Rhysling Winners

The winners of the Rhysling Award, presented for speculative poetry by the SFPA, have been announced.

  • Short Poem: “Turning the Leaves,” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Long Poem: “Interregnum,” by Mary Soon Lee

For more information…

Kerr Fundraiser For Ailing Husband

Author Alis Rasmussen is hosting a YouCaring fundraiser to raise money to help author Katharine Kerr care for her husband, Howard, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Kerr’s solo care for her husband currently precludes her from writing and the funds raised by the crowdfunding would go to pay for a “health aide to come to the house or an adult day­care specifically designed for Alzheimer’s patients.” THe stated funding goal would cover about five months of care.

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Pournelle Suffers Minor Stroke

Author Jerry Pournelle has suffered a minor stroke according to his son. Pournelle’s wife saw the indications early. At the time of Philip Pournelle’s report, his father was speaking reasonably clearly in the background while he was walking to his mother on the phone.

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Message from Mars Restored

The British Film Institute and the BBC have worked together to restore the 1913 silent film A Message from Mars, a 68-minute film believed to be the first science fiction film made in Britain and to include the first depiction of Martians in a British film. The movie is a version of Charles Dickens’s novel A Christmas Carol, with a Martian taking the place of the Christmas ghosts. The movie starred Charles Hawtrey and was remade in 1921.

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Obituary: Ken Weatherwax

Actor Ken Weatherwax (b.1955) died on December 7 from an heart attack. Weatherwax is best known for portraying Pugsley Addams on The Addams Family and in subsequent television films based on the property. After working on the show, he began to work behind the scenes in Hollywood.

SLF Diversity Grants

The Speculative Literature Foundation has announced the winner of its first Diverse Writers Grant and Diverse Worlds Grant. Both grants were won by Madhvi Ramani, who grew up in London and currently lives in Berlin. Each grant is for $500. The Diverse Writers Grant offers support to new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing/publishing process. The Diverse Worlds Grant is presented for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background. Ramani submitted her story “Zafir, the Saudi Superhero” for consideration.
For more information…

Ignotus Awards

The winners of this year’s Ignotus Awards were announced at Hispacon, held this year in Montcada i Reixac, a suburb of Barcelona. The Award presentation was on December 7.

  • Novel: Memoria de tinieblas (Memory of Darkness), by Eduardo Vaquerizo
  • Novella: “Detective,” by Rodolfo Martínez
  • Short Story: “El aeropuerto del fin del mundo” (“The Airport at the End of the World”), by Tamara Romero
  • Anthology: Terra Nova, Vol. 2, edited by Mariano Villarreal & Luis Pestarini
  • Non-Fiction: La 100cia ficción de Rescepto (The Hundredth Fiction of Respect), by Sergio Mars (Cápside)
  • Article: “La ciencia ficción española” (“Spanish Science Fiction”), by Mariano Villarreal
  • Illustration: The cover of Eduardo Vaquerizo for Memoria de tinieblas (Memory of Darkness)
  • Audiovisual Material: “Los VerdHugos,” by Miquel Codony, Pedro Román, Elías F. Combarro & Joseph María Orio
  • Magazine: Scifiworld
  • Translated Novel: Embassytown, by China Miéville
  • Translated Short Story: “El hombre que puso fin a la historia: documental” (“The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary”), by Ken Liu
  • Website: (tie) “Cuentos para Algernon”; La tercera fundación
  • Premio Especial Ignotus (Premio Gabriel): Antoni Garcés
  • Premio Domingo Santos: La oscura majestad de la Dama Cuervo, de Juan Ángel Laguna Edroso

For more information… (Spanish)

(ETA: Tie in website category)

SMOFCon 2015 in Fort Worth

Fort Worth, TX won the right to host SMOFCon the weekend of December 4-6 at the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel and Spa. The Fort Worth team beat a bid from Colorado Springs. Tim Miller will chair the Fort Worth SMOFCon.

Obituary: Ralph H. Baer

Ralph H. Baer (b.1922) died on December 6. Baer is best known for creating the Magnavox Odyssey, widely regarded as the first home video game console, in the 1960s. The unit went on sale in 1972. He also created the first light gun, which was the first peripheral for a home video game. In late late 70s, he helped develop the game Simon. Baer was born in German and was expelled from school at 11 due to his Jewish ancestry. His family fled Germany in 1938.

Midwest Furfest Evacuated

The Rosemont Hyatt, which was hosting Midwest Furfest, was evacuated just before 1 am on December 7 following a chlorine leak, which police are treating as an intentional spill. The leak occurred Saturday night during parties on either the ninth or tenth floor of the hotel, resulting in the evacuation and the hospitalization of nineteen con members. Attendees were permitted to return to their rooms at 3:30 in the morning.

For more information…