Hello, my name is Jim Mowatt
Looking back through the eons I see that a considerable amount of time has passed since the last Pips. We’re not talking geological time here with tectonic plates slip-sliding along each other and creating a frightful ruckass but we are talking about a lot of human rushing about and doing stuff. I last tossed off a quick Pips for the San Antonio Worldcon and the Worldcon Order of Faneditors apa. That was Pips 10.5 and was way back in August 2013. This issue is a fully fledged issue number 11 and although lots of water has been busily passing under the bridge I have chosen to ignore most of it. Instead I’ve focussed almost entirely upon the Loncon 3, 2014 Worldcon based in London at the Excel Centre. I figured this is what most of you would want to hear about.
I’ve also been doing other stuff and chief among these has been running. I run the 5K Parkrun every Saturday morning and have, of late, been interspersing these with some 10K runs on a Sunday. It’s been a lot of fun and I do enjoy challenging myself to do longer runs and trying to get a better time. I’ve also had fun trying out the running apps on my Android phone. I adored Mapmyrun for a while but got frustrated with it when it started having troubles actually mapping the run. I tried Runkeeper which was fine but didn’t have enough features on the free version. I also tried Zombie Run which was delightful fun although can be distracting if you’re concentrating on beating a previously set time.
For those who don’t know, Zombie Run is an amazingly wonderful concept. You start to run and your phone tells you a story. You’ve arrived in a helicopter to help out in a local township that is holding out against the zombies (we are post zombie apocalypse here). Your helicopter is shot down. No one knows who shot it down but many people are willing to accuse others in the story. You escape the crash. You have a radio, and the radio operator at the base talks you in and helps you to avoid the zombies.
There are lots of stories in this overriding story arch and all of them add to the picture of life after the zombie apocalypse Your job is as a runner. You must go out scavenging to bring back vital supplies to the base. There are always zombies around every corner and you spend a huge amount of time listening to their moanings and groanings as they come ever closer. It’s quite terrifying and it did actually improve my 10K practice times as I ran away from them.
I’d like to thank Al Sirois for the front cover. He offered it on Facebook and I leaped up in the air waving my arms hither and thither. Of course, this was the Internet so Al had no idea what I was doing. I tried the more logical alternative of emailing him and asking if I could use it for Pips. Al, he say yes. It’s a really fun picture. If you like it or hate it or whatever then please let me know and I’ll pass that on to Al.
Chad Dixon, Randy Byers and Deborah Fishburn and myself all supplied photos.
Welcome to my Loncon 3 report. Hope you enjoy it.
273 The Rowans
CB24 6ZA – firstname.lastname@example.org