Keeping Up with Down Under

I was finally able to resume trading fanzines with the Melbourne Science Fiction Club and get them to send me Ethel the Aardvark. I have been looking forward to receiving this paperzine, foremost because there is no alternative – the club doesn’t post it on the MSFC website.

Opening my first copy, the April/May issue, I searched for important Australian news stories I could break and steal a beat on my blogospheric competitors. There was nothing too earth-shaking, though I’m sure members are happy that that Shaun Tan will be the guest of honor at the club’s mini-con on Saturday, May 17.

Don’t assume from what I’ve just written that MSFC doesn’t do its share of interesting things online. I highly recommend the MSFC LiveJournal, where they discuss fascinating pasttimes like the game fans played at the March meeting:

The Man Who Melted Jack Dann is the name of a word game inspired by Jack Dann’s book The Man Who Melted (1984). The aim of the game is to place the writer’s name in front or behind the title of one of the writer’s book and see if you get a funny sentence. Extra credit is given for shifting a word’s part of speech entirely, or appropriating part of the name as part of the sentence or phrase.

For example Two Sisters Gore Vidal, The Joy of Cooking Irma S. Rombauer, Captain Blood Returns Raphael Sabatini, Flush Virginia Woolf, Paradise Lost John Milton, Clans of the Alphane Moon Philip K. Dick and Contact Carl Sagan.

Or indeed, Jack Dann’s Dreaming Again.

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3 thoughts on “Keeping Up with Down Under

  1. Oh, they were just describing the game, not claiming they invented it. I’m the one who needs to catch up on my reading….

  2. Wait, I didn’t mean to imply that we invented it, either–I think that honor falls to Gardner or somebody. I was just struck by the word-for-word similarity of parts of their LJ post to our ancient web page on the game, and the fact that a rather large number of the examples they give were in fact originally invented by our readers.

    Really, no harm done; this is how culture works and all that. I merely Cock An Eyebrow. Benignly.

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