Wow, a front row seat!
…at the “Really Big Telescopes” science panel.
Prof. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Dr. David L. Clements, Dr. Inge Heyer, David DeGraff
More photos from Rich Lynch follow the jump.Continue reading
Wow, a front row seat!
…at the “Really Big Telescopes” science panel.
Prof. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Dr. David L. Clements, Dr. Inge Heyer, David DeGraff
More photos from Rich Lynch follow the jump.Continue reading
Three First Fandom awards were presented during Opening Ceremonies at Dublin 2019.
The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award (est . 1963) is presented annually to honor an individual’s lifetime of accomplishments in the field of science fiction. Geri Sullivan, the TAFF Delegate, announced the Ray Faraday Nelson as the award recipient and it was accepted on Nelson’s behalf by Chair James Bacon.
First Fandom Hall of Fame Award citation:
Because of his life-long genuine love of science fiction and his enthusiastic service to that community for decades, the members of First Fandom have elected Ray Faraday Nelson to the First Fandom Hall of Fame for 2019.
American SF author and cartoonist most famous for his 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning,” which was later used by John Carpenter as basis for his 1988 film They Live. Nelson became an active member of fandom while a teen-ager. He began his career writing and creating cartoons for SF fanzines. Later, he wrote many professionally published short stories. Nelson collaborated with Philip K. Dick (a friend since childhood) on The Ganymede Takeover (published 1967). At the 1982 Philip K. Dick Awards, Nelson’s novel The Prometheus Man gained a Special Citation. Nelson professed his greatest claim to fame to be the creator (while still in high school) of the iconic propeller beanie as emblematic of science fiction fandom.
The First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame Award (est. 1994) is presented to honor the accomplishments of a worthy member of the SF community who did not receive that recognition during their lifetime. Geri Sullivan announced the selections of Bob Shaw, James White and Walt Willis to be inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame.
First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame Award citation:
These three great Irish fans collaborated for decades and promoted genuine goodwill around the world. It is our privilege to honor their memory in the same year that the Worldcon is being held in Dublin.
Background information from the Wikipedia:
Well-known part of influential Irish SF Fandom, the Wheels of IF. Special guest, 1952 Worldcon, and recipient of travel funds raised by fans. This inspired the annual TransAtlantic Fan Fund (TAFF). Willis was awarded a 1958 Hugo Award as Outstanding Actifan. Nominated for best fan writer Hugo (1969) and for two Retro-Hugos in the same category (2001, 2004). Nominated in fanzine category (1957, 1959) for Hyphen. Received Fanzine Retro-Hugo nominations (2004) for Slant and Hyphen. He shared a Retro-Hugo for Slant with that fanzine’s art editor James White. Willis’ best known work is The Enchanted Duplicator (1954), co-written with Bob Shaw. Willis was Fan Guest of Honor at Magicon (the 1992 Worldcon). (d. 1999.)
Northern Irish author of science fiction novellas, short stories and novels who became a SF fan in 1941. With Walt Willis, he co-wrote two fanzines, Slant (1948–1953) and Hyphen (1952–1965). White’s first novel, The Secret Visitors was published in 1957. White was a long-time Council Member of the British SF Association and a Patron of the Irish SF Association. (d. 1999.)
Bob Shaw —
SF writer and fan from Northern Ireland. Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer (1979, 1980). His short story “Light of Other Days” was a Hugo Award nominee in 1967, as was his novel The Ragged Astronauts (in 1987). (d. 1996.)
The Sam Moskowitz Archive Award for attaining “Excellence in Collecting” was presented to Dr. Bradford Lyau by First Fandom International Vice-President Mr. Erle M. Korshak.
The Sam Moskowitz Archive Award citation:
Dr. Bradford Lyau is a genuine SF enthusiast. He has been an avid collector for more than fifty years and has assembled an archive of pulp magazines, books and vintage comic books. Through active correspondence, Brad developed friendships with many of his favorite writers. He knew Sam Moskowitz and visited Forry in the Ackermansion. Dr. Lyau has published numerous academic articles and scholarly books and has served over the years as a panelist and moderator at conventions throughout the world.
Information from BayCon 2016:
Dr. Bradford Lyau has been a life-long reader of SF, part of fandom for over forty years, and a panelist for over twenty-five years. He is a historian by training (BA, UC-Berkeley; MA, PhD, University of Chicago) and once taught at several universities in California and Europe. He presently works for a start-up company and is a political activist/consultant. He remains active in formal scholarship, publishing academic articles on American, British, French, and other European SF. He was an invited program participant in 1984 for the George Orwell Conference held in London, and in 1991 for the Utopian Conference held in Yverdon-les-Bain, Switzerland, as part of Switzerland’s 700th Anniversary celebration. One of his recent articles analyzed Cixin Liu’s recently translated novels, his first attempt to analyze SF from a non-Western culture. His book analyzing French SF, The Anticipation Novelists of 1950s French Science Fiction: Stepchildren of Voltaire, received very positive reviews from leading academic SF journals and is listed as a reference for further reading in the “France” entry in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
[Thanks to John Coker III for the story.]
(1) GOOD NEWS FOR A CLARION WEST STUDENT. George R.R. Martin is funding another scholarship at a writing workshop, as he explains in “Worldbuilding in Seattle”.
Every great story requires interesting characters, an engrossing plot, evocative prose, an important theme… but epic fantasy also requires a memorable setting. A “secondary universe,” as J.R.R. Tolkien termed it, a world both like and unlike our own, with its own rich history and geography and customs, its own beauties and terrors….
These days, the world is more need of wonder than ever before. To that end, I am pleased to announce that I am sponsoring a new annual scholarship at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle. https://www.clarionwest.org/ An intensive six-week course for aspiring authors of science fiction and fantasy, Clarion West is one of the longest-running and most successful workshops in the world. Its instructors and graduates make up an honor roll of the best and the brightest in science fiction and fantasy. This summer the instructors will be Daniel Abraham, Ken MacLeod, Karen Lord, Yoon Ha Lee, Karen Joy Fowler, and Ellen Datlow. The deadline for applying is March 1.
Our new WORLDBUILDER SCHOLARSHIP will cover tuition, fees, and lodging for one student each year. The award will not be limited by age, race, sex, religion, skin color, place of origin, or field of study. The winner will be selected each year in a blind judging to an applicant who demonstrates both financial need and a talent for worldbuilding and the creation of secondary universes. For further details, query Clarion West at email@example.com
(2) DWINDLING. Larque Press has compiled the “2017 Total Paid Distribution” statistics from the publisher’s statement of ownership for Asimov’s, Analog, and F&SF, among others. Print circulation diminished slightly over the past year, except for F&SF. See the numbers at the link.
Dell and F&SF sell far more issues via subscriptions than newsstands. For the most part, combining the two gives you the total paid circulation. However, it’s important to note these numbers don’t include digital sales, which are likely on the rise. Below is the “total paid distribution” from Jan/Feb 2017 and 2018 of the print editions…
…Except for F&SF, the year-over-year numbers show declines of ~500–1000. Is this due to thicker, less frequent issues, general magazine publishing trends, distribution challenges, or something else?
(3) EVERMORE. If you want to see a fantastic sculpture being created for Evermore Park in Utah, click this Facebook link:
Here’s Cory Clawson sculpting while our shop dog, Woody, supervises. Have a little sneak peek at some of the talent behind Evermore’s Creative Studio.
(4) ADD TWO. John Picacio says Christopher Brown has contributed two Worldcon memberships for Mexicanx creators/fans.
UPDATE!!! VERY GOOD NEWS: Our sponsorship team is GROWING. John and I are now officially joined by ace photographer Ctein (hooray for you, man!!) who is sponsoring two more Worldcon memberships for Mexicanx. We are also now joined by Ty Franck — one-half of the James S.A. Corey writing juggernaut. He’s sponsoring one Worldcon membership for a deserving Mexicanx. Right on, Ty!! And this just in — Christopher Brown, author of TROPIC OF KANSAS, is sponsoring two more Mexicanx for attending Worldcon memberships. Too good. And this crazy train is going to keep rolling because I’m confirming more sponsorships right now, to be announced soon. This has become A THING. ‘Keep you posted.
(5) EUROCON UPDATE. The committee for Eurocon Nemo 2018, to be held in Amiens, France, has had to arrange another meeting place in the city after finding its planned facilities aren’t ready. The committee has updated its website to show the new location, and posted an explanation on Facebook. The con takes place July 19-22.
It was a real commotion for the Nemo 2018 team for the past ten days. So, we had to play radio silence. We must apologise.
Indeed, last week, the news suddenly fell that, finally, because of various delays on the building site, we could not have the visa of the committee of security to organize as planned the convention on the site of the Citadel.
It was therefore urgent to find a plan B. It is now done, thanks to the University of Amiens, and in particular to its cultural service and library. Thanks to Anne-Sophie, Justin and Jennifer.
