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07.24.04

A personal note. I've been rearranging the vast Langford web empire and would be grateful if links to my pages at www.ansible.demon.co.uk (still around, but not for long) could be changed to the corresponding URLs at ansible.co.uk.

Terry Pratchett assures the world that any alarming reports of his recent hospital visit are MUCH EXAGGERATED: 'What I had was an angioplasty, where they widen arteries in the heart by going up through your leg (believe me). No real cutting, no weeks in bed, it's an out-next-day-job. I gather there was some "excitement" because I reacted badly to something or other, but I was out of it and dreaming of sandwiches and, indeed, was out next day.   I'm not making a big deal out of this one way or the other. It wasn't an emergency operation, although it would have had to be done sooner or later; it was needed because of the long term effects of high blood pressure I didn't know I had, and which is now nice and low because they've got the pills right.'

As Others See Us. At last our genre has found an antidote to the austere intellectual chill of Star Wars and Star Trek, thanks to Will Smith's performance in I, Robot. According to Bruce Snyder, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox: 'He's just so likable, he takes something like science fiction, which can be a little cold, and he makes it warm and entertaining.' (BBC News)

2004 Hugo Voting closes on 31 July, at midnight Eastern US time. 'Detailed instructions for mail-in and online voting can be found at our website, at http://www.noreascon.org/hugos/.' Advance Worldcon registration closes on the same day, and a full membership at the door will cost $200 (children $100).

James Doohan (Scotty in Star Trek) is suffering from Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and diabetes, but as a farewell to his fans is making one last convention appearance, in Hollywood on 28-30 August. Afterwards, on the 31st, he becomes the sixth Trek actor to get a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. He has made his peace with William Shatner, whom he disliked for so many years.

R.I.P. Paula Danziger (1944-2004), prolific US children's novelist whose sf venture was the romance This Place Has No Atmosphere (1986), died on July 8 following a June heart attack.   Sam McKim (1925-2004), Disney artist who first sketched Disneyland, other Disney parks, and the company's 1964-5 World's Fair exhibits, died on July 9.   Pat Roach (1943-2004), Birmingham-born UK wrestler and actor who appeared in A Clockwork Orange, three Indiana Jones films, Never Say Never Again, Willow, Conan the Destroyer and others, died from cancer on 17 July; he was 61.

Hideous National Slur! Millions of Irish fans were appalled that David Lee Stone (in Runcible 133) called Eoin Colfer a 'Brit'; Mr Stone is now writing out 1,000 times, 'Wexford is not part of the British Isles.'

The Scottish Convention -- as we superstitious folk call Interaction, the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon -- has appointed Colin Harris to be co-chair alongside existing chair Vince Docherty. Half the buck stops here!

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of This Won't Hurt A Bit. 'She looked away, then let him slide gently into the corner of her eye.' (Isaac Asimov, 'Satisfaction Guaranteed', Amazing, 1951)

 


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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