Sara Felix has started accepting presupports for a Texas in 2031 Worldcon bid. The city is still to be determined.
She says, “Right now presupports are going to my PayPal/Venmo as we haven’t got the accounts set up.” The URL for that is https://paypal.me/sillysarasue. The nonprofit conrunning organization ALAMO, Inc. has a meeting soon and will start setting up the bid structure.
Felix adds, “Sentimentally…. This for me is dedicated to the memory of Fred Duarte who really was the one to get me into running conventions. Willie Siros took me to my first Armadillocon but Fred was the first to take me to meeting with the hotels and started helping me getting involved in con running. He always had the best advice and best gossip a con runner could ask for.”
Earlier this year in her File 770 guest post “Why I Work on Worldcon”, Felix highlighted the depth of experience she brings to the table. She is an artist, the president of The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, and runs their Chesley Awards. She was part of the Mexicanx Initiative at the 2018 Worldcon. With Colin Harris she created the Artist Showcase that has now been a staple at many Worldcons since Chicon 7.
By Sara Felix: There was a post a while ago on twitter that asked, “So what motivates y’all to continue entering bids to host Worldcons? Genuinely curious.”
And I responded with, ”I think there are some great bids out there like Glasgow 2024 that you can genuinely tell they are enthusiastic and want to put on a good show. Working on Dublin was like that for me as well. I am not saying they are perfect but the excitement is really important.”
But that is just the tip of the iceberg of what I wanted to say and the twitter format leaves a lot to be desired. A few people have touched on a part of my answer in different ways but a lot of it boils down to, I volunteer because I want to make a difference and I want to do better. I like being part of a group of people who are excited to put on a good show.
And I think I have in my own ways but I always strive to do more. And there is so much that can be done that hasn’t already. Or it has been done but then forgotten and never to be picked up again. FANAC and the work Joe Siclari and Edie Stern and others have done to showcase past events has opened my eyes to some amazing projects over the years at Worldcon and beyond. And I would like to see some of those rich traditions intertwined with newer ideas added.
I know the question was why do you keep entering bids but I want to talk about why I volunteer for Worldcon and help with bidding.
What have I done?
For me I think I have left some mark on Worldcon fandom. With Colin Harris we created the Artist Showcase that has now been a staple at many Worldcons since Chicon 7. I advocate for it on every con I am involved in. As an artist and the president of ASFA (The Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists) I am a promoter of artists and want to see them recognized and part of the community. I want to see their work spotlighted as much as I can. It saddens me that more artists can’t show at Worldcons due to the cost to attend and am always looking for ways to change that.
For Dublin there was amazing art and artists that were featured. To spotlight those artists we created The Art and Artistry of Dublin 2019. I have created art show panels for artists who can’t afford or don’t want a full panel of art, I provide fan art for conventions when seated or bidding as much as I can. I want to help in any small way that is possible.
I was part of the Mexicanx Initiative and work to include the other Mexicanx in fan related activities and have supported the other initiatives like this on the Worldcons I have worked on.
I am trying to make my divisions more inclusive in the future so we have more voices present at the table. There are plans in the beginning stages that hopefully come to fruition on future concoms I am a part of.
These aren’t huge projects but hopefully they are things that people remember and help them to enjoy the event just a bit more.
I run the Chesleys every year for ASFA. Besides all the behind the scenes work I have also called for more diverse voices in the categories since I have been president. I talk about it on panels at conventions and online and push artists to submit their work every year.
So that answers the how I am involved, but why?
I love art. I love science fiction. I love the friends I have in the community. I want to put on a good show. I volunteer to have fun and try and get my friends involved that I enjoy working with. It doesn’t always work out like I plan but overall I am ultimately a perfectionist and want to do something that I am proud of and can talk about positively with my friends and family in and outside of fandom.
And I know there are others out there like that. I have worked with them before. And I will continue to ask them to be on any teams I have in the future. Or go to them for advice when I need a bit of help.
I also like to see organizations do better. I attend SMOFcon to talk to people about how things are run and how we can change current policies or methods and try to use the things I learn to help my teams. My focus is on art and artists a lot of the time and I am always looking for new and innovative ways to help cons promote art and bring more artists.
It is not all sunshine and rainbows…. fandom is hard. There are personalities that I don’t always work well with and opinions that I don’t agree with. I have worked on some very hard Worldcons in the past and now I know when I need to step away. I don’t agree with the principle of “that is how we have always done it” and in fact I think there are some positions in Worldcon that would be better filled by a professional. *cough*social media *cough* The “this is how we have always done it attitude” is toxic for change and I get there are traditions we want to keep. I believe that the past traditions are important and there can be change while still honoring them.
I have learned to set limits for myself on volunteering as it has been made it very apparent that I can’t do everything that is asked of me. This was a hard lesson to learn.
A big red flag for me is when the convention doesn’t align with my ideas of what makes a good Worldcon. My biggest problem with working on Worldcons typically come down to bad communication and silo-ing of divisions.
Let me just say…. I am not perfect. I work on publications and design. Have I misspelled names? Yep you betcha. Have I put out the wrong materials? Totally. I make mistakes and so does my team sometimes. But I try to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.
My first Worldcon was a phenomenal experience. The second was not so much and I stopped going after that. It took me 9 years to be involved again at Worldcon and that was because I was asked to volunteer. My experiences going to the convention have been improved by the relationships I have with other volunteers over the years. I am sure most people are aware that going to cons is so much better with friends and I have experienced that with other volunteers when you have worked on something 2+ years. I know there are people I have worked with on past conventions that I talk to everyday or at least every week.
Would I be on a bid team for a convention?
Yes definitely! I am now. I love the people I work with and the enthusiasm they bring to the table and those are best bid teams. And I hope I provide the same level of enthusiasm for things I work on with them. The best bids pay attention to the good and the bad of the conventions that came before and try to incorporate those learnings into their plans. They look to bring on like-minded staff. If I was ever going to bid for a Worldcon this is what I want to do as well. (Not bidding to run a Worldcon, thanks :p)
DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, today announced the finalists for the 2021 Hugo Awards, Astounding Award for Best New Writer, and Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.
DisCon III received 1249 valid nominating ballots (1246 electronic and 3 paper) from the members of the 2020 and 2021 World Science Fiction Conventions.
A video announcing the finalists is available to watch on DisCon III’s YouTube channel, presided over by Malka Older and Sheree Renée Thomas who will host of the Hugo Award Ceremony in December 2021.
Voting on the final ballot will open later in April. Due to the Worldcon shifting its dates to December, voters will be given until November 19, 2021 to submit their ballots. Only DisCon III members will be able to vote on the final ballot to choose the 2021 award winners. You can join the convention at www.discon3.org – one must be at least a supporting member in order to participate in the awards voting.
The 2021 Hugo Award base will be designed by Baltimore artist Sebastian Martorana. The 2021 Lodestar Award will once again be designed by Sara Felix, president of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Once & Future vol. 1: The King Is Undead, written by Kieron Gillen, iIllustrated by Dan Mora, colored by Tamra Bonvillain, lettered by Ed Dukeshire (BOOM! Studios)
Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, written by Octavia Butler, adapted by Damian Duffy, illustrated by John Jennings (Harry N. Abrams)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM
[574 votes for 192 nominees, finalist range 164-56]
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), written by Christina Hodson, directed by Cathy Yan (Warner Bros.)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, written by Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele, directed by David Dobkin (European Broadcasting Union/Netflix)
The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Netflix / Skydance Media)
Palm Springs, written by Andy Siara, directed by Max Barbakow (Limelight / Sun Entertainment Culture / The Lonely Island / Culmination Productions / Neon / Hulu / Amazon Prime)
Soul, screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Kemp Powers, produced by Dana Murray (Pixar Animation Studios/ Walt Disney Pictures)
Tenet, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros./Syncopy)
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM
[454 votes for 321 nominees, finalist range 130-30]
Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon, written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall, directed by Nida Manzoor (BBC)
The Expanse: Gaugamela, written by Dan Nowak, directed by Nick Gomez (Alcon Entertainment / Alcon Television Group / Amazon Studios / Hivemind / Just So)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Heart (parts 1 and 2), written by Josie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson, directed by Jen Bennett and Kiki Manrique (DreamWorks Animation Television / Netflix)
The Mandalorian: Chapter 13: The Jedi, written and directed by Dave Filoni (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Peyton Reed (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)
BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM
[370 votes for 162 nominees, finalist range 79-38]
Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya
BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM
[310 votes for 82 nominees, finalist range 83-52]
Sheila E. Gilbert
Diana M. Pho
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
[331 votes for 179 nominees, finalist range 91-37]
[331 votes for 77 nominees, finalist range 174-39]
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, ed.Scott H. Andrews
Escape Pod, editors Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya, assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney, hosts Tina Connolly and Alasdair Stuart, audio producers Summer Brooks and Adam Pracht and the entire Escape Pod team.
FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, publisher Troy L. Wiggins, executive editor DaVaun Sanders, managing editor Eboni Dunbar, poetry editor Brandon O’Brien, reviews and social media Brent Lambert, art director L. D. Lewis, and the FIYAH Team.
PodCastle, editors, C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor and host, Setsu Uzumé, producer Peter Adrian Behravesh, and the entire PodCastle team.
Uncanny Magazine, editors in chief: Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor: Chimedum Ohaegbu, non-fiction editor: Elsa Sjunneson, podcast producers: Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky
Strange Horizons, Vanessa Aguirre, Joseph Aitken, Rachel Ayers, M H Ayinde, Tierney Bailey, Scott Beggs, Drew Matthew Beyer, Gautam Bhatia, S. K. Campbell, Zhui Ning Chang, Tania Chen, Joyce Chng, Liz Christman, Linda H. Codega, Kristian Wilson Colyard, Yelena Crane, Bruhad Dave, Sarah Davidson, Tahlia Day, Arinn Dembo, Nathaniel Eakman, Belen Edwards, George Tom Elavathingal, Rebecca Evans, Ciro Faienza, Courtney Floyd, Lila Garrott, Colette Grecco, Guananí Gómez-Van Cortright, Julia Gunnison, Dan Hartland, Sydney Hilton, Angela Hinck, Stephen Ira, Amanda Jean, Ai Jiang, Sean Joyce-Farley, Erika Kanda, Anna Krepinsky, Kat Kourbeti, Clayton Kroh, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Catherine Krahe, Natasha Leullier, A.Z. Louise, Dante Luiz, Gui Machiavelli, Cameron Mack, Samantha Manaktola, Marisa Manuel, Jean McConnell, Heather McDougal, Maria Morabe, Amelia Moriarty, Emory Noakes, Sara Noakes, Aidan Oatway, AJ Odasso, Joel Oliver-Cormier, Kristina Palmer, Karintha Parker, Anjali Patel, Vanessa Rose Phin, Nicasio Reed, Belicia Rhea, Endria Richardson, Natalie Ritter, Abbey Schlanz, Clark Seanor, Elijah Rain Smith, Hebe Stanton, Melody Steiner, Romie Stott, Yejin Suh, Kwan-Ann Tan, Luke Tolvaj, Ben Tyrrell, Renee Van Siclen, Kathryn Weaver, Liza Wemakor, Aigner Loren Wilson, E.M. Wright, Vicki Xu, Fred G. Yost, staff members who prefer not to be named, and guest editor Libia Brenda with guest first reader Raquel González-Franco Alva for the Mexicanx special issue
[271 votes for 94 nominees, finalist range 79-38]
The Full Lid, written by Alasdair Stuart, edited by Marguerite Kenner
Journey Planet, edited by Michael Carroll, John Coxon, Sara Felix, Ann Gry, Sarah Gulde, Alissa McKersie, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Steven H Silver, Paul Trimble, Erin Underwood, James Bacon, and Chris Garcia.
Lady Business, editors. Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan.
nerds of a feather, flock together, ed. Adri Joy, Joe Sherry, The G, and Vance Kotrla
Quick Sip Reviews, editor, Charles Payseur
Unofficial Hugo Book Club Blog, ed. Amanda Wakaruk and Olav Rokne
[376 votes for 230 nominees, finalist range 72-28]
Be The Serpent, presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
Claire Rousseau’s YouTube channel, produced by Claire Rousseau
The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, producer
Kalanadi, produced and presented by Rachel
The Skiffy and Fanty Show, produced by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, presented by Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Alex Acks, Paul Weimer, and David Annandale.
Worldbuilding for Masochists, presented by Rowenna Miller, Marshall Ryan Maresca and Cass Morris
BEST FAN WRITER
[365 votes for 185 nominees, finalist range 89-42]
BEST FAN ARTIST
[221 votes for 158 nominees, finalist range 54-10]
Iain J. Clark
Grace P. Fong
BEST VIDEO GAME
[341 votes for 145 nominees, finalist range 183-30]
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Publisher and Developer: Nintendo)
Blaseball (Publisher and Developer: The Game Band)
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Publisher Square Enix)
Hades (Publisher and Developer: Supergiant Games)
The Last of Us: Part II (Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment / Developer: Naughty Dog)
Spiritfarer (Publisher and Developer: Thunder Lotus)
LODESTAR AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
[507 votes for 172 nominees, finalist range 201-55]
Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas (Swoon Reads)
A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Elatsoe, Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
Legendborn, Tracy Deonn (Margaret K. McElderry/ Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko (Amulet / Hot Key)
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions)
ASTOUNDING AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER
[422 votes for 181 nominees, finalist range 99-54]
Lindsay Ellis (1st year of eligibility)
Simon Jimenez (1st year of eligibility)
Micaiah Johnson (1st year of eligibility)
A.K. Larkwood (1st year of eligibility)
Jenn Lyons (2nd year of eligibility)
Emily Tesh (2nd year of eligibility)
The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction literature and media as well as the genre’s fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables for more than 60 years.
