Chapter #4: "Heavy Duty"

Thursday was a day of rest and recuperation, the calm before the storm of L.A.con III. Both Ben and Cathi were working, so Helena and I had the apartment to ourselves until Ben got back from work around 3:30 p.m. As Tom was picking us up sometime around 5 p.m. to drive us to LA we had a good eight hours to kill after we struggled out of bed around 9 a.m.

After a quick caffeine and nicotine fix out on the balcony we sorted through our bags for urgent laundry and I dug out all my L.A.con material for maps, directions and phone numbers. As we weren’t sure which hotel we were in, Tom and I had been calling around to try and find out – but we kept missing people. I was sure that it was either the Marriott or the Hilton and, as they were facing each other, I wasn’t too worried which one it was. I left a message on Tom’s machine to confirm I’d found the directions and map, then I headed out to the shops to get some supplies for LA and food for breakfast.

I was a bit nervous wandering down to the shops as it was the longest I’d been outside in the hot Nevada sun, but I needn’t have worried – the dry heat was no problem. It was 20 minutes down to the 7-11 and I barely worked up a sweat, despite the fact that it was over 100 degrees. Very strange, back home it has only got to hit the 70s and I’m drenched in sweat in minutes.

I grabbed a few cold beers (to help get the creative juices flowing for the Trip Report) and a weird variety of frozen snack foods for brunch, plus essential con supplies such as instant coffee and powdered milk. The only cigarettes I could see on display were Camels and Marlboro which are a bit harsh for my tastes so I decided to leave them for the time being – the two old dears at the checkout were having enough trouble with my accent without me asking difficult questions about brands of cigarettes.

Back at the apartment Helena had finished the laundry, so we settled down to a substantial brunch, after which I set myself up with the laptop and finished off Part Two, while Helena settled down to read fanzines. (Ben had given us a spare copy of the Katz/brown 1971 edition of The Enchanted Duplicator, illustrated by C. Ross Chamberlain, Ken had passed us a copy of NLE Letters and Ben and Cathi had left their copy of Arnie’s VFD lying around – the last coming in very useful for checking how to spell various names in my Trip Report!)

Tom arrived just before 5 p.m. and we loaded his big American-style-Range Rover-type truck thingie (look, I know nothing about cars, it was white if that helps...) – first checking all the luggage to ensure Helena hadn’t popped Nimue into a case or bag when I wasn’t looking. We said our good-byes to Ben, offering crash space and lots of tours around castles when he and Cathi made it to the UK then set off.

First stop was a gas station to stock up on fuel for the car and water and cigarettes for me and Helena. Then it was a slowish crawl through the rush hour traffic and a final look out the car windows at the casinos in the centre of Vegas, and we were out onto the freeway driving through the desert.

Once we were beyond the city Tom inquired if this was our first US road trip; when we confirmed that it was he began to giggle maniacally and pointed out that we were totally at his mercy. Meanwhile the bright desert sun had been eclipsed by a single dark cloud and the already bleak landscape took on an even more ominous aspect. The freeway was suddenly empty of traffic and as the car drove deeper and deeper into the shadowy landscape Tom reached slowly beneath the dashboard and pulled out a thin grey case....

Tossing the case to Helena in the back seat, he asked, “Do you want to choose a CD?”

Tom Springer is great fun to be with, and the combination of Tom’s repartee and the bizarre desert scenery made for an entertaining trip.

Helena asked if there was an airport or landing strip near by and indicated a plane which appeared to be coming in to land on top of a lonely looking casino that we were passing. Tom had no sooner said that he didn’t know of one than the plane landed behind the casino and, as we passed by, we saw it taxi to a stop on a short landing strip. “That never used to be there!” Tom exclaimed.

