Pixel Scroll 11/16/22 Good Night, Sweet Fen, And Files Of Pixels Scroll Thee To Thy Rest

(1) ILLEGAL AND UNDERGROUND CZECHOSLOVAK SCIENCE FICTION DISPLAYED AT WENDE MUSEUM IN LA. [Item by Jaroslav Olsa Jr.] A set of various illegal (samizdat), underground and semi-legal science fiction fanzines and books which were produced in the socialist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s are on show at Wende Museum of the Cold War in Los Angeles until March 2023. All the samples are from private collections of Zdeněk Rampas, Czech science fiction fan of four decades, and Jaroslav Olsa Jr., who was behind publication of various of them in the 1980s.

During Communist rule in Czechoslovakia (1948-1989), publishing houses were under strict government control. Not only were political writings suppressed; even hobbyists, collectors, gardeners and yoga practitioners, to name only a few, had to deal with the suppression of free thought. In the field of science fiction literature, censorship resulted in the publication of only a minimal number of genre books in Czech or Slovak languages. However, science fiction fans began to organize themselves in 1979, when the first science fiction club was founded in Prague. Other clubs followed; there were over forty of them by 1985 and no less than seventy by 1987. Simultaneously, the first illegal/samizdat science fiction publication saw the light of day in 1977., The first independent science fiction fanzine produced by a science fiction club appeared in 1981, a simple mimeographed paper called Sci-fi, with a print run of just a few dozen copies and a run of only twelve issues.

During the 1980s, the number of science fiction fanzines published increased, with almost a hundred different titles. By the end of the decade, the first independently produced science fiction samizdats were published, often with pirate translations by authors like Isaac Asimov, G. R. R. Martin and Robert Silverberg. While in the mid-1980s majority of science fiction fanzines were mimeographed, the late 1980s science fiction samizdats were sometimes printed in offset with runs up to 1,000 copies.

Many of these publications were associated with future-to-be important writers, historians, journalists, publishers, or translators, who thus started their careers with producing science fiction samizdats.

Visit www.wendemuseum.org

(2) CADIGAN Q&A. Pat Cadigan was inverviewed about “Science Fiction, Cyberpunk & Curiosity” by Luke Robert Mason at the Science Museum in London on October 26.

Cyberpunk author Pat Cadigan shares her thoughts on the role of science fiction in society, her methods for thinking about the future, and which elements of the cyberpunk genre have become features of our everyday reality.

(3) CARNEGIE MEDALS. No genre works are on the shortlist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. See the titles that did at the link.

(4) AN EVER-GROWING LIST. Shaun Duke reminded people that he’s building a list of “Space Opera Novels by Cisgender Women, Non-Binary, and Trans People” at Google Sheets. He’s taking suggestions of works to be added.

(5) IS THAT DRAGON FLUFF OR PUFF? Camestros Felapton pulled his eyes away from streaming TV long enough to write “The Dragon Prince Season 4 (Review)”.

If you prefer your dragon fantasy series light, fluffy and PG-rated, then you may be pleased to know that Netflix has a new season of The Dragon Prince.

This is more of a sequel to the original three seasons that ended with the bulk of the plotlines resolved as well as the genre-mandatory epic battle of good and evil. There were several intentional loose ends though. In particular, behind all the conflict in the first three seasons was the mysterious figure of Aaravos. Who is he? Where is he? What is he up to? These questions were left unanswered, which helped lend an air of underlying mystery to the story….

(6) FIXED THAT FOR YOU. Courtesy of Gary Farber on Facebook you can read Alexandra Petri’s paywalled column, “Mike Pence’s new book describes last days with Killer Robot3000”.

“Mike Pence,” everyone says. “Killer Robot3000 recklessly endangered your life, didn’t he?”

I shake my head. It is technically true in the most plodding, literal way that Killer Robot3000, a deadly robot programmed to kill, did exactly that, but I know better. Dangerous as it is, that is just how he says hello; I took his firing a deadly laser at me every time I approached for the friendly greeting it was. I know better than to think it was personal. Killer Robot3000 and I have always had nothing but deep respect for one another.

“I will pray for you, Killer Robot3000,” I told him.

He beeped at me in what I knew was a soulful way. “KILL! KILL!” he said, softly, although technically it was at the same volume he said anything. But there was an undeniable softness to it, the kind of undeniable softness that would have been denied by anyone hearing it except myself….

(7) MEMORY LANE.

2006 [By Cat Eldridge.] Patricia A. McKillip’s Solstice Wood

Gram called at five in the morning. She never remembered the time difference. I was already up, sitting at the table in my bathrobe, about to take my first sip of coffee. The phone rang; my hands jerked. Coffee shot into the air, rained down on my hair and the cat, who yowled indignantly and fled. I stared at the phone as it rang again, not wanting to pick up, not wanting to know whatever it was Gram wanted me to know. — Solstice Wood

There are certain novels that I find absolutely fascinating from their very first words. Excepting the brief poem (And every turn led us here. Back into these small rooms. — Winter Rose), these apparently mundane words lead off one of her most interesting novels, Solstice Wood which was published sixteen years ago.

WARNING: I’M WEAVING SPOILERS STARTING NOW. GO DRINK COFFEE PLEASE.

Sylva Lynn has a comfortable life away from her family. But after receiving word that her grandfather has died, she very reluctantly returns to New York for the funeral. 

But the old magic protecting their house from the Fey has begun to fail, and Sylva’s cousin has been kidnapped and replaced with a changeling. 

So her like relative Rois Melior, the protagonist of Winter Rose, it is only Sylva, who is part fairy herself, who is able to cross the border into the other realm to rescue him and return peace to their ancestral home.

The best part of story however is we get meet the Fiber Guild, the group who knit, embroider, and sew. Well they do much, more than that with their weavings. They tell Sylvia learns why her grandmother watches her so closely, and what the ancient power is in the forest that Fiber Guild seeking to bind in its stitcheries. 

FINISHED WITH YOUR COFFEE? GOOD.

Not really a spoiler, so I’ll note it’s told from a number of first-hand viewpoints, all very well defined. Not an easy thing for an author to do.

It’s a wonderful novel and though it’s technically a sequel to Winter Rose, also a brilliant novel, there’s no need to read that first. Indeed my reviewer at Green Man, an ardent McKillip fan didn’t even mention it was a sequel to that novel in his review of it. 

Great characters, stellar story, fascinating setting, particularly the house which becomes an active part of the story. The usual outing by her.  Highly recommended if you’ve not read it yet.  And  yes it won a richly deserved Nebula. 

Both novels are available from the usual suspects.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 16, 1907 Burgess Meredith. Brief though his visit to genre was, he had significant roles. One of his genre roles was a delightful take as The Penguin in original Batman series. He also shows up in Tales of Tomorrow, an anthology sf series that was performed and broadcast live on ABC in the early Fifties, and on The InvadersThe Twilight ZoneFaerie Tale Theatre: Thumbelina (with Carrie Fisher!) and The Wild Wild West. In Twilight Zone: The Movie he was Narrator, although initially he was uncredited. Did I mention he voiced Puff the Magic Dragon in a series of the same name? Well he did.   Ok so his visit to our world wasn’t so brief after all… (Died 1997.)
  • Born November 16, 1939 Tor Åge Bringsværd, 83.Writer, Editor, and Fan from Norway who co-founded Norwegian fandom. He and his university friend Jon Bing were huge SF readers in a country where SF publishing did not exist, so they founded, in 1966, the still-existing Aniara science fiction club and its fanzine at Oslo University. In 1967, they produced an SF short story collection Ring Around the Sun, which is known as the first science fiction by a Norwegian author. In 1967, they persuaded Gyldendal, the leading Norwegian publisher, into launching a paperback SF line with themselves as editors. Between then and 1980, this imprint released 55 titles which included the first Norwegian translations for many authors, such as Aldiss, Bradbury, Le Guin, and Leiber. He quit university to become a full-time SF writer, and since then has accumulated an impressive array of awards, including the Norwegian Academy Award, the Ibsen Award, and the Norwegian Cultural Council Award. (JJ)
  • Born November 16, 1942 Milt Stevens. Law Enforcement  Analyst, Fan, Conrunner, and Filer. Excerpted from Mike Glyer’s tribute to himMilt attended his first Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society meeting in 1960 at the age of 17. By 1970 Milt was President of LASFS – he signed my membership card when I joined. He was somebody to look up to who also became a good friend. Milt won the Evans-Freehafer Award for service to the club in 1971. He was on the LASFS, Inc. Board of Directors for a couple of decades, and was Chair for around five years. After the original LASFS clubhouse was bought in 1973 Milt dubbed himself the “Lord High Janitor,” having taken on the thankless task of cleaning the place. Milt was among the club’s few nationally-active fanzine publishers and fanpoliticians. He put out an acclaimed perzine called The Passing Parade. He coedited and bankrolled later issues of my fanzine Prehensile. For many years he was a member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA). He was Chair of LA 2000, the original Loscon (1975), and later the 1980 Westercon. And he co-chaired L.A.Con II (1984), which still holds the attendance record. He was made Fan GoH of Loscon 9 and Westercon 61. (Died 2017.) (JJ)
  • Born November 16, 1952 Candas Jane Dorsey, 70. Canadian writer who’s the winner of the Prix Aurora Award, and the Otherwise Award for gender-bending SF, for her Black Wine novel. She’s also won a Prix Aurora Award for her short story, “Sleeping in a Box”.  She’s one of the founders of SF Canada was founded as an authors collective in the late Eighties as Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals. At the present time, she appears to have little available from the usual digital suspects. 
  • Born November 16, 1952 Robin McKinley, 70. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast was her first book. It was considered a superb work and was named an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Rose Daughter is another version of that folktale, whereas Spindle’s End is the story of Sleeping Beauty, and Deerskin and two of the stories that you can find in The Door in the Hedge are based on other folktales. She does a superb telling of the Robin Hood legend in The Outlaws of Sherwood. Among her novels that are not based on folktales are SunshineChalice and Dragonhaven. Her 1984 The Hero and the Crown won the Newbery Medal as that year’s best new American children’s book. She was married to Peter Dickinson from 1991 to his death in 2015, they lived together in Hampshire, England where she still lives. They co-wrote two splendid collections, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits and Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits. I’d be very remiss not to note her Awards, to wit a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword, then a Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown, a World Fantasy Award for Anthology/Collection for Imaginary Lands, as editor, a Phoenix Award Honor Book for Beauty and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine. Impressive indeed!
  • Born November 16, 1976 Lavie Tidhar, 46. The first work I read by him was Central Station which won a John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. It certainly deserved that accolade! The next work by him I experienced was The Bookman Histories in which Mycroft Holmes is murdered and, well, everything of a pulp nature gets tossed into alternate history England. Both absolutely brilliant and completely annoying at the same time. I’m just finished Neom which might be one of his best works, period.
  • Born November 16, 1977 Gigi Edgley, 45. Actor and Singer from Australia. Though her genre experiences are varied, I think she’ll be best remembered for her role as Chiana, one of the Nebari, a repressive race that she rebels against, and as a result, becomes a member of the crew on Moya on the Farscape series. Other genre appearances include a role in Richard Hatch’s robot film Diminuendo, and guest parts in episodes of Beastmaster, The Lost World, Quantum Apocalypse and the web series Star Trek Continues (in “Come Not Between the Dragons”). She is a popular guest at SFF media conventions.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

(10) HERNANDEZ BROTHERS Q&A. Publishers Weekly celebrates “40 Years of Love and Rockets: PW Talks with Gilbert and Jaime”.

Marking the 40th anniversary of a groundbreaking literary comics series, Fantagraphics Books is releasing Love and Rockets: The First 50 by the celebrated cartooning brothers Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, a boxed eight-volume hardcover set collecting the series’ first 50 issues. The new edition is out this month.

Created by two Mexican American brothers (with occasional contributions from another brother, Mario) and first released as periodical comics (now book collections) by Fantagraphics in 1982, Love and Rockets came to define the budding alternative comics scene of the 1980s. Originally focused on comic, sometimes surrealist science-fiction, the stories of Los Bros shifted into the realm of nuanced naturalistic fiction set within a vividly written and illustrated world of working class Latinx characters….

How did you get into the punk scene, and when did you start working that into your comics?

GH: Growing up, reading and drawing comics, the radio was always on. Later, when we were older, we listened to a lot of glam rock. When punk came along, it was similar, except revved up. It was louder, it was more political. You went to the punk shows in the early days, they were wild, and you had the most stories you could fit into your brain. A lot of those ended up in Love and Rockets.

Jaime Hernandez: It was the first time I was part of a youth culture thing. My characters that I was creating on the side—this was before Love and Rockets—they started to cut their hair. They started to wear punk clothes. It was at the same time that we started thinking about our own culture and putting that in our comics. I think back now and go, “Why didn’t we do that the whole time?” Stories happening in our neighborhood, or at punk shows, were way more interesting than the latest X-Men comic.

(11) WAKANDAN AND ATLANTEAN FASHION STATEMENTS. In Variety:“’Wakanda Forever’ : Ruth Carter on Creating Costumes for ‘Black Panther’ Sequel”.

… “Black Panther’s” costume designer Ruth E. Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler both returned for the sequel. And for the film’s cinematography, Coogler called in Autumn Arkapaw — who is no stranger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having worked on “Loki” — to help deliver his vision.

A good chunk of the film involves the underwater city of Talokan, where the franchise’s new character Namor [Tenoch Huerta] rules off the coast of Mexico; thus, lots of Mayan art and cultural influences. “We continue to push the artistic elements. We were exploring the deep ocean and looked at different inspirations in Mayan culture, as well as the Aztecs. We were [also] upgrading and reinventing Wakanda,” says Carter. “I remember Ryan saying every time he sees a new Batman movie, the suit is different. He felt that we could upgrade some of the things in Wakanda. So the Dora Milaje warriors got new armor and Nakia [Lupita Nyong’o] got a new suit.”Namor ’s right-hand man Attuma, played by Alex Livinalli, wears a fierce headdress that comes from the sea. Carter says that once Coogler saw concepts of hammerhead shark bone structure, he wanted that for the character’s costume, something that also ties into Attuma’s Atlantean origins. “We went to the historians and showed them some of the things were looking at. We learned about Spondylus shells and jade,” Carter says of the elements used for the costume.

(12) PRESIDENT CARTER. “Helena Bonham Carter Named London Library’s First Female President”. She’s been a member since 1986.

The 180-year-old private library, the first lending library in London, will welcome Helena Bonham Carter as its first female president. The actress has been linked to members of the library through her career, having played characters in an adaptation of founding member Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and Netflix’s adaptation of Enola Holmes, itself a retelling of London Library member Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock series.

“The library is truly a place like no other, inspiring and supporting writers for over 180 years, many of whom have in some way informed my own career and those of actors everywhere,” she said….

(13) GRAMMY. The 2023 Grammy Award nominations were published in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. While I do recognize a few genre finalists it doesn’t seem profitable to post those while doubtless overlooking many more due to my unfamiliarity with hit music. If you are so inclined, feel free to name the ones you recognize in comments.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Award-winning game God of War Ragnarök is coming to PS5 and PS4, a fact to which “All Parents Can Relate”. Or so this celebrity-filled commercial claims!

What could real parents learn from the relationship between Kratos and Atreus? Whether you’re a famous celebrity or a troubled god, parenting is always a work in progress. Just ask parent support group leader, Ben Stiller, as he explains to LeBron James, John Travolta and their children how the father/son dynamic in God of War Ragnarök can inspire us all to become better parents – especially when wearing the Kratos costume. God of War Ragnarök arrives to PS5 and PS4 November 9th and these famous families aren’t waiting a minute longer to fully embrace a new way of parenting… well at least the parents.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Chris Rose, Daniel Dern, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]

2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals Longlist

The longlist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction announced October 11 features forty-three books (22 fiction, 21 nonfiction). The complete list is here.

Longlisted fiction works of genre interest include:

  • The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan.
  • The Candy House by Jennifer Egan.
  • What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri
  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
  • How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

A six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be released on November 15. The two medal winners will be January 29. The celebratory event, including presentations by the winners and a featured speaker, will take place at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in June 2023 in Chicago.

2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals

The 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were awarded today. The Carnegie Medal winners each receive $5,000. The fiction medalist is of genre interest.

2022 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (Little, Brown and Company)

Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.

Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming blazes his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.

2022 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib (Random House)

Blending pop-culture essays, memoir and poetry, Abdurraqib delves into the many iterations of Black artistic expression through an often deeply personal lens. Whether pondering the dynamic life and contributions of Josephine Baker (to whom the book is dedicated) or meditating on his own various performances, the author’s ruminations are an invitation to think deeply about Black performance on both cultural and individual levels. Startling, layered and timely, this is an essential, illuminating collection.

Pixel Scroll 11/8/21 The Martian Chronocules

(1) A LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO RECOVERY. John Varley had a heart attack followed by a quadruple bypass in February, and later was hospitalized with a post-vaccination breakthrough Covid infection, all of which he’s written about in “What a year this has been” posted October 26. In the midst of that he contracted pneumonia, which fortunately can be fought with antibiotics:

…I don’t have the bottle near me here but to the best of my recollection the ones I’m taking now are Placeboxydrine, Oxyplaceboxicillizole, and Cryptosporidiosicil, which I was already taking. Added to that was my daily dose of Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pill. If those bad boys don’t KO the bacteria, nothing will.

I feel pretty confident that I will survive this. I’m much less certain that I will recover my already-depleted physical faculties. But I try not to worry about that. So in that spirit I’ve devised a little game. Since it’s beyond question (in my mind, at least) that my trials are not over, I asked my old friend Job (not Jobs) what sort of disease I might encounter next as I wend my way through this vale of tears… 

(2) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present C. S. E. Cooney and Robert V.S. Redick in person on Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern at the KGB Bar. (Address here.)

  • C. S. E. Cooney

C. S. E. Cooney lives in Queens, New York. She won the World Fantasy Award for her collection Bone Swans in 2016, and her new collection, Dark Breakers comes out from Mythic Delirium in February 2022. Her forthcoming novel Saint Death’s Daughter will be out with Solaris in April 2022. Currently, she and her husband, author Carlos Hernandez, are co-developing a TTRPG about “Inquisition and Aliens” called Negocios Infernales.

  • Robert V.S. Redick

Robert V.S. Redick is a novelist, teacher, editor, and international development consultant with 30 years experience in the Neotropics and Southeast Asia. He is the author of seven novels, including The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Fire Sacraments epic fantasy trilogy. His most recent novel Sidewinders, was published in July. He won the New Millennium Writings Award and was a finalist for the Thomas Dunne Novel Award. He lives with his partner, Dr. Kiran Asher, in Western Massachusetts.

(3) BANGED UP PUBLISHER. Wishes for a quick and full recovery to John Gregory Betancourt of Wildside Press and The Black Cat Mystery and Science Fiction Ebooks who injured himself in a fall, as he told his mailing list today in this message titled “Disaster Strikes!”

