Big Engine, my favourite British
small press, has sadly run out of steam. Ben Jeapes, founder and proprietor,
'I'm sorry to break the sad news that Big Engine is going down. I'm
seeking insolvency as the response to two stages of reasoning. (1) BE is running
out of capital and won't be able to keep going as it is. This is not
insuperable, and it could be overcome with reinvestment and a renewed spurt of
time and energy on my part. But this brings me to (2), which is that I don't
really want to reinvest. Over the last couple of years I've had to accept that
my strengths are as a writer, not as a businessman. I base this on the facts
that my writing has (a) been more enjoyable and (b) paid me more than Big Engine
since I started in 2000. I would feel awkward seeking reinvestment as I couldn't
put my hand on my heart and say I would do the best that could be done with the
money. So, best not to. All the contracted authors have been informed;
all the authors who have manuscripts in with me will be (apologies to those who
read this first). This also means that 3SF
will be suspended, at least pro tem. The ideal situation would be to find
someone who will take on the books and/or the magazine. I'm putting out feelers
but would welcome suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.'
David A. Hardy, famous Brit
sf and space artist, has now set his mark on the skies: 'Just heard that an
asteroid has been named after me. (13329) Davidhardy = 1998 SB32 ... Discovered
20 September 1998 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak.'
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is to receive the 2003 World Horror Convention
Grand Master Award at the event itself, later this month.
Diana Wynne Jones was subjected to ruthless house style when
attempting to promote her new The Merlin Conspiracy: 'Publicity for this
book seems to involve being photographed an unusual number of times usually
the same local photographer appearing with a different hat on and a different
book of rules. Did you know that the Daily Mail insists that all women
have to be photographed in a skirt? And not in black. I had to buy a skirt.'
Sapient Pearwood. A Pratchettian moment was spotted in a press
release on safety testing from the snappily titled European Association for the
Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardization: 'In one test, the
luggage itself broke into the passenger compartment, potentially threatening
Paul Barnett resigned his art-editorial position with Paper Tiger in
order to spend more time being John Grant and writing actual books.
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Classic Metaphor. 'We are
between the wild thoat of certainty and the mad zitidar of fact we can escape
neither.' (Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Gods of Mars, 1918)
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.