Ursa Major Nominating

Voting has begun for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards, given for Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art. Voting runs through April 15 and the winners will be announced at Morphicon 2015 during the weekend of April 30-May 3 in Columbus, OH. Administrator Fred Patten notes that you needn’t nominate in every category.

Best Motion Picture

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2, directed by Dean DeBlois
  • The LEGO Movie, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller
  • Mr. Peabody and Sherman, directed by Paul Grimalt

Best Dramatic Series or Short Work

  • The Beach Bears, by MaxGoof, “The Trip to Alberta” Chapter 137 – 170

  • Bojack Horseman, Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  • Furry Force
  • Littlest Pet Shop, Supervising Director Dallas Parker and Directed by Joel Dickie, Season 2 Episode 11 to Season 3 Episode 16
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Directed by James Thiessen and Jim Miller for Hasbro, Season 4 Episode 8 to Season 4 Episode 26

Best Novel

  • Chakat in the Alley, by James R. Jordan
  • The Forges of Dawn, by E.M. Kinsey
  • Huntress, by Renee Carter Hall
  • Impossible Magic, by J.F.R. Coates
  • Off the Beaten Path, by Rukis

Best Short Fiction

  • “A Real Stand-Up Guy,” by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd
  • “The Best Puppy Ever,” by Mary E. Lowd
  • “The Carousel of Spirits,” by Mary E. Lowd
  • “The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid,” by Mary E. Lowd
  • “When a Cat Loves a Dog,” by Mary E. Lowd

Best Other Literary Work

  • Abandoned Places, edited by Tarl Hoch
  • Blacksad: Amarillo, by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
  • Five Fortunes, edited by Fred Patten
  • The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of Usagi Yojimbo,, by various
  • Tales From the Guild: Music To Your Ears, edited by AnthroAquatic

Best Graphic Story

  • Endtown, by Aaron Neathery
  • Furthia High, by QuetzaDrake
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, issue 15 to 26
  • Slightly Damned, by Sarah “Chu” Wilson
  • TwoKinds, by Tom Fischbach

Best Comic Strip

  • Carry On, by Kathryn Garrison
  • Doc Rat, by Jenner
  • Freefall, by Mark Stanley
  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin
  • Savestate, by Tim Weeks

Best Magazine

  • Allasso, Volume 3: Storge, edited by Brian Cook
  • Dogpatch Press, by Patch Packrat
  • Flayrah, edited by Laurence “GreenReaper” Parry
  • In-Fur-Nation, edited by Rod O’Riley
  • Fursday, edited by Stuart Otterson

Best Published Illustration

  • ABlueDeer, cover for Chakat in the Alley, by James Jordan
  • Rukis, wraparound cover for Off the Beaten Path, by Rukis
  • SabretoothedErmine, cover for Midwest FurFest 2014 convention book
  • Terrie Smith, wraparound cover of Five Fortunes, edited by Fred Patten
  • WhiteMantis, I Won’t Die Here

Best Game

  • Five Nights At Freddy’s, developer: Scott Cawthon
  • Five Nights At Freddy’s 2, developer: Scott Cawthon
  • Freedom Planet, developer and publisher: GalaxyTrail
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch, developer and publisher: Young Horses
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, developer: Game Freak, publishers: Nintendo and The Pokémon Company

Best Website

  • Equestria Daily
  • FurAffinity
  • Furry Writers’ Guild
  • Inkbunny
  • WikiFur

For more information…

Panelist From Space

Sasquan, this year’s Worldcon, has announced the participation of astronaut Kjell Lindgren as a special guest. Dr. Lindgren will be serving on ISS missions 44 and 45 this summer and taking part in Sasquan while on board the International Space Station. While other astronauts have participating in Worldcons (and been Guests of Honor), this is the first time an astronaut has participated remotely from orbit.

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Obituary: Terry Pratchett

Author Sir Terry Pratchett (b.1948) died on March 12 surrounded by his family. For the past several years, Sir Terry has suffered from Alzheimer’s. Pratchett is best known for the long-running Discworld novels, but has also been co-authoring the Long Earth series with Stephen Baxter. His other works include The Nome Trilogy, Johnny and the Dead, and Good Omens, written with Neil Gaiman. In addition to his knighthood, Pratchett has won the Andre Norton Award, the BSFA Award, the Skylark, World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award, and others.

Interview with Terry Pratchett, Part I
Interview with Terry Pratchett, Part II

Martin Donates Tolkien

George R.R. Martin donated a rare first edition of J.R.R. TOlkien’s The Hobbit to Texas A&M. The volume became the five millionth volume in the library’s collection. The first print run of The Hobbit, in 1937, was only 1,500 copies.
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DreamHaven Partnership

Greg Ketter and Alice Bentley have announced a new partnership for Minneapolis’s DreamHaven Books. Ketter has run DreamHaven since its inception and was a partner with Bentley in her Chicago-based store The Stars Our Destination. Bentley will be moving to Minneapolis to help run the store. DreamHaven currently does mail order, deals at conventions, and operates out of its storefront 1-2 days a week. The new arrangements will allow the storefront to be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from Noon until 6:30 pm beginning in early April.

Norman Lee Missing

Comic artist Norman Lee disappeared while snorkeling in the Cayman Islands on March 5. Local authorities began to search for him although the search was quickly reclassified as a search and recovery mission rather than a rescue. According to an official announcement, “The currents in that area are strong and it is unlikely that we will make any recovery at this stage.” Lee, who was snorkeling with his wife, has drawn comics for DC and Marvel, including X-Men, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Supergirl.

Speculations KC Kickstarter

Bryan Thomas Schmidt has announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to cover to cost to publisher Speculations K.C. in conjunction with the 2016 Worldcon, MidAmeriCon II, to be held in Kansas City. The book will contain stories by authors with Kansas City connections.

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Dawn at Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres at approximately 7:40 ET on the morning on March 6, the first time a spacecraft has orbited a dwarf planet. Ceres is the largest asteroid and the first discovered, on January 1, 1801. Originally classified as a planet, it was re-classified as an asteroid when it was clear that it was only one of many objects between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn previously orbited Vesta, the second largest asteroid and the fourth discovered, from 2011-2012. This is the first time a spacecraft went into orbit around two objects outside the Earth-Moon system. Dawn will begin its study of Ceres next month and will remain in orbit until 2016.

For more information…

Obituary: Dave Rike

Fan Dave Rike (b.1935) died on November 1, 2014. Rike became active in fandom in the 1950s, co-editing the fanzine Innuendo, with Terry Carr and, along with Carr, created the hoax fan Carl Brandon. He helped popularize the propeller beanie as a symbol of fandom and also worked on The Incompleat Burbee. A life-long Bay area fan, helped build the original Bheer Can Tower to the Moon.

Musa Publishing Closes Doors

E-publisher Musa Publishing has announced that they were closing as of March 1. Musa was founded in 2011 and in addition to publishing books, such as Gary K. Wolf’s Who Wacked Roger Rabbit?, also published e-mags, such as the science fiction ‘zine Penumbra. Musa has reverted all rights back to their authors and has announced that purchased e-books will remain available until their domain registration expires.

For more information…