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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 June 2006
TAFF Race Nominations Open
Suze Tompkins has called for nominees for the 2007 Eastbound TAFF Race, with the winner traveling from North America to the United Kingdom to attend CONVOY in Liverpool, England. The TAFF Winner will be the convention's guest of honor.

SFWA To Increase Dues
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has announced a dues increase effective with the new fiscal year, starting on July 1. New rates will be $20 higher in all categories, with a $200 increase in the Lifetime Member category.

SLF Travel Grants
The Speculative Literature Foundation is accepting Travel Research grant proposals between July 1 and September 30. The organization is currently offering one annual grant of $600 to be used towards airfare, lodging or other travel expenses.

Television producer Aaron Spelling (b.1923) died on June 23. His work of genre interest included the television shows "Fantasy Island" and "Charmed," and the film "Satan's School for Girls." Spelling's biggest hits may have been "Charlie's Angels." "The Love Boat," "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Melrose Place."

Voice actor Lennie Weinrib (b.1935) died on June 30. Weinrib wrote all the episodes of the Kroft Productions show "H.R. Pufnstuf" and also provided the voice of the title character. He also did voice work in a variety of movies and cartoons, including Ling Leonidas in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and Gomez Addams in the animated "Addams Family."

29 June 2006
Editor/Publisher Jim Baen (b.1943) died on June 28, two weeks after suffering a major stroke. Baen was the editor of Galaxy and If beginning in 1974 and eventually left to help start up the science fiction line at Ace. Once that was up and running, he left to start up the sf line at Tor Books. In 1983, he had the chance to start his own line, Baen Books. At Baen Books, Baen published many new and established authors, including Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, Eric Flint, and David Weber. Baen Books was one of the first publishers to exploit the web and Baen promoted the use of free electronic editions as a means of advertising. Shortly before his stroke, Baen started up Baen's Universe, an e-zine. In 2000, he was the editor Guest of Honor at Chicon 2000.

20 June 2006
Bram Stoker Awards
The Bram Stoker Awards, recognizing excellence in horror fiction, were announced by the Horror Writers Association at their annual banquet, held this year in Newark, NJ.
Novel (tie): Creepers, by David Morrell and Dread in the Beast, by Charlee Jacob
First Novel: Scarecrow Gods, by Weston Ochse
Long Fiction: "Best New Horror," by Joe Hill
Short Fiction: "We Now Pause for Station Identification," by Gary Braunbeck
Fiction Collection: Twentieth Century Ghosts, by Joe Hill
Anthology: Dark Delicacies, edited by Del Howison & Jeff Gelb
Non-Fiction: Horror: Another 100 Best Books, edited by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman
Poetry (tie): Freakcidents, by Michael A. Arnzen and Sineater, by Charlee Jacob
Lifetime Achievement: Peter Straub
Specialty Press Award: Necessary Evil Press
Richard Laymon (President's Award): Lisa Morton

18 June 2006
Locus Awards
The Locus Awards were presented this weekend at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington. The Awards are selected by the readers of Locus and can vote for any item published last year.
Best Science Fiction Novel: Accelerando, by Charles Stross
Best Fantasy Novel: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
Best First Novel: Hammered/Scardown/Worldwired, by Elizabeth Bear
Best Young Adult Book: Pay the Piper, by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple
Best Novella: "Magic for Beginners," by Kelly Link
Best Novelette: "I, Robot," by Cory Doctorow
Best Short Story: "Sunbird," by Neil Gaiman
Best Magazine: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Best Publisher: Tor
Best Anthology: The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds.
Best Collection: Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link
Best Editor: Ellen Datlow
Best Artist: Michael Whelan
Best Non-Fiction: Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop, by Kate Wilhelm
Best Art Book: Spectrum 12: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds.

Kansas City fan John Vaughan (b.1948) died on June 14. Vaughan was an active member of the Burroughs Bibliophiles and for many years served as the registered agent for the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. Vaughan served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam, where he was wounded.

15 June 2006
Baen Suffers Stroke
Editor and publisher Jim Baen has suffered a major stroke. Baen checked himself into the hospital on Monday and while there, he had the stroke and entered in to a coma. As of now, no prognosis has been released.

New Webzine
Helix, a Speculative Fiction Quarterly, debuted on June 15 at Edited by William Sanders and Lawrence Watt-Evans, the magazine's goal is to publish stories which are too controversial to be published elsewhere. The premiere issue includes stories by Janis Ian, Rick Bowes, Robert Brown, Adam-Troy Castro, Beth Bernobich, William Sanders, and Bud Webster.

Web Cartoonists' Choice Nominations
The nominations for this year's Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards have been announced. Voting will run through July 10 with the winners announced on July 17.

Outstanding Comic
Girl Genius
The Perry Bible Fellowship
Scary Go Round

Outstanding Newcomer
The Dreamland Chronicles
Feral Calf
Gunnerkrigg Court
Parallel Dementia
Pirate and Alien
Starslip Crisis

Outstanding Artist
David Hellman (A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible)
Michelle Mayo (Tales of the Traveling Gnome)
Nicholas Gurewitch (The Perry Bible Fellowship)
Sarah Ellerton (Inverloch)

Outstanding Black and White Art
Sam and Fuzzy
Starslip Crisis
Today: The Comic
Wapsi Square

Outstanding Character Art
The Dreamland Chronicles
Ugly Hill
Wapsi Square

Outstanding New Character Design
Aki Alliance
Templar, Arizona

Outstanding Environment Design
The Dreamland Chronicles
Templar, Arizona

Outstanding Layout
A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible

Outstanding Use of Color
A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible
Gunnerkrigg Court
Parallel Dementia

Outstanding Use of Flash
Alpha Shade
Hold My Life
I Am A Rocket Builder
Starslip Crisis

Outstanding Use of Infinite Canvas
Five Ways to Love a Cockroach
Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life

Outstanding Web Design
Alpha Shade
Dueling Analogs
Starslip Crisis

Outstanding Writer
Chris Onstad (Achewood)
Kristofer Straub (Starslip Crisis, Checkerboard Nightmare, Modern Humor Authority)
Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Whispered Apologies)
Sarah Ellerton (Inverloch)
Shaenon Garrity (Narbonic, Li'l Mell, Smithson, Trunktown)

Outstanding Character Writing
Order of the Stick
Questionable Content
Scary Go Round
Something Positive
Templar, Arizona

Outstanding Dramatic Comic
Junk Riot
Something Positive

Outstanding Comedic Comic
The Perry Bible Fellowship
White Ninja Outstanding Long Form Comic
Gunnerkrigg Court
Templar, Arizona

Outstanding Short Form Comic
Dinosaur Comics
Partially Clips
The Perry Bible Fellowship

Outstanding Single Panel Comic
Chopping Block
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Savage Chickens
Today: The Comic
Toothpaste for Dinner

Outstanding Story Concept
Girl Genius
Gunnerkrigg Court
Templar, Arizona

Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic
Dinosaur Comics
Feral Calf
VG Cats

Outstanding Fantasy Comic
The Dreamland Chronicles
No Rest for the Wicked
Order of the Stick
Talismen Return of the Exile

Outstanding Gaming Comic
Dueling Analogs
Order of the Stick
Penny Arcade
VG Cats

Outstanding Slice-of-Life Comic
Devil's Panties
Penny and Aggie
Something Positive

Outstanding Romantic Comic
Questionable Content
Red String
Sordid City Blues

Outstanding Science Fiction Comic
Daedelus Blue
Girl Genius
Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life
Starslip Crisis

Outstanding Superhero/Action Comic
Bang Barstal
The Green Avenger
Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki

Author Karl T. Pflock (b.1943) died on June 5 in Placitas, NM of ALS. He is best known for his UFOlogy book Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, but also wrote science fiction, including "Lifeboat," "Conservation of Mass," and "AFC."

14 June 2006
Sunburst Award Nominees
The nominations for the Sunburst Award have been announced. The award is given annually for Canadian literature of the fantastic and includes a cash prize of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion, which incorporates the "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné. The jurors for the 2006 award are: Larissa Lai, Janet McNaughton, Uppinder Mehan, Derryl Murphy and Élisabeth Vonarburg.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, by Cory Doctorow
Gravity Wells: Speculative Fiction Stories, by James Alan Gardner
The Wave Theory of Angels, by Alison MacLeod
In the Palace of Repose, by Holly Phillips
Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson

Actor Robert Donner (b.1931) died on June 8 from an heart attack. Donner played Exidor, an apparently delusional human on the television show "Mork and Mindy." Donner also appeared as a guest star on "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Incredible Hulk." Donner got his start acting in westerns, including "Cool Hand Luke" and appears in the current release "Hoot."

12 June 2006
Golden Duck Awards
The winners of this year's Golden Duck Awards were announced the weekend of June 9 at Duckon in Naperville, IL. The Golden Ducks recognize excellence in young adult and children's science fiction.
Picture Books: Captain Raptor & the Moon Mystery, by Kevin O'Malley, Patrick O'Brien illustrator
Middle School (tie): The Fran That Time Forgot, by Jim Benton and Whales on Stilts, by M.T. Anderson, Kurt Cyrus illustrator
Hal Clement Award: Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Special Award: Bruce Coville for Full Cast Audio for Rolling Stones, by Robert A. Heinlein

Composer Gyorgy Ligeti (b.1923) died on June 12. Ligeti was an Hungarian who fled his native land after the 1956 revolution. He made a name for himself with the opera Le Grand Macabre and worked with Stanley Kubrick on several films. An excerpt from his 1966 piece "Lux Aeterna" was used in the film "2001: a space odyssey."

Artist Tim Hildebrandt (b.1939) died from complications related to diabetes on June 11. Hildebrandt made a name for himself working with his brother, Greg, as the Brothers Hildebrandt. They are, perhaps, best known for their work featuring the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and the original poster for "Star Wars."

Cartoonist Jack Jackson (b.1941) died on June 8. Jackson's comic God's Nose is widely considered to be the first underground comic, dating to 1964. By the late 1970s, Jackson had turned his attention to chronicling Texas and American history through his use of comics.

10 June 2006
Horror Guild Nominees Named
The International Horror Guild announced nominees for its 2005 awards and named Chelsea Quinn Yarbro the recipient of its annual Living Legend award. Yarbro becomes the first woman so honored for her contributions to the field of horror and dark fantasy, the guild said. The awards will be presented during the World Fantasy Convention in Austin, Texas, Nov. 2-5.

Lunar Park, by Brett Easton Ellis
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
Beyond Black, by Hilary Mantel
The Stone Ship, by Peter Raftos
The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred, by Carl-Johan Vallgren, translated by Paul Britten-Austin

Short Fiction
"There's a Hole in the City," by Rick Bowes
"The Third Factor," by Brian Evenson
"Go Between," by China Mieville
"Invisible," by Steve Rasnic Tem

Mid-Length Fiction
"Proboscis," by Laird Barron
"Boatman's Holiday," by Jeffrey Ford
"My Father's Mask," by Joe Hill
"La Peau Verte," by Caitlin Kiernan

Long Fiction
"The Imago Sequence," by Laird Barron
"Kiss of the Mudman," by Gary Braunbeck
"Voluntary Committal," by Joe Hill
"The Serial Murders," by Kim Newman

Collection (Single Author)
Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham
20th Century Ghosts, by Joe Hill
To Charles Fort, with Love, by Caitlin Kiernan
Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link

Anthology: No Award

The Book of Dark Wisdom
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Illustrated Narrative
The Black Forest 2, by Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell and Neil Vokes
The Dark Horse Book of the Dead, Scott Allie, ed.
Memories, by Enki Bilal
The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by Will Eisner
Plucker, by Brom

Mad, Bad and Dangerous? The Scientists and the Cinema, by Christopher Frayling
Horror: Another 100 Best Books, Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, eds.
Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, S.T. Joshi and Stefan Dziemianowicz, eds.
The Ring Companion, by Denis Meikle
Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales, by Norman Partridge

Exhibition Visions of Heaven and Hell (and Then Some), by Clive Barker
2005 Hellblazer covers, by Tim Bradstreet
Exhibition at the World Horror Convention 2005, by Caniglia
Production design of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, by Alex McDowell
Exhibition Altarwise by Owl-Light, by Elizabeth McGrath

Hal Foster Exhibit
An exhibit of the art of Hal Foster, who created the "Prince Valiant" comic strip, is on display at Noyes Center on the Northwestern University campus. The exhibit will also include artwork by Gary Gianni, the current illustrator of "Prince Valiant." The exhibit will run from June 7 through September 12 and is free of charge.

Philcon Guest Change
Philcon has announced that due to scheduling conflicts, Cory Doctorow will not be able to attend this year's convention as guest of honor. Charles Stross has agreed to be the guest of honor for this year's Philcon. Philcon will be held in Philadelphia from November 17th-19th.

Comics editor George Kashdan (b.1928) died on June 3. Kashdan worked as an editor for DC Comics from 1946 through 1968. He worked on many of DC's titles, including Green Arrow and Johnny Quick. In 1961, he became the editor of Aquaman and later helped launch The Teen Titans and the team-up format of The Brave and the Bold.

Fan Leslie Bloom (b.1944) was killed recently when she was hit by a stray bullet while out for a walk on May 20. She died at Harlem Hospital Center on May 26. Her killer has not been caught.

8 June 2006
Sidewise Award Nominations
This year's Sidewise Award for Alternate History nominations have been announced. The awards will be presented at L.A.con IV during the weekend of August 23-27.

Long Form
A Princess of Roumania, by Paul Park
Romanitas, by Sophia McDougall
The Summer Isles, by Ian R. MacLeod

Short Form
"Harvest Moon," by William Barton
"The Illuminated Heretic," by A.M. Dellamonica
"Panacea," by Jason Stoddard
"Pericles the Tyrant," by Lois Tilton
"Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony," by Kim Newman & Paul J. McAuley

SFSFC Announces 2006 SMOFCon Scholarships
San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (SFSFC) has announced plans to provide two scholarships of $500 to help convention runners in training attend the SMOFCon convention-runners convention in Kansas City MO this year over the weekend of December 1-3, 2006. The scholarships are open to anyone involved in running science fiction conventions, regardless of their place of residence. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate that their attendance at SMOFCon will benefit San Francisco Bay Area conventions. This is the third year SFSFC has provided scholarships to SMOFCon.

Aeon Awards Open for Submissions
Albedo One has launched the Aeon Award 2006-2007 contest for short fiction in any speculative genre. The contest has an entry fee of €5, which must accompany all entries. The winner will receive €1000 and publication in Albedo One. For more information, see the Albedo One website at

End to Yerkes
The Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, run by the University of Chicago since 1897 will be turned into a luxury spa and homes, although 30 acres of the campus will remain undeveloped. Mirbeau Cos will purchase the land for $8 million. Yerkes once housed the world's largest telescope, a 102 cm refractor, which is still the largest refractor in the world. Edwin Hubble and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar studied there and William Morgan's observations at Yerkes led to the deduction of the shape of the Milky Way.

First Life
Mounds in Australia are being touted as the oldest fossils in the world, fating back more than 3 billion years. The belief is that the mounds were formed by ancient microbes burrowing under them. If the discovery is true, it may lead to a change in the way evidence of life is being sought on Mars.

Mini Dinosaurs
Fossils of a dinosaur that measured twenty feet long have been discovered in Germany. The dinosaur, which is as yet unnamed, lived 154 million years ago and its closest known relative is the Camarasaurus, which averaged three times as long. Scientists are speculating that living on an island caused dwarfism in the species.

Fern Tucker, long time wife of sf fan and author Wilson "Bob" Tucker, died on June 7. Several fans held a tribute to Bob and Fern in August, 2001. She married Bob in 1953.

5 June 2006
Mythopoeic Society Nominations
The finalists for the Mythopoeic Awards have been announced. These awards recognize fantasy in the spirit of the Inklings for children and adult literature as well as scholarship in Inkling studies. The Inklings were a group of authors including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. This year's awards will be presented at Mythcon XXXVII in Norman, OK from August 4-7.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Hallowed Hunt
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
Tanith Lee, Metallic Love
Tim Pratt, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
Holly Black, Valiant
Diane Duane, Wizards at War
Clare B. Dunkle, By These Ten Bones
Jonathan Stroud, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, consisting of The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies
Marjorie Burns, Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth
Verlyn Flieger, Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology
Verlyn Flieger, ed., Smith of Wootton Major: Expanded Edition by J.R.R. Tolkien
Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies
Jerry Griswold, The Meanings of "Beauty and the Beast"
Deborah O'Keefe, Readers in Wonderland: The Liberating Worlds of Fantasy Fiction from Dorothy to Harry Potter
David R. Loy and Linda Goodhew, The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons: Buddhist Themes in Modern Fantasy
Jennifer Schacker, National Dreams: The Remaking of Fairy Tales in Nineteenth-Century England

MTV Award Winners
The winners of the MTV Movie Awards were announced on June 3, although the presentation won't be televised until June 8. Winners whose roles had genre ties are listed below.
Villain: Hayden Christensen (Star Wars Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith)
Hero: Christian Bale (Batman Begins)
Sexiest performance: Jessica Alba (Sin City)

New Species
An ancient lake has been found inside a cave near the city of Ramle in central Israel. Located 328 feet below ground, the lake holds at least eight previously unknown species, including some which are similar to scorpions and shrimp. The cave is shielded from exterior water sources by a layer of chalk

Art Exhibit
The art of Lee Brown Coye will be the focus of an exhibit in Hamilton, NY, where the artist spent most of his life. Coye's work was featured on the cover of Weird Tales several times. The celebration on July 14 and 15 will feature works by Coye from the collections of his son and Morrisville State College.

Supernova Petroglyph Found
Archaeologists believe that have found a rock carving by the Hohokam tribe of native Americans which depicts the supernova of 1006. If so, the carving, or petroglyph, may help archaeologists determine the age of similar artwork. This is the first known American depiction of the supernova of 1006, which occurred in the constellation Lupus and was the brightest known supernova in history.

Arthur Widmer (b.1914) died on May 28 from cancer. Widmer was a pioneer in the process of blue screen technology, used heavily in film and on television to create every thing from special affects to weather maps. Widmer worked for Kodak, which sent him to Oak Ridge to work on the Manhattan Project during World War II and later to Hollywood where he helped define and refine blue screen techniques.

2 June 2006
Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award
The Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award for best first novel of 2005 was presented to Maria V. Snyder for her book Poison Study at Balticon 40 on May 27. The award has been presented by members of Balticon since 1983 and includes a prize of $750.

Ursa Major Winners
The winners of the fifth annual Ursa Major Awards for the best in anthropomorphic/"funny animal" literature and art first published during the calendar year 2005, were announced on Saturday, May 27, 2006 at Rocket City Fur Meet in Huntsville, Alabama.
Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series: Cake Dance aka "There She Is!! Step 2"
Best Anthropomorphic Novel: Volle, by Kyell Gold
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction: "In His Own Country", by Kristin Fontaine
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work: Tales of the Questor, Volume 1, by Ralph E. Hayes, Jr.
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book: Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip: Faux Pas, by Robert and Margaret Carspecken
Best Anthropomorphic Fanzine: South Fur Lands
Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration Cover: painting by Stephanie Stone (Cybercat) for "Transformations: A Forest Tales Story"
Best Anthropomorphic Game: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Developer: Sucker Punch Productions

Art Exhibits
The exhibit Masters of American Comics will be at the Milwaukee Art Museum through August 13. Organized chronologically, it includes works by Winsor McCay (Little Nemo in Slumberland) and George Herriman (Krazy Kat) through Chester Gould (Dick Tracy) and Jack Kirby (Captain America) to Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth).

In Bellevue, Kentucky an exhibit opened on June and will run through June 15 spotlighting the science fiction and fantasy are of Eileen McConkey and David O'Hara. The exhibit is being housed at Fusion Gallery.

Actor Robert Sterling (b.1917) died in Brentwood, CA. Born William Sterling Hart, he changed his name so he wouldn't be confused with a silent actor with a similar name. He is best known for his role as George Kerby in the television version of "Topper," and also appeared in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and in "The Printer's Devil," an episode of "The Twilight Zone."

Copyright © 2006 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a five-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He is the publisher of ISFiC Press. 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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