Nebula Finalists Announced

2019 Nebula Award Finalists

February 20, 2020

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) announced the finalists for the 55th Annual Nebula Awards, including the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. The awards will be presented in Woodland Hills, CA at the Warner Center Marriott during a ceremony on the evening of May 30th.

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NAFF Nominations Open

The National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF) assists fans to travel across Australia to attend the Australian National Convention (Natcon) by covering the costs of airfare, accommodation and convention membership. Swancon 2020: Dark Visions (Natcon 59) is the 2020 Natcon! Do you have a friend in the Eastern States who would be a great convention attendee?

Nominations are being collected by Stephen Dedman (WA) at <>. Nominations are open now until February 13th. Voting will open on February 14th and conclude at midnight (AWST) March 16th, 2020. It is expected that the winner will produce a report of their trip, engage in fundraising to support future NAFF races, and to help administer the NAFF race for the following two years.

All Australian fans are eligible to vote. The voting process contributes to the fundraising so each vote costs $5. (You are more than welcome to donate more than this amount!)

From Swancon “Dark Visions”

Ditmar Nominations Open

Nominations for the 2020 Australian SF (“Ditmar”) awards are now open and will remain open until one minute before midnight Perth time on Sunday, 1st of March, 2020 (ie. 11.59pm, GMT+8). Postal nominations must be postmarked no later than Friday, 28th of February, 2020.

The current rules, including Award categories can be found at: <>

You must include your name with any nomination. Nominations will be accepted only from natural persons active in fandom, or from full or supporting members of Swancon 2020, the 2020 Australian National SF Convention <>.

Where a nominator may not be known to the Ditmar subcommittee, the nominator should provide the name of someone known to
the subcommittee who can vouch for the nominator’s eligibility. Convention attendance or membership of an SF club are among the criteria which qualify a person as “active in fandom”, but are not the only qualifying criteria. If in doubt, nominate and mention your qualifying criteria. If you received this email directly, you almost certainly qualify.

You may nominate as many times in as many Award categories as you like, although you may only nominate a particular person, work or achievement once. The Ditmar subcommittee, which is organised under the auspices the Standing Committee of the Natcon Business Meeting, will rule on situations where eligibility is unclear. A partial and unofficial eligibility list, to which everyone is encouraged to add, can be found here:


While online nominations are preferred, nominations can be made in a number of ways:

1. online, via this form: <>

2. via email to <>; or

3. by post to:

PO Box 338
Bull Creek
Western Australia 6149

AHWA Shadows Awards Submissions Open

The Australian Shadows Awards, awarded by the Australasian Horror Writers Association, are now open to submissions until March 31 2020.

Open to authors from Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, works can be submitted to: <>

Further details on the awards entry rules, categories, and eligibility can be found here: <>

News from:
Greg Chapman and Lynette Watters
Australian Shadows Awards Coordinators

Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin – DVD Documentary

The Foundation received in the mail last week (for its efforts in providing a copy of the 1975 Aussiecon Guest of Honour Speech) a DVD copy of WORLDS OF URSULA K LE GUIN, a very fine 88-minute documentary by Arwen Curry of the life and work of Ursula.

As if we didn’t know it already from reading her blogs, Ursula remained as feisty as ever (more so, even) until her death in 2018. Penetrating interviews and speech snippets are accompanied by stunning animations (particularly of some of the Earthsea books) and interview grabs from people we know well.

The extras, including the entire 1975 speech, are important add-ons. Indeed, I cannot see why the all-important section about THE LATHE OF HEAVEN was missing from the main film, since it’s the only section that deals with Ursula’s advocacy of Taoism.

You can order a copy at your favourite local DVD shop/outlet, or online via Amazon.

(From Bruce Gillespie)

Continuum 16 (2020) “All Possible Futures” News

Melbourne’s annual SF Convention, Continuum for 2020 is set to run over the extended weekend of June 5 to June 8. “All Possible Futures” will be held at Rydges on Swanston.

There’s an accessible tram stop right outside the venue, and the space of Lincoln Square next door, and the location is a mere 500m from Lygon St and the shops and restaurants there. The hotel itself has a bar and grill for all our BarCon needs.

If you don’t want to stay on-site, Ibis Melbourne Swanston Street, Arrow on Swanston, and The Eminence on Queensberry are all within 500m to the south of the venue.

The continuum team will have more information about transport, accessible restaurants, and nearby entertainment closer to the convention.

Memberships and more information at <>

DUFF Candidates 2020 Announced

The Down Under Fan Fund, administrated by Paul Weimer and Marlee Jane Ward, has announced four candidates for the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund race, which will send a fan from North America to ConZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction convention in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Four Candidates are:

Richard Auffrey

(nominators include: Dan Rabarts, Ed Tisdale, Gillian Polack, Fred Kiesche, Paul Moore)

Shaun Duke

(nominators include David Annadale, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Jen Zink, Beverly Bambury, Joyce Chng)

James Davis Nicoll

(nominators include Sean Fagan, Mike Glyer, Elaine Walker, David Goldfarb, Jo Van Ekeren)

Erin Underwood

(nominators include: David McDonald, Jim Kelly, Garth Nix, Nancy Holder, Janice Gelb)

The revised and improved official ballot along with the candidate platforms is here:

2020 DUFF Ballotrevised12020

Note that the DUFF ballot is fillable and savable.

Voting will take place until March 27th, 2020.

ASFF Annual General Meeting

The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on Sunday 19th of January 2020, commencing at 2 pm. As the meeting is held in the private home of a committee member, the address will not be published here.

The meeting is open to all members of the Foundation. Those who plan to attend are asked to contact ASFF Administrator to obtain details.

The purpose of the AGM is to:

  • Confirm Subscription Fee for the 2020 Membership year
  • ELECT General Committee & Office Bearers for 2020 (All positions become vacant at the Annual General Meeting) Completed nomination forms should be returned to the Secretary by close of business on Friday 17th January 2020

GENERAL BUSINESS Items of business for inclusion on the agenda should be provided to the Secretary by 17 January 2020.

Nomination for Committee Forms and Proxies should be emailed to <>, posted to
P.O. Box 215, Forest Hill Vic 3131 or handed to a current Executive Member of the ASFF.

2020 DUFF Race is Open

Paul Weimer and Marlee Jane Ward, Administrators of DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund, announce that the 2020 Race is now open, to send a fan from North America to ConZealand, the 2020 Worldcon in Wellington New Zealand and become the North American Administrator of the Fund.

Nominations open from 1 December 2019 until 17 January 2020 (23:59 Eastern Standard Time) and candidates will be announced soon after. Voting will then run until 23:59 on 27 March 2020 with the winner announced online as soon as possible after voting has closed.

Nominations should be sent via email to (Paul Weimer) AND (Marlee Jane Ward). Send the nomination request to us both. (We’re busy people and want to make sure your nomination is seen).

You will need three North American and two Australasian nominators (who will each need to independently confirm their nominations to us via email), a platform of no more than 100 words to appear on the ballot, a bond of US$20/CAN$25 [The bond can be sent by PayPal to ] and a guarantee to attend the 2020 Worldcon in New Zealand if you win.

Vale Lesley Shane Robertson

By David L. Russell

Les Robertson was a science fiction fan. He lived in Moe in the east of Victoria with his parents Charlie (Chas) and Kath Robertson.

Like his father, Les worked at a coal-fired power station. Most of Moe’s men did the same.

He was one of the problem-solving techs that fandom produces in abundance. At one convention the movie Short Circuit 2 was to be shown on a large cinema screen just prior to the finish of the con. But an essential cable was missing, so impatient fans were waiting en masse getting increasingly annoyed at the delay.

Les was asked for help and had the needed cable to link the two recalcitrant bits of technology. Les saves the day!! At the closing ceremony Shane Morrisey gratefully thanked Les.

You see, Les always lugged around a HUGE amount of kipple with him when he attended conventions — far more, frankly, than any other reasonable person would bother bringing. Seeing him with all of his paraphernalia I was always reminded of the over prepared beaver from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark “The beaver brought paper, portfolio, pens, And ink in unfailing supplies”(1).

As the person who had to, on occasion, help move all of these essentials around later in Les’s life, I often thought when he was repacking at one or two am that life would have been easier for both of us if we’d gone minimalistic rather than the fannish everything-and-the-kitchen-sink and a spare-kitchen-sink-and-essential-repair-materials-if-either-sink-should-spring-a-leak way of doing things.

One time, a ring that he owned went ‘missing’, causing much searching of packed bags and luggage; given the lateness of the hour I was heartily sick of relooking through possible hiding places, using a torch to make sure it hadn’t gotten underneath his hotel room bed and making plans to phone house keeping the next day in case they found it after we’d checked out and caught both our early morning trains home. All of this while wanting only sleep after a three-day convention.

I phoned him after arriving home. His mother Kath answered the phone, “Did the ring turn up?” Yes. It was stuck to some duct tape he’d used to seal up some luggage. Les always had duct tape and a sewing kit and superglue and a leatherman tool and…

We met through both of us belonging to The Melbourne Science Fiction Club back when it was located at Saint David’s Uniting Church Hall in 74 Melville Road, West Brunswick. I’m sure I attended a few meetings without paying much attention to Les. If you chucked a rock back then you’d hit a dozen slightly overweight, bearded, affable enough, male fans at any well-attended meeting.

In talking to James ‘Jocko’ Allen I’d learned that Les would happily get milk or perhaps fish and chips from a nearby shop in Melville Road if someone was too busy to get them for themselves but that getting the change from these purchases out of him was a little difficult.

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