David Rowland Langford (born 10 April 1953) is a British author, editor and critic, largely active within the science fiction field. He publishes the science fiction fanzine and newsletter Ansible.
David Rowland Langford
10 April 1953
Newport, Wales, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Author, editor, critic|
David Langford was born and grew up in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales before studying for a degree in Physics at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he first became involved in science fiction fandom. Langford is married to Hazel and is the brother of the musician and artist Jon Langford.
His first job was as a weapons physicist at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire from 1975 to 1980. In 1985 he set up a "tiny and informally run software company" with science fiction writer Christopher Priest, called Ansible Information after Langford's news-sheet. Langford is now the sole active partner.
Increasing hearing difficulties have reduced Langford's participation in some fan activities. His own jocular attitude towards the matter has led to such nicknames as "that deaf twit Langford"; and a chapbook anthology of his work was titled Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man.
As a writer of fiction, Langford is noted for his parodies. A collection of short stories, parodying various science fiction, fantasy fiction and detective story writers has been published as He Do the Time Police in Different Voices (2003, incorporating the earlier and much shorter 1988 parody collection The Dragonhiker's Guide to Battlefield Covenant at Dune's Edge: Odyssey Two). Two novels, parodying disaster novels and horror, respectively, are Earthdoom! and Guts!, both co-written with John Grant.
The novelette "An Account of a Meeting with Denizens of Another World 1871", is an account of a UFO encounter, as experienced by a Victorian; in its framing story Langford claims to have found the manuscript in an old desk (the story's narrator, William Robert Loosley, is a genuine ancestor of Langford's wife).
This has led some UFOlogists to believe the story is genuine (including the US author Whitley Strieber, who referred to the 1871 incident in his novel Majestic). Langford freely admits the story is fictional when asked — but, as he notes, "Journalists usually don't ask."
Langford also had one serious science fiction novel published in 1982, The Space Eater. The 1984 novel The Leaky Establishment satirises the author's experiences at Aldermaston. His 2004 collection Different Kinds of Darkness is a compilation of 36 of his shorter, non-parodic science fiction pieces, the title story of which won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 2001.
A number of Langford's stories are set in a future containing images, colloquially called "basilisks", which crash the human mind by triggering thoughts that the mind is physically or logically incapable of thinking. The first of these stories was "BLIT" (Interzone, 1988); others include "What Happened at Cambridge IV" (Digital Dreams, 1990); "comp.basilisk FAQ", and the Hugo-winning "Different Kinds of Darkness" (F&SF, 2000).
The idea has appeared elsewhere; in one of his novels, Ken MacLeod has characters explicitly mention (and worry about encountering) the "Langford Visual Hack". Similar references, also mentioning Langford by name, feature in works by Greg Egan and Charles Stross. The eponymous Snow Crash of Neal Stephenson's novel is a combination mental/computer virus capable of infecting the minds of hackers via their visual cortex. The idea also appears in Blindsight by Peter Watts where a particular combination of right angles is a harmful image to vampires. The roleplaying game Eclipse Phase has so-called "Basilisk hacks", sensory or linguistic attacks on cognitive processes.
The image's name comes from the basilisk, a legendary reptile said to have the power to cause death with a single glance.
|Categories||Science fiction related|
|First issue||August 1979|
Langford has won numerous other Hugo Awards, largely for his activities as a fan journalist on his free newsletter Ansible, which he has described as "The SF Private Eye". The remaining Hugo awards are as follows: 21 for Best Fan Writer, five for Ansible as Best Fanzine, and another for Ansible as Best Semiprozine. As of 2008 he had received, in total, 28 Hugo Awards, his 19-year winning streak coming to an end in 2008. A 31-year streak of nominations (1979–2009) for "Best Fan Writer" came to an end in 2010. He shared the Hugo for Best Related Work in 2012.
The name Ansible is taken from Ursula K. Le Guin's science-fictional communication device. The newsletter first appeared in August 1979. Fifty issues were published by 1987, when it entered a hiatus. Since resuming publication in 1991, Ansible has appeared monthly (with occasional extra issues given "half" numbers, e.g. Ansible 53½) as a two-sided A4 sheet and latterly also online. A digest has appeared as the "Ansible Link" column in Interzone since issue 62, August 1992. The complete archive of Ansible is available at Langford's personal website. Ansible issue 300 was published on 2 July 2012.
Ansible has for many years advertised that paper copies are available for various unlikely items such as "SAE, Fwai-chi shags or Rhune Books of Deeds". In 1996, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote: 'Tell me what I can send in exchange for Ansible. In Oregon we grow many large fir trees; also we have fish.' 
Langford wrote the science fiction and fantasy book review column for White Dwarf from 1983 to 1988, continuing in other British role-playing game magazines until 1991; the columns are collected as The Complete Critical Assembly (2001). He has also written a regular column for SFX magazine, featuring in every issue from its launch in 1995 to #274 dated July 2016. A tenth-anniversary collection of these columns appeared in 2005 as The SEX Column and other misprints; this was shortlisted for a 2006 Hugo Award for Best Related Book. Further SFX columns are collected in Starcombing: columns, essays, reviews and more (2009), which also includes much other material written since 2000.
David Langford has also written columns for several computer magazines, notably 8000 Plus (later renamed PCW Plus), which was devoted to the Amstrad PCW word processor. This column ran, though not continuously, from the first issue in October 1986 to the last, dated Christmas 1996; it was revived in the small-press magazine PCW Today from 1997 to 2002, and all the columns are collected as The Limbo Files (2009). Langford's 1985-1988 "The Disinformation Column" for Apricot File focused on Apricot Computers systems; these columns are collected as The Apricot Files (2007).
A collection of nonfiction and humorous work, Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man, was published in 1992 by NESFA Press. This was incorporated into a follow-up collection, consisting of 47 nonfiction pieces and three short stories, and published as The Silence of the Langford in 1996. Up Through an Empty House of Stars (2003) is a further collection of one hundred reviews and essays.
Much of Langford's early book-length publication was futurological in nature. War in 2080: The Future of Military Technology, published in 1979, and The Third Millennium: A History of the World AD 2000-3000 (1985), jointly written with fellow science fiction author Brian Stableford, are two examples. Both these authors also worked with Peter Nicholls on The Science in Science Fiction (1982). Within the broader field of popular non-fiction, Langford co-wrote Facts and Fallacies: a Book of Definitive Mistakes and Misguided Predictions (1984) with Chris Morgan.
Langford assisted in producing the second edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993) and contributed some 80,000 words of articles to The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997). He is one of the four chief editors of the third, online edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (launched October 2011), and shared this reference work's 2012 Hugo Award for Best Related Work. He has also edited a book of John Sladek's uncollected work, published in 2002 as Maps: The Uncollected John Sladek. Langford's critical introduction to Maps won a BSFA Award for nonfiction. With Christopher Priest, Langford also set up Ansible E-ditions (now Ansible Editions) which publishes other print-on-demand collections of short stories by Sladek and David I. Masson, and review columns by Algis Budrys.
Excluding collections, Langford's most recent professionally published book is The End of Harry Potter? (2006), an unauthorised companion to the famous series by J.K. Rowling. The work was published after the publication of the sixth volume in the Harry Potter series, but before publication of the seventh and final volume. It contains information, extracted from the books and from Rowling's many public statements, about the wizarding world and popular theories concerning how the plot will develop in the last book. A revised version was published in the US in March 2007 by Tor books, and in paperback form in the UK in May 2007. The book was commissioned from Langford by Malcolm Edwards of Orion Books, who were seeking a book about the Harry Potter series.
He has been a guest of honour at Boskone, Eastercon twice, Finncon, Microcon three times, Minicon (see List of past Minicons), Novacon, OryCon twice, Picocon several times, and Worldcon (see List of Worldcons).
|Year||Review article||Work(s) reviewed|
|2000||Langford, David (Jul 2000). "[Untitled review]". Curiosities. F&SF. 99 (1): 162.||Richardson, Maurice (1950). The exploits of Engelbricht.|
8000 Plus (renamed PCW Plus early in 1992) was a monthly British magazine dedicated to the Amstrad PCW range of microcomputers. It was one of the earliest magazines from Future plc, and ran for just over ten years, the first issue being dated October 1986 and the last (as PCW Plus) being issue 124, dated Christmas 1996.Science fiction writer David Langford wrote a regular column for 8000/PCW Plus, which ran (albeit not continuously) for the magazine's entire lifespan.BLIT (short story)
"BLIT" (acronym of Berryman Logical Image Technique) is a science fiction short story by British writer David Langford. It features a setting where highly dangerous types of images called "basilisks" have been discovered; these images contain patterns within them that exploit flaws in the structure of the human mind to produce a lethal reaction, effectively "crashing" the mind the way a computer program crashes when given data that it fails to process.Christopher Priest (novelist)
Christopher Priest (born 14 July 1943) is a British novelist and science fiction writer. His works include Fugue for a Darkening Island, Inverted World, The Affirmation, The Glamour, The Prestige and The Separation.
Priest has been strongly influenced by the science fiction of H. G. Wells and in 2006 was appointed Vice-President of the international H. G. Wells Society.Dave Langford-Smith
David Langford-Smith (born December 7, 1976) is a former Irish cricketer. who, on 13 June 2006, became the first man to take a wicket in a One Day International for Ireland, when he dismissed Ed Joyce (a former Ireland cricketer making his debut for England) at Belfast. A right-handed batsman and right arm fast-medium bowler, he has played 34 times for the Ireland cricket team as of 10 June 2007. Dave also played for, Phoenix Cricket club /, where he is a strong player and is the head coach of all teams. He has Played for Phoenix for several years.Free Live Free
Free Live Free is a novel by American writer Gene Wolfe, first published in 1984.Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer
The Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer is the Hugo Award given each year for writers of works related to science fiction or fantasy which appeared in low- or non-paying publications such as semiprozines or fanzines or in generally available electronic media during the previous calendar year. There is no restriction that the writer is not also a professional author, and several such authors have won the award for their non-paying works. The award was first presented in 1967 and has been awarded annually.
During the 58 regular and retro nomination years, 98 writers have been nominated; 21 of these have won, including ties. David Langford has received the largest number of awards, with 21 wins out of 31 nominations. He was nominated every year from 1979 through 2009, and won 19 times in a row from 1989 through 2007. The other writers to win more than once are Richard E. Geis, with seven wins out of sixteen nominations; Mike Glyer, with four wins out of twenty-five nominations; Susan Wood Glicksohn, with three of eight; Harry Warner, Jr., with two out of eight; Wilson Tucker, with two out of seven; Bob Shaw, who won both times he was nominated; Forrest J Ackerman, with two out of four Retro Hugos; and Ray Bradbury, who won both Retro Hugos he was nominated for. The writers with the most nominations without winning are Evelyn C. Leeper, who was nominated twelve times in a row from 1990 through 2001, and Steven H Silver, whose twelve nominations span 2000-2013.Hugo Award for Best Fanzine
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Fanzine is given each year for non professionally edited magazines, or "fanzines", related to science fiction or fantasy which has published four or more issues with at least one issue appearing in the previous calendar year. Awards were also once given out for professional magazines in the professional magazine category, and since 1984 have been awarded for semi-professional magazines in the semiprozine category; several magazines that were nominated for or won the fanzine category have gone on to be nominated for or win the semiprozine category since it was established.
The award was first presented in 1955, and has been given annually since except for in 1958. A "fanzine" is defined for the award as a magazine that does not meet the Hugo award's criteria for a professional or semi-professional magazine. Specifically, it must meet less than two of the five Hugo criteria for consideration as a semiprozine: that the magazine had an average press run of at least one thousand copies per issue, paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication, provided at least half the income of any one person, had at least fifteen percent of its total space occupied by advertising, and announced itself to be a semiprozine. This is the oldest long-running Hugo award for fan activity; in 1967 Hugo Awards were added specifically for fan writing and fan art. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and the fanzine category has been included each year.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The 1955 and 1956 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up magazines, but since 1957 all of the candidates were recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the 69 nomination years, including Retro Hugo years, 128 magazines run by 177 editors have been nominated. Of these, 40 magazines run by 67 editors have won, including ties. Locus has won 8 times out of 13 nominations, the most wins of any magazine. File 770 has won 7 of 31, the most nominations of any magazine. Mimosa has won 6 of 14 nominations, Ansible has won 5 out of 11, and Science Fiction Review has won 4 of 12; they are the only other magazines to win more than twice. Challenger has the most nominations without winning at 12; the next highest is FOSFAX with 7. As editor of Locus Charles N. Brown has won 8 of 13 nominations, though he shared 8 of those awards with Dena Brown. Richard E. Geis has won 6 of 15 nominations for his work on Science Fiction Review, Psychotic, and The Alien Critic; Mike Glyer has won 7 of 31 for editing File 770; David Langford has won 5 of 12 for work on Ansible and Twil-Ddu; and Richard Lynch and Nicki Lynch have both won 6 of 14 nominations for Mimosa. Guy H. Lillian III has the most nominations without winning at 12 for Challenger.Hugo Award for Best Related Work
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Related Work is given each year for primarily non-fiction works related to science fiction or fantasy, published or translated into English during the previous calendar year. Awards are also given out for works of fiction in the novel, novella, novelette, and short story categories.
The award was originally titled the Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book and was first awarded in 1980. In 1999 the Award was retitled to the Hugo Award for Best Related Book, and eligibility was officially expanded to fiction works that were primarily noteworthy for reasons besides their fictional aspects. In 2010, the title of the award was again changed, to the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. The Retro Best Related Work Hugo was awarded for 1954, 50 years later, but has not been awarded for any other year due to insufficient nominations.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon, and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. Members are permitted to vote "no award", if they feel that none of the nominees is deserving of the award that year, and in the case that "no award" takes the majority the Hugo is not given in that category. This happened in the Best Related Work category in 2015 and 2016.During the 40 nomination years, 197 authors have had works nominated; 52 of these have won, including co-authors and Retro Hugos. John Clute has won four times; once by himself, once with John Grant as a co-author, once with Peter Nicholls, and once with Nicholls, David Langford, and Graham Sleight. Nicholls has won a third time, and Grant has won a second time, sharing the award with his co-authors Elizabeth L. Humphrey and Pamela D. Scoville. Thomas Disch and Ursula K. Le Guin have also won twice, both without co-authors; no other author has won more than once. Cathy and Arnie Fenner have been nominated eight times for their work on the Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art series, both the most number of nominations received by any author and the most number of nominations without winning. Clute has been nominated seven times, Farah Mendlesohn six times with one win; Le Guin four times with two wins; Isaac Asimov and Langford four times with one win; and Mike Resnick four times with no wins. The Writing Excuses team, consisting of Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson, have been nominated four times and won once. Seven other authors have been nominated three times. Many of these writers, editors and artists have won Hugos in other categories, from Fan Writer to Best Novel.Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine
The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine is given each year for semi-professionally-edited magazines related to science fiction or fantasy which had published four or more issues, with at least one issue appearing in the previous calendar year. Awards were once also given out for professional magazines in the professional magazine category, and are still awarded for fan magazines in the fanzine category.
