(1) NEBULA WEEKEND WITH THE QUEEN. Read “The Merqueen’s Report: Nebula Awards Weekend, 2018” by Cat Rambo.
…At five, the always cool Monica Valentinelli came to my hotel room and helped me begin the transformation into Mer queen. I had tweeted about the dress months before, at which point my friend Kris Dikeman said it needed a seashell tiara, Nick Hyle then volunteered a trident, and by the time of the Nebulas I was a little worried it would turn out to be a costume instead of an outfit and instead it was GLORIOUS and I felt like the belle of the underwater ball….
…Sunday morning was time for my favorite part and another one I will take full credit for implementing, unlike most of the other stuff: the volunteer breakfast. We had close to fifty people show up this time, which was the third so far, and people seemed to happy to get their fancy certificates (suitable for framing!) and get a chance to talk with each other. I told the joke I stole from Joe Haldeman about SFWA, like soylent green, being made of people once again and a good time was had by all….
(2) HEAR ABOUT SFF ARCHITECTURE. Henry Lien will be one of the participants in “Imagined Cities: Innovative Use of Architecture in Film and Literature” in LA on June 2.
The Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles will host a conversation between renowned architect Jimenez Lai and children’s fantasy author Henry Lien entitled Imagined Cities: Innovative Uses of Architecture in Film and Literature at its gallery in Westwood on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The conversation is in connection with the Taiwan Academy’s current exhibition Rooftops & Backyards: Expanding Taipei & L.A., which explores the construction of “architecture on top of architecture”, and multi-purpose use of properties as ways that cities deal with the issue of limited space in densely populated urban areas. The Imagined Cities event explores such themes in fictional depictions of cities.
“From Blade Runner to Howl’s Moving Castle, film and literature have historically embraced innovative uses of architecture,” says Henry Lien, the author of Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword. “Science fiction and fantasy are particularly effective in expanding notions of beauty in buildings and cities, which becomes relevant as cities experiment with new ways to solve population density issues.”
Jimenez Lai, the founding partner of Los Angeles-based studio Bureau Spectacular and the curator of Rooftops & Backyards: Expanding Taipei & L.A., hopes to explore the universal issue of limited space in densely populated urban areas through the dialogue and the exhibition.
According to Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, the exhibition demonstrates an interesting comparison between Taipei and Los Angeles, discussing topics surrounding art, architecture, urbanism, and the way of life between the cultures of Taiwan and the United States
Rooftops & Backyards: Expanding Taipei & L.A runs through July 7, 2018, and is free and open to the public, as is Imagined Cities: Innovative Uses of Architecture in Film and Literature. To attend Imagined Cities, please RSVP through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagined-cities-innovative-use-of-architecture-in-film-and-literature-tickets-46236212757
(3) DOZOIS HOSPITALIZED. Christopher Casper posted on Facebook that Gardner Dozois is in hospital:
Friends of Gardner – He is currently in Pennsylvania hospital under medical sedation and intubated. While in the hospital for a chronic condition he had a serious and rapid deterioration causing some major systems to fail. He has an amazing team of doctors and the doctors are cautiously optimistic that his condition can be reversed!
I will do my best to keep everyone informed.
I am comforted and Gardner would be humbled by the hundreds of IM I received in the last 24 hrs expressing concern and love for my father. Due to the mere quantity, please forgive me if I am unable to respond personally to them all. Gardner is blessed to be so loved by so many.
Please continue to send good vibes, well wishes, and prayers his way. It is appreciated and thank you.
(4) THEY’LL BE MISSED. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have moved from the country town of Winslow, Maine to the city of Waterville, Maine, and that’s affected their summer travel plans. They tell how in the latest “Liaden Universe® Infodump No. 120”.
