Super short tonight!
(1) BETSY WOLLHEIM HONORED. Penguin Random House has announced that DAW Books Publisher Betsy Wollheim will be awarded the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award, for demonstrating outstanding service to the fantasy field.
We are incredibly proud to congratulate our esteemed editor and co-publisher, Betsy Wollheim, who will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's World Fantasy Awards! pic.twitter.com/iaK8KGPT2Q
— DAW Books (@dawbooks) July 27, 2018
(2) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman welcomes you to a fish and chips place with John Langan in episode 74 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.
John Langan wrote the poetic horror novel The Fisherman, which was probably my favorite book of 2016. And I obviously wasn’t the only one who felt that way, because it won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel the following year. His short fiction has been published in magazines such as Lightspeed and Fantasy & Science Fiction, anthologies such as Lovecraft’s Children and Poe, plus many other venues.
His debut short story collection, 2008’s Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters, went on to become a Stoker Award nominee. He and I may be the only two people in the history of the planet to write zombie stories inspired by Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”—his 2008 story “How the Day Runs Down” and my 2001 story “Live People Don’t Understand” tackle that theme in very different ways. He’s a co-founder and on the Board of Directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards.
We discussed how reading Conan the Barbarian comic books as a kid made him hope he’d grow up to be a comic book artist, why his evolution as a writer owes as much to William Faulkner as it does to Peter Straub, what he learned about storytelling from watching James Bond with his father and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with his wife, the best way to deal with the problematic life and literature of H. P. Lovecraft, the reason his first story featured a battle between King Kong and Godzilla, his process for plotting out a shark story unlike all other shark stories, why a writer should never fear to be ridiculous, what a science experiment in chemistry class taught him about writing, his love affair with semicolons, that time Lucius Shepard taught him how to box, the reason the Shirley Jackson Awards were created, and much more.
(3) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
- Born August 17, 1879 – Samuel Goldwyn. Producer, The Unexplained series pilot (1956) which was titled ‘The Merry-Go Round’ and which Bradbury reused in the Something Wicked This Way Comes film. Also The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Hans Christian Andersen.
- Born August 17, 1917 – Oliver Crawford. Screenwriter for episodes of Star Trek, The Wild, Wild West, Terry and The Pirates, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Outer Limits, I Spy, Land of the Giants, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman.
- Born August 17 – Robert DeNiro, 75. Ok, I’m surprised in that he has at least three genre roles, to wit Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; also in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust in a role… well you decide, and in Brazil as well. Also in the forthcoming Joker film.
- Born August 17 – Helen McCrory, 50. A lead in the Penny Dreadful series, also Dr. Who, the Harry Potter film franchise, a gender bending sf version of Frankenstein and Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles.
- Born August 17 – Taissa Farmiga, 24. Lead role in American Horror Story, voice work in the animated Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
(4) END RUN. James Davis Nicoll pleads, “When Will SF Learn to Love the Tachyon Rocket?” at Tor.com.
Readers of a certain age may remember the excitement stirred up when various physicists proposed to add a third category of matter to:
- A. matter with zero rest mass (which always travels at the speed of light), and
- B. matter with rest mass (which always travels slower than light).
Now there’s C: matter whose rest mass is imaginary. For these hypothetical particles—tachyons—the speed of light may be a speed minimum, not a speed limit.
Tachyons may offer a way around that pesky light-speed barrier, and SF authors quickly noticed the narrative possibilities. If one could somehow transform matter into tachyons, then faster-than-light travel might be possible.
(5) RETRO HUGO BASE. At the official Hugo site, a picture of the prototype awarded on Thursday.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Scott Edelman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]