[APAK logo] Issue #78, May 8th, 1997

Letters to ftp
by Victor M. Gonzalez
Staff Editor

Some seven weeks ago I had a crazy idea. I would do a one-shot at Corflu, with material by Andy, myself, and somebody else to be selected at the convention. That person turned out to be Lucy Huntzinger, who accepted the assignment with an ease found only in the truest of fen, and who finished a snazzy, snappy 600 words within hours.

But, even as I read Lucy's piece, crouched over the Powerbook on a table in the Concierge Suite (me, not Lucy's piece), I was still unaware of the fate that was no doubt being concocted in a nearby hotel room.

Typically, I do nothing but sleep and party at conventions. But this time I'd decided to do freak the people -- my first solo fanzine in many years -- and I'd also taken a part in Andy's radio play. Then, in the con suite Friday night, the trap was sprung and I was named Guest of Honor in the random drawing. Ahem.

Anyway, here are the letters I got commenting on ftp.

From Bill Bodden:

Your article on drinking was courageous, to say the least. You were in a position where no one in fandom need have known, yet you willingly put your head on the block for it. Having had an alcoholic brother (who mercifully did not turn to god to get his life together; he just got himself clean and sober) I have at least a clue what it might have been like for you, and I'm glad you were able to catch yourself before someone got hurt. If for no other reason, you should have a great deal of pride in yourself for that. Not everyone would've done it the way you did, but I must admit having a great deal of respect for you. I'm also glad you've seen positive results and real benefits to curbing your drinking, and pleased for you that the cold-turkey approach wasn't necessary.

Helpful, too is the fact that you have an outlet for your non-work writing, which I hope you find rewarding enough to continue, and a growing group of friends and acquaintances who can be there for you if you need them.

Thanks again for the zine. Best of luck, and don't let Paul Kincaid bust your balls. Opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one, but not many of them are worth seeing.

[VMG: Thanks a lot. I'm blushing a little, and I have to say that it didn't seem so courageous. Sometimes you just have to come up with a good subject to write about, and this one dripped with grist. But it has been a really cool change. My problems certainly haven't disappeared, but I'm trying to solve them with a slightly better attitude.]

From Lucy Huntzinger:

I'm home, and I'm quite happy about it. A visit to the Bay Area is always splendid, but without the presence of my favorite person and assorted pets, it just isn't quite right. Corflu was fun, and I swear to you the fix was not in on your GoH pick, and I think you were just perfect for the honor. Andy's so noisy, I sometimes think your writing is under-appreciated. You may not feel that way, but I do.

Yikes, my cat has just caught a bumblebee. I can't watch.

I learned a lot about myself at the con. I heard the most delightful gossip about me, and was astonished to find out what power I wield as well as what a scary person I am. Apparently, I declared that Corflu could not go overseas in 97, so it didn't. Gosh. Also, I am a severe and wrathful critic of fanzine fans who do not meet my exacting standards, whatever they are. And best of all, I am intimidatingly prone to running fans out of fandom for being unworthy. I'll bet you didn't know that. I assure you, I didn't. But hey, if they want to assign me Fannish Legend status, who am I to quibble over mere truth? I laughed quite immoderately.

Write when you get work . . . no, wait . . . .

[VMG: Kim sent me a CD of Novacaine by Eels, though I'm not sure it was from him. It had no return address and no explanatory note. But it came from Australia, and he's sent me music before. It is a soothing song.

I had a good time at Corflu, despite no sleep. I will go to my deathbed believing that my selection was a set up. The truth will out, even if I'm dying of liver failure in prison, with the family of Jeanne Bowman calling for a new investigation from the jailhouse steps.]

From Harry Cameron Andruschak:

This has been a strange Corflu for me, but nothing prepared me for receiving ftp and reading about your drinking problem therein. For what it may be worth, you certainly have my best wishes. Oddly enough, 17 March will see me celebrating 13 years in Alcoholics Anonymous, after a three-week hospital stay starting 24 February 1984. Anyhow, if you can control and enjoy your drinking without further outside help, I congratulate you and hope you stay that way.

All in all, I have had a pleasent Corflu. I have no problem with the ido in the UK next year, even though I probably have no chance to attend it. I have already booked a vacation in February 1998 to see the total solar eclipse on a Windjammer, so a second big vacation in 1998 is not likely.

And I notice this antique IBM is starting to act up again. O well, it does need to be replaced. That sentence up there should have been "I have no problem with the idea of the Corflu being in the UK next year." I bought this factory reconditioned IBM Selectric One for $400 in 1977. Twenty years is a long time for something to work.

[VMG: Indeed. My Mac Plus died after only 13 years of service.]

From Randy Byers:

Just wanted to let you know that I think FTP is an excellent little fanzine.

Your article was an effective piece of personal journalism. Sharp details, well organized. It comes across as a very honest and clear self-examination. It was also interesting to see the noodling at the beginning about other possible topics -- a tip of the hat to a broader world before narrowing in on the task at hand.

Andy isn't quite able to tie in his feelings about the Kincaid review with the main body of his piece, but the information about Lewis' death was unfamiliar and intriguing. He's great at that kind of historical meditation.

And Lucy's piece is a gem. Raises a good point, gives opposing points their due, mixes in some dry whimsy, and wraps it up with becoming self-referentiality. Perfect.

For a four page zine, it packs a good punch. Nice work all around.

[ VMG: Again, can't help but feel a little self concious. But, I had fun doing it, and it has put me in a good mood for finishing the first issue of my new zine, Squib. Coming to you before the end of the year.]

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[APAK logo] Issue #78, May 8th, 1997

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