(1) TED’S HOUSE SAVED. A copy of Ted White’s thank-you to supporters of his GoFundMe comes via Andrew Porter.
My thanks and my gratitude to all of you who helped me meet my goal within one day. I’m flabbergasted. I’m still getting my head around it.
But I must point out to everyone who has proffered Joel [Zakem]’s advice that I am not the legal owner of my house. My daughter is (I have the lifetime right of occupancy — for as long as I keep the taxes paid). For this reason I have been unable to qualify for tax abatement.
The moment I move out of the house, it will revert to my daughter, who will sell it to developers who will tear it down and build two separate houses on the adjoining lots and sell each for over a million bucks. I expect I’ll be dead by then.
In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks.
(2) AMBITIOUS COMIC CON. The Outdoor Retailers Show was formerly the largest event in Utah, generating $45M each July between hotel, dining and touring. They left over a public lands debate.
Conrunners Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg wrote on Linkedin that “Salt Lake Comic Con Can Fill the Void of Outdoor Retailers Exit”. They are scheduled to make a presentation before the Utah Legislature to promote their ideas, which might become one of the largest fannish public/private initiatives in the country.
…It’s a shame that Outdoor Retailer has left the state. Let’s fill that void with a world class comic con event. We can do this.
…We believe this creates an opportunity for us to step up and take advantage of an industry that is already thriving in Utah and make it even more beneficial to the state and its residents. We believe we can build something that will have much more impact if we are able to line up the type of support that Outdoor Retailers had here. Salt Lake Comic Con is only three years old and we’ve already helped generated tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the area.”
Right now we are the largest comic con per capita in the world. The people of Salt Lake City and Utah are used to doing more with less. We are one of the top economies in the country, #1 for volunteerism, a top outdoor destination, best skiing on earth, have the internationally renowned Sundance film festival and one of the top locations for movies. But most importantly, Utah is the nerdiest state in the country. Let’s take all the successes and resources to become one of the top comic con destinations in the world.
(3) VON DIMPLEHEIMER’S LIST OF LISTS. Eric von Dimpleheimer has assembled another masterpiece which you can download free. He explains:
I began putting together an ebook of the various 2016 recommendation lists and sorting them by magazine (with some links to free stories), but as I kept coming across more recommendations, I abandoned the Sisyphean project. It is still useful (to me at least) and I thought others might be interested in it. I included two of Rocket Stack Rank’s annotated lists and Greg from Rocket Stack Rank is OK with me including them as long as the ebooks are free, which they are.
I want to stress that the ebooks are NOT finished or free from errors, but they are as complete as I am likely to make them. Anyone is free to add to or alter the ebooks as they see fit, as long as links to the sites of the original listmakers remain (or in a few cases, better links are found.)
- Epub https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2Q8-08mD2rFYjJRT3RwMDVFSFk
- Mobi https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2Q8-08mD2rFbjlOTE1MaEF6SDA
(4) MIND MELD. Shana DuBois has organized a new installment of this classic feature – “Mind Meld: Fresh Perspectives on Common Tropes” at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.
Tell us about a book, or books, that flipped SF/F/H on its head, approaching a common trope from such a fresh perspective you couldn’t stop thinking about it: What fresh methods did the book(s) use to look at the world anew?
Answering the question are Sofia Samatar, Max Gladstone, Joyce Chng, Jaime Lee Moyer, and Rachel Swirsky.
(5) BLOWN UP, SIR! Think of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet made with transparent balloons. Then go to io9 and see the pictures – “Just Let This Little Girl’s Wonder Woman Invisible Jet Costume Win Every Contest”.
