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Title: No (Nous)
Editor(s): Ruth Berman and Jean Berman (issues #1-4), Ruth Berman (#5-onwards)
Date(s): 1967-?
Medium: print
Fandom: science fiction
Language: English
External Links:
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No (Nous) is a science fiction zine that was edited by Ruth Berman and Jean Berman for the first four issues and later just by Ruth Berman.

For the philosophical term, see wikipedia::Nous

Regarding the Title, and Its Change

The first four issues were published with the name Nous: 1967, Ruth and her sister Jean started a fanzine they titled "Nous"; when Jean dropped out after the 4th issue in 1969, Ruth changed the title to "No", since it was now only 'half of us. [1]

Ruth also commented on this title change in TV Bookshelf Interview with Ruth Berman, where she said it made a lot more sense to take out the "us" part of the title as there was no more "us" (referring to Jean) in the zine's creation.

Media Fandom

Some of the earlier issues have some very light media fandom content (issue #8 includes MUNCLE fiction and art), but the letters of comment for this material were not very supportive.

Some Things of Note

When Ruth wrote an essay about amateur and professional writing, it sparked a letter of comment by Harlan Ellison, which in turn fanned a lively debate.

Some issues contain some of Connie Faddis's early art.

Issue 1

Nous 1 was published in 1967.

Issue 2

Nous 2

Issue 3

Nous 3

Issue 4

Nous 4 was published in 1969.

Issue 5

No 5 was published in 1969.

Issue 6

No 6

Issue 7

No 7 was published in February 1971.

  • The Irregular Reviewer: "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes," by Dean Dickensheet (reprinted in The SH-sf Fanthology #2) 3 pages
  • other unknown content

Issue 8

No 8 was published in July 1971.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 8

I recently heard of a very particular sort of Sherlock Holmes fandom. On Friday, one of the graduate teaching assistants at the college told me of a talk show he'd heard the previous evening. The talk show was hosted by 'Long John' Nebel, an accommodating nitwit who will give air space to any sufficiently crazy theory that comes down the pike. Last week Nebel really outdid himself. He had on the show a man who's name informant couldn't remember, who claimed that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson really existed, that every word printed in Canon is absolutely true, and that the Baker Street Irregulars are a bunch of phones. In the review of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes the well-known story of an actress who asked George Bernard Shaw to collaborate with her on producing a child was cited. I have heard that the actress In this story was the famous Isadora Duncan. I like the Fletcher illos in NO and hope to see more. How can you get him to run his comic scrips, that formerly appeared In the late lamented Dippyzine International Enquirer. "Dr. 'Goodfollow and the Banana Fiends" wars the beat of the lot. and especially Dr. G'S pet pussycat Ptomkin.[2]
Nan Braud's item was very amusing and a trifle sad in a pleasant sort of way. It's strange how rapidly nostalgia can overtake old television programs. I've been unable to stop myself from picking up the U.N.C.L.E. paperbacks when I run across them at the Goodwill Industries store... I don't care much for the idea of novelizations of a television series but I just have this fond feeling for Solo and Kuryakin and hate to turn up my nose at anything associated with them.

So I'm g]ad to see someone in fandom who thinks enough of the series to write about its characters, even though I'm confident that I've missed quite a bit of humor because of my ignorance of Berkeley's people and institutions. I don't even know if there really is a President Kerr, (There was — RB) but Nan makes him seem so real for him to be entirely imaginary. I can't remember much in fanzines about the U.N.C.L.E. series: maybe one or two brief and poor parodies and the tale of how some fan or other had made appropriate symbols to wear on pins when they met one or two of the actors. I appreciated the series for one thing above all, the fact that it really moved. Except for the first black-and-white episodes, when the later spirit hadn't yet appeared, everyone seemed to put a zest into their heroism and villainy that made it impossible for endless conversations to force the action to come, to a stop. The Wild, Wild West is the only other major series known to me that managed to keep up a similar pace, and there's another television mythology that has been inexplicably neglected in fanzines, even though it had enough science fiction elements to get into a Sam Moskowitz tome.

Despite John Boardman's contribution to this issue, I've
 gradually acquired the belief that the battle against the
 feghouts has finally been won and that now we have only isolated pockets of resistance in such places as Brooklyn. The
 best evidence is the way that the feghouts which still slip
 through occasionally are almost never identified as such by
 a similarly named hero. The art work is generally good with particular praise due
 the portrait of Solo. It looks liek the equivalent of elctrostencilling, if such a thing exists. (Yes. Called dittofax in this case -- Ruth.) Fletcher is turning into a splendid artist cartoonist, if it's fair to describe his artwork

as a combination of the two fields. And the illustration on page 12 1s exactly right for the poem which in turn strikes me as just about the poem ever written about the Tolkien books.[3]
I was delighted to see some recognition FINALLY for poor UggAwump on the back cover .-- that soulful smile, those touching eyes. No doubt it will now come to live with Fred Heskall (or Haskell), being overcome with gratitude being brought to wide notice at last. (Considering its teeth, I hope that Fred is a nimble fellow.) [3]
School theses are school theses no matter where, they are
 seen... I'm not sercon enough to really appreciate them, I 
guess. The "Illuminati" article was informative, "Loudsnore"
 painful (which it was meant to be). [3]
Eleanor of Aquatain? I guess that's me, huh? My mother always told me she'd named me after that lady. I didn't finish Nan's piece in No. I guess I feel the same way about Uncle fiction as I do about Star Trek fiction. Enough is enough. However, I liked your paper on the MacDonald stories. They sound worth reading. [4]

Issue 9

No 9 was published in December 1971 and contains 23 pages. It has illos by Dick Tatge (cover, interior), Rae Ladore, bonnie Bergstrom Goodnight, Ken Fletcher, and Jim Young.

cover of issue #9, Dick Tatge
inside page from issue #10
  • Boston and Beyond, con report by Ruth Berman (4) (description of going to Noreascon and chatting with one of the creators of Logan's Run, getting her menstrual period, having a sore foot, visiting with Devra Langsam and Joyce Yasner, seeing Leonard Nimoy as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof," riding with others in Al Schuster's car, sightseeing at Lousia May Alcott's house, giving Leonard Nimoy copies of fanzines, and visiting Jacqueline Lichtenberg)
  • Roman in the Gloaming by John Berry (9) (visiting Hadrian's Wall)
  • No and Yes: Letters (17)
  • The Saga of Olaf Loudsnore, Chapter CCC by John Boardman (20)
  • Casting Director's Lament by Ruth Berman (a filk "a la W.S. Gilbert")

Some comments from Ruth's article:

