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It's news, Jim, but not as we know it

'Jude Fisher', whose debut fantasy novel Sorcery Rising is being heavily promoted by Simon & Schuster's London imprint Earthlight this month, turns out to be editor Jane Johnson of HarperCollins UK. Insiders are now speculating on whether Earthlight's editor John Jarrold will soon receive a hefty advance for a pseudonymous debut fantasy to be published by HarperCollins.

As Others See Us. The Minority Report film press pack plays the traditional 'not sf' card: 'Minority Report is not Science Fiction, it's Future Reality!'

R.I.P. Bernard Wilkie (1920-2002), pioneer of TV special effects and co-founder of the Visual Effects Workshop at the BBC (where he worked from 1948 to 1978), died on 2 May aged 82. His sf work included 1984 (1954), Quatermass II (1955) and its sequel, and Dr Who — not to mention Monty Python and The Goodies.

London Pub Meetings — Renewed Horror! At the first-Thursday London fan meeting on 6 June, the landlord of the Florence Nightingale pub lost patience with our irritating habits of spending money on food (none available, not even the loathed 'bar snacks') and wanting full legal pints of beer (one fan who asked for a top-up had his glass filled with stale dregs from the drip-tray). All future first-Thursday FN bookings were cancelled. The nearby Jubilee in York Road welcomed a temporary move there, from the 4 July meeting onward, while a more suitably sized pub is located. See London Group web page for updates.

Richard Calder was disconcerted to find that the 'free extract' from his novel Lord Soho on the Earthlight website bore no resemblance to anything he remembered writing. Who was 'Tristan Talisker — Thane of Soulis Mor'? Ansible traced the offending text to the prologue of a very different (and very Scots) fantasy from the same publisher, Miller Lau's Dark Thane.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Arachnology. 'Her wide, dark eyes crawled over me like spiders.' (Manly Wade Wellman, 'The Spring', 1979) Dept of Logic. 'After all, Roamers had disproved the impossible time and again.' 'The Curiosity had been built with an eye for practicality and engineering necessities rather than aesthetics […] In the vacuum of space no one could see beautiful lines or shiny hulls anyway.' (both Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire, 2002)


David Langford is an author and a gentleman. His 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. He continues to add books and Hugos.

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