From David Langford@21:1/5 to All on Fri Apr 1 17:05:12 2022
From DAVID LANGFORD, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website news.ansible.uk. ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Available for SAE,
or a thousand, a hundred, ten and one, black marble steps.
CHRIS PRIEST & NINA ALLAN are moving to a smaller house and have bestowed a vast number of books (including their own author copies) on various Scots bookshops: see christopher-priest.co.uk/downsizing.
BRANDON SANDERSON's Kickstarter campaign to fund publication of four
'secret' novels written during lockdown transcended its $1 million goal --
and provoked a fair amount of public jealousy -- by raising $15m on the
first day. (_Publishers Lunch_, March) [MF] Funding soon passed the
previous Kickstarter record of $20.3m for a smart watch, and hit $40
million with over six hours still to go before the end-of-March deadline.
SFWA has gone global: the acronym now stands for Science Fiction and
Fantasy Writers Association rather than Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers
of America (second F silent in either case), though to avoid a 'monumental effort to change our incorporation status' the company is still Science
Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA, March)
CHARLES STROSS lamented: 'I'm just gonna write space opera from now on. /
It's the only way to be sure my present-day SF won't be upstaged when we discover that the Nazi Moon Pandas are paying the Brain Slugs controlling
the Russian Oligarchs to accelerate global warming. / (That's next week's headline.)' (Twitter, 3 March)
JEFF VANDERMEER mused: 'While Brandon Sanderson's kickstarter is at $15 million, my kickstarter to provide baby raccoons in the ravine with pants
is stuck at $25 of a $100,000 goal, with 2 days left to go. Why the hate?
What is WRONG with you people?!' (Facebook, 3 March)
MARTHA WELLS declined her Nebula nomination for the Murderbot series tale _Fugitive Telemetry_, declaring that 'someone else could use this
nomination better than I could.' Thus the three authors who were tied for
sixth place in Best Novella all became finalists. (Blog, 8 March)
### CONSTRINGENCY ###
7-10 Apr  LUXCON (Eurocon), Luxembourg. Euro30 reg; payment details
(IBAN) at www.luxcon.lu. Contact info at sffs dot lu.
8-10 Apr  TOLKIEN SOCIETY SPRINGMOOT/AGM, Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel, Exeter. See www.tolkiensociety.org/events/.
9 Apr  BEDFORD WHO CHARITY CON (_Doctor Who_), King's House, Ampthill
Road, Bedford. 10am-5:30pm. GBP42.50 reg; under-19s/students GBP22.50; under-14s GBP15. More at bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk.
ONLINE. 9-10 Apr  CONPULSION (games); physical event postponed to April
2023. See conpulsion.org for the smaller 2022 presence online.
9-10 Apr  SCI-FI SCARBOROUGH (multimedia), The Spa, Scarborough. Tickets GBP33.75; day GBP19.70. See scifiscarborough.co.uk.
15-18 Apr  RECLAMATION (Eastercon), Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, Heathrow. GBP80 reg; GBP45 concessions; accompanied under-18s GBP25;
under-5s free; GBP35 supporting. See reclamation2022.co.uk.
SOLD OUT. 21-24 Apr  CAMP SFW, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. See www.scifiweekender.com.
ONLINE. 27-29 Apr  GIFCON 2022 (Glasgow University conference), 'Fantasy Across Media'. More details awaited at tinyurl.com/ybekrfay.
7-8 May  PORTSMOUTH COMIC CON, Guildhall, Portsmouth. GBP25 adult weekend ticket; various other rates at portsmouthcomiccon.com.
21-22 May  HORRORCON UK, Magna, Sheffield. GBP45 reg; GBP55 early
admission (10am rather than 11am). Day rates at horrorconuk.com.
26-29 May  CHILLERCON UK (horror), Grand and Royal Hotels, Scarborough. GBP130 reg; HWA members GBP120. See chillercon-uk.com.
27-29 May  SATELLITE 7, Crowne Plaza, Glasgow. GBP70 reg (GBP80 at the
door); under-25s GBP60; under-18s GBP20; under-12s GBP5; under-5s GBP2. Day membership GBP20 Fri, GBP35 Sat or Sun. See seven.satellitex.org.uk.
