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Ansible® 374, September 2018

Cartoon: Sue Mason

From David Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Sue Mason. Available for SAE or a reliable portal to Tanjecterly.

From Worldcon 76. First Fandom Hall of Fame Award: Robert Silverberg, Len & June Moffatt. Moskowitz Archive Award: Hal W. Hall. Big Heart: Mike Glyer.
Retro Hugos for 1942 work: NOVEL Robert A. Heinlein as Anson MacDonald, Beyond This Horizon (Astounding). NOVELLA Heinlein as MacDonald, ‘Waldo’ (Astounding). NOVELETTE Isaac Asimov, ‘Foundation’ (Astounding). SHORT Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore as Lewis Padgett, ‘The Twonky’ (Astounding). DRAMATIC Bambi. EDITOR John W. Campbell. ARTIST Virgil Finlay. FANZINE Le Zombie. FAN WRITER Forrest J Ackerman.
Hugo Awards: NOVEL N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky. NOVELLA Martha Wells, All Systems Red. NOVELETTE Suzanne Palmer , ‘The Secret Life of Bots’ (Clarkesworld 9/17). SHORT Rebecca Roanhorse, ‘Welcome to your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM’ (Apex 8/17). SERIES Lois McMaster Bujold, ‘World of the Five Gods’. RELATED WORK Ursula K. Le Guin, No Time to Spare. GRAPHIC STORY Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda Monstress 2: The Blood. DRAMATIC – LONG Wonder Woman. DRAMATIC – SHORT The Good Place: ‘The Trolley Problem’. EDITOR – SHORT Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas. EDITOR – LONG Sheila E. Gilbert. PRO ARTIST Sana Takeda. SEMIPROZINE Uncanny. FANZINE File 770. FAN WRITER Sarah Gailey. FAN ARTIST Geneva Benton.
Non-Hugos presented with the Hugos: YOUNG ADULT BOOK (whose mooted name the Lodestar has been ratified for future Worldcon use): Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Warrior. CAMPBELL (new writer): Rebecca Roanhorse.
Worldcon 2020: the unopposed New Zealand bid duly won with 643 of 726 votes cast (No Preference 33; None of the Above 2; the rest were joky write-ins). The official name is CoNZealand, of which more in the events list below.
Sidewise Awards (alt-history): LONG Bryce Zabel, Once There Was a Way. SHORT Harry Turtledove, ‘Zigeuner’ (Asimov’s 9/17). [SHS]
Worldcon Membership Count (tentative, posted 20 August): 5,440. [KS]

All the Goo and Dribble

N.K. Jemisin suffered technological distractions while trying to read her Hugo acceptance speech from her phone: ‘STOP TEXTING ME!’

Terry Pratchett seemingly rose from the grave with an August tweet of praise for the late children’s comedian Barry Chuckle – duly quoted as authentic Pratchett by the Daily Mail, Daily Post and others unaware that the @terryandrob Discworld news account on Twitter is run by Terry’s assistant Rob Wilkins. (Private Eye, 10 August)

Manon Steffan Ros won the National Eisteddfod’s highest award for Welsh-language fiction – y Fedal Ryddiaith, the Prose Medal – for her sf novel Llyfr Glas Nebo (The Blue [or Green] Book of Nebo), about the aftermath of a nuclear accident in near-future Wales. [GM]

Andy Sawyer, after 25 years as librarian in charge of the sf collections at Liverpool University Library, is retiring at the end of September. See C.O.A. below for the SF Foundation Collection donations address.

Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist, The Underground Railroad) is to be honoured as the next official state author of New York State. [F770]


1-2 Sep • Middle-earth Festival, Sarehole Mill, Cole Bank Rd, Hall Green, Birmingham. £1; under-14s free. See

1 Sep • Whooverville (Doctor Who), QUAD Centre, Derby, DE1 3AS. £48; £33 concessions; under-12s £10. See

14-15 Sep • Sublime Cognition: SF and Metaphysics (conference), Birkbeck School of Arts, London. See [Later: here is a more informative link.]

15-16 Sep • Comics Uncovered, BCEC, Birmingham. £85 reg; £45/day; students £45 and £25. More at

20-23 Sep • Oxonmoot (Tolkien Society), St Antony’s College, Oxford. £85 reg, or £75 for Tolkien Society members. Further information at

22-23 Sep • Comic Con, Leeds Town Hall. Part of Thought Bubble, the Leeds Comic Art Festival, 17-23 September. £29.68 weekend pass or £18.02/day including fees. See

26 Sep • BSFA Open Meeting, Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND. 5/6pm for 7pm. Speaker(s) TBA. Free.

29 Sep - 26 Jan • The Art of the Gestetner (exhibition by art group exploring retro tech with input from fandom), Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, N17 8NU. Opening hours 1pm-5pm Wed-Sun each week. Free. [Later: the opening day, Saturday 29 September, appears to be a preview by invitation only. The art group website has only vague information.]

29-30 Sep • Nor-Con (media), Norfolk Showground Arena. £30 reg; under-14s £20; family £90; plus fees. See

29 Sep • Preston Comic Con, Guild Hall, Preston. 10:30am £8 (9:30 ‘early bird’ £12) to 5pm. See

4-7 Oct • Grimmfest (horror/cult film festival), Odeon Printworks, Manchester. Tickets £80 – £75 concessions – from

5-7 Oct • SFW in the City (Sci-Fi Weekender spinoff), O2 Academy, Sheffield. Weekend passes from £40 at

12-14 Oct • Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal, Cumbria. £35 reg; £25 concessions. See

19-21 Oct • FantasyCon, Queen Hotel, City Rd, Chester, CH1 3AH. Current rates with £10 off for BFS members: £61.50 adult, £56 student, £31 under-16s. Under-4s free. See

19-21 Oct • Octocon, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, Ireland. (Venue is 12km from city centre.) €45 reg; concessions €20; accompanied under-13s free; €10 supp. Join online at

9-11 Nov • Novacon 48, Park Inn, Nottingham. £52 reg, rising to £55 on 1 October (same rate at door); under-17s £12; under-13s free. Contact 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S2 3HQ. See

16 Feb 2019 • Picocon 36, Beit Quadrangle, Imperial College, London. Details to follow at

SOLD OUT 29 Mar - 1 Apr 2019 • Irish Discworld Convention, Cork, Ireland. €55 reg, €45 concessions, rising to €60/€55 on 1 October 2018; under-13s €1. See for membership waiting list.

19-22 Apr 2019 • Ytterbium (Eastercon), Park Inn, London Heathrow. £70 reg, rising to £80 on 14 November and £90 on 1 April 2019; £30 concessions; £25 under-18s; £5 infants under 5; £20 supporting. See Committee news: Judi Hodgkin stepped down as the convention Chair and has been replaced by Farah Mendlesohn.

5-7 Jul 2019 • Lavecon (sf/fantasy/gaming), Sedgebrook Hall Hotel, Northants. Booking awaited at

15-19 Aug 2019 • Dublin 2019 (Worldcon), Dublin, Ireland. €180 reg, €110 under-26s or first-time Worldcon members, and €65 under-13s, rising to €210, €130 and €70 respectively on 3 September. Not changed: €5 under-6s and €40 supporting. See

29 Jul - 2 Aug 2020 • CoNZealand (Worldcon 78), Wellington, New Zealand. GoH Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Greg Broadmore, Rose Mitchell. NZD $375 reg, $225 YA/unwaged, $105 child (born 2005+), infants (born 2015+) free, $75 supporting. See

Rumblings. Worldcon 2023: a Chinese bid to hold this event in Chengdu was announced at Worldcon 76, challenging the existing bids for Nice in France and New Orleans in the USA.

Infinitely Improbable

As Others See Us. Will Self on ‘The book I think is most overrated: All that bullshit about how the Harry Potter books were going to turn a generation of otherwise uninterested boys into literary mavens – we could’ve done without that. The truth is that the books ushered in the dumb kidult era we’re currently having to endure, with illiteracy rates significantly on the rise for the first time in a century!’ (Guardian, 17 August) Nothing like obsessive reading of fat books to boost illiteracy.

More Awards. American Book Awards 2018: winners include Victor LaValle’s The Changeling. [F770]
James White Award (unpublished story by new author): Dustin Blair Steinacker, ‘Two Worlds Apart’.
New Academy Prize (Sweden, unofficially replacing the non-awarded 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature): three of the shortlist of four are genre authors, being Maryse Condé, Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami. [L]

In Memoriam. A Worldcon panel on Harlan Ellison closed with the moderator’s pious remark that we would not look upon his like again – to which Robert Silverberg responded, ‘One was more than enough.’

Science Masterclass. Things You Didn’t Realize About Our Moon: ‘The only natural source of illumination on the far side is starlight.’ (Nicholas Christopher, A Trip to the Stars, 2000) [PB]

R.I.P. K.C. Ball, US author of 65 stories – some in Analog and 24 collected as Snapshots from a Black Hole (2012) – died on 26 August. [GVG]
John Calder (1927-2018), Canadian-born publisher best known for Calder Publishing and Calder & Boyars, died on 13 August aged 91. He published two stories in New Worlds (1966, 1968). [PDF]
Mary Carlisle (1914-2018), US actress whose last film was the zombie-horror Dead Men Walk (1943), died on 1 August aged 104. [MMW]
Robert Dix (1935-2018), US actor whose films include Forbidden Planet (1956), Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958) and The Last Frankenstein (2018), died on 6 August aged 83. [PDF]
Gary Friedrich (1943-2018), US comics writer who co-created Ghost Rider for Marvel, died on 30 August aged 75. [PDF]
Joseph Giddings (1973-2018), US reviewer for Bull Spec and Tangent Online who also published several short stories 2010-2012, died on 16 August aged 45. [SM-B]
Doug Grindstaff (1931-2018), US sound editor who created the sound effects of devices – and tribbles – in the original Star Trek (1967-1969), died on 23 July aged 87. [AT]
Barbara Harris (1935-2018), US actress in Freaky Friday (1976) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), died on 21 August aged 83. [CH]
Michael Howells (1957-2018), UK production designer/art director whose films include Orlando (1992), FairyTale (1997), Ever After (1998) and Nanny McPhee (2005), died on 19 July aged 61. [MMW]
Lindsay Kemp (1938-2018), UK actor/dancer whose films include The Vampire Lovers (1970) and The Wicker Man (1973), died on 25 August aged 80.
Richard H. Kline (1926-2018), US cinematographer whose films include The Andromeda Strain (1971), Soylent Green (1973), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), King Kong (1977), Star Trek (1979), Howard the Duck (1986) and My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), died on 7 August aged 91. [AT]
John Blair Moore (1948-2018), US comics writer/artist who worked on various Disney characters including Roger Rabbit and Darkwing Duck, died on 5 August. [PDF]
Miriam Nelson (1919-2018), US choreographer whose credits include Visit to a Small Planet (1960) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), died on 12 August aged 98. [AIP]
Michael Pickwoad (1945-2018), UK production designer whose credits include The Prisoner (2009 reboot) and Doctor Who (62 episodes 2010-2017), died on 27 August aged 73.
Charlotte Rae (1926-2018), US actress whose credits include The Worst Witch (1986), Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), 101 Dalmatians (1997-1998 tv) and The Tangerine Bear (2000), died on 5 August aged 92. [MMW]
Pete Richens (1952-2018), UK co-writer and assistant director of many Comic Strip productions including Space Virgins from Planet Sex (1993), died on 6 August aged 65. [PDF]
Michael Scott Rohan (1951-2018), Scots author of the sf Run to the Stars (1983) and the well-received ‘Winter of the World’ and ‘Spiral’ fantasy series, died on 12 August aged 67. [DR] Mike was an old friend from the Oxford SF Group of the early 1970s, a member of the long-running Pieria writer’s workshop, a highly entertaining correspondent, and incidentally best man at my wedding, all of which makes this hard to bear.
Barbara Russell (1933–2018), US actress in Day of the Dead (1985), died on 25 August aged 85.
Claude Seignolle (1917-2018), French author of supernatural horror fiction such as The Accursed (1967), died on 13 July aged 101. [DP]
Marie Severin (1929-2018), long-time US comics artist/colorist for EC, Marvel – where she co-created Spider-Woman – and DC, died on 30 August aged 89. [PDF]
Wes Shank, US collector of sf film memorabilia known to many as The Caretaker of The Blob (for his specimen of the original red silicone from The Blob), died on 10 August aged 72. [AT]
Michael Sissons (1934-2018), UK literary agent at PFD who edited three 1960s genre anthologies including the sf Asleep in Armageddon (1962), died on 25 August; he was 83. [MJE]
Stefán Karl Stefánsson (1975-2018), Icelandic actor best known as Robbie Rotten in the children’s series Lazy Town (2002-2014), died on 21 August aged 43. [TM]
Piotr Szulkin (1950-2018), Polish director whose genre films include Golem (1980) and The War of the Worlds: Next Century (1981), died on 5 August aged 68. [PDF]
Walter Velez (1939-2018), US artist with many sf/fantasy book and magazine credits since 1979 – in particular, covers for Robert Asprin’s fantasies – died on 24 August aged 78. [GVG]
Vladimir Voinovich (1932-2018), Russian author whose one sf novel is Moscow 2042 (1986), died on 28 July aged 85. [MMW]
Gerald M. Weinberg (1933-2018), US author and computer scientist whose first sf novel was The Aremac Project (2007), died on 7 August aged 84. [KKR via PDF]
Vicky Wyman, US comics creator whose self-published furry fantasy sequence Xanadu (1988) was reissued as a 1993 graphic novel, died on 3 August. [PDF]

The Weakest Link. Bradley Walsh: ‘Michael Bond called his 1958 book A Bear Called ... what?’ Contestant: ‘Steve.’ (ITV, The Chase) [PE]

Magazine Scene. John Teehan announced that SFWA Bulletin will henceforth be all-digital with no print edition. (Facebook, 1 August)
• Steve Davidson, at Worldcon, launched the first printed Amazing Stories (following various ebook and webzine issues) since he acquired the Gernsback-founded magazine. Quarterly print publication is planned.

Time Warp Masterclass. ‘... weather-beaten farmers herd flocks of sheep much as their descendants may have done in Marco Polo’s day.’ (The Guardian, 31 July) [PE]
• ‘Was Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharp the original Instagram star?’ (Daily Telegraph, 14 August) [PE]

Random Fandom. Mike Glyer withdrew himself and File 770 (as fan writer and fanzine respectively) from all future Hugo ballots. He missed the Hugo ceremony after being hospitalized for mysterious dizziness, and has since been fitted with a heart pacemaker.
Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet International has bad news: on 7 September he’s ‘being made redundant from webstore, blog and social media side of things here after thirteen and a half years, which as you can imagine is stressful and depressing.’
Andrew I. Porter was not greatly impressed by the Retro Hugo presenter’s announcement of a win for ‘Lewis Padgett, who wrote under the pseudonym Henry Kuttner and Catherine Moore.’
Allan Scott maintains the official memorial website for Mike Scott Rohan at ‘Feel free to post memories, comments, and anything else you feel moved to write.’
Wadfest, the Discworld-themed UK campsite convention scheduled for 17-19 August, was cancelled ‘for health reasons ... all ticket monies will be refunded’ (Facebook, 12 August). See also
Daniel Whitson of Nine Worlds Geekfest (London, August) announced this event’s need for ‘reconstitution’ with a new organization, following personal burnout from the stress of having to rely on future membership sales to cover a huge loss by the 2016 convention. See [CM]

Trademark Wars. Regarding the BrewDog PLC application for a trademark on the word ‘fanzine’ in any and every beer-related context (see A373), it can be revealed that M’Learned Friends have been consulted and constructive engagement with BrewDog is being attempted in an effort to clarify exactly how this trademark is likely to be used.

The Dead Past. 50 Years Ago, Christopher Priest began his freelance writing career: more at (28 August).
20 Years Ago:Tomorrow SF is having convulsions. By late August, all visible website stories were reprints by editor Algis Budrys; story submissions are being returned unread, though nonfiction and cartoons still seem acceptable.’ (Ansible 134, September 1998)
• Also: ‘Welsh SF News! This year’s National Eisteddfod Prose Medal was won (for the first time ever?) by an sf novel: Blodwyn Tatws by Eirug Wyn, published 7/98. The title means, of course, Potato Flower.’ (Ibid)

C.o.A. SF Foundation Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Libraries Museums and Galleries, University of Liverpool, PO Box 123, Liverpool, L69 3DA; email (pro tem) scastaff at liverpool dot ac dot uk.

Fanfundery. The combined Fan Funds auction at Worldcon 76 raised $1,982 for TAFF and DUFF. [JG]

Schadenfreude. Fans are shocked, shocked that the Sad Puppies 4 website – last remnant of that infamous campaign to game the Hugo nominations – has been hacked and now begins by linking to an article in Italian about the joy of online slot machines. (30 August) [CF]

Thog’s Masterclass. True Romance. ‘... there is always something magical about the moment when your eyes touch nipples running free; nipples are a door from one world to another, from the grey of the everyday to a place of enchantment.’ (Francesco Dimitri, The Book of Hidden Things, 2018) [JCh via NH]
Defrosting Dept. [Our hero is trying to ‘borrow’ a plane.] ‘... the Lockheed’s flaps were frozen ... We’re going to irrigate the vanes with liquid hydrogen ...’ (Richard Bachman [Stephen King], The Running Man, 1982) [BA]
Dept of Sibling Rivalry. ‘Aya trembled, her face burning red and her nose pouring down her lip.’ [Her brother:] ‘The entirety of his face collapsed into itself, and he wailed with bitter injury.’ (both Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few, 2018) [SS]
Neat Tricks. ‘Steve’s eyebrows circumnavigated his face as he flicked a switch and cuddled the microphone to his chest.’ (Eric Frank Russell, ‘Symbiotica’, 1943 Astounding) [AL]
Heavy Breathing Dept. ‘The frozen ground stings my feet and pricks my lungs as I inhale.’ (Carrie Jones, Flying, 2016) [AL]
Classics Revisited. ‘Some women, Commander Norton had decided long ago, should not be allowed aboard ship; weightlessness did things to their breasts that were too damn distracting. It was bad enough when they were motionless; but when they started to move, and sympathetic vibrations set in, it was more than any warm-blooded male should be asked to take.’ (Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama, 1973) [AM]

Geeks’ Corner

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• 14 September 2018: 200th anniversary celebration of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein at the Brum Group. 7:30pm for 8pm at the Briar Rose Hotel, Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham city centre. £4 or £3 for members. Contact bhamsfgroup at yahoo co uk. Future events/speakers: 12 October 2018, David Leach; 16 November 2018, Professor Bill Chaplin; 7 December 2018, Christmas social.
• 3 September 2018: Christopher Priest in conversation at Waterstone’s, Argyle St, Glasgow, 6:30pm-8pm. Free but booking required. See link below for more, and further book tour appearances.

PayPal Tip Jar Thingy. Support Ansible, cover website costs and keep the editor happy! Or just buy his books.

Worldcon 76 Links. As the Worldcon lumbered on, Ansible added links to such heart-stopping excitement as the daily newsletters and detailed voting breakdowns of the Hugos and Retro Hugos:

Editorial. A reminder of the new Ansible regime: good-quality printable PDFs, rather than the former bitmap scans, are available from issue 372 onward at ...

1000 Years of Fandom. The Fan History Project at began this exciting initiative at Worldcon, writes a breathless Joe Siclari. It’s less arduous than it sounds: fans are encouraged to send group photos of themselves and friends, each holding a card inscribed with the number of years they’ve been in fandom. These figures are then solemnly added up, and when the total reaches nine billion we all know what will happen. Send pics to fanac at fanac dot org.

Ansible® 374 © David Langford, 2018. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, Paul Barnett, Simon Bradshaw, Jo Charman, Paul Di Filippo, Malcolm Edwards, Camestros Felapton, File 770, Janice Gelb, Niall Harrison, Chip Hitchcock, Locus, Andrew Love, Gatch Madeley, Anna Maltese, Caroline Mullan, Todd Mason, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, Andrew I. Porter, David Pringle, Private Eye, Debby Rohan, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Steven H Silver, Sally Smith, Kevin Standlee, Arthur Tansky, Gordon Van Gelder, Martin Morse Wooster, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Brum Group), SCIS/Prophecy, Alan Stewart (Australia). 31 August 2018