(1) CROWDFUNDING RESNICK’S CARE. A GoFundMe has been launched to “Help Mike Resnick pay off a near-death experience”. There has been a strong response — in the first 18 hours, $7,100 of the $15,000 goal has been raised.
This GoFundMe is for writer and editor Mike Resnick, who has won a number of top awards and is known for his “pay it forward” nature in the writing field, ushering more than two dozen embryonic writers into the industry.
Mike unfortunately spent most of the first half of 2019 in the hospital. At the start of the year he fell twice for some (then) unknown reason, the second time being unable to get up. Carol, his wife, had to call 911 and it was determined that he had pneumonia and acute idiopathic pericarditis. In three days he had 30 pounds of fluid drained from around his heart and lungs. Then, a couple of months later, he collapsed again and within 24 hours the hospital had removed his colon (large intestine). Not many seventy-seven-year-olds recover from such serious medical complications, and he is very lucky to be alive and writing today.
Although he is still confined to a wheelchair, Mike has just this month gone back to writing and editing, and his doctors are very pleased with his progress. But he did go more than half of this year without any income, and as you can imagine the hospital bills are many and prohibitively expensive, as well as half a year’s worth of living expenses. He also still needs regular rehabilitation sessions (luckily, from the comfort of his home), and, quite frankly, he needs the assistance of the community of writers and readers he has had the privilege to call his family for more than half a century.
Mike and Carol Resnick would dearly thank anyone who is able to donate towards the medical/economic efforts in helping this Literary Great of the science fiction and fantasy community get back on his feet. Mike has many more books to write and stories to tell, but he can only do it with your help. Thanks again, in advance!
(2) MOVE FAST IF YOU WANT IT. The edition of WOOF assembled at Dublin 2019 is available as a free download for just a few more hours — WOOF44.pdf (30 MB) is available here. (Don’t ask me why it’s going away so soon.)
(3) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born August 27, 1922 — Frank Kelly Freas. I’ve no idea where I first encountered his unique style on a cover of a SF book, but I quickly spotted it everywhere. He had a fifty-year run on Astounding Science Fiction from the early Fifties and through its change to the Analog name — amazing! There doesn’t appear to a decent portfolio of his work. (Died 2005.)
- Born August 27, 1929 — Ira Levin. Author of Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil. (Died 2007.)
- Born August 27, 1945 — Edward Bryant. His only novel was Phoenix Without Ashes which was co-authored with Harlan Ellison and was an adaptation of Ellison’s pilot script for The Starlost. The only short stories of his I’m familiar with are the ones in the Wild Cards anthologies. Phoenix Without Ashes and all of his short stories are available in digital form. (Died 2017.)
- Born August 27, 1947 — Barbara Bach, Lady Starkey, 72. She’s best known for her role as the Bond girl Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me. One of her other genre appearances is in Caveman which her husband Ringo Starr is also in.
- Born August 27, 1952 — Darrell Schweitzer, 67. Writer, editor, and critic. For his writing, I’d recommend Awaiting Strange Gods: Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions and Tom O’Bedlam’s Night Out and Other Strange Excursions. The Robert E. Howard Reader he did is quite excellent as is The Thomas Ligotti Reader. He did a Neil Gaiman as well but not even he can find anything original to say Neil at this point.
- Born August 27, 1957 — Richard Kadrey, 62. I’m admittedly way behind on the Sandman Slim series having only read the first five books. I also enjoyed Metrophage: A Romance of the Future and I’ve got The Grand Dark on my interested in list.
- Born August 27, 1962 — Dean Devlin, 57. His first produced screenplay was Universal Soldier. He was a writer/producer working on Emmerich’s Moon 44. Together they cowrote and produced Stargate, the first movie to have a web site. The team then produced Independence Day, Godzilla and Independence Day: Resurgence. They’re also credited for creating The Visitor series which lasted 13 episodes as The Triangle, a miniseries which I’ll bet you guess the premise of.
- Born August 27, 1965 – Kevin Standlee, 54. He attended his first con in 1984, L.A. Con II. Later he co-chaired the 2002 Worldcon, ConJosé, in San José. One source says he made and participated in amateur Doctor Who films in the late 1980s.
