1 February 2024 Time now for the February issue: Ansible 439 with far too many death reports and Hugo scandal horrors. New TAFF-benefit paperbacks are A Vince Clarke Treasury by Vince Clarke and Fandom Harvest II by Terry Carr
24 January 2024 On Christmas Day I was asked to update the Guardian's stock obituary for D.G. Compton (written long ago by Chris Priest, who stepped down from that particular chore) and it has appeared at last on their website. Perhaps later in the printed newspaper too; I'm told there can be a delay of as much as six weeks. Later: it was in the 27 January edition.
1 January 2024 Looking back ... what did I get done in 2023? Twelve issues of Ansible, and there'll be another one tomorrow. Unceasing maintenance work on the SF Encyclopedia, where since October 2021 I've been the entire technical staff while still writing the occasional new entry and updating heaps of old ones. Two "Ansible Link" news columns for Interzone, and there won't be any more because I am Old and Tired. One obituary rewrite for the Guardian, not yet published (that one was dumped on me on Christmas Day). Fifteen ebooks for the TAFF site's Little Free Library, not counting PDFs already created by others and now added to that collection. Seven paperbacks sold for TAFF, five based on existing ebooks and two brand-new. A few reprints but no new fiction. One reissued title of my own sold for corrupt personal gain, both paperback and ebook. Too many crosswords and rereads of old favourite books.
23 November 2023 It was a surprise to find one of my long-ago computer magazine columns (referencing Fredric Brown's celebrated 1954 short-short "Answer") cited in a Crooked Timber post on "What OpenAI shares with Scientology".
22 November 2023 Another addition by our indefatigable fan historian Rob Hansen to the TAFF site's Little Free Library of fannish ebooks – Beyond Fandom: Fans, Culture & Politics in the 20th Century has already attracted a lot of interest.
1 November 2023 Still feeling run-down from October lurgi of various kinds, but here at least is Ansible 436. Also, in the TAFF site's Little Free Library of fannish ebooks, a final – or so I hope – collection of fanzine writing by Walt Willis not otherwise available in digital form:
10 October 2023 I'm in the third day of a particularly foul cold (at least I hope it's only a cold) and now Hazel has come down with it too. No dynamism should be expected from Ansible HQ for a while yet.
26 September 2023 Yet another historical ebook (with simultaneous trade paperback) from Rob Hansen, focusing on the women of 1950s UK fandom and their rallying-point fanzine Femizine.
15 September 2023 Received today: the new issue of Interzone for which I delivered my "Ansible Link" news column exactly on the deadline day of cough cough 2 March....
4 September 2023 Another Monday, which has become the traditional day for regular SF Encyclopedia updates; today's was tough going, but let's not name names. News, news: Jared Shurin has released the contents list for The Big Book of Cyberpunk, a vast array of 108 stories. My brief squib from Nature may well be the shortest.
1 August 2023 Here's Ansible 433. Today also sees the release of Rob Hansen's latest fanhistorical compilation 1965: The Second UK Worldcon in both paperback and ebook formats. The cover photo shows Tom Boardman (left) and Michael Moorcock at this event, with a Gerry Anderson Stingray display in the background.
1 June 2023. Four new things today! Ansible 431, the June issue of the infamous newsletter; Rob Hansen's latest fanhistorical compilation British SF Conventions Volume: 1937-1951 as a free ebook at the TAFF site; and Ted White's The Amazing Editorials and The Fantastic Editorials as a matched pair of TAFF-benefit paperbacks.
10 May 2023 In April 2022 I began what turned out to be the long process of taking back control of my Orion/Gollancz titles (long available only as SF Gateway ebooks with puny sales), and on 28 April 2023 received a formal letter agreeing the rights reversion for The Unseen University Challenge, The Wyrdest Link and The End of Harry Potter?. It could be fun to reissue the Discworld quizbooks as Ansible Editions ebooks – Rob Wilkins has given his blessing to this and confirmed Terry Pratchett's reassurance that his introductions "go with the book" and can be freely used in reissues, as with The Leaky Establishment. However, I feel the Harry Potter study – nice little earner though it was in its day – is now irretrievably past its remainder-by date and can be left to die of embarrassment. Far speedier was Ian Whates of NewCon Press/Steel Quill, who reverted rights to All Good Things: The Last SFX Visions on the same day as my enquiry. I've already expanded this one with some added material as an Ansible Editions ebook to complete the set begun with The SEX Column and Starcombing.
4 May 2023 Today it's time to vote in the UK local elections! And not, I think, for the party of unashamed voter suppression. As the current Private Eye reminds us:
28 April 2023 Another early release to get in before the UK bank holiday: Ansible 430, nominally the May issue, is published today. Today I also celebrate Gollancz's reversion of rights to three books which have long been earning only microscopic royalties. Maybe I'll redo the two authorized Discworld quizbooks as Ansible Editions ebooks. Or maybe not.
10 April 2023 A birthday celebrating a number of unnerving roundness. After embellishing my pizza, Hazel suggested sweetly that it's time for me to retire; but from what?
31 March 2023 Rather than wait for 3 April when the UK postal rates rise again, I'm mailing out April's Ansible 429 today. If all goes well, copies will also be printed in Belfast for distribution at Corflu Craic (special thanks to Nigel Rowe for volunteering to collect them). Alas, I won't be there, nor at Conversation (Eastercon) in the Birmingham NEC hotel next weekend. Best wishes for a jolly good time to all attendees of either or both.
15 March 2023 An old Langford story, "Serpent Eggs", is reprinted in this UK Milford Writers' Conference benefit volume. Eclectic Dreams: A Milford Anthology, edited by Pete Sutton and Liz Williams, will be launched at Eastercon; alas, I won't be there. Here is an early review.
1 March 2023 What better way to celebrate St David's Day than a piping hot Ansible 428 with leeks and mint sauce? Also, yet more new ebooks at the TAFF site: click here for the full list with the latest additions shown first.
1 February 2023 The time has come for Ansible 427, the February 2023 issue. This announces several more new ebooks at the TAFF site: click here for the full list with the latest additions shown first.