(1) BLAST FROM THE PRESENT. Gideon Marcus reports: “Good news! Literally — Galactic Journey (me, Lorelei, Janice, etc.) was featured in the Times of Israel (though the bit about Kaua’i is now up in the air!).” “Historian and family live in groovy 1965 bubble and do the time warp, again”.
Marcus is a 45-year-old space historian and science fiction aficionado from Vista, a city of around 100,000 less than an hour north of San Diego. He introduces himself as The Traveler, but for those unsure of exactly where he travels, a pasteboard next to the dais declares: “Time Travel — Just Ask Me.”
Many who attend his presentations at science fiction and fantasy conventions, public libraries, coffee houses, corporate auditoriums, and other venues actually do ask, Marcus tells The Times of Israel. They’re particularly interested, he says, in the way he bridges the present with the world of 55 years ago.
(2) WHY WE CAN’T HAVE INTERSTELLAR NICE THINGS.
(3) LIBERTYCON STILL GO. As of St. Patrick’s Day this was their status on Facbook.
As of now, with LibertyCon being three months away, we do not anticipate a cancellation of the convention.
We, like every ConCom around the world (for it is not flat), will be monitoring the global health crisis and will be following the national guidelines as they are updated.
(4) LISTEN TO THE DOCTORS.
(5) ELFQUEST. “Get The Elfquest Coloring Book–For Free!”.
Everyone is doing their best to stay healthy and sane in these trying times as we face the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Remember the Kickstarter campaign that got our three gorgeous art books funded? One of the perks was an ElfQuest coloring book, full of wonderful Wendy Pini black-and-white line artwork. This book was only available through the Kickstarter campaign and is now rare as zwoot brains.
We’re now making it available to you here, for free, as a PDF file for you to print out and color to your heart’s content. We hope it’ll ease some of the cabin fever we’re all feeling – and that you’ll share your creations on social media.
(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.
- March 25, 1956 — Indestructible Man premiered. Based on a screenplay written by Vy Russell and Sue Dwiggins, it was produced and directed by Jack Pollexfen, and starred Lon Chaney, Jr., Ross Elliott and Robert Shayne. In some areas of the States, it was a double bill with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It wasn’t at all liked by critics at the time, and the audience over at Rotten Tomatoes currently gives it an eight percent rating. You can see it here, and you can also see it with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary thisaway. (MST3 version)
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born March 25, 1916 — Jean Rogers. She played Dale Arden in 1936’s Flash Gordon serial and again in 1938’s Flash Gordon Goes To Mars serial. She’d be replaced by Carol Hughes for the third, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, when she said she wasn’t interested in doing it. She would go on to co-star with Boris Karloff in the horror film Night Key. (Died 1991.)
- Born March 25, 1927 — Sylvia Anderson. Film producer, writer, voice actress and costume designer, best known for her collaborations with Gerry Anderson on such Supermarionation series as Thunderbirds, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray. (Died 2016.)
- Born March 25, 1930 — Patrick Troughton. The Second Doctor of who I’ll confess I’m not the most ardent fan of. The Fourth Doctor is my Doctor. Troughton had a long genre resume starting with Hamlet and Treasure Island early on before preceding to such works as Scars of Dracula and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell later on. Telly wise, I see him on R.U.R. Radius playing a robot, on a Fifties Robin Hood show being that character, and on The Feathered Serpent. This is children’s series set in pre-Columbian Mexico and starring Patrick Troughton as the scheming High Priest Nasca. H’h. (Died 1987.)
- Born March 25, 1939 — D. C. Fontana. Script writer and story editor, best remembered for her work on the originalTrek franchise. She also worked on Genesis II, Logan’s Run, The Six Million Dollar Man and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Her final work was writing an episode for the fanfic known as Star Trek: New Voyages. (Died 2019.)
- Born March 25, 1947 — Paul Levinson, 73. The Silk Code novel by him would garner the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999. It was the first novel in a series of novels and short stories featuring NYPD forensic detective Dr. Phil D’Amato who first appeared in Levinson’s “The Chronology Protection Case” novelette. You can purchase it from the usual digital sources.
- Born March 25, 1947 — Elton John, 73. According to EoSF, “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long Long Time)” is based on the Bradbury “Rocket Man” short story. And they also note that “Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)” (on Rock of the Westies, 1975) is a catchy song about the childhood taste in comics of the song’s lyricist Bernie Taupin.
- Born March 25, 1958 — Amy Pascal, 61. She gets Birthday honors for being responsible for bringing Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse to the screen. She also produced Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home as well the Ghostbusters film that’s best ignored. She is producing the yet untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel.
- Born March 25, 1964 — Kate DiCamillo, 56. She is one of only six people to win two Newbery Medals, for her novels The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses. I’m not familiar with the latter work, but the former is a wonderful read that got turned into a remarkably good film as well.
(8) LEAVE YOU HANGING. “Coronavirus: The Walking Dead to pause on penultimate episode”.
Fans of The Walking Dead must wait for the finale of the current series after producers revealed they had not been able to finish it because of Covid-19.
That means season 10 will end with its penultimate episode next month – but they aim to air the planned finale as a special episode later in the year.
AMC, which makes the zombie drama, said the pandemic had made it “impossible” to finish the episode on time.
Season 10 started airing last October and will now wrap up on 5 April.
“Current events have unfortunately made it impossible to complete post-production of The Walking Dead season 10 finale, so the current season will end with its 15th episode on April 5,” the network said.
When it does eventually arrive, the programme-makers have promised the finale will be “an epic, action-packed thriller with plenty of surprises”.
(9) ANOTHER DELAY. “‘Wonder Woman’ And ‘In The Heights’ Films Delayed During Coronavirus Outbreak”.
With movie theaters closed around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, Warner Brothers is postponing the openings of some of its big summer movies, including Wonder Woman 1984. It was originally set for June 5. Now, it will hit theaters on Aug. 14.
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot tweeted, “In these dark and scary times, I am looking forward to a brighter future ahead where we can share the power of cinema together again.” Warner Brothers is also postponing its animated movie Scoob, the thriller Malignant and its film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical In the Heights.
Conservation experts are calling for urgent action to protect our closest living relatives, the great apes, from the threat of coronavirus.
New measures are needed to reduce the risk of wild gorillas, chimps and orangutans encountering the virus, scientists warn in a letter in Nature.
Habitat loss and poaching are big threats to the survival of great apes, but viruses are also a concern.
Scientists say the current outbreak warrants the utmost caution.
Infectious disease is now listed among the top three threats to some great ape groups.
“We do not know what the effect of the virus on them is and that means we have to take the precautionary principle and reduce the risk that they will get the virus,” said Prof Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University, UK, who is a co-signatory of the letter.
“That means halting tourism, which is happening in several countries already, reducing research, being very cautious with reintroduction programmes, but also potentially halting infrastructure and extractive projects in great ape habitats which bring people in closer contact with great apes and thus potentially spread this virus to them.”
[Thanks to Microtherion, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes o File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]