• Ansible 426 -- January 2023 [long]

    From David Langford@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jan 3 17:09:24 2023
    XPost: uk.people.sf-fans

    ANSIBLE(R) 426
    JANUARY 2023

    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 any edition of Silas Haslam's _History of the Land Called Uqbar_.

    [NET NOTE. See https://news.ansible.uk/a426.html for the nice HTML version; https://news.ansible.uk/pdf/a426.pdf for a printable PDF. Mailing list subscribe/unsubscribe information appears below -- please don't send such requests to my own e-mail address. DRL]


    DOUGLAS ADAMS was remembered in the Inquisitor crossword 'Valediction'
    (_i_, 10 December), where much juggling with aquatic life led to a
    well-known phrase and book title. See Fifteensquared.net, 20 December.

    FREDERIK POHL (late news alert) had a Martian crater named after him by the International Astronomical Union in August 2022, thus leading to a slight double-take for fans who read a related scientific paper: 'Our mapping also shows that Pohl's knobby rim regionally represents a broader history of megatsunami modification....' [MC]

    ADAM ROBERTS saw the _NY Times_ headline 'Scientists Made Snails Remember Something That Never Happened To Them' and could only say: 'We Can Remember
    It For You, Whole Snail'. (Twitter, 26 December)

    JOHN SCALZI tested a cutting-edge writing AI by instructing it to create a short story in his style: 'Once upon a time, in a far-off galaxy, there was
    a planet called New Earth. It was a lush, verdant world, teeming with life
    in all its forms. The inhabitants of New Earth were a diverse and
    intelligent species, known for their quick wits and even quicker reflexes.
    They lived in harmony with their environment, taking only what they needed
    to survive and thriving in the process.' And so on for six more bland paragraphs with no dialogue and thus _no swearing_. Mr Scalzi reckons that
    'I may keep my gig until the next iteration at least.' (Twitter, 5

    SOMTOW SUCHARITKUL is creating a new opera based on the almost legendary
    _Plan 9 from Outer Space_. 'I intend to compose the score in the spirit of
    Ed Wood -- with utter seriousness and high moral intent, as befits the
    exalted subject matter about aliens saving humanity from itself -- so
    timely in these, ah, times.' (_Hollywood Reporter_, 19 December) [LP]

    ROB WILKINS, who wrote and also narrated _Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes_, mingles joy and woe: 'I'm sorry that, in The Times Audiobooks
    of the Year today, I didn't win "Best Celebrity Reading". They gave it to someone called Bono. Absolute travesty. But we know how these things work. Still, I DID get "Best Biography"....' (Twitter, 17 December)

    ### CONQUIAN ###

    Until 8 Jan [] BEATRIX POTTER: DRAWN TO NATURE (exhibition), V&A, London. GBP14; children free. See tinyurl.com/2p89r2vf.

    3-6 Feb [] SCOTIACON (furry), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow. GBP100 reg.
    Other details at www.scotiacon.org.uk.

    16-19 Feb [] UK GHOST STORY FESTIVAL, Museum of Making, Derby. Talks etc.
    are separately ticketed: see www.ukghoststoryfestival.co.uk.

    17-19 Feb [] SCI-FI BALL (media), Southampton. Tickets from GBP145 (GBP35 child) plus various more expensive options at scifiball.com.

    25-26 Feb [] SURREY STEAMPUNK CONVIVIAL, Stoneleigh, Epsom. See bumpandthumper.wixsite.com/steampunkconvivials.

    11-13 Aug [] TFNATION (_Transformers_), Birmingham NEC. Day rates only;
    e.g. Saturday is GBP45 or GBP80 for early access. See tfnation.com.

    25-28 Aug [] ASYLUM-XII (steampunk), The Lawns and other venues in Lincoln. Details awaited at www.ministryofsteampunk.com.

    19-22 Oct [] CELLULOID SCREAMS (horror films), Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. Tickets awaited at celluloidscreams.co.uk.

    26-31 Oct [] EDINBURGH HORROR FESTIVAL, Banshee Labyrinth and other city venues. Event tickets from edinburghhorrorfestival.co.uk.

    2-3 Dec [] FOR THE LOVE OF SCI-FI (media), BEC Arena, Stretford,
    Manchester. GBP49.50; under-10s GBP19.25. More at fortheloveofsci-fi.com.

    RUMBLINGS. _Chengdu 2023:_ the traditional Worldcon presentation at Smofcon
    in December (not attended by any Chinese member of the 2023 committee) did little to address fan worries about the lack of published progress reports
    or hotel information, continuing failure to make memberships buyable
    online, and whether the usual Hugo nomination and voting timetable will
    even be possible. Finance depends on mysterious Chinese sponsorship deals rather than membership sales. Interesting times. [F770]


    AS OTHERS QUOTE US. 'The sky over the city of Vancouver was the color of a television tuned to a Prince concert.' (Opening of news story about LED streetlights turning purple; businessinsider.com, 29 November) [CH]

    AWARDS. _Irish Book Awards_ (children's, senior): _Girls Who Slay Monsters_
    by Ellen Ryan, illus. Shona Shirley Macdonald. [F770]
    _SFPA Grand Masters_ (poetry): Akua Lezli Hope and Mary Soon Lee.

    PUBLISHERS AND SINNERS. Hachette's merry end-of-year letter to its authors, illustrators _et al_ noted that 'The principle _[sic]_ challenge is supply chain cost -- we have seen huge increases in the cost of paper, printing, distribution and haulage in the past year. To give a case study of this, a shipping container of books from the UK to Australia cost around Aus$4,000
    in 2021, versus Aus$16,000 in 2022.' (Email, 5 December)

    LORD DYSON'S BANE. On a gadget or fashion accessory whose actual release
    was announced in December: 'Dyson's new Zone air-purifying headphones look
    like something you'd expect to see in a dystopian sci-fi movie, maybe even
    on the head of a Batman villain.' (CNET, 3 April) [RF]

    R.I.P. _Kirstie Alley_ (1951-2022), US actress in _Star Trek II: The Wrath
    of Khan_ (1982) and _Village of the Damned_ (1995), died on 5 December aged
    71. [LP]
    _Michael Ambrose_ (1956-2022), US Lovecraftian author from 1972 and
    editor of _Macabre_ (1972-1976) and _The Argonaut_ (1977-1995), died on 20 July. [KG]
    _Eduard Artemyev_ (1937-2022), Russian composer whose many film-score credits include _Solaris_ (1972), and _Stalker_ (1979), died on 29 December aged 85. [AM]
    _Angelo Badalamenti_ (1937-2022), US composer whose credits include _Nightmare on Elm Street 3_ (1987), _Twin Peaks_ (1989-1991 and spinoffs)
    and _The City of Lost Children_ (1995), died on 11 December aged 85. [TP]
    _Gabrielle Beaumont_ (1942-2022), UK director of episodes of _The
    Tomorrow People_ (1978), _Star Trek: The Next Generation_ (1989-1994),
    _Touched by an Angel_ (1997) and other genre series -- plus the tv film _Beastmaster III_ (1996) -- died on 8 October aged 80. [AIP]
    _John Bird_ (1936-2022), UK comic writer, satirist and actor whose
    rare genre credits include _Jackanory_ (1970-1971) and _Jabberwocky_
    (1977), died on 24 December aged 86. [SF2C]
    _June Blair_ (1933-2022), US model and actress in _Island of Lost
    Women_ (1959), died on 4 December aged 89. [SJ]
    _Richard Bober_ (1943-2022), US artist for many genre book covers
    since 1972 -- including a number of Gene Wolfe titles -- died on 7 or 8 December aged 79. [SHS]
    _Stephen 'tWitch' Boss_ (1982-2022), US DJ and actor in _Ghostbusters_ (2016), shot himself on 13 December; he was 40. [LP]
    _Chris Boucher_ (1943-2022), UK writer and script editor who wrote
    three _Doctor Who_ serials (1977) and four _Who_ novels, plus episodes of _Blake's 7_ (1979-1981) and his own creation _Star Cops_ (1987; 2013 novelization), died on 11 December. [F770]
    _Albert Brenner_ (1926-2022), Oscar-winning art director and
    production designer whose films include _Capricorn One_ (1977), _2010_
    (1984), _The Monster Squad_ (1987) and _The Witches of Eastwick_ (1992),
    died on 8 December aged 96. [AIP]
    _Bert Deling_ (1942-2022), Australian writer and director of _Keiron:
    The First Voyager_ (1985), who also wrote three 'Choose Your Own Nightmare' videogames (all 1998), died on 14 December aged 80. [GC]
    _Ruggero Deodato_ (1939-2022), Italian director of _Hercules, Prisoner
    of Evil_ (1964, uncredited), _Atlantis Interceptors_ (1983) and various
    horror films, died on 29 December aged 83.
    _Sonya Eddy_ (1967-2022), US actress in _Blast from the Past_ (1999), _Inspector Gadget_ (1999), _The Hive_ (2014) and genre tv series, died on
    19 December aged 55. [SHS]
    _Cliff Emmich_ (1936-2022), US actor in _Halloween II_ (1981),
    _Digital Man_ (1995), _Inspector Gadget_ (1999) and others, died on 28
    November aged 85. [LP]
    _Jay Faulkner_, UK author of various short stories since 2010,
    committed suicide on 1 December. [PDF]
    _Gary Friedkin_ (1952-2022), US actor in _Return of the Jedi_ (1983), _Hard Rock Zombies_ (1985), _Snow White_ (1987), _Cool World_ (1992) and tv series, died on 2 December aged 70. [LP]
    _Stephen Greif_ (1944-2022), UK actor in _Blake's 7_ (1978) and other genre series who also did voice work for Judge Dredd videogames and _Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest_ (2007), died in December aged 78. [FM]
    _Mike Hodges_ (1932-2022), UK director whose credits include _The
    Terminal Man_ (1974), _Flash Gordon_ (1980) and _Morons from Outer Space_ (1985), died on 17 December aged 90. [SG]
    _Carl Kleinschmitt_ (1937-2022), US screenwriter for _Hi Honey -- I'm Dead_ (1991), died on 8 December aged 85. [PDF]
    _Dominique Lapierre_ (1931-2022), French author who wrote _The Fifth Horseman_ (1980) with Larry Collins, died on 4 December aged 91. [AM]
    _Frank Lauria_ (1935-2022), US author whose books include the occult
    'Dr Owen Orient' series (1970-2014) and the Riddick novelization _Pitch
    Black_ (2000), died in December aged 85. [PDF]
    _Gabriella Licudi_ (1941-2022), UK actress who starred in _Unearthly Stranger_ (1963), died on 18 September aged 81. [HB]
    _Diane McBain_ (1941-2022), US actress in _The Deathhead Virgin_
    (1974), _Puppet Master 5_ (1994), _Invisible Mom II_ (1999) and genre tv series, died on 21 December aged 81. [AIP]
    _Bob McGrath_ (1932-2022), US actor and long-time _Sesame Street_
    regular -- also in _Follow That Bird_ (1985) and other spinoffs -- died on
    4 December aged 90. [LP]
    _Stuart Margolin_ (1940-2022), US director and actor in _Women of the Prehistoric Planet_ (1966), _The Big Bus_ (1976), _Futureworld_ (1976),
    _Mr. Smith_ (1983) and genre tv series, died on 12 December aged 82. [LP]
    _Richard Miller_ (1942-2022), US visual effects sculptor and
    model-maker whose work appeared in many genre productions from _Return of
    the Jedi_ (1983) and further _Star Wars_ films to the _Pirates of the Caribbean_ sequence (2003-2007), died on 8 December aged 80. [PDF]
    _Kim Mohan_ (1949-2022), US author and game designer, editor of _The Dragon_ 1982-1995, _Ares_ 1983-1994, and _Amazing_ 1991-2000, died on 12 December aged 73. [CR] He wrote the 'Cyborg Commando' sf trilogy
    (1987-1988) with Pamela O'Neill.
    _Lou Mougin_ (1954-2022), US comics fan, author and historian
    (especially of Marvel) whose novel is _Joe Computer: Private Detective_
    (2022), was reported on 1 January as having died. [PDF]
    _James J. Murakami_ (1931-2022), US art director and production
    designer whose credits include _Battlestar Galactica_ (1979), _WarGames_ (1983), _Peggy Sue Got Married_ (1986), _Delirious_ (1991) and _Groundhog
    Day_ (1993), died on 15 December aged 91. [AIP]
    _Paula Helm Murray_ (1956-2022), US author and fan active in Kansas
    City fandom, who published short fantasy stories 1987-1991, died on 28 December. [SHS]
    _Yuji Nunokawa_ (1947-2022), Japanese anime producer who founded
    Studio Pierrot in 1979 and whose credits include _Casshan_ (1973-1974),
    _Urusei yatsura_ (1981-1983), _Ninja Robots_ (1985-1986) and _Bleach:
    Memories of Nobody_ (2006), died on 25 December aged 75. [PDF]
    _Terrence O'Hara_ (1945-2022), US director and actor whose credits
    include _Voyager from the Unknown_ (1982), _Angel_ (2002-2004),
    _Smallville_ (2002-2007) and _Grimm_ (2012-2017), died on 5 December aged
    76. [AIP]
    _Michael Reed_ (1929-2022), UK cinematographer whose Hammer credits include _The Gorgon_ (1964), _Dracula: Prince of Darkness_ (1966) and _Prehistoric Women_ (1967), died on 15 December aged 93. [SJ]
    _Christian Roberts_ (1944-2022), UK actor in _The Mind of Mr. Soames_ (1970), various genre tv series, and the 1989 stage musical _Return to the Forbidden Planet_, died on 26 December aged 78. [SJ]
    _Ralph Roberts_ (1945-2021), US author and small-press publisher (as Farthest Star) whose one sf novel was _The Hundred-Acre Spaceship_ (2002),
    died on 24 June 2021 aged 75. [SHS]
    _Hank Saroyan_ (1947-2022), US tv worker with script credits for
    _Dungeons & Dragons_ (1983-1985), _Muppet Babies_ (1988-1991) and _The Life
    & Adventures of Santa Claus_ (2000), died on 23 September. [PDF]
    _Sybil Grafin Schonfeldt_ (1927-2022), Austrian/German writer who translated children's fantasy -- including Roald Dahl's _The Witches_ --
    and wrote a biography of Astrid Lindgren, died on 11 December aged 95.
    _Timofey Spivak_ (1947-2022), Russian actor who starred in _Zvyozdny inspektor_ (_The Star Inspector_, 1980), died on 30 November aged 75. [AM]
    _Al Strobel_, US actor in _Twin Peaks_ (1989-1990, plus spinoff
    films), _Megaville_ (1990) and others, died on 2 December. [PDF]
    _Robert Tayman_ (1942-2022), UK actor in _Moon Zero Two_ (1969),
    _Vampire Circus_ (1972) and various genre tv series, died on 10 December
    aged 80. [SJ]
    _Maggie Thrett_ (1946-2022), US actress in _Dimension 5_ (1966) and
    genre tv series, died on 18 December aged 76. [LP]
    _Christopher Tucker_, UK make-up expert whose films include _The Boys
    from Brazil_ (1978), _Quest for Fire_ (1981), _Monty Python's The Meaning
    of Life_ (1983) and _The Company of Wolves_ (1984), died in December. [PDF]
    _Ronan Vibert_ (1964-2022), UK actor whose credits include _Tale of
    the Mummy_ (1998). _Sir Gawain and the Green Knight_ (2002), _Tomb Raider:
    The Cradle of Life_ (2003) and _Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell_ (2015), died
    on 22 December aged 58. [AIP]

    THE WEAKEST LINK. _Bradley Walsh:_ 'Helen Moffett's novel _Charlotte_ is inspired by which Jane Austen novel?' _Contestant:_ '_Charlotte's Web_.'
    (ITV, _The Chase_) [PE]
    _Jeremy Paxman:_ 'Who wrote the Elric novels?' _Contestant:_ 'Neil Gaiman.' (BBC2, _University Challenge_) [JL]

    THE GAME'S AFOOT. 'At midnight on 31 December, as we usher in 2023,
    Sherlock Holmes enters the public domain in the USA. The last stories were published in 1927, and so the 95 year copyright will expire. In ACD's words "You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him."' (_Baker Street Journal_, Twitter, 28 December) _Teresa Nielsen Hayden:_ 'Finally!
    That estate has been a real pain in the deerstalker.'

    MARCH OF THE ROBOTS. 'Hey @torbooks why tf are you using AI art on your covers,' expostulated Corey Brickley (Twitter, 9 December). Christopher Paolini's _Fractal Noise_ (May 2023) has a cover generated by Midjourney AI
    and touched up by someone at Tor who added legs to the original's sketchily rendered astronaut. Despite the policy 'Shutterstock does not accept AI-generated content from our contributors', stock images there may include
    AI productions based on -- not to say plagiarized from -- the vast masses
    of online artwork from which Midjourney and its peers 'learned'. The image
    in question is from the Shutterstock portfolio of one 'ufuk kaya',
    seemingly all AI-produced. Artists are feeling threatened, while writers nervously watch the advances of ChatGPT and its ilk.

    PROPHETIC CORNER? I really should read John Banim's 1845 _London and its Eccentricities in the Year 2023; Or, Revelations of the Dead Alive._

    RANDOM FANDOM. _Fancyclopedia 3_ and _File 770_ both suffered DDoS attacks
    on their websites in late December, but have since recovered.
    _Curt Phillips_ reports a different bot problem: 'I just had a robot
    (the surgical robot I work with most days) run over my left big toe. Oh,
    how I wish Isaac Asimov were still alive so I could complain directly to him....' Unfortunately Crushbot weighs 1,200 lb and Curt's toe is broken.

    MAGAZINE SCENE. Neil Clarke passed on the doom-laden report that Amazon
    plans to shut down its Kindle Publishing for Periodicals operation in
    September 2023 -- bad news in already bad times for the many magazines that depend even if only in part on KPP. Besides Neil's own _Clarkesworld_ these include _Analog_, _Apex_, _Asimov's_, _The Dark,_ _F&SF_, _Forever_,
    _Galaxy's Edge_, _Lightspeed_ and _Uncanny_. (Neil-clarke.com, 16 December)
    _Galaxy's Edge_, after a decade as a bimonthly print magazine founded
    and for 7 years edited by Mike Resnick, will in late 2023 become a
    twice-yearly printed anthology, says editor Lezli Robyn. (Facebook, 1

    THE DEAD PAST. _30 Years Ago:_ 'William Gibson's fan past keeps returning
    to haunt him, most recently in xeroxes of a 1963 _Fanac_ newszine
    containing real Gibson cartoons and a con masquerade report with "young
    Bill Gibson as a priest of the Beetle God".' 'Chris Priest got an
    unsolicited plug when the _Observer_ looked back at the Best Young British Writers promotion he featured in long ago, and famous Julian Barnes
    explained: "Priest always was a chippy bugger."' '"_Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni!_" is one of the useful items in Henry Beard's _Latin For Even
    More Occasions_.' (All from _Ansible_ 66, January 1993)
    _20 Years Ago:_ '_Book Trade News Digest_ reported a financial coup on
    13 December: "Rare Harry Potter book sells for 000. / A woman who bought a Harry Potter book for 99 today sold it for 000 at auction."' Also noted was '... a curiously inept press release from StarCity Entertainment Centre in
    the Midlands, promising showings of a recent film entitled _Lord of the
    Rings, Twin Towns_.' (_Ansible_ 186, January 2003)

    UK NEW YEAR HONOURS. Brian May of Queen (see _SFE_ entry) was knighted. Literary awards went to Kimberley Reynolds (OBE), the academic and
    authority on children's literature, and the children's author -- whose
    books include fantasy -- Francesca Simon (MBE). Actors with genre credits
    are Stephen Graham (OBE) and Frank Skinner (MBE).

    FANFUNDERY. _TAFF._ The candidates in the 2023 westbound race are Sandra
    Bond (UK) and Mikolaj Kowalewski (Poland). Voting opened on 9 December and
    will close on 11 April. See taff.org.uk for the ballot and online voting
    _TAFF Books._ Don Ford's 1960 TAFF trip report _TAFF Baedeker_ is now
    a free ebook: taff.org.uk/ebooks.php?x=FordTAFF. Kevin Smith's 1982 TAFF
    report _Nothing_, published online in August, has been added to the TAFF benefit paperbacks listed at ae.ansible.uk/?id=taff. (These have so far
    raised some GBP370 for the fund -- my thanks to everyone who bought
    copies!) Further early TAFF report ebooks in preparation include _A Fake
    Fan in London_ by Robert A. Madle (1957), _Epitaff_ (1960 westbound) by
    Eric Bentcliffe and _The Squirrel's Tale_ by Ron Ellik (1962).

    THOG'S MASTERCLASS. _Cold Equations Dept._ 'Hook felt his face writhing
    into a grimace he knew from old was a ghastly snarl, a barbarically savage challenge to all the god-forsaken laws of nature and the cold arbiters of
    the universe. He cursed the laws of astrophysics!' ('Tully Zetford',
    _Whirlpool of Stars_, 1974)
    _Striking Similes Redux._ 'The Customs Man recovered his balance and,
    with the speed of a striking sex-crazed strooka, drew his weapon.' (_Ibid_)
    _Dept of Suspicious Movements._ 'Judge Dee was particularly struck by
    Lin Fan's eyes; they had a queer, fixed stare and seemed to move with his head.' (Robert van Gulik, _The Chinese Bell Murders_, 1958)
    _Single Entendre Dept._ Han Solo to Leia Organa Solo: 'A little quiet
    time -- a little husbandly affection -- and it'll pop right out at you.' (Timothy Zahn, _Star Wars: Specter of the Past_, 1997) [BA]
    _Centripetal Dept._ 'Barbarossa's great buildings were held to the
    ground by gravity caused by asteroid spin, as the asteroid orbited through space.' (Ulrike O'Reilly, _Buck Rogers Arrival_,1989) [BA]

    ### GEEKS' CORNER ###

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    ### ENDNOTES ###

    PAYPAL TIP JAR THINGY. Donate to support _Ansible_, cover website costs and keep the editor happy! Or just buy his books.

    19 January 2023, 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

    SOME LINKS from the _Ansible_ home page.
    Figgy Pudding Spam
    Inaugural European Fan Fund (EFF) call for nominations https://fandomrover.com/2022/11/30/2023-eff-call-for-nominations-for-the-first-race/

    THOG'S GOLDEN OLDIES from _Ansible_ 186, January 2003. _Kessel Run Dept._
    '"By the way, we don't talk of speed in space," he _[Professor Lucius
    Brane]_ explained. "We speak of it only in terms of gravity -- so many gravities." [...] "We are now on the cosmic jets at one twentieth exposure.
    At full exposure you would be travelling at not less than twelve gravities, which in terms of speed would be very fast indeed."' (Captain W.E. Johns, _Kings of Space_, 1954)
    _Secrets of Invisibility Dept._ 'We came to your world as fugitives
    from a great planet that once formed part of the solar system -- a planet composed entirely of ultra-violet substances ...' (Clark Ashton Smith, 'The Invisible City', 1932)
    _Legend of Sleepy Hollow Dept._ 'I rolled my head to an empty quadrant
    of the hall.' (Richard Morgan, _Altered Carbon_, 2002)

    _Ansible_(R) 426 (C) David Langford, 2023. Thanks to Brian Ameringen,
    Hamish Bruce, Michael Capobianco, Gary Couzens, Paul Di Filippo, _File
    770_, Rose Fox, Kim Gibbs, Steve Green, Chip Hitchcock, Steve Jones, Jim Linwood, Andrey Meshavkin, Fiona Moore, Tony Peak, Lawrence Person, Andrew
    I. Porter, _Private Eye_, Christopher Rowe, _SF2 Concatenation_, Steven H Silver, Steven Smith, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). Happy
    New Year to all readers!

    3 January 2023
    David Langford | http://ansible.uk/ | http://news.ansible.uk/

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From John Hall@21:1/5 to ansible@cix.co.uk on Tue Jan 3 18:56:03 2023
    XPost: uk.people.sf-fans

    In message <p8o8rhl8bmf421k87otgbivfelo3mh371e@4ax.com>, David Langford <ansible@cix.co.uk> writes
    THE WEAKEST LINK. _Bradley Walsh:_ 'Helen Moffett's novel _Charlotte_
    is inspired by which Jane Austen novel?' _Contestant:_ '_Charlotte's
    Web_.' (ITV, _The Chase_) [PE]
    _Jeremy Paxman:_ 'Who wrote the Elric novels?' _Contestant:_ 'Neil
    Gaiman.' (BBC2, _University Challenge_) [JL]

    The second one isn't the worst answer in the world. At least the
    contestant seems to have identified the genre correctly.
    John Hall "Do you have cornflakes in America?"
    "Well, actually, they're American."
    "So what brings you to Britain then if you have cornflakes already?"
    Bill Bryson: "Notes from a Small Island"

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)