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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 March 2003
Meteorites in the Heartland
A meteor streaked over Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin with pieces of meteorite landing in those states. More than 60 pieces of meteorite were brought into the police station in Park Forest, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago where three houses and the fire department were damaged by falling meteorites. The debris field was 80 miles long by 20 miles wide stretching from Bloomington, IL to northwestern Indiana. The largest piece recovered weighed nearly 7 pounds.

Lunar Rock Recovery
The United States has recovered a stolen moon rock following a court case. The grape-sized piece of the moon was presented to Honduras by Richard Nixon in 1973. The rock, recovered on the final lunar mission, was stolen several years ago and resurfaced in 1998 when an American businessman Alan Rosen, who had purchased the rock in Honduras attempted to sell it. A US District judge decided that since ownership of the rock never legally changed, it still belongs to the United States.

Shuttle Recovery
NASA has announced that a flight recorder recovered from the space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated over Texas on February 1 during re-entry, contains fourteen seconds of data beyond what was previously known. This information may provide promising clues as to the cause of the shuttle's break up. Also, on March 27, a helicopter involved in the shuttle recovery effort crashed in Texas, killing two and injuring three. More than 10,000 people have been involved in search efforts and have recovered more than 42,000 pieces of the shuttle.

Paul Zindel (b.1936) died on March 27, only one month after being diagnosed with cancer. Zindel was the author of numerous novels and plays, including "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," The Pigman, and The Doom Stone. Zindel was the winner of both the Obie and the Pulitzer Prize.

George the Cat, a member of the Plokta cabal and the official chaircat of plokta.con died on March 27 after a long illness for which he was under constant medication. George stopped eating three days before his death.

27 March 2003
Birth Announcement
British author J.K. Rowling, who is best known for her Harry Potter novels, gave birth to her second child, a boy named David Gordon Rowling Murray, on March 23. This is Rowling's first child with husband Neil Murray. She also has a ten year old daughter from her first marriage.

25 March 2003
Paul Barnett Leaves Paper Tiger
Paul Barnett has announced that he will resign as Commissioning Editor at Paper Tiger Books at the end of March. Barnett has been working with Paper Tiger, which produces science fiction and fantasy art books, for six years. He has decided to leave to focus on his own writing career. Barnett has also published under the name John Grant.

Strike Threatens Azkaban
The construction staff on the third Harry Potter film is threatening to go on strike if their demands for a pay raise are not met. Just weeks after principle shooting has begun, pay talks have broken down between Warner Brothers and the workers, who are demanding an 8 percent pay raise. With the set half-built, a strike will delay further filming. According to a spokesman for the construction crew, they haven't had a pay raise since building sets for the first Harry Potter film three years ago. At the same time, the second film in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" has become only the third film to surpass $600 million in the international box office (following "Titanic" and "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone")

Grace C. Lundry (b.1937) died of cancer on February 18. Lundry organized the Worldcon flight to Australia in 1975 and served as a de facto co-chair of the 1977 Worldcon, Suncon, in Miami Beach, helping the official chair, her husband, Don Lundry. The Lundrys had been married for more than 40 years.

24 March 2003
The Two Towers Takes Two Oscars
Science Fiction and Fantasy did not do as well as possible at the 75th Academy Awards, with only three of the twenty-four awards being presented to genre works. "Spirited Away" received the Best Animated Feature Award to start off the evening with "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" winning the Best Visual Effects Award and Best Sound Editing Award. "The Two Towers" was also nominated for Best Picture, which went to the musical "Chicago."

23 March 2003
Razzie Awards Presented
Science Fiction failed to be shut out in the Razzie Awards which recognize and warn about the worst in film-making. This year's Worst Actor Razzie was presented to Roberto Benigni for his title role in "Pinocchio," with a mention made of Breckin Meyer, the actor who dubbed Benigni's voice for the American release. Hayden Christensen received the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor for Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones," while George Lucas and Jonathan Hales received the Worst Screenplay Razzie for "Star Wars: Episode II: Yada-Yada-Yoda."

