Lis Carey gives credit to where it’s due to a “cat-sized critter”:
Dora wishes the sf world to know that this past weekend, she did her part for the cause, working the NESFA sales table at Boskone for a whole hour. She was shocked to discover that this involved allowing people she’d never sniffed before to carry away books.
Photos of other cats (or whatever
you’ve got!) resting on genre works are welcome. Send to mikeglyer (at) cs
The temperature ranged from chilly (it is winter) to downright frosty (12? Saturday morning, maybe up to 20? by 9:45AM when we walked the overpass from our hotel to the con), but on the other hand, no snow, rain, or weather public-transit shutdowns (all of which have happened to Boston-in-winter cons).
Boskone 57’s Featured Guests were:
GUEST OF HONOR: Kim Stanley
YOUNG ADULT FICTION GUEST: Holly
OFFICIAL ARTIST: Eric Wilkerson
MUSICAL GUEST: Cheshire Moon
HAL CLEMENT SCIENCE SPEAKER: Jon
NESFA PRESS GUEST: Jim Burns
The 150+ program participants also included a mix of established
and new writers, artists, editors and agents, along with well-known fans, e.g.
(citing mostly people I know/names I recognize), Ellen Asher, Joshua Bilmes,
Holly Black, Ginger Buchanan, Jeff Carver, John Chu, C.S.E. Cooney, Andrea
Martinez Corbin, Josh Dahi, Julie C. Day, Bob Devney, Paul Di Filippo, Vincent
Docherty, Debra Doyle, Tom Easton, Bob Eggleston, Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw
Gardner, Greer Gilman, Max Gladstone, Anabel Graetz, Charlaine Harris, Grady
Hendrix, Carlos Hernandez, Sarah Jean Horwitz, Jim Infantino, James Patrick
Kelly, John Kessel, Dan Kimmel, Mur Lafferty, Kelly Link, James D. Macdonald,
Darlene Marshall, Beth Meacham, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden,
Julie C. Rios, Cameron Roberson, Erin Roberts, Joseph Siclari, Allen M. Steele,
Michael Swanwick, Christine Taylor-Butler, Erin Underwood, Martha Wells, Trisha
J. Wooldridge, Brianna Wu, Frank Wu.
(Some that, sadly, were listed but had to cancel included Bruce
Coville, Steve Davidson, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Suzanne Palmer, Adi
Rule, and Jane Yolen.)
While there was no File770 meet-up (that I was aware of),
I spotted/chatted briefly with a few Filers (hardly surprisingly, of course).
FYI, NESFA Press had brand-new books available at Boskone 57:
I’ve just done purchase requests to my local library for these. Take that, Mount To-Be-Read!
A SATISFYING PROGRAM. This year’s program has lots of good stuff — for several time slots
I saw three or even four that I wanted to go to. I could easily have spent the
entire con doing nothing but program items, with brief breaks for food,
schmoozing, and strolling the Dealer’s Area and the Art Show, of course).
In “Great Novels That Don’t Work”, Grady Hendrix, Allen M.
Steele, Bracken MacLeod, Michael Swanwick and Brianna Wu talked about the
problems of various sf works, from plot to “one unforgivable step.” I missed
the first few minutes of this session, I’d love to hear/watch a recording of
the whole thing.
“Business of Being a Writer” tracks are a staple at many cons,
instructively essential for beginners, and often entertaining for all.
(Particularly the “horror stories/don’t do’s.”) In “Editing from Agent, to Editor, to Publisher”, Melanie
Meadors, Joshua Bilmes, Beth Meacham, John Kessel and James D. Macdonald
examined the “manuscript’s journey” of read/rewrite/edit/revise from author
through beta readers, copy editors, proof readers and other stations.
I went to several readings, including Daniel Kimmel, reading a
not-yet-published time travel story involving a character from his second sf
novel (which you don’t have to have read to enjoy the story), Max Gladstone,
and James Patrick Kelly, plus kaffeeklatsches with Esther Friesner and
with Tor editor Beth Meacham.
TRIVIA PURSUIT! One of my favorite items at Boskones is the Trivia For Chocolate game show run by Mark and
Priscilla Olson and Jim Mann, where us audience members strive to be the first
(or loudest) to yell out enough of the right answers to sf trivia questions,
with, per the name of the game, points being awarded using those thin
rectangular green-wrapped chocolate Thin Mints (and only uneaten ones are count
for your final tally).
For example, in “First Lines” — “The baloney weighed the raven
down.” (“N Svar Naq Cevingr Cynpr, Crgre F Orntyr” — as I was yelling out the
answer mid, ahem, weigh.)
This isn’t the kind of content you can cram for, and I’m not
sure you could even study for it — certainly not time-effectively. The only way
is to have consumed sf&f voluminously — and remembering the relevant
The not-so-secrets to doing well in TRIVIA FOR CHOCOLATE include
location (front or second row), luck, low memory-to-mouth latency, chutzpah
and having consumed sf (including f, and h) omnivorously for years-to-decades.
This year, to my happy surprise, I came in first, by a 14-point
spread against tied-for-seconds Karen von Haam (who, I’m pretty sure, was the
person on my right snagging answers right and left for the open several minutes),
and the always-impressively-knowledgeable-about-really-obscure-stuff Bob
(I donated all but two of my winnings to the Narnia Coat Check
Closet. ’nuff et!)
From Wells and Orwell to Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, and Annalee Newitz, there’s a long tradition of reporters becoming writers of SF/F/H. Our veteran newshounds report on what a background in journalism can bring to genre work. Are you already accustomed to research, deadlines, and low wages? Does the drive to get the facts mean it’s harder to make stuff up? Can reporters be written as good genre characters? While pounding out a hot story, must you wear a fedora?
This could easily have filled a day-long symposium. Heck, I
could (preferably with at least 20 minutes advance notice to web-refresh my
brain) have done an hour just on Mark Twain. (“Connecticut Yankee,” “Captain
Stormfield…” “The Mysterious Stranger,” etc.) Lots of great stuff was said, by
all panelists — let’s do this one again!
I also did a reading, a workshop on learning magic tricks and
becoming a magician (my handout including reading list available on request),
and, in DragonsLair, my young-kids-oriented magic show (heavy on the funny
props and bad jokes).
And, as nearly-always, I spent some time walking around taking
Looking ahead, here’s the Featured Guests currently scheduled
for Boskone 58, February 12-14 2021:
Guest of Honor: Joe Abercrombie
Official Artist: Julie Dillon
Special guest: Tamsyn Muir
Musical Guest: Marc Gunn
NESFA Press Guest: Ursula Vernon
Hal Clement Science Speaker:
Mike Brotherton and Christian Ready (Launch Pad Astronomy)
(1) NOT FAR FROM THE TREE. Apple TV+ has dropped the
Amazing Stories — Official Trailer. The show debuts March 6 on the Apple TV app –
if you have an Apple TV+ subscription: Amazing Stories.
