CUSFS Termcard for Lent Term 2006

All events start at 7.30pm unless otherwise specified.

Thursday 19 January, 6.30pm Author event: Michael Moorcock Heffer's, 20 Trinity Street
Michael Moorcock will be talking about his new book The Vengeance Of Rome. This is a ticketed event; tickets are FREE and can be obtained from 20 Trinity Street, or by telephoning Clair Goodhead on 01223 568521 or emailing her.
 
Sunday 22 January Discussion: Fantasy on Film New Hall, Video Room
Recent years have seen many fantasy works, old and new, adapted as films - Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Narnia as the most obvious examples. What did you like or dislike about the film versions as compared to the books? What aspects of a book lead to a good or bad film? How do the new films match up to older works, such as The Princess Bride and Labyrinth? How has the flood of big-budget fantasy films influenced public perception of the genre? Which actors / actresses were hottest?!
Come along and talk about any or all of these questions, and anything else you fancy.
 
Saturday 28 January, 8.30 pm The Wake 155 Gilbert Road
And so another year of Jˇmsborg the New ends. Join the Reeve, Companions and other Jˇmsvikingar in our preparations for the New Year. The Jˇmsvikingar purify themselves by staying up throughout the night, helped along by games, readings, mead, conversation, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and probably a fair amount of coffee. Distractions will include being able to actually look at the CUSFS library sale books (so bring money if you might be interested in buying any).
The particularly devout meet on top of Castle Mound at sunset to bid farewell to the Old Sun, which is due to finally wind down at 16:44 on the 28th.
 
Sunday 29 January
approx. 7.30am
Afmælisdagr Castle Mound
The host of the Jˇmsvikingar march, as one, to the hub of the Universe (known simply to mortal folk as the Castle Mound). There, the Reeve, assisted by the assembled throng and a large quantity of mead, raises the New Sun, gives it form, and sets it circling for another year. The ceremony will start at about 07:30; sunrise is scheduled for 07:43.
We will try to organise breakfast for those interested (and still awake!) after the Afmælisdagr. Even if you do not manage to attend the Wake please feel free to join us on Castle Mound!
 
Sunday 5 February Discussion: "The Great White Hope of Hard SF" Pembroke, Foundress Court, room AA24
New SF authors are often lauded as the "great white hope of hard SF". But what is hardness in SF, why might we want it, and how often do authors live up to the description?
 
Sunday 12 February Games evening, AGM and committee elections 155 Gilbert Road
The perfect antidote to Fourth Week Blues. Bring a game, or come and play someone else's. Games old, new and very very silly will be played. There will also be a chance to look through the library sale books. We have several hundred spare SF and fantasy books for sale, so come prepared to grab yourself a bargain or three...
In addition to the games evening and AGM, election of new committee members will be taking place. The committee posts are Chairbeing, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Librarian and TTBA Editor, so if you think you might be interested, contact the committee for more information, or to talk to the individual current officer. Some details of the committee posts are also in the constitution.
 
Saturday 18 February
11am onwards
Picocon Imperial College, London
Picocon is a one-day SF convention, run by ICSF, the Imperial College SF and fantasy society. The guests of honour this year are Ian Watson, venerable SF author and spinner of long tales, horror writer Natasha Mostert, and Mark Roberts, co-editor of The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. Come along to hear their stories, and to browse second-hand book stalls, play games, destroy dodgy SF merchandise (with liquid nitrogen if you're lucky!) and support CUSFS' reigning fish-duelling champion.
Entrance costs £6 for students and £8 for non-students; there will be a CUSFS party going from Cambridge station on the 9:15 to King's Cross (look out for the orange scarves).
For further details - see ICSF's Picocon page.
 
Sunday 19 February Discussion: Dragons! Robinson College, room A13
Dragons are a common element of fantasy works. What features link the ways authors use them, and what things make them different?
 
Sunday 26 February Reading evening 155 Gilbert Road
Bring along a short piece of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (either a (very!) short story, or an extract from something longer - no more than 4 or 5 pages is a good rule of thumb) to scare, impress, or entertain the company. Introduce us to someone new, or convert us to an old favourite. Alternatively, come to listen to what others have brought to read, and be enlightened, amused, horrified, or just confused.
 
Thursday 2 March, 6.30pm Author event: Cliff McNish Heffer's, Grafton Centre
Celebrate World Book Day with fantasy author Cliff McNish. He will be talking about his Silver Sequence and Doomspell series at Heffers Bookshop in the Grafton Centre. This is a ticketed event ONLY. Tickets are FREE and can be obtained by telephoning Kate Johnson on 01223 568551 or by e-mail.
 
Sunday 5 March, 8pm Discussion: "Where have all the empires gone?" Pembroke, Foundress Court, room AA24
SF used to be full of interstellar empires - for many years a galactic empire was the 'usual' form of government portrayed in seminal works like Asimov's Foundation and by many other authors including Pournelle, Heinlein, and Niven. Since then authors of spacefaring SF like Vernor Vinge, Alastair Reynolds, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Ken McLeod seem gradually to be moving to describing a less connected, more messy, world - although some of the societies described by modern SF are arguably quite imperial (consider Iain M. Banks's Culture).
Why have empires gone out of fashion? Indeed, have they? What did we like about them - are they just good fun, or is there something deeper to the attraction?
 
Tuesday 14 March Storytelling 155 Gilbert Road

In days of old, as the nights drew in, the Jómsvikingar would oftentimes gather round a blazing fire to tell stories of great bravery and valour. Each in turn would relate a turning of the tale, and then fall silent and allow another to take up the threads. In time a wondrous tale would be spun, and each would retire to sleep with a tear of regret at its ending.
This will be just like that, only with more spaceships (and less fire). All welcome - even if you don't feel like joining in, feel free to come and listen.
To avoid a swift descent into complete chaos, our Bard has provided the start of the tale, given below to set your imaginations going. There's only one rule: NO TIME-TRAVEL PLEASE. Beyond that, the Universe is your oyster...


"This is Guiding Light, please respond. Celestial, this is Guiding Light. Please respond."

Captain Mayhew listened to his own voice loop endlessly out of the comm as the Imperial Scout Ship Guiding Light pushed on to the last recorded location of the Celestial. After days following its wake they were still unable to raise it. All Mayhew could do was sit in his chair and stare at the space in front.

Behind him a door opened and two officers, Finch and Taylor from their voices, walked onto the bridge. He craned his neck round to look - why couldn't they have designed him a swivel chair? - and saw the glossy brochure in Finch's hands. Marketing for the Celestial.

"It's amazing," she wowed. "Ten swimming pools and three adjustable sub-aqua environments."

"'Adjustable sub-aqua environments'," mocked Taylor. "Still, I'm looking forward to a rest and a good meal on the Celestial."

Even after a week of silence, nobody believed the problem with the Celestial was anything but a comms glitch.

There was a beep. Taylor and Finch looked up. Captain Mayhew stood. "You won't have to wait long. We've got a silhouette, and it's the Celestial. You'll be boarding within the hour."


Last recorded update: 21 May 2006, by Mark Waller
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