(1) #NEBULAS2018. Tonight SFWA held a reception for its latest Grandmaster Peter S. Beagle.
Peter Beagle tells us a story. ? pic.twitter.com/kOsMO9r89D
— SFWA, Inc. (@sfwa) May 18, 2018
(2) THE SWAG IS OUT THERE. Cat Rambo reveals cool SFWA stuff.
— ??????? ???? ????? ??? (@Catrambo) May 16, 2018
(3) GENRE TV UPDATES. Deadline reports “‘Siren’ Renewed For Season 2 By Freeform”.
Ahead of the May 24 season 1 finale, Freeform has picked up a second season of its hit mermaid thriller Siren. The network ordered a 16-episode Season 2, up from 10 episodes this season. The renewal was announced just ahead of the network’s upfront presentation today in New York City.
Siren has been a ratings success for Freeform, debuting as the No. 1 new cable drama with young women 18-34 and 12-34.
Rev. Bob provides background:
If you’re not familiar with Siren, it’s an hour-long drama in which (a) mermaids and sirens are the same thing, (b) a fishing boat catches one in a net, and (c) the military swoops in and takes her before even the crew can get a good look, so (d) her sister comes ashore to find her and get her back. Naturally, this being a prime-time cable show, hot twenty-somethings, brooding guys, and romantic entanglements ensue. It’s actually rather well done, forgoing the usual “sanitized, waist-down” transformation for a more visceral full-body transformation more reminiscent of werewolf effects.
A commercial during tonight’s episode advertised SIREN Season 2 as “Coming 2019,” with next week’s episode as the Season 1 finale. This clears the decks for the June 7 two-hour premiere of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger. Both shows air on Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family).
Cloak & Dagger are well-established Marvel characters. For some reason, the TV show moves them from their usual NYC to New Orleans.
“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.
(4) WORLDCON 76 PROGRESS REPORT. The San Jose Worldcon has issued Progress Report #3 [PDF file].
Hugo voting has begun, and much more stuff is on the way. Check out our latest Progress Report for stories on past Worldcon, local places to visit when you’re here, and an interview with Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio about his #Mexicanx Initiative.
(5) WORLD FANTASTY CON PR. And the 2018 World Fantasy Convention has posted its own Progress Report Three [PDF file].
(6) VORKOSIFLORIST. Lois McMaster Bujold’s novella “The Flowers of Vashnoi” is now available for purchase. There are links to various sellers in her Goodreads Post.
Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceals deadly old secrets.
This novella falls after Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance in the Vorkosigan series timeline, but may be read entirely independently. The Vorkosigan saga was the recipient of the first Hugo Award for best science fiction series in 2017.”
(7) KGB PHOTOS. Ellen Datlow posted photos from their latest reading — “Fantastic Fiction at KGB May 16”.
Tina Connolly and Caroline Yoachim read stories — Caroline’s was nominated for the Nebula Award. Tina’s is forthcoming in a couple of months. They were both excellent readers and left us all wanting desperately to know the ends of their stories.
(8) STAN’S FAVORITE AUTHOR IS SHAKESPEARE. Doctor Strangemind’s Kim Huett proves some ephemera is valuable: “So here’s an article about the surprising things one can find in a collection and the day I encountered the unexpected Stan Lee. If you thought Marvel films were the only place that Mr Lee made cameos well have I news for you” — “The Unexpected Stan Lee”.
One tip towards owning a collection.
Despite the title above this story doesn’t start with Stan Lee. Well get get to him in due course don’t worry, Stan Lee is inevitable after all, but first there needs to be some scene setting.
Like any profession the folk who deal in the buying and selling of second-hand books can recite a litany of peeves and dislikes in regards to their work. Not surprisingly most of these complaints revolve around the behaviour of the general public. Not you, I hasten to add, I’ve no doubt that if you’re reading this then you are the thoughtful and discerning type who wouldn’t dream of adding to a book dealer’s woes. Even so it’s possible for the average collector to miss a few tricks, some of which may surprise you. Consider for example the following complaint lifted from a private mailing list:
You need to add to that list the frustration of being offered a recently inherited collection only to discover that before calling the seller has thrown away everything they assumed was irrelevant rubbish. Why somebody not familiar with a collection and who usually has little or no interest in the subject the collection is built around assumes they are the best qualified person to decided what is valuable and what is not is beyond me. People don’t understand about ephemera!
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 17, 1957 — Monster From Green Hell premiered in theaters.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY COMPOSER
- Born May 17, 1961—Enya. An Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globe Award winner for “May It Be”, a song she wrote for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
(11) END OF AN ERA. Romantic Times and the related convention are going away. “’This is the last RT’ – Kathryn Falk Announces End of Romantic Times” — Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has the story.
At a breakfast this morning at the 2018 RomanticTimes BookLovers Convention, Kathryn Falk and her husband Ken Rubin announced that they are retiring, and that this year is the last year for the RT Convention. While there had been rumors before the announcement, her words, delivered at the end of a farewell speech that focused on what she would be doing next, were met with gasps and audible shock.
Shortly afterward, the following email went out to RT Subscribers and newsletter members announcing that the convention as well as the RT Magazine online and the RT VIP Lounge would all be closing effective immediately…
… No mention was made regarding the new 2019 BookLovers Convention, which will be run by current RT Convention coordinator Jo Carol Jones. BookLovers Con will be held in New Orleans, May 15-19 2019.
JJ adds, “There are lots of fond comments, but take particular note of comments # 8, 11 and 20.”
(12) MARVELOUS SURPRISE, MAYBE. CNN declares “‘Captain Marvel’ won’t be what you might expect”. (Did any of you tell CNN what you expect?)
“That’s a lot of times what a typical origin movie is structured like, but as we introduce new characters moving forward, we want to find ways to subvert that structure, so at least the experience of the film feels new to audiences,” [Marvel producer Nate] Moore added. “We’re very conscious of making sure that audiences don’t get things that feel like they’ve seen them before.”
(13) KOMINSKY-CRUMB. The New York Times profiles “The Yoko Ono of Comics, on Her Own Terms”:
Among the few women making underground comics in 1970s San Francisco, the feminist infighting was fierce. Aline Kominsky (who would soon take the name of her famous and infamous boyfriend, Robert Crumb) was berated for drawing strips that female cartoonists in her collective thought were too crude and confessional, not uplifting enough, wallowing in the depths of self-loathing — about being too fat, too sexually voracious, too loud, too neurotic. This was not the work of an “evolved feminist consciousness,” she was told.
When she broke off and started her own comic book, Twisted Sisters, the first issue’s cover made it clear just how little she cared about anyone’s judgment: It was a drawing of her sitting on the toilet, underwear around her ankles, wondering, “How many calories in a cheese enchilada?”
“She specialized in outgrossing anyone who was going to call her gross,” said Diane Noomin, Ms. Kominsky-Crumb’s co-conspirator in Twisted Sister.
She didn’t care — and hasn’t for a long time now. For over four decades, Ms. Kominsky-Crumb has been shining an unabashedly unflattering light on her own life. It’s the theme that runs through “Love That Bunch,” a new book gathering her solo comics from her mid-20s until these past few years, as she turns 70 this summer.
(14) SEVENTIES SFF. James Davis Nicoll’s series continues with the letter L: “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part VI”.
J.A. Lawrence may be best known as an illustrator, but she is also an author. She is perhaps best known for “Getting Along” (featured in 1972’s Again, Dangerous Visions) as well as for the collection Star Trek 12, which was part of a long-running series adapted from scripts of the original Star Trek. While many of her works were co-authored with her then-husband, the late James Blish, 1978’s Mudd’s Angels is a solo work by Lawrence.
(15) YOUR 451 SCORE. B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog writer Jeff Somers thinks he found “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451”. Eh. I scored 8 out of 10, and one of them I “missed” is dubious (about a “prequel”). Good post all the same. Here is the one that was news to me:
There’s a video game adaptation, and it was written by Bradbury
If you’re jonesing for a sequel, you can find the nearest approximation if you can track down a copy of the 1984 video game Bradbury developed—and an old computer to play it on. It’s a direct continuation in which you play as Guy Montag, former Fireman, now seeking to make contact with the underground resistance working to save books. An interactive text adventure with some graphics, the game relies on quotes from famous written works that Montag must collect and pass on to resistance members to memorize them for posterity.
(16) SF WHERE IT’S LEAST EXPECTED. Narrative online magazine has a reputation for being very, very literary. Bruce D. Arthurs says, “So I was quite croggled to see that their latest ‘Poem of the Week’ was titled ’Alderaan’ by Maria Hummel.”
You can only read the first half of the poem at the link. To read the last half, you have to sign up and login.
Bruce read the whole thing and his verdict is, “Not particularly impressed by the poem, myself. But seeing it appear in a high-falutin’ literary mag like Narrative was quite the surprise. Maybe science fiction really is taking over the world.”
(17) GAS HISTORY. The earliest O2: “Scientists detect oxygen legacy of first stars”.
Astronomers have made the most distant ever detection of oxygen.
They observed it in a galaxy of stars that existed just 500 million years after the Big Bang.
But what is really fascinating is that this oxygen can only have been produced in an even older group of stars that would have dispersed it when they died and blew themselves apart.
That means we could be witnessing the traces of events that occurred a mere 250 million years after the Big Bang.
(18) IT’S ABOUT TIME. Southwestern solar calendar: “Arizona’s mysertious clock of ancient times” is traceable to past tribes, not space aliens.
In 2005, Zoll, then 57 and a volunteer at the forest’s V Bar V historical ranch site, detected a pattern to the shadows cast on the park’s huge rock art panels, which are covered with more than 1,000 petroglyphs.
Could this, he wondered, be an ancient calendar?
He shared his observation with a forest service archaeologist, who wasn’t particularly impressed. Archaeo- or cultural astronomy, the study of how ancient peoples tracked the seasons and studied the cosmos, has fought for respectability. It’s hard to prove that alignment with the sun, moon or stars isn’t mere coincidence. And in the past, some advocates haven’t helped their case, suggesting that prehistoric sites could have been fashioned by space aliens.
(19) WOULDA COULDA WAKANDA. HISHE gives us “How Black Panther Should Have Ended.”
(20) COLBERT. Live For Live Music explicates a Late Show comedy bit: “Kids Pitch A New TV Show: ‘Strangest Things: The Golden Mysteries'”.
On last night’s edition of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night host recruited a slew of prominent actors and entertainers to help bring the ideas of a panel of “the most influential minds in the prized 6-8-year-old demographic” to life in a hilarious sketch dubbed “Kids Pitch.”
After an exhaustive session with the kids, Colbert’s focus group came to the conclusion that the new TV show they wanted to pitch would need to feature “very famous group band,” The Beatles (one kid, a young Beatles superfan, stuck to his Revolver when challenged on what their best album was). The focus group also came up with various thematic criteria including fighting and music (which, of course, means “rap battle”) as well as creepiness, aliens, Nick Cannon and Brooke Shields, among other things.
Playing three of The Beatles are John Oliver (Paul McCartney), David Tennant (George Harrison), and Michael Shannon (Ringo Starr).
[Thanks to ULTRAGOTHA, JJ, Bruce D. Arthurs, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Kim Huett, James Davis Nicoll, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]