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Every day, items of interest to you arrive in our email. Our bi-monthly format doesn't lend itself to daily updates. However, this is a small inconvenience to our Contributing Editor Steven H Silver. He's begun this column which will fill you in on recent news in science fiction. We'll be updating the page as he sends in new items.

Did you miss something? Have a look at last month's news page or that which lists all of our news pages.

Material for possible inclusion here should be sent to Steven H Silver at shsilver@sfsite.com.

28 February 2006
Ditmar Nominees Announced
The ballot for the 2006 Ditmar Awards, to be presented at Conjure in Brisbane from April 14-17, has been announced. The Ditmar recognizes excellence by Australians in SF, Fantasy and Horror.

Professional Categories
Novel:
Magic or Madness, by Justine Larbalestier
Drowned Wednesday, by Garth Nix
Midnighters 2: Touching Darkness, by Scott Westerfeld
Peeps, by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Geodesica: Ascent, by Sean Williams & Shane Dix

Novella or Novelette:
Passing of the Minotaurs, by Rjurik Davidson
The Red Priest's Homecoming, by Dirk Flinhart
Countless Screaming Argonauts, by Chris Lawson
The Memory of Breathing, by Lynn Triffitt (Battersby)
The Grinding House, by Kaaron Warren

Short Story:
Summa Seltzer Missive, by Deborah Biancotti
Leviathan, by Simon Brown
Once Giants Roamed the Earth, by Rosaleen Love
Matricide, by Lucy Sussex
Fresh Young Widow, by Kaaron Warren

Collected Work:
Shadowed Realms, by Angela Challis & Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Years Best Australian SF & Fantasy, by Bill Congreve & Michelle Marquardt
Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales, by Robert Hood & Robin Penn
A Tour Guide in Utopia, by Lucy Sussex
The Grinding House, by Kaaron Warren, ed. Donna Maree Hanson

Best Artwork:
The Blood Debt-cover, by Greg Bridges
The Grinding House - cover, by Robin Evans
Australian Speculative Fiction: A Genre Overview - cover, by Nick Stathopoulos

Fannish Categories
Fan Writer:
Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Bruce Gillespie
Stephanie Gunn
Martin Livings
Bill Wright

Fan Artist
Dick Jenssen
Elaine Kemp
Shane Parker

Fan Production
Edwina Harvey for The Australian Science Fiction Bullsheet
Alisa Krasnostein for ASif!: Australian Specfic In Focus
Tony Plank for Inkspillers website
Conflux Committee for Conflux 2
Continuum Committee for Continuum 3

Fanzine
Horrorscope, edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings et. al.
Ticonderoga Online, edited by Russell B Farr
ASif! Australian Spec Fic in Focus, edited by Alisa Krasnostein
Interstellar Ramjet Scoop, edited by Bill Wright (ed)

Special Award Categories
The William Atheling, Jr. Award:
Ferocious Minds: Polymathy and the New Enlightenment, by Damien Broderick
Australian Speculative Fiction: a genre overview, by Donna Maree Hanson
Divided Kingdom: King Kong vs Godzilla, by Robert Hood
Body Parts, by Chris Lawson
PK Dick: The Exhilaration and the Terror, by Rosaleen Love
The 2005 Snapshot Australian Speculative Fiction writers, editors, publishers, by Ben Peek

Best New Talent
Lyn Battersby/Triffit
Rjurik Davidson
Justine Larbalestier
Karen Miller

Best Professional Achievement Award
Damien Broderick and Wilson de Silva and Kylie Ahern for COSMOS Magazine
Robert Dobson, Robert Hoge, Kate Eltham, Heather Gammage for Clarion South 2005
Donna Maree Hanson for Australian Speculative Fiction: a genre overview
Michael Rymer for Screenwriting and directing, Battlestar Galactica, Season 2.0
Jonathan Strahan for for co-editing Best Short Novels: 2005 (SFBC), Science Fiction: Best of 2004 (ibooks), and Fantasy: Best of 2004 (ibooks)

Best Fan Achievement
Donna Maree Hanson for Australian Speculative Fiction: A Genre Overview
Alisa Krasonstein for ASif! Australian Spec Fic in Focus webzine

Ramses Unearthed
Archaologists working in an outdoor marketplace in Cairo have discovered a 54 to 5 ton pink granite statue of the Pharaoh Ramses II. They also found a 5-foot-high statue of a seated figure with hieroglyphics that include three tablets with the name of Ramses II and a 3-ton head of a royal statue. Ramses the Great ruled Egypt from 1270-1213 BCE and is responsible for an enormous building surge, including the temple of Abu Simbel.

