(1) THE FANS CANNA STAND THE STRAIN. The show’s not on the air yet and they’re already bumping off beloved characters? Here’s what io9 is reporting: “Game of Thrones Inspired Star Trek: Discovery to Kill More Main Characters”.
So, which characters are most likely to attend the Red Shirt Wedding? Some online speculation suggests that Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca will be the first to go, possibly after turning on his crew; below-the-line comments for almost any article on the show are full of fans betting on Lorca’s death. Even Vanity Fair has come out and said the dude is probably a dead man walking.
Didn’t this actually start with The Sopranos?
(2) REBOOT AND REVIVAL. SyFy Wire reports two Jetsons projects are in the works, one animated, one live-action.
Following on the heels of the announcement that The Jetsons was orbiting Warner Bros.’ creative platter as a new animated feature film comes new info that the futuristic family will soon grace the small-screen airwaves in a fresh live-action adaptation.
It’d definitely be interesting to check out a live-action version of the sparkly shiny future of Astro City, and we look forward to seeing how this project develops. According to the announcement, this fresh take on The Jetsons will be set 100 years from now and will have a comedic edge similar to the classic ’60s cartoon.
Sources have confirmed that Warners has enlisted the assistance of Family Guy executive producer Gary Janetti to put the polish on this reboot and will start shopping the project around to interested broadcast stations and major cable networks next month. Janetti will also serve as an executive producer, with Forest Gump’s Robert Zemeckis and Castaway’s Jack Rapke.
(3) SHATNER. In The Truth Is in the Stars, William Shatner “sits down with scientists, innovators and celebrities to discuss how the optimism of ‘Star Trek’ influenced multiple generations.” The show is available on Netflix, and was aired a few months ago in Canada.
(4) SAN DIEGO HOLDS ONTO CON FOUR MORE YEARS. “Comic-Con is here to stay — through 2021” – the San Diego Union-Tribune has the story.
Despite dashed hopes for an expanded convention center, Comic-Con International has agreed to a new three-year contract that will keep the always sold-out pop culture gathering in San Diego through 2021.
The new three-year deal, announced Friday morning by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, hinged, as it has in previous contracts, on persuading local hotels to keep a lid on room rates over the term of the contract. The current contract, which will expire after next year’s show, covered two years and also included provisions for controlling what are always high room rates during the four-day July convention….
As much as hotel rates matter, so too does diminishing space for the Con, said Comic-Con International spokesman David Glanzer, noting that negotiations for the contract extension had been ongoing for a year.
“We have had to cap our attendance for many, many years so our income level is different and we have to be aware of that,” he said during a morning news conference outside the center. “But again, with the efforts of the mayor, the Tourism Authority, the hoteliers, we’re able to make what we have work.”
Glanzer, though, wasn’t willing to guarantee that the convention will always remain in San Diego.
“We’ve made it very, very clear we would love to stay here, but the truth of the matter is we have operated shows in Oakland, in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and in Anaheim,” he said. “If the worst thing were to happen, and that is we had to leave, we all can still live in San Diego and the convention can be in another city. That’s not what we want. And I’m glad we’re calling San Diego home for another three years.”
(5) THE BOOK OF TAFF. David Langford announces TAFF Trip Report Anthology (unfinished reports) is available as a free download —
I’m rather pleased to have published this ebook at last on the TAFF freebies page, 130,000 words of chapters/fragments from abandoned TAFF reports and teaser chapters from several still in progress.
And at the TAFF freebies page you’ll also find some completed trip reports, as well as other items of a fanhistorical or mischievous bent.
(6) VISI-PHONE CALL FOR YOU. The Traveler from Galactic Journey will be calling from 1962 again on July 29, this time to discuss the Hugo Awards: “Take Two! (Vote for the 1962 Hugos at the Galactic Journey Tele-Conference)”. Sign up so you can listen in and participate.
