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+-+--+-+--+-+ VOLUME ONE NUMBER ONE
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| | BITNET Fantasy-Science Fiction Fanzine
___|___________|___ Edited by 'Orny' Liscomb (NMCS025@MAINE)
Well, here is issue number one of FSFnet, and I hope
you all enjoy it. Since the first mailing, I have had
a great deal of positive response, and about half a
dozen submissions. In this issue you will find a
scattering of reviews, an amusing story I whipped off,
and something I'd like to continue in future issues, a
featured author. I would like to thank those who have
contributed, and Lord Hagen for designing the header.
A reminder to those who did not respond to the first
mailing: this is the last issue you will receive unless
I hear from you that you wish to remain on the mailing
list. Also, people whose ids have changed over the
semester break, please notify me. A reminder, FSFnet
will come out as often as I have enough material for
it. This means I need submissions and ideas and
feedback to make this zine what it ought to be. Please
try to submit something, and try to spread the word
about FSFnet to people you think might be interested.
Anyone interested in a game of Diplomacy over
Bitnet, please contact me. I will be running a game
which will begin rather soon. Maps and rules will be
Well, enough of the editorial, on to the real stuff.
+ Orny +
Have you ever heard of the micro-games Wizard and
Melee? If so, then you may know about the way they do
I am working on a labyrinth for FSFnet, but am
limited by disk space at the present time. I have
requested additional space, and if I get it, I will be
able to send the dungeon by electronic mail.
It would be geared to people making choices, but
not to dice rolls. In any case, as soon as it is
finished, I will be willing to send it to anyone who
sends me a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Lord Hagen Silverskull (VM00D4 @ WVNVM)
(This review is directed at people who have read and
liked the book)
The movie Dune opened last Friday and I saw it
over the weekend, I never believed that Frank
Herbert's novel could be faithfully reproduced in a
two hour movie, and I was glad to see I was right about
something this year.
There were some minor flaws in the movie such as
the 'Weirding devices' that House Atreides had
developed that were used as the secret weapon by the
Atreides instead of the Fremen, in the book Duke Leto
is planning even before leaveing Caladan to use the
Fremen against the Imperial Sardaukar.
When they decided to make the movie they could
have decided to be true to the book or to really cut
the book to make the screenplay work but they tried
to do both and the result is a mediocre movie from a
great book that would have made an excellent mini-
The most drastic change from the book was they
didn't take the time and give us the history of
the feud between the Atreides and the Harkonnens,
but they still had to get the audience to hate them so
they made the Baron into a diseased sadist, instead of
just leaving him as a mean, ruthless, power hungry,
For all the Police fans out there Sting played
Feyd-Rautha almost exactly as i pictured him in the
book however he should have had more dialogue with his
uncle the Baron.
Mike Foley (ACPS1060 @ RYERSON)
Once upon a time there lived an errant knight, and
his daring life of gallantry and chivalry had won him a
considerable reputation among those realms he had
journeyed in. He was tall and dark, with deep,
piercing eyes, keen as the sword which hung on his
baldric. His armor and weapons were all of silver, and
his huge stallion was a tarnished grey. On his shield
was his coat: suspended in a black night sky, a
constellation of five stars in a rough diamond shape.
It was the most prominent group of stars in the sky -
the Southern Cross.
The name of the realm was Bukharim; it was a
pleasing and comfortable kingdom of green, rolling
hills and cool evergreen forests. The silver knight
was on an errand to Kulac, the central keep and city of
Bukharim. The world was strangely quiet as he
approached the city on the plains. As he passed the
iron gates, he saw a guard poised to strike a wench
with the back of his mailed fist. The knight yelled
out, a strange sound in the quiet of the city; neither
figure moved. He examined them, and saw that they
stood as still as if time itself had stopped for them.
He led his horse along the street, and he saw many
frozen figures. A guillotine hung impossibly, having
travelled halfway down its lethal course. An irate-
looking peasant woman held a young urchin by the hair.
A man and a woman were climbing the stairs to the
second story of a brothel. Three veterans toasted one
another. Perhaps they were recently reunited, and
surprised to see one another still alive. Perhaps on
the morning they were to be off to the next battle.
None could ever read their faces.
He came to the keep, and entered. The great
reception hall was a scene from some warped painter's
fantasies; the lord of Bukharim pointed an accusing
finger at a figure who seemingly was no longer there.
On a stone platform lay a woman, the most beautiful
woman the knight had ever seen. She was, without
doubt, the lord's daughter, no less than a princess.
As the knight approached his vision, he heard a
sound... this woman was not captured in timelessness,
but merely sleeping. He could not help but feast upon
the sight of her, her beautiful golden hair, her fair
skin, her perfect lips. His body longed to hold her
and his mind reeled with the desire to kiss her. He
fell to his knees, knowing that a single kiss could
restore normality to this ghost realm, that he would
marry the princess, and, in time, become lord of
Bukharim. He recalled the guard, poised to strike the
wench, the guillotine about to fall, the woman berating
the urchin, the man and the whore, the battle-weary
veterans. He silently cried as he lay down beside the
princess and was overcome by sleep, never to be seen
again beyond the dream-gates of Ilek-vad, upon which he
had stumbled in conscious dream.
Orny (NMCS025 @ MAINE)
Brisingamen, by Diana Paxson
This book came out recently in a mass-market
paperback. The cover says: "The magic is back. But can
California handle it?".
The heroine, Karen Ingold, is a grad student in
comparative literature. The book begins with her lover
of two years, Roger, leaving to go back to his wife,
and telling her in the morning as he leaves, claiming
he didn't want to spoil their last night together.
Karen goes in to her job in the comp lit office. A
package arrives from Sweden for her boss, Walter. It
proves to contain a wedding chest and pieces of a
necklace, which we know (from a prologue) goes back to
the old Norse religion and had to be hidden away from
the Christians. The book depicts Karen's gradually
learning to deal with the fact that the necklace does
have power, enabling her to invoke the Goddess Freyja
(whether she wants to or not), while putting her
personal life and career back together.
The people in it are real, as is the magic. There
are references to the Neopagan community, in particular
a (presumably invented) group that works in the Norse
tradition, and Paxson seems to be deriving her theories
of magic from that source as much as from the old
myths. She is conscious of how much we don't know about
Norse religion, and uses that instead of trying to hide
Vicki (ROSVICL @ YALEVMX)
Featured Author: M.A.R. BARKER
Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker, creator of the world
of Tekumel and author of the Man of Gold, is currently
a full professor in the Department of South and
Southwestern Asian Studies at the University of
Minnesota Minneapolis/St. Paul. He is best known for
his work with Tekumel, particularly the roleplaying
game the Empire of the Petal Throne. Recently revived
interest in the wonder of Tekumel has spurred a new
roleplaying game, Swords and Glory, and the full-length
novel the Man of Gold, with more novels to follow.
Tekumel first was introduced to the general public
in the form of the Empire of the Petal Throne
roleplaying game, published by TSR in 1974. It was
expensive for it's time, and was considered the
'Cadillac' of RPGs during its time. It was heavily
influenced by the developing Dungeons and Dragons RPG.
Today EPT is a collectors item.
Swords and Glory/EPT is a brand new roleplaying
game, also by Barker, also set in Tekumel, an alien
world of magic and wonder. Published by Gamescience,
the S&G/EPT will contain three volumes, each costing
about $25; the first two volumes are already in print
and available. Tekumel Games, Inc. (1278 Selby Ave,
St. Paul, MN 55104) also publishes several Tekumel-
related products, including an official ongoing history
of the world.
However, the great amount of attention the games
have received obscures the real reason for Tekumel's
existance. Says Barker: 'The idea of Tekumel came
first, plus a desire to write fistion about it. EPT
was secondary.' The Man of Gold, published by DAW, is
an excellent look into the violent nature of life in
Tekumel's fantastically alien environment, and an
excellent book. It is the tale of a young man who
suddenly finds himself confronted with being the focus
of the attention of the powers of the Tsolyani Empire.
The book is very interesting and well-written and
enjoyable, although the conclusion is very weak and
leaves one wondering exactly what has gone on.
Barker is continuing his writing. A second Tekumel
novel, Flamesong, is already in DAW's hands, and a
further work has been begun. An excellent interview
with Barker, discussing the games, his books, and
himself can be found in the Space Gamer number 71.
Tekumel is a place that once visited, cannot be
forgotten. It's compelling alienness intrigues and
captivates us, and I am looking forward to the
publication of further Tekumel-related novels.
Orny (NMCS025 @ MAINE)