My New Year's resolution not to plug Langford books here was resolutely
maintained until 3 January, when Sean Wallace of Cosmos told me that my 36-story
Kinds of Darkness was now available.... Whoopee!
Philip K. Dick Award shortlist for 2003 US paperback originals: M.M.
Buckner, Hyperthought; Mark Budz,
Clade; Jane Jensen, Dante's Equation; Richard K. Morgan, Altered
Carbon; Chris Moriarty, Spin State; Ann Tonsor Zeddies, Steel
Helix. Winner to be announced at Norwescon on 9 April.
The Arthur C. Clarke Award is on the move, since its now traditional
venue the Science Museum has announced a staggering increase in charges.
Administrator Paul Kincaid writes: 'Having provided the facilities free of
charge from 1996 until 2002, the Museum suddenly made a charge of £1,000 in
2003. They have now informed us that the cost of facilities for the 2004
ceremony would be in excess of £7,000. This is in addition to the cost of
catering. The Museum says this is because of funding problems. However,
our own funding difficulties, exacerbated by the £1,000 charge in 2003,
mean that this cost is totally beyond our means. The Clarke Award
ceremony will therefore not be held at the Science Museum this year. We
are already looking for other suitable venues, and fully expect to stage the
award ceremony in May as usual.' Meanwhile, the Serendip Foundation has been
formed to manage and raise funds for future Clarke Award presentations, and is
described as 'non-profit making'. That part at least should be easy.
Anne Rice will suck no more! That is to say, her latest novel Blood
Canticle concludes the 'Vampire Chronicles', and our author says she's
finished with the whole subject of vampires: 'That chapter's closed.' (LA
Thog's Literary Research Special. Not many people know that The
Pilgrim's Progress is 'John Bunyan's religious poem of 1684'.... (Jenny
Gilbert, Independent Sunday Review, 4 January)
R.I.P. Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003), British comedian who died
from cancer on 29 December aged 75, was a lifelong sf/fantasy fan who spent
extravagantly at UK specialist shops like Andromeda, Forbidden Planet and the
late Dark They Were And Golden-Eyed. Authors signing stock for Andromeda, even
me, would be asked to inscribe his copy specially. But Monkhouse's claimed genre
career seems to be largely his own invention; experts are sceptical about the
comics art, Sexton Blake novellas and Hank Jansen novels listed in
Guardian obituary and elsewhere.
Freebie. Here for cheapskates is an sf-themed 2004 calendar a
550K PDF download
from 'Capt. Xerox', each month titivated with a garish pulp cover and a
selection of famous sf birthdays. I turned eagerly to the 10th of April, but
Thog's Masterclass. Double-Take Dept. 'As with most aerial
bombardments in my era, the effects of the attack were more terrifying than the
results.' (Dan Simmons,
David 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.