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From the height of the English summer heatwave, from the wreckage of a country paralysed and laid waste by killing temperatures in the high seventies and even low eighties, Ansible sweatily reports …

Warren Lapine of DNA Publications 'has fired Andrew Porter as editor of SF Chronicle.... The magazine will become just Chronicle, and the new editor will be John Douglas.' Thus our café society spy Ms Una Tributable, who wonders if this is because AP 'told a number of people at Readercon that Warren owed him $20,000 in back pay.' Other sources point instead to Lapine/Porter disagreements over SFC editorial policy, dating from well before Readercon. Andrew Porter himself — who founded SFC, published it himself from 1979 to mid-2000, and twice won the semiprozine Hugo with it — preferred not to comment.

R.I.P. Laurence M. Janifer (1933-2002), US author who began publishing sf in 1953, died on 10 July aged 69. His work included early collaborations with Randall Garrett (their joint pseudonym 'Mark Phillips' achieved a 1960 novel Hugo nomination) and the ambitiously controversial You Sane Men (1965; reissued as Bloodworld), for which Janifer had high but unfulfilled hopes. Ron Walotsky (1943-2002), prolific, popular US book and magazine cover artist who produced more than 50 covers for F&SF, died from kidney failure on 29 July. He was only 59.

Kevin J.Anderson suffers from a familiar worry: 'Two years ago I sold my rather immense SF series, "The Saga of Seven Suns", to John Jarrold at Earthlight and Betsy Mitchell at Warner Aspect (US). Mere moments after I had delivered the ms for Book 1, Hidden Empire, Betsy Mitchell resigned her position and moved over to Del Rey Books. John Jarrold, though, toughed it out and remained at his editorial desk until I turned in Book 2. Mere moments after I had delivered the second manuscript, he, too, has announced his resignation. (Perhaps it has something to do with those two quotes you cited in Thog's Masterclass?) Regardless, I have grave concerns about the careers of my various foreign editors when I deliver Book 3…'

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of But What Do You Keep It In? 'There was, after all, a certain fascination to the clever drain-cleaning devices. […] There were chemical compounds that had some quite military properties, such as the ability to dissolve anything instantly including human flesh.' (Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game, 1990)


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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