25-26 Jun  STEAMPUNK WEEKEND, Belvoir Castle, Grantham. GBP22; under-17s GBP10. See belvoircastle.com/steampunk-weekend/.
13-17 Jul  ONCE AND FUTURE FANTASIES (conference), Centre for Fantasy, University of Glasgow. GBP200 reg _rising to GBP225 on18 April_; GBP98 concessions. See fantasy.glasgow.ac.uk/index.php/onceandfuturecon/.
5-7 Aug  TITANCON, Hilton Hotel, Belfast. GBP35 reg, _rising to GBP40 on
1 May;_ GBP45 from 1 July and at the door. More at titancon.com.
25-29 Aug  FRIGHTFEST (film), Leicester Square, London. Tickets at www.frightfest.co.uk/filmsandevents.html from 16 July.
26-29 Aug  THE ASYLUM (steampunk), Lincoln. Tickets were to go on sale in March, but it now says Spring at asylumsteampunk.co.uk.
6-7 Sep  THE PAST AS NIGHTMARE (conference), U of Reading. See research.reading.ac.uk/health-humanities/event/the-past-as-nightmare/.
20-23 Oct  CELLULOID SCREAMS (horror films), Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. Tickets GBP95 (GBP85 concessions) at celluloidscreams.co.uk.
29 Oct  BRISTOLCON, Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, Bristol. Guests and
membership rates awaited at www.bristolcon.org.
10-12 Mar 2023  MINAMICON (anime), Novotel Hotel, Southampton. Further details _circa_ July at www.minamicon.org.uk.
16-20 Aug 2023  WORLDCON 2023, Chengdu, China. Memberships on sale from
May: $120 reg; $100 first-timers; $80 students; $60 virtual; under-12s
free. Paid rates $50 less without WSFS/Hugo voting rights, a perhaps unconstitutional innovation. Special rates for 2023 site selection voters. Prices good to 30 September. See www.worldconinchina.com.
RUMBLINGS. _Eastercon 2023_ will be chosen by in-person and online voting
at Reclamation: bids are Conversation at conversation2023.org.uk (venue yet
to be announced) and Persistence (Birmingham NEC Hilton?) at persistence2023.uk.  _Worldcon 2024:_ Glasgow, the only bid to have filed
by the 4 March 2022 deadline, is unopposed. See glasgow2024.org.
### INFINITELY IMPROBABLE ###
AS OTHERS FEARED US. Karen Joy Fowler remembered her publisher's alarm when
she switched genres with _The Jane Austen Book Club_: '"She thought that a
lot of women -- and men -- who liked Jane Austen wouldn't pick up a book
about her if they knew it was written by a science-fiction writer." On the
day of publication, she happened to win a big sci-fi award. "And my
publisher said: 'Oh f**k, is there any way we can keep that information
from coming out?'"' (Interview in the _i_, 19 March)
AWARDS. _BAFTAs:_ best animated film was _Encanto_; _Dune_ won for cinematography, original score, production design, sound, and visual
_IAFA Distinguished Scholarship:_ Farah Mendlesohn.
_Nebula_ novel finalists: _The Unbroken_ by C.L. Clark; _A Master of Djinn_ by P. Djeli Clark; _Machinehood_ by S.B. Divya; _A Desolation Called Peace_ by Arkady Martine; _Plague Birds_ by Jason Sanford. For the
remaining categories see nebulas.sfwa.org/sfwa-announces-nebula-award-finalists/.
