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Ansible 8, April 1980

Cartoon: Rob Hansen

PLEASE NOTE that this old Ansible is a bit of history. Addresses have changed (in particular, the editor's postal address has), prices and agents' credits are invalid, etc. • This issue was produced in my BWP or Before-Word-Processors era, and scanned and proofread for the archives by the poor bloody editor. • Dave Langford, 1997.

ANSIBLE 8 ... from Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Avenue, Reading, Berks, RG1 7PW, UK. Please note totally revised subscription rates: UK 4/60p, US 5/£2, Australia ditto, Europe 6/£1: sent airmail abroad. Existing subs honoured at old rates. All foreigners may subscribe at UK rates and get ANSIBLE by seamail (i.e. very late). No subs over £1 (£1.20 UK) please. And no foreign cheques or currency: I've had too much trouble with slithering dollars, funny cheques &c. Sorry! Your status should appear on the mailing label (take another bow, Keith Freeman). Cartoon by Rob Hansen. ANSIBLE 8: April 1980.


Bob Jewett: Having been shown the latest issue of Ansible [7] with Sandy Brown's incredible letter I feel I really must correct his errors of fact.

(1) Bob Shaw originally suggested Edinburgh back in 1978 as an Eastercon site. I, amongst others, rejected the idea in favour of Glasgow because I felt you require a committee on the ground in order to run a convention.

(2) I was on the Faircon '78 and '79 committees, as were about five other people, most of whom are also on the Albacon committee.

(3) I refute the allegation that we don't know what Bob Shaw is up to; frankly I know more about what he's been doing than what Jimmy Robertson has done. This is, however, just as we intended things to be, because some time ago we decided to let people get on with the job rather than pester them for one- syllable descriptions of their every move (as happened during Faircon '78).

The only thing Sandy is correct in saying is that we did have real problems recruiting a Fan Room organizer – we were, I'm sure, quite lucky to get Jimmy Robertson; after all, we might have had Sandy Brown instead.

(Savage stuff this: I couldn't resist writing to ask Bob whether, in calling all Sandy's non-fanroom remarks other than correct, he was asserting the bona-fide status of the 'Rockcon' '81 bid [as denied by Sandy]. Unfortunately I'm having to finish this part of Ansible for the printers too soon to feature any reply; maybe in the duplicated bit? Meanwhile, the incredible controversialist returns.... DRL)

Sandy Brown: I do not feel that my personal statement in Ansible 7 needs any justification by me, but I will explain my motives for writing what I did. As far as most non-Scottish fans are concerned, there are only 2 Scottish names they are familiar with: Jim Barker and Bob Shaw; Jim Barker because of his popularity at conventions and his legendary amount of published artwork, Bob Shaw because of whips and green slime at conventions, and his finger in just about every SF activity in Scotland. Jim Barker doesn't say much in print, Bob Shaw does, therefore it's not surprising to find the non- Scottish fans (and many Scottish ones) have assumed that Bob Shaw speaks for Scotland. But he does not. And if no-one else would say it, I felt that I had to. If Scots are not all brilliant cartoonists, neither are they all Shaw's creatures. There is the same range of good guys, bad guys, tossers, chancers and workers as in any group of fans.

It has been put to me that I was making a deliberate attack on Albacon. Apart from its being a foolish assumption that one person, not a member of a convention committee, could materially affect a convention less than one month before that convention, I do not see that any Scot would do other than hope that a Scottish-run Eastercon would be a success, if for no other reason than to show that we are not all tartan hooligans. No, it was an attempt to prevent a joke in poor taste being taken seriously. Any beans spilled about Albacon were incidental. I had heard it said that either Rockcon was real, or that it was purely to keep the Yorcon 2 bid on its toes. The former was not true, and as for the latter, 'Rockcon' and 'Aviemore' adverts were being displayed in Glasgow in mid-1979, whereas 'Yorcon II' was not revealed until Novacon in 1979.

