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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ian R. MacLeod Wins Clarke Award

posted @ 4/29/2009 03:42:00 PM PT 

Ian R. MacLeod's Song of Time (PS Publishing) won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the best science fiction novel published in the UK in 2008, presented at a ceremony April 29, 2009 in London. The award includes an engraved bookend and a £2009 cash prize. MacLeod was present to accept the award.

Other finalists were:

The Quiet War, Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
House of Suns, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz)
Anathem, Neal Stephenson (Atlantic)
The Margarets, Sheri S. Tepper (Gollancz)
Martin Martin's on the Other Side, Mark Wernham (Jonathan Cape)


For more information, visit the Clarke Award website.

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Asimov's and Analog Readers' Awards

posted @ 4/29/2009 12:55:00 PM PT 

Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Asimov's Science Fiction announced their readers' award winners.

The winners of Analog's Analytical Laboratory (AnLab) Awards are:

Best Novella: "Tenbrook of Mars", Dean McLaughlin (July-August)
Best Novelette: "The Man in the Mirror", Geoffrey A. Landis (January-February)
Best Short Story: "Starship Down", Tracy Canfield (October)
Best Fact Article: "The World's Simplest Fusion Reactor", Tom Ligon (January-February)
Best Cover: April 2008, Scott Grimando

The winners of Asimov's Readers' Awards are:

Best Novella: "The Room of Lost Souls", Kristine Kathryn Rusch (April-May)
Best Novelette: "The Ray-Gun: A Love Story", James Alan Gardner (February)
Best Short Story: "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss", Kij Johnson (July)
Best Poem
: "Deaths on Other Planets", Joanne Merriam (April-May)
Best Cover Artist (tie): Tomasz Maronski (March)
Best Cover Artist (tie): John Picacio (September)

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Thomas Deitz, 1952-2009

posted @ 4/27/2009 06:44:00 PM PT 

Thomas Franklin Deitz, 57, died on April 27, 2009 of heart failure at his home in Oakwood, Georgia. Born January 17, 1952, Deitz established himself as a popular fantasist in 1986 with Windmaster's Bane, going on to write 16 well-received fantasy novels, including the Soulsmith trilogy and a tetralogy beginning with Bloodwinter (2002).

Deitz suffered a major heart attack on January 18 of this year, and was hospitalized for months. He was initially a candidate to receive a ventricular assist device (VAD), but unfortunately his heart was too fragile for the operation. He spent his last week at home in hospice care, settling his affairs. At the time of his death, he was working on a young-adult fantasy novel.

A full obituary and appreciations will appear in the June 2009 issue of Locus.

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2009 Locus Award Finalists

posted @ 4/27/2009 01:34:00 PM PT 

The top five finalists in each category of the 2009 Locus Awards have been announced. The Locus Awards will be presented during the Science Fiction Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 26-27, 2009. Finalists are:

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

FANTASY NOVEL

FIRST NOVEL

YOUNG-ADULT NOVEL

NOVELLA

NOVELETTE

  • "Pump Six", Paolo Bacigalupi (Pump Six and Other Stories)
  • "The Ice War", Stephen Baxter (Asimov’s 9/08)
  • "Shoggoths in Bloom"Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s 3/08)
  • "The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away", Cory Doctorow (Tor.com 8/08)
  • "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08)

SHORT STORY

MAGAZINE

  • Analog
  • Asimov's
  • F&SF
  • Realms of Fantasy
  • Subterranean

PUBLISHER

  • Ace
  • Baen
  • Night Shade Books
  • Subterranean Press
  • Tor

ANTHOLOGY

COLLECTION

EDITOR

  • Ellen Datlow
  • Gardner Dozois
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder

ARTIST

  • Bob Eggleton
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess
  • Michael Whelan

NON-FICTION/ART BOOK

Come to the Locus Awards Ceremony in Seattle WA during the Science Fiction Awards Weekend, June 26-27, 2009!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tiptree Award Winners

posted @ 4/26/2009 03:40:00 PM PT 

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council announced the 2008 Tiptree Award has two winners: Patrick Ness's young adult novel The Knife of Never Letting Go (Walker) and Nisi Shawl's short story collection Filter House (Aqueduct).

