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News Log: Briefs and Links

Wednesday 20 December 2000

James Allen, 1952 - 2000

§ James Allen, president of the Virginia Kidd Literary Agency, died suddenly of kidney failure December 12, 2000, at Newton Memorial Hospital in Newton, New Jersey, three days after being diagnosed with a form of leukemia.

A full obituary will run in the January 2001 Locus Magazine, which will mail December 28.

Linn Prentis is returning full-time to the Kidd Agency, and will assume Allen's role as agent/editor. Clients of the James Allen Agency should contact Christine Cohen at the Kidd Agency with questions: (570) 296-6205.

A brief obituary by Kage Baker is posted here--

Changes at GalaxyOnline

§ Ben Bova resigned as publisher of GalaxyOnline in late November, and fiction editor Rick Wilber followed suit in mid-December. Lack of financing was cited as the reason, though Bova said if financing comes through he would be willing to return.

GalaxyOnline's deal to purchase Amazing Stories from Wizards of the Coast, announced in October, has fallen through. The Internet company's deal to purchase Galaxy magazine from the family of the late H.L. Gold was announced this week. Galaxy magazine was a leading SF magazine in the 1950s under editors H.L. Gold and Frederik Pohl. It was published regularly until 1980, then revived briefly from 1994-1995.

Further details about GalaxyOnline will be published in the January 2001 Locus.

Tuesday 19 December 2000


§ The Ditmar (Australian National Science Fiction) Awards winners include Greg Egan, Chris Lawson, and Shaun Tan. (Egan, however, declined the award.)

More Best Books of 2000

§'s Tractor Beam Best of 2000 includes titles by Robert J. Sawyer, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen Baxter, and others.

§ The 5 fiction titles on Time Magazine's Best Books 2000 includes 3 of associational interest, by Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, and Seamus Heaney. A separate list of Best Comics 2000 includes titles by Chris Ware and Ben Katchor.

§ Entertainment Weekly's Best Fiction of 2000 includes some of the same titles, by Chris Ware, Michael Chabon, and Margaret Atwood, as well as two associational titles by George Saunders, the story collection Pastoralia (Riverhead) and graphic novel The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (Villard).

People Weekly's "Best of Pages" list includes J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Its "Worst of Pages" list includes Anne Rice's Merrick.

King Hiatus

§ The sixth installment of Stephen King's online novel The Plant has been posted (for free) at, and with its release King has put the project on hiatus, in part to work on other projects, and in part because voluntary payments from readers for the fifth installment had dropped below 50%.

Thursday 7 December 2000

Best Books of 2000

§ Newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and others have published their selections of the best books of 2000. (These and other lists and compiled and tallied on Locus Online's Best Books of 2000 page.)

The New York Times Book Review's Holiday Books issue, December 3, included these SF titles:

A number of associational titles are included on other lists, including Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf among the Editors' Choice 10 best books of the year; and, on the Book Review's extensive list of Notable Books, titles by Michael Chabon, Alan Lightman, Mark Z. Danielewski, George Saunders, and others. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is included on the Children's List.

The Washington Post Book World's Book World Raves consists of a compilation of excerpts from the past year's reviews, and includes these SF titles:

Among the general fiction titles are books by Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant). A separate Noted with Pleasure section includes favorite books of various guest writers and reviewers, including these choices by John Clute [scroll down]:

Amazon UK so far has a single Best Books of 2000 list, which includes SFFH titles in the following positions:

12. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman (Scholastic)
13. Look to Windward, Iain R. Banks (Orbit)
24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Bloomsbury)
25. Perdido Street Station, China Miéville (Macmillan)

Publishers Weekly, instead of the editorial selections of past years, has a collection of excerpts from its Starred Reviews, including SF titles by Benford, Le Guin, Hopkinson, and many others. (These are not all of PW's starred reviews for the year, nor do they include starred reviews from late in the year.)

Similarly, as in past years, the Los Angeles Times excerpts selected reviews from the past year. The fiction selections include genre books by Le Guin and Rowling, as well as associational titles by Lightman, Boyle, and others. has posted extensive best of the year lists in numerous categories, including these 20 SF titles, by Jordan, Martin, Sawyer, Jacques, Weber, and others; and a list of 17 horror titles by Rice, Koontz, Straub, and others.

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