The Horror Writers Association announced the winners of three service awards on March 31. Ordinarily these awards would have been presented at the annual Stokercon, but this year’s event in the UK has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S AWARD. The Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as the HWA’s President. As the name implies, it is given by the HWA’s sitting President. The award is presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.
The 2019 Richard Laymon President’s Award winner is Rena Mason.
Rena Mason is an American author of horror fiction and a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award . Her literary debut, The Evolutionist, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2013, while her novella East End Girls was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction. She has also been awarded HWA’s Silver Hammer Award.
SILVER HAMMER AWARD. The HWA presents the Silver Hammer Award in recognition of extraordinary volunteerism by a member who dedicates valuable time and effort to the organization. The award is determined by HWA’s Board of Trustees.
Leslie S. Klinger is the New York Times-best-selling editor of the Edgar®-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and the critically-acclaimed New Annotated Dracula and New Annotated Frankenstein, as well as numerous other books and articles on Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, horror, vampires, and the Victorian age. He also edited or co-edited eight anthologies of mysteries, horror, and vampire fiction. His books include the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated four-volume The Annotated Sandman with Neil Gaiman (Vertigo) and The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, as well as the highly-regarded Watchmen: The Annotated Edition. Klinger currently serves as Treasurer of the Horror Writers Association.
MENTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD. Lee Murray is HWA’s Mentor of the Year Award recipient for 2019. HWA presents the award “in recognition of a member who distinguishes herself in helping mentees, while serving in the HWA’s Mentor Program.”
Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning writer and editor of science fiction, fantasy, and horror (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows) and a two-time Bram Stoker Award® nominee. Her works include the Taine McKenna military thrillers, and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra, co-written with Dan Rabarts, as well as several books for children. She is proud to have edited thirteen speculative works, including award-winning titles Baby Teeth: Bite Sized Tales of Terror and At the Edge (with Dan Rabarts), Te K?rero Ahi K? (with Grace Bridges and Aaron Compton) and Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror. She is the co-founder of Young New Zealand Writers, an organisation providing development and publishing opportunities for New Zealand school students, and co-founder of the Wright-Murray Residency for Speculative Fiction Writers. In February 2020, Lee was made an Honorary Literary Fellow in the New Zealand Society of Authors Waitangi Day Honours. Lee lives over the hill from Hobbiton in New Zealand’s sunny Bay of Plenty where she dreams up stories from her office overlooking a cow paddock. Read more at www.leemurray.info. She tweets @leemurraywriter
Upon being informed of the award, Lee commented:
“I’m so grateful for this unexpected honour from my friends at the Horror Writers Association. To be included on a list with previous Mentor of the Year winners such as Tim Waggoner, Linda Addison, and Greg Faherty, people I admire and adore, well, as the kids say, ‘I can’t even!’ Special thanks must go to my own writing mentors—Jenny Argante, Graeme Lay, Jonathan Maberry, my dad—folk whose quiet belief in me has been both uplifting and humbling. But the truth is, I’ve never escaped a mentorship without learning something, so I’m thankful for the wonderful lessons my HWA colleagues have offered me, for giving me a sneak-peek into their writing processes and the deliciously dark stories they’re conjuring in the twisted shadows of their minds. Mostly, I’m grateful for their fellowship and the lifelong friendships forged through our mentoring partnerships. Because, ultimately, we all get by with a little help from our friends.”
(1) THE DOCTOR IS BACK IN. In 2013 Russell T. Davies was asked to write a magazine contribution filling in a blank about the Ninth Doctor’s regeneration. His piece got spiked – for Reasons. Read it now at the official Doctor Who blog: “Russell T Davies writes a prequel to Doctor Who – Rose.”
So I wrote this. It even starts mid-sentence, as if you’ve just turned to the last pages. Lee Binding created a beautiful cover. We were excited! And then Tom said, I’d better run this past Steven Moffat, just in case…
Oh, said Steven. Oh. How could we have known? That the Day of the Doctor would have an extra Doctor, a War Doctor? And Steven didn’t even tell us about Night of the Doctor, he kept that regeneration a complete surprise! He just said, sorry, can you lay off that whole area? I agreed, harrumphed, went to bed and told him he was sleeping on the settee that night.
So the idea was snuffed a-borning. Until 2020….
This chapter only died because it became, continuity-wise, incorrect. But now, the Thirteenth Doctor has shown us Doctors galore, with infinite possibilities.
All Doctors exist. All stories are true. So come with me now, to the distant reefs of a terrible war, as the Doctor takes the Moment and changes both the universe and themselves forever…
(2) FUTURE TENSE. The March 2020 entry in the Future Tense Fiction series is “Paciente Cero,” by Juan Villoro. Tagline: “A stirring short story about China turning Mexico into a massive recycling plant for U.S. garbage.”
It was published along with a response essay, “How China Turns Trash Into Wealth” by Adam Minter, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and an expert on recycling and waste issues.
… Guo Guanghui, vice chairman of a scrap metal recycling trade association in Qingyuan, a thriving industrial town roughly two hours north of us, took the podium. Guo wanted to talk about a government policy that roughly translates as “going out,” designed to help Chinese businesses set up operations abroad. He thought it a good idea for the government to help recycling companies “go out” to foreign countries where they could buy up recyclables and ship them back to China. “We need to get rid of the ability of the other countries to control the resources,” he declared from the podium, “and seize them for ourselves.”
NOAF: What inspired you to write Liquid Crystal Nightingale? How different is the finished product from your original concepts?
