Pixel Scroll 8/17/21 Podkayne On The Ritz

(1) GOFUNDME FOR MIXON AND GOULD. Stephanie Maez is asking people to signal boost the GoFundMe she has set up on behalf of Aunt Laura and Uncle Steve: “Help Aunt Laura Heal”. Laura J. Mixon, who has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a/k/a ME or ME/CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome, is a well-known sff author who also won the Best Fan Writer Hugo (2015). Steven Gould has created multiple sf series and is past president of SFWA. Maez explains:

Due to Aunt Laura’s worsening chronic illness, they’ve been struggling financially for the past several years. They want to sell their home, use the equity to pay off debts, and find a place where they can live affordably. I’ve created a GoFundMe that seeks $20,000: 

  • $3,400 to help pay off existing medical bills;
  • $2,600 to cover impending medical expenses; and,
  • $14,000 for home repairs and moving costs.

They will donate all additional funds above the needed amount to The Open Medicine Foundation, a non-profit that serves as an open-source clearinghouse and a source of funding for top researchers worldwide, who are working collaboratively toward a cure for ME/CFS.

Here’s more from Aunt Laura: 

Until 2013, my engineering work provided us a steady source of income while Steve built up his writing career and was our two kids’ primary caregiver. Unfortunately, by then a chronic illness that I’d had for decades but had never been properly diagnosed for until recently, ME/CFS, had worsened to the point that I was no longer well enough to work.

As a result of my gradually worsening condition, our family has been solely dependent on Steve’s income. We also have a daughter with multiple disabilities living with us, who still needs our support as she works toward independence. We managed to muddle along until about 2017 or 2018, thanks to Steve’s book sales and a couple of well-paying Hollywood deals. But my illness, the associated medical expenses, and two kids in college for much of that time meant the bills kept piling up. The coup de grâce came in 2020, when my health took a sudden nosedive due to pandemic-induced exertion and stress, and Quibi, the new media company developing Steve’s latest creative project, went out of business.

We have decided to sell our house and use the cash to pay off as much of our debt as possible. Because ours is an older home, it needs a lot of work in order to sell at a better-than-fixer-upper price, and we need to get a good price to make enough of a dent in our debt to live sustainably on our current income.

A final note. The past year and a half has brought hard times for many, and there are many important unmet needs out there. We’d be deeply grateful for any signal boost or help you can give, but we’ll totally understand if your own circumstances—financial, mental, or otherwise—don’t permit. We know all too well what it’s like to be tapped out and spent, no matter how much you care. As ever, we’re thinking of you love, and hopes that all is well in your world.

The appeal has raised $17,081 of its $20,000 goal.

(2) THE HOST WITH THE MOST. The Library of Congress announced today: “LeVar Burton to Host 2021 National Book Festival Broadcast on PBS”.

LeVar Burton, fresh from a hosting gig on “Jeopardy,” turns his attention to hosting a special edition of the Library’s 2021 National Book Festival, a one-hour special on PBS that is studded with some of the world’s brightest literary stars.

The show, “Open a Book, Open the World: The Library of Congress National Book Festival,” premieres Sunday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app. The show will feature 20 of the world’s most captivating authors and celebrities, ranging from actors Michael J. Fox and Lupita Nyong’o, to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon Reed….

Burton, a longtime champion of reading, will host from his public library in Los Angeles with Hayden appearing at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

There are many authors featured in the special — these have genre connections:

  • Roxane Gay, essayist and novelist, on her co-authored book “The Sacrifice of Darkness.”
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, Nobel Prize-winning novelist, on his book “Klara and the Sun.”
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia, novelist in several genres, including horror and noir, on her books “Mexican Gothic” and “Velvet Was the Night.”
  • Christopher Paolini, fantasy and science fiction writer, on his book “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars.”
  • Martha Wells, Hugo and Nebula award-winning writer, on her book “Fugitive Telemetry.”

(3) JEFF SMITH’S GIVEAWAY REPORT. Jeff Smith reports that a solid 2/3 of Filers who claimed lots from his Free Book Giveaway list followed up by sending their shipping addresses to him. Which means that a less solid 1/3…

He started shipping the boxes out today. Jeff says he foolishly set up this giveaway to happen just before his scheduled cataract surgery, so not all shipments will go out as swiftly as this first batch. But any delays should not be extensive, and he begs your indulgence.

(4) THIS IS NOT MY PRECIOUS. Mitchell Clark can think of lots of reasons why “The JRR Token cryptocurrency is almost certainly headed for Mt. Doom”, and lists them in his article for The Verge.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there’s a cryptocurrency themed after The Lord of the Rings. It’s dubbed the JRR Token, and its creators have called it “The One Token That Rules Them All.” Upon learning about it, my snap judgment was that it’ll be like The Hobbit’s trilogy of films (pointless and doomed to fail), but that may be unfair. Let’s take a look at the video its creators made to explain what makes it special…

Okay, wait. Before we even go into the crypto stuff, I’m wondering what the legal situation is with this video — the video includes images of rolling green countryside overlaid by very Lord of the Rings-esque text, while what sounds like a piano rendition of Howard Shore’s The Shire plays. Even if those don’t turn out to be infringement, they’re definitely banking on confusion with JRR Tolkien’s name. That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing the Tolkien Estate would let slide without a fight….

(5) EXTENDED NOIR. At CrimeReads, Silvia Moreno-Garcia discusses the classic noir novels that inspired her new novel, Velvet Was The Night: “Seven of the Best Noir Novels of the 1960s and 1970s”.

My latest novel, Velvet Was the Night, is a noir set in the Mexico City of the 1970s. This is a changing world, beset by political and social turmoil, and a space where different forces are violently clashing. To me, it seemed like the perfect decade for a noir, but when I told people what I was working on, they tended to be surprised I was writing a book set in 1971. Most of them associated the word ‘noir’ with the 1950s.

Noir has always had a close relationship with film and it is no wonder that when we think of noir, we tend to harken back to iconic images inspired by Golden Age Hollywood rather than more modern proposals. But noir did not vanish once people traded zoot suits for bell bottoms. Therefore, here is a list of cool, decadent noirs from the 60s and 70s….

(6) RODDENBERRY CENTENARY ZOOM. [Based on a press release.] NASA is helping the legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity fostered by the creator of Star Trek to live long and prosper. The agency will observe the late Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday with a special program called, “Celebrating Gene Roddenberry: Star Trek’s Bridge and NASA” – a panel discussion airing on NASA Television, the agency’s website, the NASA App, and NASA social media on August 19 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

Rod Roddenberry, top left, George Takei, Tracy Drain, Jonny Kim, bottom left, Swati Mohan, and Hortense Diggs.

The program includes introductory remarks by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rod Roddenberry, son of Gene Roddenberry. Special guest George Takei, Star Trek actor and activist, will participate in the question-and-answer session.

The NASA panelists includes:

  • Tracy Drain, Europa Clipper flight systems engineer
  • Hortense Diggs, director of the Office of Communications and Public Engagement at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • Swati Mohan, lead for Mars 2020 Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Operations at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California
  • Jonny Kim, NASA astronaut

Coinciding with the program, NASA will broadcast into space a 1976 recording of Gene Roddenberry’s remarks on diversity and inclusion through the agency’s Deep Space Network of radio antennas. NASA also is inviting people on social media to join celebrating Roddenberry’s 100th birthday on Thursday by posting a Vulcan salute selfie with the hashtag #Roddenberry100.

(7) HAMMER, SICKLE, AND RADIO TUBE. Natalija Majsova analyzes “Soviet Sci-fi Film and Different Modalities of Future Ecosystems” at Strelka Mag.

Soviet science fiction cinema has a very particular genealogy. Due to the temporal proximity of the emergence of the Soviet state project and of the cinematic medium—a means of surveillance and observation, of propaganda and education, of experiment and reiteration, in short, of monstration and narration of a new world-to-be—science fiction film cannot be considered as mere fantasy, symptom, or flight of fancy. Rather, film is simultaneously a dimension, a perspective, and a voice. The genre of science fiction, on the other hand, played a palette of different functions in Soviet history, from the normatively prognostic and mnemonic, to the revelatory and introspective….

…In literature, science fiction under Stalin is chiefly associated with the so-called “near-reach” formula, i.e. narratives that celebrate the graspable, realistic feats of contemporary science. An important undercurrent of such science fiction, or rather “scientific fantasy” (nauchnaia fantastika), that was characteristic of Soviet science fiction films until the late 1960s remains its clear political statement: Soviet authority is associated with scientific progress and righteous goals, whereas scientific progress outside of the Soviet state is linked to heartless imperialism and colonialism….

(8) OUT OF MANY, ONE. “Hachette to Buy Workman for $240 Million as Publishing Continues Consolidation” reports the New York Times. Workman published Tomorrow and Beyond: Masterpieces of Science Fiction Art edited by Ian Summers, The Grand Tour: A Traveler’s Guide to the Solar System by Ron Miller and William K. Hartmann, Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials, by Wayne Barlowe and Beth Meacham, DiFate’s Science Fiction Hardware, by Vincent DiFate, and other genre titles over the years, notes Andrew Porter.

Hachette Book Group said on Monday that it had agreed to buy Workman Publishing, an independent company known for titles like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and the “Brain Quest” workbooks, the latest expected acquisition in an industry whose power is increasingly concentrated in a handful of major companies. The cost of the deal was $240 million.

Workman is one of the largest independent publishers in the United States and is appealing to its new parent for, among other reasons, its lucrative backlist. Backlists include books published years ago that continue to sell — as opposed to the front list of new titles — and at Workman, they are a major focus and a steady stream of reliable income. Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of the Hachette Book Group, said that three-quarters of Workman’s revenue comes from those older titles.

(9) MEMORY LANE.

  • 1960 – On this day in 1960, The Time Machine premiered. The work of legendary director George Pal, it was based on the H.G. Wells novella of the same name. Pal also handled the production. The screenplay was by David Duncan. It would lose out at Seacon to the Twilight Zone series for Best Dramatic Presentation. Cast was Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot and Whit Bissell. Some critics liked it, some didn’t, and most thought the love interest angle sucked. It did very, very well at the box office making two point six million dollars and costing only a little over eight hundred thousand to make. Despite this, the Studio claimed it barely broke clearing only three hundred thousand. Never trust Studio accountants!  Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it an excellent seventy-nine percent rating. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 17, 1917 Oliver Crawford. Screenwriter who overcame the Hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. He wrote three scripts for Trek, “The Cloud Minders,” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” and “The Galileo Seven”. He also wrote for The Outer Limits (“The Special One”), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (“The Lost Bomb”) and The Wild Wild West (“The Night of the Cossacks” and “The Night of Sudden Death”). No, that’s not everything hescripted. (Died 2008.)
  • Born August 17, 1923 Julius Harris. He’s Tee Hee Johnson, the metal armed henchman courtesy of a crocodile in Live and Let Die, the eighth Bond film. Other genre appearances are scant — he’s a gravedigger in Darkman, boat crew in King Kong and he shows up in the horror film Shrunken Heads. He had one-offs in The Incredible Hulk and the Friday the 13th series.(Died 2004.)
  • Born August 17, 1930 Harve Bennett. The individual who gave us Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Really he did. He would then serve as Producer on the next three Trek films, The Search for SpockThe Voyage Home and The Final Frontier. Bennett also wrote Star Trek III, co-wrote the story and screenplay for Star Trek IV, and co-wrote the story for Star Trek V. His only on scene appearance is in the latter as the Starfleet Chief of Staff. He’s the voice of the Battle simulator computer in Wrath of Khan, and the Flight Recorder in the Search for Spock. (Died 2015.)
  • Born August 17, 1945 Rachael Pollack, 76. She’s getting a Birthday note for her scripting duties on her run of issues 64–87 (1993-1995) of Doom Patrol. She’s also assisted in the creation of the Vertigo Tarot Deck with McKean and Gaiman, and she wrote a book to go with it. She won a World Fantasy Award for Godmother Night, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award winner for Unquenchable Fire. She also wrote Salvador Dali’s Tarot, a book-length exposition of Salvador Dalí’s Tarot deck, comprising a full-page color plate for each card, with her commentary on the facing page.
  • Born August 17, 1956 John Romita Jr., 65. If you’ve read Spider-Man since the Sixties, it’s very likely that you’ve seen his artwork as he had six stints on it between 1980 and 2009. He was also on a number of other titles at Marvel and DC including Superman, Ghost Rider, Hulk, All-Star Batman, Eternals, Captain America and Daredevil to name but a few he illustrated. He also worked with Mark Miller at Image Comics on Kick-Ass, and did the one shot Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights
  • Born August 17, 1960 Chris Baker, 61. He’s the cover artist for British and German versions of the Redwall books, as well as a storyboard and conceptual artist having worked with  Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton. Among his films are Big Fish, Skyfall, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryA.I. Artificial Intelligence and Corpse Bride
  • Born August 17, 1962 Laura Resnick, 59. Daughter of Mike Resnick. She is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction for early work including “No Room for the Unicorn.” I’ve not read her Manhattan Magic series so I’m interested to know what y’all think of it. She’s readily available at the usual suspects. 
  • Born August 17, 1966 Neil Clarke, 55. Editor in Chief of Clarkesworld Magazine which has won an impressive three Best Semiprozine Hugos. SFWA also gave him a Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. He also edits The Best Science Fiction of the Year series for Night Shade Books.  He’s a nominee at Discon III for Best Editor, Short Form. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • The Argyle Sweater definitely knows how to keep the arg in comics and shown with this horrible pun.

