2013 Eaton SF Conference

The 2013 Eaton Science Fiction Conference will be held April 11-14, 2013 at the Riverside Marriott Hotel in California, co- sponsored by UC Riverside and the Science Fiction Research Association.

“Science Fiction Media” is the conference theme.

There will be an Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 13 where J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to author Ursula K. Le Guin, producer and special effects creator Ray Harryhausen, and Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.

Past winners of the J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction are Ray Bradbury (2008), Frederik Pohl (2009), Samuel R. Delany (2010) and Harlan Ellison (2011).

People have the option to register for one day or the entire conference program. Registration Rates: Students $95; Early-Bird Registration $150, (ending February 1, 2013); General Registration $170; Single-day registration $95.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

A Rarity on TCM

Carol for Another Christmas, an adaptation of Dickens’ famous story by Rod Serling, will be broadcast twice in December on Turner Classic Movies.

The 1964 production was telecast only once and is not commercially available (at least according to the Wikipedia). Aficianados wanting to see it ordinarily must resort to TV archives like the one at UCLA.

Film critic Bhob Stewart gives this synopsis:

Presented without commercial interruptions, this “United Nations Special” was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation, the first of a series of Xerox specials promoting the UN. Director Joseph Mankiewicz’s first work for television, the 90-minute ABC drama was publicized as having an all-star cast (which meant that names of some supporting cast members were not officially released). In Rod Serling’s update of Charles Dickens, industrial tycoon Daniel Grudge (Sterling Hayden) has never recovered from the loss of his 22-year-old son Marley (Peter Fonda), killed in action during Christmas Eve of 1944. The embittered Grudge has only scorn for any American involvement in international affairs. But then the Ghost of Christmas Past (Steve Lawrence) takes him back through time to a World War I troopship. Grudge also is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Pat Hingle), and the Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Shaw) gives him a tour across a desolate landscape where he sees the ruins of a once-great civilization.

The cast includes Eva Marie Saint, Ben Gazzara, James Shigeta and Britt Ekland. Henry Mancini wrote the theme music.

A Carol for Another Christmas plays Sunday, December 16 @ 08:00 PM (ET) and Saturday, December 22 @ 04:15 PM (ET)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

X-tra Innings

Professor X is not dead yet! He’s feeling better! (But he’s feeling it in another timeline…)

That’s the takeaway from director Bryan Singer’s announcement that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will reprise their roles as Magneto and Prof. X in X-Men: Days of Future Past. And they’ll be joined by X-Men: First Class stars Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and James McAvoy as Prof. X.

EW.com’s Adam B. Vary explains:

For the geek uninitiated, “Days of Future Past” is also the title of an X-Men comic book storyline from 1981, which alternated between a dystopian future in which mutants are living in internment camps, and the present day mutants working to prevent that future from happening. With this casting news, Singer has all but confirmed that the next X-Men film will reconstitute that storyline a bit, making the Fassbender/McAvoy mutants in the go-go 1960s the “present day” storyline, and the McKellen/Stewart mutants in the early 21st century the ones trapped in a bleak alternate future. This is likely a way back to the series for Stewart, given that his Prof. X was (more or less) killed off in 2006?s X-Men: The Last Stand.

You know, once we throw open the doors to the alternate timeline thing why shouldn’t fans get what they really want, Prof. X and Magneto onscreen chewing the scenery together with Gandalf and Jean-Luc Picard…

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Hertz: C. Ross Chamberlain Wins 2012 Rotsler Award

By John Hertz: C. Ross Chamberlain of Las Vegas has won the 2012 Rotsler Award, given for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, the award carries an honorarium of US$300.

Chamberlain is an adept humorist known for graceful line and eye-catching composition.

As a good artist he makes use of available technology. In the days of mimeography he was masterly with stylus and shading plate. Now he works marvels with Photoshop.

The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, which in 2006 hosted the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, a talented and prolific artist over many years. Claire Brialey, Mike Glyer, and John Hertz are the current judges.

The award was announced on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at Loscon, the annual Los Angeles SF convention. This year’s convention was Loscon 39.

For more about the Rotsler Award, visit www.scifiinc.org/rotsler/.

Moon Rocks Found

Reminiscent of the ending of the first Indiana Jones movie, Apollo 11 moon rocks have been discovered in a government storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St. Paul. No one can explain how they got there or how long they’ve been there.

Five moon rocks the size of pebbles are part of a transparent desktop display that includes a small Minnesota flag, one of 50 state flags flown along on the first moon-landing mission. Every state received one of these moon rock displays from President Richard Nixon to commemorate Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s visit to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

Minnesota actually deserves credit, not censure: at least they know where theirs is. A former historian for the Minnesota National Guard checked up and found most of the moon rocks from the Apollo 11 and 17 missions given by Nixon as goodwill gestures are unaccounted for today.

