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[page 27] KENNETH SCHER 3119 Mott Ave., Far Rockaway, N.Y. 11691 HOOM-2 IS GREAT!!! Now that I have that out of my system, allow me to complement you on a great ish (the fact that it is a great 2_nd_ ish makes it even rarer). As with every other fan, I have comments. Since I'm writing as I read, these may be a bit disconnected, but please bear with me.[page 28] I don't think a teen column is such a hot idea. The main fault of many teen stfers is simply ignorance, very often they haven't read enough volume to be able to judge a story (for instance) in comparison with others of the same type. Of course, the exact opposite is also true at times. On reading the column, however, I find that it is not a _teen_ column at all, merely an opinion col- _by_ a teen. So why not avoid all confusion and label it an opinion col.? _Of Sting and Others_: was very good but raises a few problems. If a sword must be inherited rather than bought, one must assume that the original user forged it himself (not unlikely) for a Viking sword but very doubtful for any other). In Poul Anderson's _Three Hearts and Three Lions_, somebody mentions that the sword Courtana is of the same steel as Excalibur and Durandal, all three swords of heroes of great renown. It is also wise to remember that Courtana and Excalibur were wizard-forged swords, while Durandal was supposedly the sword of Hector of Troy, a great hero. Taking Strang's statement that swords were felt to be born at the forge, it would seem that, like all children, they learn from those who take care of them. Thus it is that a great sword, no matter how procured (as wich children, some swords have "genetic" advantages, in the form of better steel, finer forging, etc.), become swords with heroic temperament, which aid their owner (if the owner is of like temperament) to victory. The opposite is also true--there are several swords of mythology which invariably committed evil deeds, even killing their owners. The _Kalevala_ contains several accounts of the four heroes making things and singing to them as the work was done, the songs being spells trying to fix the personality of the object into useful and harmless lines. Tolkien and Moorecock both have examples of the sword that invariably gives victory in their writings--Elrick's Stormbringer and farmer Giles' Caumidoeax. I believe that thin thrusting swords were not used because gunpowder made armor obsolete, but rather so strong and heavy that the only was a sword could enter was by thrusting through the joints, slashes just bouncing off. _Unvarnished Battle_: sounds like two of the einheriar fighting over a Valkiry. _Time of Waiting_: looks good, am eagerly awaiting part 2. _Swordpoint_: Bob Foster-- not having read the info. on the elfstones in #1, this might have nothing to do with the argument, however@,@ I think that it ought to be mentioned that the Turquoise is supposed to help riders ride, specifically it keeps them from being thrown. Considering the elvish practice of riding bareback, this [page 29] would be an important property. (What's with all these cats?) _Date with Kate_: Well, it's different anywho. _Substitute Steeds_: in her _Beast Master_, Andre Norton pointed out that future frontier societies on planets with edible vegitation, will of necessity depend on animals rather than on machines for the simple reason that machines are too damned expensive to use. As somebody pointed out in AMRA a few years ago, the average beast of burden has numerous advantages over any machine ever built: animals are self-replicating, self-repairing, self-feeding, and produce a useful byproduct. You forgot to mention the giant Tarns (birds that fly) of the Transman of Gor series (John Norman), and the giant ostriche-type walking birds of the Cija of Atlantis series (Jane Gaskell). _Mailing Comments_: What good does it do to review a zine if the readers can't get it. INCLUDE ADDRESSES on all reviews in the future, please. Also price. As a reader, I would appreciate it if you put me on your mailing list (or whatever it is, I've never figured out how you people in N'APA figure out who gets the zine, if I have to pay, say so). As a collector, I would very much like to get a copy of ish #1. Congrats on the past, good luck in the fututre. Kenneth Scher