Vegas was like that: brash and loud and growing too fast for even the locals to keep track of it. In many ways it is the ideal place to start an American trip – after Vegas everywhere else looks calm, cultured and quiet in comparison. The strange thing about Vegas is that even though everything is OTT (over the top), it works. I can’t think of any other place where a black glass pyramid with a sphinx outside, next to a medieval castle, next to a partly constructed New York skyline would look so right! Vegas is a boom town in every way – loads of work (as long as you’re not fussy about what you do), cheap food, cheaper drink and lots to do. If you can cope with the heat it looks like a great place to live. I seriously considered moving there, but Helena selfishly prefers somewhere she can breathe! Still, it was difficult for either of us to believe that the first week of our trip was already over – the time had really flown.

Soon we were approaching the California border, past the last few casinos. Tom explained that these did a lot of business as many Californians didn’t want to travel all the way to Vegas and, instead, just nipped over the border. The casinos had amusement parks, pools, restaurants, bars and hotels – so they obviously weren’t suffering from being stuck in the desert.

As we passed through miles and miles of bleak desert land Helena asked what happened if you broke down out here. Resisting the obvious temptation to describe in gruesome detail the horrific number of deaths from exposure and dehydration, Tom indicated the emergency phones situated at intervals along the freeway. But he went on to say that after you’ve contacted the police through one of the phones it could take a while for them to connect you to a garage and several hours before anyone got out to you – not a pleasant experience in this heat. He went on to point out the town we were passing and told us that it was infamous for ripping off stranded motorists.

We pulled up at the sign welcoming us to California to take tacky touristy photos of each other posing in front of it. Nearby the world’s tallest thermometer informed us that the temperature was 118 degrees – we were really glad to get back into the cool confines of the car; especially as we shot past the signs for the turn off to Death Valley.

Tom had told us we were welcome to smoke in the car if we needed to but, as we were used to traveling without smoking for a couple of hours at a stretch on buses back home, we held out as long as we could. Helena gave way first after about three hours – claiming later that she did this so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable about lighting up, true love indeed.

Tom expected the trip to take between five and six hours so after three hours we pulled in to a Coco’s for a meal. (This is a restaurant chain similar to the Denny’s ones that have been appearing in the UK for a while now.) As we were now in California we couldn’t, of course, smoke in the restaurant so Helena and I took it in turns to pop outside. The steaks were good, although Tom couldn’t get his as rare as he would’ve preferred.

Helena was amused by the fact that Tom called to the waitress by name (which he’d read from her badge) which led on naturally to another discussion of British reticence and the almost paranoid reluctance of many Brits to wearing name badges at work. Both Civil Service and Post Office employees fought against this for many years in the UK. (“Badges? Badges? We don’ need no steenkin’ badges!”)

Back to the car and off again and suddenly we were in LA; well we were on the enormous network of roads, interlaced like several Spaghetti Junctions strung together around the city. Amazingly we found the Convention Center at our first attempt due, I’m sure, to my superb map reading and navigational skills (which were, I’ll admit, aided by the fact that all we had to do was aim for the enormous stadium which loomed above Anaheim with flood lights blazing).

We pulled in outside the Hilton and I shot in to check if there was a booking in my name. Caroline, a very helpful receptionist, having discovered that there wasn’t, called the Marriott for me and confirmed that we were booked in over there.

Having checked in to the Marriott and dumped our bags, Tom called Tammy to confirm we’d arrived safely and then we headed over to the Fan Lounge in the Hilton to see who was about. It was just after 10:30 p.m. when we got over to the Fan Lounge – we’d made excellent time.

Having said hello to Geri Sullivan and a few others and failed to track down Spike Parsons (who was running the Fan Programme), Helena and I grabbed a couple of beers and wandered down the corridor to find somewhere to smoke. Although there were a bunch of ashtrays at the end of the corridor they didn’t seem to be used and we hovered around hoping Don Fitch would turn up so we could check if it was okay to smoke there. Fortunately fellow addict Jack Heneghan joined us and reassured us that wherever three or more ashtrays were gathered together it was okay to smoke. (One ashtray, or two ashtrays, of course, indicated that smokers should extinguish the offensive cancer sticks.)

We were soon joined by Robert Lichtman, Frank Lunney, Christina Lake and Tom, followed shortly by the looming figure of Andy Hooper. Once all the introductions had been made (Helena commenting that Andy was exactly as she’d imagined – read into that what you will!), Frank offered to lead us away from all this to the Zagreb bid party where he promised (or threatened?) they were playing old Beach Boys tunes.

We followed Frank through a maze of corridors and fire escape stairways up to the next floor; picking up Karl Kreder and losing Andy along the way. Then we emerged onto a “rooftop” garden area, enclosed by the towers of the Hilton. The garden area was in the centre of the hotel complex on the fifth floor, with the rest of the hotel rising to 14 stories all around us. Leading off the garden area on all sides were the party suites and rooms. As we dipped into the Zagreb and Australian bid parties it became apparent that they were all packed solid with heaving, hot, sweaty bodies – none of which was Perry Middlemiss; so we escaped back to the relative coolness and peace of the garden area. Andy had reappeared and sensibly sat down at a table with Robert, Karl and Tom, so we joined them, smoked and drank our beers. Eventually our beers were gone and, rather than try and extract a drink from the parties, we headed back to the sanity of the Fan Lounge.

After a couple more drinks I passed the spare room key to Tom (who was crashing in our room) and Helena and I turned in for the night around 2 a.m. Tom, who was only attending the con for the Friday so that he could meet James White, crashed much later – both Helena and I were out for the count – but, being several years younger, he managed to come around before us on Friday.

Tom shot off to collect his registration package and cram in as much socializing as he could in the limited time available to him. Helena and I started a bit more slowly, as I had to dig through our luggage to find the four boxed, limited edition, autographed copies of Frontier Crossings, which Andy Richards had agreed to sell for TAFF from his table in the dealers room. I also had to sort and count the TAFF stuff for the sales table in the Fan Lounge. Once all this was ready we dashed off to collect our registration packs from the Green Room. Once we had our badges on we headed over to the dealers room and gave Andy the books; dashed over to the Fan Lounge to set up the TAFF sales stuff; then we popped back to the cool lobby bar in the Marriott (a designated smoking area) so I could check where I had to go for my first programme item at 1 p.m., “Stop Me Before I Collect Again”. I was delighted to find that Spike had taken me off this item, which gave me enough time to eat brunch, have a drink, relax and read through the con programme schedule before the TAFF party at 6 p.m.

As we hadn’t had time for breakfast we decided to try out the food in this bar – it was pretty good. Helena had a dish called “Tumbleweeds”, which consisted of egg rollwrappers filled with corn, spinach, Jalapeno Jack cheese, black beans, and seasonings, breaded with crushed tortillas and deep fried and came with an avocado cilantro cream dip. I opted for the double grill burger – double cheese, double burger and double bacon, which came with something they called “Mega-Crunch French Fries”, these turned out to be Belgian style twice fried chips and were delicious.

The selection of beers in this bar was pretty good as well, the Marriott had agreed to lay on a wider selection of “specialty” beers (which generally means micro brews) than usual and had Anchor Steam (San Francisco), Samuel Adams (Boston), Red Tail (California), Rolling Rock (Pennsylvania), Sierra Nevada (California), Killian Red (Denver) and the hotel’s own specialty brew Champion’s Club House Classic, along with the usual selection of domestic pap. I never bothered with the Rolling Rock but the rest of them were fairly tasty, the best being Red Tail, Killian Red and of course Anchor Steam and Samuel Adams. I had so far been pleased to discover that I hadn’t had a bad beer yet in the US, (so yah boo sucks to Simo!).

The only item which had appealed to Helena from the time the L.A.con III progress report had arrived was the Regency Dance – she was disgusted to discover that it clashed with the TAFF party and my participation in the “Coming Across: Current UK Fanzines” panel. I gallantly told her that she didn’t have to attend the TAFF party, but she loyally declared she would (I’m sure the fact that she has little sense of direction and was unlikely to find the Regency Dance on her own had nothing to do with this!). With all this time spare, an entire afternoon, I decided I might as well aim to print off Part Two of the Trip Report and get it copied to distribute at the TAFF party.

After popping in to the Fan Lounge in time to miss the tail-end of James White’s “Intro to Psneeronics”, we wandered back over to the Timebinders Room which was off the same corridor as the Fan Lounge to check with Roxanne Smith-Graham if I could print from the disk on their PC. Unfortunately the PC was being monopolized by some guys working on an apa (WOOF?), so I had to hang around for an hour or so until they finished. Roxanne swiftly formatted and printed off masters for me and then Helena and I popped back to the Fan Lounge to check with Geri whether there was any where in the Convention Center where I could quickly get 100 copies run off. She convinced Jeff Schalles to take us up to the newszine room to see if they had time to run it off. But, as I’d expected, it was too hectic up there and Mark Olsen reluctantly said no – if I could come back on Saturday there would be time, but they were in the middle of running off two issues of Stat! with one machine out of order.

So we dashed out of the Hilton and grabbed a taxi to the nearest Kinko’s. Unfortunately it was 4:35 p.m. on Friday and we were just in time for the rush hour traffic. As the taxi crawled past Disneyland, I kept checking my watch and started to panic. We got to Kinko’s around 5 p.m. – just an hour to go before the TAFF party. They started copying extra copies of Part One and running off Part Two straight-away, while I negotiated a price for Empties #17 (my copier had broken down again before I could finish the print run) and arranged to collect that later Friday night. (I was really annoyed to discover that they had PCs available for use, loaded with Word 6, costing just 12 cents a minute – I could’ve gone straight there and finished it hours ago!)

It took longer than they had estimated to print the installments, so we dashed out of Kinko’s at 5:45 p.m. to try and find a taxi – nothing in sight. Fortunately there was a Holiday Inn nearby and the receptionist there kindly called one for us. With five minutes to go before the TAFF party we were heading off in the taxi, the driver, who was from Jordan (and, he said, officially on the run from the national service there!) helpfully sped to the Hilton – making the return trip in just ten minutes! We arrived hot and sweaty in the Fan Lounge just ten minutes late. Geri and Spike (almost) forgave me when I thrust copies of Part Two into their hands.

It was disappointing, to say the least, that only half a dozen people showed up – but I had chosen this slot quite deliberately, I figured most people would be out eating between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. thereby making it a real easy slot to host! Still, I managed to unload lots of fanzines just after the TAFF party when Jack hosted the “Tower to the Moon” party and dozens of people crammed in to dispose of the free beer.

A couple of cigarettes down the corridor and then I was taking the stage with Christina and Andy for our discussion on British fanzines. Christina and I elected Andy as moderator and Christina dashed off to her room to grab some examples and off we went. At first we almost out-numbered the audience but people gradually drifted in and we finished up with a respectable 20+ in the audience. As the discussion turned from the fairly safe topics of Leeds fanzines, Attitude, Alison Freebairn, Mikes Scott and Siddall, Dave Hicks and Empties, to the Plokta crew, Andy was somewhat taken aback by the vehemence of my reaction to these technophiles – given my undeserved reputation for being fairly easy going. (My view of Plokta has been coloured somewhat by the jibes against the Wave copier – when you’re desperately underwriting your fanzine activity through charging, a minimal amount, for copying services it doesn’t help when people who can afford expensive equipment make snide remarks about the quality of your copying. Especially as the worst looking issues of Wave have actually been the professionally copied issues! I’m happy to take any sort of criticism of the content, but knocking perfectly legible copying because it hasn’t been printed by high quality laser printers gets up my nose. It isn’t as if Steve Green or I choose to use low tech – we just do the best we can with the resources we can afford, like everyone else.)

We hung around in the Fan Lounge drinking (and out in the corridor smoking) for a few hours and then, as everyone else had been out to eat earlier, Helena and I wandered back to our room in the Marriott and ordered a midnight meal. Helena opting for the peppered red snapper and me for the safer salmon in crispy, orange sauce. I had a fairly hectic schedule on Saturday, so an early(ish) night was called for, and we crashed by 1 a.m.

My first item was at 10 a.m, so after a quick coffee courtesy of my brother Stephen’s travel kettle, I shot off about 9:15. Helena, who was feeling slightly fragile, stayed in our room to sort out clothes (and, as it turned out, do all the laundry) and we agreed to meet for lunch after my first two items.

I wandered over to the Green Room for some more coffee and to see if I could spot any of my fellow panellists, but there was no sign of Lenny Bailes, Benoit Girard or Nicki Lynch, so I wandered over to the programme room. Building A was staffed by a fairly officious young one who, at first, refused to let anyone in before 10 a.m. However, after a number of people had pointed out that as items started at 10 a.m. the doors had to open earlier she finally gave in and allowed us entry.

The first item was “Why Do People Write For Fanzines” and the room was empty when I arrived; things evened up a bit when Berni Phillips arrived as an audience and we exchanged fanzines. (I later read Berni’s fanzine with an increasing feeling of déjà vu, as she got married, lost her job....)

By 10 a.m. my fellow panellists had arrived and we elected Lenny as moderator (him being the Elder Statesman amongst us) and, again, we started out with a small audience which gradually grew. Considering the ungodly hour it was a fairly lively and interesting item. Lenny tried to wind it up after an hour but it just kept going until, at 11:15 a.m., I realized I had to go if I was to make it to my next item at 11:30. So I finally interrupted and announced my departure and left in style, dishing out copies of the Trip report to the audience.

Having chain smoked from Building A to Building C, I met up with Perry and Spike outside and we briefly discussed the arrangements for the “Fan Funds” panel, deciding that Len Moffatt would make the best moderator. When we wandered into the programme room, a techie informed us that the item was going to be taped for sale to attendees later and gave us strict instructions about always talking clearly into the mikes.

Along with Perry, Len and June Moffatt and myself we had John Foyster on the panel – who had just completed his GUFF report (slightly late – he’d been the first Aussie GUFF winner). Unfortunately we didn’t have an audience – there was Spike, Roger and Pat Sims and Marty Cantor; which meant that virtually everyone in the room was a fan fund winner. A few minutes into the item an emissary arrived from the item down the corridor, “Roscoe & Ghu Want You: Preservation of Fannish History”, asking if we wanted to join them – they had an audience. However, as we were being taped Spike ruled that they should join us, which they did a few minutes later bringing their audience with them.

The item really picked up speed now with the other panellists: Dick Lynch, Bruce Pelz, Leah Zeldes Smith and John Trimble taking up their positions in the front row and grabbing a mike when they wanted to contribute. It was a really enjoyable and informative hour and a bit – and best of all I didn’t have to say much! (I really fancied a copy of the tape of this but I couldn’t find it on the list of available tapes and every time I tried to get to the audio tapes sales desk, to check whether or not it was available, the queue was a mile long and barely moving.)

After this I headed back to our room to collect Helena and we popped down to the Lounge Bar for lunch. Helena was feeling fairly rough, the after effects of the peppered red snapper, so she had the relatively light fruit and cheese platter while I got stuck into the Turkey Tortilla. Two enormous tortillas stuffed with turkey, mozzarella, muenster, tomato, onion, alfalfa sprouts, romaine lettuce with a catradish sauce – really tasty.

After this we had just enough time to dash back to the room and update the list of fanzines etc for auction, carefully pack the box so I could find everything easily and then lumber over to the Convention Center for the Fan Fund Auction at 4 p.m.

When we arrived the “Ask Ms Manners, SF Fan” item was still running, discussing “questions of fannish etiquette”. As the item used all of its potential 90 minutes it was gone 4 p.m. before we could start trying to set up. Obviously the panel hadn’t dealt with details of getting out of the way of fellow programme participants because the remaining audience dawdled in the aisle, which meant I had to fight my way through with the box and bags of auction material and then try and set up the material whilst tripping over groups of gossiping fans. Ask Ms Manners indeed.

It was therefore around 4:15 p.m. before we were ready to start the auction. A techie guy started to give us the general spiel about talking into mikes etc because they were taping this item to sell, but I interrupted him and pointed out there was unlikely to be much demand for an audio tape of an auction. He agreed and went away to check, I don’t know if they taped it or not, but it was on the sales/order sheet.

Given my paranoid fear of public speaking, Andy Hooper had kindly agreed to front the TAFF part of the joint auction with DUFF. Perry, being a “proper” fan fund winner, was doing his own auctioning, while I sorted out items and filled Andy in on the background of each of the TAFF items. Helena was keeping track of what was sold so that we could keep updating the “stocklist”. Spike kept tabs on the tabs and Christina Lake, Roger and Pat Sims did the “running”.

I won’t go into vast amounts of detail about the auction, it was a pretty hard slog again, with both Andy and Perry doing an amazingly good job. It took a good half hour before the audience both grew to a halfway reasonable size and warmed up enough to part with their cash. At most we had around 30 people, of which the following parted with cash and receive warranted praise and thanks: Allen Baum, Richard Brandt, Marty Cantor, Kokie Cavin, Sandy Cohen, Doug Faunt, Mike Ford, Aileen Forman, John Foyster, Don Franson, Andrew P. Hooper, Robert Lichtman, Hope Leibowitz, Frank Lunney, Len & June Moffat, Janice Murray, Greg Parmentier, Spike Parsons, Alan Rosenthal, Joyce Scrivner, Roger Sims, Nick S., Art Widner, Paul Williams and Martin Wooster.

The biggest surprises of the auction, for me, was the lack of interest in the “hot” items such as the stained glass panel of an astronaut made by Bob Shaw and the full-colour painting by Arthur (Atom) Thomson. Admittedly we felt obliged to warn people that I had been instructed by Steve and Ann Green to bid up to $300 on their behalf for the stained glass, but we only had a measly $50 reserve price on the Atom painting – the nearest we got to a bid for that was someone saying they’d go $35! (The sale of these and other items weren’t helped by snide remarks from Moshe Feder, who turned up half way through the auction, declared he had no cash to spend, and proceeded to dispute the authenticity of both the BoSh stained glass and the Atom picture. Given that Dave Langford, who had donated the stained glass, had supplied a letter of authenticity; Ann Green had bid against Dave Langford when he originally bought it from Bob Shaw and was $300 certain of its authenticity; Moshe’s behaviour seemed mean spirited at best.)

Other surprises included the copy of Hyphen #26 (with a BoSh cover) going for just $20, while a set of Farber Day postcards and minizines fetched $35.00. Don West will be sick to learn that my copy of Fanzines in Theory and Practice, which I paid him a tenner for in 1984 went for $50.00 (of which he will see not a cent – unless he runs for TAFF!). Less surprisingly the hand-coloured D. West print of Borges went for $100. The Cuban condom, manufactured in China and donated by Irish fan Tommy Ferguson (who has since moved to Canada) fetched just $1 (but generated the line from Richard Brandt that such items as condoms would probably sell better as a “package deal”). A hot bidding war between Paul Williams and Frank Lunney saw several Lake/Edwards fanzines fetching $30 for selected TNHs and $26 for a set of the four Capricians. Lip #1-6 went for $23, Prevert #5-15 for $20, Lagoon #1-7 for $22, Nutz #1-7 for $21, a set of Still It Moves for $16. But the complete set of Empties #1-17, which Arnie Katz wouldn’t let me accept $35 for in Vegas, went for a measly and downright insulting $10! (Though I’m glad they went to a good home – Don Franson bought them and proceeded to start reading right there and then.) Mr Katz – you owe TAFF $25!

