Wandering Through the Public Domain #9

A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon: I’ve had some upheaval in my personal life in the last month, and I haven’t been keeping up with this column or with some of the older comments. So I’ll start by taking an opportunity to clarify a couple of things which may have been misunderstood, based on some of the comments on older entries.

First, when I mention a work here, it’s generally because it’s either one that I have come across in my own “wanderings”, or because it has some tie to something recently discussed, such as when an author’s birthday comes up in the daily listing, and it turns out that they have some public domain books or stories available.

It’s not meant to imply that a book is just now entering the public domain (unless otherwise stated, as in the recent discussion of the 1923 copyright expirations) or that it is in any way a new discovery to anyone but me. So, for example, Flatland by Abbott has indeed been in the public domain for many years, and only came up here because a new audiobook recording of it was recently released.

Second, someone apparently took offense at my passing observation that John W. Campbell is better known nowadays for his role as an editor as a writer. That is no judgement on Campbell as a writer, or any of the other forgotten or less-remembered names that come up. It’s just a general impression of the overall collective memory or focus of 2019 fandom and who tends to be well-known and who does not. If I’m off base on my estimation of how well-known any particular writer is at this point, I welcome correction.

Most stories and novels pass out of popular notice in a few decades, no matter how worthwhile they are. There’s no point in hand-wringing about this or decrying the crappiness of modern fandom for not being sufficiently aware of certain writers. I prefer to look at it as a vast realm of potential buried treasures, and poke about looking for some forgotten books that are worth unearthing. I started writing this series merely to share some of these finds.

On that note, let’s turn to some of the recent diggings:

In Cat Rambo’s introduction to this month’s StoryBundle featuring contemporary female speculative fiction authors, she mentions four names as examples of women authors who have largely faded away. This, as usual, sent me off to see if anything by those authors is available on my favorite sites.

Miriam DeFord was already covered in a previous installment. I could not find any public domain works by Zenna Henderson, alas. However, the other two authors that Rambo mentioned, Judith Merril and Katherine MacLean, are each represented by several short stories on Project Gutenberg.

Judith Merril (1923-1997):

To date, neither story has been recorded for Librivox.

Katherine MacLean (1925- )

All of these stories have been recorded at least once for Librivox.

Speaking of women authors, Andre Norton (1912-2005) had a February birthday. She has short stories as well as several full-length novels available on Project Gutenberg:

In addition to her science fiction, Norton has a YA adventure novel (Ralestone Luck) and two Westerns (Ride Proud, Rebel! and Rebel Spurs) on PG. All of her works have been recorded, most in multiple versions, for Librivox.

Staying on the topic of women authors, Leigh Brackett’s (1915-1978) name is probably most recognizable as one of the credited screenwriters of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. She was well-known enough as a screenwriter in the 1940s that Howard Hawks is said to have once demanded, “Get me that guy, Brackett” to help William Faulkner finish the script for The Big Sleep. Brackett is also notable as the first woman author to receive a Hugo nomination, for her 1956 post-nuclear-war novel The Long Tomorrow.

The Long Tomorrow does not appear to be in the public domain, but two stories by Brackett are available on Project Gutenberg:

Both stories have been recorded for Librivox.

Recent Librivox releases:

  • The Mermaid’s Message and Other Stories by Various

    This is a collection of fairy tales and fables compiled in 1919. The stories contain original but old-fashioned tales which modern children and grown-ups will enjoy.
  • Master of Life and Death by Robert Silverberg (1935- )

    When Roy Walton becomes the new director of the UN division of population control, after the director is assassinated, he becomes the most hated man in the world. Being Director involved him in not only population control, but a terra-forming project on Venus, and negotiations with aliens. Not only that, but some people were trying to kill him. To stay alive, he had to become The Master of Life and Death.

2019 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

Matt McHugh of New Jersey has won the grand prize in the 2019 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story “Burners.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

GRAND PRIZE

  • “Burners” by Mat McHugh of New Jersey

FIRST RUNNER-UP

  • “Acid Test” by Gustavo Bondoni of Buenos Aires, Argentina

SECOND RUNNER-UP

  • “Dangerous Orbit” by M. T. Reiten of Los Alamos, NM

Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books. Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented June 8, 2019 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference held this year in Arlington, VA. The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2019 at the Baen.com web site.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meets scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery.

The Tolkien Society Awards 2019 Shortlist Announced

The Trustees of The Tolkien Society have released the shortlist for The Tolkien Society Awards 2019. Members have until March 29 to cast their votes.

The shortlist for the Awards is as follows:

Best Artwork

Best Article

Best Book

  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth by Catherine McIlwaine
  • The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. by Christopher Tolkien
  • A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honor of Verlyn Flieger, ed. by John D. Rateliff

Best Website

Outstanding Contribution Award

The recipient of the Outstanding Contribution Award 2019 has been selected by the Trustees and will be announced in due course.

Norman Hollyn (1952-2019)

I was crushed to read that Norm Hollyn passed away this weekend. He and Lou Stathis were among my first friends in fandom. We connected through fanzines while in college at opposite ends of the country, USC for me, SUNY Stony Brook for Norm (then, Hochberg) and Lou. I’d seen their fanzine Xrymph mentioned in Arnie Katz’ Focal Point and we started trading. I wish I could say I was doing Prehensile by then, but in truth I was probably still doing the execrable New Elliptic, so it’s almost unbe­lievable that they actually read it, let alone gently critiqued it in occa­sional letters. We hung out at the 1972-1974 Worldcons, and I visited them in New York.

Of course, the way life works, it has been years since I talked to Norm although he wasn’t far away, having become a faculty member at my alma mater’s School of Cinematic Arts after working for several decades as a film editor. He was the author of two important books on the subject, and a popular mentor. It was shocking to read on Facebook that he died a few days ago while lecturing in Japan, from a coronary embolism and subsequent cardiac arrest.

Norm flew out for L.A.Con in 1972 — he came with me to the first Hogu Ranquet. The following year I rendezvoused with Norm and Lou at Torcon 2. We were equally new to fandom, trying to forge an identity in it and make friends. I visited them in New York after Discon in 1974, driving up from Wash­ington D.C. before returning to Ohio for graduate work in Bowling Green’s popular culture pro­gram. I had that carefree, broke-student quality of denying even my VW Bug’s most outra­geous mechanical problems, like the rear tire that wobbled uncontrollably whenever it hit a bump, but could be put in order simply by braking to a stop. I hadn’t thought to mention this to Norm and Lou until we were on the Cross-Bronx Expressway, swooped into one of its elephantine potholes and started to shimmy violently. We stuck with public transit the rest of the week.

By the time I really was publishing Prehensile, Norm had also started another fanzine, Regurgitation Six, with a title designed to leave some wondering what happened to the first five issues, at least until they received Regurgitation Six #2.

Norm went from Hochberg to Hollyn when he married for the first time, he and his spouse merging their names into a new surname.

Norm finished his studies at Stony Brook in 1974, graduating with a degree in theater arts. Now came the hard part – getting a job in the film industry. His persistence paid off, as The Hollywood Reporter summary shows:

Early in his career, he served as an apprentice sound editor on Bob Fosse’s Lenny (1974), an uncredited apprentice editor on Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976), an assistant music editor on Milos Forman’s Hair (1979) and an assistant editor on Alan Parker’s Fame (1980).

I heard him speak with pride about his work as music editor on The Cotton Club (1984), and soon many would recognize him as the editor on Heathers (1988).

He also was film editor on the 1993 Oliver Stone-produced ABC miniseries Wild Palms and on It’s Pat: The Movie (1994).

During the next phase of his career as a writer and a teacher, Norm passed on his professional knowledge to the new generation. His book The Film Editing Room Handbook, first published in 1986, is regarded as a standard in the field. In 2009 he followed with The Lean Forward Moment: Telling Better Stories for Film, TV, and the Web. He published nearly 100 articles in magazines and peer-reviewed journals.

He joined the faculty of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, rose to full professor, and in 2013 became the first to hold the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Editing, . He served as President of UFVA, the largest association of production-based cinema university professors. He taught workshops all over the world – in Europe, the Middle East, India — and the very last time, in Japan.

His survivors include his wife, Janet, and daughter, Elizabeth.

Pixel Scroll 3/18/19 I Needed Pixels Coz I Had None, I Filed The Scroll And The Scroll Won

(1) MCINTYRE. CaringBridge readers received a saddening update about Vonda McIntyre’s status:

Vonda has been told she has somewhere between two weeks and two months. She’s doing well enough right now that she will probably last longer than the short end of this estimate but we aren’t seeing much cause for hope she might exceed the long end. 

She has signed up with hospice. The people who have come out this past week all seem smart and kind, and Vonda is pleased with them.

Vonda is, on the whole, fairly comfortable. She gets some pain before her scheduled paracentesis sessions, but she says it isn’t bad and goes away as soon as she gets the procedure. She’s weak, moves slowly, and sleeps a lot. However, she’s alert and engaged when she is awake, and has been enjoying visits from various people. She doesn’t eat much, but is still enjoying food and has no nausea issues.

Emotionally, I find her to be in astonishingly good shape. She’s still grieving the loss of Ursula and her sister, Carolyn, but she says she’s not especially upset about her own situation. She is focused on getting some things down, many of which are fun for her. This stuff could hit harder later but for now she seems calm and accepting.

Frank Catalano sent the link with a note: “Vonda was generous to me when I moved to the Seattle area in the 1980s and I took on the task of administering SFWA’s Nebula Awards. She and I and a small crew of volunteers stuffed and stamped numerous Nebula Awards Reports in my Queen Anne apartment. I consider her a friend and she has also encouraged my writing.”

(2) MONSTER MASH. A new trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters has dropped. The move arrives in theaters May 31

Following the global success of “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse, an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

(3) ALSO NSFWWW. Camestros Felapton pauses for breath at almost the halfway point in the series to write a quick review: “Love, Death + Robots: Initial Impressions”.

I’ve watched eight episodes (out of eighteen) of Netflix’s “Adult” anthology series based on contemporary SF short stories. It’s ‘Adult’ in the sense of stereotypes of adolescent male interests which means many episodes with gore and most episodes with CGI boobs. There are some good pieces but they are ones that differ sharply from the general aesthetic.

(4) TECH SUPPORT. Brianna Wu has an opinion piece in today’s Boston Globe: “Senator Warren is onto something: The best way to protect the tech industry is to break it up”.

I’ve spent a career working in tech as a software engineer. And I believe regulated markets are the best way to build and deliver innovative products. That might sound counterintuitive. But increasingly, the largest players in the game aren’t playing by the same rules. Instead, they’re using their power to bully or buy out the competition.

That’s why I was thrilled last week when Senator Elizabeth Warren put forward a bold plan to break up the largest tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Amazon. Many parts of the plan are strong and have widespread support by industry experts, such as breaking up Facebook and Instagram. Other parts inadvertently jeopardize privacy and increase consumer risk of malware and spyware. Overall, it’s a strong start to an antitrust conversation that is long overdue.

(5) WOLFE’S SERVICE RECOGNIZED. Last week at the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts conference, Gary K. Wolfe received the Robert A. Collins Service Award, “presented to an officer, board member, or division head for outstanding service to the organization.” [Via Locus Online.]

(6) IMPATIENTS. In “Cory Doctorow’s Radicalized and Audience Awareness”, Joseph Hurtgen urges us all to “Put Cory Doctorow’s Radicalized on your reading list. It’s a short and powerful meditation on the power of the internet to radicalize suffering individuals, the broken healthcare system in the US, the exploitation of the poor in America, and the broken judicial system in the US.”

…Doctorow considers a slightly different kind of mass murdering, one with a political agenda. The terrorists in Doctorow’s world kill to force the US to fix the broken healthcare system. In the 21st century, our situation is that experimental treatment for cancer is available to those that can write a seven-figure check. But for the rest of us, no matter how much we’ve paid into the system, death is still the only cure. 

(7) HOLDING FORTH. YouTube has video of Isaac Asimov on The David Letterman Show, October 21, 1980

(8) ELLEN VARTANOFF OBIT. Ellen Vartanoff (1951-2019) died March 17 reports her brother-in-law, Scott Edelman.

Stu McIntire wrote a tribute for ComicsDC:

Ellen Vartanoff was a fan, a collector, creator, artist, teacher, mentor and so much more to countless friends and admirers. Condolences to Irene, Scott, and all of Ellen’s family. I will always carry with me the last time I saw Ellen.

The Washington Post covered a 1997 exhibition she put together from her own cartoon collection:

“I’ve been in love with cartoons since I was 7 years old,” says Vartanoff, 46, who financed her early comic book purchases by collecting returnable soft drink bottles, which brought her 2 cents each. “That amount was more meaningful back when comics cost a dime. My sister and I have been collecting comics since 1957 and began collecting original cartoon art in the 1960s, way before it became a popular thing to do.”

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 18, 1926 Peter Graves. Star of Mission Impossible and the short lived Australian filmed Mission Impossible which if you’ve not seen it, you should as it’s damn good. I’m reasonably certain his first genre role was on Red Planet Mars playing Chris Cronyn. Later roles included Gavin Lewis on The Invaders, Major Noah Cooper on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Doug Paul Martin in Killers from Space and Paul Nelson on It Conquered the World. It’s worth noting that a number of his films are featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 series. (Died 2010)
  • Born March 18, 1932 John Updike. It might surprise you to learn that there are two Eastwick novels, The Witches of Eastwick and The Widows of Eastwick, the latter set some three decades after the first novel ended. He wrote a number of other genre-friendly novels including The CentaurBrazil and Toward the End of Time. (Died 2009.)
  • Born March 18, 1947 Drew Struzan, 72. Artist known for his more than a hundred and fifty movie posters which include films in Back to the Future, the Indiana Jones, and Star Wars film franchises. In addition, he designed the original Industrial Light & Magic logo for Lucas. My favorite posters? Back to the Future, The Goonies and The Dark Crystal.
  • Born March 18, 1950 J. G. Hertzler, 69. He’s best known for his role on Deep Space Nine as the Klingon General (and later Chancellor) Martok. He co-authored with Jeff Lang, Left Hand of Destiny, Book 1, and Left Hand of Destiny, Book 2, which chronicle the life of his character. His very TV first role was a genre one, to wit on Quantum Leap as Weathers Farrington in the  “Sea Bride – June 3, 1954” episode. Setting aside DS9, he’s been in Zorro, HighlanderThe Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanLois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Charmed, Roswell and Enterprise series;  for film genre work, I see The Redeemer: Son of SatanTreasure Island: The Adventure Begins and Prelude to Axanar (yet another piece of fanfic). In addition, he’s done a lot of video game voice acting, the obvious Trek work but such franchises as BioShock 2The Golden Compass and Injustice: Gods Among Us. 
  • Born March 18, 1959 Luc Besson, 60. Oh, The Fifth Element, one of my favorite genre films. There’s nothing about it that  I don’t like. I’ve not seen Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and reviews leave me disinclined to do so. The Transporter is not genre but I recommend it as a great film none the less. 
  • Born March 18, 1960 Richard Biggs. He appeared as Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5, reprising the role in the final aired episode of Crusade, “Each Night I Dream of Home”. Other genre roles included playing Roger Garrett on Tremors, Hawkes In The Alien Within, An Unnamed Reporter on Beauty and the Beast,  Dr. Thomson on an episode of The Twilight Zone and a Process Server in an episode of The Magical World of Disney. (Died 2004.)
  • Born March 18, 1961 James Davis Nicoll, 58. A freelance game and genre reviewer. A first reader for SFBC as well. Currently he’s a blogger on Dreamwidth and Facebook, and an occasional columnist on Tor.com. In 2014, he started his website, jamesdavisnicoll.com, which is dedicated to his book reviews of works old and new; and which later added the highly entertaining Young People Read Old SFF, where that group read prior to Eighties SF and fantasy, and Nicoll and his collaborators comment on the their reactions.
  • Born March 18, 1989 Lily Collins, 30. First genre role was in cyberpunk horror film Priest as Lucy Pace. She next shows up in Mirror Mirror before being Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I did read the first three or four novels in the series. Recommended them wholeheartedly, no idea how the film is. She’s Edith Tolkien in the Tolkien filmnow in post-production. 

(10) STAY TUNED FOR VERSE. John A Arkansawyer sent a note with this link to his sff poem: “Shameless self-promotion for something which will not win the Rhysling But I’m pleased to have written it in the last fifteen minutes.” — “The Synoptic Bump in “Warrior”, by Gordon R. Dickson”.

(11) IT’S STILL NEWS TO ME. From 2011, Tracer’s parody “How David Weber Orders a Pizza”. He nails the style.

The telephone rang.

Jason Wilkins roused himself out of his dough-and-flour-addled stupor, and gazed at the ringing noise emanating from the receiver….

And if you scroll down to item #24 you’ll find Chapter 2 of Weber’s epic “In Ovens Baked.”

Pizza Delivery Person Third Class Alonzo Gomez smoothly turned his control wheel counterclockwise, with the skill of a man who’d practiced this maneuver for years. In the sealed chamber in front of his feet, a gear at the end of the wheel’s shaft pushed the rack-and-pinion assembly to one side, changing the angle of the vehicle’s front wheels. Now, driven onward relentlessly by the vehicle’s momentum, the tires bit into the road surface obliquely, forcing the vehicle’s nose to port and carrying the entire vehicle with them on its new course. Alonzo and his vehicle thereby rounded the corner, taking them off of Elm street and onto 5th Avenue….

(This reminds me of the time I watched a visiting clergyman doing a sendup of “Pastor Jack telling the congregation the church is on fire.” He had everyone in hysterics, with the assistant pastor waving his handkerchief in surrender.)

(12) DUNE BUILDERS. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced the full cast and creative team for the new Dune movie with Brian Herbert as an executive producer. No change in the November 20, 2020 release date: “Cameras Roll on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s Epic Adaptation of ‘Dune’”.

(13) RETRO FUTURE. Popular Mechanics remembers “When Pan Am Promised to Fly Us to the Moon”.

In 1964, Austrian journalist Gerhard Pistor walked into a Vienna travel agency with a simple proposition. He’d like to fly to the moon, and if possible, he’d like to fly there on Pan Am. 

The travel agency, presumably dumbfounded by this request, decided to simply do its job and make the ask: It forwarded the impossible request to the airline, the legend goes, where it attracted the attention of Juan Trippe, the notoriously brash and publicity-thirsty CEO of Pan American World Airways, the world’s most popular airline. Trippe saw a golden opportunity, and the bizarre request gave birth to a brilliant sales ploy that cashed in on the growing international obsession with human spaceflight: Pan Am was going to launch commercially operated passenger flights to the moon. Or, at least, that’s what it was going to tell everyone. 

In hindsight, it’s beyond ludicrous. NASA wouldn’t land men on the moon for five more years; the promise of lunar getaways on a jetliner sounds like a marketing scam at worst, and the most preposterous extension of 1960s techno-optimism at best. And yet, in a striking parallel to today’s commercial space race, would-be customers put down their names on a waiting list for their chance to go to space, joining Pan Am’s “First Moon Flights” Club.

If history is a guide, then Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin should be cautious. Pan Am dissolved in 1991 without ever getting close to launching a spacecraft. Even when it promised the moon and the stars, the airline was far closer to financial oblivion than it was to the cosmos. 

(14) NOW THEY TELL US. “US detects huge meteor explosion” – but we need to hear about it from BBC?

A huge fireball exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere in December, according to Nasa.

The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago.

But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

The space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Lindley Johnson, planetary defence officer at Nasa, told BBC News a fireball this big is only expected about two or three times every 100 years.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Disney–The Art of Animation” on YouTube, Kaptain Kristian provides the 15 principles of animation that have ensured Disney’s continued excellence in animation for over 80 years.

[Thanks to Bill, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Scott Edelman, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

Premio Italia 2019 Shortlist

Congratulations to Cixin Liu, Ian McDonald, Lavie Tidhar, Robert Charles Wilson, and Walter Jon Williams who (along with the late Arthur Machen) are nominees in the International sf novel category of the  2019 Premio Italia.

The awards will be presented on May 11 at Starcon 2019.

Illustrazione o copertina / Illustration or Cover

  • Alexa Cesaroni, Dalla Terra alle stelle, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Claudia Mongini, Dietro le quinte del cinema di fantascienza volume 1, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Franco Brambilla, Naila di Mondo9, Oscar Fantastica – Mondadori
  • Luca Pavan, Starcon Locandina Nov.2018, Ultimo Avamposto
  • Vincenzo Bosica, Dimensione Cosmica n. 1, Tabula Fati

Curatore / Editor

  • Alessandro Iascy
  • Emanuele Manco
  • Giorgio Raffaelli
  • Giuseppe Lippi
  • Luigi Petruzzelli
  • Massimo Romani
  • Sandro Pergamenno

Traduttore / Translator

  • Anna Manfredini
  • Chiara Reali
  • Lia Tomasich
  • Luigi Petruzzelli
  • Paola B. Cartoceti

Collana / Collection

  • Biblioteca dell’immaginario, Hypnos
  • Cocktail, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Future Fiction, Future Fiction
  • Futuro Presente, Delos Digital
  • Odissea Digital Fantascienza, Delos Digital

Rivista professionale / Professional magazine

  • Andromeda, Lettere Elettriche
  • Delos Science Fiction, Delos Books
  • Dimensione Cosmica, Tabula Fati
  • FantasyMagazine, Delos Books
  • Inside Star Trek Magazine, Ultimo Avamposto

Rivista o sito web non professionale / Fanzine or fan web site

Saggio / Essay

  • Andrea Tortoreto, Filosofia della fantascienza, Mimesis Edizioni
  • Carmine Treanni, Il futuro è adesso. Il grande libro della fantascienza, Homo Scrivens
  • Giovanni Mongini e Mario Luca Moretti, Dietro Le Quinte Del Cinema Di Fantascienza – Volume 1, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Michele Tetro, Robert E. Howard e gli eroi della Valle Oscura, Odoya
  • Walter Catalano, Gian Filippo Pizzo, Andrea Vaccaro, Guida ai narratori italiani del fantastico. Scrittori di fantascienza, fantasy e horror made in Italy, Odoya

Romanzo di autore italiano – Fantascienza / Science fiction novel

  • Alessandro Vietti, Il potere, Zona 42
  • Dario Tonani, Naila di mondo9, Mondadori
  • Franci Conforti, Stormachine, Delos Digital
  • Giovanni De Matteo, Karma City Blues, Delos Digital
  • Pier Francesco Prosperi, Il processo numero 13, Edizioni della Vigna

Romanzo di autore italiano – Fantasy / Fantasy novel

  • Adriana Comaschi, La Rajetta, Tabula Fati
  • Emanuela Valentini, Grotesquerie, Dana
  • Enrico Zini, Esperia, la fuga, Tabula fati
  • Ivo Torello, La casa delle conchiglie, Hypnos
  • Livio Gambarini, Eternal War 2 – Vita Nova, Acheron Book
  • Maico Morellini, Il diario dell’estinzione, Watson Edizioni

Antologia / Anthology

  • Giulia Abbate e Lukha Kremo, Next-Stream: Visioni di realtà contigue, Kipple Officina Libraria
  • Lorenzo Crescentini, Strane creature vol. 1, Watson Edizioni
  • Luigi Musolino, Uironda, Kipple Officina Libraria
  • Luigi Petruzzelli, Costituzioni future, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Mino Milani, Di stelle e di misteri, Edizioni Della Vigna

Racconto di autore italiano su pubblicazione professionale / Story by an Italian Author in a Professional Publication

  • Dario Tonani, Sabbia nera, Robot, Delos Books
  • Donato Altomare, La seconda morte, Quasar, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Giulia Massini, La colonia, Hypnos, Edizioni Hypnos
  • Lukha B. Kremo, Invertito, Robot, Delos Books
  • Maddalena Antonini, Il determinatore, Dimensione Cosmica, Tabula Fati

Racconto di autore italiano su pubblicazione amatoriale / Story by an Italian Author in an Amateur Publication

  • Claudio Chillemi, Il Grande Errore, Fondazione Sf
  • Giovanni De Matteo, Civiltà di prova, Holonomikon
  • Linda De Santi, Lost by Univers, Next-Station.org
  • Maria Vittoria Scalas, Il pianeta risanatore, Star Trek: dall’immagine al racconto Star Trek Italian Club Alberto Lisiero

Articolo su pubblicazione professionale / Article in a Professional Publication

  • Cesare Cioni, Lost Trek: Planet Of Titans, Star Trek Magazine, Ultimo Avamposto
  • Giuseppe Lippi, I curatori di Urania, Robot, Delos Books
  • Luigi Pecchioli, Retro-futuri economici nella sci-fi anni ’50/’70: tra consumismo e liberismo, Quasar, Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Luigi Petruzzelli, Prefazione a Dalla Terra alle stelle di Ulisse Grifoni, , Edizioni Della Vigna
  • Salvatore Proietti, Le storie di Ursula, Robot, Delos Books

Articolo su pubblicazione amatoriale / Article in an Amateur Publication

  • Francesco Spadaro, Si può fare, Fondazione Sf
  • Franco Piccinini, Grazia Nidasio, in memoriam, Sistema bibliotecario Bonetta di Pavia
  • Gian Filippo Pizzo, Futurismo e fantascienza, La bottega del Barbieri
  • Giovanni De Matteo, Angeli killer per le strade di San Francisco, Holonomikon
  • Nick Parisi, Intervista con Davide Pulici, Nocturnia

Romanzo internazionale / International sf novel

  • Arthur Machen, Il cerchio verde (The Green Round), Providence Press
  • Cixin Liu, Nella quarta dimensione (Death’s End), Mondadori
  • Ian McDonald, Ares Express, Zona 42
  • Lavie Tidhar, Central Station, Acheron Books
  • Robert Charles Wilson, Spin, Rocard Editore
  • Walter Jon Williams, Argonautica, Delos Digital

Fumetto di autore italiano / Comic by an Italian Author

  • Carlo Recagno – Antonio Sforza, Storie da altrove: i tre uomini che ridestarono Cthulhu, Bonelli
  • Carlo Recagno, Giovanni Freghieri, Dylan Dog & Martin Mystere: L’Abisso Del Male, Bonelli
  • Enrico Lotti, Alfredo Orlandi, Le strane morti del signor Max, Martin Mystère, Bonelli
  • Lorenzo Ghetti, Dove non sei tu, Fandango
  • Max Bertolini, Hangar 66, Inkiostro

Fumetto di autore internazionale / Comic by an International Author

  • El Torres e Guillermo Sanna, Straitjacket, Delos Digital / Weird Comics
  • Tipton, Tipton, Lee, Purcell e Woodward, Star Trek The Next Generation / Doctor Who Assimilazione 2, Ultimo Avamposto

Film fantastico (premio non ufficiale) / Fantastic Film (unofficial prize)

  • Annientamento
  • (Annihlation)
  • Avengers: Infinity war
  • Black Panther
  • Ready player one
  • Solo – A Star Wars Story

Serie televisiva (premio non ufficiale) / TV Series (unofficial prize)

  • Altered carbon
  • Lost in Space
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • The Orville

2019 Lord Ruthven Awards

The winners of the 2019 Lord Ruthven Assembly Awards, presented for the best fiction on vampires and the best academic work on the study of the vampire figure in culture and literature, were announced at this year’s International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

This year the members voted for:

Lord Ruthven Award: Fiction

  • Theodora Goss, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

Lord Ruthven Award: Non-Fiction

  • Amy J. Ransom, I Am Legend as American Myth

Amanda Firestone, Ph.D., President of the assembly said they did not give a Media award this year for lack of strong candidates.

The awards take their name from the vampire antagonist in John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1819) and are given by the Lord Ruthven Assembly, an organization affiliated with the IAFA whose objectives include the serious pursuit of scholarship and research focusing on the vampire/revenant figure in a variety of disciplines. The Lord Ruthven Assembly as a public group on Facebook.

Pixel Scroll 3/17/19 To Say Nothing Of The Cat

(1) DANK DAIRY. Nature gets into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day in its own idiocyncratic way with publication of this research: “Four millennia of dairy surplus and deposition revealed through compound-specific stable isotope analysis and radiocarbon dating of Irish bog butters”.

Bog butters are large, white to yellow waxy deposits regularly recovered from the peat bogs of Ireland and Scotland, often found in wooden containers or wrapped in bark or animal membranes (Fig. 1). With recorded weights of up to 23?kg (and several examples that may be larger), bog butters were first documented in the 17th century; the total number recovered to date may approach 500 specimens1,2. Published radiocarbon determinations on Irish bog butters show activity spanning the Iron Age to the post-medieval period3,4 with folk accounts indicating survival into the 19th century5,6. While the reasons behind their deposition continue to be debated1,2, the remarkable preservative properties of peat bogs are well known7 and several post-medieval accounts mention the practice of storing butter in bogs to be consumed at a later date, whether by necessity or as a delicacy8,9,10. Early medieval Irish law tracts list butter as one of the products payable as food rents11, which may have needed to be stockpiled or stored. Parallels have also been drawn with the widespread deposition of metal and other objects in wetlands during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, often assumed to be votive or ritual acts….

(2) CLOSE GUESSES. The New York Times Book Review has two articles on world-building in speculative fiction this week:

“Ours is a world of laws—and given available evidence, so are all other worlds.

As they build their wild what ifs, the authors of speculative fiction draft legislation: They draw up regulations and establish cabinet agencies and sub-agencies, often employing a diction eerily reminiscent of real-life government and politics—the eeriness being very much the point.”

Maybe because we’re living in a dystopia, it feels as if we’ve become obsessed with prophecy as of late. Protest signs at the 2017 Women’s March read “Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!” and “Octavia Warned Us”…

In “The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World,” Thomas Disch calls this relay between fiction and reality “creative visualization.”

(3) FIRE IN THE WHOLE. Steven Zeitchik says in the Washington Post that tensions are rising between the Writers Guild of America (East) & Writers Guild of America (West) and the Association of Talent Agents because the writers think the agents are forming production companies and not being fair to the writers.  He says if the agents and writers don’t negotiate a new “artists manager basic agreement” about fee sharing by April 6, the result could be a mass firing by the 20,000 WGA members of their agents. “Hollywood agents and writers meet, but impasse remains”.

…The writers say they do not wish to renew the franchise agreement without significant revisions. They want new units that the agencies created to function as production companies to instead be formally carved out as separate entities. At present those units exist more as extensions of the agencies, which the writers say ups the possibility for conflicts of interest.

The also want to overhaul the main ways agents collect money on writers’ work. At the moment those revenue are dominated not by standard commissions from clients but by packaging fees, in which studios pay the agents for putting together the creative elements of a show. Those fees, the writers say, encourage agents to act against their own clients’ interests and also allow them to dip into a pool of revenue that should go to creators.

The agencies, particularly the Big Four — CAA, WME, UTA and ICM — that are leading the fight, say that the writers are working under false assumptions. Packaging fees and new entities offer riches to both parties, they say, especially as the media companies with which they are negotiating are growing larger and more vertical.

(4) FOR MEMORY CARE. The GoFundMe for Gahan Wilson has raised $52,175 of its $100,000 goal in the first 14 days. More than a thousand people have donated.

(5) NOT SAFE FOR WHATEVER. [Item by Dann.] Netflix recently released their series of sci-fi/fantasy/horror animated short files under the title Love, Death + Robots.  The collection features 10-20 minute long films based on genre stories.  Original story authors include John Scalzi, Marko Kloos, Joe Lansdale, and Ken Liu.

The collection is billed as an “NSFW anthology”.  It generally lives up to that appellation.  The films range from mildly questionable language to full-on body dismemberment to sexually explicit content (voluntary and otherwise).  The use of felines periodically borders on being questionable.

Tim Miller, director of Deadpool, leads the effort.  He is also an executive producer.  Miller and David Fincher have been credited with developing the anthology as a sort of modern version of Heavy Metal magazine.

The collection is part of Netflix’s effort to create unique content.  Many recently released titles feature genre based stories.  Not unlike Amazon’s influence on the increasing number of sub-novel length works, might this development be a signal of technology changing markets to allow a range of video productions other than long format movies or shorter format TV series?

Is there a Hugo worthy animated short in this anthology?  Only people living in 2020 know for certain.

(6) RYAN OBIT. In “Tom K. Ryan, R.I.P.”, Mark Evanier pays tribute to the Tumbleweeds cartoonist who died on March 7.

Cartoonist Tom K. Ryan, who gave us the syndicated strip Tumbleweeds has passed at the age of 92…actually, about 92.8. His popular western-themed comic made its debut in September of 1965 and lasted until the end of 2007 when Ryan decided he was getting too old to continue it. A run of 42+ years is pretty impressive in any industry. Like most cartoonists, Ryan was aided by occasional assistants, one of whom — a fellow named Jim Davis — did okay for himself when he struck out on his own and created Garfield.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 17, 1846 Kate Greenaway. Victorian artist and writer, largely known today for her children’s book illustrations. So popular was she and her work that the very popular Kate Greenaway Almanacks appeared every year from 1883 to 1895. Among her best-known works was her edition of Robert Browning’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Rosa Mulholland’s Puck and Blossom and Bret Harte’s Pirate Isle. (Died 1901.)
  • Born March 17, 1906 Brigitte Helm. German actress, Metropolis. Her first role a an actress, she played two roles, Maria and her double, the Maschinenmensch. Oddly enough I’ve not seen it, so do render your opinions on it please. She’s got some other genre credits including L’Atlantide (The Mistress of Atlantis) and Alraune (Unholy Love). Her later films would be strictly in keeping with the policies of the Nazis with all films being fiercely anti-capitalist and  in particular attacking Jewish financial speculators. (Died 1996.)
  • Born March 17, 1945 Tania Lemani, 74. She played Kara in the Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold”. She first met Shatner when she was offered her a role in the pilot for Alexander the Great, starring him in the title role (although the pilot failed to be picked up as a series). She had parts in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Bionic Woman and she shows up in the fanfic video Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. I assume as Kara, though IMDb lists her as herself. 
  • Born March 17, 1947 James K. Morrow, 72. I’m very fond of the Godhead trilogy in which God is Dead and very, very present. Shambling Towards Hiroshima is a lot of satisfying satirical fun as is The Madonna and the Starship which is also is a wonderful homage to pulp writers.
  • Born March 17, 1948 William Gibson, 71. I’ve read the Sprawl trilogy more times than I can remember and likewise the Bridge trilogy and The Difference Engine. The works I struggled with are Pattern Recognition, Spook Country and Zero History. I’ve tried all of them, none were appealing. Eh? 
  • Born March 17, 1949 Patrick Duffy, 70. Surely you’ve seen him on Man from Atlantis? No?  Oh, you missed a strange, short-lived show. His other genre credits are a delightfully mixed bag of such things as voicing a Goat on Alice in Wonderland, appearing on The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne as Duke Angelo Rimini  in the “Rockets of the Dead” episode and voicing  Steve Trevor in the incredibly excellent “The Savage Time” three-parter on Justice League. 
  • Born March 17, 1951 Kurt Russell, 68. I know I saw Escape from New York on a rainy summer night in a now century-old Art Deco theatre which wasn’t the one I later saw Blade Runner in. I think it’s much better than Escape from L.A. was. Of course there’s Big Trouble in Little China, my favorite film with him in it. And let’s not forget Tombstone. Not genre, you say. Maybe not, but it’s damn good. 
  • Born March 17, 1958 Christian Clemenson, 61. Though I’m reasonably sure his first genre appearance was on the Beauty and The Beast series, his first memorable appearance was on the BtVS episode “Bad Girls” as a obscenely obese demon named Balthazar. Lots of practical effects were used. His other significant genre role was on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. as fish way out of the water Eastern lawyer Socrates Poole. And yes, I loved that series! 
  • Born March 17, 1962 Clare Grogan, 57. On the Red Dwarf series as the first incarnation of Kristine Kochanski. Anyone here watch it? One truly weird series!  She really doesn’t have much of any acting career and her genre career is quite short otherwise, a stint in an episode on Sea of Souls, a Scots ghost chasing series, is it. 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Tom the Dancing Bug finds humor in explaining why some time travelers hold no terrors for Americans of the 1950s.

(9) FRANSON AWARDS. National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) President George Phillies has picked three recipients for this year’s Franson Awards, named for the late Donald Franson, and given as a show of appreciation:

As your President, it is my privilege and honor to bestow the N3F President’s Award on our three art-ists, who have been doing so much to beautify our N3F zines. Please join me in thanking Angela K Scott, Jose Sanchez, and Cedar Sanderson for what they have done for our Federation.

(10) BEEP BEEP. MovieWeb is there when “Revenge of the Sith Deleted Scene of Anakin Speaking Droid Goes Viral”.

An old deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith where Anakin speaks droid has started to gain popularity online. Some Star Wars fans are having a hard time believing that the scene is real, which makes sense in an age where deleted scenes are practically a thing of the past. Over the years, the prequels have been looked at in a better light by a younger generation that grew up with those three installments being the first Star Wars movies that they saw.

…While it is a bit of a silly scene, it does probably point Obi-Wan in the direction to learn droid. In A New Hope, he can understand R2D2, so the scene could have served a purpose had it been left in. But it’s a little on the silly side because these are powerful Jedi that we’re talking about here. They should, at the very least, know how to talk to a droid before levitating rocks and using Jedi mind tricks. Whatever the case may be, the scene was left on the cutting room floor and thrown on the DVD.

(11) NOW, VOYAGER. Slate tells why “It Was a Big Week in Politics for Star Trek: Voyager Fans”.

When it comes to ‘90s-era Star Trek series, Voyager doesn’t always get its due, maybe because it couldn’t quite live up to the high standard set by The Next Generation or because it lacked the gravitas and daring of Deep Space Nine. (Or maybe it’s just because we’re all trying to avoid thinking too hard about the events of “Threshold.”) Still, Voyager stayed true to Star Trek’s overarching spirit of exploration and cooperation, forcing two very different groups of people to work together to survive and testing the characters’ utopian ideals by stranding them far from the safety of the Federation. Plus, the series was the first in the franchise to be led by a female captain, Kathryn Janeway, played by the dynamic Kate Mulgrew.

The show’s lasting influence can be felt in two stories from this week about prominent Democratic politicians, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Stacey Abrams, both of whom are fans of Voyager and, in particular, its lead character. The first surprise nod to Trek in the political sphere came from the Daily Mail’s unexpectedly wholesome interview with Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, who described how Voyager became a portent of her daughter’s future success.

[…] The other Voyager shoutout appeared in the New York Times on Thursday in a story with the headline “Stacey Abrams, Star Trek Nerd, Is Traveling at Warp Speed.” In quotes from a previously unpublished interview from last summer, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate says that while The Next Generation is her favorite series, she “reveres Admiral Janeway.” She also shows off her good taste in Trek by picking a Voyager episode, “Shattered,” as a favorite. […]

(12) A LORD AND LADY. PopSugar already knows our answer is “Yes!” — “Tell Me Something, Droid . . . Are You Ready For a Star Wars “Shallow” Parody?”

A Star Wars Is Born . . . How did I not see this coming? The Star Wars and A Star Is Born universes finally collided to pay tribute to two fan-favorite ships in a Nerdist parody music video. If Ally and Jackson were transported to a galaxy far, far, away, perhaps their version of “Shallow” would’ve ended up a little like Kylo Ren and Rey’s. 

(13) HARLEY QUINN. SYFY Wire eavesdrops as “Kaley Cuoco shares new glimpse of Harley Quinn animated series”.

When DC first announced its new service, it treated fans with an influx of announcements. Not only would they be able to stream classics like Batman: The Animated Series, but they received a plethora of original programming. […] Coming soon to the network will be Harley Quinn, an animated series featuring the voices of Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) as Harley and Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the Joker

Other than the trailer released at NYCC, we’ve haven’t seen much else in regard to everyone’s favorite psychopath with a heart of gold. That is until Cuoco took to Instagram and posted some shots from her voice sessions.

(14) ORCISH LAWYERS. “Fearing a trademark lawsuit, Bucksport’s ‘Hobbit Hill’ farm agrees to change name” – the Bangor Daily News has the story.

When Kevin and Mandy Wheaton opened their farm off Ledgewood Drive last April, they couldn’t see anybody having a problem with the name they gave it:

Hobbit Hill Homestead.

“I thought a Hobbit was a small, woodland creature with giant hairy feet, and they were fun-loving and liked to smoke their little pipes,” Mandy Wheaton said, “like a gnome or a leprechaun.”

Well, it turns out that somebody did have a problem with the Wheatons using the name Hobbit — Middle-earth Enterprises.

That’s the California company that owns worldwide rights to trademarked terms within British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world, including “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” It’s an arm of The Saul Zaentz Co., which produced the animated 1978 “Lord of the Rings” film.

(15) NO BADGES HERE. Not even B. Traven could save this issue? Galactic Journey’s Gideon Marcus pans the latest (in 1964) issue of F&SF, which includes a story by the writer:“[March 17, 1964] It’s all Downhill(April 1964 Fantasy and Science Fiction)”. (Traven wrote the novel that The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is based on.)

A friend of mine inquired about an obscure science fiction story the other day.  She expressed surprise that I had, in fact, read it, and wondered what my criteria were for choosing my reading material.  I had to explain that I didn’t have any: I read everything published as science fiction and/or fantasy. 

My friend found this refrain from judgment admirable.  I think it’s just a form of insanity, particularly as it subjects me to frequent painful slogs.  For instance, this month’s Fantasy and Science Fiction continues the magazine’s (occasionally abated) slide into the kaka.  With the exception of a couple of pieces, it’s bad.  Beyond bad — dull….

FLING THAT THING. Comic Books vs The World calls them “giant death frisbees” in “Every MCU Captain America Shield Explained.”

He may not have been in action in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all that much, but Captain America’s had a bunch of different shields over the years. Let’s look over the timeline of the MCU and see what all he’s used so far!

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Rob Thornton, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern, who just saw Captain Marvel.]

Comic Artist Sana Takeda and Playwright Rosaleen McDonagh Coming To Dublin 2019

Hugo award-winning comic book artist Sana Takeda and Irish playwright Rosaleen McDonagh will be featured at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon.

“It is important to us that we share all aspects of Irish culture and brilliance with our members,” Dublin 2019 chair James Bacon said. “We look forward to bringing our own artists in all media together with the fantastic slate of worldwide talent who will be joining us in Dublin.”

Joining Dublin 2019 as a featured artist, Tokyo-based Sana Takeda is best known for drawing the prizewinning Monstress series, written by Marjorie Liu and published by Image. The heroine of Monstress, Maika Halfwolf, survives bereavement, slavery, and disabling injury to take control of her psychic powers and change her people’s history. Since it premiered in 2015, Monstress has won three Hugos, five Eisners, three British Fantasy Awards and a Harvey Award.

Takeda´s artistic reference points range from Japanese woodblock prints to Marvel Comics, where she has drawn for franchises including X-Men and Ms. Marvel. She joins Afua Richardson, Maeve Clancy, and Jim Fitzpatrick on the featured artist roster.

Equally excitingly, Rosaleen McDonagh, playwright and activist for the Irish Traveller community, will be discussing Irish Traveller culture at Dublin 2019. Her plays including Mainstream, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings explore aspects of feminism, ethnicity and disability. She has been chosen by Colum McCann to adapt for the stage his novel Zoli, the story of a Polish Roma poet and writer.

McDonagh worked for ten years managing the Violence against Women Programme at the Pavee Point Traveller & Romany Centre. She writes for the Irish Times and is completing a PhD that will be her fourth degree from Trinity College Dublin. She was the first Traveller invited to join the Irish artists’ academy Aosdána in 2017, and the first Traveller to stand for election to the Seanad, the Irish legislature’s upper house, in 2002 and 2007.

Nominations Wanted for 2019 A. Bertram Chandler Award

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) is seeking nominations for the 2019 A. Bertram Chandler Award .

To nominate someone whom you believe has made a significant contribution to Australian science fiction and/ or Australian fandom, write or email to the ASFF, P.O. Box 215 Forest Hill Vic 3131.  Email address: awards@asff.org.au

The nomination needs to detail the nominee’s achievements and why you consider the nominee worthy of the 2019 Award.

The nomination need not be seconded, but it needs to have your name, as nominator on it, so that the ASFF can contact you if necessary.

Nominees should be recognized members of the Australian speculative fiction community, whether in professional areas such as publishing or from the myriad fandoms that make up the scene.

If accepted, nominations are added to the Chandler Awards Nominations List and considered by the Jury (usually the ASFF Committee). Nominations may be rolled over from year to year.

The winner of the 2019 Chandler will be announced at Continuum 15, the 58th Australian Science Fiction Convention.[Thanks to Rose Mitchell for the story.]