(1) KEEP YOUR HUGO VOTING ELIGIBILITY. The official Hugo Awards site reminds you: “Join Worldcon by December 31, 2018 to be Eligible to Nominate for 2019 Hugo Awards”.
The Hugo Awards are selected by a vote of the members of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in a two-stage process. The first stage is nominating (which starts in early 2019) and the second stage is the final ballot that includes those works/people that received enough nominations in the first stage (which starts later in 2019). If you want to participate in the nominating stage and are not yet a member of either the 2018 or 2019 Worldcons, take note of the December 31, 2018 deadline for joining Worldcon in order to be eligible to nominate in 2019.
If you want to nominate works/people for the 2019 Hugo Awards, you must be a member of either the 2018 Worldcon (San José) or the 2019 Worldcon (Dublin) by the end of 2018.
(2) HOW MUCH SCIENCE IS IN YOUR FAVORITE SF? Gregory Benford’s quote from Loscon about “If you write sf honey, gotta get the science right” lit off several discussions on Twitter.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia started a list of famous sf that is not scientifically accurate. Thread begins here.
Sci Fi is littered with implausible Science (Philip K Dick, Heinlein) which didn't stop books from being lauded. But you get a woman, a black woman, writing SF and suddenly oh 'honey' it better be hard sci Fi. And then ppl say this is the literature if the imagination. 🙂
— Silvia Moreno-Garcia (@silviamg) November 30, 2018
And responding to the report that Benford “also said that PSI powers to control the earth and earthquakes had already been done in the Fifties,” Annalee Flower Horne wrote two Twitter threads. First:
[T]here’s a whole conversation to be had here about how Science Fiction and Fantasy isn’t just one literary canon that everyone has to read before they can write SFF.
Thread starts here.
Speculative fiction doesn't belong to any one group or literary conversation, because our stories are not universal. We are all limited by our own perspectives. To say that one literary conversation is necessary reading is to say "this perspective must be centered at all times."
— Annalee (@leeflower) November 30, 2018
[The] notion that ideas and tropes can never be re-used in SF and that anyone trying must be new here would be funny if it weren’t such an insidious tool of exclusion.
Thread starts here.
It's an attitude that smacks of "we share our toys with each other but EEEWWW NOT WITH YOU." Well, buddies, they're not your toys. A group of people playing with their own toys without paying attention to you hasn't copied you or stolen from you.
— Annalee (@leeflower) November 30, 2018
Re-using ideas and tropes to write works that exist in conversation with previous works is a staple of speculative fiction. And when a writer with a different perspective does it, they're almost guaranteed to bring something new to the conversation. They're bringing themselves.
— Annalee (@leeflower) November 30, 2018
And N. K. Jemisin had a general response –
Posted in lieu of a scream, bc I don't have TIME for all this shit: the science in the Broken Earth trilogy isn't the psi — for which I used the groundbreaking term "magic" — but the seismology. Also the social sciences, but I know that's a lost cause w/some. So. FYI for all.
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) November 30, 2018
(3) ROSE RETURNS ON AUDIO. Fansided reports “Billie Piper’s Doctor Who audio spinoff will finally give Rose Tyler some solo adventures”.
Fan favorite Billie Piper is headed back to the world of Doctor Who once more, but not the way you might think.
No, Rose Tyler won’t be running into Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor any time soon. (SIGH.) But she will be starring in her own new series of Big Finish audio adventures next year, focusing on Rose’s time in an alternate dimension following the heartbreaking and generally ugly cry-inducing events of season 2 finale “Doomsday”.
(4) BOOK OF DOUBT. Aidan Doyle is currently running a Kickstarter for Kickstarter for The Writer’s Book of Doubt . It contains essays and advice for writers on how to deal with self-doubt. It’s illustrated by Hugo and World Fantasy nominated artist Kathleen Jennings and includes a Map of Submissionland.
Why don’t I have any ideas?
Why haven’t I written anything? Why haven’t I written anything good? Why won’t anyone publish my stories? Why won’t anyone pay me for my stories?
The Writer’s Book of Doubt by Aidan Doyle is a book of comfort for writers. An acknowledgement that writing can be a difficult and lonely process. It includes essays and advice from a number of writers and will be illustrated by Hugo and World Fantasy nominated artist, Kathleen Jennings.
… The book includes guest essays from a range of writers giving advice on how to deal with doubt and providing examples of encouragement and hope. The essays are reprints, but many of them are revised and expanded.
Contents include —
- Delilah S. Dawson – No Word is Ever Wasted
- Malon Edwards – I am a Big Black Man Who Writes Science Fiction
- Meg Elison – Revenge is 100 Dresses
- Kate Elliott – The Space You Make For Your Art
- Kameron Hurley – 10 Things I Learned From Failure
- Matthew Kressel – Overcoming Self-Doubt as a Writer
- R. F. Kuang – The Racial Rubber Stamp
- Fonda Lee – The Great Green Monster
- Rose Lemberg – Don’t Self-Reject
- Likhain – Seeing Yourself in Stories
- Jeannette Ng – Cultural Appropriation for the Worried Writer
- A. Merc Rustad – The Necessity of Hope
- Bogi Takács – How (Not) to Include Trans People as Background Characters
- E. Catherine Tobler – Writing, Mostly
- Isabel Yap – Whenever I’m in an Extended Period of Not-Writing I am Always Deeply, Deeply Mystified About How the Hell to Start Again
- Plus a bonus illustration from
- Tom Gauld – The Ghost of Future Book Sales
With 12 days to go, the appeal has brought in $2,805 – its original goal was $1,097.
(5) 451 AUCTION. How much did Hugh Hefner’s signed copy of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 go for? Live Auctioneers says —
(6) THE NOVAE OF NOVEMBER: Featured Futures look at the bright spots in this month’s short fiction from the prozines in Summation: November 2018.
The issues of Clarkesworld and F&SF were especially strong and Galaxy’s Edge had a couple of nice tales. I also began belated coverage of the resurrected Amazing‘s August “Fall” issue this November. On the other hand, in general, non-prozine news, Shimmer ceased publication and I noticed that the long-dormant SQ Mag had finally acknowledged its death in September. Speaking of death, this month’s wombat was at least three excellent stories in which the deaths of mothers and a sister played significant parts.
The tally for November was 79 stories of 482K words (plus five October stories of 19K in November’s first review of the weeklies) with thirteen noted and six of those recommended. In more general site news, I’ve decided on Featured Futures‘ 2019 coverage. The link to that is in the “News” section at the end of this post.
(7) TODAY’S VERY FANNISH BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]
- Born November 30, 1893 – E. Everett Evans, Writer, Editor, Conrunner, and Member of First Fandom who started out with fan writing, but eventually became a published genre author as well. He helped to found the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) and served as its president and editor of its publication. Food for Demons was a chapbook compilation of his fantasy tales, though he was generally not considered to be a good fiction writer. Fandom’s Big Heart Award, which was founded by Forrest J Ackerman in 1959, was named for him for its first 40 years. In 2018, Bob Tucker’s fanzine Le Zombie, of which he had co-edited two issues, won a Retro Hugo Award. (Died 1958.)
- Born November 30, 1917 – Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Actor of Stage and Screen and Producer. Best known in genre, without doubt, as the voice of Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Animated Series and the animated films linked to it – unless you’re a big Babylon 5 fan, in which case you might remember him from four episodes where he played William Edgars. He also played character voices in the 1990s series Spider-Man as Doctor Octopus and Iron Man as Justin Hammer, and had a role in Beyond Witch Mountain. (Died 2014.)
- Born November 30, 1919 – Dr. Milton A. Rothman, Nuclear Physicist, Writer, Teacher, and Member of First Fandom who co-founded the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, organized the first Philcon science fiction convention in October 1936, and attended the first Worldcon in 1939. He published the fanzines Milty’s Mag and Plenum. An outspoken skeptic, his The Physicist’s Guide to Skepticism applied the laws of physics to paranormal and pseudoscientific claims to show why they are impossible. He chaired the Philadelphia Worldcons in both 1947 and 1953, and was Guest of Honor at the Philadelphia Worldcon in 1976. His complete science fiction works were published posthumously in 2004 in the collection Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories. (Died 2001.)
- Born November 30, 1933 – Bill Ellern, 85, Engineer, Writer, Editor, Conrunner, and Member of First Fandom who is a 60-year member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society and has also served on the committees for several Worldcons and other conventions. As an engineer at JPL, he worked on the Ranger moon probe. As an author, he received permission from E.E. Smith to extend the Lensman series of novels. In 2005, he was honored by LASFS for his service with the Evans-Freehafer Award.