The Tiptree Award will be presented on Memorial Day weekend at WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin. Each winner will receive $1000 in prize money, an original artwork created specifically for the winning novel or story, and (as always) chocolate. A panel of five jurors selects the Tiptree Award winners and compiles an Honor List of other works that they find interesting, relevant to the award, and worthy of note. The 2008 jurors were Gavin J. Grant (chair), K. Tempest Bradford, Leslie Howle, Roz Kaveney, and Catherynne M. Valente.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Nebula Awards Announced

posted @ 4/25/2009 10:30:00 PM PT 

The 2008 Nebula Awards were presented on Saturday, April 25 in a ceremony at the 2009 Nebula Awards Weekend held in Los Angeles, California. Janis Ian was Toastmistress, and Chuck Lorre gave the keynote address.

The Nebula Awards winners are:

Novel: Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt)
Novella: "The Spacetime Pool", Catherine Asaro (Analog Mar '08)
Novelette: "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF Jan '08)
Short Story: "Trophy Wives", Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Fellowship Fantastic)
Script: WALL-E, Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon. Original story by Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter (Pixar)
Andre Norton Award: Flora's Dare, Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt)

Harry Harrison was honored as Damon Knight Grand Master; M.J. Engh was honored as Author Emerita; Kate Wilhelm, A.J. Budrys, and Martin Greenberg received the Solstice Award; and Joss Whedon received the Ray Bradbury Award. Victoria Strauss received the SFWA Service Award.

For more details, see the live blog from the event. A full report with photos will appear in the June issue of Locus.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ken Rand, 1946-2009

posted @ 4/22/2009 02:32:00 PM PT 


Writer Ken Rand, 62, died April 21, 2009 at home in West Jordan UT of complications from a rare abdominal cancer.

His novels include Phoenix (2004), The Golems of Laramie County (2005), Dadgum Martians Invade the Lucky Nickel Saloon! (2006), Pax Dakota (2008), Fairy BrewHaHa at the Lucky Nickel Saloon (2008), and A Cold Day in Hell (2009).

His short work was collected in many volumes, most recently Where Angels Fear: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume One (2008), and The Gods Perspire: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume Two (2008). He also wrote many books of non-fiction, both writing guides and memoirs.

Rand was born July 19, 1946 in Spokane WA and grew up in Port Chicago CA. He was a hippie in San Francisco in the 1960s, and worked as a photographer, talk show host, producer, editor, actor, and announcer for sporting events and daredevil shows, and spent over two decades as a broadcast and print reporter.

He is survived by his wife Lynne (married 1969, divorced 1974; remarried 1993), their three children, and six grandchildren.
See the May 2009 print issue of Locus for a more detailed obituary.
(Photo credit: CC from Nihonjoe)

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

J.G. Ballard, 1930-2009

posted @ 4/19/2009 11:51:00 AM PT 


UK author J.G. Ballard, 78, died at his home in Shepperton in west London on April 19, 2009, after a long illness -- he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 -- according to reports from BBC and elsewhere. Author of 15 novels and many short stories, his most acclaimed novel was Empire of the Sun, based on his childhood in a Japanese prison camp in China.
His agent, Margaret Branbury, described his work as an "acute and visionary observation of contemporary life... distilled into a number of brilliant, powerful novels which have been published all over the world and saw Ballard gain cult status."

Reactions online include Jeff VanderMeer's post at Amazon.com's Omnivoracious and Graham Sleight's post at the Locus Roundtable, which includes numerous links.

Locus will have a comprehensive obituary and appreciations from Michael Moorcock and others in the May 2009 issue.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Never Let Me Go Filming Begins

posted @ 4/17/2009 03:35:00 PM PT 

Filming began in London this week on the movie adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go (2005). The novel, a Clarke Award and Booker Award finalist, is set in a dystopian Britain where clones are harvested for replacement organs. Actress Keira Knightley plays clone Kathy H, in a film written by Alex Garland and directed by Mark Romanek.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guy Gavriel Kay's Ysabel Optioned

posted @ 4/15/2009 03:09:00 PM PT 

Guy Gavriel Kay's World Fantasy Award-winning novel Ysabel has been optioned for feature film development by Maryke McEwen of Kinetic Productions and Jeanne Strømberg and Alan Hausegger of StrømHaus Productions in Toronto, Ontario. Kinetic Productions is an independent production company, and StrømHaus Productions specializes in feature film adaptations of literary works. Debbie Wood of Westwood Creative Artists negotiated the deal.

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Shirley Jackson Awards Ballot Announced

posted @ 4/15/2009 02:01:00 PM PT 

The Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 12th 2009, at Readercon 20, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Guest of honor Elizabeth Hand, whose Generation Loss won the 2007 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, will emcee.

NOVEL
  • Alive in Necropolis, Doug Dorst (Riverhead Hardcover)

  • The Man on the Ceiling, Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries)

  • Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory (Del Rey)

  • The Resurrectionist, Jack O’Connell (Algonquin Books)

  • The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (William Morrow)

  • Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Knopf)

NOVELLA

  • Disquiet, Julia Leigh (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton)

  • "Dormitory," Yoko Ogawa (The Diving Pool)

  • Living With the Dead, Darrell Schweitzer (PS Publishing)

  • The Long Trial of Nolan Dugatti, Stephen Graham Jones (Chiasmus)

  • "N.", Stephen King (Just After Sunset)

NOVELETTE

  • "Hunger Moon", Deborah Noyes (The Ghosts of Kerfol)

  • "The Lagerstatte", Laird Barron (The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

  • "Penguins of the Apocalypse", William Browning Spencer (Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy)

  • "Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF, January 2008)

  • The Situation, Jeff Vandermeer (PS Publishing)

SHORT STORY

  • "68° 07’ 15"N, 31° 36’ 44"W", Conrad Williams (Fast Ships, Black Sails)

  • "The Dinner Party", Joshua Ferris (The New Yorker, August 11, 2008)

  • "Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter’s Personal Account", M. Rickert (F&SF, Oct/Nov 2008)

  • "The Inner City", Karen Heuler (Cemetery Dance #58)

  • "Intertropical Convergence Zone", Nadia Bulkin (ChiZine, Issue 37)

  • "The Pile", Michael Bishop (Subterranean Online, Winter 2008)

COLLECTION

  • A Better Angel, Chris Adrian (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

  • Dangerous Laughter, Steven Millhauser (Knopf)

  • The Diving Pool, Yoko Ogawa (Picador)

  • The Girl on the Fridge, Etgar Keret (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

  • Just After Sunset, Stephen King (Scribner)

  • Wild Nights!, Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)

ANTHOLOGY

  • Bound for Evil, edited by Tom English (Dead Letter)

  • Exotic Gothic 2: New Tales of Taboo, edited by Danel Olson (Ash-Tree)

  • Fast Ships, Black Sails, edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer (Night Shade)

  • The New Uncanny, edited by Sarah Eyre & Ra Page (Comma)

  • Shades of Darkness, edited by Barbara & Christopher Roden (Ash-Tree)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pride, Prejudice, Zombies, and $$$

posted @ 4/14/2009 09:06:00 AM PT 

In a trendspotting mashup, Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Chronicle) has hit the bestseller lists, currently third in the NY Times and ranking #11 in Amazon sales. The author combined the original (out-of-copyright) text by Jane Austen with expanded sections of flesh-eating and martial arts, and illustrations in the style of C.E. Brock. In this new version, England is under a decades-long zombie plague, with London a walled city and militia in the countryside keeping the zombies at bay. Elizabeth Bennet possesses not only the expected unimpeachable manners and etiquette, but also martial arts skills worthy of a zombie slayer: "The creature advanced, and Elizabeth landed a devastating chop across its thighs. The limbs broke off, and the unmentionable fell to the ground, helpless . . . Elizabeth found herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise."

Grand Central has now signed Grahame-Smith to a two-book deal, starting with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, worth possibly as much as $575,000, though the amount has not been confirmed by the publisher.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Responds to Amazonfail

posted @ 4/13/2009 07:10:00 PM PT 

Amazon calls ranking fiasco an "error" and says that numbers will be restored to the affected titles.

Andrew Herdener, an Amazon spokesperson, called the ranking delistings an "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection." According to Herdener, 57,310 books were affected.

"This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon's main product search," Herdener said. "Many books have now been fixed and we're in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future."

There is still speculation about why authors were told by Amazon their books had been intentionally delisted due to adult content. Gore Vidal is quoted by the AP saying, "What kind of a childish game is this? Why don't they just burn the books? They'd be better off and it's very visual on television."