I’m afraid I tripped and took a bad fall yesterday afternoon, which injured my ankle, knee, right wrist, and some fingers on my left hand. After hours at the emergency room, I was fortunate to learn nothing was actually broken, despite the pain and grotesque swelling of my wrist, but there is a lot of soft tissue damage. I can still type a bit with three fingers on my left hand and two on the right, but it is painful and slow. Our production level is going to be down until I can use at least my hands properly again. I am hoping for under two weeks. At the very least when the wrist brace comes off.

I will be unable to email copies of Black Cat Weekly issue 10 to paid subscribers this week. Please stop by the web site, bcmystery.com, and download your copies from the paid subscribers area.  It is a good issue.

All of the material for issue 11 is here, so it should be done on schedule.

I am going to take advantage of the forced down-time to try to master voice dictation software. I am using Google Voice to write this email, but it is not good enough. It does not support quotation marks, which boggles the mind. It is fine for straight text like an email, however.

(4) GENRE OVERCOMERS. Panelists Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Jherane Patmore of Rebel Women Lit, Onyx Pages, and Alex Brown will be discussing the purpose of sff genre labels and how Black authors use or transcend them in “What’s in a Genre: Black Authors and SFF” which streams on YouTube November 13 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

(5) HUGO UP, CLARKE DOWN. Kris V-M published the results of their survey of SF readers on Twitter, which collected 2,033 responses. Who’s read the winners of various awards? Thread starts here. People mostly don’t read Hugo winner They’d Rather Be Right, but there are six Clarke Award winners that fared even worse.

(6) WHO YA GONNA RECALL? The Ghostbusters: Afterlife “final trailer” dropped today. In theaters November 19.

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind. The film is written by Jason Reitman & Gil Kenan.

(7) EVERYTHING BUT THE OINK. Bad Wolf Archives shared these Christopher Eccleston memories – and it’s hard to get this last image out of my mind now.

(8) ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDALS. The shortlist for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction was unveiled today. The titles that made the finals are at the link. None of the longlisted books of genre interest made the shortlist. The two medal winners will be announced on January 23. The Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000.

(9) JOCULARITY. “Big Money in Dead People” was the title of a news roundup that included this report from The Wrap: “AMC Networks Earnings: ‘Walking Dead’ Return Leads to 22% Rise in US Ad Sales”.

AMC Networks’ U.S. ad sales rose 22% year-over-year during the third quarter of 2021, when AMC’s “The Walking Dead” premiered its 11th and final season, the company reported Friday.

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

2007 — Fourteen years ago, The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein opened on Broadway. Based rather obviously off the Brooks film, with the music and lyrics, not surprisingly, by Brooks. Who helped wrote the accompanying book. The original Broadway cast was Roger Bart as Frederick Frankenstein, Shuler Hensley  as The Monster, Christopher Fitzgerald as Igor, Megan Mullally as Elizabeth, Sutton Foster as Inga and Fred Applegate as Inspector Kemp / Hermit. It began previews on October 11, 2007, and opened on the date I noted above at the Lyric Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre) and closed on January 4, 2009, after 485 performances. Reception was mixed with the Times calling it a “overblown burlesque revue” but the Post calling it “very good indeed”. A few critics of course compared it unfavorably to The Producers which suggests they weren’t very good critics. 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 8, 1847 Abraham “Bram” Stoker. You know that he’s author of Dracula but did you know that he wrote other fiction such as The Lady of the Shroud and The Lair of the White Worm? Of course you do, being you. The short story collection Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories was published in 1914 by Stoker’s widow, Florence Stoker. (Died 1912.)
  • Born November 8, 1898 Katharine Mary Briggs. British folklorist and author who wrote A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures , and the four-volume Dictionary of British Folk-Tales in the English Language, and the excellent Kate Crackernuts novel. Her The Anatomy of Puck: An Examination of Fairy Beliefs among Shakespeare’s Contemporaries and Successors is a fascinating read. (Died 1980.)
  • Born November 8, 1914 Norman Lloyd. Yes, those dates are right. His longest genre role was as Dr. Isaac Mentnor on the most excellent Seven Days series. He’s been on Next GenGet Smart! in the form of the Nude Bomb film and visited The Twilight Zone, and in a fair of horror films from The Dark Secret of Harvest Home to The Scarecrow. (Died 2021.)
  • Born November 8, 1932 Ben Bova. He published more than one hundred twenty books, and as the editor of Analog he won six Hugo Awards. He later worked as editorial director at Omni. Hell he even had the thankless job of SFWA President. (Just kidding. I think.) I couldn’t hope to summarize his literary history so I’ll single out his Grand Tour series that though it’s uneven as overall, it’s splendid hard sf, as well as his Best of Bova short story collections put out recently in three volumes on Baen. What’s your favorite works by him?  (Died 2020.)
  • Born November 8, 1952 Alfre Woodard, 69. I remember her best from Star Trek: First Contact where she was Lily Sloane, Cochrane’s assistant. She was also Grace Cooley in Scrooged, and polishing her SJW creds, she once voiced Maisie the Cat in The Brave Little Toaster Goes to School. And yes, I know she’s portrayed a character in Marvel Universe. I just like the more obscure roles. 
  • Born November 8, 1955 Jeffrey Ford, 66. Winner of a very impressive seven World Fantasy Awards as well every other award given to writers of fantastic literature. Really there’s too many to list here. He’s got two Hugo nominations, one at Torcon 3 for his “Creation” short story, another at Noreascon 4 for ”The Empire of Ice Cream” novelette “.  And yes, his Well-built City trilogy is amazing.
  • Born November 8, 1956 Richard Curtis, 65. One of Britain’s most successful comedy screenwriters, he’s making the Birthday List for writing “Vincent and the Doctor”, a most excellent Eleventh Doctor story. He was also the writer of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot which isn’t really genre but it’s Roald Dahl who’s certainly is one of us some of the time, isn’t he? (Please don’t deconstruct that sentence.) And he directed Blackadder which is most decidedly genre.
  • Born November 8, 1968 Parker Posey, 53. Doctor Smith on the rebooted Lost in Space series. I’ve not seen it, so how is it?  She was in a film based on based Dean Koontz’s version of Frankenstein. And she shows in Blade: Trinity as well which I’ll admit I liked.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) GUITARDIS. [Item by Olav Rokne.] Already the only Doctor Who to have earned an Academy Award, Peter Capaldi’s now set his sights on the music charts with his first album of music in 41 years. The Glaswegian actor played in a rock quartet in the 1970s, but put that aside to pursue a (highly successful) acting career. Although numerous sci-fi stars (such as William Shatner, Brent Spiner, and Milla Jojovich) have recorded pop albums in the past, I believe Capaldi will be the first lead actor from Doctor Who to have done so. So far the music critics are generally impressed with the musicianship and lyricism. The linked article includes the first single from Capaldi’s album St. Christopher. “Peter Capaldi on taking centre-stage with first album for 41 years” in The Sunday Post.

