Helicon's Newspaper

2 • Friday 9 April


We Name the Guilty....

JOHN JARROLD becomes President of the World! Well, of World SF. Interviewed by Heliograph, the new President prised a beerglass momentarily from his mouth and said, 'I didn't know what was happening, I wasn't even there, don't blame me.'

CAPTAIN W.E.JOHNS was mentioned in #1, and readers now inform us that there's an exhibition of Biggles etc. memorabilia at Hertford County Museum, Bullplain, Hertford, until June.

BRIAN ALDISS demonstrated his mature technique for persuading one of Jenny and Ramsey Campbell's offspring to go to bed, culminating in a stentorian cry of 'FUCK OFF!' (It worked.)

IAIN M.UPDATE: according to issue #1 Iain Banks broke his bed on Wednesday night. The Heliograph Searchlight team now reveal that this is Not True. Mr Banks confusingly explained that although he said that his bed was soggy, he meant saggy; he's not incontinent, just dyslexic. It's OK now because the hotel has put a board under his mattress. 'It's quite hard and firm now, in fact,' he said completely out of context. Your reporter left the bar at this point.Pam Wells

1/2 R, as is traditional, couldn't be found at the start or end of the alphabet at Registration. His envelope finally turned up under C.

HARLAN ELLISON reports on his health: 'I have no intention of dying because I mean to live long enough to spit on Chris Priest's grave.'

IAN WATSON was overheard at the swimming pool: 'I can't find my underpants. I had them just a minute ago. How can I go to breakfast without my underpants?' They were eventually located in a sock and proved to be purple. Dermot Dobson

Programme Changes and Stuff

'It is not immediately obvious,' we are told, 'that that peculiar folded thing in the registration envelope (with your name on one side and Omnivore or Vegetarian or Silicon Compounds Only on the other) is in fact a banquet ticket....'

Do Artificial Languages Have a Future? (1700 Starlight) Panellists are now Colin Fine, Gabor Megyesi & Harry Harrison.

ESFS Meeting (1400 Other) -- moved to Basement room again today.

Signings on the book room balcony, Friday: 1600 Brian Aldiss, Harry Harrison, Anne McCaffrey. 1700 Joe Haldeman, Steve Baxter.

NEW ITEM! LitSearch: Finding Fiction Faster. (Saturday 1800, Basement) Larry Roeder (former Librarian to the President of the USA) will speak about LitSearch, a project to develop the world's largest database on sf, fantasy and horror.

Random Announcements

UNCLE TIM WANTS YOU. More volunteers are needed for Ops shifts. All gophers please report and sign up, or 'hostages will be taken'.

ETHANOL-RUNNERS BEWARE! Certain people have been bringing their own booze into the hotel in a discourteously blatant fashion. Already two have been stopped. If the HdF finds you drinking your own stuff, corkage will be charged.

CONFABULATION is a bid for the 1995 Eastercon, with a Docklands hotel. ('We considered it for Sou'Wester,' said an anonymous D.Barrett, 'but the overflow hotel is across the Thames....') Its symbol is one of the great reindeer whose vast herds still infest that area of east London.

VIDEO. Could the person who took the video of the No Shame Theatre sketches at last year's Illumination, or anyone with any information, please make themselves known to Rob Meades.

TAROT READINGS. Phil Bradley will (if asked Nicely) tell you the worst for just £2: proceeds to the con charity. Look for a black hat festooned with ribbons, in or near the Mainsail Bar.

CALLING ALL POETS. Poems for the Workshop should be handed in at least 24 hours in advance (i.e. by 1100 Sunday). Later entries will go unread and also have their anapaests cut off.

UNITED COLOURS OF HELICON: the ribbons to indicate language ability have run out! 'We may have to go round and snip bits off the long, generous ribbons we were handing out earlier....'

MAGICON. If you joined but didn't attend the 1992 Worldcon, get your programme book from the Magicon desk. Noon-1500 daily.

ARCTOPHILES 'are warned that the note on an exhibit in the Art Show means it. Do Not Open The Box if you care about cuddlies!' Chris Bell

RESTAURANTS! Taj Mahal Central, 37 La Motte St -- wonderfully eccentric food (lotus root bhaji, sort of tandoori fish thing, etc) but abysmally slow service. Around £16/head with starters etc. Oriental Chinese Restaurant, 73 New Street, St Helier: delicious 15-dish meal at just over £11 each. Staff were incredibly friendly and, when asked why they weren't in the Good Food Guide, said they had refused to pay for an entry.

LIDO FITNESS CENTRE: despite Read-Me, there is no entrance fee if you take your hotel key card.

OOMPAH LOOMPAH'S TOUR. Come & Visit Mr. Wonka in his chocolate factory. Tours 1100, 1600 daily. Meet in the chocolate shop!

JERSEY ZOO. Helicon is supporting Gerald Durrell's zoo as the con charity. At 1300 on Saturday, Philip Coffey of the Zoo's education department will give an illustrated talk and answer questions on Zoo work. A similar talk at Contrivance was highly praised: do come along.

HUSTINGS. 'Inhumanly Captive Canine released by Animal Liberation Movement (Ming Enterprises).' We have no idea what this means.

Duplicators of the Gods?

Heliograph is brought to you as the result of a naked power struggle ... Humanity against Antique Technology! SEE Dave Langford scream as electrostencil after electrostencil comes out blank! THRILL as John Dallman makes a Conceptual Breakthrough and changes the cutting needle! WRITHE at the spectacle of Dave Clements emerging from the recesses of the neolithic Gestetner, entirely covered in thick black ink! GROAN as Amanda Baker sweetly says, 'We could have got you 1980s technology if you'd asked!' BOGGLE when the 1990s word processor system goes bananas trying to do Mark Young's Voodoo Board Notice and starts printing everything in an unknown sjhkdmsa glwbytenk.....

Helico Virus

NOT SPURNED AT ALL: Heliograph apologizes for failing to convey that the very splendid Jersey Evening Post will in fact be giving Helicon a terrific publicity splash. Next Tuesday.

COMPETITION CORNER: Isaac Asimov's Forward the Foundation names two Galactic Emperors within famous Heliconian Hari Seldon's lifetime: Cleon I and Agis XIV. A third and final 'boy-child ... puppet Emperor' is mentioned but not named. Drawing on your immense knowledge of the rest of the Foundation series, can you put a name to him and give a reason for your choice? • Other competition: who can think of the best caption for the unlabelled scale bar in the Read-Me map?

CENTENARY: This is Tim Illingworth's 100th convention. Look on my works, ye mighty....

BREAKFAST NOTES. Q: What's red and invisible? A: No tomatoes.... The Action Committee for Mushrooms At All Con Breakfasts wishes to thank Helicon for ... sorry, what was the message?

HOW TO WRITE GOOD. Jane Barnett (aged 15 1/4 ), when told by her father that her writing showed poor control of nuance: 'I wouldn't recognize nuance if it came up and gently brushed my leg.'

FANS ACROSS THE WORLD still needs your spare cash to help fans in need. Any currency welcome. See Fiona or Bridget.

9 APRIL BIRTHDAYS. Barrington J.Bayley 1937, Charles Burbee 1915, Hugh Hefner 1926, George O.Smith 1911-81, Leonard Wibberley 1915-83. Citizen Kane première 1941. Deaths: François Rabelais 1553, Francis Bacon 1626.

KNOBS. 'The most bizarre excuse yet for not coming to our wedding ...' gasps Jean Owen: 'Eileen and Peter Weston are going to a door knob convention that weekend!'

DAVEISM. Five years ago the Dave cult began, and Gamma is celebrating the anniversary. (Chorus: 'How can you tell?') Meanwhile Dave Wells wishes it to be known that henceforth, he is no longer to be referred to as Pam.

COMPLAINT: 'What's this in issue #1 about some parvenu called Seldon being the most famous person from Helicon? What about us, then?' Signed: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania.

And Don't Say Sci Fi!

Radio 4's Kaleidoscope featured The Encyclopaedia of SF on Wednesday, with co-editor John Clute plus Gwyneth Jones and Kim Newman. The performance of presenter Quentin Cooper led one to reflect that, if there's one thing worse than an ignoramus, it's a patronizing ignoramus. The piece started with -- guess what -- the opening bars from Also Sprach Zarathustra and ended, several BEM references later, with the information that the book 'costs forty-five Earth pounds'. All efforts to suggests that sf might attract serious writers were squashed -- a mention by Newman of famed mainstreamer Iain Banks as a dabbler in space opera was stomped by a triumphant 'Yes, but he changes his name to Iain M.Banks for that stuff!" Roll on Fay M.Weldon, Doris M.Lessing, C.S.M.Lewis, the two M.Amises....John Grant

Heliograph 2, 9/4/93. Thrint: Dave Langford. Grog: Paul Barnett. Speaker-to-Duplicators: Dave Clements, John Dallman. Fyunch(click): Pam Wells. Tnuctipun: Amanda Baker, Steve Linton, Peter Wareham.