James Sallis Quits as College Instructor Over Arizona Loyalty Oath

James Sallis

James Sallis

James Sallis quit as an adjunct professor at Phoenix College in the middle of the semester when called on to sign the state of Arizona’s loyalty oath.

Sallis’ name first became familiar to fans as a New Wave author who had two stories in Again, Dangerous Visions, though his literary reputation derives from many later works, such as his novel Drive, which was made into a film starring Ryan Gosling.

Arizona has a loyalty oath requirement for all employees of the state or other government units.

“I never imagined that things like this were still around. It horrified me,” Sallis said in an interview Monday.

Officials at the college told the station that it had no choice under state law but to require Sallis to sign. The officials said that, in preparation for an accreditation review, the college reached out to 800 adjunct instructors — Sallis among them — and found that some of them had never signed the loyalty oath, and that they have been told they must do so to keep their jobs. Sallis had taught at the school for 14 years.

The text of the oath is a pledge to —

“support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Inside Higher Ed reports —

Students are expressing outrage over the enforcement of the loyalty oath rule, and are saying that they signed up for a course with Sallis because he would be the instructor. E. J. Montini, a columnist for The Arizona Republic, quoted from a student letter to the college. “He provided an opportunity for the kind of world-class instruction that is typically only accessible to those who attend prestigious and expensive M.F.A. programs.”

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

The Martian, Spoiled

Martian court

“I can’t believe they gave away the thingie in the rescue scene!”

By popular demand! Comments on this post will cover anything people want to say about the movie.


And to fill up this post, JJ has contributed a set of links to trailers and interviews about The Martian.

Ares 3: The Right Stuff

Ares 3: Leave Your Mark

Ares 3: Our Greatest Adventure

Ares 3: Farewell

The Martian Teaser Trailer

The Martian: Bring Him Home

The Martian Official Trailer

ISS Crew Members Talk to Cast of The Martian (featuring Expedition 45 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, prior to the ISS premiere of the movie)

Andy Weir At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Adam Savage Interviews ‘The Martian’ Author Andy Weir

Kressel and Bolander Headline NYRSF Readings on October 6

Brooke Bolander

Brooke Bolander

The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings 25th Anniversary Season continues with Brooke Bolander and Matthew Kressel as guests. The location is The Commons Café at 388 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Doors open 6:30 p.m. $7 suggested donation.

Brooke Bolander writes weird things of indeterminate genre, most of them leaning rather heavily towards fantasy. Her work has been featured in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons. Nightmare, and the upcoming anthologies Aliens: Recent Encounters and Help Fund My Robot Army.

Matt Kressel

Matt Kressel

Matthew Kressel is a multiple Nebula Award finalist and World Fantasy Award finalist. His first novel, King of Shards, debuts October 13. His fiction has or will soon appear in such markets as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, io9.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, Apex Magazine, and the anthologies After, Naked City, The People of the Book, Launch Pad, and many other markets. Alongside veteran editor Ellen Datlow, he co-hosts the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in Manhattan.

Amy Goldschlager

Amy Goldschlager

Guest curator Amy Goldschlager is an editor, proofreader, and book/audiobook reviewer. She has worked for several major publishers, and has also contributed reviews and features to the Los Angeles Review of Books, Locus, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, ComicMix, and AudioFile magazine.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Another Clip From The Martian

See this movie I must!

With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.


[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus for the link.]

The Man From Land’s End

Kerwin Matthews

Kerwin Matthews

By James H. Burns: TCM ran a Kerwin Matthews film festival yesterday, which reminds me of a story…

Matthews, of course, was the star of two Ray Harryhausen fantasy movies,The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Gulliver’s Travels, as well as the similarly-themed Jack the Giant Killer (the latter, one of my all-time favorite fantasy films, in fact!).

Matthews was a classic leading man, who had the unusual ability — still too easily overlooked when contemplating actors — to be believable in the wildest of celluloid special effects situations.

Such an ability not to be overwhelmed by one’s surroundings, or to play down to them, suggests that Matthews could have done on film, just about anything.

(There has been suggestion, in fact, that he was a front runner to play The Saint in the early 1960s TV series, but that has always seemed a bit odd, since the show was ultimately at least partially the doing of its ultimate star, Roger Moore…)

Matthews starred in films for Hammer Studios (Maniac, Pirates of Blood River) as well as the genre entries, Battle Beneath the Earth, Octaman, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, and two OSS-117 films (a James Bond-type series).

(His Wikipedia bio says he was also in a 1954 episode of Space Patrol, “The Escape of Mr. Proteus”!)

There were more mainstream appearances, in such outings as The Devil at Four O’Clock, with Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra, and The Waltz King, a two-parter on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, in which he portrayed Johann Strauss Jr.

But by the late 1970s, Matthews retired from acting. I think it was the late Steve Swires, a leading fantasy and science fiction movie historian and journalist who first told me, sometime in the 1980s, that Matthews rather successfully operated an antiques shop in San Francisco.  In 1987, my girlfriend and i were going to be visiting the city, and it occurred to me, to say hello…

Not for myself, but for my three-and-a-half year old niece.

I had taken to showing her portions of Jack the Giant Killer, many of the enchanted scenes — none of the scary ones! — and she had come to adore it.

The movie was also a favorite of my Dad’s, her grandfather.

I thought she might find it neat, to have a photo of two of her favorite people (me, and my gal!), along with Jack, of Cornwall… My girlfriend, who had pretty good instincts with children, thought it might actually frighten her…

I have a shy streak, or at least a respectful one, and don’t like to bother folks unnecessarily. Our trip to San Francisco was jam-packed, and we didn’t plan to go to Matthews’ shop.

My only regret is that while it certainly would have been nice to chat, it would have been good to know, for sure, that the actor knew how much his work had meant to so many people. He lived until 2007, to the age of 81, survived by his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicholl.

Surely, much fan mail must have made its way to his store. Matthews, after all, was indeed iconic, if not always mentioned as such. For so many generations, his heroes will always be poised against the unknown, their wit as sure a weapon, as the sword within his hand.

Rosarium Publishing Set to Adapt Tobias Buckell’s Arctic Rising

arctic rising .promo.corr.flat COMPTobias S. Buckell’s near-future thriller Arctic Rising will soon be adapted as a comic book by Rosarium Publishing.

Set in a future possibly mirroring our own where the polar ice caps have all but melted, Arctic Rising centers around a United Nations Polar Guard pilot, Anika Duncan. She finds herself caught in the middle of an international battle between corporations, ecoterrorists, and global powers to stop a plot that could very well decide the fate of Mother Earth.

The first of twelve issues of Tobias S. Buckell’s Arctic Rising will be released digitally in February 2016. Keith A. Miller (Manticore, Triboro Tales, and Infest) is writing the adaptation and the art is being done by comics newcomer, Tommy Nguyen.

Buckell states, “I believe in creating diverse futures, and writing Arctic Rising was important to me because it attempts to tackle both the ecological issues I see just around the corner and the diverse peoples who will be affected (and who will be trying to solve the problems we leave them). Partnering with Rosarium to create the graphic novel is a tremendous opportunity, as I think they share a similar yearning for more diverse futures. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Arctic Rising is such an action-packed thrill ride, turning it into a comic book seemed like a no-brainer almost as soon as I cracked the cover,” says Rosarium Publishing head, Bill Campbell. “This adaptation is a dream come true.”

New Journal from Museum of Science Fiction

Museum of SF logoThe Museum of Science Fiction of Washington, DC has called for submissions to its new triannual Journal of Science Fiction. The first issue will appear in January 2016.

The Journal “will serve as a forum for scientists and academics from around the world to discuss science fiction, including recent trends in the genre, its influence on the modern world, and its prognostications of the future.”

Monica Louzon, managing editor of the Journal, commented —

We want readers everywhere to consider the science fiction genre they love from new angles. We want them to ask questions and to have fun doing so... We’re encouraging anyone who considers themselves a science fiction scholar to send us their original articles, essays or book reviews for our first issue.

The Journal of Science Fiction will be published online three times a year. No subscription or submission fees will be required. A typical issue will feature between eight and twelve peer-reviewed academic articles and several book reviews and essays.

For further information, see the Author Guidelines.

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

Pournelle Resumes There Will Be War Anthology Series


Jerry Pournelle is readying the first new There Will Be War anthology in 25 years. Castalia House will publish it.

Pournelle wrote me in an e-mail:

We are paying $200 on acceptance; that is an advance on pro rata shares of 25% royalties. (The original Tor TWBW series was paying on 10% royalties.) Also, we are buying nonexclusive anthology rights, not first serial or anything exclusive, so it’s a bit like finding the acceptance money in the street, with an excellent chance of getting a good bit more, possibly several times as much per year for a few years.

For the new volume we are paying $200 on acceptance regardless of length; I paid by the word in the original series. We’ll pay by adjusted length for the royalties on the new volume — adjustment to increase the amount going to shorter works. I always did that, particularly for poetry. Castalia is using my formulae. I’d like to pay more on acceptance, but that’s all I could get, and it’s more than anyone else offered.

Castalia made me the best offer, including the bookkeeping and royalty payments to contributors; no one else offered that. They have been a pleasure to work with.

I have a lot of things to do, including new fiction with Larry Niven and Steven Barnes — we’re doing another book in the Heorot series. The previous two were best sellers, and we think this is better. We’re working with Dr. Jack Cohen, who helped Annie design the dragons of Pern, and Terry Pratchett, and we have a wonderful new alien.

And John DeChancie and I are working on Lisabetta, a story of a young girl in space raised in good part by her ship’s Artificial Intelligence. She’s a strong character, and I think we’re contributing to understanding AI robots. John’s a very strong writer. I’m still learning to type again after the stroke, so most of my current work is collaborations; I’m very fortunate to have such skilled people to work with; but it leaves me little time to do management of projects like There Will Be War.

I’m vain enough to think it’s an important series, TWBW, and now that Iran is likely to have the bomb perhaps we need to think about the future of war. It seemed impossible to get out of the Cold War without at least a few atomic explosions, but we did it with containment, deterrence, and defense. I won’t live to see the end of the next phase, but I like to believe TWBW helped get people thinking about how to get out of the Cold War alive; maybe a couple of new volumes will help with these new dangers.

He also responded to the criticism of his choice of Castalia House as publisher.

I don’t pay attention to fan politics, and I have not followed whatever the latest have been. There seem to be denunciations of Castalia including public wishes for its CEO’s public execution without trial, which does not seem reasonable. I am not required to share political views with my publisher, which is as well because some of my publishers have been Communists, both foreign and American.

Submissions are open, but as Pournelle explained on Chaos Manor, he doesn’t have time for editorial handholding —

Please do not send me email about the new volume of There Will Be War. Please do not send me inquiries about submitting to There Will Be War. Send story submissions to submissions@therewillbewar.net. We buy only nonexclusive anthology rights. We will publish a notice when submissions are no longer wanted. To get an idea of what the anthologies are like, see the already published volumes. Please do not ask me for advice on how to write for this anthology.

When I did the original There Will Be War anthologies, I had the services of Mr. Carr to work with prospective authors, and he was responsible for starting many new careers. Alas, John is on his own in Pennsylvania now, and I have neither time nor energy, nor do I have John’s talents.

Submit stories to submissions@therewillbewar.net. Previously published is acceptable and far more usual than original. Alas I have not the time to discuss story ideas by mail.

[Artwork by Grant Canfield.]