[See below for previous issues]
The OUSFG Newsletter
Michaelmas term 1996
Since the election of a new committee at the AGM in Hilary Term, there have
been a number of unforseen changes. Yes, for a while it looked as if we
would have a smooth seamless transition from one executive to another and
would usher in a new era in which each committee post was held by a
different person. But we have been thwarted in this aim by the cruel twist
of fate which arranged for two of our committee members to cease being
students of the university within weeks of this new dynasty taking up the
reins of command. Both intend to return to the joys of student life after a
year out and, while Victoria will be a finalist and therefore unavailable
next year, I suggest we re-elect Alex as soon as he returns as just
retribution for this desertion.
The Committee as it now stands is as follows:
Rhiannon 'Allegedly' Barber
Corpus Christi College
- Secretary and Video Rep
Matt 'Punt Hero' Marcus
Ian 'Has anyone seen him lately?' Snell
- Newsletter Editor
Rhiannon 'The Return' Barber
Corpus Christi College
- SFinx Editor
Victoria 'Quong' Seaman
victoria.seaman at magdalen.oxford.ac.uk
- Invisible OUSFG
Duncan 'Piniata' Martin
Christ Church College
- Genital Piercing Officer
Hanbury 'Sir Not Appearing in this Film'
- Beard of OUSFG
Tanaqui 'What happened to spontaneity?' Weaver
INTRODUCTORY FRESHERS PARTY
Meet the committee in all its glory.
Sunday 1st Week (October 13th)
See the new Secretary officially baptised.
- Find out what it's like to be a
shadow of a fish and why lemon curry
is an article of the constitution.
- Try to spot the invisible ousfg and
guess his secret mission.
- Wonder why all the female committee members are wearing red.
- Join the society! You too could be a
member of this elite group
don't miss this unique opportunity.
When and Where?
For this term these will be taking place at Corpus Christi in the Fraenkel
Room on every other Wednesday at 8pm.
Discussion meetings are hosted by any OUSFG member who has a subject that
deserves discussion. They essentially consist of a talk, given by the
member in question which can be anything from Sex and the Science Fiction
Computer (by Victoria) to Hermeticism (by Gideon). There are always a lot
of interruptions, especially if Alec and Ian are present, and the nature of
the discussion can become extremely tangential. But, however random they
become, they always conclude with everyone going to a pub - usually The
Any OUSFG member can give a discussion meeting. Freshers in particular are
welome to do so, since we're rather in need of new blood. (And no, that
isn't anything to do with Vampires.)
Discussion meetings arranged for the first half of this term are as follows:
- 1st Week (16th October):
Mystery Night Strikes Again
- 2nd Week (30th October):
Writers' Circle - Inaugural Meeting
By Rhiannon and Matt
It's been suggested that Oxford is in need of an active Writers' Circle,
therefore this discussion meeting is dedicated to an attempt to establish
one. OUSFG is a speculative fiction society and we may as well write it as
read it given the current consistency of the Library. Writers please turn
up with short stories, sections of novels, poetry etc (all forms of fiction
welcomed) and we'll endeavour to intelligently and usefully criticise. All
exhausted particpants should attempt revivification afterwards at the Turf.
These take place on the Wednesdays we don't have discussion meetings.
They're at Magdalen again, since we still possess an active Magdalen member
among our number in the person of Mr Marcus.
Meet in Magdalen Lodge at 8pm to be conducted to the Video Room.
Video meetings are exactly what they sound like, opportunities/excuses for
members of the society to watch films of a loosely based sf or fantasy
nature. Sometimes the sf connection can be impossible to discover as in the
case of Mr Sidwell's Top Cat Marathon Night, of which the least said the
better. Anything from Doctor Who to Tank Girl is a possibility so nominate
a video today and save the committee having to choose one themselves.
Video meetings arranged for the first half of this term are:
- 2nd Week (23rd October): Hack & Slash Night
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- 4th Week (6th November): Sword & Sorcery Night
Conan the Barbarian
Willow or Labyrinth
These have been decided upon completely at random by this beleagered
Newsletter Editor, for the simple reason that no-one suggested anything
last term despite multiple opportunities for doing so. And if I don't get
any suggestions before the next newsletter comes out I'm going to schedule
'Rhi's Gratuitously Gothed Night with Interview with the Vampire and The
Crow, without worrying that you've all seen them before.
When and Where?
Currently happening on Sundays at 8pm at The Turf. (Pub just off Broad Street)
The reason our library meetings are scheduled to start, and indeed finish,
in a pub is that the library is still in storage owing to our lack of a
librarian. Once we have librarian the library will be made available again.
But library meetings traditionally end up in The Turf anyway (who us?
predictable?) and, if everyone is feeling sufficiently intelligent, involve
interestingly random conversation so turn up anyway and we'll try to have a
Well, somewhat obviously, OUSFG has a library of sf and fantasy books, and
a few other things that we've collected over the years. You can borrow as
many as you like, if a fully paid up member of the society, and return them
whenever you're in the mood. You can also sit in the librarian's room and
read the books there, until he or she decides to go to sleep and/or asks
you to leave, or simply hunt through them for the occasional comments left
by past OUSFG members on the blank pages at the end left delightfully free
for such witterings. Given the quality of some of the library and the
literary bent of OUSFG (and I think I do mean bent) its an odds on chance
that the witterings will be more worth reading than the selected book. At
least until we sort out the library.
These are meetings with an outside speaker. We haven't got any scheduled
for the first half of term but I suggest people read His Dark Materials:
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman because I'm going to try to get him to
speak to us later on this term. It was published in the US as The Golden
Compass (a reference to the 'alethiometer' on the front of the book). It's
aimed for the children's fantasy market here and the adult fantasy market
there - which is a tad unusual. It's also just won the Carnegie Medal,
which is an award not to be sneezed at, and since its an adult novel in the
states might go on to win some of the fantasy awrds over there. Phillip
Pullman lives in Oxford so, as long as there's a reasonable amount of
enthusiasm (and some of us read his book), we should have a chance of
getting him to come and talk to us.
Subjects for Discussion meetings
Due to the severe shortage of volunteers to give
discussion meetings, I am putting out a general request
for subject matter, however bizarre or random.
If no-one wants to give discussion
meetings inthe second half of next term,
suggestions would be welcomed for an alternative form of
meeting to hold.
The OUSFG Library needs a home.
In return for a caring Librarian OUSFG offers free membership for a year,
to anyone willing to look after
the Library during that time.
This library, once sorted and scaled-down, (and this will happen, don't
think it won't, 'cause you'll be wrong) will probably consist of 5-6 large
The Librarian needs to be someone with a decent sized room on college, who
is available to host library meetings from 8-10pm on Sundays.
If someone will volunteer to be Librarian, I promise to try to get some new
books from publishers over the Christmas Vac. Readable books I hasten to
stress. Ones people will actually want to borrow.
Applicants please notify Rhiannon at Corpus or Matt at Magdalen.
Road to Nowhere album
Wanted: music to include on an
OUSFG album which, once compiled,
will be circulated among members.
RPGsoc has a Vampire Mix,
why shouldn't we have an album too?
Road To Nowhere will obviously have
to be included (Freshers - get a veteran
OUSFG member to explain this to you)
that leaves us with at least 18
more tracks to find.
Music suggestions to Rhiannon
and we'll have a tape compilation
evening later this term to create the
tape from the final shortlist.
Thought For The Week
"You don't need to travel if you're
omnipresent, you're already there."
- Mark Charlesly
SFinx is the Science Fiction magazine associated to OUSFG. It
contains original work, reviews and sf-related articles and is currently
edited by Victoria Seaman. The latest issue sould be out in the first half
of Michaelmas Term and submissions for the next one are welcomed.
Please send any contributions, especially artwork to:
Victoria Seaman (Xanadu)
This should ensure its safe arrival. Alternative articles can be given to
Victoria or e-mailed to her at:
c/o R. Barber
Corpus Christi College.
victoria.seaman at magdalen.oxford.ac.uk
First I'd like to stress that this is a newsletter with
actual news in it, and not cunningly concealed news either, open and
obvious news no less. There isn't a competition because I didn't have any
entries for the last one, despite offering the entirity of the Petty Cash,
as it stood at that point, as prize money. There is however a game, of
sorts, to play. So look out for the 'Road to Nowhere' theme tape.
I'd be immensely grateful if someone would actually suggest some
tapes for discussion meetings or videos to watch. Having said that, this
plea will probably go unnoticed, so be warned, if I don't get any
volunteers to actually give discussion meetings I'll start Volunteering
people at random.
New members - (assuming that we have any) as you may have noticed,
the current committee welcomes suggestions and contributions. If you have
any, don't hesitate to state them with us.
The OUSFG webpage is being revitalised
by Tim - so information
should be more up-to-date.
[Actually, the more up-to-dateness is mainly due to Rhiannon
sending me stuff to put here - WebEd.]
We might succeed in including newsletters
[This is obviously highly unlikely]
(which are well known for their quantities of useful information)
depending on how
willing our web-page editor is to spend time on this
and whether I will find any of it comprehensible.
web-page was constructed with much
Please take note of the Lazer Quest item
(below) since we need ten
volunteers in order to field a team and make a respectable showing against
RPGsoc. I know some people play Lazer Quest on a regular basis so, if we
can avoid our usual apathy, we might actually beat them. (Especially since
I'm calling in all joint members on our side - we need you more than they
Volunteers (yes, that's a word that turns up often in this
publication) are invited to contribute to the next OUSFG newsletter.
Suggestions for articles have included a comix review (Alex was going to do
one before his desertion) and a film review. Since we don't have either
column at present I'd mention here that I've succeeded in seeing
Independence Day and consider it to be quite watchable. If you like Star
Wars you'll probably like this - the similarities are uncanny.
And finally.... discussion of computers or e-mail is banned in the
second meeting of every term, a clause of the constitution probably
inserted by our techno-phobic ex-President, so consider yourselves warned.
(Date to be announced)
Not as random as the Fresher's Party, nor as clannish as the
Christmas Ball, this is intended for the benefit of the members
who not only joined at the beginning of Michaelmas, but continue
to come to meetings. It's intended to be a combined OUSFG and RPGsoc party
so we're waiting for RPGsoc to find a mutally convenient date.
The theme (well there had to be one, didn't there) is Non-Humans.
Everything from aliens to the undead is welcome,
but no humans please or we'll lose our licence.
This isn't a society funded eventand you won't have to pay
for tickets. However, because it's not society funded,
please bring a bottle otherwise there won't be any alcohol.
The venue, like the date, has yet to be decided. But it's a cunning way
of testing your allegiance, because anyone who regularly turns
up to meetings will hear the result of the decision
and those who don't, won't.
OUSFG Membership Rates
|TYPE ||PRICE ||DESCRIPTION
|Term ||£2 ||Limited membership.
A scant term as an
|Year ||£4 ||Also limited
membership. One thrilling year
|Life ||£10 ||Membership that
lasts as long as your
|Eternal ||£16 ||Membership beyond the
grave. The undead
can collect their
newsletters in person, those
resting in peace
will have the newsletter
placed on their
grave or read to them by a
|Quantum ||£20 ||Membership across the
dimensions. Be a
member of OUSFG in
every known and
|And introducing, new for this term........
|Inanimate ||£25 ||Sponsor an
inanimate object as a member, or
take it out
yourself just in case. You never
know when you might
be transmuted into an
don't lose your membership
when it happens.
The President of PRGsoc has invited/challenged OUSFG to a meeting at Lazer
We need 9 team members for an
OUSFG v RPGsoc battle at Lazer Quest
in the second half of Michaelmas term.
Defend the honour of OUSFG
(joint members - betray the honour of RPGsoc) by taking part in this
Volunteers contact Matthew Marcus -
Campaign Leader - at Magdalen.
If anyone knows of an OUSFG
member who has allowed their
membership to lapse through
negligence or inattention, please
encourage them to claim
members who have left the
university and therefore can't
be sent things c/o the colleges,
please send me your new address.
Attendance at meetings is not
essential - but if you want a
newsletter I can't send it unless
I know the address.
Yes, it's back!
By the request of Ralph Lovegrove, Context has been revived and is
once again a valid section of the newsletter. Since it has been some time
since it graced these pages and this ancient institution is unfamilar to
Freshers a brief explanation seems to be in order.
Context is a collection of things said by OUSFG members which, when
taken out of context, seem to be more than usually random but, when taken
in context, make perfect sense (allegedly). There now follows a selection
of the immortal words of OUSFG as collected by Rhiannon over last term,
which were deemed worthy by the society of preserving for posterity.
If anyone has a contribution for context, preferably something said
by someone other than themselves, please send it to Rhiannon at Corpus.
- "He'll be experiencing occasional life flashbacks for years afterwards." -
- "I only do it for the G-force." - Victoria
- "You've got to read her the one and smoke her the other." - Rhi
- "No, it's not with the flannel." - Peter
- "If they can't disguise themselves as a horse then they're not worth
saving." - Gid
- "You won't get Tanaqui's grannies in doorways." - Rhi
- "Germans don't use their aggregate words in stress situations." - Tanaqui
- "John the Baptist never said urkle." - Rhi
Here are some newsletters from the ancient and revered days
when OUSFG had cyberpresidents.
'Txixt then and now, while an OUSFG president has been
just the thing if you want to know exactly what is meant by
they are unlikely to be good companions on the infobahn.
Today, we can announce a great step forward:
a literate cybercommittee!
This is just what one would want from the forward-looking SF group
that brought you Sfinx and
the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide to Science
Fiction and Fantasy. Mark my words: in a couple of years' time,
everyone will be hopping on the cybermetonym bandwaggon.
Created: 9th September 1996
Rhiannon Barber and