(1) SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME. Last spring the EMP Museum opened public voting on the 2016 finalists for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
In honor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary, we invited the public to submit their favorite Creators and Creations. After tallying up your nominations (nearly 2,000 submissions!), a committee of industry experts narrowed down the list to the final twenty nominees.
After waiting some months for further news, I contacted the EMP Museum and received this answer:
Announcement of the new inductees is tentatively planned for Spring 2017, with a more exact date to be announced later this month.
(2) THIS WEEK IN WORDS. Wonder what book she’s busy reviewing here?
Annoyed that I can't think of a better way to say "smacktastic" in an NYT review. ::erases sentence, sighs::
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) November 7, 2016
(3) CELEBRITIES SAVING THE WORLD ON THEIR DAY OFF. Pretty damn funny. “Rachel Bloom, Elizabeth Banks Sing Their Support for Hillary in Profanity-Filled Funny or Die Video”.
“Holy f—ing shit, you’ve got to vote.”
Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Adam Scott, Mayim Bialik, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rachel Bloom were among the celebrities who gathered together with the help of Funny or Die to plead with voters to choose Hillary Clinton as the next president.
In an anti-Trump music video posted Friday, veteran Broadway star Patti LuPone and musician Moby are also seen belting out lyrics (with more than a handful of curse words) urging people to hit the polls.
(4) TWICE FIVE. On the eve of the election, Emily Temple offers 10 literary apocalypses from books published in the last five years.
Lucy Corin, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses
The apocalypses in this book—most just a few lines long, because sometimes that’s all it takes for the apocalypse, some a paragraph or more—are not necessarily global. They can be the end of a relationship, or a moment, or an idea, because any of these can feel like cosmic destruction. None of these apocalypses are likely to caused by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but they do serve as a reminder of what havoc we can wreak on ourselves.
(5) RAISING KIDS’ INTEREST IN ASTROPHYSICS. Hungarian illustrator Róbert Farkas wants to publish a trilogy that will attract kids to astrophysics. He’s raising money on Indiegogo to foot the bill.
Clever Fox’s Tales about the Universe
’Daddy, what are those million shiny spots up in the black sky?’ This is the question I want to be able to answer by the time my daughter will ask it. I invite you to help me answer this same question for hundreds, hopefully thousands of other kids all around the world.
My name is Róbert Farkas, I am a freelance illustrator and animator. I live in Europe in Hungary with my family. Aside from drawing I like to read books about astrophysics in my free time, which influenced me in creating this trilogy.
About the trilogy
The first book is about the Big bang and particle physics, no joking! The second part takes us to the middle of the solar system, explains about core fusion, vacuum and what lies in the middle of a black hole. The third is a leap into quantum physics, with a taste of the speed of light, gravitational lens effect and dark matter.
To date $1,563 of the $6,900 goal has been pledged, with 25 days to go.
(6) NEW TERM BEGINS. Camestros Felapton takes in the opening stanzas of the latest Doctor Who spinoff in “Review: Class (episodes 1 & 2)”.
Class knows that it is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer clone and it knows that you know that it is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer clone. Coal Hill Academy is a school that sits at the site of damage caused to the space-time continuum by the Doctor’s meddling, a plot device that so neatly matches the hell-mouth of Buffy’s Sunnyvale that characters have to comment on it. And why not? Buffy was fun, so why not have a Buffy spin-off but set it in Britain and have a “bung-hole of the universe” instead of a Hell Mouth?
To this end (do a Buffy revival because the late 90’s/early 2000’s are due for a revival) the show just really needs permission to be strange and for viewers to suspend disbelief. Hence the Doctor Who connection – it is British and it is weird and hence it needs a blessing from the Pontiff of British weirdness.
(7) WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? James Davis Nicoll has an “Idea for a movie”.
Unable to surmount a career-ending injury, a Taoist sorcerer moves from Hong Kong to Boston, where he masters engineering in six weeks.
(8) BIRTH OF AN INDIE. Nick Cole, Dragon Award winner for CTRL Alt Revolt!, says “Never mind the Bullydom of Writing”.
Here’s what happened: Last year I wrote a novel called CTRL Alt Revolt! Fun little gamer novel, what some call LitRPG (Kinda like Ready Player One) My publisher (Harper Collins) was so offended by the fact that I showed an Artificial Intelligence being horrified by the callous act of murder we as a society call Abortion (It’s just a minor plot point in the book I used to give the Antagonist, a new born A.I. a good reason to fear for its life before it nuked the world) that they fired me. So I pub’d it as an Indie.
I’m recalcitrant that way.
I awaited the storm of self-righteous indignation from my peers within the community at large. I considered a career change.
Well, some scorn from the usual scolds but they’re boring and tired. Ask anyone.
Instead I sold a ton of copies. Won a major Science Fiction Award and significantly increased my reader base, as a whole community of angry fans and readers who are just plain tired and bored with agenda-driven message fiction swarmed Amazon and bought my book in droves. And here’s a stunner: They don’t even believe in what I believe. Some disagreed with me openly. Even super hardcore leftist socialists bought it, read it, and had a good time despite disagreeing with a few points. See, they’re smart people who can read something and think for themselves instead of needing a sermon via Slate, Salon, Wired, or whatever other entertainment the Radical Left is propping up these days, and still continue holding on to their beliefs. While having a good time. These are people who aren’t worried about being triggered by an image of a guy in a superhero costume. Or that Ghostbusters might give them PTSD. These are people who hate that “the right people” are playing games with what people get to write. These are the real free thinkers! They hate that PC ideas are taking the place of story and good old fashioned fun. They hate the scolds.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
- November 7, 1963 — It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was the first film ever shown at Hollywood’s famous Cinerama Dome.
(John King Tarpinian reminds everyone, “The palm trees at the end inspired the logo for In-N-Out Burger.”)
(10) A VISIT FROM THE SUCK FAIRY. In the Washington Post, Stephanie Merry talks about Quantum Leap and how she enjoyed the show a great deal as a teenager but finds it boring and dated now on rewatching — “Is it better to leave our favorite childhood shows and movies in the past?”
Sam, played by Scott Bakula, was an earnest everyman, not to mention a brilliant physicist, and he was trapped in a time-travel loop. Each episode, he teleported to a different era and inhabited a stranger’s body to alter history for the better. All the while, he kept hoping the next leap would bring him home.
I wasn’t a science fiction fan, but the show won me over anyway. Every adventure was so singular, and the series was remarkably progressive. Sam became a leggy blonde in the 1960s dealing with sexual harassment and a black man fighting discrimination in 1955, but also an unenthusiastic Ku Klux Klan member from Alabama. At one point he landed in the body of Lee Harvey Oswald.
(11) SUBMISSIONS OPENING AND CLOSING. The SFWA Markert Report for November is online, compiled by David Steffen.
(12) COUNTING THE HOUSE. France’s rapidly-growing Utopiales con drew 82,000 says Europa SF, about 17,000 more than reported a year ago.
(13) LATE BLOOMER. Genevieve Valentine wrote an appreciation of Sheri Tepper for NPR – “Remembering Sheri S. Tepper, Eco-Feminist Sci-Fi Firebrand”.
She began publishing later in life (her first novel at age 54), and wrote more than forty under several pseudonyms. But she used her own name for the works that made her a fixture in science fiction and fantasy. Her most influential works straddle lines between her forebears and her peers; she sits among Margaret Atwood and Marge Piercy’s second-wave-feminist parables, and somewhere alongside the all-out otherworlds of Frank Herbert and Jack Vance.
Perhaps her most infamous book is 1988’s The Gate to Women’s Country, in which enclaves of women run society, relegating men to hyper-masculine garrisons, sending them off to war to thin the numbers, and trying eugenics to solve the problem of men. 1991’s Beauty is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth — a stew of fairy tales Tepper chews up and spits out, with a little time travel in case you wondered what’s in store for the natural world. (Nothing good.) And 1989’s Grass — the first in a trilogy, and perhaps her most famous work — circled questions of faith, ecology, class, and the ways nature gets classified as monstrous when people are the invaders.
(14) IN THE BAY AREA Remember when people banded together to save Borderlands Books? It really looks worth it when you see a list of forthcoming author events like these:
* Chris Roberson, FIREWALK (Night Shade Books, Hardcover, $24.99) on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00pm.
* Megan E. O’Keefe, BREAK THE CHAINS (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 1:00pm.
* Mary Robinette Kowal, GHOST TALKERS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00pm.
* SF in SF with authors Nick Mamatas and Rick Wilber (at American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) on Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm – Suggested donation $10. Doors and bar at 5:30 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A moderated by Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze & sign books after. Seating is limited; first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum. Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015, or <[email protected]>.
* CYBER WORLD (Hex Publishers, Trade Paperback, $14.99) event with Richard Kadrey, Aaron Lovett, Josh Viola, Isabel Yap, and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00pm.
* Dan Wells, EXTREME MAKEOVER: APOCALYPSE EDITION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99 and Trade Paperback $17.99) on Saturday, November 19th at 5:00pm.
* Richard Lupoff, WHERE MEMORY HIDES: A WRITER’S LIFE (Bold Venture Press, Trade Paperback (B&W Edition, $22.95), Trade Paperback (Collector’s Color Edition, $49.95) on Sunday, November 20th at 3:00pm. Local legend Richard Lupoff will show off his autobiography. From the book: “In half a century of publishing books and short fiction under his own name and at least six pen names, Richard A. Lupoff has spun some of the strangest fables, written a respected biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs, won a Hugo and has been nominated for multiple Nebula Awards.” Dick Lupoff is a treasure trove of stories, both fictional and not.
(15) THE MONEY KEEPS ON ROLLING IN. At Kickstarter. The Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project, “to create definitive versions of all Harlan Ellison’s writings, fiction and non-fiction, to preserve in print for posterity,” is almost 40% funded with 23 days to go.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cora, Bence Pinter, and Rob Thornton for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day JJ.]
Stop the presses! Apparently there’s a Neko Atsume live action movie in the works!
(Only peripherally SF, unless they include the Samurai Cat and the Musketeer Cat etc., but probably to the interests of the SJW crowd here because kitties. I don’t recall any Siamese in the game, though.)
more later…I hope.
Tor.com announced that Malka Older’s Infomocracy is a free download today and tomorrow.
One could certainly get the impression from the amount of attention the Dragon Awards get from File 770 and its community that they are major sf awards.
If they’re insignificant, pointless, and incompetent, maybe it’s time to join the rest of the world in letting them expire quietly.
Courtesy of File770 and a couple other places, I have had the opportunity to listen to people of various (and variable) genders talk about the difficulties that they have experienced in trying to get their fiction published. I have also had the opportunity to listen to people of various nationalities express similar frustrations with trying to become published authors.
I have watched as people that question any part of those narratives are castigated with charges of essentially denying the humanity and existence of those very same authors.
And yet here we have some folks that question Mr. Cole’s narrative; equally denying his humanity and his existence.
The irony….it is thick. The hypocrisy….it is thicker.
As we hashed out Mr. Cole’s book a while back, I don’t see much to be gained from going back through it. I will offer that while he could have used a good editor, I have read much worse from major publishers after their highly vaunted editing has been applied. (I have a book from Penguin on my desk right now that is definitely worse.)
On a separate note, it looks like the EM drive actually works. We don’t know why it works, but it seems to work nonetheless. Yay human ingenuity!
Who? When? I for one do believe that he both exists and is a human. Who has said anything else?
Oh, really? Where did that happen? Who said anything like that?
It’s in no way denying Mr. Cole’s existence and humanity by disagreeing with his claim that he was “censored” because his publisher didn’t want to publish his book exactly the way he wanted it published.
Especially since he then took his book elsewhere and published it, and has apparently had what he considers a good level of sales success with it.
How does any of this deny Mr. Cole’s existence or humanity? Please explain.
Dann: And yet here we have some folks that question Mr. Cole’s narrative; equally denying his humanity and his existence.
Oh, FFS. No one here has done that. You do not do your credibility any favors by engaging in such ridiculous hyperbole.
What people have done is point out that his editors made a business choice based on his refusal to be edited, and he’s whining about that and calling it “censorship”, which is just ludicrous.
There were a few that were simply critical of his book…and of course you offered a nitpick on the definition of “fired”.
But in denying his narrative of events….being unable to conceive of any circumstance where his perspective might have any validity….is denying him his existence.
The other option is that it should be acceptable to question the narratives offered by women, LGBT, and non-caucasions without being slandered with terms like “sexist”, “homophobe”, and “racist”. Or are those business choices made by editors in some way uniquely less acceptable than the one made by Mr. Cole’s?
And yet here we have some folks that question Mr. Cole’s narrative; equally denying his humanity and his existence.
You’ve written some dumb things in the past. This tops all of them.
Wait, no, sorry, this tops all of them:
But in denying his narrative of events….being unable to conceive of any circumstance where his perspective might have any validity….is denying him his existence.
No one is denying his narrative of events. People are finding his claims concerning the effect of his narrative of events to be ludicrous. He wrote a book. His publisher insisted on editorial changes to the book, and he refused. The publisher didn’t publish it. He published it himself. He claims this was horrible censorship. He claims he was “fired”, even though he was never their employee. His narrative isn’t the problem with his post. His incredibly stupid conclusions are the problem.
@ Dann: The term you’re desperately seeking here is “false equivalence”.
Does that syllogism work? So Dave Freer is a major fanwriter after all?
Mike Glyer asked:
Have we been talking about him much lately? A quick check of his tag shows he last did something newsworthy this past March, and has been noted only twice in the ensuing months.
Have I somehow missed a bunch of comment threads discussing him?
@Rose Embolism: YAAAASSSS, sell me a ticket now. In fact, there are Siamese cats in the game; Marshmallow, Ramses (a pointed Sphinx), the impossible-to-get Sapphire and Jeeves, and the new lynx-points Macchiato and Melange. I am going to watch this movie. I mean, probably on Netflix with subtitles, but yeah. Right now my Cardboard House is full of calicos and torties.
@Chip: the techie women had identified the gene and did the “repair” before the kid was born. I don’t have a copy of the book handy, but it’s in there. Wikipedia (I know, but there’s a link) mentions it.
@Kip: I actually saw the thing myself once in the early 80’s.
@Petrea: I agree. We should give them as much attention to it as the bestow-ers of it do. Or the same amount of coverage as the various European awards get; at least those have more than one half-assed year behind them.
What Dann isn’t willing to admit is publishers make judgement calls all the time on what to publish. Orion (UK) decided to publish a 30th anniversary edition of Robert Holdstock’s Rhyope Wood sequence, but Tor (USA) decided not to. And Emma Bull’s War for The Oaks was out of stock on Ace for *sixteen years* before Tor acquired it and printed it in a number of editions though weirdly they had a hardcover edition printed but decided not to actually publish it. SFBC got the lot of them and of course did publish them.
Dann, every publisher makes publishing decision almost daily. And all have editors empowered to make exactly the sort of decisions you dislike. It’s not censorship, it’s called the editing process. And no author has the right to be published no matter how much you think they should be.
I believe the British term is “bollocks.” No, disagreeing with his statements about the facts, based on knowledge of how publishing normally ordinarily works, is not denying his existence.
Um, no, that’s just foolishness.
It is utterly normal for editors employed by publishers to edit the works submitted to them. It’s part of the point of editors. They didn’t like something in Mr. Cole’s book as submitted, and wanted it changed. They thought his use of abortion as the reason for the AI’s decision to eliminate the human species before it eliminated him was over-the-top and heavy-handed. Mr. Cole disagrees, and he’s entitled to. What he’s not entitled to is to override his editors and the publisher and require the publisher to publish his book without changes. He might even be right about which version is better; he still doesn’t get to use the publisher’s name and resources against the will of the publisher.
By the same token, he has every right to take his book to another publisher or to self-publish. He’s apparently pleased with the results of going that route, so why is he raging at the publisher who rejected him?
As for LGBTQ, um, what?
They didn’t have the right to make publishers publisher their stuff unchanged–or at all–either.
Let’s be clear that there’s a difference between saying the book doesn’t work the way it is, and saying that gays, lesbians, and transgender people don’t really experience life the way they say they do. That the trans person doesn’t really identify with the gender they identify with, and/or hasn’t really done so since their first awareness of the subject but has just claimed that for the convenience of harassing people in restrooms, that the gay man is lying when he says he feels real love for his male partner rather than just a twisted kind of lust, and the same for the lesbian.
Denying people’s experience of their own lives and identities really is different from saying the editor at a publisher doesn’t have the right to decide whether to publish a book that the author refuses to allow to be edited in any way.
Dann, not one of the quotes you’ve quoted amounts to “questioning Mr. Cole’s narrative; equally denying his humanity and his existence.”
What they do amount to is:
1) “censorship” has a specific definition; what Cole describes does not match that definition.
2) “being fired” is something that can only happen to an employee; Cole was not an employee of his publisher.
Refutation of his false claims is not “questioning his narrative”; it’s pointing out that what he’s claiming, by his own description of events, is not true.
Not agreeing with a persons perspective or what he says is not denying him his existence. Please, do not go Torgersen on us.
@lurkertype: I think you may have gotten ginger kitten Gravatars mixed up 😉
Thanks for the correction re: Siamese kitties in Neko Atsume. I played it for awhile back before it got the English translation. Used screencaps and Google Translate to get the word of the day. Occasionally having to try to write the kana or kanji recognizably when the text scan wouldn’t work.
I remember some frustration with trying to get a newly released special cat, and placing toys was starting to feel tedious. It lost the shine, I got bored, and purged the app to make way for something shiny and new for me to get bored with.
Allllll that being said, I’ll probably try hunting down the movie if and when it gets released, because KITTIES!
(oh yeah also OMG someone else who remembers Reasonable Doubts?!? I bet I’d hate that show if I watched it now. Or at least sass it mercilessly.)
Looks like it. As recently as October 25 his name was in a flock of comments. People love to talk about him!
Mike Glyer: People love to talk about him!
In other words, you linked to his latest argle-bargle, and everyone was once again marveling at his incoherency, because he somehow manages to keep leveling up on that.
@Dawn: I had too many windows open. Also, my brain was busy going KITTIES! Which you’ll understand, I’m sure. I apologize. Luckily I didn’t get into the game till it came out in English, greatly reducing the frustration, and also I heavily consult a Wiki with all the info on what cats like which. (And I still can’t get two of the little bastids.)
I think I would sass “Reasonable Doubts”, but still enjoy the Matlin/Harmon banter.
Well, I admit it doesn’t happen entirely spontaneously….
Yeah no. My entire knowledge of his kerfuffle comes from his own words and his own claims.
In fact, it’s based purely on his own claims and statements that I arrived at the view that he (i) has no idea what “banned” and “censorship” mean; (ii) has no idea what an editor is.
It is again at his own words that I have arrived at the view that he has a limited idea as to what a major SF Award is.
So claiming that people are denying his narrative is a tad… over-wrought. Claiming that people are denying his humanity/ existence… I think a bunch of us here are trying to figure out how to assess such a fantastical claim, and failing. Quite a remarkable achievement, so hats off to you.
Chip: Re Tepper, Gate, etc.
I am writing (slowly, darned grading!) a personal tribute to Tepper that I will be sending to Mike when I’m done (sometime before Thanksgiving!), and am in the course of that rereading some of the books. I’ll be rereading GATE because that’s one that has received criticism as homophobic: I am not sure that a depiction of actions taken by a ruling class in a post-apocalyptic world (said ruling class performing a sort of public statement of shame/guilt about their governing fairly regularly) can be taken as a one-one statement of Tepper’s own beliefs. That doesn’t mean the novel doesn’t warrant criticism (Wendy Pearson wrote an excellent essay about it, I need to read to refresh my memory). GoWC is not one of my favorites, though there are parts I find very powerful, but it interests me as one the last of the feminist dystopias of the 20th century (one I link closely with Pamela Sargent’s _Shore of Women__). (_The Book of Unnamed Midwife_ which is just recently out and which is on my Hugo Nomination list is a brilliant new addition to that genre.)
Ancient Greek did some things that were quite similar.
@JJ, Mike Glyer :
My thing problem Freer is that Rats Bats & Vats, co-written with Eric Flint, was one of the funniest SF books I ever read : maybe not hugo-worthy, but a very pleasant reading. And other books by Freer (and Flint..) were good too.
Discovering MGC last year was a major disappointment ? disillusion ? still looking for the right word, but I’m not sure I could read his latest books (which are in my TBR) without seeing his blog posts in my mind.
Guillaume, just out of curiosity, have you read anything written by Freer alone that you thought was awesome? Because I’ve read several things by Flint himself, and he’s quite witty and articulate — so a collaboration with Freer doesn’t necessarily mean that Freer gets the credit for the wittiness or any of the other quality.
Honestly, Freer’s blog posts are so invariably irrational and inarticulate that I find it hard to believe that if his books are good, they’re not being ghostwritten or massively edited by someone else.
Yes, I’m wondering about that too.
The only one I read not co-authored is The Forlorn , and I remember it as an unremarkable sf book : so it was not ugly, but also not really good : on a -5 to +5 scale, +1 maybe.
Then he wrote it 17 years ago, and I read it 14-15 years ago I think
@Darren G: Unless the child is corrected on the number, it is still not good. There’s a time for picky corrections, and a time to answer the base question. Consider Jack Cohen’s “lies to children”
@Greg H: I also remember “40 = too-many-to-count” from grade school age, although I couldn’t swear it was secular rather than religious; note also (IIRC) Jesus’s 40 days in the desert (which may link with the recently(?)-discovered Essene village).
@Bruce D. Arthurs: TFT crxn.
@lurkertype: repaired the gene in-utero?!? (It’s been too long since I read the book, and I have no stomach for downers this morning.) That raises interesting questions about the necessity for breeding out macho idiocy. I suppose the author gets to pick which problems she thinks are hard, but I’d expect both to be complex to whatever extent that they’re genetic at all.
@robinareid: I hope to be interested in reading your tribute.
Just a pixel… Just a pixel… I’ve just ticked up a scroll in the AE-35 unit.
I’m on board with teaching the “electrons orbiting an atom like planets” concept before teaching orbitals, Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, and the like. I’m on board with teaching that planets orbiting the sun is a simple thing before teaching the distinction between Kuiper Belt Objects, Detached Objects, Scattered Disc objects, etc. There are many areas of science and mathematics so complex that you have no choice but to teach simplified approximations long before you can get into more accurate descriptions. Using the incorrect word “millions” when fixing it is a simple as using the correct word “thousands” and needing to make no other change whatsoever is not one of those situations.
The very first definition for “million” in the Oxford English Dictionary includes “(often indefinitely or hyperbolically) a very great many, countless. ”
Million has long had a figurative meaning for “lots and lots”, and it isn’t unusual at all for a child to use it that way.
Of course, instead of answering the question that they are really asking, telling them about stars and the wonders of the universe and nurturing an interest in it, you could get all pedantic and shut them down.
Excuse the hell out of me for wanting books to educate children about science to use actual science.
Anyone know just how sensative a fox’s night vision is?
All righty then. I don’t imagine I have the fortitude to keep from reading the posts so long as they still occasionally introduce me to something important, informative, or interesting that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise, but I can definitely add this to my list of sites where I do not read the comments.
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