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Ansible 28, August/September 1982

Cartoon: Pete Lyon

PLEASE NOTE that this old Ansible is a bit of history. Addresses may have changed (though the editor's postal address hasn't), prices and agents' credits are invalid, the Prestel number is no more, etc. • This issue was produced in my BWP or Before-Word-Processors era and lovingly rekeyed for the archives by Dan Hoey ... to whom many thanks! • Dave Langford, 1995.

ANSIBLE 28 comes to you from 94 LONDON ROAD, READING, BERKSHIRE, RG1 5AU, UK – an exciting new address which several of you have not yet assimilated. Editor: Dave Langford. Subs £1 for 5 issues (UK), 4 airmailed abroad – sterling cheques/cash/POs to me, Girobank transfer to account no. 24 523 0408, $US equivalent to Mary & Bill Burns, 48 Lou Ave, Kings Park, NY, NY 11754. Cartoon Editor: Pete Lyon. Mailing Labels Editor: Keith Freeman. Typewriter Transport To And From Repair Shop Editors: Keith Oborn & Martin Hoare. Life-Support Editor: Hazel. Non-Fiction Editor: you may well ask. ANSIBLE supports whatshername for TAFF. Aug/Sept.


Lots of exciting movement in the SF market, mostly downwards. Yet another planned UK mag is World Tomorrow, to be edited by Martin Ince of Engineering Today and Victoria Hutchings of New Statesman: as you might imagine from these data, it's more technological uplift than SF. But SF coverage is planned; two SF stories are wanted for issue 1, one from Ballard being to hand and another of around 3-5000 words being sought, and this is where I'd urge you to send your stories in but for the pilot issue's postponement from October (as planned) to Spring – because, says M. Ince, 'Smiths, Menzies etc seem to operate on longer planning horizons than the supreme Soviet.' Watch this space. An incidental side effect is that James Manning, last in all the civilized universe, now acknowledges that Ad Astra is quite dead: some of the extant AA adverts are being transferred to WT, or were before the new exciting delay.

Omni's UK edition has got the chop, and ditto UK editor Bernard Dixon (as gloatingly reported by his old New Scientist mates, who possibly envied the Omni salary): but lovable Andie Burland is still working for the NY editor from the London office, and promises sordid revelations on request. (I requested, honest, but she didn't reveal.)

Extro will almost certainly not reach a fourth issue, though the material is all ready for printing. Editor Paul Campbell suffered a change of bank manager in mid-August; the new chap instantly dishonoured the agreed overdraft limit and that was that for Extro; a pity, since the supreme W.H. Smenzies Soviet had nearly been persuaded to take on the mag.... No more submissions, fans; Paul is trying to raise money to refund subscriptions and so on.

New Voyager is the result of that Space Voyager sf/modelling/media pilot which lurked so long on the bookstands and apparently sold 37,000 copies. NV appears quarterly from 30 Sept and sends a vast amount of info, not including the print run. Contents: 'Lots of exciting articles about Blake's 7 and UFOs – but no fiction. Kindly old editor Ray Rimell explains: "Regular use of SF stories is not an essential requirement." Average age of the target audience is 17....' (Alex Stewart) This lack of enthusiasm probably stems from market testing: the lousy staff-written SF tale in the pilot could hardly have evoked a good response.

Interzone: there is no news about IZ, but it deserves a respectful mention as a last bastion of UK fiction (even Short Stories Mag is said to have folded). IZ, quoth Colin Greenland, is as ever 'looking for money' – rush your fiver subscription to them c/o 28 Duckett Rd, London, N4 1BN.

FAIRCON 82 • Nice Words From Colin Fine

For a Faircon, it made a pretty good Eastercon. With over 400 members, a spacious and old-fashioned hotel, the traditional heavy programming, and a Jim Barker fanroom, only by examination of the faces present could one readily tell that this was not, say, Channelcon.

It seems to me that traditions are converging. The peripheral pursuits – computer room, full video programme, etc – which Faircon was among the first to mount, have been adopted widely by other cons. Each year sees more bold souls creeping up from the South to diminish the separation. But up to last year, there was one quality Faircons had which set them apart: the Ingram Hotel and especially its manager Martin Woolfe. The Ingram was cramped, but events were all close together; the staff used to get involved in con activities. Mr Woolfe wandered about keeping an eye on things, but generally obeyed his maxim: 'Let them take over.' The Central is a bit different. The staff may come to enjoy cons – they became noticeably less nervous over the weekend – but the building is enormous and grandiose. The main staircase surely beats that of the Metropole, but much of the place has an air of not having been decorated for about 50 years. And it's big. Semi-infinite corridors link the palatial public rooms, whose light-fittings are clearly the work of a demented market-gardener.

And the con? Well, no surprises. Naomi Mitchison's speech was fairly political; it'll be interesting to see if it evokes the same storm as Ian Watson's at Yorcon. High point for me of the programme was Nick Lowe's 'The Well-Tempered Plot Device'; I shan't mention the disgraceful reception accorded Ian Sorensen and me when we provided some authentic Vogon music to round off the Vogon Poetry competition. Low point of the con was when severe disagreements between members of the committee were trumpeted loudly in public, having been up till then not noticeable to the ordinary fan. The Wise will realize that they are unlikely to be in possession of enough information and will avoid taking sides. (See also below – DRL)

And the prospect for Albacon, to be held at the same hotel? Very fine, I should say. The larger numbers will not bounce about quite so much in the vast spaces, and will also be better able to afford to lose so many to the wargaming, computer, Star Trek etc. rooms. I trust they'll maintain the reasonable bar-prices, and get in some real ale again; and I hope they'll drop the snack-prices a little. If so, it should be a comfortable and enjoyable con. And at the time of writing the single fare to Glasgow from London on a BR Nightrider is only £12. (Colin Fine)


Those tactfully unspecified 'disagreements' have since escalated, affecting Albacon II itself and causing loud gibbering noises from Glasgow. Faircon's disputes apparently involved certain committee members versus the Glasgow Bob Shaw (for it is he!), culminating in a shouting match about various such folk being listed as paid-up Albacon II members when according to Bob they were not. Bob demanded that chairman Joan Paterson resign if the remaining committee wanted Bob to do the huge amount of publications work which – arguably – only he could handle. 'OK' said the committee; Bob did the work and at the con found that Joan was still chairman; he left 'seeing things through a red and bloody haze' and returned two days later with a fanzine hideously insulting practically everyone connected with Faircon – and hence, owing to committee overlap, Albacon II also. Quoth Bob: 'Albacon II now hangs in the balance. Glasgow fandom can't do it without me.... There'd better be some coming to heel damn quick or there'd better be a new Eastercon.'

Bob deserves credit for starting and playing a major part in Glasgow's cons, and perhaps naturally he regards them as 'his' – you'll search in vain through his Albacon flyers and PR1 for any hint that Bob Jewett is and was chairman, though the name BOB SHAW always figures prominently. Hence a certain, er, dichotomy. Bob Jewett explains that the Albacon II committee, as seen bidding at Channelcon, is carrying on happily with the solitary exception of Bob Shaw: 'We've got the hotel, the mailing list and the bank account all safe.' PR1 was duly mailed with an added note saying that Bob Shaw had left the committee and that all communications bar hotel bookings should go to Albacon II c/o Doug McCallum, B/L Highburgh Rd, Glasgow, G12 9YD – Albacon's general address as before. Bob Shaw, conversely, explains that the activities of (Bob Jewett's) rebellious 'rump' committee make it unlikely that Albacon II will take place (he advises that Metrocon be revived – no possibility of this, folks), that he is trying to freeze the Albacon II bank account and has opened a further account for monies sent to Albacon c/o him ... an unknown number of PR1s having been mailed with Bob's added note asking that all communications go to Bob Shaw. Oh dear. Jim Barker – to whom Bob recently offered the post of Albacon II chairman but who declined since Albacon II already has a chairman – reports that the 'Shaw Albacon' is a one-man show without support or approval from other Glasgow conrunning fans. Without Bob, Albacon II will be poorer – especially its publications – but Bob alone can't possibly cope with an Eastercon of the anticipated size.

Thus, despite our Faircon reporter's fine advice to avoid taking sides, Ansible urges that you carry on using the 'real' Albacon address, as given above, and send no Albacon missives to our lovable but overwrought Bob Shaw. Also Ansible utterly condemns Dave Langford for even thinking of saying 'I told you, you should have voted for....'


Pascal Thomas: 'Update on Ian Watson's comments about La Maison d'Ailleurs: Pierre Versins now has a successor, who is none other than Pascal Ducommun; which is a good thing since he was Versins' choice, and had worked with him for several years.... He has already been issuing communiqués giving among other things the museum's opening hours: from 3 to 6 pm once every fortnight, which is not much (he gives some reasons for it).' (See A27 for Ian's worries about this Swiss SF museum in question.) 'On the subject of cancelled conventions, I'm just back from a touristic trip in Israel which I took in lieu of Jerucon. A conversation with Sheldon Teitelbaum revealed that the convention, being organized (financed) by the Peltours travel agency, was cancelled by them when it appeared that the foreign memberships, all 16 of them, were not going to make them break even. They refused to take into account the likelihood of Israeli fans showing up in large numbers. Sheldon T. has numerous other complaints about Peltours – not the least being the telegram they sent to members which boldly assured Jerucon would be held next year. None of the committee has any such intent, and they plan to concentrate now on national Israeli cons (the first one having been surprisingly successful). "It would probably have been cancelled anyway, with the war" philosophically concluded Teitelbaum.' (Merv Binns added: 'Harry Harrison is after our blood. I reprinted the bit about Jerucon and Brunner's complaint about no expenses being paid. Harry said that Brunner is up to "his old wrecking tricks again" and that if all the rich authors had said they would go Jerucon would not have been cancelled....' What rich authors?)

Ian Watson: 'URSULA LE GUIN IN BREACH OF CONTRACT! UKLG sold and was paid for an original story ("The Wife's Story") in Watson/Bishop metamorphoses anthology Changes, due from Ace in late July 82.* Ace were so excited about an original UKLG oeuvre therein that they were heard to murmur "That's an extra 15,000 copies sold" and bannered across the cover the info: "Contains a completely new story by ..." In early July 82 appeared Le Guin's new collection The Compass Rose ... containing 'The Wife's Story', credit reading "... appears for the first time in this volume". The incensed editors of Changes wonder indignantly at the bland ignoring of their contract warranting that the story hadn't previously been published in any form and wouldn't be until 12 months after Changes except with prior written permission. The Changes editors were never even asked. Le Guin's agent Virginia Kidd responded to expostulations thus: "one purchaser in 10,000 will give a tinker's damn". The editors do. And are deeply offended. And wonder why they forked out original rates for what is now a reprint story....

'By the way, do you know that in addition to acquiring Playboy Paperbacks and Ace, Berkley/Jove are also buying up the Dell backlist of such as Varley, Orson Scott Card? Susan Allison at Ace is rumoured to be renting bulldozers to keep on top of the editorial work.' (*Alas, Ace have now bulldozed Changes into 1983 at least: 'too few advance orders'.)

Ramsey Campbell: 'The Fantasycon, or Mythcon as it came to be known, declared its independence of the BFS this year, and its committee forbade me to present the British Fantasy Awards as part of the programme. It would be interesting to know what was said about this at the post-mortem which was the last item on the programme: quite a few of the attendees seemed to be waiting for the ceremony when I left on Sunday afternoon. The winners were – ARTIST Dave Carson; SMALL PRESS Fantasy Tales; FILM Raiders of the Lost Ark; SHORT STORY "The Dark Country", Dennis Etchison; NOVEL Cujo, Stephen King.' (Gosh, and I thought Cujo was all about a rabid dog and not fantasy at all. Meanwhile, re awards: Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker (1980) has been given the John W. Campbell Memorial Award as most triffic sf novel of 1981 (sic)....)

Peter Roberts Lives! 'The only snippet to come my way is the much-postponed folding of the SF Book Club. The last reprint selection will be in November, though members may be offered backlist books for some time after that. The Sportsmans BC is due to go as well, and the Country and Readers Union BCs have already gone. All four are (or were) reprint clubs, requiring members to buy a specific reprinted title every month or so, and that's basically an outmoded idea.' (These are of course the UK clubs run by David & Charles, the people who are remaindering War In 2080.... Peter's 3 volumes of British Fanzine Bibliography (1936-70) are still available from him, albeit with rusty staples ('so much for healthy Devon air'): 75p the set.)

Charles N. Brown: 'Millions of fans have written asking how my fanzine Locus can be voted for on the Hugo ballot. I would like to tell them all that the box to tick is the second from the top in the right-hand column on the reverse side of the ballot form.' (Always glad to be of service!)

Andrew Stephenson

To judge Star Trek as other than a continuing story is to misjudge it badly: like THE MOTION PICTURE, this new film really forms one more element in a long-term entertainment phenomenon.