From visionary executive producers Steven Spielberg and Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, this reimagining of the classic anthology series transports everyday characters into worlds of wonder, possibility, and imagination
(2) IN THE AUDIENCE AT BOSKONE. Filer Mlex posted a report about the sessions he attended at this weekend’s “Boskone 2020”.
Fairy Tales from the Dark Side
Theodora Goss started off this session by noting that she spent some years of her childhood in Budapest and that she takes particular interest in the fairy tales of Hungary, with their typical strong heroines. She went on to say that fairies vary quite a lot, not only in different cultural traditions, but depending on the date and conditions where they were formed. Victorians had their small flower fairies, for example, and subtle messages could be presented in the form of fairy tales about feminism or other social and political movements. Think of the women brewing eels, bats, herbs, and potions. The fairy represents the human encounter with the magical other.
Isabel Yap noted that Fillipino fairies do not play by human rules. They are not so clearly anthropomorphized and might often turn into fish, or other creatures. These fairy tales might be quite violent, and the fairies are not on our side.
(3) LISTENING TO A CULTURE. [Item by SF Concatenation’s
Jonathan Cowie.] There is something of a theme
taking place in British culture this spring.
And finally, back at
the BBC, Radio 4 has just launched another season of its SFnal Dangerous
Visions the first episode of 4
is ‘Blackout’ and concerns what happens when the internet (hence power as the
grid is web managed) crashes…
Be thankful you can
still read this post….
(4) VISUALIZING THE CULTURE. I don’t know how I missed this — The Culture: Notes and Drawings by Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod is set for a November 26 release date.
Iain M. Banks, the modern master of SF, created many original drawings detailing the universe of his bestselling Culture novels. Now these illustrations – many of them annotated – are being published for the very first time in a book that celebrates Banks’s grand vision, with additional notes and material by Banks’s longtime friend and fellow SF author Ken MacLeod. It is an essential addition to the collection of any Iain M. Banks fan.
No matter who you are or where you come from, there are boundaries and barriers that dictate what you can do, where you can go, and who you can become. Invisible threads running through society, pulling you this way or that, tripping you when you try to better yourself, ensnaring and holding you back. Invisible Threads is an anthology of dark sci-fi, fantasy, and horror stories that examine these barriers.
Confirmed authors include Alix Harrow, Andi Buchanan, Maurice Broaddus, Fran Wilde, Chesya Burke, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, Stephanie Malia Morris, Jordan Kurella, K.T. Bryski, ZZ Claybourne, A.C. Buchanan, Damien Angelica Walters, Beth Dawkins, Geoffrey Girard, Sabrina Vourvoulias, A.C. Wise, and Michael Wehunt. We plan to hold an open submissions call should we fund.
(6) EVEN IF IT IS JOSHI. The John Hay Library at Brown University invites
applications for its 2020-2021 S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship for research
relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs. The application
deadline is March 13,
The Hay Library is home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world, and also holds the archives of Clark Ashton Smith, Karl Edward Wagner, Manly Wade Wellman, Analog magazine, Caitlín Kiernan, and others. The Joshi Fellowship, established by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, is intended to promote scholarly research using the world-renowned resources on H. P. Lovecraft, science fiction, and horror at the John Hay Library (projects do not need to relate to Lovecraft directly). The Fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $2,500 for up to two months of research at the library between July 2020 and June 2021. The fellowship is open to students, faculty, librarians, artists, and independent scholars.
(7) DOOM IN
BLOOM. In “The
Pleasure (Reading) of Impending Doom” at CrimeReads, Tosca Lee recommends novels by Ben H.
Winters, William Fortschen, A.G. Riddle if you want to read novels about global
As a lifelong lover of a good doomsday story, I’ve always considered the tenacity and resourcefulness of the human spirit to be the category’s major appeal—along with the it-could-really-happen scary plausibility and ingenious “prepping” specifics, of course. But it wasn’t until I started writing my apocalyptic thriller, The Line Between, that the real charm of the genre became apparent to me.
I’d recently married a single father and become an insta-mom to four. Life was busy and crowded with details. But as I began to plot my literary cataclysm, the chaos of daily life—work, bills, school schedules, errands, house stuff, holidays, political noise, grocery lists, social media, bucket lists, and those ever-elusive last ten pounds—fell away in the face of a story with a single goal: survival. Suddenly, that looming list of to-dos doesn’t seem so insurmountable—or even important—compared to savoring time with those we love while we’re all here on earth together.
…Nakahara portrayed Nurse Kellye Yamato for 167 episodes of the hit show (according to IMDb). It would go on to be her largest and most memorable role. She followed it up with bit parts in television series such as At Ease, Hunter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and with film roles in Clue (the cook, Mrs. Ho), Black Day Blue Night (as Fat Mama), and Eddie Murphy’s version of Doctor Dolittle (credited as Beagle Woman).
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
February 17, 1959 — The Cosmic Man premiered. It produced by Robert A. Terry and directed by Herbert S. Greene. The film stars John Carradine, Bruce Bennett and Angela Greene. The film was shot quickly, primarily on a hotel lobby set, and in Griffith Park in L.A., where the Griffith Observatory was used as stand-in for the Pacific Institute of Technology. At least in Los Angeles, it played on a double bill with House on Haunted Hill. With the notable exception of Variety who really didn’t like it, most critics at the time found it to be a pleasant, fun experience. The audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes does not reflect that — it has a 0% rating from the very few, only thirty four, who’ve given it a score. You can see it here.
February 17, 1966 — On this day in Dublin, The Projected Man premiered. It was directed by Ian Curteis from a script by Peter Bryan, John C. Cooper, and Frank Quattrocchi, and starred Bryant Haliday, Mary Peach, Norman Wooland, Ronald Allen, and Derek Farr. Universal Studios released it on a double bill with Terror Island. Critics noted the monster’s resemblance to that of one in The Fly but those involved here denied that film inspired the look of the creature in this movie. It was featured in a ninth season episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and currently the audience over at Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 3% rating. You can see it here.
February 17, 1966 — In the
United Kingdom, Episode Twenty-one of the first season of The Thunderbirds,
“The Duchess Assignment”, aired. Created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson,
and. filmed by their production company. The electronic marionette puppetry which
they called Supermarionation was combined with scale-model special
effects sequences. It was the fifth such project by their company. You
can see this episode of the Thunderbirds here.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 17, 1903 — Kenne Duncan. He’s got a number of genre credits starting with the 1938 Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars serial where he was the Airdrome Captain. He’d play Ram Singh, the butler to the Spider, in The Spider’s Web and The Spider Returns serials, and he’d be Lt. Lacy in the 1939 Buck Rogers serial. Several years later, he’d be Cheney Hencheman Barnett in The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial. You can see him in the first chapter of Spider’s Web serial here. (Died 1972.)
Born February 17, 1912 — Andre Norton. She penned well over a dozen series, but her major series was Witch World which began rather appropriately with Witch World in 1963. The first six novels in that series were Ace Books paperback originals published in the Sixties. I remember them with some fondness quite some decades after reading them. (Died 2005.)
