Issue Number 56
(November 2000)



Gay Haldeman
31 May 2000

A quick "e-mail of comment" on WeberWoman's Wrevenge, February 2000.

I really enjoyed your description of your travels and especially, of course, our visit. It brought back lots of good memories; we had a terrific time with you and Eric and are thrilled that we'll have a chance to come back in 2002.

I'm surprised at how I always seem to agree with your book reviews of the books I've also read. T'other day I was trying to explain to someone why I adore George Martin's fantasy novels, even though I'm not a big fan of fantasy, and you hit the nail right on the head.

Pamela Boal
4 Westfield Way
Charlton Heights
Oxon OX12 7EW
16 May 2000

Thanks to the river being higher and faster than ever before at this time of year, our first real trip of year 2000 starts tomorrow.

Bless you for the book reviews, as ever concise and helpful.

At least the delay to the start of our boating year has given me time to sort out my computer problems (I hope). First it was AOL e-mail really made a mess of things and after many hours on the phone decided that it was my modem. It wasn't. Please note my new address.

Then I simply did not have enough hard drive to handle the photo and graphics work I so enjoy. I have upgraded from 1.2 g to 10g. I also wanted to install a voice recognition programme. The blurb said I needed at least 166. I only had 133 so have upped that to 200. I haven't time to tell you the alarms and excursions that took and the plainly careless attitude of the technician, which caused several trips back to the store. Fortunately I was able to sort out some of the omissions in the service myself. Simply a matter of uninstalling and reinstalling some programmes.

Chester Cuthbert surely has the wrong idea? You are not giving up your home in Airlie Beach, are you? Just like Derek and myself leaving it to visit pastures new, then returning. Chester should know that a surprising amount of equipment can be fitted in to a well organised small space and a surprising amount of possessions are simply not needed.

{You're right. We're certainly keeping our home in Airlie Beach. We've discussed renting it out while we're travelling in the motorhome, but the effort involved in moving all our stuff to storage is too much to contemplate.—JW}

Teddy Harvia

Lloyd Penney
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON
Canada M9C 2B2
June 20, 2000

So many visitors...we don't get as many as you do, and we're in Toronto! But then, we don't get to travel as much.

{Just wait until Toronto in 2003. That will bring the hoardes of visitors to you, as Aussiecon brought them to us.—JW}

We're still working on our CUFF trip report, but unfortunately, Joe Mayhew, whom we'd tapped to illustrate the trip report, passed away a few weeks ago... we were looking forward to seeing Joe again in Chicago, and now, the con will quieter and much less than it could have been.

I admit I have read little of Connie Willis' books...which ones would you recommend? My own tastes run more to SF than fantasy, and a funny SF book is a rare and wonderful thing. Connie will be the ProGoH at Ad Astra next February, and I'd like to be ready to talk to her about her work.

{Try Doomsday Book, Bellwether, Uncharted Territory, or To Say Nothing of the Dog, none of which are fantasy. Bellwether is the funniest, but Dog comes close.–JW}

Lyn's trip...I've done a little television and radio work for SF myself, and it is a lot of fun. I wish I'd been able to pursue a career in television. Canada has an SF specialty channel, and I'd love to work there, but can't get in. A skritch behind the ears for Tiger,'s a rare cat that would miss his owner so much.

Our own travel adventures lately ... this past Memorial Day, Yvonne and I were FanGoHs at VCon 25, the annual convention in Vancouver, British Columbia. We travelled with Rob Sawyer and his wife Carolyn Clink, and we were feted like king and queen once we got there. Dinner at the best Italian restaurant in Vancouver, a great hotel to stay at, a great city to go explore, which we did, and an entertaining convention with Spider Robinson jamming Beatles songs. Great fun all around.

Our departure was the only there on time, but the airport was understaffed, meaning about 75 minutes worth of waiting in line to check in, and then pay an airport departure tax, and then a line up at the gate... Toronto's airport is partially under construction to build a new terminal and tear down two old ones, but at least, it works. I used to live in BC, and this trip back reminded me why I liked it so much.

July 5, 2000

Most areas of Canada don't have a wet or dry season, but it tends to vary from one to the other in the prairie areas. Sometimes, it's very dry, and the crops are spoiled, and sometimes, there's flood, and the crops are washed away. Just a couple of days ago, one area of Saskatchewan received a year and a half's rain in a ten-hour period, close to 330 mm. Not only are the crops ruined here, but the roads are covered, and one town has been evacuated because of the flooding.

At last, I can comment on some of the books you list. Every October in several Canadian cities, a main street is blocked on which to set up tables and booths to show off the best of Canadian publishing. It's called Word on the Street, and we enjoy it every year, usually running into friends like Rob Sawyer, who often takes a table on behalf of SFWA.

A few years ago, I won a copy of the Kevin Anderson book by taking a quiz on Canadian literature, and knowing where humorist Stephen Leacock lived... Orillia, Ontario, which is where I grew up, so I had an advantage. The book was an entertaining read, with lots of different takes on Mars and Martian invasions. It's now available in paperback, and it's been popular. This was also Kevin Anderson's effort to become mainstream, after having his name attached to several Star Wars novelizations in the past.

I also read Spider Robinson's Lifehouse. Friends in Rochester, New York came up to us at a con and said, "We found a book with you two in it! You gotta read it! It's called Lifehouse by Spider Robinson!" We were skeptical, but we picked up a copy and enjoyed it. We did see some aspects of the two main characters that reminded us of things we'd do, though... We got a chance to ask Spider directly about the two characters in Lifehouse in Vancouver in May. He said the characters were based on various fannish couples he knows in Canada and the US, so Yvonne and I were certainly among them.

If Lyn's pigfood was so good, someone's going to ask for the recipe at some point. How about a farm cookbook, Lyn? If the fiction doesn't pick up, the non-fiction might.

David Evans is finding some sizable culture shock in the US. At least he's doing what most sensible people do, take it in stride and file the experiences away for future reference. It's a refreshing change from seeing what some others do... complain about the differences loudly and make fun of them later.

I have to agree with Teddy Harvia. The fanzines that arrive in an envelope seem to have the most value, in terms of being collectible, and in terms of being a gift distributed to contributors and subscribers. However, as someone who is mostly concerned with the contents of a zine, I will still receive e-zines, notifications for webzines, and .pdf files.

Teddy Harvia

{The cartoon above was in response to an e-mailed announcement of my father's death in June this year, and my subsequent unplanned trip to the USA. See general diary notes elsewhere in this zine.—Jean}

I also heard from

Lots of people who sent me printed zines, e-zines and news.

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Jean Weber
P.O. Box 640, Airlie Beach, Qld 4802
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Page last updated 29 March 2002