VOLUME ONE NUMBER TWO FFFFF SSS FFFFF N N EEEEE TTTTT

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

+-+ +-+ +-+ +-+--+-+--+-+ VOLUME ONE NUMBER TWO | | ========================================== +___________+ FFFFF SSS FFFFF N N EEEEE TTTTT | ++ | F S F NN N E T | ++ | FFF SSS FFF N N N EEE T | | F S F N NN E T |_________| F SSS F N N EEEEE T /___________\ ========================================== | | BITNET Fantasy-Science Fiction Fanzine ___|___________|___ X-Edited by 'Orny' Liscomb (NMCS025@MAINE) <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> CONTENTS Editorial Propaganda... in the Air! 1984-Orwellian Reflections A poem by T.P. Milley Letters by Victor and Guy... Featured Author: Larry Niven Orny's still at it! Close Encounter... Story by Alex Williams <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> EDITORIAL Well, folks, hello, and welcome to issue two of FSFnet! Just two or three little things to mention for now... First of all, FSFnet NEEDS SUBMISSIONS!!! This zine can only survive if YOU contribute. I have had a number of people say that they were interested in contributing, but very few have come through. I realize it is difficult and time-consuming, but I am sure you all would like to continue receiving FSFnet. Well, I need your help. I can't do it all myself, although sometimes I have to try... I would also like to welcome all our new members. The mailing list is currently running about 70 to 75. Please continue to spread the word, and get more people to subscribe! At least it's no strain on the wallet! For those people who are interested in a game of Diplomacy over the Net, I have already begun game 1, and, if sufficient people are interested, I will run a second game. Contact me if you are interested. Well, enough of the propaganda. I hope you enjoy this issue, although it is perhaps not as good as the last (since I have had only one submission since issue 1 came out). Next issue will feature my discussion of the works of the fantasy author Tanith Lee, and whatever else anyone sends me. Please submit articles! Until soon... -Orny (NMCS025 @ MAINE) <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> ''1984--ORWELLIAN REFLECTIONS'' I 'THE CHILL' The Naive worry that the world will end in Fire, a nuclear holocaust. --How lost we are! I do not worry, because I already know that it will end in Ice. Many times I've felt death's unmistakeable chill glissando up my spine. --How fortunate are we to be the children of a new era! The Electronic Age, conceived through the toil of unremembered men; who sacrificed their lives for us for this. This! (let us end this talk of discontent; there is no time for emotion, We must hurry on!) II 'The Church' We are at war again. "With whom?" you ask. "The Communists, of course." he replies. But where are they, these "Communists?" So, "They live in Russia." you say. I think not. Have you ever seen one? "No." you say. Then how do you know that they are worse: more evil, than you or I? Think there. There, they are at war with "the Americans." Think that they have ever seen one? Again, I think not. We have as little to fear them for as they have for fearing us. So, why do we fear them? Are they not men? You say we fear them because they will take the land we love by force, with all their missiles, planes and bombs. Open your eyes. They won't take this land by force, for they have taken it already. Who are "they" anyway? Look in the mirror, comrade. They are we. Let's change the flag tomorrow. I think red with a golden reaper would look sharp. III 'The Craftsman' (How wonderful it must have been, to live in the age of patient craftsmen. Men took pride in the work of their hands, and women, wanting their place, stood close behind their men.) How sluggish they make me feel as they rush by. I am a craftsman born late-- they leave me behind in a cloud of hydrocarbon. -T. P. Milley <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> CP QUERY MAIL ALL Orny, Was quite pleased to receive first edition of FSFNET today. I enjoyed the stories, and am interested in seeing how this piece of electronic imagination fares. I hope with this, you will start a "Readers' Responses" section. First a commendation: I am most impressed with the level of literacy in FSFNET. Having been a bitnet user for some time, I have seen some of the worst molestations committed on the English language by computer users. I am relieved to see that there is someone out there who CAN spell. Next, please tell us what format you would like items submitted in. Allow me to suggest that you extend you line length a bit to, say 65 or 70 characters to conserve file and spool area. I am looking forward to reading and contributing to future issues. On the whole, I'd say it's a brilliant idea! -Victor Orny, got V1N1 of FSFnet. Thanks. I like the idea. send more. How about a play-by-net Traveller game? If asked nicely, I could find the time to referee it (sometime during the weekends). If any Inspirations hit me, I'll send them to you. PS - here's an illustration for you next issue. _______(*)_______ ----------------------- | POLICE | | ----------------- | Who is the Doctor ? | |+--+--+|+--+--+| | | || | ||| | || | | || | ||| | || | | |+--+--+|+--+--+| | | || | ||| | || | | || | ||| | || | | |+--+--+|+--+--+| | o (_ | || | ||| | || | \ / \_ | || | ||| | || | \ ___________/ ___) | |+--+--+|+--+--+| | / / | ----------------- | | +---+ | --------------------- | +---+ | ----------------------- /______________\ PPS - a LOC (what's a zine without LOC's?) on Mike Foley's Dune review: I only have 2 comments to add to Mike's excellent review of Dune: 1) While the movie is a reasonably good adaptation of the book, it really falls apart in a couple of places. One is when Paul and Jessica first meet the Fremen. The scene in the cave bears no resemblance to what happened in the book. 2) Probably due to the restricted time available in a screenplay, a major amount of the intrigue so central to the book was lost. Although the first half of the movie is provide this feeling of "plots within plots within plots", I felt that it failed. Due to the small amount of time available, not enough background could be presented for a viewer who hadn't read the book, and by taking time to present background, even more of the intrigue is lost for the person who has read