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Ansible® 420, July 2022

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 route plan from Paragon III via Megaster V and Earth to Pollux.

They Know One Truth

Dmitry Glukhovsky, Russian journalist and sf author of Metro 2033 fame, was placed on Russia’s wanted list and faces prosecution for spreading ‘false information’ about the war in Ukraine – that is, calling it a war and condemning this as a bad thing. (Reuters, 7 June) [F770]

Rhys Hughes may no longer have a purpose in life: ‘Just finished writing my 1000th story. The massive story-cycle I began back in 1989 is done at last. 33 years is a long time and to be honest I never actually thought I would get to the end. But I have ...’ (Facebook, 10 June)

Verity Lambert (1935-2007), the BBC’s first woman producer – fondly remembered for launching Doctor Who in 1963 – was honoured with a blue plaque at Riverside Studios, London. (Radio Times, 30 May)

Bella Pagan was promoted to the lofty status of Publisher at Tor UK, having been a senior editor there since 2011. (The Bookseller, 13 June)

James Patterson, proprietor of a hugely successful fiction factory that’s sold over 450 million copies – including sf and superhero tales – went public with a lament that “white older male writers” like himself are hapless victims of “racism” and finding it hard to get “writing gigs in film, theatre, TV or publishing”. (Sunday Times, 12 June) Poor dear. After much response that unfairly cited publishing and bestseller lists dominated by white older male writers, Patterson issued an apology.


3 Jul • Tolkien Society Seminar, Leeds Hilton and online. Free. See

SOLD OUT. 10 Jul • Forever Avon (Blake’s 7), Steventon Village Hall, Steventon, Oxon. See

13-17 Jul • Once and Future Fantasies (conference), Centre for Fantasy, University of Glasgow. £225 reg; £98 concessions. See

15-17 Jul • Lavecon (gaming), Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes. Many ticket options from £21 per day at

16-17 Jul • Other Worlds writing weekend, Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Hockley, Nottingham. £65; £35/day. See

5-8 Aug • Continuum (RPG), John Foster Hall, Manor Road, Leicester University, Oadby. £175 with single room (self-catering only); day pass £15; more rates at, ‘Other Stuff’.

CANCELLED. 5-7 Aug • TitanCon, Belfast. Cancellation first announced on Facebook (27 May); memberships to be refunded. See

SOLD OUT. 19-22 Aug • Discworld Convention, Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC. £85 reg, £60 concessions. Waiting list at

1-5 Sep • Chicon 8 (80th Worldcon), Chicago, IL, USA. Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due have been added to the GoH list. $240 reg; other rates at Note that Hugo voting closes on 11 August.

10 Sep • Popcorn (media), Magna, Sheffield. Tickets £10; under 17s £8; family (2 adult, 2 children) £30. See

CANCELLED. 30 Sep-1 Oct • Destination Star Trek, ExCel, London. See

29 Oct • BristolCon, Hilton DoubleTree, Bristol.£35 reg; £20 under-18s and concessions; under-14s free; £10 supp. See

ONLINE. 3-4 Dec • When It Changed: Women in SF/F Since 1972 (conference). See 7 June item at

6-7 May 2023 • Portsmouth Comic Con, Guildhall, Portsmouth. ‘Tickets on sale soon’ at

20-21 May 2023 • HorrorCon UK, Magna, Sheffield. Ticket details awaited at

26-28 May 2023 • Satellite 8, Crowne Plaza, Glasgow. GoH Christopher Priest and Michelle ‘Cuddles’ Drayton-Harrold. £70 reg, perhaps rising very soon: see for all current rates.

2-4 Jun 2023 • Cymera SF Festival 2023, Edinburgh and online. Further details awaited at

10-11 Jun 2023 • EM-Con (media), Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. Ticket sales awaited at

31 May - 2 Jun 2024 • FunCon One, Palace Hotel, Buxton. £55 early-bird membership still offered, perhaps rising soon. See

Infinitely Improbable

As Others Classify Us. ‘Fabulist fiction exists in the no-mans-land between “genre” and “literary” fiction, drawing heavily from each. It has this in common with a number of other subgenres – surrealism, magical realism, weird fiction. A lot of books could be reasonably given several of these labels, just as a lot of books could be reasonably shelved as both literary fiction and fantasy. What defines fabulism in my mind, though, is the use of fantastical elements to explore personal, human themes.’ (Kathryn Harlan, Publishers Weekly, 22 June) [PDF] Unlike sf or fantasy.

Queen’s Birthday Honours. Knighted/damed as Companions of Honour: Quentin Blake, Salman Rushdie and Marina Warner. OBE for services to literature: Michael Foreman and Joanne Harris.

Magazine Scene. Andy Cox’s Interzone 292/293, now printing, is his final issue. Gareth Jelley of MYY Press will take over as editor/publisher, with number 294 expected this year; he hopes to return to the old bimonthly schedule. Gareth is already running the online Interzone Digital, cunningly described as ‘like Interzone, but digital’: see The sister magazine at TTA Press is not yet dead, says Andy: ‘Black Static continues for a bit ... One more double issue (82/83) should do it I think.’

Awards. Locus: SF NOVEL A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine. FANTASY NOVEL Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee. HORROR NOVEL My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones. YA NOVEL Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders. FIRST NOVEL A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark. NOVELLA Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells. NOVELETTE ‘That Story Isn’t the Story’ by John Wiswell (Uncanny 11/21) SHORT ‘Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather’ by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3/21) ANTHOLOGY We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2020 ed. C.L. Clark & Charles Payseur. COLLECTION Even Greater Mistakes by Charlie Jane Anders. MAGAZINE PUBLISHER Tor. EDITOR Ellen Datlow. ARTIST Charles Vess. NONFICTION Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950-1985 ed. Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre. ART BOOK The Art of Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess’ Stardust by Charles Vess. SPECIAL Codex Writers’ Group.
Rhysling for short poem: ‘Confessions of a Spaceport AI’ by Mary Soon Lee (Uncanny 43); long poem voting continues until 1 November.
Women’s Prize: The Book of Form & Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.

Publishers and Sinners. The mighty Macmillan publishing group (including Tor) went offline in both the USA and the UK following a cyber-attack on 25 June that caused ‘the encryption of certain files on our network’ – which sounds like ransomware – and left it unable to ‘process, receive, place, or ship orders’. (Publishers Weekly, 27-29 June)

We Are Everywhere: Abnormal Brain Dept. ‘Do you care how Darth Vader's appearance in the new Star Wars television series can be reconciled with his confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi in the1977 film A New Hope or are you normal? I am a proud member of the abnormal.’ (Stephen Bush, Financial Times, 7 June) [MMW]

