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Ansible 22, December 1981

Cartoon: D. West

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 Richard Newsome ... to whom many thanks! • Dave Langford, 1995.

ANSIBLE #22 (December 1981), from Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Avenue, Reading, Berks, RG2 7PW, UK. Cartoon by D. West, mailing labels by Keith Freeman – if your label says SUB DUE the computer wants money, while if it says ***** you have become an unperson sustained by (infrequent) editorial whim alone. Alas, printing and paper costs mean it's time for another subscription increase: rates are now 5 issues for £1 in the UK and 4 for £1 everywhere else (I spell this out because certain Diplomacy fans cannot decipher the formula 5/£1. Sterling cheques, pound notes or International Money Orders preferred, to the value of not more than £2.... Complaints and warmish news may be telephoned to (0734) 863453; ANSIBLE 23 will probably appear in early February. Merry Christmas, etc.


Gene Wolfe, emerging from the savage hurly-burly of an editorial conference with Dave Hartwell of Pocket Books, has dazedly announced that his 'Book of the New Sun' tetralogy will be sprouting a fifth book (delivery Autumn 1982), to be titled The Urth of the New Sun....

Sir Fred Hoyle is delivering the 3rd Omni lecture (Royal Institution, 12-1-82, tickets free from Andie Burland) on 'Evolution from Space' – for refutations of this rather silly theory, see New Scientist, passim....

Andie Burland herself gets a whole page in the current Gay News for her full-time David Bowie look – well, how many of the Darth Vaders at cons wear the same costumes back in their Civil Service jobs?....

Roz Kaveney, not content with being sneered at in Private Eye (as 'Ros Caveney') has been working on a Time Out article which rips the lid off conventions: thus the fannish infiltration of everywhere continues. Having been asked to insert more quotations from these funny fans, Roz has been furiously phoning people with requests to say something witty and profound....

Carl Sagan's triffic though unwritten novel Contact – see almost any recent Ansible for rude comments – did well at the Frankfurt Book Fair, selling French ($55,000), Spanish ($100,000), Japanese ($122,000) and German ($100,000) rights. Surely this refutes rumours that the synopsis is such that publishers Simon & Schuster dare not show it to anyone? Actually, no: all these sales (reports Maxim Jakubowski) were made on the basis of a 'screen treatment' only....

Brian Aldiss declines to comment further on the Booker Prize, of which he was a judge: 'Trouble enough is what I think I've been in ... [but] nobody could say it hasn't been fun of a kind, and they got what they asked for by inviting an sf buff in on the act. You probably saw Hermione Lee's long malevolent piece in the TLS last week, and my pleasant, even angelic, and Olympian response this week. [Dated 7-11-81] I'm afraid that some of these academic types want to keep the novel to themselves – which must not be allowed.... Note that although old pals like Ballard, Moorcock and Priest didn't get into the finals, there was a distinct science-fictional (or "metaphorical-structural", as we euphemistically say in Booker circles) aura to half the novels in the shortlist. Like: Lessing's The Sirian Experiments is definitely galactic empire stuff, if not a patch on Doc Smith; Thomas's The White Hotel opens with a poem, integral to the novel, which was published in New Worlds in its palmier days; and even the winner, Rushdie's Midnight's Children, is about Wyndhamesque telepathic kids....'

Garry Kilworth plans to become a real full-time writer when he achieves redundancy next June: welcome to the poorhouse, Garry....

Maxim Jakubowksi is still having fun with Virgin Books, this time with his and Malcolm Edwards's Book of SF Lists: '... sold to Berkley in the USA (for quite a sum, SF-wise) and Granada here. We're soon to deliver the book, in fact. My relationship with Virgin not having improved after my departure, my successor there – a guy called Devereux appointed barely 48 hours after I'd left, the fact he was Richard Branson's sister's boyfriend having of course nothing to do with it – heard about the project and suggested to my London agent that Virgin might be interested in the book. Highly suspicious of this, we declined to submit the outline.... In September, Devereux informs me that he will no longer be interested in the book (never submitted to him!) in view of the legal battle between Virgin and myself. Malcolm and I then find out in October that Mike Ashley, who was interviewing Devereux on his publishing plans (nil for SF) for Fantasy Newsletter, mentions an old project of his in passing and is instantly commissioned by Devereux to do the book on the condition he modifies it and changes the title to ... guess what ... The SF Book of Lists! Another great example of the Virgin ethics....'

