Whether or not you vote, enjoy the sound clips of the nominees here.
The ballot is here.
The last full day to vote if you are not attending OVFF is
October 21. Balloting will re-open on the evening of Friday, October 25 during
and immediately after the Pegasus Nominees Concert, for those who are attending
OVFF and wish to submit their ballot at the con.
From the large number of stories that series editor John Joseph
Adams screened for this year’s collection, he picked the 80 best pieces to
submit to editor Carmen Maria Machado for a blind reading, so that the prestige
of the venues or bylines were not a factor. (The ones Adams designated as notable are shown in a table at the
link). Machado then selected 20 for publication (ten science fiction, ten
fantasy, highlighted in green on the table.)
The book will be published on October 1, with a cover by Galen Dara.
The recipients of the Prix Rosny Aîné for French science fiction were revealed on August 24 at the French national SF convention at l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The winners were decided by a vote of the members.
MEETUP ISSUE. Wanda
Kurtcu said on
Facebook there are two people who should not have attended the meetup for PoC of African
descent at Dublin 2019:
I had the opportunity to co-facilitate an POC of African Descent meetup at WorldCon. The description of the meetup was that it was ONLY for POC of African Descent. NOTE the PEOPLE OF COLOR (POC) requirement for this meeting.
There were two white men already in the room when I arrived. At no point did they request to be allowed to be part of our meeting. One said he was the editor of a spec sci-fi magazine and the other said he was there because his adopted son was Ethiopian and he wanted to see what the meetup was about. His son was not at WorldCon.
Neither I nor my co-facilitator asked them to leave because I didn’t want to cause any problems. In fact, I waited a few days to write this post to make sure I was coming from a place of mindfulness and not anger….
Director Abrams said of adding Leia into the film: “Of course, we can’t talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher. And the character of Leia is really in a way the heart of this story. We could not tell the end of these 9 films without Leia. And we realized that we had footage from episode 7 that we realized we could use in a new way. So Carrie, as Leia, gets to be in the film.”
Continued Abrams: “But the crazy part is we started to work on this movie and I wasn’t supposed to be directing this movie [as Colin Trevorrow was originally tapped as director]. Then we lost Carrie. And I was hired on this film and began working. And I remember this thing that I had read that I actually thought I was mistaken. I looked in her last book, The Princess Diarist, and she had written, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that that could only mean one thing for me. We couldn’t be more excited to have you see her in her final performance as Leia.”
I suppose you could say that it started with the storm.
I hadn’t seen one like it in 30 years. Not since I moved to Tkaronto, in the Northern Indigenous Zone of Turtle Island—what settler-colonialists still insisted on calling North America. I’d forgotten its raw power: angry thunderclouds that blot out the sun, taking you from noon to evening in an instant, then the water that comes down like fury—like the sky itself wants to hurt you.
Immigrants know what is like to deal with restless ghosts from the past. Some of us are haunted for the rest of our lives by the inability to have closure. But when the opportunity presents itself to face our demons, it’s never like what we imagined in our heads.
Chinelo Onwualu’s short story “What the Dead Man Said” speaks to and delves deeper than that universal theme. The reader enters a futuristic society suffering from climate change–induced disaster and migration, a place where human bodies of those once enslaved are treated as a commodity and where unhealed trauma lies beneath the surface….
(6) JOURNALING ADVISED. Fran Wilde ran a “Creativity &
Journaling” online today. Cat Rambo tweeted some notes. A portion of the thread
The hotel charges known as resort fees are again under scrutiny — this time, from state attorneys general.
Travelers loathe the mandatory — and consumer watchdogs say, confusing — fees, which vary by location and by the services they purport to cover. Some hotels charge the fees for Wi-Fi and gym access, while others may use them to cover in-room safes, newspapers or bottled water — whether guests use them or not.
The attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska filed separate but similar lawsuits this summer against two big hotel chains, accusing them of deceiving travelers by failing to include the resort fees in their published room rates, making it hard for consumers to compare rates when booking online. The suits allege that the hotels’ “deceptive and misleading” pricing practices violate consumer protection laws.
The suits, brought against the Marriott and Hilton chains, follow an investigation of hotel industry pricing practices by the attorneys general in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska.
Travelers searching for lodging, whether on hotel websites or on separate travel websites, typically are not made aware of the resort fees until after they have clicked past the initial search results page and have started booking, according to a complaint filed in July against Marriott International by the attorney general in Washington….
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.
August 24, 1966 — Fantastic Voyage with Raquel Welch opened in theatres. It was based on a story by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby. Bixby was a script writer for Star Trek writing four episodes: “Mirror, Mirror”, “Day of the Dove”, “Requiem for Methuselah”, and “By Any Other Name”.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born August 24, 1896 — Stanton Arthur Coblentz. A very prolific genre writer whose first published genre work was The Sunken World, a satire about Atlantis, serialized in Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories Quarterly starting in July, 1928. Scattered tales by him are available in digital form from iBooks and Kindle but it looks no one has actually systematically digitized him yet. (Died 1982.)
Born August 24, 1899 — Gaylord Du Bois. He was a writer of comic book stories and comic strips, as well as Big Little Books. He wrote Tarzan for Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics from the Forties to early Seventies.) He was one of the writers for Space Family Robinson which was the basis for the Lost in Space series. (Died 1993.)
Born August 24, 1915 — James Tiptree Jr. One of our most brilliant short story writers ever. She only wrote two novels, Up the Walls of the World and Brightness Falls from the Air but they too are worth reading even if critics weren’t pleased by them. (Died 1987.)
Born August 24, 1932 — William M. Sheppard. I remember him best as Blank Reg on Max Headroom but I see he has a long history in genre with appearances in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (as a Klingon prison warden), The Prestige, Mysterious Island (in which he played Captain Nemo), Needful Things, Elvira, Mistress of The Darkness, The Doctor and the Devils, Transformers and Star Trek (in an uncredited role as Vulcan Science Minister). Series wise, he’s shown up, on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, Babylon 5, The Legend of King Arthur, Next Gen, seaQuest DSV, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Voyager and The Librarians. And yes, Doctor Who. He was Old Canton Everett Delaware III in “The Impossible Astronaut” story which featured the Eleventh Doctor. (Died 2019.)
Born August 24, 1934 — Kenny Baker. Certainly his portrayal of R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise is what he’s best known for but he’s also been in Circus of Horrors, Wombling Free, Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader series, The Elephant Man, Sleeping Beauty, Time Bandits, Willow, Flash Gordon and Labyrinth. Personally, I think his best role was as Fidgit in Time Bandits. (Died 2016.)
Born August 24, 1951 — Orson Scott Card, 68. Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win the two top genre Awards in consecutive years. Huh. I think the only thing I’ve read by him is Ender’s Game. So anyone here read his more recent works?
Born August 24, 1951 — Tony Amendola, 68. Prolly best known or being the Jaffa master Bra’tac on Stargate SG-1. He’s also had recurring roles as Edouard Kagame of Liber8 on Continuum and on Once Upon a Time as Pinocchio’s creator, Geppetto. His list of one-off genre appearances is extensive and includes Angel, Charmed, Lois & Clark,Space: Above and Beyond, the Crusade spin-off of Babylon 5, X Files, Voyager, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Alias, She-Wolf of London and Kindred: The Embraced. He’s also been a voice actor in gaming with roles in such games as World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft: Legion and Workd of Final Fantasy.
Born August 24, 1957 — Stephen Fry, 62. He’s Gordon Deitrich in V for Vendetta, and he’s the Master of Lakedown in The Hobbit franchise. His best role is as Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And he’s the narrator for all seven of the Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings
Born August 24, 1958 — Lisa A. Barnett. Wife of Melissa Scott. All of her works were for-authored with her: The Armor of Light, Point of Hopes: A Novel of Astreiant and Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant. They wrote one short story, “The Carmen Miranda Gambit”. (Died 2006.)
Born August 24, 1972 — Ava DuVernay, 47. Director of A Wrinkle in Time. She will be directing a New Gods film based upon the characters that Jack Kirby created. She and Tom King, who had the writing for recent Mister Miracle series (one of the New Gods), will co-write the film.
Born August 24, 1976 — Alex O’Loughlin, 43. I discover the oddest things in doing these Birthdays. Did you know that an obscure Marvel character named Man Thing got used for a horror film of that name? This Australian actor who is much better as the lead for the retooled Hawaii Five-0 was in it. He’s was also in horror films Feed and The Invisible, both Australian, and The American Moonlight series where he’s a vampire PI named Mick St. John. It lasted sixteen episodes.
(11) LATE BLOOMER. Like PJ Evans said after reading this, “It’s
awfully dusty in here, all of a sudden.” (Thanks to Soon Lee for leaving the
link in comments). Thanks to Soon Lee for leaving the
link in comments.
My grandmother passed away. Her funerals were today, but here I’d like to talk about the most important thing I couldn’t spend too much time on in her eulogy: her love for Dungeons & Dragons. #DnD
She started very late, at 75, only a little over a year ago. One day I simply asked her if she’d like to try, and, like always when presented with something new, she said “Of course!”. So we grabbed my PHB and built up a character together.
My grandmother chose to be a forest gnome because they seemed the most happy of the races and she really liked the fact that she could talk to small animals. She went with druid just to double down on the animal-friendship theme.
(Also when we went through the character traits, I asked her: “Do you want to be a boy or a girl?”, and she answered right away “I’ve been a girl my whole life, it’d be fun to try being a boy for once”.)
So, we’re making her character sheet, rolling her stats (she gets a 17 and puts it in WIS) and chosing her first spells, and I ask her if she has a name in mind. “I don’t know, I’ll find one by tomorrow”.
That night, she does something that even I never expected: she goes on the Internet and reads every piece of lore she can find about gnomes. She barely knew how to Google, and yet here she was, browsing Wikipedia articles and D&D fansites….
(12) SURVIVING AS A WRITER. N.K. Jemisin argues against the
attitude that writers with day jobs just need to tough it out. Thread starts here.
NASA is examining a claim that an astronaut improperly accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, The New York Times reported Friday — potentially the first criminal allegation from space.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain told investigators she had accessed the bank account of her spouse while on a six-month mission aboard the ISS in preparation for her role in NASA’s anticipated first all-female spacewalk, the Times reported.
McClain’s spouse, former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden, brought a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that McClain had committed identity theft, despite not seeing any indication of moved or spent funds.
Worden’s parents then brought another complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, alleging that McClain had improperly accessed Worden’s private financial records and conducted a “highly calculated and manipulative campaign” to gain custody of Worden’s son.
McClain’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told the Times that “she strenuously denies that she did anything improper” and “is totally cooperating.”
When the crewmembers of the starship Enterprise pull into orbit around a new planet, one of the first things they do is scan for life-forms. Here in the real world, researchers have long been trying to figure out how to unambiguously detect signs of life on distant exoplanets.
They are now one step closer to this goal, thanks to a new remote-sensing technique that relies on a quirk of biochemistry causing light to spiral in a particular direction and produce a fairly unmistakable signal. The method, described in a recent paper published in the journal Astrobiology, could be used aboard space-based observatories and help scientists learn if the universe contains living beings like ourselves.
In recent years, remote-life detection has become a topic of immense interest as astronomers have begun to capture light from planets orbiting other stars, which can be analyzed to determine what kind of chemicals those worlds contain. Researchers would like to figure out some indicator that could definitively tell them whether or not they are looking at a living biosphere.
This week’s books and more, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles, and this week is festooned with not-obscure writers and their books which have fallen mostly out of favor, or, even more often, been lost in the shuffle of their prolific legacy…i
Patricia Abbott: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
Stacy Alesi: The A List: Fiction Reviews: 1983-2013
Brad Bigelow: No Goodness in the Worm by Gay Taylor
Les Blatt: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie; The Case of the Careless Kitten by Erle Stanley Gardner
Elgin Bleecker: The Case of the Beautiful Beggar by Erle Stanley Gardner
Brian Busby: The Squeaking Wheel by John Mercer
Rachel S. Cordasco: from 13 French Science Fiction Stories, edited and translated by Damon Knight, stories by Catherine Cliff, Natalie Henneberg, Suzanne Malaval
Martin Edwards: Midsummer Murder by Clifford Whitting
Peter Enfantino: Atlas (proto-Marvel) horror comics, August 1952
Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC war comics, July 1975
Barry Ergang: The Last Best Hope by “Ed McBain” (Evan Hunter)
Will Errickson: Unholy Trinity by Ray Russell
José Ignacio Escribano: “Ibn-Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth” by Jorge Luis Borges (variously translated from “Abenjacán el Bojarí, muerto en su laberinto”), Sur, August 1951
Curtis Evans: recommendations to the Library of America
Olman Feelyus: Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
Paul Fraser: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1954, edited by “Anthony Boucher” (William White)
John Grant: Bad Debts by Peter Temple; The Lazarus Curse by Tessa Harris; When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey
Aubrey Hamilton: Most Cunning Workmen by Roy (John Royston) Lewis; Bad to the Bones by Rett MacPherson
