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Our editor will hit me if I plug too many of my own books here, but I can't resist sharing the discovery that the Wildside Press e-newsletter blurb for my and John Grant's bowel-churning horror spoof Guts featured this mysterious paragraph (since deleted): 'RIDDLE STORIES is the American volume, and it includes Ambrose Bierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Charles Brockden Brown, F. Marion Crawford, and many others.' As I regretfully told Wildside, anyone who buys Guts expecting to find these authors included, even as well-digested slurry, is in for a disappointment…

John Jarrold, editor of the Simon & Schuster UK sf/fantasy imprint Earthlight, is leaving S&S in August. 'I have had a wonderful five years here, and launching the Earthlight imprint in April 1998 was one of the great achievements of my career. However, there are always times when moving on becomes one's best option, and that is what I am now doing.' Mike Moorcock adds: 'I am not prepared to deal with another editor, so I too will be leaving Simon and Schuster. All the staff who were there when I first joined are now gone …'

Sam J. Lundwall is charmed: 'I have finally been accepted by the cultural establishment of Sweden — I have received a "Garanterad författarpenning", which is a guaranteed income for certain selected authors. A sum sufficient to survive on (but not too much more). The idea is that a few authors should be able to write without having to worry about money or sales or whatever. No strings attached. This means in effect the government is paying me a salary for doing whatever I like. This will go on until I turn 70, after which a special author's pension will kick in for support. Not bad. Who could ever have thought that a science fiction writer should get a salary from the cultural establishment to write this Buck Rogers stuff?' The British government, as Terry Pratchett and J.K. Rowling know, prefers to hand out state honours with no sordid money attached.

Are They Sure? From a Guardian newspaper tourism supplement: 'Many of New Zealand's species of wildlife are unique to this planet.' (New Scientist)

Thog's Masterclass. Purple Prose of Cairo Dept. 'Yes. Unable to press her tongue against the word, Briony could only nod, and felt as she did so a sulky thrill of self-annihilating compliance spreading across her skin, ballooning outwards from it, darkening the room in throbs.' (Ian McEwan, Atonement, 2001) Dept of Disjunct Digits. 'He held his left hand out in front of his face; palm down and with his index finger raised six inches above his hand.' (Nigel Atkinson, 'An Exhalation of Butterflies', Interzone, May 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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