_Oscars:_ here _Dune_ won in the five BAFTA-winning categories above,
plus a sixth win for best editing. [AIP]
_Writers Guild_, original screenplay: _Don't Look Up_. [F770]
NEW SCALE UNIT INTRODUCED. 'Asteroid half the size of a giraffe strikes
Earth off coast of Iceland.' (_Daily Mail_, 14 March)
AS OTHERS SEE US (GRIMCHILL DEPT). On Jennifer Egan's novel _The Candy
House_: 'His invention -- a small, glowing cube, capable of downloading an entire human consciousness -- allows for some of the novel's more
fantastical themes, though calling it science fiction sounds far too chilly
and grim for the winding metaphysical mystery that follows.' (Leah
Greenblatt, _Entertainment Weekly_, April 2022) [PL]
R.I.P. _Ralph Ahn_ (1926-2022), US actor whose credits include _Amityville:
A New Generation_ (1993) and _Lawnmower Man 2_ (1996), died on 26 February
aged 95. [AIP]
_Kirk Baily_ (1963-2022), US voice actor in _Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex_ (English dub, 2002-2004), _Big Hero 6_ (2014), _Bumblebee_ (2018) and others, died on 27 February aged 59. [LP]
_Lynda Baron_ (1939-2022), UK actress in _Doctor Who_ (1966, 1983,
2011), _Humpty Dumpty_ (1968) and _Fimbles_ (2002-2003), died on 7 March
aged 82. [SG]
_Lars Bloch_ (1938-2022), Danish actor in Italian films including
_Atlas Against the Cyclops_ (1961), _The Flying Saucer_ (1964) and
_Fracchia vs. Dracula_ (1985), died on 27 March aged 83. [SS]
_Peter Bowles_ (1936-2022), UK actor in _The Legend of Hell House_
(1973) and various genre tv series, died on 17 March aged 85. [SJ]
_Johnny Brown_ (1937-2022), US actor in _Rickety Rocket_ (1979) and _Plastic Man_ (1979-1980), died on 2 March aged 84. [LP]
_Elguja Burduli_ (1941-2022), Georgian actor in the Strugatsky-based
_Hard to Be a God_ (1989), died on 5 March aged 80. [AM]
_Gianni Cavina_ (1940-2022), Italian actor in _Balsamus l'uomo di
Satana_ (1970), _Thomas and the Bewitched_ (1970) and others, died on 26
March aged 81. [SJ]
_Sorapong Chatree_ (1950-2022), Thai actor in _Out of the Darkness_
(1971, the first Thai sf film), _Headless Ghost_ (1980) and others, died on
10 March aged 71. [SJ]
_Jeremy Child_ (1944-2022), UK actor in _Doomwatch_ (1972 film),
_Sapphire & Steel_ (1981) and _Vice Versa_ (1981 tv), died on 7 March aged
_Marvin J. Chomsky_ (1929-2022), US tv director whose credits include
_The Wild Wild West_ (1967-1969), _Star Trek_ (1968-1969) and _Dr Franken_ (1980), died on 28 March aged 92. [LP]
_Denise Coffey_ (1936-2022), UK actress and writer fondly remembered
by Brits of a certain age for _Do Not Adjust Your Set_ (1967-1969: the
Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band! Captain Fantastic _vs_ the Blit Men!), died on 24
March aged 85. Credits include _Dark Towers_ (1981) and _The Tomorrow
People_ (1994). [SJ]
_Tim Considine_ (1940-2022), US actor in _The Shaggy Dog_ (1959),
_Monster Makers_ (2003) and _Frankenfish_ (2004), died on 3 March aged 81.
_Lawrence Dane_ (1937-2022), Canadian actor whose many genre credits include _Scanners_ (1981), _Bionic Showdown_ (1989), _Darkman II_ (1995), _Bride of Chucky_ (1998) and several tv series, died on 21 March aged 84.
_Farrah Forke_ (1968-2022), US actress in _Brain Twisters_ (1991), _Journey to the Center of the Earth_ (1993), _Lois & Clark_ (1994-1995) and others, died on 25 February aged 54. [SJ]
_Paul Herman_ (1946-2022), US actor in _The Purple Rose of Cairo_
(1985) and _Big_ (1988), died on 29 March aged 76. [LP]
_Alan Hopgood_ (1934-2022), Australian screenwriter who co-wrote _The
Man Who Saw Tomorrow_ (1981) and actor whose films include _Knowing_
(2009), died on 19 March aged 87. [SJ]
_Joel Houssin_ (1953-2022), noted French sf author who won the Grand
Prix de l'Imaginaire for _Les Vautours_ (1985) and his zombie novel _Le
Temps du twist_ (1990), and the Prix Apollo for _Argentine_ (1989), died on
23 March aged 68. [PDF]
_Shirley Hughes_ (1927-2022), UK author who wrote and illustrated many children's stories -- including fantasy such as _Angel on the Roof_ (2019)
-- and twice won the Kate Greenaway Medal, died on 25 February aged 94.
