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

28 September 2004
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson and Paul Allen have announced plans to form Virgin Galactic, a corporation which will allow civilian tourists to fly into space. Branson's spacecraft will be based on the model of SpaceShipOne, which Allen is currently working on to win the X-Prize. Branson estimates a trip will cost at least £115,000 and include a three-day training session.

Ivory Origin Traceable
Scientists in Seattle have reported a technique to use DNA to trace ivory back to the most closely related elephant group. Scientists and law enforcement officials hope the technique will allow them to pinpoint regions in which poaching is taking place most often.

Brooklyn fan John Vanible, Jr, who suffered a massive stroke on September 11, died on September 27. Vanible served as a logistics assistant at MilPhil in 2001. He also worked logistics at Lunacon for several years. A funeral will be held in New York on October 2 and Vanible will eventually be buried in Jackson, Mississippi.

Actor Tim Choate (b.1954) was killed in a motorcycle accident on September 24. Choate appeared in several episodes of "Babylon 5" as Zaythras and as Polix in "Crusade." In 2004, he appeared in the video release "CreepTales."

22 September 2004
Booker Shortlist Announced
The 2004 Man Booker Shortlist has been announced. The shortlisted works were selected from a longer list of 22 novels. Mitchell's novel, a genre book, was given 3:1 odds of making the shortlist, the best odds ever. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced on October 9.
Achmat Dangor for Bitter Fruit
Sarah Hall for The Electric Michelangelo
Alan Hollinghurst for The Line of Beauty
David Mitchell for Cloud Atlas
Colm Tóibín for The Master
Gerard Woodward for I'll go to Bed at Noon

Fan Returns Home
David Axler, who underwent triple bypass surgery after Noreascon and was forced to remain in Boston, has now returned home to Philadelphia for further recuperation.

Longyear Scheduled for Surgery
Author Barry B. Longyear is scheduled to undergo surgery to perform "at least" a triple bypass on September 23 at the Maine Medical Center.

21 September 2004
Fan Lapses Into Coma
Brooklyn fan John Vanible, Jr. suffered a massive stroke in the middle of September. He is in a coma in the critical care unit at Wyckoff Hospital. Suffering from a swollen brain, lung and liver damage, his family is considering having him taken off a respirator. Vanible attended Noreascon 4 prior to his stroke. He served as a logistics assistant at MilPhil in 2001.

Asteroid Near Hit Next Week
The asteroid Toutatis, discovered in the 1980s will pass close to Earth on September 29. The 1.5 mile wide asteroid with a mass of 50 billion tons will cross the Earth's orbit only 960,000 miles away, about four times the distance to the moon. It is the largest known body to pass this close to the earth until 2060. Currently visible low on the Southern horizon in the Northern hemisphere through a telescope, the asteroid will be visible to Soutehrn viewers with binoculars during its closest approach. Toutatis was mapped by the Arecibo telescope during its closest approach in 1992.

JIMO Contract Awarded
NASA has awarded a contract to Northrup Grumman to co-design the JIMO spacecraft with the US Navy. The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter is currently scheduled to launch in 2011 to explore Callisto, Ganymede and Europa, three of Jupiter's largest moons. The spacecraft will be the first NASA vehicle to use nuclear electric propulsion. The orbiter may also carry a probe to land on Europa. There are already indications that the launch may be postponed to 2015.

Author Harvey Wheeler (b.1919) died from cancer on September 6. Wheeler was the co-author, with Eugene Burdick, of the cold war thriller Fail-Safe, which was made into a film in 1964 starring Henry Fonda, Walter Mathau and Fritz Weaver. It was re-made in 2000 in a live television broadcast by George Clooney. Most of Wheeler's books were non-fiction political science books.

18 September 2004
Author Basil E. Wells, who was reported to have died on May 3, 2004, actually died on December 23, 2003 in Keystone Heights, Florida. We are sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

17 September 2004
EMF Fundraising
Peter Heck has announced that the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund raised $2929.28 during Noreascon. Money was raised at auction, by the SFWA Musketeers, at the SFWA table and in the suite. The Emergency Medical Fund is set up to help authors who need assistance paying their medical bills.

Bookstore Closing
Basilisk Dreams, a science fiction bookstore in Ottawa, Canada, has announced it will be closing. It began a close-out sale on September 11, offering all its books for 50% off. Basilisk Dreams opened in New Edinburgh in 1996. The date of their closing has not been set, but is expected within the next couple of weeks.

Author Alfred Coppel (b.1921) died in May. Coppel began publishing in 1952 with the story "The First Man on the Moon" and went on to published several stories and novels under his own name and the pseudonyms Robert Chan Gilman and A.C. Marin. In the 1990s, he published the Glory trilogy.

TSR Employee Ill
David C. Sutherland III, an early TSR employee is ill and selling off his collection on E-bay to raise funds for his treatment. Many of the items are unique. The current auction ends on September 19. Items available may be found at

11 September 2004
Birth Announcement
Columbus, Ohio fans Lisa and Matthew Ragsdale gave birth to Seamus Rhys Ragsdale on September 8. Lisa is currently scheduled to chair Midwest Construction 3 in Columbus during the weekend of September 17-19.

Jack Hunter Davies, Jr. (b.1962) died on August 22. Davies was a songwriter and collector who enjoyed collecting pulps. Davies played in a band called "Exotic Ones." Davies's interested were many and varied, from Edgar Rice Burroughs to aviation.

10 September 2004
Aurora Nominations Announced
The Aurora nominations to recognize achievement in Canadian science fiction were announced. The awards will be presented at Congrès Boréal, 29-31 October in Montréal

Best Long-Form Work in English / Meilleur livre en anglais
Hidden in Sight, by Julie E. Czerneda
Burndive, by Karin Lowachee
Humans, by Robert J. Sawyer
A Telling of Stars, by Caitlin Sweet
Scream Queen, by Edo van Belkom
Blind Lake, by Robert Charles Wilson

Meilleur livre en français / Best Long-Form Work in French
Phaos, by Alain Bergeron (Alire, 2003)
La Cage de Londres, by Jean-Pierre Guillet (Alire, 2003)
Le Stratège de Léda, by Michèle Laframboise (Médiaspaul, 2003)
La Chevauchée des hippocampes, by Robert Tessier (Point de fuite, 2003)

Best Short-Form Work in English / Meilleure nouvelle en anglais
"Stars," by Carolyn Clink
"The Siren Stone," by Derwin Mak
"Come All Ye Faithful," by Robert J. Sawyer
"Scream Angel," by Doug Smith
"Porter's Progress," by Isaac Szpindel

Meilleure nouvelle en français / Best Short-Form Work in French
La Nuit, by Sylvie Bérard (Solaris 145)
Volvox, by Marie-Josée L'Hérault (Solaris 144)
Du clonage considéré comme un des beaux-arts, by Mario Tessier (Solaris 146)
La Course de Kathryn, by Élisabeth Vonarburg (Le Jeu des coquilles de Nautilus, Alire)

Best Work in English (Other) / Meilleur ouvrage en anglais (Autre)
Julie E. Czerneda for editing Space Inc
From the Files of Matthews Gentech, Bruce Ballon
May Queen, Heather Dale (Amphisbaena Music, 2003)
Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine
Robert J. Sawyer, Writer-in-Residence (Merril Collection)
The Stars As Seen from this Particular Angle of Night, Sandra Kasturi, ed.

Meilleur ouvrage en français (Autre) / Best Work in French (Other)
Solaris, Joël Champetier, réd. (Les Compagnons à temps perdu)
Sur le Seuil, Réalisation: Éric Tessier Scénario: Patrick Senécal et Éric Tessier (Go Films) [scénario de film fantastique]

Artistic Achievement / Accomplissement artistique
James Beveridge
Lar deSouza
Stephanie Ann Johanson
Michèle Laframboise
Jean-Pierre Normand
Martin Springett
Ronn Sutton
Mel Vavaroustos

Fan Achievement (Publication) / Accomplissement fanique (Publication)
Made in Canada Newsletter, Don Bassie, ed.
Zine-Zag, Direction: Salvador Dallaire

Fan Achievement (Organizational) / Accomplissement fanique (Organisation)
Roy Miles
Martin Miller
Marah Searle-Kovacevic
Joan Sherman
Brian Upward

Fan Achievement (Other) / Accomplissement fanique (autre)
Peter de Jager
Eric Layman
Gord Rose
Larry Stewart
Urban Tapestry

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award
The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award winners were announced at Noreascon prior to the Locus banquet. This year's award was shared by the husband and wife writing team of Henry Kutner and C.L. Moore. The juried award, selected by John Clute, Robert Silverberg, Scott Edelman, and Gardner Dozois, will be presented at Readercon in the future.

