Daniel Dern sent the photos with a note, “Mike we forget to get your cred card #… any chance Timothy will do the honors?”
Thanks to Eric Wong for these photos of the Filers meetup on Thursday, August 15 at Dublin 2019!
By Hampus Eckerman: Now that the Dublin 2019 Worldcon Program has arrived, I have tried to compile all schedule with all appearances of Filers. I might have missed some, especially when I can’t remember what names they have apart from the nick, so there might be gaps. Please enter a comment here if I have missed you.
I also added the main events that I expect a lot of Filers will be at, and thus not good for meetups (Opening Ceremonies, Business Meeting, Masquerade, Hugos, Closing Ceremony).
After having reviewed these schedules, my proposal for Filer meetups are the following:
First Filers Almost Sleeping on SFF Meetup
Thursday 15:th of August, 18:00
I will try to find out the best place for the meetup, somewhere in the convention center (or extremely close nearby). This should be a good place to meet to go to the Opening Ceremonies together for those that haven’t already made arrangement with other fans. Or go and have a snack together before.
Filer Live Action Pixel Scroll Meetup
Saturday 17:th of August, 17:30 – 19:30
There will still be a collision with some filer panels here, but it is a hard time to find a gap where no one is occupied. I will try to book something as close as possible to the convention center. We can do a meetup in the convention center and walk together.
Thursday 15th of August
- 10:00 – 10:50 Fanzines Now! Greg Hullender
- 11:00 – 11:50 Is it about a bicycle? The influences of a comedic genius Nicholas Whyte, Nigel Quinlan
- 11:00 – 11:50 Crime and punishment in the age of superheroes Chris M. Barkley
- 11:30 – 12:20 Introduction to working with leather Ingvar Mattsson
- 12:00 – 12:50 A musical history of swedish fandom Karl-Johan Norén
- 13:00 – 13:50 Non-English language SFF television Cora Buhlert
- 13:00 – 13:50 Reading Jo Walton
- 13:00 – 13:50 Evolution of Fanzines Jerry Kaufman
- 13:30 – 14:20 Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker Liz Bourke
- 14:00 – 14:50 Sports in science fiction and fantasy Chris M. Barkley
- 14:00 – 14:50 Dragons and debutantes: fantasy set in the Regency Heather Rose Jones
- 15:30 – 17:20 Speed crafting – session 1 Cora Buhlert
- 15:30 – 16:20 How to Manage Finite Natural Resources Nigel Quinlan
- 16:00 – 16:50 ‘Celtic’ Fantasy and Mythology Kathryn Sullivan
- 16:00 – 17:50 Mark Protection Committee (MPC) meeting Kevin Standlee
- 16:30 – 17:20 Armour and armour-making Ingvar Mattsson
- 17:00 – 17:50 Literary Beer: Ellen Datlow Ellen Datlow
- 17:00 – 17:50 Is Literary Escapism Good for Kids? Nigel Quinlan
- 18:00 – 18:50 Talking Animal Characters in SFF Lise Andreason
- 20:00 – 20:50 Introduction to hopepunk Jo Walton
- 20:00 – 21:50 Opening Ceremonies, featuring the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards
Friday 16th of August
- 10:00 – 12:50 WSFS Business Meeting: preliminary
- 10:00 – 10:50 Autographs Jo Walton
- 10:30 – 11:20 Star Trek: Discovery season 3 Liz Bourke
- 11:30 – 12:20 So you want to enter the Masquerade? Kevin Roche
- 10:30 – 11:20 Autographs Catherynne Valente
- 12:00 – 12:50 Bridging the language barrier: translated SFF Cheryl Morgan
- 13:00 – 13:50 Sharp storytelling Ingvar Mattsson
- 15:00 – 15:50 Introduction to SFF romance Cora Buhlert
- 15:00 – 15:50 How to create anthologies Ellen Datlow
- 16:00 – 16:50 Using SFF as sandboxes for ideas on politics and society Nicholas Whyte
- 16:30 – 16:50 Reading Catherynne Valente
- 17:00 – 17:50 Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading Kathryn Sullivan
- 17:00 – 17:50 Autographs Ellen Datlow
- 19:00 – 19:50 Hugo finalists discussion: Best Dramatic Presentation Olav Rokne
- 20:00 – 20:50 Anniversary: The Left Hand of Darkness (book) Cheryl Morgan
Saturday 17th of August
- 10:00 – 10:50 Revolutions in an era of advanced technology Catherynne Valente
- 10:00 – 11:00 Masquerade contestant briefing Kevin Roche
- 10:00 – 12:50 WSFS Business Meeting: main session
- 11:00 – 11:50 Critics talk 2018: the year in books Liz Bourke
- 12:00 – 12:50 Building the SFF community online Heather Rose Jones
- 13:00 – 13:50 Kaffeeklatsch Catherynne Valente
- 13:30 – 14:20 The global multiverse: the comics scene worldwide Cora Buhlert
- 13:30 – 14:20 Re-imagining national epics Jo Walton
- 14:00 – 14:50 Young adults versus… the world! Catherynne Valente
- 15:00 – 15:50 Changing climates, changing world Olav Rokne
- 15:30 – 16:20 Robots before RUR Cheryl Morgan
- 16:00 – 16:50 Group Reading: Speculative Performance Poetry Nigel Quinlan
- 16:00 – 17:50 Fan Funds Auction Jerry Kaufman
- 17:00 – 17:50 Tall technical tales Ingvar Mattsson
- 17:00 – 17:50 Horror: where are we going? Ellen Datlow
- 17:00 – 17:50 Kaffeeklatsch Jo Walton
- 20:00 – 22:00 Masquerade
- 21:00 – 21:50 Panel show: ‘That was unexpected!’ Catherynne Valente
Sunday 18th of August
- 10:00 – 10:50 What I read when I was young Catherynne Valente
- 10:00 – 12:50 WSFS Business Meeting: Site Selection
- 10:00 – 10:50 Autographs Heather Rose Jones
- 10:00 – 10:50 Down the Rabbit Hole: The Appeal of Portal Fantasy Kathryn Sullivan
- 11:00 – 11:50 Orville vs. Discovery Lise Andreason
- 11:00 – 11:50 How Science and Ordinary People Can Change the Future Rich Lynch
- 13:30 – 14:20 Get us out of the Twilight Zone: the work of Jordan Peele Chris M. Barkley
- 14:00 – 14:50 Ditch Diggers podcast: live recording Ursula Vernon
- 15:00 – 15:50 Breaking into short horror fiction markets Ellen Datlow
- 15:00 – 15:50 Autographs Kathryn Sullivan
- 15:30 – 16:00 Children’s singalong / filking session Karl-Johan Norén
- 15:30 – 16:20 Behind the seams of the Masquerade Kevin Roche
- 15:30 – 16:20 Fan podcasts Heather Rose Jones
- 16:00 – 16:50 Using science in fantasy writing Jo Walton
- 16:00 – 16:50 Origins of Irish Fandom Jerry Kaufman
- 17:30 – 18:20 Parents and children in fandom Karl-Johan Norén
- 20:00 – 22:00 The 2019 Hugo Awards Ceremony
Monday 19th of August
- 10:00 – 12:50 WSFS Business Meeting
- 10:00 – 10:50 No, what do you mean by AI? Kevin Roche
- 10:30 – 11:20 Irish science and scientific discoveries Nicholas Whyte
- 11:00 – 11:50 Breaking the Glass Slipper podcast: live recording Jo Walton
- 11:00 – 11:50 Kaffeeklatsch Liz Bourke
- 13:30 – 14:20 Challenges in men’s costume Kevin Roche
- 13:30 – 13:50 Reading Heather Rose Jones
- 16:30 – 17:20 Irish Myths and Legends for Children Nigel Quinlan
- 16:30 – 17:20 Closing Ceremonies
[Update 08/05/2019: Added Filer schedule items.]
