Forty Years of Memphen

Veteran Memphis fan Greg Bridges is calling for fanwriters and artists to help the Tennessee sf club celebrate an important anniversary:

I’m working on the 40th Annish of Memphen (#284 or something) and wanted some Memphis SF memories of people, most esp. from those who grew up or lived in Memphis. I have a fair amount of my own memories, experiences, etc.  but want a comprehensive input. 

I have approached Jerry Pournelle who has been gracious enough to take the time to give me a few of his memories of growing up Science Fiction in Memphis (a not so well kept secret, I think) as well as a number of local fans or those that have traveled here (Guy LIllian III is possibly going to do something on Memphis FemmeFan P.L. Caruthers who he dated for awhile in the early ’70’s and so traveled here for to see P.L. (I know as I saw him off at the bus station several times) (if it won’t offend her widower). What I’m asking is any SF fan’s memories or experiences in Memphis, growing up reading, buying, writing SF, doing fanzines here, etc. So with that lead in, you ask “What can I do?”, well, as THE SF fan newsletter, perhaps a brief news note about it. I know I read your online File 770 regularly and often post info of interest from there on the Midsouthcon Forums.  I doubt you’ll want to run this whole logorrhetic note but, as I call it, a Call for Science Fiction Memories of Memphis for Memphen. I want it to be a history of SF fans in Memphis as much as possible.  If I get no response, not a big deal but yah never know.  As I plan to have it out by the end of May, I’d say the middle of May at the latest for any short memories for me to work into the stream of memories I plan in the ish. Longer is welcome but might end up in the next ish (or only in the online version). Fanzine deadlines are SOO elastic, aren’t they?!  Submissions can go to memphen at midsouthcon dot org. If they want to mail in a submission, they can write me at that address, especially be nice to have an illos – perhaps of a very young fan (Pournelle?) getting on a trolley in 1930’s Memphis carrying an ish of Astounding, perhaps. Well, you’d have to live here to know how incongruous that is. Asking too much, am I?

Peter Watts Receives Suspended Sentence

On April 26 Canadian author Peter Watts was sentenced to a 60-day jail term suspended upon payment of court assessments — $68 state minimum costs, $60 victim rights, $1000 court costs and $500 fines, according to the St. Clair County Court database.

This past March 19 a jury found Watts guilty of violating Michigan state law Section 750.81d “Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty.”

Watts had gone into the morning prepared for the worst after seeing the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation. According to the Port Huron Times Herald:   

Information [in] his online court record shows the recommended sentence is 180 days in jail with credit for one day served and 60 days suspended upon payment of $1,600 in fines and costs. A jury found Watts guilty of refusing to comply with orders during a random inspection at the bridge. An officer testified at trial that Watts tried to choke him.

Watts posted his reaction over the weekend before heading for Port Huron for this morning’s hearing:

After receiving some very positive indications from the Prosecution earlier this week — she wasn’t going to push for jail time, she doubted the judge would hand any out, the guy writing the presentencing recommendations was “very mild” — I’ve just been hit with a presentencing report that recommends jail time. Four to six months of it….

Of course, in a rational system this would have ended the moment the Feds decided not to press charges. In this system, there’s now a significant chance that I go into Port Huron on the 26th and simply don’t come out again. I’ve therefore been running around for the past couple of days making arrangements for the paying of bills and the feeding of cats should I go dark.

Fortunately, he has avoided the worst case scenario and hopefully is on his way home.

Matheson Interviewed by Cinefantastique

Richard Matheson is interviewed in Cinefantastique about Charles Beaumont, subject of a forthcoming DVD documentary: 

LAWRENCE FRENCH: You and Charles Beaumont each did four scripts for Roger Corman, mostly for his Edgar Allan Poe films. The big exception was when Charles Beaumont did the rather daring script for The Intruder in 1961, which was about racial tensions in the south. Did either Beaumont or Corman ask you to appear in that picture?

RICHARD MATHESON: Yes, they did but I just didn’t feel like going out to Missouri while they were shooting it. The Intruder may actually be Roger’s best picture, yet it was the only time he made a film that didn’t make any money. I thought William Shatner was superb in it.

Trivial Pursuit Postscript: Richard Matheson was Westercon’s first repeat guest of honor — Westercon 9 in 1956, and also GoH of the merged Worldcon/Westercon of  1958. Eyeballing the Westercon long list, it looks like the next repeat didn’t happen until the Portland Westercon of 1984 which reprised three past GoH’s, Harlan Ellison (previously a 1966 GoH) and F.M. & Elinor Busby (1963 GoHs); artist Alex Schomburg was the only first-timer at Portland.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the link.]

Frazetta Family Feud Ends

Suddenly it looks like charges against Frank Frazetta Jr. will be dropped. He has been awaiting trial on charges of stealing 90 of his father’s paintings.

But the Pocono Record reported on April 24 that a federal mediator met for two days with Frazetta family members and their attorneys, including Frank Sr., sons Frank Jr. and Bill Frazetta and daughters Holly Frazetta and Heidi Grabin.

The mediation resulted in Frazetta Sr. agreeing to drop a pending trademark infringement lawsuit against Frank Jr.

In a statement, family said “all the litigation surrounding his family and his art has been resolved. All of Frank’s children will now be working together as a team to promote his remarkable collection of images that has inspired people for decades.”

The agreement also is expected to make the criminal case go away. The Record was told by the family and its representatives that prosecutors said they would not pursue the criminal charges against Frank Jr. without the testimony of the senior Frazetta, and he is no longer willing to testify against his son.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]

Jellicle Cats in Lyrical Letter

T. S. Eliot’s 1931 birthday party invitation to his 4-year-old Godson Thomas Faber has been posted at Letters of Note. Such letters to Eliot’s Godchildren were later collected in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the verse from this letter reads in part:

Pollicle Dogs & Cats, draw near;
Jellicle Cats & Dogs, Appear;
Come with your Ears & your Whiskers & Tails
Over the Mountains & Valleys of Wales.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]

NYRSF Readings on 5/4/2010

On May 4 the New York Review of SF Readings offer Gregory Frost and Jon Armstrong.

Perennial award-contender Gregory Frost currently has short fiction appearing in Full Moon City, an anthology of werewolf tales; the YA anthology The Beastly Bride edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling; and the Lovecraftian anthology Chtulhu Reigns.  He also directs the fiction workshop at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA.

Jon Armstrong’s first novel, Grey, was published in 2007. A sequel, Yarn, is due out in December from Night Shade Books.

Guest curator for the evening is writer and editor Paul Witcover. 

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Jim Freund for the story.]

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2010 Susan C. Petrey Scholarship Winners

Two aspiring writers have won the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarships, sponsored by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc. The scholarship was created in 1981 in memory of the late Portland sf writer.

Two $2000 scholarships will enable Cassandra Clarke of Cuero, TX to attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, and Laura Praytor of Long Beach, CA to  attend the Clarion Writers Workshop in San Diego.

The charitable fund also sponsors a Petrey Fellow, one of the professional writers who teach at Clarion. The 2010 fellowship has been awarded to Ian McDonald, a past Philip K. Dick and Locus Award winner.

One way to support the fund this year is to join a group tour of brewpubs around Mt. Hood and in the Columbia River Gorge in October. Participants will travel by coach to visit 9 brewpubs staying overnight in downtown Hood River and at McMenamin’s Edgefield. Contact information is in the press release.

The full text of both press releases follows the jump.

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No Horse, of Course

In an article for The Guardian, Stephen Moss tracks down the real Robin Hood:

‘Robin Hood was almost certainly a pedestrian,” David Crook, the retired former assistant keeper of public records at the Public Record Office, tells me over tea one afternoon at his home in Grantham. Robin, in other words, had no horse. This is significant, because, as I settle down to try to unravel the eight centuries of myth and legend that have accreted around the outlaw, I am looking at a still from the new Ridley Scott movie, which will open the Cannes film festival on 12 May. Russell Crowe – looking the spit of Maximus, the hero of Gladiator, with cropped hair, bloodied cheek and an expression of furious determination – is astride a horse.

Moss relentlessly questions local mayors, tourism officials and the current Sheriff of Nottingham to expose the shocking, horrible, utterly predictable truth that most people couldn’t care less if a real Robin Hood ever existed.

Fortunately Moss is a rather lighthearted muckracker and his article is quite entertaining.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

Snapshots 42: The Answer

Here are 8 developments of interest to fans.

(1) Within the Society for Creative Anachronism there is a group intrigued by historical fencing:

One of the goals that I have for my own rapier fencing is to be able, while I am fighting, to “think” within the historical system that I am using (my guess is that this is not the same as thinking like a historical fencer – they were probably thinking: “I don’t want to die…I don’t want to die…She’s not worth it…She’s not worth it…”).

A good article, though while reading the discussion of historical systems of fencing I was disillusioned by the realization that Andre-Louis Moreau (aka Scaramouche) wasn’t the genius behind the chessplayer’s thinking-moves-ahead approach to swordfighting after all.

(2) If Jeff at filling my mind with geh had been in the audience of Gene Wolfe’s 1985 Worldcon guest of honor speech, he would know how to  describe himself in a single word instead of taking this entire paragraph:

As for Cherie Priest, I’ve been a fan for a while, but I’m not entirely sure how that started since I haven’t read a single book of hers (and yet own them all). I suppose that up until now, I’ve been a fan of the idea of Cherie Priest and her writing moreso than a fan of the actuality.

Yes, Jeff is a fakefan.

(3) Famous Monsters is back in print, following its revival online. Ray Bradbury is prominently featured in the new magazine as the subject of an interview and the contributor of a never-before-published short story. Naturally, Famous Monsters also celebrates the life of its legendary former editor Forrest J Ackerman in a special memorial.

(4) iPad owners — want your display to look like it belongs to Captain Picard? The technology is available:

The LCARS Internet Media Reader gives you a Star Trek The Next Generation style interface (with sounds) that allows you to search and read blogs and RSS news feeds, watch VIMEO videos, browse Flickr pictures, and listen to podcasts. It also allows you to read, but not post to Twitter.

(5) The Crotchety Old Fan warns that when it comes to the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo the Emperor is walking sans culottes:

If we really, really, really and truly want to encourage experimentation, novelty, creativity and expand the boundaries of our genre(s), we owe it to ourselves to vote for works that reflect those desires. Let’s reward the edgy, the chancy, the new; choose a Dramatic Presentation – Long Form OTHER than Star Trek or Avatar. You’ve got three other choices.

I’ll not go on and on but rather will end with this: the category the movies are listed under is BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG FORM, not BEST BRANDING AND MARKETING VEHICLE.

(6) Kari Byron, co-host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters and her husband Paul Urich became first-time parents last year. Kari recently told Pregnancy magazine that life on set had become a whole new learning experience:

“I have weird little worries like how loud does a gunshot have to be for the baby to hear it,” the 34-year-old laughed.

(7) The British Library Online Gallery has images and printed text from the earliest version of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground —  the original, handwritten and illustrated by Charles Dodgson for Alice Liddell. It’s different from the text most of us are familiar with, for when Dodgson was encouraged to publish the story he rewrote the text and took out private family references.

(8) A special edition coffee table book will be published to commemorate the first 25 years of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future.

Ray Bradbury, A.E. Van Vogt and Jack Williamson at the first Writers of the Future dinner in 1985.

[Thanks for these links goes to David Klaus, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, James Hay and BoingBoing.]