(1) MEXICANX INITIATIVE. John Picacio tells how Constellation 9 helped him hit the Assistance Fund’s $15,000 goal.
Picacio gave a play-by-play on his blog:
I was the Artist Guest of Honor at Constellation 9 in Lincoln, Nebraska this past weekend. It’s a small sf/f convention — the kind that pulls a modest 350-person attendance and serves a ‘big tent’ approach to fandom, celebrating art, books, films, TV, anime, gaming, cosplay and more. However, in all of my years of attending conventions, I’ve never seen a show with bigger heart. How big are we talking here?
Big enough to take The Mexicanx Initiative‘s $4333 remaining distance toward its $15,000 Assistance Fund goal and CRUSH IT in a single, unrelenting, hellacious Saturday Night Charity Auction.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED for The Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund — we reached our $15,000 goal this past Saturday night, thanks to everyone who gave in recent weeks and finished off by the incredible sf/f fandom of Constellation Nebraska, who believe in an American dream where all cultures are represented and welcomed. Shoutouts to Nanci H., Sam S., Nate W., Theron, Brian H., and the greatness of Dylan N. of NebrasKon (pictured upper right), who offered to shave his head AND his beard in order to raise money for The Initiative, generating a thunderous roar from the approving mob, reportedly causing onlookers to pass out. It was an epic night, hosted by John Pershing and Richard Graham, and by the end of the three-hour fever dream, Constellation Nebraska generated a whopping, record-setting $4,444, which brought the Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund total to $15,121!
And Nebraska wasn’t done — on Sunday, more contributions arrived, bringing The Mexicanx Initiative’s Assistance Fund total to $15,304.19 — $4,627.19 of that coming from the hearts, souls, and hairlines of the legendary Nebraskan people. Every dollar of that will benefit the 50 Mexicanx all-star pros and fans attending Worldcon 76 this summer.
(2) LAMBDA VISIONARY AND TRUSTEE AWARDS. Lambda Literary announced the winners today.
Lambda Literary, the nation’s oldest and largest literary arts organization advancing LGBTQ literature, is pleased to announce that Edmund White will receive Lambda’s Visionary Award and Roxane Gay will receive the Trustee Award at the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (“Lammys”).
White and Gay will be honored along with the winning authors of 23 separate LGBTQ literary categories determined by over 65 judges. The Lammys bring together over 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBTQ publishing, making it the most glamorous and prestigious LGBTQ literary event in the world.
The awards will be hosted by Kate Clinton on Monday, June 4 in New York City
[Via Locus Online.]
(3) TED TABLE TALK. The Periodic Videos team, using the TED-Ed platform, has created a video lesson about every single element on the periodic table. (And with no help from Tom Lehrer.)
Take your old pal Beryllium, for example —
(4) POUL’S PRONUNCIATION LESSON. John Hertz remembers –
I believe it was while Poul Anderson was a Guest of Honor at Lunacon that he told an eager group “I’ll teach you all how to pronounce my name.” We bated our breath. He said, “AN-der-son.”
(5) BROUGHT TO YOU BY. James Davis Nicoll reaches names that start with the letter K in “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part V”.
Lee Killough first appeared under the Del Rey imprint. I suspect editors Lester and Judy-Lynn may have been searching for authors like Larry Niven at the time. Yes, there’s a faint resemblance, but Killough has greater talent than Niven for crafting memorable characters. I quite liked her re-contact novel A Voice Out of Ramah, which is out of print, and her collection Aventine, which is also out of print. The Killough novel that first caught my eye was 1979’s The Doppelgänger Gambit, an engaging police procedural that followed a desperate killer’s attempts to evade a panopticon state. Doppelgänger, happily, is available in a new edition, which sadly lacks the eye-catching Michael Herring cover of the original edition³, but which is definitely worth your time.
(6) STAR WARS AND OTHERS. In 2016, Sarah Ellison, writing for Vanity Fair, profiled Kathleen Kennedy: “Meet the Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood”.
In 2012, after more than three decades producing hits such as E.T., Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List, Kathleen Kennedy was handpicked by George Lucas to head Lucasfilm. Now, with the smash success of The Force Awakens behind her, Kennedy sits down with Sarah Ellison to talk about her mentors, her sense of equality, and her vision for the Star Wars franchise.
(7) GAMING NEWSLETTER. James Davis Nicoll is giving this a signal boost: “More Seats at the Table: a newsletter featuring awesome games by underloved designers”
We’re so pleased to be able to announce More Seats at the Table – an email newsletter designed to highlight games made by designers and creators who don’t fit neatly into the gender binary, femmes, and women.
More Seats at the Table came about as a result of a conversation between Kira Magrann and Anna Kreider about the problem of games by and about not-cismen being perceived as only for not-cismen – and they decided a good way to address this challenge would be an email newsletter highlighting the work of marginalized designers. To that end, they enlisted the organizational aid of Misha Bushyager of New Agenda Publishing and Kimberley Lam.
But we don’t just want this email list to be subscribed to by marginalized designers. Cismen, we’d very much like you to subscribe, and if you find work that excites you – then we hope you’ll consider either buying or using your platform to signal boost work by marginalized designers that you find exciting!
If you’d like to subscribe to the email list, please fill out our sign-up here. Our first issue will be sent out this Friday, April 27th!
“Cismen” sounds like something Flash Gordon fought, not a way I’d describe myself.
(8) NANCY. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna says that Olivia Jaimes, after taking over Nancy from Guy Gilchrist on April 9, has caused the hits on this ancient strip on GoComics to 5,000 per dayto 390,000 as Nancy and Sluggo now encounter earbuds, social media, and Snapchat: “How the new ‘Nancy’ creator is handling divided fans and sudden fame”.
“Olivia must be channeling her inner Bushmiller,” wrote one positive commenter on the syndicate’s website, referring to longtime “Nancy” creator Ernie Bushmiller, around whom a cult of top comics professionals has formed. Another commenter noted how Jaimes nods to the comic’s tradition even while including modern touches, writing: “It is refreshing to see a return to its original style and humor.” And wrote another: “Nancy Goes Millennial.”
Others have not been as pleased. One commenter wrote on April 16: “This is ridiculous. You’d never catch Ernie Bushmiller doing a joke about Snap Chat. Bring back, Ernie!” And a reader expressed to The Washington Post, “Since the characters have not aged in 85 years I don’t think it’s necessary to change them now.”
Some friend of mine used to revere Nancy – was that you, Penguin Dave Feldman?
(9) VENOM. Venom Official Trailer:
(10) ABOUT THOSE TROLLS. J.K Rowling says this —
(11) DON’T GET PURGED. Amanda S. Green suggests this solution to those who are going to follow Amazon’s rules about reviews:
However, a number of those who claim to be innocent victims of Amazon purges really aren’t. Oh, they might not have set out to violate Amazon’s ToS but they did. Every time an author says, “If you review my book, I’ll review yours,” they violate the ToS. Every time someone receives a free book and gives a review without also noting they received the book without buying it, they violate the ToS.
So how do we get around this? I want to be able to review books my friends write and I know they want to review mine. But we have hesitated because we don’t want to violate the ToS — or get caught up in the latest ‘bot review even though we didn’t trade reviews.
The answer is simple: review the book on your blog. Link your blog to Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms. But don’t review it on Amazon. Yes, there are negatives (mainly, by not reviewing it on Amazon, the author doesn’t get a review that counts to that magic number that starts the “if you bought this, you might enjoy that” sort of recommendation). However, a number of readers really don’t read Amazon reviews. They might look at the number of reviews a book has, or at least the overall number of stars, but they don’t read the reviews.
(12) STAN LEE. Here’s something else that probably won’t make it into Stan Lee’s biography.
A massage therapist says Stan Lee of Marvel Comics fondled himself and inappropriately grabbed her during arranged massages at a Chicago hotel in 2017, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County circuit court.
The massage therapist, Maria Carballo, also filed a complaint with Chicago police on March 16, said her attorney, Alexandra Reed-Lopez. A Chicago police spokeswoman confirmed a complaint was filed that date against Lee, under his legal name, Stanley Lieber. The case is still under investigation, police said.
The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000, punitive damages and attorney fees from Lee.
“He is a high-profile public figure and I think it’s a shakedown,” said Jonathan Freund, an attorney for Lee. “The guy is 95, I don’t think he would do that.”
…Freund said Lee “will defend his rights vigorously.”
(13) ROBOT HELPS GRANT A WISH. Through telepresence, “Robot helps Jack McLinden, 14, to be Everton mascot”.
Jack McLinden, who has multiple health conditions, experienced joining his heroes on the pitch before their game against Newcastle United on Monday.
Everton captain Phil Jagielka carried the robot, which fed panoramic live images and sound back to Jack’s tablet.
…The company has worked with UK charity WellChild to give Liverpool teenager Jack, who has much-reduced mobility, an unforgettable experience.
Jack needs oxygen 24 hours a day which means he can never attend a match at Goodison Park, even though he lives just under two miles away.
His mother Michelle Wignall said it was a “once in a lifetime experience” for her son.
(14) QUBITS. Popular Science peeks inside: “In photos: a rare glimpse inside the heart of a quantum computer”.
Qubits rely on many components. A wall of microwave generators create electromagnetic pulses that travel through a maze of coaxial cables and send the qubits—deep in the 5-foot-tall blue fridge pictured at the top of this article—into action. To create a climate colder than outer space, external pumps drive helium-3 refrigerant into copper tubing. As the helium circulates, it compresses, liquefies, and chills. It takes a day to hit the lowest low: 0.01 degrees Kelvin, or minus 459 degrees F.
(15) TIME TO FEUD. I’m Filmy brings you “Avengers: Infinity War Cast Play Family Feud.”
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, John Hertz, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John A Arkansawyer.]