And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more
Ursula Le Guin was named this week as SFWA's twentieth Grand Master,
with a formal presentation to follow at the Nebula ceremony in April. This
column is not afraid to say, however controversially: 'About time, too!'
As Others See Us. A change from the usual litany of contempt for sf
and fantasy! Novelist Joanne Harris of
Chocolat fame, invited to choose her six favourite books for The
Week (28 Dec), came up with a distinctly fannish selection: The
Gormenghast Trilogy, Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, Salammbô,
Lolita and Zelazny's A Rose for Ecclesiastes.
Meanwhile, for those uncertain of the precise genre of
Star Trek: Nemesis, a Salisbury UK cinema sign reveals the answer:
Philip K. Dick Award for US paperback originals: here's the
The Mount and Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories
Kay Kenyon, Maximum Ice
China Miéville, The Scar
Jeff VanderMeer & Forrest Aguirre (ed.), Leviathan Three
Liz Williams, Empire of Bones
UK New Year Honours. Ridley Scott was knighted. Peter Ackroyd (whose
literary fantasies include Hawksmoor and The House of Doctor Dee)
and Brian Cox (an actor with several TV sf credits, including Red Dwarf
and The Cloning of Joanna May) received the CBE.
Jeff VanderMeer poses a question which had not occurred to me: 'Why
are there so many entrances to hell in the UK?' He's been looking at
Not for nothing was our late Queen Mother known, in her giddy youth, as
Golden Oldies. In reaction to endless hype about the latest Best
Young British Writers promotion, BBC Radio 4's
Front Row chose its list of the top ten British authors over 70,
including Brian Aldiss, J.G.Ballard and Doris Lessing.
R.I.P. Another belated notice: Ian MacNaughton (1925-2002),
director of almost every episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus and of
the first Python film And Now For Something Completely Different (1971),
died in Munich on 10 December following a car crash; he was 76. In an earlier
acting career, he appeared in the sf film X The Unknown (1956). Paul
Barnett remembers: 'He was one of the nicest, friendliest of men. It's little
realized that, without him and his faith in this oddball new series, Monty
Python's Flying Circus might have had an extremely hard job making it to the
screen, if at all
I've always regarded him as the extra, uncredited Python.'
Thog's Masterclass. Relativity Dept. '"I once read
somewhere," said Peter, "that a minute on Mars is equal to a year on
our Earth, so that would be the reason why everything is terrifically speeded
up."' (Prof A.M. Low, Adrift in the Stratosphere, 1937)
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.