The Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA is hosting the exhibit “Beyond Belief: The Curious Collection of Professor Rufus Excalibur Bell” from June 20, 2009 through 2011. Built around the premise of a time-traveling curator who brings back samples of creatures believed to be mythical, the exhibit features the artwork of Somerville, Massachusetts artist Hilary Scott.
The city of Metropolis, Illinois, which has been holding a Superman Festival for more than thirty years, has announced plans to swear in honorary citizens at this year’s festival, scheduled to run from June 11 through 14. The town is offering the chance to assume the Superman stance and swear to pledge themselves for “truth, justice, and the American way.” In return, they will be declared honorary citizens of Metropolis.
The Ditmar Awards, the Australian national achievement awards, were presented at Conjecture, the 48th annual Australian national convention in Adelaide the weekend of June 5.
- Novel: Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
- Novella: “Painlessness,” by Kirstyn McDermott
- Short Story (tie): “The Goosle,” by Margo Lanagan and “This Is Not My Story,” by Dirk Flinthart
- Collected Work: Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann
- Best Professional Artwork: Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
- Best New Talent: Felicity Dowker.
- William Atheling Jr. Award: Popular Genres and the Australian Literary Community: The Case of Fantasy Fiction, by Kim Wilkins
- Peter McNamara Award: Sean Williams
- Best Professional Achievement: Black, the Australian Dark Culture Magazine, edited by Angela Challis
- Best Fan Publication: Asif!, edited by Alisa Krasnostein & Gene Melzack
- Best Fan Artist: Cat Sparks for Scary Food Cookbook
- Best Fan Writer: Rob Hood for Undead Backbrain
- A. Bertram Chandler Award: Rosaleen Love.
The British Fantasy Awards nominees have been announced. All members of the British Fantasy Society may vote and the winners will be announced at FantasyCon in Nottingham, the weekend of September 18.
Best Novel (The August Derleth Fantasy Award)
- The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
- Memoirs of a Master Forger, by William Heaney/Graham Joyce
- Midnight Man, by Simon Clark
- Rain Dogs, by Gary McMahon
- Thieving Fear, by Ramsey Campbell
- The Victoria Vanishes, by Christopher Fowler
- “Cold Stone Calling,” by Simon Clark
- “Gunpowder,” by Joe Hill
- “Heads,” by Gary McMahon
- “The Narrows,” by Simon Bestwick
- “The Reach of Children,” by Tim Lebbon
Best Short Fiction
- “All Mouth,” by Paul Meloy
- “The Caul Bearer,” by Allyson Bird
- “Do You See,” by Sarah Pinborough
- “N,” by Stephen King
- “Pinholes in Black Muslin,” by Simon Strantzas
- “The Tobacconist’s Concession,” by John Travis
- “The Vague,” by Paul Meloy
- “Winter Journey,” by Joel Lane
- Bull Running for Girls, by Allyson Bird
- Glyphotech, by Mark Samuels
- How To Make Monsters, by Gary McMahon
- Islington Crocodiles, by Paul Meloy
- Just After Sunset, by Stephen King
- Cone Zero, edited by DF Lewis
- The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19, edited by Stephen Jones
- Myth-Understandings, edited by Ian Whates
- The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror, edited by Ian Alexander Martin
- Subtle Edens, edited by Allen Ashley
- We Fade To Grey, edited by Gary McMahon
- Vincent Chong for various
- Les Edwards for various
- Dave McKean for The Graveyard Book
- Edward Miller for Vault of Deeds
- Lee Thompson for The Land at the End of the Working Day
Best Small Press
- Elastic Press
- Newcon Press
- Pendragon Press
- Screaming Dreams
- TTA Press
- Basil Copper: A Life in Books, edited by Stephen Jones
- Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale, by Russell T. Davies & Benjamin Cook
- journal.neilgaiman.com, by Neil Gaiman
- “Mutant Popcorn” column, by Nick Lowe
- What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction, by Paul Kincaid
- Black Static, edited by Andy Cox
- Interzone, edited by Andy Cox, et. al
- Midnight Street, edited by Trevor Denyer
- Postscripts, edited by Peter Crowther & Nick Gevers
- SFX, edited by Dave Bradley
Best Comic/Graphic Novel
- 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow, by Steve Niles & Bill Sienkiewicz
- All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
- Buffy, Season Eight, Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate, by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard and Georges Jeanty
- Comic Book Tattoo: Tales Inspired by Tori Amos, edited by Rantz A. Hoseley & Tori Amos
- The Girly Comic Book 1, edited by Selina Lock
- Hellblazer: Fear Machine, by Jamie Delano
- Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician,, by Andy Diggle & Leonardo Manco and Daniel Zezelj
- Locke and Key, by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
- The New Avengers: Illuminati, by Brian Bendis & Brian Reed and Jim Cheung
Steampunk Publishing has announced the release of the first original pulp magazine created specifically for the iPhone and iTouch. Steampunk Tales #1 contains six short stories from authors including Jay Lake and Catherynne M. Valente. The magazine is intended to provide pulp-style adventure stories.
The Rebel Award, Phoenix Award, and the Ruble Award, all presented at DeepSouthCon 47/Hypericon 5 in Nashville. The Rebel and Phoenix Awards are official awards, while the Ruble is an unofficial, but traditional award. The Rebel Award is presented for service to Southern fandom by a fan. the Phoenix is given for support by a pro of Southern fandom and/or professional work reflecting positively on the South, and the Ruble is given for the fan who’s done the most to Southern Fandom.
- Rebel Award: Randy B. Cleary, ex-president of the Southern Fandom Confederation, ex-editor of the SFC Bulletin, art show runner, etc.
- Phoenix Award: Robert McCammon, for his horror fiction as well as mentoring many younger authors; and one of the founders of the Horror Writers Association.
- Ruble Award: Chattacon Registration Department, for (a) botching a new reg system last year resulting in an hours-long registration line then (b) not learning from their mistakes and having an hours-long reg line again this year.
The Speculative Literature Foundation has announced Karen L. Simpson as the sixth winner of the Older Writers Grant. The grant of $750 is presented to an author over fifty who is just starting to work at a professional level. Simpson’s fiction is based on her personal life and her professional life as an historian.
The Boston Globe-Horn Awards have been announced. The awards are for excellence in children’s and young adult literature. Three awards are given out, one for fiction & poetry, one for non-fiction, and one for picture books. Terry Pratchett won of the Fiction and Poetry prize for his novel Nation. Runners up for the prize included Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and M.T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves.
Producer Mort Abrahams (b.1916) died on May 28. In the 1950s, Abrahams was the producer of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. He went on to work on the anthology series Tales of Tomorrow. Abrahams served as associate producer on the first two Planet of the Apes films and received a story credit for Beneath the Planet of the Apes. His non-genre work included The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The House on Garibaldi Street.
Actor David Carradine (b.1936) was found dead in Bangkok on June 4. According to police sources, Carradine hanged himself. Carradine portrayed Frankenstein in the film Death Race 2000 and provided the character’s voice in the recent remake. Carradine also appeared as Bill in the Kill Bill films and Gnomen in the film made of Isaac Asimov’s story Nightfall. Appearing in more than 200 films and television series, Carradine was best known for his portrayal of Caine on Kung Fu, for which he was nominated for an Emmy.