[See below for previous issues]

Edited by Rod O'Iron

The ashes of the past have fallen, and, like a phoenix, a new committee has risen. She who was both President and Secretary (de facto if not de jure) is now merely the President. The term of office of Treasurer has hopefully returned to a single year, unless there be fools in power. New positions exist, though have yet to be ratified. The results of the elections are here presented.

Jo Charman shil0757@sable.ox.ac.uk
Ruth O'Reilly ball0580@sable.ox.ac.uk
Robin Adams sjoh0619@sable.ox.ac.uk
Niall Harrison niall.harrison@magdalen.ox.ac.uk
Newsletter Editor
Rod O'Iron oneiros@ferret.lmh.ox.ac.uk
Video Rep
Niall Harrison niall.harrison@magdalen.ox.ac.uk
Tanaqui Weaver cen@ecs.ox.ac.uk
Ghost in the Machine
Tim Adye T.J.Adye@rl.ac.uk
Rod O'Iron oneiros@ferret.lmh.ox.ac.uk
Dead Hand of the Past
Alex Williams goblin@ferret.lmh.ox.ac.uk
Richard Phillips richard.phillips@balliol.ox.ac.uk
Beard of OUSFG
Jill O'Reilly o-reilly.dircon.co.uk

The AGM was not entirely conclusive. Owing to the lack of work from the SCCC +, no new constitution was created last term ++, so all amendments from the AGM were to be drafted into the new constitution and presented with it at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held this term.

The SCCC consists of Rod O'Iron, Tom Anderson and Zac Appleton. Of course, Tom and Zac may not as yet realise this....


This term sees three special events. Primarily, there is the Punt Party Panto author-fest. This occurs on Friday, 7th Week, and probably lasts all night. This involves writing the Punt Party Panto to be performed the next day. This is a demanding task, and tradition favours the use of velociraptors. For previous examples of these things to prove absolutely no talent is required to assist, follow the links from the OUSFG web-page at http://www-pnp.physics.ox.ac.uk/SF/ousfg.html. The only problem is, if everyone turns up to write, the whole affair will be madness. So, I'll leave it up to the society at large to decide how to go about it. If necessary, the committee will have to decide who will be involved. Of course, you might not all be mad enough to want to stay up all night crafting a piece of rubbish, so the problem may not occur.

Following the author-fest, there is the Punt Party itself. This invoves punting to Parson's Pleasure (providing the weather is acceptable to everyone except Tanaqui) and eating, drinking and performing the Panto. Everyone should take some part, even if it be a lowly velociraptor in the chorus.

Following the author-fest, there is the Punt Party itself. This invoves punting to Parson's Pleasure (providing the weather is acceptable to everyone except Tanaqui) and eating, drinking and performing the Panto. Everyone should take some part, even if it be a lowly velociraptor in the chorus.

Sunday, 6th Week sees the EGM, with the presentation of the new, improved Constitution. Vote it in, or I'll have to kill you all.


You may all by now realise that there exists our very own newsgroup, ox.clubs.ousfg but you may well not know that there also now exists a web-based archive of the aforementioned newsgroup. Needless to say, this is linked to from the OUSFG webpage, but you can instead go straight to the archive at http://munchkin.magd.ox.ac.uk/ox.archive/ox.clubs.ousfg/
if that is your desire. Note, however, that OUSFG is not responsible for the maintenance of this page, so if it dies, then the Ghost in the Machine can't do anything about it directly.


Right, if you've read through the whole newsletter already, you'll realise the truth of this; I need articles submitted! There's only so much crap I can fill this thing with myself. Given that I'd prefer to release two newsletters per term (as is currently constitutionally demanded) I really need submissions. I am supposed to be Newsletter Editor, not Author so if I had a surfeit of articles, I could pick and choose, and store others for times of article drought. I know there is enough authorial talent out there, so write things for me. It doesn't matter what they're about (although some relation to speculative fiction might be nice...) as long as they're not too long, and not too short. Anything from about the length of this paragraph to a couple of sides of the newsletter is acceptable.


Right, to fill this little bit of the newsletter, I'm going to give a brief rundown of the changes to the current constitution that should be implemented at the EGM.


As I don't know with what to fill the middle of the newsletter, I've decided to run a quiz. There will be a prize awarded, so submit your answers to me, in person, via email or even through pigeon post to Ian Snell, Oriel College. Only members of OUSFG may enter.

  1. In Planet of the Apes, what is the first word spoken by an ape?
  2. Which SF book starts with the line ``There was a wall.'', and by whom was it written?
  3. In how many years has there not been a single Hugo winner for the category of Best Novel, dating from the year of the earliest winner?
  4. What is the primary alcoholic ingredient of a Tom Collins?
  5. In the film Star Wars 1, in which cell block of the Death Star was Princess Leia imprisoned?
  6. Who created the wheelchair-bound Oracle, and how?
  7. Which is the shortest verse 2 in the Bible?
  8. From the outtakes of which film is the footage at the end of Blade Runner 3 taken?
  9. From which film is the quotation ``I care about the gun.'' taken?
  10. What percentage of commercially produced salt 4 is used as a seasoning?
  11. Which book won the 1985 Philip K. Dick award, and by whom was it written?
  12. How many Gor novels has John Norman written?
  13. What is the largest finite number that has actually been usefully conceived?
  14. How many films based on the works of Philip K. Dick have been made to date, and what are they?
  15. Give the next two lines, the poem and the poet:
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
  16. Which author wrote the third Foundation book written after Asimov's death?
  17. What is the average number of peas 5 in a pod?
  18. Which actor voiced the introduction to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds?
  19. How many Godzilla films have been made?
  20. Of what word is this a dictionary entry: n. A servant; a farm labourer; a peasant; a hind.
  21. How many Stormtroopers are apparently killed on camera in the film Star Wars 1?
  22. What is The Stars My Destination also known as, and by whom was it written?
  23. To date, how many novels 6 have received a Hugo award?

Given that there is a possibility of a draw, I should probably set a tie-breaking challenge thing, but I can't think of a good one, so I'll set one if it becomes necessary.

I haven't yet decided what the prize will be, but I shall partially leave that responsibility to the winner. I shall be taking suggestions from anyone with a potentially winning score.

The final entry date is Saturday, 4th week, so you can give the answers to me at the Bonus Video Meeting, or email them to me before it, or pigeon post them to me in plenty of time. Any entries received later than this will be ignored.


We have two authors this term, which you'll know if you've skipped straight to the back to check the termcard. One of these is Juliet McKenna, an old OUSFG member who has just released her first novel, and having read her book myself, I'd like to say that it is very fine indeed. Of course, I'm probably a little biased because I tend to like a lot of fantasy novels, but this is a good example of well-characterised writing. Too much fantasy has an over-powering setup, and too many all-powerful figures swanning around, showing off. You might take Gor novels as an example, or you might prefer not to. However, in The Thief's Gamble, the characters aren't super-human, and have interesting personalities. The story takes a few twists, some of which seem inadequately explained, but the world in which it takes place appears surprisingly well thought-out. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Juliet McKenna doesn't live too far away from us, and it's entirely possible she could turn up to other meetings if she likes us well enough. I, for one, think this would be a good thing, so I encourage you to treat her well, and not abuse her too much +. Luckily, Tanaqui likes the book too, and as she is the person most likely to moan too much about things, everything should go well.

Our other author is John Clute. He is probably most well-known for his editorship of the Multimedia Encyclopedia ++ of Science Fiction and Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia ++ and his co-editorship of the Encyclopedia ++ of Science Fiction and the Encyclopedia ++ of Fantasy, the last three of which have all won Hugos. So, he should certainly have an encyclopædic knowledge of the genre, and should be able to answer most reasonable questions. I trust OUSFG to come up with plenty of unreasonable ones.


Here is a brief summary of our locations this term. If you need to know more, please contact a member of the committee.

Niall's room
No 1, Longwall Street--Ring the bell to the far left of the three.
Ruth's room
Tower 3, room 7, Balliol's Jowett Walk building--The front door code is T55135T, and the code for the door to her staircase is 5241.
More specifically, Oriel's JCR annexe--Through the first two quadrangles of Oriel via the far right hand exits as you turn left out of the Porter's lodge, and it's on your right as you enter the third.
More specifically, Magdalen JCR TV room--Take the second right from the Porter's lodge, follow the cloisters round to the right until you get to some big stairs on your right, and it will be up another staircase roughly in front of you and to your left.
Not a room, but we don't yet know from where we shall be punting. It will possibly be St Hilda's, but we'll do our best to let you know.
Parson's Pleasure
Again, not strictly a room, but we shall be punting here. For those who miss the punts, go along the cycle path at the end of South Parks Road, and over the first bridge. Go through the gate to your left, and walk along the path parallel to the cycle path until you reach the second bridge. There will you find Parson's Pleasure.

Ensure you remember the odd times and places for these. We have a lot of Mysterious Cities of Gold, and we may not be able to view it all even though we are starting early. We have seven episodes of Reboot, so if we dither our usual amount before starting, we'll seamlessly end up in the EGM. Food might be necessary, however, so it might be worth starting the videos on time.

Sunday, 1st Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 1st Week
Speaker Meeting : Robin Adams ``Church of the SubGenius''--8pm, Ruth's room
Sunday, 2nd Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 2nd Week
Video Meeting : Deep Rising and Deep Impact--8pm, Magdalen
Sunday, 3rd Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 3rd Week
Author Meeting : Juliet E McKenna--8pm, Oriel
Sunday, 4th Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 4th Week
Video Meeting : Men in Black and Devil's Advocate--8pm, Magdalen
Saturday, 4th Week
Bonus Video Meeting : Mysterious Cities of Gold--2pm, Ruth's room
Sunday, 5th Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 5th Week
Author Meeting : John Clute--8pm, Oriel
Sunday, 6th Week
Bonus Video Meeting : Reboot, segueing into the EGM--4pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 6th Week
Video Meeting : Screamers and Total Recall--8pm, Magdalen
Sunday, 7th Week
Library meeting--8pm, Niall's room
Wednesday, 7th Week
Speaker Meeting : Mike Froggatt ``Fascism and Hippy Trippy Communes in Spaaaaaace!!''--8pm, Ruth's room
Friday, 7th Week
Punt Party Panto all-night author-fest!--8pm, Ruth's room
Saturday, 7th Week
Punt Party!--12pm, punting out to Parson's Pleasure
Sunday, 8th Week
Silly Games Night--8pm, Ruth's room
Wednesday, 8th Week
Video Meeting : Cube and Sphere--8pm, Magdalen

Some Old Newsletters

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 (if rather intermitently)... 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.