David Pringle has started publishing a newsletter devoted entirely to J.G. Ballard, titled News from the Sun: 'Well, if there's a Jackie Lichtenberg Appreciation Society, why not have something devoted to Jimmy?' Rush two 14p stamps to David at The Terminal Beach, 21 The Village St, Leeds, LS4 2PR....

Steve Gallagher sends lots of data about novels by Steve Gallagher, plus the news that Bob Shaw is the subject of a forthcoming programme in Granada's Celebration arts lots (northwest TV only) – including a 10-minute film adaptation of a Shaw story with additional illustrations (?) by 'Adam & the Ants' artperson Brian Talbot. Also: 'Kiddies' corner: Dr Who is being moved from its Saturday slot (probably with as much howling and gnashing of teeth as would greet a shifting of the summer solstice) and is to go out twice-weekly in the hole that Triangle used to occupy. The really good news is that the obnoxious Adric is to be killed off.' Triangle? Adric? Langford is out of his depth here....

Colin Greenland (who was hurt by my suggestion that he might publish something in Interzone) mentions the imminence of his book on New WorldsThe Entropy Exhibition – and has had another plug in the Sunday Times: 'Dr Greenland has plans to start a quarterly of sci-fi Interzone which will be the first such in the country'....

Extro magazine may well be dead, again, after the discovery by financial backer Paul Campbell that although whiz-kid Robert Allen had reported vast distribution agreements with Seymour Press (distributors), Smiths and Menzies, the existence of such agreements appeared to be unknown to Seymour, or Smiths, or Menzies....

R.I. Barycz reports: 'They were recruiting extras for Revenge of the Jedi last week. £40 a day and all the roast bantha you could eat. Provided of course you were under 4'6". Jawaana be a Jawa? The resources of Equity were soon exhausted, so they went round to the Job Centre in Boreham Wood and had a card put in the window and on the boards. There were no replies so they shifted them down a foot or two lower and had over 100 enquiries by the next morning. Well, there is a recession on. Cough. Rumours involving an unfortunate accident with chain-saw and anaesthetized knees at this address should be denied.'

Dave Garnett gloats: 'I've had a story in The Best of Mayfair. Fantasy rather than hard, shall we say, sf. Always knew I'd make it to a 'Best' sooner or later....' Encouraged by Ansible, Dave has 'decided to become a Fan.' Our loss is literature's gain.


When your editor did me the honour of asking me to compile this report I naturally leapt at the chance to perform some small service in recognition of his generosity in sending me free copies of Ansible [1]. Only later did it occur to me that I am not well-qualified to write con reports: I tend to go to bed at midnight, rarely have anything to drink, never attend room parties and spend most of my time either listening to programme items or standing in the nearest betting-shop. For these reasons I tend to miss all the exciting events which such pieces as this are supposed to immortalize for posterity, but I am sure there is no possibility that I will start a trend.

The hotel had the disadvantage of being sited next to the railway [2], and was not what one might call well-appointed. It used to have the compensating advantage of being within walking distance of the Hayes Bookshop, one of the nation's few four-star second-hand bookshops, but the shop (and, for that matter, the Hayes) was demolished nine months before the con. Such is life. The number of people registered for the con was said to be 250 (many others were turned away, they say) but I never saw more than 30 in any one place at any one time. All programme items were scheduled to last 40 minutes, requiring ingenious timekeeping on the part of the 20 or so people who attended the more popular of them. Rumour has it that there was a continuous filmshow, but the only evidence of this which became available to me was the sound-track of Star Wars emanating from behind a sinister curtain marking the boundary of the hotel restaurant. Centrepiece of the whole affair was the launching of the anthology Pictures at an Exhibition, edited by star guest Ian Watson and published by the indefatigable Lionel Fanthorpe under one of his many pseudonyms ('Greystoke Mobray') [3]. Lionel's attempt to drink, carouse and organize his way through the whole 48-hour marathon was confounded by an unexpected failure of metabolic endurance about Sunday mid-day. (No wonder he can't write books the way he used to.) The anthology is remarkable for its italicless typography, its eccentric page numbering and its lack of a title-page. (Well, you can't remember everything, can you?)

Experienced con-goers like Martin Hoare and Roger Peyton (I was going to say 'hardened' but thought better of it) declared the affair to be a colossal success, the former placing it in his top five cons and the latter feeling that it had recaptured the spirit of 60s Eastercons [4]. Lionel Fanthorpe was so carried away by it all that he booked the hotel for a re-run next year. A special award for bravery should go to Patricia Fanthorpe, who at one stage overheard her husband described as 'a man of few words' and neither fainted nor broke down into hysterical laughter.

The undoubted highlight of the weekend for me was Henry Kissinger winning the Mackeson Gold Cup at 5-1, but what can you expect from a man who doesn't play Space Invaders? (Brian Stableford)

Editorial Feetnote: (1) Occasionally. (2) Earplugs were available at 57p in a nearby chemist's. Hazel bought some. (3) Anthology also includes Stableford, Fanthorpe, Langford, all that riffraff. Buy it instantly. (4) I suppose Chairman Naveed Khan gets a bit of credit for all this, even if slide-projectors disintegrate in his rough hands.


An English-language edition of a Polish fanzine, Richard P. Jasiński's Actual International SF-Magazine, may be had for 50p/$1 from Tom (Box 3, SF-00251 Helsinki 25, Finland). This is of special interest to 'Dupers for Poland': Jasinński has to have his fanzine printed in Finland since he's been expelled from the Communist-controlled Polish national SF club (OKMFiSF) as a 'dangerous agent of the West' – this because he joined the American N3F. The person responsible is active Polish 'fan' Andrzej Pruszyński, who according to Tom was also instrumental in booting other fans and SF writers not only from the clubs but from their jobs – on similar grounds. Pruszyński apparently travels to many European cons at government expense; he was voted equal Best European Fan (with good old Waldemar Kumming) at the 1980 Eurocon in Stresa. An independent Polish SF Club has been formed as an alternative to OKMFiSF: SFAN, 00-375 Warsaw, A1. Jerozolimskie 2, Poland.

NOVACON 11, 30 OCT - 2 NOV 1981

Novacon 11 attracted the usual collection of drunken reprobates to the Royal Angus Hotel for the weekend. Attendance was reportedly a little down on last year's high of 495, but the 450-odd fans present managed to keep up the standards expected of the British: it was reported on Monday that 67 11-gallon beer kegs had been drunk during the convention, which works out at over 12 pints per attendee. It is statistics like this that make one proud to be a fan.

The first evening was overshadowed by the absence of Messrs Chris Evans, Rob Holdstock and Andrew Stephenson, who had failed to arrive on schedule in the car of the last-named. This caused much speculation to the effect that they might all have been mangled in a motorway pile-up, thus depriving Britain of between 0 and 3 (depending on your predilections) of its most promising sf writers. The explanation turned out to be a more mundane breakdown, but all the sombre prediction that it was statistically long past time someone had such a smash going to or from a convention was proved right all too soon the following morning when the car bringing Graham, Linda, and Naomi James, Kate Jeary and Helen Starkey to the convention performed a high-speed reverse triple somersault on the M1 in the vicinity of Barnsley. Luckily only (only!) various broken bones, cuts and bruises resulted [1].

GoH Bob Shaw was his usual entertaining self; his speech was mostly a succession of well-delivered and funny anecdotes. Other programme highlights (trans: the bits I saw) included the humiliation of the Surrey Limpwrists at the hands of the Amazing Channelcon (and Bonzo) side comprising Jim Barker, Paul Kincaid and Modesty Forbids. The prize of a bottle of scotch each proved an unexpected bonus to the latter when his team-mates turned out not to touch the stuff. He accepted with equanimity the burden of carrying the lot home. On other occasions [2] the con hall seemed to be filled with D. Langford droning on as usual [3].

The disco was the usual mix of fun and frustration. The former was personified by Harry 'Captain Trips' Bell, who turned before our eyes into an inert grinning monolith, chanting 'Fun ... fun ... fun.' The latter was brought about by the usual cretinous deejay who responded to a request for more dance music with 'The Birdie Song'....

Convention high- (and low-) lights: G.R.R. Martin finally discovered a video game he could beat people on, only to have C. Priest wreck it in spectacular style.... C. Atkinson, having been given a cooked breakfast she hadn't ordered at the same time as her cereal one morning, ventured mildly that it wasn't what she wanted and anyway would be congealed by the time she'd finished her cornflakes. The waitress proceeded to abuse her for being impossibly awkward and told her to eat what she'd been given and be grateful.... Everyone and their sibling was giving out fanzines, surely a hopeful sign after the long drought.... M. Edwards and C. Evans spent much time in scholarly discussion of such fascinating topics as the different colours and textures of snot.... R. Kaveney raced around looking reportorial, and ace photographer Joyce Agee – on assignment with R.K. – narrowly escaped a fate worse than death when unsuspectingly lured to the room of J.H. Finder. Her descriptions of what ensued cannot defile a family fanzine.... G. Pickersgill and P. Palmer were observed in intense conversation during which G.P. was waving a Swiss army knife under P.P.'s nose. Ex-punk Palmer professed himself delighted to find such dramatic real life in boring old fandom, but shortly afterwards went and changed his silly multi-zippered T-shirt anyway.... C. Atkinson, on a mission to Meet New People, went and struck up a conversation with one respected looking gent, who was most affronted; it turned out that he was the only person at the hotel not with the convention, and took her for the resident hooker.... R. Holdstock said and did nothing, absolutely nothing, worth mentioning [4].... C. Hughes looked as tall as ever.... Nova Awards went to triffic fan-writer C. Atkinson, fanartist P. Lyon and boring old fanzine Tappen [5].... Other famous attendees about whom I have no anecdotes included J. Brunner and H. Harrison.

Usual thanks to committee P. Oldroyd, S. & H. Eling, J. Nicholas, P. Probert. Next year's Novacon to be chaired – just for once – by R. Peyton. Change of venue mooted, as usual. (M. Edwards)

EDITORIAL ADDENDA: (1) I gather that Naomi was unhurt, Kate merely bruised; Graham and Linda are recovering from more serious damage at home, and Helen S. is still confined to bed as of last report. Grim news is that police found herbal substances in the wreckage and intend to make themselves unpleasant. (2) Once. (3) Believed to be a subtle reprisal for DRL's failure to dwell unduly on Edwards/Atkinson victories in his Novaconrep in Tappen. (4) But see coming Novaconrep in Tappen. (5) As usual Nova runners-up were leaked: Hansen 2nd and Barker 3rd as fanartist, Evans (C) and Langford as fanwriter, Second-Hand Wave and Ansible as fanzine. But the winners did win decisively. (DRL)

The Ansible Christmas Supplement:
a Special Extra Bit for No Good Reason

A Serial in Twenty-Six Parts
by Dave 'Sivvens' Garnett

Part One: A!

ACE American book publisher

ADVANCE Amount of money paid by a publisher for a book, so called because it may possibly be paid in advance of publication

AGENT Person who takes 10% of advance (or 15% USA, 20% foreign) from the author

ALDISS Compiler of book on sf art, also author of history of sf, anthologist and once co-editor of an annual collection of best sf stories

AMAZING Science fiction magazine, inventor of science fiction in 1926

AMERICA Country on the left of Atlantic ocean

AMERICAN Inhabitant of America, probably over-weight

AMIS Author of one of the first books about sf

ANALOG See Astounding

ANDROID Robot who looks human (see author)

ANDROMEDA Anthology of original sf stories (see obsolete)

ANONYMOUS Famous poet and pseudonymous author

ANSIBLE Winner of 1982 Award, Hugo

ANTHOLOGY Collection of sf stories, either reprints, or if not, not reprints

ANTHOLOGIST Person who is editor of anthology (see figurehead)

ARROW British book publisher of quality sf (eg. The Darkover Saga, The Dumarest Saga, Time in Eclipse, The Space Eater)

ARTIST Illiterate responsible for irrelevant book covers or illustrations

ASH Author of fully comprehensive 'Who's Who in Science Fiction', from Asimov to Geston (1966)

ASIMOV'S SF COMIC Collection of sf stories, reprinted thirteen times a year with a new cover


AUTHOR Writer of a book or story (see benefit, supplementary)

AVON American book publisher

AWARD, BSFA Prize given to any British author who hasn't won anything recently

AWARD, HUGO Toy rocket awarded at annual sf Convention, World, to author of best novel, best novella, best novelet, best short story, best harlan ellison

AWARD, JOHN W CAMPBELL Given to best new writer of the year, or year before, or

AWARD, JWC MEMORIAL Awarded by a secret society whenever they feel like it to best book of the year, decade, or century

AWARD, NEBULA Block of perspex, given away annually by sf writers of America, similar categories to Award, Hugo

AWARD, ORBIT £500 Ian Watson once had *

AZIMOV Well known spelling mistake

NEXT ISSUE: B! – From Bastard to Buttock
(c) 1981 Tax Haven Inc, Zurich

* footnote for the curious: the Orbit (Futura) Award was awarded only once because (according to rumour) Futura's Anthony Cheetham was peeved that it wasn't won by a Futura (Orbit) book. Similarly, the Robert Hale Award never got off the ground....


Dyirbal (North Queensland)

This language must be particularly fannish, since Hazel calculates that not more than 44 people speak it. An almost random selection from the textbook: –

gugulabad{,}un{eta}aru like a real platypus; gambilbaragara a person from the tableland, being one of a pair; bulganbad{,}unbila with a really big thing; midibad{,}und{,}arangabunba with another two really small ones.

bayindayi {eta}agid{,}ir bani{j}nu two people, of whom one is the maternal grandfather of the other, a short way uphill are coming.

yu{eta}gul one; bulayi two; ga{zeta}bu three; mundi a good few (from 4 to about 50 or more); mu{eta}a a lot (about 100 or more).

gunaginayginay totally covered with faeces....


Starblaze (US) have sent numerous books which I dutifully reviewed for Extro, the famous stillborn magazine. Potted summaries: Myth Conceptions (Robert Asprin, 158pp, $4.95) is a sequel to the author's Another Fine Myth, which possibly used up all the best jokes – this being an attempt at funny fantasy in the de Camp/Pratt vein. Wit and delicacy of touch are needed. Asprin appears to lack both. The Shrouded Planet ('Robert Randall', 146pp, $4.95): yes, it's the Silverberg/Garrett fix-up from mid-50s Astounding, a fact recorded neither on the cover nor the copyright page (though Silverberg blows the gaff in an afterword). The 1981 copyright date seems planned to make casual readers expect the hand of the mature Silverberg rather than a youngster making his first sale to Astounding. Simplistic tale of Earthmen (read 'CIA') shoving an alien society (which provides viewpoint characters) along the road to becoming like Earth (read 'America'). For completists. The Moon's Fire-Eating Daughter (John Myers Myers, 176 pp, $4.95): a sequel to the author's Silverlock, this is good stuff – literate, allegorical, allusive and similar things appealing to elitist Langford. Style infuriatingly affected to begin with, mind you: perseverance required. Silverlock, written 40 years earlier, is still the better book; both are literary fantasies featuring millions of famous characters both fictional (Silverlock) and historical/literary (sequel). Enjoyed.

Also: Deathhunter (Ian Watson, Gollancz, 173 pp, £6.95) – most accessible Watson for years, with some twists seemingly devised for the confusion of his critics. Less ambitious than (say) God's World but with some pleasant Dickesque reversals. Pictures at an Exhibition (ed. Watson, Greystoke Mobray, £1.25): damned if I review this, but if you want one the address is GM, 129 City Rd, Roath, Cardiff.


MARGARET AUSTIN, 49 Conisborough, Toothill, Swindon, SN5 8ES / R.I. BARYCZ, 30 Millmark Grove, London, SE.14 / MIKE DICKINSON & JACKIE GRESHAM, 11 Montpelier, Cliff Rd, Leeds, LS6 2EX / AHRVID ENGHOLM, Maskinistgatan 9 ö.b., S-117 47 Stockholm, Sweden / KEN MANN, 87 Sillans Rd, Dundee, Scotland, DD3 9LA (temporary, pending a move to the Netherlands).


Announcement From The Britain In '84 Worldcon Bidding Committee: 'When we formulated our contingency bid for the 1984 Worldcon we were naturally unaware that similar ideas were being mooted in Melbourne, and the announcement of Melbourne in '85 has put us in a quandary. After much deliberation we decided to withdraw, and would urge all our supporters to vote instead for Australia in '85 ... and Britain in – ? Meanwhile, many thanks to all the people who wrote to express support for our bid.' ... Channelcon (Eastercon '82) has issued a second PR and hotel booking form. Chairman Eve Harvey also sends an ever so formal letter explaining that last issue's reference to Channelcon's being offered money by Yorcon was incorrect.... Eurocon 82 is finalized at last: 10-15 Aug 82 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Membership currently 30 Swiss Fr to Pascal Ducommun, Cheminots 23, CH-2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Attending membership rises to SwFr 50 in January; supporting SwFr 15. Join and vote for a British Eurocon 84, still being organized by John Brunner (Square House, Palmer St, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5DB) with the Brighton Metropole (again!) as the planned hotel.... Beccon: no repeat in 1982, but a follow-up is planned for 83 – 191 The Heights, Northolt, Middlesex, UB5 4BU.... Ra Con will be Edinburgh's first: 4-6 Feb 83, GoH Harry Harrison FGoH Pete Lyon, £3.50 supp £7 att to 77 Baron's Ct Terrace, Edinburgh, EH8 7EN.... 'Herman', the Scandinavia-in-83 Worldcon bidding committee, will be running a national convention instead, probably in Lund (south Sweden).... Space-Ex 1984, planned hugecon, persists despite the denunciations of such as R. Peyton and K. Slater: a second newsletter is to hand, looking like what the Astral Leauge might produce if loaned a nice typewriter. No word from 'Project Starcast' (82?). Small mercies....


RIP: Andy Ellsmore (London fan, congoer 75-79, runner of Compendium Books' sf section, Other Times editor), murdered by stabbing at his home on 21 Nov. Also Greg Birchall (Newcastle fan 75-78), following a motorcycle accident.... Births: as was not recorded last issue, Rochelle and Alan Dorey are scheduled to become ancestors around May 82.... AND: December 11 sees the marriage of Martin 'Harkonnen' Hoare and Katie 'I was thrown out of Oxford, you know' McAulay.... Filmcon: all those membership refunds are now said to have been made (if only to refute the insinuations of Steve Green).... Brian Hampton covered himself with glory in September by designing the winning vehicle in a distance trial of amateur-built battery-powered deathwagons.... CUFF is the newest of fan funds, and is intended to transport indigent Canadian fans to, actually, Canada.... Barker To Boston Fund: remember that? Our Jim has just received at timely $75 to help him get to Noreascon 1980 (courtesy of Bruce Pelz); overwhelmed by the honour, he's splitting the cash between GUFF and the ever-unpopular TAFF. Speaking of which, Stu Shiffman has sent copies of Sweetmeats, a collection of fanwriting by huge name US fan Sandra Miesel: 75p-for-TAFF from me while stocks last. Don't forget to send in your vote for Rog Peyton, Kev Smith or Holdover Funds (who I can reveal is lagging far behind).... World SF: Gerald Bishop was bitterly hurt when in March I printed his request that no subscription cheques be sent and referred to World SF as 'struggling'. This should have read 'struggling to open a sterling bank account': one has now been opened and everyone should send their £5 subscriptions instantly, to 2 Cowper Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3SN. New members are invited from the ranks of authors, editors, publishers, filmmakers, translators, artists and even critics professionally involved with sf. The next World SF meeting will be at the 3-day Ars Electronica/Austrian TV symposium: Linz, Austria, Sept 82.... L. Ron Hubbard's thrilling sf novel Man, the Endangered Species is being inspected by George Hay: apparently this snappily-titled tome runs to 20,000 pages.... MORE CONS: Novacon 12 is in the Royal Angus (Birmingham) still – 5-7 Nov 82, GoH Harry Harrison; £6 att to c/o Andromeda Book Co (shortly to move but still, I think, at 57 Summer Row, Birmingham, B3 1JJ). Lexicon is another new one: Wigston Stage Hotel, Leicester, 28-31 May 1982, GoH Bob Shaw, £8 att to 43 Station Rd, Kirby Muxloe, Leicester LE9 9EL. Lexicon is denounced in the Brum Group newsletter as 'a big rip-off' though if you figure Novacon at 2½ days and Lexicon at 4 days the latter is better value for money – why does Novacon cost barely less than Eastercons these days?): certainly one hopes it's offering a Lot for that price.... The Metric Tun is a secret alternative fan meeting held in the 'Doggetts Coat & Badge' (it says here), S end of Blackfriars bridge, 8pm on the 3rd Wednesday each month – which reminds me that the exiguous Reading meets continue in the Osborne Arms, 8pm on the 3rd Thursday.... Fantome Press (720 N Park Ave, Warren, OH 44483, USA) send a catalogue of such joys as '16 scratchboard portraits of mystery authors – $4.95' (the reproduced art looks dreadful) and single sonnets by such as Poe in tarted-up editions at similar rates. One can imagine what the Brum Group newsletter would say, and so would I.... Sweden: the sf mag Jules Verne Magasinet recently (August) featured a 16-page fandom section (ed. Andersson/Engholm) which is a fanzine-within-a-prozine. (Inspired by this, James Manning is looking for someone to edit a professional supplement to go in Ad Astra.) Lucasfilm threaten to sue Swede Jonan Söderblad for publishing 'a pornographic Star Wars story' (it was shown them beforehand but they failed to comment). And following certain fabrications by an ex-fan, several Swedish papers have been running stories about Nazi infiltration in local fanclubs. No wonder Swedish fans complain about encirclement.... Extro Again: a stop-press letter announces that the problems are entirely the fault of lying distributors, that no announcement about the mag should be made yet (oh damn: ignore those bits, all of you) and that Something May Yet Turn Up.... World Fantasy Awards: life achievement C.L. Moore, novel Shadow of the Torturer, short 'The Ugly Chickens'/Waldrop, anthology Dark Forces. 1982 World Fantasy Con to be held in New Haven, Connecticut.... Eastercon 83: still two bids going strong, Metrocon (which Ansible supports, surprise surprise) with 80-odd presupporting members, and Albacon II (no further data).... RIP: G. Ken Chapman (British SF/antiquarian bookdealer), died Oct 9 after a stroke which earlier forced him to close down his business.... Unmitigated Filth! Why, at Novacon 11, did John and Eve Harvey sleep in separate single beds while a double bed went to young couple Geoff Rippington and John Fairey? Further revelations will probably not appear in Ansible 23. Why was Rob Holdstock barred from his Novacon room? Aha.

Hazel's Language Lessons
Number Fourteen: Dyirbal

[for room parties]

gulgi{zeta}igulgi{zeta}i lots of prettily painted men

bana{eta}a{eta}gay{eta}a{eta}gay with absolutely no water at all

ANSIBLE 22 ed. Dave Langford
22 Northumberland Avenue, Reading,
Berkshire, RG2 7PW, UK. (3-12-81)