(1) VIRTUAL BENEFITS. An A.V. Club roundtable agrees, “For disabled and other marginalized fans, online events aren’t a compromise—they’re a lifeline”.
[Shannon Miller] …It made me think of all my fellow disabled NCTzens who experience similar barriers with live performances. How many got to see their first NCT 127 concert (or live-ish K-pop performance, in general) because of this? How many fans with hearing loss were relieved to see the lyrics flash in time to the music, as brief as it may have been? To be clear, this performance was hardly the gold standard of accessibility—things like proper, consistent closed captioning still proved to be a challenge. But I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a potential watershed moment for the music and touring industries. With some fine-tuning and proper consultation with disabled advocates, maybe there’s a shot for more acts to adopt this method of performance on a wider scale. Would I have liked for this pivotal industry change to come at the hands of literally anything other than a pandemic? Absolutely, and I certainly don’t want to see the end of live performances. But as we prepare for a long-gestating (if not permanent, for some) change in how we navigate the world, I think it’s interesting to consider.
(2) HAP AND LEONARD, EVOLVED. In “The Evolution Of Joe Lansdale’s Hapand Leonard” on CrimeReads, Scott Montgomery profiles Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard crime fiction series partnering “East Teas liberal redneck” Hap Collins with “gay, black, republican, and lethal” Leonard Pine.
Montgomery: Do you think when you look at a subject in a genre novel it allows you to do it differently?
Lansdale: With genre you have that hard driving engine of a story to move those ideas forward. Literary fiction often tackles those subjects and genre rarely does it, but that is mainly because the idea of what genre fiction is. In the eighties, I was in a group of writers that mixed the two. A large percentage of what I write is driven by social issues.
Montgomery: What makes Hap and Leonard a good vehicle to go through these issues?
Lansdale: The characters seem simple, but they’re not. Both Michael K. Williams and James Purefoy find more layers when they’re playing them. They’re not always absolutely consistent. They’re these everyday working class guys, like I was and I still think of myself as a blue collar writer at least from a class perspective. They prove that all southerners don’t fit the stereotype and are contradictory in a lot of ways. One is black and one’s white, one is black and gay. Hap, I don’t know if he was really a hippie, works against those ideals to gets justice. I don’t think they really completely succeed. They keep trying to do the right thing and it often leads to Hap questioning his morals. And both of them have killed people and so it’s a very interesting contrast. You read about some horrible person and you think that’s someone for the devil, then you read about their circumstances then you think maybe they’re not for the devil. So they’re dealing with all that and trying to pay the bills.
(3) OUT OF THE BOTTLE. In the Yahoo! Entertainment story “‘I Dream of Jeannie’ at 55: How the popular sitcom captured ‘women’s increasing restlessness'”, Rachel Shewfelt interviews University of Michigan communications professor Susan J. Douglas, who says that I Dream of Jeannie, first broadcast in September 1965, navigated “between these pre-feminist rumblings and still very much wanting to represent women in traditional roles.”
Jeannie hit American screens not long after publication of Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, which noted the many ways that women — as critics have since acknowledged, a very specific type of white, middle-class women — were shut out of the world. They were, for example, unable to obtain a credit card without a man as a co-signer and many jobs were off limits to them. They were encouraged and expected to abandon their own hopes and dreams in exchange for a life dedicated solely to taking care of their families. And they were supposed to wear heels, lipstick and a big smile while doing it. The nonfiction page-turner became a bestseller and helped spark the feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
I Dream of Jeannie also came along on the heels of Bewitched, a sitcom about a witch who marries an ordinary man and, much to his dismay, has the ability to make magic with the twitch of her nose. That show had been a big hit with audiences, which was no surprise considering what was happening at the time.
(4) KENT FAMLY REUNION. “Smallville cast set to reunite for virtual New York Comic-Con” promises Yahoo! News.
Smallville may have ended in 2011, but thanks to its huge popularity and The CW’s Arrowverse – Supergirl, in particular – the DC-inspired outing has never really left fans’ hearts. So it’s pretty exciting that some of the cast will be reuniting for a panel at New York Comic Con later this year.
To commemorate the fact that it’s been almost 20 years since the Superman series premiered, NYFF is set to host Davis Bloome actor Sam Witwer, Erica Durance (who played Lois Lane), Laura Vandervoort (who starred as Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin Kara), Lex Luthor’s Michael Rosenbaum and the Man of Steel himself Tom Welling, as they look back on their time on the show.
(5) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
- September 1995 – Twenty-five years ago, Minneapolis based Boiled in Lead band released their sixth album, Songs from the Gypsy. It was based upon The Gypsy novel Steve Brust and Megan Lindholm wrote. This 1992 urban fantasy novel was adapted into a song cycle based on a Hungarian folk tale for this recording. The songs were written largely by Stemple, vocalist here, and his fellow Cats Laughing member Steven Brust, the latter being steeped in Hungarian myth and legend. It would have a multimedia format including both the music and the full text of the novel, as well as eighty short sound clips of songs referenced in the novel’s text. Neither the novel nor the music is currently available in a digital format.
(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born September 19, 1922 – Damon Knight. Sarcasm is in anger, satire is with love; was he a satirist? He was so brilliant we never ask. His “Unite or Fie!” in Fanfare sparked the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n), which he scorned; he joined the Futurians, but said he always wanted to be a pro. A dozen novels, a hundred shorter stories; one Hugo for reviewing, a Retro-Hugo for a story so sour it’s superb; never a Nebula, though he founded SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) their administrator – later saying SFWA too was a mistake. Pilgrim Award, Pro Guest of Honor (with wife Kate Wilhelm) at Noreascon Two the 38th Worldcon, SFWA Grand Master. (Died 2002) [JH]
- Born September 19, 1928 — Adam West. Best known as Batman on that classic Sixties series, he also a short role in 1964’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars as Colonel Dan McReady. He last played the role of of Batman by voicing him in two animated films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. He also played The Gray Ghost in an episode of the Kevin Conroy voiced B:TAS, “Beware the Gray Ghost”. (Died 2017.) (CE)
- Born September 19, 1933 — David McCallum, 87. His longest running, though not genre, role is pathologist Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS where he appeared in every episode of the first fifteen seasons. Genre wise, he was Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the British series Sapphire & Steel where he was Steel and Joanna Lumley was Sapphire. He play the lead he played in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man. He was Dr. Vance Hendricks on Babylon 5’s “Infection” episode. (CE)
- Born September 19, 1935 – Sheena Porter, 85. Carnegie Medal for Nordy Bank, her novel for us; here is Annette Macarthur-Onslaw’s cover. Eight other novels; all addressed to children, a great question in fantasy. Librarian; landscapist; lives in Ludlow. [JH]
- Born September 19, 1947 – Robert LoGrippo, 73. A dozen covers, a few interiors, for us; also The New York Times Sunday Magazine and Celestial Seasonings Tea. Here is The Three Impostors. Here is The Singer Enigma. I’m in awe of The Night Land; his cover is a wonder, but I think it must illustrate something else, you’ll have to find it without me. [JH]
- Born September 19, 1947 — Tanith Lee. I hadn’t realized that she wrote more than ninety novels and three hundred short stories in her career. She even wrote two of the Blake’s 7 episodes as well. I am more fond of her work for children such as The Dragon Hoard and The Unicorn Series than I was of her adult work. (Died 2015.) (CE)
- Born September 19, 1948 – George “Lan” Laskowski. He came to cons in a coonskin cap; his fanzine being Lan’s Lantern, he wore T-shirts with DC Comics’ Green Lantern logograph. The Lantern won two Hugos; it was famed for special issues appreciating particular pros. James Gunn praised Lan’s vigor; Mike Resnick, who was both pro and fan, praised Lan’s decency. Fan Guest of Honor at Marcon XVIII, MileHiCon 26, Minicon 24; Listener Guest of Honor at 11th Ohio Valley Filk Fest. (Died 1999) [JH]
- Born September 19, 1952 – Guy Consolmagno, Ph.D., S.J., 68. After his doctorate, served in the Peace Corps; entered the Society of Jesus, took vows; active friend of the SF community; Director of the Vatican Observatory. Frequent Guest of Honor at our conventions, e.g. Boskone 44, Minicon 52, the 12th NASFiC (N. America SF Con, since 1975 held when the Worldcon is overseas). Eight books. Carl Sagan Medal. It would be unlike him to say whether he thinks science needs religion, but he has often said religion needs science. [JH]
- Born September 19, 1952 — Laurie R. King, 68. She’s on the Birthday Honors list for the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner. Hey it’s at least genre adjacent. She’s also written at least one genre novel, Califia’s Daughters. (CE)
- Born September 19, 1960 – Randy Byers. Hugo (with Geri Sullivan, Lee Hoffman) for Science Fiction Five-Yearly, LeeH’s fanzine published on time, with various co-editors, for sixty years. Eight FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) Awards. TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate, his report Alternative Pants. Chaired Corflu 26 (fanziners’ con; corflu = mimeograph correction fluid, long indispensable), Guest of Honor at C34. Co-editor (with Andy Hooper, carl juarez) of Chunga. Tribute zine after his death, Thy Life’s a Miracle. Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here, mine here. (Died 2017) [JH]
- Born September 19, 1972 — N. K. Jemisin, 48. Her most excellent Broken Earth series has made her the only author to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years. Her “Non-Zero Probabilities” was a finalist for the Hugo Best Short Story Award losing out to Will McIntosh‘s “Bridesicle.” “Emergency Skin,” I’m pleased to note, won the Best Novelette Hugo at CoNZealand this year. Yeah, I voted for it. (CE)
- Born September 19, 1987 — Danielle Panabaker, 33. She’s best known as Caitlin Snow aka Killer Frost in the Arrowverse where she’s been on Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. Her first genre role was as Layla Williams in Sky High, and she’s in Friday the 13th, Time Lapse and both the Medium and Grimm series. (CE)
(7) COMICS SECTION.
- At Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, aliens capture a fine specimen of humanity.
(8) OOPS. H&I points out “10 Minor Goofs You Never Noticed In ‘Star Trek'”.
Spock had the ultimate analytical mind. But even a Vulcan can overlook some minor details. Or, to be fair, the Vulcan’s creators can….
Still, some errors inevitably made it onto the screen. There was no hiding the stunt doubles with computer technology, and the shadow of the boom microphone appears in too many shots to list here. Here are 10 of our favorite minor mistakes. In a way, they somehow make the entire series more impressive, once you realize the materials they were working with.
For example —
5. SHOULDN’T YOU BE MEDITATING, SPOCK?
In the middle of this classic season two opener, Spock enters a meditative state called plak tow. We see close up shots of him deep in the trance, with his hands clutched before his face as his eyes practically roll back into his skull. However, after T’Pring chooses Kirk as her champion, there is a cut to a wide shot. In the background, you can see Leonard Nimoy waiting around with his hands behind his back.
(9) KEEP THE LID ON. Wonder which sci-fi movie/program this will show-up in first? “This $199 acrylic helmet with HEPA filters powered by fans designed to wear instead of a mask is being compared to sci-fi movies” says Yahoo! News.
…MicroClimate seems to be marketing itself to young, tech-savvy professionals, with copy reading “from Uber to airline, AIR by MicroClimate™ will keep you comfortable the whole trip,” and promotional photos of wearers in suits.
(10) TODAY’S 10,000. I don’t remember running across this highly scientific organization before: Australian Research & Space Exploration. All kinds of merchandise bearing their logo ready to order. And here’s a page devoted to telling you about Australia’s unique position.
[Thanks to John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]