LEE AND MILLER WILL NOT ATTEND WORLDCON 76
We had intended to attend WorldCon; we had budgeted time and money; arranged schedules, and then — in late February, we looked at a house in town (we have long been looking to move into town, closer to services and conveniences), fell in love with the place, made an offer, and — the long and short of it is that, all the money and time we had budgeted for attending WorldCon instead went to moving into the new house. We’re very sorry that we won’t be at the con with our friends and readers, old and new. But we’re very happy with our new situation.
On the topic of conventions — this is the first time since 1997, that we haven’t had a convention, or three, on the schedule. That feels. . .strange, indeed.
Everyone who is going to WorldCon — have fun!
(5) ICE STATION EUROPA. Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie dropped the 2010: Odyssey Two tagline “All these worlds are yours – Except Europa” when sending along this link to Nature’s article “Evidence of a plume on Europa from Galileo magnetic and plasma wave signatures” [PDF file].
The icy surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, is thought to lie on top of a global ocean1–4. Signatures in some Hubble Space Telescope images have been associated with putative water plumes rising above Europa’s surface5,6, providing support for the ocean theory. However, all telescopic detections reported were made at the limit of sensitivity of the data5–7, thereby calling for a search for plume signatures in in-situ measurements. Here, we report in-situ evidence of a plume on Europa from the magnetic field and plasma wave observations acquired on Galileo’s closest encounter with the moon….
(6) AT THE CANYONS OF MADNESS? BBC says “Giant canyons discovered in Antarctica”.
Scientists have discovered three vast canyons in one of the last places to be explored on Earth – under the ice at the South Pole.
The deep troughs run for hundreds of kilometres, cutting through tall mountains – none of which are visible at the snowy surface of the continent.
Dr Kate Winter from Northumbria University, UK, and colleagues found the hidden features with radar.
Her team says the canyons play a key role in controlling the flow of ice.
And if Antarctica thins in a warming climate, as scientists suspect it will, then these channels could accelerate mass towards the ocean, further raising sea-levels.
(7) THEY DUCKED. Here’s “How ancestors of living birds survived asteroid strike”…
The ancestors of modern birds may have survived the asteroid strike that wiped out the rest of their kin by living on the forest floor.
The new theory, based on studying fossilised plants and ornithological data, helps explain how birds came to dominate the planet.
The asteroid impact 66 million years ago laid waste to the world’s forests.
Ground-dwelling bird ancestors managed to survive, eventually taking to the trees when the flora recovered.
“It seems clear that being a relatively small-bodied bird capable of surviving in a tree-less world would have conferred a major survival advantage in the aftermath of the asteroid strike,” said Dr Daniel Field of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.
(8) BEAN OBIT. Moon explorer and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean died May 26. NASA has posted a “Family Release Regarding the Passing of Apollo, Skylab Astronaut Alan Bean”.
Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the moon and an accomplished artist, has died.
Bean, 86, died on Saturday, May 26, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. His death followed his suddenly falling ill while on travel in Fort Wayne, Indiana two weeks before.
“Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly,” said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean’s wife of 40 years. “A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him.”
A test pilot in the U.S. Navy, Bean was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963. He flew twice into space, first as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, in November 1969, and then as commander of the second crewed flight to the United States’ first space station, Skylab, in July 1973….
On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean, together with Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, landed on the Ocean of Storms and became the fourth human to walk on the moon. During two moonwalks Bean helped deploy several surface experiments and installed the first nuclear-powered generator station on the moon to provide the power source. He and Conrad inspected a robotic Surveyor spacecraft and collected 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth.
(9) TODAY’S DAY
- May 26 – Dracula Day
Of all of the monsters known to man, which one could possibly be considered more iconic than Count Dracula? The quintessential vampire, Count Dracula has inspired tens of films and stories the world over, not to mention the virtual immortality of the character during as a beloved Halloween character. For all of these reasons, it’s undeniable that this icon of horror more than deserves his own little holiday so the world can show its appreciation for his contributions to the worlds of cinema and literature over the centuries. So put on your fangs, and let’s sink out teeth right into this, shall we?
