In 1953, Fritz Leiber published The Wanderer, about a planet that moved through interstellar space, without a sun to orbit. Scientists have now announced the discovery of PSO J318.5-22, a gas giant located 80 light years from Earth that does not orbit a primary. With only six times the mass of Jupiter, the planet is believed to be 12 million years old, relatively young for a planet. The lack of a primary makes it easier for scientists to study the planet.
Film critic Stanley Kauffmann (b.1916) died on October 9. Kauffmann was best known for his work as a movie critic, however he also worked as an acquisitions editor for Ballantine Books. In 1953, he purchased the novel Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. He went on to acquire the rights to Death of a Salesman and The Moviegoer before becoming a full time film critic. His love for films began during the silent era and continued throughout his life.
Fan Larry Tucker (b.1948) died on October 8. Tucker was was active in the Stilyagi Air Corps, the Science Fiction Oral History Association, and the Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association. As far back as the 1970s, we was taking video and making recordings of conventions. Tucker was also the driving force behind the film FAANS. Tucker chaired or co-chaired three ConFusions from ’78-’80, he continued to attend the convention even after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2011.
The English language Aurora Awards were presented on October 6 at Can-Con in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to the standard Auroras, Robert J. Sawyer received a Lifetime Achievement Award, only the fourth author to receive the distinction.
- Novel: The Silvered, by Tanya Huff
- YA Fiction: Under my Skin, The Wildlings, by Charles de Lint
- Short Fiction: “The Walker of the Shifting Borderland,” by Douglas Smith
- Poem / Song: “A Sea Monster Tells His Story,” by David Clink
- Graphic Novel: Weregeek, by Alina Pete
- Related Work: Blood and Water, by Hayden Trenholm
- Artist: Erik Mohr – Cover Art for ChiZine Publications
- Fan Publication: Speculating Canada Blog, by Derek Newman-Stille
- Fan Filk: Kari Maaren for her Body of Work
- Fan Organizational: Randy McCharles for When Words Collide
- Fan Related Work: Ron Friedman for the Aurora Awards Voter Package
- Lifetime Achievement: Robert J. Sawyer
R. Graeme Cameron has announced the winners of the third annual Faned Awards, which, for the first time, were selected by popular vote. Cameron invented the Faneds to recognize work being done by Canadians in fanzines.
- Hall of Fame: Leslie A. Croutch (for 1940s/50s fanac, & zine Light)
- Best Fan Artist: Taral Wayne
- Best Letter of Comment Writer: Lloyd Penney
- Best Fan Writer: R. Graeme Cameron
- Best Fanzine: Space Cadet, by R. Graeme Cameron
The 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, sponsored by Baen Books and the National Space Society, has been announced. The contest is looking for stories which explore the promise of space exploration. The winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional stories and receive an award, membership to the 2014 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society, and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. The contest is looking for short stories of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.
Author Tom Clancy (b.1947) died on October 1. Clancy began publishing with The Hunt for Red October and wrote numerous thrillers, many of which focused on his character Jack Ryan. Although Clancy helped to create the techno-thriller genre, some of his novels had a distinct science fictional element. He also created several series with Steve Pieczenik which were written by other authors. Several of his Jack Ryan novels were made into films with the title character played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine.
Muppeteer Faz Fazakas (b.1918) has died. Fazakas was a special effects designer and puppeteer who began working with puppets in the 1950s. He joined Jim Henson in the 1970s and developed the mechanism to control the eye movement of life-size muppets like Big Bird and Sweetums as well as athe cables needed for the smaller characters including Rizzo. He worked on many of the Muppet films as well as Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.
The C.S. Lewis Company will partner with The Mark Gordon Company to make a fourth film in the Narnia series. Although The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader did not do as well as hoped, which led to an hiatus for the series, The Silver Chair will be the next book adapted for film, leaving only three more books in Lewis’s series to be made into films.