Wilson To Get LFS Lifetime Achievement Award

The Libertarian Futurist Society will honor F. Paul Wilson with a Special Prometheus Award for Lifetime Achievement on May 9 at Marcon.

Wilson has won four other Prometheus Awards during his career, including the first ever presented, in 1979, for Wheels Within Wheels.

He has been recognized often by the LFS over the decades. The other two novels in addition to Wheels that make up Wilson’s science fiction trilogy have been inducted into the Prometheus Hall of Fame, Healer in 1990 and An Enemy of the State in 1991.

Wilson also won a Prometheus Award for Best Novel in 2004 for Sims, which explores foundational issues of individual rights.

Wilson will be the third recipient of an LFS Lifetime Achievement Award. Poul Anderson received the first in 2001 and Vernor Vinge received the second in 2014.

The full press release follows the jump.
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2015 FAAn Awards

The winners of the 2015 FAAn Awards were announced March 29 at Corflu in the UK.

  • Best Genzine: Banana Wings ed. by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Best Personal Fanzine: Vibrator ed. by Graham Charnock
  • Best Single Issue: Trap Door #31
  • Best Fan Writer: Mark Plummer
  • Best Fan Artist: Steve Stiles
  • Best Letterhack: Paul Skelton
  • Best Fanzine Cover: Banana Wings #56 by D West
  • Best Fan Website: eFanzines

Also announced during the ceremonies:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Weston
  • Graham Charnock elected as past President of Fanzine Writers of America.

Next year’s Corflu will be in Chicago.

[Via Robot Archie.]

Paulk Proclaims Puppy Party 4

They can’t be that sad.

Writers on the Sad Puppies 3 slate have been demurely preparing to take a victory lap when the Hugo nominations are announced on April 4. They’ve been marking their territory on Facebook. Significantly quoting Jabberwocky. Effusively giving thanks for nothing in particular with promises to “say more when I can.” Or just blurting it right out like Michael Z. Williamson.

And Lou Antonelli, who appears twice on the Sad Puppies slate, may not have needed a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows in this forecast:

My prediction is that Sad Puppies will take 30 percent of the nominees in the writing categories, while the more hardcore Rabid Puppies slate will take half as many, 15 percent. That will give Puppies of either stripe 45 percent of the total noms.

So what comes next? More of the same!

Kate Paulk of the Mad Genius Club just announced Sad Puppies 4.

…in a fit of even greater insanity than usual, yours truly, Kate the Impaler of the Evil Legion of Evil, will be picking up the banner for Sad Puppies 4 and running with it. I even promised not to impale anyone with it (it’s such a pretty flag, and getting blood and… stuff… all over it would make those poor sad puppies even more sad. Even the Evil Legion of Evil has standards, you know. We’re completely against letting Sad Puppies stay sad. We want them to be happy).

There won’t be much action from Sad Puppies 4 for quite some time, but rest assured I will be lurking in the shadows looking for worthy candidates for the campaign to End Puppy-Related Sadness. When the time is right, announcements will be made and campaigning will begin in earnest. In the meantime, I shall rub my hands together and practice my evil cackle.

Today In History 3/28

Tippi Hedren's pale green dress from “The Birds," recently part of the Hollywood Cosume exhibit. Photo by Richard Harbaugh.

Tippi Hedren’s pale green dress from “The Birds,” recently part of the Hollywood Cosume exhibit. Photo by Richard Harbaugh.

March 28, 1963:  Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds opened in theaters.

Hitchcock and Bradbury Fistfight in HeavenAs an aside, Ray Bradbury was asked to write the script by Hitch but turned it down because he was still “recovering” from having written the Moby Dick script for John Huston. Whenever Ray would watch the movie he’d yell at the TV, “You should have used the ending from the book!”


Slatoff’s New Bradbury Sculpture

Christopher Slatoff with "The Illustrated Man." Photo by Andy Holzman.

Christopher Slatoff with “The Illustrated Man.” Photo by Andy Holzman.

Sculptor Christopher Slatoff’s 8-foot-tall bronze “The Illustrated Man” will be unveiled at the USC Fisher Museum of Art during the California Art Club’s 104th Annual Juried Gold Medal Exhibition from March 29 to April 19.

“The Illustrated Man” is a “heroic scale” version of “Fr. Electrico”, a three-foot-tall composition awarded a gold medal at the California Art Club’s 97th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition. Both are inspired by Ray Bradbury.

