I was at my brother’s retirement party all day, so this will be a bit short!
(1) TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN. Inverse is proud to say: “There Are No Aliens In Dune. Here’s Why.”
……But the Third Stage Guild navigator is not an alien. That’s a human who has been mutated by longterm exposure to the Spice. Outside of extraterrestrial animal life, there are precisely zero space aliens in Dune. Arguably, this fact is part of what makes Dune so successful. Common science fiction ideas don’t really drive the story of Dune, mostly because alien life is totally left out of the equation. Here’s how that works, and why Dune’s world-building is super-reliant on a lack of aliens.
(2) FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. [Item by Dann.] Grimdark Magazine’s issue #24 dropped a few days ago. There were a couple of non-fiction pieces that might be of interest.
- A Slow Kill by Peter Orullian
- Berzerker by Matthew X. Gomez
- How Not to Invade a Country by Anna Stephens
- The Hunt by Matthew Ward
- An Interview with Richard K. Morgan by Beth Tabler
- Review: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht
- Robert E. Howard: Godfather of Grimdark? by Matthew John
- An Interview with David Wong by Beth Tabler
(3) STAR TREK SHORTS. Ranker reveals “Wardrobe Secrets From Behind The Scenes Of ‘Star Trek'”.
The ‘TNG’ Uniforms Nearly Caused Permanent Damage To The Cast
To an observer, spandex may seem like the world’s easiest garment to wear. Super stretchy, light, and form-fitting, it looks like it should be comfortable. But looks can be deceiving, according to designer Robert Blackman:
Jumbo, or Super Spandex, whatever you want to call that heavier weight stretch, will stretch from side to side or top to bottom, depending on how you cut the garment. So the costume would dig into the actors’ shoulders, wearing them 12 or 15 hours a day.
Blackman explained that pressure from the spandex led to back problems among the cast. Patrick Stewart, who starred as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, was told by his chiropractor that he should sue Paramount for the “lasting damage done to [his] spine.”
(4) SPACE ANNIVERSARY.
- October 4, 1957: Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite, launched from the Soviet Union.
(5) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born October 4, 1904 – Earl Binder. First half of Eando Binder (second being E’s brother Otto 1911-1974), credited author of a dozen novels, twoscore shorter stories. Pioneering stories of robot Adam Link. Collection Anton York, Immortal about protagonist attaining immortality and then what? E quit about 1940; O developed a solo career. (Died 1966) [JH]
- Born October 4, 1908 – Al Ashley. During the 1940s, among the top two dozen active fans. Fanzines En Garde, Nova, sometimes with wife Abby Lu. The Ashleys made their house in Battle Creek, Michigan, a co-operative dwelling for fellow fans; those were the days of Van Vogt’s Slan and the self-depreciative joke “Fans are slans” (as in “Wassamatta you, you think fans are –?”), so the house was the Slan Shack. Later, lived in Los Angeles. I assume Al has gone to After-Fandom, but I have not learned when he left. [JH]
- Born October 4, 1917 – Donn Brazier. Charter member of N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n). Army Air Corps during World War II, mustered out as a Major, his remains buried in Jefferson Barracks Nat’l Cemetery. Leading fanzine Title; later Farrago. Guest of Honor at AutoClave 1, first SF con devoted to fanzinery (1976). Early adopter of photocopy. See two appreciations of him in File 770 142 pp. 12-13 (PDF). (Died 2002) [JH]
- Born October 4, 1923 — Charlton Heston. Without doubt, best remembered for playing astronaut George Taylor in the Planet of the Apes. He retuned to the role in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. He’s also Neville in The Omega Man based off of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. By the way, he once at the LA Music Center played Sherlock Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood, opposite Richard Johnson as Dr. Watson. His IMDB credits show him as being on SeaQuest DSV in the “Abalon” episode. ((Died 2008.) CE)
- Born October 4, 1928 — Alvin Toffler. Author of Future Shock and a number of other works that almost no one will recall now. John Brunner named a most excellent novel, The Shockwave Rider, after the premise of Future Shock. (Died 2016.) (CE)
- Born October 4, 1946 — Susan Sarandon, 74. She makes the Birthday list just for being Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but she’s also been in Enchanted as Queen Narissa, The Witches of Eastwick as Jane Spofford, The Lovely Bones as Grandma Lynn and The Hunger as Sarah Roberts. An impressive genre list indeed! (CE)
- Born October 4, 1946 – Val Ontell, 74. Chaired Lunacon 29 & 32, Conjecture 2010, World Fantasy Con 2011. Fan Guest of Honor (with husband Ron Ontell) at Lunacon 45, Westercon 70. The Ontells have conducted fannish travel expeditions on the occasion of Worldcons: Britain (1987), Scotland & Ireland (1995, 2005), Melbourne (1999, 2010), Yokohama (2007), London (2014), Helsinki (2017), Dublin (2019); see their Website. [JH]
- Born October 4, 1975 — Saladin Ahmed, 45. His Black Bolt series, with Christian Ward as the artist, won an Eisner Award for Best New Series and the graphic novel collection, Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, was a finalist at Worldcon 76 for Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. His first novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, won a Locus Award for Best First novel. (CE)
- Born October 4, 1979 — Caitriona Balfe, 41. She is best remembered for her lead role as Claire Fraser on Outlander. Her first genre role was as Elizabeth Lamb in Super 8, and she has two other genre credits, one voicing Tavra in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and the other playing Breena Sheehan in the H+: The Digital Series in which the singularity has come and gone. (CE)
- Born October 4, 1984 – Sara Bickley, 36. Poetry, some ours, in Red Sky (anthology); Best of Every Day Poets, Haiku Journal, Punchnel’s, The Same, Three Line Poetry, Trinacria. Poetry editor of The Germ awhile. Short stories in Cover of Darkness, Drabblecast B-Sides, Not One of Us, Tales of the Talisman. [JH]
- Born October 4, 1988 — Melissa Benoist, 32. Kara Danvers / Supergirl In the Arrowverse. It was recently announced that the Supergirl series is ending with the next season. She also voiced Overgirl in the animated Freedom Fighters: The Ray series. (CE)
- Born October 4, 1990 – Carlyn Worthy, 30. Photographer, cook, author, Afrofuturist. One story for us I’ve found published so far; and see this interview. Other work, see this article about her University’s centennial. [JH]
(6) HORROR FOR YOUR EARS. Podcast Review calls these “9 Terrific Horror Podcasts That Should Not Be Overlooked”. First on their list:
This podcast is now in its third season, but it just doesn’t get the credit it deserves. The series is curated by writer Tonia Ransom, who intended Nightlight to highlight Black authors telling Black stories, and in doing so the show is releasing some of the very best horror stories out there. Some tales veer into romance, some into sci-fi, and some are more standard horror fare, but each story is haunting and unforgettable. Genre faves like reluctant werewolves and murderous mermaids embrace tropes while turning them on their head to give us something new. Each episode runs about half an hour, making it a great lunchtime listen.
(7) HARRYHAUSEN 100. Coming soon at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: “Ray Harryhausen | Titan of Cinema” – October 24, 2020-September 5, 2021. Highlights include the Medusa model from Clash of the Titans.
Film special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen elevated stop motion animation to an art. His innovative and inspiring films, from the 1950s onwards, changed the face of modern movie making forever. For the first time, highlights chosen from the whole of Ray’s collection will be showcased, which will be the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of his work ever seen, with newly restored and previously unseen material from his incredible archive.
Ray Harryhausen’s work included the films Jason and the Argonauts, the Sinbad films of the 1950s and 1970s, One Million Years B.C. and Mighty Joe Young, and a wider portfolio including children’s fairy tales and commercials. He also inspired a generation of filmmakers such as Peter Jackson, Aardman Animation, Tim Burton, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg, and his influence on blockbuster cinema can be felt to this day.
This exhibition is in collaboration with the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday year.
(8) EAU THAT MAN! Is this product’s message: Who doesn’t want to smell like Captain Kirk? “Star Trek Tiberius Cologne”.
[Thanks to John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Jeffrey Smith, Dann. and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day OGH, who cannot guarantee it hasn’t been used before.]