Pixel Scroll 3/4/17 A Pixel That Scrolls For A Day, Replaced Next Morrow

(1) THE WEED OF CRIME. The Washington Post has an article by Rachel Weiner about Amil Chaudry being sentenced to nine years for identity theft, visa fraud, and money laundering.  Prosecutors said that Chaudry was part of a ring that charged $25 million on phony credit cards, and when banks challenged the charges used phony passports to back the claims.

“The scheme was uncovered in part because an FBI agent recognized actress Laura Vandevoort in one of these passports,” Weiner reports.  “The image was taken from a scene from the television show ‘V’ involving visas, authorities said.”

Vandevoort also played Supergirl in “Smallville” and Indigo in “Supergirl.”

(2) AN EVEN LISTIER LIST. Von Dimpleheimer has updated his ebook compilation of people’s lists of 2017 award recommendations. The latest version adds the File 770, Shadow Clarke, and SFWA recommendations and the finalists of the Asimov’s Readers’, Crawford, and Phillip K. Dick awards. JJ has approved his handling of the File 770 entry. The ebook is available as a free download.

(3) LEARN ABOUT AFRICAN SFF.  Geoff Ryman’s “100 African Writers of SFF” series continues at Strange Horizons.

Jennifer Nansubaga Makumbi

(An earlier version of this chapter was published at Tor.com in November 2016.) In Part Two of 100 African Writers of SFF, you’ll meet: a crime writer whose grandfather was a king—one who made a Western artist a priestess in the Ogun religion. A white South African anti-apartheid activist whose sister was tried under the security laws—and introduced him to the work of Joanna Russ. A Rastafarian from Zimbabwe whose experience of life under Mugabe has made him a free-market neoliberal. A South African rap/ jazz-rock star, illustrator, and author who models his look on the Wicked Witch of the West.

In Part Three of 100 African Writers of SFF, you’ll meet the editors of Cape Town: the people who make things happen. They include Constance Myerberg/Jenna Dann, co-founder of Jungle Jim; Kerstin Hall, founder of Luminous Worlds; Nerine Dorman, writer and editor of the anthology Terra Incognita; Ntone Edjabe, founder and editor of Chimurenga; and Rachel Zadok, a force behind Short Story Day Africa.

(4) BAD GUYS WHO WEREN’T VERY GOOD. Factory seconds from the comic book industry — The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains explores ill-thought comic book bad guys”.

Sometimes even comic greats can have terrible ideas — and in a fascinating new book, The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains: Oddball Criminals from Comic Book History, author Jon Morris explores the history of ill-thought and sometimes laughable antagonists you’ve probably never heard of. Below, check out a few highlights, complete with captions Morris has written for EW exclusively, to get a sneak peek before The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains hits shelves on March 28.

For example:

MIRROR MAN Created by: Mike Sekowsky and an uncredited writer Enemy of: Captain Flash Debuted in: Captain Flash #1 (Sterling Comics, November 1954)

© 1954 by Sterling Comics

The courageous Captain Flash fought a surprising number of menaces in his abbreviated career, but none quite as deadly, implacable and likely to jump out of a medicine cabinet as Mirror Man. A silicon-starved, glassy nogoodnik from a malevolent dimension, Mirror Man comes to Earth to destroy its finest scientific minds. Why? It’s never explained, but at least it gives Captain Flash something to do while running out the clock on his short-lived series. Boasting the ability to disappear into any reflective surface, and to appear from any other, Mirror Man is one of the first alien menaces to make his initial salvo against Earth from the convenience of a men’s restroom.

(5) A FINE POINTILLIST. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna interviews Bob Mankoff, who is ending his tenure as the New Yorker’s cartoon editor in April.  Mankoff discusses how he created the Cartoon Bank to provide another income source for cartoonists and how he imagines his late mother being asked about his job and told, ‘They paid you for that?”

Since he became editor, “the biggest change was that cartoons, even of the very benign variety that appear in the New Yorker, now have great power to offend — at least among the easily offended, a class whose numbers grow even as I write,” Mankoff says. “Now, even Canadians take offense at being stereotyped as polite.”

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 4, 1952 — Ernest Hemingway completes his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works.
  • March 4, 2017  — People read the above and demand to know why Mike is posting this item about a non-genre work.

(7) GONE BATS. Given enough time, critics will talk themselves into redeeming the irredeemable — “Why this ridiculous 1966 Batman movie is the most important Batman movie ever” by Greg Cwik in The Week.

You may look back affectionately on Batman’s innocently zany antics of the 1950s and early ’60s. But Batman was almost ruined by those robots and radioactive big bugs and kitschy toys and gimmicks and the definitely not-gay Bat-Family of Bat-Hound, Bat-Girl, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, and Mogo the Bat-Ape. Sales sunk. In fact, “they were planning to kill Batman off altogether” in 1964, said co-creator Bob Kane.

But then editor Julius Schwartz took over, and tried to save the comic by eradicating the Bat-Family. He was aided by artist Carmine Infantino, who redesigned Batman to be “more realistic.” Sales went up. But ironically, it was another gimmick-laden endeavor that truly rescued the Dynamic Duo: the Adam West-starring camp comedy Batman, which premiered in 1966, the year Kane retired.

Batman fans, particularly Frank Miller acolytes, like to say West’s show and movie “ruined” Batman. Actually, the parodic depiction made Batman a cultural icon after a decade of mail-in toys and cynical strategies. It presented a starkly different kind of Batman, at once refuting Wertham’s provocations while slyly embracing them through its ostensible innocence.

A genuine fad, the show and movie came and went in 26 months. But its influence altered the legacy of the Caped Crusader. The movie, which came out July 30, 1966, was the first official Batman movie since the serials of the 1940s. A generation of television viewers and moviegoers, unfamiliar with Kane and Bill Finger’s brooding detective (Batman killed people — by noose, by gun, by defenestration) now knew Batman only as a campy crusader with painted-on eyebrows and a syncopated delivery that sounds, to modern ears, like a lascivious cross between William Shatner and Jeff Goldblum. The juxtaposition between Walter Cronkite’s 1968 Vietnam expose on the dinnertime news and Burt Ward yawping, “Holy Diversionary Tactics!” must have been dizzying.

(8) BEAU OF THE BALL. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will appear in Game of Thrones.

According to Ken Davidoff at the New York Post, Syndergaard filmed his cameo in Spain in November when he had some free time after the Mets were eliminated from the postseason in the NL Wild Card Game.

“They just know that I’m a fan and they invited me to do that,” Syndergaard told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. “I couldn’t say no.”

(9) NERDS IN HELL. Nerds of a Feather is launching an ambitious series on dystopianism in SF/F that will continue for the next two months.

This series, conceived of as a sequel to Cyberpunk Revisited, seeks to explore questions of what dystopianism is and what purpose(s) it serves. What are the tropes and conventions of modern dystopian fiction? How have dystopian visions evolved over time, both in terms of approach and theme? And what do dystopian visions about the points in time and space in which they are written?

Equally, we will ask questions about why we like to read about dystopias. Is it possible that we even find them comforting, and if so, why?

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we will consider dystopianisms’s complex relationship to its forebear, utopianism. We will explore works where dystopianism serves to negatively define utopia, as well as those where dystopia and utopia are presented side-by-side. Just how essential or intrinsic is the concept of utopia to that of dystopia?

We will explore these and other questions through a series of essays and dossier-style reviews, including of works not commonly associated with dystopianism, but which present dystopian themes. Our dossiers will have the following subheadings:

Filetype: whether the work under review is a book, film, game, etc.

File Under: whether the work presents a statist, stateless, fantasy or hybrid-form dystopia.

Executive Summary: summary of the plot.

Dystopian Visions: discussion of dystopian themes/content present in the work.

Utopian Undercurrents: whether and to what degree the work’s dystopianism underlies a utopian understanding of politics, society, etc.

Level of Hell: a quantitative rating of how terrible the presented dystopia is, from first to ninth—with an explanation of the rating.

Legacy: the importance of the work in question within its field.

In Retrospect: an editorial commentary on how good/not good the work is, from the vantage point of 2017.

