Ansible 158, September 2000
From Dave Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AU, UK. Fax 0705 080 1534. ISSN 0265-9816. E-mail ansible[at]cix.co.uk. Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Sue Mason. Available for SAE or the cursed foot of Cwlwwymwn Rootripper.
CHICON. Hugos: NOVEL A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge. NOVELLA 'The Winds of Marble Arch', Connie Willis. NOVELETTE '1016 to 1', James Patrick Kelly. SHORT 'Scherzo with Tyrannosaur', Michael Swanwick. DRAMATIC Galaxy Quest. RELATED BOOK SF of the 20th Century, Frank M. Robinson. PRO ARTIST Michael Whelan. EDITOR Gardner Dozois. SEMIPROZINE Locus. FANZINE File 770. FAN WRITER D. Langford. FAN ARTIST Joe Mayhew. CAMPBELL AWARD Cory Doctorow. Site Voting. The 2003 Toronto bid beat ConCancún (Mexico) by a first-round majority of 1375 to 247, with 76 votes for 'no pref' etc. Quote from con newsletter Chicago Moon-Times: 'I like to live dangerously. That's why I use Microsoft.' – Terry Pratchett. CM-T recorded 5229 pre-registered members.
Corsairs of the Second Ether
Piers Anthony's web newsletter contains a shock revelation that the controversial rape episode in Lord Foul's Bane stemmed from Stephen R. Donaldson's having been gang-raped 60 times in prison in 1973, leading to his death from AIDS in 1996. A little research shows that PA has confused 'our' still-living Donaldson with an entirely different one.
Eileen Gunn says, 'I'm editing a new online sf magazine, The Infinite Matrix, which will launch this fall. I know, an online magazine in itself is not going to make anyone's heart beat faster. But wait, there's more! We're paying 20 cents a word up to 12,500 ...' No unsolicited MSS as yet. Suite 227, 322 Cortland St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
Mike Moorcock muses: 'Readercon was a very intense and civilized affair. I seemed to be on about eight panels an hour, but all of a very high level. I didn't get to talk to a few people like Di Filippo, Van Gelder, Paul Wincover and Ellen Datlow as much as I'd have liked and only saw Clute once in the distance (couldn't get my wheel chair through the mob to scythe his shins). Most of the people I saw longest were on panels – Chip Delany and myself both vehemently denying we were ever part of the New Wave, like Mensheviks in 1920.'
Terry Pratchett on lost property: 'When the Legends anthology was done, a limited number of hardcovers were signed by all contributors. We were supposed to get one each, quite a valuable item if cheapened only by the inclusion of me. My copy never survived the perilous journey outside the USA.... Finally, a spare was released and is now in my possession. This means that a copy marked "P" may be floating around, and me and Tor would just love to know if it ever comes to light.'
Philip Pullman's GoH presence at last month's Lexicon in Oxford was intermittent, since he was busy correcting final proofs of the much-announced (by optimistic publishers) and much-rewritten The Amber Spyglass. Which he promises will appear in Oct (US) and Nov (UK).
'Martin Scott', author of the Thraxas comic fantasies, has been dramatically outed by his publishers. An Orbit press release reveals that he is in fact 'Martin Millar, the very successful cult author', who gained astonishing world fame by novelizing Tank Girl. [SJ] Well I never.
Chet Williamson warns: 'A woman named Ann Melrose sent a story titled "The Audition" to Ellen Datlow as a submission to Scifi.Com. Ellen recognized the story as a rewrite of a story I had sold to Ellen in the late 80s, "To Feel Another's Woe", published in her 1989 Blood Is Not Enough. Melrose had reduced the story from 5700 words to 3200 words, and changed it from first person to third person. The submission retained my plot, characters, action, and dialogue, scene by scene. The plot of an actress who steals emotions from her lovers is identical, although now they audition for Cats instead of A Streetcar Named Desire, and as for specific parallels, one counts them by hundreds.' Ann Melrose claims she's 'totally unaware' of CW's multiply reprinted story.
23 Sep Byzantium, The Magpie, Fratton Rd, Portsmouth. Informal fan pub gathering with guest speakers, open to all. Noon-18:00.
23 Sep Fireworks, Whitchurch, Oxon. 6pm for 8:30. Adults £6.
10-12 Nov Novacon 30, Britannia Hotel, New St, Birmingham. Now £32 reg, £35 at door. Contact 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S2 3HQ.
23-5 Feb 01 Redemption (B7/B5), Ashford International Hotel, Ashford, Kent. Now £45 reg; concessions £10 off; £50 at door or £30/day. Contact 26 Kings Meadow View, Wetherby, LS22 7FX.
25-7 May 01 Eclectic 21 (multimedia), Holiday Inn, Leicester. £50 reg, £35 under-18s; day rates £30 and £25. Cheques to Bats 2000 Ltd. Contact 47 Bennetts Ct, Bristol, BS37 4XH.
24-6 Aug 01 Eboracon (Unicon), Langworth College, University of York. GoH: several. £25 reg; students £20; £10 supp. Rooms £22 pppn. Contact 68 Crichton Ave, Burton Stone Lane, York, YO30 6EE.
16-19 Aug 02 2002: A Discworld Odyssey (DWcon 3), Hanover International Hotel, Hinckley, Leics. GoH Terry Pratchett and all the usual suspects. Rates TBA. Contact (SAE) 23 Medora Rd, Romford, Essex, RM7 7EP. Official Bursar and co-organizer Paul Rood explains his ideological position: 'Some would say "you are a fool" and "run for the hills", but I just let my eyes wobble and start talking about ants.'
Rumblings Eurocon. The Helicon 2 bid to merge Eurocon with Eastercon 2002 'lost out to a Czech bid which turned up mob handed,' reports Martin Hoare. 2Kon (Eastercon 2000) had a surplus of 'less than five pounds per member', estimated at £4,500. After various lesser donations most of this will go to the con charity, the SF Foundation. [AAA] The SFF is ever so grateful, since this makes it possible to bring Nicola Griffith to its '2001: A Celebration of British SF' event next year. [FM] Worldcon Bids. Japan's bid has moved from 2005 to 2007; and so the Aussiecon 4 bid for 2007 is likely to slip to, say, 2009.
Publishers and Sinners. Amazing Stories is to be dropped by its publishers Wizards of the Coast after the current Summer 2000 issue. Assets and inventory are being sold to Ben Bova's Galaxy Online. [D] Gollancz's 'yellowjacket' reissue of Joe Haldeman's Mindbridge cunningly follows the 1980s Futura edition which lost the final Chapter 53. [SG] Voyager is leaping aboard the sf/fantasy classics bandwagon with a Summer 2001 list featuring hard-to-find titles like The Fellowship of the Ring and Foundation in 'smart editions, which people will be proud to be seen reading in public.' As opposed (wonders our correspondent) to all those Voyager sf/fantasy books we're ashamed to be seen reading....
As Others See Us. When is a novel not a novel? The New York Times makes a careful and pointed distinction in its 23 Aug article on writers who retire, which mentions Iain Banks's current sabbatical year in the wake of 'a relentless writing schedule that has resulted in an annual novel or science fiction title for the last 16 years.' [PNH]
Fanfundery. Sue Mason on the TAFF trail: 'Went to [Minnesota] State Fair. Words fail me (and you know how unusual that is). Deep fried cheese curds. Pickle on a stick (deep-fried, of course). Belgian waffle on a stick. Hot dog – on a stick. All the milk you can drink for 50¢. I could feel my arteries hardening as we walked by. And then they showed me Princess Kay of the Milky Way, the dairy queen having her likeness carved from butter.... And I was beginning to think America wasn't as weird as people said.' Janice Gelb gloats, as well she might, that she has completed and published her 1999 DUFF trip report.
R.I.P. Carl Barks (1901-2000), the most illustrious of comics artist-writers to work on Disney's characters, died on 25 August after a year's struggle with leukaemia; he was 99. Barks brought Donald Duck to life as a memorable curmudgeon, added Uncle Scrooge McDuck to the pantheon, and had an asteroid named after him in 1983. Charlie Ben Card (1983-2000) died on 16 August aged 17. A victim of severe cerebral palsy, he inspired his father Orson Scott Card's story 'Lost Boys' and the fannish Charlie Card Fund that raised money for CP research. Ken Cheslin, long-time British fan, died suddenly and unexpectedly on 4 August; he was 63 or 64. Active in fandom since the 1950s, he was a founder of the major 60s fanzine Les Spinge and of British Tolkien fandom, not to mention a stalwart of OMPA, the BSFA (which he chaired) and 60s/70s Eastercons. Ken's anarchic cartoon character Olaf the Viking first appeared in his 1964 A Child's Garden of Olaf, frequently revived in the 80s and 90s. In recent years he'd battled heroically against low income and a cranky photocopier to reprint classic fan material in the millennial Atom 2000 and many volumes of John Berry's articles. Though always modest about his efforts, Ken was one of those vital fans who spread nothing but goodwill and hold our community together. 'Mike Gilbert, long time fan and artist, husband of Sheila Gilbert and brother-in-law of Marsha Jones, passed away this morning [14 August], after having open heart surgery two weeks ago.' [SL] Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000), world-famous, well-loved and hugely talented actor, died on 5 August aged 86. Playing Obi-Wan in the Star Wars trilogy made him rich; his long, varied stage and movie career otherwise had little to do with sf, one nifty exception being the 1951 Ealing techno-comedy The Man in the White Suit. Emil Petaja (1915-2000), best known for his 1960s 'Kalevala' sf novels based on Finnish myth, died on 17 August aged 85. He had also been a prolific pulp magazine author in the 40s and 50s; in 1995 SFWA honoured him as their first 'Author Emeritus'. Robert Sacks, New York fan famed for his gadfly presence at countless Worldcon business meetings, was found dead in his bath on 18 August. Though only 49, he had high blood pressure and is thought to have died from aortic failure. Curt Siodmak (1902-2000), German-born author (Donovan's Brain) and film director (F.P.1 Antwortet Nicht) also died recently, as did 1940s pulp sf writer Don Wilcox (1905-2000), whose real name was Cleo Eldon Knox.
Yo-Ho-Ho! Molly Brown looked further into unauthorized reprinting of stories by Japan's SF Magazine (est. 1960). Other victims include Eric Brown, Storm Constantine, Paul McAuley, Kim Newman, Bridget McKenna (USA) and, in Australia, Terry Dowling, Lucy Sussex, and Sean Williams. Protests have led to contracts and promises of payment, and Molly herself has persuaded SFM to add five years' interest to her agreed fee. Ben Jeapes found 'my story "Pages Out of Order" (F&SF 9/97) available at www.contentville.com for the princely sum of $2.80.' Ed Ferman explained: 'F&SF stories on Contentville were not authorized by us and will be removed from their site [...] They were licensed in error by a company that provides F&SF on CD Rom to libraries.' Still, Ben advises Ansible readers with stories in F&SF to check Contentville.
C.o.A. Andrew M. Butler (slight correction), Dept of Arts & Media, D28 – ASSH Faculty, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, High Wycombe, HP11 2JZ. Gregg Calkins, Apdo 97-4417, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Alajuela, Costa Rica. R. Graeme Cameron, 86 Warrick St, Coquitlam, BC, V3K 5L4, Canada. ('It is time I start to degafiate.' The address change applies also to WCSFA aka BCSFA.) Jeremy Dennis & Damian Cugley, 18 Hawkins St, Oxford, OX4 1YD. Mick & Bernie Evans, 12 Arrow View, Lower Hergest, Kington, Herefordshire, HR5 3ER. Phil Greenaway, 18 Churchfield, Libanus, near Brecon, LD3 8EQ. Jon Courtenay Grimwood, 32 Egbert Rd, Hyde, Winchester, SO23 7EB. Jon Langford & Helen Tsatsos, 3556 W. Medill Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA. Andy Roberts, 17 Collins Court, London, E8 3BS. Alice Turner, 55 Holcroft St, Burnt Tree, Tipton, DY4 7SN. Sean Wallace/Cosmos Books, 2917 Parklane St NW, Apt F, Canton, OH 44709, USA. Bridget Wilkinson and Fans Across the World, 2 Hobbs Close, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3UX.
Random Fandom. Paul Barnett's favourite Chicon exchange: 'Todd Cameron Hamilton (artshow organizer): "B-b-b-but Jane, what would you like me to do?" Jane Frank: "Run a fucking art show." The art show organization was, as you may have heard from about a million other correspondents, a complete and utter shambles, and sort of rudely handled, too.' Eileen Costelloe (writes her daughter Erica on 31 Aug) has suffered a untreatable recurrence of her brain tumour: she was 'given weeks to live' in mid-July and seven weeks later her condition was very poor. Alas. Eve & John Harvey celebrate 25 years of marriage this month. Martin Hoare: 'Youthful looking Terry Pratchett was carded at the Chicon con suite bar! (So was youthful looking Martin Hoare!)' Joe McNally found a website using gematric analysis to deduce personalities from names, and enjoyed such insights as: 'Your first name of Nyarlathotep has given you a pleasant, easy-going, friendly nature. Personal contacts are important to you....' Alison Scott & Steven Cain announce the birth of Jonathan Andrew Cain at 4:20am on 27 Aug. Congratulations, and when does he guest-edit his first Plokta?
More Awards. Mythopoeic: ADULT LIT Tamsin, Peter S. Beagle; CHILDREN'S The Folk Keeper, Franny Billingsley; SCHOLARSHIP (INKLINGS) Roverandom, J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond; (OTHER) Strange and Secret Peoples: Fairies and Victorian Consciousness, Carole G. Silver. World Fantasy Award nominations: NOVEL Tamsin, Peter S. Beagle; The Rainy Season, James P. Blaylock; Gardens of the Moon, Steven Erikson; A Witness To Life, Terence M. Green; A Red Heart of Memories, Nina Kiriki Hoffman; Thraxas, Martin Scott. NOVELLA 'Scarlet and Gold', Tanith Lee (Weird Tales Summer 99); 'The Wizard Retires', Michael Meddor (F&SF 9/99); 'Crocodile Rock', Lucius Shepard (F&SF 10/99); 'The Transformation of Martin Lake', Jeff VanderMeer (Palace Corbie 8); 'The Winds of Marble Arch', Connie Willis (Asimov's 10/99); 'Sky Eyes', Laurel Winter (F&SF 3/99). SHORT 'The Grammarian's Five Daughters', Eleanor Arnason (Realms of Fantasy 6/99); 'The Chop Girl', Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov's 12/99); 'Naming the Dead', Paul J. McAuley (Interzone 11/99); 'Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue', Kim Newman (999); 'Human Bay', Robert Reed (Asimov's 5/99); 'The Parwat Ruby', Delia Sherman (F&SF 6/99); 'The Dynasters Vol.1: On the Downs', Howard Waldrop (F&SF 10/99). ANTHOLOGY Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 12 ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling; Silver Birch, Blood Moon, ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling; Northern Frights 5 ed. Don Hutchison; Dark Detectives: Adventures of the Supernatural Sleuths ed. Stephen Jones; 999 ed. Al Sarrantonio. COLLECTION Moonlight and Vines, Charles de Lint; Reave the Just, Stephen R. Donaldson; Hearts in Atlantis, Stephen King; Deep Into that Darkness Peering, Tom Piccirilli; Necromancies and Netherworlds, Darrell Schweitzer & Jason Van Hollander. ARTIST Les Edwards, Bob Eggleton, Stephen E. Fabian, Jason Van Hollander. SPECIAL/PRO Seamus Heaney, Beowulf translation; Warren Lapine, DNA Publications; John Betancourt, Wildside Press; Stephen Jones, Essential Monster Movie Guide; Kim Newman, Millennium Movies [US Apocalypse Movies]; Gordon Van Gelder, editing St. Martin's/F&SF. NON-PRO Ken Abner, Terminal Fright Press; British Fantasy Society; Dwayne Olson, Peder Wagtskjold & Scott Wyatt, Fedogan & Bremer; Rosemary Pardoe, Haunted Library; William K. Schafer, Subterranean Press; R.B. Russell, Tartarus Press. Results 29 Oct.
Outraged Letters. Chris Priest reiterates: 'Here we go: routine fulmination against Thog and cheap laughs. (Am I alone, I often wonder?) Priest say: drop Thog. Copy-editor showing off not funny. Time for no more of it.' (Is he alone? Do tell me.) Everyone felt that before writing his 'necronauts' story, Simon R. Green should read Terry Bisson's 'Necronauts'. New terminology is clearly needed. Thanatonauts? Mortiviators?
