Pixel Scroll 1/9/22 Chapter Scroll Dune

(1) SFF A “FORM OF SUBVERSIVE ACTIVISM”. Eugen Bacon’s thoughtful review appears in the latest issue of Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, Volume 8, Issue 2 (Feb 2022): “Trends in Black Speculative Fiction”.

… More than two decades after the publication of Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (Thomas), black speculative fiction continues to rise as a powerful conversation in genre fiction, and increasingly tackles precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial themes pertaining to identity and culture, as well as feminist and queer themes pertaining to engaging with difference. Anthologies have become instrumental in the proliferating Afrofuturistic writing that heroes black people in stories from Africa and the diaspora, stories whose visibility is increasingly evident in award nominations and recommendations – for example 2021 Hugo nominee Ekpeki Donald Oghenechovwe, whose novella Ife-Iyoku won the 2020 Otherwise Award.

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color (Shawl) – in its showcasing of interracial and cross-cultural stories – may have stunned its publisher, editor, contributors, and readers by winning the 2020 Locus, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Ignyte, and Brave New Words Awards. Casting a diverse range of new and established writers, including (among others) Tobias S. Bucklell, Minsoo Kang, Kathleen Alcalá, Alberto Yáñez, and Chinelo Onwual, and featuring a foreword by LeVar Burton, New Suns explored intergalactic stories, dream stories, song stories, coming-home stories, futuristic stories, and even self-aware stories that encapsulate person-of-colour chants full of longing and conviction of belonging and place. With the success of New Suns, it’s no wonder that Solaris announced its acquisition of New Suns 2 for release in 2023 (“Solaris to Publish New Suns 2”)….

… It is clear from just these select exemplars that publishers, authors, and readers alike have a steeping interest in black people’s stories. Thanks to the internet, audio books, and ebooks, the world is in the heart of an ongoing digital revolution that continues to stagger traditional publishing and make best sellers as well as anthologies and collections from smaller presses cheaper and accessible to ravenous readers. As e-publishers and self-publishers create opportunities for writers and readers alike, and more awards recognise calibre and uniqueness, rather than the author’s or publisher’s muscle, black speculative fiction will continue to rise in global distribution, and be increasingly accessible. A reader has only to look for it in anthologies, collections, even award nominations….

(2) CRITTERS ANNUAL READERS POLL. The Critters Workshop, “for serious writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror” is hosting its Annual Readers Poll, which honors print and electronic publications published during the past year. (Click here for the official rules.) There are 41 categories. Voting is open through January 14. View the Current standings at the link.

Novels pages: Horror Romance Science Fiction & Fantasy Steampunk | Magical Realism | Positive Future | Erotica Mystery Thriller Children’s | Young Adult | All other |
Short Stories pages: Horror | Romance Science Fiction & Fantasy Steampunk | Magical Realism | Positive Future | All other | Anthologies page Poems page Nonfiction articles page Nonfiction books page |
Other Categories: Artwork page Book/e-book Cover Artwork page Magazine/e-zine Cover Artwork page Authors page Poets page Artists page Book/e-book Editors page Magazine/e-zine Editors page Book Publishers page Review site | Bookstore | Promotional Firms, Sites, and Resources page Fiction ‘zines page Poetry ‘zines page Nonfiction ‘zines page Writers’ Discussion Forum page Writers’ Workshop page Writers’ Resource/Information/News Source page |

(3) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Tochi Onyebuchi and Sarah Pinsker in a virtual event on Wednesday, January 19 starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. The readings will be live on YouTube, link to come.

  • Tochi Onyebuchi

Tochi Onyebuchi is a novelist and essayist, who won the World Fantasy Award, the Ignyte Award, and the New England Book Award for Fiction for his novella Riot Baby, a Nebula, Locus, and Hugo Award finalist. His works include the Beasts Made of Night and War Girls series, and the non-fiction book (S)kinfolk. His most recent novel is Goliath from Tordotcom Publishing. He lives in Connecticut.

  • Sarah Pinsker

Sarah Pinsker is a writer of novels and short stories and everything in between. She has won three Nebulas, including best novel for A Song For A New Day in 2020 and best novelette for “Two Truths And A Lie,” in 2021. Her most recent novel is We Are Satellites. She’s also a musician with four albums to her name, including 2021’s Something to Hold. She lives in Baltimore with her wife and two terriers.

