NEWSLETTER: DECEMBER 2003 Digital Papyrus newsletter

Digital Papyrus

"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"

Date: December 2003
Issue No. 1

New Books
Author's Corner
Fiction Corner
Movie Buzz
Con News
Space Babel
A Short Break From Gravity
The Hook in the Book
Last Word

Since the official version of our AOL newsletter ended appropriately at No. 50, we thought it equally appropriate to start afresh, to start our "unofficial" newsletter from Number One. We have no special editors other than a squid, an armadillo, a pit thing and, dare we hope, the considered resurrection and re-assemblage of the A.I. Bob. We will strive this to be a newsletter for one and all, for each and all peculiar tastes of scifictioneers, embracing the hard, the soft, the pure, the mixed and above all the jauntedly out of this world. Let's begin and continue.

(P.S. having said this, we ask that people bear with us whilst we work out the bugs in the new distribution list)

There are many gateways in science fiction. Gateways that lead to a new experience, unimaginable discoveries, and gateways opening on worlds of wonder. Get ready, enter and enjoy.

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New SF books in December 2003

Tor Books

Sample chapters from recent and forthcoming books
Links to author interviews

Del Rey Books

COALESCENT by Stephen Baxter (Science Fiction)
DRAGON'S KIN by Anne and Todd McCaffrey (Science Fiction)
STARFIST: LAZARUS RISING by David Sherman and Dan Cragg (Science Fiction)
ORPHAN STAR by Alan Dean Foster (Science Fiction)
DARK MOON by David Gemmel (Fantasy)
HALO: FIRST STRIKE by Eric Nylund (Science Fiction)
MAGE KNIGHT 3: STOLEN PROPHECY by Christopher Stasheff (Fantasy)
THE SILMARILLION by J. R. R. Tolkien (Fantasy)
STARS AND STRIPES TRIUMPHANT by Harry Harrison (Alternate History)

Baen Books

This Rough Magic by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer
A State of Disobedience by Tom Kratman
The Ship Who Saved the Worlds by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye
Paying the Piper by David Drake
Blood and Judgement by Lars Walker
The Human Edge by Gordon R. Dickson

Penguin Putnam Home

Ace Books

Daw Books

SUN IN GLORY (A Valdemar Anthology) edited by Mercedes Lackey
A WORLD DIVIDED (Darkover Omnibus) by Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Bloody Sun; The Winds of Darkover; Star of Danger)
CRAVEN MOON by Billie Sue Mosiman

Roc Books

THE BLACK JEWELS TRILOGY by Anne Bishop (special omnibus edition)
DEATHSTALKER LEGACY by Simon R. Green (reprint)
ILL WIND by Rachel Caine
MechWarrior: Dark Age: by TEMPTATIONS AND by WAR by Loren L. Coleman

See also:

HarperCollins.com: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Upcoming Eos Books

* THE ASSASSIN'S EDGE, Juliet McKenna, mm original
* SHADOW PLANET, William Shatner, mm reprint

Welcome to Time Warner Bookmark/Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
Bantam Dell Publishing Group

And--get a taste for E-Books! -- [Eggplant Literary Productions, Inc.] Home

Author's/Artist's Corner

This month: Vonda N. McIntyre's SFF-Net Web Page

Fiction Corner


MY FATHER'S CLUB by Michael Libling -- A man discovers a whole new side to his father, an elderly, embittered curmudgeon.

THE PINK CATERPILLAR by Anthony Boucher -- Why did the dead man who wasn't a doctor, call himself a doctor and keep a skeleton in his office?

Movie Buzz

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Star Wars-Episode III
Plot: As the Clone War continues, Anakin Skywalker finds himself dangerously close to the Dark Side of the Force and comes into conflict with Obi-Wan Kenobi...

Plot: In the year 2130, an alien ship is found travelling through the solar system. A mission is therefore organised to send a crew to meet the mysterious object. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's popular Rama Chronicles. Cast: Morgan Freeman.

Con News

January 2-4, 2004 (United States: Tennessee) Shadowcon VIII.
Days Inn Hotel, Memphis TN. GoHs: P.N. Elrod, Melanie Simmonds. Theme: Gaming.

January 2-4, 2004 (United States: Virginia) EveCon 21.
Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, VA 20191; 1-800-325-3535 or 1-888-625-5144. Theme: SF&F, Gaming.

January 9-11, 2004 (United States: Arizona) DarkCon 2004 "ConVergence".
Embassy Suites Hotel, 2577 W. Greenway Rd., Phoenix, AZ; 1-800-362-2779. Theme: gaming.

January 9-11, 2004 (United States: Georgia) GAFilk 2004.
Holiday Inn Atlanta Airport North, 1380 Virginia Ave., Atlanta, GA 30344; 1-404-762-8411. GoH: Mich Sampson; TM: Mary Crowell; Interfilk: Rand Bellavia & Adam English. Theme: Filk.

