Three Monkeys - Ten Minutes : Presidents Page July 2000

It has always appeared to me that the most difficult duty of the Phoenix president was the writing of the presidents column in Phoenixine. Certainly comments by various editors and past presidents would indicate this. Personally, I was looking forward to this aspect of the job because I hoped it would give me some incentive to get back to writing. At least I was looking forward to it until I sat down at my computer to write this piece. Even as I write this, it starts to get more difficult.

Over the last year or so, I have made many starts at writing my "Three Monkeys, Ten Minutes" column. Each time I got about one paragraph in and then ran out of steam. I occurs to me that I am writing this without feedback. It would be useful to me if I had any idea what you think of what I write. However, I can probably do without that - I will just ramble on, writing about whatever takes my interest at the time.

Taking this a bit further, there is something where feedback is much more necessary. I am referring to Phoenix in general. The committee are always looking for new ways to entertain and inform us all. If you have and ideas then we welcome your input - you donít have to wait for one of our special "ideas" meetings. Even better, if you would like to organise a meeting then please come and talk to us about it. Perhaps you have something that you would like to do but need some help - we would love to be of assistance.

In the rumors of rumors department, things are getting interesting on the 2002 convention front. By now, you should know that Simon Litten and Annette Bergner have begun planning and even have a confirmed guest. But this is where it gets really interesting - my mystery informant tells me that there may be two other groups interested in putting a bid together. It remains to be seen if these come to anything. What is fascinating to me is just the amount of activity that the possibility of no con occurring has generated. I take it as an indication that there are still a good number of people out there who care about this most important of SF events. Perhaps a bit of a shock was needed to get people involved.

For those of you who have not been involved in running a convention, I can tell you that it is a lot of fun. Even if you just organise one event, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained. Being a helper at a convention or running an item can be a great way of getting involved to a greater extent than just attending a convention. Adding to the satisfaction, is the knowledge that you are filling a vital role. A convention committee can never hope to do all of the things needed to make a convention happen - they need the help of as many bit players as they can find. I suggest you give it some thought.

Book of the month: The Rift by Walter Jon Williams. I have often said in the past that Williams is one of my favorite authors and his latest effort has him close to the top of his from. More of a disaster novel than SF, it deals with the consequences of a huge earthquake in the Mississippi basin. In effect, Williams has looked at the consequences of the great earthquake of 1812 and built a set of intertwined stories about what would happen if a similar event took place in a couple of years from now. At over 900 pages, this is a big book, but it rolls along at a good pace. Last time I looked Whitcoulls on Lambton Quay had a few copies but you may have to wait for the UK edition before it becomes more readily available.

My, but this article seems a serious piece of work. If you want a change of pace, I suggest you take a look at This site houses about 50 web only comics. These are comic strips which do not appear in any newspapers but exist only on the web. This is the kind of thing the web is really go for and there are some very cool strips there. In particular, I recommend that you have a look at Superosity by Chris Crosby. Of course, you should finish reading the rest of the ízine first.