(1) MEN IN BLUES. In Fabrice Mathieu’s newest movie mashup the Blues Brothers are back… as Men In Black!
Agent J of the MIB is in prison. He swindled Aliens while on the job. Today he is released for a new mission. The Aliens are waiting for him!
(2) NOW UNDER COVER. Or under a cover — The Verge reveals the art on the front of Myke Cole’s next book, and Chaim Gartenberg does a Q&A: “Fantasy author Myke Cole talks about writing novellas and ending an epic fantasy series in The Killing Light”.
A big part of the Shadow Ops books and the Reawakening trilogy was how your own military voice and experience impacted those books. Partway through the Sacred Throne series, I know you published Legion Versus Phalanx. Has any of the research or work you did for that book factored into the Sacred Throne books?
Oh god, yes. I mean, first of all, the Sacred Throne trilogy is about a revolution that widens into a war, basically. And understanding war and understanding the emotionality and internality of soldiers and the soldiering experience has been instrumental in my writing for sure. (Legion Versus Phalanx, for those who don’t know, is this nonfiction I did studying Hellenistic heavy infantry combat in the third and second century BC. How the Romans fought the Greeks essentially. Really, it was the Balkan peoples, but Greeks.)
With Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research, co-author of Radical Markets), Renee Bowen (GPS Professor and Director, Center on Commerce and Diplomacy), and David Brin (science fiction writer and futurist, author of The Transparent Society)
February 19, 2019, 5:30–7:00pm. Roth Auditorium, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Free and open to the public; RSVP required.
With co-author Eric Posner, Glen Weyl argues for a new way to organize markets in the book Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. They seek to demonstrate why private property is inherently monopolistic; how we would all be better off if private ownership were converted into a public auction for public benefit; how the principle of one person, one vote inhibits democracy; ways to leverage antitrust laws to liberate markets from the grip of institutional investors; and how to create a data labor movement to force digital monopolies to compensate people for their electronic data, among other provocative ideas.
…Joining Weyl on stage is David Brin, the celebrated science fiction writer and futurist who has long explored the future of economic possibility and privacy (The Transparent Society), and Renee Bowen, GPS professor and Director of the Center on Commerce and Diplomacy.
(4) DAWN OF THE DALEKS. Galactic Journey’s Jessica Holmes is back in 1964 watching the Doctor in glorious black-and-white: “[February 3rd, 1964] And Into The Fire (Doctor Who: The Daleks | Episodes 5-7)”.
In this episode, the companions must convince the Thals to help them reclaim a vital part of the TARDIS.
However, the Thals are so deeply opposed to violence that they won’t take any aggressive action against the Daleks. What’s more, the companions themselves can’t agree on whether it’s right to enlist the Thals in a conflict that has nothing to do with them, even if it could buy them their lives. After some shenanigans and a cruel but effective trick from Ian, Alydon manages to rally a few Thals to assist Ian and Barbara in their expedition to recover the part.
There are two big moral questions in this serial, and this episode is where they’re thrust into the spotlight: when, if ever, is it right to fight? And is it right to enlist someone else to fight your battles?
(5) WELL, IF YOU SAY SO. Will there be another Guardians of the Galaxy movie? Variety reports that, “Chris Pratt Promises There Will Be a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’.” And he’s not the first to say so.
Chris Pratt braved the rainy Los Angeles skies Saturday to attend the “Lego Movie 2” premiere, where he assured fans that they will get a third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film.
When Variety‘s Marc Malkin asked if a third film could be made without James Gunn, Pratt said, “I promise there’ll be a third movie, I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but I know everyone on board is just eager to give the fans what they want and wrap up a trilogy in a meaningful way.”
Whether or not a third “Guardians” would happen was thrown into question after director James Gunn was fired for years-old tweets appearing to make light of pedophilia and rape. Gunn apologized for the tweets […]
Despite Gunn owning up to his error, his firing did put the future of the Guardians franchise in peril. But, well before Pratt chimed in with his claim (above), Karen Gillan had told People Magazine (“Karen Gillan on Her Directorial Debut and Nebula Confronting ‘Daddy Issues’ in Avengers: Endgame“) in December 2018 that she has hope the series will continue.
