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news, magazines, webzines

March 1999

Ray Russell, 1924 - 1999

Writer and editor Ray Russell died Monday, March 15th, in Los Angeles of complications after a stroke, according to the Los Angeles Times. Russell wrote several dozen stories from the 1950s through the early 1990s, many of them first published in Playboy, where he was executive editor for several years in the 1950s. Among his most-reprinted stories were ''The Cage'' and ''Sardonicus''; both were included in his two early short story collections, Sardonicus (Ballantine 1961) and Sagittarius (Playboy 1971). Maclay subsequently published Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Tales of Ray Russell in 1985 and a novel, Absolute Power, in 1992.

Russell won a Life Achievement World Fantasy Award in 1991 and a Bram Stoker Life Achievement Award in 1993.

Russell was also a screenwriter in the 1960s beginning with Mr. Sardonicus in 1961, followed by The Premature Burial, Zotz!, The Horror of It All, and X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. His novel The Incubus was filmed in 1986 by director John Hough.

(Friday 19 March 1999)

German Phantastic-Award Final Ballot

The final ballot of nominations for the '99, or the German Phantastic-Award, are online. Categories include Best German language novel and short story, Best International novel (nominees including Douglas Adams & Terry Jones, Arthur C. Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Tad Williams, and Terry Pratchett), Best Translation, and categories for movies and TV. The awards are notable for two reasons: they include a category for Best Internet Site (all nominees are German sites), and the ballot itself is online and can be filled out and submitted using a web browser.

(Wednesday 17 March 1999)

International Horror Guild Awards Winners

Winners were announced at the World Horror Convention on Saturday, March 6th. In addition to the category winners, Ray Bradbury was named a ''Living Legend''.

novel: Fog Heart, Thomas Tessier
first novel (tie): Silk, Caitlin Kiernan
first novel (tie): Dawn Song, Michael Marano
collection: Black Butterflies: A Flock on the Dark Side, John Shirley
anthology: Dark Terrors 4, Stephen Jones & David Sutton, eds.
long form: "Mr. Club and Mr. Cuff", Peter Straub
short form: "Dead Blue", Lucy Taylor
nonfiction: The St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, David Pringle
graphic story/stories: Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street, written by Warren Ellis, art by Darick Robertson
publication: Hellnotes
artist: Edward Gorey
movie: Gods and Monsters
television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

(Wednesday 10 March 1999)

Bram Stoker Preliminary Ballot

Preliminary nominations for this year's Bram Stoker Awards have been released and are listed on the SFWA website.

(Wednesday 10 March 1999)

High Hallack Opens

High Hallack Genre Writers' Research and Reference Library officially opened Sunday, February 28, 1999. High Hallack was founded by writer Andre Norton as a resource for writers and scholars of ''popular'' literature -- science fiction, fantasy, mystery, western, romance, gothic, horror. The collection of over 10,000 volumes is accessible only to working writers or to students enrolled at college level or higher.

(Wednesday 10 March 1999) Launches, an auction website owned by writer John Betancourt, was launched on March 1, 1999. Though Betancourt established the site as a means of pruning back his own collection of books and videotapes, others may list items for auction, and the site include, and the site includes categories for SFWA, HWA (Horror Writers of the America), and SFF Net auctions, with proceeds benefiting those organizations -- benefiting, in the first case, the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.

(Wednesday 10 March 1999)

SFWA Discovers ''Pirate SF'' Website

Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have turned up a massive pirating of American SF novels and stories on a Russian website. Though the site is in Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet, works have been identified by writers from Asimov and Bradbury to Silverberg and Zelazny, including the complete works of Heinlein and Tolkien. Readers who can read Russian are invited to help in the investigation by browsing these sites:

Contact Dave Smeds of the SFWA Foreign Reprints Committee.

(Wednesday 10 March 1999)

Geoffrey A. Landis Wins NASA Fellowship

SF writer and scientist Geoffrey A. Landis has been awarded a fellowship from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts to study advanced concepts for an interstellar probe. Landis' study explores a concept first proposed by Dr. Robert L. Forward (another SF writer) in 1984 to use a space-based laser, powered by solar energy generated near the orbit of Mercury, to push a lightsail to near-relativistic velocities. Landis' collaborator on the project is Dr. James Benford, twin brother of SF writer Gregory Benford.

Landis is scheduled to present his study at a NASA symposium in Washington, DC, on April 25th. The baseline mission being studied is an unmanned fly-by of the star Alpha Centauri.

Landis has achieved prominence both as a scientist and as a writer. His work on the Mars Pathfinder mission is summarized in an article, Return to the Red Planet. He has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for short stories, and is nominated twice this year for the Nebula Award. His first novel, Mars Crossing, recently sold to Tor.

(Friday 5 March 1999)

February News, 2nd page:

  • Nebula Awards final ballot
  • Arthur C. Clarke postage stamps
  • Harry Stubbs (Hal Clement) named SFWA Grand Master

    February News, 1st page:

  • Awards: SFCD-Literaturpreis 1999
  • New Awards: Spectrum;
  • European Awards: Kurd Lasswitz; Prix Ozone
  • 1999 Philip K. Dick Award Judges
  • Gary Jennings, 1928 - 1999
  • Raphael Carter wins Tiptree Award
  • Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist
  • Philip Klass is new SFWA Author Emeritus
  • Lambda Literary nominations
  • Eaton Award winner

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