R.I.P. Regimantas Adomaitis (1937-2022), Lithuanian actor in the Strugatsky-based Hard to Be a God (1989) and in Amphibian-Man (2004), died on 20 June aged 85. [AM]
Cüneyt Arkin (1937-2022), Turkish actor who starred in very many films including The Man Who Saved the World (1982) and Turks in Space (2006), died on 28 June aged 84. [SS]
Bryan Barrett (1957-2022), long-time US fan and book dealer who was a 1987 UK Worldcon bid agent, co-chaired the 1988 World Fantasy Convention and published Abbattoir/Cartouche (1987-1991) with Lucy Huntzinger, died on 21 June. [LH]
John Bates (1935-2022), UK fashion designer with credits for The Avengers (1965-1966) and The Final Programme (1973), died on 5 June aged 87. [SJ]
Julee Cruise (1956-2022), US singer and actress in children’s fantasy productions including The Marvelous Land of Oz (1981), and in Twin Peaks (1989-1990 plus later film and series), died on 9 June aged 65. [SJ]
Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Paco Mufote (Juan Francisco González Aguilar), Mexican actors in the coming Netflix series The Chosen One, died on 16 June in a road crash while filming a scene; six other cast and crew members were injured. [AIP]
Simon Deitch (1947-2022), US underground comics artist and animator, died on 21 June aged 75. [PDF]
Tommy Dysart (1935-2022), Scots-born Australian actor in Next of Kin (1982), Sky Pirates (1986) and Body Melt (1993), died on 15 June aged 87. [SS]
Renée Glynne (1926-2022), UK script and continuity expert with genre credits for Four Sided Triangle (1953), Spaceways (1953), The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), Catweazle (1971), The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) and others, died on 6 April aged 95. [AIP]
Philip Baker Hall (1931-2022), US actor in The Truman Show (1998), The Amityville Horror (2005) and Second Chance (2016), died on 12 June aged 90. [LP]
Dorothy J. Heydt (1942-2022), US fan – who compiled the original Star Trek Concordance (1968) – early SCA member and author of The Interior Life (1990 as Katherine Blake), A Point of Honor (1998) and many short stories, died in late June aged 80. [SM]
Ernst Jacobi (1933-2022), German actor whose films include the Günter Grass-based The Tin Drum (1979), died on 23 June aged 88.
Greg Jein (1945-2022), Chinese-American special effects model-maker whose credits include Flesh Gordon (1974), Close Encounters (1977), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979; also later tv series), Avatar (2009), Oblivion (2013) and Interstellar (2014), died on 22 May aged 76. [SL]
Brad Johnson (1959-2022), US actor in Always (1989), Philadelphia Experiment II (1993), Left Behind (2000 plus sequels), Riverworld (2003) and others, died on 18 February. [LP]
Billy Kametz (1987-2023), US voice actor best known for English dubs of anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996), Pokémon (1997-current) and Attack on Titan (2013-2023) – plus much videogame work – died on 9 June aged 35. [AIP]
Ken Kelly (1946-2022), US artist who worked for Warren comics (Creepy, Eerie) in the 1970s and did numerous covers for books and music albums (notably Kiss) – many collected in The Art of Ken Kelly (1990) and Escape (2004) – died on 3 June aged 76. [GVG]
George Lamming (1927-2022), Barbadian poet and author whose one fantastic novel was Natives of My Person (1971), died on 4 June aged 94. [JC]
Linda Lawson (1936-2022), US actress in Night Tide (1961), died on 18 May aged 86. [LP]
Leon Lissek (1939-2022), Australian actor whose many credits include Countess Dracula (1971), The Dybbuk (1980), Time Bandits (1981), Whoops Apocalypse (1986) and The Discovery of Heaven (2001), died on 21 June aged 83. [SJ]
Rafael Llopis (1933-2022) Spanish author, editor and critic who introduced Lovecraft and the Chthulu Mythos to Spain – also translating M.R. James and Arthur Machen – died on 24 March aged 89. [JR]
Mary Mara (1960-2022), US actress in Love Potion No. 9 (1992), K-PAX (2001) and genre tv including Star Trek: Enterprise (2004), died on 26 June aged 61. [LP]
Serge Minskevich (Siarhey Mytsko, 1969-2022), Belarus author of short fiction and two novels which he called ‘quasifantasy’ and ‘space fantasy’, died on 8 June aged 53. [AM]
Massimo Morante (1952-2022), Italian whose prog-rock band Goblin has soundtrack credits for Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), died on 23 June aged 69. [LP]
Olga Orlova (1932-2022), Russian animator for The Mystery of the Third Planet (1981) and many short films for children, died on 5 June aged 89.
Barbara Paul (1931-2022) , US novelist best known for mysteries, whose six sf novels include the Star Trek tie The Three-Minute Universe (1988), was reported in early June as having died; she was 90 or 91. [JDN]
Everett Peck (1950-2022), US comics artist and animator whose creations starred in the tv Duckman (1994-1997) and Squirrel Boy (2006-2007), died on 14 June aged 71. [AIP]
Isidoro Raponi (1945-2022), Italian mechanical effects expert who worked on King Kong (1976), Close Encounters (1977), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), The Running Man (1987) and others, died on 27 May aged 76. [AIP]
May Routh (1934-2022), UK costume designer with film credits for The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Ghost Story (1981), Splash (1983), Morons from Outer Space (1985) and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1989), died on 1 June aged 87.
Tim Sale (1956-2022), Eisner-winning US comics artist who with writer Jeph Loeb created projects for DC (Batman, Superman, Catwoman) and Marvel (Daredevil, Spider-Man, Hulk), died on 16 Jun aged 66. [PDF]
Tyler Sanders (2004-2022), US actor with a star role in Just Add Magic: Mystery City (2020), died on 16 June aged 18. [LP]
Pat Silver (formerly Pat Brown), UK convention-runner and filker who won the 1991 Doc Weir award, died on 8 June. [AF]
Marlenka Stupica (1927-2022), award-winning Slovene painter who illustrated many classic fairy tales and other children’s books, died on 17 June aged 94. [PDF]
Jean-Louis Trintignant (1930-2022), French actor in Journey Beneath the Desert (1961), Malevil (1981), The City of Lost Children (1995) and Immortal (2004), died on 17 June aged 91. [SJ]
Glen Trotiner (1956-2022), US assistant director for many genre films including Freejack (1992), Independence Day (1996) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), died on 16 June aged 66. [AIP]
Frank Williams (1931-2022), UK Dad’s Army actor in Jabberwocky (1977), Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) and The Ghost Downstairs (1982), died on 26 June aged 90. [SJ]
Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945-2022), US author and poet who wrote some sf (Interzone, Back Brain Recluse, etc.) and co-edited Semiotext[e] SF (1989) with Rudy Rucker and Robert Anton Wilson, died on 22 May aged 76. [LP]
Billy Wolfenbarger (1943-2022), US fan and author who published many stories, articles and poems from 1965 onward, died on 26 June. [SHS]
Matt Zimmerman (1934-2022), Canadian actor who voiced Alan Tracy in Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds (1965-1966), Thunderbirds Are GO (1966) and Thunderbird 6 (1978), died on 9 June aged 87. [SS]

