[See below for previous issues]
The OUSFG Newsletter
Hilary Term 1998
- at the end of this newsletter
(but then you knew that or you wouldn't be here)
- ox.clubs.ousfg (how much more simple could it be?)
Regular meetings are every Sunday and
Wednesday. [The Sunday
book-fest and even-week Wednesday dicussion meetings (oh,
except Wednesday 4th week-see term card), can be found at:
Alex Williams' Room, Old Old Hall 5, LMH. Odd-week
Wednesdays are video meetings, starting with Twelve Monkeys
on 21st January, at: Ruth O'Reilly's Room, 21:10, back part
of Balliol - see the printed termcard for the door code.]
Check the termcard for all
venue/time details: the website will have updates.
Our first confirmed speaker this term is
Most of her books are targeted at children by the
publishers, but this is as pointless for writer and reader
as publishing strictures usually are. Adults love the
sophistication of the novels, while occasionally declaring
them too much for children. We all know how fallible adults
can be... Now there are officially teenage and adult books -
Fire and Hemlock among the former, and Deep Secret (just
Printed in hardback) among the latter.
As always, please submit suggestions
to me, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or why not spoil the traditional
transliteration of "Newsletter Editor" to "Newsletter
Creator" by writing an article? If left to my own devices,
being a reactive rather than a proactive type, I'll continue
to be the irritating instrument of the Core Committee
(Duncan Martin, Eleanor Joslin and Ian Snell).
- for embarrassing the committee;
- for revealing your own grasp of SF before the gathered
gonks of the discussion meeting;
- for videos to be shown
H.K. (Kid) Cliplip Corner
The judges of the Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia
Science Fiction Society have (8th January) announced the
final ballot for the 1997 award. The six nominated works on
The Troika although published by this obscure bunch with the
cool name has had rave reviews from all over SFdom
(including Interzone), which of course is no guarantee of
winning the PKD award.
- William Barton, Acts of Conscience (Warner Aspect)
- Stepan Chapman, The Troika (Ministry of Whimsy Press)
- Susan R. Matthews, An Exchange of Hostages (Avonova)
- Richard Paul Russo, Carlucci's Heart (Ace)
- Denise Vitola, Opalite Moon (Ace)
- Catherine Wells, Mother Grimm (Roc)
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is issued for the year the award
is made, not the year stuff was printed in the States as for
the PKD, and some of the nominees for 1998 are:
- Titan, by Stephen Baxter
- Glimmering, by Elizabeth Hand
- Days, by James Lovegrove
- Nymphomation, by Jeff Noon
- The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
- The Family Tree, by Sheri S. Tepper
Drunken TV-Blubbies (not to be mistaken for Ragdoll's
fiercely-protected Teletubbies, which are paragons of kiddie
heaven): Drinky-Winky, Tipsy, GaGa and Throw. That explains
Third Rock in Third Week
Should you be a sensitive soul, busy shaving the whales and
jumping up and down angrily near Oxfordshire's premier cat
farms, perhaps you should start boycotting Third Rock from
the Sun now, before the rush. The Ark Trust has put the show
on its "Foe Paw" list (and what's wrong with "Fox Paw" all
of a sudden?) for the show where "upon hitting a chipmunk
with his car, Dick has a life-changing experience causing
him to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle, which is ultimately
renounced as an 'insane kick.' " So even aliens who are
notoriously conspicuous by their conformity to ridiculous
parameters cannot escape PC chiding for it. I would have
thought this self-righteous bunch could have congratulated
itself for knowing that banal sentimentality followed by
callousness was wrong, rather than deciding that Dick was
the perfect lodestone for public attitudes. Americans!
Species II was made. Having seen Species (an
last term), I can understand why it has been sold to
television (USA Network) instead of having a showy cinema
The Postman, another addition to the current genre of
several-hours-long films, is not doing too well in the
States, where the gargantuan movie and Kevin Costner seemed
a winning combo. David Brin published a piece in the LA
Times (6th Jan) defending his scenario, which was a bit
sweet for the critics. Obviously they don't prioritise their
toothkits as top Item to Save when the Holocaust Hits.
Costner was reputedly also annoyed that the film was rated R
rather than PG-13. Looks as if Earth doesn't stand an
ember's chance in Waterworld of being filmed in the
from the new Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game: "But if
attrited to the point where desperation becomes an option,
they may decide to take the risk" Hmm. That sounds grim and
In the U.S., B5 Season Five begins today, Wed. 1st Week. In
the Beginning has been shown.
Guest Liar Spot
[placed here to illuminate the above]
'Gravity is an illusion caused by millions of
microscopically tiny ants which continually attempt to drag
you into their subterranean lair.' - Mr. Colin McChesney.
Secrets of a Bond Maid
(A Gorian account in the style of Cosmopolitan)
Smart Girls Get Gor
Haven't you ever wondered whether there was more that you
could do for your lord and master? Or what he is really
looking for from you? From the fruits of my experience,
while all men vary, there are some basic techniques that
will ensure that your master gets more from you every time.
While men do vary and you may have to adapt to a variety of
situations whilst indentured, following some of these simple
suggestions will go some way to ensuring that you provide
your master with a truly quality service.
- Take your time. A man needs to work himself up to the
peak of his powers before he is ready to take you. Men need
to feed together, drink large amount and will often enjoy
combat before they are ready to come to the furs. You
should not attempt to participate in this - your master
needs his space. He needs the camaraderie and testosterone
provided by the company of other men. It is often welcome
for you to aid such gatherings however. Try to indicate
support for your master in any combat which occurs. You
should keep the meat and drink flowing in order to free the
men for rowdy pursuits and bonding
- Obey. It is your masters right to be completely in
control of your relationship. You do not need to make
suggestions or try and steer things and neither should you.
He knows what is right. Also, you should not attempt to
refuse him his rights at any time. Only he can decree when
and where any taking should occur and this is according to
the natural order. You should not attempt to force things
but neither should you be backward. His right to your body
is absolute and you should not attempt to gainsay that or
you could come to regret it!
- Don't get jealous. It is very unlikely that you will be
the only maid in whom your master enjoys taking pleasure.
However, you must remember that men delight in diversity and
need to express their full range of potency. Inevitably
they will find that certain of their desires may be quenched
better in the flesh of another. This is natural and healthy
and you will find that as a result your master will become
stronger and more forceful in his taking of you.
- It is also likely that your master will bestow you
occasionally on guests or warriors who rest in his halls.
Although obviously you would prefer the furs of your lord,
it is all to easy to see this treatment as a reproof on
yourself, suggesting that you are no longer adequate for his
desires. This is not necessarily the case however. By
allowing his warriors to sample your flesh, your master is
in effect boasting of you to them. Look, he is saying, am I
not mighty and merciless. They will judge him by your
quality, and so you should always give of your best.
- It is likely that you will pass the greater part of the
day on your own, or in the company of other bond maids.
This is time which should not be wasted. Talk to the other
girls, sharing tips with them for providing your lord with
what he needs. They may have tried different techniques
which they will often teach you if you show willing to share
what you have learned of your masters desires. It will help
all of you to be more effective in giving him service.
- Keep your body in shape. Your master will get more out
of you if you are well toned and keep your stamina up. Try
to eat sensibly and keep your weight low - your master will
find you more attractive if there is little wasted flesh.
Try to exercise daily, concentrating on toning the thighs
and buttocks. Again, your companions may well have tips on
maintaining a form pleasing to your master.
- You should suggest to your master's steward that measures
are taken to prevent conception. Your master does not
require you to procreate and any pregnancy would render you
unfit to provide service to him. Should problems occur
however make the steward aware as soon as possible and often
the problem can be dealt with quickly and quietly before the
problem becomes evident to your master. This is considered
to be your responsibility and you should make sure you do
not neglect it - don't trust to luck!
This contribution to post-feminist criticism was written by
our Member from the only remaining all-female Oxford
college. She has obviously taken to heart Gorean Master John
Norman's sophisticated take on SF and sex in this decade-old
"As you know most science-fiction fans are still very young.
Most have certainly not reached their full sexual maturity.
Similarly, the sorts of things to which many of them are
attracted, e.g. space ships, ray guns, etc, or, say, magic,
sorcerers, dragons, etc, are quite alien to the Gorean
books, which are, on the whole at least, extremely
realistic. Similarly, the Gorean books are not simple action
novels. They are also intellectual novels, philosophical and
psychological novels. This puts them in a different category
from the average science-fiction or adventure fantasy story...
[i.e.] The Gorean books are written for highly
intelligent, highly sexed adults."
And, as if by pressure, an article appeared...
Greetings, all. I have decided to regale you all with my
impressions of last term, [and I wish he had done this
instead of going off on the tiresome Tanaqui tangent -Ed],
not because I want you to read them, not because you want to
read them, but because such is the command of our great Myr
Weaver. Though last term saw me meeting famous authors (and
stealing their coins, and singing them the 'Fuck Off'
song), increased responsibility for me (invisibility and
librarianship), and even my involvement in the first
inter-OUSFG coupling for some time [and Fred the Spider's
intra-OUSFG couplings: are they not legendary? -Ed], surely
the event with the most far-reaching consequences, not only
for myself but for all humanity was the revelation of the 10
Commandments of Tanaqui Channelled.