By Rick Moen: Two File 770 gatherings near Worldcon 76 are planned so far — the evenings of Thursday, August 16 and Friday, August 17.
6:30 p.m. onwards (at end of Opening Ceremonies), starting at
Forager Tasting Room & Eatery
420 S 1st Street, S. of W. San Salvador Street
Rick Moen (me, the organizer) will be walking there from Opening Ceremonies (Forager being just over a block east). Look for a tall guy wearing a Panama hat, if you want to tag along.
Forager is a cavernous but non-noisy place for local beers and ciders, with light food offerings (not full meals; Filer Charon D. described these as ‘kale salad and sandwiches and things’) and long tables, so a big Filer crowd can gather and converse. On Thursdays, like many San Jose establishments, Forager closes at 8 p.m.: I figure many attendees will wish to reconvene, then or earlier, to one or more nearby restaurant, so I’ll have a map and list of suggestions, including Bo Town, a Chinese family-style restaurant with some Vietnamese dishes, on the same block as Forager and open daily to 10pm.
Bo Town Chinese Restaurant
409 S. 2nd Street, S. of W. San Salvador Street
7 p.m. onwards at
Back A Yard Caribbean Grill
80 N Market Street, north of W. Santa Clara Street
This restaurant offering amazing Jamaican food is 850 metres north of the convention centre (1/2 mile), about five blocks up Market Street, and a short walks from both the Santa Clara Station and St. James Station VTA light-rail stops. Tables are big enough, it’s not too noisy, and it probably won’t be crowded. Friday, it’s open to 9pm. It’s not fancy, being all about the excellent cooking.
Steve Davidson has kindly offered the Amazing Stories Magazine booth (which I assume will be in the Dealers’ Room) as a place to meet and leave messages.
Interested in calling an additional File770 gathering? Good! Please send details to Mike Glyer (mikeglyer(at)cs(dot)com), and then I assume he’ll update this posting.
Rick Moen can be SMSed or voice-called on his mobile at +1 (650) 283-7902.
Compiled by Hampus Eckerman: I tried to write down a schedule of all filers that are part of programming on Worldcon.
If you’re a commenter or a lurker here, and you’d like to have your programming items added to this list, please comment below or send an e-mail to mikeglyer [at] cs [dot] com.
14:00 Kevin Standlee: WSFS Mark Protection Committee Meeting
15:00 Gideon Marcus: Beyond Yaoi: Trends in LGBTQ+ Representation in Anime & Manga
15:00 Chris M. Barkley: A Short History of the YA Award Category
16:00 John Hertz: My First Worldcon
16:00 Douglas Berry, Gideon Marcus: How Gaming is Important to Fandom
08:00 Adam Rakunas: Wrun With Writers
08:00 Cat Rambo: SFWA Business Meeting
09:00 Steve Davidson, Greg Hullender: Stroll With The Stars
10:00 Gideon Marcus: The Art and Craft of Anthology Curation
11:00 Ann Leckie: Pronouns Matter — Gender Courtesy for Fans
11:00 John Hertz: Classics of SciFi: The Sword of Rhiannon
11:00 Cat Rambo: Successfully Negotiating Book Contracts
11:00 Bill Higgins: The Myth of the Astronaut – Who Are the Space Cadets of Yesterday,
Today, and Tomorrow?
13:00 Ann Leckie: Kaffeeklatsch
13:00 James Bacon: Future WSFS Conventions
13:00 Gideon Marcus: Come Time Travel With Me
14:00 Heather Rose Jones: Autographs
15:00 Cat Rambo: What Can SFWA Offer Me
15:00 Ann Leckie: Autographs
16:00 Gregory Benford: Commentary on “Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future”
16:00 Greg Hullender: Evolution of the Fanzine
17:00 Ctein: Kaffeeklatsch
17:00 Gregory Benford: Autographs
19:00 Adam Rakunas: Reading
God Stalk Bonus: 17:00 PC Hodgell: Autographs
10:00 John Hertz: Classics of SciFi: A Mirror For Observers
12:00 Gregory Benford: Kaffeeklatsch
12:00 Lee Whiteside: 25 Years of Babylon 5
13:00 Ann Leckie: Reading: Hugo Finalists – Best Novel
13:00 Cat Rambo: Autographs
13:00 James Bacon: Eurovision: A Science Fictional Spectacular Spectacle
14:00 Chris M. Barkley: In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison
15:00 Cat Rambo: Chasing Shadows: Living in Our Transparent Society
16:00 Heather Rose Jones: Reading: Escape Artists reading
16:00 Ctein: Geek Identity, Policing, and Gatekeeping
17:00 Gregory Benford: Chasing Shadows: Living in Our Transparent Society
17:00 Greg Hullender: Author vs Fan Ownership
17:00 Ursula Vernon: SFF Middle-Grade: Parameters and Opportunities
17:00 Douglas Berry: Veteran’s Roundtable
20:00 John Hertz: Masquerade
God Stalk Bonus 2: 16:00 PC Hodgell: In For the Long Haul: The Ups and Downs of Writing a Long Series
10:00 John Hertz: Classics of SciFi: Red Planet
10:00 Heather Rose Jones, Lisa Goldstein: Mythogenesis
11:00 Ctein: Autographs
11:00 Douglas Berry: Fandom as a Method of Cultural Adaptation
12:00 Heather Rose Jones: Podcasts? Can’t Be THAT Hard…
12:00 Steve Davidson: Overcoming Fannish Factions
13:00 Gideon Marcus: The Future You Imagine is the Future You Get
15:00 Greg Hullender: Getting Zoomed! Virtual Technology on the Rise
15:00 Bill Higgins: So You Want To Build A Science Fictional Device
16:00 John Hertz: Regency Dancing
17:00 Ursula Vernon: Recommended Reading in Webcomics
17:00 Lisa Goldstein: Autographs
17:00 Bill Higgins: The Impact of Evolutionary Theory on 19th Century Science Fiction
12:30 Kevin Standlee: WSFS Mark Protection Committee Meeting
15:00 James Bacon: Closing Ceremonies
(1) WHAT FILERS LOVE. Rocket Stack Rank’s Eric Wong put together a page summarizing the Filers’ Hugo nominations for the three short-fiction categories: “Annotated 2017 File 770 List for Short Fiction”. Here are some highlights:
In the Annotated 2017 File 770 List for Short Fiction, there were 34 stories with a tally of three or more nominations. Here are a few interesting findings from the 14 novellas, 10 novelettes, and 10 short stories:
- 21 stories are free online(62%), including all novelettes and short stories. [Highlight free stories]
- 4 stories are by Campbell-eligible writers. [Group by Campbell Year]
- None are translated stories.
- 14 publications are represented (including standalone novellas) with the top three being Tor novellas (9), Tor.com (5) and Uncanny (6). [Group by Publication]
- RSR recommended 18, recommended against 4, and did not review 2. [Group by RSR Rating]
- 25 of the 33 stories had a score > 1, meaning many were highly recommended by prolific reviewers, inclusion in “year’s best” anthologies, and award finalists. [Group by Score]
Greg Hullender adds, “Note how well we predicted the actual results last year” —
Last year, the top 55 novellas, novelettes and short stories nominated by Filers resulted in the following matches:
- 15 out of 18 short fiction Hugo finalists[Highlight Hugo+2] missing only
- o A Fistful of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong
- o The other two were Puppy-picks: Alien Stripper… and An Unimaginable Light
- 4 out of 5 Eugie finalists[Highlight Eugie+2] missing only
- o The Limitless Perspective of Master Peek, or, the Luminescence of Debauchery by Catherynne M. Valente
- 7 out of 9 Sturgeon finalists[Highlight Sturgeon+2] missing only
- o Project Empathy by Dominica Phetteplace
- o The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. MacLeod
- 12 out of 19 short fiction Nebula finalists[Highlight Nebula+2], though the finalists were announced before Hugo nominations closed.
