The SFWA Silent Auction’s Final Hours

The SFWA Silent Auction closes in less than 24 hours. If last year was any indication, this is when bidding starts to go wild. What’s also wild is how many amazing deals can still be had, particularly ones of special interest to SFF creators. Find all the items at the SFWA Auction at http://bitly.com/sfwaauction, and place your bids by Monday, May 16, 12 Noon Pacific Time. Here are just a few to check out:

Virtual Career Advising Sessions

These auction items are 30-minute long, one-on-one Zoom-based meetings with an SFF professional who can offer you advice from their experience on the next steps in your career. Each is scheduled for a specific day, so check that time when you check them out. Several have leading bids for as low as $25!

  • Anya Joseph’s short fiction can be found in Fantasy Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, and Mythaxis, among many others. Their debut novel, Queen of All, is an inclusive adventure fantasy for young adults. Bid here.
  • Bryan Young’s work as a writer and producer has been called “filmmaking gold” by The New York Times. He’s also published comic books with Slave Labor Graphics and Image Comics; been a regular contributor for the Huffington PostStarWars.com, SYFY, & more; wrote the critically acclaimed history book, A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination; co-authored Robotech: The Macross Saga RPG and wrote a novel in the BattleTech Universe called Honor’s Gauntlet. He teaches writing for Writer’s Digest, Script Magazine, and at the University of Utah. Bid here.
  • Sam J. Miller’s books have been called “must reads” and “bests of the year” by USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among others. He is the Nebula and Astounding Award-winning author of Blackfish City, which has been translated into six languages. Miller’s short stories have won a Shirley Jackson Award and been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Locus Awards, and have been reprinted in dozens of anthologies. Bid here.

Additional virtual career sessions are available from Justina Ireland, SFWA CFO Nathan Lowell, Lou Aronica, Nebula finalist Premee Mohamed, Marisca Pichette, former SFWA presidents Mary Robinette Kowal and Cat Rambo, C. L. Polk, Jennifer Brozek, Dan Kobodlt, Chelsea Mueller, Cecilia Tan, and Ajit George! Find them all here.

Kaffeeklatsches

Kaffeeklatsches are a mainstay of SFF con culture! They’re essentially informal hangouts with your favorite creators. Each of these 1-hour-long virtual kaffeeklatsches has four seats up for bidding, and is set for a specific time and date. The winning bidders will all join the creator in the same Zoom room for their session. Seats for many featured storytellers are beginning at $20!

  • Jennifer Brozek’s A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods, Never Let Me Sleep, and The Last Days of Salton Academy were finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. She was awarded the Scribe Award for best tie-in Young Adult novel for BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident. Grants Pass won an Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication. A Hugo finalist for Short Form Editor and a finalist for the British Fantasy Award, Jennifer is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. Bid here.
  • Alma Alexander is a fantasy writer whose novels include the Worldweavers young adult series. Alexander’s life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer. Bid here.
  • Carlos Hernandez, the author of Andre Norton Nebula finalist Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, won a Pura Belpré Author Award from the American Library Association. Hernandez is also the author of Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe, and The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria, along with numerous stories and poems, mostly in the speculative mode. He is an English professor at City University of New York, and he loves to both play games and design them. Bid here.

Kaffeeklatsch seats are also available for Carrie Jones, former SFWA presidents Cat Rambo and Mary Robinette Kowal, Chuck Wendig, C. L. Polk, David Brin, former SFWA Secretary Deborah J. Ross, current SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy, incoming SFWA Director-At-Large Jordan Kurella, Julie E. Czerneda, Justina Ireland, Marie Brennan, Natalia Theodoridou, Nisi Shawl, Nebula finalist Premee Mohamed, Nebula finalist Sam J Miller, Nebula winner and finalist Sarah Pinsker, Tim Waggoner, Wole Talabi, and game author Jonathan Cassie. Find them all here.

There are also written and virtual manuscript critiques available from many great authors for a steal of only $30, and of course, tuckerizations, signed books and book collections, rare books, collectibles, signed game guides, and more! 

Since the auction opened, they’ve also added three sets of Munchkins charity postcards signed by illustrator John Kovalic, AND this one-of-a-kind Munchkin card, hand-drawn and autographed by him.

Why yes, you did read that correctly: The bearer of the card, if a SFWA member, gets two extra levels when played! 

Bidding will be fierce for that card, and for many of the rare books and collectibles we have an offer. But if you’re lucky, you can take advantage of the virtual sessions we highlighted above and hopefully win at a great price, while leveling up your career knowledge.

May Lady Luck smile upon you, and may you share these opportunities far and wide, so Lady Luck smiles on SFWA with the final total! The money raised will benefit a number of SFWA programs, including providing support for the organization’s expanding membership and their advocacy for all SFF writers. 

[Based on a press release.]

Fantasy StoryBundle Submissions Call Open Through 5/30

SFWA’s Independent Authors Committee is open for submissions for their next fantasy StoryBundle to be released this fall. Submissions will be accepted through May 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

The committee cites this as a chance for independent and small press authors to gain more exposure and sell more books. They welcome submissions of indie and traditionally published novels, from SFWA members and nonmembers, as well as from small press publishers, if the publishers give permission in writing. Full guidelines for this submission call can be found here

The overarching theme for the call is “What Am I Doing Here?” The SFWA Independent Authors Committee seeks fantasy stories of characters lost, stranded, abandoned, shipwrecked, or stuck on the wrong side of a portal. As always, the Committee is open to unique interpretations of the theme, such as tales of lost memories or of being lost in time. This StoryBundle will be offered in November 2022. 

The Independent Authors Committee will select participants from the entries they receive, and “the exact composition and titles of any individual SFWA StoryBundle is subject to adjustment as we accommodate the best selections. Therefore, we encourage authors not to self-reject if their novel has any fit at all with our theme.”

StoryBundles are curated collections of books offered at a discounted price. Readers select what price they’d like to pay for an initial four books and can unlock the entire collection by contributing $20. Proceeds go to the participating authors and StoryBundle, and a small cut is donated to SFWA. 

Welcome are full-length fantasy novels of over 40,000 words that are either clearly stand-alone stories or the first in a series. Authors are asked to submit only one novel, and do not submit a novel that has appeared in any previous StoryBundle (SFWA or otherwise.) Only submit novels that will be for sale by October 2022. The author must have full rights to enter their novel in the StoryBundle, and the novel must not be in Amazon’s KDP Select at the time that the StoryBundle is offered.

The full submission guidelines, including instructions on how to submit, are here. 

[Based on a press release.]

2022 Nebula Awards Toastmasters Announced

Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman will be the toastmasters for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s  57th Annual Nebula Awards®. The Nebula Awards Ceremony will be livestreamed free to the public online on May 21, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific on SFWA’s social media platforms.

In addition to her long history as a celebrated toastmaster for award ceremonies in the science fiction and fantasy genres, Connie Willis was named the 2012 SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master and a recipient of the 2021 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr., Service to SFWA Award. Willis is the author of Doomsday Book, Crosstalk, and Passage, among many other fictional works, and the upcoming novel The Road to Roswell. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards. In 2009, Willis was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Being a toastmaster is her favorite thing besides bulldogs, romantic comedies, Oxford, and Randy Rainbow videos.

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author and creator of books, graphic novels, short stories, films, and television for all ages, including Norse Mythology, NeverwhereCoralineThe Graveyard BookThe Ocean at the End of the LaneThe View from the Cheap Seats, and The Sandman comic series. His fiction has received many awards and honours, including the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Several of his novels have been adapted for film and television, winning an Oscar nomination for Coraline, an Emmy nomination for American Gods, and Good Omens won the Hugo and Ray Bradbury awards, for the adaptation of the novel he wrote with the late Sir Terry Pratchett. His books have been translated into forty languages world-wide. In 2017, Gaiman became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Originally from England, he now divides his time between Scotland, where Good Omens and Anansi Boys are filmed, and the United States, where he is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Sample Nebula Award trophy. Photo by Richard Man.

This year’s Nebula Awards winners will be announced during the ceremony, which will stream for free on SFWA’s social media platforms. (See the list of finalists here.) Celebrating the past year’s most outstanding fictional works, the Nebula Awards Ceremony will be a highlight of the 2022 Nebula Conference Online. Aspiring and professional storytellers in the speculative fiction genres may benefit from attending the entire professional development weekend full of panels, networking opportunities, and chances to learn from and interact with experts in related fields, including the 38th SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Mercedes Lackey.

The 2022 Nebula Conference Online takes place May 20–22. The cost of registration is $150. Register here: events.sfwa.org

President Jeffe Kennedy says, “I’m delighted that Connie and Neil have so graciously taken time from their busy schedules to lend their voices and dynamic presences to the Nebula Awards ceremony. I’ve caught a glimpse in my crystal ball of what they’re up to and I can’t wait for everyone to join in the fun!”

[Based on a press release.]

SFWA Silent Auction Is Live, Continues Through May 16

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., (SFWA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is holding its second annual online “silent auction” to support its advocacy efforts for all creators and its over 2,200 members. The auction opened today and continues until  May 16, 2022, at 12:00pm Pacific. The auction website is here: bitly.com/sfwaauction.

SFWA has partnered once again with Worldbuilders, an organization of “geeks doing good” that supports humanitarian efforts worldwide. The money raised will benefit SFWA programs that positively influence the future of the science fiction and fantasy genres. It will also bolster the organization’s work in modeling best practices for professional industry standards with a focus on educating and strengthening speculative fiction creators and the surrounding community. 

A few examples of the work SFWA has undertaken to address the needs and challenges that speculative fiction storytellers face today: 

  • Over 200 scholarships are being targeted to creator populations in need for this year’s Nebula Conference Online. 
  • The #DisneyMustPay Task Force is continuing its work to make sure that writer contracts are honored after major media acquisitions. 
  • SFWA’s Independent Authors Committee is launching the HARP project to aid older and disabled authors in self-publishing their out-of-print oeuvres. 
  • 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. 

Featured auction items this year include:

  • Signed books and collectibles including a signed, first edition of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin; jewelry handcrafted by Mercedes Lackey, a one-of-a-kind Wooden train autographed by 23 authors including Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis; rare and collectible books by Robert Heinlein and other Golden Age authors; signed books by Nino Cipri, Fonda Lee, Kate Heartfield, Annalee Newitz, Carrie Vaughn; and much more.
  • Manuscript critiques from A.C. Wise, Curtis C. Chen, E.D.E. Bell, Kel Coleman, Lucienne Diver and many others.
  • Virtual career advising sessions with Cecilia Tan, Dan Koboldt, Jennifer Brozek, Lou Aronica, Marisca Pichette, Sam J Miller, and more.
  • Tuckerizations by Alaya Dawn Johnson, Deborah J. Ross, Justina Ireland, Wole Talabi, and many others.
  • Virtual Author Kaffeeklatsches with Carlos Hernandez, Cat Rambo, C.L. Polk, Chuck Wendig, David Brin, Jeffe Kennedy, Jordan Kurella, Justina Ireland, Marie Brennan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Natalia Theodoridou, Nisi Shawl, Premee Mohamed, Sarah Pinsker, Tim Waggoner, and more.
Mercedes Lackey jewelry

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy says, “Our amazing fundraising committee, along with generous donors from across the SFF community, have put in an incredible amount of work on this project. I think everyone will be excited to avail themselves of the fantastic offerings and contribute to an excellent cause at the same time.”

View all items here.

HIGHLIGHTED ITEMS

AUTOGRAPHED TRAIN

TUCKERIZATIONS AND VIRTUAL CAREER SESSIONS

KAFFEEKLATSCHES

AUTOGRAPHED ITEMS

HEINLEIN 46-VOLUME VIRGINIA EDITION

Ncuti Gatwa Is the Next Doctor Who

Ncuti Gatwa will play the fourteenth Doctor Who, succeeding Jodie Whittaker in the role. He will be the first black actor to play a primary incarnation of the character and the second overall, following Jo Martin’s appearance as the Fugitive Doctor.

He gained fame as Eric Effiong on the Netflix comedy-drama series Sex Education (2019–present), which earned him a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television and three BAFTA Television Award nominations for Best Male Comedy Performance. He’s already popular among viewers in their teens and 20s, with more than 2.5 million Instagram followers.

Showruhner Russell T Davies said the decision was made in February, and kept secret to be launched as part of the coverage leading up to today’s BAFTA Awards ceremony in the UK. Gatwa impressed him in a “blazing” audition. “It was our last audition. It was our very last one,” the writer and producer said. “We thought we had someone, and then in he came and stole it. I’m properly, properly thrilled. It’s going to be a blazing future.”

[Thanks to Jon Meltzer for the story.]

Read an Excerpt from Jennifer Estep’s New Book Tear Down the Throne

Hitting bookstores today is Jennifer Estep’s Tear Down the Throne, the second installment in the Gargoyle Queen series.

And we have a sneak peek just for you!

Here’s what the book is about:

Crown princess. Clever spy. Powerful mind magier. Gemma Ripley of Andvari is all those things—and determined to stop an enemy from using magical tearstone weapons to conquer her kingdom.

Gemma’s quest for answers leads her to a trade Summit between the various kingdoms. Among the other royals in attendance is Queen Maeven Morricone of Morta and her son, Prince Leonidas—Gemma’s charming and dangerous nemesis.

Gemma knows that Maeven always has a long game in motion, and sure enough, the cunning queen invokes an arcane tradition that threatens the fragile truce between Andvari and the other kingdoms. Despite her best intentions, Gemma once again finds herself thrown together with Leo and battling her growing feelings for the enemy prince.

When a series of deadly attacks shatters the Summit’s peaceful negotiations, Gemma realizes that someone wants to tear the royals down from their thrones—and that this enemy just might succeed.

Now read an excerpt from the newly released novel:


From TEAR DOWN THE THRONE by Jennifer Estep. Copyright © 2022 by Jennifer Estep. Reprinted by permission of Harper Voyager, an imprint of William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers.

“Gemma!” Reiko yelled. “Behind you!”

I whirled around. Several guards sprawled on the ground around Reiko. Some had died from the stab wounds she’d in- flicted on them, while others were choking on their own blood and clutching their throats, which she’d torn open with her tal- ons.

But one man had slipped past Reiko and was charging at me. He must have been a mutt with some speed magic because he closed the distance between us in the blink of an eye. I ducked his deadly swing and grabbed my dagger.

The man growled and charged at me again, but I stepped up, dodged his defenses, and buried my dagger in his stomach. He screamed, and I ripped the blade free, tearing out a good portion of his guts.

I started to shove him away, but he put his shoulder down and barreled into me. The attack took me by surprise, my feet flew out from under me, and I landed flat on my back, my head bouncing off the ground. Pain spiked through my skull, and I accidentally bit down on my own tongue, hard enough to draw blood.

“Gemma!” Reiko screamed again. “Get up!”

Another guard rushed at her, and she lashed out with her sword, driving him back.

I planted my hands on the ground and sat up. The guard that I’d gutted was looming over me, his face twisting with pain and anger.

My head was throbbing from my hard fall, and I couldn’t get a grip on my magic, so I dug my heels into the dirt, trying to scuttle backward. But I was moving too slowly, and he still had too much speed, despite his gruesome injury. The guard lurched forward, raised his sword high, and swung it down. I lifted my hand and grabbed onto the string of energy attached to his blade—

The sword stopped inches from my heart.

He growled and surged forward, trying to shove his sword past the invisible barrier of my magic, but I gritted my teeth, clenched my hand into a fist, and tightened my grip on his weapon. Pain pounded through my body, sweat dripped down my face, and blood filled my mouth, but I held on, my arm shak- ing from the effort.

“Give me that!” I heard Wexel yell.

Up on the ridge, the captain wrested a crossbow away from one of the injured archers. And that was all I saw before the man in front of me churned his feet again, still trying to force his way past my magic.

The guard must have had some strength power to go along with his speed because his sword lunged another inch closer to my heart.

Then another inch. Then another inch.

I snarled with anger and frustration, but try as I might, I couldn’t hold him back, and it was only a matter of seconds be- fore he punched his blade into my chest and killed me—

The guard flew across the clearing and slammed into the base of the ridge. Rocks tumbled to the ground, and so did the man, his spine snapped like a toothpick and his legs no longer lined up with the rest of his body.

My eyes widened in surprise. I hadn’t done that. A shadow fell over me, blotting out the sun, and my head snapped up.

A man was standing on top of the ridge to my right.

He looked to be a year or two older than me, thirty or so. His longish black hair was as shiny as polished onyx, the wavy layers ending in tips that reminded me of the sharp points on a strix’s feathers. His skin was tan, and he had a straight nose and sharp, angular cheekbones, along with those dark amethyst eyes that had haunted my dreams for weeks, months, years.

His black cloak fluttered around his tall, muscled body, pushed back and forth by the chilly breeze, and snapped around his legs like a coral viper lashing out at its prey. He was wearing a long black riding coat over a black tunic, leggings, and boots, and a tearstone sword and dagger dangled from his black leather belt. Silver buttons marched down the front of his coat, and the Morricone royal crest—that fancy cursive M surrounded by a ring of strix feathers—was done in silver thread over his heart, if he even had such a weak, treacherous organ.

As for my own heart, well, it quickened at the sight of him, betraying me yet again—just like he had.

Prince Leonidas Luther Andor Morricone, my childhood nemesis and mortal enemy.


Last Dangerous Visions Acquired By Blackstone Publishing

J. Michael Straczynski today announced that a deal to publish Harlan Ellison’s The Last Dangerous Visions, as well as its predecessors, Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions has been struck with Blackstone Publishing via Emma Parry at the Janklow & Nesbit Agency, and was announced at the London Book Fair. He says the book is slated for publication in 2023.

Straczynski also told Facebook readers:

Blackstone is a major, mainstream publisher, handling such authors as Cory Doctorow, Ben Bova and James Clavell, and has the capacity to get Harlan’s work out into brick-and-mortar bookstores as well as online retailers in mass market editions for the first time in many years.

The books will be published in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audiobook. They will be available for purchase individually and in a separate, unified edition. With TLDV formally finished and scheduled for publication, this completes the Dangerous Vision trilogy of anthologies.

[Thanks to John Mark Ockerbloom for the story.]

Review of “The Book of Dust” Stage Play

By Martin Morse Wooster: When I read in the Financial Times about how Britain’s National Theatre was adapting Sir Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, the first volume of his Book of Dust trilogy, I told myself, “That’s a play for me!  I’ll just fly over to London and see it!  OGH is made of money, and he’ll happily pay my expenses!”

Fortunately, I didn’t have to go to London, because the theatre came to me, with a screening of the National Theatre Live production playing at the American Film Institute.  So, I spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon seeing it.

The show began with about 15 minutes of filler.  I’m a sucker for listening to theatre people talk about what they do, but the show began with a lot of gas from technical people about how difficult the production was and how special they felt doing it. Bryony Lavery, who wrote the adaptation, explained how hard it was to turn a 300-page book into a 2 1/2-hour play, and would Pullman’s millions of fans be pleased with it?

Well, the rule of thumb is that a hundred pages of fiction equals one hour of film, which is why 200-page novels get turned into two-hour movies.  So, turning a 300-page novel into a play was not much more work.

As for Pullman’s “millions of fans.” He doesn’t have them in America, because the screening I went to had about a dozen people, including four enthusiastic high schoolers[1] and was screened by the American Film Institute in their small theatre, not their large one.  (By contrast, the mid-week mid-afternoon screening I went to of Memoria, a weirdo sf film that amply succeeds in its perverse goal of being the most boring film ever made, had 25 people and was subsequently extended for two weeks.)

One other feature I didn’t like is that the production had a laugh track, with loud guffaws piped in whenever the production wanted to tell us something was funny.  I’ve been to some pretty goofy plays, but I’ve never heard anyone in an audience laugh as loud as I did watching The Book of Dust.

What’s the plot?  This is set a dozen years before the His Dark Materials trilogy. Remember that Pullman doesn’t like religion and doesn’t like authority, so his villains in his world, a parallel universe with slightly less technology than ours, is the Magisterium, a religious authority that resembles the Catholic Church.  Lyra is born and is quickly discovered to have powers the bad guys want.  The Church nearly captures her several times, but hairbreadth escapes occur and its authority repeatedly questioned until the happy conclusion.

Rather than elaborate on the plot, let me focus on three points which made it interesting theater.

In Pullman’s world, all the characters have “demons” or spirit animals.  In the play, these animals are portrayed by puppets, who are articulated and look like origami.  A few of the smaller ones can be manipulated by an actor, but the larger ones have puppeteers manipulating the puppets and supplying voices.  There’s one large puppet, a hyena who laughs at inappropriate times, who is on wheels and pushed.  The puppets worked for me, but I don’t know enough about puppetry to describe what’s right about them.

Pullman’s universe is one where the Thames has flooded and much of the novel is set in torrential rain.  All the rain and floodwaters are CGI, with flooding being portrayed on video.  In many scenes there are about as many props as there would be in an effects-laden movie, except that the flood is more stylized and less realistic than in a movie.  I thought the effect worked very well.

One other semi-special effect is how Lyra is portrayed.  About half the time the baby is played by…a baby!  Director Nicholas Hytner said in an intermission that they had five babies take turns playing Lyra, and the ones I saw did their duty and smiled and cooed without having issues.  However, about half the time a puppet was used; I learned if you see Lyra’s head it’s a baby and if you don’t it’s a puppet.

Finally, I liked that in Pullman’s universe Latin is a language with power and if you cast a spell with Latin it works.  This gave actors a chance to show off their classical educations.

Did I like it?  Yes, I’m glad I saw it.  But I have two reservations.

First, it was theatre on film, which meant everything I saw was mediated through a screen, making it more like a Zoom meeting than a con where you can chat with your friends in the con suite.  I once saw Kathleen Turner play Joan Didion on stage where she delivered an entire 100-minute play by herself without a net.  Turner’s tightrope act would be far less thrilling if I saw it on TV.

Is the Guinness better in Ireland?  Yes—because you’re in Ireland! Similarly, seeing plays in London would be much more interesting than in a theatre 15 minutes away from home.

The second problem is that at least on stage La Belle Sauvage is a thrill-on-every-page plot.  Lyra is nearly captured—but she escapes!  Then she’s nearly captured—and escapes again!  But we know she will win, because this book is a prequel. There wasn’t much room for character development or for actors to act.

Still, seeing La Belle Sauvage in a movie theatre was better than not seeing it at all. By the end of the production the dozen attendees shared Pullman tips and I was told the full-cast audio production of His Dark Materials was well worth my time.

So, it was a good afternoon in the theatre—and much cheaper than going to London.

Meanwhile, here is three minutes of what I saw: “’It’s a baby!’ from The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage.


[1] Who I am sure went to BCC or Whitman.

Open Letter to Disney from #DisneyMustpay

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is releasing the following Open Letter to Disney today.


Dear Disney,

Walt Disney said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way.” We believe all authors must be paid. The #DisneyMustPay campaign started in November 2020 with a press conference and an open letter to Mickey Mouse.

We remind you: it’s been well over a year

You’ve paid some authors what you owed them. But there are other creators that you don’t want to talk about. And, because you did not take our advice, new creators are coming forward who are owed money, too.

You still refuse to recognize your obligations to lesser known authors who wrote media tie-in works for Marvel, for Star Wars, for Aliens, for Predator, for Buffy: TVS and more, universes that you’ve bought the rights to, along with the obligations to those creators. You’ve re-published their works but have failed to do even the bare necessities of contract and talent management. You’ve failed to pay these writers royalties they’re legally owed, and have not given them the courtesy of royalty statements and reprint notices.

These pandemic years have been hard on creators. Surveys by the Authors Guild and the Society of Authors have shown 71.4% of writers’ incomes in the USA and 57% in the UK have declined since it began. Inflation is growing, bills still need to be paid. Honor the contracts.

#DisneyMustPay all writers what they’re owed. Put up an FAQ, create a point of contact, send out royalty statements, make payments in a timely manner, and let creators know when you’ve republished their works. 

It’s time to honor your agreements. It’s time all creators were paid what they’re owed.

Signed,

The #DisneyMustPay Task Force


Background on the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force 

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force identifies and guides authors and other creators who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the Joint Task Force to identify affected authors and other creators. The Task Force was formed by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) and includes the Authors GuildHorror Writers AssociationInternational Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller WritersMystery Writers of America National Writers UnionNovelists, Inc., Romance Writers of AmericaSisters in Crime (SinC),  Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Individual writers on the Task Force are Neil GaimanLee Goldberg, Mary Robinette KowalChuck Wendig, and Tess Gerritsen

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force makes sure writers’ and other creators’ contracts are honored, but individual negotiations are rightly between them, their agents, and the rights holder. The Disney Task Force is working to address structural and systemic concerns. Additional updates and information are available at www.writersmustbepaid.org.

[Based on a press release.]

New York Science Fiction Film Festival Announces May 2022 Lineup

The 2022 New York Science Fiction Film Festival has announced the program for its second event, a creative lineup of film screenings, discussions, and a screenplay competition. The festival will be held virtually on Friday, May 13 and Sunday, May 15, and in person on Saturday, May 14, featuring a total of 90 official selections. Passes are available here.

A lifelong admirer of science fiction, Daniel Abella established the event as a center for filmmakers to display their work as part of the city’s diverse filmmaking community. He noted that, “New York City has always been the perfect place to bring audiences cutting edge films that have an impact on our lives.” This year’s lineup consists of seven features, 74 shorts, nine screenplay entries, and spans 16 countries. Highlights include the East Coast Premieres of Exegesis: Lovecraftdirected by Qais Pasha, who takes viewers on a cathartic journey through the life of author H.P. Lovecraft, and Guilhem Bertrand and Quentin Bruet-Ferréol’s Extasium – A Doorway to Paradise, about an artist who builds a machine invoking the power of God.

The festival will also present several films produced in Asia with stories of the paranormal, advancements in technology, and the uncertainty of reality. “Our programming reflects many cultures and lifestyles, with a specific focus on the importance of Asian sci-fi,” said Abella. “We are proud to screen films that exemplify this smartly developed form of cinema.”

The festival opens with The Spiral directed by Peter Wong, a feature from Malaysia about a university lecturer overcome by a deadly supernatural force. Further screenings include the East Coast Premiere of the Japanese film 12 Months of KAI directed by Mutsumi Kameyama, about the relationship between a human and a personal care humanoid, and the U.S. Premiere of Victor Villanueva’s Lucidfrom the Philippines, which traces the impact of a woman’s dreams on her waking reality. In addition, the festival will hold a science fiction and supernatural screenplay competition as a means of showing the precision and accuracy necessary to the craft of screenwriting. “The screenplay has always been the most fundamental part of the filmmaking process,” said Abella. “This competition shines a light on the significance of good storytelling.”

The festival film schedule follows the jump.

[Based on a press release.]

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