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Ansible 23, January/February 1982

Cartoon: Stu Shiffman

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, 1997.

ANSIBLE 23 (Jan/Feb 1982) comes from Dave Langford, 22 Northumberland Ave, Reading, Berks, RG2 7PW, UK. Cartoon by Stu Shiffman; mailing labels by Keith Freeman; unctuous thanks to both. SUB DUE or ***** on your label indicate respectively that you are about to become, or have become, a social leper – send healing money at once before important parts (such as your ANSIBLE subscription) drop off. £1 for 5 issues (UK) or 4 issues (anywhere else). Dollars to Mary & Bill Burns, 48 Lou Ave, Kings Park, NY, NY 11754, USA (US agents). I devoutly hope that postal increases won't affect ANSIBLE's cost for a while: rates go up in four days and Reading post offices still claim ignorance of what overseas postage is going to cost....


The Omni Book Of The Future, famous UK Omni spinoff, will not after all be released nationally as planned for Spring 1982. Five market-testing issues were produced; in a stroke of commercial genius, the decisive test in the West Country took place during the century's worst freeze-up. 'Nuff said. The glum news broke on 21 January, and numerous freelancers more or less immediately got the boot from publishers Eaglemoss Ltd: among these was famous deputy editor Peter Nicholls. Future issues had been prepared, up into the double figures, but the material is to be scrapped. One feels most sympathy for the buyers in test areas who will never see issue 6 and may spend their lives in an agony of suspense about the ending of Lem's 'The Test' (broken into 3 parts for BotF publication). RIP.

Ad Astra: It's five months since the last issue (#16), and ever-reliable entrepreneur Robert Allen whispers a rumour that AA has folded. Certainly James Manning's answering machine appears to speak with a different voice....

Edges is the rumoured title of a rumoured SF magazine being packaged by said R. Allen for (according to rumour) a boxing-magazine proprietor who was overcome by Robert's charm and instantly asked him to do a mag. Gosh wow.

Extro has defied all rumour – it's actually appeared! The first issue of its new and professional incarnation is being or has been distributed by Seymour Press Services; price 75p, cover date Feb/March. Subscriptions £4 for 6 issues (ie. 1 year) to Specifi Publications, 27 Cardigan Drive, Belfast, BT14 6LX. The first issue looks quite good – but then I have to say that, having wormed my way onto the strength as 'nonfiction editor' or some such. The big boss is Paul Campbell, at the above address, and he's looking for good fiction at £15-£25 per thousand words. (Former boss R. Allen walked off with the existing fiction inventory when he left....) First issue contents: (fiction) Priest reprint, Watson, Kilworth etc; (interviews) Watson, Donaldson; (articles) Langford, C. Evans etc.

Interzone continues despite being maligned by Ian Watson in countless letters to Ansible: the first issue's appearance has been rescheduled from February to early March thanks to strikes etc. A4 format; cover price £1.25; other details as in previous issues. First issue fiction: A. Carter, M.J. Harrison, Moorcock, K. Roberts and Sladek.

IASFM: George Scithers and his merry crew of assistants (Darrell Schweitzer &c) have all left – an 'amiable' separation which can have nothing to do with the 20% drop in circulation towards the end of 1981. New boss is Kathleen Moloney at 380 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017, USA.


Publishing Jobs: Malcolm Edwards has achieved the glorious position of 'associate SF editor' at Gollancz. Nick Austin was 'shamefully sacked' from Corgi, though, a reflection not on his ability but on the labyrinthine internal politics of Corgi/Transworld. My publishing spy was very unhappy about N. Austin's treatment – in contrast, he/she reveals that when Anthony Cheetham got the boot from Futura, a select gathering of publishing people (many ex-Futura) was held to celebrate the occasion....

RIP (belated notice): D.F. Jones died around midsummer in 1981. And famous comics-censor and fanzine-misapprehender Fredric Wertham died recently (announced 1 Dec 81).

Dark They Were & Golden Eyed: a creditors' meeting for this defunct business was held on 4 January: reporter Malcolm Edwards mentions a figure of £100,000 in unsecured debts. Malcolm is also one of the expert valuers of the liquidated DTW stock, and – no connexion – the UK agent for that thick hardback fanzine Warhoon 28 (Bergeron/Willis). Rush £13.50 for your copy to him at 28 Duckett Rd, London, N4 1BN. (It's worth every penny, honest.)

High Fantasy: Allen & Unwin are launching their 'Unicorn' high-fantasy imprint in March. Their Tolkien line will be reissued under this label, and also books from Beagle, Cabell (hear! hear!), Dunsany etc. Maxim Jakubowski is editing an anthology for them: Lands of Never. 5-6 cents/word for UK anthology rights; address 95 Finchley Lane, London, NW.4; no sword-and-sorcery or horror, he pleads.

Pictures At An Exhibition: dynamic Patricia Fanthorpe has achieved the near-impossible by persuading grotty old WHSmiths to take 1000+ copies of this privately produced work – see last issue for fewer details....

Martin Morse Wooster is still trying to get me into trouble with a certain person's solicitor's: this time I think I'll insert a few asterisks by way of confusion – 'You will recall that, when last heard from, C**l S***n was submitting plagiarized outlines written by his wife that were subsequently bounced by knowledgeable sub-editors at Simon & Schuster. My sources tell me that 8 different outlines have now been rejected by the publishers, and that David Hartwell, who publicly denies everything, is involved with C*nt*ct far more than he admits. I have also been advised that Br**n Ald*ss's American agent proposed to S&S that Ald*ss ghostwrite the novel for S***n. This offer was refused.'

Chris Morgan is equally scurrilous: 'The only bit of news is that R. Peyton's two English TAFF nominators are no longer on speaking terms. On approximately Xmas Day the phone rang at chez Weston. Pete answered, and it was Malcolm [Edwards], who said something like "I've always fancied you, Peter, I've always wanted to run my hands over your naked body." Pete's reply was not recorded for posterity, but he was slightly put out, and it took Eileen only five minutes to get the details out of him. Immediately, she phoned Malcolm (there was still drunken laughter in the background there) and, when he came to the phone, told him (approximately) that he was a "nasty little fart." (The noun I can vouch for; it startled me when she repeated it.) Although Malcolm reportedly sounded drunk on the phone I've noticed that he frequently does....'

Public Outcry: at last something has provoked a flood of enquiry and protest from readers of my (possibly defunct) Ad Astra column. The corruption of SF awards or $2M advances? Not at all: but millions (well, dozens) of enquiries (well, several) came from readers desperate to be reassured that the massacre of almost the entire Blake's 7 cast in the last show did not mean the end of the series. No such luck: Roz Kaveney's spies say that another series has already been scheduled. If Dr Who can 'regenerate'....

World Sf plans an annual volume of 15/20 sf stories from many countries, to be chosen by committee in each country and published (as far as possible) simultaneously in many countries and appropriate languages. Address: see 'cons'.

Euronews From Pascal Thomas: 'I've just been on the phone to Pascal Ducommun (he from the 82 Eurocon). He tells me that Andrzej Pruszyński, much maligned in A22, [by Tom Ölander & Ahrvid Engholm], is presently with him, and has applied for political asylum in Switzerland. He just happened to be in the West at the time of the coup.... Andrzej, Pascal and I spent much time together at the last Eurocon in Stresa, and Andrzej never struck me as the dogmatic type. I guess this all shows that it's never safe to report on fan feuds in a foreign country: you never know where things are going, or how biased the reports you get may be. Well, I can assure you at the least that here in France, we're not about to call on the military to settle our fan feuds....

'Major news is the brutal axing of Le Masque and Le Livre de Poche by their publisher. Editor Michel Demuth has been put in charge of reselling if possible the French rights to their 50-odd book inventory (all English-language SF), half of which had already been translated! Demuth is still planning to sue them for the severance money they seem reluctant to give him....'

Ian Watson Gloats: 'I have just sold a story collection to Gollancz: Sunstroke and Other Stories. And Playboy Paperbacks swear blind that a contract is being typed out this very instant for an entirely rewritten, super new version of The Woman Factory (Orgasmachine), delivery date mid-June.'

Affirmation Sold: After some genuine outrage from fans at the failure of Chris Priest's The Affirmation ('Triffic' – Ansible) to sell in paperback, kindly Richard Evans of Arrow has bought the rights. Unfortunately the standard Arrow advance is £2000, of which Faber keep half as their hardback-publisher share, also keeping the other half to reclaim the unearned hardback advance ... but it's the thought that counts. Who'd be a writer?

The Science In Sf is a colossal Peter Nicholls book to be packaged by Roxby Press (who did the Encyclopedia of SF). Owing to Peter's involvement with Omni BotF, the bulk of this 100,000 word compendium of S and SF erudition was sub-contracted to hacks Stableford and Langford. With a fine sense of dramatic timing, Peter was then released from his BotF responsibilities (see above) mere days after said hacks had delivered their final bits. Who'd be an editor?

D.M. Thomas 'is the latest in the line of British fantasists to leave your country and end up in Washington: he has a writer-in-residence job at the American University here. The White Hotel was a bestseller here because it was not marketed as sf or fantasy but as literary pornography, so the pseuds licked it up. [It's been a bestseller for some while here too – DRL] Does the British AAS have as many sf writers invading their cons? Larry Niven wore a press badge at the AAAS, announcing that he was representing "Macrostructures Engineering." "I'll build you a ringworld," said Niven, "for a ten per cent down payment...."' (M.M. Wooster)

David Pringle, on the first day of his new job in Brighton, fell over and broke his leg in three places. Ouch.


I often feel guilty about this occasional list, since it's a compilation of available stuff rather than hot news (a complaint made about much of Ansible by Phil Stephensen-Payne); on the other hand it makes a change from the Ansible 'drivel' complained of by that master of lucid, analytical prose, Keith Walker....

Scousecon Feb 13-14, Liverpool Centre Hotel, GoH Anne McCaffrey: 77 Selby Rd, Orrell Park, Liverpool, L9 8EB.

Faancon 7 Feb 19-21, Parklands North Hotel, Oxford, £1.50/household (part refundable): no guests, programme, /m/e/m/b/e/r/s/. Contact me – Reading (0734) 863453 if desperate.

SF Wonderworld Feb 27, UMIST, Manchester; £2 for the day; Chapter One Bookshop, 5 Greengate, Victoria Bus Station, Manchester. This is of peculiar interest since it purports to be organized by one of the two former bosses of 'Project Starcast' – Brian Clarke, the front man who was the only visible person in charge. He left Starcast in Aug 1981 owing to 'many differences of opinion between myself and the other organizer' (David Hewitt); the UMIST cons were formerly the famous 'build-up-to-Starcast' events promised by Project S, but are no longer connected. (10am-6pm)

Mediacon 3 March 20, Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London; £2.50 supp/£5 att plus 3 9x4 SAEs for PRs; 45 Welby House, Hazelville Rd, London, N.19. Any profits to charity.

Channelcon April 9-12, Metropole Hotel, Brighton; GOHs Angela Carter, John Sladek; £3 supp/£7 att; rooms £13.50 sngl, £12.50/person dbl/twin (inc breakfast but not VAT); 4 Fletcher Rd, Chiswick, London, W4 5AY. The 33rd British Eastercon; third progress report out approximately now.

Lexicon May 28-31, Wigston Stage Hotel, Leicester, GoH Bob Shaw, £8 (!) att; 43 Station Rd, Kirby Muxloe, Leicester, LE9 9EL.

Colnecon June 26 (10am-2am), Arts Centre, Colchester; GOHs Garry Kilworth, Tim Souster (electronic music composer); £1 supp/£2.50 att/£3 at door; B&B at nearby hotels £6.50-£9.50; 'Treetops', Colchester Rd, Gt Bromley, Essex.

Jerucon 82 June 27-July 2, Binyanei Ha'ooma Convention Centre, Jerusalem; no guests but millions of famous participants (Bester, Bova, Brunner to name only the B's); registration plus 5 nights' accommodation $275/ participant, $200/guest; PO Box 394, Tel Aviv 61003, Israel. 'The First International Integrative Congress on SF, Fantasy and Speculative Science in Jerusalem.' I was delighted though terrified to be asked to submit an abstract, stating (a) specific object of study; (b) methods used; (c) results; (d) conclusions....

Faircon July 23-6, Central Hotel, Glasgow; GoH Harry Harrison; £3 supp/£7 att (£4/£9 after April 15); rooms £17 sngl, £14.50/person twin (£15/£12 without bathroom), inc breakfast, service, VAT; 1/r 39 Partickhill Rd, Glasgow, G11 5BY. 'Glasgow's sixth SF Convention.'

