19 July 2007

BFS in 'not another not-London Open night' shocker!

And if York wasn't enough for you, there's also been a BFS Open Night organised for Birmingham...
It'll be held: Saturday 15th September, from 6.30pm
At: The Cornerhouse pub, 110 Edmund Street/Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 3PU.
Special guests: The Write Fantastic.
Free to everyone, and non-BFS peeps are welcome.

Gosh - that's the week before Fcon... :->

We're still discussing what's going to happen about the Sept London Open Night though - is 2 open nights and an Fcon too much for one month or do those of you who do the London one not mind a Birmingham one as well?

17 July 2007

Molehills of Madness

I'm about halfway through reading Rhys Hughes' At the Molehills of Madness (I promised I'd review it for Prism) and my goodness, young Mr Hughes has a very sick sense of humour! So far, there is the odd nasty story, some seriously twisted ones that will make you laugh and one very distasteful one that I couldn't finish because it was just too gross ('The Death of Ganymede', I'm looking at you.) Did get quite a few chuckles out of 'Necessity is the Mother,' which is a sort of time travelling serial killer thingy. Loving lots of the weird tales in the collection, though my inner prude witters quietly about the odd bit of crudeness in some of them.

Chronicles of Amber
Have also just finished reading the first 5 books in the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny. (Well, Gollancz did put them in a nice compilation volume as part of their Fantasy Masterworks series...) The Amber stories were recommended me by Mike Chinn (buy his Paladin Mandates - there be a collection of riproaring tales, as I never tire of telling people!) and mostly, they were fun. The world set up is great - the whole Amber with its shadows and travelling between - I love that kind of stuff. The family politics, again, another thing that hits my buttons. Corwin started getting a bit whiny towards the last couple of stories in the book though. And I totally called the revelation about papa Oberon.
It would have been nice if the female characters had been better though. Flora - depicted as stupid. Most of the other sisters thought of as generally useless. Fiona got to flex some intellectual muscles due to her part in one of the conspiracies (won't spoil how in case there's peeps that haven't read it.) Dara - there was hope. Sneaky, excellent fighter, then you find out the whole point of her is to be mother and possibly wife... eesh-kabeesh. Apparently there are a few more Amber books to go so maybe things improve.

15 July 2007

Movie Madness

So they're doing a movie version of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising... and Chris Ecclestone is it (yay!) but then the online gossip starts going wild... Ragnall will tell you all you need to know about the travesty here.

Honestly. Another one where they changed the English protag to an American?! An evil twin?! Sheesh.

13 July 2007

BFS in 'not in London!' Open Night Shocker!

Hot off the BFS forums - Lee from Hub magazine has organised a BFS Open Night in York for October! Woohoo!

Here's the blurb from himself:

On Saturday October 13th, Hub will be hosting a York-based BFS Open Night - a chance to catch up with all your buddies oop north. Trains to York are regular, and take a little over 2 hours from Kings Cross. Why not make a weekend of it? York is a fabulous place for a weekend break.

The Perfect Venue
The event will be held at York Brewery, which will hopefully put to bed the rumour that I couldn't organise a *&$^-up in one!

A private Brewery Tour will be held for anyone interested, prior to the main meeting. There is a small charge for this (£5, but that includes a pint of their brew). Similarly, anyone who requires feeding can book a buffet dinner, but the brewery (naturally) charge for this, also.

The bar is well-stocked (and not just with beer) and prices are surprisingly good!

What we need to know

We need to know rough numbers of attendees so the brewery know how many staff to lay on that night, so please head on over to: www.hub-mag.co.uk/bfs to register, or to book yourselves on the tour/order buffet.

Dealer Space

Anyone requiring table space for a launch or other promotion should email me with the details as soon as possible - there's not a lot of space for this, so it'll be on a first come, first served basis.

11 July 2007

Musical Weirdness...

... is Shirley Bassey covering Pink's 'Get this Party Started!' I'm still not decided whether it's a good thing or not but the video has a distinctly Bond feel to it and for a moment I was thinking hang on, is the new film out already?'

10 July 2007


So, recently in the news there's been reports of a mummy being identified as Hatshepsut, the first female King of Egypt. Now, personally, this couldn't have come at a better time as my current Egyptology paper is on Hatshepsut (hee! Finally working with current info!) although I was quite amused to read the Mail's take on Hatshepsut. Specifically the retread of the whole wicked domineering stepmother who stole the throne theory. Oy vey. Darlings, that little thing is so passe now!

While you could extrapolate that from the fact that some serious work went into removing Hatshepsut from all the records - chipping her name off monuments, cutting her image off of reliefs, totally missing her off the kings lists... there are still plenty of places where evidence of her can be found (and from all I've read, the surviving evidence is all of Hatshepsut before she made herself King) suggesting that it isn't so much Hatshepsut that was being objected to, more Hatshepsut as King - something which went against all the traditions up to that point.

Not that a female couldn't rule Egypt on her own - there was a queen, Sobeknofru, who ruled solo about 500 years earlier due to there not being any male heir. But she ruled as queen, not king/pharaoh which may be why no one had the a problem with her.

The other irritating thing was the glee the Mail had in announcing that the mummy was that of a fat, bald middleaged woman. What, they were expecting maybe a mummified supermodel? Sheesh. (Mind, really not a fan of the Mail style of reporting, makes me want to hit things.)

Touregypt.com has a better short article on Hatshepsut (written before the recent discovery) and the Guardian reports the recent discovery better, but if you want to read deeper into Hatshepsut then I totally recommend Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh by Joyce Tyldesley.

08 July 2007

So I'm currently reading Anita Roddick's 'Business as Unusual' and there's a chapter about women in business with a paragraph that goes "Corporations as we know them were created by men for men, often influenced by the military model, on complicated and hierarchical lines and are both dominated by authoritarian principles and resistant to change."

Hmm. Don't know about the whole military model thing, but the rest sounds disturbingly similar to things be debated on the BFS Forums.

It's tricky making too much comment about this here, though, as still being on the committee means I'm still in the position to change anything I may have a problem with. Not that I ever manage to do much good, but that doesn't stop the suggestions and 'oi, buts'.

For diplomacy's sake, I'll just say that I agree with Nick C. (Lermentov, on the forums) - I still think we are somewhat static, slow to do things and in absolute desperate need of a massive reworking of pretty much eveything.

On the plus side, I also know we're definitely making movements to fix a couple of things - the website and the publications. There are possibilities on the bubble for events and odd publicity bits but sometimes it just feels like it's going way too slow...

06 July 2007

Well if it's good enough for the BFS...

Ok, so I'm still not entirely sure what to do with the thing, but Myspace looks sorta fun so I signed up... Catch me here

(Yes, I know, I'm cheating a bit with the avatar... no way a photo of me is ever going on the internet... screens everywhere would crack in terror...)
A little more BFS

Yay! We found someone for the boxes! Woot! (Whatever 'woot' means. I'm guessing it's good!)

Also, the BFS is now on Myspace so if you're on it, do the friend thing here
(Of course I have absolutely no idea how the Myspace thing works...)

03 July 2007

Been a while again!

The inevitable BFS section.
News of the day... I'm standing down from Fcon and all BFS related activities as from Sept so once the AGM is done, I'm a free woman! (Although how long that'll last is anyone's guess. ) So at last discussions, Marie & Paul were going to take over as Fcon organisers, with Vicky on registrations for 2008.
Naturally this means the whole thing will run a hell of a lot more efficiently next year. :-> Ah well. Be nice to go to the '08 Fcon without having to work all weekend!

Now all we need is to find who's going to take the many many boxes of old BFS books off my hands... so far, everyone else is staying very quiet... :->

As for Fcon '07. It pootles along nicely. Schedule's been taken down while we rework it. Some people have changed and some times are changing. Won't have the next version ready for another week or so.
And just heard this afternoon that we can definitely have an artshow as we've now got the artboards. Though, apparently news leaked out before we could make the official announcement - this, and other interesting things turned up on the BFS forums... which have done their usual summer heat up. Don't know if it's the thought of awards, the agm or what, but it's always this time of year it happens.
Of course, there was also the inevitable whinging about people on the committee desperately clinging onto power, or some such twaddle. How people come up with these things I've no idea.
At least we've not gone back to the genre bias stuff, for that, small mercies. Kind of surprised gender bias hasn't reared its head though. Must be about time... :->

Oh, and mum's also standing down. (I stood down first! So nyah!) And there's a bit of a reshuffle of committee and other bits going on so hopefully that'll freshen things up a bit.

Other Bits
We now have 3 kittens (yeah, yeah, I'm sure you really wanted to know that!) They're 10 weeks old and total pain in the arses. Why 3? Mum was supposed to come back with 1 and decided that she had to have 2 so they'd be company for each other, then it became 3 when someone didn't pick up one of the other kittens. Oy vey. And she went and got a couple of goldfish last week as well. That and the budgie are getting the kits very excited. Namewise, all my suggestions got vetoed so we're down to Benson (the scraggy grey and white one with a leg fetish), Indie (black and white and the obvious alpha bitch of the bunch. ) and the black one that is mainly being called Izzy, (short for Isis, apparently) but is alternately called fluffball and lampchop and git.

Yeah, alright, enough with the domestics...

Mindless Genre blather
Interesting Dr Who finale last week - like many internetweb peeps I'll just say Tinkerbell! and Dr Gollum! Apart from that, some interesting revelations. Last scene was funny. Shame that incarnation of the Master is gone now cos John Simms and David Tennant played off each other rather well.

Reread King's Skeleton Crew yesterday - my favourite story of it has now changed from The Mist to Mrs Todd's Shortcut. My, that was a fun one.

Ooh, and just under 3 weeks until Pothead day. :-> Yes, I preordered it months ago, and yes, I've got the publishing date marked on my calendar just in case I forget... what?!

More feminist genre links to chew on:
Feminist SF
Neither Doormat or Prostitute
Asking the Wrong Questions