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Ansible 53½, Xmas 1991

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From Dave Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AU. Fax 0734 669914. ISSN 0265-9816. Logo: Dan Steffan. Available by whim or for hot mince pies, turkey with chestnut stuffing, crackers etc. A Merry Saturnalia to you all.

SMALL ADS in Ansible are free of charge! Please place your camera-ready copy in Box 1, Gents' Toilet, The Wellington, near Waterloo Station. The editor's indecision is final.


'I was SHATTERED when my Hugo disintegrated into a myriad cheap plastic fragments,' wept Mr H*ld*m*n of the USA. 'I had one once but the fin fell off,' says broken Mr L*ngf*rd of Reading. Has your life too been ruined by flimsy foreign construction? HELP IS AT HAND! For only a small fee our Hugo upgrade service can replace those shameful shards with true-blue British workmanship ... with the traditional heft of real metal. Batteries not included. Write now to Uncle Peter, 14 St Bernards Rd, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1LE.

Hazel's Language Lessons: Greek, As She Is Spoke By John Major: [Greek lettering omitted here] (from The Patient's Charter – a summary). Pronunciation tip: say 'Patient's Charter'.

Turkish: Peysint Çartir is what it says here....

Novacon Negotiator Sought. If your silver-tongued eloquence can persuade our hotel to offer con discount rates which don't exceed standard room charges for ordinary visitors, the Birmingham SF Group would love to hear from you! Box N22.


L. Ron teaches us that all fannish hang-ups can be traced to pre-birth engrams recorded by the unknowing fan foetus....

Case history: KMcV. Once, banished by a tiff from the marital bed, K's father rebelled at the hard couch. 'No, you take the b – sofa!' he cried. Quickening within his mother's womb, the foetal K heard this as 'You take over the BSFA!' and spent the next 25 years tortured by a compulsion to obey – forever frustrated, as he had no idea how to do so. Then FotF came to the rescue! KMcV's free personality test (only 50p!) indicated a six-month pre-clear course in BSFAmanship, led by such luminaries as Alan Dorey™ and Maureen Speller. After only ten such courses, K took over the BSFA and became a fully integrated personality. L. Ron Hubbard's Fans of the Future had triumphed again! [To be continued.]

Martin Hoare – an Apology. Ansible has apologized to Martin for quoting him as saying, of Novacon 21: 'Crap hotel, crap programme, a few nice people.' We now acknowledge that this was a gross misrepresentation of Mr Hoare's views, and that the final words should read: 'quite a few nice people.'

Steve Green – an Apology. We are very sorry about Steve Green.

Interzone Crossover Issue

Rejoice! By special arrangement, Ansible 56 will be combined with Interzone 56 and sent to all IZ subscribers as well as you lot. To avoid disappointing these dozens if not scores of new readers, the issue will include extra 'guest' features: • 50-word 'It Pays To Increase Your Clute Power' reviews ramification • Warhammer drabble trilogy by Kim Newman • Outraged letter from an Interzone subscriber • Editorial microdot by David Pringle, explaining Ansible's superiority over higher-circulation magazines. •

Aspiring Author? You need the Charles Stross Novel Reading Service. Our expert gives state-of-the-art programmed tuition and hands-on market experience by letting you read his novels.

Case history: AC. A free Fan-Meter test (only 50p!) laid bare the engram which held her in thrall. While AC was but a tadpole her mother overheard a squabble between rival Armenian priests. 'Your altar-cloth is crap,' said one, and the retort 'Your censer is shit!' reached the embryonic ears as ... 'Censorship!' So AC grew to womanhood unable to express her true feelings because her brain censored itself! Now, freed at last from this inner prison by Fans of the Future therapy, she joyfully rants against the censors of this world at every opportunity. Nothing can stop her now! (This last problem may result from a small bug in the psycho-programming, but we are working on it and soon expect another happy ending for L. Ron Hubbard's Fans of the Future!)

Eastercon '94 Voting. Reject any bid venues in EC countries condemned by Amnesty International for human rights violations! (E.g. Britain.) Write now to the Committee For Holding All Future Eastercons In Holland Or Luxembourg, Box 92.

Top SF Editor, many contacts, often sober, may soon be free to accept major post. Pension essential. JJ c/o Macdonald.

KATIE – congrats on our 10th wedding anniversary! Martin.

Computer Freaks! The Leeds Group is pleased to announce that it is at last socially OK to work for computer firms, produce fanzines via desktop publishing, and drone on about your DTP set-up in said fanzines ... while retaining right-on Angst and total cool! Learn how from the Nigel E. Richardson School of Cool, Box 386SXM/16. (No beards need apply.)

Case history: TI. His mother, the first midshipwoman in the Royal Navy, had a nasty encounter (only 50p!) when Welsh pirate captain Short Chris Evans and his evil crew overran her ship. One broke open the captain's locker to reveal spirits and pieces of eight, and called: 'Rum, coins, Evans!' But Evans had viler plans. 'Bugger coins!' he roared. 'Coins won't off-shoot my loins!' Through the plashing of the amniotic fluid, little TI understood these muffled voices as: 'Run cons! Ever-bigger cons! Cons on offshore islands!' Sure enough, that is what he grew up to do (after his mother had been luckily rescued by HMS Easterbrook). This incredible story could never have been revealed without L. Ron Hubbard's Fans of the Future!

Jerry Pournelle is afraid of heights! But as I say in my ace collection N-Space, 'I have never once heard Jerry suggest that people should be forced to stop building skyscrapers ... If some folk are terrified of unseen death by radiation, then let 'em deal with their own neuroses, instead of forcing us to stop building the atomic plants.' • This has been a paid plea from the Larry Niven Campaign for More Nukes and Null-A Logic.

Tense? Nervous? Afraid of voting wrong in fan awards? Full, easy-to-understand instructions available: Helicon, Box 69.

Nervous? Tense? Afraid of voting wrong in fan awards and getting thumped? Astral Guidance only 50p! D. West, Box 96.

Case history: SI. It was a ferry terminal mix-up: 'Tell me,' wailed Paterfamilias, 'what ship my car is on!' Receiving the garbled command 'Worship Mike Harrison!', the incipient SI was doomed to spend his life ... [That's enough engrams – Ed.]

Readers of Ansible Unite! Demand better value for money. Ask if it's true that for A53½ the editor plans to print only one side of

Text Copyright © Dave Langford, 1991; may be xeroxed for others. Parts of L. Ron Hubbard's Fans of the Future by Abigail Frost. Apologies, probably, to Kev McVeigh, Avedon Carol, Tim Illingworth and Simon Ings. As you guessed, this joke issue ended in mid-sentence with nothing overleaf....