Empire of Earth
Angel of the Revolution
I've put the talk I gave on Saturday on line

Empire of Earth - The evolution of Victorian and Edwardian military SF

Programme volunteers
If you have volunteered to help with programme and haven't heard from me but would still like to take part then please contact me at nik.programme@gmail.com and I'll try to fit you into some items.

Programme participants?
marcus 2013
Way back in the dawn of time I volunteered for a few things on the Illustrious site - I've yet to hear if I'm actually supposed to be participating in any program items. Is there any way to find out what I'm scheduled for, if anything?

Sad news
Sad news has just reached me from Belfast. Last night Al Darragh passed away. He was a fan well-known throughout Ireland and, prior to his illness, a regular attendee at conventions on the mainland.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Al's family and particularly his wife Joanne at this time.

A Book of Condolences is being held in the house. Anyone unable to attend in person can e-mail lannie@kimphieland.fsworld.co.uk who will include it on your behalf. Details of the funeral will be posted as soon as they have been finalised.

[I was asked to pass the word out to fandom, hence the posting here.]

News from TAFF
News from Steve Green at TAFF:

For nearly sixty years, the TransAtlantic Fan Fund has enabled European sf fans to visit and establish contacts with North America fandom, and vice versa.

Nominations for the 2011 TAFF race (Europe > North America) must be in by 18 December and the race itself will run until 12 March 2011, with the winner attending Renovation, the 69th World SF Convention, in Reno, Nevada, 17-21 August 2011.

You can read more about the history, philosophy and rules of TAFF at www.taff.org.uk. Anyone interested in standing should contact me via stevegreen

Delay in rise in membership cost
Here at Illustrious HQ we're happy to be able to announce that, thanks to some careful budgeting and a desire to help keep your costs down as far as possible, we can delay the price rise that was supposed to happen tomorrow until the end of January. The prices will therefore remain at

Adult: £55
Adult (unwaged): £30
Young Adult (under 25): £30
Junior (under 18): £20
Child (under 12): £10
Infant (under 5): £1
Apocryphal: £1

until February 1st 2011.

So if you haven't joined yet you have another two months to do so before the price goes up. You can join directly online via the website at www.illustrious.org.uk or by printing out the membership form and sending it to:

Illustrious c/o John & Fran Dowd, 4 Burnside Avenue, Sheffield, S8 9FR, England.

Hotel Update
There is a hotel update over at http://community.livejournal.com/2011illustrious/3478.html

New hotel liaison
Nik here again.

I'm happy to announce that Richard Cranshaw has agreed to take over as our hotel liaison. He will be handling our future contact with the hotel, and can be contacted at hotel@illustrious2011.org.uk.

I'd like to thank Hayley, our outgoing hotel liaison, for all the work she has put into Illustrious. We wouldn't have been able to set up the convention without her.

Eastercon Poet Laureate
Nik here again.

I am delighted to announce that Illustrious has appointed its own Poet Laureate, Roz Kaveney (rozk), as a Guest of Honour.

Roz is increasingly known for her poetry - her first artistic love to which she returned after a long absence a couple of years ago. A chapbook of her THE ABIGAIL SONNETS has been available in the UK for some time, and an expanded version with other shorter poems is pending from White House in Canada. She is also well-known in sf circles as a critic - a contributing editor on the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy, editor of READING THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - INVESTIGATING FLESH, STEEL AND SPIRIT, and author of SUPERHEROES and FROM ALIEN TO THE MATRIX - and as anthologist - TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN PLANET and THE WEERDE and VILLAINS (with Mary Gentle and Neil Gaiman). Her short stories have received a reasonable amount of praise and she has yet to sell a novel...

In the mundane world, she is known as a critic of things that are not sf, as a cultural commentator, and as an activist on issues around trans, censorship and civil liberties. She is a former deputy chair of Liberty.

Roz will be taking part in a number of poetry-related items and has promised to produce some original work to celebrate the Eastercon.

An apology from the chair
Nik here. I am afraid we made a mistake. I have looked at the contract and we agreed a price without VAT. As Chair, this is my fault, and I apologise for it. I have spoken to the event manager at the hotel, who has assured me that she will look into the situation of rooms being sold cheaper elsewhere but that any room sold cheaper elsewhere will not include breakfast and will require full pre-payment rather than being payable at-con. She has also assured me that they will increase the number of rooms available at the con rate for Thursday and Monday and will address the other issues that have been raised. We'll update the website to make the costs clear, and I'll be checking with the hotel later this week to find out what progress they've made.

Once again, I apologise for the confusion that my mistake has caused, and assure you that we're all working hard to try to put together a very enjoyable convention.

(EDIT: This went out to Facebook yesterday. I'm posting it here to make sure it gets out as widely as possible.)


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