(1) CARRYING ON. Pat Cadigan continues her series of Dispatches from Cancerland” with “Two Years Of Borrowed Time & I’m Still Not Dead”:
I’d love to write a lot of inspirational entries about still being alive but Buffy the Vampire Slayer was right when she said, ‘The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.’ It’s also the busiest. I’ve been so busy continuing to be alive, I haven’t had time to wax rhapsodic about continuing to be alive.
That my sound sarcastic but in truth, I wish I could. I wish I could tell you that every glitch and inconvenience, every little (and not so little) ache and pain, every boring chore and utterly grey day is a reminder that it’s still great to be alive and to know that I’m going to be alive for some indefinite period of time.
Cancer and I have reached a stand-off that puts it in the background of my life. In fact, it’s so much in the background that I really do forget I have it.
(2) MEXICANX INITIATIVE CELEBRATED. The “Mexicanx Initiative Scrapbook” brings back the memories:
This is a collection of memories, a spontaneous burst of creative works, a celebration of Mexicanx creators and fans, and a documentation of something that started with passion and a vision and grew into so much more.
The Mexicanx Initiative, started by Worldcon 76 Artist Guest of Honor, John Picacio, and sponsored by many wonderful and caring members of the Worldcon community, brought 42 Mexican and Mexican-American people to San Jose, California in August of 2018 to attend Worldcon 76.
Stories, essays, food, poems, art, and so much more were born of this experience….
(3) JEMISIN ON SHORT STORIES. Abigail Bercola discusses How Long ‘til Black Future Month with the author in “A True Utopia: An Interview With N. K. Jemisin” in The Paris Review.
In the introduction to How Long ‘til Black Future Month?, you write that short stories presented a way for you to work out techniques and consider perspectives without the commitment of a novel. What else do short stories offer you that the novel doesn’t?
Really, that’s the main thing. You’re still putting a pretty hefty mental commitment into making a short story. Even though it’s relatively brief, you still have to come up with a world that’s coherent. I find short stories almost as difficult to write as novels, it’s just less time-consuming. Short stories are hard for me. That’s why the collection is something like fifteen years worth of short stories. They asked me to write several new ones for the collection and I was just like, Not likely to happen. In fact, I can really only write them when I’m between novels because they take away from whatever energy I’m trying to pour into a novel.
(4) GATTS TAKES THE HELM. Giganotosaurus has someone new in charge: “Please Welcome Our New Editor, Elora Gatts”. Departing editor Rashida J. Smith makes the introduction —
I have the distinct joy to hand off the role of editor to Elora Gatts, recently of PodCastle. She is a keen and insightful reader and I can’t wait to read the stories she picks for the zine.
(5) A FUTURE WITHOUT HER. Wow. No sooner did she introduce The Verge’s “Better Worlds” than she was out.
media is cutthroat etc. but it feels absolutely wild to see the verge promoting their flashy, v cool new project on the same day that the editor of said project reveals she's been laid off by the verge? we are an industry of sociopaths pic.twitter.com/9vFwxScat4
— Jenny G. Zhang (@jennygzhang) December 5, 2018
(6) NYRSF’S TWELFTHMONTH. With the aid of C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez, the New York Review of SF Readings Series maintains its tradition of having families perform at the December gathering.
The New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series provides performances from some of the best writers in science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, etc. The series usually takes place the first Tuesday of every month,
C.S.E. Cooney lives and writes in the Borough of Queens. She is an audiobook narrator, the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine, a Rhysling Award-winning poet, and the author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories (Mythic Delirium 2015). Her recent short fiction can be found in Sword and Sonnet, an anthology of battle poets, and in Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Carlos Hernandez is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria (Rosarium 2016) and most recently, as part of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint of Disney Hyperion, the novel Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (2019). By day, Carlos is an associate professor of English at the City University of New York, with appointments at BMCC and the Graduate Center, and a game designer and enthusiast. Catch him on Twitter @writeteachplay.
The event takes place December 11 at the Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Doors open at 6:30 — event begins at 7
(7) THE HUMANITY BUREAU. A dystopian thriller set in the year 2030 that sees the world in a permanent state of economic recession and facing serious environmental problems as a result of global warming. The film, starring, Nicolas Cage, Sarah Lind, and Jakob Davies, [correction] was released in April 2018.
(8) NEW CAR SPELL. When John Scalzi went to shift to a higher gear he discovered he’d already used his quota.
(I did check the online MINI store to see if there was a replacement there. There was not, or at least not for this model, with a manual. SO, I think that triggers the "whole new replacement model" clause.)
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 7, 2018
And is he getting any sympathy?
Read that clause carefully. You may wind up with a replacement MODEL rather than an actual full-size car.
Then again, this is a Mini we’re talking about, so the difference isn’t that great…
— David D. Levine (@daviddlevine) December 7, 2018
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born December 7, 1945 – Clive Russell. Currently Brynden Tully in Game of Thrones. Other genre roles include but are not limited to Helfdane in The 13th Warrior (a retelling of Beowulf), Mr. Vandemar in the Neverwhere series, Lancelot’s Father in King Arthur, Bayard in the Merlin series, Maqueen in the 2010 remake of the classic 1941 film The Wolfman, and Tyr in
Thor: The Dark World.
- Born December 7, 1945 – W.D. Richter. As a screenwriter, he was responsible for Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Dracula, and Big Trouble In Little China. As a director, he brought Late for Dinner and Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension to us. He was also co-writer with Stephen King on the adaptation of King’s Needful Things novel to film.
- Born December 7, 1965 – Jeffrey Wright. Felix Leiter in the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace which I rather liked, Beetee in The Hunger Games films which I’ve not seen, and played the real-life Sidney Bechet in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, a series I adored.
- Born December 7, 1978 – Kristofer Hivju. His first genre role was as Jonas in The Thing, based on the John W. Campbell novella Who Goes There?, and it is a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter. He next shows up as an unnamed security chief in M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth. He’s currently Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones.
- Born December 7, 1979 – Jennifer Carpenter. Ok, usually I pay absolutely no attention to Awards, but she got a nomination for her work as Emily Rose in The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It was the MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-Shit Performance. It later got renamed to Best Frightened Performance. She’s apparently only got two other genre credits, both voice work. One is as Black Widow in Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher which is a horridly-done anime film that I do not recommend; the other is as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, the animated version of the Mike Mignola Elseworld series which I strongly recommend. Possibly the Limitless series she was in is genre, possibly it isn’t…
- Born December 7, 1989 – Nicholas Hoult. His first genre role was as Eusebios in Clash of the Titans which was a 2010 remake of of the 1981 film of the same name. He went on to play The Beast aka Hank McCoy in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse. Other roles included that of Jack in Jack the Giant Slayer, followed by a role in Mad Max: Fury Road as Nux, and he’s slated to be in the forthcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
(10) OSCAR BUZZ. The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday interviews A Quiet Place director John krasinski, who says his film is worthy of an Oscar and voters should think of it as more substantial than the typical horror movie: “John Krasinski turned ‘A Quiet Place’ into a surprise hit. So how about an Oscar?”
John Krasinski knew he had a potential hit on his hands when he attended a test screening for “A Quiet Place.” A horror movie about a family battling largely unseen creatures who attack at the slightest noise, the film transpires with no verbal dialogue: The characters communicate with American Sign Language, or through meaningful glances and gestures. This wasn’t Krasinski’s first effort as a director; still, he and his wife, Emily Blunt — who play the parents in “A Quiet Place” — weren’t sure audiences would accept a genre picture that harked back to cinema’s silent roots more than its special effects-driven present.
(11) FUTURE PAST. Vintage Everyday remembers — “Closer Than We Think: 40 Visions of the Future World According to Arthur Radebaugh”.
From 1958 to 1962, illustrator and futurist Arthur Radebaugh thrilled newspaper readers with his weekly syndicated visions of the future, in a Sunday strip enticingly called “Closer Than We Think”.
Radebaugh was a commercial illustrator in Detroit when he began experimenting with imagery—fantastical skyscrapers and futuristic, streamlined cars—that he later described as “halfway between science fiction and designs for modern living.” Radebaugh’s career took a downward turn in the mid-1950s, as photography began to usurp illustrations in the advertising world. But he found a new outlet for his visions when he began illustrating a syndicated Sunday comic strip, “Closer Than We Think,” which debuted on January 12, 1958—just months after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik—with a portrayal of a “Satellite Space Station.” …
15. Electronic Home Library
The media library of the future was going to be rich and varied. But there’s something a bit off about this prediction from 1959. Maybe it’s the film canisters lining the shelves. Or maybe it’s the 3D-TV sans glasses that Pop is watching. Or maybe it’s the fact that Mother is reading a book on the ceiling in what looks like the most uncomfortable way to read a book of all time.
(12) TREK BEHIND THE SCENES. Titan Comics has released Star Trek: Epic Episodes, a special collection of the best of Star Trek Magazine focusing on the stunning 2-part episodes and landmark episodes of both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Presenting cast and crew interviews, guides, behind the scenes exclusives and revelations on the making of everyone’s favorite epic episodes
(13) SPEAK, MEMORY.
This is how bad my attention span is today:
a) I email myself my current novel draft, as one of my many reiterative backups
b) wait three seconds
c) an email sound
d) excitement as I wonder who emailed me, and then I check, and OH YEAH it was me, three fucking seconds ago
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) December 7, 2018
Also works for the microwave and the tea kettle. Past-me leaving me surprise hot beverages, all morning long. ??
— Annalee (@leeflower) December 7, 2018
(14) VADER WHIPLASH. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] He’s alive! He’s dead! He’s alive! He’s Daaaaaaaaarth Vaderrrrrrrrr! (Gizmodo/io9: “Marvel Found a Replacement for Chuck Wendig’s Scrapped Darth Vader Comic Surprisingly Quickly”)
In the space of weeks, Marvel went from proudly announcing a new Darth Vader miniseries at New York Comic Con to scrapping the whole thing entirely. Now, less than a month later, they’ve already found a replacement.
Marvel has announced—via the official Star Wars website—Vader: Dark Visions, a new limited miniseries that will launch in March. That’s just two months after the Chuck-Wendig-penned Shadow of Vader miniseries was set to originally debut. Instead, days after its announcement in October, Marvel fired the writer from the project three issues in, with Wendig citing internal concern at the publisher over his political commentary on social media as a primary reason for his exit.
(15) TRAVELING MUSIC. Brian May, former lead guitarist for Queen and current astrophysicist, is writing a soundtrack for the New Horizons flyby of Ultima Thule scheduled for December 31/January 1 — Parabolic Arc has the story: “Brian May Creating New Music for New Horizons Ultima Thule Flyby”.
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TO BE CONTINUED !!! NEW !!! New Horizons ! Launched nearly 13 years ago from Cape Canaveral, this NASA probe made history with its spectacular fly-by of Pluto in 2015. Now it’s on course to fly close to Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) Ultima Thule on New Year’s Day – 1st January 2019. This 60 second clip is the first of three brief tasters of my own new “New Horizons“ track, which will pay homage to this mission. We will reveal the song in full on 1st Jan. Visit the official NASA website at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/ Image credit: NASA and APL. And watch this Space !!! Thanks to the mighty John Miceli for epic drums on this track. Thanks to the legendary Don Black for helping me write it. Also to my co-producers and engineers Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson. And respects to Kris for putting this clip together. And. Special thanks to NH Project Instigator Alan Stern. Bri
(16) SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Paul Weimer finds new frontiers of fantasy in “Microreview [book]: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri” at Nerds of a Feather.
Empire of Sand is an immersive and compulsively readable epic fantasy that draws on traditions and cultures and milieus, the Mughal Empire, a culture and heritage hitherto rarely seen in the Western fantasy tradition.
(17) HOW TO FIND THEM. Todd Mason’s book review link post, “Friday’s “Forgotten” Books (and Short Fiction, Magazines, Comics and more): the links to the reviews: 7 December 2018″, will get you connected.
This week’s books, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles” —
- Frank Babics: The Reality Trip and Other Implausibilities by Robert Silverberg
- Les Blatt: Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh
- Elgin Bleecker: Lie Catchers by Paul Bishop
- Brian Busby: Maclean’s, December 1918, edited by Thomas B. Costain (and featuring Robert Service’s poem “The Wife”)
- Alice Chang: All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
- Martin Edwards: On Suspicion by “David Fletcher” (Dulan Barber)
- Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC war comics: December 1973 and the best of ’73
- Will Errickson: Winter Wolves by Earle Westcott
- Curtis Evans: Scared to Death and Death in the Round by Anne Morice
- Paul Fraser: New Worlds, June 1965, edited by Michael Moorcock and Langdon Jones
- Barry Gardner: Beggar’s Choice by Jerry Kennealy
- John Grant: The Black Angel by Cornell Woolrich; A Grave Mistake by Ngaio Marsh; The House by the Lock by A. M. Williamson
- James Wallace Harris: Friday by Robert Heinlein
- Rich Horton: Where I Wasn’t Going (aka Challenge the Hellmaker) by Walt and Leigh Richmond; Absolute Uncertainty (and other stories) by Lucy Sussex; some short fiction by John Crowley
- Jerry House: Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines by Ray Bradbury
- Kate Jackson: Courtier to Death by “Anthony Gilbert” (Lucy Malleson); Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac
- Tracy K: Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
- Colman Keane; The First Short Story Collection by “Anonymous-9” (Elaine Ash)
- George Kelley: The Great SF Stories 4 edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg
- Joe Kenney: Glimpses by Lewis Shiner
- Margot Kinberg: The Invisible Onesby Stef Penney
- Rob Kitchin: Red Plenty by Francis Spufford
- B.V. Lawson: Five Passengers from Lisbon by Mignon G. Eberhart
- Evan Lewis: Dark Valley Destiny: The Life of Robert E. Howard by L. Sprague de Camp, Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin; Carmine Infantino et al.: “Charlie Chan: The Hit and Run Murder Case” (Charlie Chan, June/July 1948)
- Jonathan Lewis: The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
- Steve Lewis: Behold, Here’s Poison by Georgette Heyer; Blood Shot by Sara Paretsky; “Double Dare” by Robert Silverberg (Galaxy Science Fiction, November 1956); “The Silver Mask Murders” by Erle Stanley Gardner (Detective Fiction Weekly, 23 November 1935)
- Mike Lind: The Moving Target by “Ross Macdonald” (Kenneth Millar)
- Gideon Marcus: Gamma, July 1963, edited by Charles Fritch
- Todd Mason: some 1963 and 1973 fantasy magazines: Gamma, July 1963, edited by Charles Fritch; Magazine of Horror, August 1963, edited by Robert A. W. Lowndes; Fantastic, September 1973, edited by Ted White; The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1973, edited by Edward Ferman; The Haunt of Horror, August 1973, edited by Gerard F. Conway
- Francis M. Nevins: Q.E.D., Hell-Gate Tides and Dead End Street by [Emma] Lee Thayer
- John F. Norris: Death at the Wheel by Vernon Loder
- John O’Neill: The Fungus by “Harry Adam Knight” (John Brosnan and Leroy Kettle, in this case)
- Matt Paust: Death of a Dissident by Stuart Kaminsky
- James Reasoner: A Day Which Will Live in Infamy edited by Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg
- Richard Robinson: Stakeout on Page Street by Joe Gores
- Gerard Saylor: The Zealot by Simon Scarrow
- Jack Seabrook: “And the Desert Shall Blossom” by Loren D. Good (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March 1958)
- Steven H. Silver: “The Tweener” by Leigh Brackett; “Worlds within Worlds” by Roger Dee; “The Power of Kings” by John DeCles; “Intaglio” by Kurt R. A. Giambastiani; “In the Bosom of His Family” by John Dalmas; “Death in Transit” by Jerry Sohl; “Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction” by Jo Walton
- Kerrie Smith: The Honourable Thiefby Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
- Kevin Tipple: Snowjob by Ted Wood
- “TomCat”: The Strawstack Murder Case by Kirke Mechem
- Danielle Torres: Singing in Tune with Time: Stories and Poems About Ageingedited by Elizabeth Cairns
- Prashant Trikannad: Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut
- David Vineyard: The Darkness at Windon Manor by “Max Brand” (Frederick Faust)
- A.J. Wright: the work of W. C./William Chambers Morrow
- Matthew Wuertz: Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1954, edited by H. L. Gold
(18) ROCKET MAN. iCollector is offering this item for another six days — “Bill Campbell “Rocketeer” costume ensemble with hero metal rocket pack”. They’re looking for a $125,000 bid.
Extraordinary ensemble includes the hero metal Cirrus X3 Art Deco-styled “flame” rocket pack with leather harness and buckles, glove with built-in ignition trigger, signature leather jacket, fireproof stunt jodhpur pants, and a production made signature Rocketeer helmet.
(19) SONGS FOR SCROLL SEASONS. Matthew Johnson reworked a carol in comments:
Hark! The herald pixels scroll
“The comment section’s free of trolls!
Double fifths and sevens filed
Dog and shoggoth reconciled.”
Joyful, all you Filers rise,
For new books are on half-price;
When a typo you proclaim
Of libations appertain.
Hark! The herald pixels file,
Rotating the WABAC dial,
“From Mount Tsundoku’s overlook
I see cats sitting on my books.”
And I’m told Anna Nimmhaus has been singing:
Oh my little pixel scroll,
I’ll comment to you.
You were my first love,
And you’ll be my fifth love,
You won’t lack for egoboo,
I’ll comment to you.
In this whole world
Each day one scroll’s unfurled,
Let me help it unfurl.
I’ll comment to you.
Possibly inspired by the Shirelles’ hit song “Soldier Boy” (F. Green & L. Dixon, 1962)
(20) CALL ME WHATSISNAME. Could it be… Moby Dick in space? In theaters December 14.
When a deep space fishing vessel is robbed by a gang of pirates, the Captain (Holt McCallany) makes a daring decision to go after a rare and nearly extinct species. On the hunt, his obsession propels them further into space and danger as the crew spins into a downward spiral of mutiny and betrayal.
[Thanks to Paul Di Filippo, Steven H Silver, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, JJ Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]