(1) TRADITIONAL THANKS. Joe Vasicek’s “Giving Thanks” at One Thousand and One Parsecs is one of the best posts I saw that combined an sf theme with a serious reflection on the holiday.
So in the spirit of that first Thanksgiving feast, here are the things that I am especially thankful for this year:
- I am thankful for my near and extended family. Tolstoy was wrong when he said that all happy families are alike: every family has their own quirks, even the ones that hold together. I wouldn’t give up my family’s quirks for anything.
- I am thankful to live in a free country, where my rights to life, liberty, and property are respected and honored. I am also thankful for the brave men and women of our armed forces who sacrifice so much to keep it free.
- I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue a career as an author, and for the flexibility and control that indie publishing provides. I have no one but myself to blame for my failures, but my successes are all my own. Even after four years, it’s still exhilarating.
- I am thankful for my readers, who have made and continue to make this publishing journey possible. I am thankful for all that they do that supports me, from buying and reading my books to sharing with friends, posting reviews, sending me fan mail, and connecting in a hundred other little ways that together make this whole thing worthwhile. Seriously, you guys are awesome. The only thing I could ask is to have more of you!
(2) AMAZING THANKS. Steve Davidson sends holiday wishes to all in a post at Amazing Stories.
Whether you occupy the North American continent or not, and whether you celebrate “Thanksgiving Day” or not, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and all of the supporters, contributors, members and passersby at Amazing Stories to wish you a few moments of happy reflection on this day.
I urge you to take a moment to think back over the year and remember the people and happenings you’re thankful for this year.
I’m thankful for my wife and her support, and of the support and well-wishes I receive from our extended family….
(3) CONTRARY THANKS. David Brin ends his post “Cool science stuff… and more reasons to be thankful” at Contrary Brin with minor key gratitude.
Okay! That great big pile of cool items ought to keep you busy, clicking and skimming while groaning and loosening your belts on Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday)… or else however you folks elsewhere around the world celebrate Thursday. (Ah… Thursday!)
Don’t let grouches undermine our confidence. Star Trek awaits. Do thrive and persevere.
(4) DAUGHTERS. Three writers who love their daughters for exactly who they are:
- Mark Lawrence, “I don’t travel!”
- John Scalzi, “Athena, Thanksgiving 2015”.
- L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, “My beautiful daughter and my beautiful mother”
(5) PREMIERE CONTEST. Omaze.com’s new charity fundraiser offers a chance to “Win a Trip to the Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Deadline to enter is December 4 at 11:59 PST. The winner will be announced December 5.
Africa Cancer Foundation; Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF); Barnardos UK; Central London Samaritans; Damilola Taylor Trust; fStop Warrior Project; Feeding America; Make-A-Wish; Malala Fund; PACER: Children’s Mental Health and Emotional or Behavioral Disorders Project; Phab; St. Francis Hospice, Raheny; The Circle; UNICEF; Union of Concerned Scientists (“Charity”)
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (“Prize Provider”)
This experience includes attending the red carpet premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (“Picture”) in either Los Angeles or London. The attendance by any specific cast member, filmmakers, or such other talent from the Picture during the Premiere is not guaranteed and shall be subject to such talent’s availability and Sponsor’s and/or Prize Providers’ sole discretion. Neither Sponsor nor Prize Providers guarantee any type of meeting or photo opportunity with any specific cast member or talent from the Picture during the trip.
(6) CAPALDI IN AUCKLAND. “’Dr Who’ arrives to soothe pain” in the New Zealand Herald.
SPOILER WARNING. MAYBE.
Though Peter Capaldi, who plays the 12th incarnation of the sci-fi character hinted that, as it has been for more than 50 years, things in the show aren’t always clear-cut.
“My message for them would be life is tough,” Capaldi joked to The Herald about fans upset by Clara’s passing, sounding not unlike his second most-famous character, harsh spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker from political comedy The Thick of It.
“But Doctor Who is never quite what it seems. We haven’t told a lie. The story is the story but the Doctor is not going to rest. He is not going to accept that that is the last time he will be see Clara.”
(7) DAVID TENNANT. Io9 points to“David Tennant Celebrates 100 Years of General Relativity in This Clever Animation”, a YouTube video.
(8) Today In History
- November 26, 1922 — In Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, British archaeologists Howard Carter and George Carnarvon became the first humans to enter King Tutankhamen’s treasure-laden tomb in more than 3,000 years.
(9) Today’s Birthday Boy
- Born November 26, 1919 – Frederik Pohl. Pohl himself had started out in sf as a teenaged fan – not without controversy, for he was one of the six Futurians who were thrown out of the First Worldcon in 1939. The scales of justice would balance later when he was named guest of honor at the 1972 Worldcon, L.A.Con I.
(10) Leah Schnelbach’s “Frederik Pohl Made Doing Literally Everything Look Easy” at Tor.com is an entertaining overview of one of the field’s great figure. One paragraph may need a small fix.
Agent. Frederik Pohl attempted a career as a specialist science fiction literary agent, at a time when that wasn’t really a thing that existed. By the early 1950s he had a large number of clients, but he finally decided to close the agency to focus on editorial work. He was the only editor Isaac Asimov ever had.
Perhaps she meant “only agent”? Asimov’s work went under the hand of lots of other editors, according to the Internet Science Fiction Database.
(11) WRITER DISCIPLINE. Marc Aplin tells “How Writing Is A Lot Like Fighting – Part 1: Introduction” at Fantasy Faction.
The key to both statements is that the speaker’s practice/training has given them a degree of confidence that allows them to enter into a familiar situation (whether opening a word document or stepping into a ring/cage) and allowing their instincts to take over. It is important that you understand here that this isn’t simply ‘willingness’ to do their chosen activity (although that will be the first step), this is instead such a strong grasp of fundamentals that the person can switch their conscious mind off (i.e. ‘enter the zone’).
(12) CELTIC EXHIBIT. “British Museum Explores Celtic Identity” by Sean McLachlan at Black Gate.
For many of us, the Celts are an enduring fascination. Their art, their mysterious culture, and the perception that so many of us are descended from them makes the Celts one of the most popular ancient societies. So it’s surprising that the British Museum hasn’t had a major Celtic exhibition for forty years.
That’s changed with Celts: Art and Identity, a huge collection of artifacts from across the Celtic world and many works of art from the modern Celtic Revival. The exhibition is at pains to make clear that the name ‘Celts’ doesn’t refer to a single people who can be traced through time, and it has been appropriated over the last 300 years to reflect modern identities in Britain, Ireland, and elsewhere. “Celtic” is an artistic and cultural term, not a racial one.
The first thing visitors see is a quote by some guy named J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote in 1963, “To many, perhaps most people. . .’Celtic’ of any sort is. . .a magic bag into which anything may be put, and out of which almost anything may come. . .anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight.”
(13) HUMBLE BUNDLE. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced that the newest Book Bundle will be supporting SFWA’s Givers Fund.
Pay what you want for Obsession: Tales of Irresistible Desire, One-Eyed Jack (Elizabeth Bear), Digital Domains: A Decade of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Word Puppets (Mary Robinette Kowal).
Pay more than the average price to also receive Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep, The Year’s Best Science & Fantasy Novellas: 2015, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2015, New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird, and Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful.
Pay $15 or more for all of that plus Ad Astra: The 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2015, and Warrior Women.
Choose the price. Together, these books ordinarily go for up to $86. Here at Humble Bundle, though, you name the price! …
Support charity. Choose where the money goes — between the developers and three charitable causes (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Worldbuilders, or the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America–Giver’s Fund).
The bundle will be available til December 9.
(14) LETSON REVIEW. At Locus Online, Russell Letson begins his review of Greg Bear’s Killing Titan with an admission:
I should probably cop to this: I’m fascinated by military history, but I’ve never been much taken by what I think of as genre military SF, by which I mean adventure stories set in the military establishment and emphasizing weaponry, comradeship, chains of command, career progress, and (of course) combat. As much as I enjoyed and understood Starship Troopers and The Forever War, I have found the run of routine combat or military-life series, well, routine and no match for the best of their historical-setting cousins (C.S. Forester, Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brian, George MacDonald Fraser).
Nevertheless, it’s a positive review of Bear’s novel.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Greg.]