Pixel Scroll 9/4/17 Little Miss Muffet Sat On A Pixel. Along  Came A Scroll.

(1) YOUR 1962 HUGO WINNERS. The Traveler at Galactic Journey spent Labor Day Weekend in Chicago engaged in fandom’s favorite pastime of complaining about the Hugo winners, like that gosh-darned Heinlein novel, Stranger in a Strange Land: “[Sep. 4, 1962] Differences of opinion (the 1962 Hugo Awards!)”

This line-up shouldn’t shock me, given the pre-convention buzz, and yet it does.  Stranger has gotten a lot of attention, particularly from the mainstream edges of our fandom (probably because it dares to mention sex).  It has also earned its fair share of scorn.  It’s a lousy, preachy book, but if we’re judging by the sales, then it’s won its trophy, fair and square.

He hates Brian Aldiss’ winning works too! (Quick, the fainting cloths!)

I did give a Star to the first story in the Hothouse series, but the quality of the tales went down over the course of the publication.  I understand they were novelized early this year, so Aldiss may get another bite at the apple.  He doesn’t deserve it, though (the reviewer for UK sf digest, New Worlds, agrees with me).

(2) HANDMAID REX. Mari Mancusi saw something strange:

The handmaids were at the DragonCon parade. I’m a little concerned by the look of one of them…

(3) MORE SURPRISES. Here’s Atlanta Loop’s photos of the rest of the parade. Wait a minute – Jane Yolen was there?!?

Literary Guest of Honor and author of “The Devil’s Arithmetic,” Jane Yolen, waves to the crowd as she rides in the annual Dragon Con Parade. Photo: Jonathan Phillips

(4) SORRY, SON. Did you remember Indiana Jones has a son? Me neither. And no need to start remembering — Entertainment Weekly says “Indiana Jones 5 won’t feature Shia LaBeouf’s character”.

Will an Indiana Jones protege soon snatch the iconic wide-brimmed fedora from atop Harrison Ford’s head? Perhaps, but it won’t be Mutt Williams — a.k.a. Indy’s son, Henry Jones III — the character Shia LaBeouf played in 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

“Harrison plays Indiana Jones, that I can certainly say,” screenwriter David Koepp, who has penned a script for the fifth film in the storied Indiana Jones franchise, tells EW. “And the Shia LaBeouf character is not in the film.”

(5) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites everyone to “Chow down on Tortellini Carbonara with James Patrick Kelly” in Episode 46 of Eating the Fantastic.

James Patrick Kelly

James Patrick Kelly is a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writer who recently published a career short story retrospective as part of the Centipede Press Masters of Science Fiction series. And had I not been turned down by the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop in 1974, I might have shared a dorm room with him! (But don’t worry. I was accepted in 1979.)

We discussed the reason he needed to attend the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop twice—and why the rules were then changed so no one could do it again, the suggestion Kate Wilhelm made that saved one of his short stories, why his reaction to comics as a kid was “Marvel, yes, DC, feh,” how the science fiction field survived the Cyberpunk/Humanist wars of the ‘80s, why he takes an expansive view of fanfic, how Cory Doctorow inspired him to enter the world of podcasting early, what allows him and frequent collaborator John Kessel to work together so well, his advice for how writing 10 endings to a story in progress will help writers find the right ending, and more.

(6) GEEKWIRE. Frank Catalano returns with the second podcast in his GeekWire special series on science fiction, pop culture and the arts.

This time, I interview SFWA President Cat Rambo about the new game writer’s Nebula Award, consider the importance of awards in a crowd-sourced recommendation landscape, revisit the Puppies controversy in light of last month’s Hugo results (you’ll recall I wrote about the Puppies for GeekWire two years ago), and get some advice for wanna be writers.

The story (focused on the game writing Nebula) with a link to the full podcast is here: “Game writers to be honored with Nebula Award in first for professional science fiction and fantasy org”.

SFWA President Cat Rambo says the organization began admitting game writers as members last year, and announced a Best Game Writing award category for 2018 to cover works published this year.

