Iain Banks's online announcement headed 'I am officially Very Poorly.' was widely circulated and brought widespread dismay: 'The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for "several months" and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.' (www.iain-banks.net) Oh damn. There are no words for this.
Michael Moorcock according to one of the more subtly terrifying news stories posted on 1 April, had his beard shaved off. Credit went to 'the famous Texan barber Olaf Priol'. (Moorcock's Miscellany) [RH]
As Others See Us. Marvelling at the success of Game of Thrones, the Telegraph pinpoints its assumed minority audience: 'Aside from The Lord of the Rings, the thinking goes, audiences have always been resistant to grand fantasy. So it is strange that the programme, based on George RR Martin's bestselling books, is Sky Atlantic's most popular, and has drawn millions of unexpected fans: housewives and historians, as well as the expected men with beards.' (2 April) [MPJ]