(1) WELLS AMA. Martha Wells did an “Ask Me Anything” for Reddit’s r/books today: “I’m Martha Wells, and I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy, including The Murderbot Diaries. AMA!”
What authors do you like to read?
N.K. Jemisin, Kate Elliott, Nghi Vo, K. Arsenault Rivera, Rebecca Roanhorse, Fonda Lee, Aliette de Bodard, Ovidia Yu, Lois McMaster Bujold, Zen Cho, Barbara Hambly, Judith Tarr, Tana French, Tade Thompson, C.L. Polk. A whole bunch, basically. 🙂
(2) GREAT AND NOT-SO-GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Naomi Kanakia discusses “My relationship to bias against trans people in the publishing industry” at The War on Loneliness.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my ‘career’ (so to speak) as a trans writer for teens, which (oddly enough) now includes being one of the enemies du jour for a substantial part of the country!
Personally, it doesn’t bother me that much. I don’t lose sleep over it. If I got harassment or felt unsafe, I’m sure that would change. All the consequences are professional. There’s a huge appetite for trans narratives now, but I think they’re also risky, and that more marginal or nuanced perspectives like mine are just not what the country feels like it needs. That’s even aside from the risks of a book being banned by the right or cancelled by the left (or, as in a few cases, cancelled by right-wing trolls who pick out seemingly-offensive passages and use them to get the left riled up)
I see being trans the same way I see being a woman or being brown: it’s a definite professional liability, and it probably makes publication and acclaim harder to come by, but it also makes the work more meaningful. In a way, it’s kind of a privilege to be able to write about things that people care about, to say stuff that they might not’ve heard before, and to have a perspective that’s valuable. Which is to say, if it wasn’t harder for me to succeed, the would be less worth doing. I do think that if you want to produce something valuable, it’s always going to be more difficult, precisely because what is valuable is rarer, less-understood, and doesn’t have the same immediately-intuitive appeal….
(3) VERTLIEB MEDICAL UPDATE. Steve Vertlieb had a setback after returning home from heart surgery. But now he’s back home from a second hospital stay and has copied File 770 on his account for Facebook readers.
A Pseudoaneurysm And Blood Clot Bring Me To My Knees Once More, Requiring Renewed Forced Hospitalization
… Just returned a little while ago from Abington Hospital in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania where I spent the last ten days unexpectedly confined to the dreaded hospital once again. I was only home for five days when agonizing pain in my lower groin forced me to to go back to the emergency room for a re-evaluation of my already precarious medical condition. I was diagnosed rather quickly, I fear, with a Pseudoaneurysm in my left lower groin area, as well as a blood clot in my left leg. I had a two and a half hour blood transfusion a few days ago in order to correct a low Hemoglobin level which had only added to my recent medical woes. I’m home again, however … I hope this time permanently.
To quote Dr. Henry Frankenstein … “HE’S ALIVE … ALIVE.” I’ve returned bloodied and scarred, but alive and on the mend, from the proverbial gates of hell. I shall live, God willing, to tell the story of my remarkable journey through fear, panic, and nearly terminal illness to the sweet gates of successful surgery, completion, and somewhat “limitless” vistas.
My time on Facebook will, for the present, be limited, I fear, in the days ahead, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve survived. I came home from the hospital yesterday (Thursday) after a ten day stay following major open-heart surgery. The procedure lasted approximately six hours, during which my surgeons replaced one heart valve, repaired another, stitched back together the hole in my heart, and stopped my internal bleeding.
This procedure was far more involved and life threatening than I ever imagined or was advised. The second time, it seems, is not the charm, but the entire bracelet. They had to cut through an already existing incision, breaking once healed bones protecting my heart cavity yet again, in order to reach and operate upon the newly troubled areas. My recovery, consequently, will also be far more difficult than my original transition back to health, healing, and wholeness twelve years ago.
The good news, however, is that when I asked my surgeon the chances for a complete recovery, he responded “ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.” Doing anything beyond menial movement and chores over the next several months will be severely limited. My brother Erwin is here with me for the next month or so, and he’ll be taking care of me. However, my reason for posting this morning, is to let you all know that I have survived a difficult surgery, and that I’m looking forward, with faith and dreams, to a Summer, a year, and a life of happiness, love, laughter, and blessed renewal.
