(1) THE FENCE. A recent Pixel Scroll reported construction is almost finished on the residence replacing Ray Bradbury’s torn-down home. Designed by architect Thom Mayne, the new house where he and his wife Blythe will live had been promised to include a tribute to the late author in the form of a fence with Bradbury quotes. But you can’t really make out any text in LA Observed’s photo:
So John King Tarpinian swung by and shot his own set of pictures.
These are three of the four panels that Mr. Mayne has erected. The fourth panel was removed, not sure why. You can only see panels one and two easily. Panel three is behind shrubs, as will be panel four when it is reinstalled. For the life of me I cannot decipher anything.
There are some words visible if you stare long enough. The top line seems to be “I never ask anyone else’s opinion. They don’t count.” — a Bradbury quote the architect may have picked to send a little “F.U.” to anyone unhappy about what he’s done wiith the property.
(2) GUARDIANS OF THE FIDUCIARY. The cash registers were scorching hot this weekend: “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’: A one-time underdog returns with $145 million opening”
Disney (DIS) and Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise put up stellar results in its return to theaters this weekend, nearly three years after unexpectedly blowing the doors off the box office.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” brought in $145 million, making it the fifth highest grossing domestic debut for a movie in Marvel’s universe of interconnected films. Forecasts had estimated its U.S. opening weekend haul would check in around $140 million to $160 million.
Openings in the Chinese and South Korean markets this weekend helped push the movie’s global gross at $427.6 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
(3) FILE SEVENTEEN YEARS. Congratulations to Julia Bartlett-Sloan, who graduated from the University of Georgia on May 5 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
The last time File 770 ran a story mentioning her, in 2000, she was one of the Bartlett-Sloan sisters in this picture. Time flies!
(4) LIVING HISTORY. Last night’s Saturday Night Live did a Star Trek: TOS skit that featured the show’s production designer Akira Yoshimura as Sulu.
Vanity Fair points out that 41 years ago in the show’s first season, a Star Trek skit had Yoshimura as Sulu.
S.N.L. buffs will be the first to tell you that Yoshimura—who has been with the show from the start—first appeared as Sulu opposite John Belushi’s Captain Kirk in a 1976 sketch titled “The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise” from Saturday Night Live’s very first season.
(5) FRENCH SFF COMPETITION. Entries are being taken for the Prix Joël-Champetier through August 31. Eligible works are unpublished stories in French by non-Canadian authors, no longer than 10,500 words. The winner will be selected through blind judging (see the guidelines about preserving anonymity.) Subscribers to Solaris can enter free, others must pay a C$20 fee. The winner will receive a 1,000 Euro prize.
(6) HYDRA HAILING FREQUENCY. At io9 James Witbrook says it’s getting worse, not better: “Captain America Is No Longer a Supervillain, He’s a Monster”.
Secret Empire #1—by Nick Spencer, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Matthew Wilson, and Travis Lanham—doesn’t immediately pick up after the events of Secret Empire #0, which chronicled the reveal of Captain America’s deception of his friends, allies, and the world at large. Instead, it’s an unspecified number of months after, with Hydra in control of the United States, and Captain America at its head.
Heroes still attempt to resist—spearheaded by a group lead by Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the A.I. essence of Tony Stark operating out of a hidden base in the Nevada desert, with the young Champions running sorties against Hydra patrols in Vegas—but for the average America citizen, Hydra is now their leader. And while Marvel Comics has blustered over accusations of Hydra’s past links to the Nazis, and even attempted to deny the political undertones of Secret Empire, it’s hard to read Secret Empire #1 and not draw parallels between Hydra’s rule and the rise of the Nazi party in ‘30s Germany. Books have been burned in classrooms, history has been rewritten….
(7) REAPING WHAT YOU SOW. Sigrid Ellis’ post “Marvel Comics has given Captain America’s shield to real-life white nationalists” is quoted here in full:
This news story appeared yesterday:
Look at the photos. Look at the fourth photo.
There’s a man, there, carrying Captain America’s shield.
That man is one of the neo-Nazi white supremacists who attempted to get into the Minnesota State Capitol yesterday. He and his compatriots could not get in.
They were defied by regular Minnesotans, linking arms, standing their ground against hatred. The neo-Nazis were defied by the heroism of ordinary people who see evil and refuse to turn away. These regular Minnesotans understand something that Marvel Comics and Nick Spencer have completely failed to grasp.
Decent human beings do not harbor, encourage, or condone white supremacy. Decent human beings do not by their action or inaction permit evil to fester.
You brought this on yourself, Marvel. Instead of cute kids running around playing at being Avengers, a grown man carried YOUR shield, Marvel, into battle on the steps of my state capitol building yesterday.
And your shield, Marvel, stood for hatred.
May you long reap the joy and reward of your actions.
(8) NEXT AT KGB. E.C. Myers and Sam J. Miller will read at Fantastic Fiction at KGB on Wednesday, May 17.
E.C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, New York. He has published four novels, and short stories in various magazines and anthologies, including Space & Time Magazine, Hidden Youth: Speculative Stories of Marginalized Children, and Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy. His first novel, Fair Coin, won the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult SF and Fantasy, and YALSA selected The Silence of Six as one of its “Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers” in 2016. His next book will be DoubleThink, a collection of stories related to The Silence of Six from and he continues to write for ReMade, a science fiction series from Serial Box Publishing.
Sam J. Miller’s short stories have appeared in publications such as Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and Lightspeed, along with multiple “year’s best” anthologies. His debut novel The Art of Starving, forthcoming from HarperTeen, was called “Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful… a classic in the making” by Book Riot. His second novel, The Breaks, will be published by Ecco Press in 2018. He graduated from the Clarion UCSD Science Fiction & Fantasy Workshop in 2012. A finalist for multiple Nebula Awards along with the World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards, he won the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for his short story “57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides.”
Begins 7 p.m. at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs) in New York.
(9) HELP NEEDED. If someone reading this who is fluent in Korean would be willing to serve as a go-between for a brief exchange regarding some fan-related questions, please send me your contact name and e-mail address and I will put you in touch with the fan who needs the help.
Write to me at – firstname.lastname@example.org.
(10) LET’S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are back says io9 – “Edge of Tomorrow Sequel Gets Title and Return of Emily Blunt”.
In an interview with Collider, Liman confirmed that the new movie will be called Live Die Repeat and Repeat, a nod to the tagline and later title that was given to the film for digital and home release, Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. Blunt is on board to reprise her role as Rita Vrataski, along with Cruise as star Bill Cage. Liman previously said the movie will be a sequel that’s actually a prequel, playing on the film’s use of time to subvert people’s expectations of what a sequel should be like.
(11) DE-AGING. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna looks at the CGI wizardry that enabled Kurt Russell, in a crucial early scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, to look the way he did in 1980.
From there, [director James] Gunn credits the technological growth. “It helped that Kurt has aged pretty well and that the makeup and hair team did their [work] properly,” the director says, “but it’s also that visual effects are just getting better and better.
“It’s not cheap and it’s not easy,” Gunn adds. “That [scene] pretty much took our entire post-production period to finish. I didn’t get the final shots till almost a few weeks before ‘lock.’ ”
(12) DAMMIT I’M A DOCTOR. Motley Fool tells about “3 Ways Real Health Care Is Catching Up to Sci-Fi Health Care”.
2. Curing cancer with machines Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 film Elysium featured a magical medical pod that could cure cancer in less than a minute. While that device is an obvious Hollywood fantasy, it has roots in real medical technology that is available today.
Over the past decade, cancer treatments have improved dramatically on the pharmaceutical level, with immunotherapy and targeted therapies, and on the mechanical level, with advanced oncology machines.
Accuray’s flagship product, the CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System, is one of these machines. The CyberKnife uses tiny lasers to deliver highly concentrated doses of radiation into the body to kill cancerous cells. The process, unlike chemotherapy, spares healthy cells and requires no physical incisions — making it a pain-free, minimally invasive option for patients with inoperable or surgically complex tumors.
(13) DON’T MESS WITH MAMATAS. What’s appropriate here? Maybe a warning: “Never bring a letter opener to a gunfight.”
Does Bill O'Reilly pay you to tweet nonsense with his settlement money, or did you sell your psych drugs to an undergrad? https://t.co/CQmar0icsX
— Nick Mamatas (@NMamatas) May 7, 2017
(14) RANKING STAR WARS. David French, in “The Actual Definitive ‘Star Wars’ Movie Ratings” at National Review Online, has lots of funny bits and isn’t that political. I especially liked his throwing in ratings for the zombie apocalypse, “the actual apocalypse” and The Phantom Menace…
4. Revenge of the Sith: What? A prequel movie cracks the top four? Ahead of Return of the Jedi? Here’s the thing about Revenge — Anakin’s turn to the dark side just works. You can see why he did it, why it made sense, and why a Jedi would turn on his own order. I don’t know if this was Lucas’s intent, but he spent the prequels making the Republic (and the Jedi) look like an intergalactic U.N., wielding their lightsabers to lop off the heads of anyone who dared to exercise the slightest degree of self-determination. Revenge made me like the Sith. It made me root for the emperor.
(15) FLY ME TO THE LEGO. It might be almost as tall as the bheer can tower to the Moon. Business Insider says “Lego just launched a giant Apollo Saturn V moon rocket set that comes with 1,969 pieces”.
This summer will be one small step for Lego fans, and one giant leap for nerd-kind.
Lego Ideas is launching a NASA Apollo Saturn V rocket set on June 1, 2017, to help space fans everywhere pull off historic moon missions from the comfort of their own homes.
Like NASA’s storied space program, this kit will come with three separable Saturn V rocket stages, a lunar orbiter, lunar module, crew of three astronauts, and even an American flag for the microfigurines to plant on the moon.
These are the components, according to the original LEGO Ideas proposal:
The whole Lego rocket is about 1 meter/130 studs high (aprox. 1:110 scale), has 1179 bricks and lots of features:
- removable 1st rocket-stage with the main rocket engine
- removable 2nd rocket-stage with rocket engine
- removable 3rd rocket-stage with the Apollo spacecraft
- Apollo spacecraft with the “Eagle” Lunar Lander and the Lunar Orbiter
- the rescue rocket on top of the whole spacecraft
- two minifigure astronauts on the Moon for displaying
(16) FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO BIND THEM. But don’t count on buying a set like this — “LEGO Leia vs Jabba The Hutt Should Be a Real LEGO Set”.
One of the greatest scenes in sci-fi history has been captured perfectly in LEGO. That is the moment in Return of the Jedi when Princess Leia chokes Jabba the Hutt and kills him dead. It is Leia vs Jabba. This cool creation is the work of artist Iain “Ochre Jelly” Heath and it is stunning. It really captures the moment perfectly, with Leia pulling the chains and Jabba’s tongue coming out of his nasty slimy mouth. The quality here is good enough for an official LEGO kit. If only we could buy it.
(17) PAINTED NIGHTMARES. I’d practically forgotten that Rod Serling’s Night Gallery involved actual paintings. Dangerous Minds has assembled a photo gallery of the artworks.
Night Gallery, Rod Serling’s follow up to the highly successful Twilight Zone series, only lasted for three seasons before imploding under the pressure of internal conflicts. It seems that in a complete lapse of sanity, Jack Laird, the show’s producer, forgot a fundamental maxim of making great television: allow Rod Serling to do whatever he wants to do. Nevertheless, the show managed to squeak out a run on NBC from 1970-72.
The premise of Night Gallery centered around Serling as the curator of a Museum of the Macabre, and he would introduce the shows various segments with a piece of art that represented the basic story on canvas. These stories still mined the areas of fantasy, science fiction and horror which Serling knew so well—again utilizing his own original teleplays as well as adapting works by such writers as H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, and Robert A. Heinlein for the small screen—but at an hour’s running time, the show could present multiple segments, some of the more whimsical segments clocking in at under five minutes.
(18) FORRY, BLOCH AND “EGO”. Earlier this year Fanac.org posted the audio recording of Loncon II’s (1965) Guest of Honor and other Banquet speeches.
This audio recording is enhanced with over 40 appropriate images and features: Guest of Honor speech by Brian Aldiss, Arthur C. Clarke on working with Stanley Kubrick, Robert Bloch’s hilarious comments on fandom, TAFF winner Terry Carr, and Forry Ackerman’s presentation of the Big Heart award. Most astonishingly, Robert Silverberg presents the Hugo awards in 6 minutes while still torturing the nominees by delaying the announcements. Original audio recorded by Waldemar Kumming and digitized by Thomas Recktenwald.
[Thank to rcade, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]