READING SERIES. Baen Books has launched a weekly author reading series to be conducted at 8 p.m. Eastern every Friday, hosted by editor Christopher Ruocchio via Zoom and Facebook LIVE.
On April 10 the guest will be Steven Barnes, reading from Starborn & Godsons, the third volume in the acclaimed Legacy of Heorot series that he co-authored with Larry Niven and the late Jerry Pournelle.
Following the reading, Barnes will take questions from the audience.
TRAVELING ROADSHOW. Additionally, Baen will be hosting a live version of their Travelling Roadshow, a showcase of all our upcoming titles—with special attention paid to the original cover art, Baen’s free ebook library, extensive study guides, and more—featuring several of their authors. Audience interaction is encouraged, and there will be free books awarded. The Roadshow will air in two parts, one on April 11 at 4 p.m. Eastern, and the next on April 18 at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Narrator Patricia Rodriguez delivers a sensational performance of this dystopian satire in which the most successful company in the world uses algorithms to predict and deliver what you want before you even know you want it. When Peter Jobless receives a product he most definitely doesn’t want, he commences an elaborate plan to return it with the help of his band of robotic misfits….
DEATH’S MANTLE by Harmon Cooper | read by Andrea Parsneau | (Earphones Award Winner)
The “death” who comes for Lucien has been helping people pass over for more than 300 years. Narrator Andrea Parsneau portrays him as an old, tired, and somewhat feeble man. In contrast, although Lucien has outlived his doctors’ estimate of his life expectancy by two and half times, Parsneau makes him seem vital and feisty when he tries fending off death by drawing a gun on him. When he becomes Old Death’s successor, Parsneau imbues Lucien with a passion for discovering his powers and limitations….
TIME’S CHILDREN Islevale, Book 1 by D.B. Jackson | read by Helen Keeley | (Earphones Award Winner)
Narrator Helen Keeley follows the journey of 15-year old Tobias as he makes the transition from novitiate to walker in the sovereign’s court of Daerjen. At the behest of the sovereign, walkers travel back in time at a cost of one year off their lives for each year they travel back and forth….
THE SEEP by Chana Porter | read by Shakina Nayfack | (Earphones Award Winner)
Shakina Nayfack’s warm, potent tones highlight the deeply personal and humane side of Porter’s profound, ethereal alien-invasion story. The Seep has overhauled the world, allowing expanded consciousness and endless new experiences. Trina Fasthorse Goldberg-Oneka, a 50-year-old trans artist, cannot embrace this reality as others have, and when her wife leaves to become a child again, her world begins to unravel….
THE LIGHT OF ALL THAT FALLS by James Islington | read by Michael Kramer | (Earphones Award Winner)
Michael Kramer narrates the epic conclusion to an epic fantasy trilogy. Four friends are led by the troubled Caeden to the northern border of Andarra to confront evil forces. As this story twists and weaves through time, morality shifts, and the cost of survival mounts. Kramer’s gravelly voice engages listeners with his masterful cadence and reflective tone….
THE KILLING FOG: The Grave Kingdom, Book 1 by Jeff Wheeler | read by Emily Woo Zeller
Narrator Emily Woo Zeller provides a spellbinding performance as she takes listeners on a young woman’s journey to achieve her own destiny and fulfill a legendary prophecy. Zeller embodies Bingmei, who fights to save humanity from despair and destruction while, at the same time, vacillating over whether to please her ancestors or her heart….
is now open for the transformed professional development conference.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), today unveiled the
virtual home for SFWA’s 2020 Nebula Conference Online and showcased features of
the upcoming professional development conference for science fiction and
have been offering a streaming extension of the Nebulas for the past two years,
with a long-term plan for more. With this new platform, not only will we be
able to include people who would not otherwise be able to attend the Nebula
Conference, but we’ll also be able to offer year-round opportunities for
education and outreach.” the president of SFWA, Mary Robinette Kowal says.
Conference, Transformed: This
year’s transformed Nebula Conference will be held entirely online and will
include two live tracks of live-streamed panels such as “Being a Creative in
2020: Building Community, Visibility, and Audience in a Virtual World”; “Blades
and Badasses: Disability and Swordwork,” and “Writing Middle Grade with This
Year’s Norton Award Nominee” along with a third self-guided track of
pre-recorded presentations which attendees can view at their leisure.
successful conference mentorship program will also continue this year with
one-on-one video conversations between early-career writers and established
authors. Supporting content including writing workshops, forums, chats, and
virtual room parties (including a dance party hosted by bestselling author and
former SFWA president John Scalzi) will round out the weekend.
2020 Nebula Conference Online will be held from May 29-31. Registration, which
includes three days of online panels with real-time interaction, an annual
subscription to archived content, and a one-year subscription to SFWA’s
quarterly magazine the Bulletin, will be $150.
says that “SFWA’s vision for this year’s conference is for attendees to feel
elevated through the content, enjoy a sense of community with their peers, and
have an opportunity for celebration. We hope this year’s conference will
replicate the informative, exciting, and social experience that the Nebula
Conference has always offered, while being more accessible than ever before,
and welcoming attendees from around the world who may never have had the chance
to attend previously.”
annual culmination of the conference is the Nebula Awards ceremony, a gala
event in which SFWA members award the 2019 Nebula Awards® to the best works of
science fiction and fantasy of the year. This year’s event will also take place
virtually, and will be live-streamed to conference attendees and the public
alike, on May 30th at 8:00 PM ET.
a New Direction: With
today’s announcement, SFWA officially launched the 2020 Nebula Conference Online
registration page, an online entry point for conference attendees
that shares the aesthetic of the conference while the full conference
experience is finalized.
year’s transformed Nebula Conference comes in response to public health
measures addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, which have limited in-person
gatherings and instituted physical distancing policies across the United
the first time, part of the proceeds from this year’s conference will go to
SFWA’s “Where The Need Is Greatest” fund to provide grants to members
to address the financial difficulties experienced by many of SFWA’s members as
a result of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19. In addition,
SFWA’s Emergency Medical Fund is available for members who have unexpected
medical bills that interfere with their ability to write.
are all aware of the hardships that our members have experienced — and will
continue to experience — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kowal said.
“It’s our hope that the 2020 Nebula Conference Online will continue to be a
valuable resource for everyone who can attend, member and non-member alike,
while also raising much-needed funds to help those in our community that have
been hardest hit by the disease and its repercussions.”
New Look, New Feel: Visitors to the 2020 Nebula Conference Online landing page will
notice the refreshed and redesigned SFWA logo, the work of SFWA’s new art
director, Lauren Raye Snow. The new look and feel for SFWA’s logo is part of a
planned refresh for the organization’s publications, web sites, and visual
assets. The new look will extend across all parts of the 2020 Nebula Conference
Online materials, and is inspired by the fantastic visual aesthetic of early
20th century graphic arts.
Snow says, “I’m
excited by the opportunity to reclaim and explore a classic domain with
culturally expansive motifs, characters, and messages.”
Intended to be
timeless, invoking both the WPA’s National Parks posters and NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory’s Space Tourism project: the update captures the best of
that pioneering spirit as 2020 launches SFWA into the future.
March 31, 1995 — Tank Girl premiered. Based on the British comic book created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett (who also illustrated it), the movie starred Lori Petty as Tank Girl along along with Naomi Watts, Ice-T and Malcolm McDowell. It was directed by Rachel Talalay who was responsible for Ghost in The Machine, and directed a lot of new era Doctor Who episodes. Critics at the time used words like tiresome and amateurish to describe it though one found it funnier than Batman Forever. The audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an excellent 63% rating.
March 31, 1987 — The Max Headroom series premiered on ABC. This is the America version of Max Headroom as the British version was Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future which is essentially identical to the initial origin episode of the American series. Matt Frewer as Max Headroom and Edison Carter; Amanda Pays as Theora Jones; and W. Morgan Sheppard as Blank Reg, would reprise their characters from the British film. It ran from April of 1985 to March of 1987. A spin-off series, a talk show featuring Max was recorded, The Original Max Talking Headroom Show, this time in New York. It aired on Cinemax between the two seasons and lasted six episodes.
March 31, 2009 — Dragonquest premiered. It was directed by Mark Atkins, and produced by David Michael, Latt David Rimawi and Paul Bales. It stars Marc Singer, best remembered for his roles in the Beastmaster film franchise, along with Jason Connery and Brian Thompson. It bears absolutely no relation to either the novel of that name by Anne McCaffrey, nor to the Dragon Quest RPG series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience reviewers definitely do not like it as they give it a 6% rating.
March 31, 1999 — The Matrix premiered. It written and directed by the Wachowskis. It starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. It was the first film in the Matrix franchise. It would finish second to Galaxy Quest in the Long Form Dramatic Presentation Hugo voting at Chicon 2000. It’s considered one of the best SF films of all time, and it currently has a rating of 85% among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
March 31, 1987 — Steel Dawn premiered. It was directed by Lance Hool. It starred Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi. The working title of the film, reflecting its mix of science fiction and western, was Desert Warrior. Doug Legler, best known as director of the Dragonheart sequel Dragonheart: A New Beginning, was the writer. Though made on a shoestring comparatively speaking, it still lost millions, and critics founds it boring. Currently it has a 34% rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has
added three staff members: Kevin Wabaunsee has been named as the
new SFWA Managing Editor, Lauren Raye Snow has been named as the
new SFWA Art Director, and Beth Dawkins has been named the
new SFWA Volunteer Coordinator.
Managing Editor will support the Editor-in-Chief in overseeing the
reorganization and production of SFWA’s publications and communications
channels. The Art Director will oversee all visual aspects of SFWA, including
graphics, branding, and design. The Volunteer Coordinator will work across the
organization to ensure that members who want to offer their time and services
are placed where they are needed most.
Wabaunsee is a speculative fiction writer and editor. He is a
Prairie Band Potawatomi, a Chicagoan, and a former newspaper reporter.
Wabaunsee is a graduate of the Viable Paradise workshop and an associate editor
at Escape Pod.
His short fiction has been published by Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, and PseudoPod. In addition to his SF/F work, Wabaunsee has more
than 10 years of experience as an editor, publications manager, and
communications director, primarily working in higher education and research
SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal said, “I’m not sure that
I’ve ever met a more organized, soothing person as Kevin. Watching processes
come into place that make SFWA’s communication more efficient has been
Managing Editor, Wabaunsee will assist Editor-in-Chief Michi Trota in providing
oversight and executing production of the SFWA publications and communications
that help shape and maintain the organization’s reputation. This critical
position is responsible to help facilitate SFWA’s goals and mission statement
of informing, supporting, promoting, defending and advocating for its members.
“I’ve long admired SFWA and the work it does on behalf
of the science-fiction and fantasy community. I’m thrilled at the opportunity
to join Michi Trota, Mary Robinette Kowal, and SFWA’s board and staff in
helping to produce SFWA’s publications and sharing them with the world,”
Snow is a designer, illustrator, and arts activist from South
Texas. Over the course of her career, she has served as Creative Director for
multiple nonprofits and justice movement campaigns. In her personal work, she
is inspired by the Symbolists and the Pre-Raphaelites, by the Catholic and
Indigenous religious icons of her native South Texas, as well as speculative
works of wonder, horror, romance, and beauty in literature and music.
“I have long wanted to have an art director for SFWA to
create a cohesive look to the organization’s publications and web presences.
Earlier this year, I had asked John Picacio, for a recommendation for a
volunteer to do some graphic work for the Nebulas conference. In the first
meeting with Lauren, I knew that we had found someone exceptional. When I
proposed expanding her role to art director, everyone on the team gave an
enthusiastic ‘yes’.” Kowal says.
As Art Director, Snow will provide direction and coordination
regarding graphics, art, and other visual elements among SFWA’s multiple
channels and content streams. This new position will help strengthen SFWA’s
“I am delighted to serve as SFWA’s new Art Director,” Snow
says. “My love for genre fiction runs deep. My father, himself an astronomer by
trade and lifelong genre fan, read me Tolkien at bedtime; I spent many an
afternoon wandering the halls of the offices of the Planetarium where he
worked, marveling at the glowing murals of constellations and playing with his
large plastic replica of Ridley Scott’s Alien. To take on the role of Art Director for the Science
Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is a dream come true. I can’t wait to
work with the SFWA team to bring some fantastical beauty into being.”
is a long-time volunteer for SFWA herself, working with the organization at
Nebula Conferences and Worldcons, as well as helping out behind the scenes. Her
fiction has been published in Flame Tree’s Heroic Fantasy Short
Stories, Apex Magazine, If This Goes On, and Analog. She lives
in Northeast GA with her partner and two dogs.
strength of any service organization comes from its volunteers. SFWA has no
shortage of people in the community who want to help. To link them to the work,
we needed someone who was organized and responsive to a constantly changing
landscape. Beth Dawkins has been doing tireless work matching volunteers to
opportunities and we are very fortunate to have her.” said Kowal.
Volunteer Coordinator, Dawkins will work with members throughout the
organization to catalog the need for volunteers and to match up potential
volunteers with the jobs and tasks that need to be done. SFWA runs on its
volunteers and Dawkins will ensure that it can continue to function and grow.
have always believed in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It
is a pleasure to connect people with one another and continue to help grow our
community,” Dawkins said.
Sinfonietta’s Somtow Sucharitkul tells how to view archival recordings of
their performances free online.
Since our concerts are all postponed for a while, I’ve thought up a way to continue to bring classical music into the homes of our friends who are self-quarantined or otherwise unable to go out much while the crisis is going on. We’ve opened up our archive of thousands of hours of twenty years of concerts and created a 24/7 online TV station, OperaSiamTV.com.
We’re putting up something new every day at 8 pm our time, and rerunning it at times appropriate for our friends in other time zones. One of the concerts we’re sharing is our 2018 “Star Wars” concert where our kids played music from every “Star Wars” film that had appeared up to that time. The concert will be streamed at 8 p.m. Thai Time on Tuesday, then 12 a.m., 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Wednesday — I THINK there’s a 14 hour difference so it would be 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday for our friends in L.A. So — do let people know about it.
We do “scheduled” program 4 times a day (sometimes 3 if it’s a lengthy opera) and the rest of the time we play a selection of pieces from our archive on a rotating roster. Lot of cool stuff on this week — The Rite of Spring for instance. I’ll send you a note whenever I program something of interest to the SF community, like a fantasy-oriented opera.
SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal sent a message to members about the fate of the 2020 Nebula Conference after the Los Angeles Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills started issuing cancellation notices today. The organization had intended to make a statement on March 31, but now has gone ahead and shared an overview of their plans.
ONLINE CONFERENCE. From May 29-31, there will be a live
and interactive online event. “The team has been
working on this for several weeks because we anticipated that holding an in-person
event this year would be irresponsible.”
Our goal is to create the essence of the Nebula Conference, even though the form has changed. Our vision is for attendees to feel elevated through the content, enjoy a sense of community with their peers, and have an opportunity for celebration.
…The Nebula Conference will include panels, solo presentations, conference mentorships, workshops, forums, chats, and virtual room parties (including a dance party hosted by John Scalzi).
… The online conference registration will be $150, which includes three days of online panels with real-time interaction, an annual subscription to archived content, and a one-year subscription to the Bulletin. People who have already registered will have the option to defer to the L.A. conference in 2021, donate to help with COVID-19 assistance, or receive a full refund.
NEBULA AWARDS. The Nebula Awards ceremony will stream live at 8 p.m. Eastern on
PLATFORM DEMO. Kowal told members:
On March 31st, we’ll have a demonstration of the online Nebula Conference. We are very excited by this platform because it will allow us to do online classes and host virtual book tours for our members going forward.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. Starting in April, the SFWA Board will be offering grants of up to
$1,000 for SFWA members financially affected by COVID-19. Donations are
If you would like to donate now to help with SFWA sponsored COVID-19 relief, visit https://www.sfwa.org/donate and select “Where The Need Is Greatest,” which the board can redirect to our relief efforts.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE WAY. The message ends —
The team has been working very hard for a March 31st release of this information and is not yet ready to process refunds or transfers. Please wait until we formally roll out our plans on March 31st before contacting the office with questions.
Over the next week, we will be reaching out to our team of volunteers, program participants, and Nebula finalists with more information about what these changes mean to them and how they will be able to participate in the transformed conference.
• Happily, I’d picked up my library reserve for NESFA’s Zenna Henderson: Ingathering collection earlier in the week… before the library shut its doors for who knows who long. (The same announcement indicated our library would be closed to patrons for a to-be-determined time. Will they auto-extend overdue books that can’t normally be renewed? Or are staff still working, so we’re expected to drop ’em through the book slot?)
• Portals to (and from) Narnia, Fillory, Earth-616 (Marvel’s core universe, IIRC), and (DC) Earth-5 are closed except for emergencies. Any villian or other bad (big, small or just right) planning to cackle maniacally must be wearing approved safety face masks. Special masks for wolves and other snouted beings available.
• Even if you haven’t already been watching DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (on CW, available free via their app, etc.)
week’s S4Ep6, “Mr Parkers Neighborhood,” has a great extended homage to Mr
Rogers, in the last 3rd, IIRC. The trailer has only a small bit, get the
episode (and speed through to it, if need be),
The 2020 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has
announced the award winners for its 8th annual event which featured a lineup of
screenings, premieres, panels, virtual reality demonstrations, and the launch
of a new screenplay competition held in honor of acclaimed novelist Philip K.
Dick. The festival was held from March 4-8, 2020 at the Museum of the Moving
Image in Astoria, NY and recognized nine films and three screenplays for their
outstanding filmmaking and storytelling.
“The festival presented an impressive selection of films that
opened doors to the possibilities of imagination,” said founder and director
Daniel Abella. “With a focus on the impact of technology and our evolving
humanity, much attention was paid to the ideas of Philip K. Dick including what
it means to be human and the future of our universe.”
Award winners of The 2020 Philip K. Dick Science
Fiction Film Festival:
BEST PHILIP K. DICK FEATURE
Director: Erin Berry
Run Time/Country: 82 min, USA
Synopsis: In Washington, DC on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, Bernwood, an anti-conspiracy video blogger meets with an old man claiming to have worked for the legendary Majestic-12 (aka “Majic”), a secret U.S. spy agency created after the UFO incident at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. So begins her trip down the rabbit hole looking for answers as reality as she knows it, or knew it, begins to unravel.
BEST DRAMATIC FEATURE
Imperial Blue (2019)
Director: Dan Moss
Run Time/Country: 93 min, UK/Uganda
Synopsis: Hugo Winter, a roguish American drug smuggler is on a quest for a mysterious African drug called Bulu which gives the user the powers of prophecy. In Uganda, he meets two sisters who can help him find the source of Bulu, but they have competing agendas. Kisakye, a devout Christian, wants to sell the drug to save her village, whereas Angela, a criminal hustler, is only interested in getting rich quick. As Hugo follows them deeper into the jungle, he begins to doubt whether his prophetic visions are leading him to death or glory.
A Brief History of Time Travel (2018)
Director: Gisella Bustillos
Run Time/Country: 68 min, USA
Synopsis: There’s one thing that Star Trek and Doctor Who fandoms have in common: time travel. This documentary takes you on a journey through the evolution of time travel from its origins and influence in science fiction to the exciting possibilities technology could yet uncover. Featuring interviews with Dr. Ronald Mallet (How To Build a Time Machine), Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy), Ted Chiang (writer of Story of Your Life), and Wanda Gregory (Director of Digital Technology and Culture at the University of Washington).
BEST PHILIP K. DICK SHORT
Beyond the Door (2018)
Director: Hekla Egilsdottir
Run Time/Country: 13 min, Iceland
Synopsis: A stagnant young couple named Noi and Irma are dealing with Irma’s depression. Noi buys Irma a cuckoo clock, reminiscent of the one her mother used to have when she was a child, in an attempt to cheer her. Irma’s monotonous, stay-at-home life takes a sudden turn with the introduction of her newfound friend, the cuckoo. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.
BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT
Wide Awake in Bridgewater (2018)
Director: Erik Lee
Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA
Synopsis: In 1968, 18-year-old Michael Gates and Monica Dupré are enjoying an afternoon in the countryside when she disappears. Fifty-one years later, elderly Michael starts receiving phone messages from her, and he discovers what happened on that fateful day.
BEST HORROR SHORT
Love Bite (2019)
Director: Charles de Lauzirika
Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA
Synopsis: Taking refuge in an abandoned cargo truck during the Zombie Apocalypse, a dysfunctional couple and their dog find their lives on the line when they make a deadly bet over how the undead virus spreads. Is a simple love bite now a death sentence? And how far will someone go to be proven right? Directed by the producer of Blade Runner: The Final Cut (2007).
BEST WEB SERIES
SIL and the Devil Seeds of Arodor (2019)
Director: Keith Barnfather
Run Time/Country: 15 min, UK
Synopsis: A web series based on concepts from the BBC series Doctor Who. SIL is worried, very worried, which doesn’t keep his reptilian skin in the best condition. Confined in a cold detention cell on the moon, awaiting a deportation hearing for trial on drugs offences on Earth, he faces a death sentence if the application is successful and he is found guilty.
Director: Nathaniel Milton
Run Time/Country: 15 min, USA
Synopsis: A 15-year-old musician believes he has an extraterrestrial implant in his ear. This is a true story based on the filmmaker’s experiences within the realms of High Strangeness, Magical Thinking and Manic Delusion.
Outer West (2019)
Director: Jake Leister
Run Time/Country: 2 min, USA
Synopsis: West Coast pace prompts a travel nurse to accept a job in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Looking for the capital city’s postcard artistry and ease, he is instead greeted by another, entirely unexpected world…Outer West.
BEST SCI-FI SCREENPLAY
Writer: Andrew Pelosi
Synopsis: A desperate halfwit attempts to cheat on an exam in a future where IQ testing determines who lives and who gets turned into chalk.
BEST SCI-FI PROTOTYPING SCREENPLAY
Writer: Andronica Marquis
Synopsis: A young Earth City girl, Rain, a Red by birth, marked, starving and desperate, seizes an opportunity to escape to Meccanda, a planet rumored to hold a cure, that she might save her young brother, Walker, the last of her family, who struggles against the symptoms of The Touched. The price of starship passage? Her virginity to the ship?s captain.
BEST SUPERNATURAL SCREENPLAY
House in Haunted Woods
Writer: Drew Henriksen
Synopsis: A young couple buys an abandoned house as an investment with plans to live by their agoraphobic uncle. After the purchase, the house seems to improve on its own. As people begin to disappear in the woods surrounding it, the ghosts make their presence known.
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival launched in 2012
as New York City’s first and only festival of its kind. The festival honors the
enduring legacy of novelist Philip K. Dick. Organized by individuals and
filmmakers who understand the difficulties and challenges of presenting unique
narratives in a corporate environment, the festival embraces original concepts
and alternative approaches to storytelling in the form of independent science
fiction, horror, supernatural, fantasy and metaphysical films. Since 2013, the
festival has held additional gatherings in France, Germany, Poland, Rotterdam,
Los Angeles, and in 2020, will debut in London.