Here’s Something For Your Own Stocking

Cat Rambo is running a three day sale

We are wrapping up the end of the year with a special promotion for THREE DAYS ONLY, December 24-26, by offering all Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers on-demand classes, including the ones from Ann Leckie, Rachel Swirsky, and Juliette Wade, for $5 or less.

Yep, that’s right. For less than $50 you can, in fact, buy access to every class we currently offer. Did I mention it’s only through the 27th, aka three days (well, a little more since this is going out Sunday evening) only?

Click on the links to access the sale coupons:

Goodreads Extinguishes FIYAH

FIYAH Executive Editor Justina Ireland discovered Goodreads has deleted the Series entry for her magazine:

FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction is a quarterly literary magazine.

An attempt to discuss the decision in the Goodreads Librarians Group was answered with “a literary magazine is not a series by GR standards,” which apparently is Goodreads’ policy. However, that did not explain why FIYAH’s Series entry was singled out for enforcement while entries for many other genre magazine Series remain undisturbed. Put pretty much any spec fic magazine in the search bar, and they’re all on Goodreads: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Uncanny, Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Fireside Magazine, Shimmer, Interzone, Forever Magazine, even all four issues of the new Pulphouse and the single issue of the new Amazing Stories.

When someone raised the challenge in the Goodreads Librarians Group that the decision to delete FIYAH might be motivated by racism, a Librarian Moderator closed the thread to further comments.

The FIYAH Series entry can still be seen via a Google cache file (while that lasts.) Here’s a screencap — click for larger image.

The entire Goodreads Librarians Group comment thread is screencapped in this tweet (click through to see all three pages of images).

Justina Ireland is understandably angry —

Shimmer Program Taking Applications for a “Science Fiction Adventure in China”

Fans have until April 1 to apply to the Shimmer Program for a travel grant to visit the sff community in China:  “To Come on A Science Fiction Adventure in China ——Application guidelines for The Shimmer Program’s First Two-way Exchange Fund”.

They will pick one or two recipients who already “have a certain presence in [their] local or an international science fiction community” and are not citizens of China.

Familiarity with the Chinese language is not a requirement. All application documents and the interview will be in English.

The chosen travelers will visit China later in 2018 or 2019, and meet the sff community in at least two of these four cities: Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen. In each city, the traveler will make a presentation about their science fiction community. They will report on the trip in social media, and agree to carry out other responsibilities once the trip is over —

After you return from the exchange project, you should host at least one presentation event where you share your experience in China, experience with Chinese science fiction and your experience with The Shimmer Program with your local (international) science fiction community. If possible, we would like for you to serve as an ambassador for Chinese science fiction, and spread the words about Chinese science fiction in other international communities.

Full guidelines are at the linked article.

[Thanks to Darnell Coleman for the story.]

Foz Meadows on Other Prospective Apologies

Foz Meadows, who readily accepted Lou Antonelli’s apology for claiming Camestros Felapton is a pseudonym for Foz Meadows’ husband, Toby, said today she has a different policy and expectation for any apologies and retractions that might come from Dave Freer and others who ran with the story because of all the abuse they packaged with it.

A Collection of Contrary Opinions

Compiled by Carl Slaughter:

ANTI-MARVEL

  • 10 people who hated working on Marvel movies

  • 10 actors who said no to Marvel

CINEMA SINS

  • Cinema Sins takes on the most beloved science fiction movie of all time

  • Cinema Sins takes on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman

  • Cinema Sins takes on a science fiction movie favored by critics

ALIENS

  • Michio Kaku on the alien mega structure

Zoo theory:  aliens may know we’re here, but not want to disturb us. From Newsweek, “Where Are All the Aliens? Zoo Theory Has Creepy Explanation for Why We Haven’t Made Contact Yet”

One popular theory to explain why aliens have not made open contact with humans is the “Zoo Theory.” John A. Ball, an MIT radio astronomer, proposed the theory in 1973, suggesting that aliens may purposely be avoiding contact with humans so they don’t interfere with our activity, similar to zookeepers at a zoo or nature preserve, Science Alert reported.

“ETI (extraterrestrial intelligence) may be discreetly and inconspicuously watching us but not dabbling,” Ball wrote in his paper on the subject.

According to this theory, we are too unevolved and uncivilized to be a threat or burden to alien life, but rather than interfere with our natural evolution, they monitor us from afar. Of course, they aren’t completely perfect in their effort to stay out of human affairs, which is why we have several thousand alleged sightings each year.

Alternate and Non-canonical Star Trek Roundup

Compiled by Carl Slaughter: (1) Deadline reports “Quinton Tarantino’s Star Trek will be R rated”:

After Deadline this week revealed that Quentin Tarantino pitched a Star Trek film to JJ Abrams and Paramount, the whole thing is moving at warp speed. Tarantino met for hours in a writers room with Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, Drew Pearce and Megan Amram. They kicked around ideas and one of them will get the job. I’m hearing the frontrunner is Smith, who wrote The Revenant. The film will most certainly go where no Star Trek has gone before: Tarantino has required it to be R rated, and Paramount and Abrams agreed to that condition. Most mega budget tent poles restrict the film to a PG-13 rating in an effort to maximize the audience. That was the reason that Guillermo Del Toro’s $150 million At The Mountains of Madness didn’t go forward at Universal, even though Tom Cruise was ready to star. The exception to this rule was Fox’s Deadpool, but that film started out with modest ambitions before it caught on and became the biggest R rated film ever.

(2) Most lethal Star Trek captains

(3) ScreenRant tells about “17 Canceled Star Trek TV Shows And Movies We Never Got To See”:

(4) Dodged the bullet: ScreenRant tells “15 Ways Star Next Generation Was Almost Completely Different”.

  1. Gene Roddenberry Super Did Not Want Captain Picard Or Patrick Stewart

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry did not like Patrick Stewart. Actually, that’s putting things pretty lightly. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry hated Patrick Stewart.

He didn’t want Stewart to play Captain Picard, he didn’t even want him to audition for the part. The creator famously described Stewart as both “too old and too bald” to play the iconic captain.

Roddenberry pushed heavily for Yaphet Kotto to play the ship’s captain. While we can’t imagine The Next Generation without Stewart’s devilish smile and never-ending sense of fun, but it’s hard to actually argue with Roddenberry on this one.

Had Kotto been cast in the role, he would have given the Star Trek franchise their first black captain decades earlier. There’s just nothing wrong with that.

(5) Trek online game: “Bridge Crew drops its VR headset requirement”

There’s no question that Star Trek: Bridge Crew benefits from VR — it helps fulfill that fantasy of helming a starship. Most people don’t have the VR headset you need to play the game, however, which makes gathering a crew rather difficult. Red Storm and Ubisoft’s solution? Make the game playable for everyone. It just released a “non-VR” update that makes the game playable for anyone with a PS4 or sufficiently capable PC. You can play with others whether or not they have headsets, and there are even graphical enhancements for non-VR players to take advantage of the lighter processing requirements.

So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, and into glory creep

By John Hertz: Happening to read D. Hoffman, The Billion-Dollar Spy (2015; Adolf Tolkachev 1927-1986), I came across this striking passage (p. 163) about the subject’s son in 1981.

Oleg … a teenager [1966-  ] … interests ran … toward … arts, culture, music, and design….  attended a special school that emphasized English instruction.  He was already reading Kipling and Asimov

– my emphasis.  There’s glory for you!

                                            

[Title ref.] H. Vaughan, “They Are All Gone into the World of Light”, Silex Scintillans [“The Flashing Flint”] 2nd ed. 1655, no. 1; L. Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass ch. 6 (1871)

MacFarlane, Stewart, Lee Interviews

Curated by Carl Slaughter:

SETH MACFARLANE

Wall to wall carpet, wood, leather, house plants.  “It looked like a really plush corporate office.  That makes it the most realistic portrayal what it’s like in space.  If you’re out there for years and years, you’d go crazy if you were in something that looks like a submarine.”   Pre-Discovery and pre-Orville interview with Seth MacFarlane.

 

“When I look at the television shows that I responded to, if I watch a cop show, if I watch a medical show, I’m going to see the murder of the week, I’m going to see the disease of the week.  Growing up, I liked things like ‘The Twilight Zone.’ I was a ‘Star Trek’ fan because I didn’t know if I was going to see and adventure story, or a quiet relationship story, or a story involving some sort of social and political commentary.  To turn on a show and not have any idea what it is you’re going to see.”  Plus Seth MacFarlane’s imitation of Captain Kirk.  Also pre-Discovery and pre-Orville.

 

PATRICK STEWART

  • Patrick Stewart didn’t think Next Generation would last

  • Patrick Stewart on the moment he knew he was finished playing Professor X

  • Patrick Stewart:  “Warning:  Unknown British Shaekespearian Actor”

  • Patrick Stewart –  Larry King interview

STAN LEE

  • Larry King – Stan Lee interview

 

Star Wars Video Roundup

Compiled by Carl Slaughter:

(1) Last Jedi Easter eggs

(2) New Hope – deleted Scenes

(3) Empire Strikes Back  –  deleted scenes

(4) 45,000 signatures on a petition to remove Last Jedi from the canon.

(5) John Williams recruited for Han Solo project:

Solo will stay in the Star Wars family with veteran franchise composer John Williams set to write the theme for the standalone film about Han Solo, slated for release on May 25. It will be Williams’ ninth assignment.

(6) If the Caretakers aren’t your favorite Last Jedi characters, you can’t sit with us

While the hype swirling around those silly little Porgs that pepper the screen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is completely understandable based on looks alone, one group of characters has been vastly underrated, and frankly, it’s an abomination if you ask me. The dark horse I have in mind? The caretakers who keep the Jedi village on Ahch-To looking fresh as hell, that’s who.