(1) SLATOFF’S NEW COMMISSION. Christopher Slatoff, the sculptor who did the Ray Bradbury-themed Father Electrico statue, will see his war hero memorial unveiled in Pasadena on Memorial Day.
(2) THIRD FIFTH FOR DOCTOR WHO? The BBC dropped a hint: “Doctor Who: new info suggests plans stretch to series 15”.
Essentially, BBC Worldwide has put out a press release to announce a new deal with a Chinese media company, and one paragraph of the press bumf seems to suggest that the Beeb is planning for Doctor Who – in its current, post-relaunch state – to run until at least its fifteenth series.
The MOU comes on the back of a content deal that BBC Worldwide also signed with SMG Pictures yesterday evening. The deal will see the entire catalogue of Doctor Who including spin-offs, Torchwood and Class available on popular TV channels and on-demand platforms all over China.
The deal not only covers Showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat’s Series 1- 10, but also incoming Showrunner Chris Chibnall’s yet-to-film Series 11, as well as a first look for Series 12-15. [Emphasis added.]
(3) CRITICAL OMISSION. The Wachowskis probably thought they were breaking barriers, but they’re exhibit A in Riki Wilkins commentary for the Advocate, “Today’s Sci-Fi Oddly Adheres to Strict Gender Norms”.
The Wachowski sisters’ remarkable Netflix series, Sense8, is now in its second season. It is an elaborate envisioning of another race of humanoids, homo sensorium, who communicate telepathically and live among us.
These come in “clusters” that are scattered around the world, and from its opening credits, Sense8 is careful to present the viewer with the enormously diverse quilt that is humanity itself. The opening credits roll over a stunning montage of multicolored crowds, couples, celebrations, and rituals from around the globe (yes, the show has a break-the-piggybank travel budget).
The cluster of eight we follow is diversity itself â€” a Kenyan, a German, an Indian, an Icelander, people of color, a Brazilian gay man, and a Bay Area transgender woman. In nearly every episode, a cluster character denounces humanity’s unfortunate propensity to fear and oppress those we see as different, as the “Other.”
Not a single genderqueer person anywhere. Not in this cluster. Not in the others. Not in any character they interact with. Even the crazy underground computer hacker named Bug is, like everyone else, quite gender-normative.
Apparently gender difference is the Other that must not speak its name. And this is from a team where not one but both siblings have bravely and publicly transitioned to be trans women. Et tu, Lana and Lilly?
Moreover, all of this occurs in science fiction, a genre invented to let creative imaginations run wild with possibility. Apparently veering from the gender binary is not among the possible. And in this, Sense8 is hardly alone….
…It is sadly to be expected that cisgender people cannot imagine us. But it is beyond sad that even when we are behind the camera and behind the typewriter, as with Sense8, we cannot imagine us either….
(4) PHOENIX COMICON UPDATE. Yahoo! News tells who the guman’s target was and quotes a statement from the actor —
Original ‘Power Rangers’ star Jason David Frank has had a bit of a close shave, as a lone gunman headed to Phoenix Comic Con with the intention of killing him.
A heavily-armed man — identified as 31-year-old Matthew Sterling — arrived at the convention on Thursday claiming to be ‘The Punisher’ with a plan to kill numerous ‘bad’ cops as well as the original Green Ranger, who was appearing at the comic con…
But why did he want to kill the Green Ranger?
It’s unclear why Sterling took umbrage against Jason David Frank, despite his claims that he previously stabbed the Green Ranger in a separate altercation.
Those claims seem to be entirely fabricated.
“I don’t know this individual, but I will pray for him,” said Frank in an interview with Fox News, adding that the alleged stabbing never took place. “I think if you mention ‘stabbed’, and I haven’t been stabbed, the story speaks for itself.”
According to Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Ed Leiter, the man was also planning to attack a number of other individuals, whose identities have not been released.
“He exhibited a dramatic threat to the community beyond police officers, beyond Jason David Frank,” he explained. “A number of other people were referenced as possible targets or people he wanted to kill….
(5) DENOUEMENT. Yesterday, after N.K. Jemisin publicly posted that she had asked Felicity Harley not to post the results of Harley’s interview with her, host site The Writing Cooperative took down the post and apologized.
(6) TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET. Lots of fans are tweeting about things they’re hearing on convention panels this weekend. But here’s a bit of social media etiquette I haven’t seen before —
(7) WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. However, it seems a shame to have missed this one —
(8) COMING TO AMERICA. Oft discussed in File 770 comments, Kinder Eggs will soon be available in the United States.