the book. Unfortunately, the movie found that unhappy medium where the beginner is lost, and the omissions become obvious to the knowledgeable viewer. Other than those two gripes, I think that the film was enjoyable, and a good (but not perfect) adaptation of the book. -Guy Garnett (GG822C @ GWUVM) <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Featured Author: LARRY NIVEN Most famous for his Known Space series, Larry Niven is a classical science fiction author who sometimes dabbles in the arena of fantasy fiction. Some of his best works are from his earlier Known Space volumes, which include Neutron Star, Protector, the Long ARM of Gil Hamilton, and many more, culminating in perhaps his best known works, Ringworld, and the Ringworld Engineers. These books began as unrelated science fiction stories, but later came to represent different tales within the same sphere of space. Ringworld is a major work of science fiction, and represents Niven's break from traditional science fiction to modern writing. The Ringworld Engineers attempts to solve a number of questions left unresolved in the first book. These are all excellent science fiction works, and well worth the effort to read. Niven has also written some books which are not directly connected with Known Space. In conjunction with Jerry Pournelle, Niven has written Lucifer's Hammer, a tale set in the near future, and the Mote in Gods Eye, which I consider his best work to date. It is a fascinating tale of man's first contact with aliens, and is an engrossing and captivating work. Niven has also written works of pure fantasy, namely his 'Magic' series, which, as examples of fantasy literature, are neither outstanding nor unworthy. His most recent work, the Integral Trees, has just come out in paperback, as has another new book, Limits. Also of interest to Niven fans might be the Ringworld roleplaying game, which was released recently by the Chaosium game company. As a sourcebook for the Ringworld, it is excellent, although it requires a very strong gamemaster, since the rules are a little sketchy. The Ringworld Companion, a supplement to this game, has also been put on the market. -Orny (NMCS025 @ MAINE) <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<> Close Encounter "I think we should be heading back to the station now," grumbled Seargent White,"it's getting mighty cold now." He slapped his ungloved hands against his chest, trying vainly to keep them warm in this sub zero night. His exhaled breath turned into a thick white cloud and drifted away, as if to underline his statement. "Yea. It's almost eleven now, anyway.", replied Officer Bennet. He opened the door to the squad car and climbed into the drivers seat. The other door opened as John White climbed in beside him. With a reluctant grumble the engine turned over and the old car started to move down the dark road. After driving past several miles of uneventful pine forest, John White cried "Stop! Stop the car!". With squeal of rubber against tar the car slowed to a halt. "What the hell is that up there, by the side of the road?" asked John. Peering through the gloom Sam saw what appeared to be a man, on the tall side standing by the side of the road about twenty yards along the road staring at the woods in back of him. The strangest thing it was he seemed to be naked. "Either that guy is drunk, crazy, or an eskimo!" said Sam. "All the same, we should bring him in to the station, at least to get him warm." "You stay here in the car, and I'll go get him." "Maybe we should both get him, he could get rowdy." said John "Come on." The doors to the squad car creaked open, as Sam and John stepped out of the car. The walked slowly toward the figure in the road. When they were eight feet away from the man, they stopped. The shadowy figure turned and silently faced them. "Easy now, we don't want to panic him." whispered Sam. John slowly took the flashlight from his belt and shone it at the figure. The bright circle of light landed on the figures neck and face, revealing a human head. Around the neck was a small black box, with two small lights on it, silently winking. "Greetings. I am Varrk, emissary from the planet Davron, of the star Sirus 5" said the figure in slow measured tones. "He's fucking dunk!" hissed Sam "I have been sent here to establish peaceful relations between our two cultures." said Varrk. "Yea. You just come with us, we have a nice warm cell for you to get all sobered up. Now come along." said Sam "No I must let the mother ship know of my contact." replied Varrk "We'll let you do that later. Now come with us." "No, I must message my mother ship." "You'll not do that 'till tomorrow" said Sam. Then he and John grabbed each of Varrk's arms and tried to drag him towards the waiting squad car. With a surprising display of strength, Varrk throws both John and Sam into the dirt along the side of the road. He then swiftly walks toward the dark reaches of the forest. "Wing him in the leg, Sam!! He'll get away!" yelled John With a quick explosion of fire Sam's gun spits a bullet strait towards Varrk's right leg. There is no reaction and Varrk disappears into the woods. "You idiot! You missed him, at point blank, and he got away!" screamed John. "I could've sworn I hit him. I could've sworn I hit him in the leg" Sam quietly said. "We might as well go back to the car and report him, somebody's bound to find him sooner or later." said John. They both got up off of the cold ground and headed back toward the squad car. About halfway there, John stopped. "What was that?" asked John "What was what?" said Sam "That sound, a low humming." "Probably a bullfrog, lets get back to the car, it's damn cold out here" "No, it isn't a frog, its getting louder. Do you hear it now?" asked John. Before Sam could reply a light bathed the top of the pine trees to there north, and as slowly as a balloon, a long silver cylinder rose above the tree tops. It hovered there for a moment and streaked into the sky to the north with a loud whining. Within several seconds a warm blew past John and Sam, standing stunned at the side of the road. "What in God's good name was that?" whispered Sam. "I have no idea, but maybe Varrk was telling the truth." -Alex Williams <>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>X<>

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank