H.O. Petard

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Fan
Name: H.O. Petard
Alias(es): HOP
Type: Reviewers with Pseuds
Fandoms: Star Trek:TOS
Communities:
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URL:
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H.O. Petard is the pseud of a prolific and controversial zine reviewer from the 1970s.

Commentary by Richard Schultz about H.O. Petard. It riffs on the Star Trek episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty" and is also a shout-out to a fan charity. This illo was printed in Implosion #9 (1977).

Petard's reviews were often scathing, and many felt, unkind.

A similar anonymous editor of the same era was Tigriffin.

The name is a takeoff on the familiar phrase "hoist with his own petard" from Shakespeare's Hamlet. A "petard" is a small bomb.

Anonymous

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."

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.

At one point, Petard is referred to as male by the editor of Implosion, one zine in which the reviews appear. That same editor also refers to Petard and says: "that being can speak quite well for itself."

Supposedly Not Paula Smith

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?"

Supposedly Not M.J. Fisher, Nor Fandom Annie

M.J. Fisher, editor of Spectrum, also said he was not Petard: "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!"

Supposedly Not Mandi Schultz

Mandi Schulz, the editor of Implosion denies being Petard. In the sixth (and last issue) of "Implosion," Schultz wrote:

WHO IS H.O. PETARD AND WHY IS HE SAYING THESE TERRIBLE THINGS ABOUT EVERYTHING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH? Your guess is as good as mine at this point. I feel like I'm repeating myself when I say this, but #1, I am not HOP, and #2, I print his reviews to got you people, talking - primarily to display the plain simple truth that all that glitters is not gold to everyone end that you don't have to be afraid to say so - at least not here in IMP. One thing I want to correct or adjust or whatever is that in that DELTA TRIAD review I was by no means casting aspersions on the intelligence quotient of either person quoted For that matter, neither was HOP - in one point he was merely taking exception with one person’s taste, which is certainly his right, and in the other instance he was pointing out that the grammar error was not his; altho one would assume that in such a circumstance, things do get mangled during typings in places beyond IMP so he was merely making sure, IMP was certainly not trying to put down either of these people. I don't know who the one is, but Dixie Owen is someone I think quite highly of and would certainly not take such a sneaky way to insult, assuming I would want to insult her at all. If this is what some people thought, then I apologize for the misconception or for hurting anyone's feelings, I should have known better. HOP can sink or swim on his own merit which I think is certainly mammoth since he manages to get so many people going. In a fandom where the lack of honest exchange was causing me to despair. I'm gratified to see you people talking openly about your feelings on these matters, I am not gratified to be the one to take the blame in everything for IMP as who produces what is all clearly labeled.

[...]

One more time to make sure you've all got it, I am not HOP, and I did not write that review, I have no idea if HOP is a Mr, a Ms, or a goldfish.

[...]

As I have said for christ-only-knows how many times, I am not HOP.

A Later Reveal: It was Cheryl Rice

From Boldly Writing:
While Petard wrote that his or her real name was an "open secret," the number of queries shows that most fans did not know who Petard was. (Following the initial printing of Boldly Writing, Cheryl Rice wrote to me that she was H.O. Petard.)

Fan Comments

References