Cats Sleep on SFF: The Empire Strikes Back

Von Dimpleheimer returns to those thrilling days of yesteryear:

I can’t answer the call to provide more photos of cats on SFF, but what about cats on SFF fans during the Golden Age of SF–when they were 12? Whiskey passed away decades ago, the couch and VHS tapes (one of which was The Empire Strikes Back) are long gone, but I still have the blanket that my mother made from my childhood t-shirts.

P.S. Judging from the box of tissues and that I was lying on the couch with a pillow and blanket, I must have had a cold. Sadly, I do not recall that applying a cat to the torso hastened my recovery. But such a potentially groundbreaking medical treatment should not be dismissed from one data point, so I recommend Filers test it for themselves.


Photos of other felines resting on genre works are welcome. Send to mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

Pixel Scroll 2/25/18 I, Pixel

By JJ:

(1) ALSO #METOO. In a follow-on to Myke Cole’s mea culpa as reported in the February 15 Pixel Scroll (item #3) about a thread on industry harassment at School Library Journal, author Janci Patterson, in a post entitled “Sexual Harassment, Apologies, and Forgiveness” explains how Cole’s willingness to own, and apologize for, his past behavior has made a huge difference in her life:

That is what it was like being a woman in publishing who had been harassed. I watched people discrediting the women who spoke up on the basis of their comments being anonymous. If it was true, why would they need anonymity?

I knew why. After Zoe Quinn, women in my position all know. We are all one internet post away from being Zoe Quinn.

And then Myke apologized. If you haven’t yet, take a minute and read what he wrote. What he says describes my experience exactly. It’s a damn good apology. He admits to what he did, in specific terms. He expresses that he was unaware that he did it, but he doesn’t treat that as an excuse. He addresses his victims directly and says he’s sorry. He expresses additional sorrow. He talks about both what he’s going to do to make reparations and also how he’s going to address his behavior going forward.

Reading that changed the whole world for me. I had been watching the cultural shifts in our post-#metoo, post-Weinstein-scandal world, but for me, this was the final piece. In that moment, I went from a scared woman with a difficult secret to a woman who could speak authentically. Who could tell the truth. No one could jump on me in any kind of credible way anymore. It was true. It happened. Myke admitted it was true. He saw the hypocrisy in his feminism. He owned it.

He set me free.

Another SFF author who was mentioned in the comments on the SLJ thread, Dan Wells, also posted his thoughts on harassment and being willing to step up and do better:

I have always believed that you should believe a woman who says she’s been harassed, so I believe these women, too.

And then I was accused of being a harasser.

And then the same woman recanted her accusation.

I do not know who this woman is, as she posted anonymously both times, but I want to take this opportunity to pubicly accept her apology, and to thank her for coming forward.

But here’s the thing: I believed her. Obviously I didn’t believe that I had assaulted someone and then forgotten about it, or anything ridiculous like that. But I was – and am – willing to believe that without intending to and without noticing I had done something to make a woman feel uncomfortable or unwelcome or unsafe…

I could have raged against the injustice of this comment – and to be perfectly honest, a part of me did – but the more useful, more helpful response was to sit down and take a good hard look at myself and my actions. What have I been doing, and what can I do in the future, to make the conventions I attend and the spaces I inhabit safer for other people?

Recanted accusation or not, I found some stuff I need to work on. Not a long history of abusive behavior, but a tune-up on boundaries, and on thinking before I speak.

(2) THE LATTER IS NOT RECOMMENDED. SFF author Jeremiah Tolbert spent last Saturday at the Planet ComicCon Kansas City 2018, and he says, “ComicCons Are More Fun With Children. You Should Make Some, or Steal Somebody’s”.

So given that I’m not big on photos with famous people (but definitely not above walking past autograph alley to oogle them and say, without fail, “oh, they’re shorter than I expected”), and I am not really a collector of toys or comics, why would I ever attend these things? Two simple reasons: to meet up with professionals attending who are good friends and to watch my tiny human

lose.

his.

shit.

Little Dude Tolbert (hereafter referred to LDT) will be four in June, and he’s developing into quite the little protogeek.

 

(3) CONTRACTUALLY DEFICIENT. In a public post on Patreon, Jason Sanford reported:

Since the first of the year I’ve written a couple of times about Spectacle Magazine, a new quarterly speculative fiction publication (see here and here for previous articles). The magazine is published and edited by Kevin Hale and Danny Dumas and aims to be a high-end venue for thought-provoking fiction and non-fiction focused on SF/F themes.

Three days ago the Spectacle’s editors sent out a number of story acceptances. Normally you’d expect authors to be excited about acceptances, but news quickly spread that many of them were not happy with the contract terms being offered. I personally had multiple authors contact me about issues around the contracts they were offered…

There are several issues there, including with derivative rights. At worst this derivative rights grab could allow Spectacle to create films or video games or nearly anything else using the stories they purchased and the authors wouldn’t be able to object.

There are also other issues with the contract, such as not laying out when the work would be published or that the rights will revert to the author in the case the story is never published.

Shortly afterward, Spectacle Magazine published the following tweet:

Another author on Twitter noted, with astonishment:

(4) DEADLINE EXTENDED. Worldcon 76 has announced that the deadline for submissions to their Academic Track have been extended to March 1, 2018:

Participants in the Academic Track will have a chance at winning a “Best Academic Track Paper” cash prize from The Heinlein Society.  This $250 prize will be awarded based on the presentations as given at Worldcon 76.  Given this new opportunity, we will extend the submission deadline to March 1st.

Details on submitting can be found at the Worldcon 76 website.

(5) THIS IS THE FUTURE THAT FILERS WANT. Via Foz Meadows:

http://peppylilspitfuck.tumblr.com/post/171099260572/fozmeadows-majorgenerally-writing-prompt-s

(6) TAKING CREDIT. Kristine Kathryn Rusch, in her latest column “Business Musings: Editorial Encroachment”, comments on the recent trend she’s been seeing of editors requiring equal authorial credit on books:

Last week, as I was searching for a friend’s book on Amazon, I made a loathsome discovery. My friend’s book, which is up for preorder, lists her name and the name of someone else on the byline.

I had never heard of that someone else. So I clicked on the preorder, and what did I see? A cover, with just my friend’s name on it.

So I glanced up at the title. Beneath it was this byline:

My Friend (Author), Annoying Person (Editor)

I went through the roof. My friend wrote that book. She hired Annoying Person to edit the book.

I looked up Annoying Person and found her terms and conditions. She sounds like a fairly knowledgeable editor. She only handles copy editing and line editing (although it sounds like she would have a pretty heavy hand). She explicitly says she does not do developmental editing.

Which means she has done exactly nothing on this book. She didn’t come up with the concept. She didn’t brainstorm the characters. She didn’t improve the plot. She didn’t imagine the setting.

All she did was tweak the words.

So why the hell is she getting credit for this book?

Rusch explains in detail why she believes that going along with this is damaging to an author’s brand, and offers advice to authors who are faced with such contracts by their editors.

