The six works nominated for the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award were announced by the judges and the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust on January 20.
Failed State by Christopher Brown (Harper Voyager)
The Book Of Koli by M. R. Carey (Orbit)
Dance On Saturday by Elwin Cotman (Small Beer Press)
Bone Silence by Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
Road Out Of Winter by Alison Stine (Mira)
The Doors Of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit)
First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 2, 2021 at Norwescon 44 which will be held virtually this year. The link to the ceremony will be posted here when it is available.
The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year.? ? The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society.? ?
Last year’s winner was Sooner Or Later Everything Falls Into The Sea: Stories by Sarah Pinsker (Small Beer Press) with a special citation to The Little Animals by Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press).
The 2021 judges are F. Brett Cox, Brendan A. DuBois, Cynthia Felice, Tim Pratt, and Jessica Reisman (Chair).
The longlist for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 announced January 20 includes one sff work and a memoir by a well-known sff writer. The Prize is given “to celebrate the best literature of our time, regardless of form.”
Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch, “a feminist revision of an old Taino myth,” is on the list, as is Carmen Maria Machado’s nonfiction work about domestic abuse, In the Dream House: A Memoir.
All books considered for the prize are nominated by the Folio Academy, an international group of more than 250 writers and critics. The three judges for the 2021 prize are poet Roger Robinson, the Irish writer, editor and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson and novelist and short story writer Jon McGregor.
Here is the complete longlist:
Just Us – Claudia Rankine (Allen Lane)
Indelicacy – Amina Cain (Daunt Books)
The Appointment – Katharina Volckmer (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
As You Were – Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker)
The Geez – Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Peepal Tree Press)
The Mermaid of Black Conch – Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree Press)
Poor – Caleb Femi (Penguin)
OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Penguin Ireland)\
The Actual – Inua Ellams (Penned In The Margins)
Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart (Picador)
My Darling from the Lions – Rachel Long (Picador)
English Pastoral – James Rebanks (Allen Lane)
The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers – Mark Gevisser (Profile Books)
In the Dream House: A Memoir – Carmen Maria Machado (Serpent’s Tail)
Strangers – Rebecca Tamás (Makina Books)
RENDANG – Will Harris (Granta)
Entangled Life – Merlin Sheldrake (The Bodley Head)
handiwork – Sara Baume (Tramp Press)
A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)
How Much of These Hills is Gold – C Pam Zhang (Virago)
The 2021 Lefty Award nominees were selected by members of the last in-person convention in San Diego and the next one scheduled for Albuquerque in April 2022. The awards will be voted on virtually and presented April 10, 2021. Here are the nominees:
Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Crooked Lane Books)
Jennifer J. Chow, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (Berkley Prime Crime)
Carl Hiaasen, Squeeze Me (Alfred A. Knopf)
Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets (Henery Press)
J. Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (Aakenbaaken & Kent)
Sung J. Woo, Skin Deep (Agora Books)
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel
(Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970
Susanna Calkins, The Fate of a Flapper (Minotaur Books)
Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (Kensington Books)
Laurie R. King, Riviera Gold (Bantam Books)
Catriona McPherson, The Turning Tide (Quercus)
Ann Parker, Mortal Music (Poisoned Pen Press)
James W. Ziskin, Turn to Stone (Seventh Street Books)
Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel
Daisy Bateman, Murder Goes to Market (Seventh Street Books)
Mary Keliikoa, Derailed (Camel Press)
Erica Ruth Neubauer, Murder at the Mena House (Kensington Books)
Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
Halley Sutton, The Lady Upstairs (Putnam)
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts (Ecco)
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel
Tracy Clark, What You Don’t See (Kensington Books)
S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron Books)
Matt Coyle, Blind Vigil (Oceanview Publishing)
Rachel Howzell Hall, And Now She’s Gone (Forge)
Louise Penny, All the Devils Are Here (Minotaur Books)
To be eligible for the 2021 Lefty Awards, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2020, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2020, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)
The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival has announced the award winners for its third annual event which featured a lineup of science fiction, horror, and fantasy films, music videos, and panel discussions. The virtual festival, held from January 14-17, 2021, explored the influence and breakthroughs of the psychedelic community and recognized nine official selections for their outstanding filmmaking and storytelling.
BEST PSYCHEDELIC FEATURE
Magnetic Pathways (2018)
Director: Edgar Pera
Run Time/Country: 97 min, Portugal
Synopsis: Portugal is ruled by an authoritarian plutocracy and one man descends into a night of drunken soul searching and humiliation after his beloved daughter is wedded to one of the power elite.
BEST PSYCHEDELIC DOCUMENTARY
Veterans Journey Home (2020)
Director: Frederick Marx
Run Time/Country: 100 min, USA
Synopsis: A cohort of 12 military veterans do an ancient, 12-day, wilderness Vision Fast ceremony in the desert in Washington that includes four days of solo fasting on the land using only water and minimal shelter. Directed by the producer and co-writer of the 1994 documentary HoopDreams.
BEST TRANSPERSONAL DOCUMENTARY
The People Who Suspend (2019)
Director: Lukas Larson
Run Time/Country: 97 min, USA
Synopsis: Director Lukas Larson set out to understand the people who practice body suspension, but what began as a study of other people, ended with the camera pointed at himself as he faced the end of life as he knew it. The People Who Suspend covers everything from the ancient history of this strange ritual to the diverse ways it is practiced in the modern era. This is the first feature documentary specifically focused on the practice of suspension and the people who suspend.
BEST VISIONARY SHORT
Embers of the Sun (2019)
Director: Zareh Tjeknavorian
Run Time/Country: 12 min, Armenia
Synopsis: This impressionistic short film evokes the otherworldly beauty of Armenia’s prehistoric monuments and their sacred landscapes. The monoliths and rock art of the highlands are vestiges of the mysterious Bronze Age peoples that hunted and worshipped in this remote volcanic realm some 4 thousand years ago.
BEST PSYCHEDELIC/TRANSPERSONAL SHORT
Loss of Reality (2019)
Director: Martin Holper
Run Time/Country: 27 min, Germany
Synopsis: Momo is a young man who would rather take drugs and fool around with his girlfriend than work at his parent’s shop. His irresponsible behavior towards himself starts soon to affect his family and friends.
BEST HORROR SHORT
Director: Nadira Murray
Run Time/Country: 8 min, UK
Synopsis: Troubled teen Angela enters the toilet to refresh herself. She feels odd. She hears a sudden gunshot and screams – “the night club is under attack.” Angela fears for her life; or is her mind playing tricks?
BEST PSYCHEDELIC ANIMATION
La Vuelta de la Polilla (2019)
Director: Brian C. O’Malley and Daniel A. Peneng
Run Time/Country: 6 min, USA
Synopsis: A young shaman in search of the eternal light discovers a moth who holds the secret of transcendence. The shaman goes on a quest to join the moth and its flock, discovering ultimate reality.
BEST PSY-TRANCE INSTRUMENTAL
Composer: Ava Lynch
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: An instrumental voyage of Transcendence.
BEST PSY-ROCK SONG
End of Confusion (2020)
Composer: Second Coming
Run Time/Country: 4 min, USA
Synopsis: From the album “Fall of Babylon,” this music video is about coming to grips with the Earth’s crisis and finding hope.
The Psychedelic Film and Music Festival explores the altered states of consciousness and psychedelia created by film, music, art and other forms of media. Showcasing independent feature films, shorts, music videos and documentaries, and panels with distinguished guests, the festival pushes the boundaries of psychedelic and noetic realities to give audiences a unique and visceral experience.
For several weeks, a masked Mandalorian and his Baby Yoda has been zooming around the streets of Los Angeles, spreading some good cheer during the pandemic.
…The man behind the homemade mask is comedian Tim Brehmer, who told NBC he’s out of work and his goal was simply to make people laugh during a tough time.
“This whole thing got started because I’m a big box of stupid and I love making people laugh,” he told NBC. “…with some people with depression, a pill can help, with some people therapy can help, with me, this is my therapy.”
(2) FANTASY FORERUNNER. In “Why George MacDonald Matters” at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Timothy Larsen gives an introduction to the great Victorian fantasist who was a major influence on the Inklings.
…MacDonald’s grandmother decided that the musical interests of one of her sons were becoming idolatrous and so she threw his violin into the fire. Likewise, MacDonald’s own father confiscated a copy of a novel by Sir Walter Scott that the future author had managed to get his youthful hands on.
George MacDonald is a central figure in the generation that changed all this. One possible way for children to escape from relentlessly didactic and moralizing literature was to find a portal into fairyland. When MacDonald’s mother died, his father remarried. The family patriarch also mellowed with age and regretted his Puritanical decision regarding the Waverly novel. As a young adult, MacDonald insured that his little half-sister, Bella, received a copy of Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
In 1858, George MacDonald published his novel, Phantastes. He called it “a sort of fairy tale for grown people.” On his twenty-first birthday, Anodos is transported into his fairyland….
Ransomware gangs demand millions, from millions of victims. Then there are specialized negotiators that talk to them on behalf of organizations. In this episode, Gadi and Karen will host two such masters, Christoph Fischer and Moty Cristal, who will share their experience with incident response, negotiation, and communication with criminal organizations.
…And the Firesigns did not shy away from social commentary. Their work predicted the downfall of the Soviet Union, the undoing of a president, the computer revolution, and a modern-day plague.
Ossman puts it this way: “I think at heart, although we loved mystery, we were really science fiction writers in that big genre, it holds everybody from futurists to fantasists to surrealists. Over the course of our entire career, we developed all kinds of worlds and characters and universes. I mean, it was fantasy combined with science fiction, combined with comments about what was going on at that moment.”
The Firesign Theatre has just released their first new record in 35 years — “Dope Humor of the Seventies.” It’s a two-disc set that includes 83 minutes of freeform radio mayhem, and madness from 1970 to 1972….
