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Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates. However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun this column which will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Did you miss something? Have a look at last month's news page.

Material for possible inclusion here should be sent to Steven H Silver at

28 December 2002
Book Launch Party
Steven H Silver will be having a Book Launch Party for the anthology Wondrous Beginnings on Saturday, January 18 from 4:00-6:00 at "The Stars Our Destination" Bookstore at 705 Main Street in Evanston, IL. At least one of the anthology's authors, Gene Wolfe, is expected to attend.

Dumbledore Cast
After weeks of speculation that included rumors of a CGI Dumbledore to replace the late Richard Harris in future Harry Potter films, it appears that actor Ian McKellen will take on the role of the headmaster of Hogwart's in Harry Potter and the "Prisoner of Azkaban." McKellen has most recently been seen by genre audiences as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films and played Magneto in "X-Men."

George Roy Hill (December 27)

Director George Roy Hill (b.1922), who directed the Hugo Award-winning "Slaugherhouse-Five" based on Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s novel of the same name, died from complications with Parkinson's Disease in Manhattan. Hill won an Oscar in 1973 for directing the Paul Newman-Robert Redford film "The Sting" and was also nominated for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

26 December 2002
Southeastern SF Achievement Awards Announced
The first annual Southeastern SF Achievement Awards, sponsored by SciFi Dimensions, have been announced. The awards recognize accomplishment in the fields of science fiction, fantasy and horror by authors with a tie to the Southeastern United States.

Life Achievement: Andre Norton
Novel: Deepsix by Jack McDevitt
Short Fiction: The Chief Designer by Andy Duncan

Aurealis Award Nominations
The Aurealis Awards have been presented since 1995 by the publishers of Australian SF magazine Aurealis. Works must have been written by an Australian author and published during the appropriate calendar year.


Blue Silence, Michelle Marquardt (Bantam)
Echoes of Earth, Sean Williams & Shane Dix (HarperCollins)
Transcesion, Damien Broderick (Tor)

"The Imperfect Instantaneous People Mover", Geoffrey Maloney (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
"Late Returns", Shane M. Brown (Redsine #9)
"Lucy Lucy", Shane M. Brown (Aurealis #29)
"Walk to the Full Moon", Sean McMullen (F&SF Dec 2002)
"Within Twilight", Chris McMahon (Redsine #8)

Blood, Tony Shillitoe (HarperCollins)
The Crippled Angel, Sara Douglass (HarperCollins)
The Gift, Alison Croggan (Penguin)
Hades' Daughter, Sara Douglass (HarperCollins)
The Novice, Trudi Canavan (HarperCollins)
The Storm Weaver and the Sand, Sean Williams (HarperCollins)

no award

Daughter of the Dark, Louise Cusack (Simon & Schuster)
The Gift, Alison Croggon (Penguin)
Shadows Bite, Stephen Dedman (Tor)
The White Body of Evening, A.L. McCann (Flamingo/HarperCollins)

"Les Autres", Adam Browne (Redsine #8)
"Oracle", Kim Westwood (Redsine #9)
"Wastelands", Stephen Dedman (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
"What the Tide Brings", Claire McKenna (Fables and Reflections #2)
"Within Twilight", Chris McMahon (Redsine #8)

Fireworks and Darkness, Natalie Jane Prior (Angus & Robertson/HarperCollins)
The Hand of Glory, Sophie Masson (Hodder Headline)
Mum, Me, and the 19th C, David McRobbie (Angus & Robertson/HarperCollins)
The Starthorn Tree, Kate Forsyth (Pan)

no award

Astrid Spark, Fixologist, Justin d'Ath (Allen & Unwin)
Eglantine, Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)
In the Garden of Empress Cassia, Gabrielle Wang (Puffin)
Lily Quench and the Treasure of Mote Ely, Natalie Jane Prior (Hodder)
Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron, Dave Luckett (Scholastic)

"The Golden Udder", Terry Denton (Allen & Unwin)
"In the Blink of an Eye", Andrew Chapman (Spellbinders, Spinouts Sapphire
"Old Ridley", Gary Crew & Mark McBride (Hodder)
"Tashi and the Haunted House", Anna Fienberg & Kim Gamble (Allen & Unwin)
"The Two Natalies", Justin d'Ath (Reel Trouble, Spinouts Sapphire Longmans)

22 December 2002
Birth Announcement
David and Sharon Weber gave birth to a son, Michael Paul Alexander Rice-Weber on Saturday, December 21 in Greensboro, SC.

