Belfast, Northern Ireland is the voters’ choice for the site of the 2025 UK Eastercon, the first time the convention will be held in Ireland. Reconnect, will take place April 18-21, 2025.
Reconnect’s venue is within half a mile of the city center: the Belfast International Conference Centre and connected Hilton Lanyon Place.
Deputy Chair Jo Zebedee said “We are delighted to be bringing the Eastercon to Belfast, and look forward to welcoming hundreds of fans to a city full of exciting literary and cultural elements”.
Two bids for 2025 were submitted, Catastrophe! and Reconnect (Belfast). Catastrophe! was, of course, a spoof bid but very humorous in content says Dave Lally, who reports in the end it did actually receive some votes.
Reconnect’s guests of honour will be Lauren Beukes, Rebecca Roanhorse, Jeannette Ng, Derek Landy, Will Simpson and Bar Friendly Ian McDonald.
Co-Chair James Bacon said, “We are thrilled to be able to welcome such an illustrious and fabulous range of guests of honour to Reconnect. We hope that we can share our passion for the fantastic as we welcome fans to a new venue for Reconnect and welcome new fans to their first Eastercon.”
Co-Chair Tommy Ferguson noted: “We have a long history of fandom in Belfast, be it Walt Willis, James White and Bob Shaw with their groundbreaking fanzines in the 40’s and 50’s up to our local convention scene which has been vibrant, and we want to reconnect fandom to Northern Ireland and with one another as we celebrate science fiction, fantasy and horror in all its forms in person.”
Traveling fan Dave Lally also notes that Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions include “the obvious Game of Thrones locations; and there are also C S Lewis (Narnia etc.) connections in Belfast. Already offered on the Easter Friday morning (and just pre-Con opening) is a fan arranged visit to the award-winning Titanic Centre in Belfast. This is right beside where the doomed liner was built, before its tragic end in April 1912 in the cold, still, waters of the Atlantic.”
And in the neighboring Republic of Ireland, Malin Head, County Donegal (Star Wars), and the charms of Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, (the express Belfast-Dublin train is called “The Enterprise” — 2 hours journey time-between the two Irish cities, and that service leaves from the main Belfast Lanyon Place Station (just ~300m from the Con itself).)
[NOTE: Eastercon 2024/“Levitation” is already approved. Location: Telford (just north of Birmingham) Dates: March 29-April 1, 2024.]
Said participants were Patrick Tomlinson & myself. Been getting death threats before this, warning me not to attend Chicon 8 – Chicago Worldcon 2022. I was informed of the new threats & steps to keep things secure. Which was reassuring. I in turn did my panels and enjoyed the event immensely.
All in all, it was an amazing event, my 1st physical SFF con. Thanks to the organizers, volunteers, panelists, participants, all who donated funds & voices, to crowdfund, clamour, and ensure bigoted systems & persons did not prevail in this case. See ya’ll in perhaps another Chicon, WorldCon, soon, hopefully.
(2) ATTENTION FANZINE COLLECTORS. The “Massive Archive of Fanzines from the Golden Age” that belonged to the late Donald Day (1909-1978) is being offered for $150,000. If you can’t write the check, you can at least drool over the examples in the 77-page announcement. Where else will you see hand-stenciled cover art by Ray Bradbury? (Page 63.)
An immense archive of over 3,000 original fanzines and ephemera, mostly from the late 1930s to mid/ late-1950s– the years when scifi fandom was a closeknit group of correspondents, before the scifi boom expanded its audience. A small percentage of later fanzines (from mid ’50s to the 1970s) are included, but the collection is primarily rooted in the Golden Era of Science-Fiction, from the late 1930s and 1940s. This archive shows the highly-organized and sophisticated world of mid-20th century fandom fandom, made up of far-flung individuals who had found one another by reaching out to into the ether, united by their love of dreaming of the future, while using present day printing technology and speaking to each other through DIY-publishing. While mostly published in America, some fanzines hail from the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico.
“Indiana Jones 5” showed its first trailer on Saturday during the D23 Expo. Although it was not released online, Harrison Ford appeared onstage to speak about the footage, joined by director James Mangold and co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“Thank you for making these films such an incredible experience for all of us,” he said, looking quite emotional. “I’m very proud to say to say that this one is fantastic. [Points at Waller-Bridge] And this is one of the reasons.”
“‘Indiana Jones’ movies are about fantasy and mystery, but they’re also about heart,” he continued. “We have a really great story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass.”…
The National Book Foundation will honor Art Spiegelman with the 2022 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Spiegelman is the first comic artist to receive the DCAL medal, which will be presented to him by author Neil Gaiman at the National Book Awards Ceremony on November 16.
(6) YOU COULD BE MULTITASKING IN ENGLAND. [Item by Dave Lally.] The Science Museum in London will host “Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination” from October 6, 2022 through May 4, 2023. (Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD, UK.) This major SF exhibition follows on from similar (and very successful) ones earlier in the UK (one in The British Library and then, a few years later, one in The Barbican Centre).
And if visiting the UK from overseas and between the Exhibition dates above, this Science Museum London event may be of interest. And one could ‘kill two birds with one stone’, by combining it with the annual UK National SF Con-Eastercon in NEC, Birmingham in April 2023 (*). You’ll be made very welcome. [ (*) UK annual National SF Con: Conversation 2023, the 2023 Eastercon. Fri 7 – Mon 10 April 2023 inclusive. Hilton Metropole Hotel, NEC (National Exhibition Centre), Birmingham B40 1PP, UK.]
[Nearest UK Rail Station: Birmingham International (“BI”) – NOT Birmingham New Street. Inter-City express trains (Avanti West Coast) from London Euston Rail Station (above London Tube Station: Euston). Journey time: ~ 1hr 35 min.]
“If visiting but not during Eastercon, the UK-based, multi-Hugo Award winning sf-newszine Ansible usually carries a listing of many UK (plus other country) Cons. One could then combine such Con attendance with a visit to the Exhibition. (Ansible Editor is of course SF legend Dave Langford.)”
And the regular monthly London SF Meeting happens every 1st Thursday of the month: 1800->closing time. (total informality). Top Floor (private) Bar: THE BISHOPS FINGER (real/craft ales pub +hot food), West Smithfield, London EC1A 9JR. Overseas, passing-though/visiting fen, very welcome. Order food and drink downstairs on ground floor (bring your drink up with you — your food order is delivered to you upstairs later).
…A later and more sophisticated variant on the same theme is to be found in John Franklin Bardin’s The Last of Philip Banter (1947). The eponymous Banter is an advertising man with marriage trouble and a drink problem. He finds a typed manuscript on his office desk, apparently typed by himself, which confuses past and future. It describes what is going to happen as though it had happened already. Then the “predictions” start to come true…
A young woman struggling to hold it together in small-town America finds herself witness to what may or may not be a murder in the first teaser for The Peripheral, a new Prime Video series based on William Gibson’s 2014 novel of the same name.
The YouTube blurb says:
The Peripheral centers on Flynne Fisher, a woman trying to hold together the pieces of her broken family in a forgotten corner of tomorrow’s America. Flynne is smart, ambitious, and doomed. She has no future. Until the future comes calling for her. The Peripheral is master storyteller William Gibson’s dazzling, hallucinatory glimpse into the fate of mankind — and what lies beyond. Flynne Fisher lives in the rural American South, working at the local 3D printing shop, while earning much needed extra money playing VR games for rich people. One night she dons a headset and finds herself in futuristic London—a sleek and mysterious world, alluringly different from her own hardscrabble existence. But this isn’t like any game she’s ever played before: Flynne begins to realize it isn’t virtual reality… it’s real. Someone in London, seventy years in the future, has found a way to open a door to Flynne’s world. And as utterly beguiling as London is… it’s also dangerous. As Flynne searches to discover who has connected their worlds, and for what purpose, her presence here sets dangerous forces into motion…forces intent on destroying Flynne and her family in her own world.
(9) MEMORY LANE.
1977 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Don’t worry if you never heard of this Saturday morning series that lasted one season forty-five years ago on NBC. Hardly anyone else did either as the ratings were truly awful. Space Sentinels was originally titled Young Sentinels, renamed for somewhat obvious reasons midway through its only season of thirteen episodes.
It was directed by Hal Sutherland who was an animator and painter who began his career at Disney in the Fifties working on Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan.
Now I’ve not a clue who created the series as no one claims credit for it. Hmmm. Create by numbers?
It was produced by Filmation. Genre wise, they were busy doing such animated series as The New Adventures of Superman, The Adventures of Superboy, and the live action Fantastic Voyage.
Need I say that it had as characters two handsome males and one beautiful female? Seriously it did. Only this time she was black. And she was the field leader of the team. Could this be the influence of Star Trek? And two males who, like her, were supposed to be modeled on ancient Greek and Roman deities, though it was set millennia in the future and far, far away, competed for her favors. This being a children’s series nothing happened.
Remember that I mentioned they changed the name of the series? Oopsy. Unfortunately, the series was in the can and the dialogue could not be altered as this is pre-digital, so the characters are sometimes addressed as being the Young Sentinels but never the Space Sentinels.
It has no rating at Rotten Tomatoes. JustWatch says it is not streaming anywhere. It was released on DVD sixteen years along with all five episodes of The Freedom Force. It goes from fifty-five dollars upwards as eBay and Esty.
In the image below, the three principal characters are on the left. Having not watched the series, I’ve no idea who the three characters are to the right but note the matching belts, a sure give-away!
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born September 10, 1898 — Bessie Love. She’s best remembered for The Lost World, filmed in 1925, which was the very first screen adaptation of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel and which he was involved in. She was Paula White. You know, the beautiful woman who must be there? I can’t see checking IMDB that she did any other genre films. Did she? (Died 1986.)
Born September 10, 1951 — Harry Groener, 71. One of those performers who shows up in multiple Trek series, in his case it was The Next Generation where he was Elbrun on the “Tin Man” episode, Voyager where he was The Magistrate on the “Sacred Ground” episode and finally he appeared on Enterprise as Nathan Samuels in two episodes, “Demons” and “Terra Prime”, and would have a novel written based around him, The Good That Men Do.
Born September 10, 1952 — Gerry Conway, 70. Writer who’s best known for co-creating with John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru the Punisher character and scripting the death of Gwen Stacy during his long run on The Amazing Spider-Man. (The Punisher comic is far, far better than any the three films is. I broke my vow of not watching anything I like and deeply regret it. I really mean that.) I’m also fond of his work on Weird Western Tales at DC. A truly odd and deeply entertaining series.
Born September 10, 1953 — Pat Cadigan, 69. Tea from an Empty Cup and Dervish is Digital are both amazing works. And I’m fascinated that she co-wrote with Paul Dini, creator of Batman: The Animated Series, a DCU novel called Harley Quinn: Mad Love. In many ways, it was better than the damn series is which I’ll discuss with anyone here.
Born September 10, 1953 — Amy Irving, 69. She has major genre credits, having her feature film debut in Brian De Palma’s Carrie in the Seventies followed by a lead role in two years later in The Fury, a supernatural thriller. (I will confess that I’ve seen neither.) She’d play Katie in Rumpelstiltskin, before having the major role of the singing voice of Jessica in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? a few years later. Did you know there was a series called Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics? She appeared in it.
Born September 10, 1955 — Victoria Strauss, 67. Author of the Burning Land trilogy, she should be praised for being founder along with AC Crispin of the Committee on Writing Scams. She maintains the Writer Beware website and blog.
Born September 10, 1959 — Nancy A. Collins, 63. Author of the Sonja Blue vampire novels, some of the best of that genre I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. She had a long run on Swamp Thing from issues 110 to 138, and it is generally considered a very good period in that narrative. I certainly enjoyed that period. She also wrote Vampirella, the Forrest J Ackerman and Trina Robbins creation, for awhile.
Born September 10, 1964 — Chip Kidd, 58. Graphic designer. And isn’t that an understatement. He did Batman: Death by Design which was illustrated by Dave Taylor, and there’s his amazing homage to Plastic Man with Art Spiegelman, Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits. He also created the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton design for the original Jurassic park novel which was later carried over into the film franchise. Neat. Really neat.
(11) COMICS SECTION.
Lio is eager to begin shopping for his favorite holiday.
(13) CHILLERCON.[Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] SF2 Concatenation has just advance Tweeted a convention report on Chillercon ahead of its seasonal edition. Ian Hunter reports on Chillercon UK. The event had been previously cancelled a number of times due to CoVID.
There were almost 300 attending to see four guests of honour: Gollancz Editor Gillian Redfearn who was being interviewed by her husband, horror writer, Joe Hill; American horror writer, Grady Hendrix; author and critic, Kim Newman who is one of my favourite writers whose works adorn several shelves in Hunter Towers; and the film-maker, producer, director, and screenplay writer, Mick Garris, whose many credits include directing the TV versions of The Shining and The Stand, as well as directing other Stephen King “stuff”. There were also two special guests in the shape of writer M. R. (Mike) Carey, and actor Robert Lloyd Parry who did a reading and also performed on the Saturday night as M. R. James.
(14) WHEN TOLKIEN MET THE QUEEN. The One Ring recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of J.R.R Tolkien receiving the OBE. (The photo at the link [left] is cropped to show Tolkien and a woman, which I guess we are supposed to think is him next to Queen Elizabeth when she was younger. However, the full photo [right] reveals we’re actually looking at Tolkien flanked by his son John and daughter Priscilla.)
50 years ago – in 1972 – Queen Elizabeth II appointed JRR Tolkien Commander of the Order of the British Empire “for services to English Literature.”
She was 11 when The Hobbit was published, and The Lord of the Rings hit bookstores two years into her reign.
