London Meeting: Not Robert Holdstock

The guest at tonight’s BSFA meeting is Robert Holdstock, author of Mythago Wood (winner of the BSFA Best Novel Award in 1984) and, more recently, the three books of the Merlin Codex. He will be interviewed by Paul Kincaid.

Breaking news:

Rob Holdstock is sick and sends his apologies (he really, really did want to be with us tonight).

At short notice Paul Kincaid has agreed to lead a discussion of this year’s BSFA and Clarke Award lists, so this is your chance to air your views.

Looks like I’ll be lurking at the back keeping very quiet for this one, then.

The meeting is open to any and all who might be interested, and will be held in the upstairs room of the Star Tavern in Belgravia (map here). The interview starts at 7.00, but there are likely to be people hanging around in the bar from 5.30 or so.

London Meeting: Paul Cornell

The guest at tonight’s BSFA meeting is Paul Cornell, writer of various things, including several episodes of some TV show called Doctor Who. He will be interviewed by Graham Sleight.

As usual, the meeting is free to any and all who might be interested, and the interview will start at 7pm. However, the usual venue, The Star Tavern, is closed for urgent work. The alternate venue they have arranged for us is The Antelope on Eaton Terrace, which isn’t far away (Map here). See you there?

EDIT: Ian’s comment reminds me that, given the weather, it would probably be a good idea to check your transport routes for this evening.

Next week’s BSFA meeting – change of venue

Tony writes:

Due to some sudden and urgent (structural, I think) work that needs to be done to The Star Tavern, it will be closed for the week of 22-26 January, when the BSFA meeting (with Paul Cornell, interviewed by Graham Sleight) would have been held. But, splendid people that they are, The Star have organised an alternate venue for us, The Antelope on Eaton Terrace (Map here). We used this place a few years ago, when there was a double booking at The Star, some of you may remember.

Start time 6pm, as usual. Spread the word.

Happy New Links

London Meeting: Jo Fletcher

The guest at tonight’s BSFA meeting (the last of the year!) is Jo Fletcher, who has done many things but is currently editorial director of Gollancz. She will be interviewed by Claire Weaver.

As usual, the meeting is free to any and all who might be interested, and will be held in the upstairs room of the Star Tavern in Belgravia (there’s a map here). Gather from 5.30 or so, interview starts at 7.00. Pass it on.

Vector History

A brief word of explanation for those of you who (inexplicably) may not have given much thought to the history of the BSFA: Vector has been around for a while. Way back in the 1960s, when issue numbers were only two digits and the magazine was being edited by Rog Peyton, a series of fanzine review and fannish commentary columns started to appear under the title “Behind The Scenes”, as by Malcolm Edwards. This was a pseudonym for Pete Weston (whose With Stars in my Eyes was a Best Related Book Hugo nominee last year), and caused some confusion when a real Malcolm Edwards entered fandom a few years later.

Greg Pickersgill has now put the columns online, with his own covering note:

It was forty years ago —

My copy of the British SF Association’s magazine, VECTOR, issue 43, dated March 1967, was a really big thing for me. I’d been aware of sf fandom for while, my curiosity and interest aroused and increased by various mentions in the back-issue magazines I enthusiastically collected, and in Kingsley Amis’ NEW MAPS OF HELL and Damon Knight’s IN SEARCH OF WONDER, books I read and re-read with endless fascination. Then there was the column ‘Our Man In Fandom’, by Lin Carter, which appeared in the then-current British reprints of WORLDS OF IF, and then, incredibly, in one of the last of the hard-to-get Compact issues of NEW WORLDS, a small-ad for the BSFA itself. Dazzlement! Enchantment! I joined instantly.

Even the rather rudimentary nature — poorly duplicated, folded foolscap paper — of the magazine that eventually arrived (after a worrying delay, the BSFA being in one its occasional disorganised phases) was no deterrent to my growing enthusiasm. Unlike so many sf readers who seem to be unaccountably frightened by the unfamiliar I was deeply attracted to the new world of sf fandom with its sometimes unusual terminology, and even the sense that everyone knew everyone except me was no real barrier. Of course as the only sf reader in school — as I was at that time — I was used to being the outsider, no question.

I read that issue of VECTOR so many times I’m surprised the pages didn’t drop to shreds from the endless eyetracks; all of it was new and absorbing, but the prime delight was the BEHIND THE SCENES column by one Malcolm Edwards. This character wrote fluently and knowledgeably about fandom, fans and fanzines and sounded like the right sort of person, absolutely. If only I knew someone like that, I thought. But there were no fans within at least a hundred miles of where I lived at the time, so maybe I’d better get a burst on and get into this fanzine thing, learn the language, find out who’s who about town. And I did. Not without incident, including a letter to the BSFA complaining about how all those Big Name Fans just wouldn’t get off their high horses once in a while to help the poor struggling neophyte. Well, I was sixteen, and much more stupid then.

Fandom before the internet, eh?

London Meeting: Judith Clute

The guest at tonight’s BSFA meeting is Judith Clute, interviewed by Farah Mendlesohn.

As usual, the meeting will take place in the upstairs room of the Star Tavern in Belgravia (there’s a map here) and people will start gathering from 5.30 or so. Unlike usual, the interview will start at 7.30, rather than 7.00.

All welcome: entry is free to BSFA members and non-members alike (but there is a book raffle).

London Meeting, Tonight

Tonight’s BSFA meeting features Peter F Hamilton, interviewed by BSFA co-chair Pat McMurray. BSFA members and non-members alike are welcome, and there’s no entry charge (but there is a book raffle).

The meeting takes place in the upstairs room of the Star Tavern in Belgravia; there’s a map here.

As usual, the interview kicks off at 7pm, although there will be people around from about 5.30pm onwards. In addition, at 6.45pm there will be a presentation of the SFRA‘s Clareson Award to Paul Kincaid, so this month would be a good month to turn up early.