(1) VARIATION ON A THEME. James Davis Nicoll launches a new theme with a new panel reading some newish sff in “The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin”:
Welcome to the first post in the Old People Read New SF project, in which I will present my volunteers with a selection of recent (online) speculative fiction to see how they react.
Few authors are as representative of the modern face of SF as N. K. Jemisin. Similarly, few venues are as representative of modern SF in short form as tor.com. It seems only logical, therefore, to begin this project with Jemisin’s The City Born Great. The City Born Great was nominated for a Hugo and won the 2017 Eugie Award.
The City Born Great is available here.
(2) THE RIGHT ANSWER. This Jeopardy! champ will be 2020’s Arisia chair — Diana Hsu has won the past two days.
Malden’s Diana Hsu, a legal records assistant, outlasted a software developer from Santa Clara, Calif. and a political science professor from York, Penn. to become the new Jeopardy! champion last night, June 13.
Hsu won a total of $24,001 on the program, as she defeated returning champion Catherine Ono, a two-day champion, who ended up in second place.
Going into Final Jeopardy, Hsu was in the lead with $16,000, ahead of Ono by $4,600 and ahead of Nick Anspach by $11,000.
The Final Jeopardy clue on the episode, in the category of 1990s Animated Films, was: “Though it draws elements from ‘Hamlet,’ Disney says this was their first all-animated feature based on an original story.”
The correct response was, “The Lion King.” All three contestants answered correctly.
(3) NERDIST ERASES FOUNDER. Deadline reports “Chris Hardwick Wiped From Nerdist Website He Founded Amid Allegations By Ex-Girlfriend”.
Chris Hardwick, the Nerdist founder and host of NBC’s game show The Wall, AMC’s Talking Dead aftershow and a regular emcee in Hall H at Comic-Con, has been scrubbed from the Nerdist website he founded after being accused of sexual abuse and “long-term abuse” by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra.
Legendary Entertainment, which owns Nerdist Industries where Hardwick launched his career as a comic and podcaster, just released a statement.
“Chris Hardwick had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017,” it reads. “He no longer has any affiliation with Legendary Digital Networks. The company has removed all reference to Mr. Hardwick even as the original Founder of Nerdist pending further investigation.”
The move comes after Dykstra, a TV personality and host, penned a first-person account of their three-year relationship that posted on Medium. Dykstra never mentioned Hardwick by name, but details about the “mildly successful podcaster” who grew into “a powerhouse CEO of his own company” suggest she was referring to him.
Chloe Dykstra’s Medium article is here: “Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession.”
(Trigger warning: If abuse, sexual assault, or anorexia makes you uncomfortable, you might want to avoid this one.)
Over the years, I’ve attempted to write this, quite literally, 17 times. I’ve spoken to friends, therapists, lawyers, publicists. The drafts have ranged from cathartic, angry letters to litigious, hardened accounts of inexcusable treatment. Until I got one piece of advice from a friend: Write from your heart. You’ll know it’s right when it’s right. So, here I go.
(4) MEME WARS. Yahoo! Entertainment says you can add Millie Bobby Brown to the list of the sci-fi actresses run off social media by the rabid dogs. “Millie Bobby Brown of ‘Stranger Things’ leaves Twitter after becoming an antigay meme. She’s 14, y’all.”
Millie Bobby Brown, who found fame as Eleven in Netflix’s sci-fi show Stranger Things, has left Twitter because of Photoshopped images that have turned her into a homophobic meme.
The 14-year-old actress, like most people her age, is active on social media, including Twitter and Instagram.
For whatever reason, and there usually isn’t one when the internet gets involved, the new trend is Photoshopping fake antigay images on Brown….
(5) DAWN OF THE DEAN. Cartoonist Patrick Dean revealed he has ALS – in a cartoon. His Twitter bio: “I draw comics that no one reads and talk about the weather a lot. I also believe in ghosts. I will be one soon.”
Shit news, everyone. pic.twitter.com/z9sprElvvT
— Patrick Dean AA-1121 (@PDean_Yeah) June 13, 2018
(6) SECRET AGENT MAN IN THE MOON. At World of Indie, “McMoon: How the Earliest Images of the Moon Were so Much Better than we Realised” tells how some of the (very) high-resolution images of the moon were taken and transmitted to Earth prior to the Apollo missions, and how they are being preserved and restored:
Fifty years ago, 5 unmanned lunar orbiters circled the moon, taking extremely high resolution photos of the surface. They were trying to find the perfect landing site for the Apollo missions. They would be good enough to blow up to 40 x 54ft images that the astronauts would walk across looking for the great spot. After their use, the images were locked away from the public, as at the time they would have revealed the superior technology of the USA’s spy satellite cameras, which the orbiters cameras were designed from. Instead the images from that time were grainy and low resolution, made to be so by NASA.
(7) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites the internet to join A. M. Dellamonica for an Italian lunch in Episode 69 of Eating the Fantastic.
It’s time to return to Pittsburgh for another episode of Eating the Fantastic recorded during last month’s Nebula Awards weekend, following up on my Nebula Awards Donut Jamboree and dinner with Kelly Robson. On the Friday of that event, I snuck away with A. M. Dellamonica for lunch at Senti, which my research told me was one of the best places to go in the city for classic Italian.
Dellamonica‘s first novel, Indigo Springs, won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her fourth, A Daughter of No Nation, won the 2016 Prix Aurora. She is the author of more forty short stories on Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed and most recently Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She was also co-editor of the Heiresses of Russ anthology.
We discussed how a long list of random things she liked eventually grew into her first novel, the intricate magic system she created for her series, how her novel Child of a Hidden Sea taught her she was less of a plotter and more of a pantser than she’d thought, the doggerel she wrote when she was five years old (which you’ll get to hear her recite), how discovering Suzy McKee Charnas at age 15 was incendiary, which run of comics made her a Marvel fan, what it was like attempting to live up to the pioneering vision of Joanna Russ while editing the anthology Heiresses of Russ, which YouTube series happens to be one of her favorite things in the world, the way John Crowley’s teachings might have been misinterpreted by her class during the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop, the three mystery novels of her you’ll hopefully be reading in the future, and much more.
(8) IRON WOMAN ON STAGE. The Bookseller brings word: “Andrew Lloyd Webber theatre to stage Ted Hughes’ The Iron Woman”.
The Other Palace, a London theatre owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatres Group, will this autumn stage an adaptation of Ted Hughes’s classic children’s book The Iron Woman (Faber Children’s).
The story, first published 25 years ago as a sequel to The Iron Man, is about how a girl called Lucy fights back against pollution, caused by a waste factory in her town, with the help of an Iron Woman who has emerged from the marsh.
Carol Hughes, Ted Hughes’ widow, said she approached Andrew Lloyd Webber about doing a play to mark 20 years since the poet’s death.
“I wanted to mark that anniversary in a positive way by highlighting his writing for children and also his lifelong passion for the environment,” she said. “This story of Lucy and the Iron Woman is a gripping, magical fable of what we can achieve once we, and the generations of children who follow us, realise we do have within us the power to fight back against the seemingly-relentless pollution that is blighting our lands, rivers and seas.”
The play will be written by Mike Kenny, whose previous stage adaptations include one for The Railway Children, with music by songwriter Pippa Cleary. It will open at The Other Palace theatre on 9th October.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- June 15, 1948 — Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in movie theaters.(Where else would they meet him?)
- June 15, 1955 — The Beast With A Million Eyes premiered.
- June 15, 1973 — The original series concludes with Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
(10) UNKISSED FROGS. Something else for Jurassic World? “Prehistoric frogs in amber surface after 99 million years”.
Frogs trapped in amber for 99 million years are giving a glimpse of a lost world.
The tiny creatures have been preserved in sticky tree resin since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs.
The four fossils give a window into a world when frogs and toads were evolving in the rainforests.
Amber from Myanmar, containing skin, scales, fur, feathers or even whole creatures, is regarded as a treasure trove by palaeontologists.
(11) STARTING POINT. Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Calculating Stars, analyzes “The Responsibility of Narratives” on the Tor/Forge Blog.
As mainstream culture becomes increasingly vocal about the politics of gender, it makes me aware of all of the damaging narrative that I’ve internalized and which has created internal biases in myself. Those show up in my fiction. So when I sit down to write, I now assume that I have a bias.
Why is this a problem?
Kowal will tell you.
(12) UNEXPECTED VACANCIES. Star Trek: Discovery discovers it needs new showrunners. The Hollywood Reporter, in “’Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunners Out; Alex Kurtzman to Take Over (Exclusive)”, cited unnamed sources who told them ST:D has made another change at the Producer level. Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg are out because of “budget woes and complaints of staff mistreatment.” Executive producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman will step in as “showrunner” (basically, producer) as well as heading the writers’ room. Harberts and Berg had replaced original showrunner Bryan Fuller. All this in less than two seasons.
(13) ANTIQUE SJW CREDENTIAL. “137 in Human Years: Thought to Be the Oldest Cat in the World, Rubble Celebrates His 30th Birthday”. People speculates:
Is this the oldest domestic cat in the world? The lucky feline in the photo above has lived nine lives and then some. Rubble, a long-haired ginger-and-white kitty living in the U.K., may just be the newest cat contender for the O.G. title. His owner, Michele Foster, recently celebrated her super-senior pet’s birthday in Exeter, Devon, reports Bored Panda.
Cat Eldridge sent the link with a comment: “My Ex got Mabinogion aka. Mibble when we divorced. We rescued her from a gat station after we heard a very pitiful cry and found her near the pumps, her all black bod covered in tiny cuts and smelling strongly of diesel. We know that she was at least twenty-six years old when she passed on as we’d had her for twenty-five years. My current SJW creds are (I think) eleven years old, Freya, a tortie, and Taliasen who’s prolly three years younger.”
(14) MUSICAL MARVEL. Variety says “‘Captain Marvel’ to Be Scored by Female Composer, Marking Major Breakthrough”.
In a major breakthrough for women composers, Pinar Toprak has been signed to score “Captain Marvel,” the superhero movie due for release in March 2019.
Toprak, who just finished scoring the first season of SyFy’s “Krypton” and who penned additional music for the DC film “Justice League,” is the first female composer to score a major comic-book movie.
“Captain Marvel” also happens to be about a female superhero (played by Brie Larson). It’s slated for release in March.
(15) THE HECK YOU SAY. Lucifer has risen from…wherever he was before. Infernal Dis, perhaps. “‘Lucifer’ Rises! Netflix Has Ordered The Fourth Season For Axed FOX Series”.
Praise ‘Lucifer’! Or rather, ‘Lucifer’ fans should praise Netflix as the streaming service has rescued another cancelled series– FOX’s ‘Lucifer’ which was cancelled last month. Though neither Netflix nor Warner Bros. Television would officially comment, insiders have divulged that 10 new episodes have been ordered for the show’s fourth season. This is particularly odd since Netflix has never offered episodes of ‘Lucifer’, but presumably the existing three seasons will surface on the streamer soon. (FOX shows are pretty much exclusively available on Hulu.)
(16) GOT MIA. Two popular shows will pass on this year’s SDCC. The Wrap has the story: “‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Westworld’ Won’t Present at San Diego Comic-Con, HBO Says”.
This is the first time “Game of Thrones” will be absent from the convention. The wildly popular drama will air its eighth and final season in 2019. “Westworld” made its Comic-Con debut at last year’s convention, and its Season 2 finale airs June 24. Production on Season 3 has yet to begin on the drama, so there would probably be little to promote for “Westworld.”
(17) WHO AND WHO ELSE? ScreenRant posted its feature “New Doctor Who Cast Making First-Ever Panel Appearance at SDCC 2018” today. Will Chris Hardwick still be the moderator when SDCC comes round?
Introducing a brand new era of Doctor Who, this summer’s SDCC panel will include Whittaker; two of her co-stars, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, who will play two brand new characters in the series named Ryan and Yasmin, respectively; the series’ new showrunner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch); and executive producer Matt Strevens (who also produced An Adventure in Space and Time, the made-for-TV movie based on the making of Doctor Who). The panel will be moderated by The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick, an outspoken, diehard fan of Doctor Who.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Eric Franklin, Cat Eldridge, rcade, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Rich Lynch, Carl Slaughter, Scott Edelman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]