- 1. The imaginary device invented by Ursula K.LE GUIN for instantaneous communication between two points, regardless of the distance between them. The physics which led to its invention is described in The Dispossessed (1974), but the device is mentioned in a number of the Hainish series of stories written before The Dispossessed, and indeed is central to their rationale. It compares interestingly with James BLISH's DIRAC COMMUNICATOR. (FASTER THAN LIGHT and COMMUNICATION for further discussion of both.) The ansible has since been adopted as a useful device by several other writers.2. Fanzine (1979-87 and 1991 onwards), first sequence being 50 issues, quarto, 4-10pp, ed from Reading, UK, by David LANGFORD. A is a newszine, a fanzine that carries news on sf and FANDOM. It replaced the earlier UK newszine Checkpoint (1971-9, 100 issues) ed Peter Roberts (briefly ed Ian Maule and ed Darroll Pardoe), which in turn had replaced Skyrack (1959-71, 96 issues) ed Ron Bennett. A's news items were given sparkle by Langford's witty delivery. A was initially monthly, but latterly gaps between its issues grew ever longer. In 1987, at the time of but not due to the appearance of a later newszine, CRITICAL WAVE, Langford - who had long expressed weariness with the labour of producing A - folded it. However, he revived A in 1991, the second sequence being an approximately monthly A4 2pp newssheet with occasional extra issues (given numbers), beginning with 51. It had reached 93 by April 1995. A won a HUGO in 1987, and its editor won Hugos as Best Fan Writer in 1985, 1987, and every year from 1989 to 1994.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.