Full report at Spectrum.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Artist Don Ivan Punchatz, 73, died of a heart attack in Arlington, Texas, on October 22, 2009. Punchatz was known for his illustrations for magazines ranging from Boy's Life to Penthouse, for his advertising work, and for his book covers for Ace, Warner, Berkley, and Dell. He created the cover art for the Avon editions of Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels and Philip José Farmer's Riverworld books in the 1970s.
Full report at Spectrum.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Realms of Fantasy is now open for fiction submissions after a seven-month hiatus. The subscription price is increasing on November 15, 2009, so subscribe now if you want to get the old rates of $16.95 for a six-issue subscription in the US ($28.95 overseas), and $29.95 for twelve issues ($53.95 overseas). New rates will be $19.99 for six issues ($29.99 overseas), and $34.99 for twelve issues ($54.99 overseas).
In other magazine news, Jetse de Vries launched free online magazine Daybreak this October, featuring upbeat science fiction stories. The magazine is intended to promote de Vries's upcoming anthology Shine (Solaris), but may continue beyond the anthology's April 2010 publication date.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Google Inc. plans to launch Google Editions, a new online store that will enable Google to act as a distributor, selling hundreds of thousands of e-books, in direct competition with e-retailer Amazon.com Inc. However, unlike Amazon, Google has no plans to launch a proprietary e-book reader comparable to Kindle. Google's e-books will be searchable and available to read on any device that supports a web browser, including smart phones, netbooks, and personal computers and laptops.
The store, set to launch in early 2010, is Google's first attempt to earn revenue from the controversial Google Books scanning project, which has sparked many complaints from authors and publishers citing potential copyright violations. Google Editions will cover only books submitted and approved by copyright holders, though some have expressed unease about how much Google stands to gain by serving as a distributor: Google plans to take 37% of the money made through direct sales on its own website, and if Editions is used to power another retailer's site, they will split 55% of the cost, with the remainder going to the book's owner.
More information at ABC News and The Guardian.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Writer Patrick Rothfuss is holding a fundraiser for his favorite charity, Heifer International, which provides goats, sheep, chickens, and other livestock to families in need. The fundraiser is launching with a raffle for a chance to be Tuckerized in Rothfuss's forthcoming book, The Wise Man's Fear. For further details, or to donate, visit Rothfuss's blog.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Prime Books has announced the launch of new online SF magazine Lightspeed, a sister publication to their Fantasy Magazine. John Joseph Adams will edit fiction, while Andrea Kail will edit non-fiction.
Adams is leaving his position as assistant editor at F&SF at the end of 2009, and Lightspeed will open to fiction submissions and non-fiction queries on January 1, 2010, with guidelines appearing at http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/ by December 1, 2009. They plan to pay professional rates for fiction.
Lightspeed will launch in June 2010, and will focus exclusively on science fiction, including near future, far future, sociological soft SF, star-spanning hard SF, and points in between. Authors are encouraged to take chances and push the envelope. New content will be posted twice a week, including one story each week and one piece of non-fiction.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Phil Klass, who writes as William Tenn, is in the hospital in Pittsburgh PA with congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and gall bladder difficulties. His wife Fruma Klass reports that he is recovering, but will spend time in a rehabilitation facility.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The winner of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction's "Win $2010 in the year 2010" contest is Allen MacNeill, for his prediction that handheld computers would exist by 2010. In 1980, under then editor Ed Ferman, Fantasy & Science Fiction held a 30th anniversary contest, asking readers to choose the science fiction concept most likely to be realized by the year 2010. The approximately 2,700 entries were kept securely and, as promised, were recently opened to determine the winner (a few months ahead of schedule).
Ferman noted that "so many entries projected a sense of confidence and hope that it was somewhat distressing to see how badly we fell short in realizing these predictions." Winner MacNeill said, "I came up with the one about 'home computer terminals with interactive access to other home, business and academic terminals, and including hand-held terminals' mostly because I had been using the PLATO terminals in Uris Hall at Cornell and wished very, very much that I could have one of my own (and especially one that I could carry around with me)." He went on to speculate that perhaps 30 years from now "we will be using some version of a 'cloud-book,' for which most of the processing and hard memory/data storage will be located somewhere else." Seems reasonable! We'll see... in 30 years.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Writer Mary Hunter Schaub, 66, died of cancer September 25, 2009 in hospice. Schaub wrote The Magestone (1996) with Andre Norton, and solo novel Exile (1992), both set in Norton’s Witch World universe. She also published several stories beginning in the ’70s, with work in Analog and various anthologies, many set in Norton’s fictional worlds.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Richard Corben is the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award. Spectrum runs a series of art contests, exhibits, and publications designed to promote contemporary fantastic artists. Corben’s first professional sale was a cover for the September 1967 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He illustrated R. Crumb’s Underground Comix. His broad-ranging art career spans comics, animation, and book cover design. "Richard is one of the five or six true geniuses in comics history," says Mark Chiarello, art director for DC Comics and Spectrum Advisory Board member.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Octavia Butler's papers are being added to the holdings of Huntington Library, located in San Marino, California.
Butler, who died in 2006 at age 58, included the Huntington in her will after curator of literary manuscripts Sara “Sue” Hodson approached her regarding the dispensation of her papers. “I was over the moon about it, but I’m crushed to see it come true so soon," Hodson said. "We are so grateful for her gift but so very sorry that she’s gone.”
Butler's papers include more than 39 cartons and eight file-cabinet drawers of manuscripts, correspondence, school papers, notebooks, photographs, and other materials. Library staff are processing the collection, which will become available to researchers in the coming year.
For more information, see this item in the Los Angeles Times.
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