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news, magazines, webzines

October 1999

Century Lists

Writer's Digest
Writer's Digest has announced its ''100 Best Writers of the Century'', a list based on nominations by nearly 500 readers of over 700 books. The top 100 were selected by an advisory board, who then voted for the top 10 using a weighted formula. (Back in May, as mentioned on this page, the magazine invited reader submissions and described the criteria for inclusion on the list as based ''on their influence in the writing world, the quality of their work, and the degree to which their writing exhibits originality and experimentation''.)

The top ten, in order: John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Eugene O'Neill, T.S. Eliot, Willa Cather, Robert Frost, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, and E.B. White.

The remaining 90 writers are given alphabetically, and include Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Octavia E. Butler, Arthur C. Clarke, Roald Dahl, Arthur Conan Doyle, Theodor (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, William Golding, Robert A. Heinlein, Aldous Huxley, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, C.S. Lewis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, George Orwell, Thomas Pynchon, Rod Serling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Kurt Vonnegut. The complete list is here. The website gives links for each writer, and further information is available in the November issue of Writer's Digest.
Online bookseller has published extensive Best Books of the Century lists, with 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction selections for each decade of the century, plus separate lists for kids' book, mysteries, SF and fantasy, and romance.

The decade-by-decade fiction lists include Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Jorge Luis Borges' Ficciones, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, José Saramago's Blindness, and Richard Powers's Galatea 2.2 (not to mention numerous others with some fantastic elements, like Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and Toni Morrison's Beloved).

The nonfiction lists are well-represented by books on scientific subjects (in contrast to Modern Library's nonfiction list), from Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica and Jung's The Psychology of the Unconscious to E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology, Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene, Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel.

The separate list of 25 SF and fantasy titles ranges from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World to Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

The list of 50 Children's Books includes, among numerous other with fantastic elements, Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Tolkien's The Hobbit and the Complete Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Books on the all the lists are in print and available from, which one presumes was a criterion for inclusion.

National Post
The new Canadian national paper has published lists of the ''Top 20 of the 20th''. In the category of ''Literature and the World of Ideas'' Canadian writer William Gibson's Neuromancer ranks 14th, just ahead of Robertson Davies' Fifth Business.

Aurora Awards

The 19th annual Aurora Awards, for works by Canadians in English and in French, were presented October 16, 1999, at inCONsequential II in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Best Long-Form Work in English
Darwinia, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)

Best Long-Form Work in French
Corps-machines et rÍves d'anges, Alain Bergeron (Vents d'Ouest, 1997)

Best Short-Form Work in English
''Hockey's Night in Canada'', Edo van Belkom (Arrowdreams)

Best Short-Form Work in French
''La Demoiselle sous la lune'', Guy Sirois (Fantasy, Fleuve Noir)

Best Other Work in English
Arrowdreams: An Anthology of Alternative Canadas, Mark Shainblum & John Dupuis, eds. (Nuage Editions) (anthology)

Best Other Work in French (tie)
''L'entreprise de Frankenstein'', John Dupuis (Solaris 126)
Jean-Louis Trudel, critiques (Solaris 124-127)

Artistic Achievement
Jean-Pierre Normand

Fan Achievement (Fanzine)
Warp, Lynda Pelley, ed. (MonSFFA) (clubzine)

Fan Achievement (Organizational)
Ann Methe (Con*cept 98, Chair)

Fan Achievement (Other)
Janet L. Hetherington (Co-curator, 60 Years of Superman exhibit at Nepean Museum)

The Aurora novel (long-form) categories are open to works published in the two years prior to the year of the awards, in this case 1997 and 1998. Other categories are for works and achievements from 1998. For further information, see the Prix Aurora Awards Home Page.

Spectrum Awards

Winners of the 1999 Gaylactic Network Spectrum Awards were presented at Gaylaxicon: 1999 in Washington, DC on October 9.

Best Novel (co-winners)
Accidental Creatures, Anne Harris (Tor)
Dark Water's Embrace, Stephen Leigh (Avon Eos)

Best Other Work
Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction, Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel, eds. (Overlook)

Hall of Fame (co-winners)
China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F. McHugh (Tor)
Uranian Worlds, Eric Garber and Lyn Paleo (G.K. Hall)

Peoples' Choice Award
Shadow Man, Melissa Scott (Tor)

The Hall of Fame category is for works published before 1998, the initial year of eligibility for the annual Spectrum Awards, while the Peoples' Choice Award goes to the single work receiving the most nominations from members of the Gaylactic Network. The Gaylactic Network Spectrum Awards were created to honor works in science fiction, fantasy and horror that deal positively with gay characters, themes and issues. Nominations are open to everyone, and winners are selected by a small final judging committee. A complete list of nominated works and finalists is available at

Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire

Results of the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire were announced October 2, 1999.

French Novel
Le Successeur de pierre, Jean-Michel Truong (the title translates as "The Successor of Stone", although there is an untranslatable pun between "pierre" [stone] and "Pierre" [Peter] -- "The Successor of Peter" meaning, of course, the Pope).

Foreign Novel
The Chronicles of Alvin Maker, Orson Scott Card

French Short Story
''Naufrage, mode d'emploi'' (''Shipwrecking, A User's Manual''), Fabrice Colin

Foreign Short Story
''Uh-Oh City'', Jonathan Carroll

Michel Pagel, for Graham Joyce's The Tooth Fairy and Joe Haldeman's Forever Peace

Children's or Young Adult Book
La Fille au chien noir (''The Girl with the Black Dog''), Gudule (aka Anne Duguel)

Rumeurs et legendes urbaines (''Rumors and Urban Legends''), Jean-Bruno Renard

Graphic Works
Philippe Jozelon, for his cover artwork on the ''Bibliotheque du Fantastique'' line

Special Award
Galaxies magazine

The awards will be presented Saturday, October 30, at the Utopia Festival in ''Le Futuroscope''.

(Thu 21 Oct 1999)


  • Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1930 - 1999
  • HarperCollins restructures, cuts jobs
  • British Fantasy Awards
  • David Karp, 1922 - 1999

    SEPTEMBER page 2

  • Other Awards winners: Ditmar, Seiun, Sidewise, Prometheus, Golden Duck, Big Heart

    SEPTEMBER page 1

  • Hugo Awards winners

    AUGUST page 2

  • James White, 1928 - 1999
  • World Fantasy Awards final ballot

    AUGUST page 1

  • Mythopoeic Awards winners

    JULY page 3

  • Alison Spedding imprisoned
  • George ''Lan'' Laskowski dies
  • Stephen King recovering
  • Odyssey folds
  • Alan Dean Foster's motorcycle scrape
  • Ellen Datlow CoA
  • SF University degree

    JULY page 2

  • Campbell, Sturgeon Awards winners

    JULY page 1

  • Locus Awards winners

    JUNE page 3

  • Clifton Fadiman dies
  • Stephen King injured, hospitalized
  • Mythopoeic Awards nominations
  • Avon and Morrow sold

    JUNE page 2

  • Bram Stoker Awards winners
  • Prix Tour Eiffel
  • Robert Sobel dies
  • Spectrum Awards finalists

    JUNE page 1

  • Barnes & Noble acquisition of Ingram cancelled
  • Bradbury and Silverberg to enter Hall of Fame
  • Sturgeon Award finalists

    MAY page 3

  • Random House reorganizes
  • Harlan Ellison wins Audie Awards
  • Tricia Sullivan wins Clarke Award
  • Online price wars
  • Millennial books
  • Kurd Lasswitz Awards
  • Conventions reports (links)

    MAY page 2

  • Italia Awards winners
  • Analog and Asimov's Readers Awards
  • HOMer Awards
  • Sidewise nominations

    MAY page 1

  • Nebula Awards winners

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    © 1999 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.