1954 Worldcon Archive Offered

The papers of the Twelfth World Science Fiction Convention are back on the market. This archive of correspondence, contracts and the like from SFCon, held in San Francisco in 1954, previously offered in 2012 by The Fine Books Company for $12,218.50, is available from the same dealer but with a new asking price of $15,925.00.

Here is the seller’s list of all the goodies in this fanhistorical treasure trove –

A UNIQUE OFFERING THE TWELFTH WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION PAPERS. Held in San Francisco in the summer of 1954 with G.O.H. John Campbell, Jr., this was one of the great early gatherings. Included in this massive archive is everything that one might want to know about running a convention: Hotel rates for rooms, banquets, buffet menus, rentals, carpenters, electricians, etc. There are letters from attendees and those who wished to attend but could not; paid invoices from photo shops, printers, etc.; canceled checks (along with some unused ones as well) and check stubs; Radio scripts from local stations and press clippings and pictures from local papers; letters from major Motion Picture Studios answering requests about film availability; SIGNED letters from advertizers (including all the small presses); the entire convention mailing list; black & white photos picturing singularly or in group Ackerman, Anderson, Boucher, Bloch, Campbell, Clifton, Dick, Ellison, Evans, Gold, Mayne, Ley, Moskowitz, Nourse, E.E. Smith, Williamson, Van Vogt, Vampira, et.al. But of course the major importance of this archive has yet to be mentioned. And that’s simply the great abundance of SIGNED letters, post-cards and notes from authors and artists. To wit: Anderson, Asimov (3), Blaisdell, Blish, Bond, Bonestell (4), Boucher (3), Bradbury (4), Bretnor, F. Brown, Howard Browne, Budrys, Campbell (5), Clement, Clifton (2), Collier, Conklin, DeCamp, DeFord, Dick, Dickson, Dollens (8), Emshwiller (2), Eshbach (2), Evans, Farmer, Freas (3), Greenberg (2), Gunn, Heinlein, Hunter (5), Kuttner, Ley (5), Moskowitz, Neville, Nolan (3), Nourse, Obler, Orban (3), Palmer, Pratt, Simak, E.E. Smith (2), Tucker, Williamson (3), Wylie, et.al. Finally, also included is a set of audio tapes which were taken at this convention. Now for the first time (depending on your age I guess) you can not only be privy to what went on at this convention, but also hear the actual voices of Anthony Boucher, John W. Campbell, E.E. “DOC”Smith and others too numerous to mention. A unique opportunity to snatch a bit of vintage post-war Science Fiction history. (The tapes, while definitely included in this grouping, may not be immediately available.)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Apex Magazine Issue #59

ApexMag04 SMALLThere are 29,000 words of short fiction, poetry, and interviews in Apex Magazine #59, by Haddayr Copley-Woods, Tom Piccirilli, Ferrett Steinmetz, John Chu, Pamela Dean, Lavie Tidhar, Beth Cato, Michele Bannister, Chris Lynch, Sonya Taaffe, and Abra Staffin-Wiebe. The cover art is by Mehrdad Isvandi.

Here is the table of contents of issue 56.

“Perfect” by Haddayr Copley-Woods
“Steel Snowflakes in My Skull” by Tom Piccirilli
“The Cultist’s Son” by Ferrett Steinmetz
“Repairing the World” by John Chu
“Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary” by Pamela Dean (eBook/subscriber exclusive)
The Violent Century (extract) by Lavie Tidhar (eBook/subscriber exclusive)

“Cogs” by Beth Cato
“Unlabelled Core c. Zanclean (5.33 Ma)” by Michele Bannister
“Tell Me the World is a Forest” by Chris Lynch
“Aristeia” by Sonya Taaffe

“Resolute: Notes from the Editor-in-Chief” by Sigrid Ellis
“Interview with Cover Artist Mehrdad Isvandi” by Loraine Sammy
“Interview with Ferrett Steinmetz” by Maggie Slater
“After Our Bodies Fail” by Abra Staffin-Wiebe

Podcast Fiction
“Repairing the World” by John Chu

SFWA Readings in SoCal

Science Fiction Writers of America is launching a Southern California Reading Series on May 31. Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore will host these free, quarterly events at its San Diego and Redondo Beach locations.

The inaugural readings will take place Saturday, May 31 at 2 p.m. at the San Diego store (7051 Clairemont Mesa Bl.). Featured authors will be Cecil Castellucci, Nalo Hopkinson, and a third to be announced.

The second event is scheduled for Saturday, August 30 at 2 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy’s Redondo Beach location (2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach). Readers that day will be Stephen Blackmoore, Sofia Samatar, and Sherwood Smith.

Shatner’s World a Fathom Event on 4/24

William Shatner’s one-man show will be screened in cinemas nationwide on April 24.

Shatner’s World, the critically acclaimed one-man show, takes audiences on an exhilarating behind-the-scenes voyage through his storied life and career. With an energetic mix of personal anecdotes, laugh-out-loud humor and poignant moments, William Shatner shares his phenomenal journey from classically-trained Shakespearean actor to internationally-known cultural icon, all the while illuminating the unique persona of his most important character, himself.

Whatever will we do for news when Shatner’s career finally comes to an end?

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the link.]

The Gospel Truth

By John King Tarpinian: Jesus has a sci-fi link.

The director of the movie, King of Kings (1961), Nicholas Rey was having problems with the script. This is the movie with the definitive blonde-haired blue-eyed Jesus. That was Jeffrey Hunter, who would go on to play the original captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Captain Pike. In the early 60s Ray Bradbury did side-work as a Script Doctor and was called in to help. Ray was first told that they did not have an ending for the movie.  Ray’s response being, “Have you read the book?”

He wrote the ending that they pretty much used. Only Ray wanted an overhead shot showing J.C. walking onto the Sea of Galilee while the disciples were walking off onto the points of the compass to spread “the word.”  Renting the crane for the overhead shot was “too expensive” so the scene was modified and shot at ground level.

They knew they had other problems with the script but had no money for any reshooting of scenes.  Ray suggested they use a voice-over narration. They liked the idea and asked him to write the dialog, which he did.

Now they had another problem, they needed a powerful voice actor to read the narration. Ray suggested his friend, Orson Welles. After choking on their own spittle they said they did not have the money to pay Welles. Ray said he’d ask Orson to do it for scale, which Welles did. Orson had played Father Mable in Ray’s script of Moby Dick for John Huston.

This part I do not quite understand but for Ray’s and Orson’s names to appear in the credits they had to be paid another stipend. Not having the money the producers opted to not credit them. So if you watch the film over the weekend this story might be more entertaining than the one they filmed. One of the grand old men of science fiction and the writer/producer/director of what many argue is the best movie of all time are unsung heroes of King of Kings.

McIntyre Novel Shot at Versailles

Filming of Vonda McIntyre’s adult fairy tale The Moon & the Sun is proceeding in Melbourne and at Versailles, France around the chateau de Versailles.

Actor Pierce Brosnan plays King Louis XIV

Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy and Fan Bingbing are attached to star in The Moon & the Sun, a Hollywood film which will shoot in Australia and France….

Based on a novel by Vonda McIntyre, The Moon & the Sun is an adult fairytale centring on Louis XIV, who brings a mermaid into captivity in order to steal its life force. The King’s quest is complicated when he brings to Court the daughter of the mistress he always loved and the creature seeks out the girl. When the girl, Marie-Josephe, discovers what her father intends to do, she sets out to free the mermaid.

Brosnan will play the King, with Fan Bingbing as the mermaid, a Gollum-type digital creation. Nighy will play a character named Pere de Chaise…

McIntyre posted a link to Pierce Brosnan’s Instagram page. Click here for a photo of the actor on horseback in full royal splendor.

Benford, Niven Signing Shipstar 4/12

Gregory Benford and Larry Niven will sign Shipstar, sequel to their first collaborative novel Bowl of Heaven, at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego on Saturday, April 12 beginning at 2:00 p.m.  Address: 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Ste. 302, San Diego.

“Drinks with Vinge after, too!” adds Greg.

Drinks with Vinge! One of the boons of a life spent as a hard sf writer, where vintage is its own reward!

Space Command Starts Shooting

Marc Scott Zicree’s Space Command: Redemption, beneficiary of a Kickstarter campaign that blew away its $75,000 goal and ended up raising $221,267, started shooting March 17.

The new science fiction franchise follows the United Planet’s Space Command, “a dedicated group of scientists, soldiers and adventurers exploring and taming the vast expanse of our solar system for human colonization.”

The stunning digital effects are presided over by Doug Drexler, the Oscar and Emmy award winner, whose credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, four Star Trek feature films, Battlestar Galactica, and currently Defiance.  

Cast members include Doug Jones, Bill Mumy, Ethan Phillips, Mira Furlan, Armin Shimerman, Dean Haglund, Elle Viane Sonnet, Bryan McClure, Christina Marie Moses, Katharine Lee McEwan, Jelena Mrdja, Ethan McDowell, Coley Speaks, Aaron Gaffey, and Sara Maraffino.

Bill Mumy recently told an interviewer from StarTrek.com how much he’s enjoying being part of Space Command‘s ensemble

Let’s start with the present. What’s life like for you these days?

MUMY: Life is good. I’m busy working in multiple arenas. Right now I’m back wearing the “Actor in Space” hat. I’m co-starring in Space Command: Redemption, Marc Zicree’s ambitious multi-generational sci-fi epic. I’m working with Mira Furlan from Babylon 5, so that’s a treat for me. Also working with Bob Picardo from Trek. He’s great and funny and we get along really well. Doug Jones from Falling Skies is also in the cast and he’s very talented and nice. It’s a good group, cast and crew and it’s fun to be working in an arena I enjoy and am well known for. I play a “Steve Jobs” type of character, a billionaire inventor who creates synthetic workers. Bob and I and Mira and Doug just shot a 9-page master together the other day. That’s a rare event. So far, so good.

Zicree posted this video from the first day of production.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]