(2) DUBLIN 2019 FAMILY SAVINGS. The Irish Worldcon has a plan: “If you are bringing your family, a family plan might save you a bit of money”.
Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon has announced a new family plan for those members who are attending with members of their family. If you sign up for a family plan you will receive 10% off the total costs for the included memberships. This new plan can be used in conjunction with the recently announced Instalment Plan as long as the Family Plan is set up first.
The Dublin 2019 Family Plan enables fans to bring their whole family with them and save 10% on the total costs of memberships. A family plan will consist of 2 “Major” and at least 2 “Minor” Individuals. A “Major” membership is an individual born on or before 15 August 2001 (18+ on the first day of the convention). “Minor” memberships are individuals born between 16 August 2001 and 15 August 2013 (ages 6-17 on the first day of the convention). There is also a single parent variation. Details can be found on the website.
Under the Plan, you first buy a Supporting Membership and then fill in the Dublin 2019 Family Plan Request form. The registration team will then be in touch with your membership invoice. The charge for your family plan will be frozen at the time your application is received, accepted, and calculated. If you have not chosen to apply for the instalment plan we will issue an invoice for the balance which you will have 30 days to pay. If that lapses without payment, then you will need to start the process over again, and costs will be calculated from the date of new application.
With the Attending Membership rates rising at 00:01 hours Dublin time on April 3, 2018, this is an ideal time to consider a Family Membership Plan and ensure that you and your family can attend Dublin 2019 at the current cost.
Full terms and conditions for the Dublin 2019 Family Plan can be found at www.dublin2019.com/family-plan/.
(3) JEOPARDY STRIKES AGAIN. Andrew Porter watched the first Jeopardy! contestant make a miss-take.
Wrong question: “What is Mars?”
Rich Lynch says a second contestant got it right.
(Thanks to Rich for the image.)
(4) AND ANOTHER GAME SHOW REFERENCES SF. Did I mention, The Chase is my mother’s favorite TV show?
— Omega (@Weregopher) March 21, 2018
(5) DON’T BITE WIZARDS. Middle-Earth Reflections continues its series with “Reading Roverandom /// Chapter 1”.
Rover’s adventures begin one day when he plays with his yellow ball outside and bites a wizard for taking the ball, which is not to the dog’s liking. The animal’s misfortune is that he has not got the slightest idea that the man is a wizard because “if Rover had not been so busy barking at the ball, he might have noticed the blue feather stuck in the back of the green hat, and then he would have suspected that the man was a wizard, as any other sensible little dog would; but he never saw the feather at all” (Roverandom, p. 41-42). Being really annoyed, the wizard turns Rover into a toy dog and his life turns upside down.
It is because of such poor control of emotions that Rover is bound to embark on an adventure of some kind in a rather uncomfortable form. There also seems to be a lack of knowledge on his behalf. It is not the only time when Tolkien uses the “if they knew something, they would understand a situation better” pattern in Roverandom, as well as in some other of his stories. These references can be either to existing in our world myths, legends and folktales, or to Tolkien’s own stories. In his mythology the character wearing a hat with a blue feather is none other than Tom Bombadil, who is a very powerful being indeed, so a blue feather seems to be a very telling sign to those in the know.
(6) ACCESSIBILITY ADVICE. Kate Heartfield tells “What I’ve Learned about Convention Accessibility” at the SFWA Blog.
… Can*Con is in Ottawa, Canada in October. My job is pretty minor: I wrote our accessibility policy and revise it every year, and I advise the committee about how to implement it when we have particular problems or concerns. Most importantly, I’m there as the dedicated person to field questions or concerns.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned…
The whole convention committee has to be on board. Programming policies affect accessibility. So do registration procedures, party plans, restaurant guides. If anyone involved shrugs it off, accessibility will suffer. From the beginning, every person on the committee of Can-Con, and every volunteer, has been entirely supportive of me and the policy. When I bring a concern to the committee, the response is always constructive and never defensive. There are limits to what we can do, as a small but growing convention, and so much depends on the physical accessibility of the venue itself. But I’m learning that the limits are actually a lot farther away than they might appear, and with good people working together, a lot is possible….
Accessibility is about inclusion, and it’s a broader topic than you might think. Mobility barriers are probably the first thing that comes to mind, and they’re hugely important, but they’re not the whole picture. Accessibility is also about making sure that everyone is called by the correct pronouns and has access to a washroom where they’ll be safe and comfortable. It’s about trying not to trigger allergies and sensitivities. It’s about making sure that people have the supports they need. One of the most frequent requests we’ve had is simply for quiet recovery space.
(7) IN THE BEGINNING. Sarah A. Hoyt, having finished her Mad Genius Club series defining various genres and subgenres thoroughly and accurately, has embarked on a specialized tour of different ways to start a story. Today it’s “The Atmospheric”. Very interesting, and besides, there’s a Bradbury quote!
…“In the year A.D. 400, the Emperor Yuan held his throne by the Great Wall of China, and the land was green with rain, readying itself towards the harvest, at peace, the people in his dominion neither too happy nor too sad.” – Ray Bradbury, The Flying Machine.
Look at those openings above. They’re obviously not “these people” because except for the first — and it’s not exactly people — there are no people to be “these”.
Is there action? Well, sort of. I mean things are happening. But if those are the main characters of your novel they’re kind of weird, consisting of a hole in the ground, a light in the sky, noise and apparently the Emperor Yuan.
Of course these are atmospheric beginnings.
Atmospheric beginnings are hard to do. It’s easy to get lost in writing about things in general, but will they capture the reader? And while you — well, okay, I — can go on forever about the beautiful landscape, the wretched times, the strange events in the neighborhood, what good is that if your reader yawns and gently closes the book and goes to sleep?
To carry off an atmospheric beginning, too, you need impeccable wording, coherent, clear, and well… intriguing. If that’s what your book calls for, a touch of the poetic doesn’t hurt either….
(8) THE BIT AND THE BATTEN. So much for security: “Teenager hacks crypto-currency wallet”.
A hardware wallet designed to store crypto-currencies, and touted by its manufacturer as tamper-proof, has been hacked by a British 15-year-old.
Writing on his blog, Saleem Rashid said he had written code that gave him a back door into the Ledger Nano S, a $100 (£70) device that has sold millions around the world.
It would allow a malicious attacker to drain the wallet of funds, he said.
The firm behind the wallet said that it had issued a security fix.
It is believed the flaw also affects another model – the Nano Blue – and a fix for that will not be available “for several weeks”, the firm’s chief security officer, Charles Guillemet told Quartz magazine.
(9) FINAL HONOR. BBC reports “Stephen Hawking’s ashes to be interred near Sir Isaac Newton’s grave”.
The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey, it has been revealed.
The renowned theoretical physicist’s final resting place will also be near that of Charles Darwin, who was buried there in 1882.
(10) SKY CEILING. In the Netherlands, “The world’s oldest working planetarium”, over two centuries old.
There was a beat of silence as the room’s atmosphere shifted from inward reflection to jittery disbelief. “How is that even possible?” said one visitor, waving a pointed finger at the living-room ceiling. “Is it still accurate?” asked another. “Why have I never heard of this before?” came the outburst from her companion. Craning my neck, I too could hardly believe it.
On the timber roof above our heads was a scale model of the universe, painted in sparkling gold and shimmering royal blue. There was the Earth, a golden orb dangling by a near-invisible, hand-wound wire. Next to it, the sun, presented as a flaming star, glinting like a Christmas bauble. Then Mercury, Venus, Mars, and their moons in succession, hung from a series of elliptical curves sawn into the ceiling. All were gilded on one side to represent the sun’s illumination, while beyond, on the outer rim, were the most-outlying of the planets, Jupiter and Saturn. Lunar dials, used to derive the position of the zodiac, completed the equation.
The medieval science behind the Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium is staggering, no matter how one views it….
(11) NIGHTLIGHT. The Independent tells readers: “Mysterious purple aurora dubbed ‘Steve’ by amateur stargazers spotted in Scotland”.
Stargazers were treated to a rare and mysterious sight named “Steve” as it lit up the night skies.
The unusual purple aurora was first discovered by a group of amateur scientists and astrophotographers who gave it the nickname, Nasa said.
Its striking purple colour and appearance closer than normal to the equator sparked interest in Scotland where it was visible from the isles of Lewis and Skye this week,
(12) NIGHTFLYERS. Here’s a teaser from the Syfy adaptation: “‘Nightflyers’: Syfy Unveils First Footage of George R.R. Martin Space Drama”.
A day after replacing showrunners, Syfy has unveiled the first look at its upcoming George R.R. Martin space drama Nightflyers.
Nightflyers is, without question, a big swing for Syfy. The drama, based on Game of Thrones creator Martin’s 1980 novella and the 1987 film of the same name, follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of the solar system aboard The Nightflyer — a ship with a small, tight-knit crew and a reclusive captain — in hopes of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place, they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.
(13) JOB APPLICATION. A video of Shatner and Nimoy at Dragon Con is touted as “the funniest Star Trek convention of all time” by the poster.
William Shatner repeatedly asked Leonard Nimoy, “Why am I not in the movie?!”
(14) IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY: Jason sends word that Featured Futures has added a couple of items regarding markets receiving accolades and magazines receiving coverage by prolific review sites.
Noted Short SF Markets: 2017 is the first variation on a theme:
The following is a list of short fiction markets which had 2017 short stories, novelettes, or novellas selected for a Clarke, Dozois, Horton, or Strahan annual or which appeared on the final ballot of the Hugos or Nebulas. They are sorted by number of selections (not individual stories, which sometimes have multiple selections).
This is a variant of “The Splintered Mind: Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines 2017.” This only tabulates six factors over one year rather than the many factors over many years of the original. That version helps flatten out fluky peaks and valleys but this provides an instant snapshot of major accolades. (This version also includes whatever venue the stories come from while that version focuses on magazines.) I’d thought about doing this before but stumbling over that finally got me to do it.
The second variation on a theme is Magazines and Their Reviewers
This page presents a table of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazines covered by five “prolific review sites.” Its primary purposes are to help people find the coverage of the zines they want to read about and/or to help them see which zines are covered from multiple viewpoints.
This is a variant of Rocket Stack Rank‘s “Magazine Coverage by Reviewers.” There are two significant differences and a minor one. First, this lists all the magazines regularly covered by the reviewers. Second, the list of reviewers includes Tangent Online but not the editors of annuals who presumably read most everything but don’t maintain review sites (though Dozois, Horton and others do review recommended stories for Locus). The minor difference is just that there’s no number column because this isn’t being done for “stack ranking” purposes.
(15) UP TO SNUFF? Zhaoyun covers a feature available on Netflix in “Microreview [film]: Mute, directed by Duncan Jones” at Nerds of a Feather.
The name ‘Duncan Jones’ will immediately evoke, in the minds of the small but powerful(ly voiced) group of cine-nerds, the masterful 2009 film Moon, and/or the respectable cerebral (get it?!) thriller Source Code of 2011. Garden-variety meathead non-nerds, on the other hand, might recall him as the director of the 2016 video game-to-film adaptation of Warcraft—you know, the movie that absolutely no one was eagerly awaiting. No matter your nerd credentials, then, you probably associate Duncan Jones with a certain cinematographic pizzazz, and like me, your expectations were probably quite high for his latest brainchild, the only-on-Netflix 2018 futuristic neo-noir Mute. The question is, were those expectations met?
Nah. But before we get to the bad news, I’ll give the good news. The film is breathtakingly beautiful, leaving no rock of the delectably dirty futuristic Berlin unturned, and what’s more, it is full of quirky little visual predictions of what the world will be like in twenty years (you know, mini-drones delivering food through the drone-only doggy door on windows, etc.). Plus, Paul Rudd was, in my opinion, an excellent casting choice, as his snarky-but-harmless star persona helps mask the darkness lurking deep within his character here.
(16) PASSING THROUGH. Renay praises a book: “Let’s Get Literate! In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan” at Lady Business.
Portal fantasies feel like a staple of childhood. I missed most of the literary ones. I loved In Other Lands, but as much as it is a portal fantasy it’s also a critique of them, a loving celebration and deconstruction of their tropes and politics, and I probably missed 95% of everything this book does. Does it do what it set out to do well? Yes, says the portal fantasy newbie, whose experience with portal fantasy as a Youngster comes in the form of the following:
- Through the Ice by Piers Anthony and Robert Kornwise
- Labyrinth, starring David Bowie
- The Neverending Story; too bad about those racial politics
- Cool World starring Brad Pitt, which I watched when too young
- Space Jam, the best sports movie after Cool Runnings
(17) X FOR EXCELLENT. Also at Lady Business, Charles Payseur returns with a new installment of “X Marks the Story: March 2018”, which includes a review of —
“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, Phenderson Djèlí Clark (published at Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
What It Is: As the title of this short story implies, it is a history of sorts of the people behind the teeth that George Washington bought to use for his dentures. Structured into nine sections, the story builds up a wonderfully imagined alternate past full of magic, monsters, and war—even as it uncovers the exploitation and abuse lurking at the heart of the very real history of the United States of America. Each story explores a different aspect of the past through a fantasy lens, and yet the truth of what is explored—the pain and atrocities that people faced under the rule of early America—rings with a power that echoes forward through time, reminding us of the origins, and continued injustices, of this country….
(18) RUSS TO JUDGMENT. Ian Sales takes a close look at “The Two of Them, Joanna Russ” (1978) at SF Mistressworks.
…The depiction of Islam in The Two of Them would only play today on Fox News. It is ignorant and Islamophobic. Russ may have been writing a feminist sf novel about the role of women, but she has cherrypicked common misconceptions about women in Islamic societies as part of her argument, and ignored everything else. This is not an Islamic society, it’s a made-up society based on anti-Islamic myths and clichés….
There’s a good story in The Two of Them, and the prose shows Russ at her best. Toward the end, Russ even begins breaking the fourth wall and directly addressing the reader. The narrative also discusses alternative outcomes of Irene’s story, probabilistic worlds and events that would naturally arise out of the premise of the Trans-Temporal Authority. Her depiction of Irene, contrasting both her lack of agency in 1950s USA and her agency in the Trans-Temporal Authority, makes an effective argument. But the attempt to contrast it with Islam is a definite mis-step….
(19) AUDIENCES LOVE NEXT DEADPOOL. The Hollywood Reporter learned “‘Deadpool 2’ Outscores Original in Test Screenings”.
The Ryan Reynolds-fronted sequel has been tested three times, with the scores for the first two screenings coming in at 91 and 97. The final test, which occurred in Dallas, tested two separate cuts simultaneously, which scored a 98 and a 94. The 98-scoring cut is the version the team is using, a source with direct knowledge told THR.
The crew attended the final screenings in Dallas, and a source in the audience of the 98 screening describing the environment to THR as being electric and akin to watching the Super Bowl.
It’s worth noting the highest test screening the original Deadpool received was a 91, according to insiders. The film went on to gross $783 million worldwide and stands as the highest-grossing X-Men movie of all time.
(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Isle of Dogs: Making of: The Animators” is a look at how 27 animators and ten assistants used state-of-the-art animation to make – you guessed it — Isle of Dogs..
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Rich Lynch, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Greg Hullender, Jason, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor Peer.]
It was 40 years ago today
Sgt. Saturn taught the band to play…
Several friends have been along for the entire ride, like artist Taral Wayne, who had an illo in the first paper issue, and also is the creator of the banner art for this blog. Or Steve Davidson, mentioned in a news item on page 2. Not to mention the many who were on the mailing list from the beginning.
I also want to thank Linda Bushyager, editor of Karass, which preceded File 770 as fandom’s newzine of record, for passing the baton those many years ago.
And thanks to the generosity of everyone who has shared their stories, events and concerns in these pages over the years.
We’ll be celebrating this anniversary — and the 10th anniversary of this blog on January 15 — over the next 10 days with a series of special guest posts, too. Watch for the logo!
File 770 reaches two big milestones in January 2018, the 40th anniversary of the fanzine (January 6), and the 10th anniversary of this blog (January 15).
Would you like to get in on the celebration by writing a guest post, book review, silly lyric, or whatever else strikes your fancy? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) DELISTED. Entertainment Weekly, after rehearsing at length the facts about the controversy linked in yesterday’s Scroll, reports “Handbook for Mortals pulled from New York Times YA best-seller list”.
While that mystery remains unsolved for now, Book Twitter’s sleuthing was not for nothing. By the end of the day, the New York Times had released a revised list that excluded Handbook for Mortals and returned The Hate U Give to its rightful place in the top spot.
— Michael Bourret (@MichaelBourret) August 24, 2017
(2) WHO? The new Doctor’s companion has been cast. The Guardian says he’s a game show host: “Doctor Who, The Chase and the charts: why Bradley Walsh is everywhere”. Think Alex Trebek…
On Monday, BBC News published an article whose headline asked: “Does the world need polymaths?” It examined why experts historically felt the need to excel in many disciplines, but now typically focus on only one. On Tuesday, as if the universe were playing some kind of cosmic joke, news broke that Bradley Walsh is set to be cast as the latest companion in the new series of Doctor Who. If there was ever a need for proof that the renaissance man is back, baby, then Bradley Walsh is that proof.
The Watford-born entertainer, 57, started out as a professional footballer, signing to Brentford in 1978 and playing for Barnet and Dunstable Town before ankle injuries put an end to all that. Walsh would later score a penalty for England in the Soccer Aid charity game at Old Trafford in 2010. Not satisfied with one sport, he is also adept at golf, with his team winning the second series of celebrity golf tournament All Star Cup on ITV in 2007.
But sport’s loss was television’s gain. After a stint as a Pontins’ bluecoat, Walsh hit the small screen, first as a presenter, a format that one might describe as his true calling, in which he continues to excel today as the host of ITV’s The Chase. Thankfully, his Doctor Who commitments won’t interfere, according to an anonymous friend who spoke to the Mirror to express relief. “He loves that show with a passion and so does the audience, so he’s delighted to have found a way to make it all work.”
(3) AFROFUTURISM. Chicago Magazine’s Adam Morgan profiles “The Next Generation of Chicago Afrofuturism” – Eve Ewing, Krista Franklin, and Ytasha Womack,.
Back in 2014, we caught up with some of Chicago’s most prominent afrofuturist artists and musicians like David Boykin, Nick Cave, and Cauleen Smith. But what about the city’s poets and writers? Through science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and surrealism, these three women are keeping Chicago at the center of the afrofuturist conversation….
Growing up in Logan Square, Eve Ewing used to daydream about “shooting arrows, exploring dungeons, and solving mysteries” while riding her bike. She didn’t hear the word “afrofuturism” until her 20s, but as a child she watched Geordi La Forge on Star Trek and listened to George Clinton. Today, Ewing’s one of Chicago’s most visible cultural icons, from her reporting on Chicago Public Schools to her debut poetry collection, Electric Arches (Haymarket Books, Sept. 12), which looks at Chicago’s South and West Sides through an afrofuturist lens.
“The book is an attempt to use poetry to write a future, and to me that future has to be a free black future,” Ewing says. In Electric Arches, lunar aliens invade Chicago and paint everything black, a time machine allows a fifth-grader to speak with her ancestors, and South Side children escape the police on flying bicycles.
“Part of what makes afrofuturism interesting and distinct is that blackness in America demands an honest reckoning with a violent and traumatic past,” she says. “And here we are in Chicago, a city where black life has been crafted in the face of generations of inconceivable violence: gun violence, state violence, everything. I think we are tasked with thinking beyond this world, about how to live in spite of and beyond everything trying to kill us.”
(4) ELEMENTARY. Award-winning speculative poet Mary Soon Lee, writing in Science, composed a haiku for each element in the Period Table: “Elemental Haiku”.
The haiku encompass astronomy, biology, chemistry, history, physics, and a bit of whimsical flair.
At the link, scroll over an element on the table to read the haiku.
throw yourself at anyone,
decked out in diamonds.
(5) WORLDCON IMPROVEMENT. Scott Edelman has a fine idea: “One small thing we can each do to make Worldcon better”.
There were so many Worldcon newcomers this year that the committee ran out of FIRST WORLDCON ribbons for attendees to affix to their badges and had to print up new ones halfway through the con.
So there are people out there who want to be part of this special thing we have. How do we make them feel welcome?
One thing I made sure to do was approach every person I noticed wearing a FIRST WORLDCON ribbon and say … well … “Welcome!”
I told them I was glad they’d decided to join us, and asked the catalyst that caused them to come this particular year. I told them I hoped they were having a good time so far, and said that if they had any questions, I’d try to answer them. I shared an anecdote or two about why I fell in love with Worldcons so long ago.
And he has a great anecdote about this on his Facebook page, involving some 2017 first-timers, 1963 first-timers, and 1953 first timers all comparing notes in Helsinki.
(6) SUITABLY ILLUSTRATED. Hugo-nominated fanartist Vesa Lehtimäki has written a short W75 report:
View this post on Instagram
A belated Hugo Award musing. I haven't had time to pause and do this earlier. . It has been two weeks since the Hugo Award ceremony in Worldcon75, Helsinki. It was my first Worldcon and my first nomination for the award. I kept my expectations low, I tried to not stress too much and thought I'd just take it as it comes. I had an acceptance speech drafted out in case I'd win. I mean, I wanted the whole experience. . The evening was wonderful and it took me by surprise, I got completely carried away with the festive mood. I rejoiced along the winners and enjoyed the funny and the emotional acceptance speeches. I especially enjoyed the one with the dead whales. Later in the evening I left the building feeling elevated and proud to be among these people. . I did not win my category (Best Fan Artist), but, as it later turned out, I came in second. I lost on the final round to Elizabeth Leggett, who sadly wasn't present to accept the award. I would have liked to congratulate her personally. . So, no win but I didn't feel like a loser either. It was all a win for me, really. There was a "losers" party downtown Helsinki after the ceremony, known as "Mr. Martin's party", I was told. I presume it happens every time. I dared not make contact with Mr. Martin, present at the ceremony and at the party, nor take a welfie with him. To be honest, I haven't read his books and I felt it would've been dishonest to go and take fan photos. I like Game of Thrones but that doesn't cut it. . I am profoundly happy I got the chance to experience this all. The feeling from two weeks ago lingers still. . Today I took this simple photograph to go along this post. The tooper holds a HUGO nominee pin, something they give to all nominees to wear. It looks like the actual award and scales down nicely to the minifigure scale. That's a rare pin in Finland, there are only three. Incidentally, the two others belong to Ninni Aalto, she wore them on her ears instead of earrings. I thought that was pretty cool. . #hugoaward #hugoawards2017 #worldcon75 #worldcon #lego #minifigure #toy #toyphotography #toyphotographers #toptoyphotos #stuckinplastic #starwars #snowtrooper #probedroid #hoth #snow #blizzard
(7) MEDICAL UPDATE. Chunga co-editor Randy Byers, one of the best guys in fandom, says in “Gimme a break” he has reached a point in his cancer therapy where he’s stopping chemo and medical treatment while he and his doctor assess how they want to proceed,
(8) MORE THINGS YOU HAVEN’T READ YET. Hyperallergic reports Stanford University’s Global Medieval Sourcebook is a new online compendium of English translations for overlooked Middle Ages texts.
