The Leafie invasion of Adelaide

A French group, Le Phun, created a hundred of these sculptures for WOMADelaide.

“The innovative theatre company from Toulouse combines the reality of the everyday with the creative world of the imagination. Their beguiling, ephemeral Leafies (Les Pheuillus) – plant sculptures born from autumn leaves, in human form – will appear and migrate to unexpected places in Botanic Park during the festival, as a reflection on the poetic aspects of nature.”

I didn’t make it to WOMADelaide this year, but soon discovered that the leafies had escaped the Botanic Park and started to show up in unexpected places around the city of Adelaide. 

I was startled to see a strange figure at the base of the staircase to the tea rooms in the Adelaide Arcade.… Read the rest

Phantasmagoria

On the 150th Anniversary of one of Lewis Carroll’s lesser known works.

Phantasmagoria is Lewis Carroll’s longest poem, weighing in at 140 verses with five lines per verse, as opposed to The Hunting of the Snark, which has one more verse but in which each verse consists only of four lines. All things considered, I prefer the Snark, but Phantasmagoria has its own charms.… Read the rest

New thoughts on new Who

The thirteenth Doctor, season 11, where to start?

The crushing disappointment that leads to almost suspicion concerning the motives of the BBC? The sheer nastiness of the head-rearing of the more unpleasant fans? The viewing figures that are widely varied depending on who is reporting them?
The taking over of official reporting by a personality who obviously finds classic Who so mind numbingly slow, that with breathtaking insouciance announces that she watches it at 1 1/2 speed, seemingly ignorant to the fact that this feels like a slap in the face to a lot of us, making this fan, at least, feel like a sad old geek for the first time ever?Read the rest

Aelita, Queen of Mars

Jennifer looks at a classic Russian SF film…

Aelita, Queen of Mars (1924) is billed as being the first Russian science fiction film. It was directed by Yakov Protazanov. A silent film, it was screened in Melbourne recently, thanks to the Australian National Film and Sound Archive, with a new musical score presented live by The Spheres, who are an experimental AV ensemble who explore the conflux of sound art, post rock and silent cinematics.… Read the rest

Crowdsourcing and SF Projects

A few years ago, a colleague and I had the cunning plan of supporting a new crowdfunded project every two weeks. We’d get cool stuff, it wouldn’t cost too much, and we could support creators – in particular, in my case, those involved in SF projects. I don’t know if she ended up continuing with the project, but looking back on my own activities it seems that I’ve managed to keep the desired average right where we’d planned, so that’s something.Read the rest

Trip to Peters

Part Three of Roman’s report on the trip to the Finnish Worldcon, wherein he visits the Winter Palace and catches up with various fannish types back in London. [Note: click on small images to view full sized]

It was Tuesday morning of the 15th 
of August that I checked out of my Helsinki hotel and walked the four blocks to Central Station, arriving at 11am, in time to change some currency, grab some breakfast, and board the 11:40 Allegro train to St Petersburg.… Read the rest

Flight to HEL

Part 2 of Roman’s report on the trip to the Finnish Worldcon, wherein he catches up with various fannish types and some unexpected encounters

Tuesday in Helsinki: Aug 8th

I caught the 11am flight with FinnAir to Helsinki, then the train to Central station, and a short walk to the hotel I was staying at, the Original Soros Presidentii. It had been recommended by Alan Stewart, and several other Melbourne fans (Perry, Robyn, Rose) were staying there, as were Spike and Tom.… Read the rest

An investigation into pop culture fandom

Stuart A Blair wrote about competing Star Trek shows in the first issue; this time he has a look at the sub-cultures of fans that dedicate their lives to the celebration of their favourite hero.

2016 marked anniversary celebrations for a lot of the classic pop culture TV shows that many of us have grown up watching as adolescents or have discovered via re-runs or on DVD.… Read the rest

Ridley Scott’s Alien movies — an appreciation

When David commented that the three Ridley Scott Alien movies made a fine trilogy, Roman suggested he might like to expound further.

I first saw Ridley Scott’s movie Alien in London in 1979,
not long after it was released. We were on our way back home from the Worldcon, which had been held in Brighton that year. Filling in time before we had to head to the airport, we went to see the movie, which had been talked about a good deal at the convention.… Read the rest

Three days, two communities

Leigh Edmonds is a long-time SF fan with a keen interest in fanzines; we were lucky to score this convention report.

Like most people, I imagine, I live in more than one community. There is work, where I live, family and the people I chose to associate with for fun. They form a kind of boolean diagram of my life in which many of the facets intersect and others do not.… Read the rest

A Trip to HEL

Last year, Roman went overseas to attend the WorldCon75 in Helsinki, amongst other things…

It was in February that i decided that I was going to the world con in Helsinki. Rather than flying direct to Finland, I thought I’d go via London so as to catch up with friends. I also decided — about a month before leaving — to make a side trip to St Petersburg.Read the rest

Fandom isn’t just a Goddamned Hobby

Hi, my name’s Lynelle and I’m a New Zealand fan. I’ve attended most conventions in NZ since I joined fandom, been to one worldcon (1999) and visited Melbourne’s natcon scene too.

I was recently asked to describe how I got into fandom, and what I do within it. Well…the first is easy.

My boyfriend (now husband) took me to my first SF convention in 1993, six months after we started dating.… Read the rest

Margaret Cavendish and The Blazing World

A look at the 17th centenary SF writer, Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, based on a 2017 talk given to the Critical Mass SF discussion group.

Virigina Wolfe in 1929 wrote of Margaret Cavendish:

What a vision of loneliness and riot the thought of Margaret Cavendish brings to mind! as if some giant cucumber had spread itself over all the roses and carnations in the garden and choked them to death.

Read the rest

The Sustainability Drinks Affair

“Hey”, said Trish, “guess who the speaker at the November Sustainability Drinks is! Ben Heard.”

“How Curious!” I replied. Sustainability Drinks is a monthly gathering of people interested in sustainability, held at my local pub, The King’s Head. Ben Heard is a PhD candidate at Adelaide, and an aggressive advocate of nuclear systems. … Read the rest