(4) WINDY CITY. Doug Ellis notes the 21st Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention is just four months away.  The event will be held May 6-8 at the usual venue, the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Lombard, Illinois.  

We’ve sold out all 180 of our dealer tables, to dealers spanning the U.S., from Canada and the U.K.  We’ll be celebrating the 100th anniversary of pulp and comic publisher Fiction House.

At this point, we don’t know what COVID requirements may be in place when the show takes place.  Currently, masking would be required, but protocols may change during the next four months.  We’ll update those as we learn them.

As has been the case in years past, this year’s convention will feature some incredible material in our estate auctions. Friday night (May 6), our auction will focus on material from the estate of legendary collector Robert Weinberg (including many more issues of Weird Tales and a complete run of Planet Stories), while on Saturday night, (May 7) material from the estate of Glenn Lord, literary agent for the estate of Robert E. Howard, takes center stage.  In addition, we also will have a number of interesting items from other consignors.

The deadline to book your hotel room and receive the convention rate is 5:00 central on April 12, 2022.  The link for con hotel reservations is here.

We hope to see you there!

(5) SECOND FÜNF. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Elliot Ackerman reviews The Writer’s Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut And The Many Lives Of Slaughterhouse-Five by Tom Roston. Roston argues that Vonnegut may have had undiagnosed PTSD from his experiences in World War II (including being a prisoner of war) and that Slaughterhouse-Five is an expression of his PTSD.  Ackerman finds Roston’s diagnosis unpersuasive and thinks Vonnegut’s own descriptions of how war affected him are a better guide than Roston’s posthumous diagnosis. “Book review of The Writer’s Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five by Tom Roston”.

… This defiance of categorization is probably why I found myself bristling early on when Roston asserts that his book will seek to answer “whether or not ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ can be used as evidence of its author’s undiagnosed PTSD.” This investigation, which animates much of Roston’s book, seems misguided. Roston himself acknowledges the reductivism he’s engaged in when he writes, “I imagine reducing his book to a clinical diagnosis or, perhaps worse, putting it in the self-help category, would make Vonnegut shudder.” Indeed, I think it would. Nevertheless, Roston soldiers on, casting himself as part literary scholar and part psychoanalytic sleuth. He deconstructs “Slaughterhouse-Five” and the history around the book in search of incontrovertible proof that Vonnegut had what we would today call post-traumatic stress disorder, even though Roston acknowledges Vonnegut’s consistent denials throughout his life that his wartime experiences left him traumatized….

(6) STAR TREK’S BRIDGE. SFGate’s Victoria Sepulveda explains “Why ‘Star Trek’ made San Francisco the center of the universe”.

…On top of that, San Francisco is a beautiful city with a major recognizable landmark, great for letting TV viewers know when an episode takes us from the far-flung reaches of the cosmos back to Earth. 

But there are other naval cities and major Earth landmarks that could suit this purpose. What really made San Francisco special, Bernardi says, was its progressivism and diversity. Roddenberry was a liberal humanist, and San Francisco, out of all American cities in the 1960s, best captured the issues Roddenberry wanted to delve into in the show. It was a hub for the civil rights and anti-war movements, says Bernardi, who has studied Roddenberry’s papers, which are collected at UCLA….

(7) DEL TORO INTERVIEW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] I listened to this podcast Leonard and Jessie Maltin did with Guillermo Del Toro — Maltin on Movies: Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro is promoting Nightmare Alley (an excellent film I regard as horror-adjacent), but fantasy is never far from Del Toro’s mind; two minutes into the podcast there’s a discussion about whether Berni Wrightson or Richard Corben did better scary clown illustrations.  Del Toro also says Forrest J Ackerman was his “godfather” because Famous Monsters of Filmland was a source of inspiration and education when he was a kid.  Also credited is the great makeup artist Dick Smith, who was very generous with his time and met Del Toro at the train station when he took the train from Guadalajara to meet with the makeup master.  Del Toro tries to follow Smith’s example and give education and encouragement to young people getting started in the movie industry.  Finally, he thinks that Doug Jones, who has a small role in Nightmare Alley and a major one in The Shape Of Water, is a protean talent who is our generation’s Lon Chaney.

