Brian Keene. Photo by Scott Edelman.
(1) BRIAN KEENE BURN INJURY. Horror author and podcaster Brian Keene is hospitalized, reports Stephen Kozeniewski, who has started a “Brian Keene Burn Fund” at GoFundMe:
On June 5, 2018, author, podcaster, philanthropist, and father Brian Keene was badly burned in an accident. At this time he is conscious and in good spirits but has first degree burns on his face and second degree burns on his body.
As a freelance author, Brian does not have health insurance. We’re not sure at this time how long he’ll be in treatment, or how much the bill will be, but any visit to the hospital is expensive, and will only be compounded by lost wages from not being able to work.
We’re asking the community of writers, horror fans, and just decent human beings in general to chip in a few dollars to help get Brian back on his feet and spending time with his loving girlfriend and sons. We’d be very grateful for anything you can afford to contribute.
The appeal has raised $14,415 of its $15,000 goal in the first four hours online.
Keene co-hosts of The Horror Show with Brian Keene. Last May, they held that 24-hour telethon and raised roughly $21,000 in support of Scares That Care.
Kozeniewski added in an update, “What we know right now is that the wind shifted while Brian was burning brush.”
(2) ALL YOUR COMIC CONVENTION ARE BELONG TO US. Those lovable knuckleheads who run San Diego Comic-Con International would like a federal judge to award them several million dollars in attorney fees after winning their lawsuit against the Salt Lake Comic Con. Courthouse News has the story: “San Diego Comic-Con: ‘Comic Convention’ Is Ours”.
…U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia heard a host of posttrial motions Thursday, including San Diego Comic-Con’s request for over $4.5 million in attorney fees which have already been paid in full.
San Diego Comic-Con attorney Callie Bjurstrom with Pillsbury Law told Battaglia Thursday he should find the case is “exceptional” so that attorney fees and costs can be awarded.
“This was a very expensive case; the reason this case was so expensive was because of defendants and their counsel and the way they litigated this case,” Bjurstrom said.
She pointed out Brandenburg testified at trial he knew about San Diego Comic-Con’s trademarks but still used “Comic Con” to name his Utah convention. Bjurstrom said the Salt Lake owners engaged in a “public intimidation campaign” once San Diego Comic-Con sent them a cease-and-desist letter to stop infringing the trademark and that Salt Lake’s attorneys filed meritless motions, “flip-flopped” on legal theories and violated court orders throughout the three-year litigation.
“If this case isn’t exceptional, I don’t know what is,” Bjurstrom said.
San Diego Comic-Con also asked Battaglia to permanently bar the Salt Lake convention from using its trademarks, arguing its reputation has been irreparably harmed by the confusion to consumers.
During the trial, San Diego Comic-Con presented evidence its attendees had contacted its employees about the Salt Lake convention, believing the two events were associated.
But San Diego Comic-Con’s request went a step further than simply asking Battaglia to enjoin the Salt Lake convention operators from infringing its trademarks: it asked the judge to bar the Salt Lake convention from using the words “comic convention” or phonetic equivalents to “Comic Con” or “comic convention.”
Bjurstrom said the injunction should include any spelling variation on “Comic Con” which is pronounced the same as the San Diego trademark, including spelling it with a “K” or “Kahn.”
“Whether you spell Comic Con with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’, it’s pronounced the same. It is exactly the same when you say it,” Bjurstrom said.
San Diego Comic-Con also asked the judge to order the Salt Lake operators to destroy marketing and advertising materials which make reference to “Comic Con” and to cease operating websites and social media accounts which reference the trademark.
Battaglia took the motions under submission and will issue a written order.
(3) WIKIPEDIA. Juliet McKenna asks “What can SFF fandom do about the inherent bias of Wikipedia?”. The author looked into the question because the Wikipedia entry about her was flagged for deletion, on grounds that she is not sufficiently notable:
It seems Wikipedia is aware of its systemic bias, as detailed in this article. Read this, and related pieces, and I imagine many of you will note, with the weary contempt of familiarity, the repeated insistence that it’s up to women themselves, and other under-represented groups to do all the hard work here. Though I haven’t found anything addressing the issue I raise above, explaining what we’re expected to do when sufficient acceptable citations simply do not exist, and those references that do exist are not deemed acceptable. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
On the plus side, I have learned that there are dedicated groups of female and other special-interest Wikipedians spending considerable time and effort updating and expanding pages, intent on correcting this bias. Mind you, I also learned their work is frequently challenged and even undone by other Wikipedians applying the all too prevalent and far too often white western male logic of ‘not of interest to me personally = not of interest to anyone’. And of course, such challenges can very easily be a thinly veiled cover for actively discriminatory behaviour. Having read the Wikipedia page on handling tendentious editing, I am not in the least reassured that this is in any way satisfactorily addressed.
(4) LUCRATIVE SFF AUCTION. Fine Books & Collections was standing by the cash register: “Sci-fi from the Stanley Simon Estate Breaks Records in Swann Literature Auction”.
Science fiction ruled on May 15 at Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature. Selections from the Estate of Stanley Simon, featuring 84 rare and first editions of cornerstones of the genre, boasted a 98% sell-through rate. All of the offered titles by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick and Stephen King sold, with many achieving auction records.
Leading the pack was a signed first edition of Dick’s dystopian novel The Man in the High Castle, 1962, which was purchased by a collector for $10,400, above a high estimate of $6,000, a record for the work. Another record was achieved by a signed first edition of Ubik, 1969, at $5,500, while the auction debut of the rare galley proofs for Valis, 1981, reached $5,000.
Simon had acquired several uncorrected proofs of important works, none of which had previously appeared at auction. While not strictly science-fiction, material by Stephen King outperformed in this category. The highlight was the presentation copy of an uncorrected proof of The Stand, 1978, which sold to a collector for $9,100. Also available were one of apparently 28 copies of proofs of King’s The Shining, 1977, inscribed, which sold for five times its high estimate for $6,250, and the complete six-volume set of uncorrected proofs of King’s The Green Mile, 1996, exceeded its $1,200 high estimate to sell for $5,200.
Another highlight from the Simon estate was the complete Foundation trilogy, 1951-53, by Isaac Asimov. Together, the three signed first editions achieved an auction record of $9,750. Also by Asimov, a signed first edition of I, Robot, 1950, reached $6,250, above a high estimate of $3,500. Important editions of Ray Bradbury’s magnum opus Fahrenheit 451, 1953, were led by the limited author’s edition personally inscribed to Simon ($7,500). The popular asbestos-bound edition reached $5,200. All six editions offered were purchased….
(5) LE GUIN’S LAST EARTHSEA STORY. The Paris Review has a story by Ursula K. Le Guin. And not just any story, but a final Earthsea tale, written a year before her death. (So I’m guessing it’s the last one.)
He was thinking of Lookfar, abandoned long ago, beached on the sands of Selidor. Little of her would be left by now, a plank or two down in the sand maybe, a bit of driftwood on the western sea. As he drifted near sleep he began to remember sailing that little boat with Vetch, not on the western sea but eastward, past Far Toly, right out of the Archipelago. It was not a clear memory, because his mind had not been clear when he made that voyage, possessed by fear and blind determination, seeing nothing ahead of him but the shadow that had hunted him and that he pursued, the empty sea over which it had fled.
(6) BUMBLEE TRAILER. This movie will be in theaters at Christmas.
Every adventure has a beginning. Watch the official teaser trailer for Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY PRODUCER
- Born June 5, 1953 – Kathleen Kennedy
(8) IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE. Of possible interest to Sarah Gailey fans (because of a hippo reference) is this segment from the June 3 episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, on the subject of guardianship for the elderly. The relevant portion starts at about the 13:20 mark. That’s where John Oliver introduces a new PSA on the subject, starring several celebrities – including William Shatner.
(9) DOG DAYS. This perfect poem inspired a thread of deep appreciation for the artist…
(10) DINO APPRECIATION SUMMIT. Chuck Tingle and Jeff Goldblum had an internet encounter —
(11) WALL POLITICS. And they’ll make the schwein pay for it. (Oh, wait, that’s something else….) “Denmark backs fence on German border to keep out wild boar”.
Denmark’s parliament has voted to build a 68-km (42-mile) fence along the border with Germany in a bid to protect the pork industry from the spread of African swine fever.
The vote aimed at keeping out wild boar is controversial for several reasons.
Environmental campaigners doubt it will stop the animals entering Denmark, while others say Germany has no trace of the virus.
Some in Germany have condemned the move as gesture politics.
Work on constructing the fence is unlikely to start until autumn, after an assessment by Denmark’s environmental protection agency.
(12) MORE WALL POLITICS. Security décor from another era: “The 12 best posters from the very odd NSA archive”.
Long before it was at the centre of a huge spying scandal, the US National Security Agency had the communist threat to deal with – and wanted to make sure its staff did not spill secrets.
A vast archive of posters, apparently for display at the spy agency’s offices, has been posted online thanks to a freedom of information request from governmentattic.org.
The website asked for “a digital/electronic copy of the NSA old security posters from the 1950s and 1960s”, although confusingly it also got one featuring John Travolta.
Here are some of our favourites. The full, 139-page document, can be found here.
(13) CASTLE COCKY. More trademark hoo-hah: “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your trademark restrictions”.
Rapunzel, the long-haired maiden locked in a tower by an evil witch, has been immortalized in countless bedtime stories and adaptations, from the Brothers Grimm to Disney. There is even a teenage rapper who goes by the name RapUnzel.
Now, a private company wants to lock the princess’s name in a castle fortified by United States trademark law.
But this attempt to register the trademark for the name Rapunzel has unleashed fervent opposition, not from Hasbro or Mattel, but from an impassioned group of Suffolk University Law School professors and students.
(14) DINO DUBIOSITY. The BBC asks “Does Jurassic Park make scientific sense?” Can you guess the answer? I knew you could…
In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park defined dinosaurs for an entire generation.
It has been credited with inspiring a new era of palaeontology research.
But how much science was built into Jurassic Park, and do we now know more about its dinosaurs?
As its 25th anniversary approaches, visual effects specialist Phil Tippett and palaeontologist Steve Brusatte look back at the making of the film, and what we’ve learned since.
So, first of all, what did Jurassic Park get wrong? It started off by inheriting some complications from Michael Crichton’s novel, on which the film was based.
“I guess Cretaceous Park never had that same ring to it,” laughs Brusatte.
“Most of the dinosaurs are Cretaceous in age, that’s true.”
(15) SWEET WRITING. Cat Rambo tasted these chocolate bars for Green Man Review: “Chuao Chocolatier’s Chocolate Bars with All the Add-ins”.
Here in America we like our add-ins, ice cream and candy full of other candy, nuts, random sweets, and sometimes savories. Chuao (pronounced Chew-WOW) has a shelf-load of such, chocolate bars with all the goodies, created by Venezuelan chef Michael Antonorsi.
Most of the bars I tried were terrific but some are more successful than others. Idiosyncrasies of taste may make a difference; when I tweeted about the one I really disliked, someone mentioned that was their favorite, and bemoaned not being able to find it. And it’s not entirely fair to stack dark chocolate up against milk, particularly given that my sweet tooth resembles that of a six-year-old’s. Still, I present them in order of how much I liked them, from most to least.
First up, the “Baconluxious”. Described as “delicate maple sweetness, a sprinkle of bonfire smoked sea salt and crispy, uncured bacon in milk chocolate.” This had a nice aroma and when tasted, an immediate smoothness to its mouth feel, followed by a wash of saltiness and not-unpleasant grittiness before the final bacon note, leaving just a few salt crystals to be crunched between the tooth and savored. This was delicious to the point where I thought I would and then did readily pick one of these up again. And probably will again and again….
(16) A BOY AND HIS ROBO DOG. The AXL Official Trailer came out recently.
In the vein of classic ‘80s family movies SHORT CIRCUIT and FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR, A.X.L. is a new adventure about a down-on-his luck teenage bike rider, Miles (Alex Neustaedter), who stumbles upon an advanced, robotic, military dog named A.X.L. Endowed with next-generation artificial intelligence but with the heart of a dog, A.X.L. forms an emotional bond with Miles, much to the chagrin of the rogue military scientists who created A.X.L. and would do anything to retrieve him. Knowing what is at stake if A.X.L. gets captured, Miles teams up with his smart, resourceful crush, Sara (Becky G), to protect his new best friend on a timeless, epic adventure for the whole family.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Robin Reid, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Jonathan Cowie, Martin More Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, K.M. Alexander, Rev. Bob, Dann, Mike Kennedy, Michael D. Toman, Carl Slaughter, Steve Johnson, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Stoic Cynic.]