NASA astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps will be a Special Guest at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon, discussing the challenges of space exploration in lectures and panels.
Dr. Epps will appear on panels on space commercialization, the Apollo moon shot programme, and NASA’s Artemis programme to return astronauts to the moon by 2024. She will also give a solo talk and host autograph and meeting sessions for members of various ages. These events will take place from Thursday (15 August) through Sunday evening (18 August).
Born in Syracuse, New York, Dr Epps was a NASA Fellow while completing her doctorate in aeronautical engineering at the University of Maryland. She spent two years as a scientific researcher at the Ford Motor Company and seven years as a Technical Intelligence Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) before being selected as one of nine members of the 20th NASA astronaut class in 2009.
Dr. Epps currently works in the International Space Station Operations Branch. She has been a Crew Support Astronaut for two expeditions and has been lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM), the only mission control official who can communicate directly with astronauts on a mission. She has also participated in a nine-day undersea NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO), simulating exploration and materials extraction on an asteroid. She speaks fluent Russian.
Dr. Epps’ interests and technical experience are wide ranging. She interned at Anheuser-Busch while an undergraduate at Le Moyne College, conducted research on smart materials in graduate school at Maryland and vibration reduction at Ford, and worked on nuclear non-proliferation at the CIA.
“Space exploration is at the heart of science fiction and fantasy,” Dublin 2019 chair James Bacon said. “We’re thrilled that we’re going to get an inside view from Jeanette, informed by all her different experiences in the astronaut programme and as a scientist.”
Panels, talks and presentations with scientists, engineers and astronauts form a major programme track in a distinguished tradition at Worldcons. Dublin 2019 will be the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe.
Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin from August 15 to August 19. More than 6,600 people have already signed up as members, including more than 5,200 attending members. More than 830 people will be attending Worldcon for the first time.
“BLOB FEST” THIS WEEKEND.[Item by Steve Vertlieb.] This weekend, fans from all over
the world will converge upon The Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
to commemorate the arrival upon our planet of a gelatinous intruder whose
ravenous appetite inspired the birth of girth, and shamed The Cookie Monster
into both seclusion and retirement. The historic theater, itself a performer in
the classic Paramount release, plays host each Summer to “Blob Fest,”
and will be the preferred destination for all self-respecting horror fans from
Friday to Sunday, July 12th, 13th, and 14th.
years ago, I was invited by my beloved friend, Wes Shank, to his home to meet
his nefarious tenant. Wes left us, sadly, a year ago … but his protege
continues to mystify, charm, and entertain millions of adoring fans.
follows is the link to a hopefully entertaining chronicle of one of my less
successful show business associations…with one of filmdom’s
“largest” screen personalities, and a creature that only Jenny Craig
could love. Celebrating the sixty first anniversary of “The Blob.” —
I Met… The Blob” at The Thunderchild.
(2) “HIGHLY CLASSIFIED” TV COMMERCIAL. Ad Astra comes
to theaters September 20.
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
…The most interesting ad on July 21, 1969, came from Brillo steel-wool scrubbing pads. Brillo offered Times readers a poster-size color map of the Moon, from Rand McNally. The ad was a striking one-third of a page, showing the Moon, with a coupon. It was a typical late sixties promotion: Fill in your address and mail the coupon, with two “proofs of purchase” clipped from boxes of Brillo pads to get that map. “This map is only available from Brillo,” the ad touted. “Let Brillo send you the Moon. Free.”
Brillo, to be clear, had no connection to the Moon landings.
The advertising blossomed on the day after Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong successfully and safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. On that day, in fact, the ratio of news coverage to advertising in the New York Times completely reversed.
The paper itself was 88 pages that Friday, July 25, 1969. It contained 15 full-page ads about Apollo, and another half-dozen ads that were a half-page or bigger. In all, there were more than 22 pages of advertisements about the Moon landings. The coverage itself that day was only six pages.
(4) PREPPING FOR DUBLIN. The third in Anne-Louise Fortune’s series “What is
Worldcon” aims to enlighten the YouTube generation. “Three
Essential Elements” covers the business meeting and site selection, among
(5) I AM NO MAN. Nicole Rudick reviews The Future Is Female anthology in “A Universe of One’s Own” at The New York Review of Books.
“Write me a creature who thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man.” This was the challenge the influential science-fiction editor John Campbell famously issued his authors in the 1940s. It was aimed at producing aliens as fully formed as the interstellar human travelers who encounter them. Isaac Asimov thought the best example was a creature named Tweel from Stanley Weinbaum’s “A Martian Odyssey,” a story from 1934 that preceded the dictum. But the instruction also has the feel of a riddle, and neither Campbell nor Asimov considered its most obvious answer: a woman.
Three years before Weinbaum’s Martian adventure, Leslie F. Stone published “The Conquest of Gola” in the April 1931 issue of the science-fiction pulp magazine Wonder Stories. This was not Stone’s first published story, but it became her best known. Gola is a planet ruled by a gentle civilization of telepathic nonhumanoid females with movable eyes and sensory functions available on all parts of their round, golden-fur-covered bodies. The males of the planet are docile pleasure-consorts. Into this edenic world plunges a cadre of Earth men who desire “exploration and exploitation.” The queen rejects their plea for trade and tourism. She isn’t just dismissive of what she feels are the Earthlings’ barbarian mentality and low-grade intelligence; she simply can’t be bothered to take them seriously. “To think of mere man-things daring to attempt to force themselves upon us,” she says. “What is the universe coming to?” Rebuffed, the Earth men launch a full invasion; the Golans (who narrate the tale) obliterate them. End of story. A case study in thinking better than men but not like men.
“The Conquest of Gola” is one of the twenty-five SF tales written by women that are collected in the enjoyable new anthology The Future Is Female, edited by Lisa Yaszek…
With the announcement of a prequel to Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult trilogy The Hunger Games, there has been a wealth of discourse on why it’s finally time to bring back dystopian YA. It’s a trend that dominated both the YA scene and the box office in the early 2010s, with the success of The Hunger Games seeing major film production companies competing in a fierce battle for the next big blockbuster hit.
…But what about the books? Is Suzanne Collins bringing back dystopian YA? Is the trend finally rising from the ashes, allowing us all to relive our best 2012 selves? Well, you can’t bring back something that never really left.
Despite the apparent decline of dystopian YA movies in Hollywood, a steady stream of young adult novels in recent years has kept the genre afloat for teens who still wanted to consume these stories outside of the adaptations.
Some of the most popular series, like An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, both written by authors of colour, were first published during the dystopian craze of the early 2010s, and subsequent books continue to be published without the marketing push that saw the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent driven to success.
July 12, 1969 — [Item by Steve Green.] Today marks
the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek‘s debut on British television,
where it occupied the Saturday afternoon slot on BBC1 traditionally occupied by
Doctor Who. Unlike NBC and its US affiliates, the BBC opened with ‘Where
No Man Has Gone Before’, the second pilot and the first to feature William
Shatner as James T Kirk. As one of those captivated viewers, this means July
12, 2019 is also the fiftieth anniversary of my becoming a Star Trek fan.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 12, 1895 — Buckminster Fuller. Genre adjacent and I don’t believe that he actually wrote any SF though one could argue that Tetrascroll: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Cosmic Fairy Tale is sort of genre. You will find his terminology used frequently in genre fiction. (Died 1983.)
Born July 12, 1912 — Joseph Mugnaini. An Italian born artist and illustrator. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Ray Bradbury, beginning in 1952. Through an amazing piece of serendipity, there’s an interview with him talking about working with Bradbury which you can listen to here. (Died 1992.)
Born July 12, 1923 — James E. Gunn, 96. H’h, what have I read by him? Well there’s The Joy Makers and Future Imperfect, not to mention The Magicians. I’m sure there’s more but those are the ones I fondly remember. Which ones do you recall reading?
Born July 12, 1933 — Donald E. Westlake. No, I didn’t know he did genre but ISFDB says he, hence this Birthday note. Transylvania Station by him and wife is based on Mohonk Mountain House-sponsored vampire hunting mystery role-playing weekend. (Died 2008.)
Born July 12, 1945 — James D. Allan, 74. A rather prolific writer and author on the subject of Tolkien linguistics. He is primarily known for his book, An Introduction to Elvish. His most recent contribution to the field is “Gandalf and the Merlin of the Arthurian Romances”, published in Tolkien Society’s Amon Hen number 251.
Born July 12, 1946 — Charles R. Saunders,73. African-American author and journalist currently living in Canada, much of his fiction is set in the fictional continent Nyumbani (which means “home” in Swahili). His main series is is the Imaro novels which he claims are the first sword and sorcery series by a black writer.
Born July 12, 1970 — Phil Jimenez, 49. Comics illustrator and writer. He was the main artist of Infinite Crisis, a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths. He also did the awesome first issue of Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World, and was responsible for the first six issues of Fables spin-off, Fairest.
Born July 12, 1976 — Anna Friel, 43. Her best remembered genre role is as played Charlotte “Chuck” Charles on Pushing Daisies, but she’s been Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Elizabeth Bonny in Neverland, not to mention Lady Claire in Timeline, an SF virtually no one has heard of.
Born July 12, 1976 — Gwenda Bond, 43. Her Blackwood novel won a Locus Award for Best First Novel. (Strange Alchemy is the sequel.) She written three novels featuring DC character Lois Lane, and her Cirque American series with its magic realism looks interesting. She also wrote the “Dear Aunt Gwenda” column in the Lady Churchill’s Robot* Wristlet chapbooks that Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link did for awhile over at Small Beer Press.
The Anaheim theme park had previously said the Rise of the Resistance ride would launch this year.
The ride is designed to put parkgoers in the middle of a fierce battle between resistance fighters and the evil forces of the First Order. An identical ride will open in December at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge , the largest expansion in the park’s history, opened May 31 with only one ride in operation, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run…
Bob Iger, chief executive of Walt Disney Co., had previously promised Disney fans that Rise of the Resistance would open in 2019.
Instead, Disney said on its website Thursday that the much-anticipated Rise of the Resistance will open first at the Florida park before the Christmas holiday vacation and then at Disneyland in January, when families will have returned to work and school after the winter break.
Disney’s website suggested that the California attraction would open later than the one in Florida because Disney engineers and ride developers can open only one ride at a time…
The novella (17,500-40,000 words) has had something of a resurgence in recent years, mainly due to Tor’s excellent novella line. (I know the ones I’ve bought are taking up nearly a full shelf in one of my bookcases.) This time around, five of the six nominees are from Tor; the only exception (Aliette de Bodard’s The Tea Master and the Detective) was published by Subterranean, a niche publisher that puts out lovely limited collectible editions. (Which also take up a not-inconsiderable amount of my own shelf space.) For a lot of stories, the novella is the perfect length, and I’m glad to see its growing popularity.
Over 300,000 people have signed on to a Facebook event pledging to raid Area 51 in Nevada in a quest to “see them aliens.”
The event, titled “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” is inviting users from around the world to join a “Naruto run” — a Japanese manga-inspired running style featuring arms outstretched backwards and heads forward — into the area.
“We can move faster than their bullets,” the event page, which is clearly written with tongue in cheek, promises those who RSVP for September 20.
(15) INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY. It only takes one.
(16) CRAWL VARMINT, CRAWL ON YOUR
BELLY LIKE A REPTILE. [Item by Mike
Kennedy.] Is this
movie—about oversized alligators terrorizing people trapped in a crawlspace
during a massive storm—genre? Well, it is horror of a sort, perhaps only one or two steps
removed from movies about shark-filled tornadoes.
Having seen a TV advert for Crawl, I absolutely knew I would never want to go see
the movie in a theater (though YMMV). On the other hand, the review
itself is a hoot: The Hollywood Reporter: “’Crawl’:
No sensible person goes to see a movie about killer alligators and then complains that it was silly and over the top. So it’s puzzling that Paramount would refuse to hold critics’ screenings for Alexandre Aja’s Crawl, a film that, despite some ludicrous action scenes and risible dialogue, might well have been helped more than harmed, on the whole, by reviews. After all, not every Snakes on a Flesh-Eating Sharknado delivers on its schlocky promises, and savvy consumers like to be told they won’t get burned this time. Consider this a measured endorsement for the kind of action-packed B picture where Serbia stands in for coastal Florida, and nobody notices, and they wouldn’t care if they did.
(17) KEEPING UP WITH THE
PHILISTINES. In Science Advances, “Ancient
DNA reveals the roots of the Biblical Philistines”. “The Philistines appear
repeatedly in the Bible, but their origins have long been mysterious. Now
genetic evidence suggests that this ancient people trace some of their ancestry
west all the way to Europe.”
The ancient Mediterranean port city of Ashkelon, identified as “Philistine” during the Iron Age, underwent a marked cultural change between the Late Bronze and the early Iron Age. It has been long debated whether this change was driven by a substantial movement of people, possibly linked to a larger migration of the so-called “Sea Peoples.” Here, we report genome-wide data of 10 Bronze and Iron Age individuals from Ashkelon. We find that the early Iron Age population was genetically distinct due to a European-related admixture. This genetic signal is no longer detectible in the later Iron Age population. Our results support that a migration event occurred during the Bronze to Iron Age transition in Ashkelon but did not leave a long-lasting genetic signature.
(18) ON STRIKES. For your
edification, ScreenRant screens the “Star
Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Pitch Meeting.”
Empire Strikes Back is known not only as one of the best Star Wars movies, but one of the best sequels of all time. Despite it’s amazing reputation it still raises a few questions. Like how did that Wampa freeze Luke’s feet to a cave ceiling? Why was Yoda making him do so many flips? What’s up with the AT-AT strategy on Hoth? Why did Leia kiss Luke? To answer all these questions and more, step inside the pitch meeting that led to The Empire Strikes Back!
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, John King
Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Dann, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan
Cowie, Michael Toman, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these
stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Doug.]
MAD Magazine will cease publication later this year, according to reports. Blogger Jedidiah Leland reportedly discovered the news after a MAD editor confessed to the magazine’s doom in a Facebook group, and shortly thereafter, cartoonist Ruben Bolling seemed to confirm the report on Twitter….
MAD magazine will not be completely closing down, as previously reported — although most of its new content will cease, and availability for the iconic humor magazine will be reduced. Earlier tonight, the news broke that MAD was set to cease publication after two more issues of new content, with the magazine using archival content to fulfill its obligation to existing subscribers. This is a little true, and a little not, and ComicBook.com has heard from a source with knowledge of the situation who clarified what is going on.
MAD will be leaving the newsstand after issue #9, which will land on newsstands in early August with all-new content. MAD #10 will also contain new content, but will be available only via direct market comic book retailers and subscriptions. Rather than closing up shop, the plan at present is to continue publishing issues that will feature reprinted classic MAD pieces, wrapped with new covers art. Further, MAD will continue to publish its end of year specials, as well as books and special collections, capitalizing on the value of the MAD brand in spite of the loss of new content in the magazine
In the viscerally unnerving films of Ari Aster, there’s nothing more horrific than the reality of human grief. His haunted-house thriller, Hereditary, followed a family rocked by traumas so devastating that the eventual scenes of devil-worshipping naked boogeymen almost came as a relief. Aster’s new movie, Midsommar, doesn’t pack quite as terrifying a knockout punch, but it casts its own weirdly hypnotic spell. This is a slow-burning and deeply absorbing piece of filmmaking, full of strikingly beautiful images and driven less by shocks than ideas. It’s not interested in frightening you so much as seeping into your nervous system.
And like Hereditary, Midsommar is very much rooted in loss. It begins with a young American woman named Dani, played by the great English actress Florence Pugh, panicking over a family emergency that moves swiftly toward its worst possible outcome. As she tries to pick up the broken pieces of her life, Dani seeks solace from her boyfriend, Christian, and is surprised to learn that he’s about to go on a trip with some of his grad-school buddies. They’re headed to a remote Swedish commune that is holding a nine-day festival to observe the summer solstice. Dani presses him about why he didn’t tell her earlier, and an argument ensues.
They fly to Sweden and, after a few hours’ drive, arrive at a remote, centuries-old village where they are greeted by about 60 men and women wearing white robes embroidered with mysterious symbols. They are known as the Hårga, and they invite their American guests to participate in each day’s festivities, which include lavish feasts, silent meditations, exhausting maypole dances and the consumption of various mind-altering drugs. Aster has a gift for dreaming up fictitious subcultures, and he visualizes these ancient customs and artifacts with an almost anthropological attention to detail. The Hårga seem benevolent enough at first, and there’s something comforting about their strange rituals and their intimate communion with nature.
(5) MORE TOOLS FOR FINDING GOOD SFF. Rocket Stack Rank,
says Eric Wong in “New Recommenders and Improved Scoring” “has
added 10 more recommenders, improved how story scores
are calculated from 13 awards, 12 ‘year’s best’ anthologies, and 11 prolific reviewers,
and updated the Best SF/F lists for 2015,
and 2019 YTD.”
(6) ASTRONOMY HISTORY, The Atlas Obscura Society can get
you in to see “The
Second Largest Public Telescope in the World” on July 6 and 7. It’s on
Mount Wilson near Los Angeles. See schedule and details at the link. (Note: Observatory
is not ADA compliant,.)
Collecting ancient light in a 60-inch mirror, the Hale Telescope reflects images in your eye of beautiful objects, some that lie millions of light years away from Earth.
Join Atlas Obscura for an exclusive evening of observation with Mount Wilson Observatory’s historic 60-inch telescope. Assisted by a telescope operator and a session director, you will investigate objects in the night sky and get up close and personal with our solar system. Depending on the evening’s weather conditions, you could get a glimpse of faraway planets, a staggeringly close-up look at the moon, or star clusters looming over Mount Wilson, where the seed of the idea for this groundbreaking scientific invention was planted.
In 1903, astrophysicist George Ellery Hale went hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains. Resting at the summit of Mount Wilson, he gazed at his surroundings and realized he had found the perfect place to build an observatory. Five years later, at the very same spot, he unveiled the world’s largest operational telescope, a 60-inch reflector that attracted preeminent scientists such as Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble. In fact, it was with this telescope that Harlow Shapley discovered that the Sun’s position was not the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It now operates as the second largest telescope made exclusively for the public.
Howard Norman writes elegant prose — but really, that’s because everything about Howard Norman is elegant. The Vermont-based novelist and scholar of Native American lore sprinkles his fiction with all the things that interest him, from literary to culinary to planetary. Like many of Norman’s previous books, The Ghost Clause pays attention to Japanese poetry, binge-reading Trollope, what makes an intimate supper (mushroom omelets, salad, cherry pie with ice cream), and varieties of Northeast Kingdom moths.
The denizens of Adamant, Vt. — was there ever a better place name? — have a lot going on, even if by “a lot going on” one simply means making sure to leave time to have your cranberry scone toasted at the local café presided over by grumpy Vanessa. The first two people we meet are newly minted PhD Muriel Streuth and her husband Zach, a private investigator at the Green Mountain Agency. They’ve bought an old house with a library room, and their modern security system keeps picking up “Motion in Library.”
Investigations into the unknown motion-detector blips don’t reveal much. Fortunately for readers, our narrator soon reveals all (and this is not a spoiler): He is novelist Simon Inescort, whose widow, painter Lorca Pell, sold the house to Muriel and Zach after Simon’s untimely death by heart attack on the ferry from Maine to Canada. He also informs us of the title’s meaning, which refers to a perhaps-apocryphal Vermont statute whereby if new owners of a building discover it is inhabited by a “malevolent presence,” the sale can be nullified.
… The American science-fiction community was still in an uproar over the Shaver Mystery, “The Most Sensational True Story Ever Told,” according to Amazing Stories magazine, a publication whose circulation had skyrocketed after it published “I Remember Lemuria!,” a fantastic story purporting to be a memoir of the extraordinary subterranean-world encounters of writer/artist Richard Sharpe Shaver, in 1945.
…One of those letters, published in the October 1946 issue of Amazing Stories, came from Dr. Maurice Doreal, the Denver-based “Supreme Voice” for the Ascended Masters, super-evolved human beings who live below Tibet. Doreal had recently announced that he was moving his Brotherhood of the White Temple from central Denver to rural Colorado to wait out the coming nuclear holocaust. “Like Mr. Shaver, I have had personal contact with the Dero and even visited their underground caverns,” he now wrote. “In the outer world they are represented by an organization known loosely as ‘the Black Brotherhood,’ whose purpose is the destruction of the good principle in man…. The underground cities and caverns are, in the most part, protected by space warps, a science known to the ancients, but only touched on by modern science…. I note that many are wanting to enter these caves. For one who has not developed a protective screen this would be suicide and one who revealed their location would be a murderer….”
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.
July 4, 1865 — Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 4, 1883 — Rube Goldberg. Not genre, but certainly genre adjacent. Born Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg, he was a sculptor, author, cartoonist, engineer, and inventor who’s certainly best known for his very popular cartoons showing overly complex machines doing simple tasks in a terribly convoluted manner, hence the phrase “Rube Goldberg machines”. The X-Files episode titled “The Goldberg Variation” involved an apartment rigged as a Goldberg machine. (Died 1970)
Born July 4, 1901 — Guy Endore. Writer of The Werewolf of Paris which is said by Stableford in the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers as “entitled to be considered the werewolf novel”. He also wrote “The Day of the Dragon” which Stableford likes as well. He was a scriptwriter hence for writing Mark of the Vampire starring Bela Lugosi. He also the treatment for The Raven but never got credited. (Died 1970.)
Born July 4, 1910 — Gloria Stuart. She was cast as Flora Cranley opposite Claude Rains in The Invisible Man in 1933, and 68 years later she played Madeline Fawkes in The Invisible Man series. She was in The Old Dark House as Margaret Waverton which is considered horror largely because Boris Karloff was in it. And she was in the time travelling The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan as well. (Died 2010.)
Born July 4, 1949 — Peter Crowther, 70. He is the founder (with Simon Conway) of PS Publishing where he’s editor now. He edited a series of genre anthologies that DAW published. And he’s written a number of horror novels of which I’d say After Happily Ever and By Wizard Oak are good introductions to him. He’s also done a lot of short fiction but I see he’s not really available in digital form all that much for short fiction or novels.
Born July 4, 1967 — Christopher McKitterick, 52. Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, a program at the University of Kansas that supports an annual series of awards, lectures, classes, workshops, the Campbell Conference, and AboutSF, a resource for teachers and readers of science fiction. He’s also a juror for and Chair of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel from 2002 onward. And yes, he does write genre fiction with one novel to date, Transcendence, more than a double handful of stories, and being an academic, critical essays such as “John W. Campbell: The Man Who Invented Modern Fantasy and the Golden Age of Science Fiction” which was published in Steven H. Silver Hugo-nominated Argentus.
Born July 4, 1977 — David Petersen, 42. Writer and illustrator of the brilliant Mouse Guard series. If you haven’t read it, do so — it’s that good. It almost got developed as a film but got axed due to corporate politics. IDW published The Wind in The Willows with over sixty of his illustrations several years back.
Born July 4, 1989 — Emily Coutts, 30. She plays the role of helmsman Keyla Detmer on Discovery. She’s also her mirror universe counterpart, who is the first officer of that universe’s Shenzhou. (I like the series and am definitely looking forward to it when it jumps a thousand years into the future next season!) She was in one episode of the SF series Dark Matter and in Crimson Peak, a horror film but that’s it for genre appearances.
(12) COMICS SECTION.
A court judge and Frankenstein help Bizarro live up to its name today.
Arielle Saiber is a professor of Italian literature and romance languages, and also a big science fiction fan!
Recorded with Zencaster on 8th May, 2019.
Find out about the history of Science Fiction and fandom in Italy, and why flying saucers would totally land at Lucca!
(15) VOX DAY AT THE MOVIES. “I look forward to the shrieks
and wails,” writes aspiring moviemaker Vox Day. The Rebel’s Run Teaser Trailer has dropped, publicizing that a movie based on one of
Arkhaven’s Alt-Hero characters, is now in pre-production. A one-minute trailer is
followed by Chuck Dixon extolling the comics, and even a shot of Vox smiling
happily. So if any of that is the kind of thing you need a warning about, you won’t
(16) LIPLESS READING. Extra
Credits devotes a video to Harlan Ellison’s story and game in I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream – The End of the
Harlan Ellison was a little dismissive of this short story that you’ve might only heard of because you saw it on a Steam summer sale, but at the time of its publication (1967) its ideas about the possibility of “evil AI,” as well as the possible degeneracy of humanity, were shocking and unexpected, and it set the stage for the wave of sci-fi we’ll talk about next season.
(17) WHAT’S BUZZING? Nature has a nice
artist’s impression and short description of the drone proposed for use on Saturn’s
moon, Titan — “NASA drone to soar across Titan”.
Named Dragonfly, the US$850-million mission will launch in 2026 and arrive at Titan in mid-2034. The nuclear-powered drone (pictured, artist’s impression) could traverse hundreds of kilometres during its two-year mission.
(18) IDENTIFYING PROS IN THE WILD. Orbit Books tweeted an amusing
guide for telling two of its similarly-named writers apart.
Amazon is calling John Oliver’s depiction of conditions at the company’s shipping and warehouse facilities “insulting” to Amazon workers.
Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP Worldwide Operations, responded to a harsh segment that aired Sunday on HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. In the 20-minute segment, Amazon — as well as other companies with quick online-delivery systems — was lambasted for the exhausting chores required of the warehouse workers.
“The injury and illness rate in the warehouse industry is higher than coal mining, construction and logging,” Oliver said during the HBO show, in which he called Amazon the “Michael Jackson” of shipping because they’re “the best at what they do, everybody tries to imitate them, and nobody who learns a third thing about them is happy they did.”
(20) CHARACTERS WITH AGENCY. TV Sins wants you to know “Everything Wrong With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ‘Pilot’”
This week we head into the MTU by finding everything wrong with the pilot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! It’s was a show with a lot of promise, and also a lot of sins.
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Eric Wong, SF
Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Carl Slaughter, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, mlex,
Chip Hitchcock, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories, Title
credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
(1) OVERVIEW. Neil Clarke’s “A State of the Short SF
Field in 2018” from The Best Science Fiction
of the Year: Volume 4 can be read by
clicking Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature here. The free preview
contains the whole of Neil’s summary of the short SF field. Gardner Dozois used
to write something similar in his annual anthologies, and it’s nice to see Neil
stepping up here. Plenty of interesting analysis and opinions.
(2) KNITTING TOGETHER A COMMUNITY. “The Raksura Colony Tree” is a
project to be presented at Dublin 2019, inspired by Martha Wells’ previously Hugo-nominated
series Books of the Raksura.
If you’re coming to Dublin to join in the fun and are interested in creating things with needle and thread, this is your chance to be an active part in a community art project.
Cora Buhlert recently posted something
she was inspired to do:
There are examples of many different
types of foliage that people have come up with here.
The eponymous station in Richard C. Meredith’s We All Died At Breakaway Station is a vital link in humanity’s communications network. It’s the facility through which hard-won information about the genocidal alien Jillies must pass. Therefore, the Jillies plan to destroy it. Absalom Bracer’s convoy is determined to defend it, despite the notable disadvantage that said convoy consists of a hospital ship and two escorts crewed by the walking wounded. The prose goes beyond purple into ultraviolet, but the novel delivers on its title with grand explosions and heroic sacrifices.
Scottish author Iain M. Banks populated his sci-fi Culture book series with humanoid robots, alien races, and artificially intelligent spaceships that chose their own names.
So: Research scientist Janelle Shane thought it would be fun to use those ship names to train a real neural network to — what else? — conjure up new names for self-aware spaceships. The results? Hilarious. Puzzling. Generally? Great.
(5) SPECULATIVE COLLECTIVE. The kickoff event of the Speculative Collective Salon on
July 11 will feature best-selling authors Jennifer Brody, Rachel A. Marks, and
Join us to launch the SPECULATIVE COLLECTIVE Salon, a new quarterly gathering of SoCal’s growing speculative fiction community. The program will include a reading and conversation with best-selling authors Jennifer Brody, Rachel A. Marks, and Neo Edmund. The authors will have books to sell and sign, and time will be set aside to network and chat with likeminded fans of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. The event will take place at 1888 Center, 115 N. Orange St., Orange, CA. Admission is free. Come early to enjoy the venue’s art gallery and bookstore or pick up something to drink from the in-house Contra Coffee & Tea shop.
Their next event is:
October 10, 2019: The SPECULATIVE COLLECTIVE Salon, featuring USA Today best-selling author Russell Nohelty, YA science fiction author Merrie Destefano, and Dr. David Sandner, an English professor at California State University, Fullerton, who also publishes speculative fiction and non-fiction.
FUTURE TENSE. This month’s
entry in our Future Tense Fiction series is “Space Leek,”
by Chen Qiufan/Stanley Chen.
I blinked. The walls and floors of the cabin vibrated as the spaceship adjusted its docking position, waking me up from my nap. My partner, Jing, was busily checking the dashboard.
“Are we there yet?” I mumbled.
“Look, it’s the Roast Garlic. Your favorite.” She pointed to the porthole.
The floating Yutu-3 space station gradually enlarged in my sight as I gazed out the porthole. I smiled. This was my third time up here, yet my eyes still widened when I saw it.
“Roast Garlic” was the nickname I had given the space station….
…The 1975 study was on the design of large-scale space settlements. These would be located, like the Yutu-3 space station in Chen Qiufan’s story, at the Earth-moon Lagrangian points where gravity between these two bodies allows for stable orbits. Unlike the Yutu-3 (or as the characters in the story call it, the Roast Garlic), these were not intended to be purely research stations. They would be home to about 10,000 people engaged in the work of building solar-powered satellites.
The team realized that these people would need to bring, or make, all of the things they needed themselves….
TODAY IN HISTORY.
July 2, 1939 — The first Worldcon begins in New York, continuing to July 4. Attendance is approximately 200.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 2, 1914 — Hannes Bok. He’s a writer, artist and illustrator who created nearly one hundred and fifty covers for various detective, fantasy and sf fiction magazines. He shared one of the inaugural 1953 Hugo Awards for science fiction achievement for Best Cover Artist with Ed Emshwiller. He also wrote a handful of novels, the best known being The Sorcerer’s Ship, The Blue Flamingo and Beyond the Golden Stair. (Died 1964.)
Born July 2, 1933 — Gloria Castillo. She first shows up in a genre role in Invasion of the Saucer Men (which also bore the title of Invasion of the Hell Creatures). Later she would be in Teenage Monster, and had an appearance on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Died 1978.)
Born July 2, 1948 — Saul Rubinek, 71. Primarily of interest for being on Warehouse 13 as Artie Nielsen, but he does show rather often else on genre series and films including going on Eureka, Masters of Horror, Person of Interest, Beauty & the Beast, Stargate SG-1, The Outer Limits and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Memory Run and Death Ship are seeming to be his only only genre films.
Born July 2, 1950 — Stephen R. Lawhead, 69. I personally think that The Pendragon Cycle is by far his best work though the King Raven Trilogy with its revisionist take on Robin Hood is intriguing. And I read the first two of the Bright Empires series which very much worth reading.
Born July 2, 1951 — Elisabeth Brooks. She is no doubt best remembered for her role as the evil, leather-clad siren Marsha Quist in The Howling. Her other genre appearances included Deep Space, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Forgotten One. (Died 1997.)
Born July 2, 1956 — Kay Kenyon, 63. Writer of the truly awesome The Entire and the Rose series which I enjoyed immensely. I’ve not read her Dark Talents series, so opinions please.
Born July 2, 1965 — Jerry Hall, 54. She seems to wandered into a number of films down the years such as Alicia in Batman and Newswoman in Freejack, not to Woman in Park in Vampire in Brooklyn. Not real roles, just there.
Born July 2, 1970 — Yancy Butler, 49. Detective Sara Pezzini on the Witchblade series which would’ve been awesome with current CGI. She was later Avedon Hammond in Ravager, Captain Kate Roebuck in Doomsday Man, Angie D’Amico in Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, Reba in Lake Placid 3 and Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, Officer Hart in Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (also known as Black Forest: Hansel and Gretel and the 420 Witch) (given the latter, a career low for her) and Alexis Hamilton in Death Race 2050. Series work other than Witchblade wasa recurring role as Sgt. Eve Edison in Mann & Machine inher first genre role.
Born July 2, 1990 — Margot Robbie, 29. Harley Quinn in what I consider the second best Suicide Squad film, the best being the animated Assault on Arkham Asylum which also has a better Harley Quinn in it. Just saying. She both acting and producing the forthcoming Birds of Prey film. She has since played Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan, and voiced Flopsy Rabbit in Peter Rabbit.
Foreigners crossing certain Chinese borders into the Xinjiang region, where authorities are conducting a massive campaign of surveillance and oppression against the local Muslim population, are being forced to install a piece of malware on their phones that gives all of their text messages as well as other pieces of data to the authorities, a collaboration by Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the German public broadcaster NDR has found.
If customers fear their neighbors, and fear they might steal a package, customers are less likely to be mad at Amazon if they don’t get a package they ordered. They’re also more likely to buy an Amazon-owned Ring doorbell camera, which is marketed as way of surveilling your stoop for package deliveries and package thieves—especially on Neighbors, the Ring-owned “neighborhood watch” app.
Parts of The Only Harmless Great Thing are written from the perspective of elephant-kind. These are framed as tales told by a mother elephant to her calves, recalling certain sequences from Bolander’s other Hugo finalist of the year, “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” – as with that story there is a distinct Kipling influence, complete with the occasional “best beloved”. Storytelling is important to elephants, we are told: “Without stories there is no past, no future, not We. There is Death. There is Nothing, a night without moon or stars.”
A young Arctic fox has walked across the ice from Norway’s Svalbard islands to northern Canada in an epic journey, covering 3,506 km (2,176 miles) in 76 days.
“The fox’s journey has left scientists speechless,” according to Greenland’s Sermitsiaq newspaper.
Researchers at Norway’s Polar Institute fitted the young female with a GPS tracking device and freed her into the wild in late March last year on the east coast of Spitsbergen, the Svalbard archipelago’s main island.
The fox was under a year old when she set off west in search of food, reaching Greenland just 21 days later – a journey of 1,512 km – before trudging forward on the second leg of her trek.
She was tracked to Canada’s Ellesmere Island, nearly 2,000 km further, just 76 days after leaving Svalbard.
What amazed the researchers was not so much the length of the journey as the speed with which the fox had covered it – averaging just over 46 km (28.5 miles) a day and sometimes reaching 155 km.
Fifty years after the first moon landing, a small Icelandic town celebrates its pivotal role in propelling humankind into space.
…Yet few people realise that this triumphant leap for mankind was propelled in part from an unlikely place: Iceland. In the years preceding the Apollo 11 mission, Nasa believed it was essential for its astronauts to prepare for their intragalactic journey by training in the most otherworldly terrain on Earth. After scouring the globe, officials determined that the moon’s lunar landscape was strikingly similar to that just outside Húsavík, a quiet 2,300-person fishing community on Iceland’s northern coast. Nasa sent 32 astronauts to train in its crater-filled terrain in 1965 and 1967. Incredibly, of the 12 humans who have ever walked on the moon, nine first touched down in Húsavík – including Armstrong himself.
…Next stop: Mars
For several years, Nasa has been studying geothermal sites in Iceland as a way to prepare for its ambitious plans to send a rover to Mars in 2020. According to planetary scientists, Iceland’s glaciers, volcanoes and hot springs are eerily similar to how Mars looked billions of years ago, and by studying subtle marks in Iceland’s iron-rich rocks, scientists are able to detect clues indicating where water once flowed.
“The Apollo astronauts I have met have told me that Iceland [is] an even better place to train astronauts to visit Mars than it was for the Moon,” Örlygsson said. “We know a lot about the geology of Mars because rovers have been studying the surface of Mars for some time. What they have discovered is that there are many more similarities between the geology here in Iceland and the geology of Mars.”
(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Wet Book Rescue” on YouTube
offers practical advice on rescuing wet books from the Syracuse University
[Thanks to James Davis Nicoll, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Joey
Eschrich, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Darrah Chavey, Greg
Hullender, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of
these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cliff.]
By Hampus Eckerman: We
are getting closer to Dublin 2019 and questions have started to popup regarding
filer meetups. As I did plan the meetups for MidAmerCon 2 and Helsinki 75, I
thought I’d try to organize the meetups this time too. Unless someone who lives
in Dublin with better knowledge of the best meetup places (and the possibility
to go to the pubs to get the feel of them) feels that they are better suited.
This post is to make sure that everyone knows that there *will* be
meetups so they will remember to check out File 770 for a schedule when
My idea is to have at least two meetups:
One at the convention start. A meet-and-greet for all
Filers to get to meet each other and recognize faces. To make it easier to go
together to panels or lunches. Maybe also decide on a good meeting place if
someone find they have nothing to do, wants to sit down for a while and see if
another filer got the same idea.
One pub meet. For food or for drinks, to waste away a
few hours together.
Other possible ideas would be to go to the Hugo
Awards ceremony together or perhaps even to a pub after the ceremony to discuss
I will not set a day or time yet, as the program
hasn’t become public yet. As soon as the program is public, I will do the following:
Make a list for all days and times that filers are on panels, workshops and things like that. Then send it out to select people (any volunteers?) to see if I missed someone. Then send that schedule to Mike for publication here.
See what gaps there are on the schedule when as many filers as possible are free for a meetup. Then decide on what day and time would be best for a pub meet and after that try to make a booking on any of the nearby pubs.
If you do know that you are occupied at a time that
will not show up in the program, you can mail me at email@example.com,
so I can try to account for it when scheduling the meet.
I have made a small list of the pubs that I saw close
by. I will try to narrow it down to 3-4 or so (to keep some in reserve if one
is too busy to take a booking). As I have no idea how many filers (with
friends) that are coming to Dublin 2019, I would appreciate if you wrote in the
comments if you – depending on energy, schedule and spoons – hope to come to
one of the meetups. My guesstimate is that there will be around 20-30 people,
but at MAC2 we most likely doubled that amount due to the closeness to the
convention center and the name of the pub (“The Flying Saucer”). So I will try
to make a booking for around 20-25 persons, but make sure that space will exist
for at least 10 more.
The pubs that I have on my current short list are
My next step is to categorize the places according to
prices, ease of getting there (with as little need of walking as possible) and
dining options. If someone knows they have special need regarding food or other
things, please write in the comments or mail me on above address. I will at the
least make sure that there is a good vegetarian option.
And if you have more ideas on meetups or other
pubs/restaurants, please add them in the comments.
Irish Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Dr. Norah Patten will be a Special Guest at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon.
Born in Co. Mayo, and now based in Dublin, Dr. Patten became fascinated by space and space travel after a visit to a NASA facility at age 11. She earned a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering at the University of Limerick in 2011 following internships at Boeing and Bell Labs. She has participated in several citizen science campaigns with Project PoSSUM including microgravity research flights, spacesuit testing and evaluation, hypoxia training and spacecraft egress. Project PoSSUM prepares their candidates to perform research on commercial space missions.
Dr. Patten’s interest in space and education led her to organize the first Irish student experiment sent to the International Space Station in 2014. The experiment was designed by four teenagers from St Nessan’s Community College in Limerick, investigating the effects of microgravity on reinforced concrete. She currently works as a programme manager at the Irish Composites Centre.
Dr Patten has been a lecturer and project manager at the University of Limerick and has served on the faculty of the International Space University since 2012. In 2017 she founded Planet Zebunar, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education company focused on space stories. Her children’s book Shooting for the Stars is forthcoming from O’Brien Press in September. She won the 2018 PoSSUM Science Educator award. Dr. Patten will be Dublin 2019’s first Special Guest and will attend the convention on Saturday and Monday.
“Worldcon is about keeping in touch with the factual as well as the fictional aspects of science,” Dublin 2019 chair James Bacon said. “It’s wonderful that we are going to hear about cutting-edge developments in space research from a scientist of Norah’s caliber.”
Panels, talks and presentations with scientists and engineers form a major programme track in a distinguished tradition at Worldcons. Dublin 2019 will be the 77th annual World Science Fiction Convention, the first to be held in Ireland and the eleventh in Europe.
Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon will take place in the Convention Centre Dublin from August 15 to August 19. More than 6600 people have already signed up as members, including more than 5200 attending members. More than 830 people will be attending Worldcon for the first time.
Other activities at the Dublin Worldcon will include the 2019 Hugo Awards, the world’s leading awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, as well as the spectacular Masquerade costume display. There are typically 650 to 800 separate programme items, including author readings and autograph sessions, films and videos, academic presentations, and panel discussions on speculative literature and other media, many involving fans and audience.
Guests of Honour for Dublin 2019 include YA author Diane Duane, and screenwriter and Hugo winner Ian McDonald, as well as game designer Steve Jackson (Melee, Chaos Machine, Munchkin) and editor Ginjer Buchanan. Science Guest of Honour will be Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered radio pulsars in 1967 as a postgraduate student and in 2018 was awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Bill and Mary Burns will be fan Guests of Honour.
More information and membership registration for Dublin 2019 are available at https://dublin2019.com. Follow them on Twitter at @dublin2019.
(1) DUBLIN 2019 DEADLINE. Linda Deneroff, Dublin 2019 WSFS Business Meeting Secretary, broadcast the message that the deadline for submission of new business to this year’s business meeting is fast approaching: July 17. Pass the word to anyone else you believe is considering new business.
Since March, I have been sending discreet messages to authors of young adult fiction. I approached 24 people, in several countries, all writing in English. In total, 15 authors replied, of whom 11 agreed to talk to me, either by email or on the phone. Two subsequently withdrew, in one case following professional advice. Two have received death threats and five would only talk if I concealed their identity. This is not what normally happens when you ask writers for an interview.
… Many of the battles around YA books display the worst features of what is sometimes called “cancel culture”. Tweets condemning anyone who even reads an accused book have been shared widely. I have heard about publishers cancelling or altering books, and asking authors to issue apologies, not because either of them believed they ought to apologise, but because they feared the consequences if they didn’t. Some authors feel that it is risky even to talk in public about this subject. “It’s potentially really serious,” says someone I’ll call Alex. “You could get absolutely mobbed.” So I can’t use your real name? “I would be too nervous to say that with my name to it.” None of the big three UK publishing groups, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins or Hachette, was available for comment.
Another author I will callChris is white, queer and disabled. Chris has generally found the YA community friendly and supportive during a career spanning several books, but something changed when they announced plans for a novel about a character from another culture. Later, Chris would discover that an angry post about the book had appeared anonymously on Tumblr, directing others to their website. At the time, Chris only knew that their blog and email were being flooded with up to 100 abusive messages a day.
(3) DEFINING MOMENT. Ellen B. Wright reignites a traditional debate, in the process collecting a lot of entertaining answers. Thread stars here.
(4) SHORT FILM Exclusive premiere of
“After Her” starring Stranger Things’s Natalia Dyer.
One night, a teenage girl disappears without a trace. Years later, her friend returns home and finds himself being beckoned back into those woods – the last place she was seen alive. An atmospheric sci-fi about the archetypal lost girl.
Director’s Statement: I was interested in making a short that confronts the perversion of the “missing girl story” in both film and in reality. I wanted to create something meditative and personal with a small group of collaborators; I shot most of the film myself, including the VFX, which were hand done in my parents’ basement. I’m from Rhode Island and grew up reading Lovecraft, and was incredibly inspired by his worlds, his characters, and their maddening search for the bigger picture, the great answers. As Callum searches for Haley, the alluring missing girl of his past, his expectations get challenged. His journey spans fertile woods, deep caves, and fallopian tunnels. He grows to realize that he is a passenger, not a pioneer, while she is the leader, not the victim.
Thought you had seen it all from Funko? Well think again. Introducing FunkO’s, the new collectible cereal from the pop culture wizards at Funko. Each box comes with a Pocket Pop!
This IT Pennywise box of FunkO’s comes with a Pennywise Pocket Pop!, and the red, multigrain cereal is bound to wow you at breakfast time. That’s if you decide to eat it and not keep it intact with your Funko collection! Grab a box today and make your Saturday mornings fun again.
Takashi Ogawa, an English-Japanese translator, editor and educator in translation, who introduced Western SF to Japan since 1980’s. He translated many of Bruce Sterling’s titles including Schismatrix and Islands in the Net.
translation of Bruce Sterling’s
“Taklamakan” won the Foreign Short Story category of Japanese
prozine Hayakawa’s S-F Magazine Reader’s Award in 1999.
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.
June 15, 1955 — The Beast With A Million Eyes debuted at drive-ins.
June 15, 1973 — The Battle for the Planet of the Apes premiered.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 15, 1939 — Brian Jacques. British author who surprisingly is not on the ISFDB list today. Writer of the exceedingly popular Redwall series of novels and also the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series. And he wrote two collections of Alan Garner style fiction, Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales and The Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns. Only the Redwall series is available in digital format on either platform. (Died 2011.)
Born June 15, 1941 — Neal Adams, 78. Comic book artist who worked for both DC and Marvel. Among his achievements was the creation with writer Dennis O’Neil of Ra’s al Ghul. I’m a DC fan so I can’t speak for his work on Marvel but he did amazing work on Deadman, Batman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow. All of this work is now available on the DC Universe app. It should be noted he lead the lobbying efforts that resulted in Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster receiving long overdue overdue credit and financial remuneration from DC.
Born June 15, 1942 — Sondra Marshak, 77. Author of multiple Trek novels including The Price of the Phoenix and The Fate of the Phoenix, both co-written with Myrna Culbreath. She also wrote, again with Myrna Culbreath, Shatner: Where No Man …: The Authorized Biography of William Shatner which of course naturally lists Shatner as the third co-author.
Born June 15, 1947 — David S Garnett, 72. Not to be confused with the David Garnett without an S. Author of the Bikini Planet novels which should be taken as seriously as the name suggests. Revived with the blessing of Michael Moorcock a new version of New Worlds as an anthology this time. Last work was writing Warhammer novels.
Born June 15, 1960 — Sabrina Vourvoulias, 59. Thai-born author, an American citizen from birth brought up in Guatemala, but here since her teens. Her novel, Ink, deals with immigrants who are tattooed with biometric implants that are used to keep track of them no matter where they are. I’m assuming that the “Skin in the Game” story which appeared first on Tor.com is set in the future. Fair guess that “The Ways of Walls and Words” which also appeared on Tor.com is also set there. The Readercon 25 panel she was on, “East, West and Everything Between: A Roundtable on Latin@ Speculative Fiction” is available for free on iBooks is is all of her fiction.
Born June 15, 1963 — Mark Morris, 55. Horror writer who’s also written a number of Dr. Who works, both novels and audiobooks. I’d single out his Torchwood full-cast audiowork Bay of the Dead as being quite chilling. He also edited Cinema Macabre where folks such as Jo Fletcher and Simon Pegg discuss their favorite films which won the prestigious British Fantasy Award.
Born June 15, 1973 — Neil Patrick Harris, 46. His first genre role was not Carl Jenkins in Starships Troopers, but rather Billy Johnson in Purple People Eater, an SF comedy best forgotten, I suspect. Post-Starship Troopers, I’ve got him voicing Barry Allen / The Flash in Justice League: The New Frontier and Dick Grayson / Nightwing in Batman: Under the Red Hood. He also voiced Peter Parker and her superhero alias in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. Finally, he’s currently Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events which he also produces.
(9) COMMENTS ON TRANSLATING SFF. In 2014, the SCBWI Japan Translation Group ran this interesting Q&A with Yoshio Kobayashi (who has been to more than one North American Worldcon.)
… How did you come to be involved in the project? What approach do you take with the translating and editing of each book?
I’ve translated novels and stories from English for more than thirty years. I’ve also written book reviews of Japanese novels in English, and I frequently discuss SF at World Science Fiction Conventions. I’ve also helped shepherd some stories to be translated into English. I write my blog in English, too. So they asked me to do the job. My experience of book editing was appreciated as well.
…What advice can you give to translators wishing to develop their literary translation skills?
Read. A lot. At the least, you have to read 500 novels to be confident of your reading ability. I used to read ten novels a month before I decided to be a translator. When I started my career, I had read more than 1,000 novels in English from every genre. I teach translation at a translators’ school and I always tell my students to read. When you have read 500 novels you start to understand an author’s style, what euphemism is and how the author uses metaphor. A lot of translators misunderstand that. You have to read contemporary US/UK novels too, in order to understand the modern usage of English and current trends. Then to translate modern Japanese novels, you need to be able to grasp contemporary vocabulary. I still read about ten titles a month, although now it’s a combined number. I have read ten American novels and five Japanese novels a month for twenty years. So read! And trust the authors. You don’t have to orchestrate the work. Authors write everything that is needed to be described. The rest should be given to the reader’s imagination. Reading is an ability that is developed through reading, so it’s better to help our readers expand that ability. You shouldn’t intervene by explaining too much.
Leading South African scientists from the University of the Free State are about to undertake research into the destruction caused by a huge ancient meteorite that could hold clues critical to the history, mechanisms and consequences of meteorite strikes on earth and elsewhere in the Solar System. The results of this work could mean a better understanding of the effects of such impacts and the greater safety of the earth.
The vast crater is also fascinating for its human interest from early man who used it as a centre of cultural importance and left rock carvings as proof of their presence. The site was of great spiritual significance, comparable to the stone circles of Stonehenge in the UK. The Khoi-San patently understood that the rock remains found on the surface were unique and important.
Magic school clashes with a murder mystery in Magic for Liars, the debut novel from Sarah Gailey, best known for their American Hippo short stories — but with one key twist.
That’s because while the school and the murder may be magical, Ivy Gamble, the investigator hired to solve the case, is completely ordinary. Unable to sling a spell or cast a charm, she’s a far more relatable character than most other magical detectives that dot the literary landscape.
Inside an air-conditioned TV studio in Hollywood, a colossal stone castle looms large surrounded by blooming hellfire. Sleek black leather chairs, the kind often found in a Wall Street meeting room, sit behind a long oak table beneath dynamic lights and high-definition cameras on 15-foot cranes. This is hell, and the cameras will go live tomorrow.
Over the next three days, a few hundred people — and a million more tuning in at home — will come in and out to watch celebrities and online personalities play Dungeons & Dragons. This is D&D Live, an annual celebration of the 45-year-old tabletop role-playing game where the newest of new media revere a game still best played with pencils, paper, dice, and friends.
In a rugged canyon in southern Wyoming, a helicopter drops nets over a pair of coyotes. They’re bound, blindfolded and flown to a landing station. There, University of Wyoming researchers place them on a mat. The animals stay calm and still while technicians figure out their weight, age, sex and other measurements. Graduate student Katey Huggler fits the coyotes with tracking collars.
“What really is most important to us is that GPS data,” says Huggler, who’s the lead on this project. What that data has been showing is, boy, do coyotes roam. Huggler is amazed at one young female that wandered long distances.
“It was like 110 miles as the crow flies, turned around, came back three days later,” she says. “[Coyotes] are moving fast, but they’re also moving really far.”
Huggler says all that roaming changes during the short window when mule deer fawns are born, showing that coyotes are indeed targeting them. Mule deer populations around the West are down — 31% since 1991 — and some people blame coyotes. It stands to reason that killing some coyotes could help improve mule deer numbers, but University of Wyoming wildlife professor Kevin Monteith points out if you wipe out a pack of coyotes, it leaves a hole in the habitat, and nature dislikes a vacuum.
The federal government kills thousands of coyotes every year to keep them from preying on livestock and big game. But some wildlife biologists say killing coyotes isn’t actually the best way to control them.
“The next day you just have an exchange of animals that come right back in and fill that place,” Monteith says.
In fact, some studies show that if you kill off a lot of coyotes, they breed even more.
The countdown has begun. It’s T-minus a month or so until the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 — and humanity’s first and famous steps on another world.
In appreciation of that achievement, and the five-decade milestone, a flotilla of books has also been launched exploring Apollo’s story and raising questions about its ultimate legacy. Surveying just a few of these works, it quickly becomes apparent how singular America’s achievement was with Apollo. Even more pressing, however, is how these books show that — half a century later — we’re still grappling to understand its long-term meaning for our nation and the world.
With the 50th anniversary of the lunar landings coming up next month, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the vast canon of Apollo histories that are out there. There has been of ink spilled in the last five decades exploring every detail of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, and there are more on the way.
A handful of works stand out in the history of spaceflight literature. The first is a pair of books authored by Francis French and Colin Burgess: Into that Silent Sea, about NASA’s work leading up to Apollo, and In the Shadow of the Moon, about the Apollo program up to Apollo 11. They’re part of the University of Nebraska Press’s fantastic Outward Odyssey series, and provide an accessible, in-depth look at how the US reached the moon.
Another essential book is Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo by Nicholas de Monxhau. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into designing a space suit (and if you haven’t watched my colleague Loren Grush’s Space Craft series), it’s an exhaustive history into how a company known for making bras and girdles developed the iconic suits worn on the moon. It explores how the space suits were made and provides a unique look into the history of spaceflight.
Bald eagles are typically known for their elegant flying, skilled hunting and having such majestic strength and beauty that they became the U.S. national bird. But they also possess a lesser-known talent: swimming.
Yes, bald eagles are really good at swimming, a fact some of us learned this week from a viral video published by New Hampshire TV station WMUR.
One approach to ranking a set of fanwriters for the Hugo Awards might be to pick the example in the packet for each writer that you thought was the best example of their work and then rank each of those exemplars against each other. I think if I did that, I’d probably put Alasdair Stuart or Foz Meadows highest. But…it doesn’t feel right as a way of evaluating the finalists systematically*.
It fails in a couple of ways:
Reviews: longer critical essays or essays with personal insights will on a piece-by-piece comparison win out when judging writing. A good functional review will adopt a more ‘objective’ style of informative writing, which is technically hard to do but whose qualities are less obvious.
Broader aspects of fan writing: Elsa Sjunneson-Henry included a link to a Twitter thread in her packet contribution and it is a good example of how fanwriting also includes commentary in formats other than essays. Compiling news, parodies, event comments on other sites are part of the mix.
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, JJ, Meredith, Chip Hitchcock, Martin
Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge Carl Slaughter, and Andrew
Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Cliff.]
(1) GET ERIDANI TO THE PRESS. Alex Shvartsman has launched a Kickstarter appeal to fund publication of “Eridani’s Crown”.
When Eridani’s parents are murdered and their kingdom is seized by a traitorous duke, she plans to run. After she suffers yet another unendurable loss, the lure of revenge pulls her back.
Eridani’s brilliance as a strategist offers her a path to vengeance and the throne, but success may mean becoming everything she hates. To survive, she must sway religious zealots, outwit ambitious politicians, and confront bloodthirsty warlords, all with few allies and fewer resources. Yet the most menacing obstacle she must overcome is the prophecy uttered by a powerful sorceress:
Everyone you know and trust will come to betray you.
In the opening hours his supporters have already given $1,009 of
the $5,000 goal. The Kickstarter continues until July 11. He invites readers to
preview the book —
As NASA prepares for a trip back to the moon in 2024, it’s asking for the public’s help building the perfect playlist of songs for its astronauts.
The agency is taking suggestions from around the world for this playlist and you can submit your picks via this this form or on Twitter using the #NASAMoonTunes hashtag.
With the trip to the moon expected to take three days each way, the astronauts could potentially need a fairly robust list. You can hear some of the early choices at thirdrockradio.net.
NASA will accept nominations through June 28, but has a couple rules. First, no songs with “explicit titles, lyrics and themes.” Also, the songs must exist on an official streaming service (meaning sites like YouTube or SoundCloud won’t cut it).
(3) THE INSIDE STORY. A book edition of Nnedi Okorafor’s LaGuardia comics is available
for pre-order from Dark Horse.
In an alternate world where aliens have integrated with society, pregnant Nigerian- American doctor Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka, has just smuggled an illegal alien plant named Letme Live through LaGuardia International and Interstellar Airport . . . and that’s not the only thing she’s hiding.
She and Letme become part of a community of human and alien immigrants; but as their crusade for equality continues and the birth of her child nears, Future–and her entire world–begins to change.
Written by Nnedi Okorafor, Hugo and Nebula award- winning author and the writer of Marvel’s Shuri.
… As confirmed Sunday in Microsoft’s keynote at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3), Martin is currently collaborating with FromSoftware on Elden Ring, his first non-Game of Thrones video game, according to the Verge. FromSoftware has made several acclaimed video games, including Dark Souls, and as a fantasy game Elden Ring is well within Martin’s wheelhouse. But as exciting as the prospect might be for fantasy-game lovers, this will probably mean that Martin’s non-video-game-loving fans will have to wait even longer for the thing they really crave….
(Notwithstanding this Scroll item, File 770’s official position is that George R.R. Martin doesn’t need anyone’s approval to use his time and creative energy however he likes. As are we all,)
On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the honorees for the class of 2018 at Newark Liberty Airport. The group of 19 inductees includes five women and 17 men (one band is in the mix). They will be honored at a ceremony in Asbury Park this October.
Martin, 70, grew up in Bayonne, and Stewart, 77, grew up in Nutley….
Born June 11, 1927 — Kit Pedler. In the mid-1960s, Pedler who was a scientist became the unofficial scientific adviser to the Doctor Who production team. He would help create the Cybermen. In turn, he wrote three scripts for the series: “The Tenth Planet” (with Gerry Davis), “The Moonbase” and “The Tomb of the Cybermen” (also with Gerry Davis). Pedler and Davis also created and co-wrote Doomwatch which ran for three seasons on the Beeb. (Died 1981.)
Born June 11, 1929 — Charles Beaumont. He is remembered as a writer of Twilight Zone episodes such as “Miniature”, “Person or Persons Unknown”, “Printer’s Devil” and “The Howling Man” but also wrote the screenplays for several films among them 7 Faces of Dr. Lao and The Masque of the Red Death. He also wrote a lot of short stories, so let’s see if there’s digital collections available. Yes, I’m pleased to say including several ones by legit publishers. Yea! (Died 1967.)
Born June 11, 1933 — Gene Wilder. The first role I saw him play was The Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles. Of course, he has more genre roles than that starting out with Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory followed by Blazing Saddles and then Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein. He was Sigerson Holmes in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, a brilliantly weird film who cast included Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Roy Kinnear and Leo McKern! I’ve also got him playing Lord Ravensbane/The Scarecrow in The Scarecrow, a 1972 TV film based based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Feathertop”. (Died 2016.)
Born June 11, 1945 — Adrienne Barbeau, 74. She was in Swamp Thing, also in the Carnivale series, a very weird affair. She provided the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series. And she was in both Creepshow and The Fog. Oh, and ISFDB lists her as writing two novels, Vampyres of Hollywood (with Michael Scott) and presumably another vampire novel, Love Bites.
Born June 11, 1959 — Hugh Laurie, 60. Best known as House to most folks, his most recent genre role was as Mycroft Holmes in the Holmes and Watson film. He’s has past genre roles in The Borrowers, the Stuart Little franchise, Tomorrowland, Blackadder: Back & Forth and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased).
Born June 11, 1968 — Justina Robson, 51. Author of the excellent Quantum Gravity series. I’ve not started her Natural History series, so would be interested in hearing from anyone here who has.
(10) LOL VS. LAW. [Item by ULTRAGOTHA.]So, an Attorney named T. Greg Doucette in North Carolina stumbled across the #StandWithVic hashtag and Vic Mignogna’s lawsuit (or, as he calls it, the LOLsuit) and started commenting on how badly it was written and, more generally, why it would probably fail. The resulting thread (into its sixth day!) is both hilarious and an education in defamation, actual malice (a term of art) tortious interference, and really bad lawyering. Behold! The thread starts here.
The Púca festival will take place this year in Ireland’s Ancient East from 31 October to 2 November. It will make Ireland the place to be this Halloween, and it is expected that visitors from around the world will come and celebrate the country’s ancient traditions. According to Irish folklore and more recent archaeological evidence, Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain. Samhain means ‘summer’s end’ in old Irish, and it marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of the new one.
… And having read through the packet entries, I am no closer to voting beyond “I read this person regularly” versus “I don’t read this person much”. All worthy entries but I worry that the packet process gives a distorted view of fan writing as mainly reviews with some critical essays. I don’t want that to be read as disparaging reviews as part of fan writing, they are always going to be a key part of it.
(13) MEXICANX. John Picacio has started a read-along of the #MexicanXInitiative Scrapbook, which is nominated for a Hugo Award. Most of the tweets are not threaded, but the first entry is below, and the next five are: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5).
Coincidentally, this is the 40th mention of the MexicanXInitiative
in posts at File 770.
Between them, these six stories take us on a trip through fairy tale lands with strange new inhabitants, past an alternate version of the United States’ founding, into a contemporary library staffed by witches, and finally towards a future of dangerous new technology. Some of these lands may be outwardly familiar; but this time, we are seeing them from unusual perspectives, our storytellers ranging from African-American slaves to sororal velociraptors. The overarching theme is undeniable — but the six writers represented here have given that theme a strong set of variations.
Some retailers in Canada have become creative to try and discourage consumers from using plastic bags, including by shaming them.
Shoppers at East West Market in central Vancouver who decide to pay for a plastic bag are given a bag with an embarrassing logo emblazoned on it like “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium,” “Dr. Toews Wart Ointment Wholesale” or “The Colon Care Co-Op.”
Some of the world’s best, most surprising graphic design can be found in one of the most mundane places: your local supermarket. …When most people encounter these stickers, it’s only to peel them off and try, often unsuccessfully, to flick them into the trash. But Kelly Angood sees something else in them, and peels them carefully off before adding them to her collection of hundreds—spanning countries, decades, and a dizzying variety of fruit.
Today Misfits Market, the New York-based company that sells subscription boxes of irregularly-shaped produce, announced that it had raised a $16.5 million Series A funding round (h/t Techcrunch). Greenoaks Capital led the round.
It feels strange to talk about Black Mirror reinventing itself. Even if you leave aside the fact that this is a show in its fifth season (plus two specials), a point where habits tend to be firmly fixed, what would be the impetus for it? From its scandalous premiere in 2011, Black Mirror has always been lauded for being exactly what it is. Even the people who have criticized it—for its cynicism, for its nastiness, for its reflexive distrust of technology—have helped to cement its brand, our idea of what a Black Mirror story is like and can accomplish. And yet, when you finish watching the three episodes of the just-released fifth season, there is no other way to describe them than as a departure. It’s probably the strongest season the show has fielded since its first, but it’s also the least Black Mirror-ish.
(19) SARTORIAL SPLENDOR. Sometimes it’s hard to make the
perfect Hugo night fashion statement, then again, Scott Edelman shows that
sometimes it’s s snap:
In the Amsterdam of the future, you might step out of the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, or one of the city’s hazy “coffee shops” and hop onto a robot boat to take you to your next destination. Outside the place you’re staying, in the early morning hours, you might hear other robot boats carrying away the trash.
That’s the vision of researchers at MIT, who teamed up several years ago with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions.
They hope that one day, “roboats” will busily ply the city’s 165 canals, carrying people, goods, trash, and from time to time forming themselves into floating stages or bridges.
In a paper presented recently at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the researchers said they had taken another step in their ongoing project: developing the capability for the roboats to identify and connect to docking stations and other boats.
“The aim is to use roboat units to bring new capabilities to life on the water. . . . The new latching mechanism is very important for creating pop-up structures,” Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, said in a statement from MIT.
A mysterious large mass of material has been discovered beneath the largest crater in our solar system—the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin—and may contain metal from the asteroid that crashed into the Moon and formed the crater, according to a Baylor University study.
“Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” said lead author Peter B. James,
(22) THOUGHTS ABOUT A COLLECTORS EDITION. [Item by Carl Slaughter.] As I was getting settled in to my new apartment, I saw a Star Trek collectors edition special magazine. I thought, “Star Trek in a small town in a farm state. Evidence that Star Trek is widespread and endures.” I was too busy buying furniture and household items to examine it. I went back to the supermarket where I thought I remembered seeing it. Then the other supermarket. Didn’t even find any magazines, so I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. Then I found it in the Dollar General store. But Dollar General is a national chain. But whether that magazine means Star Trek is in a small town or means Star Trek is national, that magazine tells us something about Star Trek. And it’s the original series characters on cover, not JJ Abrams ones or the Discovery ones. As for the magazine itself, it contains nothing new to Trekkies. And it was $15 – ouch.
(23) WINGING IT. Here’s the trailer for Carnival Row, the Cara Delevingne, Orlando Bloom fantasy series destined for Amazon.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, JJ,
Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, ULTRAGOTHA, and Martin Morse
Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Niall McAuley.]
WarnerMedia has given a straight-to-series order toDune: The Sisterhood, a drama from Legendary Television based on Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune and the popular sci-fi franchise it spawned.
The series is designed to co-exist with the Dune feature film, currently in production at Warner Bros., as part of Legendary’s comprehensive plans for Dune which also include video games, digital content packages and comic book series.
Further underlining the symbiotic relationship between the movie and the series, Denis Villeneuve, who is directing and producing the new Dune film, also is set to executive produce the series and direct its pilot episode, with one of the feature’s co-writers, Jon Spaihts set to write the show. It mirrors NBCUniversal ‘s approach to the Purge franchise, which also encompasses a film and TV series franchise.
(2) GREAT FANTASY NOVELS BY WOMEN. The
writer and filmmaker Sarah Passos tweeted:
She has gotten over 500 replies, including
recommendations from Gaiman and Rothfuss.
(3) MY IMPOSTOR SYNDROME. Once
in a dream I was impersonating a famous fantasy writer and Oxford scholar,
wearing suitably tweedy clothes. “Hello,” I said to a middle-aged
woman, and introduced myself. “I’m J.R.R. Tolkien.”
bien,” she answered in French. She was buying it. That much French I
understood. In fact, that was all the French I understood. I was going to need
an excuse to hold the conversation in English. Uh. Uh. So the next thing I said
was, “I’m sorry, but I’ve forgotten all of my French, Old Norse, Greek,
Latin, and 14 other languages I made up myself.”
Steven Spielberg is penning a horror series for Quibi that users will only be able to see when their phone knows it’s dark outside, founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said on Sunday.
…Katzenberg said Spielberg has already “written five or six episodes (which Quibi calls “chapters,” like a novel) of a 10- or 12-chapter story.” The program is being developed under the title “Spielberg’s After Dark.” (Spielberg is also developing a revival of his anthology series “Amazing Stories” for another new content programmer, Apple TV Plus.)
(5) CHELSEA CAIN. Comic writer Chelsea Cain has deleted her Twitter-account after a controversy regarding her new comic Man-eaters. At Women Write About Comics, Jameson Hampton analyzes the controversy: “Questioning Chelsea Cain’s Feminist Agenda”.
…Insisting that her book is not trying to imply that all women menstruate is one thing, but the implication that all people who menstruate are women is something else entirely — and plays into a societal habit to assume all trans issues are trans women issues. Compounding that issue is Mags Visaggio, a prominent trans woman in comics who came to Cain’s defense on twitter, insisting the book wasn’t offensive and that Cain should be able to write about “her experience as a cis woman” — again, missing the point that transmasculine people were primarily the ones being harmed.
Specifically, Cain has been back under scrutiny this week after the release of issue #9 of Man-Eaters on June 5th. The controversy? Imagery of propaganda posters in concentration camps featuring the text from fan tweets that had been critical of Cain’s work on the book.
Cain claims that her intention was to “acknowledge the really painful criticisms” that made her feel “worthless and small.”
However, she clearly hasn’t given a lot of thought to the implications of sharing criticism in this way. While the tweets were unattributed in the comic, she has claimed that she “didn’t know” people could still find the original tweets by searching for the text — which feels like a dubious claim, not only because it’s a basic function of Twitter, but also because (as pointed out by CK Stewart) it seems difficult to believe that someone who has experienced so much online harassment is so naive about how online harassment can happen. It’s possible she didn’t consider the nuance of using these words on the walls of a concentration camp, but worth noting that “being more nuanced” was something she explicitly promised to the very writer of the tweets used here. The potential implication that trans folks and their allies are the oppressors and women are the victims is subtext, but it’s hard not to read into it, especially while Cain continues to complain about how the criticisms of her book are mean and hurting her feelings….
…I want you to think for a moment, and think hard. Have you ever read a book where a scene or chapter begins without telling you who the viewpoint character of the chapter is, but you can tell anyway because of the voice in the narration? Or read a book where two characters are speaking unattributed, but you’re able to figure out who they are because of their voices?
I have. To both. Because those characters are given strong voices that, while often not grammatically correct, are vivid and real. They have a way of speaking, from use of particular words, to phrases, to even just a cadence or a flow that makes them uniquely identifiable.
That is the power of character voice. To be so vivid and real that even if a character doesn’t offer a name, the reader can figure out who they are simply based on their style of speaking. And since dialogue and narration are the two things our reader will see the most in most books, this makes character voice as powerful a tool as a character walking in screen in a film or show.
(7) SPEAK, MEMORY. The book created for Vonda McIntyre’s
Vonda, is available for purchase
Award-winning SFF author Vonda N. McIntyre died April 1, 2019. The world lost a force of nature, a brilliant, kind, generous, fiercely talented artist. In this volume, friends, colleagues, admirers, fans all pay tribute to a radiant life. McIntyre’s oeuvre includes Dreamsnake (Hugo and Nebula award winner, ’78), The Moon and the Sun (Nebula ’98; a movie based on it is awaiting release); as well as stories, novelizations and tie-ins, including the Star Trek novel The Entropy Effect. She founded the Clarion West workshop and was a “fairy godmother” to hundreds of students; a quiet, tireless feminist, Kentucky-born McIntyre moved to Seattle with her family and became a life-long resident, as well as a prolific creator of crochet topoplogy; McIntyre also collaborated with Ursula K. Le Guin, and was a founding member of the Book View Cafe, an author-owned publishing cooperative. McIntyre both shaped and nurtured the SF/F community; as her friend Jane Hawkins has said “we shall not see her like again.
(8) STEPHEN COLBERT MEETS KING KONG. Just another Tony
Award nominated guest….
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 10, 1922 — Judy Garland. Best remembered for her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, it was also her only genre role in her tragically short life. (Died 1969.)
Born June 10, 1928 — Maurice Sendak. In Seattle many years ago, I saw the painted flats he did for The Nutcracker. Truly stunning. Of course, he’s known for Where the Wild Things Are which I think is genre adapted into other media including a film by Spike Jonze. In the Night Kitchen might be genre and it is often on Banned Books lists. (Died 2012.)
Born June 10, 1937 — Luciana Paluzzi, 82. She’s best known for playing SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe in Thunderball. Genre wise, I see she was also in Journey to the Lost City (in the original German, Das indische Grabmal), Hercules, The Green Slime, 1001 Nights, Captain Nemo and the Underwater City and War Goddess (also known as The Amazons and The Bare-Breasted Warriors in its original Italian title). The latter film is online in its entirety on Youtube.
Born June 10, 1950 — Ed Naha, 69. Among his many genre credits, he was Editor of both Starlog and Fangoria. An even more astonishing genre credit was that he produced Inside Star Trek in 1976 wth Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley and Mark Lenard talking about the series. Fiction wise, he wrote one series as D. B. Drumm, TheTraveller series and adapted a number of movies such as Robocop and Robocop 2 under his own name. Way back in the Seventies, he wrote Horrors: From Screen to Scream: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Greatest Horror and Fantasy Films of All Time which alas has not been updated. There are no digital books at iBooks or Kindles for him.
Born June 10, 1951 — Charles Vess, 68. If you ever need a crash course in learning about his art, go find a copy of Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess which lavishly covers his career up to a decade ago. I’ve got a personally signed copy here along with lots of his artwork. He’s had interesting career including the Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth graphic novel that he wrote and illustrated. I strongly recommend the illustrated version of Stardust he did with Gaiman as it’s amazing.
Born June 10, 1952 — Kage Baker. I never met her but we had a decade long conversation via email and once in a while via phone. We were supposed to write a Company Concordance for Golden Gryphon but she got too ill for it to happen. Harry the Space Raptor is now living with her sister Katheleen.(Died 2010.)
Born June 10, 1953 — Don Maitz, 66 Winner of the Hugo twice for Best Artist and ten Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. And a World Fantasy Award as well. Yes, I’m impressed. From Asimov to Wolfe, his artwork has adorned the covers of many genre authors. He’s married to Janny Wurtz and their excellent website can be found thisaway.
This may be surprising to some. After all, Germany is Europe’s leading economy and famous for technological know-how. But, even while some of its neighbors in Europe and elsewhere are quickly swapping physical money for new pay technologies, many Germans prefer their euro bills. Cash is quick and easy to use, they argue. It provides a clear picture of personal spending, keeps transactions more private and is widely accepted in the country.
“I usually pay cash. This way I have the feeling of keeping track of the money I spend,” says Madeleine Petry, 29, as she shops at a supermarket in Berlin. “Sometimes when I couldn’t make it to the ATM, I use my debit card in the store, but I never use my credit card for shopping in the real world — just for online shopping.”
She is not the only one with this mindset.
A 2017 study by the country’s central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, said Germans carried an average of 107 euros (over $115 at the 2017 exchange rate) in their wallet. That’s more than three times what the average French person carries (32 euros), according to the European Central Bank. It is also far more than what Americans carry. Three-quarters of respondents in a U.S. Bank survey said they carried less than $50 — and one-quarter said they keep $10 or less in their wallet.
Netflix has picked up its series Love, Death and Robots for a second run, and the anthology is bringing aboard an animation veteran to help bring the show to life.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson, the director of Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3, will join the series as supervising director for the second season — or “volume,” as the show’s producers call it. A release date and episode count for the new run has yet to be determined.
Scientists think the time has come for a full geophysical survey of The Minch, to see if the Scottish strait is hiding an ancient meteorite crater.
The idea that such a structure lies between the Western Isles and mainland Scotland was first raised back in 2008.
They found evidence on the Highlands coast for the rocky debris that would have been produced by a giant impact.
Now, the team from Oxford and Exeter universities believes it can pinpoint where the space object fell to Earth.
Writing in the Journal of the Geological Society, Dr Ken Amor and colleagues say this location is centred about 15-20km west-northwest of Enard Bay – part way across The Minch towards Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.
The feature would be buried deep under the seafloor, they add.
In 2003, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History welcomed into its collection a 3-foot-tall plaster-of-Paris xenomorph egg that was used as a prop in “Aliens.” It may not be a moon rock or a first lady’s dress, but it’s iconic just the same. The National Air and Space Museum has a set of 103 “Alien” trading cards.
A black, gooey mess was bubbling up out of the ground near the iconic La Brea Tar Pits on Saturday.
The sight was attracting the attention of locals and tourists alike.
City workers were on Wilshire Boulevard trying to contain the seepage that was taking over a corner across the street from the historic landmark.
“I’ve seen it bubble up a little bit before, and it’s always fascinating when it happens. Thinking, OK, the tar pits are gonna win this time and take over the world,” Andrea Ross-Greene said laughing. “This is the biggest eruption I’ve seen, and I think it’s pretty cool.”
The earth has been oozing tar and methane gas in the area since pre-historic times.
(17) GRRM Q&A. In Santa Fe at his Jean Cocteau Cinema,
George R.R. Martin emcees occasional author events, which they have now started
recording for streaming and later viewing. Here are three available on YouTube.
Marlon James (author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf.)
Alan Brennert (from The Twilight Zone, author of Daughter of Molokai.)
Lee Child (Creator of Jack Reacher.)
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian,
Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Hampus Eckerman, Carl Slaughter, rcade,
and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]