Pixel Scroll 3/9/17 ‘Is There Anyone There?’ Said The Pixeler, Knocking On The Moonlit Scroll.

(1) DINOS DOUBLE DOWN. Jurassic Park 2, planned for release in 2018, is starting to crank up its publicity machinery 

(2) BLOGGERS STICK TOGETHER. Steve Vertlieb reminds me his blog Better Days, Benner Nights, is up for a Rondo Award as Best Blog of 2016.

It’s an affectionate remembrance of the Saturday Matinee and 1950’s television when classic cliffhanger serials thrilled and excited “children of all ages”… when careening spaceships and thundering hooves echoed through the revered imaginations and hallowed corridors of time and memory…and when Buster Crabbe lovingly brought “Flash Gordon,” “Buck Rogers,” and “Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion” to life in darkened movie palaces all over the world. Return with us now to “those thrilling days of yesteryear” when Zorro, “Space Patrol,” Ming, The Merciless, and Larry “Buster” Crabbe lit the early days of television, and Saturday afternoon motion picture screens, with magical imagery and unforgettable excitement.

Anyone can vote in the Rondos – see the nominees here —  just send your selection (along with your name and E-Mail address) to David Colton whose voting address is taraco@aol.com prior to Sunday night, April 16th, 2017, at midnight.

(3) TO THE MOON. A Business Insider writer says we’re getting close to having a Google Lunar XPrize winner.

A real lunar race that has been in the making for years is now in the final stretch.

The Google Lunar XPrize Foundation recently announced five final teams that will compete for the honor of being the first private group to land on the moon — and a $20 million prize.

The Google Lunar XPrize is more than pronouncements by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. It will prove the utility of commercial lunar exploration.

Sometime before the end of 2017, one or more of the final five groups will shoot for the moon. The Final Five are Moon Express, SpaceIl, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Team Hakuto.

All the winning team has to do to gain the prize is to cross a quarter of a million miles of space, soft land on the lunar surface, return high resolution videos and images to Earth, and move 500 meters from the landing site.

(4) UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Cat Rambo is grieving the loss of her cat Raven.

I record the notes of my grief: my eyes feeling as though filled with hot sand, the tired and lonely ache inside my heart, the way my throat hardens,  my vision blurring more at the bottom than the top when tears well. The wet tremble as they linger on my cheeks. It’s the only thing I can think to do.

(5) IT’S COMPLICATED. Paul La Farge writes about “The Complicated Friendship of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans” in The New Yorker.

On June 18, 1931, a young man named Robert Barlow mailed a letter to the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s stories about monstrous beings from beyond the stars were appearing regularly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, and Barlow was a fan. He wanted to know when Lovecraft had started writing, what he was working on now, and whether the Necronomicon—a tome of forbidden knowledge that appears in several Lovecraft tales—was a real book. A week later, Lovecraft wrote back, as he nearly always did. It’s estimated that he wrote more than fifty thousand letters in his relatively short lifetime (he died at the age of forty-six). This particular letter was the beginning of a curious friendship, which changed the course of Barlow’s life, and Lovecraft’s, too—though almost no one who reads Lovecraft these days knows anything about it. Who keeps track of the lives of fans?

Raises hand.

(6) CARNEGIE AND GREENAWAY LONGLISTS. The longlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals have been announced.

The Carnegie Medal, established in 1936, is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The Kate Greenaway Medal has been given since 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children.

Locus Online identified the following as titles of genre interest:

Carnegie Medal

  • Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth, Frank Cottrell Boyce (Pan Macmillan)
  • Whisper to Me, Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
  • Beetle Boy, M.G. Leonard (Chicken House)
  • Beck, Mal Peet & Meg Rosoff (Walker)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
  • Orbiting Jupiter, Gary D. Schmidt (Andersen)
  • Island, Nicky Singer (Caboodle)
  • Time Travelling with a Hamster, Ross Welford (HarperCollins)

Greenaway Medal

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)

The shortlists will be announced on March 16, and winners will be announced June 19.

(7) ALETA JACKSON OBIT. Loretta Jackson Delong, known in fandom as Aleta Jackson, died December 4, 2016.

Aleta worked for Xerox for ten years as a repair technician and wrote both science fiction and non-fiction stories. She worked for the L-5 Society, both in Tucson and later in Washington DC. During her stay in DC, Aleta became an aide to General Daniel Graham and helped create the DC-X launch vehicle, later renamed the Clipper Graham. She also edited the Journal of Practical Applications of Space while with Graham’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.

As an indefatigable supporter of launch vehicle development, Aleta then became one of Rotary Rocket Company’s first employees, where she was general office manager. When the propulsion group was laid off from Rotary, Aleta was the person who told Jeff Greason, Dan DeLong, and Doug Jones that they had to stick with it, and founded XCOR Aerospace.

I first met her at NOLAcon II in 1988. Years later, when she was at XCOR and I was organizing Loscon program we crossed paths again.

(8) WELCOME ABOARD. “’Star Trek: Discovery’ Finds Its Captain In Jason Isaacs” reports Deadline Hollywood.

Former Awake and Dig star Jason Isaacs has been cast in Star Trek: Discovery for CBS All Access as Captain Lorca, Captain of the Starship Discovery. It is a major role opposite lead Sonequa Martin- Green in the series, which eyes a debut in late summer or fall….

Isaacs’ recently co-starred in the Netflix mystery drama series The OA and will next be seen in Weinstein Co.’s Hotel Mumbai and Armando Iannucci’s Death of Stalin.

(9) FACE THE TRUTH. Wesley Chu, the Edison of digital publishing, has invented a new service for authors.

(10) ANOTHER GAME OF THRONES CASUALTY? The Azure Window of Malta collapsed into the sea after a recent storm. The Azure Window was a backdrop for the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen, a recurring character played by Emilia Clarke, to Khal Drogo, portrayed by Jason Momoa, in the first episode in mid-2011.

(11) TRASH BECOMES TREASURE, AGAIN. Atlas Obscura says they were hidden in a circulation chamber in an old Chicago theater — “Found: A Treasure Trove of Candy Wrappers Dating Back to the Depression”. Pictures over there.

Eric Nordstrom of Urban Remains has been exploring Chicago’s Congress Theater, which was built in 1926 and is currently under renovation. Earlier this year, Nordstrom, whose business reclaims objects from old buildings, started working his way through the old theater, finding newspapers, pipes, tools, and blueprints left there since the 1920s.

Recently, he returned to the theater, and this time, as DNAInfo reports, he found a trove of candy wrappers and matchbooks that date back to the theater’s earliest years.

(12) WHEN MAN PURSUETH. Motherboard says the “Anti-Social ‘Shybot’ Rolls Around the Sonoran Desert, Running Away From Humans”.

We’re all afraid of our future robot overlords, but what if those robots were afraid of us, too?

Over the course of the last week, California’s Coachella Valley hosted a strange, anti-social visitor. Its name was Shybot, a six-wheeled rover whose only purpose in life is to roam the Sonoran desert avoiding humans at all costs.

(13) A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. In “This Land of Mine Revised” on Vimeo, Nina Paley updates the classic song from Exodus to show the bloody history of the Middle East.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Rambo, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

Steve Vertlieb Recalls His 2016 Rondo Hall of Fame Award

David Colton and Steve Vertlieb

By Steve Vertlieb: David Colton has announced the nominations for this year’s slate of recipients for the prestigious Rondo Awards, honoring the very best in “fantastic” creativity, comprising imaginative cinema, television, books, magazines, and art.

I shall always remember with both pride and honor the very special moment less than a year ago when, on Saturday evening, June 4th, 2016, I was awarded Rondo’s highest honor…the Rondo “Hall of Fame” in recognition of a lifetime of journalism and publishing. That wondrous evening will always stand out as, perhaps, the most memorable night of my own seventy-one years.

With that thought in mind, I’d like to take a moment to wish all of this year’s worthy nominees the same fortune and good luck that made my own special night so memorable in 2016. Wishing each of this year’s worthy nominees God speed and sublime recognition of your work and inspiration.

 

2017 Rondo Awards Nominees

Online voting has begun for the 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. You’re invited to vote for your favorites in any or all 29 categories. Click the link for instructions and the complete ballot. The deadline to participate is midnight April 16.

As teaser, here are the Best Movie and Best Television Presentation finalists.

BEST MOVIE OF 2016

  • ARRIVAL
  • AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
  • THE CONJURING 2
  • DEADPOOL
  • DOCTOR STRANGE
  • DON’T BREATHE
  • FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
  • GHOSTBUSTERS
  • LEGEND OF TARZAN
  • THE NEON DEMON
  • OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL
  • PASSENGERS
  • PHANTASM: RAVAGER
  • THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
  • ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
  • THE SHALLOWS
  • SHIN GODZILLA
  • SPLIT
  • STAR TREK BEYOND
  • SUICIDE SQUAD
  • 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
  • TRAIN TO BUSAN
  • THE VVITCH

BEST TELEVISION PRESENTATION OF 2016

  • BATES MOTEL, ‘Norman,’ 5.16.16, A/E. In season finale, Norman digs up the body of Norma. ‘Mother we’re home. We’re finally together.’
  • ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, ‘The Morgue,’ 10.9.16, STARZ. Ash goes where no VFX have gone before. ‘That is horrible. And also awesome.’
  • BLACK MIRROR, ‘San Junipero,’ 10.21.16, NETFLIX. Time and memory have little meaning at the Quagmire.  ‘I was like a frightened horse on a frozen lake back there.’
  • CHANNEL ZERO, ‘A Strange Vessel,’ 11.1.16, SYFY. Clues to murders on children’s show Candle Cove lead to Paris. ‘When you think about this, it’ll just seem like some nightmare you had.’
  • DOCTOR WHO, ‘The Return of Dr. Mysterio,’ 12.25.15, BBC America. Super hero Easter Eggs abound in this Christmas special. ‘I started it. They’re all based on me. Now everyone who wants to sound clever calls themselves Doctor.’
  • PENNY DREADFUL, ‘A Blade of Grass,’ 5.22.16, SHOWTIME. Vanessa, in a padded cell, encounters Lucifer and demons. ‘I should have died a virgin like Joan of Arc. Did you know she sang as she burned?’
  • STAN AGAINST EVIL, ‘Dig Me Up, Dig Me Down,’ 10.31.16, IFC. Can disgraced former sheriff survive a town crawling with demons? ‘Anniversary of witch trials brings mysterious screams, pie contest.’
  • STRANGER THINGS, ‘The Bathtub,’ 7.15.16, NETFLIX. El uses her powers to save her friends.  ‘Did you see what she did to that van?’
  • THE WALKING DEAD, ‘The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” 10.23.16 AMC. Nagen’s brutality shakes up survivors and viewers. ‘Not today. Not tomorrow. But I am gonna kill you.
  • WESTWORLD,  ‘The Bicameral Mind,’ 12.4.16, HBO.  Robert the park designer reveals his secret as one Host tries to leave. ‘How can you learn from your mistakes if you can’t remember them?

Remembering Jim Burns

Jim Burns and Steve Vertlieb.

Jim Burns and Steve Vertlieb.

By Steve Vertlieb: My win for the 2016 Rondo Hall Of Fame Award the other night was, is, and always will be tempered by the heartbreaking news and realization that my beloved friend and brother, Jim Burns, has tragically passed away at age fifty-four of an undisclosed illness. Jim was one of the best friends that it’s ever been my honor to have. He was a cherished pal, confidante, and brother. Jim and I would speak for hours on the telephone, catching up on the latest news, talking, and always, always laughing.

When I nearly died just six or so years ago during major open heart surgery, Jim was ever on the telephone, and always sending me supportive e-mails and love.

Jim pushed hard for my lifetime achievement award at the Rondo’s every year, and it was Jim who joyously announced my win for the Hall Of Fame by awaking me from a deep sleep just two months ago to inform me that I’d been elected to the Rondo Hall Of Fame.

My elation on Saturday morning in Louisville, Kentucky, was abruptly shattered when David Colton (the head ot the Rondo Awards, and former editor of U.S.A. TODAY) gave me the terrible, terrible news that Jim has passed away on Thursday, June 2nd.

Jim…I love you. I shall always love you. I cannot believe that I’ll never hear your voice, or your terrible jokes ever again. I cannot believe that I’ll never again know the happiness of reading your prolific commentary on the arts. Your work was sheer poetry. It was beautiful, haunting, and evocative. Your last years were tortured, and I hope that you found a degree of comfort in my love and respect for you, and in our profound bonding and friendship.

I dedicated my Rondo Award to you in my acceptance speech in Louisville Saturday evening. You always wanted to win a Rondo but never had an opportunity to do so. May it bring you a degree of solace to know that David Colton dedicated this year’s Rondo Awards ceremony to you. I love you, Jim. I miss you…and I cannot believe that I will never have an opportunity to speak with you again. God Bless you, my friend. God Bless you, my cherished brother. Sleep well, Prince Jim. Sleep throughout eternity in the knowledge that you shall always be loved….both by me, and by so many adoring friends and fans.

2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

ronlogo1The winners of the 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were announced April 14.

The Rondo Awards, explains organizer David Colton, are “named after Rondo Hatton, an obscure B-movie villain of the 1940s,” and “honor the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.”

This year’s e-mail vote, conducted by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 21-year old online community, drew more than 3,400 ballots. The Rondo vote is the largest survey of the classic horror genre held each year.

Many of the Rondo winners will receive Rondo busts at the WonderFest convention in Louisville on June 4.

BEST FILM OF 2015

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

  • Runner-up: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
  • Honorable mentions: IT FOLLOWS; EX MACHINA; THE MARTIAN; JURASSIC WORLD

BEST TV PRESENTATION

ASH VS EVIL: DEAD: ‘Brujo’

  • Runner-up: THE WALKING DEAD
  • Honorable mentions: PENNY DREADFUL; DOCTOR WHO

BEST CLASSIC DVD OF 2015

ARMY OF DARKNESS: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout!)

  • Runner-up: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Kino)
  • Honorable mentions: BLACK SABBATH (Kino); DON’T LOOK NOW (Criterion)

BEST RESTORATION

ARMY OF DARKNESS: COLLECTOR’S EDITION (Shout!)

  • Runners-up: BLACK SABBATH (Kino); JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (Twilight Time); BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (Arrow)

BEST COMMENTARY

TIM LUCAS for BLACK SABBATH and BLOOD AND BLACK LACE

  • Runner-up: Francis Ford Coppola (BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA)
  • Honorable mentions: Wes Craven (PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS); Tom Weaver, David Schechter (MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD)

BEST DVD EXTRA

MEDIEVAL TIMES: THE MAKING OF ARMY OF DARKNESS

  • Runners-up: ‘Cuadecuc, Vampir’ (COUNT DRACULA); Excerpts from sound version (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA); ‘The Host,’ Jack Hill, Sid Haig film (SPIDER BABY)

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

TALES OF HALLOWEEN, anthology film

  • Runners-up: TURBO KID; WE ARE STILL HERE
  • Honorable mention: DRACULA A.D. 2015

BEST SHORT FILM

TAILYPO, directed by Cameron McCasland

  • Runner-up: INNSMOUTH
  • Honorable mentions: CONVENTIONAL; HEIR; THEATRE FANTASTIQUE: A POEM OF POE; SEEKING VALENTINA

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

CREATURE FEATURE: 60 YEARS OF THE GILL-MAN, directed by Matt Crick

  • Runner-up: LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
  • Honorable mentions: THAT GUY DICK MILLER; IT WAS A COLOSSAL TEENAGE MOVIE MACHINE: THE AIP STORY; HAIL TO THE KING: 60 YEARS OF DESTRUCTION (Godzilla)

BOOK OF THE YEAR

MONSTER MASH: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze in America, 1957-1972, by Mark Voger

  • Runner-up: 70s MONSTER MEMORIES; THE ART OF HORROR, by Stephen Jones; TOD BROWNING’S DRACULA, by Gary Don Rhodes
  • Honorable mentions: ITALIAN GOTHIC HORROR FILMS, by Roberto Curti; SO DEADLY, SO PERVERSE: Fifty Years of Italian Giallo Films, by Troy Howarth; CURIOUS GOODS: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th (The Series), by Alyse Wax)

BEST MAGAZINE

RUE MORGUE

  • Runners-up:  FANGORIA, VIDEO WATCHDOG; HORRORHOUND

BEST MAGAZINE (classic)

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND

  • Runner-up: SCARY MONSTERS
  • Honorable mentions: CLASSIC MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES; LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS; DIABOLIQUE; FILMFAX; SCREEM

BEST ARTICLES (two Christopher Lee articles)

1) ‘Christopher Lee: He May Not Have Been Who You Might Have Thought He Was,’ by Tom Johnson, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #35.

2) ‘Remembering Christopher Lee,’ by Justin Hamelin, RAVENOUS website.

  • Runner-up:  ‘Vincent Price: I Like What I see,’ by Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG #179.
  • Honorable mentions: ‘Take Me to the Other Side/Ghost Writers,’ by April Snellings, RUE MORGUE #160; ‘The Greatest Old One,’ by Dejan Ognjanovic, RUE MORGUE #161; ‘Barbara Steele, The Beauty of Terror,’ by Daniel Riccuito, David Cairus and Jennifer Matsui, FANGORIA #342; ‘Forrest J Ackerman: The Wizard of Glendower Avenue,’ by Deborah Painter, CLASSIC IMAGES #480.

BEST INTERVIEW (Award goes to interviewer)

David Weiner interviews Mel Brooks about YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #277)

  • Runner-up: Chris Alexander interviews John Carpenter, FANGORIA #339
  • Honorable mentions: Max Weinstein interviews Alejandro Jodorowsky, DIABOLIQUE #24; Jessica Dwyer interviews Bruce Campbell, HORRORHOUND #54; Rod Labbe interviews Sharon Smythe, SCARY MONSTERS #95.

BEST COLUMN

Larry Blamire’s Star Turn, VIDEO WATCHDOG

  • Runners-up: They Came from the Crypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND; Diary of the Deb, Debbie Rochon, FANGORIA; The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
  • Honorable mentions: Fright Gallery by Gary Pullin, RUE MORGUE; Scare-News, by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS

BEST COVER

FAMOUS MONSTERS #281 by Rick Baker

  • Runners-up: RUE MORGUE #161 by Jason Edmiston; WE BELONG DEAD #17 by Paul Watts
  • Honorable mentions: MAD SCIENTIST #30 by Mark Maddox; DIABOLIQUE #24 by Mark Spears; FANGORIA #342 by Marc Schoenbach; HORRORHOUND #52 by Mark Maddox

BEST WEBSITE

RAVENOUS MONSTER

  • Runners-up: Dread Central; Collinsport Historical Society Dr. Gangrene’s Mad Blog
  • Honorable mentions: Shock Til You Drop; Universal Monster Army

BEST MULTI-MEDIA SITE

KILLER P.O.V.

  • Runners-up: Trailers from Hell; The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price; Monster Kid Radio
  • Honorable mentions: Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Features; Horror Happens Radio Show

BEST CONVENTION

MONSTER BASH (suburban Pittsburgh)

  • Runner-up: Monsterpalooza (Burbank)
  • Honorable mentions: HorrorHound Weekend (Cincinnati); WonderFest (Louisville); Chiller (Parsippany, NJ); G-FEST (Chicago)

BEST FAN EVENT

VINCENT PRICE LONDON LEGACY TOUR (Walking tour celebrating his films and love of art and food)

  • Runner-up: Tribute to Wes Craven at HorrorHound Weekend
  • Honorable mentions: Maskfest; Blob panic re-enactment at Blobfest; Swim with the Creature at Monsterama; Etheria Film Festival

FAVORITE HORROR HOST

SVENGOOLIE

  • Runner-up: Penny Dreadful
  • Honorable mentions: Count Gore De Vol; Dr. Gangrene; Son of Ghoul

BEST HORROR COMIC BOOK

JOHN CARPENTER’S TALES FOR A HALLOWEEN NIGHT

  • Runner-up: Haunted Horrors
  • Honorable mentions: Godzilla in Hell; Frankenstein Underground; Bloke’s Terrible Tome of Terror

INDIVIDUAL RONDO AWARDS

WRITER OF THE YEAR

Gary Don Rhodes

A leading scholar into the origins of the horror film, Rhodes’ fact-based approach has exploded myths surrounding some of the genre’s most beloved works. His books about Bela Lugosi have kept the complicated legacy of the horror icon alive.

  • Runners-up: April Snelling, Bruce Hallenbeck, Tim Lucas, Tom Weaver, Greg Mank, Max Weinstein, Kim Newman, Eric Shirey

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Mark Maddox

  • Runners-up: Daniel Horne, William Cope, Gary Pullin, Joel Robinson, Jason Edmiston

LINDA MILLER AWARD FOR FAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR (In memory of the late Linda Miller)

JASON BROWER

  • Runner-up: Malcolm Gittins.
  • Honorable mentions: Jerrod Brown, John Sargent, Heather Paxton

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

‘The Only REAL Rondo Award’

Dennis Druktenis for the amazing achievement of SCARY MONSTERS #1-100

INTERNATIONAL FAN OF THE YEAR

PETER FULLER (England)

Peter Fuller, shown here [picture omitted] in a promotion for the November 2015 Vincent Price Festival, which included a walking tour of Price’s favorite London haunts, has been one of the world’s foremost researchers into Price’s life and legacy.

His work with Victoria Price and others in mounting the Price Festival was a landmark for the beloved actor’s legacy on both sides of the Atlantic.

MONSTER KID OF THE YEAR

VICTORIA PRICE

Victoria Price likes to joke that she never enjoyed seeing the films of her father, Vincent Price, because he was always getting killed in all kinds of ways. But after writing a biography of her famous dad, she realized that there was far more to the screen legend than his villainous roles. A regular at horror conventions, Price is now well-versed in Price’s horror films, but she prefers to talk about her father’s exquisite taste in art, in food, and in the cultural underpinnings of his work.

A true “monster kid,” Victoria Price helps remind new monster fans that chills and thrills began long ago, and will live on.

THE MONSTER KID HALL OF FAME

Newest inductees are:

MARK REDFIELD

Keeping Poe’s legend alive

This Baltimore native knows Edgar Allan Poe better than most. He helped fight to preserve Poe’s Baltimore residence, portrayed the doomed writer in the film, THE DEATH OF POE, and has mounted stage and radio productions of the horror bard’s work at the Poe Forevermore Radio Theatre. An actor, a scholar, an editor, an activist, Redfield is responsible for much of the renewed interest in America’s most haunted poet.

STEVE VERTLIEB

Seeking the creators

One of the earliest genre enthusiasts and writers, Steve Vertlieb’s interest has always been in the creators behind the scenes — the men who animated King Kong, the composers like John Williams, Bernard Herrmann and Miklos Rozsa whose music stirred moviegoers, and the writers like Ray Bradbury whose words sparked a generation of dreamers.

Soon to be the subject of a documentary, Vertlieb’s gentle touch in his writing reminds readers why they loved many of the classic films in the first place.

DAVID DEL VALLE

Dishing with the horror stars

Few can match the energy and wide-ranging interests of David Del Valle, a cinema insider who knows just about everyone involved in films past and present. Whether drawing out little-known tales from horror icons such as Barabra Steele, moderating panels or enriching DVD commentaries, the outspoken Del Valle has spent a lifetime compiling the backstories, the insanity, and the joy of Hollywood and European horror factories.

BILL ‘CHILLY BILLY’ CARDILLE

The unforgettable horror host

There were many “Chiller Theatres,” but few like the one Bill “Chilly Billy” Cardille hosted in Pittsburgh from 1963 to 1982.

So “chilling” was his delivery that Second City’s Joe Flaherty says his horror host parody on SCTV was based on Cardille’s spooky character. Squeaking doors, howling wolves, a beating heart and a creepy organ signalled his pioneering, smart and influential horror show. A true horror original.

Pixel Scroll 4/2/16 Neither a Scroller nor a Pixel be; For Pixels Oft Loses Both Itself And Friend, And Scrolling Dulls The Edge of Filery

(1) SO SUE ME. TrekToday reports “Axanar Files Second Motion To Dismiss”.

For the second time, the lawyers working for Axanar have filed a motion to dismiss and they are again seeking clarification from Paramount Pictures and CBS Corporation regarding which copyrights the production has violated.

Axanar posted an official statement regarding the new motion, which was filed yesterday. “Yesterday, acting on behalf of both Axanar Productions and Producer Alec Peters, Winston & Strawn filed a Motion to Dismiss the first amended copyright complaint of CBS Studios and Paramount Pictures Corporation. The motion explains that in multiple respects, the deficiencies in CBS and Paramount‘s original complaint are still not sufficiently addressed in their amended filing, and that in some ways the amendments have created new defects.

“The motion provides examples as to how CBS and Paramount overreach in what they claim are elements protected under copyright, and fail to be specific as to exactly which copyrights have been infringed upon; and, in the case of the potential feature film Axanar claims of alleged copyright infringement cannot be made against a film that doesn’t yet exist….

The Axanar legal team has requested a May 9 hearing date on the motion to dismiss.

The full motion can be seen here.

(2) DIGGING DEEPER INTO GALAKTIKA. Anna Grace Carpenter documents “more bad behavior” by Galaktika Magazine, the Hungarian periodical charged with not paying a lot of people for their work.

This opened up a broader problem. By this point I was certain that the English-language stories were primarily being published without the consent or compensation of the original authors. (I have been able to confirm that work published as early as 2008 was done so without author knowledge or consent. Pintér spoke with an author whose work was published in 2006 without their consent. The full extent of the ongoing piracy is still uncertain.)

Tracking down the translators who were working for Galaktika during 2015 was a little more difficult than contacting the authors involved; all I had were the names in the bibliography and Google.

The first few I tried didn’t turn up anything immediately useful, but with a little more digging I was able to reach two of the translators who worked with Galaktika in 2015.  The first (who had translated nine stories over the course of the year) said simply that they were not responsible for the rights involved in the stories. They would receive a request from the publisher (likely Attila Németh – the fiction editor at Galaktika) to translate a specific story, and would return the work once they were done….

They told me the effort involved to get paid for their work simply became too much and they stopped working for Galaktika. (They also became aware, after the fact, that Polenth Blake’s short story – “Never the Same” (Strange Horizons Sep 8 2014) – had been taken without her permission because they contacted her about the translation.)

Another Hungarian author I spoke with said they had sold work to Galaktika in 2006 for which they had received pro-rates, but had since stopped working with the magazine due to (among other things) other authors they knew personally not being paid for their work. They said their feeling was that Hungarian authors and translators had a better chance of being paid because they could always go to the Galaktika offices to demand what was owed.

But the translator I spoke with said they had heard of other translators and Hungarian authors who had never been paid – a fact which was such common knowledge that when they told their friends about the work their first question was “And do they pay you?” They recounted calling István Burger “who was really cocky, like it was by his grace that I was allowed to work for them, because apparently it’s him who sends everyone their money. So after Back to the Future I had enough.”

It would seem that Galaktika’s bad behavior is not limited to the theft and piracy of English-language stories, but a deliberate and continuous pattern of behavior where they attempt to profit off the work of others while making as little compensation as possible to the authors and translators providing the material for the magazine.

(3) SAD BUNNIES. A British Board of Film Classification sachem says “Watership Down ‘would be rated PG today’”.

The U-rated 1978 film Watership Down would be classified PG were it released today, the new head of the British Board of Film Classification has said.

BBFC director David Austin told BBC Radio 5 live its violence was “arguably too strong” for it to be rated U now.

He added the film also contains language that would be “unacceptable” in a film rated U under 2016 criteria.

His comments followed complaints over the film’s content after it was aired on Channel 5 on Sunday.

“Well done to whoever at Channel 5 decided that Watership Down was a nice Easter Sunday afternoon film to show,” wrote one tweeter.

… The film – which features the voices of Sir John Hurt and the late Richard Briers – received a U rating on its initial release for its “very mild language, mild violence and threat”.

According to Austin, though, “standards were different then”. “The film has been a U for 38 years, but if it came in tomorrow it would not be,” he continued.

(4) PITY THE FOOL. The March 31 Scroll quoted a story about Gmail’s new “mic drop” feature. On April 1 the BBC reported, “Google April Fool Gmail button sparks backlash”.

Google has removed an April Fool’s Gmail button, which sent a comical animation to recipients, after reports of people getting into trouble at work.

The button appeared beside Gmail’s normal send button and allowed users to shut down an email thread by sending a gif of a Minion dropping a microphone.

However, a flurry of complaints about the button appeared on Google’s forums.

The firm has since withdrawn the feature and apologised.

Will R. swears, “For the record, I didn’t realize they were crazy enough to make this an actual button.” Well, if they did.

(5) MORE UNTIMELY FOOLISHNESS. Variety reported on April Fool’s Eve (or as you civilians say, March 31) that actor Tom Hiddleston delivered Chicago’s Fox32 weather report as Loki — “Tom Hiddleston Gives Weather Report, Blames Storm on Thor”.

Tom Hiddleston can add another credit to his resume: weatherman.

The “Night Manager” and “Avengers” actor dropped by a Chicago news station as Loki (though tragically not in costume) to update viewers on the terrible weather hitting the area this weekend. He blamed it all on his thunderous brother Thor, saying that his “brother from another mother’s been misbehaving.”

“The God of Thunder has brought his skill set to bare on the local weather,” Hiddleston added.

In other words, the storm-front means that “Chris Hemsworth has taken his hammer and smashed it on the surface of the sky and it’s going to rain a helluva lot,” the actor said….

Hiddleston and Hemsworth will reprise the feuding brothers onscreen again in “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is set for Nov. 3, 2017.

 

(6) LINES AT ANIME BOSTON. Smofnews has the story

Anime Boston has posted a long statement detailing the causes of excessive lines at their con last weekend. Some of the causes are ordinary problems, like misallocated staff and the blocked shortcut. Others included a registration system provided by a third party which was found to have a serious bug right before the con started*, and a decision between the local police and the facility to use metal detectors, with the con being a bit out of the loop. It goes to show that being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean having more control of things.

(7) JAMES H. BURNS CLIPPING FILE. The Franklin Square Bulletin, which has no internet presence, but is a decades-old weekly on the South Shore of Long Island, published an item about a favorite son:

“Franklin Square Columnist Nominated For Rondo Award”

Franklin Square resident James H. Burns, a long time writer and actor, has been nominated as “Best Columnist for 2015” at the Classic Horror Film Board, the popular website administered for over twenty years by David Colton, the just-retired Page One editor of USA TODAY. Jim’s citation is for his columns at FILE 770, itself a multi-award winning website devoted to the worlds of the fantastic. It’s fun to note  many of Jim’s articles actually deal with lost elements of growing up in Franklin Square, and other unique facets of life in our community!

The columns range from “World War II and a Lexicon in Time” to man’s first landing on another world (“The Moon at Midnight”); a look at Irish folklore (“And a Moonbeam to Charm You”) to prehistoric worlds (in “My Father and the Brontosaurs” (including dinosaurs at Falaise, and the World’s Fair) and “Sons of a Mesozoic Age” (with memories of the Franklin Square Theatre!); and reflections on his friendships with some of the James Bond filmmakers (“The 007 In  My Mind”) and other theatrical personnel (“Back to Another Future”).

The best column may be a special look at our Christmas and Chanukah traditions, “The Geography of Eden.”

Burns says, “The whole idea behind some of the articles was to capture certain moments in time, experiences common to many of us who grew up in the area, but which might otherwise be forgotten.”

Burns writes about the small “farm” that used to behind Valley Caterers in “Clanky!”, and takes a look at a Franklin Square Independence Day evening, and the dawn of the Space Age, in “On This, The Fourth.”  (Some of his mainstream work for CBS-NY.COM and NEWSDAY is also reflected in the nomination, as the features were excerpted at the website.)

You can vote for “The Rondo Awards” until April 10th, by going online to:   http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/62030/s-ballot-Gasp-14th-Annual-Rondo-Hatton-Classic-Horror#.VvAfW-azkWp.

You can read some of  the articles by Googling, “James H. Burns,” File 770, or “James H. Burns,” CBS.

(8) ADRIENNE CORRI OBIT. BBC reports the death of actress Adrienne Corri on March 13, who played the rape victim in A Clockwork Orange, appeared in Hammer films, and featured in a Doctor Who (according to IMDB).

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 2, 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey has its world premiere in Washington D.C.

(10) TODAY IN CURRENT EVENTS

April 2 is the second annual Planet of the Apes day.

The second annual gathering (this time both virtual and actual!) to celebrate the classic 1968 film and all its sequels, remakes and re-imaginings. We’re hosting a fan meetup event at the Idle Hour Cafe in North Hollywood, CA beginning at 5pm on Saturday, April 2nd [NOTE THE NEW DATE FOR EVENT] For those who can’t attend in person, we encourage fans in other cities to join us via Skype and Facebook, of course. More details will follow soon, so RSVP now to and note if you’re attending in person to give us a human-count. Mark this date in your calendar now and prepare to GO APE with the Damn Dirty Geeks!

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • April 2, 1805 — Hans Christian Anderson.
  • April 2, 1908 — Buddy Ebsen. He missed appearing in the Wizard of Oz because the Tin Man’s makeup poisoned him. His Twilight Zone episode was written by Charles Beaumont.
  • April 2, 1914 — Sir Alec Guinness.

(12) FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. The Traveler at Galactic Odyssey thinks Rod Serling should be doing better — “[April 2, 1961] Uprooting Itself (The Twilight Zone, Season 2, Episodes 17, 19, 20, 21”.

Twenty years ago, even ten (and zero in some places), science fiction was all about the twist ending.  Aliens would seed a dead planet with life only for it to turn out…that planet was EARTH!  Or folks might spend a story in a struggle to stay alive, only to find out THEY WERE ALREADY DEAD!  And so on.  Stories would usually end with a shock sentence, often with copious slammers (!!!)

But the genre matured.  Characters, writing, and fully explored concepts appeared.  These days, the “gimmick” often takes the back seat, facilitating rather than dominating the story.

The Twilight Zone, the science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology created by Rod Serling, is generally a cut above anything else on TV.  This includes its pale competitors like One Step Beyond and Way Out.  Unfortunately, several times in the first season, and more frequently in this, the second season, the show has aped the gimmick stories of print sf.  The result is a run of predictable, sub-par episodes.  There is light at the end of this tunnel, however – the most recent episodes have returned the focus to interesting characters and genuine drama.

(13) PUPPY WAR GAMES.

(14) OUR POET CHERRIOT. Kip W. confessed in a comment here.

This is just to say
I have eaten the Hugos
That you were saving
From destruction
Forgive me
They were just sitting there
Such sweetness
Such noms

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, David K.M. Klaus, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

James H. Burns Added To Rondo Ballot

James H. Burns

James H. Burns

Stop the pixels! The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards ballot, released last week, has been amended to include File 770 columnist James H. Burns.

14. BEST COLUMNIST

— Diary of the Deb, by Debbie Rochon, FANGORIA
— The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
— File 770 columns, by James H. Burns, FILE 770 online
— Fright Gallery, curated by Gary Pullin, RUE MORGUE
— Grey Matters, by Richard Schellbach, MONDO CULT ONLINE
— It Came from Bowen’s Basement, by John W, Bowen, RUE MORGUE
— Larry Blamire’s Star Turn, VIDEO WATCHDOG
— Ralph’s One and Only Traveling Reviews, by Richard Klemensen, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS
— Rondo Remembers, by Ron Adams, MONSTER BASH MAGAZINE
— Scare-News, by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS
— They Came from the Krypt, by Jon Kitley, HORRORHOUND
— Or write in another choice:

Voting continues through April 10. Everyone is eligible to vote, and voting is done by email.

HOW TO VOTE:

All voting is by e-mail only.  Simply copy this ballot (cut-and-paste works fine) and send an e-mail with your picks to me, David Colton, at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, April 10, 2016.

You can send a quick e-mail, or you can cut-and-paste the ballot and highlight your choices, or place an X next to your choices; or you can type your choices in an e-mail. And no, you do not have to vote in every category.

One vote per person, please. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted.  All votes are kept strictly confidential. No e-mail addresses or personal information will ever be shared with anyone.

Feel free to spread the word about the Rondo voting — go social on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; place Rondo banners on websites, urge friends and fans to vote. But please do not mass-produce or duplicate ballots; suspicious ballots will be rejected at the sole discretion of Rondo organizers. Let’s keep this a fun vote!

 

ronlogo1

2016 Rondo Hatton Award Voting Opens

ronlogo1

Online voting has begun for the 14th Annual Rondo Awards — click the link to see the nominees for the best in the horror genre from 2015.

There are 27 categories. Unexpectedly, my favorite Rondo category is missing this year — Best Toy, Model, or Collectible.

I’m also disappointed to report James H. Burns did not receive a nomination. However, the winners in the Best Writer of 2015 and Monster Kid of the Year categories will be determined entirely by write-in votes. If his readers rally Burns may still have a shot.

Voting continues through April 10.

Pixel Scroll 2/15/16 Cause Pixels Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Scroll

(1) STAR WARS VIII. Cameras are rolling for the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, written and directed by Rian Johnson.

(2) THAT WAS THE FUTURE THAT WAS. A 1983 cover of BYTE.

Byte videotext cover

And if I squint real hard, will one of the options say, “I’ll be back”?

(3) EYE SING THE BODY ELECTRIC. A mere $3.50 on eBay!

Eye Sing

Twilight Zone Prop Reproduction From the only Twilight Zone episode, scripted by Ray Bradbury, I Sing The Body Electric comes a Facsimile UnLimited original – entitled: Eye Lettuce, it represents one of the eyes available for the fabrication “Grandma”.

(4) RONDO NOMINATING OPEN. If you’re a fan who’s enjoyed James H. Burns’ columns for File 770, affirming that you’d like to see him as a nominee for this year’s Rondo Awards could make a difference.

Check in at the Classic Horror Film Board’s Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards threads “For Best Blog or Online Column: James H. Burns at File 770” and “The Geography of Eden” for “Best Article”. While a nomination apparently is not decided by raw numbers, enthusiastic comments are likely to help,

(5) APEX ACQUISITION. Apex Publications has acquired Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem, and expects to release the book in 2017.

Yours to Tell is a writers guide to fiction based on Steve and Melanie’s writing processes and experiences they’ve had teaching fiction, including two stints at the annual Odyssey Writing Workshop in New Hampshire.

About Yours to Tell, Steve says, “The book consists of a series of dialogues in which we discuss a number of topics on the writing of fiction, a method which we developed while teaching and continued to use for various articles and columns on both genre and non-genre writing. This is a unique approach for a writing guide, and has the advantage of presenting two different, but complimentary points of view for the basic issues of craft and encouragement which face all writers, whatever their level of skill and experience. We made this guidebook dense with practical information, empowering for new writers desiring a path for learning the craft, and inspiring even for those with more experience but wanting a fresh and encouraging view of the fiction writing process.”

(6) RECOGNIZING THE LESSON. “GUNN: ‘Hollywood Will Misunderstand The Lesson’ Of DEADPOOL’s Success” is the warning quoted by a Newsarama story.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn has come out with a very positive review of 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool, but warns that some in Hollywood already have misguided reasons on why the film is a success.

“I love Deadpool even more – the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film,” Gunn posted on Facebook.

However, Gunn takes issue with the perception of an unnamed studio executive who stated (via Deadline) that Deadpool succeeded because “The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”

“Come on, Deadline,” said Gunn, going on to state that saying Marvel wouldn’t poke fun at itself is “rewriting history.”

“Let’s ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down – God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the f*** was Ant-Man??!”

Gunn goes on to say that he worries studio executives will learn the wrong lessons from Deadpool.

Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.”

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born February 15, 1954 – Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.

(9) CONTINUED NEXT SLATE. Vox Day posted his slate for another Hugo category – “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Related Work”.

The preliminary recommendations for the Best Related Work category:

  • Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson.
  • Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini.
  • The Story of Moira Greyland by Moira Greyland.
  • Safe Space as Rape Room by Daniel Eness.
  • SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day.

(10) OCCURRING IN NATURE. The weekly science journal Nature for at least a decade has run an SF short story on the last page of each issue. The story in the February 4 issue was Robert Reed’s “An investment for the future.”

Nature’s brief background statement about author Reed says —

Affiliations

Robert Reed is the author of several hundreds stories and a few novels. He won a Hugo before it was controversial. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

(11) FAVORITE SON. Jim C. Hines pleads for equal time for the “Adventures of Michigan Man”.

From time to time, I see people collecting headlines about the wacky adventures of “Florida Man.” I decided to take a look and see what my home state’s “superhero” has been up to lately…

Two of his ten amusing examples:

(12) KEYBOARD KOMEDY. Meanwhile, Ohio Man was surprised when his fingers didn’t type what his brain commanded.

(13) DREAM LOUDER. At The Space Review, Dwayne Day’s article “In space no one can hear you dream” discusses the importance of entertainment set in outer space.

Space enthusiasts, particularly those who have a vision of humanity spreading out into the solar system and establishing settlements, have had a difficult time convincing anybody other than a small group of true believers of the legitimacy of their cause. To have a broader impact they need as much help as they can get, particularly in the form of mass entertainment that can shape the popular culture and influence the general public, making settlement seem not fantastical or crazy but instead acceptable, as simply another step in human evolution….

The Expanse is the closest depiction of what space settlement advocates must see when they dream—and yet it is not a very positive vision of the future….

Life is not entertainment and entertainment is not life. But space advocates need popular entertainment to provide positive depictions of humanity’s future in space, not negative ones. They need a culture that is not hostile to their religion, and so far they haven’t gotten that, not even from the most sophisticated portrayal of solar sci-fi to date. Dying of asphyxiation or starvation on Ceres is not an appealing vision, and none of these examples of popular entertainment have provided a satisfactory explanation of why humanity should spread out into the solar system. So far popular entertainment is not helping. Perhaps somewhere right now a space advocate is penning the next great movie about humans moving beyond low Earth orbit, one where the achievement may involve struggle, but where the payoff is greater than simply survival against all odds. After all, survival is a heck of a lot easier by simply staying on Earth.

(14) DEPRESSION ERA MARS. BoingBoing reproduces the colorful alien tableaux from the astonishing “Psychedelic Space Alien themed Art Deco style 1931 high school yearbook” produced by Los Angeles University High School.

(15) MARS MY DESTINATION. Motherboard has the story about how “Britain’s Mapping Agency Made a Map of Mars”.

We’ll need maps when we go to Mars, too. At least, that’s the thinking behind British mapping organisation Ordnance Survey’s new map of the Martian landscape, which presents an otherworldly location in a format earthly ramblers will find familiar.

“There’s certainly no reason why you couldn’t imagine a future where someone might actually use a map on Mars in the same way that they would use a map on Earth,” said cartographic designer Chris Wesson, who made the map of a patch of Martian topography 3672 by 2721 km across, to a scale of 1:4 million.

(16) MARTIANS NEED PHONES TOO. This 1995 ad for AT&T stars Ray Walston who played a Martian living on Earth in the 1960s TV series My Favorite Martian which is the in-joke

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Dave Doering, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark Olson, and Will R. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

Still Time To Nominate for Rondos

Nominees for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards are selected from suggestions by horror fans, pros and enthusiasts offered all year at the Classic Horror Film Board. Each year’s nominees are finalized by classic horror fan David Colton, with the help of more than 20 classic horror fans from around the world, and with expertise in all parts of fandom.

The year’s worth of columns by frequent File 770 contributor James H. Burns are up for a nomination for the Rondo Awards in the category of Best Column. Also, his File 770 essay, “The Geography of Eden,” is up for Best Article.

File 770 readers can support Jim and add their own recommendations in the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards forum.