From David Langford@21:1/5 to All on Fri Apr 28 17:30:57 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 information on the precise expiry date of summer's lease.
CONVERSATION, the 2023 UK Eastercon, took place in the Birmingham NEC
Hilton despite the best efforts of a rail service fraught with line
closures and cumbersome replacement buses. 900+ members, with nearly 800 physically present.
_BSFA Awards:_ NOVEL Adrian Tchaikovsky, _City of Last Chances_.
YOUNGER READERS Frances Hardinge, _Unraveller_. SHORTER Aliette de Bodard,
_Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances_. NON-FICTION Rob Wilkins, _Terry
Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes_. ARTWORK Alyssa Winans, cover for _The
Red Scholar's Wake_ by Aliette de Bodard.
_Overheard_ (mostly from the Discord server): 'It's a sign of the
times -- the con has drunk the hotel dry of non-alcoholic beers.' -- Tony
Keen. 'Favourite subtitle so far: "I should buy copies for my niblings"
(i.e. nephews and nieces) was rendered as "I should buy copies for my
nipple rings".' -- Michael Abbott. Also the livestreamed BSFA Awards were subtitled as the infinitely more fannish Beer Survey Awards. [CP]
_Eastercon 2025:_ despite the ominous intrusion of a joke bid, 'Catastrophe' run by cats, the Belfast 'Reconnect' bid was an easy winner
and takes Eastercon to Northern Ireland for the first time ever. See below.
_Doc Weir Award:_ Claire Brialey.
_Fan Funds:_ the auction raised GBP1,733, and the tombola plus other
sales and donations a further GBP360+. [GS/CB]
_Covid Watch:_ many positive tests were reported by attendees during
and soon after the con. The final figure must be well over 100, with 96
reports -- some for 'entire household' -- on Discord alone a week later.
### THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY ###
ANGELA BASSETT of _Black Panther_ fame, NEIL GAIMAN and SALMAN RUSHDIE are
all in _Time_'s list of the most influential people of 2023 -- as a Titan,
an Artist and an Icon respectively. [AIP]
JORGE LUIS BORGES's estate and copyrights are in the news again after the
death on 26 March of his widow Maria Kodama, who despite fiercely
protecting his memory since he died in 1986 seems to have made no will.
Five of her nephews very soon went to court, claiming ownership of all the valuable rights and manuscripts. (AP, 6 April) [PDF]
AVRAM DAVIDSON's centenary on 23 April was celebrated with the release of a
new collection and (for five days only) three free ebooks including _The
Avram Davidson Treasury_. See avramdavidson.com.
FONDA LEE has been alerted by a reader to one of publishing's happy little surprises in her fantasy novel _Jade War_, where 'instead of chapters
13-15, there are 31 pages of _A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution_ by Jeremy D. Popkin'. (Twitter, 3 April)
FIONA MOORE was Noticed by _QI_: 'This year, the "Non-Fiction" category of
the British Science Fiction Association Awards included a business book
titled _Management Lessons from Game of Thrones: Organization Theory and Strategy in Westeros_.' (_QI_ on Facebook, 17 April)
JAMES D. NICOLL mused on blobby art: 'WHAT MODERN ARTIST CAN MATCH RICHARD POWERS' "STARING AT A LAVA LAMP WHILE ON LSD" OR "STARING AT A DIFFERENT
LAVA LAMP WHILE ON LSD"?' (Facebook, 2 April)
### CONVOCANT ###
10-12 May  GIFCON 2022 (Glasgow University online conference),
'Boundaries and Margins'. See tinyurl.com/472fpk3c.
13-14 May  STEAMPUNK FAIRYTALE, Belvoir Castle, Grantham. Tickets GBP40; under-17s GBP15; family (2 adults, up to 3 children) GBP55; carers GBP20.
16 May  TOLKIEN LECTURE by Maria Dahvana Headley, Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College, Oxford. 6pm. See tolkienlecture.org.
20-21 May  HORRORCON UK, Magna, Sheffield. Weekend tickets GBP45 (11am
entry) or GBP55 (10am entry); more at horrorconuk.com.
26-28 May  SATELLITE 8, Crowne Plaza, Glasgow. _Now GBP75 reg_; under-25s GBP60; under-18s GBP20; under-12s GBP5; under-5s GBP2. Rates are valid to
22 May and may rise thereafter. See eight.satellitex.org.uk.
27-28 May  LAWLESS (UK comics), Hilton Doubletree, Bristol. Tickets GBP70
or GBP35/day. See lawlesscomiccon.co.uk.
