September 23, 2005
Who was that masked man? This week, after at least twelve years
of untroubled operation, the
archive site at Glasgow University was abruptly closed down
by nervous university authorities thanks to a reported threat of
legal action. It seems that some American, whose name has not been
revealed to me, objects to an unspecified item in issue 181
(August 2002). Who could it possibly be? A kindly sysop has
temporarily restored access to the site -- but
offending issue remains barred, except to those who know
about the mirror
site.... You will hear more of this.
Jonathan Lethem is one of this year's 25
Foundation fellows, each to be encouraged in their work by a
bounty of $500,000 spread over five years. Certain snide fans
suggested that getting out of sf was a smart move for Mr Lethem;
this wasn't necessary, though, for our previous MacArthur
recipient Octavia Butler.
As Others See Us. Jay R. Ferguson, co-star of the NBC sf
series Surface, sings a familiar song: it isn't true
science fiction. 'To me, sci-fi is Star Trek or Star
Wars ... This is almost like something that could be real.'
But as the
Fi Wire report continues, he makes a deft comeback: 'When
describing the show, Ferguson feels the term "speculative
fiction" is more appropriate than science fiction. "To
me, even as a sci-fi fan, speculative fiction sounds so much more
interesting."' Oh, all right, then....
Stephen King predictably drew the highest bid of $25,100
in an on-line auction of Tuckerization opportunities in
forthcoming books: the winner gets to name a character in King's
new novel Cell. Other participants familiar in genre
circles were 'Lemony Snicket' ($6,350), Peter Straub ($2,125),
Jonathan Lethem ($2,025), and Karen Joy Fowler ($1,853.88). A
second auction round features Neil Gaiman, last seen trailing some
way behind John Grisham. Proceeds go to the First Amendment
J.K. Rowling's phenomenal sales still have the power to
surprise us. According to a much-reproduced
news report on Harry Potter audio downloads, 'Rowling's
fantasy series, most recently "Harry Potter and Half-Blood
Prince," has sold more than 200 copies worldwide in print
of the Solar System imminent -- only the Weekly World
News dares to reveal all.
Authors' class action suit against Google:
Foundation, governing body of the
C. Clarke Award, seeks financial supporters who are offered
degrees of glory.
Critical Masterclass. '"Day of the Triffids"
needs no introduction ... In it, plants from outer space take over
the Earth, or try to, quite as convincingly as Wells' Martians.'
(P. Schuyler Miller, 'Reference Library', Analog, June
M. John Harrison's novel Light has won the Tähtivaeltaja
Award for best sf book published in Finland in 2004. The Finnish
translation Valo is by Hannu Tervaharju.
Thog's Masterclass. Hot and Cold Running Dept.
'Jean-Claude's sex ran over my skin while the fear ran like ice
through the rest of me.' (Laurell K. Hamilton, Cerulean Sins,
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.