September 2, 2005
It seems that our old friends PublishAmerica
(motto: 'Not Really A Vanity Press, You Bastards') have contrived
to get themselves sued by the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Counts range from trademark infringement to unfair business
practices. C.E. Petit's Authorslawyer.com
has a copy of
full complaint in PDF form: 'Defendants' use of the PublishBritannica
mark is without Britannica's consent or permission.' And, the
Britannica people feel, is likely to bring their mark into
disrepute. Cease-and-desist letters allegedly had no effect, and
hence the lawsuit. What larks!
Patrick Janson-Smith, publisher at Transworld since
1981, is to desert Terry Pratchett for J.K. Rowling. That is,
having lured Terry P. from Gollancz to the Doubleday UK imprint in
1997, he's now moving to the Christopher Little Literary Agency --
which represents Rowling. (Publishers Lunch)
As Others See Us. The Guardian reviews Primer:
'If the term science fiction didn't conjure images of overblown
special effects and alien make-up, it would be the perfect
description for this: a gripping, low-budget thriller with lots of
science.' (20 August)
coverage of that peculiar clone-claim cult the Raelians
identifies those who are most susceptible: 'Now, rare video
footage of the group taken at one of its Las Vegas seminars has
been spun into an as-yet-unreleased documentary that brings a
fresh, critical slant to the Raelians -- replete with allegations
that the sect uses sex as a recruitment tool, targeting people
most likely to sympathize with its message that aliens populated
the world: "Trekkies and whatnot," explained Abdullah
Hashem, who taped the group in May [...] "There are a lot of
people (at these seminars) who believe in aliens, and all these
beautiful women who will have sex with you even though you're a
dork," he said. "And that's why most people were there."'
R.I.P. Gretchen Franklin (1911-2005), British
actress whose occasional genre appearances included parts in the
TV Quatermass (1979) and Dr Jekyll and
Mr Hyde (1981), died on 11 July -- four days after her 94th
Michael Sheard (-2005), UK actor whose appearance as
Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back made him a
popular and frequently-seen figure on the sf convention circuit,
has died from cancer. He was 65. Another well-remembered genre
part was that of Hitler -- whom he played five times in all -- in
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. (BBC
Mel Welles (1924-2005), US actor seen in various genre
films including the original 1960 Little Shop of Horrors,
died on 19 August.
Useful Critical Advice. 'In Barbara: The Story of a
UFO Investigator, Barbara Bartholic and co-writer Peggy
Feilding, address these questions and other universal mysteries by
taking the reader down the path of Bartholic's amazing life
journey... Best read with the lights on' (Book
As We See Ourselves.
David Brin's weblog
deftly avoids the sf-words by describing him as 'a scientist and
best-selling author whose future-oriented novels include ...'
Katrina check-in for sf people at sff.net;
extensive links at Making Light.
Science Fiction Foundation strikes back!
Web archive under
construction: Peter Robert's UK sf/fan newsletter Checkpoint,
predecessor of Ansible.
More on that wondrous loon and connoisseur of giant lizards,
Editorial Horror! 'The Runcible Ansible' will be
skipping its next instalment, since I'll be Mysteriously
Unavailable on 9 September. Expect a mighty clearing of backlog on
Thog's Masterclass. Earth Is The Alien Planet Dept.
'Driving north toward Albany on the Taconic Parkway, Parker
watched both dawn and a heavy cloud cover move in from the west.'
(Richard Stark [Donald E. Westlake], Backflash, 1998)
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.