The Adelphi Coracle

Newsletter 1
Friday 1 April


The Cruel Sea

Welcome to Sou'Wester's newsletter, the fearless organ whose editors are not afraid to say: 'Er, don't blame us for the title, it was John Brunner's pun....'

1 April Birthdays. William Harvey (discoverer of the circulation of the alcohol), 1578; Otto von Bismarck, 1815; Edgar Wallace, 1875; Lon Chaney, 1883; Anne McCaffrey, 1926; Samuel R.Delany, 1942. D.F.Jones died, 1981. Also: First advertisement published in England, 1647 ('Come one come all and make merrie Sporte at ye Easterconne else Mistress Bell shall breake thy Legges'); RAF established, 1918; first weather satellite Tiros 1 launched, 1960.

First Aiders. Could all such please make themselves known to Ops so we can get hold of you quickly in the unlikely event of a medical emergency?

Local Groups List. The Adelphi Coracle hopes to publish a handy listing of all Britain's local sf groups -- or rather, those we're told about. Venue, date/time and contact address/number needed. Ignominious omission of your group will be Your Fault!

Sonic the Hedgehog Pyjamas! As promised, Mr KD from Bristol, our lips are sealed on this one.

Ten Years Ago the first Eastercon Coracle amazed the world at Seacon '84 in Brighton: Martin Hoare's C[onvention] ORACLE, with teletext bulletins illicitly transmitted to TVs scattered round the hotel....

Find the Newsroom! We're in the Ultima Thule Room (Room 269): get to the second floor and follow the swearing. The closest lifts are, obviously, the ones starting by the Real Ale Bar. The door is locked and the premises burglar-alarmed when no one is there: in case of need, find Langford (near the closest lifts) or Barnett. Newsbits may be left with Registration or Ops.

Captain's Log: READ ME Update

FridayVideo changes: 2.45pm Beautiful Dreamer; 4.30pm Special Bulletin; 6pm Volere Volare (Thog hotly recommend).

5pm, Boardroom: We Didn't Mean to Go to Seacon -- Alison Scott and Chris O'Shea have discovered Evolution is using the Hotel Metropole. Accordingly, this has been changed from a panel item to a participative workshop. If you've ever wanted to be involved in a spoof bid, this is your chance.

6pm: SF and the Future -- entry should say 'SCIENCE FICTION AND THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE AND POLITICS. Alan Mayne looks at recent and possible future developments in science and politics in relation to sf: what has happened and where it is leading.'

11pm: Ramsey Campbell Reading -- moved to 11pm Sat. Ramsey makes some ludicrous excuse about having drifted into the habit of eating on Friday night. They're pretty decadent in these parts.

SaturdayNEW: 11am, Workshop 1: Grand Seven-Minute Novel Competition (with thanks to Irving Wallace for the inspiration). In the future literary fame will last even less than 15 minutes ... claim yours now! Full details page 2.

NEW: 10am, noon (before and after Second Foundation at 11am) -- tour of SF Foundation collection.

Noon, Boardroom: Drawing for Comics replaces H.P.Lovecraft in a welter of oozing, blasphemous draughtsman's ichor. (See 5pm.)

NEW: 1pm, Lounge: Millennium launch party.

NEW: 4pm, Lounge: Legend launch party.

5pm, Boardroom: H.P.Lovecraft replaces the noxious, eldritch Drawing for Comics.

6pm: new start-time for Per Ardua e Slush Pile (was 8pm).

7pm: new start-time for Talking About UK Worldcons (was 6pm).

SundayWriters' Circle moved from 11am to 9:30am! Har har!

11am: Fiona Clark spells her name without a final 'e' (as in 'Fionae').

4pm and 9pm: The Fanzine Panel (was 4pm) has been moved to 9pm, exchanging with the Writers' Panel: Beginnings (was 9pm). Also The Fanzine Panel entry should continue 'Alasdair Hepburn, Jackie McRobert and Mike Siddall' (the names they dared not print!).

Monday • 11am: The Failure of the Future. Substitute Graham Joyce for Jim Burns, as Jim can't make it. Then delete Graham, as he can't manage that time of day....

11am: Hang On, Isn't That Me? Delete Smitty, who proposes not to get up.

1pm: The Knights Templar -- cancelled by order of the Bavarian Illuminati; well, that's what they'd like you to believe....

4pm: Who are You Calling a Pervert? Not Giulia de Cesare any longer: Alison Scott assumes her position.


Overheard. At Zorba's Restaurant ... Diner: 'What's in the meze?' Waitress: 'Do you want the truth?' • Dave Lally: Is your mum here this weekend?' Kenneth Bell: 'She's running it!' • 'Per Ardua E Slushpile ... you can tell this is a Cambridge sub-committee, we're arguing about the Latin.' (Thog say, 'Oh God, not dei ex machinums corrigendae again!') • 'They know about you in Ops, Geoff. I've heard them discussing you up there.' (C. Mullan to G. Ryman)

Pot Bust at Adelphi! Friday 10am: Hotel staff, moving a 3ft oriental vase in order to avert damage from fans ... you guessed it. Well, if it ain't a bust ... (Martin Stewart)

Most Terrifying Journey. 'Yard by yard, inch by inch, through fear-haunted alleys celebrated in some of the finest horror tales ever crafted, we finally came shattered to Sou'Wester!' writes Ramsey Campbell.

Alison Scott's Italian Saga. Last night a vast party tramped through the impenetrable rain forest of Liverpool in search of an Italian restaurant. At the (formerly recommended) Casa Italia they discovered several fire engines plus people gesticulating frantically in that charming Italian way. Next came the Casa Bella down the road. Requests for a table for 10 were met with blank shrugs (© Robert Jordan) and a card to be taken to the other end of Liverpool, where we should mention Gary's name ... Hence to the Villa Romana, on Hanover St, about 3 minutes' walk from the Adelphi. Jolly nice pizza and pasta; excellent sweets (ask Pompino the Kregoyne; he had two) and proper pizza-style garlic bread with your choice of rosemary, anchovy, pancetta or mozzarella. The cappucino was OK, the house red wine abominable (much discussion as to what the foam might consist of) but cheap. Overall pretty good. Open again Saturday night.

Special Thanks: Jim Barker (logo), Gestetner's Terry Moody (and see issue credits box), the SF Encyclopedia, John Stewart and esoterica researchers David Bratman, Roger Burton-West, Ahrvid Engholm, Rob Hansen, Mark L.Olson, Andy Porter of SF Chronicle, Barry Traish....

Thog's Masterclass: The Chris Gilmore of Literary Criticism quotes the masters. • '"You have a slight fever, suggesting your body is fighting some infection," Nicole told General Borzov. "All the internal data confirms that you are feeling severe pain."' -- Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee, Rama II • 'Their tongues twisted around each other, strong as pythons. She had never been afraid of snakes.' -- Marge Piercy, Body of Glass • (All further submissions welcome.)


Can't afford to buy enough BSFA voters? Worried that someone has blandished the Eastercon voters more effectively than you? Well


The Editors of The Adelphi Coracle are proud to announce the most prestigious literary award of the con: Sou'Wester's very own inaugural


(Patron: Terry Pratchett)


1 The contest is to be held from 11am-ish in Workshop 1 on Saturday, with the result to be announced as described in 8 and published in the first available issue of The Adelphi Coracle thereafter.

2 Contestants will be given a measured seven minutes to write a novel, which must be at least three chapters long. In the event that support for this contest is greater than anticipated, there will be more than one sitting, although no contestant will be permitted to submit more than one novel.

3 No notes may be brought into the chamber.

4 Entries must be in legible handwriting (although see 5 below), so John Clute need not enter. If you want your entry back, mark it 'DON'T CHUCK', and call at the Newsroom later to pick it up.

5 Contestants wishing to use laptops may supply their entries on IBM-compatible disc in either WordPerfect (not WP6.0) or ASCII. (If using a different word processor, please check with the Newsroom well before.) There will, of course, be rigorous security checks of your hard disc.

6 The invigilators will supply specially coded paper, but it would be good if you brought some of your own, in case of emergency. There will, of course, be rigorous security checks of your piece of paper.

7 The Judges are John Clute, Sam J. Lundwall and the Editors of The Adelphi Coracle. Their decision will be final: no discussions, financial transactions or sexual congress will be entered into, probably.

8 The winning entry will be published in The Adelphi Coracle. If the Judges deem enough of the runners-up to be any good, and if the Newsroom paper stocks can run to it, a Special Issue -- sure to become a collectors' item! -- will be published. At the Awards Ceremony (Sunday 8pm) the winner will be presented with the much-coveted Cup itself, a superb sculpture in extruded manmade materials with 'Brooke Bond Choicest Blend Tea INTERCITY' marked in engraving-lookalike finest screen-printing (we think) on one side and with the winner's name lovingly hand-lettered on a sticky label on the other.

9 Daughters of the Judges may enter but not win.

Credits. Ancient Mariner: Dave Langford. Wedding-Guest: Paul Barnett. AlbaStross: A Rising Young SF Author. Life-in-Death: Chris Bell. Hermit: John Dallman. Ghastly Crew: Jane Barnett, Simon Bradshaw, Dave Clements, Jan van't Ent, Tim Illingworth, Peter Wareham.

Copyprinting courtesy of Gestetner Ltd, Lincoln House, 100 Broadway, Salford, M5 2UW. Contact Peter Maddocks: (061) 872 8511.