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August 26, 2005

The echoes of the recent Glasgow Worldcon rumble on, and Christopher Priest is beset by people wanting to read the text of his Guest of Honour speech. Somehow this has found its way to the Ansible site ... thanks, Chris!

As Others See Us. Food critic Allan Brown was momentarily puzzled by the crowd at Argan, Glasgow's first Moroccan restaurant: 'Closer inspection, though, revealed a certain homogeneity among the incomers: long, wispy hair, milk-bottle spectacles, breathable rainwear, mouthfuls of teeth. It could only be a delegation from the world science-fiction convention that was going on down the road. The unmarried of five continents had convened in the same spot at the same time. The upside of this (and it had to be looked for strenuously) was that at least they'd have something positive to tell the citizens of Klaarg-9 about Glasgow's restaurants, having beamed down into a cheerful, affordable neighbourhood eatery with native staff and an intriguing menu.' (The Sunday Times -- Scotland, 21 August) Who knows -- it's possible that some of those contributors to the local economy were reciprocally musing, 'Hey, that chap over there looks like a pretentious, patronizing git who thinks entirely in newspaper clichés ...'

The SFWA Grievance Committee has issued a public warning about Steve Austin of Austin Leather Works, USA. Given limited permission by Anne McCaffrey to sell Pern-themed leatherwork in convention dealers' rooms, he reportedly expanded this into a substantial Internet business with an unauthorized sideline in Pern artwork; continued his operation after permission was explicitly withdrawn; and even tried to sue Anne McCaffrey when she told him to stop. Here's his version.

R.I.P. Robert A. Moog (1934-2005), inventor of the Moog synthesizer heard on countless sf film soundtracks since the 1960s, died from a brain tumour on 21 August. Brock Peters (1927-2005), US actor who was best known for his part in To Kill a Mockingbird but also appeared in Soylent Green, two Star Trek films and ST: Deep Space Nine, died on 24 August aged 78. Joe Ranft (1960-2005), screenwriter and voice actor who had been with Pixar for over a decade, died in a car accident on 16 August; he was 45. Ranft co-wrote Toy Story (which brought him an Oscar nomination) and A Bug's Life; in his previous job at Disney he was a writer for Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Daniel Riche (1949-2005), leading French sf editor and anthologist, died from cancer on 23 August. He was 55. (Biography in French)

Miscellany. Peter Weston on Interaction at Trufen.net. Popular Science on that legendary Cleve Cartmill atom-bomb story, 'Deadline'. More photos from the Glasgow Worldcon. Police pounce on Star Wars stormtrooper (The Register).

Thog's Masterclass. Colour Perception Dept. 'Two incense sticks burned in a little brass holder in front of her, sending wisps of thin blue smoke upwards which were indistinguishable in colour from the rat's nest of gray hair ...' (Eugene Byrne, ThiGMOO, 1999)

 


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 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 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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