Stargate: The Definitive History

Compiled by Carl Slaughter: The Popcast has created a three-part YouTube video series about the “History of the Franchise starting with the various Stargate books in the 60’s to Stargate the Movie, the 3 TV series Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe, the Stargate Infinity Animated Show, and now the latest prequel from Stargate’s very own streaming service titled Stargate Origins.”

  • Stargate: The Definitive History – Part One
  • Stargate: The Definitive History – Part Two
  • Stargate: The Definitive History – Part Three

[Note: Carl sent me these links a few weeks before he passed away last year. I just rediscovered them and they still make a fine post.]

Clarkesworld’s Statement About Fall Story

Neil Clarke, Publisher of Clarkesworld, today posted in “About the Story by Isabel Fall” an extended statement dealing with the response to the work, especially on Twitter. (See overview: “Clarkesworld Removes Isabel Fall Story”.)

The concluding paragraphs are:

…Going forward, we will bear these lessons in mind, and hopefully we will become better at fulfilling our responsibilities to our authors, and to our readers.

In the meantime I offer my sincere apologies to those who were hurt by the story or the ensuing storms. While our lives have likely been quite different, I do understand what it is like to be bullied and harassed for an extended period of time. I can empathize, even if I can’t fully understand life in your shoes.

I have also privately apologized to Isabel. She has chosen to sign over her payment for this story to Trans Lifeline, “a non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis—for the trans community, by the trans community.” They have been a vital resource for her and inspired by her actions, I have decided to match the gift.

Through the course of these events, I’ve encountered many deeply personal stories from readers and authors. I’d like to thank those people for sharing and providing many of us with further opportunities to learn from their experiences. Aside from getting to know Isabel, that has been the high point of this experience. I wish you all the best and appreciate you taking the time to share….

Uncanny Magazine Issue 32 Launches 1/7

The 32nd issue of four-time Hugo winner Uncanny Magazine will be available on January 7.

Hugo Award-winning Publishers Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are proud to present the 32nd issue of their four-time Hugo Award-winning online science fiction and fantasy magazine, Uncanny Magazine. Stories from Uncanny Magazine have been finalists or winners of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. As always, Uncanny features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture, along with a Parsec Award-winning monthly podcast featuring a story, poem, and interview from that issue. 

All of Uncanny Magazine’s content will be available in eBook versions on the day of release from Weightless Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Subscriptions are always available through Amazon Kindle and Weightless Books. The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on February 4. 

Uncanny Magazine Issue 32 Table of Contents

Cover: Fallen Embers by Nilah Magruder

Editorials:

  • “The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • “Imagining Place: The BBC Miniseries” by Elsa Sjunneson

Fiction:

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson (1/7)
  • “My Country Is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou (1/7)
  • “You Perfect, Broken Thing” by C.L. Clark (1/7)
  • “Where You Linger” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (2/4)
  • “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands” by Sharon Hsu (2/4)
  • “The Spirit of the Leech” by Alex Bledsoe (2/4)

Reprint:

  • “Braid of Days and Wake of Nights” by E. Lily Yu (2/4)

Nonfiction:

  • “Writing with My Keys Between My Fingers” by Meg Elison (1/7)
  • “Save Me a Seat on the Couch: Spoiler Culture, Inclusion, and Disability” by Marissa Lingen (1/7)
  • “Speculative Fictions, Everywhere We Look” by Malka Older (2/4)
  • “Street Harassment Is an Access Issue” by Katharine Duckett (2/4)

Poetry:

  • “Who Do You Think You Are” by Ada Hoffmann (1/7)
  • “Elegy for the Self as Villeneuve’s Belle” by Brandon O’Brien (1/7)
  • “The Death of the Gods” by Leah Bobet (2/4)
  • “A tenjô kudari (“ceiling hanger” yôkai) defends her theft” by Betsy Aoki (2/4)

Interviews:

  • Caroline M. Yoachim Interviews Eugenia Triantafyllou (1/7)
  • Caroline M. Yoachim Interviews Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (2/4)

Podcasts:

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 32A (1/7)

  • “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse” by Rae Carson, as read by Erika Ensign
  • “Who Do You Think You Are” by Ada Hoffmann, as read by Joy Piedmont
  • Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Rae Carson

Uncanny Magazine Podcast 32B (2/4)

  • “And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands” by Sharon Hsu, as read by Joy Piedmont
  • “The Death of the Gods” by Leah Bobet, as read by Erika Ensign
  • Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Sharon Hsu

Media Birthday Christmas Party

Compiled by Cat Eldridge:

Rod Serling

Born December 25, 1924 Rod Serling. Best remembered for the original and certainly superior Twilight Zone and Night Gallery with the former winning an impressive three Hugos. He’s also the screenwriter or a co-screenwriter for Seven Days in May, a very scary film indeed, as well as The New People series, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Town Has Turned to Dust, UFOs: Past, Present, and Future and Planet of the Apes. ISDB lists a lot of published scripts and stories by him. (Died 1975.)

December 25, 1965 — BBC’s Doctor Who aired the very first of its holiday episodes “The Feast Of Steven”.  Running about twenty-four minutes, this First Doctor story survives only in stills and video fragments. It’s worth noting that Jean Marsh who was once married to future Third Doctor Jon Pertwee was a cast member here as Sara Kingdom who BBC does not consider a Companion.

December 25, 1992 — Roald Dahl’s The BFG premiered on ITV in the U.K.  It’s based on his decades-old novel of that name. It was directed by Brian Cosgrove and scripted by John Hambley. The film was dedicated to animator George Jackson as he had worked on quite a few Cosgrove Hall productions prior to his passing some years earlier. This film is also the last and only posthumous role of Ballard Berkeley, the voice of the Head of the Army, who died four years earlier. Well received by critics and viewers alike, it’s now a cult classic (don’t groan) with a 65% rating among reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.

December 25, 1999 — The film that is an acknowledged homage to Trek, Galaxy Quest premiered. It’s directed by Dean Parisot from a script by David Howard and Robert Gordon. It has a cast of Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell. Chicon 2000 would of course award the Hugo it deserved (yes, I’m biased) beating out The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, Being John Malkovich and The Iron Giant

December 25, 2005 Doctor Who “The Christmas Invasion” premiered. This episode features the first full-episode appearance of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and is also the first specifically produced Doctor Who Christmas special in the series history as the ones before were considered just part of a series. It included Companion Rose Tyler as played by Billie Piper and Rose’s mother, Jackie, as played by Camille Coduri.  

December 25, 2008 The Spirit premiered. It was written and directed by Frank Miller and starred Gabriel Macht, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Dan Lauria, Paz Vega, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s based as you know on Will Eisner’s most excellent The Spirit. To say it bombed would be an understatement as it lost tens of millions of dollars, critics for the most part really didn’t like it and it currently has a rating of 14% among reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. 

Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask: A Column of Unsolicited Opinions #49

**BEWARE SPOILERS**

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – A Review 

By Chris M. Barkley:

Star Wars – Episode Nine: The Rise of Skywalker (2019, 142 minutes, ****) with Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Billy Dee Williams, Keri Russell, Ian McDermid AND Carrie Fisher. Screenplay by Chris Terrio and J. J. Abrams, Story by Derek Connelly, Colin Trevorrow, Directed by J. J. Abrams.

“NEVER underestimate a droid.”
General Leia Organa

Last month, I had the privilege of meeting actor Anthony Daniels when his book tour in support of his memoir, I Am C-3PO, stopped at my old place of employment, Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As Mr. Daniels personalized my book, I gave him a brief re-telling of my first viewing Star Wars in May of 1977:

While attending Disclave in Washington D.C., I fairly stumbled into discovering that a new movie, Star Wars, was showing at the Uptown Theater on Connecticut Avenue, just a half a mile from the Sheraton Park Hotel. On that Saturday evening, it was one of only 30 places in the entire United States showing the movie. (It rolled out to several hundred more after that weekend.) 

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to Saturday’s midnight showing. And when I emerged, dazed and deliriously happy two hours and a minute later, I ran into one of my new fannish friends, future Worldcon chair Michael Walsh. When we spotted each other, we simultaneously and spontaneously started dancing on the sidewalk outside the theater making a spectacle of ourselves.

When I finished my story, Mr. Daniels had a look of utter surprise on his face. After reading the first chapter of his book (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way), he has stated that he is always surprised and amazed by how many people have been touched in some way by this series of films.

When I first saw what eventually became Episode IV: A New Hope, I was almost twenty-one years old. And amazingly, here I am now, forty-two years later, writing a review of the final film in what is now known as the Skywalker Saga. And what a wild ride it has been over nine feature films, spin off films, several television series and hundreds of novels and comics.

There has been been an immense wave of backlash from detractors of J.J. Abrams and haters of the previous two Star Wars films in advance of the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker. As for myself, I try to stay away from both the hype and the churn of internet spite, least anything disrupt or bias my enjoyment of this film. 

Does anyone out there remember the good old days, when personal beefs and flame wars were either settled within the confines of printed, mimeographed fanzines or in person at sf conventions on panels (or, in some cases, the hallways or the consuite)? Nowadays, all it takes is just a smartphone and two minutes of idle brain farts.   

But alas, I have digressed a bit too much. On with the show… 

[The main review follows the jump]

Continue reading

Odyssey Writing Workshop Taking Applications for 2020 Session

Each year, writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror from all over the world apply to the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Only fifteen are admitted.

This year the workshop will be held June 1 – July 10, 2020 on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Class meets for over 4 ½ hours, 5 days a week, and students use afternoons, evenings, and weekends to write, critique each other’s work, and complete other class assignments.  Anyone interested in applying should read “Workshopping at Odyssey” by David J. Schwartz, class of ’96.

The application deadline is APRIL 1.  Those wanting early action on their application should apply by JANUARY 31.  Information on how to apply is here.

Odyssey’s Director and Primary Instructor

Odyssey founder Jeanne Cavelos is a bestselling author and former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where she won the World Fantasy Award for her work.  Her lectures are often called thought-provoking and revelatory, and her detailed, constructive critiques average over 1,500 words each.  In addition, she works one-on-one with students to set goals, chart progress, and talk out problems. 

Guest lecturers come in once a week, for about a 24-hour period, to add their own unique insights and perspectives, and to give students feedback on their work.

2020 Guest Lecturers

Lecturers for the 2020 workshop include —

Participating via Skype:

The workshop is held by the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Odyssey is funded in part by donations from graduates, grantors and supporters, and in part by student tuition. 

The application fee is $45. The tuition, $2350, includes a custom textbook, weekly group dinners, and weekly snack breaks. If you would like to receive college credit, there is an additional processing fee of $1100. It is strongly recommended that students stay in Saint Anselm College apartments to get the full Odyssey experience. These apartments are in Benedict Court (#30 on the campus map). Each apartment has 2 bedrooms and can house a total of 2 to 3 people (with each bedroom holding 1 or 2 students). The cost to have your own bedroom in an apartment is $1784. The cost to share a bedroom in an apartment for six weeks is $892.

Financial Aid

For those interested in financial aid, several scholarships and one work/study position are available. See full guidelines at the workshop website.

The Miskatonic Scholarship

Bestselling author George R. R. Martin is funding a scholarship for a horror writer attending Odyssey. The Miskatonic Scholarship will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. It will cover full tuition and housing. Martin said –

We are not looking for Lovecraft pastiches, nor even Cthulhu Mythos stories. References to Arkham, Azathoth, shoggoths, the Necronomicon, and the fungi from Yuggoth are by no means obligatory…though if some candidates choose to include them, that’s fine as well. What we want is the sort of originality that H. P. Lovecraft displayed in his day…. What we want are nightmares new and resonant and profound, cosmic terrors that will haunt our dreams for years to come.

The Fresh Voices Scholarship

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey graduate, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding writer of color each year. The scholarship awards $2,000 toward Odyssey tuition.

The Enchanted Bond Scholarship

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey supporter, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding fantasy writer each year. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward Odyssey tuition.

The Quantum Entanglement Scholarship

Funded anonymously by an Odyssey supporter, this scholarship provides support to an outstanding fantasy writer each year. The scholarship awards $1,000 toward Odyssey tuition.

The Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship

The Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship will be offered to a Canadian writer admitted to Odyssey.This scholarship, funded by alumni and friends of Chris, will cover $900 of tuition. A separate application is required and due April 1. Contact Director Jeanne Cavelos for the Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship application.

You can find a video of Odyssey graduates describing their experiences here: 

Odyssey Graduates

R. F. Kuang, class of 2016, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for both a Nebula Award and a World Fantasy Award for her first novel, The Poppy War, published by HarperVoyager in 2018.  The novel was included on multiple “Best of 2018” lists (including the Washington Post‘s and Time magazine’s).  Linden Lewis, also from the class of 2016, sold her trilogy to Skybound/Simon & Schuster in a major auction.  Booklist Online named I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall (published by Penguin Random House), class of 2005, one of the “Top 10 First Novels for Youth,” and Universal has optioned the movie rights.  Ben Affleck will co-star and produce.  Nightbooks, by J. A. White (class of 1996), is being produced as a movie for Netflix.  And it was just announced that The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (Saga) by World Fantasy and Locus Award-winning author Theodora Goss (class of 2000) is in development as a television series on the CW.

[Based on a press release.]

Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer

The trailer dropped today for Wonder Woman 1984. In theaters June 5, 2020.

Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah. With director Patty Jenkins back at the helm and Gal Gadot returning in the title role, “Wonder Woman 1984” is Warner Bros. Pictures’ follow up to the DC Super Hero’s first outing, 2017’s record-breaking “Wonder Woman,” which took in $822 million at the worldwide box office. The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Review: The Woman in Black

By Martin Morse Wooster: Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre has two stages to fill and produces about six plays a year on their own, so they’re happy to stage worthwhile travelling productions from Great Britain.  Last year, they were the home for An Inspector Calls, a play by J.B. Priestley that has been running in London for around 20 years but was making its first American tour.

This December, the Shakespeare Theatre hosted a travelling production of The Woman in Black by Stephen Mallatratt, based on a novel by Susan Hill.[1]  This play has been performed in London since June 1989, and is the second longest running show in the West End (behind The Mousetrap).  The American production was in Pasadena in November and will be in New York in January, performed in a pub with beer and pub snacks available.

 There’s a reason why The Woman in Black is so popular.  It’s a highly effective and entertaining play that I was glad made its way to Washington.

The play had its origins in the late 1980s.  Robin Herford was running a small theater in a small town in England, and had 5,000 pounds in grant money he wanted to use by the end of the year.  Herford wanted a holiday production that wasn’t A Christmas Carol or a pantomime, and asked Stephen Mallatratt, the theatre’s resident playwright, to come up with something that had a ghost in it and could be performed by no more than four actors, which was the limit of the theater’s budget.  Mallatratt proposed adapting The Woman in Black, and beat the budget limitations by boiling down four characters to two.

“What surprised us was that this play actually scared people,” Herford said in an interview with the Washington Post, “Long-running play ‘The Woman in Black’ comes to the Shakespeare Theatre Company”, “We had thought people would like it much as they enjoy Halloween, without really believing it.  I didn’t expect people to take a ghost story seriously, because it’s notoriously difficult to scare people in a theater.  We weren’t looking to do that; it just sort of happened.”

The story tells about Mr. Kipps, who shows up at a theater with a play based on his experiences.  The other character, who is called “The Actor,” flips through the manuscript and says it will take five hours to perform—longer than King Lear. So he tells Kipps they’ll read through the manuscript; he’ll play Kipps, and Kipps can take over all the other parts.  He shows Kipps a basket and explains how the basket can be used to stand in for all sorts of things.

Kipps begins by bumbling and stumbling and we get several good acting jokes.  Then about 15 minutes into the production we leave our world and enter Kipps’s story.

The story is that Kipps, sometime in the past, is a lawyer who is probating a will of an old woman who lives on a huge mansion on an island that’s so remote that it can only be reached by a causeway that floods at high tide.  Kipps spends several nights on this remote island, and learns that the island is haunted.  But who is the ghost, and what does the ghost want?

The Woman in Black is theatre of the mind, which is very easy to do badly.  This fall I saw a production by the Washington Stage Guild of an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, in which we were promised four actors would play dozens of parts.  They indeed did this but the production droned.  It was an audiobook, and not a good one.

The Woman in Black uses all the tools theatre has, including excellent use of sound.  I couldn’t find a sound credit, but Kevin Sleep did the lighting, and he was very good.

In the production I saw, Daniel Easton played The Actor and Robert Goodale played Kipps.  Both were fine in their parts.

One final note.  If you are a novelist who is thinking of having her books turned into audiobooks, you need to see this show. In particular, pay close attention to the scenes involving Spider, a dog who serves as Kipps’s companion and who doesn’t exist.  The scenes with Spider were the tensest of the evening.  If you see this, think about why the scenes with Spider were so exciting—and you might come up with ways to make your readers more involved in the story you’re telling.

The Woman in Black is highly entertaining and I heartily recommend it.


[1] The Woman in Black has also been the basis for two films, most recently a 2012 production starring Daniel Radcliffe.

“The Thin White Line” Premiered 58 Years Ago Tonight

By Steve Vertlieb: The “Golden Age Of Television” lasted from the late 1940s until the early 1960s where it thrived and flourished, presenting mostly “live” dramatic and musical presentations that captured the exhilaration and essence of fresh theatrical Broadway productions, staged and created expressly for the newly experimental format of the small home tv screen.

Television was a brand new medium, daring in its provocative concepts and artistic explorations, while revolutionary in its groundbreaking originality. Everything was fresh and new, as this voracious, visionary monolith consumed original productions as rapidly as they could be produced. Into this ravenous mix, and at the tail end of the medium’s legendary golden age, came a weekly television series produced by CBS (the famed Murrow “Tiffany” network) concerning two friends (played by Martin Milner and George Maharis) from the often cruel streets of New York, seeking meaning, value, and definition in their ongoing dramatic sojourn across the highways of America.

 Route 66 launched nationally on Friday night, October 7, 1960, taking the country by storm. Filming on location in virtually every state of the union until its final episode on March 20, 1964, the powerful series introduced some of the finest anthology drama that television has ever witnessed, while showcasing stunning conceptual poetry by principal writer Stirling Silliphant, original music by composer Nelson Riddle, and ensemble guest performances by many of the finest actors and actresses in Hollywood, and from the New York stage.

The weekly series effectively changed the course and direction of my life when the program filmed two episodes in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1961. I was there on location with my brother Erwin, along with George Maharis and Marty Milner, as a seminal episode of the beloved series was filmed atop The Ben Franklin Bridge. “The Thin White Line” made its debut over the CBS Television Network on Friday evening, December 8th, 1961, at 8:30 in the evening. This is the bittersweet story of the cultural evolution and significance of the iconic series, as well as its profound, transformative effect upon my own life, direction, and career.

Read Steve Vertlieb’s extended tribute to the show at The Thunder Child: “Two For The Road: Traveling Route 66”,


“Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing” premiered over the CBS television Network on Friday evening, October 26th, 1962. Featuring guest stars Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and Lon Chaney, Jr., this beloved episode of the classic television series “Route 66” starring George Maharis and Martin Milner would be the last time that Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr. would ever reprise their signature performances as Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolf Man.

George Maharis and Marty Milner with Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and Lon Chaney, Jr. posing for publicity shots for “Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing,” their memorable Halloween episode of Route 66.

George and Marty from a publicity still from Route 66. My favorite episode of my favorite television series aired tonight … 58 years ago.