Swordpoint LOC's: [Letter praising the cover of Hoom #1, expressing distaste for Joe Zalabak's "Teen Column", and discussing Tolkien as a "passing fad" with bracketed commentary from editors]

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28-29

[page 28] FRANK LUNNEY 212 Juniper St., Quakertown, Pa. 18951 The cover was impressive in its depiction of a big tree facing nothing, and you further confused possibly your entire readership with the title of your zine reading HOOOM, while referring to it in the rest of the zine as HOOM. Which is it? <_/>It's H_OO_M -I was being misguidedly artistic in putting in an extra "O". And for the benefit of any non-Tolkien readers, "Hoom" was the rather thoughtful comment of Treebeard, the Ent, who was not beyond using a few variants of the term himself, such as "Hoo," "Hrum," "Hm," "Hmm," and "O! Hm!" Treebeard, being a good friend of mine, might even throw in an extra "O" to save my face!</_> I don't think I like the idea of Joe Zalabak's "Teen Column." Right away it gives the impression that teens are a sub-culture of fandom but I'd think that teens make up the majority of fandom, and would therefore alienate the older, but more well-known fans, and I would therefore tend to resent the fact that Zalabak creates this division in fandom based on nothing more than age. If he wanted to base his column on something, why not on the experience of people in fandom. It would be a helluva lot better if he had called his "thing" the "Neofan Column" than the "Teen Column," many teens knowing more about fandom than a bunch of older neos put together. He also sort of makes the whole oolumn seem pointless in that he keeps repeating the appeal that he wants fans to write in to him telling him what they think of the column, when there's nothing to think about it because there's nothing to it. All he does is tell about himself, which can't get much in the way of comments, and describes how he got into having the column in the first place. All of which [page 29] added up to another nothing. A page in which he is supposed to stimulate your brain and make you think about the subject he is to discuss, and he goes on aboat himself, once more setting teens away from the rest with the drawing at the top. <_/->Joe didn't like that drawing either!<_/-> It seems to say "This column is from a teen, for a teen. All others stay out!" In effect I think he wants to be recognized because he has a column while he's just a neo, yet he doesn't want to do any work on it. He wants to emulate a BNF's column, but wants it to come to him at once. "Beryl, The Elf Stone" read like a page from an encyclopedia, and may well be, with inserts pertaining to Tolkien. Frank Denton's article read much differently, and it's easy to tell that he knows something about mood, and writing, and can set what he thinks down on paper; a state which many of us lack. It turned out to be the major part of the zine, with Denton's poem and your illos almost as good. But don't Elvish smokes have a cancer warning on the side? But Tolkien is a passing fad, and it can't be denied. <_/-Grrrr<_/-> The fact that the Underground element in the country has such an effect on literature as it has with Tolkien, and now with "Stranger In A Strange Land," is good, because it causes people to read a book simply because it's in at the moment. But is it any wonder that most of the books that become popular with the Underground are sf or fantasy. Those are the types of books that offer the most in the way of escape literature to the outcasts of society, while it is used as "discovery" literature by those use it wisely. I've never freaked out on ditto fluid, but did you ever try essence of musty books? Till next time, I'll always beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Frank Lunney

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