(6) THE SHADOW JURY KNOWS. The Shadow Clarke shortlists are starting to come thick and fast:
…But first, my six in alphabetical order by author surname:
The Power — Naomi Alderman (Penguin Viking)
I hummed and hawed the most about including this book on the list. It seems to be another example of one type of book that has done well in the Clarke during recent years; the kind of novel that features one or more young female protagonists and reflects on aspects of a patriarchal society in a manner that can be compared with the work of the Award’s first winner, Margaret Atwood. Indeed, Alderman was actually mentored by Atwood during the writing of the novel. Moreover, it might be argued that The Power is simply a provocative what-if story that turns on a gimmick. However, any such reading would miss the book’s capacity to mix raw excitement with complexity and subtlety. The combination of the framing narrative and the unforgettable illustrations is worth the price of admission alone.
I sat at my computer last Tuesday morning, flicking between my work and the Clarke Award twitter feed, waiting for the submissions list to drop. When it finally did and I clicked through, with trepidation and a flicker of excitement, my first thought was: there are fewer eye-catching features in the Award’s 2016 landscape than I was hoping for. By which I mean, the list felt very flat.
As I scrolled down the 86 submitted books the wildcard submissions seemed fewer and further between than in recent years. The avalanche of self-published works that some anticipated didn’t materialise – submissions were actually down this year overall – but it looked as though a lot of other submissions hadn’t materialised either. A brief and unscientific comparison between 2016 and 2017 lists for example, seems to suggest a decrease in submissions from ‘mainstream’ or non-genre imprints – 36 in 2016, 28 in 2017 (with 20 imprints and 17 imprints submitting respectively). There were some books in this category notably absent. The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (William Heinemann) for one, Hystopia by David Means (Faber & Faber) for another. I’d also hoped that Salt might take a punt on Wyl Menmuir’s uncanny dystopian fable The Many; and Galley Beggar Press on Forbidden Line by Paul Stanbridge. The fact that the ratio of books by women has fallen this year (from 33% of the total to 28%) may be attributable to the drop in submissions from non-specialist imprints who, as a fellow shadow juror pointed out to me, are far more likely to publish female writers of SF.
My shortlist is primarily based on optimism– being impressed by the multiple things these novels are attempting to do– and, to quote Nina Allan’s recent introduction, “to pay sufficient attention to the ‘novel’ part of the equation.” It includes books I might not love, but I would like to see discussed in relation to more popular books that have a better chance of landing on the official shortlist. I have followed only one firm rule: I will not include any previous Clarke award winners. This omits Chris Beckett, Paul McAuley, China Miéville, Claire North, Christopher Priest, and Tricia Sullivan. In a couple of cases, this rule made my shortlist picks more difficult, but I’m a big proponent of the one-and-done rule (or won-and-done, rather) because it’s only too obvious SF awards culture likes to chase its tail.
(7) THE ENTERTAINER. Larry Correia’s Toastmaster speech at the Gala Banquet at Life, The Universe and Everything (LTUE 2017) is available on YouTube.
(8) STARGAZING. The Google Doodlers had fun with the discovery of seven exoplanets at Trappist-1.
(9) SUSAN CASPER OBIT. Philadelphia author Susan Casper (1947-2017), wife of Gardner Dozois for 47 years, passed away February 24.
Announcing her death on Facebook, Dozois said: “She was an extremely tough woman, and fought through an unbelievable amount of stuff in the last couple of years, but this last illness was just too much for her fading strength to overcome.”
She was the author of two dozen published stories. Her 1994 novella “Up the Rainbow” took sixth place in Asimov’s annual Readers Poll.
Her fiction in collaboration with Gardner Dozois is part of Slow Dancing through Time (1990), which includes one collaboration with both Dozois and Jack M Dann.
She served as a Tiptree Award judge in 1994.
There will be no viewing or funeral service, but there will be a memorial gathering in the future.
(10) MARTIN DEUTSCH OBIT. Courtesy of Dale Arnold:
Martin Deutsch, President of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, died February 24. He had been receiving chemotherapy for a bone marrow condition for several weekly cycles of treatment and his doctor was optimistic, but fate intervened.
