About the New Irish Science Fiction Association

NISFA is the New Irish Science Fiction Association. It is a fan based group meeting once a month with a guest speaker. It also gives a chance to meet friends old and new, keep in touch with the various activities in the genre, discuss trends good or bad, and generally have a good time.

The meeting are held the second Tuesday of each month in the White Horse Inn on Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 under the guiding eyes and hands of Caitriona Hamman, aided and abetted by Frank Darcy.


2007 Nebula Award Winners

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Presented the Nebula Awards® for 2007 at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas on April 26, 2008.

Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

Novella: "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress

Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang

Short Story: "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler

Script: Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro



Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction

Foundation: the International Review of Science Fiction
Foundation is the essential critical review of science fiction, and is published three times a year by the Science Fiction Foundation. ISSN: 0306-4964258. It is peer-reviewed.
Editor: Graham Sleight
Production Editor: Zara Baxter
Reviews Editor: Andy Sawyer


Locus Awards 2007

The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazine's annual readers' poll, which was established in the early '70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters. Over the decades the Locus Awards have often drawn more voters than the Hugos and Nebulas combined. In recent years Locus Awards have been presented at an annual banquet, and unlike any other award, explicitly honor publishers of winning works with certificates.

The first Locus Award was given in 1971 for works published in 1970.


Welcome to the 7th Annual London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film

Welcome to the 7th Annual London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film -or SCI-FI-LONDON 7 as we like to be known.

We have a brilliant line-up this year and as always we have something for everyone. A selection of incredible short films, some perpelexing time-travel films, fun with superheroes and of course, zombies french-kissing!

The full programme is now online here and tickets are on sale now - we advise you book early! We want you to see more films this year so have put together a ticket deal, buy any 5 tickets and get 1 free*. That is 6 tickets for £50 - and between April 4th and April 14th there is an earlybird offer of an extra 10% discount, that is 6 for £45.00. Don't just tell your friends, bring them with you!


NASA Scientists Identify Smallest Known Black Hole

The lowest-mass known black hole belongs to a binary system named XTE J1650-500. The black hole has about 3.8 times the mass of our sun, and is orbited by a companion star, as depicted in this illustration. Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobar
> Larger image If you want to know the universe's ultimate tough guys, look no further than black holes. These strange objects gobble up gas from their surroundings, and sometimes swallow entire stars. But a black hole's gravity is so powerful that nothing, not even light, can escape its grasp.

But just as Olympic boxing teams have their flyweights, somewhere out there in the depths of space exists the lightest black hole in the universe. It's still a tough guy, but it's smaller and lighter than all other members of its kind.

Astronomers may never find the universe's lightest black hole, but in results announced on March 31, they have come close. Nikolai Shaposhnikov and Lev Titarchuk, who work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have identified the smallest known black hole in the universe. This black hole would weigh the same as 3.8 of our Suns if it could be put on a giant scale.

The Sun is a huge object, and could contain more than a million Earths. So an object weighing the same as 3.8 Suns might sound like a lot. But it's a pipsqueak when compared to all other known black holes. Previously, the smallest known black hole would weigh about 6.3 Suns, and some black holes tip the scales at millions or even billions of times that of our Sun.

In this top-down illustration of a black hole and its surrounding disk, gas spiraling toward the black hole piles up just outside it, creating a traffic jam. The traffic jam is closer in for smaller black holes, so X-rays are emitted on a shorter timescale. Credit: NASA
> Larger image The new record holder, known as XTE J1650, formed in the center of a dying star. The star's core was a giant nuclear reactor, generating energy by turning light elements such as hydrogen into heavier elements such as oxygen. But eventually, the reactor ran out of fuel and shut down. The core collapsed due to its own gravity and formed a black hole.

Astronomers think that this process can form black holes down to about 3 times the weight of our Sun. If a star's core is even smaller than that when it runs out of fuel, it will form another type of object, called a neutron star. So the XTE J1650 black hole is not only the lightest known black hole, it's close to the smallest possible size for a black hole.

Amazingly, equations from Albert Einstein predict that a black hole with 3.8 times the mass of our Sun would be only 15 miles across -- the size of a city. "This makes the black hole one of the smallest objects ever discovered outside our solar system," says Shaposhnikov.

The measurement of the black hole's mass is due to high-precision timing observations made by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite, shown here prior to launch. Credit: NASA
> Larger image Shaposhnikov and Titarchuk made their discovery by using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, a small and low-cost satellite that launched in late 1995. Rossi is able to make extremely precise measurements of gas whirling around black holes. By timing the motion of the gas, the two astronomers were able to measure the strength of the black hole's gravitational field, which tells them how much it weighs.

Shaposhnikov and Titarchuk are presenting their results on Monday, March 31, at the American Astronomical Society High-Energy Astrophysics Division meeting in Los Angeles, Calif. Titarchuk also works at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

Related link:

> Read the related press release
Robert Naeye
Goddard Space Flight Center


2008: The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest

Since its early days, science fiction has played a unique role in human civilization. It removes the limits of what "is" and shows us a boundless vista of what "might be." Its fearless heroes, spectacular technologies and wondrous futures have inspired many people to make science, technology and space flight a real part of their lives and in doing so, have often transformed these fictions into reality. The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen.