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Ansible® 414, January 2022

From David Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Ulrika O’Brien. Available for SAE, bombast, fustian or hefty news brought to me by ruddy scouts.

DisCon III (Worldcon 2021). Big Heart Award: Linda Deneroff.
First Fandom Hall of Fame: William F. Nolan; Richard and Pat Lupoff (posthumous).
Moskowitz Archive Award: Kevin L. Cook.
2023 Worldcon Site Selection: Chengdu (China) won with 2006 votes; Winnipeg (Canada) had 807; write-ins and 75 ‘no preference’ votes brought the total count of valid ballots to 2915.
Hugo Awards: NOVEL Network Effect by Martha Wells. NOVELLA The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. NOVELETTE Two Truths and a Lie by Sarah Pinsker. SHORT “Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny, 9/2020). SERIES The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. RELATED WORK Beowulf: A New Translation by Maria Dahvana Headley. GRAPHIC Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings. DRAMATIC – LONG The Old Guard. DRAMATIC – SHORT The Good Place: ‘Whenever You’re Ready’. EDITOR – SHORT Ellen Datlow. EDITOR – LONG Diana M. Pho. PROFESSIONAL ARTIST Rovina Cai. SEMIPROZINE FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction. FANZINE nerds of a feather, flock together. FANCAST The Coode Street Podcast. FAN WRITER Elsa Sjunneson. FAN ARTIST Sara Felix. VIDEO GAME Hades. LODESTAR (YA)* A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher. ASTOUNDING (new writer)* Emily Tesh (*not a Hugo).
Overheard at DisCon: ‘I thought science fiction was just rocket stuff. But I’ve been looking around and it’s all kinds of stuff!’ [PL] Indeed.

Some Fickle Circumstance

John Boorman and Ian Livingstone were knighted in the New Year Honours, for services to film and online gaming respectively. Joanna Lumley and Vanessa Redgrave, also with multiple genre credits, are now Dames. Daniel Craig became a CMG, just like James Bond 007; Barbara Broccoli (film) and Anthony Horowitz (literature) were made CBE.

Simon Ings was sighted on Christmas University Challenge (27 December); although he fumbled two of a set of three questions on Star Trek, his Birbeck London team trounced Portsmouth University. [SF²C]

Mary Robinette Kowal apologized unreservedly for DisCon’s highly visible Hugo ceremony sponsorship by the arms etc. company Raytheon (not listed as sponsors in the Worldcon souvenir book), which had outraged some quarters of fandom though not others, and sparked reminiscences of the Scientology presence at the UK Worldcon in 1987. Sponsorship money will be passed to an unspecified peace organization. (Full text at the Discon site.) Cheryl Morgan commented that ‘the Hugos are owned by WSFS. DisCon3 had no right to imply that they had sold naming rights to awards they do not own.’ (Twitter, 20 December) [CF]


6 Jan • London First Thursday Meeting. The Bishop’s Finger room booking has been cancelled, though the pub should remain open. See for Zoom meeting details as on third Thursdays. Also virtual meeting on 3 February owing to clash with paid pub booking.

POSTPONED TO 2023. 11-13 Feb • Sci-Fi Ball (media), Southampton. 2022 bookings to be transferred; ‘a new hotel’. See

11-13 Feb • Scotiacon (furry), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow. £90 reg. See for main and overflow hotel bookings.

POSTPONED TO 2023. 18-20 Feb • Redemption (multimedia), Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield. Guests of honour Paul Magrs, Professor Elemental. Now expected to be held on 17-19 February or 24-26 February 2023. Further updates are expected at

5 Mar • Angela Carter: A Radical Prescience? (symposium), University of Chichester. More details awaited at

10-13 Mar • ChillerCon UK (horror), Grand and Royal Hotels, Scarborough. £130 reg; HWA members £120. Day rates £25 Thur or Sun, £35 Fri, £55 Sat. See

10-12 Mar • Frightfest (film), Glasgow Film Theatre. Tickets at from ‘early January’.

7-10 Apr • LuxCon (Eurocon), Luxembourg. €30 reg; payment details (IBAN) at Email enquries: info at sffs dot lu.

15-18 Apr • Reclamation (Eastercon), Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, Heathrow. £70 reg; £40 concessions; accompanied under-18s £25; under-5s free; £35 supporting. See

ONLINE. 27-29 Apr • GIFcon 2022 (Glasgow University conference), ‘Fantasy Across Media’. More details awaited at

5-7 Aug • TitanCon, Hilton Hotel, Belfast. Now £35 reg; £40 from 1 May; £45 from 1 July and at the door. More at

1-5 Sep • Chicon 8 (80th Worldcon), Chicago, IL, USA. $190 reg; Worldcon first-timers $110; under-25s $90; under-18s $70; under 14s $50; accompanied under-10s free; $50 supporting. See

3 Sep • Whooverville 13 (Doctor Who), QUAD Centre, Derby, DE1 3AS. Tickets £55; concessions £38; under-12s £10; online booking at; nothing yet at

6 Oct-4 May 2023 • Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination (exhibition), Science Museum, London. Adults £20; other rates at

3 Dec • Dragonmeet (gaming), Novotel Hammersmith, London. 9am-11pm. Ticket prices awaited at

Rumblings. UK Filk Convention: there will be no in-person event in February 2022 – besides Covid Omicron concerns, the usual hotel has been booked by the government for Afghan refugees. Any online substitute will presumably be announced at [RR]

Infinitely Improbable

‘But This Looks Good ...’ Rebecca Ferguson, Lady Jessica in the new Dune, insists that it’s untainted: ‘I didn’t see it as a sci-fi film ... I think that is why I love it. I love that the spice and the supernatural entities – the sandworms, the superpowers – have a resonance with other things that we can compare to society today.’ (, 31 December) [SH]

More Awards. Diagram Prize for the year’s oddest book title: Is Superman Circumcised? by Roy Schwartz (as was predicted in A413).
Sidewise (alt-history): 2019 LONG The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz; SHORT ‘Christmas Truce’ by Harry Turtledove (Asimov’s 11/2019). 2020 LONG The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky; SHORT ‘Moonshot’ by Matthew Kresal (Alternate Australias).

As Others Are Inspired. ‘All my early science education came from Dr. Who and Star Trek. They taught me that if you’re smart enough, brave enough, and have access to technology, anything’s possible.’ (Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan,, 31 December) [PL]

R.I.P. Chris Achilleos (Christos Achilléos, 1947-2021), Cyprus-born UK artist whose many book covers include contributions to the Doctor Who, Fighting Fantasy Gamebook and Star Trek series, died on 6 December aged 74. [JB] He also created album covers, and erotic art for Mayfair magazine and others; he published several art collections beginning with Beauty and the Beast (1978).
Andrey Balabukha (1947-2021), award-winning Russian sf author and critic whose novel was Neptunova arfa (1986), died on 2 December. [AM]
Linda Boyce, US porn actress in Electronic Lover (1966), The Amazing Transplant (1970) and Bacchanale (1970), has reportedly died. [SS]
Richard ‘Rusty’ Citron, US theatrical marketer for 200+ films including Return of the Jedi (1983) and much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise – whose marketing team he led – died on 16 December aged 68. [AIP]
William G. Contento (1947-2021), noted US bibliographer who compiled the extensive Locus sf index (1990-2008) with Charles N. Brown (with whom he shared a 1989 Eaton Award for the 1988 volume), the genre magazines index (1998-2008) with Stephen T. Miller, The Supernatural Index (1995) with Mike Ashley, and the continuing online Fictionmags Index with Phil Stephensen-Payne and many others, died on 13 December aged 74. [PS-P]
Richard Conway (1942-2021), UK special/visual effects supervisor whose many film credits include Brazil (1985), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) and Sunshine (2007), died on 22 December aged 79. [PDF]
Martha De Laurentiis (1954-2021), US co-founder of the Dino De Laurentiis Company with producer credits as Martha Schumacher for the Stephen King films Firestarter (1984), Cat’s Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985) and Maximum Overdrive (1986) – also King Kong Lives (1986) and Date with an Angel (1987) – died on 4 December aged 67. [SJ]
Diana G. Gallagher (1946-2021), US fan, filker and author who won the 1989 fan artist Hugo as Diana Gallagher Wu and published many tv spinoff novels based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Star Trek and other series, died on 2 December aged 75. [PDF]
Nicholas Georgiade (1933-2021), Greek-US actor in Poor Devil (1973) and episodes of genre tv series, died on 19 December aged 88. [SJ]
Roy Holder (1946-2021), UK actor in Ace of Wands (1970-1972), Doctor Who: ‘The Caves of Androzani’ (1984), The Invisible Man (1984) and others, died on 9 November aged 75. [AIP]
Sally Ann Howes (1930-2021), UK-born actress whose films include Dead of Night (1945), Brigadoon (1966), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and Death Ship (1980), died on 19 December aged 91. [SJ]
Keri Hulme (1947-2021), New Zealand author and poet whose ‘Maori magical realism’ novel The Bone People (1986) won the Booker Prize, died on 27 December aged 74. [PDF]
Andrey Izmailov (1953-2021), Russian author of the sf novel Pokrovitel (1996) plus 7 X-Files novelizations, died on 3 December. [AM]
Sayaka Kanda (1986-2021), Japanese actress, singer and anime voice artist whose genre credits include Dragon Head (2003), Farewell Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown (2008), Frozen (2013; Japanese dub) and Star Blazers 2202 (2017-2019), died on 18 December aged 35. [JonC]
John M. Keshishian (1923-2021) Greek-US author of Autopsy for a Cosmonaut (1969, aka Death of a Cosmonaut) with Jacob Hay, died on 5 November aged 98. [JC]
Eddie Mekka (1952-2021), US actor in various genre tv series and singer with a soundtrack credit for Evils of the Night (1985), died on 27 November aged 69. [SJ]
Inés Morales (1952–2021), Spanish actress in The Feast of Satan (1971), Curse of the Devil (1973) and others, died on 5 December aged 69. [SJ]
Ian ‘Smurf’ Murphy, UK fan and convention-runner long involved with Redemption (he was treasurer of the now postponed 2022 event), died in October. [R]
Peggy Neal (1947-2021), US actress in the Japanese films The Terror Beneath the Sea (1966) and The X From Outer Space (1967), died on 6 December aged 73. [SS]
Michael Nesmith (1942-2021), US Monkees band member, actor, scriptwriter and producer with genre credits for Head (1968), Timerider (1982) and Repo Man (1984), died on 10 December aged 78. [MR]
Keiko Nobumoto (1964-2021), Japanese anime scriptwriter best remembered as co-creator and writer of most episodes of the sf Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999), died on 1 December aged 57. [JonC]
Denis O’Brien (1941-2021), US producer and co-founder of HandMade Films whose credits include Life of Brian (1979) and Time Bandits (1981), died on 3 December aged 80. [CH]
Denis O’Dell (1923-2021), UK assistant director and producer who headed the Beatles’ Apple Films and had credits for A Christmas Carol (1951), Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (1952), Juggernaut (1974) and others, died on 30 December aged 98. [SJ]
Henry Orenstein (1923-2021), Polish-American toymaker and entrepreneur who persuaded Hasbro to acquire what became the Transformers line of toys (on which he held a patent), died on 14 December aged 98. [MMW]
Doris Piserchia (1928-2021), US author whose first novels were Mister Justice (1973), Star Rider (1974) and A Billion Days of Earth (1976), died on 15 September aged 92. [SHS]
Gian Filippo Pizzo (1951-2021), Italian sf author, critic and anthologist active since 1974, died on 31 December aged 70. [PDF]
Anne Rice (1941-2021), best-selling US author whose many novels include the long-running Vampire Chronicles sequence opening with Interview with the Vampire (1985), died on 11 December aged 80. [CR] She received the 1994 World Horror Grandmaster and 2004 Bram Stoker awards for life achievement.
Doug Robinson (1930-2021), UK stuntman in An American Werewolf in London (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Batman (1989) and many more including Bond and Pink Panther films, died on 16 December aged 91. [SS]
Jeanine Ann Roose (1937-2021), former US child actress in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), died on 31 December aged 84. [SJ]
Antony Sher (1949-2021), South African-born RSC actor whose genre films include Superman II (1980), Erik the Viking (1989), Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (1996) and The Wolfman (2010), died on 3 December aged 72. [AIP]
Mark Taylor, US toy designer associated with the Masters of the Universe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises, died on 24 December aged 80. [PDF]
Alexander Tebenkov (1945-2021), Russian sf author active since 1970 who published three collections and two sf novels, died on 25 December. [AM]
Andrew Vachss (1942-2021), US crime author who wrote Batman: The Ultimate Evil (1995) and Carbon (2019), died on 27 December aged 79. [LP]
Emi Wada (1937-2021), Oscar-winning Japanese costume designer whose credits include Princess from the Moon (1987) and Prospero’s Books (1991), died on 13 November aged 84. [AIP]
Lina Wertmüller (1928-2021), Italian director and screenwriter with genre credits for When Women Had Tails (1970) and When Women Lost Their Tails (1972), died on 9 December aged 93. [LP]
Betty White (1922-2021), long-time US actress whose genre credits include Alf Loves a Mystery (1987), Lake Placid (1999), The Lorax (2012) and Toy Story 4 (2019), died on 31 December aged 99. [LP]
Robin Wood (1944-2021), hugely prolific Australian-Paraguayan comics scriptwriter whose many thousands of stories include sword-and-sorcery fantasy and post-apocalyptic sf, died on 17 October aged 77. [SH]
Masayoshi Yasugi (1972-2021), Japanese author of many sf/fantasy novels and ‘light novels’ since 2004, and editor of the online SF Prologue Wave, died on 12 December aged 49; this was apparently suicide. [JonC]

New Year Thoughts. ‘2021, and what had we to show for it?’ (Doris Piserchia, opening line of ‘Pale Hands’ in Orbit 15, 1974) [JDN]
• Meanwhile the interwebs are seeing all too much of that film poster: ‘It’s the year 2022. / People are still the same. / They’ll do anything to get what they need. / And they need SOYLENT GREEN.’ If only Harry Harrison were still with us to share his personal and deeply felt expletives.
James Langdell exulted: ‘Welcome to 2022! Now everything published in 1926 has entered the public domain in the US. At last I can legally publish my novel where Jay Gatsby and Winnie-The-Pooh solve the murder of Roger Ackroyd.’ (Facebook, 1 January) [F770]

Random Fandom. Brian Ameringen reports that his first post-Christmas book sale was a late volume from the Family D’Alembert series by Stephen Goldin channelling E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith: The Omicron Invasion.
Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards voting is open and will close on 25 February. ‘Anybody with an interest in fanzines is encouraged to vote, no memberships or fees are required.’ No website category this year. Nic Farey’s The Incompleat Register undefinitively lists eligible publications and includes the ballot: see

The Dead Past. 85 Years Ago, on 3 January 1937, the first sf convention was held in the Theosophical Hall at Leeds; attendees included E.J. (Ted) Carnell, Arthur C. Clarke and Eric Frank Russell. [RH] Read all about it at
30 Years Ago: ‘Garry Kilworth explains that Methuen made him change 19th-century yards and gallons (in The Drowners) to metres and litres because “they said kids wouldn't understand”. Whatever next? “The term ‘half a guinea’ should be altered to ‘53p’. References to playing halma and diabolo will not be understood – please substitute ‘Nintendo’ throughout.”’ [...] ‘Michael Moorcock's latest notepaper is headed, “By Appointment: HARLAN ELLISON'S BRITISH MOUTHPIECE.”’ [...] ‘The sf/horror TV series Chimera was ill-received by genetic engineers. International Biotechnology Laboratory sneered, “As a piece of sf it was not exactly Isaac Asimov or Brian Heinlein.”’ (Ansible 54, January 1992)

Fanfundery. TransAtlantic Fan Fund: the westbound TAFF race from Europe to Chicon 8 (the Chicago Worldcon) next September has begun. Candidates are Anders Holmström (Sweden), Fia Karlsson (Sweden), Mikolaj Kowalewski (Poland) and Julie Faith McMurray (UK); voting is open and will continue to 18 April. See
• Latest ebook in the TAFF site’s Little Free Library: Ah! Sweet Laney! by Francis T. Laney – not the notorious 1948 polemic Ah! Sweet Idiocy! but a selection of his other fanzine writing compiled by Robert Lichtman and first published by Pat Virzi for Corflu Quire in 2007. See

More Worldcon. Kevin Standlee was fired as DisCon III WSFS Business Meeting chair (and dropped from the Winnipeg in 2023 bidding committee) after releasing early information on site selection voting – in particular the huge number of ballots from China – that could have been interpreted as a call to drum up votes for Winnipeg. Also controversial was a Business Meeting motion advising that ballots omitting such non-mandatory data as postal address could be ignored, which since the Chinese apparently regard an email address or phone number as full and sufficient ID would have handed 2023 to Winnipeg had the site selection team followed this advice. An oddity in the stats is that 917 ‘tokens’ entitling the purchaser to vote in site selection were bought but never used.

Thog’s Masterclass. Jiggers! (Hard-Boiled Dept). ‘Jigger thrust a nail-file through a crack in Wang’s double-decker subtleties as a reminder that the good doctor had two strikes on him and Jigger was pitcher and umpire both.’ ‘The office girl squared her breasts as Jigger zipped past ...’ ‘... he looked like a man jumping out of his skin.’ (John Roeburt, Jigger Moran, 1944) [FMN]
Eyeballs in the Sky. ‘I nodded at her and walked toward the suite door, feeling her eyes like ice cubes sliding down my back all the way out.’ (Joseph Commings, ‘The Glass Gravestone’, Saint Mystery Magazine, 1966) [PL]
Astronomy Dept, or Harry Lime in Space. ‘Just then the two moons appeared from behind the breaking clouds and a third man joined them.’ (David Gemmell, Ghost King, 1988) [BA]

Geeks’ Corner

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

Virtual Meetings.
• 6 January 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting as below.
• 16 January 2022 (third Sunday of each month), afternoon/early evening: Sheffield SF and Fantasy Society online meeting using Zoom. For access details contact Fran Dowd, thesofa [at] gmail dot com.
• 20 January 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting, third Thursday of each month. ‘Please share this with people who you know typically come to the Bishop’s Finger, but aren’t on Facebook.’
• 3 February 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting as above.

R.I.P. II. Miroslaw Kowalski (1954-2022), Polish journalist and editor who was head of the ‘Supernova’ sf/fantasy publishing imprint, was reported on 2 January as having died at age 67. [PDF]

Some Links from the Ansible home page.
Cloud Chamber 165 from D. Langford
• DisCon III daily newsletters
• Hugo winners in full; statistics; nominations data

Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 174, January 2002. Dept of Nose Jobs. 'A thick branch crashed through the tunnel, just missing Filidor's nose, and he carefully sliced it away before resuming his slow upward progress.' (Matthew Hughes, Fools Errant, 1994)
• ‘As his eyes continued to sweep over her, he noted the lean, elegant, body; but from the smallish hips and waist there grew a breadth of shoulders that suggested exceptional physical strength.’ (David Baldacci, The Winner, 1997)
Dept of Pop Science. ‘On this planet, the force of gravity was so immense – a hundred times greater than that of earth – that a man on its surface would have weighed ten tons and been unable to lift his eyelids. Under these conditions, the only intelligent life form to develop consisted of giant globular creatures, which on earth would have been called vegetables.’ (Colin Wilson, Spider World: The Magician, 1992)

Ansible® 414 © David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, BSFA, Jonathan Clements, John Clute, Paul Di Filippo, Camestros Felapton, File 770, Rob Hansen, Steve Holland, Chip Hitchcock, Steve Jones, Pamela Love, Andrey Meshavkin, Francis M. Nevins, James D. Nicoll, Lawrence Person, Andrew I. Porter, Redemption, Christopher Rice, Roger Robinson, Marcus Rowland, SF² Concatenation, Steven H Silver, Steven Smith, Phil Stephensen-Payne, Anne Sudworth, Martin Morse Wooster, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). 3 January 2022