ISFDB Returns
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database, which shut down a few months ago due to increased cost and bandwidth usage, has resumed full functionality following a move to a server at Texas A&M University. The website, which has been active since 1995 when it was created by Al von Ruff, contains vast amounts of searchable bibliographic information on science fiction, can be found at, where it is sponsored by The Cushing Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and Institute for Scientific Computation at Texas A&M University

Crawford Award Winner
Alexander C. Irvine received the 2003 William L. Crawford Award for A Scattering of Jades. The award is presented at the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts in Florida to a new fantasy writer. The award was begun in 1985.

22 March 2003
Birth Announcement
SF Author Christy Hardin Smith gave birth to her first daughter, Fiona Janel Smith.

No SFWA Meeting at Torcon
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced that they will not hold a general business meeting at Torcon, this year's Worldcon. The organization's articles of incorporation do not permit their general business meetings to be held outside the United States. In years when Worldcon is held outside the US, the general meeting is held at NASFiC. This year, however, there is no NASFiC since Worldcon is being held in North America. The SFWA Board has elected to hold the general meeting during World Fantasy Con in Washington, D.C. from October 30 to November 2. There will be a Canadian Regional Meeting of SFWA at Torcon.

Free RPG
Atlas Games has announced that the fourth edition of its Ars Magica Rulebook is available on-line for free download. The rulebook may be downloaded in .pdf format from the Atlas Games website at Atlas Games is hoping that the free handbook will result in an increase in players which will translate into sales of gaming aids and the fifth edition rules when they are released, currently slated for the fourth quarter of 2004.

SF Lovers Challenge Grant
The board of directors for San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. has issued a challenge grant by offering a matching grant of up to $1,050 to help fund the SF-Lovers web site and related electronic services. SF Lovers has been maintained by Saul Jaffe since 1991, but its continued existence is in doubt because of financial concerns. In addition to the challenge grant, SFSFC has donated $450 to supporting SF Lovers. In 1989, Noreascon III presented a Special Committee Award for pioneering the use of computer bulletin boards in fandom. Currently, SF-Lovers hosts mailings lists for SMOFS, Timebinders, and SF-Lovers Convention Lists. On its website, it hosts a vast collection of documents related to WSFS (the Worldcon parent organization) and the Science Fiction Resource Guide.

19 March 2003
Tangent Online Editorial Change
Tangent Online e-fiction editor Jay Lake has announced his resignation from Tangent Online in order to further pursue his writing career. Dave Truesdale, the editor of Tangent Online announced Lake's replacement by Thomas Seay, effective on March 24, following the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts this weekend. Seay has published fiction in Realms of Fantasy, Fantastic Stories, and other places. He attended the Odyssey Writers Workshop in 1999 and in 2001 he attended Clarion.

Genetics Future Forum Includes Author
On March 17, Robert J. Sawyer was one of 15 people, and the only author, brought to Ottawa by the Canadian federal government's Department of Justice for its "Genetics Futures Forum" to discuss what Canadian law should be in relation to biotechnology, stem-cell research, cloning, and the privacy of personal genetic information. Other participants included geneticists, ethicists, law professors, a theologian, and Bob McDonald, the host of CBC Radio's science program Quirks and Quarks.

Harry Warner, Jr. (b. 1922) died at his home in Hagerstown on February 17. Warner had been active in fandom since 1936, although by the 1950s he had earned the nickname the Hermit of Hagerstown for his general refusal to leave his home. Beginning in 1939, he published Horizons, and later published a two volume history of fandom in the 40s and 50s, All Our Yesterdays and A Wealth of Fable. The latter book won Warner a Hugo in 1993 for Best Related Book. He also won two Hugos for Best Fan Writer. In 1995, Warner received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award. He remained active in fanzine fandom, which did not require travel, until the end of his life.

17 March 2003
Windling to Leave Year's Best
Ellen Datlow has announced that her long-time editorial partner, Terri Windling, has decided to stop editing the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology publisahed by St. Martin's Press following this year's sixteenth annual collection. Windling, who was responsible for the fantasy element of the book, will be replaced by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant beginning with next year's seventeenth anthology.

Tiptree Awards Announced
This year's Tiptree Award was presented to two works. M. John Harrison's novel Light tied with John Kessel's story "Stories for Men." This is the first time there has been a tie in the Tiptree Awards since 1998. The Tiptree Award is presented for "science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands the roles of women and men for work by both women and men."

Ditmar Nominations Announced
Swancon, the 42nd Australian National Convention has announced the nominees for this year's Ditmar Awards, which recognizes excellence in Australian science fiction. The awards will be presented during Swancon, the weekend of April 18- 20

Transcension by Damien Broderick
Echoes of Earth by Sean Williams & Shane Dix
Sovereign by Simon Brown
The Storm Weaver and the Sand by Sean Williams
Blue Silence by Michelle Marquardt
The Sky Warden and the Sun by Sean Williams
Time Past by Maxine McArthur

Father Muerte and the Theft by Lee Battersby (Aurealis 29)
Stealing Alice by Claire McKenna (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
Scratches in the Sky by Ben Peek (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)
Cigarettes and Roses by Ben Peek (Passing Strange)
King of All and The Metal Sentinel by Deborah Biancotti (Agog! Fantastic Fiction)

Machinations ed. Chris Andrews (CSFG Publishing)
Agog! Fantastic Fiction ed. Cat Sparks (Agog! Press)
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine ed. ASIM Collective (ASIM Collective)
AustrAlien Absurdities ed. Chuck McKenzie & Tansy Rayner Roberts (Agog! Press)
Passing Strange ed. Bill Congreve (Mirrordanse)

Passing Strange Cover by Cat Sparks
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Cover Issue #3 by Les Peterson
AustrAlien Absurdities Cover by Dion Hamill
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Cover Issue #1 by Les Peterson
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Cover Issue #4 by Les Peterson
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Cover Issue #2 by Les Peterson

Edwina Harvey
Chris Lawson
Robin Pen
Dave Cake
Jonathan Strahan
Grant Watson
Bill Wright

Miriam English
Les Peterson
Sarah Xu
Dick Jenssen
Colin Sharpe
Cat Sparks

Lily Chrywenstrom
Chris Mowbray
Brendan Duffy
Lee Battersby

Interstellar Ramjet Scoop ed. Bill Wright
Fables & Reflections ed. Lily Chrywenstrom
Australian SF Bullsheet ed. Edwina Harvey
Visions ed. Stephen Thompson
Anitpodean SF ed. Antipodean Computer Services

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Launch
Spaced Out Website
The View From Mt. Pootmootoo
Eidolon Website

Lee Battersby
Trent Jamieson
Jonathan Strahan

Borderlands: That which scares us... ed. Simon Oxwell, Grant Watson and Anna Hepworth
Robin Pen
Spaced Out Website ed. Miriam and Geoff

Tama Leaver
Jonathan Strahan
Robin Pen
Bill Congreve
Justin Larbalestier

13 March 2003
Surgery Lets Reeve Breathe
Doctors have implanted electrodes in Christopher Reeve's diaphragm to permit the actor to breathe without a respirator. Reeve has been on a respirator ever since he broke his neck when thrown from a horse in 1995. Reeve is only the third person to undergo this treatment, which lets him go for up to two hours without a respirator. Previously, he could only go for 10 minutes without the breathing apparatus. Reeve is best known for portraying Superman in several films in the late 70s and early 80s.

Don Johnson Under Suspicion
Actor Don Johnson, who starred in the Hugo Award-winning film "A Boy and His Dog" is under suspicion of money laundering after trying to enter Germany from Switzerland with $8 billion in his suitcase in the form of shares, bonds, checks and credit notes. When asked about the large sum of money, Johnson explained he was planning on buying a car. German custom investigators have not yet decided whether to launch a criminal probe. Johnson's agent denies the story as a complete fabrication.

Author Jane Rice died on March 2 in Greensboro, NC. Rice had stories appear in Unknown in the early 1940s and later appeared in the first Orbit anthology writing with Ruth Allison under the name Allison Rice.

Howard Fast (b.1914) died on March 12. Fast began publishing in 1932 with "Wrath of the Purple," which appeared in the October issue of Amazing Stories. Although he is best known for his out-of-genre work, Fast has written several SF novels and short stories, including The Edge of Tomorrow, The General Zapped an Angel, and A Touch of Infinity. Perhaps Fast's best known work was Spartacus, upon which the Kirk Douglas movie was based. Failing to identify possible Communists to the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1958, he was jailed for contempt for three years.

Saturn Award Nominations
The 29th Annual Saturn Award nominations have been announced. The awards, given to SF and fantasy in film and television, will be presented on May 18 in Hollywood.