- Born August 27, 1978 — Suranne Jones, 41. Not a long genre performance history but she shows up on the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures as Mona Lisa. Yes, that Mona Lisa. She’ll be back on Doctor Who in “The Doctor’s Wife”, an Eleventh Doctor story as written by Neil Gaiman. She Idris, a woman hosting the Matrix of the TARDIS.
(4) IT COULD ALMOST BE A FANZINE TITLE. [Item by John Hertz.] I happened to meet (on paper) Christian Thomasius 1655-1728 and his monthly review 1688-1690, Scherzhafte und ernsthafte, vernünftige und einfältige Gedanken über allerband lustige und nützluche Bücher und Fragen (German: “Jocose and Earnest, Rational and Silly Thoughts on All Kinds of Pleasant and Useful Books and Questions”). He was at the time professor of natural law at Leipzig (1684-90). You’ll note his review and his professorship ended in the same year (I’ve also seen 1689 for the end of the review). He had to leave town.
(5) FORMELY KNOWN AS THE CAMPBELL. The initial response to the renamed Astounding Award for Best New Writer is largely positive. The comments in the announcement include expressions of approval by John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Nalo Hopkinson. There are posts elsewhere by John Scalzi and David Versace.
The Twitter response runs the gamut, for example:
The title of the next James Bond film was announced earlier this week. No Time To Die will see Daniel Craig return as 007 for the fifth time, but there’s little to suggest it will be business as usual.
It’s not just saving the world that will be on his mind for the 25th official film in the series – he’s also on a mission to catch up with the 21st Century. Speaking at the film’s launch in April, Craig promised the film would reflect changing attitudes, recognising Bond as a “flawed” character with “issues… worth exploring and grappling with”.
“Bond has always adapted for the times… We wouldn’t be movie makers or creative people if we didn’t have an eye on what was going on in the outside world.”
So how might the suave secret agent have to change, and can he do so without losing the essence of James Bond?
…Attitudes elsewhere in society are evolving – in many quarters at least – and producer Barbara Broccoli has said the new film “should reflect” the “huge impact” of the #MeToo movement.
Recruiting Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge to the writing team reflects this mission.
As only the second female writer in the franchise’s history, she plans to make Bond women “feel like real people”. For Sturges, this means allowing the women of the Craig era to become more than tokenistic “two-dimensional challengers” to Bond’s machismo.
(7) EXPATRIATE CHINESE WRITER CHARGED. BBC reports “China Arrests Australian Writer On Espionage Charges”.
A Chinese-born Australian writer detained for months in China has been formally arrested on charges of espionage, officials in Canberra confirmed on Tuesday.
Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat who reportedly became an Australian citizen in 2002 but retains a Chinese passport, has also lived and worked in the United States.
He is the author of three spy novels set in China, according to Reuters. In the past, he has written voluminously on his blog about the rule of law, democracy and human rights, according to news.com.au. However, according to Reuters, in recent years, he has stayed away from sensitive topics and concentrated instead on running an import-export business.
(8) READY FOR ITS CLOSEUP. “‘Rosalind Franklin’ Mars rover assembly completed” – that’s BBC’s text story; sped-up video of final stages is here.
Assembly of the rover Europe and Russia plan to send to the Red Planet next year is complete.
Engineers at Airbus in Stevenage, UK, displayed the finished vehicle on Tuesday ahead of its shipment to France for testing.
Called “Rosalind Franklin” after the British DNA pioneer, the six-wheeled robot will search for life on Mars.
It has a drill to burrow 2m below ground to try to detect the presence of microbes, either living or fossilised.
The project is a joint endeavour of the European and Russian space agencies (Esa and Roscosmos), with input from the Canadians and the US.
(9) BRANDING. Brian Niemeier explains why he avoids online drama. (You didn’t know that, did you?) Thread starts here.
(10) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In Rabbit on the Animate Projects Archive, Run Wrake explains the bad things that happen when two children kill a rabbit.
[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Michael A. Rothman, Juli Marr, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John Hertz, Juli Marr, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Joe H.]