Pixel Scroll 1/1/24 All These Pixels Are Someone Else’s Fault

(1) SOME PEOPLE SHINE. Let Looper introduce you to “Stephen King’s Harry Potter: The Fan-Made Concept That’s Too Weird To Be Real”. This is quite something.

When it comes to accomplished fiction writers, you don’t get much more prodigious than Stephen King. So iconic is his work that the YouTube channel Yellow Medusa created an artificial intelligence-driven video that hypothesizes how the “Harry Potter” films would look like if King — and not J.K. Rowling — created the franchise. This is one of several videos where the channel reimagines the “Harry Potter” movies if they were directed or written by other famous creators….

(2) SFPA MEMBERS NOMINATE FOR AWARDS. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association reminded members today of the deadlines to submit nominees for three annual awards.

RHYSLING AWARD NOMINATIONS The 2024 Rhysling Chairs are Brian U. Garrison & David C. Kopaska-Merkel. Nominations are open until February 15 for the Rhysling Awards for the best poems published in 2023. Only SFPA members may nominate one short poem and/or one long poem for the award. Poets may not nominate their own work. All genres of speculative poetry are eligible. Short poems must be 11–49 lines (101–499 words for prose poems); Long poems are 50–1,199 lines, not including title or stanza breaks, and first published in 2023; include publication and issue, or press if from a book or anthology. Online nomination form: bit.ly/2024RhyslingNom. Or nominate by mail to: SFPA, PO Box 6688, Portland OR 97228, USA.

DWARF STARS AWARD NOMINATIONS The 2024 Dwarf Stars Chair is Brittany Hause. Nominations due by May 1, but poems may be suggested year-round. Enter title, author, and publisher of speculative micro poems published in 2023 at https://bit.ly/ dwarfstars or by mail to: SFPA, PO Box 6688, Portland OR 97228, USA. Anyone may suggest poems, their own or others’; there is no limit.

ELGIN AWARD NOMINATIONS The 2024 Elgin Chair is Felicia Martínez. Nominations due by June 15; more info will come by MailChimp. Send title, author, and publisher of speculative poetry books and chapbooks published in 2022 or 2023 to [email protected] or by mail to: SFPA, PO Box 6688, Portland OR 97228, USA. Only SFPA members may nominate; there is no limit to nominations, but you may not nominate your own work. Books and chapbooks that placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in last year’s Elgin Awards are not eligible.

(3) BE ON THE LOOKOUT. [Item by Steven French.] “Fiction to look out for in 2024” in the Guardian includes an SF novel tipped for the Booker:

…in September, there’s my early pick for this year’s Booker: Creation Lake (Jonathan Cape) by Rachel Kushner. It’s a wild and brilliantly plotted piece of science fiction. This is the story of a secret agent, the redoubtable Sadie Smith, sent to infiltrate and disrupt a group of “anti-civvers” – eco-terrorists – in a France of the near future where industrial agriculture and sinister corporations dominate the landscape. Think Kill Bill written by John le Carré: smart, funny and compulsively readable….

(4) NO MCU? REALLY? Rolling Stone calls these “The 150 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time”.

…So when it came time to rank the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, we couldn’t stop at 100. Instead, we went bigger and bulked it up with an extra 50 entries, all the better to pay lip service to more of the pulpy, the poppy and the perverse entries — not to mention some of our personal favorites — that don’t normally get shout-outs in these kinds of lists. There were more than a few arguments when it came to the picks. (It was also decided early on that superhero movies as a whole usually fall out the parameters of science fiction, so you won’t the MCU, et al., canon on this list — with one very notable exception.) Here are our picks for the best the genre has to offer. Live long and prosper. May the force be with you….

At the bottom:

150 ‘Tank Girl’ (1995)

What would the post-apocalyptic world look like if the hero was a riot grrrl and the soundtrack was curated by Courtney Love? Behold the adventures of Tank Girl (Lorri Petty), as our hero roams through the decimated Outback, years after a comet hit earth and an evil corporation seized control. It’s got some of the hallmarks of a traditional sci-fi adventure — a jet-flying sidekick played by Naomi Watts; an army of half-kangaroo, half-man beings, including one played by Ice-T — but Rachel Talalay’s adaptaion of the cult British comic diverges from the typical dystopia formula by layering everything over a very 1990s alt aesthetic, all bright colors and snappy, sexualized wisecracks. “No celebrities, no cable TV, no water — it hasn’t rained in 11 years,” Tank Girl explains early on in the film. “Now 20 people gotta squeeze inside the same bathtub — so it ain’t all bad.” —Elisabeth Garber-Paul

Rated number one:

1 ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968)

It begins at the Dawn of Man and ends with the rebirth of humanity, with Homo sapiens having finally been granted one last evolutionary level-up. In between those two poles of the human experience — one in our prehistoric past, the other light years into our future (hope springs eternal) — Stanley Kubrick give us what still feels like the benchmark for science fiction cinema that engages you in mind, body, and soul. It’s not just that his adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” has become part of our collective consciousness, enough that Barbie could kick off with an extended riff on one of its most famous scenes and everyone got the joke. Or that 2001 contains what may be the single best example of film editing as a communicative art form unto itself. Or that the closest the film has to an antagonist, the self-aware HAL 9000 supercomputer who discovers that machines are no more immune from neurosis and malice than its flesh-and-blood programmers are, is the character we end up feeling the most sympathy towards. “Daissss-yyyy… daisssss-yyyyy…”….

…The wisecrack was always that 2001: A Space Odyssey was exactly like the big, black monolith that connected its eon-spanning chapters: gorgeous, meticulously constructed, inhuman in its perfection and inscrutable in terms of concrete meaning. Conventional wisdom is that it’s actually closer to the Star Child — something that takes the entirety of the universe in and stares at it in awe, reflecting back how far we have come and how far we still have to go. —DF

(5) LAWYERS ASSEMBLE! We know this, but it’s a new year so let’s pretend it’s news: “Mickey Mouse Hits Public Domain With Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’” at Deadline.

As of today, the traditionally protective Walt Disney Co will have to deal with an onslaught of Mickey Mouse parodies, mockeries and likely rather explicit variations as the iconic character slips into the public domain.

Sorta.

In the sober light of 2024, Steamboat Willie, the 1928 short that effectively launched the empire that Walt built, can now be used by anyone and everyone. The legal status of Mickey and Minnie Mouse from Steamboat Willie and Plane Crazy, from earlier that same year, has been long fought over and probably not something to which Disney was looking forward. Yet, in a new year that also sees Virginia Woolf’s groundbreaking Orlando, Peter Pan, Charlie Chaplin’s The CircusBuster Keaton‘s The Cameraman and Tigger from AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner now in the public domain, if you are anticipating a Steamboat Willie free-for-all, think again.

Besides Disney being notoriously litigious, the color version of Mickey that came into being in 1935’s The Band Concert, is a lot different in 2024 than the non-speaking Mickey of Steamboat Willie in 1928. Evolving over the decades, the brand icon that is today’s Mickey has a lot more meat on his bones, is full of many more smiles, has that chirpy voice and a far less rough disposition, wears white gloves, and clearly looks a lot less a rat than the Steamboat Willie Mickey – and, to paraphrase MC Hammer: you can’t touch that.

“More modern versions of Mickey will remain unaffected by the expiration of the Steamboat Willie copyright, and Mickey will continue to play a leading role as a global ambassador for the Walt Disney Company in our storytelling, theme park attractions, and merchandise,” a Disney spokesperson said of the dos and don’ts of the sound-synched film entering the public domain today….

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY.

[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born January 1, 1954 Midori Snyder, 70. This first novel by Midori Snyder that I read was The Flight of Michael McBride, a three decades old work by her set in the old American West blending aspects of  First Folk, Irish-American and Mexican folklore. A most excellent read. 

