The Adelphi Coracle

Newsletter 3
Saturday 2 April


Ship of Fools

Diana Wynne Jones regrets (and so very much do we) that a resurgence of crippling back pain led to her unexpected early departure circa 8:30am today. She sends regards and apologies to all at Sou'Wester.

Gaiman Interview. Our reporter is a devoted Gene Wolfe fan, so the dialogue went ... Neil: 'I've been reading book 3 of the Long Sun in typescript!' TAC: 'Aaaaarrgh!' (Exit, gnashing teeth enviously.)

2 April Birthdays. Charlemagne, 742; Hans Christian Andersen, 1805; William Holman Hunt (famous for Report on Probability A), 1827; Emile Zola, 1840; Max Ernst, 1891; Alec Guinness, 1914; Doris Day, 1924; Peter Haining, 1940; Joan D.Vinge, 1948. Also: Destructive earthquake, Valparaiso, 1851; Jack the Ripper's first murder, 1888; Argentina invades Falklands, 1982.

Found. Will Gareth Josham call at Ops to pick up the personal item which reveals your blood group to be B+? ('My favourite flavour' -- H.Mascetti.) If not, we'll print your National Insurance number. Stop Press: another diary found! Take note, S.Wardle. Also: a plastic bag stuffed with 'reasonably good' fanzines....

Shut The Bleeding Door! John Harold, patrolling last night, found three hotel room doors ajar. Please ensure yours is shut when you leave the room.

Speaking Of Which ... Sou'Wester has failed to provide a vital tech requirement for the 1996 bidding session -- doors. If the bitterly contested bid goes to a lobby count, everyone will have to use the same lobby.

Oops. Ops thinks it would be jolly useful to let everyone know that Breakfast Ends At 11am, not 11:30 as in READ ME ... how everyone laughed who turned up at 11:05 this morning. Sackcloth and ashes are on order for those responsible. (Thog not just sack cloth -- sack whole city.)

Captain's Log: Updates

Twitching Fingers. 5pm today in the Lounge: signings by lots of authors including Hambly, Duane, Morwood, Higgins (Wot, no Thog?) ... Gaiman hasn't been asked yet (probably still asleep). David Barrett is looking for more participants, so buy him a drink.

'No more programme changes! I got it all right before Sou'Wester started!' claims Rhodri. So these Saturday updates are mostly the same as in TAC 1....

NEW: 1pm, Lounge: Millennium launch party.

NEW: 4pm, Lounge: Legend launch party, if John Jarrold conquers his hangover this early in the day.

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

6pm: Per Ardua e Slush Pile (moved from 8pm).

7pm: Talking About UK Worldcons (was 6pm).

Do Update. The Intersection Party starts 9.30pm on Saturday in the Boardroom (West), not 9pm as stated in Read Me.

Monday. 'If anyone wants to watch the Helicon video, turn up Monday in the video room for video request.' Time unspecified....

Whodunit? The Hobbes Murder

From TAC's burgeoning slushpile: Accusations are flying thick and fast concerning the foul murder of First Tiger Hobbes at Friday's opening ceremony. Ming the Merciless was questioned but unusually appears to have an alibi; however, Darth Vader is definitely in the running. Others accused include Barbara Mascetti and Lt Commander Data. Gary Stratmann of Ops assures us that all suspects will be rounded up for the second Murder Mystery Workshop (6pm, Sunday, Boardroom), to be questioned. • STOP PRESS! One of the investigating teams has accused Lt Commander Data of involvement in the crime. • STOP PRESS AGAIN! Never mind who killed Hobbes, what happened to the body? Why is Tom Abba looking so shifty? And why has he been seen buying nails and a box? I think we should be told. • PRESS STOP OF OWN VOLITION. Why Thog the Mighty look so smug? • PRESS 'STOP'. At this stage of the typing-up process, our editors were carried off to the little grey cells ...

Fish Stories

Overheard. 'It must be after midnight, Neil looks human.' • 'Actually I sent in forty foot noodles.' • 'I was standing right next to Chris Bell. I've got hold of everything.' • At concert: 'During the pauses between performances the technicians were fiddling around.'

Eastercon Award Censorship Horror! Crypto-fascist Rhodri James incautiously admitted, 'Actually Ansible had more nominations in the Short Text category than all the rest put together, but we decided Langford was ineligible after winning last year....'

100 Years Ago. Great sf/fantasy of 1894 included John Jacob Astor's A Journey in Other Worlds: a Romance of the Future (featuring an early antigravity device powered by 'apergy', possibly the opposite of lethargy); Austin Bierbower's From Monkey to Man, or Society in the Tertiary Age: A Story of the Missing Link, which predicted the emergence of Space: 1999 fans; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Great Keinplatz Experiment' (planned sequels abandoned at the thought of the line 'Elementary, my dear Keinplatz'); George du Maurier's Trilby of Svengali fame; Edward Douglas Fawcett's Swallowed by an Earthquake, about a hapless explorer who discovers Chris Bell.... [To be continued]

Cosmic Issue Settled. Friday's 'Fandom is a two tier system' motion was passed 14-11 (3 abstentions). Thog say: 'Will all end in tiers.'

Claim Your Freebie. Write your name and address in the Great Gestetner Tome (newsroom) to ensure that (a) you receive an exciting booklet and free pen; (b) our wonderful repro-equipment sponsors receive the idea that lending the stuff was a Good Idea. Directors of major PLCs especially welcome.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pyjamas! Sorry, Mr BS from Galashiels, we can't answer your query: no one we've consulted can remember seeing a pair walking down the hotel corridor at 3am.

Feedback. To help further government grants to scientists at sf cons, Dave Clements, Amanda Baker and John Bray want comments from fans who attended the relevant talks: Michael Leask on The Physics of Sound at VIbraphone, Chris Mier on Programmers in Fact and Fiction at Microcon, or any science-related talks at Sou'Wester. Also, suggestions or requests for further activities which will raise the profile of science at sf conventions, and for which funding might be obtainable. Please contact via the Voodoo Board.

Double Muff. Sue Mason has been given a Muff monster. (Thog censor Alison Scott's off-colour jokes about this.)

Not To Be Missed: an exhibition of Gary Hill's video art at the Tate Gallery, Albert Dock. One piece, called 'Tall Ships' for reasons I haven't troubled to discover, is the most spectral experience I've ever had in a gallery. If Val Lewton had designed a ghost train, or more accurately a walk down a haunted corridor, it might have been like this. Jenny refused to be left alone in it; it unnerved me, by gum. Ramsey Campbell

Gourmet Corner. 'Yates Wine Lodge, down hill from Adelphi and first right, has [totally illegible] beers and good fart [port?] -- try it!' says 1/2 r.

Call in -- SIG SIG. If you read So It Goes and also this, contact John Wiggell via the Voodoo Board. (Is this the Sonic the Hedgehog Pyjamas story? -- Ed)

Wrodri Rhites. The Savourna Stevenson concert went extremely well, judging from the enthusiastic response of the audience and the roaring trade in tapes and CDs afterwards ('If we sell all the tapes now, we won't have anything left for the Irish tour!'). The traditional-looking combination of clarsach, double bass and drums produced some amazing jazz and blues sounds, gobsmacking members of the audience who didn't think that the harp did chromatics. Sou'Wester Programme Disorganizer Rhodri James pronounced himself very pleased; Secret Instigator Paul Barnett pronounced himself very knackered.

Comic Mart. Rush out and spend lots of money at the Bluecoat mart on School Lane. Started 11am but still going. Admission 50p. (Suzanna hopes the audience for the comics panel has gone to this so she can be ill in peace.)

Korruption Korner. An Evolution committee member with a grey mac and a photo of your sister writes: Don't forget to get your free raffle tickets from Evolution. If we win the bid on Sunday, we'll raffle signed copies of work by our wonderful GoHs. Whaddya mean, incentive to come to the bid session....

Restaurants. Alison Scott, the Thog of Cuisine, goes on (and on and on): Best in Liverpool (not cheap) is the Armadillo, Matthew St: lunch and early-evening special not quite so extortionate. Tito's, Slater St: pretty decent Frenchish affair; makes up in style and quantity what it loses in authenticity. Bali Bistro, Albert Dock: recommended Indonesian food. Also in the Albert Dock, the German Café is worth popping into. Chicken Bazooka is the closest fast food to the Adelphi: mostly chicken-breast burgers; cheap and reasonable. Also nearby: McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Ogden's Fish 'n' Chips. • Friday: To the much recommended Zorba's for almost infinite amounts of Greek food. Mezedes pretty good value at £10 per head. For those who like squid, the deep fried calamari is excellent and the cold pickled squid good. Also lots of non-squiddy food; we couldn't finish the last three meat dishes. Wine list leaves something to be desired but you can take your own in for a small corkage.

More Thanks! Griffith Evans, Account Exec at Gestetner, angel of our repro equipment; and Ron Tiner, who drew the plane cartoon in TAC 1.

Flying Dutch ... Well known Dutch fan couldn't polish off all of a nine-person Chinese banquet ... dipsticks didn't help out, sweet pets won't either ... what's happening here? (Thog suspect obscure Netherlandish obscenity Thog not understand.)

Seven Minutes to Rama. Abigail ('Ripping Yarns') Frost writes: Eight contestants (but not Ramsey 'No Show' Campbell) produced eight seven-minute novels after what seemed like seven hours of fetching chairs and watching Paul ('It wasn't like this at the Groucho Club') Barnett's face as he realized he didn't have a stopwatch. I produced a substitute and the scribbling began. I managed six chapters, two A4 sides, proving Oxford finals were a useful training for future life after all; others emerged saying, 'Of course, I wrote far too much at first....' Stephen Marley gained macho credibility by writing the damn' thing standing up. Reckless daredevil Jilly ('I've marked A-level scripts more legible than this') Reed took on the task of typing the buggers up ... before abruptly finding urgent business elsewhere and handing over to Jan van't Ent.

Credits. ZZM9Z: Dave Langford. Ten Per Cent Extra Free: Paul Barnett. Serendipity: Jilly Reed. The Melencolia That Transcends All Wit: Abigail Frost. Skylark: Jan van't Ent. Enterprise: Alison Scott. So Much For Subtlety: Chris Bell. Alice Liddell: Marion Pitman.

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