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09.20.02

Stephen Baxter's coming sf blockbuster Evolution revives the traditional practice of Tuckerization — writing fans into sf novels, in this case a fanzine publisher and archivist who is one of the 2005 Worldcon guests of honour. Are the 2005 organizers aware of his eco-terrorist activities? 'British-born Gregory Pickersgill was the charismatic leader of the central cult; the worst kind of trouble — sometimes lethal — followed him around.' Much later, though, it's revealed that 'Pickersgill is a pleasing joke, and useful.'

R.I.P. Lloyd Biggle Jr (1923-2002), US author, musicologist and oral historian who published a number of entertaining sf novels in the 1960s and 1970s, died on 12 September. His first story appeared in 1954; his most popular books were Monument (1974) and the 'Jan Darzek' sequence beginning with All the Colours of Darkness (1963) and Watchers of the Dark (1966). He was a founding SFWA official and also founded the SF Oral History Association in the 1970s. I liked his work a lot. Kim Hunter (1922-2002), Oscar-winning US actress who played the sympathetic ape Dr Zira in the original Planet of the Apes (1968) and its first two sequels, died on 11 September aged 79. 'The only thing of me that came through was my eyeballs.' Jo Thomas (1943-2002), Dutch fan, convention runner, and sf editor/translator, died on 10 September at age 59. He is survived by his wife Sheila Kavanagh, formerly Holdstock. Martin Hoare writes: 'He had been a fan for as long as I can remember. I first met him at the 1994 Beneluxcon in Brugge, Belgium. I can't remember a Dutch con which he didn't attend.'

Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books had a soul-chilling encounter with Great Cthulhu at the San José world — partly rugose and partly squamous, by Feorag NicBhride.

Not Space Opera. The Handmaid's Tale, adapted by Poul Ruders, will be an English National Opera production in 2003: April 3, 5, 9, 11, 14 and 25, and May 2. 7:30pm. According to our correspondent, 'This will be the first performance in English, I believe — it's been done in Danish. It is seriously modern music…'

Thog's Masterclass. Long Division Dept. 'The moment you draw a circle, pi exists. Yet it's entirely irrational. There's no rational answer to the sum "twenty-two over seven". You can divide twenty-two by seven for ever but you never get a real definite answer.' (Ian Watson, Alien Embassy, Gollancz, 1977)

 


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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