The initial offerings of the online compendium, which will be expanded as the GMS develops, range from a 15th-century song translated from Middle French that bemoans a lost love (“Two or three days ago / my sweet love went away / without saying anything to me. Alas, who will comfort me?”) to five selections from Hong Mai’s 12th-century Yijian Zhi (or, Record of the Listener, hereafter the Record), a sprawling 420-chapter chronicle that is an invaluable record of society, spirituality, and culture of the Southern Song Dynasty. The GMS is, as suggested by its title, a globally focused resource, with plans for medieval texts translated from Arabic, Chinese, Old Spanish, Latin, Middle High German, Old English, and Old French.
“[A] major aspect of our work to present a broad view of medieval culture is to actively recruit content from many different languages, especially those which have historically been inaccessible to contemporary readers,” Lyons-Penner explained. “It is very unusual for texts from so many different linguistic traditions to be read side by side, and we believe it makes for a much richer experience.”
(9) ON THE MAP. The Guardian says this has been a little controversial: “Australian city names streets after Game of Thrones characters”.
Game of Thrones has sparked a battle at a Australian housing development where streets have been named after characters and locations from the high-rating television show.
The developer of Charlemont Rise at Geelong in Victoria said he had been forced to change the name of Lannaster Road because of the link to the incestuous Lannister siblings from Game of Thrones.
“The name was knocked back by the developers next door because of the relationship between the Lannister brother and sister on the show,” said the project manager, Gary Smith. “I even changed the spelling to make it not as obvious.”
Lannaster Road will henceforth be known as Precinct Road.
There have been no complaints about the other street names in the estate, more than a dozen of which were inspired by the show, Smith said. Among the names are Stannis, Winterfell, Greyjoy, Baelish and Tywin.
(10) THOMAS OBIT. Actor Jay Thomas (1948-2017) died August 24. His genre work included 20 episodes of Mork and Mindy, 6 episodes of Hercules, voicing an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and The Santa Clause 2 and 3.
And he appeared on Letterman annually during the Christmas season to repeat his Clayton Moore story (quoted here from the Wikipedia):
Thomas… a young disc jockey at WAYS 610AM in Charlotte, North Carolina…. had been making a promotional appearance at a local car dealership which had also booked Clayton Moore to make an appearance, dressed in his Lone Ranger costume.
As the story goes, after the appearance Thomas, who at the time sported what he referred to as a “white man’s Afro“, and his friend, who was wearing high heeled shoes, tight pants, and a tie-dyed shirt, went off to get “herbed up” (smoke marijuana) behind a dumpster, after the broadcast ended. When they returned to pack up their equipment, they discovered that Moore was still there, as the car that was supposed to drive him to the Red Carpet Inn on Morehead Street (some years he would say the Red Roof Inn) never arrived. Thomas offered Moore a ride in his old Volvo, and Moore accepted. As they were sitting in traffic, an impatient middle-aged man backed his Buick into the front end of Thomas’ car, broke a headlight, and drove away.
Thomas gave chase to the Buick through heavy traffic, finally caught up to the man, and confronted him about the damage. The indignant driver denied breaking the headlight, and Thomas threatened to call the police. The man said nobody would believe their story because Thomas and his friend looked like “two hippy freaks”. At that moment, Thomas said that Moore, who was still in costume as the Lone Ranger, got out of the car and said to the man, “They’ll believe me, citizen!”
(11) TODAY IN HISTORY
- August 25, 1939 — The Wizard of Oz opens in theaters around the United States.
(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS & GIRLS
- Born August 25, 1958 – Tim Burton
- Born August 25 – Chris M. Barkley
- Born August 25 – Marc Scott Zicree
- Born August 25 – Maureen Starkey
(13) COMICS SECTION. JJ sends along the continuation to a comic linked yesterday – Classic Dilbert.
(14) IN YOUR DREAMS. Oor Wombat is off Toasting at Bubonicon this weekend. It seems to be sending ripples through the ether…
…"If you can hear me, don't say anything.
You know when you get two Slinkies badly tangled and you can't extract them from each other?
— CE Murphy (@ce_murphy) August 25, 2017
— The Wombat Resists (@UrsulaV) August 25, 2017
That seems to be everyone's general reaction. 🙂
— CE Murphy (@ce_murphy) August 25, 2017
In other news, amazing progress continues to take place on the build site. As more structural and garden work gets underway, it’s thrilling to think Pleasant Grove will soon be home to this incomparable park and we wanted to give you a glimpse at one of the more unique structures going in:
This is a model of the “Enchanted Tree” which will be found in our Fantasy Garden, one of the many explorable areas of Evermore. With magical spaces like these around every corner, Evermore will be a place ripe for adventure.
(16) FILE 770 ARCHIVE. Fanac.org is expanding its archive of scanned issues of classic File 770. Hey, some of this stuff is pretty funny, if I do say so myself….
— FANAC (@FANACFanHistory) August 23, 2017
(17) TOP SF ART. Simon Stålenhag’s latest upload is incredible. Go to the website for close-ups of the ads on the buildings.
(18) THE LATE TIMOTHY. You can’t fool an honest cat. Or Timothy…. Camestros Felapton brings us a “Worldcon Report from Timothy the Talking Cat”.
I sat on the bed next to the pile of half frozen fish fingers I was packing into my Louis Vuitton clutch purse and looked up at the dim-witted fool who was under the misguided impression that this was his bedroom. I explained to him how, aside from the fact that Worldcon needs my presence, that I also fully expected to win a Hugo Award for Best Cat Who Edited Something. Oh, Camtrak Freightrain then goes into denial spouting off all sorts of nonsense: there’s no such award he says, the nominees have already been published he says, the award ceremony already happened and it was in the news and everything he says – like that proves anything these days with the lying media spinning all sorts of wild stories. I patiently explained to the poor, poor intellectually limited creature about the role of write-in candidates, jury nullification and how, if you write your name in capitals like this -TIMOTHY THE TALKING CAT – then you get to win all the lawsuits and not pay taxes. “You’d have to start earning some money to pay taxes,” mumbled Camphor Flushwipe sarcastically, knowing he was beaten by a higher intellect.
(19) YOUR ABOVE-AVERAGE DRAGON AWARD VOTER. Declan Finn explains who got his support in “My 2017 Dragon Award Vote”. It’s not exactly a deeply analytic post. Like, in the Best MilSF category he says —
My vote will go to Jon [Del Arroz]. I haven’t read any of the nominees this year, but for friendship’s sake, I’ll vote for Jon.
And in Best SF Miniatures/etc. –
Again, not my scene. [Rolls 6-sided die]. Um … Star Wars?
However, Finn does bring out that there is not a unity between the Castalia House-published nominees that Vox Day is backing and Jon Del Arroz’ “Happy Frogs” “Dragon Award Finalist Recommendations”. Still, the question remains how many works win that are not on one list or the other, since these are the people who talk more about the Dragon Awards than anyone else.
First of all, we at the Happy Frogs Board of Trustees want to give a hearty congratulations to all the Frogs who croaked their way into Dragon Nomination success. Such an achievement! Happy Frogs are winners….
