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Need help and advice? Tough. Instead, more newsy snippets from the Ansible rumour factory —

Nick Webb, former MD at Simon & Schuster UK, has moved to the wrong side of the tracks and become an author: he's writing the authorized biography of Douglas Adams for Headline. British fan M.J. 'Simo' Simpson, already hard at work on the unauthorized bio for Hodder & Stoughton, comments through gritted teeth: 'I'm not worried. I publish before him and I know I'll have masses of information he won't have. Of course, he'll have about 60,000 pounds that I won't have…' Who will be the victor in this deadly Adamsian tussle between Hodder Headline (owners of H&S) and, er, Hodder Headline?

Harlan Ellison Joins Scientologists! That is, in an interesting US copyright law decision, the Ellison lawsuit against AOL (for not promptly removing pirated net copies of his work) failed partly because 'AOL could not be held liable for direct copyright infringement following Religious Technology Center v. Netcom.' …RTC being the ever-litigious Scientologists, who failed in their action against Netcom.

John A. Keel, celebrated UFOlogist, was unconcerned with mere astronomy: 'there is not the slightest bit of evidence that even a single planet exists in any other star system,' says the 2002 update of his woo-woo classic The Mothman Prophecies.

David Gemmell's heroic fantasy Stormrider came with a Bantam UK publicity sheet which the author may have found deflating: 'This is the eagerly awaited FINAL novel in the Rigante series.' Their caps, not mine.

Future Conventions. The fix is in for Worldcon 2005: it is Officially Too Late for another bid to oppose Glasgow in current site selection voting. Only an 'unprecedented' rejection of the UK bid at ConJosé (Worldcon 2002) can save us now. • UK Eastercon 2004 site voting is on Easter Sunday 2002, and the Concourse bid's ingenious ploy of two alternative venues has been outdone by a new bid that offers very many more. Compare the websites for Concourse and Concurrence

Thog's Masterclass. 'Schofield and Logan fought hard, covered in red emergency lighting.' (Matthew Reilly, Area 7, 2001) • Dept of Neat Tricks. 'Kothar leaped, leaving his booted feet and diving a yard above the floor …' (Gardner F. Fox, Kothar -- Barbarian Swordsman, 1969)


David Langford is a writer, editor, physicist, bon vivant, and software consultant. His monthly SF newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. He lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards.

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