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Ansible correspondent David V. Barrett reveals the Author vs Editor highlight of the Gollancz party mentioned last week: 'You missed the bit outside a bar later on, when Ian Watson and David Pringle were poking their fingers into each other's navels. I'm not sure whether they were comparing depth, texture, wrinkledness, hirsuteness — or misguidedly searching for a male G-Spot…'


Ben Bova's sf novel The Rock Rats was illustrated on — for a short, glorious period until the authorities noticed — with a cover scan which unsubtly modified his name: see our pirated copy.

Thog's Copyeditor Masterclass. Mike Moorcock reports: 'In the new (and recommended) Better to Have Loved, The Life of Judith Merril, I am credited with transforming "a formerly mild science fiction called 'Flagship' into what became known as 'New Worlds'." I suspect this is a case of editing done after Judy's death. The book is full of interesting and generally affectionate insights into the sf scene of the 40s, 50s and 60s in particular.'

Lambda Awards 2002. The sf and fantasy category of these awards for gay/lesbian/etc writing was won by Lisa A. Barnett & Melissa Scott, for Point of Dreams.

Brian Stableford defines his literary goals: 'My ten millionth published word will appear before the end of the year — my arithmetic isn't sufficiently exact for me to identify which one it will be — and I realize to my horror that it has taken me 37 years. If it took me another 37 years to get to twenty million I'd be in my 90s; having no confidence in my ability to last so long I'm hoping to get it done in 21 years — if I can manage that I'll only be 75, and will be able to reassess the situation to see if it's worth trying for twenty-five million.'

Another SF Prediction. H.G. Wells almost foresees that utopian personal transport, the Segway: 'A man had come up along the road on a machine like a small two-wheeled two-seater with its wheels in series, bicycle fashion; lighter and neater it was than any earthly automobile and mysteriously able to stand upon its two wheels without standing still.' (Men Like Gods, 1923)

R.I.P. John Nathan-Turner (1948-2002), BBC producer responsible for 130 episodes of Doctor Who from 1980 to 1989, died on 3 May aged 54. He had first joined the show as a floor assistant in 1969.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Eyeballs in the Sky. 'Marley's great, popping black eyes bounced around the room, looking for any sign of retreat from any of the guests.' (James L. Swanson, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, 2001)


Congratulations, Dave, on two new Hugo nominations!

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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