January 9-11, 2004 (United States: Indiana) JanCon 2004.
Holiday Inn Select, 3850 DePauw Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46268; 1-317-872-9790. Guests: Gary Gygax, Steve Long, Chris Clark, Newton Ewell, Ruth Thompson, Gary Barker, Jack Chalker, Earl Geier. Theme: Gaming.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Colorado) COSine 2004.
Le Baron Hotel, 314 W. Bijou, Colorado Springs, CO 80905; 1-800-477-8610. GoH: Barbara Hambly. Theme: SF&F.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Florida) JonesCon 2004.
Holiday Inn, University Center, 1250 W. University Ave., Gainesville, FL. Theme: Gaming.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: New York) Genericon XVII.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Theme: SF&F.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Massachusetts) Arisia 2004.
Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, 64 Arlington St., Boston, MA. GoH: Tim Powers; AGoH: Arthur Ganson; FGoH: Kim Van Auken; SGoHs: Eric S. & Catherine Raymond; FilkGoH: Tom Smith. Theme: The Future of Freedom.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Ohio) DeCONpression.
Clarion, 900 E. Dublin-Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43229; 614-888-7440. GhostofHonor: Leonardo da Vinci. Theme: Relaxacon.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Tennessee) Chattacon XXIX.
The Chattanooga Clarion, Chestnut Street, Chattanooga TN. GoH: Mark Tiedemann, J. Gregory Keyes; AGoH: Alan M. Clark; SGoH: Andy Duncan; TM: Charles Grant. Theme: SF&F.

January 16-18, 2004 (United States: Washington) Rustycon 21.
SeaTac Radisson Airport Hotel, 17001 Pacific Highway South, Seattle, WA 98188; 1-206-244-6000 or 1-800-333-3333. GoH: Octavia Butler; AGoH: Todd Lockwood; FGoH: Deby Fredericks. Theme: Strong Female Characters in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

January 22-26, 2004 (United States: California, Northern) Further Confusion.
San Jose Doubletree, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose, CA; 1-800-222-TREE. GoHs: Larry Niven, Heather Alexander, Grant Freckelton. Theme: furry fandom.

January 23-25, 2004 (United States: Michigan) ConFusion XXX: Maximus Conventionus.
Troy Marriott, Detroit, MI; 1-800-777-4096. GoH: Bruce Sterling; AGoH: Julie Bell; SciGoH: Ron Westrum; FGoH: Geri Sullivan; TM: Robert J. Sawyer. Theme: SF&F.

January 23-25, 2004 (United States: Minnesota) SuperCon XI.
AmericInn, Austin, MN. Theme: Relaxacon.

January 22-25, 2004 (United States: New Jersey) Dreamation 2004.
East Brunswick Hilton, East Brunswick, NJ 07094; 1-732-828-2000. Theme: Gaming.

January 23-25, 2004 (United States: Virginia) MarsCon 2004.
Clarion Hotel, 500 Merrimac Rd., Historic Williamsburg, VA; 757-220-1410. Theme: Gaming relaxacon.

January 29-February 1, 2004 (United States: Illinois) Capricon XXIV.
Sheraton Chicago Northwest, 3400 West Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60005; 1-847-394-2000. GoH: Spider & Jeanne Robinson; AGoH: Kimberly Reck; NASA: Bryan Palaszewski. Theme: SF&F.

January 30-February 1, 2004 (United States: Massachusetts) VeriCon 2004.
Harvard University, Cambridge MA. Guests: Mike Carey, Brian Clevinger. Theme: SF&F.

Space Babel - the latest in Science, NASA and Other Agencies

NightSky Friday: How and Why Venus Changes Phases

New research aboard the space station aims to adapt a tried-and-true repair tool to weightlessness -- "Houston, we have a solution"

ESA's gamma-ray observatory Integral is making excellent progress, mapping the Galaxy at key gamma-ray wavelengths -- ESA Portal - Press Releases

Solar maximum is years past, yet the sun has been remarkably active lately. Is the sunspot cycle broken? -- The Sun Goes Haywire

The privately-built SpaceShipOne has chalked up a sixth glide test. -- SpaceShipOne Racks Up Sixth Test Flight

As the 21st century unfolds, radically different forms of air and space vehicles will replace the clunky machines of today, whisking passengers at ultra-high speed around the Earth and outward into space. -- Looking to Lasers, Microwaves and Anti-Matter for Space Travel

Smile A Short Break From Gravity Smile

Death of a Programmer

A programmer had been missing from work for over a week when finally someone noticed and called the cops. They went round to his flat and broke the door down. They found him dead in the still running shower with an empty bottle of shampoo next to his body. Apparently he'd been washing his hair. The instructions on the bottle said:

   Wet hair
   Apply shampoo

The Hook in the Book

There were the Douglas-Ouyang planets, which circled their sun in a single cluster, riding around and around the same orbit unlike any other planets known. There were the gentlemen-suicides back on Earth, who gambled their lives--even more horribly, gambled sometimes for things worse than their lives--against different kinds of geophysics which real men had never experienced. There were girls who fell in love which such men, however stark and dreadful their personal fates might be. There was the Instrumentality, with its unceasing labor to keep man man. And there were the citizens who walked in the boulevards before the Rediscovery of Man. The citizens were happy. They had to be happy. If they were found sad, they were calmed and drugged and changed until they were happy again.

by Cordwainer Smith

Last Word

"Does the story tell me something worth knowing, that I had not known before, about the relationship between man and technology? Does it enlighten me on some area of science where I had been in the dark? Does it open a new horizon for my thinking? Does it lead me to think new kinds of thoughts, that I would not otherwise perhaps have thought at all? Does it suggest possibilities about the alternative possible future courses my world can take? Does it illumunate events and trends of today, by showing me where they may lead tomorrow? Does it give me a fresh and objective point of view on my own world and culture, perhaps by letting me see it through the eyes of a different kind of creature entirely, from a planet light-years away?

These qualities are not only among those which make science fiction good, they are what make it unique. Be it never so beautifully written, a story is not a good science fiction story unless it rates high in these aspects. The content of the story is as valid a criterion as the style."

Frederik Pohl - Introduction--SF:Contemporary Mythologies (New York, 1978)
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