(1) TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS. Sue Duff thought it would be easy to destroy the Earth, but noooo! She explains the difficulties in a guest post for SFFWorld.
When I plotted out my five-book series a couple years ago, I knew that by book four, it would be time to give my characters a break and began to torture my worlds. I needed to increase the stakes across both dimensions for the big finale in book five. It took quite a bit of research, in spite of my amateur earth and space science interests, and found that it’s not easy to make reality align with your imagination! The challenge was to have my antagonist destroy Thrae, Earth’s mirror dimension, while salvaging enough of the planet to support life. Luckily, I sat on a panel with two NASA scientists at Denver Comic Con and cornered them afterwards to verify my research. I was thrilled, and more than a little relieved, to discover that the details were accurate!
(2) LOCUS AWARD POLL IS OPEN. John Scalzi has beaten me to a pair of headlines today – I’m lucky he spends most of his time on books. John was first with the Audie Awards, and now this —
The 47th annual Locus Poll & Survey is now live. Vote today in the Locus Awards! https://t.co/PkHbBpPAJR
— Locus Magazine (@locusmag) February 7, 2017
(3) SHADOW CLARKE. Paul Kincaid tells how he thinks the shadow Clarke jury will operate.
I have never been involved with a shadow jury before, so I’m probably going to be making it up as we go along. But my take on it is that the Clarke Award has become central to the way we see science fiction in Britain, so the shadow jury will use it as a jumping off point from which to expand the discussion of science fiction.
We’ll be starting with the submissions list, which is due to be published shortly and which is probably the best and most convenient way to discover what science fiction has been published in Britain during any particular year. From this we will each, individually, draw up our own preferred shortlists, based on what we’ve read and what we want to read. (No plan survives an encounter with the enemy, so I assume that as we read through our chosen books our views about what should or should not be on the shortlist will change. In many ways, I suspect that will be the most interesting part of the exercise.) We will also, of course, be reading the actual shortlist when that is announced, so the whole exercise will be a scaled-up version of Maureen Kincaid Speller’s wonderful Shortlist Project from a few years back.
(4) THE RIGHTS. Read “SFWA Statements on Register of Copyright and Copyright Reform” at the SFWA Blog.
On January 31, SFWA submitted two sets of copyright-related commentary (authored by SFWA’s Legal Affairs Committee) — one to the Librarian of Congress offering recommendations for choosing the new Register of Copyrights, and one to the House Judiciary Committee regarding its first proposal for copyright reform. SFWA also signed onto a submission from the National Writers Union to the US Copyright Office concerning Group Registration of Contributions to Periodicals.
(5) HEAR THIS ONE BEFORE? From the “Traveler” essay in Larry Niven’s Stars and Gods collection:
Lost luggage? Air France lost a passenger in the Soviet Union, because he annoyed them. They dropped Tom Doherty in Moscow when he only had an internal passport for Leningrad.
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY PUPPETEER
- Born February 8, 1969 – Mary Robinette Kowal
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GARÇON
- February 8, 1828 — Jules Verne
(8) SQUEE. Walter Jon Williams has signed the contract for three more books in the Praxis series. He discusses the deal in “Unto the Breach”.
And so (I hear you ask) why seek publication by the Big Five after all? Because (1) they offered me money, and (2) I don’t want to put all my career eggs into a single basket. Ebook sales are volatile, many sales are generated by gimmicks that quickly grow obsolete, and I’m in competition with a couple million self-published authors who can’t write their way out of a paper bag, but who get just as much shelf space as I do. If you’re published by a traditional publisher, it demonstrates that someone cared enough for your work to pay more than taxi-fare money for it.
And if the books fail, I’ll get them back, and then I’ll market them myself. Win/win.
The headline was JJ’s reaction to the news.
(9) CONGRATULATIONS. Jason Sanford’s short story collection Never Never Stories has been translated and released in China by Douban Reads.
(10) MAKE YOUR OWN KESSEL RUN. Graeme McMillan at The Hollywood Reporter says Disney has announced that Star Wars Land will open in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios section in 2019, with a smaller one in Anaheim. They’re mum about what will be in it, but it’s 14 acres!
It’s like ‘La La Land,’ but with less dancing and more Jedi.
Disney is planning something big to mark the conclusion of the current Star Wars trilogy. How big? The size of a theme park.
On a call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday revealed that the 14-acre Star Wars Land attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando will open in 2019, the same year as Star Wars Episode IX, the final chapter in the current “Skywalker Saga” arc of the beloved space opera.
Construction started on the Hollywood Studios attraction last April, following its August 2015 announcement. Until Iger’s statement on Tuesday, Disney had remained quiet about the attraction — which will be paired with a similar one in Disneyland Anaheim — beyond the release of concept artwork last summer. While it’s still unconfirmed just what the attraction will include, a Disney Parks blog post promised “guests will get the opportunity to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” after climbing on board a full-size replica of the Millennium Falcon.
(11) THE BOX SCORE. These are the authors who wrote the most short fiction in 2016 that was published in any of the eleven publications or eleven anthologies Rocket Stack Rank reviewed last year. — “2016 Prolific SF/F Short Fiction Authors”
Here are Rocket Stack Rank’s 35 most prolific science fiction & fantasy short fiction authors of 2016. Click on their names in the two tables below to see their stories, and use the Score and AvgScore columns to try some authors you might not have read before. They were selected from the 818 original stories reviewed by RSR in 2016, which include 568 authors who wrote 5.8 million words published in 11 SF/F magazines and 11 SF/F anthologies. (RSR does not read horror magazines or horror anthologies.)
Greg Hullender adds, “Not a surprise to see Rick Larson and Robert Reed at the top in terms of number of stories. The counts by number of words are strongly affected by novella writers, but still interesting. Could be a useful resource to people looking for a new author to try out.”
(12) THE BOOKS YOU LOVE. Biblio.com has tips on “Storing A Book Collection”.
We routinely hear from customers who want to know the best way to store collectible books. Sadly, even more commonly, we hear from customers who have inadvertently stored their books improperly, eroding the value of their beloved book collection.
We thought we’d take an opportunity to share with you some tips for proper storage of books, gleaned from not only our own personal experience, but that of seasoned professional booksellers. But before we dive right in to the stacks, let’s preface the whole thing by reminding you that:
CONDITION IS EVERYTHING!
Even the most scarce of titles is rarely worth much when it is in poor condition or beyond repair. Mildew, broken spines, torn or faded dust jackets, cocked bindings and similar issues can conspire to move a desirable book from the display case to the bargain bin.
Ok, that said, let’s learn how we can keep your book collection from ruin when you need to put it in storage for a period of time…
(13) OB SF. The Washington Post’s Michael E. Ruane, in “An American filmed the German army in WWI — until they became the enemy”, has an interesting article about the Library of Congress’s restoration of On the Firing Line with the Germans, a documentary Wilbur H. Durborough did on the Eastern Front in Germany in 1915.
The sf connection is that Durborough’s cameraman, Irving G. Ries, had a long, distinguished career in Hollywood capped by an Oscar nomination for his work on the special effects in Forbidden Planet in 1956.
(14) THE MATRYOSHKA TWEETS. It began when Cat Rambo reminded SFWA members to make their Nebula nominations.
As a former president of SFWA, I endorse this comment from the current president of SFWA. https://t.co/NI2fo1OBPh
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) February 8, 2017
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) February 8, 2017
(15) DISBELIEF SUSPENDERS. College Humor poses the question — Which Is Nerdier: Star Wars or Star Trek?
[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster,JJ, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]