July 15, 2005
Oh dear, science fiction is dying again -- because of H*rry
P*tter, of course. See
story at RockyMountTelegram.com, where one quoted insider
can now detect only 'two types of science fiction readers -- older
guys in their 50s and 60s, and kids in their teens ...'
any sci-fi dinosaurs feature in Amazon's
Anniversary Hall of Fame' list of their 15 top-selling
authors. Unless you count C.S. Lewis, who probably didn't make it
on the strength of Out of the Silent Planet.
Michael Moorcock had further health alarms owing to the
circulatory trouble that led to two of his toes being amputated
in 2002. He's in Paris, with
infected sores on that unlucky leg, and for a while it seemed that
he'd lose everything below the knee. But
posted on 13 July: 'Astonished surgeon looks at foot and
discovers only one infected spot of bone as opposed to three last
week. So no immediate amputation and I don't have to leave Paris.
Another three weeks before I go back and I still keep to a strict
regime, but once again I seem to be confounding even the most
benign prognoses. Three years ago they were suggesting I have my
leg off below the knee. Now, once again, they're thinking it just
MIGHT heal.' I'll drink to that.
MM continues in e-mail: 'I've had some seriously silly "treatment"
between Texas and Spain but thank God for the French. And it was
very satisfying to have the doctor remove my dressings yesterday
and exclaim "Incroyable!" Somehow a visceral desire felt
deeply satisfied. I'm still hoping to take the cats for a stroll
in the Palais Royal à la Colette, though I'll have to do it
in a wheelchair. Meanwhile yes, it will be me in the wheelchair
terrorising old ladies in the Luxembourg Gardens. After forty
years of being terrorised, now it's my turn! They don't call me
the Grand Guignol for nothing.'
As Others See Us. From a review of Michael Cunningham's
novel Specimen Days: 'The exuberance of Cunningham's story
carries it beyond what occasionally veers towards the silliness
that can mar sci-fi. He probably lets himself play around rather
too much with his conceits of voices in machines, recurrent
memories, mystic patternings.' (Rosemary
Sorensen, The Courier-Mail, Australia)
Jonathan Lethem remembers his roots during a UK
newspaper interview. 'Who would you like to meet in the bar in
heaven?' 'Probably Philip K. Dick. [...] I'd ask him what he
thinks of what's been going on since 1982. And what he thinks of
the way that reality has turned itself into one of his novels.' (Independent,
R.I.P. Bryon Preiss (1953-2005), US author,
editor, publisher and book packager who founded Byron Preiss
Visual Publications Inc in 1974, died in a car accident on 9 July.
He was 52. BPVP projects included the graphic novel of The
Stars My Destination, a number of lavishly illustrated theme
anthologies, and such shared-world series as 'Isaac Asimov's Robot
Terry Pratchett is diversifying, according to
this unlikely Amazon listing....
Awards Medley. John W. Campbell Award: Richard
Morgan, Market Forces.
Sturgeon Award for short fiction: Bradley Denton,
'Sergeant Chip' (F&SF 9/04).
for sf poetry. Short: Greg Beatty, 'No Ruined Lunar City'. Long:
Tim Pratt, 'Soul Searching'. (SFWA
Tanith Lee has dropped out as a guest of honour at
in Oslo (29-31 July) because, according to her husband John
Kaiine, she cannot travel by plane.
Outraged Letters. Lloyd Wood speculates on the
origin of a certain author's sinister alien Qax: 'Stephen Baxter
is quite proud of having qualified as a Chartered Engineer; he
states it in places where he doesn't mention his PhD. Now as for
qualifying as CEng: if you look carefully, you will see that one
of the qualification forms
is form QAX.... Am looking forward to Baxter introducing the alien
hordes of Ceng, Faq and Inspec in future novels.'
Paula Guran is
to edit a new books and comics section for CFQ (Cinefantastique)
magazine, as from the September/October issue.
David Langford hopes to have a new book out for the
Glasgow Worldcon: The Sex Column and other misprints,
collecting his SFX columns and features (a hideous blot on
every issue since this magazine began in 1995).
here. Thanks to a savagely enforced embargo, anyone reading,
buying or even thinking about this volume before or indeed after
12:01am on Sunday is at risk of receiving a lawyer's letter that
sternly conveys my abject gratitude.
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Hot Bosom Action.
'Her tits were like smoke detectors and it looked like the little
red lights were flashing.' (Paul Meloy, 'Dying in the Arms of Jean
Harlow (The Coming of the Autoscopes)', The 3rd Alternative,
Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter,
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.