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10.10.03

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 Science Fiction Five-Yearly, Bruce Sterling's Cheap Truth, 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 British 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 years.

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.)

 


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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