Harry Erwin Dies

Harry Erwin, scientist, fan and filker, has passed away reports Jerry Pournelle on Chaos Manor. Erwin was one of Chaos Manor’s most faithful and avidly read letterhacks.

Erwin’s contributions to the sf field, according to his website, included organizing the re-publication of James H. Schmitz’s works (“I didn’t do the editing; instead I kept the team functioning and introduced Eric Flint and Guy Gordon to each other”).

He held a Ph.D. and worked in the computer science field. Until 2001 he was an adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science at GMU. At times he was chief engineer for a major USMC command and control system and the security architect for the US Treasury Communications System.

Pournelle regrets that they never got to meet in person.

Jerry’s comment reminds me anew how lucky I was to discover sf fandom early enough that it was still possible to meet or see nearly everyone whose work had been important to me. The main exceptions were E.E. Smith and John W. Campbell — although thanks to Campbell’s inexhaustible willingness to correspond with practically anybody he and I did become acquainted by mail.

Space Station Realpolitik?

A few years ago Nasa announced plans to retire the aging space shuttle fleet by 2010, four years before it has a replacement craft ready:

The retirement will leave the US without orbital capacity for at least four years, until the Ares booster programme is complete. European and Russian launchers will service the space station in the meantime.

The Shuttle’s planned successor is “Project Constellation,” using Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles and the Orion Spacecraft. According to the United States Vision for Space Exploration, the Orion should conduct its first human spaceflight mission in 2014.

Now a reader of Chaos Manor has connected the dots between America‘s imminent dependence on Russian and European equipment to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, and the current crisis over Georgia. A strained relationship between the U.S. and Russia would produce all kinds of problems, including some detrimental to the space program.


Wired reports the Army is moving ahead with plans for a laser cannon What next, the U.S.S. Death Star?

All the winners of the 2008 Mythopoeic Awards are listed at SF Award Watch.

There’s already a DVD of Denvention 3 Masquerade photos for sale. The committee expects to offer a DVD of the Hugo Ceremony this fall. And Laurie Mann has posted a vast collection of links to Denvention 3 news, blog and photo coverage.

Want to help with next year’s Worldcon? Anticipation’s volunteer form is online.

Keith Stokes reports on his January 2008 trip to Costa Rica, with beautiful photos, here.

And Keith takes you along on his March 2008 trip to Kansas and Nebraska, featuring Rocky Mountain Oysters, here.

Fast-Forward did a total of five podcasts from Denvention 3.

Peter Glaskowsky, a frequent contributor to Chaos Manor Reviews and attendee at 16 Worldcons, has a post about ebooks and Digital Management Rights on CNET.

Hugo-winner Michael Chabon’s affectonate comments about SF and alternate history can be found in articles at the Los Angeles Times, the UK’s Times Online, and the New York Review of Books.

[Links via David Klaus, Isaac Alexander, Rick Moen, Laurie D. T. Mann and Michael Kennedy.]