Stratus SF SIG News 1989

1988 _ 1989 _ 1990 _ 1991 _ 1992-3

	           Stratus SF SIG News #9---Monday, January 9, 1989


     Movies:  Victoria Tennent has been cast as Offred in Margaret
	      Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."  It's being directed by
	      the man who directed "The Tin Drum."

	      The Batman Movie is being filmed in England.  "Ghostbusters II"
	      is in production in New York City. "Leviathan," a $25 million
	      production will be out in the spring, and will be marketed
	      as "Aliens under wanter."  John Varley's "Millenium," starring
	      Cheryl Ladd, Daniel Tranvati, and Kris Kristofferson, will be
	      out at Easter.  Looks like 1989 may be an interesting year
	      for SF movies.



Readercon II  (Lowell Hilton)

     Nice convention, somewhere between 250-300 attendees.
     This is as far from a mediacon as you can get.  If you
     like reading and books, you'd've loved Readercon.
     The next Readercon will be in April of 1990.

Wolf Moon  (Charles de Lint)

     An interesting retelling of the wolfman story.  In this book,
     werewolves are not "evil maneaters" but are "shapechangers,"
     misunderstood by society.

Vacuum Flowers (Michael Swanwick)

     One of the "true" cyberpunk books.  It's very graphic and a little
     tough reading here and there, but it's an absorbing story
     about identity.

Book Notes from Paul Ryan:

I recently read Stephen King's Tommyknockers, which I guess
could be called sci-fi.  Too long and wordy, but could have been
great, with the help of an editor.

I tried to read James Dickey's Alinam (SP?), a book about a
secret NASA during WWII.  I thought it was awful; didn't finish.

I also read Sphere, by I forget who.  Interesting speculation
about communicating with extra-terrestrials, but cop-out



Codclave  February 17-19  Andover

     This is NESFA's relaxacon, featuring no programming but a nice con suite.
     Call Laurie at X2610 for more info.


	           Stratus SF SIG News #10---Friday, February 3, 1989




From Howard Ship:

"Queen of the Damned"
by Anne Rice

     This  is the third volume in what Mrs.  Rice is calling "The
     Vampire Chronicles." "Queen" continues the  story  developed
     in  "Interview  with  a  Vampire"  and "The Vampire Lestat".
     These books rework the vampire myth in a new  and  seductive
     light.  "Queen"  expands  upon  the  events  at  the  end of
     "Lestat", going in to more  detail  and  continuing  on.  To
     fully  appreciate  this book, you should read "Lestat" first
     --  "Queen"  would  be  completely  confusing  without   the
     background from the earlier book.

     Rather  than  attempt  to describe the plot, I'd rather just
     recommend the books, all of them, for anyone with the  least
     interest in vampire stories.  These are strong, well written
     books  with a good style and an exciting storyline.  "Queen"
     has more obvious faults than "Interview" or "Lestat" --  too
     many  characters  and subplots especially -- but that didn't
     stop me from racing through the book.  Don't pass "Queen  of
     the Damned" up.

From Joe Wirtz

      Dean R. Koontz's  LIGHTNING

 This is another story about time travel - with a new twist. A man from the
past looks into the future, and is saddened by the death of a beautiful girl.
So he intervenes, and stops the death from happening. But all through this
girls life she is again and again faced with death, and her guardian angle
saves her, and even begins to fall in love with her.
 This is not as good as Koontz's WATCHERS but it is still well worth reading.
The plot twists of the evils of time travel do make for some very interesting

Boskone 26 (from Laurie---a committee member's point of view)

     Boskone 26 ran last weekend in the Sheraton Tara and Springfield
     Marriott.  The con ran VERY smoothly---the main source of annoyance for
     the attendees appeared to be the circuitous route between the hotels
     due to the demolition of the Marriott's lobby.  The guests, Tim Psowers,
     James Gurney, and Tom Whitmore were all very amusing and did an
     outstanding job for the con.  The Art Show appeared to be even better
     than last year's.

     I ran Programming for the con.  We ran about 100 Program
     items---panels, art demos, readings, and movies, over the weekend.
     Some of the most successful items included "Magic and History,"
     "Conventionholics Anonymous," "Books into Movies," and "Why Not
     Charlemagne?".  Parties were much more plentiful this year,
     particularly on Satuday night.  The hotels were both very helpful
     to the con, particularly the Marriott (the Sheraton has had
     chronic management changes and, as a result, their people aren't quite
     as on the ball as the Marriott's are).  Both the Meet-the-VIPs and
     the Banquet were well-attended and very enjoyable.

     Fellow Stratus employees Jim Mann and Andy Cowan ran the Film Program
     for the con, which featured a George Pal festival and the showing
     of "Fire and Ice," a rarely-seen Raph Bakshi cartoon with backgrounds
     by James Gurney.  Andy also did most of the work on this year's Boskone
     book, a corrected edition of Tim Power's "Epitaph in Rust."

     So, were any of the rest of you at Boskone this year?   What did
     you think?  Dissenting opinions on what worked/what didn't work at
     the con are STRONGLY encouraged.


	           Stratus SF SIG News #11--February 28, 1989

AHA!  I fooled you all with an EARLY issue.  That's because there's
some interesting news this time, at least for those of you who care
about SF awards.  Read on!


     Each year, the Science Fiction Writers of America give out awards for
     works of fiction.  These awards are called the Nebula awards.  The
     Nebula nominations have just been announced:

	     Nebula Nominations  (for works published in 1988)

     (Information Supplied by Chuq Von Rospach, Editor, OtherRealms)

  DESERTED CITIES OF THE HEART, Lewis Shiner, Doubleday/Foundation.
  DROWNING TOWERS, George Turner, Arbor House.
  FALLING FREE, Lois McMaster Bujold, Baen Books and Analog.
  GREAT SKY RIVER, Greg Benford, Bantam/Spectra.
  MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, William Gibson, Bantam/Spectra.
  RED PROPHET, Orson Scott Card, Tor.
  THE URTH OF THE NEW SUN, Gene Wolfe, Tor.

  "The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians," Bradley Denton, F&SF June.
  "The Devil's Arithmetic," Jane Yolen, Viking Kestrel (book).
  "Journals of the Plague Years," Norman Spinrad, FULL SPECTRUM (Bantam/Spect
  "The Last of the Winnebagos," Connie Willis, Asimov's July.
  "The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter," Lucius Shepard, Asimov's
	September, Zeising Books.
  "Surfacing," Walter Jon Williams, Asimov's April.

  "Do Ya, Do Ya Wanna Dance," Howard Waldrop, Asimov's August.
  "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus," Neil Barret, Jr., Asimov's February.
  "The Hob," Judith Moffett, Asimov's May.
  "Kirinyaga," Mike Resnick, F&SF November.
  "Peaches for Mad Molly," Steven Gould, Analog February.
  "Schroedinger's Kitten," George Alec Effinger, Omni September.
  "Unfinished Portrait of the King of Pain by Van Gogh," by Ian McDonald,
	EMPIRE DREAMS (by Ian McDonald, Bantam/Spectra).

  "Bible Stories for Adults No. 17: The Deluge," James Morrow, FULL SPECTRUM.
  "The Color Winter," Steven Popkes, Asimov's August.
  "Dead Men on TV," Pat Murphy, FULL SPECTRUM.
  "The Fort Moxie Branch," Jack McDevitt, FULL SPECTRUM.
  "Mrs. Schummel Exits a Winner," John Kessel, Asimov's June.
  "Voices of the Kill," Thomas M. Disch, FULL SPECTRUM.

     The Nebula awards are given out at SFWA's annual meeting in April.

     It should not be any suprise but Roger Rabbit, one of the most
     inventive movies to emerge from Hollywood in years, has not been
     nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture of 1988.  Roger Rabbit
     has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards, all technical ones.


     This is almost your last chance to make nominations for the 1989 Hugo
     awards.  The Hugo awards are given by fandom at the World Science
     Fiction Convention (to be held in Boston over Labor Day weekend).
     Nominations close on March 15, 1989.  If you want to vote, pick up a
     ballot from me, send $20 for a supporting membership, or $70 for an
     attending membership to Noreascon III, Box 46, MIT Branch PO,
     Cambridge, MA 02139.  Note that if you were a member of Nolacon II (the
     1988 Worldcon), you ARE eligible to nominate.

     Due to a minor printer's error, I have extra copies of the Program Book
     from this year's Boskone.  If you'd like a copy, they are in my office.


     Read FULL SPECTRUM.  It's a terrific anthology edited by Lou Aronica
     and Shawna McCarthy.  A number of stories from it appear on this year's
     Nebula Award ballot.


	           Stratus SF SIG News #12--April 1989



The Washington in '92 Worldcon bid folded after the hotels they were bidding
with signed a firm contract with another group.  Barring anything REALLY
weird, this means that the 1992 Worldcon will be held in Orlando, Florida,
site of the other '92 bid.  The site of the '92 Worldcon will be formally
determined by the site selection vote of the members of this year's


     Cyteen, by C.J. Cherryh (Warner; Popular Library/Questar)
     Falling Free, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Analog, Dec 87-Feb 88: Baen)
     Islands in the Net, by Bruce Sterling (Morrow; Ace)
     Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson (Gollancz; Bantam Spectra)
     Red Prophet, by Orson Scott Card (Tor)
     No Award
     "The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians", by Bradely Denton
	  (F&SF, Jun 88)
     "Journals of the Plague Years", by Norman Spinrad (Full Spectrum)
     "The Last of the Winnebagos", by Connie Willis (IASFM, Jul 88)
     "The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter", by Lucius Shepard (Ziesing;
	  IASFM, Sep 88)
     "Surfacing", by Walter Jon Williams (IASFM, Apr 88)
     No Award

     "Do Ya, Do Ya, Wanna Dance", by Howard Waldrop (IASFM, Aug 88)
     "The Function of Dream Sleep", by Harlan Ellison (Midnight Graffiti 1;
	  IASFM, Mid-Dec 88; Angry Candy)
     "Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus", by Neal Barrett, Jr. (IASFM, Feb 88)
     "Peaches for Mad Molly", by Steven Gould (Analog, Feb 88)
     "Schrodinger's Kitten", by George Alec Effinger (Omni, Sep 88)
     No Award

     "The Fort Moxie Branch", by Jack McDevitt (Full Spectrum, where
	  it was mistitled "The Fourth Moxie Branch")
     "The Giving Plague", by David Brin (Interzone 23; Full Spectrum 2)
     "Kirinyaga", by Mike Resnick (F&SF, Nov 88)
     "Our Neural Chernobyl", by Bruce Sterling (F&SF, Jun 88)
     "Ripples in the Dirac Sea", by Geoffrey A. Landis (IASFM, Oct 88)
     "Stable Strategies for Middle Management", by Eileen Gunn (IASFM,
	  Jun 88)
     No Award

     A Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists,
	  by Robert Weinberg (Greenwood)
     First Maitz, by Don Maitz (Ursus)
     The Motion of Light in Water, by Samuel R. Delany (Morrow)
     The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by James Gunn
     Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror: 1987, by Charles N. Brown
	  and William G. Contento (Locus)
     No Award

     Alien Nation
     Who Framed Roger Rabbit
     No Awared

     Gardner Dozois
     Edward L. Ferman
     David G. Hartwell
     Charles C. Ryan
     Stanley Schmidt
     No Award

     Thomas Canty
     David Cherry
     Bob Eggleton
     Don Maitz
     Michael Whelan
     No Award

     Interzone, (ed. David Pringle)
     Locus (ed. Charles N. Brown)
     The New York Review of Science Fiction (ed. Kathryn Cramer, David
	  G. Hartwell, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden,
	  and Susan Palwick)
     Science Fiction Chronicle (ed. Andrew I. Porter)
     Thrust (ed. D. Douglas Fratz)
     No Award

     File 770 (ed. Mike Glyer)
     FOSFAX (ed. Timothy Lane)
     Lan's Lantern (ed. George "Lan" Laskowski)
     Niekas (ed. Edmund R. Meskys, Mike Bastraw, and Anne Braude)
     OtherRealms (ed. Chuq Von Rospach)
     No Award

     Avedon Carol
     Mike Glyer
     Arthur D. Hlavaty
     Dave Langford
     Guy Lillian, III
     Chuq Von Rospach
     No Award

     Brad W. Foster
     Teddy Harvia
     Merle Insinga
     Stu Shiffman
     Taral Wayne
     Diana Gallagher Wu
     No Award

(not a Hugo: sponsored by Davis Publications)
     P.J. Beese and Todd Cameron Hamilton (1)
     Christopher Hinz (2)
     Melanie Rawn (1)
     Michaela Roessner (1)
     Kristine Kathryn Rusch (1)
     William Sanders (1)
     Delia Sherman (2)
     No Award

     (1) First year of eligibility
     (2) Second and final year of eligibility


from Joe Wirtz

     Robin Cook - Mutation

     Its another medical story from Robin Cook (Coma) in which a father
     implants his wife with an altered embryo to heighten intelligence.  All
     goes well, too well.  The child becomes smarter than his parents, and
     begins doing his own genetic experiments...

      I found this book to be rather dry, and very predictable.  All in all
      it was interesting reading.

from Laurie Mann

     If any of you are voting for the Hugos, I can loan you copies of most
     of the fanzines nominated.  I also have samples of art in my office
     of 4 of the 6 nominated fan artists (can I pick my friends, or
     can I pick my friends?), and art from 1 of the 6 nominated pro artists.


	            Stratus SF SIG News #13--June 27, 1989



Noreascon Announces Current and At-the-door Rates

Preregistration for Noreascon III closes on July 15, 1989.
The prereg rates are:

Attending membership          $80
Supporting membershgip        $20
Children's admission          $50
Conversion from
  Supporting to Attending     $60

No memberships will be sold between July 15 and August 31, the first day
of the con.  At the con, the rates will be:
	       Attending      One-day        Children's       One-day
Thursday 8/31     $110          $30             $90             $25
Friday 9/1        $110          $40             $90             $35
Saturday 9/2      $100          $40             $80             $35
Sunday 9/3         $65          $40             $50             $35
Monday 9/4         $30          $25             $25             $25

Note that children's memberships include babysitting and other special
activities.  These memberships may only be bought in conjunction with adult
memberships, and do not include publications or voting rights.


Noreascon III needs your help!  If you have any spare time, and are willing
to do some volunteer work for the Worldcon, please call X2610, or call
617-776-3243 for more information.


from Laurie Mann

     Oh, let's see, there was Disclave, a DC-area convention, which was
     OK, if you like tripping over drunk teenagers in the lobby.
     It did have the feature of showing Roger Rabbit twice during the weekend.

     Batman---if you love interesting-looking movies with good performances,
     you'll like it.  However, it's not really strong on plot.

     Indy Jones---as much fun as Raiders, with a wonderful performance
     by Sean Connery.

     Ghostbusters II---less fun that the original, but the characters are
     enjoyable and Sigourney Weaver adds some class to the picture.

     Star Trek V---the most mediocre of the group (Wrath of Khan was my
     favorite, and the Motionless Picture was my least favorite).

     I haven't had much time to read lately, but hope to do some
     over the upcoming holiday weekend.


	           Stratus SF SIG News #14---July 28, 1989  (August 14, 1989)

	            What, late AGAIN????  TSK-TSK-TSK


     All's pretty quiet.


     Harlan Ellison "promises" The Last Dangerous Visions will be published
     NEXT year.  (Of course, he's been saying that since 1972!)


     The Cardinal of the Kremlin  by Tom Clancy

	  This is an espionage novel, with borderline SF elements (an
	  almost-functioning SDI, for one).  It features Jack Ryan
	  as the non-traditional CIA agent.  While Clancy is not
	  a particularly good stylist, I enjoyed the book even though
	  I really dislike spy books.


	           Stratus SF SIG News #15--September 15, 1989


	            Hugo Awards Given out at Noreascon III

Best Novel:               Cyteen, by C.J. Cherryh (Warner; Popular
Best Novella:            "The Last of the Winnebagos", by Connie Willis
	                           (IASFM, Jul 88)
Best Novellette:          "Schrodinger's Kitten", by George Alec Effinger
	                           (Omni, Sep 88)
Best Short Story:         "Kirinyaga", by Mike Resnick (F&SF, Nov 88)
Best Non Fiction:         The Motion of Light in Water, Samuel R. Delaney
Best Dramatic Pres:       Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  Disney/Ambin
Best Professional Editor: Gardner Dozois (Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine)
Best Professional Artist: Michael Whelan
Best Semi-Prozine:        Locus (ed. Charles N. Brown)
Best Fanzine:             File 770 (ed. Mike Glyer)
Best Fan Writer:          Dave Langford
Best Fan Artist:          (a tie) Brad W. Foster and Diana Gallagher Wu
John W. Campbell Award:   Michaela Roessner

From:  Laurie Mann

Noreascon III attracted 7200 fans, pros, artists, and assorted hangers-on,
making it the second largest Worldcon ever.  It went VERY well, but I admit
to a strong predjudice here, since I was one of the organizers.  I'll
eventually finish writing my long, excruitiatingly-detailed report.  It's
already about 280 lines long and I'm only on Wednesday!

$150,000 of art was sold by art show sales.  I think this is a new record.

Andre Norton was a very busy GoH, signing autographs and appearing on a
few panels.

We had some problems with the projectors we'd rented, and were rescued by
Frank Marshall of Amblin Entertainment who arranged to get us replacements.
We also had to completely rewire the art show lighting Thursday night and
Friday morning so the fire marshall would approve the wiring plan.

All of Hall C of the Hynes became the ConCourse for the week.  The ConCourse
was an amalgamation of an exhibit hall and a lounge.  It worked very well.
The Hucksters Room was in Hall D, and consisted of some 220 tables.  The Art
Show ran in the Grand and Republic Ballrooms of the Sheraton.  Movies
included Roger Rabbit, Big, The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen, Batman,
and The Wizard of Oz.

Macs were the computer of choice for most areas, followed quickly by
PC clones of various flavors.   Yes, there were even a few IBM selectrics...





From:  Chris Tavares

Would anyone have the October 1988 issue of IASFM?  I would like to borrow it.



From Howard Ship

     I've been reading a lot of Clive Barker (Horror) books lately, when I'm
     reading at all.  I'm also in the middle of 89 World's Best SF.  If this
     is the best SF has to offer, the genre is in deep trouble.

     Basically, the genre is sliding backwards into the ghetto of the 40s
     and 50s.  Bad cyberpunk has replaced bad space opera.  Ray guns have
     been replaced with neon signs, spaceships with urban decay, outer space
     with conceptual reality, and optimism with pessimism.

     In the 40s, identical space opera stories were churned out in pulp
     magazines and cheap paperbacks.  Today, we get books with "tm" on the
     front cover, designed and marketed as series.  Immature readers like
     these series, they're safe and predictible.

     The stories I've read so far were mostly cyberpunk stories, without
     appropriately morbid mood used by Brunner, Dick or Gibson.  I'll know
     more when I finish the collection, but what I see is "safe" SF.  No
     risks, limited imaginations, just high concept styling excerises.  No
     philosophy, just a little mysticism thrown in.

     What I'm getting it is the myth of science fiction:  That there's a
     definition of what is and is not science fiction, a ghetto.  The
     "spaceships and ray guns" definition all but worked way back when, and
     now, in the post New Wave era, the "computer nets and discos" defintion
     is taking hold.

Response from Laurie

     I don't completely agree with Howard.  I agree that the last few years
     have offerred few outstanding books but I don't think the genre is
     stuck in a "computer net and disco" ghetto.

     For one thing, it's possible to find some, shall we say, "grown up"
     books if you look hard enough.  Try Bruce Sterling's Islands in the
     Net.  Check out When Gravity Fails, which I review below.  Or, if you
     prefer subtlety, read Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint.  Finally, if you
     want to see how good speculative fiction can be, read Lou Aronica and
     Shawna McCarthy's Full Spectrum collection.  While not every story is a
     gem in the collection, there are so many good stories that it's worth it.

From Sean Powers

     I read mostly fantasy books as opposed to sci-fi, although I have read
     the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov.  I also just finished a really
     good sf book by L.Ron Hubbard.  It was called Battlefield Earth, and
     was very exciting.

     My favorite authors are Piers Anthony, Steven R.  Donaldson, Terry
     Brooks, Anne Mcaffrey, and, of course, Tolkein.

from Laurie Mann

     I've just finished reading George Alec Effinger's When Gravity Fails.
     It is a well-written, exciting book of decadence and death in
     a future Arab society, dominated by mayhem and drugs.  Orson Scott
     Card called the book "Cyberpunk when cyberpunk grows up."  He
     was right.  It's about as hard-boiled cyberpunk as you're going to
     find.  But it's VERY well done (and I'm NOT much of a cyperpunk fan!).


	           Stratus SF SIG News #16--October 13, 1989


     Everyone seems to be recovering from Noreascon III.  No real
     news to report.

     The Sheraton decided (for the THIRD time) that SF cons are really OK.

INFORMATION  (yes, this is one long plug for Boskone)

	                Boskone XXVII Progress Report

	                    February 16-18, 1990

	                 Springfield, Massachusetts

       Guest of Honor     Official Artist     Special Guest
	 Glen Cook        David A. Cherry     Charles Ryan


1988 _ 1989 _ 1990 _ 1991 _ 1992-3