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It's not often that The Infinite Matrix gets compared with Whole Earth Review, but currently they have a vital common theme: lack of funding. This has delayed the Review's special issue on the Coming Technological Singularity, featuring such cosmos-bestriding sf megastars as Vernor Vinge, Bruce Sterling, and Charles Stross. They're begging WER readers for help with printing costs, and have put extracts from that issue on line as a tantalizer:

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards novel shortlist for 2002 work:

  Don Sakers, Dance for the Ivory Madonna

  Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, The Fall of the Kings

  Laurie Marks, Fire Logic

  Robert Sawyer, Hominids

  Jane Fletcher, Lorimal's Chalice

  Steven Harper, Nightmare: A Novel of the Silent Empire

  Kelley Eskridge, Solitaire

More details and other categories at the Spectrum website.

Brian Stableford, proud winner of the Eaton, IAFA, Pilgrim and Pioneer awards for sf criticism, confides: 'I've given up reviewing.'

R.I.P. James England, UK author of the single sf novel The Measured Caverns (1978), and for decades a member of the British SF Association and related writers' groups, died in May. He was in his late sixties, and is survived by his wife Jean and two children. Paul Harland (1960-2003; also known as John Paul Smit), Dutch fan and writer, committed suicide on 17 June; he was 43. Annemarie van Ewijk mourns him as a 'writer of the fantastic, musician, fan, co-organizer of the Dutch Millennium Short Story Award and conductor of many writing workshops… His friends and Dutch fandom as a whole are devastated.' David Newman (1937-2003), Oscar-nominated US screenwriter who co-wrote the scripts of Bonnie and Clyde (1967), the first three Superman films (1978-83), and Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), died on 27 June aged 66.

Blurbismo. The jacket copy of David Jay Brown's Brainchild (Falcon Press, 1988) promises cerebral thrills despite erratic prose: 'A "neuroscience fiction" novel, explosive with the force of a 4.5 billion of years of evolution behind it, guaranteed to liquefy and reform any brain with courage enough to venture within its depths.'

Signs of the Times. The UK division of the on-line bookseller which I had better refer to only as HugeSouthAmericanRiver cut its freelance reviewer rates by 20% in June. Grumble, grump.

As Others See Us. As a service to the editor's sanity, further outbreaks of Margaret Atwood have been censored. Oh, all right, just the one. Science fiction, as opposed to what she writes, is distinguished by 'talking squids in outer space.' (BBC1 Breakfast News)

Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, will be commemorated on a British 68p postage stamp in September — well, almost. The Royal Mail's ever-active Scraping The Barrel Division came up with the idea of celebrating 'classic transport toys', including Mettoy's friction-drive Space Ship Eagle (c1960) from the Dare saga. Be still, my beating heart.

Thog's Masterclass. Eyeballs in the Sky Dept. 'His eyes crawled up the wall before him.' (China Miéville, King Rat, 1998)


He Do the Time Police in Different VoicesDavid Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Different Kinds of Darkness, a new short-story collection of horror, SF, and fantasy, Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?)

Dave 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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