2017 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards

The winners of the 2017 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards were announced February 21.

GHOSTS/HORROR/DARK FANTASY/PARANORMAL & URBAN/EPIC FANTASY

  • 1ST Place              Gallowglass (Gallowglass #1) By Jennifer Allis Provost
  • 2nd Place              The Awakening (The Elders Trilogy Book 1) By TL Travis
  • 3rd Place               Curses and Warfare (Tokens and Omens Book 2) By Jeri Baird

ROMANCE/HOLIDAY

  • 1ST Place              A Highland Ghost for Christmas (Gambling Ghosts #1) By Jo-Ann Carson
  • 2nd Place              Charley’s Christmas Wolf (The Macconwood Pack Book 1) By C.D. Gorri
  • 3rd Place               An Online Angel By Kelly Abell

ROMANCE/HOLIDAY – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Gambling Ghosts Series By Jo-Ann Carson

ROMANCE/FANTASY/SUSPENSE/TIME TRAVEL/HISTORICAL/WESTERN

  • 1ST Place              Quest of a Warrior (Legends of the Fenian Warriors Book 1) By Mary Morgan
  • 2nd Place              Legacy of Evil (The Hotel LaBelle Series Book 2) By Sharon Buchbinder
  • 3rd Place               Solace (Fae Warriors Book 1) By Gini Rifkin

ROMANCE/FANTASY/SUSPENSE/TIME TRAVEL/HISTORICAL/WESTERN – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              The Hotel LaBelle Series By Sharon Buchbinder
  • 2nd Place              Matchmaker & Co. Series By Cynthia Woolf
  • 3rd Place               Circle of Ghadan Series By Kimberly Cummons

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/ANGELS & GHOSTS/PSYCHICS

  • 1ST Place              Magnolia Mystic: Sentinels of Savannah (A Magnolias and Moonshine Novella Book 10) By Lisa Kessler
  • 2nd Place              Midnight Magic (A Ghost & Abby Mystery Book 1) By Jo-Ann Carson
  • 3rd Place               Evil Speaks Softly (The Nightwalkers Series Book 1) By Maureen L. Bonatch

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/ANGELS & GHOSTS/PSYCHICS – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              The Healing Edge Series By Anise Eden
  • 2nd Place              Roxanne’s Ghost Saga Series By Maggie Tideswell

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/DEMONS & DEVILS & ANGELS

  • 1ST Place              Tied In Knots (Immortals Book 7) By L.J. Vickery
  • 2nd Place              Michael’s Passion (A Series of Angels Book 1) By Joel Crofoot
  • 3rd Place               Angelic Anarchy (Heaven on Earth Book 1) By J.P. Epperson

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/DEMONS & DEVILS & ANGELS – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Immortals Series By L.J. Vickery
  • 2nd Place              Guardian Witch Legacy Series By Ally Shields
  • 3rd Place               Heaven Sent Series By Mary Abshire

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/VAMPIRES & SHIFTERS

  • 1ST Place              Wolf Moon (Moon #7) By Lisa Kessler
  • 2nd Place              Shifter’s Pride (Spirit Walker’s Saga Thrillers Book 2) By Laura Hawks
  • 3rd Place               Fallen Ashes: Fated & Forbidden (The Guardians Series) By T. F. Walsh

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/VAMPIRES & SHIFTERS – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Moon Series By Lisa Kessler
  • 2nd Place              Malsum Pass Series By Kimberly Forrest
  • 3rd Place               The Soul Bonded Trilogy By Meghan Malone

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/WITCHES & WIZARDS/EROTICA

  • 1ST Place              The Winter Queen’s Dragon (Tales of the Black Court Book 4) By Jessica Aspen
  • 2nd Place              A Warlock’s Secrets (Demon’s Witch #1) By Tena Stetler
  • 3rd Place               Soulmates (Drag.Me.To.Hell.Series Book 2) By Nadine Nightingale

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/WITCHES & WIZARDS/EROTICA – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Tales of the Black Court Series By Jessica Aspen
  • 2nd Place              Demon’s Witch Series By Tena Stetler
  • 3rd Place               Drag.Me.To.Hell.Series By Nadine Nightingale

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/SUSPENSE/GOTHIC/MYTHOLOGY/FOLK TALES

  • 1ST Place TIE       The Magician’s Curse (The Great Dagmaru Book 1) By Linda G. Hill
  • 1ST Place TIE       Breath of Passion (The Muse Chronicles Book 3) By Lisa Kessler
  • 2nd Place              Struck by Eros (Redeeming Cupid #1) By Jenn Windrow
  • 3rd Place               Forgetting Jane By C.J. Warrant

ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/SUSPENSE/GOTHIC/MYTHOLOGY/FOLK TALES – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              The Muse Chronicles By Lisa Kessler

ROMANCE/SCI-FI/FANTASY/TIME TRAVEL/CONTEMPORARY

  • 1ST Place              Simon Says (Order of the Black Swan, D.I.T. Book 1) By Victoria Danann
  • 2nd Place              Forged in Fire (The Fire Chronicles Book 2) By C.J. Bahr
  • 3rd Place TIE        Ember (Rulers of the Sky Book 2) By Paula Quinn
  • 3rd Place TIE        Running Hot (Hell Ryders MC Book 2) By J.L. Sheppard

ROMANCE/SCI-FI/FANTASY/TIME TRAVEL/CONTEMPORARY – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Order of the Black Swan, D.I.T. Series By Victoria Danann
  • 2nd Place              Rulers of the Sky Series By Paula Quinn
  • 3rd Place               The Adventures Of Sinbad Series By Toni V. Sweeney

SCI-FI/FANTASY/PARANORMAL/URBAN/SUSPENSE/THRILLER/EROTICA

  • 1ST Place              Bound to a Vampire (Into the Dark Woods Book 1) By Grey Francis
  • 2nd Place              Two Polluted Black-Heart Romances (The Water Kingdom Book 2) By Kevin James Breaux
  • 3rd Place               My Soul to Give (A Demon’s Love Book 1) By Magali A. Fréchette

SCI-FI/FANTASY/PARANORMAL/URBAN/SUSPENSE/THRILLER/EROTICA – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Into the Dark Woods Series By Grey Francis
  • 2nd Place              The Water Kingdom Series By Kevin James Breaux
  • 3rd Place               The Project Series By Alex Lukeman

Y/A & N/A

  • 1ST Place              Never Again (Book of Origins 1) By Alyse Nennig
  • 2nd Place              Cinderella Busted (The Cinderella Romances Book 1) By Petie McCarty
  • 3rd Place               Joshua and the Magical Islands (Portallas Book 2) By Christopher D. Morgan

Y/A & N/A – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Portallas Series By Christopher D. Morgan

NOVELLAS & SHORTS

  • 1ST Place              Her Fairytale Wolf By Milly Taiden & Marianne Morea
  • 2nd Place              Sunset Spells (The Witches Of New Moon Beach Book 4) By Meriam Wilhelm
  • 3rd Place               Bewitching the Vampire By Carrie Pulkinen

NOVELLAS & SHORTS – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              The Witches Of New Moon Beach Series By Meriam Wilhelm

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Rescued by the Wolf By Kristal Hollis
  • Bait N’ Witch (Legendary Consultants Book 3) By Abigail Owen

LGBT/PARANORMAL/METAPHYSICAL MYSTERY THRILLER

  • 1ST Place              The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter Book 2) By C.S. Poe
  • 2nd Place              Jackalopes and Woofen-Poofs (Offbeat Crimes Book 5) By Angel Martinez
  • 3rd Place               Tried & True By Charlie Cochet

LGBT/PARANORMAL/METAPHYSICAL MYSTERY THRILLER – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              THIRDS Series By Charlie Cochet
  • 2nd Place              Offbeat Crimes Series By Angel Martinez
  • 3rd Place               Snow & Winter Series By C.S. Poe

LGBT/HOLIDAY

  • 1ST Place              A Viking for Yule By Jamie Fessenden
  • 2nd Place              Regret Me Not By Amy Lane
  • 3rd Place               A Warfield Christmas (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries Book 4) By C. J. Baty

LGBT/LITERATURE & FICTION/HISTORICAL FICTION

  • 1ST Place              Tramps and Thieves (Murder and Mayhem Book 2) By Rhys Ford
  • 2nd Place              Soul Searching By AJ Rose
  • 3rd Place               Out of the Shadows By Jamie Lynn Miller

LGBT/LITERATURE & FICTION/HISTORICAL FICTION – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Murder and Mayhem Series By Rhys Ford

LBGT/MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER/ACTION/ADVENTURE

  • 1ST Place              Hunted Soldier (Shadow Unit BOOK 3) By Jamie Lynn Miller
  • 2nd Place              Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries Book 3) By C. J. Baty
  • 3rd Place               Consent (Power Exchange Book 3) By A.J. Rose

LBGT/MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER/ACTION/ADVENTURE – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Power Exchange Series By A.J. Rose
  • 2nd Place              Shadow Unit Series By Jamie Lynn Miller
  • 3rd Place               The Warfield Hotel Mysteries Series By C. J. Baty

LGBT/ROMANCE

  • 1ST Place              Rebel (415 Ink Book 1) By Rhys Ford
  • 2nd Place              The Remaking of Corbin Wale By Roan Parrish
  • 3rd Place               Fire and Hail (Carlisle Cops Book 5) By Andrew Grey

LGBT/ROMANCE – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Carlisle Cops Series By Andrew Grey
  • 2nd Place              Conduct Series By L.A. Witt
  • 3rd Place               Rekindled Flame Series By Andrew Grey

LGBT/ROMANCE/MYSTERY/SUSPENSE

  • 1ST Place              If The Seas Catch Fire By L.A. Witt
  • 2nd Place              Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water Book 2) By Amy Lane

