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May 27, 2005

Here I am brooding over whether, as a columnist who has appeared in every issue of SFX magazine since the mid-1995 launch, I can face the journey into London for its 10th anniversary party tomorrow. An event which leads us, by a transition of almost unbelievable subtlety, to ...

Publishers & Sinners. Dave Golder is shortly to leave his position as overall editor of SFX, according to recent 'introducing myself' e-mail from his successor David Bradley. Jo Fletcher of Gollancz/Orion married Ian Drury on 20 May.

Dark Doings. Oh, what larks! Here are immense Latarnia and Classic Horror Film Board discussions of alleged wholesale plagiarism by the UK horror magazine The Dark Side. The evidence is almost surreally plentiful, and victims include not just genre reviewers but the New York Times and the BBC. (Thanks to Stan Nicholls for this pointer.)

Robert Sheckley: an update since Runcible 173; fundraising in the Ukraine; his Ukrainian medical expenses paid! He flies home to the USA today (via Frankfurt) for further treatment in New York, and was last reported as 'in the air'. (Moorcock discussion board) Later: safe landing in New York....

Mythopoeic Awards. Here are the latest fiction shortlists:

  • Kage Baker, The Anvil of the World
  • Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • Elizabeth Hand, Mortal Love
  • Patricia A. McKillip, Alphabet of Thorn
  • Gene Wolfe, The Wizard Knight (The Knight and The Wizard)
  • Kevin Crossley-Holland, Arthur Trilogy: The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing Places, and King of the Middle March
  • Nancy Farmer, Sea of Trolls
  • Monica Furlong, trilogy comprising Wise Child, Juniper, and Colman
  • Garth Nix, The Abhorsen Trilogy: Sabriel, Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr, and Abhorsen
  • Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Full details here.

The Sidewise Awards for alternate history have two unusual features this year. The Long Form shortlist consists of one book, Philip Roth's The Plot Against America (which could still lose to No Award, unlikely though that seems), while the six Short Form finalists include a graphic-novel sequence, Warren Ellis's Ministry of Space.

R.I.P. Henry Corden (1920-2005), Canadian-born actor who first appeared in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), and in 1972 began his long stint as the voice of Fred Flintstone, died on 19 May aged 85. Ed Kelleher (1943-2005), US screenwriter, playwright and film critic who scripted the 1972 Invasion of the Blood Farmers and other 'cult classics' (in the Ed Wood sense) of horror cinema, died from degenerative brain disease on 14 May. He was 61. See Seattle Times obituary. Samuel H. Post (1924-2005), US editor, publisher and anthologist responsible for many 1960s MacFadden-Bartell sf titles, died on 20 May aged 81. See entry in the Ultimate SF Web Guide, co-maintained by his son Jonathan Vos Post. Harold Wooster (1919-2005), lifelong sf enthusiast and father of Martin Morse Wooster, died on 20 May aged 86. Martin writes: 'He sold one "Probability Zero" piece to Astounding in 1943.... He co-wrote a letter with Robert Heinlein that appeared in Science (21 July 1961) about whether or not "exobiology" or "xenobiology" was the correct term. In the 1960s, my father was at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research where he was in charge of strange projects. He funded the Air Force's official investigation of the Dean Drive.' Pat York, US teacher (recently retired) and author of short sf who was a Nebula Award finalist in 2000, died on 21 May in Columbus, Ohio, when a bus collided with the car in which she was a passenger. Pat York was 57. See SFWA obituary and Boing Boing tribute.

Miscellany. Star Wars Darwin Award contenders. Useful ways to destroy the Earth. Frank Key's Hooting Yard returns with fresh esoterica after 'a longer-than-planned break.'

Yet Another Award. The Hal Clement Award for best young-adult sf novel of 2004 went to Balance of Trade by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. (Award presented by the Golden Duck Awards.)

Thog's Science Masterclass. Revisionist Paleontology Dept. 'The megatherium, the ichthyosaurus have paced the earth with seven-league steps and hidden the day with cloud fast wings.' (George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903)


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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