_William Hurt_ (1950-2022), Oscar-winning US actor whose credits
include _Altered States_ (1980), _Lost in Space_ (1998), _The Simian Line_ (2000), _A.I._ (2001), _Humans_ (2015) and _Avengers: Endgame_ (2019), died
on 13 March aged 71. [LP]
_Conrad Janis_ (1928-2022), US actor in _Quark_ (1977-1978), _Mork & Mindy_ (1978-1982) and _Bad Blood_ (2012), died on 1 March aged 94. [AIP]
_Bill Johnson_ (1956-2022), US author active from 1977, whose
novelette 'We Will Drink a Fish Together ...' (1997 _Asimov's_) won a 1998 Hugo, died on 17 March aged 65. [GvG]
_Violetta Kolesnikova_ (1938-2022), Russian animator known for her
work on Russian adaptations of _The Bremen Town Musicians_ and _Winnie-the-Pooh_, and for the children's film _The Mystery of the Third Planet_ (1981), died on 26 March aged 83. [AM]
_John Korty_ (1936-2022), Oscar-winning US director of the Zenna Henderson-based _The People_ (1972), died on 9 March aged 85. [AIP]
_Leonid Kourits_ (1954-2022), Ukrainian fan who attended several UK
and US cons and in 1988 organized 'the first truly international SF
convention in the USSR' (Borys Sydiuk), died from a stroke on 6 March
during a Russian attack on his city. [MKI/SF2C]
_Richard Labonte_ (1949-2022), Lambda-winning Canadian writer, editor
and book dealer whose many LGBT-themed anthologies include _The Future Is Queer_ (2006 with Lawrence Schimel), died on 20 March aged 72. [SHS]
_Alan Ladd Jr._ (1937-2022), US film executive who was president of
20th Century Fox and produced _Braveheart_ (1995), _The Phantom_ (1996) and others, died on 2 March aged 84. [AIP]
_Garry Leach_ (1954-2022), UK comics artist who worked for _2000 AD_
and was the first to draw Alan Moore's 1982 _Marvelman_/_Miracleman_
reboot, died on 26 March aged 67.
_Pavlo 'Pasha' Li_ (1998-2022), Ukrainian actor in _Unforgotten
Shadows_ (2013), with voice roles in dubs of _The Lion King_ and _The
Hobbit_, was killed by Russian shelling on 6 March; he was 23. [AIP]
_Marilyn Malin_, UK publisher and agent who for many years was MD of Methuen Children's Books (Kenneth Grahame, A.A. Milne and others), died in
late February aged 86. [AIP]
_Pepper Martin_ (1936-2022), Canadian-born actor in _Superman II_
(2006) and others, died on 18 March aged 85. [SJ]
_Harri Miekka_ (1958-2022), long-time Finnish fan, promoter and
convention organizer who fundraised for many local sf events including
Worldcon 75, died in late March. [JH]
_Ted Mooney_ (1951-2022), US author best known for _Easy Travel to
Other Planets_ (1981), died on 22 March aged 70. [PDF]
_Ron Pember_ (1934-2022), UK actor in _The Crimson Cult_ (1968), _The
Land That Time Forgot_ (1974), _The Invisible Man_ (1984) and others, died
on 8 March aged 87. [SJ]
_Igor Revva_ (1965-2022), Azerbaijanian sf writer who published 11
novels in Russian, died on 8 March. [AM]
_Ralph Riach_ (1936-2022), Scots actor in _Braveheart_ (1995) and
_Cloud Atlas_ (2012), died on 20 March aged 86.
_Mitchell Ryan_ (1934-2022), US actor in _Dark Shadows_ (1966-1967), _Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers_ (1995) and _Judge Dredd_ (1995),
died on 4 March aged 88. [AIP]
_Anneli Sauli_ (1932-2022), Finnish actress -- often as Ann Savo -- in _Moonwolf_ (1959), _The Terror of Doctor Mabuse_ (1962) and others, died on
15 March aged 89. [SJ]
_John Stahl_ (1953-2022), Scots actor in _Loch Ness_ (1996), _Being
Human_ (2010), _Frankenstein_ (2011) and _Game of Thrones_ (2012-2013),
died on 2 March aged 69. [AIP]
_Akira Takarada_ (1934-2022), Japanese actor in Godzilla films from
the original _Gojira_ (1954) to _Godzilla_ (2014), died on 14 March aged
_Kunt Tulgar_ (1948-2022), Turkish director of the Turkish films
_Tarzan the Mighty Man_ (1974) and _The Return of Superman_ (1979), died on
16 March aged 74. [SS]
_Don Tumasonis_, US-born Norwegian author of short weird and
supernatural fiction since the late 1990s -- winning two International
Horror Guild Awards -- died on 12 February aged 76. [SJ]
_Tony Walton_ (1934-2022), Oscar-winning UK production and costume designer whose credits include _Mary Poppins_ (1964), _Fahrenheit 451_
(1966) and _The Wiz_ (1978), died on 2 March aged 87. [AIP]
_To'ti Yusupova_ (1936-2022), Uzbek actress who starred in the sf
comedy _Abdullajon_ (1991), died on 15 March. [AM]
AUTHOR! AUTHOR! On a new role-playing game: '_Dark Nation_ takes
inspirational cues from the likes of [...] _The Man in the High Castle_, a comic book series and television show about an alternative future in which
the Nazi regime conquers the USA'. (Dicebreaker.com, 29 March) [RBW]
MAGAZINE SCENE. _Fireside_ is 'still losing a lot of money each month' and
will cease publication this autumn. (Firesidefiction.com, 3 March)
URBAN RENEWAL. George R.R. Martin's general hugeness continues, with the
new Charlemont suburb of Geelong (Victoria, Australia) taking street names
from _Game of Thrones_: 'Greyjoy Road, Stannis Street, Winterfell Road and Baelish Drive. (Lannister Road was changed to the more prosaic Precinct
Road after it caused offence due to the Lannister siblings' incestuous relationship.)' (_Sunday Age_, 6 March 2022) [DLR]
C.O.A. _Writer Beware_ blog (Victoria Strauss): writerbeware.blog.
THE WAY THINGS WERE. 'Now people don't just carry masks around with them,
and you don't find them hanging on lamp posts late at night.' (Erle Stanley Gardner, _The Case of the Baited Hook_, 1940) [AL]
RANDOM FANDOM. _Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards:_ FANZINE COVER _Littlebrook_ #11 (Ulrika O'Brien). LETTERHACK Jerry Kaufman. FANARTIST
Ulrika O'Brien. FANWRITER Mark Plummer. ONE SHOT/SPECIAL _Daangerous
Visions_ ed. Sandra Bond. PERZINE _This Here..._ ed. Nic Farey. GENZINE _Portable Storage_ ed. Willim Breiding. #1 FAN FACE Nic Farey. More, with longlists, at efanzines.com/TIR/Incompleat2022results.pdf.
WE ARE EVERYWHERE. 'Ain't No Party Like an Octavia Butler Writer's
Workshop' (Gabby Rivera, _Juliet Takes a Breath_, 2018: chapter title).
THE DEAD PAST. _20 Years Ago_, Thog admired the power of futurology: '"In
1975 Ed Roberts, the founder of MITS, a calculator company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, put a microchip in a box with a screen and called
his invention Altair, after a character in _Star Wars_." (John Cassidy, dot.con, 2002)' (_Ansible_ 177, April 2002)
_50 Years Ago_, Alfred Bester was in a frisky mood: 'Science fiction
is no profession for a grown man. It can be a delightful hobby, but never
to be taken seriously. Those who devote themselves to science fiction full
time are often cases of arrested development. You have only to read the
letters written by authors to the _SFWA Bulletin_ to take my point. So many
of them are completedly childish.' (Interview in _Luna Monthly_, April/May 1972)
FANFUNDERY. _TransAtlantic Fan Fund:_ a final reminder that the 2022 race closes on 19 April. See taff.org.uk.
_TAFF Free Ebooks:_ the latest is _The Incompleat Burbee Volume 2_, expanding Terry Carr's second selection of fanwriting by Charles Burbee (as published by Jeff Schalles in 1996) with further notable and funny pieces.
THOG'S MASTERCLASS. _Hard-Boiled Dept._ 'The bartender, a stocky man with
eyes like dead illusions, patted a head which looked as if it had once
carried a crew cut, only now the crew had baled out.' (Douglas Enefer, _The Avengers_, 1963; yes, it does read 'baled') [BA]
_Faulty Zoom Sessions Anticipated._ 'Louis Rocco, lying on his back on
the couch-bed ... felt like a disembodied spirit in a great black void,
holding conversation with three other disembodied and quite invisible
spirits. At least he would have felt thus, if he could have expressed
himself in this way.' (Harry Stephen Keeler, _The 16 Beans_, 1945) [RGJ]
_Dept of Ultraviolet Prose._ 'Long had the wasting summer pastured its suns, like fiery red stallions, on the dun hills that crouched before the Mykrasian Mountains in wild easternmost Cincor.' (Clark Ashton Smith, 'Xeethra', December 1934 _Weird Tales_) [LP]
_Where the Dark Matter Hides._ '... because of the brilliance of the
Sun's light, many astral bodies beyond it have never been seen from the
Earth ...' (Arnold Brede, _Sister Earth_, 1951) [BA]
EDITORIAL. Here's an update to last issue's announcement about my editing
the collected genre essays and reviews of _SF Encylopedia_ founder Peter Nicholls. After much discussion the title has been changed from his 1970s preference _Infinity, Eternity, and the Pulp Magazines_ to another that he
came up with in 2012, _Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years_. The book itself contains 60 articles, runs to more than 220,000 words, is currently being proofread, and should appear in both trade paperback and ebook formats with
a new foreword by John Clute.
Rob Hansen's TAFF-library ebook _Bixelstrasse: The SF Fan Community of 1940s Los Angeles_ generated more than the usual number of 'Oh I wish there were a print edition' plaints. As an experiment, we have created one --
with a map on the back! It's pretty huge and of necessity it costs money,
but all proceeds go to TAFF. See https://ae.ansible.uk/?t=bixel.
THE DEAD PAST II. _60 Years Ago_ came belated revelations from Pittcon, the 1960 Worldcon, about disqualified Hugo nominations: '78 ballots --
packaged, not sent separately -- each nominating the same novel, short
story and publisher', the novel and short being by the same author 'totally unknown to our committee [...] Surely no one could expect us to believe
that one English village of something under 7,000 population contains
upwards of 60 bona fide fans, many with identical handwriting, seven with identical addresses and last name (the author's) and ALL with identical nominations!' (_Axe_ 25a, 1 April 1962, edited by Larry and Noreen Shaw)
The beneficiary of this campaign was later identified as R. Lionel
17 April 2022 (third Sunday of each month), afternoon/early evening: Sheffield SF and Fantasy Society online meeting using Zoom. For access
details contact Fran Dowd, thesofa [at] gmail dot com. _Cancelled this
month since it clashes with Eastercon_.
21 April 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting, third Thursday of each
month. 'Please share this with people who you know typically come to the Bishop's Finger, but aren't on Facebook.' https://bohemiancoast.medium.com/first-thursday-london-sf-fan-virtual-drinks-5232021e961f
THOG'S GOLDEN OLDIES from _Ansible_ 177, April 2002. 'The zeppelin of
bluster Feldman excoriated Freddy with suddenly popped into a cloud of humility.' (David Grand, _The Disappearing Body_, 2002)
'Schofield and Logan fought hard, covered in red emergency lighting.' (Matthew Reilly, _Area 7_, 2001)
_Ansible_(R) 417 (C) David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, Paul
Di Filippo, _File 770_, Fanac.org, Moshe Feder, Richard Glyn Jones, Steve Green, Jukka Halme, Marcia Kelly Illingworth, Steve Jones, Andrew Love,
Pamela Love, Andrey Meshavkin, Lawrence Person, Andrew I. Porter, David L. Russell, _SF2 Concatenation_, Steven H Silver, Steven Smith, Gordon van
Gelder, Roger Bell West, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia).