The longlist for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 announced January 20 includes one sff work and a memoir by a well-known sff writer. The Prize is given “to celebrate the best literature of our time, regardless of form.”
Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch, “a feminist revision of an old Taino myth,” is on the list, as is Carmen Maria Machado’s nonfiction work about domestic abuse, In the Dream House: A Memoir.
All books considered for the prize are nominated by the Folio Academy, an international group of more than 250 writers and critics. The three judges for the 2021 prize are poet Roger Robinson, the Irish writer, editor and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson and novelist and short story writer Jon McGregor.
Here is the complete longlist:
Just Us – Claudia Rankine (Allen Lane)
Indelicacy – Amina Cain (Daunt Books)
The Appointment – Katharina Volckmer (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
As You Were – Elaine Feeney (Harvill Secker)
The Geez – Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Peepal Tree Press)
The Mermaid of Black Conch – Monique Roffey (Peepal Tree Press)
Poor – Caleb Femi (Penguin)
OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea – Patrick Freyne (Penguin Ireland)\
The Actual – Inua Ellams (Penned In The Margins)
Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart (Picador)
My Darling from the Lions – Rachel Long (Picador)
English Pastoral – James Rebanks (Allen Lane)
The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers – Mark Gevisser (Profile Books)
In the Dream House: A Memoir – Carmen Maria Machado (Serpent’s Tail)
Strangers – Rebecca Tamás (Makina Books)
RENDANG – Will Harris (Granta)
Entangled Life – Merlin Sheldrake (The Bodley Head)
handiwork – Sara Baume (Tramp Press)
A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press)
How Much of These Hills is Gold – C Pam Zhang (Virago)
Click the link to see the winners in all categories: Non-Fiction, Memoir/Biography, Fiction, Romance, Erotic Fiction, Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/ Bi-fi/ Fantasy/ Paranormal/ Horror/ Etc.], Teen/Young Adult, Mystery, Poetry; plus two special categories: Publisher of the Year and Bi Writer of the Year.
Rebecca Kim Wells won the Speculative Fiction category and was a finalist for Bi Writer of the Year. Carmen Maria Machado won the Memoir/Biography category.
The categories with finalists of genre interest are listed below. The winners are in boldface.
The 32nd Annual Lambda Literary Award (“Lammys”) winners were announced online June 1.
The awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing. The winners were selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals from more than 1,000 book submissions from over 300 publishers.
The winners of genre interest are reported below. See the winners in all 24 categories at the link.
LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
The Deep, Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes, Gallery / Saga Press
Cannonball, Kelsey Wroten, Uncivilized Books
In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado, Graywolf Press
The finalsts for the 32nd Annual Lambda
Literary Awards were announced March 10. The finalists were selected by a panel
of over 60 literary professionals from more than 1,000 book submissions from
over 300 publishers.
The winners will be announced June 8 in New York City
Dear Miss Manners: I was nominated for an award, which I did not win — and that’s fine!
Before the awards ceremony, all nominees were given an invitation to the “losers’ party” after the ceremony. The party was off-site, and we (losing nominees and our plus-ones) were taken there in buses.
I was on the second bus, and when we arrived, we found out that entry into the party venue had been cut off due to capacity concerns. Our bus driver refused to take us back to the original venue, and we were all left standing in the street on a chilly evening, wearing our nice clothes — “we” being at least 50 people….
Deepfake videos never cease to amaze me. They do such an amazing job that it’s hard to imagine that they aren’t really performing the part. Now EZRyderX47 on YouTube has created a mash up of Back to the Future with none other than our favorite Marvel dynamic, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland. Check out the film down below.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis explain in a new paper that was just published in the journal ACS Photonics that if you want to create a solar panel that generates electricity at night, then you just have to create one that operates the exact opposite way solar panels work during the day. It’s being referred to as the “anti-solar panel.”
Solar panels are cold compared to the Sun, so they absorb the Sun’s light and turn it into energy. Space is very cold, so if you point a panel on Earth that is comparatively warm toward it, it will radiate heat as invisible infrared light. This allows you to generate electricity by capturing that power. The paper claims such a device could generate about a quarter of the electricity at night that a normal solar panel generates during the day.
Jeremy Munday, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis who is an author of the paper, tells Inverse that whether it’s a solar panel or this anti-solar panel, these things are essentially just “heat engines.”
(Music to cue up: Flanders and Swann, “…heat
can’t pass from the cooler to the hotter” from their “First &
Second Law” (of thermodynamics, not robotics.)
Oberlin College Physics Professors John H. Scofield and Rob Owen along with OC senior physics major Ben Lemberger (piano) perform Flanders and Swann’s “First and Second Laws” for intro physics class on May 7, 2014.
Not only did Bradbury create fantastical worlds with pen and paper, he also lived in a surreal world of his own creation. His Beverly Hills office (just like his home basement office) was filled with items that tickled his imagination: cartoons, figurines, stuffed animals, masks, and magic. In fact, Bradbury was so often lost in his own imaginary world that he would forget the demands of reality. He regularly forgot the keys to his office, but he solved this minor inconvenience by using a secret sliding panel.
The lineup for BookExpo’s Adult Book & Author Breakfast, scheduled for Thursday, May 28, has been announced. Zerlina Maxwell, radio host and MSNBC political analyst, will host and discuss her new book The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide (Hachette Books), which will hit stores just a few days earlier, on May 26.
Joining Maxwell will be United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, there to present When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry featuring the work of more than 160 poets from nearly 100 indigenous nations; bestselling author Carmen Maria Machado, who will discuss her upcoming comic book debut, The Low, Low Woods, a new horror comic from Joe Hill’s imprint at DC; U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D.-Minn.), onstage to showcase her forthcoming memoir, This Is What America Looks Like, arriving from HarperCollins on May 26; and fantasy author Rebecca Roanhorse, there to discuss her novel Black Sun, the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy about four warring matriarchies vying for power, to be published by Gallery/Saga Press.
(6) REMINGTON OBIT. Artist Barbara Remington, whose work included iconic covers of
paperback editions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit,
has died at the age of 90 reports Comicbook.com.
…Remington is best known for illustrating Ballantine Books’ paperback editions of Tolkien’s fantasy novels, which began to be published in 1965 and quickly gained a cult status amongst readers. According to The New York Times, Remington died on January 23rd in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, with her longtime friend John Bromberg citing breast cancer as the cause of death.
As Remington revealed in an interview with Andwerve, her work on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit covers came about on a very tight deadline.
“Ballantine was in a hurry to get these books out right away,” Remington revealed. “When they commissioned me to do the artwork, I didn’t have the chance to see either book, though I tried to get a copy through my friends. So I didn’t know what they were about. I tried finding people that had read them, but the books were not readily available in the states, and so I had sketchy information at best.”
“When Tolkien saw the fruit tree, he asked, ‘What are pumpkins doing in a tree?’ Of course they weren’t pumpkins, but he wasn’t sure what they were,” Remington added. “He was especially perplexed about the lion on the cover because there are no lions in the story. He requested that Ballantine remove the lions from the cover, so they painted them over for later books.”
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 16, 1939 — Chuck Crayne. An important conrunner who died before his time. (I’m quoting Mike there, so please don’t complain.) He was a LASFS member who was most active during the Sixties and Seventies. You can read Mike’s full post on him here. (Died 2009.)
Born February 16, 1951 — William Katt, 69. Ralph Hinkley, the lead of The Greatest American Hero. A series I know I watched and loved at the time. In December 1975, he auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker But didn’t get the role obviously.
Born February 16, 1953 — Mike Glyer, 67. Let’s praise the man who’s created the finest online community for SFF fandom that one could possibly hope for. One that entertains and educates us. It’s no wonder that he has won the Best Fan Writer Hugo four times and File 770 Itself has won the Best Fanzine Hugo seven times. Happy Birthday Mike!
Born February 16, 1954 — Iain M. Banks. I’m certain I’ve read the entire Culture series even though I certainly didn’t read them in the order they were written. My favorites? The Hydrogen Sonata was bittersweet for being the last ever, Use of Weapons and the very first, Consider Phlebas, are also my favs. And though not genre, I’m still going to make a plug for Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram. It’s about whisky, good food and his love of sports cars. (Died 2013.)
Born February 16, 1957 — Ardwight Chamberlain, 63. The voice of Kosh on Babylon 5. And that tickles me, as I don’t think they credited it during the series, did they? Most of his other voice work English dubbing versions of Japanese anime including Digimon: Digital Monsters and The Swiss Family Robinson: Flone of the Mysterious Island.
Born February 16, 1964 — Christopher Eccleston, 56. The Ninth Doctor who’s my third favorite among the new ones. Other genre work includes 28 Days Later, The Seeker, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Thor: The Dark World, The Leftovers, The Second Coming and The Borrowers. He also played Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Barbican Theatre.
Born February 16, 1968 — Warren Ellis, 52. I think Planetary is bloody brilliant as is Global Frequency and Transmetropolitan. His work on The Authority is not to be sniffed at either, nor should we overlook Iron Man: Extremis. He’s got two rather superb novels, Crooked Little Vein and Gun Machine, that are not genre but which if if you like hard-boiled detective fiction, I’ll strongly recommend both.
…That essay, “Delinquents in the Snow”  from the collection God in the Dock, begins with Lewis griping about neighborhood kids who constantly bother him by singing terrible renditions of Christmas carols at his door and expecting money in return. Then, with increasing crankiness, he tells the reader that these are probably the same kids who broke into his shed and stole some stuff recently. Other than Lewis’s intuition, there’s no connection between the carolers and the discourse on criminal justice that follows. Like I said, it’s a weird essay.
Basically, Lewis is angry that the kids who robbed his shed were let off easy by the court and will therefore likely grow up to commit “burglary, arson, rape, and murder.” Without any additional evidence, he extrapolates this single event into a nationwide trend and predicts that unless something is done about it, the result will be either an outbreak of vigilante violence or a full-scale revolution.
“Delinquents in the Snow” is full of cringe-inducing moments. Lewis insists on referring to the female judge who gave the delinquents a mere slap on the wrist as “the Elderly Lady,” suggesting a lack of respect for women in positions of authority. He also writes that “when the State ceases to protect me from hooligans I might reasonably, if I could, catch and trash them myself.” The mental image of a 59-year-old university don beating up children would be funny if I weren’t afraid he actually meant it. There’s even a hint of Atlas Shrugged in there when he says that by failing to adequately punish crime, society risks pushing middle-class “bearers of what little moral, intellectual, or economic vitality remains” to the point at which “they will snap.”
…t first it seemed too good to be true, a movie all about the ‘fabulous’ aventures of one of the two authors I’d read at age nine, Jules Verne. I was visiting my Aunt Virginia (yes, for real) and she dropped me off alone at the theater in Las Vegas. First, I had to sit through a dumb circus movie called Jumbo, probably Bimbo the Great. But then came a movie that looked like a cartoon, but not really. At first I was really disappointed, as were some of the kids in the theater with me. But after just a couple of minutes we were entranced. It wasn’t what we expected from a cartoon, or a movie. It was like vintage book illustrations come to life. Every new scene was a wonderment that went beyond the question, ‘how’d they do that?’ We were transported to the other side of movie reality, into something like a moving dream. Who knew that this movie and the brilliant sci-fi picture Voyage to the End of the Universe came from a Communist country? All the names were Anglicized. I had heard of Czechoslovakia in 1962 only because somebody said it had been invaded in a war newsreel.
“In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light.”
Since the first Green Lantern was introduced in All-American Comics #16 in May 1940 by artist Martin Nodell and writer Bill Finger, the Green Lanterns have been fan-favorite characters with millions of comic book fans….
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, DC will be publishing Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 on May 20, 2020. Join us to see tales of all of the universe’s most legendary Green Lanterns: Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, plus appearances from other cosmic favorites!
In addition to a dynamic cover by Liam Sharp, fans and collectors can also look forward to eight variant covers spotlighting Lanterns throughout the decades, drawn by some of comics’ premier artists….
Best-selling author Diana Gabaldon hadn’t even set foot in Scotland when she began the book that launched the popular Outlander series. But she’s made the country so attractive to readers — and to watchers of the Starz television program, which resumes with Season 5 on Sunday — that the Scottish government’s tourism agency gave her an honorary Thistle Award for generating a flood of visitors to the fens, glens, jagged mountains and soft jade landscapes she so alluringly describes. According to numbers from VisitScotland, Outlander has increased tourism by an average of 67 percent at the sites mentioned in the books or used in filming.
…The “Witches and Wizards” theme will take place on Saturday, October 24, and guests are encouraged to wear witch hats and wizard robes. (If you have a wand, you might as well bring that too.) Like the rest of the murder mystery experiences on the train, it includes a ride on the train, “murder mystery dinner theatre,” and a multi-course gourmet meal, which is prepared by executive chef Donald Young…
Last year, Ben Zhao decided to buy an Alexa-enabled Echo speaker for his Chicago home. Mr. Zhao just wanted a digital assistant to play music, but his wife, Heather Zheng, was not enthused. “She freaked out,” he said.
Ms. Zheng characterized her reaction differently. First she objected to having the device in their house, she said. Then, when Mr. Zhao put the Echo in a work space they shared, she made her position perfectly clear:“I said, ‘I don’t want that in the office. Please unplug it. I know the microphone is constantly on.’”
Mr. Zhao and Ms. Zheng are computer science professors at the University of Chicago, and they decided to channel their disagreement into something productive. With the help of an assistant professor, Pedro Lopes, they designed a piece of digital armor: a “bracelet of silence” that will jam the Echo or any other microphones in the vicinity from listening in on the wearer’s conversations.
The bracelet is like an anti-smartwatch, both in its cyberpunk aesthetic and in its purpose of defeating technology. A large, somewhat ungainly white cuff with spiky transducers, the bracelet has 24 speakers that emit ultrasonic signals when the wearer turns it on. The sound is imperceptible to most ears, with the possible exception of young people and dogs, but nearby microphones will detect the high-frequency sound instead of other noises.
The name — mudlark — was first given to the Victorian-era poor who scrounged for items in the river to sell, pulling copper scraps, rope and other valuables from the shore. But more recently the label has stuck to London’s hobbyists, history buffs and treasure hunters who scour the river edge searching for objects from the city’s past.
…“I like just to collect what the river decides it’s going to leave on that day,” Ms. Maiklem said. “It’s that element of luck.”
But sometimes there are more significant finds, like the first “spintria” found in Britain. Spintriae are Roman bronze tokens, with depictions of sexual acts on one face and a Roman numeral on the other, whose purpose remains uncertain.
The Thames, the very reason people began settling in the city over 2,000 years ago, is one of the best preservers of London’s history. The river has been used many ways over the millenniums — as a highway, a source of food and, most important to mudlarks, as a dump.
(16) OLD VIDEO OF THE DAY. Kirk
Douglas drinks coffee with Ray Bradbury, John Barry and John Frankenheimer in
[Thanks to Dan Bloch, John King Tarpinian, JJ, N., Cat Eldridge,
Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Michael
Toman, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File
770 contributing editor of the day Jamoche.]
Isabel Fall’s short story “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” in the January Clarkesworld, the subject of intense discussion on Twitter this week, was removed from the magazine’s website today at the author’s request.
Phoebe North supports the story and author in “An Open Letter” at Medium, an autobiographical essay that concludes:
Whatever you decide to do with your story, Isabel, thank you for writing your story. Thank you for making me feel seen and heard. We don’t get a lot of ourselves in fiction. We often only get scraps. This was more than that. A mirror.
Berry Grass believes the story has shortcomings, but aligns more with those who consider it to be thought-provoking. Thread starts here.
Carmen Maria Machado wrote a long, thoughtful thread about provocative stories in the context of art and literature, but while I was editing this together she locked her tweets to all but followers so those are not available to quote.
Malcolm F. Cross criticizes the story as having shortcomings as MilSF, too, but marks out more territory on the art vs. harm map. Thread starts here.
Warren Adams-Ockrassa’s thread seems to say that whatever the writer’s goal was, they should have handled it differently. Starts here.
PULLING THE STORY.
Cat Rambo is sorry the story was pulled. Thread starts here.
One of several eye-opening comments on Rambo’s thread:
ROLE OF AN EDITOR.
Setsu U finds the discussion about the story connects with many questions and concerns they are responsible for as an editor. Thread starts here.
Several people have been circulating screenshots of a statement that’s represented as giving background about the story and author. I have neither found the source of the original post, nor confirmation that it is from a Clarkesworld spokesperson, so I am not posting these but you can find a copy here.
Alexandra Erin on why she won’t read the story. Thread starts here.
Cheryl Morgan says she hasn’t read the story, however, offered advice for holding the discussion. Thread starts here. Some of her points are —
There’s extended discussion at Metafilter. As a whole, I thought I learned more just by searching “Clarkesworld” on Twitter.
(1) NEXT TIME, JUST WALK THERE IN THE BAT-SHOES. No more BIFF! or POW! Looks like Batman and The Joker are getting involved in the UK general election campaign in this ad from the Labour Party-supporting Momentum organization:
…Admirers of that sensational triptych [The Three-Body Problem and sequels] will find something rather different in The Supernova Era, which Liu actually wrote in 2003, before the first Chinese edition of The Three-Body Problem in 2007. Though it is adorned with the colourful nebulae of space-opera art, it is primarily a work of speculative sociology.
That only becomes clear, though, after a masterful opening sequence detailing the death of a star. Liu is superb at creating drama from technical description (before becoming a writer, he worked as an engineer at a power plant), and he ramps up slowly to the moment of a supernova with exquisite tension. Why should we care about another supernova? Because this one is happening all too close to us: a mere eight light years away, a star that had been hidden from human eyes behind a dust cloud is now exploding.
Eight years later, the radiation arrives at Earth, lighting up the atmosphere and wrecking DNA in all the life forms on the planet. The authorities soon realise that everyone will die in a matter of months, except for children aged 13 and under: they are young enough, it is discovered, that their bodies can repair the DNA damage. In the time remaining, the adults have somehow to train the children in the disciplines required to keep agriculture and technological civilisation going, and select national leaders to take over when they die. The novel focuses on the three 13-year-old Chinese children who are to rule the country, and later on their American counterparts….
…The episode is widely regarded as one of the series’ best, in large part thanks to Stewart’s performance. But “Chain of Command, Pt. II” struck a chord with Machado for another reason: She saw parallels between the torture of Picard and her own experiences with domestic abuse.
“It feels like a weird comparison to make because it’s literally an episode about physical torture. I was not physically tortured,” she said. “But on the other hand, it’s this sense that there’s something else happening underneath […] I kept thinking, this feels so on the nose. Like, as I’m working on this memoir, this episode just happens to be in the queue.”
Madred’s gaslighting technique reminded Machado of elements from her own relationship. “My ex-girlfriend would play these bizarre, possessive games. If I talked about anyone or looked anyone in any way, she would accuse me of wanting to sleep with them. She would call me and leave me voicemails if I didn’t pick up right away and be like, ‘Who are you sleeping with? What are you doing? Where’ve you been? Why haven’t you picked the phone up?’ And I came to believe that I was really a problem,” Machado said. “I think it took me a long time to figure out that it actually wasn’t about any of those things. It was about this need to exert control.”
Hello everyone. We are taking this opportunity to inform you that we have pulled our anthology, Other Covenants: Alternate Histories of the Jewish People, from ChiZine Publications. It was originally scheduled to be published in spring 2020.
This was a difficult, but absolutely necessary decision. We could make no other.
Other Covenants is a labour of love that we have been working on for more than two years, and its story does not end here. We are in ongoing discussions to find a new home for the book.
We would like to thank our wonderful contributors for all their patience and trust.
(6) NEW STARTING TIME FOR AMAZING TORONTO READINGS. Steve
Davidson sends an update that the starting time for the Toronto readings from Amazing Storieshas been
changed to 6:30 p.m. from 5 p.m. The dates, readers, and location all remain
Disney has produced a few hit films in its time, but Frozen stands as one of the most staggering successes in the studio’s nine-decade history. Released in November 2013, the animation became the highest-grossing film of the year – and that was just the beginning. In 2014, every car with children in the back seat – and some without – had the hit single Let It Go on the stereo.
Inevitably, a sequel was made. And, almost inevitably, it’s nowhere near as good. Like the first film, this one is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, scripted by Lee, and punctuated with songs by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. But the catchy Broadway show-stoppers have been replaced by thudding rock-opera power ballads; the glacial clarity of the coming-of-age theme has been replaced by a flurry of mythological codswallop; and the urgency of Anna’s journey to bring her sister home has been replaced by the apathy of Elsa’s wish to learn about her past….
A fossilised tooth left behind by the largest ape that ever lived is shedding new light on the evolution of apes.
Gigantopithecus blacki was thought to stand nearly three metres tall and tip the scales at 600kg.
In an astonishing advance, scientists have obtained molecular evidence from a two-million-year-old fossil molar tooth found in a Chinese cave.
The mystery ape is a distant relative of orangutans, sharing a common ancestor around 12 million years ago.
“It would have been a distant cousin (of orangutans), in the sense that its closest living relatives are orangutans, compared to other living great apes such as gorillas or chimpanzees or us,” said Dr Frido Welker, from the University of Copenhagen.
The staff of Mysterious Galaxy just received notice that they are losing their lease for their Balboa Avenue storefront, and will need to move in 60 days. It is with heavy hearts that we share that unless a new buyer and new location are found immediately, Mysterious Galaxy will be forced to close its doors.
For nearly 27 years, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore has been a vibrant part of the book community in San Diego, and a safe and welcoming place for those with a passion for books. The past several years have seen 5-10% growth in sales and increasing profits. The store’s participation in regional and industry conventions, and its stellar in-store events, have earned it a special place in the hearts of authors and readers alike, and created a well-respected brand in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery praised throughout the publishing and bookselling industry.
The purchase of Mysterious Galaxy is expected to be a turn-key sale, retaining the staff and mission of Mysterious Galaxy to grow and expand the already established brand. We eagerly hope to find the right buyer, who will focus on the future success and growth of Mysterious Galaxy, and consider the best interests of its expert staff
…For serious inquiries about purchasing the store, please contact current Mysterious Galaxy Store Owner Terry Gilman (Terry@mystgalaxy.com) by November 20.
(10) MAIN SQUEEZE. Paramount dropped a trailer for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run. It splashed.
(11) TODAY IN HISTORY.
November 14, 1991 — Dark Season, a six-part UK YA series, premiered. It lasted for a single season and it starred Victoria Lambert, Ben Chandler and Kate Winslet. It’s noteworthy for being Winslet’s first major television role. And it was created by Russell T Davies, then a BBC staff producer working for the children’s department at BBC Manchester who sent His story proposal in on spec.
(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born November 14, 1907 — Astrid Lindgren. Creator of the Pippi Longstocking series and, at least in the States, lesser known Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and the Six Bullerby Children series as well. In January 2017, she was calculated to be the world’s 18th most-translated author, and the fourth most-translated children’s writer after Enid Blyton, H. C. Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. There have been at least forty video adaptations of her works over the decades mostly in Swedish but Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter as an animated series in Japan recently. (Died 2002.)
Born November 14, 1928 — Kathleen Hughes, 91. She was Jane in ItCame From Outer Space. Released on May 27 from the original story treatment of Ray Bradbury. It was Universal’s first entry into the 3D-film medium. She would also be in Cult of the Cobra, Swamp Women Kissing Booth and Where the Sidewalk Ends, adaptation of the Silverstein book.
Born November 14, 1948 — John de Lancie, 71. Best known for his role as Q in the Trek multiverse. He also was Jack O’Neill enemy Frank Simmons in Stargate SG-1. He has an impressive number of one-offs on genre shows including The Six Million Dollar Man, and Battlestar Galactica (1978 version), The New Twilight Zone, MacGyver, Mission: Impossible (Australian edition), Get Smart, Again!, Batman: The Animated Series, Legend (if you’ve not seen it, go now and watch it) and I’m going to stop there.
Born November 14, 1951 — Beth Meacham, 68. In 1984 she became an editor for Tor Books, where she rose to the position of editor-in-chief. After her 1989 move to the west coast, she continued working for Tor as an executive editor. She does have one novel, co-written with Tappan King, entitled Nightshade Book One: Terror, Inc. and a handful of short fiction.
Born November 14, 1959 — Paul McGann, 60. Yes, he only did one film as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film, but that role he has reprised in more than seventy audio dramas and the 2013 short film entitled “The Night of the Doctor”. Other genre appearances include Alien 3, FairyTale: A True Story, Queen of the Damned and Lesbian Vampire Killers.
Born November 14, 1963 — Cat Rambo, 56. All around great person. Really. Just finished up a term as SWFA President. She was editor of Fantasy Magazine for four years which earned her a 2012 World Fantasy Special Award: Non-Professional nomination. A story of hers, “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain”, was a Nebula Award finalist. Her first novel, Beasts of Tabat,is the beginning of what I suspect will be an impressive fantasy quartet. Hearts Of Tabat came this year. She also writes amazing short fiction as well. The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers is her long-standing school for writers that provides her excellent assistance in learning proper writing skills both live and on demand as well. You can get details here.
Born November 14, 1976 — Christopher Demetral, 43. He also played the title character on the oh, so excellent The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne series. He shows up in the “Future Imperfect” episode of Next Gen, and had the recurring role of Jack on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Born November 14, 1978 — Michala Banas, 41. Australian actress whose main genre acting has been the Nowhere Boys series and the film, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows. She has a lot of other genre appearances, to wit in the Mirror, Mirror time travel series, the Scooby-Doo film, The Lost World series and the BeastMaster series as well.
Revenge is the most primal of motivations, and as such, it’s the basis of much fantasy literature. In Queen of the Conquered, Kacen Callender’s debut novel for adults, the author wields revenge with supernatural skill. But that’s not all they do: Callender also weaves a vast, fictional backdrop that’s based on the colonial history of the Caribbean, a refreshing break from the stereotypical, pseudo-European setting of most epic fantasy. But rather than scatter its narrative across numerous characters and points of view, Queen of the Conquered effectively concentrates its entire focus on one character, Sigourney Rose — a black woman and deposed noble with strange abilities who has the most profound of axes to grind against her island’s Norse-like conquerors.
(14) NEW COMIC FEATURES THANOS’ DAUGHTER. Marvel’s Nebula
will get her first series in February, created by by
Vita Ayala and Claire Roe.
This February, follow the exploits of one of the most feared women in the galaxy in NEBULA, an all-new six-issue series from rising Marvel star Vita Ayala with art by Claire Roe! In NEBULA, the daughter of Thanos and sister of Gamora will finally get her time in the spotlight — and she has her eye on a very secret device. But will one of the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunters get to it first? Marvel fans know that Nebula rarely lets anyone get in her way…
“[Since] the movies kind of reinvigorated interest in her, we’ve gotten to see her pop up more and more in the comics. And now, here’s her solo title where all we do is really dive deep and explore who she is and why she does what she does. That’s kind of my jam,” Ayala said in an exclusive interview with Refinery29. “I really want to kind of showcase how cool Nebula is even though she’s a bad guy, and how much more complex she is than what we might assume….it was my mission to try and show who she is on a kind of two-dimensional level. Being able to be in her head and fill out all the corners is really given me an appreciation for her, and I want other people to also love her and want her to do her best.”
…Rumors were swirling earlier this week that Serkis was being eyed for the role. The actor previously played Ulysses Klaue in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Black Panther’ and while he could likely return to the MCU to do motion capture work down the line, for now, his live-action work will be confined to cleaning up after Batman.
… Serkis is joining a long line of Alfreds from Alan Napier on the iconic 1966 television series to Sean Pertwee on ‘Gotham’ and Jack Bannon on ‘Pennyworth.’ In feature films, Michael Gough played Alfred in the Tim Burton film, Michael Caine in “The Dark Knight” trilogy, and Jeremy Irons in the more recent films.
In celebration of its 150th anniversary, Sainsbury’s has travelled back in time to Victorian London in a spot that highlight’s the supermarket’s humble origins.
Nicholas, a poor orphan, is banished from the city after being falsely accused of stealing an orange from the original Sainsbury’s stall.
After being sent to the North Pole as punishment, he is rescued by Mrs Sainsbury who knows of his innocence and gifts him a bag of oranges saying “If you can’t do something special for someone at Christmas, then when can you?”
Nicholas then passes the kindness forward, gifting oranges to all the children in the orphanage before donning a red hat a cape – alluding that he will grow up to be Father Christmas himself.
(17) FORTEAN CONNECTION. Crimereads has
an interesting article by Curtis Evans about the 1937 murder of publisher
Claude Kendall — “The
Playboy and the Publisher: A Murder Story”. “Claude Kendall”
(the company name) was best known for spicy, controversial books, many with a
gay subtext (sometimes not very “sub” at all), and for mystery
novels. But Kendall was also the original publisher of Charles Fort’s Lo! and
The most notorious and successful of the Claude Kendall books were four novels authored by Tiffany Ellsworth Thayer, aka “Tiffany Thayer.” With several hundred thousand copies sold during the early 1930s, the Tiffany Thayer novels, particularly Thirteen Men and Thirteen Women, earned Claude Kendall a great deal of publicity. Other controversial books from the early 1930s that bore the Kendall name include: the first American edition of Octave Mirbeau’s Torture Garden, a primary text of the Decadent Movement originally published in France in 1899, of which pulp writer Jack Woodford expressed his amazement that Claude Kendall had been able to publish its “splendid” edition (“I don’t see how it would be possible to write a more ‘dangerous’ book [from the standpoint of the censor] yet it was published.”); Mademoiselle de Maupin, an American edition of Théophile Gautier’s gender-bending 1835 novel about a real-life French cross-dresser; G. Sheila Donisthorpe’s Loveliest of Friends, a novel dealing with lesbianism; Cecil De Lenoir’s seedy The Hundredth Man: Confessions of a Drug Addict; Beth Brown’s Man and Wife, about prostitution and the divorce racket; Lionel Houser’s Lake of Fire, described as a “bizarre tale of identity theft, mutilation, lust and murder, provocatively illustrated with strikingly explicit woodcuts”; R. T. M. Scott’s, The Mad Monk, purportedly about the early life of Rasputin; Lo! and Wild Talents, two of Charles Fort’s bizarre collections of “anomalous phenomena”; and, last but not least, Frank Walford’s Twisted Clay, a lurid tale, recently reprinted, about a psychopathic, patricidal bisexual female serial killer that was banned by government authorities in both Canada and Australia. (“She loved…and killed…both men and women,” promised Twisted Clay’s salacious jacket blurb.)
Ever eager where controversy was concerned, Kendall also unsuccessfully attempted to secure the American publication rights for James Joyce’s Ulysses, which had been banned in the United States on obscenity grounds since 1920.
In addition to the live-action MCU-based on the movies, Disney+ is offering the animated ‘What If…?’ series, which borrows its name from the popular comic book that told stories set in hypothetic realities where things went very differently from the mainstream Marvel Universe. The ‘What If…?’ animated series will be based on the MCU, so all of the stories will reinvent events from the hit films. The first will imagine a reality where it was Peggy Carter who became the Super Soldier, not Steve Rogers. Instead, skinny weakling Rogers will make his contribution to the Allies’ World War II efforts with the help of Howard Stark, who suits him up with a bulky suit of armor, reminiscent of Tony Stark’s Mark I armor. Together, the pair resemble DC’s ‘Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.’ duo of Courtney Whitmore and her stepfather Pat or “Stripesy,” with Peggy flying to battle while essentially riding Steve’s armor like a steed.
(19) FOOD WITH AN EDGE. If you’re in the need of a blue condiment, step right up! “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Cookbook“ is a $34.99 deal at BigBadToyStore (and doubtless other places.)
Inspired by the cuisine from the exciting new Walt Disney World and Disneyland Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge-themed lands, this cookbook is the ultimate source for creating out-of-this-world meals and treats from a galaxy far, far away!
Featuring delicious delicacies found in Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, this cookbook provides Star Wars fans with a wealth of delicious intergalactic recipes.
[Thanks to Michael O’Donnell, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Nina
Shepardson, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy,
and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]
total of 49 books (24 fiction, 25 nonfiction) have been selected for the
longlist for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and
The fiction category’s closest approach to genre comes in the magical realism of Alice Hoffman’s The World That We Knew, and perhaps Téa Obreht’s Inland, which reviews suggest features a ghost and an imaginary creature at points in the story.
The nonfiction category notably includes sff writer Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House: A Memoir about her abusive relationship with a former partner who is referred throughout as “the woman from the Dream House.”
Nor should one overlook Maria Popova’s Figuring, by the creator behind the website Brain Pickings, whose author Booklist applauds for bringing “her hunger for facts and zeal for biography to this exhilarating and omnivorous inquiry into the lives of geniuses who ‘bridged the scientific and poetic.’”
Six finalists will be announced on November 4, and two medal
winners will be announced at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book
and Media Awards event at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
& Exhibits in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 26. The Carnegie Medal
winners will each receive $5,000.
From the large number of stories that series editor John Joseph
Adams screened for this year’s collection, he picked the 80 best pieces to
submit to editor Carmen Maria Machado for a blind reading, so that the prestige
of the venues or bylines were not a factor. (The ones Adams designated as notable are shown in a table at the
link). Machado then selected 20 for publication (ten science fiction, ten
fantasy, highlighted in green on the table.)
The book will be published on October 1, with a cover by Galen Dara.
…I pitched the idea to my editor—“think Better Call Saul meets Nineteen Eighty-Four”—and he liked it so much he wanted two.
Rule of Capture, out today from Harper Voyager, is the result. The story of Donny Kimoe, a burned out trial lawyer defending political dissidents hauled in front of the special emergency court of an America drifting into totalitarianism. Busy trying to save one client from the death penalty after he’s framed for aiding an attack on the President, Donny gets assigned the unwinnable case of Xelina Rocafuerte, a young journalist and eco-activist who witnessed the assassination of a grassroots political leader and is being prosecuted as a terrorist to silence her. To get her off, Donny has to extract justice from a system in which due process has been suspended. That means breaking the rules, and risking the same fate as his clients.
Donny practices law in a world where the clients are mostly guilty. It’s the laws they violate that are unjust. In otherwords, it’s a lot like the real world, but uses the tools of dystopian fiction to tell truths more conventionally realist legal thrillers cannot. …
Carmen Maria Machado has been hailed as one of the most talented young writers of our time. With In the Dream House, she reinvents the memoir with a gut-wrenching tale of love gone wrong, exploring her personal history of psychological abuse while bearing witness to the history and reality of violence in queer relationships. Her dark, fantastical short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.
QUESTION ONE: What is your process like for Best Horror of the Year? I know you read the big name magazines, and then get all of the top anthologies sent to you, the obvious projects on your radar, but do you have any help with pre-screening stories, or looking outside of the genre (horror) into fantasy and science fiction, for example? And how do you start whittling the work down to your long-list, short-list and final TOC. That’s a daunting task. Must be hundreds of stories a year, if not thousands.
ANSWER ONE: Yes, it’s hundreds of stories. As I read during the year, I create a “recommended” list and if there’s a story I really like, I’ll put an asterisk by the title/author and ask the publisher to send me a word doc file of the story so I can keep it in a separate email folder labeled “considering.”
With regard to where I find the stories, I attempt to keep track of all venues that might publish horror or very dark fiction and request copies of magazines, literary journals, anthologies, collections, and novellas/chapbooks (plus appropriate nonfiction titles). I currently have two readers who help me sift through the material I think unlikely to contain much horror. One reads online/e-zines not specifically geared toward horror. And the other reads print magazines/anthologies that don’t look like they contain dark material. They suggest stories that they judge to be horror or very dark fantasy so I can check them out.
Once in a while (mostly because it’s a story I originally published, I’ll know immediately that I’m going to take a story, so I’ll send out the contract and move the story into my “story” folder, adding it to my Table of Contents.
But usually, I’ll begin rereading the stories I’ve noted toward the end of the year. I know how many words I have to work with—I usually begin the rereading process with twice the word count I’m allowed and read/reread each story until I whittle my choices down to my word limit.
…Kumar says. “Unfortunately, it’s a genre that hasn’t been explored in Bollywood.”
One reason might be the box office failure of Love Story 2050 in 2008. A frenzied time travel movie, it broke India’s film-budget record, but its mix of Mad Max futurism, slushy romance and traditional Bollywood song-and-dance routines was a flop.
…Then again, last year Kumar played the villain in 2.0, a Tamil-language thriller about Chennai’s mobile phones going berserk and arranging themselves into creatures that devastate the city – a bit like a Vodafone version of The Birds. Reportedly with a budget of $76m – costing more than ISRO’s entire mission to Mars – it was a visual rollercoaster and a big commercial success.
Another key factor over the last decade has been the boom in India’s visual effects industry – to which Hollywood outsources much of its own special effects – that has enabled higher quality film-making…
Shanghai Fortress, China’s latest big-budget science fiction tentpole, crashed and burned shortly after liftoff over the weekend.
The expensive film’s flop is a blow to the Chinese industry’s efforts to ramp up production values so that it can begin competing with Hollywood’s effects-heavy blockbusters on more equal footing. After the colossal success of sci-fi tentpole The Wandering Earth earlier this year — it earned $700 and rave local reviews — hopes were high that Shanghai Fortress might be the next big breakthrough.
Costing an estimated $57 million (RMB 400 million), Shanghai Fortress was developed and produced over a period of five years. The movie is an adaptation of a 2009 novel of the same name, about a group of young people hiding out in Shanghai, which has become humanity’s last redoubt against a devastating alien invasion. It stars Taiwanese actress Shu Qi and pop star-turned-actor Lu Han (the latter previously Disney’s marketing ambassador for the Star Wars franchise in China).
Shanghai Fortress briefly opened at the top of China’s box office during the first half of Friday, but its ticket sales quickly plummeted as negative reviews and harsh word of mouth began to course through local social media…
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.
August 13, 1942 — The Walt Disney classic, Bambi, premiered on this day at Radio City Music Hall.
August 13, 1953 — The War Of The Worlds was premiered in New York City.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born August 13, 1422 — William Caxton. He was an English merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. Its widely thought that he was the first British individual to work as a printer and also the first to introduce a printing press into England. He published The Historye of Reynart the Foxe (from the Dutch, 1481) which is sort of genre. (Died 1491.)
Born August 13, 1899 — Alfred Hitchcock. If he’d only done Alfred Hitchcock Presents, that’d be enough to get him Birthday Honours. But he did some fifty films of which a number are genre such as The Birds and Psycho. Though I’ve not read it, I’ve heard good things about Peter Ackroyd’s Alfred Hitchcock. (Died 1980.)
Born August 13, 1909 — Tris Coffin. I’d say he’s best known for being Jeff King in King of the Rocket Men, a late Forties production, the first of three serials that he did starring the Rocketman character, who would later be paid homage to through the Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer character. He would show in two episodes of Batman as The Ambassador, “When the Rat’s Away, the Mice Will Play” and “A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away”. (Died 1990.)
Born August 13, 1932 — John Berkey. Artist whose best-known work includes much of the original poster art for the Star Wars trilogy. He also did a lot of genre cover art such as the 1974 Ballantine Books cover of Herbert’s Under Pressure (I read that edition), and the 1981 Ace cover of Zelazny’s Madwand which I think is the edition I read. (Died 2008.)
Born August 13, 1945 — Patricia McNulty, 74. She played Yeoman Tina Lawton in the “Charlie X” episode of Trek. Like many performers on Trek, she had a brief acting career at time, barely six years.
Born August 13, 1950 — Jane Carr, 69. Most current genre role is the recurring one as Tabitha the Fairy God Mother on The Legends of Tomorrow. She also appeared as Malcolm Reed’s mother, Mary Reed in the “Silent Enemy” episode of Enterprise, and was Timov, one of the three wives of Londo Mollari in the “Soul Mates” episode of Babylon 5.
Born August 13, 1971 — Heike Makatsch, 38. Dr. Lisa Addison in Resident Evil, and Alicia Wallenbeck in A Sound of Thunder. The latter being loosely based on the short story of the same name by Ray Bradbury. On Rotten Tomatoes, it got a six percent score!
Born August 13, 1972 — Crystal Allen, 47. Green skinned Orion slave girl D’Nesh on the “Bound” episode of Enterprise. These characters originally showed up in “The Cage” episode of Trek. She went to be one of many Trek performers from all series appearing in Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, the non-canon and not Paramount-sanctioned fan mini-series where she played Conqueror Navigator Yara.
Born August 13, 1990 — Sara Serraiocco, 29. She’s Nadia Fierro/Baldwin, a mysterious assassin from the Prime world in Counterpart. She was nominated for the Autostraddle TV Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress Playing an LGBTQ+ Character in a Sci-Fi Series.
The Perfect Spell will do just that. When customers show up, they’ll be put into wizard training by the head master of the restaurant. In order to eat, you’ll have to pass your first class. From there, diners will enjoy a delicious meal while the performance takes place in front of them. Each “show” will be for a maximum of 30 people, and performances will only take place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The Eventbrite description adds —
THE PERFECT SPELL … A POP UP MAGICAL THEATRICAL RESTAURANT!
ONLY OPEN 1 YEAR & ONLY TAKING 3,744 TABLE RESERVATIONS!
If you Love HARRY POTTER, WIZARD’S, WITCHES, MAGIC, THEATER then you’re going to love this magical theatrical restaurant. Let our leading Head Master Wizard guide you through a magical Theatrical Dinner experience with Wizards, Witches, Magic and much more!
A very magical theatrical feel right from the candle entrance designed to bring magic to life. This restaurant is packed full with the art of Magic, Singing, Dancing, and Acting. All while having a delicious meal.
Location is in a small cute country setting going with the whole awesome magical theme of the restaurant in North Pownal.
(11) THOUGHTS HE CAN’T GET OUT OF HIS HEAD. Timothy
the Talking Cat finds much to admire in the fiction of Hewlett Packard
Lovercraft as the feline explains in “Timothy
Reads The Call of Cthulhu” at Camestros Felapton.
By far his greatest work is The Call of Cthulhu. Now you might think this is about a phone call from somebody called Cthulhu or you might thing this is about the sound a cthulhu makes when it is lost in the woods after maybe you had got a pet cthulhu for Christmas but then decided you didn’t want it after all because you can’t handle the responsibilities of keeping a pet, so you take it out into the woods and abandon it and afterwards you here it’s plaintive cry as you run back to the car and tell you driver to drive away but when you get home you can still here the lonely cry in your sleep but no. That would be too obvious and that’s why I didn’t think those things, particularly not the last one. Lovercraft is just messing with your head with that title because that is how good a writer he is.
They may not be enough to buy a decent jar of marmalade, but new 50p coins featuring Paddington Bear have entered circulation.
Two new coins – featuring the bear from darkest Peru at the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral – have been released by The Royal Mint.
On Tuesday, they filled the tills at the Mint’s museum in Llantrisant, South Wales, and will be circulated more generally in the coming weeks.
The coins mark 60 years of Paddington.
The first Paddington book was published in October 1958 and the series following his adventures have become classics of children’s literature. Last year, the Mint released 50p coins depicting the fictional bear visiting other London landmarks – the train station after which he was named, and the guards outside Buckingham Palace.
(14) PARTS WELL-KNOWN. Culinary adventurer John Scalzi goes
the distance —
The works of The Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger are finally being published in ebook format, nearly 10 years after his death.
Salinger’s work has remained offline because the writer hated computers and technology, his son Matt told the New York Times.
But he said he now wanted his father’s work to be more accessible.
Matt Salinger said a letter from a disabled fan, who found it difficult to read print, changed his mind.
“Ebooks and audiobooks are tough… he clearly didn’t want them,” said Matt, who helps run the JD Salinger Literary Trust.
…”My father always did what he could to keep his books affordable and accessible to as many readers as possible, especially students,” said Matt.
(16) BUT COULD HE WITHSTAND
ADMANTIUM? [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The source of this article is the
New York Post tabloid, so use the largest grain of salt possible. That
said, pay attention to the final sentence below. Headline: “Ozzy Osbourne is a genetic mutant, DNA research proves”
Lede: “In 2010, when scientists at Knome Inc. were
looking to study a remarkable human’s DNA, they didn’t ring up Steve Jobs or
Beyoncé. Instead, the Cambridge, Mass.-based human genome company reached out
to Ozzy Osbourne. They wanted to know what genes had kept the rocker alive
through decades of heavy drug and alcohol abuse.”
Amazon is being told to reveal how it decides which products get the “Amazon’s Choice” label in its online store.
Two US senators have written to Amazon asking it to say whether people or algorithms are making decisions about what gets the label.
They are worried that the Choice category can be manipulated via fake reviews and can mislead customers.
Amazon has been given until 16 September to respond to the letter.
The letter was written following an investigation by news site Buzzfeed which claimed many products in the “Choice” category are of poor quality or have their ratings boosted by fake reviews.
Research suggests products getting the Choice label sell better. OC&C Strategy Consultants found that products awarded the Choice label see a sales jump of about 300%.
This is partly because anyone using their Amazon Echo smart speaker to buy products in a category in which they have never shopped before, will get a product bearing the Choice label.
“We are concerned the badge is assigned in an arbitrary manner, or worse, based on fraudulent product reviews,” wrote Democrats Bob Menendez and Richard Blumenthal.
(18) YOUR NARRATOR, ADAM SELENE.
BBC reports that in China “AI
used to narrate e-books in authors’ voices”. A skeptical Chip
Hitchcock sent the link with a comment: “I’ll believe this is worthwhile when
they can mimic someone who can read well — e.g., Gaiman.”
…It is now a simple process to use text-to-speech technology to quickly generate an audio version of a book, using digitised, synthetic voices.
But most people prefer audiobooks that are “professionally narrated” by authors, actors or famous public figures.
And now, advances in machine learning and speech-to-text technologies mean that digitised voices are becoming more lifelike.
For example, the company Lyrebird allows clients to create custom “vocal avatars” from just a one-minute recording of their voices.
[Thanks to Contrarius, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat
Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew
Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Nigel.]