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The haggard travellers crawled feebly on through the desert wastes, littered with the whitened bones of past genre reference-book editors. That mocking glimmer in the distance -- was it truly a third edition of the Clute/Nicholls Encyclopedia of SF, or just a cruel mirage? Too soon to tell....

R.I.P. Richard Biggs (1961-2004), US actor who played Dr Stephen Franklin in Babylon 5, died unexpectedly on 22 May, perhaps from a stroke; he was only 43. A memorial service was held in North Hollywood on 26 May. Rod Hall, UK literary agent representing many film and TV writers, was found stabbed to death in his South London flat on 23 May; he was 53. Years ago at the A.P. Watt agency, Hall was film/TV agent for such SF authors as Brian Aldiss and Christopher Priest.

J.G. Ballard's 2003 novel Millennium People wasn't shortlisted for the recently presented Arthur C. Clarke Award, leading to speculation in certain quarters about anti-Ballard prejudice among the judging panel. But no: it was revealed that ACCA administrator Paul Kincaid asked several times for Millennium People to be submitted to the Clarke jury. The publisher (Flamingo Books) refused, conveying the impression that this was at Ballard's own request.

2004 Mythopoeic Awards finalists ...

Adult Literature

  Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls

  Kij Johnson, Fudoki

  Ursula K. Le Guin, Changing Planes

  Patricia A. McKillip, In the Forests of Serre

  Robin McKinley, Sunshine

Children's Literature

  Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

  Clare Dunkle, The Hollow Kingdom

  Cornelia Funke, Inkheart, translated from German by Anthea Bell

  Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl

  Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

Scholarship: Inklings

  Jane Chance, ed., Tolkien the Medievalist

  Matthew Dickerson, Following Gandalf

  John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War

  Don W. King, C.S. Lewis, Poet

Scholarship: Other

  Mike Ashley, Algernon Blackwood: An Extraordinary Life

  Francis Bridger, A Charmed Life: The Spirituality of Potterworld

  William Patrick Day, Vampire Legends in Contemporary American Culture

  John Lawrence & Robert Jewett, The Myth of the American Superhero

  Margaret Mackey, ed., Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit

  Jennifer Schacker, National Dreams: The Remaking of Fairy Tales in Nineteenth-Century England

Stamp Out SF Authors! The Stamp Development program of the US Postal Service is currently considering issuing a stamp depicting Isaac Asimov, some time after 2006. Americans who support (or, perhaps, oppose) this notion can write to: Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Room 5670, Washington, DC 20260-2437, USA.

Thog's Masterclass. Must Have Been Something I Ate Dept. `A deep joy bubbled inside her, sounding like a sparkling stream full of spring rain.' (Leah R. Cutter, Paper Mage, 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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