Best Science Fiction Film
Men in Black 2
Minority Report
Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Best Fantasy Film
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Reign of Fire
The Santa Clause 2
The Scorpion King

Best Horror Film
Blade 2
Eight Legged Freaks
Queen of the Damned
Resident Evil
The Ring

Best Action Adventure/Thriller Film
The Bourne Identity
Die Another Day
One Hour Photo
Red Dragon
Road to Perdition

Best Animated Film
Ice Age
Lilo & Stitch
Spirited Away
Treasure Planet

Best Actor (Film)
Pierce Brosnan, Die Another Day
George Clooney, Solaris
Tom Cruise, Minority Report
Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man
Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Robin Williams, One Hour Photo

Best Actress (Film)
Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man
Jodie Foster, Panic Room
Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil
Natascha McElhone, Solaris
Natalie Portman, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones Naomi Watts, The Ring

Best Supporting Actor (Film
Ralph Fiennes, Red Dragon
Tom Hardy, Star Trek: Nemesis
Andy Serkis, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Toby Stephens, Die Another Day
Max Von Sydow, Minority Report
Robin Williams, Insomnia

Best Supporting Actress
Haile Berry, Die Another Day
Samantha Morton, Minority Report
Connie Nielsen, One Hour Photo
Rachel Roberts, Simone
Sissy Spacek, Tuck Everlasting
Emily Watson, Red Dragon

Best Performance by a Young Actor (Film)
Alexis Bledel, Tuck Everlasting
Hayden Christensen, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Tyler Hoechlin, Road to Perdition
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Jeremy Sumpter, Frailty
Elijah Wood, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Best Direction (Film)
Chris Columbus, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
George Lucas, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Bill Paxton, Frailty Sam Raimi, Spider-Man

Best Writing (Film)
Scott Frank & Jon Cohen, Minority Report
Brent Hanley, Frailty
Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt * Donald H. Hewitt, Spirited Away
Mark Romanek, One Hour Photo
Hillary Seitz, Insomnia
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Best Music (Film)
Danny Elfman, Spider-Man
Reinhold Heil & Johnny Klimek, One Hour Photo
Jo Hisaishi, Spirited Away
Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
John Williams, Minority Report
John Williams, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Best Costume (Film)
Deena Appel, Austin Powers in Goldmember
Trisha Biggar, Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Ngila Dickson, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lindy Hemming, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Bob Ringwood, Star Trek: Nemesis
Deborah L. Scott, Minority Report

Best Make-Up (Film)
Blade 2
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Minority Report
The Ring
Star Trek: Nemesis

Best Special Effects (Film)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Minority Report
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Best Network Television Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Twilight Zone

Best Syndicated Television Series
Dead Zone
Mutant X
Stargate SG-1

Best Single Program Presentation
Lathe of Heaven
Snow Queen
Stephen King's Rose Red

Best TV Actor
Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate SG-1
Scott Bakula, Enterprise
David Boreanaz, Angel
Ben Browder, Farscape
Anthony Michael Hall, Dead Zone
Tom Welling, Smallville

Best TV Actress
Emily Bergl, Taken
Claudia Black, Farscape
Charisma Carpenter, Angel
Jennifer Garner, Alias
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Kristin Kreuk, Smallville

Best TV Supporting Actor
Alexis Denisof, Angel
Victor Garber, Alias
John Glover, Smallville
James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Michael Rosenbaum, Smallville
Connor Trinneer, Enterprise

Best TV Supporting Actress
Amy Acker, Angel
Jolene Blalock, Enterprise
Heather Donahue, Taken
Dakota Fanning, Taken
Alyson Hannigan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Michelle Trachtenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Best DVD Release
Brother's Keeper
Dog Soldiers
Hunchback of Notre Dame 2
Vampires: Los Muertos

Best DVD Special Edition Release
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Minority Report
Monsters, Inc.
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Best DVD Classic Film Release
Back to the Future Trilogy
Beauty & the Beast
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
The Great Race
Near Dark
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan

Best DVD TV Programming Release
Babylon 5, Season 1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seasons 1 & 2
Highlander, Season 1
The Outer Limits - The Original Series
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Seasons 1-7
The X-Files, Seasons 5-6

11 March 2003
Space Center Cutbacks by France
Yannick D'Escatha, the head of France's National Center for Space Studies, has announced that they will cut 400 jobs. The cuts are in response to a decreased demand for commercial satellite launches. The positions to be cut are located at the launch facility the European Space Agency maintains in French Guiana. According to D'Escatha, the majority of people who face job losses will be offered employment in France, with a few being offered job buy-outs.

