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Some live reportage of the just-past Boston Worldcon, Noreascon 4, remains visible on its official weblog -- offering a taste of the event to those of us who (sob) missed it.

Hugo Awards for the best of 2003:

  • Novel: Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls
  • Novella: Vernor Vinge, 'The Cookie Monster' (Analog, Oct).
  • Novelette: Michael Swanwick, 'Legions in Time' (Asimov's, Apr)
  • Short Story: Neil Gaiman, 'A Study in Emerald' (Shadows over Baker Street)
  • Related Book: John Grant, Elizabeth L. Humphrey, and Pamela D. Scoville, eds, The Chesley Awards for SF and Fantasy Art: A Retrospective
  • Professional Editor: Gardner Dozois
  • Professional Artist: Bob Eggleton
  • Dramatic Presentation (Long): The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Dramatic Presentation (Short): Gollum's Acceptance Speech at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards
  • Semi-Prozine: Locus
  • Fanzine: Emerald City
  • Fan Writer: Dave Langford (thanks! DL)
  • Fan Artist: Frank Wu
  • John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo): Jay Lake

Retro Hugos for 1953 achievement, as not presented in 1954:

  • Novel: Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  • Novella: James Blish, 'A Case of Conscience'
  • Novelette: James Blish, 'Earthman, Come Home'
  • Short: Arthur C. Clarke, 'The Nine Billion Names of God'
  • Related Book: Wernher von Braun, Fred L. Whipple & Willy Ley, Conquest of the Moon
  • Professional Editor: John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Professional Artist: Chesley Bonestell
  • Dramatic Presentation (Short): The War of the Worlds
  • Fanzine: Slant, ed. Walt Willis (art editor James White)
  • Fan Writer: Bob Tucker

Robert Sawyer sees the End Times: 'I would not be encouraging a young person today to be entering science fiction as a profession. I do have a fear that the science-fiction novel is as much an artifact of the 20th century as Victorian literature was of the 19th [...] No matter how hard you yell "clear" and go for the defibrillator paddle, you still can't get that spark of life going again.' (Toronto Globe & Mail, 8 Sep)

Thog's Maths Masterclass. Melvyn Bragg explains pi on BBC Radio 4: 'the longest number in nature.'

As Others See Us. Laura Miller of the New York Times puts alternate history in its place: 'Just as counterfactuals employ too much imagination to qualify as historical works, alternate history often labors under too great a load of artificial "facts" to take flight as fiction. It is one thing to create a novel of ideas, and another to produce a novel that's a mere vehicle for its ideas, and this, more than any preoccupation with technology, is what gets alternative history lumped with the lesser forms of science fiction.'

R.I.P. George Flynn (1936-2004), long-time stalwart of the New England SF Association and master proofreader at NESFA Press, died on 29 August. He was 68. Contributions in his memory may be sent to NESFA, says his brother. Geri Sullivan writes: 'I dedicate the missing "h" in "Massachusetts" on page 1 of the Noreascon 4 Souvenir Book to his memory.' • Robert Lewin (1920-2004), US screenwriter who wrote episodes of Star Trek: TNG and The Man from Atlantis, died on 28 August. • Susan Peretz (1945-2004), US actress whose best-known genre appearance was in Poltergeist II (1986), died from breast cancer on 27 August; she was 59.

Further Awards. Prometheus for libertarian sf: F. Paul Wilson, Sims. • Sidewise for alternate history: LONG Murray Davies, Collaborator; SHORT Chris Roberson, 'O One' (Live Without a Net). • Gaylactic Spectrum for positively gender-bending sf: NOVEL Nalo Hopkinson, The Salt Roads; SHORT Barth Anderson 'Lark till Dawn, Princess'; OTHER (tie): Angels in America (TV) and Gotham Central #6-#10: Half a Life by Greg Rucka & Michael Lark.

Worldcon 2007. Japan's Nippon 2007 bid won the site selection voting, with 935 votes to 692 for Columbus, Ohio.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Extreme Linguistics. 'It didn't take him long to decide that Terran was the ideal language for the Blue Demons, despite the fact that the structure of their mouths and the shape of their tongues made it impossible for them to utter explosives.' (Mike Resnick, 'Cobbling Together A Solution', Amazing Stories #604, 2004)


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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