(In a subsequent letter, Sandy reveals that he's just taken a course in 'Negotiating Skills'.... I have been promised an official Irate Committee Letter from Albacon [Bob Jewett's was a personal response], but this has not materialized in time for this bit of Ansible. All I have left is a controversial statement from Jim Barker, who wishes to make the shocking revelation that The Best of Elmer T Hack has apparently been mentioned in SFR, causing a flood of four US orders from Joyce Scrivner, Brian Earl Brown, Doug Moench [Marvel Comics writer] and a Texas university which merely enclosed a form whereby Jim could apply to be a vendor in the state of Texas: this must be sent back before Jim can actually sell anything there. Jim also wants me to publicize his incredibly generous donation to the Albacon TAFF auction of the SF Yearbook cartoons he did, relettered for legibility. Naturally I am striking back with a donation of the War In 2080 manuscript or something. DRL)


Hugo Award Nominations have been notified to the lucky nominees, and a little fast telephoning establishes that UK nominees include Chris Priest (novelette: 'Palely Loitering'), Bob Shaw (fanwriter), me (ditto) and Peter Nicholls (nonfiction: The Encyclopaedia of SF). More later.

David Pringle News Follows: 'The author of that wonderful book Earth is the Alien Planet: J.G. Ballard's Four Dimensional Nightmare (Borgo Press 1979), namely David Pringle, is now busily engaged in writing an in-depth study of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan novels for the same publisher. The provisional title is Tarzan in the Flesh (with apologies to Philip José Farmer) and it should be the most world-shaking critical book ever. I'm also under contract to write 30,000 word critiques of Simak, Sturgeon and Disch. Should get them all done by 1990, with a bit of luck.' (David Pringle)

And Speaking Of Philip José Farmer, my US readers will be delighted to learn that the shortly-to-be-reprinted Ace editions of The Mad Goblin and Lord of the Trees are very heavily censored; only the French editions are full and frank, and re-translations of these into English are to appear from Virgin. It's probably about time someone got round to translating Farmer into English.... (Matrix)

The Recession Continues with publisher after publisher rushing lemming-like to doom. Following Penguin, Hamlyn and Magnum, Granada (Panther) are cutting back; Collins (Fontana) managed a £3M loss over the last year. Now all this cutting back is in part a self-fulfilling prophecy: if the books aren't there to be bought, the publishing industry will indeed make less money and will then congratulate itself on its wise decision to axe all this minority nonsense like SF.... And so on.

Nebula Awards Will Be Announced on 26 April. The nominations are as follows. NOVEL: Titan (Varley), Fountains of Paradise (Clarke), On Wings of Song [Disch), JEM (Pohl), Road to Corlay (Cowper), Juniper Time (Wilhelm). NOVELLA: 'Enemy Mine' (Longyear), 'Fireship' (Vinge), 'Tale of Gorgik' (Delany), 'Mars Masked' (Pohl), 'The Story Writer' (Wilson), 'Battle of the Abaco Reefs' (Schenck). NOVELETTE: 'Sandkings' (Martin), 'Options' (Varley), 'Camps' (Dann), 'Pathways of Desire' (Le Guin), 'Ways of Love' (Anderson), 'Angel of Death' (Shea). SHORT STORY: 'Unaccompanied Sonata' (Card), 'Extraordinary Voyages of Amelie Bertrand' (Russ), 'Way of Cross and Dragon' [Martin), 'giANTS' (Bryant), 'Red as Blood' (Lee), 'Vernalfest Morning' (Bishop). It must be pure coincidence that Chris Priest, following his criticism of and resignation from SFWA, has failed to be nominated for a Nebula despite the appearance of 'Palely Loitering' on the Hugo and BSFA award shortlists.... (Locus)

Analog Has Been Sold to Davis, owners of Isaac Asimov's. There is a sinister tone, as of a Soviet psychiatrist, in the purchasers' comment: 'Analog has finally found a home where it will be treated properly.' (SF Chronicle)


This list will occur occasionally: I'd rather not repeat con details in issue after issue. NB Anglocentricism....

Eaglecon '80; 12-13 April; Y Hotel, London W.l; for the old Eagle comic's devotees; SAE 4 Grasmere Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 48A. Guests include Frank Hampson.

Eurocon 5; May 1-4; Stresa, Italy; c/o Editrice Nord, Via Rubena 25, 20148 MILANO, Italy.

U.F.P. Con '80; 24-25 May; De Vere Hotel, Coventry; Star Trek; SAE 135 Greenstead Rd, Loughton, Essex LGl0 3DJ.

Unicon '80; 4-7 July; Keele University; guests Harry Harrison, Dave de Leuw, Peter Roberts, Ashley Walker; £2.50 supp/£5 att; PO Box 92, Derby, DE1 1AP

Fantasycon; August 1-3; Crest Hotel, Preston, Lancs; GoH Ramsey Campbell; £1.50 supp; 2 Daisy Bank, Quernmore Road, Lancaster, Lancs, LA1 3JW.

Silicon 4; August 22-25; Newcastle; £2.50 to Harry Bell, 9 Lincoln St, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 4EE.

Noreascon 2; August 29-September 1; Sheraton-Boston Hotel & Hynes Civic Auditorium; 38th Worldcon; GoH Kate Wilhelm & Damon Knight, FGoH Bruce Pelz; £13.95 att/£3.72 supp to end of April; Andrew Stephenson, 19 Du Pre Walk, Wooburn Green, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 OQJ.

Beneluxcon 7/Sfancon 11; September 5-8; Fabliola Home, Gent, Belgium; SAE Vernon Brown, Aston U, Dept of Pharmacy, Gosta Green, Birmingham, B4 7ET.

Anglicon; September 5-7; U of East Anglia, Norwich; guests include Brian Stableford, R.L. Fanthorpe (surprise:); £20 inc 2 nights B&B to 1 Trendall Rd, Sprowston, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 8BT.

Terracon '80; September 20-21; Dragonara, Leeds; Star Trek; SAE Dot Owens, 30 Ovendon Way (or in some listings: 51 Furniss Drive, Illingworth), Halifax, West Yorks.

Hitchercon 1; 26-28 September; Glasgow; SAE Steve Miller, 30 Ronaldsay St, Milton, Glasgow G22.

Novacon 10; October 31-November 2; Royal Angus, Birmingham; GoH Brian Aldiss; £2 supp (att to be announced), hotel rates £19 twin/double, £12 single, all-inclusive; Krystyna Bula c/o 'Nurseryland', 183 Shenley Road, Boreham Wood, Herts.


John Foyster, married since February 29 to Jennifer Bryce, holds out the enticing prospect of a GUFF trip for some lucky UK fan. Details are exactly as for TAFF: find three UK and two Oz nominators, tell me, and you're away. The nominations will close in August (I think) and subsequent voting in early 1981, providing a trip to the Aussie con to be held in Adelaide in June '81 (GoH Frank Herbert). If you don't own Northern Guffblower 5 / Ansible 1, send SAE to me and read Chris Priest's article on the general wonderfulness of GUFF. I'm UK administrator still.


In A4 I described Space-Ex 1984 as an 'unashamedly commercial venture' (£280,000 budget etc); Hon. President Mike Parry refutes: 'We are not a business and never have been, all money generated through the event will be used to make it a success by large campaigns of advertising and large projects in fact on reflection we may make a large loss.' Alan Dorey, not wholly happy with A7 reportage, proposes a motion to amend his statement there by striking out the words 'piss off Langford' and inserting 'fetch drink, Langford'. Your editor doesn't recall obeying either instruction. George Hay asks that I retroactively refrain from quoting his letter as printed in A7. Readers should try not to have read this item. (The SF Foundation council meeting referred to was delayed to 20 March, said Dave Pringle: 'I notice with a groan that G. Hay is intending to loom large at the meeting.' No word of decisions.)

