The Toronto Worldcon is getting closer and closer, and on 15 August posted
its initial programme schedule at
... Oh God, did I really volunteer?
Margaret Atwood's careful rejection of the sf label was rewarded on
15 November, when Oryx and Crake made the Booker Prize longlist.
Ray Bradbury revealed all about his sf career: `It's a lie. I was
never a science-fiction writer. Science fiction is the art of telling things
that can really happen because they exist physically ... Fantasy is about things
that can't happen, that you make happen anyway, which is what I do.' Bradbury
never a science fiction writer? What, never? Hardly ever: `The only
completely science fiction story I've ever written was
Fahrenheit 451.' (New
York Daily News, 14 August)
Kelly Freas is in the hospital with a broken hip. Lydia Marano
writes: `Despite his age, the prognosis is very good and he's not expected to be
incapacitated for long. Unfortunately he won't be up to attending Torcon.' He
will be honoured as a guest in Toronto next week, even if physically unable to
attend. Damn: I really wanted to say hello....
R.I.P. Russ (Louis Russell) Chauvenet (1920-2003), old-time
US fan whose 1940s fanzines included
Detours and Sardonyx, died peacefully on 24 June, aged 83. He
will always be remembered -- in the Oxford English Dictionary as well as
sf fandom -- for coining the word `fanzine' in October 1940. Mike
Hinge (1931-2003), New Zealand-born sf artist long resident in the USA, died
on or near 7 August, his 72nd birthday. I admired his 1970s covers for
Amazing, whose (then) editor Ted White writes: `I ran more than half a
dozen covers by Mike -- all of which I loved -- as well as interior art and
running heads in
Amazing/Fantastic. Mike also had two covers on Time magazine.' A
selection of his work appeared as The Mike Hinge Experience (1973)
Peter Weston, whose UK company (specializing in car door handles)
traditionally makes the Hugo Award rockets, revealed: `I've done them with
gold-plating this year, for the 50th anniversary, 1953-2003 ...'
Thog's Masterclass. Paper Cuts Scissors Dept. `Can you wrap
this letter in a stone and drop it in front of the farmhouse where people will
see it?' (Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men, 2003)
David 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.