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Newsletter #66 June - August, 2004

Award News

        The nominees for the Hugo Award for Best Novel are Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold ($24.95 signed hardcover), Humans by Robert J. Sawyer ($6.99), Ilium by Dan Simmons ($25.95 signed hardcover), Singularity Sky by Charles Stross ($23.95), and Blind Lake by Charles Wilson ($24.95).
        The nominees for Best Related Book are Scores: Reviews 1993-2003 by John Clute, Spectrum 10: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art edited by Cathy & Arnie Fenner ($27.00 trade pb), The Chesley Awards for Science Fiction & Fantasy Art: A Retrospective by John Grant & Elizabeth L. Humphrey with Pamela D. Scoville, Dreamer of Dune: The Biography of Frank Herbert by Brian Herbert ($27.95), The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases edited by Jeff VanderMeer & Mark Roberts, and Master Storyteller: An Illustrated Tour of the Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard by William J. Widder ($49.95).

        The Nebula Award for Best Novel went to The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon ($13.95), and the other finalists were Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold ($7.99 pb or $25.00 signed hardcover), The Mount by Carol Emshwiller ($16.00), Light Music by Kathleen Ann Goonan ($7.99), The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson ($22.95), and Chindi by Jack McDevitt ($7.99). The Nebula Award for Best Novella went to Coraline by Neil Gaiman ($15.99 hardcover or $5.99 for either trade pb or mass market pb).

        The Philip K. Dick Award for best SF published in paperback original in the U.S. went to Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan ($13.95 signed trade pb). Dante's Equation by Jane Jensen ($15.95) received a special citation. Other finalist were Hyperthought by M. M. Buckner ($5.99), Clade by Mark Budz ($6.99), Spin State by Chris Moriarty ($11.95), and Steel Helix by Ann Tonsor Zeddies ($6.99).

        The James Tiptree Jr. Award for best work of science fiction or fantasy that explores or expands gender roles went to Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff ($14.95).

        The Edgar Award winners include:
        Best Novel to Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin ($6.99);
        Best First Novel by an American Author to Death of a Nationalist by Rebecca Pawel ($24.00 hardcover or $12.00 trade pb);
        Best Paperback Original to Find Me Again by Sylvia Maultash Warsh;
        Best Critical/Biographical to Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson ($18.95 trade pb);
        Best Fact Crime to The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson ($25.95 signed hardcover or $14.95 trade pb);
        An associated award given in the same ceremony, The Mary Higgins Clark Award for a book written in the style of Mary Higgins Clark, went to Song of the Bones by M. K. Preston ($24.95).

        The Agatha Awards are voted on by the members of the Malice Domestic mystery convention. The nominees and winners include:
        Best Novel: The winner is Letter From Home by Carolyn Hart ($22.95), and the other finalists are Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews ($6.99), Mumbo Gumbo by Jerrilyn Farmer ($6.99), Dream House by Rochelle Krich ($24.95), Last Lessons of Summer by Margaret Maron ($23.95), and Shop Till You Drop by Eliane Viets ($5.99).
        Best First Novel: The winner is Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($24.00 hardcover, $14.00 trade paperback coming early June), and the other finalists are Dealing in Murder by Elaine Flinn ($6.50), Haunted Ground by Erin Hart ($24.00), Take the Bait by S. W. Hubbard ($6.50), Alpine For You by Maddy Hunter ($6.50), Murder Off Mike by Joyce Krieg ($6.99), and O' Artful Death by Sarah Stewart Taylor ($23.95).
        Best Non-fiction: The winner was Amelia Peabody's Egypt by Elizabeth Peters and Kristen Whitbread ($29.95), and the other finalists are Mystery Women: An Encyclopedia of Leading Women Characters in Mystery Fiction, Vol. 3 (1990-1999) by Colleen A. Barnett ($33.95), A Second Helping of Murder: More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers edited by Jo Grossman and Robert Weibezahl ($19.95), Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s by Jeffrey Marks ($21.95), and Dick Francis Companion by Jean Swanson and Dean James ($14.00).

        The Dilys Award winner was Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde ($14.00), and the other finalists were Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews ($6.99), The 6th Lamentation by William Brodrick ($24.95), Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy ($6.99 pb or $23.95 signed hardcover), and Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($24.00 hc or $14.00 trade pb due early June).

        Three awards were given at the Left Coast Crime mystery convention. The winner of the Lefty Award was Mumbo Gumbo by Jerrilyn Farmer ($6.99), and the other finalists were Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews ($6.99) and Shop Till You Drop by Elaine Viets ($5.99). The winner of the Otter Award was More Than You Know by Meg Chittenden ($5.99), and the other finalists were Dragonfly Bones by David Cole ($6.99) and Murder Pans Out by Emily Toll ($6.50). The winner of the Bruce Alexander Historical Award was For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen ($23.95) and the other finalists were Silver Lies by Ann Parker ($24.95 signed) and Four for a Boy by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer ($24.95).

More Signed Books

        In addition to the signings announced in the last issue of the newsletter, we've had various authors stop by and sing their books. At Uncle Hugo's, that's included Bill Campbell for Sunshine Patriots ($17.95), Tom Flynn for Nothing Sacred ($20.00), and Richard K. Morgan for Altered Carbon ($13.95) and Broken Angels ($14.95. At Uncle Edgar's, that includes Alxander McCall Smith for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency ($11.95), Tears of the Giraffe ($11.95), Marality for Beautiful Girls ($11.95), The Kalahari Typing School for Men ($11.95 or $19.95 hc) and The Full Cupboard of Life ($19.95 hc).

Neighborhood Update
by Don Blyly

        On April 13, 2004, there was a community meeting to present the plans for the redevelopment of the Sears site, held at Powderhorn Park. The mayor was there, along with 3 city council members, various people from CPED (used to be MCDA, the city's planning and development department), lots of people from the Ryan Companies and various other key people in the redevelopment plan, and perhaps 100 or so community people. There were lots of large drawings of what the final project would look like, floor plans, inside views, outside views, plus handouts and a slide show. The mayor pointed out that the Chicago-Lake Project Review Committee had been meeting since 1982, working on redeveloping the site, and it was because of all the hard work of the Committee that we now had such a wonderful plan for redevelopment. He had the community people give themselves a great big hand for their success in getting what they wanted from the redevelopment of the site. He then gave various other people a chance to say happy words about the redevelopment plan, and all but one did say happy words.
        When the co-chairperson of the Chicago-Lake Project Review Committee was asked to say some happy words about the plan, she didn't follow the script for the evening. She went through point by point, explaining what the community had asked for, and how the plan failed to provide what the community wanted. The community wanted the redevelopment to provide lots of good-paying job opportunities for people in the community, and she felt the plan failed in that regard. The community did not want housing in the complex, and there are hundreds of apartments and condos in the plan. (My understanding is that the opposition to housing was based on two concepts: first, that the space taken up by 100 apartments could have instead been used to provide 1000 jobs to the community, and second, that any time you have housing you will eventually have kids, and this huge concrete building is not a good place to raise kids.) The community wanted something in the plan to give teenagers something to do, such as a bowling alley, but there was nothing in the plan for teenagers. When she finally ran down, she was thanked for her kind words, and it was happy talk for the rest of the evening.
        The Sears site will now be called the Midtown Exchange. The total redevelopment cost will be in the area of $160-180 million. Allina will be the major tenant, moving over 1000 jobs from several suburban locations into a 250,000 square foot space in the northern end of the original Sears building, which was built in 1928. The five-story building over the Greenway will be torn down so that all the offices on the north side of the 1928 building can have windows looking down into the Greenway (or straight across at the south end of the warehouse across the Greenway).
        (Hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements had been made to this building just before the dot.com crash, and it will cost more hundreds of thousands of dollars to demolish it. I suggested to Ryan Companies that they save the demolition cost by selling the building to me cheap, and I would move the Uncles into the first floor, doubling the size of the stores and adding a coffee shop/café/reading group meeting area, and then after they had fully rented the 1928 building and after I had sold my old building I would start upgrading the upper floors of the building over the tracks-but Allina had already been promised windows, and the developer was not interested in my offer. It seems to me that Ryan Companies could provide flat-panel TVs everyplace they would have put a window, and hook up the TVs to show various scenes-surfing in Hawaii, loons on a lake, a mountain scene, a coral reef, etc., for less than the cost of tearing down the building over the track and installing a new wall with windows on the north side of the 1928 building. But the flat-panel idea might have resulted in more Allina workers staring at the scenes instead of working, while working might be a relief compared to staring out a real window in February at the warehouse across the Greenway.)
        There will be an additional 120,000 square feet of office space available for rent. The Global Marketplace will take up 80,000 square feet of space on the first floor, primarily providing food from around the planet both for the lunch crowd and to take home after work. There will be 52-60 townhouses on two sides of the new parking ramp that will be built to the east of the 1928 building, and the parking ramp will have a tunnel to connect it to the Greenway Level of the 1928 building. (What used to be called the basement is now called the Greenway Level, to make it more desirable to prospective tenants.)
        There will be a 150-room, 3 star, full-service hotel built where there is now surface parking, directly across the street from the Uncles. There will be a hotel pool and fitness center on the Greenway Level, and outdoor dining at street level overlooking the Greenway.
        Up until a few months ago, the plans for housing in the Sears building called for some "Active Seniors" housing and some artist lofts, but a few months ago the developer of the housing was suddenly replaced by another developer with totally different ideas for housing. The new housing developer is planning for 82 condos and 221 rental apartments, and the old housing developer has filed suit against Ryan Companies.
        The timeline discussed at the April meeting involves many different tracks of approvals that must work their way through various city council committees and then the full city council. They hope to have everything approved by mid-June, so that Ryan Companies can start construction and destruction in July, 2004. They plan on Allina moving into the complex in December, 2005, with the hotel opening around January 1, 2006, and the Global Marketplace opening early in 2006.

        Meanwhile, there's the new Chicago Ave. bridge to worry about. The original plan was to tear out the old bridge as early this spring as possible, with all of the construction being done (including a new street and sidewalks from Lake St. to 28th St.) by the end of October. The last I heard from the city, there's a lot more paperwork involved than anybody expected, and the city won't be ready to ask for bids until late May or early June. They hope that the winning bidder will be able to start tearing out the old bridge sometime in July, and will be able to finish the construction of the new bridge before the frost is in the ground. (When they tear out the old bridge, you'll still be able to get to the Uncles from the south, but not from the north.) They will then do a temporary patch at each end of the bridge (which will be about a foot higher than the old bridge, to make sure that there is enough room under the bridge for any possible mass transit option to eventually run in the Greenway from downtown Hopkins to the Light Rail Transit station at Lake St. and Hiawatha) to get through the winter. Then, sometime during the summer of 2005 they will tear out the street and sidewalks for a block in both directions from the new bridge to rebuild at a sharper grade to make a better match to the new bridge level. During the summer of 2005, the county will also be tearing out Lake St. down to the sewer lines and rebuilding it for the area between I-35W and Hiawatha, so getting to the Uncles during the summer of 2005 will really be a challenge.



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