(1) Fans beat the pros at trivia – well, of course they did.
The awkward moment when Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss came third in a Doctor Who pub quiz.
The trio – who called themselves The Time Wasters – clearly didn’t know their wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff
Artists — how do you feel about someone who says, “Give us your ideas for free. If we decide we like one of them, we’ll use it for our own personal branding and for our own prestige. We will hire someone to make multiple images of it and that person will not receive compensation either. We have zero respect for any of you as working professionals.”
As of today, that’s the official message that the World Fantasy Convention just transmitted to all professional artists as the WFC searches for a new image for their World Fantasy Award. See their new “World Fantasy Award Call for Submissions”.
That’s right. Your ideas and your work — for nothing.
It’s an extremely unprofessional message, and it’s not one that befits experienced professionals. It says to all of its members — writers, editors, agents, publishers — that the organization doesn’t value its own branding enough to properly invest in it. That’s very sad to see.
This stirred up debate among commenters on Picacio’s Facebook page, including Ellen Datlow, Sean Wallace, Irene Gallo and others.
(3) Two days ago I ran David Hartwell’s photo of a NY subway car wrapped in a graphical ad for The Man in the High Castle — but today Amazon announced it will remove the ads amid uproar over their use of insignia inspired by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
The online retailer made the decision to pull the ads amid widespread coverage of the wrap, which cover half the 42nd Street shuttle’s seats in decals of the American flag with the stars replaced by an emblem that closely resembles the Nazi Reichsadler, the heraldic eagle used by the Third Reich. The other side features a recreation of a World War II-era Japanese flag in red, white and blue….
Straphanger Ann Toback was disturbed to find the posters wallpapered on the Grand Central shuttle.
“Hate speech, hate insignia requires a response when you see it, you don’t just say, ‘oh, it’s New York,” said Toback. “You see, you have a choice to stare at the Japanese empire insignia or the Nazi insignia.”
A spokesman for the MTA said there were no grounds to reject the ads because they do not violate the authority’s content-neutral ad standards, which only prohibits advertising that disparages an individual or group. ..
Some activists and officials, however, expressed outrage that the advertisements were allowed to run.
“As a Jew, I am offended, and as a New Yorker, I am embarrassed,” said state Rep. Jeffrey Dinowitz. “The MTA should be ashamed of themselves and this ignorant advertising campaign, as it is offensive not just to the Jewish community, but to all Americans.”
Mayor de Blasio also decried the ads, calling them “irresponsible.”
…Not everyone was bothered by the marketing. One rider said, “It’s not like the end of the world, it’s not specifically targeting a group of people. It’s just for a show.”
(4) Justin Raimondo contrasts the novel and miniseries in “Myths of Empire: The Man in the High Castle: a review of sorts” at AntiWar.com.
Dick’s original version would never be allowed on American television: the political realities of our time forbid it. Empires are founded on mythologies – narratives in which historical events are interpreted in a way that justifies the status quo, and crowds out any dissenting version, consigning the truth – if such there is – to the margins.
(5) Myke Cole posted a photo of him receiving his promotion from NYPD Commissioner Bratton. (All I can find in bios is that he does “specialized work” there.)
(6) At National Review Online, Katherine Timpf discusses how she got death threats after she joked on the Fox News Channel comedy show Red Eye “I have never had any interest in watching space nerds poke each other with their little space nerd sticks, and I’m not going to start now.”
“Yesterday I tweeted something, and all I said was that I wasn’t familiar with Star Wars because I’ve been too busy liking cool things and being attractive.”
Now, I received a few death threats right after I posted the aforementioned tweet — which, by the way, was why I was saying Star Wars fans were “crazy” in the first place. Overall, though, it wasn’t a big deal, and I kind of forgot about it.
Then, this week, one Star Wars super-super-super fan who calls himself “AlphaOmegaSin” made a ten-minute (!) video brutally ripping me apart.
(7) “NASA not ready for dangers of deep space, auditors say” writes Jerry Markon of the Washington Post.
American culture and cinema often glorifies space travel, from the heroic early adventurers of “The Right Stuff” to the more recent rescue of Matt Damon’s astronaut character from Mars in “The Martian.”
But the reality is less glamorous, with journeys into deep space posing serious dangers to astronauts that include inadequate food, radiation exposure and heightened risks of developing cancer and other maladies. And NASA is not yet ready to handle those dangers as it moves ahead with plans to send the first human mission to Mars by the 2030s, according to a recent audit.
NASA inspector general Paul K. Martin found that the legendary space agency “faces significant challenges” ensuring the safety of any Mars-bound astronauts, and that its schedule to limit the risks is overly “optimistic.” As a result, he said, Mars crews likely will have to accept more risks to their health and safety than their predecessors who went to the moon and work in the International Space Station.
Last year we featured artwork from the Dune movie that never was, a collaboration between Alejandro Jodorowsky, the mysticism-minded Chilean director of such oft-described-as-mind-blowing pictures as El Topo and The Holy Mountain, and the artist Jean Giraud, better known as Mœbius, creator of oft-described-as-mind-blowing comics as Arzach, Blueberry, and The Airtight Garage. If ever a meeting of two creative minds made more sense, I haven’t heard about it. Alas, Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ work didn’t lead to their own Dune movie, but it didn’t mark the end of their artistic partnership, as anyone who’s read The Incal knows full well.
Telling a metaphysical, satirical, space-operatic story in the form of comic books originally published throughout the 1980s (with sequel and prequel series to come over the following 25 years), The Incal on the page became the fullest realization of Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ combined vision.
(9) Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing a historic landing back at the launch site in West Texas.
“But more significant,” notes the Washington Post, “was the landing of the rocket booster, which descended, flew through 119 mph high-altitude crosswinds and touched down on the landing pad by firing its engine again. The company based in Kent, Wash., said it landed just four-and-a-half feet from the center.”
(10) Today’s Birthday Boy
- Born November 24, 1916 – Forrest J Ackerman
(11) “How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme” in the Washington Post.
There’s only one problem with Dagny Taggart — she doesn’t exist. Evidence collected and examined by The Washington Post suggests that Taggart (who is named for a character in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”) is a made-up identity used by an Argentine man named Alexis Pablo Marrocco. Marrocco, meanwhile — and other self-described “Kindle entrepreneurs” like him — form part of a growing industry of “Amazon catfish.”
The catfishing process varies according to the specific “entrepreneur” using it, but it typically follows the same general steps: After hiring a remote worker to write an e-book for the Kindle marketplace, Amazon’s e-book store, publishers put it up for sale under the name and bio of a fictional expert. Frequently, Kindle entrepreneurs will then buy or trade for good book reviews. (Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post.)
At the end of this process, they hope to have a Kindle store bestseller: something with a catchy title about a hot topic, such as gambling addiction or weight loss.
“Making money with Kindle is by far the easiest and fastest way to get started making money on the Internet today,” enthuses one video that promises to guide viewers to riches. “You don’t even need to write the books yourself!”
(12) Cute set of fandom greeting cards.
(13) ‘Tis the season to break this out again: WKRP “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly” Thanksgiving
[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, Amy Sterling Casil, Brian Z., John King Tarpinian, and Tom Galloway for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day GP.]