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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

30 September 2005
Bestseller Awards
At the Roosevelt Hotel in New York last night, The Book Standard kicked off its debut Bestseller Awards, the first-ever industry awards to honor consumer choice by celebrating the top blockbuster titles of the past year. Awards went to books in 100 categories, based on sales tracked by Nielsen BookScan from July 31, 2004, to Aug. 1, 2005.
Overall Bestseller: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling (6,397,000)
Adult Fiction: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2,261,000)
Audio Books: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale (126,000)
Juvenile Fiction: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling (6,397,000)
Comics and Graphic Novels, Manga: .hack//Legend of the Twilight, Vol. 3 by Tatsuya Hamazaki (45,000)
Comics and Graphic Novels, Superheroes: Batman: Hush, Vol. 1 by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, Scott Williams (20,000)
Debut Novels (published during award timeframe): The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (282,000)
Fantasy: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (519,000)
Horror: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (1,829,000)
Mass-Market Paperback: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Romance: Blue Dahlia (In the Garden, book one) by Nora Roberts (554,000)
Romance, Fantasy: Blue Dahlia (In the Garden, book one) by Nora Roberts
Romance, Time Travel: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (39,000)
Sci-Fi: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Hardcover: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling

29 September 2005
Chewbacca Pitches at Fenway
Chewbacca threw out the opening pitch at Fenway Park in Boston prior to a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on September 28. The pitch was a promotion for the exhibit "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" at the Museum of Science in Boston.

Belfast fan Joe Nolan died on September 28. Nolan is believed to have been the oldest Irish fan. He was active in the Belfast SF Group at the Monico and supported the early Nicons. Nolan was an ardent reader as well as a writer of both sf history and local history.

27 September 2005
Taurus Awards
The Taurus World Stunt Awards were presented in Hollywood on September 25. The following categories included winners of genre interest.
Best Fight: Kill Bill, Volume 2, Two women fight inside a cramped trailer home. Using swords and household items to battle each other, they crash through walls and fly into furniture.
Best Fire Stunt: The Punisher, A propane tank is hit by a bullet and explodes. A stunt man is ratcheted back and catches fire from the explosion.
Best Overall Stunt by a Stuntwoman: Kill Bill, Volume 2, Two women fight inside a cramped trailer home. Using swords and household items to battle each other, they crash through walls and fly into furniture.
Best Overall Stunt by a Stuntman: Spiderman II, Peter Parker attempts to jump from building to building but falls mid-jump. He falls into clothing lines, swings into the side of the building and lands on the roof of cars below.

26 September 2005
ConJosé Committee Disbanded
The ConJosé Committee has been discharged by San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.

Actor Tommy Bond (b.1926), best known for playing Butch in the "Our Gang" comedies, died on September 24 following complications from heart disease. Bond also portrayed Jimmy Olsen in "The Adventures of Superman" and "Atom Man vs. Superman," both starring Kirk Alyn as Superman. He starting in the "Our Gang" comedies in 1932 playing a character named "Tommy." In 1951, he had an uncredited role in "Bedtime for Bonzo."

Actor Don Adams (b.1923) died on September 25. Best known for his role as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart on the television show "Get Smart," Adams also provided the voice of Inspector Gadget and Tennessee Tuxedo.

24 September 2005
Award Names Sought
The Carl Brandon Society is looking for suggestions for the names of its two new awards. The Carl Brandon Society, named for a fannish hoax, is dedicated to addressing the representation of people of color in speculative fiction. The two awards are for speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity, and for speculative fiction by an author of color.

Kelly Eileen O'Guinn (b.1972) died on September 22. Known as Kielle, she was diagnosed with colon cancer four months ago. She was active in web-publishing and role-playing fanfic.

23 September 2005
Berkey Exhibit
An exhibition of the art of John Berkey will be held in Northfield, MN from September 23-25 at ArtOrg's Moving Walls Gallery, 200 Division Street South. The exhibit will begin with a reception on Friday evening from 6-10. The exhibit is open to the public and free.

Ansible Expelled
The Ansible archive located at Glasgow University has been ordered offline by the University after fourteen years in the face of a legal threat made over the contents of one of the issues. The archive is still available at

20 September 2005
Lethem Receives Fellowship
Author Jonathan Lethem has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship grant along with twenty four others. The MacArthur grant is an award of $500,000 which may be used in any way the recipient sees fit. In awarding the grant, Lethem was praised for his works that combine noir mysteries, westerns, science fiction and comic books—and explore the relationship between high art and popular culture.

Serenity Fan Fest
Universal Studios will be hosting a Serenity Fan Fest on September 24 at Universal Studios Hollywood. Included in the general cost of admission to the park, the event will include question and answer sessions with Joss Whedon, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, and Morena Baccarin. Movie props will also be on display. "Serenity," based on the short-lived television show "Firefly," will open nationwide on September 30.

Sunburst Nominees
The Sunburst Awards, presented for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, will be given at the Harbourfront Reading Series on October 5. Nalo Hopkinson will preside over the ceremony. The award consists of a medallion and $1,000.
The Last Light of the Sun, by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Memory Artists, by Jeffrey Moore
Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
Air, by Geoff Ryman
The Logogryph, by Thomas Wharton.

Fan Wins on Game Show
Pittsburgh fan Laurie Mann appeared on the NPR game show "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?" on September 17. Mann was in the audience for the taping in Cleveland, Ohio and was selected for the show's quiz. She and her remote partner successfully answered three questions.

NASA Aims for the Moon
NASA has announced plans to develop a reusable spacecraft blending elements of the space shuttle and the Apollo capsule to reach the Moon by 2018. The plan would be to have two lunar missions a year beginning in 2018. From 2008 through 2018, a series of robotic probes would be launched to help pave the way for the manned missions.

19 September 2005
Southern Writers Recovery Fund Established
WordArt Inc. has established a recovery fund for author affected by Hurricane Katrina. The fund is not to be used to to meet the immediate humanitarian needs, but rather to serve the longer term needs of writers to help them get writing again. Pledges can be made to Once enough pledges are received, WordArt will contact people with information about how to donate.

Emmy Awards
The 57th annual Emmy Awards were presented for Prime Time television on September 18 and September 11 (for Creative Awards). Below are a list of the genre-related winners.
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: "Pilot," Lost, directed by J. J. Abrams, Director
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries or a Movie: Geoffrey Rush as Peter Sellers in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special: Stephen Hopkins for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series: Patricia Arquette as Allison Dubois in Medium
Outstanding Drama Series: Lost
Outstanding casting in a Drama Series: Lost
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series: Mary Jo Markey for "Pilot," Lost
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore): Michael Giacchino for "Pilot," Lost
Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More): Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 2, episodes 21-25.
Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation: Justin Thompson, Background Key Designer For Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 2, Episodes 21-25.
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie: John Smith For The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series: "Pilot," Lost
Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Non-Prosthetic): Frankenstein
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers
Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries Or Movie: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

Fan Kelly Turner (b.1961) died on September 18 after a brief and completely unexpected illness. Turner was an active costumer in the 1970s and 80s, working on the committee for Costume-Cons 1 & 2 and chairing Costume-Con 6. He served as Masquerade Director for the Westercon in 1986 and helped build the V-Ger Flyby sets for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

16 September 2005
Endeavor Awards
The nominees for the Endeavor Awards, given at Orycon for science fiction from the Northwest, have been announced. Orycon, this year, will be held November 5-7. This year's judges were Nalo Hopkinson, Susan Shwartz, and Allen Steele. The award is administered by Jim Fiscus.
Alphabet of Thorn, by Patricia McKillip
The Child Goddess, by Louise Marley
Paradise Passed, by Jerry Oltion
The Secrets of Jin-Shei, by Alma Alexander
Two Trains Running, by Lucius Shepard

Fan to Run
Maureen Kincaid Speller has filed to run as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the by-election for Harvey Central Ward. She is running against both a Conservative and a Labour candidate.

15 September 2005
Making Muggle Magic: The World of Harry Potter
The Smithsonian will host Elisabeth Gumnior, professor of literature at James Madison University on Saturday October 15 from 10a.m. to 3:45 p.m. for an examination of sociological and critical literary approaches to the Harry Potter series of books and a "Hogwarts" look into the magic that lies behind young Potter. Topics will include the literary tradition of fantasy fiction, the archetypal hero and moral development. The session will be held at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive, in Washington. General admission $126, Members $80. For tickets and information call 202.357.3030 or visit

St Louis fan Dan Patterson died on September 13 after being electrocuted in his home. In addition to being an artist, Patterson had an interest in motorcycles. He combined these interests by painting bikes.

Director Robert Wise (b.1914) died on September 14. Best known for his Oscar winning films "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music," Wise also directed the classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Andromeda Strain," "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," and the 1963 version of "The Haunting." He made his directorial debut in 1944 with "The Curse of the Cat People." In 1941, he worked as a film editor on "Citizen Kane," and was the last surviving crew member of that film.

14 September 2005
International Association of Media Tie-In Writers
The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW) has been founded to enhance the professional and public image of tie-in writers. The organization, which is open for membership to all media tie-in writers regardless of genre, will also be presenting the annual Scribe Awards in three categories, Speculative Fiction, General Fiction, and Young Adult. Each category will have awards for original work and adapted work. The first awards will be presented for works published in 2006.

13 September 2005
Whooping Cough Alert
A member of CascadiaCon has reported that following the convention she was diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis). She was in her infectious stage at the NASFIC. Pertussis is highly contagious and if you show any of the symptoms of the disease you should see your doctor immediately. Symptoms include runny nose, slight fever (102°F or lower), severe, repeated coughs that make breathing difficult, result in vomiting, produce a high-pitched "whooping" sound when a person takes a breath, and/or cause a short loss of consciousness, diarrhea, choking spells in infants. In children or infants, whooping cough may be fatal.

12 September 2005
Arthur C. Clarke Award Fund Drive
A fund raising drive for the Arthur C. Clarke Award has been launched by the Serendip Foundation. The award has had budgetary problems since Rocket Publishing withdrew its funding in 2003. Although the Science Fiction Foundation has promised £1,000 for each of the next five years, more funds are needed. Donations can be made at Up to £25 is a Mercury Supporter, from £26-£100 is a Gemini Supporter and about £100 is an Apollo Supporter.

Heinlein Award Winners
The Heinlein Award was presented at a banquet at CascadiaCon. The award, presented by the Heinlein Society, was given to Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle for lifetime achievements for outstanding published work in hard science fiction or technical writings inspiring the human exploration of space.

Not the Hugo Award Winners
Fan Geri Sullivan and SMOTHRA held a small relaxacon in Massachusetts opposite NASFiC, called Not-A-Worldcon. At the con, she awarded the Not-the-Hugos, as voted on by fans over the internet. The following were declared the winners.

Best Sex Scene in SF/F (notice we didn't say "short form" or "long form," because, well, we have some dignity)
Winner: J.D. Robb, Naked in Death, first sex scene between Eve and Roarke
Runner-Up: Galaxy Quest, scene between Tony Shaloob (Chen) and Missi Pyle (Laliari) right after the ship has been saved. Complete with tentacles....

Best/Worst (same thing, really) pun in SF/F (can be in a title,description, text, fannish legend or lore, or, in rare situations, might be the culmination of an entire book).
Winner: Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light "Then the fit hit the shan."
Runner-Up: Bob Shaw at an Irish Fandom picnic/BBQ -- layer upon layer of puns involving little sausages on a skewer, culminating in, "This is how the world ends: not with a whimpie, but with a banger."

Neatest Transport Device (in SF/F written or dramatic forms;horses don't really count unless there's something novel about them. Ditto cars. Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars!).
Winner: A Bicycle Built for Brew -- from Poul Anderson's story of the same name
Runner-Up: Stepping Disks -- puppeters' instant transport device, originally described in Ringworld.