And we are committed to winning. We at the Happy Frogs firmly believe that 2nd place is first loser. This is why we have to have a talk, fans and frogs alike.
There are some categories where it will be very tough to get further than a nomination because of some big names and anti-frog individuals with loud microphones. It is IMPERATIVE that we throw our collective weights beyond one voice per category to give us the best odds to surpass some of these giants. This is David vs. Goliath v. 2.0 and we have to make sure we go to battle ready.
Therefore, the Happy Frogs Board of Trustees have gotten together and unanimously decided to change our recommendations for this round of voting. This isn’t for lack of love of our prior nominees — we do love you! and we want all frogs and fans to buy and read their books. But these are the voices that have the best chance to win.
(20) CLICKBAIT OF THE DAY. And the award goes to – Motherboard, for “Do We All See the Man Holding an iPhone in This 1937 Painting?”
It’s not clear exactly who this man is, but he might as well be popping off a selfie or thumbing through his news feed. He seems to gaze into the handheld device in such a way that renders all-too-familiar today, as if he’s just read a bad tweet or recoiling from a Trump-related push notification from the Times. He would almost look unremarkable, if only he and the world around him existed at any point in the past decade.
But the multi-part, New Deal-era mural the man occupies, titled “Mr. Pynchon and the Settling of Springfield,” pre-dates the iPhone by seven decades….
(21) LEAPIN’ LIZARDS. I missed this wonderful item before the eclipse but I think it’s something everyone will still appreciate — “South Carolina Warns of Possible ‘Lizardmen’ During Solar Eclipse” from Fortune.
The upcoming solar eclipse has already brought some wonderful things to South Carolina, including a huge boost in tourist spending and the promise of a chocolate-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. But there are potential dangers lurking as well—like Lizardmen.
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division, in a Tweet, has issued a tongue-in-cheek advisory on possible paranormal activity during the Aug 21 event, noting that “SCEMD does not know if Lizardmen become more active during a solar eclipse, but we advise that residents of Lee and Sumter counties should remain ever vigilant.”
— SCEMD (@SCEMD) August 9, 2017
… Lizardmen are actually a thing in South Carolina. Well, not actually a thing (probably), but they’re the stuff of local legend. It’s basically the state’s version of Bigfoot, only with less hair and more scales. The last reported sighting was in 2015.
(22) LITERARY LANDMARK. Steve Barnes reminisces about Octavia Butler in “Keeping Octavia’s House a Home”. Click to see a photo of the place.
There are two writers I owe the most to, because of the personal connection: Larry Niven, my mentor, and Octavia Butler, my big sister. She inspired me to believe it was possible to survive in the field with integrity. Watching her over the years from a distance…and then living walking distance from her for about three years when I moved back into my mother’s house in “the old neighborhood”. Octavia lived on West Boulevard near Washington Boulevard between La Brea and Crenshaw, and because she didn’t drive, I often gave her lifts to autographings and bookstores, and had her over for dinner and conversation. I was in the old neighborhood yesterday, and drove past her house. I’m not 100% certain this was hers, because there is a lot of new building in the area, destroying some of the landmarks. It is POSSIBLE that there were two duplexes side by side, and this is just the one that survived. But…I’m pretty sure. Hers was the door on the Left, I believe.
(23) THE GREAT UNMADE. Grunge’s “Sci-fi shows that were too geeky to ever air” is one of these blasted posts that expects you to click through 20 screens, however, it is rather entertaining. On page 2 —
Paul Reubens, better known as Pee-Wee Herman, playing a wisecracking alien on an Area 51-like military base sounds like pretty much the perfect show. But NBC didn’t pick up this awesome pilot in 2007. The premise: for 40 years, a bunch of misfit, unwilling government employees and researchers have been trying to discover the secrets of the alien and his ship, who still hasn’t even given them his name, until Matthew Lillard (y’know, the guy who played Shaggy in two live-action Scooby-Doo movies) shows up, trying to make a difference. The Area 57 pilot has some pretty great moments, but we may never be truly ready to mix live-action sci-fi and comedy.
(24) BORNE. Jeff VanderMeer alerts fans to a new podcast, adding, “DEFINITELY spoilers for those who haven’t read the book.” — “CNET Book Club, Episode 1: ‘Borne’ by Jeff VanderMeer”.
Tune in to the audio podcast above for an extensive discussion of “Borne’s” secrets and mysteries. We’re also joined via Skype by the author, who answers (almost) all our pressing questions about the world of “Borne.”
(25) LISTEN UP! Torchwood is back – in Big Finish audio dramas.
Torchwood: Aliens Among Us Trailer
Torchwood is back! The first four episodes of Series 5 are out now from Big Finish Productions, featuring Jack, Gwen and Rhys and four new characters co-created by Russell T Davies. Starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Rhys Williams and Tom Price.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, David Doering, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern, who is not to blame for a slight tweak by OGH.]
(1) AND THEY’RE OFF. Fictional horses, ranked by their chances. Emily Temple handicaps the field in “Who Will Win The Literary Kentucky Derby?” at LitHub. Finishing at the back of the field….
The Skin Horse, of The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces.”
Adding the fact that toy horses are generally smaller than normal horses, not to mention fantasy horses, it seems unlikely that such a creature could beat any of the others listed here in a race. At least he’s wise, though. Not to mention Real. Imagine him, all Real and worn and loved, his little legs all seamy, limping across the finish line in the dimming afternoon, long after everyone else has gone home…no, you’re crying.
(2) STICKING TO IT. Canada will be issuing another new set of Star Trek stamps this year, featuring the five captains with their ships. Available from Canada post’s website here.
The five legendary leaders of Starfleet stand as the paragons of excellence: Kirk (William Shatner), Picard (Patrick Stewart), Sisko (Avery Brooks), Archer (Scott Bakula) and Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) are featured on this collectible pane of 5 stamps.
But a hero is nothing without an obstacle, a threat or an antagonist. No villain has tested our protagonists as much as their infamous counterparts: Khan, Locutus of Borg, Dukat, Dolim and the Borg Queen, who shadow the heroes on the stamps.
This pane pits each legendary hero against their nemesis on a stylized background containing their respective starships navigating the cold and dark expanse of Federation space. The wormhole from Deep Space Nine also makes a looming appearance.
The only thing more stunning than this mini-poster is a phaser.
(3) GEEK GENESIS. Patrick Read Johnson’s long-awaited Biopic about being the first Star Wars Geek! Opening 5-25-17 everywhere!!!
(4) SIX EASY SLICES. Cat amanuensis Camestros Felapton finds inspiration in the kitchen: “Timothy the Talking Cat Presents: How to cook a frozen pizza the Hugo way”.
Frozen pizza: the forbidden food. Yet these instructions defeat me. Yes, I, a cat who can field strip an AR-15 in the dark and without the aid of opposable thumbs, am incapable of reading these tiny instructions or operating the big heaty kitchen box thingy.
Time to turn to wiser heads. Who better than the six nominated writers for the Hugo 2017 Best Writey Book Prize!
If it worked for Bret Harte, why not Timothy?
Box’s End: The Three Pizza Problem
Yun Tianming listened to the radio from his hospital bed. The United Nations had jointly formed a resolution to condemn the doctrine known as ‘not being arsed to cook anything nutritious’. With the Trisolans a hundred years away from Earth, humanity had, in despair, stopped making an effort to cook anything decent….
(5) WE’RE GOING TO THE VOLCANO TO BLOW UP ROBOTS. National Geographic has changed a lot since I was a kid: “Robot vs. Volcano: ‘Sometimes It’s Just Fun to Blow Stuff Up’”.
“Sharkcano.” It’s not the title of some campy summer blockbuster, but rather a real-world phenomenon that went viral in 2015, when scientists on a National Geographic expedition found sharks living inside one of the most active underwater volcanoes on Earth. Not surprisingly, the team was eager to go back and learn more, but how do you explore an environment that could easily kill you? You send in robots, of course.
(6) ALL’S WELLS. Martians meet The Mudlark. “BBC is making a Victorian-era War of the Worlds TV series” says The Verge.
Earlier today, the BBC announced a number of new shows, including a three-part series based on H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The show is scheduled to go into production next spring, and it appears that, unlike most modern adaptations, it will be set in the Victorian era.
The series will be written by screenwriter Peter Hartness, who adapted Susanna Clarke’s Victorian-era fantasy novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for the network, as well as a handful of Doctor Who episodes.
(7) DYING FOR DUMPLINGS. Scott Edelman dines on dumplings and discusses writing with Brenda Clough in Episode 36 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.
During last year’s Capclave in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Brenda Clough tantalized me with tales of JDS Shanghai Famous Food, telling me they made some of the best soup dumplings in the D.C. area. So when it was time for her appearance on Eating the Fantastic, how could we go anywhere else?
Brenda has published short fiction in Analog, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, my own Science Fiction Age, and many others, and was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her novella “May Be Some Time.” She’s also written many novels across multiple series, and teaches writing workshops at the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Scott also says the future holds good things in store: “Check out the five guests I managed to record with during StokerCon!”
If you’re hungry for more, come back in two weeks when my guest will be Cynthia Felice, who’ll be followed by five episodes recorded during the recent StokerCon: William F. Nolan, Elizabeth Hand, Dennis Etchison, Nancy Holder, and George R. R. Martin.
(8) FONDLY REMEMBERED. This video was presented at Costume-Con 35 to recognize members of the community lost in the previous year. Other memorial videos posted on the International Costumers Guild site in the past few months include tributes to the late Robin Schindler, Toni Lay, and Adrienne Martine-Barnes.
(9) HOWARD FRANK OBIT. SF Site News reports Howard Frank (1941-2017) died on May 1. Husband of Jane Frank, a Chicon 7 GoH in 2012, he co-authored two books with his wife based on their collection. He won First Fandom’s Sam Moskowitz Archive Award in 2013.
(10) TODAY’S DAYS
- Revenge of the Fifth
Not had enough Star Wars on May the 4th? Thinking of stepping over to the Dark Side? Think you’d be a great Sith? Well keep swinging those light sabers, Revenge of the fifth is here to keep the force going with another Star Wars-themed observance!
- International Space Day
On the first Friday of each May, space boffins and science fans alike celebrate space with a dedicated day of observance to everything in the great beyond. Because there’s so much out there in space, you can be sure that there’s always going to be enough to celebrate on this day as every year comes! The History of International Space Day International Space Day started out as plain and simple Space Day in 1997. The day was created to observe the many wonders of the unknown space that our planet floats in, and encourage children to have more of an interest in the scientific field. In 2001, Senator John Glenn, himself a former astronaut, changed the day to International Space Day to widen its scope of celebration across the world.
- Cartoonist’s Day – May 5
The History of Cartoonist’s Day In 1895 a man named Richard F. Outcault introduced a small bald kid in a yellow nightshirt [The Yellow Kid] to the world in an incredibly popular publication in the big apple at the time, the New York World. While the paper itself was looked upon with a sort of disdain by ‘real’ journalists of the time, the yellow kid was embraced by people everywhere. Little did Richard know that when he first created this character, it would lead to a revolution in how stories were told and presented in sequential art pieces (That’s comics kids), but would in fact create a new standard piece of content for newspapers everywhere. Cartoonists’ day was created to celebrate this man and his accomplishments, and all the good he brought to the world as a result. Everything from our Sunday Comics to animation can be linked back to him and his creation. Just a simple bald kid in a yellow nightshirt.
(11) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 5, 1961 — From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
(12) PUZZLE WRAPPED IN AN ENIGMA. Well, now that you mention it….
Still rejiggering scenes. Not sure why Watson keeps hanging around with jerk Holmes 😀 😀
— Aliette de Bodard (@aliettedb) May 5, 2017
FARGO. That rocket-shaped award continues to be of interest to those unraveling the mysteries of Fargo. Warning: The Bustle’s episode recap contains SPOILERS.
One of the weirder, seemingly superfluous details of Fargo Season 3 comes to the forefront in the spectacularly odd May 3 episode, which focuses on the backstory of Ennis Stussy, née Thaddeus Mobley, and his adventures in science-fiction writing. But is The Planet Wyh a real book? And what about the bizarre events that transpired around the book’s success?
The pulpy paperback is first discovered by Gloria Burgle after her stepfather is murdered, hidden in a box under the floorboards of his house. Viewers see the book again — along with a newspaper clipping about Mobley winning an award, and a trove of other books with bizarro titles like The Plague Monkeys, Space Elephants Never Forget, and Organ Fish Of Kleus-9 — in the second episode. And in “The Law Of Non-Contradiction,” Gloria travels to the City Of Angels to do some digging into her stepfather’s secret past.
It turns out that, in 1975, Mobley traveled to Los Angeles to accept the prestigious Singularity Award for Best Science-Fiction Novel at the Golden Planet Awards. A producer named Howard Zimmerman quickly approached the naïve author about turning the book into a movie; but as Mobley wrote check after check and no progress seemed to be forthcoming, it eventually became clear that the whole thing was a scam to fund the lavish lifestyles of Zimmerman and his actress girlfriend. Enraged, Mobley assaulted Zimmerman and practically left him a vegetable, fled California, and changed his name to Ennis Stussy — inspired by the brand name of his hotel room toilet.
(13) THE WEED OF CRIME. Lou Antonelli ends his feghoot “Calling Grendel Briarton” with a really awful, no good, very bad pun – I liked it.
One day, while I was a teenager in Massachusetts, a group of high school students volunteered to help with a beach clean-up. It was an uncommon spill, but not unheard of – illicit drugs had washed up on a beach in the Cape Code National Seashore…
(14) THE SOUND OF WIKI. I just discovered WikiWikiup, a YouTube channel dedicated to making Wikipedia available to people with limited vision. Is this voiced by a robot?
(15) WHAT’S THE NEWS ACROSS THE NATION? I also discovered this Puppyish satire about the fate of Castalia House’s The Corroding Empire, masquerading as a report on a daily sf news channel.
(16) OH, THE INHUMANITY! The first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Inhumans.
(17) STAY UP LATE OR GET UP EARLY. I believe the writer is referring to Eastern time zone: “Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, Crumbs of Halley’s Comet, Peaks This Weekend: What to Expect”.
The annual, week-long Eta Aquarid meteor shower is predicted to reach its maximum on Saturday morning (May 6). The bright moon will be a few days past first quarter (a waxing gibbous, 81 percent illuminated), and it will set just prior to 4 a.m. local daylight time, leaving only about an hour of reasonably dark sky for early morning observations of this shower before the increasingly bright dawn twilight becomes too restrictive.
(18) WHO KNOWS? “Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts?” in Scientific American.
The world will likely not end because we aren’t returning our shopping carts — that would be an amazing butterfly effect — but it’s an example of a quality of life issue we can control. That guy who didn’t return his cart may not be a complete jerk. He may just be using the example set by others so he can get home a little more quickly. But if everyone does that, then we’re shifting the balance of what is acceptable, which may have greater ramifications to the social order. We have a greater influence over seemingly mundane situations than we realize.
Cat Eldridge sent the link with a comment, “My hypermarket, Hannaford’s, embeds a RFID in theirs that locks the front wheels if one of ether goes beyond the parking lot.”
(19) CUTENESS CONQUERS. The Life of Death on Vimeo is a video by Marsha Onderstijn about what happens when Death encounters an adorably cute animal!
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Scott Edelman, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, and bookworm1398 for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]