WELL, we have big news this issue. Sue has finally lost her technovirginity, and can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you will not be surprised to learn that we were all delighted to hear that we'd got a Hugo nomination. We even let Marianne have her first taste of champagne.
You'll note that Mike Scott has been added to the editorial line-up, with responsibility for the web edition of Plokta (www.plokta.com). This reflects either Plokta's recognition of the growing importance of the Internet to modern life and SF fandom, or Mike's pathetic desire to make sure he gets to go to the Hugo Loser's party if Plokta is nominated again next year.
Many thanks to SMS for allowing us to use his superb picture But Mum... as the cover for our special Hugo-losing issue. As a professional SF artist, SMS has come to have certain expectations about how magazines will treat his artwork. Wishing to fulfil those expectations, we have been careful to take diabolical liberties without consultation. Dr Plokta just wishes he could take diabolical liberties with SMS's model. And Sue quite fancies the girl.
We need to apologise to people who tried to email us at email@example.com -- an email address that simply wasn't working for a couple of weeks between the last issue and now. We're now recommending that you use firstname.lastname@example.org. And you may want to resend anything that you're worried we didn't receive (but check the loccol first).
Also having trouble are the alien investigators at SETI@home. This nifty website allows you to harness the power of your ordinary home, dial-up computer to join in with half a million others and search for extraterrestrial life. Their homepage is at setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu. As the actual chances of finding aliens are pretty low, morale is being sustained by forming the searchers into teams. One of the teams is Team Plokta, so you can join up with friends of Plokta from around the world in searching for aliens. You will need to search for "team plokta" on their teams search page in order to find us.
Trouble is, demand was so high for the site that they were too busy to make sure the data was going out properly, with the result that all half million users have been analysing the same 115 packets of radio telescope data. Never mind; we're sure they'll sort it out soon.
Speaking of Dr Plokta, we finally gave in and allowed him to install Linux on Marianne. He assures us that we will now find that she is fully compliant. We haven't noticed much change yet, though she does seem to be falling over less often. However, her potty training routine is still hogging resources. Dr P has made her source code freely available on the Internet.
We all enjoyed Seccon considerably; a small con with excellent company and all the wonders of Stevenage laid out before us like pearls before swine. It wasn't a very wild con though. Half of the committee confided "When we got the room booking forms back, about 90% of the membership had said 'Quiet Room Please'."
Thankfully, we have no more deaths to report this time, but Robert Lichtman is recovering from a serious car accident and Ted White has broken his hip in a fierce altercation with a marauding gingko. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery to them both.