What the Papers Say. From The Washington Post's coverage of The Day After Tomorrow (27 May): `[Al] Gore, who says he read the screenplay while the movie was in production and saw a screening this week, admits -- as everyone does -- that the movie is mostly science fiction, but grounded in some science facts.' Our reporter Phil Margolies muses: `I wonder what the science fiction part is grounded in?'
As Others Reposition Us. According to Publishers Lunch, a US deal is being lined up for bestselling French author Jean-Christophe Rufin's Globalia, reported as a speculative novel which `steps into the future, not exactly as science fiction but as a projection of today's American-dominated world toward what he calls "totalitarian democracy".' No talking squids in outer space there.
[Копирайт на говорящих кальмаров, которых так часто поминает Дэвид Лэнгфорд, принадлежит Маргарет Этвуд. Канадская писательница отрицает, что пишет научную фантастику, поскольку "НФ - это о говорящих кальмарах в открытом космосе".]
Harry Harrison sends a May Observer interview with a UK pest control expert, who knows how to deal with the rigours of the job: `Science fantasy books -- sword and sorcery -- are the best way to unwind. If you've had a bad day -- clearing a dead [human] body out, or something -- you can't go wrong with Stephen Donaldson or Michael Moorcock.'
Language Lesson. I've always wanted to know the proper term for those clumps of old Penguin sf novels on my shelves. PopBitch (May 2004) reveals the answer: `There is no clear, collective noun for penguins. In the past, breeding groups have been referred to as colonies, rookeries and penguineries, but at the 4th International Penguin Conference in Chile in September 2000, it was finally agreed by penguin researchers that they would refer to a group of penguins on the land as a "waddle", and a group in the water as a "raft".' [IC] A raft of Penguin sf, bobbing feebly in the water? Oh, that's too awful....
Thog's Masterclass. New Maths Dept. `I've just gotten a reply. A series of pulses: one, two, three, five, seven, nine. Prime numbers. I respond in kind with the next set.' (Syne Mitchell, Murphy's Gambit, 2000)
Dept of Continuity. Prologue: `The last mountains had been ground to dust by the wind and the rain, and the world was too weary to bring forth more.' Chapter 10: `Time had not conquered everything; Earth still possessed mountains of which she could be proud.' (Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, 1956)
Unmoved Mover Dept. `Without moving, she raised a hand to feel her bloody head.' (Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic, 2002)
Neat Tricks Dept. `Taylor struggled to his console, tried to lift the red handset to Damage Control back aft, and realized his right collarbone was smashed. He grabbed for the phone with his left.' `Black heads in the water, struggling amid the flames, without lips or fingers.' (both Joe Buff, Thunder in the Deep, 2001)
Must Have Been Something I Ate Dept. `A deep joy bubbled inside her, sounding like a sparkling stream full of spring rain.' (Leah R. Cutter, Paper Mage, 2003)