By James Bacon: This unique issue of Journey Planet comes in two languages in parallel text, Russian and English. With bilingual text on every page we look at the Science, Engineering, Science Fiction, Films, Comics and poetry that the theme of Russian Space has to offer.
Moscovite Co-Editor Ann Gry (Anna Gryaznova) was committed to ensure the issue was as accessible as possible to the readers, interested in the subject and spent a tremendous amount of time working on translations as well as seeking out new voices, and hearing from voices who may be very new to Journey Planet readers. This issue is a curated glimpse into the creative realms mostly inaccessible due to the language barrier and is an attempt to give an idea of how space theme connects us all.
With articles from Maria Ku, Mikhail Katyurichev and Danila Chvanov, a comprehensive look at space-themed comics by Andrey Malyshkin, as well as interviews with the creators of “Meteora” from Bubble comics, Askold Akishin and Alexandra Shevchenko, prose and comics are well covered. An interesting part is dedicated to visual poetry along with some traditional verses by Andrey Suzdalev.
An extensive article on space-themed films, we also have an interview with Konstantin Bronzit (Oscars nominee) and Christopher Riley (BAFTA & Emmy nominee).
With writings on visits to Museums or exhibitions by Nicholas Whyte and Dr Emma J. King, and Ann Gry visiting Kaluga — the place where Konstatnin Tsiolkovsky lived and worked, we have first hand reportage of some amazing space places and artifacts.
Finally with articles on TEM2 and R7’s, a paper model of the MIG 105 by Oleg Ivanov and a selection of postage stamps featuring space, this issue offer many aspects of Russian Space and we hope readers enjoy it.
This issue’s cover is a melding of art, collage work by Christopher J. Garcia, layout by Ann Gry and a star field background by Hugo and Chesley finalist Sara Felix.
Sara Felix joins Chris Garcia and James Bacon this issue as the focus of journey planet turns to the artistic and communicative uses of ink. Available here to download: Journey Planet issue 52.
James Bacon comments:
With a strongly visual theme, there is an abundance of images created using ink. While contemplating the art, we have articles looking at some amazing envelope art and calligraphy by Marguerite Smith, pens by Rhonda Eudaly, John Dodd and John Vaughan, a look at personal importance of doodling by Helen Montgomery, poetry and Soviet pens by Ann Gry and articles and art by the editors.
The importance of keeping in touch has not been lost on the editors who have themselves enjoyed sending post out into the world, creating joy as best they can through the postal system.
As we encourage contact at this time, be it festive cards or just a note, we hope that thoughts of pens, ink, art and envelopes encourage you, dear reader, to dash off a quick letter, and fire it into the oblivion that is the waiting void of the letter box that transports your words to the recipient almost by magic – or the postal services that have worked so hard to maintain communication.
Call for Submissions:
Looking forward, the same editors have been astounded by the levels of crafts that have occurred this year, a. dreadfully hard year, but one where arts and crafts have helped fans through the trial of 2020.
We plan a “Craft during Covid”’ issue for Easter and would love to hear from fans who have found, regained, returned or developed any crafting whatsoever. We also recognise how beneficial creativity has been for the well-being, helping with mental health and welcome voices on this subject, especially if you’ve found, escape, solace, contentment or peace of mind in crafting.
Artistic, creative, useful, ingenious, beautiful, whimsical, we just would like to see and hear about what fans have made.
(1) ON THE FRONT OF F&SF. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’s Nov/Dec 2020 cover art by David A. Hardy is for “Skipping Stones in the Dark” by Amman Sabet.
(2) SOME TRICKS, SOME TREATS. A new trailer — Season 2 of The Mandalorian streams October 30 on Disney+.
(3) WATCH THE CHESLEYS. Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists President Sara Felix reminds everyone, “The Chesley award ceremony is this weekend on line in conjunction with IX Arts, Saturday October 24th at 7 pm EST.”
The Warner siblings are back and better than ever in the official trailer for Hulu‘s Animaniacs reboot. True to form, Yakko (Rob Paulsen), Wackko (Jess Harnell), and Dot (Tress MacNeille) are very much aware of how much time has passed since the original series was canceled in the late 1990s.
They’re right at home in a post-Deadpool world and have a lot to catch up on, like mobile tablets, quinoa wraps, and, most importantly, Queen Bae. Meanwhile, Pinky (also voiced by Paulsen) and the Brain (Maurice LaMarche) are still trying to take over the world, but must adapt to the modern woes of catfishing and Instagram likes.
(5) SCHOLARSHIP IN 2020. Livia Gershon’s article “The Self-Styled Sci-Fi Supermen of the 1940s” at JSTOR Daily is filed with the tagline: “Way before there were stans, there were slans. Too bad about their fascist utopian daydreams!” The author is eager to slap the fascist label on fans – and seems ignorant of the fact that that some of the people who lived in the Michigan “Slan Shack” were gay, and that their idea of a utopia free of persecution might not really match up with the author’s fascist stereotype. And treating Claude Degler as a representative of mainstream fandom is an idea as nutty as Degler was.
Pilsch writes that science fiction experienced a “superman boom” starting around 1939. This was driven largely by John W. Campbell Jr., editor of Astounding Stories. Campbell editorialized about the real-world possibilities of human enhancement. He also published many stories about super-human beings. Most notable among these was Slan, a novel by A.E. van Vogt. Amazing Stories serialized Slan in 1940—two years after Superman himself had debuted in Action Comics. In van Vogt’s story, the regular people of Earth persecute “slans,” genetically advanced humans.
The book gave the science fiction–reading community a new slogan: “fans are slans.”
Pilsch writes that some fans took this concept very seriously, imagining themselves as a group distinct from the rest of humanity. Among them were Al and Abby Lu Ashley, who proposed creating a “Slan Center”—a settlement as big as a city block, with homes, a library, and a space for publishing fanzines. Describing the concept, the Ashleys wrote that “Intellectually, fans far exceed the ordinary person.”
Dal Coger, a fan who was involved in the initial planning, explained later that “everyone had experienced the raised eyebrows of mundanes when you tried to discuss science fictional ideas with them. Slan Center would make it possible to be openly fannish any time we were away from work.”
While the Slan Center never became reality, the Ashleys did found an eight-room fan house in 1943. Those who moved into the Ashleys’ “Slan Shack” included fan artist Jack Wiedenbeck, fanzine publisher Walt Liebscher, and science fiction writer E.E. “Doc” Smith. Other fan houses popped up, including Tendril House in Los Angeles, the Ivory Birdbath in Massachusetts, and the Futurian Fortress in New York….
(6) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.
2000 — Twenty years ago at Chicon 2000, Vernor Vinge‘s A Deepness in the Sky won the Hugo for Best Novel. The novel is a loose prequel (set twenty thousand years earlier) to A Fire Upon the Deep. Published by Tor Books in 1999, it decidedly beat out Lois McMaster Bujold’s A Civil Campaign with the rest of the final ballot being Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, Greg Bear‘s Darwin’s Radio and J. K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It would also win the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and Prometheus Award along with being nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke, Nebula, Locus, BFA and HOMer awards.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born October 21, 1772 – Samuel Coleridge. This complicated genius wrote, among much else, in 54 lines of poetry, “Kubla Khan”, one of the finest fantasies. See also the Raymond F. Jones story “The Person From Porlock”; C’s title may lie behind the Theodore Sturgeon story “The Skills of Xanadu”. Poet, critic, philosopher. Coined the expression “suspension of disbelief”. (Died 1834) [JH]
Born October 21, 1904 – Edmond Hamilton. Seven novels of the Interstellar Patrol; two of Star Kings; three of Starwolf; a score of Captain Future; a dozen more. Two hundred fifty shorter stories; see The Best of Edmond Hamilton edited posthumously by his widow Leigh Brackett. For DC Comics he particularly wrote Batman and Superman; co-created Batwoman (1956). He reached far. (Died 1977) [JH]
Born October 21, 1914 — Martin Gardner. He was one of leading authorities on Lewis Carroll. The Annotated Alice, which incorporated the text of Carroll’s two Alice books is still a bestseller. He was considered the doyen (your word to learn today) of American puzzlers. And, to make him even more impressive, in 1999 Magic magazine named Gardner one of the “100 Most Influential Magicians of the Twentieth Century”. Cool! (Died 2010.) (CE)
Born October 21, 1929 — Ursula Le Guin. She called herself a “Narrative American”. And she most emphatically did not consider herself to be a genre writer instead preferring be known as an “American novelist”. Oh, she wrote genre fiction with quite some brilliance, be it the Earthsea sequence, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, or Always Coming Home. Her upbringing as the daughter of two academics, one who was an anthropologist and the other who had a graduate degree in psychology, showed in her writing. And the home library of the family had a lot of SF in it. If you’re interested in the awards she won in her career, she garnered the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Locus Award, and World Fantasy Award, each at least once and she was also awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters It won’t surprise you that she was made a Grandmaster of Science Fiction, one of a few women writers to take the top honor in the genre. (Died 2018.) (CE)
Born October 21, 1933 — Georgia Brown. She’s the actress who portrayed Helena Rozhenko, foster mother of Worf, in the Next Gen’s “Family” and “New Ground” episodes. She was Frau Freud in The Seven-Percent Solution, and was Rachel in “The Musgrave Ritual” episode of the Nigel Stock fronted Sherlock Holmes series. (Died 1992.) (CE)
Born October 21, 1936 – Ken Cheslin. Famously published Fables of Irish Fandom (with John Berry); The Bleary Eyes (about the Goon Defective Agency; JB was Goon Bleary); a second ed’n of Vincent Clarke’s tributezine Atom, and one of his own, Atom 2000 – to this day we still quarrel over writing the fanartist Arthur Thomson’s signature and nickname as “ATom” or “Atom”. (Died 2000) [JH]
Born October 21, 1945 — Everett McGill, 75. Stilgar in the first Dune film. Earlier in his career, he was a Noah in Quest for Fire. Later on, he’s Ed Killifer in License to Kill, and on Twin Peaks, he’s Big Ed Hurley. He was also Rev. Lowe in Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, a werewolf flick that actually has a decent rating of 55% at Rotten Tomatoes! (CE)
Born October 21, 1955 – Nancy Wirsig McClure, 65. Revived, ran, and was Master of Ceremonies for the Masquerade costume competition at ICON (Iowa City); Fan Guest of Honor (with husband Martin McClure), ICON 18. Originated, ran, and MC’d Masquerades at Demicon (Des Moines). Con committees at Minicon, edited the Bozo Bus Tribune at Minicon 30. Moved to Portland; OryCon committees. Runs a design & illustration business; designed e.g. this OryCon flier, this Bruce Schneier book; see here. [JH]
Born October 21, 1956 — Carrie Fisher. In addition to the original Star Wars trilogy, Star Wars Holiday Special, The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, she was in Amazon Women on the Moon, The Time Guardian, Hook, Scream 3, and A Midsummer Night’s Rave. (Died 2016.) (CE)
Born October 21, 1958 – Julie Bell, 62. Graphic artist in her own right and with husband Boris Vallejo. Three Chesleys (one with him). Three artbooks and eight with BV. A hundred covers, four hundred interiors. Here is Stonehenge. Here is Falling Stars. Here is Beguilement.Here is Soft as Steel. Also horses and other wildlife. [JH]
Born October 21, 1973 — Sasha Roiz, 47. I know him only as Captain Sean Renard on the excellent Grimm series but he’s also been Sam Adama on Caprica as well. And he’s also been on Warehouse 13 in the recurring role of Marcus Diamond. He even showed up once on Lucifer as U.S. Marshal Luke Reynolds. (CE)
Born October 21, 1974 – Chris Garcia, 46. Fanziner and immeasurable being. Edited Tightbeam and The National Fantasy Fan, served as President of the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Federation). Hugo for The Drink Tank. Nova for Journey Planet (with James Bacon). Also Claims Department; Exhibition Hall. TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate, his report Rockets Across the Waters. Fan Guest of Honor at SFContario 3, ConQuest 44, Westercon 67, Baycon 2018. He and I were separated at birth; he got the hair. [JH]
(8) COMICS SECTION.
Close To Home shows how one witch is adapting to the latest technology.
(9) IN DYING COLOR. On Bruce Sterling’s Tumblr today he has a number of crayon Lovecraftian illustrations “by a young Robert Bloch”.
Lovecraftian illustrations by a young Robert Bloch, (original Cthulhu Mythos fanboy, later famous as the author of Psycho) doodled in crayon on various notebooks and pieces of cardboard between 1933 and 1937.
Here’s one —
(10) CHOW CALL. Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Chris Riddell goes on sale December 1.
Meet LONG JOHN McRON, SHIP’S COOK . . . and the most unusual babysitter you’ve ever seen.
Long John has a whole crew of wild pirates in tow, and—for one boy and his sister—he’s about to transform a perfectly ordinary evening into a riotous adventure beneath a pirate moon. It’s time to make some PIRATE STEW.
