Writers applying for SFWA membership qualify on the basis of the per-word rate on the date of contract. For example, short fiction sold before September 1, 2019 at six cents per word continue to qualify a writer for SFWA membership, etc.
This change to the SFWA pro rate is the result of market analyses conducted by SFWA Board members, along with a review of the effects of inflation on author compensation. The SFWA pro rate was last changed in 2014, rising from five to six cents per word, and from three to five cents per word in 2004.
(2) AURORA VOTING DEADLINE. Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association members have
until September 14 to vote in the Aurora
You must be logged in to the website with an active CSFFA membership in order to download the voter’s packages or to vote.
Vote results will be announced at Can-Con October 18 – 20, 2019 in Ottawa (http://can-con.org/) and will be available on the website soon after.
More than 10,000 fans cast ballots for Dragon Award winners, selected from among 91 properties in 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming, and tabletop gaming.
Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie are among the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize.
Atwood is in contention again with The Testaments, her eagerly awaited follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, while Sir Salman makes the cut with Quichotte.
Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, Elif Shafak and US author Lucy Ellmann are also up for the prize.
Both Atwood and Rushdie have won the coveted prize before, in 2000 and 1981 respectively.
Atwood also made the shortlist with The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986….
The winner, whittled down from 151 submissions and a longlist of 13, will be announced on 14 October.
(5) KGB. The Fantastic
Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present
Sarah Beth Durst & Sarah Pinsker on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar.
Sarah Beth Durst
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nineteen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Girl Who Could Not Dream. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. She hopes to one day have her own telepathic dragon.
Sarah Pinsker is the author of over fifty stories as well as the collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea and the novel A Song For A New Day, both out in 2019. Her fiction has won the Nebula and Sturgeon awards, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Eugie Foster, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards.
The address of the KGB Bar is 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs), New
(6) YOU COULD LOOK IT UP. Kenneth R. Johnson says he has “posted a mildly updated version of one of
my on-line indexes” — “FANTASY
GOTHICS”, subtitled, “A comprehensive bibliography of modern Gothics
with genuine fantasy elements.”
About forty years ago I visited a fellow Science Fiction collector who introduced me to the concept of collecting “on the fringes.” I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about the Science Fiction and Fantasy books that had been in published in paperback, but when I examined his collection I saw a large number of books that I had not known about because they had not been marketed as Fantasy. I was especially drawn to the books that had been issued in other genres, such as Mysteries and Romances.
I was particularly struck by the large number of Gothics that were spread throughout his collection. I began looking for these particular crossovers in my visits to second-hand bookstores. Within a few years I had amassed a couple hundred books, but by the early 1980s the Gothic craze had waned and most publishers had dropped the category. The existing books gradually disappeared from the second-hand market. …
Scope of Index
This bibliography is restricted to mass-market paperback books published in the U.S. between the 1960’s and the 1980’s. The deciding factor in whether a book appears here, besides a genuine fantasy element, is how the book was labeled when published. If a particular book had several editions from a given publisher and at least one of them was marketed as a Gothic, then all of that publisher’s editions are listed. Any editions from a publisher who never labeled it as a Gothic are omitted.
(7) BOK WAS ALSO A VERBAL ARTIST. Robert T. Garcia has launched
a Kickstarter appeal to fund publication of “The
Fantastic Fiction of Hannes Bok: Three Fantasies by Bok” with Hannes
Bok’s three published solo novels:
Starstone World, The Sorcerer’s Ship, and Beyond
The Golden Stair (the
unedited version of the novel Blue
Includes an all-new introduction for this collection by Charles de Lint.
For two years I’ve been working on a project that got more interesting the further I got into it. Hannes Bok was one of the 20th Century’s best sf-fantasy-weird fiction artists. He was a painter with an eye for beautiful colors and flowing compositions in a time when sf art was very literal and staid. His paintings featured stylized figures, colors by Parrish, and a creative imagination that could only be Bok’s. And he could not be confined to one discipline in his creativity, there were paintings and line work, poetry and sculpture, intricate wood carvings and—of special interest here—fantasy novels: The Sorcerer’s Ship, Beyond the Golden Stair and Starstone World.
These aren’t your conventional fantasies, although all the trappings are there. They have a sly humor with plots full of twists and turns, stories which take the reader on strange metaphysical paths, and glorious descriptions that could only come from someone with a painter’s eye. Certainly not the most smoothly told tales, but as Lester Del Rey wrote about Beyond the Golden Stair: “in spite of its faults, it has the sense of enchantment so rarely found in most market fantasy. And since our world needs the glamor at least as much as it ever did, let us lose no chance.”
Here’s your chance to experience that glamor. All three of these books have been out-of-print for at least 48 years. That’s too long. They have been left behind, and should be part of the legacy of Hannes Bok, and part of the discussion of early 20th Century fantastic fiction.
At this writing, Garcia has raised $6,623 of the $11,999 goal.
The reason Romana’s regeneration was so unique is that the new actress, Lalla Ward, had already played a different role on the series. In the Season 16 serial “The Armageddon Factor,” the first Romana (Mary Tamm) and the Doctor encountered a character named Princess Astra, who also happened to have been played by Ward. So, when Ward was later cast as the new version of Romana in Season 17, it required an onscreen explanation.
In the scene, the Doctor is freaked out that Romana suddenly looks like someone they both had recently met. “But you can’t wear that body!” he protests. “You can’t go around wearing copies of bodies!” The newly regenerated Romana insists it didn’t matter. She likes the way Princess Astra looks and says they probably aren’t going back to the princess’s home planet of Atrios anyway.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
September 3, 1953 — The 3-D movie Cat-Women of the Moonpremiered. It starred Marie Windsor and Victor Jory who on a scientific expedition to the Moon encounters a race of cat-women.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born September 3, 1810 — Theodor von Holst. He was the first artist to illustrate Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus in 1831. The interior illustrations consist of a frontispiece and title page engraved illustrations. (Died 1844.)
Born September 3, 1943 — Mick Farren. Punk musician was the singer with the proto-punk band the Deviants who wrote also lyrics for Hawkwind. His most well-known genre work was the The Renquist Quartet about an immortal vampire. (Died 2013.)
Born September 3, 1943 — Valerie Perrine, 76. She has uncredited role as Shady Tree’s sidekick is Diamonds Are Forever in her first film appearance. Her first credited film role is as Montana Wildhack in Sluaughterhouse-Five. She’s Eve Teschmacher in Superman and Superman II.
Born September 3, 1954 — Stephen Gregg. Editor and publisher of Eternity Science Fiction which ran 1972 to 1975 and 1979 to 1980. It had early work by Glen Cook, Ed Bryant, Barry N Malzberg, Andrew J Offutt and Roger Zelazny. (Died 2005.)
Born September 3, 1959 — Merritt Butrick. He played Kirk’s son, David, in The Wrath of Khan and again in The Search for Spock. Note the very young death. He died of AIDS. Well, he died of toxoplasmosis, complicated by AIDS to be precise. (Did 1989.)
Born September 3, 1969 — John Picacio, 50. Illustrator who in 2005 won both the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist and the Chesley Award for Best Paperback Cover for James Tiptree Jr.’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. He won the Hugo for Best Artist in 2012.
Born September 3, 1971 — D. Harlan Wilson, 48. Author of Modern Masters of Science Fiction: J.G. Ballard, Cultographies: They Live (a study of John Carpenter) and Technologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science Fiction. No, I’ve no idea what the last book is about.
Born September 3, 1974 — Clare Kramer, 45. She had the recurring role of Glory, a god from a hell dimension that was the main antagonist of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s been a lot of horror films including The Skulls III, The Gravedancers, The Thirst, Road to Hell, Road to Hell, Big Ass Spider! and Tales of Halloween.
Plus this “Happy Book Birthday” – Congratulations to Ellen
(11) COMICS SECTION.
Brewster Rockit treats us to more “famous parting words from defeated aliens.” Ook ook!
Half Full delivers sff’s answer to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
(12) MOONWALKING. It isn’t easy anywhere to get local
government to fix the streets,
Indian actor Poornachandra Mysore joined artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy to document the conditions of the roads in Bengaluru, India. In a creative way and wearing a spacesuit, the man decided to walk on these crater-like potholes as if he was walking on the moon.
Black Mountain is a crime-horror hybrid that takes the most entertaining elements of both genres and mixes them into something new that pushes the boundaries of contemporary crime fiction. From horror Barron grabs the fear of death, the tensions of knowing there is a killer out there and on the hunt, the gore of mutilated bodies and serrated knives digging into soft flesh. From crime he pulls mobsters, the existence of secrets that, if revealed, would lead to many murders. He also works with a level of violence that is rarely found in crime novels from big publishers.
With those elements on the table, Barron uses his elegant prose as glue. There is brutish behavior, but the words describing it are beautiful, mercilessly obliterating the imagined line between genre and literary fiction on almost every page…
In news to file under “What could possibly go wrong,” two U.S. deterrence experts have penned an article suggesting that it might be time to hand control of the launch button for America’s nuclear weapons over to artificial intelligence. You know, that thing which can mistake a 3D-printed turtle for a rifle!
In an article titled “America Needs a ‘Dead Hand,’” Dr. Adam Lowther and Curtis McGiffin suggest that “an automated strategic response system based on artificial intelligence” may be called for due to the speed with which a nuclear attack could be leveled against the United States. Specifically, they are worried about two weapons — hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles — which reduce response times to mere minutes from when an attack is launched until it strikes.
They acknowledge that such a suggestion is likely to “generate comparisons to Dr. Strangelove’s doomsday machine, War Games’ War Operation Plan Response, and The Terminator’s Skynet. But they also argue that “the prophetic imagery of these science fiction films is quickly becoming reality.” As a result of the compressed response time frame from modern weapons of war, the two experts think that an A.I. system “with predetermined response decisions, that detects, decides, and directs strategic forces” could be the way to go.
Wallops Island—a remote, marshy spit of land along the eastern shore of Virginia, near a famed national refuge for horses—is mostly known as a launch site for government and private rockets. But it also makes for a perfect, quiet spot to test a revolutionary weapons technology.
If a fishing vessel had steamed past the area last October, the crew might have glimpsed half a dozen or so 35-foot-long inflatable boats darting through the shallows, and thought little of it. But if crew members had looked closer, they would have seen that no one was aboard: The engine throttle levers were shifting up and down as if controlled by ghosts. The boats were using high-tech gear to sense their surroundings, communicate with one another, and automatically position themselves so, in theory, .50-caliber machine guns that can be strapped to their bows could fire a steady stream of bullets to protect troops landing on a beach.
Something odd was bubbling beneath the surface of northwest Montana’s Flathead Lake this summer. It wasn’t lake monsters, but submarines. The subs’ pilots were there to help cash-strapped researchers explore the depths of Flathead Lake for free.
It can be hard for research divers to see what’s at the bottom of deep bodies of water like Flathead Lake without special equipment and experience. So, having a couple of submarines around this summer was helpful to the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Research Station.
…Riders met British Columbia resident Hank Pronk, who was standing on his two-man submarine bobbing on the lake’s crystal-clear surface.
A useful hobby
Pronk and his fellow enthusiasts build their subs mostly by hand. Pronk’s sub, named the Nekton Gamma, is smaller than a compact car; climbing in is a squeeze.
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have been turning to a new app to communicate – one that does not use the internet and is therefore harder for the Chinese authorities to trace.
Bridgefy is based on Bluetooth and allows protesters to communicate with each other without internet connection.
Downloads are up almost 4,000% in the past two months, according to measurement firm Apptopia.
Texts, email and messaging app WeChat are all monitored by the Chinese state.
Bridgefy uses a mesh network, which links together users’ devices allowing people to chat with others even if they are in a different part of the city, by hopping on other users’ phones until the message reaches the intended person.
The range from phone to phone is within 100m (330ft).
The app was designed by a start-up based in San Francisco and has previously been used in places where wi-fi or traditional networks struggle to work, such as large music or sporting events.
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Rich Lynch, Martin
Morse Wooster, Robert T. Garcia, Michael Toman, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, and
Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]
Eleven others who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, while another 61 probable cases have been identified, according to Nancy Nydam, director of communications at Georgia Department of Public Health.
“Probable cases” are people who have symptoms of the disease but have not yet had a laboratory test to confirm the disease — a serious form of noncontagious pneumonia.
“Based on epidemiological evidence we have an outbreak among people who stayed at the (Sheraton Atlanta) during the same time period,” said Nydam. Guests who complained of lung problems and were later diagnosed with Legionnaires’ had attended a convention at the Atlanta hotel in early July.
The Sheraton Atlanta Hotel has been closed
since early July while it is being tested to determine whether it is the
source of the outbreak. It is one of Dragon Con’s five main hotels, listed as
sold out on the con website. Dragon Con begins August 29.
Though the bacterium causing Legionnaires’ has not yet been confirmed at the hotel, Sheraton Atlanta voluntarily shuttered its doors and hired outside experts to conduct testing, Nydam said.
“Sheraton Atlanta remains closed until at least August 11,” Ken Peduzzi, the hotel’s general manager, said in a statement Tuesday. Public health officials and environmental experts are working with the hotel to determine if it is the source of the outbreak, he said.
About one in 10 people who get sick from Legionnaires’ disease will die, a recent government report found.
… Wheaton and his loan-out company Media Dynamics on Monday sued Legendary Geek & Sundry for breach of contract. The actor claims Legendary in 2015 hired him to create, write, executive produce and host a web series called Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana and he’d be paid $50,000 and 50 percent of the net profit from the series.
Legendary had the exclusive right to distribute and promote the web show, but it was supposed to “consult meaningfully” with Wheaton before doing so, according to the complaint. The actor says Legendary defied that provision and negotiated license agreements with Sinclair Broadcasting, Hulu and Pluto TV without informing him.
Wheaton expects Legendary has collected significant fees in connection with those deals, and therefore he’s due his share, but says the company won’t let him audit its books.
Wheaton is seeking at least $100,000 in damages and is asking the court to order that a full accounting be conducted.
(4) F&SF COVER.
Publisher Gordon Van Gelder has unveiled The Magazine of Fantasy &
Science Fiction’s Sep/Oct 2019 cover, with art by David A. Hardy.
Yesterday Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove showed off his new glove for Players’ Weekend. And while it was a big hit and made me laugh, in hindsight it seems, I dunno . . . inevitable that someone would go with this model.
…Public libraries in the United States purchase a lot of e-books, and circulate e-books a lot. According to the Public Library Association, electronic material circulation in libraries has been expanding at a rate of 30% per year; and public libraries offered over 391 million e-books to their patrons in 2017. Those library users also buy books; over 60% of frequent library users have also bought a book written by an author they first discovered in a library, according to Pew. Libraries offer free display space for books in over 16,000 locations nationwide. Even Macmillan admits that “Library reads are currently 45% of our total digital book reads.” But instead of finding a way to work with libraries on an equitable win-win solution, Macmillan implemented a new and confusing model and blamed libraries for being successful at encouraging people to read their books.
Libraries don’t just pay full price for e-books — we pay more than full price. We don’t just buy one book — in most cases, we buy a lot of books, trying to keep hold lists down to reasonable numbers. We accept renewable purchasing agreements and limits on e-book lending, specifically because we understand that publishing is a business, and that there is value in authors and publishers getting paid for their work. At the same time, most of us are constrained by budgeting rules and high levels of reporting transparency about where your money goes. So, we want the terms to be fair, and we’d prefer a system that wasn’t convoluted….
Back-to-back non-US Worldcons has presented some unique challenges. One has been to arrange two tours back-to-back, but we have done it. With our Ireland tour about to begin, we are pleased to announce that we will be running a tour of both islands of New Zealand in connection with CoNZealand in 2020.
Born August 6, 1874 — Charles Fort. Writer and researcher who specialized in anomalous phenomena. The term fortean is sometimes used to characterize such phenomena. No, not genre as such, but certainly an influence on many a writer. The Dover publication, The Complete Books of Charles Fort, that collects together The Book of The Damned Lo!, Wild Talents and New Lands has a foreword by Damon Knight. L. Sprague de Camp reviewed it in Astounding Science-Fiction in the August 1941 issue when it was originally published as The Books of Charles Fort. (Died 1932.)
Born August 6, 1877 — John Ulrich Giesy. He was one of the early writers in the Sword and Planet genre, with his Jason Croft series He collaborated with Junius B. Smith on many of his stories though not these which others would call them scientific romances. He wrote a large number of stories featuring the occult detective Abdul Omar aka Semi-Dual and those were written with Smith. I see iBooks has at least all of the former and one of the latter available. Kindle just the latter. (Died 1947.)
Born August 6, 1926 — Janet Asimov. Author of some half dozen novels and a fair amount of short fiction on her own, mostly as J.O. Jeppson; co-author with Isaac of the Norby Chronicles. Her Notes for a Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing, came out thirteen years ago. (Died 2019.)
Born August 6, 1934 — Piers Anthony, 85. Ok I’ll admit that I’m not at all familiar with him as comic fantasy isn’t my usual go-to reading. I know he’s popular so I’m going to ask y’all which of his novels would be a great introduction to him. Go ahead and tell which novels I should read.
Born August 6, 1956 — Ian R. MacLeod, 63. Another author I need to read more of. I’ve read the first two in what’s called the Aether Universe series, The Light Ages and The House of Storms, but there’s a number of novels I’m intrigued by including Song of Time and The Great Wheel. Anything else y’all would recommend I read?
Born August 6, 1962 — Michelle Yeoh, 57. Ok, I have to give her full name of Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng. Wow. Her first meaningful genre roles was as Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies and Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I actually remember her as Zi Yuan in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the first film of a since-cancelled franchise. And then there’s her dual roles in the the Trek universe where she’s Captain Philippa Georgiou and Emperor Philippa Georgiou. The forthcoming Section 31 series will involve one of them but I’m not sure which one…
Born August 6, 1972 — Paolo Bacigalupi, 47. I remember the book group I was part of having a spirited debate over The Windup Girl over the believability of the central character. I think he did a better job with characters in his next novels, Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities, but he’s really not about characters anyways.
…The “Ballistic Shield” recently unveiled by TuffyPacks, a Houston-based manufacturer of bulletproof backpacks, has a brightly colored picture of the Avengers charging headlong into view, with Captain America and his famous shield front and center.
Amid an epidemic of gun violence in America highlighted by recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, Calif., the TuffyPacks shield is designed to keep children safe from handgun bullets.
TuffyPacks rolled out its latest models, which include a “Disney princess” theme featuring Jasmine from Aladdin, Cinderella, Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel from Tangled, less than a month ago. In addition to Disney’s Avengers and Princesses, other themes include “Harry Potter,” “Major League Baseball” and “Camo.” They all retail for $129.
But the new bulletproof backpacks aren’t exactly endorsed by the Walt Disney Co. or Warner Bros.
“None of these products were authorized by Disney, and we are demanding that those behind this stop using our characters or our other intellectual property to promote sales of their merchandise,” a spokesperson for Disney says in a statement
A consortium of scientists hoping to build the world’s largest optical telescope on Hawaii’s tallest peak has applied to site it instead in the Canary Islands amid ongoing protests by native Hawaiians who oppose construction of the instrument on what they consider a sacred volcano.
For weeks, protesters have delayed the start of construction on the Big Island’s Mauna Kea volcano of the Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, which astronomers say will have a dozen times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.
In a written statement on Monday, TMT Executive Director Ed Stone said that obtaining a permit to build in Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa, was meant as a “‘Plan B’ site … should it not be possible to build in Hawaii.” However, he emphasized that Mauna Kea “remains the preferred site.”
Human bodies were never meant to exist in weightless conditions. All the fluid being pumped around your body right now needs gravity to get it to the right place. Think about hanging upside down from a jungle gym, the blood rushing to your head. How long do you think you could handle living like that? How many days in a row?
In microgravity, all of your internal organs climb up into your chest cavity, because the mass of the Earth isn’t holding them down anymore. This makes it a little hard to breathe. Farts collect inside your intestine until the pressure suddenly forces them out when you least want them to. Fluid builds up in places it shouldn’t, and there’s no good way to pump it back out of your tissues. The most dramatic—and obvious—way this effects you is that your face gets super puffy, distorting your features. And that’s when you learn just how much of living with other people is processing their facial expressions. Since everyone in space looks like they have the mumps, people start to get irritable. Innocent comments get misconstrued, and tempers flare. I spoke with one astronaut who joked that in the future one big career option is going to be “space lawyer”. Because of all the fistfights that are sure to break out during long missions to Mars. Of course, bouncing off other people all the time and getting in their way is inevitable given the close quarters. It might be better than the alternative, though…
An artificial “tongue” which can taste subtle differences between whiskies could help tackle the counterfeit alcohol trade, according to engineers.
They have built a tiny taster which exploits the properties of gold and aluminium to test differences between the spirits.
The technology can pick up on the subtler distinctions between the same whisky aged in different barrels.
It can tell the the difference between whiskies aged for 12, 15 and 18 years.
Engineers say the tongue “tasted” the differences with greater than 99% accuracy.
Alasdair Clark, of the University of Glasgow’s school of engineering, said: “We call this an artificial tongue because it acts similarly to a human tongue – like us, it can’t identify the individual chemicals which make coffee taste different to apple juice but it can easily tell the difference between these complex chemical mixtures.
A mercenary seeks a missing child, a dead man’s brain is reactivated, a woman travels to the Mayan underworld, a disease drives its victims mad with false memories. These are just a few of the plots that have captured readers’ attention in this year’s batch of science fiction and fantasy novels.
To identify the books resonating with readers, we looked at sci-fi and fantasy novels published so far this year in the U.S. Then we filtered that list by average rating (everything on this list has at least a 3.5-star rating), number of reader reviews, and additions to readers’ Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure buzz and anticipation).
A man who donated his mother’s body to what he thought was Alzheimer’s research learned later it was used to test explosives. So what does happen when your body is donated to medical science?
Last week new details of a lawsuit emerged against The Biological Resource Centre in Arizona following an FBI raid in 2014 in which gruesome remains of hundreds of discarded body parts were discovered.
The now closed centre is accused of illegally selling body parts against the donors wishes.
Newly unreleased court documents revealed that families of those whose bodies had been donated to the centre said they believed their relatives remains would be used for medical and scientific research.
Jim Stauffer is one of the multiple plaintiffs suing the centre. He told Phoenix station ABC 15 he believed his mother’s donated body would be used to study Alzheimer’s, a disease she had, but he later found out it was used by the military to examine the effects of explosives.
He says on the paperwork he was given by the centre he specifically ticked ‘no’ when asked if he consented to the body being used to test explosives.
So how does the body donation business operate in the US and what expectations do people have about these facilities?
A man who wrote music for The Simpsons for 27 years is suing its makers for allegedly firing him due to his age.
Composer Alf Clausen, 78, said he was sacked from the show in 2017.
In his claim, Clausen states he was informed that the show was “taking the music in a different direction”.
“This reason was pretextual and false,” the claim reads. “Instead, plaintiff’s unlawful termination was due to perceived disability and age.” The BBC has approached Fox for a comment.
At the time of Clausen’s departure, the show’s bosses stated they “tremendously value[d] Alf Clausen’s contributions” to the show.
According to trade paper Variety, Clausen was replaced by Bleeding Fingers Music, a music production company co-founded by Russell Emanuel, Hans Zimmer and Steve Kofsky.
Clausen’s suit says his replacement “was substantially younger in age, who was not only paid less, but was not disabled”.
(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Destination Moon 1950–On The Set With George Pal 1949” on YouTube is an hour-long show, first broadcast as an episode of City at Night on Los Angeles station KTLA in 1949, from the set of Destination Moon that includes rare interviews with Robert A. Heinlein and Chesley Bonestell.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Eric Franklin, Rich Lynch, Cat
Eldridge, JJ, Nina Shepardson, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike
Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title
credit goes to File 770 contributor of the day Acoustic Rob.]
(1) IN OPINIONS YET TO COME. Brooke Bolander is the latest
sff author to pen a futuristic op-ed for the New York Times.
As Tor.com puts it –
Asking “Who Should Live in Flooded Old New York?” Bolander imagines a time in which it’s illegal to live in the flooded remains of NYC, with the only residents being those who are too poor to move elsewhere. In this future, Mr. Rogers’ theme song has turned into an “old folk song,” and “draconian federal regulations” punish those remaining, while millionaires running illegal tourism schemes in the city get off scot-free.
Sanford interviewed Fritz Foy, president and publisher of Tom Doherty Associates, the unit
of Macmillan that includes Tor, who shared “an unprecedented look at their
…To discover if library ebook lending was indeed hurting sales, Macmillan used their Minotaur imprint as a control group and Tor Books as an experimental group. The two groups have books which sold in similar patterns along with authors and book series which drove steady sales from year to year.
Foy was surprised by the experiment’s stark results.
“All but one title we compared (in the Tor experiment group) had higher sales after the four month embargo on ebook sales to libraries,” he said. “And the only title where we didn’t see this happen had bad reviews. And when you looked at the control group, sales remained the same.”
Amazon Studios’ high-profile The Lord of the Rings TV series has made a key hire. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the big-scope fantasy drama, following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson, who directed the feature adaptations of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novels.
…Bayona’s first feature film, critically acclaimed thriller The Orphanage, executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, premiered to a 10-minute standing ovation at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and later won seven Goya Awards in Spain, including best new director.
Bayona most recently directed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide last year. He also directed the features The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones, as well as the first two episodes of Showtime’s hit series Penny Dreadful.
Amazon’s $1.5 billion (£1.19bn) Lord of the Rings series looks set to begin filming in New Zealand this month, after producers reportedly got cold feet about shooting in Scotland.
The NZ Herald reports that a “huge” part of the series, said to be the most expensive TV show ever made, will be produced in Auckland, specifically at the Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios, with an official announcement coming this month. The report states that pre-production on the Amazon show has been based at the two studios for the last year.
Producers were also said to be considering Scotland as a production base, but New Zealand’s public-service radio broadcaster Radio New Zealand (Radio NZ), claims “the tumultuous Brexit situation hindered Scotland’s pitch”.
(5) RESNICK RETURNS TO FB. Mike Resnick gave
Facebook readers a medical update about his frightening health news:
Sorry to be absent for a month. 4 weeks ago I was walking from one room to the next when I collapsed. Carol called the ambulance, and 2 days later I woke up in the hospital minus my large intestine. Just got home last night.
competition is open to original, unpublished short stories of not more than
6,000 words by non-professional writers. The award, established in 2000, offers
non-professional writers the opportunity to have their work published in Interzone, the UK’s leading sf magazine. The
deadline for submissions was June 28. The winner will be announced in August.
(8) JUMANJI. The next sequel
will be in theaters at Christmas.
In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
July 3, 1958 — Fiend Without A Face premiered.
July 3, 1985 – Back to the Future was released.
July 3, 1996 – Independence Day debuted in theaters.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 3, 1898 — E. Hoffmann Price. He’s most readily remembered as being a Weird Tales writer, one of a group that included Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith. He did a few collaborations, one of which was with H. P. Lovecraft, “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”. Another work, “The Infidel’s Daughter”, a satire on the Ku Klux Klan, also angered many Southern readers. (Died 1998.)
Born July 3, 1926 — William Rotsler. An artist, cartoonist, pornographer and SF author. Well, that is his bio. Rotsler was a four-time Hugo Award winner for Best Fan Artist and one-time Nebula Award nominee. He also won a “Retro-Hugo” for his work in 1946 and was runner-up for 1951. He responsible for giving Uhura her first name, created “Rotsler’s Rules for Costuming”, popularized the idea fans wore propeller beanies and well, being amazing sounding. (Died 1997.)
Born July 3, 1927 — Tim O’Connor. He was Dr. Elias Huer in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for much of its run. Other genre appearances were on The Six Million Dollar Man, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Wonder Woman, Knight Rider, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Burning Zone. (Died 2018.)
Born July 3, 1927 — Ken Russell. Altered States is his best known SF film but he’s also done The Devils, an historical horror film, and Alice in Russialand. Russell had a cameo in the film adaptation of Brian Aldiss’s novel Brothers of the Head by the directors of Lost in La Mancha. And, of course, he’s responsible for The Who’s Tommy. (Died 2012.)
Born July 3, 1937 — Tom Stoppard, 82. Screenplay writer, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which is adjacent genre if not actually genre. Also scripted of course Brazil which he co-authored with Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeow. He also did the final Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade final rewrite of Jeffrey Boam’s rewrite of Menno Meyjes’s screenplay. And finally Shakespeare in Love which he co-authored with Marc Norman.
Born July 3, 1943 — Kurtwood Smith, 76. Clarence Boddicker in Robocop, Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and voiced Kanjar Ro in Green Lantern: First Flight. He’s got series appearances on Blue Thunder, The Terrible Thunderlizards, The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Men in Black: The Series, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, Judtice League, Batman Beyond, Green Lantern and Beware the Batman. His last role was as Vernon Masters as the superb Agent Carter.
Born July 3, 1962 — Tom Cruise, 57. I’m reasonably sure his first genre role was as Jack in Legend. Next up was Lestat de Lioncourt in Interview with the Vampire followed by being Ethan Hunt in the first of many Mission Impossible films. Then he was John Anderton in the abysmal Minority Report followed by Ray Ferrier in the even far more abysmal War of The Worlds. I’ve not seen him as Maj. William Cage in Edge of Tomorrow so I’ve no idea how good he or the film is. Alas then Nick Morton in, oh god, The Mummy.
The purpose of the Aurora Awards Voter Package is simple. Before you vote for the Aurora Awards this year, we want you to be able to read as much of the nominated work as possible, so you can make and informed decision about what is the best of the year. Please note: the package is only available while voting is open. Remember voting ends September 14, 2019 at 11:59:59 EDT!
The electronic versions of these Aurora Award nominated works are made available to you through the generosity of the nominees and publishers. We are grateful for their participation and willingness to share with CSFFA members. If you like what you read, please support the creators by purchasing their works, which are available in bookstores and online.
(14) EN ROUTE. John Hertz, while packing for his journey to Spikecon,
paused to quote from the classics:
Farewell my friends, farewell my foes;
To distant planets Freddy goes;
To face grave perils he intends.
Farewell my foes, goodbye my friends.
(16) JDA REAPPLIES TO SFWA. Mary Robinette Kowal took
office as SFWA’s new President at the start of the month. Jon Del Arroz says
his latest application for membership is already in her inbox: “A
New Dawn For SFWA!” [Internet Archive link].
Things are changing at SFWA as my friend Mary Robinette Kowal has been installed as president, after I endorsed her candidacy early on.
…As she has featured my books on her blog not once, but twice, I know that Ms. Kowal’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity is important to her, and she will be doing everything she can to change the perception that SFWA is a place where Conservatives and Christians are not welcome to be called professional authors.
As such, I have reapplied to SFWA as of yesterday, and let Ms. Kowal know, so we can begin the long journey of working together to ensure equality for Conservative and Christian authors. I’ve offered my services as an ambassador to the community, so she will directly be able to hear the grievances of such authors who have been treated as second class citizens — dare I say, 3/5ths of a professional author — for so long now within the science fiction community.
On Monday, a Russian submarine caught fire during a mission, killing 14 sailors on board.
But the public didn’t find out about the incident until the next day, when Russia finally released a statement about the accident — though two days after the event, the nation still wouldn’t say exactly what kind of sub caught fire or whether it was nuclear-powered.
A possible reason for Russia’s caginess? Multiple sources are now claiming the sub was an AS-12 “Losharik,” a nuclear-powered submarine some speculate was designed to cut the undersea cables that deliver internet to the world.
In Joe and Jack C. Haldeman’s There Is No Darkness, English is an obscure language, spoken only on backwater worlds and a few places on Earth. We don’t know exactly when the book takes place, as year zero has been set to the founding of the (future) Confederacion. We are told the year is A.C. 354.
What we see of a future Texas suggests that it’s still as recognizably American as Justinian’s Constantinople would have been recognizably Roman. While the region seems a bit down at heel, it’s also one of the more optimistic takes on a future America.
(19) SCALZI GIVEAWAY. Or maybe Christmas will come early and
you can read this:
Aigamo is a Japanese farming method that uses ducks to keep unwanted plants and parasites out of rice paddy fields. This duck crossbreed is able to keep the paddy clear without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and the fowls’ waste actually works as a pretty good fertilizer.
The method was first introduced in the 16th century but soon fell out of favor. It wasn’t reintroduced as a natural farming method until 1985 and it quickly became popular across the country as well as in China, Iran, France, and other countries.
About 15 ducks can keep a 1,000-square-meter area clear of insects, worms, and weeds, and they even enrich the water with oxygen by constantly stirring up the soil. But as humans are prone to do, an engineer from Nissan Motor, needed to build a better mousetrap, although this one may not have too many beating down a path to his door.
Created as a side project, the Aigamo Robot looks less like its namesake and more like a white, floating Roomba with eyes. While the ducks can be trained to patrol specific areas, the robot employs Wi-Fi and GPS to help the robot stir up the soil and keep bugs at bay, though no word yet on how much ground it can cover in a single day.
(21) SPIDER TO THE FLIER. Have you seen “United–Fly Like a
Superhero” on YouTube? The Spider-Man version of the United Airlines
safety video? Too bad it’s
not as much fun as the Air New Zealand hobbit videos.
(22) STRANGE VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “9 Ways To Draw A Person” on Vimeo, Sasha
Svirsky offers a strange video that doesn’t actually tell you how to draw a
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Jason
Sanford, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Daniel Dern, John King Tarpinian, Chip
Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Greg Hullender, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for
some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the
What if the space race had never ended? Watch an official first look at For All Mankind, an Apple Original drama series coming this Fall to Apple TV+. Get notified when Apple TV+ premieres on the Apple TV app: http://apple.co/_AppleTVPlus For All Mankind is created by Emmy® Award winner Ronald D. Moore (Outlander, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica), Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi. Told through the lives of NASA astronauts, engineers and their families, For All Mankind presents an aspirational world where NASA and the space program remained a priority and a focal point of our hopes and dreams.
(2) TRACING THE MCU. In “+” at the Los Angeles Review of Books,
University of Southern California cinema professor J.D. Connor has an
exhaustive and highly quotable analysis of the MCU.
…Still, Feige has been utterly judicious about when and how to push. Over the years, fans (and others) have pushed for a less white, less male MCU, and Feige (and others) have managed to create an underdiscourse, in which the limits of the MCU’s representational efforts stem not from his convictions but rather from constraints placed on his own fandom by longtime Marvel head Ike Perlmutter and conservative forces on what was called the “Marvel Creative Committee.” Feige was able to get Perlmutter and the committee out of his way in 2015, and the next four films out of the pipeline would be developed, written, shot, and edited without their input. It’s no surprise that those four films happen to be the “boldest Marvel has ever made”:Guardians 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther.
Here the crucial installment is Black Panther, which seemed to prove that the whole machine could just as easily work based on African diaspora superheroes, with departments largely headed by women of color. Black Panther offers a vision of merit deferred. In place of lamentations about the empty pipeline, here was a movie that suggested, convincingly, that the representational revolution was at hand and only required Hollywood certification. The industry was clearly ready to endorse that vision of incremental revolution, giving Oscars to both Ruth E. Carter (Costume) and Hannah Beachler (Production Design). Those two, along with an award for Black Panther’s score, were the MCU’s first wins.
This story — from foundation and expansion to confidence and representation — has been emerging within the MCU. At the end of Endgame, Tony Stark is dead, Steve Rogers is old, and Thor has a new home among the more ridiculous and sentimental Guardians of the Galaxy. Replacing the foundational three white dudes are Captain Marvel, a new Captain America, and Black Panther….
(3) IRON MANTLE. The Spider-Man: Far From Home Chinese Trailer inspires a SYFY Wire writer to
theorize about the MCU’s future —
…The world is definitely asking “who is going to be the next Iron Man?” Captain America has promoted Falcon. Who’s taking up Iron Man’s robotic mantle? With Spidey debuting multiple new suits in the film (and in the trailer, where fans can see the black stealth suit swing), this could be Peter Parker’s time to shine as the MCU moves into a new Phase.
Two hours wasted: that’s how I feel after watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters. This bloated production starts out as an enjoyably tacky monster movie but doesn’t know when to quit. Every pseudo-scientific explanation (and there are plenty) has a counter-explanation in order to keep the story going…and every apparent climax leads to another climax. There’s even a post-credits scene, as if we needed one. We don’t….
(5) THAT CAT KNOWS WHAT HE’S ABOUT. So perhaps it’s just as
well that Camestros Felapton was duped into seeing the Elton John biopic
instead — Rocketcat.
[Timothy the Talking Cat] You see? You see? I totally tricked you. [Camestros Felapton] Hmmm [Tim] You thought we were going to go and see Godzilla but we actually went to see Rocketman. [CF] That’s OK. I enjoyed the film. [Tim] But admit that I totally tricked you….
(6) RETRO SPECIAL EFFECTS. Lots of sff GIFs here, beginning
with a load of flying saucer movie clips, at Raiders of the Lost Tumblr.
(7) MORE AURORA AWARDS NEWS. Voting for the Aurora Awards will begin on August 3, 2019. Click here to visit the public ballot page.
The Aurora Voters Package will be available for CSFFA members to download later this month.
Both the voters package and the ballot close at 11:59 pm EDT on September 14, 2018.
Looks like George R. R. Martin is taking his epic world-building skills to Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment collective behind the House of Eternal Return and other next-gen immersive and interactive exhibitions. The Game of Thrones creator has been named new Chief World Builder and will bring his “unparalleled storytelling skills to the multiverse” of Meow Wolf by working with key members of the collective to “advise on building narrative and mind-bending ideas” that will yield “ambitious immersive installations.”
This isn’t Martin’s first time working with Meow Wolf. The Santa Fe resident helped secure the local bowling alley that is now the House of Eternal Return attraction and entertainment complex. The attraction displays a multidimensional mystery house of secret passages and surreal tableaus featuring Meow Wolf’s artists, architects, and designers, as well as a learning center, cafe, music venue, bar, and outdoor dining scene.
(9) COME HOME. Disney
dropped a new trailer for The Lion King that features Beyonce.
British actor Paul Darrow, best known for his role as Kerr Avon in sci-fi BBC TV series Blake’s 7, has died at the age of 78 following a short illness.
Most recently, Darrow voiced soundbites for independent radio stations Jack FM and Union Jack, where he was known as the “Voice of Jack”.
The character of Avon was second-in-command on Blake’s 7, which ran for four series between 1978 and 1981.
Darrow shared a flat with John Hurt and Ian McShane while studying at Rada.
While best-known for his Blake’s 7 role, he appeared in more than 200 television shows, including Doctor Who, The Saint, Z Cars, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Little Britain.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 3, 1905 — Norman A. Daniels. Writer working initially in pulp magazines, later on radio and television. He created the Black Bat pulp hero and wrote for such series as The Avengers, The Phantom Detective and The Shadow. He has three non-series novels, The Lady Is a Witch, Spy Slave and Voodoo Lady. To my surprise, iBooks and Kindle has a Black Bat Omnibus available! In addition, iBooks has the radio show. (Died 1995.)
Born June 3, 1931 — John Norman. 86. Gor, need I say more? I could say both extremely sexist and badly written but that goes without saying. They are to this day both extremely popular being akin to earlier pulp novels, though argue the earlier pulp novels by and large were more intelligent than these are. Not content to have one such series, he wrote the Telnarian Histories which also has female slaves. No, not one of my favourite authors.
Born June 3, 1946 — Penelope Wilton, 73. She played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in Doctor Who, an unusual thing for the show as they developed a story for the character. She was also played Homily in The Borrowers, Barbara in Shaun of the Dead, The Queen in Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Beatrix Potter in The Tale of Beatrix Potter, The White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass and Gertrude in in Hamlet at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Born June 3, 1950 — Melissa Mathison. Screenwriter who worked with Spielberg on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Twilight Zone: The Movie and BFG, the latter being the last script she did before dying of cancer. She also did The Indian in the Cupboard which wasdirected by Frank Oz. (Died 2015.)
Born June 3, 1958 — Suzie Plakson, 61. She played four characters on Trek series: a Vulcan, Doctor Selar, in “The Schizoid Man” (Next Gen); the half-Klingon/half-human Ambassador K’Ehleyr in “The Emissary” and “Reunion” (Next Gen); the Lady Q in “The Q and the Grey” (Voyager); and an Andorian, Tarah, in “Cease Fire” (Enterprise). She also voiced Amazonia in the “Amazon Women in the Mood” episode of Futurama. Really. Truly.
Born June 3, 1964 — James Purefoy, 55. His most recent genre performance was as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon. His most impressive was as Solomon Kane in the film of that name. He was also in A Knight’s Tale as Edward, the Black Prince of Wales/Sir Thomas Colville. He dropped out of being V in V for Vendetta some six weeks into shooting but some early scenes of the masked V are of him.
Born June 3, 1973 — Patrick Rothfuss, 46. He is best known for the Kingkiller Chronicle series, which won him several awards, including the 2007 Quill Award for his first novel, The Name of the Wind. Before The Name of the Wind was released, an excerpt from the novel was released as a short story titled “The Road to Levinshir” and it won the Writers of the Future contest in 2002.
(12) THE FUNGI THEY HAD. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Over
the weekend, RadioLab rebroadcast a fascinating September 2016 podcast, From Tree To Shining Tree, discussing the various ways
that trees intercommunicate, along with the discovery of an intense fungi-based
underground network (hence my item title).
…Possibly the reason that light sails took a while to become popular tropes is that the scientifically-clued-in authors who would have been aware of the light sail possibility would also have known just how minuscule light sail accelerations would be. They might also have realized that it would be computationally challenging to predict light sail trajectories and arrival times. One-g-forever rockets may be implausible, but at least working how long it takes them to get from Planet A to Planet B is straightforward. Doing the same for a vehicle dependent on small variable forces over a long, long time would be challenging.
Still, sailing ships in space are fun, so it’s not surprising that some authors have featured them in their fiction. Here are some of my favourites…
(14) IRONMAN ONE. The Space Review salutes the 50th
anniversary of Marooned, the movie adaptation of Martin Caidin’s book,
In this 50th anniversary year of the first Apollo lunar landing missions, we can reflect not only on those missions but also on movies, including the reality-based, technically-oriented space movies of that era, that can educate as well as entertain and inspire. One of those is Marooned, the story of three NASA astronauts stranded in low Earth orbit aboard their Apollo spacecraft, call-sign Ironman One—all letters, no numbers, and painted right on the command module (CM), a practice NASA had abandoned by 1965. They were the first crew of Ironman, the world’s first space station, the renovated upper stage of a Saturn rocket as planned for the Apollo Applications Program, predecessor of Skylab….
Japanese anime hit factory Studio Ghibli is to open a theme park in 2022 in cooperation with the local Aichi Prefecture government and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper company.
Plans for the “Ghibli Park,” which will occupy 494 acres (200 hectares) in Nagakute City, Aichi, were first announced around this time in 2017, when the local government said it was looking for other commercial partners.
…According to the three companies, three areas — Youth Hill, partly based on Howl’s Moving Castle; Dondoko Forest, based on My Neighbor Totoro; and a Great Ghibli Warehouse — are set to open in fall 2022. A Mononoke Village, based on Princess Mononoke, and a Valley of the Witch area, themed on both Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle, are set to open a year later
…The IHOB campaign got the brand more than 42 billion media impressions worldwide, and immediately quadrupled the company’s burger sales. Now a year later, with burger sales still humming along at double their pre-IHOB numbers, the brand is trying to once again to catch advertising lightning in a (butter pecan) bottle.
Last week, the diner chain announced that it would have an announcement today, relating to its name, aiming once again for the same social-media chatter that debated its burgers last time around. A lot of those people last year scolded IHOP for venturing beyond pancakes. Now the brand is having a bit of fun with that idea–and the definition of a pancake.
“This year we listened to the internet and are sticking to what we do best, which is pancakes,” says IHOP CMO Brad Haley. “We’re just now calling our steak burgers pancakes. We contacted some of the people who told us to stick to pancakes last year for this year’s campaign, so the trolls have teed up the new campaign quite nicely.”
In this tale of a family with dark secrets and divinatory gifts, Lambda Literary Award winner Rebecca Podos ponders the inevitable question: If you can read the future that lies ahead, do you also have the power to change it?
When Ruby Chernyavsky hit her teen years, she had a premonition — a vision of the moments leading up to her death. Knowing her “Time” was something she always expected, since all of the women in her family forsee their own, but what none of them know is that Ruby’s days are numbered. Her Time is her 18th birthday, so in a little over a year, she’ll be dead….
A medieval chess piece that was missing for almost 200 years had been unknowingly kept in a drawer by an Edinburgh family.
They had no idea that the object was one of the long-lost Lewis Chessmen – which could now fetch £1m at auction.
The chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in 1831 but the whereabouts of five pieces have remained a mystery.
The Edinburgh family’s grandfather, an antiques dealer, had bought the chess piece for £5 in 1964.
He had no idea of the significance of the 8.8cm piece (3.5in), made from walrus ivory, which he passed down to his family.
They have looked after it for 55 years without realising its importance, before taking it to Sotheby’s auction house in London.
The Lewis Chessmen are among the biggest draws at the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
They are seen as an “important symbol of European civilisation” and have also seeped into popular culture, inspiring everything from children’s show Noggin The Nog to part of the plot in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.
(19) TOTALLY TONOPAH. Kevin Standlee promotes the Tonopah
in 2021 Westercon bid in an interview about the
Tonopah in 2021 chair Kevin Standlee interviews Mizpah Hotel supervisor Rae Graham and her wife (and Mizpah Club staffer) Kayla Brosius about the Mizpah Hotel, what they think about how Tonopah would welcome a Westercon, and how they think the convention would fit with the hotel.
The bid’s webpage also has a lot of new
information about hotels and restaurants in Tonopah. Standlee says, “A new
hotel just opened up adding another 60 rooms to the town, including more
handicapped-accessible/roll-in-shower rooms, for example.”
Standlee and Lisa Hayes took a lot of photos while they were in Tonopah, now added to their Flickr album — including pictures of the unexpected late-May snow. Kevin admits:
I’d be very surprised by snow in July, but they schedule their big annual town-wide event for Memorial Day because it should neither be snowy or hot, and they instead got four inches of snow on their rodeo. Fortunately, it mostly all melted by the next morning.
[Thanks to Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John Hertz, Kevin Standlee, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]
The 2019 Aurora Awards finalists have been announced. The awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, for Science Fiction / Fantasy works done in 2018 by Canadians. The top five nominated works were selected. Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place. The awards ceremony will be held at Can-Con 2019, October 18-20, in Ottawa.
Armed in Her Fashion by Kate Heartfield, ChiZine Publications
Graveyard Mind by Chadwick Ginther, ChiZine Publications
One of Us by Craig DiLouie, Orbit
The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken, Solaris Books and Analog Science Fiction and Fact
They Promised Me The Gun Wasn’t Loaded by James Alan Gardner, Tor
Witchmark by C. L. Polk, Tor.com Publications
Children of the Bloodlands: The Realms of Ancient, Book 2 by S.M. Beiko, ECW Press
Cross Fire: An Exo Novel by Fonda Lee, Scholastic Press
Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks by ‘Nathan Burgoine, Bold Strokes Books
Finding Atlantis by J.M. Dover, Evil Alter Ego Press
Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley, Simon Pulse
The Emerald Cloth by Clare C Marshall, Faery Ink Press
The Sign of Faust by Éric Desmarais, Renaissance Press
Timefall by Alison Lohans, Five Rivers Publishing
“A Hold Full of Truffles” by Julie E. Czerneda, Tales from Plexis, DAW Books
“Alice Payne Arrives” by Kate Heartfield, Tor.com Publications
“Critical Mass” by Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders, Laksa Media
“For A Rich Man to Enter” by Susan Forest, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Issue 62
“Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach” by Kelly Robson, Tor.com Publications
Crash and Burn by Finn Lucullan and Kate Larking, Astres Press
FUTILITY: Orange Planet Horror by Rick Overwater and Cam Hayden, Coffin Hop Press
It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
Krampus Is My Boyfriend! by S.M. Beiko, Webcomic
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal, Drawn and Quarterly
“Echos” by Shannon Allen, By the Light of Camelot, EDGE
“How My Life Will End” by Vanessa Cardui, Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders, Laksa Media
“Osiris” by Leah Bobet, Uncanny Magazine
“Trips to Impossible Cities” by Sandra Kasturi, Amazing Stories Magazine, issue #2, Winter 2018
“Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld” by Sarah Tolmie, On Spec issue 107 vol 28.4
By the Light of Camelot edited by J. R. Campbell and Shannon Allen, EDGE
Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction edited by Dominik Parisien and Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Uncanny Magazine
Gaslight Gothic: Strange Tales of Sherlock Holmes edited by J. R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec, EDGE
Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media
We Shall Be Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 200 years on edited by Derek Newman-Stille, Renaissance Press
Bao, written and directed by Domee Shi , Pixar Animation Studios
Deadpool 2, written and produced by Ryan Reynolds, Twentieth Century Fox
Murdoch Mysteries, 2018 episodes, Peter Mitchell and Christina Jennings, Shaftesbury Films
Travelers, Season 3, Brad Wright, Carrie Mudd, John G. Lenic, and Eric McCormack, Peacock Alley Entertainment
Wynonna Earp, Season 3, Emily Andras, Seven24 Films Calgary
Lily Author, cover art for Polar Borealis Magazine #8, Dragon Lab
Samantha M. Beiko, covers for Laksa Media
James F. Beveridge, cover art for Tyche books
Roger Czerneda, cover for Tales from Plexis, DAW Books
Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press
Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, cartoons for Amazing Stories Magazine
Writing and Publications
Adios Cowboy, Adam Shaftoe
Books and Tea, Christina Vasilevski
Constructing the Future, Derek Newman-Stille, Uncanny Magazine
Mars vs. Titan, Ron S. Friedman, Quora
She Wrote It But…Revisiting Joanna Russ’ “How to Suppress Women’s Writing” 35 Years Later, Krista D. Ball
Travelling TARDIS, Jen Desmarais, JenEric Designs
Sandra Kasturi, chair Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Toronto
Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, co-chairs, Can*Con, Ottawa
Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, and Nicole Lavigne, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
Randy McCharles, chair, When Words Collide, Calgary
Sandra Wickham, chair, Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, BC
S.M. Beiko and Clare C. Marshall, Business BFFs (Podcast)
Kari Maaren, ChiSeries Toronto, monthly musical performances
Canadian sff author Dave Duncan passed away October 29 after sustaining a brain hemorrhage in a fall.
Originally from Scotland, Duncan lived all his adult life in Western Canada. He worked as a geological consultant until at age 53 he made the transition to full-time professional writer.
Duncan was a prolific novelist who wrote both fantasy and science fiction, although he said, “I always regret that my SF books are less popular than my Fantasy. SF actually takes more work to write!”
His best-known fantasy series included “The Seventh Sword,” “A Man of His Word,” and “The King’s Blades.”
He sold his sixtieth book this year – the science fiction novel Pillar of Darkness.
He won two Aurora Awards, for his novels West of January (1990) and Children of Chaos (2007).
He was an eight-time nominee for the Endeavour Award, given for a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.
Duncan was both a founding and an honorary lifetime member of SF Canada, the country’s association for speculative fiction professionals. He was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Janet, whom he married in 1959, and by their son, two daughters, and four grandchildren
[Thanks to Susan Forest for the story.]
2009 Endeavour Award finalists Kay Kenyon and Dave Duncan with award committee member Page Fuller.
The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Eligible were “works done in 2017 by Canadians.” The top five nominated works were selected. Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place.
The awards ceremony will be held at VCON 42, October 5-7, 2018, in Richmond, BC (www.vcon.ca).
All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner, Tor Books
Jade City by Fonda Lee, Orbit
Light of a Distant Sun by Brent Nichols, Bundoran Press
The Rebel (Book 3 of the San Angeles Series) by Gerald Brandt, DAW Books
RecipeArium by Costi Gurgu, White Cat Publications
To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books
Best Young Adult Novel
Exo by Fonda Lee, Scholastic Press
Houses of the Old Blood by Elizabeth Whitton, Kettlescon Press
Maddie Hatter and the Gilded Gauge by Jayne Barnard, Tyche Books
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko, ECW Press
The West Woods by Suzy Vadori, Evil Alter Ego Press
Best Short Fiction
A Human Stain by Kelly Robson, Tor.com
The Calling by Elizabeth Grotkowski, Enigma Front: The Monster Within, Analemma Books
Gone Flying by Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound, Laksa Media
Old Souls by Fonda Lee, Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Laksa Media
Rose’s Arm by Calvin D. Jim, Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Laksa Media
Best Graphic Novel
SIGNAL Saga #0: PanGaea and the Key of Mirrari by Dominic Bercier, Mirror Comics Studios
Rock Paper Cynic by Peter Chiykowski, Webcomic
Honey Dill by Ryan Harby, Webcomic
Crash and Burn by Kate Larking and Finn Lucullan, Astres Press
It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
Riftworld Legends, #1-4 by Jonathan Williams, Daniel Wong, and Paris Alleyne, Joe Books
After Midnight by David Clink, Tesseracts 20 (Compostela), EDGE
The Canadian Small-Town Denizen and the Distant-Planet Space Traveller by J.J. Steinfeld, 49th Parallels, Bundoran Press
Card by Catherine Girczyc, Tesseracts 20 (Compostela), EDGE
Cruising Glaciers by Rhea Rose, 49th Parallels, Bundoran Press
Heaven Is The Hell Of No Choices by Matt Moore, Polar Borealis #4
Meat Puppets by Lynne Sargent, Polar Borealis #4
Shadows in the Mist by Lee F. Patrick, Polar Borealis #4
Best Related Work
49th Parallels edited by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press
Compostela (Tesseracts 20) edited by Spider Robinson and James Alan Gardner, EDGE
Enigma Front: The Monster Within edited by Renée Bennett, Analemma Books
On Spec Magazine, The Copper Pig Writers Society
The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media
Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak, Laksa Media
Best Visual Presentation
Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve, Alcon Entertainment
Dark Matter, Season 3, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Prodigy Pictures
Killjoys, Season 3, Michelle Lovretta, Temple Street Productions
Orphan Black, Season 5, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, Temple Street Productions
Travelers, Season 2, Brad Wright, Carrie Mudd, John G. Lenic, and Eric McCormack, Peacock Alley Entertainment
Wynonna Earp, Season 2, Emily Andras, Seven24 Films Calgary
Samantha M. Beiko, covers for Laksa Media
Ann Crowe, cover art for Avians
Lynne Taylor Fahnestalk, A Rivet of Robots: Body of Work
Dan O’Driscoll, covers for Bundoran Press
Fiona Staples, art for Saga comic series
Best Fan Writing and Publications
Reflections on Community and Gender in Canadian SFF, Krista D. Ball
Travelling TARDIS, Jennifer Desmarais, JenEric Designs
Science literacy for Science Fiction Readers and Writers, Ron S. Friedman, Quora
Speculating Canada edited by Derek Newman-Stille
WARP edited by Cathy Palmer-Lister, Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (MonSFFA)
Best Fan Organizational
Derek Künsken and Marie Bilodeau, executive, Can*Con, Ottawa
Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, Nicole Lavigne and Brandon Crilly, co-chairs, Chiaroscuro Reading Series: Ottawa
Randy McCharles, chair When Words Collide, Calgary