A Remnant of Magic Kickstarter

Guest Post by Emily McCosh: Our world is filled with coming-of-age stories. Tales of the younger generations finding themselves and saving their kingdoms, their planets, and their societies. They are fun, adventurous, and inspiring to read as well as to write.

But magic and strength does not end with youth…

Stories with older characters are few and far between, particularly when it comes to tales of older women. In fairy tales they fall into the roles of old crones brewing trouble and wise women trying to talk some sense into the naive younglings. But who are they? And what are their stories?

Though we read so many books from younger points-of-view, in truth a society won’t rely on children in a crisis. A kingdom will turn to those with wisdom and knowledge for the ages. Old warriors will lead the charge when war comes. Witches, grandmothers, and mages will guide families through struggles that span the width of continents and the warmth of homes.

When we read such unusual tales, we uncover storylines we never thought we’d read, and hear from voices that are so often quiet in the world of fantasy.

They are imbued with a special type of magic.

In the pages of the fairy tales we grew up with, older women are often relegated to side characters. They are wise and gentle or sinister and cunning, but never do they break into the spotlight. They offer a supportive role for (or attempt to thwart the efforts of) the young hero or heroine, and no more.

Or so it used to be.

A Remnant of Magic will be an anthology of flipped fairy tales featuring older women as the lead heroines. Full of their own lives, their own histories, their own futures–these women will be strong, brave, compassionate, and full of magic and mystery.

These stories will explore both familiar fairy tales and those still waiting to be told, featuring a vast array of settings and plots. And each will come complete with a full-page illustration to help bring them to life.

If you’d like to become part of the story, there’s still time left to make A Remnant of Magic a reality!

[Editor’s note: There are only 4 days left in the Kickstarter appeal to fund the A Remnant of Magic: A Fairytale Anthology of Old Lady Heroes. If they fund, there will be an open submission period for “lovely, shimmery, fairy-tale-esque stories featuring older women full of strength, compassion, and magic.”] 

Begin Your Rediscovery

Galactic Journey, the site that tracks sff and the space age day-by-day 55 years in the past, is always doing incredibly creative things (they host an online radio station playing period tunes!) Founder Gideon Marcus has just released another labor of love – Rediscovery, an anthology of fourteen woman-penned science fiction stories from the 1958-63 period. 

The Silver Age of Science Fiction saw a wealth of compelling speculative tales — and women authors wrote some of the best of the best.  Yet the stories of this era, especially those by women, have been largely unreprinted, unrepresented, and unremembered.

Until Now.

Rediscovery features fourteen selections of the best science fiction of the Silver Age by the unsung women authors of yesteryear, introduced by today’s rising stars:

  • Unhuman Sacrifice (1958) by Katherine MacLean, introduced by Natalie Devitt
  • Wish Upon a Star (1958) by Judith Merril, introduced by Erica Frank
  • A Matter of Proportion (1959) by Anne Walker, introduced by Erica Friedman
  • The White Pony (1960) by Jane Rice, introduced by T.D. Cloud
  • Step IV (1960) by Rosel George Brown, introduced by Andi Dukleth
  • Of All Possible Worlds (1961) by Rosel George Brown, introduced by Cora Buhlert
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed (1961) by Joy Leache, introduced by A.J. Howells
  • The Deer Park (1962) by Maria Russell, introduced by Claire Weaver
  • To Lift a Ship (1962) by Kit Reed, introduced by Gideon Marcus
  • The Putnam Tradition (1963) by Sonya Hess Dorman, introduced by Lorelei Marcus
  • The Pleiades (1963) by Otis Kidwell Burger, introduced by Gwyn Conaway
  • No Trading Voyage (1963) by Doris Pitkin Buck, introduced by Marie Vibbert
  • Cornie on the Walls (1963) by Sydney van Scyoc, introduced by Rosemary Benton
  • Unwillingly to School (1958) by Pauline Ashwell, introduced by Janice Marcus

From the foreword by Dr. Laura Brodian Freas Beraha:

Female authors wrote stories about coming of age…cautionary tales…stories set beyond our universe…You’ll find these themes and more in this anthology. I hope that as you read their stories you don’t try to find ‘feminine’ versus ‘masculine’ elements. What you are about to read is really good science fiction, plain and simple.

It’s available as an ebook or in paper (through Amazon) at Journey Press.

Baen Books & RBmedia Announce Audiobook Publishing Partnership

Baen Books, one of the top independent publishers of science fiction and fantasy, and RBmedia, a global leader in spoken audio content, have announced an agreement to publish more than 170 audiobooks over the next three years. The partnership brings together Baen’s bestselling, award-winning content and RBmedia’s market-leading position as a publisher of sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks.

This agreement means publication of both frontlist titles–with a primary focus on alternate history and science fiction–as well as many titles from Baen’s extensive backlist, including classics from Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Grand Masters and long-time fan favorites that have not previously been released in audio format. RBmedia will publish Baen Books titles across its family of imprints, including Recorded Books and Tantor.

Notable recent and upcoming RBmedia exclusive audiobook productions include:

  • In Fury Born by David Weber
  • The Council Wars series by John Ringo
  • The Belisarius series by David Drake & Eric Flint
  • The General series by David Drake, Eric Flint, S.M. Stirling, & Tony Daniel
  • The Domination (Draka) series by S.M. Stirling
  • SERRAted Edge: The Doubled Edge series by Mercedes Lackey & Roberta Gellis
  • The Witchy War trilogy by D.J. Butler
  • The Chronicles of Kencyrath by P.C. Hodgell The entire Technic History series

“Given the soaring demand for audiobooks, especially in the realms of science fiction and fantasy, Baen is thrilled to be entering into this partnership with RBmedia to make sure our rousing tales of adventure are available in all formats,” said James Minz, Director of Subsidiary Rights for Baen Books. “With this deal, Baen Books will have licensed as an audiobook virtually every available title on our extensive list.”

The first titles published under the agreement will be available starting this monthon Audible, iTunes, Google Play, Audiobooks.com, public libraries via RBdigital, and many other sites that provide digital audio. The remainder will be released over the next three years.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30 — Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Launches 9/3

The 30th issue of four-time Hugo winner Uncanny Magazine, which just won another at Dublin 2019, will be available on September 3. This is the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue, guest edited by: Nicolette Barischoff (Nonfiction), Lisa M. Bradley (Poetry), and Katharine Duckett (Fiction). 

Hugo Award-winning Publishers Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are proud to present the 30th 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. Issue 30 is the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy special issue, guest edited by: Nicolette Barischoff (Nonfiction), Lisa M. Bradley (Poetry), and Katharine Duckett (Fiction). 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 October 1. 

Uncanny Magazine Issue 30- Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Table of Contents  

Editorial:

  • “The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas (9/3)
  • “2019 Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine Acceptance Speech” by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas,and Michi Trota (9/3)

Fiction:

  • “Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Fiction Introduction” by Katharine Duckett (9/3)
  • “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey (9/3)“Tower” by Lane Waldman (9/3)
  • “Seed and Cinder” by Jei D. Marcade (9/3)
  • “The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi (10/1)
  • “This Is Not My Adventure” by Karlo Yeager Rodríguez (10/1)
  • “The Tailor and the Beast” by Aysha U. Farah (10/1)

Nonfiction:

  • “Build the Door, Hold the Door: Protecting the Citadel of Diverse Speculative Fiction–Nonfiction Introduction” by Nicolette Barischoff (9/3)
  • “The Blind Prince Reimagined: Disability in Fairy Tales” by Kari Maaren (9/3)
  • “Sudden and Marvelous Invention: Hearing Impairment & Fabulist (non) Fiction” by Gwendolyn Paradice (9/3)
  • “Fears and Dragons and the Thoughts of a Disabled Writer” by Day Al-Mohamed (9/3)
  • “How To Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps” by A. T. Greenblatt (10/1)
  • “Part of That World: Finding Disabled Mermaids in the Works ofSeanan McGuire” by Cara Liebowitz (10/1)
  • “The Visions Take Their Toll: Disability and the Cost of Magic” by Dominik Parisien (10/1)

Poetry:

  • “Poetry Introduction” by Lisa M. Bradley  (9/3)  
  • “Monsters & Women—Beneath Contempt” by Roxanna Bennett  (9/3)  
  • “Cavitation” by Toby MacNutt  (9/3)  
  • “Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan (9/3)
  • “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg  (10/1)  
  • “goddess in forced repose” by Tamara Jerée  (10/1)  
  • “The Thing In Us We Fear Just Wants Our Love” by Julian K. Jarboe  (10/1) 

 Interview:

  • Lane Waldman interviewed by Sandra Odell (9/3)  
  • Karlo Yeager Rodríguez interviewed by Sandra Odell (10/1)  

Podcasts:

30A (9/3)

  • “Away With the Wolves” by Sarah Gailey, as read by Erika Ensign
  • “Neithal from abroad” by Shweta Narayan, as read by Joy Piedmont 
  • Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Sarah Gailey

30B (10/1)

  • “The Fifth Day” by Tochi Onyebuchi, as read by Joy Piedmont
  • “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” by R.B. Lemberg, as read by Erika Ensign
  • Haddayr Copley-Woods Interviews Tochi Onyebuchi

The Mandalorian — Official Trailer

The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, starts streaming on DisneyPlus on November 12. The trailer premiered at D23 today.

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. “The Mandalorian” is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

Disney Film To Be Dubbed Into Sami

By Ahrvid Engholm: Disney’s coming Frozen 2 will be dubbed into Sami language! It’s an animated fantasy film for children, and such movies are often dubbed in Sweden, because most children can’t read subtitles. (Animation Magazine: “‘Frozen 2’ Will Get Sámi Language Version”.) Frozen 2 is said ro be based on Sami culture. (I haven’t seen it or the first Frozen film.)

The traditionally reindeer herding Sami people are, sort of, the Indians of Scandinavia. They are some 65 000-100 000 — the span due to how to define belonging to the group — shared between Sweden, Norway and Finland (plus a couple of thousand in Russia) in the North. (Wikipedia entry: Sámi people.)

Today most are integrated into the regular society but about 6,500 of the Sami are still into reindeer herding. Smoked reindeer meat is considered a delicacy and can usually be found in supermarkets all over Sweden, and some is also exported. (Sorry, all of you who are thinking of Santa’s reindeers… We eat them.)

One snag with dubbing this film is that there are several Sami dialects (a Finno-Ugric branch on the language tree, not related to Indo-European languages) not always intelligible bewteen speakers, but North Sami is the biggest dialect so I supposed that’s what they’ll use. Some Sami languages are near extinction, now spoken by just 20 people… See Sámi languages. It’s the first time I think a major film is dubbed into Sami! (But there have been regular feature films shot in Sami before.)

As I googled around I stumbled upon the debate around the Frozen films – KnowYourMeme –  “Disney’s Frozen Whitewashing Controversy”:

 A “debate /that/ has come to include accusations against Disney of “whitewashing” the Sámi, the indigenous people of Scandinavia. The controversy began on Tumblr, and is largely driven by social justice bloggers who accuse the movie of racism, and fans of the film who are outraged by these accusations.”

I haven’t dug deeper into this, but anyone interested can probably find more info.

A trailer for Frozen 2:

More resources:

Disney’s Aladdin on Stage

By Martin Morse Wooster: If you’re wondering why there are so many musicals based on movies, blame the New York Times.

This winter I read Razzle Dazzle, a very entertaining oral history of Broadway between 1900-1990 by Michael Riedel.[1]  According to Riedel, when Beauty and the Beast was released, Times critic Frank Rich said the film was “the best Broadway musical” released that year.  The suits at Disney headquarters read Rich’s review and thought to themselves, “Hmmm!  Turning our movies into musical theater!  What a really good idea!” And so the Disney Theatrical Group was born.

Aladdin is the second Disney musical I’ve seen, after The Little Mermaid.  But while The Little Mermaid was the theatrical equivalent of AAA baseball, Aladdin was the national tour that played at the Kennedy Center Opera House, a 3,000-seat venue.

I knew this was an upscale evening when I stopped to buy a CD and refrigerator magnet.  Disney wouldn’t sell me a CD: I could only buy it as part of a package that included a program that was very pretty but that I really didn’t want to buy.

But the store was full of schwag!  Had I wanted to, I could have gotten the official Aladdin fleece blanket, the lamp, the dolls, the teddy bear, the expensive dolls… I didn’t see anyone buy any of this stuff, but they wouldn’t make it if people weren’t buying it.

As for the musical, the score is by Alan Menken, who’s written scores for a DVD shelf full of Disney musicals.  His first collaborator was Howard Ashman, who wrote the lyrics for Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid (and, pre-Disney, Little Shop of Horrors).  But Ashman died of AIDS in 1991 while Aladdin was in development, so Sir Tim Rice was brought in as lyricist.  To my mind, Sir Tim is a lesser lyricist than Ashman, but he wrote the lyrics for “A Whole New World,” which is the greatest Disney power ballad of all time and which won an Oscar.

For the stage version of Aladdin, which premiered in 2014, Chad Beguelin was brought in for a new book and some new songs.  In the stage version, Howard Ashman wrote the lyrics for five songs, Sir Tim Rice wrote two, Chad Beguelin wrote four, and the rest were collaborations.

Having bought the CD/program, here are some secrets from it.  Remember the great Max Fleischer cartoon where Popeye met Aladdin and the genie?  That’s the genesis of this musical.  You’re supposed to detect traces of Fats Waller and Cab Calloway in the score.

And yes, the genie is black.

 As for the plot—well, come on, you know the plot.  Disney released the Aladdin remake last month![2]  The smarter question is:  what are you getting on stage that you aren’t getting in a movie theatre?

Well, the book has quite a lot of snark in it.  Beguelin does indeed rhyme “awful” with “falafel.”  And if you want more Mediterranean food jokes, there were some for hummus and baba ganoush.

And there’s dancing!  Lots and lots of dancing!  Aladdin has three sidekicks, and boy do they dance!  They make a “Dancing With The Stars” joke in Aladdin, except here it’s “Dancing With The Scimitars,” and yes, they dance with scimitar swords.

But what made Aladdin work was the sets and the direction.  Casey Nicholaw directed; he got a Tony for this show and another Tony for The Book of Mormon.  The set designer was Bob Crowley, who has done a lot of work for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Britain.

Every time I saw one of Crowley’s brightly colored sets, I told myself, “This is cool.”  And the flying carpet was very cool.

As for the performers, two stood out.  Korey Lee Blossey was the genie I saw; he’s actually the understudy but was fully prepared for the demanding part and even did a cartwheel on stage just to prove he could.  Jonathan Weir played the villain Jafar; he’s done a lot of work in Chicago and has a great voice.  He reminded me of Jonathan Harris in “Lost in Space.”

Washington Post theatre critic Nelson Pressley called Aladdin a “Big Gulp XL” of a musical, and when I watched it, I felt the same way I feel when the free Cherry Coke kicks in after a Saturday afternoon at the movies. Aladdin wasn’t great art, but a very well made, high-quality entertainment with plenty of first-rate singing, dancing, and jokes. 

Finally, a word about Disney.  A Financial Times article recently referred to Disney as “the apex predator” of entertainment, but the reason they got to the top is because they hire first-rate talent and give them a chance to show their excellence.  Yes, Disney has stinkers (OK, I saw Cars 3) but more often than not their productions work.

I suspect Frozen will be the nest Disney Theatrical Group production to come to Washington.  I can’t wait to see it.


[1] The best bit of ancient gossip in Razzle Dazzle is about David Belasco, who was the lion of Broadway in 1910 but is only remembered because he wrote the plays Puccini turned into Madama Butterfly and The Girl of the Golden West.  According to Riedel, Belasco liked wandering around wearing a priest’s vestments.  No one knows why, but one likely reason is that Belasco thought the vestments would attract women.

[2] Yes, I saw the new Aladdin.  It’s good, but The Lion King is much better.

New Picard Trailer Unveiled at SDCC

An extended Star Trek: Picard trailer debuted today at San Diego Comic-Con during the “Star Trek: Universe” panel in Hall H.

Joining Patrick Stewart as Picard, and the show’s new cast members, were other familiar faces.

Brent Spiner’s Data appears — his familiar face neatly stored in a drawer (?!). I’m glad to say he shows up by the end in one piece. Jeri Ryan’s 7 of 9 has lines. There’s even a split-second view of a Borg cube.

Also, Star Trek: Discovery season two favorites Ethan Peck (Spock) and Rebecca Romijn (Number One) announced that they, along with Captain Christopher Pike, played by Anson Mount, will be returning to the Star Trek franchise with three U.S.S. Enterprise-focused Star Trek: Short Treks.

The new Picard trailer is already being dissected for hints about the directions the story will take:

Editors Lynne & Michael Thomas Kickstarting Year Six of Their Uncanny Magazine

Uncanny Staff: Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Chimedum Ohaegbu, Michi Trota, Angel Cruz, Caroline M. Yoachim, Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, and Joy Piedmont

Uncanny Magazine’s Hugo-winning editors Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are launching a Kickstarter for Year Six of their – also Hugo Award-winning — professional online sff magazine: “Uncanny Magazine Year 6: Raise the Roof, Raise the Rates!”

Each issue contains new and classic speculative fiction, fiction podcasts, poetry, essays, art, and interviews. Uncanny Magazine is raising funds via Kickstarter to cover some of its operational and production costs for the sixth year, with an initial goal of $18,700. plus added stretch goals of raising contributor and staff pay rates. The Kickstarter will run through August 14, 2019.

On day one they raised $9,558 of their initial $18,700 goal.

Uncanny features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, and provocative nonfiction, with a deep investment in our diverse SF/F culture. We publish intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and vision, from writers from every conceivable background. With the hard work of the best staff and contributors in the world, Uncanny Magazine has delivered everything as promised (or is in the middle of delivery) with our Year One, Two, Three, Four, and Five Kickstarters. This year, the magazine has been recognized as a Hugo and Locus Award finalist, and three stories plus the editors-in-chief have been recognized as Hugo Award finalists,” Lynne says.

“We couldn’t have done all of this without the amazing support of our Kickstarter community, who we call the Space Unicorn Ranger Corps after our logo mascot. This is also their magazine; their support makes it possible for us to make all of this amazing content available for free on our website. Quite a few science fiction magazines have closed recently, but we would like to continue. We still feel Uncanny‘s mission is important. And hopefully, we will meet the stretch goals and be able to pay our phenomenal contributors and staff a little bit more,” Michael adds.

For Year Six, Uncanny has solicited original short fiction from Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award-winning and nominated authors and bestselling authors including: Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Jennifer Marie Brissett, Tina Connolly, Paul Cornell, A. T.  Greenblatt, Cassandra Khaw, Ken Liu, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, and Ursula Vernon. There will also be numerous slots for unsolicited submissions.

Uncanny Magazine Year Six plans to showcase original essays by Meg Elison, Hillary Monahan, Brandon O’Brien, Malka Older, Ada Palmer, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Fran Wilde, plus poetry by Betsy Aoki, Leah Bobet, Beth Cato, Ada Hoffmann, Annie Neugebauer, D.A. Xiaolin Spires, and Hal Y. Zhang.

And if they get the support, after they hit the initial target here’s what comes next:

Year Six Stretch Goals:

  • $19,700- Original cover art from Galen Dara
  • $22,000- Original cover art from Nilah Magruder
  • $25,000- Original cover art from Kirbi Fagan
  • $26,000- Increase Essay Pay Rate to $75 per essay
  • $27,000- Increase Poetry Pay Rate to $40 per poem
  • $30,000- Increase Original Short Story Pay Rate to $.09 per word
  • $31,000- Increase Reprint Short Story Pay Rate to $.02 per word
  • $34,000- Increase Staff Payments 

Uncanny Magazine issues are published as eBooks (MOBI, PDF, EPUB) bimonthly on the first Tuesday of that month through all of the major online eBook stores. Each issue contains 5-6 new short stories, a reprinted story, 4 poems, 4 nonfiction essays, and 2 interviews, at minimum.

Material from half an issue is posted for free on Uncanny’s website (built by Clockpunk Studios) once per month, appearing on the second Tuesday of every month (uncannymagazine.com). Uncanny also produces a monthly podcast with a story, poem, and original interview. Subscribers and backers will receive the entire double issue a month before online readers.

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds

By Daniel Dern: Based on a chat with a friend who’s been watching classic sf movies this week but didn’t know about this version, which I’ve done brief lookups on for your edification and time-sinking… the War of the Worlds rock opera!

I remember hearing it back when it was a record album… “The chances of anything coming from Mars/are a million to one/a million to one.” (go to ~6 minutes of the YouTube audio URL, below…)

Somewhere I’ve got the 1996 CD which I obviously haven’t listened to in a bunch of years…

Here’s the general info, bunches of interesting stuff further down, via Wikipedia — “Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds” — including that there’s been a stage/tour live version with its own history-filled wbsite and a digitally remastered CD (2009) that advertised its featured players “Include the Late Richard Burton, the Late Phil Lynott and the Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward, Whose ‘Forever Autumn’ from this Album Became the Biggest Hit Single of his Solo Career.”

Listening/watching: I’m seeing most, tho not all, tracks (of the album/CD, there’s various versions across cassette, LP, re-issues, etc.). For example, not the first track.

YouTube has both the full album, and the show movie:

Album:

Video:

The video (possibly a different version?) is (also) available (free) through HooplaDigital.com (they partner with libraries, you use your lib card to get your free H/D account, good for 6-12 (varies per library) borrows per month… note, Hoopla has a decent amount of graphic novels, along with Hamilton and other stuff. (Android and iOS apps can download for offline consumption.)