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10.03.03

A spectre is haunting the Arthur C.Clarke Award, the spectre of cashflow.... Its presentation budget has been cut to the bone by Rocket Publishing. Henceforth there will be no money for parties or hire of facilities -- only Sir Arthur's personal £2000-odd for the prize itself. ACCA administrator Paul Kincaid writes: `Rocket Publishing is the UK representative of Sir Arthur, and has provided all funding for the Award since its inception. I understand that this funding cut is part of wider cutbacks at Rocket Publishing. This news has come out of the blue. I have had no warning that it was even on the cards. However, for the last few months I have been seeking extra funding for the Award and a number of promising options are open to us. These should ensure that the Award continues as before.' But if you have any clever ideas to help the ACCA finances, do let Paul know: arthurcclarkeaward@yahoo.co.uk.

Robert Heinlein's latest memorial is the $500,000 Heinlein Prize, to be awarded `as frequently as annually' for `practical accomplishments in commercial space activities'. The 29 September release from the trustees of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust stresses that `the award is for effort by an individual -- not corporate or government sponsored activities -- and that the Heinlein Prize is intended to be world-wide in scope.' To your workbenches, sf fans: this means you.

Small Press. Postscripts is to be a book-format magazine edited by Peter Crowther of PS Publishing. PS editor/assistant Nick Gevers said: `Our plan is to run a balance of SF, Fantasy, and Horror -- the line-up is looking very strong -- as well as high-profile guest editorials and in-depth review essays.' £5/$8 per issue; also a limited, numbered hardback at (ouch) £50/$80. Hamilton House, 4 Park Ave, Harrogate, HG2 9BQ, UK. Please note this market is invitation-only for the time being.

Great Publishing Excuses: collect the set! Randy M. Dannenfelser asked Paper Tiger's Chris Stone why his payment for writing The Deceiving Eye: The Art of Richard Hescox was months overdue, and received this classic reply: `I have just been told by Accounts that the delay is due to the fact we are waiting on a $ chequebook.'

If Only. Mark Millar's revelation (on the Comic Book Resources website) that Orson Welles planned a Batman film in 1946 -- and got as far as production designs and a partial script -- is, alas, a spoof.

R.I.P. Gordon Mitchell (1923-2003), American bodybuilder-turned-actor who starred in numerous, mostly Italian, fantasy, horror and sf movies (Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, Endgame, etc) died on 20 September aged 80. M.J. Simpson writes: `A generous, warm, modest man who was a delight to interview.' Donald O`Connor (1925-2003), US actor who starred or co-starred in the first six `Francis the Talking Mule' films (1950-55), died on 27 September; he was 78. `It was wonderful at first. But after three pictures Francis started getting more fan mail than I did and I said "This can`t happen."'

Doctor Who is to return to BBC TV after 14 years. Er, that's it.

Not Banned. After hot debate on 23 September, the South Texas Independent School District board voted unanimously not to remove two `pornographic and offensive' books from the required reading list, being Brave New World and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Unusual Platonic Solids. `The Arena itself was tiny, a fist-sized dodecahedron, its triangular sides so glossily black that they shimmered with faint pastels.' (Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix, 1985)

 


He Do the Time Police in Different VoicesDavid Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Different Kinds of Darkness, a new short-story collection of horror, SF, and fantasy, Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?)

Dave 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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