Taff-Ddu alias Twll-Ddu 17 is now available, a bumper number of 30 crammed pages, all by myself and Jim Barker. Proceeds to TAFF. 60p (75p by post) in UK: provisional US cost $1.50 ($2 by post) from Joyce Scrivner, 2528 15th Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA – stocks may not reach her until May, but order swiftly: 'Had me wheezing with laughter ... it is all first-class material' (Chris Priest); 'A close second to the Willis Warhoon for the next FAAn Single Ish award' (Rob Jackson); 'Triffic boss, fetch drink' (AD).


(The item on the left [here, below] was sent by Malcolm Edwards with the interesting comment 'Nancy Weber was Charles Platt's wife' – can this be a hoax??)

Book cover

Lily, Where's Your Daddy? Nancy Weber
July / Nonfiction / 6" x 9" ISBN 0-39990075-6 / 270 pages / $10.95 / RICHARD MAREK PUBLISHERS

What happens if you're nearing thirty-five, unmarried and desperate to have a baby? In this compelling confessional, Nancy Weber tells the world.

Nancy Weber, journalist and novelist, had lived through the '60s indulging in all its abandoned merriment – the parties, the drinking, the drugs, the many lovers and that one great love: a well-known, too-well-married man whose long-time mistress she was proud to be. She wrote what many called the most scandalous work of its era, The Life Swap, in which she spoke of those chaotic times and her belief that one could invent one's own life and identity. But the games began to pall. When she met the young writer she calls Phillip, she hoped it signaled endgame.

They'd known each other only five weeks when they married. He wanted a wife, lover, coauthor, companion. She, nearing thirty-five, wanted a baby. Three months later, she was pregnant. For Nancy, it was a time of private ecstasy, for Philip a time of anguish. The marriage became a nightmare of recrimination, guilt, estrangement. For a shining moment, at Lily's birth, it seemed things might change. Then, ten days later, Phillip left them both.

Moving beyond Oriana Fallaci's Letters to a Child Never Born, this book is a letter from a joyful mother to the child she did bear – a loving bridge between a child and the father who didn't so much turn his back on her as on the best in himself. But it is also a candid revelation about bridging another gap, between the swinging '60s and the settled '70s, the time when inventing life ends and living it must begin.

Nancy Weber, who lives in New York City, is the author of The Life Swap, an account of her trading lives with another woman.

Cartoon frame

And this was unearthed by notorious comics fan Jim Barker. Well, Leroy?


This insert is not really part of Ansible proper; it consists of (most of) a couple of letters which will be of hardly any interest after Albacon. Thus, rather than bankrupt myself by increasing the size of Ansible 8 by enough to take it over a weightstep, or keep this until it's lost all topicality, I'm inserting this supplement in UK copies (and any others where I can afford more than 10g). Same goes for the Taff-Ddu flyer, ingeniously printed on the backs of bits of A4 to confuse and annoy you all. (A4: not the paper size!)

The Albacon Committee (except for Bob Shaw): On behalf of the Committee of Eastercon 80, Albacon, and the Friends of Kilgore Trout, we would like to categorically refute the remarkable and vicious claims made by Sandy Brown in Ansible 7.

Far from being a 'rubber stamp' for Bob Shaw we are an active and informed cross-section of Fandom, which fact would be obvious to Sandy had he cared to become in any way involved with Albacon, or, indeed, with the last Faircon.

Sandy Brown laid down an ultimatum prior to our success at Yorcon last year, to the effect that he would only become involved in either of the two Glasgow conventions then planned if one of them was dropped. The Committee decided to go ahead with both Faircon and Albacon, and Sandy thereafter dropped out. He has no basis on which to pass any judgement of our organization.

Our committee is not made up of Bob Shaw's bootlickers, and resents such a calumny.

