The Adelphi Coracle

Newsletter 8
Monday 4 April
Noon Watch


Trapped in the Sea of Stars

National Media Not So Nearly Right After All. Neil Gaiman has now seen the previously-mentioned Q article, and commented, 'How interesting. There is not a single accurate statement in the entire article.' Aside from the illustration being wrong, Neil has only been one of four people at a Tori Amos concert once (though he was once the entire audience); he is not a comics artist; and Delirium is not immortal, just Endless. Delirium is based on other people as well as Tori, too (Kathe Koja for one). Revised score: 2/10 (at least they spelt his name right).

4 April Birthdays. 1821, Linus Yale of cylinder-lock fame (Chief of Security, Sou'Wester 1822); Tristran 'Dada' Tzara 1896; Maya Angelou, 1925. C.L.Moore died, 1987. Also: NATO established, 1949; Challenger space shuttle's maiden voyage 1983. And, ten years ago: 4 April 1984 is the date of the first scene in a certain book by George Orwell....

Pull the Middle One (advt). 'Sue Mason states that she is young, sweet, innocent and never-been-kissed [Slurp! That way Thog like 'em] and wonders why the Committee wishes her to chair the scandalous "Who Are You Calling a Pervert?" at 4pm Monday.'

Statistic: Nearly 800 people attended Sou'Wester.

At Bloody Last: The trial was held on 3 April of the six suspects in the murder of First Tiger Hobbes. They were: Catwoman, Captain Scarlet, Lt. Commander Data (or Lore, we weren't sure which), Darth Vader, and Daffy Duck. The court was presided over by the Sheriff of Nottingham. By a gross miscarriage of justice the court declared the Sheriff guilty. The miscreant will appear at the closing ceremony to be sentenced.

Third Degree Burns. Jim Burns's slide show is cancelled -- sorry! 4pm, Main 1: nothing now happens.

One of His Balls is Missing ... anyone know the whereabouts of a large, pink, shiny ball taken from Rufus in his prime? See him for lip-pursing details.

Sonic the Hedgehog Pyjamas! NO!, AJF from Bethnal Green, Thog not wear Sonic the Hedgehog Jockstrap. Thog's jocks unstrapped!

Trimmed to Fit Space. The Games Room doesn't have Dungeons & Dragons.

Inconpluggable. Inconceivable is on 27-30 May 1994 at the Tudor Court Hotel, Draycott, near Derby. Membership (12 Crich Avenue, Littleover, Derby DE23 6ES) £20 until after Sou'Wester, £25 thereafter; £2 discount for current Octarine/ZZ9 members.

Help Needed. At a surprisingly lively and upbeat fanzine panel on Sunday night, Mike Siddall revealed that what he wants is abuse. We were glad to oblige.

Zzz. Tiger Hobbes is alive, well and last seen editing Peter Morwood's new book; so far he has excised all violence and requested a further 90,000 words.

Found T-Shirt. The t-shirt left in the T-shirt Painting Workshop to dry is now in Ops.

Fix! Fix! The BSFA raffle for a life membership (drawn by First Life Member Colin Greenland) was won by Roger Robinson. 'I'm over the parrot,' he said.

Mutiny on the Coracle!

Chris Evans, dean of sci fi, points out this newsletter's shortcomings in a trenchant mini-rantette:

'The newsletter is neither funny nor informative! I don't understand it! All these in-jokes! Total crap! Neither funny nor informative! You should make it all up if you can't get good material! You're witty, you're intelligent, you should be in the bar and not typing in crap by cretins! Neither informative nor funny! Hic.'

Having been unable to find his way out of the bar to revitalize TAC's failing energies in person, Chris kindly dictated some of the jokes which have led to his being dubbed the Oscar Wilde of the Adelphi:

What are cats' favourite breakfasts? Mice Krispies! Crows' favourite breakfasts? Cawwwn Flakes! Cows'? Moo-esli! Budgies'? Tweetabix! And what's the horses' fave soap opera? Neighhhhbours!!!!

You're right, Chris, we just can't compete.

We Were A Ghastly Crew

Overheard. Bob Shaw: 'When I was young we couldn't afford drinks -- we just chewed tar off the roads.' • 'The fanzine fans should be grateful to the filkers for taking over the role of most-hated clique in fandom.' • 'Being ineffable means you're impossible to eff.' -- Neil Gaiman, 'God on the Eighth Day.' • 'I can read backwards!' 'Only way to read Time's Arrow.' • Norman Shorrock: 'Ron Bennett had an appointment to play brag with me but chickened out! I want you to print that.' TAC: 'Right: Bennett lacks bottle to play brag! Even with Norman Shorrock!' NS: 'Not quite what I had in mind....' • 'It's designed to attract pretentious wankers whom one can then take the piss out of.' -- Chazza Stross on his proposed new fanzine The Collision Zone. • 'Does this mean I'm a drive-path specification? I can't be a drive-path specification -- I've got marmalade to make.' -- Jilly Reed mastering WP5.1 • 'Do I get a free drink for this? That croissant would really become me as well.' -- Jane Barnett eagerly volunteering to help on the Coracle • 'I've looked everywhere for Gary Stratmann, where is he?' 'I'll check -- he's busy with a meeting in Room M1.' 'Thank you -- hey, that's my room!' • 'How many techies does it take to answer a radio? (a) more than six; (b) only one, but he's gone to the toilet.' • 'Can I have my trousers back now, Teddy?' -- Rob Malos • '13 years ago we were castigated for lying around moaning about our mortgages. Now we're lying around moaning about our back problems.' -- Tim Illingworth (Who he? -- Ed.) • Chris Bell: 'You didn't say that my "personal supervision" was of THE HOTEL MANAGER! She hoovered up the broken glass in the Hypodermic while I watched! That was the whole point! Twit! Langford! Twerp! Ning-nong!' • 'You can't describe her as "pert-nippled"!' • 'I'm sure Charlie will be grateful that I plugged his fanzine....' • Mike Abbott: 'My creative juices are flowing!' Thog: This is a family newsletter....

GoHsmacked! Jack Cohen is to be a surprise GoH at Evolution. Well, it was a surprise to him, anyway ...

String Thing. 'Take two pieces of string, 4yd long. Tie 30 clothespegs to each length at 3in intervals. Clamp pegs onto subject at 2in intervals. (Subject may have to be restrained. Borrow handcuffs from Inconceivable. Borrow their cat o' nine tails as well.) After 10 mins, rip pegs off by pulling firmly on string. Suggestions invited for suitable vic -- er, subjects.'

Ian Sorensen unwisely expressed interest in being rendered (down? into Russian? unto Caesar?). Anyone with own trowel and convenient bucket of plaster, apply in person.

TAFFwoman (luscious, pouting, short-skirted) seeks car space from anyone willing to take home books etc and either (a) hand over to her in London after 6 May, or (b) bring it to Mexicon. What we failed to mention last issue is that TAFFwoman is shy, quiet Abigail Frost, contactable via the newsroom....

Astral Revival. The Astral Leauge [sic] hymns on Sunday night caused hardened filk-singers to reel away, shaken to their very bowels. To stop bloody Peter Weston making us write out the bloody Leauge hymn lyrics, we reprint them as a public service:

(i) O Astral Leauge, o Astral Leauge / O Leauge it is of thee / We sing this song of Astral Praise / And Cosmic Harmoneee. • (ii) The Astral Leauge shall overcome / False BOAKs* and foes shall flee / And Astral Peace shall rule us all / And Cosmic Harmoneee. • (iii) When dinosaurs did rule the Earth / The Leauge was yet to be / But now we stretch from pole to pole / In Cosmic Harmoneee. • (iv) From star to star the Astral Leauge / Is there for all to see / Galactic Empires live in peace / And Cosmic Harmoneee. • (* BOAK: 'Bearer Of All Knowledge', a Leauge theological term.) © D.West, 1976. All rights reversed. Sung to almost any tune.

Of the Astral Pole Initiations, it is wiser not to speak. Abigail: 'They're probably doing it in trendy bondage clubs all over London without realizing where it came from.' Dave Mooring: 'They're doing it all wrong! They're not charging 50p!'

Jackie McRobert chucks Ian Sorensen! In a shock intimacy reshuffle she announced she was now dating Tony Berry and planned to win the next Nova Award. 'It was a political move,' she pouted feistily. 'But I don't have to do anything -- just say I'm his girlfriend.' Ashen-faced, tight-lipped Tony said that he wanted it in writing before he manipulated any Nova statistics....

Oh Dear. The Chicken Bazooka takeaway inspired the St Alban's sf lot to hot creativity: Pizza Claymore, Tandoori Warhead, Spud Grenade, Burger Cannon, Spaghetti Garotte, Pork Machete, Pasta Shrapnel, Deep Pan Tanktrap, Kentucky Fried Dum-Dums, Murder King ... (Balding Welsh Voice: 'Neither funny nor informative!')

Rice if You Can Get It. Easter Sunday closed most Liverpool restaurants (fair enough for the Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc. ... but the Lebanese?). Sou'Wester discovered The Master Chef (Indian) to such effect that by 10pm it had run out of pilau rice.

Poetry Corner. An anonymous newszine showoff claims that James Thomson's famous sf poem The City of Dreadful Night actually predicted the existence of Chris Bell (or possibly Abigail Frost) many decades in advance! The moving moon and stars from east to west / Circle before her in the sea of air. / Shadows and gleams glide round her solemn rest; / Her subjects often look up to her there: / The strong to drink new strength from iron endurance, / The weak, new terrors; all, renewed assurance / And confirmation of the old despair. • Murder Mystery Latest: newsroom hack found horribly killed!

Thog's (Topical) Masterclass 'Produced in a durable cloth binding and gorgeously striking dustjacket, Clute and Nicholls have far outstripped any other work of this kind in any field.' -- Daryl F. Mallett, SFRA Review #205 • 'Silver-blue in the moonlight, the river meandered like a garden path ...' -- Cecelia HolWilliam James, Before the Sun Falls • 'Gosseyn's intestinal fortitude strove to climb into his throat, and settled into position again only reluctantly ...' -- A.E.van Vogt, The World of Null-A • 'The agony went on and on as she threshed about the room, oblivious to nothing but the pain.' -- Stephen Marley, Shadow Sisters • 'He shuddered, awash in adrenaline, his sphincter pulling unpleasantly tight as he recognized his own youthful scrawl on the outside tab. ... and he felt an ache, a curse of time racing across the ridge of his knuckles.' -- Derek Van Arman, Just Killing Time •'A few hours had passed since they had been pulled away from the moon. A few hours and millions of miles. The moon was no longer visible, not even as a star. The whole thing was so crazy, weird and far-out. It was as though they were floating in a giant vacuum.' -- Sara Cavanaugh, A Woman in Space

Credits. Figurehead: Thog. Belaying Pin: Dave Langford. Futtock Shrouds: John Grant. Mizzen Mast: Mike Abbott. Powder Magazine: Abigail Frost. Crow's Nest: Jilly Reed. Poop Deck: Jan van't Ent. Rum Ration: Gary Stratmann. Foul Anchor: Gamma. Rudder Pintle: Stephen Marley. Ratlines: Caroline Mullan. Lubber's Hole: Room 269.

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