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Title: Ansible
Editor(s): David Langford
Date(s): 1979 - present
Medium: print and online
Fandom: science fiction fandom
Language: English
External Links: (via Wayback)

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Ansible is a "British SF/fan newsletter, published since 1979."[1] The name comes from the "instantaneous communicator" in stories by Ursula K. Le Guin.[2]

Ansible was originally launched as a successor to Checkpoint, an SF newsletter published by Peter Roberts from 1971 to 1979, and like its predecessor tries to present its news entertainingly, with regular features such as Thog's Masterclass, examples of interestingly bad writing from SF stories and novels. It temporarily ceased publication after issue 50 (August 1987) due to the pressure of other work, relaunching in its current single-sheet laser-printed newsletter form with issue 51 (October 1991). It's also available on line.

Regular features include a listing of upcoming conventions (focusing primarily on the UK and Europe), obituaries, extracts from letters and other correspondence, news and quotes related to SF and fantasy, Thog's Masterclass, and quotes from earlier issues and other sources in previous decades.

Ansible won Best Fanzine in the Hugo Awards in 1987, 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2002, and the Semiprozine (Semi-Professional Magazine) Hugo in 2005, and has been nominated on several other occasions. To quote David Langford:

"What happened after five wins was that I declared it a semiprozine -- initially a joke about the elasticity of the Hugo semiprozine definition, but on reflection it seemed a good way to take it out of contention for Best Fanzine. Then it won as semiprozine (its sixth Hugo) in 2005, beating Interzone, and I was a bit embarrassed."[3]

Langford is releasing compilations of issues as free PDFs. Ansible 1979-87 has links to the 1991-2000, 2001-2010, and 2011-2020 volumes. A history of Ansible is included in a collection of Langford's fan writing, Beachcombing and Other Oddments[4]

Header of a typical PDF edition, November 2020

Header for a typical issue. Title logo by Dan Steffan, cartoon by Arthur Thompson (ATom)


  1. ^ Accessed October 1, 2008.
  2. ^ Accessed October 1, 2008.
  3. ^ Email, quoted with David Langford's approval, November 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Beachcombing and Other Oddments - ISBN 978-1-716-48476-6 (trade paperback), ISBN 978-1-913451-72-1 (ebook).