In a sudden announcement, Realms of Fantasy Managing Editor Laura Cleveland has announced that the April issue of the magazine, currently at the printer, will be the magazine’s final issue. Although subscription sales were good, Cleveland said that newsstand sales were not high enough. The news is quite sudden and the staff had been planning a special Halloween issue for later in the year. Sovereign Media, which publishes Realms of Fantasy, previously published Science Fiction Age.
Actress Susanne Foster (b.1924) died on January 18. Foster only made a handful of films, mostly between 1939 and 1945, but during that time, she played Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera” opposite Claude Raines, in a production which also included Fritz Leiber, Sr.
Actress Kathleen Byron (b.1921) died on January 17.Byron got her start in uncredited roles in 1938 and played an angel in “A Matter of Life and Death.” In 1972, she appeared in “Twins of Evil” and in “Nothing But the Night” the following year. Byron also appeared in an episode of “Blake’s 7″ and the film “One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing.”
The Screen Actors Guild presented its annual awards on January 25. Categories with winners of genre interest are listed below.
- Best Supporting Actor (Film): Heath Ledger for “The Dark Knight”
- Best Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: “The Dark Night”
- Best Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series: “Heroes”
- Lifetime Achievement Award: James Earl Jones
It appears that Tangent Online may survive as Dave Truesdale has announced someone has come forward with a hosting offer.
The Aurealis Awards were presented in Australia on January 24. The winners are listed below.
- Best Science Fiction Novel: K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
- Best Science Fiction Short Story: Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again
- Best Fantasy Novel: Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom
- Best Fantasy Short Story: Cat Sparks, ‘Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities
- Best Horror Novel: John Harwood, The Seance
- Best Horror Short Story: Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), #2
- Best Anthology: Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift, Viking Children’s Books
- Best Collection: Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, Ticonderoga Publications
- Best Illustated Book/Graphic Novel: Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia
- Best Young Adult Novel: Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock
- Best Young Adult Short Story: Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2
- Best Children’s Novel: Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo, Omnibus Books
- Best Children’s Illustrated Work/Picture Book: Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, The Wolf Kingdom series, Omnibus Books
- Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence: Jack Dann
David Truesdale has announced that Tangent Online, the web-based successor to his print short-fiction review magazine, will be removed from the internet on March 1, 2009, fourteen years after the magazine was initially launched. For many years, Tangent was one of the only publications that focused its attention on reviewing short fiction.
Warren Lapine, one time publisher of DNA Publications, has announced the creation of Tir na Nog Press, a small press specializing in science fiction and fantasy. He also plans to relaunch Fantastic Stories as a quarterly magazine with payment on acceptance. Lapine has said that any unfulfilled DNA subscriptions, including SF Chronicle, Absolute Magnitude, Mythic Delirium, Dreams of Decadence, and Weird Tales, will be filled with issues of Fantastic Stories.
Producer Charles H. Schneer (b.1920) died on January 21. Schneer produced the films “Clash of the Titans,” “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad,” and “Jason and the Argonauts” in addition to many more films. In total, Schneer worked with Ray Harryhausen a dozen times, beginning in 1955 with “It Came from Beneath the Sea” until 1981 with “Clash of the Titans.”
Cincinnati fan George F. Stanley (b.1949) died of an heart attack on January 21. Stanley was a past chair of Millennicon in Cincinnati. In addition, Stanley was a private pilot and raised horses.