Water Brothers on Ice

Debris-covered glaciers on Mars

The new issue of Science groks the fullness of Mars’ missing water:

In a discovery that partly answers the question of where all the water went on Mars, scientists have found vast, debris-covered glaciers much nearer the equatorial region than anyone had expected, according to a report today in the journal Science.

The glaciers, estimated to contain at least as much water as Lake Huron and possibly as much as the entire Great Lakes, were found by ground-penetrating radar on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

The NASA computer graphic above shows Martian craters (left) and the distribution of debris-covered glaciers within them (right).

Santa Barbara Fans Remain
in Critical Condition

Lance and Carla Hoffman

Carla and Lance Hoffman are fighting for their lives after suffering burns in the Tea Fire near Montecito, CA on November 13. Online news servies report they remain unconscious and in critical condition but are expected to survive.

The couple was apparently running to their car from their cottage when they were overtaken by a flash fire said [Lance’s father, James] Mills, speaking to Noozhawk by phone from his home.

Both Hoffmans were lightly dressed, Mills said, and as a result suffered severe burns on their arms and legs. Lance also has second- and third-degree burns on his head.

Although badly burned, the couple was able to drive themselves to a fire station. From there, they were transported by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and later were flown by helicopter to Irvine.

Those interested in helping can send a donation to: The Lance and Carla Burn Fund, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, 1483 East Valley Road, Montecito, CA 93108-1248.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

Corflu Zed Auctions Continuing

Corflu Zed logo

Andy Hooper has dozens of fannish treasures up for auction on eBay to help raise money for Corflu Zed. Suzle told the Smofs list today: “Right now, there are 51 fanzines and other items currently up for auction — listed with [Corflu Zed] in the title line.  The auctions have been ongoing, so please take a look from time to time.

“Items up now include many issues of Pulp by Carol, Hansen, Clarke and Harvey, Quinsy by Chuck Harris, Masque #2 by Bill Rotsler, Janus 39, Retribution #10, Out of the Blue #3 & #4 by Harry Bell and Kev Williams…all closing on Saturday and Sunday of this week so hurry if you are interested.”

And remember to check http://www.corflu.org for the latest news about Corflu Zed.

Snapshots 9

Here are six developments of interest to fans.

(1) There are lots of reasons you should know that Sandy Meschkow has started a blog. Let him tell you a few:

Hey, I helped collate one of the early issues of that great newszine, LOCUS , before Charles N. Brown moved it to the West Coast. I helped several fans move belongings out of James Blish’s apartment when he was moving to England. I was president of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society early in the 1970s when I invited Keith Laumer to be our Principal Speaker and had Kelly Freas do a portrait of him for the program book. (I hope one of his kids still has it — it was great!) I have my very own Harlan Ellison story. And I remember when Star Trek fans tore the world of SF fandom in two! Yes, I saw a little fannish history and it might be of some interest to some of you.

(2) George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has sold to HBO.

(3) The next Star Trek movie is due out in 2009, and the trailers have hit the internet.

The brief “Under Construction” trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek debuted with the release of Quantum of Solace, and was promptly bootlegged online.

A second, full-length trailer has, by now, been posted at the Star Trek movie site. And David Klaus immediately wondered about “the thousand-foot cliff at the edge of the Colorado-river-sized canyon…in Iowa?!? And fourteen-year-old Kirk’s 23rd century 1966 Corvette, which he James-Dean-drives into the canyon.”

Someone also has created a visual comparison of three versions of the Enterprise.

(4) Tennessee state Rep. Jason Mumpower has a big comics collection. How big?

When state Rep. Jason Mumpower neglected to report his comics collection to the Tennessee Ethics Commission, somebody dropped a dime. Or, rather, an email.

Mumpower needn’t worry, though: His 17,000 comics apparently don’t qualify as a financial investment that must be disclosed to the commission.

“My common sense tells me that isn’t something that should be reported,” Bruce Androphy, the commission’s executive director, tells the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Mumpower, the 35-year-old House Republican Leader, says he’s been collecting comics since he was 12, and has no idea of their value.

He notes that President-Elect Barack Obama also is a comics fan. (He reportedly likes Conan and Spider-Man.)

“There are two things Barack Obama and I have in common: We both collect comic books, and we both have big ears,” Mumpower told the newspaper.

(5) Is it so hard to meet JK Rowling that it’s newsworthy when a Harry Potter fan is lucky enough to meet the author?

YOUNG Harry Potter fan went to Edinburgh to see where her favourite book was written … and bumped in to JK Rowling in a cafe.

Dulcie Horn, 15, travelled all the way from her home in Devon to the Scots capital to tour the spots where JK wrote the first Potter book.

She and her godmother were on the way to the famous Nicolson’s cafe, where JK would go to write while she was struggling on benefits, when they stopped off at another cafe, Florentines.

And just as they left their table after their meal, JK walked in and sat down at it….

JK used several cafes while writing Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone but Nicolson’s, now called the Buffet King, is the most famous.

The cafe even has a plaque on the wall to mark its connection to the millionaire author.

(6) Yes, Rowling has such a following in Scotland that the top ten most often stolen books from Scottish libraries include her Harry Potter series. Other sf, fantasy and horror titles favored by Scotland’s thieves are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Discworld series, and The Stand

[Thanks to David Klaus, Andrew Porter and John Mansfield who sent links included in this post.]

Update 11/21/2008: Fixed attribution of David Klaus’ take on the Star Trek trailer.

LJ Deja Vu

Last weekend, Feorag NicBhride live-blogged Novacon 38’s panel about “whether LiveJournal has eaten fanzine fandom.”

I have resisted the temptation to think of this as another in the perpetual series of will-electronic-communication-kill-paperzines panels we’ve been having at conventions since the days when unknown fans showed up in the audiences claiming they were publishing fanzines on five-inch floppies.

It’s obviously not the same, for at least two reasons. First, the panel was full of interesting speakers, including frandowdsofa, stevegreen, the_magician, fluffcthulhu and Feorag. Second, the audience outnumbered the panel.

Paperzines do seem destined to die, yet they have enjoyed an even more lingering death than Little Nell. I suppose the fact that I am still publishing one isn’t exactly speeding up the ending.

Credit to Cheryl Morgan who’s already posted these links, as well as the news that Novacon 38 was also where Steve Green and Martin Tudor chose to re-launch Critical Wave, which is available online at efanzines.com.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]