Octopus's Garden

Issue Ninety-Six

9th April 2021

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Sub-editorial

HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own Railway Rivals game. It is a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. It's produced by Peter Sullivan peter@burdonvale.co.uk. It's also available on the web at: http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/.


Round 3 (RR 2473 B) — "Garrett Hobart" — Railway Rivals Map "B" (Lon&Lpl)

JGL black (John David Galt)
3a) (J66) - Cambridge [+6] ; (Wolverhampton) - G18 [-5 B] ;
3b) (G18) - Shrewsbury [-7 B] ; (E7) - D6 - Preston [+6] ;
3c) (D4) - F3 - G4 - Burnley [+6] - J4 [-1 A].
=47+12-12[B]-1[A]+1[A]+16[B]+8[H]=71
AYUP yellow (Mark Firth)
3a) (C54) - Derby [+6] - N15 ; (Bradford) - J4 ;
3b) (J4) - I5 ; (C50) - D49 - Doncaster [+6] ; (Peterborough) - K61 [-8 H];
3c) (I5) - I6 - H6 - F7 [-1 J].
=50+12-8[H]-1[J]+1[J]=54
HJA red (Hank Alme)
3a) (Peterborough) - K63 - Cambridge ;
3b) (J20) - I21 - G20 - G18 - E17 [-7 J] [-7 B];
3c) (E17) - Shrewsbury [-1 B] [-1 J]- B15 - B12.
=56-8[J]-8[B]+8[A]+24[B]=72
BASH sky-blue (Bob Blanchett)
3a) (Wolverhampton) - Shrewsbury [+6] - D13 ;
3b) (L17) - A56 - Derby ; (A56) - Nottingham ;
3c) (Birmingham) - N21 - Coventry [-16 J] [-16 H]- C61 [-8 H].
=19+6-16[J]-24[H]+12[J]+8[H]=5

Rolls for Round Four: 6, 7, 7. Orders to me, Peter Sullivan, at peter@burdonvale.co.uk by WEDNESDAY, 5th MAY 2021.


EDITORIAL - Virtually Conventional

Over the Easter weekend, I 'attended' Eastercon, the British National Science Fiction Convention, being held as a 100% virtual event for the first time. The event was plagued by technical problems, especially with the programming and panel items. But since I'd gone primarily to chat to old friends, this didn't actually impact on me much. The social space was all organised via Gather Town, which pretty much did what it was meant to for me. That said, I do have a fairly powerful laptop - there was no phone or tablet client, and people with older laptops than me reported that their machines struggled with it.

Dixiecon will also be going ahead virtually again this year, and David Hood has all the details at www.dixiecon.com. I have volunteered to help out with managing some of the boards at the convention - probably somewhat less work than at a face-to-face event, in that the Backstabbr platform will take care of checking the players' orders and actually adjudicating. So the human GM's role is mainly focused around chivying the players up and (hopefully) helping them avoid NMR!s

Meanwhile, the grand-daddy of science fiction conventions, the Worldcon, has also just announced its revised arrangements for 2021. As well as pandemic problems, they also had problems with their main convention hotel going bust. They have now rescheduled from the usual August dates to December, and are basing themselves in what was originally intended to be their smaller, overspill hotel. This should work out, in that the 'in-prerspn' attendance is likely to be down on what it would have been in a normal year anyway. They have also launched a new 'virtual' membership, which will give you access to three streams of programme items (not clear if virtual only, or shared with the 'meat-space' side of the convention - possibly a mix of both) as well as all the usual rights of Supporting Membership. The committee have worked through problems they couldn't possibly have anticipated when they bid, and communicated and consulted well on the difficult decisions they have had to make, and hopefully things are now all set for a good convention - whether in-person or on those internet tubes...


That was Octopus's Garden #96, Startling Press production number 392.

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