27 February 2006
Aurealis Awards
The Aurealis Awards for Australian science fiction and fantasy were presented over the weekend. The winners are:
Golden Aurealis Award Novel: Alyzon Whitestarr, by Isobelle Carmody
Golden Aurealis Award Short Story: "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case," by Garth Nix
Peter McNamara Convenors' Award: Grant Stone
Science Fiction Novel: Eclipse, by K A Bedford
Science Fiction Short Story: "Slow and Ache," by Trent Jamieson
Fantasy Novel: Blade of Fortriu: Book 2 The Bridei Chronicles, by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy Short Story: (tie) "Once Giants Roamed the Earth," by Rosaleen Love and "The Greater Death of Saito Saku," by Richard Harland
Horror Novel: No Award Horror
Short Story: "Pater Familias," by Lee Battersby
Young Adult Novel: Alyzon Whitestarr, by Isobelle Carmody
Young Adult Short Story: "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case," by Garth Nix
Children Long Fiction: Drowned Wednesday, by Garth Nix
Children Short Fiction: Piccolo & Annabel 2: The Disastrous Party, by Stephen Axelson

26 February 2006
Obituaries
Actor Darren McGavin (b.1922) died on February 25. McGavin may be best known for his work as Carl Kolchak on "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," but has also appeared in "The Martian Chronicles," "The Six-Million Dollar Man," "The X-Files," the film "Captain America," and many other films and television series, both within and outside the genre. He made his acting debut in 1945 after being discovered while painting a movie set.

Author Octavia Butler (b.1947) died on February 25. Butler was first published in 1971 in the Clarion anthology. Since then, her works have been critically well received two Hugos and two Nebulas as well as a MacArthur Genius grant. Among her best known works were Parable of the Sower and its sequel, Parable of the Talents, "Bloodchild," and Wild Seed.

25 February 2006
Obituary
Actor Don Knotts (b.1924) died on February 24 of pneumonia. Knotts is best known for his roles as Barney Fife and the title character in "The Incredible Mr. Limpet." He appeared in several genre roles, including "The Reluctant Astronaut" and "Pleasantville." His final work was doing voice work in Chicken Little.

24 February 2006
2005 Final Nebula Ballot
The final ballot for the 2005 Nebula Awards has been announced. The awards will be presented during the Nebula Weekend in Tempe, Arizona from May 4-7.

Novels
Air, by Geoff: Ryman (St. Martin's Press, Sep04)
Camouflage, by Joe Haldeman (Analog, Mar-May 04, also Ace book Aug 004)
Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, Oct04)
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, Holtzbrinck Publishers, Sep04)
Polaris, by Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov04)
Orphans of Chaos, by John C. Wright (Tor, Nov05)

Novellas
"Clay's Pride," by Bud Sparhawk (Analog, Jul/Aug04)
"Identity Theft," by Robert J. Sawyer (Down These Dark Spaceways, Mike Resnick, Ed., Science Fiction Book Club, May05)
"Left of the Dial," by Paul Witcover(SCI FICTION, Sep04)
"Magic for Beginners," by Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners, Small Beer Press, Jul05)
"The Tribes of Bela," by Albert Cowdrey (F&SF, Aug04)

Novelettes
"The Faery Handbag," by Kelly Link (The Faery Reel: Tales From the Twilight Realm, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Ed., Viking Press, Aug04)
"Flat Diane," by Daniel Abraham (F&SF, Oct\Nov04)
"Men are Trouble," by Jim Kelly (Asimov's, Jun04)
"Nirvana High," by Eileen Gunn and Leslie What (Stable Strategies and Others, Tachyon Press, Sep04)
"The People of Sand and Slag," by Paolo Bacigalupi (F&SF, Feb04)

