Pixel Scroll 3/2/22 This Scroll Obscures My View Of Pixels

(1) PKD, RIP. Philip K. Dick died 40 years ago today and the media has taken note of the anniversary.

BBC Culture’s Adam Scovill discusses “Philip K Dick: the writer who witnessed the future”.

I am in passport control. I can see my face on a screen. The technology recognises me and lets me through. I scan codes showing my vaccination status and recent Covid test results. The machines assess the data regarding my health and microbiology. Through into the waiting room, people are staring into little screens. A strangely large number have the camera flipped, and are capturing their faces at different angles, as if they’ve forgotten what they look like. I open my laptop and join in. I give my details to a company to enter the digital realm. Adverts tailored to my personality pop up. They know me better than I know myself.

This is 2022. And 2022 is a Philip K Dick novel….

Paul Krasnik’s intriguing comic strip overviews the author and his career: “The Death of Philip K. Dick Brought to Life”.

(2) THE NEW NUMBER TWO. Brandon Sanderson’s “Surprise! Four Secret Novels” needed less than 48 hours to become the second Most Funded Kickstarter in history. Right now he’s in between a smartwatch and a portable cooler, having raised $17,512,529 at this writing with 28 days to go.

David Doering adds, “I’d love to say that Brandon hinted at all this at LTUE [Life, The Universe, and Everything] two weeks ago, but he was mute about it. The really big news to me is that he is now the #2 Record Holder on Kickstarter as an AUTHOR! Not a gizmo or gadget idea.guy — a WRITER sets the record. That is KEWL.”

(3) HOUSE DIVIDED. Many are commenting on the Ukraine invasion today and looking at the open letter from Russian sff authors supporting Putin’s actions that is signed by 2023 Worldcon GoH Sergei Lukianenko.

R. B. Lemberg tweeted the translation of another pro-invasion apologetic signed by a mass of Russian writers. Thread starts here. Lemberg also hits the nail on the head so far as the Worldcon is concerned.

(4) RELATED WORK. Cora Buhlert has posted another Non-Fiction Spotlight. This one is more a collection of personal essays: “Non-Fiction Spotlight: Robert E. Howard Changed My Life, edited by Jason M. Waltz”.

What prompted you to edit this book?

I believe much of modern entertainment can be traced to REH, directly or via his influence. From music to gaming to professional wrestling, all the myriad forms of storytelling through any media owes its current existence to Robert E. Howard to some extent. I’ve often thought about exploring that connection, tracing that lineage. Frankly, I also always considered it too much work. Until I heard Bill Cavalier’s Guest of Honor speech “How Robert E. Howard Saved My Life” at Howard Days 2018 in Cross Plains, Texas. While much of that audience already knew that story–it truly touched me. Before the evening was over I considered it a revelation and immediately voiced efforts to gather similar stories I knew had to exist, though slightly tweaking the emphasis to be on changed rather than saved personal lives. …

(5) BASKING IN ALL THE RAYS. Gareth L. Powell recounts science fiction’s history with a specific genre of massive structures: “Thinking Big: Dyson Spheres and Ringworlds”.

… But even a Dyson Sphere wasn’t impressive enough for Ray Bradbury, and he decided to expand on the concept by postulating a nested series of spheres he called a ‘Matrioshka brain.’ In this model, the innermost sphere would collect the sun’s entire energy output and use it for computing. The waste heat produced by this computing would then be collected and used by the next sphere, which in turn would generate its own waste heat for the next sphere to collect, and so on….

(6) IT’S A TWISTER AUNTIE EM. Morgan Hazelwood posts her notes about another DisCon III program, “When Plot Twists Go Bad (A DisConIII Panel)”, at A Writer in Progress. (There’s also a YouTube video.)

The panelists for the titular panel were: Jen Gunnels as moderator, CL Polk, Narina Brelin, JS Dewes, and Lezli Robyn.

The description was as follows: When a story denies the audience the narrative they expect, reactions can range from “What a clever twist!” to “That’s awful,” to even “I feel used.” What causes some unexpected plot developments to disappoint rather than delight—and how do you craft a satisfying surprise?

(7) EMPIRE BUILDING. [Item by John A Arkansawyer.] I’ve yet to hear a musician say anything printable about this: “Epic Games begins to show it’s ‘more than games,’ acquires Bandcamp” at Ars Technica.

Today the game maker moved to acquire Bandcamp, an online music-streaming service that revolves around DRM-free purchases of MP3s, FLACs, and other audio files. The news emerged via press releases from both Bandcamp and Epic on Wednesday. As of press time, neither side of the deal has clarified its financial terms….

…While this might sound like Epic wants to acquire Bandcamp’s backend, web storefront, and iOS/Android apps—which are a user-friendly breath of fresh air compared to the continued clunkiness of Epic Games Store—this wording suggests that Bandcamp could be rolled into the Unreal asset sales ecosystem. Want to license and use music in the Unreal Engine project of your dreams? Perhaps future creators would search for tunes inside of Unreal Engine using Bandcamp’s existing tags (“math rock,” “SoundCloud rap,” “sex jazz“) and pay a license accordingly, the same way they currently find textures, assets, or other licensed content.

(8) SIR PAT. “Sir Patrick Stewart discusses season two of ‘Star Trek: Picard’” at CBS News. The linked article includes a several minute video interview of Stewart. In addition to the headline subject, he also briefly discusses a memoir he’s writing.

The Guardian headlines its interview with the startling quote “Patrick Stewart: ‘I’d go straight home and drink until I passed out’”.  However, that’s about his experience performing a challenging role on stage. The conversation about Trek is mellow by comparison.

…Did he watch old episodes or rely on his memories? “The latter. As the seven seasons of TNG went by, the distinction between Jean-Luc Picard and Patrick Stewart became thinner and thinner, until it was impossible for me to know where he left off and I began. So much of what I believed and felt went into that show. So coming back to the part, I felt that the impact of time on Jean-Luc would just be there in where I am now. And that’s how it has felt.”

Was the deal that if anyone played the older Picard, it would be Stewart – or was there a risk of switching on to find, say, his friend Ian McKellen in the part? “Oh, I would have watched that,” Stewart laughs. “What a clever idea. No. They were absolutely clear: if I passed on it, there would be no show. And I believed them and thought that was generous.”…

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1997 [Item by Cat Eldridge]

Once upon a time in a school in outer space,  
There was a class of misfit kids from all around the place.  
They snuck aboard a mystery ship,  
Which soon slipped through a spacial rip,  
And now they’re stuck on a long strange trip.
— The Theme Song

Twenty-five years ago on Nickelodeon’s Saturday night block of shows known as SNICK, a Canadian created series called Space Cases aired for two seasons. I’ve never seen it but it sounds like a lot of not so serious fun. 

It was created by author Peter David and actor Bill Mumy, and it starred Walter Emanuel Jones, Jewel Staite, Rebecca Herbst, Kristian Ayre, Rahi Azizi, Paige Christina, Anik Matern, Cary Lawrence and Paul Boretski. 

Yes, it had a fifteen-year-old Jewel Staite as one of its cast. She’s the ship’s engineer here. Huh. Was she cast on Firefly because of her role here? Well, this was a children’s show with the concept being similar to the current Star Trek: Prodigy. It told the story of a group of Star Academy students from different planets who sneaked aboard a mysterious space ship called The Christa. A ship they bonded literally with and ended across the galaxy in. 

It was shot on the cheap in Quebec. Really on the cheap, so props from Are You Afraid of the Dark? and other Nickelodeon programs were used in the series. Game consoles and compact discs were used as props. 

A number of well-known genre performers showed up here including Mark Hamill, Katey Sagal, George Takei and Michelle Trachtenberg. 

It lasted for two seasons comprising of twenty-seven episodes, each bring fairly short at twenty-two minutes.

A quarter of century later, the official website is still up. See if you spot Staite in the cast photo.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 2, 1933 Leo Dillion. With his wife Diane, they were illustrators of children’s books and many a paperback book and magazine cover. Over fifty years, they were the creators of over a hundred genre covers. They won the Hugo for Best Professional Artist at Noreascon (1971) after being nominated twice before at Heicon ‘70 and St. Louiscon. The Art of Leo & Diane Dillon written by Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon and Byron Preiss would be nominated for a Best Related Non-Fiction Hugo at Chicon IV. They would win a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Some of my favorites? The first cover for Pavane. The Ace cover of The Left Hand of Darkness. And one for a deluxe edition of The Last Unicorn. (Died 2012.)
  • Born March 2, 1937 Barbara Luna, 85. She played Lt. Marlena Moreau in the Star Trek’s “Mirror, Mirror”, the cross-universe story, a favorite of mine. She showed up in The Outer LimitsThe Wild Wild WestMission: Impossible, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Six Million Dollar ManBuck Rogers in the 25th CenturyMission: Impossible (Australian version) and finally in several episodes of the fanfic video Star Trek: New Voyages series. (The latter is now called Star Trek: Phase II after Paramount sued them.)
  • Born March 2, 1939 jan howard finder. No, I’m not going to be able to do him justice here. He was a SF writer, filker, cosplayer and, of course, fan. He was a guest of honor at ConFrancisco. He was nicknamed The Wombat as a sign of affection and ConFrancisco was only one of at least eight Cons that he was fan guest of honor at. finder has even been tuckerized when Anne McCaffrey named a character for him. (Died 2013.)
  • Born March 2, 1943 Peter Straub, 79. Horror writer who won the World Fantasy Award for Koko and the August Derleth Award for Floating Dragon. He’s co-authored several novels with Stephen King, The Talisman which itself won a World Fantasy Award, and Black House. Both The Throat and In the Night Room won Bram Stoker Awards as did 5 Stories, a short collection by him. Ok, you know not that I’m that impressed by awards, but this is really impressive! 
  • Born March 2, 1960 Peter F. Hamilton, 62. I read and quite enjoyed his Night’s Dawn trilogy when it first came out and I’m fairly sure that I’ve read Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained as they sound really familiar. (Too much genre fiction read over the years to remember everything…) His only English language award is a BSFA for his “The Suspect Genome”.  What else have y’all read by him? 
  • Born March 2, 1966 Ann Leckie, 56. Ancillary Justice won the Hugo Award at Loncon 3 and the Nebula Award, the Kitschies Award Golden Tentacle, Locus Award for Best First Novel, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the BSFA Award. Wow! The Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy also won Awards and were no less impressive experiences. The Raven Tower is quite excellent too.
  • Born March 2, 1968 Daniel Craig, 54. Obviously Bond in the now being concluded series of films which I like a lot, but also in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider as Alex West, Lord Asriel In the film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, in SF horror film The Invasion as Ben Driscoll, in the very weird and very very well done Cowboys & Aliens as Jake Lonergan, voicing Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine / Red Rackham  in the superb Adventures of Tintin and an uncredited appearance as Stormtrooper FN-1824 In Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Born March 2, 1992 Maisie Richardson-Sellers, 30. A most believable Vixen on Legends of Tomorrow for the first three seasons in my opinion as I’ve always liked that DC character.  (Season four onward, she’s been Clotho.) Prior to that role, she was recurring role as Rebekah Mikaelson / Eva Sinclair on The Originals, and she had a cameo as Korr Sella in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro shares a snapshot from the home life of a superhero.

(12) DOTRICE DIALOG. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] I listened to this podcast which Leonard and Jessie Maltin did with Karen Dotrice.  She comes from an acting family (you may remember her father, Roy, from Beauty and the Beast) but she starred in three Disney films in the mid-1960s and has only acted sporadically since then. Maltin knows his Disney lore and this podcast is a Walt Disney geekfest, Dotrice remembers how kind Walt Disney was to her at 8, perhaps remembering that when he was 8 he was delivering newspapers.  He also remembers that Disney on the Mary Poppins set treated her as an adult, which she still respects nearly 60 years later.  Maltin also puts in a good word for Dotrice’s third Disney film, The Gnome-Mobile, which is from a novel by Upton Sinclair. If you’re interested in Walt Disney, this is a podcast for you! “Maltin on Movies: Karen Dotrice”.

To untold millions of people she will always be bright-eyed Jane Banks in the original Mary Poppins (1964). The real-life Karen Dotrice is the mother of three who grew up in a show-business family. Her father Roy was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and her godfather was Charles Laughton! Luckily for us, Karen cherishes the memory of making Poppins and has especially fond recollections of Walt Disney, who lavished personal attention on her and her family while they were in Los Angeles. Jessie and Leonard were tickled pink to engage in conversation with a woman they’ve known and admired for years. (Karen even attended Jessie’s bat mitzvah!)

(13) CHEER UP, HE SAID, IT COULD GET WORSE. I’m sure you remember the punchline that follows. At Teen Vogue, “Dystopian Novel Authors Talk About the Current State of the World”.

…According to Merriam-Webster, postapocalyptic is defined as “existing or occurring after a catastrophically destructive disaster or apocalypse.” And according to Oxford, a dystopia is “an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or postapocalyptic.” What is the litany of our current global disasters if not… all that? From the perspective of these dystopian authors, have we arrived in a version of the postapocalyptic dystopia as they imagined it?

“Hell, no, we have not hit the ‘post’ part,” writer Catherine Hernandez tells Teen Vogue in an email interview. “I am quite certain that we will experience wave after wave of environmental disasters, pandemics, and conflict over resources until we understand that predatory capitalism will kill us all.”…

(14) NOVA. Gareth L. Powell reaches back to review a Delany classic: “Nova-Level Literary Fireworks”.

… Katin is particularly prone to verbalising the symbolism he sees around him. He wants to be a novelist but has yet to find a subject he deems worthy of his intellect and talent. Instead, he spends all his time pontificating about the nature of novels, recording endless notes to himself — notes we suspect he will never get around to making use of.

Katin provides us with a rather pompous view of the narrative as great art whereas, when Tyÿ reads the Tarot for Lorq, she interprets his quest (and the role of each crewmember) using the archetypal symbols on her cards, thereby highlighting the mythical context of the story for us. But, of all the characters, it is Mouse who seems closest to the vision of a traditional storyteller. Unencumbered by a need to interpret anything as other than what it is, he simply plays the old songs and tells the old stories, using his instrument to create all the fireworks and effects of mood and wonder that Katin could achieve in written form, if only he could stop theorising and actually commit words to paper….

(15) READ PLANET. Jeff Foust reviews a gigantic book about Martian exploration — “Review: Discovering Mars” – at The Space Review.

… William Sheehan, a history of astronomy, and planetary scientist Jim Bell start at the beginning: “Perhaps the earliest reference to Mars in human culture is as part of the Aboriginal Australians’ Dreamtime, a vision from time beyond memory” but which dates back perhaps more than 40,000 years, they write. From that prehistory they work through early observations of Mars to track its orbit, which over time provided the evidence to support a Sun-centered, rather than Earth-centered, model of the solar system.

The invention of the telescope in the early 1600s turned Mars from a wandering red star to a world of its own. Astronomers struggled to interpret those blurry images, but often defaulted to imprinting our knowledge of Earth onto Mars, be it interpretating areas as seas or regions of vegetation—not to mention the now-infamous “canals” seen by some in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Similarly, the era of spaceflight revolutionized our understand of Mars, killing off once and for all any thought of the planet being Earthlike. …

(16) DOUCET Q&A. “Fearless Sincerity: PW Talks with Julie Doucet” at Publishers Weekly.

In her new graphic memoir Time Zone J, Julie Doucet’s cartoon avatar comments, “I had vowed never to draw myself again.” The real-life Doucet, renowned as a pioneer of autobiographical comics since her earliest days as a 1990s zine maker, echoes the sentiment. “I just can’t believe I did that!” she says. “I had a story I wanted to tell, and I really did try to put it on paper in so many different ways, but it didn’t work out. The only way was to tell it in a comic book.”

…Asked if there are personal stories she finds difficult to tell, Doucet laughs and says, “Yes, and they’re not told.” She has a reputation with being brutally honest about her own life, but over the years she’s grown more protective of friends who feel uncomfortable about being included in her work. “For them, [the experiences] were not necessarily good memories,” she says. “So now I’m extremely careful about not putting anyone in my books who doesn’t want to be in them.”

(17) ACTING UP. Karen Joy Fowler is coming out next week with Booth, a novel about John Wilkes Booth and his family. It’s historical fiction, not sff or alternate history, but we thought you might like to know! Here’s Publishers Weekly’s review: “Fiction Book Review: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler. Putnam, $28 (480p)”.

(18) ANOTHER ALEXANDRIA. A look at the 2005 fire that destroyed most of the Aardman animations archive. “The Fire That Destroyed Wallace & Gromit’s History”.

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Batman (1989) Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, Ryan George says that when Michael Keaton was picked to be Batman in the 1989 film, he was only known for Mr. Mom, which could lead to “unnecessary arguments about Batman casting for decades to come.  Also the producer notes that Bruce Wayne gets Vicki Vale so drunk that she passes out and then gropes around in her bra for a roll of film, “and he’s supposed to be the hero?”

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Chris Barkley, David Doering, Jeffrey Smith, Rich Lynch, Will R., John A Arkansawyer, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/2/22 This Scroll Obscures My View Of Pixels

  1. First, and a good evening to all. I do hope you’re having a fine one whatever it is that you are doing.

    I can’t believe that Philip K. Dick has been dead forty years. He’s one of our best writers ever.

  2. 10) shouldn’t that be jan howard finder, like andrew j. offutt and e. e. cummings?

  3. I’ve been waiting years to get a Space Cases DVD. Loved that show.

  4. 9) Spaces Cases was a whole lot of fun! Great writing, and some fun guest stars.

    I’d kept the video video tapes I’d recorded, with the intention of digitizing them, for many years–but when they showed up on YouTube, I realized that someone had done the work for me.

    The first episode is at

    John

  5. (19) It’s nice that Pitch Meetings are back (they took a few weeks off recently for the first time in several years).

  6. I am reading, more slowly than I would other books, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C.A. Fletcher, whom I had never heard of before. Recommended by a friend in response to a plea for books with small dogs who are not treated as jokes or toys. It’s a post-apocalyptic story of a boy setting off across a mostly depopulated Britain (so far; there are hints we might reach France or even Switzerland), with one of his little terriers, on a mission to retrieve his other little terrier, stolen by a charming and ruthless thief.

    I wouldn’t have gotten past “post-apocalyptic” if I didn’t have solid grounds to know this friend understands my limits, and this has proven wise. It’s long (400 pages), and it’s still a post-apocalyptic novel, so it’s not a fast read, but I really am enjoying it.

  7. Michael J. Lowrey says shouldn’t that be jan howard finder, like andrew j. offutt and e. e. cummings?

    Both ISFDB and Wiki had it as Jan Howard Finder, so I did that way. Why should that name be uncapitalised?

  8. Just as long as there are no Scroll shattering kabooms 🙂

    2) I am now imagining Brandon Sanderson in the “Egg Chair”.

    5) Gareth does have BDOs in a number of his novels, including his newest, STARS AND BONES

  9. John Lorentz: Re: Space Cases on YouTube — Cat and I are concerned that’s a pirate copy, which is why we didn’t link to it ourselves.

  10. Michael J. Lowrey: That was my memory, too. I didn’t make the change originally because all over Fanac.org they have it capitalized. But now if I dig deeper — looking at the progress reports from when he was Worldcon GoH — they have jan howard finder in lower case. So I’m making the change now. Thanks for the prompt.

