Pixel Scroll 4/11/19 Oh The Snark Has Pixel’d Teeth, Dear

(1) NEBULA CONFERENCE. SFWA President Cat Rambo says, “I know the Nebula programming isn’t complete yet but looking it over moved me to think about how far it’s come and who’s responsible for that” — “What I’m Looking Forward to about This Year’s Nebula Conference Programming: An Appreciation of Kate Baker”.

… It’s five years later, and in my opinion, Kate’s done what she set out to do. She didn’t do it alone, of course. She had the help of a whole lot of amazing SFWA staff and volunteers, including the amazing Terra LeMay and Steven H Silver. Mary Robinette Kowal got turned loose on programming the last couple of years and has been doing a stellar job. And others have made their mark with additions, such as the Nebula Award Alternate Universe Acceptance speeches or the mentoring program led by Sarah Pinsker or (I’d like to think) two I’ve contributed: the volunteer appreciation breakfast as well as the spouses and partners reception that have been regular features (and I hope will continue to do so!) Or the Book Depot, because I don’t know of ANY other con that takes as much care to make sure that its authors — including the indies — can sign and sell their books there. And there’s a fancy Nebula website, which remains a work in progress as more and more gets added to it, preserving the history of the Awards.

We’ve only got a small fraction of the schedule so far, with plenty of new stuff getting added every day, but here’s some highlights…

(2) BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. Beresheet didn’t make it: “A private spacecraft from Israel crashed into the Moon Thursday”. Ars Technica not only has the story, they begin it with a Heinlein reference.

The Moon remains a harsh mistress.

On Thursday, SpaceIL’s lunar lander attempted to make a soft landing on the surface of the Moon, but it apparently crashed instead into the gray world. Although a postmortem analysis has not yet been completed, telemetry from the spacecraft indicated a failure of the spacecraft’s main engine about 10km above the Moon. Thereafter, it appears to have struck the Moon at a velocity of around 130 meters per second.

“We have had a failure in the spacecraft,” Opher Doron, general manager of the space division at Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the lander, said during the landing webcast. “We have unfortunately not managed to land successfully.” Israeli engineers vowed to try again.

The failure to land is perhaps understandable—it is extremely hard to land on the Moon, Mars, or any other object in the Solar System. In this case, the private effort to build the lunar lander worked on a shoestring budget of around $100 million to build their spacecraft, which had performed admirably right up until the last few minutes before its planned touchdown.

(3) TWINS IN SCIENCE. “NASA’s Twins Study Results Published in Science” in a paper titled “What to expect after a year in space.” The NASA press release begins —

NASA’s trailblazing Twins Study moved into the final stages of integrated research with the release of a combined summary paper published in Science.

The landmark Twins Study brought ten research teams from around the country together to observe what physiological, molecular and cognitive changes could happen to a human from exposure to spaceflight hazards. This was accomplished by comparing retired astronaut Scott Kelly while he was in space, to his identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth.

The PR’s summaries of the 10 research topics includes –

Gene Expression:  Samples taken before, during and after Scott’s mission in space revealed some changes in gene expression. Mark also experienced normal-range changes in gene expression on Earth, but not the same changes as Scott. Changes Scott experienced may have been associated with his lengthy stay in space. Most of these changes (about 91.3%) reverted to baseline after he returned to Earth; however, a small subset persisted after six months. Some observed DNA damage is believed to be a result of radiation exposure. Gene expression data corroborated and supported other findings in the Twins Study, including the body’s response to DNA damage, telomere regulation, bone formation and immune system stress. These findings help demonstrate how a human body was able to adapt to the extreme environment of space and help researchers better understand how environmental stressors influence the activity of different genes, leading to a better understanding of physiological processes in space.

(4) BRACKETT BOOKS FALL THROUGH. The two Leigh Brackett titles announced by the Haffner Press in late 2015, The Book of Stark and Leigh Brackett Centennial have been cancelled. Stephen Haffner e-mailed an explanation to fans who preordered the books:

The fault for the cancellation of these two titles lies completely with Haffner Press and with me personally.

Rights to these titles were not evergreen and I failed to complete and publish these books within the contracted period. Believe me, I made every attempt to recover/resurrect these titles. At this point, the agent for the estate of Leigh Brackett is making other arrangements for the Stark books and Leigh Brackett. If this status changes, you’ll be one of the first to know.

Haffner is offering a complete refund, or application of the credit to another purchase.

(5) GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIPS. Authors Edward Carey, Michael Helm, Carmen Maria Machado, and Luis Alberto Urrea are among the winners of the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowships reports Locus Online.

(6) NEWITZ TALK. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination has posted video of Annalee Newitz speaking at UCSD on April 4 as part of the San Diego 2049 series .

Realistic worldbuilding requires that we get out of the dystopia/utopia binary and imagine futures that are a diverse mix of worlds. To imagine a plausible future world, we need to look critically at our own history, where progress is uneven and resistance is not futile. Annalee Newitz, journalist, co-founder of the website io9, and author of the acclaimed science fiction novel Autonomous, joined the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego to share her insights into worldbuilding as part of the San Diego 2049 series of programs.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 11, 1883 Leonard Mudie. His very last screen role was as one of the survivors of the SS Columbia in Trek’s original pilot episode, “The Cage.”  He also appeared as Professor Pearson opposite Boris Karloff in The Mummy released in 1932. He appeared in the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood as the town crier and the mysterious man who gives Robin directions. (Died 1965.)
  • Born April 11, 1892 William M. Timlin. Author of The Ship that Sailed to Mars, a remarkable work that has 48 pages of text and 48 color plates. It has become a classic of fantasy literature. You can view the book here. (Died 1943.)
  • Born April 11, 1920 Peter O’Donnell. A British writer of mysteries and of comic strips, best known as the creator of Modesty Blaise. He also did an adaptation for the Daily Express of the Dr. No novel. (Died 2010.)
  • Born April 11, 1953 Byron Preiss. Writer, editor and publisher. He founded and served as president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications, and later of ibooks Inc. If I remember correctly, ibooks was the last publisher for Zelazny for most of his books. Any idea what happened to those rights after ibooks went into receivership?  The only book I can find him writing is the children’s novel Dragonworld which is co-authored with Michael Reaves who was involved in including Gargoyles and Batman: The Animated Series. (Died 2005.)
  • Born April 11, 1957 Marina Fitch, 62. She has published two novels, The Seventh Heart and The Border. Her short fiction has appeared in Pulphouse, MZB, F&SF, and Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and the anthologies, Desire Burn and Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn. She is currently at work on a novel and several new stories.
  • Born April 11, 1963 Gregory Keyes, 56. Best known for The Age of Unreason tetralogy, a steampunk and magical affair featuring Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton. He also wrote The Psi Corps Trilogy and has done a lot of other media time-in fiction including Pacific Rim, Star Wars, Planet of The ApesIndependence Day and Pacific Rim
  • Born April 11, 1974 Tricia Helfer, 45. She is best known for playing the humanoid Cylon model Number Six in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. In addition, she plays Charlotte Richards / Mom on Lucifer. And she voiced Boodikka in Green Lantern: First Flight.
  • Born April 11, 1981 Matt Ryan, 38. John Constantine in NBC’s Constantine and The CW’s Arrowverse, as well as voicing the character in the Justice League Dark and the animated Constantine: City of Demons films as well. And he played Horatio in Hamlet in the Donmar production at the Wyndham’s Theatre. 

(8) PHOTO OP. BBC calls “Katie Bouman: The woman behind the first black hole image”.

A 29-year-old computer scientist has earned plaudits worldwide for helping develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole.

Katie Bouman led development of a computer program that made the breakthrough image possible.

The remarkable photo, showing a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth, was released on Wednesday.

For Dr Bouman, its creation was the realisation of an endeavour previously thought impossible.

(9) LOL! Oh, Reference Director!

(10) RETRO HUGO FAN MATERIAL ONLINE. Joe Siclari of Fanac.org has assembled a resource for this year’s Retro Hugo voters —

Dublin 2019 has announced the Finalists for this year’s Retro Hugo Awards to be given for works published in 1943. We’ve pulled together what we have on Fanac.org, along with a few zines from eFanzines and the University of Iowa, to give you a single place where you can find all the Finalist publications available online. Read before you vote! http://fanac.org/fanzines/Retro_Hugos.html  

(11) GARY GIANNI’S SONG OF ICE & FIRE ART. Flesk Publications will start taking preorders next week: “Art of Gary Gianni for George R. R. Martin’s Seven Kingdoms. Signed by Martin and Gianni! Pre-Order on April 18th.” Arnie Fenner writes, “I don’t think Flesk is going to make the first edition available to the trade and is only going to sell it and the signed edition direct. Whether he’ll make a second edition available to bookstores…?”

A comprehensive visual overview of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series—plus A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and Fire and Blood—through over 300 drawings and paintings by the award-winning illustrator Gary Gianni.

This new premium art book will be available for pre-order at www.fleskpublications.com on Thursday, April 18.

(12) THREE BOOKS TO CONQUER. Cat Rambo’s book deal with Tor leads in “Recent News and Changes from Chez Rambo”.

I’m very pleased to announce that Tor has acquired my recent space fantasy (maybe?), as part of a three book deal, and I’ll be working with Christopher Morgan there. While I’ve had a lot of short stories published traditionally, this is the first novel to go through that, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the process is like. What is the book about? Well, I’m actually not sure of the genre but have been describing it as a banter-driven space military fantasy in which a group of ex-military turned restauranteurs get an unexpected package, just as things start exploding. I’m 40k words into the sequel.

(13) AMAZON’S #1 AUTHOR. It took five days for Scalzi’s cats to turn him into a telethon host.

(14) PAGING VALENTINE MICHAEL SMITH. “‘Three-person’ baby boy born in Greece”

Fertility doctors in Greece and Spain say they have produced a baby from three people in order to overcome a woman’s infertility.

The baby boy was born weighing 2.9kg (6lbs) on Tuesday. The mother and child are said to be in good health.

…The experimental form of IVF uses an egg from the mother, sperm from the father, and another egg from a donor woman.

(15) YOU COULDN’T MAKE THIS UP. “Official Report: Nuclear Waste Accident Caused By Wrong Cat Litter” – just what were they feeding those cats anyway?

A yearlong investigation by government scientists has concluded that a major accident at a nuclear waste dump was caused by the wrong brand of cat litter.

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a 277-page report into an explosion that occurred on Feb. 14, 2014, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. According to a summary of the report, the incident occurred when a single drum of nuclear waste, 68660, burst open.

(16) VIVA LA ROOMBALUCION II. Nope, it’s not Florida Man. NPR says — “Oregon Man Called Police About A Burglar. Armed Officers Found A Rogue Roomba”.

The Washington County sheriff in Oregon says there was nothing unusual about the call. Sure, it was broad daylight — 1:48 p.m. local time exactly — but “crime can happen anytime.”

So the frantic call from a house guest about a burglar making loud rustling noises inside the house, specifically from within the locked bathroom, deserved an urgent response, Sgt. Danny DiPietro, a sheriff’s spokesman, tells NPR.

“The man had just gone for a walk with his nephew’s dog and when he came back, he could see shadows moving back and forth under the bathroom door,” DiPietro says.

Resources were immediately deployed: three seasoned deputies — one with at least 20 years on the force — a detective who happened to be in the area, and two canine officers from Beaverton Police Department, about 7 miles outside Portland.

(17) NEW BRANCH. BBC reports on “Homo luzonensis: New human species found in Philippines”.

There’s a new addition to the family tree: an extinct species of human that’s been found in the Philippines.

It’s known as Homo luzonensis, after the site of its discovery on the country’s largest island Luzon.

Its physical features are a mixture of those found in very ancient human ancestors and in more recent people.

That could mean primitive human relatives left Africa and made it all the way to South-East Asia, something not previously thought possible.

The find shows that human evolution in the region may have been a highly complicated affair, with three or more human species in the region at around the time our ancestors arrive.

(18) THE AI SHORTFALL. IEEE Spectrum’s article “How IBM Watson Overpromised and Underdelivered on AI Health Care”illustrates the gap between reality and the popular imagination regarding AI. Greg Hullender sent the link with a comment, “I think the key point is in the last two paragraphs: Watson makes a great AI librarian, but it really isn’t a doctor at all, and likely never will be. Also worth noting is that the areas where they had the most success were the ones that needed the least AI, e.g. Watson for Genomics, which benefited from not needing natural language processing (NLP).”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses Watson for Genomics reports in more than 70 hospitals nationwide, says Michael Kelley, the VA’s national program director for oncology. The VA first tried the system on lung cancer and now uses it for all solid tumors. “I do think it improves patient care,” Kelley says. When VA oncologists are deciding on a treatment plan, “it is a source of information they can bring to the discussion,” he says. But Kelley says he doesn’t think of Watson as a robot doctor. “I tend to think of it as a robot who is a master medical librarian.”

Most doctors would probably be delighted to have an AI librarian at their beck and call—and if that’s what IBM had originally promised them, they might not be so disappointed today. The Watson Health story is a cautionary tale of hubris and hype. Everyone likes ambition, everyone likes moon shots, but nobody wants to climb into a rocket that doesn’t work.

(19) SEVENTIES FLASHBACK. Michael Gonzalez remembers when “I Was a Teenage (Wannabe) Horror Writer” at CrimeReads.

While sitting in the balcony of a movie theater waiting for Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated horror film Us, I began thinking about my personal relationship with the horror genre. “When I was pregnant with you I used to watch scary movies all the time,” my mom confessed years before as we left the Roosevelt Theatre in Harlem one afternoon after a screening of Night of the Living Dead. Although I was only seven and much too young to have seen that first zombie apocalypse, which gave me nightmares for a week, but afterwards I became a horror junkie. As much as I might’ve nervously jumped while watching The Blob, The Fly or Dracula, it was those stories that appealed to me.

…During the 1970s, with the exception of a few artists (Billy Graham, Keith Pollard, Ron Wilson and Trevor Von Eeden), there weren’t many African-American creators working in commercial comics, something I noticed when I attended my first comic convention that same year. However, while I didn’t see any scripters that “looked like me,” that wasn’t going to keep me from trying. Truthfully, I wasn’t trying to be the Rosa Parks of horror comic book writers, I just wanted to be down.

(20) HORROR DEFENDED. And Kim Newman argues in The Guardian that “Exposing children to horror films isn’t the nightmare you think it is”.

What terrifies children isn’t just the stuff designed to scare. In The Wizard of Oz, for example, you get the witch but also the comedy lion – and even though cackling evil is dispelled at the end, the incidentals offer nightmare fodder: the tree with a human face, the winged monkeys, even the horse of a different colour. As Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro – both jumpy kids who have grown up to love monsters – have shown, the world of an imaginative child is full of wonders and terrors, and if you strip out the latter by insisting on a diet of just Peppa Pig you risk raising a generation unable to cope with the slightest trauma.

(21) ENDGAME PROMO. “You know your teams. You know your missions.” Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is in theaters April 26.

[Thanks to Joe Siclari, Susan de Guardiola, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Olav Rokne, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Rambo, Chip Hitchcock, Stephenfrom Ottawa, Arnie Fenner, Greg Hullender, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Spectrum 26 Award Nominations

Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

The jury for Spectrum 26: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art has nominated the top five artworks in eight categories for consideration for either a silver and gold award.

Judges Kei Acedera, Wesley Burt, Bobby Chiu, Edward Kinsella III, and Colin and Kristine Poole debated the merits of hundreds of pieces of art before finalizing this list on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Flesk Publications offices in Santa Cruz, California.

Established in 1993 by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, the first Spectrum annual appeared in 1994 from Underwood Books; for over a quarter of a century it has attracted participants from around the world and has set the standards for excellence in fantasy and science fiction art. John Fleskes became the Director and Publisher of Spectrum in 2014 with volume 21.

The recipients will be announced at the Spectrum 26 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, March 30, 2019 . The 2019 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.

Here’s a link to the list of the Spectrum 26 Award nominees where you can see pictures of the art.

ADVERTISING CATEGORY

  • Justin Gerard – Lair of the Firebreather
  • Donato Giancola – Reach
  • Valentin Kopetzki – After the Flood
  • Victo Ngai – Earth Species Project
  • Greg Ruth – Annihilation variant

BOOK CATEGORY

  • Jaime Jones – Winter Road
  • Vanessa Lemen – I am the Light
  • Yuko Shimizu – Japanese Tales 1: The Invisible Man
  • Chase Stone – Dragon Lords: Bad Faith
  • Francis Vallejo – Charlie Florida

COMIC CATEGORY

  • Alex Alice – Castle in the Stars: Book 4, page 1
  • Thomas Campi – Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman cover
  • Paul Davidson – Blue Vortex 1
  • Kang Minjung – Kang Hearts Out 1
  • Jeffrey Alan Love – The Thousand Demon Tree

CONCEPT ART CATEGORY

  • Te Hu – Golden Temple Through Time we Converge: End
  • Carlyn Lim – Dwarf
  • Danny Moll – The Banner Saga 3: Juno in the Black Sun
  • Abe Taraky – Submerged Statue of Tyr
  • Zhengyi Wang – Big Hunt

DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY

  • Matthew Corcoran – Vivicus
  • Paul Komoda – SwampThing
  • Patrick Masson – Reflection
  • Mark Newman – Gallevarbe
  • Dug Stanat – Justice

EDITORIAL CATEGORY

  • Chris Buzelli – Structure
  • Qiuxin Mao – The Remains
  • Victo Ngai – Human: Opener
  • Tim O’Brien – Stormy
  • Leonardo Santamaria – How to Collect Customer Feedback the Right Way

INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY

  • Ed Binkley – Mantis
  • Bastien Lecouffe Deharme – Etrata
  • Jesper Ejsing – Slippery Bogle
  • Tyler Jacobson – Opt
  • John Jude Palencar – The Nights Watch

UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY

  • Julien Delval – The Stranger
  • Konstantin Marinov Kostadinov – A Walk in the Woods
  • Ronan LE FUR – Sent by the Gods
  • Eric Pfeiffer – Racing Season in Empire City
  • Annie Stegg Gerard – The Serpent

This year the ceremony and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will be held in collaboration with Planet Comicon Kansas City (March 29-31), the Midwest’s largest pop-culture convention.

Pixel Scroll 4/6/18 The Scroller You Tick, The Pixeler You File.

(1) ARGUMENT AGAINST COLORBLINDNESS. Chesya Burke now has set to “public” her analysis of the lack of diversity in anthologies generally, and in the horror genre particularly.

Some of the arguments I’ve seen mentioned excusing the exclusion of diverse writers:

  1. Editing is hard. Many anthos are put together as an “afterthought,” editors are forced to simply search out writers they “like.”

Putting together anthos as an afterthought is the first redflag. It’s shocking that anyone would think this is a good idea or will yield good results. An editor who does not have a strong grounding of current writers in the genre is a second. White editors who only choose writers they “like” is the final straw. You’re literally editing white boy escapism at that point. Let’s call it what it is.

  1. Just mentioning race is racist.

Since when is simply mentioning race racist? That’s absurd. Some people are white, some black and many others. There is nothing racist about pointing this out. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Ignoring someone’s racial identity is racist, because the default is white. There’s all kinds of research on this, it’s called colorblind racism.

  1. Editors just want the best stories, expecting them to publish writers who don’t deserve it is reverse-racist and sexist. Having black only or women only anthos is “cringy.”

There are LOTS of anthos with only white men writers filling the ToC, especially in the horror genre. It is irrelevant that they didn’t put out a call for only white men, because the outcome is the same. White men have, as we’ve seen, been the default. This is why claiming “I don’t read black or white writers, I just want good stories” upolds the status quo. But never once in the history of ever have you heard a white man writer say that he felt “cringed” because he was published because he was a white man, at the expense of writers of color and women. Because this is what happens, don’t fool yourself.

Burke launched a good discussion, both from people who unintentionally provided examples of the problems, and others talking about the work it takes to overcome them. Among the latter, The Dark Magazine’s Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia Here’s some free advice for those who may be like but there’s nothing I can do to build diversity and I’m an editor. I funded Innsmouth Free Press paying a penny a word and managed to get POC and women to write in a very male dominated sub genre, Lovecraftiana and Weird fiction. I did this by actively recruiting writers and convincing them my efforts were worth. Writers who had their first credits with me include Daniel Jose Older, Nadia Bulking and Molly Tanzer. I worked out hard, talking about how women and POC were welcome, and then *showing* it. Over time people have come to understand I’m an editor who values work from women and POC, and they sub to me. Because I want to encourage more authors to submit, I just ran a successful Kickstarter for THE DARK, where I’m an editor. I’ve done this and more starting with a penny a word and my friend Paula to support me. Because I truly wanted to be a better editor and give a place to women and POC. And I’ll continue that with the help of The Dark, Sean Wallace and hopefully future authors reading this.

(2) BEEB. Jonathan Cowie of Concatenation did these links in dialect: “First (and forgive me if you’ve already covered) today in Brit Cit we have the start of a mini-series of Mielville’s The City and The City on B Beeb Ceeb 2.”

RadioTimes invites you to “Meet the cast of The City And The City”.

(3) PETER WATTS IN CONCATENATION. And Cowie also informs they have, “advance-posted (that is it is up but not yet on our index and what’s new pages) an article on SF author and biologist Peter Watts scientists that have inspired him. This is part of an on-going series with previous contributors including SF authors
and scientists (different disciplines) Paul Mc Auley, Ian Stewart, Andrew Bannister, and Tony Ballantine. Most people use .rss or the regularity of our seasonal postings to keep tabs on us. But a very few follow us on Twitter for advance alerts only (no chat). For this dedicated few we have just tweeted an advance alert:”

Peter Watts’ post begins:

It’s taken me nigh on two years to compile this list. Perhaps half that time was spent fuming over the demand that it be ten scientists long? I mean, what if I don’t find that many twentieth-century scientists inspirational? What if my pop-culture recognition of Fermi and Feynman doesn’t really rise to the level of inspiration, what if the scientists who did inspire me did so on a purely personal level, without achieving rock-star status? What if the people who inspired me aren’t even real scientists, huh?

Concatenation’s full summer issue is expected online April 15.

(4) CAMERON’S SF HISTORY. A Syfy Wire writer is impressed: “James Cameron joins Spielberg, Lucas for AMC’s ‘Story of Science Fiction’ series”. I’m still waiting to see some writers’ names on these lists:

How exhaustive is Cameron’s trip into the genre’s storied past?

“Throughout each episode of the six-part television series, [Cameron]… explores science fiction’s roots, futuristic vision, and our fascination with its ideas through interviews with A-list storytellers, stars, and others whose careers have defined the field,” says AMC, “including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Guillermo del Toro, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, and Sigourney Weaver, among some 100 other series participants.”

Whoa — now that’s a lineup that definitely has our attention. To check out more video previews of the one-on-one talks Cameron will be sharing with some of the genre’s biggest luminaries, head on over AMC’s landing page.

(5) SNAPSHOT. Another cat snoozing in the vicinity of SFF:

(6) SFF ART WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIPS. Artists have until April 12 to apply for the two scholarships being offered to the Muddy Colors 2018 Illustration Master Class being held in Amherst, MA from June 11-17.

Arnie Fenner notes, “I think it’s something around $2800 to participate so it’s a pretty sweet give-away.”

The IMC is a 7 day workshop focused on making you a better artist with the help of some of the best illustrators and fine artists in the world. All disciplines (traditional or digital) and skill levels are welcome. Old or young. Novice or pro. Anyone may apply for this scholarship.

Full guidelines at the link.

(7) TAKAHATA OBIT. Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has died at the age of 82.

Mr Takahata was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya but is best known for his film Grave of the Fireflies.

He founded Studio Ghibli with iconic director Hayao Miyazaki in 1985.

It became a world-renowned animation studio, producing blockbusters such as Castle in the Sky, and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Mr Takahata started his career in animation in 1959 at Japan’s Toei studio, where he met Mr Miyazaki, who is usually seen as the face of Studio Ghibli.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 6, 1967 Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever” first aired.
  • April 6, 1968 — Stanley’s Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey makes its debut in movie theaters.

(9) HAL ORNAMENT. And the anniversary makes this io9 story more timely than it would have been: “Hallmark Has a Talking, Glowing HAL 9000 Ornament Headed for Your Christmas Tree”.

Hallmark is continuing its celebration of the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey right to the end of 2018 with a new keepsake ornament that lets you hang a miniature version of the film’s HAL 9000 computer on your Christmas tree, complete with its menacing, glowing, red eye.

The ornament doesn’t exactly scream “happy holidays,” of course; HAL did kill most of Discovery One’s crew. But as bad guys go, the computer, with its perpetually calm voice, remains one of the most disturbing antagonists in film history, and that certainly earns him a branch on my Christmas tree.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY LANDO

  • Born April 6, 1937 – Billy Dee Williams

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • John King Tarpinian discovered the Wizard of Id having a kind of entmeet….
  • JJ admits Incidental Comics’ “Stages of Work” isn’t genre. In case you have a strict rule about that sort of thing.

(12) LOST IN SPACE. It’s time to “Meet Dr. Smith.”

(13) GUARDING THE GUARDIANS. Karl Urban is back says The Hollywood Reporter:

Karl Urban is returning to the small screen.

The Star Trek and Lord of the Rings actor has landed the starring role in Amazon Studios’ straight-to-series superhero drama The Boys.

The Boys takes places in a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, and centers on a group of vigilantes known informally as “the boys” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.

(14) PORTION CONTROL. Walking With Giants demos its “Mini Bacon and Eggs.” You might need to order seconds.

(15) HOW THE JURASSIC ERA WOULD REALLY END. Brandon Carbaugh’s thread breaks down how today’s social media would dispose of Jurassic Park.

Includes:

(16) THE BEES KNEES. Camestros Felapton showed me once more why he’s a Best Fan Writer Hugo nominee in his instant filk about the robot bees story linked in yesterday’s Scroll.

(13) To the tune of Yesterday

Robot bees, were tired of flying into trees,
Now they live were there ain’t no seas,
Oh Mars is fine for robot bees

Suddenly, the bees aren’t where they are supposed to be,
There at the poles digging furiously
Oh robot bees teraformingly

Why they had to fly
To the poles
And nearly freeze?

They found, something bad
Now I’m sad
For robot bees

Robot bees, fighting ancient martian zombie fleas
Trapped for eons in a polar freeze
Oh robot bees are hard to please

Monster fleas wiould conquer Earth quite easily
But they can’t defeat a robot bee
Our last defence is an apiary

Why they fight so tough
Is it enough,
To kill the fleas?

They sting twice as hard
They’re battle scared
Those robot bee-ee-ee-ee-ees

Robot bees, fought on Mars apocalyptically
They went and saved humanity
Oh robot bees beat zombie fleas
robot bees beat zom-bie fleas….

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mark Hepworth, Stuart Gale, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, Carl Slaughter, Arnie Fenner, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

Pixel Scroll 9/19/17 These Are A Few Of My Favorite Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

(1) DARMOK AND JALAD AT THE TIKI BAR. ThinkGeek invites you to get your “Star Trek The Next Generation Geeki Tikis”.

La Forge, Picard, Worf, Cardassian, Borg, Ferengi

Allow us to raise a toast to your taste in housewares with these Star Trek The Next Generation Geeki Tikis. A set of six, these tiki mugs let you drink with Captain Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi, and the Borg. Yes, all of the Borg since they’re a collective consciousness. Best not to play trivia against that one. These tiki mugs hold around 14 oz. each, and they’ll look great next to your Horga’hn fertility statue.

 

(2) BOOK DONATIONS REQUESTED. John Joseph Adams posts:

Got any books you’d like to donate to a good home? My sister’s looking for donations for her school’s library:

In “Nothing to Read”, teacher Becky Sasala explains the need.

I recently assigned my juniors to independently read a book every nine weeks. We took part of a class period and visited the media center to ensure that every student had access to a variety of books. I was absolutely floored by the emptiness of the building. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised; the county that I work (and live) in is a poor rural county. The average wage in Hoke County is $18,421. Most households’ combined income is less than $50,000. Less than 15% of adult residents hold a degree beyond high school. I also discovered that the library has not had any money to purchase new books since 2009. 2009!

Books appropriate for high school students can be sent to the following address:

  • Hoke County High School
  • c/o Rebecca Sasala
  • 505 Bethel Rd.
  • Raeford, NC 28376

More information at the linked post. There’s also a related Amazon wish list.

(3) HEINLEIN UNBOUND. Farah Mendlesohn, a historian, critic and fan who is a Hugo, BSFA, and BFA winner, and WFA, Mythopoeic, and Locus Award finalist for her scholarly non-fiction works on science fiction and fantasy, is crowdfunding the publication (by Unbound) of her critical study of the writings of a giant of the SF genre.

Dear Friends,

As you all know, I had to withdraw my book on Heinlein from the original publisher due to length. As I explored other options it became clear that no academic publisher could take it without substantial cuts, and no one who read it, could suggest any. So I am utterly delighted to be able to say that Unbound, a crowdsourcing press, have agreed to take the book.

Robert A. Heinlein began publishing in the 1940s at the dawn of the Golden Age of science fiction and carried on writing until his death in 1988. His short stories contributed immensely to the development of science fiction’s structure and rhetoric, while his novels (for both the juvenile and adult markets) demonstrated that you could write hard SF with strong political argument. His vision of the future was sometimes radical, sometimes crosswise, and towards the end in retrenchment. He continues to influence many writers whether in emulation or reaction. Recent controversies in science fiction have involved fighting over Heinlein’s reputation and arguing about what his legacy is and to whom he belongs…

The key thesis of the book is a challenge to the idea of Heinlein as a libertarian and resituating him as a classical Liberal in the terms he understood; a man who prized the individual highly but understood the individual as at their best when enmeshed in the complex structure of a nurturing society.

Support levels start at £12 for the e-book, and higher levels include hardback copies, critiques of supporters’ non-fiction, workshops, and afternoon tea plus a tour of the personal library of Mendlesohn and SF critic Edward James.

(4) THE STORIES YOU WANT. Like everyone, Liz Bourke has her own specific set of interests, however, most readers have privately asked themselves the question in the title of her latest column, Sleeps With Monsters: Why Can’t More Books Pander To Me?” at Tor.com.

I’m a queer woman (bisexual, and to a degree genderqueer, if precision matters). Much of my reading experience, particularly with new-to-me authors, and even more so with male authors, involves bracing for things that are tiresome, wearying, and/or hurtful. Whether it’s active misogyny, background sexist assumptions, gratuitous sexual assault of women (which may or may not be used to motivate the character arc or development of male protagonists), Smurfettes, women without communities that include other women, transphobia, Buried Gays, or just the general sense that the world the author’s created has no room for people like me in it, there’s frequently a level of alienation that I need to overcome in order to be able to enjoy a new book—or film, or television show, or videogame, etc.—and constantly being braced for that alienation is exhausting.

And that’s even before we get to books that are outright badly done, alienating in ways that aren’t aimed at me (but fuck racism), or just aren’t to my tastes (a lot of comedy, most horror, certain themes that need to be really well done to work for me).

But I’m so used to experiencing this alienation, or to expecting it, that it’s a wrenching shock when I find books that just… welcome me in. That don’t place any barriers in my way. I don’t notice the amount of effort overcoming this alienation requires until I don’t have to make that effort—like not really knowing how much pain you were in until it stops.

(5) THE HOME STRETCH. Artist Gary Gianni’s Kickstarter to publish Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea, Gianni’s book with Mike Mignola, has gotten a great reception – in fact, they’ve just added their FOURTH stretch goal reward –

FOURTH STRETCH GOAL ANNOUNCED! Free all-new fully illustrated The Call of Cthulhu book by Gianni with 100 pencil drawings to all Kickstarter supporters who pledge $50 or more if we reach our Stretch Goal #4, 80K goal!

Gianni’s many credits include illustrating George R.R. Martin’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

(6) 21ST CENTURY AIR TRAVEL. The title promises “WorldCon 2017, aka The Best, Most Tedious Disaster Story Ever” and Anaea Lay delivers. And yet I read it all. Highly illogical!

When that broke up and it was time to head home, several of the people I’d been hanging out with very kindly and English-ly refused to go on to their hotel before making sure I could find where I was staying, despite my insistence that this was unnecessary.  The joke was on them, though, because I managed to have a fail-tastic adventure anyway.  You see, I knew the address of where I was staying, and I had the keys for getting in.  What I didn’t have was the apartment number.  In a building with eight floors.

(7) MARKETING TECHNIQUE. RedWombat explains a new piece to her agent:

(8) HE LOOKS BEFORE HE LEAPS. Arnie Fenner interviewed John Fleskes at Muddy Colors earlier this week. How many bungee-jumping publishers do you know?

People don’t normally equate daredevils with art books: how does doing death-defying stunts segue into becoming a publisher?

Well, the risk of doing a stunt and that of running a business is very similar, really. So, people have the tendency to call us “extreme” or “daredevils” but in reality each stunt is very calculated and planned far in advance. It’s not like we would just hook up a random bungee cord to anything and just jump off. I worked for a pair of brilliant engineers who would include us in the planning stages and I really learned to appreciate the analytical process of working for those who set up highly complicated stunts where peoples lives were on the line. By the time the actual stunt would happen, sure, if you went off script you could die, but there really wasn’t anything to seriously worry about. Oh, man, jumping out of a hot air balloon at 500 feet and falling 300 feet, now that is a feeling of absolute freedom to fly like that!

But, my real point is that it is a calculated risk when doing a stunt. Days, or weeks, or months of planning can go into what we did. It’s exactly the same with Flesk. Everything that I do is a risk. Instead of risking my life, I’m risking all of my finances, my company, and my livelihood.

The Call For Entries for Spectrum 25 will go out in a few weeks: can you share some of your perspective after having led the competition, judging, and annual for the past 4-going-on-5 years?

The greatest part of Spectrum, without a doubt, has been its community. It’s the people that make it worthwhile year after year. We’re all in it together, it’s here because of the generosity, the support and the downright goodwill of everyone involved. It’s so much bigger than me, it’s not about me whatsoever, but like I’ve mentioned before, it lets me play a role in doing for others. If I do things right, my name never comes to the front or is in the spotlight. I want it to be about the artists. That’s the part at the end of the day that satisfies me the most. That’s my drive. I prefer to work in the background as much as possible, only coming out when absolutely necessary and only when it is to serve others. This community, these artists, it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of. That you and Cathy would tap me on the shoulder, that they would see something in me, I’m forever grateful. You’ve treated me like family. I’m truly blessed to know you both and be a part of Spectrum. You know, I’m still a bit shocked by where I am today? I never would have expected any of this.

(9) TODAY’S DAY

Talk Like A Pirate Day

(10) TODAY IN ALLEGED HISTORY

September 19, 1961 – Betty and Barney Hill were abducted for two hours by a UFO.

(11) TODAY IN REGULAR OLD HISTORY

  • September 19, 2000 – Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a novel about the glory years of the American comic book, was published. It won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY WIZARD

  • Born September 19, 1979 — Hermione Jean Granger

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY CAPED CRUSADER

  • Born September 19, 1928 – Adam West

(14) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY U.N.C.L.E. AGENT

  • Born September 19, 1933 – David McCallum

(15) LIVING PROOF. Remember when the Worldcon’s new YA Award couldn’t be called the Tesseract out of courtesy to an existing Canadian anthology series? If you weren’t already acquainted with it, now’s your chance. Compostela (Tesseracts Twenty) edited by Spider Robinson and James Alan Gardner will be released in the U.S. on October 9. (It’s already available in Canada.)

Compostela (Tesseracts Twenty) is an anthology of hard and soft science fiction stories that best represent a futuristic view of the sciences and how humanity might be affected (for better or worse) by a reliance in all things technological.

The stories contained within the pages of Compostela are a reflection of the world we live in today; where science produces both wonders and horrors; and will leave us with a future that undoubtedly will contain both. Journeys to the stars may be exhilarating and mind-expanding, but they can also be dangerous or even tragic. SF has always reflected that wide range of possibilities.

Featuring works by these Canadian visionaries:

Alan Bao, John Bell, Chantal Boudreau, Leslie Brown, Tanya Bryan, J. R. Campbell, Eric Choi, David Clink, paulo da costa, Miki Dare, Robert Dawson, Linda DeMeulemeester, Steve Fahnestalk, Jacob Fletcher, Catherine Girczyc, R. Gregory, Mary-Jean Harris, Geoffrey Hart, Michaela Hiebert, Matthew Hughes, Guy Immega, Garnet Johnson-Koehn, Michael Johnstone, Cate McBride, Lisa Ann McLean, Rati Mehrotra, Derryl Murphy, Brent Nichols, Susan Pieters, Alexandra Renwick, Rhea Rose, Robert J. Sawyer, Thea van Diepen, Nancy SM Waldman.

(16) THE EIGHTIES WERE STRANGER. Adweek is enthusiastic: “Netflix Is Making Stranger Things Versions of Classic ’80s Movie Posters, and They’re Amazing”.

Netflix is pulling out all the stops on social media in the weeks leading up to Season 2. Last month, the show’s official Twitter account began giving fans more of what they want by launching a weekly recap of each episode of the first season under the hashtag #StrangerThursdays, and tying each episode to a classic ’80s film.

Even more impressive, the art team at the show has paid homage to each film’s original poster art while placing the Stranger Things cast members in its universe. The tweets also include copy referencing the movies that inspired them.

The post has all of them, but here’s one example.

A fan has been inspired to make another —

(17) UHHH. A comic linked from File 770 prompted Steve J. Wright to refer to his Lego-playing days as “Grotesque Sexual Deviancy”.

At least, we thought we were just having fun.  It turns out, though, that we were transgressing the boundaries of gender as laid down by God and marketing departments.  We should never have engaged in the heinous perversion of unsegregated Lego.  Our Lego should have been sorted into strong, potent, manly Lego (mine) and soft, gentle, feminine Lego (my sister’s), and the division should have been rigorously maintained.  All these years I thought we were just playing with Lego, and instead we were promoting an insidious non-binary genderqueer agenda that subverts all the established notions of masculinity and femininity, that causes confusion and actual harm to children who are too young to handle the idea of boys playing with girls’ Lego, that will probably pollute our precious bodily fluids and hasten the downfall of Western civilization.

thought we’d just got a sensible arrangement, so that if, say, my sister wanted to hold a state funeral for one of the Crater Critters, she could grab a bunch of black Legos and build a hearse without any arguments.  Now I know that we were, in fact, undermining the very foundations of all that is good and decent and true.

(18) FRESH OUTBREAK OF TROLLS. Gwynne Watkins of Yahoo! Movies, in “‘Star Wars’ fan petition seeking removal of J.J. Abrams from ‘Episode IX’ picks up steam”, writes that 3,000 people have signed a petition demanding that J.J. Abrams be removed as director of Episode IX because they feel that Disney promised a fresh director for every installment.

The petition at Change.org begins:

Star Wars fans abroad were upset with the result of J.J. Abrams’ directing of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Although not reflected in the box office sales, most fans agree that Abrams’ vision for Episode VII resulted in a rehash of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. There was virtually no creativity, and no risks taken. Such complacency cannot be the trajectory of this sequel trilogy. More specifically, the metric for success in a Star Wars movie cannot be box office sales. Lucasfilm and Disney *need* to listen to fan criticism. Star Wars fans deserve better. They demand better.

Almost 3,500 people have signed it so far.

(19) BONES. New books by the late Michael Crichton continue to appear. Fantasy Literature’s Ryan Skardal renders a verdict on one that came out this past May in Dragon Teeth: Palaeontologist wars”

Johnson is stranded in Deadwood with his bones, which everyone assumes is a cover for gold. Some readers may be pleased to learn that the Bone Wars between Cope and Marsh are drawn from history. Robert Louis Stevenson and Wyatt Earp also appear.

I did not find very much information on how finished Dragon Teeth was before publication, but, unlike Micro, there is no mention of another author who finished this work. It’s tempting to point out that this novel about fossils seems more skeletal than most of Crichton’s novels. The characters are flat, their interactions seem rushed, and every chapter is very short. There are moments of historical detail that are a bit more developed, such as when devout Christians express doubt about fossils and whether a perfect god could create something flawed — let alone something so flawed that it might go extinct. Even these details, however, feel like sketches.

(20) CON CEASES FOR SAFETY REASONS. The staff has put an end to an Ohio convention in the wake of the chair’s criminal conviction. Nerd & Tie has the story: “Anime Punch Disbands After Con Chair Michael Beuerlein Pleads Guilty to Sexual Battery”.

Columbus, OH based convention Anime Punch has been disbanded and will no longer hold any more events. The convention staff announced that they would be ceasing all future operations on in a statement on their official Facebook page on September 14…

The crime was prosecuted in Virginia, so probably was not committed at the convention.

(21) A SPECIALIZED NEED. Erika Satifka, in “Difference of Mind” at the SFWA Blog, points to a problem with most fictional treatments of mental illness.

According to the World Health Organization, one out of every four people will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. Considering this, it’s important that when characters with mental illness are featured in one’s writing, the subject is treated with sensitivity and accuracy. Novels that portray such disorders well can make a huge difference.

Em Kalberg, the protagonist of my debut novel Stay Crazy, has paranoid schizophrenia. As I researched the novel, I found that there were very few positive representations of people with schizophrenia, and not just in speculative fiction, but everywhere. The vast majority of the time, characters with psychotic disorders are monsters or killers….

Besides her own Stay Crazy, Satifka recommends fourteen other novels, novellas, and short story collections that prominently feature characters with mental illnesses or trauma.

(22) TIS THE SEASON. Time to be reminded about “The REAL Legend Behind the Halloween Tree at Disneyland”:

Learning about Disneyland’s storied history is as fun as spending a day getting your thrills on at all of the attractions. From true tragic stories inspiring haunting legends to secrets and facts only the biggest park fans know, there’s always something else to discover about the Happiest Place on Earth – the legend of the Halloween Tree included.

Now, fans are probably familiar with the tree. The oak is located in front of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. Every Halloween since 2007, the tree is decorated in a special way with jack-o’-lanterns hanging from its branches – but have you ever wondered why? The story goes that author Ray Bradbury, famous for Fahrenheit 451 and countless other fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror works, loved Halloween – and had a long history with Disney. Bradbury was a huge proponent of the Walt Disney Company and made his support for it clear throughout the years.

(23) SETTING THEM STRAIGHT. Camestros Felapton has been dismantling “Vlad James’” attack on the science in an Ursula Le Guin novel The Lathe of Heaven.

James wrote:

Unfortunately, she was less self-aware than [Harry Harrison], and injected phenomenally idiotic, pseudo-scientific explanations in her stories constantly.

Also:

She also claims that it would take the atmosphere “several hundred years to get rid of the CO2”. While I understand Le Guin found math difficult, if humans completely stopped producing CO2, it would take 9-12 days for the atmosphere to rid itself of the amount presently there. Or, if you believe global warm…err “climate change” hysterics, it will take…several years. A few hundred years is baseless ignorance.

But young Felapton, in “Science and Le Guin Part 2”, shows —

The quote from Le Guin is genuine and from The Lathe of Heaven published in 1970. It is also scientifically correct (more or less) whereas the criticism is scientific nonsense – indeed it is error piled on error….

A thorough takedown follows.

(24) THE SMELL IS OUT THERE. This is pretty damn funny – Anime Conventions: An Honest Guide.

(25) A MAGICAL TIME. IMDB says Andy the Talking Hedgehog is up 778% in popularity this week. Articles like The Guardian’s are the reason.

When Reid tweeted the Andy the Talking Hedgehog poster on Friday, the internet went nuts. That was partly because the poster featured a hedgehog, two cats, Dean Cain, Tara Reid’s Twitter profile pic manipulated to look slightly more wholesome and an unattributed quote calling it “a magical good time”. But it was also because the IMDb plot summary for the film read “Tara Reid brings her Oscar award-winning prowess to this documentary about a hedgehog that Dean Cain farted on giving it the ability to talk. It’s a fun-loving family movie that will for sure make you say “WOWZA. That’s a stinky fart!”’ That summary, incidentally, was attributed to Scott Baio.

Obviously, like the rest of the world, I desperately wanted to know the story behind Andy the Talking Hedgehog. Although we can rule out the summary as nothing more than internet high jinks, it would appear that the film is real. Back in November actress Maria Wasikowski tweeted a photo from the Andy the Talking Hedgehog set, alongside Dean Cain and, one month later, Tara Reid Instagrammed a shot of her character, Fairy BFF.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, JJ, Arnie Fenner, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Karl-Johan Norén, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2017

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live isn’t going to San Francisco after all. Plans to hold the 2016 event there in October have been set aside.

The next Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will take place April 21-23, 2017 in Kansas City, MO.

Arnie Fenner explained why in a post at Muddy Colors.

Anything is possible if the desire is there, but everything comes with a price tag and the subsequent tough decision to back away from plans to hold the show in San Francisco in association with the AAU was not made lightly. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live has always been about benefiting the entire art community—the creators, the patrons, and the fans—and everything with the show has to make sense, including the dates, the costs, and the venue. We had heard from a great many exhibitors and attendees who enjoyed the convenient, casual and friendly atmosphere of Kansas City and were actually disappointed by the move out of the midwest, which pleasantly surprised us.

We’ve always known that doing a convention isn’t just about our bottom line, but about everyone else’s, too, and we pay attention to what’s happening in the marketplace….

As with past shows, sales of originals and prints at SFAL in May 2015 were great for some, good for others, and not so hot for a few—that’s pretty much the way it always is for every convention, big or small.

Last Autumn sales were reportedly very disappointing for exhibitors of Fantasy-themed art at several conventions. Many felt that the poor sales might have been due to a recent Heritage auction which included another portion of Jane and Howard Frank’s immense art collection. Personally, I don’t believe that one really had anything to do with the other.

Speaking bluntly (as is my wont), original art is a luxury item and sales are often tied to the cycle of confidence and stability. The current political climate and tone of the Presidential campaigns (the Brexit hasn’t helped) have had a significantly negative impact on art purchases as people worry about the economy and the future in general. Shoot, even the 1% have cut back on their buying. With a convention there is always the temptation to “keep going full steam” and ignore the lookout’s warning that there’s ice ahead, but rather than bull through and make SFAL happen someplace sometime in 2016 regardless, we opted to take a breather, let the dust settle, and optimistically hope things get back to normal after November.

More news about attendee ticket prices, hotel information and special rates, and activities during the show will be posted as available on the SFAL website  and the SFAL Facebook page.

SFAL 2017 guests

Spectrum 23: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art Award Recipients

The Spectrum 23 Awards were presented May 7 at a gala celebration at the historic Society of Illustrators carriage house in New York City. Several hundred artists, patrons, and fans attended the ceremony, which also included an introduction by Spectrum Director John Fleskes and a memorial video commemorating creators that had passed away in the last year.

The awards were sculpted by Kristine Poole with appropriately gold or silver patinas by Colin Poole to illustrate the symbol of the artist’s Muse. The statues are 15″ tall and cast in bronze with either silver or gold accents. The Pooles also designed, sculpted, and presented the second Spectrum Rising Star Award to a young artist fresh in their career.

This year’s blue ribbon jury for Spectrum 23 consisted of Dave Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen, and Terryl Whitlatch and determined Silver and Gold recipients in eight categories. The Spectrum Advisory Board also selected the 2016 Grand Master Honoree.

ADVERTISING

Nico-Delort-BlessingOfAthena-A-Spectrum23-nomination

Nico Delort, The Blessing of Athena

Gold Award

  • Nico Delort, “The Blessing of Athena”

Silver Award

  • Joseph Qiu, “24 Hour Movie Marathon”

Other nominees:

  • Bartosz Kosowski, “Discworld”
  • Colin Poole, “Vishnu’s Third Avatar”
  • Andrew Thompson, “Glitch”

BOOK

RovinaCai_TomThom-Spectrum23-nomination

Rovina Cai, “Tom, Thom”

Gold Award

  • Rovina Cai, “Tom, Thom”

Silver Award

  • Karla Ortiz, “Sorcerer of the Wildeeps”

Other nominees:

  • Chris Ayers, “Munchasaurus Rex”
  • Annie Stegg Gerard, “Renard and the Strawberries”
  • Donato Giancola, “Vesuvius”

COMIC

Daren-Bader-Tribes-of-Kai-pg41-C-Spectrum23-nomination

Daren Bader, Tribes of Kai

Gold Award

  • Daren Bader, “Tribes of Kai, page 41”

Silver Award

  • Nic Klein, “Drifter”

Other nominees:

  • Gael Bertrand, “Island #4 cover”
  • Tyler Crook, “Harrow County #1 cover”
  • Paolo Rivera, “Hellboy 1953”

CONCEPT ART

Vance-Kovacs-King-Luies-court-CA-Spectrum23-nomination

Vance Kovacs, King Louie’s Court

Gold Award

  • Vance Kovacs, “King Louie’s Court”

Silver Award

  • Te Hu, “Journey to West”

Other nominees:

  • Mirko Failoni, “The Mushroom Forest”
  • Seth Rutledge, “Window View”
  • Bayard Wu, “Dragon Island”

DIMENSIONAL

forest-rogers-morrigan-D-Spectrum23-nomination

Forest Rogers, The Morrigan

Gold Award

  • Forest Rogers, “The Morrigan”

Silver Award

  • Thomas Kuebler, “Adelpha and Her Sister”

Other nominees:

  • Akihito, “Death Wings”
  • Patrick Masson, “The Blind Death”
  • Dug Stanat, “Meeting Master Jones”

EDITORIAL

Tran_Nguyen_TravelingToaDistantDay-E-Spectrum23-nomination

Tran Nguyen, Traveling To a Distant Day

Gold Award

  • Tran Nguyen, “Traveling To a Distant Day”

Silver Award

  • Chris Seaman, “Family Portraithausen: A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen”

Other nominees:

  • Donato Giancola, “Empathy”
  • Greg Ruth, “Finnegan’s Field”
  • Sam Weber, “The Language of Knives”

INSTITUTIONAL

Tyler-Jacobson-Exalted-Angel-I-Spectrum23-nomination

Tyler Jacobson, Exalted Angel

Gold Award

  • Tyler Jacobson, “Exalted Angel”

Silver Award

  • Julie Bell, “Behind the Veil”

Other nominees:

  • Wesley Burt, “Natural Connection”
  • Bill Carman, “Medieval Batman”
  • Te Hu, “Offering”

UNPUBLISHED

Rob-Rey-Bioluminescence-U-Spectrum23-nomination

Rob Rey, Bioluminescence

Gold Award

  • Rob Rey, “Bioluminescence”

Silver Award

  • Wayne Haag, “Dust Devil”

Other nominees:

  • Dragan Bibin, “Pull”
  • Jaemin Kim, “King Under the Mountain”
  • Greg Opalinski, “Initiate”

RISING STAR AWARD

  • Victor Maury

Other nominees:

  • J.A.W. Cooper
  • Yoann Lossel

2016 GRAND MASTER HONOREE

  • Mike Mignola

Spectrum 23 Award Nominations

The Spectrum 23: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Award finalists have been announced.

Five finalists for a Silver or a Gold award in each of the eight categories were selected by a jury of David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen and Terryl Whitlatch.

Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art was founded in 1993 by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner. Creators from around the globe participate in the competition each year. In 2014, John Fleskes became director of the competition and editor of the annual, and Flesk Publications the publisher of the book.

The winners will be announced during the Spectrum 23 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on Saturday, May 7. The 2016 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.

ADVERTISING CATEGORY

Nico-Delort-BlessingOfAthena-A-Spectrum23-nominationNico Delort
The Blessing of Athena



Bartosz-Kosowski-Discworld-A-Spectrum23-nominationBartosz Kosowski
Discworld


Colin-Poole-Vishnus-third-Avatar-A-Spectrum23-nominationColin Poole
Vishnu’s Third Avatar


Andrew-Thompson-Glitch-A-Spectrum23-nominationAndrew Thompson
Glitch


Joseph-Qiu-24HRmoviemarathon-A-Spectrum23-nominationJoseph Qiu
24 Hour Movie Marathon

 


 

BOOK CATEGORY

Chris_Ayers-Munchasaurus_Rex-B-Spectrum23-nominationChris Ayers
Munchasaurus Rex


RovinaCai_TomThom-Spectrum23-nominationRovina Cai
Tom, Thom


Donato-Giancola-Vesurius-B-Spectrum23-NominationDonato Giancola
Vesuvius


karla-ortiz-sorcererofthewildeeps-B-Spectrum23-nominationKarla Ortiz
Sorcerer of the Wildeeps


Annie_Stegg-Gerard-RenardAndTheStrawberries-B-Spectrum23-nominationAnnie Stegg Gerard
Renard and the Strawberries

 


 

COMIC CATEGORY

Daren-Bader-Tribes-of-Kai-pg41-C-Spectrum23-nominationDaren Bader
Tribes of Kai, page 41


Gael_Bertrand_cover_Island_Magazine-C-Spectrum23-nominationGael Bertrand
Island #4 cover


Tyler-Crook-HarrowCounty1Cover-C-Spectrum23-nominationTyler Crook
Harrow County #1 cover


Nic-Klein-DRIFTER-7-C-Spectrum23-nominationNic Klein
Drifter


Paolo-Rivera-Hellboy1953-C-Spectrum23-nominationPaolo Rivera
Hellboy 1953

 


 

CONCEPT ART CATEGORY

Mirko-Failoni-The-Mushroom-Forest-CA-Spectrum23-nominationMirko Failoni
The Mushroom Forest


Te-Hu-Journey_to_west-CA-Spectrum23-nominationTe Hu
Journey to West


Vance-Kovacs-King-Luies-court-CA-Spectrum23-nominationVance Kovacs
King Louie’s Court


Seth-Rutledge-Window-View-CA-Spectrum23-nominationSeth Rutledge
Window View


Dejian-Wu-leewiartDragon Island-CA-Spectrum23-nominationDejian Wu
Dragon Island

 


 

DIMENSIONAL CATEGORY

akihito-death-wings-D-Spectrum23-nominationAkihito
Death Wings


Thomas-Kuebler-Adelpha-and-Her-Sister-D-Spectrum23-nominationThomas Kuebler
Adelpha and Her Sister


Patrick-MASSON-Blind_Death-D-Spectrum23-nominationPatrick Masson
The Blind Death


forest-rogers-morrigan-D-Spectrum23-nominationForest Rogers
The Morrigan


Dug-Stanat-MeetingMasterJones-1-D-Spectrum23-nominationDug Stanat
Meeting Master Jones

 


 

EDITORIAL CATEGORY

Donato-Giancola-Empathy-E--Spectrum23-nominationDonato Giancola
Empathy


Tran_Nguyen_TravelingToaDistantDay-E-Spectrum23-nominationTran Nguyen
Traveling To a Distant Day


greg-ruth-Finnegans-Field-E-Spectrum23-nominationGreg Ruth
Finnegan’s Field


ChrisSeaman_FamilyPortraithausen-E-Spectrum23-nominationChris Seaman
Family Portraithausen: A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen


sam-weber-the_language_of_knives-E-Spectrum23-nominationSam Weber
The Language of Knives

 


 

INSTITUTIONAL CATEGORY

Julie-Bell-Behind-The-Veil-I-Spectrum23-nominationJulie Bell
Behind the Veil


Wesley-Burt-NaturalConnection-I-Spectrum23-nominationWesley Burt
Natural Connection


bill-carman-medievalbatman-I-Spectrum23-nominationBill Carman
Medieval Batman


Te-Hu-offering-I-Spectrum23-nominationTe Hu
Offering


Tyler-Jacobson-Exalted-Angel-I-Spectrum23-nominationTyler Jacobson
Exalted Angel

 


 

UNPUBLISHED CATEGORY

Dragan-Bibin-Pull-U-Spectrum23-nominationDragan Bibin
Pull


Jaemin-Kim-king-under-the-mountain-U-Spectrum23-nominationJaemin Kim
King Under the Mountain


Greg-Opalinski-Initiate-U-Spectrum23-nominationGreg Opalinski
Initiate


Rob-Rey-Bioluminescence-U-Spectrum23-nominationRob Rey
Bioluminescence


Wayne-Haag-Dust_Devil-U-Spectrum23-nominationWayne Haag
Dust Devil

Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Murray and Carol Tinkelman Pass Away

Carol and Murray Tinkelman. Photo courtesy Walt Engels.

Carol and Murray Tinkelman. Photo courtesy Walt Engels.

Acclaimed artist Murray Tinkelman (1933-2016) died January 30. He was 82. He was preceded in death by his wife Carol, who died January 16.

Arnie Fenner notes, “Fans might remember him best for his covers for Ballantine’s Lovecraft paperbacks in the late 1970s. Murray also did the covers for the hardcover and paperback Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, Haldeman’s The Forever War, and others.”

Leading sf artist Vincent DiFate, a former President of the Society of Illustrators, describes the unique style of those covers:

In the 1960’s for example, he formulated an interesting method that applied colored inks and dyes to drawings rendered exclusively in line. Using this technique, Tinkelman almost single-handedly revolutionized the horror genre a decade later when his work began appearing on the covers of del Rey’s mass-market editions of books by noted horror author H. P. Lovecraft.

Since the artist used an open crosshatch technique, his illustrations appeared light in tone, reminiscent of an old photograph that had faded with time. Contrasted with the fully rendered paintings of other paperback artists, Tinkelman’s drawings looked so unlike traditional book cover art that they had an immediate and significant impact. In the case of the Lovecraft books, especially, which had been repackaged dozens of times before with the most dire and morbid of cover illustrations, Tinkelman’s airy, often whimsical visions lightened the look of those books and no doubt helped to introduce them to an entirely new audience of readers.”

Carol Tinkelman was Murray’s partner in his art studio from its inception in 1957. The Norman Rockwell Museum’s tribute credited her work on its behalf, and the couple’s generosity:

“Carol was a driving force behind Norman Rockwell Museum’s illustration collecting mission, and her passion was to help the Museum build its collection of original illustration art,” notes Museum Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Stephanie Haboush Plunkett. “She and Murray donated from their own collections extensively, and invited other artists to do so as well. Carol will be greatly missed. Her spirit was infectious and she truly loved the Museum and its work.”

Murray Tinkelman’s illustrations appeared in Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. The National Park Service commissioned him to do drawings and paintings of National Parks and Monuments. He was an artist-reporter on several U.S. Air Force missions.

He had a one-man exhibit of his baseball art at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown in 1994. He also exhibited at The United States Sports Academy in Alabama, which named him the 1995 Sports Artist of the Year.

His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum, and the New Britain Museum of American Art.

In 1956, Tinkelman joined the celebrated Charles E. Cooper Studio and remained there until its disbanding, some eight years later. From the mid-1960s on, he became fully freelance and pursued simultaneous careers in illustration and as a painter of abstract expressionist artworks. In 1970, was named Artist of the Year by the Artists Guild of New York for his work as an illustrator.

He also enjoyed a reputation as a great teacher. In the late 1960s he joined the faculty at the Parsons School of Design and, as its Associate Chairperson. He later taught at Syracuse University, in its undergraduate and graduate programs. He received the 2001 Syracuse University Faculty Service Citation. He also was named the recipient of the 1999 Distinguished Educator in the Arts award from the Society of Illustrators in New York, the second living artist/educator to be so honored.

In the spring of 2013, Tinkelman he received an honorary doctorate from Ferris University’s Kendall College of Art in Grand Rapids, MI, and was inducted to the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame.

[Thanks to Arnie Fenner and Andrew Porter for the story.]

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Moves to San Francisco

SFAL 2016 logo COMPSpectrum Fantastic Art Live, the artist-focused convention that has been held for the last four years in Kansas City, will be moving to San Francisco in 2016 Spectrum Director John Fleskes announced yesterday. In partnership with the Academy of Art University, the convention will continue growing the public’s awareness of fantasy-themed art while bringing creators from around the world to exhibit and sell their works to collectors and fans in a welcoming atmosphere. The event will be held at the academy’s Jerrold building facility on October 28-30, 2016.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (SFAL) is an extension of the Spectrum annual, the award-winning book devoted to the year’s best fantastic art.

Beyond the art exhibition, workshops, panels and demonstrations, the long-term plan is for SFAL to expand to serve also as a trade show and job fair. “Whether it’s for film and television, publishing, comics, gaming, advertising or the theater, Spectrum has always been the home for the best and brightest creators of every type of fantastic art,” notes Cathy Fenner. “The show, like the Spectrum annual, makes it easier for art directors to connect directly with both new and established talent. Similarly, gallery owners and patrons are able to meet and form relationships with artists they might not otherwise know about. ‘More eyes equals more opportunities’ has always been our mantra, and the move to California will help that continue.”

John Fleskes, publisher of Flesk Publications and director of Spectrum, assumed the responsibilities of director and editor in 2013 following the retirement of founders Cathy and Arnie Fenner. He has been meeting with Academy of Art University representatives since 2014 in preparation for the move.

Founded in 1929 in San Francisco, the Academy of Art University is one of the country’s most innovative and creative institutions for higher learning. With nearly 18,000 students, it is the largest privately owned art and design school in the United States.

Cathy and Arnie Fenner have provided additional background in a public Facebook post.

The announcement has been made and we know that there are some that are disappointed that SFAL is moving to San Francisco in 2016 and others who are concerned about the switch to October for the show’s dates.

We don’t talk too much about all the behind-the-scenes stuff in organizing SFAL, but there were a lot of challenges and this year’s show was particularly difficult. It’s really a matter of available dates and venues and it has become increasingly hard in KC to get exhibit space at the same time a theater is available and there are enough hotel rooms for exhibitors and attendees. This year we were forced to change our exhibit space and our dates, which put us opposite the city’s long-running ConQuesT in the same hotel; they were gracious and we worked well together, but we felt like we were intruding on their territory, so to speak. Spring has always been surprisingly crowded for events downtown—we’ve never been able to rent the Music Hall, for example, for the awards ceremony because it’s booked solid with recitals and graduations in May—and with the pending construction of the Hyatt and the completion of the street cars, more and more conventions have been squeezing our dates. The addition of the KCComicon to the city in August along with the annual anime and horror cons—not to mention the World SF Convention in 2016—have made for a crowded genre landscape.

When we learned just before SFAL4 that the organizer of the local Planet Comicon had decided on the sly to move his 2016 show dates from March and secured our traditional dates for the convention center in May, the decision was sort of made for us. Competing for essentially much of the same audience in the same narrow time frame doesn’t make any sense: moving to March in THEIR original spot wasn’t an option for us because of a lack of hotel rooms (the Big 12 Basketball Tournement happens at that time; it didn’t affect the comicon because they draw very few overnight attendees whereas SFAL accounts for over 1000 hotel room nights). Moving to Fall in KC would have brought higher rental prices for a theater and fewer date options (the convention center is a busy place). Because of Planet Comicon’s tactic, the negative financial impact on the city, downtown hotels, restaurants, and businesses will be significant, but…that’s the way things are.

In light of the challenges we faced while organizing the 2015 show, John Fleskes had been exploring the possibility of moving SFAL to California and partnering with the Academy of Art University. Possible dates were explored throughout the lengthy discussions and though we realize that the October slot will conflict with other conventions, big and small, we also ultimately realize that there are conflicts with something somewhere virtually every week of the year. Spring wasn’t an option and October was the only time that worked with the University’s extremely busy schedule—so October it is.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to our KC committee who selflessly pulled together to make the first four SFALs possible: Carl V. Anderson, Amanda Banion, Arlo Burnett, James Fallone, Bunny Muchmore, Lazarus Potter, Jeff Smith, and Shena Wolf are eight big reasons why SFAL was such a positive experience for so many. We’d also like to thank our friends at Liberty Exhibition Services, the staffs at the Midland, Folly, and Alamo Theaters, our liaisons at the Marriott and The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel, and particularly John English and his instructors for their tireless support of the show and the hours spent instructing and encouraging young artists during the event. And, of course, we’d like to thank each of you who either exhibited at or attended the Kansas City shows.

 

Spectrum_Fantastic_Art_Live_Academy_of_Art_University COMP

Spectrum 21 Awards Finalists

The Spectrum 21 jury left to right: J. Anthony Kosar, Allen Williams, Cory Godbey, George Pratt and Shelly Wan

The Spectrum 21 jury left to right: J. Anthony Kosar, Allen Williams, Cory Godbey, George Pratt and Shelly Wan

Judging for the 2014 edition of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual was completed March 1 on the campus of San Jose State University. Finalists were chosen by jury members Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan, and Allen Williams who looked at and evaluated over five thousand entries in eight categories in a single day of voting. Their selections of the year’s best fantastic art will appear in Spectrum 21, scheduled for October release.

Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art was founded in 1993 by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner. Creators from around the globe participate in the competition each year. With Spectrum 21 John Fleskes assumes the positions of director of the competition and editor of the annual. Flesk Publications is the new publisher of the book: Publishers Group West will continue as its distributor. The nominated images can be seen here on John Flesk’s blog.

Gold and silver medal winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony during Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, a weekend long celebration of fantastic art, in Kansas City, May 9-11. The Spectrum Grand Master Award will also be presented during the ceremony.

The gold and silver finalists are:

Advertising

  • Anita Kunz — Little Monsters
  • Victo Ngai — A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year
  • Shu Yan — Go Into the Gate
  • Kent Williams — The Criterion Collection Lord of the Flies
  • Gabriel Verdon — Hiversaires

Book

  • Scott Gustafson — Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles
  • John Harris — Fire: the Road Beside the Wall
  • Petar Meseldzija — The Golden Apple Tree 1
  • Nicolas Delort — The End of the Road
  • Kirsti Wakelin — Dreamboats, Lilies, Koi and Chang Kuo-lao

Comics

  • He Jie Mona — All Corners of the Country: The Lost Buildings #4
  • David Palumbo — Aliens #1 cover
  • Thomas Campi — The Red Door
  • Mark A. Nelson — Seasons, page 1
  • Goni Montes — Clive Barker’s Next Testament #6

Concept Art

  • Theo Prins — Kite City 2
  • Theo Prins — Refugees
  • Brian Matyas — Messenger Girl
  • Vance Kovacs — John Carter Punches a Thark
  • Jamie Jones — Ackzero Interior

Dimensional

  • Colin and Kristine Poole — Hot Diggety Dog
  • Shaun Tan — Grimm Tales: Thousandfurs
  • The Shiflett Bros. — Vertical Man-Tank, 1892
  • Jessica Dalvo — Don’t Mind Me
  • Forest Rogers — Goblin Spider

Editorial

  • Nicolas Delort — Rumor of Angels
  • Yuko Shimizu — Hair Tree
  • Luo Xin — Recall
  • Tran Nguyen — The Insects of Love
  • Bill Mayer — Fragile Planet

Institutional

  • Bill Carman — Shared Eyewear
  • Rebecca Yanovskaya — Ascent of Man
  • Ed Binkley — The Hag Griselle Pays a Visit
  • Justin Sweet — Blacksea
  • Donato Giancola — Huor and Hurin Approach Gondolin

Unpublished

  • Jean-Baptiste Monge — Ode to the Moon
  • Yukari Masuike — Riding Horse on the Freezing Day
  • Annie Stegg — Lilaia the Naiad
  • Omar Rayyan — The Long Walk Home
  • Audrey Benjaminsen — Lady of Light