The Barmy Cats Adventures

The stories presented here are the result of a fit of whimsy that Kevin and I had at the end of 2007. One of the features of that year had been a bout of ongoing silliness involving the good folks of Core Fandom, a particular fannish sect who, in the manner of certain religious groups, believe that they are the true inheritors of the fannish tradition and that all other fans are fakes, heretics and apostates.

Matters came to a head when Arnie Katz who is running the 2008 Corflu, decided to advertise his convention as “The Core Fandom Worldcon”. As “Worldcon” is WSFS service mark, this came to the attention of Kevin, the chair of the WSFS Mark Protection Committee. No one on the committee took action, but a friendly fan apparently had a quiet word with Katz. He then stopped using the word “Worldcon”, but claimed that he was only doing so because WSFS had threatened to sue him. All of this is documented in Katz’ fanzine, Vegas Fandom Weekly, on Kevin’s LiveJournal, and in a series of articles by various people on both sides of the dispute in John Purcell’s fanzine, Askance.

Two things occurred to me about this. Firstly, the whole dispute was very silly. And secondly, it would be even sillier, and perhaps quite funny, to imagine a world in which the brave freedom fighters of Core Fandom really were engaged in a bitter struggle against the greedy capitalists of WSFS. And so I came up with the idea of Barmy Cats, Agent of CORPSE Fandom, tireless freedom fighter against the evil WSFS. These stories are the result. The first story was published in Chris Garcia’s Hugo-nominated fanzine, The Drink Tank. Chris has first option on other stories, though which of his many fanzine projects he’ll use for the next one is uncertain. Where a story is marked “forthcoming” I have written it but Chris hasn’t yet published it.

Of course one of the things about such stories is that you have to be an equal opportunities skewerer, so I’ve done my best to spread the largesse around, so to speak. If anyone is upset because I haven’t made fun of them yet, do let me know. It may be that you get your turn in a later story, but if not I’ll try to work you into something new.

The stories as presented here are different from those Chris published in that I have taken the liberty of adding footnotes for the benefit of those of you who are not up to date on fannish gossip and traditions. I’ve also added a Dramatis Personae to help you navigate the lengthening list of weird people who feature in the tales.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, the story titles are a quiet nod to The Man from UNCLE.