Issue 14
Volume 4 Number 2
June 1999

In This Issue

 • Contents
 • Cover Illustration
 • Editorial
 • A Beginner's Guide to Self-Mutilation
 • "...And I Would Like To Spank Stephen Baxter..."
 • Gu*nness is Good For You
 • Shopping Habits of the Camiroi
 • Letters of Comment to Plokta
 • Vijay Pulls it Off
 • Everybody's Free (to send us letters)
 • Mind the Gap

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The Plokta SF convention, from 26-29 May 2000.

[Plokta Online]

"...And I Would Like To Spank Stephen Baxter..."

Seccon was not a particularly vice-ridden convention. In fact, the dodgiest moment came when Simon Bradshaw admitted to this lifetime ambition during the closing ceremony. Stephen Baxter, the guest of honour, was ready to oblige, but for some reason Simon preferred to hide under the table.

More vice was provided in the form of the rock opera Fundament, which Alison starred in and about which the less said the better. Come back Ian Sorensen, all is forgiven.

Photo of the cabal
The Plokta cabal (and friends) march on Stevenage.

None of us was very impressed with Stevenage. If this town were a building, it would have won a major architectural award. The hotel was vaguely shabby and uncomfortable, had no good beer, and was in a part of town where McDonalds represented a culinary highlight-ie, the main shopping centre. It had also been used for Precursor. "I think this may be the worst hotel that I've ever been back to" said Patrick Nielsen Hayden. He clearly goes to a better class of conventions than the Plokta cabal. "I didn't even have to throw any prostitutes out of this one," said Sue.

Looking on the bright side, it was certainly cheap and the natives were friendly. There were some adequate restaurants, all of which were in the old town. We were particularly taken by the All You Can Eat Chinese restaurant, where you could eat anything off the main menu for a flat rate. The old town also had a number of interesting shops-chief amongst which was a cut price digital camera shop. Just the thing a top class convention town needs. Only Steve (and Alex McLintock) succumbed.

Guy Dawson entertained us all by wearing a divinely fondleable blue velvet suit. Sort of like a very expensive, Paul Smith, Nightcrawler costume. Alison and Lilian are shown below frisking him in search of his prehensile tail.

Photo of Alison Scott, Guy Dawson and Lilian Edwards
I'm pretty sure he's carrying a concealed weapon.

Meanwhile, Guy's wife Sue had little choice but to hit the bottle hipflask.

Photo of Sue Dawson

Teresa Nielsen Hayden was determined to understand the way that the British do things. She is depicted below practising saying "Another pint of best bitter please." After repeating this phrase at regular intervals through the entire evening she became quite fluent. So fluent, in fact, that she lost the knacks of holding her beer upright and walking down the middle of hotel corridors without bumping into both walls. Not to mention the floor. And ceiling.

Photo of Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"Now, Teresa, your starter for ten: Can you remember your room number?"

--Alison Scott

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Somebody Out There is Sadder Than Us

While out shopping in the Trafford Centre, we spotted the following actual proof that the Plokta cabal are not the most obsessive group of geeks on the planet.

Photos of football stadiums for sale

["They certainly are sad," says Captain Pedantic. "That should be 'Other Stadia Available'"]

Late Arrivals at the Fanzine Fans Ball

[We stole this idea from Dave Hicks' Irish uncle Eddie O'Syncracy]

Will you please welcome the very worthy Mr and Mrs Tude, and their daughter Hattie. With them, from the other side of the Atlantic, are Mr and Mrs 770 and their son Phil. And, freth from Lath Vegath, we have Mifter and Mithith Anac and their nephew Chrif. [Furely fome miftake. Ed].

Just getting out of their tiny Vauxhall are Claire and Mark Anawings and their rather thick son Ben. Struggling in from the frozen North, please give a warm hand for domino dynamo Mr Snaid, accompanied by his son Dai. Next to them are our Japanese American friend Mr To, and his small but perfectly formed son Ben. We predict great things from our visiting Sibyl, whose daughter Anne always seems to be in two places at once, spreading the latest gossip. Trailing in we have Mr and Mrs Romania, sniffing around with their knickerless daughter Sally, and tracked by the aristocratic Lady Kinsbum, with her pet Pekinese Snuff.

And finally, put your hands together for the eponymous Tobes.