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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 June 2003
New Columbia Pictures Released
NASA released new images taken by the crew of the Columbia on its final flight. Recovery efforts have turned up 21 rolls of film (of a total of 137) and 28 videotapes (of 337), resulting in nearly ten hours of video footage and 92 photographs. Nearly 85,000 pounds of debris has been recovered, just over one third of the Columbia's weight.

23 June 2003
Windycon Announces Writer's Contest
Windycon is resuming the ISFiC Writer's Contest for new authors this year. Stories for consideration must be submitted before August 31. The contest is open to any member of Windycon XXIX (2002) or any resident of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky or Ohio. Full details can be found at the Windycon website at First prize includes a gold coin, membership at Windycon XXX and a double room at the convention. The winner of the first ISFiC Writer's Contest was Richard Chwedyk, whose story "Brontë's Egg" won the Nebula this year and is a current Hugo nominee.

Harry Potter Sets Record (Surprise)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix set a new record in book sales on Saturday, June 21. Many bookstores in England, the US, Canada, and Australia were open at midnight when they were allowed to sell the book resulting in five million copies sold in the US alone. Many stores sold out of their allotment and were waiting for additional copies. Scholastic, the US publishers of the book, had an initial print run of 8.5 million copies. In Britain, first day sales were at 1,777,541 copes, nearly five times the first day sales figures of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Dutch author and fan Paul Harland (a.k.a. John Paul Smit) committed suicide on June 17. Harland conducted several writers workshops and was instrumental in organizing the Dutch Millennium Short Story Award. Harland was also a musician. Harland received the national Dutch award for Science Fiction on four occasions.

22 June 2003
SFWA Overseas Regional Director Elected
Following a run-off ballot, James A. Hetley has been named the Overseas Regional Director for the SFWA.

Zheng Wenguang (b.1929) died of heart disease on June 17 in Beijing. Known as the Forerunner of Chinese science fiction, Zheng published the story "From Earth to Mars" in 1954. During the cultural revolution of 1966-1976, Zheng did not write because of the political climate, but he returned to science fiction in 1979, publishing China's first science fiction novel, Centaurus. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 1983.

17 June 2003
Harry Potter and the Purloined Tomes
Several thousand copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were stolen from a warehouse in Merseyside last weekend. The book is scheduled to go on sale on Saturday morning. Police have warned that anyone found with copies of the book prior to that time may face criminal charges. Charges have already been filed in the case of a British man and three juveniles who stole unbound copies of the book from a printshop. The stolen books are worth an estimated £1 million.

German Science Fiction Award Nominations
The German Science Fiction Awards will be presented at the annual convention of the German Science Fiction Club at Lübeck on September 6.

Best German Language Novel
Andreas Eschbach, "Exponentialdrift"
Andreas Eschbach, "Perfect Copy"
Marcus Hammerschmitt, "PolyPlay"
Oliver Henkel, "Kaisertag"
Michael Marrak, "Imagon"
Birgit Rabisch, "Unter Markenmenschen"

Best German Language Short Story
Arno Behrend, "Small Talk"
Pia Bundo, "Alle Zeit der Welt"
Gerd Frey, "Dunkle Sonne"
Uwe Hermann, "Summe der Erinnerungen"
Thorsten Küper, "Neum"
Helmuth W. Mommers, "Wir sind doch keine Wilden!"
Uwe Neuhold , "Photomat"
Marco-Ivo Schubert, "Die Flucht"
Fabian Vogt, "Der Garten"

Actor William Marshall (b.1924) died on June 12. Best known for his portrayal of the title character in "Blacula" and its sequel, Marshall also appeared in "The Fisher King," Tarzan films and an episode of "Star Trek." Marshall was trained in opera, Shakespeare and Broadway. For the last several years, he has suffered from Alzheimer's.

16 June 2003
Actor Hume Cronyn (b.1911) died of prostate cancer at his home in Farifield, Connecticut on June 16. Although Cronyn made his stage debut in 1931, he is perhaps best known to modern audiences for his portrayal of Joe Finlay in genre films "Cocoon" and "Cocoon: The Return," in which he co-starred with his wife of 52 years, actress Jessica Tandy. In 1994, the couple received the first Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement. Cronyn also appeared in "Phantom of the Opera" and "*batteries not included." Following Tandy's death in 1994, Cronyn married fantasy author Susan Cooper.