Marvelously silly and gloriously entertaining, this tale of pirates, flying ships, doughnut feasts and some rather magical stew is perfect for all pirates, both young and old.
Today’s politico-ethical question is easily answered. Yes, science fiction author John C Wright should be allowed to vote in whatever nation he chooses to live in, because people who are held accountable to laws should have a say in those laws AND also the legitimacy of government should derive from the broad consent of the governed….
But why is this a question? Because John C. Wright posed it himself in “It is Time to Reconsider”, although it’s not his own franchise but that of women, that he has doubts about:
Is it time to reconsider the 19th Amendment?
The argument for female suffrage is that women are not more prone to bouts of emotionalism than men, and hence is it equally worthwhile, as the whole, to consult with them over the conduct and control of public business.
Unfortunately, it is evident that there are but rare and few men in the current generation show any particular manly or masculine virtues which would entitle them to a say in the public business, if stoicism, reason, and virtue were preconditions for the franchise.
The argument against female suffrage is that voting is a peaceful substitute for revolution, wherein the less numerous party, seeing himself outnumbered, agreed without bloodshed to abide by the vote of the more numerous. Women, being largely less ready, willing, or able to take up arms than men, have no place in these military questions.….
Yes, if only the legislators who ratified the 19th Amendment – virtually all of whom were men, by the way – had been aided by the prophetic vision of that six-time Hugo nominee and Grand Inquisitor of the Evil Legion of Evil, John C. Wright.
(12) PKD’S POLITICAL ADVICE. Meanwhile, back in 1952, Philip K. Dick wrote to the editors of the Oakland Tribune naming his candidate to save the country:
Editor: Unless we elect Justice William O. Douglas President this country will surely continue to drift toward militarism and uniformity of thought. Only Justice Douglas seems to realize that our military outlook is fast destroying our liberty and economy. We must see that he is nominated and elected, or America may become another Spain. Governments all over the world are gaining in diabolical powers; with a great liberal President this trend might be reversed. . . .
Can science fiction save us in our present political and cultural circumstances? Is it a useful teaching tool to help us think about how to solve our present problems, or model better ways of living?
Well, it’s the latter, for sure. Whether it’s the former depends on whether we pay attention. But let me answer a little more at length.
If you think of science fiction as just a kind of modeling exercise, everybody is a science fiction writer in their own lives. You make plans based on modeling in your mind. When you’re feeling hopeful, you have a kind of utopian plan: if you do these things, you’ll get to a good place. And then when you’re afraid, you have these worries that if you do these things, you’ll get to a bad place. So the fundamental exercise of science fiction is a very natural human thing. And then when it gets written down in long narrative forms, like science fiction novels, everybody recognizes the exercises involved there. Although when I say that, I realize that, actually, lots of people don’t like to read science fiction, so they’re not recognizing the way books are the same as what they do for their own lives. That’s surprising to me, but it happens a lot….
It’s a beetle that can withstand bird pecks, animal stomps and even being rolled over by a Toyota Camry. Now scientists are studying what the bug’s crush-resistant shell could teach them about designing stronger airplanes and buildings.
“This beetle is super tough,” said Purdue University civil engineer Pablo Zavattieri, who was among a group of researchers that ran over the insect with a car in the name of science.
So, how does the seemingly indestructible insect do it?
The species — the aptly named diabolical ironclad beetle — owes its might to an unusual armor that is layered and pieced together like a jigsaw, according to the study by Zavattieri and his colleagues published in Nature on Wednesday. Its design, they say, could help inspire more durable structures and vehicles.
(15) THE LAND AND THE DRAGON ARE ONE. Restore peace. Find the last dragon. See the new trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon, in theaters March 2021.
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.
(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Honest Game Trailers: Star Wars: Squadrons” on YouTube, Fandom Games says in this game “you can fly an X-Wing and it makes a “pu-pu’ sound. What more do you want?”
[Thanks to JJ, Michael Toman, Bill, Andrew Porter, Gordon Van Gelder, John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, N., Cat Eldridge, Sara Felix, Martin Morse Wooster, Dennis Howard, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
By Sara Felix, Iain Clark, and James Bacon: The Dublin 2019 team have continued to work on a number of matters, even though the Worldcon is now a fond memory, and one of the projects that captured their imagination was having a record of the Art and Artistry that occurred for and at Dublin 2019 An Irish Wolrdcon.
Sara Felix, James Bacon and Iain Clark have worked with Serena Culfeather from the Dublin 2019 Art Show and a host of brilliant artists on a post con publication for a while now, looking at and celebrating the Art and Artistry of Dublin 2019.
As the team did this themselves, they found out things they had missed!
We are so very grateful to all the amazing artists who allow us to share and enjoy their work, and brilliance. While we celebrate them, they brought so much to Dublin 2019 and we hope that as you enjoy this, you pursue and look for more of their fabulous work.
(1) THE CITY WITH TWO NAMES TWICE. N. K. Jemisin will join W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN series United Shades of America (and her cousin) on June 16 for a discussion of sci-fi, Afrofuturism, and her most recent novel The City We Became. The event is hosted by the New York Public Library. Hyperallergic has the story: “A POC-Centered Vision of NYC From NK Jemisin, Celebrated Sci-Fi Author”.
…Next Tuesday (June 16), Jemisin will join comedian W. Kamau Bell for a discussion of sci-fi, Afrofuturism, and her most recent novel, The City We Became, presented by the New York Public Library. The novel, which brings her unique brand of speculative fiction a little closer to earth, is set in a version of New York City where the future is threatened by an ancient evil that seeks to divide and destroy its community by capitalizing on its differences (sound familiar?). The City We Became imagines cities as living, sentient organisms that take shape as individual human avatars. New York and its five boroughs are embodied as mainly Black and brown folks (Staten Island and the nefarious Enemy that threatens the city are not insignificantly imagined as white women).
At a moment when New York City is slowly beginning to reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while simultaneously considering numerous pieces of legislation that could combat pervasive police brutality against Black people, Jemisin’s POC-centered speculations about the future of this city feel especially timely.
(3) THE HEART OF YOUR WEEKEND. Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron will host several of the “Hugo Finalists for Best Novella and Best Novelette 2020” on its June 13 program, including Seanan McGuire, Sarah Gailey, Sarah Pinsker, Siobhan Carroll, and Amal El-Mohtar. Facilitating the discussions will be Vincent Docherty and Karen Castelletti.
The episode will also feature a Sara Felix Tiara Giveaway and “Tammy Coxen’s Mixology Show Corner.”
(4) STOKERCON UK: STRIKE TWO. StokerCon UK has postponed again, having decided its new August dates are no longer tenable. New dates forthcoming.
As per previous communications, like all of you we have been closely monitoring the NHS and UK Government guidelines as they have evolved over the past weeks and months, and the situation with regard to COVID-19 is still extremely changeable.
