JordanCon’s Bid to Rescue DeepSouthCon 54 Accepted

JordanCon’s emergency bid to host DeepSouthCon 54 in 2016 was accepted at this weekend’s Contraflow V/DeepSouthCon 53.

DeepSouthCon (DSC) is a traveling science fiction fan convention held in the southeastern United States, and is the oldest literary convention in the region.

JordanCon entered an emergency bid to host the 2016 DSC following the cancellation of the ABC DSC that was due to take place next May in Atlanta. The merger with JordanCon keeps next year’s DSC in Atlanta.

JordanCon 8/Deepsouthcon 54 takes place April 22-24, 2016 at the Atlanta Marriot Perimeter Center with guests of honor Catherine Asaro and artist John Picacio. Buy memberships here.

In addition to JordanCon programming, the convention will feature a DeepSouthCon track, a Hearts tournament, the annual meeting of the Southern Fandom Confederation, and presentation of the Rebel & Phoenix awards for 2016. JordanCon will also be administering the site selection for DSC 56.

Also decided this weekend: In a contested race, ConGregate in High Point, North Carolina has been selected to host the 2017 DSC. Second place choice, ConCave in Bowling Green, Kentucky will bid again next year for the 2018 DSC.

JordanCon Places Emergency Bid to Host DeepSouthCon 54

JordanCon will enter an emergency bid to host DeepSouthCon in 2016. This follows last month’s cancellation of the previously scheduled ABC DSC, which would have taken place in Atlanta next May.

DeepSouthCon (DSC) is a traveling science fiction fan convention held in the southeastern United States, and is the oldest literary convention in the region. DSC sponsors the Phoenix and Rebel awards.

Site selection ordinarily takes place two years in advance.

The next DSC will be Contraflow V/DeepSouthCon 53 over the October 2-4 weekend.

JordanCon hosted DeepSouthCon 51, during which the Phoenix was awarded to Robert Jordan, and the Rebel was awarded to Regina Kirby and M. Lee Rogers.

JordanCon 8 will take place on April 22-24, 2016, at the Atlanta Marriot Perimeter Center in Atlanta, Georgia with Toastmaster John Strangeway. Guests of Honor will be author Catherine Asaro and artist John Picacio.

Pixel Scroll 7/29 To Scroll in Italbar

American exceptionalism, Madeleine L’Engle, sci-fi music, and another trailer about a movie you’re likely to skip, all in today’s Scroll.

(1) Did an American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? While Superman was fictional, a super-manhole-cover may actually have flown “faster than a speeding bullet.”

The next month, in [an underground nuclear bomb] test codenamed Pascal B, the team wanted to experiment with reducing the air pressure in the explosives chamber to see how that affected the explosion and radiation spread. A four-inch-thick concrete and metal cap weighing at least half a ton was placed over a 400ft-deep borehole after the bomb was installed below. The lid was then welded shut to seal in the equipment.

Before the experiment, Dr Brownlee had calculated the force that would be exerted on the cap, and knew that it would pop off from the pressure of the detonation. As a result, the team installed a high-speed camera to see exactly what happened to the plug.

The camera was set up to record one frame every millisecond. When the nuke blew, the lid was caught in the first frame and then disappeared from view. Judging from the yield and the pressure, Dr Brownlee estimated that it left the ground at more than 60 kilometres per second, or more than five times the escape velocity of our planet. It may not have made it that far, though – in fact the boffin, who retired in 1992, believes it never made it into space, but the legend of Pascal B lives on.

“I have no idea what happened to the cap, but I always assumed that it was probably vaporized before it went into space. It is conceivable that it made it,” he told us.

(2) And after reading that story, I’m certain everyone can see why the Mutual UFO Network’s “Track UFOs” tool is indispensable. 😉

(3) SF Signal’s always-interesting Mind Meld feature asks “What Books Surprised You the Most and Exceeded Your Expectations?” of Renay from Lady Business, Marc Turner, Ilana C. Myer, Kenny Soward, Marion Deeds, Eric Christensen, and Delilah S. Dawson.

One of the books singled out as a pleasant surprise is a Hugo nominee. Ahh – but which one?

(4) Today’s birthday boy – Ray Harryhausen!

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

(5) Madeleine L’Engle deserves the accolades paid by the writer in the body of this post for Mental Floss. Not so much the editor’s headline “How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Changed Sci-Fi Forever” – because it didn’t.

The book, published at the beginning of the second wave of feminism, also carried a groundbreaking message: Girls could do anything boys could do, and better. A year later, The Feminine Mystique, written by L’Engle’s former classmate Betty Friedan, would emerge as a platform for the frustrated American housewife, and Congress would pass the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal to pay a woman less than what a man would earn for the same job. To some extent, Mrs. Murry in A Wrinkle in Time is already living the future: She’s a brilliant scientist who works alongside her husband and in his absence, too; later in the series, she wins a Nobel Prize. (Math whiz Meg would grow up to follow similar pursuits.) And Meg, a girl, is able to succeed where the men and boys—Calvin, Charles Wallace, and her father—cannot.

With that character so like herself, L’Engle struck back against the 1950s ideal of the woman whose duty was to home and family (the same expectations that conflicted the author in her thirties). Instead of staying at home, Meg goes out into the universe, exploring uncharted territories and unheard-of planets.

At the time, science fiction for and by women was a rarity. There was no one like Meg Murry before Meg Murry, though she left a legacy to be picked up by contemporary young adult heroines like The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen and the Harry Potter series’ Hermione Granger. Beyond creating this new type of heroine, A Wrinkle in Time, along with Norton Juster’s 1961 book The Phantom Tollbooth, changed science fiction itself, opening “the American juvenile tradition to the literature of ‘What if?’ as a rewarding and honorable alternative to realism in storytelling,” writes Marcus. This shift, in turn, opened doors for writers like Lloyd Alexander and Ursula K. Le Guin. In these fantasy worlds, as in the real world, things can’t always be tied up neatly. Evil can never be truly conquered; indeed, a key to fighting it is knowing that. It’s a sophisticated lesson children thrill to, and one in which adults continue to find meaning.

I remember enjoying L’Engle’s book – which I heard read aloud a chapter a day by a teacher in elementary school. A Wrinkle in Time, published in 1963, was received as a children’s book. Women who did groundbreaking work in the adult science fiction genre like Judith Merril and Andre Norton had already been writing for years by then. And when Ursula Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey first appeared in the late 1960s, their emergence was facilitated by the New Wave.

(8) There will be a live showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Hollywood Bowl in LA on August 18 with the musical soundtrack performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Recognized as one of the greatest works of science fiction cinema, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 is acclaimed for its technological realism, creative audacity and inspired use of music. Behold the film’s visual grandeur on the Bowl’s big screen while the soundtrack is performed live, including Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, music by György Ligeti, and the “Blue Danube” Waltz.

The Hollywood Bowl will give E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial the same treatment on Saturday, September 5, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing John Williams’ entire Academy Award-winning score.

(9) H.P. in his post “On the Hugo Awards controversy” on Every Day Should Be Tuesday draws this conclusion  —

The big difference comes down to matters of style and subject preference. The Puppy nominees show a pretty heavy thumbprint of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day’s tastes. They run heavy to kaiju, superficial noir elements, and religious themes. They don’t align well with my own tastes, but then neither do the tastes of the recent Hugo electorate. If the Hugos are to be the sort of elite fan award that they purport to be, and once were, then they shouldn’t display such narrow tastes, whether of Puppies or anyone else. To that end, my hope is that all of this will draw more people into the process and lead to a more diverse electorate; my fear is of that electorate being dominated by factions. We will see (always end with a super strong closing line).

Yes! The solution is — fire the voters!

(10) “Do you believe in miracles?” This time it’s not Al Michaels asking the question but Jason Sanford.

All of which brings up an interesting coincidence — the 2016 DeepSouthCon has been cancelled. According to an announcement on their website, the people running the con “decided that it was no longer feasible to host the convention.”

I have no proof the selection of Wright as guest of honor and the cancelling of the convention six months later are in any way related. These facts may simply be two isolated events swirling in the chaos we delightfully call existence.

But this is still an interesting coincidence. Or miracle, depending on your worldview.

Some say that Outlanta picking the same May 13-15, 2016 weekend weighed heavily in the decision. If so, I agree it’s logical that a con with Wright as GoH would have trouble competing for Outlanta’s fan base….

cat calendar

(11) Samuel Delany, interviewed in The New Yorker, was even asked about the topic du jour —

In the contemporary science-fiction scene, Delany’s race and sexuality do not set him apart as starkly as they once did. I suggested to him that it was particularly disappointing to see the kind of division represented by the Sad Puppies movement within a culture where marginalized people have often found acceptance. Delany countered that the current Hugo debacle has nothing to do with science fiction at all. “It’s socio-economic,” he said. In 1967, as the only black writer among the Hugo nominees, he didn’t represent the same kind of threat. But Delany believes that, as women and people of color start to have “economic heft,” there is a fear that what is “normal” will cease to enjoy the same position of power. “There are a lot of black women writers, and some of them are gay, and they are writing about their own historical moment, and the result is that white male writers find themselves wondering if this is a reverse kind of racism. But when it gets to fifty per cent,” he said, then “we can talk about that.” It has nothing to do with science fiction, he reiterated. “It has to do with the rest of society where science fiction exists.”

The interview is behind a paywall, nevertheless the Google cache file revealed all.

(12) American Ultra comes to theaters August 21. With luck, you’ll have something better to do that evening.

[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to Brian Z.]

2016 ABC DeepSouthCon Canceled

Chairman M. Lee Rogers has announced the ABC Deep South Con scheduled for 2016 will not be held.

After a recent meeting of the ABC Deep South Con committee and a review of the convention’s financial standing, the committee decided that it was no longer feasible to host the convention. Therefore, ABC Deep South Con on May 13-15, 2016 has been canceled.

I apologize to everyone for this unfortunate outcome. The committee members tried their best to make this work. In the end, it did not.

All current convention members will have their memberships refunded.

There may still be a 2016 DeepSouthCon, as other conrunners are now discussing the possibility of hosting it in combination with another event.

(Also, this cancellation announcement has no effect on the 2015 DeepSouthCon/Contraflow V planned for October.)

2016 DeepSouthCon Website Goes Live

ABC Deep South Con 54 has launched its new Web home page and PayPal portal.

Fans can now register for ABC DSC at the price of $50 for adults or $25 for children under 12. That price will increase later, so get in before the change.

The URL is: http://www.abcdsc.com. More pages will be added later.

The website features original art with a classic feel from Fan Artist Guest of Honor Julia Morgan-Scott.

ABC DSC is recruiting department heads to join the committee. Contact them if you have any interest in running part of the con.

ABC Deep South Con will be held May 13-15, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel in Roswell, GA (Holcomb Bridge Road exit of Georgia 400). Hotel prices and reservation information will be announced shortly.

2016 DeepSouthCon Names Guests of Honor

ABC DeepSouthCon 54, to be held in Roswell, GA in May 2016, has announced its guest of honor slate.

Author John C. Wright, a Nebula nominee in 2006 for his novel Orphans of Chaos, is Guest of Honor.

Wright’s wife, L. Jagi Lamplighter, is a special guest of the convention. She is the author of the Prospero’s Daughter trilogy. Wright and Lamplighter live in Virginia with their family. Fan Guest of Honor

Bill Ritch, head of the popular Atlanta Radio Theater Company, has long been active in Southern fandom. He ran the film program at ConFederation, the 1986 Worldcon in Atlanta. He’s also been seen in his Tom Baker costume working pledge breaks during Dr. Who broadcasts on Georgia Public Television.

The Toastmaster will be Wendy Webb Nesheim, Ph.D. who has served in that role at many cons, especially Chattacon. She works in the medical field, specializing in humanitarian disaster assistance. Wendy is also the daughter of the past Southern SF writer Sharon Webb.

The Fan Artist Guest of Honor is Chattanooga-based artist Julia Morgan-Scott, a regular contributor to Southern fanzines over the years.

Details for joining the convention are included in the full press release which follows the jump.

Continue reading

ABC DeepSouthCon 2016 Changes Venue

The 2016 Deep South Con will be held May 13-15 at the Doubletree Hotel in Roswell, GA.

Roswell was also host to the 2013 Deep South Con/JordanCon.

The contract has been signed and initial deposit paid reports M. Lee Rogers, who adds that the guest list will be announced once all guests have been finalized. The current membership fee is $50 adult, $25 for under 12, a price that will be good through the end of 2014.

Until a PayPal account is set up, payments may be sent to: ABC DSC 2016 331 Celestial Lane Hixson, TN 37343-5810 The con has a Facebook page at “ABC DSC.”

They are actively recruiting committee members and anyone with interest is invited to contact them through the Facebook page.

DeepSouthCon 52 Awards

Three traditional Southern fan awards were presented at Contrails, DeepSouthCon 52, in Bristol, VA on May 17.

Rebel Award: Judy Bemis

Phoenix Award: Steve Jackson

Rubble Award: Gary Robe, for screwing up the SFPA ego boo poll

Congratulations to all — and a hat tip to Guy Lillian III for pointing out that this is the third time that Robe, founder of the satirical Rubble Award, has won his own creation….

[Via Warren Buff. Thanks to Judy Bemis for the story.]

Update 05/18/2014: Fixed the headline — from 51 to 52. How bizarre. I spent 10 minutes vetting the convention number on Google to end up with the right number in the text and by then forgot I had the wrong one in the headline. My proofing skills are never good at any time, but seem to disappear altogether as midnight approaches. Bet there is a fantasy novel in this. (One containing many typos.)

2013 DeepSouthCon Awards

The Phoenix and Rebel, two traditonal Southern fandom awards, were presented at DeepSouthCon 51 in Atlanta, GA on April 20. The Phoenix is for pros and the Rebel is for fans.

Harriet McDougal accepted the Phoenix Award on behalf of her late husband, James Oliver Rigney, Jr. after all of his aliases were read off — the one everyone knows being Robert Jordan. The winner of the award was selected by the current year’s DSC committee. When you know DSC 51 was also JordanCon 5 the preference is easy to explain.

The Rebel Award was won by Regina Kirby and M. Lee Rogers.

Also presented was the facetious Rubble Award, which went to Pat Gibbs who often runs the DSC’s traditional Hearts competition. The Rubble is decided by previous winners who give it to someone who has done much to Southern fandom.

[Via Guy H. Lillian III and SF Site News.]

Update 04/23/2013: Corrected location of con to Atlanta.

2012 Rebel, Phoenix Given

Traditonal Southern fandom awards were presented at DeepSouthCon 50 in Huntsville, AL on June 17.

Phoenix Award: John Ringo

Rebel Award: Shelby Vick; and The Zielke Clan: Robert & Becky Zielke and Bill & Linda Zielke

Also this satirical award:

Rubble “Award”: SFPA OE Bob Jennings

The Rebel and Phoenix Awards are given by the con committee of each DSC, (in 2012, a supercommittee of Toni Weisskopf and Julie Wall) for the fan and pro who have contibuted a great deal to Southern fandom. The Rubble is decided by a survey of previous Rubble winners administered by its founder, Gary Robe, and is for a person or entity (corporatiions have won) who has done much to Southern fandom.

[Thanks to Guy H. Lillian III for the story.]