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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 November 2005
Mini Solar System
A team of scientists led by Kevin Luhman believe they have discovered the smallest known solar system in the act of being formed. Located about 500 light years away in the constellation Chamaeleon, the system is in orbit around a brown dwarf, an object not massive enough to ignite into a star. The object, only eight times as massive as Jupiter, apparently formed alone in space and is now encircled by an accretion disk.

Actress Jocelyn Brando (b.1919) died on November 28. Brando, who was Marlon Brando's sister, appeared in several films, including the horror film "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" and the thriller "Starflight One."

29 November 2005
New Honor for Clarke
Sir Arthur C. Clarke has been honored with the title Sri Lankabhimanya in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. Clarke, who received the title at a November 14 investiture ceremony, is only the second person to receive the honor.

Serenity Auction
Shawna Trpcic, the costume designer for Firefly, has announced that she will be auctioning off several costumes from the television show, including Mal Reynolds's original Browncoat and the ball gown worn by Inarra in the episode "Shindig" and other costumes worn by Morena Baccarin. Many of Atherton Wing's costumes will also be auctioned off as well as costumes worn by extras in "Shindig" and "Heart of Gold." Fans have set up in an attempt to cooperatively raise enough money to purchase the Browncoat to give as a give to actor Nathan Fillion.

Hayabusa Success
The Japanese Hayabusa probe has successfully touched down on asteroid Itokawa and apparently has collected surface samples. Japanese scientists won't know for certain if the samples were collected until the probe lands in the Australian Outback in June 2007. If the mission is successful, it will be the first probe to return asteroid samples. A US mission to Eros in 2001 failed to return with samples.

F Ring Spiral
New details from the Cassini Probe indicate that Saturn's bizarre F Ring, first discovered in 1979, is even stranger than previously believed. Once described as a series of concentric circles, scientists now believe the F Ring is a spiral, circling the planet at least three times. Over the last year, the spiral has been wrapping itself tighter around the planet and scientists believe it may eventually merge into a single ring.

Enceladus Feeds E Ring
The Cassini spacecraft has determined that Saturn's moon Enceladus has a strangely warm souther half which causes volcanic eruptions. Enceladus, which joins Jupiter's Io and Neptune's triton as the only geographically active known moons, appears to have provided the majority of the material for Saturn's E Ring. All of the "Fountains of Enceladus" appear to be located in the moon's southern hemisphere.

28 November 2005
Foundation Announced Editorial Change
Farah Mendlesohn will be stepping down as editor of Foundation in 2007 after issue 100. Her replacement will be Graham Sleight. In order to facilitate an ease in transition, all letters and articles should now be sent to him.

Bell Awards
The Bell Magazine Awards were presented in Australia on November 25. Cosmos magazine, which began publishing in July 2005, received three awards.
Editor of the Year: Wilson da Silva
Best Consumer Magazine Cover: Cosmos 3, Rodney Lochner (art director), Frank Lindner (cover photography), Wilson da Silva (cover concept and cover lines)
Best Consumer Magazine Launch, Cosmos, Kylie Ahern

The Moon By 2020
Shortly after the landing of its second manned space mission, China has announced plans to place a man on the moon by 2020. China also plans to have its own space station in orbit by 2020. The ambitious program calls for the Chinese to master space walks and docking by 2012.

Actor Keith Andes (b.1920) died on November 11 of suicide by asphyxiation. Best known for his role as General George C. Marshall in the World War II film "Tora, Tora, Tora," Andes provided the voice of the title character in the animated series "Birdman and the Galaxy Trio."

25 November 2005
Actor Pat Morita (b.1932) died on November 24. Best known for his roles as Arnold on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kids films, Morita spent time in a Japanese internment camp for Japanese during World War II. He provided voice work for Mulan and Mulan II. He appeared in the films Timemaster and Full Moon High.

21 November 2005
Grandmaster, Author Emeritus Announced
The SFWA has announced that Harlan Ellison will be named Grandmaster at the 2006 Nebula Awards weekend, to be held in Tucson, Arizona, during the weekend of May 4-7. At the same time, William F. Nolan will be named Author Emeritus.

Baen Renaming
Baen has announced it will rename its on-line magazine "Jim Baen's Universe." Publication will begin in June 2006 under the editorial direction of Eric Flint.

Probe Failure
The Japanese asteroid probe Hayabusa failed to make contact with asteroid Itokawa. Hayabusa dropped a target and descended to within 17 meters when the Japanese lost contact with the probe. The Japanese plan to make another landing attempt on November 25.

19 November 2005
Fan Irving M. Koch (b.1947) died on November 19 while taking a nap. Koch started Chattacon in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the 1970s. He was instrumental in the bid to hold a Worldcon or a NASFiC in Charlotte. The funeral is scheduled to be held in Jackson, GA on November 22.

16 November 2005
Poster Sells for £400,000
An original poster for the 1920 film "Metropolis" sold for £400,000 ($690,000). The poster, by graphic artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm, is one of only four known to still exist. The poster was purchased by a private collector in America. The other three copies are at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Berlin Film Museum and in another private collection.

Beagle Writes for Game
Award winning fantasy author Peter Beagle will write story content for the MMORPG Horizons: Empire of Istaria. Beagle will provide quests for the games as well as working to enrich the world's backstory.

15 November 2005
Nova Awards
The Nova Awards for British fan activity were presented at Novacon. Voting increased by 50% over last year's awards.
Best Fanzine: Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Best Fan Writer: Claire Brialey
Best Fan Artist: Alison Scott

Sean Connery To Receive AFI
The American Film Institute will honor Sean Connery with the AFI Life Achievement Award. Connery, best known for originating the role of James Bond in "Dr. No," has also appeared in numerous science fiction and fantasy films, including "Dragonheart," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," "Highlander," and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

14 November 2005
Sci Fiction Ends has announced their decision to end publishing SciFiction, the award-winning on-line fiction portion of the website. Ellen Datlow has been editing SciFiction for the six years it has been on-line, during which time she won a Hugo Award for Best Editor and stories appearing on the site have received Hugos, Nebulas, and World Fantasy Awards. New and classic stories will continue to appear through the end of December.

Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire
The winners of the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire were announced on November 11 in Nantes, France.
Roman francophone (French novel): La horde du contrevent, by Alain Damasio
Roman étranger (Foreign novel): The Separation, by Christopher Priest
Nouvelle francophone (French short story): "Le monde tous droits reservés," by Claude Ecken
Nouvelle étranger (Foreign short story): "Exoskeleton Town," by Jeffrey Ford
Roman jeunesse (Juvenile novel): Inkheart, by Cornelia Funk
Prix Jacques Chambon de la traduction (Translation): Patrick Marcel for The Book of Ash
Prix Wojtek Siudmak du graphisme (Cover Art): Guillaume Sorel for The Book of Ash
Essai (Non-Fiction): Les contes merveilleux français, by Marie-Louise Ténèze
Prix special (Special award): Le troisième oeil. La Photographie et l'occulte
Prix européen (Europe award): Vittorio Curtoni

Producer Moustapha Akkad (b.1935) died on November 11 from wounds sustained in the Amman, Jordan terrorist attacks. Akkad is best known as the executive producer of the Halloween series of horror films. He also produced and directed the controversial 1976 biopic "Mohammed: Messenger of God," about the life of the prophet Mohammed. His daughter, Rima Akkad Monla, died in the attacks on November 9.

10 November 2005
Godzilla Found
Paleontologists have announced the discovery of a new species of ancient crocodile, the Dakosaurus andiniensis. The thirteen foot finned crocodile has been nicknamed Godzilla by the scientists. Unlike other marine crocodiles, the dakosaurus had a short snout, and large teeth with serrated edges. The fossils were discovered in Patagonia by paleontologists Zulma Gasparini and Luis Spalletti.

Sir Paul Concert in Space
Sir Paul McCartney has announced that a portion of his Saturday, November 12 concert in Anaheim will be broadcast live to the crew aboard the International Space Station. Two of the songs, the Beatles classic "Good Day Sunshine" and McCartney's new song "English Tea" will be heard live by astronaut Bill McArthur and cosmonaut Valery Tokarev. McCartney got the idea after learning that "Good Day Sunshine" had been used to wake up the crew of the Discovery in August.

Conquest Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
Author Robert Conquest has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Conquest, who published the science fiction novel A World of Difference and was the editor of Spectrum, is best known for his work as an historian. He published The Great Terror, an examination of the Russian Revolution, an event which occurred in the year of his birth.

9 November 2005
On-Line Zine Launched
Orson Scott Card has launched on-line magazine The Intergalactic Medicine Show with the first issue release in October. Card, who edits the magazine, plans to release new issues quarterly.

Venus Probe Launched
The European Space Agency launched its first probe to Venus on November 9. The two year mission is scheduled to examine the planet's atmosphere with emphasis placed on Venus's greenhouse effect. The probe is scheduled to enter into an elliptical polar Venusian orbit in five months.

Evolving Science Classes
On the same day that the Kansas Board of Education elected to teach intelligent design as well as evolution in its science classes, eight members of the Dover, Pennsylvania Board of Education who had previously voted to teach intelligent design were defeated in their bids for reelection.

7 November 2005
World Fantasy Con Sites Selected
The World Fantasy Con has announced site selection for the next three years. In 2006, the event will be held in Austin, Texas from November 2-5. In 2007, it will be held in Saratoga, New York from November 1-4. In 2008, the convention will be in Calgary, Canada on dates yet to be announced.

World Fantasy Awards
The World Fantasy Awards were presented at the World Fantasy Convention in Madison, Wisconsin on November 6. The awards were selected by a panel of judges.
Novel: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Novella: "The Growlimb", Michael Shea
Short Fiction: "Singing My Sister Down", Margo Lanagan
Anthology (Tie): Acquainted With The Night, edited by Barbara & Christopher Roden and Dark Matter: Reading The Bones, edited by Sheree R. Thomas
Collection: Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
Artist: John Picacio
Special Award, Professional: S.T. Joshi
Special Award, Non-Professional: Robert Morgan
Lifetime Achievement: Tom Doherty and Carol Emshwiller

International Horror Guild Awards
The International Horror Guild Awards were presented at the World Fantasy Convention in Madison, Wisconsin on November 3.
Novel: The Overnight, by Ramsey Campbell
First Novel: The Ghost Writer, by John Harwood
Long Fiction: "Viator," by Lucius Shepard
Mid-Length Fiction: "Flat Diane," by Daniel Abraham
Short Fiction: "A Pace Of Change," by Don Tumasonis
Collection: The Wavering Knife, by Brian Evenson
Anthology: Acquainted With The Night, edited by Barbara And Christopher Roden
Non-Fiction: A Serious Life, by D.M. Mitchell.
Art (Tie): Darrel Anderson and Rick Berry
Film: Shaun Of The Dead
Television: Lost
Illustrated Narrative: The Bug Boy, by Hideshi Hino
Periodical: The Third Alternative

Endeavor Award
Louise Marley received the Endeavor Award for her novel The Child Goddess at Orycon. The Endeavor Award, which spotlights science fiction by Northwestern Authors, carries a $1,000 prize with it.

Author Michael Coney (b.1932) died on November 4 after battling asbestos-induced lung cancer. Earlier this year, Coney made several of his unpublished novels available on his website. In 1987, Coney received the Aurora Award Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1977, he won the British Science Fiction Award his novel Brontomek.

Ottawa fan Sansoucy Walker died on November 4. She had been suffering from atrial fibrulation for the last few years. No date for a memorial service or funeral has been set. Walker was a trained archaeologist and one of the founding members of the Ottawa Science Fiction Society.

3 November 2005
Iron Man Back at Marvel
Marvel has regained the film rights to Iron Man from New Line Cinema after development of a movie based on the character fell through. Because Iron Man rights were held by New Line, Iron Man is not part of the ten picture deal Marvel recently announced, but would have to be financed separately.

Comics artist Bob White (b.1928) died on October 21 of complications arising from heart trouble. White was best known for his work on Archie Comics, particularly his illustration of Jughead, but he was also responsible for Cosmo the Merry Martian, which ran for six issues in 1958.

Comic author Ryan Richard Carriere (b.1973) was killed on October 31 when a truck struck him while he was bicycling in Toronto. The majority if not entirety of Carriere's comics output came in the form of mini-comics and contriubtions small press anthologies.

Actor Lloyd Bochner (b.1924) died on November 1. Bochner is perhaps best known for his role as Chambers in the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man," in which he understood what the aliens were doing. He also had recurring roles on the original Battlestar Galactica and provided the voice for Mayor Hamilton in the animated Batman series.

2 November 2005
Burn on Podcast
James Patrick Kelly's new novella, Burn, has been produced as a podcast. The audio may be downloaded from The novella will appear in sixteen weekly installments, each read by the author. Burn will soon be published by Tachyon Press.

Nova Award Voting Begins
Members of Novacon 35 may now vote for the Nova Awards, given to recognize excellence in UK and Irish fanzines. Full rules may be found at and a pdf of the ballots may be downloaded from The deadline for submissions by e-mail is November 5, although ballots can be placed in a ballot box at Novacon through November 12.

Screenwriter Michael Pillar (b.1948) died on November 1. Pillar is best known for his work on "Star Trek," having worked on "The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager," as well as the screenplay for the film "Star Trek: Insurrection." He was the creator of the short lived "Legend" as well as a writer for "The Dead Zone." He also worked as a producer on many of the shows he wrote for.

1 November 2005
SCSFC Scholarships
San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (SFSFC) has announced the second annual SMOFCon scholarships to Michael Higashi and William Warriner. These scholarships, of $300 each, will allow the winners to attend SMOFCon in Portland, Oregon from December 2-5.

Hubbard in Guinness
The Guinness Book of World Records has declared that L. Ron Hubbard is the author translated into the most languages. Hubbard, whose work has been translated into 65 languages, easily surpasses the previous record holder, Sydney Sheldon, whose works had been translated into 51 languages. Anne Frank and J.K. Rowling are reported to be translated into 64 and 63 languages, respectively, but Guinness has confirmed neither number.

Baen's Astounding Stories
Baen Books will begin publishing an on-line magazine, edited by Eric Flint, entitled Baen's Astounding Stories. "The emphasis will be on adventure stories—either science fiction or fantasy," according to Flint. The magazine will debut in June 2006 and publish on a quarterly schedule. Issues will be available individually or as part of a three issue packages. Individual stories may also be available.

Moons Around Pluto
Astronomers examining Hubble images of Pluto have announced they may have discovered two additional moons around the planet. The moons are officially called S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2. S/2005 P1 orbits at a distance of 40,000 miles and S/2005 P2 orbits at 30,000. They are believed to have diameters of 100 miles and 90 miles. Charon, Pluto's confirmed moon, orbits at a distance of 19,410 miles.

Actor William Hootkins (b.1948) died on October 23 of pancreatic cancer. Hootkins appeared in numerous genre films including "Star Wars" (as Red Six), "Flash Gordon," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Batman" and more. He also provided voice work for the video game "EverQuest II."

Swedish author and fan Dénis Lindbohm, (b.1927) died on October 24th after battling cancer for several years. Lindholm began publishing short stories in 1945. During the 1950s, he established Club Meteor, one of the first Swedish fan clubs. He turned to writing novels in the 70s.

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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