Issue 23
Volume 6 Number 2
May 2001

In This Issue

 •  Contents
 •  Cover Illustration
 •  Editorial
 •  An Appraisal of the Utility of a Chocolate Teapot
 •  Referee's Comments
 •  Bridget Plokta's Diary
 •  The Simulacra
 •  Lokta Plokta
 •  All Your Catfood Are Belong To Us
 •  Census Results

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[Plokta Online]


WELCOME to the fifth annish of Plokta. Scary, isn't it?

Several of you seem to have noticed that we got all sercon in the last issue. D West was sufficiently incensed by Alison's attempt at art criticism to write in correcting her on every single point. What could we do but reformat it as an article? At least we haven't shrunk his ducks.

Dr Plokta's niece, Bridget, attended Paragon, and was good enough to write up her experiences for us. You didn't notice her? She was the one in the tight black corset on Saturday night. No, not Jim de Liscard, the other one.

Given our soubriquet as the Journal of Superfluous Technology, it's only right that we continue to print proper scientific articles. Simon Bradshaw obliges this month, with a consideration of the utility of the chocolate teapot. In keeping with our status as an academic journal, we've had it professionally peer reviewed. By a materials scientist, natch.

We find ourselves getting considerable amounts of outside attention this month. First we're delighted to see premiere SF mag SFX reviewing the <plokta.con> CD-Rom. (Thanks, Dave). But this is nothing compared to our astonishment on discovering that the standard bookmarks which ship with Opera, favoured web browser of the cognoscenti, include none other than our very own Plokta News Network. Shame Dr Plokta hasn't updated it this millennium, really.

In other news, Sue is now working permanently as an afternoon receptionist at Shepherds Construction. We'll just call her The Luv of Shepherds. Mike's latest dotcom is not expected to fail for several months, Steve & Giulia are house-hunting (and have advertised their current house complete with one grumpy black cat), and Alison & Steven have bought a tandem.

The production of this issue has been hampered by a sick baby. Luckily, Alison didn't roll three sixes.

Having had a year to recover, we've decided to run <plokta.con> Release 2.0. This is the version in which we correct all the bugs you reported with the first edition, and introduce fifteen exciting new ones. There is an extra bank holiday in June next year for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and the normal Spring bank holiday has been moved to the adjacent first Monday in June, so the con will be over the four-day weekend from 1-4 June 2002. This means that it doesn't clash with the Memorial Day conventions in the US, so we're hoping for a good turnout from our American readership.

We haven't selected a hotel yet, but we hope to announce the site by the next issue.

Membership will be £25 this time, as we ran a modest loss last year. You can send cheques (payable to Plokta) to 24 St Mary Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9RG. Or force money upon a cabal member at Seccond, Millennium Philcon, Novacon, or any other convention that you catch us at. Once again, being a con member guarantees that you continue to receive Plokta at least until the first issue after the convention.

Plokta Pastorals #3: The Pretty Baa-B-Q-Lambs

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Expense Account Fraud Exposed

I now know the real cost of going down to Plokta Central (Plokta Central is in Reading, as opposed to Plokta Towers in London) for a weekend of intense hedonism and occasional fanzine production.


I received the bank statement and glanced at it in idle curiosity. Just how much cat food can one cat eat in a month?

There was a Switch debit which caught my eye.


And directly below it, another debit of £11.63 to the same bank code.

Aha, thinks I: A devious international banking conspiracy to defraud starving artists.

Or something like that.

The man at the bank seemed to think it might be a computer error.


So they credited my account with £11.63.

About six weeks later I had another letter.

In it were photocopies of the offending Switch debits.

One was from the southbound M40 service station on Saturday and was for petrol to the value of £11.63.

One was from the northbound M40 service station on Sunday and was for petrol to the value of £11.63.

Gosh. Bet I couldn't do that again if I tried.

—Sue Mason

"Alison Freebairn and Randy Byers are lesbian sheep"

Poetry Corner

Baa-lambs, baa-lambs, roasty-toasty baa-lambs

Baa-lambs, baa-lambs, eat them up, yum

In the morning, laughing happy baa-lambs

In the evening, cut up into chops

Took a baa-lamb out to see a barbie,

Didn't have to pay to get it in.