March 4, 2005
Today's mail brings a new horror novel by Dean Koontz and Kevin
J. Anderson, bearing the huge front-cover headline DEAN KOONTZ'S
FRANKENSTEIN. It is probably very wrong of my mind to supply the
subtitle: AND KEVIN J. ANDERSON'S IGOR.
Iain Banks achieved the ultimate accolade of having his
name dropped in a BBC Radio 4 Round Britain Quiz question.
Those participating were careful to indicate the gulf between Iain
Banks ('black comedy') and Iain M. Banks ('sci-fi'). Or, to put it
another way: 'Iain Banks [...] who writes novels and also sci-fi.'
A rather less plausible fragment of Banksiana from the Birmingham
Post's 'Birthdays' column on 16 February: '1954: Iain Banks,
51, author, winner of the Booker Prize in 1998.' But perhaps he
also writes as Ian M. McEwan.
R.I.P. Geoffrey Palmer (1912-2005), British
antiquarian book dealer, publisher, and author of children's ghost
stories in collaboration with his long-time partner Noel Lloyd,
died on 22 January aged 92. Their supernatural collections
appeared from 1963 (Ghosts Go Haunting) to 1982 (Haunting
Stories of Ghosts and Ghouls).
We Are Everywhere. Thierry Breton, the former chief
manager of France Telecom and Orange who in February was appointed
Finance and Economy Minister of France, is also an SF author whose
novels Softwar (1984), Vatican III (1985), and
Netwar (1987) have been translated into 25 languages.
Oscars 2005. The most significant and most expected
genre win was The Incredibles as Animated Feature Film.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won Original
Name Droppings. Farah Mendlesohn finds another sf author
taken in vain: 'In D.S. Halacy Jr's juvenile novel, Rocket
Rescue (1968), the hero's best friend is called Harry
Harrison, short and red headed. Sadly Harry dies on his first
rescue mission.' No Stainless Steel Rat he.
FAAn (Fanzine Achievement) Awards for 2004 activity:
FANZINE Chunga ed. Andy Hooper, Randy
Byers and Carl Juarez. FANWRITER Claire Brialey.
LETTERHACK Lloyd Penney. FAN ARTIST
Steve Stiles. BEST FANZINE DESIGN Chunga.
H.R. Giger was declared a Grandmaster in the latest
Spectrum sf/fantasy art awards. Full results
Miscellany. Joe Gordon, sacked from Waterstone's
Edinburgh bookshop for disrespectful weblog remarks about managers
(see Runcible 155 and
159), is relishing the supreme
irony of his new job at Forbidden Planet International, where ...
wait for it ... he now runs
Nominations: mere days remain before the 11 March
London First Thursday fan meetings are still in flux --
of Future Past is a website of nostalgia for the
Gernsbackian future as it used to be.
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Mainstream Cephalopods
(or, Look At The Beak On That Bimbo!). '"Adams won't like
this," she said, and turned with a smile which was for him
alone to let him take her, and helped his heart find hers by
fastening her mouth on his as though she were an octopus that had
lost its arms to the propellers of a tug, and had only its mouth
now with which, in a world of the hunted, to hang on to wrecked
spars.' (Henry Green, Concluding, 1978)
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.