[Introduction: Towards the end of the 2019 Worldcon, I set about modifying a set of the Dublin 2019 ribbons I had been given, and handed some out, writing an article about it in 2020. That piece went to Banana Wings, but long story short it has not yet appeared in print, and Claire and Mark are happy for me to send it to File 770, so here it is with a recent postscript.]
By Alan Stewart: In the Fan Fund auction at Dublin 2019 Julian Warner bought a set of Dublin ribbons and gave them to me. Though purportedly a “complete set”, comparison with a framed set of the ribbons on display in the Exhibits Hall showed that my gifted set was missing Chair, Chair’s Staff and Worldcon Widow, but I had two versions of Volunteer (also VOLUNTEER). It also included Featured Artist which was not amongst the framed set.
After looking through the set I decided it would be a nice idea to suitably modify them and hand some out to people at the convention. Checking that it was okay with James Bacon, who reiterated the message that they were not to be worn at the convention, which he had anecdotally included while auctioning the set, he also agreed that it would be a very fannish thing to do. So I set out on my rebadging project with the help of some stickers provided via the art show staff.
I distributed ribbons on the last afternoon of the con, with the expectation that they would be added to badges later that day, and also at Titancon in Belfast the next weekend.
The modifications were made based on my knowledge of the recipient, maybe something that had happen at Worldcon, or whim. I believe they were received with good grace. A couple were at the suggestion of Karen Babcock.
The following table details the recipients and the modified text of the ribbon presented to them.
Modified ribbon text
Past Worldcon Bid Chair
Facilities Free in 2021
Help I’m At Point Square
Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf
WSFS Business Meeting Widow
Past & Present Fan Fund Hero
Hugo Losers’ Ceremony Guest
Alan Crashed My Literary Beer
Spocking Hall Costumer
Dublin’s Finest Worldcon Chair
James J Styles
I’d Like Access All Areas
Fan Tables Staff Hero
Fantastical Ireland Explorer
I Could Be A Rocket Scientist
Once More With Houselights Please!
Svelte Stage Ninja
I Found the Dragon! In NZ
I Made CoNZealand Happen
Fan Funds’ Superfriend
Project Tahiti Via CoNZealand
Past Worldcon Guest of Honour
Kaffeeklatsches Are Me
I Was A Retro Hugo Acceptor
Quiet Please, I Am Analyzing Stuff
I Found A Site Selection Ballot
Creators Alley Next Year
[Chair] ‘s Friend *
* Sticker only, given to James Bacon to add to a spare Chair ribbon and then to be forwarded to Chris.
At the time, expecting to see people at CoNZealand, I made this offer:
If you would like to be added to the project please contact me at [email protected]. Feel free to nominate the original Dublin ribbon (if known, and still available) and the final modified text you would like. Otherwise the choice of ribbon and modification will be up to me. As long as ribbons (67) are still available, I’m happy to post them out or prepare them for delivery at CoNZealand at which time I will declare the project closed (last-minute modification and issue at the con may be possible). An extra distribution table could be published later next year.
Speeding ahead to August 2023, of course that 2020 and CoNZealand interaction never happened. So I’d like to conclude the project by the finish of Glasgow 2024 next year. In the meantime if you contact me about receiving a modified ribbon, maybe you recall a Dublin 2019 one in particular you’d like modified, and supply the details, if it is one of the 67 still available I can do that using the white stickers, nail scissors and a pen which did the work the first time around. (Please see the photo above for one example, and others appended to the end of this article.) Snail mail should be able to deliver a modified ribbon in packaging as a standard airmail letter. Best contact is probably via email [email protected].
Next year I’ll take the last ribbons to Glasgow, and the essential scissors and stickers, and set about finalising the project, by request if people catch up with me, and again at my whim. I’ll record details to prepare a sequel to the table above which might also appear in File 770 next year.
Here’s some more photos from 2019, modified ribbons prepared in my hotel room, ready for distribution. [Click for larger image.]
Australian fan Alan Stewart has been tracking down all the little mementoes that Worldcons give to Hugo Nominees. In doing so he was helped by many fans, seeking images and information.
Alan joined Chris Garcia and James Bacon on Journey Planet 73 – Hugo Nominee Gifts, as they sought to share the research and photos, of the wondrous things that have been gifted. And who knew that such a list existed?
Gifts for Hugo Nominees were generally given to nominees at the Hugo Losers party by the subsequent Worldcon, often seen as a promotional activity as well as welcome to those the community have celebrated to come to the following year’s Worldcon.
A variety of fans have contributed the images, and a number have written for the issue including Evelyn Leeper, Steven H Silver, Guy Lillian III, Michael A Burstein, Deb Geisler, Rose Mitchell, Helen Montgomery, Sarah Gulde, Alison Scott, Craig Miller, Ian McDonald and Henry Balen who all share insight
It’s a list you might not know existed, and one that’s kind of fun.
Letters of Comment from Rob Hansen and Kerry Kyle also feature, as they both respond to issue 71, the Hugo Base issue.
James Bacon adds, “We are currently working on an issue with Jean Martin about futuristic, mythical, fictional and imagined musical instruments with an end of June deadline and would love to hear from interested contributors.”
,,,,But it was Arkady Strugatsky who was the first to understand that if they really want to “break out, break through, ah,” then the last thing they need to do for this is to become normal good science fiction writers.
He formulates the credo of the Strugatsky writers back in 1959: “Our works should be entertaining, not only and not so much in their idea – even if the idea has been sucked by fools ten times before – but in a) the breadth and ease of presentation of scientific material; “Down with Zhulvernovshchina”, we must look for very precise, short, clever formulations designed for a developed student of the tenth grade; b) according to the good language of the author and the diverse language of the heroes; c) by the reasonable courage of introducing into the narrative the assumptions “on the verge of the possible” in the field of nature and technology and by the strictest realism in the actions and behavior of the heroes; d) by a bold, bold and once again bold appeal to any genres that seem acceptable in the course of the story for a better depiction of a particular situation. Not to be afraid of light sentimentality in one place, rude adventurism in another, a little philosophizing in the third, amorous shamelessness in the fourth, etc. Such a mixture of genres should give things an even greater flavor of the extraordinary. Isn’t the extraordinary our main theme? “
Sonya Hess Dorman’s science fiction career lasted about a generation and produced enough short pieces to fill a collection, as a well as a fix-up. I first encountered Dorman via her ?“When I Was Miss Dow”, reprinted in Pamela Sargent’s ground-breaking Women of Wonder (as well as many other anthologies). ?“When I Was Miss Dow” was considered for a Nebula, although it didn’t make the finalist list, and it won a retrospective Tiptree. Odds on the favourite for inclusion in Rediscovery. That is not the call Journey Press made. Journey Press eschews the easy choices.
One wonders, therefore, what my Young People will make of the Dorman Journey did select.
It suggests, among other things, a history of science fiction from its Gothic roots to the present. Items are arranged here chronologically and the labels are keyed to numbers in the exhibition checklist included in A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, published by the Grolier Club (and available here).
In the original exhibition, the entries were grouped in four broad periods: from 1762 to 1912 (nos. 1-14); the interwar years (nos. 15-27); the late 1940s through 1980 (nos. 28-49); and from 1981 to the present (nos. 50-70); there are seven chronological headings here, and three additional headings offer new ways of making connections between the works. A very few items displayed at the Grolier Club are not reproduced on this website.
A Japanese company has announced the successful test drive of a flying car.
Sky Drive Inc. conducted the public demonstration on August 25, the company said in a news release, at the Toyota Test Field, one of the largest in Japan and home to the car company’s development base. It was the first public demonstration for a flying car in Japanese history.
The car, named SD-03, manned with a pilot, took off and circled the field for about four minutes.
“We are extremely excited to have achieved Japan’s first-ever manned flight of a flying car in the two years since we founded SkyDrive… with the goal of commercializing such aircraft,” CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said in a statement.
(6) IN THE TRASH. Alan Stewart’s report of site selection voting in CoNZealand Progess Report #4, released today,prompted a critical response from Cade. Thread starts here.
Superhero thriller “The New Mutants,” one of the first major movies to open since coronavirus forced theaters to close in March, launched to $7 million over the weekend. Though ticket sales were on the lower end of expectations, the Disney and 20th Century Studios title marks the biggest debut yet for a new release during the pandemic.
Around 60-70% of theaters have reopened across the U.S. and Canada, according to Disney. However, some of the biggest moviegoing markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New Jersey and New York, still remain closed. In parts of the country where theaters have resumed business, venues are capping capacity and keeping space between seats to comply with social distancing measures. “The New Mutants” played in 2,412 theaters, making it the widest release in months.
(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
August 31, 1979 — Time After Time premiered. (It would lose out to Alien for Best Dramatic Presentation at Noreascon Two.) It was directed by Nicholas Meyer who wrote the screenplay from a story by Karl Alexander and Steve Hayes, and produced by Herb Jaffe. The primary cast was Malcolm McDowell, David Warner and Mary Steenburgen. Reception by critics was unambiguously positive, the box office was good and the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a 72% rating.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born August 31, 1908 – William Saroyan. This remarkable Armenian American gave us a short novel Tracy’s Tiger and a handful of short stories. One was in Unknown Worlds! Outside our field his play The Time of Your Life won a Pulitzer Prize, which he refused, saying commerce should not judge the arts; his screenplay for The Human Comedy, rejected as too long, he made into a novel and won an Academy Award for Best Story. In 1991 the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. jointly issued postage stamps honoring him. (Died 1981) [JH]
Born August 31, 1914 — Richard Basehart. He’s best remembered as Admiral Harriman Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He also portrayed Wilton Knight in the later Knight Rider series. And he appeared in “Probe 7, Over and Out”, an episode of The Twilight Zone. (Died 1984.) (CE)
Born August 31, 1927 – Ted Coconis, 93. Illustrates children’s books e.g. Newbery Award winner The Summer of the Swans. For us, here is Camber of Culdi. Here is Labyrinth. Here is A Matter of Time. Here is Dorian Gray. Here is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14. [JH]
Born August 31, 1941 – Larry Schwinger, 79. Six dozen covers, a handful of interiors. Here is The Owl Service. Here is Star Rangers. Here is On Basilisk Station. Here is the Jul 95 Burroughs Bulletin. Here is Kindred. [JH]
Born August 31, 1942 – Alan J. Lewis, 78. Member of the leading apas of his day, FAPA, OMPA, SAPS, he famously in the mid-1960s organized the Fanzine Foundation which shipped a ton of fanzines – really; more than 2,800 pounds – to Bruce Pelz, where they became part of his elephantine collection; this at BP’s death went to Univ. California at Riverside. [JH]
Born August 31, 1949 — Richard Gere, 71. He was Lancelot in First Knight starring Sean Connery as King Arthur, and he was Joe Klein in The Mothman Prophecies. That’s it for genre video work. First Knight for me is more than enough to get Birthday Honors, but he also was in live performances of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in the Sixties. (CE)
Born August 31, 1968 – Néné Thomas, 52. As it happens she was Graphic Artist Guest of Honor at InCon the year I was Fan Guest of Honor; since then, Loscon 29, Windycon 37, MidSouthCon 29, ConQuesT 46. Artbooks Parting the Veil, The Unwinding Path. Here is Aveliad: the Forest done as a 1,000-piece puzzle. Also she makes cross-stitch charts and decorative resin butterflies. [JH]
Born August 31, 1969 — Jonathan LaPaglia, 51. The lead in Seven Days which I’ve noted before is one of my favorite SF series. Other than playing Prince Seth of Delphi in a really bad film called Gryphon which aired on the Sci-fi channel, that’s his entire genre history as far as I can tell unless you count the Bones series as SF in which he’s in “The Skull in the Sculpture” episode as Anton Deluca. (CE)
Born August 31, 1974 — Marc Webb, 46. Director of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as the forthcoming Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He’s also directed over ninety music videos over the past several decades with the first being Blues Traveler’s “Canadian Rose”. (CE)
Born August 31, 1982 — G. Willow Wilson, 38. A true genius. There’s her amazing work on the Hugo Award winning Ms. Marvel series starring Kamala Khan which I recommend strongly, and that’s not to say that her superb Air series shouldn’t be on your reading list as well. Oh, and the Cairo graphic novel with its duplicitous djinn is quite the read. The only thing I’ve by her that I’ve not quite liked is her World Fantasy Award winning Alif the Unseen novel. I’ve not yet read her Wonder Women story: should I? (CE)
Born August 31, 1984 – Cassandra Khaw, 36. Her work is horrible – I mean, on purpose. Or we could call it horrific. She knows and includes Southeast Asian images. Hammers on Bone is one of four Re-imagining Lovecraft novellas. Fifty short stories, half a dozen poems, in Apex, Daily SF, Gamut, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Uncanny; interviewed in Lightspeed, Mithila Review, Nightmare. Ranks Oor Wombat’s Castle Hangnail above Lukyankenko’s Night Watch and Pratchett’s too. [JH]
Born August 31, 1992 — Holly Earl, 28. English actress who was Kela in Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, and Agnes in Humans. She also played the young Kristine Kochanski in Red Dwarf in the “Pete, Part One” as well as Lily Arwell in the most excellent Eleventh Doctor story, “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.“ She was Céline in the “Musketeers Don’t Die Easily” episode of Musketeers, and played Hermia in the ‘18 A Midsummer Night’s Dream film. (CE)
(11) DC IGNORES COMICS SHOPS. Cliff Biggers, owner of Dr. No’s Comics in Marietta, GA told Facebook followers today:
DC’s latest slap in the face to comic shops: in all their promotional information about Batman Day, they don’t mention anything about comic shops or what they intend to do for our market (probably because, as in years past, they don’t intend to do ANYTHING for our market). Short of beating us up and stealing our lunch money, there isn’t much more that DC can do to show their contempt for comic shops that would surprise me any more.
There is a masked crusader on the streets of Santiago, Chile this summer. But rather than fighting criminals, Solidarity Batman delivers hot meals. Months of lockdown have caused hardship in Chile, where unemployment has reached a record 12 percent. Recently, an unidentified man has been donning a full Batman suit, plus a surgical mask for coronavirus protection, and travelling through the capital city sharing sympathy and plates of food. Almost anybody can be like him, the everyday superhero says. ‘Look around you, see if you can dedicate a little time, a little food, a little shelter, a word sometimes of encouragement to those who need it.
Parents! Pesky narrative roadblocks when writing books centred on young people. Common, garden-variety parents want to make sure their offspring are healthy and happy, which is a problem for writers who want to send young protagonists off into danger. Authors can, of course, dispatch parents to a location too distant for them to interfere or simply kill them off—both very popular choices—but there is another alternative: Simply have the parents themselves (or their equivalent) be part of the problem….
Graf ZeppelinHindenburg: Large Section of Aluminum Framework. 28″ long section of the strut or framework used to construct the famous dirigible Hindenburg, destroyed in a catastrophic & dramatic explosion on May 6, 1937, while attempting to dock at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The scene was captured on film and broadcast live via radio. The reason for the explosion remains elusive and controversial, even to this day. It is thought that a spark of static electricity might have ignited the flammable outer skin. Various relics from the event come on the market from time to time, but none are as sought-after as sections of the strut work. This example is covered in deep emerald and black carbon deposits. It is accompanied by a July 14, 2020 Letter of Provenance that indicates a workman in the clean-up crew, Harry Manyc, was permitted to take home a large section of the “ribbing” as a souvenir, from which pieces, like this, were parceled out over the years.
The author Ian Fleming created the fictional super-spy, James Bond, in the 1950s. Fleming, a former journalist and stockbroker, had served in British naval intelligence during the Second World War. Using interviews with Fleming and his friends from the BBC archive, Alex Last explores how elements of James Bond were drawn from Ian Fleming’s own adventurous life.
The Godzilla Museum located in Japan is now open. The Attraction features tons of Godzilla memorabilia, interactive sections and a themed menu. Most notably, the upcoming giant true-to-size statue that allows you to zipline into Godzilla’s mouth to perform a mission.
…Shron needed the perfect basement because, for nearly 30 years, he had dreamed of building a life-size replica of a 1970s Canadian VIA Rail railway carriage inside his house, the exact train that took him from Toronto to Montreal to visit his grandmother when he was a little boy.
Step inside Shron’s basement today and you will be greeted by a 200lb blue-and-yellow train door. As you pass through it, an MP3 player will hiss the sounds of air circulation accompanied by the squeaking of gangway connections. Inside the carriage there are rows of vintage reclinable red-and-orange-striped seats, luggage racks, a real VIA garbage can removed from a scrapped train and a metal sign instructing passengers that smoking is indeed permitted. What Shron couldn’t find on the scrap heap, he made. He printed out orange litter bags, custom-printed napkins and engraved wine glasses.
“The great thing was it ended up looking exactly as I’d envisioned it,” the 45-year-old says of his basement train, which took him four-and-a-half years to build and cost $10,000 (the scrapped carriage alone cost $5,000). “I fell in love with VIA trains from the age of two – I became madly obsessed, it’s all I would talk about, all I wanted.” Shron recreated the train that he took to visit family to tap into “that very warm, comfortable, positive energy” he felt as a child. “I get a little bit of that every time I go down to the train.”
Shron’s basement is an unusual thing, but it is perhaps a little more common than you’d expect. A number of people have created their own “worlds” underneath their homes. In late May, the listing for a Maryland mansion went viral after a Twitter user discovered a fake town inside the basement. The basement features cobbled streets, 15 shopfronts, fake flowers and real vintage cars. But even this isn’t unusual. More than a decade ago, a YouTube video documented the basement of John Scapes, an Illinois man who had built an 1890s street under his home.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, James Davis Nicoll, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day James Moar.]