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Overseas fans planning to visit one of the informal "London Circle" sf pub meetings (first Thursday evening each month) have been confused — as have I — by recent bickering and dithering over the choice of pub. The latest consensus seems to be The Barley Mow, 50 Long Lane; but check the unofficial web page first.

Boskone 40. My spies at this February convention in Boston report that Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books were jointly awarded the New England SF Association's Skylark Award, presented in memory of Doc Smith for contributions to the genre. But Teresa seemed far more excited by a party incident that resonates with my own bad behaviour long ago at the 1987 Worldcon:

'Short version: Jo Walton dumped her glass of Coke over David Brin's head at the Tor party.

Slightly longer version: Jo Walton dumped her glass of Coke over David Brin's head at the Tor party; all rejoice.'

I suppose if you can't find a Scientologist to hand, the next best thing is David Brin. Meanwhile, Paul Barnett made a flying visit to Boskone as representative of Martina Pilcerova, winner of the Jack Gaughan Award for sf art:

'Associated Press adds: "In accepting the trophy on Ms Pilcerova's behalf, grizzled nonentity Paul Barnett perorated to the gathered multitudes to almost tedious length on matters artistic, such as the instance of Ms Pilcerova getting somewhat interestingly smashed in Reno on pina colada, and Ms Pilcerova's unfortunate encounter with a portaloo in Buford (Pop. 2), Wyoming."'

Sam J. Lundwall, dean of Swedish sf authors, has publicly and permanently resigned from SFWA (where for many years he'd been an Overseas Regional Director) after failing to persuade that many-headed organization to oppose war on Iraq. 'The response was, to put it very mildly, rather negative ... I had hopes for so much more. I have so many friends in the US. I have spent more than 30 years in the SFWA, doing my little bit. Now I realize it was all in vain.'

Mediawatch. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs (23 February), George Clooney unexpected chose William Shatner's recording of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' as one of the records he'd like to be marooned with, on the grounds that it would help him escape from any desert island. As Clooney approximately put it, 'If this recording were playing, you'd hollow out your own leg to make a canoe to get away.'

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Too Much Information. 'The patron licked his fingers with saliva.' (Peter Senese and Robert Geis, Cloning Christ, 2002) • Eyeballs in the Sky Dept. 'His itinerant brown eyes darted onto the dim city street outside.' (Ibid.)


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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