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[page 32] ALPAJPURI 1690 E 26 Ave., Eugene, Oregon 97403 I gratefully acknowledge the arrival of HOOM's 1 and 2--they're indeed quite as charming as Michael O'Brien said they'd be. In fact despite his preparing me, I received a pleasant surprise upon seeing the quality (of the repro, at least, if not so much the material. Having just recently begun CARANDAITH, I well understand the difficulty in preparing a magazine from scratch....). But you're off to a beautiful start and I'm confident you'll become one of the leading Tolkien zines in the country. [page 33] HOOM is one of the best examples of artistic ditto reproduction I've seen in some time. You're very skillful in the use of colours, though I do have one suggestion in this area: why don't you use black stencils for print, reserving the traditional purple for art-work and such? I think it would add considerably to the professional look of HOOM. Other than that I can find nothing to improve in your style of handling colours. HOOM is really quite fannish -- perhaps a bit too much for me, but it should be perfect for most of your readers. Jack Scruby's piece entitled BERYL--THE ELF ST0NE was, as Frank Lunney points out in his H2 loc, pure undigested pedanticism. If details such as the chemical formulas for the minerals in question had been omitted I think it would have been easier to stomach. With all Jack's references to the Bible and Pliny one would think she was trying to impress a literary history instructor instead of presenting an interesting & informative article to Tolkien fans. I looked for the coastline of Middle-earth on the globe (pg 11) but failed to discover what would have been an interesting switch in the usual spacemen-approach-earthlike-planet situation... Joe, you missed your chance. And I'm sorry, Bee, but I couldn't appreciate your pacs of Middle-earth cigarettes. And Frank's limmeritch (he should be shot!) didn't help in conveying an air of elegant @elegance@, either... You have my sympathies when you fall back on such stuff to fill page twelves... I certainly hope the progression in size and quality continues through #3! I must congratulate you on a very well put together HOOM 2. Personally, I kinda likes the title FRANKLY SPANKING... So much more catchy (and meaningful...?) than FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF THE WITHERED TREE: that name puts a rather mildewy taste in my mouth. Oh@,@ by the way, the overall content of the editorials is good -- keep it up. Come to think of it@,@ they remind me of MAYHEM HOUSE and BUMBEJIMAS in Nickas -- Joe Zalabak's first column was well enough tossed around in the loc's in H2, so I will confine my comments to JOE'S TURN. It was more to my liking than I expected, especially in his discussion of hard rock (which fits into a Tolkien zine more than he may suspect) but I wish he'd spend less time on name-dropping and more on informing his readers of something new. _Why_ does he like west-coast rock? What exactly _is_ it in Steppenwolf and the Butterfly that appeals to him? The tunes? The beat? ...Joe, if you see what I'm getting at, maybe you can use it to your advantage. Try to present in your column some views, some opinions that go further than "I like the Doors," or "I think Conan is good fantasy." You want your column to be one containing letters of opinion from readers: in order to stimulate opinions you must state your own to act as a catalyst. If you give good strong foundations for your views, people are forced either to agree or argue back, and that's just what you want, n'est ce pas? [page 34] The two plates by John Closson deserve more praise and criticism than I have room or time to give here -- but I'll do my best. I'm fascinated with his mode of the tengwar: as a small-time dabbler in graphics myself, I was impressed by his use, for examples, of the novel style of H's; but as a linguist I was horrified to see his gross combination phonetic and orthographic spelling. The latter is easiest to read, the former less so, but a blending of the two is confusing and time-consuming. One of your most common faults, John, is the use of double forms for some letters -- specifically C, E, S, and R. Tell me: what tengwa do you use for K? You use no.'s 3 & 4 (see chart, App. E) for the S- and the K- sounds of C resp.; do you use a doubled #4 for CK? Your two forms for E; the initial/medial and the final, are completely illogical: if you insist on having overhead and underneath forms at all, why not have them identical (both dots or both strokes), with the other form being I? I was thrown at first (I worked on transliterating plate 1 before discovering you'd done it already later in the issue) by your odd graceful, curved second-luvar on D, DH, N, and final-R, while all the other letters are drawn in that rounded-square style -- I mistook them for S's. Also, the vowel-carriers in the words "Elvish Enchantments" look like the classic S-shape. In my own orthographic mode I make use of tengwar 35 & 36 for I and U, plus the Morian tengwa that looks like 'c' for A. In this way I eliminate many unseemly vowel-carriers, and avoid the cluttered piles of marks as appear in your word 'concealed.' To begin with the andaith/preceeding-nasal convention isn't at all required, any more than are grammatical contractions in English. And with the use of the Morian A, 'concealed' in my mode is built: <an o over a C>N<an e over a C>A<an e over an L>D or <an o over a C><an e over an n over a C><an e over an A>LD if you wish. Remember that compactness and abbreviation are functional only when facilitating legibility, and that they cease in that function when obscuring it. The Irish-uncial (?) lettering on plate 2 was excellent -- you are the first amateur calligrapher I've found to equal Kaleman in graphic skill! And be aware that I can well appreciate the fact that in the two plates you made only one significant error. I am much impressed. Onwards through HOOM 2 now to the short story by Tova Inpyn (beautiful name!-- is it Welsh?). I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that despite the unsublety of the plot (it was fairly obvious by the end of the second page what was gonna happen), I became deeply involved in the conflict. Tova has a remarkable talent for writing, and I'm awaiting the conclusion to the TIME OF WAITING with optimism. [page 35] LOC's: Harry Warner's remark (an echo of others of a similar nature in HOOM) that he is not one of those Tolkien enthusiasts who "possess an expert knowledge of the Elvish tongue or the ability to rattle off a century-by-century chronology of pre-War events" stirs an ember of frustration in my breast, felt as well I'm sure by others who share my interests in the technical aspects of Middle-earth but not through fannish motivation. Don't think I'm being overtly paranoid here, but it is generally believed that anyone who shows any deviation from the intensely personal awe in the subtle beauty of Middle-earth is out to "ruin it" --this abstract appreciation of Tolkien's world is the most common reaction to the Lord of the Rings and cannot be expressed sufficiently or accurately through lapel buttons or posters. Some people limited to this perception of Middle-earth alone are terrified and disgusted with Tolkien-societies on the grounds that they "spoil" the beauty of the land through the fannish. Somewhere along the line they confuse light-hearted (fannish) dabbling in Tolkien's calendars, alphabets and histories with serious study thereof. I am a linguistic major at college and much of my inspiration in this field came from LotR -- naturally I'm rather tied up in the Eldarin tongues and the tengwar and whatnot, but this interest of mine _enhances_ my Middle-earth rather than spoiling it. I very rarely connect the abstract appreciation mentioned above with the technically concrete; they're incompatible to a large extent. But despite this I feel that my enjoyment of the pure fantasy presented in LotR is somehow strengthened by my knowledge of Sindarin and Quenya and the skill I possess (for what it's worth) in writing the script. I don't believe that the ultimate pleasure in Middle-earth can be gained by one childishly naive of all the more "realistic" aspects of that land. Pure fantasy is real and concrete when viewed on its own ground, and LotR is certalnly no exception even if it can be called "pure" fantasy. Oh help, I hope I'm not getting carried away... I have great hopes for HOOM; just keep up your present growth in quality...! Nai valar tiruvar marlyanna, Alpajpuri (Paul Novitski)