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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 December 2008
Sir Terry
Terry Pratchett has been included in the New Year's Honours as a Knight Bachelor. His new honour will accord him the privilege of styling himself Sir Terry. Pratchett was recognized for his services to literature, which previously saw him named an OBE. Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2007.

For More Information...

National Film Registry
The twenty-five films selected to be added to the National Film Registry in 2008 have been announced. Of the films, which cover a span from 1910 to 1989, the following are films of genre interest.
Disneyland Dream (1956)
The Invisible Man (1933)
The Perils of Pauline (1914)
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
The Terminator (1989)

For More Information...

Elastic Press Closes
Andrew Hook has announced that Elastic Press will be closing down over the course of 2009. He notes that Subtle Edens, published in November 2008 will be their last title, a fact he's known for about two years. Throughout 2009, Hook will work on promoting the titles in print and trying to sell off stock. Elastic Press has published 31 titles, mostly of single-author collections by relatively unknown authors.

For More Information...

Sydney C. Long (b.1945) died on November 29. Long attended Clarion Writers Workshop and founded the Delaware Writer's Group in 1983. She worked as a free-lance author and proofreader and had recently published her first poem.

29 December 2008
Playwright Dale Wasserman (b.1917) died on December 21. Wasserman adapted Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote for television in 1959 and later turned it into the successful musical "The Man of La Mancha." Wasserman, who also wrote the play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," won a Writer's Guild Award for the television episode "I, Don Quixote." "The Man of La Mancha"earned Wasserman a Tony Award.

28 December 2008
Judge Rules for Fox in Watchmen Case
Judge Gary Allen Feess ruled on December 24 that Fox owns the distribution rights for the Watchmen movie produced by Warner Brothers. Feess's ruling places the release of the film, scheduled for March 3., in jeopardy. Warner Brothers has requested Feess adjudicate a cap for the Fox rights.

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Narnia Films End at Two
Disney has announced it no longer plans to cofinance sequels to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Following the release of Prince Caspian on DVD, Disney has announced it will pass on the option to film The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, scheduled to have been the third movie, directed by Michael Apted. Walden, the production company for the films has announced it is still committed to the films and will seek funding elsewhere.

For More Information...

26 December 2008
Artist Edd Cartier (b.1914) died on December 25. Cartier studied at the Pratt Institute before working for Street and Smith in the 1930s. Cartier's illustrations appeared inside and on the covers of Astounding, Unknown, Doc Savage, Fantastic Adventures, and other magazines. He fought in World War II and was injured in the Battle of the Bulge. Following the war, he returned to the Pratt Institute on the GI Bill and achieved a BFA. Cartier's cover work for Gnome Press and Fantasy Press were highly influential.

Author Leo Frankowski (b.1943) died on December 25 in Lake Elsinore, California. Frankowski was the author of the Crosstime Engineer series as well as several other novels. He was a nominee for the JOhn W. Campbell Award following the publication of his first novel.

25 December 2008
Singer Eartha Kitt (b.1927) died on December 25. Kitt was best known as a singer, but she also appeared in numerous television shows and movies, including the role of Catwoman in the "Batman" television series of the 1960s and Yzma in "The Emperor's New Groove." Kitt also appeared in the film "Erik the Viking." She won several Annies and Daytime Emmys for her reprisal of the role of Yzma in "The Emperor's New School."

22 December 2008
Majel Barrett Roddenberry (b.1932) died on December 18. Roddenberry is best known for her role as Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series. She also provided the voice of the Enterprise's computer in all iterations of Star Trek, and had recently finished recording the computer's voice for the film "Star Trek," to be released in 2009. In addition to her work on Star Trek, Roddenberry has also appeared on such genre shows as "Earth: Final Conflict" and "Babylon 5." In addition to the Star Trek franchise, Roddenberry's film work includes "Westworld."

18 December 2008
Aurealis Award Nominees
The nominations for the Australian Aurealis Awards have been announced. The Aurealis Awards recognize achievement by Australian sf, fantasy, and horror authors. The awards will be announced on January 24, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia.

Best Science Fiction Novel:
Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, by K.A. Bedford
Chaos Space, by Marianne de Pierres
Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, by Simon Haynes
The Daughters of Moab, by Kim Westwood
Earth Ascendant, by Sean Williams

Best Fantasy Novel:
The Two Pearls of Wisdom, by Alison Goodman
Amberlight, by Sylvia Kelso
Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
Heir to Sevenwaters, by Juliet Marillier
The Riven Kingdom, by Karen Miller

Best Horror Novel:
The Economy of Light, by Jack Dann
Ghostlines, by Nick Gadd
The Siance, by John Harwood

Best Anthology:
The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fourth Annual Volume, edited by Bill Congreve & Michelle Marquardt
Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann
The Starry Rift edited by Jonathan Strahan

Best Collection:
Creeping in Reptile Flesh, by Robert Hood
Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, by Sean Williams, edited by Russell B. Farr

Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel:
The Cloudchasers, by Steve Hunt & David Richardson
Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
The Floods Family Files, by Colin Thompson
The Art of Graeme Base, by Julie Watts & Graeme Base

Best Young Adult Novel:
The Stone Key, by Isobelle Carmody
Lamplighter, by David Cornish
The Two Pearls of Wisdom, by Alison Goodman
Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta
The Changeling, by Sean Williams

Best Children's Novel:
Moonshadow, Eye of the Beast, by Simon Higgins
Thomas Trew and the Island of Ghosts, by Sophie Masson
The Wizard of Rondo, by Emily Rodda
Dragon Dawn, by Carole Wilkinson
The Changeling and The Dust Devils, by Sean Williams

Best Children's Illustrated Work/Picture Book:
Tashi and the Phoenix, by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg, & Kim Gamble
The Wolf Kingdom series: Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, and The Heavy Crown, by Richard Harland, illustrated by Laura Peterson
The Sorcerer's Tower series: Thorn Castle, Giant's Lair, Black Crypt, and Wizardry Crag, by Ian Irvine, illustrated by David Cornish
Curly and the Fent, by Sally Morgan with Ezekiel, Ambelin, and Blaze Kwaymullina, illustrated by Adam Hill
Twisted Tales, by Richard Tulloch, illustrated by Terry Denton

Best Science Fiction Short Story:
"The Empire," by Simon Brown
"Black and Bitter, Thanks," by Nathan Burrage
"Delivery," by Trent Jamieson
"The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross," by Margo Lanagan
"Fleshy," by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Fantasy Short Story:
"Night Heron's Curse," by Thoraiya Dyer
"The Last Deflowerer," by Karen Maric
"Dresses, Three," by Angela Slatter
"Sammarynda Deep," by Cat Sparks
"Nightship," by Kim Westwood

Best Horror Short Story:
"In From the Snow," by Lee Battersby
"Pale Dark Soldier," by Deborah Biancotti
"Day Boy," by Trent Jamieson
"Painlessness," by Kirstyn McDermott
"Bitter Dreams," by Ian McHugh

Best Young Adult Short Story:
"The Tailor of Time," by Deborah Biancotti
"This is Not My Story," by Dirk Flinthart
"Cracks," by Trent Jamieson
"Eye of the Beholder," by Kevin MacLean

For More Information...

Screen Actors Guild Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild has announced the nominees for its annual awards. Roles in genre films were nominated in four of the five categories.

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Critina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Performance by a Cast
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

For More Information...

Chicago Film Critic Award Winners
The Chicago Film Critics have announced this year's award winning films. The following categories had awards given to genre work.

Best Picture: WALL-E
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
Best Original Screenplay: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon)
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E
Best Cinematography: The Dark Knight (Wally Pfister)
Best Original Score: WALL-E (Thomas Newman)

For More Information...

London Critics' Circle Film Awards Nominees
The London Critics' Circle has announced the nominees for its annual awards. The following categories had nominations of genre work.