Del Toro’s next project is an animated Pinocchio, developed as a collaboration with The Jim Henson Company.

Del Toro shares a lot of wisdom about movie production and life, in what I think is one of the Maltins’ better episodes.

(8) DWAYNE HICKMAN (1934-2022). Actor Dwayne Hickman, best known as TV’s Dobie Gillis, and for appearing in the Western comedy Cat Ballou, died January 9 reports the New York Times: “Dwayne Hickman, T.V.’s Lovelorn Dobie Gillis, Is Dead at 87”. He had a couple of genre roles – if Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) counts, or else there’s his appearance on an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1975).

(9) BOB SAGET (1956-2022). Actor Bob Saget, best known for his comedy sitcom work, died January 9. He worked on episodes of The Greatest American Hero (1983), Quantum Leap (1992), and Robot Chicken (2016), and voiced roles in the animated movies Madagascar (2005), and Casper’s Scare School (2006).

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1980 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Forty-two years ago, New York City public television station WNET’s Experimental TV Lab project premiered their adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven. Based off the Ursula Le Guin novel of the same name, it was directed by David Loxton and Fred Barzyk. It should be noted Le Guin, by her own writings later, was involved in the casting, script planning, script editing, and filming of the production. Thus, we’ll give scripting credits to Diane English, Ursula K. Le Guin and Roger Swaybill. Primary cast was Bruce Davison, Kevin Conway (earlier in Slaughterhouse-Five as Roland Weary) and Margaret Avery. It was budgeted at a quarter of a million dollars.

The Lathe of Heaven became one of the two highest-rated shows that season on PBS that year. Michael Moore writing for Ares magazine liked it saying that “The best science fiction, such as Lathe, examines humankind’s place in the universe and the products and problems created by intelligence.” It was nominated for a Hugo at Denvention Two which had Ed Bryant as Toastmaster, the year The Empire Strikes Back won. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give a seventy-two percent rating. 

The Lathe of Heaven is the most-requested program in PBS history. It took twelve years to clear up rights to rebroadcast it and that involved replacing the Beatles music with a cover band version. In 2000, The Lathe of Heaven was finally rebroadcast and released to video and DVD. 

I’ve seen this version several times and remember as being rather well crafted but I’ve not the second version made twenty-two years later. Who here has seen that version? 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 9, 1890 Karel Capek. [Spelled with Latin “c” because WordPress doesn’t support the correct special character.] Author of the his 1936 novel War with the Newts and 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which introduced the word robot. R.U.R.was a dystopian work about a really bad day at a factory populated with sentient androids. ISFDB shows two additional works by him, Krakatit: An Atomic Fantasy and The Absolute at Large which I’ve not heard of. (Died 1938.)
  • Born January 9, 1908 Simone de Beauvoir. You know who she is but likely don’t know she wrote All Men Are Mortal (Les Hommes Sont Mortels in its original French)in 1946 which tells the story of Raimon Fosca, a man cursed to live forever. It’d be published in English in the States a decade later, and was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name. (Died 1986.)
  • Born January 9, 1925 Lee Van Cleef. The Warden of the Prison in Escape from New York but he was best known for acting in Spaghetti Westerns. Genre wise, he was also Col. Stone in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and Dr. Tom Anderson in Corman’s It Conquered the World. (Died 1989.)
  • Born January 9, 1932 Algis Budrys. I am trying to remember what I read by him and I think it was Some Will Not Die which I remember because of the 1979 Starblaze edition cover. I’ve also read and really enjoyed his Rogue Moon. Setting aside his work as a writer which was exemplary, he was considered one of our best genre reviewers ever reviewing for GalaxyMagazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and wrote genre reviews even in the more mainstream Playboy. He edited a number of the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future anthologies which I’ll admit I’ve not read any of. I should note his Tomorrow Speculative Fiction prozine was quite excellent. (Died 2008.)
  • Born January 9, 1950 David Johansen, 72. He’s the wisecracking Ghost of Christmas Past in the oh-so-perfect Scrooged, he played Halston in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie in “The Cat from Hell” episode, and he appeared as a character named Brad in Freejack. I think the brief Ghost of Christmas Past riff in the aforementioned Scrooged is enough to earn him as Birthday Honors here. 
  • Born January 9, 1955 J.K Simmons, 67. You may know him as J. Jonah Jameson in the various Spider-Man films but I find his more interesting genre role to be as Howard Silk in the Counterpart series where he plays two versions of himself in two versions of parallel Berlins in a spy service that may or may not exist. He also portrayed Commissioner James Gordon in Justice League.
  • Born January 9, 1956 Imelda Staunton, 66. Voice of the Snow Queen in The Snow Queen’s Revenge, A Nurse in Shakespeare in Love, Polly in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dolores Jane Umbridge In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as well and Knotgrass in Maleficent and the sequel. 
  • Born January 9, 1957 Greg Ketter, 65. A Minneapolis SF Bookstore owner, DreamHaven to be precise, and con-running fan as well. He is a member of MN-Stf. He’s been involved in myriad regionals and Worldcons. He‘s chaired Minicons and World Fantasy Conventions alike.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) SEÑORITA RIO CREATOR. The work of Lily Renée was part of the “Three with a Pen” exhibit at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York that ended in September. Although the exhibit is over, much material remains online, including a trailer.

Lily Renée

The only child of a well-to-do family, Lily Renée Willheim discovered drawing early, creating opulent fantasy worlds with mythical creatures. As a result of the so-called “Anschluss”, her father lost his job, her school friends were no longer allowed to play with her, and, like many, the family endured a variety of hardships. In 1939, at age seventeen, her parents put her on a children’s transport bound for England where she briefly stayed with a British family.

She reunited with her parents in New York City in 1940, where she lives today. After studying at the Art Students League and School of the Visual Arts, she was hired by comic book publishers. An exception in the male-dominated field, she created illustrations for several comic books including Señorita Rio, a glamorous Brazilian secret agent fighting the Nazis, the comedy duo Abbott and Costello, and others. Her later works include children’s books, decorative motifs, and textile designs. In 2007, Lily Renée attended Comic-Con in San Diego to receive their Inkpot Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Friends of Lulu, an organization promoting women in comics. She celebrates her 100th birthday this year.

Read more about her in The Forward: “This female comic book artist was unknown for decades”.

Like the comic superheroes they invented, the Jewish creators of the characters often had secret identities – at least different names. Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerome Siegel used the pseudonyms Joe Carter and Jerry Ess. Bob Kane, born Robert Kahn, created Batman. Jack Kirby, the pen name of Jacob Kurtzenberg, concocted Captain America.

Although lesser known, the comic book heroine Señorita Rio was Hollywood starlet Rita Farrar by day and Nazi-fighting secret agent by night. The artist who drew Rio’s action-packed panels in the 1940s, and signed as L. Renee, lived a sort of double life, too.

“Everybody assumed I was a man,” artist Lily Renee Phillips has said of the fan mail she received at the time, which was always addressed to “Mr. Renee.” Fans knew neither Renee’s gender nor her incredible origin story, which rivaled the plotline of Señorita Rio….

(14) DISNEY’S INSPIRATION. In the Washington Post, Philip Kennicott reviews “Inspiring Walt Disney:  The Animation of French Decorative Arts,” an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Walt Disney’s fascination with France explored in Metropolitan Museum’s ‘Inspiring Walt Disney’”

I have watched more Disney princess films in the past few weeks than in the entirety of my first five decades on the planet. As a citizen of American popular culture, I enjoy their grace and charm. But as a citizen of this thing called the American republic, with its roots in revolution and its rhetoric of equality, I find them often surreal. Isn’t it odd — and perhaps even wrong, in some deeper ethical sense — that Americans are addicted to these gilded fantasies of privilege?A fascinating exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art explores something that is hiding in plain sight if you watch Disney cartoons closely: the curious affinity for all things French, especially the trappings of French aristocracy.

The curators of “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” are upfront about one basic fact: Walt Disney made his movies for a very different audience than that for which the artisans of the French rococo produced their dazzling luxury objects….

(15) EFFECTS OF CHINA CENSORSHIP ON INTERNET AND TECH. According to the New York Times, “As Beijing Takes Control, Chinese Tech Companies Lose Jobs and Hope”.

…Beijing wants its cyberspace to become a tool of governance and national rejuvenation. And it will penalize anyone who fails to serve the goal.

In mid-December, the country’s internet regulator said it had ordered platforms to shut down more than 20,000 accounts of top influencers in 2021, including people who spoke ill of the country’s martyrs, entertainers involved in scandals and major livestreaming stars.

