Politicians are fond of telling the electorate that “every vote counts”, and Joe Biden’s campaign went far out on Tuesday night when it held a virtual rally targeting the Star Trek voting bloc.
Hosted by Democatic politicians Stacey Abrams, Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang, “Trek the vote to victory!” was an unusual campaign event – featuring a raft of Star Trek stars including Patrick Stewart, Mulgrew and George Takei, and apparently aimed firmly at Trekkies.
The rally offered the latest example of how Biden has attracted celebrities to his campaign, and it also provided a chance for whoever runs the Biden campaign Twitter account to do a joke.
…It was Yang, who ran against Biden for the Democratic nomination, who opened up the event, the self-professed “math nerd” proving himself to be a keen trekker.
Things didn’t go immediately to plan, however, when one of the Star Trek actors – 19 cast members, from five iterations of the show, appeared at the event – immediately praised a policy idea that Yang had championed, and that Biden has ignored.
“I just want to say thank you for bringing the idea of universal basic income into the mainstream of political conversation,” Will Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: Next Generation, told Yang.
“It’s super important and there’s no excuse for that not to go forward.”
Universal basic income – the idea of the government giving every adult a regular stipend – was Yang’s key issue during his presidential campaign, but it is not a part of Biden’s plans for government.
The awkwardness continued as Marina Sirtis, aka Counselor Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, used the Biden event to offer very faint praise for the Democratic nominee.
“I mean I lean very left,” Sirtis said. “But this time we had to just find someone who can beat Trump.”…
… City officials did not reverse course until a Star Tribune reporter inquired about the stalled project. On Thursday, Barbarawi received an e-mail informing him that he can use the slab for parking, at least on a temporary basis.
“I apologize for the confusion,” wrote Brad Ellis, manager of zoning administration and enforcement for Minneapolis….
… Over the summer, Barbarawi struck a deal with Blyly to buy the bookstore property. With three large concrete slabs, the parcel offers ready-make parking for as many as 10 cars. But the plans hit a roadblock when Barbarawi shared his proposal with a city inspector, who insisted that all of the slabs be removed immediately.
[Steve Poor, the city’s director of development services] said the project was stopped because the Minneapolis City Council limited parking in the neighborhood years ago. Though Barbarawi’s building would normally be allowed to have up to 15 parking spaces, the code change brought that down to 12.
Barbarawi was told he could seek city approval for a new parking lot once he finalizes his expansion plans, but he and Blyly objected since it would cost another $25,000 to remove the slabs and meet the city’s other requirements, and even more money to rebuild the parking lot.
“It’s such a waste of resources that doesn’t need to be spent,” said Andy Ristrom, the project manager at Bolander who has been overseeing the demolition work.
Poor, who approved the temporary parking arrangement for Barbarawi, said the city will likely struggle with other rebuilding projects.
“We recognize that people need assistance to guide them through the government,” Poor said. “And right now we just have a lot more new and novel problems to try and address. I am not sure anybody was prepared to make this kind of pivot that we’ve all had to make in the last six months.”
Blyly said he’s glad the city found a way to compromise, but he’s not sure he will be rebuilding in Minneapolis. He’s considering a move to St. Paul or Richfield.
“It would be more convenient for me and a lot of my customers if I stayed in Minneapolis, but Minneapolis has felt very unfriendly toward businesses — especially after the riots,” Blyly said.
(3) STICK A FORK IN IT. LA Comic Con is now officially cancelled says SYFY Wire. While this seemed inevitable, they had announced plans to run in December. The con’s now rescheduled for September 24-26, 2021.
…”Last week on Oct. 7, Gov. Newsom finally gave an update on reopening plans for theme parks, which most people thought would precede event and convention guidelines,” reads the L.A. Comic-Con website. “In his announcement, the Governor said he had decided NOT to provide reopening guidelines yet for theme parks, and by extension, events. Without guidelines, there is no way for L.A. County, the City, or event organizers like us to know if the plans and changes we made to be safe will be right, or enough. So with that new direction from the State, we are rescheduling.”
