Cactus Times Volume 4

Number 5 • Sunday Evening


BSFA Cover-up Shock Horror

Reports of a peace outbreak in the BSFA are premature (writes our inside source, A. D. Fector). True, there was a veneer of Stepfordian smugness overlying the AGM, as evidenced by the wholly democratic unanimous votes and equally democratic one-candidate elections. However, speculation is already rife about the photographs/dead bodies/unspecified blackmail material used to induce Chairman McVeigh to announce his departure to the post of Vice-President for Siberian Hydro-Electric Plant. It has been suggested that gorgeous, pouting Comrade General Secretary Carey will shortly announce a Five Year Plan to increase BSFA membership by 1000%, while technosupremo Steve Glover will establish a Third Internetional to propagate the BSFA ideology into Cyberspace. Mumblings of dissent by ex-Commissar Barrett were suppressed ruthlessly. Sources suggest it is only a matter of time before all BSFA members are fitted with a modem and a phone-jack in the occipital lobe to decode BSFA publications. In another surprise move, Iain M.Banks (who he?) volunteered to be sacrificed to join the Central Committee. The motivation of this move is unclear, but the General Secretary graciously demonstrated acceptance and after a unanimous vote in favour a standing ovation was decreed.

It is no longer clear where the BSFA is going, except that it is now going there very rapidly indeed, under New Management. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our congratulations to the new Supreme Soviet of the Vanguard Party, and express our hopes for a Radiant Future. ­In Nic's Bar Only! There's a special offer on Corona beer from 7.30pm onward, tonight: just £1.50 a bottle. Loll in stupefyingly Mexican ambience, imitate John Jarrold's famous accent, get drunk.... Boddington's is still available, again in Nic's Bar. (Its rival 'Nick's Bar' is a figment of Mike Ford's spelling.)

The End is Nigh

Life too quiet? Come to the Closing Ceremony, see Mike Ford wind things up, hear the last gasp of The Scream, then settle down to the good old Mexicon post-con talking shop. A chance to discuss this Mexicon, next Mexicon, and not impossibly yell abuse at Chris O'Shea consider certain aspects of The Scottish Convention. Monday 2.00pm; followed by (and if you like, continued at) the Dog Day Afternoon in the Last Chance Saloon: three guests, a bar, and the best company in fandom.

Fantasy Worlds

'Who's that woman in the short black dress with short dark hair,' drooled laid-back Vile Anchors editor Simon Polley in the small hours of last night. 'That's your wife' said a passing sober person from Edinburgh....

Tomorrow Calling

Check-out time is 12 noon. • The Cornelian will be available as a luggage-store. • Bookroom has voted unanimously to open 10.00am-1.00pm.

GoH Speaks Out Yet Again

Pat Cadigan: 'Hey, are you trashing me in your lousy newsletter AGAIN?' Langford, cringing: 'No no no ...' PC: 'I'M SHOCKED! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS! AFTER ALL WE'VE MEANT TO EACH OTHER!' (Windows crack, hotel staff cower, fans flee covering their ears, Langford says 'Pardon?')

Ni Kol-Tse World Tour

Tonight we humble folk will be graced with the august presence in our bar of the all [except two things]-knowing sage Ni Kol-Tse. He will appear briefly as part of his international tour, borne aloft by a host of nubile Chinese-Aboriginal slaves, wielding his awesome di ex machina -- not to mention his two other di ex machinis. ['I have two proof corrigendae to make there, you drongos!' -- Ni Kol-Tse.] During his fleeting appearances, politesse demands that you ram money into his orifice. This is your last chance to win a copy of the Science Fiction Encylopedia, an essential reference work which retails at £45.00. Thanks to Michelle Hodgson of Orbit Books for donating it. Ni Kol-Tse ['Who he?' -- Thog] says: 'MAKE THAT GUESS even if you already have the book! If you win you'll be the only pommy Bisto kid on the block with two encyclopediae!'

Lift wanted To Cambridge

or points east. 'Large grip, middlesized body, small ego.' Monday pm: contact Julian Flood.

Would You Share a Used Car With ...

'When I saw Deborah Beale turn round on that stage, I thought, "Aw, I forgot my glasses again".' • 'There's a woman with brains writing SF -- that's exciting!' • 'Feminist polemic? Isn't that tautological?' (All Julian Flood)

What the Hell is Going on
With the Worldcon? ... or, Whose Fanroom Is It Anyway?

Certain dissident elements (not unadjacent to L.Edwards and C.Lake) went on a decisive fact-finding mission into the uncharted depths of Steve Glover on behalf of tourist-trail Corflu fandom. Those not already on the Intersection committee (or their Magic Circle mailing list) may have noticed a certain lack of information as to what one might call the substantive elements ie the programme, which seems to command less frenzied excitement among the Illingworth coterie than such essentials of the conrunning trade as staff databases, Gant charts and Renaissance dances (oops, that's a programme item, isn't it?) What we, the Honest Proles of Fandom, would like is some access to simple information about programming ideas: themes, guests, formats, spaces. What's going on, in the words of Marvin Gaye? We thought this was a fairly non-combative request. But what transpired was a no-holds barred insult tussle in which we discovered that Steve Glover has the whole of the fanroom draft programme already written down on index cards 'only they're blank!' wailed overworked Steve. Does this preserve the field for democracy or expose us to the winds of Conspiratorial disorganisation? Answers on a beermat please to the end-of-Mexicon discussion session -- the future of the fannish Worldcon is in YOUR hands. (LE/CL)

Vox Pop

'That's what you do when you're an academic, you try to avoid the point at all costs.' Lilian Edwards • 'It's far too sleazy to be a ballgown!' Maureen Speller • 'What day is it today?' 'Yellow.' • 'It's not much fun playing with yourself.' Paul Brazier • 'I've got a numbers one and two crisis.' Anon campanologist • 'I just saw Norman go that way, Lee.' Too many to listThog's 8-word novel: 'Lemme see: one ... two ... er ... er ... er ... er....'

Can't Resift Cliff Lift Rift Gift

This town is fabulous for students of funicular railways (funicologists?). Several spotted so far, all offering travel up hills at assorted prices and looking as if they've dropped through a time warp from 1930. Beach has great virtues for lovers of silly hats, candy floss and pinball. Though once pinball was considered dead and buried, connoisseurs of little silver balls can find many different machines to eat their money. 4-7 games for £1 depending on where you look. Game of choice: Dr. Who, with excellent Ex-ter-min-ate effects. (Alison Scott)

Agenda Addendae

At today's BSFA AGM the Dramatic Presentation category was formally abolished from the BSFA Awards (no dissenters, no mourners). Life memberships now available! If you want one, give £140 to a BSFA person now, or alternatively seek medical treatment. The price goes up to £150 after Mexicon, so watch it.

Bookshops Footnote

Brian Ameringen's award for Best Filing in a Charity Shop: a copy of Space 1999: Breakaway by E.C.Tubb, filed under Travel.

All Human Knowledge Lost Forever

For a few fleeting hours all human knowledge was contained in the Cactus Times office, as Eve Harvey (who knows how many things there are in the jar), Paul Barnett (who knows the plural of deus ex machina) and Ni Kol-Tse (who knows EVERYTHING ELSE) went about their numerous charge among the lilies bright. Then news came of the John Jarrold outrage, and the happy bubble burst. None of them knew why ... or even who.

One From the Heart

Why [,oh why -- Ed] is it that so many authors are concerned with writing about pop music and popular culture as opposed to actually participating vis a vis [sic] the live music last night? Is it because most of them are involved with a masturbatory fantasy as opposed to doing it for real? [Search Thog] (Nic's Bar Techno Crew, not to be confused with Nic Farey's Tech Crew)

And A Cast of Thousands

Supreme over-editor: Abigail Frost. Absolutely no useful assistance at all from Langford or Barnett. John Harvey photocopied issues #[pi], #4 and #5. Lots of thanks to Alison Scott, Chas Cyberglasses and GFP. 'Not enough bastard scum this issue' -- Thog.

The Wayside Pulpit

'Oh dear, I fear I have been irrationally nasty.'