  • "On Wednesday visited a fan (Jacqueline Lichtenberg) who hadn't been able to get up to the con. (This statement may surprise those fans who were at the con. But, as strange as it may seem, the entire universe was not standing in line ahead of you to get into any given function at Boston; only a large proportion of it.)"
  • "On Tuesday, Devra and her father and I went to see '1776.' It's a musical of great charm -- it left me feeling patriotic for the first time in years. As, Vietnam drags on, it is difficult to feel any pride in this country; it's it's good to be reminded that the country has had higher ideals in the past and may again."
  • "[On] Sunday, Devra, Maureen Wilson, and I met at the Issac Asimov/Clifford Simak talk, which was supposedly going to be on robots, but turned out to be on much they love each other (in a decent, manly way, of course.)."
  • "Afterwards, we waited around and saw Nimoy briefly. Devra gave him a copy of Masiform-D (and he did a doubletake at the sight of the cover -- instead of the trekkish drawing you might expect from such a title, possibly a picture of Mr. Spock being sick, the cover is a drawing by Alicia Austin of a sensuous woman wearing black gloves and black stockings). I gave him a copy of a trekkish Songbook I've compiled. He asked us how the convention was going ('A science fiction convention?" said a young man standing behind us. "Gee, where?" So we told him.) and expressed his regret that he couldn't attend it, because he would be busy Saturday with the last performances of the show and would be flying to England Sunday morning to make a made-for-tv movie. (He didn't, you understand, actually sound regretful at not being able to visit the convention -- but it was courteous of him to say so, even if he wasn't.)"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 9

No 9 came the last day of the year, and I did want to tell you how much I enjoyed John Berry's excellent narrative of his trip along Hadrian's Wall. Rosemary Sutcliff has set several novels at or near the wall.!' and I've seen many contemporary photos of it, so I was glad to see a walking description of it well written, too. The latest installment of the gripping Saga of Olaf Loudsnore was another highlight of the issue -- I can sympathize with Sigfus for his intemperate action; them sagas do go on and on. [5]
Picking up No 9 (for some odd reason I always read it as No.9, and spenda few wasted seconds searching for the fanzine name)) I noticed that you've gone mimeo. Okay, I said to myself, No should be a lot easier to read; lets see if Ruth has changed the style of the zine.

Luckily, you haven't. No 9 is," like all 'past No's that I've seen, relaxed. As a neo (Noreascon was worldcon #1 for me) I still find it difficult to understand why many fans prefer to spend more time outside of the con hotel than in it.' Ignoring the program I can see; ignoring the con I cannot. Your mimeo machine did not do justice to Rae Ladore fine illo. The illo I dug the most was Bonnie Bergstrom's thing. If it had been a 1ittle' bigger or better integrated into the page, it, would have been superb. Boardman's thing comes as close to being a feghoot as at non-feghoot can be. I kept on expecting a punch-line. An interesting, if not particularly useful piece. It reminds me of some of the

horror stories I keep on getting in regard to one particular story in Xrymph 2 (my own zine) where the first two hundred words were a condensed (but somewhat lively) genealogical table. I don't think I'll ever hear the end of this one. [5]
Your con report was different from the kind of trip I had, In that you not only went sightseeing (I only visited some friends and went to Harvard Square briefly) but even seem to have attended some of the program. All I attended was the costume ball and the Heyer tea. No, I did attend the Dum Dum of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, with" J. Weismuller as GoH. The rest was parties and gallons of Cuba ibres with Meade Prlerson and Penny, Rafe Lafferty, Don Markstein, and some others. [5]

Issue 10

No 10 was published in June 1972 and contains 27 pages. Illos by Rae Ladore, Ken Fletcher, Grant Canfield (cover and interior), Dick Martin, Jim Young, Sheryl Birkhead, Kees Van Toorn, and Dick Tatge.

  • Kosher SF by Ruth Berman (4) (an article/essay about religion in science fiction, includes a lot of examples of books and stories, the title of this article is spelled with a large handwritten "K" in "Kosher.")
  • The Saga of Olaf Loudsnore, chapter CXLIX by John Boardman (10)
  • Oz Ad Nauseam by Dick Martin (11)
  • No and Yes: Letters (14)
  • etc. by Ruth Berman (20) (some ads, a con report for a Minicon by Mnstfs April 7-9, 1972 at the Andrews Hotel in Minneapolis, MN)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 10

Great cover (and p. 9 illo) by Grant. He's one of the finest fan artists around and my choice for a Hugo this year.

"Kosher SF" reminded me of a very funny story by Carol Carr in Orbit 5, "Look, You Think You've Got Troubles." It was told in stereotypical Jewish dialect by the father of a Jewish girl who has married a Martian. "When I close my eyes, which is rarely., I see our daughter when she was fourteen years old; with skin just beginning to go pimply and no expression on her face. I see her walking up to Sadie and asking her what she should do with her life now she's filling out, and my darling Sadie, my life's mate; telling her why not marry a freak; you got to be a beauty to find a man here, but on Mars you shouldn't know from go many fish. 'I knew I could count on you, Mama,' she says, and goes ahead and marries a plant with legs." There's a curious quality to that passage that instantly makes it particularly human. Maybe It's just because I was raised as a Jew, I don't know. You note that much of religious sf tends to symbolically portray human concerns. I wonder if it doesn't often go the other way, too. Does "normal" sf (as opposed to the "religious' sf you talked about) present religious concerns symbolically? Childhood's End comes to mind immediately, as well as the Ellison short "I Have No Mouth..." Each touches tangentially on religion or not at all, yet both have strongly religious atmospheres... What did you think about the Ellison film? I saw it at Noreascon and thought it was horrible, an example of "Author, plug thyself" with no really valuable discussion on sf at all. The other Gunn films I've seen have also suffered from this and a decidedly simple-minded approach to the camera and editing techniques.

((I thought much that was said in the film was interesting,, but of course - as is pretty much inevitable in a discussion format — some of the things said were cliches. And I'd agree that the use of examples mostly drawn from Dangerous Visions with a profusion of closeups of the book made some sections resemble a hard-sell commercial. -- Ruth)) [6]
I particularly enjoyed Dick Martin's "Oz Ad Nauseam" -- and though I won't share it with my ten year old neighbor who is also a member of the International W.O.O.Z. Club, I will share it with her parents - over Martinis, of course.

Grant Canfield's cover and sketch on p. 9 are fine. Has he ever tried his hand at anything Sherlockian?

