The Horror Writers Association has announced
the winners of the 2018 Silver Hammer Award, Jess
Landry, and the Richard Laymon President’s Award, Brad Hodson. The awards will
be presented at StokerCon™ 2019.
SILVER HAMMER AWARD. The HWA presents the Silver Hammer Award in recognition of
extraordinary volunteerism by a member who dedicates valuable time and effort
to the organization. The award is determined by HWA’s Board of Trustees.
Working as Head Compiler, Jess is a key member of HWA’s Bram Stoker Awards® Committee. The Head Compiler is responsible for checking every work that is recommended by a member. She adds links to works for authors/publishers/editors that are on the HWA’s Recommended Reading List, often answering hundreds of emails throughout the year regarding works. As a part of the Awards Committee, the Head Compiler is expected to write the Co-Chairs should an issue arise and give input regarding the matter, as well as giving input throughout the year as HWA continuously strives to improve the system. The Recommendations branch of the binary awards system wouldn’t work without her hard work and dedication.
She also works in Membership Outreach, contacting dozens of new
authors every year to invite them to join the organization.
Upon being informed of the award, Jess commented:
When I first joined the HWA in 2014, I had no idea what I was getting into or what kind of people I would encounter, but when the opportunity to volunteer arose shortly after I became a member, I jumped at the chance. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to lurk behind the scenes with some fantastic folks and have come to appreciate all the hard work that goes into maintaining our close-knit community. It takes everyone working together to make the HWA run as smoothly as it does, so I’m truly honoured to have been selected for the 2018 Silver Hammer Award. And it’s a good thing all I have to do is type this, because I’m honest-to-Jeebus speechless. Thank you!
RICHARD LAYMON PRESIDENT’S
AWARD. The Richard Laymon President’s Award is named in
honor of Richard Laymon, who died in 2001 while serving as the HWA’s President.
As the name implies, it is given by the HWA’s sitting President. The award is
presented to a volunteer who has served HWA in an especially exemplary manner
and has shown extraordinary dedication to the organization.
HWA President Lisa Morton has chosen Brad Hodson to
receive the 2018
Richard Laymon Award. As HWA’s Administrator,
Brad has served HWA for many years, overseeing both the organization’s
day-to-day operations and also coordinating much of the yearly StokerCon™
events. As President Lisa Morton noted, “The definition of this award states
that it goes to an especially dedicated volunteer, while Brad is our only
full-time employee. However, I figure that what Brad puts in every week goes so
far beyond the forty hours we pay him for that he’s surely our hardest working
volunteer as well. HWA owes much of its growth to him, and this recognition is
Brad Hodson responded to the award announcement:
Joining the HWA has truly been a life-changing experience. From networking to access to the resources that let me start making professional sales, it’s helped my career immensely. But, more so, the Administrator position has been a godsend. The amazing people I now get to interact with on a daily basis have enriched my life in so many ways. And having a day job that revolves around a genre I adore while assisting writers and educating readers has, even at its most stressful, been fulfilling in so many ways. HWA’s President for most of my time in the position has been Lisa Morton and I couldn’t ask for a better boss. Lisa has always trusted my opinions and empowered me to do what needs to be done while simultaneously offering guidance and resources to do so. I’ve worked for major companies in the entertainment industry and it’s rare to find an environment like I have with the HWA. When I first took over as Administrator, we only had 350 members and almost all of them were in the US and Canada. I’ve watched that number grow to over 1500 members in 27 countries in a few short years. There’s a reason for that growth: the President, Vice President, Board of Trustees, and all of the volunteers are passionate about the Horror Writers Association. And that passion is infectious. I’m happy to have caught the bug and am truly honored to be this year’s recipient of the Richard Laymon President’s Award.
As the Administrator of the Horror Writers Association, Brad
Hodson’s various duties include managing the member database, the renewal
system, StokerCon registration, and serving as the communications hub for the
org. He works with other organizations, such as the Author’s Coalition, to
advocate for creators and help keep HWA initiatives such as its scholarship
program funded and paying out to recipients. Managing the day-to-day nuts and
bolts of what keeps the organization running has given him a special
appreciation for the genre, the creators and fans that champion it, and the
volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide HWA’s members with
the resources at their disposal.
provides a for travel, accommodation, and membership in HWA’s StokerCon™ — held
this year from May 9-12 in Grand Rapids, MI — where the winner participates in
Horror University, a series of intensive writing workshops taught by top
Hell applicants submit a 250-word essay discussing how they
think the scholarship would improve their skills as a writer; the winner is chosen by the convention’s chairs.
“Although our StokerCon™ Committee reviewed dozens of
applicants, Thomas’s essay had just what we’re looking for in our winning
writer,” said HWA President Lisa Morton. “In 250 beautifully-crafted words, he
discussed his commitment to writing, to the horror genre, and to his fellow
Husband, father, and member of the Denver Horror Collective,
Thomas C. Mavroudis hosts a horror literary event (nearly) every last Sunday of
the month called Frights and Flights at Denver BookBar. He has an MFA from the
University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert. His stories have appeared in Turn to Ash, Terror in 16-Bits, Year’s Best
Body Horror, and forthcoming in Weirdbook,
Tales from Gehenna and the anthology Behold
the Undead of Dracula: Lurid Tales of Cinematic Gothic Horror.
(1) OUT OF SCHOOL. Nineties throwback comedy series Schooled did an episode last week about the premiere of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. LA fan Shawn Crosby made an appearance, and several 501st and Rebel Legion members were extras, portraying costumed Star Wars fans at the theater audience.
…Writers feel like they got enough of that “grammar crap” in school, when they probably got very little at all. And what they did get, usually, was a turgid discussion of hard and fast rules which aren’t really hard and which certainly aren’t fast.
So, (she writes, with an introductory comma and a second grammatically unnecessary comma), here’s the short version of my comma rant.
The manuscript you have just finished writing is not your story. Your story lives in your mind. The manuscript is a tool that takes the story from your head and puts it in my head.
The very best writers use that manuscript tool so effectively that readers can actually hear the writer’s voice as they read. That’s why so many readers have a visceral response to writers like Stephen King or Nora Roberts. (Oh, I hate them. They can’t write. Or Oh, I love them. They could tell me stories forever.) That’s why so many English students and unsophisticated writers will complain that certain bestsellers “can’t write their way out of a paper bag.” Those reviewers, students, readers, and writers are all reacting to upper-level voice, without realizing it.
(3) WHO’S TO BLAME? (Re)Generation Who 5, a
Doctor Who convention due to be held
in Rockville, Maryland next weekend, just canceled today, less than a week ahead.
Their short. rather detail-lacking press release here
blames the decision on cancellations by the actors.
As a result of a string of last minute cancellations, we see no alternative but to cancel (Re)Generation Who 5. We want to apologize for this as we tried every way possible to move forward, but could not find a way to produce an event of the quality you have come to expect from us.
We will be working with our team to determine if there are any options moving forward.
Please note you will need to contact the hotel directly if have guest room reservations.
Onezumi Events inc.
Names were not specified apart from Paul McGann, the only actor cancellation announced on the convention’s website.
A: The home I grew up in was situated opposite a World War II torture chamber. Long had there been rumors about it being haunted, with one aunt refusing to ever return when she saw a spectre and another hearing chains being dragged down the hallway. You can imagine what effect this had on a child. It was a shadowy apartment unit on the ground floor and I was often left to play by myself in the large bedroom my siblings and I shared. It was sectioned in parts by tall cupboards that seemed to loom over me. I had lots of imaginary friends and time to think and ponder about life, which perhaps has influenced how I write and the stories I tell.
Last week, Netflix released its 18-episode animated anthology Love, Death + Robots, a decidedly NSFW series that adapted a number of short stories from well-known science fiction authors. It’s clear from watching the series that there’s a nearly endless supply of source material out there for another season, if Netflix green-lights one. While we wait to see whether that happens, we’ve rounded up some recommendations for a good season 2, and we’ve got 17 recommendations that you can read online now (along with a couple of deep cuts that you’ll have to hunt for.)
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 23, 1904 — H. Beam Piper. I’m reasonably sure that the first thing I read and enjoyed by him was Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen followed by Little Fuzzy and related works which are damn fun reading. Didn’t Scalzi write a new novel in this series a few years back? (Died 1964.)
Born March 23, 1934 — Neil Barron. Certainly best known for Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction which actually is still a damn fine read. If memory thirty years on serves me right, his Fantasy Literature and Horror Literature guides were quite good too. (Died 2010.)
Born March 23, 1935 — Michael Emmet Walsh, 84. He’s been in a lot of genre work, some of it good and some of it not, Blade Runner being great, Wild Wild West being just plain shit and The Iron Giant being fantastic. In the latter, he voices Earl Stutz, a sailor and the first man to see the robot. He also had appearances on Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, Outer Limits, X-Files and Adventure Time.
Born March 23, 1952 — Kim Stanley Robinson, 67. If the Mars trilogy was the only work that he’d written, he’d rank among the best sf writers ever. But then he went and wrote the outstanding Three Californias Trilogy. I won’t say everything he writes I consider top-flight, the Science in the Capital series just didn’t appeal to me. His one-off novels I think are without argument The Years of Rice and Salt and New York 2140. I should note he has won myriad awards I including the Hugo Award for Best Novel, BSFA Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel and the World Fantasy Award. And the Heinlein Society gave him their Robert A. Heinlein Award for his entire body of works!
Born March 23, 1957 — Amanda Plummer, 61. Best known for her work in as Joe Versus the Volcano, The Fisher King and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And she apparently was in Freejack as a Nun.
Born March 23, 1976 — Michelle Monaghan, 43. Best known I’ve no doubt for playing Julia Meade in Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Mission: Impossible: Fallout but she was in In much more hardcore genre film, to wit Constantine as Ellie. Now admittedly it was initially an uncredited cameo but… now she does get credit for her work in Justice League: War for voicing Wonder Woman. She also Violet van Patten in Pixels, a very strange SF film.
Film is a universal language of modern societies. Larger-than-life images, stories, ideas, and characters portrayed in films can speak across the globe. This makes science and technology—which have shaped the modern world but remain little understood and poorly integrated into mainstream culture—a rich subject for film and a goldmine for filmmakers.
(11) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Mythos” on Vimeo, Stephen Kelleher
gives short animations of classic Greek myths.
Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Cath Jackel, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Liptak, Cat Eldridge,
Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Dale
Arnold, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit
goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]
The Horror Writers
Association (HWA) has named Raw Dog Screaming Press as the recipient of the 2018
Specialty Press Award. Each year the HWA recognizes the accomplishments of a
noteworthy small press. The Specialty Press Award brings recognition to an
outstanding publisher of horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction. This year’s
Specialty Press Award will be presented during StokerCon™ 2019 held from May
9-12th at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids,
After editing The Dream People literary journal, Jennifer Barnes and
John Edward Lawson founded Raw Dog Screaming Press to specialize in “fiction
that foams at the mouth” and to offer authors a path around the publishing
gatekeepers of the early 2000s. Their five imprints span dark, weird,
blue-collar, and literary fiction and nonfiction for adults, children, and
Raw Dog Screaming Press emphasizes community and cultivates
authors’ careers. Most of their authors have published multiple titles with
them. The press collaborates with authors and team-builds at DogCon events,
forging camaraderie among their authors. They take an interest in new writers,
publishing debut books. The press developed a relationship with Seton Hill
University, one of the few colleges offering a Masters in Writing Popular
They champion niche categories of books, most notably horror
poetry. Working with editor Stephanie M. Wytovich, and publishing stellar poets
such as Christina Sng and Michael A. Arnzen, they’ve made a significant impact
on the popularity and visibility of genre poetry. Raw Dog Screaming Press has
distinguished itself by working with authors from unexpected quarters, such as
internationally renowned musicians Till Lindemann (Rammstein) and Donna Lynch
and Steven Archer (Ego Likeness), as well as feature film director S. Craig
Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Dragged Across Concrete). They
have also been fortunate to work with many critically acclaimed authors,
including Jeff VanderMeer, Lucy A. Snyder, Jeffrey Thomas, James Chambers, and
Lance Olsen. The result has been 200 superb books. Many titles have been
optioned for film and translations into French, German, Indonesian, Italian,
Russian, and Spanish. Raw Dog Screaming Press titles have received Bram Stoker
Awards, the PEN/Hemmingway Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award, and the
When not leading workshops at conventions around the country, or
at universities like Seton Hill and Rutgers, the Raw Dog Screaming Press team
regularly hosts workshops at their Broadkill Writers Resort on Delaware Bay and
at their yearly DogCon event. For more about Raw Dog Screaming Press, please
The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing
professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the
interests of those who write it.
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) and
Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks, will be publishing the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, a
new reprint series. Now some of the genre’s seminal titles will be easily
available to modern readers.
The series editors include Eric J. Guignard, past winner of the
Bram Stoker Award®, and Leslie S.
Klinger, editor of the Edgar® winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes.
HWA’s President Lisa Morton said, “This is a project we’ve been working on
behind the scenes at HWA for years, because keeping the genre’s classics alive
is something I consider a key part of HWA’s core mission goals. I can’t imagine
better choices to edit this series than Eric and Les, and I’m thrilled to be
working with everyone at Poisoned Pen and Sourcebooks.”
Each volume will feature an introduction by a noted horror expert and/or
author, and every book will close with a study guide for classroom use. The
editions (quality trade paperback) are aimed to be reasonably priced for a mass
The first release, Gaston LeRoux’s Phantom
of the Opera, will be introduced by New York Times-bestselling
author and multiple Bram Stoker Award® winner Nancy Holder. The other initial
titles selected are:
Beetle by Richard Marsh
Vathek by William Beckford
on the Borderland by William Hope
Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Arthur Conan Doyle
The winner of the scholarship will receive travel to and from
StokerCon 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI, May 9-12, as well as accommodation,
convention membership, and entry to all classes in the convention’s Horror
University programming. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States.
Horror Writers Association announced the 2018
Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot on February 23. “This year’s nominees
demonstrate a continued lineup of quality work in the horror genre,” said
Lisa Morton, HWA President. “Our members and awards juries have again
chosen truly outstanding works of literature, cinema, non-fiction, and
The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals
around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of
those who write it.
presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards® will occur at StokerCon on May 11. The
awards presentation will also be live-streamed online via the website.
Superior Achievement in a Novel
Katsu, Alma – The Hunger (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Maberry, Jonathan – Glimpse (St. Martin’s Press)
Malerman, Josh – Unbury Carol (Del Rey)
Stoker, Dacre and Barker, J.D. – Dracul (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Tremblay, Paul – The Cabin at the End of the World (William Morrow)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Fine, Julia – What Should Be Wild (Harper)
Grau, T.E. – I Am the River (Lethe Press)
Kiste, Gwendolyn – The Rust Maidens (Trepidatio Publishing)
Stage, Zoje – Baby Teeth (St. Martin’s Press)
Tremblay, Tony – The Moore House (Twisted Publishing)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray)
Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books)
Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster)
Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver (Gigi Publishing)
White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Ahmed, Saladin – Abbott (BOOM! Studios)
Azzarello, Brian – Moonshine Vol. 2: Misery Train (Image Comics)
Bunn, Cullen – Bone Parish (BOOM! Studios)
LaValle, Victor – Victor LaValle’s Destroyer (BOOM! Studios)
If you’re afraid, as I was, that this would be a generic “this person is important, here are some writers to tell you why” documentary with a lot of book covers turned into motion graphics… it mostly isn’t. It’s really very good, and I can’t complain that it’s short and a bit thin in some respects if the alternative was not to make it.
It helps that Le Guin herself talks quite a bit, both recently (the filmmaker worked with her on this for years, so the tone is friendly and familiar) and in earlier decades, and I’d happily listen to her talk about anything at all for hours…
(3) BETTER WORLDS. The Verge’s “Better Worlds” project draws
to a close with these three stories —
How do you envision Margery going from world to world? Virtual reality? Jumping between dimensions? Magic?
The lever, what it does, and Margery’s relationship to it are pure Twilight Zone. The lever itself is Archimedean and every resonant, similar idea I could layer into it. The world is a big thing to move, and the lever had to stand for a lot of things. So it’s rooted in very fundamental and ancient science, but its magic is in wordplay and related concepts and dream-images. It’s hard to say where I draw the line between fantasy and science fiction because I don’t — mostly.
Your story follows a father-and-son team as they infiltrate a secret base. What inspired this particular world?
I tend to world-build around characters, and this world was designed for Ray. I wanted to show him as idealistic but practical, protective of his family while also trusting their skills and talents. But the main point of the scenario was to give him a clear objective and then alter it: he enters the base to rescue his son, but then has to face Ando’s insistence on staying behind. Ray needs to decide whether to recognize Ando’s right to make that choice, which is really about how much he trusts how he’s been raising his child. Parenting is full of moments like that, although most of them aren’t quite so starkly life-and-death.
Social media sites like Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook have their own issues with content moderation, relying on human judgment in most cases. How do you see an AI building on those human-developed systems?
I think, actually, those sites depend too heavily on automated processes. Ami is truly intelligent and, above all, empathetic. Her distinguishing feature as an AI is her capacity to feel the pain of others and feel a responsibility to do something about it, while also possessing the suprahuman powers of a computer.
(4) BOOSTING THE JODOROWSKY
SIGNAL. A fan is working to drum up demand for a book/ebook
of Jodorowsky’s Dune storyboards:
In the film, Jodorowsky’s Dune you see the storyboards the director made for his never-to-be film project that introduced Moebius to HR Giger to Dan O’Bannon. I would pay a lot of money for each volume if that book were ever published, even if only in electronic form. Could you spread that idea around?
Daniel Dern adds, a quick web search turns up some admittedly-not-encouraging
answers in Quora:
According to the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, only 20 copies of the books were originally made, with only a few of those known to still exist in the world. The producer of the unmade film, Michel Seydoux, mentions to Jodorowsky in a deleted scene on the Blu-Ray that he recently found his personal copy that was in perfect condition, and that he was having it photocopied.
According to the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, there are only two known copies of the bound and published storyboard remaining: one belonging to Alejandro Jodorowsky himself, and the other in the presumed care of Jean Giraud’s family. These persons are presumably also the ones who own the copy rights on the material, but I couldn’t say for sure, given the labyrinthine nature of cinematic intellectual properties.
While I’d be the
first in the queue to purchase a copy, I am not sure this storyboard will ever
be made available for purchase to the general public.
“What we did at New Worlds was publish stuff nobody else would publish,” Moorcock said. “What I discovered was that if something was put into print, that was a validation of its worth. The book publishers would look at what we’d published and say, ‘Well, it’s been in print once, then we can do it again.’”
As Moorcock discussed those days, it almost seemed like a surreal narrative slipping through time and space. He wove a tale about the time the buttoned-down Aldiss falsely accused one of Moorcock’s hippy musician friends of nicking his wallet. Then another about the time he was invited onto the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey only to be shushed by Stanley Kubrick. Then he mused how he and author Kingsley Amis worked up such a mutual hatred that they refused to travel in the same train compartment together.
Never wonder where Waldo is again. A machine designed to find a children’s book character is causing a stir on social media. “There’s Waldo” is a robot that uses computer vision to locate the beanie-clad chap in the “Where’s Waldo” series of books, automating one of the great stresses of five-year-olds worldwide.
[…] The results are impressive. Its highest record for finding and identifying a match is 4.45 seconds, much faster than it normally takes a kid to complete the task. Ditching the robot [that physically points to Waldo] from the equation could make the process even faster: a system outlined by Machine Learning Mastery in 2014 described how developers could use OpenCV, Python and Template Matching to identify Waldos in less than a second.
Wallace Broecker, a climate scientist who brought the term “global warming” into the public and scientific lexicon, died on Monday. He was 87.
Broecker, a professor in the department of earth and environmental science at Columbia, was among the early scientists who raised alarms about the drastic changes in the planet’s climate that humans could bring about over a relatively short period of time.
His 1975 paper “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” predicted the current rise in global temperatures as a result of increased carbon dioxide levels — and popularized the term “global warming” to describe the phenomenon.
… As early as the ’70s, Broecker spoke openly about the need to restrict fossil fuels and the disruptive effects that just a few degrees of warming could have on the environment.
“The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks,” he told the Times.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born February 19, 1937 – Terry Carr. Well known and loved fan, author, editor, and writing instructor. I usually don’t list Awards both won and nominated for but his are damned impressed so I will. He was nominated five times for Hugos for Best Fanzine (1959–1961, 1967–1968), winning in 1959, was nominated three times for Best Fan Writer (1971–1973), winning in 1973, and he was Fan Guest of Honor at ConFederation in 1986. Wow. He worked at Ave Books before going freelance where he edited an original story anthology series called Universe, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year anthologies that ran from 1972 until his early death in 1987. Back to Awards again. He was nominated for the Hugo for Best Editor thirteen times (1973–1975, 1977–1979, 1981–1987), winning twice (1985 and 1987). His win in 1985 was the first time a freelance editor had won. Wow indeed. Novelist as well. Just three novels but all are still in print today though I don’t think his collections are and none of his anthologies seem to be currently either. A final note. An original anthology of science fiction, Terry’s Universe, was published the year after his death with all proceeds went to his widow. (Died 1987.)
Born February 19, 1957 – Ray Winstone, 62. First genre work was in Robin of Sherwood as Will Scarlet. He next shows up in our realm voicing Mr. Beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Unfortunately for him, he’s in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as George “Mac” McHale, though he he does does also voice Areas in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Born February 19, 1964 – Jonathan Lethem, 55. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a weird mix of SF and detective fiction, is fantastic in more ways that I can detail briefly here. I confess that I lost track of him after that novel so I’d be interested in hearing what y’all think of his later genre work.