The Convention will take place as planned, with an unchanged program, but it will be at the Pôle Universitaire Cathedral, in the center of Amiens, at the foot of the cathedral, in the middle of a lively district, filled with restaurants, cafes , with exhibition halls, meeting rooms, amphitheatres, a cafeteria, theaters and cinemas all around!
And as a bonus, we will still have the right to visit the site Citadel, to admire the architectural creation of the cabinet Renzo Piano.
Finally, here is a setback that results in even more facilities and animations …
(6) FROM MOLTEN GLASS. “One Meredith goblet coming up,” says Hampus.
Making Of Dragon-Stem Goblet pic.twitter.com/zf2Y9frSWz
— Physics Fun (@PhysicsVideo) January 19, 2018
(7) PETER S. BEAGLE ON LE GUIN. SFWA’s newest Grandmaster says farewell to another: “In memoriam, Ursula K. LeGuin” at Support Peter S. Beagle.
…I didn’t know her well. She lived in Portland, and I’ve been all over northern California in the last half-century, with six years out for the Seattle area. We hadn’t yet met when I followed her by a week into the Clarion West workshop (1972, was it?), to be greeted by a note saying, “Welcome, Unicorn! Make the little kobolds work their tails off!) Mostly we ran into each other at various conventions, grabbing coffee where we could. I do like to recall a serious conversation, initiated by me in increasing alarm at having become known more and more, in the intervening years, as the Unicorn Guy. Meanwhile, Ursula’s recently-published Earthsea novels had, as far as I was concerned, put paid to dragons as literary figures: I felt – and still feel – that dragons should be off-limits to all other writers, no matter how gifted or inventive they might be. But I was younger then, and had the chutzpah to offer to trade my unicorns even-up for her dragons. “Unicorns are really easy to housebreak. They always ask to go outside.” I remember that I was even willing to throw in a utility infielder, if she insisted.
Ursula’s response: “Do you know how impossible it is to keep dragons off the curtains? And they’re absolute hell on carpets!” We never did make the deal, but not for my lack of trying. As I say, I was younger then….
(8) MORE ON LE GUIN.
A few years later, I entered an MFA program populated by folks whose idea of engaging with speculative fiction was trying to comprehend Harry Potter. I was also newly married, and my husband had six or seven of Le Guin’s books. Discouraged, again, about writing science fiction and fantasy, I started reading The Left Hand of Darkness, which shattered what I thought a science fiction novel could be, how gender could be portrayed, how an invented world could shape my worldview. More importantly, it changed how I encountered gender on a daily basis—one of the most empathy-producing moments in my life to date. As I closed the covers and promptly fell into a book hangover, I couldn’t understand why none of my professors had taught Le Guin or pushed one of her books into my hands. Yes, folks had suggested her, but one book deep into her work, and I’d found a complex thinker, writer, reader, teacher all rolled into one.
The Golden Age of Science Fiction is usually reckoned to have been the Campbell Era at ASTOUNDING, and its Big Three were Heinlein, Asimov, and Van Vogt. Yet as important as that era was, for me the true Golden Age will always be the late 60s and early 70s, when the Big Three were Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delany, and Ursula K. Le Guin. We shall never see their like again.
(9) PLAUDITS. Book View Café proudly reports Le Guin’s “No Time to Spare Is Finalist for Essay Prize”.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s 2017 collection of essays, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, is one of the five finalists for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
This prize, one of the PEN America Literary Awards, is “[f]or a book of essays published in 2017 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.”
Many of the essays in this collection began as blog posts, some of which were published here on the Book View Cafe blog.
Winners will be announced at a February 20 ceremony in New York.
(10) HONOR ROLL. Steven H Silver’s “2017 In Memoriam” list is posted at Amazing Stories.
(Editor’s Note: Every year, Steven H Silver compiles the obituaries of those we have lost. This information is published in various locales and is incorporated into the honor roll displayed during the Hugo Awards presentations.
It’s an unenviable task, though a necessary one. Our community and our genres are built upon a foundation of people and it is fitting that we remember them.)
We waited for his mother and other family members who flew in from around the country, and family and friends gathered in his ICU room, sharing laughter, telling stories, and giving Rob his last tastes of Coca Cola Classic and ice cream. Rob was able to recognize and greet with pleasure the visitors who came to say goodbye. Then around midnight, we withdrew the tubes and monitors and simply stopped the medication which was keeping his blood pressure stable. Shortly thereafter, Rob slipped into sleep.
My beloved husband Rob Ihinger passed away peacefully this morning at 9:15 a.m. in the presence of his family.
(12) WALKER OBIT. Cartoonist Mort Walker (1923-2018), creator of Beetle Bailey and other strips, died January 27.
The character that was to become Beetle Bailey made his debut as Spider in Walker’s cartoons published by the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. Walker changed Spider’s name and launched “Beetle Bailey” as a college humor strip in 1950.
At first the strip failed to attract readers and King Features Syndicate considered dropping it after just six months, Walker said in a 2000 interview with The Associated Press. The syndicate suggested Beetle join the Army after the start of the Korean War, Walker said.
“I was kind of against it because after World War II, Bill Mauldin and Sad Sack were fading away,” he said. But his misgivings were overcome and Beetle “enlisted” in 1951.
Walker attributed the success of the strip to Beetle’s indolence and reluctance to follow authority.
(13) COMICS SECTION.
(14) A PORG TWEETS. David Gerrold knows how he feels….
This is Siv. Deeply upset that his friends porgot his birthday. 13/10 would beg for porgiveness pic.twitter.com/aQjUMVlAHq
— We Rate Porgs (@Porg_rates) January 28, 2018
(15) STOKERCON 2018 NEWS. At the StokerCon 2018 Website you can find the complete program for The Second Annual Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference —
The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference is part of the Horror Writers Association’s Outreach Program. Membership to the Horror Writers Association is not required to submit or present, however registration to StokerCon 2018 is required to present.
And the full program for Librarians’ Day —
Join Stoker Con for a special day-long program of panels and presentations for librarians! Becky Spratford, author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd edition (ALA, Editions) and horror reviewer for Booklist and IndiePicks Magazine and Kristi Chadwick, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System and Library Journal’s Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror columnist are coordinating the event.
(16) GRAMMAR POSSE. The latest Horror Writers Association newsletter includes Anthony Ambrogio’s feature, “The Grumpy Grammarian: Ms. Speaking Speaks about Misspeaking (and Gives Me a Chance to Wax Pedantic)”.
Poet and HWA Proofer Supreme Marge Simon offered a couple of additions to those frequently misspoken phrases I talked about in my January column. I hope I do justice to her comments here.
“Hope your cold is better now.”
Marge writes, “Everyone says it that way, but, in truth, if your cold is better, then it is doing well—flourishing—and you are not! … So, to be correct, one should say, ‘I hope your cold has gone away/is over/has let up, etc., and you are feeling better now.’” However, she concedes, “That one is beyond reasonable criticism.” Doesn’t hurt to point it out, though.
(17) MONTH OF JOY. Where have I been? I just found out about the Skiify and Fanty “Month of Joy.” The latest installment is “Cooking and a Recipe by Cora Buhlert”. Learn how to make “Grandma Buhlert’s Herring Salad.”
During the trashfire of a year that was 2017, I’ve found that no matter how upset I am, sitting down in the kitchen to prepare a meal inevitably makes me feel better. To me, there is something incredibly soothing about assembling ingredients and spices, chopping vegetables, meat or fish and finally stirring the pot or pan, waiting for it all to come together.
So what sort of food do I make? For starters – and I know that may surprise some – very little traditional German food. German cuisine is too greasy and too meat and salt heavy for my tastes. And here in North Germany, traditional food quite often means “throw everything into a big pot and boil it, until it turns to mush”. There are some German dishes I like and make on occasion – herring salad, North Sea shrimp salad, pea soup, venison stew with red cabbage, sailor’s curry (which is a North German take on South/South East Asian food), apple puree, several cakes and cookies. And I suspect I could make most of the traditional dishes of my region, if necessary.
(18) THE LID IS OFF. Civilization-wide mind control is here! Bloomberg video: “Tristan Harris Says Tech Companies Have Opened Pandora’s Box”. Tristan Harris, former Google design ethicist, discusses changing Silicon Valley’s culture and the fight against online extremism with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology.” Says Harris:
[These social media companies] have unleashed this civilization-scale mind-control machine, and they don’t even know what thoughts it’s pushing into 2 billion people’s minds…. Two billion people use Facebook; that’s more than the number of followers of Christianity. One-point-five billion people use YouTube; that’s more than the number of followers of Islam. These products have that much daily influence over people’s thoughts.
(19) DOWN THE TUBES. The Mother Nature Network asks “Is this housing solution just a pipe dream?”
As Hong Kong continues to grapple with an affordable housing crisis of epic proportions, no potential solution, no matter how unconventional or quixotic, is overlooked. And this includes single-occupancy dwellings fashioned out of concrete water pipes.