I enjoyed John Berry's narrative of his excursion along Hadrian's Wall. When I was teaching World History at Bayview High School (in the sub cellar), I found my students very interested in the Wall -- perhaps because I showed a film that gave a few glimpses of Hadrian's Wall.[6]
"Oz ad Nauseam" is superb! In the matter of Kosher SF, I'm surprised that no one's used the idea of Earthmen, wandering through the Galaxy after the loss/destruction of Earth, adopting Judaism as a religion & philosophy appropriate to the circumstances. [6]
Have you ever revealed the meaning of "no" as your title? It might be negative, but then again it might refer to No masks, since your previous issue showed your familiarity with drama. Someone confessed that it might be just abbrev. for number, so... (Actually, it's half of Nous, the title when my sister Jean and I co-edited it. I figured, half tie editorship, half the title. But I like negatives. -- Ruth)) Cover is neat and breasty, but the girl seems somewhat bored about the whole thing. Back cover is hideously good.[6]

Issue 11

No 11 was published in August 1972 and contains 31 pages. The illos are by Rae Ladore, Jim Young, Ken Fletcher, Sheryl Birkhead, Dick Tatge, Kees Van Torn, Bonnie Goodknight, William Rotsler, and Johnny Chamberlain.

  • Kosher SF: A Reaction by Dave Hulan (4) (rebuttal/response much more focused on the Jewish aspect, rather than the more general religious observations of the previous article)
  • Avalon by Nan Braude (7) (poem)
  • Kenneth Grahame: An Appreciation by Mary Schaub (9)
  • A Box in a Box by James Appelbaum (13) (fiction)
  • Some Notes on Owen Barfield by Ruth Berman (21)
  • No and Yes: Letters (24)
  • The Saga of Olaf Loundsnore, Chapter CIC by John Boardman (28)
  • a fan in this issue says he "wants to assemble a library of "junk" - the sf crime stories;: pornography nurse novels westerns) etc.; which people buy) read, and throw out; and which libraries don't collect. He asks for donations of junk" books and will repay postage costs."

Issue 12

No 12 was published in January 1973.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 12

Though I enjoyed reading them, I can't really figure out just what "Letters from England" are! Fiction or truth? They have a very Victorian flavor, with all those references "A," and "B" and so forth, which makes me tend to consider them fictional. However, it could be that your sister does write letters to home in this manner and you merely concealed the identity of the persons she referred to. Maybe the two of you read too much Sherlock Holmesian material. ((real correspondance, identities concealed. But I'm afraid it was a mistake to use letters instead of names -- spoiled the flow of the reading. My apologies to the readers and to Jean. -- Ruth)) Liked the Astrology bit. Read it to Wally, who grinned with appreciation. Being a Gemini, I found you hit your mark fully on my sign and I suspect on a few others as well. Isn't it odd how a faith (for it must be considered so) can have so many detractors, but who yet can tell you not only their signs but what personality traits supposedly adhere to them? Tiz a puzzlement, John Berry's article was a delight; He is giving me fits of jealousy though, traipsing all over the continent like that. Hadrian's Wall one time, Itaeza the next. He gets around more than Clifford Irving managed. Perhaps crime doesn't pay as well as more honest toil after all....

I liked your responses to Ellison's put-down of amateurism. There are good amateurs, and poor ones; just as being paid for your work doesn't make you instantly great, so not being paid doesn't make you instantly lousy. In order to sell, a writer has to present his material to someone who will buy -- and not 'everyone can or wants to do that. A writer is a person who wants to write, does it competently, and gains some sort of reward from doing so. The reward may be totally within his own mind. It has no bearing on the relative value of his work what sort reward it is -- cash or a feeling of self-worth. Diaries have been published after their writers' deaths, and have been the only written material by them that ever saw print. They were never paid for their endeavors. Does that make them Lousy? In order to be a writer, does one have to be the sort of person who can draw attention to himself? who has the right contacts, the drive, the push to be published? I don't think so.

Being unpublished is no guarantee of talent, but being published is no guarantee, either. There are hundreds of books published every year that have no business seeing print, while some poor, shy soul who may scribe words of incredible beauty or truth onto paper and then do absolutely nothing with them is doomed forever to be termed an Incompetent Amateur? In a way, I wonder if Harlan isn't reacting to the various accusations made regarding his self-salesmanship -- some would call it arrogance — and is more-or-1ess saying that every person who is a Writer Has to be Pushy. ((you've brought up here another definition of the term "amateur." The ones described in the Again Dangerous Visions essay are specifically those who do push themselves forward, and thereby waste the time of the editor who might otherwise have a little time to spend encouraging the competent, but shy amateur. Harlan, I think, suggests that there's no such thing as a shy, talented writer, because anyone with a talent will be driven by the need to use it. I think I'd agree with him that Writers do go on writing -- but they don't always go on submitting mss. for publication. Perhaps the most famous example Is Emily Bronte, who wrote poems in secret and did not even show them to her sister, Charlotte, When Charlotte discovered the poems, she talked Emily and their younger sister Anne into publishing jointly a collection of their poems. The book didn't sell, so they tried novels, with some-what more popular success. Without Charlotte's pushing, Emily might not have written Wuthering Heights and almost certainly would never have published anything. His problem from the editor's standpoint is to distinguish the badness of the beginner from the badness of the hopeless. Harlan's letter points out that the kinds of badness can usually be distinguished in the workshop situation, but that's not much help to an editor.)) [7]
Connie's cover is an ingenious idea that is very well executed. I thought at first she'd done it by kind of folded-paper technique, but closer inspection shows a minor difference (other than positive-negative) between the two halves. I'm too old to have watched Captain Video, but the back cover teaches me one thing at least: control panels weren't any more believable in the early science fiction on television than they are on current productions.[7]
I'm afraid I couldn't finish the Letters from England; it had too much of the flavor of soap opera/Gothic novel/diary-type thing for my own taste. I a1so got the feeling that Jean really didn't care a great deal for many of the people she met or was traveling with, since a lot of the comments were either non-committal or negative.

On the other, hand, I did enjoy your Zodiac. I've always sald that I'm deathly ill and have a lousy disposition, but now I can be sure and secure in the knowledge that I'm simply a lunatic; this, of course, allows me to decide that my deathly illness is purely psychosomatic...

Conreport: well, yes, an egotrip. Fairly easily read, tho. [7]
Olaf Loudsnore lees than par -- it took too long for me to figure out the joke. Perhaps puns amid other jokes require an optimum time to figure out -- those too obvious and caught at once, and those too obscure and caught only after prolonged study don't "click" right, whilst there is an intermediate degree of difficulty and delayed reaction that is perfect for the funniness of a joke. Um? [7]
Your sister must have had a very good time. I doubt if I could have nutshellized any trip I've taken and gotten so much said....I like the Olaf Stories are you planning to corral, them one of these days and make a booklet .out of them? Bill Rotsler writes a, urn, er..."different" type of loc. [7]
Travelers' comments are always interesting, and your sister's most perceptive. Her last phrase really hit home. for myself that I have none" - - how pleasant (not really the right word, but...) it must be to believe. Your cover is great -- and your artwork is generally good -- sometimes a little gray, but it's hard to get more ink on the page without spoiling too many. [7]
The main problem with the letters from England article was that I kept mixing up the alphabet. Was that A or C? Has G been mentioned before? Wasn't F the one who...? Why me? [7]
I suppose one way to tell an amateur from an unknown writer is to find out how long the individual in question has been collecting rejection slips. If he's been writing steadily for 10 years with no sales, then he's an amateur. [7]

Issue 13

No 13 was published in March 1973 and contains 33 pages. The illos are by Ken Fletcher, Jim Young, Grant Canfield, Rae Ladore, Jon Wilmunen, Alan Andres, and Sheryl Birkhead.

  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation, or, well, anyway by Dorothy Jones Heydt (4) (a very long, entertaining con report for Equicon)
  • Like-Seeming Shields by Ruth Berman (12)
  • The Saga of Olaf Loudsnore, chapter DC (a) by Ned Brooks (19)
  • A Letter in re: "That Only an Amateur" from Harlan Ellison (20) (sent to Ruth Berman, published here with the note: "... if it goes as planned, Harlan Ellison will publish a written version of this letter as essay, along with a reprint of "That Only an Amateur," in Clarion 3")
  • Probably Something Things by Tom Digby (23)
  • No & Yes: Letters (25)

Excerpts from Ellison's Letter: Issue 13

  • "Amateurism, I suppose I meant (and probably should have stated more clearly), is a state of mind. In a surreal way I typify it, and identify it with the state of mind of TV viewers who think the actors actually dream up the words they speak or, even more horribly, who think Leonard Nimoy is Mr. Spock or Dan Blocker was Hoss. It could be categorized as a lack of core understanding of the realities of writing and/or selling."
  • "Recourse to authority is easily the cheapest way to win an argument and I assure you I won't do it here, but I merely offer as some validity of my position the knowledge I've gained in having read perhaps two thousand manuscripts for the DANGEROUS VISIONS books, hundreds of stories as an instructor in writing workshops, and a vast number of silly letters from people who want to write and ask for advice or instruction or agenting services. It is possible (within proscribed limits, for there are always exceptions) to tell an amateur from a potential professional. Every editor can do it. Silverberg and Terry Carr and I have sat and talked about how it's possible to tell if a story in submitted manuscript form is of interest or simply the work of a dub, by reading the first page and the last. It may seem chill -- to the kind of mind that thinks one should love all members of all minorities simply because they are members of a minority rather than judging each individual on his or her own merits and defects -- but that editorial method is used by every editor live ever talked to about the problem. There are simply people who will never be professional in their writing habits or abilities, and to waste time with them is to steal it from those who have the talent and need the attention."
  • "As for searing off those with talent ... it can't be done, Ruth. Ciardi may have made you quiver, but he, made you examine your work and yourself, and he didn't scare you off; you sold to Saturday Review. It didn't scare me off when my college English professor told me I had no talent and should forget writing as a career. It didn't scare off any of the writers who understood that writing is holy chore and they had been touched with the gift. [8] It only scares off dilettantes and amateurs whose abilities are tiny or non-existent, or whose lack of ego, and feelings of self-worth would doom them much more quickly than the harshest words a critic could employ."
  • "Your sentiments do you honor, Ruth, but as a woman who clearly has writing ability and talent, you should toughen up. To be so all-inclusively Florence Nightingale about the talentless and amateur will serve you ill in years to come. The amateur will descend on you -- as they have on me and Silverberg and all the others who have made some small mark -- "and waste your time," drain your resources, nickel-&-dime you to tears with endless demands, their silly letters, their vague, dreams and desires. The ones who are not amateurs will understand that only they, themselves, can bring those dreams and desires to fulfillment,that there are no magic shortcuts or arcane rituals proffered by writers who have made it. They are realists even if they are dreamers -- and they are professional -- even if they've never sold and they will find their own paths, as each of us has."
  • "Finally, I must thank you for that essay. A great deal of careful work and thought; go into the DV introductions, and far more than as merely snippets of comment or gossip they are (hopefully) intended to stir discussion. Nine times out of nine, reviewers and fan writers see the work as frippery and choose to analyze me rather than the philosophies expressed therein. Yours is the first genuine example I've seen of a reader's perception that there is some substance there to be masticated."

Issue 14

No 14 was published in October 1973.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 14

Amateurs and "undiscovered" professionals: Paula Marmor -- critic and poet -- and neither- of them a "professional" nevertheless both make their point pretty well. "Amateur" and "professional" mean nothing very much, beyond who did what to whom and who got the five dollars. I'm sure Indick has been unmanned by syntax. It certainly appears, however, that he is including Merritt, Chambers, Blackwood and other writers "all the way back to Orpheus" as being in Lovecraft's Chthulhu "Circle." Obviously, they were progenitors, not pastichists. The "Lovecraft Circle" was such writers as Frank Belknap Long, Donald Wandrei, August Derleth, Robert Bloch and etc. etc. Fanzine as travelogue? Even by the celebrated John Berry -- I have no comment. I love all these deeply involved literary pieces, but for me a big trip is Poplar Bluff, Missouri. I'm jealous of their freedom, but not at all interested. [9]
Good stuff: notably the Berry travel stories, the Digby and Rotsler things. The only questions that's left in my mind is why did the ancient Greeks (and ergo various people in the middle ages) use the Nabisco Trademark as the symbol for the earth? I've already figured out why the Saxons knew all the angles. [9]
I glanced with pleasure at John Boardman's excellent tongue-in-check response to Farmer's style of bio. The Jules Vernian cover was a cutie. [9]
I particularly enjoyed Ben Indiek's piece on the relative nonattractlveness of Lovecraft'a (and others') dreary fantasy creations. I did take to that amusing line querying the sort of travel agency that would book one into such a miserable place to begin with. [9]
I loved "Carving in Marble." When dealing with the poems of Paula Marmor and other such neo-pre-Raphaelites there is something to say besides "I like it" or "I don't like it." By working in a tradition, she accepts the challenge of being judged by that tradition, thus giving us the excitement of a game which, because it can he lost, can also be won. My long-standing contempt for the modern "little review" style of poetry stems from the habit of these "revolutionary" poets of depriving us of this game, but not giving us anything in its place. Her poetry, entering a world which, since 1914, has been dominated by the anti-poem, gives a feeling to me of freedom and delight such as one might experience from the first drops of rain after years of drought. [9]
I didn't like J.R. Christopher's hormone theory of poetry: "Most male poets are stimulated by glandular energy at puberty and write until they're thirty, unless they are true poets.... But there Is not enough evidence to argue patterns for women who ore poets. I am not at all certain that parallels work. Of course, women who bear children often give up verbal creation for that other birthing." First of all, there is plenty of evidence re. the habits of women poets. There have been plenty of women poets, esp. In the 20th century. Christopher apparently doesn't know much about poetry -- has heard of Wordsworth and Tennyson and Christina Rossettl, but not apparently of Erika Jong, Diane Vakowski, Sylvia Plath, Marianne Moore, Anne Bradstreet. (As an aside, I am offended by Christopher calling women poets by their first names. Christopher may be on first name terms with Paula Marmor — but hardly with Christina Rossetti.[9]
I read the 14th NO with mixed enjoyment and foreboding. I can remember when it was slim and young, something I could lift with one hand and caress its baby-limp spine. How it is almost forty pages, and by the coming of spring, you will undoubtedly announce your intention to go offset, sell it for a dollar a copy, and make your living off the profits, after you've renamed it Ruth Berman.

