SpaceX Targets Moon Launch 2018

Elon Musk has announced plans to put two humans into orbit around the Moon in 2018. Two private citizens have already placed a significant deposit for the flight, which will be the furthest any humans have traveled from Earth since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Musk hasn’t announced the names of the astronauts who will fly to the moon aboard a Falcon Heavy.
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100 African Writers of SF

Geoff Ryman is beginning a series of articles at Strange Horizons which will run through 2017 and 18 looking at the explosion of speculative fiction coming from Africa. The series began on Monday, February 27 looking at writers in Nairobi, Kenya, and will continue with two more chapters published this week and additional chapters published about every two months. 100 African Writers of SFF is supported and made possible by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust.
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Obituary: Neil Fingleton

Actor Neil Fingleton (b.1981) died on February 24. Fingleton portrayed the Fisher King on Doctor Who, Mag the Mighty on Game of Thrones and also appeared in 47 Ronin, X-Men: First Class, and Jupiter Ascending. He was a stuntman and did motion capture for Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Standing 7’7½”, Fingleton is believed to have been the tallest man in the UK.

TAFF Deadline Extended

The current TAFF Administrators, Curt Phillips and Anna Raftery, have announced the extension of the voting deadline for TAFF. The new deadline, is 17th April 2017 Midnight BST/16:00 PDT/17:00 MDT/18:00 CDT/19:00 EDT, which coincides with this year’s Eastercon, Innominate. Raftery will be attending Innominate and will be accepting ballots there. This year’s TAFF nominees include Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie, John Purcell.
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Academy Awards

The winners of this year’s Academy Awards were announced on February 26. Categories with winners of genre interest are listed below. Although La La Land was originally announced as the winner of the Best Picture award, it was revealed during the acceptance speech that the wrong name was read and Moonlight was the actual winner. A similar error occurred at the 1992 Hugo Award ceremony for the Best fanzine category.

  • Animated Feature Film: Zootopia
  • Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad
  • Sound Editing: Arrival
  • Animated Short Film: Piper
  • Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings

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Golden Raspberry

The 37th annual Golden Raspberry winners were announced on February 25.

  • Worst Picture: Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
  • Worst Actor: Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself] in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
  • Worst Actress: The “Actress” (Becky Turner) who who plays Hillary Clinton in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
  • Worst Supporting Actress: Kristen Wiig in Zoolander No. 2
  • Worst Supporting Actor: Jesse Eisenberg in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Worst Screen Combo: Ben Affleck & His BFF (Baddest Foe Forever) Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Worst Director: Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley for Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
  • Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Dawn of Justice
  • Worst Screenplay: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Razzie Redeemer Award: 2014 Worst Supporting Actor nominee Mel Gibson, for his Oscar-nominated direction of Hacksaw Ridge

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Obituary: Bill Paxton

Actor Bill Paxton (b.1955) died on February 25 from complications from surgery. Paxton portrayed Fred Haise in Apollo 13 and starred in the television series Big Love. Some of his more memorable genre roles include Private Hudson in Aliens, Chet Donnelly in Weird Science, and, more recently, John Garrett on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Apollo 11 Goes on Tour

The Smithsonian Institute is sending the Apollo 11 on a tour of four museums in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing. The command module Columbia, along with other artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, will visit Space Center Houston (October 14, 2017-March 18, 2018), the Saint Louis Science center (April 14-September 3, 2018), the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh (September 29, 2018-February 18, 2019) and Seattle’s Museum of Flight (March 16-September 2, 2019).

Obituary: Martin Deutsch

Baltimore fan Martin Deutsch died suddenly on February 24. Deutsch has served for the past several years as the president of BSFS, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Earlier this year, Deutsch and his wife, Shirley Avery, were the Guests of Honor at the 50th Balticon. After BSFS fell apart in 1971, Deutsch helped relaunch the organization.

Obituary: Susan Casper

Author Susan Casper (b.1947) died on February 24 following a long illness. Casper was the wife of editor Gardner Dozois for 47 years as well as an author and editor in her own right. Her first published story was “Spring-Fingered Jack,” which appeared in the Charles L. Grant anthology Fears in 1983. Over the next twenty years, she continued to publish short fiction, usually alone, but occasionally in collaboration with her husband (and once with Jack Dann). Although many of her stories were dark or horror fiction, she could also write humor and had works appear in Esther Friesner’s “Chicks in Chainmail” series. With Dozois and Dann, Casper also edited the anthology Ripper! (a.k.a. Jack the Ripper) in 1988.