Cactus Times Volume 4

Number 3 • Saturday Evening


GoH gives birth to novel

Pat Cadigan admits to writing novel in labour in shock horror revelation during searing interview. Or words to that effect. Actually she said there comes a point where you're just lying there, watching television or something. So she wrote. Challenged that Candia McWilliams had said that for a woman writer every baby was the equivalent of two novels, Pat threatened to throttle her son, demanding: 'Give me back those novels!' TransAtlantic Fan Fun Goodies at tomorrow morning's auction include a signed copy of Harry Warner Jr's A Wealth of Fable, of which Ted White said: 'It's better than carrying cucumbers up the Cairngorms with your clitoris.' To be sold in aid of TAFF; administrator Abigail Frost thanks bloody Martin Smith for bringing it all the way from Corflu.

Eight Word Novels

'Two universes -- now you see 'em, now you ...' was the luscious Eve Devereux's version of John Grant's The World, disqualified the instant we saw her beard. Another effort, disqualified on grounds of beard and inquiringly cupped hand, was the Langford/Grant Earthdoom: 'All fucked up -- ends. Ends? Up fucked all!' Surely you can do better than this! There's still time for entries: by 8.00pm to Langford, Barnett (catch him at end of 'Spirit of Place' panel?), newsroom, Registration ...

Vital Statistics

Last night's bar takings were £1710.43, which translates as 1103.503 pints of Boddington's, several of which were not drunk by D. Langford.


'The way Rog Peyton was using it, it definitely is a sex toy.' • 'Are there any German fans here? Don't let them enter the 8-word novel competition.' • 'Your legs are better than mine, you bastard!' • Young tearoom waiter giving bill to customer: 'Would you like us to add it up for you, Madam?' • Paul Barnett's excuse for wearing shorts: 'Well, if that Maureen Speller can wear a mini skirt ...'. To which Maureen responded: 'You need velcro knees to keep your legs together.'

Speller Bares S.F. All!

The story to go with this headline has still to reach Cactus Times. We will investigate further.

Lost, stolen or strayed

Where, cries the committee, is our Martian Popping Thing? Reward for safe return: one stick Channelcon rock. No questions asked or answered.

Bedtime Stories

Update K.V.Bailey's Barsoom Ballads (Cornelian Suite, Saturday 11.15) will now feature in addition, poems by Steve Sneyd, Peter T. Garratt and 'Absent Friends' including Andrew Darlington. This is [it shaysh here] the cerebral part of the evening's entertainment.

Guest of Honour Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview shared only with 200 Mexicon members unsuccessfully sticking their fingers in their ears, lovely GoH Pat Cadigan hastily got off John Jarrold's knee, hitched up her skirt unnecessarily and told our reporter: 'YOU DOG! YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN'T TRASHED ME IN YOUR LOUSY STINKING LITTLE NEWSLETTER?' She also demanded an apology from the gutter journal Ansible for quoting her as saying (in connection with certain noted US sf editors) 'Blow it out your ass!' This, as she pointed out at 130 luscious, pouting decibels, was a mere preliminary to 'a 20-minute drunken tirade'.

Food Spot

Linda Krawecke recommends Marshall's on ------- Street (she had such a good time she can't remember where it is). 'Lovely yard, sit under a green parachute, F+chp 2.50, York pudd + gravy 1.50. Basic. Good,' she enthuses almost legibly.

Roz Kaveney and Chas Stross report the Hong Kong restaurant is worth avoiding: 'Food mediocre, bill enormous.' Rog Peyton and Paul Kincaid, on the contrary, report: 'Food good, bill reasonable.'

Normally you wouldn't look twice at The Creamville at the top of the road opposite. Roving occasional eater Nic Farey reports that the pizzas are superb and tremendous value, also cooked by genuine Italians (with Scarborough accents). His future partner in wedlock Dee Ann Lipscomb pronounced the lasagne 'real good'. Nic also comments: 'They have proper garlic bread on pizza bases -- none of that French stick crap.' The Sicilian coffee has enough jolt to wake the dead, or at least Charles Stross. Meal for two, garlic bread and two coffees (each): £10.95.

Believe it or Don't

Paul Brazier proudly presents Nexus #3, complete with vast reports of Mexicon 4. Relive those happy time-warped days at the Cairn! Yes, it really and truly is out and available (£2.95) at this convention. [An ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer writes: 'What did I tell you about green shoots?']

The Scottish Convention

Do you want to discuss The Scottish Convention and policy on fannish items? Come to an informal bloodbath discussion organized by Lilian Edwards, Christina Lake and Ian Sorensen, 1.00pm Sunday, Nick's Bar.

Twenty Wicked Perverts

Or anyone else who wants a TWP meeting, should contact Lilian Edwards or Moira Shearman.

Mexicon DOESN'T match Egypt

A controversial report by Geoff Ryman Mexicon seems very sane and orderly after Egypt. No, really! On my first day I went to visit Heliopolis and was surrounded by teenagers who wanted me to stop writing things in my notebook. I went down to al Maadi, also near Cairo, and was hauled in by a plain clothes cop for taking photographs. I was beginning to see that things in Egypt really had become rather tense, and looked forward to dinner with an Egyptian friend. He was visited by a delegation from the local mosque who wanted to interview him about his religious beliefs. If he was not a true Muslim, they were going to dissolve his marriage against his will. This would mean that he would have to leave his flat and become effectively homeless. 'I wouldn't mind if they were not all such liars and hypocrites,' he said. He had my full sympathy until he also said. 'Nasser knew how to cope with them. He shot them all.' Like I said, tense and confused.

Bastards! Scum! Bastards!

The empty tables in the Terrace Bar with 'Reserved' notices on them are to be used only by Hotel St Nicholas guests, and not by Mexicon members staying in the Hotel St Nicholas.

Mighty-thewed hero, Pete Weston, led a ferocious rearguard action, which resulted in a determined hotel person slapping 'reserved' notices on half a dozen more tables. As yet, however, they have not thought to 'reserve' the seats.

Exclusive! An Interview with Ni Kol-Tse!

Q: 'Why do you think hordes of nubile women should come along, pick you up and stuff money into you?' A: 'Because it's in aid of Books for the Blind, you round-eyed pommy bastard!'

The Scottish Convention (again)

If your cheque has not been cashed, be grateful... No, sorry, see K.I.M Campbell or Alice Lawson. Yes: Kev McVeigh sees pink co-ordinators, other people see K.I.M Campbell and Alice Lawson.


After events at Scarborough castle on Saturday afternoon the question on everyone's lips is -- Is Ian Sorensen a football fan? (Seekers of the Real Truth). Meanwhile, Mark Plummer's favourite phrase is now revealed as 'Isn't it time you signed another bar chitty, Nic?'.

Bl•t Spot

The next Bl•t will be on either Saturday or Sunday 19th/20th June in Bristol. Anyone interested in filling one of the remaining Bl•t L•t places -- or in being put on the list for future Bl•ts -- please contact Chris Bell (Sou'Wester desk in the bookroom) for further info. For tyros, a brief summation is that Bl•t is kind of like a one-day Milford, alternately workshopping (3-4 stories) and worshipping (Bacchus).

Fanzine Virus Morris Dancing Shock

'We don't need any thrusting young fans,' claimed Ian Sorenson, as the ageing aficionados gathered together for this year's post mortem on fanzine fandom. Demure Pam Wells said that she did not necessarily agree with this point of view. On health matters, Eve Harvey's assertion that fanzines might not be very interesting but at least you couldn't catch a virus from them was exploded by Simon Polley's assertion that sending them to America gave him piles. Quaint English Customs expert Lilian Edwards remarked that publishing fanzines these days is like Morris Dancing. If you you do it, you make sure you keep quiet about it. The panel concluded that fanzine fandom is dead but maybe it isn't (still).

The Wayside Pulpit

'I look on this as creative editing. Other people call it other things, ranging from bloody interference to fucking impertinence.'