Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2012

Artist Leo Dillon, 79, died May 26, 2012.

Dillon is best known for his professional and personal partnership with wife Diane Dillon (née Sorber) — they are the only artist team to jointly win a Hugo for Best Professional Artist (1971). They have worked extensively in various fields of commercial art, creating album covers, holiday cards, movie posters, advertising, and children’s books. They also illustrated numerous SF novels, notably many covers for Ace Books in the ’60s, including many of the Ace Specials, and are also known for their iconic cover and interior illustrations of Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology. Their work in the SF field became less frequent after 1972.

Leo Dillon was born March 2, 1933 in Brooklyn NY. He attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, where he met Diane, also a student there. They both graduated in 1956, and were married the following year.

The duo won Caldecott Medals for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1976) and Ashanti to Zulu (1977), and their work was collected in The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon (1981). They were named Spectrum Grand Masters in 1977, were inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997, and received a joint World Fantasy life achievement award in 2008.

For more details, see his entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia.

A complete obituary will appear in the July issue of Locus. This blog entry is reposted from Locus.

2012 Conference of The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York
26-27 October 2012
Proposals by 20 June 2012 (UPDATED)

Proposals are invited from scholars of all levels for papers to be presented in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area.

Presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes in length (depending on final panel size) and may address any aspect of the intermedia genres of science fiction, fantasy, and/or legend as represented in popular culture produced in any country, any time period, and for any audience. Please see our website

( for further details and ideas.

If you are interested in proposing a paper or panel of papers, please send a proposal of approximately 300 to 500 words and a one to two page CV to both the Program Chair AND to the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend Area Chair at the following addresses (please note “SF/Fantasy/Legend Proposal” in your subject line):

Tim Madigan
Program Chair

Michael A. Torregrossa
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend Area Chair

The Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is a regional affiliate of the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association. NEPCA is an association of scholars in New England and New York, organized in 1974 at the University of Rhode Island. We reorganized and incorporated in Boston in 1992. The purpose of this professional association is to encourage and assist research, publication, and teaching on popular culture and culture studies topics by scholars in the northeast region of the United States. By bringing together scholars from various disciplines, both academic and non-academic people, we foster interdisciplinary research and learning. We publish a newsletter twice per year and we hold an annual conference at which we present both the Peter C. Rollins Book Award and an annual prize.

Membership in NEPCA is required for participation.

Annual dues are currently $30 for full-time faculty and $15 for all other individuals.

Further details are available at


Neil Gaiman spoke to the graduates of the colleges of Art, Media and Design and Performing Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  It was his first ever such address. According to a press release from the university, it “has been tweeted thousands of times, viewed in 146 countries, translated into eight languages, interpreted in illustration and is being called the best commencement speech of 2012.”

A video is available through TED-Ed:

The Compton Crook Award Winner for the 2012 prize is T. C. McCarthy for Germline, published by Orbit.

The Compton Crook Award is presented to the best first novel of the year written by a single author: collaborations are not eligible: in the field of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror by the members of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc., at their annual Baltimore-area science fiction convention, Balticon, held on Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore, MD area each year.

This prize, named after a Towson State College Professor of Natural Science named Compton Crook, who wrote under the name Stephen Tall, and who died in 1981, was first awarded in 1983 for a work published in 1982.

The award is presented for the best book in the genre that was published in the year prior to the year of award and consists of a check for $1000.00 and Guest of Honor treatment for two years at Balticon. The first year of Guest of Honor treatment is the year the award is presented and the second year is to participate in the presentation of the following year’s award.

More information available at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society web site.

The finalists for this year’s Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (honoring the best short science fiction or fantasy story published in 2011) and John W. Campbell Memorial Award (honoring the best science fiction novel of 2011) have just been announced.

2012 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award Nominees

  • “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (, June)
  • “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov’s Science Fiction, July)
  • “Ghostweight” by Yoon Ha Lee (Clarkesworld, January)
  • “The Old Equations” by Jake Kerr (Lightspeed, July)
  • “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse Three)
  • “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April)
  • “The Choice” by Paul McAuley (Asimov’s, December/January)
  • “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld, October)

Also nominated: “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson, but the author, who is also a juror, removed her story from consideration.

2012 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Nominees

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (published by Crown/Random House)
  • This Shared Dream by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Tor)
  • Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh (Night Shade)
  • Embassytown by China Miéville (Ballantine/Del Rey)
  • The Islanders by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
  • The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski (Tor)
  • Dancing with Bears by Michael Swanwick (Night Shade)
  • Osama by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson (Simon & Schuster)
  • Home Fires by Gene Wolfe (Tor)
  • Seed by Rob Ziegler (Night Shade)

The Awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Awards Banquet. This year’s Campbell Conference will be held 5-8 July, as always, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

The results of the SFWA officers’ election were announced during the 2012 Nebula Awards Weekend (May 17-20, 2012 in Arlington VA) at the SFWA business meeting.

President: John Scalzi
Vice President: Rachel Swirsky
Secretary: Ann Leckie
Treasurer: Bud Sparhawk
West Coast Representative: Jim Fiscus
Canadian Representative: Matthew Johnson

For more information, see their blog post.

The Association for the Recognition of Excellence in SF & F Translation (ARESFFT) is delighted to announce the finalists for the 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards (for works published in 2011). There are two categories: Long Form and Short Form.

Long Form

Good Luck, Yukikaze by Chohei Kambayashi, translated from the Japanese by Neil Nadelman (Haikasoru)

Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, translated from the Arabic by Chip Rossetti (Bloomsbury Qatar)

The Dragon Arcana by Pierre Pevel, translated from the French by Tom Clegg (Gollancz)

Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, translated from the Spanish by Lucia Graves (Little, Brown & Company)

Zero by Huang Fan, translated from the Chinese by John Balcom (Columbia University Press)

Short Form

“The Fish of Lijiang” by Chen Qiufan, translated from the Chinese by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld #59, August 2011)

“Spellmaker” by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel (A Polish Book of Monsters, Michael Kandel, PIASA Books)

“Paradiso” by Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud, translated from the French by Edward Gauvin (Liquid Imagination #9, Summer 2011)

“The Boy Who Cast No Shadow” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, translated from the Dutch by Laura Vroomen (PS Publishing)

“The Short Arm of History” by Kenneth Krabat, translated from the Danish by Niels Dalgaard (Sky City: New Science Fiction Stories by Danish Authors, Carl-Eddy Skovgaard ed., Science Fiction Cirklen)

“The Green Jacket” by Gudrun Östergaard, self-translated from the Danish (Sky City: New Science Fiction Stories by Danish Authors, Carl-Eddy Skovgaard ed., Science Fiction Cirklen)

“Stanlemian” by Wojciech Orliński, translated from the Polish by Danusia Stok (Lemistry, Comma Press)

The nominees were announced at Åcon 5 <>, a joint Finnish-Swedish convention, over the weekend May 19-20. The announcement was read by Guest of Honor, Catherynne M. Valente.

The winning works will be announced at the 2012 Finncon on the weekend of July 21-22 <>. Each winning author and translator will receive a cash prize of US$350. ARESFFT Board member Cheryl Morgan and jury member Irma Hirsjärvi will be present to make the announcement.

ARESFFT President Professor Gary K. Wolfe said: “I think this list proves that once you start looking for it, the diversity and quality of translated science fiction and fantasy are considerably greater than most of us had suspected, and I hope the nominations list calls attention to works too often overlooked by the usual awards processes.”

The money for the prize fund was obtained primarily through a 2011 fund-raising event for which prizes were kindly donated by George R.R. Martin, China Miéville, Cory Doctorow, Lauren Beukes, Ken MacLeod, Paul Cornell, Adam Roberts, Elizabeth Bear, Hal Duncan, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Peter F. Hamilton, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, Nalo Hopkinson, Juliet E. McKenna, Aliette de Bodard, Nicola Griffith, Kelley Eskridge, Twelfth Planet Press, Deborah Kalin, Baen Books, Small Beer Press, Lethe Press, Aeon Press, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Kari Sperring, Helen Lowe, Rob Latham and Cheryl Morgan.

The jury for the awards was Dale Knickerbocker (Chair); Kari Maund, Abhijit Gupta, Hiroko Chiba, Stefan Ekman, Ekaterina Sedia, Felice Beneduce & Irma Hirsjärvi.

ARESFFT is a California Non-Profit Corporation funded entirely by donations.

Cheryl Morgan

The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema by Jeffrey Weinstock is now available from Columbia University Press. It retails for $20 but if you are in North America and enter the code VAMWE you can get it for 30% off through CUP’s Web site.   <>


Preternature Volume 3:1
The Early Modern Witch (1450-1700)

The publication of early witchcraft texts created witches by generating controversy about them. Witch-dramas, pamphlets, testimonies about witch-encounters, sermons, and accounts of trials published the anxieties, related the long standing suspicions, and sensationalised the physical manifestations that made women into witches. Sometimes accompanied by woodcuts, many texts insisted on the reality, materiality, and immediacy of witches and their familiars. In these writings, the early modern witch was represented as both a perpetrator of violence and the victim of it. The early modern witch is thus a fascinating enigma: a legal entity and a neighbourhood resource or nuisance, she purportedly engaged in natural and supernatural forms of wisdom with the potential to heal or harm others, or even herself. The words she spoke could become malefic by intent, if not by content. According to the sensationalist constructions of witchcraft, her body was contaminated by the magics she used: she fed familiars with blood, grew spare parts, could not weep, and would not sink. In accounts focused on bewitchment and possessions, the witch vomited pins or personified pollution and a culturally legitimate cunning-person such as a physician or minister or exorcist acted as curative. Despite the skepticism about witches that followed Reginald Scot’s assertions and the decline of legal examinations trials, the early modern witch is an enduring force in the cultural imagination. Witchcraft continues to be the focus of academic articles, scholarly volumes, digital resources, archaeological.

This issue of Preternature, in association with the “Capturing Witches” conference, invites contributions from any discipline that highlight the cultural, literary, religious, or historical significance of the early English witch. Contributions should be roughly 8,000 – 12,000 words, including all documentation and critical apparatus, adhere to the journal style guide, and be formatted in the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (style 1, employing endnotes). Contributions must be submitted through the Preternature CMS.

Queries about journal scope and submissions can be made to the Editor, Dr. Kirsten C. Uszkalo. Queries concerning books to be reviewed can be made to the Book Reviews Editor, Dr. Richard Raiswell. Queries concerning this special volume, The Early Modern Witch (1450-1700), can be sent to special volume editors, Professor Alison Findlay and Dr. Liz Oakley-Brown. Final submissions are due November 30, 2012.

Full journal style guides are available at Information on the early English witch can be found at the WEME project at Details on the Capturing Witches conference can be found at

Preternature is a subscription based bi-annual publication, published through the Pennsylvania State University Press, and available in print or electronically through JSTOR, Project Muse, and as a Kindle e-book.

Seminal children’s literature author, Maurice Sendak, died today from complications from a recent stroke. He is a Caldecott Medal winner and National Medal of Arts winner who illustrated more than 50 books but was best known for “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen”.