(1) GIVE ‘EM HELL HARRY! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the new record-holder for winning the most Olivier Awards.
The Broadway-bound “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” shattered records at the Olivier Awards for London theater here on Sunday night, picking up nine prizes, including best new play, and honors for the actors playing Harry, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius.
The previous record was seven awards for one production.
Jamie Parker took best actor for his portrayal of Harry, while Noma Dumezweni won supporting actress honors as Hermione and Anthony Boyle supporting actor honors as Scorpius.
“Harry Potter” also won for best director (the Tony winner John Tiffany) and for its lighting, sound, costumes and set design. The production had tied the record for the most nominations for any show in Oliviers history, with 11.
The play is expected to open at the Lyric Theater on Broadway in 2018.
(2) BILLIE PIPER TOO. And walking away with the Olivier Award for Best Actress was Billie Piper. The former Doctor Who companion (as Rose Tyler) won for her performance in Yerma.
The extraordinary Billie Piper plays Her, a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child. Simon Stone creates a radical new production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece.
(3) PULITZER WINNING OPERA. Rob Thornton points to another sff work that took a Pulitzer Prize yesterday.
Du Yun’s opera “Angel’s Bone,” about a couple who rescues two angels, clips their wings and exploits them for money, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The jury stated that the work “integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.” According to the website NewMusicBox, the opera features a “disturbing supernatural story” by librettist Royce Vavrek.
(4) EARLY ADOPTING. How new tech is showing up first in slums:
Cities need new ways to create energy and cut down on waste, and some of the most innovative – and low-tech – solutions may well be found in the parts of town the city authorities are least likely to talk about.
While some bemoan crowded commutes, for slum-dwellers it is access to basic services such as running water or electricity that is the real issue.
And where there is need, there is often innovation.
So can the technology being rolled out in the world’s most deprived urban areas offer not just hope for those who live there but also lessons for the richer parts of the city?
(5) FURRY CONVENTION LOSES ITS PELT. Furry fan news site Flayrah bids adieu: “Rocky Mountain Fur Con canceled following neo-Nazi associations, tax irregularities”.
Colorado furry convention Rocky Mountain Fur Con has been canceled. Funds collected in advance of this August’s event are to be spent on existing liabilities, and refunding attendees and dealers where possible; any remainder will go to the convention charity.
While their official statement cites rising security costs, the closure follows the controversial issues surrounding CEO Kendal Emery (Kahuki Liaru), and the “Furry Raiders” group. It has also been discovered by Flayrah that the convention’s parent company’s Federal tax-exempt status, obtained in 2009, had lapsed, and it had not filed taxes for a period of seven years, while still claiming to be a registered 501(c) non-profit. In this investigative report we can identify the issues that have contributed to the end of Denver’s furry convention.
(6) CALL OF THE WILD CAFFEINE. This conversation sounds familiar.
Me: My stomach hurts.
Common sense: Maybe that second pot of coffee was a bad idea.
Me: SHUT UP COMMON SENSE YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME pic.twitter.com/bOc51Quvxv
— OneWomanRiot Rambo (@Catrambo) April 11, 2017
(7) STAR WARS CHARITY CONTEST. Deadline Hollywood reports “’Star Wars: Force For Change’ & Omaze Kick Off 40th Anniversary Of Sci-Fi Franchise With New Charity Campaign”.
Over the course of four weeks between April 11– May 11, fans may enter at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to win once-in-a-lifetime Star Wars experiences including the chance to appear in the upcoming Han Solo movie, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Hollywood, or, an overnight stay at Skywalker Ranch. The grand prize is winning all three of these experiences.
Starlight Children’s Foundation is the newest charity to benefit from Star Wars: Force for Change. Through a $1 million grant, Star Wars: Force for Change supports the foundation’s core programs at 700-plus children’s hospitals, clinics, and camps. Over the last three years, Star Wars: Force for Change and UNICEF have raised more than $9M together and saved the lives of 30K-plus children suffering from severe acute malnutrition through the distribution of over 4M packets of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food Packets (RUTF) around the world.
The contest is here.
(8) DUNNING OBIT. Washington State fan Karrie Dunning died April 11. Dunning had been in fandom since the Seventies. She emceed the masquerade at the first Norwescon in 1978. She was part of the Seattle in 1981 Worldcon bid that lost to Denver, and involved with the city’s Vanguard group.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- April 11, 1939 — Buck Rogers first aired on radio.
- April 11, 1970 — Apollo 13 was launched, manned by astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert, and Fred Haise.
(10) WARNING, TANNED PECS AHEAD. Erin Horáková deconstructs Captain Kirk, interstellar oinker, in “Freshly Remember’d: Kirk Drift” at Strange Horizons.
I’m going to walk through this because it’s important for ST:TOS’s reception, but more importantly because I believe people often rewatch the text or even watch it afresh and cannot see what they are watching through the haze of bullshit that is the received idea of what they’re seeing. You “know” Star Trek before you ever see Star Trek: a ‘naive’ encounter with such a culturally cathected text is almost impossible, and even if you manage it you probably also have strong ideas about that period of history, era of SF, style of television, etc to contend with. The text is always already interpolated by forces which would derange a genuine reading, dragging such an effort into an ideological cul de sac which neither the text itself nor the viewer necessarily have any vested interest in. These forces work on the memory, extracting unpaid labour without consent. They interpose themselves between the viewer and the material, and they hardly stop at Star Trek.
….Besides, if Star Trek is going to be part of the conversation whether or not the Left wants to claim it (and look at how SFnal texts are being deployed in the discourse for conversation surrounding the Reprise of Fascism—look at how authoritarian forces are deploying the grammar of Star Trek, and at Nu!Trek’s imperial subtexts), then our memory of the text should not actively derange said text to suit political projects we do not necessarily consent to participate in. For these projects live in us and through us, like parasites that make us their unwitting and unwilling hosts. Like dybbuks that possess and consume us, taking our thoughts, our very eyes, and making them their own.
(11) BRAND NAME COMICS. John Carpenter of movie fame is starting a comics series:
Carpenter and his wife and collaborator Sandy King are bringing us Tales of Science Fiction, a monthly anthology series that will show us the darkness and wonder of everything the genre has to offer. The first three-issue arc is called “Vault” and has been written by James Ninness with art by Andres Esparza. The first issue will be available in July, and we’re waiting with baited breath.
(12) THE ONES FANS’ MOTHERS DIDN’T BURN. Drum roll, please. Here is ScreenRant’s list of “The 18 Rarest and Hard To Find Comic Books”.
- Detective Comics #27
Of course, this comic had to make it onto the list. While no single issue of Detective Comics is particularly rare, there’s no denying the appeal of the very first appearance of the character described on the cover as “The Batman” – the inclusion of the word “the” in the hero’s title dates back long before Ben Affleck was set to direct a movie of the same name, and even before the animated series The Batman.
There are less than two hundred copies of Detective Comics #27 remaining in the world today, which would mean that it’s actually fairly common compared to some books on this list. In spite of that, though, thanks to its impressive place in the annals of comics, this is one book that you’re unlikely to ever own, as each of the surviving copies of the book are worth at least a six figure sum
(13) GAME THERAPY. Post-trauma visual games may prevent PTSD.
But it turns out the particular brand of disconnection provided by Tetris may reflect a mental state long sought by healers to treat patients who have lived through a trauma.
I’m referring to the idea that some combination of facing negative memories, but also being distracted from them, might help alleviate the vivid psychological scars of trauma. Clinicians and philosophers have tried countless ways of treating trauma and anxiety through the years — of finding, as Roman stoic philosopher Seneca called it, tranquillitas, or peace of mind. And many of them were, in all likelihood, bunk. But the science now shows that activities as simple as playing distracting video games or focusing on eye movements can help patients cope with a tragic experience.
(14) PROFESSIONAL HELP. Remember SFWA’s resources for topics like event accessibility.
— OneWomanRiot Rambo (@Catrambo) April 11, 2017
(15) SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WRITING CLASSES. Cat Rambo is increasing the number of Plunkett scholarships she offers for her writing classes.
Something I’m trying to do this year is pay things forward as much as possible. Recent technological upgrades means I can now fit more than 8-9 people in a class (can now handle up to twice that many, which is more suited to some classes than others), so I figured one way to do that is to make more class slots available to people who couldn’t otherwise afford the class.
So, each class now has three Plunkett scholarship slots, the third of which is specifically reserved for QUILTBAG and POC applicants. Everyone is encouraged to apply, but I want to make sure it’s getting to a diverse range. The only qualification for a Plunkett is this: you would not be able to afford the class otherwise. Just mail me with the name/date of the class and 1-3 sentences about why you want to take it.
Classes Offered April-June 2017
- Creating an Online Presence for Writers, Saturday, June 3, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
- Description and Delivering Information, Wednesday, April 26, 4-6 PM Pacific Time
- Fantastic Worldbuilding with Fran Wilde, Saturday, April 8, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
- Literary Techniques for Genre Writers I, Saturday, April 22, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
- Flash Fiction Workshop, Wednesday, April 12, 7-9 PM Pacific Time
- Moving from Idea to Draft, Saturday, May 6, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
- How to Rewrite, Edit, and Polish Your Fiction, Wednesday, May 3, 4-6 PM
- How to Write Steampunk and Weird Western, Saturday, May 13, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
- Story Fundamentals, Wednesday, April 19 4-6 PM Pacific Time OR Saturday, May 27 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time OR Wednesday May 31 7-9 PM Pacific Time
- Writing Your Way Into Your Novel, Saturday, April 29, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time
(16) PUTTING A CAP ON HIS CAREER. If this is what traditional publishers are making writers do, indie authors have one more reason to be thankful.
So, my publishers say I have to start trying to appeal to a younger audience… pic.twitter.com/T3BZuw6iqB
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) April 11, 2017
(17) TAFF FINAL CALL. Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund voting ends April 17 at midnight GMT. Curt Phillips – TAFF Administrator, North America and Anna Raftery – TAFF Administrator, UK/Europe encourage you to participate.
The Loooong 2017 TAFF voting season is finally approaching a conclusion as voting ends this coming Sunday, April 17 at Midnight GMT (that’s UK time), which time marks the end of this year’s Eastercon. Voting had been extended to allow in-person voting at Eastercon; a longstanding tradition for TAFF and that convention. UK TAFF Administrator Anna Raftery will be on hand at the convention to take those votes, so please do keep her busy! And as a special attraction for Eastercon attendees there will be a League of Fan Funds auction during the convention. Rare and valuable artifacts of fannish loot and booty have been gathered to entice your pounds from your wallets and purses to benefit TAFF, GUFF, and other fan funds including a new one which hopes to benefit fandom in Brazil! But there’s room for more, so *please* bring along a little loot and booty of your own to donate to the fan fund auction at Eastercon. *Many* fans will benefit from your generosity! On-line and postal voting will continue through that time as well both in North America and in the UK/Europe – and all around the planet, for that matter and you can find a link to the ballot and the candidate platforms at David Langford’s excellent TAFF website found at http://taff.org.uk/
No matter who you vote for, thank you for supporting TAFF. You are contributing to a life changing experience for a fan, and a very noble and worthwhile tradition for all of Fandom.
(18) PRO RATES. Here’s the SFWA market report for April, compiled by David Steffen.
(19) TRACK RECORD. ComicsBeat brings word that a pair of successful moviemakers will shepherd Invincible to the big screen.
First they kicked things off co-writing the 2011 Green Hornet film.
Then they took on the task of adapting and showrunning the current adaptation of Preacher for AMC.
After that, they opted to bring another Garth Ennis-written comic, The Boys to Cinemax.
And today? Variety reports that writing and directing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be writing/directing/producing a big screen adaptation of the Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker superhero saga, Invincible for Universal.
(20) STREAMING SF. Netflix released the SENSE8 Season 2 – Official Trailer
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, lurkertype. Cat Rambo, Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]