Ansible logo

Ansible® 415, February 2022

From David Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Brad W. Foster. Available for SAE or any first edition by the learned Hafen Slawkenbergius.

The Shadow Nose

Don Blyly has a new home for his burnt-out Minneapolis bookshops Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s, and hopes to reopen them in June. [PL]

Alex Davis, Literature Officer at the Derby QUAD events centre, has announced his February departure: ‘I’m afraid this will mean we’ve seen the last of Edge-Lit and the Ghost Story Festival.’ (Facebook, 20 January)

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki reported an Amazon bureaucracy nightmare, beginning with the shutdown of his Kindle Direct Publishing account and removal of all books from sale just as payment (for distribution to the authors) was due for the first Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology. Why? The story varied: he had multiple accounts (news to him), not allowed; no, his account was mysteriously ‘related’ to a terminated one; or, eventually, after considerable Twitter outrage, he’d made a mistake entering his bank details (why this should be cause for cancellation rather than ‘please correct’ is unclear). Jason Sanford organized a GoFundMe fundraiser, not an option for authors in Nigeria, and fandom rallied round; Ekpeki vowed to have nothing more to do with Amazon and has made the anthology freely downloadable. (Twitter, all January) [F770]

M. John Harrison is one of this year’s Booker Prize judges. [MJE]

Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean film-maker whose failed 1970s hopes of filming Dune are enshrined in a rare proposal book of notes, concepts and artwork, was in the news again after a team of NFT-besotted ‘Cryptobros’ bought a copy for some $3m – about 100 times the going rate – in the happy but deluded belief that they were acquiring copyright and could ‘Produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service’. Other grandiose plans include selling NFTs of the book, burning it as a marketing stunt, selling NFTs of a video of the burning, and no doubt selling NFTs of many cease-and-desist letters from the Dune rights holders. (Indy100 via, 17 January) [SH]

Alan Moore, at a How To Academy event on 17 January, said he should ‘take a certain amount of blame’ for superhero stories that he fears have ‘infantilized’ culture and fuelled QAnon-style conspiracy theories. ‘Imagination is the source of all magic of wonder, but it’s also really dangerous, because if the imagination is not trained, then that’s when it becomes potentially quicksand.’ (Evening Standard, 18 January) [SF²C]

J.K. Rowling is more innovative than we realized: ‘Rowling's real importance lies in the fact that she was the first writer to present a world in which class and wealth mattered, some characters were poor, some were rich, and being poor was a hardship, not just a cheery sentimental thing in the scenery.' (Jeffrey Smith, Twitter, 7 January) [JDN]


Until 24 April • Dredd @45 (Judge Dredd exhibition marking his 45th anniversary). Cartoon Museum, London. 10:30am-5pm. £8.50; £5 concessions. See

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. Registration now closed. See

POSTPONED TO 2023. 18-20 Feb • Redemption (multimedia), Sheffield. New dates 24-26 February 2023. See

ONLINE. 28 Feb • Dungeons & Dragons at 50, Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Esther MacCallum-Stewart. See

HYBRID. 5 Mar • Angela Carter: A Radical Prescience? (symposium), University of Chichester. 8:45am-5:40pm. £40; £30 online only; £20 students/staff. See

POSTPONED AGAIN. 10-13 Mar • ChillerCon UK (horror), Grand and Royal Hotels, Scarborough. £130 reg; HWA members £120. See ‘Coronavirus Statement’ at, whose home page is misleading.

10-12 Mar • Frightfest (film), Glasgow Film Theatre. Weekend passes £75, linked from

FULL UP. 11-13 Mar • MinamiCon (anime), Novotel Hotel, Southampton. £60 reg. See ‘Registration is now full.’

1 Apr - 28 Aug • Superheroes, Orphans & Origins (exhibition), Foundling Museum, London. £10.50 admission; £8.25 concessions. See

7-8 May • Portsmouth Comic Con, Guildhall, Portsmouth. £25 adult weekend ticket; various other rates at

1-5 Sep • Chicon 8 (80th Worldcon), Chicago, IL, USA. $210 reg; first Worldcon $110; under-25s $90; under-18s $70; under 14s $50; accompanied under-10s free; $50 supporting. Rates valid to 30 April. Hugo nominations are open and will close on 15 March. See

10 Sep • International Comic Expo, Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. 10am-5pm. Tickets from £8 (students £5); VIP passes £50; under-6s free. See

6-9 Oct • Grimmfest (film), Odeon Great Northern, Manchester. ‘Early bird’ tickets (50 only) £99 plus fee. See

27-31 Oct • Edinburgh Horror Festival: Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh Dungeon, etc. See

11-14 Nov • Camp SFW, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. Tickets £120. See

Rumblings. Picocon (Imperial College, London) may happen, in person or online, on 5 March. Details awaited at
The Festival of Fantastic Films (Manchester) plans an October 2022 event, exact dates TBA: see

Infinitely Improbable

Ghosting. The ‘Creative Book Writers’ ghostwriting service and various related websites claimed responsibility for works by established genre writers including Ursula Vernon (as T. Kingfisher) – who reported this fraud – Ken Follett, Lee Goldberg and J.D. Robb, while stock photos of the ‘world-renowned yet experienced authors’ who allegedly do the actual writing included a young Neil Gaiman. It was also implied that their ghostwriters gave the world Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver’s Travels. Anyone enquiring via live chat about these claims is swiftly blocked, but book cover images started to vanish or to be subtly edited: ‘Book Title: New York Times Bestselling Author AUTHOR NAME.’ (Twitter, 18 January)

Awards. Anisfield-Wolf (anti-racism) life achievement: Samuel R. Delany. [TM]
Golden Globes animated film: Encanto.
Newbery Medal (children’s book): The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. [KF]
Philip K. Dick shortlist: Defekt by Nino Cipri; Plague Birds by Jason Sanford ; Bug by Giacomo Sartori trans Frederika Randall; Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson; The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar; Dead Space by Kali Wallace. [L]
Robert A. Heinlein Award: David Gerrold.
Speculative Literature Foundation Illustration of the Year: Michelle Feng.

As Others ...Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream is a game about an android with self-aware thought processes and emotions. She feels curiosity, joy, and fear. It takes place in a near-future Detroit, where the robotics industry is (apparently) booming. Despite these futuristic elements, creative director David Cage says his game is not sci-fi.’ (, 2015) No talking squid in outer space, you see. [SB]

R.I.P. Louie Anderson (1953-2022), US actor/comedian whose genre credits include Pop Star Puppy (2014), died on 21 January aged 68. [LP]
Ann Arensberg (1937-2022), US author whose novels include the supernatural Incubus (1999), died on 14 January aged 84. [AIP]
Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff (born 1949), French twin-brother authors and tv presenters whose books include Clefs pour la science-fiction (1976) and whose show Temps X introduced Doctor Who, Star Trek and others to France, died aged 72 on 28 December and 3 January respectively. [JM]
Peter Bogdanovich (1939-2022), US director and narrator of Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968), died on 6 January aged 82. [LP]
Dee Booher (1948-2022), US wrestler (as Matilda the Hun and Queen Kong) and actress in Spaceballs (1987), Deathstalker II (1987) and Theodore Rex (1995), died on 7 January aged 73. [LP]
Ray Boyle (1923-2022), US actor in the Republic serial Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), died on 6 January aged 98.
Bruce Burn (1939-2021), well-known New Zealand fanzine fan, died on 17 December aged 82. Nigel Rowe writes: ‘Active in local NZ, London fandom and OMPA in the 1950s and 1960s and “rediscovered” in 1979 to continue through the 2000s. The last surviving and a founding member of the Wellington SF Circle. Upon arrival in the UK in 1960 by ship, he was memorably greeted dockside by UK fans carrying signs declaring “Ban the Burn”.’
Mayya Buzinova (1929-2022), Russian animator with credits for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1967) and various fairytale shorts, died on 30 January aged 92. [PDF]
J. Brian Clarke (1928-2022), UK-born Canadian author whose stories in Analog since 1969 became the novels The Expediter (1990) and Alphanauts (1996), died on 17 January aged 93. [RJS]
Rick Cook (1944-2022), US author active in the SCA, best known for the Wizard fantasy sequence opening with Wizard’s Bane (1989), died on 13 January. [F770]
Joan Copeland (1922-2022), US actress with genre credits for The Laser Man (19889) and Brother Bear (2003), died on 4 January aged 99.
Frank Denton (1939-2022), US fan active in several APAs, whose fanzines included Ash-Wing (1968-1978) and The Rogue Raven (1975-1997; 2004-2012 as blog), died on 5 January. [GM/F770]
Frank Dodd (1935-2022), New Zealand fan active in the 1950s who with Mike Hinge co-founded the Auckland SF Club in 1952, died on 3 January aged 86. [NR]
Nicholas Donnelly (1938-2022), UK actor in Lifeforce (1985), died on 10 January aged 84. [AIP]
Mark Forest (Lou Degni, 1933-2022), US bodybuilder and actor in Goliath and the Dragon (1960), Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (1961) and other 1960s sword-and-sandal epics, died on 7 January aged 89.
Ron Goulart (1933-2022), US author of much entertaining sf/fantasy since the 1950s – his first novel being The Sword Swallower (1968), set in the comic-space-opera ‘Barnum System’ to which he often returned – died on 14 January aged 89. He ghosted the TekWar novels for William Shatner and published useful nonfiction about pulps and comics. [PDF]
Vladimir Gubarev (1938-2022), Byelorussian member of the Russian authors’ collective that published sf as by Pavel Bagryak, died on 25 January aged 83. [PDF]
Jane Hawkins (1951-2022), Seattle-based author of Quantum Gate (1995) and fan involved with many conventions (Corflu, Noreascon 3, Norwescon, Potlatch, WisCon), used Washington State’s assisted-dying option to end the pains of terminal cancer on 7 January; she was 70. [LZS]
Howard Hesseman (1940-2022), US actor in Americathon (1979) and Flight of the Navigator (1986), died on 29 January aged 81. [LP]
Trevor Hughes, UK fan and comics mart organizer who published Hawkfrendz, Hawkwind Assault and Battery and other Hawkwind fanzines, died just before Christmas. [AS]
Jo Kendall (1938-2022), UK actress whose radio credits include I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again (1964-1973, with various sf parodies) and the first episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1978), died in late January aged 83.
Barbara Krafftówna (1928-2022), Polish actress in The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), died on 23 January aged 93.
Stephen Lawrence (1939-2021), composer and music arranger for Sesame Street (1989-2007) and such children’s films as The Frog Prince (1986), died on 30 December aged 82. [MMW]
Chris A. Masters, Australian horror author – first novel Take Two (2018) – who edited Shoggoth and other little magazines, died on 5 January aged 61. [SJ]
Meat Loaf (1947-2022), US singer and actor with genre credits from The Rocky Horror Show (Broadway and film) via Fight Club (1999) to Ghost Wars (2017-2018), died on 20 January aged 74. [LP]
Jean-Claude Mézières (1938-2022), French comics artist best known for the sf Valerian/Laureline adventures that inspired the film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), died on the night of 22/23 January aged 83. [F770]
Elizabeth Miller (1939-2022), Canadian academic and Dracula scholar whose books include Reflections on Dracula: Ten Essays (1997), died on 2 January aged 82. She received the Dracula Society’s Life Achievement Award and other related honours. [SJ]
John Joseph Miller (1954-2022), US author of ties to various genre franchises – most famously Wild Cards, including the solo novel Death Draws Five (2006) – died on 5 January. [LB]
Yvette Mimieux (1942-2022), US actress in The Time Machine (1960, as Weena), The Neptune Factor (1973) and The Black Hole (1979), died on 18 January aged 80. [SS]
Mace Neufeld (1928-2022), US producer whose credits include The Omen (1976), Quark (1977-1978), Transylvania 6-5000 (1985) and Lost in Space (1998), died on 21 January aged 93. [AIP]
Sidney Poitier (1927-2022) noted Oscar-winning US actor who also directed Ghost Dad (1990) and wrote the metaphysical fantasy novel Montaro Caine (2013), died on 6 January aged 94.
Silas Potts (1970-2021), UK fan, ZZ9 member and London First Thursday regular, died unexpectedly over Christmas. [F/AS]
Alex Rebar (1940-2021), US actor who starred in The Incredible Melting Man (1977), died on 19 November aged 81. [SS]
Peter Robbins (1956-2022), former US child actor who voiced Charlie Brown in Peanuts-based tv films and shorts 1965-1969, committed suicide on 18 January; he was 65. [MMW]
George Rossi (1961-2022), Scots actor in Max Headroom (1985), died on 5 January aged 60.
Lee Server, US writer on cinema and the pulps whose books include Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers (2002), died on 28 December aged 68. [SH]
Roger Sims (1930-2022), long-time US fan and con-runner who co-chaired the 1959 Worldcon – and other events including Corflu, Ditto and FanHistoriCon – died on 23 January aged 91. He was the 1995 Down Under Fan Fund winner (with his wife Pat) and entered the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2020. [JZ]
Willie Siros, US fan and book dealer who chaired the Texas conventions Solarcon (1975, 1976), Armadillocon (1979, 1980, 1981) and LoneStarCon (1985), died on 5 January aged 69. [LP]
Carol Speed (1945-2022), US actress in the Exorcist-inspired Abby (1974), died on 14 January aged 76. [SJ]
Gaspard Ulliel (1984-2022), French actor in Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) and the coming Marvel tv adaptation Moon Knight, died on 19 January aged 37. [MMW]
Jay Wolpert (1942-2022), US tv game show creator who co-wrote the storyline for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – creating characters used in sequels – died on 3 January aged 79. [AIP]
Dave Wolverton (1957-2022), US author of much sf and (as David Farland) of the popular Runelords fantasy sequence opening with The Sum of All Men (1998 aka The Runelords), died on 14 January aged 64. He had for many years edited the annual Writers of the Future anthologies. [PDF]
Bill Wright (1937-2022), Australian fan active since the late 1950s, a founding member of ANZAPA and the Nova Mob, died on 16 January a day before his 85th birthday. He was the 2013 Down Under Fan Fund winner. [BG]

Court Circular. Pete Young reports: ‘Following the news on Dame Joanna Lumley and Dame Vanessa Redgrave, we supposedly already have a Dame among us: searching for Gwyneth Jones on Apple Books this weekend I see that all her titles are actually credited to “Dame Gwyneth Jones”, the Welsh operatic soprano.’ (Email, 4 January)

The Dead Past. 80 Years Ago, Walter H. Gillings reported that ‘Tales of Wonder has had a very narrow squeak indeed. “In the midst of preparing the issue,” says Wally, “I heard from World’s Work that it was quite possible it would never appear; it appears they wanted to transfer the paper they’re allowed for it, and that for their other two quarterlies, over to the monthly Short Stories, but they first had to get the consent of the Paper Centre – and this was not, fortunately for us, forthcoming.”’ (Futurian War Digest 17, February 1942)
50 Years Ago, ‘Malcolm & Christine Edwards were married on February 12th and Graham & Pat Charnock on February 29th.’ (Checkpoint 15, March 1972)
40 Years Ago, Kingsley Amis issued another definitive pronouncement that sf was dead. (Radio Times, 6 February 1982)
20 Years Ago: ‘Ken Follett’s much publicized Discworld appearance (at a cost of £2,200 for charity) is as the sinisterly scheming Doctor Follett, head of the Assassins’ Guild in Terry Pratchett’s just-completed Night Watch.’ ... ‘Stephen King says he’s retiring after five more books. A collection and a novel this year, three more Dark Tower novels in 2003, and then: “That’s it. I’m done. Done writing books. [...] I don’t want to finish up like Harold Robbins. That’s my nightmare.”’ (LA Times, 27 January 2002)’ (Ansible 175, February 2002)

Fanfundery. Another free ebook at the TAFF site: The Incompleat Burbee from 1958, collecting much politically incorrect fanzine writing by old-time LA fan Charles Burbee. See
• Coming soon: the indefatigable Rob Hansen has assembled the parodic 1957-1975 fanzine adventures of Sir William Makepeace Harrison, stalwart defender of the British Empire, as The Harrison Saga chronicled by ‘Harry Hurstmonceaux O.B.E. and Cyril Faversham M.M.’.

C.o.A. Mike Scott, Bryn Siriol, Ysceifiog, Holywell, CH8 8NJ, UK.

Editorial. My publication score for 2021, besides the usual dozen Ansibles, was one issue of Cloud Chamber, eight ebooks for the TAFF website’s Little Free Library (some with Rob Hansen, who bemusedly reports that Bixelstrasse is now turning up on pirate sites), one Ansible Editions paperback of my own stuff, and a revamped online SF Encyclopedia which – touch wood – has yet to crash horribly. Keep watching the skies!

Random Fandom. Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards voting will close on 25 February. See

Thog’s Masterclass. Waggish Dept. ‘Bending, her breasts wagging forward, she rummaged in the pocket of her blouse ...’ (Philip K. Dick, Ubik, 1969) [NW]
Dept of How’s That Again? ‘The man’s glance brushed a stroke from the computer across Kevin’s conservative denim suit to meet his eyes.’ (Ronnie Seagren, ‘Of Wood and Stone’ in Once Upon a Galaxy ed. Martin H. Greenberg and others, 2002) [TS]
Figures of Speech. ‘The moon hung like an undescended testicle in the sky.’ (Brian Aldiss, The Male Response, 1961) [DD] ‘The cameras followed them, silent as hepatitis.’ (Brian Aldiss, The Eighty-Minute Hour, 1974)

Geeks’ Corner

Subscriptions. To receive Ansible monthly via email, send a message to:
ansible-news+subscribe [at]
You will be asked to confirm by email that you want to join the group. To resign from the Google Groups list, send email to:
ansible-news+unsubscribe [at] More details, and an alternative list subscription form for those averse to Google, on this page (which is also where to unsubscribe from the alternative list, hosted at
Home page –
RSS feed –
LiveJournal syndication –
Back issues –
Printable PDFs –
Email the editor –
Books Received –

Convention and Event Links
• British Isles –
• London –
• Overseas – [no longer updated]


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

Postman’s Knock. The Royal Mail has decided to crack down on those wicked UK fanzine editors who stockpile second-class stamps to reduce the pain of the next price hike:

Late Reports. Scott Gronmark (1952-2020), Norwegian-born UK crime and horror novelist who wrote as by Nick Sharman, died on 29 June 2020. [PDF/Fictionmags]
William Walling (1926-2021), US author whose first sf novel was No One Goes There Now (1971), died in January 2021 aged 94. [ISFDB]

Virtual Meetings.
• 3 February 2022, evening: London Zoom meeting as below, since the pub has a paid booking that trumps fannish freebies.
• 17 February 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.’
• 20 February 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.

Some Links from the Ansible home page.
• Bram Stoker Awards preliminary ballot
• BSFA Awards longlists
• Cheryl Morgan on DisCon III
• How out-of-copyright in the USA is Winnie-the-Pooh?

Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 175, February 2002. ‘Somehow, the mackerel paté of memory had escaped its wrapper, skipped its kitchen dish, and turned into a flickering silver shoal, darting and twisting in terror against an empty darkness.’ (‘Gabriel King’, The Wild Road, 1997)
Dept of Maths (Three Orders of Magnitude subdivision). ‘A man could be made to slash his throat in a quarter of a minute. An exec, killing, killing, killing without pause, could destroy his own two million enemies in an eight-hour day.' (Frederik Pohl, A Plague of Pythons, 1965 ... corrected, to be fair, in the 1984 revision)
Dept of Climbing Plants. ‘There were clumps of forest filled with strange, intertwined trees and brachiating fungi.’ (Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars: The Approaching Storm, 2002)

Ansible® 415 © David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Lenny Bailes, Sandra Bond, Don D'Ammassa, Paul Di Filippo, Malcolm Edwards, File 770, Flick, Keith Freeman, Bruce Gillespie, SF² Concatenation, Steve Holland, Steve Jones, Publishers Lunch, Joe McNally, Todd Mason, Gary Mattingly, James D. Nicoll, Lawrence Person, Locus, Andrew I. Porter, Nigel Rowe, Andy Sawyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Alison Scott, Leah Zeldes Smith, Steven Smith, Terry Somerville, Nick Watkins, Martin Morse Wooster, Joel Zakem, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). 1 February 2022