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I love the way 'mainstream' journalists, who presumably work in hermetic cells and never, ever meet each other, are so easily stirred to wonderment by the connectedness of sf. Here's The Bookseller on the dubious nexus between the presenter and winner of this year's BSFA Award: 'It is another paradox that the galaxy and epoch-spanning sf world is a small one, in which the practitioners know each other well. John Jarrold, MC at the awards, both knows [Christopher] Priest and is a neighbour of his, in Hastings.' Jolly sinister, eh? Or perhaps it was just a slow news week.

As Others See Us. Faint praise for the Wachowski brothers (of Matrix fame) in Salon: 'Little is known about the media-shy siblings [...] but what details we do have suggest a level of fanaticism and devotion to storytelling that is more usually associated with science fiction fans than Hollywood producers.'

Mythopoeic Awards fiction shortlists....


  Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman, The Fall of the Kings

  Nina Kiriki Hoffman, A Fistful of Sky

  Patricia A. McKillip, Ombria in Shadow

  Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others



  Neil Gaiman, Coraline

  Vivian Vande Velde, Heir Apparent

  Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion

  Michael Chabon, Summerland

  Holly Black, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale

See website for nonfiction categories.

Lunguage Lesson. On 22 May, BBC TV repeatedly announced that little-known sf film Johnny Pneumonic. Stephen Gallagher subsequently commented: 'I know pronunciation can be tricky but I think the anus is on them to get it right, don't you?'

R.I.P. Dave Mooring (1961-2003), popular UK fan and artist who won the Nova Award for fanzine art four times (1989 to 1993), died on 21 May from pancreatic cancer; he was 42. That morning, he and his partner Sarah Dibb -- now Mooring -- were married; they had been engaged for 20 years. Dave contributed interior artwork to my 1996 NESFA Press collection The Silence of the Langford. Roy Tackett (1925-2003), old-time US fan who rejoiced in the nickname 'Horrible Old Roy Tackett', died on 23 May. He produced more than 100 issues of his fanzine Dynatron since 1960, and was the TransAtlantic Fan Fund delegate to the 1976 UK Eastercon. Even when half paralysed by a stroke and living in care, Roy sent much e-mail (typed one-handed on a laptop) from what proved to be his deathbed. On 15 May: 'for a guy who died twice the night before last i'm doing pretty good today. true enough my heart stopped twice tuesday night and i was legally dead. but they started it again so i am still with you. for how much longer i don't know.' On 20 May he dictated to his daughter: 'I have never known it took such a long time to die. This is probably the last mail you will receive from me. I have been in bed for four days, and just wanted to say good-bye to all of you.' Goodbye, RoyTac.

International Horror Guild Awards were announced on 23 May.

      Novel: Dan Simmons, A Winter Haunting

      First Novel: Alexander Irvine, A Scattering of Jades

      Long Form: Thomas Ligotti, 'My Work Is Not Yet Done'

      Intermediate Form (tie): Dale Bailey, 'Death and Suffrage'; Elizabeth Hand, 'Pavane for a Prince of the Air'

      Short Form: Don Tumasonis, 'Prospect Cards'

      Collection: Chet Williamson, Figures in Rain

      Anthology: Dark Terrors 6 ed. Stephen Jones and David Sutton

      Nonfiction: Ramsey Campbell, Ramsey Campbell, Probably

      Graphic Narrative: Clive Barker, Abarat

      Periodical: The Magazine of Fantasy and SF

      Art: Jason Van Hollander

      Film: Frailty

      TV: Six Feet Under

    Thog's Masterclass. Relativity Dept. 'Jupiter rotates on its axis in a little under ten days, compared with a much more leisurely paced twenty-four hours rotation of our own dear Earth.' (Adam Roberts, Jupiter Magnified, 2003)


    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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