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BSFA/AHR/Square Pie/Second-hand SF/Movies

  • I attended my first meeting of the British Science Fiction Association (BFSA) last night. Despite the rather corporate - if accurate - name, the meetings are nicely organized pub nights, centered around an interview interview with a science fiction or fantasy author, or other major player in the field. Last night, a journalist and SF-review author from the Daily Telegraph, Andrew McKie, interviewed Gary K. Wolfe, book critic for Locus. The evening doubled as a book launch (with free drinks!) for Wolfe's latest from Beacon Press, Soundings, a collection of his early-90s reviews. The interview was intelligent and entertaining, the atmosphere congenial. My first experience with the group bodes well for future fourth Wednesdays.
  • Five copies of the American Historial Review arrived for me today. I knew I'd paid extra to change my subscription to this side of the ocean, but five copies of the same journal seemed excessive compensation. As it happens, however, four of the copies are intended for other people. Somewhere along the way, one of the piles marked "England" wasn't unbundled. Should I stick them in a mailbox and hope for the best? Is there an internal UCL mail system I could put them into? (They're all bound for the same institution.)
  • Several months ago, I ran across an article observing that savory pies were nudging their way into the UK's upscale food market, after a long history of being generically low-class fare. Last week, I tried out one of the venues which is catering pie to the financiers of shiny Canary Wharf. Square Pie makes a reasonably fine Jerk chicken-and-sweet potato pie, one of a fairly large selection of traditional and newfangled flavors.
  • Is there more than one dedicated second-hand SF/F bookstore in the world? The co-owner of Europe's only wasn't certain. It's a rare, but wonderful, thing to have around this city.
  • I learned last night from someone living in the neighborhood that our local first-run movie theatre has a standing offer: all the movies you can eat watch in a month for a flat price of just under UKP 12. Tempting.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2005 12:27 pm (UTC)
Is there more than one dedicated second-hand SF/F bookstore in the world?
There are a number of people who do mail-order. Particularly recommended are the esteemed and venerable Ken Slater (whose web page is not up to date, but who generally makes it to the main UK SF conventions) and Brian Ameringen of Porcupine Books.
Jul. 28th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I was struggling to remember the name of Porcupine Books...
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:56 am (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendations. I suspect they will come in handy.
Jul. 28th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Of all places, in Binghamton, NY, there is an SF bookshop, The Fat Cat, that sells new but also has a wonderfully sizeable used books collection, too.
Jul. 28th, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
There used to be a store in Austin called Adventures in Crime and Space which was SF/F and mystery. Alas, it has closed down. :(
Jul. 28th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
I attended my first meeting of the British Science Fiction Association (BFSA) last night.

Sounds like fun. When I arrange my inevitable trip to visit you guys, I'll have to see if I can arrange it to coincide with one of these.
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:51 am (UTC)
I think you'd like it. It's halfway between Merrill Collection events and the First Thursday pubnight, a good blend of each.

Also, I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.
Jul. 28th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Wow, sounds like you've been having a good time lately.

I've been curious about the BSFA for a while now - it looked intriguing, but I don't have a lot of spare cash to go around joining things with... you reckon it's worth it then?
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:53 am (UTC)
It's free! Or rather, yes, the organization is joinable, there's a newsletter and probably other perks for joining, but membership isn't required for pub night/event attendance. If you happen to be in London on a fourth Wednesday, come along to the event. There's a raffle to help support room rental. I'm not sure how the finances of membership figure into the whole thing.

You know, I have been having a pretty good time lately - I'd be even happier about the world if I was being more productive work-wise though.
Jul. 28th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
Is there more than one dedicated second-hand SF/F bookstore in the world?

there must be, because there are two here in bloomington.
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:54 am (UTC)
Wow! If there were going to be any anywhere, they'd be in a university town. But still. Two stores selling nothing but secondhand SF in one town is amazing.
Jul. 29th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
i know one of them is SF/fantasy/detective/pulp/comics, not sure if the other one is just SF or not. but still, that's a pretty specific niche.
Jul. 28th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
I have an unlimited card to that movie theatre! be warned though, you have to sign up for a whole year, you can't do it month by month.
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:56 am (UTC)
That's a pity - about the year's membership. Do you think you go often enough to justify it? Or close enough that it's worth the convenience at least? I don't know for certain that we'll still be living right around here in a year, so we'd probably best not commit. Still, it's a nice feature for them to have.
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
Oooh, that bookshop sounds cool. D'you know which tube station that's near? I suppose I could streetmap it, but I'm lazy :)
Jul. 29th, 2005 09:58 am (UTC)
They're halfway between Holloway Road and Highbury & Islington. Directions and maps and things are available on the website if you want to go expeditioning there someday.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )