Reasons to Visit PSFS

Those interested in the history of the SF field who can make it to the next two meetings of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society will be in for a treat.

March 9: SF author Michael Swanwick will interview Billee Jenkins Stallings, daughter of Will Jenkins, best known as Murray Leinster, the original “Dean of Science Fiction”. Leinster/Jenkins invented the alternate world story and the first contact story. Stallings and her sister, Jo-An Evans, have written a memoir about their father titled, Murray Leinster: The Life and Work ( McFarland, 2011).

April 13: On this Friday, fans who defy superstition will be lucky enough to hear from critic Michael Dirda.

These are General Meetings, open to the public. See the club website for location, starting time and other information.

Leinster, Dean of SF, Topic of 11/1 NYRSF Readings

Murray Leinster, known as “the Dean of Science Fiction” until his death in 1975, will be celebrated at the November 1 New York Review of Science Fiction Readings. Leinster was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins who wrote and published over 1,500 short stories and articles during a prolific career.

He is the subject of a recently published biography authored by his daughters. One of them, Billee Stallings, will participate. So will David G. Hartwell, a senior editor of Tor/Forge Books, Barry N. Malzberg, sf author and essayist, and Michael Swanwick, acclaimed winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial awards

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Jim Freund for the story.]

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Frost, Swanwick at 6/7 NYRSF Reading

The next New York Review of Science Fiction reading on June 7 brings together another pair of highly honored writers, Gregory Frost and Michael Swanwick.

Gregory Frost wrote the acclaimed duology, Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet (Del Rey/Random House 2008), voted one of the best fantasy novels of the year by the American Library Association in 2009. 

Michael Swanwick’s short fiction has received numerous Hugo Awards. His novel Stations of the Tide won a Nebula. “The Edge of the World” received the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and “Radio Waves” earned the World Fantasy Award.

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Jim Freund for the story.]

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Raffle Supports Fantastic Fiction at KGB

The Hosts of Fantastic Fiction at KGB are raffling off donations from well-known sf and fantasy authors, editors, artists, and agents to support the reading series.

Among a myriad of prizes are a signed galley of Catherynne Valente’s Deathless (plus a handmade necklace), your very own wormhole with a certificate of authenticity by physicist Michio Kaku, and three unpublished stories by Michael Swanwick where you own the rights till 2015, or one of a myriad of other prizes. Or you might simply take away the pleasure of supporting a popular literary event.

The raffle continues from October 11 through October 25. Raffle tickets will be $1 each and can be purchased from

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

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Howard Waldrop Sighting

 ConQuesT 41 is running in Kansas City this weekend with an excellent slate of guests including Michael Swanwick, Toni Weisskopf and Geri Sullivan. But that’s not all!

Once again on Saturday night there will be a con-within-a-con in the Dawn Patrol suite. To quote Jimmy Hollaman:

As some of you know, this coming weekend is ConQuesT 41. What you might not know is that for the last few years on Saturday night, another convention has been held. Room Con. Basically it’s a convention with in a convention. This year we will be throwing ROOM CON 6.6.6. the con of all Evil, and what a lineup we have. Writer Guest is Howard Waldrop (a national treasure), Artist Guest is Mitch Bentley, Toastmaster is Jim Murray, Fan Guest is Sue Sinor, and last but certainly not least, our returning Musical Guest Bland Lemon Denton (Brad Denton). And for those that drink, you can try a Pale Jimmy, a home brewed beer made just for Room Con. If you have not got to make it to a Room Con yet, please feel free to stop by. Saturday night at 10 we will be opening the doors. Live music, great guest and an art show where you are the artist. Yep come by and create some art with your fellow fans. For more info on Room Con, go to Facebook and look up ROOM CON. There you will find pictures of some of the past Room Cons.

Yes, my sense of humor may be too basic, but something that always gets a laugh out of me is any variation on the nickname “Blind-Lemon-whoever.”

[Via Chronicles of the Dawn Patrol.]

SFContario Comes to Toronto in 2010

SFContario will gather sf fans in downtown Toronto over the November 19-21 weekend in 2010 for a “big tent” type of convention offering guests of honor Michael Swanwick, author of Bones of the Earth and winner of five Hugo awards; Karen Linsley, writer and performer of the Mars Society anthem “Pioneers of Mars”; Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden; and Geri Sullivan.

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Murray Moore for the story.]

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Michael Swanwick’s Fiction Hugo Record

Michael Swanwick will be the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society’s guest speaker on Friday, April 11. “He has received a Hugo Award for fiction five out of six years” adds the PSFS News, reminding us about Swanwick’s extraordinary run of award-winning stories between 1999 and 2004.

I was curious how many other Hugo winners came close to matching his record, remembering any number of sf writers who began their careers with a string of great stories that earned a lot of award nominations.

On a percentage basis, Swanwick’s wins in 5 out of 6 years equals 83%. Harlan Ellison comes nearest with 75%. He won 3 fiction Hugos in 4 years (1966-1969) for some of his greatest short stories: “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” and “Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World.” During the same 3-year stretch Ellison also won a Best Dramatic Hugo for his “City on the Edge of Forever” Star Trek script (1968). And he turned down a Best Fan Writer nomination (also 1968; hard to imagine him losing that Hugo if he’d accepted.)

Three writers have claimed 4 fiction Hugos in a 6-year period, 67%: Lois McMaster Bujold (1990-1995), Ursula K. LeGuin (1970-1975) and Larry Niven (1971-1976).

Connie Willis enjoyed a run of 5 fiction Hugos in 8 years, 63%, beginning in 1993 with Doomsday Book and ending in 2000 with “The Winds of Marble Arch.”

Harlan Ellison enjoyed another run of 3 out of 5 years (1974-1978), 60%. Poul Anderson did the same, 3 out of 5 (1969-1973), one of those Hugos awarded to his great novella “Queen of Air and Darkness” in 1972.