April 1, 2005
Last week, the time was out of joint and I had to go to press --
as we still quaintly like to say -- on the day before the Hugo
the link I added to that column
on Easter Monday. Much stir has been caused by the all-British
novel slate: Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist; China Miéville,
Iron Council; Charles Stross, Iron Sunrise;
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; Ian
McDonald, River of Gods. Modesty forbids me to mention the
fan writer and semiprozine categories....
As Others See Us. I suspect the
sexual advice department needs a little gentle re-education
in Room 101: '[Q] What do the following books say about a person's
sexual characteristics: A man currently reading The Da Vinci
Code? [A] This guy is going to be awful in bed. This is just
one step up from a sci-fi reader, someone who thinks sex can't
measure up to masturbation.'
R.I.P. Brian Kelly (1931-2005), US actor of Flipper
fame and executive producer of Blade Runner (1982), died
on 12 February. He was 73.
David Kossoff (1919-2005), UK writer and actor whose genre
credits included Journey Into Space (BBC radio 1953-5),
The Mouse That Roared (1955) and The Mouse on the Moon
(1962), died on 23 March aged 85.
Moore (1928-2005), US author who was married to Ward Moore
(1903-1978) and whose one novel is What Happened to Emily
Goode After the Great Exhibition (1978), died on 27 February;
she was 77.
Andre Norton has another substantial obituary by
Holland in The Guardian.
Critical Masterclass. '[Marion Zimmer] Bradley's
husband, Leigh Brackett, wrote The Darkover Concordance: A
Reader's Guide (1979) to help sort out the complexities of the
series.' (Applewhite Minyard, Decades of Science Fiction,
Even Still Yet More Awards. Philip K. Dick Award:
Gwyneth Jones, Life; also special citation to Lyda
Morehouse for Apocalypse Array.
Awards: NOVEL Ian McDonald, River of Gods.
SHORT Stephen Baxter, 'Mayflower 2'. ARTWORK
Stephan Martinière, Tor US cover of Newton's Wake
by Ken MacLeod.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke Awards or 'Arthurs', to be
presented on 2 April for British contributions to rocketry and
space, should not be confused with the established Arthur C.
Clarke Award or 'Clarke' given for British-published sf novels.
But they will be.
The Dead Past. Let's all raise our glasses, with
suitable noises of bicentennial appreciation, to Hans Christian
Andersen -- born 2 April 1805 -- who inspired one cherished
assessment of Ansible: 'As a newszine, it is the Emperor's
New Clothes.' (Mike Glyer, File 770, 1987).
Book of Lists. Did you know that the US Marines have
required reading list of inspirational war-related books? In
February 2005, it seems, this was purged of
1996 version's sf selections Starship Troopers and
Ender's Game. Our whistleblower mysteriously attributes
this change to the War on Terror....
Thog's Masterclass. Supersonics Dept. 'The ships
were so big, so vast, so fast. Faster than sound. The noise
reached you after the ship made it. That was why there was never
any warning.' (Nicholas Fisk, Starstormers, 1980)
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.