Film of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Wrestler

Foreign Language Film of the Year
I've Loved You So Long
The Orphanage
Waltz With Bashir

Director of the Year
Darren Aronofsky, for The Wrestler
Danny Boyle, for Slumdog Millionaire
Clint Eastwood, for Changeling
David Fincher, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Gus Van Sant, for Milk

British Director of the Year
Danny Boyle, for Slumdog Millionaire
Terence Davies, for Of Time and the City
Mike Leigh, for Happy-Go-Lucky
Steve McQueen, for Hunger
Christopher Nolan, for The Dark Knight

Actor of the Year
Josh Brolin, in W.
Frank Langella, in Frost/Nixon
Heath Ledger, in The Dark Knight
Sean Penn, in Milk
Mickey Rourke, in The Wrestler

British Actress in a Supporting Role
Hayley Atwell, in The Duchess
Kristin Scott Thomas, in Easy Virtue
Tilda Swinton, in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Emma Thompson, in Brideshead Revisited
Alexis Zegerman, in Happy-Go-Lucky

Screenwriter of the Year
Simon Beaufoy, for Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare, for The Reader
Martin McDonagh, for In Bruges
Peter Morgan, for Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

For More Information...

Actor Sam Bottoms (b.1955) died on December 16. Bottoms appeared in the television series "X-Files," "Project Shadowchaser III," and "Hunter's Blood." Bottoms got his start in the film "The Last Picture Show."

15 December 2008
Hugo Base Designer Announced
Anticipation has announced that the 2009 Hugo Award base will be designed by Dave Howell. Howell, a Seattle-based artist and fan, won the base design contest Anticipation held. He has been attending worldcons since Millennium Philcon in 2001. Howell will receive a free membership to Anticipation and will present the Hugo design at the Hugo Award Ceremony on August 8, 2009 at the Palais de Congres in Montreal.

For More Information...
For Dave Howell's website...

13 December 2008
Actor Van Johnson (b.1916) died on December 12. Johnson appeared in more than 100 films, including the fantasy musical "Brigadoon" and Woody Allen's fantasy "The Purple Rose of Cairo." He also appeared on "Fantasy Island' and "Tales of the Unexpected." On the 1960s "Batman," he appeared as the villain "The Minstrel."

11 December 2008
Science Fiction Prop Auction
An auction of science fiction film props, including Marlon Brando's costume from Superman, Mark Hamill's original light saber, and the UPC Cruiser from Forbidden Planet will be auctioned on E-bay beginning on December 11 at noon PST.

For More Information...

Harry Potter Exhibit
An exhibit of props and costumes from the Harry Potter films will be touring museums around the world with its debut at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

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Los Angeles Recognized Animation
The Los Angeles Film Critics Awards have been announced and animated science fiction film "WALL-E" was named Best Film of the Year. The only other genre related award was given posthumously to Heath Ledger for his portrayal of The Joker in "The Dark Knight."

For More Information...

Golden Globe Nominations
The Golden Globe nominations have been announced and genre work has been nominated in the categories listed below. The Golden Globes will be presented .

Best Motion Picture: Drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Animated Feature Film
Kng Fu Panda

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey, Jr., Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Best Director of a Motion Picture
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
David Hare, The Reader
Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood, Changeling
James Newton Howard, Defiance
A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Hans Zimmer, Frost/Nixon

Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
Down to Earth (WALL-E), by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
Gran Torino (Gran Torino), Clint Eastwood, James Cullum, Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens
I Thought I Lost You (Bolt), Miley Cyrus, Jeffrey Steele
Once in a Lifetime (Cadillac Records), Beyonci Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarnon, Ian Dench, James Dring, Jody Street
The Wrestler (The Wrestler), Bruce Springsteen

For More Information...

New York Film Critics
The New York Film Critics have announced their awards list for films released in 2008. The only genre film to be included in the award list is "WALL-E" for Best Animated Film.

For More Information...

