2021 Aurealis Awards

The 2021 Aurealis Awards were announced May 28 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • Dragon Skin by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • The Curiosities by Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (illustrator) (Hachette Australia) 

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “Don’t Look!” by Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “Don’t Look!” by Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • “All The Long Way Down” by Alf Simpson (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3, IFWG Publishing Australia) 

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “So-called Bin Chicken” by E J Delaney (Curiouser Magazine #2

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • Bones Of The Sea by Amy Laurens (Inkprint Press) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “Relict: (noun) A Widow; a Thing Remaining From the Past” by Alison Goodman (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, CAT Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “Preserved in Amber” by Samantha Murray (Clarkesworld #178)

BEST COLLECTION

  • The Gulp by Alan Baxter, (self-published) 

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, Aiki Flinthart (Ed.), Lauren Elise Daniels & Geneve Flynn (assistant Eds.), CAT Press 

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin) 

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • Holly and the Nobodies by Ben Pienaar (Hellbound Books LLC)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL 

  • Dark Rise by C S Pacat (Allen & Unwin) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)

SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD

  • Blood and Gold [Crown of Rowan (enovella, 2014); Daughters of the Storm (2014); Sisters of the Fire (2016); Queens of the Sea (2019)], by Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins) 

CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE 

  • Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950-1985, Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre (Eds.) (PM Press)

2021 Aurealis Awards Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2021 Aurealis Awards were announced April 5 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, Anna Ciddor (Allen & Unwin)
  • Stellarphant, James Foley (Fremantle Press)
  • Dragon Skin, Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (illustrator) (Hachette Australia)
  • Elsewhere Girls, Emily Gale & Nova Weetman (Text Publishing)
  • Barebum Billy, Nicholas Snelling (BAD DAD Publishing)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • The Curiosities, Zana Fraillon & Phil Lesnie (illustrator) (Hachette Australia)
  • Treasure in the Lake, Jason Pamment (Allen & Unwin)
  • Mechanix, Ben Slabak & Edoardo Natalini (Cloud 9 Comix)
  • Killeroo: Semper Fidelis, Matthew Soall & Ignacio Di Meglio (illustrator) (OzComics)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #331)
  • “Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)
  • “Of Slaves and Lions”, Pamela Jeffs (Stories of Survival, Deadset Press)
  • “Slaughterhouse Boys”, Emma Osborne (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)
  • “Way-bread Rising”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Stories of Survival, Deadset Press)
  • “Hunger”, Marianna Shek (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “Don’t Look!”, Lisa Fuller (Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Wakefield Press)  
  • “Traces of Us, Hot Enough for Dinner”, Ephiny Gale (The Dread Machine 1.3)
  • “The House that Hungers”, Maria Lewis (Aurealis #146, Chimaera Publications)
  • “The Quiet Room”, Martin Livings (Midnight Echo #16, The Australasian Horror Writers Association)
  • “Sins of the Mother”, Tracie McBride (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “Mother Dandelion”, Antoinette Rydyr (Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • When the Cicadas Stop Singing, Zachary Ashford (Horrific Tales Press)
  • “The Band Plays On”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp, self-published)
  • “Hell’s Teeth”, Matthew R Davis (Haunted: An Anthology, Specul8 Publishing)
  • Cryptid Killers, Alister Hodge (Severed Press)
  • “All The Long Way Down”, Alf Simpson (Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3, IFWG Publishing Australia)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “Who Wants to be a Reaper”, Jane Brown (The Centropic Oracle)
  • “So-called Bin Chicken”, E J Delaney (Curiouser Magazine #2)
  • “All my Tuesdays”, Laura J Fitzwilson (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)
  • “Old Souls”, Aiki Flinthart (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, CAT Press)
  • “The Woods Echo Back”, Tania Fordwalker (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #331)
  • “Frabjous”, Alexander Gibbs (Cicerone Journal Issue 5: Curious Worlds)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • “Mother in Bloom”, Alan Baxter (The Gulp, self-published)
  • “The Little One”, Rebecca Fraser (Coralesque and Other Tales to Disturb and Distract, IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • “Bones Of The Sea”, Amy Laurens (Inkprint Press)
  • “Echo and Narcissus”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Sheep Might Fly podcast, self-published)
  • “The Scarab Children of Montague”, Suzanne J Willis (Falstaff Books)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars” Grace Chan (Clarkesworld #178)
  • “For Autumn”, Melissa Ferguson (Revolutions, Deadset Press)
  • “Honey and a Hanging”, Aiki Flinthart (Tribute, Black Hart Publishing)
  • “The Reunion”, Emily Fox (Nature: Futures)
  • “Relict: (noun) A Widow; a Thing Remaining From the Past”, Alison Goodman (Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, CAT Press)
  • “Legacy of the Species”, Pamela Jeffs, (The Terralight Collection, Four Ink Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “Access Denied”, Baden Chant (Aurealis #142, Chimaera Publications)
  • The Cruise to the End of the World, Craig Cormick (Merino Press)
  • “The Birdsong Fossil”, D K Mok (Multispecies Cities: Solarpunk Urban Futures, World Weaver Press)
  • “Problem Landing”, Sean Monaghan (Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact Mar/Apr)
  • “Preserved in Amber”, Samantha Murray (Clarkesworld #178)
  • “A Vast Silence”, T R Napper (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Nov/Dec)

BEST COLLECTION

  • The Gulp, Alan Baxter, (self-published)
  • Danged Black Thing, Eugen Bacon (Transit Lounge Publishing)
  • The Terralight Collection, Pamela Jeffs (Four Ink Press)
  • The Tallow-Wife & Other Tales, Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)
  • Little Labyrinths: Collected Microfictions, Sean Williams (Brain Jar Press)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Who Sleuthed It?, Lindy Cameron (Ed.) (Clan Destine Press)
  • Relics, Wrecks & Ruins, Aiki Flinthart (Ed.), Lauren Elise Daniels & Geneve Flynn (assistant Eds.), CAT Press
  • Hometown Haunts: #LoveOzYA Horror Tales, Poppy Nwosu (Ed.) (Wakefield Press)
  • Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, Deborah Sheldon (Ed.) (IFWG Publishing Australia)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Terciel and Elinor, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • Echo in the Memory, Cameron Nunn (Walker Books Australia)
  • Dirt Circus League, Maree Kimberley (Text Publishing)
  • It’s Not You, It’s Me, Gabrielle Williams (Allen & Unwin)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • The Bridge, J S Breukelaar (Meerkat Press)
  • Midnight in the Chapel of Love, Matthew R Davis (JournalStone Publishing)
  • Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)
  • The Airways, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)
  • Holly and the Nobodies, Ben Pienaar (Hellbound Books LLC)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL 

  • Supermums – And So It Begins, Meg Grace (self-published)
  • The Rose Daughter, Maria Lewis (Piatkus / Hachette / Little Brown)
  • A Marvellous Light, Freya Marske (Tor)
  • Dark Rise, C S Pacat (Allen & Unwin)
  • She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan (Mantle)
  • All the Murmuring Bones, Angela Slatter (Titan Books)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Waking Romeo, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
  • The 22 Murders of Madison May, Max Barry (Hachette Australia)
  • Stealing Time, Rebecca Bowyer (Story Addict Publishing)
  • Papa Lucy & The Boneman, Jason Fischer (Outland Entertainment)
  • Aurora’s End, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Deepwater King, Claire McKenna (HarperCollins Publishers)

SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD

  • Lifespan of Starlight [Lifespan of Starlight (2015); Split Infinity (2016); Edge of Time (2018)], Thalia Kalkipsakis (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Elementals [Ice Wolves (2018); Scorch Dragons (2019); Battle Born (2020)], Amie Kaufman (HarperCollins)
  • Unearthed [Unearthed (2017); Undying (2018)], Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lifelike [LIFEL1K3 (2018); DEV1AT3 (2019); TRUEL1F3 (2020)], Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Winter [The Road to Winter (2016); Wilder Country (2017); Land of Fences (2019)], Mark Smith (Text Publishing)
  • Blood and Gold [Crown of Rowan (enovella, 2014); Daughters of the Storm (2014); Sisters of the Fire (2016); Queens of the Sea (2019)], Kim Wilkins (HarperCollins)

Pixel Scroll 9/1/21 Pixel At The Well Of Scrolls

(1) LIADEN UNIVERSE BULLETIN. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller report from the wilds of Maine on what’s upcoming.

  • Their fifth Liaden Universe Collection, Liaden Universe Constellation V, will be published February 1, 2022.
  • A mass market 30th anniversary reprint of Local Custom, a Liaden Universe® novel by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, is coming  November 30, 2021. 
  • A Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Liaden holiday story is slated for mid-November at Baen.com, title and exact release date TBD.
  • Sooner than that: The mass-market version of Trader’s Leap by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be released September 28, 2021 — it is currently available in hardback and ebook. 
  • Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are the Guests of Honor at Albacon 2021 in September — held over from last year. This year it’ll be a virtual con held September 17-18.
  • Their chapbook Bad Actors, was published July 31, 2021 from the authors’ Pinbeam Books imprint and is widely available in ebook and paper. That’s their 33rd “Adventures in the Liaden Universe” chapbook. 
  • Also, on July 26, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller turned in Fair Trade, a Liaden Universe novel (#24), which is due to be published next year by Baen. The follow-up novel is under contract and started, due to be turned in next year. Two more Liaden novels are under contract thereafter.

(2) ADAPT & IMPROVE. Charlie Jane Anders’ newsletter discusses “Everything I Learned From Working on Season One of Y: The Last Man”.

Working on season one of Y: The Last Man was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I got to be in a writer’s room with some of the smartest minds in the biz, and learned a ton about story structure  — and how to think on your feet when your episode has to change completely for the ninth time, because we rethought the endgame of the season. But I also got a crash course in how to adapt and update a beloved classic. 

In Y: The Last Man, a mysterious event kills every mammal with a Y chromosome, except for one dude named Yorick Brown, and his pet monkey Ampersand. This is the setup for an epic journey across a shattered United States with the mysterious Agent 355 and the brilliant scientist Dr. Allison Mann. It’s also a vehicle for talking about what a world without patriarchy would look like, and how the survivors would rebuild, and expand to fill the spaces left by cis men. I love the comic’s playful approach to genre and the madcap verve with which it keeps reinventing itself, and I’m here for the “found family” aspect with the central trio. This is the comic that made me a fan of both writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra.

There’s just one problem: the comic largely ignores the existence of trans people (and when it does mention us, the treatment is much worse than I had remembered.) Like many other classics, Y: The Last Man reflects the time when it was created — and when we adapt the things we love, we also have an obligation to update and improve them, especially where they have the potential to do harm to a marginalized community here and now….

(3) MOVING RIGHT ALONG. In conjunction with the new Amazon Prime TV show, Orbit UK is releasing the entire set of The Wheel of Time books in paperback with new covers, all of them showcased in a nifty animated GIF (which I’ll link to rather than embed so the strobe effect won’t drive us all to distraction.)

There’s also an Instagram video version with musical accompaniment. Design by Duncan Spilling. The books go on sale September 16 in the UK, just in time for folks to read The Eye of the World before the TV show is released in November

(4) A FOCUS ON NATURE. The South Pasadena (CA) Public Library is calling for patrons to Vote for One City One Story. This year’s theme is “Navigating Nature.” Two of the five titles proposed by the staff are genre. A video about the program is here. Voting ends at midnight on September 10, 2021. The winning title will be announced on September 27, 2021.

  • Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

(5) NO SECOND FIFTH. Chapter 61 of Camestros Felapton’s Debarkle is called “The Sad Demise of the SP5” but I remember laughing more than crying. Because when Declan Finn tried to commandeer the Sad Puppy steering wheel, Sarah Hoyt and Amanda Green smacked him with a rolled-up internet.

…While not mentioning Declan Finn by name, the post title identified his post as the issue. By using the name “Sad Puppies” Finn had apparently crossed a line, even though his open campaigning during Sad Puppies 4 had not visibly caused offence.

Green was clear though. Sad Puppies 5 was coming soon….

Green was also clear that she would be helping Hoyt with SP5 and also be taking over the reins (leads?) for SP6.

Facing a sudden and unexpected backlash to his list Declan Finn came to the only possible conclusion he could make. The negative reaction he was receiving must be coming from the comment section of the popular fanzine File 770!… 

(6) AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION. R. Talsorian Games is bowing out of Gen Con, which is happening September 16-19: “RTG Exiting Gen Con 2021”.

After considerable internal discussion, R. Talsorian Games has decided to exit Gen Con 2021. We don’t do this lightly. We had planned on our biggest Gen Con yet this year, with more events than ever, more booth space than ever, and a larger crew than ever.

And that’s why, in good conscience, we cannot attend the convention. The health and safety of our crew comes first and the numbers in Indiana are abysmal. The vaccination rates are too low, the positivity rates and new case rates too high, and the social mandates designed to protect people too few. If even one member of our crew caught COVID-19 while attending Gen Con or carried it home to their loved ones and their local community, that would be one too many.

At R. Talsorian Games, we write about Dark Futures for fun, but we also believe we have a responsibility to try and prevent them from happening.

We want to make it clear, we do not blame the staff of Gen Con 2021 or the Indiana Convention Center in any way. 

(7) AUREALIS AWARDS NEWS. The 2021 Aurealis Awards are open for entry through December 14.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction, are for works created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021.

Full Award Rules and FAQ can be found on the Aurealis Awards website.

The Aurealis Awards judges welcome electronic entries in all categories, including novels, short stories, novellas, illustrated work / graphic novels, collections, anthologies, children’s and young adult fiction.

Finalists of all award categories will be announced early in 2022 and winners announced at a ceremony to take place in the first half of the year. For more information on the awards or for the entry form, visit the Aurealis Awards website at https://aurealisawards.org/.

The Convenors’ Award for Excellence is also open to entries.

This is awarded at the discretion of the convenors for a particular achievement in speculative fiction or related areas in the year that cannot otherwise be judged for the Aurealis Awards.

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • 1974 – Forty-seven years ago today, Jefferson Starship’s Dragon Fly was released on Grunt Records, a vanity label founded in 1971 by themselves. It was the debut album for the recently renamed Jefferson Airplane. The entire album is somewhat SF in nature, particularly  “All Fly Away” and “Hyperdrive”.  Two years later, the latter song would be used in the opening ceremonies at MidAmeriCon.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 1, 1875 — Edgar Rice Burroughs. Bradbury declared him “the most influential writer in the entire history of the world.” Now I’d not necessarily disagree or agree with that statement but I said last year that he has largely fallen out of public notice and I’ll stand by that claim. So what’s your favorite works by him? The Barsoom stories are mine. (Died 1950.)
  • Born September 1, 1942 — C. J. Cherryh, 79. I certainly think the Hugo Award-winning Downbelow Station and Cyteen are amazing works but I think my favorite works by her are the Merchanter novels such as Rimrunners. Anyone familiar with “Cassandra“, the short story she won a Hugo for at Seacon ‘79? What’s it part of? 
  • Born September 1, 1943 — Erwin Strauss, 79. I’m not sure I can do him justice. Uberfan, noted member of the MITSFS, and filk musician. He frequently is known by the nickname “Filthy Pierre” which I’m sure is a story in itself that one of you will no doubt tell me. Created the Voodoo message board system used at a number of cons and published an APA, The Connection, that ran for at least thirty years. Do tell me about him. 
  • Born September 1, 1952 — Timothy Zahn, 69. Apparently he’s known more these days for the Thrawn series of Star Wars novels, but oh, ok, so it is perhaps better written and more interesting than his mainstream genre sf. His sole Hugo Award was at L.A.Con II for his “Cascade Point” novella, and he get a nomination at Aussiecon Two for “Return to the Fold” novelette. 
  • Born September 1, 1952 — Brad Linaweaver. Alternate history Moon of Ice is one of his better works and it won the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian SF Novel. It was nominated for a Nebula though oddly as a novella which it was originally published as. He owned the brass cannon which was the property of the Heinleins and which Virginia bequeathed to him in her will. (Died 2019.)
  • Born September 1, 1964 — Martha Wells, 57. She’s won two Nebula Awards, three Locus Awards, and two Hugo Awards.  Impressive. And she was toastmaster of the World Fantasy Convention in 2017 where she delivered a speech called “Unbury the Future”. Need I note the Muderbot Diaries are truly amazing reading?
  • Born September 1, 1967 — Steve Pemberton, 54. He’s on the Birthday List for being Strackman Lux in the most excellent Eleventh Doctor stories of “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” but he has other genre credits including being Drumknott in Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, Professor Mule in the Gormenghast series and Harmony in the Good Omens series as well.
  • Born September 1, 1968 — Zak Penn, 53. He wrote the script for The Incredible Hulk, co-wrote the scripts for X2X-Men: The Last Stand, and the story but not the script for The Avengers. With Michael Karnow, Penn is the co-creator of the Alphas series. He contributed to the script of The Men in Black. 

(10) INSIDE LYNCH’S DUNE. At Deadline, “‘Dune’ 1984: Francesca Annis, The Original Lady Jessica, Lifts The Lid On Life Behind The Scenes Of David Lynch’s Epic, The ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Of Sci-Fi”. The interviewer is the actress’ son.

…It’s kind of funny. You were well known for doing a lot of well-received classical and period film, TV and stage work. But just before Dune, you’d also done Peter Yates’ Krull, which was another massive-budget sci-fi adventure movie. People don’t know the movie well these days but it was a big production. And sadly, another big flop…

Yes, it’s been a shame for me — or maybe it was a hidden blessing — that the few very big-budget things I’ve done didn’t take off, otherwise I would have risen with them…

When you first read the script for Dune did it seem complicated or convoluted? People have always said how difficult the novels would be to adapt…

I’ll tell you, when I first went to see the film at the premiere — and I’ve only seen it once – as soon as Princess Irulan started to talk in voice-over at the beginning, explaining the story, I thought “Uh oh, this film is in trouble.” Any Hollywood film that has to explain itself in detail at the beginning is in trouble…

My experience of working on Dune was that if David Lynch had been able to make his own film, it would have been brilliant, but unfortunately Dino oversaw every single tiny thing. Dino was already thinking about the video sales. David had wanted to make the scenes very dark, all the underworlds very dark and look very sinister. Dino wouldn’t allow it. It had to be lit brightly so that it would transfer well to video, where I think at that time things went down a shade. David and DoP Freddie Francis were constantly being hamstrung and I don’t think David made the film he wanted to make.

I was a big David Lynch fan. I thought he was terrific. But Dino was a huge personality. He had tapped David to do multiple films….

(11) SCOTS WITCH HISTORY. “Double, double toil and trouble: New exhibition uncovers the dark history of witchcraft in Scotland” reports The Press and Journal.

The exhibition is aptly named “Toil & Trouble” as a homage to a poem spoken by the witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which was first performed in 1606 – a time when accusations of witchcraft were rife.

Examining and compiling the dark history of witchcraft into an online experience, the students focused specifically on the period between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The exhibition has launched this week, just as Holyrood heard a plea for the Queen to pardon thousands of Scottish women brutally killed in witch trials.

The online exhibit can be accessed here: “Toil and Trouble · Toil and Trouble: Witchcraft in Scotland”.

(12) VISIT THE CONCATE-NATION. SF² Concatenation has just Tweeted an advance alert of an article ahead of their seasonal edition.

In 2017 an oddly-shaped object whizzed through the Solar system.

Astronomer and SF author Duncan Lunan looks at some exotic, some positively SFnal, explanations.

(13) HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW. Heroes & Icons tells “The Story of the Signature Star Trek Sideburn”.

…The origin of the distinct sideburn pointiness came after filming the second pilot for the series, Where No Man Has Gone Before, which is the last episode you can find of Kirk and the crew sporting normal sidebdurns. “Normal” being a lot bushier for the 60’s mind you.

With the series being picked up, Gene Roddenberry wanted the cast to commit to having a futuristic hairstyle going forward. For the sole reason of wanting a social life outside the set without having to look like men of the future, the cast disagreed….

(14) HONEST GAME TRAILERS. Fandom Games says “NEO: The World Begins With You” lets you reenter a world where “Spiky-haired protagonists with terrible fashion sense” enter “history’s hippest purgatory.”

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “The Marvel Leak Protection Tutorial” on Screen Rant and written by Seb Decter, Jack Eastcott plays C.I  Foreman., MCU Leak preventer, who warns “those nerds are everywhere” and if you see an MCU actor on the set squirming, it’s because this guy has cue cards telling the guy not to leak.(This dropped today and Ryan George doesn’t have anything to do with this one.)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Jeffrey Smith, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, James Davis Nicoll, Steve Miller, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

Pixel Scroll 8/12/21 Make The Scene On The Mezzanine, But Don’t Scroll In The Pixels

(1) FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. August 14 is Free Comic Book Day. Here are Marvel’s contributions to the event.

Readers can stop by their local comic shop for Free Comic Book Day 2021: Avengers/Hulk and Free Comic Book Day 2021: Spider-Man/Venom, featuring new stories that kick off the upcoming eras of fan-favorite heroes and lay the groundwork for major new storylines.

The new creative team behind Amazing Spider-Man is about to take the Spider-Man mythos beyond your wildest expectations! Get a first look at Ben Reilly as the new Spider-Man in a story by writer Zeb Wells and artist Patrick Gleason. Then, see what’s in store for Venom when Ram V., Al Ewing, and Bryan Hitch take over in a glimpse that will show you just how twisted their upcoming run will be! 

(2) BLOGGER’S VERDICT ON VOX DAY. Blogger has elevated the threat level to Defcon 2. Yesterday this was the message users were getting when they tried to reach Vox Popoli: “This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only.” Today Blogger says flat out —

(3) LEM 100. In “A Century in Stanislaw Lem’s Cosmos”, the New York Times salutes those who are celebrating the author’s centenary.

In “The Eighth Voyage,” a short story by Stanislaw Lem, aliens from across the universe convene at the General Assembly of the United Planets. Lem’s hero, the space traveler Ijon Tichy, watches as an uninformed but overconfident creature steps forward and makes the case to admit Earth to the organization’s ranks. The planet — which he mispronounces as “Arrth” — is home to “elegant, amiable mammals” with “a deep faith in jergundery, though not devoid of ambifribbis,” the alien tells the delegates.

His sentimental appeal is well-received, until a second extraterrestrial stands up and begins to list humanity’s wrongdoings, which include meat-eating, war and genocide. Tichy listens as the aliens belittle us and label us misguided and corrupt, our planet a blip on their intergalactic radar.

This cosmic perspective — mischievous yet melancholy, and far beyond a human point of view — is a signature with Lem, an icon of science fiction best known to English-speaking readers as the author of the 1961 novel “Solaris.” Throughout a career spanning six decades that produced more translated works than any other Polish writer, he adopted the viewpoints of aliens, robots, a conscious supercomputer and a sentient planet, using these voices to reckon with philosophical quandaries….

(4) BRIEF REMINDER. Readercon 31, online only, takes place this weekend, August 13–15, 2021, with Guests of Honor: Jeffrey Ford & Ursula Vernon. Also “Memorial Guest of Honor” Vonda N. McIntyre. As they say:

Although Readercon is modeled on “science fiction conventions,” we have no art show, no costumes, no gaming, and almost no media. Instead, Readercon features a near-total focus on the written word.

Registration is $25, and “grants you access to the Discord server and recordings of all program items for six full months following the convention. After that time is up, most recordings will be made public, but some may be taken down.”

(5) ALTERNATE WHO. Radio Times says the Doctor Who “archeologists” have found more material: “Doctor Who’s Tom Baker to return for audio adaptation of lost scripts”.

Tom Baker is set to reprise his role as the Fourth Doctor in Big Finish’s upcoming adaptations of lost Doctor Who episodes.

The two episodes – Doctor Who and the Ark and Daleks! Genesis of Terror – were written by screenwriter John Lucarotti and Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks, respectively and are set for release in March 2023.

Big Finish recently rediscovered the episodes’ original scripts and initial story outlines and will be adapting them into audio adventures as part of their series, Doctor Who – The Lost Stories.

… producer Simon Guerrier said in a statement.

“The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks are among the best-loved TV stories ever. We’ve uncovered first draft scripts by John Lucarotti and Terry Nation that are exciting, surprising and very different.”

(6) AUREALIS AWARDS JUDGES WANTED. The Aurealis Awards have put out a call for judges. The positions are open to Australian residents only. See complete guidelines at the link.

Judges are volunteers and are drawn from the Australian speculative fiction community, from diverse professions and backgrounds, including academics, booksellers, librarians, published authors, publishing industry professionals, reviewers and enthusiasts.

The only qualification necessary is a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in their chosen category (good time management skills and an ability to work in a team in an online environment are also essential).

(7) TRAILER TIME. This clip explains why vampires shouldn’t learn about chain letters – from What We Do in the Shadows.

(8) LORNA TOOLIS (1952-2021). Lorna Toolis, retired collection head of the Toronto Public Library’s Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, died of cancer on August 11. Toolis, notes Robert J. Sawyer in his tribute was also a 2017 inductee into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Earlier in life she was a member of ESFCAS, the Edmonton Science Fiction and Comic Arts Society. Toolis is survived by her husband, the Aurora Award-winning writer Michael Skeet, with whom she co-edited Tesseracts 4: Canadian Science Fiction published in 1992.

Toolis was interviewed last year by the Toronto Public Library blog for “Merril Collection at 50: Stories from the Spaced Out Library” (the latter was the collection’s original name). Among her memories —

The Merril Collection has hosted so many prominent authors/editors/scholars in the world of Speculative Fiction. Have you ever been starstruck?  

Lorna: I counted myself amazingly fortunate. Over the years, I had lunch with Margaret Atwood and dinner with Gene WolfeNeil Gaiman was our guest three times, as was Cory DoctorowJohn Scalzi was a huge hit with the audience and returned to speak several times by request. When Lois Bujold was our guest, her kids were having trouble with their grammar, and I gave her my personal copy of The Transitive Vampire. Robert Jordan was a guest and he was an absolute sweetheart.

(9) NEAL CONAN OBIT. Retired radio host Neal Conan died August 10 at the age of 71. Jim Freund recalled Conan’s science fiction connections from early in his career at WBAI in New York.

…My favorite regular program Bai’ did was “Of Unicorns and Universes,” which he co-produced and was often hosted by Neal Conan. Neal, while primarily a producer of some of our best Public Affairs programming, (at the same time Paul Fischer was our News Director,) was quite the sf fan. He worked with Samuel Delany on the 2-hour adaptation of “The Star Pit,” and some years later, when I was co-host on Thursday and Fridays of Hour of the Wolf with Margot Adler, he was an occasional co-host on Mondays. (I usually engineered.) I was quite surprised at how much of a Heinlein fan he was….

Conan would be hired by NPR and spend 36 years at the network. Robert Siegel paid tribute to his work there in “Neal Conan, Former Host Of NPR’s ‘Talk Of The Nation,’ Has Died”.

…Later at NPR, he held an astonishing variety of jobs. He was at various times the line producer and the executive producer of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Back in 1987, he ran NPR News for a year. He was a reporter.

…  In 1991, while reporting from southern Iraq on the war to liberate Kuwait, Neal was taken captive by the Iraqi Republican Guard, along with New York Times reporter Chris Hedges. It took diplomatic efforts to get them released….

[SIEGEL]: Neal Conan’s most prominent role at NPR was hosting Talk Of The Nation. …He tried out for that job the week that began on Monday, September 10, 2001. Sept. 11 was Neal’s Day 2….

The New York Times has also published an obituary.

(10) MEMORY LANE.

  • 1991 – Thirty years ago at Chicon V at which Marta Randall was the Toastmaster, Edward Scissorhands wins the  Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation. Other nominated works for the Con for this Award were Total RecallGhostBack to the Future III and The Witches

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 12, 1894 Dick Calkins. He’s best remembered for being the first artist to draw the Buck Rogers comic strip. He also wrote scripts for the Buck Rogers radio program. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Complete Newspaper Dailies in eight volumes on Hermes Press collects these strips.  They’re one hundred fifty dollars a volume. (Died 1962.)
  • Born August 12, 1929 John Bluthal. He was Von Neidel in The Mouse on the Moon which sounds silly and fun. He’s in Casino Royale as both a Casino Doorman and a MI5 Man. (Why pay the Union salaries?) He had roles in films best forgotten such as Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World. (Really. Don’t ask.) And he did play a blind beggar in The Return of the Pink Panther as well, and his last genre role was as Professor Pacoli in the beloved Fifth Element. Lest I forget he voiced Commander Wilbur Zero, Jock Campbell and other characters in Fireball XL5. (Died 2018.)
  • Born August 12, 1931 William Goldman. Writer of The Princess Bride which he adapted for the film. Wrote the original Stepford Wives script and King’s Hearts in Atlantis and Misery as well. He was hired  to adapt “Flowers for Algernon“ as a screenplay but the story goes that Cliff Robertson intensely disliked his screenplay and it was discarded for one by Stirling Silliphant that became Charly. (Died 2018.)
  • Born August 12, 1947 John Nathan-Turner. He produced Doctor Who from 1980 until it was cancelled in 1989. He finished as the longest-serving Doctor Who producer. He cast Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy as the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors. Other than Who, he had a single production credit, the K-9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend film. He wrote two books, Doctor Who – The TARDIS Inside Out and Doctor Who: The Companions. He would die of a massive infection just a year before the announcement the show was being revived. (Died 2002.)
  • Born August 12, 1954 Sam J. Jones, 67. Flash Gordon in the 1980 version of that story. Very, very campy. A few years later, he played the lead role in a TV adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit which I’ve not seen and am now very curious about as the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes don’t have good things to say about it. He also had the lead in The Highwayman (name of his character there) which is described as a mix of Mad Max and Knight Rider. It lasted nine episodes in the late Eighties. Anyone seen it?
  • Born August 12, 1960 Brenda Cooper, 61. Best known for her YA Silver Ship series of which The Silver Ship and the Sea won an Endeavour Award, and her Edge of Dark novel won another such Award. Due co-authored Building Harlequin’s Moon with Larry Niven, and a fair amount of short fiction with him. She has a lot of short fiction, much collected in Beyond the WaterFall Door: Stories of the High Hills and Cracking the Sky. She’s well-stocked at the usual suspects.
  • Born August 12, 1966 Brian Evenson, 55. I consider him a horror writer (go ahead, disagree) and his Song for the Unraveling of the World collection did win a Shirley Jackson Award though it also won a World Fantasy Award. He’s also won an International Horror Guild Award for his Wavering Knife collection. He even co-authored a novel with Rob Zombie, The Lords of Salem
  • Born August 12, 1992 Cara Jocelyn Delevingne, 29. Her first genre role was as a mermaid in Pan. She then shows up in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad as June Moone / Enchantress, in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as Laureline. She was in Carnival Row as Vignette Stonemoss. It was a fantasy noir series on Amazon Prime.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) I TALK FOR THE TREES. NPR’s Elizabeth Blair says “Dr. Seuss Warned Us 50 Years Ago, But We Didn’t Listen To ‘The Lorax’”.

Call it fate or an unfortunate coincidence that Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax celebrates its 50th anniversary the same week the United Nations releases an urgent report on the dire consequences of human-induced climate change. The conflict between the industrious, polluting Once-ler and the feisty Lorax, who “speaks for the trees,” feels more prescient than ever.

“Once-ler!” he cried with a cruffulous croak.
“Once-ler! You’re making such smogulous smoke!
My poor Swomee-Swans…why, they can’t sing a note!
No one can sing who has smog in his throat.

(14) DON’T SCRY FOR ME ARGENTINA. Romina Garber, in conversation with Dhonielle Clayton, will discuss her new book Cazadora on Thursday, August 19 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific. Register here.

Werewolves. Witches. Romance. Resistance. Enter a world straight out of Argentine folklore…

Following the events of Lobizona, Manu and her friends cross the mystical border into Kerana–a cursed realm in Argentina–searching for allies and a hiding place. As they chase down leads about the Coven–a mythical resistance manada that might not even exist–the Cazadores chase down leads about Manu, setting up traps to capture and arrest her.

Just as it seems the Cazadores have Manu and her friends cornered, the Coven answers their call for help. As Manu catches her breath among these non-conforming Septimus, she discovers they need a revolution as much as she does.

(15) THE LOTTERY. Did you plan to live forever? Don’t. “NASA Says an Asteroid Will Have a Close Brush With Earth. But Not Until the 2100s”  says the New York Times.

An asteroid the size of the Empire State Building has a slight chance of hitting Earth.

Don’t worry. You’ll long be dead before that has any chance of happening. So will your children. Probably all of your grandchildren, too.

At a news conference on Wednesday, NASA scientists said there was a 1-in-1,750 chance that an asteroid named Bennu, which is a bit wider than the Empire State Building is tall, could collide with Earth between now and 2300.

That is actually slightly higher than an earlier estimate of 1 in 2,700 over a shorter period, between now and 2200….

(16) MARK YOUR CALENDAR.  On the other hand, if you are going to be around for at least another century, Gizmodo has a suggestion for your bucket list: “John Malkovich and Robert Rodriguez Have Made A Movie No One Will See For 100 Years”.

Think the secrecy around the biggest Hollywood blockbusters is crazy? They don’t come close to what John Malkovich and Robert Rodriguez are doing. The pair has collaborated for a film that no one will see for 100 years. Literally.

This isn’t some joke. They’ve made a film, called 100 Years, which is being placed in a special time-locked safe that won’t open again until November 18, 2115. Why? Well, because it’s promotion for Louis XIII Cognac, an ultra-luxury liquor that is aged 100 years. Bottles currently on shelves were made in 1915 so they decided a piece of art that speaks to their commitment to quality was something worth doing….

Gizmodo links to three teasers: 100 Years: The Movie You’ll Never See Nature Teaser”, “100 Years: The Movie You’ll Never See Retro Teaser”, and “100 Years: The Movie You’ll Never See Future Teaser”.

(17) FILL IN THE BLANC. Gabriel Iglesias was on Colbert last night to talk about Space Jam 2.

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias is the voice of Speedy Gonzales in “Space Jam 2” and he was very excited to get the role without even auditioning.

(18) MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Nerdist says you will finally have a chance to see it: “Cult Sci-Fi Favorite BLAKE’S 7 Is Coming to BritBox”. Get your money ready.

For fans of classic British science fiction, there are a few names that always pop up. Doctor Who, naturally, stands head and shoulders above everything else. Other favorites like Sapphire & SteelThe Prisoner, and the shows of Gerry Anderson pop up as well. But for a certain age of fan, the cream of the crop is Blake’s 7. The show was the BBC’s direct attempt to capitalize on the success of Star WarsBlake’s 7 ran for four seasons from 1978 to 1981 and has been pretty hard to find in North America lately. That is, until now. The entire series will debut on BritBox beginning August 13….

(19) TOSSED IN SPACE. The latest issue of Nature warns: “World must work to avoid a catastrophic space collision”.

Governments and companies urgently need to share data on the mounting volume of satellites and debris orbiting Earth.

There’s an awful lot of stuff orbiting Earth, with more arriving all the time. More than 29,000 satellites, pieces of rockets and other bits of debris large enough to track from the ground are circling the planet. Smaller items number in the millions. The Californian company SpaceX alone has launched some 1,700 satellites over the past 2 years as part of its Starlink network, which provides broadband Internet, with thousands more planned. Other companies are also planning such megaconstellations, and more and
more nations are launching or plan to launch satellites. This growing congestion is drastically increasing the risk of collisions in space….

(20) SHORT SUIT. In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport says NASA’s Artemis mission to the Moon could be delayed because the program to design a new spacesuit has spent $1 billion but delays have meant they will only have two flight-ready spacesuits prepared by fiscal year 2025. “NASA IG says 2024 moon landing won’t happen, blames space suit delays”.

Ever since the White House directed NASA to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 as part of its Artemis program, there have been all sorts of daunting challenges: The rocket the space agency would use has suffered setbacks and delays; the spacecraft that would land astronauts on the surface is not yet completed and was held up by the losing bidders; and Congress hasn’t come through with the funding NASA says is necessary.But another reason the 2024 goal may not be met is that the spacesuits needed by the astronauts to walk on the lunar surface won’t be ready in time and the total development program, which ultimately will produce just two flight-ready suits, could cost more than $1 billion…

(21) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [By Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers:  Loki” on YouTube, the Screen Junkies say that Loki “has a Comic-Con’s worth of alternate Lokis” including Richard E Grant, who “can make you love anything he does, even if he’s dressed like Kermit The Frog and talks nonsense for 30 minutes straight.”  Bonus: they send up Tom Hiddleston’s Chinese vitamin commercial!

 [Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Richard Horton, Lloyd Penney, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Jim Janney.]

2020 Aurealis Awards

The 2020 Aurealis Awards were announced July 8 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

2020 WINNERS

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • The Lost Soul Atlas, Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia) 

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • Under-Earth, Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78) 

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  •  “Phoenix Pharmaceuticals”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Cancer, The Zodiac Series, #7, Deadset Press)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  •  “The Saltbush Queen”, Chris Mason (Outback Horrors Down Under, Things in The Well)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  •  “Truth Be Told”, Louise Pieper (Unnatural Order, CSFG)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  •  “Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “Mary, Mary”, Fiona Bell (Aurealis #135)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  •  “The Weight of the Air, The Weight of the World”, T R Napper (Neon Leviathan, Grimdark Magazine) 

BEST COLLECTION

  • The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories, Angela Slatter (PS Publishing) 

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Rebuilding Tomorrow, Tsana Dolichva (Ed.) (Twelfth Planet Press) 

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • The Erasure Initiative, Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin) 

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • None Shall Sleep, Ellie Marney(Allen & Unwin) 

BEST FANTASY NOVEL 

  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

[TIE]

  • The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications) 
  • Repo Virtual, Corey J White (Tor.com Publishing)

CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE 

  • Never Afters: Female Friendship and Collaboration in Contemporary Re-visioned Fairy Tales by Women by Kirstyn McDermott

2020 Aurealis Awards Shortlists

The shortlists for the 2020 Aurealis Awards were announced March 31 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

The panelists considered nearly 850 entries across the 15 categories to determine the finalists.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • The Lost Soul Atlas, Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia) 
  • Tricky Nick, Nicholas J Johnson (Pan Australia)
  • Across the Risen Sea, Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Chicken’s Curse,  Frances Watts (Allen & Unwin)
  • Hodgepodge: How to Make a Pet Monster, Lili Wilkinson, illustrated by Dustin Spence (Allen & Unwin)
  • Her Perilous Mansion, Sean Williams (Allen & Unwin)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • Action Tank: Book 2, Mike Barry (Mike Barry Was Here)
  • Under-Earth, Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)
  • The Grot, Pat Grant (Top Shelf / IDW)
  • The Odds, Matt Stanton (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78) 
  • “Ram’s Revenge”, Nikky Lee (Aries, Deadset Press)
  • “Pea Soup”, Juliet Marillier (Mother Thorn and Other Tales of Courage and Kindness, Serenity Press)
  • “The Witching Well”, Juliet Marillier (Mother Thorn and Other Tales of Courage and Kindness, Serenity Press)
  • “Eat Prey, Love”, Freya Marske (Unnatural Order, CSFG)
  • “Kids These Days”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Rebuilding Tomorrow, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter”, Elaine Cuyegkeng (Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Omnium Gatherum)
  • “The Bone Fairy”, Martin Livings (Midnight Echo 15, Australasian Horror Writers Association)
  • “Phoenix Pharmaceuticals”, Jessica Nelson-Tyers (Cancer, The Zodiac Series, #7, Deadset Press) 
  • “Many Mouths to Make a Meal”, Garth Nix (Final Cuts, Blumhouse/Anchor)
  • “How We Felt”, Helena O’Connor (Aurealis #136)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • The Attic Tragedy, J Ashley-Smith (Meerkat Press)
  • The Cockroach King, Andrew Cull (Beneath Hell Publishing)
  • “Foundations”, Michael Gardner (Writers of the Future Volume 36, Galaxy Press)
  • “Bad Weather”, Robert Hood (Outback Horrors Down Under, Things in The Well)
  • “The Saltbush Queen”, Chris Mason (Outback Horrors Down Under, Things in The Well) 

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “The Dead May Dance”, Nikky Lee (Midnight Echo 15, Australasian Horror Writers Association)
  • “Truth Be Told”, Louise Pieper (Unnatural Order, CSFG)
  • “The Case of the Somewhat Mythic Sword”, Garth Nix (Tor.com)
  • “Terracotta Daughter”, J Z Ting (Coppice & Brake, Crone Girls Press)
  • “A Solace of Shadows”, Suzanne J Willis (Three Crows Magazine #7)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • “Generation Gap”, Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld #161)
  • “By Touch and By Glance”, Lisa L Hannett (Songs for Dark Seasons, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78)
  • “Karkinos”, Nikky Lee (Cancer, Deadset Press)
  • The Frost Fair Affair, Tansy Rayner Roberts (self-published)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “Mary, Mary”, Fiona Bell (Aurealis #135) 
  • “The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter”, Elaine Cuyegkeng (Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Omnium Gatherum)
  • “Pork Belly”, Jack Heath (Aurealis #129)
  • “Jack’s Fine Dining”, T R Napper (Neon Leviathan, Grimdark Magazine)
  • “Andrei Tarkovsky”, Ben Peek (Dimension6 #20)
  • “All the Stars in Her Eyes”, Deborah Sheldon (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #80)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “Jigsaw Children”, Grace Chan (Clarkesworld #161)
  • “Generation Gap”, Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld #161))
  • “Dingo & Sister”, Nikky Lee (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #78)
  • “The Weight of the Air, The Weight of the World”, T R Napper (Neon Leviathan, Grimdark Magazine) 

BEST COLLECTION

  • Songs for Dark Seasons, Lisa L Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Mother Thorn and Other Tales of Courage and Kindness, Juliet Marillier (Serenity Press)
  • Castle Charming, Tansy Rayner Roberts (self published)
  • Unreal Alchemy, Tansy Rayner Roberts (self published)
  • The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and Other Stories, Angela Slatter (PS Publishing) 
  • Dark Harvest, Cat Sparks (NewCon Press)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • After Australia, Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Ed.) (Affirm Press)
  • Rebuilding Tomorrow, Tsana Dolichva (Ed.) (Twelfth Planet Press) 
  • The Zookeeper’s Tales of Interstellar Oddities, Aiki Flinthart & Pamela Jeffs (CAT Press)
  • Unnatural Order, Alis Franklin & Lyss Wickramasinghe (Eds.) (CSFG Publishing)
  • Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Lee Murray & Geneve Flynn (Eds.) (Omnium Gatherum)
  • Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, Jonathan Strahan (Ed.) (Solaris)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Future Girl, Asphyxia (Allen & Unwin)
  • Aurora Burning, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Other Side of the Sky, Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
  • Truel1f3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Erasure Initiative, Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin) 

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • Soul Survivor, Daniel de Lorne (Scarlo Media)
  • An Enigma in Silver, Simon Haynes (Bowman Press)
  • None Shall Sleep, Ellie Marney (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Monstrous Heart, Claire McKenna (Harper Voyager) 
  • Gutterbreed, Marty Young (Eclectic Trio Press)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL 

  • Hollow Empire, Sam Hawke (Transworld)
  • Monstrous Heart, Claire McKenna (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Vanishing Deep, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin)
  • Conquist, Dirk Strasser (Chimaera Publications)
  • The Ninth Sorceress, Bonnie Wynne (Talem Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Ghost Species, James Bradley (Penguin Random House)
  • Aurora Burning, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Fauna, Donna Mazza (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe Publications) 
  • The Mother Fault, Kate Mildenhall (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Repo Virtual, Corey J White (Tor.com Publishing)

Pixel Scroll 8/8/20 You Unlock This Scroll With The Key Of Pixelation

(1) JURY SUMMONS. Two groups are recruiting jurors for their annual awards.

The British Fantasy Society’s call is here.

If you are interested in being a juror for this year’s awards, please register your interest here We are especially interested in hearing from those historically under represented on juries; and you do not need to be a member of the BFS to fulfil this role.

Both forms will remain open until Wednesday 16th August.
Any questions, please get in touch at bfsawards@britishfantasysociety.org

A few days ago they were concerned about the balance of applicants:

The Aurealis Awards also are looking – “Aurealis Awards 2020 – Call for Judges”. Full requirements at the link.

We are seeking expressions of interest from Australian residents who would like to judge for the 2020 Aurealis Awards. Judges are volunteers and are drawn from the Australian speculative fiction community, from diverse professions and backgrounds, including academics, booksellers, librarians, published authors, publishing industry professionals, reviewers and enthusiasts. The only qualification necessary is a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in their chosen category (good time management skills and an ability to work in a team in an online environment are also essential).

(2) ULTIMA RATIO REGUM. Camestros Felapton continues to work out what canon means to sff readers, and if it’s useful in “Types of canon/key texts”.

… I think within discussions of canon there is a sense of books whose role it is to edify the reader, the books that will make you (somehow) a better reader. I’m sceptical that any books really fit that criteria and even more sceptical that we can find a common set of such books. However, there are clearly books that themselves provoke further books and as such books that get referenced in later works and later works that can be seen as response to earlier works. Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers being an obvious example of such a work. This is canon as a kind of feedback loop of significance — the books that are themselves critiques of Troopers lend significance to Troopers as a book. You don’t have to have read Starship Troopers to enjoy Kameron Hurley’s Light Brigade but having some familiarity with Heinlein’s book adds an element to Hurley’s book.

(3) HEATED WORDS. As someone wrote on Twitter: “The phrase ‘You couldn’t make Blazing Saddles today’ takes on an entirely new meaning.” CBR.com has the story: “Blazing Saddles Is Being Remade as an Animated Samurai Movie About Cats and Dogs” .

Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles is considered a film classic, even though it’s stirred up some controversy over the years. Now the film is being retold in an entirely new medium, as well as an entirely new genre.

The Los Angeles film company Align is helping develop an animated film titled Blazing Samurai. The film takes the basic premise of Blazing Saddles and transplants it to the Samurai era. The story follows a dog named Hank who dreams of becoming a Samurai. When he becomes in charge of protecting Kakamucho, he learns that the town is populated entirely by cats.

(4) A GOLDEN AGE. Galactic Journey does a rundown on the 1964-1965 television season: “[AUGUST 8, 1965] NAVIGATING THE WASTELAND #2 (1964-65 IN (GOOD) TELEVISION)”. I was 12 around then so no wonder I remember this as the Golden Age of TV. The Traveler obviously has a later bedtime than I did that year, because I never got to watch his favorite, Burke’s Law —

Three years ago, I reported on the state of television in the wake of former FCC-chief Newton Minow’s pronouncement that television was a ‘vast wastelend.’  Since then, I have remained a devoted fan of the small screen, if not completely addicted to ‘the boob tube.’  Indeed, the Young Traveler and I have our weekly favorites we do not miss if we can at all help it.

And so, as we sail through the sea of summer reruns, gleefully anticipating the Fall line-up, I take delight in awarding the Galactic Stars of Television for the 1964-65 season.

Burke’s Law 1963-65

Amos Burke is what would have happened if Bruce Wayne’s parents had never been shot – he’s a Beverly Hills playboy millionaire who also happens to be the dapper Captain of Homicide for the L.A. Police Department.  In each episode, Amos, with the aide of grizzled Sergeant Hart and youthful Detective Tilson (and occasionally the doe-eyed Sergeant Ames), solves a murder mystery…..

If The Traveler hadn’t waxed rhapsodically about this show – and I’m not sure whether he thinks it fits the blog’s sff theme or just thinks it’s good – then it wouldn’t have seemed such a glaring oversight to end the post pointing out Harlan Ellison wrote a script for the lamentable Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, without mentioning Ellison also wrote four scripts for 1964 episodes of his beloved Burke’s Law series.

(5) SINCE 1984. Jane Johnson looks back on “A life in publishing”.

I realised this morning that it’s 36 years to the day when I started to work in publishing, as an editorial secretary at George Allen & Unwin Publishers, in Ruskin House on Museum Street. What follows really is the trajectory of modern publishing in microcosm.

My skillset was not ideal: I loved books, especially the works of JRR Tolkien and came with a first class English degree, a Masters in Scandinavian Studies (Old Icelandic) and absolutely no secretarial abilities at all. But I had worked for a year at Foyles and another as a boardmarker/cashier at Ladbrokes, and so had proved I could work hard and not be snooty about getting my hands dirty; and that I was numerate and understood the concept of gambling, which my new boss assured me was the essence of publishing. These were the times of Telex machines and manual typewriters, which were just giving way to electronic typewriters (my nightmare) but David was remarkably patient with my Tippexed letters, blackened carbon copies and non-existent shorthand, and within a year had promoted me away from my disaster zone to become an editor. Paperbacks were a fairly new concept: hardbacks were the prestige edition.

(6) IMPROVEMENT NOT NEEDED. In a post on Facebook, David Gerrold tells how a book is being unfairly belittled.

There is currently a backlash against The Giving Tree, and some people are circulating an alternate ending.

Hey! I have an idea. I have an alternate ending for Winnie The Pooh. Pooh is a bear. He decides he likes bacon. He eats Piglet. Much more realistic, right?

No, look. Shel Silverstein knew what he was doing when he wrote The Giving Tree.

It doesn’t need an alternate ending — specifically not one that’s preachy, badly written, doesn’t really fit, and is intended to cast the original in a bad light….

(7) TAKING THE MINUTES. In “Six Novels That Bring Together Mystery And Time Travel” on CrimeReads, Julia McElwain recommends novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Lauren Beukes as time travel novels mystery readers might like.

Depending upon how it’s done, it can add to the tension—a race against time as our characters try to return to their own era—or it can allow readers to explore the past through modern eyes. In my own In Time mystery series, I’ve enjoyed the fish-out-of-water sensation that my main character—a modern-day woman and brilliant FBI agent—experiences after being tossed back to the Regency period in England. As women then were second-class citizens without the ability to even vote, not only does she have to deal with personal obstacles, but she also cannot tap into her usual arsenal of forensic tools to solve crimes.

Whether time travel is being used to wrap a mystery in an extra, innovative layer or is allowing readers to view humanity and history through a different lens, the theme is brilliantly done in the books that I’ve listed below….

(8) ALLEN OBIT. A software pioneer has died: “Frances Allen, Who Helped Hardware Understand Software, Dies at 88” in the New York Times.

Frances Allen, a computer scientist and researcher who helped create the fundamental ideas that allow practically anyone to build fast, efficient and useful software for computers, smartphones and websites, died on Tuesday, her 88th birthday, in Schenectady, N.Y.

Her death, in a nursing home, was confirmed by her great-nephew Ryan McKee, who said the cause was Alzheimer’s disease.

In the mid-1960s, after developing software for an early supercomputer at the National Security Agency, Ms. Allen returned to her work at IBM, then the world’s leading computer company. At an IBM lab in the Hudson River Valley town of Yorktown Heights, just north of New York City, she and her fellow researchers spent the next four decades refining a key component of modern computing: the “compiler,” the software technology that takes in programs written by humans and turns them into something computers can understand.

For Ms. Allen, the aim was to do this as efficiently as possible, so programmers could build software in simple and intuitive ways and then have it run quickly and smoothly when deployed on real-world machines.

Together with the researcher John Cocke, she published a series of landmark papers in the late 1960s and ’70s describing this delicate balance between ease of creation and speed of execution. These ideas helped drive the evolution of computer programming — all the way to the present day, when even relative novices can easily build fast and efficient software apps for a world of computers, smartphones and other devices.

In 2006, on the strength of this work, Ms. Allen became the first woman to win the A.M. Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of computing.

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • August 8, 1956 X Minus One aired “The Last Martian.” This is the story of a reporter  seeing if a man’s claim that he is a Martian placed in a human’s body.  George Lefferts was the scriptwriter who adapted the story from the Fredric Brown’s “The Last Martian” short story first published in Galaxy Science Fiction in October 1950.  Mandel Kramer, Elliot Reed, Santos Ortega, Ralph Bell, John McGovern, and Patricia Weil were in the radio cast.  You can listen to it here.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born August 8, 1883 – Paul Stahr, Jr.  Forty covers for Argosy 1925-1934.  Also Collier’sJudgeLife, People’s Home JournalThe Saturday Evening Post; book covers, posters.  Here is the 10 Jan 31 Argosy.  Here is the 25 Aug 34.  Here is The Ship of Ishtar.  Here is a World War I poster.  (Died 1953) [JH]
  • Born August 8, 1919 Dino De Laurentiis. Maker of Dune obviously but less obviously also a lot of other genre including Conan the BarbarianFlash GordonKing KongHalloween II and Halloween IIIDead Zone and The Last Legion. (Died 2010.) (CE)
  • Born August 8, 1930 Terry Nation. Best-known as scriptwriter for Doctor Who and creator of the Daleks. He later created Blake’s 7. He would also write scripts for The Avengers, The Champions andMacGyver. (Died 1997.) (CE) 
  • Born August 8, 1935 Donald P. Bellisario, 85. Genre shows include Tales of the Gold MonkeyAirwolf and of course, that truly amazing show Quantum Leap. Ok, is Tales of the Gold Monkey genre? Well if not SF or fantasy, it’s certainly pulp in the best sense of that term. (CE)
  • Born August 8, 1937 Dustin Hoffman, 83. Ahhh, Captian Hook, the man who got swallowed by the vast crocodile in Hook. Yeah, I like that film a lot. By no means his only genre appearance as he was Mumbles, Caprice’s fast-talking henchman in Dick Tracy (not a film I love), Mr. Edward Magorium in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and the voice of Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda. (CE)
  • Born August 8, 1950 – John D. Berry, 70.  Of New York (Fanoclasts), later Seattle.  “The Club House” 1969-1972 (fanzine reviews) for Amazing.  Pacific Northwest Review of Books (with Loren MacGregor).  Fan Guest of Honor, Norwescon 1, VCON 13, Westercon 63.  DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) delegate.  Designed the souvenir book for 15th World Fantasy Con.  I daren’t say a font of knowledge but indeed he is good with them.  [JH]
  • Born August 8, 1958 – David Egge, 62.  Thirty book and magazine covers, three dozen interiors.  Here is The End of Summer.  Here is The Dorsai Pacifist (in German).  Here is a 1986 cover for The Mote in God’s Eye (in fact Moties don’t have faces, a non-trivial point, but see this anyway).  Here is the Apr 01 Analog.  [JH]
  • Born August 8, 1961 – Tim Szczesuil, F.N., 59.  Chaired Boskones 33, 53.  Five terms as NESFA (New England SF Ass’n) President, four as Treasurer; various committees.  Contributed to APA:NESFA.  For NESFA Press, edited His Share of Glory (C.M. Kornbluth), Strange Days (Gardner Dozois; with Ann Broomhead).  Fellow of NESFA (service award).  [JH]
  • Born August 8, 1971 – Phlippa Ballantine, 49.  First New Zealand author to podcast her novel (Weaver’s Web, 2006; three more; PB since moved to Virginia).  Three novels about the Order, five (with husband Tee Morris) about the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Phoenix Rising was a top-10 SF book of the year on Goodreads, sequel The Janus Affair a Locus best-seller and Steampunk Chronicle readers’ choice for fiction), two about the Shifted World; a score of shorter stories.  Website here.  [JH]
  • Born August 8, 1988 – Flavia Bujor, 32.  Children’s novel The Prophecy of the Stones (or “Gems”), written at age 13, translated into 23 languages.  A second is rumored.  [JH]

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Speed Bump shows that the pandemic has reached mythic proportions.
  • Bizarro has a moral.

And Today In Comics History:

  • August 8, 1978: Garfield’s sidekick, Odie, made his comic strip debut.

(12) TUNING UP. CinemaBlend pays tribute to “10 Excellent John Williams Scores In A Steven Spielberg Movie”. On their list is:

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

The 1977 science-fiction epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind helped cement Steven Spielberg as a master of the genre, and the movie’s epic story of humans coming into contact with aliens was only made that more memorable thanks to soaring and sweeping score by John Williams. 

Throughout the entire movie, the score pushes the plot along to the point where the humans finally begin to communicate with the alien mothership, which is another way of inserting Williams’ composition into the picture. The “Play The Five Tones” scene is a miraculous piece of filmmaking and orchestration as it starts rather small and hushed before going into a back and forth between the two species before growing into a grand composition that ultimately ends with a chorus of strings growing in intensity as the aliens reveal themselves to the amazement of the humans.

(13) PRIVATE EYES. NPR tells how “From Desert Battlefields To Coral Reefs, Private Satellites Revolutionize The View”.

As the U.S. military and its allies attacked the last Islamic State holdouts last year, it wasn’t clear how many civilians were still in the besieged desert town of Baghouz, Syria.

So Human Rights Watch asked a private satellite company, Planet, for its regular daily photos and also made a special request for video.

“That live video actually was instrumental in convincing us that there were thousands of civilians trapped in this pocket,” said Josh Lyons of Human Rights Watch. “Therefore the coalition forces absolutely had an obligation to stop, and to avoid bombardment of that pocket at that time.”

Which they did until the civilians fled.

Lyons, who’s based in Geneva, Switzerland, has a job title you wouldn’t expect at a human rights group: director of geospatial analysis. He says satellite imagery is increasingly a crucial component of human rights investigations, bolstering traditional eyewitness accounts, especially in areas where it’s too dangerous to send researchers

…They get those images from a handful of private, commercial satellite companies, like Planet and Maxar.

For the past three years, Planet has done something unprecedented. Its 150 satellites photograph the entire land mass of the earth every day — more than one million images every 24 hours. Pick any place on earth — from your house to the peak of Mt. Everest — and Planet is taking a photograph of it today.

“If you could visualize a string of pearls going around the poles, looking down and capturing imagery of the earth underneath it every single day,” said Rich Leshner, who runs Planet’s Washington office.

Scroll through Planet’s photo gallery and you get a bird’s eye view of the state of the world: idle cruise ships clustered off Coco Cay in the Bahamas, deserted streets around normally bustling sites like the Colosseum in Rome, and the smoke from the relentless fires set by farmers clearing land in the Amazon rainforest.

U.S. government satellites are the size of a bus. Planet’s satellites are the size of a loaf of bread. Planet is in business to make money, and its clients include the U.S. military and big corporations. But it also works with lots of non-profits and other groups it never anticipated.

(14) DAMMIT, BLANET! There is a thesis about a new type of planets, called “Blanets” (BLack Hole plANETS). “New Class of Planet Can Form Around Black Holes, Say Astronomers”Discover has the story.

Supermassive black holes are among the most exciting and puzzling objects in the universe. These are the giant, massive bodies that sit at the heart of most, perhaps all, galaxies. Indeed, they may be the seeds from which all galaxies grow.

Supermassive black holes are at least a hundred thousand times the mass of our sun. They are often surrounded by thick clouds of gas that radiate vast amounts of energy. When this happens, they are called active galactic nuclei. Discovering the properties of these clouds, and their curious central residents, is an ongoing exercise for astrophysicists.

Now researchers have a new phenomenon to consider — the idea that planets can form in the massive clouds of dust and gas around supermassive black holes. Last year, Keichi Wada at Kagoshima University in Japan, and a couple of colleagues showed that under certain conditions planets ought to form in these clouds. These black hole planets, or blanets as the team call them, would be quite unlike any conventional planet and raise the possibility of an entirely new class of objects for astronomers to dream about.

(15) DEAD OR ALIVE? In this 2019 article, WIRED considers the possibilities after “A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon”.

…Half a world away, Nova Spivack watched a livestream of Beresheet’s mission control from a conference room in Los Angeles. As the founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit whose goal is to create “a backup of planet Earth,” Spivack had a lot at stake in the Beresheet mission. The spacecraft was carrying the foundation’s first lunar library, a DVD-sized archive containing 30 million pages of information, human DNA samples, and thousands of tardigrades, those microscopic “water bears” that can survive pretty much any environment—including space.

But when the Israelis confirmed Beresheet had been destroyed, Spivack was faced with a distressing question: Did he just smear the toughest animal in the known universe across the surface of the moon?

…The lunar library on the Beresheet lander consisted of 25 layers of nickel, each only a few microns thick. The first four layers contain roughly 60,000 high-resolution images of book pages, which include language primers, textbooks, and keys to decoding the other 21 layers. Those layers hold nearly all of the English Wikipedia, thousands of classic books, and even the secrets to David Copperfield’s magic tricks.

Spivack had planned to send DNA samples to the moon in future versions of the lunar library, not on this mission. But a few weeks before Spivack had to deliver the lunar library to the Israelis, however, he decided to include some DNA in the payload anyway. Ha and an engineer on Spivack’s team added a thin layer of epoxy resin between each layer of nickel, a synthetic equivalent of the fossilized tree resin that preserves ancient insects. Into the resin they tucked hair follicles and blood samples from Spivack and 24 others that he says represent a diverse genetic cross-section of human ancestry, in addition to some dehydrated tardigrades and samples from major holy sites, like the Bodhi tree in India. A few thousand extra dehydrated tardigrades were sprinkled onto tape that was attached to the lunar library.

(16) THE BARD’S SJW CREDENTIALS. Cats are the theme for Shakespeare & Beyond’s post: “Of the flattering, pampered, reviled, predatory, ‘harmless, necessary’ early modern cat”.

… While many of us today think of cats primarily as pampered pets and cherished internet weirdos, for early modern Europeans cats ran the gamut, from pests and carriers of disease, to indicators of witchcraft and other feminine misbehavior, to objects of affection and partners in play. Shakespeare’s own references to cats display such a variety. Trying to shake Hermia off in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysander calls her “thou cat, thou burr! vile thing,” (3.2.270), and Macbeth’s First Witch calls out to Graymalkin, a common name for a cat that could also be applied to a “jealous or imperious old woman,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary (1.1.9). In other places, he references a cat’s behavior, as when Falstaff insists he is “as vigilant as a  cat to steal cream” (Henry IV, Part 1 4.2.59). The Oxford English Dictionary also credits Shakespeare with the first reference to a cat’s purr, in All’s Well That Ends Well (5.2.19)…

(17) IS THAT PAL OR HAL? Wil Wheaton devotes a blog post to his forthcoming movie: “Wil Wheaton is a very bad friend in trailer for horror-thriller Rent-A-Pal”.

Everything about this movie makes me happy. The cast is superb, the editing and photography and music are gorgeous, and the story is REALLY FUCKING CREEPY.

I can’t wait for y’all to see this when it comes out in September.

The short description of the movie on YouTube says:

Set in 1990, a lonely bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins) searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Peer, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

2019 Aurealis Awards Winners

The 2019 Aurealis Awards were announced in an online ceremony on July 25. Presented by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound), the award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

The winners of the 2019 Aurealis Awards are:

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • The Dog Runner, Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • Black Magick, Greg Rucka & Nicola Scott (Image Comics)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • The Jindabyne Secret, Jo Hart (Deadset Press)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “Vivienne and Agnes”, Chris Mason (Beside the Seaside – Tales from the Day Tripper)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • “Into Bones Like Oil”, Kaaron Warren (Into Bones Like Oil)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “Dragon by Subscription”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Patreon, self-published)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • “‘Scapes Made Diamond”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “Wreck Diving”, Joanne Anderton (Aurealis #123, Chimaera Publications)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • “‘Scapes Made Diamond”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)

BEST COLLECTION

  • Collision: Stories, J S Breukelaar (Meerkat Press)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Mission: Critical, Jonathan Strahan (Ed.) (Solaris)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • The Rich Man’s House, Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

  • Angel Mage, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

  • Watermarks: Science Fiction, Mitigation and the Mosaic Novel Structure in Australian Climate Fiction, Jason Nahrung (PhD thesis, University of Queensland)

2019 Aurealis Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Aurealis Awards were announced March 25 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

  • Scorch Dragons by Amie Kaufman (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Race for the Red Dragon by Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)
  • Jinxed!: The Curious Curse of Cora Bell by Rebecca McRitchie (author) & Sharon O’Connor (illustrator) (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Glimme by Emily Rodda (Omnibus Books)
  • The Lost Stone of SkyCity by Heather Waugh (Fremantle Press)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK

  • Haphaven by Louie Joyce (Lion Forge)
  • Yahoo Creek by Tohby Riddle (Allen & Unwin)
  • Black Magick by Greg Rucka & Nicola Scott (Image Comics)
  • Super Nova by Krys Saclier (Ford Street Publishing)
  • Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renee Treml (Allen & Unwin)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • “The Jindabyne Secret by Jo Hart (Deadset Press)
  • “Glass-Heart by K S Nikakis (SOV Media)
  • “Dragon by Subscription” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Patreon, self-published)
  • “Seaweed” by Andrea Teare (Breach #11)
  • “Each City” by Ellen Van Neerven (Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories, Walker Books Australia)
  • “Rats” by Marlee Jane Ward (Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories, Walker Books Australia)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

  • “Loose Stones” by Joanne Anderton (Infinite Threads)
  • “The Mark” by Grace Chan (Verge 2019: Uncanny)
  • “Pilgrimage” by Matthew R Davis (Breach #10)
  • “The Unwrapping” by Terry Dowling (Echoes)
  • “Of Meat and Man” by Jason Fischer (SNAFU: Last Stand, Cohesion Press)
  • “Vivienne and Agnes” by Chris Mason (Beside the Seaside – Tales from the Day Tripper)
  • “The Moth Tapes” by J Ashley Smith (Aurealis #117, Chimaera Publications)

BEST HORROR NOVELLA

  • Yellowheart by Alan Baxter (Served Cold)
  • Supermassive Black Mass by Matthew R Davis (Short Sharp Shocks! #21)
  • Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren (Into Bones Like Oil)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • “Loose Stones” by Joanne Anderton (Infinite Threads, Brio Books)
  • “1078 Reasons” by Aidan Doyle (Translunar Travelers Lounge)
  • “Pigshit and Gold” by Aiki Flinthart (Dimension6 #18, coeur de lion)
  • “CurioQueens” by Ephiny Gale (Constellary Tales Magazine #4)
  • “Good Dog, Alice” by Juliet Marillier (Wonderland, Titan books)
  • “Dragon by Subscription” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Patreon, self-published)

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

  • Like Ripples on a Blank Shore by J S Breukelaar (Collision: Stories, Meerkat Press)
  • The Orchard by Ephiny Gale (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #76)
  • Out of Darkness by Chris Mason (Tales of the Lost, Things in the Well)
  • ‘Scapes Made Diamond by Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)
  • To Hell and Back by Michael Pryor (Aurealis #120, Chimaera Publications)
  • The Final Prologue by Christopher Sequeira (Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not, IFWG Publishing Australia)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • “Sky Tears” by Mike Adamson (Alien Dimensions #17, Maldek House)
  • “Wreck Diving” by Joanne Anderton (Aurealis #123, Chimaera Publications)
  • “Riding the Snails” by Jason Fischer (War of the Worlds: Battleground Australia, Clan Destine Press)
  • “Canute” by RPL Johnson (SNAFU: Last Stand, Cohesion Press)
  • “What We Named the Needle” by Freya Marske (Analog Science Fiction and Fact Jul/Aug 2019, Penny Publications)
  • “Micro” by Angela Meyer (Kill Your Darlings, Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Showcase 2019)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA

  • Ventiforms by Sean Monaghan (Asimov’s Science Fiction Jan-Feb 2019)
  • ‘Scapes Made Diamond by Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)
  • You Will Remember Who You Were by Cat Sparks (Dimension6 #16)
  • Prisoncorp by Marlee Jane Ward (Seizure)

BEST COLLECTION

  • Collision: Stories by J S Breukelaar (Meerkat Press)
  • Blackbirds Sing by Aiki Flintoff (CAT Press)
  • Scar Tissue and Other Stories by Narrelle M Harris (Clan Destine Press)
  • Five Dragons by Pamela Jeffs (Four Ink Press)
  • Stray Bats by Margo Lanagan (Small Beer Press)
  • Men and Machines I: Space Operas and Special Ops by Charlie Nash (Flying Nun Publications)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories edited by Michael Earp (Walker Books Australia)
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not edited by Christopher Sequeira (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 13 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)
  • Mission: Critical edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • The Darkest Bloom by P M Freestone (Scholastic)
  • Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller (UQP)
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dev1at3 by Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier (Macmillan Australia)
  • I Heard The Wolf Call My Name by K S Nikakis (SOV Media)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

  • Chuwa: The Rat People of Lahore by Brian Craddock (Broken Puppet Books)
  • Remains by Andrew Cull (IFWG Pub Aus)
  • A Riddle in Bronze by Simon Haynes (Bowman Press)
  • The Rich Man’s House by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Body Farm Z by Deborah Sheldon (Severed Press)

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

  • Angel Mage by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Wailing Woman by Maria Lewis (Little, Brown Book Group)
  • The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier (Macmillan Australia)
  • The Darkest Bloom by P M Freestone (Scholastic)
  • Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor (Allen & Unwin)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • The Subjects by Sarah Hopkins (Text Publishing)
  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Trespassers by Meg Mundell (UQP)
  • The Year of the Fruit Cake by Gillian Polack (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • The Glad Shout by Alice Robinson (Affirm Press)
  • Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

Pixel Scroll 7/10/19 Our Pixels Manned The Air They Ran The Scrolls And Took Over The Airports

(1) VINTAGE. New art from Star Trek: Picard. What should we call this episode? “The Grapes of Wrath of Khan”? The big reveal on the story and characters of the new show will be at San Diego Comic-Con next week.

(2) MORE BEST TRANSLATED HUGO FEEDBACK. Taiyo Fujii commented about the proposal on Facebook.

Thanks for M. Barkley and Rachel S. Cordasco for proposing Best Translated Novel for Hugo, but I should say as a Japanese writer, It’s not necessary.

Hugo already honored 3 translated works without translated category, and we saw the translator of that works Ken Liu was celebrated on the presentation stage. This is why I respect Hugo and voters, who don’t cares the work is from overseas or not.

I worry if translated category is held, translated short forms will be ignored by s-s, novelette and novella which are fascinated category for new young non anglophone writers. We are trying to open the door to be just a writer with contributing short forms, and readers already saw our works, and voted for nomination. But if translated category was held, only novels are honored.

In fact, translated fiction category is set on literary award held in non anglophone country, then we Japanese couldn’t give prize for Three Body Problem as the best novel of Seiun Awards even if we hope to honor.

(3) LISTEN AND LEARN. Brenton Dickieson points out “7 New Audiobooks on C.S. Lewis: Michael Ward, James Como, Stephanie Derrick, Patti Callahan, Joe Rigney, Diana Glyer, Gary Selby” at A Pilgrim in Narnia.

Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis (13 hrs)

I have argued that Dr. Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia is the most important resource for reading Narnia that has emerged in the new century. While one might argue with parts of Ward’s thesis–as I have donePlanet Narnia is a great book for providing close readings of Lewis’ greatest works in a literary way that invites us into a deeper understanding of the books behind the Narnian chronicles. I hope the publishers record The Narnia Code, the popular version of the Planet Narnia resource, but I am thrilled that they began with the magnum opus, Planet Narnia. Meanwhile, Audible also has Ward’s “Now You Know” audio course, “Christology, Cosmology, and C.S. Lewis,” a shorter but helpful resource for newcomers to the conversation. The audiobook reader, Nigel Patterson, is professional and even in tone.

(4) INTRODUCING NEWTON EWELL. Yesterday a commenter noticed that artist Newton Ewell was one of the NASFiC/Westercon guests who had no entry in Fancyclopedia 3. Overnight someone (“Confan”) decided rather than complain, they’d write one for him. It’s very good, and apparently there’s a lot to know about – Newton Ewell.

(5) TIL THEY ATE THEM. An unexpected discovery in the Crimea: “Early Europeans Lived Among Giant 300kg Birds”. I suspect this state of affairs lasted until dinnertime. [Via Amazing Stories.]

Early Europeans lived alongside giant 3-meter tall birds new research published on Wednesday explains. The bird species was one of the largest to ever roam the earth weighing in at a staggering 450 kg.

Bones of the massive, probably flightless bird were discovered in a cave in Crimea. “We don’t have enough data yet to say whether it was most closely related to ostriches or to other birds, but we estimate it weighed about 450kg,” says the study’s lead author Dr. Nikita Zelenkov. This formidable weight is nearly double the largest moa, three times the largest living bird, the common ostrich, and nearly as much as an adult polar bear.”

(6) MARTIAN CARAVANSARY. Slate has posted an interview with Robert Zubrin, Founder and president of the Mars Society and author of The Case for Space: “What Will Life On Mars be Like?”

Slate: How do you envision settling Mars will begin, and what will the early settlements look like?

Robert Zubrin: I think it will begin with an exploration, and then the establishment of a permanent Mars base to support exploration. Whoever is sponsoring this base, whether it’s the U.S. government, an international consortium of governments, or private groups, it’s going to be tremendously to their benefit to have people stay extra rotations on Mars because the biggest expense is transporting people back and forth. If it costs $100 million to send someone to Mars and back—and that’s a low estimate—it would be a no-brainer to offer someone $5 million to stay there an extra two years. So, I think you’ll start to see people staying extra rotations on Mars, just like there are some people who spend an extra rotation on trips to Antarctica. And then, relationships will form. And people will have children. And you will see the beginning of an actual settlement, a base.

(7) AUREALIS AWARDS. The 2019 Aurealis Awards are now taking entries:

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for speculative fiction, are for works created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

Full guidelines and FAQ can be found on the Aurealis Awards website:

(8) WESTEROS DISTINGUISHED. Everyone knows the Ninth Circuit marches to the beat of its own drummer – or is that to the pace of its own White Walkers? “Game of Thrones Night King storyline gets torched by federal judge”.

A federal appeals court’s opinion on Lindie Banks v. Northern Trust Corp. is — as one would expect from a case charging breaches of fiduciary duties — full of references to assets, investments and irrevocable trusts. Naturally, the Night King from Game of Thrones also makes a showing. 

In the opinion filed July 5, Judge John B. Owens writes that the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit won’t discard a prior legal precedent “the way that Game of Thrones rendered the entire Night King storyline meaningless in its final season.” 

(9) TORN OBIT. The actor with the best working name in Hollywood, Rip Torn, died July 9. CNN has the story: “Rip Torn, actor best known for ‘Men in Black’ and ‘The Larry Sanders Show,’ dies at 88”.

Rip Torn, an Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in “Men in Black” and HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” has died, according to his publicist Rick Miramontez. He was 88.

Torn died Tuesday at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut with his family by his side, Miramontez said.

The actor had a seven-decade career in film, television and theater, with nearly 200 credits to his name.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 10, 1903 John Wyndham. His best-known works include The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos, both written in the Fifties. The latter novel was filmed twice as Village of the Damned. Both iBooks and Kindle have an impressive selection of his novels though little of his short fiction is available alas. (Died 1969.)
  • Born July 10, 1923 Earl Hamner Jr. Though much better known for writing and producing The Waltons, he wrote eight scripts for the Twilight Zone including “Black Leather Jackets” in which an alien falls in love with a human girl and “The Hunt” where raccoon hunters enter the Twilight Zone. He also wrote the script of the Hanna-Barbera production of Charlotte’s Web. (Died 2016.)
  • Born July 10, 1929 George Clayton Johnson. He’s best known for co-writing with William F. Nolan the Logan’s Run novel, the source for the Logan’s Run film. He was also known for his scripts for the Twilight Zone including  “A Game of Pool”, “Kick the Can”, “Nothing in the Dark”, and “A Penny for Your Thoughts”, and the first telecast episode of the original Star Trek, “The Man Trap”. (Died 2015.)
  • Born July 10, 1931 Julian May. She‘s best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile (known as the Saga of the Exiles in the UK) and Galactic Milieu series: Jack the BodilessDiamond Mask and Magnificat. She also chaired the 1952 Worldcon in Chicago. (Died 2017.)
  • Born July 10, 1941 David Hartwell. Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes him as “perhaps the single most influential book editor of the past forty years in the American science fiction publishing world.”  I certainly fondly remember the The Space Opera Renaissance he co-edited with Kathryn Cramer. Not to mention that his Year’s Best Fantasy and Year’s Best SF anthologies are still quite excellent reading. (Died 2016.)
  • Born July 10, 1945 Ron Glass. Probably best known genre wise as Shepherd Book in the Firefly series and its sequel Serenity. His first genre role was as Jerry Merris in Deep Space, a SF horror film and he’d later show up voicing Philo D. Grenman in Strange Frame: Love & Sax (“slated as the world’s first animated lesbian-themed sci-fi film”; look it up as it as an impressive voice cast) and he showed up twice as J. Streiten, MD in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Oh and he was on Voyager playing a character named Loken in the  “Nightingale” episode. (Died 2016.)
  • Born July 10, 1970 John Simm, 49. The second of modern Masters on Doctor Who.  He appeared in the final three episodes of series three during the Time of the Tenth Doctor: “Utopia”, “The Sound of Drums”, and “Last of the Time Lords”. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Wizard of Id comes up with a problem faced by witches in the land of Oz, one that never occurred to me before.

(12) TO AIR IS HUMAN. Galactic Journey’s Natalie Devitt attends a 1964 movie with a pre-Batman Adam West: “[July 10, 1964] Greetings from the Red Planet (The Movie, Robinson Crusoe on Mars)”.

The movie opens up aboard a spaceship carrying Commander Christopher Draper (played by Paul Mantee, appearing in his first film major film role), Colonel Dan McReady (Adam West, an actor commonly found on television westerns) and an adorable monkey named Mona.  Things take an unexpected turn when they detect a meteoroid and are “forced out of orbital velocity to avoid collision with planetoid into tighter orbit of Mars.”  As the situation worsens, the crew is left with no other option than to immediately attempt to land on the fourth planet.  While fleeing the vehicle in their individual escape pods, Draper is separated from McReady and Mona.

Draper adapts to the conditions on the red planet, while searching for McReady and Mona.  Even though he is part of the first crew on Mars, Draper learns quickly what it takes to survive.  He finds shelter in a cave.  For heat, Draper discovers yellow rocks that “burn like coal.” Heating the rocks not only keeps him warm, but also produces oxygen, which he then uses to refill his oxygen tank.  Throughout the film, Draper keeps a careful audio record about all that he experiences, which provides a useful narrative device when things happen off-screen. 

(13) BESPOKE. Vicky Who Reads mostly likes this one: “Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim: A Lush and Beautiful Fantasy with a Romance I Wasn’t Into”. (A little problem with the age difference between the couple, for one thing.)  

I knew this was going to be good, but I definitely did not know just how good it would be.

Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn was a classic-style story with a lush and beautiful world and gorgeous prose. Featuring the classic “girl dressing as a boy” trope, a Project-Runway-esque competition, and a quest, Spin the Dawn weaves tradition and fantasy into a phenomenal story.

(14) LEND ME YOUR EARS. Joe Sherry is “Listening to the Hugos: Fancast” and opens with thoughts about the category itself.

…Fancast suffers from some of the same issues that many of the down ballot categories do, though perhaps “suffer” is the wrong word. There is a lot of institutional memory built in here for fancasts which are consistent year after year. With a core of listeners who are frequent participants in the Hugo Award process, it is not surprising to see a number of finalists come back year after year. I’ve said this about a number of other categories, but it does make me wonder a little bit about the health of the category, but on the other hand it does also give a snapshot of what the genre and fan conversation and communities may have looked like over a several year period. A positive takeaway, though, is that the only repeat winner was SF Squeecast in the first two years of the category. Both Be the Serpent and Our Opinions Are Correct are new to the ballot and are new to being a podcast.

(15) DEAD CON WALKING. Although Trae Dorn has eased back on his posting frequency, Nerd & Tie still comes through with fannish news scoops: “Better Business Bureau Calls Walker Stalker Events a ‘Scam’”.

Walker Stalkers LLC, which runs conventions under the Walker Stalker Con, Heroes & Villains, and FanFest names, has been having a bit of a rough patch when it comes to finances lately. We reported on this back in April, and while the company has made some effort to refund people for cancelled events and appearances, many might claim that it hasn’t been quite enough. Those issues seem to have come to a head though, as their problems are now becoming known outside of the geek community.

Nashville’s WSMV is reporting that the Better Business Bureau is now openly warning people to avoid Walker Stalkers LLC run events.

(16) IS IT REAL? BBC asked — “Midsommar: What do film critics in Sweden think?” Beware the occasional spoilers.

Swedish film reviewers are giving a cautious welcome to Midsommar, a horror film about a bizarre pagan festival in a remote part of Sweden.

Directed by Hereditary’s Ari Aster, the film stars Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor as an American couple who travel to Harga village in Halsingland to observe the midsummer ritual that takes place there only once every 90 years.

The film – which was actually shot in Hungary – has been getting strong reviews since it opened in the US earlier this month. It currently has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

One critic, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich, tweeted that Midsommar would “do for Swedish pagan rituals what Psycho did for showers”.

The film opened in Sweden on Wednesday and the first reviews have been appearing in the Swedish press. So what do the critics there think?

(17) REALITY CHECK. Be fair – everyone’s seen mermaids and knows, uh, never mind… NPR relates that “Disney Cable Channel Defends Casting Black Actress As New ‘Little Mermaid'”.

When Disney announced that Halle Bailey, a teen actress and one-half of the singing group Chloe x Halle, had landed the role of Ariel in the forthcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, some people on social media went bonkers.

But not over the fact that it’s 2019 and the Danish fairy tale tells the story of a young female creature who loves singing and wearing a seashell bikini top and eagerly gives up her voice in exchange for a romance with a good-looking guy. Nor are critics outraged by the kind of message that narrative conveys to young children.

Instead, certain circles of the Internet are aghast that the ingenue cast by Disney is black.

The complaints run along the lines of: “The actress should look like the real Little Mermaid!” By which they presumably mean the white-skinned, blue-eyed cartoon character in the 1989 blockbuster film. The hashtag #NotMyAriel quickly began trending on Twitter, and since the announcement last week, scores of fans have pledged to boycott the film.

For days the company remained silent regarding the controversy, but Freeform, a cable network owned by Disney and on which Bailey appears as a cast member on Grown-ish, issued a statement on Instagram clarifying that, “Ariel…is a mermaid.”

(18) SHAKE IT ‘TIL YOU BREAK IT. “Satellite photos show California earthquake leaves scar on the desert” – BBC has lots of photos, satellite and other.

The strongest earthquake to hit California in two decades left a scar across the desert which can be seen from space, new pictures show.

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck on Friday at a depth of just 0.9km (0.6 miles), creating a fissure near its epicentre about 240km north-east of Los Angeles.

It was felt as far away as Phoenix, Arizona – more than 560km south-east.

…The crack in the desert – captured in before and after pictures released by Planet Labs – opened close to the epicentre of the quake near the town of Ridgecrest.

(19) TWO FAMILY TREES. BBC encounters the “Earliest modern human found outside Africa”.

A skull unearthed in Greece has been dated to 210,000 years ago, at a time when Europe was occupied by the Neanderthals.

The sensational discovery adds to evidence of an earlier migration of people from Africa that left no trace in the DNA of people alive today.

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

Researchers uncovered two significant fossils in Apidima Cave in Greece in the 1970s.

One was very distorted and the other incomplete, however, and it took computed tomography scanning and uranium-series dating to unravel their secrets.

The more complete skull appears to be a Neanderthal. But the other shows clear characteristics, such as a rounded back to the skull, diagnostic of modern humans.

What’s more, the Neanderthal skull was younger.

(20) SPACE COLLECTIBLES. On July 16-189, Heritage Auctions continues with the third round of Neil Armstrong memorabilia: “The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction”.

To the many numismatists who may be reading this newsletter, here is a unique piece for your consideration: a Gemini 8 Flown United States 1864 Large Motto 2¢ Piece, graded MS 61 BN by NGC and encapsulated by CAG (Collectibles Authentication Guaranty) . This coin was supplied by an Ohio coin dealer to Neil Armstrong who took it with him on the mission, “carried in a specially sewn pocket in my pressure suit.” As you may know, Gemini 8 performed the world’s first orbital docking in space but it nearly ended in disaster when one of the Orbit and Maneuvering System thrusters stuck in the on position causing an uncontrollable tumbling. Armstrong was somehow able to control it and bring the craft in for a successful emergency landing. This coin, for many years on loan from the Armstrong family to the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is extensively provenanced by the dealer and also Neil Armstrong’s father.

Another amazing item is Neil Armstrong’s Personally Owned and Worn Early Apollo-Era Flight Suit by Flite Wear with Type 3 NASA Vector Patch. I can’t imagine a better (or rarer) item for display purposes, a real museum piece. And, to go with it: Neil Armstrong’s Personal NASA Leather Name Tag.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]