The Discworld Convention in mid-August was an exhausting affair: my own
duties included opening a series of tributes to the late great artist Josh
Kirby, and presenting the dread Live Thog's Masterclass. At the charity auction,
there was much interest in an old PC keyboard on which Terry Pratchett had
written a novel or three: 'It's probably got my DNA on it,' he pointed out, and
the bidding ran up to £125. Taxi conversation when it was all over: 'The
driver asked us "Were you at that sci-fi thing?" We admitted to this
and he said, "There were some quite famous people there, I heard. One of
those fellas who writes Star Trek novels was there, yeah?"' Yes
indeed: eclipsing Terry Pratchett, one of the DWcon guests was that fella Diane
2002 Hugo Winners.
NOVEL Neil Gaiman, American Gods
NOVELLA Vernor Vinge, 'Fast Times at Fairmont High'
NOVELETTE Ted Chiang, 'Hell is the Absence of God'
SHORT Michael Swanwick, 'The Dog Said Bow-Wow'
RELATED BOOK Ron Miller & Frederick C. Durant
III (with Melvin H. Schuetz), The Art of Chesley Bonestell
DRAMATIC The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
of the Ring
PRO EDITOR Ellen Datlow
PRO ARTIST Michael Whelan
FANZINE Ansible (whoopee!)
FAN WRITER Dave Langford (double whoopee!)
FAN ARTIST Teddy Harvia
JOHN W.CAMPBELL AWARD Jo Waltonv
As Others See Us. Film critic Chris Fujiwara of the
Boston Phoenix explains the utility of sf: 'And we've had proof that
adding "science fiction" to a whodunit (Minority Report) or a
family-values heart tugger (Signs) is considered a valid option for
filmmakers who seem mortally afraid that someone somewhere might regard a movie
of theirs as well-crafted entertainment.' Imagine what laborious work it must
have been, injecting a dose of tacky old science fiction into Philip K. Dick's
whodunit in order to avoid scaring off the general public that flees in terror
from any hint of well-crafted entertainment.
More Awards. Sideways for alternate history:
LONG J.N. Stroyar, The Children's War;
SHORT Ken MacLeod, The Human Front.
for libertarian sf: Donald Kingsbury, Psychohistorical Crisis.
R.I.P. Belated notice: John B.Spencer (1944-2002), UK rock
musician, novelist (his sf debut was The Electronic Lullaby Meat Market,
1975) and founder of the influential Young Artists art agency, died on 24 March
aged 57. Jim Burns writes: 'He had an eye for the direction the future was
beginning to take in the world of sf art. He was totally tuned into the
Zeitgeist of the time and had a way of inspiring one perfectly in the right
direction. During the first half of the 1970s John hauled aboard myself, Les
Edwards, John Harris, Tony Roberts, Angus McKie, Ian Craig, Bob Fowke, Alan
The look of the covers that graced the sf novels of the 70s and 80s
owes a huge amount to the generosity, encouragement and insight of this man.'
Charles Sheffield had surgery on 14 August for the brain tumour
mentioned in Runcible #38, but requires follow-up chemo
and radiation therapy. We wish him lots of luck.
Worldcon 2005. The Glasgow bid was unopposed, and the convention
name was announced as Interaction.
Guests are Greg Pickersgill, Christopher Priest, Robert Sheckley, Lars-Olov
Strandberg, and Jane Yolen.
Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Optimistic Pessimism. 'Piles of
floppyscreens lay scattered in the corner next to a couple of empty wine glasses
that were half full.' (Paul Ebbs, Dr Who: The Book of the Still, 2002)
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.