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letter from prague

words and wine in the city of kafka




My apologies for the dead air. I've been away. I'm still away. I was in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and London, and now I'm in an apartment in Prague, with a glass of Moravian wine and the sound of tiny golems scampering overhead.

This week at the Infinite Matrix we are having a Dave Langford Festival and next week a Celebration of Howard Waldrop, as I catch up with the columns that our illustrious and prolific contributors have sent during my travels. Over the next month, when I get home and regain my sanity, we'll be publishing new work by Robert Sheckley, William Gibson, Patrick O'Leary, Eleanor Arnason, Rudy Rucker, and more.

So far, nothing Kafkaesque about Prague. Everyone here under the age of fifty (and some of those over) dresses like a computer programmer or a science-fiction fan: jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, jacket, backpack, Alec-Guiness scarf. Optional: piercings, dreads, scruffy beards. Compulsory: kissing on the Metro. Perhaps this is Kafkaesque, but it feels like home, except, oddly, no Goths, and not so many rich people. Also not so many extremely poor people. I wonder if there is a connection? (Can't be the absence of Goths.)

I'm pleased to say that my short story collection, Stable Strategies and Others, is available at the Globe Bookstore and Cafe in Prague, Pštrossova 6, Nové Mesto. They have a stack of them, so if you're in Prague and you want the book, you'll find it faster and cheaper at the Globe than on Amazon. If you know somebody in Prague who reads English, please tell them to check it out.

        Eileen Gunn

Eileen Gunn is the editor and publisher of The Infinite Matrix, and Chairman of the Board of the Clarion West Writer's Workshop. She also writes short stories, two of which have been nominated for the Hugo award. A collection, Stable Strategies and Others, will be published by Tachyon Publications in Fall, 2004. You can pre-order online at, Powell's, and Barnes & Noble.

Her cryptic personal site, Imaginary Friends was a Cool Site of the Day way back in 1997. Its amiable companion, The Difference Dictionary, offers clues to Gibson and Sterling's The Difference Engine. A new gateway site,, provides links to all this and more, should anyone care. Whew!


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