The award was first presented in 1984, and has been given annually since. A "semiprozine" is defined for the award as a magazine in the field that is not professional but that (unlike a fanzine) either pays its contributors in something other than copies, or is (generally) available only for payment. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1951, and 1954, but the category failed to receive enough to form a ballot each time.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The 1953 through 1956 and 1958 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up magazines, but since 1959 all six candidates were recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year. At the 2008 business meeting, an amendment to the World Science Fiction Society's Constitution was passed which would remove this category. The vote to ratify this amendment was held the following year; the ratification failed and the category remained. Instead, a committee was formed to recommend improvements to the category and related categories.During the 35 nomination years, 36 magazines run by 105 editors have been nominated. Of these, only 8 magazines run by 23 editors have won. Locus won 22 times and was nominated every year until a rules change in 2012 made it ineligible for the category. Uncanny Magazine has won 3 times in a row, 2016–2018, while Science Fiction Chronicle, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Lightspeed are the only other magazines to win more than once, with 2 awards out of 18 nominations, 3 out of 4, and 2 out of 5, respectively, while Ansible has won 1 out of 7 nominations, Interzone has won 1 out of 28, and Weird Tales has won 1 out of its 3 nominations. As editor of Locus Charles N. Brown won 21 of 27 nominations, though he shared 5 of those awards with Kirsten Gong-Wong, 3 with Liza Groen Trombi and 2 with Jennifer A. Hall. Uncanny's awards were earned by a team of 5 people, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Erika Ensign, and Steven Schapansky. The sole editor for Chronicle's awards was Andrew I. Porter, while David Pringle earned Interzone's, and Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal were the editors for Weird Tales's victory. Lightspeed's wins were under John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki, with Wendy N. Wagner and Christie Yant added for the second win, while David Langford was the editor when Ansible was awarded. Clarkesworld Magazine's winning years were under Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, and Kate Baker, with 2 of the three also under Cheryl Morgan and the other under Jason Heller. The New York Review of Science Fiction has received the most number of nominations without ever winning at 22, under the helm of David G. Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer, Kevin J. Maroney, and 8 other editors. The next highest number of nominations without winning is 7 for Speculations under Kent Brewster, Denise Lee, and Susan Fry.John Clute
John Frederick Clute (born 12 September 1940) is a Canadian-born author and critic specializing in science fiction (also SF, sf) and fantasy literature who has lived in both England and the United States since 1969. He has been described as "an integral part of science fiction's history" and "perhaps the foremost reader-critic of sf in our time, and one of the best the genre has ever known."He was one of eight people who founded the English magazine Interzone in 1982 (the others including Malcolm Edwards, Colin Greenland, Roz Kaveney, and David Pringle).
Clute's articles on speculative fiction have appeared in various publications since the 1960s. He is a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (with Peter Nicholls) and of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (with John Grant), as well as writing The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction, all of which won Hugo Awards for Best Non-Fiction. He earned the Pilgrim Award, bestowed by the Science Fiction Research Association for Lifetime Achievement in the field of science fiction scholarship, in 1994.
Clute is also author of the collections of reviews and essays Strokes, Look at the Evidence: Essays and Reviews, Scores, Canary Fever and Pardon This Intrusion. His 2001 novel Appleseed, a space opera, was noted for its "combination of ideational fecundity and combustible language" and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book for 2002. In 2006, Clute published the essay collection The Darkening Garden: A Short Lexicon of Horror. The third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (with David Langford and Peter Nicholls) was released online as a beta text in October 2011 and has since been greatly expanded; it won the Hugo Award for Best Related Work in 2012.
The Encyclopedia′'s statistics page reported that, as of 24 March 2017, Clute had authored the great majority of articles: 6,421 solo and 1,219 in collaboration, totalling over 2,408,000 words (more than double, in all cases, those of the second-most prolific contributor, David Langford). The majority of these are Author entries, but there are also some Media entries, notably that for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Clute was a Guest of Honour at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, from 14 to 18 August 2014.John Grant (author)
John Grant (born 22 November 1949) is a Scottish writer and editor of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction.John Sladek
John Thomas Sladek (December 15, 1937 – March 10, 2000) was an American science fiction author, known for his satirical and surreal novels.Message from space (science fiction)
For other uses, see Message from Space (disambiguation).
"Message from space" is a type of "first contact" theme in science fiction . Stories of this type involve receiving an interstellar message which reveals the existence of other intelligent life in the universe.Midnight Rose
Midnight Rose was a name taken by a group of United Kingdom science fiction and fantasy writers for a series of shared world anthologies published by the Penguin Books imprint Roc. The group's "core members" were Alex Stewart, Roz Kaveney, Neil Gaiman and Mary Gentle. Contributors to individual anthologies included Marcus Rowland, Storm Constantine, Kim Newman, Charles Stross, Stephen Baxter, Colin Greenland, Graham Higgins, Paul Cornell and David Langford, among others.
The anthologies were:
Two volumes of superhero pastiches, set in a world where the United Kingdom and European Union demand registry of superhuman talents, whereupon the Talented are expected to be permanently "on call" as part-time superheroes, in exchange for a stipend. The popular perception of the British Civil Service is played up, with registering as a "Temp" being strangely similar to applying for Jobseeker's Allowance or other benefits. The two books were Temps (1991) and EuroTemps (1992).The Weerde
The concept behind The Weerde was that shapeshifting creatures had been living alongside humanity for millennia, mostly concealing themselves, but occasionally giving rise to legends of supernatural monsters. The books in this series were The Weerde Book One (1992) and The Weerde Book Two: Book of the Ancients (1993).Villains!
Villains! (1992) was a parody of heroic fantasy. Like Gentle's later Grunts, it looked at the typical fantasy world from the point of view of the villains.Several of the stories from these anthologies have subsequently appeared in other collections, or have been put on line by their authors:
Roz Kaveney: "A Lonely Impulse" (Temps), "A Wolf To Man" (The Weerde Book One), "Bellringer's Overtime" (Villains!), "Totally Trashed" (EuroTemps), "Ignorance of Perfect Reason" (The Weerde Book Two)
David Langford: "Leaks" (Temps), "The Arts of the Enemy" (Villains!), "If Looks Could Kill" (EuroTemps), "The Lions in the Desert" (The Weerde Book Two)
Marcus Rowland: "Frog Day Afternoon" (Temps), "Playing Safe" (EuroTemps), "The Missing Martian" (The Weerde Book Two)
Charles Stross: "Examination Night" (Villains!), "Ancient Of Days" (The Weerde Book One), "Red, Hot and Dark" (The Weerde Book Two)The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a 1997 reference work concerning fantasy fiction, edited by John Clute and John Grant. Other contributors include Mike Ashley, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, David Langford, Sam J. Lundwall, Michael Scott Rohan, Brian Stableford and Lisa Tuttle.
The book was well-received on publication. During 1998, it received the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and Locus Award. The industry publication Library Journal described The Encyclopedia of Fantasy as "the first of its kind".Since November 2012, the full text of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is available on-line, as a companion to the on-line Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. The editors of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction have stated that there are not any plans to update the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, at least for the foreseeable future, although some death dates post-1997 have been added.The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an English language reference work on science fiction, first published in 1979. In October 2011, the third edition was made available for free online.The Leaky Establishment
The Leaky Establishment is a novel by David Langford, first published in June 1984 by Frederick Muller (ISBN 0-584-31167-2) and re-issued, with an introduction by Terry Pratchett, in 2001 by Big Engine, then July 2003 by Cosmos Books (ISBN 1-59224-125-5).
The book draws on some of Langford's own experiences working at the United Kingdom government's Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire.The Suns of Caresh
The Suns of Caresh is a BBC Books original novel written by Paul Saint (a pseudonym) and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Third Doctor and Jo.
SFX Magazine writer David Langford had suggested the identity of Paul Saint to be that of veteran Doctor Who author and fellow SFX writer Paul Cornell, but this was denied by Cornell himself. The author is, in fact, Paul Beardsley.The Unseen University Challenge
The Unseen University Challenge is a book of trivia questions related to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. It was written by David Langford (with Terry Pratchett's permission) and was published in 1996. Its name is a reference to the television quiz University Challenge. Unseen University is the Wizard's university in Ankh-Morpork.
The quiz consists of 841 questions in several categories, named after various faculties of the University, such as Thaumatology, Arcane History, Dwarf Studies, and Oook. Each section contains a bonus question, and several ways exist to score more points for a question, many of them ludicrous.
David Langford has intentionally not based his questions on the Annotated Pratchett File, a long list of Discworld trivia available on the internet. Nevertheless, several items are in both the APF and the quizbook.