Helicon's Newspaper

3 • Friday Evening


They Walked Like Men

JOHN BRUNNER was immensely chuffed at the Vin d'Honneur last night when the Senator said to him, 'But I thought you would be black.' Forget all that skiffy: he was a fan of A Plague on Both Your Causes and Good Men Do Nothing.

IAN WATSON denies it all (see #2). 'Someone had left these purple socks the same colour as my underpants and I was trying to pull this sock up around my waist until....'

PETER WESTON goes to the heart of Jersey culture: 'Why do they have Princess Margaret on their £5 notes? Barman -- another pint please!'

STOP PRESS UPDATE: Matt Campbell wishes to announce Very Loudly Indeed that Brian Aldiss's amazing Getting-the-Little-Swine-to-Bed technique (Heliograph #2) DIDN'T ACTUALLY WORK.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

DEADLINES: the newsletter team giggles hysterically at the thought. Er, 1100 and 1800 or so?

THE INDEPENDENT photographer prowled among us looking for interestingly weird fans, one of whom suggested that he snap a writer too. 'Where's one?' He was led to Brian Aldiss, took many pictures, and said 'And what books have you written?' Sudden disappearance of B.Aldiss.

CONFICTION thank-you party: the committee would like to thank everyone who worked at ConFiction, attended, or kept blessedly silent. Saturday at '2300' (after the masquerade) in the basement. Malcolm Edwards especially invited.

CALLING ALL CHOCOHOLICS: There will be a raffle in aid of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, the con charity. The prize is a 5kg bar of chocolate from the shop -- milk, plain or white as the winner prefers -- plus transportation of the bar to London if required (1,000 Elephants!). Tickets 20p from the information desk. The draw will be at Monday's closing ceremony; the prize must be claimed by 1000 on Tuesday. Peter Wareham

THE ESTATE OF J.R.R.TOLKIEN wishes to point out that this author inclined towards the male gender and was not an 'it'. (Read-Me, Friday.)

NOVACON (Birmingham, November): Bernie Evans failed to bring Novacon flyers. Don't let this stop you (it says here) joining! £20.00 until after Helicon. Find Bernie in the bar or under a Mexican ... no, sorry ... the Mexicon desk in the Dealers' Room. She apologizes for delays in processing Intersection memberships, now being sorted out: anyone who feels that Bernie ought to grovel may apply to her. Be warned that you may get your ankles bitten while she's down there....

FOUND: outside the airport's main building, a necklace with a labrys pendant. See Ops.

JO MCCAHY is doing Sponsored Fat Loss for the blind and would be glad of absurdly over-optimistic promises from all of you.

ANNA & MIKHAIL need a lift to Jersey zoo. They can usually be found in the Dealers' Room.

CONVENTION KILLER lives! For those who don't know the game, it involves killing all other players using subtlety, cunning, assault weaponry and tomatoes. Potential players should come to the games room before 12.00 Saturday.

APOLOGIES to Steve Bull, who turned up for a panel to find it was a speech! Helicon thanks John Dallman, John Bray and Dave Clements for standing in at short notice.


JACK COHEN's talk The Futures of Human Sex & Reproduction will be from 1030 -- not 1100 -- to 1200 (Sunday, Lido). PLEASE NOTE!

EXTRA! Juggling Workshop (Sunday 1800 Colony.) The first one was so successful, we're having another....

Helliconia Bank Holiday

OVERHEARD. 'My wife's healthy eating habits are disgusting ... eating porridge all over the place!' (Hugh Mascetti) • 'If you do it right it makes you want to cough.' • 'It's all Neale Mittenshaw-Hodge's fault,' claims the ashen-faced man in the blue tee-shirt, 28. • 'I'm just editing Bernie down to manageable size.' 'How big would that be?'

COMPETITION CORNER. Mike Abbott has a go (see #2): 'The "boy-child ... puppet emperor" was, of course, Tim Illingworth. The unlabelled scale bar in Read-Me shows, for comparison, the traditional English Astral Pole against the new EC standard.'

THIRTY YEARS AGO. Brian Aldiss recalls 'Bullcon in Peterborough, '63. Guest of Honour was the elegant, witty, kindly Bruce Montgomery, better known as Edmund Crispin, editor of the Faber Best SF series. Since Bruce was there, Kingsley Amis also attended (Kingsley had been GoH at Gloucester the year before, where he convulsed and irritated the audience by reading out part of an Arthur Clarke love story in a soppy voice). I sold Bruce an abstract oil painting. He lost it.'

CENTENNIAL BOOKS! The hot sf/fantasy titles of 1893 were Ambrose Bierce's Can Such Things Be?, Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Camille Flammarion's La fin du monde, Rudyard Kipling's Many Inventions and Robert Louis Stevenson's Island Night's Entertainments. But who now remembers Marie Corelli's Barabbas: A Dream of the World's Tragedy, Andrew Lang's Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia or H.Rider Haggard's Montezuma's Daughter? (Voices of John Clute and Brian Stableford: We do!) Novelette award: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, for 'On The Moon'. Promising Newcomer of 1893 award: H.G.Wells, with his first short stories 'The Advent of the Flying Man' and 'A Slip Under the Microscope' -- plus the article 'The Man of the Year Million', which spawned endless sf about atrophied bodies and giant brains swimming in nutrient fluid (available in pint measures from our hotel bar).

'WORLD-RULING CANDIDATE FAILS TO EXIST: analysis of ancient texts now indicates that Queen Boadicea was in fact a religious symbol of the Druids ... a willow tree.' [What is all this? Ed.]

WHAT THE 4-UK? Thomas R.P.Mielke tells us he is the only European to be a 4-UKer; i.e., to have attended four UK Worldcons.

CALL HIM HALF-UR: Further to issue #2, 1/2 r comes under H in the Sou'Wester members' list.

COMPETITION: Whose journey was the most extended (i.e., the longest beyond the predicted time)? Answers, please, to the Tech who insisted on this item but refused to give his name.

Diminutive Horror!

Bernie Evans's journey from Birmingham to Jersey took 27 hours -- is this a record?

It started when her 1045 flight on Wednesday was cancelled (due to bad weather). The airline, Jersey European, showed no concern for mere passengers but rather hoped everyone would go away without fuss. Quiet, retiring Bernie shyly demanded her three seats to Jersey. All flights from Birmingham were 'fully booked' until Sunday. The eventual offer: a flight from Exeter at 0730 next morning, reached via a courtesy coach starting at 0200. No thought was given to what passengers would do meanwhile. Bernie was lucky to live locally; one family from Shrewsbury simply had to sit it out. The coach reached Exeter airport at 0430 Thursday morning. The airport was closed. Luckily the Evanses found one door that would open, and a kitchen, and a toilet.... A helpful security man dug out an airline rep who turned up at 0445 and, finally, apologized. 0600: the airport opened; meal tickets were issued. 0715: 'All flights are suffering indefinite delay.' 0830: takeoff! Bernie still boggles that Jersey European had no contingency plans. 'I will never use that airline again!' Bernie/Krisia Oborn

Dean of Horror Speaks Out

My first con? (Ramsey Campbell asks himself.) Could it have been Harrogate in 1961? I recall being introduced by Pat Kearney, then a fanzine editor and later the bibliographer of Olympia Press, to Ted Tubb and Mike Moorcock, both of whom seemed to my awed eyes to be approximately the size and shape of Easter Island statues. Pat told Mike I wrote stories in the style of Lovecraft. 'I don't like Lovecraft,' he said, not that I'm even remotely embittered after all this time.... I spent the rest of the evening in the bar, and the aftermath in bed, to awaken with that sense that the bedroom and/or my head was about to whirl away at great speed into the darkness. Alas, those were the days when hotels didn't provide en suite bathrooms, and I couldn't get the window open, but there was a sink in the room; when I woke in the morning I found a use for my free convention pencil that the organisers were unlikely to have thought of. Having eventually completed that task I remember being persuaded by Pat Kearney to go out for my first ever Chinese meal. It must have worked. More power to internationalism!

Major Pierson Died for You

Helicon members with long memories may recall that Major Pierson was mortally wounded at the moment of his victory when repelling the French assault on St Helier in 1781. This was, of course, the standard custom for British officers of the period in battles with the French, and a version of the scene is presented on a large painting displayed the Tate Gallery in London.

Old soldiers, art fanciers and the Jersey Historical Society thank the con membership for the several tableaux representing this scene enacted in various hotel bars last night. They wish to point out, however, that the appropriate bodily fluid for such enactments is blood. Bob Webber

Heliograph 3, 9/4/93. First Speaker: Dave Langford. Emperor: John Dallman. Mayor: Bob Webber. Mule: Chris Suslowicz. Encyclopaedists: John Grant, John Clute. Prime Radiants: Amanda Baker, Pam Wells. Second Foundation: sshh!