The Carl Brandon Society is reinstituting
the Carl Brandon Brandon Parallax and Kindred Awards. These two literary
awards are given annually to outstanding works of speculative fiction. Nominations
are now open.
The Carl Brandon Parallax Award goes to the best speculative fiction created by a person of color in the preceding calendar year.
The Carl Brandon Kindred Award goes to the work of speculative that best explores and expands our understanding of race in the preceding calendar year; its creator may be of any racial or ethnic background.
Each award includes an award plaque, a check for US$1000, and the opportunity to participate in the award ceremony.
The first Carl Brandon Parallax and Kindred Awards were presented 2006 for Walter Mosley’s novel 47 and Susan Vaught’s novel Stormwitch, respectively. The Awards continued through 2011; for a complete history, please visit the Society website.
Founded in 1999, the Carl Brandon Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. We administer the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund and operate a list serve supporting the growing presence of People of Color in the imaginative genres.
The Carl Brandon Society Steering
Committee members are K. Tempest Bradford, Maurice Broaddus, Candra K.
Gill, Jaymee Goh, Victor J. Raymond, Kate Schaefer, and Nisi Shawl.
“When the Bough Breaks” is set in Malaysia, and has a condominium building that is similar to the one in the real world collapse. There are many buildings designed with a courtyard in the middle so kids can play. In her story, the courtyard is between the condos and the face of the hill, and it’s called “The Cradle.”
I was really fascinated by the way Jaymee used language in her story. She explained to us that this is exactly how Malaysians talk. She described it as the country having several major languages, and people having a basolect – one main language – to which they would add grammar and vocabulary from others. Maybe the base would be Malay, with Chinese and English added. Maybe if the person was middle class it might be English with Malay and Chinese added. In the story, it’s very clear that this is not an exclusively English-speaking community. When she was hanging with friends there would be various groups with different accents.
I asked Jaymee if she found it at all hard to balance the authenticity of the speech with the need for the audience to understand it. She said it’s not too hard to balance because there’s high compatibility, with a lot of vocabulary and grammar coming from English.
“This is literally how my family talks,” she explains. There are degrees of difference from family to family. She compares her work to the short fiction of Zen Cho, who uses more Hokkien in the text.
(2) STRANGER THINGS FINAL TRAILER. It’s almost time. Stranger Things 3 premieres July 4.
(3) THE FALCON FLIES TONIGHT. SpaceX launches their Falcon Heavy rocket tonight from Cape
Canaveral… the first-ever night launch for Falcon Heavy, and carrying a huge
complement of various projects. Besides both civilian and military payloads
(including the STP-2 mission for the Air Force), two of the projects JPL has
been working on for over a decade — the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) and a
US/Taiwan joint weather data satellite called COSMIC-2 — are aboard the
A four-hour launch window for the rocket opens tonight, Monday June  at 11.30pm Eastern time. The rocket is set to lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch will be streamed live online, which you can follow here about 20 minutes before liftoff.
Falcon Heavy’s side boosters for the STP-2 mission previously supported the Arabsat-6A mission in April 2019. Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
But there isn’t room in this list for everything. I’m sure that every single reader will gasp at omissions and query the order. There are many personal favourites that I’ve left out, and many more 20th- and 21st-century writers whom I would have liked to include.
This isn’t intended as a definitive ranking; but as an overview, and a guide. You’ll recognise many; a few perhaps will be not so well known, but deserve more attention. I’ve considered influence as well as originality; but crucially, all of the books here have stood the tests of time, taste and, most importantly, readers. Each one, whenever it was published, can be read and enjoyed by a child today as much as it was by the children of the past.
(5) TODAY IN HISTORY.
June 24, 1983 — Twilight Zone – The Movie premiered theatrically.
June 24, 1987 – Spaceballs debuted.
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 24, 1842 — Ambrose Bierce. The Devil’s Dictionary is certainly worth reading but it’s not genre. For his best genre work, I’d say it’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which along with his “The Tail of the Sphinx” gives you range of his talents. Both iBooks and Kindle offer up everything (as near as I can tell) he’s written, much of it free. (Died 1914.)
Born June 24, 1925 — Fred Hoyle. Astronomer of course, but also author of a number of SF works including October the First Is Too Late which I think is among the best genre novels done. I’m also fond of Ossian’s Ride which keep its SF elements hidden until late in the story.
Born June 24, 1937 — Charles N. Brown. Founder and editor of Locus. I’m going to stop here and turn this over to those of you who knew him far better than I did as my only connection to him is as a reader of Locus for some decades now. (Died 2009.)
Born June 24, 1950 — Nancy Allen, 69. Officer Anne Lewis in the Robocop franchise. (I like all three films.) her first genre role was not in Carrie as Chris Hargensen, but in a best forgotten a film year earlier (Forced Entry) as a unnamed hitchhiker. She shows up in fan favorite The Philadelphia Experiment as Allison Hayes and I see her in Poltergeist III as Patricia Wilson-Gardner (seriously — a third film in this franchise?). She’s in the direct to video Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return as Rachel Colby. (Oh that sounds awful.) And she was in an Outer Limits episode, “Valerie 23”, as Rachel Rose.
Born June 24, 1947 — Peter Weller, 72. Yes, it’s his Birthday today too. Robocop obviously with my favorite scene being him pulling out and smashing Cain’s brain, but let’s see what else he’s done. Well there’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, a film I adore. And then there’s Leviathan which you I’m guessing a lot of you never heard of. Is Naked Lunch genre? Well Screamers based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “Second Variety” certainly is. Even if the reviews sucked. And Star Trek Into Darkness certainlyqualifies. Hey he showed up in Star Trek: Enterprise!
Born June 24, 1950 — Mercedes Lackey, 69. There’s a line on the Wiki page that says she writes nearly six books a year. Impressive. She’s certainly got a lot of really good series out there including the vast number that are set in the Valdemar universe. I like her Bedlam’s Bard series better. She wrote the first few in this series with Ellen Gunn and the latter in the series with Rosemary Edgehill. The SERRAted Edge series, Elves with race cars, is kinda fun too. Larry Dixon, her husband, and Mark Shepherd were co-writers of these.
Born June 24, 1982 — Lotte Verbeek,37. You most likely know her as Ana Jarvis, the wife of Edwin Jarvis, who befriends Carter on Agent Carter. She got interesting genre history including Geillis Duncan on the Outlander series, Helena in The Last Witch Hunter, Aisha in the dystopian political thriller Division 19 film and a deliberately undefined role in the cross-world Counterpart series.
(7) COMICS SECTION.
Grimmy offers a surprising hint about what Batman does in the bat’room.
The aliens almost give the traditional greeting to the first human they meet: The Argyle Sweater.
“Hello, I live in the sewers of Athens,” says the cockroach. “Yes, me too,” says an Athenian walking past, apparently unfazed by the idea of an insect talking to him from a drain.
Little does he know that, only a few feet away, artists Myrto Sarma and Dimitra Trousa are crouching over a tiny microphone, impersonating the cockroach in a voice they have rehearsed over and over.
The artists are delighted the man is engaging with their insect, explaining how his life has changed over the past decade. He was recently made redundant and has struggled to support himself ever since.
“It’s not nice up here any more,” he complains, speaking into the drain. “I think you’re better off staying down there.”
Toy Story 4, the long awaited fourth film in the animated franchise, has broken global box office records for an animated movie.
It earned $238m (£187m) since opening worldwide over the weekend, performing particularly well in Latin America and Europe.
The film struggled in China, however, and also failed to meet expectations in the US, where its $118m (£93m) fell short of a predicted $140m (£110m).
(11) OUTSIDE OF AN
OCTOPUS. In the Washington
Post, Lela Nargi interviews Alon Gorodetsky, lead researcher of a team at
the University of California (Irvine) who is looking at the color-changing
abilities of octopi (known as biomimicry) to come up with clothes that can make
a user warmer or colder depending on what she desires. “How
can an octopus help us stay warm?”
…Ever since, Gorodetsky’s lab at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) has been trying to make what he calls “technologically valuable things” based on cephalopods’ camouflaging skills. They’ve finally succeeded in creating a material that will let people, not disguise themselves as rocks and algae, but regulate how warm or cool they feel. The UCI team built this material using biomimicry — watching how a biological organism behaves, then imitating it.
