IROSF Suspending Publication
Thu, December 31, 2009 (04:49 AM)
Seattle, WA, 12/30/2009 - After six years of publication the Internet
Review of Science Fiction (irosf.com) will cease operations after the
February, 2010 issue. Publisher L Blunt "Bluejack" Jackson and Editor
Stacey Janssen expressed their gratitude to all the subscribers, con-
tributors, authors, and especially the volunteers who made IROSF such
a success since its first issue in January, 2004.
Continuous financial shortfalls added to the challenges of publishing
IROSF, and Jackson has expressed his intent to turn to new challenges
related to the economy and logistics of Internet publishing. "What we
learned with IROSF and AEon Speculative Fiction was that neither tra-
ditional nor community-driven economic models met our needs, and that
the complexity of managing a distributed volunteer pool burned people
out, despite a steady increase in revenue and readership. Our plan is
to use this knowledge, and the ready availability of new distribution
channels, to create the kind of environment that would have empowered
the editors to achieve the success that IROSF's superb content always
L. Blunt Jackson
SemiProzine Category Saved!
Sat, August 8, 2009 (04:04 PM)
A proposal brought to this year's WorldCon would have eliminated the SemiProzine category for the Hugo award. This is not without reason: It's a rare year that Locus does win this award. Since 1996 only once has it happened (2005: Ansible).
In response to this proposal, many semiprozine publishers banded together to object, and to float some alternate ideas that would bring the definition of semiprozine more in-line with current reality.
As of this writing Cheryl Morgan tweeted from the WSFS Business Meeting: "Semiprozine now definitely safe for a couple of years."
According to Cheryl, the motion was defeated 73-32, and a committee formed to review the category.
R.I.P, Charles N. Brown
Mon, July 13, 2009 (06:24 PM)
(Originally posted at Locus Online News)
Charles N. Brown, 1937-2009 - posted at 7/13/2009 09:46:00 AM PT
Locus publisher, editor, and co-founder Charles N. Brown, 72, died peacefully in his sleep July 12, 2009 on his way home from Readercon.
Charles Nikki Brown was born June 24, 1937 in Brooklyn NY, where he grew up. He attended the City College of New York, taking time off from 1956-59 to serve in the US Navy, and finished his degree (BS in physics and engineering) at night on the GI Bill while working as a junior engineer in the '60s. He married twice, to Marsha Elkin (1962-69), who helped him start Locus, and to Dena Benatan (1970-77), who co-edited Locus for many years while he worked full time. He moved to San Francisco in 1972, working as a nuclear engineer until becoming a full-time SF editor in 1975. The Locus offices have been in Brown's home in the Oakland hills since 1973.
Brown co-founded Locus with Ed Meskys and Dave Vanderwerf as a one-sheet news fanzine in 1968, originally created to help the Boston Science Fiction Group win its Worldcon bid. Brown enjoyed editing Locus so much that he continued the magazine far beyond its original planned one-year run. Locus was nominated for its first Hugo Award in 1970, and Brown was a best fan writer nominee the same year. Locus won the first of its 29 Hugos in 1971.
During Brown's long and illustrious career he was the first book reviewer for Asimov's; wrote the Best of the Year summary for Terry Carr's annual anthologies (1975-87); wrote numerous magazines and newspapers; edited several SF anthologies; appeared on countless convention panels; was a frequent Guest of Honor, speaker, and judge at writers' seminars; and has been a jury member for various major SF awards.
As per his wishes, Locus will continue to publish, with executive editor Liza Groen Trombi taking over as editor-in-chief with the August 2009 issue.
A complete obituary with tributes and a photo retrospective will appear in the August issue.
First ever Gemmell Award winners announced.
Wed, June 24, 2009 (09:53 PM)
On Friday, June 19, 2009, the first ever David Gemmell Legend Prize ( a fan voted award for fantasy novels and works) was awarded to Polish author Andrzej Sapowski for his novel, Blood of the Elves..
With a reported voter base of over 10,000 readers, the Gemmell Prize was established to recognize works written in the spirit of the late British author, whose 1984 novel Legend has never gone out of print.
An initial pool of 87 nominees from worldwide publishing houses was narrowed to a short list of 5 finalists in early April.
For his inaugural win, Sapkowski receives a replica battle axe, a depiction of the weapon “Snaga” featured in Gemmell's books. The runners-up (Joe Abercrombie The Last Argument of Kings (Pyr, Gollancz), Juliet Marillier The Heir to Seven Waters (TOR UK), Brandon Sanderson The Hero of Ages (TOR), Brent Weeks The Way of Shadows (Orbit)) also receive a miniature version of the prize.
Deborah J. Miller (award administrator and fantasy author) was pleased with the outcome of the event. "Our winning author is already a huge star in Europe and winning the award will hopefully ensure new readers experience his work in the excellent English translation from Gollancz. Genre fantasy is often dismissed as being simply gung-ho or macho, as people outside genre circles tend to imagine it's all about epic battles, weapons and warriors – in fact, it is all of those things and so much more. Contemporary fantasy fiction is about far more than escape to other realities. Freed of the constraints and preconceptions of other kinds of fiction, it holds up a mirror to reflect on this world and time through the prism of vivid characters and enthralling drama that engage the imagination like no other genre."
Graham Edwards -- Internet Press Release
Wed, June 10, 2009 (02:56 PM)
UK fantasy and SF author Graham Edwards, best known for his epic Dragoncharm saga, has entered the blogosphere. His new SF&F blog – called, unsurprisingly, Graham Edwards Blog – is a personal pot-pourri of commentary, review, trivia, nostalgia and the occasional bit of shameless self-promotion.
Says Edwards: "If you're a fan of genre fiction, science and speculation in all its forms, this is the blog for you. As to the content, well, it's a kind of conservation scheme really. I'm releasing into the wild all the stuff in my head I can't find a place for in my fictional output."
Will Graham Edwards's "stuff" learn to hunt for itself and survive in the big blog-eat-blog world? Visit grahamedwards.blogspot.com and monitor its progress for yourself.
Suvudu Offers Free Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels
Fri, June 5, 2009 (02:31 PM)
Suvudu (an online imprint of Random House) is now offering free e-book downloads of the first volume of popular fantasy and sci-fi novel series (such as Red Mars, shown left)
The downloads are compatible with most e-book readers, including Amazon's Kindle and the Stanza iPhone reader.
Locus Award Finalists Announced
Tue, April 28, 2009 (12:37 AM)
Locus Magazine has announced the finalists for the 2009 Locus Awards, with the winners to be announced this summer at the Science Fiction Awards Weekend.
The awards, (given annually since 1971), are chosen by reader poll, and are unique in that the publisher of the work is also honored.
A full list of finalists (as well as links to individual titles) is available on the Locus web site.
And the Nebula Award goes to...
Sun, April 26, 2009 (08:16 AM)
The 2009 Nebula Awards ceremony was held Saturday, April 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, CA. Live coverage of the event was carried byScience Fiction Awards Watch, aided by regular Twitter updates (@sfwa).
The 2009 Honorees (including categories announced and awarded before the ceremony) are:
Best Novel: Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin (published by Harcourt, Sep 2007)
Best Novella: “The Spacetime Pool” - Catherine Asaro (Analog, Mar 2008)
Best Novelette: “Pride and Prometheus” - John Kessel (F&SF, Jan 2008)
Best Short Story: “Trophy Wives” - Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Fellowship Fantastic, ed. Greenberg and Hughes, Daw Jan 2008)
Best Script: “WALL-E” Screenplay - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon. Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter (Walt Disney June 2008)
Andre Norton Award (presented for Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy work): Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) - Ysabeau S. Wilce (Harcourt, Sep 2008)
Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award (for lifetime achievement): Harry Harrison
Bradbury Award (for excellence in screenwriting): Joss Whedon
Solstice Award (for significance to the Science Fiction Field): A.J. Budrys, Kate Wilhelm, Martin H. Greenberg
Author Emerita (honoring a senior writer in the field): M.J. Engh
SFWA Service Award: Victoria Strauss
A full list of 2008 nominees and nominated works can be found here.
The Nebula Awards® are annual awards presented by SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY WRITERS OF AMERICA to celebrate excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing.
The Guardian Remembers J.G. Ballard
Sat, April 25, 2009 (07:39 PM)
This morning, U.K online newspaper The Guardian published what is believed to be the last story ever written by J.G. Ballard, as part of their continuing remembrance of the seminal science fiction author.
On Friday, the Guardian also reported that Publisher Harper Collins has canceled their plans to release Ballard's final, unfinished book this fall.
The Dying Fall can be read online at the Guardian's dedicated page.
Science Fiction Television Pilots
Fri, April 24, 2009 (12:56 PM)
scifiwire has broken down upcoming sci-fi television offerings by network, and given its "best guess" as to the survivability of each.
ABC, CBS, NBC
In related news, NBC has reduced its episode commitment for Heroes, and despite premature rumors of its demise, Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku speak regarding the chances for a second season of Dollhouse.
Proposed New Flavor for Milky Way
Thu, April 23, 2009 (04:50 PM)
from the Telegraph
Astronomers testing a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have found that it might taste of raspberries, according to reports.
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, were searching space for evidence of amino acids: the basic chemicals from which life is created.
They told the Guardian newspaper that, despite failing to locate any such aminos, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavor of raspberries.
The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyse electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star, the paper reported.
Radiation from the star is absorbed by molecules floating around in the gas cloud, which is then re-emitted at different energies depending on the type of molecule.
While scouring their data, the team found ethyl formate as well as evidence for the deadly chemical propyl cyanide in the same cloud. The two molecules are the largest yet discovered in deep space.
Astronomer Arnaud Belloche said: "It [ethyl formate] does happen to give raspberries their flavor, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries."
Theoretical Molecule Developed in Laboratory
Thu, April 23, 2009 (04:34 PM)
from BBC News
A molecule that until now existed only in theory has finally been made.
Known as a Rydberg molecule, it is formed through an elusive and extremely weak chemical bond between two atoms.
The new type of bonding, reported in Nature, occurs because one of the two atoms in the molecule has an electron very far from its nucleus or center.
It reinforces fundamental quantum theories, developed by Nobel prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, about how electrons behave and interact.
The Rydberg molecules in question were formed from two atoms of rubidium - one a Rydberg atom, and one a "normal" atom. The movement and position of electrons within an atom can be described as orbiting around a central nucleus - with each shell of orbiting electrons further from the center.
Campbell Award Candidate Interviews
Wed, April 22, 2009 (04:04 PM)
Mary Robinette Kowal (2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer) has completed interviews with the 2009 Campbell Award nominees on her site. Please take a moment to read them, and discover the next new stars in the Science Fiction universe.
Aliette de Bodard
David Anthony Durham
The Campbell Award winner will be announced at the the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held Thursday 6 August - Monday 10 August, 2009 in Montréal, Québec.
RIP, Ken Rand
Wed, April 22, 2009 (07:21 AM)
On April 21, 2009, the Science Fiction community said goodbye to a dear and respected friend, Ken Rand (1946-2009), following a prolonged illness.
A journalist turned Award-winning Author, Rand's pen was a prolific one, signing his name to over a hundred short stories, a dozen books, and too many columns, articles and interviews to list, though many of his friends and admirers count the number at,"not enough."
His books regarding the craft of writing are regarded as some of the finest in the field, and his "Port Chicago" series detail the true-life (and death) story of a small town that was simply "in the way."
Whether it was his engaging smile, subtle wit or open and welcoming heart, Rand shared a bit of himself with everyone he met, asking nothing in return.
He will be missed.
RIP, J.G. Ballard
Tue, April 21, 2009 (05:33 PM)
On April 19, 2009, the world said goodbye to one of its more influential and understated individuals, James Graham Ballard (15 November 1930 — 19 April 2009)
Ballard was a strong voice in the "New Wave" of Science Fiction authors, but his work touched many aspects of 20th century life, including popular music, film and television.
Ballard's early life was fictionalized in his semi-autobiography Empire of the Sun (later brought to the screen by noted director Steven Speilberg in a 1987 film of the same name)
Like the late John W. Campbell before him, Ballard's very name became a defining characteristic of science fiction, invoking themes of dystopian modernity, the follies of too-rapid advancement, and the toll such changes can wreak upon the individual.
He will be missed.
Final Hugo, Campbell Ballots Released
Fri, March 20, 2009 (01:28 AM)
The 2009 Hugo and Campbell Award ballots have just been published on the Hugo Awards site.
Here's a peek:
Hugo for Best Novel
* Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Morrow; Atlantic UK)
* The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury)
* Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
* Saturnâ€™s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)
* Zoeâ€™s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Aliette de Bodard*
David Anthony Durham*
*(Second year of eligibility)
See the full ballot at the Hugo Awards site.
Clarke Award Short List Released
Thu, March 19, 2009 (07:57 PM)
The short list for the 2009 Arthur C. Clarke award has been announced:
* Song of Time, Ian R. MacLeod (PS Publishing)
* 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)
Thanks, as always, to ScienceFictionAwardsWatch.com for the tip.
Joe Hill: Love Your Indie
Wed, March 18, 2009 (11:37 PM)
Author Joe Hill wants you to shop at your local independent bookstore. As an incentive, he's having a contest:
How to Play: Go to a local independent bookstore. Buy something. Save the receipt. Send a photo or scan of the receipt to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure either your e-mail or your receipt includes the name and phone number of the bookstore in question.
Prize: At the end of March I'll have a random drawing, and send the winner a signed slipcased copy of GUNPOWDER.
BUT WAIT! There's more. As this thing goes along, I'll be adding other signed editions of other books for other randomly drawn winners. Stay tuned.
And remember, even if you lose you win, because you will have supported a small bookstore, and come away with something worth reading.
Read the details and full contest rules on Joe's site.
PKD's Wife Finishes Final Novel
Wed, March 11, 2009 (07:58 PM)
From Slice of SciFi:
In the past few years, fans of Philip K. Dick have had a few treats show up in bookstores–some newly discovered completed works by the author. While not on the same level as his classic novel, "The Man in the High Castle" or the late author’s short stories, the novels are still a fascinating insight into the evolution of this influential science-fiction writer.
Now that fans have had a look back at the early works of Dick, they will soon get a look at the last novel Dick was working on before his death in 1982. The author’s wife, Tessa Dick, announced last month that she has completed work on the novel Dick was working on when he passed away. Called “The Owl In Daylight,” novel was to tell the story of a computer designer who ended up trapped inside a virtual reality of his own making.
"I hope that I have captured the spirit of 'The Owl' as Phil would have written it, if his life had not been cut short by a massive stroke," Tessa Dick said in an interview with Self-Publishing Review.
Read the full story.
Realms of Fantasy Sold to Tir Na Nog
Tue, March 10, 2009 (05:53 PM)
By Ian Randal Strock March 10, 2009
Tir Na Nog Press just purchased Realms of Fantasy from Sovereign Media, and already has a brief web site available at realmsoffantasymag.com (they're planning to have a much more elaborate web site soon). Publisher Warren Lapine feels it's much more important to get things running quickly--since the deal just happened--rather than spend more time behind the scenes.
Lapine said, "This is a win-win for everyone. I think Sovereign Media is really happy to be able to leave the magazine to the field, and I'm really happy to keep such an important magazine publishing."
He continued, "I could see the field was saddened by its passing, and when I called to make a pitch, Sovereign was happy because they didn't want to close the magazine. They really like it, but it wasn't turning a large enough profit for them. Nevertheless, they're very happy the magazine will continue publishing."
Lapine is not anticipating any changes that will be visible to the public. Realms will continue paying authors the same rates, on acceptance, and leave the editors in place. He hopes to have his first issue out in May. "Our plan is to miss only one issue. The next on the schedule would have been 15 March, and for obvious reasons, that's not going to happen."
There is already an inventory of stories that are being transferred in the deal, so filling the next issue won't be a rush job.
Editor Shawna McCarthy told SFScope, "I'm thrilled and delighted and looking forward to working with Warren. It's a ray of good news in an otherwise gloomy world. I'm really very happy with the deal." She's not sure if they'll be able to get the May issue out; a lot will depend on what's in inventory and has artwork, because it's a pretty short deadline, but she said "we'll see; we'll do our best."
Read the full story.