After this weekend’s CONvergence
2019 in Minneapolis is over, the committee will introduce changes to its
code of conduct that will consider
people’s conduct elsewhere than at CONvergence itself when administering antiharassment
and other related policies.
the changes as part of the effort to encourage diversity, inclusion, and to
make people feel safe when they attend the con.
…Our purview will no longer stop at the end of the convention, but rather we will hold our members to account for their behavior and themselves year round. Unacceptable actions and behavior will not be tolerated whether they happen at the convention or abroad; if it is harming people, if it is damaging to our community, it is not acceptable, and we will address such actions and behaviors swiftly and fairly.
At the same time, we will handle with compassion those of our members who do not intend to, but nevertheless, transgress some boundaries through ignorance or failing to evolve with the times. We will assist, as far as possible, our members who need extra help and guidance in changing and becoming better. We stand the best chance of helping our members to evolve constructively and will compassion and our goal will be to assist in the redemption of those honest and sincere enough to recognize their issues and seek assistance….
Lauren Sindt, Director of CONvergence’s Hospitality
Division previewed some of the new language, and also explained to File 770 why the new policy will be implemented
after this year’s event:
We do have new language for that section of our policy language. However, unfortunately, it was not finalized until after our 2019 guide went to press. As such, we will not be updating the language that you reference until after the convention. It is important that all of the published policies are consistent during the convention itself,
However, the new policy will state that CONvergence is not responsible for solving disagreements and interpersonal problems that may arise between individual members outside of the convention but that CONvergence reserves the right to deny membership to any individual found to have behaved in a manner contrary to the Core Values of CONvergence and any event within or adjacent to the local community, or who is deemed to pose a legitimate threat to the safety, inclusivity, or overall health of CONvergence, its membership, its parent organization, or event venues.
We will also be encouraging members to contact the CONvergence Operations department or the Board of Directors with any concerns that they may have about specific individuals or their presence at the convention.
gave several reasons for the change:
There are a variety of factors that went into the decision to make this statement to our membership. There has been an overall philosophical shift within our organization that has been building momentum, often behind the scenes, for the past several years. With our move to a new location and the overall theme of reinvention for the 2019 convention, this seemed an appropriate time to make our current perspective, expectations, and philosophical underpinnings clear to our membership.
As more and more conventions rolled out antiharassment policies this past decade, committees have generally taken the position of enforcing their codes of conduct only on those trying to join their specific convention. That has caused some fans to question why they should feel safe attending their local con if someone banned elsewhere is still able to join. But another aspect is: Can their local con get the information they need to evaluate someone’s CoC violation at another convention? It will be interesting to learn how CONvergence works out all the issues involved.
(1) BE THE FIRST ON THE MOON. Apollo 11 in Real Time is a
very impressive site that collates all kinds of archival mission material to
simulate a real-time journey through the first landing on the Moon. You can
watch the launch, you can follow what I’ll describe as a media reenactment of
the entire mission.
Each year I run a cover contest for the SPFBO entrants. Each blog choses its 3 favourite covers from their pool of 30 entrants. The 30 favourites collected from the 10 blogs are then voted on in separate ballots by the bloggers and by the public.
The public vote is of course a bit of fun and subject to all the issues of brigading and cheating that online polls often are – though our anti-cheat software is more effective than the raw poll results might lead you to believe.
(3) CHASTE CHUCK. Here’s a position you won’t find in the Kama
(4) IT COULD HAPPEN. Also, there’s reason to believe that
Chuck will be at CONvergence 2019 in Minneapolis over July 4th
(5) AVOID CALENDRICAL HERESEY. Steve Davidson proclaims, “Well, we FINALLY did it, and by ‘we’, I mean Kermit
Woodall, Amazing Stories’ Art Director and Electronic Media Maestro and
by ‘it’ I mean Amazing Stories Events Calendar!”
It’s easy to navigate.
It has well over 500 events listed (and more regularly added).
It covers events World Wide.
It covers events from Bronycons to Middle Eastern Gaming Cons and, if there were such things as cons located off the Earth, we’d have them in there too!
You can export it to other calendar programs.
You can display it on your screens in a variety of different ways.
You can search it by date and by keyword, including type of event, name of event, location of event.
You can not only read about an event on our website, but you can click through to the event’s website right from the calendar.
There’s pop-outs and roll-overs and clicking for more info!
AND – you can add your own events.
In short, we’re now providing fans with an indispensible tool for planning their cons, one with comprehensive information and an easy to use interface.
No longer will you have to say “These aren’t the events I was looking for.”
Mini-editorial: We’ve been working towards this pretty much from the launch of the website. We’ve long believed that a comprehensive, one-stop-shopping events calendar is a must for the Fan community. Many more conventions than most realize are held every month, most of them small, intimate affairs with little to no marketing or advertising outside of a very small local footprint.
Yes, there are a few websites out there, and Erwin ‘Filthy Pierre’ Straus continues to do yeoman’s work for a couple of the print magazines (and continues to put his events rack out at conventions), but these efforts are limited in scope for a variety of legitimate reasons.
We wanted to go beyond that and we think that we’ve succeeded.
Want your convention to be seen by over 45,000 convention-going fans? Go click that button that says “Submit Your Event”, right there on the events calendar. There’s an easy to use interface that will let you add an image, set your dates and locations, contact information, website, select multiple ‘types’ of con (there’s 23 different categories and we’ll add more as needed!); you can add your own description of the event, enter costs, venue and more.
Check out the sample page below or visit The Events Calendar here – here.
And if you visit those pages and come away saying “But my event isn’t in there” – ADD IT!
(6) WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED. Andrew Liptak told readers
of The Verge that although the movie adaptation has never been released,
be a Three-Body Problem TV series in the works:
China’s biggest science fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem, is being developed for a potential television series, according to CX Live. If it happens, it’ll come after the massive success of another big sci-fi adaptation from the country, The Wandering Earth.
Chinese entertainment company YooZoo Entertainment holds the rights to the series, and it’s apparently working on an adaptation of the book. CX Live discovered a publicity form submitted to the Chinese government that lists the production details of the proposed series, which will apparently run for 24 episodes and could begin shooting this September.
Day of the Tentacle wasn’t the only splendid adventure game which LucasArts released in 1993. Some five months after that classic, just in time for Christmas, they unveiled Sam & Max Hit the Road.
At first glance, the two games may seem disarmingly, even dismayingly similar; Sam and Max is yet another cartoon comedy in an oeuvre fairly bursting with the things. Look a little harder, though, and some pronounced differences in the two games’ personalities quickly start to emerge. Day of the Tentacle is clever and funny in a mildly subversive but family-friendly way, very much of a piece with the old Warner Bros. cartoons its aesthetic presentation so consciously emulates. Sam & Max, however, is something else entirely, more in tune with an early 1990s wave of boundary-pushing prime-time cartoons for an older audience — think The Simpsons and Beavis & Butt-Head — than the Saturday morning reels of yore. Certainly there are no life lessons to be derived herein; steeped in postmodern cynicism, this game has a moral foundation that is, as its principal creator once put, “built on quicksand.” Yet it has a saving grace: it’s really, really funny. If anything, it’s even funnier than Day of the Tentacle, which is quite a high bar to clear. This is a game with some real bite to it — and I’m not just talking about the prominent incisors on Max, the violently unhinged rabbit who so often steals the show.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 21, 1938 — Ron Ely, 81. Doc Savage in Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, a film I saw a long time ago and remember little about. He was also, fittingly enough, Tarzan in that NBC late Sixties series. Somewhere Philip Jose Farmer is linking the two characters… other notable genre roles included being a retired Superman from an alternate reality in a two-part episode “The Road to Hell” of the Superboy series, and playing five different characters on the original Fantasy Island which may or may not be a record.
Born June 21, 1932 — Lalo Schifrin, 87. Argentina-American pianist and composer of the music for the original Mission: Impossible series along with The Four Musketeers (1974 version), The Amityville Horror, The Mask of Sheba, The Hellstrom Chronicle, THX 1138, The Cat from Outer Space and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to select some of his work.
Born June 21, 1947 — Michael Gross, 72. Ok, I’ll admit that I’ve a fondness for the Tremors franchise in which he plays the extremely well-armed graboid hunter Burt Gummer. Other than the Tremors franchise, he hasn’t done a lot of genre work as I see just an episode of The Outer Limits where he was Professor Stan Hurst in “Inconstant Moon” (wasn’t that a Niven story?) and voicing a few Batman Beyond and Batman: The Animated Series characters.
Born June 21, 1952 — David J. Skal, 67. Vampires! He’s an academic expert on them and horror in general, so he’s got a number of with his first being Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen. He followed that up with a more general work, The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. And then he produced The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror which links horror films to what is going on in culture at that time, ie AIDS. His latest book was a biography of Bram Stoker, Something in the Blood.
Born June 21, 1957 — Berkeley Breathed, 62. ISFDB on the basis of a chapbook called Mars Needs Moms is willing to include him as genre but I’d argue that Bloom County which includes a talking penguin is genre as they are fantastic creatures.
Born June 21, 1964 — David Morrissey, 55. His most well-known role is playing The Governor on The Walking Dead (which is a series that I’ve not seen and have no interest in seeing) but I saw his brilliant performance as Jackson Lake, the man who who believed he was The Doctor in “The Next Doctor”, a Tenth Doctor adventure which was an amazing story. He was also Theseus in The Storyteller: Greek Myths, and played Tyador Borlú in the BBC adaption of China Mieville’s The City & The City. I’ll admit that I’m very ambivalent about seeing it as I’ve heard the novel at least a half dozen times and have my own mental image of what it should be. He has also shows up in Good Omens as Captain Vincent.
Born June 21, 1965 — Steve Niles, 54. Writer best- known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark and Batman: Gotham County Line. I’ve read his Criminal Macabre: The Complete Cal McDonald Stories and the the graphic novel — great bit of horror! Sam Raimi adapted 30 Days of Night into a film.
Born June 21, 1969 — Christa Faust, 50. It does not appear that she’s written any original fiction save one nove with Poppy Z. Brite called Triads but she’s certainly had a lot of media tie-in work including novels set in the Final Destination, Friday the Thirteenth, Fringe, Gabriel Hunt, Nightmare on Elm Street, Supernatural and Twilight Zone universes. Did you know there’s an entire ecology of novels, fan fiction, a game, comics, even an encyclopedia guide, September’s Notebook — The Bishop Paradox made around Fringe? I hadn’t until I was researching her. One of the perks of doing this.
Born June 21, 1979 — Chris Pratt, 40. Starlord in the MCU film franchise. His first genre role was voicing Jake in the “Attack of the Terrible Trio” episode of The Batman series. After that, he’s largely confined himself to the MCU with the exception of being Owen Grady in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Last week we began a series of movie cliche illustrations by Ian Gunn. This week we look at villains’ habits of climbing to the highest room in the tallest tower — then falling off. And here are some of New York’s finest, puffing and panting their way in pursuit of said villain… who is climbing to the highest room in the tallest tower.
Kathe’s debut novel The Cipher, for which she won a Bram Stoker Award, had a tremendous impact on the horror field — as much of an impact on horror, in fact, as William Gibson’s first novel Neuromancer did on science fiction — a tremendously rare thing for a debut. She’s also written historical fiction, such as her Under the Poppy trilogy, as well as a number of young adult novels, starting with Straydog in 2002, and most recently Headlong. Her short stories have been published in Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Realms of Fantasy, F&SF, and many other magazines, plus anthologies such as Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells and Redshift: Extreme Visions of Speculative Fiction. She is the founder of nerve, a Detroit-based immersive theatre company.
We snuck away during StokerCon to San Chez Bistro. Not only is this tapas restaurant well-reviewed and highly rated, but they’re also amazingly sensitive to the needs of their guests, so much so they have multiple full specialized menus — not just a Vegan menu, but ones for soy allergies, tree nut allergies, citrus allergies, shellfish allergies and more. It’s one of the most accommodating restaurants I’ve ever visited when it comes to food preferences. My one regret from my trip to Grand Rapids is that time didn’t permit me to experience the full dinner menu.
We discussed her love of immersive theater (and dissected her previous night’s performance at StokerCon), why her groundbreaking debut novel The Cipher will always be The Funhole in her heart, what caused her to move into the YA world after her dark adult novels and why it’s harder to write for a younger audience, how she accidentally wrote her Under the Poppy trilogy, the allure of writing historical novels, how being in the presence of Kate Wilhelm at Clarion changed her life, what she got out of her many collaborations with Barry Malzberg and others, plus much, much more.
I did have a couple of stylistic issues with the novel. The primary one is that some of the dialogue doesn’t feel realistic. Elmore Leonard once said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it,” and some of the dialogue here definitely sounds like writing.
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin continues the Children of Time universe in a mostly standalone braid of stories of terraforming, Uplift and first contact.
…The novel follows two strands in the web of plot. In the “past” timeline, a human exploration ship before their fall into a dark age (and subsequent revival) has come into a likely solar system looking for a planet to terraform. What they find are two candidate planets, a marginal glaciated one, Damascus, that might be melted into terraformability, and a second inner one, Nod, that, much to their disappointment is already full of indigenous life. That strange alien life is worth study, but it means the planet is not really suited for future colonization. But within that life on Nod is a surprise. On Damascus, in the meantime, a crew member’s idea to use octpodes to help in the colonization will have unexpected consequences.
In the present day, a Human/Portiids (Spider) exploration ship with a clone of the AI from Children of Time, has arrived in that same solar system thousands of years later, to find, to their shock and surprise, what has happened in the interim to the two planets. The humans are gone, but on both planets, their legacy and inheritors are most definitely in evidence, and much more than the explorers anticipated…
(15) THE REASONS. Ian Sales tells
what he thought about “The Hugos
2019, novellas” and why at It Doesn’t Have To Be Right. This is
an excerpt from his take on Binti: the Night Masquerade.
…I’m no fan of exposition, and I disagree entirely with Kim Stanley Robinson’s statement “it’s just another form of narrative”, and “streamlining exposition into the narrative” is another piece of writing advice that gets my back up… Which is not to say there’s zero info-dumping in Binti: the Night Masquerade. There’s plenty. But it’s all about Binti and her culture, or that of her male companion. The rest of the world is so sketchy it might as well have been made-up on the spot by Binti herself. I really do not rate these novellas, and I’m mystified by the love shown to them.
(16) CANCEL CULTURE. Remember that petition signed by 20,000 calling on Netflix to cancel Good Omens? Well, they did. And Amazon Prime returned the favor.
(17) BY THE YARD. The New York Times points to
another Amazon Prime offering, reruns of a Fifties show with Boris Karloff.
‘Colonel March of Scotland Yard’ When to watch: Now, on Amazon.
This is more specimen than gem, but there aren’t that many shows from the 1950s available to stream — and this one, starring Boris Karloff in an eye patch, has a fun spookiness. Karloff plays Colonel March, who works in the “department of queer complaints,” and thus solves mysteries of all sorts. How can he do it all? one character marvels. “Because I’m a student of the major obsessions of our time: food, finance, fashion and frenzied love,” he replies. Sounds fun.
(18) TALES OF SUPER SCIENCE. You can thank a black rocket scientist from Alabama for both the
Super Soaker and the Nerf Blaster. Assuming, of course, that you weren’t
traumatized as a child by being blasted by either one of those at an
embarrassing time (or place). Smithsonian Magazine: “The Accidental
Invention of the Super Soaker”. Tagline: “A leak in a heat pump gave rocket scientist
Lonnie Johnson the idea for his powerful squirt gun”
You might think it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to invent a squirt gun like the Super Soaker. But Lonnie Johnson, the inventor who devised this hugely popular toy that can drench half the neighborhood with a single pull of the trigger, actually worked on the Galileo and Cassini satellite programs and at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he helped develop the B2 stealth bomber.
Johnson is a prodigious creator, holding more than 120 patents on a variety of products and processes, including designs for film lithium batteries, electrochemical conversion systems, heat pumps, therminonic generators and various items to enhance battery production, including a thin-film ceramic proton-conducting electrolyte. In addition to serious-science inventions, Johnson has also patented such versatile and amusing concepts as a hair drying curler apparatus, wet diaper detector, toy rocket launcher and Nerf Blasters. Yes, that rapid-fire system with foam darts that tempts the child in all of us to mount ambushes on unsuspecting relatives and pets.
“I’m a tinkerer,” Johnson says. “I love playing around with ideas and turning them into something useful or fun.”
In the 1820s, Augustin Fresnel invented a new kind of lens and installed it in France’s Cordouan lighthouse. Suddenly, one lamp could light the way for sailors many miles out to sea.
Since antiquity, lighted beacons have guided ships to port. The earliest lighthouses were controlled fires on hilltops that warned vessels that they were approaching land. Over time, these signals were powered by burning coal or oil lamps backed by mirrors, which could reach navigators further out to sea. But lamp power was no match for a dark and stormy night; over centuries, broken hulls and wind-whipped sails ran aground as ships’ captains and crew perished within, unable to spot the coastline before it was too late.
All that changed in the early 1820s, when a French physicist invented a new kind of lens: a ring of crystalline prisms arranged in a faceted dome that could reflect refracted light. Augustin Fresnel installed his creation in the Phare de Cordouan, a towering lighthouse situated in France’s Gironde estuary, about 100km north of Bordeaux. Suddenly, one lamp could illuminate the way for sailors many nautical miles out to sea.
Anyway. Time for me to don my World’s Worst Film Critic hat and look at the films this year. They’re all good, you see. They get shown on a screen that’s bigger than my bedroom! Nobody would do that if the films weren’t any good, right?
(22) PLAN F***. Rachel Bloom featured in a video that
illustrated the host’s topical comments on state abortion laws on Jimmy
[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse
Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Andrew
Liptak, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to
File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
(1) SUPERHEROES BY ACCIDENT.
The DC Universe streaming service debuts Doom Patrol on February 15.
Just like us. Only totally different. #DCUDoomPatrol series premiere on February 15, only on #DCUNIVERSE. DOOM PATROL reimagines one of DC’s most beloved groups of Super Heroes: Robotman aka Cliff Steele (BRENDAN FRASER), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (MATT BOMER), Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (APRIL BOWLBY) and Crazy Jane (DIANE GUERRERO), led by modern-day mad scientist Niles Caulder aka The Chief (TIMOTHY DALTON). Each member of the Doom Patrol suffered a horrible accident that gave them superhuman abilities, but also left them scarred and disfigured. Traumatized and downtrodden, the team found their purpose through The Chief, coming together to investigate the weirdest phenomena in existence. Following the mysterious disappearance of The Chief these reluctant heroes will find themselves in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg (JOIVAN WADE), who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse. Part support group, part Super Hero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of superpowered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them.
One of the best-known of the 150-plus stories Emshwiller published between 1954 and 2016, is the often-anthologized “Pelt,” which was most recently reprinted in the Library of America collection, The Future Is Female! Describing the trek of a trophy hunter accompanied by his dog on a distant planet; the story is told from the dog’s point of view—one of Emshwiller’s numerous tales that explore the interactions of predators and prey or that adopt a non-human perspective. “I took several classes in prey animal psychology, which actually were classes on the psychology of everything,” she explained in her Contemporary Authors essay. “About how we, being predators and having predators such as cats and dogs around us all the time, understand predators, but know very little about prey animals.”
Our payment system is back online for all those who have been patiently waiting to book their memberships to this year’s Convention. If you’re ready to buy your membership please click through the link below where you’ll find the button to our Grenadine site for credit or debit card payments using Stripe.
Our Membership Rates are currently the same as they were prior to taking the sales page down to change payment systems, so those who have been trying to book have not lost out at all. These rates are:
EK: We are going to do something today that I’m incredibly excited about, because I have never done it before. We’re going to build a world. What is world building, in the science fiction/fantasy sense, because it seems to have a specific meaning that those who aren’t familiar with it may just not know. NKJ: It does. It’s one of the things that makes SFF unique among literary forms, just because you’re not doing a story in the first world, which is what we call our world/this world. We’re often using secondary worlds, i.e. worlds that aren’t earth. Could be another planet, another reality, could be another universe! It’s somewhere where the laws of physics don’t work the same way. there may be magic, there might be creatures or beings that don’t exist in our world. Could be strange environmental circumstances, but who knows. It’s a staple of science fiction and fantasy writing.
This collection of 25 stories from speculative fiction’s sharpest voices presents visions of future Americas that are born, bloody and aching, from the peril and difficulty of this present moment.
In his introduction, editor Victor LaValle writes about how this book derives from the project of its namesake, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States — the story of this place, as told by its people, all of its people. Indigenous and immigrant, female and queer and poor, rural and urban; a history spoken by the voiceless. This collection is full of futures which belong to the same people Zinn centered.
They are, in majority, not comfortable or easy futures — nor would one expect them to be, derived as they are from the second year of the Trump presidency and its pervasive damage to the marginalized of the United States. Several of these stories are brutal in their plausible despair — but all of them are rich with an undercurrent of, if not resistance, then the profound resilience of human beings, particularly those who have too often been denied rights and voices. As a whole, the collection challenges the ideas of who the people of the future United States might be — and therefore also challenges assumptions about who the people of the United States are now.
(7) SFRA. The Science
Fiction Research Association’s Support
a New Scholar Award has been won by Beata
Gubacsi. This excellence-based grant is helps fund one graduate student of
outstanding promise by covering SFRA membership costs for two years.
Beata Gubacsi is a PhD candidate at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests are genre, trauma, climate and animal studies, technology in medicine and health care with a focus on gaming and mental health. While working on her thesis, “Literature of Monstrosity: Posthumanism and the New Weird”, she has also been involved in Bluecoat Liverpool’s science fiction projects as part of her LiNK placement, and co-hosting and facilitating workshops at the Being Human Festival, Tate Exchange, and Nottingham New Art Exchange. She is author of the column, “Medical Humanities 2.0”, for The Polyphony, the blog of the Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University while also running the Current Research in Speculative Fiction Conference. Most recently, she has joined the team of the Fantastika Journal as assistant reviews editor.
(8) IMPROVING THE CLASSICS. Hayati Evren’s art is news to me!
The renowned French cartoonist, author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer, a lifelong activist who protested against racial segregation, the Vietnam war and the election of US President Donald Trump, has died at the age of 87 in Ireland, his former adviser told AFP on Saturday.
…He was obsessed with books from an early age.
“For me, if there was a heaven it would be a library,” he told AFP in a 2016 interview, adding that he was “brought up on reading”.
Ungerer’s oeuvre ranged from globally celebrated children’s books like The Three Robbers and The Moon Man to erotic drawings as well as satirical paintings and political posters. He wrote in three languages: English, French and German.
He published over 140 books which have been translated into 30 languages.
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
February 10, 1957 –Roger Corman’s Not Of This Earth premiered in theatres.
February 10, 1957 — Attack Of The Crab Monsters debuted.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 10, 1904 — Lurton Blassingame. Literary agent for Heinlein. No, usually I don’t do such creatures here but he makes the birthday list because Grumbles from the Grave has more letters to Blassingame than to any other correspondent. And even some of Blassingames’s letters to Heinlein are included. (Died 1988)
Born February 10, 1906 — Lon Chaney Jr. I certainly best remember him as playing Larry Talbot in The Wolf Man but he has a lot of other roles as well: The Ghost of Frankenstein as The Monster (hey, correct billing!), The Mummy’s Tomb as The Mummy Kharis or Son of Dracula as Count Dracula, he played all the great monsters, often multiple times. (Died 1973.)
Born February 10, 1920 — Robert Park Mills. He was the managing editor of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine beginning in 1948 and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction the following year. He also edited Venture Science Fiction for several years. Under him, F&SF won an impressive three Hugo Awards for best magazine in 1959, 1960 and 1963. (Died 1986.)
Born February 10, 1929 — Jerry Goldsmith. Composer whose music grace many a genre undertaking including, and this is nona completing listing, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Poltergeist, Planet of the Apes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series, Star Trek: Voyager, The Mummy, The Twilight Zone (need I say the original series?) and he even did the music for Damnation Alley! (Died 2004.)
Born February 10, 1953 — John Shirley, 66. I not going to even attempt a complete précis of his career. I read and much enjoyed his first novel City Come A-Walkin and oddly enough his Grimm: The Icy Touch is damn good too in way many of those sharecropped novels aren’t. I see that to my surprise he wrote a episode of Deep Space Nine, “Visionary” and also wrote three episodes of the ‘12 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Born February 10, 1967 — Laura Dern, 52. Ok I’m going to note she’s in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet as Sandy Williams which is not genre but which is one fucking weird film. Jurassic Park where she is Dr. Ellie Sattler is her first SF film followed by Jurassic Park III and a name change to Dr. Ellie Degler. Such are the things movie trivia is made of. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has her showing as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. I think her first genre appearance was on Shelley Duvall’s Nightmare Classics series as Rebecca in “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” episode.
Born February 10, 1992 — Karen Fukuhara, 27. She is known for her role of Katana in Suicide Squad, as well as voicing Glimmer in the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power series. She plays Female in The Boys, the forthcoming web series based on The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
(12) COMICS SECTION.
Frazz knows that gravity sucks; maybe just enough suckage.
(13) LOVE WILL BE PROVED.
Chuck Tingle today announced he’ll be a guest at CONvergence
in Minneapolis over the July 4-7 weekend.
In 2016 Tingle was nominated for a Hugo Award for his short story, Space Raptor Butt Invasion. As a response to an alt-right fan group conspiring to politicize his works, Tingle announced video game designer and anti-harassment activist Zoë Quinn would accept the award on his behalf if he won. His story did not win and Tingle subsequently published Pounded in the Butt by My Hugo Award Loss, which went viral on social media.
Billings newspaper The New York Times says, “By creating an online community in which his particular outlook—what he calls his ‘unique way’—is not just accepted but celebrated, Mr. Tingle has delivered a strong rebuke to the intolerant forces that used him as a prop in attacking diverse voices in the sci-fi world.”
(14) MISSY SERIES. Big Finish has released Missy, Series
1, audio adventures with Doctor Who’s rival, voiced by Michelle Gomez.
Missy… alone, unleashed and unfettered. What does she get up to when the Doctor isn’t around? Well, Missy has a plan. And to carry it out, she’s going to have to break some rules. And people. And planets. Look out universe, Missy is on a mission. And nobody is going to stop her…
“Get to the choppa!” is about to take on a whole new meaning. Silver Screen Bottling Company and Fox Studios have joined forces to release Dutch Bourbon Whiskey, a tie-in brand paying tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, Maj. Alan “Dutch” Schaefer, in John McTiernan’s 1987 sci-fi action classic Predator.
According to the bottler, the spirit’s logo is emblazoned with, yes, a chopper set against the targeting crosshairs made famous by the alien hunter with Ah-nuld’s now iconic line “Get to the chopper.”
(18) DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF
ELECTRIC CATS? [Item by Mike
Kennedy.]Cat Trigger Warning: Fast
Company wants you to know, “This AI dreams about cats–and they’ll
haunt your nightmares.” They look at some work Nvidia has done with their
AI StyleGAN—beyond generating human faces that don’t actually exist (for which
they grabbed tons of headlines). It turns out that they’re also into SJW
Credential (AI Weirdness: “Letting neural networks be weird • GANCats”). Some
of the generated cate are… just… a… bit… bizarre…
A few months ago, Nvidia’s AI photo generation technology went viral. The media marveled at the uncanny technological power of the company’s engine, called StyleGAN, which generates photos of people that don’t actually exist.
But while people were busy gawking at how real these machine-generated people looked, they missed the other important part of Nvidia’s experiment: Computer-generated cats.
(19) TANGLED UP IN BLUE.
Walt Disney Studios released a new trailer for its live-action Aladdin. I’m not worried whether Will Smith
can fill Robin Williams’ slippers – because I know nobody can! The movie comes
to theaters May 24.
Cora Buhlert, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, Carl Slaughter. Chip
Hitchcock, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Michael J. Walsh, Bonnie McDaniel, Cat
Eldridge, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes
to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]
(1) STOKER DEADLINE. Horror Writers Association Member Recommendations for the Bram Stoker Awards close on January 15, 2019 11:59 p.m. PST. Administrators warn that no recommendations will be accepted after the dates and times listed.
(2) NAILING DOWN THE DATE. The
Minneapolis convention Convergence is moving to the Fourth of July, for reasons
in a press release.
…As our community knows, the Convergence Events, Inc. Board of Directors has chosen to move CONvergence from the DoubleTree Bloomington to the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis starting with our twenty-first convention on July 4th – 7th, 2019.
Due to conditions outside of the Board of Directors’ control, this decision had to be made quickly in order to secure the location for the next five years. This has resulted in possible convention dates outside our normal convention dates. To do otherwise would have resulted in additional moves to other hotels, more extreme date changes, and/or limited convention space and events.
N.K. Jemisin’s story “The Ones Who Stay and Fight” takes place in a near-utopia in which everyone is equally valued. Some curious residents, however, cannot resist the urge to eavesdrop on a very different world — one in which inequality is rife and violence is widespread and justice does not prevail: our world. They listen to our radio and watch our TV and tap into our social media. In doing so, they glean information about our ways. This knowledge infects them like a virus. They know there will be severe consequences. And yet the information-gleaners, like info-gleaners everywhere, cannot bring themselves to stop.
Amanda immortalized this sweet and rather profound moment in a short video, shared here with the kind permission of everyone involved:
(5) DIABETES RESEARCH AND
EDUCATION FUNDRAISER. SFF writer Christopher Rowe
is a Clarion West graduate, a SFWA member, and has been a finalist for the
Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Seiun Awards. He emailed: “I
was recently (on December 10th, 2018) diagnosed with what was described to me
as a ‘dangerously out of control’ case of Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve had to make a
lot of life adjustments because of this, as you might imagine. One thing I’m
doing is training for the 62-mile leg of the Kentucky edition of this year’s
Tour de Cure, an annual fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.”
I used to be an active road cyclist in and around Central Kentucky, riding from my home in downtown Lexington. But that was years ago, and my beautiful Lemond Tourmalet bicycle has been gathering dust in my workshop for too long to recount.
But I had already decided that 2019 would be the year I return to the road even before I received my diagnosis, and the commitment I have made to taking control of my condition, and to sustained, disciplined self-management through exercise, diet, and scrupulous attention to my healthcare team’s advice, including taking medications, dovetails perfectly with the Tour de Cure.
Please consider making a donation to the American Diabetes Association’s crucial research and educational efforts through this webpage.
I have a ways to go before I’m in the physical shape I’ll need to be in to complete the Tour. We have a ways to go before any of us can rest easy about diabetes. But we’ll get there.
Rowe is already getting strong support from the sff
community, and could use lots more: “Quite a few sf/fantasy folks–mainly
writers and editors–have donated so far. My colleagues in George RR Martin’s
Wild Cards Consortium have been especially generous, and there are more people
whose names File 770 readers would
recognize if they hadn’t chosen to donate anonymously. I have set myself quite
a task with a goal of raising $10,000 by June 1st, but I believe I can do it.”
OF THRONES TEASER. A glimpse of Season 8 of Game of
Thrones in “Crypts of Winterfell.”
(7) LASH OBIT. Comics
creator Batton Lash
died January 12 of brain cancer. He was 65. His wife, Jackie Estrada, said “He
died in our home accompanied by friends, family, and caregivers. We have no
plans for services yet, but at some point we will have celebrations of life in
both San Diego and New York.”
January 13, 1930 — Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted in newspapers.
January 13, 1957 — The Wham-O Company developed the first frisbee.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born January 13, 1933 – Ron Goulart, 86. First I must acknowledge that he is very prolific and uses many pseudonyms to wit Kenneth Robeson, Con Steffanson, Chad Calhoun, R.T. Edwards, Ian R. Jamieson, Josephine Kains, Jillian Kearny, Howard Lee, Zeke Masters, Frank S. Shawn, and Joseph Silva. (Eeek!) you did the see Doc Savage one in there, didn’t you? I’m reasonably sure that the I’ve read a lot of his fiction including the Flash Gordon series, his Avenger series, maybe a bit of the Vampirella novels, the Incredible Hulk definitely, not the Groucho Marx series though it sounds fun, and, well, damn he’s prolific. So what have you have read by him that you like?
Born January 13, 1943 – Richard Moll, 76. Ahhh though I remember him best from Night Court that’s not genre, but I’ve found that he voiced Harvey Dent aka Two-Face on Batman: The Animated Series with other appearances on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Mork & Mindy, Fantasy Island, Jurassic: Stone Age, Headless Horseman, Scary Movie 2, The Flintstones and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.
Born January 13, 1945 – Joy Chant, 74. Chant is an odd case as she only wrote for a short period between 1970 and 1983 but she produced a brilliant fantasy trilogy, the House of Kendreth trilogy, consisting of Red Moon and Black Mountain, The Grey Mane of Morning and When Voiha Wakes. Her other main work, and it is without doubt truly brilliant, is The High Kings, illustrated lavishly by George Sharp and designed by David Larkin with editing by Ian and Betty Ballantine. It is intended as a reference work on the Arthurian legends and the Matter of Britain with her amazing retellings of the legends. I’ve got one reference to her writing Fantasy and Allegory in Literature for Young Readers but no cites for it elsewhere.
Born January 13, 1947 – Peter Elson. Illustrator whose life was far too short as he died of a heart attack. If you were reading SF between the early seventies and the late eighties, it’s likely that you saw his astonishing artwork. I found him doing covers for the Sphere edition of Asimov’s Pebble in the Sky, a Mayflower edition of Leiber’s Swords Against Death and a Methuen edition in Canada on Zelazny’s To Die in Italbar, but a few of the several hundred covers he did. There’s an excellent website for him here: http://www.peterelson.co.uk/ (Died 1998.)
Born January 13, 1952 – Jonathan R. Eller, 67. Scholar, Ray Bradbury specialist in this case. Two full length works, Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound, plus some thirty shorter works including “Textual Commentary (The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition: Volume I: 1938-1943)” and “Annotations (Match to Flame: The Fictional Path to Fahrenheit 451)”. He interviewed Bradbury twice, once in Cemetery Dance #65, listed as being published in 2011.
Born January 13, 1960 – Mark Chadbourn, 59. I’ve read his Age of Misrule series in which the Celtic Old Gods are returning in modern times and they’re not very nice. It’s followed by the Dark Age series which is just as well crafted. His two Hellboy novels are actually worth reading as well.
(10) BROADWAY FANDOM’S
ANNUAL GATHERING. BroadwayCon was
held this weekend (January 11-13) in New York City. Martin Morse Wooster looked into it and
learned, “It’s like a fan con, with parties, a dealer’s room, cosplay, and
getting autographs but it’s for
theater geeks in Manhattan! So they have panels like ‘My Descent Into
HAMILTON Fandom.’ I learned that fans of the musical Newsies are ‘Fansies.’ I think I would enjoy the ‘Shakespeare
discovered this parallel fandom because Three
on the Aisle,” a theater podcast he likes, did a live session there.
He continues –
BroadwayCon is put on by Mischief Management and was co-founded by Melissa Anelli. She comes out of Harry Potter fandom and wrote Harry: A History, which I read and is an entertaining book if you want to read about really obsessed Harry Potter fans. Mischief Management’s other cons are Con of Thrones in Nashville for Game of Thrones fans and two LeakyCons for Harry Potter fans, which will be held this year in Dallas and Boston.
Russia’s only space radio telescope is no longer responding to commands from Earth, officials say.
Astro Space Centre chief Nikolai Kardashev said some of the Spektr-R satellite’s communication systems had stopped working.
But it was still transmitting scientific data, RIA Novosti news agency reports.
The telescope has been operational way beyond its expected five-year lifespan, Russia’s space agency Roskosmos says.
(12) STRUMMIN’ ON THE OLD
BANJO. John Scalzi outlines his “Revenue
Streams, 2018” for Whatever readers.
Domestic and foreign sales, TV/movie options, speaking engagements, etc., and a
little comic relief —
10. Download/Streaming payments on my music: Wait, what, now? Weirdly, it’s true! I have an album of music you can download or stream, and apparently people actually have or do, since the payments show up in my PayPal account. I made dozens of dollars with my music last year! Dozens!!!
(13) ON ANNIHLATION. Lessons from the Screenplay brings viewers
“Annihilation — The Art of Self-Destruction.”
The days when hungry college students had to physically walk to the cafeteria (or the dorm room vending machine, or the corner convenience store) to get a snack are numbered. This week, PepsiCo unleashed a fleet of snack-wielding, self-driving robots across the University of the Pacific’s Stockton, California campus. If all goes well, college snack-botscould become a pretty common sight in the not-so-distant future.
…The robots were made in collaboration with Bay Area-based Robby Technologies, who say of their creations: “the size and dimensions evoke feelings of a small pet walking down the street.” They’re not wrong! According to a press release, the kinda-cute delivery-bots can travel over 20 miles on a single charge, and are outfitted with cameras and headlights that allow them to navigate in full darkness or rain. They’re also equipped with all-wheel drive, which lets them climb steep hills and handle curbs without tipping over.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]
Salt Lake City FanX co-founder Bryan Brandenburg is stepping aside in response to criticism of his handling of a report of harassment.
Brandenburg told Fox 13 News Thursday he is taking an “immediate and indefinite” leave of absence.
He said he wants his decision to step down from the convention to show the women who have complained that he has heard their complaints. He said it was a hard decision to leave the company he founded with Dan Farr in 2013, but he would rather step aside so that the fan base can thrive.
With authors, celebrities and a major publishing house saying they will pull out of FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention over its insensitive response to sexual-harassment accusations, organizers say they will donate an unspecified amount to the Time’s Up campaign and reduce the public role of co-founders Bryan Brandenburg and Dan Farr.
Brandenburg set off a firestorm on social media this week by posting about best-selling Utah author Shannon Hale, who was questioning FanX’s handling of a sexual-harassment accusation against Utah author Richard Paul Evans.
Without contacting Hale, FanX social media manager Manda Bull posted Tuesday that the convention was inviting her to join a new committee to improve its recently revised anti-harassment policy. The author said Wednesday she’s not interested.
…Since Monday’s dust-up, two celebrities booked for FanX — Lindsay Jones and Arryn Zech, voice actors on the popular anime-style web series “RWBY” — have canceled their appearances. Several authors, showing solidarity with Hale, also have said they will skip the convention.
On Tuesday, one of Utah’s biggest publishing houses — Shadow Mountain Publishing, an imprint run by LDS Church-owned Deseret Book — ended its association with FanX.
…It was the Shadow Mountain booth where, according to a complaint filed with event organizers, Evans harassed a woman at last September’s convention. The woman told FanX in a written account that Evans “touched me several times and went so far as to kiss my cheek. I had never met him before … but he made me very uncomfortable and even said, ‘You’re so pretty’ after he touched me, as though he couldn’t help himself.”
…In an interview that aired Tuesday on KUTV-Channel 2, Evans told reporter Chris Jones that “there is a war on men, and that men — white men in particular — are under attack, oppressed by a changing culture, victims of an extremist feminist agenda.” Evans compared the plight of white men in America to “Jews in Nazi Germany.”
Larry Niven will be unable to attend Balticon this year:
We are sorry to report that at the last minute Larry Niven developed a problem that will prevent him from traveling to Baltimore and attending Balticon 52. He suffered a minor complication from a recent eye procedure and lthough is readily reparable it needs to be fixed soon and will require a week or so of bed rest. Riding in a pressurized aircraft is not a good plan at the moment as it could cause his retinas to go all retrograde. He sends his regrets, and we send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
The Worldcon 76 Hugo Team are working on testing the Hugo Voter Packet and expect to have it online shortly, within the next few days.
The Hugo Voter Packet is a collection of finalist works for the 2018 Hugo Awards and 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards, made available to members of Worldcon 76 to better allow voters to make their decisions when voting on the Hugo Awards. Finalists’ works that appear in the Hugo Award Packet appear through the courtesy of the finalists, publishers, and rights-holders. Not all finalists will be in the Packet.
(4) COPYEDITOR’S CORNER. Is it just me? I find the wording of this headline troubling. It probably wasn’t written by the author of the article itself who knows how to make her points.
For decades, the field of fantasy books was dominated by white men penning tales about dwarfs, elves, and other Norse-based mythology. Today, that’s changing as diverse writers are bringing fresh voices to the field, incorporating the myths and legends of cultures around the world. “People have been trying to do this for decades,” says author Tomi Adeyemi. “It’s just that enough people have broken down the doors over the decades that we’re where we are now.” Certainly, speculative fiction writers since at least Octavia Butler, the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur Grant, have looked beyond Europe for inspiration. But no longer can they be dismissed as niche. From the $1 billion-plus box-office take of “Black Panther,” directed by Ryan Coogler, to the success of Ms. Adeyemi’s breakout debut, “Children of Blood and Bone,” audiences and readers are flocking to well-drawn worlds inspired by African and Asian countries. As one science fiction professor says, “We are not the field that thinks that what white men say is the only way to say things.”
(9) DOWN TO THE WIRE. One of Minnesota’s best-known conventions announced they are being squeezed in hotel negotiations and haven’t secured the DoubleTree Hotel for this July’s con, although they hope to. Lawyers are at work: “CONvergence 2018 Timing Update—Please Bear With Us”.
Dear CONvergence Members,
We wanted to make you aware of some ongoing negotiations regarding this year’s convention. Over the past year, the Board has been in conversation with the DoubleTree Hotel regarding the arrangements and logistics for CONvergence 2018. The hotel has put forth several demands regarding the practices and procedures of the convention. The Board has been negotiating with the DoubleTree regarding which demands we feel are reasonable and which are not. The Board’s main objective is to preserve and provide the best experience for our members.
Unfortunately, these negotiations have gone on longer than we had hoped and have not yet reached resolution. We do currently anticipate being able to hold this year’s convention on time, but must resolve these outstanding issues first. Because of these negotiations, we’ve had to delay some of our normal processes, including room reservations. We are working hard to bring everything to resolution as soon as possible and will keep you updated as quickly as we can, but due to the nature of the negotiations and on advice of counsel we can’t discuss in full detail. We appreciate your understanding.
For now, let’s continue to build those costumes, launch those campaigns, and get ready for the 20th year of CONvergence!
Martin’s children’s fantasy novel, The Ice Dragon, has been picked up by Warner Animation Group to be adapted for the big screen, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The writer will be actively involved with the project, acting as a producer. There is even a possibility he will take a crack at penning the script, although that is still to be determined (and will undoubtedly scare GoT fans who are awaiting him to finish the latest, long-in-the-works and who knows when it will come out novel).
How many times has this happened to you? You’re trying to organize the destruction of a major metropolitan area and the overthrow of a system you view as irredeemably corrupt, but you keep having to step out of the office to take a call. That problem is no more thanks to Bloxvox, the voice muffling muzzle that lets you plot to fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s destiny from the comfort of your desk.
The actual item is a “voice privacy tool” that’s supposed to let you make private phone calls in public place.
A new Kickstarter seeks money to develop Bloxvox — a Bane-like mask that’s supposed to let you make private phone calls in public places (think open-plan offices, airports, etc.). At this writing, the Kickstarter is approaching $2000 out of a $25,000 goal; that amount raised from a mere 15 backers. The device allows you to insert the microphone part of your earbuds into the mask, providing some level of voice muffling for your office mates (or the other people in the coffee shop or what have you) but none for the microphone. A head strap holds the mask in place while a hole in the front “allows you to breathe, while letting minimal sound escape.” A soft seal around your mouth is said to “[create] a comfortable fit and voice-blocking seal against your face.”
Watchmen, Damon Lindelof and HBO have announced the star-studded cast of the drama pilot take on Alan Moore’s beloved comic series.
The Leftovers grad Regina King will reunite with Lindelof on the HBO pilot and lead a cast that includes Don Johnson (Miami Vice), Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify) and Andrew Howard (Hatfields & McCoys).
Details about their respective characters are being kept under wraps.
(13) HE’S WHO? You can watch Dr. Michael Keaton’s complete Kent State University commencement address, or skip ahead to the genre-related peroration at about the 18:00 mark.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, JJ, Steven H Silver, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew, David Doering, Chip Hitchcock, David Doering, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]
When seeking reviews to link here, I’ve been surprised at how very many people start off with brilliantly written story summaries — then the review promptly ends, with very little having been said about what the writer accomplished or what the story adds to the genre.
(2) TOO MANY WORDS. But those reviews we’re complaining about above look like gems beside the work of The Literate Programmer at A Literate Programmer’s Blog who posted his “Hugo Awards – Best Novella” rankings with a confession –
…With the voting deadline for the Hugos coming up on the 15th, I decided that I wouldn’t have the time to read all the books in their entirety, and would instead just read far enough to get a feel for the style….
So I began once again working my way up to the novels, this time reading the novellas….
This Census-Taker by China Miéville was the first of the novellas I dug into. …However, the story definitely has a strange and slow start, so it was easy to move on….
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson sets up a nice inversion right from the beginning…. I didn’t finish it yet, but I expect it to take a rather darker turn eventually, tough not entirely too dark….
Then I picked up Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire and didn’t put it back down until I was done. …
Victor LaValle wrote the other novella I finished in its entirety, The Ballad of Black Tom …
The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe is another take on Lovecraft… Definitely something I will finish, as I want to know what happens to Vellit….
Last but not least comes Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold. I like what I’ve read so far and it’s entertaining …
Someone else might have spent the time it took to write this post on, oh, I don’t know, reading the rest of these novellas before voting?
So the other night I dreamed I was in the Tower of Definitive Editions, a giant structure literally built from the definitive editions of every book ever written. There was some kind of mechanism that would pluck the book that you wanted from the structure without either damaging the book or destabilizing the tower. (Maybe it stuffed the hole with John Grisham novels or something.)
I cringe whenever I hear someone say that ‘the show has changed’ in a negative context. The show hasn’t just changed, the world has changed and certainly no one has felt it more than the publishing industry. We all know change is hard but writing letters and blaming everyone else for your business woes sounds like an entitled kid that wants to take his ball and go home. Chuck had 4 1/2 decades of pursuing what he loved and built one of the most noteable shops in history- hashtag #FirstNerdWorldProblems. I want good men and companies like Chuck and Mile High to win and get the respect they deserve. No doubt he has paid his dues and has committed his life to providing comics to a legion of adoring fans. My hope is that he and his business continues to grow each year without relying on Comic-Con business. However, after his letter, I won’t shed a tear for him and I hope Comic-Con International doesn’t either. Chuck, just go to the island, Chris Pratt will be along shortly to welcome you.