“I would think that one of the things a Nebula imprimatur would mean for a game is that it is a game that really has some story to it,” Rambo said. “That it’s a game that can achieve that sort of immersive wonderful experience that only text can bring.”

Rambo, a Seattle writer who is in her second term as SFWA president, sat down with GeekWire for this episode of our new podcast series on science fiction, pop culture, and the arts. Rambo has written more than 200 short stories and been nominated for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. Her stories are most recently collected in Neither Here Nor There (Hydra House) and Altered America: Steampunk Stories (Plunkett Press)….

Catalano says, “I have to admit, I’m enjoying mining my science fiction writing background. (And I do provide a full disclosure disclaimer early in the podcast interview that I am a former officer of SFWA, and still-active member.)”

(7) NO BUCK ROGERS, NO BUCKS. The iconic sf character is only making money for lawyers right now: “‘Buck Rogers’ Ownership at Center of Coming Trial”. Two rival estates want those bucks for their own.

The lawsuit is between descendants of author Philip Francis Nowlan, who created the fictional space explorer in the 1920s, and descendants of John Flint Dille, whose newspaper company once syndicated a Buck Rogers comic strip. On Friday, a Pennsylvania federal judge wrote the latest chapter in a long-running contest over rights with a decision that sets up a forthcoming trial over ownership….

“Although the question of whether the commercial success of Buck Rogers owes more to John F. Dille or Philip F. Nowlan is surely of great interest to the parties, and to Buck Rogers fans, it is simply irrelevant to the trademark questions that the trier of fact must answer here,” writes the judge.

The first big trademark question is who had priority on “Buck Rogers.” Who came first to claim “Buck Rogers” as their own? Not Nowlan or Dille, but rather their respective trusts. The Dilles no longer have a valid federal registration, so they must establish prior use of the mark in a way sufficiently public to be identifiable in the minds of the public.

Beetlestone writes that “there is a genuine issue as to whether Plaintiff can establish priority of use in the BUCK ROGERS mark. It must be noted that it is not necessary for Plaintiff to trace its claim to the BUCK ROGERS mark back to John F. Dille or Philip F. Nowlan. Instead, Plaintiff need only point to evidence from which a trier of fact could conclude that it developed trademark rights in the mark prior to January 15, 2009.”

That’s the date the Nowlans filed an intent-to-use trademark application.

The judge notes that the Dilles held registrations on “Buck Rogers” in the 1980s and had licensed those rights for games, comics and books.

(8) CANDID GIZZARD. The BBC reports “Scientists have developed a camera that can see through the human body”.

Scientists have developed a camera that can see through the human body.

The device has been designed to help doctors track medical tools, known as endoscopes, during internal examinations.

Until now, medics have had to rely on expensive scans, such as X-rays, to trace their progress.

The new camera works by detecting light sources inside the body, such as the illuminated tip of the endoscope’s long flexible tube.

(9) BREW HAULER. A true fan: “German waiter smashes beer carrying record – again”. Video at the link.

Oliver Struempfel spent months of training to carry as many full one-litre mugs as possible for a distance of 40m.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 4, 1966 – Gene Roddenberry showed Star Trek’s “Where No Man Has Gone Before” at Tricon, the Worldcon in Cleveland, OH.
  • September 4, 1975 Space:1999 premiered in the U.S.

(11) COMICS SECTION. John King Tarpinian will remember why he recommended this one in a moment: Speedbump.

(12) SECOND VICTIM IDENTIFIED. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published the name of the second woman injured by chairs thrown from the Atlanta Marriott early Sunday morning during Dragon Con:

Jamie Temple-Thompson Amador, who was dressed as Jessica Rabbit from the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” was rushed to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Hospital, friend Jennifer Matteson told The AJC.

Both women have been released from their hospitals.

Mattheson said she and Amador drove from Louisiana for their first Dragon Con.

All in all, Matteson said their experience was still positive from the “phenomenal” hotel hospitality to the community.

“The love and support from the Dragon Con family is heart warming to say the least,” Matteson said. “We can’t wait to return for an even better experience, and reconnect with our new Atlanta family!”