At the end of the item things hadn’t gone too badly. Perry raised $376 for DUFF with a selection of DUFF beer, furry animal toys and t-shirts and Andy raised $590 for TAFF, with $21 to “another fund” via Perry.

Unfortunately, having started with one and half boxes of fanzines to auction for TAFF, I finished with the same amount. Ray Capella had mailed two box-fulls to the con and Dan Steffan had sent another box-full. Sheesh, doesn’t this luggage ever get any lighter?

With the auction out of the way the only thing left to worry about for Perry and myself was the Hugo Award ceremony on Sunday night. Both of us were down to present two awards each and if Attitude or Ansible won best fanzine I had to collect on behalf of the editors. Going up on stage in front of several thousand people is not my idea of a good time and Perry (who is actually a pretty good and amusing public speaker) was only slightly less nervous.

The “fun” was yet to come!

This has been the fourth of six installments of Have Bag, Will Travel -- Martin Tudor's 1996 TAFF Trip Report; written on the 6th September 1996.

Parts One and Two will be re-appearing in Wild Heirs #16. Future instalments will be available, as they appear, from Bernie Evans, 121 Cape Hill, Smethwick, Warley, West Midlands, B66 4SH, England (send two self-addressed, stamped envelopes or four IRCs). In the USA copies can be received in person from Martin Tudor or by passing him stamped, self-addressed envelopes for future installments (donations to TAFF, however, are always appreciated). Copying and distribution of this and future installments (verbatim) is encouraged (and appreciated).

Have Bag, Will Travel is also available on the World Wide Web, courtesy of Dave Langford, access via http://www.ansible.co.uk/TAFFrep.html

The completed report (with an introduction, lots of splendid illustrations and conclusion) will be available in November 1996 from Martin Tudor, 24 Ravensbourne Grove, (off Clarkes Lane,) Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 1HX, for a mere (minimum) three pounds donation to TAFF (or the equivalent of five pounds outside the UK), inclusive of postage and packing. Sterling cheques/money orders payable to 'Martin Tudor', US dollar cheques/money orders payable to 'Dan Steffan'. If any fan artists reading these installments feel inspired to portray scenes described please do so; all contributions for the complete report will be gratefully received!

A limited number of the original US editions will be available from Martin Tudor (at the above address) from the 14th September 1996 in return for a minimum donation to TAFF of three pounds (UK) or the equivalent of five pounds sterling in any other currency.

Corrections to past and future instalments will be gratefully accepted by Martin Tudor, either in person or at the above address; or via Bernie Evans on bevansa@cix.compulink.co.uk

Many thanks to Dave Hicks for the illustrated headings; Steve Stiles for the issue numbers; Bernie Evans and Dave Langford for British production and distribution; Dave Cox for the loan of his laptop (and camera); Spinal Tap for the sub-headings; Helena Tudor for the use of her memory and for sub-editing this when she'd much rather have been shopping for shampoos and cosmetics; Tom Becker for designing and printing Part Three; Spike Parsons for the e-mails; Bill Humphries for sending an EoC on the Trip Report so far (my first ever EoC, gosh!); and, of course, Kinko's for the copying in the US.

Fanzines received at LAcon III: Bento #7, Kate Yule & David Levine, 1905 SE 43rd Ave., Portland, OR 97215, USA; PhiloSFy #3, Alexander R Slate, 8603 Shallow Ridge Drive, San Antonio, TX 78239-4022, USA; File 770: 114, Mike Glyer, PO Box 1056, Sierra Madre, CA 91025, USA, (subscriptions $8 for 5 issues); The Knarley Knews #59, Henry L Welch, 1525 16th Ave., Grafton, WI 53024-2017, USA; Yhos #54, Art Widner, PO Box 5122, Gualala, CA 95445, USA; Fantasy-Scope Vol. IV #1, Roger Sims, 34 Creekwood Square, Glendale, Ohio, 45246-3811, USA; Wild Patience #2, Berni Phillips, 1161 Huntingdon Drive, San Jose, CA 95129-3124, USA.