Somewhere Puppies Are Smiling

Larry Correia, creator of the ”Sad Puppies” campaign to get his novel nominated for a Hugo, urged those buying Loncon 3 memberships in order to nominate Warbound to consider filling in the rest of their ballots with his slate of 11 other recommendations.

How did that pay off this year?  When the Hugo nominees were released today we saw that, counting his own book, Correia scored 7 hits out of 12 on his list. I have placed asterisks beside them.

Best Novel
(*)Warbound, the Grimnoir Chronicles – Larry Correia – Baen
A Few Good Men – Sarah Hoyt – Baen

Novella
(*)The Butcher of Khardov – Dan Wells – Skull Island Expeditions
(*)The Chaplain’s Legacy – Brad Torgersen – Analog

Novellete
(*)The Exchange Officers – Brad Torgersen – Analog
(*)Opera Vita Aeterna – Vox Day – The Last Witchking

Best Fanzine
(*)Elitist Book Reviews – Steve Diamond

Graphic Story
Schlock Mercenary – Howard Tayler

Best Editor Long Form
(*)Toni Weisskopf

Best Editor Short Form
Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Campbell Award
Marko Kloos
Frank Chadwick

2014 Hugo Award Nominees

The finalists for the 2014 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced by Loncon 3 representatives at the British Eastercon on April 19. A record 1,923 valid nominating ballots were received (1,889 electronic and 34 paper.)

BEST NOVEL (1595 ballots)

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit UK)
  • Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books)

BEST NOVELLA (847 ballots)

  • The Butcher of Khardov by Dan Wells (Privateer Press)
  • “The Chaplain’s Legacy” by Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013)
  • “Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)
  • Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean Press)
  • “Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages (Tor.com, 10-2013)

BEST NOVELETTE (728 ballots)

  • “The Exchange Officers” by Brad Torgersen (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013)
  • “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)
  • “Opera Vita Aeterna” by Vox Day (The Last Witchking, Marcher Lord Hinterlands)
  • “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean, Fall 2013)
  • “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam)

BEST SHORT STORY (865 ballots)

  • “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky (Apex Magazine, Mar-2013)
  • “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)
  • “Selkie Stories Are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons, Jan-2013)
  • “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

Note: category has 4 nominees due to a 5% requirement under Section 3.8.5 of the WSFS constitution.

BEST RELATED WORK (752 ballots)

  • Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It Edited by Sigrid Ellis & Michael Damian Thomas (Mad Norwegian Press)
  • Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary by Justin Landon & Jared Shurin (Jurassic London)
  • “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)
  • Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, with Jeremy Zerfoss (Abrams Image)
  • Writing Excuses Season 8 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Jordan Sanderson

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (552 ballots)

  • Girl Genius, Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • “The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who” written by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Jimmy Broxton (Doctor Who Special 2013, IDW)
  • The Meathouse Man adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin and illustrated by Raya Golden (Jet City Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 2 written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics )
  • “Time” by Randall Munroe (XKCD)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) (995 ballots)

  • Frozen screenplay by Jennifer Lee, directed by Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj; Heyday Films; Warner Bros.)
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire screenplay by Simon Beaufoy & Michael Arndt, directed by Francis Lawrence (Color Force; Lionsgate)
  • Iron Man 3 screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black, directed by Shane Black (Marvel Studios; DMG Entertainment; Paramount Pictures)
  • Pacific Rim screenplay by Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro, directed by Guillermo del Toro (Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney Double Dare You)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (760 ballots)

  • An Adventure in Space and Time written by Mark Gatiss, directed by Terry McDonough (BBC Television)
  • Doctor Who: “The Day of the Doctor” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Nick Hurran (BBC Television)
  • Doctor Who: “The Name of the Doctor” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein (BBC Televison)
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot written & directed by Peter Davison (BBC Television)
  • Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
  • Orphan Black: “Variations under Domestication” written by Will Pascoe, directed by John Fawcett (Temple Street Productions; Space / BBC America)

Note: category has 6 nominees due to a tie for 5th place.

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (656 ballots)

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Sheila Williams

BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM (632 ballots)

  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • Sheila Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Lee Harris
  • Toni Weisskopf

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (624 ballots)

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • John Harris
  • John Picacio
  • Fiona Staples

Note: category has 6 nominees due to a tie for 5th place.

BEST SEMIPROZINE (411 ballots)

  • Apex Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Jason Sizemore, and Michael Damian Thomas
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki
  • Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison, Brit Mandelo, An Owomoyela, Julia Rios, Sonya Taaffe, Abigail Nussbaum, Rebecca Cross, Anaea Lay, and Shane Gavin

BEST FANZINE (478 ballots)

  • The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher
  • Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
  • Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J. Garcia, Lynda E. Rucker, Pete Young, Colin Harris, and Helen J. Montgomery
  • Pornokitsch edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin

BEST FANCAST (396 ballots)

  • The Coode Street Podcast Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Suburbia Podcast Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Presenters) and Andrew Finch (Producer)
  • SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester
  • The Skiffy and Fanty Show Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Julia Rios, Paul Weimer, David Annandale, Mike Underwood, and Stina Leicht
  • Tea and Jeopardy Emma Newman
  • Verity! Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Writer and the Critic Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

Note: category has 7 nominees due to a tie for 5th place.

BEST FAN WRITER (521 ballots)

  • Liz Bourke
  • Kameron Hurley
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Mark Oshiro

BEST FAN ARTIST (316 ballots)

  • Brad W. Foster
  • Mandie Manzano
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles
  • Sarah Webb

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER (767 ballots)

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2012 or 2013, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

  • Wesley Chu
  • Max Gladstone *
  • Ramez Naam *
  • Sofia Samatar *
  • Benjanun Sriduangkaew

*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.

1939 Retro-Hugo Award Nominees

The finalists for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards were announced by Loncon 3 representatives at the British Eastercon on April 19.

There were 233 valid nominating ballots cast for Retro Hugo nominees (226 electronic and 7 paper.)

BEST NOVEL (208 ballots)
Carson of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Argosy, February 1938)
Galactic Patrol by E. E. Smith (Astounding Stories, February 1938)
The Legion of Time by Jack Williamson (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (The Bodley Head)
The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)

BEST NOVELLA (125 ballots)
Anthem by Ayn Rand (Cassell)
“A Matter of Form” by H. L. Gold (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
“Sleepers of Mars” by John Beynon [John Wyndham] (Tales of Wonder, March 1938)
“The Time Trap” by Henry Kuttner (Marvel Science Stories, November 1938)
“Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)

BEST NOVELETTE (80 ballots)
“Dead Knowledge” by Don A. Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Stories, January 1938)
“Hollywood on the Moon” by Henry Kuttner (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1938)
“Pigeons From Hell” by Robert E. Howard (Weird Tales, May 1938)
“Rule 18” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
“Werewoman” by C. L. Moore (Leaves #2, Winter 1938)

BEST SHORT STORY (108 ballots)
“The Faithful” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)
“Helen O’Loy” by Lester Del Rey (Astounding Science-Fiction, December 1938)
“Hollerbochen’s Dilemma” by Ray Bradbury (Imagination!, January 1938)
“How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938)
“Hyperpilosity” by L. Sprague de Camp (Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1938)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (137 ballots)
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Written & directed by Orson Welles (The Campbell Playhouse, CBS)
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Written by Orson Welles and John Houseman, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)
R. U. R. by Karel ?apek. Produced by Jan Bussell (BBC)
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater of the Air, CBS)

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (99 ballots)
John W. Campbell
Walter H. Gillings
Raymond A. Palmer
Mort Weisinger
Farnsworth Wright

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (86 ballots)
Margaret Brundage
Virgil Finlay
Frank R. Paul
Alex Schomburg
H. W. Wesso

BEST FANZINE (42 ballots)
Fantascience Digest edited by Robert A. Madle
Fantasy News edited by James V. Taurasi
Imagination! edited by Forrest J Ackerman, Morojo, and T. Bruce Yerke
Novae Terrae edited by Maurice K. Hanson
Tomorrow edited by Douglas W. F. Mayer

BEST FAN WRITER (50 ballots)
Forrest J Ackerman
Ray Bradbury
Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
Harry Warner, Jr.
Donald A. Wollheim

2014 Philip K. Dick Award

The winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award  was announced at Norwescon 37 – Countdown City by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books).

The award is given to “the distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first time during 2013 in the U.S.A.”

The judges also gave a Special Citation to Self-Reference Engine, by Toh EnJoe, translated by Terry Gallagher.

The Philip K. Dick Award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust

The 2014 judges were Elizabeth Bear (chair), Siobhan Carroll, Michael Kandel, Jamil Nasir, and Timothy Sullivan.

Loncon 3 Breaks Hugo Nominations Record

For the sixth consecutive year Worldcon members have cast a record number of Hugo nominating ballots, truly annihilating the old standard with an increase of 43%.

Loncon 3 received 1,923 ballots (1,889 electronic and 34 paper), exceeding the 1,343 received by LoneStarCon 3 last year. Prior to that, Chicon 7 received 1,101 in 2012, Renovation received 1,006 in 2011, Aussiecon 4 received 864 in 2010 and Anticipation received 799 in 2009, each a record-setting figure at the time.

This record-breaking trend gained momentum from a rules change effective in 2012 which broadened the voting base. Now members of the forthcoming Worldcon are allowed to nominate too, just as members of the current and previous Worldcon have long been able to do. And I imagine that because Loncon 3 is a European Worldcon it has attracted many members who don’t typically join when the con is in North America, making the universe of potential Hugo voters that much larger.

The 2014 Hugo Award nominees will be announced this afternoon Saturday, April 19, starting at 12:30 p.m. PDT. The announcement will be live-streamed from Glasgow, via Ustream, and broadcast simultaneously at two conventions in the United States.

  • Satellite 4, the British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), in Glasgow, Scotland (8:30 p.m. BST).
  • Norwescon 37, in SeaTac, WA (12:30 p.m. PDT)
  • Minicon 49, in Bloomington, MN (2:30 p.m. CDT)

1954 Worldcon Archive Offered

The papers of the Twelfth World Science Fiction Convention are back on the market. This archive of correspondence, contracts and the like from SFCon, held in San Francisco in 1954, previously offered in 2012 by The Fine Books Company for $12,218.50, is available from the same dealer but with a new asking price of $15,925.00.

Here is the seller’s list of all the goodies in this fanhistorical treasure trove –

A UNIQUE OFFERING THE TWELFTH WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION PAPERS. Held in San Francisco in the summer of 1954 with G.O.H. John Campbell, Jr., this was one of the great early gatherings. Included in this massive archive is everything that one might want to know about running a convention: Hotel rates for rooms, banquets, buffet menus, rentals, carpenters, electricians, etc. There are letters from attendees and those who wished to attend but could not; paid invoices from photo shops, printers, etc.; canceled checks (along with some unused ones as well) and check stubs; Radio scripts from local stations and press clippings and pictures from local papers; letters from major Motion Picture Studios answering requests about film availability; SIGNED letters from advertizers (including all the small presses); the entire convention mailing list; black & white photos picturing singularly or in group Ackerman, Anderson, Boucher, Bloch, Campbell, Clifton, Dick, Ellison, Evans, Gold, Mayne, Ley, Moskowitz, Nourse, E.E. Smith, Williamson, Van Vogt, Vampira, et.al. But of course the major importance of this archive has yet to be mentioned. And that’s simply the great abundance of SIGNED letters, post-cards and notes from authors and artists. To wit: Anderson, Asimov (3), Blaisdell, Blish, Bond, Bonestell (4), Boucher (3), Bradbury (4), Bretnor, F. Brown, Howard Browne, Budrys, Campbell (5), Clement, Clifton (2), Collier, Conklin, DeCamp, DeFord, Dick, Dickson, Dollens (8), Emshwiller (2), Eshbach (2), Evans, Farmer, Freas (3), Greenberg (2), Gunn, Heinlein, Hunter (5), Kuttner, Ley (5), Moskowitz, Neville, Nolan (3), Nourse, Obler, Orban (3), Palmer, Pratt, Simak, E.E. Smith (2), Tucker, Williamson (3), Wylie, et.al. Finally, also included is a set of audio tapes which were taken at this convention. Now for the first time (depending on your age I guess) you can not only be privy to what went on at this convention, but also hear the actual voices of Anthony Boucher, John W. Campbell, E.E. “DOC”Smith and others too numerous to mention. A unique opportunity to snatch a bit of vintage post-war Science Fiction history. (The tapes, while definitely included in this grouping, may not be immediately available.)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Apex Magazine Issue #59

ApexMag04 SMALLThere are 29,000 words of short fiction, poetry, and interviews in Apex Magazine #59, by Haddayr Copley-Woods, Tom Piccirilli, Ferrett Steinmetz, John Chu, Pamela Dean, Lavie Tidhar, Beth Cato, Michele Bannister, Chris Lynch, Sonya Taaffe, and Abra Staffin-Wiebe. The cover art is by Mehrdad Isvandi.

Here is the table of contents of issue 56.

Fiction
“Perfect” by Haddayr Copley-Woods
“Steel Snowflakes in My Skull” by Tom Piccirilli
“The Cultist’s Son” by Ferrett Steinmetz
“Repairing the World” by John Chu
“Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary” by Pamela Dean (eBook/subscriber exclusive)
The Violent Century (extract) by Lavie Tidhar (eBook/subscriber exclusive)

Poetry
“Cogs” by Beth Cato
“Unlabelled Core c. Zanclean (5.33 Ma)” by Michele Bannister
“Tell Me the World is a Forest” by Chris Lynch
“Aristeia” by Sonya Taaffe

Nonfiction
“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis
“Interview with Cover Artist Mehrdad Isvandi” by Loraine Sammy
“Interview with Ferrett Steinmetz” by Maggie Slater
“After Our Bodies Fail” by Abra Staffin-Wiebe

Podcast Fiction
“Repairing the World” by John Chu

Twin Pair o’ Docs

By Bill Higgins: Spotted something unusual: In the April 2014 issue of Physics Today, two letters were published from two physicists, who are brothers, both commenting on the same article.

I doubt that has happened before.

James Benford and Gregory Benford were responding to an article on Cold War history by Frank von Hippel in the September 2013 issue. (Physics Today has always had a rather leisurely turnaround time in publishing letters.)

SFWA Readings in SoCal

Science Fiction Writers of America is launching a Southern California Reading Series on May 31. Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore will host these free, quarterly events at its San Diego and Redondo Beach locations.

The inaugural readings will take place Saturday, May 31 at 2 p.m. at the San Diego store (7051 Clairemont Mesa Bl.). Featured authors will be Cecil Castellucci, Nalo Hopkinson, and a third to be announced.

The second event is scheduled for Saturday, August 30 at 2 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy’s Redondo Beach location (2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach). Readers that day will be Stephen Blackmoore, Sofia Samatar, and Sherwood Smith.

Snapshots 134 Ventura Freeway

Here are 10 developments of interest to fans.

(1) Star Wars VII starts shooting in May. Bloggers are shooting already.

Can anyone sound more jaded than the folks at Geekologie?

Star Wars Episode VII… [will] be released in theaters on December 18, 2015. The story will pick up some 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. What happened in those 30 years? Apparently nothing worth making a movie about. At least not until they finish this trilogy and backtrack again for Star Wars Episode X: The Wonder Years. Just like I did for all the disappointing prequels, I will be watching these on opening day, dressed in character. Which character remains to be seen, but I’m leaning towards Data or Worf.

(2) Here’s the brew they should order when they’re out drinking after the premiere – Klingon Warnog.

The wait is nearly over, Klingons and Klingon lovers. Klingon Warnog — the first Star Trek themed beer to hit the U.S. — can soon be yours. Brewed by Tin Man Brewing of Evansville, Indiana, Klingon Warnog will incorporate rye malt into a modern Dunkelweizen grain bill, creating a flavor profile that is both familiar and unique.

As the Federation of Beer folks put in brewing-ese, Warnog’s aroma is predominantly mild banana and clove produced by the German wheat yeast, supported by subtle sweet malt character from the use of Munich malt. The flavor draws heavily from the blending of the rye malt and traditional clove character, creating a very rich and unique flavor. The inclusion of wheat and caramel malts help to round out the mouthfeel of this beer, making this Dunkelweizen hearty enough to be called… a Klingon Warnog.

(3) Many things were done to promote the new season of Game of Thrones. HBO’s “Game of Thrones: Epic Fan Experience” drew 7,000 fans to Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. Winter had already arrived, reports the Grantland writer known as Netw3rk

As you approach the Iron Throne of Westeros, or any reasonable facsimile thereof, you may find yourself overcome with anxiety about how you’re going to sit in it….. It’s hard not to overthink something as instinctual as your body position during the normally quotidian activity of resting your ass on something, when that something happens to be one of the most iconic symbols in the pop-culture zeitgeist and you get only one chance for a good picture….

I can now report: The Iron Throne is uncomfortable. The one I sat in was, anyway. The seat, as one would expect of 1,000 swords hammered into the shape of a chair, is hard on the ass, but also narrower than you’d expect, and high. I tried to cock my torso over at an angle toward one of the armrests, elbow on the rest, hand under chin; kind of a Joffrey-meets-Biggie thing. But the circumscribed butt support area didn’t allow for the right body angle, and the result was much more Tin Man–meets-dirtbag than chilled-out sovereign. Alas.

(4) Meantime, George R.R. Martin’s story is now inspiring parents to name their babies after his characters:

Perhaps no Game of Thrones character is as beloved as Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), the daughter of a slain king who has spent most of the series to date amassing forces to reclaim the lands that were once her father’s. Also she has dragons, which people seem to like.

So it’s not too surprising that fans of the show would name their kids after her. According to data from the Social Security Administration, were 21 newborns in 2012 named “Daenerys,” which was never used enough in previous years to show up in official counts (for privacy reasons, the SSA only releases numbers for names used five or more times in a given year).

But wee baby Daeneryses were dramatically outnumbered by newborns named “Khaleesi” — the title Targaryen earned when she married Dothraki leader (or “Khal”) Drogo. 146 “Khaleesi”s were born in 2012, making it more popular as a full name than “Betsy” or “Nadine.”

(5) “Late afternoon lighting produced a dramatic shadow of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity photographed by the rover’s rear hazard-avoidance camera on March 20, 2014,” begins a Mars Daily article.

Seeing that photo of a Martian rover’s shadow made James H. Burns ask:

What is it about this type of image that gets me so thrilled? I suppose it’s the basic notion of a man made creation, a miracle really, doing something so simple, and capturing it so gloriously, in what really are such fantastic circumstances. (And only the most callow lad, I think, would term this the echo of an Aresian “selfie”!)

(6) Years ago PC owners were asked to volunteer to process packets of data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence because SETI didn’t have enough computer power to do it all. Data processing power has zoomed ahead since then. Now a university is hosting an online tool that allows people to build entire custom universes and update these virtual models as new survey telescopes and instruments become available.

Swinburne University of Technology has launched a free online astronomy virtual laboratory that will allow scientists to build complex customised views of the Universe, all from the comfort of their own computer.

The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO), funded by the Australian Government’s $48 million NeCTAR project, draws on the power of Swinburne’s gSTAR GPU supercomputer to allow astronomers to simulate the Universe and see how it would look through a wide range of telescopes.

(7) If – like me – you were unaware of the existence of Ultraman until you saw him posed beside the Hugo rocket on Nippon 2007’s award, then you probably also don’t know about Japan’s kaiju-themed restaurant filled with Ultraman paraphernalia.

(8) You probably haven’t forgotten that things didn’t go well for Loncon 3 when they announced Jonathan Ross as Hugo emcee. Now who will they ask? Milt Stevens knows who he would pick –

Loncon 3 has a problem. They need a Hugo Award Ceremony Host who can take a lot of heat. I have an idea for the perfect choice. Marvin the depressed android from Hitchhiker’s Guide. He can sneer at organics and get away with it. Marvin was played be English actor Warren Davis who might be available for the worldcon.

I’ve emailed my suggestion to the committee.

ReevesChristopher(9) The suspect’s name and the shirt he wore reminded people of Superman – but not his act. Christopher Reeves was busted for driving under the influence by local cops in Utah.

He wasn’t faster than a speeding bullet, so Davis County deputies were able to catch a man wearing a Superman shirt on I-15 early Tuesday morning, and arrest him on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Davis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Susan Poulsen told the Clipper 33-year-old Christopher Jaye Reeves of Layton was spotted weaving and speeding through traffic on northbound I-15 at around 3:00 a.m. by a deputy on patrol.

Poulsen noted the similarity of the suspect’s name to the late actor Christopher Reeve (without the ‘s’) and specified that he has no relation to the man made famous by portraying the comic book superhero in movies before his death in 2004.

He’s no relation to George Reeves, either, who played Superman in the 1950s TV series Adventures of Superman.

(10) What flavor of politics do science fiction fans like best? I think we’ve learned that we can predict the answer to this rhetorical question if we know who’s asking. For example, no one will be surprised to learn that The Guardian finds Britain’s Liberal Democrats to be the party of trufans. (Trufans defined as viewers of Doctor Who, but then, I told you it was The Guardian.)

Some American fans would answer that question with “the Libertarian Party.” David Klaus writes:

I remember the first unsolicited fanzine I ever received, back in 1972, a copy of the late Irvin Koch’s Maybe, in which he noted the founding of the Libertarian Party earlier that year, and stated that he thought most sf fans would be interested in it, or words to that effect. Irv was a generalist fan, inclusive, not given to sectarian fan wars — he even was the contact for his local Church of All Worlds nest.

[Thanks for these links goes out to Andrew Porter, Mark L. Blackman, James H. Burns, David Klaus, Milt Stevens and John King Tarpinian.]