- Born November 30, 1937 – Ridley Scott, 81, Oscar-nominated Director and Producer. The Hugo and Saturn Award-winning The Martian is his most recent genre work of note, but he’s got a long and distinguished list that includes Hugo winners Blade Runner and Alien, Hannibal, the Clio-winning “1984” Apple video advert, Legend, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, and a superb Robin Hood. Interestingly, he had a poem entitled “Blood Runner” published by the Science Fiction Poetry Association in its Star*Line magazine in 2011.
- Born November 30, 1949 – Billy Drago, 69, Actor, Writer, and Producer known for playing villains, most especially John Bly, the antagonist in the first and best storyline of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. He also played the demon Barbas in the original Charmed series, and has appeared in many horror films, including True Blood, Vamp, Cyborg 2, Sci-Fighters, Demon Hunter, and The Hills Have Eyes. He also was in Tremors 4: The Legend Begins – a film I’m sure no one was asking for.
- Born November 30, 1952 – Debra Doyle, 66, Writer, Filker, and Fan. Her novel Knight’s Wyrd, co-written wither her husband and collaborator James D. Macdonald, won a Mythopoeic Award for Children’s Literature. Most of their co-written works are fantasy, but their Mageworlds series also crosses into space opera territory. As filker Malkin Grey, she and Pergyn Wyndryder won a Pegasus Award for Best Historical Song. She is an instructor at the Viable Paradise Writer’s Workshop, and has been Guest of Honor at several conventions.
- Born November 30, 1952 – Jill Eastlake, 66, IT Manager, Costumer, Conrunner, and Fan who is known for her elaborate and fantastical costume designs; her costume group won “Best in Show” at the 2004 Worldcon. A member of fandom for more than 50 years, she belonged to her high school’s SF club, then became an early member of NESFA, the Boston-area fan club, and served as its president for 4 years. She has served on the committees for numerous Worldcons and regional conventions, co-chaired a Costume-Con, and chaired two Boskones. She was the Hugo Award ceremony coordinator for the 1992 Worldcon, and has run the Masquerade for numerous conventions. Her extensive contributions were honored when she was named a Fellow of NESFA in 1976, and in 2011 the International Costumer’s Guild presented her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. She and her fan husband Don (who is irrationally fond of running WSFS Business Meetings) were Fan Guests of Honor at Rivercon.
- Born November 30, 1953 – Mandy Patinkin, 65, Actor and Producer who is well-known to genre fans for his portrayal of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, which included several memorable and memeable lines, most famously “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”. His other genre credits a lead role in the film Alien Nation for which he received a Saturn nomination, Dick Tracy, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, a main role in the Dead Like Me TV series, a guest part in an episode of Hercules, and voice roles in Castle in the Sky, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Wind Rises, and Smurfs: The Lost Village.
- Born November 30, 1955 – Kevin Conroy, 63, Actor who is, without doubt, best known for voicing Batman on first Batman: The Animated Series, and then later myriad other Batman-inclusive undertakings. (Note that The New Batman Adventures have been folded into that series when it was released in DVD format and as video.) He reprised the role of an elder Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond. Justice League Action, which just had its first season on the Cartoon Network, saw him again in the Batman role, with the other characters often noting his stoic personality.
- Born November 30, 1957 – Martin Morse Wooster, 61, Journalist, Writer, Editor, Critic, and Member of First Filedom. He discovered fandom as a high-schooler in 1974, when he heard about “a big sci-fi con” in downtown Washington, and so attended Discon II. A year later, he discovered fanzines, and found that he liked writing book reviews and Letters of Comment (LOCs); he has been turning them out ever since. In 1975, he was one of 12 founders of the Potomac River Science Fiction Society, and still attends PRSFS meetings to discuss books. He has written several non-fiction books, on subjects such as education policy and how to do philanthropy well. He has been a File 770 contributor since 1978, and frequently writes reports of the conventions he attends.
- Born November 30, 1965 – Ryan Murphy, 53, Writer, Director, and Producer who is responsible for those roles on the various iterations of American Horror Story, which have thus far included Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, Roanoke, Cult, and Apocalypse, and on the two-year Scream Queens anthology series.
- Born November 30, 1985 – Kaley Cuoco, 33, Actor and Producer. Reversing my usual method of stating their past credits, I’m going to note that she will be Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel in the forthcoming Harley Quinn series on the DC Universe streaming service. Yes, I’m excited, as the trailer looked great! She appeared as regular cast in the last season of the original Charmed series, and is a main cast member on the homage to geekdom The Big Bang Theory
(8) SCARS BANNED. In what The Sun disdains as a “snowflake campaign,” “Famous movie villains with scarred faces set to be banned by BFI to ‘remove stigma around disfigurement’”.
MOVIE villains with scarred faces have been banned by the British Film Institute in a bid to “remove the stigma around disfigurement”.
Films featuring baddies such as Freddy Krueger and Darth Vader will no longer get financial support from the taxpayer-funded body as part of a campaign called #IAmNotYourVillain.
…Ben Roberts, funding director at the BFI, said: “We are committing to not having negative representations depicted through scars or facial difference in films we fund.
“It’s astonishing to think that films have done this so often and for so long. The time has come for this to stop.
“We fully support Changing Faces’ I Am Not Your Villain campaign and urge the rest of the film industry to do the same.”
A spokesman for Changing Faces said: “Our campaign is calling on those in the film industry to stop using scars, burns or marks as shorthand for villainy.”
(9) HARRY POTTER WEDDING AT COSTCO. After connecting online, they had their first meet at Costco. Things clicked, now they’re married — “‘It was perfect’: This couple had a Harry Potter-themed wedding at Costco”. Today.com has the story.
The bride wore a deep scarlet dress, in honor of Harry Potter’s Gryffindor House colors, and she held a bouquet of paper flowers made with pages from the beloved J.K. Rowling novel. The groom wore a blue and bronze tie for his favored house of Ravenclaw.
(10) TONIGHT ON JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter has the latest sff reference from the game show:
In the category “Books with Animals,” the answer was: “The title characters in ‘Tailchaser’s Song’ is this kind of Animal.”
Wrong question: “What is a Dog?”
(11) ZOMBIE MUSICAL. NPR’s Scott Tobias is iffy when “Teens Sing Their Guts Out In The Scottish Zombie Christmas Musical ‘Anna And The Apocalypse'”.
A normal way for fans to appreciate Edgar Wright’s 2004 zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead is to watch it again and perhaps discover a few grace notes they missed the first or second or third time around. But there’s something to be said for considering it through the prism of slavish imitator like Anna and the Apocalypse, a Scottish genre mash-up that plays like a piece of fan art, only with a musical component added.
(12) LEARNING FROM THE CURSED CHILD. BBC quotes actress “Noma Dumezweni: ‘Hermione has taught me how to be angry'”.
I have learned a lot from playing the character of Hermione on stage in the last few years. Although generally calm and level headed, righteous and empathetic Hermione knows how to use anger effectively when it’s needed.
Hermione’s anger is a beautiful thing – she displays it most through her loyalty and love, especially when she’s in love and trying to understand that. She’s asking those she loves to do better. She holds them up to a high standard because she has faith they can reach that. Fiercely. And she’ll be there when they do.
(13) ROYAL DETECTIVE. The Hollywood Reporter brings word of a series rooted in India that will air on Disney Junior — “Disney Junior Orders Animated Mystery Series Inspired by Indian Cultures and Customs”.
Disney Junior has greenlighted an animated mystery-adventure series for preschoolers that is inspired by the cultures and customs of India.
Mira, Royal Detective will star 15-year-old newcomer Leela Ladnier in the title role, along with the voices of Freida Pinto, Hannah Simone, Kal Penn, Jameela Jamil, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Aasif Mandvi.
Set in the magical Indian-inspired land of Jalpur, the series follows the brave and resourceful Mira, a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective after solving a mystery that involves saving the kingdom’s young prince.
(14) SPACE BUD BEATS AIR BUD. Important news comes from FoodAndWine.com that Bud is ratcheting up its efforts to booze up space (“Budweiser Launches Third Space Experiment in Effort to Be the First Beer on Mars”).
In March 2017, when Budweiser proclaimed its intentions to be the first beer on Mars, the announcement could have easily been dismissed as just another marketing stunt, a forward-looking contrast to Bud Light’s medieval-set “Dilly Dilly” campaign, even. But despite the fact that, no, Budweiser will not be arriving on Mars anytime soon, Bud has continued to prove that, though the campaign does have a significant marketing angle, it is not simply a stunt.
This week, the beer brand has announced that it plans to conduct its third experiment on the International Space Station as part of a SpaceX launch scheduled for this coming Tuesday, December 4. Coincidentally enough, on that date exactly one year ago, Budweiser sent its first two Bud on Mars experiments to the ISS, also via a SpaceX launch. Those endeavors looked at how a microgravity environment affected barley seedlings, both in general and with regards to germination. Of course, as any beer expert can tell you, once barley is grown, you have to malt it before it can be used to brew beer, so this latest experiment takes the barley journey one step further.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Olav Rokne, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]