.(1) NEW YORK COMIC CON. Tor.com’s Leah Schnelbach says fans packed the room to hear “You Can be Mythic!” Ta-Nehisi Coates, Steven Orlando, and Tee ‘Vixen’ Franklin Discuss Race, Sexuality, and Representation in Comics.
Gray kicked off by asking Coates about the reception of the Midnight Angels—Aneka and Ayo, two Dora Milaje warriors who have left their traditional roles and become fugitives together. While the crowd cheered at their mention, Coates self-deprecatingly joked, “If you see people on the internet who love it, you can’t tell if it’s the same 20 people.”
On why he was drawn to these characters, Coates said: “Many of the male figures in T’challa’s life had been killed. So the only people who were left in his life were women, like the Dora Milaje, and their story was told through his eyes. I was interested in what the perspective might be of a person who’d given up their entire life to protect one man—I mean, they address that man as “Beloved.” What about their love for themselves? What about their love for each other? Now that the social contract in Wakanda is fraying, what will happen to those feelings?” Coates further talked about Ayo and Aneka becoming lovers, and said “I think if you check yourself, you can open yourself to everybody’s worldview. You don’t have insert Black people, you don’t have to insert queer people, insert women—they’re already all around you.”
(2) TURNOVER AT WORLDCON 75. Dave Weingart is no longer running Music programming for Worldcon 75 for reasons he discusses at length at his LiveJournal.
(3) NORSTRILIAN VOICE. Walter Jon Williams expresses appreciation for “The What-He-Did: The Poetic Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith” at Tor.com.
She got the which of the what-she-did,
Hid the bell with a blot, she did,
But she fell in love with a hominid.
Where is the which of the what-she-did?
This cryptic verse opens “The Ballad of Lost C’mell,” by Cordwainer Smith, and may serve as emblematic both of some of the author’s persistent themes and his own rich and distinct strangeness. Smith was one of the Great Peculiars of science fiction, producing strong, intricate, highly-wrought, highly weird stories that will never be mistaken for the works of anyone else. No one else had a mind like Smith.
(4) BBC4 ART CONTEST. Get your crayons ready — “Competition – Draw Neil Gaiman’s Stardust for Radio 4”.
BBC4 will be coming out with a radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust in December. In conjunction with that, there’s a drawing contest open to 1) 16-and-unders, and 2) 17-and-olders. Winning images will be used as episode images. Deadline October 26th. More details here: Stardust – Competition – Draw Neil Gaiman’s Stardust for Radio 4 – BBC Radio 4
(5) NBA SHORTLIST. The finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced. One of them is one genre interest – Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railway. The winners will be announced November 16.
(6) IT GETS VERSE. Yesterday was National Poetry Day, prompting ULTRAGOTHA to revisit January’s epic post “Filers Destroy Poetry”.
(7) LAST HURRAH FOR PROF. X? CinemaBlend thinks this is the end, my friend – “New Wolverine 3 Image Reveals A Shocking Look At Professor X”.
Ever since it was announced that Patrick Stewart would be part of the last Wolverine film we’ve wondered exactly what his role would be. While the image doesn’t give us any hints toward answering that question, it does make us wonder if Hugh Jackman won’t be the only one saying goodbye to his famous role when the movie is over. With the Professor X role apparently in the capable hands of James McAvoy within the current X-Men timeline, there’s no specific need for Patrick Stewart going forward, and if Professor X were to pass away by the end of this movie, we wouldn’t be shocked.
(8) AUTHOR DISAVOWS GHOSTS IN POPULAR CULTURE. Richard Bleiler says to take his name off —
Some time ago I contributed essays to a work entitled “Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend,” ed. by June Pulliam and Anthony J. Fonseca (ABC-Clio, 2016).
When I received my copy I discovered that my encyclopedic contributions were rewritten, egregiously so. Paragraphs and sentences were rearranged and dropped, continuity was disrupted and destroyed, and — worst of all — sentences that I did not write were added without attribution. At no time was I asked if these changes were acceptable. Likewise, at no time was I given any indication that there were any issues with my contributions or asked if I could revise them.
I do not believe that I am being overly sensitive. I am used to being edited, but what was done to my contributions to Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend is beyond the pale. It is completely unacceptable.
I am therefore taking the (for me) unique step of disavowing the contributions in Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend that were published under my name. They do not represent my scholarship; they should not have my name attached to them. I have thus asked ABC-Clio:
1. Not to use my name in any advertisements for Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend;
2. To remove my name from any additional printings of Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend;
3. To remove my name from all electronic editions of Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend.
(9) THE MIGHTY KIRK. Matt Melia answers the question “Just How Heroic Is Star Trek’s ‘I Don’t Like to Lose’ James T. Kirk?” for PopMatters.
For this writer, Captain James T. Kirk, of the USS Enterprise, has always been the most iconic and quintessential of television heroes and furthermore, possibly the most recognisable and identifiable as such. From a casual perspective, Jim Kirk embodies the most normative of heroic values: bravery, romance, adventure, leadership, nobility, instinctiveness as well as a penchant for recklessness (in the Season 1 episode “The Corbomite Maneuvre” he is also shown to be something of a gambler, bluffing of the alien, Balok, that the Enterprise is loaded with the non-existent substance Corbomite). But how may we further understand and define “heroism” and unpack it in televisual terms? How does Star Trek, as a cultural text, frame and interrogate the problematic and often contradictory concept of heroism, filtering its inquisitions through the character of Captain Kirk?
(10) FANTASTIC FICTION AT KGB. At the next installment of the New York-based reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present: Jack Ketchum & Caitlín R. Kiernan, October 19th. Starts 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar.
(11) WEEPING DEVILS. Joch McArthur delivers a rant about SF and “being political”.
… Or to clarify, to all the straight white cis dudes bitching and moaning about the blackness of Luke Cage or the PTSD discussion in Jessica Jones or Evan Rachel Wood talking about feminist aspects of Westworld or Wonder Woman’s queerness or any of the other white tears hot topics of the year that are constantly blowing up my social media feed (“why do they have to make everything political!!! It’s just a tv show!!!!!!!” *straight white cis male tears here*)
(12) HISTORIC COMICS APA SIGNING OFF. Capa-alpha, the oldest comics-fandom APA, started in October 1964, will close with its December mailing, #626. Fred Patten has the details.
CAPA-alpha, known as K-a for short, was one of the influences behind the startup of comics fandom in the early 1960s. It’s been going for 52 years. Some of the leading names in the comics industry began as comics fans in K-a.
Paper APAs are considered dinosaurs today, but the immediate cause of the APA’s cancellation is its long-running Central Mailer, Douglas Jones, having a foot amputated due to advancing diabetes. Jones cannot continue as Central Mailer, and none of the current members (23, with a waiting list of 7) feel that they can replace him.
(13) STICK YOUR FOOT IN IT. Dangerous Minds knows where you can find Cthulhu Approved High-Heeled Tentacle Shoes.
Totally insane-looking—and probably not practicable footwear—tentacle high-heeled shoes made by fashion designer, costume designer and shoe designer Kermit Tesoro. I can’t imagine walking in these. Hell, I can’t even walk in heels to begin with!
I just checked out Kermit Tesoro’s Facebook page to see if he had any other equally freaky high-heeled designs and it looks like he’s also got a Venus flytrap shoe.
[Thanks to Elusis, Fred Patten, Andrew Porter, Bruce D. Arthurs, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jameson Quinn.]