Monoliths Down Under. Arthur C. Clarke manifested at the Melbourne Writers' Festival on 26 Aug, reports Damien Broderick: 'A few hundred in the audience, an amusing and Australia-oriented 10-minute pre-recorded video from Arthur to set the ball rolling; ACC mentioned that his first pivotal exposure to sf had been Out of the Silence, the remarkable if hideously racist early sf novel by Australian Erle Cox. I spoke about how Arthur had made me the creature I am today, then we were linked to Colombo and Russell Blackford and I sat under blazing lights staring at the open phone waiting for the sage to speak. Silence for what seemed like 2001 minutes. Eventually ACC came on. A webcam display showed him sitting in his living room. As he spoke we watched discrete jerky movements, webcams being what they are; I speculated aloud that we were speaking to his android double; Arthur denied that he had Parkinson's disease, and everything was off to a merry start. I mentioned NASA news, out that day, about salt water oceans on Europa, recalling the Monolith pronunciamento 'ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS – EXCEPT EUROPA', and UCLA announcement of a reconfigurable molecular nano-switch some 25 years ahead of schedule, and Arthur said a few words back, so I asked about holding the Olympics on the Moon and Mars and he said someone had already done a freefall ballet in the vomit comet, then Russell posed a complex, elegant question about the 2 faces of ACC, scientist and literary visionary, and the phone went dead. We stared helplessly at this miracle of futurist tech for what seemed like half an hour. Russell was about to leap up and begin reading a mighty dissertation on Clarke when the line reopened ... and so the night proceeded for the full hour, not without testimonials to the unrivalled genius of Stephen Baxter, finest sf writer and co-writer of the British Isles. Our pals in the audience declared that the event had gone well. In a scout-hall kinda way, I thought.'
Small Press. September 2000 sees the 50th issue of Steve Sneyd's Data Dump, a 4pp A5 chronicle of sf/fanzine poetry whose minutely handwritten presentation makes Ansible's print seem huge and legible. Hilltop Press, 4 Nowell Place, Almondbury, Huddersfield, HD5 8PB.
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Wooden Handshakes. '"Pleased to meet you," Arnstein said, and took the offered hand. It felt like a wooden glove inside a casing of cured ham ...' (S.M. Stirling, On the Oceans of Eternity, 2000) [PC] Dept of Advanced Darwinism: 'In every human being there is the genetic code for mutation.' (X-Men ad, 2000) [BJ]
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Special Feedback Award to Kevin Standlee, who was quick to correct our convention e-mail list's error of calling ConJosé 'San José' in Ansible 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156 and 157.
Chesley Awards for art were presented at Chicon. Service to Asfa: Wizards of the Coast. Best Unpublished Monochrome: Rick Berry, 'Artemis'. Unpublished Colour: Steve Hickman, 'At the Entmoot'. 3-Dimensional: Johnna Klukas, 'The Astrologer's Anteroom' (set of furniture; she also did this year's Hugo bases). Art Director: Ron Spears, Wizards of the Coast. Magazine Cover: Bob Eggleton, F&SF 4/99. Game-Related: Brom, Duelist insert poster 'Warriors of Heaven/Guide to Hell'. Product Illustration: Richard Bober, 'Cleopatra', plate art for Bradford Exchange. Interior Illustration: James Gurney, Dinotopia: First Flight. Cover Illustration, Paperback: John Jude Palencar, The Terrorists of Irustan by Louise Marley. Cover Illustration, Hardback: Michael Whelan, Mountain of Black Glass by Tad Williams. Artistic Achievement: Steve Hickman.
– Lynn Perkins
Blinding Pillar of Incandescence Award to the Plymouth school which brooded for a full month over Ansible 157 before bouncing it as unfit for delivery to our subscriber there: 'This mail message contains banned or potentially offensive text.' Was it the f*rt, the b*llocks or the L. Ron H*bbard that overstepped? I e-mailed the 'Administrator@' account that sent the bounce message, asking which bits offended, and got an identical response. In Plymouth, apparently, Ansible is too filthy for even system administrators to read. (Later: the convention e-mail list may be to blame, since our subscriber reports that banned words on this school system include the ineluctably sexy 'hotmail'.)
Chet Williamson's more detailed letter about that alleged plagiarism (with examples) can be read on the Ansible web site at ... http://news.ansible.co.uk/a158supp.html
Lastly ... many thanks indeed to all the Fanwriter Hugo voters and numerous kindly fans who sent congratulations. What can I say? There is a school of thought which believes that beyond a certain total number of awards, the hapless recipient should perish from sheer embarrassment. There is an opposing school which silently points to the continued existence of Charlie Brown.
Ansible 158 Copyright © Dave Langford, 2000. Thanks to Andrew A. Adams, Molly Brown, Paul Campbell, Avedon Carol, Ian Covell, DarkEcho, Steve Grover, Rob Hansen, Ben Jeapes, Steve Jeffery, Selina Lovett, Pat McMurray, Farah Mendlesohn, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, David Pringle, Joyce Scrivner, & Hero Distributors: Tanya Brown (Dead Nurse floozy), Janice Murray (NA), SCIS, Alan Stewart (Oz), and Martin Tudor (Brum Group News). 7 Sep 00.