(7) CHESHIRE CATS. In a Twitter thread, lindsay beth explains how your SJW Credential always manages to magically appear, despite not having been in any of the places you’ve looked: (click the date/time stamp to read the whole thread)

(8) NEBULOSITY. Filer Cora Buhlert has posted “Some Thoughts on the 2017 Nebula Award Nominees”, and offers her thoughts on the shortlists of the various categories as well as some possible trends.

In general, what’s notable about the adult fiction categories is that Uncanny dominates the short fiction categories, followed by Tor.com and Clarkesworld. Tor.com absolutely dominates the novella category, while Orbit dominates best novel. The decline of the big three print magazines continues. F&SF and Asimov’s managed to garner one nomination each, while Analog didn’t get any at all. Only a single nominee in the fiction categories is self-published. Thematically, I don’t see a clear trend beyond a preferences for works with historical settings.

Buhlert’s piece contains more detailed analysis of individual entries, as well as of the levels of diversity reflected by the shortlist authors.

(9) DOCTOR WHEN. The Gallifrey Times says that during the February 21 BBC Worldwide Showcase Panel at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, it appeared to be confirmed that Doctor Who will be returning in October 2018.

In the background, we see a promotional photo of the Thirteenth Doctor with some text that reads:

Series 11 – 1×65 – 9×50 – delivers October 2018

You can view the Liverpool Echo’s photo gallery of the event here.

(10) ACHIEVEMENT GATEKEPT. Experienced gamer and blogger Mysty Vander describes how she conquered her social anxiety to attend a gaming convention in 2017, only to be confronted with outrageous sexism, in “Honey, Let the Real Gamers Play”:

We reached a point where my Gunslinger passed a search check nobody else did. I had found a letter. My character was quiet, stoic, and kept to herself – she likely would only divulge the necessary information. When the GM took the letter out, he handed it to the man playing Freya instead of myself. Okay…that’s fine, not a big deal, as long as I get to read it in the end (being partially deaf at a convention, I truly needed to read it with my own eyes to understand all of it).

That didn’t quite happen. Freya’s player read it, passed it along to the older man beside him, and then the note went no further. “Oh, so we need to find the South Gate?” Freya inquired.

The player beside him responded, “Seems like it,” and handed the note back to the GM.

“May I see the note?” I asked.

Without hesitation, the player playing Freya responded, “No need, we know what it meant, sweetie,” he said with a smile.

(11) JUMPING ON THE MAPWAGON. The February 19 Pixel Scroll (item #9), mentions an artist who has done Lord of the Rings-style maps of UK and US National Parks. Kim Huett points out that an Australian artist has done a map of Canberra in the style of Game of Thrones.

(12) BIRTHDAYS.

  • Born February 25, 1966Alexis Denisof (The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Born February 25, 1966Téa Leoni (Deep Impact, Jurassic Park III)
  • Born February 25, 1971Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things)
  • Born February 25, 1986Jameela Jamil (The Good Place)

(13) BUG REPORTS. In xkcd’s 2018 CVE List, Randall Munroe details the most recently-discovered Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures of software, of which we must all be wary. Be sure to mouseover the image for a special Security Disclosure.

(14) DEBUNKING THE MYTHS. In “Hugo Myth Season Again”, Cheryl Morgan dispels the idea that nominators must have read exhaustively in order to be legitimate nominators:

Voting is open for this year’s Hugo Awards, and consequently I need to get back to dispelling the strange ideas about the Hugos that seem to proliferate at this time of the year.

This post has been inspired in particular by the latest episode of the Coode Street Podcast where Gary and Jonathan do their usual fine job, but don’t quite get everything right.

Something that they do get right is the “I haven’t read enough” myth. Every year people trot out the idea that if you haven’t read “everything” then you are not eligible to nominate. This is nonsense.

However, Morgan says that there is another persistent myth to which even the Coode Street Regulars have fallen, which must be corrected:

Finally we come to the bit where the podcast goes totally off the rails. Jonathan resurrects one of the best known zombies of Hugo lore, the idea that the Hugos were once for science fiction only and were later changed to include fantasy. This is not entirely Jonathan’s fault. He got the story from Justin Ackroyd. I have had this discussion with Justin before. He was wrong then and he is still wrong now.

 

(15) I GOT YOUR EXHIBIT RIGHT HERE. Filer von Dimpleheimer, after seeing the announcement in the February 18 Pixel Scroll (item #21) that the exhibit “A Conversation Larger Than the Universe: Science Fiction and the Literature of the Fantastic from the Collection of Henry Wessells” would be taking place at The Grolier Club, stopped by when he was in the neighborhood. You can see his photos of the exhibit here.

– photo by von Dimpleheimer

(16) INADVERTENT DOXXING. In an article entitled “Furry Website Leaks Real Identities”, Medium contributor Sky raises some issues for concern regarding the registration software system used by a number of fannish conventions.

A “feature” in the popular convention registration system ‘Convention Master’ lets anyone find out your fursona name just by typing your real name.

The software is used widely by many conventions, especially in the furry scene. Civet Solutions, the maker of the software, boast “over one hundred and fifty thousand registrations processed.” If you’ve ever attended a furry convention, there’s decent odds they have your data on file… and are now leaking it with no plans to ever stop.

During online pre-registration, you enter your first and last name to see if you have an account at that convention. Unfortunately, anyone can do this. If you’ve ever pre-registered for that convention, or registered on site in a previous year, you have an account. And everyone can see you’ve attended that con with just your first and last name.

Even worse, your fursona name is also displayed.

Yep, that’s right. Anyone can find your fursona name if they know your real name.

Known affected furry cons:

  • Alamo City Furry Invasion
  • Califur
  • Fur-Eh!
  • Furlandia
  • Pacific Anthropomorphics Weekend
  • Scotiacon
  • Vancoufur
  • Wild Prairie Fur Con

Known affected non-furry cons:

  • Arisia
  • RustyCon

The article’s author discusses potential personal and professional implications of the public accessibility of members’ information, as well as possible avenues for remediation. They have also added a follow-up:

UPDATE NOTE: This article was updated with a section of feedback from Civet Solutions at the end of the article. Although the real name look-up feature in question will unfortunately not be removed from the software in future, I encourage you to read the update over to better understand their point of view and their future development plans.

(17) OLD PEOPLE READ YOUR SFF. In the past, James Davis Nicoll took requests on a commission basis only. However, he has now opened a Suggestion Box. There’s no guarantee that the work you suggest will be reviewed; however, submissions are welcome.

(18) YOU SHOULD SEE THIS. At Skiffy and Fanty, Stephen Geigen-Miller offers his “Best Graphic Story Hugo Recommendations”:

One of my biggest personal goals with these reviews – I mention this in the introduction to every column, and unpacked it a bit in my Month of Joy post – is to bring more, and different, deserving SFFnal comics, webcomics and graphic novels to the attention of SF&F readers.

That’s especially important when when it gets to be Hugo nomination season; I want to see a diverse, inclusive, smart Best Graphic Story category that reflects the breadth of the material that’s out there, and I want other genre readers to have the chance to find and fall in love with those comics, like I have.

(19) WHY SETI IS CONTRAINDICATED.

(20) ANNIHILATED. At The Verge, Annihilation and Ex Machina director Alex Garland talks about using sci-fi to explore self-destruction:

I think the main thematic preoccupation probably belongs primarily to the film, which is really about self-destruction. It’s about the nature of self-destruction in a literal sense: cells have life cycles and stars have life cycles and plants and the universe and us. You, me, everyone. But also psychological forms of self-destruction.