The Weakest Link. Clive Myrie: ‘A fairytale in book form called The Ickabog, first published in 2020, is a bestselling children’s book by which author?’ Contestant: ‘Charles Darwin.’ (BBC2, Mastermind)
Ben Shephard: ‘Sirius Black was the godfather of which fictional wizard created by J.K. Rowling?’ Contestant: ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ (ITV, Tipping Point) [PE]

Don’t Tell Cory Doctorow. ‘“Little Brother is watching you,” said no novel or movie ever.’ (Janan Ganesh, Financial Times, 22 June) [MMW]

SFWA sent a release about new membership qualifications introduced this year. Full members must have earned at least $1,000 from writing and associate members $100, either solo or as their share of co-authored works. These are career totals, not annual income. (29 June)

Mainstream Masterclass. ‘You envisioned your clitoris lying in cement, sped over flickeringly by bicycle wheels. It would regenerate itself and look alive again, but its soul was smashed, bleeding tiny ruby seahorse tears on the sidewalks.’ ‘She felt like she had eighteen clitorises, and all of them couldn’t drive.’ (Lisa Taddeo, Ghost Lover, 2022) [MMW]

Random Fandom. Hugo Reform? There’s a proposal to abolish clause 3.12.2 of the WSFS constitution, which decrees that no Hugo award should be given in any category where the number of valid final ballots cast is less than 25% the total of ballots received. Minority interest categories like Best Fanzine have already come close to being cancelled in this way despite getting many hundreds of votes, simply because the biggies like Novel and Dramatic attract such vast numbers. [F770]

Some Good News For a Change. ‘City-killing asteroid won't hit Earth in 2052 after all’ is the headline of a story about the terrifying 2021 QM1, described by the European Space Agency as ‘the riskiest asteroid known to humankind’ but now removed from the ESA risk list ... which however still contains a further 1,377 asteroids. (The Register, 29 June)

Magazine Scene II. Paul Campbell’s Cossmass Infinities, published since 2020, will cease with the July 2022 issue. (Twitter, 20 June)

Fanfundery. One-Off Fund: Jason Sanford launched a fundraiser to bring Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki from Nigeria to the 2022 Chicago Worldcon and the Hugo ceremony where he’s a multiple finalist. See The goal of $7,000 was reached and passed in just over one day.
TAFF: The second free ebook to become a paperback sold in aid of TAFF is Rob Hansen’s 1957: The First UK Worldcon – see

The Dead Past. 50 Years Ago, the first Eurocon was held in Trieste (12-16 July) with John Brunner as guest of honour and many ‘Europa Awards’ presented. (Checkpoint 20, 29 July 1972)
40 Years Ago, ‘Brian Aldiss has suffered the rewards of hubris after setting his “mini-saga” competition in the Telegraph magazine; a mini-saga was defined as a story no more nor less than 50 words long, making the judging look relatively light work: but there were 33,000 entries....’ (Ansible 27, July 1982)
30 Years Ago, ‘Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. is suing Vogue magazine for using “trademark images” without leave, i.e. pictures of “Tarzan” with underdressed Janes. $1 million damages asked. Costume fans take note: your torsos and loincloths are not your own.’ (Ansible 60, July 1992)

Publishers and Sinners II. With the June 2022 release of John Clute’s seventh critical collection Sticking to the End, ‘Beccon Publications has now published its last book.’ (Roger Robinson,, June)

Thog’s Masterclass. Dept of Nice Distinctions. ‘A paralyser field effected only the nervous system and not the brain.’ (Philip E. High, Invader on My Back, 1968)
Synaesthesia Dept. ‘He was a nymph of a man, but he sounded like petroleum fumes would if they’d had anything to say.’ (Natasha Pulley, The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, 2020) [SC]
Eyeballs in the Sky. ‘She had large protruding eyes – sometimes they looked horribly biddable and other times impressively contemptuous.’ ‘He had high wolfish hair and small eyes that looked like they were boiling in his face.’ (both Claire-Louise Bennett, ‘Invisible Bird’, 30 May 2022 The New Yorker) [CG]
Geocentric Dept. ‘... John Carr, a well-known space ace was chosen. Carr, a popular hero, held the Mars-Mercury speed record and had been the first man to circle the sun.’ (Von Kellar, Tri-Planet, 1953) [BA]
Much the Best Way. ‘Baun jumped head-first up the stairs ...’ (Ibid)

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.

Ansible Editions Clearance. Found some copies of New Maps: More Uncollected John Sladek (see left over from the 2019 Eastercon. £10 post free in UK only; first come first served; please check via before sending any money (PayPal preferred).

Virtual Meetings.
• 21 July 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.’

Some Links from the Ansible home page.
• Flying Cars and Food Pills
• Forgotten Langford Skeptic article comes to light

Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 180, July 2002. ‘Her brother’s twitching eyes and bared buck teeth gave him the look of a gopher on pure crystal meth, capable of anything, one way or the other.’ (S.M. Stirling, Island in the Sea of Time, 1998)
• ‘When he spoke again he could barely suppress a yodel of irritation.’ (Ian McEwan, The Innocent, 1990)
Dept of Logic, Pure: ‘After all, Roamers had disproved the impossible time and again.’ Applied: ‘In the vacuum of space no one could see beautiful lines or shiny hulls anyway.’ (both Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire, 2002)

Ansible® 420 © David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, Steve Carper, John Clute, Paul Di Filippo, File 770, Alan Fleming, Carl Glover, Lucy Huntzinger, Steve Jones, Steve Lee, Seanan McGuire, Andrey Meshavkin, James D. Nicoll, Lawrence Person, Andrew I. Porter, Private Eye, Jorge Repollés, Marcus Rowland, Steven H Silver, Steven Smith, Martin Morse Wooster, Gordon van Gelder, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). 1 July 2022