Additional Guest of Honor at CascadiaCon
CascadiaCon, the 2005 NASFiC has announced that it will add Hiroaki Inoue as a guest of honor. At the same time, they announced that there will be a focus on Anime and Manga at the convention. Inoue has produced numerous anime films, including "Ôritsu uchûgun Oneamisu no tsubasa" and "Totsuzen! Neko no kuni banipal witt"

Animator Frank Thomas (b.1912) died on September 8 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Thomas was one of the classic Disney animators and worked on such classic films as :Lady and the Tramp," "Mary Poppins," and Bambi. He began working at Disney in 1934 on the first feature length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." In 1995, a documentary about Thomas and his long-time associate Ollie Johnston, entitled "Frank and Ollie" was made by Thomas's son. Although he retired from animation after "The Fox and the Hound" in 1981, he provided vocal talent for the animated film "The Iron Giant" in 1999.

8 September 2004
Fan Hospitalized
Philadelphia fan David Axler went to the hospital from Noreascon on September 6 with chest pains. Doctors determined he had blocked arteries and performed a triple bypass on September 8. He is currently recovering and plans to spend about a week in the hospital and then move to a nearby hotel to continue his recuperation.

Genesis Failure
The Genesis probe, which was scheduled to return to Earth on September 8, crashed in the Utah desert after its parachutes failed to deploy. The probe was launched in 2001 with the mission of returning a piece of the sun for study. NASA scientists had arranged an elaborate retrieval scheme in which a parachute deployed and a team of Hollywood stunt pilots caught the probe from helicopters. When the parachute failed to deploy, the pilots were unable to catch the probe.

7 September 2004
2007 Worldcon Announced
Nippon (Japan) won the 2007 worldcon, to be held in Yokohama from August 30-September 3, 2007. Its announced guests of honor will be Author Sakyo Komatsu, Author David Brin, Fan Takumi Shibano, Artist Yoshitaka Amano, and Artist Michael Whelan. Nippon airlines has announced tour specials from Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Noreascon 4 reported about 5,300 people on site as of Sunday afternoon.

Hugo Awards
Best Novel: Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold
Best Novella: "The Cookie Monster," by Vernor Vinge
Best Novelette: "The Legion of Time," by Michael Swanwick
Best Short Story: "A Study in Emerald," by Neil Gaiman
Best Related Book: The Chesley Awards, by John Grant, Elizabeth Humphreys and Pamela D. Scoville
Best Professional Editor: Gardner Dozois
Best Professional Artist: Bob Eggleton
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): Gollum's MTV Awards Acceptance Speech
Best Semi-prozine: Locus
Best Fanzine: Emerald City
Best Fan Writer: David Langford
Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu
John W. Campbell Award (not a Hugo): Jay Lake
Special Award: Erwin "Filthy Pierre" Strauss

Retro-Hugo Awards
Best Novel: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Best Novella: "A Case of Conscience," by James Blish
Best Novelette: "Earthman Come Home," by James Blish
Best Short Story: "The Nine Billion Names of God," by Arthur C. Clarke
Best Related Book: Conquest of Space, by Wernher von Braun, Fred L. Whipple & Willy Ley
Best Professional Editor: John W. Campbell, Jr.
Best Professional Artist: Chesley Bonestell
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The War of the Worlds
Best Fanzine: Slant
Best Fan Writer: Bob Tucker

E. Everett Evans Big Heart Award
The Big Heart Award was presented to Erwin "Filthy Pierre" Strauss.

First Fandom Award
Hall of Fame Award: Robert Peterson & William L. Hamling
Achievement Award: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Chesley Awards
The Chesley Awards were presented by ASFA to recognize individual works and achievement in science fiction and fantasy art.
Best Cover Illustration (hardback): "City," by Donato Giancola
Best Cover Illustration (paperback): "Tangles Webs," by Todd Lockwood
Best Cover Illustration (magazine): "Fantasy & Science Fiction July 2003," by Bob Eggleton
Best Interior Illustration: "Crossing Into Empire," by Todd Lockwood
Best Gaming-Related Illustration: "Draconomicon," by Todd Lockwood
Best Product Illustration: "Anna of the Celts," by Dean Morrissey
Best Art Director: Irene Gallo
Best Three Dimensional Art: "Jack" by Gary Lippincott
Best Monochrome Work, Unpublished: "Autumn Fairies," by Gary Lippincott
Best Color Work, Unpublished: "She," by Michael Whelan
Award for Contribution to ASFA: Teresa Patterson

Noreascon 4 Art Show
Best 2-D, Popular Choice: "Elegy of Darkness: Lady of Shalot," by Donato Giancola
Best 3-D, Popular Choice: "Magic Mountain," by Butch Honeck
Art Show Director's Choice: "Crossing," by Michael Whelan
Best in Show, Judges Award: "Man with Gold Earring," by Omar Rayyan

WSFS Business Meeting News
The Back to the Future proposal to shorten the Worldcon bidding lead time to 2 years passed at the Noreascon 4 Business meeting. There will be no site selection balloting in 2005, but the 2008 worldcon will be selected in Los Angeles in 2006. Members of the 2005 Worldcon will be able to vote. Other pieces of business passed include the notification of extension for Hugo eligibility, a clarification of differences between nominees and works for the Hugo, setting a default rate for NASFiCs, and procedures for tie votes for site selection or dealing with an incapacitated selected worldcon.

New motions which were introduced and will have their second vote at Interaction include a revised wording of the Best Dramatic categories to specifically mention theatrical releases in the long form and television programs in the short form, establishing formal procedures for moving Hugo nominees between categories and an amendment for dealing with ties in Hugo or site selection elections.

New Worldcon and NASFiC Bids
In the wake of Japan winning the 2007 Worldcon, Columbus has announced it may reorganize to run for the 2007 NASFiC against the already bidding St. Louis bid. Voting will be held next year at CascadiaCon. A bid for the 2008 worldcon in Denver was formed at Noreascon to go against the already existent Chicago in 2008 bid. Bids were announced for 2009 for both Kansas City and Montreal. The 2010 Australia bid has confirmed its existence as a real bid.

Sidewise Award
The Sidewise Award was created in 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate history. The award is named for Murray Leinster's short story "Sidewise in Time."
Short Form: "O One," by Chris Roberson
Long Form: Collaborator, by Murray Davies

Prometheus Awards
The Prometheus Awards are presented by the Libertarian Futurist Society to recognize outstanding science fiction and fantasy that explores libertarian themes.
Best Novel Award: Sims, by F. Paul Wilson
Hall of Fame Award: "The Ungoverned," by Vernor Vinge

Robert Heinlein Award
This year's Robert A. Heinlein Award was presented to Arthur C. Clarke at a banquet held by the Robert A. Heinlein Society. The society arranged for an internet hookup to Sri Lanka to permit Clarke to attend the ceremony virtually.

Sunburst Award
Cory Doctorow has won the Sunburst Award for A Place So Foreign and 8 More. The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is presented for excellence of writing to a Canadian writer who has had published a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of speculative fiction any time during the previous calendar year. The award consists of: a cash award of $1000 and a medallion which incorporates a specially designed "Sunburst" logo.

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Announced
The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards were created in 1998 to honor works of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues.
Best Short Fiction: "Lark till Dawn, Princess," by Barth Anderson
Best Novel: The Salt Roads, by Nalo Hopkinson
Best Other Work (tie): Angels in America and Gotham Central #6-#10: Half a Life, Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

Noreascon Open Book Trivia Contest Winners
The winners of the Noreascon Open Book Trivia Contest were:
First place (tie): Leo Doroschenko and Katherine Wolf (30/34)
Second place (tie): Laura & Robert Nigg and Todd Dashoff (28/34)
Third place: Kevin B. Hewett (27/34)

Zen Scavenger Hunt
The Zen Scavenger Hunt at Noreascon 4 was won by John Pomeranz. He will receive a signed first edition of Neil Gaiman's Hugo Award-winning Coraline.