Slatoff told Michelle Mills of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The work is drawn from Bradbury’s real-life experience of being carried home by his father. He was 13 at the time and had fallen asleep after enjoying two circuses. His father lovingly scooped up the teen and toted him more than a mile home.

Slatoff based his piece on the child’s point of view at a time when his father seemed larger than life. His creation depicts a tall, strong man cradling his sleeping son, but its story doesn’t end there.

“The back of the sculpture, for me, the metaphor for Ray Bradbury’s never-ending creativity was the ideas he put forth in his second book, which was called ‘The Illustrated Man.’ Here, a heavily tattooed man’s tattoos come to life and tell their stories,” Slatoff said. “But contrary to what it sounds like, (the vignettes on the statue) are not illustrations of his book, they’re concrete representations of our conversations.”

Slatoff did not read his first Bradbury story until 2007. They met at a Bradbury lecture and became friends. During one of their conversations Bradbury told the anecdote that inspired the design of the sculpture.

“He told me the story because he saw the ‘Pieta’ (at Mission San Diego) that I had sculpted and it reminded him of that. After we were doing the sculpture, he wrote the story ‘Pieta Summer.’ (Bradbury would say) ‘Tell that sculptor to come over, bring a bottle of wine and two kinds of cheese.’?”

Discover TV Party

Just one example of TV PARTY content fans will enjoy.

Just one example of TV PARTY content that may appeal to fans.

By James H. Burns:  For well over a decade — really, nearly, two decades!TV PARTY has been an amazing treasure trove of articles, columns, clips and photos from the history of TV, with a particular emphasis on LOCAL television shows from all over the country.

Even better, for those of us into this stuff, are the hundreds of items on the local kids’ TV shows from years past in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago… MANY places!

Much of this history, and really fun stuff, might be lost, or at least not as easily found (!) if not all so well gathered together in one place by the spiffy editorial eye of Billy Ingram.

(As one friend said to me, when I sent him the url/link a couple of years ago, “Jim, This is like you just handed me a million dollars!”)

If you’ve never checked out the website, and you have any interest in pop culture (music, movies and comics included!), please do so!

I think you’ll have a ball.

Now, here’s the only sad part: TV PARTY has hit a bit of a financial snag. All the great stuff certainly won’t be lost–it will be archived on the web — but according to the boss, there may well be no new scholarship, research, fun — or even an extra assortment of neat, goofy stuff!

This part is certainly not meant for those who I hope are about to have the fun of discovering TV PARTY for the first time.

But if everyone who’s spent significant time there in the past just kicked in a buck, the website could run, just about forever.

(There’s some kind of tip thingy, at the website.)

I don’t have a horse in this race, except that a bunch of my “columns” have run there, and I’ve had even more fun reading those written by others.

So, go — and have some fun!

And if you’re long familiar with the environs of TV PARTY, please forward this message along.

It would be nice if TV PARTY could remain a natural resource!

Lisle Resignation Follow-up

Yesterday, SFWA President Steven Gould not only answered a question File 770 posed about the organization’s pursuit of public grants, he delivered a general description of SFWA’s objectives in reincorporating in California.

Part of that statement confirmed SFWA is now able to relax its policy on repayment of emergency medical grants made to members.

At the same time that I sent my question to Gould, some comments here about my article on Holly Lisle’s resignation from SFWA prompted me to ask her whether I had interpreted her reasons correctly.

Essentially I had, but Gould’s statement overtook Lisle’s original reply and made part of it obsolete. So now Lisle has given me permission to reblog her considerably expanded  “Follow-up on my resignation from SFWA”:

Holly Lisle: First, I applaud SFWA’s desire to give grants rather than loans to people suffering from medical emergencies. Continuing its practice of having members volunteer to fund those grants is probably the intent—but the repayment of the loans kept the fund fluid so more loans could be offered.

Under the new system, the well will run dry promptly, requiring more donations from a membership ever less eager to give, and alternate sources will need to be found—and the government is ever willing to fund grants so long as the grants are spent regularly and in a timely fashion, and not kept in storage to maintain a self-funded system.

Second, as I said right at the beginning of my original statement, I know SFWA had many GOOD reasons for wanting to move the corporation to California.

