SFContario 2 Photos

Taral Wayne sent along a few snapshots from SFContario 2. Click on the thumbnails for full-sized pictures. Here are his captions:

(1) “In Memorium – remembering Mike Glicksohn”. (L to R), Diane Lacey in back, Colin Hinz, Catharine Crockett, Hope Leibowitz, John Mansfield, Murray Moore, stranger to me, Ken Smookler.


(2) The other members of the panel. Andy Porter (R) showing 1960s photo of Mike at some east coast con. I was sitting left of Andy.


(3) Other members of panel — photo taken by Colin Hinz for me. (L to R), Yvonne Penney, Lloyd Penney, David Warren, Andy Porter. Colin took another shot that cut Yvonne out but included me. Unfortunately, Colin moved and the photo was badly blurred.


(4) Registration area just after Glicksohn panel. Facing the camera, (L to R), is Eugene Heller and Rene Walling. The “crowd” you see quickly broke up. Registration is long closed, but an unknown staff member is taking a seat There is an enclosed walkway between buildings in the immediate rear. It connects registration as well as a L/R oriented hallway to the part of the hotel where the ball room, and dealers area were.


(5) Hallway in front of registration area. A set of spiral stairs to the left leads down to the lobby. An elevator off camera also to the left takes people to the 3rd. floor con suite. At the back of this arm of the hall are two panel rooms. The Glicksohn panel was in the left hand one. That’s the Penneys… um… possibly counting their pennies.


(6) The spiral stairs in front of the registration area. Neil Jamieson Williams L, Diane Lacey (staff) center, CUFF winner Kent Pollard R. Although this is staged, Kent actually did take Neil’s photo in just this situation only seconds before.


(7) Diane got out of the view of the camera so I could take a second shot.


Alan Rickman Profile

My family has been Alan Rickman fans since he played Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, an admiration infinitely deepened by his appearance in Galaxy Quest and as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.

Now his opening on Broadway in “Seminar” is celebrated in the LA Times with a lengthy profile:  

[He] is applying a different brand of dark arts as Leonard, the caustic and embittered novelist at the center of Theresa Rebeck’s new play, “Seminar”…. With barbed tongue, he terrorizes a group of aspiring writers who’ve paid a princely sum for him to evaluate their work. That is, when he’s not trying to bed the women in the group despite the yawning age gap.

Beanie Goes To Congress

Rep. Don Young (R - Alaska)

In the 1940s Ray Nelson appropriated the propeller beanie as a symbol of science fiction fandom. Fans ever since have cast a jaundiced eye on mundane exploitation of our icon.

But no manifestation of the beanie could have been more unexpected than on Alaska Representative Don Young’s bulbous noggin during a Congressional hearing on November 16.  According to public radio station KMXT:

Alaska Congressman Don Young gave Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a piece of his mind on the Obama Administration’s energy policy Wednesday. Young tried to drive his point home by showing up late into the hearing wearing a beanie on his head. It was topped by a propeller, and sported a pin that said “Obama’s Energy Plan.”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

2011 Prix Aurora Winners

The 2011 Aurora Awards were announced November 20 at SFContario 2 (Canvention 31).

2011 Prix Aurora Awards

Professional Awards

Best English Novel
Watch, by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

Best English Short Story
The Burden of Fire
by Hayden Trenholm, Neo-Opsis #19

Best English Poem / Song
The ABCs of the End of the World
by Carolyn Clink, A Verdant Green, The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box 

Best English Graphic Novel
Goblins, Tarol Hunt, goblinscomic.com

Best English Related Work
The Dragon and the Stars, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, DAW

Best Artist (Professional and Amateur)
Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications

Fan/ Amateur Awards

Best Fan Publications
[No award given due insufficient eligible nominees]

Best Fan Filk
Dave Clement and Tom Jeffers of Dandelion Wine for “Face on Mars” CD

Best Fan Organizational
Helen Marshall and Sandra Kasturi, chairs of Toronto SpecFic Colloquium (Toronto)

Best Fan Other
John and Linda Ross Mansfield, Conception of the Aurora Nominee pins

[Thanks to Lloyd Penney for the list.]

World’s Most Valuable Comics

While the clock continues to run on the auction for Nic Cage’s copy of Action Comics #1, here’s an interesting rundown of “The Most Valuable Comics Books in the World” at It’s All Just Comics. The post is filled with arcane comic collecting lore and insider speculation about the true condition of these pedigree comics.

The same site also maintains an index of comic issues worth $100,000 or more.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the link.]

Sherman, Kushner at NYRSF Reading on 12/6

Delia Sherman

Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner will help celebrate the season at the NYRSF Reading on December 6.

Delia Sherman’s most recent short stories have appeared in the young adult anthology Steampunk! and in Ellen Datlow’s Naked City. She’s written three novels for adults: Through a Brazen Mirror, The Porcelain Dove, and The Fall of the Kings (with Ellen Kushner). Her newest novel, The Freedom Maze, is a time-travel historical about antebellum Louisiana. When not on the road (one of her favorite places to be), she lives in a rambling apartment in New York City with partner Ellen Kushner.

Ellen Kushner’s first novel, Swordspoint, introduced readers to the city to which she has since returned in The Privilege of the Sword (Locus Award & Nebula nominee), The Fall of the Kings (written with Delia Sherman), and a handful of short stories, most recently “The Duke of Riverside” in Ellen Datlow’s Naked Cities. She has just finished recording Swordspoint as an audiobook for Audible.com/ACX’s new “Neil Gaiman Presents” list. Her second novel, Thomas the Rhymer, won the Mythopoeic and World Fantasy Awards. Kushner is also the longtime host of the public radio show Sound & Spirit.

The full press release follows the jump.

Ellen Kushner

[Thanks to Jim Freund for the story.]

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File 770 #160 Available

The November 2011 issue of File 770 is now available in PDF.

Two of the issue’s highlights are major articles by Taral and James Bacon.

Taral uses his Fan Noir column, “The Little Engine That Wanted To Be Big,” to ask whether fandom has reached the end of the line – or is it just him?

James Bacon’s “All Change in the World of DC Comics” analyzes the company’s relaunch of its universe of characters.

The visuals include a cover and interior illos by Brad Foster, plus art by Steve Stiles, Bill Rotsler, Alan Beck, Grant Canfield and more.

Click here to download the PDF from eFanzines.

Tarpinian: Harlan’s Back!

By John King Tarpinian: After only one other public appearance in the past four years Harlan Ellison is back to his old irascible yet loveable self. The Silent Movie Theatre was a complete sell-out for his talk on November 15 – plus, at the last minute they announced a live web-cast which drew over 2,000 viewers.

The topic for the evening was billed as Harlan and his TV career but anybody who knows him knows that directing Harlan is like driving a Porsche on the Autobahn without a steering wheel, which is part of the fun. The host of the evening and a friend of Harlan’s was the Oscar nominated screenwriter Josh Olson.

Harlan had been reported in ill health the past few months, even he made mention of it by not attending his own Eaton Conference last February. But there was zero evidence of any ill health last night. He talked for over three hours with no let-up. However, he did only pick one fist-fight with a woman in the audience so maybe he is slowing down at bit at age 77…while also denying that he ever threw a fan down an elevator shaft.

Harlan talked about having written for Alfred Hitchcock, The Flying Nun, Ripcord, Outer Limits, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Star Trek, and so on. Among the guests of Harlan was Arlene Martel who co-starred with Robert Culp in The Demon with the Glass Hand. He praised so many people he met over the years from Robert Culp to Norman Lloyd. He talked about his loving having written for Buster Keaton on an episode of Burke’s Law. And his having convinced Gloria Swanson to appear in an episode by climbing over her security fence and bluffing his way into having her butler give her his script.

After 11:00 p.m. he was still going strong and signing while kibitzing with those of us who stayed. He had first editions of many of his most famous books for people to purchase and he signed everything. Then it was off to Pink’s for a well deserved hot dog.

It is good to have him back in full force.

[Photos by John King Tarpinian.]

Arlene Martel and Harlan Ellison

Harlan gesturing.

Harlan hulking

Is It Nic Cage’s Superman?

Nicholas Cage’s copy of Action Comics #1, the comic that introduced Superman, reportedly is the one being auctioned at ComicConnect.com.

At this writing the top bid is $1,306,000. Bidding will remain open until November 30 at 7:25 PM EST.

Cage’s copy was recovered last April, 11 years after it was stolen from his Las Vegas home.

Of the hundred or so copies of Action Comics #1 in existence only six are as well-preserved as Cage’s copy. That is part of the reason for believing the comic at auction is his – ComicConnect.com describes it as the highest-graded known copy, which Cage’s was reputed to be.

At the time it was recovered the comic book was legally the property of the insurance company that paid the claim when it was stolen, but Cage had been trying to regain ownership.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Sidewise in The New Yorker

The appearance of Stephen King’s alternate history novel 11/22/63 has prompted The New Yorker’s Thomas Mallon to take stock of an entire subgenre ’til now scorned by literati.

Most fun of all, he mentions the Sidewise Awards repeatedly. It’s great to see an award run by sf fans given that kind of recognition.

Mallon says:

One of alt-history’s stalwarts is Harry Turtledove, the winner of two Sidewise Awards for Alternative History. His “The Guns of the South” (1992), in which the Confederacy wins the Civil War, is both absurd and meticulous, a Civil War reenactment conducted with AK-47s instead of Springfield Rifles. Turtledove creates a whole intricate biosphere with a somehow breathable atmosphere.

And again:

Philip Roth won a Sidewise Award for “The Plot Against America” (2004), and Michael Chabon received one for “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” (2007).

A free copy of the abstract is here. Naturally, The New Yorker would be delighted to sell you digital access to the full article and the rest of the issue in which it appears.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver, Evelyn Leeper,and ultimately Moshe Feder for the story.]