From the cutting edge of dark fantasy, one of our far-flung correspondents
reports the heroine's reaction (in Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark,
2004) when a vampire acquaintance reveals his name: 'Before I could stop myself,
I rocked back onto my butt with laughter. "The vampire Bill!" I said. "I
thought it might be Antoine, or Basil, or Langford! ..."'
As Others Reposition Us. According to Publishers Lunch, a US
deal is being lined up for bestselling French author Jean-Christophe Rufin's
Globalia, reported as a speculative novel which 'steps into the future,
not exactly as science fiction but as a projection of today's American-dominated
world toward what he calls "totalitarian democracy".' No talking
squids in outer space there, then.
Brian Aldiss responds to my idle query about one of his early
pseudonyms: 'C.C. Shackleton is in hiding. He was considered too amusing for a
serious matter like sci-fi. Compare the situation in Sweden. Advertising the
movie, Lost in translation, posters carried the tag line, "So funny
it was banned in Norway".'
R.I.P. Robyn Meta Herrington (1961-2004), Australian-born
author and editor resident in Canada for the last 25 years, died on 3 May after
a lengthy struggle against cancer. She was an acquisitions editor for Edge
Science Fiction and Fantasy and also published genre poetry. Basil
Wells (1912-2004), US sf author who flourished in a small way from a 1940
Super Science Stories debut until approximately 1957, died on 3 May. [Editor's note: this date of death later corrected to 23 December 2003.]
Michael Moorcock confirms his reported
plan to leave Texas and settle in some continental European metropolis,
though probably not Rome: 'I'll be 65 at the end of this year and will be
retiring (that is, only writing one book a year) back to the restful city. The
country has been killing me and I deserve some tranquility in my old age.'
Small Press. Orbital is a cunning rebranding of the new UK
magazine about sf which was initially announced as
Orbit: see Runcible 114, where I anticipated that using the title of a
major British publishing imprint might be unwise. Same editor, Steve Williams;
same address, 1 Firs Hill Mews, Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield, South Yorks, S3 9AH,
UK. The official launch date is now June and I'm supposed to be writing
something. But what?
New Fan Forum. Victor Gonzalez urges us all to don our propeller
beanies and join the discussion at www.trufen.net.
Thog's Masterclass. New Maths Dept. 'I've just gotten a
reply. A series of pulses: one, two, three, five, seven, nine. Prime numbers. I
respond in kind with the next set.' (Syne Mitchell, Murphy's Gambit,
2000) Movie Science Dept. 'Of course, X-rays are impermeable to
lead.' (Teen Agent, 1991)
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.