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Ansible 21, November 1981

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PLEASE NOTE that this old Ansible is a bit of history. Addresses may have changed (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 lovingly rekeyed for the archives by Doug Faunt ... to whom many thanks! • Dave Langford, 1995.

Ansible 21 • Editor: Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 7PW, United Kingdom.


The Yooping Pricket Ate A Rizzarded Snig And Passed A Collet From Its Hypural

Imagine something on your plate that you would not wish to step in if you saw it on the pavement, and which requires only diced carrot to look like a special effect for Ken Russell's The Devils: A Milford breakfast. Grey runny powdered egg on greasy bread. God, the food was terrible: too little, too early, breakfast at nine, supper at six. The feeling of debilitation was compounded by the bar arrangements – we just signed for drinks and served ourselves any time day or night, leaching out any remaining trace of vitamins with alternating doses of coffee and booze. The Milford sensation is hollow-eyed, jaded exhaustion from too many late nights, too many words read, too much talk, too much booze and not enough to eat.

There were 120,000 words to read this year – and they really did have to be read at least twice. The standard of criticism was dauntingly high. Flaws in logic, incorrect word usage, gaps in characterization, and mistakes in tone were pounced upon and thoroughly chewed over for the benefit of the writers. My own 10,000 word chunk was admirably digested. But what I really found valuable about Milford was the reading and the criticizing. I found I was out of touch with my own reactions to what I read. I'd shrug off my own boredom during the boring bits, or ignore my own squinting confusion when the logic was faulty. The opportunity to criticize a story while there was still a chance for it to have a constructive effect focused the mind wonderfully. I had to notice I was bored and come up with a reason why. One thing: I'll never be quite so tolerant of my own stuff again. But enough of that.

George RR Martin, fresh from two Hugos in one year, spent about £50 on the video machine, topping Chris Priest's high score last year of £20. Malcolm Edwards and Chris Evans played something called Macho Pool, the main object of which seemed to be to bash hell out of the balls, preferably against the walls or floor. Edwards played with the cue between his legs, but Evans was clear winner, reducing the tip of his cue to a splintered pulp with one masterful shot. Fans of Milford pool will be distressed to learn that the Cowper Tappens were finally discovered by the Management – those little holes will have to be left unblocked from now on. Someone invented, or simply remembered, a cocktail called the Death Wish, which may or may not have included Guinness and Pernod among its ingredients. Lisa Tuttle, revealing the raunchy Texas Barfly aspect of her personality, did a truly staggering imitation of a large mouthed frog that should have dislocated her jaw. It was also Lisa who slid out of her chair and collapsed onto the floor in a kind of giggling pudding during Call My Bluff. Something about native drums being stitched together out of hymens, with only plastic replicas being now available. Call My Bluff is the perfect Milford game – all those writers digging up ludicrous words or making up even more ludicrous definitions for them. Cambism was defined as cannibalism with your mouth full. A Caccagogue is nothing to do with a synagogue or a demagogue, but is an ointment of alum and honey used to cure constipation. A Pricket was defined as a obnoxious guardsman ... and round and round. Gary Kilworth, however, expended his literary talents on this little piece: There was a sex dev. on parole/Who went looking for a Black Hole/He'd been sucked before/By both ends of a whore/But he wanted to be swallowed whole.

In his youth, Rob Holdstock used to paste a little white dot onto the bonnet of his car in order, he told us, to seduce women. Unfortunately, he couldn't remember how on earth a little white dot on the bonnet of his car was any use whatever for that particular purpose. He did, however, in one story session, apprise Marianne Leconte of the obvious. In her story a woman backs away from a strange growth and bumps into a man; the bump is described as being soft. Robert informed Marianne that if she backed into him, 'it wouldn't feel soft at all, I can tell you, it would be hard.' Marianne, a woman of Gallic experience, agreed that it probably would. I contributed a blunder of my own while criticizing Pip Maddern's story about a crochety, wrinkled old woman. 'Pip,' I said, 'I get the feeling that this is you a couple of years on.' That wasn't quite what I meant to say. It wasn't as bad as Dave Garnett though, who started off on the same story with something like 'The old bag doesn't half bang on.' Explanations did not do much to muffle the blow. Dave Garnett, dead white of face, covered with lines like the glazing on old pottery, achieved distinction on several levels. First, he ate his appalling Milford apple pie with ketchup. Second, he was without doubt the most durable of the late-nighters, surviving the Edwards/Holdstock beer throwing and soda shooting match to be left drinking alone in the dark at 3am. Third, he was the most direct and honest of the critics: 'I thought it was fucking awful,' was one terse comment.

Things you wouldn't believe if you read them in a story department: Hazel Langford spent her time knitting a Klein bottle – a 3-dimensional object with only one surface. Pip and I tried to turn it inside out and it really did begin to get smaller and smaller in a rather unsettling way. Patrice Duvic presented everyone with brandy after the reading of his excellent, amusing story. Kev Smith and Andrew Stephenson drove me nuts with a stupid game in which I was supposed to decode a 'digital' number code that used toothpicks. It turned out I should have counted the number of fingers on the table instead.

Very suddenly, it seemed, everything was over. We all hung around the bar the last day, paying our bills, feeling a bit let down. Lisa Tuttle came in bemused, having found a pair of green rabbit ears attached to what looked like ladies' knicker elastic in her room. Cambrian Chris Evans put them on and stuck out his teeth for a photo. 'Is that what you call a Welsh Rabbit?' asked George Martin. And somehow that was that. Kisses on cheeks, shaking of hands, writing of addresses on little bits of paper that would soon be lost. Groups of people began to stagger away. Chris Evans fell asleep on Marianne's maternal lap as Kev Smith drove us home. Oh yes, there was this fellow named Dave Langford there as well, but most of you know about him. (GR)


Joyce Scrivner: Denvention was disorganized, though bits of the con were relaxing and/or fun. Good fannish panels even if they did cancel the one on the 1980s. DUFF made $500 and TAFF $300 in auctions etc. Sandy Sanderson & his wife (Secretary & Treasurer of the London 1957 Worldcon) showed up from Long Island gafiation for the first time in 20 years: talk about ancient fans reincarnating. Barry Longyear told tales of how he'd been insulted by pro friends who were sure he was out to take over SFWA. Why he would want to, no-one ever thought.... Jeff Duntemann, dual Hugo nominee this year, is in bad odour with SFWA/Locus due to his promotion of his stories in General Technics fanzines: the low ballot totals don't/didn't help. (16 nominations were enough to get you one the short-story shortlist: Duntemann was there twice, apparently to the annoyance of the Denvention committee since local author Ed Bryant was thus squeezed out.) Bruce Pelz will bust a gut if someone doesn't finish a TAFF report soon.... (Ahem. Change of subject-)

The Hugo Awards & Suchlike: NOVEL The Snow Queen/Joan Vinge; NOVELLA 'Lost Dorsai'/Gordon Dickson; NOVELETTE 'The Cloak & the Staff'/Dickson; SHORT 'Grotto of the Dancing Deer'/ Clifford Simak; NONFICTION BOOK Cosmos/Carl Sagan (who did not deign to send anyone to collect it); PRO EDITOR Edward Ferman; PRO ARTIST Michael Whelan; FANZINE Locus; FANWRITER Susan Wood; FANARTIST Victoria Poyser; DRAMATIC PRESENTATION The Empire Strike Back. (Gorblimey. I'll just reiterate my grumble about how Timescape has now won the Nebula, BSFA Award, John W Campbell Memorial Award, Australian Ditmar, etc, without even making the Hugo shortlist; similar comments apply to universal runner-up The Shadow of the Torturer; and again we see the ancient principle of giving the GoH – Simak – an award whether or not he's written anything of discernible merit. Locus has printed details of the byzantine vote-counting system, with such remarks as that 'the Disch story was popular enough to come close to winning, but not popular enough for second or third place'. No comments.) JWC 'New Writer' Award: Somtow Sucharitkul; Gandalf 'Grand Master Of Fantasy': Catherine L Moore. (The Gandalf had been excluded from the Hugo Ballot, but at the awards ceremony someone called Killus leapt on to the stage and invited the audience to award the thing to GoH Moore by democratically clapping their hands. They did. Gosh wow.)

Worldcon Site Selection: The voting went Baltimore 916, Australia 523, Copenhagen 188, No Preference 37, plus piffle to a total of 1679 ballots. Baltimore announced that their worldcon would be called Constellation, with GoH John Brunner and FGoH Dave 'Anyone who likes New Worlds isn't a member of the human race' Kyle. Address: Box 1046, Baltimore, MD 21203, USA. $10 supp $15 att to end of year, then $10 & $20 to June 1982. Cheques to 41st World SF Convention....

Such overwhelming defeat of foreign bids is pretty discouraging, of course. A Britain in '84 bid masterminded by Malcolm Edwards was kept dark until after the '83 results above were known (in order not to sabotage Australia): as a result, certain UK fans present at Denvention cleverly announced that since they knew nothing of this bid, it was therefore a mere hoax and in any case a rotten idea. Since Australia is bouncing back with a Melbourne in '85 bid, the odds are that Britain will graciously withdraw and urge its supporters to vote for the highly deserving Australian bid (newsletter from David Grigg, 1556 Main Rd, Research, Vic 3095, Australia: subscriptions taken in lieu of pre-supp memberships). '85 opposition is rumoured to be Albuquerque, Louisville, Minneapolis, Madison and Toronto ('This is virtually the one thing that Glicksohn & I both agree on – that there is no group competent to run a Worldcon in Toronto fandom at the moment....' – Taral). And New York, Philadelphia & Atlanta in '86. I can't cope.


[On no account should anyone read this despicable stuff.]

I've done some digging, and have come up with what is the most probable explanation of the state of the 'Carl Sagan' novel Contact. The novel, as by Carl Sagan, has not yet been written. Sagan did indeed sign for a $2,000,000 advance but this is contingent on the production of an outline acceptable to Simon & Schuster. The actual writer of the novel, Sagan's wife Ann Druyan, has been cruelly described as 'one of the more prominent of the New York plagiarists, specializing in well-written treatments of other people's books.' It has even been wickedly suggested that the outlines Druyan submits are such blatant plagiarisms that knowledgeable subeditors bounce the outlines and inform the authors whom Druyan has stolen from. Among the books she would have liked to use were Gunn's The Listeners and Spinrad's Songs From The Stars. All Sagan has been paid is about $250,000; it is uncertain when, if ever, the remainder will be paid. I have heard that when senior editors called in Sagan for a conference about the outline, his cosmic mind soared above trivial technical points; he apparently wished to avoid discussion of the novel and discourse about Cosmos instead. 'It was obvious,' I was told, 'that Sagan had never read the outline.'

It should be noted that neither Dave Hartwell nor his staff at Timescape have anything to do with Carl Cosmos; Sagan has been left in the hands of others more used to books that sell, um, billions and billions of copies. I've also learned that no authors have actually filed suit against Sagan: no manuscript as yet exists for a writer to establish a claim against.

You can't possibly object to Baltimore winning the Worldcon, what with a British author as guest of hono(u)r. But I'm sure Ansible readers would like to know exactly why John Brunner was chosen. 'Brunner is high-tech,' explained chair Michael Walsh. Brunner a techie? 'You see,' Walsh said, 'he fits our theme.' What theme was that? 'Well, um, we all have to live in the future, see, and Brunner helps describe the future for us!' Oh. (Martin Morse Wooster)


This was held in Rotterdam over the weekend of 28-30 August: GoHs were Jack Vance, Frederik Pohl (attending the WORLD SF meeting held simultaneously) and Kate Wilhelm, with Damon Knight, Chris Priest, Lisa Tuttle, Rob Holdstock and US expatriate (living in Amsterdam) Rachel Pollack also present; plus Dutch authors Wim Gijsen and Tais Teng, editors/translators Anne-Marie Kindt and Werner Fuchs, and many others. It was apparently the largest Beneluxcon to date: during his Saturday stint on the registrations desk Roelof Goudriaan signed in enough walk-ins to take the total over 600 – more than the hotel could comfortably accommodate, the committee not having expected such popularity. But it was successful nevertheless: even with only a meagre knowledge of Dutch (no matter; everyone spoke some English) I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and could only wish that more than a few British fans had been present....

The programme seemed pretty varied, though I only attended the English-language items – apart from the opening address by the Dutch Minister of Culture, which was filmed by a Flemish TV crew putting together a programme about the con (including an interview with Chris Priest, who related the astonishing story of how he'd been paid for it before he'd even said a word). A far cry from the treatment usually accorded to UK Eastercons.... Jack Vance, not noted for saying anything about his relationship to SF, unbent to give us his conception of the literature's nature and purpose which, incredibly, included the statement that it had sprung full-blown from the head of Hugo Gernsback in 1926; at which point I left. Kate Wilhelm predictably praised the increasing importance of women in SF; well and good, up to a point, but the point was passed about halfway through with some remarks about how we wouldn't have had the 60s New Wave if it hadn't been for women SF writers, all so fatuous (and so at odds with the facts) as to stagger credulity. This reverse chauvinism was on full display in the immediately preceding panel 'SF Writing By Women', whose only sensible comment was the outraged remark by Marion Zimmer Bradley (on her way back to the USA after being GoH in Stuttgart the weekend before) that it was ridiculous to lump all women SF writers together just because they were all women who happened to write SF. There were items on collaborations, workshopping, and authors reading from their works (English and Dutch); the Dutch-language sessions dealt with Dutch fandom and fantasy, editing, the future of the space programme, and Celtic influences on mediaeval 'SF' (which being both 3/4-Celt – you didn't know? – and interested in ancient/mediaeval history, I wish I could have understood). Films included Flash Gordon, The Final Programme, Close Encounters and the Italian Star Wars ripoff Star Crash (featuring Caroline Munro in not very much), plus continuous video presentation of an amateur Dutch film whose sets, modelwork and effects were quite impressive but whose script, from the English summary pinned to the display boards, was unfortunately banal and vonDänikenish. The book room had Ken Slater with a stock of imported paperbacks, and the few Dutch firms who publish SF: their novels may have a lower print-run and a consequently higher price than ours, but the standard of printing and binding was much better ... though most of their cover art seemed to have been looted from UK paperbacks and applied to theirs regardless of the original title. Most of the SF was translations; the feeling about Dutch SF authors seems to be what the Australians call 'cultural cringe', meaning that it's no good if it wasn't written in English: Wim Gijsen's latest novel has been hailed as so good it could have been written by an American(!). Taste is a variable thing: I remain amazed at the number of Dutch fans who read not only the latest from Priest, Wilhelm, Holdstock et al, but also (God help us) the Perry Rhodan weekly magazines.

My only real grouch was the programme delays: despite 'multi-tracking' there was continuous slippage throughout the day, so that several items had to be cut short (paradoxically, others were allowed to overrun by anything up to half an hour)... But all the real action, of course, took place in the evenings, in the bar – where ordering a beer gives you a simple choice between Heineken, Heineken and Heineken – and at the room parties – at one of which, so Wim van der Bospoort informed me the next morning, I had twice fallen asleep (but the Dutch are as yet unversed in the mystique of felt pen decoration, so there).

It was a good convention: my first Continental one, and certainly not my last. The rest of you should give some thought to investigating them as well.... (Joseph Nicholas)


Shall we have an update on those new SF mags mentioned last issue? Extro has had the wonkiest career, the famed first issue slipping from mid-Sept to mid-Nov with an accompanying change of distributors, and now being expected in mid-January. New editorial address c/o Paul Campbell, 27 Cardigan Dr, Belfast, BT14 6LX. Internal disputes as to who owns Extro, who edits it, and where all the advertising money has gone, make the power structure a little unclear: Paul Campbell and Robert Allen are bossmen with shadowy figures Langford and Randal Flynn lurking somewhere or other. (Dorothy Davies is no longer connected with the mag.). Expected price: 75p.... Interzone has done little overt except to provoke some ire at the revelation that it's being funded at least in part by a Yorcon II profit said to be in four figures. Alan Dorey mentions that substantial TAFF and GUFF donations will also be made, and that Channelcon declined the offer of financial support. Pressed to reveal appalling secrets in an exclusive telephone interview, David Pringle had no hesitation in saying 'The magazine is still firmly on course'.... Omni Book of the Future: fiction rate in the region £20-£40/thou were hinted at by exciting new BoTF deputy editor Peter Nicholls, who has replaced boring old Langford and Rohan as Fan Closest To The Heart Of Things. (The non-deputy editor is one Jack Schofield, who has a vast knowledge of SF owing to having once written a thesis on A Voyage to Arcturus.) Our Peter also revealed that issue 2 was likely to contain a Reader Questionnaire asking such things as 'Do you want SF in future issues?', the will of the public being taken as law. Issue 1, incidentally, contains an Asimov reprint of sufficient awfulness to be a likely influence on the answers.... Meanwhile, dummy copies of both BotF and Extro are even now inundating the world's wastebaskets. Onward, with New Style magazine ... but perhaps you hadn't heard of that one? Neither had I, yet Simon Ounsley informs me that my Ad Astra columns have been mysteriously resurfacing in this 'romantic' monthly magazine. When quizzed about this AA editor James Manning hastily paid some overdue money but otherwise failed to comment. Extended subscriptions for anyone sending a New Style containing work by me (even knowing the address would be a start).... Maxim Jakubowski's sf/music anthology, turned out into the snow by cruel Sir Jasper at Virgin, contains millions of famous names (Sladek, Watson, Brunner, Roberts, Moorcock, Silverberg etc) yet is so far homeless: Virgin, meanwhile, have been having fun sending letters to contributors saying 'it was all Jakubowski's fault, we desperately wanted to publish your story but he wouldn't let us' – a statement somewhat at variance with reality.... Ian Watson's sf/art anthology Pictures at an Exhibition is being released at Cymrucon (mid-Nov): it contains many illustrations by filthy pro Pete Lyon and has been set on a word-processor devoid of italics (so HOW is EMPHASIS indicated in the TEXT? You MAY WELL ask).... J. Mike Barr, even more famous filthy pro artist and anagram, has been doubling his cartoon output for various comic papers, and may shortly have to resign from the BSFA.... Chris Priest, for reasons I cannot reveal, now loathes the BBC with an inexpressible loathing....


Held again at the Grosvenor Hotel in Newcastle, this was the same minimally-programmed and limited-attendance relaxacon as ever. Youngest attendee was enfant terrible Paul Turner; the observation was made that Ian Williams was old enough to be his father. 'It hasn't been that long has it Ian?' I asked, manfully resisting the temptation to tell Paul he ought to change his name to Nicholas.

In the SF quiz the Welsh team won yet again, your reporter discovering he had the embarrassing ability to answer all the questions on Edgar Rice Burroughs, being even able to correct at length a wrong answer given by the questionmaster. By the simple expedient of substituting Alan Dorey for Paul Williams and Ansible's ubiquitous editor, the Welsh team became a Friends In Space team for Fannish Fortunes, a quiz not unlike the TV show of similar name hosted by Bob Monkhouse. They duly won. The statistics required for this quiz were based on questionnaires all Silicon attendees were required to fill out on pain of missing free booze: among other things it produced the hitherto unsuspected information that Kev Smith has the third largest male appendage in fandom. Better things to do with your hormones than push up hair, eh Kev? While I'm talking about appendages I should mention a fascinating innovation at this con called 'Famous Appendages of Fandom'. Yet another quiz: small sections of photographs of well-known fans had been taken from context, enlarged and projected onto the screen, leaving the two teams the task of figuring out what they were looking at and who it was attached to. Would you have believed, for instance, that a section of picture showing Graham Charnock's right nostril and part of his cheek, projected from whatever angle, would look like a shapely and very female left breast? Strange but true, as Ripley might say. At still another quiz – charades this time – a wondrous moment was provided when Jim Barker's team, wearing caps advertising the film Outland, began singing that well-known ditty 'Io, Io, it's off to work we go.'

There was more to Silicon than quizzes, of course – indeed your reporter regards it as the most enjoyable event on the fannish calendar – but since Ansible is a serious science fictional newsletter he feels that the stories of sex and violence, of strange goings-on and Ritchie Smith's sandwiches, are best kept for the less cultured pages of his own fanzine. (Rob Hansen)

(Best moment in 'Famous Appendages' concerned a seductive white curve on the screen. 'It's a knee. No, no....' 'It's a tit.' 'A left tit' 'The team is correct. It is a tit. Now, whose is it?' Long bafflement. At last the complete photo goes up, a photo from last Silicon where another ludicrous game had enticed fans into boiler suits interestingly stuffed with balloons: 'As you see, it is of course Alan Dorey's left tit.' ... Now, some further snippets from my spies at Hillcon – )

BSFA business manager Ken Eadie alienated millions of people (even hard-to-alienate Martin Hoare) by constant diatribes on the wonderfulness of the BSFA, represented as (or as shortly to be) a wonderful media-oriented organization whose magazines were filled with many an easy-to-read picture, and which offers huge memberships discounts if you introduce new members (a fact unknown to the rest of the committee).... Not content with being the biggest-selling author in Holland, Jack Vance was for three days by far the biggest, exceeding even Isaac Astral in girth. Rumours that he speaks from time to time were largely unconfirmed. Marion Zimmer Bradley was noted for 'defensive monologues in a loud voice, and a terrible way with blue eye-shadow'.... Les Flood and Pam Bulmer were observed sitting very close together, blushing a trifle too often for discretion's sake.... Rob Holdstock temporarily lost the sight of one eye and the use of an important organ when attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes.... Joe Nicholas was briefly reported to have fallen in love again 'but rumours of lipsalve marks on a mirror tend to discount this'.... Also there: Malcolm Edwards, Gerbish, Naveed Khan, Katy McAuley....


A Silicon programme item (mentioned elsewhere by Rob Hansen) compiled vast amounts of data from a special compulsory questionnaire. Here are the results, as many as I can fit in. The figures are said to be percentages, but don't always sum to 100.... Many thanks to Sue Williams.

FAVOURITE UK FAN Eve Harvey 20, Greg Pickersgill 15, Roy Kettle 15, Jim Barker 15, John Harvey 15, D. West 10, 'Me' 10. FAVOURITE US FAN Terry Hughes 27, Rich Coad/Linda Pickersgill/Rochelle Dorey 9, Avedon Carol/Stu Shiffman/ Alexis Gilliland/Moshe Feder/Joyce Scrivner 6. WORST DRESSED FAN Brian Burgess/ D. West 12, Alun Harries/Greg/Abi Frost/ Peter Roberts/Gerry Webb 6. BEST DRESSED: Joe Nicholas/Chris Atkinson 16, Alan Dorey/Webb 13, Roberts 6. BEST FNZ Twll-Ddu 24, Tappen/Ansible 20, 2nd Hand Wave 16, Dot 12. BEST PRODUCED FNZ Twll-Ddu 13, Tappen/Drilkjis/Arena 10, Maya(!) / Out of the Blue / 2HW / Locus 7. WORST PRODUCED Fanzine Fanatique 46. MOST LITERATE FAN Langford 34, Nicholas 18, Malcolm Edwards/ Kev Smith 8, Bob Shaw/Roz Kaveney 5. MOST ILLITERATE Pete Presford 21, Ken Man 14, Keith Walker/Dorey 11, 'Me' 7. MOST CUDDLY Eve Harvey 16, Barker 11, Harry Bell/Ian Williams 8. MOST LOVABLE Eve 13, Rog Peyton/West/'Me'/Dave Bridges 7. FIRST FMZ THAT COMES TO MIND TD 18, Stop Breaking Down 10, Ansible/Dot/Maya 8, Seamonsters/Speculation/Inca-2/True Rat 5. FIRST CON ATTENDED Tynecon 25, Mancon-5 10, Seacon-75/ Seacon-79/Yorcon-1 7, Novacon-2/Skycon 5. FAVOURITE CON Seacon-79 18, Tynecon 13, Silicon-1/Yorcon-2/Silicon-3 8, Novacon-10/Yorcon-1/Faancon-1 5. LEAST FAVOURITE Mancon 29, Albacon/Yorcon-1/Noreascon-2 9, Seacon-79/Skycon/ Novacon-9/Faancon 6. FAVOURITE CON EVENT Drinking 43, Charades/Disco 9, Bob Shaw Talk 6. BEST FANARTIST Barker 26, Pete Lyon 21, West 16, Rob Hansen 12, Bell 7. BEST FANWRITER Langford 40, Shaw 17, K. Smith 13, Chris Evans 7. WHICH FAN WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO BE? 'Me' 27, 'The Richest' 10, Rob Holdstock/West/Greg 7. MOST AWFUL FRINGEFAN GROUP Gannets/ Trekkies 19, Blake's 7 fans 16, Hitchers 14, Limpwrists/ Cardiff SF Soc 7. WHICH FAN WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE MAROONED WITH ON A DESERT ISLAND? Eve 9, Rochelle/Joyce Scrivner ('protein value')/Chris Atkinson 6. OLDEST ACTIVE FAN Terry Jeeves/Ethel Lindsay/Rog Peyton 12, Bell 9, West/Shaw/ Holdstock 6. FAVOURITE SF WRITER AT AGE 15 Asimov 16, Clarke 13, Bradbury/Capt W.E. Johns/Heinlein/Wells 8, Ballard/ C.S. Lewis 5. WORST SF NOVEL EVER Number of the Beast 15, Runts of 61 Cygni C/Any Perry Rhodan/Imperial Earth 6, The Troglodytes 2. WORST FILM The Black Hole/Plan 9 From Outer Space 11, Atomic Submarine/Starcrash/Logan's Run/Star Trek TMP 7. WORST SF AUTHOR R.L. Fanthorpe/Ian Williams 9, Doc Smith/ Fred Hoyle 6. WORST TVSF Space:1999 21, Blake's 7 16, Lost In Space/Crossroads 10. OWNER OF LARGEST MALE FANNISH APPENDAGE Holdstock 52, Ian Williams/Kev Smith 6. LARGEST FEMALE APPENDAGES Pauline Morgan 30, Joy Hibbert 19, Linda Pickersgill/Roz Kaveney 7. FUNNIEST FAN Kettle 41, Holdstock 15, Barker/Langford 9. DRUNKEST FAN Greg 32, Kettle 21, West 18, Bell 8, Langford 5. FAN WHO FALLS OVER MOST West 35, Kettle 27, Greg 8, Maule/Langford/Nicholas 5. SHORTEST FAN Ian Williams 62, Jean Frost 10, Dulcie Jackson 8, Wendy Cruttenden 5. TALLEST FAN Langford 25*, Chris Hughes 20, K. Smith 14, 'Rob Holdstock lying down' 11, West/Andrew Brown 5. DEAFEST Langford 90+. WHICH FAN SHAVES HIS BEARD/MOUSTACHE OFF MOST FREQUENTLY? K. Smith 60, Holdstock/Langford ('Every morning') 6. WORST FNZ EVER Fanzine Fanatique 20, Zealot/Ycz 13. WRITER OF THE MOST BORING LOCS Joe Nicholas 48, Arnold Akien 11, Harry Andruschak/Ken Mann 7. MOST PRETENTIOUS CURRENT SF OR FAN PUBLICATION Omni 24, Foundation 16, Vector 12, Asimov's/Interzone 8.

* I say, don't people have some funny opinions? The TALLEST FAN category in particular offers a useful parable for the Hugo awards, the heights over 6 feet of those placed being respectively about 2½", 8", 3", unknown, zero and 10". Not 'tallest' but 'tallest I can think of offhand'. Just like the Hugos....


Unicon attendance approx 195 (50 less then 1980); the need to book facilities makes it likely that next Unicon will be in '83 rather than '82.... Beccon: 'there will not be a Beccon 2' (Jon Cowie).... Novacon 11: even the BSFA has published this con's problems. Jean Frost asked to resign as registrations boss; boyfriend Chris Smith (chair of defunct Birmingham SF Fil Soc) shouts abuse at nice Stan Eling and refuses to let him collect membership records; panic; Ansible 20 to have featured invitation for you all to panic and write in with duplicate membership details; Ansible not told after all; Tim 'Judge Dredd' Stannard puts screws on Smith (whose obscure grudge apparently had to do with the BSFG's failure to offer massive financial aid to the doomed BSFFS/Filmcon); eleventh-hour rescue of records by Phill Probert (said to be the only BSGF member at whom Smith is not prone to shout abuse); BSFG magnanimously pays £90 Filmcon debts; Novacon saved; Smith threatens lawsuits for anyone (ie. Steve Green) saying that he lives with J. Frost (the address is but a coincidence) or that there's not enough money to refund all Filmcon memberships; meanwhile, far to the south, Grand Metropolitan Hotels (owners of the Grand in Brum, where Filmcon would have taken place) become cagey about negotiations for an '83 Eastercon, at least temporarily: the moral is that any cancelled con is heap bad business for fandom at large.... Metrocon is the name of the Langford/KSmith/Jackson/Maule/Hoare/Harvey/Stewart/etc Eastercon '83 bid: the general venue should be sufficiently obvious.... Albacon II (rival bid) has put out a handsome flyer showing the hotel (Central, Glasgow); both are taking presupporting memeberships at £1, and we hope to arrange that presupporters of the losing bid (A/l/b/a/c/o/n/ /I/I/) will receive at least some discount on membership of the winning bid. Addresses: Metrocon, c/o 5 Beaconsfield Rd, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3HY; Albacon II, c/o 1/R 39 Partickhill Rd, Glasgow, G11 5BY.... Novacon 12: plans to have this run from Leeds have seemingly been discarded.... Anglicon attendance was approx 45, rumours Chris Hughes: 'Too many cons'.... Baltimore Worldcon '83: Avedon Carol promises 'I'll do my best to create a place for "our kind" [fanzine fans] at Constellation, but it can't be guaranteed, and most future US Worldcons won't even have the facilities to try it'.... Eurocon 82 date still not finalized by organizer Pascal Ducommun, thus delaying John Brunner's plans for millions of Brits to attend and win Eurocon 84 for the UK. Possible Eastercon/Eurocon 84 rivalry (hinted at last issue) will have to be resolved at the Channelcon business meeting: can't have someone winning the Eurocon bid in 82 only to be defeated as an Eastercon (current plans being to combine the two) at Eastercon 1983....


Rob & Sheila Holdstock 'are splitting up. No drama, no bad feeling, no hostility.... One of the more trivial things we are hoping can be accepted is that anyone who has a party etc. and would normally have invited us both can continue to do so; being in the same room together really doesn't induce in us the terrible need to rip out central heating pipes.' (RPH) COAs to follow.... Video Disaster: L'Invasion des Bollardes Enormes, John Collick's vast video epic subtitled 'The Life & Times of D. West', was triumphantly completed and almost immediately stolen, along with Paul Oldroyd's (insured) video recorder, etc. Now we shall never see the D. West Vasectomy Scene, alas.... Ken Eadie has been cordially invited to resign from the BSFA committee, have beaten all previous records by making himself universally unpopular in under 6 months.... The SFWA Needs You, says UK rep Ian Watson: prospective Nebula log-rollers (3 shorts or one novel sold) should send SAE for membership form to Bay House, Banbury Rd, Moreton Pinkney, nr Daventry, Northants, NN11 6SQ. We understand that the bug in the SFWA mailing-label system has been corrected, the computer records no longer being liable to be eaten by Somtow Sucharitkul's cat.... Harlan (yawn) Ellison is sueing Warren Publishing for ever such a lot, editor DuBay having ripped off 'A Boy & His Dog' in inadequate disguise.... John & Marjorie Brunner would like all sf writers/editors/etc to sign an appeal calling for an end to the arms race: The Square House, Palmer St, S Petherton, Somerset.... J.S. Cairns offers free mailing of material for 'organizations that I admire' (100-odd copies is the figure mentioned): dunno who he mails it to, but try asking: 15 Brinkburn St, Sunderland, SR4 7RG.... The Faan Awards are back, belatedly, with the British bugbear of voting fees gone at last: form enclosed if you can remember what was triffic in 1980. (I'll pass forms on if they're returned to me by 28 Nov).... Brian Stableford is taking an evening class in SF every Monday night (7.30-9.30) at Reading U: rush along and learn all about the sociological import of E.E. Smith.... Dark They Were & Golden Eyed may have closed forever, but what is this rumour I hear that another Stokes SF enterprise may open in the USA? ... Denvention attendance a piffling 3792, incidentally.... Booker Prize not awarded to nasty SFish rubbish, as usual, though Priest's Affirmation made the shortlist of 12 while Thomas's White Hotel and Lessing's Sirian Experiments reached the final six. (One wonders whether winner Salman Rushdie [Midnight's Children] would have done as well had he taken John Bush's advice and let his first book Grimus be published as nasty SF: but he didn't, it wasn't, and it flopped hugely.) ... The Affirmation hasn't sold beyond its first edition (a lack of mighty-thewed barbarians and vast dragons being among the alleged reasons for US SFBC rejection), and neither has the new Watson Deathhunter: indeed most UK authors are having a very thin time of it, again.... Not Only Snide But Untruthful, says Free Space Society boss Andy Nimmo of my plug for him last issue: no doubt he'll say the same of the Glasgow Bob Shaw's insistence that no-one should send cash to Andy.... 'Astral' hardcore book and film emporia have been spotted by slumming Michael Ashley: 'seems like West has finally gotten his cloven hoof into the Soho publishing scene'.... Colin Greenland has managed to hang on for another year as NELP/ Foundation writer-in-residence and hopes to publish something real soon now, possibly in Interzone.... Yorcon II, men of their word, just sent a large TAFF donation.... Old News: in 1980 Harlan E. foretold his bestsellerdom in '82, doubtless referring to Blood's a Rover (B&HisD novelization, contract now cancelled by Ace for nondelivery)....

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Labels: Keith Freeman.

Hazel's Language Lessons #13: Ibo

okbòkba' handing child to another & going off to work without saying 'have newborn child to look after (but cannot stay)'

òlo' clay eaten by pregnant woman

[omitted: irreproducible accent mark under the unaccented "o" in each Ibo word]

ANSIBLE 21: 22 Northumberland Ave
Reading, Berkshire, RG2 7PW, U.K.