move any distance. We ended up at Victoria Station. (It has a roof, and it is one of the biggest sights I know),I remember the three of us getting on a bus with the intention of going to Belle Vue, but we talked so much that it wasn't until Sandy remarked we were going a devil of a long way for 2 1/2d that I realized we had gone miles past the stop. This turned out to be one of those queer unreal-seeming coincidences because as we clattered down the stairs and onto the pavement we saw Frank Simpson sat inside the bus. By the time we had recovered from our surprise there were a hundred yards separating us, but this didn't deter Frank. He yelled something about "Cannon Street 3.00pm". I remember going back to a cafe in Cannon Street and being joined by Dave Cohen and Frank. Then the five of us did go to Belle Vue. (I'm still trying _to figure out why.) By this time the rain had

----I'm contra-Terry matter - I had a settee shock---- ...Frances

stopped, and we wandered all over the place. It developed into another of those talking sessions were everybody is extremely witty in a fannish way, or so it seems at the time, but you can never remember what was said. If you do, it rarely sounds as funny as it did at the time. I do recall that Sandy reverted to his role of cynic and succeeded in insulting everybody in a humorous way. (That boy has a talent for sarcasm). I remember we had something to eat somewhere, and that we ended up at the Grosvenor. We stayed there until the bar closed and imbibed and talked. As a matter of fact most of the interlineations in this piece were uttered that night. It never once seemed real though somehow. Aftermath of a Convention. As a finishing touch I remember Ethel asking one of the porters (or was he a waiter?) what he had thought of the events of the weekend. The only word of his reply that I remember is "childish". Protective amnesia?

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No, it can't be that. The poor man just didn't understand.

ETHEL: And so Monday came to an end. I didn't leave M/c until Wednesday night, but I never succeeded in recapturing the enjoyment and fun of the weekend, Summing up the Con I would say it was a great social success. From my personal viewpoint I enjoyed every minute and wish it was not so long until the next time.

FRANCES: And those are my sentiments also I couldn't add to them in any way.

JOAN: Perhaps it is wrong for me to give my final opinion on the Convention, because I wasn't present. All that I have said so far has come from either Sandy or one of my many correspondents. Anyway, having said so much, a little more can't hurt. It is at Conventions that many life-long friendships, and an occasional enemyship (if there is such a craft in sf.) are formed. This is why Conventions should be. There is nothing else quite like them. There is nothing else within a mile of

----Is a cuticle a nice looking icicle?----

them. Come to think of it, if some people weren't mad there would be nobody within a mile of them. A person such as myself who has never attended a Convention has neither lived nor savoured life, and that mistake should be rectified at the earliest possible moment. It is not wise for professionals or BNF's to refuse an invitation to a Convention. It is not courageous. As a rule one has a fairly good time for a pitiful piece of change. Of course, one pays a thousand times over in mental anguish. One must be hearty and innocently merry at a Convention and this comes hard to most of use Also, at a Convention one must shake hands with people one doesn't know, and whom one does not want to know. One must talk with these people and at the same time restrain the impulse to scream piercingly and to commit murder. There are ever so many things one must and must not do at a Convention. Among the hardest of the things one must not do is to keep from making maniacal faces and obscene gestures at people who smile on one with unfair suddenness and dazzling brightness.

If one stopped to consider the hard work, the high hopes and tons of good will and better intentions that go to make every Convention a reality one would be sunk in a mire of self- accusation and fannish depression. But one-must not think of

----Imagine letting those Mancunians away with a day from my life!---- ...Ethel

such things unless one enjoys shedding tears on to the semi absorbent paper of a fanzine. To enjoy a Convention in the right spirit one must be able to take it or leave it just like that. It is easy enough to take a Convention, but to leave it is an entirely different matter. It is almost impossible to leave a Convention. Even Houdini couldn't leave a Convention. Prisons, yes. Fortresses, yes.

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Chests at the bottom of rivers, yes, yes. Conventions, no. His one great failure. They go on and on and on do Conventions. After a while, one gains the impression that one is going to live the remainder of one's life at a Convention. One speculates whether it would not be a wise thing to send for one's trunks and furniture so as to be properly equipped to do full justice to this Convention. The faces of old 'friends appear in fancy, and well-loved places, now forever left behind, float before one's aching eyes.

And yet one smiles brightly at a Convention, and keeps on smiling though not quite so brightly for interminable hours, and after it is all over one goes home and kicks one's dog, beats one's

--Don't open your mouth at an all—night party - except To drink. If you say something it's bound to appear in a fanzine---- ...Sandy

wife, sets fire to one's neighbour' house, and feels a great deal better.

And then one begins to reminisce and to make plans for attending the next Convention, because in spite of everything one has really had the best time of one's life, and wouldn't miss the next for the world.

At least, that's the way it appears to me, a modified version of the way church suppers appeared to Thorne Smith. See you next year.


I thought I saw a wondrous dream

Too marvellous to wake up,

A face like fragile porcelain

Too beautiful to break up.

I looked again and saw it was

"Max Factor" Pancake make up.


The Con report took up more room than I thought it would. As a result, several articles have been held over until the next issuer. We have been begging for this material, so I thought it only fair to tell the writers was has happened to it. It won't be wasted --- work on FEZ 3 will begin as soon as this issue is posted. I hope the people concerned don't mind too much --- JWC

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Ode to the Odourless
Margaret G Hindes

If I were born to be a fragrant skunk
To make my way in lonely woods and vales
And hide beneath a weather-beaten trunk
And hear my name the butt of noisome tales,
I wonder if I'd mind if others smelled,
Or carried odours for defensive use
To spray when nature gave no piercing quill
Or claws to keep their enemies repelled.
Perhaps in spite of my familiar juice
Another's fumes would seem a greater ill.

But I am not a skunk, and I resent
Perfumery uncorked in peopled halls
By someone doused in fashion's latest scent,
Or crushed in elevators' narrow stalls
I'm forced to breathe a blast of "Passion's Kiss",
Or gasp a wave of "Torrid Night" in crowds
When all I want is plain and simple air.
O blessed ether spread your priceless bliss,
A hundred dollar ounce may rise in clouds
But nature's space is still beyond compare.

O blow to me the lilac's natural breath,
Or lightly lift the daphne to my nose,
But save me from the concentrated death
Of bottled musk or saturated rose;
Remember that perfume came to be
When ladies took few baths, but walked in hope
That suffocating scents would cover all.
O let my nostrils breathe with clarity
And give my senses subtlety and scope
For clovered hills or dry-leaved winds of Fall.

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The black blood-drinker came again;
Wings softly brushed my window pane.
Her tapping beak and hungry eyes
Reflected floods of ancient lies
That mortal man returns to dust;
They were instiate with lust.
"Lift up the window, love". Came low,
A lovely voice from long ago
Still haunting me..."Oh, come love, came..."
My senses swam, my will went numb,
I stumbled through the ghastly gloom,
A black bat flew into my room.
Her soft wings brushed my bare, white breast;
She nestled, drank, and took my best.
I searched -- with hungry eyes -- the night,
As two black bats arose, took flight.


A man from Earth was piloting among the folds of space
When suddenly an unknown world enticed with dark embrace,
His panting ship went spinning through a swirl of ochre mists
And crashed in steaming purple sands and scattered amethysts.
Thrown clear he clutched a squirming clump of sticky, orange grass,
He lay beneath a pulsing tree, its shape a sponge-like mass,
While phosphorescent bubbles blew with each successive breath
He gasped unearthly atmosphere and knew that this was death.
His dying mind saw blue-rimmed suns and distant green-glazed sky,
But no familiar ant was there to hear his final sigh.

A great white form forsook its hole to touch the too-cold hand,
Its feelers moved across the face and tried to understand.
Then motionless, it pondered with a long developed brain
And wished this ugly, pinkish thing were able to explain - -
It seemed unfitted to survive the sweet, suspended bliss,
And why should any god devise a creature such as this --

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Zine here, please!

FANTAST SIDETRACK Apr-May 54. Kenneth F. Slater, "Riverside", South Brink, Wisbech, Cambs. England. This is an Operation Fantast publication and counts against the 7/6 a year sub in place of OF. (Ken has printers troubles). 16 pages. 7 ½ by 5. One can hardly review an O.F. publication. The circulation (700 copies I believe) speaks for itself. Suffice it to say that this semi-civilian fanzine contains the usual Slater mixture of serious and humorous articles, stories, book reviews, and general gossip that one has come to expect. The attention of FEZ's readers is drawn to the article by Vin¢ Clarke. Read and digest - and write! As an editor I would love to start rejecting material, but how can I when I find it almost impossible to make up an issue without doing a lot of scribbling myself - like this for example?

PEON No 31. Mar 54. Charles Lee Riddle, 108 Dunham Street, Norwich, Connecticut, USA. 10¢ or 12 for $1.00 (Vin¢?) (15 issues for 7/- to Fred Robinson, 63 Newborough Avenue, Llanishen, Cardiff, Glam., S.Wales, or John Gregor, Newhaven Street, Everton Park, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.) 39 pages and cover. 10 ½ by 8. Bi-monthly. Cover for this issue is by D. Young - courtesy of F.A.S. I assume that Bert Campbell sat for it. The material in Peon is mainly contributed by regular columnists. Jim Harmon - in serious vein - talks about paper back books, while T E Watkins, Terry Carr, and Ian T. McAuley give a good idea of the latest events of interest to fen. Gossipy to a large extent. At 7/- for 15, it's a bargain.

ANDROMEDA No 4. Spring 54. Peter Campbell, 60 Calgarth Road, Windermere, England. 2/- per issue or four for 7/6. (Vin¢ ?) (4 issues for $1.00 to David Rike, Box 203, Rodeo, Calif, USA.) 50 pages. 10¾ by 8¼. Quarterly. This is essentially a story'zine - 38 pages are taken up by 4 shorts and the second half of a novel. The novel is the best item and can be read and understood without the first half. If you like the work of fan authors, then this is for you. The duplication is excellent. One point, made by Peter Baillie in "Greed" is new - to me at any rate. If a man has X-ray vision, he would see through everything. What price Superman now?

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"i" No 1. June 54. J.Stuart Mackenzie, 5 Hans Place, London SW1. England. 1/6 per issue, sold one issue in advance only, Cover + 32 pages + vii + 3½ - no kidding!! 10 by 8, Quarterly(?). This is about the best of the new spate of fanzines, The other members of its editorial Triumfanate are Ted Tubb and Vin¢ Clarke. Ted contributes an excellent little item portraying the fans of the future written with a similar viewpoint as that started by Vin¢ (Scrooge on Ice) and made famous by WAW (The Enchanted Duplicator). Vin¢ is responsible for all the illos but one, and about half the stencil cutting. I think the impact of this first issue has been lessened to a certain degree by two things. One is the fact that I find most of Stu's writing to be a little awkward. I noticed this more in Stu's writing for S.T. Perhaps he has begun to do something about it. The other was the inclusion of the Special Supplement - Bloodshot. This is a description of a proposed plan to destroy fandom. Not only is this item poor in ideas, the presentation and layout are well below the standard set by the rest of the 'zine. Send 1/6 for the next issue. It will be worth it.

STARLANES April 54. Orma McCormick, 1558 W.Hazelhurst Street, Ferndale 20, Mich., USA. 40e per copy, 01.50 a year 24 pages and covers. 9 by 6. Quarterly. Printed. This is sub-titled The International Quarterly of Science Fiction Poetry" - and is just that!! 23 pages contain 47 poems by 39 poets. The last page is taken up by editorial material. The poetry is of a very mixed nature including as it does one two-verse and two one-verse limericks. It is not S.F. though, strictly speaking. Most of it is outright fantasy. 40¢ is rather a lot to pay for a fanzine. If you enjoy reading poetry of a fantastic nature then Starlanes is a must, and the price won't upset you. Otherwise ----

SPACE DIVERSIONS No 8. Norman Shorrock, 12A Rumford Place, Liverpool 3, England. 2/6 for three issues. (USA and Canada 50¢ for 3). 42 pages and covers. 10 by 8. Irregular. (There are two other address given - one for letters and one for material ---- (Vin¢..?) ((Sorry to keep on about this. If anyone does not know what it is all about, look at my reply to Stuart Mackenzie's letter in "Mail and Female")) SD is one of the best "club" 'zines in this country. Almost all the material is written by the boys in Liverpool. (Not because they want to, but because like me, they can't get anyone else. Luckily, they can write). This issue reprints the first part of the Symposium on Sex and Sadism in Science Fiction. If you didn't get hold of one of the 78 copies of this Symposium in its original one-shot foolscap presentation you have missed something of importance. An immediate sub to Norman might put this straight. The cover for this issue (one

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of the finest pieces of artwork I have seen on or in a fanzine) has been specially drawn by MacKay to illustrate the Symposium, and we are told that he has also scaled down his original drawings (foolscap) for inclusion in this quarto reprint. I don't know how this has been done, but careful comparison of the two reveals a number of differences - all of a minor nature. Letters, fanzine and book reviews, news columns and a couple of articles complete another excellent issue. I hope we won't have too long to wait for the next.

THE NEW FUTURIAN No 1. Spring 54. J. Michael Rosenblum, 7 Grosvenor Park, Leeds 7, England. 9d per copy or three shillings per year. 24 pages. 10⅜ by 8⅛. Quarterly. This fanzine might be termed an island in the sea of Seventh Fandom humour. (A sea that is in danger of becoming a morass - - ? If Lee and Walt - we won't argue about who influenced who - if they had realized what their own inimitable styles would lead to, would they have been any different? I think not, except for the fact that they would have been even more sardonically amused at the knowledge of the fate that awaited fandom) The New Futurian contains none of the humour that one has come to expect in new fanzines. The nearest you get to it is in the opening paragraphs of Ron Bennett's article "The Prehistoric Bradbury". The rest of the article is good!! I must confess to being a keen Bradbury fan myself. (This is something one should "confess" to? If I still have any readers we will continue the review.) The other item of interest to the majority of fen is the article by Wally Gillings. This is the first of a series to be written by Wally on the history of UK fandom, and as such it is of necessity autobiographical. The main part of the 'zine is taken up with nostalgia for the old days, and old book reviews - by which I mean reviews of old books. JMR has a vast collection, and it is on this point that I would like to argue with him. Surely, somewhere amongst his acres of hard covers there are some volumes that are good? I'm afraid I can't see the point in reviewing books that are usually described in the last paragraph as being poor. However, if you want to take a rest from terribly witty and esoteric puns, and learn how this whole thing got started, The New Futurian is the zine you want.

And that just about winds up the column for this issue. If any fanzine editor sends a copy of his zine for review, he will naturally receive a copy of each issue of FEZ. This is my first attempt at anything of this nature, and I have more or less stuck to giving details, with only a few comments. The quicker I receive the next batch of zines, the more time I will be able to give to them - and the better the reviews will be - I hope. I would like to put on record the fact that the Supermancon Combozine was a wonderful piece of work. To the Wizard of Repro, Harry Turner, we pay homage.

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or else, perhaps not quite so obvious.

----I've got it informal----

Incidentally, there is one thing I should have said in the first issue but forgot. The opinions expressed in FEZ are those of the writers, and not necessarily those of the editor. In fact, you can never be quite certain that those under my own name are the opinions of the edi-r.ol', The editor holds no opinion on anything!

Who wants my 2/6?
Next year's convention is being run by certain characters in the London O. At least, that is what I have been told. I have no other details though, Presumably it will be held at the normal time, i.e. Whit weekend, and presumably there is a Treasurer who wants to start collecting same cash. Under normal circumstances I don't like parting with money, but this is different. The 55 Convention will be the first I have had the chance of attending. I'll be'there - how about you?




No blondes for us who only wear

Briefs and boots and brassiere!

Men in space need vacuum suits

Not brassieres and briefs and boots!

For panaceas, cures, reliefs

From boots and brassieres and briefs



page 25:

A letter column of sorts. Editorial comments marked thusly == ==

Harry Turner

My love and respects. And thanks to the trio for the copy of Femizine which flopped through the letter box the other day. A start that deserves every encouragement tho I ha'e my doots that you'll get very much material from the girls. Still, I'm prepared to be disillusioned...==Seems as though I am the person who should have been prepared, Material is still short== I have an uncomfortable feeling that many of the oddments on pages 14/15 are familiar: these faneditors stop at nothing for material! ==Short of being familiar== Was amused at the conversational interludes and tailpiece: "wacky' is the word is it not? In moderation, these inconsequential pieces can go down well. But watch those blasted fan poems....hells bells, I can never make my mind up whether these are meant to be serious or not. Orma seems a very serious type from the oddments I've read, and is it stuff. Now if they are intentionally funny she deserves all credit, but I fear the worst. I bet Crystal Kalmeer is just a pen name for Latsyrc Reemlak. Great Ghu - lookit that fourth line: the length of a Nash-line without the saving wit of the Master. Go get some verse from Abnorm Wansborough; he'll maybe write under a fancy pseudonym to fit in with editorial policy... he's the Magonagal (that right?) ==How should I know?== of Wiltshire. ==How about the poems in this issue Harry? Any change in your opinion?==

I see that you have a typewriter like mine which ignores what you intend putting down and types something of its own even though you tap the right keys - looks like the last word on the inside cover should be "days" not weeks. I'm glad to see that someone else suffers this way. Most annoying. Everyone, but everyone keeps on pointing it out to you for months and months. Maybe this'll be the only airmail letter you receive for weeks. Be a nice rest for you, huh? ==You might have something there. It wouldn't be the first joke to backfire==

Ina sounds like a belated follower of Mrs. Pankhurst, ==Have you read her Con Report in this issue?== I've not noticed any of these poor down-trodden femmes, but then that may be just because I'm one of these arrogant fans that treads on 'em. I share the views expressed by my

page 26:

friend Henry Ernst in SpaceTimes some time ago on women in fandom - perhaps you ought to reprint that article to arouse a few irate remarks from the long suffering femmes? As wife to a fan, Ina does not seem to have cultivated that correct aloofness to her husband's childish behaviour - perhaps with a little more practice she will be able to acquire that intolerant tolerance of fannish doings that is the hallmark of the fan-wife. But there's time. If Norman's not watching, I shall have a word with Mrs. S at the Con. ==How about a report on your progress Harry? Perhaps it is not fair to print this letter seeing that it was written before the Con. You might have changed your mind about one or two things==

Paul Enever

Thanx for FEMIZINE. Is that cover-girl a self- portrait, because if she is you'd better watch me at the Mancon. I'm short, dark, ugly and evil-minded, but I just love bikini- and-fishbowl wimmen. ==A) NOT a self-portrait, and B) I wasn't at the Con anyway. I shall check-up on your statements annent yourself next year==

Like ORION, F lacks commentable items because so much of it is editorial, but I think it is a wonderful idea. If Lee H. were still fanning she'd be livid to see your allfemme editorial line-up. I hope F prospers. Are you open to receive contributions (of a purely literary nature, natch) from members of one of the other sexes? ==Depends on which one== If so I'd like to get a word in edgeways, some time. It would be the first time I'd ever managed to, where a woman was concerned.

