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Years ago John Clute, John Grant and their Encyclopedia of Fantasy team wrestled with tough problems of defining fantasy and telling good from bad. If only they'd had the help of Tom Snyder, whose review of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away makes everything crystal clear while explaining how Miyazaki got it all wrong:

'In a proper fantasy, the heroine might encounter messengers or representatives, allegorical or otherwise, from God or Jesus Christ, or even God Himself and/or one or more members of the Holy Trinity. The heroine certainly should not learn things from encountering pagan, animistic spirits, unless she's there to completely defeat them and/or worship or honor the One True God of the Bible. This is the difference between good fantasy and bad fantasy.'

Whitley Strieber continues to battle the global UFO cover-up conspiracy despite fearful intimidation, such as invisible insects that crawl all over him in bed. Read all about it in his searingly candid on-line journal!

R.I.P. Wynne Whiteford (1915-2002), long-time Australian sf author and fan, died on 30 September. He began publishing sf in 1934; his most recent novel was The Specialist (1990). Bruce Gillespie writes: 'In Australia, Wynne's career was overshadowed by that of George Turner, who also became successful only in his sixties and seventies… Some people who should have known better tended to forget about his contribution to Australian sf, but those of us he befriended regarded him as a great lion of the Australian sf scene.' A footnote to Robert Forward's lamented death last month is that he would surely have chuckled at his polygamous characterization in the British Daily Telegraph obituary: 'Forward, an unmissable sight at science fiction conventions in his bespoke suit, white shirt and bow tie, and the coloured waistcoats run up by his wife (he had a couple of dozen)…'

In Typo Veritas. 'Mrs Sundquist pureed her lips…' (Robert Wadholm, 'From here you can see the Sundquists', as reprinted in The Best of 2001, ed. Robert Silverberg & Karen Haber)

British Fantasy Awards were presented at Fantasycon 2002:

  Novel (August Derleth Award): Simon Clark, The Night of The Triffids

  Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 12 ed. Stephen Jones

  Collection: Paul Finch, Aftershocks

  Short: Simon Clark, 'Goblin City Lights'

  Artist: Jim Burns

  Small Press: Peter Crowther's PS Publishing, for the second year running

  The special Karl Edward Wagner award wasn't presented.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Eyeballs in the Sky. '"Seigneur, I have invented forty new dishes for to-night's banquet," Francois said pathetically, his eyes creeping out until they hung on the rims of their sockets like desperate people wavering on the edges of precipices.' (George Viereck & Paul Eldridge, Salome The Wandering Jewess, 1930)


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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