Obituary: Mark Shepherd

Author Mark Shepherd died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on May 24. Shepherd began publishing with the novel Wheels of Fire, co-written with Mercedes Lackey, for whom he had worked as a personal secretary. He went on to write several solo novels in both the Serrated Edge series and the Bard’s Tale series.

Compton Crook Winner

James Knapp won this year’s Compton Crook Award for best first novel for his book State of Decay. The award comes with a prize of $1,000 and the winner will be treated as a guest of honor for two consecutive Balticons.

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Spirit Rover Shutdown

NASA sent the shutdown command to the Mars Spirit Rover on May 25, seven years after the exploration vehicle landed. Spirit was scheduled to operate for approximately three weeks and cover a distance of a couple hundred yards. Instead, it operated for more than five years and covered almost five miles. Spirit made its last transmission on March 22, 2010. Spirit‘s sister craft, Opportunity, is still operating.

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