Short Stories
"Born-Again," by K.D. Wentworth (F&SF, May05)
"The End of the World as We Know It," by Dale Bailey (F&SF, Oct/Nov04)
"Live With You," by Carol Emshwiller (F&SF, Mar05)
"My Mother, Dancing," by Nancy Kress (Asimov's, Jun04)
"Singing My Sister Down," by Margo Lanagan, (Black Juice, Eos, Mar05)
"Still Life With Boobs," by Anne Harris (Talebones, Summer05)
"There's a Hole in the City," by Richard Bowes (SCI FICTION, Jun05)

Scripts
"Act of Contrition/You Can't Go Home Again," by Carla Robinson; Bradley Thompson; and David Weddle. ("Battlestar Galactica"; Jan. 28, '05 / Feb. 4, '05 [two part episode])
"Serenity," by Joss Whedon (Universal Pictures, Sep05)

Andre Norton Award
The Amethyst Road, by Louise Spiegler, (Clarion Books, Sep05)
Siberia, by Ann Halam (Wendy Lamb Books, Jun05)
Stormwitch, by Susan Vaught (Bloomsbury, Jan05)
Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, by Holly Black (Simon & Schuster, Jun05)

Cosmos SF Offers Free Stories
Cosmos SF, an Australian science fiction magazine, has announced that all of its fiction published to date will be made available free of charge on its website, http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/sf/. While the magazine is currently only available in Australia, this will introduce it to the rest of the world, where distribution is expected to follow. To date, Cosmos has published authors such as Charles Stross, Joe Haldeman , Paul di Filippo, and numerous southern hemisphere authors. Its fiction editor is Damien Broderick.

iBooks Files Bankruptcy
iBooks and Byron Preiss Visual Productions have filed for bankruptcy effective on February 22. The companies were founded by Byron Preiss, who was killed in a car accident last year. Both companies have ceased functioning and vacated their offices.

Science Fiction to the Small Screen
ABC has given the green light to the Masters of Science Fiction, an anthology series which will present adaptations of the works of well-known science fiction authors, including Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Targeted to air in the 2006-7 season, ABC has ordered four episodes, but the producers plan to make at least thirteen.

22 February 2006
Atlantis Retirement Announced
NASA has announced the planned retirement for the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2008. Atlantis will become the first space shuttle to be retired as the program begins to wind down. Although not as old as Discovery, Atlantis is scheduled for maintenance and will be removed from the rotation, with its parts used to help maintain Discovery and Endeavour.

Clarion Call
The Clarion Foundation has announced the launch of a new website at http://theclarionfoundation.org. The website is a step towards creating an online community of aspiring and professional writers. In addition, Clarion is starting up the Clarion Circle, comprised of individuals who donate $50 or more annually to the Clarion Foundation. Clarion Circle membership will include online chats with authors, contract advice, story and novel critiques, a members-only message board, a mentor program, and more.

Hartwell Gets Skylark
Editor David G. Hartwell received the Skylark Award from NESFA at Boskone during the weekend of February 17. The Skylark Award is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him. It has been given out since 1966.

Pluto May Have Rings
There is now a theory that all three of Pluto's moons, Charon, P1 and P2, were formed from the same event, a large impact on the planet. The scientists who have proposed the scenario say that if it is true, it is likely that Pluto also will prove to have a particle ring. The diameters of P1 and P2 (60 & 50km) also leads to speculation that the total number of known moons around Pluto will increase by the time New Horizons reaches the planet. P1 and Charon have an orbital resonance of 1:6 and P2 and Charon have an orbital resonance of 1:4.

19 February 2006
BAFTA Awards
The Orange British Academy Film Awards , or BAFTA Awards, were presented on February 19. Genre works won the award in four categories, listed below.
The Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the Year: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, by Claire Jennings, David Sproxton, Nick Park, Steve Box, Mark Burton & Bob Baker
Production Design: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by Stuart Craig
Achievement in Special Visual Effects: King Kong, by Joe Letteri, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hul & Richard Taylor
Make Up & Hair: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by Howard Berger, Gregory Nicotero & Nikki Gooley

17 February 2006
Nebula Venue Announced
The SFWA Board of directors has announced the venue of the 2008 Nebula Awards will be Austin, Texas the weekend of April 24-27. The 2006 Nebulas will be held in Tempe, Arizona, and the 2007 Nebulas will be in New York City.

Writer's Weekend Promotion
Writer's Weekend is a writers workshop scheduled to be held in Seattle, Washington in June. Each week, special discounts are offered for registrants. The discounts may be found at www.writersweekend.com. For the week of February 12, the discount is a drawing for 10-50% off registration.

Storm on Saturn
The Cassini orbiter has spotted an enormous thunderstorm on Saturn. The storm stretches 2,175 miles north to south, much larger than a typical Saturnian thunderstorm, and is emitting radio waves. Observers have not yet seen lightning flashes, which may be buried too deeply in the clouds for visual confirmation. The storm was first spotted on January 23 and is still raging.

VES Awards
The Visual Effects Society announced its 4th annual awards on February 15. The awards are given to recognize achievement in visual effects in film. Below are genre winners.
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture: King Kong
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special: Walking With Monsters
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series: Rome, Episode 1
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program: Lost, Exodus, Part 2
Best Single Visual Effects of the Year: War of the Worlds: Fleeing the Neighborhood
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project: Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture: King Kong in King Kong
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Action Motion Picture: Gromit in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program, Commercial, or Music Video: Cylon Centurion in Battlestar Galactica, Fragged
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Motion Picture: New York Dawn Attack in King Kong
Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Motion Picture: War of the Worlds
Outstanding Compositing in a Motion Picture: War of the Worlds
George Méliès Award for Artistic Excellence: John Lasseter

15 February 2006
Saturn Nominations
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror films has announced the nominations for the 32nd annual Saturn Awards, to be presented on May 2. This year, the Academy has added categories for video game releases.

Best Science Fiction Film
Fantastic Four
The Island
The Jacket
Serenity
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
War of the Worlds

Best Fantasy Film
Batman Begins
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Zathura

Best Horror Film
Constantine
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Land of the Dead
Saw 2
The Skeleton Key
Wolf Creek

Best Action / Adventure / Thriller Film
Flightplan
A History of Violence
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Old Boy
Red Eye
Sin City

Best Animated Film
Chicken Little
Corpse Bride
Hoodwinked
Howl's Moving Castle
Madagascar
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Best Actor
Christian Bale in "Batman Begins"
Pierce Brosnan in "The Matador"
Hayden Christensen in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Tom Cruise in "War of the Worlds"
Robert Downey Jr. in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
Viggo Mortensen in "A History of Violence"

Best Actress
Jodie Foster in "Flightplan"
Laura Linney in "The Exorcism of Emily Rose"
Rachel McAdams in "Red Eye"
Natalie Portman in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Tilda Swinton in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Naomi Watts in "King Kong"

Best Supporting Actor
William Hurt in "A History of Violence"
Val Kilmer in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
Ian McDiarmid in "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Cillian Murphy in "Red Eye"
Liam Neeson in "Batman Begins"
Mickey Rourke in "Sin City"

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Alba in "Sin City"
Jennifer Carpenter in "The Exorcism of Emily Rose"
Summer Glau in "Serenity"
Katie Holmes in "Batman Begins"
Michelle Monaghan in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
Gena Rowlands in "The Skeleton Key"

15 February 2006
Saturn Nominations (cont.)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Alex Etel in "Millions"
Dakota Fanning in "War of the Worlds"
Freddie Highmore in "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory"
Josh Hutcherson in "Zathura"
William Moseley in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Daniel Radcliffe in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Best Direction
Andrew Adamson for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Peter Jackson for "King Kong"
George Lucas for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Mike Newell for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Christopher Nolan for "Batman Begins"
Steven Spielberg for "War of the Worlds"

Best Writing
Steve Kloves for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
David Koepp for "War of the Worlds"
Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer for "Batman Begins"
Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus & Steven McFeely for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
George Lucas for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson for "King Kong"

Best Music
Patrick Doyle for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Danny Elfman for "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory"
James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer for "Batman Begins"
John Ottman for "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
John Williams for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
John Williams for "War of the Worlds"

Best Costume
Trisha Biggar for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Lindy Hemming for "Batman Begins"
Isis Mussenden for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Gabriella Pescucci for "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory"
Terry Ryan for "King Kong"
Jany Temime for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

Best Make-Up
Howard Berger & Nikki Gooley for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Howard Berger & Greg Nicotero for "Land of the Dead"
Howard Berger & Greg Nicotero for "Sin City"
Nick Dudman & Amanda Knight for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Dave Elsey, Lou Elsey & Nikki Gooley for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Richard Taylor, Gino Acevedo, Dominie Till & Peter Swords-King for "King Kong"

Best Special Effects
John Knoll, Roger Guyett, Rob Coleman & Brian Gernand for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith"
Joe Letteri, Richard Taylor, Christian Rivers & Brian Van't Hul for "King Kong"
Jim Mitchell, Tim Alexander, Tim Webber & John Richardson for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Dennis Muren, Pablo Helman, Randal M. Dutra & Daniel Sudick for "War of the Worlds"
Janek Sirrs, Dan Glass, Chris Corbould & Paul Franklin for "Batman Begins"
Dean Wright, Bill Westenhofer, Jim Berney & Scott Farrar for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"

Television Nominations
Best Network Television Series
Invasion
Lost
Prison Break
Smallville
Supernatural
Surface
Veronica Mars

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series
Battlestar Galactica
The Closer
The 4400
Nip / Tuck
Stargate: Atlantis
Stargate SG-1

Best Television Presentation
Category 7: The End of the World
Into the West
Masters of Horror
Mysterious Island
Revelations
The Triangle

Best Actor on Television
Ben Browder in "Stargate SG-1"
William Fichtner in "Invasion"
Matthew Fox in "Lost"
Julian McMahon in "Nip / Tuck"
Wentworth Miller in "Prison Break"
Tom Welling in "Smallville"

Best Actress on Television
Patricia Arquette in "Medium"
Kristen Bell in "Veronica Mars"
Jennifer Garner in "Alias"
Jennifer Love Hewitt in "The Ghost Whisperer"
Kristin Kruek in "Smallville"
Evangeline Lily in "Lost"

Best Supporting Actor on Television
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in "Lost"
Jamie Bamber in "Battlestar Galactica"
James Callis in "Battlestar Galactica"
Sam Neill in "The Triangle"
Terry O'Quinn in "Lost"
Michael Rosenbaum in "Smallville"

Best Supporting Actress on Television
Catherine Bell in "The Triangle"
Claudia Black in "Stargate SG-1"
Erica Durance in "Smallville"
Allison Mack in "Smallville"
Michelle Rodriguez in "Lost"
Katee Sackhoff in "Battlestar Galactica"

Home Entertainment : DVD
Best DVD Release
Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows
Boo
Cube Zero
Dead & Breakfast
Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection
Ringers: Lord of the Fans

Best DVD Special Edition Release
Donnie Darko
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Incredibles
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Saw
Sin City: Recut, Extended, Unrated

Best Classic Film DVD Release
Ben Hur
The Fly
Gladiator
King Kong
Titanic
The Wizard of Oz

Best DVD Collection
Batman Collection
Bela Lugosi Collection
Hammer Horror Film Series
Harold Lloyd Collection
Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. 7 & 8
The Val Lewton Collection

Best Television Release on DVD
Battlestar Galactica, Season 1 & 2.0
Frankenstein
House, Season 1
Lost, Season 1
Smallville, Season 4
Star Trek Enterprise

Best Retro Television Release on DVD
The Adventures of Superman, Season 1
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Season 1
The Greatest American Hero
Kolchak, The Night Stalker
Moonlighting, Season 1 & 2
Third Rock From the Sun, Season 1 & 2

Multimedia
Best Video Game Release (Science Fiction)
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Psychonauts
Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Timesplitters: Future Perfect

Best Video Game Release (Fantasy)
Dragon Quest VIII
God of War
Guild Wars
Peter Jackson's King Kong
Shadow of the Colossus

Best Video Game Release (Horror)
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
F.E.A.R.
Indigo Prophecy
Resident Evil 4
Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse"

Obituary
Actor Andreas Katsulis (b.1946) died on February 13. Katsulis debuted in film in 1979 and went on to appear in a number of genre films and shows, including "Max Headroom," "Alien Nation," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." he may be best known, however, for his role of G'Kar in "Babylon 5."

14 February 2006
Macedonian Tomb Discovered
An enormous tomb, measuring more than 63 square meters, has been unearthed in Pella in Ancient Macedonia, the homeland of Alexander the Great. The tomb, which dates back to the fourth century BCE, has eight chambers and is the largest Hellenic tomb discovered. All previous Hellenic multi-chambered tombs contain no more than three chambers. The tomb was used for about two centuries.

13 February 2006
PKD Judges
Gordan van Gelder has announced the judges for this year's Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original. The award is given for any title published originally in paperback in 2006 and will be presented at Norwescon in 2007. The 2006 judges are Geary Gravel, Anne Harris, Christine Mains, Kristine Smith, Mark W. Tiedemann. The award for works published in 2005 will be presented on April 14, 2006 at Norwescon 29. The Philip K. Dick Award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and Norwescon.

Obituary
Actor Phil Brown (b.1916) died on February 9 of pneumonia. Brown began acting in films in 1941, but acheived his greatest fame with a brief role he filmed for a 1977 release, the role of uncle Owen in "Star Wars." The following year, he appeared as a Senator in "Superman" and has also appeared in "The Martian Chronicles." His final film role was in 1999 when he appeared in "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming."

9 February 2006
Milky Way Larger Than Andromeda
New ability to sense dark matter has resulted in scientists re-estimating the overall mass of the galaxies in the local group with the result that they have determined that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is more massive than the Andromeda Galxy (M31), which was previously believed to be larger than the Milky Way. In addition, the Milky Way seems to have "stolen" more than one million stars from the globular cluster M12.

T. Rex Ancestor Found
Chinese and American scientists have announced the discovery of a primitive tyrannosaur which dates to 90 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex. This ancestor of the tyrannosaurs differed from its descendents by being smaller and sporting a crest on its snout. The dinosaur, named Guanlong, was about 3 meters long.

Egyptian Tomb Found
Archaeologists have discovered an undisturbed tomb in the Valley of the Kings near where King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in 1922. The tomb, which dates to the late 18th dynasty, about the same time as King Tut, is the most intact burial site discovered since King Tut's tomb. Archaeologists have not entered the tomb proper yet and have not identified the five mummies, although they have noted that they are not necessarily royalty.

6 February 2006
Update
NASA is now saying that they can still detect faint signals from SuitSat 1, although it is not performing up to original expectations.

Annie Winners
This year's Annie Awards, presented by ASIFA-Hollywood, were presented on February 4. "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit" did extremely well, winning the award in ten categories.

Production Categories
Best Animated Feature: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Best Home Entertainment Production: Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch
Best Animated Short Subject: The Fan and The Flower
Best Animated Television Commercial: United Airlines "Mr. Pants"
Best Animated Television Production: Star Wars: Clone Wars II Chapters 21-25
Best Animated Video Game: Ultimate Spider-Man

Individual Achievement Categories
Animated Effects: Jason Wen for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Character Animation: Claire Billett for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production: Nick Park for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Character Design in an Animated Television Production: Ernie Gilbert for The Fairly OddParent "The Good Old Days"
Directing in an Animated Feature Production: Nick Park, Steve Box for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Directing in an Animated Television Production: Peter Shin for Family Guy "North by North Quahog"
Music in an Animated Feature Production: Julian Nott for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"– Aardman Animations Ltd./DreamWorks
Animation Music in an Animated Television Production: James L. Venable, Jennifer Kes Remington for Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends "Duchess of Wails"
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production: Phil Lewis "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Production Design in an Animated Television Production: Mike Moon, Craig McCracken, Dave Dunnet, Martin Ansolabehere for Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends "A Lost Claus"
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production: Bob Persichetti for "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production: Lauren MacMullan for AVATAR:The Last Airbender "The Deserter"
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production: Peter Sallis for Voice of Wallace "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production: Seth MacFarlane for Voice of Stewie for Family Guy "Brian the Bachelor"
Writing in an Animated Feature Production: Steve Box, Nick Park, Bob Baker, Mark Burton "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"
Writing in an Animated Television Production: C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell, Tim Hill for SpongeBob "Fear of a Krabby Patty"