Eurocon Aug 10-15, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; Eurocon has various 'honored guests' rather than a GoH – Ian Watson writes: 'Marjorie Brunner sent me a Eurocon flyer, in which I see that I've been invited ... as one of the guests. Hope it's true. It's the first I've heard of it.' Swiss Fr 50 att/15 supp; Cheminots 23, CH-2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

Silicon 6 Aug 27-30, Grosvenor Hotel, Newcastle; £3 att (part refundable – last year you got a free drink rather than a refund); 6 Greta Terrace, Chester Rd, Sunderland, SR4 7RD. No pro GoH but several dozen fan GoHs.

World SF Meeting Sept ??: 'held as a part of a 3 day symposium on SF associated with Ars Electronica being run by Austrian TV in Linz, Austria' – Gerald Bishop, 2 Cowper Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3SN. (This is all the info I have.)

Chicon IV Sept 2-6, Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel; GoHs A. Bertram Chandler, Kelly Freas, Lee Hoffman (fan); $15 supp/$40 att (till cutoff date July 15); PO Box A3120, Chicago, IL 60690, USA; EuroAgent Pascal Thomas, 11-bis rue Vasco de Gama, 75015 PARIS, France. 40th Worldcon; membership 3433 as of Jan 8; progress report 3 with Hugo nomination forms should be posted in the first week of February.

Beneluxcon 82/SFancon 12 Sept 3-5, Fabliolahome, Gent, Belgium; data from Andre de Rycke, Eendenplasstraat 64, 9050 Evergem, Belgium. (Recommended by Martin Hoare.)

Unicon 3 Sept 11-12, Keele U; GoHs Richard Cowper, Leroy Kettle (fan); no address yet supplied. This presumably supersedes a previous report that there would be no Unicon 3, and a good thing too.

Milford (UK) SF Writers' Conference Sept 26-Oct 3, Milford-on-Sea, Hants. Professionals' 'workshop'; details from me, Pip Maddern (chair) or Malcolm Edwards.

Project Starcast Oct 8-11, Harrogate Exhibition Centre; 3rd floor, 121 Princess St, Manchester, M1 7AG; phone 061-236-4612. This 'hugecon' has never been popular or well publicized in SF fandom: high rates; grandiose claims to have invented stunning new ideas like fan participation, reduced room rates, cheap rail fares; ill-produced 'progress reports' which report no progress; an general air of mystery about accommodation arrangements; megalomaniac-sounding woffle about 'uniting fandom'; forget it, say I. The sole (apparently) organizer David Hewitt may be a nice chap, but he's out of his depth trying to run something huger than Seacon. Sorry to be negative, but ...

Fandersoncon 82 Oct 8-10, Bloomsbury Centre Hotel, London; data from 88a Thornton Ave, London, W4 1QQ.

Novacon 12 Nov 5-7, Royal Angus Hotel, Birmingham; GoH Harry Harrison; £6 att; c/o Andromeda Bookshop (see COAs).

Ra Con Feb 4-6 1983, Grosvenor Square Hotel, Edinburgh; GoH Harry Harrison, FGoH Pete Lyon; £3.50 supp/£7 att until 1 July 82, to 77 Baron's Ct Terrace, Edinburgh, EH8 7EN. First PR at Easter. Enquiries: 031-667- 5151.

Albacon II Easter 1983, Central Hotel, Glasgow ... Metrocon Easter 1983, Piccadilly Hotel, London ... one of these will be the 1983 Eastercon. Vote at Channelcon. (Ansible, incidentally, favours Metrocon.)

Fantasycon, Cymrucon 2 ... no data to be found today.

Abigail Frost on British Fanzines of 1981

It may be that history will name 1981 as the Year of the Schism, of the Great Revival, or of the Zombies' Last Stand; it all depends who's still around to write it. I'd like to name 1981 the Year of the Phoney War.

War, some have seen, between the promulgators of 'newstyle' personalzines and 'oldstyle' genzines; there have at least been dark mutterings about 'conspiracy theories'. Fandom, though, can't stoop to mere conspiracies; we have had a supersubtle variant, the semi-detached conspiracy. As far as I know nobody (south of Hadrian's Wall) has accused anyone else of conspiracy, but several have accused others of accusing them.... Proof, should it have been needed, that fandom is a true societé du spectacle; and what sort of war is possible in such a society but a phoney one?

The keynote was sung at the Yorcon II fanzine review panel. This rather worthy event suddenly blossomed into a good old-fashioned shouting match, over Greg Pickersgill's refusal to nominate a 'fanzine of the year'. Instead, he held up the 'best fanzine ever' – yes, SBD. I found this Machiavellian tactlessness utterly enchanting, but others appeared outraged, and seemed to take the accompanying homily on the Need To Raise Standards as the manifesto of a thousand-year Reich.

Up until then the most controversial offering of the year had been Michael Ashley's The Tinned Milk of Human Kindness, in which Ashley demonstrated weariness with the lightweight writing of his elders and betters, admiration for the bright new (!) talents of Higgins and Collick, a distressingly Edwardian desire to write and read about L-L-L-Life, and a pretty fair writing style. Interestingly, he announced his intention of continuing it as a genzine – but it never happened. Tinned milk not the right fuel for a Molotov cocktail, perhaps.

My own favourite 'new' personalzine is 23rd. Various people have seen Jimmy Robertson as some sort of stylistic innovator, though I can't myself. Robertson's style seems to me no more (and no less) than the perfection of fanwriting as printed speech – albeit the speech of a 'fictionalized protagonist' (and thank you, Chris Priest, for that concept). The style is entirely appropriate in a fanzine about the contents of the author's head. Robertson is his own man, not flinching to write about his shop steward or what his wife did at a dance if he wants to; he doesn't clutter up the thing with letters from people trying to cap his anecdotes. Each 23rd is read, enjoyed, and over.

This artistic success is a happy contrast to some of the other personalzines of the year. I seem to have spent six months reading again and again something along the lines of: 'Here after a lot of agony is XXX 1. I thought I'd do it as it seems the best way to get into Fandom. Sorry it's not very good – please don't show it to Joe Nicholas....' That sort of attitude isn't going to change the world, let alone produce any decent fanzines.

Still, not all the 'new' fanzines have been personalzines. The popular success of the year was Second-Hand Wave, which is technically a genzine, though it wears the stamp of 'editorial personality' like a Lady Di lookalike's cushion. Rightly is it called second-hand – and what hope is there for writing with an audience which loves it? The Cretinfans' Drygulch is a less pretentious essay in the same sort of thing; more original, shorter, and above all less self-satisfied.

Langford, Smith, Nicholas, and the Maules continued their respective mixtures as before: Langford (in TD) showing signs of weariness; Smith good and (literally) inconsequential as ever; Nicholas getting more pompous and bolshy and finally losing his marbles all over Nabu. The rest of Nabu was good solid stuff, making the fuss over Tappen seem a little unfair. A rather scraggy Ocelot slunk from its northern lair. Alan Dorey tried something new – turning Gross Encounters into milk and water for spoonfeeding BSFA members. Wonders will never cease, but I wish this one would.

Warm July brought Tappen, greeted at once as the saviour of a nation. 'I haven't seen a fanzine that looks like that since....' somebody said at the Tun. Tappen was followed by Epsilon, Stop Breaking Down, and more Tappens and Epsilons. SBD was followed by Start Breaking Up, Atkinson's and Karrh-Pickersgill's Novacon substitute. All relied heavily on the same group of contributors – not necessarily bad in itself, if it forces the 'newies' to start their own genzines. Somewhere in the middle it of all fell Phil Palmer's hard-hitting, iconoclastic Chocolates of Lust, which failed to live up to Palmer's intentions, but flew a brave flag for the newies. (Iconoclastic? Bloody hell, it came out about six weeks after the first Tappen. But by that time Tappen had gained icon status.

Eve Harvey was galvanized into bringing out the year's second Wallbanger, and apart from a slight recruiting-sheet tendency (like GE's) the best ever. It may well be that the greatest benefit to come from the Friends in Space fanzines will be a return to frequent publishing, which allows some sort of dialogue and development to take place, and (almost incidentally) makes fanzine reviewing possible. Chris Priest's Deadloss may have been a first blast of this particular trumpet: good news if it is. It showed up the depths to which fanzine reviewing had sunk in my time.

Tappen and Epsilon managed three issues each from July, though SBD, as noted above, may have sunk back into limbo. I hope it hasn't, though, since Tappen by the third issue was beginning to look a little ... dull. Malcolm's own pieces and links are witty, intelligent and all one could desire, Kettle's gossip column is good value, but, apart from Chris Atkinson's 'Life with the Loonies' (justly praised all over the place), the articles.... Unmemorable, even at times a trifle boring. So, no doubt, have been most genzine articles since fans first climbed down from the trees, but looking back over the run there is a piquant contrast between reputation and reality. Epsilon, on the other hand, has flowered. Hansen lacks Edwards's confidence with words, and Pickersgill's with ideas, but if you cut through all the 'I may be wrong, but the way I see it is....' in his 'Notions' section, you find an uncanny knack of putting a common-sense point that more sophisticated writers have ignored. For general commentary on fannish issues, Epsilon is quite hard to beat.

The (qualified, natch) best of the genzines comes last. Still It Moves snuck down from Leeds while eyes were on London. Simon Ounsley's work is strangely unappreciated; along with Kevin Smith he is among the few who simultaneously excel in style and content. An Ounsley piece tells some story or develops some idea, sometimes outrageously; at the same time it is a stylistic experiment or a polished and controlled example of the deceptively familiar 'conversational' mode. Ounsley's main article in SIM – interviewing an obsessive collector of trivia, while making a transparent pretence of concealing the subject's identity – is a superb example. SIM is marred, though, by an atrocious piece of juvenilia from – good grief, Michael Ashley. It even has a tedious preamble, reminiscent of the me-too personalzines, about the piece's failure to be published before....

So, in a whole year's fanzines, only two get alphas – and one consists entirely of fanzine reviews, the other is a Scotch personalzine. Alpha minus to SIM and Epsilon, gamma double plus for GE, gamma minus query plus for SHW. Beta double plus for all other fanzines named: not bad, but must try harder. We Are All Guilty. (Abi Frost)


Nebula Awards Preliminary Ballot just arrived, listing everything with 3 or more nominations: voting on this ballot decides the five items per category (plus one optionally added by committee) on the final ballot. Novel leaders: The Many-Colored Land (27 votes – this one was sent to all SFWA members with a hype letter), Claw of the Conciliator (18 – not sent to members), Sucharitkul's Starship & Haiku (10), Crowley's Little, Big (9) and, all with 8 nominations, Hoban's Riddley Walker, Broxon's Too Long a Sacrifice and Hansen's godawful War Games (also sent to members). Of UK interest: The Affirmation appears in =17th place (5), while Cowper's A Dream of Kinship and Moorcock's The War Hound and the World's Pain appear among those placed =28th (3). Other UK names on the ballot: Holdstock's 'Mythago Wood' (=6th novelet, 6), Watson's 'Nightmares' (=12th short, 4) ... Vector 106 (Feb 82) is the last under Kevin Smith's editorship: a flood of two applications for this highly-unpaid post has been received (one from the omnipresent and pantheistic Robert Allen), but the betting is that the next Vector will – like #98 – be produced by a hastily formed BSFA subcommittee.... Martin Hoare & Katy McAulay were married on 11 December amid quantities of snow – no feet are visible in the wedding photos, they being concealed in drifts while still more snow streaks down like cosmic confetti. For the second time your editor was best man at Martin's wedding.... Langford's Physics Lessons: 'Looking on the bright side, snow does bring some benefit to the garden. As it melts it undergoes a molecular transformation which produces deuterium oxide, better known as heavy water. This has a very stimulating effect on plant life.' (Evening Post Advertiser 15-1-82).... Shadow Of The Torturer: I hear the Arrow paperback sales justified their heavy advertising investment; I also hear that the Sidgwick & Jackson hardback sold only 900 copies.... BSFA: future monthly meetings (3rd Friday) are being held in the King of Diamonds, Greville St – just up the road from the Tun.... Ansible, The Fanzine Of Carl Sagan: Maxim Jakubowski sends data on Carl Sagan Productions, Inc, whose 'visions of profits have collapsed into a black hole of exploding costs and collapsing sales ... LA warehouse jammed with unsold Cosmic Calendars ($7.95), Cosmospheres ($19.95) and a book titled Visions of the Universe ($29.95).... To hold costs down, the company tried to sell its products without salesmen. At the Atlanta booksellers' convention in May, [they] set up a booth and promptly turned away a passer-by in blue jeans, believing that she was just looking for free samples. The woman was actually a buyer for Waldenbooks, the nation's largest book-retailing outfit.' (Time 14-12-81).... Brum Group: the newest vibrant chairman is Vernon Brown, and the newest project the Concrete Overcoat Fan Fund – a (TAFF?) fundraiser intended also to provide an accolade for he or she whom the Brum Group votes as, er, most deserving. (My mole Chris Morgan let slip the names of Chris Smith, Steve Green and Jessica Watson as strong contenders.).... Freelance Writing magazine recently published an article by Brian Clarke, late of 'Project Starcast': titled 'The Writing of SF', the piece recommends Omni and Ad Astra as leading international markets – other suggested sf markets including New Scientist and New Statesman.... TAFF: 84 ballots have come in and the fund stands at £1000+ here, $3000+ in the US – latest big donation is £50 from Novacon 11, for which many thanks.... Worldcon Plans: there are no organized British Worldcon plans any more, not that I know of – Malcolm Edwards, man behind the 84/87/8? schemings, no longer has time for world domination. Probably not relevant is a clipping sent by Andrew Stephenson: 'Malcolm Edwards ... is on a rather long charity walk for the year of the disabled. As the walk is going to take him all around the country he decided to take a pram with him for company....' (Citizens' Band Jan '82) Another Interzoner is fingered in a clipping on 'Pringle the Penguin ... the new arrival at Chessington Zoo': the photograph may be inspected by adults only at Channelcon.... False Alarm: despite G. Ken Chapman's death last year, his book business is still being run by Mrs Chapman.... DNQ: the much-mentioned Robert Allen now asks me not to print anything on Edges (see p.1) yet – a request which comes a bit late, especially as he's been telling full details to anyone in London who will listen. Every hour on the hour someone phones in the rumour that Edges' fiction budget is £1500 per issue, being 40,000 words at £15/thou with the rest going to Robert.... More From The Press: Roz Kaveney's Novacon report in Time Out made it clear that fandom was a seething mass of left-wing politics ('I had to say that if I wanted to sell it, didn't I?' she told our reporter), while on 5 Dec the Grauniad reported that 'in the tangled, specialist world of Fanzines, the samizdat magazine culture of SF lovers, you can't move for the Brunner [anti-nuke] appeal'. Have I been missing something? ... Future Life magazine folded with the December issue.... 50s Fanthology: Eric Bentcliffe is assembling a collection of great 50s fanwriting or alternatively writing by great 50s fans.... Per Anhalter In All is being broadcast in Germany now, to reactions varying from 'bafflement to laughter' (Graham England). Rough translation of title: 'Hitchhiking in Space'. Need I say more? ... The Fanarchist Party Of Australia is contemplating official censure of Aussiefan Marc Ortlieb for admitting, while in America, that 'most Aussie zines are boring'. Censure could mean the end of Marc's career, we are told.... Chuck Connor Reveals: 'Pete Lyon's beginning to feel the cold shoulder from the rest of the Leeds group. He was, of course, Ringo Mole and, seeing as the little poisoned dwarf has gone to Holland, I can add that the London Connection was Ken Mann.' (Something to do with premature leaks about Yorcon profits, I suppose: yawnnn.) ... IPC say they're republishing Eagle in March.... How Omni Works: 'Ben Bova commissioned an article on the Sighthill megalith for £750 but didn't specify what he wanted. They sent Kathleen McAuliffe over to sort out the problem and then decided that to justify the expense she'd have to write the article, and all I got was a kill fee.' (Duncan Lunan).... Leroy Kettle Wins Nobel Prize: well, the next best thing – Civil Service spies report his promotion to Higher Executive Officer.... Spawnings: Jack & Eva Chalker produced a David on Dec 19; Jim Frenkel & Joan Vinge contrived a Jessica the same day; Paul Oldroyd and Chris Donaldson will strike sometime this year.... Space Voyager is an even newer unlaunched UK mag....

Hazel's Language Lessons #15: Zulu

inkulungwane namakhulu ayisikhombisa
namashumi ayisishiyagalolunye
nantathu: 1,793


Editor: Dave Langford
22 Northumberland Avenue, Reading,
Berkshire, RG2 7PW, UK. (29-1-82)