Helsinki in 2017 Crafts

Robot bank advertises Helsinki in 2017 bid.

Robot bank advertises Helsinki in 2017 bid.

The Helsinki in 2017 is promoting itself with a wide variety of crafts using the bid logo, the items given as prizes when people support and friend the bid.

Crystal Huff says, “There are a lot of people who can’t afford to support Helsinki with money, but who want to help. So they’ve found really clever ways of infusing the bid with their enthusiasm by making all sorts of awesome things. One person is even brewing mead made with tar syrup from Finland, to be used for our Sasquan parties!”

Items people have made for Helsinki include:

  • knit polar bear hats
  • tie-dyed t-shirts
  • magnets
  • bubble wands
  • chocolate in the shape of the bid logo
  • Moomin-shaped cookies
  • Xmas ornaments
  • lavender and rosemary sachets
  • wooden keychains
  • necklace pendants
  • a robot bank
  • several different kinds of earrings
  • bracelets
  • a crown (which Mur Lafferty decided she had to own)
  • a superhero-style cape
  • temporary tattoos (purchased, but the three designs were created by the bid)

Several Finns made the earrings and keychains, and all the felted crafts were by Eppu Jensen who is a professional crafter. Cat Valente is working on a dress made of bid t-shirts. The robot bank was produced by a group of fans at a paint-your-own-pottery place in Boston. They also produced a cheese plate and picture frame, but I don’t have photos of those at the moment.

Who Will Judge Kramer’s Lawsuit?

All ten Gwinnett County (Ga.) superior court judges have recused themselves from handling Ed Kramer’s lawsuit challenging his December 2013 guilty plea on child molestation charges. A judge from outside the county will be appointed to the case.

The last two judges recused themselves in January. Their joint filing said that they “find no evidence or implication of any improper relationship existing Superior Court Bench and the District Attorney’s Office” but they were recusing themselves to “avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

Kramer’s current attorney, Stephen Reba, claimed in court documents that the guilty plea was ill-gotten. He alleges District Attorney Danny Porter and Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers colluded to re-open Kramer’s case when it had been effectively closed in 2009 after a hearing on issues surrounding Kramer’s health, and gave Kramer the authority to decide when he was healthy enough to go to trial. Reba also claims Beyers and Porter did not provide medical accommodations that would have allowed Kramer to stand trial, forcing Kramer to enter an Alford plea, a type of guilty plea under which a defendant is allowed to maintain innocence

After pleading guilty in 2013, Dragon*Con co-founder Kramer was sentenced to 34 months under house arrest.

Kramer’s attorney already has succeeded in getting DA Porter disqualified from handling Kramer’s habeas corpus petition because he may be called as a witness in any related hearings.

[Thanks to Nancy Collins for the story.]

Orson Scott Card GoH at ORU Conference on SF

Orson Scott Card will be guest of honor at the Oral Roberts University Conference on Science and Science Fiction: Science, Faith, and the Imagination on April 17-18

This two-day interdisciplinary conference – sponsored by the colleges of Arts and Cultural Studies and Science and Engineering at Oral Roberts University – will examine the relationships between science and science fiction, social science and science fiction, and theology and science fiction in all forms of science and science fiction, including science fiction stories, film, television, radio, graphic novels, and theoretical physics.

The conference invited scholars to present papers on —

  • Science Fiction and Theology. Investigating the relationship between science fiction and theology.
  • Science in Science Fiction. Discussing the plausibility of fantastical science fiction concepts such as time travel, warp drives, cloaking devices, and (quantum) teleportation.
  • Hard Science Fiction. Examining scientific rigor in science fiction.
  • Social Sciences in Science Fiction. Investigating psychological, sociological, and cultural issues in science fiction.
  • The Relationship between Science and Science Fiction. Exploring how science drives science fiction and/or how science fiction drives science.
  • Original Science Fiction Short Stories.

How To Win A Fan Fund

Kylie Ding, 2012 Get-Up-and-over-Fan-Fund (GUFF) delegate, has written “The Winners’ Guide to Winning a Fan Fund” (a Facebook link) for fans interested in being voted one of the subsidized travel funds like TAFF, DUFF, GUFF, CUFF, etc.

The first of her seven points is —

Make it easy for people to vote

That’s the really big thing.  You are well enough known in your fandom that at least five people think you are a worthwhile candidate.  You have connections.  Milk them for all they are worth!  Think of all your friends and people you know in fandom, and work out when you will see them.  Make a physical list or a mental list.  When will you see them?  Party?  Convention?  You need to approach each person and ask them if they would like to vote in the fan fund race.  You need to have a voting form for them, a pen and be able to make change if they give you money.  You need to be prepared that they might not want to vote for one reason or another and move on to the next person.

I don’t disagree, although each of the funds has its own customs about how subtly this should be done. Judging by the article, GUFF may do the most direct, up-front canvassing.

In the Seventies, when LASFSians Len and June Moffatt were up for TAFF, the first fan fund race I ever observed from the inside, someone carefully explained to me that people do not campaign for TAFF, they stand for TAFF — in the same way 19th-century American presidential candidates would remain at home aloof from the fray while their backers did the campaigning. In the era of social media TAFF nominees are no longer so constrained.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, and ought to factor into anyone’s decision to run, is that the winner becomes responsible for continuing the fund by raising money to replenish it, and by co-administering the next couple of races (which sometimes means finding willing candidates).

Night Terrors III Signing at Mystery & Imagination on 3/7

image001Night Terrors III contributors Taylor Grant, Eric J. Guignard, Kevin David Anderson, Dennis Etchison, Tracy L. Carbon and John Palisano will sign on March 7 at Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale.

Kelly Dunn will also be on hand to sign Mutation Nation.

See you March 7 at 2 p.m. at Mystery and Imagination (238 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91204.)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

The Bridge and the Fire

By John Hertz:  I’m told that in Islam there’s an image of the Bridge (as-Siraat) to Heaven. On one side is credulity, undue willingness to believe. On the other is skepticism, undue willingness to doubt. The Bridge is a razor’s edge, and below are the fires of Hell.

Not being a Muslim, I can’t commend this to you particularly. Some people say they find it frightening. I find it inspiring.

As a man who went to the same college as I used to say, I submit it for your consideration.

Top 10 Posts for February 2015

In February readers returned day after day to follow developments in science fiction’s culture war. And what did I do in the war?

  • Announced Brad Torgersen’s release of the Sad Puppies 3 Hugo recommendations.
  • Reported that the author of a story touted by Sad Puppies 3 asked to be dropped from the list because he didn’t like being associated with some of the attitudes embraced by two of its prominent backers.
  • Poked fun at Larry Correia’s appeal for help in finding insults people had written about him for use by a pair of writers in an article about the politicization of the Hugo Awards.
  • Recommended my own radical formula for finding Hugo nominees: Actually read stuff and if it deserves an award write it down.
  • Looked over the Locus Recommended Reading List and couldn’t understand how dozens and dozens of works were worth a mention, but absolutely none from Baen Books.
  • Observed with amazement commenters at Mad All The Time Genius Club taking absolutely literally the satirical opening of “Why You’re Not A Fan”, raging at its fake Fannish Purity Panel (which several assumed was real), and turning up their noses at its real message about the wide-open doors of fandom.
  • Said my piece about Larry Correia’s attack on Tempest Bradford’s reading challenge. Went 15 rounds with my own commenters. Spent some time on the canvas but kept getting back up.

Finally, discovered somebody found a topic so hot that File 770 got its first-ever hits from DoNotLink. Never did track down the source of those – I guess it worked!

Here are the top 10 posts for February according to Google Analytics.

  1. Larry Correia Channels His Inner Dogberry
  2. Author Dave Creek Declines Sad Puppydom
  3. Why You’re Not A Fan
  4. The Day After The Book Bomb Dropped
  5. Sad Puppies Wag Their Tales
  6. Another Day at the Kerfuffle Factory
  7. 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List Appears
  8. Supanova Boycott Controversy
  9. Kameron Hurley’s Further Comments on the Relationship Between Awards and Sales

Nimoy Tribute on Syfy Sunday Morning

Syfy has announced it will honor the passing of Leonard Nimoy with a special five-hour block of programming on Sunday morning, March 1 beginning 9 a.m./8c.

9:00 a.m.

The Twilight Zone

S3.E15  “Quality of Mercy” – A lieutenant (Dean Stockwell) preparing to lead his platoon suddenly sees the attack as if he were the enemy. Causarano: Albert Salmi. Watkins: Rayford Barnes. Hansen: Leonard Nimoy. Hanacheck: Ralph Votrian. Japanese Soldier: Dale Ishimoto. Japanese Captain: Jerry Fujikawa.

9:30 a.m.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Two-part episode “Unification”

S5.E8  “Unification” — Conclusion. After locating Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and discovering his plans for unifying the Romulans and the Vulcans, Picard and Data uncover a covert Romulan plot that does not call for unification—but for invasion. Sela: Denise Crosby. Pardek: Malachi Throne.

11:30 a.m.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The Enterprise crew members are assigned to escort a Klingon leader to peace talks, but negotiations cease when a Klingon vessel is attacked and Capt. Kirk and Dr. McCoy are accused of the crime and forced to stand trial for murder

Smiling Through The Tears

Reversing the lyrics of a theatrical standard, tragedy yesterday, but comedy tonight.

Leonard Nimoy’s death left many fans with a deep sense of loss. A few small jokes may help the healing process.

Taral Wayne added his own caption to a Star Trek still –

Final Captain's Log

Newsthump posted a bittersweet fake news story:

An arrest warrant has been issued for Star Trek actor William Shatner, who is reported to have stolen the space shuttle Enterprise…

Shatner and his crew – reported to comprise Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig – are understood to believe that Leonard Nimoy will have been reborn on a new, Edenic alien world as suggested in a 1984 documentary.

When asked their course, shortly before passing out of radio range, Shatner is reported to have replied “Second star on the left, and straight on ’til morning.”


Worden Steps Down as Ames Research Center Director

Simon “Pete” Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, has announced he is retiring.

Worden funded Gregory and Jim Benfords’ Starship Century book and conference, together with UCSD.

He spent the last nine years at Ames and during that time, he told Space News –

We have launched dozens of small, low-cost satellites – and helped ignite a major new industry in this area. Ames people have revitalized space biology and begun to apply the new field of synthetic biology…. Ames has provided entry technology for the emerging commercial space launch sector. We have helped launch small satellites working with a number of nations. And we’ve hosted and inspired thousands of students.

He said he plans to ““to pursue some long-held dreams in the private sector.”