Update: Interesting notes on the topic by Charles Stross.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazonfail: Discriminatory Policy or Glitch?

posted @ 4/12/2009 08:07:00 PM PT 

Amazon has enraged the Twitterverse. In response to what authors and others believe is a new policy by Amazon to remove "adult" titles from its sales ranking, petitions, protests, and googlebombing are reaching online mob proportions, primarily decrying the delisting of titles of gay and lesbian titles; it appears that LGBT titles are being singled out (even some with no sexual content), while other "adult" content is unaffected.

According to PW, the director of the Erotic Authors Association, Erastes, said a number of their members "noticed their titles had been stripped of their sales rankings" on Amazon, which affects both sales and search results. One member, Mark Probst, contacted an Amazon customer service representative, later recounting on his blog that the rep told him that "'adult' material" is being excluded from appearing in "some searches and best seller lists" as a "consideration of our entire customer base."

In response to queries, an Amazon spokesperson stated that a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that was in the process of being fixed, adding that there was no new adult policy.


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New Vonnegut Collection to Be Published

posted @ 4/12/2009 02:34:00 PM PT 

According to Publishers Weekly, Delacorte Press will be publishing a collection of 14 previously unseen short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, entitled Look at the Birdie, slated for publication in November 2009. Donald C. Farber, co-executor of Vonnegut’s estate, brokered the world rights deal. The publication of the collection will coincide with rereleases of 15 Vonnegut backlist titles.



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BSFA Awards Winners Announced

posted @ 4/12/2009 12:15:00 PM PT 

The British Science Fiction Awards were announced in a ceremony at Eastercon LX 2009. Winners are:

Best Artwork: Cover of Subterfuge by Andy Bigwood
Best Non-Fiction: Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn
Best Short Fiction: "Exhalation" by Ted Chiang
Best Novel: The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod

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Philip K Dick Award Announced

posted @ 4/12/2009 12:03:00 PM PT 

The Philip K. Dick Award was announced on Friday April 10, 2009 at Norwescon 32 in SeaTac, Washington.

The winner is a tie between:
  • Emissaries From the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro (Eos)
  • Terminal Mind by David Walton (Meadowhawk)

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the US and is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. The 2008 judges were Tobias Buckell, M.M. Buckner, Walter Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein, and Bill Senior. The 2009 judges are Daniel Abraham (chair), Eileen Gunn, Karen Hellekson, Elaine Isaak, and Marc Laidlaw.

For more information, contact the award administration: David G. Hartwell (914) 769-5545; Gordon Van Gelder (201) 876-2551.

For more information, see the full story in the May 2009 issue of Locus.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Starlog Ceasing Print Publication

posted @ 4/11/2009 07:58:00 PM PT 

Starlog.com announced the April 2009 print issue of Starlog magazine, #374, will be the last, at least for now, with issue #375 to be available in the future in digital format only. The magazine says it is a "temporary cessation of the current run of Starlog as a print magazine. After 33 years, and considering the present state of the economy, we feel its time for a major revamp and will be temporarily discontinuing publication while the model and redesign of the magazine are contemplated and executed."

It's often been the case for print magazines that a temporary cessation is actually permanent, so whether this really will be a revamping of the print magazine, or in the end a shift to digital only, is hard to say. Starlog has long played an important role in covering science fiction, and the various reactions to the news seem to come to the same conclusion, that this is "the end of an era."

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hugo Logo Contest

posted @ 4/08/2009 01:54:00 PM PT 

The World Science Fiction Society has announced a contest to design an official logo for the Hugo Awards, suitable for use in the publishing and film/television industries, and in solidifying the Hugo Awards brand.

The contest is open to individual designers. Full submission guidelines are available on the Hugo Awards web site at www.thehugoawards.org/logocontest.htm. Some guidelines for a successful design:


  • The design must work well at a variety of sizes and in both black & white and color;
  • The design must include something clearly recognizable as the classic four-finned Hugo Award rocket;
  • The design must include the words “Hugo Award”.

The deadline for submitting entries is May 31, 2009. Entries must be submitted on-line at logocontest@thehugoawards.com. The winning design will be selected by a jury including Chip Kidd, Irene Gallo, Geri Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, and by the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee.

