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02.21.03

SF author Ken MacLeod has been in the news again, sort of. It seems that the TV comedy The Book Group (UK Channel 4) has a novelist character with this name, usually referred to as Kenny. After another character had sex with and then broke up with him, sf fans thrilled to the resonant line "You're a lousy lay, Ken MacLeod." Any publicity, they say, is good publicity.

As Others See Us. George Clooney on that remake of Solaris: 'Believe me, Fox wasn't thrilled to do a $47 million sci-fi film that has nothing to do with sci-fi and everything to do with a man's belief system.' (Interview, Time Out, Feb 12-19)

Thog's Unfortunate Turns of Phrase. 'Supernatural thriller writer Doug Clegg has been known as an innovator. In order to bring attention to himself and try to bore a solid core of genre fans, he became one of the first ever to give an e-book away for free on the Internet.' (PWDaily, 7 February)

R.I.P. Belated notice: Mary Wesley (1912-2002), UK author best known for mainstream novels but who also described post-nuclear-holocaust events in The Sixth Seal (1969), died on 30 December 2002 at home in Totnes, Devon. She was 90.

Pat 'La Diva Loca' Cadigan, having visited Rome, announced a shock change of soubriquet this month. She is now styling herself 'La Dolce Diva'. ('You dog, Langford,' she explained.)

Interaction, the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon, can now accept membership payments on-line — http://www.interaction.worldcon.org.uk/.

Thog's Masterclass. Electromagnetic Dept. '"I am not a ray expert, but since we started on this trip I have thought a lot about them," said Gator. "At least, I thought about those of which we have knowledge. I remembered that all rays, like an electric current — which after all is only a ray even if it is carried on a wire — have a definite velocity. Some travel fast, others comparatively slowly. I imagine it depends on the wave-length. The question that sprang to my mind, when I realized we were in the grip of a ray, was, what was its velocity? If it travelled faster than the Tavona we were lost. But if we could travel faster than the ray there was a chance of escape. We were only cruising, you remember, when the ray caught us. Having turned I put the ship into its maximum velocity, as quickly as I dared and the experiment succeeded. As we approached the velocity of the ray its power began to diminish. By the time I was in absolute maximum the ray had lost its force. In other words, we had out-run it."' (Captain W.E. Johns, The Death Rays of Ardilla, 1959)

 


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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