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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.' (28 February) 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 Screenplay. Other results here.

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 here.

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 the official weblog. Hugo Nominations: mere days remain before the 11 March deadline! London First Thursday fan meetings are still in flux -- see latest updates. Tales 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)


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 couple of dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add books and Hugos.

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