15 June 2003
Roger Moore, Helen Mirren Knighted
Actor Roger Moore, best known for his role as James Bond, was knighted as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours list. Moore also portrayed the Saint and Ivanhoe. Other honours went to actress Helen Mirren, who starred as Tanya Kirbuk in "2010," the singer Sting, who portrayed Feyd-Ruatha in the 1984 film "Dune," and Dave Gilmour, lead guitarist for Pink Floyd. Jim Dale, who read the Harry Potter books on tape, was also honored.

12 June 2003
Star for Harryhausen
Legendary animator Ray Harryhausen was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on June 10. Harryhausen pioneered many of the techniques of stop-action animation in films ranging from "20 Million Miles to Earth" (1957) to "Clash of the Titans" (1981). Harryhausen's star is located at 6840 Hollywood Boulevard, across from Mann's Chinese Theatre. Author Ray Bradbury, who received a star earlier this year, and fan Forrest J. Ackerman were in attendance.

Matrix Reloaded Not in Egypt
Egyptian censors have declared that the Keanu Reaves film "Matrix Reloaded" may not be shown in the Arab country because "it explicitly handles the issue of existence and creation which are related to the three divine religions, which we all respect and believe in." The original Matrix film was also banned in Egypt.

Harry Potter Audio Excerpt has posted a two-minute excerpt from the audio recording of the forthcoming novel Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Within two hours of the excerpts posting on June 11, the number of downloads was six times higher than average for an excerpt.

Night Launches Off
NASA has announced that when the remaining space shuttles begin flying again, all launches will occur during daylight hours in order to improve visibility of the shuttles to see if any damage occurs during launch. Officials now believe that Columbia broke up on February 1, 2003 because of a hairline crack in the wing. They also plan to include more spacewalks on future shuttle missions to allow astronauts to better examine the exterior of the shuttle.

New Species of Human
Paleontologists in Ethiopia have unearthed three skulls believed to be the oldest evidence of modern humans. The skulls, which are 160,000 years old, have been classified as a new subspecies of H. sapiens and scientists claim that they help support the out of Africa thesis of human evolution.

Actor Gregory Peck (b.1916), who appeared in "The Omen" as Robert Thorn, died on June 12. Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird," for which he won an Oscar, was recently named the greatest American Hero of the theater by the American Film Institute. Other genre films in which Peck appeared included "Boys from Brazil," in which he portrayed Josef Mengele, "Marooned," and the apocalyptic "On the Beach" Peck appeared in two film versions of "Moby Dick" as well as two versions of "Cape Fear."

11 June 2003
Bram Stoker Awards Presented
The Bram Stoker Awards were presented by the Horror Writers Association at their annual banquet on June 7. The banquet was held in New York. The winners of the Life Achievement Award had been previously announced.
Life Achievement: J. N. Williamson and Stephen King
Novel: The Night Class, by Tom Piccirilli
First Novel: The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
Long Fiction: (tie) "My Work Is Not Yet Done", by Thomas Ligotti and El Dia de Los Muertos, by Brian A. Hopkins
Short Fiction: "The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair", by Tom Piccirilli
Fiction Collection: One More for the Road, by Ray Bradbury
Anthology: The Darker Side: Generations of Horror, John Pelan, ed.
Non-Fiction: Ramsey Campbell, Probably: Essays on Horror and Sundry Fantasies, by Ramsey Campbell
Illustrated Narrative: Nightside, by Robert Weinberg
Screenplay: Frailty, by Brant Hanley
Work for Younger Readers: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
Poetry Collection: The Gossamer Eye, Mark McLaughlin, by Rain Graves & David Niall Wilson
Alternative Forms: "Imagination Box", by Steve & Melanie Tem (multimedia CD)

Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Nominations
The nominations for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short SF have been announced. The award will be presented, in conjunction with the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductions, in Lawrence, Kansas on July 11.
"Bronte's Egg," by Richard Chedwyk
"Liking What You See: A Documentary," by Ted Chiang
"Singleton," by Greg Egan
"A Year in the Linear City," byPaul di Filippo
"Madonna of the Maquiladora," by Gregory Frost
"Stories for Men ," by John Kessel
"The Seasons of the Ansarac," by Ursula K. Le Guin "
The Wild Girls," by Ursula K. Le Guin
"Breathmoss," by Ian R. MacLeod
"Coelacanths," by Robert Reed
"Over Yonder," by Lucius Shepard
"In Paradise," by Bruce Sterling
"Halo," by Charles Stross

Mary Shelley Winner Announced
Paul Levinson won the Mary Shelley Award for "Outstanding Fictional Work" for his novel The Consciousness Plague. The award was presented by the Media Ecology Association at their annual conference at Hofstra University on June 7. This marks the first time the Mary Shelley Award, for a book, movie, or other work of fiction in which information technology and communication theory play a major role has been presented.

Author Ken Grimwood (b.1945) died on June 6 in Santa Barbara, California. Grimwood won the World Fantasy Award for his novel Replay in 1988 and was currently working on a sequel.

Actor Trevor Goddard (b.1965), who appeared in the Babylon 5 episode "Learning Curve," died on June 7 in an apparent suicide by drug overdose. Goddard, who will also be appearing in the forthcoming film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," was born in Australia and best known for his work on the television series "JAG."

According to Locus On-line, George and Jan O'Nale, the publishers of Cheap Street Press, died in what is apparently a double suicide. The O'Nales closed down the press in late 2001. For over twenty years, Cheap Street published works by Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Gene Wolfe, Thomas Disch, and others in editions limited to 200 copies or fewer.

7 June 2003
Golden Duck Winners Announced
The Winners of the Golden Duck Awards, presented to science fiction for children, were announced at Duckon in Lincolnwood, Illinois this weekend. The awards will be presented at Torcon in Toronto over Labor Day weekend.
Hal Clement Award (Young Adult fiction): Feed, by M.T. Anderson
Eleanor Cameron Award (Middle Grades): Andrew Lost Series, by J.C. Greenburg. On the Dog, In the Bathroom, and In the Kitchen.
Picture Book Award: Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones—Incredible Cross-Sections, by Curtis J. Saxton, Hans Jenssen, Richard Chasemore. The award is given to the illustrators, Jenssen & Chasemore.
Special Award for Best Science and Technology Education: Julie Czerneda, Tales from the Wonderzone: Stardust and Tales from the Wonderzone: Explorer

6 June 2003
SFWA Business Meeting Location Set (Again)
The SFWA has announced that its Business Meeting, typically held at Worldcon, will be held at MileHiCon in Lakewood, CO during the weekend of October 24-26. The meeting was moved after it was discovered that Massachusetts law, where the organization is incorporated, requires business meetings to be held in the United States. A Regional meeting will be held at Torcon. Initially, the meeting was re-scheduled for World Fantasy Con, but when WFC has to rescind its invitation due to its bylaws, a low-key campaign to host the meeting was waged between MileHiCon and Windycon.

Wooden Rockets Awarded
SF Crowsnest has announced the winners of the first annual Wooden Rocket Awards for online excellence in science fiction and fantasy. The awards, which are selected by the Crowsnest's readers, are presented in seventeen categories. The SF Crowsnest website also lists the two runners up in each category.
Best Online Magazine: The Alien Online (
Best Print-to-Web Magazine: Locus (
Best Author Site: Alan Dean Foster (
Best Artist Site: Michael Whelan (
Best Gallery Site: Elfwood (
Best Print Publisher Site: Baen Books (
Best E-book Publisher Site: Fictionwise (
Best E-book Site: Starcruiser Falcon (
Best Official Movie Site: The Lord of the Rings (
Best Fan Movie Site: (
Best Official TV Site: Farscape (
Best Fan TV Site: Who Central (http://www/
Best Online SFF Store: RPG Shop (
Best Fan Site Home Page: Lost Car Park (
Best Directory Site: Scifi Source (
Best Convention/Society Site: The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) (
Best Foreign Language Site: BEM (

Comic artist Pierre Rice (b.1917) died of pneumonia on May 23 at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. Rice worked for Harvey Comics, drawing for such titles as "The Green Hornet" and "Captain Freedom." After World War II, during which he won a Bronze Star, Rice returned to comics, working for Timely Comics (now Marvel). He eventually wrote critical art essays and became a portrait artist.

4 June 2003
Potter Event to be Webcast
MSN has announced that it will broadcast J.K. Rowling's appearance at the Royal Albert Hall on June 26 as a live webcast. Rowling has agreed to do a reading from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in front of 4,000 schoolchildren from around England. Stephen Fry will also conduct an interview with the author.

Sunburst Award Nominations Announced
The Sunburst Award committee has announced the short list of books for its third annual presentation. The award, which consists of Can$1000 and a medallion will be presented in September 2003. The award recognizes the best in Canadian literature of the fantastic by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.
Talon, by Paulette Dubé
Skin Folk, by Nalo Hopkinson
Salt Fish Girl, by Larissa Lai
Permanence, by Karl Schroeder
Dead Man's Gold, by Paul Yee

Audie Awards Presented
The Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the winners of the 8th Annual Audie Awards May 30 in Los Angeles. Three genre works were recognized. The Best Science Fiction Audio Book was presented to Dune: Butlerian Jihad, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, read by Scott Brick. Two Plays for Voices, by Neil Gaiman, read by Brian Dennehy, Bebe Neuwirth and a full cast won the Best Fiction or Non-Fiction, Licensed or Distributed Award and an Achievement in Production Award was presented to The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis, read by a full cast.

2 June 2003
Auroras Completed
The final two categories for the Aurora Awards have been announced and ballots have been posted.

Fan Achievement (Publication) / Accomplissement fanique (publication)
Ailleurs, Pierre-Luc Lafrance, réd. [fanzine]
Filking from C to C, Peggi Warner-Lalonde, ed. [filkzine]
Made in Canada Newsletter, Don Bassie, ed. [webzine]
Opuntia, Dale Speirs, ed. [fanzine]
Pubnites & Other Events, Yvonne Penney, ed. [e-zine]

Fan Achievement (Organizational) / Accomplissement fanique (Organisation)
Georgina Miles (Toronto Trek 16)
Martin Miller (Toronto Trek 16 masquerade)
Barb Schofield (Toronto Trek 16 masquerade)
Marah Searle-Kovacevic (USS Hudson Bay and Torcon 3 committee/comité)
Joan Sherman (I.D.I.C.)
Brian Upward (I.D.I.C.)

Compton Crook Winner
The 2003 Compton Crook Award was presented at Balticon on May 24. The award, presented for the best first novel in the SF/Fantasy field, was presented to Patricia Bray for Devlin's Luck, the first book of a three book series.

MTV Awards Honor CGI
The winners of the MTV Awards were announced on May 31, with genre films taking several categories. The award show will air on MTV on June 6. Andy Serkis and a CGI Gollum accepted the award for Best Virtual Performance.
Best Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Best Female Performance: Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Best Villain: Daveigh Chase (The Ring)
Best Kiss: Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Best Fight: Yoda vs. Christopher Lee (Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones)
Best Virtual Performance: Gollum (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)
Best Action Sequence: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Battle for Helm's Deep
Breakthrough Performance Female: Jennifer Garner (Daredevil)
Best On Screen Team: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and Gollum (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)

Animation Box Office Record
The Pixar Films movie "Finding Nemo" is projected to set a box office opening weekend record for an animated film with $70.6 million. The film ended up on top of the box office, with "Bruce Almighty" falling to a distant second and "Matrix Unloaded" fourth for the weekend with only $15 million in ticket sales.

Chamberlain Outs Himself
Actor Richard Chamberlain, who portrayed the womanizing priest Aramis in "The Three Musketeers" and two sequels, as well as Allan Quatermain in two films, has announced that he is gay. Chamberlain, he shot to stardom in the 1960s played Dr. James Kildare, explained that he did everything he could to keep his sexuality secret and noted that when growing up he "was as homophobic as anyone else."

1 June 2003
Sidewise Nominations Announced
The judges for the Sidewise Award have announced this year's ballot. Founded in 1995, the Sidewise Awards recognize excellence in alternate history writing. They are named for the 1933 short story "Sidewise in Time" by Murray Leinster. This year's awards will be presented at Torcon in Toronto over Labor Day weekend. For more information, see

LONG FORM: (60,000 words or longer or complete series)
Gary L. Blackwood, The Year of the Hangman, Dutton
Martin J. Gidron, The Severed Wing, Livingston Press
Christopher Priest, The Separation, Simon & Schuster UK
S.M. Stirling, The Peshawar Lancers, Roc
Harry Turtledove, Ruled Britannia, Roc

SHORT FORM: (shorter than 60,000 words)
Charles Coleman Finlay, "We Come Not to Praise Washington," Fantasy & Science Fiction, 8/02
John Kessel, "The Invisible Empire," Conjunction: 39
William Sanders, "Empire," Alternate Generals II, edited by Harry Turtledove, Baen, 7/02
Robert Silverberg, "With Caesar in the Underworld," Asimov's, 10/02
Walter Jon Williams, "The Last Ride of German Freddie," Worlds That Weren't, Roc, 7/02

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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