Author Hugh Cook (b.1956) died on November 8. Cook published ten novels in his "Chronicles of an Age of Darkness" before the series, projected as sixty volumes, was cancelled due to poor sales. Cook was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment in 2005.

8 December 2008
Clarion Faculty 2009
The Clarion Foundation has announced the faculty for the 2009 Clarion Workshop, to be held at UCSD from June 28-August 8, 2009. This year's faculty will include Holly Black, Larissa Lai, Robert Crais, and Kim Stanley Robinson with Elizabeth Hand and Paul Park team teaching the final two weeks. Clarion is accepting applications for the workshop from January 2 to March 1, 2009

For More Information...

Save a House
Author and publisher Vera Nazarian is in danger of losing her house. Nazarian owes a substantial amount in back mortgage payments and late fees, partly accrued as she was helping her mother deal with cancer and her father's final years. A fund has been set up to help Nazarian pay the mortgage and fines.

For More Information or To Donate...

Actress Nina Foch (b.1924) died on December 4. Foch appeared in "Alien Nation: Dark Horizon," "The Outer Limits," and "Tales of Tomorrow." Among her first film were "Return of the Vampire" and "Cry of the Werewolf." She may be best known for her roles in "Spartacus" and "The Ten Commandments."

Actress Beverly Garland (b.1926) died on December 5. Garland began acting in 1950 and appeared in several genre films in the 50s, including "It Conquered the World," "The Rocket Man," and "Swamp Women," as well as two episodes of "Science Fiction Theatre." She continued appeared in television series, many westerns, but also including "Planet of the Apes" and "Lois & Clark," in which she played Lois Lane's mother.

5 December 2008
Forrest J Ackerman (b.1916) died on December 4, just over a week after his 92nd birthday. Ackerman is known for many things, for wearing the first costume to a worldcon, to his involvement with Famous Monsters of Filmland, to the popularization of the term "Sci-fi." Ackerman worked as an author, editor, agent, and actor, appearing in many cameo roles. In addition to fiction, Ackerman published several science fiction reference books. He won one of the first Hugo Awards in 1953 for #1 Fan Personality and received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Actor Paul Benedict (b.1938) died on December 1. Benedict, who was born in New Mexico, is best known for his role as Bentley, the British neighbor on the television show "The Jeffersons." Benedict also appeared in numerous Christopher Guest projects. His genre roles include a judge in the film version of "The Addams Family" and episodes of "Tales from the Crypt" and "The Twilight Zone."

British artist James Cawthorn died on December 2. Cawthorn was long associated with Michael Moorcock and created the first British graphic novel of The Jewel in the Skull, based on Moorcock's novel of the same title. Cawthorn began his career with fan illustrations in fanzines in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he was a staff artist at New Worlds.

3 December 2008
Cartoon Art Trust Award
Raymond Briggs was awarded a lifetime achievement award on November 19. Other winners are listed below:
Young Cartoonist of the Year Awards, Under 18: Emilia Franklin
Young Cartoonist of the Year Awards, Under 30: James Hood
The Joke Award: Grizelda
Strip Cartoon Award: Private Eye, by Stephen Collins
Pocket Award: Jeremy 'Banx' Banks
Caricature Award: Nicola Jennings
Saatchi Political Award: Nicholas Garland
The Pont Prize for drawing the British Character: Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor

For More Information...

Black Quill Nominations
The second annual Black Quill Award nominations, sponsored by DarkScribe magazine, have been announced. The eligibility period for DSM's yearly awards will run from November 1st through October 31st. Once nominations are announced, the readers of DSM will have an opportunity to cast their votes for their picks in each category. In a unique spin intended to celebrate both critical and popular success, two winners will be announced in each category -- Reader's Choice and Editor's Choice.

Dark Genre Novel of the Year
Duma Key, by Stephen King
Generation Dead, by Daniel Waters
Ghost Radio, by Leopoldo Gout
Leather Maiden, by Joe R. Landsdale
The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
The Price, by Alexandra Sokoloff
We Disappear, by Scott Heim

Best Small Press Chill
Into the Cruel Sea, by Rich Ristow
Johnny Gruesome, by Gregory Lamberson
Miranda, by John R. Little
The Confessions of St. Zach, by Gene O'Neill
The Shallow End of the Pool, by Adam-Troy Castro
Veins, by Lawrence C. Connolly

Best Dark Genre Fiction Collection
History Is Dead: A Zombie Anthology, edited by Kim Paffenroth
Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, edited by Ellen Datlow
Killers, edited by Colin Harvey
Mama's Boys and Other Dark Tales, by Fran Friel
Poe's Children: The New Horror, edited by Peter Straub
The Number 121 to Pennsylvania, by Kealan Patrick Burke

Best Dark Genre Book of Non-Fiction
A Hallowe'en Anthology: Literary and Historical Writers over the Centuries, by Lisa Morton
Beauty and Dynamite, by Alethea Kontis
Book of Lists: Horror edited by Amy Wallace, Del Howison, and Scott Bradley
Horror Isn't a Four-Letter Word, by Matthew Warner
The Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi
Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead, by Jonathan Maberry

Best Dark Scribble
"Afterlife," by Sarah Langan
"Captain's Lament," by Stephen Graham Jones
"Dust and Bibles," by Michael Colangelo
"Teeth," by Stephen Dedman
"The Blog at the End of the World," by Paul Tremblay
"Turtle," by Lee Thomas

Best Dark Genre Short Fiction Magazine
Apex Magazine, edited by Jason Sizemore
Cemetery Dance, edited by Richard Chizmar
ChiZine, edited by Brett Alexander Savory
Clarkesworld, edited by Sean Wallace and Neil Clarke (current), Nick Mamatas (former)
Doorways Magazine, edited by Brian Yount and Mort Castle
Shroud Magazine, edited by Timothy Deal

Best Dark Genre Book Trailer
Daemon, production by Yossi Sasson
Day by Day Armageddon, production by Ivan Simoncini
Duma Key, production by Scribner
Ghost Radio (Trailer 1), production by William Morrow
Sweetheart, production by Circle of Seven
The Price, production by Circle of Seven Productions

For More Information...

Odyssey Workshop
The 2009 Odyssey Writer's Workshop will be held from June 8th to July 17th at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Odyssey has been running an annual workshop/retreat since 1996. This year's guest lecturers will include authors Jeffrey A. Carver; Melissa Scott, Patricia Bray, and Jack Ketchum, and Editor-in-Chief of the Ace and Roc science fiction/fantasy imprints, Ginjer Buchanan. Odyssey's Author in Residence will be Carrie Vaughan.

For More Information...

Bookstore Closure
Robin's Bookstore, Philadelphia's oldest independent bookstore, will close its doors on January 31, 2009 after 73 years. Beginning with a 25% off sale this week, the sale will increase by 5% each week until the discount reaches 50%. Robin's has long hosted the Philadelphia Fantastic Authors and Editors Series, and even after the store closes, the series is scheduled to continue in the same space.

For More Information...

Harris to Angry Robot
Lee Harris, the founder and co-editor of Hub magazine, has been hired as an assistant editor for HarperCollins new Angry Robot science fiction imprint. Harris will be resigning his position from Hub. Harris may continue his work in publishing Prism, the newsletter of the British Fantasy Society.

For More Information...

Screenwriter Ennio de Concini (b.1923) died on November 18. de Concini's first script was the 1948 fantasy "L'Ebreo errante." He went on to write numerous additional genre films as well as mainstream films. In 1963, he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Divorzio all'italiana.

1 December 2008
Fan Abby Albrecht (b.1975) died on November 30. Albrecht was active in fanwriting and attended numerous science fiction convention. Albrecht was a fan of Forever Knight and one of the founders of a group called the Horsechicks of the Apocalypse, a group of like-minded fans. Albrecht suffered from spinal muscular atrophy and was confined to a wheelchair.

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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