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Ansible® 423, October 2022

From David Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 5AU, UK. Website ISSN 0265-9816 (print); 1740-942X (e). Logo: Dan Steffan. Cartoon: Jim Barker. Available for SAE, Frobb, or Morgenstern’s Colour Selection in Galactic Pantography.

Chicon 8: You Read It Here Last! The Chicago Worldcon had 6,500 members; 3,574 physically present. [F770]
Hugos. NOVEL A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine. NOVELLA A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. NOVELETTE ‘Bots of the Lost Ark’ by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld 6/21). SHORT ‘Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather’ by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3/21). SERIES ‘Wayward Children’ by Seanan McGuire. GRAPHIC Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin & Jamal Campbell. RELATED WORK Never Say You Can’t Survive by Charlie Jane Anders. DRAMATIC – LONG Dune. DRAMATIC – SHORT The Expanse: ‘Nemesis Games’. EDITOR – SHORT Neil Clarke. EDITOR – LONG Ruoxi Chen. PRO ARTIST Rovina Cai. SEMIPROZINE Uncanny. FANZINE Small Gods. FANCAST Our Opinions Are Correct. FAN WRITER Cora Buhlert. FAN ARTIST Lee Moyer.
Site Selection: to no one’s surprise the unopposed Glasgow bid is now the official 2024 Worldcon with 776 of 809 ballots (7 No Preference and the rest joke write-ins) – see listing below.
Other Awards. Astounding (new writer): Shelley Parker-Chan. Big Heart: Mark Linneman. First Fandom Hall of Fame: George W. Price and (posthumous) August Derleth. Lodestar (YA): The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik. Sam Moskowitz Archive Award: Doug Ellis and Deb Fulton. Sidewise: LONG Laurent Binet, Civilizations (translated by Sam Taylor). SHORT “Gunpowder Treason” by Alan Smale (Tales from Alternate Earths, Vol. III). Special Chicon Committee Award: ISFDB.
Covid Stats: 60 attendees tested positive during or soon after Chicon.
Fan Funds. Chicon auctions, sales and donations raised $4,694.64, which was shared between TAFF, DUFF, GUFF and FFANZ. [GS]

The Solimões Factor

Douglas Adams is now entwined in the myth of the ‘stolen’ 2020 US election, thanks to such conspiracy theorists as ‘Shiva Ayyadurai, a failed Massachusetts Senate candidate who claims that Trump lost because every state subtracted 4.2 percent of his vote share. (The figure, Ayyadurai has said, is based on the significance of the number 42 in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)’ (The New Yorker, 1 August) [MMW]

Greg Egan offered wise advice: ‘After dying, we strongly recommend that you do not disclose any personal information to superficially angelic-looking interlocutors, as this is likely to be a phishing attempt. Type the URL for paradise manually into your soul’s browser, and double-check for a padlock symbol.’ (Twitter, 23 September)

Neil Gaiman seems to have become the official Twitter scapegoat for all complaints about tv fantasy series, including The Rings of Power: ‘I’m so sorry. I have taken your hurt to heart and promise that I will no longer make any kind of Lord of the Rings based television for any network ever.’

Joyce Carol Oates paraphrased part of Ted Chiang’s Seattle Book Festival talk, saying that he ‘carefully distinguished between science-fiction (impersonal, never “magical”) & fantasy (personal, character-driven, “magical”.’ And then helpfully tacked on her own conclusion: ‘interesting & convincing argument suggesting why fantasy as a genre is fundamentally YA.’ (Twitter, 19 September) Others disagree. What’s more, ‘mystery/detective/police or legal procedurals are antithetical to horror/fantasy [...] because traditional mysteries MUST be realistic, otherwise detection makes no sense.’ (Ibid) Such a powerfully argued case merits investigation by Carnacki, Lord Darcy or Samuel Vimes.

Nnedi Okorafor learned the dangers of being a Moomintroll fan when told by a stern Swedish airport security officer, ‘You have a huge knife in your bag.’ It was a Hattifattener-shaped night light. (Facebook)


6-9 Oct • Grimmfest (film), Odeon Great Northern, Manchester. Tickets £110; concessions £92.50 (plus booking fee). See

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

14-16 Oct • Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kendal, Cumbria. Tickets £25 (£15 concessions) at

15-16 Oct • Octocon, Croke Park, Dublin. €60 reg; concessions €40; YA or supp €20. Registration open at

20-23 Oct • Celluloid Screams (horror films), Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. Tickets £95 (£85 concessions) at

22-23 Oct • Surrey Steampunk Convivial, Stoneleigh, Epsom. See

26 Oct • Clarke Award Ceremony, Science Museum, London. 6:45-8:15pm. £13. No under-18s. See

27-31 Oct • Edinburgh Horror Festival, Banshee Labyrinth and other city venues. Event tickets from

28-29 Oct • 15th Starfleet/Klingon Banquet, Peterborough Marriott Hotel. £65 reg. See

28-30 Oct • Festival of Fantastic Films, Pendulum Hotel, Manchester. £105 reg. Day rates at the new website:

28-29 Oct • Frightfest (film), Cineworld, Leicester Square, London. Ticket details awaited at

29 Oct • BristolCon, Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, Bristol.£35 reg; £20 under-18s, concessions, disabled; under-14s free; £10 supp. Registration at No more dealer bookings – that room is full.

1-22 Nov • Writing Science-Fiction (online course by Alex Davis), 6:30-8:30pm Tuesdays plus one-to-one session. £55. See

4-6 Nov • Armadacon 2022, Future Inns, Plymouth. £35 reg; £30 concessions. More at

19-20 Nov • Steampunks in Space, National Space Centre, Leicester. £16.95; child/concessions £13.95. See

7-10 Apr 2023 • Conversation (Eastercon), Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC. £70 reg; £40 concessions; £35 supp/online only; under-18s £20; under-13s £5. Rates rise on 17 October. See

16-20 Aug 2023 • Worldcon 2023, Chengdu, China. Memberships on sale at last: $70 reg (virtual $10); $50 first-timers ($2); $30 students ($2). Plus $50 for here seemingly optional WSFS/Hugo voting rights. See the new website at for further details.

15-17 Sep 2023 • Fantasycon 2023, Jury’s Inn Hotel, Broad St, Birmingham. £71 reg; £66 student; under-16s £31 (BFS members £10 less); under-4s free. Rates rise soon. See

8-12 Aug 2024 • Glasgow 2024, Glasgow SEC. GoH Chris Baker (Fangorn), Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer, Ken MacLeod, Nnedi Okorafor, Terri Windling. £170 reg; concessions £125; YA (under 26) £110; under-16s £70; under-11s £45; under-6s £5. These rates are scheduled to rise on 1 May 2023. See for further details.

Infinitely Improbable

As Others Value Us. An AbeBooks vendor writes: ‘There’s also a small paperback exchange store nearby, run by a sweet Lithuanian woman, who is pleased as all hell to take genre romance, sci-fi, fantasy, all the rubbish, which her customers love, but have no value online....’ [BA]

Awards. Booker Prize shortlist, genre titles only: Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, Treacle Walker by Alan Garner, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka.
National Women’s Hall of Fame (US) 2022 inductees include Octavia Butler.
Scott O’Dell Award (children’s/YA, $5,000): Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland. [F770]
SFPA Dwarf Star (short poem): tie ‘Poem with Lines from My Son’ by Jen Stewart Fueston and ‘What Trees Read’ by Mary Soon Lee.
SFRA Award for Lifetime Contributions to SF Scholarship (formerly known as the Pilgrim Award): Roger Luckhurst.
Sturgeon (short): ‘Broad Dutty Water: A Sunken Story’ by Nalo Hopkinson (F&SF 11/21).

