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Van Ikin Van Ikin i(A12769 works by) (a.k.a. Van George Ikin; Iken)
Born: Established: 1951 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Male
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Van Ikin sold his first science fiction story at sixteen, and during his student days edited the fanzine Enigma for the Sydney University Science Fiction Association. Graduating with a PhD in English from the University of Sydney in 1980, he moved to Perth the same year to take up a position in the English Department at the University of Western Australia.

He has been a significant editorial influence on Australian science fiction. He has edited and published the journal Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature since its inception in 1977, and his Australian Science Fiction (1981) was the first historical anthology of the genre. Following its publication he became a reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald in 1984. He has worked as a freelance editor for a number of Australian publishers and has edited two major science fiction anthologies, in addition to being a co-author of the first book-length critical study of Australian Science Fiction (Strange Constellations, 1999).

Ikin has twice won the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award for Best Editor, as well as the William Atheling Award for Criticism, and the A. Bertram Chandler Award for achievement in the field of science fiction (1992).

He is also a project leader in the Popular Fictions Research Community.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1992 A. Bertram Chandler Award
1989 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Writer
1988 winner Ditmar Awards William Atheling Jr Award For 'Mirror Reversals and the Tolkien Writing Game' (Science Fiction no. 25).

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Strange Constellations : A History of Australian Science Fiction Westport : Greenwood Press , 1999 Z126983 1999 reference criticism 'A study of authors who have devoted a substantial part of their writing careers to S[cience] F[iction]'. Takes an inclusive approach to the genre, encompassing works such as SF romances, utopian and distopian novels, political and military thrillers, fantasy and supernatural horror. The overall emphasis is on works which take a scientific view so there is no comprehensive coverage of fantasy and horror.
2000 joint winner Ditmar Awards William Atheling Jr Award
1999 shortlisted Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction Peter McNamara Convenors' Award
y separately published work icon Science Fiction : A Review of Speculative Literature 1977 Sydney : 1977-1980 Z953236 1977 periodical (48 issues)

In 1976 the only magazine devoted to science fiction in Australia was SF Commentary, but little space was given to sustained literary analysis. Aiming to demonstrate that science fiction could stand as literature, Van Ikin, then a young academic at Sydney University, established Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature in 1977.

Co-edited with Terry Dowling, Science Fiction eventually replaced SF Commentary as the prominent Australian journal of science fiction, hosting the latter's final issue in 1983. When Ikin moved to Western Australia to pursue his academic career, the editorial duties moved with him and Dowling's influence subsided. However, he and a board of editors continue to play an advisory role in the production of the magazine.

Contributors to Science Fiction have been primarily, but not exclusively, academics. Early issues included discussion on Australian authors such as Damien Broderick, Peter Carey, Lee Harding, Frank Bryning, George Turner and film-maker Peter Weir. Interviews and analyses of the work of international authors such as Roger Zelazny, Stanislaw Len and Frank Herbert were also included. Subsequent issues have maintained the early aims of Science Fiction, but exploration of new areas such as gender have been encouraged in recent years.

Although the frequency of Science Fiction has decreased to its annual appearances since 1999, it remains one of the most significant contributors to current debates on Australian science fiction.

1997 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
1989 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
1988 winner Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
1985 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
1984 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
1983 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine
y separately published work icon Enigma 1970 Sydney : Sydney University Science Fiction Association , Z1096327 1970 periodical

Quarterly fanzine published by the Sydney University SF Association, in which a number of science fiction writers published their first stories, including Terry Dowling and Rick Kennett.

1978 winner Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine Given this year only to 'Australian Amateur Production'.
1977 shortlisted Ditmar Awards Best Fan Website/Zine

Known archival holdings

University of Western Australia Library (WA)
National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 17 Jun 2014 09:54:20
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