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Hey, those nice Japanese fans have shortlisted me for a Seiun Award; my story 'Different Kinds of Darkness' must have gained in the translation....

Robert Holdstock also brags: 'The Czech Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror have just awarded me their prize for the best novel of 2002 (The Iron Grail). The award is called "The Newt". Named for Karel Capek's War Against the Newts. The award is ... a newt. But hopefully a pewter newt! I'm very pleased indeed. The translator was Petr Kotrle, who also translates Garry Kilworth and Octavia Butler.'

As Others See Us. Margaret Atwood (yet again!) continues to dissociate her latest novel from us low sci-fi trash: 'Oryx and Crake is not science fiction. It is fact within fiction. Science fiction is when you have rockets and chemicals'. (New Scientist interview) Play it again, Ms Atwood: '... Oryx and Crake is a speculative fiction, not a science fiction proper. It contains no intergalactic space travel, no teleportation, no Martians.' (Book-of-the-Month Club)

SETI Corner. Bob Rickard of Fortean Times recommends the cutting-edge website at, which reveals the aliens among us and indeed their responsibility for the Iraq war. Sample elucidation: 'GALACTIC ALLIANCE AGAINST SNAKES/LIZARDS means 86 to the snakes..OUT OF HERE SNAKES!( those of the GOOD=3=ALLIANCE=444) against KAOS(13-ORDER of the snakes)'.

As Others See Us (Retro Division). 'In the same week that his latest Dr Who story ends (Saturday BBC1), writer Terry Nation (below, with Daleks) has a new series, Survivors (Wednesday BBC1), beginning. "But they're two very different series," insists Nation, who talks to Chris Dunkley in our feature. "Survivors has its roots in the future, as it were, but it's not science-fiction. It's going into the realms of the impossible; it's skating very close to possible."' (Radio Times 12-18 April 1975)

Oh No, Not Again. Two British fans whom the gods evidently wish to destroy have announced a plan to bid for the 2014 World SF Convention, with a total of one presupporter already signed up. 'We haven't really settled on what country it should be in, but we have agreed that somewhere in the EU seems plausible.' The major policy decision so far is to run Retro Hugos for work published in 1938, as allowed 75 years after their non-presentation in 1939.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of What Does He Call It Now? 'Fate has just laid its freezing hand around that ancient organ he once called his heart, and squeezed it tenderly ...' (Jude Fisher, Sorcery Rising, 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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