News Logo
HomeSearchContents PageSite Map
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

31 January 2004
DUFF Nominations Open
DUFF (Down Under Fan Funds) Administrators Julian Warner (Australia) and Guy & Rosemary Lillian (US) have announced the opening of the nomination period for DUFF Candidates. This years candidates will travel from Australia/New Zealand to the United States to attend Noreascon IV in Boston. Fans who are interested in standing for DUFF should have three Australian/New Zealand fans and two North American fans nominate them, write a 100-word platform, and send a A$30 bond to Julian Warner by February 15. For more information, see the DUFF 2004 website at

A 170 pound bronze statue of Yoda from the Star Wars series, has been stolen from the back of a flatbed truck in Pasadena, California. The statue was commissioned by Lucasfilm as part of a planned series featuring characters from the series. With a value estimated at $20,000, the artist, Lawrence Noble, is offering a $1,000 reward for its return.

29 January 2004
New Form of Matter Created
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's joint lab with the University of Colorado have created a new form of matter, known as a fermionate condensate. This is the sixth form of matter known, along with gas, solid, liquid, plasma, and Bose-Einstein condensate, the last created in 1995. Scientists hope the fermionate condensate will lead to the next generation of superconductors.

John Trimble Home from Hospital
Science fiction fan John Trimble, who helped save Star Trek after its first season along with wife Bjo Trimble, is recovering at home following heart surgery. He is in good spirits and is looking forward to returning to work.

NASA Holds Day of Remembrance
NASA declared January 29, 2004 to be a day of remembrance for the three major tragedies in the history of the American space program, the Apollo 1 Fire of January 27, 1967, the Challenger Disaster of January 28, 1986, and the Columbia Disaster of February 1, 2003. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has announced plans to make the Day of Remembrance an annual event. Flags on NASA facilities will be flown at half mast through Monday, February 2, when a memorial to the Columbia astronauts will be dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery next to the Challenger memorial.

28 January 2004
Golden Duck Finalists Named
The Golden Duck Awards are presented by SuperConDuckTivity, the parent organization of Duckon. The awards honor excellence in Young Adult science fiction. Winners will be announced during Duckon in Lincolnwood, IL during the weekend of June 4-6. The awards will be formally presented at Noreascon 4 in Boston over Labor Day weekend.

Picture Books:
Here Come The Blobbies by Jorge
Hazel Nutt Mad Scientist by David Elliot
The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone by Timothy Basil Ering
Rooftop Rocket Pary by Roland Chambers
How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon by Jane Yolen illustrated by Mark Teague

Eleanor Cameron Award Middle Grades:
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
Hulk: The Incredible Guide by Tom Deflaco
Among the Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Escape from Memory by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Spyboy: the MANGA Affair by Peter David
Robbie Packford-Alien Monster by Heather Sander Pendragon
The Reality Bug by D.J. MacHale

Hal Clement Young Adult Award:
The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman
Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeves
Predator's Gold by Phillip Reeves
Gunpower Empire by Harry Turtledove
Firebirds edited by Sharyn November
The Ring by Hiroshi Takahshi

MidSouthCon Education Seminar
2004 will see the second annual seminar on education at MidSouthCon. The three-hour seminar will feature panel discussions by professionals in education, science and science fiction writing. Registration for the seminar is free and includes a tour of the convention and special rates for seminar attendees who wish to attend MidSouthCon. For more information, contact MidSouthCon will be held from March 26-28 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Horror author William Relling, Jr. (b.1954) died unexpectedly January 22, 2004, at the age of 49. Relling's novels included Brujo, New Moon and Silent Moon. He also published several short stories. In addition to writing horror, Relling was a musician and an avid baseball fan.

Baltimore fan Patrick Kelly, Jr. was found dead on January 27. He apparently suffered an heart attack while retrieving wood from his backyard for the fireplace. Kelly was a founding member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and served as Chair of Balticon 16 in 1982. At the time of his death, he was a member of the BSFS Board of Directors. Kelly was the founder and president emeritus of the Baltimore Metro Chapter of the National Space Society.

27 January 2004
Earl Cooley Hospitalized
Fan Earl Cooley entered the hospital in Austin, Texas for multiple bypass surgery. Following his recuperation, he will be moving in with his family in Schertz, Texas.

Life, The Universe, and Everything Date Change
Brigham Young University has announced that the dates for this year's Life, The Universe and Everything Conference, possibly the largest student-run SF symposium in the country, will be changed from January 30-February 1 to February 19-21.

Oscar Nominations
The Academy of Motion Pictures has announced this year's Oscar nominations. As excepted, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" was nominated in several (11) categories, including Best Picture. Genre films were nominated in most of the categories and all categories with genre nominations are listed below.

Actor In A Leading Role
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley - House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law - Cold Mountain
Bill Murray - Lost In Translation
Sean Penn - Mystic River

Animated Feature Film
Brother Bear
Finding Nemo
The Triplets of Belleville

Art Direction
Girl With A Pearl Earring
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Costume Design
Girl With A Pearl Earring
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River

Film Editing
City of God
Cold Mountain
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Music (Score)
Big Fish
Cold Mountain
Finding Nemo
House of Sand and Fog
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Music (Song)
"Into the West" - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
"A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow" - A Mighty Wind
"Scarlet Tide" - Cold Mountain
"The Triplets of Belleville" - The Triplets of Belleville
"You Will Be My Ain True Love" - Cold Mountain

Best Picture
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River

The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Sound Editing
Finding Nemo
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Visual Effects
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
American Splendor
City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Mystic River

Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Barbarian Invasions
Dirty Pretty Things
Finding Nemo
In America
Lost In Translation

26 January 2004
Schwartz Hospitalized
Comics editor Julius Schwartz has been hospitalized following a fall at his home. Schwartz, who is best known for his involvement with Superman, was recently hospitalized for pneumonia. Upon returning home, he fell and had to return to the hospital. Schwartz, who is 89, has been living alone since the death of his wife, but may have to move into a senior residence upon his release.

Noreascon Rate Increase Deferred
Noreascon 4 has announced that the current membership rate will hold through July 31. Originally, it was scheduled to increase on March 1. Currently, an attending membership at Noreascon 4 is $180. July 31 also marked the end of the pre-registration period.

Golden Globe Winners
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" was the big winner at the Golden Globes, taking home four statues and claiming the favorite spot for the Academy Awards. No other genre films received a Golden Globe.
Best Picture, Drama: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Director: Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Soundtrack: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Song: "Into the West," The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Science Fiction at Sundance
The science fiction film "Primer," about two young engineers who build a time machine, won top honors at the Sundance Festival by winning the 2004 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. The film's producer/director/actor Shane Carruth also received the second annual $20,000 Alfred P. Sloane Prize, created to "increase the visibility of outstanding independent films on science and technology and to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers tackling compelling topics in science."

Rings Takes Chicago
The 45-member Chicago Film Critics Association gave its top honors to "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The best director award was given to Peter Jackson. Howard Shore received the award for best music for his soundtrack to "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Razzie Nominations Announced
The Razzie Awards, which are given for disservice to the film industry, have been announced. This year, no genre films were nominated for Worst picture. Genre nominations are given below. The Razzies will be awarded on February 28.

Worst Actor:
Ben Affleck / Daredevil, Gigli and Paycheck
Cuba Gooding, Jr. / Boat Trip, Fighting Temptations and Radio
Justin Guarini / From Justin to Kelly
Ashton Kutcher / Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married and My Boss's [Sic] Daughter
Mike Myers / The Cat-in-the-Hat

Worst Actress:
Drew Barrymore / Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Duplex
Cameron Diaz / Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Kelly Clarkson / From Justin to Kelly
Angelina Jolie / Beyond Borders and Lara Croft Tomb Rader: The Cradle of Life
Jennifer Lopez / Gigli

Worst Director:
Martin Brest / Gigli
Robert Iscove / From Justin to Kelly
Mort Nathan / Boat Trip
The Wachowski Brothers / both Matrix sequels
Bo Welch / The Cat-in-the-Hat

25 January 2004
News from a Red Planet
Following the initial success of the Mars Spirit Rover, NASA lost contact with the probe on January 21. Loss of signal lasted nearly two days, and although signal has been regained, full communications with the robot has not yet been reestablished, although NASA believes it has a make-shift solution. During the period of non-communication with Rover, the European Space Agency received a signal from their Mars Express orbiter which indicated the discovery of water ice on the planet, the first firm evidence of water on Mars. The Mars Global Surveyor, which has been in Martian orbit since 1997, took photos of the Spirit's landing site which show the lander's parachute, bounce marks, and heat shield. NASA's Opportunity Rover successfully landed on Mars on January 25 and began sending pictures. Opportunity landed on the opposite side of Mars from Rover.

