Jim Caughran


Science-Fiction Five-Yearly, the fiftieth anniversary! Such an occasion invites retrospection. My history with sffy goes back to 1957, when as a 17-year old neofan I wrote Lee for a copy of #2. She was sold out, but sent some other things, including fanzines and letterheads for Jim Caughran, ill-tempered LNF. Lee, you encouraged me in fandom. Should I be grateful

or angry? other fans gave us over the years. We had

Nice to see mimeography and twilltone again. enough to keep the mimeos cranking for

The spell-checker just marked "mimeography"; decades!

I guess it's not a dying art, but already dead. Sometimes I hear rumors of a business

Where do you get supplies? that still stocks mimeo supplies; none of

Enjoyed SF Family. The marina in Puerto Rico the ones I dealt with do. I'm now strictly

where we kept our boat was called "Muelle los mimeo-in-a-box girl, with forays into

locos Adamos," the Adams Family Dock. It was color inkjet on Fibertone and other odd

a fun place; things were not taken seriously. pairings of technology old and new. -- gfs

Maybe we need more ridiculous names for

things; society is too straitlaced. Robert Lichtman

A person I know has a big birthmark on his <robertlichtman@yahoo.com>

face; he is a candidate for being eaten by a I really, really love Steve Stiles's cover

[purple people] eater, if it is parsed that way. In for SFFY's 2001 issue -- so date-

fact, he is a candidate either way it is parsed; appropriate, so well-executed. Moving right

guess I'd better warn him. to Kip Williams's two poems, I liked them

But the line about the descending eater is an both but the bacover's "All in the SF Family"

argument against a purple eater. If a bird or other is by far my favorite. It doesn't hurt to have

creature were seen against the sky, the colour is Dan's illustration below it, either -- one of my

necessary identification if unusual. So surely it favorite covers from my sentimental favorite

would be noted in the lyric, unless it can't be 70's fanzine from the dear departed Terry

made to scan. Hughes.

And in Ted's story, "I thought he was going to I haven't been around fandom for all the

turn purple..." indicates that there are purple soon-to-be-55 years that SFFY has been

people, if only when they're angry. Is the purple appearing on its highly regular schedule.

people eater an emotion control constable? However, because I have a complete set of

Dave Langford's speech was them I certainly disagree with Lee writing in

funny. It must have had its her editorial, "It was with my retirement from

audience ROTFL, as they say all but a nominal position that the best issues

on the Internet. From the short of SFFY came about." No disrespect to the

snippets in Ansible, I didn't parade of fine fans who've assisted Lee in

appreciate his talent for continuing the tradition she began with the

sustained humour. Great! first half dozen issues, but those certainly do

not suffer by comparison to the later ones.

I stockpiled a lot of mimeo As a recipient of the CD-ROM of the first

supplies in the 1990s, buying eleven SFFYs, I certainly appreciated having

from Logos in the Twin their contents in electronic form in case the

Cities), Gestetner, and an ink ravages of time eradicated their paper versions.

manufacturer in California. However, I have a belated complaint. The scans

Plus the 100 cases of Fibertone of the first issue simply will not transfer

Jeff and I picked up in 1995, themselves from the CD to my hard drive, nor

and the mimeos and supplies will they open from the disk. Is it possible that a replacement copy could be sent my way?

A lot of the contributions to this especially well reflected in

issue are of the sort that evokes no these pages. -- gfs

parti-cular comment beyond an

expression of sheer enjoy-ment. Dennis Lien

However, in Dave Langford's <Dennis.K.Lien-l

"Secret History of Ansible" I @tc.umn.edu>

wanted to add to his section

about weird/unique issue Someone on one of my lists

numbering -- where he gives such memorable got Science-Fiction Five-Yearly (nice job, by

instances as George Charters's "base 3" numbering the way) and wondered how the Sir Arthur

after the tenth issue and Second Hand Wave Clarke contribution came to be. I assume Sir

numbering each issue the 42nd -- the additional Arthur wrote the caption, but did he do it first

example of Geogre Bondar's ten issues of Qotha 5, and Steve Stiles did the cartoon for it, or did

where the issues all have the same number (or part he write it from pre-existing Stiles cartoon? In

of the name!?) with dating being the only clue any case, did he do it specifically for SFFY, or

offering some assistance in determining the is this a quote from a pre-existing letter or

sequence in which they appeared. Later Bondar article or something? Did you approach him

did another fanzine, DV8, but those did have issue or he you or just what? If these details are not

numbers. Of course, George's most famous (or Top Secret, Inquiring Minds Want To Know.

perhaps infamous) fanzine was the one-off Terry (If they are Top Secret, of course, Inquiring

Broome's Underwear 4, produced using the ditto Minds will have to get by without knowing.)

process (highly unusual for a British fanzine) and

with the fanzine cut to resemble Inquiring minds had to wait,

a pair of briefs (or "Y-fronts" as but not even that was a secret.

they call them over there). I don't LeeH wrote to Sir Arthur and

know if it was this or some other asked for a contribution, much

factor that caused the actual Terry as she had several others over

Broome to gafiate for a time and the lustrums -- they're friends

then resume activity some years from way back. He sent the

later under the name of Terry caption specifically for

Hornsby. SFFY #11. Next, we sent it

Despite my comment above, to Steve and he had his way

I must single out Ted White's with it. The black areas are

"Crime Stalks the Fan World, consistently solid -- I'll bet

or, Abducted By Space-Aliens," that page went through the

which I found a very nice tribute laser printer rather than the

to F. Lee Baldwin and a good piece mimeo-in-a-box. -- gfs

of fan fiction in its own right.

Eric Lindsay

Belated apologies to you and other PC users who <fiawol@ericlindsay.com>

had problems with the SFFY CD. In early

versions, I used "/" in some file names, not Many thanks for SFFY, much awaited, but

knowing they are problematic. After you spoke up, infrequent enough that I forget it from issue to

I renamed the files, I think later CDs worked issue. I have to wonder how many other mimeo

more reliably. Past issues of SFFY are also now zines continue to appear, apart from those from

available at LA. I haven't seen mimeo ink for most of the

http://fanac.org/fanzines/SF_Five_Yearly/ and I previous decade. I certainly hope that your

have dreams of adding PDFs of earlier issues mimeo supplies will last another five years,

sometime next year. but I am also pleased to learn that back issues

Thanks to Bruce Pelz, I, too, have a full run and are on the web (and CD -- that is neat).

I quite agree that the early I wonder if perhaps Greg

issues do not suffer in Benford aimed his paper at

comparison with the later one of the journals who

ones. Just earlier tonight specialise in taking the piss

(November 24th) LeeH and out of science. It also

I enjoyed talking about how reads like a description of

SFFY continues to evolve. how to write a web page,

The early issues set the where technique and structure

personality and tone Randy render actual content (if any)

and I hope (and think!) is irrelevant.

Denny Lien carefully raises a reader question But I get to the end of the issue and I have to

regarding yellow polka dot bikinis, leading to the break down into maudlinity, or maybe that

expectation that an answer will be forthcoming. should be maudlin insanity, when I see Dan

Then he sweeps us away with a science fictional Steffan's illo on the back, captioned "TV nights

speculation about flying purple people eaters but at Terry & Craig's, circa 1975." He captured

without returning to the bikini question, which that basement apartment so perfectly that in light

obviously deserves further observation (as it were). of the news that came before the issue (Terry's

Must say Steve Stiles provided some great death), it's almost enough to make me cry. (I

illustrations, as indeed did other interior artists. stayed there one night in 1976 on my way to a

Nice to know that there are still people doing such Steeleye Span concert.) I'm glad we have Dan's

good work. cartooning genius to capture this moment in time.

Dave Langford mentions briefly a topic dear to

us, namely GUFF. It certainly is a wonderful thing Believe me, updating the mailing list is a heart-

to have survived this long, despite having Ansible breaking task. Tucker, rich, Mike Ford, Bill

associated with it. Having provided copies of our Bowers, Howard DeVore, George Flynn, KIM

material on a web site, we have obviously failed to Campbell, Harry Warner, Jr. And more, of

leave fans anything of use for the toilet. No course. And I still miss Terry; I expect we all

wonder so many fans dislike e-publication, and do. -- gfs

demand paper copies. "Troubled for you, from time to time

Actually, like virtually all of Dave's material, his It's why nothing new can break the bind

history was a delight to read. I've seldom heard a It's the time we waste for them, that

fanzine history as interesting. makes a friend a friend

Unique in all the world until the end."

Timothy C. Marion -- Ted Sherman

c/o Kleinbard

266 East Broadway Apt 1201B WAHF: Greg Benford, Catherine Crockett

New York, NY 10002 ("Very cool to be acknowledged, too. I usually

only get acknowledged for math theses."), Brad

I note that you abbreviate your fanzine's name Foster ("I look forward to getting all the way up

as "SFFY." I abbreviated it as "SF5Y" to my the 100th anniversary issue, though I might have

Australian friends, when I offered to make a to have someone read it to me by that time!"),

photocopy for them, since I figured your zine may Teddy Harvia ("I feel as if I'm writing

not make it all the way down there to them. I hope something that's to be put in a time capsule. I

you don't mind -- just trying to spread the Ghood hope I'm still around when it's opened."), John

Word, as it were. Hertz, Mike Lowrey, Lloyd Penney, Eric P.

I did have some comments composed in my Russell, John Teehan, and one woman who

head, but I had to throw those out -- mainly going found us while Googling for lyrics to both

on too sentimentally (if such a thing is possible) "Flying Purple People Eater" and "Itsy-Bitsy,

about how many people who were in your previous Teeny-Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"

issue who now are no longer with us, judging from because ... wait for it ... she was writing a post

your lettercolumn. But if you didn't do it, why about debate and logic!

should I? What I will say, though is that the letters

give me a sort of bittersweet quality and almost the

sense that I waited too long to get back into

fandom. These letters make the previous issue

sound so interesting that it tempts me to dig

through the boxes and see if I can find it. No doubt

you did send it to me, and fakefan that I was at the

time, I doubtless did not read it, but kept it

carefully preserved on a shelf with other unread

fanzines. I have to admit, I have gone through a

long period of turning my back on my friends and

ignoring fandom, despite the fact that I practically

grew up in fandom and learned to express myself

best (and perhaps only) in fandom. I guess, as

John Lennon once said, "I just had to let it go."

Data entry by Judy Bemis
Hard copy provided by Geri Sullivan

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