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07.22.02

Noises of rejoicing were heard at Ansible HQ as Terry Pratchett picked up a 'mainstream' literary award at last. In a special ceremony at the British Library on 12 July, the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction went to The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001). Terry's comment: 'I am, I have to say, somewhat pleased — not because TAMAHER is fantasy, but because it is — ostensibly — funny.'

As Others See Us. '… the whole purpose of the novel is fiction; it's to imagine and to try and retain some credibility — unless you're writing sci-fi or something …' (Ann Widdecombe, BBC Radio 4, 8 July)

J.K. Rowling's Czech translations rather delightfully add the appropriate feminine suffix to her name: the Harry Potter titles in Prague bookshops are by J.K. Rowlingova.

R.I.P. Rod Steiger (1925-2002), Oscar-winning US actor, died on 10 July after a gall bladder operation; he was 77. His genre work included The Illustrated Man (1969) — with Claire Bloom, second of his four wives — The Amityville Horror (1979) and Mars Attacks! (1996). Ray Bradbury called him 'a wonderfully creative actor and a very good friend.'

Moore and Worse. Harry Connolly brings me up to date on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film (see Runcible Ansible 29): 'I've read the script, and the new villain hails from the only spot in the world more jam-packed with evil masterminds than Britain: France. The new baddie is the Fantom of the Opera, now equipped with an army of thugs and a secret Mongolian fortress. You think I'm kidding? Also, all references to Quatermain's drug use have been expunged, and he's now a dashing old adventurer grieving over his inability to save his son's life. Hence, Tom Sawyer as surrogate son. If the film resembles the script I read, you can also look forward to a large supporting role for action hero Dorian Gray, and dialog like — Quatermain: "The vampire's got our backs!"; Don't make that face. What did you expect?'

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Cruel and Unusual Geography. 'She wore large bronze earrings made in an obscure country which rattled when she laughed.' (Brian Aldiss, Remembrance Day, 1993)

 


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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