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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

24 November 2004
TAFF Race Launched
The nominees for the 2005 TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) race to send a North American fan to Glasgow for the 2005 Worldcon have been announced. Chaz Boston Baden, Curt Phillips, and Suzanne Tompkins (Suzle) are this year's nominees. Ballots should be sent to the current TAFF administrators, Randy Byers (North America) or James Bacon (Europe).

22 November 2004
Big Dinosaur Found
Paleontologists have announced the discovery of the largest dinosaur in Britain at an Isle of Wight dig. The discovery of a neck bone measuring of a meter long indicates a sauropod measuring twenty meters long dating back 125-130 million years ago.

Ape Ancestors
Scientists in Spain have discovered the fossils of a primate from 13 million years ago which are believed to have been the last common ancestor of humans and all other living great apes.

Swift Launched
NASA has launched the Swift space ship to detect gamma ray bursts. The space craft can monitor one sixth of the sky at any given time. The hope is that the observatory will be able to further tie the emission of gamma radiation to the birth of black holes. Scientists expect the craft to identify at least 100 gamma ray bursts per year.

Russian Aims for the Moon, Mars
The Russian Space Agency has announced plans to erect a robotically controlled moonbase by 2020 or 2025 with a similar base operating on Mars by the middle of the century. The plans were announced by Nikolai Moiseyev speaking at a NASA conference in Washington, D.C.

19 November 2004
Williamson Lecture Announced
The 29th Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship will be held on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University on March 3, 2005. The topic of this year's lecture will be Posthumanity Evolving with guest lecturers Walter Jon Williams and Gregory Benford. The convener of this year's event will be Connie Willis.

Bradbury, L'Engle Receives Award
Ray Bradbury received the National Medal of Arts on November 17. At the same time, Madeleine L'Engle was awarded the National Humanities Medal. The awards were presented in the Oval Office by President and Laura Bush.

Berg Receives Award
Carol Berg has received the 2004 Colorado Book Award for SF/F presented by the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities for her novel Song of the Beast.

Early North American Inhabitants
Archaeologists believe they have found a site in South Carolina which includes evidence of Homo sapiens in North America 50,000 years ago. Previous estimates placed the first human migration to North America at 13,000 years ago. The new artifacts, which were dated using radiocarbon dating, predate human expansion into Europe.

16 November 2004
SMART-1 In Orbit
The European probe SMART-1, launched in September 2003, has entered lunar orbit. The orbiter is scheduled to make several course adjustments over the next few weeks and begin its study of the lunar surface in January 2005. The probe's mission includes a search for lunar ice and the chemical composition of the moon. This is only the second Ion Propulsion spacecraft.

Scramjet Record
NASA successfully launched the X-43A scramjet on November 16. The scramjet flew under its own power at a speed of Mach 10 for 10 seconds at an altitude of 110,000 feet before it splashed into the Pacific Ocean. The previous record for a scramjet was set in March when an X-43A reached Mach 6.83. Scramjets have a theoretical top speed of at least Mach 15.

15 November 2004
ISFiC Provides Grant
ISFiC has announced a $500 grant to the Speculative Literature Foundation to support the Older Writers Grant. Although the grant is for one year, the ISFiC Board specifically stated that it is renewable upon review on an annual basis. The award is presented by the SLF to a new author over the age of 50.

Harry Lampert (b.1916) died on November 13. Lampert drew the first five stories about the Flash usingwriter Gardner Fox's scripts. His Flash, wearing Mercury's winged helmet, debuted in 1940 and was the original version of the character, later reworked as the Golden Age Flash or Earth-2 Flash. Lampert also worked on Betty Boop and did paste-up and panel work for the first Superman story.

Actor Ed Kemmer (b.1920) died on November 9. Kemmer portrayed Commander Buzz Corry on the 1950s children's science-fiction television program "Space Patrol." Within months of its debut, there was also a radio version of "Space Patrol." Kemmer appeared in several other B-science fiction films. A pilot during World War II, Kemmer was shot down over Germany and captured. He escaped froma POW camp, but was recaptured within two weeks. Kemmer suffered a stroke on November 5.

11 November 2004
Club Fights Taxes
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) is appealing a court decision to remove their state tax exempt status for a clubhouse it has owned since 1991. A lower court declared that the organization did not meet the requirements for an educational organization. The BSFS Is recognized by the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation as a qualifying educational organization. In addition to running Balticon, BSFS administers the Compton Crook Award and a young writer's contest as well as runs writer's workshops.

Actor Howard Keel (b.1919) died on November 7 of colon cancer. Although Keel was best known for his roles in such musicals as "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Kiss Me Kate," and "Show Boat," he also starred in the 1962 science fiction film "The Day of the Triffids," based on the novel of the same name by John Wyndham.

3 November 2004
Democracy in Space
On Sunday, October 31, American Astronaut Leroy Chiao became the first American to vote electronically from space when he e-mailed his ballot from the International Space Station. The only other American to vote from space was David Wolf in 1997, who did not do so electronically. While Chiao urged all Americans to vote, he would not say for whom he voted.

Pat Molloy and Naomi Fisher, 2001 DUFF delegates to Australia, became the parents of a 7.1 pound baby girl on Saturday, October 30. The baby's name is Grace Keiko Eloise Malloy

New Con
Panda*Monium will be held near Oklahoma City on November 19-21, 2004. Special Guests include noted SF/F artists Darrell K. Sweet, David Lee Anderson, authors Mel Odom and Selina Rosen. For more information, see

2 November 2004
Aurora Awards
The Aurora Awards were presented at Boréal on Saturday October 30.
Best Long-Form Work in English: Blind Lake, by Robert Charles Wilson
Best Short-Form Work in English: "Scream Angel," by Douglas Smith
Best Work in English (Other): Julie E. Czerneda, editing Space Inc.
Artistic Achievement: Jean-Pierre Normand
Fan Achievement (Publication): Made in Canada Newsletter, Don Bassie, ed.
Fan Achievement (Organizational): Martin Miller
Fan Achievement (Other): Eric Layman, fan writing / écriture fanique
Best Long-Form Work in French: Phaos, by Alain Bergeron
Best Short-Form Work in French: "La Course de Kathryn," by Élisabeth Vonarburg
Best Work in French (Other): Solaris, Jol Champetier, réd

World Fantasy Awards
The World Fantasy Awards were presented at World Fantasy Con in Tempe, Arizona during the final weekend of October.
Life Achievement: Stephen King and Gahan Wilson
Novel: Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton
Novella: "A Crowd of Bone," by Greer Gilman
Short Fiction: "Don Ysidro," by Bruce Holland Rogers
Anthology: Strange Tales, Rosalie Parker, ed.
Collection: Bibliomancy, by Elizabeth Hand
Artist: (tie) Donato Giancola and Jason Van Hollander
Special Award, Professional: Peter Crowther
Special Award, Non-Professional: Ray Russell & Rosalie Parker

World Fantasy Art Awards
In addition to the World Fantasy Awards, art show awards were also presented in Tempe.
Best in Show: "Grand Conspiracy" by Janny Wurts
Best Color Picture: Transcendence" by Don Maitz
Best 3D Piece: "Buckin' Tradition" by Heather Johnson

Hobbits Found in Indonesia
Scientists have discovered a race of proto-humans who stood about three feet tall on the Indonesian island of Flores. The race, which scientists refer to as Hobbits, lived as recently as 12,000 years ago, meaning that they lived with modern humans for about 38,000 years before becoming extinct. The original skeleton of H. floresiensis was a thirty year-old female who stood 1 meter and weighed 25 kilos. Flores was also home to Komodo dragons and stegodons (miniature elephants).

1 November 2004

TV on DVD Awards
The first Annual TV on DVD Awards were presented by Video Store Magazine.
Best 1950s Series: I Love Lucy: The Complete Second Season
Best 1960s Series: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1
Best 1970s Series: Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Epic Series
Best 1980s Series: The Kids in the Hall: Complete Season One
Best 1990s Series: The Simpsons: Season 4
Best 2000s Series: 24: Season 2
Best Animated Series: The Simpsons: Season 4
Best British TV Release: The Office
Best Made for TV Documentary: The World at War
Best Miniseries or TV Movie: Shogun
Best Special Feature: 24: Season 2: Exposed Part One & Part Two Featurette
Best of Show: The Dick van Dyke Show

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.

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