The Saudi Arabian government has reportedly banned the science fiction novel H W J N, by Ibraheem Abbas and Yasser Bahjatt on the grounds that it is blasphemous. The novel, published in both Arabic and English, tells the story of a romance between a human and a jinn. Bahjatt attended LoneStarCon 3, this year’s Worldcon, where he sat on panels and promoted the novel.
Following the announcement that Dragoncon had reorganized and bought out Ed Kramer’s share, Kramer’s attorney threatened to sue Dragoncon, claiming that Kramer never agreed to the buyout. The Dragoncon board filed the first lawsuit and on November 25, Kramer settled for an undisclosed sum, although it is stated to be a small amount over what was offered in the summer. This settlement finally ends Kramer’s association with the convention he founded. Kramer is scheduled to go on trial for child molestation charges on December 2. He was arrested in 2000.
Alison Barton, Samara Morgan, Gillian Polack, and Shay Telfer are this year’s candidates for GUFF, the Get-Up-and-Over Fan Fund. The winner of the race will travel from Autralasia to Europe for Loncon 3, next year’s Worldcon in London. GUFF is not limited by geography, so anyone may vote.
Author Joel Lane (b.1963) died on November 25. Lane began publishing in 1986 with the short story “The Foggy, Foggy Dew.” He went on to publish several other stories as well as two novels. Lane won the British Fantasy Award for his collection The Earth Wire and Other Stories and for his short story “My Stone Desire.” His novella The Witnesses are Gone was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist.
Fan Mike Jelenski (b.1980) died on November 22. Jelenski was involved in running Capricon, in Chicago, where he has run the con suite and was currently working in the Events division. He also served as the #2 for Chicon 7′s Union Liaison.
Author and publisher Michael Burgess (b.1948), who used the professional name Robert Reginald died on November 20. Burgess began attending science fiction conventions in 1968 and in 1975, he used the royalties from his first reference work to start The Borgo Press, which published reference works for several years. Reginald also published numerous bibliographies over the years as well as some of his own original fiction. Some of his works include Reference Guide to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature 1975-1991: A Bibliography of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Fiction Books and Nonfiction Monographs, and the Codex Derynianus.
Australian fan Graham Stone (b.1926) died on November 16. Stone won an A. Bertram Chandler Award in 1999 for Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction. In the 1960ws, Stone published Australian Science Fiction Index: 1939-1962 and Australian Science Fiction Index: 1925-1967. His fanzine, Notes on Australian Science Fiction served as the basis for a book of the same title, and he published other fanzines and bibliographies as well. Several of his works, such as A History of Australian Science Fiction Fandom, 1935-1963, were published pseudonymously.
Author Joseph J. Lazzaro (b.1957) died on November 18. Lazzaro is best known for his non-fiction, including the books Adaptive Technologies for Learning & Work Environments and Adapting PCs for Disabilities. He also worked for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. In 1995, he published his first short story, “Ben Franklin’s Spaceship,” written with Peter L. Manly. His only other published fiction was “The Turing Testers,” written with Michael A. Burstein, although he had several non-fiction articles published in Analog as well.
Author Doris Lessing (b. Doris Tayler in 1919) died on November 17. Lessing, who received a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, was a Guest of Honor at Conspiracy ’87, the 1987 Worldcon in Brighton, UK. Her best known works include The Golden Notebook, Memoirs of a Survivor and The Summer Before the Dark. Lessing also wrote the five volume science fiction series Canopus in Argos. When reviewers took her to task for writing science fiction, Lessing replied, “What they didn’t realise was that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time. I also admire the classic sort of science fiction, like Blood Music, by Greg Bear. He’s a great writer.”