Born February 17, 1920 — Curt Swan. He’s the artist most associated with Superman during the Silver Age, and he produced hundreds of covers and stories from the Fifties through the Eighties. He would be let go in the DC reorganization of the Eighties with his last work as a regular artist on Superman being the 1986 story “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” that was written by Alan Moore. (Died 1996.)
Born February 17, 1930 — Ruth Rendell. I’ve read and enjoyed some of her mysteries down the decade but am not familiar at all with the three listed as genre by ISFDB (The Killing Doll, The Tree of Hands and The Bridesmaid). Who of you is familiar with these? (Died 2015.)
Born February 17, 1931 — Johnny Hart. The creator of B.C. and The Wizard of Id. (Brant Pant was the other creator of the latter strip.) He certainly wasn’t without controversy as this strip attests. (Died 2007.)
Born February 17, 1954 — Don Coscarelli, 66. A film director, producer, and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep, the latter based on a novella by Joe R. Lansdale whom I’ve met and who is a really nice person
Born February 17, 1971 — Denise Richards, 49. Her first genre role was as Tammy in Tammy and the T-Rex (really don’t ask). Her next role was the one she’s known for as Carmen Ibañez in Starship Troopers. She’ll be a few years later Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough, the eighteenth Bond film. She’s been announced as playing Victoria Darw in the still to be scheduled Timecrafters: The Treasure of Pirate’s Cove.
Born February 17, 1974 — Jerry O’Connell, 46. Quinn Mallory on Sliders, a series whose behind the broadcast politics is too tangled to detail here. His first SF role was on Mission to Mars as Phil Ohlmyer with the SF dark comedy Space Space Station 76 with him as Steve being his next role. He’s done a lot of of DCU voice work, Captain Marvel in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Clark Kent / Superman in Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Justice League Dark, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen where he also plays Cyborg Superman to great, chilling effect. The latter film is kickass excellent.
(11) SH-BOOM. High Seas Trading Co. has reason to brag
about its “Outer
The Hawaiian Shirt that the Astronauts wore on Aloha Friday on the International Space Station.This space themed Hawaiian shirt is out of this world.
(12) FRESH LID. Alasdair Stuart’s “The Full Lid for 14th February 2020” maps
the abstractions of nautical horror with Underwater and The
Lighthouse, take a look at the amazing Parasite and shows him
learning to Hack the Panic!
In Thomas Disch’s 1967 novel Echo Round His Bones, Nathan Hansard is transmitted to America’s Camp Jackson Mars via teleporter. This is a routine operation…or so it is believed. Wrongly. Hansard is surprised to discover himself somewhere other than Mars. Teleportation creates phantom duplicates on Earth, living ghosts dependent on the phantom duplicates of supplies sent to Mars. Food is in short supply, but no matter. Some of Hansard’s predecessors have solved the problem in a straightforward manner: by eating their fellow phantoms….
But if they eat The Phantom, who will remain to leave comments on Lela Buis’ blog?
Scientists say they have “decisively” overturned the prevailing theory for how planets in our Solar System formed.
The established view is that material violently crashed together to form ever larger clumps until they became worlds.
New results suggest the process was less catastrophic – with matter gently clumping together instead.
The study appears in Science journal and has been presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Seattle.
…The claim arises from detailed study of an object in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Named Arrokoth, the object is more than six billion km from the Sun in a region called the Kuiper belt. It is a pristine remnant of planet formation in action as the Solar System emerged 4.6 billion years ago, with two bodies combining to form a larger one.
Scientists obtained high-resolution pictures of Arrokoth when Nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft flew close to it just over a year ago. It gave scientists their first opportunity to test which of the two competing theories was correct: did the two components crash together or was there gentle contact?
The analysis by Dr Stern and his team could find no evidence of violent impact. The researchers found no stress fractures, nor was there any flattening, indicating that the objects were squashed together gently.
Netflix and Mattel TV announced an expansive voice cast for its upcoming “Masters of the Universe” series from Kevin Smith. The cast is led by Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn and Chris Wood as Prince Adam aka He-Man.
The new series, “Masters of the Universe: Revelations,” will focus on the unresolved storylines of the original 1982 TV series, picking up many of the characters’ journeys where they left off decades ago.
In addition to those three, the cast also includes Sarah Michelle Gellar (Teela), Liam Cunningham (Man-At-Arms), Stephen Root (Cringer), Diedrich Bader (King Randor/Trap Jaw), Griffin Newman (Orko), Tiffany Smith (Andra), Henry Rollins (Tri-Klops), Susan Eisenberg (Sorceress), Alicia Silverstone (Queen Marlena), Justin Long (Roboto), Jason Mewes (Stinkor), Phil LaMarr (He-Ro), Tony Todd (Scare Glow), Cree Summer (Priestess), Kevin Michael Richardson (Beast Man), Kevin Conroy (Mer-Man) and Harley Quinn Smith (Ileena).
(17) INSPECTOR SPOT-ET. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Spot may not be designed to follow the Three Laws (yet?),
but it is starting to protect humans by taking over certain hazardous and/or
mind-numbingly repetitive jobs. Of course, some people would argue that it’s also
starting to threaten humans by taking over certain hazardous
and/or mind-numbingly repetitive jobs. SYFY Wire:“Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog gets a job working an offshore
See Spot walk. See Spot sit.
See Spot roll over. See Spot
run onto a Norwegian oil rig to sniff out lethal gas leaks!
Boston Dynamics’ next-generation robotic device, affectionately nicknamed Spot, will soon be embarking on a new test mission aboard an offshore oil rig for petroleum product producer Aker BP and AI software company Cognite. The newly announced project will be rolled out to test a number of advanced robots and drones on Aker BP’s Skarv installation in the Norwegian Sea later this year.
[…] “Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from cradle to grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality, and improve the safety of our employees,” Aker BP’s CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a press release. “Exploring the potential of robotics offshore underpin our digital journey.”
Sculpting – **** The sculpt isn’t particularly detailed, but the original robot had a lot of smooth surfaces.
What sets this guy apart is all the individual pieces that went into making him, particularly inside and attached to the dome. Check out the levers and doo-dads which would spin and turn and clack along as he spoke and moved, demonstrating the very analog way we looked at robots back then. You could almost see the zeroes and ones flitting through his mechanical brain. Of course none of the interior dome pieces on this figure move, but the detail work is quite impressive for this price point.
The body recreates the original look quite well, although the proportions are a smidge off. Still, at a solid 14″ tall, he’s about the right height and scale to fit in great with other sixth scale figures, including the old Lost In Space characters.
(19) FRENCH VIDEO OF THE DAY. (A) Vous Regardez Un Film on Vimeo is
a cartoon by Jon Boutin about the drudgery of going to the office.
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Mike Kennedy,
Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Daniel Dern, Mlex, and
Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern, who scores a Rishathra hat trick.]
The New England Science Fiction Association
honored the winners of two annual awards at Boskone 57 on February 15.
The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) is presented annually by NESFA® to some person, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him.
The Gaughan Award honors the memory of Jack Gaughan, a long-time friend of fandom and one of the finest SF artists of the 20th century. Because Jack felt it was important to encourage and recognize new blood in the field, The New England Science Fiction Association, Inc., presents the Gaughan Award annually to an emerging artist (an artist who has become a professional within the past five years) chosen by a panel of judges.
Judges: Patrick Wilshire, Maryanne Plumridge, and Stephen Hickman.
Boskone has a deaf attendee who would like to attend and providing ASL Interpreters is not in our budget. They have contracted to get their own ASL Interpreters at the cost of about $1200 for the one day they are attending. We are creating a GoFundMe to raise money, to first give to them to pay for the Interpreters, and second (if we raise more than this year’s Interpreters cost) to start a fund for future years should Interpreters be necessary again.
They’ve raised $573 of their $1200 goal as of this writing.
(2) NEXT RESNICK COLLECTION. UFO
Publishing will soon be releasing a Mike Resnick collection of Harry the Book
stories titled The
Hex is In: The Fast Life and Fantastic Times of Harry the Book: “Introducing:
The Hex is In”
This book will collect, for the first time, all fifteen Harry the Book stories Mike has written. These stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies and magazines spanning a decade. Several of them were only published in the United Kingdom, and one has never been published anywhere at all.
…Harry the Book yarns are humorous fantasy set in the alternate version of New York where magic is real and fantastical creatures are commonplace. In fact, this is a shared setting with Mike’s Stalking the Unicorn series.
Harry the Book is a bookie who takes bets on everything from horse races to dancing contests to political campaigns. And — always — the hex is in. Unscrupulous magicians meddle with the odds forcing Harry and his motley crew (which includes a four-hundred-pound flunky, a six-foot-ten zombie, and a lovelorn wizard) to scramble, dealing with the consequences.
These stories are written in a unique voice–meant to emulate and pay tribute to Damon Runyon (author of Guys and Dolls and other stories). Runyon was the bard of the New York underbelly of the early 20th century, celebrating the hustlers, gamblers, and gangsters of the era.
…Carol Resnick, Mike’s wife who is a Runyon fan and for whom Mike wrote these stories, will pen the introduction.
(3) MORE REASONS TO VISIT THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT. Mythcon 51, the
gathering of the Mythopoeic Society, will be held July 31-August 3 in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. The theme will be The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien —
This year’s Mythcon theme provides multiple opportunities to explore the Other in fantasy and mythopoeic literature. Tolkien spoke in “On Fairy-stories” of “the desire to visit, free as a fish, the deep sea; or the longing for the noiseless, gracious, economical flight of a bird.” We invite discussion about the types of fantasy that are more likely to put us into contact with the alien, such as time portal fantasy and space travel fantasy. In addition to Inklings, some writers who deal particularly well with the truly alien who might be explored include Lovecraft, Gaiman, Le Guin, Tepper, and others….
Rivera Sun is the Author Guest of Honor:
Rivera Sun is a change-maker, a cultural creative, a protest novelist, and an advocate for nonviolence and social justice. She is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, The Roots of Resistance, and other novels. Her young adult fantasy series, the Ari Ara Series, has been widely acclaimed by teachers, parents, and peace activists for its blending of fantasy and adventure with social justice issues…. Rivera Sun’s essays have been published in hundreds of journals nationwide. She is a frequent speaker and presenter at schools, colleges and universities, where The Dandelion Insurrection has been taught in literature and political science courses. Rivera Sun is also the editor of Nonviolence News, an activist, and a trainer in making change with nonviolence. Her essays and writings are syndicated by Peace Voice and have appeared in journals nationwide. She lives in an Earthship house in New Mexico.
David Bratman is the Scholar Guest of Honor:
His earliest contribution to the field was the first-ever published Tale of Years for the First Age, right after The Silmarillion was published. Since then he’s published articles with titles like “Top Ten Rejected Plot Twists from The Lord of the Rings,” “Hobbit Names Aren’t from Kentucky,” and “Liquid Tolkien” (on Tolkien and music). He’s been co-editor of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review since 2013, and has written or edited its annual “Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies” since 2004. David edited The Masques of Amen House by Charles Williams and contributed the bio-bibliographical appendix on the Inklings to Diana Pavlac Glyer’s The Company They Keep.
French fashion house Louis Vuitton made headlines last week with an eye-catching campaign for its Pre-Fall 2020 collection: A star-studden homage to pulpy genre paperbacks from the 1980s. In it, Léa Seydoux is menanced by a giant spider, Samara Weaving deals with a valentine from a werewolf, and Jaden Smith stares down a robot apocalypse.
The titles for the fake paperbacks were made up for the lookbook, but the art was not. It’s from veteran illustrators, and much of it was used on the covers of actual books from the same era.
The postage stamp looks like a postage stamp is supposed to look… But it’s not a postage stamp, not really, because its country of origin is Sealand—a metal platform about the size of a tennis court, off the English coast. Sealand is one of the quirky, strangely numerous states known as “micronations,” or self-proclaimed polities with no legal recognition. Some of them, to simulate legitimacy or at least make a little money, have issued their own flags, passports, coins, and yes, postage stamps.
Laura Steward, curator of public art at the University of Chicago, who organized an exhibition at the 2020 Outsider Art Fair in New York of stamps from micronations and other dubiously defined places, believes that these tiny squares are more than a toss-off: They’re art, proof of imagination, and rather sophisticated bids for public recognition….
What’s the micronation stamp with the most interesting story?
I’m drawn to Celestia, the Nation of Celestial Space. James Thomas Mangan, founder of Celestia, registered the acquisition of “outer space” with the Recorder of Deeds and Titles in Cook County, Illinois, on January 1, 1949. Magnan laid claim to outer space to prevent any one country from establishing hegemony there. Later in 1949, he banned all atmospheric nuclear tests, and notified the United Nations of his decision.
(6) KELLY OBIT. Paula Kelly, the
actress, singer and dancer who starred in the film version of Sweet
Charity and earned an Emmy nomination for her turn on Night
Court, died February 9. She was 76. Kelly’s genre appearances included
The Andromeda Strain (1971), and
Soylent Green (1973).
Kelly was married to British director Donald Chaffey (One Million Years B.C.)
from 1985 until his death in 1990.
OBIT. Ron McLarty, the character actor who also became a published author thanks
to a rave from Stephen King, died February 8 at the age of
72, according to The Hollywood Reporter. I remember him as Detective
Frank Belson in Spenser
for Hire. His first onscreen role came in The
Sentinel (1977). He also was in Kevin Costner’s The
Postman (1997). However, it’s his audiobook work that really
drew him into the orbit of genre
McLarty was a leading audiobook narrator; since the 1990s, his 100-plus credits included work for such authors as King, Danielle Steel, David Baldacci, Anne Rice, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, Scott Turow and George W. Bush.