It was born out of a funny kind of preoccupation I started to have, that everybody is self-destructive, which is a strange thing to notice. I think a lot of self-destruction is very obvious. [Gestures to cigarettes on the table.] That’s an obvious self-destruction, right? And if a friend of yours is a heroin addict or an alcoholic, that’s an obvious kind of self-destruction. But there are also… You’ve also got friends, or people you encounter, who are super comfortable in their own skin, and very self-possessed, and feel like they have understood some sort of secret to existence that you’re not party to. And then you start to see, no, that’s not quite right. It’s more complicated than that. And fissures and fault lines appear, and between the fissures and the fault lines, you see bits of behavior that doesn’t really make sense – like they’re dismantling things in their lives for no good reason.

In “People Have Accused Annihilation of Whitewashing. Here’s How Its Director and Stars RespondedTIME Magazine reports:

Anticipation for the movie has been high since the release of the first trailer last fall. But recently, some, including the advocacy group Media Action Network for Asian Americans, have accused the film of whitewashing the roles played by Portman’s and Leigh’s characters, saying the characters on which they are based are of Asian descent and Native American descent, respectively, in the trilogy. In a statement, Alieesa Badreshia, an MANAA board member, said that writer-director Alex Garland “exploits the story but fails to take advantage of the true identities of each character.”

Others have pointed out that revelations of the two characters’ ethnic backgrounds are not made until subsequent books in the series.

In response to the criticism, Garland provided the following statement to TIME:

This is an awkward problem for me, because I think whitewashing is a serious and real issue, and I fully support the groups drawing attention to it.

But the characters in the novel I read and adapted were not given names or ethnicities. I cast the film reacting only to the actors I met in the casting process, or actors I had worked with before. There was no studio pressure to cast white. The casting choices were entirely mine.

As a middle-aged white man, I can believe I might at times be guilty of unconscious racism, in the way that potentially we all are. But there was nothing cynical or conspiratorial about the way I cast this movie.

While Portman, Leigh and Novotny are white, co-stars Thompson and Rodriguez are women of color. Oscar Isaac, who plays Portman’s character’s husband in the film, is of Guatemalan and Cuban descent.

 

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert, James Davis Nicoll, Jason Sanford, Kim Huett, RedWombat, ULTRAGOTHA, and von Dimpleheimer for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 Contributing Editor of the Day JJ.]

Cats Sleep on SFF: F&SF Winter/Spring 1950 Issue

Von Dimpleheimer’s cat nods off on a highly collectible prozine:

I recently inherited a cat originally named Paulette, who was called Pooter by her second owner. Since she acts like a 19th century schoolmarm, I realized her true name is Mrs. Pooter McGooter, though she’ll also answer to Poots McGoots, and Pootie McGootie. Her head is resting on the second issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.


Photos of other felines napping on genre works are welcome. Send to mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

Pixel Scroll 3/4/17 A Pixel That Scrolls For A Day, Replaced Next Morrow

(1) THE WEED OF CRIME. The Washington Post has an article by Rachel Weiner about Amil Chaudry being sentenced to nine years for identity theft, visa fraud, and money laundering.  Prosecutors said that Chaudry was part of a ring that charged $25 million on phony credit cards, and when banks challenged the charges used phony passports to back the claims.

“The scheme was uncovered in part because an FBI agent recognized actress Laura Vandevoort in one of these passports,” Weiner reports.  “The image was taken from a scene from the television show ‘V’ involving visas, authorities said.”

Vandevoort also played Supergirl in “Smallville” and Indigo in “Supergirl.”

(2) AN EVEN LISTIER LIST. Von Dimpleheimer has updated his ebook compilation of people’s lists of 2017 award recommendations. The latest version adds the File 770, Shadow Clarke, and SFWA recommendations and the finalists of the Asimov’s Readers’, Crawford, and Phillip K. Dick awards. JJ has approved his handling of the File 770 entry. The ebook is available as a free download.

(3) LEARN ABOUT AFRICAN SFF.  Geoff Ryman’s “100 African Writers of SFF” series continues at Strange Horizons.

Jennifer Nansubaga Makumbi

(An earlier version of this chapter was published at Tor.com in November 2016.) In Part Two of 100 African Writers of SFF, you’ll meet: a crime writer whose grandfather was a king—one who made a Western artist a priestess in the Ogun religion. A white South African anti-apartheid activist whose sister was tried under the security laws—and introduced him to the work of Joanna Russ. A Rastafarian from Zimbabwe whose experience of life under Mugabe has made him a free-market neoliberal. A South African rap/ jazz-rock star, illustrator, and author who models his look on the Wicked Witch of the West.

In Part Three of 100 African Writers of SFF, you’ll meet the editors of Cape Town: the people who make things happen. They include Constance Myerberg/Jenna Dann, co-founder of Jungle Jim; Kerstin Hall, founder of Luminous Worlds; Nerine Dorman, writer and editor of the anthology Terra Incognita; Ntone Edjabe, founder and editor of Chimurenga; and Rachel Zadok, a force behind Short Story Day Africa.

(4) BAD GUYS WHO WEREN’T VERY GOOD. Factory seconds from the comic book industry — The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains explores ill-thought comic book bad guys”.

Sometimes even comic greats can have terrible ideas — and in a fascinating new book, The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains: Oddball Criminals from Comic Book History, author Jon Morris explores the history of ill-thought and sometimes laughable antagonists you’ve probably never heard of. Below, check out a few highlights, complete with captions Morris has written for EW exclusively, to get a sneak peek before The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains hits shelves on March 28.

For example:

MIRROR MAN Created by: Mike Sekowsky and an uncredited writer Enemy of: Captain Flash Debuted in: Captain Flash #1 (Sterling Comics, November 1954)

© 1954 by Sterling Comics

The courageous Captain Flash fought a surprising number of menaces in his abbreviated career, but none quite as deadly, implacable and likely to jump out of a medicine cabinet as Mirror Man. A silicon-starved, glassy nogoodnik from a malevolent dimension, Mirror Man comes to Earth to destroy its finest scientific minds. Why? It’s never explained, but at least it gives Captain Flash something to do while running out the clock on his short-lived series. Boasting the ability to disappear into any reflective surface, and to appear from any other, Mirror Man is one of the first alien menaces to make his initial salvo against Earth from the convenience of a men’s restroom.

(5) A FINE POINTILLIST. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna interviews Bob Mankoff, who is ending his tenure as the New Yorker’s cartoon editor in April.  Mankoff discusses how he created the Cartoon Bank to provide another income source for cartoonists and how he imagines his late mother being asked about his job and told, ‘They paid you for that?”

Since he became editor, “the biggest change was that cartoons, even of the very benign variety that appear in the New Yorker, now have great power to offend — at least among the easily offended, a class whose numbers grow even as I write,” Mankoff says. “Now, even Canadians take offense at being stereotyped as polite.”

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 4, 1952 — Ernest Hemingway completes his short novel The Old Man and the Sea. He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works.
  • March 4, 2017  — People read the above and demand to know why Mike is posting this item about a non-genre work.