19 December 2002
Enterprise Crew Defends Fans
In London for the premiere of a Star Trek Exhibit, Next Generation cast members Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and Patrick Stewart spoke in defense of Star Trek fans noting that they weren't "weirdos." Stewart pointed out that he knows Star Trek fans who are university chancellors, members of the Bush cabinet and classical musicians. Spiner opined that only a tiny percentage of attendees at a Star Trek convention wear costumes and "they are not anywhere so peculiar as football fans."

"Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers" Gets Golden Globe Nomination
On December 19, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the 2002 Golden Globe Awards. Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" received one of the nominations for Best Picture. Jackson also received a nomination as Best Director. The Golden Globe Awards will be announced on January 19, 2003.

Films Added to Preservation Registry
On December 17, the National Film Registry announced 25 films to be added to the Preservation Registry. This year's list bring to 35 the number of films on the Registry. The films added this year date from 1901 through 1991 and include science fiction film "Alien" (1979) and fantasy animated movie "Beauty and the Beast" (1991).

Star Wars Stamps
The Australian Postal Service has announced plans to issue a limited run of 10,000 sheets of stamps with images of vehicles and vessels from the Star Wars series. Each sheet in the run will be accompanied by 20 sheets of Star Wars letterhead and 10 envelopes.

Voice of a Pioneer
Scientists at the Deep Space Station near Madrid, Spain have picked up a faint signal from Pioneer 10, now twice the distance from the sun as Pluto. Pioneer 10 was launched in 1974 and was the first spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt and return pictures of Jupiter and Saturn. Although its sister ship, Pioneer 11 stopped sending signals in 1995, Pioneer 10 signals have been picked up as recently as March 2002, although they are too faint to provide any scientific data.

17 December 2002
Potter Card Auctioned
A card with random words from the as yet unreleased fifth Harry Potter novel was auctioned off to an unidentified American collector for more than $45,000 on December 12. The card contained ninety-three words hand written by Rowling and the proceeds will be used to buy more than 18,000 books for schools in Africa.

Harris Possible Replacement for Harris
According to the London Sun, there is a possibility that Richard Harris will return from the grave to portray Albus Dumbledore in the third Harry Potter film. If the plan goes ahead, digital technology will be used to superimpose Harris's features on the body of Harry Robinson, who was Harris's stand-in for the first two films.

12 December 2002
Realms of Fantasy Website Launched
Realms of Fantasy, which began published in 1994 has finally launched a website at Currently containing contact information, submission guidelines and a summary of the current issue's contents, the website is expected to grow.

Spectrum SF Scaling Back
Paul Fraser has announced that with issue 9, Spectrum SF will be scaling back to an occasional publication. Previously, Spectrum attempted a quarterly publications schedule. Fraser also notes that 2003 will most likely see two issues of the magazine published. Spectrum SF is currently closed for submissions, but expects to begin reading again in late 2003.

11 December 2002
Walt Cole

Walt Cole (b.1933) died the first week of December. Cole was a member of First Fandom and the author of Checklist of Science Fiction Anthologies (1964). In addition, Cole was a member of the Lunarians and served as the organization's secretary for twenty years beginning in the 1950s. No cause of death has been announced, but he had been in ill health for some time.

Correction: Le Guin Delivers Anti-War Petition
The petition presented by Ursula K. Le Guin only had 225 names at the time of presentation, although that number continues to grow. In addition, New Zealand author Tim Jones co-wrote the petition with Doug Lain.

10 December 2002
Le Guin Delivers Anti-War Petition
Ursula K. Le Guin, leading a group of 50 war protesters, delivered a petition signed by more than 250 authors protesting the possibility of war against Iraq to Oregon congressman David Wu. In delivering the petition, Le Guin commented that people often question how the Nazis could come to power and noted that we are seeing how it was done in the blind acceptance of the government's actions. The petition was begun by author Douglas Lain.

