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- Chadwick Boseman on bringing humanity to Black Panther
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The most important piece of information in this video is not about Gal Gadot, but about the DC/Marvel rivalry. Turns out DC’s reputation for being dark and serious is deliberate. They have a policy against humor. It’s their way of distinguishing their characters from Marvel’s characters with their inclination toward quips and antics.
In some parallel universe, Warner Bros. decided to carry on Christopher Nolan’s vision of Gotham City after The Dark Knight Rises concluded.
As you may remember, Bruce Wayne faked his death and passed the legacy of the Batman on to Robin John Blake. Of course, there was word on the street that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt was being looked at for the next Caped Crusader at the time, but considering that the studio was all for a team-up with Superman, it’s for the best that the World’s Finest’s first meeting in live action involved Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, not the latter’s successor – who was created for an isolated trilogy.
Still, I find it hard to forget how many mock-ups of Gordon-Levitt as Nightwing were surfacing up until the time Ben Affleck was cast as the new Masked Manhunter in the summer of 2013. In fact, some still hold onto that sentiment, with this fan-made comic strip serving as a fine example of just that….
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(1) AMAZING’S SUBMISSION SYSTEM, TAKE TWO. Jason Sanford sent a link to his open post on Patreon, “Amazing Stories rejection emails and why I report on the SF/F genre”.
Last week File770 covered my reporting on Amazing Stories and their submission system. Steve Davidson commented on that Pixel Scroll article and it lead to some discussions between he and I. I published an update this morning and figured I’d pass it along in case you were interested in it…
Sanford recounts an unnamed author’s description of problems they had getting the status of a submission to Amazing Stories, and how he put it to the test.
…After talking with authors like the person above and seeing comments from many other writers who said they didn’t receive rejections, I decided to do more digging into the Amazing Stories submission system. I set up two test accounts of my own in their system, one using a Yahoo account and the other a Gmail account. I didn’t receive either of the initial email verifications for these accounts or the multiple password resets I requested. These emails didn’t even arrive in my spam folders.
I also examined the email header and code from one of the Amazing Stories rejections which an author did receive and forwarded to me. This rejection email was sent through the Amazing Stories submission system using a Gmail account as the send-from address with a separate reply-to address using the amazingstories.com domain. (Note: I won’t publish these email addresses to respect the privacy of the people working on Amazing Stories.)
The author quoted above used Gmail, as did some of other authors who said they didn’t receive their rejection emails. One of the test accounts I set up was also a Gmail account. Google should not block emails sent between valid Gmail accounts, so the failure of these emails to arrive into other Gmail accounts strongly suggests something was wrong with how the Amazing Stories system was set up or sending out emails.
After doing these tests I spoke with Steve Davidson about all this. His complete response is quoted below. Steve said he’d pass along the information about the email verification and password resets to his webmaster to be investigated and, if needed, fixed.
A few hours after Steve said his webmaster would look into the issue, I again tested the password resets. They now worked and I received the emails in my Yahoo and Gmail test accounts. Another author also confirmed they now worked where they hadn’t before.
In short, shortly before I raised this issue with Steve the emails wouldn’t arrive from their system. After Steve said he’d let his webmaster know about the issue, the emailed worked. This alone strongly suggests there was an issue with Amazing Stories’ system.
I hope this means the issue the Amazing Stories submission system is fixed. I personally want to see Amazing Stories succeed with their relaunch and believe most people in the genre feel the same. And there’s no shame with admitting a new submission system had some issues. Galaxy’s Edge recently had a major submission glitch with a number of subs being lost. They posted a message explaining the issue and even authors whose submissions were lost appeared to be cool with everything….
Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson responded on Facebook.
…While we investigated and then explained that the issue(s) were on the recipient’s end of the email chain (spam folder, settings that were overly sensitive to automated messages originating with our server’s email program) we nevertheless have changed the system to originate from a Gmail sending account, which ought to make it past nearly everyone’s electronic censors.
We are also adding an FAQ and a direct contact button on our submissions page; we’ve re-written the rejection notice and have re-examined our internal policy for when more personalized rejection emails will be sent.
One “issue” that apparently exacerbated this situation for some was the fact that we were not made aware of the problem(s) for some authors directly, which we believe ought to have been the first step on the part of people having issues. We received over 200 submissions the first day we opened and have processed several hundred more since; the number of direct queries we received regarding failed communications can be counted on one hand.
Each of those was handled on an individual case bases and, from our end, did not appear to rise to the level of a “systemic” problem that needed to be looked into more deeply.
In point of fact, our native email server was sending out the appropriate status update messages (it was checked numerous times), but some recipient email servers were rejecting the messages, most likely because they originated from an unfamiliar source (our email server) AND were automated status updates.
From our end, everything appeared to be working as it should and, lacking feedback to the contrary, we were in no position to do anything about it.
Once we were made aware of the problem, we thought that an explanation would prompt users to look into their email servers and address the issue with their providers. Since this largely seems to not have been done and we continued to receive complaints, we have taken the steps outlined above.
If you continue to have an issue with email communications from our website, we STRONGLY request that you contact us directly.
(2) BEYOND COCKYGATE. Elsewhere, Jason Sanford has surfaced another interesting trademark claim. The thread starts here.
I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. Someone named William M. Gaines applied for a trademark on the words "Weird Fantasy." Trademark would apply to fictional works, books, comics, plus LOL leather, collars, whips, & "playthings." (1 of 3) https://t.co/mBLBE1BJVq
— Jason Sanford (@jasonsanford) June 26, 2018
(3) BUSTED. Is it true that JDA has a lot more followers in Twitter than he did a few days ago?
@NMamatas yeah, but Jon, did you just buy 5000 Twitter followers some time this week? Did you think nobody would notice a sudden jump from under 4K to 9K? are you THAT desperate? your follower feed just filled up with this junk pic.twitter.com/JhhVGSzJJf
— Funning-Kruger Effect (@1stjohn1six) June 26, 2018
(4) NERO AWARD. The “Nero” is presented annually by The Wolfe Pack for the best American Mystery. The award criteria include:
The 2018 Nero Award finalists are:
(5) CAMPBELL. Analog has posted a lengthy excerpt from Alec Nevala-Lee’s forthcoming book ASTOUNDING: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
“The Campbell Machine” plumbs the obsessions behind several of his ideas about the human mind.
…In “Design Flaw,” Campbell had argued that the solution to highway hypnosis lay in “a solid engineering job,” and psionics was his attempt to frame the project in terms that he thought would appeal to his readers, prompting them to collect data that would illuminate the unexplored aspects of consciousness that had resulted in Joe’s accident. The editor had once held out similar hopes for dianetics, but now his motives were far more personal. He had been unable to avenge his stepson directly, so he would overthrow all of physics and psychology instead.
If he proved unable to stick with it for long, this only reflected a pattern that had been evident throughout his life. In his article on Joe’s death, Campbell had claimed that some people had “an acquired immunity” to highway hypnosis, but he didn’t mention that he included himself in that category, or that he attributed it to the hell of his youth. On the day after the crash, he had written a long letter to his father, explaining why he was impervious to hypnotic trances. The drivers who were the most at risk, he wrote, were the ones who were good at concentrating, and Campbell was “not just intellectually afraid of it—deeply and effectively afraid.”
He placed the responsibility for this squarely on his parents: “You and Mother so disagreed that I had a hell of a time trying to satisfy the requirements which both of you placed on me; doing so was inherently impossible, and it was damned uncomfortable. But you did give me a life-long immunity to highway hypnosis!” His childhood had taught him to survive, but at a devastating cost: “You and Mother between you gave me immunity to many things that neither one of you could have; either of you could have crippled me. . . . At the time, of course, I felt a vast injustice; I do not forgive you, because that’s a useless and arrogant thing.”…
(6) LUND OBIT. Land of the Giants actress Deanna Lund, 81, died June 22. The Hollywood Reporter obituary begins —
Deanna Lund, who played one of the seven castaways trying to survive in a world of large, unfriendly people on the 1960s ABC series Land of the Giants, has died. She was 81.
Lund died Friday at her home in Century City of pancreatic cancer, her daughter, actress and novelist Michele Matheson, told The Hollywood Reporter. She was diagnosed in September.
Lund starred as Valerie Scott, a selfish party girl, on the Irwin Allen-created series, which aired for two seasons, from September 1968 until March 1970.
Set in the year 1983, 20th Century Fox’s Land of the Giants revolved around the crew and passengers of the spaceship Spindrift, which on the way to London crashed on a planet whose humanoid inhabitants were hostile and unbelievably huge. The show was extremely expensive to make, costing a reported $250,000 an episode.
The sexy Lund had appeared as a redheaded lesbian stripper opposite Frank Sinatra in Tony Rome (1967) and as Anna Gram, a moll working for The Riddler (John Astin), on ABC’s Batman, leading to her being cast on the show….
(7) NOT MY SPACE LEADER. Vice Motherboard is sorry you missed it: “The Space Nation of Asgardia Inaugurated Its First Leader in an Incredible Ceremony”. Asgardia, a self-proclaimed space-based democracy, has “inaugurated” its first head of “state” — namely Igor Raufovich Ashurbeyli, the billionaire providing what appears to be the bulk of the backing for the “state.” Ashurbeyl, a native of Baku, Azerbaijan, has made his fortune on weapons and related aspects of the Russian military-industrial complex. He has also been said to be a “true patriot and believer in the strong [Russian] state.”
Mike Kennedy sent the link with an observation: “So, a Russian oligarch is heading up a ‘space-based democracy’ which is to be ‘a united supra-national space state open to all people on Earth.’ What could possibly go wrong?”
The space nation held an incredible ceremony on Monday inaugurating its self-declared leader Igor Ashurbeyli as its head of state. Ashurbeyli is a Russian billionaire whose money comes from weapons systems. His backing has allowed Asgardia to thrive and he wants the country to join the UN, but to do so it must have a functioning government. It elected a parliament in April (a motley collection of international characters between the ages of 40 and 80, as specified by the Asgardian constitution) followed by Ashurbeyli declaring himself head of state.
To celebrate the momentous occasion, the Asgardians held a fantastical celebration at the 13th century Hofburg palace, the former principal imperial palace in the center of Vienna, Austria. It was creepy. It was beautiful. It was elegant and magical in a way that Terra-based ceremonies no longer are and it began with children introducing cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev who shared a very special message from the International Space Station.
(8) FIRST STAN, NOW BUZZ. What’s the use of being a babe magnet if your adult children get in the way? The Independent has the story: “Buzz Aldrin sues his children for trying to take control of his finances after claiming he suffers from dementia”.
Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin has sued two of his children and former business manager for trying to take control of his finances and accused them of “slander” for saying he suffers from dementia.
The 88-year-old said in a lawsuit that Janice Aldrin, Andrew Aldrin, and former manager Christina Korp are included in the lawsuit which claimed they took control of millions of dollars of “space memorabilia” and his company finances “for their own self-dealing and enrichment”. Mr Aldrin owns BuzzAldrin Enterprises and a charity group called the ShareSpace Foundation.
He has also accused the three of elder exploitation for “knowingly and through deception or intimidation” keeping him from his property as well as stifling his “personal romantic relationships”.
(9) SYNDROME ROUNDUP. Carl Slaughter picked these out —
(10) VALE BOB NEWBY. Ethan Alter, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story “Emmys: How the ‘Stranger Things’ VFX team brought Sean Astin’s bloody death to life”, says that Sean Astin’s death on this show was a shocker and the Stranger Things vfx crew deserves credit for making the on-screen death plausible.
