Archive for June 18th, 2009

postheadericon A Load Of Old Bosh, Beccon, Booklet, ISBN 1-870824-34-2

This booklet was printed for Confabulation, the 1995 British Convention. The cover is by Sue Mason, interior illustrations by Jim Barker.

There is a short note from Bob Shaw where he points out that they were written as speeches; to be heard and not read, and therefore may feel different to something written to be read.

The booklet is well printed and bound, very neat. It was all done in Claris Works on a Macintosh IIvi. I have a Mac Classic somewhere in the house but it wont boot due to a memory problem. I’ve worked on Macs but I’m not as fanatical about them as some people are. Nowadays you can get a Mac to run on a USB stick: that’s the problem with computing technology. It’s state of the art for five minutes then it’s redundant.

The Need For Bad Science Fiction kicks off this collection of speeches and it takes a dig at reviewers as much as writers. It touches on SF conventions, SF films and the night shift of Star Trek.

Common to all the speeches is the diversity of topics within. They were designed to entertain a live audience and so had to be suitable to grab and keep the attention of the audience. I think that makes them a little tricky to review and summarise. There are bits within bits. One off jokes, puns, nods to SF and fandom.

The talks cover the period 1974 to 1988 and are mainly Eastercon speeches. In a few of the speeches there is a reference to the TV Series Space:1999, which in Bob’s head has become Space: £19.99. I’ll refrain from any comments on the budget of said show.

The Bermondsey Triangle Mystery nicely builds up ‘elements’ of pseudo science to create a very British inspired mystery. Shaw cleverly delves into the past to tell us about the peculiar events that shaped Britain, involving the Civilisation of the Cod People, giant tubers known as Taters, sliced by a wire mesh fence.

Other delights include Time Travellers Among Us with Shaw detailing the time machine, the Chronoclipper Mk. II, for sale at a reasonable price of £2,000 – this speech is from 1975 but even allowing for inflation I’d say that’s cheap for a time machine! Among others there is also Beyond Cosmos, where he tries to get a TV show made with the German/Irish scientific researcher and writer Von Donegan. Up The Conjunction covers the well worn topic of Astrology with the help of a couple of illustrations.