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Milford 1985

Photo cheerfully stolen from Neil Gaiman's blog

From Left to Right,Colin Greenland, Neil Gaiman, Dave Garnett, Rachel Pollack,
Garry Kilworth
, Paul Kincaid, Sue Thomason, Gwyneth Jones,
Alex Stewart (AKA Sandy Mitchell), John Clute,
and the late Richard Cowper (real name John Middleton Murry).
The photographer was Lisa Tuttle.

Milford 1985


Scant weeks after my first public appearance as a neopro at Milfcon '85 (guests of honour John Clute, Richard Cowper, David Garnett, Neil Gaiman, Colin Greenland, Gwyneth Jones, Garry Kilworth, Paul Kincaid, Rachel Pollack, Alex Stewart and Lisa Tuttle) I received my First Commission, in the form of a grubby postcard from the Editor of This Esteemed Scientifictional Journal. They warned me things like this might happen after Milfcon.

"Okay, Dave," I riposted mentally, inserting a nice fresh piece of unsullied blank vagueness into my mental typewriter.

Richard Cowper instantly manifested in his avuncular Gravesian role of The Reader Over My Shoulder. "Well..." he gestured expansively. "There are far too many adjectives here. And here's a split infinitive, and you haven't accurately imagined your typewriter which you earlier described as a word processor. Have a glass of wine," he smiled.

"Aren't you going to tell them about the swimming pool," inquired Lisa Tuttle.

"Oh, you mean how I jumped in after John Clute's splendid attempt to decapitate someone with a frisbee? That man's a homicidal maniac manque, AND he gets up at 5.30 in the morning..." I quipped.

"No," she expostulated. "I was thinking of the time I went swimming, and discovered that the whole bottom of the pool was crawling with spiders. Also I think you should mention all those walks we had down on the beach...."

"Not all of us," Garry Kilworth intoned, laying aside his trombone and suspending himself horizontally from a lamp-post. "Garnett swears he never has been down to the sea at Milford, and he never will. It's a matter of principle."

John Clute wandered in, scowling like a bear, then wandered out again.

"What's he doing?" gasped Kilworth.

"Oh, I've mislaid something," Clute lipblatted, wandering in again.

"What?" Kilworth strained.

"Oh, just an entablature of salamanders performing a myoclonic can-can***," Clute interlocuted, wandering out again. "I'm sure it's round here somewhere...."

"What about the time I was telling them about a drug that you snort by sticking a five-foot-long blowpipe up your nostril, then inhaling as someone blows the drug down it from the other end? It's supposed to make you feel as though you've been hit on the nose by a brick, then you drip green snot all over everything for about five minutes; then you have to do it all over again with the other nostril," Gwyneth Jones reminisced, obviously contemplating the tasteful additions this effect would produce on her THIS WAS SEPPUKU t-shirt.

"Yes, and Colin Greenland whipped out his notebook and pencil and asked if anybody knew the name of the stuff," laughed Paul Kincaid.

"Bet you can't make that into a limerick, Neil," challenged Alex Stewart.

"Five minutes," Neil Gaiman retorted. "I did it for Lord Of The Rings, I can do it for that...."

"Do you want your Tarot reading now, Sue?" called Rachel Pollack from the garden.

"Oh, my dear girl, I don't really think that this will do at all," twinkled Richard Cowper. "You set yourself up as a fantasy writer, but look; this report hasn't got a map, it hasn't got a glossary, I admit it's got some silly character-names, but nobody sings. Have a glass of wine."

We also read and criticized a couple of stories.

words superlatively misdefined in a session of Call My Bluff
gleet • lentor

APPENDIX B superlative definition of a forgotten word in Call My Bluff
"Tasmanian god, who instead of creating the world, went out to the corner shop for a packet of fags and was never heard of again."

APPENDIX C a word John Clute didn't know at Scrabble


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