EL: The novel began as a simple exercise years ago: write about a few fictional cities, in the style of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. As soon as I started writing about a city that looked like a cat’s eye from space I couldn’t stop at a few paragraphs. The style and tone were initially very literary, reminiscent of Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table and the layered stories of Jorges Luis Borges.
TIME: The tone of The City We Became is more light-hearted than much of your previous work, but the novel still addresses serious issues—including the perils of gentrification. Why did you want to tell this story?
Jemisin: I’ve always thought of my writing as therapy. I do have a therapist, but there was a time I couldn’t afford one and writing was the way I vented anger and stress and fear and longing and all of the things that I did not have a real-world outlet for. A lot of times I don’t really understand what it is that I’m trying to cope with until after I’ve finished the book. With the Broken Earth trilogy, I realized belatedly that I was processing my mom’s imminent death. She did pass away while I was writing The Stone Sky. Mid-life crises are not always triggered by getting old, they’re also triggered by an event. And Mom’s death did spur a period of [needing] to grow new things and try new things. I started to think about buying a house. I wasn’t going to be able to buy in Crown Heights, which was the New York neighborhood I had been in, because Crown Heights had hit, like, fourth stage gentrification. Over the time I was here, I watched it change.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home edicts let dispensaries stay open but force bookshops to shutter indefinitely. Chevalier’s in Larchmont will take phone orders. Skylight Books in Los Feliz, Book Soup in West Hollywood and Vroman’s in Pasadena are “closed temporarily” but forwarding online orders to Ingram, a wholesaler that will ship direct to buyers. The Last Bookstore, downtown, is seeing customers by appointment.
…Books are essential goods and that ought to mean bookstores are exempt from shutting down during the coronavirus pandemic. As are bread and milk, gas and aspirin, alcohol and marijuana, books should be available, with safety precautions in place, at the usual places we buy them in our neighborhoods.
My favorite theory on why we dream is that we’re practicing for emergencies. Asleep, unguarded, our minds conjure threats and dilemmas so that once we wake, we’ve learned something. Maybe not very much—maybe only what not to do, because it rarely goes well. But we learn more from our failures than our successes, and this is what our minds serve up, night after night: hypothetical dangers and defeats. Whether we’re fleeing a tiger or struggling to persuade a partner who won’t listen, we fail, but we also practice.
I suspect that’s also why we read fiction. We don’t seek escapism—or, at least, not only that. We read to inform our own future behavior. No matter how fanciful the novel, in the back of our minds, something very practical is taking notes….
(8) MORE TBR FODDER. Lucy Scholes points to another example of the kind of book a lot of people are seeking out lately: “What’s It Like Out?” in The Paris Review.
…Seems like none of us can get enough of stories that echo our current moment, myself included. Fittingly, though, as the author of this column, I found myself drawn to a scarily appropriate but much less widely known plague novel: One byOne, by the English writer and critic Penelope Gilliatt.
Originally published in 1965, this was the first novel by Gilliat, who was then the chief film critic for the British newspaper the Observer. It’s ostensibly the story of a marriage—that of Joe Talbot, a vet, and his heavily pregnant wife, Polly—but set against the astonishing backdrop of a mysterious but fatal pestilence. The first cases are diagnosed in London at the beginning of August, but by the third week of the month, ten thousand people are dead….
(9) THE VIRTUE OF VIRTUAL. [Item by Mlex.] In light of the proposed “virtual cons” for Balticon and Worldcon 2020, CoNZealand, I wanted to suggest as a model a new conference that started on March 30th called “Future States,” about the history of periodical culture.
It was planned from the beginning as a “carbon neutral” event to be held completely online. Now that I have logged in and see how it is set up, I am really impressed by the thought that went into it.
There are keynotes, panel sessions, and forums, which are neatly linked to the video presentations, and the Q&A sessions. All of the participants can join in to pose questions and comment on the individual presentation threads.
There is a also a Foyer and a Noticeboard, where you can contact the panelist, or for the con to push updates.
Born March 31, 1844 — Andrew Lang. To say that he is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales is a bit of understatement. He collected enough tales that twenty five volumes of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books for children were published between 1889 and 1913. That’s 798 stories. If you’re interested in seeing these stories, you can find them here. (Died 1912.)
Born March 31, 1926 — John Fowles. British author best remembered for The French Lieutenant’s Woman but who did several works of genre fiction, The Magus which I read a long time ago and A Maggot which I’ve not read. (Died 2005.)
Born March 31, 1932 — John Jakes, 88. Author of a number of genre series including Brak the Barbarian. The novels seem to fix-ups from works published in such venues as Fantastic. Dark Gate and Dragonard are his other two series. As Robert Hart Davis, he wrote a number of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. novellas that were published in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine. The magazine apparently only existed from 1966 to 1968.
Born March 31, 1934 — Richard Chamberlain, 86. His first dive into our end of reality was in The Three Musketeers as Aramis, a role he reprised in The Return of Three Musketeers. (I consider all Musketeer films to be genre.) Some of you being cantankerous may argue it was actually when he played the title character in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold which he did some years later. He’s listed as voicing the Jack Kirby created character Highfather on the superb Justice League: Gods and Monsters but that was but a few lines of dialogue I believe. He was in the Blackbeard series as Governor Charles Eden, and series wise has done the usual one-offs on such shows as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, Chuck and Twin Peaks.
Born March 31, 1936 — Marge Piercy, 84. Author of He, She and It which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction novel. Of course, she also wrote Woman on the Edge of Time doomed to be called a “classic of utopian speculative sf”.
