We're getting worried about all these people who say that Plokta is an easy read and are getting through the fanzine too quickly. So, the next article has borrowed an idea from lain M. "I've got a search & replace key and I know how to use it" Banks. Actually, we reckon it was written by a Swede. Or perhaps a turnip.

Encryption 101


Right, th@ does it! Working on the old principle of - 1ce is happenstance, twice is coincidence, 3 times is enemy action - this is definitely EA!!

I was planning 2 send uall an appreciative missive anent WoG, the Eastercon altnewssheet when along comes Plotka, which meant that everything had 2 b recast in the light of it's content, layout, etc. This was coming along quite nicely - if a little slowly - when P2 arrived with a soggy thud in our hall ( the postman normally carries our post in his hand [ we think th@ he's trying 2 avoid contaminating everyl else's mail ] & it was raining in a rather determined way ). 1ce P2 had been dried ( Panda, our b/w car likes sitting on paper & doesn't mind too much if it's wet ) & I discovered Mae Strelkov's LoC everything went all soft-focused & hazy round the edges - haven't seen a LoC (memo to self - set up a macro 2 type LoC from 1 keystroke ) from her since the dear dead days of Mobius Trip, Ed Connor's fantome ( does anyl know if th@s still going? ) & was completely unable to continue writing 4 quite some time. Now P3 comes with it's threat 2 send my obit 2 Ansible ( tempting me not 2 respond yet again, if only 2 find out if I'm considered worthy of 1, & what said panegyric would say ) & 1ce again all my hard work proves 2 b nugatory & otiose. Damn uall - THRICE!!!

Having got the above off my chest can now LoC the issue @ hand. Trouble is - I haven't LoCced an ish 4 so long th@ I'm terribly out of practice, added 2 which I wasn't very good anyway, can say liked/didn't like such-&-such, but con/destructive crit is v.hard most of the time {paws 4 a frantic save as our other cat suddenly arrives by the keyboard, this is being typed on my PC & will b printed off Festerhead's - I hope, as I haven't yet got the funds to buy a printer! } & this is v. little help 2 writers/editors. Possibly interesting factlet - Have just used the spellchecker upon the missive so far & it asked me if it should change Ansible ( not in dictionary ) 2 Unusable!!? Does Dave know about this? Have now discovered th@ spellchecker isn't in it either!

Doubtless folk will complain or sneer anent the use of nos. & abbreviations in this LoC, but this is the way I've always fanhacked & I've other, much worse habits than this! [September 1997: Not so much sneer as curse, says your humble webmaster, who is proofreading OCRed copy.]

As u will have noted from the above, I've now got my own bit of ST, having done a 1-year course in Info. Tech. ( Intermediate ) to find out what I'd been doing @ work 4 the last 12 1/2 years. The only way 2 complete the course-work was 2 buy my own grey box, tho' not the printer, 'cos the only PC at college that was always free was 1 dedicated 2 the printers! Have passed the course & real soon now they'll tell me if I've just got a pass, a credit or a distinction. As usual, I aimed 4 a distinction & hoped 4 a pass.

Presume th@ the ad. my eyes got used in was the 1 with Tony Blair, Haven't seen the ad., so can't comment. Some fun things in the LoCol, anyl reported that their ceiling's on fire yet? Ties,as Harry says are fannish, What about cravats? When I started @ Hawker Siddeley, Hatfield, every male was expected to wear a tie, so I took 2 wearing a cravat, or a tied bowtie, NOT a clip-on. Caused some fuss 'til they got used 2 me. Summer '76's heatwave cured 'em of the tie habit, most of the site wasn't air-conditioned!

Re Slash - watched "Spoof Trek", NO mention of "Spock in Manacles", most disappointing. Assuming that the derivation of "Slash" comes from "either/or", since much of it deals either with unusual or deviant sex or sex between unlikely partners, shouldn't it be referred 2 as \?

Farber Day looks 2 have been fun, pity we couldn't get there - tho' if we had the Fnz Jungle wouldn't have lasted long - remember, Wendy's a gardener & we keep a lot of her tools in the car!!

How can u say th@ most of the fnz woz writ by u? 50% is LoC's.

Well, th@s it, not much of a LoC really, ta v. much 4 P, I did enjoy reading it & keep the staples where they are. Ay theng yow,


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