In 2001, McLarty persuaded the small company Recorded Books to produce his third novel, The Memory of Running, directly onto tape as an audiobook. (The actor also narrated what is believed to be the first recorded audiobook of an unpublished novel.)
King heard it and loved the story — about a 43-year-old man who, after his parents die, takes a cross-country road trip on an old Raleigh bicycle to find his sister’s body — and in 2003 devoted one of his “The Pop of King” columns in Entertainment Weekly to it, calling Memory “the best book you can’t read.”
The endorsement sparked a bidding war among publishers that led to McLarty getting a reported $2 million from Penguin that included rights to release the novel in 2004 (and later two others) in the traditional way….
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.
February 11, 1970 — Hammer Films’ Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed premiered. Directed by Terrence Fisher, it starred Peter Cushing, Freddie Jones, Veronica Carlson and Simon Ward. It was the fifth Hammer film that featured Baron Frankenstein. The screenplay was by Bert Batt, with the story written by Anthony Nelson Keys and Bert Batt. Critics thought it was one of the better Hammer films in quite some time, and it holds a sixty eight percent rating among the nearly three thousand who rated it over at Rotten Tomatoes. You can watch it here.
February 11, 1991 – Today is the 29th broadcast anniversary of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Clues” that Filer Bruce D. Arthurs wrote. (“Story by” Bruce, final teleplay credit shared with Joe Menosky.)
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 11, 1887 — Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Russian writer of Polish extraction who John Clute likes a lot. His works are translated into English by Joanne Trumbull. Clute describe his short stories as “the extravagances of Absurdist SF and the generic opportunism of Fantastika”. And miracle of all miracles, he’s available at the usual digital sources including The Letter Killers Club which sounds amazing. (Died 1950.)
Born February 11, 1908 — Tevis Clyde Smith, Jr. He did several short stories with a Robert E. Howard, “Diogenes of Today”, “Eighttoes makes a play” and “ Red Blades of Black Cathay”. Donald M.Grant would publish them together in the Red Blades of Black Cathay collection. The title story originally appeared in Oriental Stories, an offshoot of Weird Tales. (Died 1984.)
Born February 11, 1910 — L. T. C. Rolt. English writer whose enthusiasm for heritage railways is writ large in his 1948 Sleep No More collection of supernatural horror stories which tend to be set in rural railways. (Simon R. Green may be influenced by him in his Ghost Finders series which often uses these railways as a setting.) Some of these stories were adapted as radio dramas. Sleep No More isavailable from Kindle. (Died 1974.)
Born February 11, 1915 — Pat Welsh. She was the voice of E.T. in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. She was also the voice of Boushh in Return of the Jedi who Lucas hired because of her raspy voice which he thought gave the character an ambiguous voice. Those two films and Waterloo Bridge, a Forties film, are her entire acting career. (Died 1995.)
Born February 11, 1926 — Leslie Nielsen. I know the comic, bumbling fool who delighted generations of film goers. But his first starring role was as Commander John J. Adams in one of the finest SF films of all time Forbidden Planet. I am most decidedly not a fan of his later films but I think he’s brilliant here. (Died 2010.)
Born February 11, 1920 — Daniel F. Galouye. His work appeared in Galaxy and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction In the Fifties and Sixties. He also wrote five novels including Simulacron-3 which was made into Roland Emmerich’s Thirteenth Floor. His first novel, Dark Universe was nominated for a Hugo but came in second at Chicon III to Stranger in a Strange Land. (Died 1976.)
Born February 11, 1939 — Jane Yolen, 81. She loves dark chocolate and I send her some from time to time. She wrote me into a novel as a character, an ethnomusicologist in One-Armed Queen to be precise in exchange for finding her a fairytale collection she wanted. Don’t remember now what it was other than it was very old and very rare. My favorite book by her is The Wild Hunt, and I love that she financed the production of Boiled in Lead’s Antler Dance which her son Adam Stemple was lead vocalist on.
Born February 11, 1948 — Robert Reginald. He’s here because of two Phantom Detective novels he wrote late in his career which are mostly popcorn literature. (The Phantom Detective series started in 1936 so he used the Robert Wallace house name.) He has two series of some length, the Nova Europa Fantasy Saga and War of Two Worlds. Much of what he wrote is available from the usual digital sources. (Died 2013.)
Born February 11, 1950 — Alain Bergeron, 70. He received an Aurora Award for Best Short Story for “Les Crabes de Vénus regardent le ciel” published In Solaris number 73, and a Sideways Award for Alternate History for “Le huitième registre” (translated in English as “The Eighth Register” by Howard Scott).
Born February 11, 1953 — Wayne Hammond, 67. He’s married to fellow Tolkien scholar Christina Scull. Together they’ve done some of the finest work on him that’s been done including J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book and The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.
(11) PROXIMITY TO THE CORONA. [Item
by Jonathan Cowie.] It
is well known that Orwell’s 1984 Big Brother is alive and well in China what
with new mobile users having to have their face scanned and geo-positioned
etc. Now the State has turned this into an app that it is claimed
can help keep people safe from coronavirus: “China
launches coronavirus ‘close contact detector’ app”.
China has launched an app that allows people to check whether they have been at risk of catching the coronavirus.
The ‘close contact detector’ tells users if they have been near a person who has been confirmed or suspected of having the virus.
People identified as being at risk are advised to stay at home and inform local health authorities.
Until now, all the pictures of the sun have been straight-on head shots. Soon, scientists will be getting a profile.
NASA and the European Space Agency are set to launch a joint mission on Sunday to provide the first-ever look at the sun’s poles. Previous images have all been taken from approximately the same angle, roughly in line with the star’s equator.
…After the NASA/ESA probe called Solar Orbiter takes off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, it’ll use Venus and Earth’s gravity to propel itself outside that equatorial plane where all the planets in our solar system orbit the sun. Orbiter eventually will be able to look down onto the poles of the sun.
There are many reasons why scientists want to know more about the sun’s poles. They think the poles might be driving some important aspects of space weather throughout the solar system, which can impact spacecraft and even humans on Earth. “It has real world effects on our satellites, our GPS, our power grid and things like that,” McComas says.
NASA is at a critical juncture in its push to get people back to the moon by 2024, with key decisions expected within weeks.
This effort to meet an ambitious deadline set by the Trump administration last year faces widespread skepticism in the aerospace community, even as the new head of human spaceflight at NASA insists that it can succeed.No one has been to the moon since 1972, even though, back in 2004, then-President George W. Bush laid out several goals for NASA, including a “return to the moon by 2020 as the launching point for missions beyond.”
…In March of 2019, however, Vice President Pence announced that “it is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years.”
That would mean a remarkable speedup for NASA, which had been working toward a moon landing in 2028. In September, a member of Congress asked Ken Bowersox, who was the acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, how confident he was that the U. S. would have boots on the moon by this new, earlier deadline.
“How confident?” Bowersox replied. “I wouldn’t bet my oldest child’s upcoming birthday present or anything like that.”
