Two bases will be chosen, one for
the 2020 Hugo Award and one for the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards. An artist may
submit multiple base designs and could be selected for both bases. The
winner(s) of the base design competition will receive a full (five-day)
Attending membership for CoNZealand, where they will be invited to take part in
the public unveiling of their design at the convention’s Opening Ceremonies,
Retro Hugo Award presentation, and at the Hugo Awards Ceremony. The bases will
also be added to the physical archive of Hugo base designs, and thus be part of
the Hugo History exhibit that travels to each Worldcon.
Detailed specifications can be
found at the link. They expect to need approximately 36 bases for the 2020 Hugo
Awards and 14 for the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards. As a guideline, bases should cost
no more than $250 (NZD) each to fabricate. The committee wants to
receive the bases in June 2020. (The convention starts July 29.)
The contest winner will be selected
by early February 2020.
A tornado with winds of 165 m.p.h. cut a swath through Dallas just a mile south of our house yesterday evening after dark. A powerful gust snapped the trunk of our 70 ft mesquite halfway up and sent it crashing down into our front yard. The only property damage we sustained was to our yard light. Seeing all the destruction in the news this morning, we are thankful we came through relatively unscathed.
(2) AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. Just in case the Marvel Cinematic
Universe needs any defense against the negative opinions of Martin Scorsese and
Francis Ford Coppola, a couple of well-known figures connected with the MCU have
Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them “despicable”. Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same. I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, “I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!” Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful….
I think there’s room for all types of cinema,” she told The Hollywood Reporter at the 6th annual Los Angeles Dance Project Gala on Saturday at downtown Los Angeles’ Hauser & Wirth. “There’s not one way to make art.”
“I think that Marvel films are so popular because they’re really entertaining and people desire entertainment when they have their special time after work, after dealing with their hardships in real life.”
(3) HOW EAGER
ARE YOU? ESPN will be airing the final
trailer for Star
Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker tonight
during Monday Night Football.
(4) NAVIGATING THE ROCKETS SAFELY HOME. In “What happened to the 1944 Retro Hugos?”, Nicholas Whyte asks fans to consider the burden of producing a whole run of trophies when it’s this hard to find homes for them after the ceremony. Of course, the job would have been a little easier if the nominees with accepters had won:
…I’m glad to say that we did have a few designated acceptors in the room on the night. Apart from those noted below, Betsy Wollheim was on hand in case her father Donald won (unfortunately he lost in all three categories where he was nominated); June and Naomi Rosenblum were there for their father-in-law/grandfather J. Michael Rosenblum; Stephanie Breijo was there for her great-grandfather Oscar J. Friend; and Harper Collins sent a rep for C.S. Lewis. So, for 66 finalists, we had acceptors on hand for 10. Future Worldcons might like to bear that in mind when planning whether or not to run Retro Hugo Awards.
This is what happened with the trophies, in increasing order of the difficulty we had in dealing with them….
However, that respect for the decision did not last long. On Friday, Abdin announced that he was appealing the verdict and was launching a GoFundMe to finance the campaign. As of this writing, that campaign has raised more than $17,500 from more than 470 donors and is inching closer to its $20,000 goal….
(7) CONFACTS. Kees Van Toorn announced that all issues of ConFacts, the daily newsletter of ConFiction,
the 1990 Worldcon, have been uploaded on their archival website in flipbook format.
David Mack is a New York Times bestselling author of over thirty novels of science fiction, fantasy, and adventure. His most recent works are The Midnight Front and The Iron Codex, parts one and two of his Dark Arts trilogy from Tor Books. He currently works as a creative consultant on two upcoming Star Trek television series.
Max Gladstone is the author of Empress of Forever, the Hugo finalist Craft Sequence, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, This is How You Lose the Time War, in addition to his work with short and serial fiction, games, screenwriting, and comics. He has been a finalist for the Hugo, John W Campbell /Astounding, XYZZY, and Lambda Awards, and was once thrown from a horse in Mongolia.
The event starts at 7 p.m. in the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th
Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.) in New York, NY.
(9) FANFICTION. Sff writer Sara L. Uckelman,
Professor of logic and philosophy of language at Durham University, issued an
invitation: “Anyone interested in the paper behind the talk, my paper ‘Fanfiction,
Canon, and Possible Worlds’ can be downloaded here.”
…The study of fanfiction from a philosophical point of view raises a number of questions: What is fanfiction? What distinguishes it from ordinary fiction? How can we make sense of what is going on when people create and interact with fanfiction? In this paper, I consider two competing accounts of fanfiction—the derivative or dependent account and the constitutive account—and argue that these competing views parallel two competing ways in which a possible worlds account of fiction can be fleshed out, namely, Lewis’s modal realist account and Kripke’s stipulative view. I further argue that this parallel is not a mere parallel, but provides us with a test of adequacy for the possible worlds accounts: It is worthless to provide a philosophical account of the theoretical foundations of fiction if such an account doesn’t coordinate with the actual practice and production of fiction.
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.
October 21, 1977 — Damnation Alley premiered. Based somewhat on Zelazny’s novel, it starred George Peppard as Major Eugene “Sam” Denton and Jan-Michael Vincent as 1st Lt. Jake Tanner. It bombed and was pulled quickly. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 34%. For now at least, it’s on YouTube here.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born October 21, 1904 — Edmond Hamilton. One of the prolific writers for Weird Tales from the late 20s to the late 40s, writing nearly eighty stories. (Lovecraft and Howard were the other key writers.) Sources say that through the late 1920s and early 1930s Hamilton wrote for all of the SF pulp magazines then publishing. His story “The Island of Unreason” (Wonder Stories, May 1933) won the first Jules Verne Prize as the best SF story of the year. This was the very first SF prize awarded by a vote of fans, which one source holds to be a precursor of the Hugo Awards. From the early 40s to the late 60s, he work for DC, in stories about Superman and Batman. He created the Space Ranger character with Gardner Fox and Bob Brown. On December 31, 1946, Hamilton married fellow science fiction author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett. Now there is another story as well. (Died 1977.)
Born October 21, 1914 — Martin Gardner. He was one of leading authorities on Lewis Carroll. The Annotated Alice, which incorporated the text of Carroll’s two Alice books, is still a bestseller. He was considered the doyen (your word to learn today) of American puzzlers. And, to make him even more impressive, in 1999 Magic magazine named Gardner one of the “100 Most Influential Magicians of the Twentieth Century”. Cool! (Died 2010.)
Born October 21, 1929 — Ursula Le Guin. She called herself a “Narrative American”. And she most emphatically did not consider herself to be a genre writer instead preferring be known as an “American novelist”. Oh, she wrote genre fiction with quite some brilliance, be it the Earthsea sequence, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, or Always Coming Home. Her upbringing as the daughter of two academics, one who was an anthropologist and the other who had a graduate degree in psychology, showed in her writing. And the home library of the family had a lot of SF in it. If you’re interested in the awards she won in her career, she garnered the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award. At last she was also awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters It won’t surprise you that she was made a SFWA Grandmaster, one of the few women writers so honored. (Died 2018.)
