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09.25.03

Here's some unreliable speculation from Peter Weston, Supplier of Gernsbackian Rockets to the Gentry. He liked the Torcon Hugo trophies incorporating his 50th-anniversary golden rockets, and so: 'I thought we might do something different next year. In view of my experiences in being snowed-in at two Boskones, how about white Hugos at Boston? And for Glasgow in 2005, of course, the MacDocherty clan colours (might be a bit difficult to get the tartan paint, though).'

Margaret Atwood reached the six-strong Booker Prize shortlist with her undeniably (except by her) sf novel Oryx and Crake. She has been nominated five times and won the 2000 prize for The Blind Assassin.

Publishers and Sinners. A top-echelon reshuffle at the Orion Publishing Group in Britain: Anthony Cheetham, Chief Executive, has been fired and replaced by Peter Roche (both were founders of Orion in 1991), while one-time fanzine publisher Malcolm Edwards moves into the brand-new post of Deputy Chief Executive and Publisher, with full powers of high, middle and low justice to 'direct publishing policy across the group'. No alarming changes to the Victor Gollancz sf/fantasy imprint are expected. 'Business very much as usual is the message,' says VG's Jo Fletcher.

Jack Chalker collapsed on 18 September with what was thought to be a heart attack. Hospital tests reportedly found evidence of an old rather than a recent attack. All best wishes for his speedy recovery.

R.I.P. Jules Engel (1909-2003), Hungarian-born US animator best known for his work on Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940), died on 6 September aged 94. Andrew I. Porter writes: 'He also worked on Disney's Bambi (1942), was a founder of the UPA animation studio, developed Mr. Magoo, and later helped found Format Films, where he worked on Alvin and the Chipmunks and collaborated with Theodor Seuss Geisel, Saul Bass, and Ray Bradbury.' Jay Morton (1911-2003), former writer/artist at the Fleischer animation studios, who scripted many of the 1940s Superman cartoons and wrote their famed 'Faster than a speeding bullet ...' introduction, died on 6 September; he was 92.

Time Warp. British SF Association members experienced an eerie sense of déjà vu when the Matrix newsletter in their September mailing proved to be a faithful reproduction of the July issue. This is all the fault of printer/distributor PDC Copyprint, which has promised to print and mail, free of charge, what one might call Matrix Reloaded.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Inventions Suppressed by Oil Companies. 'He and the other Farm driver, an old man by the name of Jenkins, had meticulously revamped most of the cars here, and had converted the engines so that they ran on oxygen; they had solved the age-old problem of running out of petrol, and as long as they kept the engines clean, the cars could theoretically run forever for nothing.' (Paul F.Savage, The Man Who Saw The Future, 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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