We have done everything we can to try to continue with StokerCon UK in August but, unfortunately, this is still a fast-changing situation and, with the worldwide situation and the current government guidelines as they stand now, we are left with no choice but to postpone the convention once again as we feel it would be irresponsible to push ahead and put anyone’s health at risk, apart from the obvious issues with social distancing, travel etc. Safety has to be the paramount concern for all involved.
We will advise new dates in the next week, as we’re currently finalising details of this with the hotels and will advise plans moving forward for everyone who has already signed-up to attend. We understand how disappointing this will be to many of you, and share that disappointment, but we want to make sure our members are safe, and postponing will be the best way to try and achieve that.
(5) THE SUN GIVES ABUSER PAGE ONE. Right after J.K. Rowling published an essay defending her views on gender and sex, in which she revealed she is the survivor of domestic abuse in her first marriage, UK tabloid The Sun tracked down her former husband for a front-page interview. The Guardian covered the response: “JK Rowling: UK domestic abuse adviser writes to Sun editor”.
The government’s lead adviser on domestic abuse has written to the editor of the Sun to condemn the newspaper’s decision to publish a front page interview with JK Rowling’s first husband, under the headline: “I slapped JK and I’m not sorry.”
In the letter seen by the Guardian, Nicole Jacobs, the independent domestic abuse commissioner, said it was “unacceptable that the Sun has chosen to repeat and magnify the voice of someone who openly admits to violence against a partner”.
Jacobs joined a chorus of voices speaking out against the newspaper, which described the remarks by Rowling’s ex as a “sick taunt” against the Harry Potter creator.
“The media can play a vital role in shining a light on this issue and bringing it out of the shadows, but articles such as this one instead feed the shame that so many survivors will feel every day, minimising their experiences and allowing perpetrators to continue to abuse without fear of consequence,” Jacobs wrote to Victoria Newton, who was appointed the Sun’s editor in February.
(6) WRITERS OFFERED INSURANCE PROGRAM. The Book Industry Health Insurance Partnership, a coalition of 10 organizations that includes SFWA, has partnered with Lighthouse Insurance Group Solutions to “provide its members with a choice of health insurance options, including ACA-compliant major medical, Medicare/supplements, short-term policies, vision, dental, critical care, supplemental coverage, as well as small group/Health Reimbursement Arrangements.”
The Authors Guild noted in a recent press release that the coalition also includes the American Booksellers Association, American Society for Indexing, Book Industry Study Group, Graphic Artists Guild, Independent Book Publishers Association, Novelists Inc., and Western Writers of America.
No, I hear you: Now doesn’t seem the ideal moment to Netflix-and-chill with an animated series about the last vestiges of humanity struggling to survive.
I mean, imagine the pitch meeting:
“Cities lie in ruin.
“The surface of the earth is overgrown with plant life — and with overgrown animals: mutated beasts, 300 feet tall, that stomp across the land hunting for prey.
“Which is to say: for humans, who, now firmly at the bottom of the food chain, have retreated to vast underground burrows to protect themselves.”
It all sounds … pretty bleak, I get that. Depressing, even. Like if you mashed up The Walking Dead with the popular anime series Attack on Titan, in which gruesome giants gobble up humanity’s last survivors like so many chocolate-covered cherries.
And I haven’t even mentioned the violent gangs of mutant, human-sized animals who’ve staked out their own territories, making the Earth’s surface a deadly place for the few humans who still live there.
Netflix’s Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts, which returns for a second season Friday, June 12, manages to be anything but bleak and depressing. It’s bright and sunny, colorful and funny, and … then, there are those tunes.
(8) O’NEIL OBIT. Comic book writer Denny O’Neil died June 11 at the age of 81. Games Radar’s tribute is here.
…O’Neil was best known for his work on Batman, which included writing Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, as well as editing DC’s Batman titles from 1986 to 2000. He, editor Julius Schwartz, and artist Neal Adams are credited for guiding the Dark Knight back to his darker roots after a period of campiness brought on by the success of the 1960s Batman TV series….
(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
June 12, 1956 — X Minus One’s “If You Was A Moklin” was aired for the first time. Written by Murray Leinster (published in Galaxy, September 1951) who would win a number of Hugos in his career (L.A. Con III awarded him a Retro Hugo Novelette for “First Contact”, published in Astounding May 1945; NY Con II would give him Best Novelette for “Exploration Team”, published in Astounding March 1956; and he’s up this year for a Retro Hugo Novella for “Trog”, published in Astounding Science Fiction, June 1944.) This story is about a planet that has a strange imitative trait it shows in producing its offspring. Or so it seems. Adapted as usual by Ernest Kinoy. The cast was Joe Julian, Patricia Weil, Karl Weber and Ralph Camargo. You can listen to hear it here.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born June 12, 1856 – Georges Le Faure. Among a dozen popular swashbuckling novels, War Under Water against Germany; The Extraordinary Adventures of a Russian Scientist (with Henry de Graffigny, 4 vols.; tr. in 2 vols. 2009) with an explosive that could destroy the world, a Space-ship faster than light, visits to other planets, aliens. Verne was first but not alone. (Died 1953) [JH]
Born June 12, 1914 – Frank Kelly. Two novels, half a dozen shorter stories, from this pioneer. “Light Bender” was in the June 1931 Wonder Stories – he was 15! Later a speechwriter for Harry Truman; vice-president, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. “My Interplanetary Teens” in the June 1947 Atlantic. Fiction outside our field in The New Yorker and Esquire. First Fandom Hall of Fame. (Died 2010) [JH]
Born June 12, 1914 — William Lundigan. Col. Edward McCauley in the Fifties serial Men into Space which lasted for thirty-eight episodes. He really didn’t do any other SF acting other than showIng up once on Science Fiction Theater. (Died 1975.) (CE)
Born June 12, 1927 — Henry Slesar. He had but one genre novel,Twenty Million Miles to Earth, but starting in the Fifties and for nearly a half century, he would write one hundred sixty short stories of a genre nature, with his first short story, “The Brat” being published in Imaginative Tales in September 1955. He also wrote scripts for television — CBS Radio Mystery Theater (which, yes, did SF), Tales Of The Unexpected, the revival version of the Twilight Zone, Batman, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and genre adjacent, lots of scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Died 2002.) (CE)
Born June 12, 1940 — Mary A. Turzillo, 80. She won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette for her “Mars is No Place for Children” story, published in Science Fiction Age. Her first novel, An Old Fashioned Martian Girl was serialized in Analog, and a revised version, Mars Girls was released. Her first collection to polish her SWJ creds is named Your cat & other space aliens. Mars Girls which I highly recommend is available from the usual digital suspects. (CE)
Born June 12, 1945 — James Stevens-Arce, 75. Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says that “James Stevens-Arce, is perhaps the first Puerto Rican to publish sf, and the most prolific.“ He has but one novel, Soulsaver which won thePremio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, and a double handful of short stories which do appear to have made to the digital realm.(CE)
Born June 12, 1946 – Sue Anderson. Fannish musicals with Mark Keller, performed at 1970s Boskones: Rivets, Rivets Redux, Mik Ado about Nothing (note Gilbert & Sullivan allusion), The Decomposers. George Flynn, Anne McCaffrey, Elliot Shorter are gone, but Chip Hitchcock was in some or all and I’m counting on him to explain what really happened. Three short stories (one posthumously in Dark Horizons 50), and this cover with Stevan Arnold for Vertex. (Died 2004) [JH]
Born June 12, 1948 – Etienne Sándorfi. Hungarian hyperrealist painter. It was said that he painted like an assassin; also that, working at night, he went to bed each day later than the day before, puzzling his daughters. Ten interiors for Omni. The Wayback Machine has this interview; see some of his paintings here (Madeleine), here (nature morte organes). (Died 2007) [JH]
Born June 12, 1948 — Len Wein. Writer and editor best known for co-creating (with Bernie Wrightson) Swamp Thing and co-creating Wolverine (with Roy Thomas and John Romita Sr.) and for helping revive the the X-Men. He edited Watchmen which must have been interesting. He’s a member of the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame. (Died 2017.) (CE)
Born June 12, 1955 — Stephen Pagel, 65. Editor with Nicola Griffith of the genre anthologies, Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction, Bending the Landscape: Fantasy, and Bending the Landscape: Horror. (CE)
Born June 12, 1963 – Franz Miklis. Austrian artist active for decades in fanart (see here and here) and otherwise (see here and here). His Website is here. [JH]
Born June 12, 1970 – Claudia Gray. A score of novels, some in the Star Wars universe; a few shorter stories; translated into Dutch, French, German, Portuguese. Her Website is here (“Bianca, Tess, Nadia, Skye, Marguerite, and Noemi aren’t that much like me. For example, they all have better hair”; also “Read as much as you can…. Read the stuff you love. Read the stuff you never thought you’d love”). [JH]
The Mouse Factory“The Mystery of Mickey’s Ears Revealed” Illustration by Ward Kimball Original Art (Walt Disney, c. 1970s). Walt Disney like to say, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” Mickey’s trademark ears have been a source of conversation since the famous mouse was born in 1928. Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, Mickey is characterized as a cheerful and mischievous “little guy” with ears that move strangely. In the early 1970s, Disney Legend Inductee and one of “Walt’s Nine Old Men”, Ward Kimball (1914 – 2002) attempted to clear up the matter and explain the mystery of Mickey’s ears on the television show, The Mouse Factory. In this lot is a rare illustration by Kimball showing Mickey in front and side views with an explanation on how his ears move independently as he moves his head.
(12) BE SEATED. In “Episode 29: Omphalistic Hugosity” of Two Chairs Talking (no relation to Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson), former Aussiecon chairs David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss talk about the shorter fiction nominees for the 2020 Hugo Awards, and then take the Hugo Time Machine back to 1962, when Stranger in a Strange Land won Best Novel.
Loma Homes translated the magic of “Harry Potter” into an epic new rental just 30 minutes away from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
The Wizard’s Way villa has eight themed bedrooms with 10 beds, five bathrooms, and dozens of book and movie Easter eggs that fans of the franchise will love.
(14) AVATAR. [Item by Cliff.] This video demonstrates a digital avatar created by the company founded by an ex-colleague of mine.
This demo showcases a cutting edge end-to-end virtual assistant prototy[e developed by Pinscreen. The entire Avatar runs on the cloud and is streamed directly onto a web browser. This demo highlights a real-time facial AI-synthesis technology based on paGAN II, cutting edge NLP, voice recognition, and speech synthesis. None of the conversation is scripted.
(15) MURDER(BOT) SHE WROTE. Camestros Felapton has many kind (but non-spoilery) words to say about Martha Wells’ new novel: “Murderbot: Network Effect”.
I sort of gave up reviewing Murderbot a few novellas ago. There is a sense that actually the plot really doesn’t matter and the simplest explanation of an instalment is that its a Murderbot story and the reader either knows the formula or doesn’t and if they don’t then see earlier reviews. However, that belies how much I enjoy each and every one of Martha Wells’s brilliant episodes of Murderbot’s continuing adventures.
The essence of the formula is the juxtaposition of this incredibly vulnerable highly competent killing machine. Murderbot has been shot and blasted and zapped but the struggles with their own sense of self and connections with other people pulls you in….
Bose-Einstein condensates, sometimes called the fifth state of matter, are gaseous clouds of atoms that stop behaving like individual atoms and start to behave like a collective. BECs, as they’re often called, were first predicted by Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose over 95 years ago, but they were first observed in the lab by scientists just 25 years ago. The general idea when making a BEC is to inject atoms (in the case of CAL, rubidium and potassium) into an ultra-cold chamber to slow them down. A magnetic trap is then created in the chamber with an electrified coil, which is used along with lasers and other tools to move the atoms into a dense cloud. At this point the atoms “kind of blur into one another,” says David Aveline, a physicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the lead author of the new study.
(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Creative Writing Advice From Neil Gaiman” on YouTube is a 2015 compiilation by Nicola Monaghan of excerpts from speeches Gaiman has given on writing.
[Thanks to Cliff, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]
[The Glasgow 2024 team had their initial team meetings and social gatherings in Glasgow this past weekend, and James Bacon has sent us a thorough write-up.]
By James Bacon: It was lovely to be back in
Glasgow, amongst fans, looking at the Scottish Exhibition Campus (formerly the
SECC) and being welcomed and to the city which held two Worldcons
such a wonderful city and I was impressed to find that there are now tours of
Glasgow Central Station going underground, overground and so forth in proper
hard hats (glasgowcentraltours.co.uk).
I paused to look around the Central Hotel which has changed so much since the
Moscow 2017 bid with their incredible amount of vodkas tempting fans to support
their efforts in 1995. The view from the bar in the hotel which has hosted
Eastercons, Albacon of course, and those parties in 1995 looking out over the
busy station is lovely.
made my way to the new Forbidden Planet, in its new premises on Sauchiehall St,
it is very large, and I was stunned by how many new comics they stocked. It was
a vast amount. The shop is spread over two floors, and I was pleasantly engaged
by some staff, which was helpful. Also on my list to get to were Thistle Books,
Caledonia Books, the Voltaire & Rousseau Bookshop and City Comics.
All four not far north from the area of the SEC.
The walk from the city to the SEC has changed, The Anderston
‘bridge to nowhere’ Footbridge which I spent a lot of time contemplating
in 1995, in its unexpected glory leading to the sky, and of course the Iain
Banks Espedair Street reference. The area around the SEC has developed mightily
also, The Radison
Red hotel, now one of six hotels in the immediate area (and two more are being
built.) has a fabulous interior. All of the 174
rooms and public spaces have wallpaper designed by legendary Glasgow comic
artist Frank Quitely, depicting scenes in a beautiful style.
MacCallum-Stewart had announced at Novacon in 2015 that a team were
investigating Worldcon venues in the UK, concurrently with the practical visits
and analysis, presentations at Eastercon Smofcons and Novacons, fans were asked
— Where would they like to go? — and Glasgow was overwhelmingly the most
popular choice of city. The selection process came to fruition in 2019 when it
was announced at Eastercon that the SEC was the venue that the team would look
to bid for the 2024 Worldcon. At Dublin 2019 Lewis Hou and the Science Ceilidh
had stolen the show, and it was a bold move to bring over the band from
Scotland, which along with their parties and continual table work, saw over 600
people pre-supporting the Glasgow 2024 bid.
was nice to walk into the SEC, to contemplate the venue. Mike, it’s a fecking
lifetime ago since I was an Area Head here in Glasgow, at a Worldcon, but it is
a great venue and it feels so nice to be here. The SEC welcomed the bid and
hosted these meetings. Signage throughout the venue was adorned with the 2024
Logo and Space Field, both by Sara Felix.
were joined by Jennifer Roddie of the SEC and Aileen Crawford of the Glasgow
Convention Bureau. Aileen has worked with us on the previous Worldcons at
Glasgow and as there have been several changes to the venue since it was last
used it was a good opportunity for everyone to see it for the first time
or with fresh eyes.
tour was lovely but there have been many changes, technology is now much more
prevalent, the area on the mezzanine has been developed into a meeting academy,
with what was a restaurant now a very nice 400-seater room and soft furnishings
in the common area. Space is of course a fair question. Worldcons are popular.
London, Helsinki, and Dublin have demonstrated that there is more interest from
too early to make assumptions of what exactly space will be used for, but what
is interesting is that Mark Meenan had already spent considerable time on the
matter, thinking about new programme space, and shared the concept of having a
1,500-seater Second Stage in Hall 2, a 400-seater programme space in Hall
1 and the addition of M1 with its 400 seats and taking ideas that worked well,
such as the giant Gaming Marquee that held the successful gaming at Loncon 3.
With eight hotels now in the immediate vicinity, there are also so many more
options on smaller workshop type spaces, and of course the Armadillo, which has
had a refresh since I was last in it, will be used the full five days. I admit
I found all this very exciting… and we even found a throne for Esther.
vision for the convention was then worked through, teams using word association
and short tasks to come up with ideas and thoughts, which were presented back.
Marguerite Smith did a very good job of getting everyone thinking and
contemplating what they want and hope for and with a quick and energised
approach we were soon vectoring in on tangible elements and tasks. Timeline,
budget, and recruitment were all important items on the agenda for the weekend,
and Marguerite took the lead and managed the 20+ people present.
MacDonald and Matt Calvert were announced as the leads for the Bid Promotions
team, beautifully choreographed just in time to question the task-based ideas
that came from the Promotions Brainstorming sessions, again managed by
Marguerite, but here the new leads got to engage directly and explore new ideas
and established strategies.
new fans was something that was recognised as being very important, and it was
not lost on me that in 2013, some seven years ago, Esther walked in to a Loncon
3 staff meeting a new volunteer herself, and was in charge of multiple areas by
the time the convention occurred, went on to be a successful Division Head for
Dublin and is now Bid Chair. Although Esther did go to Conspiracy in 1987,
possibly by accident. Marguerite was part of the Valley Forge NASFiC bid, and
in early 2016 joined the Dublin team as a volunteer, was soon promoted to
Deputy Division head and then onto DH for promotions. Other fans in the room,
who had only volunteered for Dublin were now looking at more senior roles. It
was amazing to think that one of the participants in the room, had been a
youngster at YAFA* in 2005 and was now making a very important contribution.
The doors are open, and fans are coming in. There were also Albacon, Eastercon,
Satellite, Worldcon staff and chairs all adding experience as well as those
bringing skills from outside fandom to the conversations.
was good fun there was a dynamism and energy to the weekend that was really
nice. Esther has sought out and found fans who are so excited with the prospect
of a Glasgow Worldcon and keen to help and it was good to be brought together
to chat and catch up.
evenings, drinking and chatting took place. The bar was rammed on Saturday, and
Bowmore 12 year old proved very popular. A cracking good weekend. I’ll be
back up for a comic book swap meet event in March and then Satellite 7 in May.
Adult Fun Activities at Interaction the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon.
The latest edition of Journey Planet is a departure for the team of Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon as they focus on a single Russian poem, “Defying Integrity of Continuity,” accompanied by art by Ann Gry with a stunning cover by Sara Felix.
You can read it at Weebly here or on eFanzineshere.
Ann Gry who
co-edited this issue is from Moscow, is an event runner, lecturer in law,
artist and poet, who was welcomed by Prof. Jocelyn Bell Burnell to read at a
Dublin 2019 programme item featuring astronomy-related poetry pieces.
The editors say:
The question of what one does for poetry and how one finds poetry was important to the process of producing the fanzine. Journey Planet supports and welcomes work from fans and professionals alike, and have been privileged to have so many amazing contributions. In this issue the simplification of what readers are receiving, is hoped to allow a focus on poetry, allowing some thought, cogitation and consideration of the poem in full. The importance of art complementing the poetry is vital here. Ann Gry created the interior art, revised from the initial idea of presenting this zine in a livre d’artiste format. And all co-editors were absolutely overjoyed to be able to have such a fabulous cover by Sara Felix.
Ann Gry discusses the poem: ‘It is one of the most important pieces I’ve produced so far and it was largely inspired by the Irish Worldcon with all the readings, writings and conversations. I trust you to fill in the lines that follow with your own meanings.’
Chris and James recognize that this is perhaps the purest art edition of Journey Planet they have edited. Both approached this very differently. James was captured imaginatively by the simple yet beautiful line, that soon became the title of the zine, while Chris has always enjoyed penning and reading poetry, Ann became fully immersed in the editorial process, contributing more than expected to the layout, decisions and process while also seeing it as so many fans have, as a starting point.
James noted that he has bought art by Sara Felix, and supports writers, comic artists and YouTubers both by Kickstarter and Patreon. But how do we support a burgeoning poet? So James was very pleased when Ann said that she would start a Patreon to coincide with the release of this issue. Looking forward to her future work at https://www.patreon.com/AnnGry
Not all countries can access Weebly, and the editors “are grateful to Bill Burns for hosting and managing efanzines.com“.
issue will also be available on Scribd and Issuu: