Letters of Comment: Issue #12

 

We look forward to receiving your letters at editor@nthzine.com.

 

Michael:

Thanks for the latest Nth Degree and congratulations on making it to issue 10.

Unfortunately there was little resonance with your convention reports and conventions I’ve been to or missed, although I suppose SheVaCon may be what RoVaCon turned into. Certainly the roots of the names look suspiciously similar.

As for the major fiction piece I can’t buy the premise. Aliens smart enough to travel to Earth via spaceship would (a) have spacesuits and (b) would know better than to land in a combat zone. Suspension of disbelief was too great to overcome.

Until next issue…

Henry L. Welch
Editor, The Knarley Knews
welch@msoe.edu
August 15, 2004

That’s an interesting question about SheVaCon/RoVaCon. I remember RoVaCon but don’t know if it morphed into SheVaCon or not. Anybody out there know the answer?

 

Dear Mike,

Thanks for letting me read the stories that constitute Mazes. If you like, you may use the following as a publicity comment:

“These four low-key, odd, and heartfelt tales contain, in embryo, a powerful talent. ‘Greek Garden’ is a gender-reversed Pygmalion, with another reversal at the end. ‘Grounded’ economically evokes a bizarre and frightening world, with wings. ‘The Touch of Hands Beyond the Maze’ recalls James Patrick Kelly’s ‘Rat’ without in any way borrowing from it. And ‘Storms,’ the longest as well as the most poignant and mysterious of the tales, illuminates with recurrent lightning strikes the adolescence of its troubled heroine. Michail Velichansky will undoubtedly grow as a writer, but Mazes is a fine place to enter the bewitching labyrinth of his fancies.”

Sincerely,
Michael Bishop
October 8, 2004

Mazes, by Michail Velichansky, is Nth Degree’s first foray into the world of chapbooks and Michael Bishop was very generous to take the time to read a copy. I will be screaming his kind words from the rooftops at the next several cons I attend. From one Mike,  for another Mike, to yet another Mike—Thanks!

We’re planning on making our chapbooks available online soon, but in the meantime you can contact me directly at editor@nthzine.com if you’re interested.

 

Mike:

Received my copy of Nth Degree #11 yesterday. First, congratulations on the new page length.

Again, thanks for listing me on the masthead. I may have to put this on my resumé.

I have another fanzine that might be interested in trading with you. It’s Alexiad, edited by Joseph and Lisa Major.

Johnny Carruthers
October 15, 2004

And thanks to Johnny for suggesting Alexiad (contact info on page 10) to me. I’m always on the lookout for good zines. Johnny also recommended Argentus, and has been very gracious in taking Nth Degrees to conventions in the Kentucky area. In fact, the “With Thanks To” column on the Staff page is mostly filled with people that have kindly taken zines to their local cons for me. I am always indebted to the generosity of fans.

 

Hi,
I picked up Nth Degree #11 at Capclave this weekend. I’ve just started reading it and so far like the con reports and book reviews.

If you could list a con I’m involved with, when the time rolls around, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Gaylaxicon 2005
Cambridge, MA
July 1-4, 2005

I see the con listing just has the name, dates, and city/state, but if you’re curious: http://www.gaylaxicon.org/2005/

Cheers,
Kendall P. Bullen
Dealer Room Coordinator, Gaylaxicon 2005
(and Gaylaxicons 1999 & 2000)
October 18, 2004

Here’s another rare glimpse into the inside working of Nth Degree… I generally compile the convention calendars based on flyers that I pick up at the cons I attend. If I still have space leftover in the column, I make an online search for cons I may have missed. I find www.sflovers.org to be an invaluable site for keeping up with convention information. Sending me the information directly though is a sure-fire way to make sure you get listed.

And, starting with this issue, I’ve expanded the convention listings from two months to three and added the con’s URL to make it easier for you the reader to find out more about your favorite cons.

 

Dear Mr. Pederson:

I am writing to renew my subscription to you’re [sic] wonderful publication, Nth Degree. Each issue I have received has been even better than the previous one, and I read them cover to cover. I was wondering if you would ever consider publishing any stories of an erotic/anthropomorphic nature? I was just curious. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,
Harold Zwick
November 10, 2004

Apparently our cross-over appeal has stretched into the realm of the Furries. Thanks for the kind words, and as to publishing stories about anthropomorphic characters, nobody has sent me any yet. We came close last issue with a story about a woman who had herself genetically mutated into a humanoid manta ray (“Sister Sonata” by Robert Waters). We’ll likely never cross into the realm of eroticism though. Since our magazine is distributed through convention registration bags and freebie tables it’s hard to control the ages of our readers. We’ll slide into a soft “R” rating at times but that’s about as far as we can go.

 

Letters of Comment: Issue #11

 

We look forward to receiving your letters at editor@nthzine.com.

 

Mike,

I got the issues of Nth Degree #6 yesterday and was blown away! The magazine looks slick and professional, and when I read the story, “Smoke,” I realized that the writing is of professional quality too. You should be selling Nth Degree! It is better than a good many semi-pro zines I won’t name. No joke.

Of course, I am thrilled to see my work on the cover, especially that particular piece—it was one of my favorites, one that I painted just for the heck of it, and I hated to see it go to waste. Glad that you noticed it, and that Rob wrote the story! “Smoke” has such fantastic Gnostic overtones, the whole concept of hatred of the flesh, the computer ‘smoke’ reaching sentience and becoming a god. I kept comparing the story to the “story” I imagined while I painted the picture. In my mind, the man was facing a computer screen, (that’s the source of the light), and the horrible little worm-creatures are springing out of it. My son posed for it, (he says I’m constantly putting him in the most horrible situations in my art, but what’s a Mom for?) and I think I got the idea watching him sitting up late in front of the computer. Maybe I was trying to scare him into turning the darn thing off.

Well, thank you again for putting my art on the cover. One suggestion—Nth Degree needs a letter column!

Cover #6Best,

Julia Morgan-Scott

As you can see we’ve been waiting for quite some time to establish a letters column. This letter goes back a whole year. Julia was kind enough to donate cover illustrations for Issues #5 and #6. I liked the cover for Issue #6 so much that I asked my Associate Editor, Rob Balder, to write a story to go along with the cover. This was actually the first cover to illustrate a story. If you missed it, here’s what it looked like:

 

Michael:

Thanks for Nth Degree #8 and congratulations on all the success. I never would have thought you’d manage, but you seem to have found a viable niche and I’m glad to see it.

I love the Lake George, NY area. Especially in October when the colors are changing. As a student I was very active with the Rensselaer Outing Club and we hosted an annual event around Columbus Day on Turtle Island in the middle of the lake. We used to base our flotilla of canoes from Lake George Village (the water institute just north of town), but when we lost that space we switched to the YMCA camp on the east side of the lake. The distance was longer, but across a less open portion of the lake and they were very accommodating. One year it snowed Saturday night and everyone bailed out early on Sunday. One of my tasks was to make sure they all ate something before they began the trip back. It was actually more pleasant had they waited a few hours to make the return journey.

Until next issue…

Henry L. Welch
Editor, The Knarley Knews

Henry’s Knarley Knews is about as far from Nth Degree as you can get in the fanzine spectrum. For starters, he passed the 100-issue milestone this year, something we won’t be doing for a looooong time. Henry started TKK as a means of keeping in touch with old friends and it has grown from a simple perzine into a great mix of family updates, editorials, and LOCs as well as artwork from many of the best fan artists in the biz. I love the fact that fandom can encompass such a wide range of publications. Of course, it’s also nice to hear positive comments from an established ziner. Sometimes it’s tough being the new kid in school.

Henry’s comments about Lake George refer back to Andy World’s review of last year’s Albacon. Everyone that I’ve talked to that went to the con says the same thing, that it was one of the most beautiful con sites they’d ever been to.

 

Mike,

It was great meeting you at ConCarolinas, as well as being on the “Pirates in SF&F” panel with you. I wish we’d had more time to talk. You seem very down-to-earth.

I hope you had a good time at the con, and were able to do a lot of promoting and make good contacts. I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for the web-radio show “Requiem of the Outcast” (it will “air” in two or three months).

My photographer, assistant, and sister Peggy took a lot of photos. I plan to add a page of them to my website within the next few weeks.

If you would like a CD of the 138 photos that Peggy shot of ConCarolinas 2004, just email me a snail-mail address and I will be happy to send you a complimentary copy. I look forward to seeing you again at future cons.

Talk to you later,

Stephen Euin Cobb

I was hoping to use some of Peggy’s photos in this issue but I just didn’t have the space (although some of them made the website). If you want to see how much fun we had at ConCarolinas you can see the photos at www.stevecobb.com.

 

Dear Mr. Pederson,

Two days ago at Kinko’s I met a cool guy by the name of J. Andrew from jandreworld.com. We had a great conversation and he told me about Nth Degree and that you are looking for artists.

I was writing you now to let you know that I am an artist and I would love to do some work for your zine ASAP! I am aware that there is no pay, but I need the exposure.

Hope to hear from you soon,

John Eboigbe

We’re always looking for new talent and I’m hoping to have one of John’s illustrations in an upcoming issue. You can check out his work at www.astromercs.com. And if you’re interested in sharing your creations with us, our submissions guidelines are posted at nthzine.com/submissions. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. Keep those letters coming!