Golden Duck Presentation
The winners of this year's Golden Duck Award were presented with certificates and honorariums.
Picture Book: Hazel Nutt: Mad Scientist, by David Elliott and True Kelley
Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades: Escape from Memory, by Margaret Peterson
Hal Clement Award for Young Adults: Gunpowder Empire, by Harry Turtledove

Endeavor Award Finalists Announced
The finalists for the fifth annual Endeavor Awards to recognize science fiction by Northwestern authors were announced on September 3. The award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium, will be presented at Orycon this November. This year's judges include Gardner Dozois, Sheila Finch, and Jennifer Heddle.
A Stir of Bones, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Dragonmaster: Book Two-Knighthood of the Dragon, by Chris Bunch
Red Thunder, by John Varley
Storyteller, by Amy Thomson
Time Travelers, Ghosts and Other Visitors, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Dozois Update
Gardner Dozois and Susan Caspar were injured Tuesday, August 31 when a taxi they were riding in was hit. Caspar was only slightly injured, but Dozois suffered a severe shoulder fracture and had to have his right shoulder replaced. He was sent home from the hospital to recuperate by Saturday morning.

Screenwriter Robert Lewin (b.1920) died on August 28 from lung cancer. Lewin wrote several first season episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and also worked on the show "The Man from Atlantis." He served as a producer for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," including the premier episode, "Encounter at Farpoint."

Arctic Swim
A team of scientists have announced that ice core samples from the Arctic reveal that 55 million years ago, the region enjoyed a sub-tropical climate. The core sample came from 400 meters below the sea floor and reveals algae which demonstrate a temperature about 21°C higher than current averages.

Munchkin Dispute
Two of the last seven surviving Munchkins from the film "The Wizard of Oz" have been disinvited to the Oz Festival in Chesterton, Indiana due to a contract dispute. Karl Slover, who played the first trumpeter, and Jerry Maren, who was the Lollipop Kid, couldn't reach terms despite previously attending. Margaret Pellegrini and Clarence Swensen, two other Munchkins are still scheduled to appear at the festival from September 17-19.

Hurricane Hits Cape
The Kennedy Space Center suffered some damage when the remnants of Hurricane Frances hit the coast just south of Cape Canaveral. The three remaining shuttles were undamaged, but the massive Vehicle Assembly Building lost about 1000 of its exterior panels, each measuring 1.2x3m. This is the worst damage to the building since it was built in the 1960s.

Viking Site Found
An early tenth century Viking burial site has been found near Cumwhitton, England, believed to be the earliest such site known in England. six men and women were buried in the cemetery with weapons and wealth. The only other known Viking cemetery in Britain is in Ingleby, where all the bodies had been cremated. The site was discovered by Peter Adams near the end of March.

3 September 2004
Dozois Injured
Former Asimov's editor Gardner Dozois as injured in a minor traffic injury on Tuesday. Although reports are that Dozois is doing well, he will not be attending Noreascon this weekend.

2 September 2004
Shelby Vick Injured
Fan Shelby Vick was seriously injured in a car accident on August 29 when another car ploughed into his driver side door. Vick was cut out of the car and has undergone extensive surgery. He is reported to be in stable condition in the ICU at Gulf Coast Community Hospital in Panama City, Florida.

SLF Older Writers Grant
The Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF)has established an Older Writers Grant of $750. The grant is available to any writer of speculative literature of 50 years or older at the time of application who is just beginning to work professionally in the field. There are no restrictions on the use of the grant money. Applications must be received by December 31st 2004. The successful applicant will be announced on January 15th 2005. The Older Writers Grant is sponsored by Centric Advertising.

1 September 2004
National Book Festival
The National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. will host a science fiction pavilion this year. The Festival, held at the Library of Congress on October 9, 2004, will feature several science fiction and fantasy authors who will speak and autograph books. The authors scheduled to appear include Ben Bova, Neal Stephenson, Catherine Asaro, Frederik Pohl, Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Patricia Wrede, and Connie Willis.

Physics Science Writing Award
Author Marianne Dyson has received the 2004 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award in the children's category for her book Home on the Moon. The award includes a $3,000 prize, a Windsor chair, and a certificate.

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