Thank you all from the bottom of my sometimes troubled heart for the most gracious gift of your prayers, and friendship. In Love, Peace, and Gratitude Steve
(4) VIRGIL FINLAY ART. Doug Ellis has announced a sale:
For fans of the great Virgil Finlay, my latest art sale catalog is now available. This one is devoted entirely to the art of Finlay. Note that none of these are published pieces, but instead are personal pieces (including abstracts). This material all comes from Finlay’s estate, and I’m selling it on behalf of his granddaughter.
You can download the catalog (about 30 MB) through Dropbox here.
(5) FUTURE TENSE. “Out of Ash by Brenda Cooper” at Slate is a short story about climate change, the new entry from Future Tense Fiction, a monthly series of short stories from Future Tense and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination about how technology and science will change our lives.
…Mist gave way to soft rain, then faded back to damp cold. Stored sunlight made octagonal tiles on the path under my feet glow. I followed its light to the middle of Central Park, where dusk barely illuminated the blue and red mosaics of the town well. Volunteers had moved every piece of the well they could salvage from drowning historic Olympia to the replica in New Olympia. By car, the journey was over 65 miles. The new city perched on the lower slopes of Mount Rainier, and the water tasted as clean, although more like mountain than river. This well, like the old one, operated as a free community asset. The glowing streets, the well, and, a few blocks away, the new State Capitol all looked even more beautiful than the artist’s renderings. The city ran on sunlight. Edible plants bordered parks, fed by recycled wastewater as clean as the well water. New Olympia gave as much back to the ecosystem as it took….
Molly Brind’amour’s response essay considers, “What happens if no one moves to a new city?”
Multiple choice question: Your favorite beautiful, coastal city is at risk of being flooded by sea level rise, and you have the power to do something. Do you
a) Build a sea wall
b) Rearrange it into the hills
c) Move the entire city inland
d) Do nothing
These are the options facing today’s leaders…
(6) STYLIN’ IN SIXTIES HOLLYWOOD. Techno Trenz remembers when: “Over a pair of shoes, Frank Sinatra came dangerously close to assaulting writer Harlan Ellison.”
…Sinаtrа wаs so pаrticulаr аbout his аppeаrаnce thаt he becаme enrаged when people didn’t dress the wаy he did. When he wаs in а bаr, he hаppened to notice Ellison.
“[Ellison] wore а pаir of brown corduroy slаcks, а green shаggy-dog Shetlаnd sweаter, а tаn suede jаcket, аnd $60 Gаme Wаrden boots,” Gаy Tаlese wrote in the Creаtive Nonfiction аrticle “Frаnk Sinаtrа Hаs а Cold.”
Sinаtrа wаs irritаted enough by Ellison’s аttire thаt he аpproаched him while plаying pool.
“Look, do you hаve аny reаson to tаlk to me?” Ellison inquired.
Sinаtrа responded, “I don’t like how you’re dressed.”…
(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
2011 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Eleven years ago on this evening, the BBC aired the first episode of the Outcasts series. You’ve probably never heard of it as it only lasted eight episodes. It was created by Ben Richards who had absolutely no SFF background being a writer of such series as the British intelligence series Spooks (which is streaming on Britbox).
It was written by him along with Jack Lothian and David Farr with the story being it is set on the colony planet Carpathia and it revolves around the ongoing lives of the existing settlers, and the introduction of the last evacuees from Earth. No spoilers there I think.
When critics saw the pilot episode, they were downright hostile. Let’s start with Kevin O’Sullivan of The Mirror who exclaimed “While the barmy BBC squanders a billion quid on getting the hell out of London… it must have saved a fortune on Outcasts. A huge horrible heap of cheapo trash, this excruciating sci-fi rubbish tip looked like it was made on a budget of about 50p. Who directed it? Ed Wood? And what a script! So jaw-droppingly dreadful it hurt.”
David Chater at the Times wrote, “Not since Bonekickers has the BBC broadcast such an irredeemably awful series. Sometimes catastrophes on this scale can be enjoyed precisely because they are so dismal, but this one has a kind of grinding badness that defies enjoyment of any kind.”
Mike Hale of the New York Times gets the last word: “With none of the flair or self-deprecating wit that has defined other British sci-fi imports (‘Torchwood,’ ‘Primeval’), ‘Outcasts’ strands a number of talented performers, including Mr. Bamber, Eric Mabius and Liam Cunningham, on a world of wooden dialogue and interplanetary clichés. There’s nothing a rescue ship from earth can do for this crew.”
