Ansible® 412, November 2021
From David Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website news.ansible.uk. ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Brad W. Foster. Available for SAE, wooden mice, koukounaries or the Bones of Mark.
The Conversation Bath
The Inklings Group – not the C.S. Lewis/J.R.R. Tolkien literary circle but a modern outfit named after it – has signed a lease to run the Lamb & Flag in Oxford, an old Inklings venue closed by its owner St John’s College in January 2021 but now set to re-open. (BBC, 5 October) [SF²C]
Ursula K. Le Guin has a $25,000 prize named in her memory, to be first presented for ‘A book-length work of imaginative fiction written by a single author’ published in English in 2022, and then annually. Nominations open 1 February 2022. See www.ursulakleguin.com/prize.
Demi Lovato the US singer offers a new slant on political correctness regarding xenomorphs and other easily offended extraterrestrials: ‘I think that we have to stop calling them aliens because aliens is a derogatory term for anything. [...] That's why I like to call them ETs! So yeah, that’s a little tidbit. A little information that I learned.’ (Daily Mail, 11 October) [SF²C] From whom or what it was learned remains unclear.
James D. Macdonald pointed out that two titles supposedly belonging to the Circle of Magic series written with his late wife Debra Doyle – Mystery at Wizardry School (Hodder 2003) and Voice of the Ice (Hodder Australia 2003) – ‘are pirate books. We did not write them. They were written and published without our knowledge or permission, and, as you might expect, we never saw a dime from them.’ See his late-2020 blog post: madhousemanor.com/2020/11/04/pirate-books/. Hasty updates followed at ISFDB and the SF Encyclopedia. As for the expected eager co-operation of Hodder in tracking down the culprit, ‘There are difficulties and stone-walling at every turn.’ (9-11 October)
5-7 Nov • Armadacon 2021, Future Inns, Plymouth. £35 reg; £30 concessions. More at www.armadacon.org.
HYBRID. 5-7 Nov • Corflu 38, Mercure Holland Hotel, Bristol. £60/$75 reg; £15/$20 supporting; virtual (Zoom) membership free from robjackson60 at gmail dot com. Hotel booking form at corflu.org. Special publication: Daangerous Visions, a fanfiction anthology ed. Sandra Bond.
ONLINE. 6 Nov • Tolkien Society Autumn Seminar. Free. See www.tolkiensociety.org/events/tolkien-society-autumn-seminar/.
12-14 Nov • Destination Star Trek, ExCel, London. Day tickets £29; 2 days £44; 3 days £54; various exorbitant ‘VIP’ rates rising to a £2,999 ‘Admiral Package’ at destinationstartrek.com.
12-14 Nov • Novacon 50, Palace Hotel, Buxton. £50 reg; under-17s £12; under-13s free. Day: Fri £15, Sat £25, Sun £20. Registration closes on 9 November; no memberships at the door. See novacon.uk. Alas: Emma Newman, one of four guests of honour, will be unable to attend.
13-14 Nov • Comic Con, Harrogate Convention Centre. Part of the Thought Bubble comics festival. £28 weekend pass; £17/day; under-12s, over-65s and carers free. See thoughtbubblefestival.com.
20-21 Nov • Steampunks in Space, National Space Centre, Leicester. £15.50. See spacecentre.co.uk/event/steampunks-in-space-2021/.
26-28 Nov • UK Ghost Story Festival, QUAD Centre, Derby. £60 reg; for individual event tickets see www.derbyquad.co.uk/UKGSF2021.
3-5 Dec • Steampunk Christmas, Nothe Fort, Weymouth. £6 Fri, £12 Fri+Sat, Sun free. See www.asylumsteampunk.co.uk/christmas/.
4 Dec • Dragonmeet (gaming), Novotel Hammersmith, London. 9am-midnight. £10; child £5. Group rates at www.dragonmeet.co.uk.
4-5 Dec • For the Love of Sci-Fi (comics), BEC Arena, Stretford, Manchester. Tickets from £41.80 at fortheloveofsci-fi.com.
HYBRID. 4 Dec • Tolkien Society Yulemoot, Bacchus Bar, Birmingham, and online. Free? See www.tolkiensociety.org/events/.
15-19 Dec • DisCon III (Worldcon), Washington DC, USA. $225 reg; YA $115; virtual $75; supp $50; other rates at discon3.org. Note that Hugo voting at members.discon3.org closes on 19 November. Main convention hotel now sold out; overflow options still available.
8-10 Apr 2022 • Tolkien Society Springmoot/AGM, Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel, Exeter. See www.tolkiensociety.org/events/.
9 Apr 2022 • Bedford Who Charity Con (Doctor Who), King’s House, Ampthill Road, Bedford. 10am-5:30pm. £42.50 reg; under-19s/students £22.50; under-14s £15. More at bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk.
15-18 Apr 2022 • Reclamation (Eastercon) can at last reveal its venue: Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre (formerly the Park Inn), London Heathrow. £70 reg; £40 concessions; accompanied under-18s £25; under-5s free; £35 supporting. See reclamation2022.co.uk. Alas, Zen Cho had to withdraw as a GoH; but Tasha Suri has joined the guest list.
28-29 May 2022 • EM-Con (media), Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. Weekend tickets £30 (£40 early entry); day rates at www.em-con.co.uk.
HYBRID. 3-5 Jun 2022 • Cymera SF Festival 2022, Edinburgh and online. See www.cymerafestival.co.uk.
28-29 Aug 2022 • Stars of Time (media), Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare. 10am-5pm. £9; under-12s, OAP and disabled £5; under-4s free. Family of 2+2 kids £22; 2+3 kids £24. See www.starsoftime.co.uk.
24-25 Sep 2022 • Nor-Con (media), Norfolk Showground Arena. Ticket sales to follow at www.nor-con.co.uk.
15-16 Oct 2022 • Octocon, Croke Park, Dublin. €60 reg; concessions €40; YA or supporting €20. Registration open at octocon.com.
Rumblings. Worldcon 2023: the Memphis (USA) bid folded, leaving only Chengdu (China) and Winnipeg (Canada). [MJL] The site selection voting is open, closing 7, 14 or 17 December for postal, email and at-con votes.
• Worldcon 2029: Brian Nisbet and Marguerite Smith plan to bid for a tenth-anniversary Dublin event. See twitter.com/Dublin2029.
Too Good to Check. ‘Denis Villeneuve Scrambles To Read Second Half Of Dune / HOLLYWOOD, CA – Dune director Denis Villeneuve has received alarming news: Legendary Pictures greenlit Dune: Part Two. Unfortunately, now that means Villeneuve has to read the rest of Frank Herbert’s seminal science fiction novel.’ (IT Slop parody site, October)
Awards. Mythopoeic (fantasy): ADULT The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. CHILDREN’S A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher. SCHOLARSHIP/INKLINGS Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer by John M. Bowers. SCHOLARSHIP/OTHER Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien by Anna Vaninskaya. [L]
• Sturgeon (short story): ‘An Important Failure’ by Rebecca Campbell (8/20 Clarkesworld). [L]
Astronomy Masterclass. ‘“Largest comet ever seen!” Scientists claim giant comet is hurtling towards the Milky Way’. (Express, 4 October)
We Are Everywhere. Steve Holland reports that the Autumn Eagle Times – magazine of the Eagle Society devoted to the comic – ventures into fannish fiction with ‘the first part of another P.C. 49 adventure, “The Case of the Unconventional Convention”, set at the 15th World Science Fiction Convention at the King’s Court Hotel, London, in September 1957 and involving real-life attendees, including John Beynon Harris (John Wyndham) and Forrest J Ackerman’. (Bear Alley, 4 October)
R.I.P. Jack Angel (1930-2021), US voice actor whose many genre credits include All-New Super Friends Hour (1977), Transformers: The Movie (1986), Toy Story (1995), The Iron Giant (1999) and A.I. (2001), died on 19 October aged 90. [F770]
• Lou Antonelli (1957-2021), US author active since 2003 who published several sf collections and the novel Another Girl, Another Planet (2017), died on 6 October aged 64. [SHS]
• Chris(topher) Ayres (1965-2021), US voice actor in many English versions of Japanese anime from Gatchaman (1973-1974) and Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1983-1995) to the Dragon Ball Z franchise (2010-2018), died on 18 October aged 56. [SJ]
• Susan Bartholomew, UK author of The Lake of Destiny (2011) and other fantasy novels, and (as Endelyon) of interactive fiction and text games, died on 26 September. [CM]
• Kit Berry (Kirsten Espensen), UK author whose initially self-published Stonewylde fantasy series opening with Magus of Stonewylde (2005) was taken up by Gollancz in 2011, died on 29 October. [LW]
• Anders Bodelsen (1937-2021) noted Danish author whose sf novels are Villa Sunset (1964) and Frysepunktet (Freezing Point, 1969), died on 17 October aged 84. [OMJC]
• Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021), UK songwriter and composer whose credits include Doctor Dolittle (1967), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001), died on 19 October aged 90. [AIP]
• Kevin Richard Brighton, art assistant on various 1980s/1990s Fleetway comics including 2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine,died on 8 September aged 61. [SH]
• Denise Bryer (1928-2021), UK voice actress in Gerry Anderson series from Twizzle (1957-1958, title role) to Terrahawks (1983-1986) – also Return to Oz (1985), Labyrinth (1986) and G-Force Intergalactic (1993) – died on 16 October aged 93. [SJ]
• Wiktor Bukato (1949-2021), Polish fan, award-winning translator and publisher, and former chair of the European SF Society, died on 26 July. [ESFS]
• JoAnna Cameron (1951-2021), US actress who starred in The Secrets of Isis (1975-1976) and played Isis in Shazam! (1975-1976), died on 22 October aged 70. [SJ]
• Ralph Carmichael (1927-2021), US composer who scored The Blob (1958) and 4D Man (1959), died on 18 October aged 94. [SJ]
• Geoffrey Chater (1921-2021), UK actor in The Strange World of Planet X (1958), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), If ... (1968), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1973), The Aerodrome (1983) and others, died on 16 October aged 100. [SJ]
• David H. DePatie (1929-2021), US animation producer/writer with innumerable credits 1964-1985 for his co-creation the Pink Panther, died on 23 September aged 91. Other works include Doctor Dolittle (1970) and various Dr. Seuss and Marvel superhero adaptations. [AIP]
• Carole Nelson Douglas (1944-2021), prolific US author best known for detective fiction, who also wrote fantasy (the Kendric and Irissa/Sword and Circlet series) and sf (the Probe diptych), died in late October aged 76. [BM]
• Greta Edwards (née Tomlinson), artist in the Frank Hampson studio who helped draw Dan Dare for Eagle (1949-1953) and was also the model for Dare’s colleague Professor Peabody, died on 4 September aged 94. [SH]
• Avril Elgar (1932-2021), UK actress in Alice in Wonderland (1966) and The Medusa Touch (1978), died on 17 September aged 89. [SJ]
• Michael Ferguson (1937-2021), UK tv director/producer who directed four Doctor Who serials 1966-1971 (‘War Machines’, ‘Seeds of Death’, ‘Ambassadors of Death’, ‘Claws of Axos’) and four Out of the Unknown stories 1969-1971, died on 4 October aged 84. [SJ]
• Jon Gregory (1944-2021), UK film editor whose credits include Loch Ness (1996) and The Road (2009), died on 9 September aged 77. [SJ]
• Sally Gwylan, US author active from 2002, whose genre novel is A Wind Out of Canaan (2012), died on 8 October. [GVG]
• Cynthia Harris (1934-2021), US actress in Mannequin: On the Move (1991 plus sequel) and The Secret of Anastasia (voice 1997), died on 3 October aged 87. [LP]
• Alan Hawkshaw (1937-2021), UK composer with music credits for The Monster Club (1981), Doctor Who Online Adventures (2012-2013) and others, die on 16 October aged 84. [SF²C]
• Bob Herron (1924-2021), US actor and stuntman whose credits (he was often uncredited) include The Wild Wild West (1965-1968), The Nude Bomb (1980), Poltergeist (1982) and so on to Bedazzled (2000), died on 10 October aged 97. [SJ]
• Halyna Hutchins (1979-2021), Ukraine-born US cinematographer whose films include Archenemy (2020) and The Mad Hatter (2021), died on 21 October in an on-set accident when a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin (told by an assistant director that it was a safe ‘cold gun’) shot a live round; she was 42. [SJ]
• Toshihiro Iijima (1932-2021), Japanese director and writer for Ultraman (1966-1967), Ultra Q (1966) and later franchise productions to Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact (2001), died on 18 October aged 89. [SJ]
• Ravil Isyanov (1962-2021), Russian-born US actor in GoldenEye (1995), Arachnid (2001) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), died on 29 September aged 59. [AIP]
• Rick Jones (1937-2021), Canadian actor in the Lovecraft/Derleth-based The Shuttered Room (1967), died on 8 October aged 84. [SJ]
• Mary Kay Kare (1952-2021), US fan, multiple APA contributor and convention-runner whose many credits include Hugo administration for the 2008 Worldcon, died in early October. [SHS] An old fan friend who never really recovered from the death of her husband Jordin Kare in 2017. [GHL]
• Bruce Kerr (1933-2021), Scots actor in The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962), The Brides Wore Blood (1972) and Takeover (1988), died on 9 October aged 87. [SJ]
• Mamat Khalid, Malaysian director whose films include Zombies from Banana Village (2007), died on 24 October aged 58. [PDF]
• Gil Lane-Young, long-time organizer of the annual UK Festival of Fantastic Films, died unexpectedly on 5 September; he was 75. [JM]
• Wes Magee (1939-2021), Scots poet and children’s author whose genre titles include The Phantom’s Fang-tastic Show (2000) and The Winterworld War (2002), died on 21 October aged 82.
• Joe Moudry (1947-2021), US fan in many APAs including Southern Fandom Press Alliance and the Lovecraft-centred Esoteric Order of Dagon, died on 15 October.
• Gary Paulsen (1939-2021), noted US author of many YA novels including occasional sf ventures from The Implosion Effect (1976) to The Time Hackers (2006), died on 13 October aged 82. [PDF]
• Juli Reding (1935-2021), US actress in Tormented (1960) and Take Me to Your Leader (1964), died on 16 September aged 85. [LP]
• Rossano Rubicondi (1972-2021), Italian actor in The Eighteenth Angel (1997), died on 29 October aged 49.
• Takao Saito (1936-2021), Japanese author/artist whose Golgo 13 (1968-current) is the longest-running manga serial still being published, died on 24 September aged 84. [PDF]
• Camille Saviola (1950-2021), US actress in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Addams Family Values (1993) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1996), died on 29 October aged 71. [PDF]
• Peter Scolari (1955-2021), US actor in Amazons (1984), Ticks (1993), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (tv 1997-2000) and Gotham (2014-2019), died on 22 October aged 66. [SJ]
• Jan Shutan (1932-2021), US actress in Star Trek (1969), Dracula’s Dog (1977) and This House Possessed (1981), died on 7 October aged 88. [SJ]
• Dorothy Steel (1926-2021), US actress in Black Panther (2018) and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), died on 15 October aged 95. [AIP]
• Ruth Tompson (1910-2021), US animator whose Disney work ran from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Lord of the Rings (1978) and Metamorphoses (1978), died on 10 October aged 111. [MMW]
• James Michael Tyler (1962-2021), US actor in Jason’s Big Problem (2009), died on 24 October aged 59. [LP]
The Weakest Link. Is George Orwell vanishing into the memory hole? Jeopardy answer requiring the proper question: ‘He tinkers with history at the Ministry of Truth, gets a girlfriend & has a very bad year.’ Contestants: ‘Who is Snape?’ ‘Who is Harry Potter?’ (7 October) [AIP]
Court Circular. The litigation (since November 2016) between Dr Seuss Enterprises and ComicMix about Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go! ended on 5 October with the agreement that ComicMix won’t publish this Seuss/Star Trek mashup written by David Gerrold and drawn by Ty Templeton, while DSE will no longer try to collect damages. A major reason to abandon the ‘fair use’ struggle was that Templeton is being treated for advanced cancer and should be spared further stress. [F770]
As Others Contextualize Us. ‘This vision of climate apocalypse is all too familiar today, but in 1963, when Frank Herbert started serializing his science-fiction epic Dune, it was deeply strange. The novel’s story of a planet that had become a desert – replete with psychedelic drugs, mystical visions and political assassinations – fit awkwardly with the chart-toppers of its time: Surfin’ U.S.A., Mary Poppins and The Beverly Hillbillies.’ (Daniel Immerwahr, New York Times, 23 October) [AIP] If only John W. Campbell had warned Frank Herbert about this grave lapse.
SF Encyclopedia Latest. We have moved! Several stressful days after the domain transfer request, sf-encyclopedia.com switched from the Hachette web server to my own hosting service in the small hours of 6 October. SFE access was restored soon after dawn; the SSL security certificate arrived next day; by mid-October, after many rounds of routine updates, this terrifying leap into the unknown began to seem almost like the new normal. See sf-encyclopedia.com/news/new_world_order.
The Dead Past. 20 Years Ago: ‘Ken Follett, at a London charity auction, bid £2,200 to feature as a character in Terry Pratchett’s next novel. “I want to appear as a giant but Terry is making no promises. All he asked me is how I want to die, which is a little disconcerting.” But ever so characteristic.’ (Ansible 172, November 2001)
Fanfundery. TransAtlantic Fan Fund: the next TAFF race is to bring a worthy European fan to Chicon 8 (the Chicago Worldcon) in September 2022. Nominations are open, closing 10 December; voting will run to 18 April. See taff.org.uk for more.
• Anna Raftery’s TAFF report Cuttlefish and Cake is available for £5 from procrastinations.co.uk/asp-products/cuttlefish-and-cake/, with all proceeds going to the fund.
• Rob Hansen’s latest fanhistorical work for the TAFF free ebook library is Bixelstrasse: The SF Fan Community of 1940s Los Angeles – another huge compilation from original fanzine sources. We hope to publish this on 1 December.
Thog’s Masterclass. Distinctive Features. ‘The host for Mornin’, L.A.! was a blow-dry blond man with teeth that rivaled the full moon, Kathryn thought, in luminosity, though not in sincerity.’ ‘An artfully sculpted, skin-tinted pseudonose blended into her forehead.’ (both Sterling Blake [Gregory Benford], Chiller, 1993) [BA]
• Dept of Nictitation. ‘Pale-blue eyes blinked nearsightedly behind contact lenses.’ (Poul Anderson, ‘Catalysis’, February 1956 If) [CB]
• Physics Dept. ‘... radio-active substances emit particles at speeds faster than light. Those particles go out of our time field, returning to it when their speed drops again [...] Cosmic rays are just free electrons that were shot from some radio-active substance perhaps ten minutes ago, perhaps ten years. Or even ten years in the future. It makes no difference.’ (Lee Elliot, Overlord New York, 1953) [BA]
• True Romance. ‘An hour of vigorous lovemaking had left him with partially vulcanized knees.’ (F. Paul Wilson, Conspiracies, 2000) [BA]
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• 18 November 2021, evening: the virtual London meeting is now on the third Thursday. ‘Please share this with people who you know typically come to the Bishop’s Finger, but aren’t on Facebook.’
• 21 November 2021 (every third Sunday of the month), afternoon/early evening: Sheffield SF and Fantasy Society online meeting using Zoom. For access details contact Fran Dowd, thesofa [at] gmail dot com.
The Dead Past II. 20 Years Ago: ‘Elizabeth Billinger finds sf lurking in desert wastes: “Idly flicking through PricewaterhouseCoopers’ free (but deadly dull) publication Private Client I was somewhat startled to find ‘Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune’ cited in an article on Inheritance Tax. John Whiting, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, uses the Arrakis tradition of returning to the people a deceased’s water as an illustration of the 19th century theory that, without the intervention of the state, death signals the return of a person’s assets to the communal pot.” But was spitting on your host’s floor a mark of high respect?’ (Ansible 172, November 2001)
Editorial. Your editor is too exhausted from SF Encyclopedia work (with a little light ebook editing on the side) to editorialize.
Some Links from the Ansible home page.
• Chesley Awards shortlists
• Mythopoeic Awards (full announcement)
Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 172, November 2001. Dept of Biometaphorical Research. ‘The remorse factor (Factor 26) flooded the sites in Gary’s brain specially tailored by evolution to respond to it.’ ‘... his glial cells purring with the sweet lubrication of his drink.’ ‘Cooks were the mitochondria of humanity; they had their own separate DNA, they floated in a cell and powered it but were not really of it.’ ‘He’d lived with the affliction of this debt until it had assumed the character of a neuroblastoma so intricately implicated in his cerebral architecture that he doubted he could survive its removal.’ (all Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections, 2001)
• ‘It was Mark Beasley, a photographer for the Globe who wore a beard that reached the middle of his chest and was nicknamed the Beast.’ (Brendan DuBois, Resurrection Day, 1999)
• Dept of Heartfelt Romance. ‘I wanted him in my mouth, aquiver, like the slippery muscle I’d once had a gloved hand on in an emergency room – a fibrillating heart.' (Elizabeth Knox, Black Oxen, 2001)
Ansible® 412 © David Langford, 2021. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, Chris Bell, Olav M.J. Christiansen, File 770, Paul Di Filippo, European SF Society, Steve Holland, Steve Jones, Guy H. Lillian, Locus, Michael J. Lowrey, Beth Meacham, Jim Montgomery, Caroline Mullan, Lawrence Person, Andrew I. Porter, SF² Concatenation, Steven H Silver, Gordon Van Gelder, Liz Williams, Martin Morse Wooster, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). 1 November 2021