Archive for June 7th, 2009

postheadericon Martians Among Us! Panic! Panic!

Shock Horror! Martians walk among us and Bob Shaw is responsible!

Proof of an alien conspiracy to take over SF!

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

This certificate, kindly forwarded on by Dave Langford, shows another side to the humour of Bob Shaw, always inventive and unique.

postheadericon Speech! Speech!

Something Bob Shaw did quote a lot at conventions was giving humorous speeches. These were very well received and much liked. Indeed recently there was homage to Bob Shaw with James Bacon giving an impression of Shaw in a speech.

His speeches were collected together in several books and booklets. I own two of these, Load of Old Bosh (Beccon Publications, 1995) and Messages Found In An Oxygen Bottle (Nesfa, 1986). There are also Eastercon Speeches and Serious Science. (The Best of The Bushel is reprints from his column from the fanzine Hyphen.) I’ll give specific posts about the ones I have later on.

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

The speeches themselves were cleverly constructed, full of puns and jokes and covered all sorts of subjects, from TV shows to astrology to reminiscences of Fireworks nights and events therein. A couple include ‘that great German – Irish writer, scholar and scientific researcher – Von Donegan!’

I think the speeches shows more of Shaw’s character and personality than his fiction. Although they were thought out and constructed as speeches to be given to an audience, verbally, I think he allowed more of himself to slip into them.

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

Image Courtesy of Dave Langford

I didn’t have the pleasure of hearing him read out any of the speeches but I do note from Load Of Old Bosh that tapes for transcription were provided by John & Eve Harvey and Gytha North. So somewhere in the world Bob Shaw still speaks.