Naturally, in the 14-years-plus since ST began on TV there have been more than mere mechanical changes. Most significantly, the cast have aged. Now one must wonder how much longer they can keep going, an important question because the enormous following of fans cares passionately what happens to the main characters. In THE WRATH OF KHAN, it is evident the producers are preparing for ST's survival. Developments (at which I will only hint, out of kindness to those who have, as yet, no idea what transpires) suggest it will survive – with changes. No doubt many of the old faces will stay, for the moment; but one cannot help feeling this will prove to be the last of the old-style stories.

The plot continues one of the TV episodes, in which a group of genetically improved human criminals were imprisoned on an isolated planet. Re-discovered, they escape; and their leader, the eponymous Khan, seeks revenge on Kirk, who stranded him. There are other wrinkles, too, such as a splendidly super-scientific world-building gadget, the Genesis Device, which could easily double as a universal Doomsday Machine.

That the allegedly brilliant Khan would make all the foolish mistakes shown is questionable. Still, he offers Kirk a worthy opponent; the story has interesting developments; and special effects give several sequences of striking beauty and grandeur.

Characterisation is consistent with the TV series, although this in itself could be classed as a weakness, since it opens the way to rather too many scenes wherein Kirk agonises over personal defects, Spock declares logical conclusions, and McCoy does his usual party trick of deflating all handy egos. The aroma of in-group cliche is almost offensively powerful in parts. Furthermore, many exchanges are transparent attempts to play to the gallery: stock dialogue known to appeal to the fans.

There is also more than one instance of the film taking itself far too seriously. For me, the scene that will live long (and prosper) as an example of wild miscalculation includes certain bagpipe music, which at our preview caused scattered and horribly inopportune laughter. (However, the scene is saved.) Bathetic clanger-dropping seems an oddly American talent; but, to be fair, this is a tightrope act which many have failed to pull off.

For all that, ST2:TWOK is an honest film. It works within its established format, yet develops it; it offers a solid story which, despite incidental flaws, deals with credible people (well, people-and-others); and it does not shrink from tackling important ethical questions. Moreover, its constructive optimism contradicts today's fashionable cynicism. All of these were strengths of the TV series. With luck, we will see more sequels; and, with even more luck, they will not become over-blown and portentous again, as happened in ST:TM(less)P.

Some have dismissed this as an expanded TV episode. Maybe so; but see my opening remarks. Speaking as one whose loyalty dates back to the first BBC TV showings, I recommend ST2:TWOK as an enjoyable way to spend 113 minutes.


Avedon Carol (for whom you should vote in TAFF) tells more about how Somtow Sucharitkul 'transcribes and arranges' symphonies 'whistled' by US politico 'J.W. Middendorf II', as mentioned in the Grauniad and A26: 'As Somtow describes it, he works for a man "who hums". He walks up to Somtow and says he has written a song, and he hums one line. Almost invariably, the one line is painfully familiar. "Like this," says Somtow to me, "dum, dum dum dum, dum!" And I say, "My, that sounds suspiciously like Pomp and Circumstance with one note changed." And he says, "Yes, it is, and it's also Mittendorf's latest composition." "Composition." Actually, the one or two lines he hums to Somtow are the sum total of his composing – after that, Somtow "arranges" the piece, which means he ghost-composes the whole thing. So the exposé is that Somtow is a ghost-composer, and the new music that Mittendorf wrote for Reagan's inauguration was actually by our own Somtow. He tells everyone in WSFA all about this quite proudly....'

Pete Lyon: 'I am now working hard (like a 15hr day!!! – honest) on designs for fruit machine panels/facias. The company seem mesmerized by my eccentricities and have foolishly accepted an idea for a machine called "Serendipity" – this promises to be the only fruit machine ever to have a quote from Horace Walpole on its front. It is to be an unnatural coupling of regency and wedgewood styles and will have the maximum amount of glitter, flashing lights and gloopy noises....'

Andy Porter: 'Your rumour is completely wrong. Starship was in fact nominated for the Hugo, but I withdrew it. No other zine made the new 5% cut-off, which is why there are only four nominees in the Best Fanzine. • Yes, I too was thoroughly pissed off when Locus received the vote breakdown on the Hugo nominees, especially as I'd asked for the information, and been told it was not available. I did receive the information [ie. other than vote breakdown] the weekend of April 24, and thus got it into the issue that mailed early in May. This was something like 2-3 weeks before the official notification went out. Incidentally, I corrected such information as publisher of After Man (St Martin's, not Macmillan), and of course they fucked it up anyway. Typical of Chicon, it seems....' (Macmillan was the UK and St M's the US publisher: well-organized Hugo people like Noreascon's, or Seacon's, would have mentioned both.) 'I am now on Harlan Ellison's shit-list, along with many other people, and have the finely designed and printed "Fuck-off" warning from Ellison to prove it.'

Dick Smith: 'My Uncle Dick's Little Thing has been nominated for the Hogu (sick!) for Worst Fmz Title.... Other nominees in MY category: Private Heat, Intergalactic Starbarn, Intermediate Vector Bosons, The Dillinger Relic and Enemaster. Brit references – "Argentina vs. Britain" is up for Best New Feud; "Argentina's Fleecing the Falklands" for Best Traumatic Presentation. The Fanzine Hugos are nominated (is?) for Best Hoax Award. Not much else that sounds worth retyping.'

Ted White: 'My friend, the American sf hack, Dave Bischoff (known as "The Bisch" to his intimates) and I were standing somewhere in Alexis and Doll Gilliland's house when someone remarked to The Bisch that a rumour was going round the British Isles to the effect that he, David Bischoff, had ghosted the latest John Jakes bestseller. "Gosh," said Dave, "I wish I had." We repaired to Alexis' library where a copy of Ansible 26 was unearthed and the rumour itself laid before The Bisch's startled eyes. "It's not true, of course," he said. "You did something for Jakes," I said. "Oh, yeah – that historical fantasy," The Bisch said. I think he said the title was Excalibur or something like that. Shortly after that we joined a bunch of people for a stroll to a nearby park where we smoked illegal substances amid playground equipment and watched the fireflies twinkling in the trees overhead....' (Hang on, I thought this was supposed to be a terse newszine.)

Martin Morse Wooster: 'Although I know that no more rumours about C*rl S*g*n are to be printed (oh, well) rumours persist about Contact. The latest lie about this deathless epic is that the chapters have now been farmed out to "bevies of graduate students" and that, for some mysterious reason, continuity between chapters is nonexistent while chapters have been p/r/i/n/t/e/d/ typed on different colours of paper, with different typers....' (Our Swedish Sagan expert Ahrvid Engholm, last seen lending the great man a wad of old Ansibles, made a special trip to Reading in August to collect duplicates of said issues – which the great man had despite fulsome promises failed to return.) 'DUFF: Candidates to stand for the 1983 US->Oz race are expected to be Fran Skene, Jerry Kaufman and Jan Howard Finder. JHF, confident that his efforts for Australia in 8/3/ 85 will propel him to certain victory, already insists that he will need $1000 in his own funds to supplement the meagre DUFF dole in order to see Australia properly. (Melbourne has a lock on the 1985 Worldcon, at the time of writing – no other serious bidders. Meanwhile, the plan preferred by leading members of the Constellation [Worldcon 83] committee is to vote this year for the following 84 sites: [1] No Award [2] Bermuda [3] to be decided by WSFS business meeting [4] Los Angeles....) • Ever wonder why Bob Guccione got interested in sf in the first place? According to the comely Kathy Keeton, vice-president of Omni International (ie. Ben Bova's boss), "We think science is fun, and we decided to put in other fun stuff – you know, science fiction, cartoons, that sort of thing...."' (At this point Mr Wooster made an excuse and left: 'to fulfil my chief function in life (as revealed in the pages of Pong) and crash Jeff Schalles's parties so that I can drip pus on all his friends.' Avedon mysteriously confides that MMW's Washington (WSFA) nickname is 'Martin Moose Worship'.) {A genuine Langford hearing error for the more correct 'Martian Moose Worship' – 1995.}

Ahrvid Engholm: 'A Swedish Hitch-Hiker fanclub has been founded. The Swedish Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster Drinking Soc has around 20 members so far and will begin meeting in Stockholm this autumn. Interest in the HH series is high in Sweden now, the first book having just been released as Liftarens Guide Till Galaxen and well reviewed. (SPGGBDS c/o A. Engholm, Maskinistgatan 9 öb, S-117 47 Stockholm, Sweden.) • Swedish fan Tony Eriksson deserves a note in future works of fanhistorical research. This spring/summer he published the only (?) daily fanzine to reach more than 100 issues. Tjottabängarn – its title – reached 124 daily issues before lapsing into irregularity; it's in Swedish, 1-2 pages per issue. (T. Eriksson, Ekenhillsvägen 1 D, S-632 39 Eskilstuna, Sweden.)' (Help....)

Chris Priest: 'I'm running a weekend course on the writing of sf (whatever that means, etc etc) next January – Friday 21 to Sunday 23. The course is being operated by Dillington House in Somerset, and is a sort of follow-up to the successful course run by John Brunner earlier this year. Except, of course, next year's will be even better. Dillington House is an extremely beautiful Elizabethan mansion, standing in a huge tract of parkland.... The course is residential and promises a long and enjoyable weekend. People who attend will be expected to produce samples of their own (recent) writing, which does not have to be sf by any rigid definition, but which should have recognizable links with modern speculative writing.' (Course fee £39.50; all welcome; rush a £5 deposit – cheque/PO payable to SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL – to Booking Secretary, Dillington Ho.Coll., Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9DT, asking for CP's course on J/a/c/k/i/e/ L/i/c/h/t/e/n/b/e/r/g/ Modern Speculative Writing.)

George Hay: 'SF Foundation meeting – Chris Priest maundered on about how everything was terrible, and why didn't we fold up? Charles Barren [Acting Administrator] felt it necessary to draw the line here.... Cuts or no cuts, quite a bit is happening – future events etc – and Foundation is at its best ever. Best event of the meeting was brisk series of fundraising etc suggestions from someone new: a librarian from N London Poly. Most were suggestions I'd been putting up for years, but as he was "one of the lads" our own academics found it harder to refute them....'


{Omitted in online edition out of mercy to typist.}


Chris Priest will feature in the Spring 1983 follow-up to the Book Marketing Council's 'Best of British' promotion – 'Best of Young British' authors. His only worries are (a) the presence of loathed Martin Amis on the list, and (b) whether he can remain a Young British Author that long.... Con Stuff arrives from various directions, including Albacon II (two near-identical PR1s as mentioned), Channelcon (PR5 with useful data: 815 final attendance, £1322 profit liable to be spent – after TAFF/GUFF donations etc – on equipment such as artshow screens for future Eastercons), Cambridge's Fencon (promising ideas in a PR1 which breaks all the rules by offering literacy on a low budget), Edinburgh's Ra Con (PR2 confirms films like Gas-s-s, Alphaville, Final Countdown), Cymrucon (flyer probably enclosed), Faircon (no Faircon 83 schedules owing to Albacon II; Bob [fake] Shaw mutters of putting together a committee for 84, but whether anyone else will be on it is open to doubt) and Chicon (saying little but anticipating 5000 attendees). Colnecon, despite poor turnout, made £100+ profit, passed to the Foundation for Study of Sudden Infant Deaths. (Alex Stewart: 'There's no truth to the rumour that we're hoping for some hints about Jessica Watson.') Nebula Awards Nominations have begun again: leading novels so far are Sword of the Lictor (6 votes) and Bishop's No Enemy But Time (5).... Brain Of Britain (radio) lately featured strange questions – eg about 'Reindeers of the Lost Ark' – and strange answers also. 'Billion Year Spree. New Maps of Hell. What do these books have in common?' 'Er ... Drug addiction.' Too right.... DUFF: add Bill Bowers to the names opposite (Thyme).... Fanthologies: Patrick Nielsen Hayden's 'best of 81' is out (66pp, contents as in A25) and costs a mere $2.50 or 'rough equivalent in funny foreign cash' from him at 4714 36th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Eric Bentcliffe's 'best of the 50s', When Yngvi Was A Louse, mingles reprints with new stuff by 50s BNFs: Ashworth, Clarke (V.), Shaw, Needham, 'Hurstmonceaux & Faversham', Berry, Tubb, Jeeves (50+pp, now in production). £1 or equivalent to Eric, 17 Riverside Cres, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, CW4 7NR. Profits from both to fan funds.... The Golden Age Of SF, Amis's anthology whose introduction explains that New Maps of Hell (1960) remains definitive since no good sf has been written since its publication, appears on the Arrow Books schedule for October. Little did Arrow know that even as they took up their first option on the book, parent company Hutchinson were merrily selling it to Penguin. Many rude interoffice memos later, the Arrow schedule has been made False.... Ken Mann Banned In Peckham! A more than usually illegible postcard from the former BSFA Bane conveys that a small-press outfit has censored him for rape and bigotry, or perhaps merely for writing about these things. He says we should all complain to the Peckham Publishing Co (address unreadable).... Status Symbols: Bob [real] Shaw sends an ad offering cars with registration numbers 1 SF and SF 1, a snip at £23,000 (minimum offer). Someone tell Douglas Adams; but then he says he doesn't write sf. He also says the most recent plans for a US tv series of HH fell through for 'financial reasons' and that he's undecided about writing further books.... Library News: it is official that C.S. Lewis is an sf author while Doris Lessing isn't. Likewise Lymington but not Holdstock, Priest but not Kilworth, Disch but not Sladek, Stableford but not Stapledon. These factoids all from a Bromley Library guide to Real SF, unearthed by Kev Smith, who wonders if our own fannish librarian Ian Williams similarly divides sheep from goats.... Not The Mekons: continuing fnz references to my little brother's quasi-musical outfit remind me to mention that it's dead/transfigured and that he now gets his egoboo on the John Peel show as one of 'The 3 Jons'.... Asimov Snigs Contract: if Dr.A had seen that headline he would presumably have gone and shortened some baby eels; the actual misprimp in his DAW antho contract said he'd be paid on singing the contract, and he did, all of it, in the DAW office, to his own tune, and eventually they paid him and he went away. Does Andy Porter make these things up? (SFC).... IASFM: the even newer editor is Shawna McCarthy, famous as editor of the seemingly doomed SF Digest (publication of 6th issue – after Sept/Oct issue 4/5 – postponed pending assessment of sales figures, and we all know what that means). It is not known whether she favours the George Scithers critical vocabulary of 'bleak ... futile ... too difficult for the under-twelves' etc: we wait agog.... SF Journal, Rob Allen's answer to Locus, SFC, TLS, etc, will not appear owing to lack of money, inclination, enthusiasm (Charlie Brown can breathe easy again).... Reading SF: as well as serious litcrit discussions on 3rd Thursday of month in the Osborne Arms, a weekly breakaway group can usually be found in the Pheasant (Whitley St) of a Sunday night: phone me (665804) first.... Concrete Overcoat Fan Fund has 81 votes (buy as many votes as you like, 10p each to Kev Clarke, 438 Station Rd, Dorridge, Solihull, W Midlands – proceeds to TAFF etc) with Sandy Brown and Bob [fake] Shaw most favoured for a concrete overcoat.... AC Projects Inc (Authors' Co-op Publishing Co) send an envelope blazoned Photo-compositing * Writing * Publishing * Land Surveying * Dance Club * Dulcimer Band. This is Perry (remember him?) Chapdelaine's outfit, which sells remaindered books by Chapdelaine (pride of place), Le Guin, etc, and promises to publish the PC/George Hay-edited John W Campbell Letters and to cure your arthritis: details AC, Rt 4, Box 137, Franklin, TN 37064, USA.... Steve Green The Sometimes Infallible reports two bids for Unicon 4 (Joy Hibbert & the Stokefolk vs. Colchester), the abandonment of Brum groupzine plans, a restaging of the 'abysmal' radio Earthsearch on BBC-TV plus a new kiddy series Captain Zap.... Tron: seen thanks to Preview Tickets Editor K. Freeman. Visually triffic Disneyfilm set largely 'inside' computer net; division between live action/animation/classy computer graphics cleverly blurred by 'unreal' sets, neon-lit costumes (latter by Jean 'Moebius' Giraud – pity they sometimes blur distinctions between characters); animation leaps back 30 years for climactic appearance of all-potent but badly-drawn Master Control Program, or MCP ('I knew the MCP when it was just a chess program!'); injokes include Klaatu Barada Nikto poster and a 'Pacman' gobbler lurking in MCP's display; least likely plot device is computer terminal thoughtfully sited in path of experimental laser beam; same actors play 'real' people and their programs in the computer, to the confusion of some, including Brian Aldiss in New Sci review; corny, illogical and too loud, but spectacular fun. Leicester Sq, Oct 21. TAFF: I'll pass on votes/donations sent with Ansible subs – honest.... [26-8-82]

Hazel's Language Lessons #19

Piman (from Peter Roberts)

ba'agchuth: causing to become an eagle.

Dave Langford
94 London Road

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