Born October 21, 1933 — Georgia Brown. She’s the actress who portrayed Helena Rozhenko, foster mother of Worf, in the Next Gen’s “Family” and “New Ground” episodes. She was Frau Freud in The Seven-Percent Solution, and was Rachel in “The Musgrave Ritual” episode of the Nigel Stock fronted Sherlock Holmes series. (Died 1992.)
Born October 21, 1945 — Everett McGill, 74. Stilgar in the first Dune film. Earlier in his career, he was a Noah in Quest for Fire. Later on, he’s Ed Killifer in License to Kill, and in Twin Peaks, he’s Big Ed Hurley. He was also Rev. Lowe in Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, a werewolf flick that actually has a decent rating of 55% at Rotten Tomatoes!
Born October 21, 1956 — Carrie Fisher. In addition to the original Star Wars trilogy, Star Wars Holiday Special, The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the forthcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, she was in Amazon Women on the Moon, The Time Guardian, Hook, Scream 3, and A Midsummer Night’s Rave. (Died 2016.)
Born October 21, 1973 — Sasha Roiz, 45. I know him only as Captain Sean Renard on Grimm but he’s also been Sam Adama on Caprica as well. And he’s also been on Warehouse 13 in the recurring role of Marcus Diamond. He even showed up once on Lucifer as U.S. Marshal Luke Reynolds.
…Consider the name of the alien space station for which Pohl’s book gets its name: Gateway. In the same way that taking highly random and highly dangerous alien space flights is the gateway to potential wealth, the capitalist system is also the gateway to the extreme fortune of the limited few that have, through luck or pluck, benefited most from the system. But no billionaire earns their riches without exploiting populations. Behind every fortune are the underpaid, the underfed, the forgotten, and the have nothings. The capitalist system, most simply defined, is a system of using the work of others and the work of wealth itself, to gain more wealth. It doesn’t take too much mental work to see that people are a form of capital in the capitalist system. Indeed, within capitalism everything is a form of capital. The best capitalist is the individual that figures out how to make more out of what they have….
(14) MYLNE’S GENRE ART. Artist James Mylne has been in the
news lately (see, for instance ITV: “Boris Johnson turns into The Joker in
new artwork”) for a political commentary that leans heavily on a genre
reference. Filers might, therefore, be interested to know that his work has
sometimes borrowed from other genre sources also. Example below.
(15) SOLARIS ON STAGE. Those passing through London between now and November 2 can see the play Solaris (nearest tube/metro/underground is Hammersmith).
On a space station orbiting Solaris, three scientists have made contact with a new planet.
Sent from earth to investigate reports of abnormal activity on-board, Kris Kelvin arrives to find one crew member dead and two who are seeing things that cannot be explained.
When her dead lover appears to her, it seems she too has fallen victim to the mystery of this strange planet. Should she return to reality, or is this her chance to turn back time?
Have the crew been studying Solaris – or has it been studying them?
This psychological thriller asks who we are when we’re forced to confront our deepest fears.
(16) ATWOOD PROFILE. Behind a paywall in the October 12 Financial
Times, Horatia Harrod has a lengthy interview with Margaret Atwood.
In Oryx and Crake, Atwood wrote about a world decimated by environmental catastrophe; her understanding of the fragility of the Earth and the rapaciousness of its human inhabitants came early. “My father was already talking about this over the dinner table in 1955,” says Atwood, who has been committed to raising awareness of the climate crisis for decades (she promised her 2000 Booker Prize winnings to charities dedicated to endangered animals. “There is so much data and evidence. But people would rather adhere to a belief system that favours them. So, what view of the climate is going to make more money for me?”
Atwood’s mother, meanwhile, was a tomboy, whose favored pastimes were speedskating, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, not doing housework. “I can’t think of much she was afraid of. This is a mother who chased a bear away with a broom, saying the following word: ‘Scat!’” There were other tough female role models:”Inuit women, who have done some pretty spectacular things. My aunt Ada, who I named a character in The Testaments after, was a hunting and fishing guide, and a crack shot with a .22.”
(17) PLANETARY ANTHOLOGIES MIGRATE. Superversive Press has dropped
the Planetary Anthologies line says
Declan Finn, whose contribution, Luna, is awaiting publication. (Indeed,
a search on Amazon showed Superversive Press books as a whole are now only
available from third-party vendors.) However, Finn says another publisher is stepping
The Planetary Anthology series is being discontinued.
In fact, even the five anthologies that have been published already have been discontinued. They will no longer be available for sale online from the publisher.
Which is odd for me. Especially after a year where the Area 51 anthology I was in this year was conceived of, edited, and released in 3 months from call for stories to publication.
So, yeah, the original publisher isn’t doing them anymore.
Finn says “the anthologies have all been picked up again by Tuscany Bay Books,” the imprint of Richard Paolinelli whose own unpublished Planetary Anthology, Pluto, will be next to appear. Contributors to these anthologies have included Jody Lyn Nye, Dawn Witzke, Lou Antonelli, Paolinelli, L Jagi Lamplighter, Hans G. Schantz, John C. Wright, Joshua M. Young and many others.
(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Lego In Real Life TRILOGY” on YouTube, Brick Bros.
Productions looks at what happens when common household objects turn into Legos.
[Thanks to Camestros Felapton, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (please roll him a meatball).]
By JJ: To assist Hugo nominators, listed below are the series believed to be eligible as of this writing for the 2020 Best Series Hugo next year *†.
Each series name is followed by the main author name(s) and the 2019-published work(s).
Feel free to add missing series and the name of the 2019-eligible work in the comments, and I will get them included in the main post.
I just ask that suggesters (1) first do a Find on author surname on this page, to check whether the series is already on the list, and (2) then make an effort to verify that a series does indeed have 3 volumes, that it has a 2019-published work, and that it has likely met the 240,000 word threshold; in the past I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to verify suggested series, only to discover that they had fewer than 3 volumes, or nothing published in the current year, or weren’t anything close to 240,000 words (e.g., children’s books). Self-published works may or may not be added to the list at my discretion.
Note that the 2017 Hugo Administrator ruled that nominations for a series and one of its subseries will not be combined. Therefore, when nominating a subseries work, think carefully under which series name it should be nominated. If the subseries does not yet meet the 3-volume, 240,000 word count threshold, then the main series name should be nominated. If the subseries does meet that threshold, then the subseries name should probably be nominated. This will ensure that another subseries in the same universe, or the main series itself, would still be eligible next year if this subseries is a finalist this year.
The 2018 and 2019 Hugo Administrators ruled that the 2017 Best Series Finalists, although the result of a one-time category, were subject to the same re-qualification requirements as the 2018 Best Series Finalists, and it is likely this will be the rule going forward; bear that in mind when making your nominations.
By Chris M. Barkley: If I had told you a month ago that legacies of three of the
biggest names in the fantasy and sf community would come under scrutiny and
that one in particular would have his name removed from two prestigious awards,
you probably would have looked at me oddly and thought I was crazy.
Well now, welcome to Crazy Town.
I, on the other hand, would not have been surprised as
much because of what had happened a year ago.
Tuesday, November 27 2018, was the BEST day of Linda
Fairstein’s life. Well, you could say it was the LAST best day of her life
because forty-eight hours later, it began to unravel.
Fairstein, an acclaimed and best-selling crime writer of many
years, awoke that day to find out that her peers in the Mystery Writers of
America had named her as a Grand Master, the highest award of their
organization could bestow. She was being honored for her series of 20 novels
featuring Alexandra Cooper, a sex crimes prosecutor.
When she found out, she took to Twitter, writing,“How is THIS
news for a thrilling surprise. I am Mystery Writers of America 2019
GRANDMASTER…..I’m pinching myself.”
But, almost immediately, prominent crime writers, with
novelist Attica Locke in the lead, were protesting the announcement. Locke
explained vociferously that Fairstein was directly responsible for the false
imprisonment of five innocent men.
Linda Fairstein’s previous occupation was a district attorney
for New York City. For nearly a quarter of a century she was the lead
prosecutor of the Sex Crimes Unit in Manhattan. In that capacity she became a
feminist icon for her tough stances on crime and advocacy for victims’ rights
Unfortunately, she was also responsible for personally
supervising the prosecution of the Central Park Five, a 1989 case in which a
jogger was brutally beaten and raped. The five Latino and black male teenagers
were arrested, questioned, tried and eventually convicted for the heinous
crime. They all claimed that the confessions they signed were coerced and that
they were innocent. In 2002, all of them were exonerated by DNA evidence, freed
and were given a substantial financial settlement from the city.
So, when the MWA reversed themselves, they released the
“After profound reflection, the Board has decided that MWA
cannot move forward with an award that lacks support of such a large percentage
of our members. Therefore, the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the
Linda Fairstein Grand Master award. We realize that this action will be
unsatisfactory to many. We apologize for any pain and disappointment this
situation has caused.”
By this past June, Dutton, her current publisher, had dropped
her and activists on social media outlets called on the public to boycott her
books and anyone selling them.
Fairstein exacerbated her situation by not apologizing for
what happened or at least admitting that our judicial system failed these young
men miserably. But no; instead she doubled down and she stood by their original
convictions despite the evidence to the contrary, and hinted that if they were
not guilty of that offense, they were probably guilty of something else and absolutely
deserved exactly what they got. When HBO’s drama about the Central Park Five,
“When They See Us” was aired this past spring, it featured a less than
flattering portrayal of Fairstein.
When I heard about Linda Fairstein’s problems with the Mystery
Writers of America, I got into an semi-argument with a bookselling friend about
what should happen to her. He stated, unequivocally, that her actions in her
life should have nothing to do with her work as a writer.
And, In a fair and a just world, that would happen. But, as
we have seen repeatedly over the advent of the internet and social media
outlets, there are people out there who would vehemently oppose the most
harmless and innocuous you could come up with, including kittens. knitting and
I told my friend back then that while it was more than likely
that Linda Fairstein probably did deserve the MWA honor, people, her peers,
critics, and the public at large and the tidal forces of social interaction she
helped foment were going to deny her because of her past actions and her
adamant defense of them.
And the very same scenario has played out again, in high
definition no less, in these past few weeks.
When Jeannette Ng made her speech denouncing John W.
Campbell, Jr. at the Hugo Award Ceremony three weeks ago, it set off a tsunami
of arguments, retrospectives and reassessments of Campbell, the late Alice
Sheldon (best known under her pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr), Amazing Stories
founder Hugo Gernsback and other various literary luminaries of the past and
By sheer coincidence, I discovered Campbell the editor in
high school, several months after he died. My neighbor, Michaele, had a
subscription and loaned me her copies of Analog, which were among the
last he had edited. The stories were ok but what really caught my eye were the
strangely cranky editorials, which made me curious enough to want to meet him.
It was well enough that he had departed; had I gone back a few years and read
of his 1968 endorsement of George Wallace for President, that would have been
From 1937, for their first fifteen years or so, Campbell’s Astounding
Science Fiction magazine (and for the few years it existed, its fantasy
counterpart, Unknown) were the biggest influences in sf literature and
fandom at large.
But, along came Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas. And
Horace Gold. Cele Goldsmith. Frederik Pohl. Ian and Betty Ballantine. Joseph
and Edward Ferman. And Harlan Ellison. And many other editors and
publishers who followed in their footsteps. Like all good literary movements,
sf diversified, became more inclusive and expanded.
And Campbell himself? Not so much.
To be sure, he still was respected by authors and artists who
produced for him. And don’t forget that he was the first to serialize Frank
Herbert’s magnum opus, Dune, and, ironically, the very FIRST story by
one James Tiptree, Jr (who is waiting on deck, so to speak).
But Campbell was estranged from a number of major authors
such as Robert A. Heinlein, whom he had clashed with over ideological and
When the two awards were established in his name two years
after his death, John W. Campbell, Jr. was so well thought of and revered that
there was no virtually opposition from any of the sponsors; Conde Nast
Magazines (which later morphed into Dell Magazines) and the World Science
Fiction Society (as the administrator) for the Best New Writer and the Memorial
Award for Best Novel by late authors Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss. (The Gunn
Center Conference of the University of Kansas formally took over the
administration of the Campbell Memorial Award in 1978).
Harrison wrote this of the awards in 1977:
When John died it was a blow to all of us. After the memorial service a number of his writers were talking, and out of the talk came the Astounding anthology, what has been called the last issue of the Campbell magazine. It was a good tribute to a good editor. There is another tribute I think of just as highly, the award for the best SF novel of the year presented in his name and memory. An award I am sure he would have loved because it instantly became involved in controversy when the first prizes was presented. How John enjoyed a good argument and a good fight! That this fight sprawled through the letter columns of Analog for some months would have cheered him even more.
(For those among you who are intensely curious about that
first recipient, the very first winner of the Memorial Award for Best Novel
award was Beyond Apollo by Barry Malzberg, a book whose plot and themes
probably would have turned his brain inside out. Don’t believe me? Check it out
In the wake of the events of the past three weeks, Campbell’s
grandson, John Campbell Hammond, has expressed some distress and disappointment
over the removal of his name from the two awards. Others have been more pointed
in their criticism, calling it a reactionary response of “political
correctness” or “erasure”.
Mr. Hammond may be saddened but at least he can be consoled
by the voters of the 1944 Retro-Hugos, which held his grandfather in some high
esteem because they awarded him in the Best Editor, Short Form category.
Here’s the thing; while he was a brilliant innovator in our
branch of literature, there is also no doubt that his views on women and race
were abominable. We can only speculate how much better things might have been
if he hadn’t been such a person. Looking back, it is quite evident that the
only thing holding up his reputation up for all these decades was white
privilege, willful or unknowing ignorance and racism.
And what’s happened to Campbell is not “erasure” but, as John
Scalzi elegantly put it on his blog, a “reassessment”. And part of that process
is a condemnation of your past actions.
Almost immediately in the wake of all of this, The Tiptree
Motherboard, the administrators of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, were inundated
by requests that they change the name of their award, citing that Alice Sheldon
(the alias behind the Tiptree pseudonym) had committed the murder of her
spouse, the ailing and terminally ill Huntington Sheldon, and then committed
Where I had no doubt that removing Campbell name was correct
thing to do, I was equally adamant that Tiptree’s name should remain in place.
I am proud to state that I voted for Sheldon’s Hugo winning
novella, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read,” on my very first Hugo Awards ballot
back in 1977. At that time, no one knew “James Tiptree, Jr.” was other than a
as a damn good writer. Upon first reading, I found her short fiction to be
entertaining, intensely personal and incredibly enlightening. And I still do.
The bubble burst the very next year when, in her guise as
Tiptree, slipped up and revealed to several of her correspondents that her
mother had recently died. That led a few clever people to a Chicago newspaper
obituary and directly her real identity.
Sheldon continued to write, as Tiptree and “Raccoona Sheldon”
until her and her husband’s deaths in 1987. It was long rumored among her
friends and family that she and “Ting” had made a long-standing murder/suicide
pact if either became too ill for the other to care for. In her 2006 Hugo Award
winning biography, The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, author Julie
Phillips did not state conclusively that this was the case. Recently, Phillips
wrote on Twitter:
“The question has come up whether Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr) and her husband Ting died by suicide or murder-suicide. I regret not saying clearly in the bio that those closest to the Sheldons all told me that they had a pact and that Ting’s health was failing.
Ting’s son Peter Sheldon also said there was a pact, and that Ting was declining. Alli probably wanted to die more than Ting did. But the pact didn’t have to do with his blindness or disability. He was going, and they chose to go out together.”
Recently on the Tiptree Motherboard, Phillips elaborated
“Ting didn’t leave a statement, but all Ting’s friends that I talked to plus his son Peter were unanimous that it was a pact, and that Ting’s health was failing when it happened. The only one who cast doubt on that was the lawyer who talked to her on the last night, James Boylan. He didn’t know either Ting or Alli very well, and I have doubts about how well he understood what was happening. I’m planning to write up what I know, because I left too much room for doubt when I wrote the book.”
I got into a very brief argument on the Tiptree Motherboard
Twitter feed with a troll (with no previous history of posting) who stated
unequivocally that Sheldon was nothing more than a common murderer. I
countered that while John W. Campbell was a serial offender in life, Alice Sheldon
should not be condemned forever for one desperate and tragic choice.
Even moreso, the name “James Tiptree, Jr.” and the meaningful
and influential fiction that was presented under that name has transcended the
life of the author. I believe that the award cannot be what it is, a
celebration of the exploration of sex and gender roles in fantastic fiction
without that name attached to it.
On 2 September, the Tiptree Motherboard issued a lengthy
statement covering the controversy and stated that a name change was not in the
offing. Two days later they, issued the following clarification:
We’ve seen some people discussing this statement and saying we’re refusing to rename the award. Of course it’s easy to read what we’ve written in that way; our apologies. While this post focuses on the reasons why we have not immediately undertaken to rename the award, our thinking is ongoing and tentative, and we are listening carefully to the feedback we are receiving. We are open to possibilities and suggestions from members of our community as we discuss how best to move forward. You can contact us at email@example.com.
So, at least for the foreseeable future, The James Tiptree Award will remain as it is.
Our last person of interest is Hugo Gernsback, an immigrant
from Luxembourg who founded the 1926 magazine Amazing Stories, the very
first publication completely devoted to publishing science fiction (which he
originally dubbed “scientifiction”). Through it, he also created the “Science
Fiction League”, a club whose members published letters in the magazine and
corresponded with each other eventually met in person, thus creating the first
wave of sf fandom and conventions.
But before Amazing Stories, Gernsback was better known
as a publisher of all sorts of other publications. He was notorious for not
paying his contributors very much (or in some cases, not at all) and his
business practices were seen by many at the time as very shady or outright
As author Barry Malzberg once wrote:
Gernsback’s venality and corruption, his sleaziness and his utter disregard for the financial rights of authors, have been well documented and discussed in critical and fan literature. That the founder of genre science fiction who gave his name to the field’s most prestigious award and who was the Guest of Honor at the1952 Worldcon was pretty much a crook (and a contemptuous crook who stiffed his writers but paid himself $100K a year as President of Gernsback Publications) has been clearly established.
The very next year, the Science Fiction Achievement Awards
were first given out at the11th Worldcon in Philadelphia. And despite his
scurrilous reputation, people began to nickname this new award, “The Hugo”,
after him! And I have no doubt that this just tickled his fancy up to his death
at the age of 83 in 1967. The name became so universally used that by1992, it
was officially codified into the Constitution of World Science Fiction Society.
I am amused that some people are showing some genuine outrage
that the most prestigious award in sf is named after such a scoundrel. And not
because I think it’s a bad idea. Oh no, on the contrary, this might be a GREAT
idea whose time has come.
All these pundits have to do is come up with a name to
replace “Hugo Award”. Something that has a consensus of fandom behind it. A
name that can be protected legally by the World Science Fiction Society. And…
A name that will have to endure at the very least, four or
five years of committee studies and formal Business Meeting debates,
amendments, substitutions and serpentine votes.
To those who wish to embark on this fool’s errand, I wish you
all the luck on this Earth and all of its known (and unknown) alternate
versions as well.
In any event, fame and legacies are all fleeting and a fool’s
deepest desire. All that really matters in life in the long run are your
family, friends, memories and knowing that you tried to do the right thing and
the best you can under the circumstances.
My advocacy of new categories for the Hugo Award will
probably be my legacy. And I’m hoping for more. But It is my hope that my work
will not stand and that others will study, deconstruct, demolish and build on
the ashes of my efforts.
I hope a new Best Dramatic Presentation category is even more
expansive and inclusive. The Editing category should formally include
anthologies and author collections. Manga should definitely be included in the
description of the Comics and Graphic Story category. And a Best Translated
Novel award (or, at least a test of such a category) should be inevitable and
welcomed, not feared.
If I had to single out one of the greatest moments in my life
in fandom, I could tell you exactly when it happened, the night before the 2012
Hugo Awards Ceremony at Chicon 7.
My partner Juli and I were hanging out in the Hyatt Regency
bar overlooking Michigan Avenue when we were approached by a woman and her
partner. She said she sought me out to to thank me personally for working so
hard to establish the Best Graphic Story category in which she was a nominee
that year. I, in turn, congratulated her on the nomination and wished her the
best of luck.
And the next day, Ursula Vernon won her first Hugo Award for her graphic omnibus, Digger. She did not thank me on stage. She didn’t have to because she already had.
It is always better to give than to receive. And I have
always strived to create the possibility to give the highest award we have to
the most deserving creators. And that is all I have ever wanted.
Co-chairs Norman Cates and Kelly Buehler have announced that CoNZealand, the 2020 Worldcon, will present Retro Hugo Awards for 1945, acknowledging notable works published in 1944.
The Hugos are the most prestigious award in the science fiction and fantasy genres. First presented in 1953, they honor literature, media and fan activities, and have become the key event held during the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).
Since 1996, Worldcon committees also have had the option of presenting Retrospective (Retro) awards to honor works published in the earlier years of Worldcon when no Hugos were awarded. No Hugo Awards were given out in 1945, when Worldcon was on hiatus due to World War II, and CoNZealand will take place 75 years after the awards would have occurred.
The 2019 Irish Worldcon, held in Dublin last month, presented the 1944 Retro Hugos for the 1943 calendar year; Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Ray Bradbury were amongst the winners.
“Some of the works created during the World War II years have become classics and it is a great opportunity to be able to formally celebrate them,” said Cates and Buehler.
Nominations for the 1945 Retro Hugos will open at the same time as the 2020 Hugo Award nominations.
In addition to the Hugos and Retro Hugos, CoNZealand will host the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, which recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents.
(1) CHECK YOURSELF. Cat Rambo’s social media advice.
Thread starts here.
(2) HUGO MIA. Foz Meadows’ 2019 Best Fan Writer Hugo has suffered a misadventure in delivery.
(3) KEEPING HUGO. Amazing Stories’ Steve
Davidson, in “On
Renaming Awards”, tries to preempt an anticipated effort to take Hugo
Gernsback’s name off of the Worldcon’s award.
…And now the other side of that coin is revealed. Prior to and immediately following the Best New Writer award name change, some have suggested that the Hugo Award name be changed as well. After all, Hugo Gernsback, for whom the Science Fiction Achievement Awards were renamed, had bad paying practices; there are historical complaints from H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. P. Lovecraft, Jack Williamson and Donald Wollheim to name those who are known.
He took on airs and presented himself as sophisticated and superior and it may even be that he used his low word rates to help maintain a lavish lifestyle.
On the other hand, he didn’t reject female authors out of hand (encouraged them in editorials, actually). He himself was Jewish, so it is unlikely that antisemitic thoughts were expressed and as for people of color, though I’ve no evidence, circumstantial evidence suggests that he would have encouraged them as well as he consistently operated in a manner that was designed to grow and spread interest in the genre. If he had recognized that there was a new market to exploit, he’d have jumped right in. His motivation was to grow awareness and acceptance of the genre. How he felt about other social issues remains largely a mystery (but given that he also published Sexology, a magazine devoted to human sexuality in a manner that was extremely provocative and progressive in its time, suggests that the man was more progressive leaning than not).
(4) SHARING AND PRESERVING
WORLDCON. Claire Rousseau retweeted a call to stream,
record, and caption all of Worldcon and considered how to marshal the resources
necessary to do it. Thread
The alt-right has taken root in fandom. Like any parasitic plant, once it takes hold, it attempts to strangle the life out of everything around it, drain them of energy until they perish. There are factions on the internet—be they GamerGate, the Sad/Rabid Puppies, ComicsGate, #IStandWithVic/Weeb Wars—who wish to fight a culture war against what they see as a liberal agenda to dominate media.
There are a multitude of individuals who have spoken against these alt-right groups.
And these individuals have been targeted in ways that put their personal safety in jeopardy.
In writing this article, I reached out to several individuals I knew had personally been targeted. In doing so, I talked to online media critic Kaylyn Saucedo (more famously, MarzGurl), artist Tim Doyle, comic writer Kwanza Osajyefo, and cosplayer/comic writer Renfamous about their experiences with online harassment. What they told me needs to be heard.
Trigger warning: The following article contains detailed accounts of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, threats of violence and sexual assault, racism, and a lot of harassment. Screenshots of harassment will be provided to supplement the information provided.
The late Ray Harryhausen is the man most synonymous with stop-motion animation and for good reason. Harryhausen’s contributions to films like It Came from Beneath the Sea, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans immortalized him as a legend, his work paid tribute to by everyone from Chuck Russell in Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors to Sam Raimi in Army of Darkness. Next year, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to the stop-motion master with Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema.
Reported by Creative Boom, it’ll be “the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Harryhausen’s work ever seen,” including materials both previously unseen and newly restored.
(8) TRIVIAL TRIVIA.
August 28, 1991 — First e-mail sent from space. Using a Mac Portable aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the first e-mail from space is sent to Earth. Two astronauts on the spacecraft, James Adamson and Shannon Lucid, wrote, “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!” The message was transmitted to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born August 28, 1749 — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I once saw a production of his Faust in the Seattle Cathedral some decades back where Faust came up the central aisle standing regally on a cart in his blood red robes dragged along slowly by four actors dressed as demons. Very fascinating. (Died 1832.)
Born August 28, 1833 — Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet. English artist and designer associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Although the ISFDB says his artwork graces a mere dozen or so covers of genre books, I’m willing to bet that it’s a lot more than that. The 1996 Signet UK of Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow’s Black Thorn, White Rose anthology uses his artwork, as does the 1990 Random House publication of A.S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance. (Died 1898.)
Born August 28, 1873 — Sheridan Le Fanu. One of the most well-known Irish ghost story writers of the Victorian Era. M. R. James said that he was “absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories”. Three of his best-known works are “Carmilla”, “The House by the Churchyard” and “Uncle Silas”. If you’re interested in sampling his fiction, iBooks has a lot of his ghost stories for free. (Died 1914.)
Born August 28, 1896 — Morris Ankrum. Numerous appearances in the Fifties as he appeared in Rocketship X-M as Dr. Ralph Fleming, as a Martian leader in Flight to Mars, in Red Planet Mars playing the United States Secretary of Defense, in Invaders From Mars playing a United States Army general, and as yet another Army general in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. (Died 1964.)
Born August 28, 1916 — Jack Vance. I think I prefer his Dying Earth works more than anything else he did, though the Lyonesse Trilogy is damn fine too. And did you know he wrote three mystery novels as Ellery Queen? Well he did. And his autobiography, This Is Me, Jack Vance!, won the Hugo Award, Best Related Book. (Died 2013.)
