2019 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival Goes Bi-Coastal

The annual Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival for the first time since its inception will hold a bi-coastal gathering with films, premieres and panels in New York City, Los Angeles and Santa Ana, CA. Independent filmmakers will have a platform to tackle a variety of themes that empower the narratives of Philip K. Dick, whose work continues to serve as a profound mark on the literary and entertainment worlds.

The festival will open in New York City on Thursday, March 7th and Saturday, March 9th. “We have developed a strong following here,” said Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the festival. “Our fans have become loyal supporters of our films and platform so we acknowledge their support by bringing back great sci-fi year after year.” Features include Saku Sakamoto’s ARAGNE: Sign of Vermillion about a young woman’s discovery of a mysterious class of insects and the U.S. premiere of Taking Tiger Mountain Revisited, the remastered version of Kent Smith and Tom Huckabee’s post-apocalyptic 1983 film starring Bill Paxton. Then, a lone survivor searches for answers after the human race vanishes in the World Premiere of John Norby’s Assimilation.

The West Coast edition of the festival will run in partnership with Media Arts Santa Ana (MASA), a non-profit organization that supports its community’s cultural empowerment through special resources and initiatives. Dick, the festival’s namesake, was a resident of the city in his final years and wrote several of his last major works there. It will help create discussion about how Santa Ana and Orange County influenced Philip K. Dick’s vision and celebrate one of Santa Ana’s most treasured and influential artists.

Festivities begin on Thursday, March 14th in Los Angeles. “Blade Runner is set in L.A. in 2019,” said Abella when referring to the 1982 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “There is no better honor than by holding the festival in the very city and year depicted in one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.” Screening titles include Matthew Evan Balz’s Corvus, which follows a woman’s perilous efforts to build a machine capable of hypnosis and the depiction of extant technology in Emily Dean’s Andromeda about an android’s awakening of human emotions. Closing the night is Josh Gibson’s atmospheric Pig Film about a woman’s work on a hog farm during the impending end of the world.

The festival then opens in Santa Ana, CA from Friday, March 15th through Sunday, March 17th. Essential films include Unzipping, the cinematic directorial debut of actress and writer Lisa Edelstein about the poignant unfastening of a marriage and Star Trek veteran Walter Koenig’s confrontation with fate in Michael Baker’s Who is Martin Danzig? Holding its World Premiere is Tony Dean Smith’s mind-bending thriller Volition about a clairvoyant man’s quest to avoid his own murder and the U.S. and L.A. Premiere of Sarah K. Reimers’ Bitten about a dog’s rabid night of risk and adventure. Dive Odyssey kicks off a lineup of feverish documentaries as Janne Kasperi Suhonen takes viewers on an absorbing aquatic journey and Colin Ramsay and James Uren decipher what makes “good” artificial intelligence in the dawn of ethics and technology in Good in the Machine.

Observing the 90th anniversary of Philip K. Dick’s birth and the 50th anniversary of Blade Runner’s origin novel, the two organizations joined forces for the Philip K. Dick Multicultural Dystopian/Sci Fi Short Film Challenge, a short film competition that invited participants to develop projects that analyze contemporary life in view of themes associated with Philip K. Dick.

The festival’s expansion has also furthered its commitment to feature a more inclusive brand of filmmaking with 31 percent of the official selections directed or co-directed by women and minority filmmakers. Many films are seen from the perspectives of racially and gender diverse characters. “There is a new freshness entering the genre,” said Abella, who curated an equality-driven showcase of films from the emerging talent strengthening the industry. “Science fiction is based on exploring the ‘other’ and no one is more qualified than those groups who have been marginalized to tell their story using the tools of sci-fi.”

The PKD Film Festival schedule follows the jump.

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2018 Aurealis Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2018 Aurealis Awards were announced February 19 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

The winners of the Aurealis Awards, as well as the Sara Douglass Book Series Award, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on Saturday May 4.

2018 Aurealis Awards – Finalists

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • The Relic of the Blue Dragon, Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Slightly Alarming Tales of the Whispering Wars, Jaclyn Moriarty (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Endsister, Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)
  • Secret Guardians, Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ting Ting the Ghosthunter, Gabrielle Wang (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt, Rhiannon Williams (Hardie Grant Egmont)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • Deathship Jenny, Rob O’Connor (self-published)
  • Cicada, Shaun Tan (Hachette Australia)
  • Tales from The Inner City, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “A Robot Like Me”, Lee Cope (Mother of Invention, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Moon Collector”, D K Mok (Under the Full Moon’s Light, Owl Hollow Press)
  • “The Sea-Maker of Darmid Bay”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone #277, TTA Press)
  • “Eight-Step Koan”, Anya Ow (Sword and Sonnet, Ate Bit Bear)
  • “For Weirdless Days and Weary Nights”, Deborah Sheldon (Breach #08)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “The Offering”, Michael Gardner (Aurealis #112)
  • “Slither”,  Jason Nahrung (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 2, IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “By Kindle Light”,  Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Antipodean SF #235)
  • “Hit and Rot”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Breach #08)
  • “Sub-Urban”, Alfie Simpson (Breach #07)
  • “The Further Shore”, J Ashley Smith (Bourbon Penn #15)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • “Andromeda Ascends”, Matthew R Davis (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, Things In The Well)
  • “Kopura Rising”, David Kuraria (Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud, IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “The Black Sea”, Chris Mason (Beneath the Waves – Tales from the Deep, Things In The Well)
  • Triquetra, Kirstyn McDermott (Tor.com)
  • “With This Needle I Thee Thread”, Angela Rega (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Crisis Apparition, Kaaron Warren (Dark Moon Books)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “Crying Demon”, Alan Baxter (Suspended in Dusk 2, Grey Matter Press)
  • “Army Men”, Juliet Marillier (Of Gods and Globes, Lancelot Schaubert)
  • “The Further Shore”, J Ashley Smith (Bourbon Penn #15)
  • “Child of the Emptyness”, Amanda J Spedding (Grimdark Magazine #17)
  • “A Moment’s Peace”, Dave Versace (A Hand of Knaves, CSFG Publishing)
  • “Heartwood, Sapwood, Spring”, Suzanne J Willis (Sword and Sonnet, Ate Bit Bear)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • “This Side of the Wall”, Michael Gardner (Metaphorosis Magazine, January 2018)
  • “Beautiful”, Juliet Marillier (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “The Staff in the Stone”, Garth Nix (The Book of Magic, Penguin Random House)
  • Merry Happy Valkyrie, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Dressmaker and the Colonel’s Coat”, David Versace (Mnemo’s Memory and Other Fantastic Tales, self-published)
  • The Dragon’s Child, Janeen Webb (PS Publishing)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “The Sixes, The Wisdom and the Wasp”, E J Delaney (Escape Pod)
  • “The Fallen”, Pamela Jeffs (Red Hour, Four Ink Press)
  • “On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus”, Simon Petrie & Edwina Harvey (A Hand of Knaves, CSFG)
  • “A Fair Wind off Baracoa”, Robert Porteous (Hand of Knaves, CSFG)
  • “The Astronaut”, Jen White (Aurealis)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “I Almost Went To The Library Last Night”, Joanne Anderton (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • The Starling Requiem, Jodi Cleghorn (eMergent Publishing)
  • Icefall, Stephanie Gunn (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Pinion”, Stephanie Gunn (Aurum, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Singles’ Day”, Samantha Murray (Interzone #277, TTA Press)
  • Static Ruin, Corey J White (Tor.com)

BEST COLLECTION

  • Not Quite the End of the World Just Yet, Peter M Ball (Brain Jar Press)
  • Phantom Limbs, Margo Lanagan (PS Publishing)
  • Tales from The Inner City, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren, Kaaron Warren (Dark Moon Books)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Sword and Sonnet, Aiden Doyle, Rachael K Jones & E Catherine Tobler (Ate Bit Bear)
  • Aurum, Russell B Farr (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Mother of Invention, Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Infinity’s End, Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein (Walker Books Australia)
  • Lifel1k3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Catching Teller Crow, Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Allen & Unwin)
  • His Name was Walter, Emily Rodda (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • A Curse of Ash and Embers, Jo Spurrier (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Impostors, Scott Westerfeld (Allen & Unwin)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • The Bus on Thursday, Shirley Barrett (Allen & Unwin)
  • Years of the Wolf, Craig Cormick (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • Tide of Stone, Kaaron Warren (Omnium Gatherum)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

  • Devouring Dark, Alan Baxter (Grey Matter Press)
  • Lady Helen and the Dark Days Deceit, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • City of Lies, Sam Hawke (Penguin Random House)
  • Lightning Tracks, Alethea Kinsela (Plainspeak Publishing)
  • The Witch Who Courted Death, Maria Lewis (Hachette Australia)
  • We Ride the Storm, Devin Madson (self-published)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Scales of Empire, Kylie Chan (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Obsidio, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lifel1k3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dyschronia, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)
  • A Superior Spectre, Angela Meyer (Ventura Press)
  • The Second Cure, Margaret Morgan (Penguin Random House)

Pixel Scroll 2/19/19 Imagine There’s No Pixels – It’s Easy If You Scroll

(1) SHAT MEETS SHELDON. DigitalSpy has its CBS eye open: “The Big Bang Theory shares first look at Star Trek legend William Shatner’s cameo”.

The Star Trek legend will turn up briefly in the 12th and final season of the hit comedy series, and features exclusively in a brand-new trailer.

(2) LE GUIN FILM. Hob gives the 2018 documentary “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” a positive review.

If you’re afraid, as I was, that this would be a generic “this person is important, here are some writers to tell you why” documentary with a lot of book covers turned into motion graphics… it mostly isn’t. It’s really very good, and I can’t complain that it’s short and a bit thin in some respects if the alternative was not to make it.

It helps that Le Guin herself talks quite a bit, both recently (the filmmaker worked with her on this for years, so the tone is friendly and familiar) and in earlier decades, and I’d happily listen to her talk about anything at all for hours…

(3) BETTER WORLDS. The Verge’s “Better Worlds” project draws to a close with these three stories —

A woman named Margery pulls a lever and jumps to new worlds, each one different from the last.

How do you envision Margery going from world to world? Virtual reality? Jumping between dimensions? Magic?

The lever, what it does, and Margery’s relationship to it are pure Twilight Zone. The lever itself is Archimedean and every resonant, similar idea I could layer into it. The world is a big thing to move, and the lever had to stand for a lot of things. So it’s rooted in very fundamental and ancient science, but its magic is in wordplay and related concepts and dream-images. It’s hard to say where I draw the line between fantasy and science fiction because I don’t — mostly.

A family works their way through a top-secret facility on an important mission

Your story follows a father-and-son team as they infiltrate a secret base. What inspired this particular world?

I tend to world-build around characters, and this world was designed for Ray. I wanted to show him as idealistic but practical, protective of his family while also trusting their skills and talents. But the main point of the scenario was to give him a clear objective and then alter it: he enters the base to rescue his son, but then has to face Ando’s insistence on staying behind. Ray needs to decide whether to recognize Ando’s right to make that choice, which is really about how much he trusts how he’s been raising his child. Parenting is full of moments like that, although most of them aren’t quite so starkly life-and-death.

Alexandra and Phoebe must deal with their creation Ami, an artificial intelligence that was designed to moderate online communities, as it fights fire with fire.

Social media sites like Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook have their own issues with content moderation, relying on human judgment in most cases. How do you see an AI building on those human-developed systems?

I think, actually, those sites depend too heavily on automated processes. Ami is truly intelligent and, above all, empathetic. Her distinguishing feature as an AI is her capacity to feel the pain of others and feel a responsibility to do something about it, while also possessing the suprahuman powers of a computer.

(4) BOOSTING THE JODOROWSKY SIGNAL. A fan is working to drum up demand for a book/ebook of Jodorowsky’s Dune storyboards:

In the film, Jodorowsky’s Dune you see the storyboards the director made for his never-to-be film project that introduced Moebius to HR Giger to Dan O’Bannon. I would pay a lot of money for each volume if that book were ever published, even if only in electronic form. Could you spread that idea around?

Daniel Dern adds, a quick web search turns up some admittedly-not-encouraging answers in Quora:

According to the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, only 20 copies of the books were originally made, with only a few of those known to still exist in the world. The producer of the unmade film, Michel Seydoux, mentions to Jodorowsky in a deleted scene on the Blu-Ray that he recently found his personal copy that was in perfect condition, and that he was having it photocopied.

According to the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, there are only two known copies of the bound and published storyboard remaining: one belonging to Alejandro Jodorowsky himself, and the other in the presumed care of Jean Giraud’s family. These persons are presumably also the ones who own the copy rights on the material, but I couldn’t say for sure, given the labyrinthine nature of cinematic intellectual properties.

While I’d be the first in the queue to purchase a copy, I am not sure this storyboard will ever be made available for purchase to the general public.

(5) MOORCOCK.The San Antonio Current connected with Michael Moorcock ahead of his appearance at the downtown library’s PopCon last weekend: “New Worlds Man: Groundbreaking Science Fiction Author and Editor Michael Moorcock Makes a Rare Appearance at Pop Con”.

“What we did at New Worlds was publish stuff nobody else would publish,” Moorcock said. “What I discovered was that if something was put into print, that was a validation of its worth. The book publishers would look at what we’d published and say, ‘Well, it’s been in print once, then we can do it again.’”

As Moorcock discussed those days, it almost seemed like a surreal narrative slipping through time and space. He wove a tale about the time the buttoned-down Aldiss falsely accused one of Moorcock’s hippy musician friends of nicking his wallet. Then another about the time he was invited onto the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey only to be shushed by Stanley Kubrick. Then he mused how he and author Kingsley Amis worked up such a mutual hatred that they refused to travel in the same train compartment together.

(6) WALDO CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN’T HIDE. So, not only are ‘bots coming for all the jobs, they’re taking over our pastimes, too (Inverse: “Waldo-Hunting A.I. Robot Solves One of Life’s Greatest Mysteries”).

Never wonder where Waldo is again. A machine designed to find a children’s book character is causing a stir on social media. “There’s Waldo” is a robot that uses computer vision to locate the beanie-clad chap in the “Where’s Waldo” series of books, automating one of the great stresses of five-year-olds worldwide.

[…] The results are impressive. Its highest record for finding and identifying a match is 4.45 seconds, much faster than it normally takes a kid to complete the task. Ditching the robot [that physically points to Waldo] from the equation could make the process even faster: a system outlined by Machine Learning Mastery in 2014 described how developers could use OpenCV, Python and Template Matching to identify Waldos in less than a second. 

(7) BROECKER OBIT. “‘Grandfather Of Climate Science’ Wallace Broecker Dies At 87”NPR has the story.

Wallace Broecker, a climate scientist who brought the term “global warming” into the public and scientific lexicon, died on Monday. He was 87.

Broecker, a professor in the department of earth and environmental science at Columbia, was among the early scientists who raised alarms about the drastic changes in the planet’s climate that humans could bring about over a relatively short period of time.

His 1975 paper “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” predicted the current rise in global temperatures as a result of increased carbon dioxide levels — and popularized the term “global warming” to describe the phenomenon.

… As early as the ’70s, Broecker spoke openly about the need to restrict fossil fuels and the disruptive effects that just a few degrees of warming could have on the environment.

“The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks,” he told the Times.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 19, 1937 Terry Carr. Well known and loved fan, author, editor, and writing instructor. I usually don’t list Awards both won and nominated for but his are damned impressed so I will. He was nominated five times for Hugos for Best Fanzine (1959–1961, 1967–1968), winning in 1959, was nominated three times for Best Fan Writer (1971–1973), winning in 1973, and he was Fan Guest of Honor at ConFederation in 1986. Wow. He worked at Ave Books before going freelance where he edited an original story anthology series called Universe, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year anthologies that ran from 1972 until his early death in 1987. Back to Awards again. He was nominated for the Hugo for Best Editor thirteen times (1973–1975, 1977–1979, 1981–1987), winning twice (1985 and 1987). His win in 1985 was the first time a freelance editor had won. Wow indeed. Novelist as well. Just three novels but all are still in print today though I don’t think his collections are and none of his anthologies seem to be currently either. A final note. An original anthology of science fiction, Terry’s Universe, was published the year after his death with all proceeds went to his widow. (Died 1987.)
  • Born February 19, 1957 Ray Winstone, 62. First genre work was in Robin of Sherwood as Will Scarlet. He next shows up in our realm voicing Mr. Beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Unfortunately for him, he’s in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as George “Mac” McHale, though he he does does also voice Areas in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  • Born February 19, 1964 Jonathan Lethem, 55. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a weird mix of SF and detective fiction, is fantastic in more ways that I can detail briefly here. I confess that I lost track of him after that novel so I’d be interested in hearing what y’all think of his later genre work. 
  • Born February 19, 1963 Laurell K. Hamilton, age 56. She is best known as the author of two series of stories. One is the  Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter of which I’ll confess I’ve read but one or two novels, the other is the Merry Gentry series which held my interest longer but which I lost in somewhere around the sixth or seventh novel when the sex became really repetitive. 
  • Born February 19, 1966 Claude Lalumière, 53. I met him once here in Portland. Author, book reviewer and has edited numerous anthologies. Amazing writer of short dark fantasy stories collected in three volumes so far, Objects of WorshipThe Door to Lost Pages and Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes. Tachyon published his latest anthology, Super Stories of Heroes & Villains
  • Born February 19, 1967 Benicio del Toro, 52. He’s been The Collector in the Marvel film franchise, Lawrence Talbot in the 2010 remake of The Wolfman, and codebreaker DJ in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Let’s not forget that he was in Big Top Pee-wee as Duke, the Dog-Faced Boy followed by being in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Dr. Gonzo which damn well should count as genre even if it isn’t.
  • Born February 19, 1984 Joshua Trank, 35. Film director, screenwriter, and editor. He is known for directing Chronicle and the recent Fantastic Four. The former won A Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. Anyone here seen it? 

