Get Well!

Bruce Gillespie is slowly recovering “from a knee effusion (sprain)” reports Australian SF Bullsheet #92.

Take it easy and get well soon, Bruce.

Does Curt Phillips Collect Australians?

Australian fan Nick Falkner (from Adelaide) is currently attending a series of Computer Science conferences in the US (in the real world, Nick is aka: Dr. Nick Falkner of the School of Computer Science at the University of Adelaide) and will be making a flying visit to see family and friends in Abingdon, Virginia on Sunday, November 1 while en route to yet another Computer Science conference in North Carolina.

What makes this event fannish is that one of the above-mentioned friends will be American fan Curt Phillips, who has a stack of American SF magazines to send Nick home with. 

Nick will be the *fourth* Australian fan to visit Curt in 2009, following Melbourne fan Clare McDonald’s surprise visit to Pulpfest in June (while on her way to the Worldcon in Montreal), and Damien Warman & Juliette Woods of Adelaide who attended Corflu Zed last March in Seattle where Curt was the “Corflu 50 Fan Fund” delegate. 

Curt reports that he completely approves of this trend and is looking forward to seeing which traveling Australian fan drops by for Christmas. 

[Thanks to Curt Phillips for contributing this post.]

Update 10/31/2009: Corrected name per comment.

Elbow of Macaroni

Michael Moorcock has once again wielded his mighty weapon, Stealer of Time. Don’t fail to make your Halloween ineffably foul by reading his many trivial gripes and grouches in the Financial Times:

Paris in October tends to be my favourite place and time – though there are specific dangers to someone still on crutches, as I am, not least the special bike lanes. I approve of these but it can be hard trying to hop for safety at the sound of a tinkling bell as a pious two-wheeler comes zooming out of the sun. Golden leaves, picturesque as they are, can cause me a nasty skid. Even pregnant women have apparently less right to the pavement than a stern youngster on a Vélib’ .

After lighting into those darned kids, Moorcock takes out after fat ladies on trains and American provincialism.

Almost lost among the carnage are the valuable things he has to say about the art (yes, art) of Meryn Peake.

[Thanks for the lead to James Bacon, who is otherwise blameless for this post….]

Leonard Nimoy, Lensman

The photography of Leonard Nimoy headlines the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s big “Halla Gala” fundraising event this Halloween night. The LA TimesHero Complex blog reports there will be an exhibit of selected pieces from his conceptual project “Who Do You Think You Are?” —

Last year, Nimoy spent two 16-hour days shooting portraits of total strangers in Northampton, Mass., who had answered a public invitation to share a glimpse of their hidden selves. He photographed 95 people and chose 25 of them for the exhibit that will go on display next summer at MASS MoCA.

“The idea was to invite people to reveal their secret selves, the self they wish to be or the self they hide from the world,” said Nimoy, 78, who has been an avid photographer since his youth. “There was a measure of bravery in this by everyone involved. I had no idea what to expect. Some of the people walked in with these amazing stories, stories you couldn’t anticipate or make up.”

The folks who paid $5,000 or more for their tickets will have a photographic portrait taken by Nimoy tonight.

Nozette Indicted

Stewart D. Nozette, called by the Washington Post “a brilliant and creative scientist, an astronomer who… daydreamed of colonizing the moon,” was indicted Oct. 21 on two counts of attempted espionage. He is accused of giving sensitive government information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

The story is headlined “Espionage suspect has friends puzzled” (registration required). One of the friends named in the article is Jerry Pournelle:

“Stewart is too smart to be caught up in something like this,” said science fiction author Jerry Pournelle, who worked with Nozette and others in the early 1980s to advise the U.S. government on space policy. “I just find the whole thing very odd.”

Nozette attended one or more meetings of Jerry Pournelle’s Citizens Advisory Council on National Space Policy which enjoyed its greatest influence during the Reagan Administration.

The Post adds: “In January, Nozette pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion. But the case was sealed by a federal judge because the scientist was providing information about unrelated investigations of government corruption, prosecutors said.”

The history of the Council chronicled by a National Space Society publication in 2001 named Nozette among the participants:

Science fiction authors figured prominently among the Council’s membership. Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Dean Ing, and G. Harry Stine were among those invited at one time or another. Because the invitation to attend specifically requested assistance in preparing the Reagan transition team papers on space, Pournelle was able to induce a range of luminaries to attend. The list of those who attended the first and subsequent meetings of the Citizens’ Advisory Council included astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Gerald Carr, Philip K. Chapman, Pete Conrad, Gordon Cooper, and Walter Schirra. A number of retired military brass frequented the meetings too: Col. Jack Coakley, US Army Retired; Col. Francis X. Kane, US Air Force Retired; Brigadier General Stewart Meyer, former commander of the Redstone Arsenal; and Brigadier General Robert Richardson, US Air Force Retired. Other attendees ranged from NASA administrator Thomas O. Paine to Stewart Nozette, of the National Space Council, to Lawrence Livermore scientist Lowell Wood.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

Read Owen’s First Dragon Book Free

Here, There Be Dragons, the first book in James Owen’s The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, is a free read online through November 9.

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series is a grand fantasy adventure that tells the story of four travelers – who happen to be C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and H.G. Wells – as they travel through lands that may be familiar to readers of myths, legends, and fantasy literature.

At the site created for the series you can also find a video trailer for The Indigo King (the series’ third installment), downloadable wallpapers, and excerpts from four audiobook versions of the novels.

James Owen was a guest of honor at the 2009 Mythcon.

Honoring Twilight Zone at the Egyptian

The 50th anniversary of Twilight Zone will be celebrated at American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre on October 30th (click link and scroll to bottom of page), with showings of Emmy-winning episodes and discussions with Carol Serling (schedule permitting), Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner Jr., George Clayton Johnson, H.M. Wynant, Robert Butler, and Arlene Martel.

Marc Scott Zicree, author of The Twilight Zone Companion, told the Los Angeles Times:

“He created a new form of television… Science fiction was basically viewed as kids’ stuff,” [Zicree] says. “There is a great interview that Mike Wallace did with Rod just prior to ‘The Twilight Zone’ where he says to Rod, ‘Now you are doing this kind of kids’ stuff, are you giving up writing anything important?'”

Among the episodes tentatively scheduled to screen Friday are: “It’s a Good Life,” by Serling, starring Billy Mumy as a 6-year-old boy who is a little monster; “Kick the Can”; “The Howling Man,” by Beaumont, about a scholar who unleashes the devil; “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” by Matheson, about a young man (Shatner) recovering from a nervous breakdown who sees a monster on the wing of the airplane; and Serling’s “Time Enough at Last,” about a bookish man who survives a nuclear holocaust.