(1) INDY 5 IS GO. Consequence of Sound has the story.
Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger, has confirmed that a fifth Indiana Jones movie is indeed happening.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Iger spent much of his time talking about the franchise possibilities that are opening up with the massive success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When he got to comparing Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm to that of Pixar and Marvel, however, he noted that taking on Lucasfilm’s intellectual properties also meant “Indiana Jones, by the way, which will be coming.”
(2) ABOUT FACE. Kameron Hurley posted a funny gallery of GIFS to illustrate the “Faces I Make When Reading Reviews”.
A lot of people think authors take reviews personally, and I suppose there are many who do. Those are the folks who should really steer clear of reader reactions to books, or rather, what some readers believe the books say about the author, which is always far more amusing.
There are great reviews with insightful criticism of my work, and glowing reviews about how it changed people’s lives.
But, this being the internet and people trying to poke an author for a meltdown, I’m often asked about my reaction when reading negative reviews of my work. What folks don’t get is that I find most negative reactions endlessly amusing. Not the real criticism that points out real flaws, no, but the reactions that say far more about the reader than the writer.
(3) MIND MELD. SF Signal’s latest Mind Meld, curated by James Aquilone, posts the question “What are your favorite new genre (SF/F/H) TV shows of 2015?” – with replies by Alex Shvartsman, Sarah Pinsker, Matthew Johnson, Robert Davis, Carlie St. George, Erin M. Hartshorn, Andrew Liptak, Rob H. Bedford, and Sally Ember, Ed.D.
(4) CHOOSE FEAR. Here’s how David Brin’s Mars mission would start.
Go to Phobos before landing on Mars itself? I have pushed this idea for twenty years and now some at NASA agree. Not only is the larger moon far easier to reach and might serve as an ideal research platform, it also has two advantages never mentioned in this article. It can serve as a logistics hub where supplies might be pre-positioned and tended without complex orbital management. It also might (some figure) be carbonaceous chondritic material, containing volatiles like water. If these could be mined and stored and prepared, subsequent Mars landing missions would find all the water and rocket fuel they need, lowering both cost and risk by an order of magnitude.
(5) ZICREE ON FAN-MADE TREK FILMS. Marc Scott Zicree on Facebook.
Science fiction has a long and honorable tradition of fan fiction — in fact, many of the top professional writers started out writing fan fiction — and these fan films are the logical extension of that tradition. More than that, speaking as a professional who’s written extensively for all the major studios and networks, the reason I chose to do “World Enough and Time” was that I felt Michael Reaves and I, along with our creative team, could bring as high a level of professional quality to that project as anything we had ever done for the studios and networks. I wanted to work with George Takei, the powers that be were never going to choose to do the ultimate Sulu story we wanted to tell, and it was something we could share with the whole world.
CBS/Paramount views Star Trek as a money machine, and that drives their decision on what or what not to make. This is perfectly justifiable. But it’s not what led Gene Roddenberry to create Star Trek, nor is it why Renegades or Axanar are being made. I think often taking a step back, gaining perspective and saying, “How can we create a win/win situation here?” is a good idea. It’s what led George Lucas to not only allow Star Wars fan films, but to hold an annual contest recognizing the best ones.
(6) GERROLD ON SUIT STRATEGY. David Gerrold on Facebook:
…But this lawsuit also suggests that CBS and Paramount might be missing the more important point. The fan productions are about the hunger for new Star Trek. They’re not competition as much as they are signs that the franchise is alive and well. Keeping the fans engaged is the best thing that CBS and Paramount can do to keep the franchise alive.
I understand the corporate desire to protect their rights to the franchise, but that cat got out of the bag a long time ago. If they weren’t going to shut down Star Trek New Voyages and Star Trek Continues and Star Trek Renegades and Star Trek Farragut for “copyright infringement” — and those productions use Kirk, Spock, et al, and the original enterprise — then they’re going to have a much harder case with Axanar which barely touches the same specific content of the original series.
I suspect that the lawsuit isn’t about copyright infringement as much as it’s designed to intimidate Axanar’s producers. I’ll be interested to see how this proceeds….
(7) CAVEAT TWITTER. Business Insider reports “Mark Hamill is protecting fans from fake signed ‘Star Wars’ merchandise on Twitter”.
He apologized to fans who have spent money on fraudulent items and urged them to look at real copies to learn how to confirm his signature on their own. When asked why he wasn’t tired of responding to people, he said, “Because I owe it to all true fans to protect them from being victimized by dishonest dealers.”
(8) FORCE A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Steven Harper Piziks opines about writers who are “Riding the Coat Tails of the Force”.
These and other similar articles mean absolutely nothing, of course. They’re written by people who have no real cred. For example, Lili Loofbourow, who wrote the desperate-sounding “emotional blind spots” article above, is a freelance reporter. She’s not a professor of media studies, or an experienced film reviewer, or a film maker. She has a computer and a contact at Salon.com and ticket stub for THE FORCE AWAKENS. Same goes for all the others. They’re just riding along on TFA’s coat tails, trying to make a few dollars for themselves.
Well, at least I got a blog entry out of it.
(9) PICACIO PLUGS COMPETITION. Today John Picacio commented on George R.R. Martin’s pro artist Hugo recommendations and added six more names (with links to their work).
Thanks so much for the shoutout, George. It’s an honor to be be considered in any year, including this one. That said, winning any major award comes with responsibility along with hardware and glory. It’s always great to win, but as a past winner, I want the Pro Artist Hugo list to reflect the extraordinary range and evolution of the field. So while I’m not recusing myself, I would like to take this opportunity to shine light on some of sf/f’s art stars that have had an outstanding year and deserve Hugo consideration in this category:…
(10) HITCHHIKER’S HOMECOMING. Think how much more effective Lazlar Lyricon 3’s “about” statement would be if it hadn’t stopped with just four reasons for holding this convention? I hope the concom will treat themselves to one or two fifths as part of their launch celebration.
Dateline: The Old Kings Head Pub, London, 21 November 2015. Today, ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha (the Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Appreciation Society) Annual General Meeting authorised a committee to run Lazlar Lyricon 3. This is the third (coincidentally) in a series of conventions celebrating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Douglas Adams, the first having occurred in the 1980s.
Lazlar Lyricon 3 will take place on 9-11 June 2017 at the Quality Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent.
Committee members Stefan Lancaster, Emma J. King, David Haddock and Alan Sullivan, amongst others, were on hand to discuss plans, answer questions and receive the imprimatur of the AGM. They were also given ‘seed money’ of £500 towards the costs, which was greeted with much cheering!
The first two Lazlar Lyricons were part of a series of conventions in the 1980s, 90s and early 00s colloquially called ‘Fun Cons’, which also included the Incons, Dangercons, and several one-off conventions such as Year of the Wombat and Aliens Stole my Handbag. The aspiration is to ensure everyone has a great time (and not panic!), with fun, loosely Hitchhikers-inspired programme items such as crab stomping and towel-based martial arts. The announcement that the first and foremost in appointments will be a ‘beer liaison’ was greeted with more cheering!
(11) SPEAKING OF LAUNCHING. Gail Z. Martin on “Making the Most of Your Launch Day” at Magical Words.
Book launches are on my mind since Vendetta, the second book in the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series, just launched yesterday. So I thought it might be fun to pull the curtain back on what can go into a book launch, and let you pick and choose the elements you feel best suit your own circumstances.
Social media is is your biggest bullhorn to the world. Long before your book comes out, you should be creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, a blog, and a web site. These are the places you can gather your tribe–the people who have read and liked your work, your friends and others who wish you well and are happy to help spread the word. Make sure you let your friends and followers know in advance when the book is coming out, and how they can help.
(12) ON RECONCILIATION. Joe Vasicek’s “Response to Steve Davidson on Reconciling with the Puppies” is a commentary on Steve Davidson’s Amazing Stories post “Reconciling with Puppies – ‘…to dram, the impossible dream, to reach the unreachable star…”.
Mr. Davidson’s post is interesting, and worth reading. We obviously don’t see eye to eye on a number of things, but it would be rather petty to go through our disagreements line by line. Instead, the part that I want to respond to is his call to action at the end:
Want to reconcile? Here’s what puppies must do.
1: Stop scamming the system. If you want to recommend works that you think are worthy of the award, go ahead and do so. But drop the political agenda (you’re dragons are imaginary) and eliminate the hateful, snarky commentary
If you’re looking for “hateful, snarky commentary,” I’m sure that you’ll be able to find it. On the fringes of both sides, there are a lot of people with blogs and strong opinions. I’d count myself as one of them—while I align with the Sad Puppies, I’m not a leader or organizer by any stretch, just another guy with opinions and a blog. Don’t be so quick to look for ammunition, because there’s a lot of it lying around.
Kate Paulk, one of the Sad Puppy organizers, has pointed out that Sad Puppies 4 is open to nomination suggestions from anyone, which appears to be what you’re calling for. And honestly, I think a lot of us don’t want to see conservative writers edge out everyone else so much as to see them go head to head with more liberal writers on a more equal playing field. It’s not about slaying imaginary dragons so much as breaking down walls.
So on this first point, Mr. Davidson and I tend to be in agreement. This seems like a reasonable step for reconciliation, and it’s one that the Sad Puppies 4 already appear to be taking.
(13) YOUR RANCOR MAY VARY. Brad Torgersen’s “Sad Puppies and the future”, prompted by Martin’s “reconciliation” post, says many familiar things.
Many people have already seen George R. R. Martin’s optimistic (and well-intended) commentary at his LiveJournal. However, just as with George’s hood ornament Alfie awards (also well-intended) there is more than one way for a thing to be perceived. My perception — and I am not alone in this — of George’s desire for an end to the rancor, is that George still seems to think that a) the rancor was flowing almost entirely one-way, from the Puppies’ side to the Trufan side, and also b) none of the Puppies are themselves fans. Not Fans (caps f) and certainly not Trufans. No. Puppies are still an outsider bunch, who carry an outsider’s stigma.
There is also a bit too much parentalism in George’s tone: dear kids, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, now wipe those dirty looks off your faces and come give your mother a hug!
(14) DO YOU FEEL SAFER? And in the comments, national security consultant Arlan Andrews, Sr. gives MidAmeriCon II members something to look forward to:
I for one will never forgive anyone who appeared in that pre-Awards “90-minute-hate-the-Puppies” TV show, nor anyone who called me a neoNazi. Though some were, I had thought, nice acquaintances if not actual long-time friends, their behavior before, during and after the Hugos simply meant that I shut them out of any future consideration of any kind, meaning no purchasing of their products, no voting for their works, no attendance at any function at which they are honored or prominent, no reviews of anything they are involved with, and no defense of any criticism of them. As a very minor player in fandom/prodom, despite 60+ years of fanlife and 35+ years of prolife, those people will seldom notice nor long remember what I do here, but if thousands of others do likewise, the effects may be meaningful. All of the SP3 experience this year has been enlightening, and a tiny reflection of the national schism between those who cherish Freedom and those banding together to enforce Collectivism. I thank Brad and Larry and the Jovians for graciousness in the face of fire. And next Worldcon, I will definitely attend. (Does Missouri have Concealed Carry?)
(15) HOOKY HEADLINE. “9 things ‘Starship Troopers’ totally nailed about today’s technology” is a pretty bold claim about a movie that showed space infantry fighting in shoulder-to-shoulder formations like at the Battle of Waterloo.
(16) CHRISTMAS CONFLATION. When I read the headline of io9’s post “Chewbacca Comic Finally Answers A Question Star Wars Fans Have Pondered For Years” I mentally filled the blank with, “Does Chewie sleep with his whiskers outside or in?”
(17) REEL CONSPIRACY. At Star Wars Minute, “How Kylo Ren Got Darth Vader’s Helmet.” A fan theory based on some events in Disney/Lucasfilm comics and novels.
(18) TONIGHT ON JEOPARDY! A Bradbury-themed question.
Literary Characters for $200
Answer: Beatty is the captain of the fireman in this Bradbury Novel
Question: What is Fahrenheit 451
(19) IF YOU WERE A DINOSAUR…BUT WAIT, I AM. “Retaliation for getting coal in my stocking!” says YouTube poster Ralph the Rex.
[Thanks to Will R., John King Tarpinian and Brian Z. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]