Cartoonist George Woodbridge (b.1930) died of emphysema on January 20. Woodbridge drew for Mad Magazine over a fifty-year period. Woodbridge was known for his knowledge of history and his use of detail in the magazine. In addition to his work for Mad, Woodbridge illustrated military history books.

Chicago fan Patti Lonehawk died on January 24 following a lengthy series of illnesses. Lonehawk was a member of the Star Trek fan club Queen to Queen's Three and before her illness curtailed her activities, could often be seen behind their dealer's table at Chicago-area cons.

22 January 2004
Astronaut Notes Survive
NASA has announced that several months ago, a Native American tracker discovered a sheaf of charred papers in a field in Texas. Unable to read the writing on the papers, he turned them in. The papers turned out to be pages from a diary maintained by Israeli astronaut Ilon Ramon during the ill-fated Columbia flight last year. Ramon's widow, Rona Ramon, identified her husband's hand-writing and the criminal investigation unit of the Israeli Police used advanced technological techniques to fill in the lacunae which were caused by holes and burns in the manuscript. A film about the diary will debut in Israel on February 1, the anniversary of the Columbia disaster.

Dick Judges Named
The judges for the 2004 Philip K. Dick Award, presented annually for the best paperback science fiction original, have been named. The PKD Award is presented by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and presented at Norwescon. The award ceremony is sponsored by the NorthWest SF Society. This years judges include Arthur Byron Cover, Karin Lowachee, Syne Mitchell, James Van Pelt, and Sherryl Vint.

The 3rd Alternative Revises Schedule
Editors of The 3rd Alternative have announced that the publication schedule for the magazine has been revised. Issue 37, originally scheduled for a February 1 publication date, will now be published on March 1 and be listed as the Spring 04 issue instead of the Winter 04 issue. Subsequent issues will be released every three months to better coincide with the season of release. TTA is also running a special for non-UK subscribers. People who subscribe for twelve issues will receive six of them post-free. To celebrate TTA's tenth anniversary, each of the four issues this year will be printed on special paper to reflect the season of publication.

Hollywood Producer Ray Stark (b.1914) died on January 17. Stark produced the film "Somewhere in Time," based on Richard Matheson's World Fantasy Award- winning novel Bid Time Return. He also produced the Richard Pryor film "The Toy," "Robin and Marion" and "Murder by Death."

19 January 2004
Williamson Lecture Announced
This year's Annual Williamson Lectureship will take place on March 11 at the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. Founded twenty-eight years ago, this year's event will include guests Frederik Pohl and Robert Silverberg, who will discuss "Space Opera—Then and Now" at 7pm at a free lecture. In addition, there is a luncheon which costs $7, payable at the door. To reserve your place for lunch or for additional information, please contact Patrice Caldwell at 505-562-2315 or

Poe Toaster Gets Political
At 3:00 AM on the morning of January 19, the anonymous person dressed in black who has left roses and cognac at the grave of Edgar Allen Poe, who is credited with creating both the modern horror story and the modern detective story, included a note at the grave which apparently takes France to task for not supporting the United States' war in Iraq. Roses and cognac have been left at Poe's grave every year on the anniversary of his birth since 1949, a century after Poe's death, apparently by members of the same family.

Producers Guild Awards
The Producers Guild awarded "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures at their annual award ceremony. This is the fifteenth annual award and the guild winners have matched the Oscar Best Picture award winners nine times. In addition, the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures was presented to Dino di Laurentiis. The Vanguard Award Sponsored by Intel and United Airlines Recognizing outstanding achievement in new media and technology was given to James Cameron.

BAFTA Nominations
The British Academy of Film and Television has announced the nominations for 2004. Below are the categories which include works of genre interest. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" received a total of twelve nominations, one less than "Cold Mountain."

