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Lloyd Penney
1706-24 Eva Rd.
Etobicoke, ON
Canada M9C 2B2

July 29, 2008

Dear Petréa:

Thanks for the lead to the newest Picofarad, issue 13. Always interesting to read; now to see if I can produce something remotely interesting.

We have found for years to produce a society that might be called utopian, but as we stumble about, we are heading for dystopia, brought about by our inability to understand or even care about the world around us. Apathy shall be the death of us. SF writers could see this years ago, and once again, science fiction is becoming science fact. Few writers could have predicted that the US government would toy with fascism, and do many of the things they used to criticize the East Bloc for doing. We truly live in a science-fictional world. The world can hardly wait for the presidential elections, to sweep out Bush and his cronies.

Richard Branson and Burt Rutan have presented to the world SpaceShipTwo, and may have launched the space tourism industry, the line-up has already formed to get into space. I wish there were more opportunities for those of us who aren't as rich as the line-up.

I've been doing some research into steampunk just lately, to see the SF- ish and non-SF-ish directions it's taking, and Jack Chalker's book combining the old West and fantasy perhaps should be listed as an influence. Your reviews prove to me my own impressions that while there is more wheat in the bushel, it's mostly hidden by a heckuva lot more chaff.

Am I the only one who responded this time? Tsk, tsk, tsk... Yvonne and I did attend Polaris 22 and Anime North. For AN, it was only for a few hours to do some programming, and Polaris 22 surprised us by giving Yvonne a lifetime membership in advance. She was the founder of the convention and its first chairman. And, we actually had a surprisingly good time at Polaris; added bonus.

There aren't many movies I want to see, but I did want to see Prince Caspian. My name is Prince killed my father...prepare to die. Perhaps William Golding had this novel in mind when he wrote The Princess Bride, who knows. Had a good time with it, and the story is advanced to the next movie. These novels are small, so some measure of padding is probably required to enlarge it to something from which a movie can be made.

Conventions...not going to Denvention, but we're both on the committee for Anticipation, next year's Worldcon in Montréal. Speaking of Montréal, we will be going to Con*cept 2008 to enjoy ourselves, and probably attend a committee meeting or several. Astronomicon 11 is taking place in Rochester in November of 2009.

Just made it past the page, so it must be time to wrap it up. Hope this arrives in time to be included with issue 14, and I am looking forward to it. See you then!

Yours, Lloyd Penney.

Glad to be of service! I'm starting to pay more attention to steampunk myself, since the Seattle in 2011 bid is taking it as a theme.

As for SpaceShipTwo, Rutan is dropping hints that his new wing design can be adapted to something much, much bigger, so perhaps we'll be seeing economies of scale cut in sooner than we might think.

Yes, you've got the letters column to yourself again, but I'm off to Worldcon now, where I can harrass people for submissions in person...

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