Born August 28, 1917 — Jack Kirby. Responsible for a goodly part of modern comics from Captain America and the X-Men to Challengers of the Unknown and the New Gods. I’m very much looking forward to the New Gods film being worked on now. (Died 1994.)
Born August 28, 1925 — Arkady Natanovich Strugatsky. The Strugatsky brothers were well known Russian SF writers who were Guests of Honour at Conspiracy ’87, the Worldcon that was held in Brighton, England. Their best-known novel in the West, Piknik na obochine, has been translated into English as Roadside Picnic. It is available in digital form with a foreword by Le Guin. (Died 1991.)
Born August 28, 1948 — Vonda McIntyre. I’ve read a number of her works including Dreamsnake and The Moon and the Sun which are all phenomenal. The latter was based on a short story of hers done as a faux encyclopaedia article “The Natural History and Extinction of the People of the Sea”, that was illustrated by Le Guin. Neat. (Died 2019.)
Born August 28, 1965 — Amanda Tapping, 54. She’s best known for portraying Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. She also starred as Helen Magnus on Sanctuary which I never managed to see. Anyone see it? She was in The Void which also starred Adrian Paul and Malcolm McDowell.
(11) KIDNEY DONOR SOUGHT. Longtime Phoenix fan Shane Shellenbarger is on dialysis and
needs a kidney transplant. His wife has set up some webpages to help spread the
word and widen the search for a donor. Filer Bruce Arthurs adds, “Shane’s a
good guy and could use a break.” Learn more about Shane
at the Kidney
for Shane website.
Shane needs a kidney! He has been on dialysis and on the recipient list for over 650 days. The average length on the list is 2 to 5 years, usually waiting for an unfortunate tragedy leading to a cadaver organ. Many of his friends as well as his wife have tried to donate, but have not qualified for one reason or another. So, we need to spread the request far and wide!
It’s that time again: Millions of folks are heading back to school, carrying with them varying degrees of excitement and dread. A new school year is filled with unknowns, which can sure be anxiety-inducing, so it’s no surprise that when movies feature characters hitting the books, it might stir up some old feelings of dread for audiences.
In this week’s Debate Club, we celebrate cinema’s most memorable schools and academies. (It killed us, but we decided not to include the boot camp in Starship Troopers since it’s technically not a school.) All five of our picks are way more exciting than your boring old trig class.
(13) CALL FOR JUDGES. Red rover, red rover, send a name for Mars 2020 right over!
NASA is recruiting help from students nationwide to find a name for its next
Mars rover mission. Starting Tuesday, K-12 students in U.S. public, private and
home schools can enter Future Engineers’ “Name the Rover Challenge”
to pick a name for a Mars Rover to be launched next year. One grand prize winner will name
the rover and be invited to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
NASA is seeking volunteers to help judge the thousands of contest entries anticipated to pour in from around the country. U.S. residents over 18 years old who are interested in offering approximately five hours of their time to review submissions should register to be a judge at: https://www.futureengineers.org/registration/judge/nametherover
Here’s the writeup for participating students:
If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to name NASA’s next Mars rover. Submit your rover name and a short essay (maximum 150 words) to explain the reasons for your selected name. Be sure to review the RULES for all challenge details and entry requirements, including the privacy requirement of NO PERSONAL NAMES in your submission so that your entry may be posted in the public gallery. The Mars 2020 rover will seek signs of past microbial life, collect surface samples as the first leg of a potential Mars Sample Return campaign, and test technologies to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future human missions. More background information about the Mars 2020 mission is provided in the education resources section below.
Now when we turn to the effect of cat ownership we find that it has virtually zero predictive value when it comes to national voting trends. For those states where the percentage of cat ownership is highest, the average election results were 52.5% in favor of the Republican candidate over the 4 elections tabulated. This clearly does not represent a meaningful bias in voting behavior. When we look at those states where the percentage of cat ownership is lowest we get a similar indication that there is no predictive value of feline ownership, with an average of 60% voting Democratic. Neither of these results is different enough from the expected chance effect of 50% to be statistically significant.
Say the word “exosuit” and superheroes come to mind — somebody like Tony Stark from Marvel Comics, whose fancy suit enables him to become Iron Man.
But scientists at Harvard University have been developing an actual exosuit — a wearable machine that they say can improve a mere mortal’s strength and stamina. This new prototype is novel because it improves a wearer’s performance while walking and running — just one example of progress in what’s become a surging field.
This suit looks kind of like bike shorts, with some wires and small machines around the waist and cables down the legs. When it’s turned on, a person expends less energy while moving.
Avengers: Endgame has become the UK’s fastest-selling digital download film of all time.
The Marvel movie debuted at the top of the official film chart on Wednesday with the highest-ever opening week of digital download sales.
In July, the finale of the super-hero film series became the highest-grossing film of all time at the box-office.
Now it’s racked up 335,400 downloads in its first week – smashing the previous record held by Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Queen biopic entered the history books in February with 265,000 downloads in its first week.
Endgame’s prequel Avengers: Infinity War is the third fastest-selling download, having claimed almost 253,000 downloads in its first seven days.
In this week’s film chart, fellow Avenger Captain Marvel also sits in sixth place
(20) INSTANT MASTERPIECE. Camestros Felapton in comments:
Picture a clause in a strange constitution With fantasy prizes for make-believe guys Some one amends it The motion goes slowly A clause about mustard in pies [dum, dum, dum, dum] Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon Throwing mustard pies at Worldcon Ahhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhh
[Thanks to Steve Davidson, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge,
Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Hampus Eckerman, ULTRAGOTHA, Mike
Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, mirotherion, and Andrew Porter for some of these
stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Avilyn.]
The winners of the 2019 Hugo
Awards were presented August 18 at a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland.
Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte reported there were 3,097 total votes cast (3,089 online, 8 paper ballots). The voting statistics are online here [PDF file].
The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)
“If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again,” by Zen Cho (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
Best Short Story
“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies,” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)
Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
Best Related Work
Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Best Graphic Story
Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
Presentation, Long Form
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)
Presentation, Short Form
The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
Editor, Short Form
Editor, Long Form
Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien
Lady Business, editors Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
Our Opinions Are Correct, hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
Best Fan Writer
Best Fan Artist
Likhain (Mia Sereno)
Best Art Book
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition, illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin (Saga Press /Gollancz)
John W. Campbell Award
for Best New Writer
Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
Lodestar Award for
Best Young Adult Book
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt / Macmillan Children’s Books)
Closing note: There was a distracting mistake placed onscreen by the closed captioning service early in the ceremonies. Chair James Bacon immediately apologized for it on the convention’s Facebook page:
I would like to apologise for the problems with the closed captioning. I am dreadfully sorry for my decisions that led to us using a system that failed. I would lI would like to apologise for the problems with the closed captioning during the Hugo Awards ceremony. I am dreadfully sorry for my decisions that led to us using a system that failed. I would like to apologise to anybody who we have upset by this and we totally understand that our members and community will be disappointed in this failure for which I accept total responsibility. I am very sorry and am ready to apologise personally to those who were hurt.