(20) SHARP GUESSES. Author of the bestselling Outlander time-travel novels Diana Gabaldon says: “Note that this is NOT a confirmation–but it’s a pretty good bit of speculation.” — “Outlander Seasons 5 and 6 Are Almost Definitely Happening”.
”There are ten books, and we are having very productive conversations about the future of the show.
“We have joined the legions of fans of Outlander around the world. Our biggest concern is making sure that we don’t kill Caitriona [Balfe] and Sam [Heughan] along the way,” [Starz CEO Chris] Albrecht [said], noting how incredibly hard both stars work on the show.'”
(21) POTTERDIVERSE. Emeraldbirdcollector authored a delightful short fanfic on what would have happened “If Harry had gotten a less conventional, but more loving adoptive family” —
Thank you so much for your kind letter of the 17th. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I do appreciate your waiving the rules about familiars to allow Wednesday to bring little Homer – she dotes on that spider, and I don’t think she could consider Hogwarts home without his company.
We were delighted but completely unsurprised by the children’s Sorting. Of course Wednesday is a Ravenclaw – she has always had a brilliant mind, and it is rather traditional for the women in our family….
(22) TIME PASSAGES. In 1963, Galactic Journey has received the very latest issue of New Worlds: “[February. 03, 1963] The Freeze Continues (New Worlds, February 1963)”
I Like It Here, by Mr. James White
This month’s guest editorial is from a New Worlds regular, who I know you will recognise in the US for his Sector General stories. With characteristic humour he adeptly summarises the contradiction in the current argument in s-f, between writers who don’t care what they write (as long as it sells) and writers who do not produce the sort of s-f that readers want. In typically droll manner, the many trials and tribulations of the modern writer is recognised in this editorial, determined to amuse. For a slightly less amusing consequence of this we also have Mr. John Carnell’s ‘View from the Hill’ at the end of this issue, of which more later….
(23) ARISTOTLE. Always three movements ahead!
@CamestrosF (3) Did you really think my blog post about Glyer possibly being you was aimed at Glyer and not aimed at you so you would e-mail me and I could track where the e-mail originated from? Care to guess what my Chess rating is?
— Richard Paolinelli: Anthology Man! (@ScribesShade) January 27, 2018
(24) A POSITED FUTURE. Via the Welcome to you’re “DOOM!” site.
(25) STAND BY TO FIRE HEADCANON. Scott Lynch fills in some missing pieces of Star Wars. Jump on the thread here —
CRUCIAL DELETED SCENES FROM THE STAR WARS SAGA: A Short Thread
YODA: Into exile, you must go. A strategy, have you?
OBI-WAN: I'll take baby Luke to his dad's homeworld and give him to his dad's only living step-relatives.
YODA: A small heart attack, I seem to be having.
— Scott Lynch (@scottlynch78) January 27, 2018
[Thanks to Dave Doering, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Laura Resnick, Martin Morse Wooster, Will R., Lenore Jones, James Davis Nicoll, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]
Andrew Porter shared these photos of Dave Kyle taken at various Worldcons over the decades. All but the first were taken by Porter himself.
Andrew Porter wrote about Dave Kyle’s passing:
Yesterday, I saw Dave at Bill and Mary Burns’s End-of-Summer party in Hempstead, Long Island, NY, where he was very frail, but his mind remained sharp and clear. I’m happy to say that many of his fan friends, some of whom he’s known for many decades, were there to greet him and have long talks with him.
Dave was one of science fiction fandom’s very few remaining links (with perhaps only Robert A. Madle and Erle M. Korshak) to pre-World War II fandom, and to the very first World SF Convention. His passing diminishes the field, and pulls the curtain a little tighter between those living today, and the world and fandom as it was.
(1) GO RIGHT TO THE SOURCE. Joe Hill will bring his comic series to the air — see “Locke & Key TV Show Happening with Original Creator Joe Hill” at MovieWeb.
IDW Entertainment (IDWE) announced today that the award-winning, fan-favorite property Locke & Key is being developed as a television series. Author/creator Joe Hill will be writing the pilot and serving as an executive producer. Locke & Key has garnered both awards and acclaim during its five-year run.
Following the titular Locke family as they encounter magic beyond belief and evils beyond redemption, Locke & Key quickly won over readers and has since become a staple in introducing new readers to the medium. With the series adapted in dozens of languages across the globe, and more than a million copies sold worldwide, Locke & Key is an obvious choice to make the transition to the screen. New York Times bestselling author, Joe Hill, has continually captivated readers through his gripping novels and award-winning comic series.
