|Type:||Reviewers with Pseuds|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
H.O. Petard is the pseud of a prolific and controversial zine reviewer from the 1970s. His (he is referred to as male by the editor of Implosion, one zine in which the reviews appear) reviews were often scathing, and many felt, unkind. The name of course is a takeoff on the familiar phrase "hoist with his own petard" from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The editor of Implosion writes: "Now let's not get fanatical about this. HOP is simply a fan who wishes to remain anonymous, and I respect his, or her, wishes to do that. And a Rex Reed in fandom isn't going to hurt anyone, unless occasionally opening one's eyes is painful."
A similar anonymous editor of the same era was Tigriffin.
Rumors of Identity
While his/her true identity must have been known to some, most fans claim to have never figured out H.O. Petard's true identity. This, of course, simply fueled the rumors.
One rumor is that it was Paula Smith, though this was denied by Petard in Implosion #5": "Last week, a local fan informed me in all seriousness that HOP is really Paula Smith. That's not true -- a fact for which both Ms. Smith and I are duly grateful. However, something to ponder until the next IMP -- have you ever seen me and Rex Reed at the same time? Well, have you?"
Mandi Schulz, the editor of Implosion denies it: "Who is H.O. Petard and why is he saying these terrible things about everything on the face of the planet? Your guess is as good as mine at this point. I feel like I am repeating myself whe I say this, but #1, I am not HOP, and #2, I print his reviews to get you people talking -- primarily to display the plain, simple truth that all that glitters is not gold to everyone and that you don't have to be afraid to say so -- at least not here in IMP."
Jeff Johnston, editor of Spectrum, also say it isn't him: "For those of you who think that Dear Fandom Annie and H.O. Petard are both pseudonyms for M.J. Fisher -- try again. Both are real people, who just to remain unknown, and they're not me!"
- from a 1991 postscript to the editorial in Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #2