By Steve Green: Fritz Weaver (1926-2016): American actor, died 26 November, aged 90. Genre appearances include The Twilight Zone (“Third from the Sun”, 1960; “The Obsolete Man”, 1961; “The Star”, 1985), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (“The Vulcan Affair”, 1964), The Invaders (“The Captive”, 1967), Night Gallery (“A Question of Fear”, 1971), Demon Seed (1977), Wonder Woman (“The Return of Wonder Woman”, 1977), The Martian Chronicles (“The Settlers”, 1980), Jaws of Satan (1981), Creepshow (1982), Tales from the Darkside (“Inside the Closet”, 1984; “Comet Watch”, 1986), Friday the 13th: The Series (“The Prophecies, parts 1 & 2”, 1989), Monsters (“Jar”, 1989), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (“Tribunal”, 1994), The X-Files (“Tunguska” and “Terma”, both 1996), The Cobbler (2014).
By Steve Green: Ron Glass, American actor and director, died November 25, aged 71. Genre appearances include The Twilight Zone (“I of Newton,” 1985), Deep Space (1988), Teen Angel (17 episodes as God’s cousin Rod, 1997-98), Star Trek: Voyager (“Nightingale,” 2000), Firefly (14 episodes as Book, 2002-03) and its spin-off movie Serenity (2005), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (two episodes, 2013-14).
The Variety obituary adds these details:
In 1975 Glass found his breakout role in “Barney Miller,” set in an NYPD station. His character was a dapper and ambitious intellectual, obsessed with launching his career as a writer. The role earned Glass a Primetime Emmy nomination in 1982 in the supporting actor category.
After “Barney Miller,” Glass would go on to star in 18 episodes of the 1982 “The Odd Couple” remake “The New Odd Couple” as well as making guest appearances on “The Twilight Zone,” “Family Matters” and “Murder, She Wrote,” among other shows. In the late 1999 he appeared on two episodes of “Friends” Ross Geller’s divorce lawyer, Russell.
In 2002 Glass joined Joss Whedon’s cult favorite “Firefly,” playing a spiritual figure with a mysterious past. Glass would also reprise the role in the 2005 movie “Serenity.”
Glass was still a regular face on American television as recently as 2014 when he appeared in an episode of “CSI.” That same year he appeared in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as Dr. Streiten.
Editor’s note: I’m reprinting this tribute to famed British sf fan Ron Bennett to mark the tenth anniversary of his passing.
By Rich Lynch: I remember that I read the news of his death in the November 2006 issue of the newszine Ansible:
Ron Bennett (1933-2006), long-time UK fan who was the 1958 TAFF delegate and edited the classic sf newsletter Skyrack (1959-1971), died on 5 November soon after being diagnosed with leukemia. He was 73.
The life and death of one of the most important and notable British science fiction fans, reduced down to just a few lines of text. That I hadn’t even known he was ill made it all the more disheartening to read. I feel very fortunate that I became friends with Ron Bennett, and regretful that it happened only in the last decade-and-a-half of his life. It started with correspondence, back in 1991, when I was editing the manuscript that became Harry Warner’s fanhistory of the 1950s, A Wealth of Fable (SCIFI Press, 1992). Ron appears in several places in the book, and I had contacted him to clarify something that in the end turned out to be nothing more than a typographical error. But that got him on the mailing list for Mimosa, the fanzine that I co-edited (with my wife Nicki) that specialized in the preservation of the history of science fiction fandom, which eventually led to our first face-to-face meeting in Glasgow at ‘Intersection’, the 1995 Worldcon.
By then I had learned a lot more about Ron’s activities in that 1950s Golden Age. He had published two focal-point fanzines – the newszine Skyrack and also a more general interest fanzine, PLOY, which lived up to the name by beginning its run with issue #2 to make readers believe they had missed the first one (there was even a letters column with comments from a few friends in the know, who heaped praise on the fictional first issue). He was also described as a key player in the unraveling of one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated in science fiction fandom – the celebrated Joan W. Carr, who was ultra-active in British fandom for about four years during the mid-1950s but didn’t actually exist.
Ron himself was also ultra-active in British fandom during the 1950s and into the 1960s, and his fanac diminished only after temporarily relocating to Singapore in 1967 for employment as a teacher of the children of British army personnel stationed there. By the time I finally met Ron, in the Dealers Room at Intersection, I had become familiar enough with his personal fanhistory that when we were chatting about the circumstances surrounding his move to Singapore, he was so impressed by the breadth of my knowledge that he asked me in jest if I also knew the airline and flight number he had booked!
It was two years later that Ron started contributing what became a series of nine entertaining and illuminating articles for Mimosa, the first being an account of his time in Singapore and how (in that era of the Cold War) he once had to ward off the overtures from a Russian spy. Following that, Ron wrote short, amusing, anecdotal histories of PLOY and Skyrack, and also a thoughtful and warm remembrance of another of British fandom’s most prominent members, Vin¢ Clarke. But it was Ron’s article about the four Kettering Eastercons of the mid-1950s that provided more information about the “Joan Carr” hoax and in doing so contradicted the general belief that he had been the person who had outed the hoax – it was true that he had been inadvertently tipped off by another fan who was in on the ruse, but that had been the entire extent of his involvement.
Ron’s last article for Mimosa, which appeared in the final issue of the run, described the first Worldcon that he ever attended, the fabulous 1957 Loncon. This was the first time a Worldcon had been held in Europe, and with its compact size (which allowed everybody to meet everybody else) and unprecedented international nature, arguably it was the most important science fiction convention that has ever been staged. Ron attended several other Worldcons, including the very next one in California where he was the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund delegate, but the only other time where we crossed paths at a Worldcon was in 2002 at San Jose. It was totally unexpected and happened on the very last day of the convention. He was in the States to visit his son, who was editing a Silicon Valley-based computer trade journal of some kind, and just showed up unannounced. The only reason Nicki and I found him at all was because of a chance remark I overheard from someone who’d sold him a book in the Dealers Room.
That was the last time I ever saw him. I had thought we’d meet again at the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow, and had even requested a program item from the convention committee where I could interview him to see what other bits of knowledge we could glean about the 1950s and 1960s. But for whatever reason, Ron didn’t attend and with a travel schedule that had been “carved in stone” I really couldn’t go and seek him out. But if I’d known he only had a bit more than a year left, I would have tried a lot harder.
With all of his years of fan activity and involvement in the storied events of decades past, I’d always thought that Ron Bennett would have been an ideal candidate for a Worldcon Guest of Honor. I do believe it would eventually have happened, but time ran out on him. All of what’s left are the memories and recollections from people who had been fortunate enough to have known him. These have been some of mine.
By Jon D. Swartz and John L. Coker III: Born in May 1916, Norm Stanley was a science fiction (SF) fan from Maine who was very active in fandom in the 1940s. He was a member of the famous Stranger Club, and was one of the club members who attended Noreascon 3 as a Fan Guest of Honor.
Norm was also tangentially involved in the Skowhegan Junior Astronomical and Rocket Society, the kind of fan club that combined both science and SF activities and was common in this country in the 1930s and 1940s. He was generous with his fellow club members, and let them borrow from his seventy bound-volumes of SF prozines.
He attended early conventions such as Philcon, as well as some of the early Boskones. He also participated in Mainecon Jr, a “conference” in the language of the times, in 1943, with his friend Jim Avery and the visiting Claude Degler. He gave Degler some fanzines, and got along well with him. This generosity of his, plus the “conference” they had had with Avery, apparently qualified him to be a member of Degler’s legendary Cosmic Circle. Norm was still active in fan matters in the late 1940s, and attended the 1948 Torcon where he participated in a roundtable discussion on the probable date of the arrival of interplanetary travel.
Norm’s major fanzine was Fan-Tods, which ran for nineteen issues. He also published Beyond with Roscoe E. Wright. Fan-Tods was a SF fanzine that was subtitled “The Magazine for the Tod Fan.” It appeared in the 1940s-1950s, and was edited and published by Norm from his home in Rockland, Maine. This fanzine was mimeographed using blue ink. Issue #1 appeared in December, 1942; with #2 appearing in Spring, 1943; #7 in Summer, 1944; and then following a regular quarterly schedule until issue #18 in 1949 — after which there was a three-year break; and then Issue #19 was published in the Fall of 1952, and was the last issue. Fan-Tods was an apazine, distributed through FAPA (Fantasy Amateur Press Association), and then VAPA (Vanguard Amateur Press Association). Cover illustrations were by Wright, among others. By issue #7, Wright had become a co-editor. SF historian Harry Warner once described Norm as “a power force in FAPA.”
Jack Speer’s 1944 poll of the top SF fans found Fan-Tods to be among the nation’s top five fanzines. On the other hand, in 1947 – in his fanzine Matters of Opinion — Speer wrote an article, “The People vs. Norman F. Stanley,” that was very critical of the 16th issue of Fan-Tods.
In the 1940s, Norm was very much a member of the “sense of wonder” camp of SF. According to Warner’s All Our Yesterdays, when Norm’s mother told him about atomic bombs and Hiroshima he remembered thinking: “I confess my first reaction was one of elation, which even the obvious misgivings couldn’t quench. ‘Geez, we might blow up the whole planet,’ I thought, ‘but it’s still wonderful.’ ”
In addition to his fanzine work, Norm wrote for the SF prozines, including several letters to Astounding Science Fiction. Three of his letters were published in 1938, two in 1939, and one in 1940. In addition, he had an essay (“The Theory of Thing Things”) published in the 1948 Torcon Report.
Norm was one of the original members of First Fandom; and he was elected to the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2013.
Norman F. Stanley passed away on October 22, 2016, at the Sussman House, Rockport, Maine, with his family in attendance. He was 100 years of age. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Eleanor, their two children, a granddaughter, and four children of a nephew.
Here is a link to the obituary notice that appeared in The Courier Gazette / The Camden Herald on October 26, 2016: http://knox.villagesoup.com/p/norman-stanley/1588807
Sources: All Our Yesterdays; The Immortal Storm; Fancyclopedia 3; ISFDB; Wikipedia; and other Internet sites.
By John Hertz: Many of us have lots of them. Here are three of mine.
In April 2017 will be Lunacon LIX, the New York convention hosted by local club the Lunarians. For years I was such a regular attender that some folks thought I lived in New York. I’ve moderated Lunacon panels, I’ve taught Regency dancing, I’ve judged the Masquerade, I’ve been Fan Guest of Honor, I’ve listened to people sing “Demons in your bed will eat you up. Do not call your mother; who do you think let the demons in?”
One year as I went looking for a seat in the Masquerade audience I found Dave Kyle ushering. I was impressed by this modern Cincinnatus. The original, in the days of the Roman Republic two and a half millennia ago, was plowing his farm when a group of Senators rushed to see him. The army was trapped and in great danger. Cincinnatus had been named Dictator, a rare position bringing supreme power. He called up more men, defeated the enemy, and went back to his plow. Cincinnati, Ohio, was named for him. Dave had chaired the World Science Fiction Convention and here he was plowing away like anybody else.
His Worldcon was the 14th, New York, the Biltmore Hotel. In those days we had a Banquet and gave the Hugo Awards there. Dave was at the head table. He later recounted, in Mimosa — for which he wrote two dozen articles —
As was customary, those who didn’t pay to eat could come into the room to hear the speeches at the proper time…. One of the gofers [please don’t write “gophers”, throwing away the joke of having to gofer this and gofer that – JH] told me the Fire Marshal was complaining that the stairs to the balcony were blocked by those non-eaters sitting there, waiting to take positions for the after-dinner ceremonies. “What do we do?” “Tell them,” I said, “that they can’t sit there.”
This became the catch-phrase “Dave Kyle says you can’t sit here”, a kind of Banquet’s Ghost he was never allowed to live down. But he laughed too.
That night at Lunacon, Dave told me “Actually you can sit wherever you like.”
– o O o –
A while before Torcon III, the 61st Worldcon, Dave phoned asking if I was going to attend. Yes, I said; I had written up Mike Glyer, the Fan Guest of Honour (note spelling), for the Program Book, and was to build an exhibit about him in the Exhibit Hall. Dave asked, are you going to wear that propeller beanie? Yes, I said, I always do at cons. Dave asked if I’d help him with a presentation on Hugo Night.
He was going to bring the propeller beanie that had been placed on the head of Bob Bloch at Torcon II. Bloch had been Pro Guest of Honour there and at Torcon I. Meanwhile he had inconsiderately died so Torcon III could only make him Ghost of Honour.
Dave was going to be the Propeller Beanie of the Past and wanted me to be the Propeller Beanie of the Future. I tried to say I felt unworthy but he was having none of that. Then I thought of something else. I always wear white tie on Hugo Night, I said. The propeller beanie doesn’t really go with that costume. It would be like running with the ball while playing soccer. Well, he said, see if you can find a way. Okay, Dave; for you, anything.
I thought maybe the propeller beanie would fit under my top hat, so I could by raising the hat do what some costumers call a “reveal”. That didn’t work. Finally I found I could get the beanie into my inside breast pocket.
At the con we managed to rehearse. I was to stand back while Dave gave introductory remarks. Then I should step forward, don the beanie, and retire again while Dave had a few more things to say. Simple enough.
Came the event. Dave took the lectern. He spoke. I joined him. I took off the top hat, drew out the beanie, and put it on. The crowd went wild. A photo of this was put in Locus. I guess a man in formal clothes and a propeller beanie was a One of Us moment. Anyhow I smiled, bowed, and stepped back so Dave could go on.
He began speaking about the Big Heart, highest service award in the SF community. He went on to describe the year’s recipient. Slowly the light dawned. He was talking about me.
The whole story, telephone, Past, Future, rehearsal, and all, had been a ruse to make sure I should be there.
Dave gave me a plaque and a rosette.
I had been snookered.
– o O o –
The North America Science Fiction Convention is held when the Worldcon is overseas. In 2005 the Worldcon was at Glasgow and the NASFiC was at Seattle. Monday morning in the hotel lobby after the NASFiC Dave said “Let’s go to the Science Fiction Museum.”
The Museum had just opened in 2004. It had been designed by Tim Kirk, whom its founder Paul Allen had hired because he liked Kirk Designs’ proposal, not knowing he got a man who had won five Hugos as Best Fanartist before turning pro. Kirk’s task was no small challenge, not least because so much of SF was, as Hamlet said “words, words, words”; if the Museum were dominated by visual-media SF that would be a serious under-representation. Kirk had done wonderfully.
Who could be a better partner in wonder for an expedition there than Dave Kyle?
We went up to the Kyles’ hotel room. Ruth fed us breakfast. She was as always solicitous and helpful, but would the two boys ever be seen again? Also I had a plane to catch. We decided the safest plan was to get a taxi and pay the driver to come back at a set time. In the Museum we then took turns pulling each other away from things.
The ground floor had the SF Hall of Fame, relocated from the University of Kansas. Just added, along with Philip K. Dick, were Chesley Bonestell, Ray Harryhausen, and Steven Spielberg, the first SF artists other than writers to be inducted.
Also on the ground floor was a timeline, with Hugo Gernsback, Carol Hughes and Buster Crabbe as Dale Arden and Flash Gordon conquering the Universe, The Pocket Book of SF our first paperback collection of short stories, John Campbell, Orson Welles broadcasting The War of the Worlds, Heinlein with Rocket Ship Galileo Paul Allen’s first SF book, and Nineteen Eighty-four, just to mention a few points from 1925-1955.
Downstairs, three galleries with themes Brave New Worlds, Fantastic Voyages, and Them! In Voyages was a Space Dock, with orbiting ships visitors could select for miniature documentaries. Them! held an Interplanetary Lounge, variously imagined aliens, robots metal or mortal, and a Cargo Bay art gallery including Kelly Freas and Richard Powers.
I mustn’t leave out Harlan Ellison’s typewriter or the books Dave had published.
One “ship” floating past was a city, New York, New York (“What city has two names twice?”), from James Blish’s Cities in Flight; the crew that Kirk assembled, many of whom were veterans of Industrial Light & Magic, used Blish’s text, the best book covers they could find, and extrapolated views of Manhattan. The first of these four novels came to be known as They Shall Have Stars; it was originally Year 2018! in which we now almost are, and Dave did not quite live to see.
Critic, film historian and long-time LASFS member Bill Warren died October 7. Over the past decade he’d suffered from a series of cardiac and pulmonary health problems, and lately was treated for an infection but never recovered.
When Mark Evanier announced Bill’s passing yesterday, he paid tribute to Bill’s wife, Beverly: “The last few weeks, I’ve watched her tend to his needs night and day, doing every single thing you’d want someone to do for you if you were in his position…except maybe go home and get some sleep.”
Bill and Beverly Warren married in 1966, and that same day moved from Oregon to LA. Bill had been corresponding with Forry Ackerman since 1958, and the couple’s new social life centered on the Ackermansion and Forry’s activities. That included celebrity encounters with horror stars like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, and a party invitation that led to their immersion in organized fandom. Bill later recalled for File 770:
Forry Ackerman invited us to a birthday party for Dr. Donald A. Reed, president of the Count Dracula Society. We’d heard of the Society, but had as yet had no contact with it, and were a little uncertain about it. Somehow, the idea of dressing up in tuxes to attend dinners given by a group named after a vampire seemed a little more bizarre than our countrybumpkin Oregon minds could deal with right away. But Forry told us there would be interesting people at the party.
Upon arriving at the event, held in the screening room at the back of Milt Larsen’s home, the first two people we saw were Robert Bloch and Christopher Lee, neither of whom we had met until that time. Both were charming and affable, with Bloch being especially warm. A cake with a bat on it was presented to Don, and then we all sat down to watch WereWolf of London, the first time we’d seen it on a screen. We joined the Dracula Society on the spot.
This was also the period when Bill met Ray Bradbury for the first time, at a big surprise party for Forry in 1967. The photo below was taken five minutes after they met, after they had swapped glasses and discovered their prescriptions were similar.
Ackerman, a founding LASFS member, probably brought Bill and Beverly into that club, too: they joined in December 1966. Bill became one of its hardest-working members, honored with the Evans-Freehafer Award in 1973, and he served for many years on the Board of Directors. His suggestion led to making a one-shot winter convention into the club’s annual LosCon.
Bill launched his writing career in the Sixties. His short story “Death Is a Lonely Place” appeared in the first issue of the magazine Worlds of Fantasy in 1968. The story hit the newsstands just before the 1968 Worldcon, precipitating another meeting between Bill and Ray Bradbury, as Bill remembered:
At the Oakland-Berkeley Worldcon in 1968 (or so), I was sitting in the coffee shop with some friends when we saw Bradbury enter the hotel. He smiled and waved at me — then, to my surprise, made an abrupt turn and came into the coffee shop to talk to me. He said I always knew where the best stuff was going on, so where should he go? We chatted a bit, and he breezed out of the place. My friends stared at me in shock. Ray fucking BRADBURY? Did I know Bradbury THAT well? I said “Evidently so,” but I was quite puzzled myself — yes, I knew him (thru Forry), but I didn’t think I did know him that well. So later I encountered him in a hallway and asked about it. He was ready for me. He said that at an early convention (I figure this was the post-WWII Worldcon in LA), he was with a bunch of friends when Leigh Brackett came up and chatted with him about his work. He was puzzled; they WERE friends, but it seemed out of character for her to approach him like that. So he asked her about it. She said she was trying to encourage his career as a writer, by treating him as a fellow professional — and did it in front of his friends, to give him egoboo. Bradbury said “Now you have to pass it on.”
During this period, he also wrote scripts for (Jim) Warren Publishing’s black-and-white comic books Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella. Later he was a contributing editor to Leonard Maltin’s annual Movie Guide for more than twenty years. He produced annual movie reports for many Nebula anthologies.
Subsequently he wrote film history books, The Evil Dead Companion, about Sam Raimi’s horror series, Set Visits, interviews with filmmakers on the sets of their films, and Keep Watching the Skies, about science fiction movies of the 1950s.
He also co-authored a fannish mystery with his friend Allan Rothstein, Fandom Is A Way of Death, published and sold during the 1984 Worldcon. The solution to the mystery was placed in a separate envelope at the back of each copy, because only on the last day of the con was the murderer was revealed — and took a bow.
I met Bill and Beverly at the very first LASFS event I ever attended, the 1970 LASFS Anniversary Dinner.
When I co-chaired the 1978 Westercon with Ed Finkelstein, Bill ran the film program. And I remember that right after the con was over, before the rented prints had to be returned, Bill gathered the committee at the LASFS clubhouse to watch a couple of the rarely-seen feature films he’d chosen. The 13 of us who’d run the con were exhausted – which caught the eye of fanartist Linda Miller, who did a drawing of us symbolically clumped together for mutual support, a triangular composition with the tallest, Bill Welden, in the center, and the rest distributed around him by height….
Bill participated in the early days of social media. In 1989, he created the ShowBiz Roundtable for the online service GEnie to generate discussions about films and other aspects of show business.
When his friends produced movies, there was often a minor role or appearance as an extra for him –Joe Dante, Don Glut, and Somtow Sucharitkul were among the people who cast Bill in The Howling (1981), The Laughing Dead (1989), Hollywood Boulevard II (1990), My Lovely Monster (1991), Ill Met By Moonlight (1994), Dinosaur Valley Girls (1996), and The Naked Monster (2005).
During the 1990s, he and Bill Rotsler produced segments surveying American television for the French TV series Destination. In fact, the day before Rotsler died in 1997, he and Bill had driven all over Hollywood shooting video of billboards for an installment of the show.
And after Rotsler died, Bill became the custodian of his good friend’s unpublished fan art, of which there was an enormous amount. He did his utmost to get it into the hands of fanzine editors for publication. Bill also discovered the raw material for 15 more issues of Rotsler’s fanzine Masque, which he completed and distributed to the mailing list.
The last time I saw Bill was at a Loscon room party a few years ago where he was doing what he liked most, holding his friends spellbound with his endless supply of anecdotes from Hollywood history. The things about movies that fascinated him growing up had never lost their allure, for as he told an interviewer:
I found that my taste as a kid was pretty reliable, even if more enthusiastic than myself as an adult. I no longer think that It Came from Beneath the Sea and Creature with the Atom Brain are the two best movies ever made, though I still like both of them. And those I didn’t like then, I still don’t like.
The death of long-time LASFSian and author Arthur Jean Cox was announced at the club’s October 6 meeting. No details were given.
He never missed a LASFS meeting from May 1945 to January 1952. He served seven terms as secretary and one term as Director. He contributed to the club genzine Shangri L’Affaires, as well as other zines including Science Fiction Times, Riverside Quarterly, and Science Fiction Review.
Cox helped put on 1946 World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles.
His first published story, “Twilight Planet,” appeared in F&SF in 1951. LASFS voted him a Fanquet (then a traditional dinner celebrating a club member’s first sale) and named him LASFS Writer of the Year in 1952.
Cox was a contemporary of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and late in life gave a video interview about such memories as the night in 1950 when he and A.E. Van Vogt were present at the Shrine Auditorium to see Hubbard present the woman he said was the world’s first Clear.
(1) MCCARTY REMEMBERS HARRISON. Dave McCarty pays tribute to his friend Howard Harrison, who passed away October 5, by retelling the experience of running the 1999 Capricon.
…I asked what if we weren’t actually throwing *Capricon*? What if instead, we were holding the annual meeting of the International Order of Villains? We treat the whole convention like it is some *other* event? Tracy asked me why that would be and then I hit her with the nefarious money plan. You see, if it’s a conference like that, when folks sign up, they would tell the convention organizers which kind of villain they were…be it henchmen, lackey, minion, mad scientist, Igor, etc. We could badge each of those groups differently so you’d know who was who. The kicker was that you could also choose to register as an Evil Overlord, but this would be a premium membership for which you would need to pay more money. If you wanted to be an Evil Overlord, you had to pay. We could work out getting them some tokens and souvenirs for it, but as long as we only spent a couple bucks on that, we were still helping the convention. The idea excited me and it excited Tracy, so we shared it with a few other folks and it universally got folks excited and worked up….
From that point on we were in a world we’d never anticipated. We got no small number of people to pay us extra money to be an Evil Overlord and boy howdy did that help us, but holy hell did it make for a convention that’s hard to forget. See, quite a number of the Evil Overlords were going around the convention recruiting minions, henchmen, and lackeys to their cause. Even more brilliantly, Howard Harrison was spending almost all of the time he wasn’t in the filk room going around and organizing the Union of Minions, Henchmen, and Lackeys Local 302. When I asked him why, he told me (in his best Chicago Superfan imitation) “You see, I know that I am going to die in a fiery explosion, or be thrown into a volcano, or just act as fodder for my bosses escape. I need to know what’s going to happen for my family!“. These conversations and all the recruiting brought me to freaking tears. Our whole convention was a LARP and almost everyone was playing and nobody was having a bad time or feeling pressured to participate. Howard even invented the UMHL salute. Take your right hand and make a tight thumbs-up, then flip it upside down (thumbs down). Now, place your knuckles against your temple in salute fashion. There you go, union salute! Howard then took his unionized brothers and sisters and started approaching the Evil Overlords to inquire about benefits and insurance and post-death family care to get his folks the best deal he could….
…At the time, I told him how brilliant he was…but over the years, his playfulness that weekend grew to mean a lot more to me and I don’t think I ever really got to tell him what that grew into for me. I’m sad that I can’t do that with him now, but I *can* share this story with all of you so that you know what a special guy he was.
(2) MAGIC IN SNORE-TH AMERICA. If you bet against J.K. Rowling writing magical history that’s as dusty and dull as regular history is reputed to be – you lost. New at Pottermore, “The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)”.
The Magical Congress of the United States of America, known to American witches and wizards by the abbreviation MACUSA (commonly pronounced as: Mah – cooz – ah) was created in 1693, following the introduction of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. Wizards worldwide had reached a tipping point, suspecting that they could lead freer and happier lives if they built an underground community that offered its own support and had its own structures. This feeling was particularly strong in America, due to the recent Salem Witch Trials.
MACUSA was modeled on the Wizards’ Council of Great Britain, which predated the Ministry of Magic. Representatives from magical communities all over North America were elected to MACUSA to create laws that both policed and protected American wizardkind…
(3) SURVIVING HOSTILITY. Angelica Jade Bastién, in an article for New Republic, says “For Women of Color, the Price of Fandom Can Be Too High”.
I’m open to criticism and discussing my writing with those who respectfully don’t agree with my opinion, but in covering comic properties, I’ve dealt with everything from people accusing me of not reading comics as if I had no idea what I was talking about to being told I was race baiting by acknowledging certain issues in the film. The worst were the very pointed attacks calling me an “idiot” or a “bitch” and far worse epithets from people I blocked. I won’t even go into the Reddit threads about my article that I was once tauntingly sent screenshots of. It’s something I’ve grown almost numb to as a critic. But what was more interesting to me was the level of hurt coming from these men and their routine way of doubting my comic knowledge—a dynamic other female journalists get time and time again.
I’ve watched all of the Star Trek series more times than I can count, and I often whip out Klingon when I’m nervous.
I have been reading comics obsessively since I was about ten years old. I can probably quote from John Ostrander’s original Suicide Squad run in my sleep, I’ve watched all of the Star Trek series more times than I can count, and I often whip out Klingon when I’m nervous. But I’ve found that the love and knowledge I have on these subjects never seems to be good enough for the people who grow furious at a black woman writing about these properties. White male fans often don’t want to face how their beloved properties often have troubling racial and gender politics. (Just peruse the comments on my review of X-Men: Apocalypse for RogerEbert.com: “The author feels like the X-Men series in general has failed its female characters—ignoring the fact that Mystique is elevated to a leadership and relevance level well above the source material.” Many didn’t want to face a critique coming from a woman, and a fan, who knows them better than they do.) You can only delete emails and block people on Twitter for so long until you feel burnt out. The reason why we don’t see more black women writing about these subjects with such visibility isn’t because we haven’t been interested in them, it’s that publications rarely give us the opportunity, and when we do write, we often find ourselves facing personal scrutiny that has little to do with the actual writing. At times, I’ve been left to wonder, why do I love these stories so much when they rarely care about people who look like me?
(4) HOLD ON TO THE LIGHT. At Magical Words, “100+ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors Blog About Suicide, Depression, PTSD—a #HoldOnToTheLight Update by Gail Z. Martin” includes links to the first 40 posts authors have written around the theme.
More than 100 authors are now part of the #HoldOnToTheLight conversation! Our authors span the globe, from the US to the UK to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Even more exciting is that as the campaign picks up traction and visibility, more authors want to join, meaning a growing, vibrant dialog about mental wellness and coping with mental illness.
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
(5) MUSEUM OF SF KICKSTARTER FOR A WOMEN IN SF ANTHOLOGY. The Museum of Science Fiction has opened a Kickstarter appeal to fund Catalysts, Explorers & Secret Keepers, a “take-home exhibit” featuring short science fiction works by and about the women of the genre.
This anthology will showcase how they—as readers, as writers, and as characters—have engaged with and influenced science fiction for more than a century….
The cover of Catalysts, Explorers, & Secret Keepers will feature original artwork by the Hugo winning artist Julie Dillon. Award-winning authors Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Asaro, N.K. Jemisin, Nancy Kress, Naomi Kritzer, Karen Lord, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Pinsker, Kiini IburaSalaam, Carrie Vaughn, Jane Yolen, and Sarah Zettel have already agreed to contribute work to the exhibit.
Upon reaching the minimum funding target, the Museum will open submissions until December 1, 2016. The public will be able to submit original work that fits the take-home exhibit’s theme. Authors of original fiction published in Catalysts, Explorers, & Secret Keepers will receive the SFWA-standard pro-rate ofUS $0.06 per word, while authors of solicited reprints will receive US $0.03 per word. All authors featured in this exhibit will be invited to discuss their work as presenters and panelists in 2017 at Escape Velocity, the Museum of Science Fiction’s annual celebration of all things science fiction.
The appeal has raised $6,068 of its $8,500 goal with 26 days to go.
(6) TOR.COM REOPENING FOR NOVELLAS. Tor.com publishing will take unsolicited novella submissions for three months beginning October 12.
Lee Harris and Carl Engle-Laird will be reading and evaluating original novellas submitted by hopeful authors to http://submissions.tor.com/tornovellas/. You can find full guidelines here, and we highly recommend you read the guidelines before submitting. We will be open for three months, beginning on October 12th around 9:00 AM EDT (UTC-4:00) and ending on January 12th around 9:00 AM EST (UTC-5:00). We may extend this period depending on how many submissions we receive over the course of the open period.
(7) TAKE US TO YOUR CHIEF. From CBC Radio, “Drew Hayden Taylor on why we need Indigenous science fiction”.
Science fiction is meant to take us to places we’ve never been — this is what writer Drew Hayden Taylor is aiming to do with his new collection of short stories, Take Us to Your Chief.
Taylor’s new book filters famous sci-fi tropes such as aliens, time travel and government spying through the lens and perspective of Indigenous people. For him, he is simply taking these familiar stories and putting “some hot sauce on them.” …
“I pictured myself as a 12-year-old kid back on the reserve, reading science fiction or reading books and not seeing our experiences in this book,” he explains. “I was just taking certain touchstones that we were all familiar with and then using them to take them out of the reserve environment into the larger sci-fi environment, and giving it that sort of resonance.”
(8) POSTSCRIPT TO NATIONAL FINISH-YOUR-BOOK DAY. Camestros Felapton reports there was third sf novel finished yesterday – Timothy the Talking Cat’s The Confusing Walrus. According to Camestros,
I’ve read his ‘manuscript’ and it says “Copy whatever John Scalzi has written but use find/replace on the words ‘space’, ‘galaxy’, ‘star’ and ‘planet’ with the word ‘walrus’”
(9) INTERVIEW WITHOUT A VAMPIRE. Masters of Horror held a get-acquainted session with Horror Writers of America President Lisa Morton.
Interview With Lisa Morton By David Kempf
When did you first become interested in writing?
I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been reading – my first poem was published when I was 5! – but I didn’t seriously consider making a living out of it until I saw The Exorcist at the age of 15. Seeing the astonishing impact that film had on audiences during its initial release made me realize I wanted to do that, too.
How did you make this a full time job?
Well, it’s not my full time job now. I tried that for a while, back when I was making a fair amount of money as a screenwriter, and it didn’t work for me at all. I know most writers dream of being able to leave their day job and pursue writing all the time, but for me it was too isolating. Plus, I really love being a bookseller.
How did you become President of the Horror Writers Association?
By attrition, sadly. I was serving as Vice President when the President, Rocky Wood, passed away. Before that I’d held a variety of positions within the organization. I do find it satisfying to work with other writers and promote a genre that I love….
(10) NEXT BLADE RUNNER. The Verge reports “The Blade Runner sequel is officially titled Blade Runner 2049”.
— #BladeRunner 2049 (@bladerunner) October 6, 2016
(11) BROOKS ON WILDER AND FRANKENSTEIN. Mel Brooks got emotional before a screening last night.
Mel Brooks introduced one of the funniest movies ever made, Young Frankenstein, on Wednesday night. But the director couldn’t hold back tears.
Brooks paid homage to Gene Wilder, the star and co-writer of his 1974 classic comedy, before showing Young Frankenstein on the 20th Century Fox lot.
The live event was beamed to theaters around the country and turned into a tribute to Wilder, who died Aug. 29 at age 83. An encore presentation with Brooks’ introduction will screen in theaters Oct. 18.
“I get just a little overcome,” said Brooks, 90, from the stage, dabbing his eyes as he discussed Wilder. “I’ve had a few great memories in my life. But, honestly, I think making Young Frankenstein is my best year.”
(12) SWEET SWILL. ‘Tis the season for Deadworld Zombie Soda! (Turn the sound down when you click on this site.) The sodas come in 12 flavors, with label art created by comic book artists based on the characters and events that take place in Deadworld comic book universe.
- ORANGE – Orange Roamer
- CHERRY COLA – Goon Biters
- BLACK CHERRY – Royal Rotter
- CREAM SODA – Brain Sap
- COTTON CANDY – Zeek Cocktail
- VANILLA CREAM SODA – Geek Juice
- GRAPE – Grisly Swill
- VANILLA ROOT BEER – Slow Decay
- STRAWBERRY – Rot Berry
- ROOT BEER – Twilight Shuffler
- GREEN APPLE – Morbid Mix
- GINGER ALE – Graveyard Delight
Deadworld is the award winning, long running cult hit comic book series published by Caliber Comics that first exploded on the comic scene in 1986. With over 1 million copies in print and over 100 comics & graphic novels released to date, Deadworld is not your typical “zombie comic book or story”.
A supernatural plague has been unleashed on the world. The dead return to walk the earth…but this is no standard zombie story. The dead are just foot soldiers for those who have crossed the ‘Gateway’ from another dimension. There are leader zombies who are intelligent, sadistic, and in addition to having a hankering for flesh, enjoy the tortuous ordeals they put the surviving humans through.
(13) EERIE OUTFITTER. Tim Burton’s costume designer Colleen Atwood interviewed by NPR (with comments on Miss Peregrine’s…):
Working steadily since the 1980s, she’s dressed characters from the past and the future — the Middle Ages for Into the Woods, the Civil War for Little Women all the way to Gattaca and the 2001 Planet of the Apes. Her latest movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is her eleventh with Tim Burton. It travels back in time to Wales during World War II….
(14) SLOW DOWN, YOU MOVE TOO FAST. The BBC sums up interstellar travel:
Science fiction writers and moviemakers have shown us countless visions of humanity spread out across the Universe, so you might be forgiven for thinking that we’ve already got this in the bag. Unfortunately, we still have more than a few technical limitations to overcome – like the laws of physics as we understand them – before we can start colonising new worlds beyond our Solar System and galaxy.
That said, several privately funded or volunteer initiatives such as the Tau Zero Foundation, Project Icarus and Breakthrough Starshot have emerged in recent years, each hoping to bring us a little bit closer to reaching across the cosmos. The discovery in August of an Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest star has also raised fresh hopes about visiting an alien world.
Interstellar spacecraft will be one of the topics discussed at BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit in Sydney in November. Is travelling to other galaxies possible? And if so, what kinds of spacecraft might we need to achieve it? Read on to get up to (warp) speed: …
(15) TREK BEYOND BLOOPERS. CinemaBlend has the story and the video — “Chris Pine Does His Best Shatner Impression In Hysterical Star Trek Beyond Gag Reel”.
As professional as the actors all are on the set of a Star Trek movie, the final cut of the film adds effects and music to the experience which help transport you to the fictional world. Without that, you’re just a guy standing on a set spouting Star Trek gibberish. This becomes all the more clear when an actor trips over their lines, and suddenly everybody remembers that they’re acting again. The best part, though, is when Chris Pine calls for “Full impulse, Mr. Suliu” and John Cho stops to say that he sounds like he’s doing a William Shatner impression. Pine does add a bit of a classic Shatner pause to the line, so it does sound a bit like him to us. As much as we love William Shatner, we hope this doesn’t become a habit.
(16) THAT’S APPERTAINMENT. IanP unleashed this instant classic in a comment on File 770 today.
With apologies to Paul Weller
A pixeled car and a screaming siren
A shuggoth trail and ripped up books
A walrus wailing and stray pup howling
The place of fifths and tea drinking
That’s appertainment, that’s appertainment
A file of scrolls and a rumble of boots
A wretched hive and a bracket ‘head cloth
Ink splattered walls and the award of a rocket
Time machine appears and spews out pizza
That’s appertainment, that’s appertainment.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Darrah Chavey.]
Kate Yule lost her life October 4 following a long struggle with brain cancer. Her husband, David D. Levine, made the announcement online:
Kate passed away at 3:30 this afternoon. I was holding her hand, Sue was on the other side, and my father was with us as well as our friend Teresa E. Her passing was as peaceful as it could be. Thank you all for your thoughts and kind words.
They had been married for 25 years.
Yule found fandom in 1984. A member of PorSFiS, the Portland OR sf club, she served as its Treasurer in 1986 and President in 1990.
She co-edited the fanzine Bento with David, and also produced zines Stuff and Nonsense and Moose Next 3000 Miles.
Mary Robinette Kowal has written a fine tribute, R.I.P. Kate Yule, which begins —
Kate had an infectious laugh.
She would be sitting, quietly knitting on something, and you might be fooled into thinking that she wasn’t paying attention, but then she would come out with a zinger. Her sense of play expressed itself in words.
The cruelest thing about the cancer she fought was that it stole her words from her. Aphasia. A single word to describe a range of effects — and for Kate, it took her ability to find the right word. She was a polyglot and picked up languages for fun. She read, voraciously, and oh– the conversations.
She has left an enormous hole.
[Thanks to Tom Whitmore for the story.]
Doug Fratz, a five-time Hugo nominee for Best Fanzine and a well-known sf/f book reviewer, died September 27. It turned out that by missing MidAmeriCon II (while in the hospital) I also missed my last chance to see him: he moderated the retrospective panel about the first MidAmeriCon (1976) that I was supposed to be on. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.
A prolific reviewer, Fratz was one of the pillars of sercon fanzine fandom in the 1970s, which was my own interest in those days. He founded Thrust in 1973, renaming it Quantum in 1990, and finally merging it with Science Fiction Eye.
According to the SF Encyclopedia —
Fratz also wrote numerous book reviews for other venues during that period and afterwards, including Washington Post Book World, Fantasy Review, and Science Fiction Eye, and entries for numerous academic reference books. In the 1990s he wrote book reviews for Science Fiction Age, and in the 2000s reviewed primarily for Science Fiction Weekly (on the then Sci-Fi Channel web site), continuing to write reviews and articles for the site when it was renamed Sci-Fi Wire and then Blastr. In the 2010s, his primary venues for book reviews and interviews have been SF Site and The New York Review of Science Fiction.
Doug Fratz’ first fannish contacts were in comics fandom in 1966. He published several well-known comics fanzines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Comicology, Potpourri, CriFanAc, and Comicology Fan Review.
Professionally, Fratz was an internationally-respected environmental scientist serving as Vice President of Scientific and Technical Affairs for the Consumer Specialty Products Association in Washington, DC, a trade association. He worked for CSPA for more than 35 years, and for the past 25 years much of his work focused on science policy and regulations related to air quality and atmospheric issues in California, nationally, and globally.
In fact, there has been an outpouring of tributes from his professional colleagues, indicating the depth of loss they feel at his passing, including this video posted by CSPA.
[Thanks to Steven H Silver and Moshe Feder for the story.]