(1) EUROCON NEWS. Eurocon 2021 will be in Fiuggi, Italy from March 18-21. It will be run concurrently with the annual Italcon, and Deepcon, hosted by the Italian cultural association DeepSpaceOne.
Future Eurocon bids include
- 2022 in Esch, the southern region of Luxembourg.
- 2023 in Uppsala, Sweden
(2) MORE DUBLIN 2019 PHOTOS. Dan Ofer has posted two sets of Worldcon photos on Facebook (set to public):
(3) DUBLIN MEETUP ISSUE. Wanda Kurtcu said on Facebook there are two people who should not have attended the meetup for PoC of African descent at Dublin 2019:
I had the opportunity to co-facilitate an POC of African Descent meetup at WorldCon. The description of the meetup was that it was ONLY for POC of African Descent. NOTE the PEOPLE OF COLOR (POC) requirement for this meeting.
There were two white men already in the room when I arrived. At no point did they request to be allowed to be part of our meeting. One said he was the editor of a spec sci-fi magazine and the other said he was there because his adopted son was Ethiopian and he wanted to see what the meetup was about. His son was not at WorldCon.
Neither I nor my co-facilitator asked them to leave because I didn’t want to cause any problems. In fact, I waited a few days to write this post to make sure I was coming from a place of mindfulness and not anger….
(4) LEIA. At D23 J.J. Abrams teased Carrie Fisher’s role in the final movie of this trilogy: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reveals poster, epic new footage at D23”.
Director Abrams said of adding Leia into the film: “Of course, we can’t talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher. And the character of Leia is really in a way the heart of this story. We could not tell the end of these 9 films without Leia. And we realized that we had footage from episode 7 that we realized we could use in a new way. So Carrie, as Leia, gets to be in the film.”
Continued Abrams: “But the crazy part is we started to work on this movie and I wasn’t supposed to be directing this movie [as Colin Trevorrow was originally tapped as director]. Then we lost Carrie. And I was hired on this film and began working. And I remember this thing that I had read that I actually thought I was mistaken. I looked in her last book, The Princess Diarist, and she had written, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that that could only mean one thing for me. We couldn’t be more excited to have you see her in her final performance as Leia.”
(5) FUTURE TENSE. This month’s Future Tense Fiction short story is out, part of a series Slate and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination — “What the Dead Man Said” by Nigerian author Chinelo Onwualu. Tagline: “Read a new short story about climate change, migration, and family secrets.”
I suppose you could say that it started with the storm.
I hadn’t seen one like it in 30 years. Not since I moved to Tkaronto, in the Northern Indigenous Zone of Turtle Island—what settler-colonialists still insisted on calling North America. I’d forgotten its raw power: angry thunderclouds that blot out the sun, taking you from noon to evening in an instant, then the water that comes down like fury—like the sky itself wants to hurt you.
Read a response essay “The Scars of Being Uprooted” by Valeria Fernández, a journalist who reports on immigration.
Immigrants know what is like to deal with restless ghosts from the past. Some of us are haunted for the rest of our lives by the inability to have closure. But when the opportunity presents itself to face our demons, it’s never like what we imagined in our heads.
Chinelo Onwualu’s short story “What the Dead Man Said” speaks to and delves deeper than that universal theme. The reader enters a futuristic society suffering from climate change–induced disaster and migration, a place where human bodies of those once enslaved are treated as a commodity and where unhealed trauma lies beneath the surface….
(6) JOURNALING ADVISED. Fran Wilde ran a “Creativity & Journaling” online today. Cat Rambo tweeted some notes. A portion of the thread starts here.
(7) LITIGATON OVER HOTEL HIDDEN FEES. The New York Times reports “Marriott and Hilton Sued Over ‘Resort Fees,’ Long a Bane for Travelers”.
The hotel charges known as resort fees are again under scrutiny — this time, from state attorneys general.
Travelers loathe the mandatory — and consumer watchdogs say, confusing — fees, which vary by location and by the services they purport to cover. Some hotels charge the fees for Wi-Fi and gym access, while others may use them to cover in-room safes, newspapers or bottled water — whether guests use them or not.
The attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska filed separate but similar lawsuits this summer against two big hotel chains, accusing them of deceiving travelers by failing to include the resort fees in their published room rates, making it hard for consumers to compare rates when booking online. The suits allege that the hotels’ “deceptive and misleading” pricing practices violate consumer protection laws.
The suits, brought against the Marriott and Hilton chains, follow an investigation of hotel industry pricing practices by the attorneys general in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Nebraska.
Travelers searching for lodging, whether on hotel websites or on separate travel websites, typically are not made aware of the resort fees until after they have clicked past the initial search results page and have started booking, according to a complaint filed in July against Marriott International by the attorney general in Washington….
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.
- August 24, 1966 — Fantastic Voyage with Raquel Welch opened in theatres. It was based on a story by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby. Bixby was a script writer for Star Trek writing four episodes: “Mirror, Mirror”, “Day of the Dove”, “Requiem for Methuselah”, and “By Any Other Name”.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born August 24, 1896 — Stanton Arthur Coblentz. A very prolific genre writer whose first published genre work was The Sunken World, a satire about Atlantis, serialized in Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories Quarterly starting in July, 1928. Scattered tales by him are available in digital form from iBooks and Kindle but it looks no one has actually systematically digitized him yet. (Died 1982.)
- Born August 24, 1899 — Gaylord Du Bois. He was a writer of comic book stories and comic strips, as well as Big Little Books. He wrote Tarzan for Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics from the Forties to early Seventies.) He was one of the writers for Space Family Robinson which was the basis for the Lost in Space series. (Died 1993.)
- Born August 24, 1915 — James Tiptree Jr. One of our most brilliant short story writers ever. She only wrote two novels, Up the Walls of the World and Brightness Falls from the Air but they too are worth reading even if critics weren’t pleased by them. (Died 1987.)
- Born August 24, 1932 — William M. Sheppard. I remember him best as Blank Reg on Max Headroom but I see he has a long history in genre with appearances in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (as a Klingon prison warden), The Prestige, Mysterious Island (in which he played Captain Nemo), Needful Things, Elvira, Mistress of The Darkness, The Doctor and the Devils, Transformers and Star Trek (in an uncredited role as Vulcan Science Minister). Series wise, he’s shown up, on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, Babylon 5, The Legend of King Arthur, Next Gen, seaQuest DSV, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Voyager and The Librarians. And yes, Doctor Who. He was Old Canton Everett Delaware III in “The Impossible Astronaut” story which featured the Eleventh Doctor. (Died 2019.)
- Born August 24, 1934 — Kenny Baker. Certainly his portrayal of R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise is what he’s best known for but he’s also been in Circus of Horrors, Wombling Free, Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader series, The Elephant Man, Sleeping Beauty, Time Bandits, Willow, Flash Gordon and Labyrinth. Personally, I think his best role was as Fidgit in Time Bandits. (Died 2016.)
- Born August 24, 1951 — Orson Scott Card, 68. Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the only author to win the two top genre Awards in consecutive years. Huh. I think the only thing I’ve read by him is Ender’s Game. So anyone here read his more recent works?
- Born August 24, 1951 — Tony Amendola, 68. Prolly best known or being the Jaffa master Bra’tac on Stargate SG-1. He’s also had recurring roles as Edouard Kagame of Liber8 on Continuum and on Once Upon a Time as Pinocchio’s creator, Geppetto. His list of one-off genre appearances is extensive and includes Angel, Charmed, Lois & Clark, Space: Above and Beyond, the Crusade spin-off of Babylon 5, X Files, Voyager, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Alias, She-Wolf of London and Kindred: The Embraced. He’s also been a voice actor in gaming with roles in such games as World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft: Legion and Workd of Final Fantasy.
- Born August 24, 1957 — Stephen Fry, 62. He’s Gordon Deitrich in V for Vendetta, and he’s the Master of Lakedown in The Hobbit franchise. His best role is as Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And he’s the narrator for all seven of the Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings
- Born August 24, 1958 — Lisa A. Barnett. Wife of Melissa Scott. All of her works were for-authored with her: The Armor of Light, Point of Hopes: A Novel of Astreiant and Point of Dreams: A Novel of Astreiant. They wrote one short story, “The Carmen Miranda Gambit”. (Died 2006.)
- Born August 24, 1972 — Ava DuVernay, 47. Director of A Wrinkle in Time. She will be directing a New Gods film based upon the characters that Jack Kirby created. She and Tom King, who had the writing for recent Mister Miracle series (one of the New Gods), will co-write the film.
- Born August 24, 1976 — Alex O’Loughlin, 43. I discover the oddest things in doing these Birthdays. Did you know that an obscure Marvel character named Man Thing got used for a horror film of that name? This Australian actor who is much better as the lead for the retooled Hawaii Five-0 was in it. He’s was also in horror films Feed and The Invisible, both Australian, and The American Moonlight series where he’s a vampire PI named Mick St. John. It lasted sixteen episodes.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
- Her date did turn out not to be a jackass after all: The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
(11) LATE BLOOMER. Like PJ Evans said after reading this, “It’s awfully dusty in here, all of a sudden.” Thanks to Soon Lee for leaving the link in comments.
My grandmother passed away. Her funerals were today, but here I’d like to talk about the most important thing I couldn’t spend too much time on in her eulogy: her love for Dungeons & Dragons. #DnD
She started very late, at 75, only a little over a year ago. One day I simply asked her if she’d like to try, and, like always when presented with something new, she said “Of course!”. So we grabbed my PHB and built up a character together.
My grandmother chose to be a forest gnome because they seemed the most happy of the races and she really liked the fact that she could talk to small animals. She went with druid just to double down on the animal-friendship theme.
(Also when we went through the character traits, I asked her: “Do you want to be a boy or a girl?”, and she answered right away “I’ve been a girl my whole life, it’d be fun to try being a boy for once”.)
So, we’re making her character sheet, rolling her stats (she gets a 17 and puts it in WIS) and chosing her first spells, and I ask her if she has a name in mind. “I don’t know, I’ll find one by tomorrow”.
That night, she does something that even I never expected: she goes on the Internet and reads every piece of lore she can find about gnomes. She barely knew how to Google, and yet here she was, browsing Wikipedia articles and D&D fansites….
(12) SURVIVING AS A WRITER. N.K. Jemisin argues against the attitude that writers with day jobs just need to tough it out. Thread starts here.
(13) CRIME IN SPACE. Maybe, maybe not: “Astronaut accessed estranged spouse’s bank account in possible first criminal allegation from space”.
NASA is examining a claim that an astronaut improperly accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse from the International Space Station, The New York Times reported Friday — potentially the first criminal allegation from space.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain told investigators she had accessed the bank account of her spouse while on a six-month mission aboard the ISS in preparation for her role in NASA’s anticipated first all-female spacewalk, the Times reported.
McClain’s spouse, former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden, brought a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that McClain had committed identity theft, despite not seeing any indication of moved or spent funds.
Worden’s parents then brought another complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, alleging that McClain had improperly accessed Worden’s private financial records and conducted a “highly calculated and manipulative campaign” to gain custody of Worden’s son.
McClain’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, told the Times that “she strenuously denies that she did anything improper” and “is totally cooperating.”
(14) LOOKING FOR CLASS M. LiveScience claims “Scientists Are Building a Real-Life Version of the Starship Enterprise’s Life Scanner”.
When the crewmembers of the starship Enterprise pull into orbit around a new planet, one of the first things they do is scan for life-forms. Here in the real world, researchers have long been trying to figure out how to unambiguously detect signs of life on distant exoplanets.
They are now one step closer to this goal, thanks to a new remote-sensing technique that relies on a quirk of biochemistry causing light to spiral in a particular direction and produce a fairly unmistakable signal. The method, described in a recent paper published in the journal Astrobiology, could be used aboard space-based observatories and help scientists learn if the universe contains living beings like ourselves.
In recent years, remote-life detection has become a topic of immense interest as astronomers have begun to capture light from planets orbiting other stars, which can be analyzed to determine what kind of chemicals those worlds contain. Researchers would like to figure out some indicator that could definitively tell them whether or not they are looking at a living biosphere.
(15) DON’T FORGET. Todd Mason collects links to book reviews at “FRIDAY’S ‘FORGOTTEN’ BOOKS AND MORE…23 August 2019”. The reviewer’s name comes first, then the book and author.
This week’s books and more, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles, and this week is festooned with not-obscure writers and their books which have fallen mostly out of favor, or, even more often, been lost in the shuffle of their prolific legacy…i
- Patricia Abbott: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
- Stacy Alesi: The A List: Fiction Reviews: 1983-2013
- Brad Bigelow: No Goodness in the Worm by Gay Taylor
- Les Blatt: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie; The Case of the Careless Kitten by Erle Stanley Gardner
- Elgin Bleecker: The Case of the Beautiful Beggar by Erle Stanley Gardner
- Brian Busby: The Squeaking Wheel by John Mercer
- Rachel S. Cordasco: from 13 French Science Fiction Stories, edited and translated by Damon Knight, stories by Catherine Cliff, Natalie Henneberg, Suzanne Malaval
- Martin Edwards: Midsummer Murder by Clifford Whitting
- Peter Enfantino: Atlas (proto-Marvel) horror comics, August 1952
- Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: DC war comics, July 1975
- Barry Ergang: The Last Best Hope by “Ed McBain” (Evan Hunter)
- Will Errickson: Unholy Trinity by Ray Russell
- José Ignacio Escribano: “Ibn-Hakam al Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth” by Jorge Luis Borges (variously translated from “Abenjacán el Bojarí, muerto en su laberinto”), Sur, August 1951
- Curtis Evans: recommendations to the Library of America
- Olman Feelyus: Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
- Paul Fraser: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1954, edited by “Anthony Boucher” (William White)
- John Grant: Bad Debts by Peter Temple; The Lazarus Curse by Tessa Harris; When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey
- Aubrey Hamilton: Most Cunning Workmen by Roy (John Royston) Lewis; Bad to the Bones by Rett MacPherson
- Bev Hankins: Family Affair by Ione Sandberg Shriber
- Rich Horton: Stories of Brian W. Aldiss; stories of Rachel Pollack; The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones; stories of Greg Egan; stories of Lucius Shepard; The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury; The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer; Christopher Priest novels
- Jerry House: “The Death Chair” by L. T. (Elizabeth Thomasina) Meade and Robert Eustace, The Strand Magazine, July 1899, edited by Herbert Smith
- Sally Fitzgerald: “The Train” by Flannery O’Connor, Sewanee Review, April 1948, edited by Alan Tate
- Kate Jackson: The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers; Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
- Tracy K: City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin; Behind That Curtain by Earl Derr Biggers
- Colman Keane: Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg
- George Kelley: The Case of the Borrowed Brunette by Earl Stanley Gardner
- Joe Kenney: The Anderson Tapes by Lawrence Sanders; Cult of the Damned by “Spike Andrews” (Duane Schemerhorn)
- Rob Kitchin: Black Hornet by James Sallis
- B. V. Lawson: The FBI: A Centennial History 1908-2008, Anonymous (produced by the US Dept. of Justice)
- Evan Lewis: Hombre by Elmore Leonard
- Steve Lewis: “The Spy Who Came to the Brink” by Edward D. Hoch, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, December 1965, edited by Frederic Dannay; “The Theft from the Onyx Pool”, EQMM, June 1967; stories from Forbidden River by Fletcher Nebel; The Detective and the Chinese High-Fin by Michael Craven
- J. F. Norris: Secret Sceptre by Francis Gerard
- Matt Paust: Hollywood by Charles Bukowski
- James Reasoner: Love Addict by “Don Elliott” (Robert Silverberg)
- Richard Robinson: Have Space Suit–Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
- Sandra Ruttan: A Thousand Bones by P. J. Parrish
- Gerard Saylor: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
- Doreen Sheridan: The Suspect by L. R. Wright
- Steven H Silver: “giANTS” by Edward Bryant, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1979, edited by Stanley Schmidt
- Kerrie Smith: Head in the Sand by Damien Boyd
- Dan Stumpf: The Third Man by Graham Greene; Leonardo’s Bicycle by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
- “TomCat”: Terror Tower by Gerald Verner
- David Vineyard: Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
- Bill Wallace: One by David Karp
(16) DISNEY+ NOTES. Can’t tell the programs without a program… Here’s what The Hollywood Reporter knows: “Disney+: A Comprehensive Guide to All Its Programming (So Far”.
Disney will officially enter the streaming wars in the fall when it launches its direct-to-consumer platform, Disney+, in November.
The platform, in the works since August 2017 when it was announced during an earnings call by Disney CEO Bob Iger, saw the media behemoth begin to pull its films from Netflix in a bid to use fare like Marvel features to incentivize potential subscribers to the service.
Make no mistake, Disney+ is the company’s biggest bet yet. The service — designed as a competitor to Netflix with a monthly price of $6.99 — will be a home to Disney’s massive animated feature library as well as assets from Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and Marvel, including new scripted offerings from the latter two companies.
Disney+ will be a separate service from its majority stake in Hulu and sports-themed ESPN+. While viewers will have to pay for each of the three services, they will all exist on the same platform — meaning subscribers can use the same password and credit card for each and all….
[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, John A Arkansawyer, Martin Morse Wooster, Contrarius, Karl-Johan Norén, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Joe H.]