“Our director won’t be with us any longer but we are excited to continue the Guardians of the Galaxy story and keep delivering to the fans,” says Gillan. “That’s the most important thing. I don’t have any details as to when [the next Guardians film will come out] but there’s a script in existence.”
She cheekily adds, “I may have had a little teeny peek, but I can’t say anything.”
(6) AN ALT-SATIRE. Politics and furry fandom have collided, but maybe not in the way you would predict (VICE Canada: “This Man Bought a Far-Right Group’s Domain and Made a Furry Dating Site,” Mack Lamoureux).
Wolves of Odin, a group affiliated with an Edmonton mosque stakeout, now has a plushier, kinkier web presence.
If you try to go to the website for an Alberta far-right group, you won’t read the anti-immigration views “Wolves of Odin” usually spout, but you will see the dating profiles of some cartoon wolves packing serious heat.
Instead of finding some conspiratorial ramblings about how Muslim immigration is a purposeful conspiracy to replace the “real” Canadians, you’ll learn about “Bigger_Woofer” who loves “when you mark your territory on your chest.” This little bait-and-switch website was posted on the Edmonton subreddit Wednesday and it promptly blew up.
Brady Grumpelt is the man behind the Wolves of Odin’s new web presence. The Edmonton man told VICE that the idea was sparked when he saw men he thought were members of the Wolves of Odin “trying to pull their whole intimidation thing” in the Buckingham, a punk(ish) bar on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, where Grumpelt used to work. (Full disclosure: the Buckingham is one of this reporter’s favourite haunts in Edmonton.) A video posted to Facebook appears to show the group causing a disturbance in the bar on Friday, defacing some property, and arguing with the owner. Grumpelt said that while the owner of the bar, Ben Sir, is “lawful good and would never do anything like this,” he’s personally more “chaotic good” and decided to pull something.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born February 3, 1925 – John Fiedler. He’s solely here as he played the ever so bland bureaucrat who gets possessed by the spirit of Jack the Ripper on the Trek episode “Wolf in the Fold”. I’m less interested in him than who wrote that screenplay. It was written by Robert Bloch, a master of horror who would write two other Trek episodes, “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and “Catspaw”. (Died 2005.)
- Born February 3, 1938 – Victor Buono. I remember him best in his recurring role of Count Manzeppi in The Wild Wild West. In his very short life, he showed up in a number of other genre roles as well including as a scientist bent on world domination in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in an episode titled “The Cyborg”, as Adiposo / Fat man in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Colonel Hubris in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Professor William McElroy / King Tut in Batman, Sir Cecil Seabrook in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and Mr. Schubert on Man from Atlantis. (Died 1982.)
- Born February 3, 1963 – Alex Bledsoe, 56. I highly recommend his Tales of The Tufa which can sort of be described as Appalachian Fae though that’s stretching it. His Eddie LaCrosse novels remind of Cook’s Garrett PI series and that’s a high compliment as that’s one of my favorite fantasy PI series. Anyone read his Firefly Witch series?
- Born February 3, 1970 – Warwick Davis, 49. Forty-five live and voice appearances since first appearing in the Return of the Jedi in in place of Kenny Baker who was going to be a Ewok before he fell ill. Did you know he’s in Labyrinth as a member of the Goblin Corps? I certainly didn’t. Or that he did a series of humorous horror films centered around him as a Leprechaun? They did well enough that there was six of them. Hell he even shows up in Doctor Who during the Time of the Eleventh Doctor.
- Born February 3, 1979 – Ransom Riggs, 40. He’s best known for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which I’ll confess I know absolutely nothing about, so educate me. I know it was turned into a film by Tim Burton which could a Very Good Thing.
(8) COMICS SECTION.
- In this Get Fuzzy, we discover writer’s blockhead…
- Over the Hedge’s Hammy worries about a cranial probe.
(9) WHO KNEW? Hard Drive reports “J.K. Rowling Reveals That You, The Reader, Were Gay All Along”:
In a controversial Tweet this morning, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed that you, the reader, have been gay ever since the release of the best-selling children’s series.
“When writing, I always envisioned the reader as gay,” Rowling wrote. “This has been the case since the first page of Philosopher’s Stone, and as the dictator of canon, what I say is now established lore.”
Of course, that won’t come as a surprise to every reader…
(10) MORE THAN JUST MONEY. The Little Red Reviewer’s Kickstarter did not fund but there are compensations:
As you all know by now, my Kickstarter for The Best of Little Red Reviewer did not fund. Of the $5000 I was asking for, I was at less than $2000 when the campaign ended.
Those first 24 hours of the kickstarter were amazing! I was a “project we love” on Kickstarter. Amazing people (you know who you are!) put in $50 or $100 right out of the gate to give me a good start. At work that day, I refreshed my phone incessantly, and didn’t know if I was going to happy cry or puke. The last time I was this excited/happy/nervous for something was the day I got married.
My kickstarter didn’t fund, but I had an amazing experience, and more importantly I have the best, kindest, most supportive friends in the world. All day on February 1st, my phone was blowing up with text messages, e-mails, twitter DMs, and phone calls from my friends saying how sorry they were that the KS didn’t fund. Those messages? That support? People saying how much they cared about me and my project, and saying they hope I try it again? Those messages are worth more than $5000 could ever be worth.
(11) NOT THROUGH THE THIN WHITE DUKE. “David Bowie’s son blocks new biopic from using music” but he’d be happy if Neil Gaiman wrote a script.
David Bowie’s son has criticised a new film about his father’s life, saying that none of the singer’s music will feature in it.
Duncan Jones tweeted: “If you want to see a biopic without his [Bowie’s] music or the family’s blessing, that’s up to the audience”.
The film, called Stardust, is scheduled to start production in June with Gabriel Range as director.
Jonny Flynn is set to play young Bowie, with Jena Malone as his wife Angie.
The film is said to document a young Bowie’s first visit to America in 1971, which gave him the inspiration to create his Ziggy Stardust character and 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
But Jones, who is a Bafta-winning film director and producer, said his family has not been consulted on the film, nor does he know anything about how it will take shape.
He later tweeted to say that if Neil Gaiman, the author of The Sandman and Stardust, wanted to write a biopic, then he would have his blessing.
(12) DON’T SLOW FOR ART. BBC has photos — “Tregarth dragon sculpture prompts police road safety warning”.
A giant wooden dragon has prompted a police warning to drivers not to slow down to look at it after an accident and numerous near-misses.
The seven-metre (25ft) carving, called Y Ddraig Derw – the oak dragon – looks down on the A5, near Tregarth, Gwynedd.
Sculptor Simon O’Rourke, who made the dragon, also urged motorists to pay attention to the road.
North Wales Police said that while they “love the oak dragon” they were “concerned” about road safety issues.
“There has already been one accident and numerous near-misses on this section of road which really does require a driver’s full concentration,” said the force in a post on its Bangor and Bethesda Facebook page.
“Please concentrate on the road ahead at all times, if you want to view it, then please find somewhere safe to park.”
(13) SHORT FICTION REVIEWS. Adri Joy shares “Adventures in Short Fiction: January 2019” at Nerds of a Feather, covering Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny and the anthology A Thousand Beginnings and Endings.
I read Strange Horizons through their Patreon subscription issues, which are a handy way to get each month’s content in an easy e-book format. Useful as this is, the drawback is that each month’s “omnibus” only comes out partway through the following month, which means I am always quite far behind compared to the weekly output of new issues on the site. Also, this roundup doesn’t include the fundraising drive stories which came over this period, which have been collected for backers in a separate ebook and are also available online. The silver lining to this delayed coverage is, of course, that all the original stories here are eligible for Hugo awards right now, should you wish to check them out (and also they didn’t stop being good, relevant stories just because they were published three months ago.)
There are three original stories in the October edition, encompassing very different voices with strong sense of place and a running theme of death and loss….
(14) SUPER BOWL TRAILERS.
- Alita: Battle Angel
- A Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3
- Captain Marvel
- Avengers: Endgame
- Jordan Peele’s Us
- Bud Light ad cross-promotes HBO’s Game of Thrones
[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Liptak, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]