Jamie Temple-Thompson Amador

(13) DRAGON AWARDS. At Women Write About Comics, Doris V. Sutherland says “2017 Dragon Awards Are No Longer Puppy Awards”. My mileage may vary.

Despite its recent vintage, the Dragon Awards already have a rocky history. Last year, the awards largely reflected the tastes of a very specific voting bloc: namely, supporters of the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies campaigns that formed to counter perceived left-wing bias at Worldcon’s Hugo Awards.

This led to such ludicrous situations as Brian Niemeier, a Puppy-aligned author, campaigning for his little-known space opera Souldancer to be voted into the Best Horror category for tactical reasons — and winning. L. Jagi Lamplighter, who edited Souldancer and became a finalist this year for her YA novel Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamlandacknowledged the Puppies’ influence on the Dragon Awards results in 2016: “Puppy fans were eager to vote in a new award and may have been more vigilant than general fans who didn’t necessarily know about the Dragon Awards ahead of time.” Other authors from the Puppysphere, meanwhile, insisted that the Dragons were evidence of their mass popularity with the wider fandom.

However, it seems the farce of the 2016 Dragon Awards can now be consigned to the dustbin of fandom history. The 2017 Dragons have received a much higher turnout of voters and, all in all, they have done a considerably better job of living up to their stated aim of offering “a true reflection of the works that are genuinely most beloved by the core audience.”

This year, the one victory from the Puppy circles was earned by Larry Correia and John Ringo’s Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge, which won Best Fantasy Novel. Correia was the founder of the Sad Puppies campaign and is almost certainly the most popular author to be aligned with the movement, so his success here should not come as too much of a surprise.

(14) NIEMEIER ON DRAGON AWARDS. It’s kind of like watching a dog take a victory lap with one leg lifted.

(15) LOOK OUT. Kevin Standlee got splashed – uh, with vitriol, that is: “They Doth Protest Too Much Methinks”.

I (probably unwisely) tried to ask some of the people crowing over how the recent Dragon Awards are the Best Awards Evar and that The Hugo Awards are dead, dead, dead because of course the only Real Awards are the Dragons, etc., asking why they thought an award that allowed someone with a bit of internet savvy the ability to vote potentially hundreds of times was a good thing, and the amount of vitriol sent my way was, well, not surprising, really. I’m sort of wondering if these people simply assume that everything is corrupt and everyone is on the take. They assumed, after all, that the Hugo Award results were rigged by a Secret Cabal. They don’t care of their pet system is rigged or flawed, as long as they Get What They Want. It’s sort of like the people who were quoted as saying they didn’t care if the last American Presidential election was corrupted, because Their Guy Won, and that’s all that matters.

(16) BACK FROM HELSINKI. Susanna Shore adds to the legion of Worldcon 75 reports in “My #worldcon75 experience”:

The first panel was called Bad Romance. I’d chosen it because I write romance and I don’t want to write it badly, but also because Max Gladstone was on it. He doesn’t strike me as a romance writer, but I like his Craft Sequence fantasy series and wanted to hear him. He turned out to be worth the queuing.

The panel had a hiccupy start as the chair didn’t show up, but a member of the audience volunteered to moderate. She turned out to be Julia Rios, who had won a Hugo Award the previous night for Uncanny Magazine and had partied till four in the morning, but she still managed to be a great moderator. Not only did she keep the conversation flowing, she also managed to live tweet the panel. As a whole, the panel was good and funny, though I didn’t learn anything I hadn’t known before.

(17) MARVEL’S INHUMANS. Sneak peek.

[Thanks to JJ, Mark-kitteh, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

Pixel Scroll 1/14/17 On A Cold And Gray Trisolarian Morning, A Baby Scroll Was Filed

(1) EYE EYE AYE. From r/Star Wars on Reddit: “Noticed this Mon Calamari who can’t find his monitor while re-watching Return of the Jedi” generated a vast set of amusing comments, half developing the joke, half creating headcanon to explain away the joke.

  • Fun fact: predators evolve to have eyes that are close together and face forward to improve depth perception and acuity in a narrow arc, whereas prey have eyes farther apart so that they have better peripheral coverage to spot threats. Apparently Mon Calamari are not natural predators, hence their keen ability to spot traps.
  • No the guy sitting just moved his desk to the right, you can see him snickering when the guy turn around and doesn’t see the monitor where it usually is.
  • He’s blind and on the wall is written in brail: “more to the right.” These ship are made like that; with brail instructions everywhere because if the percentage of mon-calamari individuals who devellop blindness in their late 30’s. Apparently this happens after they successfully mated the first time.
  • Simple: He has an eye on each side of his head. He can see the screen from that angle. He was actually looking at two things at once.

(2) INELIGIBILITY POST. Ruthless Culture’s Jonathan McCalmont, who thinks award eligibility posts are a bane, says: “Don’t Vote For Me”.

What this means in practice is that every year begins with an ungainly scramble for visibility as hundreds of aspiring authors try to get out their personal votes. These visibility campaigns may start on a bashful and self-deprecating note but the pitch soon rises, growing steadily more grasping and unpleasant until finally reaching the level of demented screaming in the run-up to the annual distribution of fish heads known as the Hugo Awards, at which point the voices collapse either into silence or disgruntled muttering before beginning afresh the following December.

The cycle begins in earnest with the opening of the Hugo nominations period but the year’s first tangible chunk of ego-boo is usually the shortlist for the awards handed out by the British Science Fiction Association. For reasons that doubtless made sense to someone at the time, the process for generating BSFA award shortlists has now changed meaning that people are now expected to nominate for a longlist as well as a shortlist. My piece on the history of the New Weird has made it onto the non-fiction longlist and while I am grateful to everyone who took the time to nominate my piece, I would be even more grateful if it progressed no further as I have decided to decline any and all future award nominations.

(3) A DEAD IDEA COMES BACK. Somebody thinks they’ve got a workable personal jetpack.

“Jetpacks will be part of future cities,” Peter Coker, vice-president of innovation at KuangChi Science, Martin Aircraft Company’s major Chinese shareholder.

“I see it as being the Uber of the sky.”

Martin Aircraft Company, based in New Zealand, already has a working prototype that can fly at 2,800ft (850m) at 45km/h (27mph) for 28 minutes.

And Mr Coker says commuters will be able to hail an unmanned jetpack via a smartphone app.

He admits there will be “regulatory hurdles” to overcome and, if the airways become packed with jetpacks, a need for “automatic collision avoidance”.

(4) WHO’S ON FIRST? If you want to know the firms controlled by the Big 5 Publishers, this searchable graph will show you.

(5) DUTTON OBIT. What a great bookstore he had. “Dave Dutton, the landmark L.A. bookstore owner, dies at 79”. The North Hollywood location – only a couple of miles from the old LASFS Clubhouse – was gloriously stuffed with interesting books.

But he would never stray far from Dutton’s Books, a Los Angeles landmark with its overflowing shelves, hard-to-find titles and customers wondrously thumbing through their options. A “cultural museum,” Dutton once called the bookstore.

Dutton died Friday at his home in Valley Village, roughly a decade after he and his wife packed up the last 50,000 books and closed up the North Hollywood shop for the final time. Dutton was 79 and suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

…When Dutton and his wife packed up the North Hollywood shop, loading the remaining books into a 30-foot truck, Dutton reflected on the virtues of being an old-school bookseller in a market dominated by the Internet.

“The book business used to be a place where idealists and dreamers of a better world who perhaps didn’t like business, didn’t admire the business tactics generally necessary to survive, could find a happy compromise.”

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 14, 1954 — Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio. (Honestly, no sff connection that I could think of. But a big blip on the pop culture screen.)

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • Born January 14, 1943 — Astronaut Shannon Lucid

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born January 14, 1874 Thornton Burgess, author of Old Mother West Wind, whose array of anthropomorphics included a Peter Rabbit (intentionally using the same name as Beatrix Potter’s character). He wrote about animals and nature in his newspaper column, Bedtime Stories, and by the time he retired, had penned more than 170 books and 15,000 stories for the daily newspaper column.
  • Born January 14, 1924 – Guy Williams, who played Zorro and Professor John Robinson.

(9) ANOTHER VISIT TO THE SEVENTIES. Another tweet from 70s Sci-Fi Art.

(10) WHAT MAKES THIS DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER GIBBONS? The name. BBC reports ”’Star Wars gibbon’ is new primate species”.

A gibbon living in the tropical forests of south west China is a new species of primate, scientists have concluded.

The animal has been studied for some time, but new research confirms it is different from all other gibbons.

It has been named the Skywalker hoolock gibbon – partly because the Chinese characters of its scientific name mean “Heaven’s movement” but also because the scientists are fans of Star Wars.

The study is published in the American Journal of Primatology.

(11) TWIN TITANS. I don’t doubt the misleading innuendo “Power Couples” gets more clicks, though it detracts from homage intended by the publication.

The Jewish Women’s Archive’s “Power Couples” project showcases pairs of extraordinary Jewish women from many different disciplines, matching an early female trailblazer with a modern woman at the top of her game. This project highlights the lives and accomplishments of important pioneers in various fields and the next generation of leaders and innovators, demonstrating the impact of women in the arts, sciences, fashion, athletics, business, and activism….

Fantasy Authors: Jane Yolen and Rachel Swirsky

In 2010, a Jewish Review of Books article asserting that Jewish authors don’t write fantasy precipitated an Internet uproar. Commentators named hundreds of Jewish authors who write about magic, mythical creatures, quests, and adventures—two of whom are Jane Yolen and Rachel Swirsky. Yolen has written almost 300 fantasy and fairytale-inspired books, and was recently named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, an award honoring lifetime achievement. Swirsky has written more than 70 short stories and has twice won the prestigious Nebula Award. Both women expand the definition of the fantasy genre and use their work to espouse themes of social justice….

Actress-Scientists: Hedy Lamarr and Mayim Bialik

You probably wouldn’t expect that we could have multiple entries in a category for actress/scientist. After all, we tend to think of people as being either/or. If you’re a scientist or inventor, you must be mono-focused, introverted, anti-social. If you’re an actor or celebrity, stereotypes suggest that you’re gorgeous but flighty, lacking intelligence or substance. Despite our knowledge that most women are multi-talented multitaskers, we insist on fitting them into narrow categories, denying their complexity. Hedy Lamarr and Mayim Bialik challenge us to rethink our limiting assumptions and to recognize the creative range of women’s abilities.

(12) PRESUMPTIVE GUILT. It’s not quite a “have you stopped beating your wife” gotcha — Disney did already use Fisher’s digital image in Rogue One. In The Guardian, “Disney deny negotiating with Carrie Fisher’s estate for rights to her digital image”.

Disney have denied they are negotiating with Carrie Fisher’s estate for the rights to use the actor’s digital image in future Star Wars film, according to industry sources.

The BBC’s Newsnight programme had reported that, “with what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Star Wars studio Disney had opened with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise.”

But in a statement the Walt Disney Company said: “Disney is not in conversations with the estate of Carrie Fisher at this time and any reports to the contrary are false.”

Fisher’s likeness as the young Princess Leia in the original 1977 Star Wars was digitally rendered and appeared in the final frames of prequel Rogue One – along with Peter Cushing’s. As filming occurred prior to Fisher’s death, her permission was presumably obtained. However, reports have emerged of discussions between the makers of Episodes VIII and IX, as Leia had been expected to play a significant part in both films. Apart from the technical challenge, a number of ethical considerations emerged in the wake of Cushing’s “resurrection” in Rogue One, 22 years after his death.

The BBC’s use of the words “continuing appearance” suggested the film-makers were considering using Fisher’s digital image in future films, although there are also other ancillary uses, such as video games.

(13) WHERE LIGHTSPEED SEEMS SLOW. Ty Franck answers questions about the existence of the internet in The Expanse.

Q: Why call them ‘hand terminals?’

A: Because they are not phones. In the universe of The Expanse, we are living in the true internet of things. Nearly every object more complex than a hair brush is a smart or semi-smart device connected to the network around it. The hand terminal is barely a device, on its own. It has little or no memory or processing power. It is literally just a dumb terminal to give the user access to the network and to the various devices around them. It is a portable UI for operating other things. Which is why when the networks go down, the hand terminals become bricks. You can’t even play that game of angry birds classic you downloaded with your google store coupon.

(14) YOU CAN’T STOP IT, YOU CAN ONLY WATCH IT HAPPEN. Something for you to put on your calendar – “In 2022 we’ll be able to watch an 1,800-year old star collision”.

Before their collision the two stars were too dim to be seen without the aid of an extremely powerful telescope but astronomers expect the collision to increase the brightness of the pair ten thousand fold, making it one of the brightest stars in the heaven for a time. The explosion, known as a Red Nova, will then dissipate and the star will remain visible as a single bright, but duller, dot.

The prediction is based on a study of the two stars, which are orbiting each other in ever decreasing circles and appear to be on course for a collision. Assuming they are correct, it would be the first time such an event was predicted by scientists.

(15) BITE YE. The Santa Clarita Diet, for people with good taste… and people who taste good. Drew Barrymore teases a series coming to Netflix in February. There’s also a gag website: http://santaclaritadiet.com/

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Gregory N. Hullender, John King Tarpinian, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer Sylvester, with an assist from Bonnie McDaniel.]

Jane Yolen Named SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master

Jane Yolen. Photo by Jason Stemple.

Jane Yolen. Photo by Jason Stemple.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Jane Yolen the 33rd Damon Knight Grand Master for her contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.

The award is given by SFWA for “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Jane Yolen joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, and Joe Haldeman.

SFWA President Cat Rambo commented: “Jane Yolen, who has written fantasy and science fiction for ages up and down the range of possibilities, epitomizes what a Grand Master should be. Her 350 books, multiple awards, and overall high standard of prose and storytelling make her one of the treasures of fantasy and science fiction.“

Yolen’s acknowledgement reads: “To know I am now on the same list as Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, and Ursula Le Guin is the kind of shock to the system that makes me want to write better each day. Revise, revision, and reinvent.”

The award will be presented at the 52nd Annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in Pittsburgh, PA, May 18-21, 2017.

Jane Yolen published her first novel, Pirates in Petticoats on her 22nd birthday. Since then, Yolen has published novels for juvenile, young adult and adult readers, as well as short fiction, picture books, and poetry. In addition to being a prolific author, Yolen has edited several anthologies. Many of Yolen’s works fall into the fairy tale category and Newsweek has dubbed her, “America’s Hans Christian Andersen.”

Yolen is perhaps best known for her young adult and juvenile books, including the popular “How do Dinosaurs” series. Her short fiction has been collected in more than a dozen collections. She edited three volumes of the Xanadu anthology series, collections of modern folk tales, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens.

In 1986, her short story “Sister Emily’s Lightship” received a Nebula Award, as did her novelette “Lost Girls” in 1997. Yolen has also won three Mythopoeic Awards for Cards of Grief, Briar Rose, and The Young Merlin Trilogy. She has won the World Fantasy Award for editing Favorite Folktales from Around the World and later received a Lifetime Achievement Award from that same body.

For more on Jane Yolen, please visit a very special SFWA Youtube curated playlist.

2015 Jane Yolen Award Winners

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has announced the recipients of the 2015 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award

  • Karen Coombs, author of Woody Guthrie, America’s Folk Singer (Lerner, 2002)
  • Sallie Wolf, author/illustrator of The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound: A Birder’s Journal (Charlesbridge, 2010).

The award is a $3,000 grant to mid-list authors to honor their contribution and help raise awareness about their current works-in-progress. The grant was created and is funded by acclaimed children’s book author Jane Yolen, one of the first SCBWI members.

Karen Coombs of San Marcos, California, is the author of several nonfiction, middle grade novels, and a young adult novel, Sarah on Her Own (Avon, 1996). Her nonfiction books include Jackie Robinson, Baseball’s Civil Rights Legend (Enslow, 1997) and Children of the Dust Days (Carolrhoda, 2000). Karen has several completed projects currently circulating. Her website is http://www.karencoombs.com/index.html

Sallie Wolf of Oak Park, Illinois, is the author of Truck Stuck (Charlesbridge, 2008) and Peter’s Trucks (Albert Whitman, 1992). Peter’s Trucks, now in reprint, will be an Illinois Reads IRC pick for 2016. Sallie’s current projects include a poetry collection based on twenty years of observing the moon, and another truck book. Learn more at www.salliewolf.com.

Jane Yolen explained her inspiration for this award:

It’s no longer front page news that publishing is changing. However, our ability to deliver story has changed more thoroughly these days than at any time since Guttenberg.  Because of this, the mid-list authors are finding it harder and harder to find a traditional publisher to stick with them. It’s not simply that their books aren’t selling. . .for they backlist just fine. The problem is they are not mega-bestsellers on the front end. I know this because on many—indeed on most of my books—I am in the same boat.

Even well-known mid-list authors are struggling. They lose editors, publishers, their books go out of print. So, I wanted to give back to my peers and that’s how the Mid-list Award was born.  It’s not a great deal of money, but it’s a love note of recognition. SCBWI and I are saying, “Please know that we love your books. We need your books. We remember your books. Don’t quit. Write more.”

Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

World Fantasy Con Update

Lifetime Achievement Awards: World Fantasy Con has announced its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winners – Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.

Datlow is a 40-time nominee for the World Fantasy Awards and 9-time winner. Yarbro has been nominated for 5 World Fantasy Awards.

Toastmaster: Jane Yolen has withdrawn as WFC 2014 Toastmaster due to upcoming back surgery.

Mary Robinette Kowal has taken over the duties. Here’s how she led into the announcement on her blog —

Last week, I got a phone call from Peggy Rae Sapienza, who is one of the co-chairs of World Fantasy. She had a favor to ask. I like it when she asks me for favors. The one before this was, “Would you mind running the Whiskey tasting with Guy Gavriel Kay on the Wednesday before WFC starts?”

The new favor Kowal was asked to do was to become the Toastmaster for WFC 2014 and she enthusiastically accepted.

Finlay Collection: This year is the centennial of three events which are themes of the 2014 World Fantasy Con. One of them is the birth of famed prozine illustrator Virgil Finlay in 1914. The artist’s daughter, Lail Finlay, is coming to WFC as a Special Guest of honor.

Upon hearing the news, Robert T. Garcia was inspired to carry out his unfulfilled ambition to publish a book of Virgil Finlay art from the collections of Robert Weinberg, Doug Ellis, Glynn Crain, and Robert K. Wiener.

I wanted to to do a book…. But to do that, I needed to ask these guys to take these (sometimes very fragile) pieces down from the wall, remove them from frames (some sealed decades ago), trust me to handle them, and then take the time to scan them properly. Not likely to happen.

But I was wrong. At the 2012 SF Worldcon in Chicago, World Fantasy Convention Chairman Michael J. Walsh came up to me and told me that the WFC would be having a special commemoration celebrating the Centenary of Virgil Finlay’s birth. His daughter Lail Finlay would be attending in a very rare convention appearance. With such a very rare opportunity to celebrate the career and work of the artist we three loved, Doug Ellis, Bob Weinberg and I decided to publish a book featuring not only their incredible collections, but also those of Glynn Crain and Robert K. Wiener as well. 

Garcia’s Kickstarter appeal to fund The Collectors Book of Virgil Finlay has already surpassed its goal with two weeks left to run. (The web page has some great Finlay images.)

This will be the first new Virgil Finlay art book in 20 years, the first to have Finlay art scanned in high resolution directly from originals, and with 35 full color paintings by the artist, will offer the largest collection of Finlay’s color work ever assembled in print.

Virgil Finlay is regarded by many as the finest line artist in the sf/fantasy genre. He worked from 1936 until his death in 1971 illustrating pulp fiction and astrology magazines, and also the Hearst Sunday supplement The American Weekly.

He won the 1953 Hugo Award for Best Interior Illustrator, and in 1996 was voted a Retro Hugo as Best Professional Artist of 1945. Finlay was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.

Yolen Honored By NEPR

Paul Lambert, President, NEPR Foundation, with Jane Yolen.

Paul Lambert, President, NEPR Foundation, with Jane Yolen.

Jane Yolen received the 2014 New England Public Radio Award for the Arts and Humanities Award at a ceremony in Holyoke, MA on May 12.

Established by the New England Public Radio Foundation in 2008, the award recognizes the contributions of local talent, and brings greater public awareness to the critical role played by musicians, artists, dancers, actors, writers, and teachers in western New England.

NEPR selected Yolen because —

She is a mentor, a friend and an inspiration to many writers living here in western New England, and has worked extensively with schools and libraries in the local community to bring the joy of reading, writing, and art and illustration to children and adults alike. We are lucky to have her among many distinguished authors and illustrators choosing to make a home in our region.

[Via Locus Online.]

Yolen Gets Mixed Feedback

Jane Yolen’s announcement on Facebook that she will no longer travel to Texas or Florida to speak or do signings led to “a sudden flood of folks unfriending me here (I CAN read the statistics, puleeze.) Have to put it down to my political stance.”

A typical negative comment was Alexandra Flinn’s:

Maybe authors who are boycotting our state should refuse to have their books on the Sunshine State list too. I mean, they wouldn’t want to take Floridians’ money and all. I’m sorry, but I voluntarily live in a very diverse county of a very diverse state, so it’s annoying to hear about how stupid and racist we all are.

Many people posted supportive comments, too.

Yolen says she has a waitlist of over 1000 people wanting to be her Facebook friends and she’ll have no trouble filling in the vacancies. She did not say how many there are.

Yolen responded to another who discounted her tactics by saying he failed to take into account that Yolen has been politically active for decades, and even been a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The decision is based on ample experience.

Yolen Boycotts Texas, Florida

Jane Yolen announced to her Facebook followers on July 14 that she will no longer travel to Texas and Florida, as a protest against certain laws enacted there:

Until Texas repeals its recent misogynistic laws and Florida repeals it’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, I will not be accepting speaking or signing engagements in those states. I have friends and relatives in both states, but will not be visiting.

Sorry, but it is long past time to stand OUR ground, the humanistic and humane ground on which this country was built or at least where it should be headed.

This is the 21st century folks. Act like it!

Since Yolen was not announced as a program participant by the 2013 Worldcon in San Antonio, Texas, this represents no immediate change in her attendance plans. It remains to be seen whether others will adopt her stance.

Jane Yolen on YA Hugo Possibility

Fans are divided over the proposal to add a Hugo category for YA books. No matter your opinion, it’s worth hearing what a leading YA author thinks about the idea.

Jane Yolen has enjoyed success in many literary categories and is renowned among YA audiences. Craig Miller had an opportunity to ask for her views. Here’s what she said about adding a YA book category to the Hugos:

All the YA and children’s book writers I know who do sf and fantasy WANT a Hugo within a designated category and don’t feel it would ghettoize the award at all. It will also make it much easier to “sell” sf/fantasy books to the teachers and librarians. They LOVE to see award stickers and lists of award winners and buy from those lists. It would make a huge difference.

[Thanks to Craig Miller for the story.]

Flying Dragon Bookshop Makes Shortlist

Flying Dragon Bookstore logo.

Congratulations to Toronto’s Flying Dragon Bookshop, one of three Specialty bookstores on the 2011 Canadian Booksellers Association CBA Libris Awards shortlist.

Flying Dragon arguably has more than one specialty. While some characterize it as a children’s bookstore, it’s also where people connect with the latest YA fantasy and general fantasy novels.

The store has often been in the news since it opened in 2005. Last year Quill and Quire praised its window display for Guy Gavriel Kay’s new book, Under Heaven:

As you can see, the display includes not only Under Heaven, but other mythologically minded or otherwise thematically linked titles. A new Kay tome lifts all boats, after all.

The CBA Libris Awards will be presented on May 14 in Toronto. The full list of categories and nominees is here [PDF file].

[Thanks to John Mansfield for the story.]

Jane Yolen at Flying Dragon Bookshop.