Yes, I'm married !

I've even got a daughter who contemplates issuing a fmz, As yet she's only ten, but she has the perfect HYPHEN style, ==Can the Hyphen style be called perfect? And she only a ten year old girl!!! I wonder what sort of lurid stuff she will be churning out when she is twenty?==

I think I like DEAR DIARY best.

Nice typeface you got, but it could do with lining up. The duping is first class tho. ==Have you any idea of how hard it is to get anything repaired out here? Even a W.D. typewriter. This one is fifty percent mine==

SPICE TIMES was the best item in the ish.

Do you run off on a rotary and cut afterwards, or use a flatbed? If the latter, I still think ORION'S format the handsomer. ==Rotary and cut. That is, the fanzine. Personally I do use a flatbed. Can't sleep any other way==

Them conversational bits were the smartest in the 'zine.

Why stick at quarterly? Haven't you the energy to make it a bi-monthly job? ==With the temperature around 105 - are you crazy?==

You've had some lovely letters, judging by the extracts. They were the best bits in the book.

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I've seen worse artwork.

I expect you've seen better letters, too, =Depends on what you look for in a letter. I see you are playing no favourites, Paul. Scared of us wimmen?==

Stuart Mackenzie:

Since all three of you are widely separated geographically, and I am not at all sure as to how telepathic you can get, even when running a highly special thing like a femmezine, I am writing to all three of you. This, I might point out, is quite a thing, involving as it does not only one stamp but three ....... such generosity from an Aberdonian like myself should shatter you. ==I'm the original Triplex. You want to meet my sisters?==

I am delighted that you are at last in production. I would not dare to disagree with the contention that it is high time the femmefen had their "Woman's Own" now we can get a concentrated feminine viewpoint, all neatly wrapped up in 30 pages of purely feminine effort. Or at any rate feminine effort. Much better than the dribs and drabs (nothing personal meant) that are all we have had in the past.

The front cover -- hmmm. Who was the model? Will she be at the Con? Nuisance about my wife wanting to go too... The size also is appealing (of the tine that is) I have always liked my women to be a little smaller than I, and so I think do most men. In company with most other faneds I go quarto - therefore it is entirely fitting that Femizine be smaller. ==Which could be one of the reasons for the fact that FEZ is now quarto!==

Hey, what's this? "Unite the minorities to get a better hearing in the fan world'. Huh? You'd better all join the Vargo Statten Fan Club! Believe me - and I KNOW - the feminine element in this part of the world, at any rate,(and indeed at all costs) gets a better hearing than the male. We HAVE to listen: THEY just ignore our 'idle chatter'. Come to the Globe when Constance (my ever-loving), Dorothy, Iris, both Pams, Daphne, Joy, Cathie, Hetta, Margaret and the others are having a quiet chat. We men are outvoiced two to one: that is to say, there are only two of us to one of them - we haven't a hope in Hell of being heard. ==I hope the ladies you mention get around to subscribing. Then you had better stay out of the place for a while. You are safe at the moment though !!!=

Femizine One certainly is an eye-opener. This Carr dame I must meet: ==Next year buster. Get in line.= she certainly lets the old libido go. So do the others, from what I see...look at these revelations and implications of feminine lust. Pages 3&4 What didn't you dare print that made up the rest of the Diary for that week? Page 8, Illo and text both... Page 15, the verse thereupon is one which I personally wouldn't dare print in ST, in case the women readers were offended: then you people go and do it. Much the same applies to the obviously Varleian quotes on these pages

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and the back cover. Page 19: here we see the personal effect of the non-romantic male upon the passionate female. Wot, no necking? Well, I am surprised. ==What about me?== The lad must have slipped somewhere. I shall ask him why next week. ==There is a point here that could do with a little investigation. Vin¢ Clarke, reviewing FEZ in "i", said "But right at this moment the only real difference between it and male zines is maybe a leetle more s-x, thus bearing out the old adage about female minds". Now, both Vin¢ and Stu have a right to their own opinions. It seems strange to me though that males should be so much against Ina's piece, and accuse me of using too much sex. I like being myself, rather than acting a part. In my mind it is more honest. Of course, it might be that my service in the WRAC (especially that part of it spent in Egypt) has made me more broad minded than the average. I don't know about that. I have checked through the items mentioned, and I still fail to see anything really wrong in them. They were included because I thought they were damned funny. Not that it really matters. I suppose that Stu is being funny. Only I don't seem to have the same sense of humour. He has subbed anyway -----

