I love the way 'mainstream' journalists, who presumably work in hermetic
cells and never, ever meet each other, are so easily stirred to wonderment by
the connectedness of sf. Here's The Bookseller on the dubious nexus
between the presenter and winner of this year's BSFA Award: 'It is another
paradox that the galaxy and epoch-spanning sf world is a small one, in which the
practitioners know each other well. John Jarrold, MC at the awards, both knows
[Christopher] Priest and is a neighbour of his, in Hastings.' Jolly sinister,
eh? Or perhaps it was just a slow news week.
As Others See Us. Faint praise for the Wachowski brothers (of Matrix
fame) in Salon: 'Little is known about the media-shy siblings [...] but
what details we do have suggest a level of fanaticism and devotion to
storytelling that is more usually associated with science fiction fans than
Mythopoeic Awards fiction shortlists....
Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman, The Fall of the Kings
Nina Kiriki Hoffman, A Fistful of Sky
Patricia A. McKillip,
Ombria in Shadow
Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
Neil Gaiman, Coraline
Vivian Vande Velde, Heir Apparent
Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion
Michael Chabon, Summerland
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale
See website for nonfiction
Lunguage Lesson. On 22 May, BBC TV repeatedly announced that little-known sf film Johnny Pneumonic. Stephen Gallagher subsequently commented: 'I know pronunciation can be tricky but I think the anus is on them to get it right, don't you?'
R.I.P. Dave Mooring (1961-2003), popular UK fan and artist who won the Nova Award for fanzine art four times (1989 to 1993), died on 21 May from pancreatic cancer; he was 42. That morning, he and his partner Sarah Dibb -- now Mooring -- were married; they had been engaged for 20 years. Dave
contributed interior artwork to my 1996 NESFA Press collection
The Silence of the Langford. Roy Tackett (1925-2003), old-time US fan who rejoiced in the nickname 'Horrible Old Roy Tackett', died on 23 May. He produced more than 100 issues of his fanzine Dynatron since 1960, and was the TransAtlantic Fan Fund delegate to the 1976 UK Eastercon. Even
when half paralysed by a stroke and living in care, Roy sent much e-mail (typed one-handed on a laptop) from what proved to be his deathbed. On 15 May: 'for a guy who died twice the night before last i'm doing pretty good today. true enough my heart stopped twice tuesday night and i was legally dead. but they
started it again so i am still with you. for how much longer i don't know.' On 20 May he dictated to his daughter: 'I have never known it took such a long time to die. This is probably the last mail you will receive from me. I have been in bed for four days, and just wanted to say good-bye to all of you.' Goodbye,
International Horror Guild Awards were announced on 23 May.
Novel: Dan Simmons, A Winter Haunting
First Novel: Alexander Irvine, A Scattering of Jades
Long Form: Thomas Ligotti, 'My Work Is Not Yet Done'
Intermediate Form (tie): Dale Bailey, 'Death and Suffrage'; Elizabeth Hand,
'Pavane for a Prince of the Air'
Short Form: Don Tumasonis, 'Prospect Cards'
Collection: Chet Williamson, Figures in Rain
Dark Terrors 6 ed. Stephen Jones and David Sutton
Nonfiction: Ramsey Campbell, Ramsey Campbell, Probably
Graphic Narrative: Clive Barker, Abarat
Periodical: The Magazine of Fantasy and SF
Art: Jason Van Hollander
TV: Six Feet Under
Thog's Masterclass. Relativity Dept. 'Jupiter rotates on its
axis in a little under ten days, compared with a much more leisurely paced
twenty-four hours rotation of our own dear Earth.' (Adam Roberts, Jupiter
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.