Octopus's Garden

Issue Fifty-Eight

24th December 2005

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopusís Garden, the subzeen with its very own lettercolumn. Itís a subzeen to Jim Burgessí The Abbysinian Prince. Produced by Peter Sullivan, peter@burdonvale.co.uk. It's available on the web at http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/index.html.

Yours Sincerely, Wasting Away

...being a lettercolumn of sorts.

Sandra Bond, London:

A couple of comments suggest themselves. Firstly, the very early Lennon/McCartney songs weren't published by Northern Songs but by Dick James Music Ltd., the firm owned by the guy who sang the theme tune for Robin Hood.

The Sub-Editor replies:

I had semi-forgotten this. Didn't Dick James Music Ltd go on to provide all the admin & publishing for Northern Songs? (In that the latter was pretty much just a shell company with a nameplate on the same building.)

Sandra continues:

Secondly, isn't it a little quixotic to count the issues of Octopus's Garden towards the total for Startling Press, when your other subzine Garde's Van is ignored? Or could that be the source of the nine-issue discrepancy?

The Sub-Editor replies:

Garde's Van wasn't really a sub-zeen - more an independent publication. And there were definantly more than 9 issues - I would guess 45-50 in all, starting off as genuine carbon copy, then photocopied (A3, as it worked out cheaper than A4) and eventually dot matrix printed, which was the height of technology in 1984. I don't have a single issue to hand any more - lost them at least 4 house moves back, I would guess. The reason it doesn't count as a Startling Press Production is because it wasn't generally available, in that the circulation maxed out at about 10, and you had to be a fifth former at Watford Boys' Grammer School in order to receive it. Or something.

I would ask how you knew about my obscure juvenalia, but I've long ago learned that you know far more about me than (in some cases) even me. Unless, of course, I re-used the title at some later date that I've forgotten about.

I know I ran an orphan game in YdG in an un-named flyer for a while (as Iain was one of the players), so this is probably the most likely cause of the 9-issue discrepancy.

Meanwhile, a letter from someone who has a longer publishing history than both Sandra and I put together:

Ed Meskys, New Hampshire:

I have given up all hope of numbering my publicaitons. I did an unnumbered, unnamed newsletter for a short-lived SF club in NY, the Metrofen, around 1957 or 8. Around 1959 I joined N'APA and did Polhode (3 ish), Peskys, and NIEKAS, plus some one-shots. I was also in FAPA, SAPS, and IPSO and did several zines for each. When I ran the Tolkien Society of America from 1967 to 1972 I did several Tolkien Journals and Green Dragon newsletters. I was in the Cult for a short time but never did a zine. In the blindness field I did a number of newsletters for the Lakes Region chapter, and under 20 NH Federationists for the state organization. I did a couple oneshots for APA-Q long ago, and now do Entropy. I participated in APA=NESFA and did a dozen or so ish of Alberich for that, tho I lost count.

John Boardman has kept track, and his Operation Agitation bnumbers over 1,000 now, including apazines for various apas and his former genzine Knowable.

The Sub-Editor replies:

And I'm guessing that this "count" is for science fiction fanzeens only, and thus excludes his postal games fanzeen, Graustark, which must be close to 800(?) issues all by itself by now.

Jim Burgess adds (in an attempt to fill the page):

The Founder of the Postal Diplomacy Feast, John Boardman, published his 770th issue of Graustark earlier this month. He may make it to 800 yet, though that would be at least two more years. I've figured that I might be able to make to 800 before I turn 80, if I pick up my pace a bit and avoid delays! I'm not sure how old John Boardman is now, but he's quite a bit younger than 80, I think. John also has ONE more place left in his next regular Diplomacy game, it will cost you $35 US, $50 Mex/Can, and $100 other foreign and you'll get to play with me, as I am one of the six currently signed up. John may be postal mailed (no E-Mail!!) at 234 East 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11226-5302.

A Startling Press production.

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