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Chris Priest was presented with the Prix Utopia 2001—the French sf lifetime achievement or grandmaster award—at Utopiales 2001, the international festival in Nantes at the start of November. Previously honoured authors are Jack Vance, Brian Aldiss, and Frederik Pohl. The exciting part for Chris was that the massive glass award had previously spent some hours being admired on an illuminated plinth and was quite literally hot enough to raise blisters. In the ensuing struggle, the Prix came to pieces.

R.I.P. Roy Boulting (1913-2001), one of the UK film-making Boulting Brothers, died early in November aged 87. The brothers ventured into sf territory with their nuclear thriller Seven Days to Noon (1950). * Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001), Scottish author whose historical novels (the Lymond series especially) were highly regarded in sf fan circles, died on 9 November; she was 78.

Terrorwatch. has been pleading with publishers: 'We have recently become aware that some book shipments contain a white powdery substance used to protect titles from humidity. In light of recent events and in the interests of safety, we would like you to please refrain from including any such powder in your shipments to us.'

Thog's Masterclass. Sir Arthur C. Clarke writes: 'Herewith my modest contribution to Thog's Masterclass. "You cad!" she hissed.' Thank you, Sir Arthur, but where's the attribution and date on which Thog insists? Is it from 2001?


David Langford is a writer, editor, physicist, bon vivant, and software consultant. His monthly SF newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. He lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards.

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