(1) OLD PROSE, YOUNG EYEBALLS. This time James Davis Nicoll set the table at Young People Read Old SF with Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Vintage Season” – O’Donnell being a pseudonym used by both C.L. Moore and her husband, Henry Kuttner, though this particular story is believed to be the work of Moore.
I knew Moore would be featured in this series. I just was not sure which Moore story to pick. One of her stories about Jirel, indomitable French swordswoman? Or perhaps Shambleau, which introduced her magnificently useless (but handsome!) adventurer Northwest Smith, who never encountered a deadly trap from which someone else could not rescue him (to their detriment). In the end, I went with Vintage Season, mainly because people often falsely attribute it (in part or whole) to her husband. That made me suspect that the attributors consider it the most significant of her stories. It has been adapted both to film (under the title Grand Tour: Disaster in Time) and to radio and was selected for inclusion in The Best of C.L. Moore . This, I think, is the right Moore.
Reader Lisa had this to say:
Lawrence O’Donnell used a technique that, while transparent, kept me interested enough in this story to keep me reading. (Well, the technique and the fact that I’m part of this project kept me reading.) He tells the story from the perspective of a partly-informed outsider who doesn’t have enough information about the other characters, but notices that something is up with them. (Though he, and the readers, have no idea what.) By continuing to drop treats here and there for the readers, he manages to keep them intrigued.
(2) MILD MELD MOVES. Shana DuBois curates a new Mind Meld, now hosted on the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.
For years, the essential sci-fi blog SF Signal published Mind Meld, a regular column that featured a monthly roundtable discussion of the tropes, themes, politics, and future of genre fiction. On the sad occasion of the closure of that site, we were happy to offer the feature a new home. Future installments of Mind Meld will appear monthly on the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.
The series resumes with answers from Usman Malik, Zachary Jernigan, Delilah S. Dawson, Django Wexler, Yoon Ha Lee, Caroline M. Yoachim, Haralambi Markov, and Lee Kelly to this question —
Q: How do you see the boundaries between literary and genre fiction adapting as we move forward?
(3) REVIEW SITE ADJUSTS SCOPE. The stress of a young child’s medical problems is contributing to Bookworm Blues policy change because lately the blogger is reading —
Urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Yes, folks, I’ve been reading an absolute metric ton of UF and PNR recently, which is something I never in a million years thought I’d say, but it’s true. I’m reading it, mostly because I really, really need happy endings, fuzzy feelings, and lighter mental distractions right now. I’m having a shockingly hard time getting into anything else at the moment. I am positive that once my life, and my chaotic emotions settle a little, I will get back to my usual stuff. I also think it is incredibly unfair for me to not mention the authors and books I am reading because I’m afraid to do so for various arbitrary reasons that really don’t matter a fig to a soul.
And, the more I read these types of books, the more I’m kind of amazed at the amount of skill it takes to sell me on a happily ever after, and the books and authors that manage it deserve recognition for their skills.
So as of today, you will officially see the occasional urban fantasy and paranormal romance book reviews on here, and yes, I will open my doors to accept those books to review.
(4) PERSISTENCE. Kameron Hurley on “The Wisdom of the Grind: It’s Always Darkest Before a Breakthrough”.
Lately I’ve been in one of those rough periods where I just want to quit for six months or a year and travel around the world and refill my creative bucket. Cause right now all I can see down there are beer dregs. The truth is that every profession will try and squeeze out of you as much as it can get. While I’d like to be mindful of how much I give it, I also recognize that in order to get to where I want to be, I’m going to have to give it everything. This is a marathon, yeah, but I don’t indeed to have anything left for the way back. This is it. The older I get, the rougher than knowledge is, though: knowing I have saved nothing for the way back. There is only forward.
When it gets dark like this as I sweat over the next book and start putting together ideas for pitching a new series, I remind myself that sometimes it’s the very bleakest right before a major breakthrough. These are the long plateaus in skill and ability that we have to push through to level up. Once you get to the pro level at anything, your effort/skill ratio flips. You no longer see huge gains with minimal effort. There’s a reason you can get 2 years of skill leveling up out of 6 weeks of Clarion. You tend to be newer to the craft. You’ve got more to learn.
My next big level up is taking a lot longer to get to – several books, many stories….
(5) BEER NUMBER FIVE. Narragansett Beer introduces another Lovecraftian brew. Andrew Porter sent a comment with the link, “I had a lidless eye once, but I could never go swimming….”
Introducing the 5th installment and 4th chapter of our award winning Lovecraft series: The White Ship White IPA. H.P. Lovecraft’s, The White Ship, tells a story of a lighthouse keeper’s adventure aboard a mysterious ship where his curiosity and greed win out over his better judgment.
The label, designed by local Rhode Island artist Pete McPhee from Swamp Yankee, features an image of the story’s grey lighthouse as the north point of a compass rose and represents the narrator’s trip to the other world and back.
White Ship White IPA is a Belgian style IPA is brewed with 4 types of Belgian and American malts and creamy Belgian yeast to create a crisp, delicious beer that blurs style guidelines. We use El Dorado and Mandarina Bavarian hops to give the beer the slight tangerine notes. We then dry hop this adventurous brew with El Dorado hops to enhance the mild citrus aromatics….
(6) MONSTROUSLY GOOD. Petréa Mitchell’s Anime Roundup for July 28 has posted at Amazing Stories.
Re: ZERO – Starting Life In Another World #17
No matter how bad things get for Subaru, it is always possible that they could get worse. And, lately, they do.
The monster that showed up at the end of last episode is a flying leviathan, kind of a cross between Monstro, Jaws, and a plane full of jet engines, which is known as Moby-Dick. Well, okay, it’s called the Hakugei (White Whale), but that happens to be the Japanese title of Moby-Dick, and I do believe it’s a deliberate reference….
(7) DIAL FIVE SEVEN FIVE. Anna Wing summarized both The Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings in this haiku:
It is rarely wise
To attach such importance
To your jewellery.
(8) NATURE. “Game of Ants: two new species named after Daenerys Targaryens’s dragons” — The Guardian has the story.
They reminded scientists of dragons so much, they named them after two of the fire-breathing beasts from the Game of Thrones.
The two new ant species from Papua New Guinea, named Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion, have spiny barbs along their backs and shoulders with an unusual set of muscles beneath them.
George R.R. Martin responded with in a post.
I suspect there are dragon ants in my world as well… maybe out on the Dothraki sea…
(9) TRIP REPORT. Marko Kloos was in New Mexico for Wild Cards events.
On Monday, I went to a Wild Cards author party thrown by KayMcCauley at Meow Wolf, an art venue in Santa Fe that is pretty spectacular. I had a chance to meet Wild Cards writers and reconnect with those I’ve met before. I also got to meet Thomas Olde Heuvelt, who was whisked into the event by George R.R. Martin after his own signing in town the same evening. (He’s in the US on a book tour for the English version of HEX, his best-selling debut novel.) It was a fun event, and I had a good time, even though I still feel like the new kid in high school among so many well-known high-caliber writers.
(10) JERRY DOYLE OBIT. Actor Jerry Doyle, from Babylon 5, was found unresponsive at his home last night and later declared dead. The family made an announcement through his Twitter account:
Michi Trota posted a spot-on tribute:
(11) EXOTIC RECIPE. Fran Wilde has released her newest Cooking the Books Podcast.
This month’s Cooking the Books Podcast, #025: Space Weevils – Cooking the Books with David D. Levine contains:
- 100% less gravity
- Space weevils (you were warned, they get big in a vacuum)
- Lime juice
- no powdered sugar
- A Baggywrinkles shout out!
- Napoleons in Spaaaaace (not the general)
- a big ball of boiling water
(12) DIABOLICAL PLOTS. Congratulations to David Steffen on this announcement by SFWA —
Diabolical Plots, self-described as “a Sci-fi/Fantasy zine that covers virtually every media related to the genre from books to movies to video games” is now a SFWA Qualified market. Payment: Eight cents per word, on publication.
Connect here — http://www.diabolicalplots.com/
(13) RAISE YOUR RIGHT HOOF. Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas take another swing at telling the whole truth – “A Space Unicorn Tale: The REAL Story Behind the Creation of Uncanny Magazine“ at Tor.com.
The Space Unicorn mascot is real. Not only are they real, they edit and publish every single issue of Uncanny Magazine by utilizing their abilities to travel through a series of portals to infinite points in spacetime. You probably suspected this from the beginning.
And congratulations to them, too, because the Uncanny Magazine Year Three Kickstarter hit its goal today!
(14) CROWDSOURCED WEB SERIES WITH TREK ALUMNI. The makers of Regegades hit the $60,000 goal of their Indiegogo appeal and are looking for more.
Renegades is an original, independently fan-funded sci-fi web series, executive produced by Sky Conway, and starring Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Tim Russ, Adrienne Wilkinson, Terry Farrell, Robert Beltran, Gary Graham, Cirroc Lofton, Aron Eisenberg, Manu Intiraymi, Hana Hatae, Bruce Young, and many more. We are currently finishing production on “The Requiem” parts I and II and are now in need of funding for post-production – editing, sound, visual effects, etc…
(15) SCI-FI SAVIORS.
(16) CAST YOUR VOTE. Whether or not the Hugos have been “saved” to your satisfaction, George R.R. Martin urged all eligible voters to get their 2016 Hugo Ballot in by the July 31 deadline.
The Hugo is science fiction’s oldest and most prestigious award. These past few years, however, the awards have been under siege, and that’s true this year as well.
Nonetheless, there are some worthy books and stories up for this year’s rockets, along with some reprehensible shit. I will leave it to your own judgements as to which is which.
Vote your own taste.
Vote your own conscience.
But vote. Every ballot counts.
(17) TENTACLE PARTY. Cthulhu For President, the game, has got a facelift for the US election. Can be bought in PDF here.
Don’t settle for the lesser evil! Heed the call of Cthulhu! Get ready for muck-raking, magic, and mayhem (with a little help from the world of H. P. Lovecraft.)
The Stars Are Right!
In Cthulhu For President, you become an Elder Party staffer tasked with serving the Great Old Ones during their eternal struggle for domination. Cross wits with the other political parties, manipulate voters using non-Euclidian geometry, swear on the Necronomicon, and sacrifice your co-workers to the Elder Gods. Politics has always been evil, but destroying the world has never been so much fun!
(18) WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO KEEP OUT? The Great Wall of China was designed to protect against monsters, according to a new Matt Damon movie.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Dawn Incognito, Hampus Eckerman, Soon Lee, John King Tarpinian, and Steven H Silver for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA and Anthony.]