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09.12.03

Langfordian Hugo, 2003Post-Worldcon exhaustion is still with me, despite triumphant wheedling of the Fan Writer Hugo through Toronto airport security. YOUNG WOMAN AT X-RAY SCREEN: Jaw drops, eyebrows vanish into hairline, mouth opens and closes, makes weird gestures of bogglement. MYSELF: "I think I know what you're looking at...." And so home to the gloom of a bad cold and a family funeral. My mother-in-law died unexpectedly on 28 August, which somewhat overshadowed Torcon 3 for me. Apologies for intermittent Langfordian failure to be bright and cheery in Toronto.

As Others See Us. Rebecca Eckler of Canada's National Post took an unprejudiced view of the Torcon Hugos: 'I wasn't happy about attending, to say the least, as it was a Saturday night, on the long weekend, and I could think of a trillion things I'd rather be doing — like absolutely nothing — than hanging out with a bunch of sci-fi geeks. (It's OK to call them geeks because they call themselves geeks. This year's Hugo winner, Canadian Robert J.Sawyer, even described himself that night as a "fat, bald geek who knows way too much Star Trek trivia.")' (2 Sep) A notable feat of telepathic reporting, since Robert Sawyer's Hugo was presented last and (after getting substantially less polite) Eckler also brags about 'walking out halfway through the awards.' Another mordant observation, couched in tones of sartorial horror, was that '75% of those in attendance were wearing glasses'. How... geeky of them. Researchers assure me that the scornful Eckler didn't single out sf fandom particularly, since she writes pretty much the same story about every event she covers.

Rhysling Awards have been announced by the SF Poetry Association. Short Poem: Ruth Berman, 'Potherb Gardening' (Asimov's 12/02). Long Poem: (tie) Charles Saplak and Mike Allen, 'Epochs in Exile: A Fantasy Trilogy' (Eotu Ezine, 2/02), and Sonya Taaffe, 'Matlacihuatl's Gift' (Dreams and Nightmares, 9/02).

Astronomy Corner. '...it was often thought that Venus might be more promising as a potential colony. It is twenty miles closer to the Sun than we are, making it more outwardly attractive.' (Sir Patrick Moore, Eighty Not Out [autobiography], 2003)

R.I.P. Charles Bronson (1921-2003), US actor who made rare genre appearances in House of Wax (1953), Master of the World (1961) and TV's Twilight Zone (1961), died on 30 August aged 81.

More Torcon Awards. As I forgot to mention last week.... John W.Campbell Award for best new writer: Wen Spencer. Further presentations at the Hugo extravaganza included the Seiun Awards as listed in Runcible 89; the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award, to Philip Francis Nolan (posthumously) and Philip Josť Farmer; the Moskowitz Archive Award, to Rusty Hevelin; and the Big Heart Award, to John Hertz. Gaylactic Spectrum Award winners included Laurie Marks for Fire Logic (novel) and Sarah Monette for 'Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland' (short). Prometheus Award for 'libertarian' sf: Terry Pratchett, Night Watch.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Interplanetary Logistics. [On Mars:] 'He gestured to a replicant, who came forward with glasses of Californian wine. Wine was a luxury available only to governors: it came in plastic barrels at immense cost from the Florida station.' (Brian Aldiss, 'Red, But Not Dead', Independent, 20 August 2003)

 


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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