(1) AMAZING KICKSTARTER. There are only a few days left to contribute to the Amazing Stories Kickstarter campaign and they could use the help: “Amazing Stories Year Two – Once More Dear Friends”. The appeal has raised $6,571 of its $12,000 goal with four days to go.
…Think about what we would have missed now if Experimenter Publishing hadn’t decided to revive Amazing Stories as a fiction magazine in 2018. Since then, we have published new fiction from some of the best known authors working in the field today, including Allen Steele, Julie Czerneda, Paul Levinson, Adam-Troy Castro, David Gerrold, Kameron Hurley, Lawrence Watt Evans and S. P. Somtow. We have also featured stories written by exciting new voices, writers who just might become your new favorites, including: Marie Bilodeau, Noah Chinn, Marc Criley, Kathy Critts, Rosie Smith, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm and Neal Holtschulte.
Where would we be for the imagery of the future had it not been for two and a half solid years of cover illustrations by the great Frank R. Paul? We have continued that tradition with some of the best cover artists, Tony Sart, M.D. Jackson, Al Sirois, Tom Barber, Yoko Matsuoka, Vincent di Fate and interior graphic artists like Amanda Makepeace, Matt Taggart, Melisa Des Rosiers, Renan Boe, Ron Miller, Tom Miller, Olivia Beelby, Chukwudi Nwaefulu, Steve Stiles, Phil Foglio and many others working today.
(2) LITERARY DISCOVERY OF THE DAY. Mary Trump apparently was a reader of Omni and of Isaac Asimov notes Michael A. Burstein. From Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, pages 109-110:
“Is that yours?”
At first I thought she [Ivana] was talking about the gift basket, but she was referring to the copy of Omni magazine that was sitting on top of the stacks of gifts I’d already opened. Omni, a magazine of science and science fiction that had launched in October of that year, was my new obsession. I had just picked up the December issue and brought it with me to the House in the hope that between shrimp cocktail and dinner I’d have a chance to finish reading it.
“Bob, the publisher, is a friend of mine.”
“No way! I love this magazine.”
“I’ll introduce you. You’ll come into the city and meet him.”
It wasn’t quite as seismic as being told I was going to meet Isaac Asimov, but it was pretty close. “Wow. Thanks.”
(3) HALFWAY HOME. In the Washington Post, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar list the best science fiction and fantasy of the year so far — plus what we’re looking forward to next. “The City We Became” and “Vagabonds” made waves. Next up: Susanna Clarke’s “Piranesi.” “The best science fiction and fantasy of the year so far — plus what we’re looking forward to next”. Lavie Tidhar commented –
One book I’ve been hugely excited about is Tim Powers’s latest, “Forced Perspectives,” set in the magical underbelly of modern-day Los Angeles. Powers may be the master of the secret history novel (and one of the originators of steampunk), but his recent work has really explored the history and magic of Tinseltown in a way no one else can.
As you can see, I’ve been steering clear of any post-apocalyptic dystopias for some reason — I can’t imagine why!
(4) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.
- July 1985 — The first Liavek anthology was released by Ace Books. Liavek was edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, it’s similar to Thieve’s World though not I think as rough and tumble. It attracted a lot of writers, to wit including Bull, Shetterly, Gene Wolfe, Jane Yolen, John M. Ford, Kara Dalkey, Barry B. Longyear, Megan Lindholm, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, Steven Brust, Nate Bucklin, Pamela Dean, Gregory Frost, Charles de Lint, Charles R. Saunders, Walter Jon Williams, Alan Moore and Bradley Denton. Ace would publish a total of five Liavek anthologies over the next five years, and Tor would collect John M. Ford‘s Liavek stories into one volume as well. If you’ve not read them, Will and Emma have re-released them in epub format recently though they’ve reconfigured the stories into new books. They’re all available at the usual digital suspects. (CE)
(5) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born July 19, 1883 — Max Fleischer. Animator, film director and producer. He brought such animated characters as Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman to the screen and was responsible for a number of technological innovations including the Rotoscope and Stereoptical Processes. You can see Betty’s first screen appearance in the 1930 Cartoon, “Dizzy Dishes”. (Died 1972.) (CE)
- Born July 19, 1921 – Rosalyn Yalow. Interviewed in Omni. Middleton, Lasker, Morrison awards. Fellow of the American Acad. Arts & Sciences. Nat’l Medal of Science. Nat’l Women’s Hall of Fame. A few years ago when a gang of us were playing Excuses, Ben Yalow on his turn said “Excuse me, I have to go watch my mother being given a Nobel Prize.” He won. (Died 2011) [JH]
- Born July 19, 1927 — Richard E. Geis. I’m reasonably sure I met at least once when I was living out there. Interesting person. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer twice; and whose science fiction fanzine Science Fiction Review won Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine four times. His The Alien Critic won the Best Fanzine Hugo once in a tie with Algol), and once in sole first place. And yes, I enjoyed reading the Science Fiction Review. I’ve not any of his handful of genre novels, and certainly haven’t encountered his soft core porn of which there’s a lot. (Died 2013.) (CE)
- Born July 19, 1934 – Darko Suvin, Ph.D., 86. Ten nonfiction studies of SF, two anthologies, two volumes of poetry. Sixty essays in Extrapolation, Foundation, Polaris, SF Commentary, SF Research Ass’n Review, Strange Horizons. Editor of Science Fiction Studies (now emeritus). Pilgrim Award. SFera Award. Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. [JH]
- Born July 19, 1938 — Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, 82. He and Fred Hoyle developed the Hoyle–Narlikar theory. which Stephen Hawking would prove is incompatible with an expanding universe. He also wrote two genre novels, The Return of The Vaman (translated from Marathi) and The Message from Aristarchus. (CE)
- Born July 19, 1950 – Christina Skye. Three dozen novels, ten for us; half a dozen shorter stories. Knitter. Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Under another name, Ph.D. and five books about Chinese classical puppet theater and Chinese folk arts. Fond of Harris tweed and Shanghai street dumplings. (Died 2018) [JH]
- Born July 19, 1953 – Jack Massa, 67. Eight novels, a half-dozen shorter stories. New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Georgia, now Florida again with his magical wife and a pet orange tree named Grover. “I am an outliner, not a pantser.” Still likes Zorro. [JH]
- Born July 19, 1963 — Garth Nix, 57. Writer of children’s and young adult fantasy novels, to wit Keys to the Kingdom, Old Kingdom, and Seventh Tower series. The Ragwitch which I read quite some time ago is quite excellent and being a one-off can give you a good taste of him without committing to a series. (CE)
- Born July 19, 1966 – Hilary Bell, 54. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon. Three novels for us; ten plays, picture books, audio scripts, musical theater. Aurealis Award for Mirror, Mirror adapting the television show (which she was a writer for). Parsons, Blewitt, Kocher playwrights’ awards. Two AWGIE awards (Australian Writers’ Guild). Website here. [JH]
- Born July 19, 1969 — Kelly Link, 51. First, let me note that along with Ellen Datlow, she and her husband Gavin Grant were responsible for the last five volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. They all did a magnificent job. All of her collections, Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners and Get in Trouble are astonishingly good. And she’s much honored having won a Hugo Award, three Nebula Awards, a World Fantasy Award and received a MacArthur Genius Grant. (CE)
- Born July 19, 1976 — Benedict Cumberbatch, 44. Confession time: I really didn’t care for him in the Sherlock series, nor did I think his Khan In Star Trek Into Darkness was all that interesting but his Stephen Strange In Doctor Strange was excellent. He did do a superb job of voicing Smaug inThe Hobbit and his Grinch voicing in that film was also superb. I understand he’s the voice of Satan in Good Omens… (CE)
- Born July 19, 1987 – Shane Porteous, 33. Four novels, ten shorter stories. Master of the legendary seventy-seven doughnut devouring technique. Immense passion for the fantastical, especially when it is different, alternative and, if possible, original. [JH]
(6) COMICS SECTION.
- Ziggy has a UFO joke for geezers.
(7) SHIRE UNKNOWNS. “Lord Of The Rings: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Shire”. I was going to say, “ScreenRant, you’ve got to be kidding!” Then I read the tagline: “For the sake of time, a lot of worldbuilding had to be left out of LotR. Here’s what movies fans don’t know about The Shire.” Well, if you never read the books…
9. The Shire Has Its Own Calendar
The Shire was officially founded in the year 1601 of the Third Age. However, this year is also referred to as Year 1 within the Shire calendar, which is called Shire Reckoning.
Much like our own, the Shire calendar contains twelve months, each with thirty days. The Shire Reckoning officially began when hobbit brothers Marcho and Blanco crossed the Brandywine River and settled in the area. The fertile land of what became the Shire was gifted to the hobbits by King Argeleb II.
Oh hell, even if I did read the books, I don’t remember all of this….
(8) JEMISIN IS INDIE BOOKSTORE ICON. Libro.fm announced N.K. Jemisin as their July Bookstore Champion. (Jemisin also is this year’s Indies First Spokesperson.)
We’re excited to feature N.K. Jemisin as a Libro.fm Bookstore Champion! As the 2019 Indies First Spokesperson, she is an outspoken supporter of independent bookstores. She recently appeared at four independent bookstores (and one library) in a single day to launch The City We Became. Thanks to Jemisin—the first author in history to win three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel for her Broken Earth trilogy—more people are aware of the value and impact of bookstores in their communities. Champions receive a year of audiobooks, Libro.fm gear, and are celebrated for their advocacy across Libro.fm channels.
(9) FANTAGRAPHICS FOUNDER Q&A. Gary Groth, Publisher, Comics Critic, Historian is interviewed by Alex Grand and Jim Thompson. Four hours!
Alex Grand and Jim Thompson video interview Fantagraphics publisher, The Comics Journal co-founder, and Genius in Literature Award recipient Gary Groth, covering his full publishing career starting at age 13, his greatest accomplishments and failures, feuds and friends, journalistic influences and ideals, lawsuits and controversies. Learn which category best describes ventures like Fantastic Fanzine, Metro Con ‘71, The Rock n Roll Expo ’75, Amazing Heroes, Honk!, Eros Comics, Peanuts, Dennis the Menace, Love and Rockets, Jacques Tardi, Neat Stuff and the famous Jack Kirby interview; and personalities like Jim Steranko, Pauline Kael,Harlan Ellison, Hunter S. Thompson, Kim Thompson, CC Beck, Jim Shooter, Alan Light and Jules Feiffer. Plus, Groth expresses his opinions … on everything!
[Thanks to Lloyd Penney, Michael A. Burstein, Michael Toman, Mike Kennedy, John Hertz, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Contrarius, Chip Hitchcock, John A Arkansawyer, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]