From David Langford@21:1/5 to All on Thu Sep 1 17:02:44 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, barbitide, or that bright moment where you learned your doom.
OGHENECHOVWE DONALD EKPEKI, following heroic efforts by himself and fandom
at large, was all set to attend Chicon 8 as a multiple Hugo finalist --
only for the US Embassy in Nigeria, on the basis of an interview lasting
less than one minute, to refuse him a visa. Outrage ensued; many fans sent pleas to US politicians. A surprise repeat interview on 29 August was successful, with a last-minute visa issued. Then, thanks to the
incompetence of the travel agency TravelStart Nigeria, he missed his flight
and as _Ansible_ goes to press is waiting for another.... (Twitter,
ERIC FLINT's widow Lucille Robbins is closing down 1632 Inc., the holding company for the shared world he created, which has an unsustainable load of debt. 'We have not issued any new contracts for either Ring of Fire Press
or the Grantville Gazette since the day Eric died, and we cannot do so at
this time. If you have written a 1632 novel and published it through Ring
of Fire Press, you will likely be a creditor in the proposed bankruptcy of 1632, Inc. Reversion letters for rights to non-1632 works are being
prepared.' (Baen's Bar forum, 14 October) [MJL]
JAMES JOYCE is rarely credited as a science fiction prophet, but it seems
that he either predicted a major subfandom decades in advance or was translating from the original Klingon: 'All the time he kept on treasuring
with condign satisfaction each and every crumb of trektalk, covetous of his neighbour's word ...' (_Finnegans Wake_, 1939) [JH]
VONDA MCINTYRE (1948-2019) made a surprise appearance as an Alternate
History Novel finalist in the US Dragon Con's 2021-2022 Dragon Awards, with _The King's Daughter_ -- a 2021 film-tie reissue of her 1997 fantasy _The
Moon and the Sun_, which won a Nebula as best novel in 1998.
PHILIP PULLMAN decreed: 'I don't care how many people enjoy it, fiction in
the present tense is an ABDICATION OF NARRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY. I resent
having to re-calibrate my entire attitude to time whenever I open a novel
in the present tense. Away with them!' (Twitter, 18 August)
SALMAN RUSHDIE was attacked and repeatedly stabbed when about to address an audience in New York State on 12 August. He was flown to hospital and two
days later reported as out of danger, though with 'life-changing' injuries.
The would-be murderer Hadi Matar pleaded not guilty and admitted to having
read only two pages of Rushdie's offending (to some) novel _The Satanic Verses_. (BBC, various reports from 12 August)
HARRY TURTLEDOVE was banned from Twitter in August for responding
forcefully and of course rudely to a Nazi troll who called this Jewish sf author an antisemite. After many protests his account was restored.
### CONTEMNOR ###
1-5 Sep  CHICON 8 (80th Worldcon), Chicago, IL, USA. Online registration
for physical attendance has closed. See chicon.org for day rates.
6-7 Sep  THE PAST AS NIGHTMARE (conference), U of Reading. See research.reading.ac.uk/health-humanities/event/the-past-as-nightmare/.
CANCELLED. 10 Sep  INTERNATIONAL COMIC EXPO (ICE), Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. See internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com.
10 Sep  POPCORN (media), Magna, Sheffield. Tickets GBP10; under 17s GBP8; family (2 adult, 2 children) GBP30. See popcorncon.com.
16-19 Sep  FANTASYCON 2022, Radisson Red, Heathrow. Smaller replacement
for former 17-19 September event. GBP65 reg (BFS members GBP55). See www.britishfantasysociety.org/fantasycon/fantasycon-2022.
24-25 Sep  NOR-CON (media), Norfolk Showground Arena. GBP39 reg;
under-14s GBP19; other rates at www.nor-con.co.uk. _No tickets at the
1 Oct  COVCON (media), Sports Connexion, Ryton. Tickets GBP11; under-16s GBP6; under-5s free. Details at covcon.uk.
6-9 Oct  GRIMMFEST (film), Odeon Great Northern, Manchester. Tickets
GBP110 plus booking fee. See grimmfest.com.
14-16 Oct  LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL, Kendal, Cumbria.
Tickets GBP25 (GBP15 concessions) at www.comicartfestival.com.
15-16 Oct  OCTOCON, Croke Park, Dublin. Euro60 reg; concessions Euro40;
YA or supp Euro20. Registration open at octocon.com.
22-23 Oct  SURREY STEAMPUNK CONVIVIAL, Stoneleigh, Epsom. See bumpandthumper.wixsite.com/steampunkconvivials.
4-6 Nov  ARMADACON 2022, Future Inns, Plymouth. First GoH James Burgest. GBP35 reg; GBP30 concessions. More at www.armadacon.org.
27 Nov  STARS OF TIME (media), Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare. 10am-4:30pm. GBP9; under-12s, OAP and disabled GBP5; under-4s free. Family of 2+2
children GBP22; 2+3 GBP24. See www.starsoftime.co.uk.
3-6 Feb 2023  SCOTIACON (furry), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow. GBP100 reg. Registration opens on 4 September at www.scotiacon.org.uk.
CANCELLED. 24-26 Feb 2023  REDEMPTION (multimedia), was Royal Victoria
Hotel, Sheffield. See redemptioncon.org.uk for future plans.
25 Mar 2023  EAST OF ENGLAND COMIC CON AND GAMING FESTIVAL, East of
England Arena, Peterborough. 10am-4:30pm. Tickets from GBP13.75 (inc fee).
28-31 Jul 2023  CONTINUUM (RPG), John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester University, Oadby. See continuumconvention.co.uk.
RUMBLINGS. In August, NI fans inspected The Hilton Lanyon Place in Belfast
and International Conference Centre next door as the likely venue for a
future Eastercon with 800-900 attendees. Updates to follow. [TF]
_Worldcon 2023,_ Chengdu: still only a bare minimum of information,
and no detectable way to buy a membership, at www.worldconinchina.com.
_Worldcon 2028:_ Kampcon 2028 is a bid to hold Worldcon in Kampala, Uganda, with dates 23-27 August -- see kampcon.org for details.
### INFINITELY IMPROBABLE ###
AI RESEARCH NEWS. A CEO explains: 'There are a lot of people in our
industry who struggle to tell the difference between science fiction and
real life.' (_NY Times_, 5 August) [MMW] Can _Ansible_ readers do better?
AWARDS. _J.F. Gonzalez Lifetime Achievement_ (splatterpunk): Clive Barker.
_Munsey_ (pulp): Rick Lai.
_Seiun_ (Japan) for translated novel: _Project Hail Mary_ by Andy
Weir, translated by Kazuko Onoda.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. Agatha Christie still stalks the earth, with the rapacious estate now issuing legal threats against Val McDermid's publisher
for book jackets describing McDermid as the Queen of Crime: 'We have trademarked this expression.' (_The Scotsman_, 29 August) 'It's just astonishingly pitiful,' grumbled She Who Must Not Be Described.
THE WEAKEST LINK. _Steve Wright:_ 'Johnny Weissmuller died on this day.
Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loincloth did he play?' _ Contestant:_ 'Jesus.' (Radio 2, _Steve Wright in the Afternoon_) [JBu]
_Ulrika Jonsson:_ 'Who wrote _Lord of the Rings_?' _Contestant:_ 'Enid Blyton.' (BBC1, _Dog Eat Dog_) [JBu]
Earlier in the year it had been revealed that the 1955-1956 radio
version of _LOTR_ -- duly erased by the BBC -- caused one listener to
complain, 'If we must occupy the Third Programme with fairytales then let
us have Enid Blyton.' (_Guardian_, 12 March) [AR]
R.I.P. _Aleksandr Bachilo_ (1959-2022), award-winning Russian sf and
fantasy novelist who also co-scripted three sf tv series, died on July 2.
_Raymond Briggs_ (1934-2022), much-loved UK illustrator and graphic novelist whose books include _Father Christmas_ (1973, a Kate Greenaway
Medal winner), _Fungus the Bogeyman_ (1977), _The Snowman_ (1978), _When
the Wind Blows_ (1982, filmed 1986) and _Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age_ (2001), died on 9 August aged 88. He was honoured as CBE in 2017. [PS-P]
_Jack Calvert_ (1941-2022), US Bay Area fan, long-time LASFAPA member
and Corflu regular, died on 14 August. [PC]
_Peter Davison_ OBE (1926-2022), UK academic who was an authority on Orwell -- publishing a biography and editing the 1998 _Complete Works_ and others -- died on 16 August aged 95.
_Charlbi Dean_ (1990--2022), South Africa-born actress in _Death Race: Inferno_ (2013), _Don't Sleep_ (2017) and _Black Lightning_ (2018), died on
29 August aged 32. [SJ]
_Rosa de Castilla_ (1932-2022), Mexican singer and actress who
co-starred in _The Hell of Frankenstein_ (1960), died on 1 August aged 90.
_Joseph Delaney_ (1945-2022), UK author best known for the 'Wardstone Chronicles' YA horror/fantasy series opening with _The Spook's Apprentice_ (2004), died on 16 August aged 77. [SF2C]
_Corrine De Winter_, US short-story author and poet active in small
press genre magazines since 1992, whose verse collection _The Women at the Funeral_ (2004) won a Bram Stoker award, died in late August. [SJ]
_Denise Dowse_ (1958-2022), US actress in _Starship Troopers_ (1997),
_Dr. Dolittle 2_ (2002), _Killer Rats_ (2003) and various genre tv series,
died on 13 August aged 64. [SJ]
_Lamont Dozier_ (1941-2022), US composer and songwriter whose many
film soundtrack credits include _X-Men: Days of Future Past_ (2014), _The Witches_ (2020) and _Last Night in Soho_ (2021), died on 8 August aged 81.
_Ralph Eggleston_ (1965-2022), Oscar-winning US animator and designer
at Pixar, whose films include _Monsters, Inc._ (2001), _Finding Nemo_
(2003), _WALL-E_ (2008) and _Inside Out_ (2015), died on 28 August aged 56. [SJ]
_Oliver Frey_ (1948-2022), Swiss-born UK artist whose genre work
included _The Trigan Empire_ in _Look and Learn_, book and _Fear_ magazine covers, and _Dan Dare_ in the 1980s _Eagle_ revival, died on 21 August aged
_Graziella Galvani_ (1931-2022), Italian actress in _Ghosts of Rome_ (1961), died on 25 August aged 91.
_Cherie Gil_ (1963-2022), Filipino actress in _Bruka: Queen of Evil_ (1973), _Imortal_ (1989), _Darna: The Return_ (1994), _The 13th Chapter_ (2000), _Lastikman_ (2004), _Mana_ (2014) and _Magikland_ (2020), died on 5 August aged 59. [SJ]
_Vincent Gil_ (1939-2022), Australian actor in _Mad Max_ (1979), died
on 21 August aged 83. [PDF]
_Robyn Griggs_ (1973-2022), US actress in _Zombiegeddon_ (2003),
_2020: An American Nightmare_ (2005) and other low-budget horror films,
died on 13 August aged 49. [SJ]
_Clu Gulager_ (1928-2022), US actor in _Return of the Living Dead_
(1985), _Nightmare on Elm Street 2_ (1985) and Feast (2005 plus sequels),
died on 5 August aged 93. [LP]
_Anne Heche_ (1969-2022), US director, screenwriter and actress in _Superman: Doomsday_ (2007), _Toxic Skies_ (2008), _The Legend of Korra_
(2014) and _Aftermath_ (2016), died on 12 August aged 53. [LP]
_Eric L. Hoffman_ (1944-2022), US fan and scholar of sf/horror/monster films who wrote the 'Professor Gruebeard' column in _Famous Monsters of Filmland_, died on 27 August after injuries in a house fire. [SS/F770]
_James G. Huckenpohler_ aka 'Professor Archimedes Q. Porter', US fan
and scholar of Edgar Rice Burroughs who appeared frequently in _ERBzine_
and compiled a Barsoom glossary, died in late August. [PDF]
_Alun Tegai Hughes_ (1960-2022), UK fan who was active in the
Cambridge University SF Society 1979-1981 as librarian and then chair, and later involved in assembling the (Jack) Vance Integral Edition, died on 19 July. [DH]
_Gene LeBell_ (1932-2022), US wrestler and judo expert who did stunt
work for many productions including three _Planet of the Apes_ films (1968-1972) and _Spider-Man 2_ (2004), died on 9 August aged 89. [SJ]
_Sombat Metanee_ (1937-2022), once hugely prolific Thai actor/director seen in _Krasue Sao_ aka _Ghost of Guts Eater_ (1973), _Bionic Heroes_
(1977), _Kraithong_ (1980) and others, died on 18 August aged 85. [SS]
_Bruce Montague_ (1939-2022), UK actor in _A Connecticut Yankee in
King Arthur's Court_ (1970), _The Thief of Baghdad_ (1978) _Whoops
Apocalypse_ (1982) and _Olympus Force: The Key_ (1988), died on 16 August
aged 83. [SJ]
_Roger E. Mosley_ (1938-2022), US actor whose films include _Terminal Island_ (1973) and _Cruise into Terror_ (1978), died on 7 August aged 83.
_Marshall Napier_, New Zealand-born actor in _The Girl from Tomorrow_ (1991-1992), _Babe_ (1995), _Griff the Invisible_ (2010), _Little Monsters_ (2019) and others, died on 14 August aged 70. [SJ]
_Olivia Newton-John_ (1948-2022), UK-born Australian singer and
actress in _Toomorrow_ (1977), _Xanadu_ (1980) and _Sharknado 5_ (2017),
died on 8 August aged 73. [LP]
_Tom Palmer_ (1941-2022), US illustrator who was a long-time inker for Marvel Comics (beginning with _Doctor Strange_ in 1968 and including _Avengers_, _Star Wars_ and _X-Men_) and others, died on 18 August aged 81. [PDF]
_Alexei Panshin_ (1940-2022), US author who won the fan writer Hugo in 1967 and the Nebula for his first novel _Rite of Passage_ (1968), died on
21 August aged 82. [GF] He was one of the pioneers of thoughtful sf
criticism with _Heinlein in Dimension_ (1968), the magnum opus here being
the Hugo-winning _The World Beyond the Hill_ (1989) with his wife Cory
Panshin, who survives him. The 'Anthony Villiers' sf comedies beginning
with _Star Well_ (1968) have many admirers -- including your editor -- who
wish the projected seven-book series hadn't stopped at three.
_Virginia Patton_ (1925-2022), US actress in _It's a Wonderful Life_ (1946), died on 18 August aged 97. [LP]
_Wolfgang Petersen_ (1941-2022), German director whose films include
_The Neverending Story_ (1984), _Enemy Mine_ (1985), _Outbreak_ (1995) and _Bicentennial Man_ (1999, as producer), died on 12 August aged 81. [AIP]
_Gerald Potterton_ (1931-2022), UK/Canadian director and animator with credits for _Yellow Submarine_ (1968), _Heavy Metal_ (1981), _George and
the Christmas Star_ (1985) and _Ghost Ship_ (1988), died on 24 August aged
_Lily Renee_ (1921-2022), Austrian-born US Golden Age comics artist
whose titles included the supernatural series 'The Werewolf Hunter', died
on 24 August aged 101. [PDF]
_William Reynolds_ (1931-2022), US actor in _Cult of the Cobra_
(1955), _The Land Unknown_ (1957), _The Thing That Couldn't Die_ (1958) and others, died on 24 August aged 90. [SJ]
_Richard Roat_ (1933-2022), US actor in _Westworld_ (1973),_ Almost Heaven_ (1978), Heart and Souls (1993) and many genre tv series, died on 5 August aged 89. [MMW]
_Jeanne Steig_, US artist and author of retold myths and fairy tales
for children -- often illustrated by her husband William Steig (1907-2003)
of _Shrek_ fame -- died on 26 July aged 92. [PDF]
_John Steiner_ (1941-2022), UK actor whose films include _Dracula in
the Provinces_ (1975), _Yor: The Hunter from the Future_ (1983) and _Sinbad
of the Seven Seas_ (1989), died on 31 July aged 81. [AIP]
_Joe E. Tata_ (1936-2022), US actor in _Terror out of the Sky_ (1978)
and various genre tv series including _Batman_ (1966-1968), died on 24
August aged 85. [LP]
_Josephine Tewson_ (1931-2022), UK actress in _The Troublesome Double_ (1972), _The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It_ (1977)
and _Gabrielle and the Doodleman_ (1984), died on 18 August aged 91. [JBa]
_Dave Tompkins_ (1951-2022), UK fan who worked on many conventions
since Seacon '79 -- usually art show setup, teardown and storage of display panels between events -- died on 8 August aged 71. He won the 2002 Doc Weir award. [JHar/CM]
_Leon Vitali_ (1948-2022), UK actor in _Terror of Frankenstein_ (1977)
who was personal assistant to Stanley Kubrick for _The Shining_ (1980) and others, died on 20 August aged 74. [PDF]
THE DEAD PAST._ 20 Years Ago:_ 'Terry Pratchett's old PC keyboard, on which
he was practically certain he'd written a novel or three, aroused interest
at the Discworld Convention charity auction: "It's probably got my DNA on
it," Terry pointed out, and the bidding ran up to GBP125.'
From a heavily researched _Independent_ article about giant squid
taking over the world: 'Most people are familiar with the opening lines of Tennyson's _The Kraken Wakes_, either through the original or via John Wyndham's 1953 thriller, _The Day of the Triffids_.' (_Ansible_ 182,
_100 Years Ago_, Gerrard Hickson published _Kings Dethroned_ (1922), showing all astronomy to be 'an amazing series of blunders founded upon an error made in the second century B.C.' and proving to the author's great satisfaction that the distance to the Sun is at most 13,000 miles and that
to the Moon 'no more known today than it was at the time of the flood'. Moreover, 'no star is at any time further than twenty thousand miles away.'
PUBLISHERS AND SINNERS. Tom Doherty Associates, the US publisher best known
for Tor and such related imprints as Tordotcom and Tor Teen, has been
rebranded as the Tor Publishing Group. (Tor.com, 8 August)
RANDOM FANDOM. _Rob Hansen_ was bemused to find two of the four issues of
his 1988-1993 fanhistorical fanzine _Then_ (long superseded by a revised
and expanded book version) offered on AbeBooks for $99.75.
_Andy Porter_ fell and broke his arm on 11 August: he's recovering and posting online but had to cancel his Worldcon plans. [AIP] All sympathy.
FANFUNDERY. _TAFF:_ to the stupefaction of some and the crogglement of
others, Kevin Smith has made a bold strike for the Guiness Book of Records
by publishing his 1982 TAFF report online -- a 40-year delay that beats the late Steve Stiles's 39 years from trip to publication. There is _Nothing_
to read -- that's the title -- at: kevjsmith.co.uk/taff-trip/.
MAGAZINE SCENE. _Daily Science Fiction_ (dailysciencefiction.com) is closed
to submissions and will go into stasis at the end of 2022. [F770]
EDITORIAL. The massive _SF Encyclopedia_ benefit volume _Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years_ by _SFE_ founding editor Peter Nicholls was released in
August -- see ae.ansible.uk/?t=roaring for paperback/ebook purchase
_TAFF Library:_ our latest ebook is _The Compact Ella Parker_, Rob Hansen's compilation of this UK fan's best writing other than _The Harpy Stateside_ (2021 ebook). See taff.org.uk/ebooks.php?x=Compact. _Temple at
the Bar_ by Bill Temple is another of our occasional paperback reissues of
TAFF ebooks, with all proceeds to TAFF: see ae.ansible.uk/?id=taff.
THOG'S MASTERCLASS. _Dept of Deceptive Appearances._ 'He did not look middle-aged, he did not feel middle-aged and in fact he was not
middle-aged.' (Peter Saxon, _The Guardians #2 -- Dark Ways to Death_, 1968) [BT]
_ Pop Art Dept._ 'The colors of the buildings struck him between the
eyes.' (F. Paul Wilson, _Gateways_, 2003) [BA]
_Eyeball Power._ 'He putted away, propelled by the weight of dozens of eyes on his back.' (_Ibid_) [BA]
_Jacketed, Not Stirred._ 'Horace was ordering two dry martinis,
handsome and composed in a white dinner jacket.' (Helen Reilly, _Lament for
the Bride_, 1951) [BT]
_Neat Tricks._ 'He pulled a forelock that wasn't there subserviently.' (_Ibid_) [BT] 'His ears shadowed George out the door far below.' 'Mr. Josef oozed across the hall.' 'Mr. Josef poured himself around the edge of the
door and inside.' (all from Charlotte Armstrong, 'Three-Day Magic', _F&SF_, September 1952) [CG]
EDITORIAL II. Many of you know that I've given up big sf events (and even
more so, the horrors of travel to big sf events). Best wishes to all those brave folk attending Chicon 8!
R.I.P. -- LATE REPORTS. _Kenneth Cameron_ (1931-2021), US author of the sf thrillers _Power Play_ (1979) and _The Sunset Gun_ (1983), died in 2021.
_Roland J. Green_ (1944-2021), US author who wrote much
sword-and-sorcery from 1973, including his own 'Wandor' series and many
books in the 'Richard Blade' sequence as by Jeffrey Lord, died on 20 April
last year. His sf included collaborations with Jerry Pournelle in the
latter's 'Janissaries' series. [SHS]
_Graham Dunstan Martin_ (1932-2021), UK author of the linked
children's fantasies _Giftwish_ (1978) and _Catchfire_ (1981) as by Graham Martin -- plus four interesting adult novels under his full name, from _The Soul Master_ (1984) to _Half a Glass of Moonshine_ (1988) -- died on 27
March 2021 aged 88. [HB]
THOG'S GOLDEN OLDIES from _Ansible_ 182, September 2002. _Dept of Hugo Winners._ 'Mr Ibis said nothing, but he smirked loudly.' (Neil Gaiman, _American Gods_, 2001)
_Neat Tricks Dept:_ 'He held his left hand out in front of his face;
palm down and with his index finger raised six inches above his hand.'
(Nigel Atkinson, 'An Exhalation of Butterflies', _Interzone_, May 2002)
_Dept of Optimistic Pessimism._ 'Piles of floppyscreens lay scattered
in the corner next to a couple of empty wine glasses that were half full.' (Paul Ebbs, _Dr Who: The Book of the Still_, 2002)
_Ansible_(R) 422 (C) David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen,
Hamish Bruce, Jim Barker, Jim Burns, Pat Charnock, Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Feeley, Tommy Ferguson, _File 770_, Carl Glover, John Haines, John Harold, Steve Holland, Diana Hutchinson, Steve Jones, Michael J. Lowrey, Todd
Mason, Andrey Meshavkin, Caroline Mullan, Lawrence Person, Andrew I.
Porter, Adam Roberts, _SF2 Concatenation_, Steven H Silver, Steven Smith,
Phil Stephensen-Payne, Bob Toomey, Martin Morse Wooster, and as always our
Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and
Alan Stewart (Australia).