…Now, 41 years later, he has returned to his first love. On November 19, Capaldi will release his debut album, St Christopher – more than four decades after The Dreamboys put out their first and only single, Bela Lugosi’s Birthday, on the indie label St Vitus Dance.

The album was produced by his friend Robert Howard, better known as Dr Robert of hit 1980s band The Blow Monkeys and, discussing his passion for music, the former Time Lord spun back through the years to reminisce about the scene that first captured his imagination….

(14) AHH, THE CLASSICS. Iconic Marvel superhero stories are being published in volumes as part of the Penguin Classics Marvel Collection.

Calling all Marvel fans and Classics lovers! We are thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Marvel Comics to publish a new series, the Penguin Classics Marvel Collection. This collection of carefully curated comic book anthologies presents the original stories and seminal tales of key Marvel characters, and serves as a testament to Marvel’s transformative impact on the fantasy genre and across popular culture. For the first time, these classic stories of some of the most iconic super heroes in the history of American comics, including The Amazing Spider-ManBlack Panther, and Captain America, are Penguin Classics. Learn more about the action-packed, must-read new series featuring forewords by Jason Reynolds, Nnedi Okorafor, and Gene Luen Yang!

(15) MUPPETS NEWS. Did you know that Big Bird — not the actor playing him, the character — tweeted that he had gotten vaccinated?

(16) LISTEN IN. Cat Rambo will talk about their forthcoming book release, You Sexy Thing and tell about “Three Tools For Plotting That Every Writer Needs” at the Parsec-SFF.org meeting on November 20. Register for the Zoom meeting here. It’s free. Parsec is a club in Pittsburgh, PA.

(17) REPORTING FROM THE FRONT LINES. Writer Jo Lindsay Walton, who Filers may remember as creator of the Sputnik Awards, is also a Research Fellow in Critical and Cultural Theory at the Sussex Humanities Lab, and he participated in a presentation at COP26 – “Communicating climate risk – what works and what doesn’t” – which can be viewed on YouTube.

(18) THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE LANDING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] You may recall reports last year of a man in a jet pack near LAX — sighted on two occasions by pilots approaching the airport. This was puzzling in no small part because the altitude and duration of the flight seemed to be well beyond known jet pack capabilities.

The FBI has a new theory—call it Jack the unripper. Recent pics in the LA area have surfaced of what seems to be a Jack Skellington balloon floating around. Could the erstwhile jet pack rider have been the same? One supposes it’s possible such a balloon filled with helium could’ve reached a significant altitude without ripping. I can see it now, every Party City and Halloween Express will be asked to comb their invoices for suspicious purchases. “Jet pack sighting: FBI says ‘possible jet pack man’ spotted near Los Angeles International Airport may have been balloon”.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals Longlists

A total of 45 books (23 fiction, 22 nonfiction) have been selected for the longlist for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction released October 18. The list is now available on the awards’ website.

A six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on Nov. 8, 2021. The two medal winners will be announced on January 23. The Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000.

Judging by the linked descriptions for all the longlisted fiction books these are the ones of genre interest:

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  • The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
  • Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami (Translated by Philip Gabriel)
  • Bewilderment by Richard Powers

Andrew Carnegie Medals 2021

The American Library Association (ALA) has selected Deacon King Kong (Riverhead Books) by James McBride as the winner of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Fathoms: The World in the Whale (Simon & Schuster) by Rebecca Giggs as the winner of the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

The selections were announced February 4 at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Book and Media Awards virtual event, sponsored by NoveList.

FICTION

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

McBride’s novel takes place in a vibrant, multicultural 1969 Brooklyn neighborhood, and introduces readers to Cuffy “Sportcoat” Lambkin, the titular deacon and least likely of heroes. When Sportcoat shoots Deems Clemens, the boy he coached in baseball who has become a drug dealer, everyone assumes the deacon’s days of freedom are numbered. McBride creates tragedies, major plot twists, and cultural and generational clashes as characters develop emotionally while navigating a world that’s changing for better and for worse.

NONFICTION

Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs

At the start of Fathoms, Giggs evokes depth as a unit of measurement for bodies of water and as “an attempt to understand.” With fresh perceptions and cascades of facts, she considers our ancient and persistent whale wonderment, high-tech whale hunting, global warming, mass extinction, and pollution, including the oceanic plastic plague, urging us to save the whales, the oceans, and ourselves.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, established in 2012, serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000. All the finalists will be honored during a celebratory event at ALA’s 2021 Annual Conference, which will be held virtually in June. 

Pixel Scroll 11/17/20 When You Get Caught Between The Moon And New Scroll City, The Best That You Can Do Is File In Love

(1) VIRTUAL PHILCON. Philcon 2020 will be taking place online the weekend of Friday November 20 through Sunday, November 22, 2020. It’s free. Information about how people can participate and navigate in Philcon using Zoom and Discord can be found at www.philcon.org and at https://konopas.philcon.org/#info

There will be no charge for joining Philcon 2020. It will be necessary to sign up for each program item, which may be done even while the program item is underway  The program schedule is set, subject to changes, and can be reviewed at https://konopas.philcon.org/

There will be five program tracks, a reading track, a filk and music track and social gatherings in Zoom and Discord.

The massive Filk program begins at 11 a.m. Friday. Concerts, open filk and a songwriting contest will run day and night until Sunday night.

The panels, readings and workshops start at 5:30 p.m. Literary panels cover topics for fans and writers. Science and technology, fandom, media, anime, gaming all have substantial coverage.

There are currently plans for 157 program items.

For those of you who knew and loved Hugh Casey, we will be holding a memorial get-together on Saturday at 5:30.

We hope to have an in person Philcon back at the Cherry Hill Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 2021. The dates will be November 19 to 21, 2021.

(2) VIRTUAL CONTRAFLOW/DEEPSOUTHCON. Also this coming weekend, on November 21 there will be a free one-day virtual 2020 DSC/SFC CONference put on by the CONtraflow committee.

As most of you already know, we had to postpone our 2020 convention due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While we were able to work out most of those details for a Convention next year, we are not able to postpone an actual Deep South Con. In lieu of what would have been our event this year, we would like to offer to the Fen at the Southern Fandom Confederation a virtual day of the community, creativity, and fun the Fans of the Southern Louisiana region can offer with a small taste of a virtual CONtraflow’s 2020 Deep South Con. We are calling it The 2020 DSC/SFC CONference. 

This one-day event will be completely virtual and totally free and begins at 10 am Saturday November 21.  It is an invitation for you to join us on ZOOM for panels on some of your favorite topics: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Film, TV, SMOF subculture, and much more. 

…We will also be hosting a virtual Southern Fandom Confederation meeting, gaming on the Discord Platform (including the annual DSC Hearts event) and evening programming.  Again, all the events are free- but since it is free, the space/seats are limited.  Interested Fans should be sure to drop us an email at http://www.contraflowscifi.org or find/message us on Facebook to make sure there are seats still available before November 20.  Also, while the event will be free, CONtraflow will be selling 2021 memberships during the day for the absolute lowest price that weekend on Eventbrite.com

We will also have a donation page available for those who’d just like to help out since we have expenses accrued for 2020, even without holding a convention, and the costs of this weekend’s CONference….

(3) CARNEGIE MEDALS SHORTLIST. The six shortlist titles for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence — three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals — were announced on November 17. The winners will be named online on Thursday, February 4, 2021.  

I believe none of these are genre, but you may still be interested.

FICTION FINALISTS

  • A BurningMegha Majumdar (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC)
  • Deacon King KongJames McBride (Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC)
  • Homeland Elegies — Ayad Akhtar (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)

NONFICTION FINALISTS

(4) THE BIG PICTURE. Kaaron Warren told Facebook followers her novel The Grief Hole has scored a development grant to be made into a movie. “Imagine Sol Evictus in real life…and all those ghosts.”

It’s one of seven projects to be supported by Screen Canberra.

THE GRIEF HOLE– Fiction Feature Film – Development loan Writers: Joshua Koske, Kaaron Warren When an embattled social worker with the ability to see how people die discovers her cousin’s suicide was influenced by a seductive and powerful celebrity, she must overcome her own personal tragedies and work with other gifted individuals to put a stop to his reign of terror before they become the next in a long line of willing victims.

Two of the other announced projects are also of genre interest:

PARANORMAL BLACKTIVITY Writers: Benny Eggmolesse, Jacob Keed, Nakyua Gorrie, Romina Accurso Producers: Benny Eggmolesse, Joe Weatherstone, Catherine Nabauer and Scott Wilson Development Loan, TV Series (horror) Rival siblings must team up to investigate bloody murders, strange disappearances and super weird stuff they suspect are caused by ancient Aboriginal monsters, woken by an imbalance in the natural world.

GIRL ON THE MOON – Television Series Fiction – Development loan Writers: Georgina Jenkins, Sue McPherson In 2069, Aboriginal Australian girl Luna (17), the only child ever born on the Moon, dreams of travelling to Earth to connect with her unknown father and her culture. But she knows her weak Moonling body would never survive. Luna is about to discover she is more powerful than any Earthling.

(5) CAREER WISDOM. “Questions for: David Burnett” – the former Gollancz publisher — at BookBrunch [PDF file.]

Who has been the most influential person in your career?

There have been a few, including Paul Elek [of Paul Elek Publishers]. He taught me to go out there and find authors and projects and pictures when you have small resources (in his case, it was a crushing bank overdraft). Liz Calder was the greatest. Victor Gollancz was a publishing genius and one man tornado. He could dine on sardines if the going got difficult, otherwise it was the Savoy Grill.

(6) PANIC IN THE YEAR TWO-OH-TWO-ZERO. I usually don’t get my cancel culture news from Mad Genius Club, but here is Amanda S. Green with two scoops concerning The Mandalorian: “A Swab, A Huh? And A You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me”.

…But I do think we will see more pressure from the Left to try to delist our work if it doesn’t meet the cause du jour. We’ve already seen how Target overreacted to a single tweet about a book and removed it from its shelves last week. It’s apologized and, iirc, returned the book. But this knee-jerk reaction to the woke crowd is more than a little disturbing.

The idiocy seems to grow with each week that passes. Just this month, Baby Yoda was “cancelled” by the woke crowd because he dared eat the eggs of a sentient being. How dare this “Child” do that! Bad Baby Yoda.

But that’s not the only scene from The Mandalorian to catch the eye of the woke crowd this month. In a more recent episode, cries of outrage were heard through the interwebz because of a character’s armor. 

Boobz armor is bad according to Anita Sarkeesian.

Why do I think she’d have been outraged if the lady Mando armor was exactly the same as Mando’s was? After all, then they could be accused of trying to erase the female form. 

But, but, but it’s not “real”, as one commenter points out. No shit, Sherlock. It’s a fucking show. It’s fiction. Not that the Sarkeesians of the world care as long as they can show their woke card.

And, yes, they will come for those writers they feel aren’t giving out the right message–especially those more successful than they are. And that presents a danger to all of us. Will the venues we’ve been using to sell our books remain open to us in their current forms or will we have to start tailoring our books to their demands?

(7) VICTORY AT SEA. Harry Turtledove, dubbed “The Master of Alternate History”by Publishers Weekly, has written a number of classics in the subgenre, including How Few Remain, The Guns of the South and The Man with the Iron Heart. His new novel Salamis was released November 11.

Salamis is the fifth (standalone) novel in Harry Turtledove’s critically acclaimed Hellenic Traders universe, detailing the adventures of two cousins, Menedemos and Sostratos, who work as seaborne traders following the death of Alexander the Great. This time the stage is one of the greatest sea battles ever fought in ancient times; the Battle of Salamis of 306 BC.

The small, free, and independent polis of Rhodes is trying to stay neutral between the local great powers, each ruled by one of Alexander the Great’s marshals: Asia Minor, controlled by one-eyed Antigonos, and Egypt, under the rule of Ptolemaios.

As tensions between the great powers escalate, Menedemos and Sostratos are trying to resolve their own problems, oblivious to the fact that one of the greatest navel fleets in ancient history is about to set sail. Ptolemaios, needing shipping to carry weapons for the army he intends to land, coerces Menedemos into bringing their ship, the Aphrodite, along as part of his expeditionary force. And so, very much against their will, Menedemos and Sostratos become small parts of one of the ancient world’s most significant naval battles.

Turtledove uses his study of history (with a Ph.D in Byzantine history) to create alternate worlds in intricate detail, crafting enthralling adventures that have garnered him high critical praise as well as making him one of the most successful bestselling authors in alternate history.

(8) YOUNG AUTHORS’ CLUB. SFFAudio tweeted a graphic of this story by 13-year-old Philip K. Dick published in a Berkeley paper in 1942.

(9) ZACK’S CUT. HBO Max dropped a trailer for what is now called Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born November 17, 1915 – Raymond F. Jones.  Sixteen novels, six dozen shorter stories.  Son of the Stars was I think the first science fiction I read, at about age 8.  Also I like “The Person from Porlock” – which Groff Conklin, one of our finest anthologists, put in his Treasury, one of our finest anthologies.  RFJ entitled a story “I Tell You Three Times” a year before Heinlein put that Hunting of the Snark allusion in The Rolling Stones.  When I agree with Clute and Nicholls it’s a frabjous day – oops, wrong Carroll poem: RFJ wrote “solid, well-crafted … adventures … in a … transparent style…. one of the carriers of the voice of SF.”  (Died 1994) [JH]
  • Born November 17, 1925 Rock Hudson. Best known genre role was as Col. John Wilder in The Martian Chronicles series off the Ray Bradbury work. He also played President Thomas McKenna in the World War III miniseries which you may or may not consider SF. That’s it. He was by the way yet another of the uncredited guest performers on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. (Died 1985.)  (CE) 
  • Born November 17, 1936 – John Trimble, 84.  He and wife Bjo (the software won’t show the caret over her j, an Esperantism indicating the pronunciation “bee-joe”), two of our great fans, are also omnifans: fanwriting, fanart, clubs, costuming, conventions, Star Trek, our neighbor the Society for Creative Anachronism.  I’ve been Master of Ceremonies for our onstage costume competition the Masquerade, a wondrous and sometimes terrifying task; JT was MC for possibly the greatest, certainly the longest, at L.A.con II the 42nd Worldcon: over a hundred entries: you couldn’t leave, the next one would be even better: two-thirds through, when a voice cried “How many more, John??” he answered I won’t tell you.  I can’t quite remember this panel, but it was fun.  JT chaired Westercon 23 and an Equicon; he & Bjo were Guests of Honor at Westercons 66 & 70, at the 13th NASFiC (North America SF Con, since 1975 held when the Worldcon is overseas; in the photo, JT & BT with daughter Kat), at ConJosé the 60th Worldcon.  More here.  [JH]
  • Born November 17, 1952 Robin McKinley, 68. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast was her first book. It was considered a superb work and was named an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Rose Daughter is another version  of that folktale, whereas Spindle’s End is the story of Sleeping Beauty, and Deerskin and two of the stories that you can find in The Door in the Hedge are based on other folktales. She does a superb telling of the Robin Hood legend in The Outlaws of Sherwood. Among her novels that are not based on folktales are SunshineChalice and Dragonhaven.  Her 1984 The Hero and the Crown won the Newbery Medal as that year’s best new American children’s book. She was married to Peter Dickinson from 1991 to his death in 2015, they lived together in Hampshire, England where she still lives. They co-wrote two splendid collections, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits and Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits. I’d be very remiss not to note her Awards, to wit a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword, then a Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown, a World Fantasy Award for Anthology/Collection for Imaginary Lands, as editor, a Phoenix Award Honor Book for Beauty and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine. Impressive indeed! (CE) 
  • Born November 17, 1954 –Kevin E. Johnson, 66.  A hundred forty covers, a few interiors; one short story.  Here is Gods of Riverworld.  Here is Firebird.  Here is The Toynbee Convector.  Here is Throne of Fools.  Here is Ciara’s Song.  Artist Guest of Honor at RustyCon 2, Valleycon 11.  [JH]
  • Born November 17, 1956 – Rebecca Moesta, 64.  Half a dozen novels, three shorter stories; thirty more novels, half a dozen more shorter stories, two pop-up books, with husband Kevin Anderson.  Interviewed together in SF Chronicle 224, Shimmer 4.  The only continent they have not visited together – yet – is Antarctica.  Devout gadgetologist.  [JH]
  • Born November 17, 1965 Sophie Marceau, 54. Elektra King, the villain opposing our hero In The World Is Not Enough, the 19th Bond Film. Also Eloïse d’Artagnan in Revenge of the Musketeers, Hippolyta in that version of A Midsummer Night’s DreamandLisa / Belphegor in Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre. She’s also one of the voice actors in Nature is Speaking, a Gaian series. (CE) 
  • Born November 17, 1966 Ed Brubaker, 54. Comic book writer and artist. Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives I’d consider his first genre work. Later work for DC and Marvel included The AuthorityBatmanCaptain AmericaDaredevil, Catwoman and the Uncanny X-Men. If I may single out but one series, it’d be the one he did with writer Greg Rucka which was the Gotham Central series which has been rumored to in developed as a tv series. It’s Gotham largely without Batman but with the villains so GPD has to deal with them by themselves. Grim and well done. He’s a member of the writing staff for the Westworld series where he co-wrote the episode “Dissonance Theory” with Jonathan Nolan. (CE)
  • Born November 17, 1976 – Shawna Yang Ryan, 44.  Four novels for us, one other.  Fulbright scholar.  Ass’n for Asian American Studies Best Book Award in Creative Writing, Elliot Cades Emerging Writer Award, American Book Award.  [JH]
  • Born November 17, 1978 Tom Ellis, 42. Currently playing Lucifer Morningstar in the rather excellent Lucifer series created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg from The Sandman series. It’s quite good. Also had roles in Doctor Who as Tom Milligan in the Ten Doctor story, “Last of the Time Lords”, Once Upon a TimeMessiahThe Strain and Merlin. (CE) 
  • Born November 17, 1983 Christopher Paolini, 37. He is the author of the most excellent Inheritance Cycle, which consists of the books EragonEldestBrisingr, and Inheritance. Several years ago, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm, the first book in a series called Tales of Alagaësia, was published. A film version of the first novel came out sometime ago but I’ve not seen it. And his first SF novel, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, was just published. (CE)
  • Born November 17, 1993 – Andrew Melvin, 27.  Sixteen short stories so far; they are all horrid – I mean, literally – and so collected in Horror Tales; see this cover.  [JH]

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro is there to witness Dracula’s day in court.

(12) URBAN SPACEMAN. Sprudge invites you to “Meet Covidisor, A Practical COVID Helmet That Lets You Drink Coffee”.

…But what the Covidisor has that puts it head and shoulders above the Air is a special swivel-mounted port on the front of the face shield that allows the wearer to consume any beverages via a straw. No longer will you have to make your face available to the outside world in order to enjoy that extra hot no foam latte. At last we can be safe, and caffeinated.

Available in eight different color options for the hard hat, the Covidisor retails for $275. And if you’re not sold on it yet, this snazzy music video by Vedra might change your mind. They’re walking all over a plague-ridden NYC, singing and wearing the Covidisor and just having the time of their life as though everything is fine. Everything is going to be fine…with Covidisor.

(13) SUPERMAN DOCUMENTARY MINI-REVIEW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] The Amazing Story of Superman on YouTube is a 2006 documentary, directed by Kevin Burns and narrated by Kevin Spacey, about Superman from Siegel and Shuster’s creation through Superman Returns.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this was originally a bonus feature for the Superman Returns DVD, because there’s too much of a hard sell for both that movie and “Smallville” which makes both productions out to be imaginative masterpieces, even though Superman Returns is average and “Smallville” got pretty soapy pretty quickly.  But there’s lots of interesting Superman stuff in it, such as the photos of Superman from the 1939 World’s Fair, ads for Superman Bread from the 1940s, and commercials from around 2004 with Jerry Seinfeld and an animated Superman.  The most interesting discovery is that after George Reeves killed himself in 1959, the people behind the Superman TV show did a pilot for The Adventures of Super Pup with characters in animal suits.  This of course went nowhere.  I still think it’s worth watching provided you know you’re getting a hard sell for about a third of the film.

Forrest J. Ackerman is in it briefly explaining what fanzines are and how Siegel and Shuster got their start in sf fandom.

(14) SPACEX ISS MISSION SUCCESSFUL. “SpaceX capsule with 4 astronauts reaches space station”WDRB has the story.

SpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring.

The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The linkup occurred 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Idaho.

“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact….

(15) WHERE NO GREEN TOY HAS GONE BEFORE. “‘Star Wars’ Fans Notice An Adorable Addition To The New Space Station Crew”Yahoo! News has details.

…Eagle-eyed “Star Wars” fans spotted an adorable addition to the crew that launched into space on Sunday: The Child, better known as Baby Yoda.

The four astronauts onboard used a plush toy of the beloved character from the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian” to determine whether they had reached zero gravity:

(16) PREDICTING THE PRESENT. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Songbird takes place in week 215 of the national lockdown, where people quarantined under Covid-23 have to be placed in camps.  Good times!  Produced by Michael Bay.

(17) ACQUISITION. Publishers Lunch reports:

Richard Kadrey and Cassandra Khaw’s THE DEAD TAKE THE A TRAIN, about a freelance psychic operative tracking an ever-morphing supernatural serial killer in New York City, to Diana Gill at Nightfire, with Kelly Lonesome editing, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2022, by Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown for Kadrey, and by Michael Curry at Donald Maass Literary Agency for Khaw.

(18) ITTY BITTY TEENY WEENY BACTERIAL SPACE MINERS. [Item by Daniel Dern.] The New York Times reports “These Microbes May Help Future Martians and Moon People Mine Metals”. (May be paywalled.)

An experiment aboard the space station showed that bacteria were effective at extracting rare earth elements from rocks.

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Honest Trailers: Toy Story 4” on YouTube, the Screen Junkies say the fourth Toy Story movie has Keanu Reeves in it because we all love Keanu Reeves and has “many beloved character actors getting paid only to say ‘Woody’ or ‘Buzz.'”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, John Hertz, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Gary Feldbaum, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals Longlists

A total of 46 books (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction) have been selected to the longlists for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction released on October 26.

Judging by the linked descriptions for all the longlisted books, it seems the only one that might be claimed as sff is Marie-Helene Bertino’s Parakeet.(Farrar), because “The Bride receives a visit from her long-dead grandmother in the form of a very alive parakeet.” 

Two more longlisted authors have been up for sff awards in the past, but Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel has a Ponzi scheme at its core and no fantastic elements are mentioned in the linked synopsis. Likewise, Charles Yu, whose many genre works include How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010), is listed for a non-sff book Interior Chinatown.

A six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—will be chosen from longlist titles and announced on November 17, 2020. The two medal winners will be announced online on Thursday, February 4, 2021. The Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000.

FICTION

NONFICTION

Andrew Carnegie Medals 2020

The 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards event, sponsored by NoveList, during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 26. Carnegie Medal winners each receive $5,000

Fiction

Valeria Luiselli
Lost Children Archive
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

Intense and timely, Valeria Luiselli’s novel tracks husband-and-wife audio documentarians as they travel cross-country with their two children and deep into the painful history of the Apache people and the present immigration crisis on the Southwest border,  while freshly exploring themes of conquest and remembrance, and powerfully conveying the beauty of the haunted landscape.

Nonfiction

Adam Higginbotham
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Simon & Schuster

Adam Higginbotham has created a thoroughly researched, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory account of what led up to and what followed the explosion of Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant on April 26, 1986, focusing on the people involved as they faced shocking circumstances that are having complex and significant global consequences.

Andrew Carnegie Medals 2020 Finalists

Six finalists, three fiction and three nonfiction, for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were announced November 4.

The two medal winners will be announced on January 26, 2020, at the Reference and User Services Association’s Book and Media Awards event at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia. Carnegie Medal winners will each receive $5,000.

Fiction

One of the finalists includes an element of the fantastic:

Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer
One World, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

Hiram Walker is the son of an enslaved woman and her slave master, owner of a prominent Virginia estate. When Hiram is nearly killed in a drowning accident, he detects an amazing gift he cannot understand or harness. He travels between worlds, gone but not gone, and sees his mother, Rose, who was sold away when he was a child. Despite this astonishing vision, he cannot remember much about Rose. His power and his memory are major forces that propel Hiram into an adulthood filled with the hypocrisy of slavery, including the requisite playacting that flavors a stew of complex relationships….

The other two finalists are

Myla Goldberg
Feast Your Eyes
Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Valeria Luiselli
Lost Children Archive
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

Nonfiction

Two of the three Nonfiction finalists address topics in the realm of science.

Maria Popova
Figuring
Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

Maria Popova brings her zest for facts and passion for biography to this exhilarating and omnivorous inquiry into the lives of geniuses who “bridged the scientific and poetic,” spinning a fine web connecting such barrier-breakers as Margaret Fuller, Ada Lovelace, Frederick Douglass, and Rachel Carson.

Adam Higginbotham
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Simon & Schuster

Adam Higginbotham has created a thoroughly researched, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory account of what led up to and what followed the explosion of Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant on April 26, 1986, focusing on the people involved as they faced shocking circumstances that are having complex and significant global consequences.

The third finalist is:

David Treuer
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present
Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC