Thomas Berger (1924-2014)

Thomas Berger, best known for his mordant frontier novel Little Big Man, died July 13 at the age of 89.

Over the course of Berger’s career he wrote in many genres and formats including horror, Killing Time (1967); science fiction, Adventures of the Artificial Woman (2004); utopian fiction, Regiment of Women (1973); the Camelot myth, Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel (1978); popular fantasy, Being Invisible (1987); and alternate history, Changing the Past (1989).

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

2014 Seiun Awards

The winners of the 2014 Seiun Awards were announced this past weekend at Nutscon, the 53rd Japanese National SF convention, in Tsukuba, Japan.

Here are the results as listed in a post with English translations.

Best Japanese Long Story

  • From Mt.Kororogi, From Jupiter Trojan by issui ogawa (Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.)

Best Japanese Short Story

  • Ima Shuugouteki Muishikio by Kosyu Tani (Kawade Shobo Shinsha,Publishers)

Best Translated Long Story

  • Blindsight by Peter Watts, translated by Yoichi Shimada (Tokyo Sogensha)

Best Translated Short Story

  • “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, translated by Furusawa Yoshimi-dori (Hayakawa 1/13)

Best Dramatic Presentation

  • Pacific Rim, Director: Guillermo del Toro

Best Comic

  • The World of Narue by Marukawa Tomohiro. Edited by Kadokawa Shoten. First published in Japan by Kadokawa Corporation, Tokyo

Best Artist

  • Naoyuki Katoh

Best Nonfiction

  • DIY Liquid Fuel Rocket by Summer Rocket team, Asari Yoshitoh (Gakken Education Publishing Co., Ltd.)

Non Section (or Freedom)

  • Nova SF, edited by Nozomi Ohmori (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers)

Some examples of the winning artist’s work are collected here.

First Wellman Award Goes To Lafferty

Lafferty_ShamblingGuide2F8-200x300Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City is the winner of the inaugural 2014 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The award was presented on July 12 by the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation at ConGregate in Winston-Salem. The Wellman Award recognizes outstanding science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors and is voted by members of four North Carolina sf conventions (illogiConConCarolinasConTemporal, and ConGregate).

Hang a Horta on Your Christmas Tree

The hottest part of summer is just beginning, which may not be the most obvious time to start selling Christmas tree ornaments — unless you work at Hallmark, that is.

Horta ornamentAnd my gosh! What fan won’t rush to pay $29.95 for a 4-1/2 inch long statuette of freaking Spock mind-melding with a blobby orange-and-gray Horta that plays a recording of the dialogue? What says Christmas more than incoherent shouts of “Pain!!” ? (At least, that’s the dialog in the YouTube clip.)

The company that wants to associate Christmas with an episode titled “Devil in the Dark” also offers the “U.S.S. Vengeance” from Star Trek: Into Darkness – it lights up with the press of a button! – for $32.95.

Star Trek’s mellower fans looking to make their tree a monument to diversity should consider Hallmark’s other 2014 offerings –

Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu — The versatile and reliable helmsman operates a tricorder and communicator in this ornament sculpted by Keepsake artist Anita Marra Rogers. Sulu is the fifth in a Keepsake Ornament series titled Star Trek Legends, which each year features a TOS character. The ornament is 4 ¼” high and costs $14.95.

Vina —  This limited-quantity ornament celebrates the 50th anniversary of the production start of “The Cage,” Star Trek’s first pilot. It depicts the human woman as a dancing Orion slave girl as seen by Captain Christopher Pike in a Talosian-induced illusion. Sculpted by Keepsake artist Valerie Shanks, Vina stands 4” high and sells for $14.95.

Green slave girls. What kind of person does that say “Christmas” to? Someone whose address is a mountain crag above Whoville?

Jim Frenkel Banned By Wiscon

A year ago, the unnamed alleged harasser in a widely publicized incident at WisCon 37 was eventually identified as Jim Frenkel. He soon thereafter lost his position as a Tor editor.

WisCon 38 was held in May and several fans complained because the committee allowed Frenkel to attend and even volunteer in the con suite.

Now he has been provisionally banned from WisCon through 2018.

Whatever influenced Frenkel’s decision to attend this year, travel wasn’t an issue because he lives in Madison where the con takes place.

In response to the complaints WisCon agreed, “We know that we have failed very significantly in how we followed up on a couple of incident reports from WisCon 36 and WisCon 37.”

Ariel Franklin-Hudson, Wiscon 38/39 Head of Safety, apologized and explained that despite Elise Matthesen having made an official harassment report in 2013 the committee had failed to reduce it to a formal record or document:

During WisCon 37, and for many previous WisCons, WisCon Safety maintained a notebook in which Safety volunteers on duty during the convention recorded incidents as they happened — anything from loose plastic on the 6th floor party hall to a report of harassment. This informal log book was WisCon Safety’s only form of record keeping, and WisCon had no official procedure or system in place to convert those notes into a formal written record. I want to stress that the notes, and the log book for WisCon 37, were never lost or mislaid; but because they are notes only, WisCon does not have a formal written record of Elise Matthesen’s report. Reports made to Safety were transferred through the log book, and orally from Safety volunteer to Head of Safety; in large part, this was because of volunteer informality, and Safety’s traditionally minor role at WisCon, but confidentiality was also an important consideration.
Everyone in WisCon Safety and WisCon leadership from WisCon 37 through WisCon 39 understands that Elise made a formal report; this has never been in doubt.

So the fragmentary information needed to generate a WisCon Safety Incident Report was reassembled.

Her report was treated with extreme seriousness at the time, including follow-ups by Co-Chairs with both Elise and with Jim Frenkel. These follow-ups have some email trail, and the WisCon 37 Co-Chairs — Jackie Lee, Kafryn Lieder, and Gretchen Treu — have now created a formal report based on the log book notes, the email trail, and their memories. In addition, the log book notes of Elise’s report from WisCon 37 have now been entered into a formal WisCon Safety Incident Report Form; I initiated these Incident Report Forms for WisCon 38.

And now WisCon’s harassment subcommittee has provisionally banned Frenkel for up to four years

WisCon will (provisionally) not allow Jim Frenkel to return for a period of four years  (until after WisCon 42 in 2018). This is “provisional”  because if Jim  Frenkel chooses to present substantive, grounded evidence of  behavioral and attitude improvement between the end of WisCon 39 in 2015 and the end of the four-year provisional period, WisCon will entertain that evidence. We will also take into account any reports of continued problematic behavior.

The subcommittee – Debbie Notkin, Ariel Franklin-Hudson, Jacquelyn Gill, Jim Hudson and Jackie Lee — signed the decision “as an act of transparency and an acknowledgment of WisCon’s previous failures in this regard” although they say WisCon’s policy is to keep incident subcommittees anonymous. 

[Via SF Site News.]

Annals of Michifandom at Detcon1

Here are several photos taken by Joel Zakem at Detcon1′s “Annals of Michifandom” panel chaired by Dick Smith and Rich Lynch.

Update 07/21/2014: Thanks to Steven H Silver for identifying the unknown participant in the fourth photo.

Roger Sims and Fred Prophet, co-chairs of 1959 Worldcon, Detention.

Roger Sims and Fred Prophet, co-chairs of 1959 Worldcon, Detention.

Dick Smith, Rich Lynch, Gregg T. Trend.

Dick Smith, Rich Lynch, Gregg T. Trend.

Smiths Lynch Sims Prophet McLaughlin

Dick Smith, Rich Lynch, Roger Sims, Fred Prophet, Dean McLaughlin.

Smith, Lynch, unknown. Cy Chauvin, Trend.

Smith, Lynch, Carol Lynn, Cy Chauvin, Trend.

Detcon1 Miscellany

Detcon1 Closing Ceremonies. Photo by Rich Lynch.

Detcon1 Closing Ceremonies. Photo by Rich Lynch.

Detcon1, the 2014 NASFiC in Detroit, drew 1450 people on site.

They had 1638 attending members, including 347 walk-up memberships.

You can get the Masquerade and Art Show winners from the convention daily newzine, available here.

2014 Golden Duck Awards

The 2014 Golden Duck Awards were presented by SuperConDuckTivity at Detcon1 on July 20.

Picture Book
Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)

Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grade
Hello Nebulon and Journey to Juno, by Ray O’Ryan (Little Simon)

Hal Clement Award for Young Adult
The Planet Thieves, by Dan Krokos (Tor Starscape)

[Via Internal Combustion #F, the Detcon1 daily newzine.]

Detcon1 Award Winners

Detcon1 YA Spec Fic Award CROP

Detcon1 “reading robot” award statuette by Jeremy Haney.

The Detcon1 Awards for Young Adult and Middle Grade Speculative fiction were presented July 20 at the NASFiC in Detroit.

Young Adult
Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves (Scholastic Press)

Middle Grade
Merrie Haskell, Handbook for Dragon Slayers (HarperCollins)

The winners were chosen by popular vote of the members.

[Via Internal Combustion #f, the Detcon1 Daily newzine.]