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Stephen King

World Fantasy Awards

British Fantasy Awards

Stephen King

Harlan Ellison

William Rotsler

Stephen King signs with Simon & Schuster

Stephen King has entered into an agreement with Scribner, Pocket Books, and Simon & Schuster Audio -- all imprints of Simon & Schuster's Consumer Group -- to publish three books: Bag of Bones, a novel; an untitled collection of short stories; and an untitled nonfiction work on the craft of writing.

Financial terms were not revealed. King said his primary interest was in finding a publisher with a fresh vision for publishing his works, not merely the one offering the richest deal. The agreement with Simon & Schuster is innovative and unprecedented; according to S&S Consumer Group president Jack Romanas, ''Our partnership is based on the marketplace value of the works. The actual performance of each title will determine the profit participation. The deal structure puts priority on growing the Stephen King readership to even greater levels.''

(posted 8 Nov)

G. Harry Stine, 1928 - 1997

G. Harry Stine, who also wrote science fiction as Lee Correy, died Sunday, November 2nd, at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was known for his military SF series Warbots and Starsea Invaders. As Lee Correy he published novels such as Shuttle Down (1986) and Star Trek: The Abode of Life (1982). Nonfiction titles included the recent Living in Space and Halfway to Anywhere.

Harry was long involved with model rocketry. He co-founded the Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy in 1980, and was influential within the L5 Society.

A memorial service will be held this Friday, November 7, 1997, at 2:00 p.m. at Grimshaw Bethany Chapel, 710 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix. His wife, Barbara, requests no flowers, but hopes to start a scholarship fund instead. Another service will be held at TusCon in Tucson, Arizona, the same weekend. For further details, contact Adam Niswander.

(posted 5 Nov)

World Fantasy Awards

The winners were announced Nov. 2nd, 1997, at the World Fantasy Convention in London, UK. (nominees) Winners of the British Fantasy Awards were also announced. (nominees)

Life Achievement Award: Madeleine L'Engle
Novel: Godmother Night, Rachel Pollack (St. Martin's)
Novella: A City in Winter, Mark Helprin (Viking Ariel)
Short Fiction: ''Thirteen Phantasms'', James P. Blaylock (Omni Online 10/96)
Anthology: Starlight 1, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, ed. (Tor)
Collection: The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye, Jonathan Lethem (Harcourt Brace)
Artist: Moebius (Jean Giraud)
Special Award -- Professional :Michael J. Weldon, for The Psychotronic Video Guide
Special Award -- Non-Professional: Barbara & Christopher Roden, for Ash-Tree Press
Special Convention Award: Hugh B. Cave

British Fantasy Awards

Novel : The Tooth Fairy, Graham Joyce (Signet)
Short Story: ''Dancing About Architecture'', Martin Simpson (The Third Alternative, Winter 1996/97)
Anthology/Collection: The Nightmare Factory, Thomas Ligotti (Raven Books)
Artist: Jim Burns
Small Press Publication: H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, S.T. Joshi (Necronomicon Press)
British Fantasy Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award): Jo Fletcher

(posted 3 Nov)

Stephen King on the Move

The publishing world was flustered last week by the announcement that Stephen King has offered his next novel, Bag of Bones, to a variety of publishers, departing his 17-year association with Viking. King was apparently dissatisifed with Viking's lackluster support for recent projects, such as the serialization of The Green Mile through an arrangement with Dutton/Signet. Industry speculation also focused on Viking's recent acquisition by Penguin, which put King at a disadvantage with top money-maker Tom Clancy for lucrative deals with the publisher.

Bag of Bones, a completed manuscript, involves a bestselling writer suffering after the death of his wife at their summer home in King's mythical Derry, Maine. The manuscript has been submitted to several major publishers, including Bantam, Warner, and Knopf, as well as several smaller publishing houses that King admires -- Grove Atlantic and Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The reported asking price is $17 million.

Industry analysts are concerned that the move threatens the publishing industry with the effects of superstar free agency. Many doubt that any publisher can make money on the deal. The effect of competing for superstars will be to eat up money that would have been available for new talent and "midlist."

(posted 2 Nov)

Harlan Ellison Wins $72,000

Harlan Ellison has been awarded $72,000 by a federal bankruptcy court settling the affairs of the production company behind the film "The Terminator". Ellison won a settlement with Hemdale Production Co. several years ago in which all future copies of "The Terminator" would carry the credit line "Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison." When the televised version of the film failed to carry the credit, Ellison sued again, alleging breach of contract and seeking $1 million. Resolution of the new lawsuit awaited disposition of the company's bankruptcy action.

The original suit arose over the similarity of "The Terminator" to Ellison's 1964 teleplay "Soldier" for the TV series The Outer Limits.

Quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Ellison had this to say about the film industry: "Every week there's an entirely new cadre of jumped-up amateurs, thieves without a shred of ethic, ignorant plagiarists and Pecksniffian attorneys. They steal as easily as they breathe."

(posted 26 Oct)

William Rotsler, 1926 - 1997

William Rotsler, author, artist, sculptor, photographer, and cartoonist extraordinaire, died suddenly October 18, 1997, at the home of his friend, Paul Turner. He recently had throat cancer surgery. In the last few years, he had a heart attack and bypass surgery, and various other severe illnesses.

Rotsler's cartoons and drawings delighted and amazed friends and fans for 50 years. In 1996, he was given Hugo and Retro-Hugo awards for work 50 years apart. He won his fifth Best Fan Artist Hugo Award just this year. His spare, laconic drawing style masked an ability to look at life, described by Harry Warner in A Wealth of Fable, as "funny on the surface, terrifying a millimeter beneath to anyone whose eye could penetrate."

William Rotsler was born 3 July 1926 in Los Angeles, California. He worked on a ranch in Camarillo as a teenager, and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1945, learning the profession of photographer. He discovered fandom in the mid-'40s and was part of the Los Angeles fan scene for over 50 years. He attended Los Angeles County Art Institute, 1947-50, and worked as a sculptor of mainly outdoor modern work from 1950 to 1959, then gave it up to become a photographer, filmmaker, producer, director of commercials, documentaries, etc. He worked mainly in the "erotic" industries, selling photos to Playboy, writing columns for Knight and other men's magazines, writing, directing, or acting(!) -- or some combination of these -- in such movies as The Agony of Love (1966), Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill (1966), Shannon's Women (1969), and The Secret Sex Life of Romeo and Juliet (1970). He frequently used fan friends as extras in his movies. This part of his career mostly ended by the '70s. During all this, his prodigious output of cartoons and drawings continued unabated. He was fan Guest of Honor at the World SF Convention in 1973.

He also became a professional writer in the '70s, first producing non-fiction book Contemporary Erotic Cinema (1973) and then his first and best novel, Patron of the Arts (1974). To the Land of the Electric Angels (1976) was also noteworthy. He collaborated with Gregory Benford on Shiva Descending (1980). Most of his books were movie and TV tie-ins or children's fiction such as Tom Swift books with Sharman DiVono under the name of Victor Appleton, Jr. His most recent book was Science Fictionaries (1995), a collection of sayings and quotes from SF writers.

(posted 21 Oct; excerpted from the obituary to appear in Locus Magazine, November 1997.)
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