Cephalopods have a layer of skin that’s packed with pigment-containing cells called chromatophores. When you can’t see the cephalopod, it’s expanding and contracting its chromatophores between little upright points and big, flat disks. Think about drawing dots on a piece of plastic wrap, says Gorodetsky, then stretching the plastic so that those dots get much bigger….
Ever feel like there’s too much happening? That the news is out of control? That there’s barely time to process one outrage before another replaces it, leaving just the faint memory and a little bit of scar tissue from the previous Worst Thing to Ever Happen?
“Years and Years” is not the escape for you.
The HBO limited series, from the British writer Russell T Davies, is about a lot of ideas: runaway technology, European nationalism, the failure of liberal democracy. But its overarching idea, driven home by its pell-mell narrative, is, “Man, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on these days.”
This six-episode limited series, beginning Monday, is half family drama, half speculative fiction. It starts in the present, with the adult children of the Lyons clan of Manchester welcoming a new baby into the family. Then it tears ahead five years into the future, its foot jammed on the accelerator, and shows us what rough beasts are being born elsewhere.
World governments continue to lurch toward right-wing xenophobia. China builds a military installation on an artificial island. War breaks out in Ukraine. A nutty, populist entrepreneur, Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson), runs for Parliament. Oh, P.S.: There are no more butterflies!
[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin
Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter. Title credit
goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
After a successful IndieGoGo campaign, Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng’s collection, The SEA is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia, is available for purchase on Amazon.
With steampunk stories set in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, The SEA Is Ours from Rosarium Publishing features a blend of previously published writers and upcoming names.
The stories in this collection merge technological wonder with the everyday. Children upgrade their fighting spiders with armor, and toymakers create punchcard-driven marionettes. Large fish lumber across the skies, while boat people find a new home on the edge of a different dimension. Technology and tradition meld as the people adapt to the changing forces of their world.
It is Southeast Asian not only in name but in essence, with 11 of its 12 writers being Southeast Asian or of Southeast Asian descent.
Table of Contents
On The Consequence of Sound” – Timothy Dimacali
“Chasing Volcanoes” – Marilag Angway
“Ordained” – L. L. Hill
“The Last Aswang” – Alessa Hinlo
“Life Under Glass” – Nghi Vo
“Between Severed Souls” – Paolo Chikiamco
“The Unmaking of the Cuadro Amoroso” – Kate Osias
“Working Woman” – Olivia Ho
“Spider Here” – Robert Liow
“The Chamber of Souls” – zm quynh
“Petrified” – Ivanna Mendels
“The Insects and Women Sing Together” – Pear Nuallak
Both editors have long been involved in speculative fiction. Joyce Chng is the author of several urban fantasy and Young Adult novels written from a Singaporean perspective. Her fiction has been published in such publications as Crossed Genres, The Apex Book of World SF II, and The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic. She co-edited The Ayam Curtain, a Singaporean anthology of sf/f micro fiction. She blogs at A Wolf’s Tale.
Jaymee Goh, currently a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Riverside, has published short fiction and poetry, including a series of short stories set in a re-imagined Malaysia uncolonized by the West. Her fiction has appeared in Expanded Horizons and Crossed Genres, and in steampunk venues such as the Steam-Powered Series and Steampunk World. She has been quoted in Jeff and Ann Vandermeer’s Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, as well as The Steampunk Bible, and has written steampunk-related non-fiction in The WisCon Chronicles 5 & 6 and Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution. Her blog, Silver Goggles, tackles postcolonialism and racism in the various forms of steampunk.
Rosarium Publishing made a splash in speculative fiction with its 2013 anthology Mothership: Tales of Afrofuturism and Beyond. Since then it has published several ongoing comic titles such as Kid Code by graphic arts professor John Jennings, DayBlack by tattoo artist Keef Cross, and The Little Red Fish by designer Bizhan Khodabandeh. Its oeuvre includes young adult comic Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess, adult graphic memoir Jennifer’s Journal by Jennifer Cruté, and satirical novel Koontown Killing Kaper by founder Bill Campbell. Its most recent anthology release was Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, which received high critical praise.