Thursday, 17 June 2010

june ansible extracts

J. NEIL SCHULMAN, whose 1979 sf novel _Alongside Night_ features 'the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending', announced on 21 May that he plans a copyright infringement suit against the US government for stealing his plot points and using them in real life. Co-defendants will include the Federal Reserve Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, General Motors, and the country of Greece. Sample smoking gun: 'I have Europe issue a common currency in my novel called the "eurofranc" -- the European Union then goes and issues the "euro".' [LP] Is Schulman a little bit, ahem, widdershins; or is this just a tongue-in-cheek publicity ploy?

AS OTHERS SEE US. Restoring the lost footage of _Metropolis_ has also miraculously rescued it from the taint of sf: 'The cumulative result is a version of "Metropolis" whose tone and focus have been changed. "It's no longer a science-fiction film," said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. "The balance of the story has been given back. It's now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin."' (_New York Times_, 4 May, sent by dozens of you) As Andy Sawyer wearily commented, 'That's apart from the futuristic setting, the dystopian cityscapes, the videophones, the vast machines and the robot, I guess.'

THE DEAD PAST II. _50 Years Ago_, Kenneth F. Slater brought good news: 'ORDERS ARE NOW BEING TAKEN by the publishers for Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's promised new work, provisional title, THE SILMARILLION, which recounts the earlier history of The Ring. The publishers still can't give a date or a price for the work, but this acceptance of orders is a step forwards.' Only 17 more years to wait! (_Skyrack_ 20, June 1960)