Big Fish
Cold Mountain
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction
Big Fish, Tim Burton
Cold Mountain, Anthony Minghella
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Peter Jackson
Lost In Translation, Sofia Coppola
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Peter Weir

Screenplay (Original)
21 Grams, by Guillermo Arriaga
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares), by Denys Arcand
Finding Nemo, by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David Reynolds
Lost In Translation, by Sofia Coppola
The Station Agent, by Tom Mccarthy

Screenplay (Adapted)
Big Fish, by John August
Cold Mountain, by Anthony Minghella
Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Olivia Hetreed
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Mystic River, by Brian Helgeland

Film Not in the English Language
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares), by Denise Robert, Daniel Louis, Denys Arcand
Belleville Rendez-Vous, by Didier Brunner, Sylvain Chomet
Être et Avoir, by Gilles Sandoz, Nicolas Philibert
Good Bye Lenin!, by Stefan Arndt, Wolfgang Becker
In This World, by Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland, Michael Winterbottom
Spirited Away, by Toshio Suzuki, Hayoa Miyazaki

Actor in a Leading Role
Benicio Del Toro (21 Grams)
Bill Murray (Lost In Translation )
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)
Jude Law (Cold Mountain)
Sean Penn (21 Grams)
Sean Penn (Mystic River)

Actor in a Supporting Role
Albert Finney (Big Fish)
Bill Nighy (Love Actually)
Ian Mckellen (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Paul Bettany (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World)
Tim Robbins (Mystic River)

The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music
Cold Mountain, Gabriel Yared
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Alexandre Desplat
Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Rza
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Howard Shore
Lost In Translation, Kevin Shields

Cold Mountain, John Seale
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Eduardo Serra
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Andrew Lesnie
Lost In Translation, Lance Acord
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Russell Boyd

21 Grams, Stephen Mirrione
Cold Mountain, Walter Murch
Kill Bill Vol. 1, Sally Menke
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Jamie Selkirk
Lost In Translation, Sarah Flack

Production Design
Big Fish, Dennis Gassner
Cold Mountain, Dante Ferretti
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Ben Van Os
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Grant Major
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, William Sandell

Costume Design
Cold Mountain, Ann Roth, Carlo Poggioli
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Dien Van Straalen
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Ngila Dickson/Richard Taylor
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Wendy Stites
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Penny Rose

Cold Mountain
Kill Bill Vol. 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Achievement In Special Visual Effects
Big Fish
Kill Bill Vol. 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Make Up & Hair
Big Fish, Jean A Black, Paul Le Blanc
Cold Mountain, Paul Engelen, Ivana Primorac
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Jenny Shircore
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Richard Taylor, Peter King, Peter Owen
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Ve Neill, Martin Samuel

Orange Film of the Year
The Shortlist For The Orange Film of the Year, for the Ten Most Popular Films Of 2003 Is:
Bruce Almighty
Calendar Girls
Finding Nemo
Love Actually
Johnny English
Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl
Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines
X2: X Men United
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Matrix Reloaded

18 January 2004
Space Cuts Doom Hubble
In the wake of President Bush's announcement of a new Mars initiative, NASA is scrubbing a maintenance mission to the Hubble Telescope. Without the 2005 mission, Hubble, which was to have operated through 2010, is expected to stop functioning in 2007, although it should remain in orbit until 2011. All remaining shuttle missions will be to the International Space Station and the shuttle fleet will be retired upon completion of the space station.

16 January 2004
Tolkien at Noreascon IV
Although the Tolkien estate refused Peter Jackson permission to open a Tolkien museum in New Zealand to display the props used in the creation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the estate did allow him to create a traveling exhibit. Currently in the Science Museum of London, from August through October, 2004, the exhibit will be houses at the Museum of Science in Boston. This will coincide with Noreascon IV, this year's worldcon. Between London and Boston, the exhibit will be on display at the Singapore Science Center in March. Following the Boston stay, the exhibit will travel to Sydney, after which it will be dismantled.

Daleks Returned
Francis Watson, an engineer at the BBC, has returned a copy of the 1965 Dr. Who episode "Day of Armageddon," the second part of "The Daleks' Master Plan" story line. Watson saved the episode in the early 1970s when the BBC purged its vaults and many early episodes of Dr. Who were destroyed. This episode, which stars William Hartnell and Adrienne Hill, is the first episode of Dr. Who recovered since 1999, which also starred Hartnell.

Hevelin Fractures Wrist
Long-time fan and huckster Rusty Hevelin suffered a compound fracture of his left wrist in November and underwent surgery to insert six pins. He is recovering at home.

Wright Hospitalized
Author John C. Wright was hospitalized following an heart attack in early December. Wright, who published The Phoenix Exultant and The Golden Transcendence in 2003, underwent bypass surgery and is recovering.

Nebula Award-winning author Jack Cady (b.1932) died on January 14 from complications of bladder cancer. Cady turned to writing after careers as a truck driver, warehouse worker, and landscaper. He won the Nebula, Stoker, SF Chronicle, and HOMer Award for his story "The Night We Buried Road Dog" and the World Fantasy Award for his collection The Sons of Noah and Other Stories. In 1992, Cady received a $20,000 creative writing fellowship from the NEA.

14 January 2004
Speculative Literature Foundation Formed
Mary Anne Mohanraj has announced the formation of the Speculative Literature Foundation ( to promote literary quality in speculative fiction. The organization plans on creating a comprehensive resource website for outreach to schools and libraries. In addition, they are instituting the SLF Fountain Award for excellence in short fiction. The winner, who will receive a $1,000 prize, will be announced on June 1.

2005 NASFiC Looking for 1961 Veterans
CascadiaCon, the 2005 NASFiC to be held in Seattle-Tacoma, is loking for reminiscences from any of the 307 members of Seacon, the 1961 Worldcon in Seattle. The committee is looking for quotes, memories, and thoughts from those who attended, as well as artifacts from the event, including fanzines, program books, pictures, and so forth. For more information, or to share memories, contact

Actress Paula Raymond (b.1924) died on December 31 from respiratory ailments. Raymond appeared in "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms," based on Ray Bradbury's story, as well as "Blood of Dracula's Castle" and "Hand of Death." She made her film debut in 1937 and was in a nearly career-ending accident in 1962, although she eventually recovered and returned to acting.

12 January 2004
New Science Fiction Imprint Announced
Red Deer Press has announced Robert J. Sawyer Books, a new imprint. Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Sawyer will edit the line, which will contain an introduction by Sawyer and plans to release at least three books each year. The first novel published by Robert J. Sawyer Books will be Letters from the Flesh, by Marcos Donelly. The book will be a hardcover appearing in May.

Call for Papers
The SFRA has issued a call for papers for the 2004 SFRA Conference to be held in Skokie, Illinois from June 3-6, 2004. Although all topics will be considered, the conference organizers are especially interested in papers dealing with Guest of Honor Connie Willis, Chicago Authors, and Humor in SF/F. Proposals and 25-50 word abstracts should be sent to Bev Friend at by April 10. More information can be found at

Earthsea for Sci Fi
The Sci Fi Channel has approved an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. The miniseries, which will cover the first two books of the series (A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan) will begin production in New Zealand in the Spring with the 4-hour mini-series scheduled to air in December.

People's Choice Awards
The People's Choice Awards were presented on January 11. The awards are selected by a random sampling of Americans over the age of twelve and adjusted to reflect the demographic breakdown of the United States. The following are categories which were won by genre works.
Motion picture: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
Drama motion picture: "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
Comedy motion picture: "Bruce Almighty"

9 January 2004
Sapphire Nominations Announced
Science Fiction Romance has announced the nominees for the 2003 Sapphire Awards, presented for best science fiction romance novels and stories. This year received more nominations than any previous year. The winners should be announced in the April newsletter of SFR.

Novel Length Fiction:
Dance With The Devil, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Heart Thief, by Robin D. Owens
Skyfall, by Catherine Asaro
The Star Princess, by Susan Grant
Tinker, by Wen Spencer

Short Fiction:
"Dark Descent", by Christine Feehan
"Moonglow", by Catherine Asaro
"Phantom Lover", by Sherrilyn Kenyon
"The Star Queen", by Susan Grant
"Thief of Dreams", by Sheri L. McGathy

Not Just the Moon, but Mars
George Bush is preparing a policy statement in which he calls for the United States not only to establish a permanent base on the Moon, but also to land humans on Mars by 2019. In December, the Chinese announced plans to land a man on the Moon by 2020 and there was speculation Bush would make a similar announcement. On July 29, 1989 Bush's father, then President, called for a manned mission to Mars, later setting a goal of landing a man on Mars on July 20, 2019, but Congressional support never materialized for that project. When asked about Bush's forthcoming initiative, former Senator and astronaut John Glenn noted that the United States still hasn't provided the necessary resources to finish the International Space Station.

