(1) COVER GIRL. Maya Kaathryn Bonhoff continues her critique of the clothing (or lack of it) depicted on sff book covers in “There’s a Bimbo on the Cover, Verse 2: The Bimbo Wears Black Leather” at Book View Café.
I may be outvoted, but so far the winner of the award for Wardrobe Malfunction is the Dutch cover of Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake (Droomslang in Dutch). Vonda assures me that she has no problem with full frontal nudity. She does, however, have a problem with full frontal nudity that is nowhere in the book.
(2) ELLISON KICKSTARTER. Jason Davis, needing to squeeze out another $17,000 to reach the Harlan Ellison Book Preservation Kickstarter’s $100,000 goal, sent an e-mail to his list reminding them about the donor perks. This one’s my favorite —
$300 — A Piece of the Puzzle, signed by Harlan: In the earliest days of HarlanEllisonBooks.com, Harlan entrusted to me an unusual item: a book of New York Times crossword puzzles. All the puzzles were completed between 2010 and 2011, and Harlan had signed and dated each page.
(3) HINES CONTINUES CHARITY AUCTION. Jim C. Hines fundraiser for Transgender Michigan is in its second day, auctioning a Tuckerization and Autographed ARC from A. M. (Alyx) Dellamonica.
Full details and bidding instructions at the site.
(4) BRANDON SANDERSON’S BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE. Tachyon Publications knows where you can find Brandon Sanderson on the road, from Seattle to Hoboken.
(5) THE SOUND AND THE FURY. The print edition is on the way for a novella that, unusually, was first offered as an audiobook: “Subterranean Press Announces Print Edition of John Scalzi’s The Dispatcher“ (Tor.com).
As promised, John Scalzi’s new novella The Dispatcher, originally released as an audiobook from Audible, will also be available in print. Subterranean Press announced today that it will publish The Dispatcher in May 2017, in both trade hardcover edition as well as a limited signed hardcover edition.
Subterranean Press shared the cover, by Vincent Chong, who also handled interior illustrations. The trade edition is a fully cloth bound hardcover edition; 400 limited-edition versions are signed numbered hardcover copies, bound in leather.
(6) KOWAL’S LADY ASTRONAUT PROGRAM. Tor.com also brings word of a “New ‘Lady Astronaut of Mars’ Book Series Coming, Based on Hugo-Winning Novelette”.
Tor Books is happy to announce that author Mary Robinette Kowal will build on the universe of her Hugo Award-winning novelette “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” with two new books coming in 2018!
From Kowal: “I jokingly call the Lady Astronaut universe ‘punchcard punk’ because it’s rooted in the 1950s and 60s. It’s a chance to re-imagine the science-fiction of Ray Bradbury and Cordwainer Smith, where all of the science was very physical and practical.”
The novels will be prequels, greatly expanding upon the world that was first revealed in “Lady Astronaut”. The first novel, The Calculating Stars will present one perspective of the prequel story, followed closely by the second novel The Fated Sky, which will present an opposite perspective; one tightly woven into the first novel.
(7) THORNTON OBIT. From The Hollywood Reporter: “Ron Thornton, Emmy-Winning Visual Effects Guru on ‘Babylon 5,’ Dies at 59”:
Ron Thornton, an Emmy-winning visual effects designer, supervisor and producer who worked on such shows as Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Voyager, has died. He was 59.
Thornton, often credited with bringing the power of CGI to television visual effects, died Monday at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., after a short battle with liver disease, his friend, veteran VFX supervisor Emile Smith, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Thornton received his Emmy for the 1993 telefilm Babylon 5: The Gathering (the pilot for the series) and also was nominated for his work on episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on the 2002 telefilm Superfire.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOLT BOY
- Born November 23, 1887 – Boris Karloff
(9) THANKSGIVING DAY TV MARATHONS. The Los Angeles Times says “’Mystery Science Theater 3000′ returns with new blood for the Turkey Day marathon”:
Twenty-eight years ago the little science fiction show that could, “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” premiered on Thanksgiving Day. It all started with one Earthling, series creator Joel Hodgson, and his gang of lovable robot puppets. Together they drifted through space in the “Satellite of Love,”…
In Los Angeles, we also have KTLA’s annual 18-episode marathon of Rod Serling’s classic anthology series “The Twilight Zone.” 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
RETRO MARATHON MAN. This will be the first Thanksgiving since File 770 contributor James H. Burns passed away. If he were still with us I know he’d have come up with a brand new way for me to point to his trilogy of articles at The Thunder Child about the era when a New York City TV station persuaded whole families to park in front of the set on Thanksgiving and watch King Kong for the zillionth time.
King Kong in the City: A Thanksgiving Tradition: Burns tells about his father’s affinity for the famous ape movie, and his personal memory of discovering the film on Saturday morning TV in the Sixties. The station was New York’s channel 9 (the former WOR-TV) and in the next decade it broadcast the movie every Thanksgiving, before long adding the sequel, Son of Kong, and 1949’s Mighty Joe Young, another stop-motion animation picture from Kong’s creators. The annual tradition lasted until 1985.
Chris Steinbrunner: A Renaissance of Fantasy: Chris Steinbrunner, an executive with WOR-TV, is according to Burns “one of the great unsung heroes of fandom, who helped run many of his era’s conventions, was an Edgar-award winning author, wrote one of the very first books on science fiction and fantasy movies, published many books (with Centaur Press)… and produced what may well be a lost 007 special!…” Burns says, “My old pal was a pretty neat guy, and a while ago, I was stunned that save for a short Wikipedia entry, there was virtually none of Chris’ history on the web.” Articles like this surely will keep him from being forgotten.
One of the great times Chris and I were together came early one morning in 1983 when we ran into each other high atop the Empire State Building, gathered on the Observation Deck for a special press party commemorating King Kong’s fiftieth anniversary. With the men in suits and the ladies elegantly attired, champagne was poured as we looked towards the bi-planes in the distance, booked especially for the event, that buzzed as though in a dream, above the shores of Manhattan.
When someone asked Chris about Kong Thursdays, he replied, as he almost always did, with a quick pause, a sudden smile, and said: “King Kong on Thanksgiving…? Whoever would have thought of such an odd idea?”
Meanwhile, At the Empire State Building: The third installment is about the Empire State Building and Fay Wray.
(10) BANG BANG. Jonathan McCalmont of Ruthless Culture delivers two cheap shots for the price of one tweet.
File 770 continuing to send traffic to Sad Puppy sites. Useful both for acquiring Sad Puppy Hugo nominations and normalising fascism.
— Jonathan McCalmont (@ApeInWinter) November 23, 2016
(11) A BEASTLY MOVIE. Book View Café’s Steven Harper Piziks has seen it – “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them–An Extensive Review” (beware spoilers).
Is there good stuff? Sure. It’s fun to see the Harry Potter world in 1920s America. The movie focuses on magical animals instead of spells and potions, a potentially fun new area to explore. The effects are lovely. Dan Fogler as Mr. Kowalski is a delight as the stand-in for the audience as he’s accidentally thrust into a wizardling world he can barely understand but gamely does his best to master.
The movie has serious pacing problems. Things take forever to get moving in the beginning. We spend too much time dealing with unimportant issues, like the annoying niffler’s thieving and the preparation of food in a witch’s kitchen, and not enough time on actual plot points, like what the villain wants and how he intends to get it. The latter is annoyingly muddled and confused. Less time on special-effects creatures and more time on human character development would have been a better scripting choice.
(12) EVERYBODY NEEDS A HOBBY. “Mr. Night Has The Day Off,” on Vimeo, is a charming cartoon from Lithuania about what happens when Night wanders around during his day off and zaps things (cars, clothes) black.
(13) THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT. Is there anyplace where the grapes have more wrath than Westeros? Now you can buy Game of Thrones wine, albeit at Lannister prices.
Vintage Wine Estates announced that they’ve partnered with HBO to release three different officially licensed Game of Thrones wines—a Chardonnay (suggested retail $19.99), a Red Blend (suggested retail $19.99) and a Cabernet Sauvignon (suggested retail $39.99). We haven’t heard Tyrion mention a preferred varietal, but based on his wine habit it seems safe to assume he’d back all of these.
(14) THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS GIFT PAST. A computer that can fit in your pocket – if you’re Captain Kangaroo – and at such a reasonable price! Of course, that’s back when $169.95 really was worth $169.95…
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark-kitteh, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]