Born February 19, 1963 – Laurell K. Hamilton, age 56. She is best known as the author of two series of stories. One is the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter of which I’ll confess I’ve read but one or two novels, the other is the Merry Gentry series which held my interest longer but which I lost in somewhere around the sixth or seventh novel when the sex became really repetitive.
Born February 19, 1966 – Claude Lalumière, 53. I met him once here in Portland. Author, book reviewer and has edited numerous anthologies. Amazing writer of short dark fantasy stories collected in three volumes so far, Objects of Worship, The Door to Lost Pages and Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes. Tachyon published his latest anthology, Super Stories of Heroes & Villains.
Born February 19, 1967 – Benicio del Toro, 52. He’s been The Collector in the Marvel film franchise, Lawrence Talbot in the 2010 remake of The Wolfman, and codebreaker DJ in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Let’s not forget that he was in Big Top Pee-wee as Duke, the Dog-Faced Boy followed by being in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Dr. Gonzo which damn well should count as genre even if it isn’t.
Born February 19, 1984 – Joshua Trank, 35. Film director, screenwriter, and editor. He is known for directing Chronicle and the recent Fantastic Four. The former won A Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. Anyone here seen it?
…I thought it would be useful to refresh the obvious — “where do I send my poetry.” The HWA has its own list of markets as does the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
MOON MISSION. Israel
aspires to join superpowers China, Russia and the U.S. in landing a spacecraft on
Nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) today announced that Israel’s inaugural voyage to the moon – the world’s first privately funded lunar mission – will begin on Feb. 21 at approximately 8:45 p.m. EST, when the lunar lander “Beresheet” (“In the Beginning”) blasts off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
…About 30 minutes after liftoff, the spacecraft will disengage from the SpaceX Falcon 9 at around 60,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface, beginning, under its own power, a two-month voyage to the Moon’s surface.
…Since the establishment of SpaceIL, the task of landing an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become a national project with educational impact, funded mainly by Morris Kahn, a philanthropist and businessman who took the lead in completing the mission, serving as SpaceIL’s president and financing $40 million. Additional donors include Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson — whose $24 million contribution enabled the project to continue — Lynn Schusterman, Steven and Nancy Grand, Sylvan Adams, Sami Sagol and others.
[…] The evidence left by our bipedal ancestors are recognized by the international community and protected as human heritage. But the evidence of humanity’s first off-world exploits on the moon are not. These events, separated by 3.5 million years, demonstrate the same uniquely human desire to achieve, explore, and triumph. They are a manifestation of our common human history. And they should be treated with equal respect and deference.
A new report from British lawmakers on how social media is used to spread disinformation finds that Facebook and other big tech companies are failing their users and dodging accountability.
“The guiding principle of the ‘move fast and break things’ culture often seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission,” said Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that drafted the report. “We need a radical shift in the balance of power between the platforms and the people. The age of inadequate self regulation must come to an end.”
The 108-page report is often scathing on Facebook’s practices and corporate conduct. The committee’s inquiry into disinformation began in September 2017, as revelations emerged that Facebook had been used to spread disinformation during the U.S. presidential election and the U.K. Brexit referendum vote, both in 2016. In March 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, and showed how users’ data could be harvested and misappropriated.
… Few art historians doubt that Leonardo’s vision was influenced by his memory of a mountain excursion on which he found himself wandering “among gloomy rocks”. “I came to the mouth of a great cavern,” Leonardo would later attest, “in front of which I stood sometime astonished. Bending back and forth, I tried to see if I could discover anything inside, but the darkness within prevented that. Suddenly there arose in me two contrary emotions, fear and desire – fear of the threatening dark cave, desire to see whether there were any marvellous thing within.”
Impelled to enter, Leonardo’s curiosity was repaid by the discovery inside of a fossilised whale and a horde of ancient seashells whose engrossing geometric grooves he would memorialise in the pages of his notebooks.
Over the ensuing years, the perplexing presence of “oysters and corals and various other shells and sea snails” on “the high summits of mountains”, far from the sea, worried away at the artist’s imagination. For Leonardo, the accepted explanation by ecclesiastical scholars of a great flood, such as that described in the Old Testament, for the relocation of these shells, didn’t wash. These creatures weren’t thrown there. They were born there.
Seashells in mountains were proof, Leonardo came to believe and confided to his journal, that Alpine peaks were once the floors of seas. And the Earth was therefore much older and far more haphazardly fashioned by violent cataclysms and seismic upheavals over a vast stretch of time (not the smooth hand of God in a handful of days) than the Church was willing to admit.
LIFE. Every year sports fans have to cope with the slack period between the
Super Bowl and March Madness. Will K.B. Spangler’s suggestion gain traction? Thread
I’m a sucker for a good relationship story. They don’t have to be romantic. Or sexual. Though most of these stories do feature romance and sex, they also feature characters that interact and orbit each other in intensely beautiful ways. For some of the stories, the connections are between just two people, lovers or friends or something else. For others, the connections flow between more people, or did, and were severed. They feature people striving to find comfort and meaning in their own skins, knowing sometimes that takes help, and understanding, and compassion. And occasionally it takes kicking some ass. Whatever the case, the relationships explored in these stories have stuck with me through a very hard year.
If you ever wanted to watch Jurassic Park told from the point of view of the dinosaurs, then the 2012 off-Broadway musical comedy Triassic Parq is for you.
Described by the New York Times as a “bawdy tribute to dinosaurs and their newfound genitalia”, the show follows a group of dinosaurs whose lives are thrown into chaos when one of the females spontaneously turns male.
Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, Eli, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Mike
Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Martin Morse Wooster, and John (your capital J remembered
today) King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770
contributing editor of the day Andrew.]
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) announces the first annual Summer Scares Reading List. In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day, the HWA joins with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal for this event. The reading list includes titles selected by a panel of authors and librarians, and it is designed to promote horror as a superb reading option for all ages.
The Summer Scares program seeks to introduce horror titles to school and public librarians and to open a dialogue between libraries and readers about the horror genre. A goal of the program is to facilitate the promotion of horror beyond the books on each year’s reading list and encourage reading for years to come.
Along with the annual list of recommended titles for readers of all ages, the Summer Scares committee will release themed lists of “read-alike” titles for libraries to use when suggesting books to readers. Helping libraries forge stronger connections between books and readers, the Summer Scares committee will work with the recommended authors and writers nationwide, providing free programming to libraries. From author visits (in person and virtual) to book discussions to horror themed events, Summer Scares focuses on connecting horror writers with libraries and readers all year.
Each year, three titles will be chosen in the Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade categories. This year’s Summer Scares reading list for 2019 is as follows:
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2017)
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due (Harper Voyager, 1998)
Earthworm Gods by Brian Keene (Deadite Press, 2012)
Rotters by Daniel Kraus (Ember, 2012)
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke (Speak, 2016)
Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow (Penguin Random House Publisher Services, 2015)
Doll Bones Holly Black (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2015)
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014)
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste (Algonquin Young Readers, 2016)
The Summer Scares program committee includes award-winning author Grady Hendrix (We Sold Our Souls, Paperbacks from Hell), Becky Spratford (library consultant, author of The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd Ed.), Carolyn Ciesla (library director, academic dean, book reviewer), Kiera Parrott (reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal), Kelly Jensen (editor, Book Riot, author of [Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health), and JG Faherty (HWA Library Program director, author of The Cure and Carnival of Fear).
For more information about the Summer Scares reading program, including how to obtain promotional materials and schedule events with the authors/committee members, visit the HWA’s Libraries web page (www.horror.org/libraries), Becky Spratford’s Reader’s Advisory Horror Blog RA for All: Horror, the Library Journal, Book Riot, School Library Journal, or United for Libraries websites and social media sites. You can also contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Program Director (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (email@example.com).
The HWA will also host a special Library Day program at its annual StokerCon™ event, which will be held May 9-12 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Several of the authors from the Summer Scares reading list, as well as the committee members, will be in attendance.
I don’t know where to start. There was this writer of short science fiction stories in ’60s and ’70s who was very feted, and of the level of Philip K. Dick, or Ursula Le Guin. He was really creating the most powerful stories of gender and of being an outsider. But they were so potent, very prescient; because it’s almost the world we’re living in now. So they were written 50 years ago. They’re incredibly relevant still, and then he was sort of well known. His stories were well known, but no one knew who he was for 10 years, and then eventually someone uncovered his identity to be a woman in her 60s, in I think Virginia. This woman’s story is unbelievable. Unbelievable. And she was a genius. So I want to tell her story.
So you’ll make something episodic at a network?
Yeah, but including her short stories within. It’s not a straight biopic; so aliens from her stories inhabit her true world, and then she will be in the world of her stories, and it’s so exciting to me. It’s science fiction, which I love. I came across that because I was being given a lot of science fiction scripts. And I thought, “Where are the female science fiction stories?” So I Googled “female science fiction”, and I came across her! It was so hard to get the rights. And then I got all the rights to these stories, so it’s just meant to be. I could sit for hours and tell you how we got these rights. I’m working with producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, who is wonderful. He’s engaged with a company called Imperative, and so that’s the deal at the moment. But Imperative has thrown some money at the development, but we want to keep control of it. So we didn’t want to go to HBO and have it sit on a shelf and not get made, for example. So, we want to come with a pilot and a bible, so I’m working on that at the moment.
Taking place in Scarborough, just down the coast from Whitby – the town that provided so much of the inspiration for Stoker’s iconic Dracula – this is an event not to be missed for writers and readers of horror fiction.
The event is delighted to confirm its Mistress of Ceremonies for the weekend will be author A.K. Benedict, who will be launching the weekend’s proceedings. A.K. Benedict was educated at Cambridge, University of Sussex and Clown School. Described by the Sunday Express as ‘one of the new stars of crime fiction with a supernatural twist’, AK Benedict’s debut novel, The Beauty of Murder, was shortlisted for an eDunnit award and is in development for TV by Company Pictures. Her second novel from Orion, The Evidence of Ghosts, is a love song to London and shows her obsession with all things haunted. Her radio drama includes Doctor Who and Torchwood plays for Big Finish and a modern adaptation of M.R. James’ Lost Hearts for Bafflegab/Audible.
(3) ODYSSEY WORKSHOP
SCHOLARSHIPS. Here is an overview of “2019
Odyssey Writing Workshop Scholarship Opportunities”. The Odyssey Writing Workshop is an acclaimed, six-week
program for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held each summer in
New Hampshire. Writers apply from all over the world; only fifteen are
George R.R. Martin sponsors the Miskatonic Scholarship, awarded each year to a promising writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, a type of fiction Martin loves and wants to encourage. The scholarship covers full tuition, textbook, and housing. Martin says, “It’s my hope that this new scholarship will offer an opportunity to a worthy applicant who might not otherwise have been able to afford the Odyssey experience.” Applicants must demonstrate financial need in a separate application. Full details at the link.
Bestselling author and Odyssey graduate Sara King is sponsoring the Parasite Publications Character Awards to provide financial assistance to three character-based writers wishing to attend this summer’s Odyssey. The Parasite Publications Character Awards, three scholarships in the amounts of $2,060 (full tuition), $500, and $300, will be awarded to the three members of the incoming class who are deemed extraordinarily strong character writers, creating powerful, emotional characters that grab the reader and don’t let go. No separate application is required.
The new Chris Kelworth Memorial Scholarship will be offered to a Canadian writer admitted to Odyssey. This scholarship, funded by alumni and friends of Chris, will cover $900 of tuition.
One work/study position is also available. The work/study student spends about six hours per week performing duties for Odyssey, such as photocopying, sending stories to guests, distributing mail to students, and preparing for guest visits. Odyssey reimburses $800 of the work/study student’s tuition.
The stories explore climate chaos, its aftermath, and possible ways forward through a variety of genres and styles, from science fiction and fantasy to literary fiction and prose poetry. It’s free to download in a variety of digital formats (HTML, EPUB, MOBI, and via Apple iBooks).
Table of Contents:
Kim Stanley Robinson, Foreword
Angie Dell and Joey Eschrich, Editors’ Introduction
Monarch Blue, by Barbara Litkowski
The Last Grand Tour of Albertine’s Watch, by Sandra K. Barnidge
Half-Eaten Cities, by Vajra Chandrasekera
Darkness Full of Light, by Tony Dietz
Luna, by David Samuel Hudson
Tuolumne River Days, by Rebecca Lawton
The Most Beautiful Voyage in the World, by Jean McNeil
Orphan Bird, by Leah Newsom
The Office of Climate Facts, by Mitch Sullivan
Losing What We Can’t Live Without, by Jean-Louis Trudel
About the Contributors
Honorable Mention: 2018 Contest Semifinalists
(5) HUGO VOTER ELIGIBILITY. Dublin 2019 is fixing this –
(6) MY KINGDOM FOR CANON. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Retcons are king. Or kinda want to be. The Daily Dot stares into the abyss at the
changing look of Klingons over the various Star
Trek series and movies—and especially the significant changes between the
first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery
(“Here’s Why the Klingons Look Different
in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2”).
In the grand tradition of sci-fi retcons, there’s a canon explanation for the Klingons’ new look. While the humanoid Original Series Klingons were retroactively explained as victims of a genetic disease, Discovery’s bald Klingons [in season 1] were apparently making a fashion statement.
According to actress Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), designer Glenn Hetrick decided that the Klingons weren’t “bald” in season one—they just shaved their heads. Speaking at New York Comic Con last year, Chieffo said Hetrick was inspired by the Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir.”
“There is a reference to when [legendary Klingon hero] Kahless is brought back as a clone. The way he proves himself is he tells the story of how he cut off a lock of his hair and dipped it into a volcano and made the first bat’leth, with which he killed Molor, the terrible tyrant who was running Qo’noS at the time. We took that one little beautiful seed… and kind of expanded on that, and we see that in a time of war the Klingons would shave their heads, and in a time of peace, we start to grow it back out. I really love the symbolism of that.”
Star Trek: Discovery could finally explain one of the franchise’s biggest discrepancies: why do the Klingons in The Original Series look human? The answer might be the former Starfleet Lieutenant Ash Tyler, who is the surgically altered Klingon named Voq.
[…] It’s possible Star Trek: Discovery season 1’s transformation of Voq into Ash Tyler is the forerunner to why the Klingons Captain Kirk faced in The Original Series didn’t have the ridged brows and wild hair of later Klingons. Voq was the former Torchbearer of T’Kuvma who underwent surgery to become human in a horrifically painful process that damaged his mind. His lover L’Rell oversaw the procedure to turn Voq into Ash Tyler, a Starfleet Lieutenant who was captured during the Battle at the Binary Stars. Voq ended up believing he really was Ash and fell in love with Michael Burnham but his inner Klingon kept fighting his way to the forefront.
[…] By the time Captain Kirk faced the Klingons for the first time in the Star Trek: The Original Series’ episode “Errand of Mercy”, the warrior race looked and behaved human, albeit with darker, exotic skin. Kor, the Klingon Commander, even told Kirk “our races aren’t so different”. He meant that both humans and Klingons are war-like species, but his words could also now have a deeper context: the Klingons have 24 Great Houses and it’s possible this group of Klingons underwent the same (perfected) procedure that turned Voq into Ash Tyler.
You’ll find it on the wall of nearly every school chemistry laboratory in the land.
And generations of children have sung the words, “hydrogen and helium, lithium, beryllium…” in an attempt to memorise some of the 118 elements.
This year, the periodic table of chemical elements celebrates its 150th birthday.
…The United Nations has designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table to celebrate “one of the most significant achievements in science”.
In March, it will be 150 years since the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev, took all of the known elements and arranged them into a table.
Most of his ideas have stood the test of time, despite being conceived long before we knew much about the stuff that makes up matter.
On Tuesday, the year will be officially launched in Paris. So, what’s so special about this iconic symbol of science?
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
by Cat Eldridge.]
Born January 29, 1923 – Paddy Chayefsky. In our circles known as the writer of the Altered States novel that he also wrote the screenplay for. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. The other winners of three Awards shared theirs. He did not win for Altered States though he did win for Network which I adore. (Died 1981.)
Born January 29, 1940 – Katharine Ross, 79. Yes, you know her as Elaine Robinson in The Graduate but that’s hardly genre, do shall we see what she done in our area of interest? Her first such work was as Joanna Eberhart in The Stepford Wives –scary film that. She shows up next as Helena in The Swarm and plays Margaret Walsh in The Legacy, both horror films. The Final Countdown sees her in the character of Laurel Scott. And Dr. Lilian Thurman is her character in the cult favorite Donnie Darko. I’m fairly sure that the only genre series she’s done is on The Wild Wild West as Sheila Parnell in “The Night of the Double-Edged Knife” episode. I did debate if the I should could I count Alfred Hitchcock Presents aa genre or not as she did an episode there as well.
Born January 29, 1977 – Justin Hartley, 42. Performer in the series as Green Arrow and Oliver Queen characters, season six on. Also director of the “Dominion” episode and the writer of the “Sacrifice” episode on that series. He’s also Arthur “A.C.” Curry in the unsold Aquaman television pilot. The latter is up on YouTube here. He’s also lead cast in a web series called Gemini Division.
Born January 29, 1978 – Catrin Stewart, 31. Jenny Flint in five episodes of Doctor Who. She was friends with Madame Vastra and Strax (informally known as the Paternoster Gang) who appeared first during the Eleventh Doctor and last during the Twelfth Doctor. Big Finish has continued them in their audiobooks. She also played Stella in two episodes of the Misfits series, and was Julia in a performance of Nineteen Eighty-Four done at London Playhouse several years back.
Not everybody gets off the ground at Hogwarts according to Berkeley Mews.
A super warning about the cold and flu season at Off the Mark.
(10) ELGIN AWARD
NOMINATIONS OPEN. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association is
taking nominations for the Elgin Award through May
15. Charles Christian will be the 2019 Elgin Awards Chair.
Only SFPA members may nominate; there is no limit to how many they can nominate, but they may not nominate their own work. Send title, author, and publisher of speculative poetry books and chapbooks published in 2017 and 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org by mail to the SFPA secretary: Renee Ya, P.O. Box 2074, San Mateo, CA 94401 USA. Books and chapbooks that placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in last year’s Elgin Awards are not eligible.
IDW Publishing’s big 20th anniversary celebration rolls on this month as the mini-major refreshes five of their major licensed titles with a time-traveling series of oversized one-shot releases.
The January party sparkles with some of pop culture’s most treasured properties as Ghostbusters, Jem and the Holograms, My Little Pony, Star Trek, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uncover characters’ secrets and mysteries shot 20 years into the future or tugged back to the past.
Timothy the Talking Cat, billionaire CEO of publishing multinational “Cattimothy House” entered the 2020 Presidential fray, with a shock announcement on Tuesday. At a book launch in Borstworth Library, the outspoken cat and business guru laid out his vision for a new kind of US President.
CONTENT WARNING: This review discusses gun violence throughout, and includes references to child death. Also, we’re discussing the whole novella, so BEWARE SPOILERS.
Vigilance, the new novella from Robert Jackson Bennett, is out today and it’s a searing look at gun violence in the US. In this near future dystopia, John McDean is tasked with running “Vigilance”, the nation’s favourite reality programme, which releases real shooters are released on unsuspecting locations with military-grade armaments, and the resulting carnage is broadcast as a “lesson” in how to protect oneself. McDean and his crew at ONT station think they have the variables of Vigilance down to a fine art, but in the novella’s ensuing escalation find themselves taken down by one of McDean’s own blindspots, to dramatic effect.
We’ve got a lot of Bennett fans on our team here at Nerds of a Feather and when this novella came to our attention, lots of us were interested in reading it to review. That’s why, instead of taking it on alone, today I, Adri, am joined by Paul Weimer, Brian, and Joe Sherry to unpack Bennett’s highly topical novella and our reactions to it.
Margot Robbie’s next take on Harley Quinn is steeped in ’80s music video sensibilities. Gotham City’s newest protectors have arrived. Tuesday morning, following an Instagram post by Margot Robbie teasing her return as Harley Quinn, Warner Bros. released the first official behind-the scenes look at Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The first look teases viewers with quick glimpses of the main characters, who, alongside Robbie’s Harley Quinn, are comprised of Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina), and Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Birds of Prey follows the events of Suicide Squad and finds Gotham City in a very different place following an apparent disappearance of Batman, and Quinn’s separation from the Joker. Harley finds herself on a continued path of redemption when she seeks to help a young girl, Cassandra Cain, escape the wrath of Black Mask by recruiting a force of Gotham heroines.
Kin Stewart used to be a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.
Now, stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.
(17) FROG STUFFING. Jon Del Arroz’ Happy Frogs lists are callbacks to what JDA thinks were the good old days of the Sad and Rabid Puppies. How much pull does he actually have? We’ll know if any of these names from “The Happy Frogs Hugo Award list” [Internet Archive link] show up on the 2019 ballot. (Well, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if David Weber got a nod for Best Series on his own – but that still leaves the rest of them.)
New footage from the lead-up to NASA’s first manned trip to the moon (and the landing itself) features in the upcoming documentary Apollo 11, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names,” distribution company Neon said of the film.
“Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.”
(19) LAST THOUGHTS ABOUT
BROADWAYCON. [Item by Martin Morse
Wooster.] On “Three
on The Aisle: Broadway Cosplay” at Americantheatre.org,
Elisabeth Vincentelli gives a BroadwayCon report, which begins at sixteen
minutes into the podcast and ends at 34 minutes. She did see some
cosplayers, such as a woman from West Virginia who sat on a bus wearing her
costume as the Angel from Angels in
America, and she occasionally did see fans wanting to get too close to the
stars (which in the theatre world is known as “stagedooring.”)
But she also appreciated the substantive panels, such as one on Oklahoma where cast members sang songs
they didn’t sing on stage, and noted that BroadwayCon is important enough that
stars like Kristen Chenoweth show up there unannounced. Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry
Teachout said he wanted to go next year and that “A critic incapable of
being a fan is a critic that needs therapy.”
John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ,
Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories.
Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]