(2) DIG HERE. According to The Independent, a 15-year-old boy believes he has discovered a forgotten Mayan city using satellite photos and Mayan astronomy
William Gadoury, from Quebec, came up with the theory that the Maya civilization chose the location of its towns and cities according to its star constellations.
He found Mayan cities lined up exactly with stars in the civilization’s major constellations.
Studying the star map further, he discovered one city was missing from a constellation of three stars.
Using satellite images provided by the Canadian Space Agency and then mapped on to Google Earth, he discovered the city where the third star of the constellation suggested it would be….
(3) DISABILITY METAPHORS. The Our Words launch included reposting “Corinne Duyvis on Minding Your Metaphors”, which first appeared on SF Signal in 2014.
I’m a co-founder of the website Disability in Kidlit as well as an author who regularly writes disabled characters; both my recently published fantasy novel Otherbound and my upcoming sci-fi novel On the Edge of Gone feature disabled protagonists. On top of that, I’m disabled myself. It’s pretty safe to say I’m a huge fan of disability representation. Specifically, I’m a fan of accurate, respectful, and textual disability representation.
However, when writing science fiction and fantasy, it doesn’t just stop at featuring textually disabled characters. Many SFF stories contain disability metaphors. These span a wide range—from purposeful to unintentional, from obvious to subtle, and from well-done to inadvertently offensive.
(4) SWIRSKY ASKS. Rachel Swirsky conducts a “Silly interview with Spencer Ellsworth whose bedpost notches are real people”.
…Every time I see Spencer, I always ask the same question. You see, several years ago when Ann Leckie was running Giganotosaurus, I sometimes did first-round reading for her. And while Ann and I have very similar taste, we don’t have identical taste. So once in a while we’d come up against a story that I was jazzed about, but that didn’t quite cross her threshold. So every time I see Spencer, I ask about that one story that got away…
(5) PKD COMES TO TV. io9 has the story: “Philip K. Dick Is Getting an Anthology Show, Courtesy of Bryan Cranston and Ronald D. Moore”.
“Ronald D. Moore, Bryan Cranston, and Philip K. Dick” are three names you probably never expected to see in the same sentence together. But that’s what’s happening as the longtime scifi producer and the acclaimed actor are teaming up to bring the legendary writer’s work to TV in a new anthology series for the UK.
Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick will be a 10-part miniseries written by Moore, who will executively produce alongside Michael Dinner (Justified, Masters of Sex) and Bryan Cranston, who will also star in the series itself. Each episode will be a standalone story that illustrates Dick’s “prophetic vision” and “[celebrates] the enduring appeal” of the writer’s past work. Isa Dick Hackett, whose past work includes The Adjustment Bureau and The Man in the High Castle and is Dick’s daughter, will also produce the show.
(6) WILLIAM SCHALLERT OBIT. His best known role was as the dad in The Patty Duke Show, but William Schallert appeared in dozens of series in a career that spanned eight decades (1947-2014). He passed away May 8.
Most fans would consider the peak of his sf career to be playing Nilz Baris, under secretary in charge of agricultural affairs for the United Federation of Planets, in Star Trek’s “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode.
His genre work started with many bit parts, like the uncredited Gas Station Attendant in Mighty Joe Young (1949), and most of the time he was a supporting actor. IMDB shows he was in The Man From Planet X (1951), Space Patrol (1951-52), Invasion U.S.A. (1952), Gog (1954), Them! (1954), Tobor the Great (1954), Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe (1955), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), The Monolith Monsters (1957), Men into Space (1960), The Twilight Zone (1960), One Step Beyond (1959), The Wild, Wild West (1967-69), Land of the Giants (1969), Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), The Bionic Woman (1976), Legends of the Superheroes (1979), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), The Twilight Zone (revived series) (1986), Quantum Leap (1989), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1994).
Schallert recorded this promo for MeTV in April 2014 when he was 91 years old.
Schallert featured in one of the Patty Duke Show themed PSA’s the Social Security Administration put online in 2010.
(7) SLATE THOUGHTS. Gary Denton of the Nightly Nerd News said as part of a long comment on Facebook:
I agree that slates violate the intention of the Hugo Awards that individuals should only nominate what they enjoyed and thought worthy of an award for best of the year. I also believe all elections eventually come to be dominated by parties and people have a right to oppose parties or support parties. Just don’t vote blindly folks, have an opinion on each item, don’t follow orders.
I believe that E Pluribus Hugo will only lessen the problem with slates, 20% of voters all following orders on how to vote even with votes on each ballots fractionalized will still allow disciplined Fascists treating this as a show of strength to dominate the ballot. Fascist is the correct term here, they are blindly following orders on what to vote for.
A digression, I dislike the editor nominations. Samples of what they actually did that year need to be included and that seems problematic. On all awards you need to have samples if not the whole thing to cast an informed vote, otherwise it is a popularity contest. If I can’t determine what they worked on last year and make a guess at how well they did they won’t get a vote from me. It is easier with short form editors. Wow, that magazine or anthology had a lot of amazing stories, that editor deserves an award…
(8) IT AIN’T ME. Max Florschutz processes a conflict some young writers have: “Being A Better Writer: Author Morals and Character Morals” at Unusual Things.
…Think about the last book that you read or movie that you watched that has a dangerous, unstable, or otherwise alarming character in it. Maybe they were a sleazy scumbag, or maybe a serial killer. A ruthless businessman, or an unscrupulous social worker. Basically, a character that was dangerous, alarming, or perhaps just unstable.
Now think about that character in relation to the author. And here’s where today’s topic comes into play. Do you think that because the author created a character like that, it means that they are, in some way, like that character?
The obvious—and correct—answer is no. I’ll say that again for emphasis, no, it does not. And this is where we run once more back into the question that plagues so many young writers: how can they write characters like that despite being nothing like them?
The trick is that for many this is not a question of being able to write good characters or filling their pages with creative prose. That’s not the consideration at all.
No, what a lot of these young writers are asking is how you deal with writing a character that’s not just different from themselves, but is different in a way that they find morally objectionable….
Yeah, some of you might be chuckling right now or even laughing and shaking your heads, but this is a real barrier that a lot of young writers run into. There’s a real question of where they stand on their own feet while writing characters that may hold different views than the, attitudes, or morals than them….
These characters are not you. They will swear. They will fight. They will make poor choices and good ones. As the author writing these characters, separate what they believe from what you believe because, unless you’re writing self-inserts (common enough), these characters are going to be as different from you as anyone else you meet in your life, and their emotions, thoughts, and other assorted things are theirs, not yours. That distinction is important. Your morals, ethics, and concepts, the stuff that makes you a person is not the same as theirs.
For instance, I am not a sociopath serial killer who stalks young couples. But one of my characters, Amacitia Varay, is. That doesn’t mean that I agree at all with her mentality, or the things that she says, or at all in any way what she does (all of which you can read about in the pages of Unusual Events). But I wrote the story … and it was her story, from her perspective and about her beliefs.
(9) MEET THE NEIGHBORS. Nerd & Tie’s Trae Dorn has learned Anime Midwest (July 8-10) will be sharing space with a porn convention:
In a bizarre coincidence, this year Anime Midwest will end up sharing the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center [in Rosemont, IL] with the Exxxotica Expo, a touring convention for “Adult Entertainment.” Exxxotica bills itself as “the Largest Adult Event in the USA Dedicated to Love & Sex.”
While Anime Midwest’s management (I’m just guessing) probably wants to distance themselves from Exxxotica publicly, Exxxotica management has embraced the proximity between events. Apparently, anyone with an Anime Midwest badge is being offered discounted admission to the porn expo and is planning “adult anime” events including a cosplay contest and “sexy anime seminars.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
This is… probably terrible? Pretty sure this is terrible. Frankly, many anime convention attendees are under the age of 18, and the idea that these underage attendees are going to be in immediate proximity of this kind of event doesn’t really do anyone any good. There are a list of bad things happen from the merely uncomfortable to the dangerous that are racing through my head.
I want to be clear that this is patently not Anime Midwest’s fault. It’s not a big enough event to rent the entirety of the Stephens Convention Center (which also is the home to the much larger Anime Central), and they cannot control what the owners of the site do with the space they don’t have under contract. We’re not huge fans of AnimeCon.org around here (for both obvious and not so obvious reasons), but honest to god there is no way they could have seen this coming.
(10) HOGWARTS. Costume sketches from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
— Harry Potter Play (@HPPlayLDN) May 5, 2016
(11) WILLIS, WHITE, AND IAN MCDONALD. Visual Artists Ireland says Richard Howard will speak about The Secret History of Northern Irish Science Fiction at the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry on May 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Using the exhibition Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone (ending May 21st, info here) as a point of departure, this talk will sketch the history of a science fiction tradition in Northern Ireland. Beginning in the late nineteenth century with Robert Cromie, it will trace the development of this tradition in the region, a tradition solidified by Belfast natives Walt Willis and James White, who instigated the Irish Fandom science fiction group in the 1940s and produced the fanzines Slant and Hyphen. Willis and White were eventually joined by Bob Shaw, one of the most prolific science fiction authors the region has produced. Shaw and White’s own efforts in the genre from the mid-twentieth century to its end will also be discussed; short stories and novels that were received in the context of the international science fiction community, but that extrapolated from and estranged the material conditions of Northern Irish society. As the latest iteration of the tradition, there are many schisms within the genre that separates the work of Ian McDonald from those that came before him. The paper will nevertheless attempt to propose a unified theory of Northern Irish science fiction, if only to detect the remainders and contradictions that might answer the questions: to whom is Northern Irish science fiction a secret and why?
(12) IS CAPTAIN JACK COMING BACK? Den of Geek speculates whether Captain Jack will be appearing on Doctor Who.
After he brought back Alex Kingston’s River Song for last year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, it’s starting to look like Steven Moffat may repeat the trick this year by bringing back another long-time absentee from the supporting cast for a festive reprive.
John Barrowman has teased that he has work in Cardiff in the near future, which has led the internet to suggest that he could be appearing in the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special. Or maybe even the spin-off series, Class.
For the record, all Barrowman said – while promoting his new book in a Welsh Waterstones – was that “I will be back in Cardiff in about a week and a half… but I’m not telling you what for!”
That’s enough to get a rumour started, since the Welsh capital is synonymous with the production of Doctor Who at this stage. Perhaps it’s a bit soon to get excited, but the idea of Captain Jack Harkness bantering with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is a tantalising proposition, isn’t it?
(13) LONDON ROBOT EXHIBIT NEXT YEAR. The London Science Museum’s 2017 show about robots in the Daily Mail is accompanied by a small photo gallery.
Throughout history, artists and scientists have sought to understand what it means to be human and create machines in our own image.
Soon, a new exhibition will explore our obsession to recreate ourselves, revealing the remarkable 500-year history of humanoid robots.
The forthcoming show at London’s Science Museum will include a collection of more than 100 robots from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research lab.
Set in five different periods and places, this exhibition will explore how robots and society have been shaped by religious belief, the industrial revolution, 20th century popular culture and dreams about the future.
As well as celebrating machines of the past, the exhibition will examine scientists’ quest to build ever more complex and human-like robots that are able to learn from their mistakes and express emotions.
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group said: ‘This exhibition explores the uniquely human obsession of recreating ourselves, not through paint or marble but in metal.
Seeing robots through the eyes of those who built or gazed in awe at them reveals much about humanity’s hopes, fears and dreams.’ …
The Science Museum has also launched a Kickstarter campaign that will pay to rebuild Eric, the UK’s first robot.
Originally built in 1928 by Captain Richards and AH Reffell, Eric was one of the world’s first robots and travelled the world to amaze curious crowds in the UK, US and Europe before disappearing.
If the full £35,000 ($50,596 is raised, the historic replica will become part of the museum’s permanent collection, as well as featuring in the Robots exhibition. It will also travel the world as part of the exhibition’s international tour, just like the original Eric did 90 years ago.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., James H. Burns, JJ, and Hampus Eckerman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peace Is My Middle Name.]
Peter de Jong recently found a set of 27 photos taken at a 1981 party for LunaCon GoH James White, the Irish sf writer, and has posted them here.
The party, organized by Moshe Feder, was held at de Jong’s apartment in midtown Manhattan. Feder says he does not know who took the pictures.
James White wears his famous Saint Fantony blazer in photo #1.
Fans identified in the photographs are: Norma Auer Adams, Larry Carmody, Ross Chamberlain, Alina Chu, Eli Cohen, Genny Dazzo, Peter de Jong, Moshe Feder, Chip Hitchcock, Lenny Kaye, Hope Leibowitz, Craig Miller, Andrew Porter, Stu Shiffman, James White, Jonathan White, Peggy White, and Ben Yalow.
(There is also an unnamed fan in photo #4 I recognize. She occasionally looks at this blog and I will happily add her name to this article if she grants permission.)
[Thanks to Moshe Feder and Andrew Porter for the story.]
Listening to a fan talk about making steampunk costumes I soon became convinced that the architecture of the Enterprise is like a toddler’s scribbling beside the complexities of the adjustable bustle. It is suddenly easy to understand why James White thought there was a story in tailoring a suit for an alien diplomat (“Custom Fitting,” 1976, a Hugo nominee.)