Alibaba was slapped with a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine in September. That was followed by a $530 million fine of Meituan, the food-delivery giant, a month later.

Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, was fined 44 times between January and November. Douban, the popular film- and book-reviewing site, was fined 20 times.

Li Chengdong, an e-commerce consultant who invests in start-ups, said some consumer internet companies he owned were struggling with higher compliance costs. “To stay on the safe side, they have to be stricter in compliance than what the government requires,” he said….

(16) ONLY HOW MANY SHOPPING DAYS LEFT? Sold by The Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, these Christmas Cards that look like book covers. Click through the slideshow to see all four examples.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Doug Ellis, Chris Barkley, John A Arkansawyer, Mlex, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/9/22 Chapter Scroll Dune

  1. I remember Algis Budrys best for Michaelmas, a 1977 novel in which he (correctly) foresaw top journalists as free agents—and this one actually controlled the news (insert your own “uh oh that’s just like [blank] today” here). I was just getting started in broadcast news at the time and he and I had a fascinating chat about how his novel came to be (I still have an uncorrected proof, I found it so compelling). Not sure how it would hold up today upon re-reading. But damn, it was influential. On me.

  2. (11) Budrys’ *Michaelmas” is a novel i enjoyed – almost a proto-cyberpunk piece.

  3. (10) I remember seeing the original version with my father. I’ll pretend you didn’t say that was 42 years ago. 😉

    (11) I remember Algis Budrys for the wonderful personalized rejection slips he sent for Tomorrow. He really went out of his way to send those instead of form rejections.

  4. Anne Marble says I remember seeing the original version with my father. I’ll pretend you didn’t say that was 42 years ago.

    That quite surprised me too because I remember seeing it quite clearly and most video productions don’t really don’t stick with me. It’s a truly amazing film.

    Now listening to the last of Carole Nelson Doulas’ Midnight Louie mysteries. Yes last as she actually ended the series. An uncommon occurrence.

  5. 11) I had to look up which production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream had a character named Polly. Apparently, it was a BBC “ShakespeaRe-Told” production, a rather loose adaptation to a present-day setting.

  6. (6) “Roddenberry was a liberal humanist, and San Francisco, out of all American cities in the 1960s, best captured the issues Roddenberry wanted to delve into in the show.” This is silly. The original series of the 1960s has only the very slightest connection to San Francisco: It’s mentioned on the rarely seen dedication plaque next the turbolift. In the first movie in 1979, we were finally shown that Starfleet headquarters was (is?) situated there.

  7. gottacook: How many cities featured in episodes of The Original Series? New York in “The City on the Edge of Forever”, of course.

  8. (1) I first heard of Minsoo Kang because of his nonfiction work, but his short story collection Of Tales and Enigmas is quite wonderful.

  9. I think they never identified any of the others they showed. I don’t remember when San Francisco became the official HQ for Starfleet. (It bothers me, in the reboot movies, that they have buildings on the seaward side of the bridge, where it’s open ocean. And tall, tall buildings in an area that’s very definitely earthquake country. Plus it’s still an open question how long that bridge will last before needing replacement.)

  10. 10) I remember the original Lathe of Heaven — not sure if I watched it on PBS, but I know that on at least a couple of occasions the teacher in one of my English classes would wheel in a TV and videocassette recorder (one of those top-loading models) and show it to us.

    Unfortunately, it looks like it’s out of print again, so only available at semi-exorbitant prices on the secondary market.

  11. Well, Omaha is mentioned in “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” as the site of the Air Force installation that sends Capt. Christopher up. Apparently that’s 1968 New York in “Assignment: Earth” but it could be any big American city; none is named in the script. And Kirk says “What are we seeing, a twentieth-century Rome?” in “Bread and Circuses” (which has a view of the MIT campus as an establishing shot).

    But we never get to see “present-day” Earth until the 1979 movie. I rather wish they’d kept away from it; too many of the movies are threat-to-Earth stories.

  12. In “A Piece of the Action” the society has been shaped around a book about Chicago Mobs of the Twenties — but they’re on another planet, of course.

  13. (11) happy birthday, Imelda Staunton, another wonderful actor on screen and stage. She was the cook in Nanny McPhee (sp?), which should be genre adjacent at least, and is currently filming as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

    (16) the 4th “card” is a photo of an Advent calendar – one can see the numbers and little doors. Wonder if tiny books lie behind them. Cards like the Bodleian’s are very pretty, but I’d always rather read books than look at them.

  14. 11 Don’t forget about Karel Capek’s ”The War with the Newts”. Definitely SF, and a very enjoyable read.

  15. (10) I’ve not the second version [of The Lathe of Heaven] made twenty-two years later. Who here has seen that version?

    Meh, I’ve seen the 2002 version, and all I can say about Lukas Haas’ performance is that he makes Keanu Reeves look like Olivier.

    I did find the 1980 version on YouTube a few years ago, and watched that.

  16. I read Michaelmas about ten years ago, and I’d say it had held up pretty well as of then. I enjoyed the heck out it. So jealous you had a conversation with Budrys.

    My favorite Budrys novel is Hard Landing, my fave story is Edge.of the Sea. If you haven’t tried Budrys, you’ll enjoy him if you enjoy Robert Reed.

    5
    Second fünf? Nice. I would also accept second fünfte. You make me laugh.

    The book under review does not, however, make me laugh. I agree with the reviewer on principle alone. Vonnegut made many public comments about “Fünf” and the novel more-or-less speaks for itself. Vonnegut and his life seem the best guide.to the effect of his war service. I’d still give the book a try, but a post–mortem of post-traumatic stress seems unseemly. Appreciate the stories.the man left us.

  17. The producers of THE LATHE OF HEAVEN had previously mounted BETWEEN TIME AND TIMBUKTU for NET PLAYHOUSE, which drew on a number of Vonnegut texts including “Harrison Bergeron” and featured, among others, Bob and Ray, and later were responsible for the shambolic adaptation of “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank”, the Varley story, for AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE. I sat through a few minutes of LATHE OF HEAVEN, the remake, and that was more than enough.

    Budrys’s good work in various ways was tarnished by his flacking for a certain cult, but not beyond redemption. But I’m biased in several ways.

  18. @JJ
    “…all I can say about Lukas Haas’ performance is that he makes Keanu Reeves look like Olivier.”

    “Please sir, can I act some more?”

  19. The original UN conference and the signing of the charter were in San Francisco. It seems to me that’s a likely reason for having that Federation established there.

  20. Knowledge of San Francisco geography only gives you whiplash when dealing with fiction.

    In Star Trek IV, people walk out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, ostensibly located in Sausalito on the north side of the bridge, and stroll along the shoreline, which is clearly Marine Drive in San Francisco on the south side of the bridge.

    John Shirley’s City Come A-Walkin’ is set in downtown San Francisco but the action went from place to place in ways that were not possible in reality. Reading it felt like being trussed in the back of a Gremlin where you could see the city only by looking up through the rear window. (Not to be confused with Rear Window.)

    Roberta MacAvoy’s wonderful Tea With the Black Dragon is actually a science fiction novel set in the future. It must be, because a character takes BART to San José. Amazingly, the line is actually being built now. For a long time I thought it was alternate history.

  21. @Tom Becker: Knowledge of San Francisco geography only gives you whiplash when dealing with fiction.
    You can omit “San Francisco” from that sentence and it’s just as accurate. For example, did you know the VLA is within walking distance of Canyon de Chelly?** Neither did the VLA.

    **As depicted in the film version of Contact.

  22. Black Alice by “Thom Demijohn” (Disch & Sladek) was set in a totally unrecognizable Baltimore. They cheerfully admitted that their only knowledge of the city was what they gleaned from a street map.

  23. Jeff Smith says Black Alice by “Thom Demijohn” (Disch & Sladek) was set in a totally unrecognizable Baltimore. They cheerfully admitted that their only knowledge of the city was what they gleaned from a street map.

    Occasionally however there are novels that are accurate to the city they are set even if they are set in the future. One of these is Emma Bull’s Bone Dance: A Fantasy for Technophiles which she says is very accurate to Minneapolis. Same hold true for her War for the Oaks.

    I’ve two copies of the latter novel, one signed just after she broke both of her arms at a RenFest and much later when they had healed. The inscription in the first copy is precious.

    Yes she’s on the chocolate distribution list.

  24. Living in Minneapolis, can confirm.

    I once lived in Eddi McCandry’s apartment — well, I was living in a little brownstone efficiency at the intersection of the two streets that are named in War for the Oaks, although when I mentioned it to Emma Bull at a signing, she said the layout of the apartment was based on one she’d lived in a few blocks away over on Loring Park.

    And Bone Dance is a bit trickier just because it’s post-apocalyptic and most buildings aren’t given their proper names. (And it was written, what, 30 years ago, before a number of the buildings on the current Minneapolis skyline actually existed.)

  25. Joe H. says Living in Minneapolis, can confirm.

    Good to hear that.

    I once lived in Eddi McCandry’s apartment — well, I was living in a little brownstone efficiency at the intersection of the two streets that are named in War for the Oaks, although when I mentioned it to Emma Bull at a signing, she said the layout of the apartment was based on one she’d lived in a few blocks away over on Loring Park.

    Now that’s seriously cool.

    And Bone Dance is a bit trickier just because it’s post-apocalyptic and most buildings aren’t given their proper names. (And it was written, what, 30 years ago, before a number of the buildings on the current Minneapolis skyline actually existed.)

    Published in 1991, so I assume written a few years previously. It’s not my favorite novel by her, that honor goes to Finder: a Novel of The Borderlands which I also have a personally signed copy of. Serious fan here.

  26. I should mention that I’ve got the War for the Oaks movie trailer up here at Green Man. No, they never made a movie but they made a splendid short film complete with music by Boiled in Lead and appearances in the film by many Minneapolis fen including Emma herself.

  27. Trivia point, for anyone interested: Karel ?apek invented the noun “robot”; the verb “roboty” (to work, to do) already existed in Ukrainian (and Russian).

    Happy Birthday to Imelda Staunton, a brilliant actress who captured the very essence of Umbridge, one of the worst villains ever to cross the screen (or book).

    Now, off to delve into the art of Lily Renee — never heard of her before, and I must make up for lost time.

  28. I think they never identified any of the others they showed. I don’t remember when San Francisco became the official HQ for Starfleet. (It bothers me, in the reboot movies, that they have buildings on the seaward side of the bridge, where it’s open ocean. And tall, tall buildings in an area that’s very definitely earthquake country. Plus it’s still an open question how long that bridge will last before needing replacement.)

    The Golden Gate Bridge is seen in a season 3 episode of Star Trek Discovery, which is set in the 32nd century, so the bridge will last for 1200 years at least.

  29. When I saw the link to SFGate I assumed it was some sort of SF-related site; as indeed it is, but not how I expected. I remember a Spinrad story where a wealthy Japanese businessman buys the Brooklyn Bridge and moves it to the home island (yes, it’s a little dated now). Perhaps something similar happens to the Golden Gate Bridge, sometime in the future?

  30. Authors often do a good job with the area they live in, and not-so-good with areas they don’t, for fairly obvious reasons. Genre authors that have done a decent job with the parts of the San Francisco Bay Area that I’m familiar with include George Stewart (Earth Abides), Phil Dick, Lisa Mason, Michael Chabon, and Seanan McGuire. (Almost certainly not an exhaustive list.)

  31. The other author I can think of who got the Twin Cities generally right is John Sandford, who isn’t genre — well, at least not our genre — but back in the late 90s & early 00s I read a whole bunch of his Lucas Davenport crime thrillers, set mostly in & around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. One book in particular had a series of murders centered around the American Indian Center, which was just a couple blocks from a place I had lived a few years prior.

  32. @Joe H.: John Sanford did that SF novel with Ctein, so he counts as “our genre” now! 🙂

    (And yes, it is worth reading, esp. if you already like Sanford.)

  33. @ Tom Becker: In a similar vein, knowledge of Stockholm geography makes for a surprisingly high number of breaks in suspension of disbelief in Cold War dramas recorded in the 60s to early-mid 80s (and probably earlier than that, but I can’t recall any that I have seen off-hand), where it frequently ends up standing in for multiple cities behind the Iron Curtain. There are a few where Stockholm gets to play itself, though.

  34. And I just ordered a personally signed copy of the trade edition of Bone Dance as that novel by her is one that I don’t have. And yes, she’s getting paid for it as I believe in supporting writers. She will also be getting chocolate. ((I budget a lot for chocolate and shipping it.)

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