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12.12.03

As Others See Us. In the Washington Post TV Magazine this month, Ronald D. Moore, a writer and executive producer of the new Battlestar Galactica, explains how this production is Importantly Different: '"It's just fleshed-out reality," said Moore. "It's surprising to see because it's not in the science-fiction genre. Sci-fi doesn't usually treat adult men and women as adult men and women, and we wanted to treat them as adults."' But this could just be his way of saying there's more sex than is usual in television sf. Our newshound Marilee J. Layman remarks: 'I must say that all the sex is absolutely gratuitous, but what do you expect from the SciFi channel?'

Disney pulled out of a new $140 million production of Peter Pan, owing to unwillingness to let Great Ormond Street Hospital have any share in profits from spinoff toys, books and games. The London children's hospital controls rights to adaptations of James Barrie's play, with UK copyright extended in perpetuity by a very unusual act of Parliament.

John Le Carré is not afraid to embrace the ickiness of genre and to aver that his novel Absolute Friends is 'a piece of political science fiction'. But much depends on where you insert the hyphen. (Guardian)

R.I.P. David Hemmings (1941-2003), actor and director, died on 4 December following a heart attack while filming in Romania; he was 62. A child soprano, Hemmings played Miles in Benjamin Britten's adaptation of The Turn of the Screw before moving into film in 1954. Genre roles included Barbarella (1968), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (tvm 1981), Equilibrium (2002) and most recently The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003).    Pierre Pairault (1922-2003), French dental surgeon who as Stefan Wul was a cult sf author, died on 26 November aged 81. Le Temple du Passe (1957) was his only novel translated into English (The Temple of the Past, 1973); the animated Fantastic Planet (La Planete Sauvage) is based on his 1957 Oms en Serie. His last novel Noo appeared in 1977.    Gordon Reid, Scottish actor known to sf fans as the megalomaniac computer Angel Two in Radio 4's Earthsearch, died on 26 November at the age of 64.    Bill Strutton (1918-2003), Australian-born author and screenwriter responsible for the 1965 Doctor Who serial 'The Web Planet' and its novelization Dr Who and the Zarbi, died on 23 November aged 85.    Margaret Winch, who with Peter McNamara coedited the Australian sf anthology Alien Shores (1994) and its 2003 successor Forever Shores (published 12 November), died on 22 November. She had been diagnosed with advanced cancer just six weeks earlier.

AuthorsMarket Intrepid web reporter Jed Hartman notes that this site's abuse of unspecified sf writers (for, apparently, being well informed about vanity presses and publishing scams) was rewritten almost before I quoted it in Runcible 106. 'It's still insulting, just in a different way.' See that chap on LiveJournal for further acerbic comments....

Thog's Masterclass. Neat Tricks Dept. 'Mel picked up both my hands and kissed them. His lips were warm. When he laid them back on the table he didn't let go.' (Robin McKinley, Sunshine, 2003)

 


He Do the Time Police in Different VoicesDavid Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Different Kinds of Darkness, a new short-story collection of horror, SF, and fantasy, Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?)

Dave lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add books and Hugos.

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