I mentioned Vin¢ a minute ago. We are indebted to him for the official abbreviation of FEMIZINE, i.e. -FEZ-. A most fitting name.Thanks Vin¢. But before you go, the three editorial addresses were meant to save money. Letters to me at sixpence a time can mount up. The business of 9d each, 2/6 for four, was also designed for the same purpose. Have you never heard of cheaper by the dozen?==

In a moment of innocence (joke not intended), I asked various people to let me have their versions of the Convention. I thought that with several letters on the subject I would get a fairly clear picture of events, I am now more confused than ever. Take this letter for example, from Brian qui Boit - alias==

Brian Varley

Now I suppose that you have already had several extracts from Sandy, Ethel, Frances, etc.etc. on the Convention. Well take it from me, if you believe anything that those drunkards tell you then you aren't the brilliant girl I took you to be. Let me give you a vague inkling of the debauching that took place in a thoroughly respectable hotel. ==Must have been a bit of a let down after the Balmoral== The truest indication of the deplorable state of affairs is the chat I had with the manager of the Grosvenor after the whole shebang was over on Monday morning. ==Brave man!!== He was bemoaning the fact that in the 72 years the dump has been overlooking the Irwell, never had a policeman set foot inside the doors on official business. On the early morning of Sunday the 7th June they were raided 3 times. On the third raid the police were reinforced by four platoons of Pay Corps trouble shooters and armed with stem-guns, grenades, flash-bombs, smoke-bombs, gas-bombs, and stink-bombs.

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==I take it they were trying to pen you in== all to no avail, they were easily repulsed. The defence was led, so I am told, by a small-sized whirling dervish with a short haircut and horn- rimmed spectacles. ==How repulsive== He was abetted, so police records say, by a kilt-wearing, Gaelic-gibbering female swinging a bottle of gin in one hand and some pornographic literature (Femizine) in the other.

Take my advice - have nought to do with that rogue Sanderson. He has been having a helluva time with Frances and Ethel. On Sunday night there was a party in the Liverpool Group's room and, well I blush to remember it. ==I heard you couldn't remember it== Sandy seemed to be letting his passions loose on all and sundry. Ripping the clothes off Ethel, Pat, and Ina he then turned his attention to the rest of the room and had completely stripped Terry Jeeves, Norman Shorrock and had Frank Milnes half stripped before he realised the subtle differences. Oh, he was bad, let there be no mistake about it. I don't know what you have been feeding him on over there but he came home definitely on the look out for seductable material. Chain him up when he gets back. They say that starving is a good remedy for his complaint. ==You feeling hungry yet Brian? This boy sure has a terrific imagination, I hope. No wonder Stu said "obviously Varleian quotes".==

At this point in my letter I should have commented on FEMIZINE but unfortunately I don't possess a copy. I had a copy pressed onto me at the Con early on Saturday morning. For safety I put it under a pile of Combozines, all the same, when I came to look for it, the thing had vanished. ==The main reason for the inclusion of this letter is simply so that I can say - were they as popular as all that?==

==And then there is the other side. For example.=

Ethel Lindsay

I'll let Sandy tell you all about the Con, but don't believe a word of what he says about me. ==Like I said, I just don't know who to believe== That is only so you won't believe me if I start to tell you about his ongoings. ==Have we a translator in the house?== Come to think of it, don't believe anything Frances tells you either. The pair of them are desperate characters and I had a high old time looking after them I can tell you. ==I thought Sandy was looking after you, or was that Brian Varley?== It (the Con) was wonderful, riotous, crazy, full of laughs and with never a minute to catch your breath. =Whisky or gin flavoured? Lady, were you gone!!== There was only one thing wrong as far as I was concerned, and I demand Justice. Listen while I pour my tale of woe in your ear.

No one can call the Scots mean any more. I have left a trail of belongings from Glasgow to Manchester and back. First of all on my journey down I lost a ring. Took it off to wash my

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hands and was so busy talking to Peter Baillie's wife Betty, walked out and left it lying there.

Then I lost my reputation at the Liverpool party. It happened like this there was a shortage of chairs and I had to sit on Sandy's knee. Terry Jeeves called me over and I went and sat on his while he tried unsuccessfully to get the lights put out. Alistair Paterson called me over. I sat on his knee while he told me what a pleasure it was to see a genuine Scotswoman wearing a genuine tartan. =What?= Thusly 3 pairs of knees, cross my heart, by Ghu. BUT listen to Frances and Sandy tell it and I probably end up by doing a Gypsy Rose Lee.

Next, I lost a beautiful lace hanky. This happened when I took it out to mop up the whisky that Brain Varley was thoughtfully pouring aver my head.

In quick succession I lost a bath towel - last seen in the room of someone named Sandra, lost a cigarette-case full of cigarettes - last seen in the vicinity of all the conventioneers lost a tammy - probably shot by Cyril Evans in mistake for a haggis. Seems he wants one.

Eventually I got home thinking at last I was safe - but oh no! Says my mother "Your telegram said you would be home on Wednesday". Giving her the look reserved for parents about to say something daft I replied "This is Wednesday". They had to show me a newspaper before I would believe it was Thursday. So I lost a day in Manchester.

With this my blood is up and my fighting spirit aroused. By Oogo - the years gallop past me fast enough. I can't afford to lose a day like that. I have written a stern demand to M/c for its return. Should I not receive it back safely I will carry this thing to the highest judge - one, Newman - ==There couldn't be two surely== I have already retained counsel - T. Jeeves Q.C. I even threaten to invoke the wrath of the mighty London Globe on my behalf. I must see justice done --- or else I'll blow the bag-pipes at them. ==I'm sure we all sympathise with Ethel over her losses, whilst congratulating her on the fact that they were not as serious as they might have been. Besides, the thought of those pipes is terrifying==

Paul Hammet MD:

Greetings from an old and very male fan, yet not so old as to be oblivious to the charms of your thoroughly feminine committee ==Take a bow girls== whom I had the privilege of exchanging ESP with at the Wetmancon. An exchange of ESP which resulted, incidentally in my cerebral convolutions assuming a somewhat spiral effect, or was that the Bheer? Do you know that I have spent Timespans trying to guess which one of 'les belles-lettres' modelled for the charming dame on the front cover of your No 1, I wonder if it was the one who put her autograph on the rather charming leg of the picture. Was that a delicate invitation to exploration for fatuary I wonder?

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==At least, that is what I think the word is. I never was much good at deciphering proscriptions==

I would try your patience with a very odd question or two. ==You go fool around with your own patience. they need you more than I do==

A) If Femizine married Space Diversions, would the result be something infantile, like the Vargo Statten Mag? ==As long as it wasn't a BEM I don't think I would mind==

B) Would not a World Programme of Eugenics, if applied, be wonderfully successful in also breeding out things like the Fan, the Editor, and the Author of science fiction, in that order ? ==This sort of thing puts me in mind of Scarlet O'Hara saying to Ashley "How can you stand there when it is us who are being weeded out". My mother and father might have more to say on the subject==

C) Does Femizine agree with the sweeping generalised conclusion arrived at by Dr. Swinebaum in his 'Monograph on Sex Perversion among Tadpoles', with brief notes on instances of passion among Immature Salamanders"? =No, we don't. His conclusions were not sweeping enough. The gutter was too far away==

D)Has Femizine ever heard of Dr.Swinebaum, and is the periodical aware that he's pigeontoed and for this as well as other reasons he has to be faithful to his wife, a not very prepossessing creature? ==I believe the good Dr. was once at school with a man called Kinsey but he couldn't stay the pace. He was too backward in Biology.==

E) Would Femizine care to be associated with advertising detergents, which I have been given to understand by a Mancunian authority is a most profitable side-line? ==No advertising==

F) Would Femizine care to print this admittedly not very poetic or in any way meritorious bit of verse?

There was a young lady named Fan
Who owned a zine which she ran.
A robot she craved,
Or a Martian depraved,
And she wouldn't object to a man.

==We wouldn't dream of printing it==

G) A rather personal question. Would Femizine prefer i)the intellectual but scraggy, hypomyoid oramuscular type of fan that seems two a credit, ii) the stupid hunks of beefcake made available to you in the one and nine pennies by Hollywood, or iii) a thing of brains and beauty like Ted Tubb? ==What classification does Sandy fit into? I think we will plump for Ted==

H) Does Femizine realise that if 'Gridban' had been alive two thousand years ago vox populi would have yelled his name instead of Barabbas? (Wish we had time travel. Unidirectional). ==Well, wasn't he?==

I) Does Femizine know that Charles Fort was the reincarnation of Nostrodamus, and that in one of his more sinister works he predicted that Bert Campbell would be absent from the Wetmancon

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and also that Campbell's mental (chin not mind) adornment will turn up in the distant future embellishing a grimoire the contents of which consist of directions on how to cheat at canasta? ==To be serious for a minute, I have heard that Bert's ill-fated attempt to attend the Con resulted in him spending a couple of days in bed. I hope he is better now==

J) Lastly, would Femizine care to advertise itself (free in ST, as I believe Varley can now afford it) by means of this original ad, which I am generously offering to you gratis, though demonstrations of personal gratitude by your editorial staff would not be spurned by me at any time after dark.

"Femizine! The only female fanmag, hospitable and alluring, blending pornography and science fiction in such a way that even Sam Christopher could not take exception; that Ted Tubb never knew what hit him; that Stuart McKinsey gave up statistics to join Varley in Practical Numismatics. Buy Femizine instead of coconut ice. Femizine - more uplifting than Miss Russell - the poor man's hashish. It also mentions spaceships Femizine -- The only burgeois capitalistic cannibal wallstreet fanmag passed as ideologically clean by the Party behind the you-know-what. In fact, the comrades over there are encouraged to buy Femizine by the gift of a tractor with every copy. FEZ- the only periodical the Senator refused to investigate - on advice from his psychiatrist."

=About the only reply to this letter is a simple - Well, the letters we get!!!

After all the remarks had been made about Sandy I decided it was only fair that he be given a chance to say something. So here he is==

S&y S&erson:

This is rather silly really, considering the fact that I am sat opposite to you at the moment, but I welcome the opportunity of refuting the crimes that have been assigned to me by various people. Need I bother to point out that you cannot believe a word told to you by Ethel, Frances, Brian, or anyone else for that matter? ==Et tu, you brute?== They contradict each other so often it is obvious they are telling a pack of lies. As far as the first party was concerned, the truth is that the members of the RAPC were fighting for us, against the police. My name still carries some weight in the M/c office. Brian was obviously in no fit state to know who was fighting who - or why. It was the same on Monday night. Brian was far too busy pouring spirits over Ethel, and she was far too busy wiping the stuff away (until she lost her hanky) for either of them to have the faintest idea of what I was doing.

Might I also say a special "Thank You" to the person who said "Look, he's at it already" when I first put in an appearance? Those words were heart warming to me. You have no idea how hard it is to live up to a legend. I must just point out though that I have no special pull with the

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manager of the Grosvenor. The Sanderson Trade Mark, i.e. one spirit glass - full, and one cigarette - lit, were supplied by courtesy of Sanderson. The contents of the glass were carried to the hotel in a hip flask. The reason of course was to provoke just such an exclamation as it did. The things I do to preserve a legend!!

One last thing. I had intended to have an argument with you in Space Times about your review of "Limbo '90". Since it is doubtful if ST will continue, I shall have to do it here. Briefly "Limbo '90" is one of the best books I have read for a long time BUT IT ISN'T S.F. Some time ago, in one of my articles for ST, I pointed out that I thought it was dangerous for such books to be classed as S.F. (Others are "Brave New World", "1984" etc) I still think it is dangerous. People might be given an entirely erroneous opinion of S.F. I think it was Conan Doyle who said words to the effect that a novel should tell a story - if the author has anything to say, he should adopt another method. What are your views?

==Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said to J.W.Dawson - "The first object of a novelist is to tell a tale. If he has no story to tell, what is he there for? Possibly he has something to say which is worth saying, but he should say it in another form". I presume you came across the quotation in John Dickson Carr's book "The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle". If that is the case, you should read it again -- If it came from some other source, then I still recommend that you read Carr's book - it is very good.
1) Perhaps S.F. could be considered as "another form"?
2) Doyle did not follow his own doctrine. The Sherlock Holmes stories had a lot to say about scientific detection, and in fact they were partly instrumental in improving Continental police systems. This is a minor point though. Doyle was never fond of Holmes. In his historical romances (Sir Nigel, The White Company etc) he deliberately set out to say something - about chivalry and honour and faith. He was very annoyed when the critics insisted on treating them as "adventure stories".
3) Does it really matter whether "Limbo '90" is S.F. or not? If you liked it as much as I did, why argue?

Would anyone else like to say a few words on the subject?

And that just about winds up the column for this issue. Next time I hope to be a little more selective. Thanks are dire to Frances Evans, Ron Bennett, John Brunner, Margaret G. Hindes, Lilith Lorraine, Archie Mercer, and all the other people who wrote. If you haven't heard from me, please be understanding. If you drop me a line on this issue, I will see if I can squeeze time in which to make some sort of direct reply - but don't bank on it ----- JWC

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"-- So when I suddenly came to my senses I tried to divert the conversation into other, and less frightening channels, but all to no avail. She would insist on nattering on and on about it. Her hopes, her dreams, the number of squalling brats that she wanted to have cluttering up the place, the type of husband that she wanted, in fact the whole damned issue --"



"-- I'm sure we could make a very nice 4some in some bar FOR

"-- is the one on the right with the horrible leer. Although you can't see 'em in this snap his bicuspids protrude fully three inches over his lower lip --"



"-- I'm not at all sure that an exclusive enterprise is altogether a good thing --" EXCHANGE


"-- Then there's the other category. Guys like me. The guys with ideas. The intellectuals of this world .... we're in the looney- bin --"



"-- It would be a pity if you were to spoil things by running items signed, say, "Charlotte Harris" or 'Roberta Shaw" or something --" YOUR SUB EXPIRES


"-- but I prefer to let the males think they are superior, and let them think that I think they are superior. Generally if you don't argue with them they are more inclined to agree with you. Even more, some of them actually fight your battles for you. Why shouldn't they? They're "superior" aren't they? --"