Of cons, and robots, and foxes

The cover this issue was snapped by Roman on his phone camera, slowly removed from a coat pocket, focussed and taken without scaring off the curious fox checking out the bucket at Joseph & Judith’s allotment. This issue unexpectedly covers the themes of fans, fanzines and conventions. And how to build robots!

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Editorial

Tweaking the design

Roman: As we mentioned last issue, one of the reasons we’re producing an online ’zine is to experiment with the possibilities of time-based media. Adam’s article this issue includes some videos of robots in action, and I’ve added a snippet of acrobatic Angels from Womadelaide.

We’re pleased to have some more pieces from Lynelle Howell and David Faber this issue, and a fairly lengthy article from longtime fan Leigh Edmonds. I caught up with Leigh at Continuum 14, where he was furiously taking notes during the Zine panel.

Articles

Lessons Learnt from the First Robotics Competition

Adam Jenkins

Robots are inherently cool. Accordingly, I’ve long wanted to build robots, but until a few years ago I wasn’t making any progress. The big problem for me (other than cost) was the skills required. Robot construction requires a mix of mechanical engineering, electronics and programming. The third I could do, but the first two were much more of a challenge.

Three days, two communities

Leigh Edmonds

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. In my life there are two interests that barely overlap, except for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend when there is an sf convention and a scale model Expo in Melbourne at the same time.

A Trip to HEL

Roman Orszanski

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. The difficulty of obtaining a Russian VISA was legendary, but I wanted to catch the high-speed train from Helsinki to Finlandia station. After all, what better way to mark the centenary of the revolutions than to arrive in St Petersburg by train?

Fandom isn’t just a Goddamned Hobby

Lynelle Howell

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. I had fun, I found people I had things in common with. I discovered that I’d been a closet fan for years, and now was the time to get out of there.

Reviews

Red Sparrow: the Book.

Roman Orszanski

I thought I’d read the novel before seeing the film. (Red Sparrow is just the first novel in a trilogy)

This novel is by an ex CIA agent, so we would presume the spycraft is accurately described. There’s an interesting touch: whenever some dish is mentioned in the text, there’s a recipe at the end of the chapter, should the reader wish to try and replicate the dish.

Will the Sparrow fall?

David Faber

Red Sparrow (2017)
Director Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence

This may well be the best Hollywood propaganda film made since Hitchcock’s North By North-West during the First Cold War. It comes as no surprise then that it’s based on a 2013 novel by former CIA operative Jason Mathews. Spies never retire so they say, and as a writer Mathews would appear to vindicate this saying. Certainly, the CIA is portrayed in this film as a terribly nice outfit, which fights for human rights and the individual and even responsibly admits to being occasionally naughty in the fight for good against evil.

Salvation

Adam Jenkins

Salvation, a US science fiction thriller TV series filmed in Canada, is a surprisingly enjoyable yet odd show. It starts with Liam Cole (played by Charlie Rowe), an MIT student who discovers an asteroid that is due to collide with the earth, creating an extinction-level event that will destroy all of humanity.

The Craft Sequence, II

Roman Orszanski

Roman continues his look at Max Gladstone’s Craft sequence, looking at books four to six.

Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation—especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods’ decaying edicts. As long as the gods’ wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city.

Going Solo

Roman Orszanski

Set before Episode 4, this is a story of a young Han Solo: how he escaped poverty in a kid gang, deserted from the Navy, met Chewy and joined in a train heist. New actors play characters we’ve met later in their  lives, and they do an excellent job.


Opinion

Impressions

David Faber

Colours of Impressionism:
Masterpieces from the Musee D’Orsay
Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace Adelaide
Open until 29/7/2018

It is something of a cultural miracle that we in Adelaide are privileged to view these paintings from Paris. As the title suggests, the exhibition is aesthetically colour co-ordinated. Descriptive panels inform visitors about the colour theories and science and the critical interpretations which swirled around the Impressionist school of painters, so called polemically by critic Louis Leroy (1812-1885) after the title of a painting exhibited in 1874 of an impression of sunrise by Claude Monet.


colophon

This is an electric wild-goose production. This fanzine is (c) 2018 by the editors, Adam Jenkins and Roman Orszanski. Copyright reverts to the contributors upon publication. Issues will first appear on wild-goose.net, to be followed in due course by a downloadable issue for local viewing.
Contact the editors via email: editors@wild-goose.net

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