The Adelphi Coracle

Newsletter 2
Friday 1 April


Moby Dick (Health Warnings)

One We Missed! Many happy anniversaries fall on 1 April, but this is ... the 21st birthday of VAT.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pyjamas! In answer to your query, MS from Folkestone, it depends on the location of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Aldiss -- The Truth. Matt Campbell shamefacedly confesses that, watching Brian Aldiss on TV a while ago, he realized that the person at Helicon who told him to, um, GO TO BED (see Heliograph passim) was not Brian Aldiss at all. The guilty party, if at Sou'Wester, should beware of medium-sized boys with expressions of grim determination on their faces.

First Tiger Hobbes was assassinated during the Opening Ceremony just before 'he' could make a speech crucial to the fate of the Universe as we know it. The lights went out and crazed and horrible sounds were heard, possibly from the filkers next door. When vision returned ... no, the scene is too pitiful to describe. (See our Oceans of Gore Flood Innocent SF Conventions In Vile Pagan Sex Rituals Not Unallied To Video Nasties correspondent, p94.)

Liverpool in SF. Well, er ... Josh Kirby was trained at the Liverpool School of Art; Lister in Red Dwarf famously hails from Liverpool (and the less famous Olaf Stapledon was born nearby in Wirral); the Liverpool sf magazine Outlands published its single issue in Winter 1946, starring John Russell Fearn and Sydney J.Bounds; Ken Campbell's Illuminatus was launched here in 1976; and over at the University they have this thing called the SF Foundation. Voice of Ramsey Campbell: 'Is that ALL you have to say?'

Spare Underpants Reqd by Tall Gent of Respectable Character. Geoff Ryman wins the Thog Sloppy Packing Award for arriving at Sou'Wester without any. All donations accepted.

Captain's Log: Updates

Friday: Thog Recommend with Morningstar Attached. Savourna Stevenson, performing with her trio tonight at nine, is an act under no circumstances to be missed. If you think that the clarsach (Celtic harp) is an instrument reserved for wimps in slab fantasy novels, think again: Savourna's music, ranging across the spectrum from traditional Celtic material to jazz and blues, is surprisingly gutsy. Thog has cassettes of her first two albums at the con, and would play them endlessly (and very loudly) in the Newsroom were it not for the fists of co-editor Langford. Thog say: Be there or be shapeless.

Saturday ... 7-Minute Novel Cup. Enquiries (A.Frost) about application for entry have poured into the Newsroom. All you need to do is turn up at 11am on Saturday at Workshop 1. Oh, and write your novel.

There will be only one SF Foundation collection tour, at noon. The 10am tour reported last issue was a mythical construct.

Moot Prog Addition. Before the Hot Sexuality (Elementary) Workshop on Saturday there'll be a Pagan Moot at 1pm -- Lounge. All pagans welcome.

Most Important Prog Change of All. NEW: Thog the Mighty will be giving a reading at 9pm Saturday in Workshop 2.

Jason's Birthday Party is to be in Suite 200. All young children at Sou'Wester are welcome if they arrive accompanied by a parent.


Overheard. Lord Mayor: 'Liverpool doesn't really deserve its bad name.' Audience: 'zzzzzzzz'. • Gamma: 'I don't need two!' • At opening ceremony: 'Definition of a politician -- someone with a microphone for his brain cell.' • Chris Southern: 'When you hear at Wincon's Fannish Fortunes that 1% of fans respond to the cue "an author who has won awards" with "Dave Langford" -- that was me!' • 'It's all right ... I don't mind if you shout at me' -- Sally Ann Melia • 'Don't worry. Just nod, and if you're still confused buy them a drink' -- Jaine Weddell • 2 out of 5 members of Pat McMurray's Intersection Division are pregnant. Mark Charsley: 'You don't have to be on the Intersection committee to be pregnant, and you can quote me on that.' • 'People assume, Abigail, that you're only wearing vaguely baggy clothes because you're vaguely baggy underneath.' •

Breakthough in Fannish Physics! The 'Hugh' is a world-leading measure of personal disorganization, whose inimitable reference standard is present at this very convention. Unfortunately, the unit, like the Coulomb or the 0Shea, is a touch large. Most fans seem to run at 50-100 milliHughs, ranging up to about 250 for the likes of Abi Frost. Confidential figures for others are not available from the Newsroom.

Sucking Hell! Alan Poppit wants male or female volunteers who would like their toes sucked. Selection of flavours available.

Indeterminate Birthday. Was it the 1st, the 2nd, the 5th of April or some other day close by? Greetings anyway to birthday boy Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, chevalier de Seingalt (b.1725) ... and we ask Sou'Wester members to respect his memory by not doing anything of which he'd disapprove.

Buy Now! Dave Langford has copies of Ansible 80 but can't remember who's already received it -- drop him a heavy (pint-shaped) hint.... Also from this impecunious author: Let's Hear It For The Deaf Man, a 1993 nonfiction Hugo nominee, of which it has been said 'Cost you a fiver'; and indeed War in 2080: The Future of Military Technology For Only £6 In Hardback But It's a Tiny Bit Dated Oh All Right 1979....

ConfaPlug Come to the Confabulation table to get your PR2; fabulous moose t-shirts with multicolour design by Sue Mooson, £7; excellent limited-edn Sou'Wester badge, 50p; top-quality convention membership, only £20.

Indulge Your Childhood Fantasies (Orwellian advt). Remember Scalextrix? (Spelt different in Thog's day.) Connect 4? Well, we have them all in ROOM 255 and more. Of course, we also have loads of the old favourites from Illuminati to Convention Killer to History of the World to Pit to ... (I have only 100 words [Thank God -- Thog]) Come along, join in, beginners welcome, play games, run games, watch games, sign up for games, help us set up games, break some games. Go back to your childhood in ROOM 255!!! (Stop Press! Scalextric broken! Don't bother!)

Found Would whoever lost the HOW TO HAVE SEX WITH A JACUZZI article please reclaim it from the Newsroom.

Game Prog Addition -- Killer. An Expert Writes: Killer is not as mindless as it sounds. Go to the Games Room; get given a target (another group member) and a sticker saying I'M ALIVE. (Thog: 'Should read, Get a life!') Kill your target by attaching to any part of its body a sticker saying YOU'RE DEAD. Then take on your dead target's target, and so on until.... Sweet and simple, eh? Only someone else is trying to kill you, dummy. It's fun! It's free! (It says here!) Register in the Games Room (255) by 1.30pm Saturday.

Plug. John Brunner draws your attention to the 1994 Writers' Conference at Southampton University, Fri-Sun 15-17 April; he'll be one of the speakers. More from Southampton (0703) 593469, or ask John, who has a few spare copies of the full programme.

300 Years Ago. In 1694 the 4th and 5th books of François Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel were translated into English, the final Book 5 containing science fictional bits to reward readers who'd struggled through all the rest....

Late Flash -- More Sex-in-Jacuzzi News! Thog say: This one rock Adelphi. Nina Watson has a jacuzzi in her room (Room M1), and is making it available for TWP members at 7pm on Saturday. Chocolate fondue and toyboys desperately required.

In the Mood. Jan van't Ent writes: A wandering Jew, a flying Dutchman, an ancient mariner couldn't have got so lost trying to find a room. After being overwhelmed by the lounge (which can be found) ... lovely maze-like, dead-ending stairs, plus fire check doors that don't appear to lead anywhere. Once you've found your floor, by watching the elevator lights like a hawk, there are staggering possibilities. At worst, you can always simply walk on, round a few corners and arrive eventually. Got it? Now try again late at night, directly from the bar...

Overheard during the opening from an unblemished source -- the best -- Sou'wester T-shirts and postcards are still available, reasonably priced, and won't get any cheaper.

Thog's Masterclass. Want grow up to be John Clute? More magical litcrit moments: 'Its voice was soft, gentle -- but repugnant. Like the breath of a diseased infant. It was a sound with halitosis.' -- John Shirley, In Darkness Waiting • 'Susan awoke to an absolute silence: the traffic outside the hotel had been utterly stilled. John was in the bathroom -- she could hear the shower running.' -- Robert Charles Wilson, The Divide • 'Dr Kelter's forehead sprouted italics ...' -- Emil Petaja, The Nets of Space • 'She's got an IQ like a phone number.' -- screenwriter, Swamp Thing (the 1981 movie) • 'They shook hands, and Jason set about retrieving his balls.' -- Peter Heath, The Mind Brothers • 'A horror tale of supernatural suburban terror in which a couple is stalked by a mail-order catalog with evil powers!' -- Warner Books (US) blurb for Fearbook by John L. Byrne • Further submissions from the works of our Guests of Honour welcome!

Dish of the Day

(A semi-regular feature.) Jane Barnett writes, shamelessly: Sultry, pouting RAMSEY CAMPBELL, 48, flicked his steel-grey hair, and agreed to be interviewed.

His favourite colours are blue and green: he has them in his workroom. 'I find them restful,' he husked, and seated himself more comfortably on the luxurious dark blue hotel carpet. His hobbies are walking in the country and collecting books, CDs, and classical music. You will be by this time disappointed to discover he is married -- to the lovely (but unworthy, we think) Jenny. Apparently she 'does a great Indian', which is his favourite of many favourites.

Handy writing hint from Ramsey: Think of the first line BEFORE you write it down. Yet another useful thing to know when trying to persuade him you really HAVE met before: he writes longhand, though he doesn't know why.

Shameless Plug from Ramsey: Alone With The Horrors (not about baby-sitting) 'features 39 of the best short stories from his first 30 years of writing'. (Thog say: All the ones not about bloody Lovecraft.)

Credits. Davy Jones: Dave Langford. Creature from the Black Lagoon: John Grant. Flying Dutchmen: Jan van't Ent and Nico Veenkamp. Poseidon: Marcus Streaks. Sub-Mariner: Arthur C.Clarke. The Sea Lady: Jane Barnett and/or Abigail Frost. The Bends: Chris Bell.

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