Bev Hankins: Family Affair by Ione Sandberg Shriber
Rich Horton: Stories of Brian W. Aldiss; stories of Rachel Pollack; The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones; stories of Greg Egan; stories of Lucius Shepard; The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury; The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer; Christopher Priest novels
Jerry House: “The Death Chair” by L. T. (Elizabeth Thomasina) Meade and Robert Eustace, The Strand Magazine, July 1899, edited by Herbert Smith
Sally Fitzgerald: “The Train” by Flannery O’Connor, Sewanee Review, April 1948, edited by Alan Tate
Kate Jackson: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers; Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
Tracy K: City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin; Behind That Curtain by Earl Derr Biggers
Colman Keane: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg
George Kelley: The Case of the Borrowed Brunette by Earl Stanley Gardner
Joe Kenney: The Anderson Tapes by Lawrence Sanders; Cult of the Damned by “Spike Andrews” (Duane Schemerhorn)
Rob Kitchin: Black Hornet by James Sallis
B. V. Lawson: The FBI: A Centennial History 1908-2008, Anonymous (produced by the US Dept. of Justice)
Evan Lewis: Hombre by Elmore Leonard
Steve Lewis: “The Spy Who Came to the Brink” by Edward D. Hoch, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, December 1965, edited by Frederic Dannay; “The Theft from the Onyx Pool”, EQMM, June 1967; stories from Forbidden River by Fletcher Nebel; The Detective and the Chinese High-Fin by Michael Craven
J. F. Norris: Secret Sceptre by Francis Gerard
Matt Paust: Hollywood by Charles Bukowski
James Reasoner: Love Addict by “Don Elliott” (Robert Silverberg)
Richard Robinson: Have Space Suit–Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
Sandra Ruttan: A Thousand Bones by P. J. Parrish
Gerard Saylor: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Doreen Sheridan: The Suspect by L. R. Wright
Steven H Silver: “giANTS” by Edward Bryant, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1979, edited by Stanley Schmidt
Kerrie Smith: Head in the Sand by Damien Boyd
Dan Stumpf: The Third Man by Graham Greene; Leonardo’s Bicycle by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
“TomCat”: Terror Tower by Gerald Verner
David Vineyard: Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Disney will officially enter the streaming wars in the fall when it launches its direct-to-consumer platform, Disney+, in November.
The platform, in the works since August 2017 when it was announced during an earnings call by Disney CEO Bob Iger, saw the media behemoth begin to pull its films from Netflix in a bid to use fare like Marvel features to incentivize potential subscribers to the service.
Make no mistake, Disney+ is the company’s biggest bet yet. The service — designed as a competitor to Netflix with a monthly price of $6.99 — will be a home to Disney’s massive animated feature library as well as assets from Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and Marvel, including new scripted offerings from the latter two companies.
Disney+ will be a separate service from its majority stake in Hulu and sports-themed ESPN+. While viewers will have to pay for each of the three services, they will all exist on the same platform — meaning subscribers can use the same password and credit card for each and all….
[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, John
A Arkansawyer, Martin Morse Wooster, Contrarius, Karl-Johan Norén, Mike
Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File
770 contributing editor of the day Joe H.]
A statue of Ray Bradbury astride a rocket ship was unveiled on Thursday,
the author’s 99th birthday, outside the Waukegan Public Library in his
hometown. Zachary Oxman’s creation
“Fantastical Traveler” was the culmination of a project begun in 2015.
Chaired by Richard Lee, retired executive director of Waukegan Public Library, the Ray Bradbury Statue Committee set out to commemorate Ray Bradbury’s legacy in his hometown of Waukegan, Illinois. The $125,000 project was primarily financed through donations from all over the world. An honorary member of the Committee, Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, told the crowd at the dedication:
Bradbury, who received an Academy Award, two Emmy award and a Pulitzer Prize but never attended college, struggled during his years at Central School, said Jonathan Eller, the director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University -Purdue University Indianapolis.
“He was occasionally banished to the hallway outside of his classrooms in Waukegan Central School, where the principal would fix him in her gaze and say, ‘When are you going to learn to keep your mouth shut?’” Eller said.
His “secret source of early learning and his great passion for literature” instead came from the Waukegan Public Library, Eller said.
Sculptor Oxman’s proposal for the Ray Bradbury Memorial Statue was selected in August 2016 from three finalists. The artist also spoke at the ceremony:
Oxman said his work celebrates “a literary icon and a beloved Waukeganite who gifted us his ever expanding universe of imagination, intellect and optimism for our future,”
The statue tells the story of a man “beaming with unbridled imagination, curiosity and surprise,” Oxman said Thursday evening at the dedication. It shows a “seasoned Bradbury” astride a vintage-style rocket ship with his “legs blissfully outstretched to the wind.”
