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April 8, 2005

Have the peripatetic London sf fan meetings (first Thursday each month) found a happy home at last? Reports of the 4 August meeting at Walkers of Holborn were uniformly positive ... well, almost.

As Others See Us. Suneel Ratan of Wired knows where to find true sf innovation: 'While most sci-fi -- whether on TV, in movies or books -- remains aimed toward science geeks or overgrown adolescents, producer Ronald Moore and the Sci-Fi Channel have essentially reinvented the genre by giving it an edgy, current, broad-based appeal.'

David A. Hardy's Hugo campaign is off to a good start: 'Futures: 50 Years in Space was awarded a Sir Arthur Clarke Award [see Runcible 166] for "best written presentation". Both Patrick [Moore] and I receive a handsome engraved glass "obelisk" of exactly the same proportions as the black one in 2001, but also bearing a famous diagram showing three geostationary satellites in orbit. (In case you haven't noticed, it is exactly 60 years since Arthur's very significant article appeared in Wireless World [1945], proposing these for communication.)'

J.K. Rowling, author of some books, appeared in the 3 April Sunday Times list of the 1,000 allegedly richest Brits. She was placed at equal 96th with £500 million, down from last year's 91 (when she had only £430m). Terry Pratchett, author of some other books, was not included.

Bram Stoker Awards. Here are the currently shortlisted novels, published in 2004.

  • P.D. Cacek, The Wind Caller
  • Stephen King, The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
  • Michael Laimo, Deep in the Darkness
  • Peter Straub, In the Night Room

See the full list in 12 categories here. (Clive Barker's Abarat II, which some might have expected to be an adult novel finalist, appears under 'Work for Young Readers'.) Michael Moorcock receives this year's life achievement award.

Completist's Nightmare. From Colin Smythe's on-line bibliography of Terry Pratchett: 'In October 1965, Terry pseudonymously took over writing stories for the Children's Circle column in The Bucks Free Press (the first of which, spread over 13 weeks, featured characters from what would become The Carpet People). Before he left that paper in September 1970 to work for the Western Daily Press, apart from his normal reporting and feature-writing activities, he had written over seventy tales that were spread over nearly 250 issues of the paper.'

The Dead Past. Familiar sentiments in more down-to-earth words from Australia, 64 years ago: 'Graham Stone and Colin Roden, on a hunt for back numbers, found a bookseller who did NOT want to sell his books. He refused to get them down from the shelves (said it was too much trouble) and emphaticly stated "that stuff (stf) would drive you ratbag."' (Science & Fantasy Fan Reporter #3, 26 August 1941) 'A much better line than that one about squids in space if you ask me,' adds our researcher Kim Huett.

Miscellany. Margaret Atwood reviews Kazuo Ishiguro. Here's the official 2005 Worldcon Hugo nominations links page. And the results of this year's TransAtlantic Fan Fund voting.

Thog's Masterclass. Game Theory Dept. 'The best aspect of it was that it was not the last place they'd look for her. Anticipating her reaction, they would look at once in the last place.' (John D. MacDonald, 'Escape to Chaos', 1951)


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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