(1) CHICON 8 ATTENDANCE UPDATE. Registration Area Head Elayne Pelz reported on Facebook that as of 11:15 a.m. Saturday there were 3,308 attendees present at Chicon 8.
(2) HUGO LIVESTREAM. Chicon 8 announced that the Hugo Awards ceremony will begin livestreaming September 4 at 7:45 Central on YouTube. This is the link: Chicon 8 Hugo Awards Ceremony – YouTube. (The ceremony will not be streamed on Airmeet.)
(3) IN GLORIOUS B&W. The Eaton Collection rounded up some of Jay Kay Klein’s photos from Chicon III, the 1962 Worldcon:
(4) KEEPING THEM DOWN ON THE FARM. Cloudflare.com has done a 180 and kicked Kiwi Farms off the service: “Blocking Kiwifarms”. Kiwi Farms is a forum for discussing figures it deems “lolcows” (people who can be “milked for laughs”), and the targets of threads are often subject to doxing and other forms of organized group trolling, harassment, and stalking, including real-life harassment by users.
We have blocked Kiwifarms. Visitors to any of the Kiwifarms sites that use any of Cloudflare’s services will see a Cloudflare block page and a link to this post. Kiwifarms may move their sites to other providers and, in doing so, come back online, but we have taken steps to block their content from being accessed through our infrastructure.
This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare’s role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous one that we are not comfortable with. However, the rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site and specific, targeted threats have escalated over the last 48 hours to the point that we believe there is an unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life unlike we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before….
Vice explains the decision more fully in “Kiwi Farms is Down After Cloudflare Boots The Site As a Customer”.
…This comes just one week after Cloudflare defended the choice to keep the site as a customer.
In August, Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti, known as Keffals, was the target of transphobic raiding and swatting—the dangerous internet harassment tactic involving prank calls to authorities that prompt police to send a SWAT team to someone’s home. Sorrenti alleges that Kiwi Farms members organized this attack, and has been campaigning for Cloudflare, the internet infrastructure company that protects Kiwi Farms from DDoS attacks among other services, to drop the website as a customer….
(5) BURKE RESPONDS TO B56 COC REPORT. Stephanie Burke posted to Facebook her reaction to the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Reports of the Results of the Code of Conduct Investigation Concerning Balticon 56.
I have been exonerated by Balticon for all of the bullshit that just happened. I feel that this letter to me is … I don’t know…more about them covering their asses and there still is no real apology to me or to the people who have been dealt with in this manner by the con before… It may be a bit of a reach but this is how I feel.
They say I can come back as a program participant but I am never going back. The thought of going back gives me the shakes and the start of panic attacks. I can never go back. I will miss a lot of my friends and family who are there, but I have to think about my mental health, the lies that were spread about me, and how I was treated. This could happen to anyone at any given time so I say everyone proceed with caution at cons. This was a life-changing experience for me and not in a positive way….
(6) NEW JMS B5 COMMENTARY. After J. Michael Straczynski’s full-length sync-up Babylon 5 commentaries have been offered exclusively on his Patreon page for a while, he releases them on YouTube. Here’s the latest, for “Point of No Return”, the middle of the Messages from Earth trilogy.
(7) ANTICI-PATION. JMS also revealed there is a completed Babylon 5 project that will debut next year at San Diego Comic-Con. Wait for it.
(8) THE HONORVERSE: WHAT’S AHEAD? David Weber has written a long post looking to the future of the Honorverse.
…So, by my calculations, that’s another 22 books I need to get written [with various collaborators] to wrap up my current series plans.
I’m 70 this October. I sold the first novel thirty-three years ago. Since then, I have published (or have currently turned in, awaiting production) 74 solo and collaborative novels, which works out to roughly 2.24 per year. That doesn’t count the anthologies, of course.
I lost roughly 2 years to the concussion, and about a year and a half to the Covid, so let’s call it 30 years, not 33, which brings the production up to 2.5 per year. And let’s assume that I write for another ten years, which (at the moment, and barring any anticipated encounters with mortality) seems entirely plausible. By my calculations, that comes to another TWENTY-FIVE solo and collaborative novels, in the process of which I will be working with some of my collaborators to establish them firmly in the existing universes going forward.
People, like the characters in Richard Adams’ PLAGUE DOGS, I’ll probably still be writing “when the dark comes down.” That means, obviously, that I won’t be “finished” when I leave, but don’t go around thinking that you’re getting rid of me next week!
(9) TAKEI. Look who’s reading the Unofficial Hugo Book Club twitter feed.
(10) MEMORY LANE.
1977 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Doctor Who’s “Horror Of Fang Rock” (1977)
Doctor Who: “Why am I standing here wasting my time trying to work out its size? If Reuben’s seen it, he can tell us.’”
Leela: “That is what I thought, but of course I am only a savage.’”
Doctor Who: “Come on, savage!”
BritBox streams these so naturally I watched before writing this up. It was every bit as great as I remembered it. Ahhh the sacrifices I make for all of you here!
This Fourth Doctor story with the much loved Tom Baker in that role, obviously, and Louise Jameson as Leela the barbarian. (See quote above if you think I’m disparaging her.) It was first broadcast in four weekly twenty-five minute episodes on BBC1 from the third to twenty-fourth of September forty-five years ago.
It was directed by Paddy Russell, she also did those honors for another favorite of mine, “Pyramids of Mars”. (Paddy, by the way, was a well-known and much beloved SJW.) In all, she directed parts or the entire of six Who serials. It was written by Terrence Dicks, not at all surprisingly as this was the period in which he was heavily involved in the series.
HERE IN THE FOG BE SPOILERS! GO AWAY!
The Doctor and His Companion land along the coast of England, find a dead body and a erratic light in, errr, a Lighthouse. He being he decides to investigate. One of the Keepers, Reuben, tells them about the Beast of Fang Rock (Britain is lousy with such folktales. Really it is.)
Ahh but being the Doctor soon Aliens abound as they always do, don’t they? And more humans will die. What will the Doctor do? Well he will prevail in the end of course.
END OF SPOILERS. I THINK. MAYBE.
Now this serial was the only one of the original series to have been produced at any BBC studios outside of London.
Dicks based his script off a poem, “Flannan Isle” written by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, which The Doctor quotes from at the end of the Story.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born September 3, 1810 — Theodor von Holst. He was the first artist to illustrate Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus in 1831. The interior illustrations consist of a frontispiece and title page engraved illustrations. To my knowledge, this is his only genre work. (Died 1844.)
- Born September 3, 1943 — Mick Farren. Punk musician who was the singer with the proto-punk band the Deviants. He also wrote lyrics for Hawkwind. His most well-known genre work was the The Renquist Quartet about an immortal vampire. The Renquist Quartet is available at the usual suspects. Not at all genre, he wrote The Black Leather Jacket which details the history of the that jacket over a seventy-year span up to the mid-eighties, taking in all aspects of its cultural, political and social impact. (Died 2013.)
- Born September 3, 1943 — Valerie Perrine, 79. She has uncredited role as Shady Tree’s sidekick is Diamonds Are Forever in her first film appearance. Her first credited film role is as Montana Wildhack in Sluaughterhouse-Five. She’s Eve Teschmacher in Superman and Superman II.
- Born September 3, 1954 — Stephen Gregg. Editor and publisher of Eternity Science Fiction which ran 1972 to 1975 and 1979 to 1980. It had early work by Glen Cook, Ed Bryant, Barry N Malzberg, andrew j offutt and Roger Zelazny. (Died 2005.)
- Born September 3, 1959 — Merritt Butrick. He played Kirk’s son, David, in The Wrath of Khan and again in The Search for Spock. Note the very young death. He died of AIDS. Well, he died of toxoplasmosis, complicated by AIDS to be precise. (Died 1989.)
- Born September 3, 1969 — John Picacio, 53. Illustrator who in 2005 won both the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist and the Chesley Award for Best Paperback Cover for James Tiptree Jr.’s Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. He’s also won eight other Chesley Awards. He was the winner of the Best Professional Artist Hugo in 2012, 2013, and 2020.
- Born September 3, 1971 — D. Harlan Wilson, 51. Author of Modern Masters of Science Fiction: J.G. Ballard, Cultographies: They Live (a study of John Carpenter) and Technologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science Fiction. No, I’ve no idea what the last book is about.
- Born September 3, 1974 — Clare Kramer, 48. She had the recurring role of Glory, a god, or perhaps demon, from a hell dimension that was the main antagonist of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s been a lot of horror films including The Skulls III, The Gravedancers, The Thirst, Road to Hell, Road to Hell, Big Ass Spider! and Tales of Halloween.
(12) COMICS SECTION.
- La Cucaracha listens in as a character tells Trump why he needs to return a box of classified stuff.
- Tom Gauld helps you enrich your vocabulary.
(13) SNAPSHOT. JJ sent along this photo of Cora Buhlert from her Table Talk yesterday at Chicon 8.
(14) THE BORED OF AVON. Mental Floss would like to acquaint you with “5 Writers Who Really Hated Shakespeare”. On the list is —
4. J.R.R. TOLKIEN
While a member of a school debating society in the early 1900s, a teenage J.R.R. Tolkien reportedly delivered a lengthy speech in which, according to his biographer Humphrey Carpenter, he “poured a sudden flood of unqualified abuse upon Shakespeare, upon his filthy birthplace, his squalid surroundings, and his sordid character.” Opinion is divided over whether or not Tolkien upheld these opinions as an adult, but his letters offer up a number of clues: In one, dated 1944, he dismissed reading and analyzing Shakespeare’s works as “folly,” while in another from 1955, he recalls that he “disliked cordially” studying his work at school.
… In a 1951 letter to his editor Milton Waldman, Tolkien wrote that he had recently invented two new languages to be spoken by the elves in his novels, before adding in a footnote that he intends “the word [elves] to be understood in its ancient meanings, which continued as late as Spenser—a murrain on Will Shakespeare and his damned cobwebs.”
(15) ELVISH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. [Item by Soon Lee.] Mike Godwin (yes, *that* Godwin) tweeted an Elvis/h filk. And it is delicious. Thread starts here.
(16) INCURABLE. Anthony Lane confesses to having “The Hobbit Habit: Reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’” in a 2001 article from The New Yorker.
…I first took on “The Lord of the Rings” at the age of eleven or twelve; to be precise, I began it at the age of eleven and finished at the age of twelve. It was, and remains, not a book that you happen to read, like any other, but a book that happens to you: a chunk bitten out of your life….
(17) THE RINGS, OH LORD! Vice reports “Astronomers Are Freaking Out Over Bizarre Rectangle-Shaped Rings in Space”. Images at the link.
… In a photograph of the star WR140, as pointed out by citizen scientist Judy Schmidt who reposted the image from the automated @JWSTPhotoBot on Twitter, a spiral of rings and rays fan out from the star’s bright white center. The rings aren’t perfectly circular, but look more like rounded squares, and not even astronomers seem to know what to do with it….
(18) HELPING JOHN WILLIAMS CONDUCT. Some of my daughter’s relatives were at the Hollywood Bowl waving along! And they say during last night’s concert Williams even debuted a piece from the upcoming Indiana Jones movie.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Chris Barkley, Soon Lee, Daniel Dern, Andrew (not Werdna), 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 Daniel Dern.]
I really, really like that Scroll title. Kudos to Daniel Dern!
A completely understandable decision. Wishing all the best to Stephanie Burke.
(15) Oy. Do they defenestrate in Gondor?
(16) They’re trying to figure out why those gas shells are Like That. (It’s a Wolf-Rayet star, they throw off gas shells at intervals, while they’re burning helium in their old age.)
10) Leela is a barbarian and a damned smart one. She’s one of my favorite companions.
13) Thanks for this, JJ. I think we still had a nice chat, even though my connection froze in the middle of the table talki (and froze again today in the middle of a panel I was moderating).
Patrick Morris Miller says Leela is a barbarian and a damned smart one. She’s one of my favorite companions.
Quite so. It’s an archetype that they smartly play against in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the story that preceded this one.
(15) ELVISH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.
First time I read that, I earwormed myself. And having read it again, history has repeated…
(1) So, is Robert Silverberg attending? Still history in the making!
One of my favorite stories as well. Great atmosphere.
I recommend Farren’s Mars–The Red Planet.
I recommend Wilson’s Dr identity.
Jan-Erik Zandersson asks So, is Robert Silverberg attending? Still history in the making!
As far as I know, he isn’t. Certainly not physically.
12: If Gauld is going to school us on “Stapleschuldegefuhl”, then he really ought to have included “SPWSSFM” or, at the very least, “IAOPUMUMSTFPUSA”, which, while much longer is at least partially pronounceable.
Gauld also provides us with only one translation for Stapleschuldegefuhl. The more common usage (at least in Fannish circles) translates to “he who uses (wire) staples is a fool” and is widely attributed to Don Wollheim, but was, in fact, first uttered by his wife, Elizabeth (and what she actually said was something along the lines of “this staple war with Bob Tucker is one of THE stupidest things you have ever gotten yourself involved in, and NO, we are NOT going to start an office supply company!”)
Of course, Fannish histories are notoriously, ummm, “unique”. Just ask SAM.
14. I knew there was another reason I liked that guy!
Yes, dear Cat, Fang Rock was a wonderful episode–and Leela was maybe Tom Baker’s best companion.
(Although Sarah Jane was good, too. Depends which episode I’m looking at, which one of them I liked better. Romana never really did it for me. Guess that’s what happens when you let the star hire his girlfriend.)
Leela was particularly adorable in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” running around dressed up as a Victorian newsboy.
But I have to admit, my very favorite Tom Baker episode was “the Brain of Morbius”.
Can you forgive me?
@Michaele Jordan: Of the Fourth Doctor episodes not yet come to Blu-ray, “The Brain of Morbius” and “The Pyramids of Mars” are the ones I’m most looking forward to.
Back at you! I have a glitchy homemade disk that I am dying to upgrade.
A reminder to all U.S. Whovian fans: Britbox streams all of the classic Doctor Who shows. That and a lot more, and I do mean a lot more such as Spooks is available for $6.99 a month.
I subscribe to that and Acorn as each has different British content.
There’s gonna be a Hugo tonight,
a Hugo tonight I know, let’s go
‘Cause we can grok around the fanzines
We can get down to the clones
We can leave it in the pixel scroll
But anyway there’s gonna be a Hugo tonight I know.
Cora!! Gratz Cora. (Again, after the twitters.) Extremely well-deserved.