1. British people! Pushing Daisies starts tonight on ITV1 at 9pm. It is awesome and lovely. You should all watch it. It’s much better than Doctor Who, I promise.
2. There is a suggestion that the sf community is not paying as much attention as it should to Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer win. I am not entirely convinced by this, but just in case anyone hasn’t heard: there’s a book called The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by a writer called Junot Diaz, and it won a Pulitzer. It’s about an sf fan, and packed with sf references (including the title, in a convoluted way), and by all accounts wonderful. I haven’t read it yet (it’s only just been published in the UK), but the epigraphs alone are enough to win me over. One is the second verse of a poem by Derek Walcott; the other is:
“Of what import are brief, nameless lives … to Galactus??”
— Fantastic Four, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Vol 1 No 49, April 1966)
3. This isn’t exactly an “as others see us” moment, but it does make me want to read the book:
Science fiction makes you think of spaceships, magical technology, visionary futurism. Yet “science fiction” might also be a good name for a kind of fiction that contains no robots or galactic battles but simply engages with science on a deeper and more authoritative level than your average novelist who borrows a vague understanding of quantum mechanics as a little moondust to sprinkle over the story. Andrew Crumey has a PhD in theoretical physics, and his sixth novel answers in a way to both possible descriptions as “science fiction”, concocting something dreamily strange out of what initially seems to be a resolutely naturalistic comedy of nostalgia.
And with that, I leave for a BSFA committee meeting.