1) Awards season keeps coming:
A) Australian Horror Writers Association’s 2009 Australian Shadows Award Winners:
Slights by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)
Grants Pass, edited by Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar (Morrigan Books)
“Six Suicides” by Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings)
B) Nominees for the David Gemmell Award for Fantasy:
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (Tor US)
The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel (Gollancz)
Empire, The Legend of Sigmar by Graham McNeill (The Black Library)
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz & Orbit)
The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (Tor US)
And the Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer:
The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas (Gollancz)
The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bulington (Orbit)
The Drowning City by Amanda Downum (Orbit)
The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel (Gollancz)
Lamentation by Ken Scholes (Tor US)
The Ravenheart Award for Best Fantasy Cover Art:
Jon Sullivan (illustration), Sue Michniewicz (Art Direction) for the cover of The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel
Jackie Morris (illustration), Dominic Forbes (Art Direction) for the cover of The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Didier Graffet and Dave Senior (illustration), Laura Brett (Art Direction) for the cover of Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Larry Rostant (illustration), Loulou Clarke (Art Direction) for the cover of Fire by Kristin Cashore
Jon Sullivan (illustration) for the cover of Empire by Graham McNeill
2) Lucasfilm Animation announced that Star Wars will spin off an animated comedy series. The sitcom, being developed by actor and producer Seth Green, will look at everyday life for Star Wars characters in an irreverent manner.
3) Apex Publications has signed up author Catherynne Valente to the position of Fiction Editor of Apex Magazine. Valente is the winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award, the Rhysling Award, the Mythopoetic Award and the Million Writers Award. Her work has also been nominated for the Hugo, the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the World Fantasy Award. Her first issue of Apex Magazine as editor will be due out in early August.
4) Warner Films is adapting the Japanese novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka for film. The story is about a young soldier among the forces fighting off an alien invasion who finds that when he dies on the battlefield, he awakens the next morning alive. Each day he grows smarter and stronger as well, while he tries to find out how to stop the cycle. The novel was published in Japan by Shueisha and in the English market by VIZ Media Haikasoru. Dante Harper wrote the script.
5) Science Fiction World in China is the world’s largest science fiction magazine, with circulation ranging from 130,000-400,000 in its heyday. A battle developed between the staff of the magazine and their current president, Li Chang, whom the other editors felt was incompetent to serve in the position. The editors appealed to the
Sichuan Association for Science and Technology (SAST), an organization of scientists and technicians under the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China that serves as the executive board for the magazine, in an open letter which gained global media attention. Among the complaints were that Chang was not paying some authors, refused to do a labor contract with editors, ordered editors to write stories, and illegally sold the magazine’s registration number to unlicensed publishers. Chang’s decisions were also blamed for a drop in the magazine’s circulation. Fans and writers supported the editors and Chang has been suspended pending an investigation by authorities.
6) In a three day run from the 3rd to the 5th of June, the University of Chicago Theater Group in the U.S. will premiere the musical stage production Nowhere Town, written and composed by fantasy author Hal Duncan. Duncan is also producing an illustrated children’s book with Eric Orchard as illustrator.
7) Noted SF author and critic Norman Spinrad announced that he is being treated for stomach cancer at Sloan-Kettering. He is asking for further medical advice on Scribd. In other sad news, SF author Jeanne Robinson, wife of SF author Spider Robinson, is also battling cancer and currently receiving homecare.
8) Author and t.v. writer Paul Cornell is returning to comics as the writer for Action Comics, part of DC Comics. (Action Comics was the original series that launched Superman.) Cornell will be working with artist Pete Woods and do his first story about character Lex Luthor. Marc Guggenheim, who was scheduled to originally work on the project, decided to step down and will be doing another project for DC and the Superman Group.
9) Japanese author Haruki Murakami launched the third volume in his best-selling, multi-part thriller saga 1Q84, about two long ago schoolmates now searching for each other, to long lines outside of bookshops in Japan. The series is currently not yet available in an English translation, and Murakami is not saying how many volumes the saga will take. Murakami is an international best-seller and award-winner.
10) Writer, editor and publisher George H. Scithers died recently of a heart attack at the age of 80. Scithers served as the editor of Hugo-winning fanzine Amra and was a founding editor of Asimov’s magazine in the 1970’s. He was also the editor for Amazing Stories and Weird Tales, where he continued as editor emeritus. He founded specialty publisher Owlswick Press.
He was the author of many short stories, including “Faithful Messenger,” and editor of numerous anthologies, most recently the Cat Tales series. He was nominated for seven Hugos as a professional editor and won twice, won a special professional World Fantasy award in 1992 with collaborator Darrell Schweitzer, and received a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2002.
11) Fox Television Broadcasting has scratched plans to run a U.S. version of British Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, about a government agency that deals with aliens and time incursions. BBC Worldwide Productions, which owns the show, is planning on striking a new deal with another U.S. network. A U.S. version of the show may star John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, the role he plays in the original Torchwood.
12) Revered fantasy author Terry Pratchett will be the guest editor of sci-fi magazine SFX’s May issue, as part of the magazine’s “Summer of SF Reading” campaign. A launch party for the issue will be held at the Waterstone Bookstore in Piccadilly, London, on May 10th with a Q&A panel of authors and book signings. Pratchett will be writing a piece about television institution Doctor Who in the issue.
13) SFF author and icon Gene Wolfe is recovering from open heart surgery on a leaking mitral valve. Wolfe is already up and walking, in good spirits, and will be moved to a rehab facility shortly.
14) SF author Peter Watts faced an end to his court ordeal over a dispute at the U.S.-Canadian border. Watts was given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay fines for his failure to comply quickly enough with orders from a U.S. border guard. He will be unable to travel in the U.S. He expressed his profound thanks for his fans and supporters on his blog: http://www.rifters.com/crawl/
15) Journals written by legendary SF author Philip K. Dick will be published next fall by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, under the title The Exegesis. Dick is famous for such works as The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and is a favorite of filmmakers. Dick died in 1982 at the age of 53.
16) The next Batman movie is up and running and scheduled for release in 2012, according to Warner Brothers Studios. It’s not clear whether director Christopher Nolan, who directed the previous movies Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, will be back for the third film. The Dark Knight shot up into the top earning films list and won a posthumous Oscar for late actor Heath Ledger for his role as the Joker.