(1) BBC RADIO 4 SF. BBC Radio 4 is presenting Dangerous Visions, a series of science fiction radio plays, both original and adaptations of classic works, beginning May 22. Adapted works include Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Worlds, Wyndham’s The Kraken Wakes, William Morris’ News From Nowhere, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.
The list of upcoming episodes is here. They’ll be available for listening to online “shortly after broadcast” for a limited time (usually 30 days).
(2) REFERENCE DIRECTOR. The BBC’s Dangerous Visions site also offers lessons in “How To Speak Sci-Fi”, a selection of 10 popular taglines.
It takes a LOT of training to be a fully-fledged, proud sci-fi nerd. If someone can speak fluent Italian, they’re revered (assuming they’re not actually Italian) but fluent Klingon? You’re considered a joke. We’re here to set this right….
3. “If I can just reverse the polarity of the neutron flow…”
Try saying that when you’re fighting with the automatic checkout at the supermarket and every Doctor Who fan within earshot will snigger. Jon Pertwee said it originally but it’s used by fans as general shorthand for the Doctor’s more unlikely technological experiments.
(3) CHESTERTON. Elsewhere on BBC Radio 4, they’re in the middle of an adaptation of Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. The first 4 (of 13) episodes are available for online listening so far — GK Chesterton – The Man Who Was Thursday – Episode guide – BBC Radio 4 Extra.
(4) HITCHCOCK AND LUCAS. If the two famous directors combined forces the result would be nothing like Darth By Darthwest but who cares?
(5) EAT THE ADS. Tor.com explains why “We Are Sad That We Cannot Go to Japan and Eat Captain America: Civil War Ramen”.
What’s inside these familiar-looking decorative bowls, you ask? Civil War in a soup! Marvel teamed up with the popular Japanese ramen chain Ippudo in May to give the public a dose of superhero-themed food.
And we are very sad that we do not live in Japan right now.
RocketNews24, the source for Tor’s item, has additional details and photos.
(6) TODAY IN HISTORY
(7) CORNELL RECLAIMS CRICKET. In each episode of Unjustly Maligned, comics and games writer Antony Johnston asks a new guest to explain why that thing you hate is actually really great. Episode 51 is “’Cricket’ With Paul Cornell”
As St George’s Day approaches, gentlemen in England’s green and pleasant land take to the field for a game that can last five days, yet still somehow end in a draw…! Author Paul Cornell goes to bat to spread the good word of cricket.
(8) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. MiceAge has news about a Disneyland ride makeover.
This Elevator Travels Directly To . . . The Marvel Zone
Elsewhere in DCA, a wild rumor got out earlier this spring about a plan to remake Tower of Terror into a Guardians of the Galaxy ride. We can tell you that the Guardians of the Galaxy rumor is true, and TDA’s executive suite was furious when the rumor leaked out from Glendale-based sources. The plan is for the original Twilight Zone backstory to be removed entirely, and replaced with an all new show based around the Collector character from the Guardians movie franchise. WDI had been testing and experimenting with the new show in the elevators for months and the Tower of Terror hourly CM’s were all aware of what WDI had been cooking up since this winter. But when the plan finally leaked online in April, the TDA executive suite hit the roof in anger.
The current plan for Tower of Terror is to close the attraction this fall and give the entire building a full interior and exterior refurbishment so that the new version of the ride can open next May, with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie premiere held at DCA the same week the new ride opens. Assuming this gets the green light by August, and a disastrous Shanghai opening summer is about the only thing that could derail it at this point, the CM’s will be treated to another round of approved Talking Points that will somehow explain that they can now believe what they read online about Guardians of the Galaxy taking over Tower of Terror. The hourly CM’s, of course, are already several steps ahead of TDA.
This Tower of Terror proposal is part of a multi-year plan to get more Marvel into DCA, being pushed heavily by Bob Chapek. Since Chapek arrived a year ago as the new Parks Chairman, he’s been shocked to learn that after five years of owning Marvel there still isn’t a new Marvel ride in the California parks, and that the only thing TDA has done with Marvel is slap together some cheap meet n’ greets over the years.
(9) PRESERVED IN AMBER. Theodore Krulik, creator of the encyclopedia of Roger Zelazny’s Amber novels, The Complete Amber Sourcebook, dips into his trove of quotes and stories about the author in a post at Tor.com.
He had allowed me into his home that November day to conduct a week-long series of interviews for Roger Zelazny, the literary biography I was writing for Frederick Ungar Publishers in New York. My interviews with him at his home and in later interviews over the next ten years were much more than simple Q&A. Roger didn’t stop at a brief statement to anything I asked. He responded with deep insights that revealed experiences and perspectives that he rarely talked about anywhere else.
The final anecdote is a wry revelation about where Zelazny supposedly got his ideas.
(10) HERE KITTY KITTY. JJ calls Tom Gauld’s New Scientist cartoon “SJW Credentials Gone Wild”. The official intro is “Why science needs more funding…”
(11) IS IT A SINKING FEELING? The Travel goes to the movies at Galactic Journey — “[May 19, 1961] One of our Continents is Missing! (Atlantis: The Lost Continent)”.
Without giving too much of the ending away, I can confirm that the sinking of Atlantis does occur, and it is magnificent. Some excellent model work mixed with clever optical effects makes for a satisfying conclusion. Other noteworthy elements are the score (though there is some recycling of motifs from The Time Machine) and the acting, particularly the performances turned in by John Dall (Zaren, who was in Spartacus) and Paul Frees. The latter is never seen; rather, his vocal talents are evident throughout. The versatile Frees, who you’ve assuredly heard in prior films, and will hear in films to come, is the film’s narrator and the looped-over voice of many of the characters.
(12) NO, IT’S A TINGLING SENSATION. This offer could easily be over by now, as I’m sure people raced to take their pics — “Chuck is nominated at this year’s Hugo Awards, the most prestigious award in science fiction. Help show your support!”
The first 20 people to post a photo on Instagram or Twitter with this flyer hanging in their favorite bookstore will get a free Audible code direct messaged to them for Chuck’s classic tale BUTTCEPTION: A BUTT WITHIN A BUTT WITHIN A BUTT. The poster of 1 photo (best or most creative), as chosen by Chuck himself, will receive the honor of appearing by name as a side character in an upcoming tingler. Post your photo with the hashtag #BelieveInChuckTingle to enter! Below is the flyer, which can be printed in black and white on standard 8.5 by 11 paper.
(13) BLUE AUTHOR. Alexandra Erin outlines a crowdsourced future in “Okay. So. Business plans”.
So the details are still firming up in my brain and probably won’t settle completely until after WisCon, but starting in June, my creative and insightful output is basically going to, in some form, be shaping up into Alexandra Erin: The Crowdfunded Zine. I’ll still be writing and posting stuff to my blog or directly to Patreon throughout the month, but I’m going to be collecting, collating, and polishing it as I go so that at the end of each month I have a shiny package I can give to my patrons and sell to anyone else who wants it, and that I myself can look at with pride, knowing that yes, I definitely accomplished things this month.
(14) IF YOU WERE A PATREON MY LOVE. Rachel Swirsky’s Patreon is raising money this month by Making Lemons into Jokes. Greg Machlin has a progress report.
ATTENTION! Talented sci-fi writer Rachel Swirsky has been getting harassed ever since she wrote an award-winning short story “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” She’s now doing a patreon fundraiser for an LGBT health group, Lyon-Martin.
The patreon’s at $437/month. If she hits a $900 stretch goal, the prize is a satirical essay by ME. Please donate. I’d love to write it!
Meanwhile, Swirsky has announced some other stretch goals.
We have achieved the $400 stretch goal: “If You Were a Cuttlefish, My Love.” I showed it to Mary Robinette Kowal and a few other folks, and she gave me an unintentional blurb: “I LOVE THIS WITH THE LOVE OF A THOUSAND CUTTLEFISH EGGS.” I hope y’all enjoy it, too!
We’re partyway to the $500 stretch goal when Liz Argall will make an original comic in her series… Things Without Arms and Without Legs… and Without Butts?
(15) FINDING GOOD STUFF. On her blog today, Swirsky did her weekly recommendation post — Friday Read! “The Migratory Patterns of Dancers” by Katherine Sparrow.
In a future where birds are extinct, genetically modified men take their motorcycles around the country to perform dances that remind people of the migrations that once took place.
Katherine Sparrow is one of my classmates from Clarion West 2005, and I’ve been a fan of her work ever since. In addition to her lovely and lyrical short stories, she also writes young adult novels which center on the theme of collective action.
(16) INCONSISTENCIES. Cracked wants to change the way you watch seven wildly successful sci-fi films – and not in a good way. BEWARE SPOILERS GALORE. It’s sort of How It Should Have Ended using still photos.
(17) SMOFCON 34. The 2016 Smofcon has opened online registration. The con will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont (the Chicagoland area) December 2-4.
(18) HEINLEIN AWARD ACCEPTANCE VIDEO. Dr. Jerry Pournelle told Chaos Manor readers, “The National Space Society award ceremony in Puerto Rico was a bit too far for me to travel to, but we did make a video for the acceptance.”
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mark-kitteh, Bruce Arthurs, JJ, Will R., Brian Z., Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day BigelowT.]