— Faned: Norman G. Browne. Per/genzine (“VANATIONS: The fanzine for tendrilless fans”) pubbed out of Edmonton, Alberta, circa 1952/1953. An EGOBOOB publication, affiliated with FAN VARIETY ENTERPRISES, there were six issues in all, with a print run of 500.
Because Browne founded the Vancouver SF Society in Dec of 1951, I thought VANATIONS was its clubzine. Turns out Browne had moved to Edmonton by summer of 1952 and, with the exception of #1, the entire run of VANATIONS was produced in that city. In #1 Browne thanks “The Vancouver SF Society for showing me the truth in the statement; ‘Blood, sweat, toil and tears go into bringing out a fanzine.” #1 was prepared in Vancouver, at least it’s cover printed there, but mailed from Edmonton with an Edmonton return address. So it seems Browne moved from Vancouver to Edmonton midway through producing the first issue of VANATIONS.
Ted White describes it “as a good fanzine of its times.” Harry Warner Jr. called it “one of the few bulky Canadian fanzines of this era.” And in CANADIAN FANDOM #33a (Feb 1957), William D. Grant commented: “Another fanzine appeared from the West called VANATIONS in 1952, showing remarkable promise, but after a few issues it vanished.”
In general, VANATIONS could be described as a humourzine with fiction, sercon articles and poetry, the quality of material ranging from pretty good to unbelievably bad (see ‘War Stinks’ in #3 for truly bad fiction). Art varied from good to mediocre, with the best contributions from Richard Bergeron, Naaman Peterson & Jack Harness. Ongoing features included Browne’s obsessive analysis of response to the questionnaire included with nearly every issue, “What The Censor Missed’ – a listing of lines in promags which hinted at sex, and ‘Borothy Bix, Fan Counselor’ – a ‘joke’ gossip column.
Ongoing references to POGO make VANATIONS very much a product of 6th Fandom. Astonishingly, Norman was present at the 1953 meeting in Harlan Ellison’s Cleveland home which saw the origin of the Seventh Fandomites. Consequently his last issue (#6) declared itself “A 7th Fandom Fanzine.”
Every issue included a one-sheet questionnaire with questions like: “What would you suggest as the theme of future writing contests?”, “List a question you would like to see asked”, “What is your percentage of interest in STF? In fandom?”, & “Of the material published in this issue what do you think was the worst?” Seems Browne was adamant about getting feedback.
What does VANATIONS Mean? According to Browne: “In choosing a fanzine name, I set up the following requirements: 1) It must be a completely coined word, unique and having no meaning, 2) It must be a completely static word, implying no meaning, 3) It must be easily spelled, 4) It must be easily pronounced, & 5) It must be one word of not more than three syllables. The simplest way to go about this, then, is to take two or three words, break them down into syllables and keep juggling the syllables around until the requirements are met. I took the words; CANADA, VANCOUVER, FANZINE and PUBLICATION and from them derived about eight possible titles of which VANATIONS was my final choice.”
1952 – (#1 – Jun) – This has a very striking cover: a photograph collage showing the original Flash Gordon-style spaceship sculpture which used to be on display at the Vancouver Airport (till discarded in a city dump — a 1986 duplicate made for expo 86 now stands on a pedestal at the south end of Cambie bridge) ‘flying’ over the Vancouver skyline above the Marine building, harbour and North Shore mountains in the background. Beautiful. Both photos were taken by Frank Stephens, and the cover printed at “the extension dept of the University of B.C. All I did was rough out the format, pick the ripple-tone cover stock and lend them the negative.”
On the inside cover is a poem ‘About The Cover’ by Alfred W. Purdy, a member of the Vancouver SF Society, and in later life one of Canada’s most famous poets. Worth quoting in full:
“Nobody saw it come or go, and that was the peculiar thing.
Bells started to ring
In everyone’s ears at once; and all looked up
Into the inverted cup
Of Blue sky. It filled a quarter of sky with a dull shine,
The centre of a single line
Of light that filled the head, took over the brain.
A thought of high disdain,
And heads popped out of the Marine building like pips
From portholes of ships
In the harbour men started upward, subtly held
In a stiff invisible weld.
Streetcars stopped on Granville St., and motorcars
Stood like stars;
And expensive women in fur coats stared out
For the space of a shout.
And when it was gone — like a face leaning over a wall –
No one remembered it at all.”
As Browne explained in #2: “The inside (cover) poem was written with no connection in mind and originally titled Mirage’. I saw a very noticeable tie-up between the poem and the cover and used it in that connection.” In #2 Doug Mitchell of Winnipeg commented: “Cover fair to good. Rocket ship a bit Buck Rogerish tho.”
Browne states: “This issue is not free or a complimentary copy.” Instead he offers his PAR scheme, or ‘Pay After Reading’. In other words, send in what you think the zine is worth. Perhaps this is why it lasted but 6 issues?
Among 3 zines reviewed, V1#1 of the DIANETICS NEWSLETTER. “A little more publicity and this fanzine will really go places.” But as Browne revealed in #2, this was a spoof article, the zines reviewed did not exist.
Graham Stone writes about ‘Crud’, a “word rather new to fannish language” and goes on to describe derivations like “crudistically” and “intercrudable”. Oddly, he comes up with nearly 40 crud terms, yet ‘crudzine’ is not one of them. Predates the term?
A number of spoof articles deal with writing, titles like: “The Big Idea”, “Types of Fan Letters” & “Rejected Manuscripts.”
Under the heading “Recommended reading” Browne contributes some doggerel couplets of his own:
“Want some complicated plots?
Read about the Weapon Shops.
Think my choices are all wet?
What about Space Cadet?
For a story that will make you drool
Read the Moon Pool.
And for a story about a dame
Try The Black Flame.” (etc.)
The best article is “Fantasy Censorship In Canada” by Alastair Cameron. He explains how the Minister of National Revenue, Dr. McCann is accountable to no one for his decisions. He does not even have to give a reason for banning a book! Talk about absolute power! Typical of the era.
At 500 copies, #1 cost $54.77 to produce, a huge sum in 1952! Walt Willis asked him: “What are you doing with those 500 copies?” And Browne responded in #4: “I keep about 25 for later requests…and distribute the rest in fandom. As a matter of fact, my distribution list looks like a directory of fandom. All BNFs get it, many pros get Vn, most members of NFFF, BSAW & FAPA get Vn. Besides this, about 50 are distributed in Canada and another 100 are sent to miscellaneous fen in the States, England, and Australia.” Even today this is impressive! And, considering modern printing & mailing costs, impossible!
Responses to #1 printed in #2 included: G.M. Carr – “The mimeography and reproduction was excellent, so was the art-work. A fine looking job all around.” Chester D Cuthbert – “I think you did a tremendous amount of work, but that aside from Alastair Cameron’s article which I considered to be excellent, your work was wasted.” Gerald Steward – “I think that the art in this zine is the best fanzine art I have ever seen.” Orville Mosher – “I think your zine beats QUANDRY & SLANT by a mile.” (Personally, I think Steward & Mosher were putting him on.)
– (#2 – Sept) – 22 pages, 300 copies, cover alone cost $15 to reproduce. The cover, as with all issues, has art offset to the right, the date is hand drawn down the left side, the title up top. Both possibly produced with stencils. The cover art, by Orville W. Mosher, depicts 3 people, a man formally dressed in jacket & tie flanked by two women in long dresses, both of whom are holding a flower, all three being pulled into the sky by the hair courtesy of an arm reaching down from what appears to be a passing rocket ship (rocket tubes and exhaust vaguely visible). Disturbing elements include a Jestor’s head in the upper left corner laughing at their terrified expressions, and the two huge eyes open in the hillside from which they are being plucked. Very surreal.
In his editorial Browne states that he intended VANATIONS to be a generalzine which anyone, including novice fans, could read and understand. For it was his experience that many zines were full of insider references unfamiliar to newcomers, such as fannish slang, Big Name Fans, famous fannish events, etc. As he put it: “I formulated a policy of the exact opposite for Vn. #1. ..a policy for a fanzine that I would like to read; that I would enjoy reading; that I could understand.” Now he intended: “The policy of complete and utter generalness will be toned down considerably, but not to the point of complete and utter personalism which I tried originally to get away from.”
The rest of the issue is frankly not as interesting as the first. Browne devotes three pages to analysis of the first issue along with a page of mailing comments. This is followed by ‘To Crud Or Not To Crud’, in which a Prof. R.W. Clarkson, Ph.D., P.H.A.N. (yeah, right) purports to derive a Latin origin for the word ‘crud’. … Alastair Cameron comments further on censorship in Canada, and on the etymology of ‘Fantastology’, a word he coined. … More ‘Borothy Bix – Fan Counselor’ advice: “..during a lapse in conversation at a club meeting, come out with the statement you hate Pogo.” (A raging controversy at the time) …’What The Censor Missed’ contains more prurient quotes from prozines, such as “I loved the flat-brained animal, enough to lead him into the bedroom if that’s what he wanted”. … And speaking of prurience, Paul Wzszkowski of Toronto has an ad for a “dry watercolour stf painting. Well executed. Symbolic. Semi-pornographic???? Title: ‘Moonmaidens.’ For a snapshot and more information, write…” … L.L. Layton contributes an interesting article on the difficulties (read slowness) of interstellar communication. He seems to hold out hope for utilizing gravity waves as a means of transmitting sound faster than light.
There are several poems, and three pieces of fiction. The first story, ‘The Question’ by Tod Cavanaugh, hinges on the difficulty of addressing an inhabitant of Venus. What do you call it? Venoozian? Venusite? Vonuser? etc. Mildly amusing. … The second, ‘Construction of a story’, is more of a writing exercise. Browne offers the beginning of a story where in the SF writer Henry Kuttner comes to the door. It’s up to the reader to finish it. Is it really Kuttner? Someone with the same name? Etc. An interesting experiment, but a tad lame and lazy. … The third story ‘The Decline of Fantopia’, by John Gold Bixby Jr, assumes Miami Beach will become the centre of World Fandom, but will ultimately destroy itself through the splintering of fandom into rival cliques. A not so subtle spoof of fandom in general.
By far the most entertaining piece is a letter from Robert Bloch (who has not yet written ‘Psycho’), in which he purports to be his own secretary: “It is my duty to read his mail aloud to him at such times as I deem him sober enough to comprehend. During one of those rare intervals I went though VANATIONS in great detail, even going so far as to spell out and define many of the longer words… ran across a reference to one Jim Wills, described as “Canada’s answer to Robert Bloch”… Mr. Bloch wishes me to tell you that in future he would prefer to be compared to such men as Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Morse. Compared favorably, too.”
– (#3 – Nov) – 28 pages. Cover by Naaman Peterson depicts a head-in-a-jar alien perched atop an elephant-like doggie trotting along behind a long-legged woman in a tight-fitting one-piece ‘bathing suit’. The mood of the artwork is very calm and placid. Pertson also contributes 3 well-done interior art works, one of which depicts a tentacled alien, seen from behind, intently watching 3 classic 1950s rocketships launch into space as he manipulates a remote control device. And Richard Bergeron, well known American fan, contributes a drawing of the head of a long-faced alien with a very sharp nose and piercing eyes.
Fiction content consists of ‘The Answer’ by Dick Clarkson, a continuation of ‘The Question’ from the previous issue. Sort of funny, mildly so. … ‘My Adventures on the Moon’, a short-short by ‘Uncle Ronald’ which is an amusing spoof condensation of many a pulp plot. … ‘The Visitor’ by Wally Weber, which answers questions posed by ‘Construction of a Story’ from the previous issue in an unexpected, highly amusing (if scarcely credible) manner.
And finally, ‘War Stinks!’ by Norbet Hirschorn, a painfully sincere condemnation of war. Basically, a replacement soldier experiences his first (and last!) battle on the Western front. Told from his point of view, it magically encapsulates every WWII movie cliché you can think of. Not written by a veteran. Sample prose: “They didn’t tell you what to do when the enemy is charging down on you, with a snarl on his lips, a maniacal gleam in his eye…” The underlying philosophy? “Man is in a transitional stage. He is experiencing growing pains… In a millennium man may have matured and will have realized his childish folly. War will cease to exist. Man will conquer all his adversaries by sheer intelligence and kindness…” Yeah, right. Charmingly naive.
By far the best section in this issue are several essays written for Browne’s ‘What Science Fiction means to Me” contest. Contributors are George E. Dold, Larry Touzinksy, Neil Blum… and Harlan Ellison! Harlan explains why he is such a scrapper and what discovering fandom meant to him:
“I’ve always been a frustrated little kid… I was just about the only Jewish fellow in town of my age and had to fight for my blighted life darn near every day… I was piling up inhibitions and complexes by the carton-full…I came upon science fiction… I found a literature wherein the ideas I had long upheld, held sway. It spoke in grandiose terms of the equality of men, of the casual intermingling of races… It opened unto me the portals of worlds I had long dreamed about…. Then came fandom… a group of people whose only cohesive force was a general liking for S-F and a concerted liking for other people who were individual albeit off-their-rockers. And I felt a kinship immediately with these crazy, wonderful people…” (RGC) & (HWJ) & (CC)
1953 – (#4 – Feb)
– (#5 – April)
– (#6 – July)
[ See VANCOUVER SF SOCIETY, BROWNE NORMAN G., PAPA, CONCUPISCENT TALES, PAR, TORATIONS, DAMN!, FILLER, THE HIBITED MEN, SEVENTH FANDOM, & DOCTOR OF FANOLOGY]
VATI-CON III PROGRAM BOOK
— Faned: VictoriaVayne. A 44 page mimeod perzine pubbed out of Toronto, Ontario, her first solo zine. “A semi-one-shot…which I now include in the SIMULACRUM numbering system as Whole #1.” (The first issue of SIMULACRUM came out in June of 1975.)
(The product of a club policy at that period to financially support genzines by different club members. There were four in all, the other three being two issues of DISTAFF by Janet Wilson, and OSFiC…EVENTUALLY by Taral Wayne.)
The VATI-CON III PROGRAM BOOK was based on a “Toronto in-joke.” It contained articles like: a debate between God & Richard Nixon on the divine right of kings, a debate between Erich Von Danikan & Emmaual Velikovsky as to which was wrong, an account of an all-night bingo & Vatican roulette, & a banquet featuring 5 loaves of bread & 2 fishes for 5000 people.
Writing in NON SEQUITOR #15 (Jul 1979), Vayne commented: “The first one I ever published and now extremely rare, I think. If you ever see a zine with a predominantly black Taral Wayne Macdonald cover with no title on front, that may be it… please grab and return it to me, I’ll be grateful. Things like this are an embarrassment and the sooner they’re out of circulation the better.”
1975 – (#1 – Jan)
— Newsletter of the Vancouver Comic Book Club. Published out of Vancouver B.C. in the late 1970s and early 1980s. (Detail to be added)
1980 – (#19 – Apr)
1981 – (#23 – Spring?) – “…contains the 3rd & final portion of the John Byrne interview, a killer review of ALTERED STATES by Brian Oberquell, Steve Richard’s ‘Four Colour Thoughts’, & Leonard Wong’s ‘My Column’. Wong’s column (usually the zine’s highlight for me) is given over this issue to a letter from Trina Robbins, female comics artist extraordinaire. The VCBC Bulletin is the best comics clubzine in Canada.” – (RR)
1983 – (#26 – Winter) – “Thish features news of exec resignations, plans for 1984, and announcement of the January Comix & Comics Con.” (GS)
1984 – (#27 – Feb) – “Another one-sided photo-reduced single sheet; packs a lot of club news into a little space.” (GS)
[ See PLASTIZINE ]
— Faned: Bruce Brown. Pubbed out of Ottawa, Ontario, circa 1987. “A newsletter for SF, Fantasy & horror writers needing material…” What sort of material? “Writer’s market newsletter/tip-sharing sheet.” (GS)
— Faned: Leslie A. Croutch. Issue #129 of LIGHT (Winter 1943) was his first issue for FAPA. He continued LIGHT as a combination genzine/apazine for the next 20 years, finally dropping out of FAPA and gafiating in 1963. During this period non-FAPA readers complained about the amount of FAPA mailing comments in LIGHT and accused Croutch of producing an apazine masquerading as a genzine. Eg: Samuel McKoy of Niagra Falls, Ontario, wrote: “certainly discussions are all very well, but I sort of draw the line at a magazine full of them… to me the term ‘magazine’ … would cover something of the type of thing LIGHT was before you got on this comments kick…”
Due to early flack of this type, at one point Croutch reverted LIGHT back to a perzine/genzine and sent a new zine THE VOICE into FAPA as his apazine. But this lasted only 4 issues. With possibly #33 of LIGHT (Fall 1946 – would have been #140, but Croutch had restructured his numbering system) Croutch reverted to using LIGHT as his apazine.
In THE VOICE #3 Croutch gives some insight into his initial decision to create THE VOICE: “I don’t think those issues of LIGHT were so good either. The reason, I believe, was because I was trying to make the one magazine fit the two demands… solutions possible: That I make LIGHT 100% FAPA and drop all ideas of outside mailing… That I drop FAPA and devote myself to independency… Or I could make LIGHT 100% independent… and start a second magazine for the FAPA… Thus THE VOICE and thus LIGHT. If you have seen the latter you’ll have realized that it is also far better than anything that came out in the FAPA….”
THE VOICE consisted mostly of mailing comments, and I assume that it was frustration over not exposing his fellow FAPAns to his “far better” feature articles in LIGHT which led him to give up THE VOICE and submit LIGHT once again.
THE VOICE #3 would tend to support the above theory. Virtually all 11 printed pages are taken up with mailing comments, the exceptions being some general comments on FAPA policy and a page with 3 cartoons by Bob Gibson reprinted from the Mar 1946 issue of LIGHT.
1945 – (#1 – Summer) (#2 – Fall)
1946 – (#3 – Spring) (#4 – Summer)
[ See CROUTCH, CROUTCH NEWS, CROUCH MAGAZINE MART NEWS, ELECTRON, LET’S SWAP ]
— Faned: Daniel Farr. Genzine pubbed out of Dunnville, Ontario. (Detail to be added)
1978 – (#1 – ?)
– (#2 – Mar?) – “The usual suffices, but no artwork is wanted for obvious reasons. Bad repro. Little material makes a slim volume….” – (TW)
– (#3 – ?) (#4 – ?)
1979 – (#5 – Mar) – “…another of the new small genzines from the Toronto area, but although the editor has a lot of enthusiasm and some good ideas, the zine still has a way to go.” – (VV)
— Harry Warner Jr. wrote: “By the fall of 1942, John Hollis Mason of Toronto and Gordon L. Peck were planning fanzines…. This surge soon yielded to the effects of the draft and enlistments.”
In the summer of 1942 Les Croutch clearly indicated that the Mason zine in question, actively in preparation at that time, was THE GOON’S GAZETTE. I believe Peck’s planned zine was to be called VULCAN.
What I assume was the Peck’s family home was located at 1656 Barclay Street in Vancouver, B.C. Here Gordon lived with his sister Shirley K. Peck and (probably) their parents. Both Gordon and Shirley were described by Croutch in 1942 as “both writers and able artists.”
In #118 of LIGHT (Jul 1942), in the article which contained the above quote, an article devoted to the current state of contemporary Canadian fandom, Croutch wrote: “In British Columbia we have a new one in the labour of being given birth to: VULCAN.” And also: “Every new fan who writes me will receive a copy of LIGHT for free and will be put in touch with VULCAN, CENSORED, & THE GOON’S GAZETTE.”
Croutch’s comments combined with Warner’s statement convince me that Gordon Peck (& probably Shirley Peck) were actively working on the first issue of VULCAN when Gordon perhaps joined the armed forces and all publishing plans were cancelled.
Now, Canada had no draft, except for the purposes of recruiting men to serve in Canada itself. The forces overseas were all volunteers. Given that a later period (circa 1944?) Canadian fan directory reveals Gordon Peck living in Seattle, Washington, I wonder if Warner’s reference to the draft implies the Pecks were of American origin and that Gordon, despite living in Canada, was drafted into the American armed services? Or perhaps he was in the Canadian Armed Forces serving in some sort of liaison capacity in Seattle? At any rate, it would appear that involvement with the war effort killed VULCAN before it could be published.
Or did it? There is a ghost of evidence indicating widespread awareness of the proposed VULCAN, if not its actual existence. The 1952 Pavlat/Evans Fanzine Index seems to have trouble differentiating the Canadian VULCAN from THE VULCAN by Lionel Inman of Ripley, Tennessee, THE VULCAN FANZINE by same, and VULCAN by Terry Carr & Peter Graha of California.
Carr’s VULCAN we can dismiss as unconnected as it came out in the early 1950s.
Inman’s THE VULCAN FANZINE appeared during 1943 & 1944, at least 7 issues, and its listing contains the following note: “This may well be THE VULCAN on which information is so lacking on the previous page.”
THE VULCAN ran 6 issues in 1943 & 1944, with an annish in 1945. The publication dates mesh together suspiciously well with THE VULCAN FANZINE, issue # 6 of both zines in March of 44 for instance. So THE VULCAN & THE VULCAN FANZINE are probably one and the same.
The index lists several sources for the info including #57 of Tucker’s LE ZOMBIE & Tucker’s 1943 & 1944 FANZINE YEARBOOKs. The index also cites Les Croutch’s #6 of LET’S SWAP (Jan 1944). Problem is, Croutch stated that LET’S SWAP predated LIGHT, which began in 1941. The source may possibly be a LET’S SWAP article within either #129 of LIGHT (Winter 1943) or #130 (Spring 1944), or perhaps an independent LET’S SWAP numbered far later than #6. #66 perhaps?
Point is, which VULCAN was Croutch writing about? The American or the Canadian? Perhaps the American as #5 of CANADIAN FANDOM (Nov 1943) carries an advert for VULCAN, but it’s for Inman’s VULCAN, so the proposed Canadian VULCAN may well have been forgotten by then.
But here’s the kicker, the Pavlat/Evans Index lists the faneds of THE VULCAN as being: “Lionel Inman (and Gordon Peck?)”!!! It would be nice to think that the confusion was between 7 issues of THE VULCAN by Gordon Peck and 7 issues of THE VULCAN FANZINE by lionel Inman.
Sadly, it is more likely that THE VULCAN & THE VULCAN FANZINE are identical, Lionel Inman being sole faned, and Gordon Peck’s name crept in because Pavlat/Evans came across a reference to his editing VULCAN without grasping that the reference was to a separate Canadian zine of the same title which never appeared.
At the very least, the Pavlat/Evans index confirms Gordon Peck’s association with a zine called VULCAN, making it 99% certain that the zine mentioned by Warner being planned by Peck and the zine mentioned by Croutch being prepared in B.C. are one and the same. VULCAN was Gordon’s proposed 1942 fanzine. It would probably have contained both art and articles by Gordon and his sister, and perhaps a contribution from Les Croutch with whom they were on very good terms.
Does all of the above give you the impression that being a Fantiquarian is an extremely obsessive hobby? Heh, heh…. (HWJ) & (MW) & (LAC) & (RGC) & (P/EFI52)
— Faned: Rebecca Seaman. “Semesterly magazine of the Gamesters of Triskelion (a.k.a. The G.O.T.)”, a Science Fiction oriented Simon Fraser University gaming club pubbed out of Burnaby, B.C., circa early 1980s. Contributing artists included Mike Duteau & R. J. Bartrod. Member William Christopher Seth Affleck Asch Lowe contributed reviews and also conducted a play-by-mail Traveller game “Tales of the Omicron Galactic Clouds.”
1981 – (#1 – ?) – Rebecca Seaman contributes two stories: “There are Stranger Things in Heaven and Earth..” about a coven of witches on a starship, and “When No One Else Would Come”, about a young boy and his imaginary cat-like friend. William C.S.A.A. Lowe begins a “Tale From The Omicron Galactic Clouds” (based on or at least advertising his play-by-mail game) with a chapter titled “Curse of the Vorpal Rabbit”, which Edward Torr, writing in ‘CALLISTO RISING’ #1 described as “…simultaneously confusing, funny, overblown, whimsical, and exhausting.” Lowe also contributes reviews of no less than 26 books. One ‘Aselbart Istifix II’ writes ‘Clubbed News’, “a very amusing column that eventually deals with the history of the club.”
1981 – (#2 – Jun) – Cover, by editor Rebecca Seaman, depicts a leaf-like form with two eyes embedded within the trunk of a tree, titled “The Spell is Cast.”
The first short story, ‘THE ADOPTION’ is one of those everyday life of people in the future described but it turns out they are mutants and their pets are ordinary humans type stories. In that the aliens & mutants have names like ‘Simon’ & ‘Lori’, and Simon is described as “a healthy human twelve year old boy, with blue eyes and blond hair”, and you don’t find out till the last sentence that he has six legs and is covered in fur… I find the story a cheat of a shaggy dog story. But as Rebecca explains, it’s meant as a plea for tolerance of inter-racial adoption.
Then follows first chapter of a serial story titled “Through an Open Door” by ‘Satuka’ (described as the “resident alien”). It’s about Sheena, a sort of were-feline, who travels through ‘doors’ between worlds, encountering feline-eating plants, a planet of scholars called Cretan, and enjoying a meal of Clou and Zeefas. An attempt at fantasy world building but bereft of characterization or motivation.
Next a quiz with questions like “Who wrote GLORY ROAD” and “What is a Tarn-Rider?” Then a short story called BUG! by Rebecca with an after-apology in which she admits it’s a cliché but she couldn’t help herself. Aselbart (?) contributes more CLUBBED NEWS, and the editor reviews the films ‘Excalibur’ & ‘Galaxina’. Of the latter, Rebecca comments “They tried to parody everything and wound up sacrificing the story plot.”
Then a short essay where she compares the novels of John Wyndham with the movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, followed by numerous single paragraph book reviews, including JOURNEY TO APRILIOTH by Eileen Kernaghen, “This is Eileen’s first book. I know her, and she is a Canadian author residing in or around Burnaby. I enjoyed ‘Aprilioth’ but found that Nhiall, our chief character, seemed to be in and out of one bad situation and into another, continually. The end seemed to need explanation but if Eileen writes a sequel that will all be explained.”
1981 – (#3 – Nov) – The cover features a bat-shaped bust of a nattily dressed vampire against a full moon, by Mike Duteau. Also a cartoon by R.J. Bartrod which had been auctioned off at Raintree (RAIN 3 relaxacon) in Vancouver (Feb 1981) and provided to VM by Mike Rae.
For a gaming zine, there’s virtually nothing about gaming! Its 32 pages is mostly to do with SF&F. There’s plenty of fiction: Chapter 2 of “Through An Open Door” by ‘Satuka’ where you can “follow Sheena as she takes up her duties on Pheras and consequently meets Zarth of Thazran”, plus a fantasy story “What Was In That Drink?” by Rebecca Seaman, and a horror story “As It Was In The Beginning…” by Anne Marie Leduc. There’s a Science Fiction short story quiz. (Sample Question: “In INSTINCT by Lester Del Rey, the robots thought that they were only programmed, but in actual fact did have one instinct. What was that one instinct?” Answer: “To serve Man.”) As well as numerous film reviews of such as ‘Outland’, ‘Dragonslayer’, & ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’, and book reviews of such as ‘Father To The Stars’ by Philip Jose Farmer & ‘The Deathbird Stories’ by Harlan Ellison.
For those fans who tend to think of gamers as a phenomena entirely apart from SF fans, VULCAN MAIL proves them wrong. There’s far more SF in this game club zine than in many an SF club zine.
[ See THE GAMESTERS GUIDE & GOT ]