Born March 31, 1943 — Christopher Walken, 77. Yet another performer whose first role was in The Three Musketeers, this time as a minor character, John Felton. He has a minor role in The Sentinel, a horror film, and a decidedly juicy one in Trumbull’s Brainstorm as Dr. Michael Anthony Brace followed up by being in Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone as Johnny Smith. Damn, I’d forgotten he was Max Zorin, the villain in A View to a Kill! H’h, didn’t know he was in Gibson’s New Rose Hotel but then I haven’t then I haven’t actually seen it yet. And let’s wrap this up by noting his appearance in The Stepford Wives as Mike Wellington.
Born March 31, 1960 — Ian McDonald, 60. I see looking him up for this Birthday note that one of my favorite novels by him, Desolation Road, was the first one. Ares Express was just as splendid. Now the Chaga saga was, errr, weird. Everness was fun but ultimately shallow. Strongly recommend both Devish House and River of Gods. Luna series at first blush didn’t impress me me, so other opinions are sought on it.
Born March 31, 1971 — Ewan McGregor, 49. Nightwatch, a horror film, with him as lead Martin Bell is his first true genre film. That was followed by The Phantom Menace with him as Obi-Wan Kenobi, a role repeated in Attack of the Clones,Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. His latest role of interest, well to me if to nobody else, is as Christopher Robin in the film of the same name.
A fan film featuring the Kaiju from the 1990s has resurfaced online, and has gone viral among fans of the famous kaiju for featuring a single actor playing all of the roles. Even more hilariously, the actor not only continues to wear the same suit for each part but even takes on the roles of inanimate objects such as the electrical pylons as well. You can check it out in the video above:
The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. It’s about a newly minted thief who has to pay off their student loan debts to the guild (relatable), a witch-in training, and a kickass knight with a war raven who go on an adventure together. It’s dark, but delightful in a gritty way that hits some of my favorite adventure fantasy notes. Fans of Nicholas Eames, Douglas Hulick, and V.E. Schwab will enjoy this one…unfortunately Christopher’s fantasy debut doesn’t land on shelves until next year.
I hate when someone names a book that’s not out on shelves right now, so let me also plug the book I read before this one: The Steel Crow Saga by Paul Kreuger. It’s a tight, standalone fantasy–think Pokemon in the immediate aftermath of World War II with half a dozen richly imagined cultures that reminded me of southeast Asia and a cast who all have mysteries they hope none discover.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are relying more heavily on automated systems to flag content that violate their rules, as tech workers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
But that shift could mean more mistakes — some posts or videos that should be taken down might stay up, and others might be incorrectly removed. It comes at a time when the volume of content the platforms have to review is skyrocketing, as they clamp down on misinformation about the pandemic.
Tech companies have been saying for years that they want computers to take on more of the work of keeping misinformation, violence and other objectionable content off their platforms. Now the coronavirus outbreak is accelerating their use of algorithms rather than human reviewers.
The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater (Queen of Swords Press)
This collection, featuring a capybara pirate captain in a world full of anthropomorphic animals and magical creatures, is definitely more of a short fiction collection than a novel, but it’s also a bit of an odd duck when trying to review as short stories, as there’s a strong through narrative between each tale (or “tail”) that makes it hard to speak about them individually. After an opening story (the aptly titled “Young Cinrak”) that sees Cinrak take her first steps into piracy (in this world, apparently respectable career for those seeking freedom and a good community around them), the rest of the collection deals with her time as an established captain, taking on an increasingly mythological set of exploits, all while maintaining the affections of both opera prima donna Loquolchi, and the Rat Queen Orvillia, and looking after her diverse and entertaining crew of rodents and affiliated creatures…..
With the Skywalker Saga now finished and opinions being handed out left and right in regards to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, I think it’s time for a take that, frankly, is long overdue. During a recent re-watch of the Original Trilogy I had a blast and still love those movies as much as I ever have. That said, looking back now on all that’s come after and what came before, I don’t believe Luke Skywalker ever did anything greater than destroying the first Death Star.
That’s it, there’s the take, but of course I’m not going to just throw that out there and let the hellfire of disgruntled Star Wars fans rain down. I have a lot more to say about Luke Skywalker, his biggest achievement and how nothing he ever did after really came close to it…
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Ben Bird Person, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Mlex, Michael Toman, Joey Eschrich, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cliff.]
DUFF co-administrator Paul Weimer reports 60 ballots were cast. One of the ballots did not contain any voting information and the donation was just counted as a donation to the fund. Erin won an outright majority on the first round, with 37 first place votes.
However, with ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.
is now open for the transformed professional development conference.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), today unveiled the
virtual home for SFWA’s 2020 Nebula Conference Online and showcased features of
the upcoming professional development conference for science fiction and
have been offering a streaming extension of the Nebulas for the past two years,
with a long-term plan for more. With this new platform, not only will we be
able to include people who would not otherwise be able to attend the Nebula
Conference, but we’ll also be able to offer year-round opportunities for
education and outreach.” the president of SFWA, Mary Robinette Kowal says.
Conference, Transformed: This
year’s transformed Nebula Conference will be held entirely online and will
include two live tracks of live-streamed panels such as “Being a Creative in
2020: Building Community, Visibility, and Audience in a Virtual World”; “Blades
and Badasses: Disability and Swordwork,” and “Writing Middle Grade with This
Year’s Norton Award Nominee” along with a third self-guided track of
pre-recorded presentations which attendees can view at their leisure.
successful conference mentorship program will also continue this year with
one-on-one video conversations between early-career writers and established
authors. Supporting content including writing workshops, forums, chats, and
virtual room parties (including a dance party hosted by bestselling author and
former SFWA president John Scalzi) will round out the weekend.
2020 Nebula Conference Online will be held from May 29-31. Registration, which
includes three days of online panels with real-time interaction, an annual
subscription to archived content, and a one-year subscription to SFWA’s
quarterly magazine the Bulletin, will be $150.
says that “SFWA’s vision for this year’s conference is for attendees to feel
elevated through the content, enjoy a sense of community with their peers, and
have an opportunity for celebration. We hope this year’s conference will
replicate the informative, exciting, and social experience that the Nebula
Conference has always offered, while being more accessible than ever before,
and welcoming attendees from around the world who may never have had the chance
to attend previously.”
annual culmination of the conference is the Nebula Awards ceremony, a gala
event in which SFWA members award the 2019 Nebula Awards® to the best works of
science fiction and fantasy of the year. This year’s event will also take place
virtually, and will be live-streamed to conference attendees and the public
alike, on May 30th at 8:00 PM ET.
a New Direction: With
today’s announcement, SFWA officially launched the 2020 Nebula Conference Online
registration page, an online entry point for conference attendees
that shares the aesthetic of the conference while the full conference
experience is finalized.
year’s transformed Nebula Conference comes in response to public health
measures addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, which have limited in-person
gatherings and instituted physical distancing policies across the United
the first time, part of the proceeds from this year’s conference will go to
SFWA’s “Where The Need Is Greatest” fund to provide grants to members
to address the financial difficulties experienced by many of SFWA’s members as
a result of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19. In addition,
SFWA’s Emergency Medical Fund is available for members who have unexpected
medical bills that interfere with their ability to write.
are all aware of the hardships that our members have experienced — and will
continue to experience — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kowal said.
“It’s our hope that the 2020 Nebula Conference Online will continue to be a
valuable resource for everyone who can attend, member and non-member alike,
while also raising much-needed funds to help those in our community that have
been hardest hit by the disease and its repercussions.”
New Look, New Feel: Visitors to the 2020 Nebula Conference Online landing page will
notice the refreshed and redesigned SFWA logo, the work of SFWA’s new art
director, Lauren Raye Snow. The new look and feel for SFWA’s logo is part of a
planned refresh for the organization’s publications, web sites, and visual
assets. The new look will extend across all parts of the 2020 Nebula Conference
Online materials, and is inspired by the fantastic visual aesthetic of early
20th century graphic arts.
Snow says, “I’m
excited by the opportunity to reclaim and explore a classic domain with
culturally expansive motifs, characters, and messages.”
Intended to be
timeless, invoking both the WPA’s National Parks posters and NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory’s Space Tourism project: the update captures the best of
that pioneering spirit as 2020 launches SFWA into the future.
March 31, 1995 — Tank Girl premiered. Based on the British comic book created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett (who also illustrated it), the movie starred Lori Petty as Tank Girl along along with Naomi Watts, Ice-T and Malcolm McDowell. It was directed by Rachel Talalay who was responsible for Ghost in The Machine, and directed a lot of new era Doctor Who episodes. Critics at the time used words like tiresome and amateurish to describe it though one found it funnier than Batman Forever. The audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an excellent 63% rating.
March 31, 1987 — The Max Headroom series premiered on ABC. This is the America version of Max Headroom as the British version was Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future which is essentially identical to the initial origin episode of the American series. Matt Frewer as Max Headroom and Edison Carter; Amanda Pays as Theora Jones; and W. Morgan Sheppard as Blank Reg, would reprise their characters from the British film. It ran from April of 1985 to March of 1987. A spin-off series, a talk show featuring Max was recorded, The Original Max Talking Headroom Show, this time in New York. It aired on Cinemax between the two seasons and lasted six episodes.
March 31, 2009 — Dragonquest premiered. It was directed by Mark Atkins, and produced by David Michael, Latt David Rimawi and Paul Bales. It stars Marc Singer, best remembered for his roles in the Beastmaster film franchise, along with Jason Connery and Brian Thompson. It bears absolutely no relation to either the novel of that name by Anne McCaffrey, nor to the Dragon Quest RPG series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience reviewers definitely do not like it as they give it a 6% rating.
March 31, 1999 — The Matrix premiered. It written and directed by the Wachowskis. It starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. It was the first film in the Matrix franchise. It would finish second to Galaxy Quest in the Long Form Dramatic Presentation Hugo voting at Chicon 2000. It’s considered one of the best SF films of all time, and it currently has a rating of 85% among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
March 31, 1987 — Steel Dawn premiered. It was directed by Lance Hool. It starred Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi. The working title of the film, reflecting its mix of science fiction and western, was Desert Warrior. Doug Legler, best known as director of the Dragonheart sequel Dragonheart: A New Beginning, was the writer. Though made on a shoestring comparatively speaking, it still lost millions, and critics founds it boring. Currently it has a 34% rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
Introduction by Hampus Eckerman: My mother wrote an opinion piece
for one of our Swedish newspapers about her bout with the corona virus.
I’m getting kind of scared for all older fans out there, in Sweden
there’s a lot of older people still going outside, shopping as usual, because
they feel so healthy, so this article hopefully could scare some people to be
People of My Generation – Beware The Corona Virus Like The Plague!
First published as an opinion piece in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, March 29, 2020.
By Ingrid Eckerman: “I’m not scared – I’m healthy!”, say people from my generation and continues to socialize.
also healthy, but I got the corona anyway. I didn’t die. I didn’t have to stay
in intensive care for two months. I haven’t even had a high fever. Thus, a
rather mild infection.
ten days, the temperature has fluctuated around 38 degrees Celsius (100F). I
have slept around 20 hours a day. I pull myself up on the bedside, waiting for
the world to stop. Need support to be able to get up, taking hold in the
furniture. I walk like a cripple – the hip part of my body seems to have
crumpled. After a few steps comes the breathlessness, perhaps a bout of
coughing. My body has aged 20 years.
is for me a great effort that requires an immediate return to bed. With pepping
and prepping, I get my body to accept some basic food, a fruit, some ice cream,
for pure survival purpose.
has become heavy. The laptop must be carried with two hands. How should I be
able to water the flowers? Getting up from the chair requires extra effort.
Hair falls off in tufts.
on the twelfth day I begin to see the light in the tunnel. The temperature
drops slowly, I’m not as deathly tired. I have felt hunger. Managed to get
through both a shower and changing the bed sheets.
dare not take out anything in advance. It feels like there has been a war in my
body, and the battle is not over yet. There is some small virus behind the
sternum waiting for a weakness in my immune system. There is a risk of
comes the convalescence, the recovery, built up during quarantine to be safe
and infection-free before I meet others.
have not been this sick since I as a child had the potentially deadly diseases
measles, mumps and whooping cough. Being home 1-2 weeks extra from school was a
matter of course.
meant rest and nutritious food. Today, careful rehabilitation is being added.
Successfully increasing physical activity, from walking in the apartment to
walking in the garden. Return to regular sleeping and meal times.
freedom of fever, I expect at least two weeks for recovery. This means a total
disease period of at least one month. It is too early to say if I am getting
any residual symptoms.
corona at 70+ does not mean a few days of fever and then return to healthy as
usual. Even if you do not become seriously ill, the illness will take a heavy
toll on your body. We have weakened immune systems compared to younger people –
we cannot count on a mild illness.
you who believe that you are so old that it does not matter if you die you have
to think carefully. You must make it clear to relatives and healthcare that you
do not want to receive anything but home care – that you refrain from intensive
care that allows you to survive for yet some time.
Eckerman, 78, MD, retired General Practitioneer in Stockholm, Sweden.
from Ingrid regarding the piece:
No, I was never tested. As I didn’t get any breathing difficulties while lying
down at rest, I was recommended by the ambulance staff to stay at home. Only
those who have to stay in hospitals are tested in Sweden, as the capacity isn’t
high enough to test the population as a whole. But I find it hard to imagine
any more likely diagnoses.
know nothing about whether I get immunity. Normally, there is flu and cold viruses
around us in society, and we get a boost to our resistance every now and then.
It helps us to maintain immunity. But this is a new virus that my body does not
recognize at all. Maybe I need to get infected several times before I have a
Opinion Piece by Steve Vertlieb: The call a few days ago by a Texas
politician for the elderly to sacrifice their lives for the “common
good” so that our national economy may return to normal smacks of the
origins of barbarism. The horrifying pronouncement by a duly elected leader,
sworn to protect and defend democracy for all of America’s citizens, is born of
bigotry, ignorance, and fear. It is a deeply troubling echo of a time not so
very long ago when the lives of the elderly were considered expendable… in
order to preserve the status quo … when those whose ethnicity and color were
deemed threatening to the national economy … and when hatred and irrational
blame contributed to the mass murder, mutilation, persecution, butchery and
genocide of countless millions across the waves.
American dream is based upon the premise that all men, women, and children are
created equal in the eyes of God, and that everyone is entitled to pursue and
achieve their dreams and happiness. Selfishness cannot be allowed to replace
selflessness in what was once “the land of the free and the home of the
brave.” It has been correctly stated that people are the same all over …
that we are all children of a singular, universal, and loving God. We share our
humanity with every soul who dwells upon our planet. No one is better than
anyone else, and no one’s right to live, to love, and to pursue their sacred
dreams for happiness can be deemed unimportant or insignificant compared to the
so called “common good.”
right to exist is, and has been, a cherished principle wherever freedom and
democracy have flourished. It is with the abandonment and willing sacrifice of
those ideals that a land of dreams descends into a land of nightmares, and
surrenders to the basest desire for merely individual gratification and paltry
survival. In times of danger and the threat of persecution, we must embrace the
elderly and the fragile with loving arms, protection, and reverence for all
that has come before us, continuing to remember that our greatness for
generations has been based upon the strong shoulders of those who have loving
permitted us to stand upon them.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
(ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature.
The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single
laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading
promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s
and young adult literature.
Baek Heena is one of Korea’s most recognized picture book artists.
With a background in film animation, her unique visual style features handmade
miniature figurines and environments painstakingly lighted and photographed.
She has published thirteen picture books that are popular throughout Asia, a
number of which have been translated. One of her most successful books, Cloud
Bread, was published in English in 2011.
Citation of the
With exquisite feeling for materials, looks and gestures, Baek Heena’s filmic picture books stage stories about solitude and solidarity. In her evocative miniature worlds, cloud bread and sorbet moons, animals, bath fairies and people converge. Her work is a doorway to the marvellous: sensuous, dizzying and sharp.
About Baek Heena: Baek Heena was born
in 1971 in Seoul, where today she has her studio in the Ichon-dong district.
She studied education technology at Ewha Womans University in Seoul and
animation at the California Institute of the Arts in the United States. After
working in advertising and multimedia for children, she began to create her own
picture books when her daughter was born. Baek Heena’s picture book worlds open
the door to magic and wonder, and her original techniques and artistic
solutions breathe new life into the picture book medium. Her bookmaking is a
time-consuming process requiring devoted attention to construction and
sculpture as well as lighting design. Baek has won multiple awards for her
work, both in South Korea and internationally.
Selected Books: Baek Heena’s debut book Cloud Bread invites readers into a world of “what if.” The story takes place on a rainy weekday morning when two kittens find a little cloud and take it home. From the cloud, their mother bakes magical bread that gives them the ability to fly. The book has given rise to a television series, a musical, and a line of toys.
Chick Pee-yaki’s Mum (2011) is one of the few picture books in Baek
Heena’s oeuvre that is drawn in charcoal and ink. This crazy, quirky tale
paints a portrait of parenthood that is both candid and comedic.
Baek’s most recent
book, I Am a Dog (2019), is dedicated to the dogs of her childhood. It
is a finely-tuned tale of a dog who misses his mother and siblings, but comes
to realize that he has a new place in a loving household and a new job as its
caretaker. For this book, Baek hand-crafted some fifty clay dogs, each with
minute differences in posture and facial expression.
works include Magic Candies (2017), Moon Sherbet (2011), The
Strange Visitor (2018) and Bath Fairy (2012). Please note that the
titles of published books used in this text are not the original titles; they
are the titles used by Baek Heena’s publisher in its international marketing.
Today Sotheby announced that is will auction DC Complete: The Ian Levine Collection, a comic book collection that includes every comic book published by DC Comics from 1935 through 2016, including complete runs of Superman, Batman, Action Comics, and Detective Comics. The collection includes more than 40,000 comics that also feature Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Justice League. The collection is available to view now on the Sotheby’s website. Sotheby’s chose today to start the private sale as it marks the 81st anniversary of the release of Detective Comics #27, which included the first appearance of Batman.
It’s a private sale, which means there is no public auction, just negotiations between Sotheby’s specialists and one or more private buyers.* Bids are being taken starting today – here’s the Sotheby’s link. Download the catalog here [PDF file]. A quote about how the collection was assembled, from the auction house’s article —
For a decade, Levine purchased a new copy of every DC issue he could find, while trying to fill in earlier issues. However, in pre-internet 1987, Levine despaired of finding many Golden Age comics he lacked, and decided to sell many of his best issues in order to fund his collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who film prints. However, reviewing his stacks of comic books with the purchaser reawakened his passion for this pop art form, and Levine bought his comics back from the dealer he had sold them to—at a 50% premium. Amassing about half of the comics DC had ever published, Levine determined to form a complete collection. Sacrificing his incomparable collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who prints, along with the assistance of the nascent internet and dealer, advisor, and author of The Comic Book Paul Sassienie, he achieved this ambition, which would essentially be impossible to replicate. In 2010, Levine’s paramount, unique collection was utilized to supply the illustrations for Taschen’s monumental publication 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz, the former president and publisher of DC.
…ANNALEE NEWITZ, science-fiction and nonfiction author, podcaster
I have a couple of scenarios I’ve been batting around in my head, which both feel equally plausible at this point.
Scenario One: As more people hunker down at home, more of our most vital and personal activities will have to go online. Lots of people are learning how to have serious meetings remotely, and how to work as teams in group chat.
Then there’s the arguably more psychologically vital stuff: I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons with my gamer group using videoconferencing, and watching TV with a housebound, high-risk loved one by hitting play at the same time on a TV episode and videochatting with him at the same time.
I’m not alone. A lot of us are cut off from our loved ones right now, and online connection is all we have. Suddenly “online” doesn’t feel like a fantasy realm. It’s our social fabric. The online world is going to become a fully robust public space, and we won’t want to see garbage and detritus everywhere. We will finally start to see social media companies taking responsibility for what’s on their platforms — information will need to be accurate, or people will die.
…Scenario Two: The pandemic rips through the population, aided in part by contradictory messages from state and federal governments, as well as misinformation online. As social groups and families are torn apart by disease and unemployment, people look increasingly to social media for radical solutions: violent uprisings, internment camps for immigrants and other “suspicious” groups, and off-the-grid cults that promise sanctuary from death.
This is the second Brown featured in Rediscovery. As mentioned last month, Brown was a promising author whose career was cut short by her death in 1967. I don’t have much to add to that, except to wonder if my Young People will enjoy this story more than they did the previous one.
(4) WHO WAS THAT MASKED FAN? John King Tarpinian has already ordered “Classic Monster Aloha Safety Mask”. Get yours for a mere $9.95. More styles here. And they sell matching shirts for some of them — Daniel Dern says “I’ve got the first two in that were shown in this post.”
Introducing Aloha Safety Face masks!! Hawaiian Printed Masks that are fashionable , fun, and made in the USA!!
And just like that, my shirt factory has shifted production, retooled, and is making much needed face masks for hospitals and clinics. We are all proud to be part of the effort to in the corona-virus fight and provide protective gear to Doctors, Nurses, and hospital staff, who in my eyes are the front line soldiers in this global pandemic.Due to the unprecedented demand for masks, healthcare system completely lacks the needed supplies and we are on a mission to outfit them.
While they are our priority so is the safety of my friends, neighbors, and countrymen. Many people with elderly parents, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, are at high risk, or want to protect their families have reached out. I know it’s hard to find masks of any kind anywhere.
She said border restrictions overseas would likely persist until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, believed to be one year to eighteen months away at the earliest – some vaccines take a decade to develop.
Life as it is now – with most of us confined to home, getting out only for a walk in the sunshine or a quick trip to pick up mail, prescriptions, another bottle of water, an extra loaf of bread – is something we might have read about in a science fiction novel, seen on TV or at the movies but never before experienced personally to the extent we are dealing with now.
“I feel like I’m in what (science fiction author) Brian Aldiss called a cozy catastrophe,” said Walter Jon Williams, a writer of science fiction and fantasy who lives in Belen. “We have clothing, shelter, enough food in the fridge to last a month, and everything works. But everyone is gone. We just don’t see people. I went for a walk to the park today and saw one person.”
The outcry from publisher and author groups has been swift and furious after the Internet Archive announced last week the launch of it’s National Emergency Library, which has removed access restrictions for some 1.4 million scans of mostly 20th century books in the IA’s Open Library initiative, making the scans available for unlimited borrowing during the Covid-19 Outbreak.
“We are stunned by the Internet Archive’s aggressive, unlawful, and opportunistic attack on the rights of authors and publishers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” reads a March 27 statement from Association of American Publishers president and CEO Maria Pallante, adding that publishers are already “working tirelessly to support the public with numerous, innovative, and socially-aware programs that address every side of the crisis: providing free global access to research and medical journals that pertain to the virus; complementary digital education materials to schools and parents; and expanding powerful storytelling platforms for readers of all ages.”
The Authors Guild said it too was “appalled” by the program. “[The Internet Archive] is using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors,” reads a March 27 statement. “It has misrepresented the nature and legality of the project through a deceptive publicity campaign. Despite giving off the impression that it is expanding access to older and public domain books, a large proportion of the books on Open Library are in fact recent in-copyright books that publishers and authors rely on for critical revenue. Acting as a piracy site—of which there already are too many—the Internet Archive tramples on authors’ rights by giving away their books to the world.”
“So much for authors’ incomes in a time of crisis. Do librarians and archivists really want to kick authors while our incomes are down?” Hasbrouck writes. “The argument is that students need e-books while they are staying home. But that’s an argument for spending public funds to purchase or license those resources for public use — not putting the burden of providing educational materials for free on writers, illustrators, and photographers. Authors also need to eat and pay rent during this crisis.”
The Internet Archive announced the National Emergency Library project on March 24, in response to the closures of libraries during the Covid-19 crisis, building upon the Internet Archive’s “Controlled Digital Lending” program. …
(8) MANDEL OBIT. Playwright and screenwriter Loring Mandel
died March 24. His 1959 script ”Project
Immortality” for Playhouse 90 got him his first Emmy nomination: “Key
defense scientist Doner has cancer. Schramm is assigned to code Doner’s
thinking into a computer. He gets to know him as a friend, a husband and
father. The project is successful, but he now knows identity is not
was the screenwriter for Countdown,
released in 1967, the year before the first Moon landing: “Desperate to reach
the moon first, N.A.S.A. sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must
find it to survive. He can’t return until Apollo is ready.” The movie starred
James Caan and Robert Duvall.
March 30, 2013 — Orphan Black premiered on BBC America in the USA and Space in Canada. Starring Tatiana Maslany as the clones, it run for five seasons and fifty episodes. It would win a Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo at Sasquan for “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 30, 1904 — Herbert van Thal. Editor of the Pan Book of Horror Stories series that ran twenty-four volumes from 1959 to 1983. Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories is a look at the series and it contains Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares, the first biography of him written by Pan Book of Horror Stories expert Johnny Mains. (Died 1983.)
Born March 30, 1927 — Greta Thyssen. Labeled Queen of the B-Movies she appeared in a number of genre films such as The Beast of Budapest, Creature from Blood Island andJourney to the Seventh Planet. (Died 2018.)
Born March 30, 1928 — Chad Oliver. Writer of both Westerns and SF, a not uncommon occupation at that time. He considered himself an anthropological science fiction writer whose training as an academic informed his fiction, an early Le Guin if you will. Not a terribly prolific writer with just nine novels and two collections to his name over a forty-year span. Mists of Dawn, his first novel, is a YA novel which I’d recommend as it reads a lot a similar Heinlein would. (Died 1993.)
Born March 30, 1933 — Anna Ruud. Dr. ingrid Naarveg in the Three Stooges film Have Rocket — Will Travel. Hey, it is genre of a sorts. On a more serious note, she was Doctor Sigrid Bomark in 12 to the Moon. She had one-offs in Voyage to the Bottom of The Sea, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Died 2018.)
Born March 30, 1943 — Dennis Etchison. As editor, he received two World Fantasy Awards for Best Anthology, MetaHorror and The Museum of Horrors. As a writer, he’s best remembered as a short story writer of quite tasty horror. Talking in the Dark Is his personally selected collection of his stories. (Died 2019.)
Born March 30, 1948 — Jeanne Robinson. She co-wrote the Stardance Saga with her husband Spider Robinson. To my knowledge, her only other piece of writing was ‘Serendipity: Do, Some Thoughts About Collaborative Writing ‘ which was published in the MagiCon Program. (Died 2010.)
Born March 30, 1958 — Maurice LaMarche, 62. Voice actor primarily for such roles as Pinky and The Brain (both of which Stross makes use of) with Pinky modelled off Orson Welles, the entire cast as near as I can tell of Futurama, the villain Sylar on Heroes, the voice of Orson Welles in Ed Wood, a less serious Pepé Le Pew in Space Jam, and, though maybe not genre, he’s voiced Kellogg’s Froot Loops spokesbird Toucan Sam and the animated Willy Wonka character in Nestlé’s Willy Wonka Candy Company commercials.