LGBT/ROMANCE/MYSTERY/SUSPENSE – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Fish Out of Water Series By Amy Lane

LGBT/ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/VAMPIRES & SHIFTERS/ANGELS & DEMONS/UF

  • 1ST Place              Darkness Rising (Yellowstone Wolves #3) By Dirk Greyson
  • 2nd Place              Familiar Angel By Amy Lane
  • 3rd Place               Three Hearts By Grace R. Duncan

LGBT/ROMANCE/PARANORMAL/FANTASY/VAMPIRES & SHIFTERS/ANGELS & DEMONS/UF – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Yellowstone Wolves Series By Dirk Greyson
  • 2nd Place              Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge Series By Jacob Z. Flores

LGBT/SCI-FI/FANTASY/EPIC

  • 1ST Place              Quickening, Volume 2 (Little Goddess Series, Book 5) By Amy Lane
  • 2nd Place              Stasis (Ennek Trilogy Book 1) By Kim Fielding
  • 3rd Place               Lord of Ravens (Inheritance Book 3) By Amelia Faulkner

LGBT/SCI-FI/FANTASY/EPIC – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              Little Goddess Series By Amy Lane
  • 2nd Place              Inheritance Series By Amelia Faulkner

NOVELLAS AND SHORTS

  • 1ST Place              Lost Mate By Dirk Greyson
  • 2nd Place TIE       The Layover By Roe Horvat
  • 2nd Place TIE       The Misadventures of Doc and Dirk, Volume IV By Dan Skinner
  • 3rd Place               His Fragile Heart By Jamie Lynn Miller

NOVELLAS AND SHORTS – SERIES

  • 1ST Place              The Misadventures of Doc and Dirk Series By Dan Skinner

HONORABLE MENTION – Award for New Author Breakout Author/Book

  • The Layover by Roe Horvat

[Via Locus Online. (See – it’s practically painless.)]

2017 RITA and Golden Heart Award Winners

Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2017 RITA® Award, which recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas, on July 27 in Orlando, Florida.

The RWA also announced the winners of the 2017 Golden Heart® Award, for excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

RITA Award Winners

Romance Novella Winner

  • Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan

Contemporary Romance: Long Winner

  • Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Young Adult Romance Winner

  • The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Historical Romance: Long Winner

  • No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke

Romantic Suspense Winner

  • Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

Paranormal Romance Winner

  • The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

Erotic Romance Winner

  • Off the Clock by Roni Loren

Historical Romance: Short Winner

  • A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

  • My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray

Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

  • Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Best First Book Winner

  • Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison

Golden Heart Winners

Contemporary Romance Winner

  • “No Man Left Behind” by Penelope Leas

Young Adult Romance Winner

  • “Listen” by Jennifer Camiccia

Historical Romance Winner

  • “With Love in Sight” by Christina Britton

Romantic Suspense Winner

  • “Semper Fi” by Meta Carroll

Paranormal Romance Winner

  • “Constant Craving” by Kari W. Cole

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements Winner

  • “Wings of Love” by Pamela Ferguson

Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

  • “Job Opening: Billionaire’s Wife” by Susannah Erwin

Pixel Scroll 4/9/17 Ruler of the Pixelgram

(1) SUCCESSFUL CHARITY EVENT. Tom Edwards, one of the best cover designers in science fiction, teamed up with Parkinson’s UK and Keystroke Medium to raise money for Parkinson’s research. Three premade covers by Edwards, as well, as an editing package by Ellen Campbell, went to auction on April 8 and brought in almost 4000 pounds / $5000 US.

Sample cover

(2) FAKE NEWS PIONEER. His role was created to encourage U.S. support for Britain prior to America’s entry into WWII — “Louis deWohl: The Astrologer Who Helped Foil Hitler”.

Then, in June 1941, one of de Wohl’s more detailed predictions seemed to come true. “A strong collaborator of Hitler who is neither German nor a Nazi will go violently insane,” he foretold. “He will be in South or Central America, probably near the Caribbean Sea.” Three days later, U.S. newswires proclaimed that the Vichy High Commissioner of the French West Indies, Admiral Georges Robert, had gone insane and had to be restrained by staff. The New York Post reported that newspaper editors across America “besieged de Wohl with requests for exclusive stories.” The astrologer possessed a mysterious ability to know the unknowable, and millions of Americans wanted to know more.

The way it worked behind the facade was masterful. The British spy agency first fed information to de Wohl, which he would write up in his column. In turn, MI5 would then feed the bogus information to the U.S. press. Unable to fact-check details with the Third Reich, the American press would report the news as real, which it was not. For example, the Vichy High Commissioner of the French West Indies never went insane.

(3) TINGLE TIME AGAIN. Almost a year ago, UrsulaV wrote a series of tweets in the style of Dr. Seuss after Chuck Tingle played Vox Day, who had slated him onto the Hugo ballot. File 770’s unofficial motto is “It’s always news to somebody” – usually me – and besides, this news is practically fresh again, with Tingle renominated and pranking the porn author who replaced him on Vox’s slate.

(4) NESFA STORY CONTEST. The New England Science Fiction Association is looking for entries in its annual story contest.

Do you like to write science fiction or fantasy stories? Are you an aspiring writer, but not sure if you’re ready for the big time? Then you’re just the kind of writer we’re looking for! The New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA for short) is running a writing contest. Prizes include free books, and a grand prize of a free membership to Boskone. More important though is that we offer free critiques of your work. Our goal is to help young & aspiring writers to improve their writing, so you can become our new favorite writer! Check out our website for details:

http://www.nesfa.org/awards/storycon.html

We welcome submissions from everyone, in every country in the world (as long as it’s written in English, please!). Women, people of color, LGBTQ writers, and members of other underrepresented groups are encouraged to enter the contest.

(5) AH ROMANCE. The shortlist for the Romance Writers of America’s 2017 RITA and Golden Heart Awards was announced March 21. Here are the finalists of genre interest.

The RITA Award – “the highest award of distinction in romance fiction” — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas.

Paranormal Romance

  • Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert Harlequin, Nocturne Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor
  • The Beast by J R Ward New American Library Kara Welsh, editor
  • The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant Self-published Mary Moran, editor
  • Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood Harlequin, Nocturne Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor
  • Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella Montlake Publishing Alison Dasho, editor
  • The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre Self-published Sasha Knight, editor
  • The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy Kensington Publishing Corp. Peter Senftleben, editor
  • Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper Pocket Books Abby Zidle, editor

The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

Paranormal Romance

  • “Beryl Blue, Time Cop” by Janet Halpin
  • “Bless Your Heart and Other Southern Curses” by Heather Leonard
  • “Constant Craving” by Kari W. Cole
  • “Fire’s Rising” by Grace Adams
  • “The Mer Chronicles: Love’s Diplomatic Act” by Kate Ramirez
  • “Soul Affinity” by A. Y. Chao

Award winners will be announced on July 27 at the 2017 RWA Conference in Orlando, Florida.

(6) MESSAGE FICTION. Bleeding Cool reports “Marvel Artist Ardian Syaf Hid Anti-Christian And Jewish Messages In This Week’s X-Men Comic”. The political background to the references is:

In Indonesia, 212 is the number used to denote a specific mass protest from 2nd December last year. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims marched against the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok,, over allegations of blasphemy regarding his use of the Qu’ran in campaigning against opponents. The march was organised, in part, with the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa. It was pretty hardline conservative and the protest demanded the government prosecute and jail Ahok based on the council’s fatwa, declaring him to be a blasphemer. This year, a 212 2.0 march with similar aims was held on the 21st of February.

(You can see the artwork at the link.)

The information comes from sources including this public Facebook post by an Indonesian comics reader:

Dear Marvel Comics My name is Haykal, I am from Jakarta, Indonesia And I would like to inform you something about your recent comics, X-Men Gold.

…I found out that on X-Men Gold comic, there’s a subliminal message of hatred towards minorities It was done by this person, a Muslim penciller from Indonesia https://www.facebook.com/ArdianSyafComicArt/

And he’s using your comics to spread hatred against non muslim minorities in Indonesia.

The “QS 5:51” on Colossus shirt refers to the Quran verse used by Muslim extremists to discriminate against the current governor which is also one of the governor candidates in the current election in Jakarta, Indonesia. https://quran.com/5/51

Bleeding Cool has since reported that Ardian Syaf was unwilling to discuss the issue with them.

Meanwhile, Marvel has made a statetment via Comicbook.com.

“The mentioned artwork in X-Men Gold #1 was inserted without knowledge behind its reported meanings. These implied references do not reflect the views of the writer, editors or anyone else at Marvel and are in direct opposition of the inclusiveness of Marvel Comics and what the X-Men have stood for since their creation. This artwork will be removed from subsequent printings, digital versions, and trade paperbacks and disciplinary action is being taken.”

Comicbook.com notes –

No further details were provided concerning how exactly Marvel will discipline Syaf. Preview art suggests that Syaf has already completed work on X-Men Gold #2, which releases on April 19. Syaf is also one of three announced rotating artists on X-Men Gold, along with RB Silva and Ken Lashley, so it may be some time before fans know for certain if he will returning to X-Men Gold.

And if you want to take a deep dive into this, Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson has a post up — Here is What Quran 5:51 Actually Says.

(7) TODAY’S DAY

Unicorn Day

What mythological creature has been more beloved over the centuries than the unicorn? Symbols of purity and enchantment, unicorns are loved by both children and adults alike and are integral parts of many fairy tales and legends. For all the roles they’ve played in literature, cinematography, and art as a whole, unicorns more than deserve their own day!

Unicorns were mentioned as far back as antiquity—ancient Greek writers believed they lived in the faraway and exotic country of India, which was then largely unknown to Europeans. However, the unicorn was then thought to be a powerful, fierce animal that was not to be meddled with. In the Middle Ages, the unicorn’s image was based greatly on Bible passages that were thought to speak of these animals, and unicorns slowly came to be seen as a symbol of strength, the purest kind of love, and the pets of virgin women. In fact, there is even a sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding a unicorn on her lap and patting it in Warsaw’s National Museum. Thus, unicorns have been appearing in works of literature for thousands of years. The most prominent more modern examples include Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and The Last Battle by S.C. Lewis. The whole immensely popular My Little Pony franchise is also based on unicorns.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 9, 1959 — NASA introduced the first seven astronauts to the press.

(9) BIG FINISH. The Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan interviews director Nacho Vigilando, whose film Colossal is a fusion of kaihu eige and romantic comedy that will be released this Friday.

Q: In that film [7:35 in the Morning], you critique the cliches of the movie musical by staging a song-and-dance number in a diner with seemingly ordinary people. “Extraterrestrial” plays with the tropes of the alien invasion movie. In “Colossal,” you do something similar with the genre of the monster movie. What’s so fascinating about genre cinema?

A: The moment in “Colossal” that sums up what you’re talking about is when Gloria calls her ex-boyfriend, because she wants to talk about this monster that is invading South Korea. And he responds by asking, “Why are you calling so late? That happened early this morning.” He thinks that means she has spent the whole day just sleeping. I’m really attracted to the idea of playing inside these sandboxes, in which everybody in the audience knows the rules. Our expectations of these films become part of the show somehow. I admire Superman, but am I a kind person all the time, the way Superman is? How can I relate to a character who has an “S” on his chest, since there are moments in my life when I behave like an a—— to other people?

(10) COUNTING THE PUPPIES. Greg Hullender has written up his analysis of the 2017 Puppy vote at Rocket Stack Rank“Slating Analysis: 2017”. He says, “I get a slightly higher number than you did: 88-118. I make up for that with some cool graphs.”

Now that the 2017 Hugo Awards Finalists lists have come out, we can estimate how many slate voters there were. By our calculations, there were between 88 and 118 of them. This is just slightly higher than Mike Glyer’s estimate of  “80 to 90”. When the detailed statistics are available in August, we’ll make a more precise estimate, using the methods we used in our article Slate Voting Analysis Using EPH Data: 2014-2016

(11) A THREE BLACK HOLE RATING. The Guardian shares Jay Rayner’s brutal review of Le Cinq, Paris, a Michelin 3-star restaurant.

Other things are the stuff of therapy. The canapé we are instructed to eat first is a transparent ball on a spoon. It looks like a Barbie-sized silicone breast implant, and is a “spherification”, a gel globe using a technique perfected by Ferran Adrià at El Bulli about 20 years ago. This one pops in our mouth to release stale air with a tinge of ginger. My companion winces. “It’s like eating a condom that’s been left lying about in a dusty greengrocer’s,” she says. Spherifications of various kinds – bursting, popping, deflating, always ill-advised – turn up on many dishes. It’s their trick, their shtick, their big idea. It’s all they have. Another canapé, tuile enclosing scallop mush, introduces us to the kitchen’s love of acidity. Not bright, light aromatic acidity of the sort provided by, say, yuzu. This is blunt acidity of the sort that polishes up dulled brass coins.

Do you think we could get a Kickstarter funded if he turned his jaded eye in the direction of the Puppies Forbidden Thoughts anthology?

(12) CRETACEOUS TASTINESS. When you hear a bell, think of tacos — TriceraTACOs, that is.

(13) THE PLANE TRUTH. John Scalzi does not get enough credit for his restraint.

(14) IN MEDEA RACE. “The Ballad of Maui Hair” is practically a companion piece to “The Anthem Sprinters.” These tweets just begin to set the scene:

(15) SONG AND DANCE MAN. In 1993, Christopher Walken appeared on Saturday Zoo with Jonathan Ross (who later got uninvited as toastmaster of the 2014 Worldcon in historic record time.) Walken gave an inimitable reading of “The Three Little Pigs.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, and Rev. Bob for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Tom Becker.]

Pixel Scroll 7/20/16 Eats, Scrolls, Leaves

(1) BATTLE STATIONS. Reason.tv profiles “Axanar: The $1 Million Star Trek Fan Film CBS Wants to Stop”

Fan-created stories, comic books, and art soon evolved into fan-made film and video productions. There was the carpet layer from Michigan who spent $2,000 to build a replica of the Starship Enterprise bridge and produced Paragon’s Paragon, one of the first serious Star Trek fan films, in 1974. In 1985, a fan convinced George Takei, who played Sulu on the original series, to reprise the role in Yorktown: A Time to Heal. In subsequent years, putting original cast members in fan production became increasingly common, with Walter Koenig (“Chekov”) and Nichelle Nichols (“Uhura”) starring in the 2007 feature length film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.

“The fan films were just getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger,” says Jonathan Lane, creator of the Fan Film Factor, a blog dedicated to analyzing and promoting Star Trek fan films.

And the whole time, Paramount and CBS, the Star Trek rights holders, took a tolerant, hands-off approach so long as the films didn’t portray Star Trek in a negative or obscene light. That all changed with Prelude to Axanara professionally shot, produced, and acted short fan film that received almost 2.5 million views on YouTube. The success of Prelude to Axanar allowed writer-producer Alec Peters to raise more than $1 million through crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They snagged Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo in the orginal Battlestar Galactica, to play their antagonist. Suddenly, Axanar looked less like a benign fan film and more like competition.

 

(2) LE GUIN. With Comic-Con starting this week, Ursula K. Le Guin was interviewed by Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison. I have to admit, it’s not an association I’d have made!

When you see the popularity of events like Comic-Con, and television and films with alternative fiction, it seems like it’s mainstream — it’s not a genre apart anymore.

Right, the barrier finally fell. I will take a little credit because I spent about 40 years saying, why isn’t imaginative literature literature? Why do you say you know this stuff is for kids and all that? There’s so much good imaginative literature that has been written that to deny that it was literature I think seems ridiculous to most people, to readers and to critics and to teachers. There are still some holdouts. Some people just don’t like imaginative literature. They just want realism and nonfiction.

I think what has brought imaginative fiction, imaginative literature, back into central centrality is that so much of it is very good, and so much of it is kind of needed because of the fact that it sort of opens doors to other possibilities — and that it gives the imagination exercise. The imagination is a very important human faculty and it needs to be exercised…..

As we’re having these national discussions about transgender issues, your book “The Left Hand of Darkness” really set a tone for saying you don’t have to be one thing or another.

That is exactly where the use — the social and psychological usefulness of imaginative fiction — can operate. I pulled a trick in my “Earthsea” books: Almost all of the people are people of color, including the hero, but you don’t realize. I don’t say anything about it for quite a while.

And all the fantasy novels at that point were all white, everybody was pure, lily white, and it was a way, it was almost tricking the reader into identifying with young Sparrowhawk and then finding out that he was not a white man! OK, it is a kind of trick. It’s a useful one — you know, it worked!

(3) NO REASON TO BE IMPRESSED BY TWITTER. John Scalzi penned “A Note On a Jackass Getting Booted From Twitter”.

  1. It’s good that Twitter punted Yiannopoulos, but let’s not pretend that it doesn’t look like Twitter did some celebrity calculus there. Yiannopoulos and pals had a nice long run pointing themselves at all other manner of people they didn’t like, for whatever reason, and essentially Twitter didn’t say “boo” about it. But then they harass a movie star with movie star friends, many of whom are Twitter users with large numbers of followers, and whose complaints about Twitter and the harassment of their friend get play in major news outlets, and Twitter finally boots the ringleader of that shitty little circus.

So the math there at least appears pretty obvious from the outside. You can punch down on Twitter and get away with it, but don’t punch up, and punch up enough to make Twitter look bad, or you’ll get in trouble (after more than a day). Is this actually the way it works? I’m not at Twitter so I can’t say. I can say I do know enough women of all sorts who have gotten all manner of shit by creeps on Twitter, but who weren’t in a movie and had movie star friends or got press play for their harassment. And they basically had to suck it up. So, yeah, from the outside it looks like Twitter made their decision on this based on optics rather than the general well-being of their users.

(4) AS MILO WAS SAYING JUST THE OTHER DAY. Milo Yiannopoulos, former Twitter account holder, predicted the trend he has been fulfilling in this article for The Kernel in 2012. (Link to Internet Archive.)

What’s disturbing about this new trend, in which commenters are posting what would previously have been left anonymously, is that these trolls seem not to mind that their real names, and sometimes even their occupations, appear clamped to their vile words. It’s as if a psychological norm is being established whereby comments left online are part of a video game and not real life. It’s as if we’ve all forgotten that there’s a real person on the other end, reading and being hurt by our vitriol. That’s as close to the definition of sociopath as one needs to get for an armchair diagnosis, though of course many other typical sociopathic traits are also being encouraged by social media.

(5) MORK AND MINDY CREATOR DIES. Garry Marshall, who wrote for, produced and created many successful TV shows has died July 19 the age of 81.

Garry Marshall, who created some of the 1970s’ most iconic sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy” and went on to direct hit movies including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia. He was 81. The news was first reported by Access Hollywood.

Marshall went from being TV writer to creating sitcoms that touched the funny bones of the 1970s generation and directing films that were watched over and over: “Happy Days” helped start a nostalgia craze that has arguably never abated, while “Mork and Mindy” had a psychedelically goofy quality that catapulted Robin Williams to fame and made rainbow suspenders an icon of their era. “Pretty Woman” likewise cemented Julia Roberts’ stardom, while “The Princess Diaries” made Anne Hathaway a teen favorite.

(6) SPACE OF HIS OWN. August Derleth, author and Arkham House publisher, has been recognized by a Wisconsin library — “Derleth Center offers dedicated space for author’s archives”

….A ribbon cutting was held July 9 for the new August Derleth Center, fittingly located at the entrance to Derleth Park on Water Street in Sauk City.

Walden Derleth, son of August Derleth, spoke about his father’s legacy and his appreciation for the Society’s diligence in maintaining the archives.

…He said one summer day an IBM Selectric electronic typewriter salesman came to his home to sell his father a typewriter. Derleth typed his manuscripts on an Olympia manual typewriter to which he was very attached. “It wasn’t very long that salesman was running out the door,” Walden said…..

…Heron said once the Derleth Center is organized and made operational in the coming months, it will serve as a place for writers’ workshops, a book store, museum and a starting point for tours of the trails in areas Derleth wrote about.

(7) ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA AWARDS. The RWA announced its award winners July 16 in San Diego. A couple were of genre interest.

RITA Award

The RITA recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Paranormal Romance category winner was Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles.

 

The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts. The Paranormal Romance winner was Don’t Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets.

(8) AMERICAN (IN SPACE) GRAFFITI. The Smithsonian tells about the discovery of graffiti written by astronauts inside the Apollo 11 command module – which apparently has never been reported before.

So it looks like landing on the moon wasn’t the only thing the crew were doing inside the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia in July of 1969. Staff from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Smithsonian’s 3D Digitization Program have discovered writing on the interior walls of the command module?something that was previously unknown to the Smithsonian. The astronaut graffiti, unseen for almost 50 years, includes notes, figures and a calendar presumably written by the crew during their historic flight to the moon.

The writing gives a unique look into the first mission to land on the moon, crewed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins between July 16 and 24, 1969. The discovery of this “space graffiti” will enable the museum’s curators to compile a more complete account of how the missions were conducted….

The curators at the National Air and Space Museum have been working with the Smithsonian’s 3D Digitization Program to scan the command module in 3D to create a high resolution interactive model of the entire spacecraft.

(9) AIRLESS MAIL. It’s official – “Spacefaring Stamp Sets World Record”.

However you phrase it, a 29-cent stamp has boldly reached Pluto and then some, making it the farthest-traveling postage stamp, according to the Guinness World Records organization.

NASA scientists included the 1991 “Pluto: Not Yet Explored” stamp — fitting cargo, right? — among other items on the New Horizons space probe when it launched in 2006. The probe conducted its closest flyby to Pluto in July of last year, and its mission has been extended to take it deeper into the Kuiper belt, the region of the solar system beyond the planet Neptune.

In all, the space probe has surpassed 3 billion miles sending back the most detailed pictures of Pluto to date, as well as offering a giant rebuke to the stamp’s assertion.

(10) THIRTEEN. The BBC says there could have been women astronauts from the beginning, if passing the tests had been the only consideration — “The Mercury 13: Women with the ‘right stuff’”.

In the early 60s, 13 women undertook secret tests at Nasa to see if they could become astronauts. Were it not for rules which prevented them from flying missions, the first woman in space could have been an American.

When Nasa astronaut Kate Rubins recently became the 60th woman to go into space, Wally Funk was watching.

There are two televisions in her Texas living room. One is tuned permanently to Nasa TV.

Space is one of her passions. The other is flying. Funk was America’s first female Federal Aviation Administration inspector and it was her skills as a pilot that, in 1961, led her to become one of 13 women who passed secret medical tests to become an astronaut.

The Mercury 13, as they are now known, undertook the same tough mental and physical tests as the famous silver-suited Mercury 7.

(11) NOVEL NOMINEES. The book Jonathan Edelstein ranked below the event horizon may not be the one you’d predict.

This year’s short list of novels, like the novella category, is a strong one, and like the novellas, the novels have a clear winner and a clear loser….

(12) CULTURAL DIVIDE. Ashley R. Pollard on C.P. Snow in “[July 20, 1961] A Cultural Divide (A UK Fandom Report)” at Galactic Journey.

I have previously mentioned that London science fiction fandom is engaged in a feud that started three years ago, but which hasn’t stopped us from all meeting up at the pub once or twice a month for a drink and a chat. The feud is rather boring and has become increasingly tedious with disputes and tempers flaring over trivial things like membership cards — who needs membership cards anyway?

I mention this again apropos of this month’s title: A Cultural Divide.

For those who don’t know me, I’m a psychologist, and therefore people interest me, and understanding their behaviours is all part and parcel of my job.  Still, I’m amazed at what I see happening within fandom when quarrels break out.  Given science fiction fans have a lot in common with each other you might think that a sense of community would lessen divisions rather than stir them up.

Still, there’s always a Gin & Tonic with ice and a slice for when things get too hot and bothered in the pub.  Besides, as a woman, my opinions are rarely sought by the men who are arguing away over the various trivialities that consume them.

Our perennial fannish storm in a teapot proved a fine backdrop for the larger one described in C. P. Snow’s famous 1959 Rede Lecture The Two Cultures, which transcript I was able to recently secure, and which I read with great interest in a quieter corner of the pub….

(13) GAME OF THRONES SEASON 7. The Hollywood Reporter has the vital statistics for the next season of Game of Thrones.

HBO on Monday released details of the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones, including an episode count and filming locations. Season seven will consist of seven episodes, down from its standard 10. The series will launch in summer 2017—a delay from its typical March/April frame. The summer premiere means that Game Of Thrones’ seventh season will not be eligible for the 2017 Emmys. An average 25.1 million viewers tuned into the 10-episode sixth season of Thrones. That includes linear plays on the pay cable network and its sister channels, DVR, on-demand and streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now. The new number, which easily ranks as the most-watched series in modern HBO history, is up from the 23.3 million reported earlier in the season. It’s also up significantly from the fifth season’s average of 20.2 million viewers per episode.

(14) SHATNER OPENS MOUTH, INSERTS FOOT. Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Brent Spiner were at a con in Montreal. The Mary Sue covered their interaction.

Thousands of fans turned out for Montreal Comic-Con July 8-10, many to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Overall, the mood was positive, forward-looking, and particularly supportive of diversity in the franchise. But then William Shatner opened his mouth, and took us all back in time (not in a fun Voyage Home way) with a string of sexist jokes.

“Check out Brent Spiner’s face in the picture at the top of the article,” recommends Dawn Incognito. “I think Shatner was trying to make a joke, but if so…I don’t get it.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Dawn Incognito, Aziz Poonawalla, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

2016 On The Far Side Finalists

The Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America released the finalists in the 2016 On The Far Side Award on June 27. It is a pay-to-play contest for unpublished authors.

Romantic Elements

  • The Harbinger -Emily Meredith
  • Lost in Transmigration -Tessa McFionn
  • Book of Secrets -Claudia Blood

Hard Sci-Fi/SciFi/Futuristic

  • Of Two Minds -Emily Clark
  •  My Hand Has Written Truth -Sandra J. Marten
  • Star Gazers -Diana Rivis

Dark/Light/General paranormal

  • A Ghost of A Chance -Katie Baldwin
  • Wolf, Interrupted -Jillian Stone
  • A Child of Eden -Lauralynn Doran

Steampunk/Time Travel

  • Heart of Bronze -Laurel Kerr
  • Victoria Station -Emily Clark
  • The Seductress -Jessica Grace Kelley

Urban Fantasy

  • Hellbound -Ashli Wade
  • A Shadow’s Kiss -Grace Adams
  • Dragon’s Spell -Gina Bono

Fantasy

  • Desperate Sacrifice -Linda Schad
  • Child of Destiny -T.E. Bradford
  • Overlaird, A Novel of the Lairds of Light -C. D. Cutty

Young Adult

  • Soren’s Resistance -Christine Gunderson
  • Dark in Nature -Madeline-Rue
  • Society of the Living Dead -Catherine Avril Morris

New Adult

  • Winter’s Kiss -Bryonna Nobles
  • A Destruction of Wildcats -Margo Bond Collins
  • Much Like Falling -Laurie Treacy

Erotic

  • Awakened -Sydney Keys
  • MortalDesire: Book 1 in the Distant Edge Romance Series (Witchy) -ChloeAdler
  • Renegade -Sara Avellino

2016 Prism Awards Finalists

The Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America released the finalists for the 2016 PRISM Contest for Published Authors on May 25.

The Prism Contest is a pay-for-play award that costs a fee to enter.

The winners will be announced at FF&P’s The Gathering at RWA National in July.

DARK PARANORMAL +

  • Blood, Pain, and Pleasure by Nadine Mutas
  • Blood Surfer by Debra Jess
  • Harvest Moon by Lisa Kessler
  • Releasing the Demons by L.D. Rose

LIGHT PARANORMAL

  • Sentinel Lost by A.E. Jones
  • Southern Spirits by Angie Fox
  • The Cougar’s Trade by Holley Trent

FANTASY +

  • Forbidden by Katrina Snow
  • Rising Fire by Terri Brisbin
  • Tempest by Sherry Jesberger
  • Treasured Claim by Jami Gold

FUTURISTIC +

  • Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
  • Echo 8 by Sharon Fisher
  • Honour Bound by M.A. Grant
  • Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams

TIME TRAVEL / STEAMPUNK

  • Charming the Professor by Donna MacMeans
  • Steam Me Up, Rawley by Angela Quarles
  • The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack

NOVELLA

  • Desires at War by Kira Shayde
  • The Klockwerk Kraken by Aidee Ladnier
  • Under a Mating Moon by Celia Breslin

YOUNG ADULT

  • Altered by Marnee Blake
  • Greta and the Glass Kingdom by Chloe Jacobs
  • Illusion by Lea Nolan

Seven finalists are first-time authors, therefore also finalists for the award given to the Best First Book.

BEST FIRST BOOK

  • Altered by Marnee Blake
  • Blood, Pain, and Pleasure by Nadine Mutas
  • Blood Surfer by Debra Jess
  • Forbidden by Katrina Snow
  • Releasing the Demons by L.D. Rose
  •  The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn Womack
  • Treasured Claim by Jami Gold