Anyway, the covers were fine and if you hadn't ratted on yourself, everyone would have been praising you for Imaginative editing, for putting the busier cover, the one that jumps out and smacks the reader right in the eyeballs, on the front, Just as Beethoven started the Eroica with those banging chords to win immediate attention, then concluding the issue with Sheryl's restrained and delicate drawing, which causes the reader to realise that No is still its original self, despite such temporary deviations" as Young Fletcher humor and almost forty *sigh* pages.

The article on Paula Marmor's poems was excellent. You
 ought to tell us something about the less familiar names which 
turn up in your bylines because 1 can't figure out if J.R.
Christopher is a youngster with an extraordinary degree of 
insight into how good poetry differs from bad, or an individual
who makes his living out of literature somehow and has an
 extraordinary degree of willingness to write for a small-
circulation amateur publication. Paula's poetry can survive this
 kind of thoughtful analysis better than that of anyone I can 
think of who writes poetry for fanzines frequently; still, I'd
 like to see more criticism and analysis of fanzine material done
as well as this. [9]
The Ken Fletcher cover for NO 14 was quite amusing. I'd like to see a story in a prozine based on this piece of artwork. It would probably win the humor award hands down. Boardman's letter reminds me of the argument that Phil Farmer is closer to being Kilgore Trout than Theodore Sturgeon could ever be. Trout is the writer with great ideas who never makes it with his words. And so it goes with Farmer. Just think, the Riverworld series starts with a great idea, but if Farmer hadn't given his heroes famous names they would never have made it. It is said that if Farmer cannot get Vonnegut's permission to use the name Kilgore Trout then he will change his name to Kilgore Trout. The more power to him. One way or another, he is the real Kilgore Trout — right down to the porno. And in assuming the identity of Kilgore Trout, Philip Jose Farmer will at last find his true niche.

In re editor's comments recognizing potential in writers: I got a "please rewrite because you have several good ideas in a letter that is too long to publish" reply from Ben Bova. Does this mean that I am about to make it among the ranks of prozine letterhack, or what does it mean?

Where can I get a miniature giant walking rutabaga paperweight? I've been wondering ever since Juanita Coulson said she had one, and that was back in 68. Loren MacGregor would bring that business up again just so I could be bothered.[9]
Arnason's letter starts off by seeming to disagree with Ellison -- but may actually be in agreement with him. The people who irritate her at poetry workshops are probably the same ones Ellison is referring to — I think Harlan's point is not so much that they can't learn, but that they won't learn. Introduction of the term amateur into the discussion only confused the issue. Agree with most of your remarks about The Flight of the Horse. The final story, "What Good is a Glass Dagger, seems different in mood (or perhaps only better executed) and closer to the mood of the old unknown than the time travel fantasies. It seems a shame that Niven (or his agent, or his publishers, or whoever was responsible) did not include the earlier story (whose name I forget) to which this was a sequel. And, when he finally gets around to collecting the transport booth stories he's been writing lately, "Flash Point" will not be included because it appeared in this collection. This upsets people like me who like things nice and orderly. [9]
Back to Ellison -- that seems to be the main commendable piece in #13, even if I enjoyed the con-film report and the heraldry piece. I don't think either you or he realizes Just how much unprofesaionalism there is among writers, even 'successful' writers. Like, could you believe in a woman who didn't know of the existence of either 'The Writer' or 'Writer's Digest,' has no US marketing guide at all? "Fair enough," you say? "Typical amateur." But this woman has had more than a dozen novels published! (Yes, she does have need for a marketing guide. She writes short stories for one single market and never publishes any elsewhere never publishes them because she never submits.) [9]
NO has been languishing in my drawer for some time now, every once in a while shouting, "Yes! Now!" as I passed. Now that I no longer have even an unreasonable reason for not answering, I guess I'd best get down to it.

Sheryl's cover (I'm abiding by your wishes) was fair, but not one of her best. If you hadn't precluded the line with your title, I'd say I was negative about it. Jim/Ken's cover, on the other hand, was marvelous; a bit "dirty" as to style -- Ken occasionally seems to get carried away with his pen. But then, who am I to judge. I loved it. Ben Indick brings up some points I've been considering, and does it well. I seem to be in somewhat of a minority lately for, although I enjoy reading Lovecraft and sons occasionally --very occasionally -- I can't be all that thrilled by him or his successors or precursors. His subject matter is remote, and, however well done, only marginally interesting to me. The King in Yellow, which I was told was the acme of creative endeavor, bored me after a few pages. John Berry does such lovely things with language. Perhaps because he invariably addresses me in my own? Tell me, does everyone who reads a John Berry article read it in his own language? That would make things so much simpler...

I enjoyed the letter from Harlan Ellison; as a local tv station Is currently broadcasting Outer Limits, I'll have to watch for it and see how my new information fits in -- and also try to imagine the story as a cross-country chase. I remember the story, but only vaguely. I wasn't terrifically interested In television when Outer Limits first came on. Now I'm interested, but think that television is largely misused. [9]
I never thought much about the middle ground between amateur and pro writing; the difference seemed to be whether you wrote for love or money. Writers who accomplished both
 on a steady basis became

Renowned Authors. Talent, I thought, was necessary for amateurs as well as pros; an

untalented pro being a hack, an untalented amateur, a dub. If extremely untalented and still writing for the love of it, hack. Possibly in need of commitment or a good swift love affair. (Commitment either to some institution, or in one.) In any case, a genuine, 24-carat, Edith Bunker dingbat, found In Adult School writing classes for the 45 and unfulfilled, where she read poems about white gulls, spring days, and The New Puppy. Every line ta-Da, ta-Da, ta-Da, ta Da. But it doesn't matter because she's a nice person and that's what counts. So what's the use hollering about the crime of vague writing; she isn't hurting anyone. You can either come on as the big know-it-all, or play dummy, and say brightly that it was very nice. Which it was, after all. I never imagined how that person would be at fourteen, or eighteen -- Ellison's Clarion Workshopper who claims to be "experimental." Ellison did a thorough job on the dub, but what about the talented amateur who has no intention of finding his or her way into selling the stuff? Not through shyness, simply because the person writes For Love Alone. Or realistically, because the market for fic of any kind is small, lot alone fan-fic, the writer doesn't want the hassle of postage and rj slips. Takes time from his or her hobby. Also, aspiration leads the amateur between Scylla and Charybdis - between the over-critics who can squash your self-confidence to rubble, and the overgushers who can suck your vision down to oblivion. Emily was lucky if she never wished Charlotte had minded her own inkstand, even though it came out all right. [9]
The Harlan Ellison interchange is very interesting. I suppose what he meant in ADV was that there are writers he tends to scorn who lack a certain innate knack for writing, but persist and pester, and there are others he admires (and publishes) who ere True Writers. As you and the others have pointed out, this is a very difficult and even touchy distinction to make, especially if one is a non-professional writer (in the "published" sense) and feels uncomfortable at the thought that one might be doomed to eternal rejection slips and lack of achievement of some literary quality or other. I once learned that a close friend of mine thought I had a basic miscomprehension of what "science fiction" really was and I would never become a good writer. This, based on reading my work and watching me struggle with it for the year we lived together. I found myself quite upset -- not so much at my friend, because it was an honest opinion based on his perceptions -- but more at the fear that he might actually be right. I think it all comes down to the truth that in order to succeed at whatever you work at, ultimately you must be the judge of your own creations. If you allow others to decide for you, you might produce what pleases them, but then it is no longer really your own work. [9]
I found J.R. Christopher's "Carving in Marble" of interest. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little odd: the criticism is sometimes as intriguing to me as the work itself. Just in the scraps of lines given I could sea the influence of J.R.R. Tolkien. This Tolkien influence seems apparent because of the placement of the lines from "Line", on the Death of Robin Hood" in the first paragraph of the article. The use of feminine rhymes struck me in the poem about Beren and Tinuviel In Vol. I of LOTR and "Lines on the Death." I often reread the Beren and Tinuviel poem, so perhaps that's why the resemblance strikes me. Feminine rhymes aren't that common English poetry. [10]

Issue 15

No 15 was published in May 1974 and contains 37 pages. The front cover is by Alan Andres (was interior illo in issue #13), back cover by Connie Faddis, interior art by Jim Young, Rae Ladore, Jon Wilmunen, Grant Canfield, Tom Foster, Ken Fletcher, Tom Fletcher, and Sheryl Birkhead.

From the editor: "No comes out irregularly; and it's more like two times a year, although I'd prefer three."

  • The Fandoliers, concluded, by Ruth Berman (4) ("Back when No was still Nous, Len Bailes did most of a parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Gondoliers." It always seemed a pity to me that he didn't get around to finishing it. So, with apologies to Len, here it is." This filk has a cast of "fannish publishers, fakefans, femmefans, a BNF, the BNF's wife, the BNF's daughter, a Secret Master of Fandom -- the previous TAFF winner, and a chorus of Femmes and Fakefans." )
  • Berry's Baedeker, continued, by John Berry (15) (a travelogue)
  • No & Yes: letters (19)
  • Showcase review by Louise Valmeras (31)
  • chitterchatter by Ruth Berman

Excerpts from Harlan's Letter: Issue 15

  • "The discussion on amateurism VS. seems to be going well, and -- happily - - without rancor. To the end of keeping it going (because I think it's an topic for discussion and it's getting discussed nowhere else at the moment) here are a few casual thoughts in to the letters in No 14."
  • "E.A. Arnason makes an interesting theoretical supposition, that writers are people who cannot express themselves fluently or self-satisfyingly any other way. She may be correct, but I think "express" is the less operable word when compared with the psychiatric term "communicate." As refutation of the theory, consider the following extremely expressive (successful ) sf writers: Silver-berg, del Rey, McCaffrey, Eester, Asimov, Disch, Spinrad, Sturgeon, Scortia, Ellison, Knight, Blish, Bradbury, Delany, Bova, Campbell, Harrison and Russ. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of writers who have no difficulty whatever in communicating through various means other than writing. As validation of the theory, however, there are writers who are shy and retiring, for any number of reasons ranging from lack of ego-strength to speech impediments. So. I think the theory proves invalid simply because it cancels itself cut over the long consideration of groups. There are many of us who communicate in multifarious ways; verbally, sexually, politically, literarily, artistically, etc. No, I don't think amateurism vs. professionalism comes anywhere near that consideration. As to how I can tell who seems to me to have professional abilities as opposed to those who seem to me to be condemned forever to amateurism, I guess it's a kind of empathy-aum-body language synched in with unconscious clues my mental computer understands that I don't recognize consciously. But many editors have it. Silverberg, Carr, Harrison and Brian Kirby are four I know for certain have it: I've seen it work."
  • "Hochberg is dead right. To respond to Harry Warner's belief that writers can be scared off, I contend that is a flaw in the human, not the writer, which is a superimposed persona. If a writer can be seared off that easily, he or she would very likely never have had the staying power to learn what is needed to be learned to become a professional. But I've seen even the most timorous creatures fired with a desire to write, such a fire that not even the White House Plumbers could have scared them off. No, only dilettantes and hobbyists get soared off when the shit comes down."
  • "Denis Quane's first paragraph capsulizes my feeling about aiding those with talent and being less charitable with those without. His first question, however, seems to be the draw-sticking point for many of your correspondents: how can you tell one from the other. I submit instinct and valid data based on working In the medium for a long time are the criteria. One simply knows. Oh, yeah, sure, occasionally you can be wrong, but those occasions are few and far between. At least they have been for me. I've come to trust my head and my gut. You could lay ten manuscripts in front of me, minus bylines, and I could tell you with readings of the first and last pages of each which were the pros and which were the amateurs. (That is, if you played straight and didn't try any ringers; simply selected ten scripts, pro and amateur, at random, and let me read them.)"
  • "Campbell was hardly unique in his encouragement of new writers. Hell, it's common practice. Done as a matter of course. Dues paying. You just remember the Campbell-Asimov thing because it's a classic, outstanding example. No editor is worth his or her salt without a string of writers' names to the credit sheet. No, we haven't come to any resolution of the question yet. But I suspect the people who have the answers are the ones who won't even bother writing in. They understand already. They are professionals, whether they know it or not. [11] Mostly, amateurs are the ones with the furrowed brows. That's another way to spot them."

