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Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates. However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun this column which will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Material for possible inclusion here should be sent to Steven H Silver at

25 May 2002
Sidewise Awards Announced
The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History is presented each year to recognize excellence in alternate history. The awards are given for short form and long form, the latter may include completed series. The award winners are presented each year at the World Science Fiction Convention.

This year's nominees include:
Short Form:
Stephen Baxter & Simon Bradshaw, "First to the Moon," Spectrum 6
Ken MacLeod, "The Human Front," PS Publishing

Long Form:
J. Gregory Keyes, The Age of Unreason series (Newton's Cannon, A Calculus of Angels, Empire of Unreason, and The Shadows of God)
Allen Steele, Chronospace
J.N. Stroyar, The Children's War

Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame Inductees
James Blish and Donald Wolheim have been announced as this year's posthumous inductees into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. In addition, the two living inductees will be Michael Moorcock and Samuel Delany. The induction ceremony will take place on July 5 at the same ceremony which will present the John W. Campbell and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards.

20 May 2002
Mythopoeic Award Nominations Announced
The Mythopoeic Awards are presented each year to recognize both fantasy for adults and children and scholarship on the Inklings and more general fantasy and lythic themes. The award winners will be announced at Mythcon XXXIII to be held in Boulder, Colorado from July 26-29.

Adult Literature:
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion
Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Sarah A. Hoyt, Ill Met by Moonlight
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Other Wind
Tim Powers, Declare

Children's Literature:
Peter Dickinson, The Ropemaker
Diane Duane, The Wizard's Dilemma
Gail Carson Levine, The Two Princesses of Bamarre

Inkling Studies:
George Clark and Daniel Timmons, eds., J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances
Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter, eds., Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on the History of Middle-earth
Candice Fredrick and Sam McBride, Women Among the Inklings: Gender, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams
Don W. King, C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse

Myth and Fantasy Studies:
Graham Anderson, Fairytale in the Ancient World
Elizabeth Wanning Harries, Twice Upon a Time: Women Writers and the History of the Fairy Tale
G. Ronald Murphy, The Owl, the Raven & the Dove: The Religious Meaning of the Grimms' Magic Fairy Tales
Christine Poulson, The Quest for the Grail: Arthurian Legend in British Art 1840-1920

Stephen Jay Gould, May 20

Stephen J. Gould (b.1941) wrote numerous science articles which were both entertaining and informative. Many of his essays can be found in his collections The Panda's Thumb, Eight Little Piggies, and the Flamingo's Smile. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967. Although he viewed himself as a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, his lectures and essays crossed the gamut of scientific research. Gould apparently died of complications from cancer.

China Announces Space Plans
China, which launched its first rocket in 1999, has announced that it plans to launch its first manned missions in 2005. This announcement follows a successful launch in 2001 of a unmanned mission which included a monkey, a dog, a rabbit and snails and the recently complete Shenzhou III mission which put dummy astronauts into orbit. Following the 2005 manned launch target date, China plans to land a manned mission on the moon in 2010 and establish a lunar base according to Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.

Golden Duck Nominee Announcement
The Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Science Fiction is presented each year to recognize science fiction written for children. The awards are given in three categories, Best Picture Book, the Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades, and the Hal Clement Award for Young Adults. The award winners are announced each year at Duckon ( and a cash prize is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention.

This year's nominees include:
Picture books:
Boloney by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
First Graders from Mars by Shana Corey
Space Dog Jack by Susan Shade and Jon Butler
Astronaut Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox
Thomas the Tank Engine on the Moon
Tin Forest by Helen Wood

Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades:
Danger Boy: Ancient fire by Mark London Williams
Memory Boy by Will Weaver
Website of the Warped Wizard by Erik Kimmel
Floodland by Marcus Sedgewic
Marco's MIllions by WIlliam Sleator
Beatnik Rutabagas From Beyond the Stars by Quenin Dodd

Hal Clement Award for Young Adults
Artemus Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Among the Imposters by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Bouncing Off the Moon by David Gerrold
Future Eden by Colin Thompson
This Side of Paradise by Steven Layne
Hope's End by Stephen Chambers

Arthur C. Clarke Award Winners Announced
This year's Arthur C. Clarke Award was presented to Gwyneth Jones for her novel Bold as Love at the Science Museum in London. In addition, a special award, consisting of an original painting by Danny Flynn, was presented to Fred Clarke, Arthur Clarke' brother, in recognition for his tireless work over the years on behalf of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and British science fiction. The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given to the best science fiction novel published in Britain.

