August 19, 2005
I've always wondered what a real ansible looks like. Here's a
recent sighting in sf: 'She pressed the coordinates into the
ansible, an iron box fifty centimeters long, ornately painted with
a pattern of exploding stars. Typewriter keys protruded from one
side, and her stained fingers played on them.' (Paul Park, A
Princess of Roumania, 2005)
- Fantasy, Adult: Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange &
- Fantasy, Children's: Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full
- Scholarship, Inklings: Janet Brennan Croft, War
and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
- Scholarship, General: Stephen Thomas Knight, Robin
Hood: A Mythic Biography
As Others See Us. Ann Coulter struggles to find words
harsh enough for Muslim jihadists: 'No wonder they dream of an
afterlife with 72 hot teenage girls. These guys are klutzes.
Nerds. Dweebs. In the Las Vegas of life they're at the convention
center with the other Star Trek fans.' (11 August)
R.I.P. James Booth (1927-2005), UK actor and
screenwriter who appeared in several episodes of Twin Peaks
and also such minor genre films as Deep Space, Moon in
Scorpio and Programmed to Kill (all 1987), died on 11
August at age 77.
Philip J. Klass (1919-2005), US technical journalist and
noted debunker of UFO claims, who for 35 years was a senior editor
at Aviation Week and Space Technology, died on 9 August
after long illness. He was 85. (UFO
Magazine biography.) SF references have occasionally
confused him with the 1920-born Philip Klass who is still with us
and writes as William Tenn.
Jonathan Vos Post wishes to brag: 'I mysteriously
predicted volcanoes on Io, well before Voyager found them, and
before I was Mission Planning Engineer on Voyager 2 for the Uranus
flyby.' Thus: 'First of all, I'd like to thank my teacher, the
legendary Khan Joel Kroll, who taught me on the rugged Volcanoburg
terrain of Io ...' ('Skiing the Methane Snows of Pluto,' BSFA Focus
1:1, Autumn 1979)
British Fantasy Awards -- here's the Best Novel (August
Derleth Fantasy Award) shortlist.
- Clive Barker, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
- Mark Chadbourn, The Queen of Sinister
- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
- Christopher Fowler, The Water Room
- Stephen King, The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
For other categories, the British Fantasy Society website has
yet to be updated (as of 19 August), but The Alien Online
-- a Small Press nominee -- has
Design and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The Genre Traveler
-- a new e-zine for sf/fantasy/horror fan tourists planning trips
to visit 'genre-related attractions'.
Talking Squids in
Outer Space now have their own website (and it's not
my fault, it's Vonda McIntyre's).
Thog's Masterclass. Gastric Beyond Belief Dept.
'Norman felt his stomach tighten, in a different direction than it
had at the sight of Dr. Mitchell.' (Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold,
'The Rivers of Eden', 2005)
Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter,
is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His
most recent books are The
SEX Column and other misprints, collecting ten years of
columns and essays for SFX magazine; 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.