27-28 May  SURREY STEAMPUNK CONVIVIAL, Stoneleigh, Epsom. See bumpandthumper.wixsite.com/steampunkconvivials.
31 May - 6 Jun  SCI-FI LONDON (film festival); multiple London venues including Picturehouse Central. See sci-fi-london.com; showings listed and individually ticketed at sci-fi-london.com/2022-info/ _[sic]_.
2-4 Jun  CYMERA SF FESTIVAL 2023, Edinburgh and online. Weekend pass
GBP80, or GBP50 digital only. See www.cymerafestival.co.uk.
2-4 Jun  JODIWORLD (Jodi Taylor), Doubletree by Hilton, Coventry. GBP70
reg; GBP10 supp; see www.jodiworld.org.
3-4 Jun  PORTSMOUTH COMIC CON, Guildhall, Portsmouth. _Weekend tickets
now GBP28_. For day rates see portsmouthcomiccon.com.
8-11 Jun  KONFLIKT (Eurocon), Uppsala, Sweden. Euro60 or 600 SEK reg; under-26s free but must register. See eurocon2023.wordpress.com.
10-11 Jun  EM-CON (media), Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. Weekend tickets GBP30 (11am entry) or GBP40 (10am) at www.em-con.co.uk.
2-5 Feb 2024  SCOTIACON (furry), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow.
'Prehistoric Panic' theme. Details awaited at www.scotiacon.org.uk.
29 Mar - 1 Apr 2024  LEVITATION (Eastercon), Telford International
Centre. GBP115 reg _(may rise on 1 June)_; GBP50 concessions; GBP35
supporting; all memberships include virtual access. See
8-12 Aug 2024  GLASGOW 2024, Glasgow SEC. GBP170 reg; concessions GBP125;
YA (under 26) GBP110; under-16s GBP75; under-11s GBP45; under-6s GBP5.
_Rates rise on 1 May 2023: GBP190 full adult reg._ Unconverted 'Friend' memberships will become virtual-only, but this move (also announced for 1
May 2023) has been delayed to January 2024. See glasgow2024.org.
18-21 Apr 2025  RECONNECT, Hilton Lanyon Place Hotel and ICC, Belfast.
GoH Lauren Beukes, Derek Landy, Ian McDonald ('bar GoH'), Jeannette Ng,
Rebecca Roanhorse, William Simpson. GBP60 reg; GBP45 under-18s and
concessions; GBP25 supporting membership only. _These rates will rise at
the end of May._ See easterconbelfast.org.
RUMBLINGS. _Science Museum:_ the sf exhibition closing date has been
extended from 4 May to 20 August. See news.ansible.uk. [SM]
_Hugo Nominations_ close on 30 April. Many fans outside China
complained of being unable to nominate owing to persistent Chengdu website problems.
### INFINITELY IMPROBABLE ###
AS OTHERS DEFINE US. Rachel Weisz, star of the gender-swapped tv reworking
of David Cronenberg's 1988 film _Dead Ringers_, is reassuring: '"It's not sci-fi," Weisz says, discussing the scientific possibilities the story
wades into, it's closer than that: "It's near-fi."' (_Guardian_, 16 April)
MORE AWARDS. _Fanzine Activity Achievement (FAAn):_ SPECIAL PUBLICATION
_1957: The First UK Worldcon_ ed. Rob Hansen. GENZINE _Portable Storage_. PERSONALZINE _This Here ..._ LETTERHACK Jerry Kaufman. FANARTIST Ulrika O'Brien. COVER Alan White for _Beam_ 17. FANWRITER (tie) Justin E A Busch
and Nic Farey. PAST PRESIDENT of fwa: John D. Berry and Nigel Rowe, 2022;
Keith Freeman, 1959. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Rob Hansen.
_Philip K. Dick:_ _The Extractionist_ by Kimberly Unger.
_LA Times Ray Bradbury Prize_ for sf/fantasy: _Spear_ by Nicola
_Prometheus_ (libertarian) finalists: _Widowland_ by C.J. Carey, _Cloud-Castles_ by Dave Freer, _Captain Trader Helmsman Spy_ by Karl K. Gallagher, _A Beast Cannot Feign_ by 'Dr. Insensitive Jerk' (Gordon
Hanka),_ Summer's End_ by John Van Stry.
_Seiun_ (Japan): finalists for the best translated novel of 2022 reportedly include Isaac Asimov's _Foundation_ series, translated by Yasuko Kaji.
_SFWA Infinity Award_ (new posthumous Grandmaster): Octavia E. Butler.
MESSING WITH THE MOUSE. In his late-night HBO show _Last Week Tonight_,
John Oliver tweaked Disney's tail by adopting the original Mickey Mouse character from _Steamboat Willie_ -- due to fall out of copyright on 1
January 2024 -- as a show mascot. Just to see what happens: 'we do like to
take a risk every now and then.' (Deadline.com, 2 April) [AIP]
R.I.P. _Harry Belafonte_ (1927-2023), US singer and actor seen in _The
World, the Flesh and the Devil_ (1959), _The Angel Levine_ (1970) and
_White Man's Burden_ (1995), died on 25 April aged 96. [SG/LP]
_Gennadi Bogachyov_ (1945-2023), award-winning Russian actor whose
credits include _Chudesnoe yabloko_ (1988 animation) and _The Master and Margarita_ (2005 mini-series), died on 25 April aged 78. [AW]
_Bill Butler_ (1921-2023), US cinematographer whose films include _Deathmaster_ (1972), _Demon Seed_, (1977), _Omen II_ (1978) and _Child's
Play_ (1988), died on 5 April aged 101. [LP]
_Larry Card_ (1940-2023), long-time US convention-goer and member of
First Fandom, died on 14 April. [JC]
_Michael Denneny_ (1943-2023), pioneering US editor of gay and lesbian fiction and of the magazine _Christopher Street_, who at St Martin's Press edited two Joanna Russ story collections and _Battlefield Earth_, was found dead at home on 15 April; he was 80. [GVG]
_Frank Dobson_, UK comics fan and dealer who founded the first British comics adzine, _Fantasy Advertiser_, in 1965 and published 31 issues before handing over to others, died on 31 March. His 1975-1979 London shop was
Weird Fantasy, later becoming Dez Skinn's Quality Comics. [SH]
_Mike Foster_ (1947-2023), US academic, Tolkien scholar and Mythcon regular, died on 12 April. [F770]
_Yevhen Gulevych_, Ukrainian editor and 'culturologist' who translated
Ray Bradbury's _Something Wicked This Way Comes_, was killed fighting at Bakhmut, perhaps as long ago as December. [F770]
_Lee Harding_ (1937-2023), Australian author active in fandom from the early 1950s and publishing professionally from 1961, died on 18 April aged
86. [JHW] He won the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award for _Displaced Person_ (1979), two Ditmars, and the 2006 Chandler award for
_Barry Humphries_ (1934-2023), Australian actor, author, director and scriptwriter famed for very much more than his credits in _Bedazzled_
(1967), _Howling III_ (1987), _Finding Nemo_ (2003) and _The Hobbit_
(2012), died on 22 April aged 89.
_Al Jaffee_ (1921-2023), US comics artist best known for contributions
to _Mad_ (including the famous 'fold-ins'), whose 1942-2020 comics career
holds the Guinness World Record for longevity, died on 10 April aged 102.
Genre collections include _Mad Monstrosities_ (1974). [LP]
_Michael Lerner_ (1941-2023), US actor in _Godzilla_ (1998 tv), _Tale
of the Mummy_ (1998), _Elf_ (2003) and _X-Men: Days of Future Past_ (2014), died on 8 April aged 81. [AIP]
_Denny Lien_ (1945-2023), Minneapolis fan, librarian, collector,
worker on many Minicons and contributor to many APAs, died on 15 April aged
77. [MW] He was a valued contributor to the Fictionmags discussion list;
his research skills were a great help to Ansible Editions book projects.
_Carol Locatell_ (1940-2023), US actress in _Friday the 13th V_
(1985), died on 11 April aged 82. [LP]
_John Mansfield_, long-time Canadian fan who co-founded the Ontario SF Group in 1966 and chaired the 1994 Worldcon in Winnipeg, died on 19 April. [F770]
_Murray Melvin_ (1932-2023), UK actor in _Ghost Story_ (1973), three _Starhunter_ series (2000-2018), _Torchwood_ (2007) and others, died on 14 April aged 90. [AIP]
_Kenzaburo Oe_ (1935-2023), Nobel-winning Japanese author, some of
whose work uses genre themes, died on 3 March aged 88. [L]
_Anne Perry_ (born Juliet Hulme, 1938-2023), historical mystery author
who also wrote the fantasies _Tathea_ (2000) and _Come Armageddon_ (2002),
died on 10 April aged 84. [LP]
_Rachel Pollack_ (1945-2023), US author and Tarot expert whose first
novel was _Golden Vanity_ (1980), died on 7 April aged 77. Her
_Unquenchable Fire_ (1988) won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and _Godmother Night_ (1996) the World Fantasy Award; she created the first transgender
comics superhero while writing _Doom Patrol_ for DC 1993-1995. [SHS]
_Duane Earl Poole_ (1948-2023), US screenwriter with credits for
_Electra Woman and Dyna Girl_ (1976), _Smurfs_ (1981), _Return to the
Batcave_ (2003), _Angel in the Family_ (2004) and others, died on 1 April
aged 74. [AIP]
_Norman Reynolds_ (1934-2023), US production designer and art director
who shared Oscars for his work on _Star Wars_ (1977) and _Raiders of the
Lost Ark_ (1981), died on 6 April aged 89. Other credits include _The
Empire Strikes Back_ (1980), _Return of the Jedi_ (1983) and _Bicentennial
Man_ (1999). [AIP]
_Joseph Ross (Wrzos)_ (1929-2023), managing editor of _Amazing_ and _Fantastic_ 1965-1967, editor of _The Best of Amazing_ (1967) and worker on Arkham House projects, died on 7 April aged 93. He entered the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2016. [BNM]
_Ryuichi Sakamoto_ (1952-2023), Oscar-winning Japanese composer with credits for _The Handmaid's Tale_ (1990), _Wild Palms_ (1993) and an
episode of _Black Mirror_ (2019), died on 28 March aged 71. [CL]
_Kate Saunders_ (1960-2023), UK author whose fantasies include the six-book 'Belfry Witches' series opening with _A Spell of Witches_ (1999),
and the E. Nesbit homage _Five Children on the Western Front_ (2014), died
on 21 April aged 62. [AIP]
_Jerry Springer_ (1944-2023), US talk show host and actor in _Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me_ (1999) and _Sharknado 3_ (2015), died on 27 April aged 79. [LP]
_Leo D. Sullivan_ (1940-2023), US animator who worked on _Flash
Gordon_ (1979-1982), _BraveStarr_ (1987-1988), _The Incredible Hulk_ (1996)
and many more, died on 25 March aged 82. [AIP]
_Klaus Teuber_ (1952-2023), German board game designer who four times
won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) with _Barbarossa_ (1988),
_Settlers of Catan_ (1995) and others, died on 1 April aged 70. [MR]
_Viktor Tochinov_ (1966-2023), Russian horror author whose 38 novels
since 2003 include some sf, died on 13 April. [AM]
_Richard Ng Yiu-Hon_ (1939-2023), Hong Kong actor in _Mr Vampire 3_ (1987), _Spooky, Spooky_ (1988), _Gambling Ghost_ (1991) and others, died
on 9 April aged 83. [K]
COURT CIRCULAR. 'Demetrious Polychron', author of the Middle-earth fan
fiction novel _The Fellowship of the King_, is suing Amazon and the Tolkien estate for $250 million on the basis that much of the _Rings of Power_ tv series is plagiarized from his book -- allegedly copyrighted in 2017 yet
not published until September 2022 when the series began to air. A smoking
gun: _Rings of Power_ features a hobbit or Harfoot called Elanor, as does
the fan fiction, where Elanor is Sam Gamgee's daughter. The fact that said daughter appears in Tolkien's own _The Return of the King_ (1955) is
seemingly not relevant. (Radar & Kotaku, 17 & 21 April) One commentator paraphrased the detailed court filing as: 'Here's my annotated list of everything I plagiarized from Tolkien, that Amazon is using without MY permission!' (@TolkienGuide, Twitter, 18 April)
RANDOM FANDOM. _First Fandom_, following the death of its last original
member Bob Madle (1920-2022), has voted by an 'overwhelming majority' to reorganize under a new name. (_Scientifiction_ 75)
AS OTHERS LEFT IT TO US. 'The only other thing I wish to say about this collection is that, as far as I know, it contains no references to juvenile delinquency, the atomic bomb, supersonic flight, Miss Marilyn Monroe, or
any of the other phenomena peculiar to our times. This may easily lead a
good many readers to suppose that I died several years ago, probably in the explosion of the first electric icebox, but the truth is that these
subjects are just a little beyond my range. I am content to leave them all, including Miss Monroe, to the science-fiction writers.' (Wolcott Gibbs, introducing his book _More in Sorrow_, 1958)
OUTRAGED LETTERS. _D.M. Sherwood_ writes: 'You could mention the reason
I've missed the last three Novacons is a nervous condition at the base of
the spine which means I can only walk five or six steps.'
THE DEAD PAST. _30 Years Ago_, some 1993 Eastercon memories: 'Brian Aldiss
said he managed to remain placid even when the _Independent_ reporter asked
him if he also wrote as Harry Harrison. / Iain Banks, deprived of heights
to scale, instead crawled around under the carpet of the hotel bar. / John Jarrold was elected President of World SF but explained that he wasn't
there at the time and knew nothing about it.' (_Ansible_ 70, May 1993)
_60 Years Ago_, a new recruit was welcomed to the sf canon: '_The Tin Drum_, the new German superman story by Gunter Grass, has been chosen as an alternate selection by the Book of the Month Club. Harry Warner says the
hero is a combination of Paul Bunyan, Baron Munchausen, Sparky Watts and
the devil.' (Ron Ellik, _Starspinkle_ 12, May 1963)
_80 Years Ago_, Benson Herbert wrote his own blurb for _Strange
Romance_: 'The cover is snappy, being in erotic purple (i.e. the shade of purple said to stimulate the erotogenic centres), deals with lovers in different dimensions (very awkward for them), with bits of interplanetary
wars, fights between he-men, those funny old rays, stock monsters, enough gadgets to fill a children's store and mental conflicts between patriotism
and the Higher life.' (_Futurian War Digest_ 28, May 1943)
FANFUNDERY. _European Fan Fund:_ the inaugural race is over with 33 valid
votes cast, and the winner is Matylda Naczynka, who will travel to this
year's Eurocon -- Konflikt in June. [MK]
_TAFF:_ Sandra Bond won by a clear majority (81 of the 137 valid votes cast) and will travel to Pemmi-Con, the July NASFiC in Winnipeg: 'I'm
gearing up to enjoy the distinction of being the only ever westbound
candidate not to attend a Worldcon!' [FK/MJL] Sue Mason released her 2000
TAFF trip report as _Into the Wide Purple Yonder: A Fan Artist in America_, available for GBP5 in PDF or as a print edition (postage extra) from the publisher, Alison Scott.
_TAFF Ebooks:_ a new addition at taff.org.uk/ebooks.php?all is Jacq Monahan's 2012 TAFF report _Same Planet Different World_.
_Corflu Craic_ auctions and publication sales raised over GBP1,200 for various funds. [CB]
THOG'S MASTERCLASS. _Bowels of the Earth._ 'To a restless man on a train, America becomes only a ribbon stretching from his window to the hilltops or
the horizon ... the roads leading like intestines into the hills.'
(Frederic Wakeman, _The Hucksters_, 1946)
_Sometimes A Dawn Is Just A Dawn._ 'They rode on and the sun in the
east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like
blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out
of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen
rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.' (Cormac
McCarthy, _Blood Meridian_, 1985) [LP]
_Cold Truth Dept._ 'The cold was endless, especially when the
temperature dropped.' (Stephanie Kraner, 'A Father's Hand', May/June 2021 _F&SF_) [ND]
_Never Let It Go._ 'She gave a small cry of satisfaction, then quickly grabbed it up and sped down the dirt path ...' (Harold S. Sykes, 'The
Ancient Ones', July 1950 _Super Science_)
R.I.P. LATE AND LAST-MINUTE REPORTS. _Ron Faber_ (1933-2023), US actor in
_The Exorcist_ (1973), died on 26 March aged 90. [AIP]
_Ramiro Oliveros_ (1941-2023), Spanish actor in _The Swamp of the
Ravens_ (1974), _Cannibal Apocalypse_ (1980), _Hundra_ (1983) and _Dark
Tower_ (1987), died on 27 April aged 82. [LP]
THOG'S GOLDEN OLDIES from _Ansible_ 190, May 2003. _Department of
Relativity._ 'That mountain's less than twelve thousand feet high -- that's only two thousand under Earth gravity ...' (Arthur C. Clarke, 'The
_Ansible_(R) 430 (C) David Langford, 2023. Thanks to Ellen T. Andresen,
Claire Brialey, John Coker, Niels Dalgaard, Paul Di Filippo, _File 770_,
Steve Green, Steve Holland, Kari, Fia Karlsson, Marcin Klak, Chris
Litharis, _Locus_, Michael J. Lowrey, Richard Mckenna, Barry N. Malzberg, Andrey Meshavkin, Sandy Morrison, Lawrence Person, Andrew I. Porter, Chris Priest, Marcus Rowland, Steven H Silver, Geri Sullivan, Gordon Van Gelder, Michael Ward, Jean Hollis Weber, Andrew Wells, and our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Brum Group), Nigel Rowe (Corflu Craic), SCIS/Prophecy, and
Alan Stewart (Australia).