Issue 13
Volume 4 Number 1
March 1999

In This Issue

 • Contents
 • Cover Illustration
 • Editorial
 • The Addams Family
 • What Millennium?
 • Womble to Your Partners
 • No! Not the Furby!
 • Pagan Trout
 • Literary Corner
 • Lokta Plokta
 • Olde Plokta's Almanac

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The Plokta SF convention, from 26-29 May 2000.

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Plokta's Bathroom Reading

THE Plokta dunny is distinguished by a goodly heap of reading matter suitable for dipping in and out of. Recommended recent acquisitions include, along with the obligatory Dilbert collection:

  • dear annie, the collection of witty solutions to readers' fashion problems from the Independent on Sunday. Typical style advice includes "Dear Annie, Where can I get a six-strap suspender belt?" "Try Cover Girl Shoes, tel: 0171 354 2883. This is ostensibly a shop for transvestites but they are very helpful."
  • The Bumper Book of British Battleaxes, by Christine Hamilton, who knows a battleaxe when she sees one. This is the book to tell you that Ann Widdecombe describes herself as a Pocket Battleaxe, or that when one MP told Nancy Astor that he didn't know what to make of Winston Churchill, she said "How about a nice rug?" You will not be surprised to know that she rates Margaret Thatcher as "the Battleaxe of the Century -- perhaps even of the Millennium", or that she modestly includes a chapter on herself -- "the Hyacinth Bucket of British politics".
  • Really Erotic Dots -- not a porno mag for laser printers, but rather a collection of dot-to-dot versions of the works of Thomas Rowlandson, a 19th century humourist with a thing about fleshy bits. The fun, of course, comes in working out how the naughty bits fit together this time.
  • The December 1998 Which?, busily taking Compuserve to task for offering 750 hours free online time, all of which had to be taken within a month. As the longest month contains only 744 hours, Which? felt the offer, helpfully launched in 672-hour February, was somewhat misleading.
  • Bizarre Tales from New Scientist -- subtitled "All the funny bits from the past 40 years". These include a variety of unusual product warnings, such as the mirror which warned "Remember: objects viewed in the mirror are behind you", or the Korean kitchen knife which advised "Keep out of children", extensive explanations of why sheep aren't green, and detailed analysis of the webs produced by spiders who chance to eat Sue Mason's baking.
  • A Deepness In the Sky -- Vernor Vinge's latest novel in the milieu of A Fire Upon the Deep. Only suitable loo reading for people with very severe digestive problems, but it's jolly good. Read our review at and then go and buy it for yourself.
  • A range of fanzines old and new, including Stet 6 -- a good thick fanzine, with roughly 25% content and 75% letters. And crifanac 3 -- a bad thin fanzine [that's quite enough of that-Ed.]

Chris Bell's invented a new game: Cleave the Fishlifter

South Park parody
Oh my God, they killed Gary. The bastards.

--Alison Scott

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Shameless Plug for Plokta News Site

Next time you're on the World Wide Web, make sure you bookmark the Plokta News Network at, which no less a personage than Victor Gonzalez recently described as "a very solid implementation of a very good idea".

Heard at the Breakfast Table

"If I were a nanny I'd be Mary Poppins," said Sue, smugly. "I was thinking more of Louise Woodward..." said Dr. Plokta.

Red Wine Fairy Tales

In many parts of Plokta it is believed that if you've been a good little boy or girl, when you go to bed at night after making proper libations, the Red Wine Fairy will bring you a nice bottle of Claret. Alison doesn't believe this, because when she crawls to bed with her head under the pillow, the Red Wine Fairy only brings her a lump of coal rotten hangover.

Wormwood Scrubs

The new trendy drink doing the rounds in London this season is Absinthe, popular mind-rotting beverage of the Parisian literati. After decades in the outer darkness, it's now being marketed with the slogan "Party like it's 1899".

Medical Alert

Baffled scientists are examining a mass outbreak of Irritable Bastard Syndrome in SF fandom. Almost 43% of fans are thought to be affected, and there is no cure or vaccine.