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Aural Delights Nov 2008

The A Bertram Chandler Story UFO is now available as an audio podcast from Starship Sofa Aural Delights No 48






















The Mentor

Oct 1981

The correspondence in The Mentor is quite amusing. Where do all those letter writers get the idea from that I have a thing about naked ladies?

Talking of naked ladies I saw something, this year, at Granite Bay that impressed even me as being odd. I quietly reading one of the novels that I was supposed to be judging for the PEN/Peter Stuyvesant Literary Competition when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw four young people come down to the beach. There was a man, wearing shorts, two girls in beach wraps and the third wench in a frilly bathing costume that was really more of a play suit. She was the only one who did not immediately strip. She went into the sea for a swim, in her hampering clothing. I sneeringly thought, Not one of us.

She came out of the water, removed her wet costume and went clambering, bare-arse naked, over the rooks to find a smooth one on which to sunbathe. And, to judge -by the absence of a "phantom bikini", she was a practicing nudist.

Since I've mentioned PEN I'll write a few words about their Golden Jubilee Banquet and two day Symposium. At the banquet I wee pleased to learn that the majority of the Short List judges saw eye to eye with me regarding which novel should get the $1,000 prize. It was Blanche d’Alpuget's Turtle Beach. During the Symposium I was press ganged on to two panels, the second one, on the second afternoon, being on Translation. It was a well-balanced panel, with equal numbers of writers and translators and of men and women.

Some time later this year I am supposed to give a talk to PEN on Science Fiction. I shall sort of harp on the fact that International PEN's second president was a science fiction writer - no less a person than - H.G. Wells. (Who remembers Wells’ mainstream novels?)
Originally Published in The Mentor No: 34 - Oct 1981