As Others See Us. ‘Though long dismissed as the delusions of science fiction, UFOs have emerged as a serious subject in the nation's capital.’ (Luke Mullins, Washingtonian, August 2022) [MMW]

R.I.P. Martin Barker (1946-2022), UK scholar of media and cultural studies whose books include The Video Nasties (1984), Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics (1989) and studies of audience/critic responses to the films Alien, Crash, Judge Dredd and the Lord of the Rings trio, died on 8 September aged 76. [SH]
Margaret Basta (1951-2022), US fan who with her twin sister Laura was active in early Star Trek fandom – fanzines, con-running, founding the Trek club S.T.A.R. – was found dead at home on 4 September; she was 70. [GVG]
Bo Brundin (1937-2022), Swedish actor in Meteor (1979), Late for Dinner (1991) and genre tv series, died on 4 September aged 85. [SJ]
Brian Catling RA (1948-2022), UK academic, poet, sculptor and much else, whose novels include the magic-realist ‘Vorrh’ trilogy opening with The Vorrh (2012), died on 26 September. [PM-R]
Tom Chmielewski (1952-2022), US author whose ‘Martian Sands’ sf trilogy opens with Lunar Dust, Martian Sands (2014), died in June aged 70. [F770]
Coolio (1963-2022), US rapper and actor in Daredevil (2003), Dracula 3000 (2004), Pterodactyl (2005) and genre tv series , died on 28 September aged 59. Soundtrack credits include two Return of the Living Dead films (both 2005) and Love and Monsters (2020). [LP]
Chandler (Chan) Davis (1926-2022), US mathematician, author and fan active in Boston’s 1940s Stranger Club (group fan GoH at the 1989 Worldcon), whose short sf appeared from 1946 and was collected in 2010, died on 22 September aged 96. [F770]
Vincent Deporter (1959-2022), Belgian artist who worked on comics based on animated tv, including Scooby-Doo for DC and Spongebob Squarepants for Nickelodeon, died on 27 September aged 63. [PDF]
Louise Fletcher (1934-2022), US actress in Exorcist II (1977), Mama Dracula (1980; title role), Star Trek: DS9 (1993-1999), Virtuosity (1995) and The Devil’s Arithmetic (1999), died on 23 September aged 88. [LP]
Jack Ging (1931-2022), US actor in Sssssss (1973) and The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974), died on 10 September aged 90. [SJ]
Jean-Luc Godard (1930-2022), famed French ‘New Wave’ film director and screenwriter whose sf ventures are Alphaville (1965) and Weekend (1967), died on 13 September aged 91. [LP]
Marva Hicks (1956-2022), US actress in Alien Nation: Body and Soul (1995), Virtuosity (1995), The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1998) and genre tv series, died on 17 September aged 66. [LP]
Marsha Hunt (1917-2022), US actress in Back from the Dead (1957) and genre tv series, died on 6 September aged 104. [O]
Harry Landis (1931-2022), UK actor in Quatermass II (1955), Edge of Sanity (1989), Johnny and the Dead (1995), The Discovery of Heaven (2001) and Edge of Tomorrow (2014), died on 12 September aged 90. [SJ]
Douglas McKeown (1947-2022), US stage actor who wrote and directed The Deadly Spawn (1983), died on 9 September aged 75. [SJ]
Dale McRaven (1939-2022), US creator and producer of Mork & Mindy (1978-1982; he also wrote several episodes) died on 5 September aged 83. Other credits include Almost Heaven (1978). [LP]
Phillip Mann (1942-2022), UK-born author long resident in New Zealand who published ten notable sf and fantasy novels from The Eye of the Queen (1982) to The Disestablishment of Paradise (2013), died on 1 September aged 80. [AR]
Dame Hilary Mantel (1952-2022), noted UK author best known for her Booker-winning ‘Wolf Hall’ historical trilogy, whose novels with fantastic elements include Fludd (1989) and Beyond Black (2005), died on 22 September aged 70.
Igor Maslennikov (1931-2022), Russian film director whose Filipp Traum (1990) is a tv adaptation of Mark Twain’s ‘No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger’, died on 17 September aged 90. [AM]
Matthew Mather (1969-2022), UK-born Canadian author of technothrillers and sf beginning with The Complete Atopia Chronicles (2012), died on 13 September aged 52. [L]
Gary Nelson (1934-2022), US director of Freaky Friday (1976), The Black Hole (1979), Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986) and tv series including the 1960s Get Smart and The Ghost & Mrs Muir, died on 25 May aged 87 (announced September). [SHS]
Irene Papas (1926-2022), Greek actress whose credits include Moses the Lawgiver (1974), Ring of Darkness (1979) and two versions of The Odyssey (1968, 1997), died on 14 September aged 96. [LP]
Gwyneth Powell (1946-2022), UK actress in The Guardians (1971) and Back to the Secret Garden (2000), died on 8 September aged 76.
Henry Silva (1926-2022), US actor in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979 film and tv), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) and animated Batman/Superman tv series (1990s, voicing Bane), died on 14 September aged 95. [LP]
Maureen Kincaid Speller (1959-2022), UK fan, con-runner, editor (BSFA Matrix and Vector, The Gate, Foundation, others) and critic, active in the BSFA and in APAs including her own very literary Acnestis (1992-2005), died on 18 September aged 63. [PK] She was a 1996 Eastercon guest of honour, 1998 TAFF and fan writer Nova Award winner, and 1999 Hugo finalist as fan writer; as senior news editor at Strange Horizons she shared credit for three semiprozine Hugo shortlistings 2016-2021. Maureen – an old friend – is survived by her husband Paul Kincaid, to whom much sympathy.
Venetia Stevenson (1938-2022), UK actress in Island of Lost Women (1959) and The City of the Dead (1960), died on 26 September aged 84. [PDF]
Peter Straub (1943-2022), noted US horror author whose first major success was Ghost Story (1979; filmed 1981) and who co-wrote The Talisman (1984) with Stephen King, died on 4 September aged 79. Besides many individual book awards he received the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, World Fantasy and World Horror life achievement honours. [JC]
Bruce Taylor (1947-2022), US magic-realist author whose The Final Trick of Funnyman and Other Stories (1996) was the first of many collections, died on 31 August aged 75. [L]
Nikos Theodorou (1956-2022), Greek sf fan, collector and fanzine editor, was reported in early September as having died. [FR]
Vladimir Vyshegorodtsev (1950-2022), Russian animator whose sf films include Dunno on the Moon (1997) and Alice's Birthday (2009), died on 9 September aged 72. [AM]
Jenny Wolmark (1948-2022), academic and sf critic who wrote Aliens and Others: Science Fiction, Feminism and Postmodernism (1994) and edited Cybersexualities (1999), died on 8 August aged 74. [FM]

As Others Recommend Us. ‘Economists ought to read more science fiction. All that fun, futuristic stuff: phasers, lightsabers, replicants, intergalactic federations, extraterrestrial beings in hovercrafts. / Please don’t write in with the inevitable joke: “But economics is science fiction!”’ (Peter Coy, New York Times, 7 September)

Faites vos Jeux! A list of bookies’ odds on the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature is headed by Michel Houellebecq at 7/1 and Salman Rushdie at 8/1. Other listed dabblers in the fantastic include Stephen King (10/1), Haruki Murakami (14/1), Margaret Atwood (16/1), Maryse Condé (16/1) and Hilary Mantel (33/1 but, alas, no longer eligible); among the rank outsiders at 50/1 is Martin Amis. (Literary Hub, 26 September)

Magazine Scene. In the wake of Interzone’s move to a new home, TTA Press announced ‘Our last walk together’ for the sister magazine Black Static, whose final double issue will be #82/#83. (TTA Press) Meanwhile Interzone #294 is to be further delayed, with the copy date moving from early September to 5 December. Expect it in January.

British Fantasy Awards. ROBERT HOLDSTOCK (fantasy novel) She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. AUGUST DERLETH (horror novel) The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward. NOVELLA Defekt by Nino Cipri. COLLECTION Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap. SHORT ‘Bathymetry’ by Lorraine Wilson (Strange Horizons). ANTHOLOGY Sinopticon: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction ed. Xueting C. Ni. AUDIO Monstrous Agonies by H.R. Owen. INDEPENDENT PRESS Luna Press Publishing. MAGAZINE/PERIODICAL Apex. COMIC/GRAPHIC NOVEL The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag. ARTIST Jenni Coutts. NON-FICTION Writing the Uncanny ed. Dan Coxon & Richard V. Hirst. FILM/TV Last Night in Soho. SYDNEY J. BOUNDS (newcomer) Shelley Parker-Chan for She Who Became the Sun. KARL EDWARD WAGNER (special) Maureen Kincaid Speller.

As Others Remember Us. It seems a little early for the clickbait headline ‘WHO WAS URSULA LE GUIN?’ (, 7 September) [PDF]

Random Fandom. Jonathan Cowie visited Reading to collect, at last, SF² Concatenation’s 2012 ESFS award – accepted by Martin Hoare and retrieved from his house by your editor some while before Covid changed the world.
The Fanscene Project: this online fanzine archive, formerly Classic UK Comic Zines, has a new home at [DL]

The Dead Past. 30 Years Ago, Paul Barnett reported on SF Encyclopedia (second edition) progress: ‘After tussling with the Little Brown Production Manager over the latter's idea of a whole new typestyle for acronyms (which would have meant some poor sod picking through 1.2 million words of text to find and code all the acronyms), the Bearded Copy-Editor was delighted to hear from the Jolly Typesetter: “Er, you know that inordinately complicated system of coding for small capitals, italics and boldface that we insisted you use from the outset, sunshine? Well, er, our machines can't read it.”’ (Ansible 63, October 1992)

Fanfundery. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, left waiting for a plane when Ansible 422 went to press, did indeed make it to Chicon 8 and home again with the help of a one-off fan fund.
TAFF: Fia Karlsson, safely back from her Chicon trip, has taken over the awesome responsibilities of European Administrator from Johan Anglemark; ‘Orange’ Mike Lowrey replaces Geri Sullivan as NA Administrator. Contact details at
• With the kind support of Bruce Sterling and Charles Platt, the TAFF free library ebooks The Complete Cheap Truth and The Complete Patchin Review now have paperback editions: see

Thog’s Masterclass. From the Master of Adult Fantasy. ‘With an ugly, gloating chuckle, Zoraida ran her bejeweled hands over the panting breasts of the Cro-Magnon girl who writhed helplessly in Fumio's powerful grip.’ (Lin Carter, Darya of the Bronze Age, 1981)
The Female Form Divine. ‘Her figure was too well developed; she was rather like a wonderful French pastry made with far too much butter, too many eggs, mounds of rich cream and sugar; too rich, soft.’ (Dean R. Koontz, Darkfall, 1984)
• ‘... he wraps an arm around her waist and squeezes an ass as firm as a helium-filled balloon.’ (Norman Reedus, The Ravaged, 2022). [R]

Geeks’ Corner

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R.I.P. – Late Reports. Stephan Grundy (1967-2021), US author of the fantasy retellings Rhinegold (1994), Attila’s Treasure (1996) and Gilgamesh (1999), died on 29 September 2021 aged 54. [DVB]

Editorial. On 6 October the SF Encyclopedia celebrates a full year of going it alone at, after parting company with our former masters Hachette/Orion/Gollancz and replacing the mighty resources of the Hachette IT department with, er, me. So far we seem to have muddled along without actual disaster....

Virtual Meetings.
• 20 October 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.
• Chicon 8 Newsletter
• Chicon 8 Virtual Access Apology
• Hugo Awards; with statistics
• ITV coverage of 1957 London Worldcon; Rob Hansen identifies participants (scroll down)
SF² Concatenation Autumn 2022 Newscast
• Maureen Kincaid Speller remembered

Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 182, October 2002. Detached Viewpoint Dept. ‘Isaac threw up his face and swung it around him, desperately searching for light.’ (China Miéville, Perdido Street Station, 2000)
Golden Flow of Rhetoric Dept. ‘Other-ness plays the same part in urinating as in producing poetry.’ (Colin Wilson, The Philosopher’s Stone, 1969)
Eyeballs Dept. ‘Her wide, dark eyes crawled over me like spiders.’ (Manly Wade Wellman, ‘The Spring’, 1979)

Ansible® 423 © David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, David V. Barrett, John Clute, Paul Di Filippo, File 770, Steve Holland, Steve Jones, Paul Kincaid, Denny Lien, Locus, Paul March-Russell, Farah Mendlesohn, Andrey Meshavkin, Omega, Lawrence Person, Reddit, Alan Robson, Frank Roger, Steven H Silver, Geri Sullivan, Martin Morse Wooster, Gordon van Gelder, and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). 30 September 2022