The night before he had reported being very tired, but intending to meet with the BSFS Treasurer that morning as previously scheduled. He had also said he would be attending the BSFS book discussion on Saturday, but might need to borrow one of the wheelchairs BSFS keeps around for people who need them at Balticon to get into the building. However, the morning of the 24th before the BSFS Treasurer arrived Martin passed out in his favorite chair and died before medical assistance arrived. It is reported that there was little pain.
Martin was first elected as President of BSFS in 1980 and served continuously since then leading the meetings with his own twist on formal meeting rules. He never tired of building things for BSFS and Balticon and many of the fixtures and displays at the convention, particularly in the art show which he ran for many years with his wife Shirley Avery, were his inspiration made manifest. During the most recent election of BSFS officers Martin said he was not ready to give up yet and indeed his spirit never gave up.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- February 24, 1786 — Wilhelm Grimm was born, one of The Brothers Grimm.
(12) TODAY IN ALTERNATE HISTORY
- February 24, 1989 — The body of Laura Palmer is discovered in Twin Peaks, WA.
(13) NOW WITH SUBTRACTED GOODNESS. MovieWeb passes along the scuttlebutt – “Unaltered Original Star Wars Trilogy to Be Re-Released Before Last Jedi?”
This year not only brings Star Wars fans a new theatrical adventure in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but also a number of new books and, of course, another Force Friday event happening this fall, but that’s not all. This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of the original Star Wars, with the anniversary celebration kicking off at Star Wars Celebration, which runs from April 13 through April 16 in Orlando, Florida. If a new rumor is believed to be true, LucasFilm may be making a big announcement about the 40th anniversary soon, with plans apparently under way to release a new Blu-ray set with the theatrical versions of the original trilogy films.
(14) HERE’S THE PITCH. From MLB.com — “Five baseball movies you probably haven’t seen that (mostly) deserve watching”. Martin Morse Wooster sent the link and a couple of comments:
- The fine film Battlefield Baseball HAS to be seen (or at least the trailer does).
The MLB.com description reads —
It’s kind of like “Friday Night Lights” in that it’s about high school sports rivalries. But it differs in one crucial way: The game doesn’t end until the opposing team is dead. Oh yeah, the synopsis also sounds like a Stefon sketch. “Battlefield Baseball” features zombies, deadly baseball equipment and that thing where a pitcher throws a lethal pitch known as the “Super Tornado.”
- The clip from Rhubarb does have Leonard Nimoy — in 1951!
There’s a good (very short) view of him about 2:10
(15) INCLUDES SEMIPRO AND FAN RECS. Shaun Duke has assembled a crowdsourced “2017 Hugo Awards Reading / Viewing List”.
As I did last year, I have begun to compile a big massive (and, indeed, very sexy) list of all the books, stories, comics, movies, fans, etc. suggested to me via my recent 2017 Hugo Awards Recommendations form. The following is by no means a comprehensive list, as it is based on suggestions by readers. If something is missing, let me know in the comments.
(16) PROBLEM DAUGHTERS ANTHOLOGY CANCELED. Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael made the announcement in their “Statement on the Dissolution of the Problem Daughters Anthology”.
Unfortunately, the Problem Daughters project has been canceled, and Nicolette Barischoff and Rivqa Rafael have parted ways with Djibril al-Ayad and FutureFire.net Publishing. This decision was extremely painful, and not taken lightly in consideration of the many wonderful, generous people who helped us get to this point. Unfortunately, the ideological differences between the involved parties have proved insurmountable, leaving us no choice but to end this collaboration.
We apologize to all of you who feel let down by this decision — our backers, our potential contributors and just anyone who wanted to read this book. We did, too.
Everyone who backed the project will be contacted as soon as possible so we can arrange a refund. We ask for your patience as we undergo this process.
Once again, we thank you for your support, and apologize for this inconvenience and disappointment.
Publisher The Future Fire also posted that the anthology is permanently closed to submissions.
The editors of the Problem Daughters, Djibril al-Ayad, Rivqa Rafael, and Nicolette Barischoff were behind the “Intersectional SFF Roundtable” for Apex Magazine that was taken down after Likhain’s open letter to the editor protesting the involvement of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Apex Magazine editor Jason Sizemore issued an apology, and briefly there also was an apology signed the three editors on The Future Fire site, now only readable in the Google cache file. The gist of their apology was that they were sorry for not including a black woman in a panel about intersectionality. The controversy about Sriduangkaew’s participation was not addressed.
(17) BE YOUR OWN BBC STATION. Michael O’Donnell recommends these BBC radio programs currently available on the BBC iPlayer.
- An episode of Seriously — “I Was Philip K. Dick’s Reluctant Host”
In “I Was Philip K Dick’s Reluctant Host”, Michael Walsh – a journalist and respected film reviewer for The Province, a leading Vancouver newspaper – talks about the time he came to the aid of the author of Minority Report, Blade Runner, Total Recall and Man in the High Castle, who he met at a convention in 1972.
Discovering that Dick’s wife had walked out on him, that he had nowhere to go and was also suffering deep addiction problems, Michael invited Philip to stay with him and his wife Susan at their home in Vancouver.
It would go on to be one of the most challenging experiences of Michael’s life, as drug dependency, unwanted advances on Michael’s wife and unpredictable mood swings made the period something of an emotional rollercoaster for the wary hosts – but also fascinating insight into one of Sci-Fi’s greatest ever visionaries.
- Currently being serialized on Book at Bedtime — The Underground Railroad
Clarke Peters (The Wire, Treme) reads The Underground Railroad, the new novel by Colson Whitehead. This brilliant and at times brutal novel about the history of slavery and racism in America won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 2016.
“What if the underground railroad was a literal railroad? And what if each state, as a runaway slave was going north, was a different state of American possibility, an alternative America?”
Whitehead’s inventive novel follows Cora and Caesar as they escape from a Georgia slave plantation and run north in pursuit of freedom, aided by the stationmasters and conductors of the Underground Railroad.
- Orbit One Zero – “The Unseeing Eye”
Vintage sci-fi serial from 1961.
“A glimpse across a weird threshold, on the rim of space where there should be nothing but eternal, frozen darkness. Yet where there was something more…..”
Newspaper reporter, Tom Lambert has decided to reinvestigate the strange events of ten years before, concerning the “cosmic noise”. Believing the inside story was never told, he’s tracked down the only man who knows, Dr Hayward Petrie.
Told in flashbacks, the story unfolds from Dr Petrie’s own recordings of the time when the detection of a strange pattern of signals sparks a mysterious discovery…
[Thanks to Michael O’Donnell, JJ, Daniel Dern, David Doering, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Moshe Feder, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]
Fifth, but only because I spent the evening painting elementals.
(1) There appears to be underlying stuff there, but it’s none of my business. Hopefully, a longer term solution can be found.
(5) Genius isn’t too strong a word to describe it.
(#) It’s a strange thing that if you behave like a dick over a sustained period, people lose interest in following you (and that includes watching youtube videos of your speeches, no matter how good they might be).
[Am I doing vague-snarking MGC-style right?]
(9) Saw Gardner’s announcement on Facebook. My heart goes out to him.
(13) It was never going to happen while Lucas had the rights. But since they now belong to Disney, it’s become a possibility.
I don’t do Facebook and there is no Asimov’s forum anymore and I don’t know if he hangs out anywhere else these days, so this is somewhat indirect but I do want to express my deep sympathy to Gardner. Very sad news. I always feel a little something whenever I find out about anything like this, of course, but some things carry a little extra punch and this is one of those.
(2) AMBITIOUS COMIC CON.
Interesting how, in their bid to cash in on large gobs of moolah, Salt Lake Comic Con’s owners blithely bypass the fact that the opening exists because the government of Utah is intent on taking public land away from its rightful owners.
I’ve kind of resigned myself to the repeated moral and ethical trangressions being committed by that state’s government and its biggest business. 🙄
Soon Lee: Hopefully, a longer term solution can be found.
I am very disappointed that there is apparently no plan being put into place to prevent this crisis from recurring on an annual basis. 😐
Glad to hear Ted’s good news, and… well, that’s some catch. Sorry his hands are tied like that.
Rhubarb! Didn’t we just discuss RHUBARB here? Something made me suddenly go look and find a comic book version of the movie of the book (which then has later issues relating the further adventures of the titular cat, also findable in the Four-Color series at Comic Book Plus). Been reading my new H. Allen Smith books, off and on, that I got to fill in the gaps in my existing collection.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-770.”
“It’s the best there is.”
(2) “Utah is the nerdiest state in the country” — it all depends on whether you define “nerdiest” as “invents the most computer games” or “has highest percentage of people who protect their footwear with sensible rubber boots whenever it rains.”
(15) was an awesome undertaking! But I just left him a comment re the omission of Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which I just finished today so I’m still in the afterglow. Now I feel guilty for nit-picking, but I still love the book, which is about a D&D party that turns a giant spider into a man and holds him hostage on their journey to fight a Big Bad, while putting fresh spin on tropes. Gonna nominate it.
Also, I spawned another self-pubbed book called Sieging Manganela recently.
Requiescat In Pace
My condolences to Mr. Dozois and her friends and family.
Shoot me a mail, if you want this featured at the Speculative Fiction Showcase, an indie and small press SFF blog I co-run.
This goes for every other Filer with a newly released SFF book, too.
1) I would bet a sizable sum that this arrangement was originally entered into for tax reasons some 25 or 30 years ago. It’s a shame that it’s now come back around to bite them on the butt.
2) My partner’s reaction: “They won’t get it.” I tend to agree; SLCC is already fighting an uphill battle against a very conservative society. (He’s been there, more than once, so I trust his assessment.)
It sounds like White may have a life estate in the house (also called a dower). This kind of transfer is often used as a method to ensure inheritance and isn’t generally arranged for tax purposes. His daughter actually owes the taxes, but may not qualify for abatement for various reasons (being younger, living out of state, etc.). I also hope he can come up with a plan for out years, as the issue will only repeat.
Very sorry to hear about Casper. May she continue to slow dance through time.
You might need to do some checking before nominating Spiderlight. You’ll see from the copyright page that it was first serialized in a magazine in 2013. There’s always the chance that it will qualify as a first US publication, or as a substantial revision.
@Cora – woot! I emailed you.
@Mark – I love looking up rules, so I did. Final paragraph of the Country & Language of Publication in the Hugo rules reads as follows:
[So I’m glad I don’t have to accuse Goodreads of publishing fake news.]
I’m not going to shill TOO hard since I don’t really have a dog in the race other than the book charmed me and I’m still in the afterglow phase.
Yes, that was the rule I had in the back of my mind. I’m not sure where the original magazine was published though.
It was in Aethernet online serial fiction magazine — which would technically be considered a U.S. publication, given that stories in it could be read online by anyone in any country.
According to Tchaikovsky’s blog, segments of it were to be in 10 of the 12 issues in 2013. But it kind of looks as though the magazine might have gone defunct before all the segments were published. There isn’t much to be found in the Wayback Machine.
You would probably have to ask the author whether the full story was published before the magazine went offline.
You must remember this
A fifth is still a fifth
A file is just a file
The pixelated things apply as time scrolls by
(Shooting began on Casablanca on February 25, 1942.)
(14) I enjoyed the heck out of Battlefield Baseball, and will probably put the others on my list. the Catcher especially. Joe Estevez and David Heavener are right smack in my wheelhouse.
@2: just what does “largest per-capita” mean? They’re visibly not starting from nothing (unlike some conventions we’ve laughed over the ruins of recently), but this sort of promoter-speak has my bogometer ringing. I also wonder when his ambition to become “one of the top comic con destinations in the world” will run up against Utah politics — not just the conservatism noted by @Lee but the possible unwillingness of some segment of ]comics fandom[ to drop money in such a reactionary state.
@5: that is seriously impressive. Almost as impressive is that (AFAICT) it survived a day in public rather than just a few minutes on stage.
@10: Martin also worked on art shows up and down the east coast; he and Shirley were regulars at Boskone until weather and health blocked them. He also designed and made the least-costly effective art show hangings I’ve ever seen; they were a testimony to his craftsmanship that nobody ever tried to reproduce. (I hope they weren’t all tossed; they were a lesson in how someone with construction skills can make assembly easy.) Saying he’ll be missed is so insufficient.
My guess about “largest per capita” is that it divides the number of attendees by the population of the state of Utah. So then San Diego Comic Con gets many more people, but is in a much more populous state.
The pixel, which was not supposed to be there, plunged into the scroll in a place just before the black puppies give way to the swamp-thing
2) Utah is reactionary yes, but it’s also supposedly the largest consumer of online porn. Maybe the convention can work that angle.
So, I’m lying at a beach in Costa Rica, trying to read up for the Hugos, when I notice something flapping in the wind 1-2 meters from me. I vaguely recognize the shape, so I get up to look at it. It looks like a WorldCon ribbon.
So i pick it up, and there in large letters I can read the following text:
WRONGFANS HAVING WRONGFUN
It is such a WTF-moment and I just stand there staring at it. My first reaction is “this can’t be happening”. How the hell did that ribbon get there, is there a puppy SNEAKING on me?
It is not until I after several minutes of confusion I pick up my book and find two three more ribbons lying at the back of the book that I remember it was one of the freebies I picked up at WorldCon and some of the ribbons must have ended up in it.
So here I am in Costa Rica with puppy ribbons. I guess I should do something funny with them, but can’t figure out what. Perhaps give them to the next marijuana dealer that walks up to me.
I don’t know how these things always turn into a race to the bottom. This is a sleazy remark.
Rose Embolism: says) Utah is reactionary yes, but it’s also supposedly the largest consumer of online porn. Maybe the convention can work that angle.
Books A Million, owned by a Christian family, has a very large porn magazine section in my local one. Much larger than Borders had. Figure that out please.
A Meredith Moment-The Long List Anthology, Volume 2 is on sale at Amazon for 0.99 cents.
Today’s Bonus Meredith Moment: Audible US is having a First-in-the-Series Sale for 99 audiobooks which are first in an SFF series, for $4.95 each. The sale ends at midnight PDT Monday 27 February (that’s 8am Tuesday 28 February GMT).
@JJ: Thanks! And folks, click the links near the top for other genres. JJ’s link is the SF list; there’s fantasy and other ones, too.
::looking through lists:: 🙂
I may be very, very late, but I am awake. Right now. Barely.
I’m not sponsoring a “Who can be the biggest dumbass?” contest here.
Somebody sends me a news item and I run it. Someone else, rather than engage in any genuine way, drops some sexual innuendo on the people of the state where that news is taking place. Then someone wants to torture us all with bogus Biblical questions.
If you insist on winning the “No, wait, I’m
SpartacusThe Biggest Dumbass” contest please play at Mad Genius Club.
I don’t know if Shaun Duke is still taking suggestions for his crowdsource Hugo nomination suggestions, but I recomment for the graphic stories, the webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent, http://www.ssscomic.com/ by Finnish artist Minna Sundberg. It’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy set in Scandanavia about 100 years after a pandemic that turns humans and other animals into dangerous paranormal beasts, and with a group of Finns, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, and an Icelandic stowaway are on a treasure hunting expedition looking for books. It’s been running for a couple of years, there’s a print book, but I don’t remember if it was released in 2015 or 2016.
@bruce, I’ll point it out to him
I also added my recommendation at http://shaunduke.net/2017hugoawardrecommendations/ but I don’t know if he’s still watching for new recommendations.
Yes, Stand Still, Stay Silent is one I’m nominating. That one and Geis. But I’m not nominating Oglaf this year, it has lost steam.
Paul, please ask Shaun to check his website’s Contact bin.