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I hate to speculate that another British magazine about SF has bitten the dust before its first issue, but Orbital editor Steve Williams's unbroken silence since mid-May is not encouraging. (See Runcible 127.) Neither is the Orbital website, with its wide-ranging links page and its anticipation of topical Venus transit coverage in a June issue which no one has seen ...

Orson Scott Card told the LA Times why few notable sf novels become films, with particular reference to his own development hell: 'The problems that have plagued Ender's Game are the same that have plagued other award-winning science fiction books. Science fiction is set in a world contrary to our reality, so you have to have an explanation. And explanation time on screen is unbelievably dull.' Explain that to me again, Professor Card, as though I knew nothing of it ...

R.I.P. Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004), US composer who won an Oscar for his 1976 Omen score and an Emmy for the Star Trek: Voyager theme, died from cancer on 21 July; he was 75. Further genre films with Oscar-nominated Goldsmith scores are Poltergeist, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Planet of the Apes. He had many other sf/fantasy credits, including Alien, and wrote the famous music for the original TV The Twilight Zone.   Noraki Yuasa (1933-2004) directed seven of the eight 'Gamera' films, died of a stroke on 14 June aged 71. The giant flying turtle Gamera was Godzilla's main rival for 1960s Japanese audiences' affection. M.J. 'Simo' Simpson writes: 'I met him in LA in 1999 where he was clearly thrilled to be feted by western fans. He was a delight to interview, even via a translator.'

Outraged Letters. Ramsey Campbell mysteriously confides: 'The noxious Christopher Barker is now putting it about that I've tampered with the BFS [British Fantasy Society] awards because a book he published wasn't nominated.' Meanwhile, Ramsey is philosophical about the Runcible 132 mention of his unshaven nun: 'Thogged at last! In mitigation I can only quote the poster for Devils of Monza: "She was no ordinary nun."' (Eileen Gunn adds: 'You might mention to Thog that shaved nuns were quite a hot item of sexual interest last time I was in New York City, but I believe they are passé now. The unshaven ones aroused no one's curiosity. How different life is from literature....')

Iä! Iä! 419! Old news now, from 2002, but I love this strange encounter on-line as a classic 'Nigerian' scammer attempts to woo one Randolph Carter of Arkham, Massachusetts, who has other and more eldritch matters on his mind:

Coincidence? A 24 July Independent newspaper crossword had a hidden theme of sf authors whose names were deviously clued without definition, from Asimov to Wyndham. These ran around the crossword's perimeter, which was filled out with the words SEEMED and SATANISM. H'mm!

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of (Yet Again) Cruel and Unusual Geometry. '... the dull-red mists seemed to flow together, enclosing the three sides of a circle.' (Murray Leinster, The Forgotten Planet, 1954)


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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