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 26, 1961 — The Twilight Zone aired “Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?” Jack Elam utters the words, “It’s a real Ray Bradbury.”
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
- Born May 26, 1912 — Jay Silverheels (“Tonto” on The Lone Ranger TV series)
- Born May 26, 1913 – Actor Peter Cushing
- Born May 26, 1951 — Sally Ride, astronaut. First American woman in space
(12) COMICS SECTION.
- Chip Hitchcock discovered the game of Monopoly roused surprisingly strong feelings in these Something Positive characters.
(13) SARTORIAL SPLENDOR. Indeed, it is a most absolute and excellent hat.
My wife is unsure about this hat. I crave your thoughts on it. pic.twitter.com/sWuJYIAY7B
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) May 25, 2018
(14) HOLLYWOOD LAWYERS FIND WORK. Sesame Street production company Sesame Workshop (formerly known as Children’s Television Workshop) has sued distributor STX over Melissa McCarthy’s new movie The Happytime Murders.
Quoting The Hollywood Reporter: “’Sesame Street’ Sues STX Over New Melissa McCarthy Puppet Movie” —
The makers of Sesame Street are suing the promoter of a new Melissa McCarthy movie, saying it’s abusing the famed puppets’ sterling reputation to advertise the film.
A judge Friday scheduled a hearing next week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop, which sued Thursday in federal court for unspecified damages.
The film, The Happytime Murders, is scheduled for release Aug. 17. McCarthy plays a human detective who teams with a puppet partner to investigate grisly puppet murders.
The lawsuit said the Sesame Street brand will be harmed by a just-released movie trailer featuring “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets” along with the tagline “NO SESAME. ALL STREET.”
STX Productions LLC says in a statement it is confident in its legal position.
And Vanity Fair’s article “Sesame Street Sues Over Melissa McCarthy’s R-Rated Puppet Murder Movie” notes —
Apparently, the puppet-based entertainment industry is more divided than we knew. The people behind Sesame Street may not like it, but The Happytime Murders has the imprimatur of Muppet royalty: the director is none other than Jim Henson’s son, Brian Henson, who is also the chairman of the Jim Henson Company, and will feature a number of puppeteers from various Muppet movies.
Variety summarized Sesame Street’s complaint as follows:
But “Sesame Street” creators are incensed at the reference, arguing in the lawsuit that it will confuse audiences and harms the “Sesame Street” brand. The marketing campaign “seeks to capitalize on the reputation and goodwill of ‘Sesame Street,’” the suit says. “While the trailer at issue is almost indescribably crude, ‘Sesame’ is not trying to enjoin defendants’ promotion or distribution of their movie. It is only defendants’ deliberate choice to invoke and commercially misappropriate ‘Sesame’s’ name and goodwill in marketing the movie — and thereby cause consumers to conclude that ‘Sesame’ is somehow associated with the movie — that has infringed on and tarnished the ‘Sesame Street’ mark and goodwill.”
(15) IS REY BELIEVABLE? YouTuber MisAnthro Pony is skeptical about Star Wars’ Rey:
She knows how to swim even though she spent her entire life on a desert planet, she’s as powerful as Kilo Ren despite receiving no training from Luke, she’s as skilled of a swordsman as Obi Wan, and now she can gun the Millennium Falcon like a pro in a matter of minutes. She apparently seems to know everything about stuff she should know nothing about. OK, Rey doing things she shouldn’t have been able to do in The Force Awakens was stupid too. But this is reaching it. This is really reaching it.
Carl Slaughter defends the presentation of the character:
Oh I don’t know. Luke blocks multiple gadget beams blindfolded with a light saber the first time he wields it. After only a few hours of training in the Force, he pinholes the shot that takes out the Death Star. After only a couple of months of training with Yoda, even Darth Vader is impressed. Never mind that even the best Jedi are trained all their life from toddlership by a team of instructors in an academy.
(16) ON HIS GAME. And Chuck Tingle is skeptical about some gameplaying skeptics….
have heard that there are lonesome basement boys moaning on and on about a ladybuck on the cover of BATTLEFIELD video game. wonder if they know ladybucks are better warriors than them. cant be a warrior when your sitting lonesome in the basement all day
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 24, 2018
top funniest devils are lonesome basement boys moaning on ETHICS IN BASEMENT DWELLING and HISTORICAL ACCURACY what in the heck do you think your playing this is a dang video game its just a plumber fixin pipes and eating turtles who the heck cares
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 25, 2018
(17) SPOILERS AHEAD. If you’ve seen Deadpool 2, you may be ready for ScreenRant’s spoiler-filled “Deadpool 2 Pitch Meeting.”
(18) MULTIPLE DUNII. Consequences of Sound reports “Denis Villeneuve confirms his Dune adaptation will be split between two films”.
In what might prove beneficial, given the scope of Dune as a story, Villeneuve recently confirmed that he plans to split the adaptation into two films, still likely to be substantial in length each. While speaking to the Quebec publication La Presse, he mentioned the news while touching on the process of turning Herbert’s 896-page epic into a cohesive feature (or set of them): “Eric Roth wrote the first draft and I worked on my side afterwards… I have not had such fun on the creative side since Incendies! My wish would have been to make both films at the same time, but it will be too expensive. We will do them one at a time.”
(19) DESPITE POPULAR DEMAND. Borys Kit in The Hollywood Reporter story “‘Star Wars’: Boba Fett Movie in the Works With James Mangold”, says that James Mangold and Simon Kinberg, who last worked together on Logan (which Mangold directed and co-wrote and Kinberg produced) have been signed by Disney to develop a Boba Fett movie.
As N.K. Jemisin asked –
Does… does anyone really want this? https://t.co/Mwq3tx8BwR
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) May 25, 2018
(20) KEEPING IT LEGAL. Like everyone else whose internet babblings are read in Europe, Timothy the Talking Cat is updating Cattimothy House security policy.
A message from our Legal and Compliance Department:
Due to the recent legislative changes in the European Union (a body not recognised by our founder and CEO, Timothy the Talking Cat), we have made several changes to our security policy.
… Our change in policy means that we will no longer:
- Post lists of your names and misdeeds as a notice in the town square.
- Maintain in a dark basement a wall with your photographs joined together with lines of red twine, with some faces circled in red marker and others defaced with a huge question mark….
Much more humor follows…
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Lis Carey, Andrew Porter, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Soon Lee, Jonathan Cowie, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contirebiting editor of the day microtherion.]
JJ: No one has done this.
THE HAPPYLAND MURDERS is direction by Brian Henson. Son of you know.
Gardener Dozois said he attended NOREASCON in 1971. He was one of the skinny dippers in the pool.
I have to defend Rey to my many fellow SW fan friends. The idea that she can fight is so perplexing to them even though it’s established in the film that she can obviously take care of herself.
I totally agree with you. Almost every non-Force thing she does in TFA can be connected to her background as a top-flight scavenger: fighting (as you said), electronics, skulking, and even piloting to a limited extent—but given Anikin’s early facility with flight, maybe we can give her the benefit of the doubt.
@Oneiros: there were certainly things in the play that I would call supernatural. Does Monkey conclude that they were supernatural to the first readers as well? I tend to identify fantasy-the-genre as what could happen if what was once believed was real is in fact real.
@JJ: I certainly remember the crap flowing when SW7ff came out; the Pixel (AFAICT) is talking about an argument right now.
Chip Hitchcock: I certainly remember the crap flowing when SW7ff came out; the Pixel (AFAICT) is talking about an argument right now.
The crap has never stopped, just lessened somewhat. There are still people, whenever Star Wars gets mentioned, whining and complaining on blogs and social media about the Mary Sues ruining Star Wars to this day. The video linked in the scroll (item #15) was posted on YouTube on May 25.