Mapping Columbia

On December 10, the Smithsonian removed the Plexiglas cover protecting the Columbia capsule from the Apollo 11 mission in order to begin a computer scan of the interior and exterior of the capsule to permit the creation of virtual 3D replicas of the command module that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969.
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Obituary: Florin Manolescu

Romanian author Florin Manolescu (b.1943) died on December 13. Manolescu’s doctoral thesis, published as Literatura S.F., was the first dissertation on science fiction in Romania. From 1968-92, he taught at the University of Bucharest and then moved to Ruhr University until 2010, when he returned to Bucharest as a visiting professor. In addition to his scholarly works, Manolescu wrote numerous short stories which were collected in Misterul camerei închise, Mentaliștii, and Il Gatto e l’astronomo.

African Literary Person of the Year

Nnedi Okorafor has been named the African Literary Person of the Year for the many ways Africa inspires her innovative story telling. The African Literary Person of Year Award celebrates the writer who has taken the lead in challenging and, in the process, expanding our assumptions about what it means to be an African writer and what it means to speak of a story as African.
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Duarte Wins Copperhead

Fred Duarte, Jr. has won the first Copperhead Award, presented by the Alamo Literary Arts Maintenance Organization (ALAMO) to an individual who has made an extraordinary impact on Texas Fandom. Duarte, who died on October 3, chaired or co-chaired two World Fantasy Cons, four Armadillocons, a Westercon, and Smofcon 13. He was vice-chair of LoneStarCon 2 and a Division Head for LoneStarCon 3. The Copperhead is meant to be an occasional award.

Obituary: Felice Maxam

Bay area fan Felice Maxam (b.1934) died on December 1. Maxam, then Felice Rolfe, was a member of the Peninsula SF Association in the 1960s. She co-edited Niekas with Ed Meskys, being nominated for two Hugo Awards and winning the Hugo for best fanzine in 1967.

TAFF Voting

Anna Raftery of the UK and Wolf von Witting of Finland, Sweden, Russia, and Italy have declared they are running for TAFF, to travel to Kansas City for MidAmeriCon II in 2016. The voting deadline is April 7.
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Byers Recovering

Fan Randy Byers is recovering at home after undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor. Byers will receive further diagnosis of his tumors and whether or not additional treatment will be needed, in about a week. Byers is a 7-time FAAN Award winner, and a Hugo winner.

ALAA Hall of Fame Inductees

The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA) announced the 2015 inductees to the ALAA Hall of Fame during Midwest FurFest 2015 in Rosemont the weekend of December 4-6. The Hall of Fame was instituted in 2012 to recognize individuals who helped create furry fandom.

  • Walt Kelly
  • Hayao Miyazaki

(Edited to remove a name which was erroneously reported).

Golden Globe Nominations

The Golden Globe Nominations were released on December 10. The 2016 Golden Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and will air live on NBC January 10 at a ceremony hosted by Ricky Gervais. Categories with nominees of genre interest are listed below with a full nominations list available from the link.
Best Motion Picture-Drama

  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical

  • The Big Short
  • Joy
  • The Martian
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical

  • Christian Bale in The Big Short
  • Steve Carrel in The Big Short
  • Matt Damon in The Martian
  • Al Pacino in Danny Collins
  • Mark Ruffalo in Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jane Fonda in Youth
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight
  • Helen Mirren in Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina
  • Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

Best Director

  • Todd Haynes for Carol
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
  • George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Tom McCarthy for Spotlight
  • Ridley Scott for The Martian

Best Animated Film

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the sheep Movie

Best Television Series-Drama

  • Empire
  • Game of Thrones
  • Mr. Robot
  • Narcos
  • Outlander

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • American Crime
  • American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Fargo
  • Flesh and Bone
  • Wolf Hall

Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries of Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Kirsten Dunst in Fargo
  • Lady Gaga in American Horror Story: Fargo
  • Sarah Hay in Flesh and Bone
  • Felicity Huffman in American Crime
  • Queen Latifa in Bessie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Drama

  • Caitriona Balfe in Outlander
  • Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder
  • Eva Green in Penny Dreadful
  • Taraji P. Henson in Empire
  • Robin Wright in House of Cards

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Comedy or Musical

  • Rachel Bloom in My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Jamie Lee Curtis in Scream Queens
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep
  • Gina Rodriguez in Jane the Virgin
  • Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Alan Cumming in The Good Wife
  • Damian Lewis in Wolf Hall
  • Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline
  • Tobias Menzies in Outlander
  • Christian Slater in Mr. Robot

For more information…

SMOFCon 2016 in Chicago

Helen Montgomery will chair SMOFCon 2016 in Chicago on the weekend of December 2-4. A venue for the event has not yet been selected. This will be the 34th SMOFCon, a convention for conrunners, and the second time the event has been held in Chicago, the prior outing in 2003. In addition, bids have been announced for SMOFCons in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Chicago was unopposed for the 2016 bid.