(12) STAR PLONKER. Laughing Squid makes sure we’re listening when “The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Performs the Original ‘Star Trek’ Theme Including the Full Lyrics”.

The very talented Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (previously) shared the album version of their truly celestial cover of the theme from the original Star Trek series. Not only did they vocally cover the theremin-like intro, but also the full lyrics to the song.

(13) A TOUCH OF LARCENY. Two Vulture writers trail “The Mysterious Figure Stealing Books Before Their Release”.

…This was a setup Stieg Larsson would have admired: a clever thief adopting multiple aliases, targeting victims around the world, and acting with no clear motive. The manuscripts weren’t being pirated, as far as anyone could tell. Fake Francesca wasn’t demanding a ransom. “We assumed it was the Russians,” Mörk said. “But we are the book industry. It’s not like we’re digging gold or researching vaccines.” Perhaps someone in publishing, or a Hollywood producer, was desperate for early access to books they might buy. Was the thief simply an impatient reader? A strung-out writer in need of ideas? “In the hacker culture that Stieg Larsson depicted, they do a lot of things not for financial benefit,” Mörk pointed out this spring, “but just to show that they can do it.”

When I first heard about the scheme in February, four years after the attempted “Millennium” heist, the thief was still on the loose, exhibiting behavior that was even bolder and more bizarre as they chased after everything from Sally Rooney’s latest to novels by obscure writers never published in English before. This sounded like a fun challenge, a digital mystery to obsess over at a time when the real world was shut down… 

(14) PLURAL. “Aliens: 10 Things That Still Hold Up Today”ScreenRant counts them off.

Ridley Scott’s Alien is the kind of untouchable masterpiece that should never be ruined by sequels. But James Cameron proved that there are exceptions to this rule with 1986’s Aliens, which both satisfies as a follow-up to the first movie and stands as a classic of action cinema in its own right….

10/10 Replacing One Xenomorph With A Hive Of Dozens

Like all the best sequels (including Cameron’s own Terminator 2), Aliens significantly raises the stakes from the first movie by expanding the scope of the premise. The first Alien movie was essentially a haunted house movie in space, with the crew of the cargo freighter Nostromo getting picked off one by one by a ravenous xenomorph wandering around their ship.

In Aliens, there are dozens of these xenomorphs on the loose as opposed to the single alien that threatened the heroes of the original movie. The single xenomorph from the first movie was scary enough, but Cameron upped the ante with a festering swarm of otherworldly monsters.

(15) PULL UP TWO CHAIRS. In the episode 59 of the Two Chairs Talking podcast, David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss discuss the nominees in the Novelette category for this year’s Hugo Awards, and go on to talk about their other recent reading, including a novel by Claire North about the travails of the Harbinger of Death, and some well-worn favorites of the crime and SF genres. Episode 59: “Thoroughly informed”.

(16) LAW NORTH OF THE OZONE. The issue of who is and isn’t an astronaut is legally very complicated! The Space Review asks “Is it time to create the designation of non-governmental astronaut?”

… Of the three, it is the test offered by Professor Yasuaki Hashimoto that is the test that best harmonizes with international law through the Outer Space Treaty.[5]

For the legal status of “astronaut” to apply under Professor Hashimoto’s test the person must be:

  1. in an object located in space
  2. conducting their activities for the benefit and in the interests of all countries
  3. regarded as an envoy of mankind in outer space.

Applying this test to non-governmentals like the personnel who were carried on SpaceShipTwo and New Shepard, the first prong is easily met as arguably both launch and reentry vehicles were “in space.” However, both fail the second and third prong of the test as they are both commercial ventures that are not conducting their activities for the benefit and interest and all countries nor are they or would be regarded as envoys of all mankind in outer space. This means absent legislative action, non-governmental personnel would not have any legal status in the eyes of domestic and international law….

(17) PEOPLE RUIN EVERYTHING. Mind Matters introduces another short film distributed by DUST: “Merv Is the Last Man in a Ruined World”.

This New Zealand-based film company provides a haunting evocation of a totally ruined urban landscape — just an enormous pile of rubble peopled by a surviving hermit. When he catches sight of another human, he pelts like mad for his underground den. Then, arming himself, sets out to confront the stranger….

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Game Trailers: Pokemon Unite” on YouTube, Fandom Games says that this game is a “sub-par experience” that will disappoint even the most enthusiastic Pokemon fans.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Jeffrey Smith, Cat Rambo, Michael J. Walsh, Rob Thornton, Chris Barkley, Steven H Silver, David Grigg, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Jeffrey Smith’s Free Book Giveaway

By Jeffrey Smith:  Here in Baltimore we have a used bookstore called The Book Thing that is either unique or close to it. You enter the warehouse, pick the unlimited amount of books you want, and leave. They’re all free. Since 2000, they’ve given away thousands upon thousands upon thousands of books. Millions upon millions, maybe. Over the years, I’ve given them a couple thousand books – we take a carton or two, and try to bring home fewer books than we’ve donated. They had a recent shut-down because of a fire, and during repairs they fell behind on their taxes and their tax-exempt paperwork, so that kept them closed, and just as they were finishing all that up, the pandemic hit. They’ve been open just one day a month lately, and only occasionally accepting donations. I have stacks of cartons marked “discards” taking up space in my house, waiting for a normalcy that may never return.

So I consulted with Mike, and decided to sort out the sf books to give them away to Filers. Who better to receive them, anyway? Most of these are paperbacks from the 1970s.

Below are a number of lots. If you see one (just one per Filer, please) that you would like, write the number in the comments. Then it’s yours, and no-one else should waste everybody’s time by trying to claim it a second time. Check the comments to see which ones are claimed and which ones are still available. (And don’t say you’d like this book from lot 7 and this one from lot 12 – they’re all boxed up and ready to go.) No bidding necessary, they’re all free, including postage anywhere.

Send a shipping address to smith1339 (at) gmail (dot) com

Some of these books are from my collection, some from Alli Sheldon’s. Sometimes she would write on the table of contents of magazines or anthologies which stories she liked and which she didn’t, and I noticed that on a couple here, but I didn’t look through each one so I can’t tell you which are and which aren’t. Some of the books are beat up a little, but most are very good, and many are unread. Alli was a smoker, but all her books have been in my house for 34 years now, so that should no longer be an issue.

Claim these books! Get them out of my house!

LOT #1  Brian W. Aldiss, Barefoot in the Head :: Michael Bishop, Blooded on Arachne :: David R. Bunch, Moderan :: Italo Calvino, T Zero :: DG Compton, Chronocules :: DG Compton, Synthajoy

LOT #2  Poul Anderson, The Devil’s Game :: The Guardians of Time :: The Man Who Counts :: Mirkheim :: The Night Face :: Satan’s World :: Tau Zero :: Time Patrolman :: Trader to the Stars :: The Trouble Twisters

LOT#3  [Ballantine Adult Fantasies: Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword :: William Beckford, Vathek :: Hannes Bok, Beyond the Golden Stair :: Hannes Bok, The Sorcerer’s Ship] :: John Bellairs, The Face in the Frost :: John Brunner, The Traveler in Black :: Terry Carr,  editor, Fantasy Annual IV :: New Worlds of Fantasy #3 :: Richard Grant, Rumors of Spring :: Donald Wollheim & George Ernsberger, editors, The Avon Fantasy Reader

LOT #4  Brian N. Ball, The Regiments of Night :: A. Bertram Chandler, The Hard Way Up/Robert Lory, The Veiled World :: Lester del Rey, The Sky Is Falling/Lester del Rey, Badge of Infamy :: [Star Trek: The Next Generation] Peter David, Strike Zone :: [Star Wars] Alan Dean Foster, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

LOT #5  JG Ballard, Chronopolis :: Crash :: The Drowned World :: The Impossible Man :: Vermilion Sands :: David R Bunch, Moderan :: Samuel R Delany, City of a Thousand Suns :: The Towers of Toron :: editor w/Marilyn Hacker, Quark/4

LOT #6  Gregory Benford & Gordon Eklund, Find the Changeling :: Hal Clement, Close to Critical :: Hal Clement, Cycle of Fire :: L. Sprague de Camp, A Gun for Dinosaur :: Lester del Rey, Robots and Changelings :: Wilson Tucker, Ice & Iron

LOT #7  Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man :: James Blish, All the Stars a Stage :: Avram Davidson, Mutiny in Space :: Damon Knight, A for Anything :: The Worlds of Jack Vance (The Brains of Earth, The World Between and Other Stories, part of The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph)

LOT #8  Michael Bishop, No Enemy but Time :: Algis Budrys, The Amsirs and the Iron Thorn :: Budrys, Unexpected Dimension :: Michael Coney, Friends Come in Boxes :: Richard Cowper, Out There Where the Big Ships Go :: Harry Harrison, Homeworld :: Harrison, One Step from Earth :: Harrison, Starworld :: John Varley, The Ophiuchi Hotline

LOT #9  Leigh Brackett, The Ginger Star :: The Hounds of Skaith :: The Reavers of Skaith :: The Long Tomorrow :: Phyllis Ann Karr, The Idylls of the Queen :: Fritz Leiber, Swords and Ice Magic :: Dee Morrison Meaney, An Unkindness of Ravens :: Felicity Savage, Humility Garden

LOT # 10  Leigh Brackett, The Ginger Star :: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Darkover Landfall :: The House Between the Worlds :: The Winds of Darkover/John Rackham, The Anything Tree :: The World Wreckers :: Bradley, editor, Greyhaven :: Anne McCaffrey, Decision at Doona :: To Ride Pegasus

LOT #11  Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Winds of Darkover :: Linda E Bushyager, Master of Hawks :: The Spellstone of Shaltus :: Diane Duane, The Door into Shadow :: Bill Fawcett & Brian Thomsen, editors, Masters of Fantasy :: Robert Don Hughes, The Prophet of Lamath :: The Wizard in Waiting :: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Fantasy Life

LOT #12  Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Eternal Savage :: John Carter of Mars :: The Moon Maid :: The Outlaw of Torn :: The People That Time Forgot :: Robert E. Howard, Conan the Conqueror :: Conan the Usurper (Howard & de Camp) :: Conan the Buccaneer (de Camp & Carter) :: John Jakes, When the Star Kings Die

LOT #13  [Hardcovers, Science Fiction Book Club editions except for the Carr]  Terry Carr, Cirque :: Arthur C. Clarke, Prelude to Mars (Prelude to Space, The Sands of Mars, 16 short stories) :: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wind’s Twelve Quarters :: Vonda N. McIntyre, Fireflood and Other Stories :: Michael Moorcock, An Alien Heat :: Robert Silverberg, editor, New Dimensions 5

LOT #14  Burt Cole, The Funco File :: James Gunn, Crisis! :: Isidore Haiblum, Transfer to Yesterday :: Zach Hughes, The Stork Factor :: Dean McLaughlin, The Man Who Wanted Stars :: Robert F. Young, The Last Yggdrasill

LOT #15  [Uncorrected Proofs/Advance Readers’ Copies]  Richard Cowper, Out There Where the Big Ships Go :: Philip K. Dick, Radio Free Albemuth :: Gardner Dozois, Strangers :: Elizabeth Lynn, Watchtower :: Larry Niven, A World Out of Time :: Tom Reamy, Blind Voices :: Pamela Sargent, The Golden Space

LOT #16  Gordon R. Dickson, Alien Art :: The Dragon and the George (hardcover, book club) :: The Far Call :: Mission to Universe :: The Outposter :: Pro :: Steel Brother :: Time Storm (hardcover, book club) :: Three to Dorsai! (hardcover, book club) (omnibus of Necromancer, Tactics of Mistake, Dorsai!)