(4) REMEMBERING A SFF PIONEER. Czech diplomat and sff fan Jaroslav Olsa Jr. commemorated the anniversary of Miles J. Breuer’s death (3 Jan 1889 – 14 Oct 1945) today by posting an excerpt of his forthcoming article “Pioneering Sf Writer Of Gernsback´s Amazing Stories Has Died Exactly 75 Years Ago”. “But do you know he was Czech? And do you know that he wrote many of his science fiction stories originally in Czech?”
…For its first nine issues, Amazing Stories [founded in 1926] contained classics from the likes of Verne, Wells and Edgar Allan Poe, supplemented by more modern works from speculative fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs and fantastic fiction writer Abraham Merritt, both of whom were already publishing their works in pulp magazines.
Only in subsequent years did Amazing Stories feature a new generation of writers. In 1928, Jack Williamson, whose career as a science fiction writer would span three-quarters of a century, published his first story in the magazine. A year earlier, Amazing Stories featured a story by David H. Keller, one of the pioneers of early technological “scientifiction”. However, the very first writer in this wave is the now largely forgotten Miles J. Breuer. His story “The Man with the Strange Head” was published by Gernsback in the January 1927 issue – as soon as the serialization of Wells’ The First Men in the Moon concluded.
Breuer was born in Chicago, studied in Texas, became a doctor in Nebraska and died in Los Angeles. At the turn of the 1920s and 30s, Breuer’s readers viewed this author, who was supposedly “discovered” by Gernsback, as a major star of the science fiction genre. However, Breuer’s career as a writer did not begin with Amazing Stories. Rather, his first genre tale had already been published almost two decades prior. Indeed, writing under the Czech version of his name as Miloslav J. Breuer, the author had already published numerous stories in the Czech language (which were subsequently published in English in early science fiction magazines)….
…While produced by fans and sometimes including fannish references, the majority of these productions are not actually *about* fandom the main focus in most cases being the parody of other works, hence the FAN and SF/PARODY distinction. The line between the two is often a fine one, however, and some may disagree with the side of it on which some of these have been placed.
Most of these productions were humorous. The few that were serious have been labelled DRAMA. You’ll notice that one – and only one – production was also labelled ‘BALLET’. This was performed to the strains of ‘Danse Macabre’ and featured several male fans in panto drag, including Ted Tubb! Sadly, only two photos of this ‘ballet’ are known to survive….
Hansen adds: “I also recently discovered a pile of production photos the Liverpool Group took while filming ‘May We Have The Pleasure?’ in 1957. These can be found via the link on the above page.”
…Chris has been ebooking since the late 1990s and, except for some time at The Digital Reader, has been writing for us since 2006. He has also run his own blogs, including That’s All I Have to Say, full of miscellaneous essays as readable as his TeleRead posts.
Over the years Chris also left some fearless comments here, not the least being the time he called on me to furnish “A bit more precision in your writeup, please.” Something I probably need to be reminded of nearly every day.
(7) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.