Dave Berg, May 16

Dave Berg (b.1920) was a cartoonist who began working for Mad Magazine in 1957. He was, perhaps, best known for the feature "The Light Side Of. . . ," begun in 1961. This feature looked at a topical issue each month with a twist. Prior to working for Mad, Berg had studied to be a rabbi and worked for Will Eisner, first as an inker, and later producing his own books. Berg went on to work on the original Captain Marvel.

15 May 2002
Steven Spielberg, BA
Steven Spielberg, director of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T: The Extraterrestrial, the three Indiana Jones films, and numerous other science fiction and fantasy films, graduated from California State University Long Beach more than thirty years after dropping out of college. He returned to take individual study classes in spring of 2001 so he could receive his degree in Film and Electronic Media. Spielberg, who is one of the most acclaimed producers and directors in Hollywood, plans to attend graduation ceremonies as a regular student.

14 May 2002
DUFF Race Underway
Julian Warner is running against the team of David Cake & Sarah (Locksley) Xu in the 2002 DUFF Race. DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund, was established in 1972 to promote fannish ties between the United States and Australia. Each year, either an American fan travels to Australia for the Australian National convention or an Australia fan travels to the US for the Worldcon or NASFiC. This year's winner(s) will attend ConJosé over Memorial Day weekend. Voting is open to any fan and the ballot can be found at DUFF raises funds via a series of auctions and voting fees.

TAFF Race Underway
Chris O'Shea is running against the team of Tobes Valois in the 2002 TAFF Race. TAFF, the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, was established in 1953 to promote fannish ties between the United States and Europe. Each year, either an American fan travels to Europe or an European fan travels to the US for the Worldcon or NASFiC. This year's winner(s) will attend ConJosé over Memorial Day weekend. Voting is open to any fan and the ballot can be found at Archives/Taff/taff2002.html. TAFF raises funds via a series of auctions and voting fees.

Collapse at Baikonur Cosmodrome
Rescue crews have found the body of a seventh victim, leaving only one worker unaccounted for.

SF Fan on "Win Ben Stein's Money"
Michael Lowrey won $2000 on "Win Ben Stein's Money" after tying the host in the final round with four questions apiece.

13 May 2002
Spider-Man Continues to Climb
After setting box office records for the biggest opening and the fastest film to reach the $100 million mark, "Spider-Man" has also become the fastest film to reach the $200 million mark. After only nine days, "Spider-Man" reached the point that it took previous record holder "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" thirteen days to reach when it was released in 1999. "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones," the sequel to Phantom Menace, is slated to open on Thursday, May 16.

Forrest J Ackerman in Hospital. Condition ???
Fan legend Forry Ackerman has suffered from either a stroke or heart attack and is currently in critical condition at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Although there have been reports that Ackerman is not expected to recover, many people who have visited Ackerman have stated that he is doing well and recovering. Members of LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fiction Society), have stated that Ackerman is doing well, but needs his rest and suggested that Ackerman welcomes cards and letters, but well-wishers should refrain from calling or visiting him.

Lambda Awards
The Lamba Awards, given out by the Lambda Literary Foundation to recognize and promote gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual writing, were announced on May 2. The award for Science Fiction and Fantasy went to Lisa A. Barnett and Melissa Scott for their novel Point of Dreams (Tor). This was Barnett's first nomination and Scott's fifth. Scott has previously won the Lambda for her novels Trouble and Her Friends (1995) and Shadow Man (1996)

Collapse at Baikonur Cosmodrome
At least six workers were killed on Sunday, May 12 when the roof of the Baikonur Cosmodrome collapsed. The cosmodrome is a 260 foot tall hanger at the Russian space center. Rescue and salvage efforts were initially hampered because rescue teams were fearful that the walls of the building would also collapse. Two more workers are feared dead, although their bodies have not yet been recovered. Although Baikonur is located in Kazakhstan, the cosmodrome facilities are leased to the Russians under a 1994 treaty. The collapsed building was built in the 1960s for use in the aborted Russian lunar program and the later aborted Buran shuttle program.

Fridrikh Gorenshtein, March 3
Betsy Curtis, April 17
Scott McCormick, May 10

Fridrikh Gorenshtein (b.1932) was a Soviet born screenwriter who made his professional debut in 1972 as the co-writer of the Andrei Tarkovsky production of Stanislaw Lem's "Solaris."

Betsy Curtis (b.1918) was a short-story writer, costumer, and poet. She published her first story, "Divine Right" in the Summer, 1950 issue of Fantasy and Science fiction and was a Hugo nominee in 1969 for the story "The Steiger Effect."

Scott McCormick, known in the SCA as Master Morgan the Tanner died three months after suffering a stroke localized in his brain stem. He had been making daily progress in his rehabilitation, and his respiratory and cardiac failure on the night of May 9 came as a surprise to those close to him. In addition to being a leatherworker, he was also a Middle Eastern drummer, who enlivened many SCA gatherings with his rhythms. McCormick is survived by his wife, Jan Griffin, his son, Michael Griffin, and two grandchildren, Sean and Leslie.

10 May 2002
Bruce Pelz, May 9

Bruce Pelz (1939-2002), former Worldcon chair, fanhistorian and archivist and too many other things to mention, died on the evening of April 9. He fainted at 6:00pm and was rushed to the hospital, where his heart stopped.

Pelz was the co-chair of LACon I, the 1972 Worldcon. It was the first time a Worldcon would have an attendance greater than 2000 members. Eight years later, he would be the fan guest of honor at Noreason II, where, coincidentally, Damon Knight, who died last month, was one of the author guests of honor.

6 May 2002
Matrix vs. Matrix
Warner Brothers has announced release dates for "The Matrix" sequels "Matrix Reloaded" and "Matrix Revolutions," both starring Keanu Reeves. The two films will be released in May and August of 2003, potentially earning both films a spot on the 2004 Hugo ballot ("The Matrix" was on the 2000 ballot, but lost to "Galaxy Quest."). In addition to Reaves, both films will see actors Lawrence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their roles.

Big Spider-Man Debut
The debut weekend of "Spider-Man" saw the Sam Raimi fill bring in a record $114 million. The previous opening weekend record was held by "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," which debuted at $90.3 million. There is speculation that this record will not last long given the forthcoming debut of "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones" on May 16.

Tom Sutton, May 1

Tom Sutton (b.1937) broke into comics in the early 1960s doing black and white horror comics for Warren Publishing. He quickly began doing work for Marvel, DC, Charlton and Skywald. His DC work appeared as a penciller for Star Trek and for Marvel as an inker for Conan the Barbarian and Planet of the Apes.

3 May 2002
SF Fan on "Win Ben Stein's Money"
Midwestern science fiction fan Michael Lowrey (a.k.a. "Orange Mike" for his monotone fashion sense) will appear on the Comedy Channel's game show "Win Ben Stein's Money" on Monday, May 6, 2002.

Paramount Aims at Star Trek Pirates
A federal court in Cleveland, Ohio has issued an order to Viacom's Paramount unit which allows it to seize bootleg "Star Trek" merchandise from science fiction conventions. The court order means that Paramount will not have to seek a different court order for each case. Atlanta, Tampa, Cleveland, Dearborn, MI, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando, Pasadena and Tucson are the specific cities which were named in the order, which may be expanded to include other cities.

2 May 2002
British SF publisher Big Engine has announced that it will begin publishing a new bimonthly science fiction magazine, 3SF, in October of 2002. The editor will be Liz Holliday, former editor of Odyssey. Regular features will include book reviews by Gwyneth Jones and SF Site's own Rich Horton, Media coverage by Alex Stewart, a writing column by Christy Hardin Smith, and a series of reader's guide to various sub-genres. An annual subscription will run either £20 (Britain) or $42 (Overseas). They will be offering discounts to members of the Glasgow Worldcon. 3SF's website can be found at

Bookstore Reopens
In February, the Andromeda Bookstore in Birmingham (UK) closed its doors after 30 years in business. Ownership of the store has changed, and a change of address is likely in the near future. Andromeda Bookstore has an on-line presence at

SFWA Bulletin Editor Resigns
David Truesdale, the Hugo Award-nominated editor of Tangent, announced that he would be stepping down as the editor of the SFWA Bulletin effective immediately. Mr. Truesdale served as the editor from 1999-2002 and oversaw the publication of sixteen issues. Prior to serving as editor, he spent a year as associate editor. Although no successor has been named, Mr. Truesdale will work with his eventual successor to ensure the continuation of the Bulletin.

SFWA Elections
The results of the SFWA officer elections were announced on April 27 at the SFWA Business Meeting in Kansas City, MO. Sharon Lee defeated incumbent Norman Spinrad for the Presidency. Two other authors received write-in votes. Catherine Asaro defeated Lee Martindale for the Vice-Presidency, again with two other (different) authors receiving write-in votes. Chuck Rothman (treasurer) and ElizaBeth Gilligan (Secretary) both ran unopposed. Because of the closeness of the race for Eastern Regional Director, the election committee has decided re-balloting will take place in that race.

