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Oct 29, 2004

It's been a wet gloomy week here in Reading (England), and I need the comfort of silliness. Many thanks to Teresa Nielsen Hayden for linking to that essential cult object, an origami Yoda.

Brian Aldiss has carefully felt himself all over and concludes that his deceased status, implied in Charles Shaar Murray's Independent review of Iain M. Banks (22 October), is greatly exaggerated. 'I no longer take the Independent. It got so depressing; it was either suicide or take The Sun instead.... I believe that "the late Brian Aldiss" is simply a misprint for "the great Brian Aldiss".' Later: the opening paragraph's phrase 'the late Brian Aldiss' was amended on 29 October to just 'Brian Aldiss'.

Awards. The zombie horror spoof Shaun of the Dead is shortlisted for best film in the seventh annual British Independent Film Awards, to be presented on 30 November.

As Others See Us. 'As for his readers, [Anthony] Powell can hardly be blamed for his plummy fans any more than, say, J.G. Ballard should be blamed for the flakiness of his, or Anne Tyler for the limpness of hers.' (Ian Sansom, The London Review of Books, 21 Oct) • Sebastian Shakespeare, reviewing Andrew Crumey's novel Mobius Dick, announces that this author 'has that commodity so rare among sci-fi writers -- a sense of humour.' (The Literary Review, August 2004)

R.I.P. Greg Shaw (1949-2004), US fanzine fan and con-goer who achieved fame as a rock music entrepreneur, died on 19 October; he was 55. His extensive experience in fan publishing, including the early-60s Tolkien fanzine Entmoot, spawned music zines like his long-running Who Put the Bomp. • William J. 'Bill' Widder (1926-2004), US fan since the 1930s, died in mid-October aged 78. His Master Storyteller: An Illustrated Tour of the Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard was shortlisted for a 2004 Hugo. See obituary by John L. Flynn.

Plan 10 From Outer Space! Oh dear. Ed Wood's 'lost' porn film Necromania has been discovered, according to Reuters and similar lowlife sources. Oh dear. That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even fluffy Angora sweaters may die. Oh dear. Let's pass the buck with a link....

Thog's Masterclass. Ill-Aimed Insults Dept. '"Let me see your pubic hair," he insulted her ears.' (Dora Levy Mossanen, Courtesan, forthcoming ?2005)


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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