Locus Online: News Log, January 2003
Locus Online

E-mail Locus Online

News Log archives
November 2
November 1
September 2
September 1



External Links

Links Portal

Other SFFH News sites:
SF Site News
Sci-Fi Wire

Thursday 30 January 2003


Nancy Farmer's young adult SF novel The House of the Scorpion (Atheneum) is one of five Newbery Honor Books (runners-up), announced by the American Library Association earlier this week in Philadelphia. The Newbery Medal is given annually for distinguished contribution to American literature for children; this year's winner is Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi. Farmer's novel won the National Book Award last November.

Among other honors announced this week was the Mildred L. Batchelor Award, given to a publisher for a children's book published in a foreign language and translated into English, which went to Scholastic imprint Chicken House, publisher of Cornelia Funke's fantasy novel The Thief Lord, published in Germany and translated by Oliver Latsch.

In addition, Ursula K. Le Guin was chosen to deliver the 2004 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

New York Times


The first annual Wooden Rocket Awards, for online excellence in the science fiction and fantasy genre, will be awarded in June 2003. The awards are sponsored by webzine SF Crowsnest, and will be determined by an online poll. Voters must use e-mail addresses registered for the free SFcrowsnest Magazine for at least two issues by June 2003, and must nominate in at least 5 of the 17 categories, which are:

  1. Best Online Magazine
  2. Best Print-to-Web Magazine
  3. Best Author Site
  4. Best Artist Site
  5. Best Gallery Site
  6. Best Print Publisher Site
  7. Best E-book Publisher Site
  8. Best E-book Site
  9. Best Official Movie Site
  10. Best Fan Movie Site
  11. Best Official TV Site
  12. Best Fan TV Site
  13. Best Online SFF store
  14. Best Fan Site Home Page
  15. Best Directory Site
  16. Best Convention/Society Site
  17. Best Foreign Language Site

Magazine News

Eidolon: The Journal of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy has ceased publication, according to its website. Eidolon first appeared in 1990, and published 31 issues through April 2000. Eidolon Publications will continue to run Australian SF Online, and Eidolon Books.

Press Release


The Third Alternative, the slick, quarterly UK magazine featuring art, graphics, fiction, and features, is offering free copies of Issue 32 (while supplies last) to anybody sending their name and postal address to editor Andy Cox (mention Locus Online). The issue has stories by Graham Joyce, John Grant, Brian Hodge, Joel Lane, and Tony Richards; interviews with Mark Chadbourn and Neil Gaiman; lots of artwork and a cover by Tony Marchand; and all the usual columns and reviews. (For more about the magazine, see


John Mantley, novelist and TV writer/producer, died January 14, 2003, in Sherman Oaks, California, at the age of 82. In 1956 he published SF novel The 27th Day, about an alien who gives 5 humans capsules with the power to destroy Earth (but which last for only 27 days), and he wrote the script for the 1957 movie version starring Gene Barry. After writing one other novel in the '50s, Mantley became better known as a TV producer, notably for Gunsmoke. He also wrote one episode, "Behold, Eck!", of the original The Outer Limits series.

Arizona Republic

Monday 27 January 2003

Web News

The Internet Speculative Fiction database (ISFDB) has become a victim of its own success; it has exceeded its allowed server bandwidth and its search functions have been disabled. Founder Al von Ruff posted this notice on 18 January, explaining the problem and outlining possible solutions.


The Clarion South Writers Workshop, to run in Brisbane, Australia, in early 2004, has announced that Canadian writer Nalo Hopkinson and US editor David G. Hartwell have joined the tutorial staff. For applications or information, see


The 31st Annual Florida Suncoast Writers' Conference, held in St. Petersburg, Florida, and sponsored by the University of South Florida, will feature workshops by World Fantasy Award Winner Jeff VanderMeer, in addition to other guest faculty. The three-day event begins February 6th and ends February 8th. The keynote speaker is Salman Rushdie. For more information, and to register, visit

Awards and Contests

This year's N3F short story contest, sponsored by the National Fantasy Fan Federation, is open to submissions. There is a $2 entry fee per submission, with cash awards available of $50 for first place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place. Deadline is December 1, 2003. Questions and submissions should go to:

Elizabeth Caldwell
685 South Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-9332


Nominations for the second annual Ursa Major Awards, for the best in Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of 2002, have been announced. Voting is open to members of ConFurence 2003.


The first annual Draco Award for authors of unpublished or self-published SFFH titles are open to submissions. Finalist judges will be Piers Anthony, Mike Resnick, and Mike Arnsen. Details: Double Dragon Publishing.


Suzanna Tamminen, editor-in-chief of Wesleyan University Press, writes:

I am trying to locate the copyright holder for an Ean Taylor illustration published in Robert Sheckley's Futuropolis (London: Bergstrom & Boyle, 1979) and credited to "Folio." The illustration is of a multi-level city, and it appears as illustration number 130 in the book. So far we've had no luck finding anyone who knows who might control the rights to this art, and no luck locating any info on Ean Taylor. Do you have any information that could help us?
If you can help, reply to

Saturday 18 January 2003


Finalists for the 2003 Arthur C. Clarke Award, for best SF novel published in Britain during 2002, have been announced.

  • Kil'n People, David Brin (Orbit)
  • Light, M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
  • The Scar, China Miéville (Macmillan)
  • The Separation, Christopher Priest (Scribner)
  • Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon (Orbit)
  • The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)
  • The winner will be announced in a ceremony at the Science Museum on Saturday 17th May. This year's judges are Tony Cullen & Iain Emsley for the British Science Fiction Association, Doug Millard for the Science Museum, and Paul McAuley & Liz Sourbut for the Science Fiction Foundation. The Chairman of the judges is Paul Kincaid.

    Brin's novel was published in the US as Kiln People; Moon's, in January '03, as The Speed of Dark. Harrison's and Priest's novels have not been published in the US.

    Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards: Arthur C. Clarke Awards


    Judges for this year's World Fantasy Awards have been announced.

    Justin Ackroyd, Slow Glass Books
    c/o Carlton Post Office
    146 Elgin Street
    Victoria 3053

    Les Edwards
    63 Mayfair Avenue,
    Ilford IG1 3DG

    Laura Anne Gilman
    63 Laurel Avenue
    Roseland, NJ 07068

    Lawrence Evans
    5 Solitaire Court
    Gaithersburg MD 20878

    Jane Yolen
    31 School St
    Hatfield, MA 01038
    Materials to be considered for awards must be received, no later than June 1, 2003, by all five judges with an additional copy to the World Fantasy Awards Association, Peter Dennis Pautz, President, PO Box 43, Mukilteo WA 98275-0043. Winners will be announced at the 2003 World Fantasy Awards Banquet and Ceremony, November 2, 2003 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington DC.


    Virginia (Ginny) Heinlein, widow of SF writer Robert A. Heinlein, passed away Saturday morning, January 18, 2003. She married Robert in 1948, and after his death in 1988 oversaw publication of several posthumous works, including Grumbles from the Grave and the uncut edition of Stranger in a Strange Land. She lived on the Atlantic coast.

    Update 26 January: The Los Angeles Times has published a long obituary, Virginia Heinlein, 86; Wife, Muse and Literary Guardian of Celebrated Science Fiction Writer (with, in print but not online, the well-known 1952 photograph of Virginia and Robert Heinlein ice-skating).


    Chicago area bookstore The Stars Our Destination has announced the closing of its storefront by the end of February, though it will continue doing mail-order business over the web. See the website for details.

    Wednesday 15 January 2003

    News Notes

    • As has been widely reported today, J.K. Rowling's long-awaited Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be published on June 21, simultaneously in the US by Scholastic and in the UK, Australia, Canada, and other domains by Bloomsbury. The fifth book in the series is 768 pages, 38 chapters, and 255,000 words long, more than a third longer than the previous book. The CNN story includes this excerpt:
      Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses.

      "It is time," he said, "for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry. Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything."
    • National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" broadcast a story on January 7 about how science fiction (among other genres) is underrepresented on national bestseller lists, and how the new BookScan lists, based on actually sales scanned from checkouts, will correct this. The interview, which you can listen to online, includes comments from San Diego SF bookstore Mysterious Galaxy's Maryelizabeth Hart.

    • William Gibson's new novel Pattern Recognition (Putnam) will be the front cover review on this coming Sunday's New York Times Book Review; the review is by Rutgers professor and novelist Lisa Zeidner.

    • Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow has placed the complete text of his new novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (officially in print from Tor, in February) online, for free. Click here for details; the author notes that the book was downloaded over 20,000 times in the first 24 hours.

      Update 16 January: Doctorow also has a new short story, Liberation Spectrum, posted today at Salon.

    Monday 13 January 2003


    Locus has received word that agent, anthologist, and writer Virginia Kidd, born 1921, died last night after a long illness. No other details are available.

    Kidd published several short stories and poems, including "Flowering Season" in Damon Knight's anthology Orbit 1 (1966), and "On the Wall of the Lodge" (1962) in collaboration with James Blish, to whom she was married from 1947 to 1963. Her anthologies included Saving Worlds (1973, with Roger Elwood), Millennial Women (1978), and two co-edited with Ursula K. Le Guin, Edges and Interfaces (both 1980). She was best known, since the 1960s, as an agent; The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction notes that "she become known for her feminist views and -- although she did not handle only women writers -- for representing a highly capable range of feminist authors, including Carol Emshwiller, [Ursula K.] Le Guin, Josephine Saxton and James Tiptree Jr.", while the current SFWA Directory lists over two dozen members among current clients of the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.

    Update 16 January: SFWA's news page has posted this obituary, which states that services will be held in Milford, Pennsylvania, on Monday, January 20th, 2003. Contact the Stroyan Funeral Home, 570 296-6811 for time and location.


    Noreascon Four, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2004, has announced that it will award Retrospective Hugo Awards for works from 1953.

    Retrospective Hugo Awards are permitted by the World Science Fiction Society's Constitution, section 3.13, which specifies "A Worldcon held 50, 75, or 100 years after a Worldcon at which no Hugos were presented may conduct nominations and elections for Hugos which would have been presented at that previous Worldcon." Whether Retro-Hugos are presented by a given Worldcon is at the discretion of that convention's committee. Noreascon Four has decided to present the awards, since Hugo Awards were not awarded at the 1954 Worldcon in San Francisco CA. (The first Hugo Awards were presented in 1953, but then not again until 1955.) Eligibility to nominate and vote for the Retro-Hugos is the same as for the Hugo Awards: members of the awarding convention (Noreascon Four) or the previous year's convention (Torcon 3 in 2003) may nominate, though only members of Noreascon Four may vote on the final ballots.

    The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards lists past Retro Hugo winners, nominees, and tallies.

    1953, the year for which Noreascon Four will present Retro-Hugos, was a particularly rich year for novels and short stories now regarded as classics: novels published that year include Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants, Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel; short stories include Clarke's "The Nine Billion Names of God", James Blish's "Common Time", Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life", and Philip K. Dick's "Impostor". Among novelettes published in 1953 are Dick's "Second Variety", Ward Moore's "Lot", Philip Jose Farmer's "Mother", and Damon Knight's "Four in One"; novellas include Blish's "A Case of Conscience" (later expanded into a novel, which won the Hugo in 1959), Theodore Sturgeon's "...And My Fear Is Great...", and Charles L. Harness's "The Rose".

    Tuesday 7 January 2003

    SFWA Grand Master

    Ursula K. Le Guin has been named Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The selection was made by the SFWA Board of Directors, in conjunction with the living past presidents of SFWA. Presentation of the award will be made during the Nebula Awards Weekend in Philadelphia, April 18-20, 2003.

    Previous SFWA Grand Masters are listed in the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards.

    Awards Notes

    • Ted Chiang's "Hell Is the Absence of God", initially listed on SFWA's 2002 Preliminary Nebula Ballot as a novella, has been moved to the novelette category.
    • SFWA's April Nebula Awards weekend has changed hotels.
    • Aurealis award administrators have announced the Adam Browne's "Les Autres", from Redsine #8, has been disqualified from the horror short story category due to prior publication by e-zine Ideomancer. (2002 Aurealis shortlist.)
    • The 2003 Hugo Awards nomination ballot is online (as a PDF file) at the 2002 Worldcon, ConJosé, website, though not yet apparently at the 2003, Torcon 3, site. Deadline for nominations is March 31, 2003.

    Philip K. Dick Award nominees

    Nominees for this year's Philip K. Dick Award, given annually for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States, have been announced. First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 18, 2003 at Norwescon 26 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel, SeaTac, Washington.

  • Empire of Bones, Liz Williams (Bantam Spectra)
  • Leviathan Three, Jeff VanderMeer & Forrest Aguirre, eds. (The Ministry of Whimsy)
  • Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (Bantam Spectra)
  • The Mount, Carol Emshwiller (Small Beer Press)
  • Report to the Men's Club, Carol Emshwiller (Small Beer Press)
  • The Scar, China Miéville (Del Rey)
  • Warchild, Karin Lowachee (Warner Aspect)
  • The Philip K. Dick Award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, and the award ceremony is sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. Last year’s winner was Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo (Ace Books) with a special citation to Divine Intervention by Ken Wharton (Ace Books). Judges for this year's award are Michael Blumlein, Shelley Rodrigo Blanchard, Nalo Hopkinson (chair), Donna McMahon, and Lois Tilton.

    Of this year's nominees, only Liz Williams has been previously nominated for the PKD award. The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards contains lists of past winners, past nominees and winners, and results by year from 1983 to 2002.

    Monday 6 January 2003


    Kenneth Tobey, film and TV star who appeared in 1950s SF movies The Thing from Another World (1951), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), and It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), died December 22, 2002, in Rancho Mirage, California, after a lengthy illness.

    Los Angeles Times

    Publishing News

    A manuscript by J.R.R. Tolkien discovered at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, containing Tolkien's translation and appraisal of Beowulf, will be published next summer.

    Update 16 January: Numerous versions and corrections to this story have appeared; Publishers Lunch for January 6, for example, notes that "the translation was long known to be among the Tolkien papers; it's the Tolkien essay lecture Beowulf and the Critics that [was] discovered in the collection." In any case, the Tolkien estate reports that the translation and annotations are not for sale at this time.


    Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden has bought completed novel Old Man's War by John Scalzi, who had previously decided not to offer the book to print publishers and posted it in installments to his web journal instead. The book will be released in hardcover in about a year. Scalzi's account is here; Nielsen Hayden's, with comments, here.


    Nineteen-year-old Christopher Paolini of Paradise Valley, Montana, has sold self-published first novel Eragon and two unwritten sequels to Knopf for a deal reportedly over $500,000. (Locus Online listed signings last May and June for the self-published edition of Eragon.)

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Author's website


    Jean Marie Stine has been named editor and co-publisher of Renaissance E-Books.

    Friday 3 January 2003


    The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has released the 2002 Nebula Awards preliminary ballot, containing all works receiving a requisite mininum number of nominations from members during each work's eligibility period, ending no later than Dec. 31, 2002. (Detailed rules.) SFWA members vote from the preliminary ballot to determine the final ballot, with panels of jurors having the option of adding one work in each category. Nebula Awards winners will be announced at a banquet on April 19, 2003, in Philadelphia PA.


    Paul Di Filippo is a nominee for Wired magazine's Rave Awards, in the author category, for his collection Babylon Sisters (Prime). Winners, in categories including renegade, author, film director, and politician of the year, will be announced January 13, 2003, in San Francisco.


    The Ministry of Whimsy Press, founded by Jeff VanderMeer, has become an imprint of Night Shade Books effective January 1, 2003. VanderMeer will retain creative control, with Forrest Aguirre running the imprint's day-to-day operations. The Ministry of Whimsy will publish two books per year, including the ongoing Leviathan anthology series. For further information, contact Forrest Aguirre (Leviathan), Jeff VanderMeer (Ministry of Whimsy Press), or Jason Williams (Night Shade Books).


    Galaxy Press, publisher of L. Ron Hubbard, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Battlefield Earth, "one of the best-selling science fiction stories of all time". Details: The book recently won a CyberRead Award as a top selling eBook of 2002.


    Ellen Datlow has posted photos from November's SFWA authors & editors party in New York City, and from November's KGB reading with Jonathan Carroll and Ellen Kushner.


    Interaction, the 2005 World Science Fiction Convention to be held in Glasgow, has launched a UK Worldcon History website at, with links to the six Worldcons held in the UK from 1957 to 2005.

    December News

    © 2003 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved. | Subscribe to Locus Magazine | E-mail Locus | Privacy | Advertise