Marvel and DC Plan 19 Thru ‘20

Marvel Studios has set release dates for nine movies, including Captain America: Civil War in which Cap will face off against Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans participated in the announcement at Hollywood’s El Capitan theater on October 28. The movie also will feature Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman.

At its own event two weeks ago DC Entertainment publicized 10 films based on its franchises that are due by 2020, many previously unannounced.

Here’s what the future holds in store.

Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War — May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange — Nov. 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 — May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok — July 28, 2017
Black Panther — Nov. 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2 — May 2018, May 2019
Captain Marvel — July 6, 2018
Inhumans – Nov. 2, 2018

DC Entertainment

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — 2016
Suicide Squad — 2016
Wonder Woman — 2017
Justice League Part One — 2017
The Flash — 2018
Aquaman — 2018
Shazam — 2019
Justice League Part Two — 2019
Cyborg — 2020
Green Lantern — 2020

William Gibson Reads in LA 11/1

William Gibson

William Gibson

Skylight Books will host William Gibson on November 1, reading from his new novel The Peripheral. The event begins at 5:00 p.m.

Where Flynne and her brother Burton live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

The reading is free and open to the public (first come, first served).

Those who want Gibson to sign will need to purchase a copy of The Peripheral  at Skylight Books in order to get a ticket for the line. Tickets can be obtained either in-store or by ordering online and leaving a ticket request in the “Order Comments” field.  The store will also hold a ticket for someone who orders and pays for a book over the phone.

Skylight Books is at 1818 N. Vermont in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles.

Scary Shorts

They’re just words and they engage only one of the five senses, so how is it that by placing them in the right order an author can scare the hell out of us?

And with Halloween just around the corner, Flavorwire has picked the 50 scariest short stories of all time. Two LA authors lead the list:


“I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” Harlan Ellison

Ellison’s 1967 cult classic is a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi version of hell, in which the last four survivors on the planet are tortured by a vindictive and all-powerful computer. Get ready for the future, humans.


“The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury

Bradbury has a number of scary stories to choose from, including the famous and existentially terrifying “There Will Come Soft Rains,” but I always come back to “The Veldt.” What’s more terrifying, the lions, the house or the children?

At number 12 is “Flowers for Algernon,” Daniel Keyes – one of the few selections I was familiar with that seemed out of place. I’d say that story is heart-wrenching more than it is scary.

Edgar Allan Poe doesn’t appear on the list until lucky number 13 — “The Tell Tale Heart.”

Poe is the stranger-king of gothic horror, and this is him at his best, with a murderous narrator being driven slowly mad by the beating of his victim’s heart under the floorboards

Whether fiction is scary is a highly subjective thing, however, I recommend Richard Wadholm’s novel Astronomy, a Lovecraftian homage. I read it a few years ago and it truly creeped me out. If that’s the experience you’re seeking this Halloween, get a copy and give it a try.

Langan, Kaufmann at NYRSF Readings 11/4

Halloween stretches all the way til November 4 at the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings, when curator Amy Goldschlager will present two accomplished horror writers.

Nicholas Kaufmann, past nominee for the Bram Stoker Award, Shirley Jackson Award, and Thriller Award, is the author of General Slocum’s Gold, Chasing the Dragon, Hunt at World’s End, Still Life: Nine Stories, Dying is My Business, and Die and Stay Dead.

John Langan is the author of two collections, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (2013) and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (2008), and a novel, House of Windows (2009). His recent fiction has appeared in Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symmetries (2014) and Ross Lockhart and Justin Steele’s Children of Old Leech (2014).

The NYRSF Readings take place at The SoHo Gallery for Digital Art / Gallery LaLa 138 Sullivan Street (between Houston & Prince St.) in New York. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., event begins at 7:00 p.m.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

SFWA Plans Golden Anniversary Anthology

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America will mark its upcoming 50th anniversary by publishing a special anthology, Architects of Wonder: Fifty Years of Nebula Award-Winning Short Fiction. Robin Wayne Bailey, the project’s editor, announced on Facebook that the book is expected to be available in time for the 2015 Nebula Awards Weekend next June.