Wicked Good Hoax (awarded to a fannish hoax, hoax bid, hoaxperson, etc., which has made an impact on fandom or its people).
Winner: Minneapolis in '73 Worldcon bid
Runner-Up: Kilgore Trout's "Venus on the Half Shell"

Best Bastard (most detestable main character you never do actually get to love, but who might remind you of your boss).
Winner: Mordred
Runner-Up: The Mayor, from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

Campbell "YumYum" Soup Award for best depiction of a meal or banquet (this is not a Not-the-Hugo Awards award, and it is usually given for more condensed accounts).
Winner: Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign, dinner with the butter bugs
Runner-Up: Constellation Crab Feast

Additional Category/Special Committee Award
Winner: Best Convention Tech Ever: Opening Ceremonies, SMOFcon 18, Cocoa Beach, FL. Shuttle launch of the Endeavor, STS-97.

Australian fan Womble (nee Karen Warnock) died on September 10, more than a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Womble also suffered from diabetes, which had left her blind by the time of Aussiecon III in 1999. Despite her afflictions, she learned to use a computer and worked until the end. She is survived by Gerald Smith, her husband. A funeral will be held in Sydney with a memorial service in Melbourne.

9 September 2005
Seiun Award Winners
The complete list of winners of the Seiun Awards have been released. The Seiun Awards are the Japanese fan awards. The Awards list has been translated by Eric Bailey.

The 2005 Seiun Award winners and nominees, for best science fiction published in Japan in the calendar year 2004.
Japanese Long Stories: ARIEL 1-20 Yuichi Sasamoto
Japan Short Stories: "Katadorareta Chikara" ("Kaleidoscape" - official English title) Tobi Hirotaka
Foreign Long: Distress ("Banbutsu Riron" - "Theory of Everything") by Greg Egan/Trans. Makoto Yamagishi
Foreign Short: "And Now the News..." ("Nyusu no Jikan Desu") by Theodore Sturgeon/Trans. Nozomi Omori
Media: Puranetesu ("Planetes" - official English title) Director: Goro Taniguchi
Comics: Buremen II 1 - 5 ("Bremen ii" - official English title) Izumi Kawahara Artwork: Makoto Shinkai
Nonfiction: Maeda Kensetsu Fuantaji Eigobu
Free: Venechia Biennare Dai 9kai Kokusai Kenchikuten La Biennale di Venezia 9th International Architecture Exhibition Japan Foundation
Special: Tetsu Yano: Passed away on October 13th, 2004. We present the special award for his efforts as a true SF fan working to build deep relationships within the SF community, and for his contributions and dedication as a professional.

2005 Gefen Award Nominees
The Nominees for the 2005 Gefen Awards have been announced by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. The awards recognize works published in Hebrew and are named for Amos Gefen. The first Gefen Awards were presented in 1999. This year's awards will be presented at Icon in Tel Aviv during the weekend of October 18-21.

Translated Science Fiction Books
The Chronoliths, by Robert Charles Wilson
The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon
Burndive, by Karin Lowachee
Sky Coyote, by Kage Baker
Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke

Translated Fantasy Books
The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Transformation, by Carol Berg
The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman
Wizard of the Pigeons, by Megan Lindholm
Guilty Pleasures, by Laurell K. Hamilton

Original Hebrew SF&F Short Stories
"The Perfect Girl," by Guy Hasson
"Silent Nature," by Rotem Baruchin
"A Fairy Tale," by Guy Wiener
"The Story of a Virgin," by Yulia Gantman
"Faraway Neighbors," by Yulia Gantman
"Captured Babies," by Hagy Averbuch

Original Hebrew Books
Let It Be Morning, by Said Kashua
Lily La Tigresse, by Alona Kimhi
Life: The Game, by Guy Hasson
Iroshalem, by Efrat Roman-Asher
End's World, by Ofir Touche Gafla

Tyrannosaurus Goes Under
Small press Tyrannosaurus Press has become a victim of hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. Roxanne Reiken reports that while the staff is all safe, their offices are underwater and practically all of their stock was destroyed by water damage. Future projects are suspended indefinitely.

Delta Film Award
The Kingdom of Shadows, directed by Ross Shepherd, won the 2005 Delta Film Award for best amateur entry screened at the Festival of Fantastic Films in Manchester, England. The judges this year were publisher David Kerekes, film director Norman J Warren, author Michael J Simpson and award administrator Steve Green.

