(1) DESIRED FUTURE. While we were wondering if Whoopi Goldberg was getting enough love from Star Trek conventions, the truth came out – what she really wants is a role on Doctor Who. Den of Geek has the story —
“I like the idea of doing things the way y’all do them,” the Sister Act and Star Trek: The Next Generation star added. “You do some really fun stuff like Black Mirror or, you know, I’m still dying to do Doctor Who.”
She added: “I always hope when I come to England the BBC will say, ‘Hey we want you to do something [on Doctor Who]’. I would love that.”
(2) A SECOND HELPING. ScienceFiction.com says Arrival is being re-released immediately to capitalize on its Oscar nominations.
This Friday, January 27th, 2017, Paramount is re-releasing ‘Arrival‘ on the big screen with an added 8 minutes of bonus material! Now, this isn’t an extended cut of the film but could be thought of as more of a preview of the special features from the eventual Blu-Ray. Think commentary and behind-the-scenes material that includes the Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and even more of the cast and crew from the film.
(3) STRINGS ATTACHED. Alastair Reynolds tells more about the stage adaptation of Diamond Dogs in Chicago. He’ll be in the audience next month.
Directed by Nathan Allen, the play is an adaptation by Althos Low , a pen name for Shanghai Low Theatricals, a group dedicated to bring challenging works to the stage. Frankly you couldn’t get much more challenging than a piece of space-operatic dark SF, involving interstellar travel, cyborg prosthetics and a monstrous alien structure – but suitably undaunted, Shanghai Low (with chief adaptor Steve Pickering) have put together what is by all accounts a very striking and inventive production, involving hi-tech stage design, imaginative costume work, and the resourceful and skilled puppetry of Mary Robinette Kowal, already greatly respected within SF circles as a fine writer. The script, which I read some months ago, is clever and involving, and very true to the beats of the original story. This is the first adaptation of any of the Revelation Space stories into another medium, and I can’t wait to see it.
(4) BLAST FROM THE PAST. The Traveler from Galactic Journey has a request — “[January 25, 1962] Shameless Self-Promotion (Nominate Galactic Journey For The Hugo!)”.
Galactic Journey has brought you the latest in science fact and fiction for over three years, since October 1958. It’s been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to review the monthly sff digests, the new books, the best (and worst!) scientifiction TV shows and movies, enormously rewarding to report on the myriad space shots as they happen. Coverage of 1960’s pitched election season was eye-opening and exciting.
Though it was not originally our mission, the Journey has become a progressive entity, focusing on the women and minority contributors that add to the diversity and value of our fandom, yet who are overlooked and underrepresented.
Oh, how we’ve grown in three years! Since this column’s humble beginnings, our staff of two has grown to ten, including an overseas correspondent. Last June, we began providing the latest news on the right-hand side of our pages. In August, no less a personage than Rod Serling honored us for our coverage of The Twilight Zone….
It’s the 2017 Hugo he’d like to be nominated for – he’s leaving the 1962 field to front-runners Warhoon and Cry of the Nameless.
(5) PLEASE EXCUSE ME. Charles Stross, on the other hand, asks that fans not nominate his work in this year’s trial Hugo category.
PSA: Please do not nominate the Laundry Files or Merchant Princes for Best Series Hugo this year. (Will explain why on blog later.) KTHXBYE.
— Charlie Stross (@cstross) January 25, 2017
(6) YOG’S LAW ENFORCEMENT. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, in “SFWA Statement on Magazines and the Monetization of Writers”, frowns on magazines cashing in on the slush reading.
In the past year SFWA has seen several examples of magazines contemplating monetizing the writers submitting work to them for publication. Strategies for doing so have ranged from the subtle to the overt, including submission fees, fees for personalized feedback, statements that contributors who are subscribers will get preferential treatment, and other charges.
One tenet that SFWA holds to strongly is Yog’s Law, the idea that money should always flow towards the writer. The organization strongly condemns any practice where a magazine take money from a writer and allows it to or implies it will affect the reception of the writer’s submission(s) in any way.
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY
January 25, 1999 – The Blair Witch Project is seen for the first time.
(7a) TODAY’S BELATED BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born January 24, 1944 — David Gerrold
(8) ASK ME ANYTHING. Authors of The Expanse James S. A. Corey are doing an AMA on Reddit on January 26 at Noon EST (9 a.m. PST) — https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/. Got a question about the series? Go on!
(9) BRING ‘EM BACK ALIVE. The topic for the 2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate is “De-Extinction.” At New York City’s Hayden Planetarium on Wednesday, March 29 moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson and a panel of experts will take on this topic —
Biologists today have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to influence the evolution of life on Earth. Do we have an obligation to bring back species that human activities may have rendered extinct? Does the technology exist to do so?
2017 Asimov Debate panelists are:
- George Church – Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard University and MIT
- Hank Greely – Director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences, Stanford University
- Gregory Kaebnick – Scholar, The Hastings Center; Editor, Hastings Center Report
- Ross MacPhee – Curator, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate Zoology; Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School
- Beth Shapiro – Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz
(10) PROP AND CIRCUMSTANCE. Here’s something you don’t see every day, Edgar: “San Jose Councilman Takes Oath of Office With Captain America Shield: ‘I Want to Shine a Ray of Optimism’”.
A new San Jose city councilman held a Captain America shield as he was sworn in on Tuesday night, telling NBC Bay Area that the Marvel Comics character “embodies the ideas of America.”
Lan Diep, a Republican legal aid attorney, received cheers after he said “I do solemnly swear” when the clerk asked if he would defend his oath of office. His final vote of his first meeting? Joining the council in unanimously banning the communist Vietnamese flag from flying in San Jose.
In an interview after the meeting, the proud comic book geek and Houston-born son of Vietnamese refugees said that Captain America stands for the “kinds of things I strive for: equal justice, fair play and democracy.” …
"I think it's a symbol of what's positive in this darkened political landscape." @LTDiep on Capt. America shield. https://t.co/kvO5lhnwa9 pic.twitter.com/51A8Wu6Uin
— Lisa Fernandez (@ljfernandez) January 25, 2017
(11) WHO KNEW? Cnet blew my trivia-loving mind by proving “The Star Wars Death Star trench isn’t where you think it is”.
Vaziri has some theories about why the mistaken impression is so widespread, even among hard-core fans.
He points out that the Death Star’s two biggest features are the dish and the equatorial trench. “Our brains want to connect this new trench with something we’ve seen before, and because of their similarities, and the simplicity of that connection, it’s not a big leap for us to (incorrectly) deduce the two trenches are one and the same,” he writes.
(12) SPACEWAY ROBBERY. Remember – being ripped off is the sincerest form of flattery. ScreenCrush lists “The Top Five Most Shameless ‘Star Wars’ Rip-Offs”.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Camestros Felapton, Andrew Porter, and Doctor Science for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day m. c. simon milligan.]
The extinction of the Passenger Pigeon was probably a plus, elsewise, there would be hell for any airline trying to use the east coast.
I recall that one of the results of the timeline mixups in Murray Leinster’s “Sidewise in Time” was a large flock of passenger pigeons from another timeline wound up in our main timestream, making it no longer extinct.
Sadly, all motion pictures are actually part of an extended dream sequence in the mind of a Civil War soldier being hung at Owl Creek Bridge. [retro-SPOILER WARNING for real life, such as it is]. I mean, really! Motion Pictures?? Witchcraft, more like.
The species was a problem unto itself: it could not be bred in captivity, as it required a flock. So making this bird unextinct would be an undertaking.
Re: Whoopi – oh, please, make Guinan a Time Lady.
Steven Gould’s Wildside had passenger pigeons caught on an alternate earth and brought back to our world, though IIRC at least partially for monetary reasons that didn’t work out as well as the naive protagonist expected.
(Apologies if I’m misremembering the exact reason in the book; there may also have been a hope on his part to resurrect the species.)