In Memoriam – Waldemar Kumming, 31 July 1924 – 5 April 2017

By Wolf von Witting: It feels surreal writing “I only knew him for forty years,” but in fact Waldemar began publishing Munich Round Up [MRU] before I was born. He was among the pioneers of German fandom. MRU, the fanzine of the Munich SFCD-group, was launched as a newsletter in November 1958, but rose to prominence when the dynamic duo of engineers Waldemar Kumming and Walter “Fux” Reinecke took charge of its publication. By the time we first met in 1977, I was 17 and Waldemar 53 and the dynamic duo had already come out with MRU #143. Its appearances grew sparse after the death of Walter Reinicke in 1981.

On June 2, 1962 Waldemar became the second chair of the SFCD, which had experienced a turbulent infancy under Walter Ernsting. With Waldemar at the helm for six years, the SFCD had a somewhat peaceful period.

It hardly seems fair that our history books don’t teach us more about the good men who walked among us. Waldemar was such a good man. Humble. Generous. He was a good listener. Not much of an attention hog. Science fiction fandom was his hobby and he was literally a fan who had an impact on thousands, in Gerfany and abroad. He was not one who sorted his fannish activity among the follies of youth and then got away from it all for a couple of years, only to return to fandom by the time retirement approached. Waldemar was an active fan before I was born and he kept at it, into the new millennium.

In 40 years I saw him disgruntled only once. It was in Berlin, at BärCon 1985, as we had come to a restaurant over-challenged with the arrival of a dozen sf-fans. Most of us had to wait for our food an hour and a half. Waldemar was served half an hour later. One rarely heard him participating in the fierce verbal battles of the SFCD other than when he suddenly yelled; “Stop!” And everyone fell silent. Waldemar turned the tape in the recorder and signaled the heated combatants to resume their ruckus.

Denis Scheck, left, interviews Marion Zimmer Bradley, center, at STUCON 1980, while Waldemar Kumming captures it all on his tape recorder, right.

He was bestowed with the Kurd Lasswitz Award for Munich Round Up in 1993 and received the Big Heart Award at the WorldCon in Glasgow 2005.

Near the end of his life, he was unable to visit sf-conventions. It should not have been a surprise to hear that Waldemar is no more. Yet the news hit me like a punch in the face as Thomas Recktenwald casually mentioned in an email: “Btw Waldemar Kumming died two weeks ago.” We have been bracing for the impact of his departure for a couple of years. Yet, I can’t rid myself of the feeling, that a grand chapter of our fan-history now definitely has vanished into the mist.

P.S. Thanks to Michael Haitel, for reminding me of the classic Stop-episode. Recommended reading (page 20) “Waldemar Kumming – Behold the Fan”: http://efanzines.com/CounterClock#15/CoClock-15.pdf

2017 Deutsche Science Fiction Preis Shortlist

The nominees for the 2017 Deutsche Science Fiction Preis were announced February 27.

The juried award for the best short story and best novel written in the German language is sponsored by the SFCD, Germany´s largest science-fiction club. Each winner will receive €1000.

The winners will be announced June 16 at U-Con.

Beste deutschsprachige Kurzgeschichte / Best German Language Short Story

  • »Die Stadt der XY« von Dirk Alt. In: Exodus 34. Ausgabe 04/2016.
  • »Suicide Rooms« von Gabriele Behrend. In: Exodus 35. Ausgabe 10/2016.
  • »Acapulco! Acapulco!« von Andreas Eschbach. In: Exodus 34. Ausgabe 04/2016.
  • »Vor dem Fest oder Brief an Mathilde« von Marcus Hammerschmitt. In: Nova 24.
  • »Das Netz der Geächteten« von Michael K. Iwoleit. In: »Gamer«. Hrsg.: Armin Rößler, Frank Hebben und André Skora. Begedia Verlag 2016.
  • »Tubes Inc.« von Frank Lauenroth. In: »Hauptsache gesund!«. Hrsg.: Ralf Boldt. p.machinery 2016.
  • »Korbball« von Ernst-Eberhard Manski. In: »Rund um die Welt in mehr als 80 SF-Geschichten«. Hrsg.: Eric Schreiber. Saphir im Stahl Verlag Erik Schreiber 2016.

Bester deutschsprachiger Roman / Best German Language Novel

  • »Die Welten der Skiir 1: Prinzipat« von Dirk van den Boom. Cross Cult 2016. 450 Seiten.
  • »Omni« von Andreas Brandhorst. Piper 2016. 560 Seiten.
  • »Der Bahnhof von Plön« von Christopher Eckert. Mitteldeutscher Verlag 2016. 400 Seiten.
  • »Helix« von Marc Elsberg. Blanvalet Verlag 2016. 648 Seiten.
  • »Teufelsgold« von Andreas Eschbach. Bastei Lübbe 2016. 512 Seiten.
  • »Vektor« von Jo Koren. Atlantis Verlag 2016. 190 Seiten

2016 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis Shortlist

Deutscher Science Fiction preis DSFP-Medaille-logo-300x278The nominees for the 2016 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis have been announced.

The juried award for the best short story and best novel written in the German language is sponsored by the SFCD, Germany´s largest science-fiction club. Each winner will receive €1000. The awards ceremony will take place at MediKonOne in Oldenburg on August 13.

Best Short Story

  • »Tremolo« by Gabriele Behrend. In: NOVA 23.
  • »Operation Gnadenakt« by Frank Böhmert. In: phantastisch! 57.
  • »Der heilige Wasserabsperrhahn« by Uwe Hermann. In: »Das Amt für versäumte Ausgaben: Kurzgeschichten – Band 4«.
  • »Ein glücklicherer Ort« by Boris Koch. In: Exodus 33.
  • »Diese verdammten Alienzombieroboterviecher« by Frank Lauenroth. In: »Die Magnetische Stadt: 2014 Collection of Science Fiction Stories«.
  • »Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!« by Guido Seifert. In: NOVA 23.
  • »Der Zwillingsfaktor« by Christian Weis. In: Exodus 33.

Best Novel

  • »Meran« by Dirk van den Boom.
  • »Das Schiff« by Andreas Brandhorst.
  • »Feuer am Fuß: Die Maeva-Trilogie 3« by Dirk C. Fleck.
  • »Das Licht von Duino« by Frank Haubold.
  • »Paradox« by Phillip P. Peterson.

[Via Nina Horvath at Europa SF.]

2015 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis Winners

Deutscher Science Fiction preis DSFP-Medaille-logo-300x278The winners of the 2015 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis for the best short story and best novel written in German language have been announced. The juried award is sponsored by the SFCD, Germany´s largest science-fiction club. The award will be presented at WetzKon2 in Wetzlar, Germany on July 4. Each winner will receive €1000.

Best German-language Short Story

  • “Knox” by Eva Strasser

Best German-language Novel

  • Alpha & Omega: Apokalypse für Anfänger (~Alpha & Omega: Apocalypse for Beginners) by  Markus Orths

(The title was translated into English by Nina Horvath of Europa SF.)

2015 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis Shortlist

The nominees for the 2015 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis have been announced.

Best German-language Short Story

  • Der Klang der Posaunen by Arno Behrend, from Schuldig in 16 Fällen
  • Terradeforming by Arno Behrend, from Schuldig in 16 Fällen
  • Revenge by Diane Dirt, from Bullet, edited by Sven Klöpping
  • Der Mechaniker by Thorsten Küper, from Bullet, edited by Sven Klöpping
  • Extremophile Morphologie by Jakob Schmidt, from Tiefraumphasen, edited by André Skora, Armin Rößler and Frank Hebben, (Begedia Verlag)
  • Knox by Eva Strasser, from Tiefraumphasen, edited by André Skora, Armin Rößler and Frank Hebben, (Begedia Verlag)

Best German-language Novel

  • Das Kosmotop by Andreas Brandhorst, (Heyne Verlag)
  • Feldeváye: Roman der letzten Künste by Dietmar Dath, (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch)
  • Drohnenland by Tom Hillenbrand, (KiWi-Taschenbuch)
  • MUC by Anna Mocikat, (Knaur Taschenbuch)
  • Alpha & Omega: Apokalypse für Anfänger by Markus Orths, (Schöffling)
  • Kernschatten by Nils Westerboer, (Leander Wissenschaft)

Deutscher Science Fiction preis DSFP-Medaille-logo-300x278The juried award for the best short story and best novel written in German language is sponsored by the SFCD, Germany´s largest science-fiction club. Each winner will receive €1000. The awards ceremony will take place at WetzKon in July.

Nina Horvath provides unofficial traslations of the titles in her coverage at Europa SF.

Germany’s Largest SF Group Approaches Milestone

Julian Parr, Raymond Z. Gallun, and Walter Ernsting.

Julian Parr, Raymond Z. Gallun, and Walter Ernsting.

Science Fiction Club Deutschland turns 60 next year. They’re going to celebrate the anniversary by holding a special convention, WetzKon, from July 3-5, 2015. Guests of honor will be Andreas Eschbach, Wolfgang Jeschke and Reinhard Habeck.

SFCD was founded in August 1955 by Walter Ernsting, Trude Ersting, Raymond Zinke Gallun, Walter Spiegl and Julian Parr. One of its first members was Forrest J Ackerman.

 [ Via Europa SF.]

2014 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis

The winners of the 2014 Deutscher Science Fiction Preis for the best short story and best novel written in German language have been announced. The juried award is sponsored by the SFCD, Germany´s largest science-fiction club. Each winner will receive €1000.  The award ceremony will be held in July during SchlossCon in Schwerin, Germany.

Best German-language Short Story
»Seitwärts in die Zeit« by Axel Kruse

Best German-language Novel
»Dschiheads« by Wolfgang Jeschke

[Via Scifiportal.]