(This letter came with 10 signatures, many illegible so I won't list them here. Return address was 30 Ronaldsay St, Milton, Glasgow. DRL)

Bob Shaw (the one which the Albacon Committee is not a rubber stamp for): I distinctly refute Sandy's point regarding the Albany. I have always supported it as a site for a Glasgow Eastercon, true. But so have the rest of the Committee (who toured all the major City Centre hotels before making a virtually unanimous decision).

Room rates at the Albany are good. If you want cheaper room rates, then go to a second-rate Hotel. Sandy Brown criticized bitterly the Faircon '79 room rates also. Finally, to shut him up, he was invited along to the Ingram where he made absolutely no impression on the deal offered. Faircon made the decision to subsidize Hotel rates, as many attendees were local and it was felt that a positive inducement was required to aid southern fans. In point of fact, this worked. At Albacon no such deal is contemplated. The Hotel rate for nine months after Faircon at a much superior Hotel is still cheaper!

Sandy's bee in his bonnet about Edinburgh requires little or no comment. There are few suitable sites for an Eastercon (as revealed after the Rockcon flier – up to that point it was thought that it might, after all, have to be genuine!) and in any ease Edinburgh Fandom would have to compete with masses of tourists and suchlike. No good hotel deals at all could come from there!

Sandy – who wasn't on the Faircon '79 Committee – is quite wrong about the carry-over from the original Faircon. A good half-dozen folk from that con, not to mention all but one of the Faircon '79 Committee, are involved. The comments on the Committee not knowing what is going on are absurd. Of course, Jimmy Robertson hasn't bothered to turn up at most meetings, and so certainly wasn't aware of what was going on, But then, as Jimmy was always the first to point out, he didn't need to know what was happening elsewhere.... The entire Committee is not required to oversee every detail of the various aspects of the Convention. For example: I (and the rest of the Committee not actively involved) know little and care less about the organization of our films. I have faith in John Mooney, Bruce Saville, Dave Ellis and Chris O'Kane. I don't need to know any more than that the film side is organized. If anyone asks me a question which relates to films I refer them to one of the above stalwarts. And the Film Programme organizers care little about the minutiae of the hotel booking system, and so on. Policy decisions are referred back to the Committee, where we all have the chance to make decision.s. These have, I suggest, already been shown to be good enough to make Faircon a success.

In point of fact, our efforts to democratize decision making (as opposed to organization) have gone to great lengths. FOKT was polled on the subject of movies; constant requests for advice, comments and information have been broadcast to the world. Precious little feedback has been seen as yet. But that, as they say, is up to you lot. I don't count you among such uncommunicative folk, Dave; your advice and help has been greatly appreciated; ditto Graham England, Martin Hoare, Ken Slater and various others.

Rather than being a rubber-stamp, the Albacon Committee has been a contrary and argumentative beast at times, sitting on many of my pet notions and ideas.

As to the Fanroom, well, Jimmy Robertson has done his best, and despite not agreeing with many decisions has continued to offer support and aid. We were at first very unsure about the whole idea of a Fanroom. The question of whether or not it should be merely an open room in which fans could gather, which seemed like a waste of precious space, or if it should have a programme of its own, was thrashed out over a period of months. It now looks as though we'll have a proper fan programme plus an area next to the Con Hall to punt cons, fnz etc.

Sandy Brown was offered the Fanroom post; he declined it. He was asked to produce the Programme Book; he refused. All attempts to cater to his remarkable concept of the world have come to nothing, despite our best attempts.

Finally, a word about the recent Matrix editorial, which many Ansible readers will have read. Far from 'coming into the hands' of the BSFA, our draft programme was sent to Alan Dorey Included in that package was a copy of our proposals for the Main and Alternative programmes. Out of 75 items (not counting fan, video and audio events) FOUR deal with microprocessors. All take place on the Alternative Programme, which is designed to cater for specialist interests. For the editor of Matrix to pontificate on the Albacon programme, and to take such an absurd stance about minor aspects, is simply indicative of the downright hostility offered by the BSFA to every aspect of Albacon.... Alan Dorey, as Chairman of Yorcon '79, has also failed to submit accounts for that con, though reminded no less than a month ago. Raising these points within the pages of Matrix itself would, I feel, be futile. Doubtless any letter from myself would 'not arrive'.... (Bob Shaw 26-3-80)

(Gosh. I have only one spare Sandy Brown comment to hand, which reads: 'Anyone who can read will have realized that my original letter is about Rockcon, not Albacon.' The editor being bloody exhausted, readers can study the letters in A7 and A8 and decide for themselves whether anyone's exaggerating or fibbing.

(The BSFA comments refer to John Harvey's editorial in Matrix 28. To use Bob's statistical approach, the editorial has ten paragraphs. One says that 'three separate items on microprocessors' are a bit much; one is an apology for presuming to criticize coupled with pious hope for a good con: four have nothing to do with Albacon; the remaining four make the much more justifiable complaint that Albacon hasn't produced enough PRs nor produced them on time. Come on, Bob, there've been problems and babbling about Yorcon accounts (nowt to do with the BSFA: but where are they, Alan?) is a rotten cover-up. As for John Harvey's alleged habit of 'failing to receive' critical letters ... have you never taken a look at the Matrix letter column? Surely Eve doesn't write them all.... DRL)



Amazing how swiftly the litho part can be overtaken by events. SF Commentary has arrived with an article by Chris Priest on why he left SFWA; in passing he mentions that in recent years he's always withdrawn stories which looked likely to get a Nebula nomination, so my snide comments on the subject are for once unjustified. Replacement snide comment: when I rang Richard Cowper to ask if he had a Hugo nomination, he was surprised to learn (from Locus, via me) of his Nebula nomination. This from a member of SFWA who is supposed to have received masses of publications with just such information. Meanwhile, a flood of two letters from Glasgow (Bob Shaw and The Albacon Committee) attempts to refute utterly the various Sandy Brown comments in A7.


ELI COHEN, 86-04 Grand Ave, Apt 4D; Elmhurst, NY 11373, USA • JOHN FOYSTER, 21 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda, Vic 3182, Australia • ROZ KAVENEY, 42A Colvestone Crescent, London, E.8 • Alan Mattingly, 29 Barnsley Street, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, London, F.l


The eldritch silence of Peter Roberts is now explained: book 1 of his fantasy trilogy The Bogdark Maccora (not a sequel to The Corobite Mines) has been bounced by Granada. • Another example of how sf reduces the mundane world to gibbering: Computing (March 20) mentions 'a computer teaching system based on Chinese dragons and two fantasy series, Ursula Le Guin's "Wizard of Royal Sea" and Anne McCaffrey's "Dragon Riders of Spern".' [Sic.] With this to remind me of the possibilities, I'm not going to complain about how in the second word of my review in Foundation 18, 'book' was subtly mistyped as 'house'. Four blank pages were provided to distract me from this enigma. • Peter Weston has been made redundant and is seeking a new job. Perhaps this will satisfy Joyce Scrivner, who from US experience is ghoulishly sure that Peter, having been a Worldcon chairman, must get divorced soon; she's sent several letters asking about this. • John Foyster reports with glee that War in 2080 has been remaindered in Melbourne. I hate you, John. • The eldritch silence of Terry Hughes is now explained: book 1 of his fantasy trilogy The Bogdark ... Sorry, wrong TAFF administrator. Terry's problem is a broken duplicator, which gave out in early February even as he was running off a Mota. • Strange to say, it was Eve Harvey (reportedly a fervent 'Barker for TAFF' devotee) who omitted an important line when typing Jim Barker's platform for the ballot distributed to 800 BSFA members. Nice of you, Eve, but ... • The Jacksons are pregnant! (ETA 29 October) To prove this, Rob displayed a piece of paper covered in mysterious collocations of letters, and claimed to be devising a name which would embody at least one initial of every Surrey Limpwrist. Coral says she'll read Inca to the hapless brat in order to send it to sleep. • The astonishing Fanthorpe work The Black Lion has been reviewed in Karate & Oriental Arts: I've also received some 'Study Notes on the Typology of the Chronicles of Derl Wothor: Vol 1, The Black Lion' by Dr J.B. Frye. The eight pages of notes manage to make The Black Lion sound like A Voyage to Arcturus, only better written and with more sex. '... The volcanic peaks of Bors and Daril, vibrant with volcanic energy. They represent libido and sexual dynamism.' Wonder which represents which. • Michael Moorcock has set fire to 70 Ledbury Road and rendered part of it uninhabitable by knocking over an electric fire, unless I misheard Malcolm Edwards's newsflash over the telephone. • Another sf note from Peter Pinto: 'Hamlyn paperbacks are out of the Walter Clare commitment to import, and pay for, hundreds and thousands of putrid Warner paperbacks (eg, Thongor ...). I don't yet know how much they paid to get out of the contract ... but it'll be plenty. They lost a bomb on Meteor! (serve them right ... lousy sci-fi movie tie-in).' • Your Editor has just been promoted to the exalted rank of Higher Scientific Officer and his salary upgraded to the level of 'pittance'. Might be able to afford some stamps to post this Ansible on time, now. • The 4th Polish National Con has been announced: Sept 16-21 1980 in Cracow, with countless guests including John Brunner and Bob Shaw. The matter of registration fees is (says the flyer) too complex to explain on a single sheet of A4 paper: to acquire the other flyer write to Wiktor Bukato, PO Box 983, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland. • Noreascon membership reached 3200 on March 12. They plan to issue full Hugo vote counts after the con, thus enabling me to wallow again in the joy of being beaten by 'No Award', no doubt. • The World Sf Meeting planned for Zagreb in late April has been cancelled by Chairman Harry Harrison, since the organizing committee failed to answer letters, issue progress reports etc. The committee has written to Locus saying all is well. Tough luck, committee. An emergency meeting will be held at Eurocon: see p.2: • Meanwhile, more con rumours are in the air: there is talk of Jim Barker, Harry Bell and the depleted Gannets bidding for Easter '83 in (wait for it) Edinburgh. This may switch to '82 if anything happens to the ladies' bid already reported. • Limpwristcon is not to be a 1980 event, but a hotel in Woking is a strong contender for May '81. • The British Fantasy Society did a BSFA recently, imitating the great collapse of 1974. The February Fantasycon was a casualty; another may take place in August by way of compensation. • Greg Pickersgill Books have issued their 1st list, available For SAE. 'Apologies for the delay in getting this list out. I'm afraid you wouldn't believe the reasons even if I could tell you....' • Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison are suing ABC-TV/Paramount for $3M, the allegation being plagiarism of their 'Brillo' in the film and series 'Future Cop'. However, A.E.van Vogt has reportedly given up trying to extract money from the Alien folk on the ground of plagiarism of 'Black Destroyer'.... • NB the following Statement From Matrix: 'Sex Pirates of the Blood Asteroid' (the story by one 'David Langford' which appears on the BSFA Award nominations after I promised to keep quiet about Al*n D*r*y's purchase of a gold throne with the litho fund) has no connection with Sex Pirates of the Blood Asteroid, that immortal literary work cited by John Constantine [a pseudonymous D. West] in the last Vector. The latter is an unpublished novel, the former an unfortunately published short (Aries 1). Nor should my 'story' be confused with the 'Sex Pirates of the Blood Asteroid' in the January Penthouse: only the author's name and the text are the same. (Reprinted because Matrix omitted much of the punctuation.)

Harlan Ellison
Has nothing new to tell us on
His basic literary theme:
'I have a mouth, so I must scream.'

(squeezed out of Taff-Ddu)

This has been


from Dave Langford
22 Northumberland Avenue
United Kingdom