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 15

The problem of telling the amateurs apart from the professionals in writing is complicated by the fact that that there are a great many stories are published in prozines that should not be published anywhere, not even in fanzines.... [gives many scathing detailed examples of other zines, some of which are ones in which his own work has appeared] ... So here's the problem (And this question is particularly addressed to Harlan): How does a professional-quality writer get his work published if the prozines are overstocked-with amateur-quality stories? I'd really like to know. [10]
The letter column and the continuing adventures of John Berry were, as usual, the high points of No 15 for me. "The Fandoliers" was the low. Fan parodies are usually on a level not much higher than Mad's movie/play parodies. Possibly, this comes from my own basic prejudices against musicals but I think not. I've just never seen any such parodies (though I've found many parodies of written material to be enjoyable) that were worth more than a passing interest. Perhaps this is because musical parodies rarely make more than slight changes in lyrics. That hardly shows much talent to me. Lovely Faddis cover. Keep 'em coming. [10]
Thank you for No 15. I see that E.A. Arnason picks to pieces my "hormone" theory of poetry," Probably quite rightly, although I don't think I'll abandon it yet. My assumption that writing is a product of sexual energy is Freudian, I believe. That is, I haven't read most of Freud, but in my reading about his ideas, I find this as a common assumption. (More about Freud in a moment.) And my assumption that about the age of 30 is the end of the early lyricism, followed either by quiet or by a different sort of dedication in the poet comes from Robert Graves -- from The White Goddess, I believe, although it may be in one of his essays.

I do not claim either Freud or Graves as the last word -- and Arnason correctly argues from specific examples. Of the five women cited in her second paragraph, I've not heard of two -- Jong and Wakowski. Plath I've read only in anthologies; ditto on Bradstreet, Moore I've read and enjoyed, but I know less of her life than of Plath or Bradstreet. (The little I've read by Brad-street has been only so-so, I judge; or maybe too realistic for my tastes.) At any rate, Arnason has a valid point about my ignorance. Or it may be that woman do not react the same way as men creatively. Certainly they do not so far as the Oedipus complex is concerned. Babies start with an emotional dependence on their mothers; the female teenagers shift their primary emotional tie to men and do not develop the Oedipus relationship strongly, while the male teenagers continue the emotional' tie to the woman (mother + sweetheart; Jung's anima) and do. (Add all sorts of qualifications but I think the statement can be defended generally.) Thus one psychological difference; probably there are others.

You completed "The Fandoliers" so smoothly that I can't imagine anyone noticing where Len Ballos stopped and you started, if the whole were published in one volume without explanation of who did what. So I'd say that you both displayed equal ingenuity in translating G&S into faanish, I doubt if there are enough G&S fans left in fandom in these modern times to give this the reception it would deserve if produced at a con. Come to think of it, production on the fan level might be very difficult, because this operetta probably, makes the greatest demands on singing voices, out of the whole series. I've never believed in fiawol, but I keep wondering about that topic, every time I see a long parody in which some fannish equivalent has been found for everything in the original, as If there really were a fannish substitute for any mundane manner important enough to enter a work of art. The only emendation that occurred to me while reading the entire thing: the vanished conventioneer might have disappeared because he turned out to be a Carl Brandon or a Joan Carr instead of just a gafiate. There should be a pretense at logic even in a parody, and it's usually possible to find someone who has gafiated while the unmasking of a non-existent fan who is a combination of several fans' efforts could present a genuine difficulty. John Perry was much fun to read again. The more I read European travel reports, the more I realize how much war is de-emphasized over there as a tourist attraction, compared with the 
United States situation. [10]
Most interesting parts to me were the Berry travelog and the Ellison-and-others discussion of professionalism in writing. I'm more familiar with John's humorous writing and this sample of his very careful and craftsmanlike use of words is a very nice change. I wish Harlan could explain how he can spot a potential professional, but I accept his statement that it's an instinctive sort of thing. It must be terrible to really want to write and just not have any ability in that field. I don't particularly have any desire to be a full-time writer, although I think it would be sorta nice to have a couple of stories published. The only story I've written in eight years was a short satire that Ted White bought. I haven't tried anything since then: possibly out of a desire to keep a perfect record but more likely out of having nothing more to write and no time to not write it in.[10]
Showcase Review disappointed me somewhat. There's the basic problem that the reviewer didn't read all of the book being reviewed. This behavior always leaves me to suspect that the reviewer was simply too lazy to finish it, and therefore might also have been too lazy to look hard enough for the good things about the portions actually read. I don't like the qualities listed as Important for good science fiction, real problems and "bizarre symbols, startling conjunctions end so on" in their treatment. If that's what's important, why write science fiction at all, when so many fine writers have put those two qualities into their mundane fiction and when they're behind most of the great poetry of the world? One odd thing about the Gandalf award for Tolkien: Tolkien did win an award once from fandom, in 1957 for Lord of the Rings, when the International Fantasy Awards were being given out, before the Hugos were given every year for best novel. Tolkien seems to have been quite unhappy about the necessity to attend a convention to receive his award, and he apparently didn't much longer than necessary to get It. So if he wins a Gandalf Award ((he did)), and he is in a position to know it, I'm sure he'll be glad he needn't go through that ordeal again. [10]

Issue 16

No 16 was published in January 1975 and contains 36 pages. Illos by Connie Faddis (front cover), Bruce Arthur (back cover), Jim Young, Ken Fletcher, Dick Tatge, Dick Schultz, Al Sirois, Sheryl Birkhead, Rae Ladore, Wendy Lindboe, Bruce Townley, and "a filler special for Poul Anderson by anon."

From the editor: "Comes out irregularly, and alas infrequently."

  • Wandering Stars review by Ruth Berman (4) (Jewish-centric science fiction)
  • Berry's Baedeker, continued by John Berry (10)
  • limerick by Ruth Berman (16)
  • MabinogiCON Proceedings by J.R. Christopher (17) (A con report for Mythcon V in which the fan tells of his wife accidentally running over their cat in her car the morning he left... and comes home to murder and mayhem by escaped criminals in his neighborhood. The middle part of the con report, thankfully, has much about the actual con. )
  • Using Chess in SF by Ruth Berman (23)
  • No & Yes: Letters (26)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 16

[from a author who was referenced in the SF/Chess article]: I was once some years back a science fiction fan... avidly consuming Galaxy, but I've been out of touch for some years (pursuing my own brand of fantasy writing & dreaming) and I must say that most of the jargon [of issue #16] baffles me. I do find the letters vaguely fascinating... like reading CLOCKWORK ORANGE.... I was inspired by reading Martin Gardner's comment in THE ANNOTATED ALICE, "Considering the staggering difficulties involved in dovetailing a chess game with an amusing nonsense fantasy Carroll does a remarkable job." Actually Carroll's chess game is far from remarkable; it's a complete mess. So I took this comment as sort of a challenge. I learned a lot about chess from writing that book, and have been playing avidly ever since.... I almost forgot to say how much I enjoyed the whole article on Using Chess in SF. It was a thorough and very interesting coverage of the subject. Thank you again. [12]
Your piece on chess in SF is filled with references I didn't know, and I am very pleased to have it. [12]
Old Lady Mother Time on the cover No 16? Female lib strikes again! I am currently reading LeGuin's DISPOSSESSED, and it postulates a world wherein women are genuinely equals and then some of men; she manages to neatly put down the argument almost at once that a free woman loses something called femininity (in her eyes, it is really a man-created vanity). I am hoping the book will generate more story-oomph for me, after the mere 1/l0th I've read, for it is at this moment like an old-fashioned Utopian novel or even Huxleyan. I imagine it will. [12]
I'm late with my bread & butter note on the 16th No. This, I suppose, could be termed a No no-no. Know, then, that I've been sick, busy, confused, and several other things. Except for a touch of gangrene in one arm, a headache and lingering terror from a spell at dawn, I'm feeling fine tonight and maybe this condition will continue long enough for a complete loo.

