Talking about L. Ron leads us to Aleister Crowley...
"Well, my father met him in the second world war. He was living in Richmond. My father loved poetry, and he considered Crowley to be one of England's greatest poets. And Crowley was. He was full of satanic bullshit, and nobody would ever take his poetry seriously. He was his own worst enemy. When my father met him, he never, ever spoke about black magic, just about poetry."
And Robert Rankin has Hubbard and Crowley appearing in his books...
"Well, there are characters related to them. You have Brian Crowley in The Antipope, and L. Ron Hubbard the 23rd in Armageddon."
There was much more discussed that evening, but sadly we don't have the space to relate it all here. However, there was one unanswered question that must be burning through the minds of all fans of the Brentford books - Why doesn't Omally have an apostrophe after the "O"? And why doesn't he have an "e" before the "y"?
"It's too much of a hassle typing it, that's why. You have to keep going into upper-case and lower-case. I couldn't be bothered with it really. The trouble is, a lot of people think the name is pronounced `Ommally'."
It was then suggested that if Mr. Rankin used a word processor he'd have no trouble with that...
"Well, in future editions of the book they could just stick the apostrophe in."
This was agreed by all to be a good move, because then our copies of the books will be worth a lot of money.
Many thanks to Robert Rankin for spending the time with us, and for buying us drinkies, and for answering our sometimes inane questions. He has expressed an interest in attending Octocon '91, and there's no better reason for attending the convention than meeting this most entertaining of guests.