A reader recommends the Online
Books site, a vast and perhaps insane project to catalogue all the free
books available on the web. Also selected serial publications: 'While most
fanzines don't qualify,' explains editor John Mark Ockerbloom, 'those that have
made it into major libraries, and for which at least a continuous year is
legitimately online, do.' The lucky few include Lee Hoffman's
Five-Yearly, Bruce Sterling's
and (I gloat) Ansible.
J.M. Coetzee, as Gordon Van Gelder points out, is the first winner
of the Nobel Prize for Literature (announced on 2 October) to have been
shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award. The 1982 US paperback of his Waiting
for the Barbarians (1980) lost to Rudy Rucker's Software.
British Fantasy Society Awards. Winners to be announced at
Fantasycon on 23 November. Here are the novel finalists:
Ramsey Campbell, The Darkest Part of the Woods
Jonathan Carroll, White Apples
Mark Chadbourn, The Devil in Green
Graham Joyce, The Facts of Life
China Miéville, The Scar
The detailed list of nominees in all categories is on the
Fantasy Society website.
R.I.P. William Steig
(1907-2003), prolific US cartoonist and illustrator whose popular children's
books included Shrek (1990), died on 3 October aged 95. His first
cartoon sold in 1930 to The New Yorker, which published him for over 70
Korean Fantasy? John Jarrold, former editor at Earthlight, was a
delegate at the UK-Korea Fantasy Publishing Forum in Seoul (19 September), where
he detected great interest in translated commercial fantasy as distinct from
Korea's 'literary' fantasy tradition. Opportunity beckons, says John, and
invites published authors to contact him in his role as 'liaison and conduit to
various Korean publishers.'
Experience Science Fiction. This sf museum, or rather, this
'interactive, media-rich experience that combines artifacts and information in
evocative environments that immerse visitors in science fiction's alternative
worlds', opens in Seattle in June 2004. Several high-powered sf people are on
the board of advisers. See http://www.sciencefictionexperience.com/.
Tove Jansson may have died in 2001, but on 4 October the Guardian
books editor Nicholas Clee included her
The Summer Book in a list of new bestsellers by first-time novelists. A
very late debut.... Paul Barnett: 'Wonder if it's the same translation as the
1988 Shocken Books edition?'
Thog's Masterclass. Metaphor Dept. 'Long-since dusty hopes
are about to float away on the invisible ink of time, he thought.' (Robert
Newcomb, The Fifth Sorceress, 2002.)
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.