It’s the moment that had Stranger Things fans screaming: adorkable Radio Shack manager Bob Newby (played by geek icon Sean Astin) uses his technical savvy to save the day, only to become chow for the monstrous Demodogs. Bob’s shocking death scene is arguably the biggest highlight of the show’s second season, replacing #JusticeForBarb with #JusticeForBob as a trending Twitter topic. It also provides some of the best evidence of the show’s Emmyworthy special effects, overseen up by husband-and-wife F/X team of Paul and Christina Graff.
(11) THEY BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE. H.P. posted this Venn diagram at Every Day Should Be Tuesday:
— superversivesf (@superversivesf) June 26, 2018
He says it illustrates this idea:
A story can be good but be neither superversive nor pulp. A story can be pulp but be neither superversive nor good. A story can be superversive and good but not pulp. A story can be all three (easier said than done). A story can be none of the three (easy enough—the real trick is figuring out how to win awards for it). And so on. Think of it as a Venn diagram.
However, the Filer who sent it to me says what the diagram shows is that most superversive and pulp fiction isn’t good.
Regardless, what H.P.’s trying to do is define the characteristics of “superversive.”
People associated with Superversive Press have written several posts that I will be drawing from that attempt to pin down just what the term means. The best are by Tom Simon, Corey McCleery, and L. Jagi Lamplighter. Each identifies particular traits of a superversive story. Simon points to moral high ground and courage. McCleery insists that superversive stories should be aspiring/inspiring, virtuous, heroic, decisive, and non-subversive. Lamplighter argues that, for a story to be superversive, it must have good storytelling, the characters must be heroic, and the story must have an element of wonder.
These are good starting points. You can probably guess which trait I like least. “Good storytelling” isn’t useful as a trait because it conflates superversive with good. The only other term I really don’t like is “non-subversive.” If you are defining superversive in contrast with subversive, as Simon does, then it is no more than a truism. And a superversive work may subvert, indeed, it probably should.
(12) SPEAK HUP. Will Seuss Inc. sue the BBC? Verse illustrates the Beeb’s article “The haughty history of the letter H”.
Throughout history, those with social clout have set the standards for what’s the more acceptable pronunciation….
Like Dr. Seuss’ Star-Belly Sneetches and Plain-Belly Sneetches, there are two types of creatures — haitchers with H on their 8th letter name and aitchers with “none upon thars”.
That H isn’t so big. It’s really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.
But it does — the tiny H on “(h)aitch” divides the nation. The pronunciation has become something of a social password, a spoken shibboleth distinguishing in-groupers from out-groupers. Those with social clout set the standards for what’s “in” and what’s “out” — no H has the stamp of approval.
The best kind of people are people without!
Shibboleths die hard — the opprobrium attached to haitch probably derives from its long association with Irish Catholic education. There’s no real evidence for this, mind, as Sue Butler points out, but never let facts get in the way of a good shibboleth.
(13) A CAT ON THE RAILS. The BBC has pictures: “Japan unveils Hello Kitty-themed bullet train”
It is enough to wake the tired eyes of the groggiest commuter. A striking white and pink bullet train themed around the Japanese cartoon character and marketing phenomenon Hello Kitty.
The bespoke train will begin a three month run between the western cities of Osaka and Fukuoka on Saturday.
It was unveiled by the West Japan Railway firm which hopes the use of a famous local export will boost tourism.
Hello Kitty branding features on the windows, seat covers, and flooring.
(14) CASH FOUND BEHIND THE SEAT CUSHIONS. But not the currency you’d expect: “Hoax ‘devil coins’ found in Bath Abbey”.
Two “devil coins” that were hidden in Scandinavian churches as part of an elaborate hoax in the 1970s have been discovered in the unlikely setting of Bath Abbey.
Dusty odds and ends, including an order of service from 1902, were found in the abbey when stalls were removed for restoration work.
The most intriguing discovery, however, was two coins bearing a picture of Satan and the legend Civitas Diaboli on one side and 13 Maj Anholt 1973 on the other.