LOT #17  Ursula K. Le Guin, Orsinian Tales :: Vonda N. McIntyre, The Exile Waiting :: Fireflood and Other Stories ::  editor, w/Susan Janice Anderson, Aurora: Beyond Equality :: Pamela Sargent, Cloned Lives :: Starshadows :: editor, Women of Wonder :: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Ariosto :: Cautionary Tales :: The Godforsaken :: Time of the Fourth Horseman

LOT #18  Frederik Pohl, The Abominable Earthman :: The Coming of the Quantum Cats :: Digits & Dastards :: Gateway :: The Gold at the Starbow’s End :: Jem :: The Man Who Ate the World :: Syzygy :: Pohl & Williamson, Undersea Quest :: Jack Williamson, Manseed

LOT #19  Robert Silverberg, Conquerors from the Darkness :: Lord Valentine’s Castle ::The Mountains Of Majipoor ::Thorns :: A Time of Changes :: To Open the Sky ::Tower of Glass :: Valentine Pontifex

LOT #20  [Star Trek]  James Blish, Star Trek 1-9, Spock Must Die!

LOT #21  [Star Trek, oversized]  14 Official Blueprints :: Star Trek Maps :: Spaceflight Chronology :: Intergalactic Puzzles

LOT #22  [Non-fiction}  Brian W Aldiss, Billion Year Spree :: David Hartwell, Age of Wonders (hardcover) :: Sam J Lundwall, Science Fiction: What It’s All About :: Alexei Panshin, Heinlein in Dimension (trade paperback, second printing 1971) :: Charles Platt, Dream Makers

[Anthologies, listed by editor] 

LOT #23  Isaac Asimov w/Greenberg & Olander, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories :: Judy-Lynn del Rey, Stellar #4 :: Roger Elwood, Demon Kind :: James Frankel, The Best from IF #1 :: Stephen Goldin, The Alien Condition :: Vonda N. McIntyre & Susan Janice Anderson, Aurora: Beyond Equality :: Jerry Pournelle, 2020 Vision (1974 anthology about life in the year 2020, and I’m guessing no one wrote about a global pandemic) :: Donald A. Wollheim & Terry Carr, World’s Best Science Fiction 1970

LOT #24  James Baen, The Best from IF #3 :: James Blish, New Dreams This Morning :: Judy-Lynn Del Rey, Stellar #4 :: James Frankel, The Best from IF #1 :: Stephen Goldin, The Alien Condition :: Vonda N. McIntyre & Susan Janice Anderson, Aurora: Beyond Equality :: Frederik Pohl w/Greenberg & Olander, Galaxy #2

LOT #25  John Carnell, New Writings in SF, UK editions :: Volumes 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19

LOT #26  John Carnell, New Writings in SF, US editions :: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8

LOT #27  John Carnell, New Writings in SF 5 (US) :: Terry Carr, The Best Science Fiction of the Year #2 :: #3 :: #10 :: Anthony Cheetham, Science Against Man :: Edward Ferman & Barry Malzberg, Final Stage :: David Gerrold, Protostars :: Stephen Goldin, The Alien Condition :: Vonda N. McIntyre & Susan Janice Anderson, Aurora: Beyond Equality :: Frederik Pohl, Best Science Fiction for 1972 :: Rob Sauer, Voyages: Scenarios for a Ship Called Earth :: Thomas N. Scortia & Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Two Views of Wonder

LOT #28  Terry Carr, Universe 2 :: Edward Ferman & Barry Malzberg, Final Stage :: Damon Knight, Orbit 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13 :: Marta Randall & Robert Silverberg, New Dimensions 11, 12

LOT #29  Richard Curtis, Future Tense :: Raymond Healy & J Francis McComas, More Adventures in Time and Space :: Ivan Howard, Now & Beyond :: Mayo Mohs, Other Worlds, Other Gods: Adventures in Religious Science Fiction :: Carol & Frederik Pohl, Science Fiction: The Great Years :: Robert Silverberg, Beyond Control

LOT #30  Judy-Lynn del Rey, Stellar 1, 4, 5, 7 :: Roger Elwood, Continuum 1, 2 :: James Frankel, The Best from IF #1 :: Roy Torgeson, Chrysalis 3, 4

LOT #31  [Magazines]  Amazing 3/70, 7/71, 5/72 :: Asimov’s 9/28/91, Mid-Dec 85 :: Fantastic 8/72 :: F&SF 10/82, 10/85, 11/87 :: IF 8/74

LOT #32  [Magazines]  Analog 3/68, 9/69, 10/70, 6/77 :: Asimov’s 9/28/91, Mid-Dec 85 :: Galaxy 3/69 :: Strange Fantasy Spring 69 :: Thrilling Science Fiction 2/73

LOT #33  [Magazines]  Analog 9/69 :: Asimov’s 9/28/81 :: Galaxy 1/69, 3/69, 4/69, 5/76 :: IF 8/74 :: Tesseract Fall 78

LOT #34  [Magazines]  F&SF 10/61, 8/62, 4/63, 4/64, 8/64, 10/65, 2/66, 3/66 (cover torn), 5/66, 6/66

LOT #35  [Magazines]  F&SF 6/66, 8/66, 7/67, 9/67, 11/67, 2/68, 3/68, 6/68, 9/68, 3/69

LOT #36  [Magazines]  F&SF 10/77, 10/79, 10/82, 10/85, 11/87, 2/06, 7/06, 9/06 :: Venture 1/58, 11/69

LOT #37  [Magazines]  Galaxy 1/69, 3/69, 4/69, 5/76, 3-4/79 :: IF 6/68, 8/74 :: Worlds of Fantasy Spring 71

LOT #38  [Not SF]  These are interesting, if anybody would like them, a literary magazine in paperback form from the UK in the 1940s: The Penguin New Writing, volumes I, II, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39

I also have cartons of mostly thrillers, with some mysteries, primarily from the 1990s, primarily by little-known writers. If anybody would like a truly random selection of those, just specify hardcover or paperback.

Pixel Scroll 12/9/17 All Pixels Great And Small

(1) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’. Fleen continues its epic roundups about the Patreon controversy and lists the alternatives:

The logic of the decision is, if not in my opinion sound, at least defensible, but Patreon didn’t trust its users enough to defend it. The (best reading) incompetent or (worst reading) dishonest way they treated their user base is a mark that will persist. Kickstarter is smart enough to keep to their plans for Drip, maybe speed things up by 10%, but they won’t rush to open the gates to all; they know that as the invites go ever wider (and when they’re ready, invites are no longer needed), creators that don’t trust Patreon any more will be waiting to shift. Ko-Fi, Venmo, Paypal, Tippeee, Flattr, Google Wallet, and other means of cash transfer are suddenly burning up the search engines.

(2) BOTTOM LINE. Three-time Hugo-winning professional artist Julie Dillon tweeted daggers at Patreon management. Jump onto the thread here:

(3) WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Rose Lemberg compares the Patreon fee rollout with another fiasco:

(4) WHO VIEW. Here’s the newest Doctor Who Christmas Special trailer.

(5) BRAVE NEW WORDS AWARD CREATED. “Starburst Launches Brave New Words Book Prize”. Nominations are being accepted through the end of the year. Submission guidelines at the link.

STARBURST Magazine, the world’s premier platform for new and exciting genre media, is pleased to announce that it will now have a prize for genre-related writing. The award ceremony will be part of The STARBURST Media City Festival.

The Brave New Words award is for someone who produces break-out literature that is new and bold. We are looking to highlight exciting work that breaks new ground in the field of Cult Entertainment.  Editors, writers, publishers, and bloggers can be nominated. We are looking for works produced in 2017. A shortlist will be announced early 2018 and the winner will be announced at The STARBURST Media City Festival, at Salford Media City 16th – 18th March 2018.

The panel of judges will be announced soon.

(6) ECLECTIC WORKS. The Economist has posted a wide-ranging list of the “Books of the Year 2017” – two fiction titles are of genre interest.

Fiction

Lincoln in the Bardo. By George Saunders. Random House; 368 pages; $28. Bloomsbury; £18.99
Abraham Lincoln’s son dies young and enters a multi-chorus Buddhistic underworld. One of the year’s most original and electrifying novels.

Austral. By Paul McAuley. Gollancz; 288 pages; £14.99
A chase thriller set in late 21st-century Antarctica that combines elements of Jack London, J.G. Ballard and William Gibson. A significant contribution to writing about the anthropocene.

(7) MORE ON COMIC CON LITIGATION. Rob Salkowitz gives Forbes readers a pro-San-Diego spin on the verdict in “Jury Decides For San Diego Comic-Con In Trademark Suit”.

‘David vs. Goliath?’ Farr and Brandenburg also saw advantages in taking their case public, rallying fans to the idea that “comic con” belongs to everyone, not one particular institution. They ran a coordinated campaign on social media including promoted Facebook posts, marshalling an online army of supporters to comment, upvote and retweet their position and paint themselves as altruistic “Davids” standing up to the “Goliath” of SDCC, which is seen by some as the embodiment of commercialism and Hollywood hype.

It was disclosed in court proceedings that the two organizers voted themselves bonuses of $225,000 each as they were mounting a crowdfunding campaign to get fans to pony up for their legal defense. However, the comment threads on SLCC’s posted content indicated that the tactics were effective in mobilizing fan anger.

“Comic-Con is a Brand.” CCI, meanwhile, saved its best lines for the court. They asserted that Comic-Con was a brand recognized to apply exclusively to the San Diego show, and offered in evidence a survey showing that more than 70% of respondents agreed. The validity of the survey was called into question by SLCC attorneys during the trial but the jury appeared to accept it as proof.

“This is a brand that we must protect from these defendants and anyone else who seeks to exploit or hijack it,” Bjurstrom said.

SDCC’s lawyers also asserted the defendants knew this to be the case when they launched their own event, an assertion the jury apparently rejected in their deliberations regarding damages. In filings seeking summary judgment, Comic-Con produced emails and public statements by Farr and Brandenburg boasting of how they sought to “hijack” the media notoriety of SDCC to boost their own event, and settled on the name “comic con” expressly to leverage fan enthusiasm around the festival that draws upwards of 140,000 to San Diego each July and generates billions of media impressions and coverage during its 4-day run.

(8) PAUL WEIMER. Book Smugglers continue their own unique holiday season with “50th Anniversary of The Prisoner – Paul Weimer’s Smugglivus Celebration”.

The Prisoner is the story of an nameless British secret service agent, played by Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan was no stranger to playing spies and secret agents. McGoohan had previously played a British secret service agent, John Drake, in Danger Man. Patrick McGoohan, based on the strength of his performance in that show, had been offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No, but had turned it down. That would have been a rather strange thing if he had accepted, because the no-nonsense John Drake is erudite, thoughtful, not much of a lady chaser and quite different than James Bond in other aspects as well. Whilst filming The Prisoner, McGoohan would also get the role of a British secret agent in the Cold War spy thriller Ice Station Zebra. He also would be asked again, and to turn down again, James Bond, for Live and Let Die.

(9) MOSAIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY. The University of Oregon Libraries’ magazine Building Knowledge has compiled a first-person Ursula K. Le Guin biography [page 20, PDF file] “illustrated with her personal keepsakes, told (mostly) in her own, inimitable words” all drawn from the collections of the UO Libraries.

“If I can draw on the springs of ‘magic,’ it’s because I grew up in a good place, in a good time even though it was the Depression, with parents and siblings who didn’t put me down, who encouraged me to drink from the springs. I was encouraged by my father, by my mother. I was encouraged to be a woman, to be a writer, to be any damn thing I wanted to be.”

Jeffrey Smith sent a note with the link:

It’s a snowy day here in the east, so I’ve been going through the week’s mail. I just received the Fall 2017 issue of the University of Oregon Libraries’ magazine Building Knowledge, and started flipping through it before throwing it out, and found myself reading quite a bit of it. After enjoying the article on the book about Oregon’s marine invertebrates, I continued paging through and was surprised to see an article on Ursula Le Guin (page 20), with some great old family photos (many of which I had seen the last time I was out at UO) — there’s also one on the inside back cover. Then I turned the page and saw my own picture (bottom of page 24).

Guess I won’t be tossing this out after all.

(10) IAN WATSON. An Ian Watson interview at The Bloghole: “Space Marine! And an Interview with a Legend”.

Firstly, Space Marine, and the Inquisition trilogy which started with Draco, were the first “proper” novels set in the Warhammer 40k universe. I know it was a little while ago, but was there much input from Games Workshop at the time, or were you left to your own devices in terms of how you chose to interpret the setting?

[IAN WATSON] Go back quarter of a century and Mr Big was Bryan Ansell, Managing Director/Owner of GW who wanted to read “real” novels by “real” novelists set in his beloved Warhammer domains. As intermediary Bryan hired David Pringle, editor of Britain’s leading SF magazine Interzone, operating from Brighton as GW books. David had already recruited half a dozen authors who regularly contributed stories to Interzone, but no one would touch Warhammer 40K with a bargepole. So it fell to me to read Rogue Trader and many other encyclopedic publications which Nottingham HQ proceeded to send me, including printouts of nonfiction work-in-progress such as the manual of Necromunda, and much else. Bryan Ansell did send me quite a long letter lovingly detailing the sounds which 40K weaponry should make, so that I should be geared up sensually to describe combat. As far as I’m aware (though beware of false memory!) I was given no instructions at all regarding plot or characters and I simply made up the story, within the constraints of what I knew about the 40K universe. I toured the 40K universe, and after a few years the GW games designers decided that they disapproved of a broad approach, compared with single-action novels set on single worlds. (Those are more compatible with games, of course.)

(11) NEW LEADERSHIP FOR WADE CENTER. The Marion E. Wade Center of Wheaton College, Illinois is a major research collection of materials by and about seven British authors: Owen Barfield, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. The college has announced who the new directors of the Center will be: “Introducing Newly Named Wade Co-Directors Crystal and David C. Downing”.

Dr. Crystal Downing is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College, PA. She has published on a variety of topics, with much of her recent scholarship focused on the relationship between cultural theory and religious faith. Her first book, Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers (Palgrave Macmillan 2004) received an international award from the Dorothy L. Sayers Society in Cambridge, England in 2009. The thought of Sayers and C.S. Lewis is evident in Crystal’s next two books, How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith (IVP Academic 2006) and Changing Signs of Truth (IVP Academic 2012). The success of her fourth book, Salvation from Cinema (Routledge 2016) has led to her current book project, The Wages of Cinema: Looking through the Lens of Dorothy L. Sayers. Crystal has received a number of teaching awards and was the recipient of the Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant for 2001 from the Wade Center.

Dr. David Downing currently serves as the R.W. Schlosser Professor of English at Elizabethtown College, PA. He has published widely on C.S. Lewis, including Planets in Peril: A Critical Study of C.S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy (UMass 1992), The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis’s Journey to Faith (IVP 2002), which was awarded the Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant for 2000, Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in C.S. Lewis (IVP 2005), and Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles (Jossey-Bass 2005)….

They follow Wade founder and first director Clyde S. Kilby (1965–1980), director Lyle W. Dorsett (1983–1990), and director Christopher W. Mitchell (1994–2013).

(12) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • December 9, 1983  — John Carpenter’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Christine premieres.

(13) MAKE THE KESSEL RUN IN 13 STEPS. You could make this. Disney Family has the recipe: “Nothing Says the Holidays Like a Millennium Falcon Gingerbread Starship”. The final step is —

Attach the cockpit (piece #3). Then start decorating the Millennium Falcon! Use frosting to outline the ship, add details, and attach cookies, chocolate wafers, peppermints, chocolates, and candies.

(14) THE GAME IS SLOW AFOOT. The Hollywood Reporter knows “Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Won’t Return Until 2019”.

At least one more full winter will pass until the winter of Westeros arrives one last time, as the final season of Thrones will not arrive until 2019. Production on the eighth and final season began in October and will reportedly run through August 2018 — a full year following the season seven finale, all but dashing any prospects for Thrones‘ arrival in the next calendar year.

“Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter over the summer about the long wait between seasons of Thrones. “The shooting is complicated enough — on different continents, with all the technical aspects — and the special effects are a whole other production period that we’re trying to figure out. That is a big factor in all of this.”

(15) VERSE ON THE WEB. Here’s the teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Enter a universe where more than one wears the mask. Watch the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer now, in theaters next Christmas

 

(16) DEL TORO DEL MAR. Now that it’s officially out, NPR’s Chris Klimek says  The Shape of Water is An Elegant Fable Of Starfish-Crossed Lubbers”.

The Shape of Water, the latest R-rated fairy tale from Mexican auteur Guillermo del Toro, offers a sense of what might spawn if those two Rimbaldi feature-creatures were to mate. The Spielbergian gentleness wins out, by a lot, making for a hybrid that’s just a little too cuddly to rate with The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth, del Toro’s twin masterpieces. I wish his new film had spent at least a little time being frightening before it phased into aching and swooning; with its lush evocation of longing amid gleaming midcentury diners and cinemas and Cadillacs, SoW sometimes feels like The Carol of the Black Lagoon. But it’s a transporting, lovingly made specimen of escapism — if it’s possible for a movie that depicts a powerful creep blithely abusing women in the workplace to count as escapism — and easily the strongest of del Toro’s seven English-language features, though it spin-kicks less vampire butt than Blade II did. To place yourself in GDT’s hands, as he tells the type of story he tells better than anyone else, is a rich pleasure.

(17) BOUNCING MATILDA. Can you hear this GIF? BBC explores “Why some people can hear this silent gif”. “An optical illusion for the ears” –apparently not new, but it’s news again.

Dr DeBruine received more then 245,000 responses from people claiming to hear a sound accompanying the animation, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they could hear a thudding sound.

(18) DISSECTING ANOTHER HOLIDAY. Having vented about Thanksgiving in the first, John C. Wright’s second Dangeous column is: “It’s Not Just the Décor. Why the Left Truly Hates Christmas”.

In the culture of life, life is a gift from the hand of the Creator. It is not ours to decide to keep or to destroy. In the culture of life, your life is not your own.

This means your unborn daughter or your grandmother in the terminal ward can live, despite any pragmatic, dead-eyed, empty-hearted, cost-cutting reason to murder her.

That is the end goal of all of this. The end goal is a black mass where innocent life is sacrificed. Nothing is sacred but the whim of Caesar. No one prospers, but Moloch feeds.

Yes, strange as it sounds, that is what is at stake.

The War on Christmas is a war by the unhuman against the human.

(19) END GAME. Bob Byrne tells “the story of how TSR destroyed one of the greatest wargaming companies in history” in “Simulations Publications Inc: The TSR Incursion” at Black Gate.

The death blow came in 1982 and it would be delivered by Brian Blume, who initially looked like a white knight. Well, at least a moderately gray one. Wagner and SPI secured a $425,000 loan from TSR, secured by its assets and intellectual properties (uh oh!).

The majority of the loan was used to repay the venture capitalists, which eliminated that problem, but it was the modern day equivalent of getting an advance on your credit card to pay down the existing balance on another credit card. You still have to pay off that second credit card advance.

Only two weeks later, TSR called in the loan, which SPI had absolutely zero ability to pay back. TSR announced in March that it had “initiated a legal and economic chain of events” to buy SPI. Once it realized the company’s debt situation, it backed off of that and stated that TSR had acquired the company’s assets, but not its debts. I’m still not sure how TSR got away with that.

WOW! How can you look at it in any other light than that TSR lent the money so it could immediately foreclose on SPI and acquire all its games? I mean, yeesh.

(20) NEW ART EXHIBIT. Tove Jansson is profiled by Dominic Green in The New Criterion. “Adventures in Moominland”. “Tove Jansson” opened at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, on October 25, 2017 and remains on view through January 28, 2018.

It was a Swedish actress, Greta Garbo, who said she wanted to be alone, and a Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman, who documented what it felt like. It was, however, Tove Jansson (1914–2001), a Swedish-speaking Finn, who may have produced the most truthful record of the inner life of postwar Scandinavia. Best known in the English-speaking world as the illustrator of the Moomintroll comic strips, Jansson was also a painter, cartoonist, and writer of stories for children and adults. In Scandinavia, the breadth of her work is common knowledge. The Helsinki Art Museum contains a permanent Jansson gallery, and sends visitors out on a “Life Path of Tove” sculpture trail around her hometown. There is even a Moomin Museum in nearby Tampere, featuring the Moominhouse, a five-story doll’s house that Jansson built. And posthumously, the Moominlegend has incorporated Jansson’s complex and often unhappy private life.

“Tove Jansson,” now at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, is a comprehensive survey, and the first Jansson exhibition designed for a foreign audience

(21) LATE NIGHT LAST NIGHT. Lost ‘Star Wars’ Footage Of Luke Skywalker At The Cantina.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Diana Glyer, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Ed Fortune, Jeff Smith, Chip Hitchcock, Stephen Burridge, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

The Tribbles No Trouble

Seeing a photo of Ursula K. Le Guin holding a tribble at the Tiptree Symposium piqued my curiosity.

David Gerrold was at the event. I sent him an email asking if he gave it to her, or if he knew the rest of the story?

David replied:

I had tribbles there, but I didn’t give her one. I would have if I’d thought of it. I suspect Linda Long or one of the other organizers might have shared a tribble with her. If there’s more to it, I don’t know. We had brunch yesterday morning and nobody mentioned it.

 

David Gerrold, Ursula K. Le Guin and Suzy McKee Charnas. Photo used by permission.

David Gerrold, Ursula K. Le Guin and Suzy McKee Charnas at the Tiptree Symposium. Photo used by permission.

I turned the question back to Jeffrey Smith, author of yesterday’s Tiptree Sympoisium report. He had the answer and an even better photo.

That tribble actually belonged to Carol Stabile from the [University of Oregon]. That’s her in the center of this picture, just across the aisle from Ursula. Carol had two tribbles, which I assume she bought from David. Carol and Ursula were trying to make them purr.

 

Tiptree15 Ursula and tribble2

Ursula K. Le Guin holding a tribble. Photo by Jeffrey Smith.

Another mystery solved, in the 770 zone…

Tiptree Symposium: A Report

By Jeffrey Smith: The University of Oregon held a “James Tiptree, Jr. Symposium” on December 4 and 5 to celebrate (a) the centenary of Alice Sheldon (born August 24, 1915) and (b) its acquisition of the Sheldon/Tiptree papers for the Special Collections of its Knight Library – joining the papers of Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm, Damon Knight, Molly Gloss, Sally Miller Gearhart, Kate Elliott, Suzette Haden Elgin and others.

Attendance was free, so no total count of attendees was possible, but there were about 200 people in the auditorium at the peak. There were some locals and a few students, and a lot of science fiction fans and writers, most of them WisCon regulars. There were several outside-the-field creative people working on projects involving Tiptree who came to get information and hear peoples’ experiences that could help them in their own work (but it’s not my place to announce these). At one point, Nisi Shawl said, “I think I’m the only black person here.” She later found 1 or 2 others, and some Asian and Hispanic, but it was a very white crowd.

The library had four display cases showing photos, letters and other Tiptree memorabilia, another case of Tiptree Award winners, and the massive Tiptree Quilt which had also recently been donated to the University by the Tiptree Literary Award Council.

The Symposium itself was designed to be less like an academic conference and more like a fan convention, and the program items were very successful. The program began with Sheldon biographer Julie Phillips discussing the relationships between Le Guin, Russ and Tiptree, and then students who had been studying in the archives read letters by Tiptree to the other two that had particularly affected them. After the students, Julie read Tiptree’s letter to Le Guin admitting who “he” really was, and worrying that she would be offended and break off their friendship. Then Ursula got up and read her warm, accepting response, bringing much of the audience to tears. An audio production of Tiptree’s “The Women Men Don’t See” was played, and the day ended with tours of the library exhibits led by Linda Long, the University’s Manuscripts Librarian. That night the Tiptree Award hosted a party that was very well attended, including some people who had never been to an sf convention (and thus a convention party) before.

The second day started with a publishers’ panel , with representatives from F&SF, Tachyon Press and Aqueduct Press. Next was the highlight (and best attended) event, three authors talking about writing in the 1970s and their experiences with Tiptree: Ursula Le Guin, Suzy McKee Charnas, and David Gerrold. David told the story of driving uninvited to Tiptree’s address in 1969 and startling a woman who stammered that she didn’t know who he was talking about. Their relationship-through-correspondence suffered after that. Next up was me, her literary trustee, answering questions from students in the 400-level feminist science fiction course and then from audience members. I did a poor job on the abstract questions but pretty well on the more straightforward ones. (Ursula said she learned some things from me that she hadn’t known, so that was good.) (I also had the pleasure at dinner of making her really laugh with stories of misadventures in the funeral education field.)

After me came Alli herself, via some cassette tapes she had recorded. People got to hear her voice, and seemed to most enjoy her take-down of Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil. The Symposium ended with a lively discussion of the Tiptree Award, with Pat Murphy describing its founding, past and present jurors describing their experiences, and lots of audience questions.

I had a lot of fun, most of the attendees seemed to have a lot of fun, and the University thought it was so successful that even before it was over they were talking about doing it again next year, with a focus on Joanna Russ.

PS: I asked about the Suzette Haden Elgin situation. Elgin had donated some material to them when she was alive. When she died, many more papers were left in a storage unit, which her husband abandoned rather than continue to pay for. When the University contacted the person who had bought the contents, he said he wanted to sell the papers, not donate them. They haven’t given up hope, but have no real prospects for obtaining them at this time.

Ursula K. Le Guin and her tribble.

Ursula K. Le Guin and her tribble.