8 January 2004
Ackerman Honors
Fan Forrest J Ackerman surprised the American Cinematheque with a $153,000 donation, which allows Ackerman to name 153 seats at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. In 1925, Ackerman first saw "The Lost World" at the Egyptian. Among those being honored by Ackerman are Veronica Carlson, Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vicent Price, Claude Rains, John Landis, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney, Jr., Elsa Lancaster, Willis O'Brien, Marcel DelGado, Jack Pierce, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Isaac Asimov, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Richard Matheson, Ib Melchior, Olf Stapledon, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Frank R. Paul, Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, Josh Kirby, Hugo Gernsback, John W. Campbell, Jr., Horace L. Gold, Anthony Boucher, Rick Sneary, Julius Schwartz, Walt Willis, and Harry Warner, Jr..

Triffids Invade
The city of Bristol in England is distributing 7' high models of triffids to promote a city wide reading of John Wyndham's novel The Day of the Triffids. The Bristol Cultural Development Partnership is providing more than 4,000 free copies of the book to promote literacy in a city where 25% of the adult population has a reading level below that of an eleven-year-old. Bristol's first city-wide read was held in March 2003 and had 9,000 participants.

Astronomers Find Solar Twin
Astronomers have announced that the star 18 Scorpii, located 46 light years away, is similar in structure and age to the sun. Both stars rotate in about the same time, have the same mass, and similar activity cycles. The discovery fuels hopes that more stars like the sun will be found and that they have the possibility of harboring inhabitable planets, if not life.

Planet Heats Sun, Man Bites Dog
Scientists have discovered that a Jovian planet in a close orbit around its primary, HD179949, located 90 light years from the earth, actually creates an hot spot on the surface of the star, caused, astronomers believe, by the planet's magnetic field. The planet orbits the star in just over 74 hours.

British children's fantasist Joan Aiken (b.1924) died January 4. Aiken sold her first story, "The Dreamers" when she was 18. She took a job with the BBC when World War II broke out, and the company broadcast some of her stories. Following the war, her career took off and she also began working for Argosy magazine. Aiken is best known for her series of children's books which began with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

7 January 2004
Nebula Preliminary Ballot Announced
The SFWA has announced the preliminary Nebula ballot. This ballot represents all works which received ten recommendations from SFWA members within twelve months of their initial publication. SFWA members will vote on which items will appear on the final ballot and the three Nebula juries will have the option of adding an additional item to each category.

Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1, by Kevin J. Anderson (Warner Books, Jul02)
Diplomatic Immunity, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen, May02)
The Mount, by Carol Emshwiller (Small Beer Press, Jun02)
Fitcher's Brides, by Gregory Frost (Tor, Dec02)
Light Music, by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Eos, Jun02)
A Scattering of Jades, by Alexander C. Irvine (Tor, Jul02)
Maximum Ice, by Kay Kenyon (Bantam, Feb02)
Chindi, by Jack McDevitt (Ace, Jul02)
The Scar, by China Mieville (Del Rey, Jun02)
The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon (Ballantine, Jan03)
Fallen Host, by Lyda Morehouse (Roc, May02)
The Return of Santiago, by Mike Resnick (Tor, Feb03)
Humans, by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor, Feb03)
Ruled Britannia, by Harry Turtledove (New American Library, Nov02)
Red Thunder, by John Varley (Ace, Apr03)

Novellas (All five novellas have qualified for the final ballot)
"The Potter of Bones," by Eleanor Arnason (Asimov's, Sep02)
"The Empress of Mars," by Kage Baker (Asimov's, Jul03)
Coraline," by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins, Jul02)
"Stories for Men," by John Kessel (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 2002)
"Breathmoss," by Ian MacLeod (Asimov's, May02)

Novelettes (All four novelettes have qualified for the final ballot)
"The Mask of the Rex," by Richard Bowes (F&SF, May02)
"0wnz0red," by Cory Doctorow (, Aug02)
"The Empire of Ice Cream," by Jeffrey Ford (SCI FICTION, Feb26, 2003)
"The Wages of Syntax," by Ray Vukcevich (SCI FICTION, Oct 16, 2002)