Third, however, Sun Tzu says to prepare not for what the enemy might do, but for what he CAN do.

I’ll note that I do not consider SFWA the “enemy.” The Art of War, though, is applicable to many situations in life beyond war, and it is applicable to organizations that expand their powers and reach over time.

Organizations generally begin with the best of intentions. They generally increase the powers they give themselves for good reasons and with hopeful intent.

However, across the life of an organization, every power the organization gives itself will eventually be used, first in “exceptional” cases, and over time as a matter of course.

An organization that puts itself into position where it CAN tap into Federal funds for the purposes of redistributing them eventually WILL.

It may do so tentatively at first, but exceptions become conventions, and people who have a conscience about using money they didn’t have to earn are replaced by those who happily use promises of giving that unearned money to friends and allies within an organization in exchange for votes.

Campaigns of “FREE Writing Grants for SFWA Members! It’s YOUR Money!!” will remove those with consciences from office and replace them with those who think “free” money taken at gunpoint from taxpayers is just nifty.

Gould states, “We are certainly investigating the possibility of applying for appropriate grants from public and private sources when the purposes of those grants line up with our existing mission programs. But we have yet to do so and I seriously doubt it will ever be a significant portion of SFWA funding.”

And this is the part of that statement that proves I made the right choice in posting my open letter and walking away NOW.

“But we have yet to do so and I seriously doubt it will ever be a significant portion of SFWA funding.”

I DON’T. Organizations follow predictable paths.

Federal income tax was initially a pittance compared to revenue taxes.

SFWA is an organization with an elected government, too.

Gould and others who intend the best will be replaced (and probably must faster than they imagine) by those who want to have power within SFWA, and who see that a new path to power within the organization has just been created by the simple expedient of promising money that isn’t theirs to folks who would like have money they didn’t have to earn, and who are willing to vote to rob Peter to pay themselves.

Still in Wonderland

By John Hertz:  The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, my local club, has been meeting every Thursday over eighty years.  Most of us rhyme “LASFS” with joss fuss although Len Moffatt always rhymed it with sass mass.

People often come for the business meeting and leave before the program.  That’s because our business is monkey business.  We have strange motions – I mean, in the parliamentary sense; File 770 is a public forum – and auctions.  Maybe your club does also.

Last night the program was Harlan Ellison.  Of course the room was crammed.

We didn’t call it “An Evening with Harlan Ellison”.  We didn’t call it anything.  He told us he’d like to come by, didn’t mind if we let people know, and would gladly take questions and give autographs if we didn’t make a performing elephant of him.  I paraphrase.

Of course he’s a LASFS member.  While he’s become a tremendous celebrity as a pro he’s also a fan.  Among many other things he brought about the faithful contributions of Nalrah Nosille to Science Fiction Five-Yearly – published on time for sixty years – until the very last issue.

Of course he’s good at telling stories – he says Whoopi Goldberg, a friend of his, is too –  and so many of us wanted to hear him we ended up seating him at a table on a platform with most everyone just listening.  It was all right.

Our current clubhouse (our third; we outgrew two others) also has a social hall, a computer-game room, and our library.  We even have a Null Space; one very able member was Bob Null.  Fans also hung around these spaces from time to time, including John DeChancie, me, and Harlan’s wife Susan who is herself a wonder.  He couldn’t; he was busy.  But it was all right.  In fact it was a gas.

I don’t know if Harlan was born in a cross-fire hurricane.  He was however reading by two – maybe you were also – and like many of the quick and the young he perceived and might answer more than he yet grasped.  Once someone told him “Don’t hock me a chainik” (a Yiddishism, literally don’t bang me a teapot = make such a fuss) and he said “Okay, I’ll pawn you in Poughkeepsie.”

Dennis the Menace, he said, to him was Goldilocks.

Later he served in the Army.  Just conceiving of this roused our imagination.  He was court-martialed fifteen times.  Acquitting him, which always happened, didn’t seem to make things much better.  At the end of his active duty he found nothing in his folder about where he was to go for reserve duty.  Everyone else had an assignment.  He asked.  They said “Just go away.”

Some of the legends about him never happened.  He is not always the calmest man in the world and he has found their recurrence troubling.  He told of a fellow who during another question time asked “Why did you drop that chandelier on those people?”  To that man, and to us, he explained what he’d have had to do to get at a chandelier, to detach it, and to drop it.  And what would those people have been doing in the meantime?  And what place would he have had to stand on to wield that lever and move that world?  I paraphrase.

Finally Susan, in her role as Mary Poppins, said it was time to go home.  Of course there were new books and we wanted to buy them.  Of course he preferred to sell some but was almost apologetic.  Finally Jerry Pournelle managed it by asking “Harlan, if they buy your books will you tell us why you dropped that chandelier?”  We all cracked up and it was all right.

WisCon Issues Report on Lemberg Complaint

WisCon has reached a conclusion about the harassment complaint filed by Rose Lemberg with the WisCon committee in 2013.

The substance of the complaint was that poet F.J. Bergmann harassed Lemberg by reading the poem “Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen” at the Moment of Change-sponsored open mike at WisCon in 2012. Lemberg felt the audience was meant to identify traits mocked in the poem (accent, nationality, academic background) with her. Bergmann denied this here in 2013 and again here in 2015.

WisCon’s Statement on Findings & Recommendations, posted March 27, determined the reading could not be characterized as harassment:

The subcommittee considers F.J. Bergmann’s poem “Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen” to be both anti-immigrant and potentially sexist. Given the timing of the poem’s genesis and publication, however, the subcommittee was unable to characterize this particular incident – the reading of the poem during the “Moment of Change” open mic at WisCon 36 – as harassment. The subcommittee’s research has documented that the poem was written long before the conflicts between Bergmann and Lemberg began.

Despite that determination, WisCon recommended Bergmann face consequences for what it termed a “pattern of caustic behavior toward anyone she disagrees with,” which include not allowing Bergmann to attend any of Lemberg’s events at WisCon, and limiting Bergmann’s volunteer duties (if any) to “non-public-facing positions.”

Bergmann sent a rebuttal to the WisCon committee, quoted here with her permission. About the overall verdict she says:

It seems to me that the subtext here is that anyone who makes social-issues accusations automatically gets respect and credibility and is instantly and permanently empowered by this community, regardless of actual circumstances or lack of evidence, and that any harm done by the accusations is of absolutely no consequence, or even justified, simply because it is assumed from the get-go that any accusations must necessarily be true. I cannot begin to express the level of my dismay, here: the committee is saying that a) I was not guilty of these charges, and b) I deserved what I got, plus additional penalties? What is going on?

And she does not intend to participate at WisCon in the future:

It is obvious that I will no longer be safe at WisCon—and I know that I speak for others. I thought I was a part of the WisCon community and sympathetic to its agenda of promoting women and their writing, but I am apparently mistaken. What I’m not part of is a dwindling, vociferous clique with axes to grind, who distort evidence to fit their ideology. And the idea that, should I attend, everything I say and do will be surveilled and interpreted in the most negative way possible is nauseating. Fortunately, I’ve found that many people in the larger SF community listened to what I had to say, believed me, and supported me; I am not dependent on the approval of what WisCon has become.

In general, and in this instance specifically, I am not “abrasive and confrontational” without cause. Like many WisCon members, there are issues about which I feel strongly. I was publicly defamed without recourse—privately, it would seem, for a year beforehand and then publicly for another year and a half, nor does it seem to be ameliorating in certain circles, given the tone of the report—by a host of people, most of whom I’d never met or interacted with, who anticipated and circumvented due process. Exactly what is the WisCon-endorsed behavior under these circumstances?

First, covert defamation; and now, being spoken down to as if I were some kind of closet redneck. I have no intention of coming to WisCon under these constraints and negative misperceptions, much less volunteering in any capacity….

The WisCon report included an apology to Lemberg for “our bureaucratic lapses” and to Bergmann and the WisCon community for taking so long bring the matter to an end.

Comics That Should Have Happened

Solo UNCLE Super Team FamilyRoss Pearsall has designed over a thousand faux comic book covers in his Super-Team Family series of “Team-ups that never happened…But should have!”

Some are played straighter than others. There’s RoboCop versus Judge Dredd, Superman and Iron Man, and Captain Marvel and The Mighty Thor.

But what about Harley Quinn and Howard the Duck? Legion of Super Pets and Lockjaw? The Hulk and Elfquest?

You’re one click away from cover #1,000, a retrospective celebration which includes a large number of examples in one post, and features Pearsall’s memoir about developing the concept as a kid.