The Updated Reptile
Abi Frost


One of the last independent publishers in the sf field has been bought by Rupert Murdoch's Collins group. Staff at Unwin Hyman, publishers of J.R.R. Tolkien, learnt of the deal from this week's issue of The Bookseller, published on Friday, The news follows a period of rumours and firm denials by the management that there were any plans to sell.

Jane Johnson, the firm's sf editor, has built its list up over the last few years into a serious force on the sf scene. Tolkien (with his centenary looming in 1992) is obviously the company's most lucrative asset in this area, but it also publishes Louise Cooper, Colin Greenland, Barbara Hambly, Garry Kilworth, Geoff Ryman and Jack Womack. Its subsidiary, the feminist publisher Pandora, publishes Kathy Acker.


Valerie Eliot, widow of the more famous T.S., is said to have forced last-minute editorial changes to the Penguin edition of Martin Rowson's Waste Land comic-book with threats of a plagiarism suit. Doesn't she realise that Eliot himself swiped 'Jug Jug' (one of the disputed visual quotes) from Thomas Nashe (1567-1601)?

The US edition, jugs and all, is available at Murder One and other discriminating outlets. Recommended by the literati; Frost, Kaveney, Langford and Gaiman like it too.


This one-off newzinette has been produced by Abigail Frost all on her own (the other reptiles being as far as she knows living it up at Uniconze), as part of her tireless quest to get up Critical Wave's nose bring the news to the people. Thanks to Roz Kaveney for useful information. The Updated Reptile went to press 6 July 1990. News, gossip and details of events for August only should be sent to the usual editorial address:

9 Graham Road, Wealdstone, Harrow, HA3 5RP, UK


As the Reptile floated home from the Tun on a sea of alcohol (so much more convenient than the Tube), she found a message in a bottle. 'YOU DUMB BEAST,' it said. 'YOU FORGOT TO REMIND THEM THAT HUGO BALLOTS MUST BE SENT TO RICHARD KATZE, PO BOX 760, FRAMINGHAM, MA 01701, USA, AND POSTMARKED BEFORE 13 JULY!" The Reptile thanks the sender, though she isn't sure who he is: the message got wet when she opened it, and though it's definitely signed 'Dave', the surname is so smudged she can't even work out whether it begins with an L or a P....

She should also have reminded you that bookings for the rijstaffel at Confiction should be sent in now, too; details in the last PR.

One-shot (July 1990)