Jan 14, 2005
The major British bookshop chain Waterstone's contrived much
negative publicity for itself on 5 January, when the Princes
Street branch in Edinburgh sacked its most enthusiastic promoter
of sf, Joe Gordon -- for the 'gross misconduct' of occasional
disrespectful remarks in his
weblog. Joe writes gloomily: '11 years of service, all the
author events I have organized and run, the reviews, writing for
Waterstone's publications, appearing on the radio or TV to discuss
books on their behalf, all count for nothing apparently ...' Some
see this as a free speech issue, others as a transparent pretext
for getting rid of an employee disliked by the recently appointed
store manager. See coverage in
Times, and even that ultimate journal of record
Sir Arthur C. Clarke enjoyed the dubious accolade of a
mention on the Popbitch gossip site: 'Famous Sri Lanka resident
Arthur C. Clarke has survived the terrible floods. He was found in
the sea clinging on to a buoy ...' What can this possibly mean?
Philip K. Dick Award final ballot for 2004 work:
- Minister Faust, The Coyote Kings of the Space-age
- Eileen Gunn (for it is she!), Stable Strategies and
- Gwyneth Jones, Life
- Lyda Morehouse, Apocalypse Array
- Geoff Ryman, Air
- Karen Traviss, City of Pearl
- Liz Williams, Banner of Souls
Our editrix comments: 'Gardner [Dozois], of course, circulated
the news as "Eileen up for Dick." To which John D.
Berry, careless of the dangers that lie in trading scatological
witticisms with Gardner, replied, "I think that should be "Dick
up for Eileen."'
R.I.P. A message from Judy Blish: 'Also among the
departed: Gerald J.
Pollinger, agent of many known names, among them James
Blish. Details follow when I can get them.'
Freas had an obituary notice in
Guardian on 13 January.
The Moment of Oops. '... Brian Aldiss' Methuselah's
Children ...' (Terry Pratchett, Once More* With Footnotes,
Dog Stars. Gordon Van Gelder reports sf nominations in
the Dog Writers
Association of America 2004 Writing Competition, whose 52
categories dwarf the puny Hugos: SHORT FICTION
includes Bradley Denton's 'Sergeant Chip' (F&SF), and
BOOK: FICTION has Martin Greenberg's and
Alexander Potter's doggy anthology Sirius (DAW).
William Gibson, that wrinkled old patriarch of First
Fandom, was described by the Sunday Times on 2 January as
'the sci-fi pioneer William Gibson.'
Sapphire, Not Sapphic. Be still, my beating heart: here
are the novel finalists for the latest
- Kathleen Nance, Day of Fire
- Charlaine Harris, Dead to the World
- Robin D. Owens, Heart Duel
- Angela Knight, Jane's Warlord
- Patricia Briggs, Raven's Shadow
- Susan Grant, The Scarlet Empress
The Naked Lunch. John Ordover, the former Pocket Books
Star Trek novel editor who now runs Phobos, is
interestingly exposed in Time Out New York for 6-12
January -- which reveals, complete with nude group photo, his
spare-time activity of running Clothing Optional Dinners for NYC
naturists. 'The unofficial motto of the COD is "No Hot Soup".'
It must be healthier than all those frowsty sf conventions....
Thog's Masterclass. Understatement Dept (or, Hot
Soup at COD). 'Kassad was aware of the pain as a great sound
beyond hearing, a huge, incessant foghorn of pain, as if thousands
of untrained fingers were falling on thousands of keys playing a
massive pipe organ of pain.' (Dan Simmons, The Fall of
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.