(5) SOME REALLY SMALL BITES. ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination’s series Science Fiction TV Small Bite presents “short films from talented creators that invite us to explore a range of possible futures.” The next one on February 4 features a short sf film about genetically engineered mosquitoes followed by a discussion. Register here.
Our latest Small Bite is Akoota, a science fiction film about genetically engineered mosquitoes and social control written and directed by Dilman Dila. We’ll screen the 20-minute film, and then have a conversation with Dilman, an award-winning filmmaker, speculative fiction author, and storyteller based in Uganda, and Andrew Maynard, director of the Risk Innovation Lab at Arizona State University, professor and associate dean in the College of Global Futures, and author of the books Films from the Future and Future Rising.
We’ll also feature a segment on future cuisine by Corey S. Pressman, an educator, anthropologist, poet, and member of CSI’s Imaginary College.
Ages ago, humans evolved on Hain. The Hainish exuberantly settled a large number of worlds in our galactic neighbourhood before apparently abandoning interstellar travel for long enough that worlds like Earth forgot they were Hainish colonies. When a new era of interstellar contact began, terrestrial humans discovered worlds already occupied by their cousins.
On the plus side, even though time and evolution—or alternatively, an ancient Hainish fad for genetic engineering—led to considerable diversity between the various branches of humanity, the communications gap is still less than that which exists between any group of humans and the truly alien entities found elsewhere, such as on Vaster than Empires and More Slow’s World 4470. On the minus side, human vices manifest in diverse native forms on each world: thus, the interstellar civil disorders seen in Rocannon’s World, the political strife featured in The Dispossessed, and brutal exploitation in The Word for World is Forest.
(7) GODFALLSTALK. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Game Trailers: Godfall,” Fandom Games says that Godfall is the sort of low-imagination game for times when “you just want to hit a bunch of guys with a big sword until they fall over” and has characters so generic they look like “sketches from a fifth-grader’s science notebook.”
This episode dropped today. It is dedicated to Brad Venable, long time voice for Honest Game Trailers, who died on January 7 at 43.
… Constantine was never less than wildly enthusiastic about all her books, including the three of mine that Immanion published. If her imprint had started as a way to get her own work back into print, it quickly evolved into a personal mission to bring books to readers that the mainstream publishers often overlooked.
Donna Scott, now a writer, editor and standup comedian, was assigned by Storm to edit Hinterland. “It’s no exaggeration to say she changed my life. She was so encouraging and supportive to new writers, and fan fiction writers, which is rare among writers held in similar esteem,” said Scott. “The heart of fantasy literature is going to ache from the loss of Storm. Not only was she one of the most powerfully unique and creative voices we had, but also a welcoming friend to new talent.
(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
January 19, 1990 — Tremors premiered in theaters. It was directed by Ron Underwood, and produced by Gale Anne Hurd, Brent Maddock, and S. S. Wilson, and written by Maddock, Wilson, and Underwood off the story by Brent Maddock, S. S. Wilson and Ron Underwood. It starred Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire. Five direct-to-video sequels followed, plus a series. The first film was well-received by critics for its story, special effects and acting alike, it currently has an eighty-six percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. Later films and the series are more varied in their audience ratings. (CE)
January 19, 2016 — DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow premiered. It was developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Phil Klemmer, who are also executive producers along with Sarah Schechter and Chris Fedak; Klemmer and Fedak serve as showrunners. The cast is is sprawling but Rip Hunter (portrayed by Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame) was at the centre for the first few seasons. The time travel, multiverse premise, and it’s now been renewed for a sixth season, allows for everything from Greek Mythology to Jonah Hex to show up. It holds a rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes of seventy percent. (CE)
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born January 19, 1924 — Dean Fredericks. Actor best known for his portrayal of the comic strip character Steve Canyon in the television series of the same name which aired from 1958–1959 on NBC. His first genre role is in Them! followed by appearances in The Disembodied and the lead in The Phantom Planet which you can watch here. (Died 1999.) (CE)
Born January 19, 1925 — Charles Aidman. He makes the Birthday Honors for having the recurring role of Jeremy Pike on The Wild Wild West, playing him four times. Other SFF appearances include Destination Space, The Invaders, Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible and Kolchak the Night Stalker to name but a few of them. (Died 1993.) (CE)
Born January 19, 1934 — Audrey Dalton, 77. I’ve first got visiting the SFF genre in the Fifties monster flick The Monster That Challenged the World where she was Gail MacKenzie. She’ll make three more SFF appearances in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wild Wild West and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. before retiring in her late Forties from acting. (CE)
Born January 19, 1940 — Mike Reid. He’s a curious case as he’s been in a number of SFF roles, usually uncredited, starting with a First Doctor story, “The War Machines” and including one-offs for The Saint, The Champions and Department S. He is credited as playing Frank Butcher in Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time which you can watch here. (Died 2007.) (CE)
Born January 19, 1956 — Geena Davis, 65. Her first genre was as Veronica “Ronnie” Quaife In The Fly reboot followed by her widely remembered roles as Barbara Maitland in Beetlejuice and Valerie Gail In Earth Girls Are Easy. She also plays Morgan Adams in the box office bomb Cutthroat Island before getting the choice plum of Mrs. Eleanor Little in the Stuart Little franchise. She has a lead role in Marjorie Prime, a film tackling memory loss in Alzheimer’s victims some fifty years by creating holographic projections of deceased family members that sounds really creepy. Who’s seen it? Her major series role to date is as Regan MacNeil on The Exorcist, a ten episode FOX sequel to the film. (CE)
Born January 19, 1962 — Paul McCrane, 59. Emil Antonowsky in RoboCop whose death there is surely an homage to the Toxic Avenger. A year later, he’d be Deputy Bill Briggs in the remake of The Blob, and he played Leonard Morris Betts in the “Leonard Betts” episode of the X-Files. (CE)
(11) COMICS SECTION.
Lio warns us about a new reason for alien abductions.
“Spaceman Spiff” (Calvin) learns that evading alien Zarches is much like evading your parents at Calvin & Hobbes.
With its movies and TV shows moving to HBO Max, DC Comics is taking its remaining assets (the comics, guys, it’s the comics) over to a brand-new platform. DC Universe Infinite launches this Thursday, January 21, and boasts over 25,000 comic books and graphic novels—including several frequently-requested titles that weren’t available on the previous app, like Grant Morrison’s Batman: Arkham Asylum and Brian Azzarello’s Joker. Described as a “premium digital comic book service and community,” DC Universe Infinite will offer a library of the largest collection of DC Comics anywhere, with plans to “continuously add selections from DC’s iconic labels, Vertigo, DC Black Label and Milestone Media.” New comic books will be available on the platform six months after release. The platform is available directly online, as well as on iOS and Android devices. Subscriptions cost $7.99 a month or $74.99 per year, billed annually.
(13) PROVING AUTHENTICITY. The Huntington’s article “Securing Election Results in 1640” shows how it was done old-school, with photos of the kind of specialized document involved.
…The need to ensure accurate reporting of election results is nothing new. In 17th-century England, local officials used documents called “indentures” to report the winning candidate in parliamentary elections.
The earliest use of the word “indenture” dates to the 1300s, when it described a feature of the document itself. Long before the widespread use of paper in the western world, scribes wrote contracts or deeds on parchment (treated animal skins). Then, as now, documents typically were executed by more than one party, so scribes wrote mirroring copies of the agreement on a single piece of parchment.
Using a pen knife, the scribe then sliced the parchment in two with vertical cuts that resulted in a pattern that looked like either jagged jack-o-lantern teeth fitted together or rolling, interlocking, scalloped edges. The word “indenture” derives from the Latin dentatum (toothed) because the cut along the top of each of the documents resembled teeth.
Parties would affix their wax seal to one copy of the indenture. If the contents of the document were ever disputed later, the parties could retrieve their copies and set them together. If the indents along the edges of the documents fit together like puzzle pieces, they knew neither of the halves had been forged. The indents served as a security measure….
Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is unique in our solar system: below its thick organic haze layer, rivers of methane carve channels into an icy bedrock and flow into large hydrocarbon seas. Could this moon’s lake-mottled surface and thick, organic rich atmosphere be an ideal setting for life as we do not know it?
Planetary scientist Sarah M. Hörst explores this question and all that’s left to be discovered about our own home from studying a moon worlds away.
Computers use a staggering amount of energy today. According to one recent estimate, data centers alone consume two percent of the world’s electricity, a figure that’s expected to climb to eight percent by the end of the decade. To buck that trend, though, perhaps the microprocessor, at the center of the computer universe, could be streamlined in entirely new ways.
One group of researchers in Japan have taken this idea to the limit, creating a superconducting microprocessor — one with zero electrical resistance. The new device, the first of its kind, is described in a study published last month in the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits…
Oh, The Muppet Show! 15 seconds to curtain, The Muppet Show! Or, make that one month: Disney+ has announced that all of five seasons of Jim Henson’s pioneering variety show will join its library February 19—the show’s streaming debut, if you don’t count all the YouTube rips we’ve been watching while waiting for the show to come to streaming.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Lise Andreasen, Michael Toman, Andrew Porter, John Hertz, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Darrah Chavey, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
Bill Burns announced eFanzines.com has stopped hosting announcements about National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) publications since yesterday, after N3F President George Phillies sent an email to his list asking for recipients to promote the N3F on Parler and Gab.
Burns says his response to Phillies’ email (which File 770 also received) was that he found “it hard to believe that this was a serious request.” Burns wrote back: “George: I assume you’re not aware that Parler and Gab are the sites frequented by those who planned and executed the recent attempted insurrection at the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths” and included links to the Wikipedia articles about Parler and Gab which explain their popularity with “Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists” “including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists, and the alt-right…”
Your assumption is simply wrong. I am entirely aware of the namecalling contests that have replaced political discourse in this country.
Whatever their political inclinations — I am mostly not interested in politics these days — these people who use each of the sites I listed are also science fiction fans. If they have been banned from other sites, well, that makes it difficult to reach them using those other sites, now doesn’t it? Curiously, while they are doing stfnal things, they are not doing political things.
Phillies today sent another email to his N3F list:
I will repeat my request for people interested in publicizing the N3F with short posts in places like twitter, parler, gab, etc. I have already heard complaints from people who think that Parler is full of neo-Nazis or Twitter is full of Communists. (Parler, by the way, is inoperative and empty.) That completely misses the point, namely both those places are also full of people who are primarily SF fans who could be lured into joining us.
The network vanished from the internet after it was dropped by Amazon’s hosting arm and other partners over a lack of moderation after its users called for violence and posted videos glorifying the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.
On Monday, Parler’s website was reachable again, though only with a message from its chief executive, John Matze, saying he was working to restore functionality.
The internet protocol (IP) address it used is owned by DDos-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men and provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks, infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters.
Gab also has been offline at times over the past couple years, dropped by domestic hosts who cited that many accounts engage in the “perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance,” and then by hosts in Norway for unspecified reasons. It is now hosted by Epik, which the Wikipedia describes as “a domain registrar and web hosting company known for providing services to websites that host far-right, neo-Nazi, and other extremist content.”
The National Fantasy Fan Federation was founded in 1941 by Damon Knight with the support of Art Widner and Louis Russell Chauvenet. George Phillies has been President of the N3F since 2015, and has edited some of its publications. He won the N3F Franson Award for club service in 2015, and in 2019 won one of its speculative fiction awards, the Neffys, Best Novel, for Against Three Lands.
Bill Burns adds:
I stopped hosting the N3F fanzines a couple of years ago, when I realized that they couldn’t be bothered to update their own website and were using me as an unpaid webmaster instead. Since then I have been posting announcements whenever Phillies sent me a note that their site was updated, but he was only sending these intermittently, and has been badmouthing me not posting updates he didn’t send.
When I got the unwanted email that included his absurd request, I felt I had to respond, but this was not connected to the previous hosting situation.
Before this I would have kept posting the announcements, but Phillies, despite his protestations on Facebook, had not sent me an update since May 2020. If he had I would have posted them, but now I’m done with them altogether.
Update 01/19/2021: Corrected that it is the announcements which will no longer be hosted at eFanzines, because the hosting of copies of the zines had already ended some time ago for another reason.
The award recognizes emerging authors who use science fiction to address issues of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.
Also announced as a shortlisted entry was Paul Johnson’s “Calling line 17”.
The award judge is author Andrea Hairston who said about the winner —
Lennixx-Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin did a fascinating science fictional concept connecting the elders to the future with androids. The characters were complex and engaging. He crafts a compelling family drama with a great twist at the end. Indeed, the storyline is full of difficult choices, heartrending dilemmas, and delightful surprises. He riffs on our current struggles with grace, faces the horror, and offers us hope.
Hairston likewise congratulated Paul Johnson:
In his story technology is not in the service of separating us from the universe, but a way to reconnect our spirits.
…The Copyright Office will set up the tribunal and determine many details governing its use that were not made explicit in the bill. The bill’s passage is good news in general for creators, but it is not a panacea for pursuing copyright infringement claims. Indeed, for most SFWA members, it will likely be of little use, no matter what procedures the Office establishes. That’s because the copyright infringer must voluntarily participate in the process after being notified of the claim. If the infringer is anonymous or difficult to trace, it may be impossible to serve notice of the claim at all. It also only applies to infringers located in the USA, which means it can’t be used to counteract the vast number of overseas pirating websites.
The tribunal will primarily be used in cases in which the rights holder and the infringer both see the benefit of a relatively low-cost method of resolving their dispute. In some cases, a credible threat of escalating the case to federal court may persuade the infringer to participate in the lower cost tribunal. However, it will still not be cheap. Aside from the fee for initiating a claim, whose amount has yet to be set, consulting with a lawyer to present a compelling case will still be necessary, or at least highly advisable. Several groups are looking at arranging lower cost or pro bono legal advice for these cases, and the law does include an option for law students and student legal clinics to act as representatives.
…The rules for inclusion were simple–just: (a) meet the eligibility criteria; and (b) be “award worthy” (i.e. good). Given the subjectivity of the latter, it should come as no surprise that the selections on our longlist reflect the spectrum of tastes, tendencies and predilections found among our group of writers. You’ll find selections ranging from the obscure and literary to the unabashedly popular and commercial, and from all corners and subdivisions of the genresphere.
That said, this is not – nor does it intend to be – a comprehensive survey of the field. Some books that are undoubtedly “award worthy,” for example, are absent for the simple reason that we haven’t read them yet. Thus we encourage you to think of this as a list of candidates to consider–alongside others….
(3) MACPHEE ESTATE SALE CONTINUES. Doug Ellis has put out Spike MacPhee Catalog #5 – SF & Fantasy Art, Books, Magazines & Ephemera Sale, with over 600 items for sale. It’s part of the Spike MacPhee estate sale of original art, books and other material.
From 1977 to 1989, the Science Fantasy Bookstore operated in Harvard Square in Cambridge. Deb and I hung out there when we were in law school and became friends with the owner, Spike MacPhee. Spike was a member of NESFA and also founded the small press, Paratime Press, which published several checklists in the 1970’s. He was also GoH at the first Arisia convention in 1990.
Besides reading SF, Spike was a devoted science art collector. From the late 1960’s into the 1990’s, Spike attended several SF conventions – among them Boskone, Lunacon, Nycon III, Noreascon, Discon, Torcon and Disclave – where he would often buy art at the art show auction. He also became friends with many SF artists of the 1970’s and bought art directly from them as well. Spike remained a passionate fan until he passed away on November 13, 2019.
The PDF catalog with roughly 250 images can be found at this link until January 24. (41 MB file, 114 pages.)
Among the art that will be that catalog is this piece, done by artist Rick Sternbach in 1974. It was drawn by him on the outside (left side) and inside (right side) of a pizza box, which apparently had contained a pepperoni-hamburger pizza from Franco Pizza House in Cambridge, MA. As related in the Minicon 15 program book from 1979, where Sternbach was Artist Guest of Honor, comes this: “Yessir, Rick, he surely loved to…do pizza box cover artwork. Spike MacPhee, one of the people living at Terminus (the center of a lot of this activity, and Rick’s hang-out, when he was in town), thought a lot of Rick’s work…and he thought that it was his duty to save all those pizza-box covers…”
Definitely a unique piece of art! The pizza box is now in two pieces, as shown in the scan. Pizza not included.
(4) N3F SHORT STORY CONTEST WINNERS. The National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) Short Story Contest Judge Jefferson Swycaffer announced the winners in the January issue of TNFF.
First Prize: The Azazel Tree, by Chris Owens, a tale of morality, of absolute good and absolute evil, and one hero who strives to uphold the good, despite the awful cost.
Second Prize: The Eternal Secret, by John Yarrow, Heroic Fantasy in the classical mold, a tale that might have been told of Odysseus or Jason, fighting monsters and solving riddles.
Third Prize: If Music Be The Fruit of Love, by Jack Mulcahy, a tale of music and love, and how a crisis calls upon us to rise to the level of heroism.
Honorable Mention: The Haunting of the Jabberwocky, by Charles Douglas, a truly Carrollian story of wordplay and madness, and how a hero, unarmed, has the greatest weapon of all.
There were twenty-one entries, science fiction and fantasy, mostly from the United States, four from Great Britain.
(5) BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK. [Item by Danny Sichel.] The Science Museum (UK) has combined their digitized collection with their API and their log of pages that have 0 views to create a web tool that will show each visitor a picture of an image that has never been looked at before. You can be the first person to see an object. “Never Been Seen”.
(I saw a page from a 1780 surgical manual and a seton needle and some 19th-century ebony-and-steel forceps)
(6) GERMANY’S OLDEST BOOKSELLER DIES. [Item by Darrah Chavey.] Of possible interest to File770 readers, since we tend to be bookstore fans. The H. Weyhe Bookstore, founded in 1840, is one of the oldest bookstores in Germany, founded before Germany was a country. It was purchased by Helga Weyhe’s grandfather in 1871, and has been in the family since then. Helga Weyhe worked at, and then ran, the bookstore since 1944. She passed away at the end of December or early Jan. at the age of 98. The New York Times has her story here.
(7) HERNANDEZ OBIT. Lail Montgomery Finlay Hernandez, a GoH of the 2014 World Fantasy Con and the daughter of pulp artist Virgil Finlay, died on January 13 from cancer at the age of 71.
She contributed remembrances to Virgil Finlay Remembered: The Seventh Book Of Virgil Finlay (1981) and Virgil Finlay’s Women Of Ages (1982) (see her foreword here: “Lail Finlay Remembers Her Father”) and was closely involved with the publication of TheCollectors’ Book Of Virgil Finlay (2019).
After her house burned down in November 2019 (killing her musician husband), a GoFundMe appeal was launched to help her and her daughter save what they could of her father’s art and papers. (See Pixel Scroll 11/29/19 The Scrolls of Our Teeth item #5.)
(8) LIGHTLE OBIT. Comics artist Steve Lightle died January 8. Yahoo! News has his profile:
As the artist for the popular comic “Legion of Super-Heroes” in the early 1980s, Steve Lightle made a living dreaming up the future, but his own was cut short by Covid-19.
Lightle, 61, died from cardiac arrest in a Kansas City, Missouri, hospital on Jan. 8, just three days after coming down with what he thought was a head cold and just hours after he was rushed to the hospital.
… Best known for his runs on “Legion” and “Doom Patrol” for DC and “Classic X-Men” covers for Marvel, Lightle became a fixture at conventions, never too busy to mentor the next generation. He came across as larger than life and drew visuals that were just as grand.
(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
January 18, 1952 –On this day in 1952, Tales of Tomorrow’s Frankenstein first aired on ABC. It would be the sixteenth episode of the first season of the series. It was directed by Don Medford. The episode starred Lon Chaney, Jr. in the role of Frankenstein’s monster and John Newland in the role of Victor Frankenstein. Lon Chaney, Jr. is credited here as Lon Chaney as he was in all his later work. He’s no stranger to playing The Monster as he played the role of The Monster in the Universal Pictures Ghost of Frankenstein a decade earlier. You can watch it here. (CE)
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born January 18, 1882 – A.A. Milne. Talented cricketer; among his teammates Barrie, Conan Doyle (whose surname is really Doyle, not Conan Doyle, but never mind that for now), Wodehouse. Twoscore plays, six novels, poems, nonfiction, besides Winnie the Pooh (two books of stories, and usually including two of poetry although the Pooh characters aren’t in them), which nevertheless remains great fantasy, seems timeless, and shows we can fantasize princes or piglets. (Died 1956) [JH]
January 18, 1920 — Constance Moore. She gets Birthday Honors for being in the 1939 movie serial Buck Rogers in which she was Wilma Deering, the only female character in the serial. Were there ever other female main cast characters in Buck Rogers? (Died 2005.) (CE)
January 18, 1933 — John Boorman, 87. Director who’s responsible for one of the best SFF films ever done, Excaliburwith Sean Connery, and one of the worst with that also starred Sean Connery, Zardoz. (He wrote the novel for that one as well.) He also directed the rather nifty Emerald Forest which Holdstock did a far better than merely good job of novelizing.(CE)
Born January 18, 1934 – Hank Reinhardt. Author, editor, armorer, leading U.S. Southern fan. Co-founded the first Atlanta and Birmingham SF clubs. Fan Guest of Honor at DeepSouthCon 19, StellarCon 17, Archon 29. Rebel Award andRubble Award; Georgia Fandom Award, later named for him. Two short stories, one anthology, posthumous Book of Swords and Book of Knives. After his first wife died, married fan and pro Toni Weisskopf. (Died 2007) [JH]
Born January 18, 1935 – Eddie Jones. Fanartist who developed a spectacular pro career. TAFF delegate. Fan Guest of Honor at St. Louiscon the 27th Worldcon; Official Artist at Boskone 11, Guest of Honor at Mythcon 1982. Did the Knight of Pentacles for Bruce Pelz’ Fantasy Showcase Tarot Deck (see here; images and BP’s introduction here, scroll down for Pentacles, they come after Cups). Eight hundred fifty covers, a hundred interiors. Here is Vector 37. Here is the Heicon ’70 Program Book (28th Worldcon). Here is A Gift from Earth. Here is City. Here is R is for Rocket. (Died 1999) [JH]
Born January 18, 1936 – Rhoda Lerman. Two novels for us, four others, nonfiction, television, films. One-woman play about Eleanor Roosevelt. Cultural delegate on first U.S. delegation to Tibet. Bred champion Newfoundlands. NY Times appreciation (5 Sep 15) said “her imagination was eccentric … her books didn’t resemble one another.” (Died 2015) [JH]
January 18, 1937 — Dick Durock. He was best known for playing Swamp Thing in Swamp Thing and The Return of Swamp Thing and the following television series which ran for three seasons. His only other genre appearances were in The Nude Bomb (also known as The Return of Maxwell Smart) and “The First” of The Incredible Hulk. He shows up in Die Hard with a Vengeance in a subway scene. No, it’s not genre, I just like that film. (Died 2009.) (CE)
Born January 18, 1942 – Franz Rottensteiner, Ph.D., age 79. Publisher, editor, translator, critic. Edited Quarber Merkur (SF journal named for the Quarb Ravine in Austria; Merkur = Mercury) since 1998. Kurd Laßwitz Prize. Translated into German e.g. Abe, Dick, Lem, Cordwainer Smith, the Strugatsky brothers. Fifty anthologies, e.g. in English Views from Another Shore; The Best of Austrian SF. Ninety biographies e.g. Franke, Hodgson, Le Guin, Malory, Robbe-Grillet, for Das Bibliographisches Lexikon der utopisch-phantastischen Literatur. Published eighteen volumes of Wells. [JH]
January 18, 1953 — Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet, 68. Her best novel is I think Tam Lin though one could make an argument for Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary which Windling claims is her favorite fantasy novel. Her Secret Country trilogy is also a great deal of fun to read. Much of her short stories are set in the Liavek shared universe created by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly. All of the Liavek anthologies are now available on all major digital platforms. According to the files sitting in my Dropbox folder, there’s eight volumes to the series. They’re wonderful reading. End of plug. (CE)
January 18, 1960 — Mark Rylance, 61. He was in Prospero’s Books, an adaption of The Tempest which I really want to see, The BFG and Ready Player One are the films he’s been in. He’s an active thespian as well with plays of interest to us that’s he’s been being A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Royal Opera House, Hamlet at American Repertory Theater and Macbeth at Greenwich Theatre to show but a few of his appearances. (CE)
January 18, 1964 — Jane Horrocks, 57. Her first SFF genre role was Pattern in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, scripted off the Joan Aiken novel. A year later, she showed up in The Witches, scripted off the Raoul Dahl novel playing Miss Susan Irvine. She voices Black Widow / Mrs. Plum in Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride, and voiced Hannah in the late Ninties Watership Down. (CE)
Born January 18, 1984 – C.J. Redwine, age 37. Seven novels, one shorter story for us; The Shadow Queen a NY Times Best-Seller. “If the villain isn’t worthy of my heroes, then the story no longer matters.” Has read The Wizard of Oz, Hamlet, a Complete Stories & Poems of Poe (read his essays too, folks), Anne of Green Gables, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird. [JH]
(11) COMICS SECTION.
Blondie has a take on ice cream that I hope is a fantasy.
The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. Sip our exotic, Limited Edition teas on adventures throughout your own galaxy. New Season Now Streaming on Disney+
For its 1937–38 “Christmas Lectures for Children,” the Natural History Society of Oxfordshire announced forthcoming talks on coral reefs, birds, whales, horses — and dragons. The latter topic was taken up by J.R.R. Tolkien, a professor of English literature who had just published The Hobbit, an immensely popular book involving a dragon. Tolkien’s lecture, before an audience packed with children of all ages, tackled a decidedly adult subject: the problem of evil in the world and the heroism required to combat it.
Tolkien began, disarmingly, with a slide show of prehistoric reptiles, including a Pteranodon in flight, to remind his listeners that “science also fills this past with dreadful monsters — many of the largest and most horrible being of a distinctly lizard-like or dragonish kind.” These ancient creatures, he said, embodied legendary qualities found in dragon mythology. The dragons with whom he had an acquaintance “loved to possess beautiful things.” Greed and hatred motivated them. “And how can you withstand a dragon’s flame, and his venom, and his terrible will and malice, and his great strength?”
It probably was not lost on the children present that Tolkien’s mythical dragons sounded a lot like the people who inhabited the real world. The adults might have discerned a more ominous message. Tolkien delivered his lecture on January 1, 1938. Nearly a year earlier, on January 30, 1937, Adolf Hitler had officially withdrawn Germany from the Treaty of Versailles and demanded that its colonies be returned….
(14) DATA FIGURINE. EXO-6 has created a scale model of Lieutenant Commander Data. Twelve inches tall, $189.95. But do I want that face staring at me from across the room?
EXO-6 is proud to present their first 1:6 scale articulated figure from Star Trek™: First Contact – Lt. Commander Data.
When introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data was a one-of-a-kind cybernetic organism, an artificial being that wanted nothing more than be just like the imperfect humans he served with aboard the Enterprise. In the film First Contact the Borg Queen gives him an opportunity to be more human than he ever thought possible, yet he rejects that hope in the service of loyalty to his friends and the rest of humanity.
Data is one of the most popular characters in Star Trek, and no other character better expresses the wonder of discovery that is the heart of Star Trek than this android with a soul. The EXO-6 1:6 scale figure of Data will not only embody the hopefulness of the character, but also bring an element of Brent Spiner’s performance into collector’s homes.
…Nix was inspired to write The Left-Handed Booksellers of London (as he related in his acknowledgements at the end) by a fortuitous comment from a left-handed bookseller in Leith. He pulls on his memories from his first trip to the United Kingdom in 1983 (among other things, he hiked the Old Man of Coniston, a famous mountain in the Lake District) and his past experience working as a bookseller. It was both amusing and engaging as I realized just how many actual British landmarks he has woven into the plot of this novel. And also uniquely British foods — Branston pickle sandwiches were a revelation, and I don’t think I’ll soon recover from checking out pictures of stargazy pie.
Javicia Leslie debuted as the new caped crusader on The CW’s “Batwoman” last night, but her start didn’t shine nearly as bright (a Bat signal) as Ruby Rose’s. Sunday primetime was dominated by Fox’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints NFL Divisional Playoffs game, which ended just shy of 10 p.m. on the east coast. Due to the nature of live sports, the below Nielsen numbers for Fox should be considered subject to adjustment. Final numbers are expected later today. The new-look “Batwoman” managed just a 0.1 rating last night in the key demo and 663,000 total viewers. Back on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, Rose’s “Batwoman” debuted to a 0.5 rating and 1.8 million viewers — meaning last night’s Season 2 premiere was down 80% in the demo from the series debut.
(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Star Trek Beyond Pitch Meeting” on ScreenRant, Ryan George says the producers of the third Star Trek Kelvin movie forgot the super blood and Carol Marcus from the second Star Trek Kelvin movie but thought that Starfleet would place a state of the art starbase right next door to an unexplored area teeming with bad guys.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, John Hertz, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Doug Ellis, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Danny Sichel.]