10 March 2003
Screen Actors Guild Doesn't Recognize Genre
Science fiction and fantasy films, which garnered only one nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award, for "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" were shut out when "Chicago" won the award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture at the Ninth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards presented in Los Angeles on March 9. Clint Eastwood, who recently starred in the science fiction film "Space Cowboys" received a lifetime achievement award.

Writers Guild Awards
The 55th Annual Writers Guild Award were presented on March 8, 2003 in Los Angeles and New York. The only genre works which received the award was the Futurama episode "Godfellas," written by Ken Keeler in the category of Best Television Animation Screenplay.

Fred Freiberger (b. 1915) died on March 2 at his home in Bel-Air, California. Freiberger was a producer on the orginal Star Trek as well as the Six Million Dollar Man and Space 1999. His writing credits included The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, and Space 1999. He also wrote for westerns such as Bonanza, The Big Valley, and Rawhide.

Children"s author Monica Hughes (b.1925) died on March 7. Hughes was born in Liverpool, but spent her first five years in Cairo. She began publishing in 1974 with Goldfever Trail and quickly moved on to SF, publishing Crisis on Conshelf 10 the following year. Other SF includes The Tomorrow City, The Other Place, and The Keeper of the Isis.

6 March 2003
Jack Gaughan Award Winner
The Jack Gaughan Award, presented annually at Boskone to recognize emerging artistic talent in the field of science fiction art, was given to Slovakian artist Martina Pilcerova. The Jack Gaughan Award has been presented since 1986 when it was presented to Stephen Hickman. Other winners have included Bob Eggleton, Jody Lee, and Lisa Snelling.

Spectrum Awards Announced
The Spectrum Awards turned ten with the announcement of the winners for fantastic art. The winners include Charles Vess, Dave McKean, Jon Foster, and James Gurney. Michael William Kaluta was named Grand Master. The award- winning works will be published in Spectrum 10, edited by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, in October 2003. This year's judges included Mark Chiarello, Bob Eggleton, C.F. Payne, Bud Plant, Kelley Seda, and Michael Whelan

Philip K. Dick Judges Announced
Judges for the 2003 Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original science fiction have been announced. The award, which can go to a mass market or trade book, novel, collection or anthology, was founded in 1982 by Thomas Disch and David Hartwell. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Northwest Science Fiction Society. Nominees will be announced in January 2004 with the awards presented at Norwescon 26 on April 18, 2004. The judges include Stephen L. Burns, Suzy McKee Charnas, Craig Jacobsen, Richard Parks, and Janine Ellen Young. The current administrators are Gordon van Gelder and David Hartwell.

William J. "Biljo" White, a comic collector since the 1940s whose 1964 fanzine Batmania signaled a lessening of ties between comics fandom and sf fandom, died during the last week of February. White was one of the first fans to create and publish the adventures of his own superhero, the Eye, which ran in many fanzines during the 60s and 70s. White helped build Batman fandom in the mid-1960s, but was a fan of Batman ever since purchasing Batman #1 off the rack in 1940.

1 March 2003
Canadian Defects
SF author S.M. Stirling has announced that after living in the United States for several years he has passed the US citizenship test and will be sworn in as a citizen of the United States in either March or May. Formerly of Canada, that country is now seeking a US SF author to take Stirling's place.

Red House Awards Shortlist Announced
The Red House Children's Book Awards were conceived in 1980 to provide awards based on the responses of children to children's literature. The shortlists are based on the responses of testing groups throughout England which are made up of children. Winners will be announced on June 14 in London.

Books for Younger Children:
Pants, by Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt
George and the Dragon, by Chris Wormell
The Smartest Giant in Town, by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
To Mum with Love, by Vivian French & Dana Kubick

Books for Younger Readers:
Cool!, by Michael Morpurgo
The Ersatz Elevator, by Lemony Snicket
Blitzed, by Robert Swindells

Books for Older Readers
Skeleton Key, by Anthony Horowitz
Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, by Eoin Colfer

Copyright © 2003 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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