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The new-style Arthur C. Clarke Award presentation took place in London on 12 May, in the relatively cosy English Heritage Lecture Theatre (just off Regent Street) rather than the echoing vastness of the Science Museum. After all the talk of ACCA budget problems, Britain's thirsty sf glitterati were greatly cheered to find that administrator Paul Kincaid had contrived to lay on free wine before the ceremony, though reverting to a cash bar afterwards....

Last year's winner Chris Priest wrenched open the envelope and announced the judges' choice: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, who hadn't been able to make it. Shortlisted authors in attendance smiled bravely, and yet another 'But is it really science fiction?' debate began.

The rest of the list: Stephen Baxter, Coalescent; Greg Bear, Darwin's Children; William Gibson, Pattern Recognition; Gwyneth Jones, Midnight Lamp; Tricia Sullivan, Maul. Tony Cullen took many photographs during the evening: now on line.

Michael Swanwick has an anecdote: 'I was waiting for a panel to begin at the Fantastic Genres conference at SUNY New Paltz last weekend, when Rachel Pollack swept in, waved a dismissive hand at John Clute, Farah Mendelsohn, and three other leading lights of the interpretive art and said, "Everybody's a critic."   "That's pretty good," I said.   "I made it up last night," she replied. "I just came down here now to deliver it."   Then she left.' (5 May)

David A. Hardy is stricken by my perfidy: 'You haven't mentioned under "Awards" that I won the Analog AnLab Award for best Cover Artist 2004 -- for the second year running, as I won it for 2003 too!' Er, no one told me....

R.I.P. Anthony Ainley (1932-2004), UK actor who played Doctor Who's fondest enemy The Master (originally Roger Delgado) on TV during the 1980s, died on 3 May; he was 71. See BBC Cult News and Independent coverage.

Strunk & White Dept. The Skiffy Channel (British division) informs the world: 'Since the repositioning of the channel in April, SCI FI has a new look and feel which reflect the science fiction genre's move from the periphery to the centre of mainstream entertainment. Look out for a raft of action, adventure, fantasy, paranormal and reality programming in a range of UK television premieres that will debut throughout the year.   Following this repositioning, SCI FI is no-longer spelt with a hyphen or dot in the centre (i.e. Sci-Fi or Sci·Fi) and should always be written in upper caps (SCI FI).' Oh dear, this is going to be as difficult as remembering to write 'Harlan Ellison®' every time.

Thog's Masterclass. Unmoved Mover Dept. 'Without moving, she raised a hand to feel her bloody head.' (Laurie J.Marks, Fire Logic, 2002)


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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