  11. (2) While the Kickstarter has “slowed down” a bit (relatively speaking), I wouldn’t be surprised to see it break that record…

    (3) Ugh yet again. Is it just me, or weren’t SF writers in the USSR known for using the trappings of SF to sort of secretly criticize the government (because the government didn’t take SF seriously)? Maybe they’re taken more seriously now, so they can’t do that… But some of them sound, like Dumpster fires anyway.

    (10) I really adored “Ghost Story” and want to read it again. I also liked “Julia,” although you don’t hear about it as often.

    I think it was just 2020 when I learned Emma Straub is Peter Straub’s daughter!

  12. Here’s the deal with Anniversary video links. I check very carefully to see if they aren’t bootlegs. If I cannot determine they are not, I don’t link to them.

    There is increasingly more legal material up but I’d like to avoid us linking to those that aren’t there legally. We wouldn’t pirate books by authors or music by artists, and this amounts to the same thing.

    Space Cases isn’t currently up on Nickelodeon. Although they do carry Star Trek: Prodigy there which is also carried on Paramount +.

  13. Gareth is one of the writers I support on Patreon. My favorite work by him is the Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy which would make an awesome set of films. And yes, his new novel is most excellent.

  14. Fancyclopedia 3 says of the wombat, somewhat snarkily, that “he also affected writing his name in all lower case”. So it’s not just a delusion shared by Mikes.

  15. Michael J. Lowrey: By jove, that’s exactly what they say.

    Made me wonder what they say about Forrest J (no period ) Ackerman. And it’s exactly that!

    (he affected no period after the “J”)

  16. 7) I don’t think Epic Games really understands Bandcamp. An NYT quote from Epic seems to indicate that the owners of Fortnite want to use Bandcamp as a platform for owner-created content, but there is no way Bandcamp will boost their efforts to fight Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Definitely bad news.

  17. 1) I have to be in a certain mood when reading Philip K. Dick, with the exception of “The Man in the High Castle,” which was an excellent, straight-shooting (well-aimed, not from the hip) alternate history yarn. However Dick may have perceived reality at any given time, he had something solid and no-nonsense to say about it. “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

    It’s too bad he didn’t live long enough to write a script for Star Trek: Voyager. It would have been a kick to watch “Fun with Dick and Janeway.”

  18. Mike,

    I understand–that didn’t cross my mind when I posted the link. (We’ve been somewhat distracted by a very ill cat.)

    John

  19. (5) Matrioshka brains were proposed by the transhumanist Robert J. Bradbury, not Ray Bradbury. (As far as I know they weren’t related.) The error is in Powell’s post.

  20. 2) Sanderson Kickstarter: As I write this, I just went to the page and watched the pledges tick over the $18,100,000 mark. You can go there and watch the total rise in real time. I think the chance of this one not hitting the #1 spot are pretty slim.

    9) Space Cases: I guessed that Staite was the one with the rainbow wig, and looks like I was right.
    I never watched the show, but I remember it had a little unofficial crossover with Babylon 5: Peter David wrote an episode in which Earthgov put in a gift shop with merch themed around the series characters. Peter also sent JMS as a gift, a custom teddy bear with a jersey saying “Bearbalon 5”. So JMS added a scene where the trigger for closing down the gift shop was Captain Sheridan finding a teddy bear in it with his initials on it. Sheridan closed down the shop…and sent the teddy bear out the airlock…

    …and then a little while later on Space Cases the crew finds a teddy bear floating in space, and ask “What kind of monster would space a teddy bear?” The bear turns out to be a booby trap, put there by a race called “the Straczyn”.
    (Getting details from websites here, especially the Space Cases one, since as previously noted I never watched it.)

    As I recall it, JMS was planning some further “revenge”, but then he found out that a convention organizer had avoided scheduling him and Peter David together, having somehow gotten the impression that they had some kind of real rivalry going as opposed to just playing silly games. So he shut things down.

  21. 10) Cowboys and Aliens gets dumped on a lot, but it had cowboys and aliens, and I was satisfied. (It also had ejective consonants and scenes that were clearly filmed in the vicinity of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, so bonus.)

  22. Wombat was my Smof-Father who introduced me to the finer points of con-running as a Founder of Albacon and it’s predecessor LastCon. I still use pads of his personal stationary when smofing, and his name is de-capitalized there too, so that’s the way we do it.
    jan was nicknamed Wombat in part because of his intense love for the Australian marsupial. At Albacon we display a blown-up photo of his finally meeting one in person during his pilgrimage to the Land Down Under.
    (Shout out to “Otter” LinD.)

    OzStalk!

  23. So although it has not been officially announced, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award has now been phased out. It’s been two years since it was last Awarded and apparently the J. Wayne & Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of SF made the decision not to Award it again. Has anyone here heard news on this?

  24. Rob Thornton says I did a deep dive with Google and according to Christopher Kittrick, this seems to be the status of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award:

    “”Best of Pandemic” Award Finalists
    (and new award name)
    to be announced Fall 2021?

    http://christopher-mckitterick.com/Sturgeon-Campbell/campbell.htm

    Huh. Ok, let’s keep in that Christopher Mckitterick is the former Director of the James Gunn Center as Mike as reported on the new Director here. He’s now gone from there and she apparently has no interest in this Award.

    Though I do find it interesting that he had announced that they were in the process of renaming it!

  25. @ Cat Eldridge

    Sorry about that. I totally missed the change of position and McKitterick did not even mention his (now former) position on that page. I did not know he was connected to the award but this was all I could find anywhere (thus “seems”). And apologies to Christopher for misspelling his name.

  26. Did your Googling not return File 770’s posts on McKitterick’s new job, the comments I elicited from the new director of the Gunn Center, together with a summary of what is known about the Campbell? I don’t understand why there’s a discussion here trying to catch up with what I already reported.

    What we don’t have is any statement from McKitterick about the Campbell that isn’t almost a year old.

  27. @ Mike Glyer:

    No, it did not. I searched on the award name and nothing else. The results did not have anything from File 770 up to the first three search pages, else I would have modified my post. There was nothing but noise except for the McKetterick post. Mea culpa.

  28. “We would love to keep the Sturgeon Award at the Gunn Center, and are currently negotiating the terms with the Foundation. We are also still working out the management of the Campbell Award.”

    This quote from incoming director Giselle Anatol in the December 2021 update here makes me think they are hoping to pass the Campbell Memorial award to Chris McKitterick’s new organization, the Ad Astra Center for Science Fiction and the Speculative Imagination.

  29. There are seven and seventy styles of constructing pixel files,
    And every single one of them is right.

  30. To some extent, Phil Dick’s career was revivified after a long period of no new published writing by Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said winning the Campbell award in 1975, when the award was in its third year and the late Mr. Campbell wasn’t yet widely considered disreputable.

    I was at a tiny diner (counter only, no tables) in center-city Philadelphia, the NW corner of 19th and Chestnut I think, when I got the news – the New York Times obituary, to be precise – about 2.5 column inches, concluding with this one-sentence paragraph: “He was married five times and had three children.”

  31. rcade says This quote from incoming director Giselle Anatol in the December 2021 update here makes me think they are hoping to pass the Campbell Memorial award to Chris McKitterick’s new organization, the Ad Astra Center for Science Fiction and the Speculative Imagination.

    That could well be, but neither the Gunn Center nor his new organisation has said anything that would hint that this is happening. My sources say that folks involved in the present Award have been told nothing about its future, so this certainly wasn’t this discussed with them.

    Now reading: Rumer Godden’s Cromartie vs. the God Shiva, a rather neat little mystery with the Lord God Shiva as the aggrieved party.

  32. That could well be, but neither the Gunn Center nor his new organisation has said anything that would hint that this is happening.

    True, but I wouldn’t expect any comments until everything’s decided.

    When a university that had one science fiction center now has an ex-director starting a second science fiction center, that sounds like a situation requiring people who spent a lot of their character build points on the Bureacracy (Academic) skill.

    I worked in academia for three months and fled in terror.

    The new Ad Astra Center is very active on Twitter.

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