June 17, 2005
An extra London pub meeting has been declared for Monday 1
August 2005, from 5pm onward at Walkers of Holborn. All are
welcome, but especially overseas fans visiting Britain for
Interaction (which begins on the traditional
first-Thursday-of-the-month London meeting date). See the
page for directions.
Brian Aldiss received the Order of the British Empire
(OBE) for services to literature, in the Queen's Birthday Honours
on 11 June. His traditional alphabetical advantage placed him very
near the top of
Times list. I do hope that, in echo of his 1987 Hugo
acceptance, the great man cried: "About time, too, you
As We See Ourselves. Michael Swanwick reports: 'Courtesy
of Locus Online, a description of The Road of Silk by one
of its authors. "Although the genre of the book is fantasy,
this novel is a story of the battle between the dark and the
light." (Barbara Dyson-Williams) I myself am thinking of
writing a novel which, despite being science fiction, will be a
story of space exploration.'
Robert Sheckley, still convalescing in New York after
his critical illness in the Ukraine, will not be able to attend
Worldcon as a guest of honour. That's a great pity. Instead
he'll be represented by his wife Gail Dana and honoured in
for his medical care continues. Here's the full
Neal Asher has a little gloat: 'The Skinner has
won the Czech SF&F&H Academy Award for the best SF book
published there in 2004: the Salamander Award. This was out of a
shortlist of Blood Music Greg Bear, Chasm City
Alastair Reynolds, The Scar China Miéville and A
Deepness In the Sky Vernor Vinge -- one of the best shortlists
I've read in ages.'
R.I.P. Carl Amery (pen name of Christian Anton
Mayer, 1922-2005), German author and political activist, died on
24 May. His sf novels were Das Königsprojekt (1974),
Der Untergang der Stadt Passau (1975) and And den
Feuern der Leyermark (1979).
Anne Bancroft (1931-2005), Oscar-winning US actress, died
of cancer on June 6. Rare genre roles included voicing the Queen
in Antz and appearing in her husband Mel Brooks's poorly
reviewed horror parody Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
Bird (1924-2005), popular UK character actor who appeared in
several sf/fantasy films and voiced Bilbo Baggins in the 1978
animated Lord of the Rings, died on 22 April. He was also
in Man in the Moon, Night of the Eagle, The
Mind Benders, First Men in the Moon, Doomwatch,
and Omen III.
Michael Billington (1941-2005), actor who co-starred in
Gerry Anderson's UFO, died from cancer on 3 June; he was
Bishop (1932-2005), US actor who also co-starred in UFO
and appeared in various sf films including Saturn 3 and
(briefly) 2001, died on 8 June aged 72. He was the voice
of Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet. Obituaries:
fan site (with Michael Billington) and
Clarke (1920-2005), writer, director and star of The
Hideous Sun Demon, with sf B-movie roles in The Man from
Planet X, The Astounding She-Monster, etc., died on 11
June aged 85.
Warren Norwood (1945-2005), US sf author whose terminal
condition was mentioned in Runcible
175, died on that same day: 3 June. He was 59.
Smith (1936-2005), who played Perry White in Lois &
Clark, died on 14 June.
David C. Sutherland III (1949-2005), US artist associated
with Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games, died on
7 June aged 56. (SFWA
BBC Leak. Our Broadcasting House insider 'Deep Triffid'
reports: 'There was an internal BBC advert for a producer and
researcher needed to work on a "high profile documentary"
for BBC4 about John Wyndham and his works, focussing on aspects of
the novels that have proved prophetic. The ad said that production
would start in mid to late May. No transmission date was
In other news,
BBC confirms plans for a third season of the new Dr Who.
Margaret Atwood explains why we need sf, and even admits
to writing it, with nary a mention of talking squid in outer
Thog's Masterclass. Biothermics Dept, or Why Polar
Bears Do Not Exist. 'It was evidently cold-blooded or nearly
so, for no warm-blooded animal could have withstood that more than
glacial cold.' (George Griffith, 'Stories of Other Worlds', 1900)
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.