Short Stories
"Knapsack Poems," by Eleanor Arnason (Asimov's, May02)
"Goodbye to All That," by Harlan Ellison (McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Apr03)
"Grandma," by Carol Emshwiller (F&SF, Mar02)
"What I Didn't See," by Karen Joy Fowler (SCI FICTION, Jul10, 2002)
"Lambing Season," by Molly Gloss (Asimov's, Jul02)
"The Rose in Twelve Petals," by Theodora Goss (Realms of Fantasy, Apr02)
"Taste of Summer," by Ellen Klages (Black Gate, Feb02 )
"The Tale of the Golden Eagle," by David D. Levine (F&SF, Jun03)
"Will You Be an Astronaut?," by Greg van Eekhout (F&SF, Sep02)
"The Last of the O-Forms," by James Van Pelt (Asimov's, Sep02)

Scripts (All four scripts have qualified for the final ballot)
Minority Report, by Scott Frank and John Cohen (Dreamworks, Jul02)
Where No Fan Has Gone Before, by David A. Goodman (Futurama, Apr02)
Spirited Away, by Hayao Miyazaki and Cindy Davis Hewitt & Donald H. Hewitt (English screenplay) (Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Pictures, Sep02 )
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by Fran Walsh & Philippa Bowens & Stephen Sinclair & Peter Jackson (New Line Cinema, Dec02 )

Texas fan Lori Wolf, who worked at Adventures in Crime and Space Bookstore in Austin, died on January 6. In 1997, Ms. Wolf was the Hugo Awards Ceremony Manager at LoneStarCon II. She served as the vice president of F.A.C.T. (the Fandom Association of Central Texas).

6 January 2004
Philip K. Dick Nominations
The Philip K. Dick Award is presented to a paperback original. This year's awards will be presented on April 9 at Norwescon 27 in Seattle. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the award ceremony is sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. This year's judges include Stephen L. Burns, Suzy McKee Charnas, Craig Jacobsen, Richard Parks, and Janine Ellen Young.
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
Clade, by Mark Budz
Dante's Equation, by Jane Jensen
Hyperthought, by M. M. Buckner
Spin State, by Chris Moriarty
Steel Helix, by Ann Tonsor Zeddies

The Hobbit Faces Negotiations
Although New Line Cinema, the company that produced The Lord of the Rings trilogy, owns the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the distribution rights are owned by United Artists. Peter Jackson has expressed an interest in making a film based on the book, but first must complete his remake of King Kong and the rights between the studios must be ironed out.

4 January 2004
Clarke Award Homeless
The Clarke Award, which has been presented at the London Science Museum since 1996 has found itself looking for a new home after the museum has begun charging for space rental. In 2003, the rental was £1,000, being raised to £7,000 in 2004. From 1996 through 2002, the museum provided the space for free. The Clarke Award Administrators are currently looking for a new venue and plan to present the award in May.

Stardust Success
The Stardust probe has successfully rendezvoused with Comet Wild 2, taking 72 images of the comet's nucleus on January 2. The comet and spacecraft were 242 million miles from Earth at the time of the rendezvous. As the spacecraft swept through the comet's tail, it collected a thimbleful of material which will be returned to Earth. At its closest approach, Stardust was within 143 miles of the nucleus.

Spirit Lands on Mars
Only a week after the ill-fated European Beagle 2 mission to land on Mars, NASA successfully made contact with its own Spirit lander on January 3. The Spirit landed in Gusev Crater and marks the first successful Mars landing since 1997. Only one-third of Mars landers have successfully landed on the planet. Spirit is scheduled to search for evidence of free water having existed on Mars. An identical rover is scheduled to land on the opposite side of Mars on January 24.

Poet Sought
The Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) is seeking contact information for Ken Duffin, winner of the 1981 Rhysling Award for "Meeting place." The poem originally appeared in the November 1980 issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Anyone with contact information should send an e-mail to Roger Dutcher, the Rhysling Winners Anthology editor, via e-mail at or by mail at P.O. Box 564, Beloit, WI 53512, USA.

1 January 2004
Philip Pullman Garners Honors
Author Philip Pullman, who wrote the "His Dark Materials" young adult trilogy, will be awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in this year's New Year's Honours list. Cartoonist Ronald Searle is also on the list for a CBE. Actor Peter Postlethwaite, who appeared in Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Dragonheart, will receive an OBE (Order of the British Empire).

Copyright © 2004 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.

HomeSearchContents PageSite Map

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide