DAVID WEBER OUT OF HOSPITAL. A good news post yesterday at the David Weber the Author page on Facebook:
Latest update from Mr. Weber:
It’s official. The paperwork needs to be processed, and that’s gonna take a while, but they’re gonna let me go home still tonight! Passed the walking test with no O2 and without ever dropping below 96%.
A few hours later Sharon Rice-Weber announced “He’s home!” with a photo.
(2) DOWN BY THE OLD TV STREAM. “Epic fantasy to anarchic animation: the TV trends to look out for in 2021” –The Guardian’s list starts with epically expensive fantasy:
Pretenders to the Thrones
For the second year in a row there is a Game of Thrones-shaped chasm in the calendar: prequel House of the Dragon won’t launch until 2022. That presents an opening for deep-pocketed rivals. Netflix’s own medieval-tinged gorefest The Witcher is back for a second season, joined on the platform by sorcery saga Shadow and Bone (April). And Amazon Prime Video is set to launch two formidable fantasy franchises: The Wheel of Time adapts Robert Jordan’s hefty series of novels, with Rosamund Pike starring, while we might finally see its long-awaited The Lord of the Rings adaptation, set to be the most expensive TV show of all time at a cool $1bn.
(3) ARNOLD ON THE INSURRECTION. “Schwarzenegger compares attack on Capitol to Nazi violence” — the LA Times summarizes a video released by the actor and former California governor.
Arnold Schwarzenegger likened this week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol to Nazi attacks on Jews in Europe ahead of World War II in a scathing video in which the former California governor also called President Trump “the worst president ever.”
Schwarzenegger wasn’t yet alive when Nazis rampaged through Germany and Austria during Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938, attacking Jewish homes and businesses and taking thousands to concentration camps. He was born in Austria two years after World War II ended. But the trauma inflicted by the violent collapse of democracy — and the complicity of some of those close to him — shaped his childhood, he said in the video released via Twitter early Sunday.
“Growing up, I was surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history,” he said. “Not all of them were rabid anti-Semites or Nazis. Many just went along step by step down the road.”
Schwarzenegger said that his father would often come home drunk and hit him and other family members, which didn’t seem remarkable because their neighbor was doing the same thing.
“They were in physical pain from the shrapnel in their bodies and in emotional pain from what they saw or did,” Schwarzenegger said. “It all started with lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance.”
Similarly, he said, Trump misled his supporters with lies as he sought a coup to overturn the results of the presidential election…
(4) WRIGHT. For more of the sort of thing Schwarzenegger is opposing, see John C. Wright’s Journal, “A Word of Encouragement” [Internet Archive link] from January 8, a lengthy appeal to religious faith for the belief that Trump will continue as President:
…If I am wrong, I am a fool, and I have fooled others. But I will not be any more or less unhappy in that hour than wiser souls now weeping and gnashing their teeth. But if I am right, our enemies will be repenting and lamenting in jail, or slain at each other’s hands….
Over 200 comments follow.
(5) BALTICON. There is an unofficial discussion being carried on by commenters at the Balticon Discussions, A Safe Space (Unaffiliated, Privately Run) group (publicly visible) about the statement issued by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society and reported in a post here (“BSFS Reports Results of a Code of Conduct Investigation”).
(6) LUTZ OBIT. John Lutz (1939-2021) died January 9 after a long illness. Mystery writer, past President of Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America. Edgar winner for the short story “Ride The Lightning” (1985), and twice winner of the Shamus Award. His “SWF Seeks Same” was adapted for the film Single White Female (Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh).
(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
- January 10, 1967 — The Invaders premiered in television history. It was created by Larry Cohen and aired on ABC for two seasons. Roy Thinnes starred as David Vincent. Gold Key Comics published four issues of an Invaders comic book. The series was a Quinn Martin production who was also responsible for A Twist in the Tale, an anthology series that did some SFF.
- January 10, 1999 — Batman Beyond premiered on Kids’ WB. It was created by Bruce Timm. Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis, the new Batman and you know who played the old Batman. It lasted three seasons and fifty two episodes. The actual origin episode for Terry is to be found on Justice League Beyond in the “Epilogue” episode. The episode was originally intended to be the series finale for Justice League and the DCAU in general but they got renewed for a third season after it aired as the second season finale.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born January 10, 1797 – Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Knew Wilhelm Grimm, contributed to the G brothers’ collection of fairy tales. Schumann set a D poem to music. Her poetical works “imperishable…. originality…. the works of a genius…. Germany’s greatest poetess” (Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)). Many have supernatural elements. (Died 1848) [JH]
- Born January 10, 1883 – Alexei Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Three novels for us available in English, two science fiction and one a version of Pinocchio; other fiction, poetry. Everyone acknowledged his gifts, but since he first scorned, then embraced the Bolsheviks, he was thereafter scorned (by e.g. Nikolai Tolstoy, George Orwell) or embraced (two Stalin Prizes) politically; anyway a Russian-language SF pioneer. (Died 1945; I give his patronymic to distinguish him from Alexei Constantinovich Tolstoy 1817-1875) [JH]
- Born January 10, 1904 — Ray Bolger. Best remembered obviously as The Scarecrow In The Wizard of Oz. He also showedas the villainous Barnaby in Babes in Toyland, two appearances on Fantasy Island, and Vector In “Greetings from Earth” on the classic version of Battlestar Galactica. He narrated a version of Peter and The Wolf which certainly is genre. (Died 1987.) (CE)
- Born January 10, 1908 — Bernard Lee. He’s best known for his role as M in the first eleven Eon Productions-produced James Bond films ending with Moonraker. He also portrayed Tarmut the sculptor in Terence Fisher’s Hammer Horror picture Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. And he appeared in several episodes of Danger Man. (Died 1981.) (CE)
- Born January 10, 1924 — Mike Butterworth. In 1965 he became the primary script writers at Ranger magazine where he was responsible for scripting the space opera The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire which remains to this day one of the most popular boys’ adventure strips ever published in the UK. Between Ranger and later Look and Learn, it would have a very impressive run of 854 issues in total, divided between the two magazines. (Died 1986.) (CE)
- Born January 10, 1924 – Aila Mariluoto. Poet, mostly. Well known in Finland. Translated Goethe, Rilke, Shakespeare. The Worldcon 75 Souvenir Book duly reviewed (in English) her SF novel Green Hair; thanks, Jukka. (Died 2019) [JH]
- Born January 10, 1937 — Elizabeth Anne Hull, 84. Widow of Frederik Pohl with whom she co-edited the most excellent Tales from the Planet Earth anthology. Not surprisingly, she later edited Gateways: Original New Stories Inspired by Frederik Pohl. She has been a member of the panel for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel since 1986. (CE)
- Born January 10, 1947 — George Alec Effinger. I’ve read his Marîd Audran series at least three times as it’s an amazing series in both the characters and the setting. I never read the short stories set in this setting until Golden Gryphon Press sent me Budayeen Nights for Green Man to review. I really should listen to the stories soon to see how they work that way. (Died 2002.) (CE)
- Born January 10, 1948 – Roberta Lamming, age 73. A dozen short stories for us, some under another name. Poem in L. Tuttle’s horror anthology Skin of the Soul. Note on writers’ workshops in Focus. [JH]
- Born January 10, 1959 — Fran Walsh, 61. Partner of Peter Jackson, she has contributed to all of his films since the late Eighties when she started out as co-writer of Meet the Feebles, and as producer since The Fellowship of the Ring which won a Hugo. Need I note the next two films won Hugos as well? Huh The Hobbit films did not win Hugos. (CE)
- Born January 10, 1975 – André Vianco, age 46. Novelist, screenwriter, film and television director, a million books sold. A dozen novels for us. Wikipedia tells his tale. [JH]
- Born January 10, 1984 – Tomohito Moriyama, age 37. (Personal name last, Japanese style.) Playwright, mostly. One translation of his SF story “Two of Six” is published with English text followed by parallel text in Japanese and English for people who want to practice their Japanese. A review of the story is here. [JH]
(9) COMICS SECTION.
- Non Sequitur shows Moses getting a final answer on Mt. Sinai.
- Frank and Ernest talk about their super neighbors.
(10) THE DOCTOR IS IN. BBC News tells how this kid’s parents thrilled him on Christmas: “Doctor Who: Saxmundham superfan, 8, given Tardis door frame” (H/t David Gerrold.)
…The Tardis was created in the family garage over about four months by school bus driver Mr Tucker, while the family shielded during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrs Tucker said: “Luke is Doctor Who mad and he said he would love a police public call box.
“We spent the first lockdown doing gardening but, as restrictions continued, this has really helped get Phil through the time at home while he has been furloughed….
“We all enjoy the show and Luke has really taken to it – he likes all of the classic episodes, too. He has a fez, bow tie and scarf – and about six sonic screwdrivers.”
(11) DOC OF THE EBAY. This is supposed to be the NECA Back to The Future Doc Brown Action Figure [Ultimate Version, Wrench, Flux Capacitor Drawing & Blueprint], but it looks more like Michael Sheen to me.
(12) WELL VERSED. A work of art from Bill left in comments.
I met a Filer from an antique Scroll
Who said — “Two vast and towering stacks of books
Stand in the bedroom … Near them, novels by Pohl,
And others of a Golden Age, whose frowns,
And uncracked spines, and sneers of cold control
Beckon toward the fan. They lay there waiting, and unread.
Worlds, though built, not yet explored by glance or looks
At pages filled with men of space, who from Earth have fled.
And on the nightstand, these words appear:
My name is Tsundoko, Stack of Books;
Look on my pages, Pixels, and Despair!”
[Thanks to John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, Jeffrey Jones, Daniel Dern, Todd Mason, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]