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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 or that which lists all of our news pages.

Material for possible inclusion here should be sent to Steven H Silver at

31 August 2005
Harrison Not At CascadiaCon
Special Guest Harry Harrison will not be attending CascadiaCon this weekend in Seattle due to a lung infection which does not permit him to fly. Previously, CascadiaCon Guest of Honor Fred Saberhagen also had to cancel plans to attend when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Money For Rings
Producer Saul Zaentz has won a settlement with New Line Cinemas over his share of The Lord of the Rings. Zaentz bought the rights to the books in 1976 and received $168 million from New Line. Zaentz claimed that his payment should have been based on gross profits rather than net and New Line has agreed to pay him and addition $20 million. A lawsuit is still in progress between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema over a similar situation.

Enceladus Discoveries
Following two Cassini flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus earlier this year, scientists now believe the moon has an atmosphere. In addition, they have identified a hot spot near the moon's South Pole where water vapor is venting into the moon's atmosphere. There are also cracks on the moon's surface which are between 10 and 1,000 years old, dubbed tiger stripes by the scientists.

Pern Merchandise Grievance and Lawsuit
In 1995, Anne McCaffrey granted rights to Steve Austin of Austin Leatherworks to create and sell some Pern-derived leatherwork in convention dealers' rooms. In 2002, McCaffrey revoked those rights, but Austin is apparently still making and selling Pern-related Merchandise. McCaffrey has now raised the issue with the SFWA Grievance Committee. Austin filed a lawsuit against McCaffrey in Michigan which was dismissed. According to his website, he plans to re-file in Atlanta.

Actor Michael Sheard (b.1940) has died. Sheard portrayed Admiral Ozzel in "The Empire Strikes Back" and Adolf Hitler in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." His acting career dates back to 1964 and in the following year he appeared in a television adaptation of "1984." Sheard has portrayed Hitler in at least five projects and Heinrich Himmler twice. Sheard made several guest appearance on "Doctor Who" and was a staple at British SF Conventions.

24 August 2005
Actor Mel Welles (b.1924) died on August 19 of heart failure. Welles appeared as Iben in "Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy" and as a gravedigger in "The Undead." In 1960, he portrayed Gravis Mushnik in the original version of "The Little Shop of Horrors."

24 August 2005
Fan in Hospital
Howard DeVore has been admitted to hospital again for an undisclosed ailment. He is at Oakwood Hospital, Room 677, 18101 Oakwood Blvd PO Box 2500, Dearborn, MI 48124 and says cards are welcome. DeVore is the fan guest of honor at LACon IV in 2006.

Writers of the Future Winners
The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards were presented at the Science Fiction Museum on August 19. Both winners will receive a cash prize of $5,000. In conjunction with the ceremony, Galaxy Press released L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXI.
Writers of the Future: "In the Flue," by John Schoffstall
Illustrators of the Future: Eric Valdez y Alanis

Lunar Exploration Center Opened
In its bid to become to launch probes to the moon, China has opened a lunar exploration center in Beijing. The center will oversee planned missions to the moon, including a lunar orbiter scheduled for 2007, a lunar lander in 2012, and a lunar sample retriever scheduled for 2017.

Actor Brock Peters (b.1927) died on August 23 of pancreatic cancer. Peters is best known for his role as Tom Robinson in "To Kill A Mockingbird," but appeared in numerous genre films and shows, including "Soylent Green," "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." On "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," Peters had a recurring role as Joseph Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's father.

22 August 2005
Star Wars Fan Arrested
A Star Wars fan dressed as an Imperial Storm Trooper was detained by police outside JVL-Con in Janeville, Wisconsin on August 19 after they received a report that there was an armed robbery in progress at the hotel. The police informed the unnamed con member that he should probably leave the plastic blaster at home in the future.

Cascadia Con
Cascadia Con, this year's NASFiC in Seattle, has announced 2 or three day membership rates. In addition, Harry Harrison will attend Cascadia Con as a Special Guest of Honor.

Inventor Robert A. Moog (b.1934) died on August 21. Moog's name became synonymous with the synthesizer he created in the 1960s. His doctors detected an inoperable brain tumor in April.

Astrophysicist John Bahcall (b.1935) died on August 17. Bahcall helped prove that the sun was powered by internal nuclear reactions. In the 1960s, he helped discover neutrinos being emitted from the sun. Bahcall was one of the driving forces behind the development of the Hubble Space Telescope and fought against NASA's decision to allow it to be deorbited following the Columbia disaster of 2003.

19 August 2005
2005 Mythopoeic Award Winners
The annual Mythopoeic Awards were presented at Tolkien 2005 (which incorporated Mythcon XXXVI), in Birmingham, England on August 14. The fiction awards are given to works which exemplify "the spirit of the Inklings."
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, Adult Literature: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, Children's Literature: A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett
Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies: War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, by Janet Brennan Croft
Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies: Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography, by Stephen Thomas Knight

Filker Hal Frank (b.1936) died on August 18. Frank was inducted into the Dorsai Irregulars in 1975. One of Frank's most widely known songs was Green Hills of Harmony. He was also an actor, making his screen debut in the time travel film "Somewhere in Time."

18 August 2005
British Fantasy Award Nominations
Best Novel (The August Derleth Fantasy Award)
Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War, by Clive Barker
The Queen of Sinister, by Mark Chadbourn
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
The Water Room, by Christopher Fowler
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, by Stephen King

Best Novella
Breathe, by Christopher Fowler
Dead Man's Hand, by Tim Lebbon
The Ice Maiden, by Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis
My Death, by Lisa Tuttle
The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor, by Sean Wright

Best Short Fiction
"The Problem of Susan," by Neil Gaiman
"The Black Phone," by Joe Hill
"You Will Hear the Locust Sing," by Joe Hill
"Black Static," by Paul Meloy
"Roads Were Burning," by Adam Roberts

Best Anthology
The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
The Alsiso Project, edited by Andrew Hook
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume 15, edited by Stephen Jones
Acquainted with the Night, edited by Barbara & Christopher Roden
The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, edited by Jeff Vandermeer & Mark Roberts

Best Collection
Somnambulists, by Allen Ashley
Darker Ages, by Paul Finch
Out of His Mind, by Stephen Gallagher
Things That Never Happen, by M. John Harrison
Trujillo and Other Stories, by Lucius Shepard

Best Artist
John Coulthart
Allen Koszowski
Les Edwards/Edward Miller
Richard Marchand
David Magitis
Ian Simmons

Best Small Press
The Alien Online
Elastic Press
Pendragon Press
PS Publishing
The Third Alternative
Telos Publications

Lord of the Rings Marathon
The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas has announced plans to hold a marathon showing of the three Lord of the Rings films. The event will include a complete Hobbits'-day's worth of meals, including Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, and Supper. The event proved to be in such demand, a second showing has been scheduled for November 26. In addition, the Alamo Drafthouse will be hosting a marathon showing of the complete Firefly series, interspersed with Chinese food, and lessons in Chinese swearing.

Asteroid with Moons
Astronomers have determined that the asteroid 87 Sylvia, discovered in 1866, has a pair of other asteroids in orbit around it. The two orbiting asteroids, named Remus and Romulus, orbit at distances of 710 km and 1360 km, respectively, with periods of 33 hours and 87.6 hours. Although other asteroids have been found with moonlets, Sylvia is the first to be found with multiple moonlets. In Roman mythology, Sylvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus.

Animator Joe Ranft (b.1960) died on August 16 when his car plunged off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. Ranft worked for Disney and Pixar, beginning with The Brave Little Toaster. From the very beginning of his career, he worked as a writer, director and voice artist, providing voices for Heimlich in "A Bug's Life" and Wheezy in "Toy Story 2."

12 August 2005
Mars Orbiter Launched
NASA successfully launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter one day after its original scheduled launch. The launch was postponed due to a faulty fuel sensor, which NASA managed to fix. The orbiter will spend 25 months in orbit around Mars taking high definition imagery and attempting to chart water on the planet.

FarmerPhile Launched
FarmerPhile, a Magazine devoted to Philip José Farmer, is set to be launched. The first ten issues of the quarterly digest will include Farmer's novel Up from the Bottomless Pit as well as previously unpublished fiction and non-fiction by Farmer. Win Scott Eckert will contribute a quartler column on creative mytholgraphy and there will be other articles about Farmer's work as well.

UFO researcher Philip J. Klass (b.1919) died on August 9. Klass was a technical journalist for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and after participating in an IEEE panel on UFOs in 1966 became an avid debunker of UFOs.

11 August 2005
Tuckerization Auction
Sixteen authors, including Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Lethem, Stephen King, and Karen Joy Fowler will be auctioning off tuckerizations to benefit the First Amendment Project.. Tuckerizations are the inclusion of a friend's name in a work of fiction, named for Wilson Tucker, who included numerous friends in his writing. Details on the auction can be found at

Mars Launch Delayed
NASA has postponed the launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter due to a faulty fuel sensor, a problem similar to the one which caused the delayed launch of the space shuttle Discovery a few weeks earlier. The launch was scrubbed only minutes before its scheduled launch and rescheduled for August 12. Once in Martian orbit, the craft will scan the planet's surface for 25 months, looking for water and taking the clearest space-based pictures of the planet so far.

Below are the winners of the Masquerade from Interaction, held on August 6 in Glasgow.
Childrens: Most Beautiful: The Unicorn, by Hannah Edwards
Childrens: Best Accessories: Dandy Soldier, by Fergus Ewing-Hepburn
Childrens: Most Colourful: Neptune's Daughter at Play, by Kethry Dickson
Children's Cutest: Do You Believe in Fairies, by Flis, Sam and Elise Brown and Annah Jackson
Novice: Best Presentation: The Vampire Cheerleader, modeled by Rachel Willey, made by Jenna Willey
Novice: Best Workmanship: How an Elf Stars the Day, by Dimitra Fleissner
Novice: Best in Class: The Wall, by Sabine and Karen Furlong
Journeyman: Best Presentation: The Soldier and Death…and…er…Death… by James Steel and the Chaos Army
Journeyman: Best Workmanship: Hippogriff, by Karen Dawson
Journeyman: Best in Class: Dastardly in Motley, by Tom Nanson
Chaos Novice: Baaad Costuming—The Silence of the Lamb, by Rock Robertson III
Chaos Journeyman: The Soldier and Death…and…er…Death… by James Steel and the Chaos Army
Judges Choice for Best Brain Eating: The Zombies, by YAFA
Judges Choice for Fairy Liquid: Do You Believe in Fairies, by Flis, Sam and Elise Brown and Annah Jackson
Judges Choice for Recreation: Chiana, by Miranda Feenstra
Judges Choice for Chutzpa: Victorian Secrets, by Pam Henschell
Judges Choice for Kickass: Xena, by Philippa Chapman
Best Audience Reaction: Gnomes, modeled by Kent Bloom and Mary Morman, made by Pamela Potter, Teresa Adams, and Robin Monogue
Masters: Best Worksmanship: The Wind Brings Music to the Earth, by Miki Dennis
Best in Show: The Wind Brings Music to the Earth, by Miki Dennis

Art Show
The following were awarded prizes at the Interaction Art show.
Popular Choice Best 3 Dimensional: Les Retrouvailles, by Didier Cottier
Popular Choice Best 2 Dimensional: Starfarers, by John Harris
Artshow Staff Choice: Ice Cliffs of Miranda, by David A. Hardy, The Path to Secret Places, by Anne Sudworth, Spaceport Glasgow, by Jim Burns
Area Head Choice: Fevre Dream, by Danny Flynn
Best in Show: Children: Earth, by Eric Weingart (age 10)
Best in Show: Young Adult: Tree, by Leah Heywood (age 12)
Best in Show: Les Retrouvailles, by Didier Cottier

ESFS Committee Members
The European Science Fiction Society is an international organisation of SF professionals and fans who are committed to promoting Science Fiction in Europe and European Science Fiction worldwide. It was founded in 1972.
Chair: Dave Lally (Ireland)
Vice Chair: Roberto Quaglia (Italy)
Secretary: Bridget Wilkinson (UK)
Treasurer: Piotr Cholewa (Poland)

European Science Fiction Society Awards
The ESFS awards have been presented every year since 1972, when ESFS was founded.
Best Publisher: Nature, UK
Best Writer: Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, Ukraine
Best Artist: Sergey Poyarkov, Ukraine
Best Magazine: Galaktika, Hungary
Best Promoter: Alain Le Bussy, Belgium
Best Translator: Kees van Toorn, Netherlands

Eurocon 2007
Eurocon 2007 will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish bid beat a rival bid from Ireland to host the event. This will be the first time Denmark has hosted Eurocon.

9 August 2005
Shuttle Landing
The space shuttle Discovery has landed successfully at Edwards Airforce Base a day after it was supposed to land at Kennedy Space Center. Poor weather in Florida on August 8 caused the delay and more poor weather on August 9 caused the shuttle landing to be delayed and switched to California. This was the first shuttle flight since Columbia broke up on reentry on February 1, 2003.

Ackerman Ill
Fan Forrest J Ackerman fell ill upon his arrival in Glasgow for Interaction. He was taken to hospital and although there were hopes he would be able to visit the convention for a brief period of time, he was not able to make it. While some reports state that Ackerman was burnt getting into a bath that was too hot, other reports state he was suffering from a virus.

Travel Grant
The Speculative Literature Foundation has announced its second annual travel grant. The grant will help pay for an author to travel in order to research a work in speculative fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction. The grant being offered is a $600 grant to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other travel expenses. The closing period for the 2005 grant is September 30th 2005. The winner will be notified by October 15th 2005.

6 August 2005
Hugo Winners
The Hugo Awards were presented at Interaction on August 7.
Best Novel: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
Best Novella: "The Concrete Jungle," by Charles Stross
Best Novelette: "The Faery Handbag," by Kelly Link
Best Short Story: "Travels with My Cats," by Mike Resnick
Best Related Book: The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, Edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Incredibles, Written & Directed by Brad Bird
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: "33" - Battlestar Galactica, Written by Ronald D. Moore and Directed by Michael Rymer.
Best Professional Editor: Ellen Datlow
Best Professional Artist: Jim Burns
Best Semiprozine: Ansible, Edited by David Langford
Best Fanzine: Plokta, Edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies and Mike Scott
Best Fan Writer: David Langford
Best Fan Artist: Sue Mason
Best Web Site: SciFiction ( Edited by Ellen Datlow. Craig Engler, general manager
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo Award): Elizabeth Bear
Special Interaction Committee Award (not a Hugo Award): David Pringle

More Awards
The following awards were presented at the Hugo Ceremony, although they are not Hugos.
James White Award: Elizabeth Hopkinson
Big Heart Award (3 recipients): Walter Ernsting, John-Henri Holmberg,and Ina Shorrock
First Fandom Hall of Fame Award: Big Hearted Howard DeVore.

Chesley Awards
ASFA presented the Chesley Awards at Interaction, the first time the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists have given their awards outside the US. Elizabeth Moon was pressed into service at the last minute to make the presentations.
Best Cover Illustration: Hardback Book (tie): Rick Berry for Queen of the Amazons, Tony DiTerlizzi for The Wrath of Mulgarath: The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 5, and Donato Giancola for The Nameless Day
Best Cover Illustration: Paperback Book: John Picacio for Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
Best Cover Illustration: Magazine: Omar Rayyan for Spider Magazine, October 2004
Best Interior Illustration: Charles Vess for Medicine Road
Best Color Work: Unpublished: Marc Fishman for Water Nymph, oil
Best Monochrome Work: Unpublished: Robert Elneskog for The Halls of Valhalla, pencil
Best Three-Dimensional Art: Lawrence Northey for AF-Z4 The Duke an' Blinky, metal & glass
Best Product Illustration: Dean Morrissey for Celtic King fine art print
Best Gaming Related Illustration: Mark Zug cover for Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed
Best Art Director: Irene Gallo for Tor Books
Award for Contribution to ASFA: Kat Angeli - production & printing of 2004 Chesley brochure
Award for Artistic Achievement: Omar Rayyan

Worldcon Business Meeting
Lynn Anderson, Stephen Boucher, and Sue Francis were elected to fill the three vacancies on the Mark Protection Committee. Chris Barkley and Patrick Nielsen Hayden's proposal to split the Best Editor Hugo into two categories (books and magazines) was passed with a vote of 51-6 and will be passed along to LA Con IV for ratification. All three amendments to the constitution passed by Noreascon IV were ratified. There was a proposal to clean up the wording in section three of the constitution which was passed back to committee.

Prometheus Awards
The Prometheus Awards, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society, were presented at Interaction on August 5. The awards recognize excellence in writing which is supportive of the Libertarian movement.
Best Novel: The System of the World, by Neal Stephenson
Hall of Fame Award: The Weapon Shops of Isher, by A.E. van Vogt
Special Award: The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel, written by L. Neil Smith and illustrated by Scott Bieser
Special Award: Give Me Liberty, edited by Mark Tier and Martin H. Greenberg
Special Award: Visions of Liberty, edited by Mark Tier and Martin H. Greenberg

Golden Duck Awards
The Golden Duck Awards, presented by DuPage, Illinois based SuperConDuckTivity (the parent organization for Duckon), were presented on August 5. The awards are given for excellence in children's science fiction
Picture Book: Science Verse, by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades: The Supernaturalist, by Eoin Colfer
Hal Clement Award for Young Adult Books: Balance of Trade, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Oldest Door Discovered
Scientists have determined, using dendrochronology, that a door in Westminster Abbey dates back to the 1050s, making it the oldest door in England and the only door dating from the Anglo-Saxon period. The door, which has been in use since the time of Edward the Confessor, at one time was bound in leather and rumors have long speculated that it was the flesh of a heretic, although recent tests indicate it was cow leather.

Mark Simpson, the owner of Page 45, a Nottingham, England comic shop, fell ill and died suddenly on July 31.

5 August 2005
Quill Nominees Announced
The finalists for the Quill Awards, a new literary award, have been announced. The public will be able to vote on-line at or at Borders Stores beginning on August 15. Only categories with nominees of genre interest are listed below.

Children's Chapter Book/Middle Grade
Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell (translator)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)
Ida B...and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, by Katherine Hannigan
Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
A Series of Unfortunate Events Book the Eleventh: The Grim Grotto, by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

Young Adult/Teen
47, by Walter Mosley
Abarat: Days of Magic Nights of War, by Clive Barker
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares
How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff
Wormwood, by G. P. Taylor

General Fiction
A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd
The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
Zorro, by Isabel Allende, Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator)

Graphic Novel
American Splendor: Our Movie Year, by Harvey Pekar
Bone: One Volume Edition, by Jeff Smith
In the Shadow of No Towers, by Art Spiegelman Marvel
1602 Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, Richard Isanove
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, by Marjane Satrapi

The Closers, by Michael Connelly
Eleven on Top, by Janet Evanovich
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith
With No One as Witness, by Elizabeth George

44 Cranberry Point, Debbie Macomber
Blue Dahlia, Nora Roberts
Northern Lights, Nora Roberts
The Rocky Road to Romance, Janet Evanovich
Undead and Unemployed, MaryJanice Davidson

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, by Stephen King, Michael Whelan (Illustrator)
Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel, by Susanna Clarke
Shadow of the Giant, by Orson Scott Card
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, by Christopher Moore

Debut Author of the Year
Broken for You, by Stephanie Kallos
French Women Don't Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano
The Ha-Ha, by Dave King
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
The Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks

Sidewise Awards
This year's Sidewise Awards for Alternate History were presented at Interaction on August 5. This year marked the tenth year the awards have been presented. To honor the occasion, the judges presented first year winner Paul J. McAuley with a plaque for his winner Pasquale's Angel, thereby completing the issuance of plaques to those who won in the first several years of the awards.
Long Form: The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth
Short Form: The Ministry of Space, by Warren Ellis, art by Chris Weston

Shuttle Fixed
On August 3, Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi performed the first spacewalk in NASA's history to repair the shuttle while the craft was in orbit. The two men removed fabric gap fillers that were sticking out from heat-resistant tiles on the shuttle's belly. NASA had thought another space walk would be needed to deal with a damaged thermal blanket but decided it was not necessary.

Fan Ray Gish died on July 30. Gish was recently diagnoses with prostate cancer and had entered hospice a few days before his death. Gish served as chair for LepreCon 14 and 24 and was a board member of LepreCon, Inc. and CASFS. For many years, he was active in running the LepreCon and CopperCon art shows. In 2004, he ran the World Fantasy Con art show.

Copyright © 2005 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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