The agency has laid out the plans for its DART mission – where it will send a space capsule the size of a fridge towards an asteroid to shoot it off course. For now, the mission is just a test, but in the future it could be used to save Earth from what scientists say is an underappreciated threat from asteroids.
The mission has now been approved by Nasa and will move into the preliminary design phase, getting ready for testing in a few years.
“DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique – striking the asteroid to shift its orbit – to defend against a potential future asteroid impact,” said Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This approval step advances the project toward an historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.”
DART’s target is an asteroid that will pass by Earth in 2022, and come back two years later. More specifically, it’s actually two asteroids: a binary system called Didymos B made up of a larger and a smaller rock.
It’s the smaller one that Nasa will try and knock off course. But by using a binary system, scientists will be able to check with more accuracy how well their test has worked.
The Twilight Zone episode, “A Penny for your Thoughts,” written by George Clayton Johnson was shopped around as a series where each episode would have a different cast experiencing the ability to read minds.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
July 9, 1982 – TRON premiered on this day.
(9) CLASSIC ROCHE. Next year’s Worldcon chair Kevin Roche makes a fashion statement in this (public) photo on Facebook.
While Howard’s tweet is amusing, it’s realistic to think that at some point Star Wars fans will grow tired of non-news “news” from the Han Solo set. Since Howard is relatively new to the project, perhaps he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing anything from a film that he hasn’t really taken ownership of yet, his presumably strict NDA aside. Hopefully, that time will come once he not only completes principal photography but the five weeks of reshoots which were previously budgeted into production. Only then will Howard be able to help shape the tone and vision that Han Solo co-writer Lawrence Kasdan originally intended.
(11) DRAGON QUEEN. TIME Magazine’s Daniel D’Addario, in “Emilia Clarke on Why Dragons Are Daenerys’ True Love on Game of Thrones”, has a lengthy interview with Emilia Clarke where she says “I’m five-foot nothing, I’m a little girl” and adds that she thought she would be sacked from Game of Thrones because it was her first job out of drama school and she felt insecure.
In their new book “National Security Cinema,” the pair argue that the Pentagon, CIA and National Security Agency have meddled in the production of at least 800 major Hollywood movies and 1,000 TV titles. That is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg, as they concede:
“It is impossible to know exactly how widespread this military censorship of entertainment is because many files are still being withheld.”
The books introduce subjects like rocket science, quantum physics and general relativity — with bright colors, simple shapes and thick board pages perfect for teething toddlers. The books make up the Baby University series — and each one begins with the same sentence and picture — This is a ball — and then expands on the titular concept.
In the case of general relativity: This ball has mass.
But some of the topics Ferrie covers are tough for even grown-ups to comprehend. (I mean, quantum physics? Come on.)
I should mention that the film is virtually without plot, so it requires some patience. Major stars and that title notwithstanding, A Ghost Story is not a Saturday-night date movie. More a provocative art film in the European sense. Though barely 87 minutes, it unfolds in long, static shots, most of them without faces to hang onto. It’s almost a film without genre, and by the end it’s become a story untethered from time itself.
Their titles practically shriek at you: Night of the Chupacabras, When I Was Alive, The Necropolis Symphony. Right away you can guess that these are films you might need to watch through your fingers, tales of horror to quicken the heart. But you might not know where they’re from. Step aside Carmen Miranda and The Girl from Ipanema, these frightfests are from Brazil.
The first point to make about War for the Planet of the Apes is that it isn’t actually about a war. There are a couple of Skirmishes for the Planet of the Apes and one brief Battle for the Planet of the Apes, but the all-out humans-v-hairies conflict that the title promises is nowhere to be seen. And that’s one reason why the film, for all of its technical wizardry and daring solemnity, is a let-down.
(19) GOOD NIGHT. Next year’s CONvergence GoH Elizabeth Bear signs off from this year’s con:
Good night Batgirls Good night catgirls Good night Buckys Good night Chewies Good night dinos Good night Kal-Els#cvg2017
Michael Lee of CONvergence, where Paul Cornell will appear in July, sends his answers to my survey questions about the gender balance initiative.
> Do you think Cornell’s initiative will change or has already changed your approach?
> Do you have any comments on Paul Cornell’s and Si Spurrier’s actions?
Michael Lee: It’s possible that since our convention’s theme is Women Characters and Creators this year, and we’ve had Paul as a guest, I might have something to add.
I’m the head of activities at CONvergence, and that means the programming department reports up to me, and I also sit on the board of directors for our non-profit. I was also a programming head for five years before that. This is primarily my own thoughts here, and isn’t an official CONvergence statement.
CONvergence had Paul Cornell as a guest of honor two years ago, and he’s returning on his own this year. He’s a popular and fantastic panelist and participant, and I respect what he’s trying to do here. Our convention theme this year is “Women Characters and Creators in Science Fiction in Fantasy” — and the organization chose to make all of our guests this year women, in part because we haven’t historically been as representative as we could have been with guests of honor, and we’re trying to do better. Our membership is very evenly matched with men and women, as well as having a mix of men and women on our staff all the way up to our board of directors.
One thing I did was I started to track the overall distribution a little closer than before in response to Paul’s request in our programming database for CONvergence — not because I expected that each panels will balance 50/50, and we don’t have genders identified for all of our panel participants. We’re still in the process, so I don’t know where we’re going to end up, and I’m sure we’ll have things that work well and things that don’t.
I believe that the threat of civil disobedience to make spontaneous programming replacements is something that most conventions can avoid with some co-operation with participants. I know that he’s made his request about being on gender-balanced programming items to CONvergence’s programming team, and that’s not really much different of a request than people who don’t want panels before noon, or don’t want to be on a panel with someone they don’t get along with, or that they want to be on a panel with their friends, or any number of other requests that people make to program teams. I know that we try to plan our programming schedule out far enough that we’re trying to work with Paul on specific items, just as we try to balance a lot of peoples’ desires to see what they want in programming.
I think Paul’s efforts have helped emphasize the issue of women on convention panels, and I think that is a good discussion to have. I think we’ve seen that across the wide variety of responses you’ve already had on this subject, by a lot of people that I have a lot of respect for.
I think it’s part of a larger movement that we’ve been seeing, not just in SF fandom, but also very strongly in comics fandom and Doctor Who fandom (which Paul is actively a part in as well), and other parts of the culture (like technology) where women making their presence known and acknowledging the institutional barriers to women (as well as other groups) in the culture. And really, I think it’s important for those of us that are conrunners toot just making programming participants more varied, but also making a stronger more diverse mix as guests of honor. And it’s also to seek out and be happy when you see a more varied mix of creators in books, comics, and television shows. We’re after all in a world where perhaps the most successful fantasy book series and the most successful science fiction book series are written by women. That needs to be reflected in our conventions as well.