May 20, 2005
It's not often that I get a scoop as exclusive and unexciting as
this: Arthur C. Clarke's novels are to be someone's specialist
subject on the famous British TV quiz show Mastermind.
Though stopping short of inviting me to set the actual questions,
a BBC researcher has been picking my brains for background
material, revealing somewhat late in the day that 'we don't give
out fees to our experts as they usually do it for free.' Now there
is an awful temptation to provide such inputs as: 'Clarke's most
famous story "Nightfall" not only predicted hydrogen
bombs and iPods but also inspired the new science of Dianetics
Sheckley's condition is much improved after weeks of intensive
treatment in a Kiev clinic (see Runcible
171, 172). Although the
Ukrainian net newspaper
ForUm says he's
practically ready to go home,
claims that he can't owing to vast medical bills. There has been a
language/communication problem here:
reported that a company had guaranteed to cover the cost of
treatment, little knowing that 'company' here meant only the local
fan group/convention committee which hosted Sheckley's visit.
According to our contact man Boris Sidyuk, these fans barely
managed to pay the clinic's first bill and have been frantically
raising funds to meet further expenses quoted at $1,000 daily.
Owing to problems in setting up a US dollar account locally, and
PayPal's distrust of the Ukraine, it was hard to establish any
convenient channel for Bob Sheckley's American friends to give
financial help. Watch for official updates on the
Sheckley home page.
PayPal account now in operation -- send donations to the
Sheckley Relief Drive, run by his own family.]
R.I.P. Frank Gorshin (1934-2005), US actor,
impressionist & comedian who played the Riddler in the 1960s
Batman tv series and 1966 film, died on 17 May aged 71.
Other film appearances included: Invasion of the Saucer Men
(1957), The Meteor Man (1993) and Twelve Monkeys
(1995); other tv appearances, Star Trek, Wonder Woman,
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Lois & Clark.
Fountain Award, presented by the Speculative Literature
Foundation for short fiction 'of exceptional literary quality',
went to Jeffrey Ford for 'The Annals of Eelin-Ok' (from The
Faery Reel ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, 2004).
The Terry Gilliam Fanzine.
Who Commit Bloggery: a brief list at
Bronze bust of
Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future) in Southport, UK.
Thog's Doctor Who Masterclass. Astronomy
Dept. 'If his calculations and instruments were correct, he
was now outside the home galaxy of the Milky Way and in an
entirely new universe, the universe known to him as the Crab
Dept of Preternatural Rigidity. 'He raged and shouted at
them from behind the bars which, as she shook them, held as firm
as though a fly's feet were touching them.' (both from David
Whitaker, The Dr Who Annual, 1965)
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.