Click here to check out Eileen Gunn's new book.
The Infinite Matrix

Stories Columns Archive FAQ Home
  Runcible Ansible graphic goes here…


like langford?
so do we.

keep dave happy.

send money.

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

More options on the Contributions page.

T H A N K S !


May 13, 2005

Once again the Arthur C. Clarke Award presentation (London, 11 May) was surrounded with controversy, since money was desperately tight this year and sf notables who'd been expecting free drinks were confronted with the stark horror of a cash bar. Otherwise the mood was sunny as China Miéville accepted his second Clarke award, and Sir Arthur's £2005 cheque, for Iron Council. This at last equals the achievement of Pat 'Two-Clarkes' Cadigan and entitles Mr Miéville to exclaim 'Langford, you dog!' Even the delighted author was surprised by this result, the general sense having been that if one of the 'mainstream' contenders (Cloud Atlas and The Time Traveller's Wife) didn't win, the award would go to Ian McDonald -- also present -- for River of Gods. But the Clarke judging panels are famously unpredictable. Administrator Paul Kincaid closed the ceremony by saying: 'Let the arguments begin.'

As Others See Us. 'Given that Ishiguro's new novel is explicitly about cloning, that it is, in effect, a science fiction set in the present day, and that the odds against success in this mode are bullyingly stacked, his success in writing a novel that is at once speculative, experimental, and humanly moving is almost miraculous.' (James Wood, The New Republic, 16 May)

Robert Sheckley is still in that Kiev hospital (see Runcible 171). An update from his daughter Anya Sheckley: 'Dad gets just a little better each day, though I expect it will be many weeks before he will be able to fly home. Still unable to breathe on his own for more than a few minutes and still very weak. I can feel his frustration in wanting to talk and not being able and wanting to write but being too weak to hold the pen.' (Plokta News Network story, 12 May)

R.I.P. Joe Grant (1908-2005), Disney artist, animator and story man who worked on Snow White and co-wrote Dumbo during a career that began with a 1933 Mickey Mouse cartoon, died at his drawing table on 6 May. He was 96. Margaretta Scott (1912-2005), UK stage and cinema actress who played two parts in the sf classic Things to Come (1936, scripted by H.G. Wells), died on 15 April aged 93.

The Good Old Days. Nebula SF editor Peter Hamilton (not to be confused with author Peter F. Hamilton) crushingly responds to John Brunner's permissive views about sex in sf: 'Novels and films which suggest by their subject matter that the ideal way to spend a pleasant evening is in the close proximity of a co-operative female with a plentiful supply of alcohol to hand are quite unworthy to be classified as science fiction, regardless of how well-written or produced they are, as they sully the high ethical and moral ideals inherent in by far the greater part of this type of literature.' (Nebula SF, July 1958)

As Others See Us II. In the 10 May episode of the British TV magic and mentalism show Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind, Derren Brown invited Iain Banks to choose a random word from a passage from any of his books: 'either your classic fiction here, or your science fiction'. (Despite or because of that subtle emphasis, Banks chose a passage from Feersum Endjinn, from which Brown successfully picked the word 'pop': page 110 of the Orbit paperback.)

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Heavy Lifting. 'He swung his white smile around the room like a lighthouse.' (Susan Cooper, Over Sea, Under Stone, 1965)


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.

home | stories | columns | archive | faq |