No Hobbit for Jackson
'The Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson has announced that contrary to popular rumor, he has no plans to film a version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit." Jackson says that although he believes someone will make a live action "The Hobbit" in the wake of the success of his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, he'll be content to pay the admission price and see it like everyone else.

X-Files Star to Wed
Gillian Anderson, who played Dana Scully on the X-Files, has announced plans to marry Julian Ozanne, a British documentary film-maker. The two began seeing each other in early November and are planning a wedding for August 2003 in Italy. This will be Anderson's second marriage.

Probe Launched in Actor's Death
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a probe has been launched into the sudden death of "Angel" actor Glenn Quinn. The Times is reporting that there is a suspicion that Quinn died of a drug overdose.

9 December 2002
Smofcon 21 Site Announced
Smofcon 21, a con-runners convention, will be held the first weekend of December, 2003 in the Chicago area. Smofcon 21 will be run by Midfan and chaired by Erik Olson. More details will soon be available at the Midfan website,

New Editor at RevolutionSF
Following the resignation of founding fiction editor Rick Klaw, Jayme Lynn Blaschke will take over as fiction editor of RevolutionSF effective on January 1, 2003. Blaschke sold his first story in 1997 to Interzone and has been published in a wide variety of places since then. He is well known for interviews with such authors as Harlan Ellison and Samuel R. Delany.

Wincanton and Ankh-Morpork twin
In what may be a first, the British town of Wincanton in Somerset has become sister city with Terry Pratchett's legendary Ankh-Morpork from the Discworld novels. The idea for twinning the two cities was proposed by Bernard Peterson, a potter who does a brisk trade in Pratchett Memorabilia from his shop The Cunning Artificer. Wincanton hopes the unique twinning will boost tourism.

Fan to Escape from Experiment Island
Midwest fan Roxanne Meida King will appear on the "reality" show "Escape from Experiment Island" on January 22 on TLC. The show, which will air at 10 pm EST and 9 pm CST, pits two teams against each other on a remote Scottish island. Each team must figure out where and when to meet a craft that will facilitate their escape. The first team to succeed will win.

Gay Superhero
Marvel Comics has announced that it will be introducing the first openly gay title character in one of their comic books. Although the Rawhide Kid was first introduced in the 1950s as both a primary and secondary character, it is only with the launch of a new book, expected to hit newsstands in February, that Marvel will make the character unambiguously gay. The new book will be drawn by Ron Zimmerman and John Severin. Severin was the original artist for the character in the 50s.

Birth Announcement
New Orleans fan Bart Kemper and his wife Rayma became the proud parents of Zachariah Nesmith Kemper at 6:30 AM on December 9. The entire family is doing well.

Charles DuPuis (November 14)

Belgian publisher Charles DuPuis (b.1918) died on November 14. DuPuis published the French-language comics magazine Spirou. He is best known for publishing the Smurfs beginning in 1958. His company currently sells more than 10 million comics a year, a third of the French comics market. He published his first comic in 1938 for the printing company his father founded in 1898. In 1985, upon his retirement, DuPuis sold his company to the Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.

7 December 2002
Fan Hospitalized
Maryland fan Hal Haag was scheduled to have a stent in his heart artery checked. Doctors found a 60% blockage in two additional arteries. Haag underwent triple bypass surgery at University Hospital on December 6 and is expected to remain in the hospital for at least four days.

Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Awards Nominations, Biting Dog Press Classic Comics and Galaxy Press have announced the nominees for the first Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Awards, created to honor accomplishment in science fiction, fantasy and horror by individuals born or living in the Southeastern United States. Anyone who joins SESFA by December 15 may vote.

Jack McDevitt, DeepSix
Tony Daniel, Metaplanetary
Terry Bisson, The Pickup Artist
Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon

Short Fiction
Andy Duncan, "The Chief Designer"
Gene Wolfe, "In Glory Like a Star"
Andy Duncan, "Senator Bilbo"
Robert Wexler. "Suspension"

Life Achievement
Robert E. Howard
Jack McDevitt
Andre Norton
Manly Wade Wellman

William "Tex" Henson
Glenn Quinn (Dec. 3)

William "Tex" Henson (b.1924) died of head injuries at Parkland Memorial Hospital after being struck by a pickup truck in Dallas, Texas. Henson was an animator who championed the characters of Chip and Dale at Disney and was the supervisor for the team that animated Rocky & Bullwinkle as well as Underdog and the Trix rabbit.

Actor Glenn Quinn (b.1970), who portrayed the half-Brachen demon Doyle on the television show "Angel," died on December 3 of undisclosed causes. Quinn was born in Ireland and moved to the United states in 1989. In addition to appearing on "Angel," he starred in the short-lived Medieval sitcom "Covington Cross."

5 December 2002
Canadian Anthologies Call for Submissions
Claude Lalumière has announced a call for submissions to two anthologies he is editing. Both books are only open to authors who a Canadian residents or were born in Canada. Open Space: New Canadian Science Fiction will be published by Bakka and be launched at Torcon, the World Science Fiction Convention. The deadline for Open Space is April 30, 2003 and guidelines can be found at The second book, Island Dreams: Montreal Writers of the Fantastic, will be published by Véhicule Press and has a deadline of April 13, 2003. Guidelines for Island Dreams may be found at

DUFF Race Begins
Naomi Fisher, Pat Molloy and Julian Warner have announced that there are two teams of candidates currently standing for DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund. In 2003, TAFF will send a North American Fan to the 42nd Australian National Science Fiction Convention, Swancon, in Perth, Australia, from April 17-21. This year's candidates are Rose Marie & Guy Lillian and Mike & Linda McInerney. A ballot, the candidates' platforms and full rules are available at The voting deadline is January 31, 2003.

Birth Announcements
David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer became parents of Elizabeth Constance Cramer Hartwell on October 21. This is the couple's second child and first daughter.

Kara and Richard Chizmar became parents of Noah Thomas Chizmar on November 5.

4 December 2002
Swecon 2003 Announces Guests
The Swedish National Convention, Swecon, has announced two author guests of honor and a fan guest of honor for next year's convention, to be held in Uppsala from August 15-17. The authors are British SF authors Ken MacLeod and Alastair Reynolds and the fan is Norwegian fan Per Christian Jørgenson.

Fox to Make "I, Robot"
Fox has announced plans to turn Isaac Asimov's collection I, Robot into a film starring Will Smith. Filming is scheduled to begin in April, 2003 with Alex Proyas (Dark City) salted to direct. Although Harlan Ellison at one time wrote a script for a project based on I, Robot, he appears to be uninvolved with the current project, which was scripted by Jeff Vintar, Hillary Seitz and Akiva Goldsman.

2 December 2002
TAFF Race Begins
Victor Gonzalez has announced that there are four candidates currently standing for TAFF, the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund. In 2003, TAFF will send a North American Fan to Eastercon, Seacon '03, in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, from April 18-21. This year's candidates are Randy Byers, Colin Hinz, Mike Lowrey, and Curt Phillips. For the first time, electronic balloting will be accepted. A ballot, the candidates' platforms and full rules are available at The voting deadline is February 10, 2003.

Regina Book Award Presented to Fantasy Novel
The Regina Book Award, sponsored by the city of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to honor the best book published by a resident of Regina was presented to Edward Willett on November 30 for his young adult fantasy novel Spirit Singer. Other nominated novels included another young adult fantasy, a mystery novel, a memoir, a book about the Great Plains, a mainstream novel and a short story collection. The Regina Book Award carries a prize of Can$1,500. Spirit Singer is available in e-book and print formats from

A Visit to Hobbiton
Despite reluctance, the owners of the land on which the Hobbiton scenes from Lord of the Rings and New Line Cinema have decided to open the property to tourists. Many of the sets remain on the farm outside of Matamata, New Zealand. Admission to the site is $25.

Copyright © 2002 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a four-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings (DAW Books, January, February and March, 2003). In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.

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