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Our correspondent Jonathan Palfrey feels (and I agree) that Runcible needs more cheer to balance all the grim health news: 'Are there no prominent sf figures quotably announcing "I am in rude health!", "I wrestle poodles and win!", or "My doctor says I could live to be a thousand"? How about photos showing young, fit sf writers breaking the ice to swim nude in a Scandinavian lake? There must be some healthy professional sportspeople who read sf, even if occasionally and moving their lips.' Well, I'm told there's all too ample photographic evidence of he-man Gardner Dozois baring his nipple during the recent Worldcon…

Philip José Farmer was presented with a plaque at a Peoria, Illinois, public library on 10 August, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his once madly controversial alien-sex story 'The Lovers' (Startling Stories, August 1952) — which helped him win a Hugo in their first year of presentation, as Best New Author. Forwarding this news, Jim Meadows invited me to contemplate the 50th anniversary of my first Hugo, in 2035. How about if we don't contemplate it?

Awards. Rhysling Award for sf poetry: LONG Lawrence Schimel, 'How to Make a Human'. SHORT William John Watkins, 'We Die As Angels'. Gaylactic Spectrum Awards: NOVEL Hugh Nissenson, The Song of the Earth. SHORT Alexis Glynn Latner, 'Kindred'. OTHER Bending the Landscape: Horror ed. Nicola Griffith & Stephen Pagel.

R.I.P. Michael Elphick (1946-2002), the UK actor who died on 8 September aged 55, did little genre work but is known to Star Wars fans as 'the Empire officer Darth Vader choked with The Force.' Late notice: we missed the death of US film director John Frankenheimer (1930-2002) on 28 June. His The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964) and Seconds (1966) were praised in the 1993 SF Encyclopedia; the inferior monster movie Prophecy (1979) was not.

Melbourne in 2010: Let's Do It Again! Evilly manipulative American and British fans at a San José World SF Convention party fomented this Australian worldcon bid despite initial feeble protests from Aussie attendee Stephen Boucher, who dazedly found himself chairman of a popular movement that raised well over $4,500 within 24 hours of its launch.

Farscape, whatever that is, has been cancelled by the Sci-Fi Channel; there's to be no Series 5 of what's been described as Sci-Fi's flagship offering. Lots of fans are mightily upset, and rescue plans have been mooted.

Thog's Masterclass. Detached Viewpoint Dept. 'Isaac threw up his face and swung it around him, desperately searching for light.' (China Miéville, Perdido Street Station, 2000) Dept of 468%. 'The Orphean atmosphere was mostly nitrogen — six times as much as on Earth ...' (Greg Egan, Diaspora, 1998)


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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