Deep Secret, Spoiler Space, Merlin

minnow at minnow at
Wed Apr 30 09:14:38 EDT 2003

Ania demanded:

>> I am at a disadvantage in discussing Zinka because like much of British SF
>> fandom and a fair few of US SF fandom I know her, have done for (counts on
>> fingers) fifteen years, in fact longer than DWJ has -- hell, I even wrote
>> *song* to her once! -- and I get the gigglies about fitting the person I
>> know and DWJ used in a book to a serious lit'ry discussion.  I keep seeing
>> how she'd react.
>> I'll tell you for free, if this lady wanted whole grains in the middle of
>> the night, the chef would go out and harvest them for her.

>This is not enough information. First you tell us you know Zinka, then just
>drop a few tantalizing hints. Please tell us more! Does the real life Zinka
>know of her alter ego? Spill the beans, do not tease! We demand to be told.

She surely does, and finds it amusing, slightly bemusing, highly
flattering, and one-up on being one of Pterry's witches, particularly since
in that case she is only one of several people in the make-up of one of

She is also the lady who claims not to be aerodynamically feasible, like a
bumble-bee.  She isn't a skinny waif, put it that way; but it was she of
whom Neil Gaiman in a discussion of the way standards of female beauty have
changed as the centuries pass (Rubens' ladies and Twiggy, yes?) said
thoughtfully that any standard of feminine beauty that didn't include her
needed to be changed.

She's a very talented artist, and her artwork is often sexy as all-get-out.
And some of it does involve winged and tailed men being, um,

And she is one of the kindest people I have ever known.  Also funny.  Also
intelligent.  Also just plain good, right through, without making one feel
she's even slightly "pi" -- though she does a wonderful Joyce Grenfell
primary school teacher (George -- don't do that) she also sings
Teddy-Bears' Rave-up in a manner I can only decribe as salacious.

Do you gather that I think she's the gnat's spats and feel that if she
isn't at a convention when I get there I am being deprived?  If I had
trouble that hurt me, I would go to her without even pausing to take a deep
breath (I have), and know she would make me feel better even if she
couldn't make the bad go away (she did).  But if she thought I was being
wet, she'd say so, quite kindly but utterly firmly, and tell me to go away
and deal with it myself.  She'd give me a cup of coffee first, but she
wouldn't let me start being dependent. (She's done that, too.)

That's what Zinka is like.  Wonderful woman.

I didn't mean to tease.  Sorry.  I just sortof asumed anyone who knew her
would know who she was, and anyone who didn't -- well, you now know that I
have a friend I think is wonderful and why I think so, but it doesn't make
a lot of difference to anything, not even to discussion of Zinka, because
of course Zinka is a different person really, what with magic that works
and all.


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