Apex Magazine Subscription Drive

Apex Magazine is running its annual subscription drive through November 15. Apex is offering several different methods of subscribing, both through their website and Amazon, as well as a discount for direct subscriptions. Subscribers will also receive a free e-book and the chance to win physical swag in a raffle.

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James Gunn’s Ad Astra Launches

The first issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra, a new annual journal of science fiction, reviews, and criticism, has been published. This year’s theme was Communication and Information and includes articles by Jean Asselin, Sheila Finch, and Victor Grech. Fiction includes stories by Peter Charron, Eric Cline, Shaenon K. Garrity, Adria Laycraft, Nikki J. North, and Adrian Simmons. The theme for the 2013 issue has not yet been announced.

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E-Book Bundle For Charity

Eight authors, including Cory Doctorow, Mercedes Lackey, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lauren Beukes, Kelly Link, John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, and Dave McKean, are offering up a bundle of e-books. The books are available in DRM-Free versions for a donation which will go to the authors and a variety of charities. Six books by the first five authors are available to anyone making a donation. Two additional books by Scalzi and Gaiman & McKean are available to anyone who donates more than the average donation at the time of purchase. The titles included are Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema, Lackey’s Invasion, Bacigalupi’s Pump Six, Beukes’s Zoo City, and Link’s Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners. The addition books are Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Gaiman & McKean’s Signal to Noise. The charities being helped include the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Child’s Play Charity.

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Black Gate Goes Electronic

John O’Neill, the long-time editor of Black Gate magazine, has announced plans to begin publishing short fiction on the magazine’s website on September 30. Authors whose work will help launch the new publishing plan include Jason Thummel, Sean McLachlan, Donald S. Crankshaw, and C.S.E. Cooney. In addition, there will be novel excerpts from Dave Gross, Mike Allen, and Howard Andrew Jones.

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Hugo Award Ceremony Rebroadcast

Chicon 7 and Ustream have announced plans to rebroadcast the entire Hugo Award Ceremony from last Sunday at 7:00 CT on Sunday, September 9. The original stream was interrupted when the ceremony was incorrectly tagged as violating copyright for airing video clips Chicon was authorized to show. The broadcast will subsequently be available from the same channel on an on-demand basis. Ustream has also offered additional support and publicity for the streaming of future Hugo Award Ceremonies for upcoming Worldcons in San Antonio, TX (2013) and London, UK (2014).

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Parsec Awards

The winners of this year’s Parsec Awards, presented for excellence in science fiction podcasting, were announced at Dragon*Con on September 1 in Atlanta.

  • Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team: Toasted Cake
  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific): The Signal
  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General): The Incomparable
  • Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast: Supervillain Corner
  • Best Speculative Fiction Music Podcast: Radio Free Hipster
  • Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation: Writing Excuses
  • Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast: MonsterTalk
  • Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast: Drabblecast
  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form): Keeg’s Quest: A Skyrim Adventure, by Rich Matheson
  • Best Small Cast Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form): The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Precarious Child, by Pip Ballantine
  • Best Large Cast Speculative Fiction Story: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: The Seven, by P.C. Haring
  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form): The Mask of Inanna, by Alicia Gorenson
  • Best Small Cast Speculative Fiction Story (Long Form): Underwood and Flinch: A Vampire Novel, by Mike Bennett
  • Recognition for Achievement in Youth Driven Speculative Fiction Podcasting: Olivia’s Advent Calendar; Aaron’s World

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Hugo Ceremony Interrupted

The live stream of the Hugo Award Ceremony from Chicon 7 was interrupted when a bot used by service provider Ustream flagged the inclusion of properly-provided clips from Doctor Who for copyright infringement. This not only affected the general internet stream, but also the stream to Dragon*Con. Ustream was unable to reverse the automated decision in time for the remainder of the ceremony. Chicon 7 is working with Ustream to make the full ceremony available and ensure this situation does not arise for future Worldcons.

Another Change at Strange Horizons

An Owomoyela has joined Strange Horizons as a fiction editor. Owomoyela has published her fiction in Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, and Lightspeed. Along with her appointment, publisher Niall Harrison has announced that Senior Fiction Editor Jed Hartman, who was part of the magazine’s original editorial staff, will be stepping down after more than a decade working on the magazines.

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Now We Are Ten: Old News

Ten years ago today, on May 2, 2002, SF Site news began publishing. The news from that first day:

British SF publisher Big Engine has announced that it will begin publishing a new bimonthly science fiction magazine, 3SF, in October of 2002. The editor will be Liz Holliday, former editor of Odyssey. Regular features will include book reviews by Gwyneth Jones and SF Site’s own Rich Horton, Media coverage by Alex Stewart, a writing column by Christy Hardin Smith, and a series of reader’s guide to various sub-genres. An annual subscription will run either £20 (Britain) or $42 (Overseas). They will be offering discounts to members of the Glasgow Worldcon. 3SF’s website can be found at http://www.3sfmag.co.uk/.

Bookstore Reopens
In February, the Andromeda Bookstore in Birmingham (UK) closed its doors after 30 years in business. Ownership of the store has changed, and a change of address is likely in the near future. Andromeda Bookstore has an on-line presence at http://www.andromedabook.co.uk/acatalog/index.html.

SFWA Bulletin Editor Resigns
David Truesdale, the Hugo Award-nominated editor of Tangent, announced that he would be stepping down as the editor of the SFWA Bulletin effective immediately. Mr. Truesdale served as the editor from 1999-2002 and oversaw the publication of sixteen issues. Prior to serving as editor, he spent a year as associate editor. Although no successor has been named, Mr. Truesdale will work with his eventual successor to ensure the continuation of the Bulletin.

SFWA Elections
The results of the SFWA officer elections were announced on April 27 at the SFWA Business Meeting in Kansas City, MO. Sharon Lee defeated incumbent Norman Spinrad for the Presidency. Two other authors received write-in votes. Catherine Asaro defeated Lee Martindale for the Vice-Presidency, again with two other (different) authors receiving write-in votes. Chuck Rothman (treasurer) and ElizaBeth Gilligan (Secretary) both ran unopposed. Because of the closeness of the race for Eastern Regional Director, the election committee has decided re-balloting will take place in that race.

Nebula Awards
Only hours after being named Vice President of SFWA, Catherine Asaro was honored with a Nebula for her novel The Quantum Rose (Tor). Jack Williamson’s novella “The Ultimate Earth,” (Analog, 12/00) won a Nebula to go along with the Hugo it was awarded last year. Kelly Link received a Nebula for her novelette “Louise’s Ghost” (Stranger Things Happen, Small Beer Press). Severna Park’s “The Cure For Everything” (Sci Fiction, 6/22/00) received the short story Nebula. The script award (which goes for actual script, not what appears on the screen) was given to James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai and Hui-Ling Wang for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which also won a Hugo Award last year for Best Dramatic Presentation. A President’s Award was given to Betty Ballantine.

April Obituaries

  • Henry Slesar, April 2
  • Jon Gustafson, April 13
  • Damon Knight, April 14
  • Joan Harrison, April 21
  • George Alec Effinger, April 27
  • Richard Cowper, April 29

Henry Slesar (b1927) had a writing career which spanned six decades. Several of his short stories were written in collaboration with Harlan Ellison, and he also published solo novels. Slesar, who also used the pseudonym O.H. Leslie, also wrote mysteries and won an Edgar Award for the novel The Grey Flannel Shroud. He was a writer for the soap opera “The Edge of Night” and also contributed scripts to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Jon Gustafson was an art historian who wrote columns about SF art for a variety of publications, including Pulphouse, Figment, and Science Fiction Review. He published several biographies in the first edition of the Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979) and the biography Chroma: The Art of Alex Schomberg (1986). A member of the so-called Moscow Moffia, he had several short stories published.

Damon Knight (b1922) was an author, reviewer, editor and historian of science fiction, whose contributions not only included his fiction, but his early history of fandom, The Futurians (1977) and the foundation of both the Clarion Writer’s Workshop (1968) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, 1965). Prior to Clarion, Knight founded the Milford Writer’s Workshop (1956), which continues to thrive in England. Knight began working as a reviewer with a deconstruction of A.E. van Vogt’s serialized version of The World of Â, which appeared in Destiny’s Child. His early reviews were collected in In Search of Wonder (1956), for which he received a Hugo Award. In 1975, the Science Fiction Research Association honored Knight with a Pilgrim Award. His best known short story was, perhaps, “To Serve Man,” which was also made into an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” In the 1960s, Knight began issuing reprint anthologies, which led, in 1966, to his creation of Orbit, an original anthology that ran for 21 issues. Knight was married to SF and mystery author Kate Wilhelm.

Joan Harrison was the wife of author Harry Harrison. They had been married for 48 years.

George Alex Effinger (b1948) was a part of the Clarion class of 1970 and had three stories in the first Clarion anthology. His first published story was “The Eight- Thirty to Nine Slot” in Fantastic in 1971. During his early period, he also published under a variety of pseudonyms. His first novel, What Entropy Means to Me (1972) was nominated for the Nebula Award. He achieved his greatest success, perhaps, with the trilogy of Marid Audran novels set in a 21st century Middle East, with cybernetic implants and modules allowing individuals to change their personalities or bodies. The novels are in fact set in a thinly veiled New Orleans, telling the fictionalized stories of the transvestites and other people Effinger knew in the slums of that city. The three published novels were When Gravity Fails (1987), A Fire in the Sun (1989) and The Exile Kiss (1991). He apparently wrote a fourth book. However, legal issues prevented its publication. His novelette, “Schrödinger’s Kitten” (1988) received both the Hugo and Nebula Award. Other stories were the series of Maureen (Muffy) Birnbaum parodies which placed a preppy into a variety of science fictional, fantasy, and horror scenarios. Throughout his life, Effinger suffered from health problems. These resulted in enormous medical bills which he was unable to pay. A lawsuit by the hospital tied up the rights to all of his books and characters, causing a dearth of Effinger material. Eventually the suit was dropped and Effinger regained the rights to all his intellectual property. Effinger was married, for a few years, to fellow science fiction author Barbara Hambly.

Richard Cowper (b1926) was the pseudonym for John Middleton Murry, Jr. He began using the name Richard Cowper in 1967 for the publication of the novel Breakthrough. He followed this with several other fantasy and science fiction novels, eventually achieving his greatest success with the Corlay Trilogy, comprised of The Road to Corlay (1978), A Dream of Kinship (1981) and A Tapestry in Time (1982). TheRoad to Corlay was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1979. Cowper attended the Milford Writer’s Workshop in England.

Mandelo Joins Strange Horizons

Niall Harrison has announced that Brit Mandelo will be joining Strange Horizons and Senior Fiction Editor Jed Hartman in their fiction department. Mandelo is an editor and critic whose work has appeared in Tor.com, Ideomancer, and Clarkesworld. Despite this appointment, Strange Horizons is still looking to add additional fiction editors to the team.

For more information…