The Infinite Matrix

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One of the terrors of holding a sinecure position on the Council of the British SF Association Ltd is that you (all right, I) get threatening letters from Companies House UK warning of £5,000 fines for all concerned, if the BSFA doesn't deliver its overdue accounts by mid-February. Argh! Get a move on, nice BSFA treasurer, please pretty please…

Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist for 2003: David Brin, Kil'n People (US Kiln People); M. John Harrison, Light; China Miéville, The Scar; Christopher Priest, The Separation; Elizabeth Moon,Speed of Dark; Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt. Winner to be announced at the usual London Science Museum ceremony on 17 May.

As Others See Us. Echoing last week's offering, here's another pundit on the subject of Spielberg's Taken: '… his smash hit ten-part series (well, sci-fi viewers loved it — there was some criticism in the wider world) …' (Adam Smith, Radio Times, January) Was all this uncritical enthusiasm from sf fans ascertained, one wonders, by actually asking any?

R.I.P. Virginia Heinlein, widow of Robert A. Heinlein and editor of his selected letters (Grumbles from the Grave, 1989), died on 18 January. Joel Rosenberg wrote: 'It was a peaceful passing; she's been talking for some time about how it was getting to be time to go.'

Media Watch. A question posed in the 15 January installment of that naughty e-bulletin Popbitch might make an interesting Runcible competition if I could think of a suitable prize (and, of course, if I ever dared to publish the answers): 'Which Star Trek officer likes to pay high-class prostitutes to pleasure themselves with a large dildo while he reclines in an armchair listening to classical music?'

The Stars Our Destination in Chicago is yet another sf bookshop which is to close down, after a few weeks of clearance sales. The founder (in 1988) and owner Alice Bentley will continue to trade by mail order and on line at

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of One-Off Use. 'Passing over the roadie's ceramic teeth was a tongue that would help the man form a single word.' (PP Hartnett, Rock'n'Roll Suicide, 2002)


David Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. He lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add books and Hugos.

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