(1) CHECK YOUR CLOSET. IndieWire, in “Robert Downey, Jr.’s Original ‘Iron Man’ Suit Stolen, Valued at $325,000”, says the LAPD is reporting that someone stole Robert Downey’s Iron Man costume from a Pacoima warehouse between February and April, although the theft wasn’t reported until this week.
(2) THIRTEENTH DOCTOR. Books are on the way: “BBC Books Announce New Thirteenth Doctor Fiction!”
New work by Naomi Alderman and Juno Dawson are amongst some of the 2018 offerings for the Doctor Who list, publishing to celebrate the debut of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor this autumn.
Penguin Random House Children’s imprint BBC Children’s Books today announces its acquisition of a brand-new Doctor Who short story from Naomi Alderman, author of The Power and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Ruth Knowles and Tom Rawlinson of Penguin Random House Children’s acquired World Rights to the story from Veronique Baxter. Alderman’s tale features Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor battling to save the universe alongside her close and trusted friends.
… Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories marks Alderman’s return to the Doctor Who universe, after her 2011 novel, Borrowed Time, published by BBC Books. On 19 July, to celebrate the opening of this year’s San Diego ComicCon, BBC Books will reissue a new paperback edition of this novel, along with a new edition of collected Doctor Who stories by Jenny T. Colgan, The Triple Knife. Both will have new cover designs by artist David Wardle.
(3) MONDAL INTERVIEW. At Feminism In India: “Meet Mimi Mondal: India’s First SFF Writer Nominated For A Hugo”.
The first Hugo Award nominee from India, Mimi Mondal is a speculative fiction Dalit author. She also received the Poetry with Prakriti Prize in 2010, the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship for the Clarion West Writing Workshop in 2015 and the Immigrant Artist Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2017.
She currently lives in New York. Her first book, Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited with Alexandra Pierce, is a finalist for the Hugo Awards 2018 and the Locus Awards 2018….
PV: Diversity is still treated as a token in most South-Asian mainstream media – an afterthought in a circle of people that wrongly attempts to adopt “colour-blindness” and “caste-blindness” instead of having the difficult conversation about privilege. How do you think we can change that?
MM: Mainstream media is always socially conservative. New ideas and “radical” conversations always start from individual people, then smaller, newer media outlets and by the time the venerable national newspapers from the 19th century pick up those ideas, they have already achieved enough momentum to become somewhat mainstream. This is not only true of South Asia, it’s true of everywhere.
In the West about a century ago, even basic first-wave white feminism was a radical conversation that was only possible to hold in certain small circles, and the people who tried to implement those ideas in wider circles were considered nuisances creating unnecessary trouble. Today in 2018 we cannot even imagine a world without those basic first-wave feminist ideas: women should go to school, have a vote, own property, etc.
Even the occasional unintelligent celebrity who proudly declares she’s not a feminist has systematically benefited from those changes. We cannot convert everyone to our beliefs, even the ones who’ll directly benefit when those beliefs become reality, less so the ones who will lose some systemic privilege they’ve even never had to acknowledge they had….
(4) TINGULAR SENSATION. Chuck Tingle did a Reddit Ask Me Anything yesterday
well since i am my own BIG TIME BOSS i do not really have any deadlines except for to MYSELF and really this is the most important deadline at all. i think it is so important to CHALLANGE YOUR OWN WAY and think ‘what the heck am i capiable of?’ because the anwser is always SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU KNOW! YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND TO! so then i will try to meet these deadlines of my own because it makes me feel good inside so anyway thats that buddy. but simple anwser is i will sometimes go to a nearby timeline where time is realtively slower than this one and that gives me a chance to write a lot and then put out new tinglers right away so when a big time event happens i can return to this timeline and be ready thanks.
(5) VR ADVENTURE. Here’s a fresh update on Utah’s Evermore Park.
A Fantasy Lover’s Dream. Fairies, dragons, trolls, and other magical creatures come alive at Evermore Park — a living experience park that brings fantasy to reality. It’s a first-of-its-kind “smart” park, combining old world mythologies and spectacular botanical gardens with stunning cutting-edge technology to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience where guests step into a story like never before.
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
- Born May 10, 1969 — John Scalzi (Incidentally, he celebrated by posting a free read story, “Regarding Your Application Status”. You can also listen to him read the story on YouTube.)
- Born May 10, 1992 – Daisy Ridley
(7) COMICS SECTION.
John King Tarpinian spotted some heavenly humor in Close to Home.
(8) AI UMM. NPR suspects that “Google’s New Voice Bot Sounds, Um, Maybe Too Real”.
On the first day of Google’s annual conference for developers, the company showed off a robot with a voice so convincingly human that it was able to call a salon and book a haircut – never revealing that it wasn’t a real person making the call.
CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated the new AI technology on Tuesday at the Google I/O conference, playing audio of a female-voiced bot speaking with a receptionist over the phone, and then a male-voiced bot making a restaurant reservation. The bot peppers its speech with “um”, “uh”, and “mmm hmm” in order to imitate the tics and rhythms of human speech.
(9) FORMER BEACHFRONT PROPERTY. “Lonely asteroid tells Solar System story”. It’s in a trans-Plutonian orbit, but has minerals that could only be formed by liquid water.
Researchers have observed the first object of its kind – a carbon-rich asteroid in the Kuiper Belt.
Orbiting in the collection of icy rubble beyond Neptune, the asteroid’s composition strongly suggests it did not form there.
Instead, the 300km-wide object may have been ejected from an orbit among the giant planets, during the turbulent early history of the Solar System.
The object is so distant, it took scientists several years to analyse.
(10) SPACE POLICE GAZETTE. Ground control to…? “India police parade ‘Nasa conmen’ in space suits”.
Indian police paraded a man and his son in “space suits” before arresting them for allegedly defrauding a businessman by pretending to work for Nasa.
The duo allegedly convinced the businessman to buy a copper plate for $213,156 (£157,600), which they claimed had “special properties”, police said.
They had told him that with his investment, they could sell the plate to the US space agency for a profit.
— bhavatosh singh (@bhavatoshsingh) May 8, 2018
(11) LEARN ABOUT HORROR. Annie Neugebauer’s horror infographic at LitReactor is getting
My horror infographic @LitReactor has gotten a couple thousand shares; that's pretty freaking cool! https://t.co/qmQJDWgSPI Please do share with teachers, librarians, booksellers, fans, writers, readers–anyone who wants to learn about #horror or could use an assist explaining!
— Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) May 7, 2018
(12) SCARES THAT CARE. The second annual Scares That Care telethon will begin on May 11 at Noon EST. The 24-hour telethon will be broadcast live via the Project Entertainment Network’s YouTube channel. This year’s goal is to raise US$20,000 to support the 501(c)3 charity. The telethon surpassed the 2017 goal of US$10,000.
The telethon will be presented by the hosts of the award winning The Horror Show with Brian Keene; Brian Keene, Dave Thomas, Mary SanGiovanni, Mike Lombardo, Geoff Cooper, and Phoebe. Luminaries from the horror genre that are confirmed to attend include Richard Chizmar, Jeff Strand, Lynne Hansen, Dan Padavona, Discipline Theory, Chet Williamson, Stephen Kozeniewski, John Urbancik, Scott Edelman, Armand Rosamilia, Chuck Buda, Ralph Bieber, Somer Canon, Drew Williams, M. Stephen Lukac, Jay Wilburn, and Christian Jensen.
Entertainment will include a live band (Discipline Theory) performing a 30-minute set and the death (or at least common sense) defying “Wheel of Lombardo”. Other events include:
- Jeff Strand (author) – 10-15 minute reading
- Dan Padavona (author and son of Ronnie James Dio} – an interview and then a rap battle
- 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM – Panel titled “So I Married A Horror Writer” with Chet and Lori Williamson, Jeff Strand and Lynn Hanson, Armand and Shelly Rose Amélia, Ralph and Cheryl Bieber Summer and Jesse Cannon Brian and Christine Picard
This year’s beneficiaries of Scares That Care are:
- Brian – a youngster that was a victim of a household accident that is recovering from significant burns.
- Hope – US Navy veteran and a single mother of two who is fighting Stage IV breast cancer.
- Sawyer – a young lady suffering from a unique form of cancer that causes new tumors. She has already survived two brain surgeries. Sawyer loves Minecraft and mermaids, but not Disney mermaids!
WHAT: The Horror Show with Brian Keene 2018 Telethon – a live, 24-hour event that will be streamed around the world for free, during which we will raise $20,000 for charity.
WHEN: May 11 and 12, 2018
WHERE: In person at Courtyard Marriott 2799 Concord Road, York PA 17402, or listen for free from the comfort of your home.
TO BE PART OF THE STUDIO AUDIENCE: Click here and buy a ticket. Limited to 80 people.
The Horror Show with Brian Keene will be announcing more information via their FB page tomorrow.
(13) TOLKIEN ON EXHIBIT. Horatia Harrod in “The Man who made Middle-earth” in the May 5 Financial Times has a long article about the forthcoming exhibition of 200 items from Tolkien’s papers at the Bodleiaan Library at Oxford from June 1-October 28. The 500 boxes of papers are preserved in a strongroom next to six large canisters of halon gas designed to preserve the collections. Half of Tolkien’s papers are still sealed.
Among the items to be exhibited is fan mail from Iris Murdoch, W H Auden, and “a 19-year-old Terence Pratchett.” The Bodleian is also planning to showcase the manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit which Tolkien sold to Marquette University for 1,500 pounds in 1957. The exhibition, the first to be ticketed in the Bodleian’s history, has a website at https://tolkien.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/. [Note: Financial Times articles are usually behind a paywall. I don’t know why the link above allowed me to read the article. It may or may not work for you.]
(14) SFF THEATRE WORKSHOPS IN LONDON. Cyborphic’s “Science Fiction Theatre Research Lab” for writers, directors and performers will take place 21-24 May at the venue of the London Theatre Workshop in central London (near Bank station).
The workshops include: Introduction to Science Fiction Theatre, Adaptation, Worldbuilding, Devising Science Fiction Theatre, Directing & Writing Science Fiction Theatre.
Registration is £10 per individual workshop and £30 for the entire series.
(15) THANKS FOR PLAYING. Andrew Porter tuned in tonight’s Jeopardy! and saw this go down:
Answer: This Heinlein novel begins, “Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith”
Wrong question: “What is The Martian Chronicles?”
(16) HE’S VERY SORRY. Deadpool 2 promo — David Beckham doesn’t want to accept Deadpool’s apology.
(17) EARTH ATTACKED. And going to a soccer match might not be that safe anyway! More aliens are on the way! Occupation Official Trailer.
(18) AND ATTACKED AGAIN. The aliens are going to have to stand in line, I tell you —The Predator Teaser Trailer. In Theaters September 14, 2018.
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Camestros Felapton, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Dann, Nicholas Whyte, Mark Hepworth, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cmm.]