May 6, 2005
We interrupt your regular Runcible for a Thog commercial (Thog's
the stuff for work, Thog's the stuff for play; Thog's the stuff,
when you feel rough, to chase those blues away!). Anyone can
contribute. Thogworthy lines from our favourite literature may be
communicated to me via
this page ... be sure to quote the lucky author exactly,
with full title and year of publication. Thank you.
Robert Sheckley has been hospitalized in Kiev since 27
April, after catching a cold leading to respiratory failure which
required artificial respiration. He had travelled to Odessa as a
guest of Portal-2005, the sf stream of April's Ukrainian
computer/sf expo, and fell ill while touring the country
afterwards. Local fan Boris Sidyuk sent e-mail today: 'We, who
invited him to visit Ukraine, arranged a private hospital where he
remains until now. Because he lost somewhere during the trip his
insurance card we decided to provide financing of his staying in
the hospital until the card is renewed and the insurance company
involved. We called for the best medical specialists in Ukraine.
But he is in poor condition at the moment. A little bit better
than yesterday but still bad.' See
News Agency report (for 'Fedyuk' read Sidyuk) and
News (for 'Daniel R. Gallun' read Raymond Z. Gallun).
As We See Others. Terry Pratchett muses in The Times:
'I think about the literary world like I think about Tibet. It's
quite interesting, it's a long way away from me and it's sure as
hell they're never going to make me Dalai Lama'. (4 May)
Awards, announced on 30 April:
- Novel: Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls
- Novella: Walter Jon Williams, 'The Green Leopard Plague' (Asimov's
- Novelette: Ellen Klages, 'Basement Magic' (F&SF
- Short Story: Eileen Gunn, 'Coming to Terms' (Stable
Strategies and Others) ... whoopee!
- Script: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
As Others See Us. Neil Ford reports another maker of
ingenious distinctions: 'Hal Hartley has made a movie set in the
near future, when the US is run by a totalitarian corporation and
is visited by an alien -- but of course it's not sf.'
interview: 'But, really, I don't think of "The Girl
from Monday" as sci-fi. Not for real. It's more like a song
about life now told AS IF it were sci-fi. Sometime copping the
postures of a genre can allow you to address a broader range of
topics and allow you to be a little more poetic without being too
Outraged Letters. M.J. 'Simo' Simpson renounces
his former way of life: 'I have given up writing about Hitchhiker's
Guide for ever, on account of (a) I'm bored with it and (b)
the film is crap beyond belief. But I heard this today from a
reliable source inside the production and it's too good not to
pass on: Because Alta Vista has copyrighted the phrase "babel
fish" Disney had to negotiate a special deal in order to be
able to use those words in the Hitchhiker's movie. But the
agreement does not extend to the DVD extras so although a picture
of a babel fish can be shown, none of the documentaries or other
features can include the words "babel fish", either
spoken or written.
Ironically, this bizarre situation is actually a good deal closer
to the spirit of Douglas Adams' writing than the film itself ever
manages to be, and it's certainly a lot funnier.'
The Saturn Awards for genre film/TV have all too many
categories. Here are the winning movies:
- Science Fiction: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Fantasy: Spider-Man 2
- Horror: Shaun of the Dead
- Action/Adventure/Thriller: Kill Bill: Vol. 2
- Animated: The Incredibles
More at http://www.saturnawards.org/
Locus Straight on Print on Demand', by Paula Guran
-- questioning attitudes in the Locus '2004 Book Summary'.
('Slightly intemperate,' says John Clute.)
photos from John Brosnan's wake.
Asimov. Tut, tut.
Thog's Masterclass. Strangulation Dept. 'Shock
throttled a sob half spent in her throat.' (Jacqueline
Lichtenberg, Farfetch, 1985)
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.