1995 — Twenty five years ago at Intersection, Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold would win the Best Novel Hugo. It would also win the Locus Award for Best SF novel, and was on the long list for a Nebula. It was the ninth published novel in the universe of the Vorkosigan Saga. It was published by Baen Books the previous year. Runner-ups were Mother of Storms by John Barnes, Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress, Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop and Towing Jehovah by James Morrow.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born October 14, 1829 – August Malmström. Collected motifs from Norse mythology. Professor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, later its manager. Bequeathed 650 watercolors and drawings, 26 sketchbooks to the Nordic Museum on Djurgården. Here is Dancing Fairies; see this one too. Here is King Heimer and Aslög. (Died 1901) [JH]
Born October 14, 1893 – Lois Lenski. Author, illustrator (of others’ work too, e.g. first ed’n of The Little Engine That Could; Hugh Lofting’s Twilight of Magic which puts her with us). Prose, poetry, lyrics, plays, paper dolls. Newbery Medal, two Newbery Honors; Regina Medal; three honorary doctorates. (Died 1974) [JH]
Born October 14, 1894 – E.E. Cummings. (In fact he wrote his name with capital letters.) Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Harvard, how do you like them apples, hey? Master poet. Distinctive, inimitable style (proof, many have tried and failed). A nice question whether his poetry or Shakespeare’s is more attractive or more substantial – answer, yes. Anyone wondering what he has to do with us may read this. (Died 1962) [JH]
Born October 14, 1910 – Marian Place. A tireless researcher, a strong opinionated woman. Fifty books for children and adults. Four Golden Spur awards. For us e.g. The First Astrowitches. (Died 2006) [JH]
Born October 14, 1926 1953 — Richard Christian Matheson. Son of fiction writer and screenwriter Richard Matheson. He is the author of over 100 short stories of psychological horror and magic realism which are gathered in over 150 major anthologies and in his short story collections Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks, Dystopia and Zoopraxis. Best known for I Am Legend which has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the film Somewhere In Time for which he wrote the screenplay based on his novel Bid Time Return. Seven of his novels have been adapted into films. In addition, he wrote sixteen episodes of The Twilight Zone including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. The former episode of course has William Shatner in it. (Died 2013.) (CE)
Born October 14, 1927 — Roger Moore. Bond in seven films 1973 to 1985, a long run indeed. And he played Simon Templar in The Saint for most of the Sixties, one hundred and eighteen episodes. Let’s not forget that he was in the Curse of the Pink Panther as Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau! (Died 2017.) (CE)
Born October 14, 1935 – Dennis Hamley, 85. Seven novels, a dozen shorter stories for us (including “Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick”). Other fiction and nonfiction. His first book was three medieval Mystery Plays in modern versions for schools, so a few years later he imagined a boy led back into the 14th Century. DH talks about his life and work at his Website. [JH]
Born October 14, 1946 — Katy Manning, 74. She was Jo Grant, companion to the Third Doctor. She also appeared with the Eleventh Doctor on the Sarah Jane Adventures in a two-part story entitled “Death of the Doctor”. She appears as herself in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. (CE)
Born October 14, 1953 — Greg Evigan, 67. TekWar, one of Shatner’s better ideas, starred him as Jake Cardigan. I really liked it. Yes. Shatner was in it. He also shows up in DeepStar Six as Kevin McBride, as Will South in the horror film Spectre aka The House of The Damned, as Marcus Cutter in Cerberus: The Guardian of Hell, and on the Alfred Hitchcock Presents as David Whitmore in “In the Driver’s Seat”. (CE)
Born October 14, 1956 — Martin Millar, 64. Among his accomplishments was the novelization of the Tank Girl film. Apparently it’s even weirder than the film was! He won the World Fantasy Award for best novel with his book Thraxas, and the entire Thraxas series which are released under the name Martin Scott are a lot of not at all serious pulpish fun. (CE)
Born October 14, 1963 — Lori Petty, 56. Rebecca Buck – “Tank Girl” in that film. She was also Dr. Lean Carli in Cryptic, and Dr. Sykes in Dead Awake. She had one-offs in The Hunger, Twilight Zone, Star Trek: Voyager, Brimstone, Freddy’s Nightmares and Alien Nation, and voiced Livewire in the DCU animated shows. (CE)
Peter Watts’ Blindsight looked at first contact with aliens in a different way when it was first published in 2006, and it’s been one of those books that friends have fervently recommended in the years since.
One fan [Danil Krivoruchko] has taken it upon himself to adapt as a short film, which he released this week: a short CGI short that looks absolutely stunning….
“Danil reached out to me pretty close to the start of the process,” Watts commented. “They were in the ‘Let’s make a tribute fan site’ phase, which as I understand it fell somewhere between the ‘let’s do a couple of CG illustrations for the rifters gallery’ and ‘Let’s blow off the doors with a trailer from an alternate universe where someone made a movie out of Blindsight’ phases.”…
(12) CAN’T SLEEP? [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] I’m not sure where “The 52 Stages Of Insomnia” by Marco Kaye at McSweeney’s fits in the File 770 categories but it’s definitely fannish!
Sensors printed directly on the skin have been inching closer to commercial reality in recent years. The dream of highly sensitive sensors could have a wide array of applications, from robotics to medicine, but the field has been limited by its method of circuit printing. Currently, printing circuits directly on the skin requires a lot of heat – something the skin isn’t generally fond of.
Now, researchers believe they may have solved this problem. A team from Penn State University have developed a method of fabricating high-performance circuitry directly on skin without heat, according to a study published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
While flexible sensors already exist and have applications in future physiological monitoring, applying that technology to the skin has remained an issue for scientists. If this process is viable on a large scale, it may pave the way for the technology to help patients with various conditions.
A trio of space travelers has launched successfully to the International Space Station, for the first time using a fast-track maneuver to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours.
NASA’s Kate Rubins and Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled Wednesday morning from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the station.
…“We’re planning to try some really interesting things like bio-printing tissues and growing cells in space and, of course, continuing our work on sequencing DNA,” Rubins said.
(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Honest Trailers: Scream” on YouTube, the Screen Junkies take on the 1996 film, from a more innocent time when people didn’t lock their doors and a cop could ask a teenager, “What are you doing with this cellular telephone, son?””
[Thanks to Howard Beale, Andrew Porter, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Rich Lynch, Rob Thornton, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]
The Ringo Awards nomination process was inclusive of fans and comic book professionals alike. However, voting on the 2020 Final Ballot is restricted to comic book industry creative community — anyone involved in and credited with creating comics professionally.
The awards will be presented virtually on October 24 instead of as part of The Baltimore Comic-Con.
Fan and Pro Nomination Categories
Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist)
David Jesus Vignolli
Best Artist or Penciller
Jared K. Fletcher
Alessandro de Fornasari
Best Cover Artist
Banjax, Danger Zone (Action Lab Entertainment)
Bitter Root, Image Comics
Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Dark Horse Comics
Forgotten Home, Vices Press/comiXology Originals
Something is Killing the Children, BOOM! Studios
Best Single Issue or Story
Bitter Root Red Summer Special, Image Comics
“Hot Comb” in Hot Comb, Drawn & Quarterly
Second Coming #1, AHOY Comics
Spencer & Locke 2 #1, Danger Zone (Action Lab Entertainment)
Tales of the Night Watchman: The Steam Banshee, So What? Press
Usagi Yojimbo #6, IDW Publishing
Best Original Graphic Novel
The Adventures of Parker Reef – To Save a Soul, Chris Campana
BTTM FDRS, Fantagraphics
Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, Graphix/Scholastic
The Hard Tomorrow, Drawn & Quarterly
Hot Comb, Drawn & Quarterly
New World, BOOM! Studios
Penny Nichols, Top Shelf Productions (IDW Publishing)
Simon Says, Image Comics
Snow, Glass, Apples, Dark Horse Comics
Dead Beats, A Wave Blue World
Drawing Power, Abrams ComicArts
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens, Archaia (BOOM! Studios)
Strange Tails, Vices Press
Thought Bubble 2019, Image Comics
Best Humor Comic
The Handbook to Lazy Parenting, Drawn & Quarterly
Rick & Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons, IDW Publishing
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, DC Comics
Twizted: Haunted High-Ons, Source Point Press
Wonder Twins, DC Comics
Best Comic Strip or Panel
The Middle Age, Steve Conley, Andrews McMeel Universal
Nancy, Olivia Jaimes, Andrews McMeel Universal
The Nib Editorial Cartoons by Pia Guerra, thenib.com
Rhymes With Orange, Hilary Price, King Features Syndicate
Sarah’s Scribbles, Sarah Andersen, Andrews McMeel Universal
(1) LIBERTYCON CANCELLED. The Chattanooga, Tennessee convention has been called off for this year. They announced on their website:
Sadly, we recieved the news from the convention center that we will be unable to have LibertyCon this year.
Brandy, LC Chairman, posted a video on Facebook explaining the situation and the sad message we have to give you all. It can be seen by clicking on this link.
LibertyCon 33 will be held June 25-27, 2021
(2) SAVE THE INDIES. George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema tells how to buy a ticket to a virtual showing of Extra Ordinary to support them
The staff of the Jean Cocteau Cinema would like to thank you for your support during the COVID-19 crisis. Your participation in this and other virtual screenings gives us an invaluable revenue stream to help us stay afloat until the quarantine is over and in-person screenings can resume. We owe everything to you, our patrons, and we look forward to the return of normalcy and to continuing to provide a cozy community-focused local cinema and performance space to Santa Feans for years to come! Stay safe, stay sane, and above all be excellent to each other!
(3) NASA AT WORK. Are your SJW Credentials in on this conspiracy?
…This Soviet-era building in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, is where astronauts spend their final days before launching into space on board the Russian Soyuz vehicle. Cassidy’s crew is due to launch on Thursday afternoon, at 1:05pm local time. (This is 4:05am ET Thursday, and 8:05am UTC.) They will spend about six hours catching up to and docking with the International Space Station.
The Russians have the oldest space program in the world and by far the most traditions and superstitions related to launch, including peeing on the wheel of the bus that takes the crew to the launch pad—a tradition that dates back to Yuri Gagarin’s first human spaceflight in 1961.
Among those traditions is watching a movie the day before launch in the Cosmonaut Hotel. It’s always the same movie, White Sun of the Desert. No one is quite sure why this Soviet-era film, which came out in 1970, is always watched (yes, it’s mandatory). But it likely dates to Soyuz 12, in 1973, when cosmonauts Vasily Lazarev and Oleg Makarov watched the movie before their mission. This return-to-flight mission followed the disastrous Soyuz 11 flight two years earlier, when the spacecraft depressurized as the crew prepared to reenter Earth’s atmosphere, killing all three men. Soyuz 12 proved a success, and the movie came to be seen as a good luck charm. Since then, over the course of five decades, the Soyuz has never lost a crew….
… I’d like to discuss with you all what it is to be you. Now I must apologise in advance. There are many you in the audience, people I love dearly, who may take offence at what I am going to say next. Yes, yes, I am looking at you Mr Spock and yes, you C3PO and there’s no point waving that screwdriver at me Doctor, nor hiding behind Gimli’s axe Legolas. I love you all but I’m sorry, this really is not about you. Yes each of you is distinctly not human in deep and notable ways as explained in great detail in the backstory section of your Wikipedia pages. However, for our purposes tonight while you may be the big stars, this is not your turn in the spotlight. We love you but we love you because you have to admit that your are not exactly not-human….
It’s been exactly one month since I joined Michael Dirda for lunch to record an episode of Eating the Fantastic, and the way things are going in this age of social distancing, it will likely be many more months before I’ll be able to sit down at a restaurant with a guest to record another. The three episodes I’d planned to harvest for you during the final days of March all had to be cancelled. So what’s a podcast predicated on breaking bread to do when bread can no longer be broken?
What it means for this episode is that it’s time for the interviewer to become the interviewee, as you join me for lunch in my kitchen while I continue to shelter in place. Last episode, I asked listeners to send in questions for things which might not have been revealed about my life as a writer, editor, publisher, podcaster, and fan during the previous 118 episodes. I also reached out to my former guests to see if they’d like to turn the tables and ask questions instead of just answering them.
I ended up with 93 questions, which I knew was far more than I’d be able to answer in a single episode. But I printed them, folded them up, tossed them inside the head of a Roswell alien, and then pulled them out randomly one at a time and tried to answer as many as I could over the course of my meal.
ALCS – alongside the Royal Literary Fund, TS Eliot Foundation, English PEN, Amazon UK and, as of 7 April, Arts Council England – has contributed to the Society of Authors’ fund that will be paid out in grants to writers who have found themselves financially affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak.
ALCS is a collecting society set up by writers, for writers. Paying money to writers through licensing when their works have been used is at the core of what we do. Later this week, we will pay £24 million to over 89,000 writers – and since 1977 we’ve paid over £500 million to writers – but these are difficult and unique times, so we wanted to see what else we could do to support all writers….
Applicants do not need to be ALCS or SoA members; the fund is open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects for whom author-related activity makes up a substantial amount of their annual income. The SoA have run this fund since 1960, so they have a great deal of experience in assessing applications and their approach is broad, agile and fast; aiming to turn around applications within weeks.
Now, though, they can finally engage in every Doctor Who fan’s favourite activity – proving how much arcane trivia they know – because long-running real-life pub quiz The Quiz of Rassilon (which has hosted Doctor Who trivia nights since 2010) has announced that it’ll be hosting an online version of the event over the Easter Weekend.
“The Quiz has always been a place where fans from all corners of the fandom can come together for a bit of fun and to talk about their favourite show,” Quiz of Rassilon co-creator Michael Williams told RadioTimes.com.
… During the quiz itself most participants (who are expected to number in the hundreds) will have their microphones muted in the main hosting room, with each team given their own “private TARDIS” (in other words a separate videocall meeting) where they can confer, chat and screen share, before they’re pulled back to the main call after a few minutes.
“We’ve designed this Quiz using Zoom’s ‘breakout rooms’ feature which gives teams the opportunity to have their usual table at the Pub where they can discuss between themselves and enjoy some time with their friends,” explained Williams.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.
April 10, 1966 — Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter premiered. It was directed by William Beaudine and produced by Caroll Case. It was written by Carl K. Hittleman. It starred John Lupton, Narda Onyx, Estelita Rodriguez, Cal Bolder and Jim Davis. The film was first released as part of a double feature along with Billy the Kid Versus Dracula. It was not treated well by critics at the time with one saying “it sucks”, and currently the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an eleven percent rating. We cannot determine if it’s in the public domain so we’re not providing a link.
April 10, 1987 — Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home enjoyed its first theatrical release which was in the United Kingdom. Starring the entire original cast, the story was by Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy with the screenplay by Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer and Harve Bennett. It was a box office success making far, far more than it cost to produce. The critics loved it for the most part, and it currently has a stellar rating of eighty-one percent at Rotten Tomatoes among audience reviewers.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born April 10, 1897 — Eric Knight. Decidedly better known for his 1940 Lassie Come-Home novel which introduced Lassie, but he had one genre undertaking according to ISFDB, the Sam Small series. I’ve never heard of them, nor are they available in digital form though Lassie Come-Home of course is. Anyone read them? (Died 1943.)
Born April 10, 1921 — Chuck Connors. His first genre role was as Senator Robert Fraser in Captain Nemo and the Underwater City followed by being Tab Fielding in Soylent Green. He’s Captain McCloud in Virus, a Japanese horror film, and he one-offs in The Adventures of Superman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Fantasy Island and a recurring role as Captain Janos Skorzenyn in Werewolf. (Died 1992.)
Born April 10, 1929 — Max von Sydow. He played Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Never Say Never Again and Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon. He shows up in the Exorcist II: The Heretic as Father Lankester Merrin while being King Osric in Conan the Barbarian. Dreamscape sees him being Doctor Paul Novotny while he’s Liet-Kynes the Imperial Planetologist in Dune. He was Judge Fargo in Judge Dredd (and yes, I still like it), in Minority Report as Director Lamar Burgess, Sir Walter Loxley in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and finally in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lor San Tekka. (Died 2020.)
Born April 10, 1940 — Raul Julia. If we count Sesame Street as genre, his appearance as Rafael there was his first genre role. Yeah, I’m stretching it. Ok, how about as Aram Fingal In Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, a RSL production off the John Varley short story? That better? He later starred in Frankenstein Unbound as Victor Frankenstein as well. His last role released while he was still living was in the superb Addams Family Values as Gomez Addams reprising the role he’d had in The Addams Family. (Died 1994.)
Born April 10, 1953 — David Langford, 67. And how long have you been reading Ansible? If he’s not noted for that singular enterprise, he should be noted for assisting in producing the second edition of the EoSF, not to mention some 629,000 words as a principal editor of the third (online) edition of the Encyclopedia of SF, and contributed some eighty thousand words of articles to EoF as well. And let’s not forget his genre writing as well that earned him a Short Story Hugo at the Millennium Philcon for “Different Kinds of Darkness”.
Born April 10, 1955 — Pat Murphy, 65. I think her most brilliant work is The City, Not Long After. If you’ve not read this novel, do so now. The Max Merriwell series is excellent and Murphy’s ‘explanation’ of the authorial attributions is fascinating. And The Falling Woman by her is an amazing read as well. She’s reasonably well stocked at the usual digital suspects.
Born April 10, 1957 — John M. Ford. Popular at Minicon and other cons where he would be Dr. Mike and give silly answers to questions posed to him while wearing a lab coat before a whiteboard. His most interesting novel I think is The Last Hot Time, an urban fantasy set in Chicago that might have been part of Terri Windling’s Bordertown series but wasn’t. Possibly. (Did 2006.)
Born April 10, 1978 — Hannu Rajaniemi, 42. Author of the Jean le Flambeur series which consists of The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel. Damn if I can summarize them. They remind me a bit of Alastair Reynolds and his Prefect novels, somewhat of Ian Mcdonald’s Mars novels as well. Layers of weirdness upon weirdness. Quite fascinating.
Born April 10, 1992 — Daisy Ridley, 28. Obviously she played the role of Rey in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. She was also in Scrawl, a horror film as well as voicing Cotton Rabbit in Peter Rabbit. Though stretching to even call it genre adjacent even, she was Mary Debenham in Murder on The Orient Express.
(12) RINGO AWARDS 2020 NOMINATIONS OPEN. The public can vote until June 25 – click here to participate.
The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill, and fun of comics. The awards return for their third year on Saturday, October 24, 2020 as part of the fan- and pro-favorite convention, The Baltimore Comic-Con.
Unlike other professional industry awards, the Ringo Awards include fan participation in the nomination process along with an esteemed jury of comics professionals.
More than 20 categories will be celebrated with top honors being given at the awards ceremony in October.
Imagine, if you will, a dark age in which information was not at the tip of one’s fingertips, in which acquiring it required a trip to the library or the bookstore, in which tidbits of useful information might be limited to brief introductions and afterwords, in which there was no guarantee that the information would exist in an accessible form anywhere at all. Imagine further that one was a snoopy highly inquisitive young reader, curious about the authors whose works he was consuming and eager to know more about the works themselves. Imagine the frustration….
… In addition to preventative measures such as social distancing and lockdown/quarantining, many people around the world have taken to wearing masks when out in public. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for citizens to get their hands on masks. Fortunately, people can make their own adequate replacements, and some have even gotten very creative with this practice.
To add a little levity to the issue of wearing a mask, Facebookuser Lady Frankenstein added images of an extraordinary homemade mask. By taking a cue from Alien, the mask in question was made to resemble the classic film’s dreaded facehugger. Victims of the facehugger later experienced the slightly uncomfortable arrival of an alien, but thankfully, Lady Frankenstein’s mask will ultimately keep its wearer far safer than the facehugger’s victims.
Tiny bits of twisted plant fibers found on an ancient stone tool suggest that Neanderthals were able to make and use sophisticated cords like string and rope.
Cords made from twisted fibers are so ubiquitous today that it’s easy to take them for granted. But they’re a key survival technology that can be used to make everything from clothes to bags to shelters.
This prehistoric piece of string, described in the journal Scientific Reports, was preserved on a flint tool that dates back to around 41,000 to 52,000 years ago. It came from a cave-like rock shelter in southern France that was once inhabited by Neanderthals.
Geoscientists are getting a clearer picture of what’s going on beneath our feet as lockdowns keep many of us at home.
Seismometers may be built to detect earthquakes, but their mechanical ears hear so much more: hurricanes thundering hundreds of miles away and meteoroids exploding in the skies on the other side of the planet. Even the everyday hum of humanity — people moving about on cars, trains and planes — has a seismically detectable heartbeat.
But coronavirus has upended our lives. Hoping to curtail the pandemic’s spread, nations have closed their borders, cities have been shut down and billions of people have been instructed to stay home. Today, in cities large and small, the thumping pulse of civilization is now barely detectable on many seismograms.
“It did make the scale of the shutdowns a bit more real to me,” said Celeste Labedz, a graduate student in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology.
In person, you can see only your neighborhood’s dedication to remaining home. With seismometers, Ms. Labedz said, you can see the collective willingness of millions of the world’s urban dwellers to hunker down. As a result, the planet’s natural quavering is being recorded with remarkable clarity.
This seismological experiment began with Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels. He wanted to see what happened to his city’s anthropogenic hiss after its lockdown began in mid-March. His finding, that it had declined precipitously, was shared on Twitter and via news organizations, prompting seismologists elsewhere to look at their own city’s lack of shakes. Many used Dr. Lecocq’s bespoke coding to eke out the human noise in their seismic data.
…A cleaner and more frequent detection of Earth’s seismic activity grants seismologists a less filtered look into the planet’s interior. Although many seismometers are purposefully located far from cities, plenty of urban areas — especially those in seismically hyperactive parts of the planet — are peppered with seismometers. In this time of human quiescence, the creaking of some potentially dangerous faults may be detected better than ever.
DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)
DAVINCI+ will analyze Venus’ atmosphere to understand how it formed, evolved and determine whether Venus ever had an ocean….
Io Volcano Observer (IVO)
IVO would explore Jupiter’s moon, Io, to learn how tidal forces shape planetary bodies….
Trident would explore Triton, a unique and highly active icy moon of Neptune, to understand pathways to habitable worlds at tremendous distances from the Sun….
VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)
VERITAS would map Venus’ surface to determine the planet’s geologic history and understand why Venus developed so differently than the Earth…..
(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Terry Gilliam’s Closet Pick” on YouTube is a video about how Gilliam paid a visit to the Criterion Collection in 2019 and shared anecdotes about Brazil and The Brothers Grimm as he loaded a bag with free DVDs.
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, James Davis Nicoll, Scott Edelman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comic Series, Dark Horse Comics
Al Williamson’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Artist Edition, IDW Publishing
Britannia, Valiant Entertainment
Legacy of Luther Strode, Image Comics
Mike Mignola’s Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects: Artist’s Edition Hardcover, IDW Publishing – winner
Moebius Library: The World of Edena, Dark Horse Books
The ODY-C: Cycle One Hardcover, Image Comics
Spectrum, Automatic Pictures
How Ringo Winners Are Picked. In each category, two nominees are be selected by an open, online nomination process. The remaining three nominees are selected by a jury of comics industry professionals. The winners are determined by open voting.
The 2017 Ringo Awards Professional Jury Includes:
JOHN HAINES, Comic Book Historian and Owner of Comics & Friends in Mentor, Ohio
JAMAR NICHOLAS, Cartoonist of Leon, Protector of the Playground and Fist Stick Knife Gun
CHRIS POWELL, Vice President of Diamond Comic Distributors and CBLDF Board Member
HANNAH MEANS-SHANNON, Journalist and Executive Editor at COMICON.com
JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA, Colorist and Professor of Illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art