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Since my chief hope of immortality involves product placement of my name in novels by the all too many authors who sell better than me, I was suitably touched by Simon R. Green's confirmation of his latest homage. 'It's official; you are now a character in Deathstalker Coda. You are deLangford, head of the ThrillKill Cult. Your head explodes, on the dark side of the moon.' I can hardly wait.

Kevin J. Anderson's favourite fan mail places him firmly in the earnings class of, say, Stephen King: 'Dear Mr. Anderson, I'm an average American and im 15 years old. You have more money then you know wat to do with so it wouldnt hurt you to send me $5,000 dollars. Please, Im going to be 16 soon and I need to buy a car. I only get paid minumum wage, and dont work enought to make payments. All i want in life right now is a car, but i CANT afford it. You have so much money, this wont hurt you at all. Just take 5 min and write me a check please!! I need a car! PS. You probly wont even read this. Do you really care about me, your fan? Or am I just someone who gets u more money? If you send me the check, I will totally beleieve you are the most caring, genourous, kindest, sweetest person this planet has ever known. If not...well no offense bur u'll be just one of those rich conceited Hollywood people who only think of themselves....'

R.I.P. Alex Gordon (1922-2003), London-born film producer and screenwriter, died in Los Angeles on 26 June; he was 80. His 1950s genre credits include The She-Creature, Day the World Ended, Voodoo Woman and Atomic Submarine. He also wrote Bride of the Monster for Ed Wood and had a regular column in the early days of Fangoria.    Peter Redgrove (1932-2003), UK poet, author and playwright, died on 16 June aged 71. His novels -- two co-written with his wife Penelope Shuttle, who survives him -- are mostly fabulations and occult fantasies; Steve Sneyd notes that he wrote poetry with an sf flavour, some of it published in New Worlds in the 1960s.

Outraged Letters. Stephen Baxter on Margaret Atwood's latest dismissive definition of sf, 'talking squids in outer space': 'Yikes, it's all my fault then; I did have talking squids in outer space, in my novel Time. Get a life, woman!' But Jeff VanderMeer adds: 'I do agree that the disreputable "talking squid in outer space" subgenre is giving sf a bad name. On the other hand, talking squid in a fantasy or postmodern fantasy story are not only acceptable -- they're expected! At least, by me.' M.J. Simpson crushingly responds to the Dan Dare philately coverage in Runcible 84: 'As I'm sure you're already aware, Colonel Dare has already been commemorated on a British stamp, these 12 years gone by:

Thog's Masterclass. 'London was a city of ghosts, some deader than others.' (Mark Billingham, Scaredy Cat, 2002)


He Do the Time Police in Different VoicesDavid Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Different Kinds of Darkness, a new short-story collection of horror, SF, and fantasy, Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?)

Dave 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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