Wired asked SF, fantasy and horror authors to take a shot at the six-word short story. My favourite?

Definitely Joss Whedon: “Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.

The web-only article features short-shorts by William Gibson, Ben Bova, Robert Jordan (“Heaven falls. Details at eleven.”), David Brin, and Margaret Atwood. Not that the Babu would presume to improve on Arthur C Clarke’s relatively long short–“God said, ‘Cancel Program GENESIS.’ The universe ceased to exist”–but it did occur to him that a diligent editor might find a way to condense this down to six words: “The universe sucks. Ctrl-Alt-Del.”

Indian SF is the Beast Glatisant of the SF menagerie, often sought, rarely found, so I was very glad to see a new anthology of SF for younger readers from Scholastic called Seven, which features work by Samit Basu, Anshumani Rudra, Anushka Ravishankar (no, not the sitar player, the writer woman with the real talent), Vandana Singh, Manjula Padmanabhan, and other writers, including, in an inexplicable lack of judgement on the part of the editors, myself. (Don’t let that stop you, the rest of the stories are seriously good.)

I was travelling and couldn’t be at the book launch, so The Editor at Scholastic abducted my husband instead (he’s such a hardcore SF junkie, we fondly call him the space animal) and asked him to conduct the discussion. He enjoyed himself right up to the moment he read The Hindu’s report on the launch, which read in part: “Devangshu Datta, a vivid lover, and avid reader of science fiction…” I’ve always been impressed by the high quality of The Hindu’s reportage, but well, “vivid lover”? How do they know?