“We see a grown man on the outside yet a curious boy on the in,” Oxman said. “As a writer, Ray loved metaphors, and this rocket is the personification of the scores of novels young Ray devoured at the Waukegan library that propelled him to uncharted worlds.
“The cogs and gears turn, interlock and harmonize, the endless churning of a vibrant and curious mind. Enraptured in the glory of the moment, Bradbury sends to the cosmos with pages fanning in the wind, beckoning us to explore, imagine, write and tell stories yet untold.”
…Lucy A. Snyder’s a seven-time Bram Stoker Award finalist and a five-time winner, including for her first novel Spellbent in 2009, and most recently for her collection While the Black Stars Burn in 2016. She has published more than 80 short stories in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, and more. Her nonfiction book Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide. was published in 2014. She was a Bram Stoker Award nominee at this year’s StokerCon for her collection Garden of Eldritch Delights.
We took off for lunch one afternoon to Punjab Cafe, which has been operating in Quincy since 2000, and is by all accounts the best Indian restaurant in the area. They had a tasty looking buffet option available, but we ordered a la carte instead, because a buffet is definitely not the way you want to go when you’re trying to maintain the flow of a conversation and are both wired to a recorder.
We discussed how Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time made her want to become a writer, the rare bad advice she got from one of her Clarion instructors, the way Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote taught her about consensual truth, how she learned to embrace her uneasy relationship with horror, the time Tim Powers said of one of her early stories that “this is an example of everything that’s wrong with modern science fiction,” why if you want to write flash fiction you should learn to write poetry, what you should consider if you’re starting a new writing workshop, how best to prepare for public readings of emotionally difficult stories, the way she used Kickstarter to continue her Jessie Shimmer series (plus everything you need to know to start your own campaign), what it was like writing in the Doctor Who and X-Files universes, and much, much more.
…Being a writer is a lot like being on a roller coaster. For a start, if you are a small child or a cat some spotty gatekeeper won’t let you be a writer. “You have to be this tall to be a writer!” they say. “Keep you arms inside the carriage while writing is in motion” they say. Ignore these self-appointed petty tyrants in the fairground of publishing! You only need TWO things to be a writer 1. the willpower 2. the determination and 3. a valid ticket from the ticket booth….
… Last but not least there’s Gamergate itself, which has survived not just as an influence on current events and a template for subsequent harassment campaigns, but in something close to its initial form: The Gamergate subreddit is still very active. Its participants still mob journalists who report critically on them and games. So “gamers” didn’t die, and neither did socially conscious games journalism, nor efforts to increase diversity in games. Even individual Gamergate targets like Quinn, Sarkeesian, and others continue to work in their respective fields. But neither, it seems, did Gamergate.
Recent topics on the Gamergate subreddit—in 2019!—include lists of video games and game development studios to avoid because they pander to “social justice warriors” and complaints about Kotaku’s coverage of diversity in games and the industry. There are posts in the past month continuing to detail, and criticize, everything Quinn does. The lesson for all of us is that reactionary ideas and movements and cults of personality—ones that oppose progress and equality—won’t simply disappear even if they “lose,” even with the passage of time. Reporters who write about Gamergate—or any of the topics it reacted against—can still expect a brigade of hundreds of negative replies on social media. It hasn’t died. It never ends….
JP: This focus on the technical aspects of writing reminds me of what you’ve said before about the sentence: that the sentence is the most important unit of writing for you.
SD: For me, yes. I do go along with Gertrude Stein, in that the paragraph is the emotional unit of the English language. It’s also a point about the sentence instead of the word.
JP: Is that how you think of your own writing? Do you think of it as sentence-making?
SD: Basically, yes.
JP: And is that different for science fiction, versus fantasy and other kinds of genres?
SD: No, that’s not where the difference lies; I think all writing requires that. But I do think science fiction allows some unique combinations of words. It’s a genre that is distinguished, because certain things can happen in the language of science fiction that don’t happen anywhere else. Science fiction tends to take the literal meaning. If it has a choice between a figurative meaning and a literal meaning, the literal meaning is always available. Her world exploded. In science fiction, it’s not an emotionally fuzzy metaphor. Instead, it can literally mean a planet belonging to a woman blew up. As in, Princess Leia: Her world exploded.
Call it The Film About Rich People Hunting Poor People … That Lived.
But that’s a mouthful. Maybe The HuntStrikes Back; it’s pithier.
Just two weeks ago, Ready or Not seemed poised to represent a second data point in 2019’s “Murderous, Mansion-Dwelling One-Percenters In Film” trend graph, preceded by Craig Zobel’s “blue bloods vs. red staters” thriller The Hunt and followed in November by Rian Johnson’s latter-day Clue riff, Knives Out.
But with The Hunt withdrawn from release, Ready or Not assumes pride of place … albeit in the doggiest of days of the dead of August. And what should have blossomed into a delicate arc describing an emerging cinematic trend (and launching a thousand thinkpieces in the process) instead reverts to a flat line connecting two 2019 movies that both feature 1. rich jerks wielding bladed weapons in elegantly appointed rooms and 2. dumbwaiters, probably. One assumes.
…While both studios should be enjoying a victory lap after a successful summer, with Disney, hot off of their Marvel Studios Comic-Con announcements, set to make D23 this weekend’s event, and Sony releasing an extended cut of Far From Home over labor day weekend. Instead, Spider-Man has become victim of a messy custody battle that has dominated social media and shown just how ugly Disney fandom can get with #SaveSpiderMan and #BoycottSony hashtags trending this week.
Battle lines have been drawn on social media, and by way of willful ignorance on the parts of adults online behaving like children, Sony has been made the bad guy for refusing to give up its asset. While details surrounding Disney and Sony’s split have varied, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the breakup comes down to money. Disney, already possessing the merchandizing rights for Spider-Man and benefiting from the use of the character in the MCU, sought at least a 30 percent stake in future Spider-Man grosses. Others have reported figures as high as 50 percent. However you cut it, those numbers are a significant uptick from Disney’s previous 5 percent stake. It’s also worth noting that while Sony’s Spider-Man films may receive an uptick in box office grosses for their MCU connection, the studio doesn’t receive a share of the grosses for the Marvel Studios films in which Holland’s Spider-Man appears.
…She goes on … “Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view.”“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency.” JC’s parting words … “In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.” Ouch!!!
“We’re building an immersive super hero-themed land at Disney California Adventure to enable our guests to join the Avengers to save the world,” Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said at D23 Expo, ComicBook reported.
The Avengers Campus will open in summer, 2020.
(9) TODAY IN
August 23, 1965 — In the United Kingdom, Dr. Who And The Daleks was released which starred Peter Cushing as Doctor Who.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born August 23, 1869 — Edgar Lee Masters. Author of the Spoon River Anthology which, since each poem is by someone who’s dead, should count as genre, shouldn’t it? (Died 1950.)
Born August 23, 1927 — Peter Wyngarde. Not a lead actor in any genre series but interesting none-the-less. For instance, he shows up in the two Sherlock Holmes series, one with Peter Cushing and one with Jeremy Brett. He’s one in a series of Doctor Who with the Fifth Doctor and he faces off against the classic Avenger pairing of Steed and Peel. He shows up as Number Two in The Prisoner as well. (Died 2018.)
Born August 23, 1929 — Vera Miles, 90. Lila Crane in Psycho which she reprised in Psycho II. On a much more family friendly note, she’s Silly Hardy in Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle, the very last of the twelve Tarzan pictures released by RKO. She has done one-offs on Buck Rogers in Twentieth Century, Fantasy Island, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, I Spy and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Born August 23, 1939 — Barbara Eden, 80. Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie. Her first genre role however was on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as Lt. Cathy Connors though she’d show up a few years later as Greta Heinrich on The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. Some thirty-five years after I Dream of Jeannie went off the air, she had a recurring as Aunt Irma on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Born August 23, 1944 — Karl Alexander, 75. Author of Time after Time, which was filmed directed and written by Nicholas Meyer. Cast includes Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen and David Warner. Sequel of Jaclyn the Ripper is not as well known.
Born August 23, 1963 — Ed Gale, 56. Ok I now introduce you to the man inside of Howard the Duck. (Sorry JJ.) Well someone has to play that crappy role. And did you know that it’s been retooled to be called by the studio, and I kid you not, Howard: A New Breed of Hero? Did you know Seth Green voices Howard the Duck in Guardians of The Galaxy?
Born August 23, 1965 — Chris Bachalo, 54. Illustrator well known for his work on DC Comics’ Shade, the Changing Man and Gaiman’s two Death series, Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life.
Born August 23, 1970 — River Phoenix. The Young Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was his best known genre role. He was also Wolfgang Müller in Explorers, and he’s Talbot Roe in Silent Tongue, a horror film most likely you’ve never heard of. (Died 1993.)
(11) COMICS SECTION.
John A Arkansawyer sent the link to Wondermark with a note, “I’m surprised this technology was never used during the glory days of the APA era.”
Today marks the end of an era for DC’s Wonder Woman, as G. Willow Wilson is set to exit the title in the coming months. On Thursday, Wilson took to Twitter to confirm the news, citing that the exit will be so she can schedule out time for a “bucket-list-dream-project”.
Wilson also confirmed that Steve Orlando will be taking over the title, something that had previously been hinted at in DC’s solicitations….
I’ve probably reread The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson more than any other book. It’s not her greatest, that would be We Have Always Lived at the Castle, but I got to it when I was a teenager and so it entered my bloodstream early. I read it three or four times in high school alone.
There are lots of reasons why I love it, Jackson is an underrated literary stylist, and I love the way she loathes human beings. It’s cruel, but it’s almost always funny, too. Misanthropy always goes down better with a sense of humor. But maybe the reason I most love that book is for the house itself. Jackson does a wondrous job of animating Hill House without ever really answering the question of whether its truly haunted or merely haunted by the imagination of a lonely young woman.
Forty years after Life of Brian was first released, Nicholas Barber looks at why the Monty Python film was banned – and went on to become a box office hit.
It may not be true that all publicity is good publicity, but in the case of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which was released 40 years ago, some of the bad publicity was heaven-sent. The comedy team’s irreverent Biblical romp had been due to open on 200 screens across the US, but after various religious groups protested against it, the number of screens was tripled. “They actually made me rich,” said John Cleese of the protesters on one American talk show. “I feel we should send them a crate of champagne or something.”
The idea for Life of Brian came about when the team was promoting its previous film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Eric Idle joked that their next project would be called “Jesus Christ: Lust For Glory”, and his team-mates realised that no one had ever made a comedy about the Messiah. Initially, they planned to lampoon Jesus himself, but the more they read up on him, the less keen they were. “It was quite obvious that there was very little to ridicule in Jesus’s life, and therefore we were onto a loser,” said Michael Palin in 1979. “Jesus was a very straight, direct man making good sense, so we decided it would be a very shallow film if it was just about.”
They moved onto the character of Brian, a 13th disciple who never made it into the Bible because he always arrived five minutes late and missed the miracles. But they eventually settled on the premise that the hapless Brian (Graham Chapman) wouldn’t have any connection with Jesus at all; he would be someone who happened to live in Roman-occupied Judea at the same time, and who was mistaken for a Messiah by the fanatical masses.
The Pythons’ satire wouldn’t target Jesus or his teachings, instead caricaturing political militants, credulous crowds, the appeal of throwing stones at people, the complexities of Latin grammar, and the difficulties of being a tyrant when you’ve got a speech impediment. “I thought we’d been quite good,” said Idle in Robert Sellers’ behind-the-scenes book, Very Naughty Boys. “We’d avoided being specifically rude to specific groups.”
At least that’s what a new documentary about the Satanic Temple could be about to prove.
Despite the similarity of the name, the Temple is different to The Church of Satan, established in 1966 by chat show circuit celebrity Anton LaVey in San Francisco, California.
Human sacrifice? Wrong. Blood drinking? Wrong. Black Mass? Well, sort of right.
The Temple was founded in 2013 with a mission statement “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will”.
Hail Satan? directed by US film-maker Penny Lane, follows the Temple’s attempts to curtail what they see as the encroachment of Christianity on US life through its growing political influence….
…Perhaps the most famous novel of the subterranean genre is Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, in which Verne’s hero, Professor Lidenbrock, and his nephew, Axel, believe that there are volcanic tubes leading to the earth’s centre. Verne is a great story-teller and the adventures of these two very different characters and their guide Hans, involve natural dangers like running out of water and deadly storms as well as encounters with creatures from a far distant past.
Although there’s no actual time travel, Verne’s underworld seems located in prehistory, where everything is gigantic, whether it be insects, mushrooms or petrified trees; where an Icthyosaurus wins a battle with a Plesioraurus. The travellers’ most terrifying experience is an encounter with an enormous prehistoric man, all of 12 feet tall, watching over a herd of huge mastodons….
…The monsters aren’t the only Pixar creations headed to Disney+ for new adventures. Toy Story 4‘s Forky, the fan-favorite piece of trash who became a toy, will return in a new series of short films called Forky Asks a Question, starring Tony Hale reprising his role from the film. Fans in attendance at the presentation got a sneak peek of the first short, which features Forky talking to Hamm the Piggy Bank about the concept of money. That clip hasn’t landed online yet, but we’ve got the poster for the shorts right here:
Kevin Feige also revealed new details for ‘WandaVision’ and ‘Falcon & The Winter Soldier.’ Marvel Studios confirmed three new series in the works for Disney+ at D23: She Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel.
She-Hulk — AKA attorney Jennifer Walters, cousin to Bruce Banner, whose blood transfusion was responsible for her powers — first appeared in 1980’s The Savage She-Hulk No. 1, and was the last major Marvel character co-created by Stan Lee. After her original series ended after two years, she became a member of both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four as the character developed more of a distinct personality from her male counterpart, gaining a stronger sense of humor and intelligence and deciding that she preferred being super-strong and green permanently — or, at least, as much as possible. (Unlike the male Hulk, She-Hulk traditionally maintains her smarts and personality when Hulked out.)
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Michael Toman, Alan Baumler, Cat
Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew
Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Lee Whiteside.]
The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, starts streaming on DisneyPlus on November 12. The trailer premiered at D23 today.
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
Publisher George Vanderburgh is the winner of the 2019 Munsey Award. The award was presented at PulpFest in Pittsburgh on August
GEORGE VANDERBURGH has published over 600 books through his Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, many of them directly related to the pulps. He was largely responsible for finally getting all of Fred Davis’ classic Moon Man stories back into print. And what about his Peter the Brazen series, his five volumes featuring the work of Seabury Quinn, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE PARK AVENUE HUNT CLUB, his Green Ghost set, THE COMPLEAT SAGA OF JOHN SOLOMON, THE ADVENTURES OF THE GOLDEN AMAZON, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD, and others? He has also given us numerous collections of detective fiction, including volumes featuring the Thinking Machine, Dr. Thorndyke, and Martin Hewitt. Looking at his website, his future plans include several books reprinting pulp authors who have been unjustly forgotten. Along with the late Robert Weinberg, George served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth. A regular attendee of pulp conventions, George has helped both longtime and new fans to collect the tales of some of the most fantastic heroes from the pulps. At this year’s PulpFest, George was part of our presentation, “The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps.”
Bill Lampkin, last year’s winner, made the presentation.
The award, named for Frank A. Munsey, publisher of the first pulp magazine, recognizes someone
who has contributed to the betterment of the pulp community through
disseminating knowledge, publishing, or other efforts to preserve and to foster
interest pulp magazines. The winner is selected by a committee made up of all
the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award recipients. The award is a fine art print created by David
Saunders and published by Dan Zimmer of The Illustrated Press.
The Bridge: How
the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York, Abrams ComicArts
I Moved to Los
Angeles to Work in Animation, BOOM! Studios
Where We Live, A
Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, Image Comics
Kids Comic or Graphic Novel
First Second Books
Action Lab Entertainment
The Nameless City:
The Divided Earth, First Second Books
The Prince and
the Dressmaker, First Second Books
Punk Taco, Adam
Presentation in Design
Overture, DC Comics
Century Shindig, IDW Publishing
My Heroes Have
Always Been Junkies, Image Comics
Only Living Boy
Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs
Yellow Negros and
Other Imaginary Creatures, New York Review Comics
Ringo Awards Jury
DR. CHRISTINA BLANCH: Owner and Manager of Aw Yeah Comics in Muncie, Indiana. Writer of comics including Tales from the Crypt and The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood.
TIM LENAGHAN: Vice President of Purchasing at Diamond Comic Distributors. Former reviewer at IGN.com and participated in Emerson College’s Graphic Novel Certificate program.
AFUA RICHARDSON: Illustrator of the acclaimed graphic novel series Black Panther: World of Wakanda. Other works include: Attack on Titan, and covers for X-Men ’92, Captain Marvel, Captain America & the Mighty Avengers, and All-Star Batman.
BOB SCHRECK: Award-winning editor, shepherding such titles as Frank Miller’s Sin City, Dark Horse Presents, DK2, Batman: Hush, Sweet Tooth, Batman: Year 100, Daytripper, and many others. He has served as editor for such talents as Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Bernie Wrightson, Fiona Staples, Frank Miller, and many others. Bob also co-founded Oni Press.
TOM SPURGEON: Longtime comics industry journalist and the current Executive Director at the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC). Former editor of The Comics Journal and current editor of The Comics Reporter. Co-author of books including Stan Lee And The Rise And Fall Of The American Comic Book, The Romita Legacy, and We Told You So: Comics As Art.