Sometimes we put too much trust in new technology and that was my failing tonight. Artificial intelligence still has a way to go in coping with human expression in all its variety. The poor transcription was stopped, but not before it undercut a number of very important speeches. Stopping it also deprived some of our audience of access to the later speeches. We are working on producing the corrected archival version of the ceremony which will be available online.
…“The Man in the High Castle,” perhaps his most accomplished novel, is one of many works at Cal State Fullerton. The collection includes a “production manuscript” (a typescript with notes on fonts and chapter headings), as well as two sets of uncorrected galley proofs in long, loose sheets. “He was thirty-eight years old,” Dick writes of a character early on, “and he could remember the prewar days, the other times. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the World’s Fair; the former better world.”
To read those lines is like coming upon a precognition, a message to the present from the past. One of the clichés of science fiction is that it’s predictive, and yet, isn’t that the point of an archive such as this?
“We’re always collecting in the present for the future,” says Patricia Prestinary, Cal State Fullerton’s special collections librarian and archivist. “We look for connections. Philip K. Dick was a California writer, and late in his life, an Orange County writer. We’re preserving history in the making here.”
… In an essay written during the early 1990s, McNelly remembers receiving the manuscript of “Fahrenheit 451” from Ray Bradbury, as well as the Frank Herbert papers, which remain among the library’s most significant holdings.
The Hugo is the oldest and, by some measures, most prestigious award in the genre, and more often than not, the book that walks away with Best Novel honors will go on to withstand the test of time. (This year’s slate is certainly a promising one in that regard.)
The fanfiction website Archive of Our Own — where people post stories about their favorite movies, books and TV shows — is up for a Hugo Award, one of the highest awards in sci-fi and fantasy.
(6) IRISH FANDOM BACK IN THE DAY. David Langford has posted
Hyphen 37 edited by Walt Willis as a free download
at his Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund website (but feel free to contribute to TAFF
while you’re there!)
The 1987 revival issue of the long-dormant classic fanzine Hyphen. With new and reprinted material by John Berry, Chuck Harris, Eric Mayer, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Bob Shaw (twice), Bill Temple, Arthur Thomson, James White (with the famous “The Exorcists of IF”) and Walt Willis himself, plus further fannish luminaries including Robert Bloch, Chris Priest and Bob Tucker in a catch-up letter column whose contents date back to the 1960s.
On a sweltering Saturday in Baltimore, 11,000 bronies have claimed downtown. These are the fans of the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, their name a mashup of “bro” and “pony” because many of the show’s earliest — and unanticipated — adherents were young men.
For nine years they’ve evangelized the show, and for nine years they’ve been targets of scorn. But they’ve come here for BronyCon — the biggest My Little Pony convention in the world — heedless of what that world may think of them.
That’s what brought me here, too. I’ve dodged the brony label for years, but I can’t deny my love for the show. It’s helped me out in dark times, and I wasn’t about to pass up my last chance to join fans at BronyCon. Friendship may be magic, but the magic is fading; the show has entered its ninth and final season, and after several years of dwindling attendance, the convention’s organizers decided it was time for a last hurrah.
The promise of a final party drew record crowds much as it attracted me. “Honestly, I’m shocked that we got to this point. We were not expecting to have such a banner year,” says current convention chair Shir Goldberg. “We were expecting the fandom to be excited and maybe we would double our attendance from last year, clocking at the seven- or eight-thousand range, but we did not expect 11,000 people to show up.”
I was a bit surprised when in a comment someone mentioned not having heard of Sarah Tolmie. In the spirit of XKCD’s Ten Thousand, let me explain at least a little about who Sarah Tolmie is, and why you should be reading her fiction.
An Associate Professor of English at the University of Waterloo, Tolmie won a 2019 Rhysling Award for “Ursula Le Guin in the Underworld”; the poem was also nominated for an Aurora. Her The Art of Dying was shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Award. Unfortunately, poetry isn’t my thing, so let’s move on to prose…
(9) FONDA OBIT. Peter Fonda (1940-2019), US actor/producer/director, died August 16,
aged 79. Genre appearances include Spirits of the Dead (1968), Future
World (1976), Spasms (1983), Escape from L.A. (1996), Supernova
(2005), Ghost Rider (2007), The Gathering (both episodes, 2007), Journey
to the Centre of the Earth (2008).
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born August 16, 1884 — Hugo Gernsback. Publisher of the first SF magazine, Amazing Stories in 1926. Also helped create fandom through the Science Fiction League. Writer of the Ralph 124C 41+ novel which most critics think is utterly dreadful but Westfahl considers “essential text for all studies of science fiction.” (Died 1967.)
Born August 16, 1901 — Earle K. Bergey. Illustrator whose work graced Strange Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Startling Stories, Captain Future, and Fantastic Story Magazine. It is said that his art inspired the look of illustrations of scantily-clad women served as an inspiration for Princess Leia’s slave-girl outfit in Return of the Jedi. And it is Madonna was inspired by his brass bras for stage outfit of the same look. (Died 1952.)
Born August 16, 1930 — Robert Culp. He’d make the Birthday Honors solely for being the lead in Outer Limits’ “Demon with a Glass Hand” which Ellison wrote specifically with him in mind. He would do two more appearances on the show, “Corpus Earthling” and “The Architects of Fear”. Around this time, he makes one-offs on Get Smart! and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. before being Special FBI Agent Bill Maxwell in The Greatest American Hero. Did you know there was a Conan the Adventurer series in the Nineties? Well he was King Vog in one episode. (Died 2010.)
Born August 16, 1933 — Julie Newmar, 86. Catwoman in Batman. Her recent voice work includes the animated Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face, both done in the style of the Sixties show. They feature the last voice work by Adam West. Shatner btw plays Harvey Dent aka Two Face. She was on the original Trek in the “Friday’s Child” episode as Eleen. She also has one-offs on Get Smart!, Twilight Zone, Fantasy Island, Bionic Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Bewitched and Monster Squad.
Born August 16, 1934 — Diana Wynne Jones. If there’s essential reading for her, it’d be The Tough Guide to Fantasyland with a playful look at the genre. Then I’d toss in Deep Secret for its setting, and Fire and Hemlock for her artful merging of the Scottish ballads Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer. (Died 2011.)
Born August 16, 1934 — Andrew J. Offutt. I know him through his stories in the Thieves’ World anthologies though I also enjoyed the Swords Against Darkness anthologies that he edited. I don’t think I’ve read any of his novels. (Died 2013.)
Born August 16, 1946 — Lesley Ann Warren, 73. Miss Scarlett, a stock femme fatal, in Clue. She’s Dana Lambert in the fifth season of Mission Impossible. And she’s got one-offs on Twilight Zone, The Muppet Show, Daredevil, Faerie Tale Theatre and Community.
Born August 16, 1952 — Edie Stern, 67. Fancyclopedia 3 says about her that she is “a well-known SF club, con, filker, collector and fanzine fan.” Well it actually goes on at impressive length about her. So I’m going to just link to their bio for her: Edie Stern.
Born August 16, 1954 — James Cameron, 65. Let’s see… Terminator… Aliens… Terminator 2… True Lies… Strange Days… And The Abyss as well. Did you know he was interested in doing a Spider-man film? It never happened but the Dark Angel series with Jessica Alba did. And then there’s his Avatar franchise…
Born August 16, 1958 — Angela Bassett, 61. Queen Ramonda in Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame. On the DC side of things, she played Amanda Waller in the dreadful Green Lantern film.
Born August 16, 1971 — Alan Tudyk, 48. Hoban “Wash” Washburne in the Firefly universe whose death I’m still pissed about. Wat in A Knight’s Tale. (Chortle. Is it genre? Who cares, it’s a great film.) He’s K-2SO in Rogue One and yes, he does both the voice and motion capture. Impressive. He also had a recurring role on Dollhose as Alpha, and he’s currently voicing a number of characters in the Young Justice series streaming on DC Universe.
Yes. That’s what libraries do. So why is it now seen as a good strategy for publishers to choke off digital access to reading in libraries? Especially at a moment when so many diverse, fresh new voices are emerging in popular literature, and when so many other digital (often free) mediums are competing for the attention of readers and would-be authors, à la the teenage Toni Morrison?
(12) LET JUSTICE BE DONE. Ohio Needs A Train registers
some last-minute opinions about who The Rightful Winners of “The
2019 Hugo Awards” should be. And the Campbell Award, too –
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Everyone here has done pretty good work and, it seems, is destined to do even more. Jeannette Ng is perhaps the least to my taste 2 of these folks, but she’s still not undeserving. Katherine Arden certainly earns full marks for showing up fully-formed and remarkably prolific. While I haven’t read all of the Winternight books, I liked The Bear and the Nightingale just fine. She also writes young people books, which I have not read but am told are excellent. R.F. Kuang is previously covered in this space 3, and I maintain the opinion that The Poppy War is a tremendous display of talent that I absolutely did not like, although I do look forward to what she writes in the future, given that she’s as good as she is already. Rivers Solomon wrote An Unkindness of Ghosts which is a terrific generation ship novel, and I’m super-excited about what happens next from her. It must be noted, however, that I thought Vina Jie-Min Prasad was the rightful choice last year, and her work this year has only gotten better, so I still think it should be Vina Jie-Min Prasad.
…“R is for Rocket” by Ray Bradbury takes home a highly deserved Retro Hugo, because it is a great story that still holds up in spite of dated tech, though I’m a bit sad that “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” by Robert Bloch, which is not just a great story, but also the start of the modern fascination of serial killers in general and Jack the Ripper in particular, only finished in fourth place behind two lesser works by big names. I also wonder why “Death Sentence” by Isaac Asimov finished in second place, because – and I’m saying this as an Asimov fan – it is a weak story, which hasn’t even been reprinted in ages. Did anybody except for me actually read the Retro Hugo finalists or do they just vote by name recognition?
It’s easy to mistake the 1939 classic as traditional family entertainment – but 80 years on from its release, the musical is more radical and surreal than ever.
In December 1937, Walt Disney Productions released its first feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It went on to be cinema’s biggest hit of 1938, a success that not only encouraged Disney to make other fairy-tale cartoons for decades to come, but also encouraged another studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to try its own fantasy musical about an orphaned girl and a wicked witch: The Wizard of Oz.
But for all of its similarities to the Disney film, MGM’s version was more of an anti-fairy tale than a fairy tale. Just look at the trio of frightened and feeble misfits that accompanies its heroine along the yellow brick road. None of them is what you’d call a handsome prince. In the clanking of the Tin Man’s rusty limbs, you can hear echoes of Don Quixote’s home-made armour. In the trio’s moaning and blubbing as they prepare to sneak into the witch’s castle, you can see a foreshadowing of Westley, Inigo and Fezzik invading Humperdinck’s castle in The Princess Bride. The pig-tailed Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) is so wholesome, the Harburg and Arlen songs are so delightful, and the Technicolor adventures are so exciting that it’s still easy to mistake The Wizard of Oz for traditional family entertainment, 80 years on from its release in August 1939. But it upends the conventions of good-v-evil storytelling in ways that would have had Walt Disney fuming….
In the sepia opening scenes, we are warned that the magic we’re about to see might not be wholly magical. Having run away from her home in Kansas to stop her pet dog Toto being put down, Dorothy meets a travelling clairvoyant named Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan) – a character who isn’t in L Frank Baum’s source novel, but was created by screenwriters Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf. As kindly as he is, the professor is a con artist who pretends to be psychic by peeking at a photo Dorothy is carrying. Another film might have contrasted this earthbound huckster with the genuine marvels performed by the wonderful Wizard of Oz, but in this one the wizard is played by the same actor as Professor Marvel, and he turns out to be much the same character: a fast-talking fairground showman who hides behind a curtain, waggling levers, and using mechanical trickery to keep his subjects loyal and afraid.
(16) RISING TIDE. Naragansett Beer is the creepiest!
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.” -HP Lovecraft
After years of sleeping beneath the surface, Lovecraft Honey Ale has risen from the depths of R’lyeh to bring chaos and madness to Rhode Island – just in time for NecronomiCon Providence.
[Thanks to Lis Riba, Steve
Green, Daniel Dern, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John
King Tarpinian Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of
these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff
The 1944 Retro-Hugo Award base (left) and 2019 Hugo Award base (right) are on display at Dublin 2019. Thanks to Rich Lynch for the photo.
The 1944 Retro Hugo base was designed
by Eleanor Wheeler. She is an architectural and sculptural
ceramicist who has created large scale art for public spaces including at the
Market Square in Armagh and the Gasworks, the Mater Hospital and Drumglass Park
in Belfast. She lives in County Down and has had numerous solo
exhibitions, drawing on her travels locally as well as throughout Asia, Africa
and Europe for inspiration.
The 2019 Hugo base was designed by Jim
Fitzpatrick. Based in Dublin, he is famous for his Celtic
art, in particular for his publications The Book of Conquests, The Silver Arm, The Children of Lir (with
Michael Scott) and Erinsaga; and also for his album covers for Thin Lizzy and
Sinéad O’Connor. Perhaps his best known work is his iconic 1968 portrait of Che