FOR THOSE of you at <plokta.con>, welcome to the convention. This issue of Plokta also fulfils the normal requirements of a convention programme book; ie, it has an article by our guest of honour, an article about our guest of honour, descriptions of the programme items, and most of you won't read it until you get home.
I hope you all like your cover mounted CD-ROM. Putting a CD-ROM on the cover of Plokta has been a secret goal of ours ever since we started, so we're delighted to have finally managed it. We know it works with Windows and Linux machines, but haven't been able to test it on other platforms. If you can't read it on your system, please let us know and we'll try and get a guru to sort it out for you. If you have no way of reading it at all, we're sorry. Just think of it as a particularly pretty coaster.
[A larger copy of the CD cover image is available here.]
Sunday night is Cleavage Night at <plokta.con>. We hope you'll all dress appropriately, and we've made sure to have some cleavage enhancing programming.
We've heard from Lori Meltzer and Morris Keesan that they won't be coming to the con after all; Lori had a baby boy, several weeks early, last week. Rumours that American Airlines have given them a bottle of champagne as a reward for not pulling this stunt while flying to <plokta.con> have been greatly exaggerated. Rumours that this is how Pat McMurray got his champers from British Airways have been entirely made up. Congratulations from us all.
"We don't need no steenkin' badge numbers"
Our Guest of Honour, Ken MacLeod, has got into the spirit of things by providing us with an article for this issue of Plokta. We're glad to see that Ken is fully in tune with the spirit of fanzine fandom in the noughties, by choosing to write about flat-pack furniture.
One thing that is always true of conventions is that there's a list of people to thank, and <plokta.con> is no exception. We'd like to thank John Dallman, who spent an entire day duplicating CDs for us (put six in the bank, wait 15 minutes, take them out, put another six in...). Thanks to Ken MacLeod for being such a splendid guest, especially in the light of the cabal's general idiosyncracy. Thanks to all those who have agreed to be on the programme, and all of you who we've put on the programme without bothering to ask first. Thanks to George for being a much more reasonable chairman than Alison ever was. Finally, thanks to everyone who's come to <plokta.con> to make it a success, and also to our many friends and correspondents around the world who can't be at the con but still help give the fanzine its character.
Apart from the con, we're all celebrating our second Hugo nomination, and Sue has won TAFF (thanks to Tommy and Tobes for a great campaign). Sue is working on the itinerary for her grand tour of the US before and after Chicon -- let us know if you want to put her up. We promise that she's house-trained. Well, house-trained-ish.
We had planned to all be present at an American Worldcon for perhaps the only time ever. Unfortunately, Alison's innate sense of timing means that, come Labor Day, there's a pretty good chance she will indeed be in labour. But we intend to have a live feed of the Hugo ceremony set up in the delivery room. Couldn't she just have kept her legs crossed for another month or two?
Elsewhere in the news, prominent SF fan and newt-fancier Ken Livingstone has been elected Mayor of London (not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of London), so we're looking forward to the construction of gleaming monorails, colossal glass towers and magnificent amphibian terraria. Oh, wait a minute, we were in Docklands in 1995. I guess futurism is old-fashioned.
Finally, we observe that Andy Porter has just sold SF Chronicle to the
forces of capitalism. We would like to make it absolutely clear that the
Plokta cabal have very strong feelings about the rampant
commercialisation of formerly amateur fanzines. If you would like to
participate in Plokta's IPO, please email unmarked bills to the
Plokta Swiss Bank Account.