2016 Seiun Awards

The 55th Japan Science Fiction Convention (Nihon SF Taikai) announced the 2016 Seiun Award winners on July 9 (linked site is in Japanese).

The winners were determined by a vote of attendees at “Iseshimacon” in Toba.

Reported here are the results in the Best Translated Novel, Best Translated Short Story, Best Dramatic Presentation, and Free Space categories.

The full list of winners is here, and brief descriptions of nominees in the categories composed of Japanese language works are available in this post at Anime News Network.

BEST TRANSLATED NOVEL

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, Tr. Hideko Akao

BEST TRANSLATED SHORT STORY

  • “Good Hunting” – Ken Liu, Tr. Yoshimichi Furusawa

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION

FREE SPACE

Stuart James Byrne (1913-2011)

William Lundigan in Men Into Space.

Stuart James Byrne died September 23, 2011 according to the Social Security Administration, although so far as Andrew Porter can tell this is just now coming to the attention of fandom.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Byrne’s stories were published in Science Stories, Amazing Stories, Imagination, and Other Worlds. In the mid-1950s he wrote a novel called Tarzan on Mars that the Burroughs estate would not authorize to be published, a minor controversy stoked by Ray Palmer, Other Worlds’ editor. In the 1970s, Byrne also worked as a translator on the Perry Rhodan series from German to English.

What especially caught my eye in Byrne’s Wikipedia entry is that he wrote for Men Into Space, which aspired to be a realistic weekly drama about near-future space exploration. It aired in 1959 and 1960 – my 7-year-old self watched it the same season The Flintstones premiered (see Yabba Dabba Doo Time from the other day.)

What would I think of it today? Impossible to guess, though from an effects and design standpoint the show’s producers seem to have invested a lot of effort, using Navy pressure suits in the premiere, taking inspiration from Von Braun’s proposed spacecraft, and hiring Chesley Bonestell to contribute some of the imagery.

Byrne wrote the series’ episode entitled “Quarantine” (1959) and the story for “Contraband” (1960).

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]