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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 May 2008
Mars Landing
NASA's Mars Phoenix successfully landed on May 25 twenty miles from Heimdall Crater. The craft's first task was to extend its robot arm and to examine its own undercarriage and the terrain below it. After taking a 360° image of its landing site, NASA scientists have begun to give features names such as Humpty Dumpty, Sleepy Hollow, The King's Horse, and the King's Men.

Stonehenge Cemetery
Archaeologists have announced that the Neolithic site Stonehenge in England was used as a cemetery for a single family, possibly royalty, from its beginning around 3000 BCE until about 2500 BCE. This pushes the burial dates at Stonehenge back from 2700 BCE. According to Mike Parker-Pearson, a professors at university of Sheffield, "the vast majority of [forty-nine] remains [found in the 1920s] were dumped in a pit in 1935. ... No museum was interested in keeping them because they were thought to be of no scientific interest."

Mummy Test
Egypt has announced it will run DNA tests on a mummy to ascertain if it is the pharaoh Thutmose I (c. 1506–1493 BCE). Thutmose was the third ruler of Egypts 18th dynasty. The mummy has been displayed as Thutmose's for several years. Last year, tests were performed on a mummy believed to belong to Thutmose's daughter Hatshepsut, but results of that test have not bee released.

Anticipating Ralph Bakshi
Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon to be held in Montreal, has announced that Ralph Bakshi will appear as their Artist Guest of Honor. Bakshi is the animator responsible for "The Hobbit," "The Return of the King," "The Last Unicorn," and "Wizards," among many other projects.

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Sunburst Award Shortlist
The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a prized and juried award that is presented annually. The award consists of a cash prize of $1,000 and a hand-crafted medallion, which incorporates the "Sunburst" logo, designed by Marcel Gagné. It is based on excellence of writing. The jurors for the 2008 award are: Timothy Anderson, Kelley Armstrong, Barbara Haworth-Attard, Dena Bain Taylor, and Robert J. Wiersema.

Double-blind, by Michelle Butler Hallett
Darkness of the God, by Amber Hayward
The New Moon's Arms, by Nalo Hopkinson
Wonderfull, by William Neil Scott
Axis, by Robert Charles Wilson

Young Adult:
Choices, by Deborah Lynn Jacobs
Retribution, by Carrie Mac
Darkwing, by Kenneth Oppel
Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet, by Joanne Proulx
The Night Wanderer, by Drew Hayden Taylor

Composer Alexander Courage (b.1919) died on May 15. Courage is best known for composing the fanfare and theme for Star Trek. He also worked on "The Mummy," "The Haunting," "First Knight," and numerous other films and television shows.

Actor Robert Knox (b.1990) was killed in a fight on May 23. Knox had only recently completed filming his role as Marcus Belby, a Ravenclaw student, in the upcoming film "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." He was stabbed five times while defending his younger brother outside a bar in London. Karl Bishop has been arrested and charged with the murder.

Fan Ira Stoller died on May 25. Stoller was not only active in con-going fandom, but was also active in on-line fandom, dating back to the CIS science fiction forums on Compuserve.

Composer Earle Hagen (b.1919) died on May 26. Although best known for writing the theme songs to "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick van Dyke Show," Hagen also composed music for the "Planet of the Apes" television series. He wrote additional music for the science fictional episode "It May Look Like a Walnut" for the "Dick van Dyke Show."

Fan Mike Azzi died on May 27. Azzi lived in Phoenix, Arizona and was an avid gamer. Each year, Azzi hosted a gift exchange for other fans, mostly members of the Looney Tunes Fan Club.

Actor Harvey Korman (b.1927) died on May 29 of an aneurysm. Most famous for his appearance on the "Carol Burnett Show" and in "Blazing Saddles," Korman also had roles in both live-action "Flintstone" movies, "Dracula: Dead and Loving It," and on the "Star Wars Holiday Special." He appeared in two different television productions of "Alice in Wonderland" and provided the voice of the Great Gazoo on the original "Flintstones" television series as well as multiple roles on "The Munsters."

Director Joseph Peveny (b.1911) died on May 18. Pevney directed several episodes of "Star Trek," including "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Trouble with Tribbles." Pevney also directed the film "The Man of a Thousand Faces" and episodes of "The Incredible Hulk," "Fantasy Island," and "The Munsters."

24 May 2008
Reno 2011
A group of fans have announced a bid to hold the 2011 Worldcon in Reno, Nevada. Site selection for the 2011 Worldcon will take place in 2009 at Anticipation in Montreal, Canada. The Reno bid will be competing against the already announced bid for Seattle in 2011.

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23 May 2008
European Science Fiction Society Awards
The European Science Fiction Society presented its annual awards the weekend of May 17 in Moscow, Russia.

Hall of Fame
Best Author: Alexander Gromov
Best Artist: Roman Papsuev
Best Publisher: INFODAR
Best Promoter: Russell T Davies
Best Magazine: FANtastika
Best Translator: Michael Kandel, Lyubomir Niklov

Spirit of Dedication
Best Fanzine: Konets Epokhi
Best Presentation: Kyiv Star Mobile Operator's advertising clips

Encouragement Awards
Nika Rakitina
Vladimir Danikhnov
Georgi Karadjov
Josef Antal
Helena Ziemane
Marina Sokolyan

Special Awards ­ Contribution to Science Fiction Fandom Ken Slater Judit Trethon

Rusty Hevelin in Hospital
Long-time fan and huckster Rusty Hevelin underwent surgery to have his hip replaced on May 20. Hevelin came out of the surgery feeling fine and in only a minimum amount of pain.

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest
David Walton won the second annual Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest for his short story "Letting Go." The story will be published in a future issue of Jim Baen's Universe. This year's entries were judged by Eric Flint, Mike Resnick, and Hank Davis.

Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award
Balticon has announced this year's winner of the Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award for best first novel is Mark L. Van Name, for his book One Jump Ahead. The Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award was founded in 1983 and includes a $1,000 prize and two years as guest of honor at Balticon.

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Ursa Major Awards
The Ursa Major Awards, presented for Anthropomorphic (Furry) literature and art, were presented at Morphicon in Columbus on May 17.
Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture: Ratatouille
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series: Gridlock (Doctor Who episode)
Best Anthropomorphic Novel: Life's Dream, by Bernard Doove
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction" "Don't Blink," by Kyell Gold
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work: All the Newshounds Fit to Print, by Thomas K. Dye
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book: Gargoyles, by Greg Weisman, Gordon Purcell, Dustin Evans, Greg Guler, Nir Paniry, Karine Charlebois, and Stephanie Lostimolo
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip: Ozy and Millie, by D.C. Simpson
Best Anthropomorphic Magazine: Heat
Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration: "Blotch"
Best Anthropomorphic Game: Sam & Max: Season Two, Episode 1: Ice Station Santa

For More Information...

Baen in Space
Baen Books has made the entire contents of its on-line library, Baen Webscription, available free of charge, to the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.

Author and fan Robert Lynn Asprin (b.1946) died suddenly in his home on May 22. Asprin founded the Dark Horde, which became the Dorsai Irregulars. He went on to create and edit the original Thieves' World series with then-wife Lynn Abbey. Asprin also wrote and co-wrote books in the Myth-Adventure series, the Phule's Regiment series, and several other novels. Asprin was scheduled to be the Guest of Honor at Marcon 42 this weekend.

20 May 2008
Aurora Awards
The Aurora Awards, the Canadian national science fiction awards, were presented at KeyCon 25 in Winnipeg.
Best Long-Form Work in English/Meilleur livre en anglais: The New Moon's Arms, Nalo Hopkinson
Meilleur livre en français/Best Long-Form Work in French: Cimetière du musée, Diane Boudreau
Best Short-Form Work in English/Meilleure nouvelle en anglais: "Like Water in the Desert," Hayden Trenholm
Meilleure nouvelle en français/Best Short-Form Work in French: "Sur la plage des épaves," Laurent MacAllister
Best Work in English (Other)/Meilleur ouvrage en anglais (Autre): Under Cover of Darkness, edited by Julie E. Czerneda & Jana Paniccia
Artistic Achievement/Accomplissement artistique: Lar deSouza
Fan Achievement (Fanzine)/Accomplissement fanique (Fanzine): No Award / Pas de prix
Fan Achievement (Organizational)/Accomplissement fanique (Organisation)" Penny Lipman, masquerades
Fan Achievement (Other)/Accomplissement fanique (autre): Paul Bobbitt, editor, The Voyageur

Producer Sandy Howard (b.1927) died on May 16. Howard produced numerous genre films, including "Meteor," "The Island of Doctor Moreau," and "The Neptune Factor." As a teenager, Howard sold several short stories to Liberty Magazine. His television career started as a director on "The Howdy Doody Show" and he went on to produce "Captain Kangaroo."

Maryland area fan Paul Parsons (b.1953) died on May 18 of an apparent heart attack while driving in Tyrone, PA. Parsons and his wife, Aly, ran programming for the 2003 World Fantasy Convention in Washington and created the Capclave restaurant guide.

16 May 2008
Actor John Phillip Law (b.1937) died on May 13. Law appeared in several science fiction films, most notably as Pygar in "Barbarella." Later work included Sinbad in "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad," "Tarzan, the Ape Man," and "Space Mutiny." He also provided voice work for the Cat in two episodes of "Spider-Man."

Cartoonist Will Elder (b.1921) died on May 15. Elder was one of the original artists of MAD Magazine when it was still a comic. Prior to working on MAD, Elder formed the Charles William Harvey Studio and worked on comics for EC and Prize. He inked the book Weird Fantasy. He created the character and strip "Little Annie Fannie" for Playboy after leaving MAD.

13 May 2008
Gene Colan Ill
Comic book artist Gene Colan is suffering from liver failure and his family is trying to meet medical expenses. Colan worked on Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula, and Howard the Duck. Clifford Meth has organized a fundraiser to help the family pay for treatment.

For More Information...

Diver Changes Agencies
Agent Lucienne Diver has announced that she is leaving Spectrum Literary Agency after fifteen years in order to move to The Knight Agency. Diver has represented Marjorie M. Liu, Susan Krinard, Rachel Caine, Carol Berg and Lynn Flewelling, among others.

Filker Lois Mangan (b.1946) died on May 10. Mangan was inducted as a member of the Filk Hall of Fame in 2006. Mangan began her fannish career running Boskone filksings and went on to contribute to the NESFA Hymnal. She ran filk programming at Noreascons 3 and 4 and was also a member of M.A.S.S.F.I.L.C.

Cartoonist Ted Keys (b.1912) died on May 3. Keys created the characters of Hector Peabody and Sherman for Jay Ward's Rocky and Friends. Before that, Keys created the comic strip Hazel, which was turned into a sitcom in the 1960s. Keys also wrote feature length films including the genre film "The Cat from Outer Space."

2 May 2008
Arthur C. Clarke Award
Richard Morgan's novel Black Man (published as Thirteen in the United States) won this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award. Carrying a prize of £2008, the award was presented during Sci-Fi London 7, an annual science fiction film festival.

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Shirley Jackson Nominees
The nominees for the first Shirley Jackson Award, established to recognize outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic, have been announced. The winners will be announced on July 20 at Readercon in Burlington, MA.

Baltimore, by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Generation Loss, by Elizabeth Hand
Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow
The Terror, by Dan Simmons
Tokyo Year Zero, by David Peace

12 Collections, by Zoran Zivkovic
Illyria, by Elizabeth Hand
The Mermaids, by Robert Edric
"Procession of the Black Sloth," by Laird Barron
The Scalding Rooms, by Conrad Williams
"Vacancy," by Lucius Shepard

"The Forest," by Laird Barron
"The Janus Tree," by Glen Hirshberg
"The Swing," by Don Tumasonis
"The Tenth Muse," by William Browning Spencer
"Thumbprint," by Joe Hill

Short Story
"Holiday," by M. Rickert
"The Monsters of Heaven," by Nathan Ballingrud
"A Murder of Crows," by Elizabeth Ziemska
"Something in the Mermaid Way," by Carrie Laben
"The Third Bear," by Jeff VanderMeer
"Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse," by Andy Duncan

The Bone Key, by Sarah Monette
The Entire Predicament, by Lucy Corin
The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, by Laird Barron
Like You'd Understand, Anyway, by Jim Shepard
Old Devil Moon, by Christopher Fowler

At Ease with the Dead, edited by Barbara and Christopher Roden
Dark Delicacies 2, edited by Del Howison and Jeff Gelb
Inferno, edited by Ellen Datlow
Logorrhea, edited by John Klima
Wizards, edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois

For More Information...

FAAn Awards
The FAAn Awards were presented at Corflu Silver on April 28 in Las Vegas. The FAAn awards are voted on by SF fans before and at the annual Corflu, a convention focusing on fanzine writing.
Fanzine: Prolapse
Fan Artist: Dan Steffan
Fan Writer: Arnie Katz
Letterhack (Harry Warner Memorial Award): Robert Lichtman
New Fan: John Coxon
Fan Website:
Number One Fan Face: Arnie Katz

For More Information...

Copyright © 2008 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a seven-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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