(1) BRING ME MY SPEAR OF BURNISHED BRONZE, BRING ME MY CHARIOT OF FILE. Prior to the pacemaker being put in the staff worked hard to convince me to stay in San Jose a week before attempting to drive home. One it was in, the cardiologist cleared me to drive home immediately. That was a surprising, though positive, development.
Not that I really felt ready to drive right away. I stayed in a motel overnight, then got on the road this morning.
Many thanks to David Bratman for his daily hospital visits, and Spike, Michael Ward, and Karen Schaffer for helping get me and my stuff to the Motel 6. Plus Michael and Karen for picking up a nice dinner of Chinese take-out.
With all the Bay Area conventions I’ve been to over the years, I’ve done the trip down I-5 many times. The closer I got to LA, the more familiar the roads looked, and the smoother the drive seemed to go. I reached home in about 6 hours.
John King Tarpinian asked me if I’ll have to make a lot of changes to accommodate my newly-implanted device. While there are warnings about various electronics, I’m okay to microwave as long as I’m not staring into the window while it’s nuking the food. Also can’t hover over a running car engine. (Not that I ever do.) Hovering over a blogging laptop — okay. Phone held on the right side is okay — which I already do (pacemaker is on left). Nothing I really have to change in respect to the tech I already use.
And I’m not only grateful for all the comments and good wishes, but for Filers working overtime to turn all this into publishable material. Waste not, want not is on my list of mottos….
Tom Becker wrote:
GlyerBot could have gone rogue after he hacked his pacemaker module, but then he realized he could post pixel scrolls on the entertainment feed of the company satellite.
Part human part machine. If we could get a picture of a cat sleeping on you, you can be Iphinome’s murderbot of the month.
And in other themes…. Cathy said:
I join the others in welcoming our File 770 Cyborg Overlord.
And Ryan wrote:
Congrats Locutus of Mike
(2) DEEP DIVE. Juliette Wade’s new Dive into Worldbuilding features “Alex White and A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe”. Watch the video conversation and read the summary at the link –
…I asked Alex about his research sources, and much of the material comes from his life experiences and those of his friends. This includes attitudes toward autistic people that he’s seen growing up with his child. He says, “the cultural baggage we drag around we assume is the right way to be.” This gets translated into things like Loxley’s boss telling her how to live, saying “I know a spinster who will police you,” and robbing the vulnerable of their agency. Even looking people in the eye is cultural and not universal.
I asked him also about his research sources for A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe. He said the magic/tech blends were influenced by recent games, and that Cowboy Bebop had influenced some of the action sequence writing. He asked, “what is the worst goofy thing that can go wrong?” That’s the first question he asks, he says, when writing an action sequence. He told us about his podcast, The Gearheart, and said that this novel was a spiritual successor to the podcast, occurring 800 years later. Alex spent a lot of time running D&D there and getting to know the world….
(3) A GIFT TO THE WHOLE CULTURE. An editorial at The Guardian does more than simply praise N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo win: “The Guardian view on science fiction: The Broken Earth deserves its Hugo”
Ms Jemisin is the first black winner of a Hugo award for novels (the redoubtable Samuel Delany won twice for his short stories). Most of her characters are black, though this becomes only gradually apparent, and the system of slavery on her planet is not based on skin colour. Yet science fiction allows her to display some of the fundamental characteristics of any system of slavery, however much her account derives from the particular experience of African Americans. It may be the ultimate ambition of novelists to make characters who are entirely three-dimensional but in practice most of them produce bas-reliefs, where only aspects of their characters spring from the page and much of the background is undifferentiated.
(4) INSIDE THE NUMBERS. Nicholas Whyte’s analysis of the 2018 Hugo voting statistics is full of all kinds of interesting observations: “The 2018 Hugo Awards in detail”. For example:
- Best Series – The Broken Earth (N.K. Jemisin);
- Best Editor Long Form – Liz Gorinsky;
- Best Professional Artist – Julie Dillon;
- Best Fancast – Tea and Jeopardy
- For Best Series, N.K. Jemisin declined for The Broken Earth;
the following were ruled ineligible, due to not having added enough to the series since last year:
- The Expanse,
- The Craft Sequence,
- the October Daye books
And what Whyte said about the Best Fanzine stats I probably wouldn’t have noticed myself!
(5) THANKS TO ALL FILERS. Here’s a link to the Hugo ceremony video. Jo Van Ekeren’s File 770 acceptance speech begins at 48:34.
(6) THE FANNISH TITHE. Kevin Standlee says one in ten Worldcon 76 attenders volunteered – “Worldcon 76 Day 5+1: That’s a Wrap”.
(7) HECK OBIT. German TV personality and actor Dieter Thomas Heck died yesterday, reports Cora Buhlert.
He was mainly known for hosting music and game shows, but he was also an actor and had a memorable SF role as the game show host in “Das Millionenspiel”, a 1970 adaptation of a Robert Sheckley story. And since I couldn’t find an English language obituary for him anywhere, I wrote one myself.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
- Born August 25 — Cora Buhlert spotted a nice profile of Tim Burton on the occasion of his 60th birthday in English at the German site Deutsche Welle.
(9) COMICS SECTION.
- Brewster Rockit mourns the death of Harlan Ellison.
- Incidental Comics illustrates “A Writer’s Hierarchy of Needs.”
(10) AFTER ACTION REPORT. Joe Sherry tells how he appreciates the value of a fanzine’s community, like the one they have at Nerds of a Feather: “Thoughts on the 2018 Hugo Awards”.
Being a finalist for the Hugo Award means that Nerds of a Feather is a part of the history of science fiction and fantasy fandom. I treasure that. I’m fairly sure I also speak for both Vance and The G when I say that. It is an amazing feeling to receive that notification and we’re grateful for it.
I said this privately to our writers, but I would like to say it publicly as well. The reason we even had an opportunity for a Hugo is not because of the work Vance, G, and I are doing behind the scenes. It’s because of the high quality of the work our writers are putting out every day. It’s the cumulative power of the book reviews and essays and special projects and interviews and none of that happens without these fantastic writers. We may not have won the Hugo Award, but we are absolutely confident that we deserved to be at that table, that the work our writers are doing is as good as anything on that ballot for Fanzine. The name on the ballot might say “The G, Vance Kotrla, Joe Sherry”, but it is that full list of contributors, past and present that have built the reputation we have and the every day excellence they deliver that allowed us to even have a chance. They’re the best.
(11) SPACE CATS. Steve Davidson announced in comments there is a call out to help many, many SJW credentials living at the Arecibo radio telescope site in Puerto Rico – “Arecibo Observatory’s Space Cats Need Your Help!”
When Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico last September, destroying tens of thousands of homes and damaging the observatory, staff and other members of the local community sought shelter and supplies at the observatory’s visitor center. And the local cats did the same. [The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico’s Giant Radio Telescope in Photos]
The Arecibo Observatory has long been known for its felines, and it has become an increasingly popular cat hangout ever since the hurricane hit last year, Flaviane Venditti, a researcher at the observatory, told Space.com. “After the hurricane, many people left the island and, in the process, left their animals behind,” Venditti said. “We can see that based on how people-friendly some of the cats are. They might have come to the observatory to shelter during the storm.”
(12) THEY’RE QUACKERS. [Item by Mike Kennedy]. What do you get when both The Joker and Daffy Duck show up in the same continuum? SYFY Wire says “Comics and cartoons collide in sneak peek at DC’s The Joker/Daffy Duck crossover”. The fertile (or fevered) minds at DC are cooking up not just The Joker/Daffy Duck one-shot, but also Catwoman/Sylvester and Tweety, Harley Quinn/Gossamer, and Lex Luthor/Porky Pig. These follow-up previous Warner Bros. or Hanna-Barbera crossovers with DC superheroes titles like Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey, Batman/Elmer Fudd, The Flash/Speed Buggy, Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian, Aquaman/Jabber Jaw, and Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam.
The SYFY Wire article has a 6-page preview of The Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1, “which finds Daffy visiting Gotham City to tour the ACME headquarters, only to discover that the building has been abandoned and taken over by the infamous Clown Prince of Crime.”
(13) IRON FIST. Trailer for Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2
It’s not a weapon to be held. It’s a weapon to be used. Season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist debuts exclusively on Netflix September 7, 2018.
[Thanks to Rich Lynch, Cora Buhlert, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, Rick Moen, Steve Davidson, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]