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.

4 Responses to “A Load Of Old Bosh, Beccon, Booklet, ISBN 1-870824-34-2”

  • I saw all of Bob’s Serious Scientific Talks that he gave at Eastercons. A lot of the fun was in the delivery, making the most of that soft Irish voice and his facial expressions. At times he would look at the text and shake his head or do a double take, as if he was reading someone else’s words and couldn’t believe what he was about to say.

    James Bacon has been doing a very good job of re-creating Bob’s talks – he did one at Eastercon and another at Plokta.con this year.

  • In case anyone is wondering about the weird antlers on that picture of Bob … Confabulation (or rather, the Plokta team who ran the event) had a moose theme. Which was also visible at this year’s Plokta.con — see here.

  • admin:

    Thanks for the information Bill; that’s the difficulty I have of giving a ‘feel’ for the talks, the written word can’t do justice to what the ear hears.

    And thanks for the information on the antlers David. I must be really weird as the drawing struck me as normal.

    For anyone else wanting to know about their website is, funnily enough, and a direct link to the convention news being

  • You know so many interesting infomation. You might be very wise. I like such people. Don’t top writing.

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