Juried Awards

June Foray Award for Significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation: Mark Kausler
Winsor McCay Award for Recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation: Cornelius Cole, Tyrus Wong, Fred Crippen
Ub Iwerks Award: Corpse Bride
Certificate of Merit: Larry Loc, "Dream on Silly Dreamer"

Cave Art Discovery
Cave drawing believed to be more than 25,000 years old have been discovered in the Charente region of France. The drawings are believed to be nearly 12,000 years older than the drawings found in Lascaux Cave and Altamira. The oldest known cave art exists in Chauvet cave, where images date back 31,000 years.

Writer's Guild Awards
Genre works did not have a huge showing at the Writer's Guild Awards. ABC drama "Lost" won for Best Dramatic Series and the HBO film "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" received the award for Best Adapted Long Form.

4 February 2006
SESFA Nominations Open
The Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Awards have opened nominations for the 2006 award. Any member of SESFA may nominate works by Southern authors. Membership in SESFA is $7 and more information may be found at http://www.scifidimensions.com/sesfa/people.htm.

About SF
A new resource has been created, About SF, funded by SFWA and hosted at the University of Kansas. The organization's first project is to create a Science Fiction speakers' bureau. The website will eventually also host a wiki-style section for reading guides and similar works.

Space Suit Satellite Fails
An unused spacesuit was turned into an impromptu satellite by the crew of the International Space Station. The suit was equipped with a transmitter to broadcast greetings in six languages and telemetry. The suit was to orbit for several days before burning up in the atmosphere. The suit only transmitted faint signals for about five hours before going dead on January 3.

Obituary
Actor Al Lewis (b.1923) died on February 3. Best known for his role as Grandpa Munster on "The Munsters," Lewis also worked as a basketball scout, restaurateur, and ran for political office. Lewis also appeared on the television show "Car 54, Where Are You," also opposite Fred Gwynne, who played Herman Munster.

2 February 2006
Crawford Nominees
The nominations for the Crawford Award for best new fantasy author have been announced. The award is presented to the author of a first fantasy novel, although the award is given to the author, not for the novel. The award will be presented at ISFA during the weekend of March 15-19 in Fort Lauderdale. The nominees (along with the titles of their first fantasy novels are listed below.
Judith Berman, Bear Daughter
Hal Duncan, Vellum
Francis Hardinge, Fly by Night
Joe Hill, Twentieth Century Ghosts
Sarah Monette, Melusine
Holly Phillips, In the Palace of Repose
Anna Tambour, Spotted Lily

2003 UB313 Larger Than Pluto
A German team of researchers has determined that 2003 UB313 is larger than Pluto. The object, which is now likely to be classified as a planet, has a diameter about 700km greater than Pluto. Frank Bertoldi, who headed the study, noted that with the figures he has announced, it becomes more difficult to see Pluto as a planet.

Asteroids Are Really Comets
Two objects in Jupiter's trailing Trojan pack, Patroclus and its moon Menoetius, have been reclassified by scientists as comets instead of asteroids when it became clear that their density was only about 1/3rd of the expected density of rock. It is believed the comets formed in the Kuiper Belt and were captured by the LaGrange point.

1 February 2006
Author's House Burns
Valerie J. Freireich, the author of Becoming Human, lost her house in a fire. In addition to losing her home, she also lost all her copies of her books and magazines with her stories in them. Freireich is asking people if they have copies of her works they can donate to her so she can have copies.

Copyright © 2006 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a five-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings. He is the publisher of ISFiC Press. In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.


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