(15) ARSENAL OF THE FUTURE. Mr. Sci-Fi, Marc Scott Zicree, pays
a visit to Modern Props.
Star Trek! Men in Black! Blade Runner! Starship Troopers! Name your favorite sci-fi movie or TV show of the last forty years, and Modern Props has probably made some of the coolest things in it!
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian,
Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, James Davis Nicoll, Michael Toman, Karl-Johan Norén, Alex
Shvartsman, Lynn Maudlin, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Michael J. Walsh, and
Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Acoustic Rob.]
The 2019-2020 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story
Contest is accepting entries through September 30. The contest “encourages amateur and
semi-professional writers to reach the next level of proficiency.” The complete
guidelines are here.
are writers who have been paid more than $1000 for their writing from any
source, and/or have published a novel or multiple shorter works adding up to
more than 40,000 words in any paying publication.
qualifying story must have strong science fiction or fantasy elements and must
be shorter than 7,500 words. Stories must be original works of fiction,
submitted by their authors. No reprints, or fan fiction. …There is no entry
fee. Please submit only one entry per author.
The winner will be announced at Boskone
57 in February 14–16, 2020 and receive a certificate of achievement, three NESFA Press
books, and a free membership in one of the next two Boskones (their choice). Runners-up
will receive a certificate, and two NESFA Press books. Honorable mentions will
receive a certificate and one NESFA Press book.
By Daniel Dern: Boskone 56, held
Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Boston’s Westin
Waterfront Hotel, was a fun con — good guests, fun interesting sessions, good
readings… and good (for Boston winter) weather — bearably cold, and no snow
or rain coming down or on the streets or walkways.
us still have memories of 2015’s Boskone when the MBTA (locally aka “the
T”) pre-emptively announced, mid-Saturday, that due to the impending
blizzard, they were
shutting down the T starting 7PM Saturday, through Sunday.)
Boskone 56 were:
Guest of Honor: Elizabeth Hand
Special Guest: Christopher Golden
Official Artist: Jim Burns
Young Adult Fiction Guest: Cindy Pon
Hal Clement Science Speaker: Vandana Singh
unfortunately, was unable to make it, due to a last-minute emergency; however,
his art was still on display.)
always gets a good bunch of writers, artists, editors and other sf pros. This
year’s 150+ program
participants included (drawing mostly on people I know/names I
recognize) Ellen Asher, James Cambias, John Chu, Brenda W. Clough, John Clute, Br. Guy
Consolmagno, C. S. E. Cooney, Bruce Coville, Vincent Docherty, Sarah Beth
Durst, Kate Elliot, Greer Gillman, KJ Kabza,
James Patrick Kelly, Justin Key, Dan Kimmel, Mur Lafferty, Patrick &
Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Errick Nunnally,
Suzanne Palmer, Julia Rios, Erin Roberts, Michael Swanwick, Catherynne M. Valente, Jane Yolen, and
note: I just came back from the library with the 2018 “Year’s Best Science
Fiction and Fantasy” edited by Rich Horton – and there’s a good handful of authors
whose names might not have recognized a week ago, but, thanks to Boskone, I
recognize many more names and know I saw several panelize/read.)
of as 11AM Sunday, according to the con’s Helmuth newsletter, came in at 1,382
total members, 1,061 “warm body count,” and 270
“at-the-door” registrations — pretty consistent with the past few
as always, no shortage of things to do.
items spanned classic through current sf/fantasy people, titles and
topics, from the serious through silly, plus a range of media-oriented
discussions including comics, Star Wars, and Star Trek, along with a number of
sessions aimed at new authors and artists. Plus readings, kaffeeklatsches, and
a room for movies/anime and other videos, also filking, board-gaming, the Art
Show, the Dealers Room, noshing in the Con Suite area (which was, sadly, due to
new hotel regulations, limited only to individual-portion-packaged,
no-refrigeration-needed snacks’n’such). And a few evening parties, plus NESFA’s
Saturday evening chocoholics-delight schmorgasbord.
non-program items like “meet new people, schmooze with friends” and
“be a volunteer.”
Friday afternoon sessions were free — a nice way to help let potential
first-timers get a sense of the con (particularly, I suspect, for people who
have never attended a con). (ReaderCon has been doing this, too, for the past
several years, with its Thursday evening programming.) Free-to-public panel
topics included “The new Dr. Who,” gaming tournament
demos/rules/Q&A, “Welcome to Boskone,” “Laundering Your
Fairy Tales,” along with media/TV-themed sessions, and useful panels for
show had good stuff to look at (I’ve used up my quota of wall space, so I’m
just looking, these days), although it seemed slightly smaller than last year.
Dealers Room was mostly booksellers, including publishers and groups like Broad
Universe, along with a handful of single-author tables. (My bookshelf space is,
like my wall space, mostly full, although I did buy a few books… plus
snarfing up about a foot of read-and-pass-on magazines and books from the Free
between books and magazines, I had no trouble spending thirty or forty bucks on
additions to my Mount To-Be-Read (referring, of course, to that pile of books,
often near the bed). Of course, by the end of the con, I had a vision of
foothills forming around my Mount TBR of yet more books and authors to pursue,
hopefully as library borrows.
Morris Keesan once remarked (possibly at one of the monthly RISFA-North sf fan
gatherings), when somebody mentioned to him their stack of TBR’s, he responded,
more or less, “Stack? I’ve got a bookshelf.”)
chatted with was having fun — schmoozing with friends, going to sessions,
getting autographs, more schmoozing, etc.
Me, I had
One of the things I did this year was go to
more readings, including well-known’s like Jane Yolen, John Chu, Fran Wilder
and Bruce Coville, as well as some newer and lesser-known authors and groups of
authors. All were good, and helped add to my “authors and books to look
Also, kaffeeklatsches, in particular, Jane
Yolen and (her son) Adam Stemple), and Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa
Nielsen Hayden. (I still wish Boskone could find a less noisy space for the
‘klatches rather than the public area in between the Art Show and the “Con
I got a Press ribbon, to point at as I was
I wasn’t originally on the program (not a
complaint, I’ve had my “turn at bat” at Boskone plenty of times, in
main and DragonsLair programming), but while I was buying my membership, I
inquired at Program Ops, and was given an empty-as-of-then slot in the Readings
track. (I had come prepared with a handful of my short-short stories.)
Equally nice, when I went to see if there were
any open slots for the Flash Fiction Slam competition — with points deducted
if you run over three minutes — I discovered I was already signed up! So I
read my newest shortie, “Vampire, T.Rex Bite Robot, Chomp! Gnash!
One of my
favorite Boskone Program Items is Mark & Priscilla Olson’s “Trivia For
Chocolate” contest — SF trivia, of course, from way back when through
current stuff, where speed matters as much as correctness, with the
green-rectangle chocolate Thin Mints used as point counters totaled up at the
end (emptied wrappers don’t count).
I tied with Bob Devney for 4th place, with 23 points. Karen von Haam thirded
with 30 points, Kimball Rudeen came in second with 35, and Rich Horton ate all
our lunches with 60 points.
browse through past Helmuths
(“Helmith”?) confirms my sense that Devney and I often place in the
top five, e.g.:
Boskone 55: Bob Devney 52, Daniel Dern 44, Tim
Liebe 27. Peter Turi 23.
Boskone 54: Kim Rudeen 65, Tom Galloway 45,
Jordin Kare 45, Bob Devney 32, Daniel Dern 29.
(Boskone 53: I wasn’t there.)
Boskone 52: Kimball Rudeen 51, Karen Von Hamm
44, Bob Devney 16, Naomi Hinchen 15, Daniel Dern 12.
Boskone 50: Bob Devney 54, Athena Martin 30,
Zev Sero & Peter Trei: 16
Boskone 49: Jordin Kare 69, Bob Devney 48,
Christopher Davis 40, Daniel Dern 35, Team of Burton, Klein-Burton, Wall &
(1) GRRM BOUND FOR BELFAST. TitanCon
EuroCon 2019 has announced their first Guest of Honour, George R. R. Martin.
Science fiction, fantasy and horror writer George R.R. Martin began his SFF career in comics, writing letters to the Stan Lee-written Fantastic Four and Avengers in the mid-1960s, and published his first novel in 1977. A multiple winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, Martin was already critically acclaimed for his novels Fevre Dream, Dying of the Light and Tuf Voyaging, and his work on the Wild Cards superhero anthology series, when released his game-changing fantasy novel A Game of Thrones in 1996….
George was instrumental in TitanCon’s creation, as you can read about in our TitanCon History page, and appeared at our first pre-con Moot. So it is only fitting that he returns to Belfast to see our take on EuroCon!
announced two other participants as well —
We are also proud to present our, for the first time ever, Toastmutant!
Pat Cadigan and Peadar Ó Guilín have agreed to achieve some sort of symbiosis and appear as our Toastmutant – as if there was ever any doubt that we wanted, nay needed, them both? We hope it wont be too messy! We know they are going to be wonderful hosts, and Pat will turn the party out, whilst minding Peadar and helping him curb his cannibalistic tendencies.
Brett and Sandra are at Boskone 56 right now. Our entire stock of books was mistakenly put out on the freebie table.
If you grabbed a book from or see someone with a CZP, CHITEEN, or CHIGRAPHIC book, please tell them to return them to us at our dealer’s table, location A5. Or you can just come and pay for it! We are reasonably priced!
We are quite overcome. Thank you to all the fans, readers and everyone at Boskone 56… A bunch of our missing books (that were mistakenly put out on the freebie table) were returned! We have recovered almost a full third. So our dealer’s table no longer looks so sparse. Come by and see our wares!
MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED Isle of Dogs Original Dialogue Mixer: Darrin Moore Re-recording Mixer: Christopher Scarabosio Re-recording Mixer: Wayne Lemmer Scoring Mixer: Xavier Forcioli Scoring Mixer: Simon Rhodes Foley Mixer: Peter Persaud, CAS
…Nowhere is it written, though voters sometimes act as if it is, that the Oscars are an elitist award for which mass-appeal movies need not apply. In a sane world, intelligently satisfying an enormous audience should be one of the things the Oscars are all about.
The key word there is “intelligently,” and if you’ve watched more than your share of superhero movies, you know that quality is often in short supply in a genre dominated by business-as-usual boilerplate.
Coogler (who cowrote with Joe Robert Cole) ensured that “Black Panther” would be an exception, in part by retaining his core creative team of collaborators, including composer Ludwig Goransson and production designer Hannah Beachler (both Oscar-nominated) as well as editor Michael P. Shawver and cinematographer Rachel Morrison.
Adding costume designer Ruth E. Carter (also nominated, for the third time in a distinguished career) was icing on the cake….
MARVELS. Adam Lance Garcia, in “The
Twisted Story of How We Wound Up With Two Captain Marvel Movies (And Why One is
Named SHAZAM!)” on Yahoo! Entertainment, discusses the backstory of how C.C. Beck and
Bill Parker created Captain Marvel for Fawcett Comics in 1940, how National
Comics sued Fawcett claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman, how
Fawcett killed Captain Marvel as a result of the lawsuit, and how Marvel
resurrected the name for a different character in the late 1960s, forcing DC to
rename the character Shazam! when they revived it in 1972.
First we need to rewind to 1938, when Superman created the superhero genre overnight, and comic book publishers, eager to get into the burgeoning superhero market, began creating countless flash-in-the-pan heroes in an attempt to recapture the magic of Superman.
Heroes such as Major Victory, Stardust the Super Wizard and Air-Male and Stampy — yes, these are all real — would only last a few issues before being tossed into the dustbin of comics history.
But in 1939, writer Bill Parker and artist C.C. Beck created a hero that, for a time, would become the most popular superhero in the world.
His name? Captain Marvel….
(6) TRAILER SPOOF. Not only does this Captain have a split personality, she can’t remember one of them…
In this animated parody of the Captain Marvel movie trailer, the titular Capitano gets her mission to eliminate Skrulls confused with her personal hatred of senior citizens, Talos reveals what a true megastar he is and Nick Fury refuses to throw the first cat-punch. Let’s war party!
…Cons can sometimes be frustrating (your milage will vary from con to con), but I’ve been finding these sorts of events excellent for networking within the SF/F field, but not so much for getting anything productive out of them when it comes to the panels and programming. My standing advice for authors — if you’re looking for inspiration / advice / information that will be useful to you as a writer — is to hit up industry conventions and conferences instead. My trip to the West Point Modern War Institute’s conference last fall generated more useful ideas and talking points than I’ve gotten at places like Boskone or ReaderCon. I did get one solid idea for a story out of one panel, and I’m going to try and write that up this week…
(8) EXTENDED DOOM. Here’s
a long-version trailer for DC’s Doom
Patrol, which DCUniverse began airing on February 15.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 17, 1912 — Andre Norton. She penned well over a dozen series, but her major series was Witch World which began rather appropriately with Witch World in 1963. The first six novels in that series were Ace Books paperback originals published in the Sixties. (Died 2005.)
Born February 17, 1930 — Ruth Rendell. whose full name of Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (née Grasemann) is quite wonderful. I know her only as an English author of very superb thrillers and somewhat disturbing murder mysteries but ISFDB lists her as doing horror as well to my surprise in the form as three novels, to wit The Killing Doll, The Tree of Hands and The Bridesmaid, plus a not inconsiderable amount of short fiction that is fantasy no doubt. She was also the editor of A Warning to the Curious: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James. (Died 2015.)
Born February 17, 1939 — Kathy Keeton. Founder and publisher of Omni. It was founded by her and her partner and future husband Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse. It would publish a number of stories that have become genre classics, such as Card’s “Unaccompanied Sonata”, Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” “and “Johnny Mnemonic” and George R. R. Martin’s “Sandkings” to name a few of the stories that appeared there. (Died 1997.)
Born February 17, 1947 — Bruce Gillespie, 72. He’s one of the major Australian SF fans and is best known for his long-running fanzine SF Commentary. Over the years, he’s published The Metaphysical Review, Steam Engine Time and is currently putting out Treasure. He was fan guest of honour at Aussiecon 3, the 57th Worldcon held in Melbourne in 1999.
Born February 17, 1954 — Don Coscarelli, 65. A film director, producer, and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep, the latter based a novella by Joe R. Lansdale whom I’ve met and who is a really nice person.
Born February 17 1974, — Jerry O’Connell, 45. Quinn Mallory on Sliders, a series whose behind the broadcast politics is too tangled to detail here. His first SF role was on Mission to Mars as Phil Ohlmyer with the SF dark comedy Space Space Station 76 with him as Steve being his next role. He’s done a lot of of DCU voice work, Captain Marvel in Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Clark Kent / Superman in Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Justice League Dark, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen where he also plays Cyborg Superman. The latter film is kickass excellent.
Born February 17, 1979 – Dominic Purcell, 40. Best known as Mick Rory / Heat Wave in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Dracula from Blade: Trinity. He was lead as Tim Manfrey in Primeval where I’m assuming the giant croc ate him. Was that a spoiler? Oh well. Blood Creek, previously known as Creek and Town Creek — marketing woes? — has him as Victor Alan Marshall mixing with the occult and Nazis. Lastly I’ve got him on Beastmaster as Kelb in a recurring role.
Much of the semen comes from goats in Johanna Thorvaldsdottir’s flock on her farm, Haafell, in Borgarnes, Iceland. Thorvaldsdottir owns the world’s largest flock of Icelandic goats, with 208 in total. Her goats were the lucky flock featured in the 2014 “Game of Thrones” episode.
Today, we bring Gaiman fans even more glad tidings: “Snow, Glass, Apples”, Gaiman’s chilling retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, will join Dark Horse’s growing stable of Gaiman adaptations courtesy of The Sandman contributor Colleen Doran, who previously adapted and illustrated Gaiman’s Troll Bridge.
In typically topsy-turvy Gaiman fashion, Snow, Glass, Apples portrays a not-so-evil queen desperately trying to stop her wicked step-daughter’s “happily” ever after that was never supposed to be. Stopping ever after, however, is no small task…
(12) PLUS CA CHANGE. Despite tons of changes going on, Forbes contributor
Mark Hughes thinks the DC Extended Universe is going great (“Why The Future Of DCEU Movies Looks
Brighter Than Ever”). The article is long enough to strain the attention
span of even those who haven’t been Twitterized, but maintains an almost
uniformly positive view throughout. Some of the additions and changes below to
the DC movie universe are recent and some date back a few months, but the stuff
addressed in Hughes’ article includes:
An Aquaman spinoff, The Trench, has been announced
The Aquaman sequel has signed a screenwriter
Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed from the original mooted date, leaving only Shazam! and Joker on the 2019 slate for the DCEU
The Flash is still in preproduction with no start date announced
James Gunn—after being booted from working on the Marvel Cinematic Universe—has been hired in the DCEU
The next Suicide Squad movie will be a “soft reboot” rather than a sequel and will drop Harley Quinn
There seems to be no future for the Jared Leto version of Joker (from Suicide Squad) so don’t expect Leto to share the screen with Margot Robbie (at least in the DCEU)
Superman probably will not take to the screen for the next few years; a Supergirl movie is up next in that corner of the DCEU—circa 2021
After losing one writer-director-actor (Ben Affleck), The Batman movie has a writer-director (Matt Reeves) on board, but the script is still being polished
Rumors are ongoing about New Gods and Green Lantern Corps projects, but nothing is firm on either (especially the latter)
Tons of other potential projects are mentioned, but they’re even more speculative
It took [PhD candidate] Senarath Yapa six weeks to choreograph and write the songs for “Superconductivity: The Musical!” — a three-act swing dance depicting the social lives of electrons. The video is based on his master’s thesis, which he completed while pursuing his degree at the University of Victoria in Canada.
[…] “Superconductivity relies on lone electrons pairing up when cooled below a certain temperature,” Senarath Yapa toldScience. “Once I began to think of electrons as unsociable people who suddenly become joyful once paired up, imagining them as dancers was a no-brainer!”
(14) BOOK FUNNIES. This kind of listicle can be tedious; or it can illuminate
basic truths. Well, OK, not basic, but a lot of truths (“21 A+ Jokes About Books That Will
Make You Snort-Laugh”). Many in Buzzfeed’s
collection of tweets about books relate to genre works; many others are simply
An occultation of Sirius (by an asteroid named Jürgenstock) will be observable in parts of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean Monday 18 February and some astronomers are asking for your help. (Note the this projected path of the occultation is a major shift from that reported at the time the ScienceAlert article was written. That earlier prediction crossed a large swath of North America.)
Full instructions for how to help can be found in a
post in this post by Bill Merline and David Dunham.
The spaceship is designed to be refueled in low-Earth orbit in order to propel 100 passengers and more than 100 tons of cargo at a time to Mars.
But the success or failure of the launch system – and by extension Musk’s plan to back up the human race – may boil down to the viability of two major and recent design changes, which Musk has described as “radical” and “delightfully counterintuitive.”
But the most surprising shift, according to aerospace-industry experts, is the way Starship will try to keep itself from burning up in the atmospheres of Mars and Earth.
Instead of relying on of thousands of heavy ceramic tiles to shield Starship from heat, as NASA did with its space shuttle, Musk says the spaceship will “bleed” rocket fuel through tiny pores to cool itself down.
In theory, putting liquid between Starship’s steel skin and the scorching-hot plasma generated while it plows through atmospheric gases would prevent the ship’s destruction
(17) HELP ME OBI-WAN
SHOE-NOBI. Time to upgrade your kicks? Maybe this
is what you’re looking for (DorkSideOfTheForce:
“Inkkas Star Wars New Rebel Footwear
Collection is now available”). They’re available in a wide range of unisex
sizes, but apparently not in various widths. Most styles are slip ons, but
there are also lace ups including some high tops.
These are the shoes you are looking for. The Inkkas new Star Wars Rebel Collection has arrived with characters such as Princess Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca.
Available for both men and women the new Star Wars Rebel Collection by Inkkas is here! Take your pick from boots, to high tops, and slip-on shoes representing both the Rebellion and The Empire….
Who run the world? Girls. Who run the universe? Also, girls. Obviously. The Future is FEMALE, y’all, and these tough and brilliant characters are all the reminder that we need to stand up and fight for what matters.
*bleep bloop bleep bloop* We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, R2-D2! That heroic droid always knows exactly what to say. In case you need some translation help: this shoe features a clean and striking representation of one of our favorite characters on a sleek, slim slip on shoe.
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Sophie Jones, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, JJ Chip Hitchcock, Mlex, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]