Born March 30, 1990 — Cassie Scerbo, 30. Nova Clarke in the Sharknado film series alongside Ian Ziering and Tara Reid (2013–2018). And one site listed her as being a member of the cast of Star Trek: Progeny, yet another of those video Trek fanfics.
(11) COMICS SECTION.
Non Sequitur follows Spaceman Leonard as he tries to fuel up on a barren planet (Earth).
…At the heart of the series was the writer Kate Worley, who gave the comic its distinctive voice and helped cultivate its wide-ranging fan base.
The character Omaha, created by the writer and artist Reed Waller, made her debut in 1978 as part of a fanzine. She eventually found her way into her own comic book, beginning in 1984. But then Waller got writer’s block.
“He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue,” Worley wrote in an introduction to a 1989 collected edition of Omaha. So she offered some suggestions. “I chattered for some time about possible plot directions, new characters,” she said.
When she was finished, Waller asked, “Would you like a job?” Worley took over as the writer, while Waller continued to draw the comic.
…United Planets cruiser C-57D, under the command of Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen), was dispatched to Altair IV to find out what had happened to an expedition that had been sent out twenty years earlier. As soon as the starship arrives in orbit, C-57D receives a transmission from the surface. There is at least one survivor of the earlier mission. To Adams’ surprise, the survivor, scientist Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) doesn’t want to be rescued. Indeed, he warns the craft to go away if it wants to save its crew.
NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit. The award is a significant step forward for NASA’s Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable human lunar presence.
At the Moon, NASA and its partners will gain the experience necessary to mount a historic human mission to Mars.
SpaceX will deliver critical pressurized and unpressurized cargo, science experiments and supplies to the Gateway, such as sample collection materials and other items the crew may need on the Gateway and during their expeditions on the lunar surface.
(15) HE AM IRON MAN. [Item by Mike Kennedy.]
Should the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever decide to reboot, we may have
found our new Iron Man…
It is the year 2364, and Jean-Luc Picard – the revered captain of the USS Enterprise – has just come face to face with three humans who have been frozen in time since the late 20th century. By this point in the story – the 1988 finale of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation – he has met Klingons, Romulans, a pool of black goo, but nothing is as alien as these greedy, selfish relics.
This is Star Trek, after all: the pop-culture behemoth built on the idealistic future envisioned in the 60s by its creator Gene Roddenberry. “A lot has changed in the past 300 years,” Picard tells them. “People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.”
Or have we? Revisiting the character 30 years later in Star Trek: Picard, Patrick Stewart’s grand return to the role at the age of 79, it seems the world has not progressed as much as we were led to believe. Set during a time in which the Federation – a union of planets with shared democratic values and interests – has turned isolationist in response to a terror attack, it has proved to be a divisively dark, gritty and morally bleak take on the Star Trek universe….
With global coronavirus cases heading toward half a million, Harvard infectious disease experts said recent modeling shows that — absent the development of a vaccine or other intervention — a staggered pattern of social distancing would save more lives than a one-and-done strategy and avoid overwhelming hospitals while allowing immunity to build in the population.
The work, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and led by Yonatan Grad, the Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology, also shows that if strict social distancing such as that imposed in China — which cuts transmission by 60 percent — is relaxed, it results in epidemic peaks in the fall and winter similar in size and with similar impacts on the health care system as those in an uncontrolled epidemic.
“We looked at how it would affect the thing that matters most — overwhelming the critical-care unit,” Grad said.
The problem, the researchers said, is that while strict social distancing may appear to be the most effective strategy, little population-level immunity is developed to a virus that is very likely to come around again.
(18) PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS. A lot of genre figures
are getting in on the act – we learned about these three from Comicbook.com:
[Thanks to Daniel Dern, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Michael J. Walsh, Cat Eldridge, Darrah Chavey, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. (* )Thanks to Bill Burns for the assist. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
Miller is the author of the Nebula-winning The Art of
Starving. Miller’s second novel Blackfish
City—a shortlist selection of the 2019 Neukom Awards—tells the
story of life set in a floating Arctic city where rising seas have caused
dramatic geopolitical changes. His most recent book, Destroy All
Monsters, was published in 2019.
“The imagined futures of some of the best speculative fiction
have always felt uncomfortably close,” said Dan Rockmore,
director of Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science and creator
of the award program. “We are excited to have Sam Miller, one of the most
imaginative writers of our day, guide us through this year’s awards under
circumstances that seem like they were pulled from the pages of a spec fic
The Neukom awards program presents prizes in two book
categories: one for a debut author, and another in an open author category.
There is also a separate award for playwriting. Miller will serve as a judge
for the book awards.
“We’re living in weird and terrifying times that rival the best
speculative fiction in their outlandishness,” said Miller, a recipient of the Shirley Jackson
Award. “My peers and heroes in the genre community are rising to the challenge
by writing magnificent books that not only capture the true horror of how we’re
destroying the world, but the hope and power we have to save it. We’ve seen
some astonishing novels come out in the past year, and I’m excited to help
celebrate some of them as part of the Neukom Awards.”
Each Neukom award comes with a $5,000 honorarium given as a part
of Dartmouth programming. The literary awards will be presented during a panel
scheduled for fall of 2020. The playwriting award also includes the opportunity
to develop and perform the script, first as a part of the summer VoxFest program
and then later with the local Northern Stage theatre group.
The short list of books for this year’s awards will be made
public in May. The list will be decided by Rockmore, along with Dartmouth
colleagues Eric Schaller, Tarek El-Ariss,
and Peter Orner,
as well as The Santa Fe Institute’s Jessica Flack.
The awards will be announced in June.
Additional information on the awards may be found on the Neukom
Institute website here.