ICSF The History Book

PicoCon 10

Picocon 10 Felix article

An article advertising Picocon 10, which appeared in Felix issue 929 p.11, on 6th March 1992

This Saturday Imperial College Science Fiction society (ICSF) are holding a Science Fiction convention. 'What's a Science Fiction convention?' you cry. I can tell you because I have been to the last two PicoCons and other cons around the country. Essentially a convention is a get together of like minded people. In this case we are the people who saw Terminator 2, Star Trek 6, and Red Dwarf, and read Terry Pratchett and Clarke and Asimov. We are also the people who want to visit space, build hyper-intelligent machines, or battle with the level ten mage after swallowing a bubbling purple potion. Alternatively we take pint in one hand, book in the other, and seek out authors to sign the aforementioned book, or offer the pint.

A usual feature of SF Cons (as they are called) is the Guest of Honour. Usually an author or artist, the guest of honour is persuaded to part with valuable inside knowledge in the form of a 'talk'. Since aeons ago this talk has been bribed out of guests of honour by lubrication with amber nectar. Two such guests who spring to mind are Brian Stableford and Dave Langford. Brian Stableford is a British author of some repute. His long career in novel writing is continuing with the recent publication of 'Empire of Fear' (a book about the bloody exploits of vampires) and the 'Werewolves of London' trilogy. He is also known for literary critcism in magazines such as Interzone and Million.

David Langford is also renowned for criticism, but of a less serious kind. Dave is on the other side of the reader fence. He has won several Hugos as a fan writer (a Hugo is the science fiction equivalent of an Oscar), more than anyone else in the wowrld, as I am led to believe. They will both be giving talks at PicoCon this Saturday, in the Union Building, Beit.

Before I forget, PicoCon will cost four pounds to ICSF members, five to everybody else, which isn't much considering it goes on from 11 in the morning to 7 in the evening.

Apart from the guest authors, there will be an SF trivia quiz. Of course this quiz covers every aspect of real and unreal ife, such as films, fantasy, Dr Who, Blake's 7, Star Trek and so on. (Whose birthday was on the 12th of January in 1992?). You can take part by just turning up, and finding a team to join. Hopefully, we will have a panel discussion on 'Self Criticism in SF and Fantasy', taking things like HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the work of Kurt Vonnegut as a starting point.

And that is about it. If you think you might enjoy an SF convention then come along. I guarantee you will. And if you can't make it this time round there is the National SF Convention this Easter. Illumination will be much bigger than our humble little effort and is partly organised by ex-ICSF chairentities.

(Oh, and it was Hal's birthday.)