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Great excitement at Ansible HQ when Gollancz sent a Philip K. Dick novel unknown to me! Was Cantata-140 a lost MS belatedly discovered in some attic? No, alas, it's just a retitling of a old book whose first half had appeared in F&SF as 'Cantata 140'. Perhaps the Gollancz people were nervous of so much as hinting at any possible association of Dick with drug culture by retaining his 1966 title -- not mentioned even on the copyright page — The Crack in Space.

Bram Stoker Awards. A few categories from the copious shortlists:


  Douglas Clegg, The Hour Before Dark

  Stephen King, From a Buick 8

  Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby

  Tom Piccirilli, The Night Class

  Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones


  Tina Jens, The Blues Ain't Nothin'

  Michael Laimo, Atmosphere

  Scott Nicholson, The Red Church

  Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones


  Clive Barker, Abarat

  Nancy Etchemendy, Cat in Glass and Other Tales of the Unnatural

  Neil Gaiman, Coraline

  Richard Matheson and William Stout, Abu & The Seven Marvels

As a contributor, I was also pleased to see Richard Bleiler's epic two-volume Supernatural Fiction Writers: Contemporary Fantasy and Horror on the nonfiction shortlist. More information at; winners to be announced in June.

As Others See Us. Once again, burblings from a promotional press pack: ` 'In fact, it is this very unknown aspect of the film's subject that makes The Core not just another science fiction movie. Says producer David Foster: "We've seen sea adventures and space odysseys, but traveling into the core of the earth is largely unexplored terrority."' Which, as our informant Dan Kimmel notes, will no doubt come as a great surprise to the adapters of Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Burroughs's At the Earth's Core....

R.I.P. John Foyster (1941-2002), legendary Australian fan, critic, publisher, witty curmudgeon and (in real life) statistician, died on 5 April after prolonged but unsuccessful treatment for an inoperable brain tumour diagnosed towards the end of 2001. He was 61. His partner Yvonne Rousseau writes: 'It is a great blessing that he died without ever experiencing great pain from the cancer, and that he died very peacefully: simply failing to take the next breath.'

J.K. Rowling and Time Warner won their Amsterdam lawsuit blocking publication of Dmitry Yemets's 'Tanya Grotter' rip-off (eight books planned, 500,000 copies sold in Russia) -- although Yemets and his Dutch publisher Byblos can appeal. See BBC coverage.

David A. Hardy isn't the only sf/space artist whose name adorns an asteroid: astronomer Dr James Scotti named a whole batch from a list including Kim Poor, Don Davis, Chris Butler, Bob Eggleton and Alan Bean, with more to come.

London Pub Meetings (first Thursday evening each month) are again in upheaval after problems too tedious to relate at the April gathering. See for more than you wished to know.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Doing It The Hard Way. 'Xavier closed his eyes, then forced himself to watch the terrible solution.' (Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Legends of Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, 2002)


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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