7 September 2005
Marvel Regroups
Marvel Enterprises announced Monday that it is changing its name to Marvel Entertainment. Along with the name change comes plans to finance its own films. Plans are underway for films based on Captain America, the Avengers, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Cloak & Dagger, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack and Shang-Chi. The first film, believed to be based on Captain America, is slated for production in 2008.

Armstrong Aims for Mars
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, has stated that he doesn't see a manned mission to Mars until at least 2025, but believes that the effort to get there would not be as great as the effort in the 1960s to put him on the Moon. In a speech given in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Armstrong called for the development of better onboard spacecraft technology and stronger protection shields from radiation.

6 September 2005
Saturn Ring Mystery
Data from the Cassini orbital spacecraft has shown that Saturn's rings, the most extensive and intricate ring system in our solar system, have changed dramatically since the planet was visited by Voyager in 1981. A portion of the D ring has shifted 125 miles closer to Saturn. The same ring has dimmed in that time as well. It is not yet known if this type of rapid evolution in the rings is constantly occurring or if this is an aberration.

Fred Joerger (b.1913), a model maker for Disney, died on August 26. Joerger's best known work was the Sleeping Beauty Castle in the middle of Disneyland which was based on a model he made. Joerger was one of the first three model makers hired by Disney in 1953. Other early models were the basis for the steamboat Mark Twain, the Matterhorn, the Jungle Cruise and Main Street.

Actor Bob Denver (b.1935) died on September 2. Best known for his roles as Maynard G. Krebs on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" and Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island," he appeared in the genre children's show "Far Out Space Nuts" in the mid-1970s. He also appeared in the made-for TV movie "The Invisible Woman."

5 September 2005
NASFiC 2007
The site of the 2007 NASFiC has been selected. St. Louis, which had been running unopposed until a bid arose at CascadiaCon for SanJose, won the 2007 convention easily, with a vote of 115 to 27. There were 11 votes of None of the Above and 8 No Preference. NASFiC will be held from August 2-5 in Collinsville, Illinois, across the Mississippi from St. Louis, about a month before the 2007 Worldcon in Yokohama, Japan. Its website is

4 September 2005
Pegasus Ballot Announced
The Pegasus ballot has been announced. The award is given for filking and voting is open to anyone who wants to vote. The full ballot, including mp3 downloads, can be found at The awards will be presented at OVFF (Ohio Valley Filk Festival).

Best Filk Song
Archetype Cafe, by Talis Kimberley
The Girl That's Never Been, by Michelle Dockrey
Rocket Ride, by Tom Smith
Stimmen im Wind, by Eva Wiest
Uplift, by Andy Eigel

Best Classic Filk Song
Before the Dawn, by Mike Whitaker
Chess, by Juanita Coulson
Marcon Ballroom, by Anne Passovoy
Nessie, Come Up, by Dr. J. Robinson
Never Set the Cat on Fire, by Frank Hayes

Best Performer
Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff
Dr. Mary Crowell
Heather Dale
Divine Strumpet
Carla Ulbrich

Best Writer/Composer
Heather Dale
Cat Faber
Blake Hodgetts
Seanan McGuire
Tom Smith

Best Space Opera Song
Ballad of Stan Long, by Joe Haldeman
Barrayaran Roses, by Maureen O'Brien
Evil Overlords Anonymous, by Alasdair and Jessica Prett
Our Space Opera Goes Rolling Along, by Jeff Duntemann
Signy Mallory, by Mercedes Lackey / Leslie Fish

Best Sword and Sorcery Song
Dragon for Sale, by Ben Newman
Feygrass, by Scott Snyder
Threes, by Mercedes Lackey / Leslie Fish
Urban Legends, by Paul Kwinn
Wizard of Macke Town, by Bill Sutton

Hurricane/Flood Relief
So far, no members of the science fiction community have been confirmed as casualties of the hurricane and flooding in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, although several have been confirmed as safe. There are still some who have not been heard from. Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon have opened their home in Oklahoma to several fans made homeless by the disaster.

2 September 2005
Correction and Apology
In my item last month about Harry Harrison, I referred to Brian Stableford as being unable to attend due to pancreatic cancer. It should have been Fred Saberhagen. I apologize and regret any confusion or concern this may have caused.

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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