(1) ZILLIONS OF YEARS AGO. College Humor shows that “If Jurassic Park Were In Different Geological Eras,” we’d be staying away from the box office in droves….
(2) FINDER. Silvia Moreno-Garcia will be hosting a list of Latino SFF in English published or to be published this current year (2018). You’ll find it at “LATIN AMERICANS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE SPECULATIVE LITERATURE LIST 2018”.
Hi, once again I am hosting a list of Latino SFF in English over at my blog. Just like last year, only add fiction published or to be published this current year (2018). Gracias. https://t.co/t7O1REAk0s
— Silvia Moreno-Garcia (@silviamg) January 3, 2018
(3) DRINK UP. A piece by Nancy Di Gennaro called “Murfreesboro’s Green Dragon Launches On-Site Brewery” in a newspaper called the Daily News Journal says that the Green Dragon Pub and Brewery is a “Hobbit-themed” pub that has become a brewery in October.
Green Dragon opened 3 1/2 years ago, fulfilling a lifelong dream of Joe Minter, a big fan of “The Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien. Two of Tolkien’s main characters, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, both embarked on adventures at age 50. So Minter took their lead and did the same, leaving his career with Home Depot for the unknown.
The tiny eatery nestled in the basement of an old creamery is reminiscent of Tolkien’s imagined shire pub, with staff members that dress the part and rustic furnishings.
- External awards:
BEST NOVEL OF 2017
BEST SELF-PUBLISHED / INDEPENDENT NOVEL OF 2017
BEST DEBUT NOVEL OF 2017
BEST SHORT FICTION OF 2017
BEST SERIALIZED FICTION OF 2017
BEST ANTHOLOGY / COLLECTION / PERIODICAL OF 2017
BEST ARTWORK RELEASED IN 2017
BEST FANTASY SITE FOR 2017
BEST GAME (ANY FORMAT) OF 2017
BEST TV SERIES / MOVIE OF 2017
BEST RELATED WORK OF 2017
- redditor awards – guaranteed reddit gold as an award:
BEST ACTIVE r/FANTASY AUTHOR (‘best overall redditor- author edition’)
r/FANTASY BEST COMMUNITY MEMBER (‘best overall redditor- non-author edition’)
BEST POST / COMMENT IN 2017
BEST r/FANTASY ORIGINAL REVIEW
(5) MAIL IS COMING. It seems like a long time since Sean Bean was in Game of Thrones, but his character is part of the forthcoming Royal Mail stamp set — “Game of Thrones: New stamp set to feature Jon Snow and Arya Stark”.
An additional five-stamp sheet features the Night King and his undead White Walkers as well as giants, direwolves, dragons and the Iron Throne.
Fans can buy the stamps at Post Office branches across the UK from 23 January or by calling Royal Mail’s customer service line.
They can also be pre-ordered on the Royal Mail website.
(6) SUBMISSION WINDOW OPEN. Alpennia reports that The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for submissions during January 2018 for short stories in the lesbian historic fiction genre, to be produced in audio format for the podcast, as well as published in text on the website. See complete guidelines here — “Call for Submissions: Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast Fiction Special”.
(7) RAMBO READS. The Seattle Review of Books asked “Whatcha Reading, Cat Rambo?” She told them, beginning with —
What are you reading now?
(8) WHERE THE IDEAS ARE. Cat Rambo also livetweeted highlights from Rachel Swirsky’s Ideas Are Everywhere class today. Jump aboard here —
— ?RainbowRiotRambo? (@Catrambo) January 6, 2018
(9) BLACK MERMAIDS. Nalo Hopkinson does a reading and gives an interview in a podcast on the Boston Review website, “Waving at Trains”. She talks about dystopias and how they affect her writing.
“We are not supposed to own imagination . . . so, damn it, I am making black mermaids.” In this podcast, the award-winning writer Nalo Hopkinson reads her story, “Waving at Trains,” featured in Boston Review‘s 2017 literary issue, Global Dystopias. She also talks to Avni Sejpal about the politics of dystopia, writing from the Global South, and the enduring importance of black mermaids….
AS: So when you are writing something, are you also thinking about how it will sound out loud?
NH: Yes. If I am thinking in words at the time that I am writing. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I think in moving images and then I have to translate it into words. But, yes, I am always aware that at some point I might want to read the thing. And I am very aware of how characters speak, because speech does not only carry the accent, it carries the economic level of the characters, which tells you something. So whenever I have stories translated into other languages, generally they go for the standard form of the language. I find that that actually makes the translation a little bit pallid and it removes some of the nuances, so my characters end up sometimes sounding like middle class people being petulant . . . and sometimes they are middle class people, like the girl in this story, who are having a very hard time.
(10) YOUNG OBIT. NASA astronaut John Young has died at the age of 87.
John Young, NASA’s longest-serving astronaut, who walked on the moon and flew on the first Gemini and space shuttle missions, has died.
The first person to fly six times into space — seven, if you count his launch off of the moon in 1972 — and the only astronaut to command four different types of spacecraft, Young died on Friday (Jan. 5) following complications from pneumonia. He was 87.
“NASA and the world have lost a pioneer,” said NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot in a statement on Saturday. “John Young’s storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier.”
(11) JERRY VAN DYKE. The Hollywood Reporter says Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick, died January 5. He was 86. He had one main genre credit —
Van Dyke famously passed up the opportunity to star on Gilligan’s Island in favor of toplining the short-lived My Mother the Car, considered one of the worst shows in TV history.
As the Wikipedia explains the show —
…Attorney David Crabtree (played by Jerry Van Dyke), …while shopping at a used car lot for a station wagon to serve as a second family car, instead purchases a dilapidated 1928 Porter touring car. Crabtree hears the car call his name in a woman’s voice. The car turns out to be the reincarnation of his deceased mother, Gladys (voiced by Ann Sothern)….
(12) COMICS SECTION.
- JJ found that Incidental Comics will tell you “How to Become a Literary Recluse”.
(13) THE LOVE LIFEBOAT. I’d pay to see this.
Pitch: The boat sinks every episode but is just fine the next episode with no acknowledgment of the previous week's disaster.
— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) January 6, 2018
(14) CENTURIES OF COVERS. BookPorn assembled a big collection of Frankenstein book covers to celebrate the anniversary.
January 1st, 1818 – Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is published
(15) ALIENS BITE THE DUST AGAIN. The Washington Post’s Ben Guarino says a Kickstarter-funded campaign has discovered that the flickering light in the yellow-white dwarf star KIC 8462852 was not caused by aliens who “had constructed a titanic array of solar panels around the star” but to dust — “The strangest star in the sky finally has an explanation for its flicker”.
Fourteen hundred light-years separate Earth from the strangest star in the sky. The light from this star flickers, like a giant neon sign drifting through the constellation Cygnus. After the star’s dim intervals, which last for days or weeks, it brightens again.
No other star acted this way. No observation could explain its behavior.
That is, until now. A 200-strong team of scientists says it has arrived at an answer, thanks to an astronomy project crowdfunded on Kickstarter. The culprits are not aliens, as some people have speculated, but probably a cloud of dust, each particle less than a micrometer across. Combined, these dust particles coalesced into one of the biggest question marks in recent astronomical memory.
In 2015, astrophysicist Tabetha Boyajian published a paper describing the starlight dips. The brightness diminished by 20 percent, according to observations from the Kepler space telescope. Planets block starlight when they pass across stars, like a hand waved in front of a flashlight. But even an object as huge as Jupiter can reduce a star’s brightness by just 1 percent.
(16) 1949 WORLDCON. Available on eBay, “30 photos Worldcon 1949 w negatives Doc E.E. Smith Jack Williamson Robert Bloch”, from the estate of Franklyn M. Dietz.
30 photos Worlds Science Fiction Convention 1949 in Cincinnati w negatives Doc E.E. Smith jack Williamson, Robert Bloch L.A. Eschbach Fletcher Pratt.
Nice fan photos – 30 photos plus a greeting card from the Cincinnati fan group and 17 negatives. Lots of behind the scenes photos of the worldcon with fans, models and speakers/authors.
Others speaking are probably Theodore Sturgeon, Judy Merrill George O Smith Arthur banks and some fans
(17) BARDIC CIRCLE. Moira Greyland Peat looked for a humorous side of JDA being banned from Worldcon 76 and wrote new lyrics to the filk standard “Banned from Argo.”
“Banned from Hugo.”
When we pulled into Worldcon in need of R&R
The puppies, Sad and Rabid camped in every joint and bar
We had Trufan expectations of their hospitality
But found too late it wasn’t geared for Puppies such as we
And we’re Banned from Hugo, everyone
Banned from Hugo just for having that Wrongfun
We spent a jolly Worldcon there for just three days or four
But Hugo doesn’t want us anymore…
Our Captain’s tastes were simple and his stories were complex
We found he’d sold five manuscripts and pocketed large checks
The Thought Police were on the way—he had no second chance
His heroine was fair and blonde, and had a straight romance! …
Our Engineer would yield to none at writing Rabid tales
He wrote them for Castalia House and made a ton of sales
His favorite story didn’t win, but it got the votes of all
And now he’s got his No Award on the mantle of his hall! …
(18) THE UNINVITED. John Scalzi obliquely commented on the current uproar in “Obnoxious Twits and Conventions”.
And if a convention decided I was not welcome at their event, how would I take it? I mean, I would hope they’d tell me before I made flight arrangements and my hotel rooms were non-refundable, but otherwise, meh, it’d be fine. Generally I prefer not be in places I’m not wanted, and if the convention committee was telling me to go away, that’s a pretty good, non-subtle hint. Which means my weekend is now free! Which is excellent, I usually have things to do on a weekend, even if those things are “watch six hours of How It’s Made in a row and then take a nap.” Which these days is a pretty great weekend, I have to tell you.
I was looking for something more substantive, so asked this question in comments:
Bearing in mind how instrumental you were, personally, in the drive to get sff conventions to adopt Codes of Conduct, I’d be much more interested in your views about this application of a CoC. Do you think it was appropriate? Why? What do you think we should take away from it?
As for whether in this case the convention’s decision to yank attending status was merited, it seems so to me based on what I know (and what I know of the obnoxious twit in question), although as noted I haven’t spoken to anyone involved about the decision and am not privy to the full data set they used to make their decision. But even if I disagreed with it, they’re the concom and it’s their decision to make. The decision might have consequences, although in this case, the consequences (other obnoxious twits deciding not to attend in solidarity) seem like an upside to me.
(19) OPEN THE CELL BAY DOOR PAL. Whitney Avalon sings “Funny Rey Song – Second To Last Jedi – Star Wars Musical.”
(20) THE OTHER JJ. And either funny or sad – maybe both! ScreenRant gives us “Everything Wrong With ‘The Last Jedi’ – Pitch Meeting.” Plenty of spoilers in case that still matters.
[Thanks to JJ John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Hampus Eckerman, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Bill for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]