A nasty accident happened to the issue of
sent to the e-mail
list on 1 June. According to Paul Melko, 'You'll probably be tickled to know
that Ansible 179 did not reach anyone at sff.net who had their spam
filters activated. The combination of three phrases within 179 ("i am"
& "million" & "transfer") activated our deflector
screens. I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't store my spam for later perusal.
Perhaps next month you can figure out another three glyphs that will purge your
So now I have a tasty letter to Ansible which I can't publish
without the July issue being identified by sff.net as Nigerian-swindle spam and
so denied to my legions of readers there (18, apparently). What to do?
Alan Moore's graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
may not be entirely recognizable in the proposed live-action film version.
Screenwriter James Robinson grumbles that this alternate-Victorian X-Men
team comprises two psychopaths (Jekyll/Hyde, the Invisible Man), a drug addict
(Allan Quatermain), and 'a sort of sexually ambivalent vampire girl' (Mina
Harker from Dracula), leaving only Captain Nemo (who seemed fairly
psychopathic to me) to engage our sympathies. Therefore, that nice all-American
boy Tom Sawyer must be added
while of course the arch-villain Dr Fu-Manchu
gets the chop as a 'potentially volatile racial stereotype.' Oh dearie me.
Greg Egan provides a vital correction to his novel
Diaspora, whose 17th chapter laughably refers to 'Poincaré's
rotational "pole" the two-dimensional sphere on the hypersurface
that stayed fixed in space as the star rotated.'
The author's website warns
that this is in fact an unlikely situation in 5-dimensional space, and that it's
more probable that there would be 'two single-point rotational poles, as in 3
dimensions.' Thog's Higher Mathematical Masterclass is deprived of its prey
As Others See Us. On The Time Machine: 'Now here's an idea
for a time-travel film: H.G. Wells himself visits the future, sees what a dead
end science fiction is headed into, and decides to stick to novels like Kipps
Tono-Bungay.' (Jonathan Romney, Independent on Sunday newspaper,
Thog's Masterclass. '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)
David Langford is an author and a gentleman.
His 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. He continues to add books and Hugos.