Tolkien wrote to his publisher Rayner Unwin about the day, Letter 334 “But I was very deeply moved by my brief meeting with the Queen, & our few words together. Quite unlike anything that I had expected.”
After everything he had lived through, and all the fairy stories he had written, meeting the Queen was a special moment for him.
…Matt seems to be encouraging Jenn about being a hero in both the courtroom and on the streets, and if there’s anyone qualified to help her along that path, it’s Hell’s Kitchen hero turned legal expert himself. There also seems to be a bit of a … spark between the two. Just imagine it — Walters, Nelson & Murdock has a pretty nice right to it, right?
(18) DISENCHANTED. This sequel to Enchanted is coming to Disney+ in November.
(19) LIVE ACTION LITTLE MERMAID. It’s been a busy weekend at D23, or had you noticed?
“The Little Mermaid,” visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall’s live-action reimagining of the studio’s Oscar®-winning animated musical classic, opens exclusively in theaters nationwide May 26, 2023. “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea, and while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land, but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.
[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Nick Hudson, Rob Thornton, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Dave Lally, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jamoche with an assist from Anna Nimmhaus.]
This month’s installment of Old People Read New SFF is Caroline M. Yoachim’s award nominated Carnival 9, an endearing tale of clockwork people second cousin to children’s toys and inevitable, implacable mortality. The Hugo nominated it garnered suggests reader appeal and the fact that it was also nominated for a Nebula means professionals enjoyed (or at least appreciated) it was well. But will my Old People find it worth reading?
Christyann Darwent is an archaeologist at the University of California at Davis. Darwent does her fieldwork in the Canadian High Arctic, a place so frigid and remote that it has been used as a training ground to prepare astronauts for future missions to Mars. Darwent’s expertise in how organic materials break down in extreme environmental conditions gives her unique insights into how corpses might age on the Red Planet.
As we speculated about the future of Martian law enforcement, Darwent emphasized that her expertise remains firmly terrestrial; her husband, she joked, is the one who reads science fiction. Nevertheless, Darwent brought a forensic angle to the subject, noting that nearly everything about a criminal investigation would be different on the Red Planet. She described how animal carcasses age in the Arctic, for example: One side of the body, exposed to high winds and extreme weather, will be reduced to a bleached, unrecognizable labyrinth of bones, while the other, pressed into the earth, can often be almost perfectly preserved. Think of Ötzi, she said, the so-called “Iceman,” discovered in a European glacier 5,300 years after his murder. Ötzi’s body was so well preserved that his tattoos were still visible. Murderers on Mars might have their hands full: The bodies of their victims, abandoned in remote canyons or unmapped caves, could persist in the Martian landscape “in perpetuity,” Darwent suggested.
In a time where the American government separates and imprisons migrant families, hearing from those who live and engage with the Mexico-US borderlands on a personal level couldn’t be more relevant.
Fresh off the presses in time for WorldCon76, the Mexicanx Initiative’s bilingual anthology Una Realidad más Amplia: Historias desde la Periferia Bicultural/A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins celebrates the diversity of Mexicanx writers who create science fiction, fantasy and horror. Born of a Kickstarter project, the book includes twelve short stories and one comic in both Spanish and English, with an ebook version on the way.
(4) POWER OF WORDS. Simini Blocker’s site includes a series of posters about reading that use quotes from George R.R. Martin, C.S. Lewis, Lemony Snicket, Albert Einstein, Annie Dillard, Anna Quindlen, Cassandra Clare, etc.
(5) LALLY IN CHINA. At Vector, a photo gallery of Dave Lally’s visit to Chengdu, China: “Dave in Chengdu”.
This July, our roving Membership Officer Dave Lally spent four days Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, participating in the Science Fiction Sharing Conference. Here are just a few snaps from the trip.
(6) LISTENING TO THE GOLDS. LASFSians and renowned filkers Lee and Barry Gold were intereviewed by Edie Stern for Fanac.org. Hear the audio and see illustrative photos at YouTube.
Lee and Barry Gold tell stories about Los Angeles fandom and filking in the 1960s. In this audio recording enhanced with images, there are charming anecdotes about Poul and Karen Anderson, LASFS, and a great story about Bruce Pelz and Ted Johnstone obtaining permission from John Myers Myers to print the “Silverlock” songs. Lee and Barry tell how they got into fandom, and the interview also includes snatches of song from filks of the time as well as a discussion on where the word “filk” came from. The audio was captured in San Jose at Worldcon 76, and is enhanced with 35 images.
(7) ASHES SCATTERED. Martin Tays posted a photo of the moment on Facebook.
A final farewell to Poul Anderson and Karen Anderson. Their ashes were scattered today in Puget Sound from on board the Schooner Zodiac, sailing out of Bellingham, Washington.
(8) MERTON OBIT. Actress Zienia Merton (1945-2018) passed away September 13. She memorably played Space: 1999’s Sandra Benes, Data Analyst on Moonbase Alpha. See photos at Moonbase Central.
(9) SUTTON OBIT. Dudley Sutton (1933-2018): British actor, died September 15, aged 85. Genre appearances include The Avengers (one episode, 1968), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (two episodes, 1970 and 2000), The Devils (1971), The Glitterball (1977), The Island (1980), Brimstone & Treacle (1982), The Comic Strip Presents… (‘Slags’, 1984), The House (1984), A State of Emergency (1986), Screen One (‘1996’, 1989), Orlando (1992), Delta Wave (two episodes, 1996), Highlander (one episode, 1997), The Door (2011), Ripper Tour (2018), Steven Berkoff’s Tell Tale Heart (completed 2017, but not yet released), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and When the Devil Rides Out (both currently in post-production).
(10) BLAY OBIT. The New York Times says the creator of the videocassette movie industry has died:
Andre Blay, 81, whose innovative idea of marketing Hollywood movies on videocassettes sparked an entertainment industry bonanza and a revolution in television viewing, died on Aug. 24 in Bonita Springs, Fla. He was 81….
But in 1977 Mr. Blay was able to persuade Fox to make a deal under which he would duplicate and distribute 50 of the studio’s most successful films, including “M*A*S*H” and “The French Connection.” The relatively high initial retail price of movies on videocassettes prompted an unexpected proliferation of video rental stores, from neighborhood businesses to sprawling chains like Blockbuster. As the price of recorders plummeted to about $500 from about $1,000, sales boomed, and so, to some people’s surprise, did rentals. By 1987 home video was generating more revenue than movie-theater ticket sales.
(11) TODAY IN HISTORY
September 15, 1949 — The Lone Ranger TV series debuted.
September 15, 1965 — The original Lost in Space premiered on television – theme by ”Johnny Williams.”
(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born September 15, 1890 – Agatha Christie. Ok, according to Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction –
Christie wrote several short stories with supernatural elements – some collected, together with orthodox nonseries detections, in The Hound of Death (coll 1933) – and created a kind of sentimental Occult Detective [see TheEncyclopedia of Fantasy under links below] for The Mysterious Mr. Quin (coll 1930). In these stories the shadowy and elusive Harley Quin (the “harlequin” pun is deliberate and explicit) does not so much detect as use his presumably occult information to steer a mundane friend, Mr Satterthwaite, towards the insight required to explain a crime; the misleadingly titled The Complete Quin & Satterthwaite: Love Detectives (omni 2004) includes two long Hercule Poirot investigations featuring Satterthwaite but not Quin. Christie was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971.
Born September 15, 1943 – John M. Faucette. Harlem born and raised genre writer who published four novels in the Sixties, two apparently as Ace Doubles. I wish I could tell you more about him but scant information now exists about him alas.
Born September 15 – Norman Spinrad, 78. Writer of many genre novels including Bug Jack Barron, Greenhouse Summer and The People’s Police. Wrote the script for “The Doomsday Machine” for Star Trek: The Original Series; also wrote episodes for Land of the Lost and Werewolf. His very early reviews are collected in Science Fiction in the Real World which was published in 1990.
Born September 15 – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, 76. Writer, composer, demographic cartographer. Genre works include the very long running Count Saint-Germain vampire series, the Vildecaz Talents series and a number of other works listed as genre but which I’m not familiar with so I’m not certain that they are. Her site notes that she’s ‘Divorced, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area – with two cats: the irrepressible Butterscotch and Crumpet, the Gang of Two.’
Born September 15 – Howard Waldrop, 74. Primarily a short story writer so much of his work is unfortunately out of print though iBooks lists ePubs for Horse of a Different Color right now along with two other Small Beer published collections. I rather like The Texas-Israeli War: 1999 novel he co-wrote with Jake Saunders. His “The Ugly Chickens” amusingly enough won a Nebula for Best Novelette and a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction.
Born September 15 – Loren D. Estleman, 66. You’ll have noticed that I’ve an expansive definition of genre and so I’m including a trilogy of novels by this writer who’s better known for his mainstream mysteries featuring Amos Walker which are set in the Sherlock Holmes Metaverse, Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. I think it was Titan Book that maybe a decade ago republished a lot of these Holmesian pastiches of which there are more than I want to think about.
Born September 15 – Jane Lindskold, 56. Let’s see… I see a number of genre undertakings including Artemis, Athanor, Breaking the Wall and the Firekeeeper series. She’s done a lot of excellent stand-alone fiction novels including Child of a Rainless Year,Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls and The Buried Pyramid. She either edited or greatly expanded (depending on your viewpoint) two novels by Roger Zelazny, Donnerjack which I love and Lord Demon which thrills me less. Her latest I believe is Asphodel which she sent me an ebook to read and it is quite good.
(13) COMIC SECTION.
Over the Hedge explains how to get people interested in the space program.
(14) QUANTUM LEAP. That’s right, there could be a perfectly sensible explanation for a friend’s strange behavior, like this —
Do you have a friend, a coworker, an acquaintance who isn't acting normal?
Reach out. Ask them if they are really Scott Bakula attempting to change history for the better.
Kurt Maetzig is not a natural choice for East Germany’s first science fiction movie, since he is mostly known for realist fare and even outright propaganda films. Though the fact that Maetzig is a staunch Communist helped him overcome the reservations of DEFA political director Herbert Volkmann, who doesn’t like science fiction, since it does not advance the Communist project and who shot down eleven script drafts as well as Maetzig’s plan to hire West European stars.
(16) IT’S A STRETCH. Marko Kloos’ post for the Wild Cards blog, “Coming Up Aces”, tells how hard it is to do something new in “a world with an established canon spanning 70 years, where hundreds of aces and jokers have already been put on the page by dozens of other writers.”
Wild Cards is up to twenty-six volumes now, and the Trust has more than forty members. Each of those writers has created multiple characters, so there are hundreds of aces, joker-aces, and jokers out in the Wild Cards world, each with their own distinct physical characteristics and abilities. And once they are on the page, they’re canon. Try coming up with an original ace who doesn’t duplicate something that’s already been done by someone else—I can assure you it’s not easy, especially if you’re new to the team and haven’t had your head in that world for the last few decades. The first few ideas I had were roundly shot down at the start because they had been used in some form already, or they brought abilities to the table that had been done too often.
For my first character that truly stuck, I came up with Khan, who makes his first appearance in LOW CHICAGO. Khan is a joker-ace, a 300-pound underworld bodyguard whose left body half is that of a Bengal tiger….
The success of “Stree” is due in part to how it flips Bollywood’s norms. The male protagonist is the opposite of Bollywood’s muscly, macho heroes — he spends most of the film trying to see things from the female ghost’s point of view. The women, on the other hand, are bold, educated and fearless.
The movie breaks rules of the horror genre: The scares and jolts are funny, while the real fear is hidden in the jokes about the realities of being a woman in India.
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of the Youtube channel Strip Panel Naked, by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. In this extraordinary video podcast, Hassan analyses different techniques of pacing, page layout, color, positive and negative space, genre conventions and how they’ve been broken, stylistic choices and so on. I have lots of favourites, including the analysis of the use of time in Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye.
The saga began to unfold on September 6, when authorities unexpectedly closed and evacuated Sunspot Solar Observatory. Sunspot Solar Observatory is managed by a consortium of universities that provide funding to operate the telescope and adjoining visitor’s center. AURA (The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy) is a big site, tens to hundreds of acres, McAteer explained, and the observatory is used to study the sun in very specific ways.
McAteer said while the reason behind the closure is still unknown, he does not believe it is as strange as some believe.
“AURA deciding to close it is not an unusual event to me and I’m not going to jump to any unnecessary speculation,” McAteer told Salon. “They [AURA] made the decision to close the site based on an internal decision, based on whatever they make their decisions on, and as they often make decisions to close remote sites this is not an uncommon thing to do.”
Alamogordo Daily News first reported the news on Sept. 7, when the observatory closed citing a “security issue” at the facility. Shari Lifson, a spokeswoman for AURA, said the closure was their decision.
“The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy who manages the facility is addressing a security issue at this time,” Lifson told the local newspaper. “We have decided to vacate the facility at this time as precautionary measure. It was our decision to evacuate the facility.”
In the Void’s games, if you pick up a gun, you’re holding a physical weapon — if you sit on a bench, there’s an actual physical bench for you to sit on. We went to a demo of the Void’s new Halloween experiences and talked with the creators behind them — here’s what we learned, and what went down.
When you’re about to go into the Void, you’re fitted with a vest and a VR helmet. The vest vibrates when you get shot or attacked — or in the case of one of their new experiences, slimed. (Ew.)
(21) HIMMELSKIBET. Karl-Johan Norén has another sff link to in Denmark: “Himmelskibet is a Danish 1918 silent movie about a trip to Mars, 81 minutes long, that has been restored by the Danish Film Institute.”
[Thanks to Danny Sichel, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Steve Green, Karl-Johan Norén, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]
(1) ELECTION NIGHT HANDBOOK. Nicholas Whyte has been doing our homework for us: “I thought you might be interested in my preview of the US election on Tuesday – now available here: Apco’s Guide to Election Night 2016.
As election day in the United States draws near, all eyes will be on early voting numbers and eventually official returns. Our resident election expert, Nicholas Whyte, prepared this guide to knowing what it will take to win and when we’re likely to know the outcome. Keep it handy!
“I’m from St. Louis originally,” he said at the time. “I’m a big baseball fan. You grow up in St. Louis, you automatically become a Cardinals fan. And of course I always followed the Cubs because how could you not? With the Cubs folklore of being the lovable losers that never get there, it was just a natural joke to say, ‘What is the most absurd thing that you could come up with?’”
(3) CARTOON MUSEUM LANDS IN CLOVER. A piece on the sfexaminer.com website by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez called “Recently Displaced Cartoon Art Museum Finds New Home in SF” discusses how the Cartoon Art Museum, which thought it was going to close in 2015 because of San Francisco’s ridiculous rents, has found a new one on Fisherman’s Wharf.
Kashar said the new space is “comparable” in size to the old one on Mission Street, though it’s one floor shorter. “We get to design it, too,” she said, which wasn’t an option with the old space.
“It’s got this really nice-looking facade,” she said, which is brick and looks similar to the nearby historic Cannery.
“For us, we wanted a place that was easy to get to, had street level visibility. It’s gorgeous,” she said.
The new space was made possible in part by a loan from San Francisco’s Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund, which has helped keep nonprofits in San Francisco during the rental crisis.
Kashar said the museum will announce fundraising efforts for the new location soon.
In the meantime, she hinted at one of the first new exhibits for the museum when it opens in 2017: the Summer of Love’s 50th anniversary.
That includes Wimmen’s Comix and Underground Comix, San Francisco staples from The City’s anti-establishment comics past.
(4) DAVE LALLY THAWING OUT. A few words about Icecon from Dave Lally.
Just back from freezing Reykavik (brrrrr!) and gosh is booze* (and indeed food) expensive there.
Tho the local fen, in the middle of their Gen Election to their Althing — whose building was just across the road from the main Icecon social bar! — were welcoming and very friendly.
Total number was about 120 (including overseas fen — giving them support and encouragement– from other Nordic countries and from US, UK, Ireland etc.)
Icecon 2 is scheduled for 2018. It will alternate with the every-two-years Icelandic Festival of Literature.
(*) 2nd highest tax on alcohol-exceed only by Norway!
Lally wrote this while on his way to the Eurocon in Barcelona, where the weather is warmer for smoffing.
Ginny let herself be impressed once. She let herself be impressed by Harry Potter—the Boy Who Lived, big brother’s best friend, Quidditch star. She let herself be impressed, and she let herself be infatuated, and she let herself blush and hide. She let herself be soft.
And into that moment of softness—of weakness—she wound up vulnerable. And look at how that turned out.
Ginny Weasley is angry. She’s angry because she let her mind become a chew toy for a sociopath. She’s angry because she hurt people, and she doesn’t care that she was just a puppet for Tom Riddle, that doesn’t matter, she still hurt people. She’s angry because nobody noticed. She’s angry because everyone forgets. She’s constantly having to remind them that she went through it, she spoke to him, he spoke back. And when he spoke back, it wasn’t just an endless deluge of taunts about her parents or jabs at her youth or threats to kill her. Harry’s never had a conversation with Voldemort, never really talked to him.
(6) ALLERGIC TO WORK. Camestros Felapton’s post “A Tale of an Encyclopedia in Graphs” analyzes how much work all those new members are doing on the Voxopedia (which is to say, Infogalactic). The answer? They’re doing squat.
Adding more members isn’t impacting on the number of new pages being added because the new members aren’t doing anything.
The problem with becomes clearer when looking at the proportion of edits per person.
Two people alone account for nearly 70% of all the edits in the data set.
And Mark-kitteh points out in a comment:
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Statistics , wikipedia gets 800 new articles per day. (No word on how many then fail notability checks, so the real figure may be lower). Based on that Voxipedia needs an couple of orders of magnitude more activity just to keep up.
I wonder how much editing activity you need to just keep up with really basic facts, like people dying?
(7) JUMPER OBIT. Fans recently learned of the death of Joyce Potter McDaniel Jumper (1937-2013). Her death notice is posted here.
Lee Gold shared the news, and her husband Barry added, “We lost track of Joyce in 2013. She called to tell us she was moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul, but never followed up with her new address. Former Long Beach fan Vic Koman posted on Facebook about SFWA looking for the rights to republish some of Dave’s works, so Vic wanted to help find Joyce. After Lee sent him a few bits of information (DOB, maiden name), he tracked down the unfortunate information: Joyce Potter McDaniel Jumper: born January 12, 1937; died December 20, 2013.”
If having Disney XD creating an animated series for Big Hero 6 is not exciting enough, then the news that most of the original voice cast will return for it should get the fans revved up. The Mouse House had confirmed working on a project based off the 2014 Academy Award winning box office hit (over $650 million) this spring. This sweetens the deal.
Inspired by the Marvel comic of the name, Big Hero 6 will continue where the film ended with the continuing adventures of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro, his lovable, cutting-edge robot Baymax and their friends Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go, and Fred as they protect their city from scientifically enhanced villains. At the same time, they are also balancing out regular life as new students at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.
Returning actors are: Maya Rudolph (Aunt Cass); Jamie Chung (Go Go); Scott Adsit (Baymax); Alan Tudyk (Alistair Krei); Ryan Potter (Hiro); Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon); David Shaughnessy (Heathcliff); and, of course, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee (Fred’s dad). Damon Wayans, Jr and T.J. Miller have left the cast. Khary Payton (The Lion Guard) will take over Wasabi and Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) will play Fred.
(9) SEVENTIES SF IS BACK. Its publication derailed over 40 years ago, Gordon Eklund’s Cosmic Fusion is touted as a breakthrough book that never happened. You can see what you missed by shelling out a few bucks to Amazon.
Cosmic Fusion was originally written between January 1973 and September 1982, a mammoth 300,000-word epic novel of “science fiction, sex, and death.” Unpublished due to an editorial change at the original publishing company, Eklund has now revised it for its first publication. As he writes in his introduction: “Cosmic Fusion was intended to be the book that broke me out of [science fiction’s midlist]. It was the Big Ambitious Novel I was going to write because I wanted to write it…” So here it is, a vintage tale written by Gordon Eklund at the peak of his power as a writer, never before seen…until today!
Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”
(11) MORE AWARDS. Matthew Bowman says two awards were started in reaction to the controversy about the Hugos. We all know about the Dragon Awards, which he discusses at the beginning of his post “A Tale of Two Awards” at The Catholic Geeks. Here’s Bowman’s introduction to the second.
The Rampant Manticore
The Rampant Manticore, as I said, was also in large part a reaction to what happened with the Hugos; but it takes a very different focus and a very different way of handling the problem.
For one, the Manticores will be presented at HonorCon, but — like that convention — they are adminstered by the Royal Manticoran Navy. The RMN, named after the military in the books they honor (no pun intended), is the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association. It’s sanctioned by the author, David Weber, and beloved by the publisher for how this organization of several thousand members gets people to read (and buy) this bestseller among bestsellers. The RMN is of course chiefly concerned with the Honor Harrington series, but cheerfully encompasses all military genre fiction. As a result, the Manticores have a heavy focus on military science fiction and fantasy.
The Manticores are also taking an opposite tack from the Flight of Dragons; instead of opening it up to everyone (or even just supporting memberships like Wordcon and the Hugos), they put very particular limits on who can vote. You have to either attend HonorCon itself, or have been a member of the fan association for a full year and taken at least two exams (these are really easy exams, don’t worry).
(12) UNCLE 4E. Forry Ackerman’s 100th birthday is coming late this month. Here’s a placeholder, from the last print issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
(13) EVERYBODY EXAGGERATES HIS RESUME. Jimmy Kimmel hires Doctor Strange.
(14) BACK HOME IN THE JUNGLES OF INDIANA. Han Solo and Indy reunited in the same film! Raiders of the lost Dark.
[Thanks to Gregory Benford, Lee Gold, Andrew Porter, Janice Gelb, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day M. C. Simon Milligan.]
Dublin’s bid for the 2019 Worldcon is unopposed, with less than a year til site selection voting takes place in Helsinki at Worldcon 75. Dublin’s proposed dates are Thursday, August 15 through Monday, August 19, 2019.
Dave Lally notes there also is a bid to have Belfast’s annual Titancon host the 2019 Eurocon. Its dates would be the week following Worldcon: Thursday, August 22-Monday, August 26, 2019. Titancon, a Game of Thrones themed convention, is the only Eurocon 2019 bid.
Lally says that if both Cons and Irish cities (100miles/160Km apart) win their respective bids, approaches will then be made to Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail) and to Translink (NI Railways) who jointly run the service, a train known as THE ENTERPRISE, and to CBS (who owns the Star Trek rights) to rename it for the duration of the two cons – THE ENTERPRISE: NGC 1701.
The Enterprise is an express train that runs between Dublin and Belfast eight times Monday through Saturday, and five times on Sunday. Lally says it’s had that name since August 1947 (long, long before Roddenberry, Shatner and Stewart et al).