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06.22.04

This instalment filed on Bloomsday. I'm making a special attempt not to mention James J -- oops, that was close!

Harlan Ellison's lengthy dispute with AOL about pirate postings of his fiction is settled at last. Although details are undisclosed, the 8 June release shows a remarkable mellowing of the great man's fiery rhetoric: 'I have come to realize that AOL respects the rights of authors and artists, and has a comprehensive system for addressing the complaints of copyright holders. I would not have settled this case if I were not sure that AOL is doing what it can do to fight online piracy.' Donations to his KICK Internet Piracy fund are to be repaid, implying some financial element in the settlement. Ansible was shocked, shocked, that The Inquirer marked this solemn yet joyful occasion with the headline 'Trekkie Harlan Ellison settles four year-feud with AOL ... I cannae do it cap'n, I cannae remove the posts'. This earned them a stern Ellisonian phone call.

Thog's Astrometallurgy Corner. Pobjoy Mint is offering 'the world's first palladium bi-metal coin', to celebrate the bicentenary of the naming of palladium. Their ad explains that it was named in 1804 after the asteroid Pallas, which was made up of palladium....

R.I.P. Robert Lees, retired US screenwriter who co-scripted Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and other genre films, was stabbed and beheaded on 13 June. He was 92, and one of the last surviving Hollywood writers who was blacklisted in the 1950s. The murderer killed again soon after: a suspect was arrested on 14 June.

Outraged Letters. David Lee Stone was at Book Expo America, in Chicago: 'Ursula Le Guin gave an incredible speech about colour in fantasy fiction, and Jamie Lee Curtis gave an equally empowered but not quite so incredible talk on how hard it is to be five. Surprisingly, Ursula came off best.... Other Brits I noticed there were Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer (huddled with myself and our shared agent at the Hyperion booth), Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, author and illustrator of the Edge Chronicles, and Ed Greenwood, the Merlin-look-alike author of the Cormyr Saga, among others.'

J.R.R. Tolkien's work on Oxford English Dictionary etymologies for the letter W is revealed in the OED June newsletter.

Thog's Masterclass. Zero Tolerance Dept (or, The Wages of Washing). 'I merely refer you to our "Code of Light" drawn up in the dark days of 1979 [...] if a girl comes home here covered in oil and grease or the soil itself she can travel unmolested. Otherwise she is liable to get picked up on a trumped vice charge [...] such as being a "person of known vicious private habits loitering for immoral purposes etc".' (Paul Charkin, The Living Gem, 1963)

 


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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