Pixel Scroll 7/27/16 It’s Only Pixels I Recall; I Really Don’t Know Scrolls At All

(1) THE CORRELATION OF MARKET FORCES. John Z. Upjohn delivers another stinging social criticism on Alexandra Erin’s blog — “Sad Puppies Review Books: Caps For Sale”.

caps-for-sale-240x300

A head-based cap delivery service is so woefully inefficient that it is no surprise he does not sell a single cap all day. “Not even a red cap,” he laments, which suggests that he knows that red caps are best, even if he insists on wearing his ridiculous checked one. Yet they are the ones at the top of the stack, where no one can reach them. SJWs don’t believe in simple market forces like supply and demand. If he knows that red caps are the caps preferred by the majority, there’s no financial reason for him to stock anything else. It’s okay for people to like other caps, but they can’t just expect to be pandered to!

(2) THAT ROTTEN VELOUR. Esquire studies “Why Star Trek’s Uniforms Haven’t Changed Much in 50 Years”.

Remember, this was the Age of Aquarius, when bold hues reigned supreme and NBC was billing itself as the “full-color network.” You can also see nods to the costumes’ 1960s heritage in the boots’ go-go contour, especially their Cuban heels. The flared trousers even suggested the evolution of bell-bottoms.

Beyond the prevailing cultural mood, Roddenberry’s working kit entailed some heavy ergonomic thinking. “No matter how many times NASA described the outfit of the future,” he once quipped, “it always sounded like long underwear.”

“Gene’s idea was that a replicator would redo the clothes every day,” said Andrea Weaver, a Star Trek women’s costumer. “In his mind, the crew would go in and the clothes would materialize, molded to the body form.”

That form was all-important. “Roddenberry’s theory,” said Joseph D’Agosta, the casting director, “was that by the 23rd Century, diet would be down to a science and everyone would be thin.”

Unfortunately, 20th Century reality didn’t always match 23rd Century fitness. “We found ourselves having to stay away from longer shots wherever possible,” Roddenberry observed, “as the simple plain lines of our basic costume render most unflattering any extra poundage around the waist.”

(3) UNIQUE WORKSHOP. Whoever heard of a writer’s workshop that pays for you to attend? The deadline to apply for Taliesin Nexus’ Calliope Workshop for Fiction and Nonfiction Authors is August 8.

Calling the next great American author!  If that’s you, then this September 9-11 get ready to have us fly you out to New York City, put you up in a hotel, and spend an entire weekend developing your work at the Calliope Authors Workshop.  You will have the opportunity to get thorough notes on your in-progress work as well as career advice from successful novelists, nonfiction authors, publishers, and literary agents.

(4) A STEP IN TIME. After seeing all those movies and cartoons in which someone stands inside the giant dinosaur footprint, well, here’s one in which you really can — “Meter-wide dinosaur print, one of largest ever, found in Bolivia”.

A footprint measuring over a meter wide that was made by a meat-eating predator some 80 million years ago has been discovered in Bolivia, one of the largest of its kind ever found.

The print, which measures 1.2 meters (1.3 yards) across, probably belonged to the abelisaurus, a biped dinosaur that once roamed South America, said Argentine paleontologist Sebastian Apesteguia, who is studying the find.

(5) BRONYCON REPORT. Wesley Yiin of the Washington Post says “The grown men who love ‘My Little Pony’ aren’t who you think they are”. His article about Bronycon takes a sympathetic look at the fans.

More than half a decade into the Brony phenomenon, the grown men who love “My Little Pony” understand that the world remains curious about them. So they kicked off their recent BronyCon gathering in Baltimore with a crash course on dealing with the media, from which a couple of helpful pointers emerged:

  • Don’t use jargon like “OC” or even “original character.” Simply explain that the Pony-inspired name you go by in Brony circles is, for example, “Champ Romanhoof,” the persona claimed by Chaim Freedman, a 17-year-old Brony from New Jersey.
  • Do ask for their credentials. Certain publications of a conservative bent have been quick to smear Bronies. You’ll never be able to convince these kind of journalists that Bronyism is not a weird sex fetish, nor a sad childhood hang-up, but just another earnest, all-American fan community.
  • Do talk up the narratives you’d like reporters to work into their stories, such as the money Bronies raise for charity. “The media,” emphasizes Jake Hughes, the leader of this seminar, “is not the enemy.”

Hughes, who goes by “Jake the Army Guy” at conventions, is a communications specialist for the Army with a stuffed Pinkie Pie toy perched on his shoulder, which perfectly complements his denim biker vest. Like many people in this room, Hughes has gotten his fair share of flak for loving a kids’ cartoon inspired by a cheesy plastic toy marketed to little girls during the Reagan administration. (Once, he says, he was quoted in a story that complained of Bronies’ body odor.)

But no one’s in a defensive crouch here. BronyCon, which attracted more than 7,600 attendees this year, is the ultimate safe space: When you’re in a rainbow wonderland of fellow travelers wearing unicorn horns and technicolor manes, randomly hollering catchphrases like “Fun! Fun! Fun!” and singing fan-written songs with titles like “Mane Squeeze,” you can stop worrying about what’s normal and what’s weird or where you fit in.

(6) ANTICIPATING THE 1961 HUGOS. Galactic Journey’s Gideon Marcus is bracing himself for disappointment, in “[July 27, 1961] Breaking A Winning Streak (August 1961 Fantasy and Science Fiction)”.

Take a look at the back cover of this month’s Fantasy and Science Fiction.  There’s the usual array of highbrows with smug faces letting you know that they wouldn’t settle for a lesser sci-fi mag.  And next to them is the Hugo award that the magazine won last year at Pittsburgh’s WorldCon.  That’s the third Hugo in a row.

It may well be their last.

I used to love this little yellow magazine.  Sure, it’s the shortest of the Big Three (including Analog and Galaxy), but in the past, it boasted the highest quality stories.  I voted it best magazine for 1959 and 1960.

F&SF has seen a steady decline over the past year, however, and the last three issues have been particularly bad.  Take a look at what the August 1961 issue offers us….

(7) DEBUT REVIEWED. Paul Di Filippo reviews David D. Levine’s Arabella of Mars at Locus Online.

This seems to be a “steam engine time” kind of period in publishing, when writers who have focused exclusively on short fiction for many years now step forth with their long-anticipated debut novels….

(8) LITIGATION. Slender Man is an online fiction creation. Two Wisconsin girls, age 12 at the time, allegedly attempted to kill their classmate to please this character. They have lost their appeal to be tried as juveniles rather than adults.

Anyone 10 or older charged with first-degree attempted homicide is automatically considered an adult under Wisconsin law. But defense attorneys have argued that the case belongs in juvenile court, saying the adolescents suffer from mental illness and won’t get the treatment they need in the adult prison system.

Experts testified that one of the girls has schizophrenia and an oppositional defiant disorder that requires long-term mental health treatment. The other girl has been diagnosed with a delusional disorder and a condition known as schizotypy, which a psychologist testified made her vulnerable to believing in Slender Man.

In a pair of rulings Wednesday, the 2nd District Appeals court affirmed a lower court’s determination that it was reasonable to try both girls as adults. Citing the ruling last year, the appeals court said if the girls were found guilty in the juvenile system they would be released at age 18 with no supervision or mental health treatment.

It also noted that the evidence showed the crime was not accidental or impulsive, but planned out and violent. Given the serious nature of the offense, it would not be appropriate for the trial to take place in juvenile court, the appeals court ruled…..

According to a criminal complaint, the girls plotted for months before they lured Payton Leutner into a park in Waukesha, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, and attacked her with a knife.

Leutner suffered 19 stab wounds, including one that doctors say narrowly missed a major artery near her heart. After the attack in a wooded park, she crawled to a road and was found lying on a sidewalk by a passing bicyclist. Despite the attack, she staged what her family called a “miraculous” recovery and was back in school in September three months later.

The girls told investigators they hoped that killing her would please Slender Man, a demon-like character they had read about in online horror stories. The tales describe Slender Man as an unnaturally thin, faceless creature who preys on children.

(9) LIEBMANN OBIT. SF Site News reports filker Michael Liebmann died on July 26. Liebmann founded GAFilk in 1999. More information at the link.

(10) JACK DAVIS OBIT. Artist Jack Davis (1924-2016) died July 27 at the age of 91. I knew him from MAD Magazine, though he was even better known for his movie posters, advertising art, and work in mainstream magazines.

Mark Evanier wrote an excellent appreciation of Davis at News From Me.

One of America’s all-time great cartoonists has left us at the age of 91. Jack Davis made his initial fame in EC Comics like Tales from the Crypt and MAD but went on to become one of the most visible (and imitated) creators of advertising, movie posters and record album covers ever. His ability to make anything funnier when he drew it and his keen eye for caricatures could be seen darn near everywhere in this country for well more than half a century.

(11) ANOTHER BALLOT SHARED. H.P. at Every Day Should Be Tuesday revealed his “2016 Hugo Awards Ballot”.

I didn’t wind up reading a lot of the nominees and blogged about even fewer, but I at least wanted to get my votes up.  To be honest, I’ve lost a certain amount of interest in the Hugos.  And despite the big, big nomination numbers, the Hugos don’t seem to be getting nearly as much attention this year in general. It will be interesting to see if that is reflected in the voting….

How could someone who voted Jeffro Johnson first in three Hugo categories ever weary of the fun?

(12) GRAPHIC DETAILS. Eric Franklin at Game Thyme not only shared part of his ballot, but his fascinating process for ranking the nominees in “Hugo Awards: Done Voting”.

I read as much as I could of the others. I looked at the art nominees.

And then I grabbed an excel spreadsheet and rated everything based on a +10 to -10 scale of “Good” and “Fun.” I plotted that on a graph, and figured out where my “No Award” point was – it’s equivalent to 0 Good, 0 Fun. Anything with a score worse than that scored below No Award.

I also weighted the spreadsheet in favor of Good.  So a Good 5, Fun 0 work will have a better score than a Good 0, Fun 5 work.

Remember that this is zero average. Mediocre scores for good and fun are the +2 / -2 range. 3-5 is good, 6+ is great.  -3 to -5 is bad. -6 and less is awful.

Then I fed it to a formula to determine the distance from 10,10, as if it were a triangle and I was calculating the hypotenuse. So low numbers were good, high numbers bad.

0, 0 in my spreadsheet, BTW, comes to a final score of  11.53, so anything above that level was out.

I’m going to discuss two categories, tell you how I voted, and discuss each nominee in that category. I’m going to discuss Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form.

And yes, I know. I crazy-overthought this.

(13) JOURNEY’S END. Kate Paulk reaches the John W. Campbell Award and the Retro-Hugos in the culmination of her series for Mad Genius Club, “Hugo Finalist Highlights – The Retros and the Campbell Award Finalists”.

Brian Niemeier – DAMN YOU BRIAN NIEMEIER! Okay. Now I’ve got that out of my system. I couldn’t stop reading Nethereal. The combination of fantasy styling over science fiction with an intricate layered plot and remarkably human characters sucked me in and refused to let go. Of note: Niemeier is the only finalist in his first year of Campbell eligibility.

(14) UK GAMING CON FOLDS. Conception is a role playing game convention on the south coast of England. Held every year since 2000 it has raised over £150,000 for charity. There won’t be another.

It is with great sadness and regret that we must announce that the CONCEPTION Committee have unanimously decided to call it day.

There will no longer be a CONCEPTION 2017.

We have decided that after 17 years of hosting events at Hoburne Naish that we would rather end it on the virtual miracle that was this years event and retain the wonderful memories of CONCEPTIONs Past.

This choice was not an easy one for us to make. We have invested a considerable amount of time and effort on something that proved extraordinarily hard for us to let go. We emerged from CONCEPTION 2016 with some doubts and concerns about the future but also a renewed vigour for the challenges set by the new management. We were still optimistic that we could weather this re-structuring and re-development at Hoburne Holidays and still reliably host a convention in 2017.

However, recently even more changes have been forced upon us by Hoburne Holidays which severely limit the quantity of accommodation to a point where we cannot with any great certainly be assured that we can host the event in the same manner as we have in the past without badly tarnishing the experience for all our attendees.

So, rather than be forced to accept the uncertainty of dealing with Hoburne Holidays in the future or struggling to hurriedly find and negotiate terms with an alternative economically/ergonomically viable venue we decided to permanently discontinue the event.

[Via Ansible Links.]

(15) WORLDCON PREVIEW. One artist shares how his work is getting to the con.

(16) THE BAD NEWS. Unfortunately, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller won’t be making it to MACII.

Steve and I are very sorry, indeed, to announce that we will NOT be attending the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II, to be held in Kansas City, August 17-21.

A direct casualty of this is the signing we were to do at the Bradley Fair Barnes and Noble, in Wichita, Kansas, on August 14.

We apologize to everyone who thought they’d have a chance to meet us, or to renew our acquaintance.  And we especially apologize for the lateness of the hour.  Up until this past Saturday, we were certain that we’d be attending.

So, here’s what we’d like you to do — go to the con, and have a terrific time.  Raise a glass of whatever it is you’re having, and share the toast with friends:  “To Plan B!” which is our own most-used salute.  Drop us a note, if you can, and tell us about the con. We’d like that.

(17) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY RABBIT

  • July 27, 1940 — Bugs Bunny made his cartoon debut.

(18) GREEN HARVEST. This is the kind of hard-hitting journalism you’ve been looking for. Fox News headlined this story “Sexy cosplayers can make $200,000 a year at comic book conventions”.

Scores of attractive women made their way to Comic Con in San Diego, Calif. last week to don skimpy cosplay outfits to entertain the convention’s superhero fans. Many do it just for fun, but for some it’s a job that pays well into the six figures.

“In addition to a per diem and travel costs, popular professional cosplayers can make at least $5,000 to $10,000 a show,” comic book expert Christian Beranek told FOX411. “If you add in mail order sales, crowd funding contributions and YouTube ad revenue, the top talents are pulling in close to $200,000 a year.”

(19) SAME BAT-TIME. Amazon would be delighted to sell you The Ultimate Batman 75th Year Limited Edition Watch Set.

  • DC Comics super hero are depicted from four eras of comic book history in the square-shaped watches.
  • In addition, there are four incarnations of the Bat-Signal depicted in the round-shaped Swatch-like minimalist watches. The watches from left to right as presented in the box; watches 1 and 2 of the set features Batman with his fists clenched. This muscular, determined Caped Crusader has spent the Modern Age of Comics defending Gotham City from its most notorious villains.
  • Watches 3 and 4 displays Batman dramatically staring up at the Bat-Signal. By the Bronze Age of Comics, artists had encased the super hero’s spare black bat emblem with a yellow oval. The insignia became the crime fighter’s trademark. Watches 5 and 6 then shows Batman swooping into the frame with his cape flying behind him. The image, from the Silver Age of Comics, accentuates the super hero’s signature glowing white eyes and utility belt.
  • Lastly, watches 7 and 8, highlights Batman as first envisioned by creator Bob Kane during the Golden Age of Comics. The super hero’s black cape and cowl and gray suit formed his iconic visual identity.

the-ultimate-batman-75th-year-limited-edition-watch-set-bat3104-2

(20) KILLING JOKE IS DOA. At Forbes, Scott Mendelson passes judgment: “’Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review: The Controversial Comic Is Now A Terrible Movie”.

Final paragraph:

We may not have gotten the Killing Joke adaptation that we wanted, but we may well have gotten the one we deserved.

(21) BIG PLANS. George R.R. Martin tells how he will celebrate the third anniversary of his theater.

Hard to believe, but we are coming up on the third anniversary of the re-opening of the Jean Cocteau Cinema. Santa Fe’s hometown movie theatre, and first art house, had been dark for seven years when we turned on the lights again and opened the doors in August 2013. Needless to say, that calls for a celebration… a week-long celebration, in fact!!!

(22) DIRECTOR’S TOUR. Tim Burton takes us inside the peculiar world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

[Thanks to JJ, David K.M. Klaus, Dawn Incognito, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Gregory N. Hullender.]

1941 Retro Hugo Finalist Review Roundup

Roundup 1941 CROP

Curated by JJ: [Quoting from JJ’s explanation of the 2016 Hugo Finalist Review Roundup.]  …I tried to select both positive and negative reviews, from a wide selection of reviewers, which were substantive and actually provided analysis of and commentary on the story, rather than merely summarizing the plot.

…Be Aware that many of these Reviews contain Spoilers!!! Don’t click on them if you don’t want to be Spoiled!

Each category begins with links to articles that review all the nominees collectively, and follows with links to single-story reviews.

Retro Novel

Gray Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)

The Ill-Made Knight by T.H. White (Collins)

Kallocain by Karin Boye (Bonnier)

The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson (Unknown, Mar 1940)

Slan by A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction, Dec 1940)

Retro Novella

“Coventry” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1940)

“If This Goes On…” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)

“Magic, Inc.” by Robert A. Heinlein (Unknown, Sept 1940)

“The Mathematics of Magic” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, Aug 1940)

“The Roaring Trumpet” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, May 1940)

Retro Novelette

“Blowups Happen” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Sept 1940)

“Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates (Astounding Science-Fiction, Oct 1940)

“It!” by Theodore Sturgeon (Unknown, Aug 1940)

“The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1940)

“Vault of the Beast” by A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1940)

Retro Short Story

“Martian Quest” by Leigh Brackett (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)

“Requiem” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)

“Robbie” by Isaac Asimov (Super Science Stories, Sept 1940)

“The Stellar Legion” by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, Winter 1940)

“Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Jorge Luis Borges (Sur, 1940)

2016 Hugo Award Voting Begins

Members of MidAmeriCon II can now cast their votes for the 2016 Hugo Awards and 1941 Retro Hugo Awards. Online voting and mail-in ballots are each available. The deadline to vote is Midnight PST, July 31, 2016.

The administrators also announced that the Hugo Voters Packet for 2015 works will be available Monday, May 23, with the Retro packet to follow soon after. These downloads are supplied free of charge by nominees to allow voters to make an informed choice.

Pixel Scroll 4/30/16 Pride and Prejudice and Puppies

Here is your Hugo-themed Scroll.

(1) RIGHT IN THE EYE. These are beauties….

(2) STUBBORN. The G at Nerds of a Feather asks “HUGOPOCALYPSE II: Where Do We Go From Here?” (This was posted the day the nominations were announced, April 26 – I lost track of it while trying get File 770 back online.)

So outside the popular categories, it’s pretty much all RP all the time. And this is the big problem for me, because the clear message is “organize or be rendered irrelevant.” Like I said last year, I don’t want the Hugos to be an annual rerun of the US presidential election. That already takes up too much oxygen as it is, and the Hugos are supposed to be about fans celebrating the best stuff they discovered over the previous year–not voting in lockstep to further someone’s agenda. So I won’t back any proposed counter-slates–not even one that reflected my exact political worldview (and it’s very doubtful that any would). I want nothing to do with that–nothing at all.

(3) ASTERISKS DEFENDED. David Gerrold responded on Facebook to Jim C. Hines’ recent post about the Sasquan asterisks.

…But let’s be honest. There were people who arrived at the Hugo reception and the award ceremony with the intention of being offended, no matter what happened. These were the people who decided that the asterisks were intended as an insult.

I suppose I should be sorry about inadvertently hurting people’s feelings — and I would apologize to people like Toni Weisskopf and Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Ken Burnside (and a few others) if they took it the wrong way. I had hoped that everyone would see it as a chance to laugh away some of the tension.

But the real hurt to all the qualified people on the ballot was the damage done by the slate-mongering in the first place and that’s where the real anger should be directed — not at the attempt to leaven the pain. People who should have gone home with trophies came in behind No Award because the great majority of fans voted no to the slates.

And yet, there is this — despite all the Monday-morning complaining by the outrage committee, the sale of those little wooden asterisks raised $2800 for the Orangutan foundation — and that’s $2800 more than all the pissing and moaning and whining and name-calling raised for anything.

(4) GERROLD DEFENDED. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag backs David Gerrold at Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog.

David Gerrold has a post about Hugo asterisks. I just want to say, the asterisks were there the instant the puppies gamed the Hugos. Putting them into physical form didn’t make it any worse, since the damage was already done. On the contrary, the asterisks let some of us have a physical memento of their first time voting in the Hugos (me!) and raised money for a worthy cause. The people who were hurt by the asterisks deserved to be hurt because they are the ones who put the asterisk there in the first place by gaming the Hugo nominations. The fact that they still don’t get it only proves the point. And it still amazes me that they are stupid enough to think that people gamed the Hugos before they did. The utter willful ignorance of the puppies is astounding.

(5) THE HAMSTER COMMANDS. Ian Mond’s Hysterical Hamster headline may say “Don’t Look Away – it’s the HUGOOOOOS, oh and the Clarke Awards and a truly fantastic book” but he absolutely refuses to explain….

This week saw the announcement of the Hugo Award and Clarke Award nominees – one rinsing the taste of shit left by the other.

As with 2015, Vox Day successfully took a massive crap all over the Hugo Awards, smearing his poo-stained fingers over 64 of the 81 nominees.  If you have no idea who or what a Vox Day is then GIYF because I honestly can’t be bothered explaining it.

(6) HOT LINKS. Spacefaring Kitten has “Rabid Puppy Finalists’ Reactions, Compiled” at Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens. I spotted one I hadn’t seen before –

(7) I’VE BEEN HAD. Depending on what you thought he was talking about, you also may have been had by Chuck Tingle.

(8) IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR. Europa SF takes an in-depth look at a European Retro Hugo nominee in “Karin Boye’s ‘Kallocain’ Nominated As Best Novel for the Retro Hugo Awards”.

In Boye’s novel, the “World State” is locked in a condition of perpetual war with the “Universal State” to the East; both states – each of them claustrophobic warren-like male-dominated repressive societies – are gripped by paranoia and fear, with Thought Police ubiquitous. The protagonist’s fatal invention of the eponymous truth drug only generates further repression in the “World State”, as the involuntary self-betraying inner thoughts of everyone are now punishable. He eventually becomes a prisoner scientist in the “Universal State”, where he continues his work. As in Orwell’s novel, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.” – The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

“Kallocain” by Karin Boye (Bonnier)

Seen through the eyes of idealistic scientist Leo Kall, “Kallocain‘s depiction of a totalitarian world state may draw on what Boye observed or sensed about the bolshevic dictatorship of Soviet Union, which she visited in 1928 and the Nazi Germany. An important aspect of the novel is the relationships and connections between the various characters, such as the marriage of the main character and his wife Linda Kall, and the feelings of jealousy and suspicion that may arise in a society with heavy surveillance and legal uncertainty.

One of its central ideas coincides with contemporary rumors of truth drugs that ensured the subordination of every citizen to the state. Both Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” (1932) and Boye’s “Kallocain” are drug dystopias, or societies in which pharmacology is used to suppress opposition to authority. However, unlike “Brave New World”, where a drug is used to suppress the urge to nonconformity generally, in Kallocain a drug is used to detect individual acts and thoughts of rebellion.

Kallocain has been translated into more than 10 languages and was adapted into a television miniseries in 1981 by Hans Abramson.

(8) CANON PREDICTION. Camestros Felapton asks “Is N.K.Jemisin’s The Fifth Season a Science Fiction Classic?”

There is a rhetorical rule of headlines that if they are phrased as a question then the answer is actually “no”. Strictly, I also have to say “no” but only because we can only declare a novel a ‘classic’ retrospectively, after years in which its influence and critical impact have occurred. However, I’m posing the question because I feel that the answer that will come 10 years, 20 years, 30 years down the line is “yes”. I think this is a book that will shape authors and will be studied and will be cited by many as their favorite SF book. I suspect in 20 years time when people are moaning about the books nominated for the Hugo awards not being as good as the books in the past, people will point at The Fifth Season and say ‘there is nothing this year that is as good as that’.

However, I know that is a hard position to defend. So I’m going to go off on some tangents. Bear with me. Readers should also be aware that the book deals with themes of violence and physical abuse, some of which will be discussed below.

(9) HE READ THE NEWS TODAYS. John C. Wright tells how the mainstream media coverage of the Hugo nominations falls short of his standards in “We Also Call Them Morlocks”.

I used to be a newspaperman and newspaper editor, so I know the business, and I understand the pressure newspapermen are under to lie, and lie, and lie again.

Some, as did I, resist the temptation.

Others, many others, very many others indeed, not only give into the temptation to dwell in falsehoods, but bathe in falsehood, dive into it, drink it, anoint themselves in it, baptize themselves in it, breathe it in, absorb it through every skin pore, mainline it, insert it as a suppository, and perform unnatural sexual acts with it, and in all other ways regard falsehood as a holy calling, and deception a sacrament.

However, even so, the true shocking nature of the falsehood, the insolence of it, the recklessness, the sheer magnitude of it, cannot truly be felt except to one, like me, who has been on the receiving end.

It is astonishing to hear newspapermen who have never made the slightest effort to contact you, who neither interview you nor quote anything you say, nor offer the slightest scintilla of evidence, reporting your innermost thoughts and motivations hidden in the most secret chamber of your heart, and to discover that your motives are the opposite of everything you have said, thought and did your whole life. Astonishing.

Here is a roundup of some links of various media outlets who decided that their honesty, integrity and sacred honor were worth selling in return for the questionable gratification involved in spreading an untruth so unlikely to be believed….

(10) SLATE FATE. “Vote Your Conscience” says Steve Davidson at Amazing Stories.

My argument against slates has always been about the methodology, not the presumed issues that gave rise to them (be it push-back against diversity or the juvenile temper-tantrum that is Beale).  My advancement of the No Award strategy (and I was not the only one to suggest it) was predicated on the idea that a hard and fast line could be established:  either a work had been slated or it had not been.  This directly addressed the methodology of the puppy protest, in effect saying “slates and campaigning are not the way to go about registering your protest”.  It did not address the questions of whether or not their arguments were valid, nor did it shut them out of the process.

This, I believe, is a position that falls in line with the thinking of the vast majority of Hugo Award participants, who welcome anyone who wishes to join – so long as they respect the culture and institutions of the community.  No one is saying to puppies “do not participate”.  All that is being said is “don’t game the system”.

In conjunction with the No Awards voting strategy, I also strongly (and repeatedly) urged everyone who might have something nominated for an award last year or into the far future, to make a public statement that they do not want to be included on a slate and, if they become aware that they have been, they publicly ask to be removed.  Further, I asked that voters respect those public statements and to treat such nominees as if they were not on a slate, should they appear on the ballot.

This strategy does not rely on compliance from puppies.  This year there are several nominees who made such statements, found themselves on a puppy slate, asked to be removed and were ignored.  I have no problem including those authors on my ballot.  I am positive that the vast majority of voters have far less angst over including them in their votes than they do over other works that “would have been on the ballot anyway”, but which are not backed up by slate repudiation.

Absent repudiation, questions remain:  are they happy to be on the ballot regardless of how they got there?  Are they ok with being used as a shield?  How will they feel if it turns out that some other, non-slated work was knocked off the ballot because they said nothing?  (Recognizing that they have no control over placement on a slate is no cover for not having said anything previously.)

(11) THESE THINGS MUST BE DONE VERY CAREFULLY. Mal-3 at Conceptual Neighborhood says “There Is An Art to Trolling….”.

A long time ago at the 2000 World Horror Convention I got to witness Dan Simmons troll the absolute shit out of Harlan Ellison. It was at a panel about getting works adapted in Hollywood, and Ellison has historically had kind of a terrible time getting his stuff through the studios, and he was going on in incredible detail about how the process was horrible and everybody involved was awful and so forth and so on. And then Dan Simmons would break in and just say, with a big kinda dopey smile, “Well, I had a great time!”

Every single time Ellison would start going off on a tear Simmons would come back with that line, and Ellison just kept getting angrier and angrier and it was the funniest goddamned thing.

That’s kind of what I’m seeing here with Chuck Tingle: somebody tried to weaponize him and now it’s not working like it should. Pity, that.

[Thanks to Will R., Gregory N. Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

1941 Retro Hugo Award Finalists

The finalists for the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards were announced on Tuesday, April 26.

There were 481 valid nominating ballots (475 electronic and 6 paper) received and counted from the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and Worldcon 75.

BEST NOVEL (352 ballots)

  • Kallocain by Karin Boye (Bonnier)
  • Gray Lensman by E.E. “Doc” Smith (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)
  • Slan by A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction, Dec 1940)
  • The Ill-Made Knight by T.H. White (Collins)
  • The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson (Unknown, Mar 1940)

BEST NOVELLA (318 ballots)

  • “The Mathematics of Magic” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, Aug 1940)
  • “The Roaring Trumpet” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (Unknown, May 1940)
  • “Coventry” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1940)
  • “If This Goes On…” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)
  • “Magic, Inc.” by Robert A. Heinlein (Unknown, Sept 1940)

BEST NOVELETTE (310 ballots)

  • “Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates (Astounding Science-Fiction, Oct 1940)
  • “Blowups Happen” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Sept 1940)
  • “The Roads Must Roll” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1940)
  • “It!” by Theodore Sturgeon (Unknown, Aug 1940)
  • “Darker Than You Think” by Jack Williamson (Unknown, Dec 1940)

BEST SHORT STORY (324 ballots)

  • “Strange Playfellow” (a.k.a. “Robbie”) by Isaac Asimov (Super Science Stories, Sept 1940)
  • “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Jorge Luis Borges (Sur, 1940)
  • “Martian Quest” by Leigh Brackett (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb 1940)
  • “The Stellar Legion” by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories, Winter 1940)
  • “Requiem” by Robert A. Heinlein (Astounding Science-Fiction, Jan 1940)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (92 ballots)

  • Batman #1 (Detective Comics, Spring 1940)
  • Captain Marvel: “Introducing Captain Marvel” by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck (Whiz Comics #2, Feb 1940)
  • Flash Gordon: “The Ice Kingdom of Mongo” by Alex Raymond and Don Moore (King Features Syndicate, Apr 1940)
  • The Spectre: “The Spectre”/”The Spectre Strikes! ” by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily (More Fun Comics #52/53, Feb/Mar 1940)
  • The Origin of the Spirit by Will Eisner (Register and Tribune Syndicate, June 1940)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (LONG FORM) (250 ballots)

  • Dr. Cyclops written by Tom Kilpatrick, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack (Paramount Pictures)
  • Fantasia written by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, directed by Samuel Armstrong et al. (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe written by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Barry Shipman, directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor (Universal Pictures)
  • One Million B.C. written by Mickell Novack, George Baker, and Joseph Frickert, directed by Hal Roach and Hal Roach, Jr. (United Artists)
  • The Thief of Bagdad written by Lajos Bíró and Miles Malleson, directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan (London Films, United Artists)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION (SHORT FORM) (123 ballots)

  • Merrie Melodies: “A Wild Hare” written by Rich Hogan, directed by Tex Avery (Warner Bros.)
  • The Adventures of Superman: “The Baby from Krypton” written by George Ludlam, produced by Frank Chase (WOR)
  • The Invisible Man Returns written by Joe May, Kurt Siodmak, and Lester Cole, directed by Joe May (Universal Pictures)
  • Pinocchio written by Ted Sears et al., directed by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Looney Tunes: “You Ought to Be in Pictures” written by Jack Miller, directed by Friz Freleng (Warner Bros.)

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (183 ballots)

  • John W. Campbell
  • Dorothy McIlwraith
  • Raymond A. Palmer
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Mort Weisinger

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST (117 ballots)

  • Hannes Bok
  • Margaret Brundage
  • Edd Cartier
  • Virgil Finlay
  • Frank R. Paul
  • Hubert Rogers

Note: Category has 6 nominees due to a tie for 5th place.

BEST FANZINE (63 ballots)

  • Futuria Fantasia by Ray Bradbury
  • Le Zombie by Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
  • Novacious by Forrest J Ackerman and Morojo
  • Spaceways by Harry Warner, Jr.
  • Voice of the Imagi-Nation by Forrest J Ackerman and Morojo

BEST FAN WRITER (70 ballots)

  • Forrest J Ackerman
  • Ray Bradbury
  • H. P. Lovecraft
  • Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
  • Harry Warner

Pixel Scroll 2/13/16 He Feels The Pixels Scraping, Scrolls Breaking On His Brow

(1) TIME IN A BOTTLE. Ars Technica tries to figure out how time travel works in Star Trek.

Time travel, while perhaps one of the most interesting devices in the series, is also confusing, befuddling, and inconsistent. In the words of Captain Janeway, “the future is the past, the past is the future; it all gives me a headache.”

While we can’t get too deep into the purported mechanisms behind Trek time travel—they rely on things like “chronotons” whose nature real-world science has sadly yet to discover—it’s still interesting to ponder time travel’s effects. How does it affect the present? Is interference with the past a predestined part of history? Do alterations in the past get mixed into the current timeline?

(2) BIT PLAYER. “Finding Boshek” is the latest in The Numerous Solutions of Billy Jensen.

He was the man who could have been Solo.

I have always been intrigued by BoShek. When Ben Kenobi enters the cantina on Mos Eisley looking for a pilot to take himself, the boy and two droids to Alderaan, his first choice is a smuggler sporting arched eyebrows, killer muttonchops, and a black and white space suit more akin to an astronaut than a fighter pilot. While we cannot hear their dialogue, it is obvious that Kenobi asks him for a ride to Alderaan–and for whatever reason, the space pilot says no.

Was his ship out of commission? Did he have another charter later that day?

Whatever the reason, BoShek turns down the offer, but smoothly motions over his shoulder to the furry beast behind him, in my mind saying something to the effect of “Sorry, I can’t help you. But why don’t you give him a try?”

That furry beast, Chewbacca, then brings Kenobi and Skywalker to the table, Han Solo sits down, the rest is history…and BoShek faded forever into the darkness of the Mos Eisley bar.

Incredibly enough, he solved the mystery.

Commenter Jeremy Miller was so impressed he wrote:

This was a spectacular discovery, but there remains yet another, even more elusive uncredited extra hailing from the Star Wars cinematic universe begging to be found. His character has been named…Willrow Hood…the infamous Cloud City tech who absconded with an ice cream maker during the evacuation of Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. Help us, Billy Jensen. You’re our only hope.

(3) SLATE FIGHTER. Steve Davidson’s thoughtful Amazing Stories post “Whether tis Nobler” follows this introduction with an analysis of anti-Hugo-slate tactics.

GRRM’s laying the blame for the success of No Award at my feet – problematic.  For reasons both personal and voting-related.

I like Mr. Martin.  I particularly admire and am grateful for his unstinting support of fandom over the years.  (By way of example:  he has consistently attended Worldcon even when other, higher-profile conventions have been scheduled for the same weekend.  His stated reason for doing so is “He is a fan”.)  I find him to be, in  many respects, a fine example of the kind of fan-turned-pro that I grew up with, people like Asimov, Bradbury, Clement, Buchanan, Gerrold, others.  They KNOW where they came from, they recognize and acknowledge the support the community has provided to them, they embrace the culture and they pay things forward.

I’m uncomfortable being at odds with him.

On the voting front though, we’re at odds.  We are not at odds when it comes to the general concept of “do not mess with the Hugo Awards”.  Our conflict is based on tactics, not strategy.  Mr. Martin believes that the only consideration ought to be whether or not a work is worthy of a Hugo Award, and further, he believes that this position should trump any anti-slate considerations. Anything less can potentially negatively affect deserving nominees who happen to be on slates.

I on the other hand believe that slates are the primary issue and taking an effective and long-lasting stand against their use and acceptance ought to be the main focus.

(4) VENERA. At Galactic Journey, The Traveler has just read about the Soviet Union’s 1961 Venus probe.

Look out, Venus!  The Russians are coming to open your shell.

Venus, forever shrouded in a protective layer of clouds, may soon be compelled to give up her secrets to a 1400 pound probe.  Launched by the Soviet Union on the 11th, it is the first mission from Earth specifically designed to investigate “Earth’s Twin.”

(5) EXCITABLE BRIN. And in 2016, David Brin got a little revved up by what he heard at two events in California: “Space: so many milestones ahead!”

Space is looking up. In that more eyes appear to be turning skyward in tentative optimism. A few days ago I participated in a pair of events in Los Angeles, hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA and Fox Studios. The morning event featured Ridley Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, Andy Weir and scientists and screenwriters discussing how the film The Martian may be a harbinger of much more about bold exploration.  The smaller afternoon event, at UCLA put scientists and Hollywood myth-makers together in workshops.  Maybe we’ll get more hopeful tales!

(6) INKLINGS. Glenn Hough has reviewed Diana Pavlac Glyer’s Bandersnatch at Worlds Without End.

In terms of the 20th century, the Inklings, this select group of men, who met, talked, and critiqued each others work, has now become The Example for how a fellowship is supposed to work. Even Paris of Hemingway’s lost generation, with their salons, and creative minds from far more disciples, seems now a pale second place.

Bandersnatch takes us into this crucible, trying to reconstruct from a fly-on-the-wall perspective this extraordinary time and place. Glyer is concerned with two fundamental questions: What did they talk about when they discussed the various works in progress? and What difference did it make within the books they were writing?

(7) CRASHY BOOM. Neatorama remembers “The Sound Effects Genius Behind The Looney Tunes And Merrie Melodies”.

Treg Brown started his career as a sound editor for the Warner Brothers in 1936, and under his guidance the iconic Looney Tunes cartoon sound took shape.

From the subtle inclusion of sound effects in orchestral scores to the hiring of iconic voice actors like Mel Blanc, Treg is the guy responsible for it all.

(8) EO BBC. The BBC aired the first science fiction television program 78 years ago.

Doctor Who may be the world’s longest-running science fiction television series, but it’s not the oldest sci-fi program to have been broadcast on television. That honor goes to another BBC production, which first aired 78 years ago today: a live recording of Karel ?apek’s seminal play, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). You probably remember that the program was nominated for a Retro-Hugo in 2014.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 13, 1931 — Bela Lugosi is undead in Tod Browning’s Dracula, seen for the first time on this day in 1931.

(10) HOYT DESERVES BETTER. Sarah A. Hoyt has been unjustly attacked, she explains in “The Games People Play”.

The unnamed site, having read the first paragraph and seeing that a post followed, immediately went on to say that research was hard and that, without doing it, I’d done a whole post about the case.  When it was pointed out to them I hadn’t, but the case was a mere jumping off point, they claimed stupidity on my part since the post was an obvious sham or something.

That’s terrible! I wonder what site that was? At first I suspected it was this one. After all, File 770 ran an item about that column the other day which was, indeed, based on the assumption that the introduction signaled what the rest of the column would be about.

Now, I haven’t read the complaint, so perhaps there is more to it, and the complaint is more substantial. …

We’ll stop here and wait til she reads the complaint…

But when J. C. Salomon informed me about the true state of affairs, I responded in a comment:

J.C. Salomon: That’s hilarious — the rest of the column had nothing to do with the lede? I would never have known! Thanks for telling me.

Nothing like Hoyt’s description. So if some blogger “claimed stupidity” on Hoyt’s part, and claimed “the post was an obvious sham,” I’m glad Hoyt is taking him to account, whoever he is.

(11) FANCAST REVIEWS. Geeking Out About… discusses “Road to the Hugo Awards: Selected Fancasts, part 1”.

Finding the time to listen to hour-long episodes of podcasts which are eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards wasn’t easy for me, but that’s what today’s article is about. The eligibility requirements state that the podcast must be a “non-professional” production—that is, no other company paid the podcaster(s) to make it—and at least one episode has to have been produced during the calendar year in question.

As such, then, I decided to pick one episode from a currently eligible podcast whose description interested me the most and I’ll be basing my recommendations on just the one episode. Unlike the “three episode rule” which I’m borrowing from former GOA contributor Kara Dennison, I think that I’d be able to tell what’s going to be on my nomination and/or platform lists before March 31 from just one episode.

(12) SETTING AN EXAMPLE. Here is Brian Niemeier’s tweet, inviting people to read his post criticizing Matthew Foster for using ad hominem attacks.

See Niemeier’s post “Sad Puppies: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Our Enemies Oblivious” at Kairos.

There are two possible explanations for why Matthew responded to my evidence-based arguments with nothing but ad hominem attacks.

  1. False positives: all of his “tells” are in fact rational responses to unknown stimuli.
  2. Cognitive dissonance: lacking contrary evidence against arguments that shook his worldview, Matthew responded with a slew of irrational accusations.

(13) FORCE AWAKENS DESPOILED. As CinemaBlend notes, in How Star Wars the Force Awakens Should Have Ended much of the video is actually dedicated to fixing holes in the movie rather than specifically dealing with how it ended.

[Thanks to JJ, James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

Free Volume of Novelettes Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos

Novelettes Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos contains 70 science fiction and fantasy novelettes (between 7,500 and 17,500 words long) that were published in 1940.

Editor von Dimpleheimer comments on the latest volume in his series of public domain reprints:

The final volume, with all the novelettes from Volumes 1-7 and six new ones, is done.

Any Helvetica fans who have been forced to read in Caecilla will be happy to know that readers of the Kindle version can now choose their own font.

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Nelson S. Bond “Beyond Light” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “Dictator of Time” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Judging of the Priestess” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • John Broome “Land of Wooden Men” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Sam Carson “Sphere of the Never-Dead” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • George E. Clark “The Test-Tube Monster” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Girl from Infinite Smallness” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Ice over America” Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Perfume of Dark Desire” by Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Phantom of the Seven Stars” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Priestess of the Moon” Amazing Stories, December 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Revolt the Ice Empire” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Maurice Duclos “Sabotage on Mars” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Nictzin Dyalhis “Heart of Atlantan” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Terror Out of the Past” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “City from the Sea” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Revolt on the Tenth World” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Sea Born” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton (as Robert O. Wentworth) “World Without Sex” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Admiral’s Inspection” Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Murder the Time World” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “White Mutiny” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Hell Ship of Space” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Princess of Power” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Star Pirate” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Peter Horn) “50 Miles Down” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Dr. Cyclops” Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “The Elixir of Invisibility” by Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Paul Edmonds) “The Lifestone” Astonishing Stories, February 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Noel Gardner) “The Shining Man” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Robert H. Leitfred “Seven Seconds of Eternity” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “Hell in Eden” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • James Norman “Blue Tropics” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • James Norman “Oscar, Detective of Mars” Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Fish Men of Venus” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “The Strange Voyage of Hector Squinch” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Suicide Squadrons of Space” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Trapped on Titan” Amazing Stories, June 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Treasure Trove in Time” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The Golden Empress” Argosy, October 5, 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The World That Drowned” Argosy, May 4, 1940
  • Jep Powell “The Synthetic Woman” Amazing Stories, September 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Transparent Stuff” Unknown, June 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Two for a Bargain” Unknown, December 1940
  • David V. Reed (as Peter Horn) “Vagabonds of the Void” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Buccaneer of the Star Seas” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “The Invisible World” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Martian Terror” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “The World in the Atom” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Worlds at War” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Wayne Rogers “Satan’s Seamstress” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Cold” Astounding Science-Fiction, March 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Runaway Cargo” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Space Double” Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Exiles of the Three Red Moons” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Revolt on the Earth-star” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • D. Sharp “The Lodestone Core” Astonishing Stories, August 1940
  • Bertrand L. Shurtleff “New York Fights the Termanites” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The Black Farm” Unknown, March 1940
  • Manly Wade Wellman “Bratton’s Idea” Comet, December 1940
  • Jack West “Revolt on Io” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Jack West “When the Ice Terror Came” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Don Wilcox (as Miles Shelton) “The Gift of Magic” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Let War Gods Clash!” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Mystery of “The Mind Machine” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Death Over Chicago” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Dr. Destiny, Master of the Dead” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Lord of the Silent Death” Comet, December 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Raiders Out of Space” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Thunor Flees the Devils” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940

Pixel Scroll 1/7/Year of the Goat *** (I’ll Never Be Your) Star Beast of Burden

(1) DECORATOR COLOR. A petition at Change.org to designate element 117 as “Octarine” — a name taken from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books has received over 5,500 signatures at this writing. (Via Steven H Silver and Ansible Links.)

This petition is to name element 117, recently confirmed by the International Union of Applied Chemistry, as ‘Octarine’, with the proposed symbol Oc (pronounced ‘ook’), in honour of the late Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series of books….

Octarine, in the Discworld books, is known as ‘the colour of magic’, which forms the title of Pratchett’s first ever Discworld book. According to Disc mythology, octarine is visible only to wizards and cats, and is generally described as a sort of greenish-yellow purple colour, which seems perfect for what will probably be the final halogen in the periodic table. Octarine is also a particularly pleasing choice because, not only would it honour a world-famous and much-loved author, but it also has an ‘ine’ ending, consistent with the other elements in period 17.

(2) NTA TIME. Voting for Britain’s National Television Awards is open. In the Drama category, David Tennant’s non-sf series Broadchurch is up against Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who, as well as Downton Abbey and Casualty.

Neither Peter Capaldi or Jenna Coleman is a finalist for best actor/actress, but Tennant is.

In New Drama, sf series Humans is a nominee. Game of Thrones is a nominee in the International category.

(3) WITCH WORLD. The Andre Norton Books site announced that the Estate has entered into a deal to turn the first two Witch World novels into a movie.

The following is a statement from The Producers as of 01/05/16.

The Producers of Andre Norton’s WITCH WORLD franchise are surprised, delighted and encouraged by the interest from Andre Norton fans. The Producers are happy to announce that they have developed a new Witch World script that they are very excited about, written by award-winning screenwriters Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (Janissaries, Star Trek: Enterprise). This script forms the basis of the first movie in a new film trilogy based on the classic Witch World book series by Andre. The Producers’ primary goal in working closely with the Andre Norton Estate, is to ensure that the spirit of Andre Norton is retained in its full integrity within a new, contemporary vision of a classic epic story. The process towards creating a motion picture franchise is lengthy and, in keeping with the Producers’ desire to honor Andre’s creation properly, it will be some time before a release date is announced. Nevertheless, the Producers will keep fans updated on new developments. The Andre Norton Estate thanks Andre’s fans for their incredibly positive response and is in close consultation with the Producers to ensure that Witch World will come to the big screen soon.

(4) HOW WRITERS GET PAID, PART 57. “How novelists are monetizing their short fiction through Patreon” at Medium.

If this model becomes more widespread, then it could significantly alter the cost-benefit analysis that any author applies to writing short fiction. Kameron Hurley, a speculative fiction writer who has published five novels and won two Hugo awards, is constantly inundated with requests from her fans for new short stories. “There is no money in short fiction,” she told me in a phone interview. “You’ll spend 30 or 40 hours on a short story, and you’ll get paid $200. It’s just not worth your while. People would ask me, ‘Hey Kameron, why don’t you write more short fiction?’ Well, short stories were a nice way to get my name out there in the early 2000s, but then I realized I’m getting $200 for an incredible amount of work. I started doing a lot of copywriting work, and I charge $90 an hour for copywriting. If you look at the costs and benefits, you realize writing short stories doesn’t have any financial benefit and it doesn’t make sense.”

So when Hurley launched her Patreon page in 2015, she had one goal: “My bare minimum was $500,” she said. “If I could get that much for a story, and if I could resell it as a reprint or as an original to the short fiction markets, you’re starting to make something that resembles a fair wage.”

(5) KEEP YOUR FUNNY SCIDE UP. At Amazing Stories, David Kilman completes “Scide Splitters’” look at humorous stories eligible for the 1941 Retro Hugos with the third of three installments. He provides short reviews of 23 stories (beware spoilers!) and, at the end, lists what he feels are the top contenders for a Retro Hugo.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 7, 1934Flash Gordon debuts as a Sunday page. Alex Raymond is the initial writer and artist. Within the years that follow Don Moore will assist in the writing chores. Jim Keefe, who was the comic’s writer/artist for years, has a great blog post with lots of art.

(7) YESTERDAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY. Is File 770 in bad odor for overlooking Pepe Le Pew’s cartoon debut on January 6, 1945?

(8) BESTSELLING ROOKIE. Seth Breidbart’s “Ludicrous fact of the year (non-politics division)”: John Sandford is eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

(9) MANETTI RECOMMENDED. Sue Granquist has Goth Chick News Reviews: The Box Jumper by Stoker Award Winner Lisa Mannetti, a lively entry at Black Gate.

‘Magic’ is the operative word for this moody novella. The magic of Harry Houdini serves as an overriding backdrop here, but another kind of magic permeates these pages — the magic of fine writing. Don’t expect the usual linear plot, because there is no direct narrative. Vivid dreams, surreal images, hypnotic memories, all serve to flesh out an unsettling tale that sweeps us into a new fictional dimension. — William F. Nolan, author of Logan’s Run

If those words from one of my favorite authors weren’t reason enough for me to immediately seek out The Box Jumper, then the prospect of Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle together again in the golden age of 1920’s séances would certainly have done the trick.

I am surprised I didn’t hurt myself in the dash.

In her latest, engagingly disturbing novella, Bram Stoker Award Winner Lisa Mannetti transports us to the post-WW I-era where Spiritualism was one of the fastest growing religions, and tricksters knew no bounds when it came to roping in the willing, the gullible and the curious.

(10) PAT HARRINGTON OBIT. Best known as One Day at a Time’s lecherous Schneider, Pat Harrington, Jr., who died January 6, also had some genre roles.

He appeared in three episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (once as his stand-up comedy character, faux Italian immigrant Guido Panzini), and in episodes of Captain Nice, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Invisible Man, and The Ray Bradbury TV Theatre. He was in demand as a voice actor on Saturday morning cartoons like Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Aquaman.

He also played the narrator in the last production of Ray Bradbury’s stage play Falling Upward. Harrington was 86.

(11) SHANNARA. MTV has already aired four episodes of The Shannara Chronicles, based on the fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. I’m a wee bit behind in posting the trailer….

Coming to MTV in January 2016, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ is a new TV series based on the best-selling fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization, the story follows an Elven Princess, Amberle, a half-human half-elf, Wil, and a human, Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop a Demon army from destroying the Four Lands. ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ stars Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett and John Rhys-Davies. The series is executive produced by Jon Favreau, Al Gough, Miles Millar, Dan Farah, Jonathan Liebesman and author Terry Brooks.

 

(12) BUT THIS IS NEWS. NBC has ordered a pilot for Powerless, the first comedy from DC Entertainment according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The single-camera entry is set in the DC Comics universe that’s full of superheroes, villains and people just like us. It’s described as an office comedy about the exceedingly average employees at an insurance company and their quest to find their own power. Like all DC fare, it hails from Warner Bros. Television and will be written by Ben Queen (A to Z), with Michael Patrick Jann set to exec produce and direct the pilot.

As described by File 770 last October, the focus of the series is on the ordinary, “power-less” folk working at the insurance company who often envy the men and women outside their window who make headlines with their supernatural powers.

(13) SUMMER GLAU. Another Firefly reunion is in the works on Castle.

Summer Glau has signed on to guest-star opposite her onetime Serenity captain Nathan Fillion in a spring episode of the ABC drama, TVLine has learned exclusively.

(14) EXPISCATE! With a little imagination, the linked news video of LA trash bins being swept down the street by El Nino rainstorm looks like an invading robot army.

[Thanks to Will R., James H. Burns, Steven H Silver, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Free Volume of Stories Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos

Editor von Dimpleheimer explains his latest volume:

All of the short stories from Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vols 1-7 are included here, along with five new stories.

At the end of the book, I listed all the short fiction from these volumes by magazine and editor. I thought that may help people nominate for Best Editor.

I’ll have an all novelette volume, with a few new novelettes, ready in a week or two.

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

This ebook contains 88 science fiction and fantasy short stories published in 1940 that have fallen into the public domain and may be eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugo Awards.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Angry Amethyst” Argosy, November 30, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Blind Farmer and the Strip Dancer” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Dance of Life” The Blue Book Magazine, June 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Emerald of Isis” Argosy, September 21, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones (as Gordon Keyne) “The Kings Do Battle Again” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Outlawed” The Blue Book Magazine, July 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Ruby of France” Argosy, November 9, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Wife of the Humorous Gangster” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Man Who Knew All the Answers” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Ray that Failed” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Robert Bloch “Queen of the Metal Men” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Hannes Bok “The Symphonic Abduction” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Hannes Bok (as H. V. B.) “The Voice of Scariliop” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Scientific Pioneer” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Unusual Romance of Ferdinand Pratt” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Laurence Bour, Jr. “Black Was the Night” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • H. T. W. Bousfield “The Impossible Adventure” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Leigh Brackett “The Stellar Legion” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Ray Bradbury “The Flight of the Good Ship Clarissa” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Ray Bradbury (as Ron Reynolds) “The Piper” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Miles J. Breuer “The Oversight” Comet, December 1940
  • John L. Chapman “In the Earth’s Shadow” Comet, December 1940
  • Robert Clancy “The Reward” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Arton’s Metal” Super Science Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings & Gabrielle Cummings (as Gabriel Wilson) “Corpses from Canvas” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings (as Ray King) “The Man Who Killed the World” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Personality Plus” Astonishing Stories, October 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Thought-Woman” Super Science Stories, July 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Vanishing Men” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Ray Cummings “When the Werewolf Howls” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “World Upside Down” Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1940
  • Ralph Milne Farley “Rescue Into the Past” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Ralph Milne Farley “The Time Wise-Guy” Amazing Stories, May 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend (as Frank Johnson) “Colossus from Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “Glamour Girl—2040” Startling Stories, May 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “Mind Over Matter” Startling Stories, January 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “The Stolen Spectrum” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “The Achilles Heel” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Eyes That Watch” Comet, December 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Lost Treasure of Mars” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Robert Heinlein (as Lyle Monroe) “HEIL!” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • D.L. James “Exit from Asteroid 60” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • D.L. James “Tickets to Paradise” Comet, December 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Joshua’s Battering Ram” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Philtered Power” Unknown, March 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Prospectors of Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “The Wizard of Baseball” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “Revolt of the Ants” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Liam Kennedy “The Mirror” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Damon Knight “The Itching Hour Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “The Time Merchant” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Kelvin Kent) “Beauty and the Beast” Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “A Comedy of Eras” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Paul Edmonds) “Improbability” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Kelvin Kent) “Man About Time” Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “No Man’s World” Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Pegasus” Famous Fantastic Mysteries, May-June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Reverse Atom” Thrilling Wonder Stories, November 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Threshold” Unknown, December 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “The Uncanny Power of Edwin Cobalt” (as Noel Gardner) Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “World without Air” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “The Man Who Came Back” Fantastic Adventures, June August 1940
  • P. Schuyler Miller “The Ultimate Image” Comet, December 1940
  • C. L. Moore “Song a Minor Key” Scienti-Snaps, February 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien (as John York Cabot) “The Man the World Forgot” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Emil Petaja “The Intruder” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Alexander M. Phillips “The Space Flame” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Denis Plimmer “The Green Invasion” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • E. Hoffman Price “Khosru’s Garden” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Turn Over” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Seabury Quinn “The Last Waltz” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Norris Tapley’s Sixth Sense” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • John Murray Reynolds “Soul of Ra-Moses” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Ross Rocklynne “The Tantalus Death” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Gretchen Ruediger “Wind the Moonlight” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Ivan Sandrof “The Scientific Miler of Bowler U.” Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Venus Has Green Eyes” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Harry Sivia “Past Tense” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Harry Walton “Asteroid H277—Plus” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The African Trick” Unknown, April 1940
  • Helen Weinbaum “The Valley of the Undead” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Don Wilcox “The Girl the Whirlpool” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Quest on Io” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Trouble in Avalon” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • R. R. Winterbotham “Equation for Time” Comet, December 1940
  • R. R. Winterbotham “Captives of the Void” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Donald A. Wollheim “The Planet That Time Forgot” Planet Stories, Fall 1940

Seventh Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 7 is now available, a collection of 33 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four, Volume Five.and Volume Six.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Fantastic-Adventures-January-1940-600x802

Here is the Table of Contents for Volume Seven.

  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Man Who Knew All the Answers” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Laurence Bour, Jr. “Black Was the Night” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • H.T.W. Bousfield “The Impossible Adventure” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Sam Carson “Sphere of the Never-Dead” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Robert Clancy “The Reward” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • George E. Clark “The Test-Tube Monster” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “The Achilles Heel” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Terror out of the Past” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • D.L. James “Exit from Asteroid 60” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “Revolt of the Ants” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Liam Kennedy “The Mirror” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Robert H. Leitfred “Seven Seconds of Eternity” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “The Man Who Came Back” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The Golden Empress” Argosy, October 5, 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The World That Drowned” Argosy, May 4, 1940
  • Denis Plimmer “The Green Invasion” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Jep Powell “The Synthetic Woman” Amazing Stories, September 1940
  • E. Hoffman Price “Khosru’s Garden” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Seabury Quinn “The Last Waltz” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • David V. Reed (as Peter Horn) “Vagabonds of the Void” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • John Murray Reynolds “Soul of Ra-Moses” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Wayne Rogers “Satan’s Seamstress” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Exiles of the Three Red Moons” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Venus Has Green Eyes” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Harry Sivia “Past Tense” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Harry Walton “Asteroid H277—Plus” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The African Trick” Unknown, April 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The Black Farm” Unknown, March 1940
  • Jack West “Revolt on Io” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Jack West “When the Ice Terror Came” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Mystery of “The Mind Machine” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Don Wilcox (as Miles Shelton) “The Gift of Magic” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Donald A. Wollheim “The Planet That Time Forgot” Planet Stories, Fall 1940

Von Dimpleheimer says it will take one more volume with 10 stories to wrap up the project.