The School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia has a current faculty position open for an Assistant or Associate Professor in Black Speculative Writing. They have asked for help in widely circulating the announcement.
The exhibition explores the evolution of Fantasy from ancient folk tales and fairy stories, gothic horror and weird fiction, to live action role-playing games inspired by fantasy worlds and celebrates its enduring impact.
Visitors will discover over a hundred items – including historical manuscripts, rare first editions, drafts of iconic novels, scripts and maps, film props and costumes – and will offer unique insights into the roots and evolution of the genre. They will journey through fantastical worlds imagined by writers, artists and creators over the centuries and across continents, from authors as varied as Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, N.K. Jemisin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susanna Clarke, Angela Carter, Terry Pratchett, China Miéville and Jeannette Ng to name a few.
Highlight objects include:
Unique manuscripts of Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, C.S Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, The Magic City by E. Nesbit, The Owl Service by Alan Garner and The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Ursula K. Le Guin’s drafts and drawings for her Earthsea novels – which are on display in the UK for the first time
Original sketches and outlines for Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake and Michael Palin’s notes for Monty Python And The Holy Grail
The costumes worn by Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in the Royal Opera House’s 1968 ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty and props and costumes from The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Crystal and Wicked
Clips from iconic Fantasy film, television and video games including Princess Mononoke, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pan’s Labyrinth, DARK SOULS and Skyrim
A playable mini-game by Failbetter Games designed especially for the exhibition, based on the Fallen London universe.
The exhibition begins by exploring the Fantasy archetypes that still fascinate us today in ‘Fairy and Folk Tales’ from The Snow Queen to The Arabian Nights and Peter Pan. Visitorswill discover how different cultures shape local legend and reflect on the conflict between destiny and choice, how frightening figures in Fantasy can both repulse and thrill us, and how transformation and metamorphosis can change not only the stories themselves, but also readers and viewers. Highlights include items from Angela Carter’s archive and costumes from the 1968 ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty.
Visitors will then enter the world of ‘Epics and Quests’, meet iconic heroes and villains from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to Xena, Warrior Princess, and explore how ancient taleshave helped to shape modern Fantasy epics. On display will be a version of Gilgamesh, the oldest known epic story, and there will be a rare chance to see items related to The Lord of the Rings, including J.R.R Tolkien’s notes for the 1955-56 BBC Radio adaption ofthe book. Visitors will also get to see Ursula K. Le Guin’s drafts and drawings for her Earthsea novels – which are on display in the UK for the first time.
The ‘Weird and Uncanny’ section focuses on iconic monsters, sinister landscapes filled with eerie edifices and the darkness at the heart of Fantasy. Visitors will discover the roots of weirder fantasies in works like Frankenstein and the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, learn how Piranesi’s Carceri etchings inspired the design of Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, see how G.K. Chesterton visualised his nightmarish thriller The Man Who Was Thursday and understand how Fantasy presents twisted versions of our reality to reflect our greatest hopes and fears. They’ll also meet strangely sympathetic anti-heroes from Paradise Lost to Gormenghast.
Once they have encountered the strange creatures that haunt the genre, visitors will journey into ‘Portals and Worlds’ where they will discover the richly detailed world-building that makes Fantasy universes unique, and how the sub-genre of Portal Fantasy has shaped the history of children’s literature. On display will be a map of Discworld by Terry Pratchett, original manuscripts of Diana Wynne Jones’ The Dark Lord of Derkholm and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, and costumes and props from The Dark Crystal. The exhibition concludes with a look at the impact of fan culture. It features live action role-play costumes, an exploration of fan fiction and filmed interviews with fans exploring what Fantasy means to them, recognising the creativity and innovation that fans have brought to the genre.
Accompanying Fantasy will be a display in the Entrance Hall of the Library, The Fantastical World of Mervyn Peake: Islands and Seas (November 24 – February 25, 2024) which willshowcase the richness of the Mervyn Peake Visual Archive. The archive was acquired by the British Library in 2020 and includes works from Peake’s unpublished Moccus Book (1929), as well as images from Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor (1939), Treasure Island (1949) and The Swiss Family Robinson (c.1950).
There will also be a season of in-person and online events inspired by the exhibition, such as a Late at the Libraryfilled with musical performances and art inspired by the electronic music duo Drexciya and the fantasy mythos they created, with a live performance by Dopplereffekt and talk from Drexciya collaborator Abdul Qadim Haqq.
The Library will also be celebrating fantasy literary classics with Neil Gaiman and Rob Wilkins marking the 40th anniversary of Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic and Susan Cooper in conversation with Natalie Haynes on the 50th anniversary of her best-selling novel The Dark is Rising.
There will also be events exploring world-building in fantasy and the legacy of Dungeons and Dragons which turns 50 next year, alongside in conversation events with writers including Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Susanna Clarke and R.F. Kuang and artists Alan Lee, Terri Windling and Brian and Wendy Froud. This is alongside an event series in partnership with Irenosen Okojie’s Afrofuturist festival Black to the Future, with more to be announced.
Clarion West presents a conversation with Ted Chiang and Dr. Emily M. Bender on Friday, November 10 at 7:30 PM at Town Hall Seattle. Purchase tickets here.
UW Professor of Linguistics Emily M. Bender talks with award-winning science fiction author Ted Chiang about the hype, realistic expectations, and who should be involved in the conversation around AI. Moderated by Jeopardy! champion and Phinney Books owner Tom Nissley.
Both speakers were recently featured in Time Magazine’s Time100 Most Influential People in AI. “This group of 100 individuals is in many ways a map of the relationships and power centers driving the development of AI. They are rivals and regulators, scientists and artists, advocates and executives—the competing and cooperating humans whose insights, desires, and flaws will shape the direction of an increasingly influential technology,” wrote Time’s Sam Jacobs on how they selected the scientists, thinkers, journalists, innovators, and artists featured in the article.
The article declares Ted Chiang as “one of the sharpest critics of AI and the corporations behind it.” In clear sentimental agreement, Dr. Bender is quoted in the article stating, “You can’t expect a machine-learning system to learn stuff that’s not in its training data. Otherwise you’re expecting magic.” On November 10, hear both speakers discuss their thoughts and concerns in-person at Town Hall Seattle or live in Zoom.
This event is a fundraiser for Clarion West, supporting emerging and underrepresented writers in speculative fiction.
About Dr. Emily M. Bender:Emily M. Bender is a Professor of Linguistics and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Computer Science and the Information School at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Her research interests include multilingual grammar engineering, computational semantics, and the societal impacts of language technology. She is the co-author of recent influential papers such as Climbing towards NLU: On Meaning, Form, and Understanding in the Age of Data (ACL 2020), On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? (FAccT 2021), and AI and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Benchmark (NeurIPS 2021). In 2022 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Together with Dr. Alex Hanna, she posts Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000, a podcast which skewers AI hype.
About Ted Chiang: Ted Chiang’s fiction has won four Hugo, four Nebula, and six Locus Awards, and has been reprinted in Best American Short Stories. His first collection Stories of Your Life and Others has been translated into twenty-one languages, and the title story was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film Arrival. His second collection Exhalation was chosen by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2019.
About Tom Nissley: Tom Nissley is the owner of Phinney Books and Madison Books in Seattle. He’s the author of A Reader’s Book of Days, has a PhD in English from the University of Washington, and was an eight-time champion on Jeopardy!
Gordon Van Gelder, publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, posted this statement today on social media platform X:
The statement responds to controversy that began after David A. Riley announced to readers of his blog that The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction had accepted a novelette by him for publication. Social media raised the issue of Riley’s history of having once been part of the UK’s National Front — which in 2016 led to him being taken off an HWA Bram Stoker the jury by mutual agreement.
David A. Riley has not made a direct response to the decision, however, the meme posted to his blog here may be a comment on it.
(This was posted to his personal account, not the official Baen account.)
Kevin Smith is the showrunner of Masters of the Universe: Revelation. The post attracted the attention of a great many Kevin Smith fans, maybe even Smith himself since he’s quite active on Twitter. At any rate, some people tagged Smith in their replies.
Shortly thereafter Korsgaard’s account disappeared, suspended for violating Twitter rules.
Although the original tweet is gone, the replies and the thread itself are still online here. Note that the first response by Declan Finn (who else?) registered over 13.5K views, which shows how active the thread became. [Click for larger image.]
In August Korsgaard opened a brand new Twitter account (@SeanCWKorsgaard) where so far he has made only a couple of posts, the earliest dated August 1. His original account (@SCWKorsgaard) remains suspended.
It may come as a surprise to learn Twitter will still ban accounts if enough users complain. But considering Korsgaard fantasized about killing two directors with big fan bases, there’s no telling how many people may have reported him.
By Steve Vertlieb: In 2007 I was honored to become a part of the singular release of Tadlow Records’ World Premiere recording of Miklos Rozsa’s beloved motion picture score for Billy Wilder’s melancholy masterpiece, “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.”
Juliet Rozsa, daughter of the 3-time Oscar winning composer, and I were invited by Tadlow producer James Fitzpatrick to contribute liner notes to the spectacular CD recording conducted by Nic Raine and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with rapturous violin solos by Lucie Svehlova.
This exquisite recording was recently re-released by Tadlow and, in honor of its recent reappearance in the film score marketplace, here are my original liner notes for this memorable tribute to Billy Wilder, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, composer Miklos Rozsa, and the world’s remarkable first consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes.
April 18, 2007 marked the centenary of Miklos Rozsa’s birth. Classically trained, the Hungarian émigré began his film career in 1937 with Knight Without Armour for Alexander Korda in England. Quickly establishing his own unique sound and presence in a crowded arena, Rozsa transformed his classical sensibilities into a richly individual voice within the motion picture community, composing one hundred ten scores between 1937 and 1982. No less an authority than Elmer Bernstein regarded Rozsa and Bernard Herrmann as the two greatest practitioners of symphonic film scoring in its long, distinguished history.
While still a student in Germany, Rozsa’s early works were already being published and performed. By the time he arrived in Paris in 1931 he had established a solid reputation as a serious composer. Composition, however, brought in little recompense and he was forced to teach in order to make a living. One night during a dinner conversation with Arthur Honegger, Rozsa was encouraged to try his hand at film scoring. Believing, somewhat innocently, that film music consisted solely of “fox trots,” Rozsa was astonished to learn that serious music was being written for the screen. Honegger suggested that Rozsa go to see a film production of Hugo’s Les Miserables for which he’d recently written the score. The experience was to change the young composer’s life, for here was a somber theatrical presentation with dramatic music, bringing the production vividly to cinematic life. Intuitively, Rozsa sensed that the new medium of sound motion pictures might offer him a forum in which to make a significant, artistic contribution.
A chance encounter with actress Marlene Dietrich led to a contract with England’s leading film studio, London Films, and the Korda brothers who presided over production. Knight Without Armour was the composer’s first assignment, followed by the stark, musical strokes of 1939’s The Four Feathers. Alexander Korda grew to respect Rozsa’s obvious talent and, despite the objections of Ludvig Berger, the film’s director, Korda replaced the Viennese operetta approach of German composer Oscar Strauss with the magical rhapsodies of Miklos Rozsa for London Films’ production of The Thief of Bagdad. The film premiered on Christmas day, 1940, both in Britain and in America and remains one of the most gloriously imaginative films ever made, rivaling The Wizard of Oz in its sumptuous presentation. The musical scoring by Rozsa, set to a visual tapestry of genies, wizards, flying horses and magically airborne carpets, is among the most wondrous of his career and a landmark in symphonic scoring for films.
The assignment in 1940 would be a fortuitous one for Rozsa. When war broke out in England, the cast and crew of the Arabian Nights fantasy was transported, not by carpet, but by plane to the United States in order to shoot additional scenes in the Grand Canyon to complete the picture. Rozsa fell in love with America and, when the production company returned to England, he decided to remain.
Rozsa had loved Rudyard Kipling’s stories since his boyhood, so when Zoltan Korda called upon his services once more to write the music for The Jungle Book, he was elated. The Jungle Book, while not in the same class as the earlier film was, nonetheless, a beautiful, haunting film, easily towering above its many remakes and incarnations. However, its most striking element remains Rozsa’s exquisite score. “Song of the Jungle,” his miraculous evocation of the dense foliage and its inhabitants, slowly awakening to the subtle nuances of a beguiling new day, has been recorded and performed numerous times by many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras.
1943 saw the beginning of Rozsa’s legendary association and friendship with Billy Wilder. Wilder was preparing his second film, Five Graves To Cairo, for Paramount and had wanted Franz Waxman to write the score. Waxman, however, was unavailable and so Wilder turned to Rozsa. Wilder regarded Rozsa as an unknown quantity but told him that if he liked his work on this picture, that he might consider him for his next. Despite protests by Paramount that Rozsa’s melodies were dissonant and harsh, Wilder stood by the composer, demanding that his themes be incorporated into the finished picture. After the success of Five Graves To Cairo, Wilder remained true to his word, hiring Rozsa to write the music for his next picture at Paramount, Double Indemnity (1944). His searing, powerful themes dominated the classic story of murder and marital betrayal, becoming the most celebrated of Rozsa’s many Cinema Noir scores. Wilder and Rozsa teamed yet again in 1945 for the brutally honest The Lost Weekend, the first mainstream film to address the nightmare of alcoholism in America. Rozsa’s triumphant score brutally captured the fear and paranoia of a world lost and drowning in “The Bottle.”
Rozsa won his first of three Oscars that year for Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound. Though Hitchcock would never work with the composer again, “The Spellbound Concerto” eclipsed the picture it derived from. The orchestral suite has been performed and recorded countless times, and remains the composer’s most famous and identifiable work. Rozsa went on to win Oscars for George Cukor’s A Double Life in 1948, and William Wyler’s majestic remake of Ben-Hur in 1959. After creating the stark, Brave Noir World of the forties, Rozsa enjoyed his richest, most creative output during the Nineteen Fifties and early Sixties with his Biblical epics, culminating with both the magnificence and sweeping grandeur of Ben-Hur, and his thunderous, passionate rhapsodies for Samuel Bronston’s El Cid (1961).
Billy Wilder re-entered Rozsa’s life in 1970. One of Wilder’s preferred methods of relaxation while preparing his film scripts was to listen to Rozsa’s “Concerto For Violin and Orchestra”, commissioned by Jascha Heifetz in 1956. The concerto was among the director’s favorite pieces of music, and he promised Rozsa that one day he would incorporate its themes into a film.
That film would be, perhaps, his most personal…The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a three-hour extravaganza designed as a final masterpiece from one of cinema’s most eloquent story tellers. Rozsa was asked by Wilder to adapt his concerto, and write new thematic material for this atypical dissection of fiction’s most famous consulting detective. Wilder’s Holmes was a brittle, sensitive, and lonely genius whose purity of heart had been shattered irretrievably by a lost, tragic love, subtly alluded to in the enigmatic screenplay. United Artists, under new management, had little understanding of Wilder’s brilliance, and botched the film’s advertising campaign, promoting the picture as a comedic send up of Conan Doyle’s creation when, in fact, mere traces of burlesque graced the production. Wilder, himself a renowned wit and raconteur, masked his own fragile insecurities with sophisticated direction and writing. He identified with Holmes’ inner doubts and fragile bravado. United Artists castrated Wilder’s final “cut,” trimming the picture by a third and eliminating several of its most charming vignettes. Wilder was devastated by the callous emasculation of his work, and returned to the screen only infrequently after that. The critics were unresponsive to the picture, while the public mostly stayed away. The restoration and preservation of Wilder’s original cut remains one of the highest priorities of The American Film Institute, and yet the final release print of Wilder’s masterwork, though butchered, is justifiably regarded as one of the director’s most beautiful films. Here, for the first time, is presented the exquisite and thrilling score…recorded in its entirety for the one hundredth anniversary of this legendary composer’s birth…the World Premiere Recording of Miklos Rozsa’s score for Billy Wilder’s THE Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
The UK’s Royal Mail today shared images of the eight Special Stamps they are issuing to celebrate Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, marking the 40th anniversary of The Colour of Magic, first book in the series. The stamps can be pre-ordered now, and will be available for general purchase on August 10.
The stamps feature Rincewind, The Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A’Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig, all by artist Paul Kidby, who was Pratchett’s preferred illustrator for the Discworld. (Click for larger image.)
A Terry Pratchett’s Discworld First Day Cover featuring all eight new stamps cancelled with the alternative postmark that will be available for order from August 10.
Also offered is a presentation pack with explanatory text and a set of the stamps.
By Cath Jackel: I’m at the con and have had a chance to look around. Programming starts at 10 am. There will be Filer meetups on Saturday and Sunday morning at NINE a.m. Location will be the Japanese garden/plaza south of the Delta hotel. Go out the front door of the hotel, turn left, and walk half a block. There isn’t seating, but the Carlton Street side has raised concrete planters we can perch on.
BYO drinks and snacks. The Delta has a main floor coffee shop that opens at 7 a.m. both mornings. On Saturday, the Bagelsmith, on 185 Carlton on the way to the plaza, opens at 9 a.m. Their breakfast sandwich is pretty good.
I have red hair and will be wearing a bright blue batik shirt. Looking forward to meeting you!
Michele Lundgren, wife of sff artist Carl Lundgren, is one of 16 Michigan residents charged with multiple felonies for their role in the alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced yesterday Lundgren and each of the other defendants have been charged with:
One count of Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, a 14-year felony,
Two counts of Forgery, a 14-year felony,
One count of Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,
One count of Conspiracy to Commit Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony, and,
Two counts of Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony.
“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” said Nessel. “My department has prosecuted numerous cases of election law violations throughout my tenure, and it would be malfeasance of the greatest magnitude if my department failed to act here in the face of overwhelming evidence of an organized effort to circumvent the lawfully cast ballots of millions of Michigan voters in a presidential election.”
The defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14, 2020 and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the “duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.” These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.
Each of the 16 charged defendants will next appear in 54-A District Court in Ingham County, MI (site of the state capital) for individual arraignments.
Detroit resident Michele Lundgren is married to Carl Lundgren, famous for his rock music poster art, who also has painted hundreds of sff book covers. He co-founded the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) and won four Chesley Awards between 1985-1995. She has been doing artwork of her own as a photographer; two books, The Photographic Eye and Side Streets.
In 2022 Michele Lundgren unsuccessfully ran as a Republican candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 9. She was decisively defeated by a Democrat who received 91% of the vote.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is holding its third annual online auction to support its advocacy for and professional development of creators working in the speculative fiction genres. This silent auction opened today and will close June 26 at 3:00pm PT. The auction website is here.
The first 20 people to place bids in the auction will receive a free copy of the Sept./Oct. 2021 edition of Asimov’s, signed by auction coordinator Jason Sanford, who has a cover story in the issue. Every winning bidder for a physical item will also receive a free copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction or Analog: Science Fiction and Fact courtesy of Penny Press.
SFWA says to better serve their expanding membership of 2,500+ writers and advance the genres at large, they must broaden their outreach, and that takes funding. SFWA invites members of the science fiction and fantasy community to contribute through placing their bids on the unique items and virtual offerings of this year’s auction:
Signed books from authors including Annalee Newitz, Cherie Priest, Chuck Wendig, Diana Rowland, Jack McDevitt, Fonda Lee, George R. R. Martin, Jim Hines, Kate Heartfield, Ken Liu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Maurice Broaddus, Michael Swanwick, Peng Shepherd, Sarah Gailey, SB Divya, Victor Manibo, Zig Zag Claybourne, and many more
Manuscript critiques from A.C. Wise, Alaya Dawn Johnson, E.D.E. Bell, Eugen Bacon, Holly Schofield, and many more
Virtual career advising sessions with Cecilia Tan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Julie E. Czerneda, Premee Mohamed, and many more
Online video hangouts with Alma Alexander, Cecilia Tan, David Mack, Eileen Gunn, Gary Phillips, Lydia M. Hawke, Nicole Glover, Wole Talabi, and many more
That’s a veritable treasure trove of amazing opportunities and brag-worthy wins for fans, collectors, and writers alike! If you are unable to bid this year, SFWA welcomes your contribution through sharing the auction website with others who may wish to take advantage of all the great items and opportunities on offer.
SFWA has partnered once again with Worldbuilders, an organization of “geeks doing good” that supports humanitarian efforts worldwide, to host this auction. A few examples of the work SFWA has undertaken to address the needs and challenges that speculative fiction storytellers face today, and that your bids will support:
SFWA again awarded over 200 scholarships to creator populations in need for this year’s Nebula Conference, for those attending in-person and online.
SFWA’s Independent Authors Committee is continuing work on launching the HARP project to aid older and disabled authors in self-publishing their out-of-print oeuvres, and our Short Fiction Committee is making progress on the short fiction matrix that will provide a more thorough measurement of how markets may provide writers with a more professional experience.
And SFWA’s benevolent funds—including the Legal Fund, the Emergency Medical Fund, and the Givers Fund Grants—continue to provide targeted, essential support for many creators and organizations in the field.