Nebula Awards
Only hours after being named Vice President of SFWA, Catherine Asaro was honored with a Nebula for her novel The Quantum Rose (Tor). Jack Williamson's novella "The Ultimate Earth," (Analog, 12/00) won a Nebula to go along with the Hugo it was awarded last year. Kelly Link received a Nebula for her novelette "Louise's Ghost" (Stranger Things Happen, Small Beer Press). Severna Park's "The Cure For Everything" (Sci Fiction, 6/22/00) received the short story Nebula. The script award (which goes for actual script, not what appears on the screen) was given to James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai and Hui-Ling Wang for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," which also won a Hugo Award last year for Best Dramatic Presentation. A President's Award was given to Betty Ballantine.

April Obituaries
Henry Slesar, April 2
Jon Gustafson, April 13
Damon Knight, April 14
Joan Harrison, April 21
George Alec Effinger, April 27
Richard Cowper, April 29

Henry Slesar (b1927) had a writing career which spanned six decades. Several of his short stories were written in collaboration with Harlan Ellison, and he also published solo novels. Slesar, who also used the pseudonym O.H. Leslie, also wrote mysteries and won an Edgar Award for the novel The Grey Flannel Shroud. He was a writer for the soap opera "The Edge of Night" and also contributed scripts to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

Jon Gustafson was an art historian who wrote columns about SF art for a variety of publications, including Pulphouse, Figment, and Science Fiction Review. He published several biographies in the first edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979) and the biography Chroma: The Art of Alex Schomberg (1986). A member of the so-called Moscow Moffia, he had several short stories published.

Damon Knight (b1922) was an author, reviewer, editor and historian of science fiction, whose contributions not only included his fiction, but his early history of fandom, The Futurians (1977) and the foundation of both the Clarion Writer's Workshop (1968) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, 1965). Prior to Clarion, Knight founded the Milford Writer's Workshop (1956), which continues to thrive in England. Knight began working as a reviewer with a deconstruction of A.E. van Vogt's serialized version of The World of Â, which appeared in Destiny's Child. His early reviews were collected in In Search of Wonder (1956), for which he received a Hugo Award. In 1975, the Science Fiction Research Association honored Knight with a Pilgrim Award. His best known short story was, perhaps, "To Serve Man," which was also made into an episode of "The Twilight Zone." In the 1960s, Knight began issuing reprint anthologies, which led, in 1966, to his creation of Orbit, an original anthology that ran for 21 issues. Knight was married to SF and mystery author Kate Wilhelm.

Joan Harrison was the wife of author Harry Harrison. They had been married for 48 years.

George Alex Effinger (b1948) was a part of the Clarion class of 1970 and had three stories in the first Clarion anthology. His first published story was "The Eight- Thirty to Nine Slot" in Fantastic in 1971. During his early period, he also published under a variety of pseudonyms. His first novel, What Entropy Means to Me (1972) was nominated for the Nebula Award. He achieved his greatest success, perhaps, with the trilogy of Marid Audran novels set in a 21st century Middle East, with cybernetic implants and modules allowing individuals to change their personalities or bodies. The novels are in fact set in a thinly veiled New Orleans, telling the fictionalized stories of the transvestites and other people Effinger knew in the slums of that city. The three published novels were When Gravity Fails (1987), A Fire in the Sun (1989) and The Exile Kiss (1991). He apparently wrote a fourth book. However, legal issues prevented its publication. His novelette, "Schrödinger's Kitten" (1988) received both the Hugo and Nebula Award. Other stories were the series of Maureen (Muffy) Birnbaum parodies which placed a preppy into a variety of science fictional, fantasy, and horror scenarios. Throughout his life, Effinger suffered from health problems. These resulted in enormous medical bills which he was unable to pay. A lawsuit by the hospital tied up the rights to all of his books and characters, causing a dearth of Effinger material. Eventually the suit was dropped and Effinger regained the rights to all his intellectual property. Effinger was married, for a few years, to fellow science fiction author Barbara Hambly.

Richard Cowper (b1926) was the pseudonym for John Middleton Murry, Jr. He began using the name Richard Cowper in 1967 for the publication of the novel Breakthrough. He followed this with several other fantasy and science fiction novels, eventually achieving his greatest success with the Corlay Trilogy, comprised of The Road to Corlay (1978), A Dream of Kinship (1981) and A Tapestry in Time (1982). TheRoad to Corlay was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1979. Cowper attended the Milford Writer's Workshop in England.

Copyright © 2002 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a four-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings (DAW Books, January, February and March, 2003). In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.

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