Ansible, The Best Source for Science Fiction News

37 MinutesThere’s no shortage of web-based resources for news and events in science fiction out there, covering movies, TV, podcasting, comics, and all the ancillaries like gaming and collectibles. I read a lot of them, or more accurately I try a lot of them; the ones that stay in my rotation are the ones that are well-written, cover unique topics, and have a sense of humor. Or at least two of the three.

Ansible has been in my reading queue since nearly Day One because it dependably has a finely honed abundance of all three. Named after Ursula K. LeGuin’s hypothetical faster-than-light communications device in Rocannon’s World, Ansible recently published its 300th issue, and has been in publication since 1979 (with a brief hiatus from 1987-91). Now, while that would be an impressive record for any genre magazine, what makes it truly amazing in this case is that Ansible is entirely the work of one man: novelist, short story writer, and lifelong fan David Langford. A labor of love in every sense, Ansible relies on Langford’s keen editorial eye and dry writerly wit plus help from a world wide web of contributors (including, very occasionally, this writer). But ultimately it is David Langford’s baby.

The Ansible Logo

Ansible's distinctively retro-cool logo
(Source: Ansible)

Whether you read it on the website or get it in the mail, every issue is a treat. Regular features include a listing of upcoming conventions, obituaries of science fiction notables, recent awards, and letters to the editor. Even those are leavened with a sense of Langfordian wit; letters are always “Outraged,” for example.

Other indispensable regular features include “As Others See Us” (and variations thereof), which features eye-rolling or squirm-inducing quotes about science fiction in the mainstream media, and “Thog’s Master Class,” featuring the best of the worst lines ever in science fiction writing, past and present (so enduringly popular that Thog has his own site where you can read such wonders as “Captain Vandermeer, if you will please initiate a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree turn of the Washington, we’ll begin the long journey home.” Plus, all the impossible things that eyes do.)

Langford has won an astonishing 28 Hugo Awards for his work, many of them for Ansible. He had a 19-year winning streak for the Best Fanzine Hugo and a flabbergasting 31-year nominating streak for same. He’s a prolific fellow, and his prodigious hard work benefits science fiction fans everywhere. The newsletter is free, but he does have a tip jar and you would be remiss in not compensating the man for his hard work.

To paraphrase the Washington Post commercials, if you don’t get Ansible, you don’t get it.

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