Audience figures for the series were extremely poor: as they started with an initial low figure of four point five million viewers for the pilot, and the show lost nearly two-thirds over its run, to finish with one point five million UK viewers.
Richards remain defiant after it was moved to a new time stating “I have every confidence we will rule our new slot. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!” and “Cultdom beckons. And keep watching hardcore because remaining eps great.” Well BBC didn’t pay attention as they then cancelled the series despite actually having shot some of the first episode of the second series.
It gets a fifty percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
It appears to streaming for free on Vudu. And it was released as a UK DVD.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born May 28, 1908 — Ian Fleming. Author of the James Bond series which is at least genre adjacent if not actually genre in some cases such as Moonraker. The film series was much more genre than the source material. And then there’s the delightful Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car. The film version was produced by Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, who had already made five James Bond films. Fleming, a heavy smoker and drinker his entire adult life, died of a heart attack, his second in three years. (Died 1964.)
- Born May 28, 1923 — Natalie Norwick. She had a number of genre roles in the Sixties including being Martha Leighton in “The Conscience of the King”, a Trek episode, and appearing as Josette duPres Collins on Dark Shadows. (Died 2007.)
- Born May 28, 1951 — Sherwood Smith, 71. YA writer best known for her Wren series. She co-authored The Change Series with Rachel Manija Brown. She also co-authored two novels with Andre Norton, Derelict for Trade and A Mind for Trade.
- Born May 28, 1954 — Betsy Mitchell, 68. Editorial freelancer specializing in genre works. She was the editor-in-chief of Del Rey Books. Previously, she was the Associate Publisher of Bantam Spectra when they held the license to publish Star Wars novels in the Nineties. She edited the Full Spectrum 4 anthology which won a World Fantasy Award.
- Born May 28, 1981 — Laura Bailey, 41. I find voice performers fascinating. And we have one of the most prolific ones here in Laura Bailey. She’s got hundreds of credits currently, so can hardly list all of them here, so l’ll just choose a few that I really like. She voiced Ghost-Spider / Gwen Stacy in the recent Spider-man series and the Black Widow in Avengers Assemble and other Marvel series. And she appeared in Constantine: City of Demons as Asa the Healer.
- Born May 28, 1984 — Max Gladstone, 38. His debut novel, Three Parts Dead, is part of the Craft Sequence series, and his shared Bookburners serial is most excellent. This Is How You Lose the Time War (co-written with Amal El-Mohtar) won a Hugo Award for Best Novella at CoNZealand. It also won an Aurora, BSFA, Ignyte, Locus and a Nebula.
- Born May 28, 1985 — Carey Mulligan, 37. She’s here because she shows up in a very scary Tenth Doctor story, “Blink”, in which she plays Sally Sparrow. Genre adjacent, she was in Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Sittaford Mystery as Violet Willett. (Christie gets a shout-out in another Tenth Doctor story, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”.)
(9) CON OR BUST. Dream Foundry’s Con or Bust program is gearing up again. The program helps creatives of color attend conventions and other professional development opportunities they otherwise might not be able to by financing their trip, stay, and/or tickets.
They’re looking for donations – to offer one, use the donation form here. If you think you’d benefit from the funds, there’s a request form here.
(10) SERVICE INTERRUPTUS. Cat Eldridge circled back to right-wing blog Upstream Reviews to read any new comments on its recent gloating posts about the Mercedes Lackey controversy and SFWA’s announcement that its membership directory data had been compromised. Surprisingly, he found that the blog is offline – all you get is an “Internal Server Error.” There’s still a Google cache file – the blog’s last entry was Declan Finn kissing Larry Correia’s butt. Maybe the internet threw up? Cat says, “Quite likely as the parent domain is for it is mysfbooks.com which as been blacklisted by the internet as being dangerous to visit (may have worms, may harvest your passwords, may steal your immortal soul).”
(11) IF I COULD TALK TO THE ANIMALS. They left this part out of Doctor Doolittle, I guess.
Young dolphins, within the first few months of life, display their creativity by creating a unique sound. These bleats, chirps and squeaks amount to a novel possession in the animal kingdom — a label that conveys an identity, comparable to a human name.
These labels are called signature whistles, and they play an essential role in creating and keeping relationships among dolphins. While the development of a signature whistle is influenced by learning from other dolphins, each whistle still varies in volume, frequency, pitch and length….
- “News Leak: Dolphins Recognize Each Other By Tasting One Another’s Urine” is a follow-up story.
… Fellow researcher Jason Bruck, a marine biologist at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, told National Geographic the original goal was to test whether dolphins use their signature whistles in the same way people rely on names.
Bruck couldn’t do that unless he found a second way dolphins could identify each other. Luckily, he remembered that a fellow scientist had previously observed wild dolphins swimming through what the website called “plumes of urine” and he figured the creatures might be using it as an ID technique….
(12) WHAT’S UP, DOCK? A travel writer for Insider gives a detailed account of her Starcruiser experience, accompanied by many photos of the décor, characters, and food, and assures everyone the $5200 price tag is worth it. “Adults Try Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser — Cost, Review, Photos”
I felt the price I paid was justified for everything that was included in this experience and watching my husband live out his best Star Wars life was priceless..
Plus the level of service and entertainment, the cast, and the food were just incredible.
If you are a Star Wars fan, I recommend this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But I have to tell you if that’s the price I’ll have to pay, like Han Solo said, “This is going to be a real short trip.”
(13) PORTENTOUS WORDS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, David Betancourt prepares people for the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi by giving his ten favorite Obi-Wan moments from Star Wars episodes 1-4. “Obi-Wan Kenobi moments to know before his Disney Plus return”. Second on the list:
Duel of the Fates “We’ll handle this.” (Episode 1: The Phantom Menace)
Duel of the Fates, the epic lightsaber battle featuring Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Darth Maul, borders on Star Wars perfection. Its success comes from the combination of John Williams’s score, Ray Park’s physicality as Darth Maul and modern CGI technology finally catching up to the imagination of George Lucas. And it is a moment that shows the ascension of Obi-Wan from Padawan to Jedi Knight when he ends up victorious.
(14) OBOE WAN. Legendary film composer John Williams hit the stage to surprise fans at Anaheim Star Wars Celebration and play the theme for the new Obi Wan Kenobi series.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]
There was a shooting across the street from the Balticon hotel earlier, near where the good restaurants are. I’m glad I decided to eat dinner at the hotel despite the sparse menu.
Attending Wiscon virtually and realizing that Discord is much less active in hybrid format than virtual only cons. Shouldn’t have been a surprise, but somehow it was.
Just read CL Polk’s book from the Hugo Packet and I’m impressed. It has a simple, straightforward style of writing – which can still tell a complicated, unusual story.
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Just this afternoon I was in contact with customer service to ask what they had done about my ticket. Now I have added this link to the info I have sent them.
Hey I saw ‘Outcast’ and I liked it.
Last night I attended a Houston Symphony concert “The Best of John Williams — with Chorus”, a sequel to their earlier Best of John Williams. This concert was originally supposed to happen in May of 2020, but….
Anyway, it was a terrific concert, with very little overlap with the previous one, and including quite a bit of music from Spielberg’s later, more dramatic films such as Schindler’s List and The Terminal, as well as music from Memoirs of a Geisha. They did not neglect Harry Potter, however, and of course you close out with “Duel of the Fates”. And then just as everyone was getting ready to leave, a sudden encore: the Cantina Band music! Awesome.
(When the symphony showed Star Wars, they didn’t play during the cantina scene, perhaps lacking the right instruments, so for that one scene only the music came from the soundtrack instead of from the live players. So now that gap has been filled, and all the music from Star Wars has been played live in Jones Hall. This pleases me.)
@tim Rowledge: Likewise. I also think Earth 2 is underrated.
5) There is at least one other choice available to municipalities facing rising sea levels: Raising the city’s elevation. This has been done twice in the US, both times over a century ago.
In the 1850s, Chicago raised up its lowest-elevation areas (around the downtown, mostly) to the tune of six feet. This included jacking up a good number of masonry or brick buildings.
In the years immediately following the catastrophic hurricane of 1900, Galveston built a 17-foot-high seawall–and raised up the city behind to match the height of the seawall.
So, it can be done, if the city fathers and the citizens are desperate enough. In Chicago, they were goaded into it by the swampiness of the lowest parts of the city (right next to Lake Michigan), which were horribly disease prone. In Galveston’s case, most of the city was leveled by a hurricane. The choice was to either do something about Galveston’s elevation or watch it dry up and blow away after drying out from the hurricane.
I had no luck with Google image searching for “Game Warden” boots so I assume we’re talking about ankle boots with pointy toes as opposed to Timberland style hikers or Doc Martens. One might speculate that Sinatra used his legendary connections to reach into another dimension and eradicate all visuals of these offensive boots from our timeline. Even though they apparently were potent enough to get the wearer laid regularly.
Assembling a quartet of girl Star Wars geeks to do the galaxy cruiser while staying in costume the whole time is on my to-do list.
I have spent the day watching Prehistoric Planet. Best show ever.
Spent yesterday warmly stuffed into my costume at the Virginia Renaissance Fest. A good time was had by all, though its not nearly as extensive as the Maryland one (which we can’t wait for later this summer).
12) …assures everyone the $5200 price tag is worth it
Ha, ha, ha…. no. There’s no LARP I would attend for that ridiculous price, no matter how much I love Star Wars. A full day at the festival yesterday, LARPing with thousands of others, cost us maybe $150 (not including the sweet new steampunk hat I bought) for four people, with gas and food. $5200 is just the price of entrance for a single person, and leaves off travel costs and other expenses.
I’m sure it’ll do just fine without me. Plenty will pony up $10k for a couple just to LARP in a pretend Star Wars space ship. I simply don’t see that as affordable to the masses of regular fans, not without taking out a second mortgage. I’d rather pay $10k for a week renting a house on a lake.
See you all at the MD fest later this year!
@Jeff Jones: Yikes.
Yikes @jeff Jones
Yeah, call me party-pooper, but that Disney “Cruise” sounds like the most horrific “vacation” ever (for me).
Lets start with the food. When I was, oh, maybe 4?, I learned to NEVER eat anything I didn’t know what it is before it goes into my mouth (N E V E R). So I’d have to smuggle in some crackers and tuna and cheese and trail mix to live through the experience. (Oh and “milk” is for infants and children. The majority of adult humans lose ability to digest it as they reach adulthood. The color doesn’t change that…)
Next – “audience participation” – nope. I bought the ticket – YOU do the show while I watch. (Said to an earnest actor at Medieval Times: “Get away from me right now or there’s going to be a fight, and it will be a REAL one”.) If I wanted to act, I’d go back to off-off Broadway.
Finally, that price. OMG. Do they not know how many pulp magazines and books one could buy with that budget?
You know what would be worth $5,200 bucks and three days-two nights of my time?
George Lucas locked in a room and I get to “talk” to him about his creation.
No, let me be honest. I get to TELL Lucas what I think of his creation for three days and two nights.
Disney would make out financially…I’d probably leave by afternoon of the second day. And even that wouldn’t be worth $5,200.
The story on the shooting is here in the Baltimore Sun.
Steve Davidson says Lets start with the food. When I was, oh, maybe 4?, I learned to NEVER eat anything I didn’t know what it is before it goes into my mouth (N E V E R). So I’d have to smuggle in some crackers and tuna and cheese and trail mix to live through the experience. (Oh and “milk” is for infants and children. The majority of adult humans lose ability to digest it as they reach adulthood. The color doesn’t change that…)
Wow you’re judgemental. I’m way too calcium deficient. I’m ordered by my primary care provider to drink milk as well take a calcium supplement. And I handle milk quite well as an adult in my sixties thank you.
Don’t make assumptions. Only one-third of people are lactose intolerant and there a lot of factors that go into why that is so. That’s a far cry from your statement.
I think the best light saber duel was from a fan-made redo of Vader and Obi Wan in the Death Star. I think it shows the Force being used effectively in the fight. Sad that fan made stuff is becoming better than the original. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to2SMng4u1k&ab_channel=FXitinPost
Venice is slowly sinking, and has been over the centuries due to subsidence. In addition, global sea levels are rising, leading to more frequent and severe flooding. Archeologists have found the remains of previous buildings under current ones. I other words, the inhabitants built over and up to avoid the flooding. There are fewer permanent residents now, as there is seasonal flooding which is rising with the sea level.
Building up areas is very expensive. New Orleans invested in levees, which have been breached in more severe storms. Islands are being inundated, and many areas made uninhabitable. It may be a case in the US for moving to higher ground, or not buying in coastal areas. Projections for Florida are not optimistic.
90% of Asians are lactose intolerant. So are many others, including me. Like Cat Eldridge, I take a calcium supplement. My body wasn’t absorbing it properly, so my physician suggested taking Vitamin K2, which helps with absorption.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states:
“While most infants can digest lactose, many people begin to develop lactose malabsorption—a reduced ability to digest lactose—after infancy. Experts estimate that about 68 percent of the world’s population has lactose malabsorption.”
“Lactose malabsorption is more common in some parts of the world than in others. In Africa and Asia, most people have lactose malabsorption. In some regions, such as northern Europe, many people carry a gene that allows them to digest lactose after infancy, and lactose malabsorption is less common.1,2 In the United States, about 36 percent of people have lactose malabsorption”
While lactose malabsorption causes lactose intolerance, not all people with lactose malabsorption have lactose intolerance.
I am from Northern Europe, as were most of my ancestors, and can digest lactose without problems. I also drink a glass of milk per day for calcium, iron and iodine supply, all of which I have the tendency to be deficient in.
That said, lactose intolerance was so little known in Germany, when I was a kid, that the parents of lactose intolerant kids had to fight the schools, so their kids would not have to drink the school-supplied milk that everybody had aggressively pushed upon them in primary school.
3) I’m glad to hear that Steve Vertlieb is feeling better. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
5) The Netherlands, much of which is under sea level, started massively investing in better flood protections after a devastating North Sea flood in 1953. The project, named Delta-Werken, was not finished until the 1990s, but the Netherlands are now relatively well protected against storm surges by a system of flood barriers, including a huge one that can close off the Zuiderzee. The Dutch also know how to build dykes and that there are areas where you’d better not build anything, because you need them as flood plains.
In Northern Germany, flood protection and warning systems were expanded after the devastating North Sea flood of 1962. As a result, flood damage along the North Sea coast is fairly minimal, even for big storms, because a system is in place to deal with them. And so any major flood issues in recent year, including the Ahrtal flood last year which killed more than 130 people, happened in the South and East of Germany, where flooding is less common (in the North, we get a few bad storms with floods every winter) and the flood protection systems are worse and also there is the tendency to build homes way too close to rivers and not have flood plains.
Regarding the US, I’m always surprised that comparatively little is done to protect extremely flood and storm prone regions. After hurricane Katrina, a flood response team of the THW (German federal disaster relief organisation) flew to New Orleans to help. The locals showed them their flood pumps, which turned out to date from the late 19th century. And the levees were – to quote a THW helper used to North Sea dykes – a joke. The flood response team had powerful modern flood fighting pumps, which quickly pumped the area dry, where the 19th century pumps had failed.
I understand that investments have been made since then and that is a very good thing. But what New Orleans (and Venice, for that matter) needs is a Delta-Werken equivalent for the Mississippi river delta and I don’t see the funding or the political will for that.
6) Harlan told a version of the Sinatra run-in at Tricon (Worldcon in Cleveland in 1966) during a program item in which he and Asimov were supposed to trade jokes and stories. Jay Kay Klein reported Harlan’s version in Jay Kay’s Tricon Photo Memory Book. Later, Jay Kay mailed out a replacement page with a much different version; owners of the memory book were instructed to paste the new version over the original. (Of course, I kept the new one but didn’t paste it over the old.) (Mike, if you’d like more about this, let me know.)
@Jeanne Jackson: Add Seattle to your list. After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the oldest sections of the city were regraded to be several meters higher than they had been. The original ground level remained in use during the transition, and people often used ladders to cross the street!
The whole story is delightfully bizarre. Terry Pratchett stole parts of it for one of his Discworld novels, and mentioned his source in an afterword, which is how I first heard about it.
@xilfr Elizabeth Bear borrowed that as well for Karen Memory
@xtifr @Paul Weimer: The Seattle Underground (in a much more impressive form than the actual surviving section) also features crucially in The Night Strangler, the Richard Matheson-penned sequel to The Night Stalker, with Darren McGavin once again in top form as Carl Kolchak.
Underground Seattle also features in Megan Lindholm’s Wizard of the Pigeons.