Nimoy Tribute on Syfy Sunday Morning

Syfy has announced it will honor the passing of Leonard Nimoy with a special five-hour block of programming on Sunday morning, March 1 beginning 9 a.m./8c.

9:00 a.m.

The Twilight Zone

S3.E15  “Quality of Mercy” – A lieutenant (Dean Stockwell) preparing to lead his platoon suddenly sees the attack as if he were the enemy. Causarano: Albert Salmi. Watkins: Rayford Barnes. Hansen: Leonard Nimoy. Hanacheck: Ralph Votrian. Japanese Soldier: Dale Ishimoto. Japanese Captain: Jerry Fujikawa.

9:30 a.m.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Two-part episode “Unification”

S5.E8  “Unification” — Conclusion. After locating Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and discovering his plans for unifying the Romulans and the Vulcans, Picard and Data uncover a covert Romulan plot that does not call for unification—but for invasion. Sela: Denise Crosby. Pardek: Malachi Throne.

11:30 a.m.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The Enterprise crew members are assigned to escort a Klingon leader to peace talks, but negotiations cease when a Klingon vessel is attacked and Capt. Kirk and Dr. McCoy are accused of the crime and forced to stand trial for murder

Preflighting Thunderbirds

New Thunderbirds Are Go imagery was released yesterday featuring Brains, Lady Penelope, her dog, her car, and Parker.

An entire Thunderbirds Are Go center was unveiled on YouTube this month.

Material available there includes a video tour of the miniature Tracy Island sets produced by the WETA Workshop, model makers for Lord Of The Rings.

There’s also a teaser trailer, and several short videos of the various Thunderbirds:

ITV has also confirmed that Sylvia Anderson, the voice of Lady Penelope in the original series, has been cast to voice the character of Lady Penelope’s elderly Great Aunt Sylvia in an episode.

Bacigalupi On NPR’s Marketplace

Author Paolo Bacigalupi appeared in the February 26 segment of an NPR Marketplace feature “Water: The High Price of Cheap” commenting about how taking water for granted gets us in trouble. For example, the family farm where he grew up drew water from a federal project, and when circumstances made it unavailable they were especially aware of their dependence on it.

Bacigalupi is known for The Windup Girl and The Drowned Cities. His next novel, out soon, is titled, The Water Knife.

[Thanks to Rich Lynch for the story.]

Uncanny Issue 3 Arrives Next Week

Cover of Uncanny #3 by Carrie Ann Baade.

Cover of Uncanny #3 by Carrie Ann Baade.

Number 3 on 3/3. Think you can remember that? Uncanny Magazine #3 will be released on March 3.

What’s more, Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas (Chicks Dig Time Lords, Apex Magazine) and Michael Damian Thomas (Queers Dig Time Lords) are offering the issue as a free eBook to anyone taking K.T. Bradford’s reading challenge, which several of my readers have heard about…. Click here for details.

Here is the table of contents for Uncanny Magazine Issue 3

Carrie Ann Baade – “Unspeakable #2?

The Uncanny Valley – Editorial by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas

New Fiction:
Sofia Samatar – “Those”
Rosamund Hodge – “The Lamps Thereof Are Fire and Flames”
Kat Howard – “Translatio Corporis”
Maria Dahvana Headley – “Ivory Darts, Golden Arrows”
Sarah Pinsker – “When the Circus Lights Down”
Emily Devenport – “Dr. Polingyouma’s Machine”
Fran Wilde – “You Are Two Point Three Meters from Your Destination”

Classic Fiction:
Ellen Klages – “In the House of the Seven Librarians”

Ytasha L. Womack – “Afrofuturism Rising”
Stephanie Zvan – “Family Matters: How Geek Communities Turn Dysfunctional”
Amal El-Mohtar – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Desolation of Armies”
L.M. Myles – “Cushing in Space”

C.S.E. Cooney – “Deep Bitch”
Jennifer Crow – “Cloudbending”
M Sereno-  “The Eaters”

Sofia Samatar Interviewed by Deborah Stanish
C.S.E. Cooney Interviewed by Deborah Stanish Ellen Klages Interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Podcast 3A:
Kat Howard’s “Translatio Corporis” as read by Amal El-Mohtar, C.S.E. Cooney’s “Deep Bitch” as read by the author, Kat Howard interviewed by Deborah Stanish, Jim C. Hines interviewed by Michi Trota

Podcast 3B:
Sarah Pinsker’s “When the Circus Lights Down” as read by C.S.E. Cooney, M Sereno’s “The Eaters” as read by Amal El-Mohtar, Sarah Pinsker interviewed by Deborah Stanish

Worlds of Wonder Crowdfunding Appeal

One week remains in Regis Murphy’s Kickstarter appeal to fund Worlds of Wonder science fiction bookstore and tavern in Charlotte, North Carolina. The goal is to raise $45,000 “to meet the basic costs required to open in at least some form.”

The $45,000 will go toward inventory, to secure the lease, pay two full-time employees during pre-opening start-up, and to cover Kickstarter fees and the cost of incentives.

Learn more about the vision for Worlds of Wonder on Facebook and on its website.

Why open a bookstore in the age of Amazon and e-books? Murphy says he is undaunted, in fact, he thinks the outlook is improving for what he wants to do.

While many outside the industry perceive book retailing to be a fading enterprise, sales statistics reveal book buying has actually increased in recent years, somewhat ironically propelled by the popularity of e-books and e-readers. While the large chain bookstores continue to lose market share to Amazon, sales at independent bookstores have increased about 8 percent each year over the last three years. Sales at stores serving a niche market – science fiction and graphic novel enthusiasts, for instance – have performed even better.

Add to that, his bookstore will have a bar:

The owners of Worlds Of Wonder, taking note of the explosive growth in popularity of craft beer, believe their target market enjoy beer and wine, and combining a full service bar with a bookstore will generate curious interest.

Murphy says he has the passion, he has the energy – and though he’s putting in his savings, he’ll only have enough money if sf readers answer his call for help.

Borderlands Books To Stay Open

Borderlands Books reached its goal of 300 sponsors by Saturday afternoon. The San Francisco bookseller has announced it will stay open until at least March 31, 2016.

The critical mass of sponsors needed to underwrite the store’s survival plan came forward in less than two days. The first 60 signed up within two hours after the plan was announced —

One of them was calling from New Zealand.  Another had been married at the store.  At one point last night, Borderlands was one of the top five trending topics on Twitter.

Staff member Jude Feldman wrote, “I knew that people liked the store and even loved it. But I never, in my wildest dreams, would have imagined that so many people liked it so much.”

Fund Nate Bucklin’s New Album

Nate Bucklin

Nate Bucklin

Nate Bucklin is a widely known musician, and not only in fandom. His composition “I Was Born About Ten Million Songs Ago,” performed by Steven Brust, received airplay on Dr. Demento’s show for years and was part of a Dr. Demento CD.

Bucklin is also credited with inadvertently triggering the founding of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society in 1966:

A gathering to welcome Nate to the Twin Cities was so successful that the attendees decided to repeat it in two weeks. After several such meetings, the meeting was called to order and the club was named, with regular Saturday meetings that have continued ever since.

But jumping back to the present – Nate and his band members are raising money via Kickstarter for Bucklin’s new album, “My Favorite Whirlwind”.

The band — Nate Bucklin, guitar and vocals, David Emerson, keyboards and vocals, Jason Becker, bass, Jeff Schalles, drums, and Felicia Herman, vocals – also will present this project in a live performance at Minicon 50, to be held April 2-5, 2015.

At this writing, people have already pledged $2,787 of the original $1,760 goal. But the additional money will be very helpful, as Jeff Schalles explains:

Our stretch goal is modest, if the total keeps going up, we’ll be able to book extra studio time at the end of the recording session for mixing and overdubbing, and up the number of CDs we have made. Beyond that, Nate’s been hankering after a new typewriter. A nice, solid, refurbished office electric, from that typewriter guy with the shop down on Penn Ave. in Richfield. Nate does his best writing on a typewriter! (At the moment, we’re working on building him a computer, too, so he can get back online. But he’d still rather write on a typewriter.)

Some Shatner/Nimoy Fun

By James H. Burns: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy competed in this episode of $20,000 Pyramid, available on YouTube.

What’s also interesting, is that if the late September, 1977 broadcast date is correct, this would have been taped when Shatner (and the rest of the Star Trek cast) was lined up for the new Trek teleseries that was set to begin filming later that Autumn — but which Nimoy had turned down. (I was ON those Enterprise sets at Paramount, in late November, just a week or two after the studio decided to go back to the initial idea, a Star Trek feature film.)

Borderlands Books Goes Under, Then Resurfaces

Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

San Francisco’s Borderlands Books, a favorite of sf, fantasy and horror readers, is now reconsidering its plans to close. The store had announced at the beginning of the month it could not continue in business, an economic casualty of a new law raising the minimum wage in the city. However, strong support shown by customers may translate into enough funds to bridge the gap.

The original February 1 announcement said:

In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018.  Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.

What changed? Borderlands Books held a public meeting February 12 and, to the booksellers’ surprise, some workable ideas were brought forward. One is their newly announced plan to offer paid sponsorships of the store —

Each sponsorship will cost $100 for the year and will need to be renewed every year.  If we get 300 sponsors before March 31st, we will stay open for the remainder of 2015.

The Plan
Our goal is to gather enough paid sponsors to cover the projected short-fall in income that will be the result of the minimum wage increase in San Francisco.  At the beginning of next year we will again solicit sponsors.  If next year we again reach our goal by March 31st, we will remain open through 2016.  This process will continue each year until we close, either because of a lack of sponsorship or for other reasons.

That will be enough to cover their projected $25,000 shortfall, provide a cash reserve — and convince ownership the necessary level of support is really there.

If you’re down with The Plan (John Scalzi has already tweeted it to the four corners of the internet) here is how to sign up:

To pay in person, just come into the store anytime between noon and eight and inquire at the counter.  To pay by credit card, please call 415 824-8203 or toll-free at 888 893-4008 during the same hours (please be patient if you get a busy signal as we only have two phone lines).  To pay by check, please send the check to – Borderlands Books, Sponsorships, 866 Valencia St.  SF  CA 94110 and make sure to include your phone number, email address, and mailing address.

Other ideas Borderlands Books will pursue are: offering a monthly book subscription program; reaching out to local companies to see if they would be interested in hosting Google-style book talks; investigating the possibilities of starting a non-profit organization to help support either Borderlands specifically or San Francisco bookstores in general; and using the local political process to address some of the challenges facing smaller, local retailers.

[Thanks to Gregory Benford and D. Geordie Howe for the story.]

Watch Bill The Galactic Hero Online

Alex Cox, who raised over $100,00 through Kickstarter to make Bill The Galactic Hero, has posted his movie online.

Cox, the creator of Repo Man and Sid & Nancy, directed the feature comedy. It is based on Harry Harrison’s classic anti-war science fiction novel which satirizes the work of Heinlein, Asimov and Gordon R. Dickson.

The movie had its first public showings last December in Boulder, Colorado with Moira and Todd Harrison, children of Harry, plus four other members of the Harrison clan in attendance.

The movie begins with full-color animation then proceeds with live action in black-and-white. Cox made it with the participation of students of the Film Studies and Theatre & Dance Departments of the University of Colorado at Boulder.