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Welcome to the World Wide Web version of Bento, David Levine, and Kate Yule's little tiny zine. The print version, which will always come first and foremost, is pocket-sized, 4¼" x 5½", which you will need to know to understand some of what you will find herein.
Bento is nominal of the genre "science fiction fanzine", the minimal references to science fiction or explicit fannishness notwithstanding. SF zines (that's 'zine as in a magazine, by the way, not as in Auld Lang) have a long history, going back to the days when young Joe Blow was the only geek for blocks around interested in "that rocketship stuff" and eagerly took up correspondence with other such geeks, identifiable because their addresses were published along with Letters to the Editor in the pulp fiction mags. But why mail something to just one pal when you can make half a dozen carbons... dozens of hectograph copies... or hundreds of mimeoed copies on your trusty Gestetner?
Fans have been spewing out the printed word ever since.
Oh. Well, in Japan bento is a box lunch, a delightful compilation of strange and interesting tidbits, meticulously arranged. As Kate said in issue #1, of the first time she encountered some: "Each box was a complete little lunch with a neatness, a self-sufficiency, a unity-in-variety that seems typically Japanese." Exactly what we aspired to in our own pocket-sized offering of words.
Besides, everything we wrote for issue #1 turned out to be about food! What else could we call it?
In short: it is what it is. We write it because we want to. We give it to you because we think you'll enjoy it. And if you do, please drop us a note at [email protected] to say so! That's all it takes to keep the process rolling along.
Please note that many illustrations (clip art and fan art from our contributors, pasted in after the page masters were printed) and dingbats are not present. As we said above, Bento is first and foremost a paper zine and this online version is only an approximation.
Issue & Date - Links - Cover - Contents
8/89 HTML Why Such a Tiny Zine?; Memorable Moments in Convention Dining; A Personal History of Breakfast Cereals; Peanuts In World Cuisine; Apple Maggot Quarantine Song; David Versus The Glob
4/90 HTML The Wreckage of the Future; Musings of a Young Fogey; An Appreciation of Daniel Pinkwater; Help, Jane! Stop this Crazy Thing!; Bitte, Allemanden Sie Links; Tomorrow is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
3/91 HTML Highway Scene with Owl and Firemen; The Coming of the Rye; David and Kate Play Scrabble; Lusting after the General!; Household Hints of the Future; Fun With Your Brain
8/92 HTML, PDF Apple Sets Bento Standard; Great Vending Machines We Have Known; Bid Stickers & Gizmos; Good and Bad Advice; To Stop the Train; My Wasted Youth; Marine Polis Rotating Sushi Land
9/93 HTML, PDF Warning, Will Robinson!; Half-Sashayed and Loving It; Enchanted May; Unnatural History Corner; How is a Millipicture Like an English Poet?; How We Met Trabi
2/95 HTML, PDF The Worldcon that Wasn't; Being There; Notes from an Expedition to the Cellphone People; Sticks and Stones; Searching for an English Settlement; Helpful Moving Hints; Dancing with Men
8/96 HTML, PDF Just Like Mom Used to Make; Pop Pills; Mental Menagerie; There's a Hole; David and Kate go Recycling; Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Fandom; Immigrants
9/97 HTML, PDF The Las Vegas Shuffle; M [x] F [x]; You Try, You Still Not Know; How Brightly Shines the Moon; Book Review; One in a Million; "Save France from the English, and Put the Dauphin Back on the Throne"; Why I Burned a Flag on the 4th of July
8/98 HTML, PDF Just Another Day on the Microsoft Barney Help Line; Better Living Through Brain Chemistry; Bento Puzzle Page; David and Kate and the Coffee People; You Can Tell a Native; Duck Dodgers in the Generation X½th Century; Things I Remember that Seem Utterly Weird Now
8/99 HTML, PDF Edible Toroids; We Have Reservations; Building: The Future; That's Not a VW, It's a Teletubby; A Year in the Life; Purgatory; Glossary
2/00 HTML, PDF Mission Statement; Average Age; Bento Puzzle Page; Just Like Mom Used to Make -- Revisited; Demon with a Glass Jaw; Jesus Christ Superstar; Settlers; Short Takes
8/01 HTML, PDF Books About Stuff; Fractal Storytelling; Survivors; Short Takes; "You Made Cloth!"; The Persistent Rat Gets Published; Gone, But Not Forgotten
8/02 HTML, PDF It's Not Who You Know, It's Whether You Need Bifocals; My Moment in the Sun; Annoying Escort; Big Ball of Fire in Sky; Lucky Rocketship Underpants; Hollywood Forever; Adopt Me!
2/03 HTML, PDF When Google is Outlawed; Not Existing; English Road Signs; The Decline of the Ha'penny; What's for Dinner?; Vampires at the Airport; Spider Survey; Tourists in Deafland; Condition Orange
8/03 HTML, PDF I Must Be a Writer; Observations on Adolescence; Sit! Stay! Rollover?; "And What Do You Do?"; FAQ; An Appreciation of Spiders; Under Pressure; Cowboy Grammar
8/04 HTML, PDF Ask For Whom The Wedding Bell Tolls; Where d'ya want it, lady?; Declaration; Food, Glorious Food; Glossary, Part 2; Critters of the Desert; The Pleasure of Your Company
8/05 HTML, PDF Battlestar Gray; Nerve Gas Chicken; Here, Read This; A Letter of Clarification; Rocky Horror's Picture Show; Who'll Be Mother?
8/06 HTML, PDF We're Eating More Beets; I Think I'm Learning Japanese; Pazuru Kona; Magic Kingdoms; Quantum Quandaries, or, Quite a Couple; Let Go of My Mouse Ears, I Know What I'm Doing; Wong's King Chinese Seafood
8/07 HTML, PDF David, and Kate's Amazing Race; Speaking of Bento; Laying Down the Lance; Now What?
8/08 HTML, PDF Back to School at 6000'; Returnees; "The more friends you have, the shorter Convention is."; Konnichi Wha?; Glimpses of Japan; For Real?; Baptism by Soy Sauce; Feck, Hap, and Gorm, Attorneys at Law
This page was created and maintained by David D. Levine, [email protected]. Last modified September 6, 2008.
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