From David Langford@21:1/5 to All on Tue Feb 1 16:41:01 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 any first edition by the learned Hafen Slawkenbergius.
DON BLYLY has a new home for his burnt-out Minneapolis bookshops Uncle
Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's, and hopes to reopen them in June. [PL]
ALEX DAVIS, Literature Officer at the Derby QUAD events centre, has
announced his February departure: 'I'm afraid this will mean we've seen the last of Edge-Lit and the Ghost Story Festival.' (Facebook, 20 January)
OGHENECHOVWE DONALD EKPEKI reported an Amazon bureaucracy nightmare,
beginning with the shutdown of his Kindle Direct Publishing account and
removal of all books from sale _just as_ payment (for distribution to the authors) was due for the first _Year's Best African Speculative Fiction_ anthology. Why? The story varied: he had multiple accounts (news to him),
not allowed; no, his account was mysteriously 'related' to a terminated
one; or, eventually, after considerable Twitter outrage, he'd made a
mistake entering his bank details (why this should be cause for
cancellation rather than 'please correct' is unclear). Jason Sanford
organized a GoFundMe fundraiser, not an option for authors in Nigeria, and fandom rallied round; Ekpeki vowed to have nothing more to do with Amazon
and has made the anthology freely downloadable. (Twitter, all January)
M. JOHN HARRISON is one of this year's Booker Prize judges. [MJE]
ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY, the Chilean film-maker whose failed 1970s hopes of filming _Dune_ are enshrined in a rare proposal book of notes, concepts and artwork, was in the news again after a team of NFT-besotted 'Cryptobros'
bought a copy for some $3m -- about 100 times the going rate -- in the
happy but deluded belief that they were acquiring copyright and could
'Produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell
it to a streaming service'. Other grandiose plans include selling NFTs of
the book, burning it as a marketing stunt, selling NFTs of a video of the burning, and no doubt selling NFTs of many cease-and-desist letters from
the _Dune_ rights holders. (Indy100 via Msn.com, 17 January) [SH]
ALAN MOORE, at a How To Academy event on 17 January, said he should 'take a certain amount of blame' for superhero stories that he fears have 'infantilized' culture and fuelled QAnon-style conspiracy theories. 'Imagination is the source of all magic of wonder, but it's also really dangerous, because if the imagination is not trained, then that's when it becomes potentially quicksand.' (_Evening Standard_, 18 January) [SF2C]
J.K. ROWLING is more innovative than we realized: 'Rowling's real
importance lies in the fact that she was the first writer to present a
world in which class and wealth mattered, some characters were poor, some
were rich, and being poor was a hardship, not just a cheery sentimental
thing in the scenery.' (Jeffrey Smith, Twitter, 7 January) [JDN]
### CONFUCIANISM ###
Until 24 April  DREDD @45 (Judge Dredd exhibition marking his 45th anniversary). Cartoon Museum, London. 10:30am-5pm. GBP8.50; GBP5
concessions. See www.cartoonmuseum.org/whatson/judge-dredd-45.
POSTPONED TO 2023. 11-13 Feb  SCI-FI BALL (media), Southampton. 2022
bookings to be transferred; 'a new hotel'. See scifiball.com.
11-13 Feb  SCOTIACON (furry), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow. GBP90 reg. _Registration now closed._ See www.scotiacon.org.uk.
POSTPONED TO 2023. 18-20 Feb  REDEMPTION (multimedia), Sheffield. _New
dates 24-26 February 2023._ See redemptioncon.org.uk.
ONLINE. 28 Feb  DUNGEONS & DRAGONS AT 50, Inaugural Professorial Lecture
by Esther MacCallum-Stewart. See tinyurl.com/bddsvdhu.
HYBRID. 5 Mar  ANGELA CARTER: A RADICAL PRESCIENCE? (symposium),
University of Chichester. 8:45am-5:40pm. GBP40; GBP30 online only; GBP20 students/staff. See www.sussexfolktalecentre.org/events/.
POSTPONED AGAIN. 10-13 Mar  CHILLERCON UK (horror), Grand and Royal
Hotels, Scarborough. GBP130 reg; HWA members GBP120. See 'Coronavirus Statement' at chillercon-uk.com, whose home page is misleading.
10-12 Mar  FRIGHTFEST (film), Glasgow Film Theatre. Weekend passes GBP75, linked from www.frightfest.co.uk/filmsandevents.html.
FULL UP. 11-13 Mar  MINAMICON (anime), Novotel Hotel, Southampton. GBP60
reg. See www.minamicon.org.uk. _'Registration is now full.'_
1 Apr - 28 Aug  SUPERHEROES, ORPHANS & ORIGINS (exhibition), Foundling Museum, London. GBP10.50 admission; GBP8.25 concessions. See foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/superheroes-orphans-origins/.
7-8 May  PORTSMOUTH COMIC CON, Guildhall, Portsmouth. GBP25 adult weekend ticket; various other rates at portsmouthcomiccon.com.
1-5 Sep  CHICON 8 (80th Worldcon), Chicago, IL, USA. $210 reg; first
Worldcon $110; under-25s $90; under-18s $70; under 14s $50; accompanied under-10s free; $50 supporting. _Rates valid to 30 April. Hugo nominations
are open and will close on 15 March._ See chicon.org.
10 Sep  INTERNATIONAL COMIC EXPO, Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.
10am-5pm. Tickets from GBP8 (students GBP5); VIP passes GBP50; under-6s
free. See internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com.
6-9 Oct  GRIMMFEST (film), Odeon Great Northern, Manchester. 'Early bird' tickets (50 only) GBP99 plus fee. See grimmfest.com/.
27-31 Oct  EDINBURGH HORROR FESTIVAL: Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Dungeon, etc. See edinburghhorrorfestival.co.uk/
11-14 Nov  CAMP SFW, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. Tickets
GBP120. See www.scifiweekender.com.
RUMBLINGS. _Picocon_ (Imperial College, London) may happen, in person or online, on 5 March. Details awaited at
_The Festival of Fantastic Films_ (Manchester) plans an October 2022 event, exact dates TBA: see fantastic-films.com/festival/.
### INFINITELY IMPROBABLE ###
GHOSTING. The 'Creative Book Writers' ghostwriting service and various
related websites claimed responsibility for works by established genre
writers including Ursula Vernon (as T. Kingfisher) -- who reported this
fraud -- Ken Follett, Lee Goldberg and J.D. Robb, while stock photos of the 'world-renowned yet experienced authors' who allegedly do the actual
writing included a young Neil Gaiman. It was also implied that their ghostwriters gave the world _Robinson Crusoe_ and _Gulliver's Travels_.
Anyone enquiring via live chat about these claims is swiftly blocked, but
book cover images started to vanish or to be subtly edited: '_Book Title_:
New York Times Bestselling Author AUTHOR NAME.' (Twitter, 18 January)
AWARDS. _Anisfield-Wolf_ (anti-racism) life achievement: Samuel R. Delany.
_Golden Globes_ animated film: _Encanto_.
_Newbery Medal_ (children's book): _The Last Cuentista_ by Donna Barba Higuera. [KF]
_Philip K. Dick_ shortlist: _Defekt_ by Nino Cipri; _Plague Birds_ by Jason Sanford ; _Bug_ by Giacomo Sartori trans Frederika Randall; _Far from
the Light of Heaven_ by Tade Thompson; The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar;
_Dead Space_ by Kali Wallace. [L]
_Robert A. Heinlein Award:_ David Gerrold.
_Speculative Literature Foundation Illustration of the Year:_ Michelle Feng.
AS OTHERS ... '_Detroit: Become Human_ from Quantic Dream is a game about
an android with self-aware thought processes and emotions. She feels
curiosity, joy, and fear. It takes place in a near-future Detroit, where
the robotics industry is (apparently) booming. Despite these futuristic elements, creative director David Cage says his game is _not_ sci-fi.' (Gamesradar.com, 2015) No talking squid in outer space, you see. [SB]
R.I.P. _Louie Anderson_ (1953-2022), US actor/comedian whose genre credits include _Pop Star Puppy_ (2014), died on 21 January aged 68. [LP] _Ann Arensberg_ (1937-2022), US author whose novels include the supernatural _Incubus_ (1999), died on 14 January aged 84. [AIP]
_Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff_ (born 1949), French twin-brother authors
and tv presenters whose books include _Clefs pour la science-fiction_
(1976) and whose show _Temps X_ introduced _Doctor Who_, _Star Trek_ and
others to France, died aged 72 on 28 December and 3 January respectively.
_Peter Bogdanovich_ (1939-2022), US director and narrator of _Voyage
to the Planet of Prehistoric Women_ (1968), died on 6 January aged 82. [LP]
_Dee Booher_ (1948-2022), US wrestler (as Matilda the Hun and Queen
Kong) and actress in _Spaceballs_ (1987), _Deathstalker II_ (1987) and _Theodore Rex_ (1995), died on 7 January aged 73. [LP]
_Ray Boyle_ (1923-2022), US actor in the Republic serial _Zombies of
the Stratosphere_ (1952), died on 6 January aged 98.
_Bruce Burn_ (1939-2021), well-known New Zealand fanzine fan, died on
17 December aged 82. Nigel Rowe writes: 'Active in local NZ, London fandom
and OMPA in the 1950s and 1960s and "rediscovered" in 1979 to continue
through the 2000s. The last surviving and a founding member of the
Wellington SF Circle. Upon arrival in the UK in 1960 by ship, he was
memorably greeted dockside by local fans carrying signs declaring "Ban the Burn".'
_Mayya Buzinova_ (1929-2022), Russian animator with credits for _The Adventures of Baron Munchausen_ (1967) and various fairytale shorts, died
on 30 January aged 92. [PDF]
_J. Brian Clarke_ (1928-2022), UK-born Canadian author whose stories
in _Analog_ since 1969 became the novels _The Expediter_ (1990) and _Alphanauts_ (1996), died on 17 January aged 93. [RJS]
_Rick Cook_ (1944-2022), US author active in the SCA, best known for
the Wizard fantasy sequence opening with _Wizard's Bane_ (1989), died on 13 January. [F770]
_Joan Copeland_ (1922-2022), US actress with genre credits for _The
Laser Man_ (19889) and _Brother Bear_ (2003), died on 4 January aged 99.
_Frank Denton_ (1939-2022), US fan active in several APAs, whose
fanzines included _Ash-Wing_ (1968-1978) and _The Rogue Raven_ (1975-1997; 2004-2012 as blog), died on 5 January. [GM/F770]
_Frank Dodd_ (1935-2022), New Zealand fan active in the 1950s who with Mike Hinge co-founded the Auckland SF Club in 1952, died on 3 January aged
_Nicholas Donnelly_ (1938-2022), UK actor in _Lifeforce_ (1985), died
on 10 January aged 84. [AIP]
_Mark Forest_ (Lou Degni, 1933-2022), US bodybuilder and actor in
_Goliath and the Dragon_ (1960), _Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules_
(1961) and other 1960s sword-and-sandal epics, died on 7 January aged 89.
_Ron Goulart_ (1933-2022), US author of much entertaining sf/fantasy
since the 1950s -- his first novel being _The Sword Swallower_ (1968), set
in the comic-space-opera 'Barnum System' to which he often returned -- died
on 14 January aged 89. He ghosted the TekWar novels for William Shatner and published useful nonfiction about pulps and comics. [PDF]
_Vladimir Gubarev_ (1938-2022), Byelorussian member of the Russian authors' collective that published sf as by Pavel Bagryak, died on 25
January aged 83. [PDF]
_Jane Hawkins_ (1951-2022), Seattle-based author of _Quantum Gate_
(1995) and fan involved with many conventions (Corflu, Noreascon 3,
Norwescon, Potlatch, WisCon), used Washington State's assisted-dying option
to end the pains of terminal cancer on 7 January; she was 70. [LZS]
_Howard Hesseman_ (1940-2022), US actor in _Americathon_ (1979) and _Flight of the Navigator_ (1986), died on 29 January aged 81. [LP]
_Trevor Hughes_, UK fan and comics mart organizer who published _Hawkfrendz_, _Hawkwind Assault and Battery_ and other Hawkwind fanzines,
died just before Christmas. [AS]
_Jo Kendall_ (1938-2022), UK actress whose radio credits include _I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again_ (1964-1973, with various sf parodies) and the first episode of _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_ (1978), died in
late January aged 83.
_Barbara Krafftowna_ (1928-2022), Polish actress in _The Saragossa Manuscript_ (1965), died on 23 January aged 93.
_Stephen Lawrence_ (1939-2021), composer and music arranger for
_Sesame Street_ (1989-2007) and such children's films as _The Frog Prince_ (1986), died on 30 December aged 82. [MMW]
_Chris A. Masters_, Australian horror author -- first novel _Take Two_ (2018) -- who edited _Shoggoth_ and other little magazines, died on 5
January aged 61. [SJ]
_Meat Loaf_ (1947-2022), US singer and actor with genre credits from
_The Rocky Horror Show_ (Broadway and film) via _Fight Club_ (1999) to
_Ghost Wars_ (2017-2018), died on 20 January aged 74. [LP]
_Jean-Claude Mezieres_ (1938-2022), French comics artist best known
for the sf Valerian/Laureline adventures that inspired the film _Valerian
and the City of a Thousand Planets_ (2017), died on the night of 22/23
January aged 83. [F770]
_Elizabeth Miller_ (1939-2022), Canadian academic and Dracula scholar whose books include _Reflections on Dracula: Ten Essays_ (1997), died on 2 January aged 82. She received the Dracula Society's Life Achievement Award
and other related honours. [SJ]
_John Joseph Miller_ (1954-2022), US author of ties to various genre franchises -- most famously Wild Cards, including the solo novel _Death
Draws Five_ (2006) -- died on 5 January. [LB]
_Yvette Mimieux_ (1942-2022), US actress in _The Time Machine_ (1960,
as Weena), _The Neptune Factor_ (1973) and _The Black Hole_ (1979), died on
18 January aged 80. [SS]
_Mace Neufeld_ (1928-2022), US producer whose credits include _The
Omen_ (1976), _Quark_ (1977-1978), _Transylvania 6-5000_ (1985) and _Lost
in Space_ (1998), died on 21 January aged 93. [AIP]
_Sidney Poitier_ (1927-2022) noted Oscar-winning US actor who also directed _Ghost Dad_ (1990) and wrote the metaphysical fantasy novel
_Montaro Caine_ (2013), died on 6 January aged 94.
_Silas Potts_ (1970-2021), UK fan, ZZ9 member and London First
Thursday regular, died unexpectedly over Christmas. [F/AS]
_Alex Rebar_ (1940-2021), US actor who starred in _The Incredible
Melting Man_ (1977), died on 19 November aged 81. [SS]
_Peter Robbins_ (1956-2022), former US child actor who voiced Charlie Brown in _Peanuts_-based tv films and shorts 1965-1969, committed suicide
on 18 January; he was 65. [MMW]
_George Rossi_ (1961-2022), Scots actor in _Max Headroom_ (1985), died
on 5 January aged 60.
_Lee Server_, US writer on cinema and the pulps whose books include _Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers_ (2002), died on 28 December aged 68. [SH]
_Roger Sims_ (1930-2022), long-time US fan and con-runner who
co-chaired the 1959 Worldcon -- and other events including Corflu, Ditto
and FanHistoriCon -- died on 23 January aged 91. He was the 1995 Down Under
Fan Fund winner (with his wife Pat) and entered the First Fandom Hall of
Fame in 2020. [JZ]
_Willie Siros_, US fan and book dealer who chaired the Texas
conventions Solarcon (1975, 1976), Armadillocon (1979, 1980, 1981) and LoneStarCon (1985), died on 5 January aged 69. [LP]
_Carol Speed_ (1945-2022), US actress in the _Exorcist_-inspired
_Abby_ (1974), died on 14 January aged 76. [SJ]
_Gaspard Ulliel_ (1984-2022), French actor in _Brotherhood of the
Wolf_ (2001) and the coming Marvel tv adaptation _Moon Knight_, died on 19 January aged 37. [MMW]
_Jay Wolpert_ (1942-2022), US tv game show creator who co-wrote the storyline for _Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl_
(2003) -- creating characters used in sequels -- died on 3 January aged 79. [AIP]
_Dave Wolverton_ (1957-2022), US author of much sf and (as David
Farland) of the popular Runelords fantasy sequence opening with _The Sum of
All Men_ (1998 aka _The Runelords_), died on 14 January aged 64. He had for many years edited the annual Writers of the Future anthologies. [PDF]
_Bill Wright_ (1937-2022), Australian fan active since the late 1950s,
a founding member of ANZAPA and the Nova Mob, died on 16 January a day
before his 85th birthday. He was the 2013 Down Under Fan Fund winner. [BG]
COURT CIRCULAR. Pete Young reports: 'Following the news on Dame Joanna
Lumley and Dame Vanessa Redgrave, we supposedly already have a Dame among
us: searching for Gwyneth Jones on Apple Books this weekend I see that all
her titles are actually credited to "Dame Gwyneth Jones", the Welsh
operatic soprano.' (Email, 4 January)
THE DEAD PAST. _80 Years Ago_, Walter H. Gillings reported that '_Tales of Wonder_ has had a very narrow squeak indeed. "In the midst of preparing the issue," says Wally, "I heard from World's Work that it was quite possible
it would never appear; it appears they wanted to transfer the paper they're allowed for it, and that for their other two quarterlies, over to the
monthly _Short Stories_, but they first had to get the consent of the Paper Centre -- and this was not, fortunately for us, forthcoming."' (_Futurian
War Digest_ 17, February 1942)
_50 Years Ago_, 'Malcolm & Christine Edwards were married on February
12th and Graham & Pat Charnock on February 29th.' (_Checkpoint_ 15, March
_40 Years Ago_, Kingsley Amis issued another definitive pronouncement
that sf was dead. (_Radio Times_, 6 February 1982)
_20 Years Ago:_ 'Ken Follett's much publicized Discworld appearance
(at a cost of GBP2,200 for charity) is as the sinisterly scheming Doctor Follett, head of the Assassins' Guild in Terry Pratchett's just-completed _Night Watch_.' ... 'Stephen King says he's retiring after five more books.
A collection and a novel this year, three more Dark Tower novels in 2003,
and then: "That's it. I'm done. Done writing books. [...] I don't want to finish up like Harold Robbins. That's my nightmare."' (_LA Times_, 27
January 2002)' (_Ansible_ 175, February 2002)
FANFUNDERY. Another free ebook at the TAFF site: _The Incompleat Burbee_
from 1958, collecting much politically incorrect fanzine writing by
old-time LA fan Charles Burbee. See taff.org.uk/ebooks.php?x=Burb.
Coming soon: the indefatigable Rob Hansen has assembled the parodic 1957-1975 fanzine adventures of Sir William Makepeace Harrison, stalwart defender of the British Empire, as _The Harrison Saga_ chronicled by 'Harry Hurstmonceaux O.B.E. and Cyril Faversham M.M.'.
EDITORIAL. My publication score for 2021, besides the usual dozen
_Ansible_s, was one issue of _Cloud Chamber_, eight ebooks for the TAFF website's Little Free Library (some with Rob Hansen, who bemusedly reports
that _Bixelstrasse_ is now turning up on pirate sites), one Ansible
Editions paperback of my own stuff, and a revamped online _SF Encyclopedia_ which -- touch wood -- has yet to crash horribly. Keep watching the skies!
RANDOM FANDOM. _Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards_ voting will close on
25 February. See efanzines.com/TIR/Incompleat2021.pdf.
THOG'S MASTERCLASS. _Waggish Dept._ 'Bending, her breasts wagging forward,
she rummaged in the pocket of her blouse ...' (Philip K. Dick, _Ubik_,
_Dept of How's That Again?_ 'The man's glance brushed a stroke from
the computer across Kevin's conservative denim suit to meet his eyes.'
(Ronnie Seagren, 'Of Wood and Stone' in _Once Upon a Galaxy_ ed. Martin H. Greenberg and others, 2002) [TS]
_Figures of Speech._ 'The moon hung like an undescended testicle in
the sky.' (Brian Aldiss, _The Male Response_, 1961) [DD] 'The cameras
followed them, silent as hepatitis.' (Brian Aldiss, _The Eighty-Minute
LATE REPORTS. _Scott Gronmark_ (1952-2020), Norwegian-born UK crime and
horror novelist who wrote as by Nick Sharman, died on 29 June 2020. [PDF/Fictionmags]
_William Walling_ (1926-2021), US author whose first sf novel was _No
One Goes There Now_ (1971), died in January 2021 aged 94. [ISFDB]
3 February 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting as below, since the pub
has a paid booking that trumps fannish freebies.
17 February 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
20 February 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.
THOG'S GOLDEN OLDIES from _Ansible_ 175, February 2002. 'Somehow, the
mackerel pate of memory had escaped its wrapper, skipped its kitchen dish,
and turned into a flickering silver shoal, darting and twisting in terror against an empty darkness.' ('Gabriel King', _The Wild Road_, 1997)
_Dept of Maths (Three Orders of Magnitude subdivision)._ 'A man could
be made to slash his throat in a quarter of a minute. An exec, killing, killing, killing without pause, could destroy his own two million enemies
in an eight-hour day.' (Frederik Pohl, _A Plague of Pythons_, 1965 ... corrected, to be fair, in the 1984 revision)
_Dept of Climbing Plants._ 'There were clumps of forest filled with strange, intertwined trees and brachiating fungi.' (Alan Dean Foster, _Star Wars: The Approaching Storm_, 2002)
_Ansible_(R) 415 (C) David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Lenny Bailes, Sandra
Bond, Don D'Ammassa, Paul Di Filippo, Malcolm Edwards, _File 770_, Flick,
Keith Freeman, Bruce Gillespie, _SF2 Concatenation_, Steve Holland, Steve Jones, Publishers Lunch, Joe McNally, Todd Mason, Gary Mattingly, James D. Nicoll, Lawrence Person, _Locus_, Andrew I. Porter, Nigel Rowe, Andy
Sawyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Alison Scott, Leah Zeldes Smith, Steven Smith,
Terry Somerville, Nick Watkins, Martin Morse Wooster, Joel Zakem, and as
always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia).