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Ansible® 425, December 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, manshonyaggers, pin-sets, stroon or the wire of Eustace Cranch.

The Triple Thinkers

Jim Burns, classic artist of yore, has a mysterious allure for the genocidal aliens in Peter F. Hamilton’s far-future novel Salvation (2018): ‘It’s an enhanced Jim Burns picture; they bought the rights to the original. Something about it appealed to them.’ (Facebook, 13 November) [JB]

Lionel Fanthorpe sent news of a momentous occasion in October: ‘It was my 70th Anniversary as an author in print and the Cardiff Met University laid on a little do for me on October 31st. Their archives have copies of most of my work!’ (Email, 4 November)

Joanne Harris continues to chair the UK Society of Authors after a motion to remove her with extreme prejudice – for speaking out against transphobia, it seems – was defeated by a large majority at the AGM.

Scott Jeffrey, horror film director, plans ‘an incredibly dark retelling’ of Bambi in which ‘Bambi will be a vicious killing machine that lurks in the wilderness. Prepare for Bambi on rabies!’ (BoingBoing, 28 November)

Robin McKinley is to be the next SFWA Grand Master, inducted in 2023. ‘I am astonished, amazed, delighted & dumbfounded.’ [SFWA]

Charles Schulz’s centenary on 26 November was celebrated with Peanuts homages in many comic strips: see

Michael Swanwick had a dream: ‘Last night I dreamed I received a chapbook in the mail of a Gene Wolfe story titled Cruffity Imputens. Part of the binding was a tree branch 18" long.’ (Facebook, 10 November)


Until 19 Feb • The Horror Show! (exhibition), Somerset House, London. £15.50. See

2-4 Dec • Steampunk Christmas Weekend, Weymouth. Various free and ticketed events as detailed at

3 Dec • Dragonmeet (gaming), Novotel Hammersmith, London. 9am-11pm. £13, but online sales at have closed.

3-4 Dec • For the Love of Sci-Fi (media), BEC Arena, Stretford, Manchester. £41.25; under-10s £13.20. More at

3-4 Dec • When It Changed: Women in SF/F Since 1972 (online conference). £45 reg; £30 concessions; day rates £30 and £20. See the 2 September post at

9 Dec • BSFA/BFS Xmas Social, The Doric Arch, 1 Eversholt Street, Euston Square, London. 7pm onward. Free; all welcome.

15 Dec • London Xmas Meeting (additional to First Thursdays), The Bishop’s Finger, 9-10 West Smithfield, EC1A 9JR. All evening. Free.

10-12 Mar 2023 • Frightfest (film), Glasgow.Ticket sales expected in ‘early January’: see

16-19 Mar 2023 • Camp SFW, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. Weekend pass £130; more options at

31 Mar - 2 Apr 2023 • Corflu 40, The Malone Hotel, Belfast. Now £60 / €70 / $75 reg; other rates and hotel booking details at

22-23 Apr 2023 • Sci-Fi Scarborough (multimedia), The Spa, Scarborough. £30 reg; students £20; ‘kids’ £10. See

27-28 May 2023 • Lawless (UK comics), Hilton Doubletree, Bristol. Tickets £70 or £35/day, available in January. See

14-16 Jul 2023 • Fantasy Forest (cosplay), Sudely Castle, Cheltenham. £44.95 reg plus booking fee; other rates at

16-20 Aug 2023 • Stars of Time (comics), Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare.£10 reg; under-12s, OAP and disabled £6; under-4s free. Family of 2+2 children £25; 2+3 £27. See

23-24 Sep 2023 • Nor-Con (media), Norfolk Showground Arena. £39 reg; under-14s £19; family (2+2) £110. See

29 Sep - 1 Oct 2023 • Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Bowness-on-Windermere. Tickets awaited at

3-4 Nov 2023 • 16th Starfleet/Klingon Banquet, Peterborough Marriott Hotel. £68 reg; more at

10-12 Nov 2023 • Novacon 52, Palace Hotel, Buxton. GoH Jen Williams. Now £52 reg; under-17s £12; under-13s free. See

14-17 Mar 2024 • Camp SFW, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. Weekend pass £130; more options at

31 May - 2 Jun 2024 • FunCon One, Palace Hotel, Buxton. Now £60 reg. See

31 Oct - 3 Nov 2025 • World Fantasy Convention, NEC Hilton, Birmingham. Web page to follow at

Infinitely Improbable

As Decaf Drinkers See Us. ‘In the over-caffeinated imaginations of science fiction writers and film makers, robots are almost always depicted as humanoid creations ...’ (Financial Times, 28 October) [MMW]

Awards. Rhysling long poem: ‘The Bookstore’ by Beth Cato (New Myths, Fall 2021) [L]
Royal Society Science Book Prize: A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Chapters by Henry Gee, creator of the ‘Futures’ sf spot at Nature.
World Fantasy. LIFE ACHIEVEMENT Samuel R. Delany, Terri Windling. NOVEL The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri. NOVELLA And What Can We Offer You Tonight by Premee Mohamed. SHORT ‘(emet)’ by Lauren Ring (F&SF 7/21). ANTHOLOGY The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021) ed. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. COLLECTION Midnight Doorways: Fables from Pakistan by Usman T. Malik. ARTIST Tran Nguyen. SPECIAL – PROFESSIONAL Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda for Monstress Volume Six: The Vow. SPECIAL – NON-PROFESSIONAL Tonia Ransom for Nightlight: A Horror Fiction Podcast.

Publishers and Sinners. Hodder & Stoughton’s ‘Hodderscape’ will in March change from an informal sf/fantasy list nickname (or whatever it is) to an official H&S imprint with that same name. Let the great world spin forever down the ringing grooves of change!
• The controversial Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster merger has been abandoned.

As Others Boggle. Reviewing a novel which had been revised by the author, Wyatt Mason gasped ‘I can think of only two living novelists of note – each graphomanically prolific, each with more than 75 published novels – who have revised published novels substantially’: Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates. (New York Times Magazine, 17 July) [MMW]

R.I.P. John Aniston (1933-2022), US actor in Sands of Oblivion (2007) and genre tv series, died on 11 November aged 89. [LP]
Erik Arthur (1944-2022), UK dealer who replaced Dave Gibson (1939-2015) as co-owner with Ted Ball (d. 2015) of London’s legendary Fantasy Centre bookshop – continuing until it finally closed in 2009 – died on 16 November aged 78. [RR]
Nicki Aycox (1975-2022), US actress in Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003), Supernatural (2006-2008), The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008), Animals (2009) and others, died on 16 November aged 47. [SJ]
Greg Bear (1951-2022), major US author who reshaped the hard sf scene with many ambitious novels such as Blood Music (1985), died on 19 November after heart surgery and a stroke; he was 71. He won both the Hugo and the Nebula for the shorter ‘Blood Music’ (1983) and again for ‘Tangents’ (1986); Moving Mars (1993) and Darwin’s Radio (1999) won best-novel Nebulas; he was a 2001 Worldcon GoH and received a Robert A. Heinlein award in 2006. He is survived by his wife Astrid, to whom all sympathy.
Justin E.A. Busch (1959-2022), US fan and author whose books included The Utopian Vision of H.G. Wells (2009), died on 21 October. [F770]
Michel Bühler (1945-2022), Swiss singer, poet and author whose novel Avril 1990 (1972) is political sf, died on 7 November aged 77. [AM]
Danny Bulanadi (1946-2022), Filipino comics artist and inker for both Marvel and DC, whose many credits include Captain America and The Fantastic Four, died on 3 November aged 76. [PDF]
Vic Carrabotta (1929-2022), US comics artist active from the early 1950s at Atlas Comics – precursor of Marvel – working on such titles as Journey into Mystery, Mystic and Uncanny Tales, died on 22 November aged 93. [PDF]
Kevin Conroy (1955-2022), US actor who voiced Batman in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) and dozens more DC Animated Universe tv series and films, died on 11 November aged 66. [TP]
Andrew Duncan, US actor in Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle (1975, US dub) and The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t (1979), died on 31 October. [PDF]
David English (1946-2022), UK actor whose films include Lifeforce (1985), died on 12 November aged 76.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1929-2022), German critic and author whose sf novel was the YA Wo warst du, Robert? (1998, trans 2000 as Where Were You, Robert? and again as Lost in Time), died on 24 November aged 93. [PDF]
Anne Fakhouri (1974-2022), French author of children’s and adult fantasy whose debut ‘Le clairvoyage’ duology (2008, 2009) won Le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, died on 9 November aged 48. [R-CJB]
Jason David Frank (1973-2022), US voice actor in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996; 1995 film) and many sequels and spinoffs to 2019, died on 19 November aged 49. [PDF]
Clarence Gilyard Jr. (1955-2022), US actor in The Great Los Angeles Earthquake (1990), Left Behind (2000, plus sequel) and The Beast (2016), died on 28 November aged 66. [LP]
Derek Granger (1921-2022), UK producer of the 1974 genre tv films Haunted: The Ferryman and Haunted: Poor Girl, died on 29 November aged 101.
Anne Harris (1964-2022), US sf/fantasy and romance author whose first novel was The Nature of Smoke (1996) and who also wrote as Jessica Freely and Pearl North, died on 17 November aged 58. [SE]
Sue Strong Hassler (1938-2022), who co-edited the correspondence of Arthur Machen and Montgomery Evans (1994) with her husband Donald M. Hassler, died on 9 November aged 84. [GW]
Kymberly Herrin (1957-2022), US model and actress in Ghostbusters (1984), died on 28 October aged 65. [PDF]
Erica Hoy, Australian actress in The Reality of Humanity (2021) and Ribspreader (2022), died on 2 November aged 26. [LP]
Veronica Hurst (1931-2022), Malta-born UK actress in The Maze (1953) and The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World (1965), died on 15 November aged 91. [SJ]
Wilko Johnson (1947–2022), UK musician with Dr Feelgood who appeared in Game of Thrones (2011-2012), died on 21 November aged 75. [PDF]
Michael Luckman, co-founder in 1977 of Forbidden Planet bookshop, died on 4 November. [SN]
Henry Morrison, noted US literary agent whose authors included Samuel R. Delany, Patricia Keneally-Morrison and Robert Ludlum, died on 2 November. [SRD]
Ray Faraday Nelson (1931-2022), long-time US fan, artist and author who invented and (in cartoons) popularized the fannish propellor beanie and co-wrote The Ganymede Takeover (1967) with Philip K. Dick, died on the night of 29/30 November aged 91. They Live (1988) was based on his 1963 story ‘Eight O’Clock in the Morning’; honours include the Rotsler Award (2003), FAAn Life Achievement (2014) and First Fandom Hall of Fame (2019). [F770]
Kevin O’Neill (1953-2022), UK comics artist with 2000 AD in its early years (ABC Warriors, Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock) and perhaps best known for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999-2019) with Alan Moore, died on 3 November aged 69. [JM]
Carlos Pacheco (1961-2022), Spanish comics artist for both Marvel and DC, working on Avengers Forever, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern and X-Men: Legacy, died on 9 November aged 60. [SH]
Charles Partington (1940-2022), UK fan, publisher, editor and author of genre stories since 1971, whose only novel was the YA Winter Hill (2015), died on 20 September aged 82. He co-founded Savoy Books and published New Worlds 213-216 in 1978 and 1979. [JC]
Leslie Phillips (1924-2022), beloved UK comic actor with occasional genre credits from The Gamma People (1956) via The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (1979) to Tomb Raider (2001) and the Harry Potter films (2001-2011), died on 7 November aged 98.
Andrew Prine (1936-2022), US actor in Eliminators (1986), The Shadow Men (1997), The Lords of Salem (2012) and genre tv series, died on 31 October aged 86. [LP]
Albert Pyun (1953-2022), US independent film-maker whose credits include The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), Radioactive Dreams (1984) Cyborg (1989) and Nemesis (1992 plus sequels), died on 26 November aged 69. [PDF]
Marcus Sedgwick (1968-2022), noted UK children’s and YA author/illustrator, most of whose books including his debut Floodland (2000) were fantasy or sf, died on 17 November aged 54. [PDF]
Timothy Sherburn, US fan and convention-goer who made regular donations to Ansible, was reported in November as having died. [PDF]
David Sherman (1944-2022), US author best known for military sf and fantasy, whose series include ‘Starfist’ with Dan Cragg, ‘Demontech’ and ‘The 18th Race’ partly with Keith DeCandido, died on 16 November aged 76. [KD]
Susan Tolsky (1943-2022), US actress in Love at First Bite (1979), The Devil and Max Devlin (1981), Darkwing Duck (1991-1992) and others, died on 9 October aged 79. [LP]
Bill Treacher (1930-2022), UK actor in Tale of the Mummy (1998), George and the Dragon (2004) and genre tv series, died on 5 November aged 92. [SJ]
Nik Turner (1940-2022), UK musician and songwriter of Hawkwind space-rock fame, died on 10 November aged 82. [LP]
James Winburn (1937-2022), US stuntman in The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), Escape from New York (1981), Tron (1982) and others, died on 19 November aged 85.
Martin Morse Wooster (1957-2022), US fan, nonfiction author, sf critic in US newspapers, reference books and semiprozines including Locus and The New York Review of SF, and frequent news contributor to Ansible (since 1981) and File 770, was killed by a hit-and-run driver on 12 November; he was 64. [KM]
Kiyoyuki Yanada (1965-2022), Japanese voice actor in nearly 200 anime productions since 1982, died on 21 November aged 57. [PDF]

Great Balls of Fire! The current London RSC stage production of My Neighbour Totoro (Barbican, to 21 January) uses Jim Henson Creature Shop puppets. One nervous commentator worries that the famous cat-bus ‘has two prominent testicles. Don’t look, children!’ (The Oldie, December)

Random Fandom. Rotsler Award for career achievement in fanzine art: Ulrika O’Brien, a regular contributor to Ansible. Congratulations....

The Weakest Link. Q: ‘Which planet in our solar system features in the name of a former Queen lead singer?’ A: ‘Mars.’ (ITV, The Chase) [PE]

As Others Remember Us. ‘Delighted to note that Bob Dylan’s The Philosophy of Modern Song features 1.5 pages of discussion of Leigh Brackett to open his essay on the Peter Green penned, Carlos Santana recorded “Black Magic Woman”.’ (Ken Houghton, email, 26 November)

Magazine Scene. Steve Davidson is ‘burnt out’ and has stepped down both as acting editor of Amazing Stories and as publisher at Experimenter Publishing Company. Lloyd Penney is the new editor, and creative director Kermit Woodall the publisher. (Amazing blog, 3 and 4 November)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies has withdrawn from all future Semiprozine Hugo awards after ten final-ballot listings though no wins. [F770]

The Dead Past. 30 Years Ago, newspapers made the traditional nice distinctions: ‘J.G. Ballard, 62 on 15 November, got a Sunday Times birthday notice as “science fiction writer and novelist”.’ (Ansible 65, December 1992) ‘[A] religious newspaper item tells how someone joined a charismatic church and was soon “making a bonfire of his magic and mystery books – including expensively leather-bound Denis Wheatley and Arthur C Clark [sic] titles.”’ (Ibid)
60 Years Ago, fandom thrilled to the news that Analog was switching to large format (8¼ x 11") – at the start of a new volume and with no serial in progress, to spare the feelings of those who barbarously clipped and bound the instalments: ‘Mr Campbell remembers well that when Analog, then Astounding, changed from pulp-size to large-size in the early 40s, he did it in the middle of a volume, and with an E E Smith serial running. The fans are still howling!’ (Science-Fiction Times, December 1962, ed. James V. Taurasi)
• Meanwhile an important correction appeared in Punch magazine: ‘Robert A. Henlein is the author of The Day After Tomorrow (Mayflower Books). In our September 19 issue he got misprinted as Hieline.' (Skyrack, December 1962)

Fanfundery. TAFF. Nominations for the 2023 westbound race close on 4 December; an announcement of Momentous Import is expected on 9 December and will be posted at
TAFF Free Ebooks. Walt and Madeleine Willis’s reports on their Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund trip to the 1962 Worldcon are combined as TAWF Times Two: see Ethel Lindsay, the 1962 TAFF winner, attended the same Worldcon and wrote The Lindsay Report (1963), another ebook release at In print, Rob Hansen’s Homefront: Fandom in the UK 1939-1945 is out as a trade paperback (see and Kevin Smith is finalizing a print-on-demand version of Nothing, his online 1982 TAFF trip report (see A422).
Corflu Fifty: this con-specific fund will bring Sue Mason and Pascal Thomas to the Belfast Corflu in March/April 2023 (see events listing above). [RJ]
European Fan Fund: this new fund brings European fans to Eurocons, beginning with Konflikt (Sweden, June 2023). Nominations are open; for further details see the 30 November 2022 post at

Without Comment. ‘There is a secret society of seven men that controls the finances of the world. This is known to everyone but the details are not known. There are some who believe that it would be better if one of those seven men were a financier.’ (R.A. Lafferty, 1970)

Editorial. Much of November at Ansible HQ was dominated by the Great Leaky Boiler Horror, an affair of bulging ceilings and evil-smelling drips from which we were rescued by plumbers who, thanks to a cancellation in their busy schedule, came two weeks early. How SF Encyclopedia, ebook and Ansible updates continued is shrouded in soggy mystery.

Thog’s Masterclass. Salty Simile. ‘A gleam of comprehension appeared in the waters of her eyes and the mauve iris of her mouth opened like a sea anemone’s vagina.’ (Malcolm Pryce, Aberystwyth Mon Amour, 2001) [BA]
Dept of Human Rights. ‘Her nipples point at the ceiling, neat and cocky, like they have a right to be here. He suspects they do.’ (Jo Harkin, Tell Me an Ending, 2022)
These Go To 11. ‘My anxiety level has shot up several magnitudes on the Richter scale.’ (E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey, 2011) [RF]
See Nipples and Die. ‘Then down the steep, powerless to guide or to check the shell, we plunged in a meteor rush straight for the annihilating adamantine breasts of the cliff!’ (A. Merritt, The Moon Pool, 1919.) [RWS/BB]

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.
• 15 December 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.’

Overheard at Novacon. Jackie Burns: ‘Are you coming to my panel talk on Sunday?’ Dave Lally: ‘Tomatoes or eggs – which do you prefer?’ Jackie: ‘Did you want me to throw them at you???’ [Apologies to Jackie for initially making the wrong guess at who was ArtistBurns on a new social media platform, and crediting it to Jim.]

Mark of the Beast. The Royal Mail has announced a stay of execution for the current UK definitive stamps, which will become invalid on 31 July 2023 rather than 31 January, replaced by bar-coded equivalents. (Special commemorative and Christmas stamps are unaffected.) Stocks of old definitives can be exchanged for the new ones: see link below.

Some Links from the Ansible home page.
• Corflu 39 fanthology: Jiant Shoulders
• Michael Dirda on new collections by Peter Nicholls and John Clute
• Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon Is a Hot Babe

Thog’s Golden Oldies from Ansible 185, December 2002. Sensitive Mainstream Dept. ‘[They] walked off in separate directions through the chaparral to stand spraddlelegged clutching their knees and vomiting. The browsing horses jerked their heads up. It was no sound they’d ever heard before. In the gray twilight those retchings seemed to echo like the calls of some rude provisional species loosed upon that waste. Something imperfect and malformed lodged in the heart of being. A thing smirking deep in the eyes of grace itself like a gorgon in an autumn pool.’ (Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses, 1992)
Neat Tricks Dept. ‘He started pushing her buttocks up until they had almost disconnected.’ (Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, Interest of Justice, 1993)
• ‘His nose wrinkled at the smell of blood and sought permission to cover the body with a sheet.’ (Peter Tremayne, ‘Methought You Saw A Serpent’ in Shakespearean Detectives ed. Mike Ashley, 1998)

Ansible® 425 © David Langford, 2022. Thanks to Brian Ameringen, Bill Burns, Jim Burns, John Clute, Keith DeCandido, Samuel R. Delany, Paul Di Filippo, Rose Fox, Scott Edelman, File 770, Steve Holland, Rob Jackson, Raphaël-Claude JB, Steve Jones, Locus, Kyle McAbee, Joe McNally, Andrey Meshavkin, Stan Nicholls, Tony Peak, Lawrence Person, Private Eye, Roger Robinson, Robert Whitaker Sirignano, Gary Westfahl, Martin Morse Wooster (for the last time, alas), and as always our Hero Distributors: Durdles Books (Birmingham SF Group), SCIS/Prophecy, and Alan Stewart (Australia). Merry Seasonal Thingy Or Wotsit Of Your Choice! 1 December 2022