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Too many words this week. On with the motley ...

Ray Bradbury seems incandescent with wrath at Michael Moore for daring to call a film Fahrenheit 9/11. The juicy bits of his 2 June interview in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter were helpfully translated by Ahrvid Engholm for 'Michael Moore is a stupid asshole, that's what I think about it. [...] He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission. [...] He's a terrible person. Terrible person....' Could this anger be partly fuelled by political disapproval? Bradbury: 'That has nothing to do with it. He copied my title, that's what happened. It has nothing to do with my political views. [...] I could, tomorrow, write a novel and call it Gone with the Wind, right? But I won't, because it would be dishonest.... Just write that Michael Moore is dishonest and that I don't want to be associated with him in any way.' Oh dearie me. Would it be dishonest to publish a book called Gone with the 9/11? Answers on a postcard, please, but not to me.

Sidewise Awards for alternate history: it's shortlist time again. Except in those parallel universes where, frighteningly and paradoxically, it isn't ...


  • Murray Davies, Collaborator
  • Mitchell Freedman, Disturbance of Fate
  • Larry Kirwan, Liverpool Fantasy
  • S.M. Stirling, Conquistador


  • Ricard de la Casa and Pedro Jorge Romero, 'The Day We Went Through the Transition' (Cosmos Latinos ed. Andrea L. Bell & Yolanda Molina-Gavilán)
  • Geoffrey Landis, 'The Eyes of America' (Sci Fiction 7 May 2003)
  • Robert L. O'Connell, 'The Cuban Missile Crisis: Second Holocaust' (What Ifs? of American History ed. Robert Cowley)
  • Chris Roberson, 'O One.' (Live Without a Net ed. Lou Anders)
  • Robert Silverberg, 'The Reign of Terror' (Asimov's 4/03 and Roma Eterna).

R.I.P. Gill Fox (1915-2004), US comics artist, editor, and writer, died on 15 May aged 88. In the 1940s he produced covers for Police Comics, featuring Jack Cole's 'Plastic Man', and backgrounds and scripts for Will Eisner's 'The Spirit' in daily newspapers.   Lincoln Kilpatrick (1932-2004), US actor who appeared in Soylent Green and The Omega Man, died on May 18; he was 72.

Outraged Letters. Paul Barnett on Runcible 129: 'Since the press reports that Chrysalis's book division was up for sale, Chrysalis has announced that it's not for sale, and that all such talk is havering, etc. My sources tell me that it is in fact being groomed for sale, but not for a year or two yet; a sort of "reports of the death are premature" situation.' • M.J. 'Simo' Simpson brags (7 June): 'Just got back from spending the day on the Hitchhiker's Guide film set, albeit in a slightly wrecked state (me, not the film set) after a night of heavy drinking with the SFX gang to celebrate Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams winning Best Non-Fiction in the SFX Reader Awards. In the light of my success at yesterday's awards, I would like to make it clear that I have never, ever suggested that SFX has gone downhill since I left and is now a glorified Buffy fanzine. In fact I have maintained all along that the magazine is a bastion of good taste and high class genre journalism.'

Bram Stoker Awards (horror) were announced on 5 June:

  • Novel Peter Straub, lost boy lost girl
  • First Novel Brian Keene, The Rising
  • Long Fiction Jack Ketchum, 'Closing Time'
  • Short Gary A. Braunbeck, 'Duty'
  • Collection Jack Ketchum, Peaceable Kingdom
  • Anthology Borderlands 5 ed. Elizabeth & Thomas Monteleone
  • Non-Fiction Thomas F. Monteleone, The Mothers and Fathers Italian Association
  • Illustrated Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Endless Nights
  • Screenplay Don Coscarelli, Bubba Ho-Tep
  • Younger Readers J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Poetry Collection Bruce Boston, Pitchblende
  • Alternative Forms Michael Arnzen, The Gorelets
  • Life Achievement Anne Rice, Martin H. Greenberg

Ray Bradbury Again. His April testimony to the US President's Commission on Implementation on U.S. Space Exploration Policy appears on line in Astrobiology Magazine.

Thog's Masterclass. Bearded Lady Dept. 'At least his face was unmarked; in the bandages it looked like an unshaven nun's face' (Ramsey Campbell, Ancient Images, 1989)


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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