One theory of what Edward Lear might have meant by 'runcible',
a word he applied to both spoons and cats, is 'tortoise-shell'.
So, more tortoise-shell news snippets
Isaac Asimov's death ten years ago (in April 1992) was
hastened by AIDS, according to the new autobiographical
collection Isaac Asimov: It's Been a Good Life, edited by
his widow Janet Jeppson. He received an infected blood
transfusion during 1983 heart bypass surgery. What rotten
Geek Futurology Dept. 'In 1975 Ed Roberts, the founder
of MITS, a calculator company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
put a microchip in a box with a screen and called his invention
Altair, after a character in Star Wars.' (John Cassidy,
Spike Milligan (1918-2002), last of the Goons from BBC
radio's surreally fantastic The Goon Show, died at home
on 27 February aged 83. His main contribution to sf was the dark
post-holocaust comedy The Bed-Sitting Room, a 1963 play
co-written with John Antrobus (movie version 1969). British stage
productions in those days had to be approved by a government
censor, the Lord Chamberlain, whose letter to Milligan and
Antrobus featured passages like: 'Page 16: Omit "
Virgin Mary made in Hong Kong, whistles the Twist." Omit
references to the Royal Family, the Queen's Christmas Message,
and the Duke's shooting.' Likewise, 'The mock priest must not
wear a crucifix on his snorkel.' And you couldn't mention the
Prime Minister, either.
Karen Joy Fowler and other finalists for the 2002
PEN/Faulkner fiction award failed to impress the Washington
Post, which sneered: 'Round up the usual suspects and tell
them they are the finalists
', leading to the Publisher's
Lunch headline 'PEN/Faulker Nominees Look Familiar'. Only one
of the five had ever been shortlisted before (Claire Messud in
1996; she lost), but who cares about mere boring facts?
Outraged Letters. Several million readers insist that
the late Chuck Jones's most famous cartoon creations were the
Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, not Bugs Bunny.
DC Comics is suing Wella Corp. for
marketing a glowing green hair gel as Kryptonite, thus wickedly
trading on 'the commercial magnetism of Superman.'
Thog's Masterclass. 'The zeppelin of bluster Feldman
excoriated Freddy with suddenly popped into a cloud of humility.'
(David Grand, The Disappearing Body, 2002)
David Langford is a writer, editor, physicist, bon vivant, and software consultant.
His monthly SF newsletter, Ansible,
is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. He lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards.