(1) ROBERTS SUES SERRUYA. Nora Roberts is taking #CopyPasteCris to court –U.S. News and World Report has the story: “Nora Roberts Sues Brazilian Author, Cites ‘Multi-Plagiarism'”.
Best-selling novelist Nora Roberts is suing a Brazilian writer for copyright infringement, alleging that Cristiane Serruya has committed “multi-plagiarism” on a “rare and scandalous” level.
In papers filed Wednesday morning in Rio de Janeiro, where Serruya lives, Roberts called Serruya’s romance books “a literary patchwork, piecing together phrases whose form portrays emotions practically identical to those expressed in the plaintiff’s books.” Citing Brazilian law, Roberts is asking for damages at 3,000 times the value of the highest sale price for any Serruya work mentioned in the lawsuit.
“If you plagiarize, I will come for you,” Roberts told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview. “If you take my work, you will pay for it and I will do my best to see you don’t write again.”
Roberts added that she would donate any damages from the lawsuit to a literacy program in Brazil.
In a telephone interview Wednesday with the AP, Serruya called herself a “fanatic” of Roberts’ work. But she denied copying her and said she had not received notification of any lawsuit. Serruya added that she often used ghost writers for parts of her books and “could not guarantee that no part was copied” by them….
… Lawyer Saulo Daniel Lopez, a specialist in authors’ rights, said a case like this can take 5 to 10 years to be decided in Brazilian courts. If plagiarism is proven, Serruya could be forced to pay from the proceeds of her books, Lopez said.
(2) GUILD V. AGENTS. Jody Simon gives a litigation update in “Winter Is Coming: Writers and Agents Hunker Down for a Battle of Attrition”.
- The WGA has filed suit against the ATA and the Big Four agencies (WME, CAA, ICM and UTA), alleging that the practice of collecting package commissions constitutes breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition under state and federal law.
- The entire ecosystem under which writers found jobs is upended. Under the California Talent Agencies Act (TAA), only licensed talent agents can “procure” employment for writers. The WGA has issued a statement delegating authority to managers and lawyers to find work for writers notwithstanding the statute, but many (including the ATA) question the union’s authority to do so. The WGA has offered to indemnify lawyers and managers against TAA claims. So far, however, no one has taken it up on this offer.
- Lawyers, but especially managers are in a tight spot. They have writer clients to service without agencies to back them up and provide cover. They can procure employment for their clients in violation of the TAA, at risk of being required to disgorge any commissions received if their client files a claim with the State Labor Commissioner. Meanwhile, the big agencies have made it clear that they will not look kindly upon managers and lawyers who encroach upon their territory, and will remember who their friends are when this dispute is finally resolved.
- No one knows how open writing assignments will be filled, since this was a central role of the agencies. The WGA has set up an online database to facilitate matchmaking, and showrunners are falling back on their personal networks. These are early days, however. There will undoubtedly be loss of efficiency in staffing but how serious it will be and who will suffer remains to be seen.
(3) A VIEW OF THE HIMALAYAS. Ursula Vernon continues to post Twitter threads with photos and comments from her adventures in Tibet. Starting here,
(4) NYRSF READINGS. “Black Gods, Black Drums, Black Magic” is the theme of May’s installment of the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series, assembled by guest host Cam Rob. Phenderson Djèlí Clark and Yvonne P. Chireau will headline.
For most Americans, the historical and mystical dimensions of the African American religious experience remains unexplored, secret, long hidden. This place of heroines, gods, danger, and true things is a vital, living piece of our story. But to venture forth, require guides. Today, we will follow two griots who know the way.
This will be a reading, a seminar, and a discussion with professors Phenderson Djèlí Clark and Yvonne P. Chireau. Phenderson will read from his new novella, Black God’s Drum, and Professor Chireau will discuss the Black American magical traditions to give us historical context as well as read from her book, Black Magic. This will be followed by discussion and Q&A from the audience.
Yvonne Chireau is a professor of Religion at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Black Magic: African American Religion and Conjuring Tradition (2003) and co-editor of Black Zion: African American Religions and Judaism (1999) with Nathaniel Deutsch. She is interested in black religions in the US, African-based religions such as Vodou, and the intersection between magic and religion in America. She blogs subjects having to do with Voodoo and Africana religions at Academic Hoodoo.com
Phenderson Djéli Clark is the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon nominated author of the novellas The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth and Clockwork Cairo. He is founding member of the FIYAH: A Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons.
The readings take place Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 6:45-9 p.m. at the Brooklyn Commons Café, 388 Atlantic Bl., Brooklyn, NY 11217-1703. $7 suggested donation.
(5) KSR COMING TO UCSD. Free and open to the public is “San Diego 2049: Closing Keynote with Kim Stanley Robinson and Team Project Competition” on May 22 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) at Robinson Auditorium, UC San Diego. RSVP here.
Kim Stanley Robinson–the multiple award-winning science fiction writer, climate change expert, and UC San Diego alum–joins us to deliver the closing keynote to San Diego 2049, sharing his insights into the future of the border region and how the practice of science fictional worldbuilding can help us imagine–and impact–issues of vital importance to individuals, our communities, our species, and life on planet Earth.
This evening will also feature the final projects of several UC San Diego graduate student teams who have been participating in the San Diego 2049 series and imagining their own future scenarios for the region.
Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, and in 2017 he was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Red Moon, New York 2140, the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed Forty Signs of Rain, The Years of Rice and Salt and 2312. In 2008, he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, which is hosted each summer at UC San Diego. He is an alumnus of both UC San Diego and the Clarion Workshop and lives in Davis, California.
(6) DIVERSE SFF CREATORS. Texas A&M University hosts “’The Stars Are Ours’: Infinite Diversities in Science Fiction and Fantasy” through September 20, 2019 at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives.
Items from the Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection provide a window into the diversities of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture that have always been a part of science fiction and fantasy.
…Some of the many books represented in the exhibit are The Female Man, Dune and Memoirs of a Spacewoman. Explore the arts and visual media Cushing has displayed with posters from famous movies such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman and TV series like Star Trek:Discovery and Luke Cage. Album covers from David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) are on display as well.
“What both this exhibit and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Cushing Library hope to show visitors is simply this: science fiction and fantasy and horror, in their abounding variations, are part of our shared cultural heritage,” said Jeremy Brett, curator of the exhibit. “They are not, nor have they ever been, the property of any one class of creator or fan.”
Also included in the exhibition are the 1984 Grand Master Award and the 1998 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement for famed female sci-fi and fantasy writer Andre Norton. She was the first woman to be made a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Tananarive Due gave an opening talk on March 29.
(7) GENE WOLFE IN DEPTH. There’s been ample praise for Brian Phillips’ profile “Gene Wolfe Turned Science Fiction Into High Art” at The Ringer.
Mary is still in touch with the Dietsches, the Wolfes’ old neighbors from Peoria. Rosemary Dietsch, Gene’s childhood playmate, comes to Texas for a visit. Gene and Rosemary discover that they still like each other. Before long, they’re engaged. Rosemary is Catholic, so before the wedding, Gene starts studying Catholic doctrine. For a while now, maybe because of his war experience, he’s been thinking about suffering and compassion and how human beings can be better. Catholicism resonates both with his sense of humanity’s fallenness and with his sense of the dedicated, lifelong commitment required for each individual’s redemption. Eventually, he decides to convert. He and Rosemary get married in 1956, two clean-cut kids smiling postwar American smiles. He tells people she saved him.
(8) NIGHTCAP. In 1982, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe appeared together on the Nightcap cable TV talk show.
Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and Gene Wolfe discuss science-fiction writing with Studs Terkel and Calvin Trillin on the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS), the predecessor of today’s A&E (Arts and Entertainment Network). The program was called “Nightcap: Conversations on the Arts and Letters.”
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born April 27, 1901 — Frank Belknap Long. He’s best known for his short stories, including contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award. (Died 1994).
One – that’s it!
(10) COMICS SECTION.
- Oh, those aliens are such practical jokers – Reality Check.
(11) ON THE BUTTON. Cora Buhlert tweeted a photo of this Dublin 2019 memento:
(12) MY PETRONA. The 2019 Petrona Award shortlist for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year has been announced. In spite of the name, this is a British award given out at CrimeFest Bristol and is one of the comparatively few genre awards for translated fiction.
The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.
- THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)
- THE WHISPERER by Karin Fossum, tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)
- THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)
- THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jónasson, tr. Victoria Cribb (Penguin Random House; Iceland)
- RESIN by Ane Riel, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Doubleday; Denmark)
- BIG SISTER by Gunnar Staalesen, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)
The winning title will be announced at CrimeFest on May 11.
The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a
cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed
panel at CrimeFest 2020.
(13) SEE VERTLIEB ON TV. Steve Vertlieb’s star turn is available for online viewing —
I want to thank popular comedian and radio personality Grover Silcox for inviting me to share a delightful segment of his new Counter Culture television interview series which aired February 19th on WLVT TV, Channel 39, Public Television in Allentown. We sat together at the famed “Daddypops Diner” in Hatboro, Pennsylvania where the wonderful series is filmed, and talked about Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi…, Lon Chaney, Sr., and Lon Chaney, Jr. at Universal Pictures, as well as Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing at Hammer Film Productions, and the long, distinguished history of Horror Movies. For anyone who didn’t see the program during its initial broadcast, you can catch my episode on line by accessing the link below. You’ll find my segment in the middle of Episode No. 3.
Click here for Episode 3.
(14) SHIELD YOUR EYES. Dead State didn’t think the name’s too offensive for a headline… “Tennessee movie theater censors the title of the movie ‘Hellboy’ because it’s too offensive”.
(15) HEAR NEWITZ. In episode 22 ofInto the Impossible, the Clarke Center’s podcast, they welcome Annalee Newitz, journalist and fiction author, and co-host of the podcast series Our Opinions are Correct.
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award and nominee for the Nebula and Locus awards, her ability to use her scientific knowledge in both her fiction and nonfiction works is something that makes Newitz’s work remarkable. Dr. Brian Keating speaks to her about creative process behind her newest novel Autonomous, as well as the forthcoming The Future of Another Timeline, and more. Enjoy!
And if you’re curious about her talk at UC San Diego, “Your Dystopia Is Canceled,” take a few minutes over at the Clarke Center YouTube channel:
(16) SPECULATIVE STUDIES. In the recent issue of American Studies, four new books of scholarship in speculative studies were reviewed — including Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-making through Science Fiction and Activism by UC San Diego professor and Clarion Workshop Faculty Director Shelley Streeby — giving a view of the rapidly growing field. Read the full review here.
But speculative fiction studies, though it overlaps with scholarship on science fiction, is a different animal: broader, more capacious, less concerned with technical literary and generic questions. While some have tried to demarcate the bounds of speculative fiction—with Robert Heinlein and Margaret Atwood proposing the most famous definitions—others find the ambiguity of the term attractive.2 In Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times, Bahng is “less interested in literary taxonomies than in the various modalities of writing and reading that can alter relations between writer and reader, shift ways of thinking, and produce different kinds of subjects”; she sees potential in speculative fiction’s “promiscuity and disregard for the proper” (13, 16). Similarly, Streeby embraces the term speculative fiction in Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism “because it is less defined by boundary-making around the word ‘science,’ stretching to encompass related modes such as fantasy and horror, forms of knowledge in excess of white Western science, and more work authored by women and people of color” (20). In Commander’s Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic, Afro-Atlantic speculation exceeds science fiction, or even Afro-futurism, which Commander regards as only one “subgenre of Afro-speculation of the twentieth and twenty-first century that is concerned with the artistic reimagining of the function of science and technology in the construction of utopic black futures”
(17) ALIEN STAGE PLAY. Mr. Sci-Fi, Marc Zicree, posted “My Favorite Moment” from the high school performance of Alien. (Tough audience – applauding the chest-burster scene!) Zicree adds —
And let’s give hats off to the writer Dan O’Bannon for thinking this up in the first place. Nothing like it had ever been seen before.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Cora Buhlert, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, Steve Vertlieb, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]
3) Those views Ursula is experiencing are jaw dropping
(14) As Sartre said “Heck is other people.”
(14) Photo by Matthew Q. Nanes (@matthewqnanes), who is somewhat annoyed that his photo is going viral with no one crediting him.
Heck has climate control, a buffet of hot dishes, and comfy sofas.
(14) in my country Malaysia in 2004, Hellboy was released as Super Sapiens. I didn’t watch in the cinema so I don’t know if the sequel was named Super Sapiens vs the Golden Army, I think not. Not sure if this 2019 reboot is released as Hellboy but definitely not Super Sapiens 3, or SS2019. My Google fu fails for 15 year old contemporary accounts-only found
Good job Malaysian Censorship Board, actual name translated.
(3) It looks so arid and incredible.
I’ve tried to order some frozen heck several times, but they always spout these ridiculous requirements for it to be available.
8) Talk about All Yesterday’s Parties! Asimov, Ellison, and Wolfe, yes indeed. That’s a hoedown right there. But put them with Studs Terkel and Calvin Trillin? That’s thrillin’!
2) If I had a practical way to support the writers in this labor struggle, I would do so. The packaging rip-off is fractally wrong.
What’s this “do my best to see you don’t write again” bullshit about? I mean, I don’t see any evidence Cristiane Serruya was doing any writing in the first place.
(14) Ghost in the Sheck.
@7: that’s quite a profile. I still don’t get most of Wolfe — my attitude isn’t even as coherent as that of a well-known editor/appreciator who said that the basic unit of construction of a Wolfe story is the trapdoor — but ISTM that the spillover from his work has immensely stretched and enriched the field. And all this strangeness from someone who was personally genial and approachable, with streaks of humor much less abstruse than his books.
@John A. Arkansawyer: [snortle].
Teetering on an edge where I’m not sure if the humor animating me will come across as humorous, so I just won’t.
Actually much better at this point, but still irregularly, and needing naps after every task.
There is a Ted Chiang story in today’s New York Times (4/28/2019). This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill.
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2) Most of the discussion I’ve heard about this involves people writing for TV shows and movies, but a recent Facebook post by Stephen King has me wondering if this affects novel writers as well? King posted an image of the letter he sent to his agent saying that, until this matter is resolved, he can no longer be represented by said agent. (He also noted that he feels bad about this, since the agent has done great work for him for 30+ years, but he and his family are union supporters.)
Nina: wondering if this affects novel writers as well?
King does a huge amount of work for TV, some as a scriptwriter, and some where his written work is adapted for TV by himself or by others. Both types require agent involvement.
I helped someone at Orbit Books get a high-quality copy of N. K. Jemisin’s Hugo acceptance video for an event in her honor and she sent me Heather Child’s near-future SF novel Everything About You and three other books as a thank-you.
I just finished the novel in eight days (fast for me) and thought it was pretty great.
Here’s my low-to-no spoiler, 1,000-character GoodReads review:
An engrossing novel that explores where Amazon Echo, Facebook, AI and VR are taking us. I kept waiting for something big to happen in this near-future science fiction thriller, but I learned later it already had and I didn’t recognize the significance. A twentysomething grieving for her missing and presumed dead sister begins using technology called a smartface that can mimic the personality of anyone through data mining their entire digital footprint, producing an effect so compelling that people aren’t sure whether an idea came from their own brains or the tech. Freya, a London resident who has fallen off the affluent career track because of a phobia to VR, can’t get past the loss of her foster sister Ruby, who disappears during a dangerous late-night walk to retrieve her from a party after they argued. Child has clearly spent a lot of time contemplating the pervasive and oppressive places modern tech could be sending us. I only spent a week there as a reader and I’m pretty unnerved.
April 27th is Casey Kasem’s birthday. He did a lot of voice work for cartoons like Scooby-Doo, Battle of the Planets, and most importantly Merry in the TV movie version of The Return of the King. Plus the whole, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars” thing.
It’s also Jack Klugman’s birthday. Four appearances on the original Twilight Zone. Is that a record? No, but it’s pretty impressive.
It’s also Ace Frehley’s birthday. I was never a fan of Kiss, but I was just thinking that all of the original persona were genre: Demon, Starchild, Spaceman and SJW Credential. Plus they had a comic book (after appearing in Howard the Duck) and battled a phantom in an amusement park.
I wanna Pixel Scroll all nite and work on my spelling every day.
Heck has no fury like a woman scorned.
@Jack Lint: Kiss has had quite a few comic books recently, actually.
@David Goldfarb But how many involved using their own blood?
Not surprised. When it comes to marketing and self-promotion, no one beats Kiss. (Or should it be KISS?) What other band offers their fans themed coffins?
Pix, I hear you scrolling, but I can’t come home right now
Talk to Michecke for your female revolution.
Tom Gauld (and The Guardian) had Some Useful New Words for Readers
Is this in the print edition only? Cause I just checked the website and I can’t find it.
At least they didn’t show the movie title as “H-e-double hockey-sticks Boy.”
The original name for Kiss was Fuck, but according to Gene Simmons they toned it down to “the closest thing that was acceptable”.
You scroll us wild, we’ll pixel ya crazy.
I don’t much like Kiss*, but I do love them, because there is no reason it can’t go on forever. The guys without the makeup on are just guys. The band is made up of whoever is wearing the makeup (and has the licensing rights). Centuries later, Kiss and The Tempest might be a science fiction double feature.
@Charon Dunn: Oddly enough, when I sang in church today, I changed the lyric “ain’t been laid since your last nervous breakdown” to “ain’t been kissed since your last nervous breakdown”. I didn’t do it to make it acceptable, exactly; I did it so as not to distract people. I think it worked.
*I did have the comic with their blood in it, but I think it it died at Kent State.
I need a new Audible audiobook on my phone because I’m two hours from finishing The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie.
This book has the greatest narrator I’ve ever heard — the British actor Steven Pacey. The novel is hilarious and has at least a half-dozen viewpoint characters from all strata of society. Pacey nails them all. Between Abercrombie’s writing and Pacey’s performance, I’ve never laughed as much experiencing a book since my first time through Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You can hear a short sample here, but it’s not as representative of his talent as I’d choose.
Because I’d rather read a book than listen to it, I usually pick audiobooks I otherwise might not have read that have a great narrator. Sometimes I pick a book solely because of the narrator!
Does anyone have any audiobook recommendations? SF/F is preferred of course!
So I recently learned that Grimwood’s Replay is available as an audiobook (and various paper formats) but not an ebook. Disappointing and surprising.
The Chiang story was definitely in the print edition of today’s NY Times. Very nicely laid out, too. I’ll check the paper’s app too just to see if it’s there.
“I wanna rock and Scroll all night and Pixel every day”
The Ted Chiang story looks like it’s print-only. #disappointed
But it’s supposedly from a new Ted Chiang Collection.
(Rushes off to place an order…and done!)
I always thought “Kiss” was punk-as-heck when I was little. Probably because that very string of characters, when translated from Swedish, ends up being the English “wee” (as in “urine”, rather as in “small”).
In Today’s Washington Post, Gene Wolfe is credited for devising the method that allowed Pringle’s potato chips to be made.
@Lisa Goldstein: Heck has no fury like a woman scorned.
Sorry to be pedantic, Lisa, but if you’re going to Bowdlerise Congreve, that should be “Nor heck a fury, like a woman scorn’d”.