Nov 26, 2004
Sighs of relief have been heard throughout the scientific world.
A worrying 2003
prediction, that the universe could spontaneously
self-destruct in as little as 10 billion years, was
September to allow us a cheering 24 billion or so years. (Nature)
Good news for anyone who'd been carefully not starting any long
As Others See Us. Howard Jacobson, who never tires of
putting down fantasy, uses John Stuart Mill's mental health as a
convenient springboard: 'In his dejection, Mill turns to poetry;
not Virgil or Ovid, but the English Romantics, Wordsworth in
particular, who he believed helped to re-educate him into common
feelings. Wordsworth, notice, not Tolkien.' (Independent Arts&Books
Review, 19 Nov) Indeed, many 19th-century folk who wished to
be entertained by a newspaper columnist turned to Dickens, notice,
not Howard Jacobson.
Ray Bradbury received the
National Medal of Arts, and Madeleine L'Engle the
corresponding National Humanities Medal, in a White House Oval
Office ceremony on 17 November. Eight people were honoured in each
category. Bradbury accepted in person; L'Engle was represented by
R.I.P. Howard Keel (1919-2004), US actor whose
best-known genre appearance was in the film The Day of the
Triffids (1963), died on 7 November. He was 85. Steve Green
reminisces: 'His scenes were judged so boring by the producers
that additional scenes were inserted (directed by Freddie
Francis), using a separate cast and set in a deserted lighthouse.'
Kemmer (1921-2004), star of the 1950-55 TV and radio
series Space Patrol, died on 5 November aged 83. His genre
films included Giant from the Unknown and Earth vs the
Spider (both 1958).
(1916-2004), US comics artist who inked Popeye in the
early 1930s and drew the original 1940 Flash, died on 13
November -- his 88th birthday.
Martin Greenberg, sf anthologist extraordinaire, will
surely be surprised to learn that he perished in a 1999 Egyptian
plane crash and left a thirty-million-dollar bank account
unclaimed in (apparently) the Czech Republic. So at any rate says
this e-mail from BEN FARA, LAWYER BY PROFESSION
AND PERSONAL ASSISTANCE TO LATE MR MARTIN GREENBERG,
written all in capitals with a strong Nigerian accent....
Nova Awards for British fan publication:
- Artist: Sue Mason
- Writer: Claire Brialey
- Fanzine: Zoo Nation ed. Pete Young
- Best Fan (an occasional life achievement award): Ray
Bradbury -- not the American one who has to make do with medals,
but the long-time Birmingham UK fan who constructs the Nova
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Slannish Tendrils.
'He turned to the strikingly beautiful girl sitting beside him. A
girl whose long almost blue-black hair seemed so vibrantly alive
that it pulsated with a sentience of its own.' (Bron Fane, 'Jungle
of Death', Supernatural Stories #27, 1959)
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
Dave lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000
books, and a couple of dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add
books and Hugos.