Art by Rotsler
Don Fitch
3908 Frijo
Covina CA 91722
Another Light in the Bushel has again made its way here. The zine seems to have sort of an eccentric cometary orbit, each time driting in (or past) just as I’ve almost forgotten the previous issue and have nearly decided that you’ve probably gafiated entirely. Both the zine and you remind me, somehow, of one of those Rotsler drawings of a sculptural object floating in what seems to be a slightly different plane of existence. I suppose it’s because you write—even on very personal matters—with an unusual degree of Detachment, as if you are floating free of the universe around you. Maybe it’s just that I’m losing my grip on Reality, or maybe there are a number of not-quite-congruent Realities floating around—which is probably A Good Thing; certainly the one you write about is fascinating.

Jeff Schalles is right, I think: Real faanzines need dupers. Preferably a mimeo. The paper should feel slightly felty to the fingertips (though I’m told mimeo paper is no longer being made), the letters (though clear and unblurred) should not be sharp-edged, and the artwork, of course, should be done on stencil, though glue-in electrostencil patches will do in a pinch. The typer used to cut stencils for the text should be a manual one, and the duper should be hand-cranked (a Gestetner 120 is the Machine of Choice). In addition to being (on the whole) somewhat less expensive than the Professional Duplicating now available (at least to people who have enough money), this sort of hands-on involvement is Work, and helps ensure that the faned will select his words and ideas with care, rather than ramble on at boring length, as some are wont to do when they have access to the labor-saving equipment of Modern Technology. As Charles Burbee put it, “Fanzines all went to Hell when fans became able to afford Electric Typers and Mimeos.”

Vincent Clarke
That’s a good immortal line in Jeff Schalles’ loc—“Real faanzines, though, need dupers.” I may be in my second—or even third—childhood, but I stood up and cheered at this. (Do neighbours eye you, suspiciously, too?) Publishing shouldn’t be easy...unless you’re involved, with ink up to your armpits, cursing creased stencils and swearing at offset on virgin pages, you don’t appreciate the effort. I use a Gestetner 210 (not even an electric model) for my issues of PULP but I do have a Gestetner 6 in the back room. It dates back to 1917…almost as old as Bloch.

I’m intrigued by the fact that your typescript starts out nice and clear and gradually deteriorates through the ‘zine until the last couple of pages are replete with blocked up ‘n’s, ‘e’s and ‘o’s. Was it a surge of misguided optimism or did you lose the toothbrush?

Art by Rotsler
Harry Warner, Jr.
423 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740
It was good to see another issue of Light in the Bushel and to find it still legible. Every time a new issue of a fanzine arrives, there is a moment of suspense: Will this be the time the fan has decided to reduce typeface to two-point and to use blue ink on dark purple paper?

On the other hand, you’ve presented me with a problem of sorts by spending most of the issue on con material. This prevents me from delving into that fertile source of loc material, “Ah, your adventure after the party reminds me of what I did in similar circumstances last month or last year.” If this keeps up, I might even adopt the habit of writing shorter locs, to the applause and relief of most of the universe’s fanzine editors.

Of course, I can philosophize on the paradoxical circumstances that are emerging from today’s fondness for cons as primary fanac. Now we have two annual cons which are supposed to attract only fanzine fans, who are thus prevented from using weekends they might have spent publishing fanzines to attend cons supposed to promote fanzines. Simultaneously, we have cons, that sworn enemy of the fanzine aspect of fandom, resulting in the production of fanzines of a sort, a daily newszine or in the case of Cactuscon, a semi-daily fanzine. Somehow it all seems to be warped and it’s just as well I’m too senile to try and figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

Somehow, Jeff Schalles’ loc seems to remove all doubt that this current phase of civilization has reached its terminal period. If they’re putting Gestetners on the curb for the junkmen to pick up in the New York City area, can there be any doubt that life as we know it has wound down?

Barnaby Rapoport
P.O. Box 565
Storrs CT 06268
The personal side of your writing, about your relationships with Becky and Karen, was less successful. I think you should have either come out and said what was going on or left it alone. I can understand not wanting your zine to be impersonal or confessional, but the specific compromises you made were just irritating. Instead of telling us something about what’s been going on without getting into private details, it was both awkward and a tease.

I thought the letter column was too short, but then I always think that. Most of the letters you quoted in the WAHF section sounded interesting enough to run at length. Maybe that was just good editing.

Skel
25 Bowland Close
Stockport,
Cheshire
SK2 5NW
OK, OK, I know, it’s been a long time. Most of that time, Light in the Bushel 6 sat around unread. Well, I know my weaknesses. If I read a zine at a time that makes responding inconvenient, then that response will be put off, and put off, and shelved, until eventually I just say, “Oh, Sod It!” and file the bastard. I was aware that this situation had pertained with respect to too many of the recent issues of your fanzine, and so I thought the best bet was not to even read it until a response-window was pretty much guaranteed. I’d like to claim that this consideration was engendered by me simply being a truly spiffy fellow and all round good egg. Common decency, donchaknow? Alas, such was not the case. My apparent consideration for you was simply sheer terror at the though that if I let so much as one more issue of your fanzine go by unLoCced, I’d be dumped unceremoniously from your mailing list. There, I’ve admitted it. The reason I wanted to make sure of LoCcing Light in the Bushel 6 was sheer, unmitigated self-interest. Guilty, m’lud.

Not that it made one jot and tittle of difference…because I weakened. One day, in the dying hours of the night, when I knew I’d be falling asleep in about a half-hour’s time, I was so desperate for some decent reading that I went into my den and rifled through the pile until I came upon it, my eyes and hands eager upon its exposed form, and bore it unresisting to my bed. And read it, and fell asleep, and obviously never responded. The following day, when I awoke and realised how I’d had my wicked way with your fanzine, that I’d used it to satisfy my selfish desires, that its pages were no longer pristine and unsullied…I was wracked with guilt. I did not put it from me. I bore it tenderly back into my den and replaced it lovingly upon the pile. “You do not,” I said sternly to myself, “file that fanzine, until you have done the decent thing by it.”

For months has its presence there chided me, a constant reminder that I cannot control my baser drives. So tonight, finally, I have switched on the word-processor and now attempt to expiate my guilt. Besides, it really is past time I filed the fucker.

I though at first the cover was a undillo, until I started reading the editorial which suggested the possibility of *certain sexual delights*, so I decided it was in all probability an armadildo.

The trouble with personalzines, is that phrases can haunt you for the rest of your fannish life. I have to say, when you wrote “And although Becky and I haven’t gone out since, her watch is the first thing I hear every morning,” you come across as The Hunch-Back of Notre Cliché.

Arlan K. Andrews
10140 Guilford Ave.
Indianapolis IN 46280
As we approached the Tombaugh Space Museum in Alamogordo, I pointed out excitedly the radome-topped tracking telescope station. “I used to work in one just like that,” I bragged. Ol’ egoboo flattened when we walked up to the exhibit—it was glassed in, with a plaque reading, “This obsolete type of tracking telescope station was replaced decades ago by new electronic…” I could read no further. All my co-op years at White Sands summed up in the phrase, “obsolete…”

That’s what a twenty-year absence can do for you—kill your illusions.

Mike Glicksohn
508 Windermere Av
Toronto ONT M6S 3L6
Juarez sounds like a fun place to visit with a crowd and at least one native guide (my one brief walk through Tijuana many years ago was a great disappointment; all I got offered was cheap haircuts) but I wonder what effect the AIDS scare has had on its tourist industry? Is sleazy sex still “in” nowadays? Not that I expect you to know, of course; I was just wondering out loud…

You seem to have inherently better luck with women than I do. I’ve always wanted to meet a female fan who like to drink, occasionally to excess, and loved baseball. (I left a con after twelve hours once because I had tickets to an ACLS game.) When I finally found the only one I’ve ever met she was gay. (Ask Karen if she wants to bet on the Dodgers repeating this year.)

Art by Rotsler We Also Heard From:

Bob Shaw: “My column which ran in HYPHEN for many years was called The Glass Bushel. I was not prepared to hide my light under any other kind of bushel. It seems to me that you have moved in on my creation, so I hereby demand 50% of all the profits from your fanzine. If you operate at a loss, forget I ever wrote to you.”…Joseph Nicholas (“fascinated but alarmed”)…Brad Foster: “Nice logo design for the cover title and number from Ware on this one. Very eye-catching!”…Lucy Huntzinger: “I enjoyed catching up on your dating situation (these things interest me, as you know)”…Milt Stevens: “While I can afford it, I’m beginning to wonder whether cons are really worth $200 a day to me”…David Haugh: “For years (many years actually) I’ve been one of those marginal fans who drift in and out of the main orbits, kind of like Pluto”…Brian Youmans: “I’m looking forward to being a nasty old man—I might just skip straight to 70 or so after my twenties”…Ray Nelson: “How reassuring it is to see everyone still remembers my old pal, Claude Degler”…Ben Indick: “I guess fan loccers are getting to be an increasingly closed circle”…John F. Moore: “Many fans are not aware of the true value of fanzine LoCs, which is that they allow one to identify opinionated assholes so that one can avoid meeting them at cons”…David Thayer: “Your WAHF was an out-of-contest non sequitur delight to read and a distinct distinction in which to find myself again. And you can quote me out of contest on that!”…David Palter: “The Armadillocorn is excellent”…Buck Coulson: “I suppose that in these times, being asked to be on a convention panel is the equivalent of the earlier days’ letter from a fanzine editor asking for an article”…Lloyd Penney: “”Re Cactuscon: I sympathize with senior concom members (seeing I’m one myself) of any con…they’re the ones that get hit with massive problems at the con itself”… “H.R. Bond”: “It’s interesting to see someone who not only survived running a Worldcon newszine but can also face writing about their experiences after the event. At the end of Conspiracy, Maureen Porter swore a solemn and deadly oath never to get involved again with such affairs.”…Eric Mayer: “I have to say, a Rampant Nun Party sounds rather like my idea of hell only briefer…I remember Vorpal by the way. Didn’t it have a dittoed Sheryl Birkhead cover?”…Colin Hinz: “Writing locs seems to be a craft best left for those superorganised sorts like Glicksohn, who somehow manage to loc stuff the same day it gets in the door. If I manage to loc something the same calendar year that I get it, I think I’m doing okay”…William Rotsler: “Once, in 1945, while I was in Basic Training at Fort Bliss, I was in Juarez, in my Army of the United States uniform, talking to a Canadian soldier, drunking Scotch in a Mexican bar, watching a ‘Hawaiian’ floor show made up of a racially-mixed chorus line where one of the girls was, if I remember right, Swedish”…R. Laurraine Tutihasi: “I think loneliness and feeling alone are two different things”…Jeanne Mealy: “I don’t know Jackie Lichtenberg, but something tells me she’s not on your mailing list”…Chester D. Cuthbert: “I enjoy reading your experiences at conventions, but am still determined never to attend one”…Dave Szurek: “When I was a teenager, I was acutely aware of upcoming old age, but had somehow cut out the idea of ‘middle’ age entirely. It was like I was going to remain 17 or 18 years old for forty years and then suddenly wake up one morning to find myself an old dude; nothing in between”…Dave D’Ammassa: “In childhood, getting older means additional privileges. In adulthood, we take it more literally”…Brian Earl Brown: “Let’s see: You’ve gone to a Lee Greenwood concert, you broke your ankle and were undoubtedly on painkillers, and you mostly talk about the women in your life. Hmmm…that’s sex, drugs and rock and roll. I think you’ve touched all the bases”…Jean Lamb: “Fans who see each other do draw together when it comes to an external threat; however, when any breakup does occur between fans who are close and personal, one recommends the use of a radiation suit when getting close to either one later on”…Lisa Thomas: “I liked the armadillo with the unusual pedigree. Also, the Phantom Loc-Master was cute”…Janice Eisen: “Your WAHF listings are actually interesting, which is a rare accomplishment.”

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