Inside The Fantasy Worlds of Martin, Froud

The World of Ice & Fire CoverThe World of Ice & Fire, the encyclopedic fictional history of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, by Martin and the webmasters of, Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, officially goes on sale today (October 28).

Martin helped promote the book over the weekend at an event in Manhattan which Grantland’s Jason Concepcion attended and wrote a “We Went There” piece about. He sourly pointed out that this new book “is not the book that all his fans are waiting for.”

And when that book comes out, muses Concepcion –

The pressure to stick the landing, to arrange every word in just the right way, must now be incredible. And that’s without Martin’s fans wondering aloud if he’s going to die.

Despite being the one most involved, Martin seems to be the most phlegmatic about the outcome. He also seems to let off steam by engaging in the kind of tangential questions that come his way as one of the most fannish pros in history, something Concepcion reports but doesn’t fully grasp –

“Someone started an argument online recently; I got an email about it,” Martin explained, as a gorgeous illustration of Aegon the Conqueror riding Balerion was projected above him. “About if Drogon could beat Smaug.” Martin then goes on to explain that Drogon is too young a dragon, that Smaug can talk and therefore has “an intellectual advantage.” Anyone who complains about George not writing whenever he makes an appearance at a convention or an awards show, who wonders Internet sotto voce if he’s too fat to live and see the thing through, should also rail against whoever the fuck is emailing him Smaug vs. Drogon threads in hopes that he weighs in. Because he probably will.


Another set of collaborators, Brian and Wendy Froud, last month celebrated the release of their new book Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Tales, which follows in the footsteps of their earlier work, Trolls.

Humans throughout history have always had special relationships and bonds with faeries, whether loving and helpful or at times destructive. This new book explores that complex relationship and the liminal state between the human and faery world where interaction occurs.

Many of the stories are familiar to readers except here the “true” story is told by the faeries. An entertaining commercial shows some of the excellent visuals created for this volume.

Alan Rodgers’ Books Will Be Re-Released

Alan Rodgers in 1990.Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Alan Rodgers in 1990.Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

Plans are in the works to re-release the horror novels of Alan Rodgers, who died March 8. Amy Sterling Casil, founder of Chameleon Media, of which Alan Rodgers Books is now a part, says the new publishing company will bring them out as ebooks and in print editions. She adds:

We will also be doing his two short fiction collections [New Life for the Dead and Ghosts Who Cannot Sleep], and at least three books he wrote prior to his death, including two young adult horror books and Smoke, a previously unpublished adult supernatural horror book that is similar to, and we think even stronger than Bone Music, his highly-acclaimed novel. We also discovered a sequel story to “The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead,” his Bram Stoker Award story and are working on publishing that as well.

bonemusicChameleon Media’s associates include Laurie DeGange, Alan’s sister, and Scott Rodgers, Alan’s younger brother.

In addition to the works already mentioned, Rodgers was known for Blood of the Children, a 1990 Bram Stoker nominee for Best First Novel, Pandora, Fire, Night, The Bear Who Found Christmas, Her Misbegotten Son, Alien Love, The River of Our Destiny, Angel of Our Mercy, and Light.

The Shirt Off Hollywood’s Back

New PictureThe most iconic costumes of Hollywood’s Golden Age and from the rest of the world of cinema are currently on display in Los Angeles as part of The Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exhibition Hollywood Costume. The ticketed exhibit opened October 2 and runs through March 12 in the Wilshire May Company Building, the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The exhibition of more than 150 costumes includes many from genre pictures (designer’s name in parentheses) — like Darth Vader’s armor from The Empire Strikes Back (John Mollo, 1980), Indiana Jones’ leather jacket and fedora from Raiders of the Lost Ark (Deborah Nadoolman, 1981), plus items from The Hunger Games (Judianna Makovsky, 2012), Mary Poppins (Tony Walton, 1964), Raiders of the Lost Ark (Deborah Nadoolman, 1981), Man of Steel (James Acheson and Michael Wilkinson, 2013), The Addams Family (Ruth Myers, 1991), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Jany Temime, 2009), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Tish Monaghan, 2009), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (April Ferry, 2003) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Eiko Ishioka, 1992).

The story of costume design from early Charlie Chaplin (The Tramp, 1912) to the present day is told through montages, animation, film clips, and projections, and a musical score by British composer Julian Scott. Among the other classics represented are Morocco, Titanic, Malcolm X, and L.A. Confidential.

One part explores key director/designer pairings, among them Alfred Hitchcock and Edith Head, who worked together on 11 films including The Birds (1963), and Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood, whose collaborations include Edward Scissorhands (1990) to Dark Shadows (2012).

Another shows how costume design is considered in animation, such as Joanna Johnston’s design for Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and films integrating motion-capture like Avatar (Mayes C. Rubio, Deborah L. Scott, 2009).

In addition, Hollywood Costume showcases the Academy’s pair of the most famous shoes in the world – the original ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (Adrian, 1939) shown with Dorothy’s blue and white gingham pinafore dress.

The most famous shoes in the world were made in 1938 for a Kansas farm girl named Dorothy. It is not known how many pairs were created, but it is believed that four pairs used in the film still exist today. The surviving pairs were made in sizes 5C, 5.5 and 6B to accommodate actress Judy Garland, her stand-in and stunt double. The slippers began as white silk pumps made by the Innes Shoe Company in Los Angeles and they were later dyed red at MGM Studios before being covered with fabric that had been hand-sewn with approximately 2,300 sequins. Each red leather bow, designed especially by Adrian, sparkles with red glass stones and bugle beads. The Academy’s nearly pristine pair, known as the “Witch’s Shoes,” are widely believed to be the slippers Garland wore in close ups and insert shots, most famously when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas. For Adrian, designing the iconic costumes for The Wizard of Oz was “The greatest fun I have ever had.”

The exhibition is open every day except Wednesday. Admission: $20 Adults; $15 Seniors (62+); $10 for students with ID and children under 13

Monstrous Crowd at the Alex

Alex Theatre COMPHere’s a snapshot of the line waiting to get into Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA on October 25. Tough crowd!

John King Tarpinian was on hand not just to see the movie, but to flash his replica of the Dracula ring Lugosi wore in the film. You all know how hard it is to find social occasions to wear your finery.


Bud Abbott and Lou Costello join forces with Universal’s menagerie of famous monsters… a perfect blending of classic comedy and terror. The boys were never funnier, combining verbal routines with their best slapstick gags. A top-notch supporting cast plays it absolutely straight, with Bela Lugosi as Dracula for only the second time, Lon Chaney Jr. making his full moon change into The Wolf Man, and Glenn Strange stalking the boys as Frankenstein’s Monster. Even Vincent Price gets a cameo as The Invisible man. This top grosser for Universal still holds all its charm.

An Unprofitable Day’s Work

Unless extras are getting paid a lot more than I’ve heard, someone’s about to take a hell of a loss on their gig as a background extra in Batman v. Superman. An extra is facing a $5 million fine after blabbing details about the movie in violation of a non-disclosure agreement, according to two websites (here and here).


The extra told a reporter for Detroit’s NBC affiliate that a fight scene between Batman and Lex Luthor was shot in the art museum on the Michigan State University campus.

She also leaked that the part of Robin will be played by a woman, reports The Guardian — Robin a.k.a. Carrie Kelley will be played by Hunger Games: Catching Fire actress Jena Malone.

As for the $5M fine – I’m curious if such a fine might really get paid — are extras insured? — or if this is just one of those Hollywood numbers bandied about for publicity.