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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Locus Online Analyzes this year's Nebula Nominations (Updated)

posted @ 2/28/2009 10:26:00 PM PT 

This year's Nebula finalists (now integrated into the Locus Index to SF Awards) include first-time nominations for Mike Allen, Gwenyth Jones, and Ruth Nestvold (nominated this year in the short story category), Mary Rosenblum and Johanna Sinisalo (novelette), and David J. Schwartz (novel).

Other novel nominees this year include 5-time Nebula winner Ursula K. Le Guin, who's previously won for The Left Hand of Darkness (published 1969), The Dispossessed (1974), and Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (1990), and Jack McDevitt, who won two years ago in this category for Seeker (2005). Terry Pratchett was a finalist once before, for Going Postal in 2006 (published 2004), and Cory Doctorow was a finalist in 2005 for Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (published 2003). This is Ian McDonald's first nomination in the novel category; his only other prior nomination was for novelette "Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh" in 1989.

In the novella category, Gregory Benford has 12 prior nominations and 2 wins, for novel Timescape (1980) and novelette "If the Stars are Gods" (with Gordon Eklund, 1974); his most recent nomination was for novella "Soon Comes Night" (1994) in 1996. Kelley Eskridge has 2 prior nominations, Vera Nazarian and Charles Coleman Finley one each; Catherine Asaro has five previous nominations including a win for novel The Quantum Rose (2000) in 2002.

In the novelette category, Lisa Goldstein has been nominated 4 times before but never won -- in fact, Goldstein is second only to John Barnes in the number of nominations for *all* awards and polls without ever having won anything, with 35 to date (see Table 8 in the Locus Index to SF Awards, under Never-Winners). John Kessel has 8 prior nominations with 1 win, for novella "Another Orphan" in 1983. Richard Bowes has 4 prior nominations; K.D. Wentworth, 3 prior nominations. James Alan Gardner has one previous nomination, for novelette "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream" in 1998.

In the short story category, Jeffrey Ford has four previous nominations and has won once before, for novelette "The Empire of Ice Cream" in 2004. James Patrick Kelly has 10 previous nominations, including one win for novella Burn two years ago in 2007. Nina Kiriki Hoffman has 4 prior nominations, and no wins; Kij Johnson has 1 prior nomination.

Nominees for the Andre Norton Award include Ysabeau S. Wilce, who was nominated once before, last year in 2008 for Flora Segunda. All the other nominees in this category are first-time nominees.

See the Nebula Nominees List in the Locus Index to SF Awards for a complete list of all nominations, by nominee, to date.


In the 20 years since the Nebula Awards' "rolling eligibility" has been in effect -- which allowed nominations to accumulate for novels and stories, that had not already been placed on a final ballot, that were published in the previous two calendar years prior to the date of the award ceremony -- only 7 novels that had been published in the year just prior to the award year won the Nebula. (See Major Novel Winners, which lists the publication year when it is not the year immediately prior to the award year). That is, in most cases, the award went to a novel that had not accumulated sufficient nominations to appear on the next year's ballot, but which managed to do so by the following year's ballot, and which subsequently won. Of winners in the past 10 years, only once (Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union) has a novel from the year prior to the award won the Nebula.

Given the current change in Nebula voting rules, by which only 2009 publications will be eligible for next year's 2010 awards, prominent 2008 novels such as Neal Stephenson's Anathem, Iain M. Banks' Matter, Greg Egan's Incandescence, and Greg Bear's City at the End of Time no longer have the potential to capture nominations after being passed over this year. (And the Nebula Awards, being given by an American association, have generally disregarded UK and Australian writers in any case -- neither Banks nor Egan has *ever* been nominated for a Nebula.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nebula Final Ballot

posted @ 2/27/2009 10:01:00 AM PT 

SFWA has released the final ballot for the 2008 Nebula Awards, to be announced during the 2009 Nebula Awards Weekend, April 24-26, 2009 in Los Angeles CA.

Novels: Little Brother, Cory Doctorow (Tor); Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt); Cauldron, Jack McDevitt (Ace); Brasyl, Ian McDonald (Pyr); Making Money, Terry Pratchett (Harper); Superpowers, David J. Schwartz (Three Rivers).

Novellas: "The Spacetime Pool", Catherine Asaro (Analog 3/08); "Dark Heaven", Gregory Benford (Alien Crimes); Dangerous Space, Kelley Eskridge (Dangerous Space); "The Political Prisoner", Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF 8/08); The Duke in His Castle, Vera Nazarian (Norilana).

Novelettes: "If Angels Fight", Richard Bowes (F&SF 2/08); “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story”, James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s 2/08); "Dark Rooms", Lisa Goldstein (Asimov’s 10-11/07); "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08); "Night Wind", Mary Rosenblum (Lace and Blade); "Baby Doll", Johanna Sinisalo, David Hackston, trans. (The SFWA European Hall of Fame); "Kaleidoscope", K.D. Wentworth (F&SF 5/07).

Stories: "The Button Bin", Mike Allen (Helix 10/07); "The Dreaming Wind", Jeffrey Ford (The Coyote Road); "Trophy Wives", Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Fellowship Fantastic); "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss", Kij Johnson (Asimov’s 7/08); "The Tomb Wife", Gwyneth Jones (F&SF 8/07); "Don’t Stop", James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s 6/07); "Mars: A Traveler's Guide", Ruth Nestvold (F&SF 1/08).

Scripts: The Dark Knight, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer (Warner Bros.); "The Shrine", Brad Wright (Stargate Atlantis); WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Peter Docter (Pixar).

Andre Norton Award: Graceling, Kristin Cashore (Harcourt); Lamplighter, D.M. Cornish; Savvy, Ingrid Law (Dial); The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson (Holt); Flora's Dare, Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt).


Dick Award Judges Announced

posted @ 2/27/2009 09:12:00 AM PT 

Judges for the 2009 Philip K. Dick Awards, honoring distinguished science fiction published in paperback original format in the United States, have been announced:

Daniel Abraham
5925 Woodford Dr NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110-1225

Eileen Gunn
525 19th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112-4006

Karen Hellekson
16 Rolling Rdg
Jay, ME 04239-7038

Elaine Isaak
34 Hardy Road
Bedford, NH 03110-4914

Marc Laidlaw
15510 NE 153rd St.
Woodinville, WA 98072-8125

Publishers who issue eligible titles during the calendar year 2009 are encouraged to provide copies to each of the judges as the books are published during the year. (All works of science fiction published originally in the United States as paperbacks during the year 2009 are eligible.) The nominees will be announced in January 2010.

The Philadelphia Science Fiction Society sponsors the $1,000 cash award, which is administered by David G. Hartwell and Gordon Van Gelder. The prize – a cash award of $1,000, a plaque, and a free trip to Norwescon – is given annually at sponsoring convention Norwescon (the Northwest Science Fiction Society). The 2008 awards will be presented on April 10, 2009. For more information:


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Philip José Farmer, 1918-2009

posted @ 2/25/2009 08:56:00 AM PT 

Philip José Farmer, 91, died around 4 a.m. on February 25, 2009 at home in Peoria, Illinois after a long stay in intensive care. Farmer, born January 26, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana, burst onto the SF scene with the 1952 publication of his groundbreaking novella "The Lovers". Over the course of his long and prolific career he produced many noteworthy works, including the Riverworld series; the World of Tiers series; the Dayworld series; and his sprawling Wold Newton universe, which tied together the stories of early fictional heroes like Tarzan, Doc Savage, Phileas Fogg, Sherlock Holmes, and many more. He was named a SFWA Grandmaster in 2001, and his many honors include a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award (2001), three Hugos, and a First Fandom Award. He is survived by his wife Bette, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

See the April 2009 issue of Locus for an extensive obituary and appreciations.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Will F. Jenkins Day

posted @ 2/23/2009 09:23:00 AM PT 

The Virginia State Legislature has passed a resolution declaring June 27, 2009 Will F. Jenkins Day "in recognition of the author's creative genius and his numerous literary achievements." Jenkins wrote award-winning SF under the name Murray Leinster, and popularized parallel-universe stories with his famous "Sidewise in Time" (1934); the Sidewise Award for best alternate history is named in his honor. Jenkins died in 1975 at age 78, and spent most of his life in Virginia, where he was born. The author's family plans to hold a ceremony in his honor to celebrate the day. See the full text of the resolution here.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book Sales Up in December

posted @ 2/19/2009 03:16:00 PM PT 

Despite the poor November showing and fears about holiday sales, book sales for the month of December increased by 9.7% to $1.5 billion, according to the the Association of American Publishers, though still down by 2.4% for the year-to-date. Books may well have been the affordable holiday gift after all.

Adult hardcovers were down 10.3% for the month at $113.3 million; down 13.0% YTD. Paperbacks increased 12.5% and 3.6% for the year. Mass markets dropped 8.3%, down 3.0% YTD. YA hardcovers jumped 124.6% to $115.1 million in sales, down 12.4% YTD. YA paperbacks increased 37.0; 6.4% YTD.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Joss Whedon to Win Bradbury Award

posted @ 2/17/2009 09:29:00 AM PT 

SFWA President Russell Davis announced on February 16 that Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, etc., has been named recipient of the Bradbury Award for excellence in screenwriting.

“Like everyone who picks up a pen, I was a rabid Bradbury fan and as greatly influenced by him as any other writer I read. To receive the award named for him is an honor I'd not dreamed of,” said Whedon. “In my defense, it didn't exist back then. What did exist were the very lovely, very twisted and very human stories that warped my impressionable mind, and that I have tried, in whatever medium they will let me, to measure up to.”

Whedon will be presented the award during the Nebula Awards Weekend in Los Angeles, California, April 24-26, 2009.

[Photo CC-by Raven Underwood, Wikimedia Commons]


Monday, February 16, 2009

Alfred A. Knopf, 1918-2009

posted @ 2/16/2009 12:02:00 PM PT 

Publisher and Atheneum co-founder Alfred A. ("Pat") Knopf Jr., 90, died on February 14, 2009, from complications after a fall. He left the eponymous publishing house run by his parents, Alfred A. & Blanche Wolfe Knopf, after they refused to hire editor Simon Michael Bessie as their eventual successor. With Bessie and editor Hiram Haydn, Knopf founded Atheneum in 1959, and over the years the company has published SF/fantasy authors including Anne McCaffrey, Patricia A. McKillip, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Atheneum merged with another independent publisher, Charles Scribner's Sons in 1978, to form Scribner Book Companies, which was acquired in 1984 by Macmillan Inc., where Knopf assumed responsibility for adult books published by Scribner's houses until his retirement in 1988.

A full obituary will follow in the upcoming March issue of Locus.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Finlay Novel

posted @ 2/13/2009 03:59:00 PM PT 

Charles Coleman Finlay -- writing as C.C. Finlay -- and his publisher Del Rey are giving away a free PDF of his forthcoming Revolutionary War fantasy The Patriot Witch, first in his Traitor to the Crown series, due to be published April 2009. This is the first time Del Rey has given away a free electronic version of a frontlist book. To download the DRM-free PDF, visit


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Richard Gordon, 1947-2009

posted @ 2/12/2009 11:45:00 AM PT 

Writer Richard Gordon, 62, died February 7, 2009 of a heart attack in Shanghai China. Born 1947 in Banff, Scotland, Gordon began publishing SF with "A Light in the Sky" for New Worlds in 1965, as by Richard A. Gordon. He wrote SF novels as Stuart Gordon, beginning with Time Story (1972). Other notable works include the postapocalyptic Eye trilogy: One-Eye (1973), Two-Eyes (1975), and Three-Eyes (1975); fantasy Suaine and the Crow-God (1975); SF Smile on the Void (1982) and Fire in the Abyss (1983); and the Watchers trilogy: Achon! (1987), The Hidden World (1988), and The Mask (1990). As Alex R. Stuart he wrote several motorcycle novels, some with speculative elements, beginning with The Bikers (1971). He taught at Shanghai High School's International Division from 2005.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Harper Undergoes Restructuring; Gallagher and Womack Gone

posted @ 2/11/2009 01:04:00 PM PT 

HarperCollins announced it is undergoing restructuring, including layoffs and the folding of the Collins division under Harper. CEO Brian Murray wrote to employees that, "We need to take further action to align our cost bases with expected revenues. I have asked each division to evaluate their business.... implementing these plans will result in a reduction in workforce. These are difficult decisions..."

As of today, Locus knows of the following changes:

Jack Womack, associate director of publicity at Eos, has been let go. Womack, an author himself, has been with HarperCollins since 2001, and has promoted authors including Neal Stephenson, Chris Moore, etc. UPDATE: Emily Krump, assistant editor at Eos, has also apparently been laid off.

William Morrow, HarperEntertainment, and Eos publisher Lisa Gallagher, who has been at Morrow since 2000 and worked with many bestsellers including Neil Gaiman, is also leaving the company; Liate Stehlik, currently overseeing Avon and Harper mass market titles, will be taking over as publisher of Morrow/Eos/Avon.

The Collins imprint is being realigned under Harper, helmed by publisher Jonathan Burnham, and Collins president and publisher Steve Ross is leaving the company.

Additional details can be found at The New York Observer.

For the complete story, see the upcoming March 2009 print issue of Locus.

SFWA Announces Inaugural Solstice Awards

posted @ 2/11/2009 10:21:00 AM PT 

SFWA President Russell Davis announced that Kate Wilhelm, Martin H. Greenberg, and the late Algis Budrys are the recipients of the inaugural Solstice Awards in 2009. The award, created in 2008 and given at the discretion of the SFWA president with the majority approval of the Board of Directors, is for individuals who have had "a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape, and is particularly intended for those who have consistently made a major, positive difference within the speculative fiction field."

The Solstice Awards will be presented during the Nebula Awards Weekend in Los Angeles CA, April 24-26, 2009. Janis Ian will be toastmistress for the ceremony. Harry Harrison will also be honored as Damon Knight Grand Master, M.J. Engh as Author Emerita, and Victoria Strauss will receive the SFWA Service Award.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wallace Acquires Prime Books

posted @ 2/10/2009 09:23:00 AM PT 

Sean Wallace has announced his acquisition of the Prime Books imprint (including Fantasy Magazine) from Wildside Press and plans to start publishing titles in May 2009. Diamond Book Distributors will handle distribution, and the first planned title is anthology Federations, edited by John Joseph Adams. Wallace will continue as consulting editor at Wildside through 2009.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Anderson News Suspends Magazine Distribution

posted @ 2/09/2009 01:39:00 PM PT 

Anderson News, the mega magazine wholesaler with over 40,000 outlets, announced on Saturday it was suspending business activity. Three weeks ago the company, along with fellow distributor Source Interlink, demanded a 7¢ surcharge each per copy of magazines from publishers; many publishers refused to pay and stopped shipping product, leaving the distributor with "no recourse but to suspend operations."

Charlie Anderson, CEO, said in a press release the company is still working "toward an amicable solution" with publishers. Anderson News and Source Interlink together account for about 50% of magazine distribution in the US; according to PW, Source Interlink was rumored last week to be in trouble also.

This may affect the availability of SF/F magazines at some locations — many can be ordered directly from the publishers or found at bookstores (if you can't find copies at your local bookstore, request the title from the bookseller).


Sunday, February 8, 2009

2011 Seattle Worldcon Bid Drops Out

posted @ 2/08/2009 01:39:00 PM PT 

Bobbie DuFault, chair for the 2011 Seattle Worldcon bid, announced with much regret that Seattle is dropping out due to difficulty securing facilities appropriate for the event. "Seattle is such a popular destination for conventions that all of the reasonable dates (early August through early September) already have groups that have firmer commitments than we do.... We do not want to host the Worldcon in a venue and situation that would prove to be less than World class.... We will be reviewing future opportunities with our potential facilities with an eye toward bidding for a subsequent year."

This leaves Reno as the only Worldcon site bid for 2011.


Ellen Datlow Released From Hospital

posted @ 2/08/2009 01:32:00 PM PT 

According to a post at theinferior4+1, Ellen Datlow has finally been treated and released from the London Hospital, and will be flying home to New York today.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Shirley Jackson Awards Fundraiser

posted @ 2/06/2009 12:46:00 PM PT 

The administrators of the Shirley Jackson Awards are holding an "online lottery" fundraiser. Lottery tickets are a dollar each, and prizes range from rare signed books to Tuckerizations by various authors to a keyboard signed by Neil Gaiman. Tickets will be available for purchase February 9-23, 2009. For the list of available prizes, see


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Magazine Distribution Woes

posted @ 2/04/2009 12:58:00 PM PT 

Many magazines, including F&SF, are facing distribution problems. Editor Gordon Van Gelder recently posted on his blog that "There are upheavals going through the magazine distribution business right now and they’re going to affect F&SF. Specifically, copies that were distributed through Anderson News Corp. or Source Interlink might not be distributed right now."

Those two distributors have instituted a 7-cent per copy surcharge for all the magazines they distribute. Publishers were given until February 1st to comply, but many can't afford the additional cost, and others are refusing on principle -- including the largest magazine publisher in the country, Time Inc., which produces People, Sports Illustrated, and other major publications.

Source Interlink and Anderson news are responsible for about half the retail magazine sales in the US, and distribution for many magazines is likely to be spotty until alternate arrangements can be made.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo in 2010

posted @ 2/03/2009 04:06:00 PM PT 

With the continuing success of their New York Comic Con, Reed Exhibitions plans to launch a Midwestern Comic Con, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), to be held the weekend of April 16-18, 2010. The company is also changing the dates of the 2010 New York Comic Con (NYCC), now taking place October 8-10, 2010, instead of in February (this year's con will be held February 6-8, 2009). The original Comic Con in San Diego (SDCC) will still be held July 23-26, 2009.

Reed Exhibitions Canada is also closing the 2009 trade show BookExpo Canada, citing insufficient interest from publishers. Reed plans to have BookExpo America serve all of North America's publishers and booksellers.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Datlow Hospitalized

posted @ 2/02/2009 05:03:00 PM PT 

Editor Ellen Datlow is currently in a London hospital with cellulitis of the leg, but is expected to return home to New York on Wednesday as scheduled, and to be fully recovered soon. She went to London for the January 31st launch of her anthology Poe, but was unable to attend the event due to her hospitalization. She is reportedly in good spirits and resting comfortably.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lino Aldani, 1926-2009

posted @ 2/01/2009 10:24:00 AM PT 

Lino Aldani, a foremost Italian science fiction writer since the '60s, died at 82 of an untreatable lung disease at Pavia hospital in Italy on January 31, 2009. First published in 1960 in Roman magazine Oltre il cielo, he started his own SF magazine in 1963 called Futuro, later revived as Futuro Europa. In 1962, he wrote the first critical essay on SF by an Italian, "La fantascienza". In 1977, he began publishing novels with Quando le radici (The Roots of a Man), one of the best Italian novels of the time. His short stories and five novels are collected in a five-volume hardcover set published by Elara.

Lino Aldani, 1926-2009

For the complete obituary, see the upcoming print issue of Locus, March 2009.


© 2009 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.