Hello, and welcome to the extremely overdue third newsletter for the
Phoenix Convention! Real life, sadly, has a habit of getting in the
way of conrunning, and the fact that I have now got a fulltime job
means I have even less time than I used to to do all the writing I
used to do. However, all is going according to plan otherwise,
although I was unfortunate enough to have a pair of break-ins here in
the flat, during one of which an amount of money belonging to the
convention, which I foolishly still had there, rather than in a bank,
was taken. To an extent we managed to make this up by holding a
table quiz, but as we were going to hold the table quiz to help make
money for the con *anyway*, we are still a bit shorter than we would
have been. However, a number of people have been very kind indeed,
and gave us money for no other reason than that they wished to help
out, so we are more or less on track still. Now, onto the news…
We are delighted to announce another guest for the convention, this
time in the person of Gerry Hunt. Gerry is the writer and artist of
a recent Irish comic called In Dublin City which has received a lot
of attention recently. He has already completed a second work, which
is also to be published by Atomic Diner, the Dublin based comic
company which published In Dublin City,’ and is already finding
himself inundated with offers of other work. Gerry will, along with
fellow guest Colmán Ó Raghallaigh, give us some insight into the
Irish comics scene.
Our congratulations must go to convention guest Charlie Stross, who
recently got married to long-time partner Feorag. We wish them both
much happiness. Hurray!
While I’m congratulating people, I should mention Diane Duane, who
has just won the Anne Spencer Lindbergh Prize in Children's
Literature for outstanding contribution to children's fantasy
literature, for her Young Wizards series. The commendation said,
"The Committee congratulates Diane Duane's Young Wizards series for
its courage in tackling moral and emotional issues set on the
frontiers of magic. In addition, the author's diverse worldview
enhances the appeal of the series."
The last time I met Diane, when we had sushi with herself and her
husband Peter Morwood, she was telling me that sales of her Wizard
books had picked up since the Harry Potter books came along. A
rising tide lifts all boats, all the same.
PROGRAMMING & PROGRAMME BOOK:
We are about to start working on the convention programming, as well
as on the conventions programme book. We are fortunate to have the
assistance of David Stewart and Julian West with the programming.
David is well known in Irish SF circles, having been involved in con
running for a number of years, as well as being the author of ‘SF in
Ireland,’ a roughly monthly electronic newsletter, which you can
subscribe to by going to SF In Ireland website and
putting your address in the box.
Not only that, but David is also
the Irish agent for the 2005 WorldCon, to be held in Scotland. I’m
hoping he’ll write something for us about this for the programme
book, as well as take some time during the programming to tell us
Julian, meanwhile, is the winner of the 2002 James White
Award, with the excellent short story ‘Vita Brevis Ars Longa,’ which
he has given us permission to reprint in the programme book. We hope
to have information on the James White Award in the programme book,
as well as the now annual National Novel Writing Month event, which
takes place all through November.
More information on the James White Award can be found at the James White Award website
and the National Novel
Writing Month can be found at www.nanowrimo.com .
about the programming will be put on the con website as it
progresses. We are, however, always open to further suggestions and
panel ideas. We have already noted that this year marks a number of
anniversaries, from the centenary of the birth of George Orwell to
the fortieth anniversary of Dr Who & the Daleks, not to mention a
half-century since the discovery of the DNA double helix, and the
25th anniversary of the birth of the first test-tube baby. All of
these things are grist to our mill, and we are also planning
something to do with swords, and possibly even a demonstration and
workshop on Tribal Belly-dancing, along with much else.
As well as the announced guests at the convention, we have a few
other people who are attending the convention who will be appearing
on panels. Amongst their number is New York-based American authoress
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, who will be in Ireland for a holiday, and is
visiting the convention during that time. Danielle has one book
published so far, ‘Yesterday's Dreams,’ and you can find more
information about her at www.sidhenadaire.com.
attending the convention will be the entire editorial staff of Albedo
1, Ireland’s award-winning SF short story & interview magazine. More
about Albedo 1, and about Bob Neilson, John Kenny, Roelof Goudriaan &
Dave Murphy (the afore-mentioned editors) at the Albedo 1 website.
CRAZY DOG AUDIO THEATRE:
One group of guests that we are particularly pleased to have at the
convention are Crazy Dog Audio Theatre. Although Crazy Dog Audio
Theatre has a large floating membership, the main mover behind it is
Roger Gregg, an Americanborn actor and playwright. At the
convention Roger, ably assisted by his two longstanding henchmen,
Morgan Jones & Dave Murray, will be performing a sort of Star Trek
spoof improvisational comedy routine, something they’ve done at a
number of previous Irish conventions, including Timewarp, the huge
Trek convention held in Malahide almost a decade ago.
Dog Audio Theatre have just finished recording an excellent six-part
radio series for RTÉ, the national Irish broadcasting service. The
series, called ‘Beyond the back of Beyond,’ is currently being
broadcast on RTÉ radio 1, and can be heard over the web. More
information about this at the RTÉ Crazy Dog website, or
at Crazy Dog's own website, www.crazydogaudiotheatre.com.
this, but the afore-mentioned Dave Murray is currently involved with
the filming of ‘King Arthur,’ starring Clive Owen in the title role,
which is being shot in Ireland this summer, and which had a release
date of December 2004. More information about that by clicking here.
THE WEDDING GIFT:
Juliet E McKenna, who, as well as being a guest at the convention, is
one of the committee’s favourite people, has just published a
portfolio called ‘The Wedding Gift,’ which is a continuation of her
‘Tales of Einarinn’ fantasy series. This came about as the result of
a conversation in an Aberdeen pub one evening, and before she knew it
she had a stunning collection consisting of a forty page original
story, together with six A3 black and white prints showing the
characters from the series in scenes from the tale. The artwork for
the pictures is by Artwork contributors are Jock, Steve White, Staz
Johnson, James Hodgkins, Mike Collins and Andy Hepworth, and it's
available in a numbered, limited edition of 1000 copies. More
information from Juliet’s website or from the article on
The Alien Online we lifted all of this from, which you can find by clicking here.
We were out near the Ashling Hotel recently, for other reasons, and
we notice that the Luas works, to put in a light rail system
throughout Dublin, runs along the road directly outside the hotel.
Hopefully this won’t be a disruption, however, as there never
actually seems to be anyone working on it…
If you want to put up a little information about yourself, you can do
so on the profile page attached to the membership listings. Go to the
Members Profiles section to find out
more about this.
If any of you want to link to the convention, we have some nice
banners, which you can get sent to you by dropping a note to our
webmaster Ian, on the site’s Feedback Form
If any of you feel you might be foolish enough to want to contribute
to the convention’s programme book, them write back to me or use the P-Con website feedback form.
If you think any of your friends would like to come to the con, don’t
be reticent about telling them about it! P-CON need members!!
Just before we sent out this newsletter, we got this from Diane
Peter Morwood and Diane Duane have turned in their four-hour
live-action miniseries "The Ring", a retelling of the
‘Nibelungenlied,’ to Tandem Communications in Munich. The miniseries
starts principal photography in mid-September 2003 in South Africa,
with Uli Edel directing. A shorter theatrical version of the
miniseries will be released in the UK in early 2004. (The present
title will probably be changed to avoid confusion with a recent
Diane & Peter are guests at P-CON, and we’ll get them to tell us all
about it there. Seeing as Peter has promised to bring along some of
his swords to the con, he may even demonstrate some of the more
energetic scenes for us…
I wanted to say a particular thank you to guests Steve Westcott and
Juliet E McKenna, who went above and beyond the call of duty by
sending me copies of their books to raffle at the recent quiz, to
help to recoup the money lost during my break-in. Thanks, guys.
This meant a lot to me. Thanks again to everyone who helped out at
the time. We’ll buy you all a drink at the con!
Pádraig Ó Méalóid