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It's hard to find words for the Columbia shuttle disaster of 1 February, but Ken MacLeod provided this epitaph:

'Husband, McCool, Anderson, Brown, Chawla, Clark, Ramon.

'Komarov, Grissom, White, Chaffee, Dobrovolsky, Volkov, Patsayev, Resnick, Scobee, Smith, McNair, McAuliffe, Jarvis, Onizuka.

'These names will be written under other skies.'

Katherine MacLean has been named as this year's SFWA Author Emeritus, to be honoured at the Nebulas over Easter. She began publishing sf in 1949 and won a 1971 Nebula for her Analog novelette 'The Missing Man'.

Will Self pondered Ben Okri's suggestion that living British authors should be honoured by having rivers, streets or squares named after them, and reckoned that 'none of the British writers I know and admire would dream of accepting such a tin-pot accolade.' With one possible exception. 'I dare say J.G. Ballard would be tickled by the thought of announcements on incoming London flights of the form: "Would you please fasten your seatbelts, as we will soon be landing at Ballard Airport, newly named after the author of Crash ..."' (Evening Standard, 31 Jan)

British SF Association Awards shortlist:

  NOVEL Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Effendi; M. John Harrison, Light; Gwyneth Jones, Castles Made of Sand; China Miéville, The Scar; Christopher Priest, The Separation; Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt

  SHORT Greg Egan 'Singleton' (Interzone 176); Neil Gaiman, Coraline; Sean McMullen, 'Voice of Steel' (SciFiction); Paul Park, 'If Lions Could Speak' (IZ 177); Charles Stross, 'Router' (Asimov's); Michael Swanwick, 'Five British Dinosaurs' (IZ 177)

  ARTWORK Peter Gric, 'Experiment 1' (TTA 31 cover); Dominic Harman, IZ 179 cover; Fraser Irving, 'My Name is Death' (2000AD Prog 1289); Joachim Luetke, illustrating 'The Routine' (TTA 31); Richard Marchand, 'Obliquitese' (TTA 32 cover)

  RELATED PUBLICATION Nick Gevers interviews Chris Priest (IZ 183); David Langford, intro to Maps: The Uncollected John Sladek; Oliver Morton, Mapping Mars; Lucius Shepard, 'The Timex Machine' (; Fred Smith, Once There Was a Magazine

BSFA Award winners will be announced at Seacon '03, the UK Eastercon in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

R.I.P. Leslie Fiedler (1917-2003), mainstream critic who took an interest in sf, died on 29 January aged 85. His genre work included the 'historical-critical' sf anthology In Dreams Awake (1975), and Olaf Stapledon: A Man Divided (1983). John Mantley (1920-2003), TV writer and producer whose sf novel was The 27th Day (1956; film with Mantley's own script 1957), died on 14 January; he was 82.

Wooden Rocket Awards, to be presented annually for 'online excellence in the science fiction and fantasy genre', were announced on 30 January. There are 17 assorted categories, and the first presentation is scheduled for June 2003. From the press release:

Award Director Mark Lewis has this to say about the new awards:

"It's ironic, given the first Internet connection was established on the UCLA campus in 1969, that we've now stepped into the new millennium without any award worthy of the name being established for online science fiction and fantasy.

"Even the darling[s] of the field, the Hugo Awards given out annually at the World Science Fiction Convention, sadly do not yet have a permanent category to recognise web site excellence."

If you include all the related media searches such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, almost 9 per cent of the search engine Google's traffic is related to science fiction and fantasy ... although you would be hard pressed to find recognition of this by big Internet awards such as the New Media Awards or the Webbies.'

Welcome to the As Others See Us department, chaps!

Thog's Masterclass. Religious Burdens Dept. '"The Crusader vision of our equestrian order is at the service of our faith" were words from Muhlor's investiture into a centuries old order of Church knighthood that he carried with him everywhere.' (Peter Senese and Robert Geis, Cloning Christ, 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.

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