Pixel Scroll 6/16/18 And I Awoke And Found Me Here On The Scrolled Pixelside

(1) DOUG JONES’ NEW GIG. GeekTyrant points to the first installment of an sf video series premiering on Dust’s YouTube channel: “Dust Created a Cool 1930’s Sci-Fi Noir Series AUTOMATION with Doug Jones; Watch the First Episode Now!”.

In an alternate 1930’s Prohibition-era New York City, it’s not liquor that is outlawed but the future production of highly sentient robots known as automatons. Automata follows former NYPD detective turned private eye Sam Regal and his incredibly smart automaton partner, Carl Swangee. Together, they work to solve the case and understand each other in this dystopian America. Putting a science ?ction twist on the classic hard-boiled detective drama, Automata explores a dystopian alternative version of Prohibition-era New York City, similarly shaped by moral panic even though the alcohol ?ows freely here. In this universe, Prohibition doesn’t ban drinking, but the further production of sapient androids that have become prevalent by the 1920s. As a result, the existing androids, called automatons, are shunned by society, relegated to an untouchable caste of servants despite their near-human thought capability, and are frequently subjected to hatred and violence. It’s in this oppressive setting that human private detective Sam Regal (Basil Harris, “Grimm”) and his automaton partner Carl Swangee (Doug Jones, The Shape of Water) work together to solve cases for both communities, learning to see humanity in one another while trying to prove that justice is still worth serving.

 

(2) WILDERNESS TREK. Who doesn’t want one of these? Lost at E Minor introduces the world to “A tent that looks like a Star Trek shuttlecraft for all your camping missions”.

Canadian designer Dave Delisle, of Dave’s Geeky Ideas, has come up with a concept tent that resembles a Star Trek Federation shuttlecraft.

The two-person tent, though not able to travel to other galaxies, allows Trekkies to go on their ‘away missions’.

It features a hull that looks like the real spacecraft, with an entrance at the back. When you want to stow it away, the tent can easily fit inside one of its thrusters.

(3) I’M LOSING IT HERE. RedWombat strikes a blow for artistic freedom. The thread starts here.

(4) TECH VIRTUOSO. Ursula V’s Twitter stream is also where I found this:

(5) SPFBO 2018. Mark Lawrence, who announced the 2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off winner just the other day, wasted no time cranking up the next round of the contest:  SPFBO 2018 – A call to authors.

This is the call for authors wanting to enter books for the fourth Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off.

The contest will be open for entries until August 1st or when 300 titles have been entered, whichever comes first.

If 250+ titles are not gathered by August 1st the contest will be deferred for a year. I have no idea if there is a limit to how many years we can gather 250+ new self-published fantasy book 1s.

So far they have 101 entries. These bloggers will review and rate the submissions.

(6) ESSENTIAL SF. Factor Daily directs you to “Something for everyone: 5 essential science fiction anthologies you must read”. Don’t panic – only the first two were published over 30 years ago….

If you’re someone with a passing interest in science fiction who’d like to know the genre better or would like to experience all the many splendours it has to offer without having to read 300-page novels, one of the best ways is through an anthology. If you’re a hardcore science fiction reader who wants to discover new authors or get deeper into the genre’s history and trends, one of the best ways is through an anthology.

Here then, are five essential science fiction anthologies that will appeal to – and are recommended for – both, the seasoned sci-fi fan, and the casual reader who’d really like to know what the big fuss about science fiction really is. Whatever it is that you’re looking for – spaceships and robots, interstellar travel or the future of humankind, feminist stories, swashbuckling adventures, stories about love and loss, funny stories, stories to make you ponder, about politics, economics, about culture(s), stories about the future that are really a commentary on our present, stories about technology done right, of technology gone wrong – they’re all in here, and then some….

(7) QUICK SIPS. Charles Payseur’s Quick Sip Reviews catches up with “Strange Horizons 06/04/2018 & 06/11/2018 “.

The first two weeks of June’s Strange Horizons brings a pair of stories and a pair of poems. The fiction is a mix of fantasies, one with magic and ghosts and monsters and the other with a looser grasp on reality. Both feature characters charged with watching over a space through. For one, it’s through elaborate ritual. For the other, it’s by house sitting. In both, there’s a feeling of something being trapped, of something being infested, and of the characters having been wronged. The poetry deals with myths, with mythical creatures, and with longing and endings and beginnings. And all together it makes for a rather lovely but haunting collection of short SFF. To the reviews!

(8) SHORT ORDER. What screens ahead of Incredibles 2? (Besides half an hour of trailers, I mean….) Something that left an NPR interviewer impressed: “In Pixar’s First Female-Directed Short, A Dumpling Child Fills An Empty Nest”.

Moviegoers sitting down to see Incredibles 2 are in for a tasty treat in the form of an animated short called Bao. It tells the story of an empty nester who discovers joy — and sorrow — when a steamed bun she makes comes to life.

The story is pulled from the childhood of Domee Shi, who wrote and directed the Pixar film. Shi was born in China and raised in Toronto. She started working at Pixar as an intern in 2011, and now she’s the first woman to direct a Pixar short.

Pixar and the larger animation industry have been criticized for shutting female animators out of top jobs, but Shi says that culture is changing.

“You’re just seeing this gradual shift in the industry because, before, animation was predominantly white and male, but now in animation schools all over the country enrollment is now over 50 percent female. … I think just more and more girls are just getting into animation. And I hope that we’re going to see those numbers be reflected in the industry and not just in the animation schools.”

(NPR interviewed Shi before the announcement that Pixar’s co-founder, John Lasseter, would be leaving the company. Lasseter had been absent since November, when allegations of sexual harrassment surfaced.)

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

On this day in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has its world premiere in New York. Did you know: Paramount gave Hitchcock a very small budget to work with, because of their distaste with the source material. They also deferred most of the net profits to Hitchcock, thinking the film would fail.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY

  • Born June 16 – John Cho, 46. Sulu in Star Trek, Star Trek into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. First genre role appears to on Charmed, other shows includes Static Shock, Star Trek and Batman video games, Flashforward and the current season of The Exorcist.

(11) TIMOTHY THE TALKING CAT AND SUSAN THE TRICERATOPS. Camestros Felapton’s “The Bortsworth Mysteries: The Case of the Shifting Genre”, soon to be winning indie book awards near you….

“Wake up!” said Timothy the Talking Cat, a highly intelligent cat with a piercing intellect who was looking very dapper that bright morning in a yellow bow tie that deftly coordinated with his purple, velvety fur.

“I am awake,” said Susan.

“It is so hard to tell because you sleep standing up and also last night I painted eyes on your eyelids which was funny at the time but now I regret because when you close your eyes it looks like you are staring at me in a really angry way like you are about to stomp on me,” replied Timothy loquaciously (who was briefly surprised that of all the words the meat robot hadn’t spelt incorrectly “loquaciously” was one of them).

(12) HARDWICK UNPLUGGED.  “AMC Silences Chris Hardwick Talk Show & Comic-Con Panels After Abuse Claims”. Deadline quotes Hardwick’s denial, and speculates about the fate of his as-yet-unaired TV work.

A day after allegations of emotional abuse and sexual assault were leveled against Chris Hardwick by an ex-girlfriend, AMC has decided today to officially pull the plug on their long time host’s talk show and appearances at San Diego Comic-Con next month.

“We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years,” said the home of The Walking Dead in a statement on Saturday, one day before Season 2 of Talking With Chris Hardwick was set to debut. “We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously. While we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC, and Chris has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month.” …

(13) ERRATA. Locus Online’s item “Jemisin Wins 2018 BoBi” repeats Publishers Weekly’s mistake – the portion in quotes:

N.K. Jemisin will receive the annual Best of Brooklyn (BoBi) Award, and “is the first author of speculative fiction to win the BoBi.”

I omitted the quote when that news was reported in yesterday’s Scroll because the original Brooklyn Book Festival press release lists two authors of speculative fiction among the previous winners —

… Past honorees have included Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson, Jonathan Lethem, James McBride, Lois Lowry and Pete Hamill.

It’s still a fine honor for Jemisin.

(14) FREE READ. Stephen Lawson’s Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award winner “Homunculus” has been posted on the Baen Books website.

The yellow-orange tholin haze above Titan’s surface whirled around the chassis of a lighter-than-air research drone. A tiny carbon-fiber humanoid robot sat perched on its support structure, dangling his feet next to the drone’s camera as it took pictures of the rocky surface below. The dirigible, designed to carry sampling probes and communication equipment, barely registered the stowaway’s mass. Folded aramid-fiber wings fluttered on aluminum ribs on the bot’s back as the breeze swept over the drone’s chassis….

(15) EXPLORING FAN PHOTOS. Andrew Porter has been working on identifying people in the Jay Kay Klein photos posted by the UC/Cal/Riverside Collection. He sent out links to some of his finds —

(16) CLARKE LITERARY BIO. Gary Westfahl’s book Arthur C. Clarke will be published by the University of Illinois Press in July.

Already renowned for his science fiction and scientific nonfiction, Arthur C. Clarke became the world’s most famous science fiction writer after the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He then produced novels like Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise that many regard as his finest works.

Gary Westfahl closely examines Clarke’s remarkable career, ranging from his forgotten juvenilia to the passages he completed for a final novel, The Last Theorem. As Westfahl explains, Clarke’s science fiction offered original perspectives on subjects like new inventions, space travel, humanity’s destiny, alien encounters, the undersea world, and religion. While not inclined to mysticism, Clarke necessarily employed mystical language to describe the fantastic achievements of advanced aliens and future humans. Westfahl also contradicts the common perception that Clarke’s characters were bland and underdeveloped, arguing that these reticent, solitary individuals, who avoid conventional relationships, represent his most significant prediction of the future, as they embody the increasingly common lifestyle of people in the twenty-first century.

Westfahl, formerly of the University of La Verne and the University of California, Riverside, has now retired to focus exclusively on research and writing. His many books on science fiction include William Gibson and Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction

(17) FEATHERED NERD RANKINGS. Joe Sherry’s “Reading the Hugos: Short Story” puts this one somewhere in the middle of his ballot.

“Fandom for Robots”: So, the original sentient AI discovers fan fiction and gets involved in the fandom for the anime Hyperdimension Warp Record. On its surface, “Fandom for Robots” is exactly what it seems to be – an AI learning about fandom, about shipping characters, about writing fan fiction and commenting on other stories. But, I wonder, is there a point here where Prasad is also talking about how fanfiction gives a greater opportunity to marginalized people to see themselves in stories where they are otherwise excluded? Is Prasad telling a story about how fanfiction can build community and inclusion?

“Fandom for Robots” was a lot of fun to read, but it’s a better story when I’m reading a bit deeper into what message may be baked into an otherwise basic story of an AI discovering fanfiction.

(18) PANDORA PREVIEW. The official Disney blog takes fans inside the technology: “Pandora – The World of Avatar Time Capsule: Imagineers Create the Most Advanced Audio-Animatronics Figure, the Shaman of Songs for Na’vi River Journey”

Guests can encounter the Shaman of Songs inside Na’vi River Journey, after they board a boat and are whisked away on an immersive journey deep into a bioluminescent rainforest on Pandora. There, the Shaman of Songs sits, sending positive energy out into the forest through the power of her movements and music.

But bringing her to life required the Imagineering/LEI project team to not only apply the latest technologies in robotics, but also develop an estimated 20 new technologies to bring this figure to life. The goal was to make the figure’s tech as hidden as possible, to make the shaman as lifelike as possible.

 

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, and BigelowT for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor Lurkertype.]

Stephen Lawson Wins 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

The winner and runners-up for the 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition have been announced.

GRAND PRIZE

  • “Homonculus” by Stephen Lawson

FIRST RUNNER-UP

  • “Dangerous Company” by C. Stuart Hardwick

SECOND RUNNER-UP

  • “Falling to the Moon” by Wendy Nikel

Stephen Lawson’s win comes on the heels of taking the first runner-up spot in 2017.

The contest is focused on stories of human space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin. Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books and special guest judge, author David Drake. Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 26, 2018 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference held this year in Los Angeles, CA. The winner receives professional publication of their story in June 2018 at the Baen.com web site, where new fiction is featured each month.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Baen Books founder, Jim Baen” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

2018 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists

Baen Books has announced the top ten finalists for the 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award. The Grand Prize will be presented at the 2018 International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, CA the weekend of May 24-27.

“The goal of this contest is to encourage writers to create exciting and positive stories about humankind’s near future in space,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “The stories all take place within the next fifty or sixty years and show the challenges and wonders that await us as we explore and colonize the solar system. Our winners can be novices or professionals; we just care about a well told story.”

This year’s top ten Jim Baen Memorial Award finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Stewart C Baker
Gustavo Bondoni
Jonathan Edelstein
C Stuart Hardwick
Stephen Lawson
Angus McIntyre
Wendy Nikel
Julie N. Novakova
Patrice Sarath
Martin L. Shoemaker

The contest is judged by top Baen editors and best-selling author David Drake, who read the entries “blind” with no author information included, so the winners are picked solely by merit of the stories. Over the years, the contest has developed an international character. In addition to the United States, entrants have hailed from Argentina, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Algeria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Spain, and Morocco.

A collection of sixteen of the best stories from the first ten years of this contest, The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade, came out last November.

Baen Short Story Contest Deadline 2/1

Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted through February 1, 2018. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and best-selling Baen author David Drake.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2018.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and its author paid the going rate. The winner will receive, in addition, an engraved award, free entry into the 2018 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. The second- and third-place entries will receive lesser prizes.

The winners will be honored at the 2018 International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, CA, May 24-27 2018.

2017 Baen Memorial Award Finalists

The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

Baen Books has announced the ten finalists for the 2017 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, a contest held each year for of all levels of experience:

  • Stewart C Baker
  • S.B. Divya
  • Susan Forest
  • C Stuart Hardwick
  • Bart Kemper
  • Philip A. Kramer
  • Harry Lang
  • Stephen Lawson
  • Angus McIntyre
  • M. T. Reiten

The Grand Prize will be presented at the 2017 International Space Development Conference in St. Louis, MO the weekend of May 25-29.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, Baen Books founder,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meets scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The complete press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Baen Short Story Contest Opens

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted through February 1, 2017. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and best-selling Baen author David Drake.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2017.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and its author paid the going rate. The winner will receive, in addition, an engraved award, free entry into the 2017 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. The second- and third-place entries will receive lesser prizes.

2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Aimee Ogden of Madison, Wisconsin has won the grand prize in the 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for her short story “Dear Ammi.” Jennifer Brozek took second place, and Ronald D. Ferguson third.

GRAND PRIZE
“Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden

SECOND PLACE
“To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek

THIRD PLACE
“Cylinders” by Ronald D. Ferguson

The contest looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery.

Ogden wrote about her trip to accept the award:

I am about as tired and about as happy as I can remember after an amazing weekend in San Juan, PR, where I got to attend the International Space Development Conference, where the folks at Baen were kind enough to send me. They were also nice enough to bestow me with a shiny chunk of crystal that I was only too pleased to be pulled aside over for a little extra chat with the TSA. “¡Usted es el ganador del gran premio!” Si, TSA dude, I totally am and I’m over the moon.

 

Aimee Ogden

Aimee Ogden

Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books and special guest judge author David Drake. Stories were judged anonymously.

The winner receives a trophy and her story will be published June 2016 at the Baen.com web site, where new fiction is featured each month.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, Baen Books’ founder,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “We believe–and strive to show with these imaginative stories–that humanity has a bright and exciting future beyond the bounds of Earth. We want to see Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, and adventure. This year’s winning stories deliver just that.”

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

Aimee Ogden Wins 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

Baen_award2

The winner and runners-up for the 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award have been announced.

GRAND PRIZE

  • “Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden

SECOND PLACE

  • “To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek

THIRD PLACE

  • “Cylinders” by Ronald D. Ferguson

Aimee Ogden is from Madison, Wisconsin, Jennifer Brozek from Bothell, Washington, and Ronald D. Ferguson from San Antonio, Texas.

Baen logoJudges for the award were the editors of Baen Books and special guest judge author David Drake. Stories were judged anonymously. The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented at a ceremony during the annual International Space Development Conference held May 18-22, 2016 in Puerto Rico. The winner receives a trophy and her story will be published June 2016 at the Baen.com web site, where new fiction is featured each month.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, Baen Books’ founder,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “We believe — and strive to show with these imaginative stories — that humanity has a bright and exciting future beyond the bounds of Earth. We want to see Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, and adventure. This year’s winning stories deliver just that.”

2016 Baen Short Story Contest Finalists

Baen_award2The ten finalists for the 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award have been announced.

  • Jennifer Brozek
  • J. Lily Corbie
  • Ron Ferguson
  • C. Stuart Hardwick
  • Bart Kemper
  • Steve Last
  • Thomas A. Mays
  • Aimee Ogden
  • Al Onia
  • Eric Picholle

The top three winners will be notified by March 22 and will be honored at the 2016 International Space Development Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 18-22, 2016.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

Baen_award2The 2016 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest is open to stories about the near future of manned space exploration up to 8,000 words long.

The contest opened for submissions October 1, 2015 (according to its webpage) and will take entries through 12:01 a.m. PST , February 1. The complete rules are here.

Baen co-sponsors the contest with The National Space Society, hosts of the 2016 International Space Development Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 18-22, 2016.

Judging will be done by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel and author David Drake.

What they’d like to see are stories involving –

Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and its author paid the going rate. The winner will receive, in addition, an engraved award, free entry into the 2016 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.

Second and third place winners will receive free entry into the 2016 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.

The winners will be announced by March 22, and honored at the 2016 conference.