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                        WEBSITE REVIEW -  ANSIBLE The formidable Website of Dave Langford, at http://news.ansible.co.uk/.

 

The name is actually an anagram of Lesbian, which shows Dave’s sense of humour, though the site is the definitive guide a to everything that goes on in the science fiction world. The main page is a monthly online newsletter of every development tin the SF / Fantasy? Horror world. It lists awards won, the obituaries of writers, actors and cameramen who have worked in the genre and who have passed us by, the best and worst lines of critique from the media, and best of all, a section called Thog’s Masterclass, in which the worst lines in Science Fiction print stories are presented for audience howls of derision.  Langford is a phenomenon in SF circles, a fine writer and a genuine fan of the genre, which has won many awards for his work in his own right. Dave’s real genius shows in his links pages, where he lists every convention going on, fan funds, fanzines, and news of local groups, publishers, agents, and many writers get website links of their own too. Dave Langford writes columns for SFX and other journals, and makes regular appearances at conventions where fans often pass around downloaded copies of the current Ansible publications pointing out favourite snippets of news. Though regarded as a fanzine, Ansible is really an institution for SF fandom. It has run for 226 issues   as of March 2006. A regular feature is its descriptions of how the non-SF community perceives SF. When they describe a show or book that they like, they often class it as non-science fiction, even if it is an episode of Battlestar Galactica. Such intellectual snobbery is easily exposed by a publication like Ansible keeping track of such drivel.  Ansible is the brains, heart and soul of the British SF world. Always a joy to read, and always a perfect mix of trivia and useful knowledge. http://news.ansible.co.uk/.

Arthur Chappell

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