Macmillan Surprises Authors

Macmillan Publishers, which includes Tor Books, has announced that they will pay royalties to authors based on estimated lost sales from the period when Amazon.com removed the “buy” button from Macmillan books during a period of negotiations over the pricing of e-books for the Kindle. The payment is called the “Amazon Kindle Outage Adjustment.” In addition, many authors will receive royalties based on 25% of net receipts, instead of 15% of list price, which will work out to the authors’ benefit.

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H.B. Fenn Declares Bankruptcy

Canadian book distributor H.B. Fenn, which distributes for U.S. companies including Hyperion, Tor, St. Martin’s, has declared bankruptcy. According to one employee, they are “ceasing operations effectively immediately.” H.B. Fenn employed 125 people.

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Obituary: Maria Schneider

Actress Maria Schneider (b.1952) died on February 3. Schneider was best known for her role in 1972′s Last Tango in Paris, but she also appeared in the Arthurian film Il cuore e la spade, the horror movie Mama Dracula, and the futuristic Bunker Palace Hôtel.

Second Life for Shuttles

United Space Alliance has proposed the Commercial Space Transportation Service, which would keep two orbiters in the space shuttle fleet, Atlantis and Endeavour active and flying two missions each year from 2013 through 2017 while the United States gets a new generation of manned launch vehicles ready. NASA has not officially commented on the USA plan and is publicly stating that the current plans to send the three orbiters to museums.

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Coville Out of Africa

YA author Bruce Coville, who found himself trapped in Egypt by the current unrest, successfully left the country with his wife, Kathy, and arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on the first leg of their trip home on February 1. Coville’s travel may be disrupted by the storm that lash across more than 2100 miles of the United States on February 2, but he is safely out of Egypt.

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Queensland Fans Safe

Queensland fans Jean Weber and Eric Lindsay have reported that they and their home have weathered cyclone Yasi safely. Weber told Bruce Gillespie that the winds were destructive, but not as bad as elsewhere and that there didn’t seem to be flooding in their immediate area. Weber also noted that internet and mobile phone service were not available. The storm has headed in-land and been downgraded to a category two storm.

ChiZine Press Review Contest

ChiZine Press has announced a review contest. To enter, review of ChiZine Press book and post a review on either Amazon or GoodReads. Send a copy of the review to ChiZine Press using the form on their webpage. Each review sent will enter the writer in a contest to win a free e-book.

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Renovation Rate Increase

Renovation, this year’s Worldcon to be held in Reno, Nevada from August 17-21, has announced a rate increase effective March 1. The new rates will be:

  • Full Adult Attending membership rates will increase from $180 to $195
  • Converting a Supporting membership to an Attending membership will be $145
  • Friend of the Reno Bid Conversion from Supporting to Attending will be $105
  • The Family Rate (2 adults plus 2 or more dependent children) will increase to $480.

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Kepler Finds New Planets

Results from the first four months of observation from the Kepler space observatory have been released indicating the discovery of more than 1200 potential planets, including 165 Jupiter-class planets, 662 Neptune-class planets, 288 superEarth class planets, and 68 Earth-class planets, 54 of which are considered to be in the habitable zone. Kepler has been searching a portion of the sky that includes the constellation Cygnus and Lyra and looked at 156,000 stars during the period covered by the released data.

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