The top five choices for Asimov’s33rd Annual Readers’ Awards
Poll are online. There are links that will allow you
to read all the finalists. The winners chosen by readers will be
revealed at a later date.
THORNTON: Would you like to introduce yourself to our audience?
JASON HELLER: I’m
a writer, editor, and musician from Denver. I do lots of writing about music
and books, including reviews and essay for The
New Yorker, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and NPR. I’m also the former nonfiction
editor for Clarkesworld, and I won a
Hugo as part of that editing team in 2013.
Since then, I’ve edited a couple of fiction anthologies,
most recently Mechanical Animals with
Selena Chambers. I’ve been playing in bands for many years, and my current band
is called Weathered Statues. We just toured Europe last fall, and it was pretty
amazing to get up from behind the writing desk and hit the road with my guitar!
What inspired you to write a book about the relationship between SF/F and
JASON HELLER: My
first concert was seeing David Bowie in 1987, and at that point, I was already
a huge fan of science fiction. I devoured books and music as a kid, and the
deeper I got into Bowie, the more I began to pick up on these hints and
fragments of futurism and science fiction in the music I heard on the radio,
including bands like Rush, Devo, and Parliament.
Years later, after becoming a professional music journalist,
I began writing lots of essays about the crossover between my two biggest
loves, and in 2015 I started shopping around a book proposal for a history of
this crossover. When Bowie died in 2016, I was already in the midst of writing Strange Stars. He was always going to be
the central figure in the book, so that heartbreaking loss lit an extra fire
Basically, I’ve always thought that music has never been
given due credit for being one of the most fertile and inventive vessels for
science fiction concepts and storytelling. In a nutshell, I wanted to set the
record straight and show how so many works of popular music should be
considered part of the science fiction canon.
What kind of audience do you envision for the book?
JASON HELLER: I
hope that anyone remotely interested in the realms of science fiction or
popular music would find something to float their boat in Strange Stars. I tried to walk the pathway between the two as
sensitively as I could; I didn’t want to assume that all science fiction lovers
are huge music nerds or vice versa (although, of course, many are, myself
Of course, I hoped my fellow Bowie fans would be
particularly intrigued, but the book is not about Bowie only. Everything from
obscure disco to underground punk is covered in Strange Stars, along with the huge artists you might automatically
expect, such as Pink Floyd and Rush. I made every attempt to tease out to the
bigger picture, the overall narrative arc, that connects everything from
Heinlein to Kraftwerk to Star Wars,
so there’s a story to be absorbed, not just a guide to great music for people
THORNTON: How did you decide to use David Bowie’s career as a recurring
theme in Strange Stars?
JASON HELLER: If
all the musicians who were influenced by science fiction in the ’70s, David
Bowie was the most visible, not to mention the most visibly science-fictional.
But more than that, his very influential contributions to science-fiction music
bookended that decade perfectly; he released his first science-fiction hit
single, “Space Oddity,” in 1969, and he released “Ashes to
Ashes,” the sequel to “Space Oddity,” in 1980. The ’70s fit
perfectly between those songs, and as it turns out, Bowie’s on-off fascination
and engagement with science fiction that decade perfectly paralleled so many
larger events and trends that were happening in both science and science
fiction, as well as in popular music. To use him as the barometer of science
fiction rock in the ’70s just felt like the most natural thing I could do.
Almost all roads in science fiction music lead either to or from Bowie in the
THORNTON: What was it like to work with editors on a book about the
intersection of two minutiae-oriented pop cultures?
JASON HELLER: I
loved working with my editor at Melville House, Ryan Harrington, who is not
only brilliant but also very good at pointing out how my crazy, sprawling idea
for a book could be focused into something tighter and more accessible. He
helped me immensely when it came to making Strange
Stars a book that both music fans and science fiction fans could relate to.
ROB THORNTON: Who was your favorite interview for Strange Stars and why?
JASON HELLER: I
actually didn’t interview anyone for Strange
Stars! It was all meticulous and exhausting research, including lots of
quotes from past interviews with the musicians I covered in the book. Since
Bowie died while I was in the process of writing Strange Stars, the possibility of interviewing him was sadly off
the table. I figured if I couldn’t interview the main person in this book, it
would feel imbalanced if I interviewed many of the lesser figures in my
narrative, as important as they each are in their own right.
And it turned out there was simply no shortage of research
material out there! As it is, I had to leave out tons of great quotes and
anecdotes that weren’t entirely necessary to the story I was telling. If I’d
had another few tens of thousands of words of original interview material to
incorporate into Strange Stars, it
would have vastly exceeded the wordcount my publisher gave me to work with! But
I think everything worked out for the best.
What was the most rewarding audio discovery you made while you were writing the
JASON HELLER: I
made so, so many discoveries while working on Strange Stars. I went into this project thinking I had a pretty
deep knowledge of science-fiction-influenced music, but as it turned out, I
knew maybe half the story. Of all the musical rabbitholes I went down while
researching for the book, the one that delighted me the most was science
fiction funk. I’d always known that funk (and disco) were important parts of my
story, and I collect funk and disco records from the ’70s, but none of that
prepared me for the wealth of groups and artists of the era who contributed to
the canon of science-fiction funk, besides the big names we all probably know
If I had to pick a favorite discovery, it would be the 1979
song “Dark Vader” by Instant Funk. In it, the story of Darth Vader is
retold from a sympathetic perspective — remember, this was before the
revelations about his character seen a year later in The Empire Strikes Back! — that folds Star Wars fanfic and blaxploitation swagger into Afrofuturism. As I
point out in Strange Stars, the song
does for Darth Vader what Wicked did
for The Wicked Witch of the West decades later.
THORNTON: What surprised you the most during the research for Strange Stars? I was amazed to learn
that Ian Curtis wanted to work with Michael Moorcock!
JASON HELLER: That
was definitely one of the biggest surprises to me too! It’s hard to imagine
what a collaboration between Joy Division and Michael Moorcock would have
sounded like, but it’s amazing just to know they actually conversed about the
prospect prior to Curtis’ death in 1980. Joy Division are so deeply associated
with the bleak futurism (no-futurism?) of the post-punk movement, and Moorcock
resides at the other end of the ’70s science-fiction-music spectrum thanks to
his close ties to Hawkwind.
The kinship between Curtis and Moorcock is one of those
startling little anecdotes I dug up that really tied so much of Strange Stars together for me. Likewise,
so did the discovery that Paul McCartney asked Gene Roddenberry to help him
write a science fiction musical for Wings in 1975! It never came about, of
course, but wow, if only.
THORNTON: How would you describe the relationship between popular music and
JASON HELLER: It’s
an interesting relationship. Neither popular music nor science fiction/fantasy
acknowledge each other that openly. Crossovers pop up all the time — and as I
detail in Strange Stars, they were
especially rife in the ’70s — but there’s almost an introvert/extrovert
dichotomy the two. That’s a massive oversimplification, but I think it does get
to the heart of it, in a way.
Music is an openly joyous and collective thing; SF/F, and literature in general, is more intimately and personally experienced. But when the two feed off each other, the results can bring out the best in both. I’ve always wished the SF/F world in particular would pay more attention to the many musicians who struggle to find an audience with their science-fiction music, but I’m just happy people still make such music and pay attention to its rich history at all. Which is why writing Strange Stars was such an honor for me.
…In essence, we have to stop looking at each book as an income generator, and start thinking about multiple income streams. Very few authors, indie or otherwise, make a living out of their writing. Most of us have to have a “day job” as well. I think we need to look at our writing as a series of small “day jobs”. Writing a book alone won’t be sufficient; we need to leverage that fan base into more income opportunities. Some are already common. Others will have to become so. Examples:
Open some sort of support account (e.g. Patreon, etc.) where your serious fans can support you over and above buying your books. It may be a small, slow start, but it’s something on which one can build.
A tip jar on your blog or social media account can be a useful way for fans to offer support.
Consider offering appearances in your work to your fans. They can have their names used for a character, and pay for the privilege (anything from a few dollars for a very minor character, appearing once, to a higher price for a major character with more “face time”). This will probably only work if you’re an established writer, of course – it needs that sort of fan base.
And that’s just the first four of his seven bullet points.
(2) SOCK IT TO ME. Here’s
how Rod Serling was supplementing his income back in the day:
My father and I saw each other only three times before he died. The first was when I was about ten, the second was in my early twenties, and the last doesn’t matter right now. I want to tell you about the second time, when I went up to Syracuse to visit and he tried to make me join the GOP.
Let me back up a little and explain that my mother is a black woman from Uganda and my dad was a white man from Syracuse, New York. He and my mother met in New York City in the late sixties, got married, had me, and promptly divorced. My mother and I stayed in Queens while my dad returned to Syracuse. He remarried quickly and had another son with my stepmother. Paul.
When I finished college I enrolled in graduate school for writing. I’d paid for undergrad with loans and grants, and debt already loomed over me. I showed up at my dad’s place hoping he’d cosign for my grad-school loans. I felt he owed me since he hadn’t been in my life at all. Also, I felt like I’d been on an epic quest just to reach this point. I got into Cornell University, but boy did I hate being there. Long winters, far from New York City, and the kind of dog-eat-dog atmosphere that would make a Wall Street trader sweat. But I’d graduated. And now I wanted to go back to school. More than that, I wanted to become a writer. Couldn’t my dad see me as a marvel? Couldn’t he support me just this once?
I was once driving, alone and at dusk, down a dark and winding road that hugged a mountain thick with woods. I saw a black bear cross the road, from fields on the left to the mountain on the right.
I had never seen a bear so close before. Excited, I pulled the car up and parked near where I saw the bear vanish, and had my hand on the door before I came back to myself and thought, what am I doing? It’s a bear! I drove away unharmed.
There are things in one’s life that are best appreciated from a distance, and this book is one of them.
Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society and Warner Bros. have nabbed the film rights to “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” a buzzy new fantasy novel by Marlon James.
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf” draws on African mythology to tell the story of Tracker, whose acute sense of smell leads him to be hired to find a missing child against a backdrop of warring kingdoms and political chaos. The child he seeks may be the heir to an empire, something that complicates matters. James referred to the often bloody epic as an “African ‘Game of Thrones,’” but later said he was joking. Still, it includes plenty of the elements that made that HBO show a water-cooler phenomenon including witches, a shape-shifting leopard, a killer hyena, and conjoined twins.
…Then there’s the ever-popular “we found these abandoned transit stations” scenario. If humans aren’t the builders of the system, they probably don’t know how to expand it or change it. Because Ancients are notorious for their failure to properly document their networks, humans and other newcomers have to explore to see where the wormholes/tunnels/whatever go. Explorers are like rats wandering through an abandoned subway system. Examples…
By pivoting the merged list on category (novella, novelette, short story), publication, new writers, or author, and browsing the results, some noteworthy observations jump out visually.
Overlooked stories include “The Independence Patch” by Bryan Camp (score 8), “What is Eve?” by Will McIntosh (score 8), “Carouseling” by Rich Larson (score 7), each of which got recommendations from 5 prolific reviewers.
The traditional paid-only magazines (Analog, Asimov’s, F&SF, Interzone) had between 0%-6% of their stories in the Locus list, versus many free online magazines at 9%-16%, or Tor.com and Tor novellas which had a remarkable 31%-33% of their stories recommended by Locus.
There were 13 stories in the Locus list by Campbell Award-eligible writers.
Matthew Hughes, Robert Reed, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch each had 4 broadly recommended stories in RSR’s aggregated list, but none were in the Locus list. By comparison, Kelly Robson had 4 stories in the merged list and all 4 were recommended by Locus.
More details are available in the article, plus RSR features for flagging/rating stories that make it easy to track your progress when reading stories from a big list.
(7) FINNEY OBIT. Albert Finney (1936-2019): British actor, died today, aged
82. Genre appearances include: A
Midsummer Night’s Dream (1959),
Scrooge (1970), Looker, Wolfen
(both 1981), The Green Man
(mini-series, 1990), Karaoke, Cold
Lararus (connected mini-series, both 1996), Delivering Milo (2001), Big
Fish (2003), Corpse Bride (2005,
voice). His final movie appearances were in 2012, for opposing camps in the
superspy genre: The Bourne Legacy and
Oreo the raccoon, the real-life model for Guardians of the Galaxy character Rocket, has died aged 10.
The news was announced on the comic book superhero team’s Facebook page. “Oreo passed away in the early hours of this morning after a very short illness,” it reads. “Many thanks to our wonderful vets for their compassion and care.”
Rocket the raccoon was voiced by Bradley Cooper in the 2014 film and its 2017 sequel.
Oreo died after a short illness early on Thursday morning, the Facebook post says “You have been an amazing ambassador for raccoons everywhere,” it reads. “You were perfect.”
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 8, 1819 – John Ruskin. Much to my surprise, this English art critic and pretty much everything else of the Victorian Era is listed by ISFDB as having a genre writing, to wit The King of the Golden River, or The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria. Anyone ever read. (Died 1900.)
Born February 8, 1828 – Jules Verne. So how many novels by him are you familiar with? Personally I’m on first hand terms with Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days. That’s it. It appears that he wrote some some sixty works and a lot were genre. And of course his fiction has become the source of many other fictions in the last century as well. (Died 1905.)
Born February 8, 1932 – John Williams, 87. Composer of the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of the Superman films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones franchise, Hook, the first two Jurassic Park films and the first three Harry Potter films.
Born February 8, 1953 – Mary Steenbergen, 66. She first in a genre way as Amy in Time After Time. She followed that up by being Adrian in A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy which I suppose is sort of genre. She shows up next in the much more family friendly One Magic Christmas as Ginny Grainger. And she has a part in Back to the Future Part III as Clara Clayton Brown which she repeated in the animated series. And, and keep in mind this is not a full list, she was in The Last Man on Earth series as Gail Klosterman.
Born February 8, 1969 – Mary Robinette Kowal, 50. Simply a stellar author and an even better human being. I’m going to select out Ghost Talkers as the work by her that I like the most. Now her Forest of Memory novella might be more stellar. She’s also a splendid voice actor doing works of authors such as John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire and Kage Baker. I’m particularly pleased by her work on McGuire’s Indexing series. So let’s have Paul Weimer have the last words this time: “I thought it was Shades of Milk and Honey for a good long while, but I think Calculating Stars is my new favorite.”
My guest this episode is Alan Smale, who has published short fiction in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Abyss & Apex, and other magazines. He won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Best Short-Form Alternate History for “A Clash of Eagles,” about a Roman invasion of ancient America. That’s also the setting for his trilogy, which includes the novels Clash of Eagles, Eagle in Exile, and Eagle and Empire, all published by Del Rey in the U.S. and Titan Books in the UK. When not writing, he’s a professional astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
We met for lunch at Mad Chef Kitchen & Bar, a gastropub which opened recently in Ellicott City, Maryland’s Turf Valley Towne Square. We were looking for something equidistant from both of us with good food, and based first on my research and then our experience, we definitely found it.
We discussed why an astrophysicist’s chosen field of fiction is alternate history rather than hard science, how his fascination with archeology and ancient civilizations began, the reason he started off his novel-writing career with a trilogy rather than a standalone, the secrets to writing convincing battle sequences, the nuances of critiquing partial novels in a workshop setting, how his research into Roman and Native American history affected his trilogy, what steps he took to ensure he handled Native American cultures appropriately, that summer when at age 12 he read both War and Peace and Lord of the Rings, one of the strangest tales of a first short story sale I’ve ever heard, how and why he joined forces with Rick Wilber for their recent collaboration published in Asimov’s, and much more.
Latin American science fiction and fantasy occupy an odd in-between space. The commercial categories we denominate fantasy, science fiction and horror don’t traditionally exist in Latin America. Instead, the fantastical is either simply called literature or receives the moniker of magical realism.
This means finding speculative fiction is trickier and more complex in this part of the world. It also means that Latinx authors may derive their SFF canon from a very different well than their Anglo counterparts. While science fiction and fantasy are normally associated with Tolkien or Asimov, a Latinx writer might be more inclined to think of Isabel Allende or Julio Cortázar. At the same time, it is not unusual for Latinx authors to have also been exposed to Anglo pop culture, fantasy and science fiction. Finally, since Latin America is a large region, the history, culture and folklore of Latinx writers may be radically different from one another.
The result is a wild, eclectic field of the fantastic, which is reflected by the selections in this bundle.
They nicknamed it ‘the replicator’ — in homage to the machines in the Star Trek saga that can materialize virtually any inanimate object.
Researchers in California have unveiled a 3D printer that creates an entire object at once, rather than building it layer by layer as typical additive-manufacturing devices do — bringing science-fiction a step closer to reality.
A technique that harnesses energy loss has been used to produce a phase of matter in which particles of light are locked in place. This opens a path to realizing previously unseen exotic phases of matter.
When light passes through matter, it slows down. Light can even be brought to a standstill when it travels through carefully designed matter. One way in which this occurs is when the velocity of individual particles of light (photons) in a material is zero. Another, more intriguing, way is when photons, which normally pass through each other unimpeded, are made to repel each other. If the repulsion is strong enough, the photons are unable to move, and the light is frozen in place.
The ability to engineer quantum states promises to revolutionize areas ranging from materials science to information processing… The robustness and generality of this scheme will ensure that, as it is refined, it will find a home in the quantum mechanic’s toolbox.
(16) SOCIALGALACTIC. Vox Day is creating a more pliable form of Twitter – or is it a version of Gab that will obey him? (Didn’t Mark Twain say that the reason God created man is that he was disappointed in the monkey?) “Introducing Socialgalactic” [Internet Archive link].
Twitter is SJW-controlled territory. Gab is a hellhole of defamation and Nazi trolls. So, after many of Infogalactic’s supporters asked us to provide something on the social media front, the InfoGalactic team joined forces with OneWay and created a new social media alternative: SocialGalactic.
Free accounts have 140-character posts and 1MB storage, which is just enough for an avatar and a header. We’ll soon be making Pro accounts available at three levels, which will provide posts of 200, 480, and 999 characters, and image storage up to 500MB. Sign up and check it out!
(17) GAME V. INFINITY. Dakota Gardner and Chris Landers, in “Would
Thanos’ Finger Snap Really have Stopped Baseball In Its Tracks?” on MLB.com, have a pro and con about whether Thanos really wiped out
Major League Baseball (as a shot of a devastated Citi Field in the Avengers:
Endgame trailer shows),
with one writer arguing that baseball would be doomed by Thanos and the other
arguing that MLB would fill its rosters with minor leaguers after thanos wiped
out half of the major leaguers because baseball always comes back.
Ask yourself this: Do you honestly believe baseball would simply stop if Thanos dusted half of all of MLB’s players, managers, front office staff, stadium personnel and fans? Do you think that if the universe had been placed into an existential funk, that baseball wouldn’t be even more necessary than it is today? Do you honestly believe that Alex Bregman or Clayton Kershaw or Mookie Betts, if they survived the snap, would be totally fine sitting on their butts and doing nothing for the rest of time?
…They plan for DART to reach speeds as fast as 15,000 miles per hour. The crash in October 2022 will fling debris from the asteroid moon. A small satellite will accompany the DART spacecraft to measure the effect.
The team wants to hit the asteroid moon with enough force to bump it, but not break it apart. The moon orbits the asteroid at a speed of about seven inches per second. They hope to change the speed by about a centimeter per second.
“We’re just going to give it a love tap,” said Andy Rivkin, the mission’s other co-lead and planetary astronomer at APL.
In theory, a series of taps over time could deflect an asteroid off a course for Earth.
“Several years ago, when I found out that J.J. Abrams was remaking, or rebooting, the Star Wars franchise, it was the only time in my career that I’ve ever put a call out,” she admits. “I wanted to be Leia. If I got to be a woodland elf [Tauriel in The Hobbit] and Kate from Lost and Leia, that would cover it. And then I got to be the Wasp! That’s all the big franchises.
“I was so in love with Leia when I was a little girl. Those were my two fantasies – to be a woodland elf and to be Leia tied to Jabba the Hutt in her sexy bikini. But then they called me back and said, ‘Well, there’s a little-known actress called Carrie Fisher who will be playing Princess Leia.’ Well, FINE, I guess that’s OK.”
While much better know for her acting, she says about
her writing, “I see myself as a writer who has a fantastic day job.” Her
children’s book series is The
“I don’t know many stories that have lived with someone as long as this has lived with me,” she says. “I was a reclusive young woman and a bit of a loner. I was somebody who came to literature very late, and when I did, I just fell in love with such a passion that I kind of became very focused on not just reading but writing as well. And seriously, that was my idea of a great Friday night at 14 – staying home and writing by myself.
“I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss, believe it or not. Where most people come to him at four, I was reading him at 14,” she continues. “And I think the adult side of me realized what he was doing. The subtlety of the messages he’d thread into these simple, silly poems really struck me as meaningful. And I realized that this adult took the time to put these sophisticated, important messages into my childhood stories.”
(20) SHARED WORLD. George
R.R. Martin pointed to this recently uploaded Wild Cards authors video:
In August 2017, a large group of Wild Carders assembled at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe for a mass signing, and we interviewed them about the up and downs of writing other people’s characters, and having other people write yours.
John King Tarpinian, Steve Green, JJ, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cat
Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Eric Wong, Paul
Weimer, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title
credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day C.A. Collins.]
The nominations for the 2019
Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire
have been announced. This is in effect a longlist, and in a few weeks the
jurors will issue their shorter second round of nominees. The awards
will be presented on June 9 at the Étonnants Voyageurs festival in Saint-Malo, France.
The jurors for the award are
Joëlle Wintrebert (president), Jean-Luc Rivera (vice-president), Bruno Para
(assistant secretary), Jean-Claude Dunyach (treasurer), Sylvie Allouche,
François Angelier, Audrey Burki, Olivier Legendre, Sylvie Le Jemtel, Jean-Claude
Vantroyen. The Secretary (not a member of the jury) is Pascal Patoz.
Roman francophone / Novel in French
BonheurTM de Jean
BARET (Le Bélial’)
fleurs avant la fin du monde de Nicolas CARTELET (Mü Éditions)
de Syffe, tomes 1 & 2 de Patrick K. DEWDNEY (Au diable vauvert)
de l’étrange, tomes 1 à 3 de Romain D’HUISSIER (Critic)
nuit de Catherine DUFOUR (L’Atalante)
1918 de Johan HELIOT (L’Atalante)
Susto de luvan
Rouille de Floriane
Pierres et les Roses, tomes 1 à 3 d’Elisabeth VONARBURG (Alire)
Roman étranger / Foreign Novel
American Elsewhere de Robert Jackson
BENNETT (Albin Michel)
Mémoires, par Lady Trent, tomes 1 à 5 de Marie BRENNAN (L’Atalante) [The Memoirs of Lady Trent,
Normal de Warren ELLIS (Au diable vauvert)
Le Chant du coucou de Frances HARDINGE
(L’Atalante) [Cuckoo Song]
Luna, tomes 1 & 2 de Ian McDONALD
(Denoël) [Luna: New Moon and Luna: Wolf Moon]
Les Chroniques de St Mary, tomes 1 & 2 de Jodi TAYLOR (Hervé Chopin) [The Chronicles of St. Mary’s,
volumes 1 and 2]
Dans la toile du temps d’Adrian TCHAIKOVSKY
(Denoël) [Children of Time] (Interestingly, the literal translation of
the French title is In the Web of Time; this is a book about spider
Amatka de Karin TIDBECK (La Volte)
Underground Airlines de Ben H. WINTERS
Nouvelle francophone / Short Fiction in French
H+ de Pierre
BORDAGE (in Dimension Technosciences @ venir, Rivière Blanche)
silentio d’Olivier CARUSO (in Bifrost n°91)
Le Don du
Roi de la Colline de Nelly CHADOUR (in Galaxies n°55)
Déferlante des Mères de Luc DAGENAIS (in Solaris n°207)
En finir d’Isabelle
DAUPHIN (in Bifrost n°89)
de l’eau d’Anne-Sophie KINDRAICH (in Galaxies n°53 / Mercury)
Elohim de Laurent KLOETZER (Le Bélial’)
aveugle de Cécile LADJALI (in L’Autre siècle, Fayard)
La Mort de
John Smith de Michel PAGEL (in Bifrost n°91)
Nouvelle étrangère / Foreign Short Fiction
Les Vieux au feu de Margaret ATWOOD
(in Neuf contes, Robert Laffont) [“Torching the Dusties”, from the collection Nine
La vérité est une caverne dans les Montagnes noires de Neil GAIMAN (in Signal d’alerte, Au diable vauvert) [“The
Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, from the collection Trigger
Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances]
Voyage avec l’extraterrestre
de Carolyn Ives GILMAN (in Bifrost n°91) [“Touring With the Alien”]
L’Insondable profondeur de la solitude (recueil) de JingFang HAO (Fleuve Éditions) [a French collection with no
OrgHôtes de Tendai HUCHU (in Galaxies n°55) [“HostBods”]
L’Obélisque martien de Linda NAGATA (in
Bifrost n°89) [“The Martian Obelisk”]
Retour à la maison de Mike RESNICK (in
Galaxies n°54) [“Homecoming”]
Instantané de Brandon SANDERSON
(in Sixième du crépuscule, Livre de Poche) [“Snapshot”, from the collection Sixth
of the Dust]
Les Attracteurs de Rose Street
de Lucius SHEPARD (Le Bélial’) [“Rose Street Attractors”]
La Machine à voyager dans le temps de Robert F. YOUNG (in Galaxies n°53 / Mercury) [“The Time Machine”]
Roman jeunesse francophone / Novels for youth in French
Déconnexion de Maiwenn
Gingo de Sarah
COHEN-SCALI (Gulf Stream)
Rhizome de Nadia
COSTE (Seuil Jeunesse)
Plieurs de temps, tomes 1 à 4 de Manon FARGETTON (Rageot)
tomes 1 à 3 d’Alain GAGNOL (Syros)
des couleurs de Stéphane MICHAKA (Pocket Jeunesse)
des 4, tomes 1 & 2 de Cassandra O’DONNELL (Flammarion Jeunesse)
Mystères de Larispem, tomes 1 à 3 de Lucie PIERRAT-PAJOT (Gallimard
tomes 1 à 3 de Nathalie SOMERS (Didier Jeunesse)
passeuse d’âmes, tomes 1 & 2 de Marie VAREILLE (Pocket Jeunesse)
Roman jeunesse étranger / Foreign novels for youth
Diego et les rangers du Vastlantique d’Armand BALTAZAR (Bayard) [Diego and the Rangers of the
Stella et les mondes gelés d’Alex BELL
(Gallimard Jeunesse) [The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club]
Marqués d’Alice BROADWAY (Pocket Jeunesse) [Ink]
L’Anti-magicien, tomes 1 & 2
de Sebastien DE CASTELL (Gallimard Jeunesse) [Spellslinger and Shadowblack]
Génésis, tomes 1 & 2 de Claudia GRAY
(Castelmore) [Constellation series: Defy the Stars and Defy
L’Ars Arcana de Lisa MAXWELL
(Casterman) [The Last Magician]
Shades of Magic, tomes 1 à 3
de V.E. SCHWAB (Lumen) [A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A
Conjuring of Light]
La Faucheuse, tomes 1 et 2 de Neal SHUSTERMAN
(Robert Laffont) [Scythe and Thunderhead]
Le Faiseur de rêves de Laini TAYLOR
(Lumen) [Strange the Dreamer]
Prix Jacques Chambon de la traduction / Jacques Chambon
Michelle CHARRIER pour
Les Livres de la Terre fracturée, tomes 1 à 3 de N.K. JEMISIN (Nouveaux Millénaires) [The
Broken Earth Trilogy]
Jacques COLLIN pour
Anatèm, tomes 1 & 2 de Neal STEPHENSON (Albin Michel) [Anathem]
Laetitia DEVAUX pour
L’Anti-magicien, tomes 1 & 2 de Sebastien DE CASTELL (Gallimard) [Spellslinger and
Mélanie FAZI pour
Sixième du crépuscule de Brandon SANDERSON (Livre de Poche) [the collection
Sixth of the Dust]
Francis GUÉVREMONT pour
Invasion de Luke RHINEHART (Aux Forges de Vulcain) [Invasion]
Éric HOLSTEIN pour
Underground Airlines de Ben H. WINTERS (ActuSF)
Amatka de Karin TIDBECK (La Volte)
Patrick MARCEL pour
Le Serpent Ouroboros, tomes 1 & 2 d’E.R. EDDISON (Callidor) [The Worm Ouroboros]
Prix Wojtek Siudmak du graphisme / Wojtek Siudmak Graphic Design
Armand BALTAZAR pour Diego et les rangers du Vastlantique d’Armand BALTAZAR (Bayard) [Diego
and the Rangers of the Vastlantic]
Adrian BORDA pour Musiques
d’Outre-mondes, dirigée par Eric Lysøe (Arkuiris)
Nicolas FRUCTUS pour La Quête onirique de Vellitt Boe de Kij JOHNSON (Le Bélial’) [The
Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe]
Philippe GADY pour Le
Défi d’Edmond HAMILTON (Le Bélial’) [Captain Future’s Challenge]
Jamie GREGORY pour Marqués
d’Alice BROADWAY (Pocket) [Ink]
Miles HYMAN pour Kaboul
de Michael MOORCOCK (Denoël) [published only in French thus far]
Emily C. MARTIN pour Le Serpent Ouroboros, tomes 1 & 2 d’E.R. EDDISON (Callidor) [The
Donatien MARY pour Les
Mystères de Larispem, tomes 1 à 3 de Lucie PIERRAT-PAJOT (Gallimard)
Dogan OZTEL pour L’Infernale
Comédie de Mike RESNICK (ActuSF) [The Galactic Comedy]
Jeam TAG pour Rétrofictions
de Guy COSTES & Joseph ALTAIRAC (Encrage)
Elena VIEILLARD pour Invasion de Luke RHINEHART (Aux Forges de Vulcain) [Invasion]
Essai / Essay
n°1 : Transhumanisme (Revue, Books on Demand)
123 / C’était demain : anticiper la science-fiction en France et au Québec
(1880-1950) (Revue, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux)
de la fantasy dirigé par Anne BESSON (Vendémiaire)
parler à un alien ? Langage et linguistique en science-fiction de Frédéric
LANDRAGIN (Le Bélial’)
cyborg ! le pouvoir transformateur de la science-fiction féministe de ïan
fait son cinéma de Roland LEHOUCQ & Jean-Sébastien STEYER
décombres du monde de Yannick RUMPALA (Champ Vallon)
fantômes et apparitions. Nouveaux essais de pneumatologie littéraire de Daniel
Guy COSTES & Joseph ALTAIRAC for their
career as scholars and collectors over 40 years, exhibited in their monumental
work Rétrofictions. Encyclopédie de la
Conjecture Romanesque Rationnelle Francophone (Encrage)
The award celebrates diversity in comics and comic
creative teams, and honors the memory of Dwayne McDuffie. McDuffie was a comics
writer and co-creator of Milestone Media, which featured superheroes of varying
genders, sexualities, race, and ethnicity. He died in 2011 at the age of 49.
The award is given to comics that continue his legacy of featuring diversity as
well as telling a compelling story.
year’s finalists are:
Papa Cherry— written by Saxton Moore and
illustrated by Phillip Johnson (Pixel Pirate Studio)
The 2019 selection committee consisted of nine
comics and animation professionals who personally knew and worked with Mr.
McDuffie and/or have demonstrated a serious commitment to his vision of
excellence and inclusiveness on the page and behind the scenes, Cheryl Lynn
Eaton, Jennier de Guzman, Joan Hilty, Jamal Igle, Mikki Kendall, Heidi
MacDonald, Kevin Rubio, Geoffrey Thorne, and Will J. Watkins.
winner will be announced at the Long Beach Convention Center on February
15, just ahead of the Long Beach Comic Expo weekend.
By John Hertz: Maybe the spirit of Sammy Davis, Jr., will
allow my borrowing his title.
My reason can wait till the end. You may
find it sooner.
this year’s Hugo
Awards I’ve recommended Alternate
Routes (Powers) for Best Novel and The
Glass Bead Game for Best Novel of 1943 (Hesse; Retrospective Hugo). Nominations close March 15th.
have a trial run of Best Art Book, besides our regular Best Related Work. University of Chicago professor Harry Kalven
used to talk
of United States law on freedom of speech “working itself pure”, which seems to
have been the story of Best Related Work so far, and may continue if Best Art
Book is established.
I can recommend Out of This World at Home,
vol. 5 of Mark Evanier’s Pogo collection
The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips,
without injustice to the Michael Whelan art book Beyond Science Fiction – which, if regrettably titled, is full of
wonders; see my note on an exhibit preceding it here.
saysThis World contains “two prime years
of what I think is the best newspaper strip ever – and even folks who disagree
with me on that don’t usually disagree by much.”
knows a lot more about comics than I do, but I don’t have to decide about Little Nemo — or Krazy Kat — to applaud This World.
Rick Marschall in America’s
Great Comic-Strip Artists (rev. 1997; p. 255) says, “Walt Kelly was
master of all that could be surveyed….
Pogo generously included …
fantasy, literary and intellectual touches, farce and parody, graphic brilliance
… poetry … and good old-fashioned slapstick.”
in the Okefenokee Swamp where he lives, is a possum. Many things prove to be possible, or
impossible, there. In Latin – we can all
guess whether Kelly delighted in this – possum
means I can.
James Newton Howard received the most nominations with four. He is nominated
for his work on two scores – Fantastic
Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter
spinoff series, and the controversial Jennifer Lawrence Cold War spy thriller Red Sparrow – and is one of the five
nominees for Composer of the Year. His other major score in 2018 was for the
lavish fantasy The Nutcracker and the
Göransson, the 34-year-old Swedish composer, is nominated for Score of the
Year, Composer of the Year, and Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror Score for his
groundbreaking work on the enormously successful Marvel super hero film Black Panther. Göransson’s other work in
2018 included a second massively popular super-hero film, Venom.
International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of
online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting
about original film, television and game music. The winners of the 15th IFMCA
Awards will be announced on February 21.
list of nominees is as follows:
SCORE OF THE YEAR
BLACK PANTHER, music by Ludwig Göransson
FIRST MAN, music by Justin Hurwitz
MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by Marc Shaiman
MAX AND ME, music by Mark McKenzie
SOLO, music by John Powell
COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM
EN LAS ESTRELLAS/UP AMONG THE
STARS, music by Iván Palomares
FIRST MAN, music by Justin
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, music
by Nicholas Britell
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, music by
VICE, music by Nicholas Britell
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, music by Geoff
Zanelli and Jon Brion
CRAZY RICH ASIANS, music by Brian
MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by
THE SISTERS BROTHERS, music by
VIDEOMANNEN/VIDEOMAN, music by
Robert Parker and Waveshaper
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM
KING OF THIEVES, music by
LA SOMBRA DE LA LEY/GUN CITY,
music by Manuel Riveiro and Xavier Font
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT,
music by Lorne Balfe
OPERATION FINALE, music by
RED SPARROW, music by James
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM
BLACK PANTHER, music by Ludwig
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF
GRINDELWALD, music by James Newton Howard
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM,
music by Michael Giacchino
READY PLAYER ONE, music by Alan
SOLO, music by John Powell
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM
INCREDIBLES 2, music by Michael
ISLE OF DOGS, music by Alexandre
MAX AND ME, music by Mark
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE
SPIDER-VERSE, music by Daniel Pemberton
WATERSHIP DOWN, music by Federico
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY
DYNASTIES, music by Benji
Merrison and Will Slater
FREE SOLO, music by Marco
McQUEEN, music by Michael Nyman
TIDES OF FATE, music by Pinar
WILD, music by Matthijs Kieboom
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES
AIQING DE BIANJIANG/FRONTIER OF
LOVE, music by Mark Chait
LA CATEDRAL DEL MAR, music by
LOST IN SPACE, music by
WESTWORLD, music by Ramin Djawadi
YELLOWSTONE, music by Brian Tyler
ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA
11:11 MEMORIES RETOLD, music by
GOD OF WAR, music by Bear
NI NO KUNI II: REVENANT KINGDOM,
music by Joe Hisaishi
SPIDER-MAN, music by John Paesano
TORN, music by Garry Schyman
ARCHIVAL RELEASE – NEW RELEASE OR NEW RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, music by
Wojciech Kilar; album produced by Dan Goldwasser; liner notes by Tim Greiving;
art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La-La Land)
THE BRIDE WORE BLACK, music by
Bernard Herrmann; The Basque National Orchestra conducted by Fernando
Velázquez; album produced by Jose M. Benitez and Edouard Dubois; liner
notes by Frank K. DeWald; art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
DRACULA, music by John Williams;
album produced by Mike Matessino and Robert Townson; liner notes by Mike
Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (Varèse Sarabande)
EL HOMBRE Y LA TIERRA, music by
Antón García Abril; album produced by Jose M. Benitez and Miguel A.
Órdóñez; liner notes by Miguel A. Órdóñez; art direction by Nacho B.
THE VIKINGS, music by Mario
Nascimbene; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus
conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes
by Frank K. DeWald; art direction by Jim Titus (Prometheus/Tadlow)
ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION
CARTER BURWELL: MUSIC FOR FILM,
music by Carter Burwell; The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by
Dirk Brossé; album produced by Marijke Vandebuerie and Valerie Dobbelaere;
liner notes by Patrick Duynslaegher and Raf Butstraen; art direction by
Stuart Ford (Silva Screen)
THE COMPLETE LONDON SESSIONS, music
by Georges Delerue; album produced by Robert Townson; liner notes by
Robert Townson; art direction by Robert Townson, Bill Pitzonka, and Bob
Peak (Varèse Sarabande)
HARRY POTTER: THE JOHN WILLIAMS
SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION; music by John Williams; album produced by Mike
Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus
THRILLER 2, music by Jerry
Goldsmith; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic
Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Leigh Phillips; liner notes
by Jon Burlingame; art direction by Nic Finch (Tadlow)
A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL KAMEN, music
by Michael Kamen; The Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pablo
Urbina; album produced by José M. Benítez and Chris Malone; art direction
by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
MUSIC LABEL OF THE YEAR
INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake,
LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard,
QUARTET RECORDS, Jose M. Benitez
TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick
VARÉSE SARABANDE, Robert Townson
MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
“The Landing” from FIRST MAN,
written by Justin Hurwitz
“Finale” from MARY, QUEEN OF
SCOTS, written by Max Richter
“Overture” from RED SPARROW,
written by James Newton Howard
“Mine Mission” from SOLO, written
by John Powell
“The Adventures of Han” from
SOLO, written by John Williams
Popular Chinese director Ning Hao has seen his comedy fantasy film “Crazy Alien” gross more than $100 million at the mainland Chinabox office after just two days on release during the Chinese New Year holiday period. It’s the highest two-day total for any film in the Middle Kingdom so far this year.
The milestone was passed at around 8 p.m. on Wednesday. By 10 p.m., the film’s accumulated gross had advanced to $101 million (RMB680 million), according to website China Box Office.
The film is about a zookeeper who finds an unusual animal and takes it home. There he discovers that the creature is in fact an extraterrestrial, but getting rid of it may be problematic.
China’s first homegrown sci-fi epic, The Wandering Earth, is continuing its upwards trajectory. After opening at No. 4 on Tuesday, the start of the Chinese New Year, it gained traction on Wednesday to move into the No. 2 spot, and today, it led the daily Middle Kingdom box office.
With an estimated additional RMB 342M ($50.7M) on Thursday, the increase from yesterday was about 33% for a local cume of RMB 800M ($118.6M). That still lags about $20M behind Crazy Alien‘s cume, though it should quickly make up the difference after Crazy Alien had led the first two days of the Lunar New Year period. The Wandering Earth‘s performance is testament to the positive buzz being generated by the $50M pic, which stars Wolf Warrior 2’s Wu Jing in a race against time to save the planet’s population.
The easiest way to add or remove details from a story is to undermine those elements that contradict the new canon. In Stars Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope¸ Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that his father was a skilled pilot betrayed and killed by the evil Darth Vader. Later in the series, it’s revealed that Vader is Luke’s father and that Obi-Wan knew all along.
Creator George Lucas has claimed that he always knew Vader was Luke’s father, but fans point to a host of evidence that this wasn’t the case when the scene was written. If they’re right, Lucas had no problem retconning his decision later, since the information that stood in his way came from a single source. When it’s time to reveal that Vader is Luke’s father, Obi-Wan admits he lied, hiding the truth to try to influence Luke’s reaction.
This is the easiest way to retcon information out of a story – someone lied, omitted key details, implied something that wasn’t true, or thought they were telling the truth but were wrong. Sometimes, this means adding additional information to give characters a reason to have lied, but since all this takes place in the realm of character motivations and interactions, it can even serve to enliven a story, and it might inspire new directions, as in the Star Wars prequel films….
In May 2015, Clarkesworld published “An Evolutionary Myth” by Bo-Young Kim, translated from Korean by Gord Sellar and Jihyun Park. I am pleased to announce that Clarkesworld Magazine has now received a grant from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea) to translate and publish nine more Korean science fiction stories in 2019.
The process for selection and translation of stories will be similar to the model developed for Clarkesworld‘s Chinese translation project, which has recently celebrated its fourth anniversary. In that model, a group of people serve as a recommendation team that will provide story notes and details to Neil Clarke for evaluation and selection. Stories will then be confirmed for English language availability, contracted, and assigned to one of several translators.
(4) HOLD THE CAKE! In
theory a new edition of The Best of R.A.
Lafferty was released by Gollancz today. Except it wasn’t.
(5) READ THIS, NOT THAT. But yesterday Tor.com published Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut story “Articulated Restraint”.
He took a slow breath. “No one is dead. A ship returning from the moon had a retrorocket misfire while docking with Lunetta yesterday evening.”
“Oh God.” Scores of people worked on the Lunetta orbiting platform. People she knew. And Eugene Lindholm, her partner for today’s run—his wife would have been on the lunar rocket. Ruby played bridge with Myrtle and Eugene. She turned, looking for the tall black man among the people working by the pool. He was at the stainless steel bench, running through his checklist with tight, controlled motions. No one was dead, but if the Meteor had taught the world anything, death wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to someone. “How bad?”
(6) FANHISTORY RESOURCE. Peter Balestrieri, Curator, Science Fiction and Popular
Culture Collections at University of Iowa Libraries has announced —
McPhail was one of the earliest sf fans (1929). He co-edited a magazine called The Original Idea with Jim Speer (Jack’s older brother). In 1936 he founded the Oklahoma Scientifiction Association. An early member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), McPhail introduced the Mailing Comment –which, if you’ve ever belonged to an apa, you know that’s what everyone hopes their contribution will inspire. File 770 published McPhail’s obituary in 1984.
(7) JOSHI FELLOWSHIP. There’s
a name I don’t associate with fellowship, nevertheless — The John Hay Library at Brown University invites
applications for its 2019-2020 The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research
Fellowship for research relating to H.P.
Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs. The application deadline is
March 15, 2019.
The Hay Library is home to the largest collection of H. P.
Lovecraft materials in the world, and also holds the archives of Clark
Ashton Smith, Karl Edward Wagner, Manly Wade Wellman, Analog Magazine, Caitlín Kiernan, and others.
The Joshi Fellowship, established by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, is intended to promote scholarly research using the world-renowned resources on H. P. Lovecraft, science fiction, and horror at the John Hay Library. The Fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $1,500 for up to two months of research at the library between July 2019 and June 2020. The fellowship is open to individuals engaged in pre- and post-doctoral, or independent research.
(8) HOW TO AFFORD AN EDITOR. Authors who want their manuscripts worked on by a professional an editor know they have to come up with the bucks to pay them. There have been a couple of threads recently filled with more-or-less serious advice about ways “broke” writers can foot the bill. C.L. Polk’s begins here.
Fred Coppersmith’s less serious thread begins here.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
February 7, 1940 — Walt Disney’s movie Pinocchio debuted. Guillermo del Toro’s
version might be slightly darker.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 7, 1812 – Charles Dickens. Author of more genre fiction according to ISFDB than I knew. There’s A Christmas Carol that I’ve seen performed lived myriad times but they also list The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In, The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home, The Battle of Life, The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain and The Christmas Books. Somewhere there being overly broad in defining genre perhaps? (Died 1870.)
Born February 7, 1908 – Buster Crabbe. He also played the title role in the Tarzan the Fearless, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers series in the Thirties, the only person to do though other actors played some of those roles. He would show up in the Seventies series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as a retired fighter pilot named Brigadier Gordon. (Died 1983.)
Born February 7, 1913 – Henry Hasse. Best known for being the co-author of Ray Bradbury’s first published story, “Pendulum”, which appeared in November 1941 in Super Science Stories. ISFDB lists a single novel by him, The Stars Will Wait, and some fifty short stories if I’m counting correctly. (Died 1977.)
Born February 7, 1929 – Alejandro Jodorowsky, 90. The Universe has many weird things in it such as this film, Jodorowsky’s Dune. It looks at his unsuccessful attempt to film Dune in the mid-1970s. He’s also has created a sprawling SF fictional universe, beginning with the Incal, illustrated by the cartoonist Jean Giraud which is rooted in their work for the Dune project which is released as comics.
Born February 7, 1941 – Kevin Crossley-Holland, 78. Best known for his Arthur trilogy consisting of The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places, and King of the Middle March. I really liked their perspective of showing a medieval boy’s development from a page to a squire and finally to a knight. Highly recommended.
Born February 7, 1949 – Alan Grant, 70. He’s best known for writing Judge Dredd in 2000 AD as well as various Batman titles from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. If you can find it, there’s a great Batman / Judge Dredd crossover “Judgement on Gotham” that he worked on. His recent work has largely been for small independents including his own company.
Born February 7, 1950 – Karen Joy Fowler, 69. Her first work was “Recalling Cinderella” in L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Vol I. Her later genre works are Sarah Canary, the Black Glass collection and the novel The Jane Austen Book Club, is not SF though SF plays a intrinsic role in it, and two short works of hers, “Always” and ““The Pelican Bar” won significant Awards. Her latest genre novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is being adored far and wide.
Born February 7, 1950 – Margaret Wander Bonanno, 69. She written seven Star Trek novels, several science fiction novels set in her own worlds, including The Others, a novel with Nichelle Nichols. In putting together this Birthday, several sources noted that she had disavowed writing her Trek novels because of excessive editorial meddling by the publisher. She self-published Music of the Spheres, her unapproved version of Probe, the official publication. According to her, Probe has less than ten per cent of the content of her version.
Born February 7, 1960 – James Spader, 59. Most recently he did the voice and motion-capture for Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. No I did not enjoy that film. Before that, he played Stewart Swinton in Wolf, a Jack Nicholson endeavour. Then of course he was Daniel Jackson in Stargate, a film I still enjoy though I think the series did get it better. He then plays Nick Vanzant in Supernova andJulian Rome in Alien Hunter.
Born February 7, 1985 – Deborah Ann Woll, 34. She is known for her roles as the vampire Jessica Hamby in True Blood, and Karen Page in Daredevil, The Defenders, and The Punisher.she also played Molly in the horror film Little Murder and Amanda Harper in Escape Room, another horror film.
(12) QUARTERS, WITH MORE OR
LESS BITS. Writing for The Mary Sue—and
using floor plans that were on Angie’s
List—Kaila Hale-Stern takes a look at six different Captain’s quarters from
the various Star Trek series (“Let’s Judge These Star Trek Captains’ Quarters”). Welcome to
Kirk’s, Picard’s, Sisko’s, Janeway’s, Archer’s, and Lorca’s abodes.
We’ve had several beloved Starfleet Captains, but how are they sleeping at night? Journey with me into the final frontier of Star Trek Captains’ quarters, and let’s see who had the sweetest floor plan.
Courtesy of a post by home services site Angie’s List, we now have detailed layouts to pore over. They created floor plans of our Captains’ quarters, starting with Kirk’s in The Original Series to Archer’s on Enterprise. Discovery is a bit trickier Captain-wise, since we only have the late unlamented Lorca’s rooms for reference—but maybe Pike will show us where he lays his head in the future.
The toilet onboard the ISS was installed in 2008, during one of the last space shuttle missions. It’s based on a design that’s about as old as the ISS itself, so it was in need of some improvement. The ISS astronauts were trying to install that improvement when something went wrong.
According to a NASA blog, the ISS crew were trying to install the new Universal Waste Management System, a next-gen toilet system that’s supposed to be smaller, lighter, cleaner, and more efficient than what they have now. […]
The aforementioned 1 February 2019 NASA blog explains:
Universal Waste Management System (UWMS):
The crew successfully installed a new double stall enclosure within Node 3 today. During the activity, the crew experienced a water leak while de-mating a Quick Disconnect (QD) for the potable water bus. Approximately 9.5 liters leaked before the bus was isolated by MCC-H flight controllers. The crew worked quickly to re-mate the leaky QD and soak up the water with towels. An alternate QD was then de-mated in order to continue with the installation. The new concept, referred to as the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), includes favorable features from previous designs while improving on other areas from Space Shuttle and the existing ISS Waste Collection System (WCS) hardware. This double stall enclosure provides privacy for both the Toilet System and the Hygiene Compartment. The starboard side will provide access to the existing toilet and the port side will be used for hygiene until new replacement Toilet System arrives in early 2020.
Mopping up 2.5 gallons of water is hard enough with
gravity to collect it all on the floor for you,
(17) GET MY BETTER SIDE. NASA has taken a candid snapshot of the neighbors (NASA: “First Look: Chang’e Lunar Landing Site”).
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has
spotted the landing site of China’s Chang’e 4 lander on the back side of the
Moon. The LRO wasn’t close enough to picture the whole Chang’e 4 “family”—the
tiny rover is just too small for the camera to pick up.
On Jan. 3, 2019, the Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 4 safely landed on the floor of the Moon’s Von Kármán crater (186 kilometer diameter, 116 miles). Four weeks later (Jan. 30, 2019), as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter approached the crater from the east, it rolled 70 degrees to the west to snap this spectacular view looking across the floor toward the west wall. Because LRO was 330 kilometers (205 miles) to the east of the landing site, the Chang’e 4 lander is only about two pixels across (bright spot between the two arrows), and the small rover is not detectable. The massive mountain range in the background is the west wall of Von Kármán crater, rising more than 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) above the floor.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of electronic music or have never heard of the EDM producer Marshmello, Fortnite’s live in-game concert was still a shockingly stunning sight to behold — it was also an unprecedented moment in gaming. It truly felt like a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment, where the worlds of gaming, music, and celebrity combined to create a virtual experience we’ve never quite seen before.
At 2PM ET [2 February], every one of the likely tens of millions of players of Epic Games’ battle royale title were transported to a virtual stage. There, Christopher Comstock — who goes by the DJ name Marshmello and is known best for his signature food-shaped helmet — began a 10-minute mini-set, all while while up to 60 players across thousands of individual matches were able to watch live. Epic, having learned from past one-time live events like its iconic rocket launch and its most recent freezing over of the entire game map, smartly launched a special game mode specifically for the show.
Based on its team rumble mode, it allowed players to respawn if they were taken out by an especially rude enemy trying to spoil the fun. Going even further, however, Epic disabled the ability to use weapons for the entirety of the 10-minute event, which ensured that everyone could have a front-row seat to the spectacle.
(19) DON’T TELL ME. Matthew
parody is a mite long for a Scroll title, so I’ll salute it here:
Counting pixels on the scroll, that don’t bother me at all Playing D&D ’til dawn, with my twenty-sideds gone Eating soylent green and watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Now don’t tell me I can’t go back in time
[Thanks to Paul Weimer, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Lise Andreasen, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, StephenfromOttawa, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]
Vertlieb: Stan And Ollie is truly one of the loveliest
films that it has been my privilege to see in years. This sweet, gentle
portrait of the screen’s indisputably greatest comedy team is often hilarious,
yet heartbreaking in its unflinching portrait of two incandescent souls who lit
up motion picture theaters with their impeccable artistry. John C. Reilly is astonishing
as Oliver Hardy, known affectionately as “Babe” to those closest to
him. His transformation and performance are deeply touching, focusing on the
portly actor’s frailty, gambling addiction, and quiet dignity as the years
begin to evaporate his strength and vitality. This is clearly the performance
of his career. Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, the creative force behind the
team’s hilarity and success, is gently brilliant in his depiction of a comedic
genius struggling to keep the team alive as their gradual descent from fame and
from youth has begun taking its inevitable toll.
respective wives are their seeming opposites. Ida Kitaeva Laurel (Nina Arianda)
is a shrill, domineering woman whose physical stature and brash personality
loudly overshadow her outwardly meek husband. Lucille Hardy (Shirley Henderson)
is closer to Stan in demeanor, yet married to the gregarious “Babe”
Hardy. Dedicated to preserving her beloved husband’s failing health and
happiness, Lucille is the anchor who must rescue Ollie from his own excesses.
Ida and Lucille are as different as Stan and Ollie, providing a striking, if
bizarre, reflection and mirror image of their respective spouse’s
personalities. Danny Huston in another of his menacing performances as Hal
Roach, and Rufus Jones as the ruthless promoter who imports the boys to England
in the latter years of their careers are, perhaps, symbolic of the crass tastes
of a fickle public who have, in so cavalier a fashion, discarded the once
beloved comedy team to the ash heap of fame and fortune.
Pope’s deeply melancholy screenplay, based upon Laurel and Hardy: The British Tours by A.J. Marriot, begins with
the duo’s career high as they battle for release from their contract with Hal
Roach, then effortlessly segues into their declining years as entertainers when
the world and their once loyal fans have all but forgotten them. Laurel, who
wrote all of the team’s classic comedy dialogue and routines, brings his ailing
partner to England to revive their popularity with a proposed new film based
upon the legend of Robin Hood. Sadly, the film never materialized, but a dream
sequence in which Stan and Ollie re-create the first meeting of Robin and Friar
Tuck is genuinely hilarious.
Kent’s musical score brings sweet clarity to the failed dreams and quiet
frustration, endured proudly by the embattled, fallen comic warriors, while
Laurie Rose’s muted colors and cinematography lend historical accuracy to a
bleak, heart aching descent from fame, popularity, and grace.
Directed with affection, and dignity by Jon S. Baird, this Sony Classics release is a tender, sweetly compassionate look at the greatest comedy team in motion picture history … after the adulation and parade had passed them by. Their growing sadness as the reality of age, health, and sad obscurity conspires to consume their devotion to one another ultimately masks a consummate love story that these gentle souls shared. Stan And Ollie is, at its considerable heart, a love story … a fragile take on the rigors and aftermath of fame, and the ultimate redemption of two beautiful human souls whose lasting dignity, respect, and affection for one another comprised the artistry, charm and enduring magic that was … and is … Stan And Ollie.