Now that the display has been found, it will be transferred to the Minnesota Historical Society on November 28 in a ceremony before a gathering of children at Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration (STARBASE) Minnesota. Located at the Minnesota Air National Guard base, STARBASE educates and encourages urban youngsters in the study of science, technology, engineering and math.

[Via Chronicles of the Dawn Patrol.]

Complete Anarchy

Anarchy Comics: The Complete Collection, edited by Jay Kinney, brings together all four issues of the underground comic published between 1978-1986. In it are the comic stories of thirty contributors from the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and Canada.  

Kinney’s fanzine art in years gone by compels a mention – as does Steve Stiles work in the book.

Contributors include: Jay Kinney, Yves Frémion, Gerhard Seyfried, Sharon Rudahl, Steve Stiles, Donald Rooum, Paul Mavrides, Adam Cornford, Spain Rodriguez, Melinda Gebbie, Gilbert Shelton, Volny, John Burnham, Cliff Harper, Ruby Ray, Peter Pontiac, Marcel Trublin, Albo Helm, Steve Lafler, Gary Panter, Greg Irons, Dave Lester, Marion Lydebrooke, Matt Feazell, Pepe Moreno, Norman Dog, Zorca, R. Diggs (Harry Driggs), Harry Robins, and Byron Werner.

Alan Moore of Watchmen fame gives the book an enthusiastic plug:

60’s counterculture, supposedly political, mostly concerned itself with hedonism and self-focused individualism, as did the underground comix it engendered. Anarchy Comics, to which all the scene’s most artistically and politically adventurous creators gravitated, was an almost singular exception. Combining a grasp of Anarchy’s history and principles with a genuinely anarchic and experimental approach to the form itself, Anarchy Comics represents a blazing pinnacle of what the underground was, and what it could have been. A brave and brilliant collection.

It’s available from PM Press for $20.

NYRSF Readings for 12/4

The New York Review of SF readings for December 4 continue an annual tradition of having a family reading with Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, and [Name removed by request of author] as host.

Delia Sherman writes stories and novels for younger readers and adults. Her most recent short stories have appeared in the young adult anthology Steampunk! and in Ellen Datlow’s Naked City.

Ellen Kushner is a novelist, performer and public radio personality.  Her award-winning novels include the “mannerpunk” cult classic Swordspoint and Thomas the Rhymer.  With Holly Black, she recently co-edited Welcome to Bordertown, a revival of the original urban fantasy shared world series created by Terri Windling. Kushner is the longtime host of the public radio show “Sound & Spirit.” Audiobook recordings of her first two “Riverside” novels, Swordspoint and The Privilege of the Sword, featuring Kushner as narrator, were released this year by Neil Gaiman Presents for Audible.com.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Want To Be A Martian?

Elon Musk, founder of the commercial spaceflight company SpaceX, promoted his idea for colonizing Mars with 80,000 people who’ll each pay $500,000 for the trip at the Royal Aeronautical Society on November 16.

Musk’s colonization program would begin with a small pioneering group who would fly to Mars aboard a huge reusable rocket powered by liquid oxygen and methane:

Accompanying the founders of the new Mars colony would be large amounts of equipment, including machines to produce fertilizer, methane and oxygen from Mars’ atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide and the planet’s subsurface water ice.

The Red Planet pioneers would also take construction materials to build transparent domes, which when pressurized with Mars’ atmospheric CO2 could grow Earth crops in Martian soil. As the Mars colony became more self sufficient, the big rocket would start to transport more people and fewer supplies and equipment.

The element in this story that really caught my eye is that the pioneers are being asked to pay their way. Not because it’s a novel idea: a lot of sf stories use that premise. And it’s a commonsense principle of commercial space development – get the users to pay. However, having grown up in the first generation of space exploration, which was all done by national governments, it’s as if I feel a sense of socialistic entitlement, and that it’s somehow offensive that anyone willing to colonize the Red Planet won’t be getting a free ride.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

Julie Anne Jardine Passes Away

Julie Anne Jardine, an sf writer and LASFS member, has died at the age of 86 in Phoenix reports her daughter.

Jardine had been living independently until a month ago, then suffered a fall and entered a decline, passing away while in hospice care.

Julie Anne and Jack Owen Jardine were married from 1958 to 1968. They collaboratively wrote two Ace novels under the name Howard L. Cory, The Sword of Lankor and The Mind Monsters (both appeared in 1966).

World’s Record Convention Lines?

How big is Comiket, the semiannual Tokyo comic book fair? So big that you could slice it into three San Diego Comic-Cons and have enough fans left over for two Dragon*Cons. In short, attendance typically exceeds half a million.

And it has long lines! Lines that start forming in the middle of the night. Check out this time-lapse video of the plaza where people waited to get into the December 2011 Comiket. (Note: The sun doesn’t rise until 1:27. The lines begin to move at 2:05.)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]