Kinder Eggs are coming to the U.S. — legally. The hollow chocolate egg with the toy surprise inside has not been allowed in the states due to a 1930s law banning candy with non-food objects inside, though fans of the European treat have previously smuggled them in.
(9) TRIVIAL TRIVIA
(10) TODAY IN HISTORY
- May 27, 1988 — Killer Klowns From Outer Space opens in theaters.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS
- May 27, 1911 — Vincent Price
- May 27, 1922 — Christopher Lee
- May 27, 1934 — Harlan Ellison, Noted Futurist.
(12) GOLLANCZ FESTIVAL. Gollancz Festival 2017 takes place November 4-5 in London.
The Gollancz Festival is back! Join us on the 4th November 2017 for a day long celebration of genre authors, fiction and fans. Book your tickets now.
This year we are thrilled to continue our partnership with Foyles for a day of readers’ events at Foyles Charing Cross Road. Meet your favourite authors, enjoy a day of panel events, interviews, Q&As and signings. To find out more about our readers’ events and book your tickets click here.
We will also be running our very popular Writers’ Festival with panel events, speed dating style pitching, advice from authors and editors at the Phoenix Artists’ Club. To find out more about our Writers’ Festival and book tickets click here.
Authors in attendance include: Ben Aaronovitch, Mark Alder, James Barclay, Stephen Baxter, AK Benedict, Pat Cadigan, Ed Cox, Jaine Fenn, Joanne Harris, Joe Hill, Antonia Honeywell, Simon Ings, Tom Lloyd, Suzanne McLeod, Elizabeth May, Paul McAuley, Ed McDonald, Simon Morden, Richard Morgan, Sam Peters, Christopher Priest, Alastair Reynolds, Justina Robson, Adam Roberts, Al Robertson, Gavin Smith, Tricia Sullivan, Tom Toner, Jon Wallace, Catriona Ward and Chris Wooding.
(13) STILL NEWS TO SOMEONE! Andrew Porter announces you can now find his old fanzine, SF Weekly, online at Fanac.org.
Well, most of them. The issues #185 to #228, from 1967 to 1968, anyway.
All the news that fit, back in the day…
Not to be confused with any other SF WEEKLY, including ones published decades later. Nor with anything to do with San Francisco, or Suomi Finland.
Scanned in by a bunch of people, especially Mark Olson!
(14) PUPPY REDUX. People keep sending me links to Chris Chan’s day-late and several-dollars-short “‘No Award’: The Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature”. It might be a cure for low blood pressure. If you’re not suffering from that I recommend skipping it, or Chan will have you suffering from something else.
(15) GRAPHIC EXAMPLES. According to the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, “Graphic Novels Are Trending in English Departments, and That’s a Problem”.
Many English departments are now beginning to offer courses on graphic novels, which integrate text and visual imagery. Graphic novels are increasingly studied alongside traditional literature, in some cases supplanting more standard text-based curricula.
For example, one course at UNC Chapel Hill titled “The Visual and Graphic Narrative”can be taken to satisfy the literary appreciation part of a student’s general education requirements. (Students are only required to take one literary appreciation class.) The university also offers a course titled “Comics as Literature”as a first-year seminar.
Given these courses’ rising popularity among students, administrators and instructors may view them in terms of their ability to renew student interest in the humanities. But while graphic novels do have artistic merit, and are of aesthetic interest, the rise of undergraduate courses on graphic novels is problematic.
One reason is that the majority of graphic novels tend to advance political agendas. The graphic novels found on course syllabi and on reading lists often deal with controversial political issues such as social justice, immigration, gay rights, etc. This is part of a larger trend in the humanities, where focus often is on oppression and identity politics.
For example, Ursinus College assigns the widely acclaimed and controversial Fun Home by Allison Bechdel in undergraduate literature courses. Bechdel’s graphic novel is written as memoir, and discusses her experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family. The reader follows Bechdel as she learns about her father’s homosexuality and her lesbianism.
Another graphic novel, Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick, also is a popular choice on university syllabi and has been described as an “intersectionally feminist text.”The book is about “a woman’s failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords….
(16) LOGAN. From last March, the stars of Logan appeared on the BUILD series.
Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart come to BUILD to dish on the anticipated film, “Logan.” The film tells the tale of a weary Logan taking care of an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. Although Logan attempts to remain hidden from the world, a young mutant soon changes what he had planned. Join us when they take the stage
[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Nicholas Whyte, Andrew Porter, JJ, Camestros Felapton, John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Charon D.]