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Oh dearie me, the Christmas season is on us again. Please imagine these news snippets to be liberally festooned with tinsel and kitsch.

Nancy Farmer won the US National Book Award, Young People's Literature category, for her sf novel The House of the Scorpion.

Copyrights and Wrongs. Emily Somma, a Canadian author, has published a distant sequel to Peter Pan using some of the original Sir James Barrie characters. This is fine in Canada, where Barrie's work entered the public domain 50 years after his death in 1937. The same should apply in the USA, but Great Ormond Street Hospital in London — granted the Peter Pan copyright in perpetuity by Parliament — is unhappy. Its New York lawyers have demanded that Somma cease and desist, which cuts little ice in Canada, and are attempting to block distribution of her After The Rain: A New Adventure for Peter Pan in the United States, where certain Hollywood interests are on the hospital's side…

Douglas Adams is looking over the shoulder of his nervous biographer M.J. Simpson: 'I got the first proofs of Hitchhiker through last week and was rather disturbed to find that, according to the title page, it's the autobiography of Douglas Adams. Perhaps I'm channelling his spirit.'

Mike Moorcock plugs Poul Anderson in the British press at the expense of some other guy: 'Just reviewed The Broken Sword for the Guardian, partly to answer H[umphrey] Carpenter's assertion that before Tolky there was nothing like it. My argument is that after Broken Sword, Tolky seemed tame.'

Ten Years Ago. J.G. Ballard, 62 on 15 November 1992, was rewarded with a Sunday Times birthday notice as 'science fiction writer and novelist'. What, both? (Ansible 65, December 1992)

Kurt Erichsen won the 2002 Rotsler Award for fanzine artwork. The award was established in 1998 as a memorial to the late great Bill Rotsler.

Thog's Masterclass. Kessel Run Dept. '"By the way, we don't talk of speed in space," he [Professor Lucius Brane] explained. "We speak of it only in terms of gravity — so many gravities." […] "We are now on the cosmic jets at one twentieth exposure. At full exposure you would be travelling at not less than twelve gravities, which in terms of speed would be very fast indeed.' (Captain W.E. Johns, Kings of Space, 1954)


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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