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09.06.02

The Discworld Convention in mid-August was an exhausting affair: my own duties included opening a series of tributes to the late great artist Josh Kirby, and presenting the dread Live Thog's Masterclass. At the charity auction, there was much interest in an old PC keyboard on which Terry Pratchett had written a novel or three: 'It's probably got my DNA on it,' he pointed out, and the bidding ran up to £125. Taxi conversation when it was all over: 'The driver asked us "Were you at that sci-fi thing?" We admitted to this and he said, "There were some quite famous people there, I heard. One of those fellas who writes Star Trek novels was there, yeah?"' Yes indeed: eclipsing Terry Pratchett, one of the DWcon guests was that fella Diane Duane…

2002 Hugo Winners.

  NOVEL Neil Gaiman, American Gods

  NOVELLA Vernor Vinge, 'Fast Times at Fairmont High'

  NOVELETTE Ted Chiang, 'Hell is the Absence of God'

  SHORT Michael Swanwick, 'The Dog Said Bow-Wow'

  RELATED BOOK Ron Miller & Frederick C. Durant III (with Melvin H. Schuetz), The Art of Chesley Bonestell

  DRAMATIC The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  PRO EDITOR Ellen Datlow

  PRO ARTIST Michael Whelan

  SEMIPROZINE Locus

  WEBSITE Locus Online

  FANZINE Ansible (whoopee!)

  FAN WRITER Dave Langford (double whoopee!)

  FAN ARTIST Teddy Harvia

  JOHN W.CAMPBELL AWARD Jo Waltonv

As Others See Us. Film critic Chris Fujiwara of the Boston Phoenix explains the utility of sf: 'And we've had proof that adding "science fiction" to a whodunit (Minority Report) or a family-values heart tugger (Signs) is considered a valid option for filmmakers who seem mortally afraid that someone somewhere might regard a movie of theirs as well-crafted entertainment.' Imagine what laborious work it must have been, injecting a dose of tacky old science fiction into Philip K. Dick's whodunit in order to avoid scaring off the general public that flees in terror from any hint of well-crafted entertainment.

More Awards. Sideways for alternate history: LONG J.N. Stroyar, The Children's War; SHORT Ken MacLeod, The Human Front. Prometheus for libertarian sf: Donald Kingsbury, Psychohistorical Crisis.

R.I.P. Belated notice: John B.Spencer (1944-2002), UK rock musician, novelist (his sf debut was The Electronic Lullaby Meat Market, 1975) and founder of the influential Young Artists art agency, died on 24 March aged 57. Jim Burns writes: 'He had an eye for the direction the future was beginning to take in the world of sf art. He was totally tuned into the Zeitgeist of the time and had a way of inspiring one perfectly in the right direction. During the first half of the 1970s John hauled aboard myself, Les Edwards, John Harris, Tony Roberts, Angus McKie, Ian Craig, Bob Fowke, Alan Daniels… The look of the covers that graced the sf novels of the 70s and 80s owes a huge amount to the generosity, encouragement and insight of this man.'

Charles Sheffield had surgery on 14 August for the brain tumour mentioned in Runcible #38, but requires follow-up chemo and radiation therapy. We wish him lots of luck.

Worldcon 2005. The Glasgow bid was unopposed, and the convention name was announced as Interaction. Guests are Greg Pickersgill, Christopher Priest, Robert Sheckley, Lars-Olov Strandberg, and Jane Yolen.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Optimistic Pessimism. 'Piles of floppyscreens lay scattered in the corner next to a couple of empty wine glasses that were half full.' (Paul Ebbs, Dr Who: The Book of the Still, 2002)

 


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.

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