Three Monkeys - Ten Minutes : Presidents Page April 2002

The details of Jason Carter's visit to Phoenix have been given elsewhere, but they bear repeating here as this is a potentially very significant event for us. If it works well this time, there is every chance that we will be able to cooperate with Armageddon for other significant media guests in the future. The statement goes something like this:

Jason Carter - Marcus Cole from Babylon 5 - will be giving a talk to the Phoenix Science Fiction Society on Wednesday April 10th at Turnbull House, Bowen Street. Jason appears courtesy of the Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo.

The doors will open soon after 7.30pm. Admission charge is $10 (cash only please, no cheques, EFTPOS or credit cards). Admission is on a strictly "first come - first served" basis. Fire regulations mean that we must limit the number of people who may enter the meeting room.

After his talk, Jason will be available for autographs. Normal autograph policy for Armageddon is that the artist may choose to only give autographs on photographs sold by the artist. We expect this to be the case with Jason. Typically the cost of such autographed photographs is $25. The price will be confirmed on the night.

I started to write this next part of this article the morning after our regular committee meeting. We discussed what we might do for the July meeting. Since it is still March as I write this, I think that we are doing well in the forward planning department. The thing is, we were discussing the possibility of a panel discussion for this meeting. Perhaps we could talk about sex in SF as its a topic not covered at Phoenix for a long time. This may have something to do with the fact that even these days there is not actually a heck of a lot of sex in Science Fiction. Sure, it isn't a devoid of the subject as in the days before the "new wave", but compared to other areas of fiction it still seems rather chaste. Or is it? Perhaps it is just my imagination and staid choice of reading matter. One way or another, it is certainly a topic that merits a discussion.

So now perhaps is a good time to have a chat about the book that I have just finished reading. It is called Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space and it is by Linda Jaivin. Prominent among the words on the back cover describing this book is "erotic". Certainly there is quite an emphasis on sexual acts in this book. Some might say "But then what can you expect from an Australian author". Equally certainly it can quite easily be categorised as Science Fiction. After all it deals with three extraterrestrial aliens who land on their space vessel on earth pursued by another group of aliens. Well sure if you include the fact that they have shape shifted into three hot babes an start up a rock band then it looks a bit silly, but then hardly as silly as a Tom Holt or Terry Pratchett work.

So now I want you to imagine you are in a book store and consider how you might categorise this book when trying to place it on the shelves. It is Australian. It is clearly meant to be humorous. It deals with sexual themes and it has a setting and plot line straight out of pulp Science Fiction. The answer is obvious if you think about it - you file it as Literature. Another couple of topics for possible discussion do suggest themselves as a result of this. First why do so many books included on the Literature shelves have Science Fiction or Fantasy themes these days. Second what does it take to get into the Literature section anyway.

Well actually, I did not really find this book in the Literature section. It had been there, but by the time I found it, it was in Whitcoulls Queensgate's bargain bin section. I am not sure really what moral to draw from that. The only thing I learnt for certain was that the contents of the bargain bins for the various Whitcoulls branches vary to a considerable extent. I was able to find many more worthwhile titles in the Queensgate branch than in the much larger selection in the Lambton Quay branch. There were even a couple of Carl Hiaasen titles at Queensgate. It does not say much for the reading tastes of Lower Hutt if they let any of his works drift into the remainder category.