An Ansible is the name of a faster-than-light communicator used in a number of stories, most prominently those of Ursula K. Le Guin (who coined the word), but fannishly it is far more important as the name of David Langford's monthly newszine.
Ansible was first published from 1979 to 1987 (fifty issues in UK quarto format on an increasingly irregular schedule) and then revived in 1991: it continues through today (2019, 380+ monthly issues plus a dozen or so specials). The revived edition started out, of course, on paper (as a single A4 sheet, two sides), but began also being delivered by email sometime in the 90s. It is now available on paper only in the UK or by special arrangement. The entire run of Ansible is archived online.
Ansible has won an improbable number of awards: The Best Fanzine Hugo in 1987, 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2002, and the 2005 Best Semiprozine Hugo. It has been nominated for: the Best Fanzine Hugo in 1984, 1985, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998, and for the Best Semiprozine Hugo in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. (Without changing its single-page fannish nature it declared itself to be a Semiprozine in 2003 in order to take itself out of contention with fanzines.) It also won the FAAn Awards for Best Newszine and Best Online News/Information Resource in 2019.
Langford has also used Ansible as a source. On his website, he writes: "The Runcible Ansible was a regular preview column in Eileen Gunn's webzine The Infinite Matrix, updated weekly until this site became static at the end of 2005. A printed digest of Ansible appears as "Ansible Link" in the now bimonthly Interzone." Three substantial ebook compilations -- Ansible First Series 1979-1987 (issues 1-50), Ansible Second Series 1991-2000 (issues 51-161) and Ansible Second Series 2001-2010 (issues 162-281) -- are downloadable from the TAFF site's free ebooks library.
Regular features of Ansible include:
- A strongly UK- and Ireland-oriented fannish calendar, also covering Eurocons and Worldcons.
- "As Others See Us": a (frequently hilarious) chronicling of the awful things the mundane world says about sf and fans.
- "R.I.P.": short obituaries of people connected with sf and fandom.
- "Outraged Letters": Letters to Ansible.
- "The Dead Past": Tasty news snippets from the same month 20 to 70 years ago.
- "Thog's Masterclass": Literary howlers from both genre and mundane works.
... as well as a variety of news, gossip and notes.
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