paper 0-15-600552-2 The 1996 awards, as voted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Esther M. Friesner (“A Birthday”) carried off the Best Short Story Award for the second year running; Bruce Holland Rogers captured the Best Novella Award with “Lifeboat on a Burning Sea”; and editor Dann’s “Da Vinci Rising,” a spinoff from his alternate-world novel The Memory Cathedral (1995), claimed Best Novelette. Best Novel winner Nicola Griffith (Slow River) is represented by her 1995 novella finalist, “Yaguara.” Finalists Harry Turtledove, Dean Wesley Smith, Paul Levinson, and Jonathan Lethem also appear, as do Rhysling Award (poetry) winners Marge Simon and Bruce Boston. “The Men Return” represents Grand Master winner Jack Vance, while Robert Silverberg and Terry Dowling sing his praises. Bill Warren heroically watched all the year’s movies. Also, nonfictionally, Lucius Shepard gloomily records the death of literary science fiction; Norman Spinrad gets hissy about authors who rent out their creations (“evil stuff”); and Elizabeth Hand growls that fiction itself has become “a barrio of the entertainment industry.” Keith Ferrell tracks sf via the Web; Robert Frazier recites sf poetry; Ian Watson keeps a stiff British upper lip; and cobbers Terry Dowling and Sean McMullan do Australia. Read. Enjoy. Just don’t mention “franchising” if Norman Spinrad’s within earshot.