The day James and I arrived back from our three week holiday:

"So what was it like? Was it really weird? Were the people friendly? Could anyone speak english? What was the culture like? Did you catch any strange diseases? More importantly, did you get laid?"

"Havana was the most wonderful experience in my life..."

"Fuck Havana, I’m talking about Corflu!"

This was going to be the special Corflu issue - the idea was for a retro look fanzine cut from stencils, reproduced on Walt Willis’ old duplicator and full of fannish articles about this and that. We were even going to eschew DTP for once and perhaps have a stab at doing our own dodgy artwork. But in late February Tommy got a job, James and Mark went to Cuba and Eugene had to work nights, so Retro Götter #11 never appeared. Instead what you’ve got is the post Cuba/Corflu issue- a down-shifted attempt to at least do something to lift our current state of gloom and ‘affected disaffection’ (© James).

Thanks to Julia Daly, Joe Nolan and Lesley Reece for their articles. Also thanks to everyone who we met in Corflu for being so friendly. We had a great time and, who knows, we might even go to another convention in the future and perhaps bring Tommy along next time. Talking of which...

Corflu Blues

All the talk of the boys’ trip to Cuba bought lots of memories for me, equally wonderful and horrifying at the same time. Their tales of torrid exploits in Havana brought forth memories of wonder and woe that I had similarly undergone. The conversation was strained though, as they had heard all that before and now it was their turn to re-live the wonders of that amazing country. I held my piece and listened to the joys of a Cuban trip with little or no hardships and the wonders of, if not modern, at least a spacious new flat.

As the weeks since Cuba, and indeed Corflu UK, have passed both of the guys (more especially Mark) have become really down. The grim Belfast weather, unending cycle of violence and complete nonsense that is continually being reported in the news here is enough to get anyone down. However they seem especially fond of the phrase: ‘I just don’t care!’ but actually mean it. It is enough just to be able to drag Mark out for a pint of a night, and James just point blank refuses to step out the door at night.

However it has to be said that post Corflu they have really jumped on the fannish bandwagon. This new issue of Götter is the inspiration of "That Man McCann." My new job has left me knackered most nights and the fanzine reviews contained are as much as my little fannish heart can manage. The job is going well, I hasten to add, lots of hard work and new skills. But staring at the PC screen all day and then… but you’ve heard all that before.

So what exactly is a ‘Database Co-ordinator?’ After four weeks I’m still not sure. I’m learning to write SQL code for the company’s database, whilst answering telephone queries from clearly insane people looking for the S&M section of the personals. I do a lot meetings, have a lot of lunches and get to mess about with some seriously sexy computer gear – though no email at work (yeah, they’re no that stupid.) Hard work, enjoyable but it doesn’t leave much time for pursuing that ultimate dream of enhancing my fannish career much.

I’m happy to say though, that Julia Daly, and Mark himself lift the contents above the ordinary. We’ve been hanging onto this trip report from Julia for, well ever since she came back, and have finally been able to find the space necessary to print it. Mark promises the last ever, no really, Cuban article in Götter; although his talk of a return trip at the end of the summer belies this somewhat. A real coup: the first article from ‘Best New Fanwriter’ of the Corflu awards, Lesley Reece (who will be visiting Belfast in June.)

This has meant that Götter 11 has a slightly more fannish bent than is normal from the ‘Götter Crew,’ no more deep winter angst from darkest Belfast, no more tales of woe from Tommy’s love life and, well, still nothing from James. I hope you enjoy it and remember: locs only cost the price of a stamp. Hey, you know you want to…

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