The front cover was a surprise. How often in the history of fanzines has a cover illustration portrayed a real-looking old woman with a face that is disconcerting but not grotesque in ugliness? The hourglass adds a chilling sort of touch, making the woman take on the stature perhaps of someone out of myth, a symbol of mortality or the aging process or one of several other things. It's a very fine execution of an artistic idea that would be spoiled without the simplicity with which it's done. I first saw Bruce's back cover sideways, of course, and my first reaction from that distorted angle was: Little Orphan Annie has let her hair grow. Then I turned it around and realized that the eyes had fooled me, and this is actually a young lady of much more sophistication than the girl Daddy Warbucks could dominate. I like it, anyway.

Your review of Wandering Stars is so thorough that it's hard to find a small chink into which I can insert some supplementary words. My reading experiences with fiction in which Jews play a leading role have included a lot of mundane stories with settings in New York City, and I suspect that the great number of talented writers who came out of that metropolitan Jewish community and drew on their own experiences for material has caused much of the stereotyped Jewish fiction idiom which you and Mel Gilden talk about on page five. Certainly the few Jewish families I've known in Hagerstown had nothing in common with their way of talking end this city has never had enough Jewish residents for them to cluster into one part of town. Science fiction writers aren't the only literary people who seem, to be conforming to the most publicized way of writing about this nation's Jewish people in fiction.... [snipped]... John Berry is again vastly amusing and I ha for places where the old John Berry came poking sedate facade of the mature John Berry of today. One instance was the way his favorite word, "scruffy, " came bobbing up before this installment was completed, just as it used to appear at least once in almost everything he wrote.... [snipped]... J.R. Christopher's little conreport was sobering for the way it dealt with people, fanzines, and ' institutions almost completely unknown to me. And yet the Mythcon and other things mentioned in the article can be traced back to the mainstream of fandom in one way or another. I hope we don't evolve further and eventually find ourselves in a condition when all fandom is something like the reputed American Communist structure, with thousands of tiny clusters of fans all over the continent but no fan knowing the identity of anyone else, other than the three or four other people who share his own particular set of interests and therefore form part of his cell. I think I enjoyed your article about chess in fantasy more than I enjoyed most of the stories based on chess. Except for Alice's activities, I've never been comfortable with fiction built on such a frame. I get the impression that such a story is nothing but a description of a large machine working by ordained rules, and that there is no real freedom for human choice and will power to govern action. [12]

Issue 17

No 17 was published in September 1975 and contains 38 pages. The front cover is by Alan Andres. The back cover is by Connie Faddis. The interior art is by Tim Marion, Al Sirois, Jim Young, Connie Faddis, Rae Ladore, Ken Fletcher, Reed Waller, Doug Herring, Dick Tatge, William Rostler (the editor notes: "I think [it is William Rostler], although I have this problem with signiture de-coding, and it might be Johnny Chambers"), Sheryl Birkhead, Bruce Townly, Richard Schultz, and Wendy Lindboe.

front cover of issue #17, Alan Andres
back cover of issue #17, Connie Faddis
The editor writes:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I know I said I wasn't going to do this... but this is the last issue of No. Probably not the last ever, but the last for the next few years. Many thanks to those of you who've been subscribing. Enclosed are stamps or back issues to make up the balance of a subscription. Likewise many thanks to those of you who've been trading fanzines with me. The time has come to cut me off your list of trades. And a special thanks to the artists whose artwork has been decorating No -- and apologies to those of you who've sent me work some of which is still sitting unused in my files. I'll be returning unused art to you. I don't happen to have written work on hand and unused, so an unapologetic but equally grateful thanks to those of you who've written for No.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (differs from actual content):

  • Come Back to the Raft, Pooh, Honey: Abnormal Sex and Winnie the Pooh by Deborah Collin (subject: children's interest in sex, the subversive sexual elements of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin as the author's self-insert, and much about the homosexual elements of the book/s) (4)
  • Berry's Baedeker, concluded by John Berry (12)
  • A Sign for the Pharisees by Greg FitzGerald (20)
  • Company by Philip Jeffery Stuart (21)
  • A Letter from Jean Berman (27)
  • Watch Out for the Termites That Ate New York City by Paula Smith (28)
  • No & Yes: Letters of Comment (28)

ACTUAL CONTENT (an addendum to the table of contents is listed at the end of the zine with the note: "or, what to do when you misread your own handwriting typing up the toc"):

  • Come Back to the Raft, Pooh, Honey: Abnormal Sex and Winnie the Pooh by Deborah Collin (4)
  • two illos/cartoons (un-numbered)
  • A Comic Review by Sheila Strickland (12) (a review of "Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction")
  • Loui and Viceroy by Steven H. Waller (14)
  • Berry's Baedeker, concluded by John Berry (15)
  • A Sign for the Pharisees by Greg FitzGerald (20)
  • Company by Philip Jeffery Stuart (21)
  • Dear Fandom by Jean Berman (titled "A Letter" in the table of contents) (is a long letter about her not producing any fanac for the last eight years, about attending [[|Worldcon|Eastercon]] in London, more chat than fannish) (22)
  • Watch Out for the Termites That Ate New York City ("Cause They Might Come Around and Eat Your Town) by Stephen Foster Bidet (Paula Smith in the table of contents) (28)
  • No & Yes: Letters of Comment (29)


  1. ^ "Fan History Archive, Chapter 3". Archived from the original on 2012-02-07.  compiled by Richard Lynch (now offline, archived link).
  2. ^ an LoC from "No" #9
  3. ^ a b c an LoC from "No" #9
  4. ^ an LoC from Eleanor Arnason in "No" #9
  5. ^ a b c from an LoC in "No" #10
  6. ^ a b c d from an LoC in "No" #11
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h from an LoC in "No" #13
  8. ^ An example of the Toupée Fallacy, an informal logical fallacy regarding silent evidence and the problem of induction: or, "All toupées look fake; I've never seen one that I couldn't tell was fake."
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m from an LoC in "No" #15
  10. ^ a b c d e f from an LoC in "No" #16
  11. ^ Or they're too shy. Can't have it both ways.
  12. ^ a b c d from a LoC in issue #17