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.
With wildfires raging in parts of Texas, the town of Cross Plains, Texas, a community of about 1,000 people, lost fifty houses to the fire. Untouched, however, was the century-old house in which Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian, lived and committed suicide in 1936 . Howard's home is now a museum to the author.
Fan Howard DeVore, the fan guest of honor at the 2006 Worldcon in Los Angeles, was hospitalized on December 18 for blood clots in his legs. His caregiver had hoped DeVore would be released in time for Christmas, but he is still in the hospital and may face rehab rather than being released to home.
The Shatner Collection
Europe Launched Galileo
The National Film Registry has named twenty-five more films on its list of classics, bringing the total up to 425. This year's batch includes three films of genre interest: Miracle on 34th Street, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Toy Story. The films added this year range from 1906 through 1995.
Actor Vincent Schiavelli (b.1948) died of lung cancer on December 26. Schiavelli, whose hang-dog looks were immediately recognizable, appeared in several genre films and television shows, including John O'Connor in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension" and Uncle Enyos in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." In 1997, Vanity Fair named him one of the best character actors in America.
A trove of bones belonging to the dodo has been found on the island of Mauritius. Scientists hope the bones, which likely include complete skeletons, will help explain the habits of the birds, which were last seen alive in 1663. No complete dodo skeleton has been found in a controlled archaeological excavation and the last stuffed dodo was destroyed in a fire in 1755.
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered two additional moons in orbit around the planet Uranus, bringing the number of moons to a total of 27. In addition, two additional faint rings were discovered, bringing the total to 13. The new moons have been named Mab and Cupid. Hubble also confirmed the existence of the moon Perdita. As with most of Uranus's moons, the names come from Shakespearean plays.
Lost Beagle Explanation
Army Lt. Walter Haut (b.1922) died on December15 in Roswell, NM. In 1947, Haut issued a press release dictated by Colonel William Blanchard which stated that the army had recovered a flying saucer which had crashed in Roswell.
The finalists for the Aurealis Awards have been announced. The awards, presented for the best Australian speculative fiction, will be given out in Brisbane on February 25 at the Queensland Conservatorium, South Bank.
Science Fiction Short Stories Finalists
Science Fiction Short Story Highly Commended
Fantasy Novel Highly Commended
Fantasy Short Story Finalists
Horror Novel Highly Commended
Horror Short Story Finalists
Horror Short Stories Highly Commended
Young Adult Novel Highly Commended
Young Adult Short Story Finalists
Children's Long Fiction Highly Commended
Children's Short Fiction Finalists
Ancient Tablets In Lawsuit
Hamoukar Raises Questions of Urban Development
Studio Ghibli will be adapting Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle for release in July 2006. The anime film, entitled "Gedo Senki - Tales from Earthsea" (Record of the Gedo War - Tales from Earthsea) will be directed by Goro Miyazaki.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced this year's nominees for the Golden Globe Awards, to be presented on January 16. Categories with nominees of genre interest are listed below.
Director - film:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -Musical Or Comedy
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Best Television Series - Drama
Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
New Kuiper Belt Object Found
AFI Ten Best
Comic illustrator Bill Fraccio (b.1924) died in mid-November. Fraccio worked in collaboration with Tony Tallarico, who signed most of their work. In the mid-1960s, Fraccio worked on Charlton's superhero line, including a revival of The Blue Beetle. Some of their work was published over the name Tony Williamsune. Fraccio also worked for EC, Hillman and other publishers.
Actor Richard Pryor (b.1940) died of a heart attack on December 10. Pryor, best known for his stand-up comedy and comedy films, many of which co-starred Gene Wilder, also appeared in "Superman III," "The Toy," and the title role in "The Wiz." He co-wrote Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles." Pryor suffered from multiple sclerosis since 1986.
Author Robert Sheckley (b.1928) died in a Poughkeepsie hospital on December 9 following surgery for a brain aneurysm in late November. Earlier this year, Sheckley, the author of the novels Immortality, Inc., Dimension of Miracles, and Mindswap, was hospitalized in Ukraine. He was slated to be one of the guests of honor at this year's Worldcon, Interaction, but was unable to attend. His family stood in for him. Sheckley's story "The Seventh Victim" was made into the film "The Tenth Victim." From 1980-1981, he served as the editor of OMNI Magazine. In 2001, he was named Author Emeritus by the SFWA. He was awarded the Jupiter Award for "A Suppliant in Space" in 1974 and the Gallun Award in 1991.
Author J.N. Williamson (b.1932) died on December 8. Williamson, who also wrote as Julian Shock, was the editor of the Masques series of horror anthologies as well as the author of numerous novels and short stories. Williamson won the Balrog Award in 1985 for his editorial work on Masques and received a Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2003.
Actor Jack Colvin (b.1934) died on December 1 in Hollywood of complications following a stroke. Colvin was best known for his work as reporter Jack McGee in the 1970s television series "The Incredible Hulk." Colvin also appeared on "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman."
Director Herbert L. Strock (b.1918) died on November 30 of heart failure following a car accident. Strock worked on numerous creature features in the 1950s, including "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein," "Blood of Dracula," and "How to Make a Monster." He also worked on the television series "Science Fiction Theater," "Sea Hunt" and "Men Into Space."
Producer Gregg Hoffman (b.1963) died suddenly on December 4 in Hollywood after being admitted to hospital with neck pain. Hoffman was the producer of the "Saw" films as well as "George of the Jungle 2."
Story Prize Nominees Announced
SMOFCon 2006 will be held next December in Kansas City, Missouri. Registration is $50 through February. SMOFCon is the annual con-runners convention, being held this year in Portland, OR.
Although many have long recognized C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia as a Christian allegory, Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, recently stated "Churches in Britain and America are promoting the film as a Christian film, but it's not . . . and the Narnia books aren't Christian novels." However, a letter Lewis wrote to a fan in 1961 has offered the most direct indication of the series' allegorical basis. In the letter, Lewis wrote "The whole Narnian story is about Christ."
Space Services, the firm which will be launching James Doohan's ashes into space next year, has announced that Mercury/Gemini astronaut L. Gordon Cooper's ashes will be on the same flight. Copper, who died in October 2004, was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and the first American astronaut to sleep in space when he flew the 6th and final Mercury mission in 1963. He also few in 1965 with Pete Conrad on the Gemini 5 flight. Cooper's ashes will be the first launch of an astronaut's remains into space.
Recent observations of Mars have discovered what may be a large buried impact crater beneath the northern Chryse Planitia lowlands. The crater is believed to be about 250 kilometers in diameter. Material in the crater shows indications of ice, although the results are far from conclusive.
Steven H Silver is a five-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He is the publisher of ISFiC Press. 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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