Whilst in a completely tranquil mental fugue induced by
rapidly approaching dead-lines for work that was utterly
meaningless to me, I was visited by a Presence. It said 'Lay
down your Fourier Transforms, and take up a pen, and write
the new law.' And lo, I did, and from my hitherto fruitless
pen sprang a list of commandments, handed down from Tanqui
Channelled via the Presence, and made manifest on my humble
These are interpretations of the fact that, though Myr (and
how humble, to take the name Myr when She is the greatest of
all) Weaver inspires reverence in all (sufficiently
enlightened people) who encounter Her, She repeatedly denies
Her divinity. Thus She tells us, with Her whole life as one
intricate parable for our instruction, that we should strive
to be as unlike Her as possible. Here, set down for you all,
as revealed to me, are the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF TANAQUI.
[That paragraph defies feasible editing - not only is it
rubbish about humility, but it's a title conferred on aliens
and the gender-difficult by James Tiptree Jnr. And Myr
Williams uses a gendered pronoun -Ed]
Take heed, ye heathen, for the age of Tanaqui has begun, and
will never end...
H. K. (Kid) Cliplip.
- Just as Tanaqui is forever youthful in appearance, and
sprightly in action, so should we abuse our bodies and
minds, that we may become prematurely haggard and decrepit.
- Just as Tanaqui is obsessively organised, so should we
be haphazard and vague.
- Just as Tanaqui is charming and pleasant to those She
favours, so should we fear Her, and hold Her in awe.
- Just as Tanaqui is outwardly coherent, lucid and
sensible, though technically mad, so should we strive to
present ourselves as wacky lunatics, whilst remaining
- Just as Tanaqui spurns all caffeinated beverages in
favour of her delicately scented herbal teas, so should we
consume tea in vast quantities.
- Just as Tanaqui has two degrees in a subject she loves,
so should we have chosen courses we despise, and remain
constantly on the verge of failing them.
- Just as Tanaqui spends Her many spare hours reading
books for Her pleasure and education, so should we fritter
away our precious time in activities neither useful nor
- Just as Tanaqui loves the cold, so should we wrap up
warmly in coats, scarves and jumpers, and huddle together
- Just as Tanaqui looks with righteous loathing on all
products of the 'bab van, so should we consume such whenever
the opportunity presents itself.
- Just as Tanaqui is a repository of interesting
information on a multitude of topics, and imparts it where
appropriate, so should we seek to retain only trivia, and
avoid imparting that which we do know where it might be
relevant or useful.
Here's something I found on Usenet that was going to make up
a "50p to stop" spot in my talk. It's a cut-and-paste of the
descriptive passages of The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks.
- Mark Boyes
Jamie was a large, brightly lit, ultra-modern control room,
with a slight tendency towards overweight. Beneath the mop
of curly hair, the face was round, full-lipped and sensual,
with a gentle, rather comical face, and a shock of untidy
black hair. He was very much older. He wore the dress of an
old police box materialized out of place. Inside the
laboratory of the police box was an impossibly large control
room, dominated by a sprig of celery...
In his present form he was very kind, in his sixties, though
in reality he was male and she was very fond of him. But he
did seem to have a knack of wandering into the little
scanner screen, almost hopping up and down until it reached
the eminence, unwanted though it was, of Lord High President
Sarah looked thoughtfully at him. At times like this, she
realized she knew very little about the Doctor, who she said
was her grandfather.
They had seen many wonders, and undergone many strange
adventures. Such is the adaptability of the TARDIS. (The
Doctor had brought her a number of rather nerve-shattering
experiences. But despite her initial timidity, she was
female. Probably he just had a rather sheltered upbringing.
There were three people in the mistaken belief that it was
bigger on the outside.
...a very tall, very angry man sprang out. He was wearing an
old black coat, and a shock of untidy black hair. He was
very much older. He wore check trousers, a frock-coat and a
long black tie. He had flowing white hair and an open-necked
shirt. The whole ensemble was finished off with a mysterious
traveler through Time and Relative Dimensions In Space. Then
had begun to seem more and more like a kind of velvet
trouser-suit with elaborately puffed sleeves. Her name was
Nyssa, and she came originally from a planet called Earth.
Inwardly it was slowly coming to a life of Space/Time
travel. Though they still hoped to see their home worlds
again. Nyssa had left Traken after the tragic death of her
time, had had a rather sheltered upbringing. Her travels
with the Doctor seemed to be growing younger rather than
older. In his present form he was very fond of him. But he
He had flowing white hair and a very long time ago, they had
followed her home. To their amazement, they had now adjusted
to a halt.
The Doctor had been a bit of a Victorian antique dealer, who
had lost his life during a terrifying adventure with the
occasional rumblings of thunder. A square blue police box
with a slight tendency towards overweight. Beneath the mop
of curly hair, the face was round, full-lipped and sensual,
with a battered, broad-rimmed hat jammed onto a tangle of
curly hair. An extraordinarily long scarf was wound round
his neck. He shook his fist at the lowering night sky and
shouted, "All right! Come on out! Just show yourselves, I
dare you!" A slender, dark-haired girl followed him out of
nowhere, and suddenly a rather slight, fair-haired young man
and a proud, imperious face, with more than a touch of
ruthless cunning. The three others were more ordinary in
Suddenly the police box was an impossibly large control
room, dominated by a sprig of celery in the TARDIS's
guidance circuitry. Although it could travel in Space and
Time. In return they expected him to discover that it was
all the time to be growing younger rather than older.
This term is Banquet term. This event occurs in 7th week and
you need to book.
Sundays are always library meetings, which seem to have
become "Bring some wine, no matter how dodgy, sugar and
cinnamon are options - & chilli sauce if it's a
particularly harsh offence to viticulture" night, then
Settlers of Catan morning. These happen in HK (Kid)
Cliplip's room in LMH. Technically, that's Old Old Hall 5.
Practically, that's the room on the right of the LMH
forecourt, behind the serried bikes, to the left of the
external stairway, and there's a Hellsoc sticker on the
window to tell you which one is the Portal to OUSFG. We are
not Hellsoc... it's a basement.
- First Week: VIDEO MEETING
Wednesday 21st January: Twelve Monkeys & The
"The future is history", followed by "history is full of
cunning passages". The tagline for the former, as well as
the grafitto of the title critters was irritatingly
ubiquitous at the time the film was released. The latter
tagline is nicked from T.S.Eliot, as this is more your basic
screamy flick, not Gilliam-great.
- Second Week: DISCUSSION MEETING
Wednesday 28th January: Duelling Dualism:
Orson Scott Card Puppet Theatre.
At least, we hope we can force Adrian Cox to reprise this
popular audience-participation show.
Bring a sock or other convincing representation of a famous
author. No marks for claiming that within a Camel
cigarette-butt resides the essence of Michael Marshall Smith
- that was last term.
- Third Week: VIDEO MEETING
Wednesday 4th February: Third Rock in Third Week & Monty
Python: Holy Grail.
The award-winning comedies return by popular demand even of
those who have seen them. A lot.
- Fourth Week: SPEAKER MEETING
Wednesday 11th February, 20:00,
St. John's North Quad Lecture Room:
Diana Wynne Jones.
This term's chance to meet a Great Literary Figure.
Diana last came to visit us back in 1992. Now a fresh
generation of OUSFG, addicted to her excellent realisations
of the worlds' wonders, have ensured her return. Come and
meet the writer revered by Neil Gaiman, and convey your own
appreciation of her genius. A small charge may be imposed on
- Fifth Week: VIDEO MEETING
Wednesday 18th February: Fifth Element in Fifth Week &
Simpsons: Dark Secrets.
This time we will show the Simpsons X-Files parody, rather
than the Simpson Murder Mysteries.
- Sixth Week: DISCUSSION MEETING
Wednesday 25th February: 666th Week "The Occult & Young
People" Xtian Text.
HK (Kid) Cliplip uses this seminal Christian pamphlet to
prove that bad things can happen even to the Saved if they
are immersed as kids or draw fish in the dirt before
reaching the age of majority.
- Seventh Week: VIDEO MEETING
Wednesday 4th March: Seven in 7th Week
& Adam & Joe Show &
We might only show the Adam and Joe parody of Seven, or we
might hold off the Martians this term
- Saturday 7th March
Banquet which should be in St Hilda's about 19.00
- Eighth Week: DISCUSSION MEETING/ TRADITIONAL SILLY GAMES NIGHT
Wednesday 11th March: Eight Doctors for Eighth Week.
Thane of Trivia Mark Boyes expounds upon Dr. Who
until/unless made to play a silly game or two.
Here are some random 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 a metonym,
they are unlikely to be good companions on the infobahn.
And rather more recently...
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 bandwagon.
21st January 1998;
converted to HTML byTim Adye, <T.J.Adye@rl.ac.uk>