The 20th Annual WorldCon is coming, Labor Day Weekend, 1962. Every year, attendees of this, the most prestigious science fiction convention, gather to choose the worthy creations of the prior year that will win the Hugo Award.
But if you can’t make it to Chicago, don’t worry. You still get to vote.
Galactic Journey is putting on its second live Tele-Conference via Visi-Phone for the purpose of gathering as many fellow travelers together in one virtual place. Our mission – to select the best novels, stories, films, etc. of 1961. Maybe they’ll make the official World Con ballot, maybe they won’t. Who cares? It’s what we like that matters. And if you’re not completely up on all the works of last year, check out our Galactic Stars nominations for 1961.
To participate in the Tele-Conference, send in your RSVP …and you’ll receive a ballot. Then sit tight, and on July 29, 1962 at 11am, tune in to the broadcast.
(7) SIMULATING MARS. On July 20, Moon landing day, KPCC will host “Red-hot real estate —Living on Mars” in Pasadena.
How will humans survive on Mars? No food, no free oxygen and no stepping outside to enjoy the view without a spacesuit. Mars makes Antarctica look like a tropical resort. Nevertheless, scientists have found water below the surface, where life might be hiding. Engineers and scientists are seeking solutions that will enable people to visit the red planet as soon as the 2030s. Will a permanent station or colony follow? Or should Mars be off limits to all but robots?
Join Planetary Radio Live host Mat Kaplan for a fascinating conversation with Mars experts as the Planetary Society returns to KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum. We’ll also visit with the crew of the HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation), a group of men and women who are simulating an eight-month Mars excursion on a Hawaiian mountainside. Their experience is one more step toward turning Earthlings into Martians.
(8) PADDINGTON BEGINS. Radio Times in its June 28 issue reprints “Michael Bond: how Paddington Bear came to be”, which originally appeared when the movie Paddington came out in 2014. He discusses how he started as a writer, how Paddington is really a refugee and how his parents would have dealt with refugees, and how an American told him, “I’m so used to Paddington being the name of a bear, it seems a funny name for a railway station.”
At the time I was a television cameraman with the BBC, so my writing had to be squeezed into days when I was off-duty. One such day found me sitting with a blank sheet of paper in my typewriter and not an idea in my head, only too well aware that the ball was in my court. Nobody else was going to put any words down for me.
Glancing round in search of inspiration my gaze came to rest on Paddington, who gave me a hard stare from the mantelpiece, and the muse struck, along with what was destined to become the equivalent of a literary catchphrase. Suppose a real live bear ended up at Paddington station? Where might it have sprung from, and why? If it had any sense it would find a quiet spot near the Lost Property Office and hope for the best.
I knew exactly how my own parents would react if they saw it, particularly if it had a label round its neck, like a refugee in the last war. There are few things sadder in life than a refugee. My mother wouldn’t have hesitated to give it a home, while my father, who was a civil servant to his fingertips, would have been less enthusiastic in case he was doing something against the law.
(9) SANDERS OBIT. William Sanders (1942-2017), an sf writer and former senior editor of the now defunct online magazine Helix SF, died June 30 reports Lawrence Watt-Evans.
He published several dozen short stories of which the most famous was “The Undiscovered” (Asimov’s Mar 1997), shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon awards, and winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. A second story, “Empire”, also won the Sidewise Award.
About his books the Wikipedia Wikipedia says:
Sanders has written several novels, including Journey to Fusang (1988), The Wild Blue and the Gray (1991) and The Ballad of Billy Badass & the Rose of Turkestan (1999). The first two are alternate histories with a humorous bent while the last is a fantasy novel.
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
- July 1, 1930 — Halloween producer Moustapha Al Akkad is born in Aleppo, Syria
(11) WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU. Facebook drone in successful test flight.
Facebook has completed a second test of a solar-powered drone designed to bring internet access to remote parts of the world.
The drone – dubbed Aquila – flew for one hour and 46 minutes in Arizona.
On Aquila’s maiden voyage last summer, the autopilot system was confused by heavy wind and crash-landed.
This time, the drone flew at an altitude of 3,000ft, a long way from Facebook’s intended 60,000ft goal.
(12) WEAPONS HISTORY. Visiting Peenemünde: “The German village that changed the war”.
Peenemünde looks out across the mouth of the River Peene where it drifts into the Baltic Sea. In 1935, engineer Wernher von Braun pinpointed the village, which offered a 400km testing range off the German coast, as the perfect, secret place to develop and test rockets.
Frantic building work began on the world’s largest and most modern rearmament centre. About 12,000 people worked on the first-ever cruise missiles and fully functioning large-scale rockets at the site, which spanned an area of 25 sq km. The research and development carried out in Peenemünde was not only crucial to the course of the biggest war in history, but impacted the future of weapons of mass destruction, as well as space travel.
(13) FAKED NEWS. Spotting patch jobs: “The hidden signs that can reveal a fake photo”.
Research suggests that regardless of what you might think about your own abilities to spot a hoax, most of us are pretty bad at it. Farid, however, looks at photographs in a different way to most people. As a leading expert in digital forensics and image analysis, he scrutinises them for the almost imperceptible signs that suggest an image has been manipulated.
One trick he has picked up over time is to check the points of light in people’s eyes. “If you have two people standing next to each other in a photograph, then we will often see the reflection of the light source (such as the Sun or a camera flash) in their eyes,” he explains. “The location, size, and colour of this reflection tells us about the location, size, and colour of the light source. If these properties of the light source are not consistent, then the photo may be a composite.”
(14) WU CAMPAIGN. Hugo-winner Frank Wu endorses a candidate for Congress. And the cost of winning will not be insignificant.
My wife, Brianna, is running for US Congress.
Election night on 2016 was a disaster, bringing many of our worst fears to life. My wife Brianna Wu decided to take a stand. She’d worked her whole life to build a software company, but it all felt hollow with Trump in the White House. Marching wasn’t enough. Protesting wasn’t enough. So, she decided to run for US Congress in Massachusetts District 8. I know it will be hard on our family, but I believe in her. Our country will not survive on its current path.
(15) THE SMOKING LAMP IS LIT. Alexandra Erin wrote a series of tweets about Anita Sarkeesian’s handling of YouTube harasser Carl Benjamin at VidCon. Click this tweet it and it will take you to the thread. Here are some excerpts:
(16) TODAY’S PRO HEALTH TIP. From John Scalzi at the Denver Comic Con.
(17) ADVANCE LOOK AT WESTERCON. If you want to get an early start on Westercon 70, happening next week in Tempe, AZ, the souvenir book is already available as a print-on-demand publication through Amazon. The “Look Inside” feature also lets you peek at random pages – I got an eyeful of the filk program schedule, for example. (I hope that’s curable.)
(18) DIMMER SWITCH. And the country goes eclipse-crazy…. NPR says “A Total Eclipse Will Sweep The U.S. In August, And People Are Going Nuts For It”.
The mayor of Hopkinsville, Ky., says his town has spent more than half a million dollars preparing for the event since learning 10 years ago that the area would be in the path of totality.
The town even has an eclipse coordinator.
“It’ll look like twilight outside. You’ll be able to see stars. Four planets will be visible — Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury. You’ll notice the temperature drop about 5 to 10 degrees,” the coordinator, Brooke Jung, told the AP. “You’ll notice that animals will get a little disoriented. Birds will think that it’s nighttime and go in to roost. Some of the flowers and plants that close up at night will close up.”
“If it’s cloudy, then we’ll just have to deal with that reality as best we can and help people get to other locations,” Mayor Carter Hendricks told the AP. “But, if somehow we overprepare and we’re underwhelmed by the crowd size, that’s a big concern for me.”
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Frank Wu, Cat Eldridge, David Langford, Danny Sichel, Michael J. Walsh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, the mellifluous Steve Davidson.]