Lucas Drops Attempt To Build Museum in Chicago


Chicago will not be home to the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the Lucas Foundation announced today. Lucas wants to see the museum completed in his lifetime, and is unwilling to engage in time-consuming litigation with Friends of Parks to use the Chicago lakefront location approved by local government. The museum will now be built somewhere in California. It is the second time Lucas’ efforts have been defeated, the first coming when his original proposal to build on the grounds of the Presidio failed to gain acceptance in San Francisco.

The Lucas Foundation said in a press release:

…In light of extensive delays caused by Friends of the Parks, Chicago will no longer be considered a potential site for the museum. The board of directors and executive leadership of the museum confirmed that California will be its future home.

“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” said George W. Lucas, founder and chairman of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. “The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”

The location — a parking lot near Soldier Field — was originally selected by Chicago’s Site Selection Task Force in May 2014 and subsequently approved by the City Council, Park District, Plan Commission, Department of Zoning, Illinois General Assembly and the governor. When the city offered McCormick Place East as an alternative to the parking lot, Friends of the Parks announced plans to block consideration of that location as well as any lakefront site or park in Chicago….

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement:

Two years ago to the day, George Lucas and Mellody Hobson announced that they had chosen Chicago as the site of their incredible legacy investment. The opportunity for a City to gain a brand new museum is rare, and this particular opportunity – a gift worth approximately $1.5 billion – would have been the largest philanthropic contribution in Chicago’s history….

We tried to find common ground to resolve the lawsuit – the sole barrier preventing the start of the museum’s construction. But despite our best efforts to negotiate a common solution that would keep this tremendous cultural and economic asset in Chicago, Friends of the Parks chose to instead negotiate with themselves while Lucas negotiated with cities on the West Coast.

Friends of the Parks response, reported by the Chicago Tribune, reaffirmed its position that the Lucas project did not belong on the lakefront:

“It is unfortunate that the Lucas Museum has made the decision to leave Chicago rather than locate the museum on one of several alternative sites that is not on Chicago’s lakefront. That would have been the true win-win,” Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry and board chair Lauren Moltz said in a statement. Irizarry could not immediately be reached. Moltz declined additional comment.

Friends of the Parks argued that the museum plans violate the public trust doctrine, benefit a private interest more than the state’s residents and tarnish the city’s lakefront. While the group hinted at a compromise in recent days, Friends of the Parks did not withdraw its lawsuit and remained steadfast in its opposition to lakefront development.

One news source says Lucas is back in discussion with the city of San Francisco. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also is active in the media trying to attract Lucas’ interest in LA.

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit in South Pasadena

By John King Tarpinian: Thursday evening the South Pasadena, CA main library screened Ray Bradbury’s Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. This is a Disney movie that very few people have ever heard of or seen, yet it is considered to be the best translation of a Bradbury story to film. Among those who thought this was Ray himself. Of course, he wrote the script.

Before the evening’s festivities there were a few guest speakers. Lisa Reynolds, owner of the Fremont Center Theatre, where Ray produced his last plays…Ice Cream Suit, twice. Lisa talked about what an honor to have had her 99-seat theater selected by Ray. Next was Robert Kerr, a member of the Ray Bradbury Pandemonium Theatre Company.

Lisa Reynolds COMP

Lisa Reynolds

Up next was Stuart Gordon, director. Stuart talked about getting the film made. Ray was on set every day. Sid Caesar and Howard Morris played the tailor and his assistant. Writing a script for those two made no sense, they just improvised their scene. Ray was in tears laughing so hard during filming. If you are too young to have grown up with Your Show of Shows go directly to YouTube. If you have watched The Andy Griffith Show, Howard Morris was Earnest T. Bass.

Stuart Gordon

Stuart Gordon

Last up was Joe Mantegna. One of his first acting performances while a young man in Chicago was in a stage production of Ice Cream Suit. Then 25 years later he was asked to reprise the role in the movie. Joe has done other appearances to support the movie and libraries. Last year he helped support the Pomona Library with a screening of the movie. Coming this August 22 (see Wednesday’s Scroll), he will be reading passages in the garden in front of the Los Angeles Central Library on what would have been Ray’s 96th birthday.

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

The screening was in a library’s community room, which was the original Carnegie library. They had set up 125 chairs initially and had to put out more as people arrived with some late comers having to stand. This is a fun movie to watch with an audience who has never seen the movie before because of what might be one of the greatest “reveals” on film. No spoiler.

If you’ve not seen this lovely little movie I suggest you go to Amazon to either stream it or buy the DVD. It really is worth it. Not sci-fi but a lovely fairytale.

CBS and Paramount Issue Trek Fan Film Guidelines

Despite J.J. Abrams’ announcement that the copyright infringement suit would be dropped, Axanar Productions and Paramount and CBS are still sparring. On May 23, Axanar filed an answer and counterclaim with the court (as reported here), and on June 15 the studios filed their reply (which can be downloaded here). And today, the studios issued The Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines, which promise “CBS and Paramount Pictures will not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional and amateur and meet the following guidelines….”

Some of the key restrictions are:

  • All participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated, or have been previously employed by any Star Trek franchise.
  • Limited fundraising for production is allowed – no more than $50,000.
  • The production can have no more than two episodes; a single episode limited to 15 minutes, or a combination limited to 30 minutes in length.
  • It must be distributed free, and only online.

It’s not unlikely some Trek fan film production groups operate within these parameters already, but the guidelines will cut the legs from under the best-known of the genre. In comparison, the team behind Axanar raised more than $1.2 million through a crowdfunding campaign, and were planning to pay workers on a professional basis.

Guidelines for Avoiding Objections:

  1. The fan production must be less than 15 minutes for a single self-contained story, or no more than 2 segments, episodes or parts, not to exceed 30 minutes total, with no additional seasons, episodes, parts, sequels or remakes.
  2. The title of the fan production or any parts cannot include the name “Star Trek.” However, the title must contain a subtitle with the phrase: “A STAR TREK FAN PRODUCTION” in plain typeface. The fan production cannot use the term “official” in either its title or subtitle or in any marketing, promotions or social media for the fan production.
  3. The content in the fan production must be original, not reproductions, recreations or clips from any Star Trek production. If non-Star Trek third party content is used, all necessary permissions for any third party content should be obtained in writing.
  4. If the fan production uses commercially-available Star Trek uniforms, accessories, toys and props, these items must be official merchandise and not bootleg items or imitations of such commercially available products.
  5. The fan production must be a real “fan” production, i.e., creators, actors and all other participants must be amateurs, cannot be compensated for their services, and cannot be currently or previously employed on any Star Trek series, films, production of DVDs or with any of CBS or Paramount Pictures’ licensees.
  6. The fan production must be non-commercial:
  • CBS and Paramount Pictures do not object to limited fundraising for the creation of a fan production, whether 1 or 2 segments and consistent with these guidelines, so long as the total amount does not exceed $50,000, including all platform fees, and when the $50,000 goal is reached, all fundraising must cease.
  • The fan production must only be exhibited or distributed on a no-charge basis and/or shared via streaming services without generating revenue.
  • The fan production cannot be distributed in a physical format such as DVD or Blu-ray.
  • The fan production cannot be used to derive advertising revenue including, but not limited to, through for example, the use of pre or post-roll advertising, click-through advertising banners, that is associated with the fan production.
  • No unlicensed Star Trek-related or fan production-related merchandise or services can be offered for sale or given away as premiums, perks or rewards or in connection with the fan production fundraising.
  • The fan production cannot derive revenue by selling or licensing fan-created production sets, props or costumes.
  1. The fan production must be family friendly and suitable for public presentation. Videos must not include profanity, nudity, obscenity, pornography, depictions of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any harmful or illegal activity, or any material that is offensive, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, disparaging, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, or any other inappropriate content. The content of the fan production cannot violate any individual’s right of privacy.
  2. The fan production must display the following disclaimer in the on-screen credits of the fan productions and on any marketing material including the fan production website or page hosting the fan production: “Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made film intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”
  3. Creators of fan productions must not seek to register their works, nor any elements of the works, under copyright or trademark law.
  4. Fan productions cannot create or imply any association or endorsement by CBS or Paramount Pictures.

CBS and Paramount Pictures reserve the right to revise, revoke and/or withdraw these guidelines at any time in their own discretion. These guidelines are not a license and do not constitute approval or authorization of any fan productions or a waiver of any rights that CBS or Paramount Pictures may have with respect to fan fiction created outside of these guidelines.

Immediately after the Abrams announcement Alec Peters of Axanar had tried to line up support from other Trek fan filmmmakers for his own “Proposed Star Trek Fan Film Guidelines,” perhaps hoping to forestall the strict rules now laid out by the studios. Peters’ draft aligned with the new guidelines only in a few minor respects, and differed on major points by setting no limit on donations (although banning the use of crowdfunding sites), allowing payment of professional cast and crew (but not “any of the principals”) and permitting a 50-minute film length.

Meanwhile, litigation continues. The Axamonitor site ran an in-depth analysis of the studios’ latest filing with the court.

In their eight-page response, CBS and Paramount generally denied Axanar’s claims, especially challenging Axanar’s assertion that “until this lawsuit, Plaintiffs, or any predecessor claiming to own copyrights in the Star Trek universe, had never filed a lawsuit against any Star Trek fan in connection with that fan’s efforts to contribute to the wealth of Star Trek fan fiction that currently exists.”3) Instead, the plaintiffs replied:

[Plaintiffs] admit that they have not sued with respect to all uses of the Star Trek Copyrighted Works, but deny that they have not previously sued to enforce their intellectual property rights in the Star Trek Copyrighted Works.4)

Tolerated Use

The plaintiffs disputed Peters’ claim that given his “extensive history with CBS,” he believed he was “operating within the tolerated realm of Star Trek fan fiction,” and that he “reached out to CBS on multiple occasions in an effort to seek guidelines about the production.”5) Instead, they stated:

[The plaintiffs] deny that Defendant Alec Peters “reached out to CBS” on multiple occasions, admit that Defendant Alec Peters spoke to [CBS officials] Bill Burke and to John Van Citters, but state that Mr. Peters was never given permission to use Star Trek Copyrighted Works, nor was he provided with “guidelines” regarding ways in which he could use Plaintiffs’ intellectual property for his Star Trek film projects, for either commercial or non-commercial use, nor was he told that his use of such Star Trek Copyrighted Works would be tolerated.

If the case is not settled, trial is scheduled for January 2017.

[Thanks to Stephen Granade for the story.]

Ann Leckie Chats About Character Development, and Sufficiently Advanced Technology

Ann Leckie

Ann Leckie

Ann Leckie is the author of the Imperial Radch trilogy, that begins with Ancillary Justice, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Award. Sequels Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy are also award nominees. Leckie’s short stories have appeared in Subterranean Magazine, Strange Horizons, and Realms of Fantasy, and “Hesperia and Glory” was reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition edited by Rich Horton.

CARL SLAUGHTER:  What’s the overall theme of the Ancillary series?

ANN LECKIE:  That’s…I’m not sure? I know a lot of great writers–some of them friends of mine!–who work knowing their theme. Sometimes I’ll work with a myth for a template. Or, not really a template but a…structural element? That doesn’t really express it, either. So, when I’m writing, often I’ll need to make lots of very tiny decisions–what are people eating? What color is the floor?–as well as the larger ones (how is a particular relationship going to play out?). Those can be paralyzing, because the answers often could be nearly anything at all without throwing the story off-course. So you’d think it would be easy to just throw in a random detail (or a generic personal interaction that advances the plot in a utilitarian way) and go forward. But I actually find that really difficult. If I have a structural thing to guide those choices, when I’m faced with them I just go back to that, whatever that is, and think of something that will resonate with that or connect to it somehow. By and large the result feels unified in an under-the-surface way that I really like, that would be much more difficult if I was working without such a structural element.

Anyway. The books do seem very much concerned with what makes a person a person, or who anybody is anyway, so I suppose that’s a pretty major theme.

If you’re super curious about the structural element for the Ancillary books–I didn’t use it much (or really at all) for Mercy because by then I was just playing out the consequences of Justice and Sword and didn’t need it, but for the first two I spent some time with Isis, Horus, and Osiris. Obviously the books aren’t any sort of retelling or adaptation, and it’s not a connection you’d find on the surface at all. But I found the idea of mourning Isis searching for and reassembling the dismembered Osiris, and the contested rulership of the kingdom divided in two (and the ultimately merging identities of Horus and the Osiris he is essentially destined to become) really resonant with the story I was writing, so it felt like a good source for that kind of structural assistance.

CS:  Do the individual novels have their own main themes?

AL:  Probably? They’re certainly very different books. I told a friend of mine that by the time I was done with Ancillary Mercy I was thinking of the trilogy as a three movement sonata, with Sword being the middle, quieter, slow movement. Each of them does have its own themes, I suspect because, as I said, they’re very different books. But I’d be hard pressed to articulate what they are, beyond pointing to the books themselves. Sometimes I feel like if there was a shorter way to say it than writing a novel, I’d have done that, because dang, that was a lot of work.

CS:  What are the secondary themes?

AL:  Pass! 😀

CS:  How do these themes play out in the character development?

AL:  The question of who anyone is anyway plays out pretty blatantly in Breq’s entire arc, I imagine. And Tisarwat’s. And Anaander’s, though I don’t think she gets much of an arc, really, the story’s not about her the way it’s about Breq.

Seivarden is maybe a contrast to Breq — it’s not that her arc is questioning or exploring or developing the concept of her own personhood, it’s that much of her arc is a question of recognizing that anyone else is a person worth considering.

By and large, btw, I noticed partway through drafting Justice that there are a lot of matched and/or contrasting pairs of characters. I’m not sure it counts as a theme playing out, but I think it was probably a structure I used to play them out, whatever they were.

In case you haven’t noticed, I personally find that a lot of the process of writing takes place unconsciously. Not all of it, of course, there’s a lot of conscious work you have to do, and I think any writer is well-advised not to just spit out whatever they dredge up from the back of their mind without any kind of examination or shaping. But I think, just personally, that writing a story is, in a way, running code on someone else’s mind. I’m trying to hack the reader’s mind in such a way that they have a particular experience while reading. This is a really incredibly complicated task, when you put it like that, but it’s what even the simplest all-action popcorn adventure story is trying to do. That’s far too complicated to do entirely consciously, IMO. I think most writers find a way to hack their own minds–to trick themselves into doing what’s needed.

Like, did you ever take voice lessons? I did, in college. And my teacher would do this thing, she’d say something like, “Now, this time, imagine your voice spinning out from your forehead.” And I would, and it would work! But of course you can’t really make your voice spin out from your forehead. It’s just that somehow imagining you were doing that actually did something real to your voice. And sometimes the advice wouldn’t work and she’d try something else. “Okay, then, try this….”

I think a lot of writers’ fascination with seemingly trivial details of process–particularly new writers–is because we’re looking for the hacks that are going to make our own voices do what we need them to do. Because like the voice lessons, not every hack is going to work for every writer. Just like not every reader’s mind is going to respond to the resulting writing.

CS:  What about the science premise.  How exactly do the AIs interface with the humans, how exactly does central command use these AIs to control the humans, and how exactly does a human with an AI get off and stay off the radar?

AL:  So, while the neurology of ancillaries is something I spent a fair amount of time considering carefully (instead of writing paragraphs of probably badly expressed thoughts about the neurological basis of identity, I’ll advise anyone interested to look up split brain patients, alien hand syndrome, Suzanne Segal and her book Collision with the Infinite, Capgras syndrome, and Cotard’s syndrome). The very short version — it’s not completely farfetched to imagine that some fairly simple surgery could remove a person’s sense of identity — after all, strokes do it every now and then, right here and now. And while the tech to do the next thing — replace it with the conviction that they’re now the ship — is currently impossible, it’s not really difficult to imagine that happening at some point.

On the other hand, I must admit that the next step to making it work–constant, high-bandwidth communication between the ship and all its bodies including things like thoughts and sensations–is one hundred percent ordered from the pages of the deluxe Sufficiently Advanced Technologies catalog.  I got a discount–I’m a regular customer.

As to how the AIs control the bodies–how do you control yours? How do you control your left hand or your right hand? It seems like a bizarre question till you read about split brain patients and/or alien hand syndrome. Oh, and you know that reflex, where the doctor hits your knee and your leg kicks out? That impulse does not come from your brain. It’s all in your spinal cord. I found that information faintly disturbing when I first heard it.

As to how Breq could get or stay off the radar–she had an advantage, in that the ship was destroyed off the radar and so as far as everyone else was concerned she had disappeared and was presumed dead. And when she reappeared, her body was one that had been very recently hooked up, so no one alive would have recognized her, not even Skaaiat who almost certainly would have recognized some other segment of One Esk.

I’m not sure it would be so easy for a ship inside Radchaai space to take itself off the radar without managing to convince everyone it had blown itself up, honestly.

Ann Leckie receiving the Hugo Award in 2014. Photo by Henry Harel.

Ann Leckie receiving the Hugo Award in 2014. Photo by Henry Harel.

CS:  How many more stories will there be in the Ancillary universe?

AL:  I don’t know! Lots I hope. Just, they probably won’t be about Breq. I love Breq, I’d have to, spending a trilogy with her, but it’s time to do other things.

CS:  Are you going to return to short fiction, write more novels, or try to balance the two?

AL:  I’m working on novels right now, but I would love to make some time to do more short fiction.

CS:  Any plans to return to editing?  Magazines?  Anthologies?

AL:  Not currently. Every now and then I think it would be fun. It totally would! But editing is a lot of work, and it takes up the same kind of brainspace for me as writing does.

CS:  Any feelers from Hollywood about a screen adaption for the Ancillary story?

AL:  Currently Fox/Fabrik together have optioned Ancillary Justice for a TV show. Now, that may well mean that nothing will happen. Nine times out of ten, I gather, nothing does. But it’s cool to think something might come of it! That would be kind of super awesome.

Plenty of SF/F in Library of Congress “America Reads” Exhibition

The Library of Congress’ “America Reads” Exhibition, opened June 16, celebrates 65 books by American authors that have been chosen by the public as having “a profound effect on American life.”

Many volumes on display are from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and seldom on public view.

Part of the exhibition is a video featuring six Pulitzer Prize winners, including Jennifer Egan and Rita Dove, who discuss the books that they think shaped America.

Of the 65 books in “America Reads,” 40 were chosen directly by the public. An additional 25 titles were chosen by the public from a list created for the 2012 Library of Congress exhibition “Books That Shaped America.”

In 2016, the public selected science fiction and fantasy works by Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Madeleine L’Engle, Frank Herbert, and Thomas Pynchon. Ray Bradbury and L. Frank Baum appeared on the 2012 list.

The press release explains:

Once again, the volumes featured in the “America Reads” exhibition do not necessarily represent the best in American letters, nor do they speak to the diversity of our nation and the books it produces. In other words, the selections are not definitive or all-encompassing. But as with the 2012 exhibition, “America Reads” is intended to jump-start new conversations about the most influential books written in America and what they mean to people.

“America Reads”—The 40 New Titles Chosen by the Public

  • Ayn Rand, “The Fountainhead”
  • Kurt Vonnegut, “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death”
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Little House in the Big Woods”
  • Joseph Smith, “The Book of Mormon”
  • Willa Cather, “My Ántonia”
  • Alex Haley, “Roots: The Saga of an American Family”
  • Ayn Rand, “Anthem”
  • Alice Walker, “The Color Purple”
  • John Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men”
  • John Steinbeck, “East of Eden”
  • Sylvia Plath, “The Bell Jar”
  • Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried”
  • Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, “All the President’s Men”
  • Arthur Miller, “Death of a Salesman”
  • Arthur Miller, “The Crucible”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man and the Sea”
  • Ken Kesey, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  • Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “The Sun Also Rises”
  • John F. Kennedy, “Profiles in Courage”
  • Stephen King, “The Stand”
  • Larry McMurtry, “Lonesome Dove”
  • Judy Blume, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”
  • Howard Zinn, “A People’s History of the United States”
  • James Fenimore Cooper, “The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757”
  • Robert A. Heinlein, “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”
  • Wilson Rawls, “Where the Red Fern Grows”
  • Madeleine L’Engle, “A Wrinkle in Time”
  • Frank Herbert, “Dune”
  • Thomas Pynchon, “Gravity’s Rainbow”
  • Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle and Julia Child, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”
  • Kate Chopin, “The Awakening”
  • Shel Silverstein, “The Giving Tree”
  • Milton Friedman, “Capitalism and Freedom”
  • Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman, “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature”
  • Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”
  • John Kennedy Toole, “A Confederacy of Dunces”
  • Robert Penn Warren, “All the King’s Men”
  • Robert M. Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values”

“America Reads”—The Public’s Top 25 Choices from the Original 2012 List

  • Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged”
  • Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Mark Twain, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly”
  • The Federalist: “A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution”
  • Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle”
  • J. D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: “The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism”
  • Ray Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451”
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”
  • Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy”
  • Margaret Mitchell, “Gone With the Wind”
  • Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), “The Cat in the Hat”
  • Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring”
  • Henry David Thoreau, “Walden; or, Life in the Woods”
  • Jack Kerouac, “On the Road”
  • Betty Friedan, “The Feminine Mystique”
  • L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”
  • Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick; or, the Whale”
  • Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
  • Joseph Heller, “Catch-22”
  • Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
  • Benjamin Spock, “Baby and Child Care”

[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh for the story.]

Gods With Fur Anthology

Gods with Fur

Fred Patten’s newest anthology, Gods with Fur, will go on sale at Anthrocon 2016 at the end of this month.  Published by FurPlanet Productions, the trade paperback book contains 23 original stories by Kyell Gold, Mary E. Lowd, Michael H. Payne, and more, featuring the gods of anthropomorphic worlds and the anthropomorphic gods of our world.

You may know about Egyptian mythology’s jackal-headed Anubis, but do you know about wolf-headed Wepwawet?  You may know about China’s Monkey King or the native North Americans’ Coyote (well, they say they’re gods), but do you know about the Aztecs’ 400 drunken rabbits?

Here are historic gods, the gods of their authors’ series (Kyell Gold’s Forrester University; Heidi Vlach’s Aligare, Kris Schnee’s TaleSpace), and totally original gods:

  • “400 Rabbits” by Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden
  • “Contract Negotiations” by Field T. Mouse
  • “On the Run from Isofell” by M. R. Anglin
  • “To the Reader …” by Alan Loewen
  • “First Chosen” by BanWynn Oakshadow
  • “All Of You Are In Me” by Kyell Gold
  • “Yesterday’s Trickster” by NightEyes DaySpring
  • “The Gods of Necessity” by Jefferson Swycaffer
  • “The Precession of the Equinoxes” by Michael H. Payne
  • “Deity Theory” by James L. Steele
  • “Questor’s Gambit” by Mary E. Lowd
  • “Fenrir’s Saga” by Televassi
  • “The Three Days of the Jackal” by Samuel C. Conway
  • “A Melody in Seduction’s Arsenal” by Slip-Wolf
  • “Adversary’s Fall” by MikasiWolf
  • “As Below, So Above” by Mut
  • “Wings of Faith” by Kris Schnee
  • “The Going Forth of Uadjet” by Frances Pauli
  • “That Exclusive Zodiac Club” byichael  Fred Patten
  • “Three Minutes to Midnight” by Killick (Tom Mullins)
  • “A Day With No Tide” by Watts Martin
  • “Repast (A Story of Aligare)” by Heidi C. Vlach
  • “Origins” by Michael D. Winkle

Gods with Fur ($19.95, 453 pp., cover by Teagan Gavet) will be on sale at Anthrocon 2016 on June 30 – July 3, at the FurPlanet table in the Dealers’ Den, and on the FurPlanet online catalogue later in July.

Independence Day Clip Joint

Independence Day: Resurgence comes to theaters June 24 and pre-release publicity is reaching its crescendo. Here are two new clips from the movie, and a pair of bonus clips that feature Jeff Goldblum.

  • Independence Day: Resurgence | “Brackish Okun Laser” Clip

  • Independence Day: Resurgence | “Fast Approach” Clip

  • ESD Films Presents: Conspiracy Theories

Today Earth Space Defense director David Levinson is finally debunking a long-standing conspiracy theory that has persisted since the War of 1996. In this video – which provides irrefutable proof – he and famous Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum prove once and for all that they are not the same person – despite their uncanny resemblance. Learn the truth now.


  • Independence Day: Resurgence | A Candid Conversation: Camaraderie In Action

Bradbury Art Makes Headlines


(1) ENGINE 451. The Chicago Tribune ran photos — “New Waukegan train mural honors author Ray Bradbury”.

Pedersen said his work includes lots of trains, “but I had to have a design that was simple and would have an impact. I designed it so you could see what it was from 50 yards away.”

“It’s a universal image, everyone will recognize it’s a train,” Pedersen said. “I drew up the sketch and they liked it.”

Pedersen, who recently moved to Waukegan, said he enjoys the other murals around the city. He said he was walking down Sheridan Road when he noticed the wall and thought, “that would look a lot better with a mural.”

As a tribute to Waukegan author Ray Bradbury, Pedersen numbered the old engine 451 in honor of Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451.

(2) WALK IN WAUKEGAN. Bradbury’s birth city plans a walking tour and history exhibit next weekend.

Ray Bradbury Twofer

(3) FATHER ELECTRICO. On Facebook, director John Sasser made a quick progress report about the documentary Father Electrico: Ray Bradbury Lives Forever, starring Ray Bradbury and sculptor Christopher Slatoff.

Today we completed the final edit of the film! Next up is to get the score complete and then it should be ready to start entering in film festivals.


(4) LETTER FROM IRELAND. For sale at Captain Ahab’s Rare Books, Ray Bradbury’s two-page TLS to Dolph Sharp, December 10, 1953.

Bradbury, Ray. TWO-PAGE TLS TO DOLPH SHARP, DECEMBER 10, 1953.Dublin: S.i., 1953. Letter typed on both sides of a single 5″ x 7″ sheet of blue gray stock; 48 lines (approx.300 words); signed “Ray” (in ink) next to the author’s small self portrait. Folded once, with tiny staple holes at margins; Near Fine. Offered together with the original, roughly-opened mailing envelope.

A wonderful early and revealing letter from a young Ray Bradbury to Dolph Sharp, written from the Royal Hibernian Hotel in Dublin, Ireland and mailed shortly after from Paris, France. Sharp was an author and long-time friend of Bradbury’s who ran a writers group which met in his Hollywood Hills home. Sharp’s daughter E.E. King recalls that shortly after 1948, “Ray Bradbury, Sanora Babb, Wilma Shore, Joseph Petracca, Elliott Grennard and Ben Maddow convened at our home in the Hollywood Hills and shared their stories over pastrami on rye…for over 30 years, they came to Blair Drive…Gathering around the coffee table, they would read their works and comment on one another’s projects. There were drinks and smokes and laughter…always laughter. I remember hearing Ray read the drafts of The Halloween Tree, which started as a painting, then became a short story, then a screenplay and finally a novel. Ray loved words. He was drunk on language. For thirty years, these were always the best of times in our house” (see: Bradbury presses Sharp for details on any progress or successes regarding his work and that of his fellow group members; “There were so many good stories coming there for a time, one after another; certainly one of them must have sold!” He goes on to relay his own progress at writing the script for John Huston’s adaptation of Moby Dick (1956); “I’ve written some 150 pages in order to finished [sic] 77 pages of useable script…Huston seems very happy with the work. Gregory Peck is coming over next Sunday for a visit; he’ll be Ahab, you know. Leo Glenn will be Starbuck.” Perhaps the most revealing passage relates to Bradbury’s disappointment at the reception of his first novel, which was released just two months in advance of this letter: “Will look forward to your opinion on FAHRENHEIT 451 when you have the time. It didn’t make the splash I rather hoped it might. But then – things never do work out quite as planned. I’m damn lucky anyway.” A charming and intimate letter, rich in detail, to a significant individual in the author’s creative circle; scarce thus.           $1,950.00

Bradbury TLS p 2

(5) THE BIG READ. In LA, The Big Read continues to celebrate the author of Fahrenheit 451.


  • 25 June, Saturday – 1:00 -4:00 PM


Community celebration of creative typewriting, the process employed by Ray Bradbury to write his science fiction masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451. Louise Marler in partnership with THE BIG READ LA brings the F451 Type-In to Beyond Baroque again. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. With multi-disciplinary arts and activities involving typewriters, all are welcome to bring their own typewriter, use one provided, write interactive poem, type thank you letters, etc. The afternoon will be full of inspired Reading, Writing, and Typing.

For more information visit organizer Louise Marler’s website here.

  • 25 June, Saturday – 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM


The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Local writers and poets read selections from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451. Featuring: Carlye Archibque, Greg Cope White, Anna Urena & more TBA! Free to all.

  • 25 June, Saturday – 6:00 – 9:00 PM


A curated group of visual artists whose work centers on literature, language and typewriters will be on display simultaneously. In salute of the author’s work, Marler’s “Ray Bradbury TypOwriter” mixed media art is featured.

Bradbury’s 1947 Royal KMM typewriter art features a blazing writing machine surrounded by burnt text, inspired by “Fahrenheit 451.” This stunning work as well as the giclée limited-edition is offered for sale at the event with a portion of the sales being donated towards journalism scholarships through the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation.

Select Mexican students, inspired by reading “Fahrenheit 451,” artwork will be included with national and regional known artists. Free to all.

(6) ICE CREAM SUIT. South Pasadena will host a showing of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.

Screening of Ray Bradbury’s “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit”, a Disney film, will be presented on Thursday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. The Fantasy/Comedy/Drama stars Edward James Olmos, Joe Mantegna, Esai Morales, and Sid Caesar. Joe Mantegna will be on hand to introduce the film with his personal tribute to Ray Bradbury who helped start his professional acting career when he hired him for the theatrical version at the Organic Theatre in Chicago in 1974. Mantegna is currently the star of the popular, long-running CBS TV series “Criminal Minds.” Robert Kerr, from the Ray Bradbury Pandemonium Theatre Company, will offer his reflections of his experiences performing the play “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena with Bradbury in attendance. The Community Room, located at 1115 El Centro Street, will open at 6:30 p.m. The film is rated PG and is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC), and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. Refreshments will be provided and no tickets or reservations are necessary. Special thanks to the Friends of the Rialto Theatre, David Marchan, John King Tarpinian, and David Lyons/Pro Outdoor Movies

Ice cream suit at SP Lib

(7) THOSE WERE THE DAYS. In February 2010, Mystery & Imagination Bookshop hosted the Bleeding Edge Signing, and the notables present that day can be seen in this video.

William F. Nolan stalks the aisles at 0:25. Earl Hamner Jr. arrives around 1:50. The first Bradbury sighting comes about 2:04. George Clayton Johnson at 2:30.

Norman Corwin sits to the right of Bradbury. Also in there: John Shirley, James Robert Smith, Cody Goodfellow, Lisa Morton, Earl Hamner, John Tomerlin, Dennis Etchison, John Skipp, Paul J. Salamoff, and Pete Atkins.