Initial Twin Study Released

NASA has released preliminary results from their Twin Study comparing identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly following Scott Kelly’s long-duration mission on the International Space Station. Results unexpected showed changes in gene expression, DNA methylation and other biological markers. The caps on the ends of Scott Kelly’s telomeres grew longer during his space flight (returning to normal after landing), which was the opposite of the expected results. Full results of the study are expected to be released over the next few years.
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Obituary: Dan Spiegle

Comic artist Dan Spiegle (b.1920) died on January 28. Spiegel worked for Disney for many years and drew the comic version of Space Family Robinson. Some of his other titles included Korak, Son of Tarzan. He also drew Scooby Doo for Hanna Barbera and Indiana Jones: Thunder in the Orient for Dark Horse.

Capaldi Announces Regeneration

Peter Capaldi has announced that the 2017 Christmas episode of Doctor Who, following season 10, will be his last regular appearance as the Doctor. Capaldi, who was a fan of the series as a child, took on the role in Season 8, immediately after the fiftieth anniversary of the television series. Capaldi’s departure from the show will coincide with the departure of show runner, Stephen Moffett, who had previously announced his departure, and will allow in-coming show-runner, Chris Chibnall, to cast his own Doctor.
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SFPA Nominations Controversy

The Science Fiction Poetry Association is in the middle of a controversy after announcing that it was declining the nomination of the poem “I Will Be Your Grave,” by Tlotlo Tsamaase in the Long Form category as not containing enough speculative material. The poem was nominated by A.J. Odasso, one of the editors of Strange Horizons and appeared on the SFPA’s page as a nomination prior to its rejection. Accusations have been made at SFPA, which has admitted that they failed to follow their own policy prior to removing the poem.

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Stross Cancels Appearance

Charles Stross has announced that he is cancelling his attendance as Fencon XIV Guest of Honor due to the Executive Order signed by President Trump banning citizens of certain countries from entering the United States. Stross will attend Boskone, as well as some business meetings in New York, due to non-refundable tickets already purchased, but will not travel to the US for the foreseeable future after that.

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SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild presented its annual SAG Awards on January 29. Typically films and television shows of genre interest do not do well as the SAGs, but this year, three of the awards went to works of genre interest.

  • Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Hidden Figures
  • Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Stranger Things
  • Outstanding action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: Game of Thrones

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Obituary: Mike Dickinson

British fan Mike Dickinson (b.1948) died on January 20. Dickinson was active in the Leeds Science Fiction group beginning in 1974. He published the fanzines Adsum, Sirius, Bar Trek, Vector, and Spaghetti Junction. Dickinson served as the co-chair of Yorcon, the 1979 Eastercon and was the toastmaster at Yorcon II in 1981.

Obituary: Barbara Hale

Actress Barbara Hale (b.1922) died on January 26. Hale is best known for portraying Della Street on Perry Mason, but she also made some genre appearances. She appeared in two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre and the film The Giant Spider Invasion. Hale portrayed the title character’s mother in an episode of The Greatest American Hero, a role she recreated from life as she was series star William Katt’s mother.

Obituary: Mike Connors

Actor Mike Connors (b.1925) died on January 26. Best known for playing Mannix, he provided the voice of Chipacles in the Disney TV show Hercules, appeared in the television show One Step Beyond, and the films Day the World Ended and Voodoo Woman.

Obituary: Bob Holiday

Actor Bob Holiday (b.1932) died on January 27. Holiday’s career didn’t last long, debuting on Broadway in 1959 in Fiorello!. His only other role was creating the dual role of Superman and Clark Kent in the 1966 musical It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman, which only ran for three months, although he continued to play the role in touring companies until he retired and entered the building industry.