(7) GONE BATS. Given enough time, critics will talk themselves into redeeming the irredeemable — “Why this ridiculous 1966 Batman movie is the most important Batman movie ever” by Greg Cwik in The Week.

You may look back affectionately on Batman’s innocently zany antics of the 1950s and early ’60s. But Batman was almost ruined by those robots and radioactive big bugs and kitschy toys and gimmicks and the definitely not-gay Bat-Family of Bat-Hound, Bat-Girl, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, and Mogo the Bat-Ape. Sales sunk. In fact, “they were planning to kill Batman off altogether” in 1964, said co-creator Bob Kane.

But then editor Julius Schwartz took over, and tried to save the comic by eradicating the Bat-Family. He was aided by artist Carmine Infantino, who redesigned Batman to be “more realistic.” Sales went up. But ironically, it was another gimmick-laden endeavor that truly rescued the Dynamic Duo: the Adam West-starring camp comedy Batman, which premiered in 1966, the year Kane retired.

Batman fans, particularly Frank Miller acolytes, like to say West’s show and movie “ruined” Batman. Actually, the parodic depiction made Batman a cultural icon after a decade of mail-in toys and cynical strategies. It presented a starkly different kind of Batman, at once refuting Wertham’s provocations while slyly embracing them through its ostensible innocence.

A genuine fad, the show and movie came and went in 26 months. But its influence altered the legacy of the Caped Crusader. The movie, which came out July 30, 1966, was the first official Batman movie since the serials of the 1940s. A generation of television viewers and moviegoers, unfamiliar with Kane and Bill Finger’s brooding detective (Batman killed people — by noose, by gun, by defenestration) now knew Batman only as a campy crusader with painted-on eyebrows and a syncopated delivery that sounds, to modern ears, like a lascivious cross between William Shatner and Jeff Goldblum. The juxtaposition between Walter Cronkite’s 1968 Vietnam expose on the dinnertime news and Burt Ward yawping, “Holy Diversionary Tactics!” must have been dizzying.

(8) BEAU OF THE BALL. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will appear in Game of Thrones.

According to Ken Davidoff at the New York Post, Syndergaard filmed his cameo in Spain in November when he had some free time after the Mets were eliminated from the postseason in the NL Wild Card Game.

“They just know that I’m a fan and they invited me to do that,” Syndergaard told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. “I couldn’t say no.”

(9) NERDS IN HELL. Nerds of a Feather is launching an ambitious series on dystopianism in SF/F that will continue for the next two months.

This series, conceived of as a sequel to Cyberpunk Revisited, seeks to explore questions of what dystopianism is and what purpose(s) it serves. What are the tropes and conventions of modern dystopian fiction? How have dystopian visions evolved over time, both in terms of approach and theme? And what do dystopian visions about the points in time and space in which they are written?

Equally, we will ask questions about why we like to read about dystopias. Is it possible that we even find them comforting, and if so, why?

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we will consider dystopianisms’s complex relationship to its forebear, utopianism. We will explore works where dystopianism serves to negatively define utopia, as well as those where dystopia and utopia are presented side-by-side. Just how essential or intrinsic is the concept of utopia to that of dystopia?

We will explore these and other questions through a series of essays and dossier-style reviews, including of works not commonly associated with dystopianism, but which present dystopian themes. Our dossiers will have the following subheadings:

Filetype: whether the work under review is a book, film, game, etc.

File Under: whether the work presents a statist, stateless, fantasy or hybrid-form dystopia.

Executive Summary: summary of the plot.

Dystopian Visions: discussion of dystopian themes/content present in the work.

Utopian Undercurrents: whether and to what degree the work’s dystopianism underlies a utopian understanding of politics, society, etc.

Level of Hell: a quantitative rating of how terrible the presented dystopia is, from first to ninth—with an explanation of the rating.

Legacy: the importance of the work in question within its field.

In Retrospect: an editorial commentary on how good/not good the work is, from the vantage point of 2017.

Interspersed with these dossier reviews, we and a selection of guest writers will explore how to contextualize dystopia and dystopianism within literature and other media, as well as the moments in time and space when it has surged forward into popular consciousness.

(10) ACTING WITHOUT THE ACTOR. What if Leonard Nimoy’s Spock could be digitally resurrected for appearances in future productions of the Star Trek franchise? Here’s what Adam Nimoy has to say about it at CinemaBlend.

Adam Nimoy, who directed the 2016 documentary For The Love Of Spock that focused on his father, made this admission to Trek Movie.com, insisting that he wouldn’t have a problem with seeing his dad up on screen again as Spock. He also admitted that he was blown away by what Rogue One had achieved with Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher. Adam Nimoy remarked,

Yeah I think it’s an interesting idea. I loved what they did in Rogue One. I thought it was pretty clever, and I was blown away by it, frankly. All of the stuff that Peter Cushing was doing was mind-boggling to me. I’m a sucker for that stuff. I think it should certainly be explored, but I’m not the final arbiter as to whether it’s going to happen, but I think it’s a great idea, personally.

There’s every chance that an opportunity to resurrect Leonard Nimoy, who died back in 2015, as Spock could present itself in the near future. As the question was being posed to Adam Nimoy, the interviewer explained that Star Trek: Discovery will take place a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, during which time Spock served under Captain Pike on the Enterprise.

(11) THINKIN’ UP SH*T. This reminds me of Bruce Willis’ line in Armageddon about what he assumed NASA spent its time doing. ASU’s workshop where “AI Scientists Gather to Plot Doomsday Scenarios (and Solutions)” is covered by Bloomberg Technology.

Artificial intelligence boosters predict a brave new world of flying cars and cancer cures. Detractors worry about a future where humans are enslaved to an evil race of robot overlords. Veteran AI scientist Eric Horvitz and Doomsday Clock guru Lawrence Krauss, seeking a middle ground, gathered a group of experts in the Arizona desert to discuss the worst that could possibly happen — and how to stop it.

Their workshop took place last weekend at Arizona State University with funding from Tesla Inc. co-founder Elon Musk and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn. Officially dubbed “Envisioning and Addressing Adverse AI Outcomes,” it was a kind of AI doomsday games that organized some 40 scientists, cyber-security experts and policy wonks into groups of attackers — the red team — and defenders — blue team — playing out AI-gone-very-wrong scenarios, ranging from stock-market manipulation to global warfare.

Horvitz is optimistic — a good thing because machine intelligence is his life’s work — but some other, more dystopian-minded backers of the project seemed to find his outlook too positive when plans for this event started about two years ago, said Krauss, a theoretical physicist who directs ASU’s Origins Project, the program running the workshop. Yet Horvitz said that for these technologies to move forward successfully and to earn broad public confidence, all concerns must be fully aired and addressed.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Von Dimpleheimer, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Hampus Eckerman.]

Pixel Scroll 2/24/17 770 Error: File Not Scrolled

(1) TED’S HOUSE SAVED. A copy of Ted White’s thank-you to supporters of his GoFundMe comes via Andrew Porter.

My thanks and my gratitude to all of you who helped me meet my goal within one day. I’m flabbergasted. I’m still getting my head around it.

But I must point out to everyone who has proffered Joel [Zakem]’s advice that I am not the legal owner of my house. My daughter is (I have the lifetime right of occupancy — for as long as I keep the taxes paid). For this reason I have been unable to qualify for tax abatement.

The moment I move out of the house, it will revert to my daughter, who will sell it to developers who will tear it down and build two separate houses on the adjoining lots and sell each for over a million bucks. I expect I’ll be dead by then.

In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks.

(2) AMBITIOUS COMIC CON. The Outdoor Retailers Show was formerly the largest event in Utah, generating $45M each July between hotel, dining and touring. They left over a public lands debate.

Conrunners Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg wrote on Linkedin that “Salt Lake Comic Con Can Fill the Void of Outdoor Retailers Exit”. They are scheduled to make a presentation before the Utah Legislature to promote their ideas, which might become one of the largest fannish public/private initiatives in the country.

…It’s a shame that Outdoor Retailer has left the state. Let’s fill that void with a world class comic con event. We can do this.

…We believe this creates an opportunity for us to step up and take advantage of an industry that is already thriving in Utah and make it even more beneficial to the state and its residents. We believe we can build something that will have much more impact if we are able to line up the type of support that Outdoor Retailers had here. Salt Lake Comic Con is only three years old and we’ve already helped generated tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the area.”

Right now we are the largest comic con per capita in the world. The people of Salt Lake City and Utah are used to doing more with less. We are one of the top economies in the country, #1 for volunteerism, a top outdoor destination, best skiing on earth, have the internationally renowned Sundance film festival and one of the top locations for movies. But most importantly, Utah is the nerdiest state in the country. Let’s take all the successes and resources to become one of the top comic con destinations in the world.

(3) VON DIMPLEHEIMER’S LIST OF LISTS. Eric von Dimpleheimer has assembled another masterpiece which you can download free. He explains:

I began putting together an ebook of the various 2016 recommendation lists and sorting them by magazine (with some links to free stories), but as I kept coming across more recommendations, I abandoned the Sisyphean project. It is still useful (to me at least) and I thought others might be interested in it. I included two of Rocket Stack Rank’s annotated lists and Greg from Rocket Stack Rank is OK with me including them as long as the ebooks are free, which they are.

I want to stress that the ebooks are NOT finished or free from errors, but they are as complete as I am likely to make them. Anyone is free to add to or alter the ebooks as they see fit, as long as links to the sites of the original listmakers  remain (or in a few cases, better links are found.)

(4) MIND MELD. Shana DuBois has organized a new installment of this classic feature – “Mind Meld: Fresh Perspectives on Common Tropes” at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

Tell us about a book, or books, that flipped SF/F/H on its head, approaching a common trope from such a fresh perspective you couldn’t stop thinking about it: What fresh methods did the book(s) use to look at the world anew?

Answering the question are Sofia Samatar, Max Gladstone, Joyce Chng, Jaime Lee Moyer, and Rachel Swirsky.

(5) BLOWN UP, SIR! Think of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet made with transparent balloons. Then go to io9 and see the pictures – “Just Let This Little Girl’s Wonder Woman Invisible Jet Costume Win Every Contest”.

(6) THE SHADOW JURY KNOWS. The Shadow Clarke shortlists are starting to come thick and fast:

…But first, my six in alphabetical order by author surname:

The Power — Naomi Alderman (Penguin Viking)

I hummed and hawed the most about including this book on the list. It seems to be another example of one type of book that has done well in the Clarke during recent years; the kind of novel that features one or more young female protagonists and reflects on aspects of a patriarchal society in a manner that can be compared with the work of the Award’s first winner, Margaret Atwood. Indeed, Alderman was actually mentored by Atwood during the writing of the novel. Moreover, it might be argued that The Power is simply a provocative what-if story that turns on a gimmick. However, any such reading would miss the book’s capacity to mix raw excitement with complexity and subtlety. The combination of the framing narrative and the unforgettable illustrations is worth the price of admission alone.

I sat at my computer last Tuesday morning, flicking between my work and the Clarke Award twitter feed, waiting for the submissions list to drop. When it finally did and I clicked through, with trepidation and a flicker of excitement, my first thought was: there are fewer eye-catching features in the Award’s 2016 landscape than I was hoping for. By which I mean, the list felt very flat.

As I scrolled down the 86 submitted books the wildcard submissions seemed fewer and further between than in recent years.  The avalanche of self-published works that some anticipated didn’t materialise – submissions were actually down this year overall – but it looked as though a lot of other submissions hadn’t materialised either. A brief and unscientific comparison between 2016 and 2017 lists for example, seems to suggest a decrease in submissions from ‘mainstream’ or non-genre imprints – 36 in 2016, 28 in 2017 (with 20 imprints and 17 imprints submitting respectively). There were some books in this category notably absent.  The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann) for one, Hystopia by David Means (Faber & Faber) for another. I’d also hoped that Salt might take a punt on Wyl Menmuir’s uncanny dystopian fable The Many; and Galley Beggar Press on Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge. The fact that the ratio of books by women has fallen this year (from 33% of the total to 28%) may be attributable to the drop in submissions from non-specialist imprints who, as a fellow shadow juror pointed out to me, are far more likely to publish female writers of SF.

My shortlist is primarily based on optimism– being impressed by the multiple things these novels are attempting to do– and, to quote Nina Allan’s recent introduction, “to pay sufficient attention to the ‘novel’ part of the equation.” It includes books I might not love, but I would like to see discussed in relation to more popular books that have a better chance of landing on the official shortlist. I have followed only one firm rule: I will not include any previous Clarke award winners. This omits Chris Beckett, Paul McAuley, China Miéville, Claire North, Christopher Priest, and Tricia Sullivan. In a couple of cases, this rule made my shortlist picks more difficult, but I’m a big proponent of the one-and-done rule (or won-and-done, rather) because it’s only too obvious SF awards culture likes to chase its tail.

(7) THE ENTERTAINER. Larry Correia’s Toastmaster speech at the Gala Banquet at Life, The Universe and Everything (LTUE 2017) is available on YouTube.

(8) STARGAZING. The Google Doodlers had fun with the discovery of seven exoplanets at Trappist-1.

(9) SUSAN CASPER OBIT. Philadelphia author Susan Casper (1947-2017), wife of Gardner Dozois for 47 years, passed away February 24.

Announcing her death on Facebook, Dozois said: “She was an extremely tough woman, and fought through an unbelievable amount of stuff in the last couple of years, but this last illness was just too much for her fading strength to overcome.”

She was the author of two dozen published stories. Her 1994 novella “Up the Rainbow” took sixth place in  Asimov’s annual Readers Poll.

Her fiction in collaboration with Gardner Dozois is part of Slow Dancing through Time (1990), which includes one collaboration with both Dozois and Jack M Dann.

She served as a Tiptree Award judge in 1994.

There will be no viewing or funeral service, but there will be a memorial gathering in the future.

Susan Casper. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter.

(10) MARTIN DEUTSCH OBIT. Courtesy of Dale Arnold:

Martin Deutsch, President of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, died February 24. He had been receiving chemotherapy for a bone marrow condition for several weekly cycles of treatment and his doctor was optimistic, but fate intervened.

The night before he had reported being very tired, but intending to meet with the BSFS Treasurer that morning as previously scheduled. He had also said he would be attending the BSFS book discussion on Saturday, but might need to borrow one of the wheelchairs BSFS keeps around for people who need them at Balticon to get into the building. However, the morning of the 24th before the BSFS Treasurer arrived Martin passed out in his favorite chair and died before medical assistance arrived. It is reported that there was little pain.

Martin was first elected as President of BSFS in 1980 and served continuously since then leading the meetings with his own twist on formal meeting rules. He never tired of building things for BSFS and Balticon and many of the fixtures and displays at the convention, particularly in the art show which he ran for many years with his wife Shirley Avery, were his inspiration made manifest. During the most recent election of BSFS officers Martin said he was not ready to give up yet and indeed his spirit never gave up.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • February 24, 1786 — Wilhelm Grimm was born, one of The Brothers Grimm.

(12) TODAY IN ALTERNATE HISTORY

  • February 24, 1989 The body of Laura Palmer is discovered in Twin Peaks, WA.

(13) NOW WITH SUBTRACTED GOODNESS. MovieWeb passes along the scuttlebutt – “Unaltered Original Star Wars Trilogy to Be Re-Released Before Last Jedi?”

This year not only brings Star Wars fans a new theatrical adventure in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but also a number of new books and, of course, another Force Friday event happening this fall, but that’s not all. This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of the original Star Wars, with the anniversary celebration kicking off at Star Wars Celebration, which runs from April 13 through April 16 in Orlando, Florida. If a new rumor is believed to be true, LucasFilm may be making a big announcement about the 40th anniversary soon, with plans apparently under way to release a new Blu-ray set with the theatrical versions of the original trilogy films.

(14) HERE’S THE PITCH. From MLB.com “Five baseball movies you probably haven’t seen that (mostly) deserve watching”. Martin Morse Wooster sent the link and a couple of comments:

  1. The fine film Battlefield Baseball HAS to be seen (or at least the trailer does).

The MLB.com description reads —

It’s kind of like “Friday Night Lights” in that it’s about high school sports rivalries. But it differs in one crucial way: The game doesn’t end until the opposing team is dead. Oh yeah, the synopsis also sounds like a Stefon sketch. “Battlefield Baseball” features zombies, deadly baseball equipment and that thing where a pitcher throws a lethal pitch known as the “Super Tornado.”

 

  1. The clip from Rhubarb does have Leonard Nimoy — in 1951!

There’s a good (very short) view of him about 2:10

(15) INCLUDES SEMIPRO AND FAN RECS. Shaun Duke has assembled a crowdsourced “2017 Hugo Awards Reading / Viewing List”.

As I did last year, I have begun to compile a big massive (and, indeed, very sexy) list of all the books, stories, comics, movies, fans, etc. suggested to me via my recent 2017 Hugo Awards Recommendations form. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, as it is based on suggestions by readers. If something is missing, let me know in the comments.

(16) PROBLEM DAUGHTERS ANTHOLOGY CANCELED. Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael made the announcement in their “Statement on the Dissolution of the Problem Daughters Anthology”.

Unfortunately, the Problem Daughters project has been canceled, and Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael have parted ways with Djibril al-Ayad and FutureFire.net Publishing. This decision was extremely painful, and not taken lightly in consideration of the many wonderful, generous people who helped us get to this point. Unfortunately, the ideological differences between the involved parties have proved insurmountable, leaving us no choice but to end this collaboration.

We apologize to all of you who feel let down by this decision — our backers, our potential contributors and just anyone who wanted to read this book. We did, too.

Everyone who backed the project will be contacted as soon as possible so we can arrange a refund. We ask for your patience as we undergo this process.

Once again, we thank you for your support, and apologize for this inconvenience and disappointment.

Publisher The Future Fire also posted that the anthology is permanently closed to submissions.

The editors of the Problem Daughters, Djibril al-Ayad, Rivqa Rafael, and Nicolette Barischoff were behind the “Intersectional SFF Roundtable” for Apex Magazine that was taken down after Likhain’s open letter to the editor protesting the involvement of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Apex Magazine editor Jason Sizemore issued an apology, and briefly there also was an apology signed the three editors on The Future Fire site, now only readable in the Google cache file. The gist of their apology was that they were sorry for not including a black woman in a panel about intersectionality. The controversy about Sriduangkaew’s participation was not addressed.

(17) BE YOUR OWN BBC STATION. Michael O’Donnell recommends these BBC radio programs currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

In “I Was Philip K Dick’s Reluctant Host”, Michael Walsh – a journalist and respected film reviewer for The Province, a leading Vancouver newspaper – talks about the time he came to the aid of the author of Minority Report, Blade Runner, Total Recall and Man in the High Castle, who he met at a convention in 1972.

Discovering that Dick’s wife had walked out on him, that he had nowhere to go and was also suffering deep addiction problems, Michael invited Philip to stay with him and his wife Susan at their home in Vancouver.

It would go on to be one of the most challenging experiences of Michael’s life, as drug dependency, unwanted advances on Michael’s wife and unpredictable mood swings made the period something of an emotional rollercoaster for the wary hosts – but also fascinating insight into one of Sci-Fi’s greatest ever visionaries.

Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) reads The Underground Railroad, the new novel by Colson Whitehead. This brilliant and at times brutal novel about the history of slavery and racism in America won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 2016.

“What if the underground railroad was a literal railroad? And what if each state, as a runaway slave was going north, was a different state of American possibility, an alternative America?”

Whitehead’s inventive novel follows Cora and Caesar as they escape from a Georgia slave plantation and run north in pursuit of freedom, aided by the stationmasters and conductors of the Underground Railroad.

Vintage sci-fi serial from 1961.

“A glimpse across a weird threshold, on the rim of space where there should be nothing but eternal, frozen darkness. Yet where there was something more…..”

Newspaper reporter, Tom Lambert has decided to reinvestigate the strange events of ten years before, concerning the “cosmic noise”. Believing the inside story was never told, he’s tracked down the only man who knows, Dr Hayward Petrie.

Told in flashbacks, the story unfolds from Dr Petrie’s own recordings of the time when the detection of a strange pattern of signals sparks a mysterious discovery…

[Thanks to Michael O’Donnell, JJ, Daniel Dern, David Doering, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Moshe Feder, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

Free Volume of Novelettes Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos

Novelettes Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos contains 70 science fiction and fantasy novelettes (between 7,500 and 17,500 words long) that were published in 1940.

Editor von Dimpleheimer comments on the latest volume in his series of public domain reprints:

The final volume, with all the novelettes from Volumes 1-7 and six new ones, is done.

Any Helvetica fans who have been forced to read in Caecilla will be happy to know that readers of the Kindle version can now choose their own font.

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Nelson S. Bond “Beyond Light” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “Dictator of Time” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Judging of the Priestess” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • John Broome “Land of Wooden Men” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Sam Carson “Sphere of the Never-Dead” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • George E. Clark “The Test-Tube Monster” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Girl from Infinite Smallness” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Ice over America” Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Perfume of Dark Desire” by Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Phantom of the Seven Stars” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Priestess of the Moon” Amazing Stories, December 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Revolt the Ice Empire” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Maurice Duclos “Sabotage on Mars” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Nictzin Dyalhis “Heart of Atlantan” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Terror Out of the Past” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “City from the Sea” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Revolt on the Tenth World” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Sea Born” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton (as Robert O. Wentworth) “World Without Sex” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Admiral’s Inspection” Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Murder the Time World” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “White Mutiny” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Hell Ship of Space” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Princess of Power” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “Star Pirate” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Peter Horn) “50 Miles Down” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Dr. Cyclops” Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “The Elixir of Invisibility” by Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Paul Edmonds) “The Lifestone” Astonishing Stories, February 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Noel Gardner) “The Shining Man” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Robert H. Leitfred “Seven Seconds of Eternity” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “Hell in Eden” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • James Norman “Blue Tropics” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • James Norman “Oscar, Detective of Mars” Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Fish Men of Venus” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “The Strange Voyage of Hector Squinch” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Suicide Squadrons of Space” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Trapped on Titan” Amazing Stories, June 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Treasure Trove in Time” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The Golden Empress” Argosy, October 5, 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The World That Drowned” Argosy, May 4, 1940
  • Jep Powell “The Synthetic Woman” Amazing Stories, September 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Transparent Stuff” Unknown, June 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Two for a Bargain” Unknown, December 1940
  • David V. Reed (as Peter Horn) “Vagabonds of the Void” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Buccaneer of the Star Seas” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “The Invisible World” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Martian Terror” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “The World in the Atom” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Worlds at War” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Wayne Rogers “Satan’s Seamstress” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Cold” Astounding Science-Fiction, March 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Runaway Cargo” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Space Double” Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Exiles of the Three Red Moons” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Revolt on the Earth-star” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • D. Sharp “The Lodestone Core” Astonishing Stories, August 1940
  • Bertrand L. Shurtleff “New York Fights the Termanites” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The Black Farm” Unknown, March 1940
  • Manly Wade Wellman “Bratton’s Idea” Comet, December 1940
  • Jack West “Revolt on Io” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Jack West “When the Ice Terror Came” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Don Wilcox (as Miles Shelton) “The Gift of Magic” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Let War Gods Clash!” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Mystery of “The Mind Machine” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Death Over Chicago” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Dr. Destiny, Master of the Dead” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Lord of the Silent Death” Comet, December 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Raiders Out of Space” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Thunor Flees the Devils” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940

Free Volume of Stories Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos

Editor von Dimpleheimer explains his latest volume:

All of the short stories from Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vols 1-7 are included here, along with five new stories.

At the end of the book, I listed all the short fiction from these volumes by magazine and editor. I thought that may help people nominate for Best Editor.

I’ll have an all novelette volume, with a few new novelettes, ready in a week or two.

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

This ebook contains 88 science fiction and fantasy short stories published in 1940 that have fallen into the public domain and may be eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugo Awards.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Angry Amethyst” Argosy, November 30, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Blind Farmer and the Strip Dancer” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Dance of Life” The Blue Book Magazine, June 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Emerald of Isis” Argosy, September 21, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones (as Gordon Keyne) “The Kings Do Battle Again” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Outlawed” The Blue Book Magazine, July 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Ruby of France” Argosy, November 9, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Wife of the Humorous Gangster” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Man Who Knew All the Answers” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Ray that Failed” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Robert Bloch “Queen of the Metal Men” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Hannes Bok “The Symphonic Abduction” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Hannes Bok (as H. V. B.) “The Voice of Scariliop” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Scientific Pioneer” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Unusual Romance of Ferdinand Pratt” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Laurence Bour, Jr. “Black Was the Night” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • H. T. W. Bousfield “The Impossible Adventure” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Leigh Brackett “The Stellar Legion” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Ray Bradbury “The Flight of the Good Ship Clarissa” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Ray Bradbury (as Ron Reynolds) “The Piper” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Miles J. Breuer “The Oversight” Comet, December 1940
  • John L. Chapman “In the Earth’s Shadow” Comet, December 1940
  • Robert Clancy “The Reward” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Arton’s Metal” Super Science Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings & Gabrielle Cummings (as Gabriel Wilson) “Corpses from Canvas” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings (as Ray King) “The Man Who Killed the World” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Ray Cummings “Personality Plus” Astonishing Stories, October 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Thought-Woman” Super Science Stories, July 1940
  • Ray Cummings “The Vanishing Men” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Ray Cummings “When the Werewolf Howls” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Ray Cummings “World Upside Down” Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1940
  • Ralph Milne Farley “Rescue Into the Past” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Ralph Milne Farley “The Time Wise-Guy” Amazing Stories, May 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend (as Frank Johnson) “Colossus from Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “Glamour Girl—2040” Startling Stories, May 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “Mind Over Matter” Startling Stories, January 1940
  • Oscar J. Friend “The Stolen Spectrum” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “The Achilles Heel” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Eyes That Watch” Comet, December 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Lost Treasure of Mars” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Robert Heinlein (as Lyle Monroe) “HEIL!” Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • D.L. James “Exit from Asteroid 60” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • D.L. James “Tickets to Paradise” Comet, December 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Joshua’s Battering Ram” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Philtered Power” Unknown, March 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Prospectors of Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “The Wizard of Baseball” Fantastic Adventures, May 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “Revolt of the Ants” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Liam Kennedy “The Mirror” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Damon Knight “The Itching Hour Futuria Fantasia, Spring 1940
  • Frederic Arnold Kummer, Jr. “The Time Merchant” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Kelvin Kent) “Beauty and the Beast” Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “A Comedy of Eras” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Paul Edmonds) “Improbability” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner (as Kelvin Kent) “Man About Time” Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “No Man’s World” Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Pegasus” Famous Fantastic Mysteries, May-June 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Reverse Atom” Thrilling Wonder Stories, November 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “Threshold” Unknown, December 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “The Uncanny Power of Edwin Cobalt” (as Noel Gardner) Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Henry Kuttner “World without Air” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “The Man Who Came Back” Fantastic Adventures, June August 1940
  • P. Schuyler Miller “The Ultimate Image” Comet, December 1940
  • C. L. Moore “Song a Minor Key” Scienti-Snaps, February 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien (as John York Cabot) “The Man the World Forgot” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Emil Petaja “The Intruder” Futuria Fantasia, Winter 1940
  • Alexander M. Phillips “The Space Flame” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Denis Plimmer “The Green Invasion” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • E. Hoffman Price “Khosru’s Garden” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Turn Over” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Seabury Quinn “The Last Waltz” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Ed Earl Repp “Norris Tapley’s Sixth Sense” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • John Murray Reynolds “Soul of Ra-Moses” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Ross Rocklynne “The Tantalus Death” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Gretchen Ruediger “Wind the Moonlight” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Ivan Sandrof “The Scientific Miler of Bowler U.” Fantastic Adventures, October 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Venus Has Green Eyes” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Harry Sivia “Past Tense” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Harry Walton “Asteroid H277—Plus” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The African Trick” Unknown, April 1940
  • Helen Weinbaum “The Valley of the Undead” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Don Wilcox “The Girl the Whirlpool” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Quest on Io” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Trouble in Avalon” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • R. R. Winterbotham “Equation for Time” Comet, December 1940
  • R. R. Winterbotham “Captives of the Void” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Donald A. Wollheim “The Planet That Time Forgot” Planet Stories, Fall 1940

Seventh Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 7 is now available, a collection of 33 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four, Volume Five.and Volume Six.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Fantastic-Adventures-January-1940-600x802

Here is the Table of Contents for Volume Seven.

  • Albert Bernstein (as Donald Bern) “The Man Who Knew All the Answers” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Laurence Bour, Jr. “Black Was the Night” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • H.T.W. Bousfield “The Impossible Adventure” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Sam Carson “Sphere of the Never-Dead” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Robert Clancy “The Reward” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • George E. Clark “The Test-Tube Monster” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “The Achilles Heel” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Raymond Z. Gallun “Terror out of the Past” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • D.L. James “Exit from Asteroid 60” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Milton Kaletsky “Revolt of the Ants” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Liam Kennedy “The Mirror” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Robert H. Leitfred “Seven Seconds of Eternity” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Richard O. Lewis “The Man Who Came Back” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The Golden Empress” Argosy, October 5, 1940
  • Frederick C. Painton “The World That Drowned” Argosy, May 4, 1940
  • Denis Plimmer “The Green Invasion” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Jep Powell “The Synthetic Woman” Amazing Stories, September 1940
  • E. Hoffman Price “Khosru’s Garden” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Seabury Quinn “The Last Waltz” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • David V. Reed (as Peter Horn) “Vagabonds of the Void” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • John Murray Reynolds “Soul of Ra-Moses” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Wayne Rogers “Satan’s Seamstress” Horror Stories, May 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Exiles of the Three Red Moons” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Carl Selwyn “Venus Has Green Eyes” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Harry Sivia “Past Tense” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Harry Walton “Asteroid H277—Plus” Planet Stories, Summer 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The African Trick” Unknown, April 1940
  • Howard Wandrei (as H. W. Guernsey) “The Black Farm” Unknown, March 1940
  • Jack West “Revolt on Io” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Jack West “When the Ice Terror Came” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • Don Wilcox “Mystery of “The Mind Machine” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Don Wilcox (as Miles Shelton) “The Gift of Magic” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Donald A. Wollheim “The Planet That Time Forgot” Planet Stories, Fall 1940

Von Dimpleheimer says it will take one more volume with 10 stories to wrap up the project.

Sixth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 6, a collection of 30 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four and Volume Five.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Von Dimpleheimer, in his capacity as a book designer, facetiously apologizes —

Apparently I failed to learn one of the important lessons of 2015. The cover images of these volumes do not squarely and literally represent the contents. If anyone downloaded these ebooks based on the covers and was disappointed by the lack of stories of robot detectives, of father-daughter trips to the moon for target practice, or of children befriending decommissioned kill-bots now working as short order cooks, I apologize. To prevent any further misunderstandings, I should state that Volume Six, despite it cover, is not guaranteed to contain a story about how two lads, unjustly thrown out of the Jupiter Scouts for accusing Professor McEvil-Foolja of violating the ban on time travel research, manage to save a futuristic city from rampaging dinosaurs.

 

ASF_0112Here is the Table of Contents for Volume Six.

  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Angry Amethyst” Argosy, November 30, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Blind Farmer and the Strip Dancer” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Dance of Life” The Blue Book Magazine, June 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Emerald of Isis” Argosy, September 21, 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “The Wife of the Humorous Gangster” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones (as Gordon Keyne) “The Kings Do Battle Again” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Outlawed” The Blue Book Magazine, July 1940
  • H. Bedford-Jones “Ruby of France” Argosy, November 9, 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “City from the Sea” , 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Lost Treasure of Mars” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Revolt on the Tenth World” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton “Sea Born” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Edmond Hamilton (as Robert O. Wentworth) “World Without Sex” Marvel Tales, May 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien (as John York Cabot) “The Man the World Forgot” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Fish Men of Venus” Amazing Stories, April 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “The Strange Voyage of Hector Squinch” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Suicide Squadrons of Space” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Trapped on Titan” Amazing Stories, June 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Treasure Trove in Time” Amazing Stories, November 1940
  • David Wright O’Brien “Truth Is a Plague” Amazing Stories, February 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Cold” Astounding Science-Fiction, March 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Runaway Cargo” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • Nat Schachner “Space Double” Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Death Over Chicago” Fantastic Adventures, January 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Dr. Destiny, Master of the Dead” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Lord of the Silent Death” Comet, December 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Quest on Io” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams “Raiders Out of Space” Amazing Stories, October 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Thunor Flees the Devils” Fantastic Adventures, February 1940
  • Robert Moore Williams (as Russell Storm) “Trouble in Avalon” Fantastic Adventures, June 1940

Von Dimpleheimer says in the introduction:

The first two Bedford-Jones stories were not listed on ISFDB, but when I stumbled upon them, I thought they might involve time travel. They don’t. I wouldn’t classify them as SF, but you can decide for yourself if you are inclined to read them. I enjoyed “Outlawed” even if it is just historical fiction about Christopher Marlowe.

Update 12/26/2015: Removed “Artificial Honeymoon” from list of contents and corrected number of stories to 30.

Fifth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 5, a collection of 20 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three and Volume Four.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Here is the table of contents of Volume Five:

  • Nelson S. Bond “Beyond Light” Planet Stories, Winter 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “Dictator of Time” Planet Stories, Spring 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Fertility of Dalrymple Todd” Fantastic Adventures, August 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Judging of the Priestess” Fantastic Adventures, April 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Scientific Pioneer” Amazing Stories, March 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Ultimate Salient” Planet Stories, Fall 1940
  • Nelson S. Bond “The Unusual Romance of Ferdinand Pratt” Weird Tales, September 1940
  • Leigh Brackett “The Stellar Legion” in Planet Stories, Winter 1940.
  • Malcolm Jameson “Admiral’s Inspection” Astounding Science-Fiction, April 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Joshua’s Battering Ram” Astonishing Stories, June 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Murder in the Time World” Amazing Stories, August 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Philtered Power” Unknown, March 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “Prospectors of Space” Thrilling Wonder Stories, September 1940
  • Malcolm Jameson “White Mutiny” Astounding Science-Fiction, October 1940
  • C. L. Moore “Song in a Minor Key” in Scienti-Snaps, February 1940.
  • Dorothy Quick “Transparent Stuff” Unknown, June 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Turn Over” Weird Tales, November 1940
  • Dorothy Quick “Two for a Bargain” Unknown, December 1940
  • Gretchen Ruediger “Wind in the Moonlight” Weird Tales, May 1940
  • Helen Weinbaum “The Valley of the Undead” Weird Tales, September 1940

Eight stories in this volume are part of various series.

Bond’s “The Scientific Pioneer” is a Horse-Sense Hank story and “The Judging of the Priestess” is a Meg story.

Jameson’s Bullard stories, “Admiral’s Inspection” and “White Mutiny” and Quick’s Patchwork Quilt stories, “Transparent Stuff” and “Two for a Bargain” are presented in chronological order.

Brackett’s “The Stellar Legion” is the first of her Venus stories and Moore’s “Song in a Minor Key” is the last of her Northwest Smith stories.