(1) FIVE FAVORITES. Uncanny Magazine released its 2017 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll Results. Six stories made the Top Five – now that’s uncanny!
3- IS A TIE!!!
(2) BANKS ART BOOK COMING. Did you know Iain M. Banks could draw, too? “Orbit announces the publication of original Culture drawings from the Estate of Iain M. Banks”.
Original drawings by Iain M. Banks, author of the hugely popular Culture novels, will be included in a book that celebrates the author’s vision of the Culture universe. The previously unseen drawings, most of which are annotated by the author, and many of which predate the writing of the novels themselves, will be curated by the Estate of Iain M. Banks and Iain’s life-long friend and science fiction writer Ken MacLeod. With additional commentary by MacLeod, further notes on the Culture, and extracts from the Culture novels, the book will provide a unique insight into the Culture, including its history, language, technology, philosophy and values.
(3) KEEP THE HONOR IN GOH. Seanan McGuire has spot-on advice for conrunners about GoH invitations and etiquette. Jump on the thread here —
Because this (and versions of this) gets asked all the time:
I go where I am invited. I don't (usually) charge an appearance fee, but I'm a full-time author; I can only afford travel that's subsidized in some way, usually by a convention.
— Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire) February 13, 2018
(4) WOMBAT IN DEMAND. A gig at Anthrocon is in her future.
— Anthrocon, Inc. (@anthrocon) February 13, 2018
(5) THE WAY TO SAN JOSE. John Picacio revealed more recipients of Mexicanx Initiative sponsored Worldcon memberships.
Proudly announcing #TheMexicanxInitiative's next wave of Sponsored Membership Recipients to @worldcon2018! cc: @sillysarasue @DavidOBowles @gabrielintica @AdelanteArts @jencerv @LoboRafagas @TanyaLealSoto. @scalzi @MaryRobinette @KateElliottSFF @JamesSACorey More TBA next week! pic.twitter.com/N3tafYk1u6
— John Picacio (@JohnPicacio) February 12, 2018
(6) THE SCHOOL OF BAD EXAMPLES. Diana Pharaoh Francis tells how to learn craftsmanship in “The Classroom of Dissatisfaction” at Book View Café.
Likewise, he’s never noticed her and suddenly she’s his ‘mate.’ (This is a shifter story). He’s apparently been dreaming about her and even though he’s known her previously, never paid attention to her. But what bothers me is that when he realizes he has to work to win her affections, he doesn’t stop to consider what their relationship has been, how they’ve interacted before, and why she might not like him.
The more I read, the less I’m convinced that their attraction is real instead of shoehorned into a situation without enough attention to actually building a believable foundation.
So what do I learn from this? Well, stuff I already knew. The motivations have to be believable. The character interactions have to be genuine and real. That readers want to stick with the story but won’t waste their time if there are significant cracks in it. But I also learned that you can have things in the story that will pull a reader along despite problems. That a reader *wants* to like the characters and will be fairly forgiving if you just smooth out the road a little.
I’ve read books that I wanted to put down because of the problems, but I kept getting dragged along because *something* in the book demanded it. But then I get to the end and I have regrets that the book wasn’t executed better. And those regrets make me sad.
(7) STAR TREK DISCOVERY WITH SPOILERS. Looking ahead: “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Producers on Season 1 Finale, and How Season 2 Will Be ‘What Trek Does Really Well’”.
According to “Star Trek: Discovery” co-showrunner Gretchen Berg, legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling is the reason why no major character dies in the season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery.”
“We worked on the original ‘Beverly Hills 90210,’” she told IndieWire, “And somebody was going to die or not going to die, and his attitude came back down that he didn’t want the person to die and I was like, ‘Why? Come on, that’s life!’”
Added Aaron Harberts, her co-showrunner, “The Mr. Spelling in me is always like, ‘You don’t kill a character! You just don’t. Because it’s good to be able to bring them back.’”
(8) CRIDER OBIT. Crime fiction writer Bill Crider died February 12 at the age of 72. Crider, who also won a 2015 Sidewise Award for his story “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” had entered hospice care in December.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- February 12, 1931 — Bela Lugosi’s famous role of Dracula hit the silver screen in New York
- February 12, 1940 — The Invisible Man Returns premiered theatrically.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born February 12, 1915 — Lorne Greene, Commander Adama (or Pa Cartwright, if you prefer.)
(11) MUSIC TO WRITE BY. Neil Gaiman has written an essay about ex-Pixies guitarist Kim Deal’s band The Breeders to celebrate their new album All Nerve:
The first time I heard of Kim Deal, it was because the co-owner of Dark Carnival, the bookstore in San Francisco I was signing in had been mistaken for her the night before by a waiter, who had taken her protestations that she was a bookshop person as a cover story and brought her and the people she was with, bookstore people whom he believed to be the rest of the Pixies, free drinks all night. I now knew a band called the Pixies existed.
I owned a tiny black and white television that sat on the corner of my desk, and kept me company when I wrote, all alone, too late at night, playing badly dubbed European Detective shows, late night rock shows, cheap television. Somewhere in 1989 it played a Pixies video. A week later I had every Pixies CD you could find in London record shops. I loved the aesthetic as much as the music: the Vaughn Oliver art and typefaces.
Information scarcity. I didn’t know who these people were. I was 29 years old, writing Sandman, in England, with two small children. I bought the CD of Pod, and I wrote Sandman to the jangly Breeders music.
(12) PRO TIP. From Sarah Gailey:
An important part of the writing process is taking edit notes with grace and professionalism pic.twitter.com/wOhkB5ffWW
— Sarah Gailey (@gaileyfrey) February 12, 2018
(13) SEVENTIES WOMEN SFF WRITERS. James Davis Nicoll is back with “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part II” at Tor.com. First up —
Gearhart may be best known now for her political activism and her decades of scholarly work. The Sally Miller Gearhart Chair in Lesbian Studies at the University of Oregon is named for her. SF fans unacquainted with her work might do well start with The Wanderground, a novel about feminist separatism set in a near future. Any of you planning to write a feminist separatist novel (or found a separatist feminist community) might want to explore prior art, including Gearhart’s contributions.
(14) SCRIPTER AWARDS. SyFy Wire reports “Under His Eye The Handmaid’s Tale wins yet another award”.
On Saturday night, the 30th annual Scripter Awards were hosted at the University of Southern California. The Scripter Awards are given out annually honoring adaptations of “printed word into film” and are awarded to both the original author and writer of the screenplay. The pilot episode of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale won in the television category with writer Bruce Miller, who is also the creator and executive producer of the show, picking up the award.
(15) OPEN FIELD. Diane Duane is one writer unaffected by last year’s version of Best Series, as she explains in “2018 Hugo Award eligibility: for those who were asking”.
First of all: the 2017 e-publication* of Interim Errantry 2: On Ordeal means that the Young Wizards series is once again eligible for Hugo consideration. In 2017 this would have been because of the 2016 publication of Games Wizards Play, which made the series eligible for the Best Series one-time “special” Hugo awarded by Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. That, however, was a different award from the new Best Series Hugo. (A distinction that apparently may make a difference for last year’s award finalists, if this year’s Hugo Administrator decides to rule out their nomination this year. But that’s hardly an issue for me.)
So — as confirmed here on the list of Best Series Hugo eligibles at File 770 — the Young Wizards series is eligible for nomination for the 2018 Best Series Hugo. Yay! …And if (as someone eligible to nominate) you feel inclined to nominate it, then I encourage you to do so.
(16) SECRET SFWA OPERATION CODENAMES REVEALED. The leak came right from the top!
This year I gave all my SFWA projects cool code names. So this year I'm working on FENRISTOOTH, DEATHFALCON, SCHEHEREZADE, BABELFISH, and PEEMONKEY. I'm really not sure what the last is but I named it after my cat.
— ?RainbowRiotRambo? (@Catrambo) February 11, 2018
(17) LIFE PRESERVER. The BBC, in “UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition”, tells about a team looking at life hidden over 100K years, now exposed by calving.
Scientists will set out in the next week to study an Antarctic realm that has been hidden for thousands of years.
A British Antarctic Survey-led team will explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017.
The organisation has also released the first video of the berg, which covers almost 6,000 sq km.
(18) USA TODAY’S TOP 100 SELLERS OF 2017. Here are the works of genre interest that made the top 100 books of the year, according to data from USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
12. It by Stephen King
15. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
19. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
31. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
32. 1984 by George Orwell
41. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
54. Goodnight Moon Board Book by Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
55. Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss
57. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPré
59. The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
63. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling; art by Jim Kay
65. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book by Eric Carle
66. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
70. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
76. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
80. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
86. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
92. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
93. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
94. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
(19) THEY CAME FROM SPACE. SFF is the latest fashion — “Philipp Plein takes NY Fashion Week on snowy spaceship ride”.
Provocateur Philipp Plein descended on New York Fashion Week with a giant spaceship, silvery rock formations and Migos lighting up the crowd Saturday night as fake snow fell and covered the floor of a huge industrial space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
And there were clothes. Skiwear mostly, lots emblazoned with Plein’s name, skulls and crossbones and some Playboy logos.
The show roared to life with a couple of motorcycle riders and a space utility vehicle that plowed through Plein’s fake wall of rocks. Later came a schmoozy transformer (big person in costume) who greeted Irina Shayk as she slinked out of the ship in a black bodysuit emblazoned with “I Love You Philipp Plein.”
(20) HUMANS EVOLVED. The Titan Official Trailer.
[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, JJ, Joel Zakem, Martin Morse Wooster, Rob Thornton, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Soon Lee, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]