World Fantasy Con Update

Lifetime Achievement Awards: World Fantasy Con has announced its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winners – Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.

Datlow is a 40-time nominee for the World Fantasy Awards and 9-time winner. Yarbro has been nominated for 5 World Fantasy Awards.

Toastmaster: Jane Yolen has withdrawn as WFC 2014 Toastmaster due to upcoming back surgery.

Mary Robinette Kowal has taken over the duties. Here’s how she led into the announcement on her blog —

Last week, I got a phone call from Peggy Rae Sapienza, who is one of the co-chairs of World Fantasy. She had a favor to ask. I like it when she asks me for favors. The one before this was, “Would you mind running the Whiskey tasting with Guy Gavriel Kay on the Wednesday before WFC starts?”

The new favor Kowal was asked to do was to become the Toastmaster for WFC 2014 and she enthusiastically accepted.

Finlay Collection: This year is the centennial of three events which are themes of the 2014 World Fantasy Con. One of them is the birth of famed prozine illustrator Virgil Finlay in 1914. The artist’s daughter, Lail Finlay, is coming to WFC as a Special Guest of honor.

Upon hearing the news, Robert T. Garcia was inspired to carry out his unfulfilled ambition to publish a book of Virgil Finlay art from the collections of Robert Weinberg, Doug Ellis, Glynn Crain, and Robert K. Wiener.

I wanted to to do a book…. But to do that, I needed to ask these guys to take these (sometimes very fragile) pieces down from the wall, remove them from frames (some sealed decades ago), trust me to handle them, and then take the time to scan them properly. Not likely to happen.

But I was wrong. At the 2012 SF Worldcon in Chicago, World Fantasy Convention Chairman Michael J. Walsh came up to me and told me that the WFC would be having a special commemoration celebrating the Centenary of Virgil Finlay’s birth. His daughter Lail Finlay would be attending in a very rare convention appearance. With such a very rare opportunity to celebrate the career and work of the artist we three loved, Doug Ellis, Bob Weinberg and I decided to publish a book featuring not only their incredible collections, but also those of Glynn Crain and Robert K. Wiener as well. 

Garcia’s Kickstarter appeal to fund The Collectors Book of Virgil Finlay has already surpassed its goal with two weeks left to run. (The web page has some great Finlay images.)

This will be the first new Virgil Finlay art book in 20 years, the first to have Finlay art scanned in high resolution directly from originals, and with 35 full color paintings by the artist, will offer the largest collection of Finlay’s color work ever assembled in print.

Virgil Finlay is regarded by many as the finest line artist in the sf/fantasy genre. He worked from 1936 until his death in 1971 illustrating pulp fiction and astrology magazines, and also the Hearst Sunday supplement The American Weekly.

He won the 1953 Hugo Award for Best Interior Illustrator, and in 1996 was voted a Retro Hugo as Best Professional Artist of 1945. Finlay was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.

Yolen Honored By NEPR

Paul Lambert, President, NEPR Foundation, with Jane Yolen.

Paul Lambert, President, NEPR Foundation, with Jane Yolen.

Jane Yolen received the 2014 New England Public Radio Award for the Arts and Humanities Award at a ceremony in Holyoke, MA on May 12.

Established by the New England Public Radio Foundation in 2008, the award recognizes the contributions of local talent, and brings greater public awareness to the critical role played by musicians, artists, dancers, actors, writers, and teachers in western New England.

NEPR selected Yolen because —

She is a mentor, a friend and an inspiration to many writers living here in western New England, and has worked extensively with schools and libraries in the local community to bring the joy of reading, writing, and art and illustration to children and adults alike. We are lucky to have her among many distinguished authors and illustrators choosing to make a home in our region.

[Via Locus Online.]

Yolen Gets Mixed Feedback

Jane Yolen’s announcement on Facebook that she will no longer travel to Texas or Florida to speak or do signings led to “a sudden flood of folks unfriending me here (I CAN read the statistics, puleeze.) Have to put it down to my political stance.”

A typical negative comment was Alexandra Flinn’s:

Maybe authors who are boycotting our state should refuse to have their books on the Sunshine State list too. I mean, they wouldn’t want to take Floridians’ money and all. I’m sorry, but I voluntarily live in a very diverse county of a very diverse state, so it’s annoying to hear about how stupid and racist we all are.

Many people posted supportive comments, too.

Yolen says she has a waitlist of over 1000 people wanting to be her Facebook friends and she’ll have no trouble filling in the vacancies. She did not say how many there are.

Yolen responded to another who discounted her tactics by saying he failed to take into account that Yolen has been politically active for decades, and even been a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The decision is based on ample experience.

Yolen Boycotts Texas, Florida

Jane Yolen announced to her Facebook followers on July 14 that she will no longer travel to Texas and Florida, as a protest against certain laws enacted there:

Until Texas repeals its recent misogynistic laws and Florida repeals it’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, I will not be accepting speaking or signing engagements in those states. I have friends and relatives in both states, but will not be visiting.

Sorry, but it is long past time to stand OUR ground, the humanistic and humane ground on which this country was built or at least where it should be headed.

This is the 21st century folks. Act like it!

Since Yolen was not announced as a program participant by the 2013 Worldcon in San Antonio, Texas, this represents no immediate change in her attendance plans. It remains to be seen whether others will adopt her stance.

Jane Yolen on YA Hugo Possibility

Fans are divided over the proposal to add a Hugo category for YA books. No matter your opinion, it’s worth hearing what a leading YA author thinks about the idea.

Jane Yolen has enjoyed success in many literary categories and is renowned among YA audiences. Craig Miller had an opportunity to ask for her views. Here’s what she said about adding a YA book category to the Hugos:

All the YA and children’s book writers I know who do sf and fantasy WANT a Hugo within a designated category and don’t feel it would ghettoize the award at all. It will also make it much easier to “sell” sf/fantasy books to the teachers and librarians. They LOVE to see award stickers and lists of award winners and buy from those lists. It would make a huge difference.

[Thanks to Craig Miller for the story.]

Flying Dragon Bookshop Makes Shortlist

Flying Dragon Bookstore logo.

Congratulations to Toronto’s Flying Dragon Bookshop, one of three Specialty bookstores on the 2011 Canadian Booksellers Association CBA Libris Awards shortlist.

Flying Dragon arguably has more than one specialty. While some characterize it as a children’s bookstore, it’s also where people connect with the latest YA fantasy and general fantasy novels.

The store has often been in the news since it opened in 2005. Last year Quill and Quire praised its window display for Guy Gavriel Kay’s new book, Under Heaven:

As you can see, the display includes not only Under Heaven, but other mythologically minded or otherwise thematically linked titles. A new Kay tome lifts all boats, after all.

The CBA Libris Awards will be presented on May 14 in Toronto. The full list of categories and nominees is here [PDF file].

[Thanks to John Mansfield for the story.]

Jane Yolen at Flying Dragon Bookshop.

Snapshots 16

Here are ten developments of interest to fans:

(1) The original graphic novel The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen will be published by Dark Horse in 2010. “The action-fantasy, with art by Rebecca Guay, will join other titles that the publisher says have successfully attracted a large young female audience.”

(2) Book-A-Minute offers the ultracondensed Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

(3) The April issue of Apex Magazine will be edited by Michael A. Burstein: “Ever since we published Michael’s collection I Remember the Future, we’ve been hoping that Michael could find the time to edit an issue,” said Jason Sizemore, publisher and editor-in-chief of Apex Magazine.

(4) Follow this link to “Wrath of Khan – The Opera as performed on the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim program Robot Chicken.

(5) Viz Media is launching Haikasoru, a new science fiction imprint that will bring the best in Japanese science fiction and fantasy to English-speaking audiences.

(6) For this SF Scope story about the return of Warren Lapine, Andrew Porter says he would have preferred the headline “Sauron Not Dead After All.”

(7) Sam J. Miller’s blog has lots of insightful analysis about sf on television, including Lost and Battlestar Galactica:

Watching Lost last night, after the initial euphoria died down, I realize – I don’t trust these people. I love the show a ton, I really do, but there’s something about Lost that makes me feel like the producers are used car salesmen trying to rush me through a shiny showroom so I won’t notice how flimsy and cheap all the merchandise is.

(8) There are big cuts at Publishers Weekly. Among those on the chopping block are Sara Nelson, editor-in chief since 2005, and Daisy Maryles, executive editor, who had been with the magazine for more than four decades. Andrew Porter says, “Daisy Maryles always helped me a lot when I was doing my SF/Fantasy at the ABA guides.”

(9) BookViewCafe.com has been invited to participate in New York Review of Science Fiction’s monthly reading series. On Tuesday, February 3, BVC members will be reading at the NYRSF’s new meeting place, 12 Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport in New York City. Scheduled to be on hand include Laura Anne Gilman, Susan Wright, and Sue Lange.

(10) New Zealand’s 2010 Natcon, Au Contraire, will be held in Wellington August 27-29, the weekend before Aussiecon 4, to accommodate fans travelling “down under.” Australian SF Bullsheet recommends visitors to Wellington at that time of year bring sturdy shoes and wet-weather gear.

[For their links included in this post, I thank John Mansfield, David Klaus, Sue Lange and Andrew Porter.]