[PLOKTAK logo] Issue #81, August 25th, 1997

Fandom World-Wide Mourns Loss Of Hard-Hitting One-Stamp Newszine
by Victor M. Pokta, Staff Writer Without Portfolio

We were astonished and dismayed to hear of the sudden demise of Apparatchik. The fanzine was noted for its hard-hitting reports of current events, professionally covered by the silver-tongued pen of Victor Gonzalez, and leavened with light-hearted tales of fandom past and present from multiple Egoboo Award winner Andy Hooper. The Plokta cabal has no idea whatsoever of the causes of the collapse of the fanzine, but, as an homage to Apak, intends to pontificate wildly and froth at the mouth for a page and a half anyway.

Apak's world-wide team of Apparatchiki were responsible for breaking many exciting fannish news stories. Shame they didn't mend them, really.

Where will fandom be without a fanzine that can tell us exactly how many times the letter 'e' has been used in its previous 77 issues? Will our life no longer be enriched by Ted White's tales of assertive aggressive downright dangerous driving, or Lesley Reece's cute little lizards? Where can Sue send fillos to in America now that there is no more Apparatchik? Who will tell us obscure things that we never wanted to know about baseball? Not to mention the on-going mystery over the true identity of E.B. Frohvet? Is Frohvet really a hoax? Was Victor a hoax? Is he really Chris Bzdawka? Alas, Andy departed this vale of jeers without confirming anybody's reality -- not even his own.

We are concerned that fandom was not told of the editorial split before it had happened. Many of us had contributed to the success of Apak, either with contributions or locs, or at any rate by reading it, and we feel that the common people of fandom had a right to know. Well, something like that anyhow. Plokta, of course, will never suffer from an editorial split, as the essence of the assimilated hive mind has now been bottled for Chanel bottled for Shepherd and Neame bottled for posterity at the Plokta memory banks under Milton Keynes. (Of course, the real reason is that no-one in their right mind disagrees with Alison, assuming that they want to escape with their goolies intact.) (Mike would like to reassure everyone that contrary to popular belief he did escape with his goolies).

In common with so many people, we were shocked and saddened by the news that Apak had lost its rightful place in the Hugo nominations to a bunch of upstart Texan fakefanzines like Mimosa and Ansible. Hopefully next year the plain people of trufandom will rally together and ensure that -- as so often happens with the Hugos -- Apparatchik receives its richly deserved glistening phallic symbol posthumously, in a form of fannish necrophilia.

We will certainly miss the Fanzine Countdown, despite the fact that Plokta was never, ever Andy's favourite fanzine of the previous three weeks (whimper!) Despite other critics repeatedly denigrating the countdown (and, indeed, Plokta), we found that over the months it built up to a reliable consideration of the field, not to mention providing at least 60% of the Western World's supply of natural egoboo. In future years, the great egoboo shortage of 1997-98 may well be seen as a pivotal point in the development of something or other. What's more, the countdown also gave us lots of ideas for people to send fanzines to in the hope of a trade; our mailing list will be worse off for its passing. Not to mention the problems of "do we still send a copy to Frohvet?" Alison thinks he's a hoax, Steve's not so sure after the declaration of feud in the last Twink. Maybe we should just keep sending to EBF and drop Andy, carl and Victor?

Joking apart, we will miss you, chaps. And we'll, er, keep you all on the mailing list for at least a couple of issues. How's that?

[PLOKTAK logo] Issue #81, August 25th, 1997

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