Note: Cover says 279.
- 3 • Torque Control (Vector 273) • [Torque Control] • essay by Shana Worthen
- 4 • The Descendants of d’Artagnan: Alexandre Dumas and SFF • essay by Kari Sperring
- 7 • Diana Wynne Jones and the Oxfordshire Countryside in Power of Three • essay by Julia Cresswell
- 12 • Dialogue and Doomsday: Comedy and Conviction in Connie Willis and Oscar Wilde • essay by Gillian Polack
- 17 • The Volunteer, or Editing Vector and Beyond … • essay by David Wingrove
- 21 • Inside the V&A: Memory Palace • essay by Tom Hunter
- 22 • Gadget City by I O Evans • [Foundation Favourites] • essay by Andy Sawyer
- 24 • Meet the President! • [Kincaid in Short] • essay by Paul Kincaid
- 27 • Drilling for Oil in the North Sea • [Resonances] • essay by Stephen Baxter
- 31 • The BSFA Review (Vector 273) • [The BSFA Review] • essay by Martin Lewis
- 31 • Review of the graphic novel Savage: The Guv’nor by Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard • essay by Jonathan McCalmont
- 32 • Review: Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter • review by Niall Harrison
- 32 • Review: Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter • review by Niall Harrison
- 32 • Review: Iron Winter by Stephen Baxter • review by Niall Harrison
- 34 • Review: Adam Robots by Adam Roberts • review by Dan Hartland
- 35 • Review: Jack Glass by Adam Roberts • review by Dave M. Roberts
- 35 • Review: The Soddit by Adam Roberts • review by David Hebblethwaite
- 36 • Review: Among Others by Jo Walton • review by Shaun Green
- 37 • Review: Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins • review by Duncan Lawie
- 38 • Review: Communion Town by Sam Thompson • review by Mark Connorton
- 39 • Review: The Peacock Cloak by Chris Beckett • review by Martin McGrath
- 39 • Review: Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction by Ian Whates • review by Andy Sawyer
- 40 • Review: Existence by David Brin • review by Martin McGrath
- 41 • Review: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson • review by Gary S. Dalkin [as by Gary Dalkin]
- 41 • Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi • review by Liz Bourke
- 42 • Review: Nexus by Ramez Naam • review by Paul Graham Raven
- 43 • Review: The Curve of the Earth by Simon Morden • review by Stuart Carter
- 43 • Review: The Water Sign by C. S. Samulski • review by Karen Burnham
- 44 • Review: Dangerous Waters by Juliet E. McKenna • review by Patrick Mahon
- 44 • Review: Darkening Skies by Juliet E. McKenna • review by Patrick Mahon
- 45 • Review: The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron • review by A. P. Canavan
- 46 • Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow • review by Graham Andrews
- 46 • Review: Hell Train by Christopher Fowler • review by Lalith Vipulananthan
- 47 • Review: Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch • review by Anne F. Wilson
- 47 • Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness • review by Cherith Baldry
- 48 • Review: Railsea by China Miéville? • review by Liz Bourke
- 49 • Review: Dark Peak: The First Elemental by J. G. Parker • review by Sue Thomason
- 49 • Review: Sea Change by S. M. Wheeler • review by Mark Connorton
- 50 • Review: Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon • review by Alan Fraser
- 50 • Review: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke • review by Anne F. Wilson
- 51 • Review: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest • review by Alan Fraser
- 51 • Review: Apollo’s Outcasts by Allen Steele • review by Ian Sales
At yesterday’s BSFA London meeting, Jo Fletcher used as her example of the difficulties of timing in buying books published in America the example of Jo Walton and Australia. Jo Walton, author of Farthing, our Future Classic of the month, isn’t published in the UK because her agent waited a little too long before offering the rights; by which points, there was no chance at all that the UK edition would be available in time to sell in Australia, and Australia, although a tiny market by American standards, is really quite large by British ones. Without any hope of being able to sell the prospective UK edition in Australia, the plans was scuppered, and those of us now reading Farthing in the UK are reading imported copies.
In contrast (in so many ways), The Conflux Cookbook will almost entirely be sold to Australians, in Australia, at the Conflux convention this weekend. The edition is only 200 copies and is likely to sell out quickly. It’s the last book from the going-out-of-business Eneit Press, done in by the collapse of Borders in the US.
The cookbook commemorates the last five years’ worth of historical recreation banquets held at the country’s national sf convention. (It includes the menu development for this year’s banquet, for which it’s too late to buy tickets, a recreation of a meal in August 1929, aboard the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin) It features illustrations by Kathleen Jennings and an introduction by Garth Nix.
But it’s not just a cookbook. It’s a history of a series of much-loved meals. It’s a study in how to do meticulous recipe testing, and in valuable sources for researching the history of food, menus, and eating habits, it’s an examination of what Australian tastebuds are habituated to, the availability (or lack therefore) of all sorts of ingredients, and it’s a portrait of part of Australian fandom. It made me grateful that my local (Sainsbury) supermarket stocks walnut ketchup.
One aspect which I appreciated was the passing consideration of what kinds of historical periods are likely to appeal to sf convention-goers, the periods which cross both available recipes with something likely to spark the interest of a costume-maker. Costumes, I think, double as good physical reminders of expected behaviour, and many of these feasts came with etiquette guides, encouraging the attendees to behave as closely as possible as did those for whom the recipes were originally written. Give or take language, of course. And lower fat content. And with vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Inspired by the convention’s imminence, I finally made time to start looking at the ARC that Gillian Polack sent me the other week. Her labour of love may lack all the wonderful illustrations promised for the finished version, but I still was sucked right in. It helps that I know her (as, I’m sure, many of you do), and her voice was vivid in its pages. I was up to the third banquet, set in the fictional Hotel Gernsback on the eve of the coining of “scientifiction”, when I remembered that really, I was in the middle of the finishing touches on the overdue issue of Vector and should get back to that. (And I did, and the files are all sent off for layout now!)
I haven’t finished reading the cookbook yet as a result, and I haven’t tried out any of its recipes yet, but I have every intention of doing so.
If for some reason, you are a reader of this blog who was somehow unaware of The Conflux Cookbook and will be attending the Australian national convention this weekend – buy your copy while you’re able to. They’re going to sell out fairly quickly from all accounts. And the only copies in the UK will be, as with Farthing, imports.
On Thursday 30th June 2011 from around 7pm:
GILLIAN POLACK (Australian writer of speculative fiction, editor and historian) will be interviewed by Maureen Kincaid Speller (Critic and reviewer).
Note that this meeting is on the fifth Thursday of the month. There is no BSFA London Meeting on Wednesday 22nd June.
The Antelope Tavern
22, Eaton Terrace
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square (District/Circle)
All welcome! (No entry fee or tickets. Non-members welcome.)
Interview will commence at 7.00 pm, but the room is open from 6.00 (and fans in the downstairs bar from 5).
There will be a raffle (£1 for five tickets), with a selection of sf novels as prizes.
27th July 2011 – SOPHIA MCDOUGALL interviewed by Roz Kaveney
24th August 2011* – KIM LAKIN-SMITH interviewed by Paul Skevington
28th September 2011 – JO FLETCHER: interviewer TBC
* Note that this is a month with five Wednesdays. The meeting will be on the fourth, not the last, Wednesday of the month.