The winner will receive a special trophy incorporating the winning logo design, a $500 cash prize, and signed copies of Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-winning works American Gods and Coraline, and collection Fragile Things, which includes winning story "A Study in Emerald".

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Posthumous Crichton Novels Announced

posted @ 4/06/2009 10:15:00 AM PT 

According to recent announcements, the late Michael Crichton left behind a finished pirate novel and a partial techno-thriller novel, and HarperCollins plans to publish them. The completed work is a departure from his usual science-based fare; Pirate Latitudes is an adventure story set in Jamica in the 17th century. According to Jonathan Burnham, Harper publisher, "it's packed through with great detail about navigation and how pirates operated, and links between the New World and the Caribbean and Spain," adding that HarperCollins plans a print run of one million copies in the US, to be released on November 24, 2009. The publisher also said they intend to work with Crichton's agent Lynn Nesbit and the Crichton estate to choose a co-writer to finish the other work, the sequel to Next.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Syfy President Discusses Name Change

posted @ 4/03/2009 09:25:00 PM PT 

In response to the strong reactions to the Sci Fi Channel's name change, president David Howe held a conference call interview with various media outlets to discuss the new name and why the decision was made. "This is not about alienating our existing core viewers because frankly we are still the sci-fi/fantasy channel and will continue to be so," said Howe. "This is absolutely about embracing our heritage and embracing our future and figuring out how we can bring even more people into the camp." Excerpts from the interview can be found here, and a Q&A on the topic with Howe here.

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One Opens, One Closes

posted @ 4/03/2009 01:00:00 PM PT 

A new used bookstore opened in Massachusetts on April 30, 2009, specializing in SF, fantasy, and horror. Seek Books is located at 1747 Centre St., West Roxbury MA 02132. See more information here.
In sadder news, owners Ted Ball and Erik Arthur of Fantasy Centre bookstore in London, possibly the only shop in Europe specialising in science fiction publications of all eras, announced they will be closing the store once their lease expires in June after nearly 40 years of trading. Established in 1971, the specialist SF bookshop does 90% of its trade in used, out-of-print and rare science fiction, fantasy, and horror, covering the entire field, including early and recent magazines, hardcover and paperback editions, reference books, and so on.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Greg Bear to Write Halo Trilogy

posted @ 4/02/2009 04:07:00 PM PT 

Greg Bear will write a trilogy set in the world of the science fiction video game franchise Halo for Tor via Richard Curtis, with the first volume to appear in 2010. The series will take place before the events of the video games, and will explore the mysterious alien "Forerunners" who built the vast artificial ring-shaped habitats central to the fictional universe. The Halo games have sold over 26 million copies worldwide.

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2009 Dell Awards Winner Announced

posted @ 4/02/2009 10:46:00 AM PT 

The 2009 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing went to "We Were Real" by Josh Eure of North Carolina State University. Eure received $500 as well as an expense-paid trip to Orlando FL where Sheila Williams presented him with the Award at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

First runner-up was "The Best and Bitt'rest Kiss" by Sarah Miller of Bard College at Simon's Rock, second runner-up was "Suspended" by Maggie Morgan of North Carolina State University, and honorable mentions went to "Between Dusk and Twilight" by Rahul Kanakia of Stanford University, "Locked and Keyed" by Jeannette Westwood of Stanford University, "Aeroplasty" by Elena Gleason of Knox College, and "The Case of the Unassuming Book and the Very Soiled Trousers" by Lara Donnelly of Wright State University.

For more information and photos, see the full report in the May issue of Locus.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moorcock in London

posted @ 4/01/2009 03:01:00 PM PT 


In a rare visit to the capital, Michael Moorcock will be speaking at the British Library on Monday, June 29, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., about the city and "his relationship with its forms." The event is part of The Story of London, a month long festival "celebrating London’s past, present and future."

Tickets for this event will go on sale at the beginning of May for £6.

2009 SF Museum Hall of Fame Inductees Announce

posted @ 4/01/2009 09:33:00 AM PT 

The Science Fiction Museum and SF Hall of Fame have announced the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees: Connie Willis, Michael Whelan, Frank R. Paul, and Edward L. Ferman.

For more information about the SF Hall of Fame, see www.empsfm.com.

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