(9) POETRY MARKETS. The Horror Writers Association put up a specialized market report: “Poetry and Related Sources and Links — A 2019 Update”.

…I thought it would be useful to refresh the obvious — “where do I send my poetry.” The HWA has its own list of markets as does the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

(10) ISRAEL’S MOON MISSION. Israel aspires to join superpowers China, Russia and the U.S. in landing a spacecraft on the moon.

Nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) today announced that Israel’s inaugural voyage to the moon – the world’s first privately funded lunar mission – will begin on Feb. 21 at approximately 8:45 p.m. EST, when the lunar lander “Beresheet” (“In the Beginning”) blasts off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

…About 30 minutes after liftoff, the spacecraft will disengage from the SpaceX Falcon 9 at around 60,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface, beginning, under its own power, a two-month voyage to the Moon’s surface.

…SpaceX will broadcast the historic launch live on its YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/spacexchannel), and SpaceIL will simultaneously air on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SpaceIL/) live video from inside the control room in Yehud.

…Since the establishment of SpaceIL, the task of landing an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become a national project with educational impact, funded mainly by Morris Kahn, a philanthropist and businessman who took the lead in completing the mission, serving as SpaceIL’s president and financing $40 million. Additional donors include Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson — whose $24 million contribution enabled the project to continue — Lynn Schusterman, Steven and Nancy Grand, Sylvan Adams, Sami Sagol and others.

(11) DON’T TREAD ON THEM. A new nonprofit group—For All Moonkind—has been established to promote preservation of the Apollo 11 landing sites and other such locations on the Moon (Inverse: “‘For All Mankind’: Meet the Group Trying to Stop Moon Vandalism”).

Why did the hominin cross the plain? We may never know. But anthropologists are pretty sure that a smattering of bare footprints preserved in volcanic ash in Laetoli, Tanzania, bear witness to an evolutionary milestone. These small steps, taken roughly 3.5 million years ago, mark an early successful attempt by our common human ancestor to stand upright and stride on two feet, instead of four.

[…] The evidence left by our bipedal ancestors are recognized by the international community and protected as human heritage. But the evidence of humanity’s first off-world exploits on the moon are not. These events, separated by 3.5 million years, demonstrate the same uniquely human desire to achieve, explore, and triumph. They are a manifestation of our common human history. And they should be treated with equal respect and deference.

(12) DILLINGER RELIC. NPR puts it this way:“Facebook Has Behaved Like ‘Digital Gangsters,’ U.K. Parliament Report Says”. (For more detail, check the BBC article “Facebook needs regulation as Zuckerberg ‘fails’ – UK MPs”.)

A new report from British lawmakers on how social media is used to spread disinformation finds that Facebook and other big tech companies are failing their users and dodging accountability.

“The guiding principle of the ‘move fast and break things’ culture often seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission,” said Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that drafted the report. “We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people. The age of inadequate self regulation must come to an end.”

The 108-page report is often scathing on Facebook’s practices and corporate conduct. The committee’s inquiry into disinformation began in September 2017, as revelations emerged that Facebook had been used to spread disinformation during the U.S. presidential election and the U.K. Brexit referendum vote, both in 2016. In March 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, and showed how users’ data could be harvested and misappropriated.

(13) LEONARDO THE EVOLUTIONIST? “Virgin of the Rocks: A subversive message hidden by Da Vinci”.

… Few art historians doubt that Leonardo’s vision was influenced by his memory of a mountain excursion on which he found himself wandering “among gloomy rocks”. “I came to the mouth of a great cavern,” Leonardo would later attest, “in front of which I stood sometime astonished. Bending back and forth, I tried to see if I could discover anything inside, but the darkness within prevented that. Suddenly there arose in me two contrary emotions, fear and desire – fear of the threatening dark cave, desire to see whether there were any marvellous thing within.”

Impelled to enter, Leonardo’s curiosity was repaid by the discovery inside of a fossilised whale and a horde of ancient seashells whose engrossing geometric grooves he would memorialise in the pages of his notebooks.

Over the ensuing years, the perplexing presence of “oysters and corals and various other shells and sea snails” on “the high summits of mountains”, far from the sea, worried away at the artist’s imagination. For Leonardo, the accepted explanation by ecclesiastical scholars of a great flood, such as that described in the Old Testament, for the relocation of these shells, didn’t wash. These creatures weren’t thrown there. They were born there.

Seashells in mountains were proof, Leonardo came to believe and confided to his journal, that Alpine peaks were once the floors of seas. And the Earth was therefore much older and far more haphazardly fashioned by violent cataclysms and seismic upheavals over a vast stretch of time (not the smooth hand of God in a handful of days) than the Church was willing to admit.

(14) SPORTING LIFE. Every year sports fans have to cope with the slack period between the Super Bowl and March Madness. Will K.B. Spangler’s suggestion gain traction? Thread begins here.

(15) THE SIPPY. Charles Payseur is ready to tell us who won: “THE SIPPY AWARDS 2018! The ‘I’d Ship That’ Sippy for Excellent Relationships in Short SFF”. He also lists four runners-up.

I’m a sucker for a good relationship story. They don’t have to be romantic. Or sexual. Though most of these stories do feature romance and sex, they also feature characters that interact and orbit each other in intensely beautiful ways. For some of the stories, the connections are between just two people, lovers or friends or something else. For others, the connections flow between more people, or did, and were severed. They feature people striving to find comfort and meaning in their own skins, knowing sometimes that takes help, and understanding, and compassion. And occasionally it takes kicking some ass. Whatever the case, the relationships explored in these stories have stuck with me through a very hard year.

(16) CHUCK TINGLE WOULD BE PLEASED. “Carrie, cereal and four more unusual inspirations for musicals” – see the last item in this BBC story.

If you ever wanted to watch Jurassic Park told from the point of view of the dinosaurs, then the 2012 off-Broadway musical comedy Triassic Parq is for you.

Described by the New York Times as a “bawdy tribute to dinosaurs and their newfound genitalia”, the show follows a group of dinosaurs whose lives are thrown into chaos when one of the females spontaneously turns male.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, Eli, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Martin Morse Wooster, and John (your capital J remembered today) King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

2019 D.I.C.E. Video Game Awards

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) presented the 22nd annual D.I.C.E. awards on February 14 at a ceremony following the 2019 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit.

God of War by developer SIE Santa Monica Studio and publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment won Game of the Year and eight other categories. The game takes players on a journey as the Spartan warrior Kratos, a man living outside the shadow of the gods, who with his son Atreus, venture into the brutal Norse wilds and fight to fulfill a deeply personal quest. 

God of War

The D.I.C.E. Awards also celebrated Bonnie Ross, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Head of 343 Industries, which oversees the Halo franchise, with the special honor of being the 2019 recipient of the Academy’s Hall of Fame Award.

The AIAS membership honored video games in 23 award categories:

Game of the Year

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Game Design

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Portable Game of the Year

  • Florence (Annapurna Interactive/Mountains)

Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game

  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Immersive Reality Game of the Year

  • Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Immersive Reality Technical Achievement

  • Tónandi (Magic Leap/Magic Leap and Sigur Rós)

Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay

  • Fortnite (Epic Games)

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year

  • Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Sports Game of the Year

  • Mario Tennis Aces (Nintendo Co., Ltd./Camelot Co. Ltd.)

Role-Playing Game of the Year

  • Monster Hunter: World (Capcom)

Racing Game of the Year

  • Forza Horizon 4 (Microsoft Studios/Playground Games)

Fighting Game of the Year

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo/Sora Ltd./Bandai Namco Studios Inc.)

Family Game of the Year

  • Unravel Two (Electronic Arts/ColdWood Interactive)

Adventure Game of the Year

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Action Game of the Year

  • Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Outstanding Technical Achievement

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Outstanding Achievement in Story

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Character

  • God of War – Kratos (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

  • God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)

Outstanding Achievement in Animation

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Sony Interactive Entertainment/Insomniac Games)

Wandering Through the Public Domain #8

A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon: I stumbled onto a fun book on Project Gutenberg today while I was looking for something completely different — as so often happens with me. I was checking to see if an 1835 book about Georgia was available on PG, and the author’s name was Longstreet. I couldn’t remember the first name, so I was checking all the authors named Longstreet. When I got to Hattie Longstreet, I found this eye-catching cover:

I never did find that Georgia book — at least, not today — but after skimming the first section of The Little Match Man, I downloaded it to read in its entirety, and perhaps organize a Librivox project to record it.

The narrator of the story is a foreign correspondent based in Japan. One day, he is bored and entertains himself by making a tiny man out of matchsticks, as he used to do when he was a child. Then, ready to smoke a cigarette, he tells the match man that he is going to strike his head. And then this happens:

But I got no further. The little man moved, and falling on his knees held out his hands as if in prayer.

I was very much surprised, and examined him carefully on every side. I had made a great many little men just like him, but I had never seen any one of them move by himself. I looked to see if there was anywhere a bit of string that I had pulled without meaning to. But no, I found nothing. The little man remained quite still in his new position, until at last I was reassured. I thought the jar of some one passing outside, or a puff of air had thrown him from the box, he was so slim and light. I sat him up again and watched him closely.

After a few minutes I saw distinctly that he moved himself. For some time he trembled very slightly, then he held out his arms, and slowly rose to his feet. I could hear a tiny voice, which seemed to come from him, but it was so feeble that compared with it the voice of a cricket would sound like a trombone.

There follows a series of stories, each with several charming illustrations by Hattie Longstreet, of their adventures together for the next few months.

I next looked up the author, and that’s where things got a bit dark. The author’s name is Luigi Barzini (1874-1947) and he was an Italian journalist. Among other assignments, he was embedded in the Japanese army in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. He wrote several non-fiction books, but The Little Match Man appears to be the only fiction he ever published. The English translation came out in 1917.

In the 1920s, Barzini became a Fascist and was one of the 250 signatories to the Manifesto of Fascist Intellectuals in 1925. In the 1930s he joined Mussolini’s government and served on various high-level commissions, culminating with his heading of the official press agency of the Italian Social Republic (the puppet state maintained in Italy after the Germans took over in 1943). After the war, he was charged and convicted for his role in Mussolini’s regime and banned from journalism. He died in poverty in 1947.

His politics also tore apart his family. One of his sons, Ettore, joined the Italian resistance, was captured, and died in a German concentration camp. His namesake, Luigi Barzini Jr., also went into journalism and was a foreign correspondent in Asia, covering the rape of Nanking among other momentous events in Japan’s war in China. Back in Italy in 1940, Barzini Jr. was charged with leaking information to the enemy and disparaging Il Duce, and was confined under house arrest and forbidden to write. The war’s end allowed Barzini Jr. to resume his career even as his father’s was ended, and he went on to become an influential writer in both Italian and English in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a political mover and shaker.

The senior Barzini’s later career may explain why The Little Match Man is so thoroughly forgotten, but it does seem to be a fun little story.

The Pixel Scroll birthday list recently surprised me with the inclusion of Victorian scholar and art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900), someone I never thought had any connection to the science fiction or fantasy worlds. It turns out that he wrote a kind of fairy tale, a short novel called The King of the Golden River, also available as a Librivox audiobook. Here’s the description from Librivox:

When three brothers mortally offend Mr. Southwest Wind, Esquire, their farm is laid waste and their riches lost. Desperate for money, the brothers become goldsmiths and melt down their remaining treasures . . . only to find that the spirit of the King of the Golden River resides with a molded tankard, and knows the secret of the riches of the Golden River.

Sounds downright whimsical for someone remembered as a Very Serious Intellectual in the high Victorian age!

Recent Librivox releases:

  • Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (1858-1924)

    The book follows the journey of five children who discover a mysterious creature (called by them as It) who grants them their wishes. Join in as they ask for the craziest of wishes, which are granted true for a day!

A collection of poetry about ghosts, hauntings and other spooky topics, including poems by Kipling, Longfellow, Yeats, Rosetti and many others.

A Deal with the Devil is a classic tale with a humorous twist. We find that on the night preceeding his 100th birthday Grandpapa, a cantankerous yet loveable sort, has made a deal with the devil, which his granddaughter, in part, will pay.

  • Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl (1919-2013) and C.M. Kornbluth (1923-1958)

A rogue planet, populated by strange machines known as Pyramids, has stolen the Earth from the Solar system, taking it off into interstellar space. The moon has been ‘ignited’ by alien technology to serve as a miniature sun around which both planets orbit. This new sun is rekindled every 5 years, though as the book opens, the rekindling is nearly overdue and there is fear among the populace that it may never happen again.

Pixel Scroll 2/18/19 You’re Saying It Wrong, It’s Pix-EL-ium Scrolli-O-sa

(1) STAR POWER. Over the weekend Scott Edelman recorded a reading by Charlie Jane Anders and Sandra Newman at a Washington D.C. bookstore —

On the afternoon of Saturday, February 16, 2019, Charlie Jane Anders (The City in the Middle of the Night) and Sandra Newman (The Heavens) read at the Union Market branch of the Politics & Prose Bookstore, and then took part in a follow-up Q&A session. Unfortunately, due to the configuration of the seating, I was only able to include Michelle, the ALS interpreter (who consented to being recorded), when attached to the individual readings, and not for the follow-up Q&A. I also did not turn the camera on anyone asking a question, as I did not have their consent.

(2) KNIGHT OF THE RPG. Eurogamer has “The story behind the Oblivion mod Terry Pratchett worked on”, and it’s quite touching.

…Most people know Pratchett as the author of Discworld, the famous fantasy series about a flat planet balanced on the backs of four elephants. However, what many people don’t know is that the knighted author was also a massive fan of video games – so much so that he actually worked on mods for Oblivion, most of which were spearheaded by a Morrowind modder named Emma….

“Honestly, although I knew about Terry’s illness I never thought of him as someone who was ill,” Emma told us. “The things I added to Vilja that were originally for him, I did because I enjoyed and because it felt so natural. It would be totally unfair to say that I was helping him – he was helping and inspiring me all the time, and I think we both had a lot of fun with figuring out new things for Vilja to say and do.”

(3) ARE THESE ON YOUR SHELVES? How many of these have you read?Pulp Archivist Nathan Housley discovered a list of what was required in “A Basic Science-Fiction Library” in 1949. You’d think there being only 17 items, selected by old-time fans and pros, I’d score pretty well. No so — I’ve only read six. And I feel no temptation to remedy the shortfall! Housley begins by telling who contributed to the list —

The editors included Sam Merwin, Jr. of Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories, Paul L. Payne of Planet Stories, and Everett Bleiler of The Checklist of Fantastic Literature and The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1949. John Campbell of Astounding and Raymond Palmer of Amazing were invited but chose not to participate.

The writers included Dr. David H. Keller, P. Schuyler Miller, Theodore Sturgeon, A. E. Van Vogt, Donald Wandrei, and Lewis Padgett–better known as the husband and wife team of Henry Kuttner and Catherine L. Moore.

Rounding out the list were the fans. A. Langley Searles is “best known for the scholarly science fiction fanzine Fantasy Commentator.” Forest Ackerman was the literary agent for many of the authors listed above as well as the father of convention cosplay. And Sam Moskowitz was a noted historian of science fiction fandom and a fervent opponent of the Futurians.

(4) CAPTAIN MARVEL DENIERS BEWARE. At The Mary Sue, Rachel Leishman diagnoses the symptoms: “Men Clearly Fear Women Leading Nerd Films, and … Good”.

And now, we have Captain Marvel. For the first time in ten years, we’re getting a superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe led by a woman, and that means that Twitter is a minefield of men calling Brie Larson “Loudmouth Larson” and claiming that her devotion to equality in the press for the film and the future of her character is what is going to tank the movie (even though it is currently on track to be a box office success).

(5) FROM OUR SPY BEHIND THE PAYWALL. In the February 12 Financial Times, Leo Lewis says that Japanese public broadcaster NHK is broadcasting Tokyo Reborn, a series about the rebuilding of Tokyo that in many ways continues Katushiro Otomo’s great 1988 noir anime Akira, which is set in 2019,  NHK is using Akira as a touchstone (and has hired Otomo as a consultant on the series), because the “Neo Tokyo” Otomo portrays in his film is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics of 2020, an accurate prediction on Otomo’s part.

Akira’s many fans adore the idea that its creator correctly predicted” that Tokyo would host the Olympics in 2020. And the film was central in creating the ‘cool Japan’ brand that continues to promote Japanese pop culture and put its animation on a global stage.  It has even been a catalyst for foreigners (including me) to develop long relationships with Japan.

It is a delicious vindication of Mr Otomo’s work that the film’s influence remains so powerful in a year that once represented the distant future.

(6) ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. “‘Every Day Is A Good Day When You’re Floating’: Anne McClain Talks Life In Space”NPR has the story.

What do you eat in space? How do you sleep in space?

And just what does one do all day long in space?

Children from the Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C., recently had a chance to ask their most burning questions to NASA astronaut Anne McClain.

They are roughly the same age that McClain was when on her first day of preschool she announced that she wanted to become an astronaut.

By the time McClain was about 5 years old, she said she wrote a book about flying to space on the Soyuz vehicle. Now she’s floating around on the International Space Station, showing that sometimes childhood dreams do come true.

“When you are finally in space and you’re finally looking back at Earth and you realize for the first time in your life there’s nothing standing between you and your dream, it’s just so hard to describe the profound impact of that,” McClain, now 39, told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • February 18, 1930 — Planet Pluto discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • February 18, 1977 — First unmanned test flight of space shuttle Enterprise mounted on another aircraft.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 18, 1825 Francis James Child. American scholar, educator, and folklorist, best known today for his collection of English and Scottish ballads now known as the Child Ballads. His collection has been used often in our genre, be Ellen Kushner’s Thomas The Rhymer, taken from Child #37, or Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin off Child #39A, our writers have used his ballads as source material a lot. (Died 1896.)
  • Born February 18, 1929 Len Deighton, 90. Author of possibly the most brilliant alternative novels in which Germany won the Second World War, SS-GB. Itdeals with the occupation of Britain. A BBC One series was broadcast several years back.
  • Born February 18, 1930 Gahan Wilson, 89. Author, cartoonist and illustrator known for his cartoons depicting horror-fantasy situations. Though the world at large might know him for his Playboy illustrations, I’m going to single him out for his brilliant and possibly insane work with Zelazny on A Night in the Lonesome October which is their delightful take on All Hallows’ Eve. Note that ISFDB doesn’t list this work which I find odd. 
  • Born February 18, 1954 John Travolta, 65. Ahhhh, Battlefield Earth. Travolta, a Scientologist, had sought for years to make a film of the novel by Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. I do wonder what he thinks of it now. 

(9) COMICS SECTION.

(10) KEEP ON TREKKIN’. There’s always room for, um, another Star Trek series? (Deadline:‘Star Trek’: Nickelodeon Near Deal For Kids Animated Series From Alex Kurtzman, Hageman Brothers & CBS TV Studios”).

Alex Kurtzman and CBS TV Studios have set the latest extension of the Star Trek TV franchise. Nickelodeon is in negotiations for a Star Trek animated series from Emmy-winning writers Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters, Ninjago), CBS TV Studios and Kurtzman’s studio-based Secret Hideout banner.

Penned by the Hageman brothers, the animated series is targeted at younger audiences. Because of that, it would be the first new Star Trek project outside of CBS All Access, which has an adult focus.

(11) THE NIGHT STUFF. How did I live without this?Archie McPhee offers a Glow-in-the-Dark Rubber Chicken.

Svengoolie can use it inside his coffin

We all agree that Rubber Chickens are hilarious. If you looked at a normal Rubber Chicken, you’d assume that funny things only happen when a source of light is available. What about hilarious night shenanigans or power outage tomfoolery? This 20” soft vinyl Glow-in-the-Dark Rubber Chicken will make you giggle no matter how little light there is. Whether you’re sitting in the dark in your living room pretending to not be home while someone knocks on the door, building a blanket fort or UPSing yourself cross-country in a crate, you’ll be laughing the entire time.

(12) NEXT: WHO WAS THE CHEKHOV OF SCIENCE FICTION? Andrew Porter says everybody missed this one on Jeopardy:

Final Jeopardy: British Authors.

  • Answer: Born in 1866, he has been called “the Shakespeare of Science Fiction.”

All three contestants guessed wrong:

  • Who is Asimov?
  • Who is Verne?
  • Who is Clarke?

Correct question: Who is H.G. Wells?

(13) A CAT EXPLAINS A CLASSIC. At Camestros Felapton, “Timothy the Talking Cat reads ‘Ender’s Game’”. Timothy really gets it, you know?

…So once upon a time there were three human children who lived in a cruel and cynical world. Everybody was fighting each other or fighting the space alien bugs from Starship Troopers. The bugs were really scary and are all like “we were in a really famous science-fiction story”….

(14) 3-DELIGHTFUL. NASA is trying out a 3D printer on the International Space Station as a prelude to using them for long-term missions to the Moon and Mars. Perhaps it makes sense, then, that moviemakers are using them to make movies about space travel (Variety: “BigRep’s 3D Printer Takes ‘First Man’ to the Moon”).

Production designer Nathan Crowley was strolling through the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the shoot for “The Greatest Showman” in fall 2016 when he passed a building with a 3D printer printing a chair.

“The lady inside told me it was a machine from BigRep,” recalls Crowley. “I said, ‘When’s the last time you had a filament jam?’ She said, ‘About a month ago.’ And I was like, ‘OK, I need that machine.’”

Crowley didn’t get to use it for “The Greatest Showman,” but he rented two BigRep One models for his next film, director Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” rounding out an arsenal of 18 3D printers used make everything from knobs and joysticks for the lunar module that puts Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) on the moon to a 14-foot-tall scale model of a Saturn V rocket.

[…] Crowley has been using 3D printers since 2014’s “Interstellar,” directed by frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan. But back then he used them strictly for concept models.

On Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “we did models by hand for the Batmobile, and it would take weeks,” says Crowley. With 3D printers, “it was a game-changer to be able design and output something, have a look at it, change something and do it again and again without having to handmake each design.”

(15) CAT AND MOUSE CLASSIC. “Tom and Jerry at MGM–Music Performed By The John Wilson Orchestra” on YouTube is a suite, arranged by Scott Bradley, of selections from Tom and Jerry cartoons performed by the John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms in 2013.

(16) SMURFS, MR. RICO?!? They even have a few blue laws — “German Town Sees A Smurf Invasion, As Thousands Gather To Break World Record”.

They came covered in blue paint, donning red and white hats, nearly 3,000 in all. Their goal was simple: To break the world record for the largest group of people dressed as Smurfs.

The group Dä Traditionsverein organized the event in Lauchringen, Germany on Saturday near the border with Switzerland. They had strict rules: in order to be counted, participants couldn’t show any non-blue skin. They could dress as Papa Smurf — with his trademark red cap and a white beard — or Smurfette, with blonde hair and a white skirt or dress. Normal smurfs were OK, too — but some characters, like the evil wizard Gargamel, were strictly off limits.

The group posted on Facebook that 2,762 Smurfs showed up.

(17) HOW LOFTY ARE THOSE AMBITIONS? Christian Davenport in the Washington Post has a long piece on efforts to take control of the Moon’s resources.  “The moon, often referred to as the eighth continent, is again the center of a reinvigorated space race that, like any good Hollywood reboot, features a new cast of characters and new story lines.”  The goal this time is to make mining on the moon commercially viable, with emphasis on controlling the moon’s poles, because that’s where the water is and water can be used for fuel. “NASA wants to get to the moon ‘as fast as possible.’ But countries like China and India are racing there, too.”

Yet, unlike the Apollo era, this Space Age is being driven by a third factor: greed. A growing number of corporations are benefiting from new technologies and wealthy backers chasing an unproven dream that a lucrative business can be built on the moon and deep space by extracting the metals and resources on the surface on the moon.

Though the prospect of a self-sustaining lunar-mining economy may be little more than a chimera, the moon is drawing investors and explorers the way the promise of the American West once did. As a result, several ­lunar-prospecting companies have emerged with plans to fly spacecraft to the moon in the coming years.

(18) SOMETHING’S MISSING. WhatCuture would like to remind you about “10 MCU Plot Points Marvel Has Completely Abandoned.”

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, john King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

Spectrum 26 Award Nominations

Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

The jury for Spectrum 26: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art has nominated the top five artworks in eight categories for consideration for either a silver and gold award.

Judges Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole debated the merits of hundreds of pieces of art before finalizing this list on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Flesk Publications offices in Santa Cruz, California.

Established in 1993 by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, the first Spectrum annual appeared in 1994 from Underwood Books; for over a quarter of a century it has attracted participants from around the world and has set the standards for excellence in fantasy and science fiction art. John Fleskes became the Director and Publisher of Spectrum in 2014 with volume 21.

The recipients will be announced at the Spectrum 26 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, March 30, 2019 . The 2019 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.

Here’s a link to the list of the Spectrum 26 Award nominees where you can see pictures of the art.

ADVERTISING CATEGORY

  • Justin Gerard – Lair of the Firebreather
  • Donato Giancola – Reach
  • Valentin Kopetzki – After the Flood
  • Victo Ngai – Earth Species Project
  • Greg Ruth – Annihilation variant

BOOK CATEGORY

  • Jaime Jones – Winter Road
  • Vanessa Lemen – I am the Light
  • Yuko Shimizu – Japanese Tales 1: The Invisible Man
  • Chase Stone – Dragon Lords: Bad Faith
  • Francis Vallejo – Charlie Florida

COMIC CATEGORY

  • Alex Alice – Castle in the Stars: Book 4, page 1
  • Thomas Campi – Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman cover
  • Paul Davidson – Blue Vortex 1
  • Kang Minjung – Kang Hearts Out 1
  • Jeffrey Alan Love – The Thousand Demon Tree

CONCEPT ART CATEGORY

  • Te Hu – Golden Temple Through Time we Converge: End
  • Carlyn Lim – Dwarf
  • Danny Moll – The Banner Saga 3: Juno in the Black Sun
  • Abe Taraky – Submerged Statue of Tyr
  • Zhengyi Wang – Big Hunt

DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY

  • Matthew Corcoran – Vivicus
  • Paul Komoda – SwampThing
  • Patrick Masson – Reflection
  • Mark Newman – Gallevarbe
  • Dug Stanat – Justice

EDITORIAL CATEGORY

  • Chris Buzelli – Structure
  • Qiuxin Mao – The Remains
  • Victo Ngai – Human: Opener
  • Tim O’Brien – Stormy
  • Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY

  • Ed Binkley – Mantis
  • Bastien Lecouffe Deharme – Etrata
  • Jesper Ejsing – Slippery Bogle
  • Tyler Jacobson – Opt
  • John Jude Palencar – The Nights Watch

UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY

  • Julien Delval – The Stranger
  • Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov – A Walk in the Woods
  • Ronan LE FUR – Sent by the Gods
  • Eric Pfeiffer – Racing Season in Empire City
  • Annie Stegg Gerard – The Serpent

This year the ceremony and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will be held in collaboration with Planet Comicon Kansas City (March 29-31), the Midwest’s largest pop-culture convention.

Of Course the Scythe Got Him

By John Hertz:   I’ve been thinking about Steve Sneyd. Maybe you have too.  He died last June (1941-2018).  His name meant the handle of a scythe.

In 2015 the Science Fiction Poetry Association named him a Grand Master. Here’s a short poem.

red mist all round this
far realm, we can no longer
see to add more blood

He called it “A Real Test of Human Resorce”.  I’m reluctant to change his spelling; he was hardly illiterate; consider if he might have meant This may happen if U aren’t there.

You can and you might like to look around for things he wrote.  Maybe you have, some.  I often disagreed with him.  That doesn’t always matter.

Among other expressions he published the fanzine Data Dump, quarterly for a quarter-century.  I was a regular contributor for half its life.  He published five dozen of my poems.

Among things from me that couldn’t fit in Data Dump –  four pages handwritten on both sides of a sheet of A5 paper folded in half (oops, out of room!) – you might like these, so far not appearing elsewhere.

* * *

Besides Toledo, whose claims are old and sound, I am told that since 1998 there has been a Marzipan Museum at Kfar Tavor, i.e. Mt. Tabor, in the Galilee, i.e. north Israel, where almonds grow.  You yourself are an Almondburian.

* * *

To call Will Yeats a cubist
May seem a jolly lark,
But shoot your next shaft better.
This one has missed the mark.
His painting never left a view
Mechanical and stark;
For him the link of heart and eye
Kept hold of skin and bark.

* * *

An Irish friend has explained to me there’s only one bean sidhe (“banshee”).  One, she comments, is quite enough.

* * *

Barbarella is the eponym, and Durand Durand is another char­acter, in Jean-Claude Forest’s Barbarella comics, translated from French by Richard Seaver and published in the Grove Press Evergreen Review (##37-39, 1965-1966) then separately by Grove Press (1966).  In French the final “d” of “Durand Durand” is silent.  Haven’t seen the film, whose images do not suggest any grasp of the original – maybe I’ll let that pun remain.

* * *

The doltish accusation that Poe was against science is sometimes made to rest on his 1829 sonnet

To Science
Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
Philosophy will clip an Angel’s wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air, and gnomèd mine –
Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made
The tender-person’d Lamia melt into a shade.

– an argument which ignores Poe’s exquisite irony, and may earn its place in the Hall of Shame simply by not troubling to look up “Lamia”.  Tender-person’d!  A tender-person’d succubus!  Poe is applauding science, and satirizing those to whom its help at best seems the ghost of folly haunting their sweet dreams (Keats, “Lamia” ll. 376-77, 1820).

* * *

Indeed Austen’s world is alien to us.  So few of us who read her now trouble to look what it is, instead of only seeing our own notions in it, that I tremble at the thought of our meeting off-planet aliens any time soon.

* * *

Any man who seeks a sexbot deserves what he gets.  Courtesans laugh at us.  “Love for sale – old love, new love, every love but true love” (C. Porter, 1930).

* * *

Eliza Butler’s Myth of the Magus (1948; 3rd ed. 1993 pp. 100-101) calls Phoebilla a treacherous woman.  But Domenico Comparetti’s Vergil in the Middle Ages (1872; Benecke tr. 1895, p. 361), discussing Jean d’Outremeuse, Ly Myreur des Histors (14th Cent.), points out that Phoebilla, in love with Virgil (so spelling since we discuss the legendary magician, not the historical poet), made clear she expected marriage, and only after he took advantage of her by enjoying relations while con­tinuing to defer legitimating did she humiliate him with the basket – or, if he was omniscient, put him to the trouble of sending a demon in his semblance.

* * *

We can certainly do call and response if you like.

Ozymandias, King of Kings!

Ozymandias, King of Kings!

Ozymandias owns nothing!

Ozymandias owns nothing!

Ozymandias, great and strong!

Ozymandias, great and strong!

Ozymandias, gone so long!

Ozymandias, gone so long!

Ozymandias was so vain!

Ozymandias was so vain!

Ozymandias’ legs remain!

Ozymandias’ legs remain!

Ozymandias, mighty man!

Ozymandias, mighty man!

Ozymandias, empty sand!

Ozymandias, empty sand!

* * *

Why should poets be useful?
We’re busy being juiceful.
Let the prosy be newsful
And harden their minds to be ruseful.
The sterile may dream us seduceful
And press us back to a cabooseful
Where we’ll play.

The French painters know we’re Toulouseful,
To U.S. folk Dr. Seuss-ful,
But Ogden Nash was the most gooseful
Of his day.

* * *

“Ents & Tech”.  Now there’s an image.

* * *

Once I saw a large graffito

There is only

ONE
ENO

whose tautology so impressed me that I verified by adding below

naturally

although, or perhaps because, I had then neither heard, nor heard of, Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI.

* * *

Of course a preacher fails if he is taken for a free-floating miasma of misdeed.

* * *

What a name for a poet-scientist is Valerie Laws!

* * *

In Vanamonde I’ve like others elsewhere wondered about the reality or existence of fictional characters.  Perhaps few today believe in Thor. Yet in a sense he exists.  O’Brian says to Winston Smith “You do not exist.”

* * *

You very nicely begin [DD 221 p. 2] with the Space Race and end it “Out of Space”.  Indeed one wonders what could be out of space.  Maybe this is like Hui Neng’s “What was your face before you were born?”

Pixel Scroll 2/17/19 May The Pixels Be Always In Your Favor

(1) GRRM BOUND FOR BELFAST. TitanCon EuroCon 2019 has announced their first Guest of Honour, George R. R. Martin.

Science fiction, fantasy and horror writer George R.R. Martin began his SFF career in comics, writing letters to the Stan Lee-written Fantastic Four and Avengers in the mid-1960s, and published his first novel in 1977. A multiple winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, Martin was already critically acclaimed for his novels Fevre Dream, Dying of the Light and Tuf Voyaging, and his work on the Wild Cards superhero anthology series, when released his game-changing fantasy novel A Game of Thrones in 1996….

George was instrumental in TitanCon’s creation, as you can read about in our TitanCon History page, and appeared at our first pre-con Moot. So it is only fitting that he returns to Belfast to see our take on EuroCon!

TitanCon has announced two other participants as well —

We are also proud to present our, for the first time ever, Toastmutant!

Pat Cadigan and Peadar Ó Guilín have agreed to achieve some sort of symbiosis and appear as our Toastmutant – as if there was ever any doubt that we wanted, nay needed, them both? We hope it wont be too messy! We know they are going to be wonderful hosts, and Pat will turn the party out, whilst minding Peadar and helping him curb his cannibalistic tendencies.

(2) OOPS! ChiZine Publications suffered a little bit of a disaster this weekend at Boskone:

Brett and Sandra are at Boskone 56 right now. Our entire stock of books was mistakenly put out on the freebie table.

If you grabbed a book from or see someone with a CZP, CHITEEN, or CHIGRAPHIC book, please tell them to return them to us at our dealer’s table, location A5. Or you can just come and pay for it! We are reasonably priced!

They later posted some good news:

We are quite overcome. Thank you to all the fans, readers and everyone at Boskone 56… A bunch of our missing books (that were mistakenly put out on the freebie table) were returned! We have recovered almost a full third. So our dealer’s table no longer looks so sparse. Come by and see our wares!

(3) CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY AWARDS. Given February 16, the 2019 Cinema Audio Society Award winners were light on sff. The only genre winner was:

MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED
Isle of Dogs
Original Dialogue Mixer: Darrin Moore
Re-recording Mixer: Christopher Scarabosio
Re-recording Mixer: Wayne Lemmer
Scoring Mixer: Xavier Forcioli
Scoring Mixer: Simon Rhodes
Foley Mixer: Peter Persaud, CAS

(4) BLACK PANTHER. Kenneth Turan, the LA Times’ revered film critic, presents his case: “Oscars: Why ‘Black Panther’ deserves to win best picture”.

…Nowhere is it written, though voters sometimes act as if it is, that the Oscars are an elitist award for which mass-appeal movies need not apply. In a sane world, intelligently satisfying an enormous audience should be one of the things the Oscars are all about.

The key word there is “intelligently,” and if you’ve watched more than your share of superhero movies, you know that quality is often in short supply in a genre dominated by business-as-usual boilerplate.

Coogler (who cowrote with Joe Robert Cole) ensured that “Black Panther” would be an exception, in part by retaining his core creative team of collaborators, including composer Ludwig Goransson and production designer Hannah Beachler (both Oscar-nominated) as well as editor Michael P. Shawver and cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

Adding costume designer Ruth E. Carter (also nominated, for the third time in a distinguished career) was icing on the cake….

(5) COMPETING MARVELS. Adam Lance Garcia, in “The Twisted Story of How We Wound Up With Two Captain Marvel Movies (And Why One is Named SHAZAM!)” on Yahoo! Entertainment, discusses the backstory of how C.C. Beck and Bill Parker created Captain Marvel for Fawcett Comics in 1940, how National Comics sued Fawcett claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, how Fawcett killed Captain Marvel as a result of the lawsuit, and how Marvel resurrected the name for a different character in the late 1960s, forcing DC to rename the character Shazam! when they revived it in 1972.

First we need to rewind to 1938, when Superman created the superhero genre overnight, and comic book publishers, eager to get into the burgeoning superhero market, began creating countless flash-in-the-pan heroes in an attempt to recapture the magic of Superman.

Heroes such as Major Victory, Stardust the Super Wizard and Air-Male and Stampy — yes, these are all real — would only last a few issues before being tossed into the dustbin of comics history.

But in 1939, writer Bill Parker and artist C.C. Beck created a hero that, for a time, would become the most popular superhero in the world.

His name? Captain Marvel….

(6) TRAILER SPOOF. Not only does this Captain have a split personality, she can’t remember one of them…

In this animated parody of the Captain Marvel movie trailer, the titular Capitano gets her mission to eliminate Skrulls confused with her personal hatred of senior citizens, Talos reveals what a true megastar he is and Nick Fury refuses to throw the first cat-punch. Let’s war party!

(7) IDEAS. Andrew Liptak, in the February 17 edition of Wordplay, tells what he’s looking for at conventions:

…Cons can sometimes be frustrating (your milage will vary from con to con), but I’ve been finding these sorts of events excellent for networking within the SF/F field, but not so much for getting anything productive out of them when it comes to the panels and programming. My standing advice for authors — if you’re looking for inspiration / advice / information that will be useful to you as a writer — is to hit up industry conventions and conferences instead. My trip to the West Point Modern War Institute’s conference last fall generated more useful ideas and talking points than I’ve gotten at places like Boskone or ReaderCon. I did get one solid idea for a story out of one panel, and I’m going to try and write that up this week… 

(8) EXTENDED DOOM. Here’s a long-version trailer for DC’s Doom Patrol, which DCUniverse began airing on February 15.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 17, 1912 Andre Norton. She penned well over a dozen series, but her major series was Witch World which began rather appropriately with Witch World in 1963. The first six novels in that series were Ace Books paperback originals published in the Sixties. (Died 2005.)
  • Born February 17, 1930 Ruth Rendell. whose full name of Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (née Grasemann) is quite wonderful. I know her only as an English author of very superb thrillers and somewhat disturbing murder mysteries but ISFDB lists her as doing horror as well to my surprise in the form as three novels, to wit The Killing DollThe Tree of Hands and The Bridesmaid, plus a not inconsiderable amount of short fiction that is fantasy no doubt. She was also the editor of A Warning to the Curious: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James. (Died 2015.)
  • Born February 17, 1939 Kathy Keeton. Founder and publisher of Omni. It was founded by her and her partner and future husband Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse. It would publish a number of stories that have become genre classics, such as Card’s “Unaccompanied Sonata”, Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” “and “Johnny Mnemonic” and George R. R. Martin’s “Sandkings” to name a few of the stories that appeared there. (Died 1997.)
  • Born February 17, 1947 Bruce Gillespie, 72. He’s one of the major Australian SF fans and is best known for his long-running fanzine SF Commentary. Over the years, he’s published The Metaphysical ReviewSteam Engine Time and is currently putting out Treasure. He was fan guest of honour at Aussiecon 3, the 57th Worldcon held in Melbourne in 1999.
  • Born February 17, 1954 Don Coscarelli, 65. A film director, producer, and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep, the latter based a novella by Joe R. Lansdale whom I’ve met and who is a really nice person.
  • Born February 17 1974, — Jerry O’Connell, 45. Quinn Mallory on Sliders, a series whose behind the broadcast politics is too tangled to detail here. His first SF role was on Mission to Mars as Phil Ohlmyer with the SF dark comedy Space Space Station 76 with him as Steve being his next role. He’s done a lot of of DCU voice work, Captain Marvel in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Clark Kent / Superman in Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Justice League: Throne of AtlantisJustice League Dark, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen where he also plays Cyborg Superman. The latter film is kickass excellent. 
  • Born February 17, 1979 Dominic Purcell, 40. Best known as Mick Rory / Heat Wave in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Dracula from Blade: Trinity. He was lead as Tim Manfrey in Primeval where I’m assuming the giant croc ate him. Was that a spoiler? Oh well. Blood Creek, previously known as Creek and Town Creek — marketing woes? — has him as Victor Alan Marshall mixing with the occult and Nazis. Lastly I’ve got him on Beastmaster as Kelb in a recurring role.

(10) I’M SORRY, I’LL READ THAT AGAIN. “Maine farm’s bid to save ‘Game of Thrones’ goats imperiled by crackdown on semen” was a headline in the Bangor Daily News this week. The story involves efforts to sustain an endangered breed of goats. One of them was eaten by a dragon on Game of Thrones, but that was a CGI dragon and not really why they’re endangered….

Much of the semen comes from goats in Johanna Thorvaldsdottir’s flock on her farm, Haafell, in Borgarnes, Iceland. Thorvaldsdottir owns the world’s largest flock of Icelandic goats, with 208 in total. Her goats were the lucky flock featured in the 2014 “Game of Thrones” episode.

(11) HAVE AN APPLE, DEARIE? Paste Magazine delights readers with news that “Colleen Doran Adapts Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples for Dark Horse Comics”.

Today, we bring Gaiman fans even more glad tidings: “Snow, Glass, Apples”, Gaiman’s chilling retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, will join Dark Horse’s growing stable of Gaiman adaptations courtesy of The Sandman contributor Colleen Doran, who previously adapted and illustrated Gaiman’s Troll Bridge.

In typically topsy-turvy Gaiman fashion, Snow, Glass, Apples portrays a not-so-evil queen desperately trying to stop her wicked step-daughter’s “happily” ever after that was never supposed to be. Stopping ever after, however, is no small task…

(12) PLUS CA CHANGE. Despite tons of changes going on, Forbes contributor Mark Hughes thinks the DC Extended Universe is going great (“Why The Future Of DCEU Movies Looks Brighter Than Ever”). The article is long enough to strain the attention span of even those who haven’t been Twitterized, but maintains an almost uniformly positive view throughout. Some of the additions and changes below to the DC movie universe are recent and some date back a few months, but the stuff addressed in Hughes’ article includes:

  • An Aquaman spinoff, The Trench, has been announced
  • The Aquaman sequel has signed a screenwriter
  • Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed from the original mooted date, leaving only Shazam! and Joker on the 2019 slate for the DCEU
  • The Flash is still in preproduction with no start date announced
  • James Gunn—after being booted from working on the Marvel Cinematic Universe—has been hired in the DCEU
  • The next Suicide Squad movie will be a “soft reboot” rather than a sequel and will drop Harley Quinn
  • There seems to be no future for the Jared Leto version of Joker (from Suicide Squad) so don’t expect Leto to share the screen with Margot Robbie (at least in the DCEU)
  • Superman probably will not take to the screen for the next few years; a Supergirl movie is up next in that corner of the DCEU—circa 2021
  • After losing one writer-director-actor (Ben Affleck), The Batman movie has a writer-director (Matt Reeves) on board, but the script is still being polished
  • Rumors are ongoing about New Gods and Green Lantern Corps projects, but nothing is firm on either (especially the latter)
  • Tons of other potential projects are mentioned, but they’re even more speculative

(13) MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. [Item by Mike Kennedy.]NPR: “Ph.D. Student Breaks Down Electron Physics Into A Swinging Musical” (The title is slightly misleading in that it’s about formation of Cooper pairs, superconductivity, and even delves a little into quantum computing).

It took [PhD candidate] Senarath Yapa six weeks to choreograph and write the songs for “Superconductivity: The Musical!” — a three-act swing dance depicting the social lives of electrons. The video is based on his master’s thesis, which he completed while pursuing his degree at the University of Victoria in Canada.

[…] “Superconductivity relies on lone electrons pairing up when cooled below a certain temperature,” Senarath Yapa told Science. “Once I began to think of electrons as unsociable people who suddenly become joyful once paired up, imagining them as dancers was a no-brainer!”

(14) BOOK FUNNIES. This kind of listicle can be tedious; or it can illuminate basic truths. Well, OK, not basic, but a lot of truths (“21 A+ Jokes About Books That Will Make You Snort-Laugh”). Many in Buzzfeed’s collection of tweets about books relate to genre works; many others are simply relatable.

(15) PHONE HOME. ScienceAlert.com says “An Asteroid Will Block Our Brightest Star on Monday, And Astronomers Need Your Help”.

An occultation of Sirius (by an asteroid named Jürgenstock) will be observable in parts of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean Monday 18 February and some astronomers are asking for your help. (Note the this projected path of the occultation is a major shift from that reported at the time the ScienceAlert article was written. That earlier prediction crossed a large swath of North America.)

Full instructions for how to help can be found in a post in this post by Bill Merline and David Dunham.

(16) IS THIS COOL, OR WHAT? Put me down for “What?” This idea definitely fits my notion of “counter-intutive” — “Elon Musk Says SpaceX Is Developing a Complex ‘Bleeding’ Heavy-Metal Rocket Ship”.

The spaceship is designed to be refueled in low-Earth orbit in order to propel 100 passengers and more than 100 tons of cargo at a time to Mars.

But the success or failure of the launch system – and by extension Musk’s plan to back up the human race – may boil down to the viability of two major and recent design changes, which Musk has described as “radical” and “delightfully counterintuitive.”

One change involves building the spaceship from stainless-steel alloysinstead of carbon-fibre composites.

But the most surprising shift, according to aerospace-industry experts, is the way Starship will try to keep itself from burning up in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth.

Instead of relying on of thousands of heavy ceramic tiles to shield Starship from heat, as NASA did with its space shuttle, Musk says the spaceship will “bleed” rocket fuel through tiny pores to cool itself down.

In theory, putting liquid between Starship’s steel skin and the scorching-hot plasma generated while it plows through atmospheric gases would prevent the ship’s destruction

(17) HELP ME OBI-WAN SHOE-NOBI. Time to upgrade your kicks? Maybe this is what you’re looking for (DorkSideOfTheForce: “Inkkas Star Wars New Rebel Footwear Collection is now available”). They’re available in a wide range of unisex sizes, but apparently not in various widths. Most styles are slip ons, but there are also lace ups including some high tops.

These are the shoes you are looking for. The Inkkas new Star Wars Rebel Collection has arrived with characters such as Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca.

Available for both men and women the new Star Wars Rebel Collection by Inkkas is here! Take your pick from boots, to high tops, and slip-on shoes representing both the Rebellion and The Empire….

Who run the world? Girls. Who run the universe? Also, girls. Obviously. The Future is FEMALE, y’all, and these tough and brilliant characters are all the reminder that we need to stand up and fight for what matters.

*bleep bloop bleep bloop* We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, R2-D2! That heroic droid always knows exactly what to say. In case you need some translation help: this shoe features a clean and striking representation of one of our favorite characters on a sleek, slim slip on shoe.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Sophie Jones, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, JJ Chip Hitchcock, Mlex, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

Tiptree Fellowships Awarded to Cruz and Hurtado

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council has selected two new Tiptree Fellows: Vida Cruz and Ana Hurtado.

For 27 years, the Tiptree Award has celebrated works of speculative fiction that imagine new futures by exploring and expanding the understanding of gender roles. But celebrating finished works is not enough. We also need to encourage those who are striving to complete works, to imagine futures that might have been unimaginable when the Tiptree Award began.

That’s where the Tiptree Fellowship Program comes in. Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship Program seeks out new voices in the field, particularly from communities that have been historically underrepresented in science fiction and fantasy and by those who work in media other than traditional fiction.  


Vida Cruz

Vida Cruz, a Clarion graduate and the first Filipina to win first place in the Writers of the Future contest, is working to reclaim the many faces of feminism and resistance in the Philippines with an ongoing series of alternate-history stories set in a present-day Philippines inhabited by Filipinos and local mythological creatures. Each story is written as a feature article by a sharp-eyed Filipina journalist who seeks to heal and galvanize her society.


Ana Hurtado

Ana Hurtado writes magical realism. Her work reflects a blending of Andalusian traditions, indigenous cosmovision, and African mythology, all shaped by her Venezuelan origin and home in Ecuador. In her application for the Tiptree Fellowship, Hurtado noted the importance of ghosts in her young adult novel-in-progress—gender is explored in the ‘real’ world and ‘ghost’ world; the fluidity of sexuality becomes clear when these two worlds collide.

Hurtado’s cast of ghosts makes it possible to focus on the views of ancestors. “Ancestors, like ghosts, never leave us,” she writes. “They are forever between us and with us, sharing their ancestral knowledge and guessing our future.”


The Fellowship Committee also awarded honorable mentions to Eleni Bourantani, Theresa Hottel, Lulu Kadhim, Zora Mai Quynh, and Courtney Young.

Each Fellow receives $500 to help in their efforts. The work produced as a result of this support will be recognized and promoted by the Tiptree Award.

Over time, the Fellowship program will create a network of Fellows who can build connections, provide mutual support, and find opportunities for collaboration. This effort will complement the ongoing work of the Award — that is, the celebration of speculative fiction that expands and explores gender roles in thought-provoking, imaginative, and occasionally infuriating ways.

The members of the 2018 selection committee for the Tiptree Fellowships were the 2017 Tiptree Fellows, H. Pueyo and Ineke Chen-Meyer, past Tiptree honoree Julie Phillips, and Motherboard member Gretchen Treu. For more on the work of the latest Tiptree Fellows (and on the work of past fellows), visit the Tiptree website.

[Based on a press release.]