Experts figured out the coins were linked to the story of a Danish eccentric who perpetrated an elaborate 40-year hoax that was only discovered almost a decade after his death.
(15) YOUR OWN MARTIAN ODYSSEY. Red Rover, Red Rover send HiRISE right over… SYFY Wire reports “A Mars video game developed from NASA data now exists, and it’s pretty far out”. Developer Alan Chan has a new Mars rover driving game available for the Steam gaming platform. It features terrain developed from NASA data gathered by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It also features a “ridiculously overpowered Mars rover” which is even equipped with jump jets. You can careen across (or even a bit above) Mars’ Victoria Crater, Western Cerberus, South Olympus, Jezero Crater, Bequerel Crater, Hibes Montes, Candor Chasma, Aeolis Streams, and Noctis Labyrinthus at speeds far beyond any yet achieved on Mars.
Quoting the article:
“The HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful one of its kind ever sent to another planet,” states HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona. “Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before, and helps other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration.”
…Red Rover is now available on Steam for $4.99, and it even supports Oculus Rift for the ultimate immersive VR experience.
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Hampus Eckerman, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]
Compiled by Carl Slaughter:
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(1) COC ENFORCEMENT AT ORIGINS. Organizers of the Origins Game Fair have issued a statement telling how they will handle reported violations of their Code of Conduct at the 2018 convention, which ended June 17.
Tabletop Gaming overviewed the accusations: “Multiple reports of sexual harassment emerge from this year’s Origins Game Fair”.
Reports first surfaced during the weekend of the show, with one designer and senior member of a games publisher alleged to have asked multiple women to “play test his erect penis”.
In a separate incident, another woman was reportedly followed for multiple blocks back to her hotel.
Tabletop gaming personality Bebo used Twitter to raise awareness of the distressing events on behalf of the anonymous victims, adding: “Anyone who says harassment of women isn’t an issue in the industry can eat dirt.”
Both situations were reported to GAMA, the organiser of Origins, which is said to be taking appropriate action in response, although the company is yet to issue a public statement regarding the events.
Polygon’s story covers responses from the accused, and by Origins’ administering body, GAMA: “Accusations of sexual harassment rock the board gaming community”.
Origins Game Fair, which ran June 13-17 this year, is a tabletop gaming convention sponsored by the Game Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA). Its partner this year was Wizards of The Coast, known for Dungeons & Dragons and the Magic: The Gathering franchises. Other sponsors included a who’s who list of major publishers, including Rio Grande Games, Iello, Wizkids, Paizo and CMON.
Origins is an opportunity for fans to see the latest games, and for those in the industry to see each other and do some networking ahead of Gen Con, the nation’s largest tabletop gaming convention, which is held in Indianapolis each August. Many in the industry choose to mingle outside of the event, and that’s where at least one attendee says an exhibitor sexually harassed them. The allegations surfaced on a personal Facebook page and on Twitter, but were also sent to GAMA. The individual accused has denied the allegations….
GAMA’s official statement says in part:
An incident arose through social media at Origins this year pointing out some specific allegations of harassment. This illicit behavior is a clear violation of our show policies.
To ensure that a thorough review of any allegation is conducted, we must have statements from individuals with firsthand knowledge of the event. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this instance so gathering the information is taking more time. We understand that it can be difficult to come forward and share a statement after an incident occurs, but with the cooperation from individuals involved we can address these situations in a timely fashion.
As we demonstrated earlier this year, we take harassment very seriously and are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and fun environment for everyone at the show.
This serious allegation has not been taken lightly. We are committed to handling this in a thorough and professional manner. We are interviewing all parties involved and gathering statements from witnesses who viewed the incident firsthand. We owe all parties involved a fair process to gather the facts and discern as much as possible those confirmed elements before we act. The ramifications of an unjustified response are simply irreplaceably damaging….
The complete statement is at the Polygon link.
The accusations also prompted Katie Aidley, with several years of experience working for gaming companies and in booths at conventions, to release her post “The truth about sexual harrassment and boardgaming”.
The truth about sexual harassment and boardgaming. A post I can no longer sit on. It can no longer be ignored.https://t.co/djyAFhFvbJ
— Katie Aidley (@katiesgamecrner) June 20, 2018
(2) SPEAKING TO THE NEXT GENERATION. A passage from Liu Cixin’s The Micro-Age was utilized in the reading comprehension section of China’s national college entrance exam: “Excerpt of popular Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin’s novel selected in gaokao”.
An excerpt of famous Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin’s novel was selected as reading comprehension material in the test paper for the Chinese gaokao exam, China’s National College Entrance Exam that took place on Thursday, which not only surprised many participants but also the writer. Liu later responded saying that science fiction meets the demand of people in this day and age.
After the exam in southwest China’s Sichuan Province ended, participants expressed their surprise at finding an excerpt of Liu’s novel “The Micro-Age” since this type of literature was rare in such a rigorous exam.
…Speaking about this year’s gaokao essay topics, Liu expressed that one of the topics was related to science fiction as it required students to write a letter to the generation of 2035 to elaborate on the big events that have occurred since the year 2000 in China.
He said that unlike previous essay topics which tended to focus on current affairs or the past, this year’s topics were more likely to focus on the future.
(3) DETECTIVE WORK. Carl Slaughter asks, “How can I resist a headline like this?” It absolutely belongs in the Scroll: “This insane golden chamber contains water so pure it can dissolve metal, and is helping scientists detect dying stars.” Business Insider has the story.
Hidden 1,000 metres under Mount Ikeno in Japan is a place that looks like a supervillain’s dream.
Super-Kamiokande (or “Super-K” as it’s sometimes referred to) is a neutrino detector. Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles which travel through space and pass through solid matter as though it were air.
Studying these particles is helping scientists detect dying stars and learn more about the universe. Business Insider spoke to three scientists about how the giant gold chamber works — and the dangers of conducting experiments inside it.
(4) HOW’S HE DOING? Eric Flint gave Facebook reader a health update.
I thought I’d bring everyone up to date on my medical condition, since I haven’t said anything about it for quite a while. That’s because it’s been… complicated.
On the positive side, there’s no indication that the lymphoma has come back. So, yay for homicide therapy, AKA chemotherapy.
On the down side, I started developing atrial fibrillation a year and a half ago, right around the same time the cancer was diagnosed. Whether there’s a causal relationship there or it’s just coincidence, nobody really knows….
Flint continues with full details.
(5) BABYLON FIFTH. In “‘Babylon 5’ is great, so why does it look so bad?”, Engadget’s Daniel Cooper describes in great technical detail the show’s digital origins and resulting challenges when aired using current technology.
Now that the series has made its way to Amazon Prime, it is ripe for a whole new generation of fans to discover it. Except that, if they do, they may find that the picture quality is highly variable, and some sequences are quite hard to watch. Now, it’s fair to say that the show is so good that it’s worth persisting with nevertheless. But how it ended up in this state is a tale of folks trying to plan for its future, only to be defeated by executive neglect…
How bad does it look?
We should probably begin by outlining how effects-heavy shows like Babylon 5 are made, albeit simplistically. There are three different types of shot that were put together to make an episode. You have live-action scenes, which are just actors talking in a room; composites, which have a mix of live-action and CGI; and pure-CGI scenes. In order to protect your suspension of disbelief, it’s important that you aren’t noticing the transitions between them.
A great sequence to explain Babylon 5’s problem is the monorail scene from the Season 2 finale, The Fall of Night, which originally aired on November 1st, 1995. We begin with an entirely live-action shot, where Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) boards a monorail shuttle. And you can tell, because it’s framed properly and looks pretty good, even if the film is a little grainy because it hasn’t been restored or remastered….
(6) MURDERBOT’S ASPIRATIONS. Adri Joy delivers a fascinating character analysis in “A Robot Learns to Love Itself: Reflecting on the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells” at Nerds of a Feather.
There’s a moment near the start of Rogue Protocol, the third in Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries series (forthcoming August 7, 2018 from Tor.com Publishing), that quietly broke my heart. The self-proclaimed Murderbot, a rogue SecUnit (a human-robot hybrid “construct”) which hacked its own governor module after an unfortunate murder-based incident that was subsequently wiped from its memory, is trying to distract itself from the endless, stupid problems of humans by watching a new show. Unfortunately, the plot isn’t working out, and Murderbot is eager to get within range of a station so it can download something different. If only, it tells us, this terraforming horror series had a rogue SecUnit character who could stop the squishy humans from all getting horribly killed…
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. Murderbot watches rather a lot of shows – indeed, extensive media consumption is its most prominent character quirk – and it also does a lot of complaining, so the combination of the two is not exactly unusual. However, this is the first time it has articulated a desire to see itself represented positively in media.
(7) COMICS SECTION.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
(10) FAITH OF THE FUTURE. Syfy Wire’s story “In modern science fiction, religion plays a vital, secular role” by Tricia Ennis examines how religion is treated on a handful of TV sf series — Battlestar Galactica—the reboot of the mid/late 2000’s; not the original, The 100, and Killjoys.
It’s easy to think that science fiction and religion are anathemas to each other. Science fiction is, after all, about imagining a scientifically advanced future where we have moved to the point of near magic, explaining through science things that modern understanding can only dream up. Religion, meanwhile, is about not explaining those things at all, instead choosing to rely on faith and parable and scripture to explain the mysteries of the universe and to comfort the minds of those who follow its teachings. Obviously, those two don’t really go together.
Perhaps science and faith don’t necessarily mesh—but if you’ve been keeping an eye on certain recent science fiction television series, you’ll notice a pattern. Sci-fi might still have trouble bridging the spiritual and the secular, but it certainly recognizes the importance of scripture to understanding our past — and protecting our future.
(11) REENACTORS. Nancy Kress introduced a highly amusing photo taken at Taos Toolbox:
George R. R. Martin and the Red Workshop. If a wedding, why not a writing seminar?
The red workshop. George R.R. Martin knocks 'em dead at Taos Toolbox, with Nancy Kress and Walter Jon Williams. pic.twitter.com/CykGwxq8rL
— Jack Skillingstead (@JSkillingstead) June 23, 2018
Walter Jon Williams identified the bodies:
Among the casualties were David DeGraff, Jo Miles, Brenda Kalt, Sarah Paige Hofrichter, Kevin O’Neill, Sherri Woosley, Gayle Schultz, Nancy Kress, Walter Jon Williams, Autumn Kalquist, Joey Yu, Liz Colter, Peri Fletcher, Amanda Helms, Carsten Schmitt, Gabrielle Harbowy, Harrison Lee, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Isabel Yap, and Elliotte Rusty Harold.
(12) MUSEUM VISITOR. Rick Riordan said the minerals on display reminded him of this —
— Rick Riordan (@camphalfblood) June 23, 2018
(13) A HUGO VOTER IS HEARD FROM. Joe Sherry shares another section of his ballot in “Reading the Hugos: Novelette” at Nerds of A Feather. Ranked somewhere in the middle is this nominee —
A Series of Steaks: Since I’ve already written about the Short Story category, this is Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s second story on the Hugo ballot and it is a real standout. Besides everything, what I really enjoy about “A Series of Steaks” is the framing of forgery and what makes a good forger. Ultimately, that’s what “A Series of Steaks” is about. Helena semi-legally fabricates meat for restaurants that is otherwise undetectable for not being the real thing (ultimately, a forgery). She is offered a contract that she can’t refuse because it comes with a threat to expose her.
The rest of the story is a tense game of Helena (and her new assistant) trying to fulfill the order and somehow protect herself. Prasad’s writing is clear and pulled me right in. It’s a damn fine story and I’m going to be looking for much more from Vina Jie-Min Prasad.
(14) ON THE ROAD. John Scalzi has thrown the Theory of Evolution into doubt. Could this man’s primordial ancestors possibly have lived in trees without room service?
AMERICAN CRISIS UPDATE: Coke Zero sufficiently cooled through application of ice, a miracle compound of which I'd not heard before. But *I* had to procure the ice myself! I AM GOLD STATUS MARRIOTT HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME ENGAGE IN MENIAL LABOR pic.twitter.com/7ZbC6uWyes
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) June 23, 2018
(15) TOON TOWN. Ethan Alter, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story, ”’Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ turns 30: How the toon-powered classic revolutionized Hollywood” interviews screenwriters Peter S. Seaman and Jeffrey price about the 30th anniversary of this film, first released on June 22, 1988.
According to the screenwriters, Zemeckis always had a grand vision for the Ink and Paint Club as a place where multiple cartoon characters — each of whom had its own bit of funny business — would fill the frame. A cursory glance around the nightclub reveals penguin waiters, an octopus bartender, and a vintage black-and-white cartoon heroine slinging drinks. “Bob wanted one of those almost Scorsese-like reveals, where you track in and all the stuff is happening,” Seaman remembers. “We did write gags for like the bartenders — he’s got eight arms, and he’s making these different cocktails. We’d write gags for the penguins, and everybody in there.”
(16) LUCKY PAIR. JSTOR Daily delves into “The Fairytale Language of the Brothers Grimm”.
There once were two brothers from Hanau whose family had fallen on hard times. Their father had died, leaving a wife and six children utterly penniless. Their poverty was so great that the family was reduced to eating but once a day.
So it was determined that the brothers must go out into the world to seek their fortune. They soon found their way to the university in Marburg to study law, but there they could not find luck from any quarter. Though they had been the sons of a state magistrate, it was the sons of the nobility that received state aid and stipends. The poor brothers met countless humiliations and obstacles scraping by an education, far from home.
Around this time, after Jacob had to abandon his studies to support his family, the entire German kingdom of Westphalia became part of the French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte’s conquering rule. Finding refuge in the library, the brothers spent many hours studying and searching for stories, poems, and songs that told tales of the people they had left behind. Against the rumblings of war and political upheaval, somehow the nostalgia of stories from an earlier time, of people’s lives and language, in the little villages and towns, in the fields and forest, seemed more important than ever.
This then is the strange rags-to-riches tale of two mild-mannered librarians, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (affectionately known as the Brothers Grimm), who went hunting for fairytales and accidentally ended up changing the course of historical linguistics and kickstarting a whole new field of scholarship in folklore.
(17) LEND HER AN EAR. BBC invites you to “Meet Game of Thrones’ woman of weapons”.
It’s probably not a good idea to get into an argument with Natalia Lee.
The only female armourer working on Game of Thrones, she looks after all the show’s weapons, from flaming arrows to giant catapults.
She also played the fearsome Chella in season one, because they needed “a warrior who chops ears off” and then strings them around her neck.
But while she loves working with the actors, she gets worked up if anyone questions the fact that a woman is wielding swords and slingshots.
“I’m constantly told, ‘Women don’t want to see that, women don’t want to do that.’ It’s so frustrating,” says Australian-born Natalia, 35.
“We’re capable of handling weapons, I’ve proved I can carry all of them.
“My job’s a learned, technical skillset, so your gender has no bearing.”
(18) PANIC OR PATHOLOGY? Answering a pixel from 6/18: “WHO gaming disorder listing a ‘moral panic’, say experts”.
But biological psychology lecturer Dr Peter Etchells said the move risked “pathologising” a behaviour that was harmless for most people.
The WHO said it had reviewed available evidence before including it.
It added that the views reflected a “consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions” and defined addiction as a pattern of persistent gaming behaviour so severe it “takes precedence over other life interests”.
[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge Carl Slaughter, Brian Z., and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus, who took inspiration from yesterday’s lyric reference.]