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02.08.02

Ansible. More bits. Explanation needless. This paragraph no verb.

Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist for sf published in 2001 in Britain: Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, Bold as Love by Gwyneth Jones, The Secret of Life by Paul McAuley, Mappa Mundi by Justina Robson, Passage by Connie Willis. The jury-selected winner of the 2,002 prize (yes, it's subtly linked to the year) will be announced in a ceremony at the London Science Museum on 18 May.

Lesser-Known Award. Reg Burnley, a retired mechanic living in Oxford, won the local Headington Poetry Competition for 2001—a fact of awesome science-fictional significance since the runner-up (who had submitted three poems) was Brian Aldiss. 'I've been a writer for more than 50 years and you can't win them all,' twinkled the multiple Hugo winner.

A.A. Milne, according to UK Public Lending Right figures released in January, would have earned the maximum 6,000 from British library borrowings in 2000-1 if not disqualified by being dead. Runners-up in the same situation were Beatrix Potter (4,122), William Shakespeare (3,279), and Jane Austen (3,031).

Extremely Minor Controversy in British fan circles arises when the national Easter sf convention is held outside the UK (the 2002 event is in Jersey—see www.helicon.org.uk) while for tiresome legal reasons the British SF Association and SF Foundation annual general meetings must happen on the mainland. Suddenly, convention pundits who wouldn't dream of attending these deadly dull affairs start deploring the loss of vital traditions. This year's solution is to include both AGMs in a one-off London sf event, 'Signs of Life' with M. John Harrison and Gwyneth Jones as guests, to be held at the Friends House in Euston Road on 13 April, 10am-5pm (admission free). British fans expecting to spend much of their time in the bar were shaken by the news that it's Friends as in Quakers, and the venue is dry, dry, dry…

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of In Space Nobody Can Hear … A particularly well-equipped spaceship has cloaking devices which 'would, between them, defeat sonar, radar, infra-red, and all other traditional detection methods used to trace the location of a spacecraft.' (Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Scarborough, Acorna's World, 2000)

 


David Langford is a writer, editor, physicist, bon vivant, and software consultant. His monthly SF newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. He lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards.

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