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For many years I published an apazine called APASTAN. The term, apazine, requires some explanation. An APA (Amateur Press Association) is a publication composed of contributions from the members. Each contributor provides a specified number of copies of their contribution. These are collated together to form a magazine which is then distributed to the contributors. APA's were very popular in the SF fan world prior to the growth of the internet - newsgroups and bulletin boards have provided an alternative medium for collective self-expression. An apazine is a individual contribution. The term is short of APA magazine. The first issue of APASTAN explained the title.

June 29, 1970 ...

For those who are not acquainted with the mythological geography of central Asia, Apastan is a small mountainous region near the Himalayas. Originally it was settled by itinerant goat herders who were escaping the well deserved wrath of early Imperial China. Its contacts with outside civilization were minimal in the next thousand years, being mainly confined to raiding caravans which showed such rash ill judgement as to pass near the region. During the Mongol conquests it was awarded as a personal fiefdom to the thirty third illegitimate son of Ghengis Khan, Koko Khan. This rule was maintained until Koko Khan fell off a horse and died (Koko Khan was one of the few Mongols who was not a good horseman.) After his death Apastan was gratefully abandoned by the Mongols. Apastan resumed its traditional and disgusting activities and lapsed into well deserved obscurity. In recent times Apastan has been distinguished by the fact that neither Russia nor China claims the territory. In the more complete atlases it is shown as a smudge on the border between the two countries. One of the popular beliefs in Apastan is that the next great world conqueror will be born of a virgin in Apastan. In view of current Apastani morality the prospects of this occurring are not great. The last virgin in Apastan older than the age of six was an unfortunate foreigner who eaten shortly afterwards. The principal export of Apastan is apa's.

The principal literature of Apastan is the diary of Al K'Celsr who is revered as being the only literate Apastani in the last thousand years. (The skilled native craftsmen who produce apa's need not be and are not expected to be literate.) Al K'Celsr was reputed to be a gay and effervescent man in his youth, full of bubbly good humor. In his diary, however, he exhibits the mean vicious ill humor of the hardened anchovy pizza addict. Much of the diary is filled with sour observations on human nature, reflecting a naturally hateful disposition or, perhaps, indigestion. This long suppressed work has finally become available in this country. Recently the Supreme Court has ruled that although it lacks socially redeeming value, the explicit sex scenes are so revolting that it is without prurient or titillating value.

Apastani politics are somewhat confusing to the outsider. Nominally it is an absolute monarchy. However the throne is claimed by every inhabitant of the country and has been for the last fifteen hundred years. The general consensus is that the power behind the throne is a little old lady in tennis shoes in Burbank, California who has never heard of the place.

This page was last updated September 27, 1997.