Interspersed with these dossier reviews, we and a selection of guest writers will explore how to contextualize dystopia and dystopianism within literature and other media, as well as the moments in time and space when it has surged forward into popular consciousness.

(10) ACTING WITHOUT THE ACTOR. What if Leonard Nimoy’s Spock could be digitally resurrected for appearances in future productions of the Star Trek franchise? Here’s what Adam Nimoy has to say about it at CinemaBlend.

Adam Nimoy, who directed the 2016 documentary For The Love Of Spock that focused on his father, made this admission to Trek Movie.com, insisting that he wouldn’t have a problem with seeing his dad up on screen again as Spock. He also admitted that he was blown away by what Rogue One had achieved with Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher. Adam Nimoy remarked,

Yeah I think it’s an interesting idea. I loved what they did in Rogue One. I thought it was pretty clever, and I was blown away by it, frankly. All of the stuff that Peter Cushing was doing was mind-boggling to me. I’m a sucker for that stuff. I think it should certainly be explored, but I’m not the final arbiter as to whether it’s going to happen, but I think it’s a great idea, personally.

There’s every chance that an opportunity to resurrect Leonard Nimoy, who died back in 2015, as Spock could present itself in the near future. As the question was being posed to Adam Nimoy, the interviewer explained that Star Trek: Discovery will take place a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, during which time Spock served under Captain Pike on the Enterprise.

(11) THINKIN’ UP SH*T. This reminds me of Bruce Willis’ line in Armageddon about what he assumed NASA spent its time doing. ASU’s workshop where “AI Scientists Gather to Plot Doomsday Scenarios (and Solutions)” is covered by Bloomberg Technology.

Artificial intelligence boosters predict a brave new world of flying cars and cancer cures. Detractors worry about a future where humans are enslaved to an evil race of robot overlords. Veteran AI scientist Eric Horvitz and Doomsday Clock guru Lawrence Krauss, seeking a middle ground, gathered a group of experts in the Arizona desert to discuss the worst that could possibly happen — and how to stop it.

Their workshop took place last weekend at Arizona State University with funding from Tesla Inc. co-founder Elon Musk and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. Officially dubbed “Envisioning and Addressing Adverse AI Outcomes,” it was a kind of AI doomsday games that organized some 40 scientists, cyber-security experts and policy wonks into groups of attackers — the red team — and defenders — blue team — playing out AI-gone-very-wrong scenarios, ranging from stock-market manipulation to global warfare.

Horvitz is optimistic — a good thing because machine intelligence is his life’s work — but some other, more dystopian-minded backers of the project seemed to find his outlook too positive when plans for this event started about two years ago, said Krauss, a theoretical physicist who directs ASU’s Origins Project, the program running the workshop. Yet Horvitz said that for these technologies to move forward successfully and to earn broad public confidence, all concerns must be fully aired and addressed.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Von Dimpleheimer, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus Eckerman.]

Pixel Scroll 2/24/17 770 Error: File Not Scrolled

(1) TED’S HOUSE SAVED. A copy of Ted White’s thank-you to supporters of his GoFundMe comes via Andrew Porter.

My thanks and my gratitude to all of you who helped me meet my goal within one day. I’m flabbergasted. I’m still getting my head around it.

But I must point out to everyone who has proffered Joel [Zakem]’s advice that I am not the legal owner of my house. My daughter is (I have the lifetime right of occupancy — for as long as I keep the taxes paid). For this reason I have been unable to qualify for tax abatement.

The moment I move out of the house, it will revert to my daughter, who will sell it to developers who will tear it down and build two separate houses on the adjoining lots and sell each for over a million bucks. I expect I’ll be dead by then.

In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks.

(2) AMBITIOUS COMIC CON. The Outdoor Retailers Show was formerly the largest event in Utah, generating $45M each July between hotel, dining and touring. They left over a public lands debate.

Conrunners Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg wrote on Linkedin that “Salt Lake Comic Con Can Fill the Void of Outdoor Retailers Exit”. They are scheduled to make a presentation before the Utah Legislature to promote their ideas, which might become one of the largest fannish public/private initiatives in the country.

…It’s a shame that Outdoor Retailer has left the state. Let’s fill that void with a world class comic con event. We can do this.

…We believe this creates an opportunity for us to step up and take advantage of an industry that is already thriving in Utah and make it even more beneficial to the state and its residents. We believe we can build something that will have much more impact if we are able to line up the type of support that Outdoor Retailers had here. Salt Lake Comic Con is only three years old and we’ve already helped generated tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the area.”

Right now we are the largest comic con per capita in the world. The people of Salt Lake City and Utah are used to doing more with less. We are one of the top economies in the country, #1 for volunteerism, a top outdoor destination, best skiing on earth, have the internationally renowned Sundance film festival and one of the top locations for movies. But most importantly, Utah is the nerdiest state in the country. Let’s take all the successes and resources to become one of the top comic con destinations in the world.

(3) VON DIMPLEHEIMER’S LIST OF LISTS. Eric von Dimpleheimer has assembled another masterpiece which you can download free. He explains:

I began putting together an ebook of the various 2016 recommendation lists and sorting them by magazine (with some links to free stories), but as I kept coming across more recommendations, I abandoned the Sisyphean project. It is still useful (to me at least) and I thought others might be interested in it. I included two of Rocket Stack Rank’s annotated lists and Greg from Rocket Stack Rank is OK with me including them as long as the ebooks are free, which they are.

I want to stress that the ebooks are NOT finished or free from errors, but they are as complete as I am likely to make them. Anyone is free to add to or alter the ebooks as they see fit, as long as links to the sites of the original listmakers  remain (or in a few cases, better links are found.)

(4) MIND MELD. Shana DuBois has organized a new installment of this classic feature – “Mind Meld: Fresh Perspectives on Common Tropes” at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

Tell us about a book, or books, that flipped SF/F/H on its head, approaching a common trope from such a fresh perspective you couldn’t stop thinking about it: What fresh methods did the book(s) use to look at the world anew?

Answering the question are Sofia Samatar, Max Gladstone, Joyce Chng, Jaime Lee Moyer, and Rachel Swirsky.

(5) BLOWN UP, SIR! Think of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet made with transparent balloons. Then go to io9 and see the pictures – “Just Let This Little Girl’s Wonder Woman Invisible Jet Costume Win Every Contest”.

(6) THE SHADOW JURY KNOWS. The Shadow Clarke shortlists are starting to come thick and fast:

…But first, my six in alphabetical order by author surname:

The Power — Naomi Alderman (Penguin Viking)

I hummed and hawed the most about including this book on the list. It seems to be another example of one type of book that has done well in the Clarke during recent years; the kind of novel that features one or more young female protagonists and reflects on aspects of a patriarchal society in a manner that can be compared with the work of the Award’s first winner, Margaret Atwood. Indeed, Alderman was actually mentored by Atwood during the writing of the novel. Moreover, it might be argued that The Power is simply a provocative what-if story that turns on a gimmick. However, any such reading would miss the book’s capacity to mix raw excitement with complexity and subtlety. The combination of the framing narrative and the unforgettable illustrations is worth the price of admission alone.

I sat at my computer last Tuesday morning, flicking between my work and the Clarke Award twitter feed, waiting for the submissions list to drop. When it finally did and I clicked through, with trepidation and a flicker of excitement, my first thought was: there are fewer eye-catching features in the Award’s 2016 landscape than I was hoping for. By which I mean, the list felt very flat.

As I scrolled down the 86 submitted books the wildcard submissions seemed fewer and further between than in recent years.  The avalanche of self-published works that some anticipated didn’t materialise – submissions were actually down this year overall – but it looked as though a lot of other submissions hadn’t materialised either. A brief and unscientific comparison between 2016 and 2017 lists for example, seems to suggest a decrease in submissions from ‘mainstream’ or non-genre imprints – 36 in 2016, 28 in 2017 (with 20 imprints and 17 imprints submitting respectively). There were some books in this category notably absent.  The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann) for one, Hystopia by David Means (Faber & Faber) for another. I’d also hoped that Salt might take a punt on Wyl Menmuir’s uncanny dystopian fable The Many; and Galley Beggar Press on Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge. The fact that the ratio of books by women has fallen this year (from 33% of the total to 28%) may be attributable to the drop in submissions from non-specialist imprints who, as a fellow shadow juror pointed out to me, are far more likely to publish female writers of SF.

My shortlist is primarily based on optimism– being impressed by the multiple things these novels are attempting to do– and, to quote Nina Allan’s recent introduction, “to pay sufficient attention to the ‘novel’ part of the equation.” It includes books I might not love, but I would like to see discussed in relation to more popular books that have a better chance of landing on the official shortlist. I have followed only one firm rule: I will not include any previous Clarke award winners. This omits Chris Beckett, Paul McAuley, China Miéville, Claire North, Christopher Priest, and Tricia Sullivan. In a couple of cases, this rule made my shortlist picks more difficult, but I’m a big proponent of the one-and-done rule (or won-and-done, rather) because it’s only too obvious SF awards culture likes to chase its tail.

(7) THE ENTERTAINER. Larry Correia’s Toastmaster speech at the Gala Banquet at Life, The Universe and Everything (LTUE 2017) is available on YouTube.

(8) STARGAZING. The Google Doodlers had fun with the discovery of seven exoplanets at Trappist-1.

(9) SUSAN CASPER OBIT. Philadelphia author Susan Casper (1947-2017), wife of Gardner Dozois for 47 years, passed away February 24.

Announcing her death on Facebook, Dozois said: “She was an extremely tough woman, and fought through an unbelievable amount of stuff in the last couple of years, but this last illness was just too much for her fading strength to overcome.”

She was the author of two dozen published stories. Her 1994 novella “Up the Rainbow” took sixth place in  Asimov’s annual Readers Poll.

Her fiction in collaboration with Gardner Dozois is part of Slow Dancing through Time (1990), which includes one collaboration with both Dozois and Jack M Dann.

She served as a Tiptree Award judge in 1994.

There will be no viewing or funeral service, but there will be a memorial gathering in the future.

Susan Casper. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

(10) MARTIN DEUTSCH OBIT. Courtesy of Dale Arnold:

Martin Deutsch, President of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, died February 24. He had been receiving chemotherapy for a bone marrow condition for several weekly cycles of treatment and his doctor was optimistic, but fate intervened.

The night before he had reported being very tired, but intending to meet with the BSFS Treasurer that morning as previously scheduled. He had also said he would be attending the BSFS book discussion on Saturday, but might need to borrow one of the wheelchairs BSFS keeps around for people who need them at Balticon to get into the building. However, the morning of the 24th before the BSFS Treasurer arrived Martin passed out in his favorite chair and died before medical assistance arrived. It is reported that there was little pain.

Martin was first elected as President of BSFS in 1980 and served continuously since then leading the meetings with his own twist on formal meeting rules. He never tired of building things for BSFS and Balticon and many of the fixtures and displays at the convention, particularly in the art show which he ran for many years with his wife Shirley Avery, were his inspiration made manifest. During the most recent election of BSFS officers Martin said he was not ready to give up yet and indeed his spirit never gave up.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • February 24, 1786 — Wilhelm Grimm was born, one of The Brothers Grimm.

(12) TODAY IN ALTERNATE HISTORY

  • February 24, 1989 The body of Laura Palmer is discovered in Twin Peaks, WA.

(13) NOW WITH SUBTRACTED GOODNESS. MovieWeb passes along the scuttlebutt – “Unaltered Original Star Wars Trilogy to Be Re-Released Before Last Jedi?”

This year not only brings Star Wars fans a new theatrical adventure in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but also a number of new books and, of course, another Force Friday event happening this fall, but that’s not all. This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of the original Star Wars, with the anniversary celebration kicking off at Star Wars Celebration, which runs from April 13 through April 16 in Orlando, Florida. If a new rumor is believed to be true, LucasFilm may be making a big announcement about the 40th anniversary soon, with plans apparently under way to release a new Blu-ray set with the theatrical versions of the original trilogy films.

(14) HERE’S THE PITCH. From MLB.com “Five baseball movies you probably haven’t seen that (mostly) deserve watching”. Martin Morse Wooster sent the link and a couple of comments:

  1. The fine film Battlefield Baseball HAS to be seen (or at least the trailer does).

The MLB.com description reads —

It’s kind of like “Friday Night Lights” in that it’s about high school sports rivalries. But it differs in one crucial way: The game doesn’t end until the opposing team is dead. Oh yeah, the synopsis also sounds like a Stefon sketch. “Battlefield Baseball” features zombies, deadly baseball equipment and that thing where a pitcher throws a lethal pitch known as the “Super Tornado.”

 

  1. The clip from Rhubarb does have Leonard Nimoy — in 1951!

There’s a good (very short) view of him about 2:10

(15) INCLUDES SEMIPRO AND FAN RECS. Shaun Duke has assembled a crowdsourced “2017 Hugo Awards Reading / Viewing List”.

As I did last year, I have begun to compile a big massive (and, indeed, very sexy) list of all the books, stories, comics, movies, fans, etc. suggested to me via my recent 2017 Hugo Awards Recommendations form. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, as it is based on suggestions by readers. If something is missing, let me know in the comments.

(16) PROBLEM DAUGHTERS ANTHOLOGY CANCELED. Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael made the announcement in their “Statement on the Dissolution of the Problem Daughters Anthology”.

Unfortunately, the Problem Daughters project has been canceled, and Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael have parted ways with Djibril al-Ayad and FutureFire.net Publishing. This decision was extremely painful, and not taken lightly in consideration of the many wonderful, generous people who helped us get to this point. Unfortunately, the ideological differences between the involved parties have proved insurmountable, leaving us no choice but to end this collaboration.

We apologize to all of you who feel let down by this decision — our backers, our potential contributors and just anyone who wanted to read this book. We did, too.

Everyone who backed the project will be contacted as soon as possible so we can arrange a refund. We ask for your patience as we undergo this process.

Once again, we thank you for your support, and apologize for this inconvenience and disappointment.

Publisher The Future Fire also posted that the anthology is permanently closed to submissions.

The editors of the Problem Daughters, Djibril al-Ayad, Rivqa Rafael, and Nicolette Barischoff were behind the “Intersectional SFF Roundtable” for Apex Magazine that was taken down after Likhain’s open letter to the editor protesting the involvement of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Apex Magazine editor Jason Sizemore issued an apology, and briefly there also was an apology signed the three editors on The Future Fire site, now only readable in the Google cache file. The gist of their apology was that they were sorry for not including a black woman in a panel about intersectionality. The controversy about Sriduangkaew’s participation was not addressed.

(17) BE YOUR OWN BBC STATION. Michael O’Donnell recommends these BBC radio programs currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

In “I Was Philip K Dick’s Reluctant Host”, Michael Walsh – a journalist and respected film reviewer for The Province, a leading Vancouver newspaper – talks about the time he came to the aid of the author of Minority Report, Blade Runner, Total Recall and Man in the High Castle, who he met at a convention in 1972.

Discovering that Dick’s wife had walked out on him, that he had nowhere to go and was also suffering deep addiction problems, Michael invited Philip to stay with him and his wife Susan at their home in Vancouver.

It would go on to be one of the most challenging experiences of Michael’s life, as drug dependency, unwanted advances on Michael’s wife and unpredictable mood swings made the period something of an emotional rollercoaster for the wary hosts – but also fascinating insight into one of Sci-Fi’s greatest ever visionaries.

Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) reads The Underground Railroad, the new novel by Colson Whitehead. This brilliant and at times brutal novel about the history of slavery and racism in America won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 2016.

“What if the underground railroad was a literal railroad? And what if each state, as a runaway slave was going north, was a different state of American possibility, an alternative America?”

Whitehead’s inventive novel follows Cora and Caesar as they escape from a Georgia slave plantation and run north in pursuit of freedom, aided by the stationmasters and conductors of the Underground Railroad.

Vintage sci-fi serial from 1961.

“A glimpse across a weird threshold, on the rim of space where there should be nothing but eternal, frozen darkness. Yet where there was something more…..”

Newspaper reporter, Tom Lambert has decided to reinvestigate the strange events of ten years before, concerning the “cosmic noise”. Believing the inside story was never told, he’s tracked down the only man who knows, Dr Hayward Petrie.

Told in flashbacks, the story unfolds from Dr Petrie’s own recordings of the time when the detection of a strange pattern of signals sparks a mysterious discovery…

[Thanks to Michael O’Donnell, JJ, Daniel Dern, David Doering, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Moshe Feder, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

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

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.

Sixth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 6, a collection of 30 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 and Volume Five.)

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.

Von Dimpleheimer, in his capacity as a book designer, facetiously apologizes —

Apparently I failed to learn one of the important lessons of 2015. The cover images of these volumes do not squarely and literally represent the contents. If anyone downloaded these ebooks based on the covers and was disappointed by the lack of stories of robot detectives, of father-daughter trips to the moon for target practice, or of children befriending decommissioned kill-bots now working as short order cooks, I apologize. To prevent any further misunderstandings, I should state that Volume Six, despite it cover, is not guaranteed to contain a story about how two lads, unjustly thrown out of the Jupiter Scouts for accusing Professor McEvil-Foolja of violating the ban on time travel research, manage to save a futuristic city from rampaging dinosaurs.

 

ASF_0112Here is the Table of Contents for Volume Six.

  • 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 “The Wife of the Humorous Gangster” Weird Tales, November 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
  • Edmond Hamilton “City from the Sea” , 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Lost Treasure of Mars” Amazing Stories, August 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
  • David Wright O’Brien (as John York Cabot) “The Man the World Forgot” Fantastic Adventures, April 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
  • David Wright O’Brien “Truth Is a Plague” Amazing Stories, February 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
  • 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 “Quest on Io” Planet Stories, Fall 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
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Trouble in Avalon” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940

Von Dimpleheimer says in the introduction:

The first two Bedford-Jones stories were not listed on ISFDB, but when I stumbled upon them, I thought they might involve time travel. They don’t. I wouldn’t classify them as SF, but you can decide for yourself if you are inclined to read them. I enjoyed “Outlawed” even if it is just historical fiction about Christopher Marlowe.

Update 12/26/2015: Removed “Artificial Honeymoon” from list of contents and corrected number of stories to 30.

Fifth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 5, a collection of 20 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 and Volume Four.)

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.

Here is the table of contents of Volume Five:

  • Nelson S. Bond “Beyond Light” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “Dictator of Time” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Judging of the Priestess” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Scientific Pioneer” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Ultimate Salient” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Unusual Romance of Ferdinand Pratt” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Leigh Brackett “The Stellar Legion” in Planet Stories, Winter 1940.
  • Malcolm Jameson “Admiral’s Inspection” Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Joshua’s Battering Ram” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Murder in the Time World” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Philtered Power” Unknown, March 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Prospectors of Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “White Mutiny” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • C. L. Moore “Song in a Minor Key” in Scienti-Snaps, February 1940.
  • Dorothy Quick “Transparent Stuff” Unknown, June 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Turn Over” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Two for a Bargain” Unknown, December 1940
  • Gretchen Ruediger “Wind in the Moonlight” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Helen Weinbaum “The Valley of the Undead” Weird Tales, September 1940

Eight stories in this volume are part of various series.

Bond’s “The Scientific Pioneer” is a Horse-Sense Hank story and “The Judging of the Priestess” is a Meg story.

Jameson’s Bullard stories, “Admiral’s Inspection” and “White Mutiny” and Quick’s Patchwork Quilt stories, “Transparent Stuff” and “Two for a Bargain” are presented in chronological order.

Brackett’s “The Stellar Legion” is the first of her Venus stories and Moore’s “Song in a Minor Key” is the last of her Northwest Smith stories.

Pixel Scroll 12/8 When Blogs Collide

(1) ROBOTS FLASH. At the Barnes & Noble blog they’re “Introducing the 12 Days of Robot Christmas” — 12 Days of Flash Fiction from Angry Robot Authors (plus eBook discounts). Posted so far —

Still to come — Adam Rakunas (12/9), Marianne de Pierres (12/10), Peter McLean (12/11) , Carrie Patel (12/14), Ferrett Steinmetz (12/15), Peter Tieryas (12/16), Rod Duncan (12/17), and Matthew De Abaitua (12/18)

Matt Hill’s installment “The New Tradition” begins with a strong hook –

Every Christmas Eve since the biological attack, they let me visit Nan to see what was left of her.

(2) LANSDALE. Joe R. Lansdale will be honored with the 2015 Raymond Chandler Award at Courmayeur during the Noir in Festival to be held December 8-13.

With over forty novels and hundreds of stories to his credit, Lansdale is perhaps the most prolific and brilliant writer working in the noir genre today. With models such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain and Jack London, but also the science fiction of Ray Bradbury and Fredric Brown, as well as comic strips, B movies and “pulp” fiction, Lansdale´s novels are a blend of his jaded sense of humor, unbridled imagination and an unsparing description of reality in its most ruthless, violent and absurd incarnations. His books include The Drive-In and The Drive-In 2, Mucho Mojo, Two-Bear Mambo, Bad Chili, Rumble Tumble, Edge of Dark Water, Devil Red, The Bottoms (winner of an Edgar Award in 2001), Bubba Ho-Tep, and Hap & Leonard.

At Courmayeur, Lansdale will be presenting his latest novel, Honky Tonk Samurai (published in Italian by Einaudi): a new investigative romp featuring the popular characters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine.

The Raymond Chandler Award is a lifetime achievement award. Past winners include sf/f/h writer J.G. Ballard (1995), and Michael Connelly, Scott Turow and John le Carré,

(3) COMPANION ISSUES. James Whitbrook tells how he deals with post-traumatic television series stress in his confessional “The Exact Moment When Doctor Who Taught Me to Never Trust Television Again” at io9.

And being an idiot teen, it was shocking enough to basically make myself vow to never be hurt by television again. Oh, teen James. TV drama basically exists to hurt us on an emotional level, you silly fool. But it kickstarted a habit I still have to this day—if I’m invested in a television series, be it Doctor Who or anything else, I keep up with all the behind the scenes info I can. I go as far as to hunt out spoilers, just to see what’s happening or if people are leaving a show, so I can prepare myself. If I’m binge-watching a show and find myself liking a certain character, I absent-mindedly Google them on my phone to find out if they inevitably die or leave the series before it ends. It infuriates my friends and family, but it’s a force of habit for myself now.

(4) Alamo Drafthouse will host a movie-watching endurance contest in Austin — Star Wars : The Marathon Awakens.

Starting promptly at 4 AM, December 17th, the seven pre-selected fans will take their seats at Alamo’s South Lamar venue to view the first six STAR WARS films in sequential order. Following the close of the initial marathon they will then participate in an endless, round-the-clock screening of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS until one final fan is left to claim their mantle of inter-galactic super fan supremacy….

For a chance to be chosen as one of the seven lucky participants in STAR WARS: THE MARATHON AWAKENS, fans need to show the Alamo Drafthouse their Jedi devotion on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the #AlamoJedi hashtag. Tattoos, toy collections, cosplay, Hoth haiku — whatever he or she feels shows their ultimate dedication to STAR WARS should be posted to sway the votes of the Alamo’s Jedi Council.

Rules are a requirement for every budding Jedi and STAR WARS: THE MARATHON AWAKENS is no exception. Participants will be given breaks between movies to stretch their legs and channel their inner Force. Sleeping, illegal drugs and talking & texting during the movies (of course) will result in disqualification and a swift trip to the Sarlacc Pit. However, for those strong enough to persevere, intergalactic immortality awaits.

(5) EDELMAN REVISITS 1974. Scott Edelman’s first Worldcon was Discon II in 1974. He has posted scans of the event schedule.

So which of these programming items did I choose to attend?

Well, there was no way I was going to miss Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison hurling insults at each other across a crowded ballroom, or the screening of a rough cut of A Boy and His Dog, or Roger Zelazny’s Guest of Honor speech, or the Hugo banquet and ceremony. Or endless wandering through the dealers room, where I picked up several items I still own to this day.

Sadly, of many panels I remember little. A women in science fiction panel featuring Susan Wood, Katherine Kurtz, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro? A panel on the problems facing today’s (well, 1974’s) science fiction magazines, with Jim Baen, Ben Bova, Ed Ferman, and Ted White? How I wish there was audio or video of those for us to relive those presentations today!

(6) TRAILER FORECAST. ScreenRant has learned the Star Trek Beyond trailer will premiere with Star Wars 7.

THR is reporting that Star Trek Beyond‘s first trailer will be attached to The Force Awakens in theaters – though, of course, it’s far from the only 2016 tentpole that is expected to hitch a ride aboard the Star Wars train. Indeed, both the recently-unveiled Captain America: Civil War teaser trailer and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s third theatrical preview are both likely candidates to be shown before The Force Awakens. Furthermore, it’s been reported in the past that the first X-Men: Apocalypse trailer will make its debut on the big screen with co-writer/director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars feature, as might also be true for another 20th Century Fox project – Roland Emmerich’s alien invasion sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.

(7) SCULL ANALYZES TOLKIEN BIOS. Christina Scull assays the field in “Tolkien Biographies Continued, Part One” on Too Many Books and Never Enough.

Christina writes: In the Reader’s Guide volume of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide Wayne and I devoted nearly seven pages to a review of biographies of Tolkien which had appeared to date (2006). Carpenter’s of course was, and remains, the standard life, and the source upon which most subsequent biographers of Tolkien have relied to a great extent. The major exceptions, in terms of new research, are John Garth in Tolkien and the Great War and ourselves in the Companion and Guide, but a few others have made notable contributions to the literature. Diana Pavlac Glyer in The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2007) has a worthwhile discussion of the importance of the Inklings to Tolkien. Andrew H. Morton has produced two studies (the first in association with John Hayes) centred on Tolkien’s Aunt Jane Neave: Tolkien’s Gedling 1914: The Birth of a Legend (2008) and Tolkien’s Bag End: Threshold to Adventure (2009). Phil Mathison has filled in some details about Tolkien’s life during the First World War in Tolkien in East Yorkshire 1917–1918 (2012). And Arne Zettersten in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Double Worlds and Creative Process: Language and Life by Arne Zettersten (2011, previously published in Swedish in 2008) recalls his meetings and conversations with Tolkien in the latter’s final years (although Zettersten refers to correspondence, no quotations are given) and usefully discusses Tolkien’s academic work on the ‘AB language’.

(8) A ROAD NOT TAKEN. The actor’s daughter told the Guardian that “Toshiro Mifune turned down Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader Roles” when George Lucas was casting the original Star Wars movie.

The star of Rashomon and Seven Samurai was approached by George Lucas to appear in his 1977 sci-fi adventure, but the two couldn’t strike a deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I heard from my father that he was offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which George Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style,” said Mika.

The plot of Star Wars was loosely based on The Hidden Fortress, a 1958 film that Mifune starred in for director and frequent collaborator Akira Kurosawa.

“At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite cheap as the effects were not advanced and he had a lot of samurai pride,” Mika said. “So then, there was talk about him taking the Darth Vader role as his face would be covered, but in the end he turned that down too.”

Other actors who turned down roles in the film include Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Burt Reynolds, Robert De Niro and James Caan.

(9) BRACKETT SMACK. Christopher M. Chupik volunteers his previously unsuspected ability to identify deserving feminist icons in “To Tower Against The Sky”.

Despite being an inspiration to such writers as Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock and E. C. Tubb, Brackett seems to have fallen into a curious limbo. Feminists like to invoke her name in lists of female SF authors, but there seems to be a curious reluctance to speak of the woman or her work. A female writer who held her own in a male-dominated field long before the women’s liberation movement would seem to be the kind of role model modern feminists would want to celebrate, right?

Wrong. Nowadays, she’s mostly known for having written the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, very little of which made it to the screen. And this is often portrayed as the crowning achievement of her career….

And here, I suspect, we come to the real reason the feminists have marginalized Brackett: she was a conservative.

I had to dig a bit to confirm this. I had a suspicion based on her work that her opinions were not quite in tune with modern leftist orthodoxy. Brackett, along with her husband Edmond Hamilton, were signatories to the pro-Vietnam War petition that appeared in the June 1968 issue of Galaxy. Combine that with her disinterest in feminism, and it becomes very clear why Brackett has been allowed to drift towards obscurity

(10) THEY TOLD DISNEY NO THANKS. The Hollywood Reporter says “Plans for Unfinished Disney Park in St. Louis Up for Auction”  — by Profiles in History, on Thursday.

In the 1960s, Disney drew up plans for an indoor theme park in downtown St. Louis before giving up in a dispute over money and turning attention to Florida.

Imagine packing up the kids and heading for that dream vacation to a Disney theme park … in St. Louis.

It almost happened a half-century ago when Disney drew up plans for an indoor theme park in downtown St. Louis before giving up in a dispute over money and turning its attention to Florida. St. Louis’ loss was the Orlando area’s gain: Walt Disney World became one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

St. Louis can only lament what might have been….

On Thursday, one of the few remnants of the park goes on the auction block — 13 pages of 1963 blueprints spelling out plans for “Walt Disney’s Riverfront Square” in St. Louis. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company Profiles in History is offering up the blueprints as part of its “Animation and Disneyana” auction

(11) CANDIDATES FOR MST3K. Now that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has successfully crowdfunded a string of new episodes, the crew will have to pick some bad flicks to abuse. CNET’s Danny Gallagher helpfully names “7 movie turkeys the new MST3K needs to tackle”.

Any movie buff knows there are still plenty of bad movies out there that deserve to get the MST3K treatment. Here are seven of those stinkers.

  1. “Yor, the Hunter from the Future”

…The people who made this dud don’t seem sure what genre they want it to be. “Yor” starts as a prehistoric adventure movie, but it morphs into science fiction when UFOs and technological warfare are shoved into the plot. They should have called this one, “Yor, the Warrior from…Squirrel!”

(12) A POLITICAL COMMENT. Apparently having a nose isn’t enough to recommend him — J.K. Rowling tweeted Tuesday that Donald Trump is worse than Lord Voldemort.

Rowling’s tweet came after Trump called for preventing all Muslims from entering the United States.

(13) FOUNDING A CON. Lou J. Berger and Quincy J. Allen’s We Are ALL Science Fiction theme will be embodied by a convention bearing the same name, to be held November 4-6, 2016 in Ocean Shores, WA.

Put on by an all-fan, all-volunteer, non-profit group made up of fans with decades of experience in con running and attending (from all over the globe), our first annual convention will feature award-winning authors Mike Resnick, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Jody Lynn Nye, and many others, including Hugo nominee Jennifer Brozek, Anna Korra’ti, Raven Oak, with other guests such as Scott Hungerford (Games), Marvel comic artist (and fine artist) Jeffrey Veregge, Musical guest Dara Korra’ti of Crime & the Forces of Evil, Tor editor Beth Meacham, and actor Drew Hobson (Voice of Marcus, State of Decay).  We hope to be an international fan destination as we add more speakers and guests in the coming months!

An Indiegogo appeal to pay the expenses has raised $25 of its $9,000 goal in the first 23 hours.

(14) THE FOUNDERS’ CODE. The We Are ALL Science Fiction Code of Conduct announced by Lou J. Berger and Quincy J. Allen is:

#WeAreALLSF is open to all comers, no exceptions, no exclusions, and in this place we treat everyone with respect, even if we disagree with them.

There is one rule: If you don’t have something nice to say, then say it someplace else. Lou and I will be rather draconian in removing those who can’t follow such a simple rule.

That is our one code of conduct.

(15) THE PAST THROUGH PHOTOSHOP. artworkofarmies’ collection “Images may not be historically accurate” improves WWII-era photos by adding science fictional references.

View post on imgur.com

(16) RETRO MOVES FORWARD. Von Dimpleheimer, our correspondent from 1940, has made progress with his due diligence for Volume 5 of Retro-Hugo eligible stories.

I went back and double and triple checked all the previous stories and the ones that would be in Volume Five and I found another mistake. In 1950, Nelson Bond made a fix-up novel of the Lancelot Biggs stories and did renew the copyright of that book in 1977. I removed “Lancelot Biggs Cooks a Pirate” from Volume One and uploaded the new version. I actually knew about the book and remember checking for a renewal, but just missed it somehow.

I cut the Lancelot Biggs stories from Volume Five and I am sure the remaining stories are public domain, but I’ll quintuple check them before I send you the links later this week.

On the plus side, all this checking led me to the fact that “Russell Storm” was actually Robert Moore Williams and I now have two more of his stories for future volumes.

(16) FAVORITE 2015 FANTASY. Stephanie Bugis’ list of “Favorite Fantasy Novels from 2015” leads off with a book by Aliette de Bodard.

 

  1. The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. Rich, immersive, gorgeous dark fantasy with fallen angels and Vietnamese Immortals, set in a magically post-apocalyptic version of twentieth-century Paris. I read the whole thing on my overnight plane ride back from America to the UK this summer and was so absorbed, I didn’t even mind the lost sleep! You can read my full Goodreads review here.

(17) STOCK THE SHELVES. Melissa Gilbert’s post “Read Like a Writer” at Magical Words takes inspiration from several Stephen King quotes.

I am going to start with the first quotation: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

I cannot express how much truth there is to these statements. Writing is hard work, contrary to the romanticized ideal of a guy with a beret sitting in a Parisian coffee shop daydreaming about the next bestseller. Being a writer is sitting at the keyboard and pushing keys in rapid succession trying to convey into words the sometimes jumbled picture that is floating around in your brain. It’s living off Snickers bars for a while because you have a deadline and no time to cook actual food. It’s reading in the bathroom instead of Facebooking because you need to finish that next chapter. It’s lugging a book or forty with you in your suitcase when you go on vacation so that you don’t run out of things to read. It’s typing with your thumbs on your smartphone while waiting for the elevator or while commuting on the train so you can get your thousand words in that day. It’s talking to people when you get stuck. It’s staring at the blank page in abject fear that no ideas will come. Writing isn’t easy. Okay, maybe it is. Let me rephrase. GOOD writing isn’t easy. But some things (like reading) can help to make it pleasurable.

(18) ONE’S THE LIMIT. Madeleine E. Robins advocates limiting a character’s advantages over others in “A Rule of One” at Book View Café.

I have this theory. Or maybe it’s just an idea. It’s about the advantages you give your characters. And how many advantages you can give them without distracting from the story or making them unbearable.

Advantages? Beauty is one, and very common; but there’s also intelligence, skill, charm, grace, wit, fortune, discernment, athletic ability, good birth, kind parents, a person who encourages them to follow their dreams, etc. All of these things are wonderful. But most people don’t get to have them all. And if you write a character who does get them all, it’s sort of cheating.

This is particularly important in writing historical fiction, or fantasy set in an historically inspired context (it works for SF too, but to keep things simple I’m limiting my scope). It is easy, and tempting, to create a character who is ahead of her/his time: “You fools, feudalism is doomed! Let us storm the castle and demand the birth of democracy!” A reader may want to sympathize with a character who partakes of our sensibilities more than he does of those of his time, but some writers leave out any clue as to where that vision came from.

(19) RED MARS. According to io9, a live-action adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars is coming to Spike TV.

J. Michael Straczinski and Game of Throne’s Vince Gerardis are executive producing, and believe it or not, Spike TV has ordered it “straight-to-series” without a pilot.

(20) SELDES OBIT. Editor and literary agent Timothy Seldes died December 5 reports Newsday. He was 88.

Raised in New York City and a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Seldes grew up around words, ideas and the performing arts. He was the brother of Tony-winning actress Marian Seldes, son of the drama critic and author Gilbert Seldes and nephew of the pioneering press critic George Seldes. He spent much of his editing career at the Doubleday house, where he rose to managing editor and authors included [Richard] Wright and Isaac Asimov.

(21) TWITTER. Your tweetage may vary. Ann Leckie’s certainly does, as she explains in “Me and Twitter”.

Now, I do look at my mentions, and not infrequently reply to those in some way. I do enjoy doing that. But every now and then, someone will turn up in my mentions in some way that’s very clearly designed to get my attention in a particular way–the tweeter wants me to notice their book, or asks explicitly that I follow them back (and they’re not someone I already know). I’m going to be honest, this irritates me. No offense, right? They’re obviously using Twitter as a promotional tool, where I’m using it to hang with people. This is mostly fine with me, in the abstract, I’ve got no problem with publicity or promotion. In the concrete and specific, I’d suggest that approaching promotion on Twitter as largely a question of amassing a lot of followers who you can then tweet to about your book is, perhaps, not as effective as you imagine it might be. I’ll also suggest that, if you want to engage the interest of someone with a lot of twitter followers, whose retweets or conversations with you might bring you the visibility you’re after, you might want to do your research about who that person is and why they have those followers, and not try to engage them with generic questions, let alone passive-aggressive tweets meant to guilt or provoke that person into replying or following back. But, you know, it’s your call, your life, your Twitter feed. And I’m totally okay with using the block and mute buttons whenever it seems convenient. (That would be the way the “react badly” mentioned in the tweets above usually manifests itself.)

(22) DRAWING TO A PAIR OF VONNEGUTS. Ginger Strand’s biography The Brothers Vonnegut is receiving mixed reviews, though all the critics say it’s interesting.

Katy Waldman on Slate finds some of connections discovered by the author “immensely satisfying.”

The Brothers Vonnegut, with its perfect-storm-of-concepts subtitle “Science and Fiction in the House of Magic,” focuses on Bernard and Kurt Vonnegut during the late ’40s and ’50s, when both were involved in the glittering ascent of General Electric during the postwar prosperity boom. Bernard, an MIT graduate and model elder son, researches at the company’s prestigious science lab. Kurt, having survived the Western Front (where he saw the firebombing of Dresden firsthand), takes a job as a PR flack, issuing zingy press releases about GE’s latest innovations.

Ben Jackson at the Guardian concludes:

[Kurt] didn’t hold out much hope for us: in Fates Worse than Death he wrote: “My guess is that … we really will blow up everything by and by”. No doubt Strand is right to locate the origin of many of his concerns in his time at GE, and there is certainly a lot to be said for her interesting book, but Kurt Vonnegut had more on his mind than the weather.

Jeff Milo at Paste Magazine is the most enthusiastic:

The benefits of The Brothers Vonnegut are threefold, starting with Strand’s insights into the professional and domestic lives of these two brothers, both equally strong-willed in their works despite their fields being worlds apart. Strand also draws attention to the vital support these brothers received from their wives, Lois Bowler with Bernard and Jane Marie Cox (Kurt’s first wife). More than that, though, these women are able to substantially enter into the narrative’s insightful spotlight, rather than being merely supportive backdrops for the brothers.

(23) RAMPAGE ON RECORD. Jim Mowatt’s run to Save the Rhino made the Cambridge News.

Mowatt in Cambridge News

(24) PLUTO ON CAMERA. NASA has released a video composed of the sharpest views of Pluto obtained by its New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July.

[Thanks to Von Dimpleheimer, Alan Baumler, David K.M. Klaus, JJ, Andrew Porter, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

Fourth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 4, a collection of 13 12 public domain novellas published in 1940, is the latest collection from File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, and Volume Three.)

Volume Four is the all novella volume, with nine eight new novellas and four others repeated from previous volumes.

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.

Von Dimpleheimer’s introduction explains the limits of his own collection, and drops loud hints where to find the others, at least some of which are still be under copyright.

The 13 novellas included here constitute 20% of the approximately 62 novellas published in 1940. So if you dust off your copy of The Complete Compleat Enchanter, rummage though your stack of Heinlein paperbacks, and shell out a few bucks for a collection or two, you will not only become an authority on the novellas of 1940 and be invited to speak at conferences around the world, you will be able to nominate with a confidence unobtainable in the short story category.

And he obligingly includes a list of 49 other 1940 novellas that are not in the collection.

Meanwhile, here is the table of contents of Volume Four.

  • Nelson S. Bond “The Ultimate Salient” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Space-Liner X-87” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “Roar of the Rocket” Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940
  • André Maurois “Fatapoufs and Thinifers” Fatapoufs and Thinifers French 1930. Translated from French by Rosemary Benét. Fattypuffs and Thinifiers, English, 1940
  • Phil Nowlan “Space Guards” Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940
  • Norvell W. Page “But Without Horns” Unknown, June 1940
  • Ray Palmer “Black World” Amazing Stories, March 1940 and April 1940
  • John Murray Reynolds “Goddess of the Moon” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Master Gerald of Cambray” Unknown, June 1940
  • Don Wilcox “The Robot Peril” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Don Wilcox “The Whispering Gorilla” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “The Golden Princess” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Jongor of Lost Land” Fantastic Adventures, October 1940

A fifth volume is in the works, and he says, “Barring the unforeseen inheritance of a literary estate or a pile of 75 year-old magazines, all new stories in Volumes Five and up will be less than 17,500 words long.”

Update 12/07/2015: Von Dimpleheimer has removed “Fattypuffs and Thinifiers” from Volume Four and uploaded a new file without the story. He says: “Someone pointed out they had a version that has a copyright renewal date of 2006. After doing some more research, I don’t know if it is protected by copyright or not, so I have to assume it is.”

Pixel Scroll 12/2 Have Rocket, Will Unravel

(1) SECOND OPINION. The President of Turkey is not a forgiving audience for social satire. So we learn from “Turkish Court to Determine if Gollum-Erdogan Comparison is Insult” at Voice of America.

The fate of a Turkish doctor is in the hands of experts who are tasked with determining whether he insulted the Turkish president by comparing him with the Gollum character from the “Lord of the Rings.”

Bilgin Ciftci could face two years in jail for sharing images on Facebook that seemed to compare President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the creepy character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and film adaptations….

Turkish law states that anyone who insults the president can face a prison sentence of up to four years. Even stiffer sentences could befall a journalist.

Between August 2014, when Erdogan was elected, to March of this year, 236 people have been investigated for “insulting the head of state,” according to the BBC. Just over 100 were indicted.

 

Erdogan Gollum

(2) DIANA’S BOOK ON KINDLE. Now you can pre-order a Kindle edition of Bandersnatch, Diana Pavlac Glyer’s book about the Inklings. The release date is December 8.

You can also request a download of the first chapter at the Bandersnatch website.

(3) THESE THINGS COST MONEY! Destroying Death Stars is bad for galactic business. Or so claims a Midwestern academic. “Professor calculates economic impact of destroying ‘Death Stars’”.

Assistant professor of engineering at Washington University Zachary Feinstein recently published a study entitled “It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill” which posits that there would be a “catastrophic” economic crisis in the Star Wars universe brought on by the destruction of the Death Stars.

Feinstein’s research indicates that the two Death Stars constructed in the films cost approximately $193 quintillion and $419 quintillion respectively to complete. He calculated the cost of the planet-destroying space weapons by comparing them to the real life USS Gerald Ford.

According to Feinstein, the economic impact of both Death Stars being destroyed within a four-year period would cause an economic collapse comparable to the Great Depression.

Feinstein says the size of the Galactic economy would drop by 30 percent without a government bailout, which he doesn’t believe the Rebel Alliance would provide.

Well, there’s your problem. Rebel governments are notoriously reluctant to bail out recently overthrown tyrants.

(4) MONDYBOY TAKES STOCK. Ian Mond is “Moving Forward” at The Hysterical Hamster.

For the last three months I’ve had the nagging suspicion that I was a dead man walking when it came to writing reviews.  As much as I’ve enjoyed the process of reading novels on shortlists and then sharing my thoughts, the time it was taking to write a half decent review meant I wasn’t keeping pace with my reading.  And as the gap between reviews and books read widened that nagging suspicion became a cold hard reality.

I simply don’t have the time to produce reviews of a quality high enough that I’m happy to see them published.  Yes, I could try to write shorter pieces, limit myself to 500 words, but every time I’ve attempted this my inner editor has taken a nap and before you know it I’ve spent five days writing a 1,500 word ramble.  And, yeah, I could Patreon the shit out of this blog in the vain hope that asking for cash will compel me (more likely guilt me) into writing a review every couple of days.  But fuck that.  I’d rather enjoy the books I’m reading then feel weighed down by the responsibility of having to review them.

So I’ve made the mature decision to quit while I’m ahead….

Will it last?  Will I be back in eight months with a similar post talking about how I no longer have the time to turn on my computer let alone snark about the Hugo Awards?  Very likely.  (I mean, it’s taken me three days to write this blog post).

(5) ROOTS. SF Signal’s latest “MIND MELD: The Influential roots of Science Fiction”, curated by Shana DuBois, asks:

What genre roots have you found to be most influential and inspiring for you and your own writing?”

Providing the answers this time are Usman T. Malik, SL Huang, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Ferrett Steinmetz, Wendy N. Wagner, Kat Howard, Daryl Gregory, Amal El-Mohtar, Lesley Conner, and Jennifer Marie Brissett

(6) AH, THE CLASSICS. Cat Rambo says yes, the “classics” are worth reading, in “Another Word: On Reading, Writing, and the Classics” at Clarkesworld.

The point I want to make about my perspective on the “classics” is that I’ve read a substantial portion, both of the F&SF variety and the larger set, and made some of them the focus of study in grad school. (Again from both sets, since that focus was an uneasy combination of late 19th/early 20th American lit and cultural studies with a stress on comics/animation. You can see me here pontificating on The Virtual Sublime or here on Tank Girl. I’m not sure I could manage that depth of theory-speak again, at least without some sort of crash course to bring me back up to speed. But I digress.)

So here’s the question that brought me here: should fantasy and science fiction readers read the F&SF classics? And the answer is a resounding, unqualified yes, because they are missing out on some great reading in two ways if they don’t. How so?

  1. They miss some good books. So many many good books. At some point I want to put together an annotated reading list but that’s a project for tinkering with in one’s retirement, I think. But, for example, I’m reading The Rediscovery of Man: The Collected Stories of Cordwainer Smith right now (in tiny chunks, savoring the hell out of it) and they are such good stories, even with the occasional dated bit.
  2. They miss some of the context of contemporary reading, some of the replies those authors are making to what has come before. The Forever War, for example, is in part a reply to Bill the Galactic Hero; read together, both texts gain more complexity and interest.

(7) This Day In History

  • December 2, 1939 – Laurel & Hardy’s The Flying Deuces is released, a movie without any science fictional content of its own (unless you count Oliver Hardy’s reincarnation as a horse in the final scenes), but figures strangely into an episode of Doctor Who. During “The Impossible Astronaut” (Doctor Who, S.6 ,Ep.10),Amy Pond, the Doctor’s companion, and Rory Williams watch the movie on DVD. Per the Wikipedia: “Rory sees The Doctor (Matt Smith) appear in the film running towards the camera wearing his fez and waving, before returning to dance with Stan and Ollie. This was achieved with Matt Smith dancing in front of a green screen.”

(8) BAXTER MARS SEQUEL. Gollancz has announced plans to publish Stephen Baxter’s sequel to Wells’ War of the Worlds.

The Massacre of Mankind is set in 1920s London when the Martians from the original novel return and the war begins again. However, this time they have learnt from their mistakes, making their attempts to massacre mankind even more frightening.

Baxter, who also co-wrote the Long Earth novels with Terry Pratchett, said it was an “honour” to write the sequel. “H G Wells is the daddy of modern science fiction. He drew on deep traditions, for instance of scientific horror dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and fantastic voyages such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. And he had important near-contemporaries such as Jules Verne. But Wells did more than any other writer to shape the form and themes of modern science fiction, and indeed through his wider work exerted a profound influence on the history of the twentieth century.”

It’s due to be published in January, 2017. This time, we’re told, the Martians have learned the lessons of their failed invasion: they’ll no longer fall prey to microbial infection.

(9) FASTER. Gregory Benford has posted John Cramer’s contribution to The 100 Year Starship Symposium, “Exotic Paths To The Stars.”

I was Chairman of the Exotic Technologies Session held on October 1, 2011, at the 100 year Starship Symposium in Orlando Florida.  This chapter draws on the talks given in that session, but it does not represent a summary of the presentations.  Rather, I want focus on three lines of development in the area of exotic technologies that were featured at the Symposium, developments that might allow us to reach the stars on a time scale of a human lifetime: (1) propellantless space drives, (2) warp drives, and (3) wormholes.  With reference to the latter two topics, I will also discuss some cautions from the theoretical physics community about the application of general relativity to “metric engineered” devices like wormholes and warp drives that require exotic matter…

(10) HINES DECOMPRESSES. Jim C. Hines has “Post-Convention Insecurities” after his stint as Loscon 42 GoH.

I understand the phenomenon a bit better these days, but it still sucks. Partly, it’s exhaustion. You’re wiped out after the convention, and being tired magnifies all those insecurities. And the fact is, I know I stick my foot in it from time to time. We all do. It’s part of being human.

But I spend conventions trying to be “on.” Trying to be friendly and entertaining and hopefully sound like I know what the heck I’m talking about. Basically, trying to be clever. And I trust most of you are familiar with the failure state of clever?

Sometimes a joke falls flat. Sometimes I say something I thought was smart and insightful, realizing only after the words have left my mouth that it was neither. Sometimes an interaction feels off, like I’ve failed at Human Socializing 101. Or I get argumentative about something. Or I fail to confront something I should have gotten argumentative about. I could go on and on about the possibilities. That’s part of the problem.

The majority of the conversations and panels and interactions were unquestionably positive. But there’s a span when my brain insists on wallowing through the questionable ones, and I keep peeking at Twitter to double-check if anyone has posted that Jim C. Hines was the WORST guest of honor EVER, and should be fired from SF/F immediately.

Whether or not Jim had any influence on the result, I think it’s appropriate that in a year when he was GoH Loscon put together its most diverse range of program participants, probably ever – substantive speakers from all kinds of backgrounds.

(11) HOW GOOD WAS GOODREADS CHOICE? Rachel Neumeier browses the genre winners of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards.

If it’s a massive popularity contest you aim for, then the Goodreads Choice Awards is ideal. I dunno, I think in general I am most interested in the results of awards like the World Fantasy Award, which has a panel of judges; or the Nebula, which requires nominations to come from professional writers. In other words, not wide-open popularity contests. On the other hand, there’s a place for pure popularity too, obviously, and it was really quite interesting seeing what got nominated in all the Goodreads categories.

Of course I read mainly books that have been recommended by bloggers I follow and Goodreads reviewers I follow and so on, so these awards don’t much matter to me — no awards matter to me in that sense — but still, interesting to see what’s shuffled up to the top of the heap for 2015…

(12) SEE TWILIGHT ZONE WITH HARLAN. Cinefamily’s December events at the Silent Movie Theater in LA includes a celebration of the 30th anniversary of CBS’ 1985 version of The Twilight Zone, with Harlan Ellison, Rockne S. O Bannon, Bradford May, Michael Cassutt, Alan Brennert, Paul Lynch, William Atherton, J.D. Feigelson, Martin Pasko, Rebecca (Parr) Beck & Steven Railsback in person. December 5, starts at 5:30 p.m., tickets cost $14 (free for members).

Twilight zine new

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension-a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas-you just crossed over into the Twilight Zone…

Rod Serling opened his beloved, suspenseful, witty, and social commentary-filled drama with the same intonation every time, before presenting each delightfully formulaic science fiction fantasy, from 1959 to 1964. Those episodes will never cease to be replayed, but in 1985 CBS gave fans some new material to latch onto… an 80s revival of the series, created with the participation of writers, filmmakers, and actors for whom the original was a beloved memory. Join Cinefamily and the cast & crew of the 80s Twilight Zone at this 30th anniversary marathon and celebration, showcasing our absolute favorite 80s style sci-fi!!!

 

(13) KUNKEL FOLLOW-UP. After last week’s post “Kunkel Awards Created”, I was able to ask some follow-up questions of the organizers. James Fudge, managing editor of Games Politics and Unwinnable, filled in some more background.

Most of the heavy lifting on this award needs to be credited to Michael Koretzky and the SPJ. Prior to AirPlay, Michael had talked to me about creating some kind of award to incentivize good games journalism. I thought this was a great idea. I also have a lot of respect for Bill Kunkel, and seeing how he is considered to be the very first “games journalist”  (and helped created the first publication dedicated to video games) it seemed right and fair that he should be honored by having an award named after him. I didn’t know Bill personally but we talked a lot about journalism, the industry, and wrestling on a mailing list dedicated to games journalists called “GameJournoPros.”

After the criteria for the awards was sorted out I reached out to the widow of Bill Kunkel to ask for permission, She kindly gave us her approval.

(14) THE YEAR IN AFROSFF. Wole Talabi lists “My Favorite African Science Fiction and Fantasy (AfroSFF) Short Fiction of 2015”.

2015 has been a good year for African Science Fiction and Fantasy (or AfroSFF, as seems to be the consensus abbreviation). The year saw the release of Jalada’s Afrofutures anthology, Issues 2, 3, 4 and X of the new and excellent Omenana and  Short Story Day Africa’s Terra Incognita. Still to come are AfroSFv2 (edited by Ivor Hartmann), African Monsters (edited by Margret Helgadottir and Jo Thomas) and Imagine Africa 500 (edited by Billy Kahora and Trine Andersen). So much good stuff to read and more to come….

So in the interest of fueling discussion and analysis of AfroSFF stories in general, here are my favorite AfroSFF stories of 2015 in no particular order.

(15) Filer Von Dimpleheimer has done some light housekeeping in the first two volumes of his Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos series.

I uploaded version 1.1 of Volume Two. I fixed some minor errors, but the main thing is that I put in the disclaimer page that was in Volume Three. I’ll do the same for Volume One as well.

The links should all be the same and still work. They worked for me after I had signed out of that account, but if you or any Filers have any problems, just let me know and I’ll try to sort it out.

(16) Harrison Ford was hilarious on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

First, he tried explaining how he dislocated his ankle on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set, using a Han Solo action figure.

Then, Ford and Jimmy downed Greedo shots and debuted a colorful drink created in honor of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

(16) IT’S ONLY ROCK’N ROLL BUT I LIKE IT. Bill Roper says an ancient filk mystery has been solved.

Over 40 years ago, at the Toronto Worldcon in 1973, a young man joined the filk circle, sang a song, and vanished without a trace. The song was a lovely piece based on Arthur C. Clarke’s story, “The Sentinel”. Anne Passovoy was there and ended up reconstructing the song as best she could and adding it to her repertoire, noting that the song wasn’t hers, but presumably was something written by the anonymous young man.

And that was where things rested until last weekend at Chambanacon, when Bill Rintz and Bill Furry pulled out a song at their concert.

It was almost, but not quite the song that Anne had reconstructed. It was clearly the song that Anne had heard. All of the bones matched.

And so, as it turned out, did the feathers. Because this song was on The Byrds 1968 album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, and titled “Space Odyssey”.

You can hear the original here. The lyrics are here.

(17) CARDS AGAINST WHOMANITY. io9 will let you “Print out the Doctor Who version of Cards Against Humanity right now”

Cards Against Humanity is the hilarious party game for horrible people, and now you can mix the game’s political incorrectness with your knowledge of Doctor Who thanks to a fan-made edition called Cards Against Gallifrey.

Because Cards Against Humanity is published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, anyone can make their own cards for the game, provided they publish them under the same license and don’t sell them. The comedy group Conventional Improv performs a game show based on Cards Against Humanity at different conventions, and this fall, in honor of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, they played Cards Against Gallifrey and have made their version of the game available to the public. Naturally, it’s crude, offensive, and imagines most of the cast naked.

(18) GREEN ACRES. Kind of like living in a Chia Pet. “This kit lets you assemble your own green-roofed Hobbit home in just 3 days”  at The Open Mind.

Magic Green Homes fabricates such structures using prefabricated vaulted panels and covers them with soil, creating flexible green-roofed living spaces with a Tolkienesque charm. And the kicker? They’re so easy to construct, just about anyone can build one.

(19) ZICREE. Sci-fi writer-director-producer Marc Zicree gives you a tour of his Space Command studio while shooting Space Command 2: Forgiveness — and shows clips

[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, von Dimpleheimer, Alan Dorey, John King Tarpinian, and Steven H Silver for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]