Like Pamela Dean with her Tam Lin novel, she’s delved in Scottish myth as her first novel, Soulstring, was inspired by the Scottish legend of Tam Lin

Midori Snyder

It was however not her first published work as that was “Demon” in the Bordertown anthology, the second of the Bordertown series.  She would later do two more Bordertown stories, “Alison Gross” that’d be in Life on the Border, and “Dragon Child” in The Essential Bordertown.

Now don’t go looking for any of these as ePubs as, like the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror series which I noted in Ellen Datlow’s Birthday a few days ago, ePub rights weren’t written into the publication contracts. 

The newest Bordertown anthology, Welcome to Bordertown, is available as an ePub.

Next up is a trilogy of books that remind me of Jane Yolen’s The Great Altar Saga in tone  — New MoonSadar’s Keep, and Beldan’s Fire. They were published as adult fantasy by Tor Books starting thirty four years ago where they were The Queens’ Quarter Series. Interestingly they would be reprinted as young adult fantasy by Firebird Books just eighteen years ago as The Oran Trilogy. I see that Firebird is no longer the domain of Sharyn November which it was explicitly related for.

Now I positively adore The Innamorati which draws off the the Commedia dell’Arte theatre and the Roman legends as well. This stellar novel gained her Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. It is without doubt her best novel – great characters, fascinating setting and a wonderful story.

Hannah’s Garden was supposed to be one of the novels inspired by a painting by Brian Froud. (I remember de Lint’s The Wild Wood and Windling’s The Wood Wife are two of the others but I forget the fourth. I know they got their novels with his art but I don’t if she or the fourth writer did.) It’s a more personal novel, more scary in tone I think than her other work is. 

Except the Queen was written by her and Yolen. It’s a contemporary fantasy featuring two fey who are banished here in the guise of old women. I’ll not spoil what happened next. That was her last novel and it was published thirteen years ago. 

She wrote the title short story for Windling The Armless Maiden and Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors anthology anthology about child abuse survivors. Grim reading but recommended. It was nominated for an Otherwise Award.

It’s one of a not deep number of short stories she’s written, none collected so far. 

She did the text to the “Barbara Allen” graphic story Charles Vess illustrated and first published in his Ballads chapbook in 1997 which I’ve got here somewhere. Let me go see… yes, it’s also in the autographed copy of The Book of Ballads that he sent me. That came out on Tor seventeen years ago. God, time goes by fast! 

Though not about her fiction writing, she would win a World Fantasy Award for her editorial work on Windling’s Endincott Studio website. It is a fascinating site covering what Terri, Midori and others think is interesting in fairy tales, myth, folklore, and the oral storytelling tradition. It is here now.

(7) EASING A BARRIER TO CHINA TOURISM. For the next wave of fans who may be thinking about the trip: “China to simplify visa applications for US tourists as both countries seek to improve relations” at the South China Morning Post.

China will simplify the visa application process for tourists from the United States as part of its efforts to step up interactions between people from the two countries.

Beijing has also been seeking to woo more international visitors as part of its wider efforts to boost its sluggish economic recovery.

Starting from January 1, those applying for tourist visas within the US will no longer need to submit proof they have a round-trip air ticket and hotel reservation, as well as their itinerary or a letter of invitation, according to a notice published on the website of the Chinese embassy in Washington on Friday.

The measure aims to “further facilitate people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States”, it said.

It added that “since visa applications are processed on a case-by-case basis”, applicants should still refer to the Chinese embassy and consulates-general for specifics….

The move follows a cut in visa fees for US applicants of around 25 per cent until December 31, 2024 announced earlier this month, and a previous decision to allow walk-in visa applications.

(8) WHAT, ME WARP? Currently open for bids at the Heritage Auctions site is “Jack Rickard MAD #186 Star Trek Cover Original Art”. It was up to $1,950 when I last checked.

Jack Rickard MAD #186 Star Trek Cover Original Art (EC, 1976). Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) join Vulcan officer Alfred E. Neuman (who will likely soon meet a terrible fate, hinted at by his red shirt) tap dance their way across the cover of the parody magazine to promote the “Star Trek” Musical buried within its pages. Spock looks surprised to see Neuman sporting a pair of pointy Vulcan ears, with the adage “Keep on Trekin'” printed on his uniform. A fun poke at the beloved sci-fi TV series painted in gouache on illustration board with an image area of 16″ x 16.75″, matted and Plexiglas-front framed to 27″ x 28.5″. Light frame wear. Signed by Rickard in the lower right corner and in Excellent condition.

(9) TROLLING WITH A MAGNET. “He Has Fished Out Grenades, Bikes and Guns. Can Fame Be Far Behind?” He couldn’t make a living streaming himself playing video games – but people want to see what his powerful magnet retrieves from the waters around New York.  

… The grenade was not without precedent. Two months before, Mr. Kane managed to pull a gun out of a lake near where he lives. It might have been used in a murder, he suggested, and he was told there was a chance he might be subpoenaed. He was eager to avoid that entanglement.

On that unseasonably warm November afternoon, Mr. Kane, who is 39 and looks a bit like the actor Seth Rogen playing a deckhand, just yanked the thing right off his magnet. It took quite a bit of effort, given that the magnet (from Kratos Magnetics, for $140) was advertised as having a “pull force” of 3,800 pounds. The gunpowder had been emptied out of the bottom, so he figured the corroded explosive was something that would put him on the map, rather than blow him off it. Still, he put it on the ground and covered it with a plastic bucket — just in case.

As he dialed 911, he paused to wonder: Would the operator remember him? Was he something of a known quantity by now? Just the week before, he’d found a top-loading Smith & Wesson in Prospect Park Lake. And he’d also found a completely different grenade about a month ago, which he said led the police to evacuate a restaurant near the United Nations. But to his disappointment, that day’s dispatcher didn’t react.

“You’re gonna know Let’s Get Magnetic,” Mr. Kane told the operator, referencing the name of his YouTube channel. “I’m getting famous.”

His partner, Barbie Agostini, continued filming as the police arrived. Two beat cops who showed up took some pictures of the grenade on their phones. Meanwhile, a woman pushed a baby carriage inches away from it. More cops eventually came to cordon off the area, but the content creation did not stop there. Another officer squatted on the ground to take more close-ups. Wanting a wider-angle view of the ruckus he’d wrought, Mr. Kane moved slightly down the sidewalk and kept fishing.

It wasn’t long before a well-put-together young woman in a pinned-on hat stopped and stared as Mr. Kane pulled a hunk of junk out of the water with his magnet.

“What are you guys fishing for?” she asked.

“Anything metal,” he told her. “This is a bed frame from the 1900s.”

The woman looked astounded at this dubious bit of history.

“God bless you,” she said….

…After lunch, Mr. Kane, Ms. Agostini and Jose returned to their duplex. Mr. Kane pulled out a Styrofoam chest full of his favorite finds. They included the magazines from four guns, the barrel of a sniper rifle and two tiny cannonballs that might predate the city itself, which he plans on giving to the American Museum of Natural History.

Evidence of a collector’s lifestyle exists throughout the apartment — unopened retro video games and hand-painted Japanese anime figurines covered nearly every spare inch of wall space. Mr. Kane pulled out some tiny pieces of metal from the cooler, one in the shape of a bow and arrow, and another that looked like a ball-peen hammer.

“This is black magic,” he said. “One hundred percent.” Then came a key fob for an Audi that still lit up when he pressed a button. “This unlocks a car,” he said. “We just don’t know where the car is.” Then came his collection of iPhones, which he proudly displayed on his purple couch. All of them worked. Well, all but one. “It smokes if you turn it on,” he said. “But that’s the only problem.”…

(10) BUT IF HE TELLS – THEN WE’LL KNOW! No, content moderation is not supposed to be a big secret. “Elon Musk’s X Loses Bid To Change California Content Moderation Law” reports Deadline.

Elon Musk‘s X on Thursday has lost its bid to change a California law on content moderation disclosure by social media companies.

X sued California in September to undo the state’s content moderation law, saying it violated free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and California’s state constitution.

Today, U.S. District Judge William Shubb dismissed the social media company’s request in an eight-page decision .

The law requires large social media companies to issue semiannual reports that describe their content moderation practices. They must also provide data on the number of objectionable posts and how they were addressed.

“While the reporting requirement does appear to place a substantial compliance burden on social medial companies, it does not appear that the requirement is unjustified or unduly burdensome within the context of First Amendment law,” Shubb wrote.

X did not immediately respond. The company’s content moderation policies have long been contentious, dating to before Musk bought the company.

(11) ANOTHER INKLING NAMED LEWIS. This postcard ad for The Major and the Missionary edited by Diana Pavlac Glyer caught my eye and reminded me to kick off the new year by mentioning this collection of letters of interest to Inklings fans.

After the death of his brother, Warren Lewis lived at The Kilns in Oxford, spent time with friends, edited his famous brother’s letters, and did a little writing of his own. Then, out of the blue, he got a letter from a stranger on the far side of the world. Over the years that followed, he and Blanche Biggs, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, shared a vibrant correspondence. These conversations encompassed their views on faith, their politics, their humor, the legacy of C. S. Lewis, and their own trials and longings.

Taken as a whole, these collected letters paint a colorful portrait that illuminates not only the particulars of distant times and places but the intimate contours of a rare friendship.

Edited and introduced by Bandersnatch author Diana Pavlac Glyer.

[Thanks to Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Scott Edelman, Mark Roth-Whitworth, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

2023 Elgin Award Winners

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) announced the winners of the 2023 Elgin Awards on September 23.

CHAPBOOK


1st place: The Last Robot and Other Science Fiction Poems by Jane Yolen (Shoreline of Infinity, 2021)

2nd place: Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets by Bruce Boston (Mind’s Eye Publishing, 2022)

3rd place: Cajuns in Space by Denise Dumars (2022)

BOOK

1st place: Some Disassembly Required by David C. Kopaska-Merkel (Diminuendo Press, 2022)

2nd place: The Saint of Witches by Avra Margariti (Weasel Press, 2022)

3rd place (tie): 

  • Elegies of Rotting Stars by Tiffany Morris (Nictitating Books, 2022)
  • Not a Princess, But (Yes) There Was a Pea & Other Tales to Foment Revolution by Rebecca Buchanan (Jackanapes Press, 2022)

2023 Elgin Award Finalists

Nominations for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Elgin Award have closed and Morgan L. Ventura, the 2023 Elgin Award Chair reports the works named below are the nominees.

The award is named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, and is presented in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Eligible for this year’s awards were works published in 2021 and 2022. SFPA members will have from July 1-September 15 to vote for the winners.

Chapbooks (18 chapbooks nominated)
body in motion • Gretchen Rockwell • (Perhappened Press, 2021)
The Book of Haibun: 26 Modern Interpretations of the Ancient Story/Verse Form • Herb Kauderer • (Written Image Press, 2022)
Cajuns in Space • Denise Dumars (self-published, 2022)
Charm for Catching a Train • Milena Williamson • (Green Bottle Press, 2022)
Creature Features • Noel Sloboda (Main Street Rag, 2022)
Horrific Punctuation • John Reinhart (Arson Press, 2021)
Curses and Recurses: Poems of Writing and Damnation • Herb Kauderer • (Written Image Press, 2021)
Ghosts, Trolls, and Other Things on the Internet • C. E. Hoffman • (Bottlecap Press, 2022)
hortus animarum • Sienna Tristen • (Frog Hollow Press, 2022)
In the Dead of Night • James Bryant • (self-published, 2021)
The Last Robot and Other Science Fiction Poems • Jane Yolen • (Shoreline of Infinity, 2021)
Lexicon of Future Selves • Gretchen Rockwell (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021)
Messengers of the Macabre • LindaAnn LoSchiavo & David Davies • (Audience Askew, 2022)
space neon neon space • Luna Rey Hall • (Variant Lit, 2022)
Spacers Snarled in the Hair of Comets • Bruce Boston (Mind’s Eye Publishing, 2022)
Terror of the Zombie Zonnets: Season Three of Planet of the Zombie Zonnets • Juan Manuel Pérez • (House of the Fighting Chupacabras, 2022)
Time’s Arrow • Jean-Paul L. Garnier • (Space Cowboy Books, 2022)
Utopian Problems • Jean-Paul L. Garnier • (Space Cowboy Books, 2021)
Full-length Books (57 books nominated)
[…] • Ava Hoffman (Astrophil Press, 2021)
Amnita: The Legend of Amnita of the Amazon • Eleanor Arnason • (Crumb Fairy Press, 2022)
Black Widow • Louise Worthington • (Red Escape Publishing, 2022)
Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head • Warsan Shire • (Penguin Random House, 2022)
Bounded by Eternity • Deborah L. Davitt • (Edda Earth, 2022)
Call Me Spes • Sara Cahill Marron • (MadHat Press, 2022)
The Cat Star and Other Poems • Terry A. Garey • (Crumbfairy Press, 2022)
Clock Star Rose Spine • Fran Wilde • (Lanternfish Press, 2021)
Crime Scene • Cynthia Pelayo • (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2022)
Crushed Velvet • Mark McLaughlin • (self-published, 2022)
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows • John Koenig (Simon & Schuster, 2021)
Eclipse of the Moon • Frank Coffman (Mind’s Eye Publications, 2021)
Elegies of Rotting Stars • Tiffany Morris • (Nictitating Books, 2022)
Escaping the Body • Chloe N. Clark (Interstellar Flight Press, 2022)
Flare, Corona • Jeannine Hall Gailey • (BOA Editions, 2022)
Flux Lines • John C. Mannone • (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2022)
Foundlings • Cindy O’Quinn & Stephanie Ellis • (2022)
The Ghettobirds • Bryant O’Hara (Frayed Edge Press, 2021)
Girls from the County • Donna Lynch • (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2022)
Glitter and Ghosts • Amy Zoellers • (Yuriko Publishing, 2022)
The Gravity of Existence • Christina Sng • (Interstellar Flight Press, 2022)
Halloween Hearts • Adele Gardner (Jackanapes Press, 2022)
The Hand that Wounds • David E. Cowen • (Weasel Press, 2022)
I Awaken in October: Poems of Folk Horror and Halloween • Scott J. Couturier • (Jackanapes Press, 2022)
I Dreamed a World • Colleen Anderson • (Lycan Valley Press, 2022)
Instrumentals: Book One • Jonel Abellanosa • (Lemures Digital Collection, 2022)
Mathematics for Ladies • Jessy Randall • (Penguin Random House, 2022)
Mobius Lyrics • Maxwell I. Gold & Angela Yuriko Smith • (Independent Legions, 2022)
Naming the Ghost • Emily Hockaday • (Cornerstone Press, 2022)
No Farther Than the End of the Street • Benjamin Niespodziany • (Okay Donkey, 2022)
No Quarter: A Novella in Verse • Amanda Worthington • (self-published, 2022)
Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing but Enough • Kyle Tran Myhre • (Button Poetry, 2022)
Not a Princess, But (Yes) There Was a Pea & Other Tales to Foment Revolution • Rebecca Buchanan • (Jackanapes Press, 2022)
Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose • Maxwell I. Gold (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2021)
Odyssey • John Urbancik (Dark Fluidity, 2021)
The Odyssey of Star Wars • Jack Mitchell (Abrams Image, 2021)
Para-Social Butterfly • Šari Dale • (Metatron Press, 2022)
Psalms and Sorceries • Wade German • (Hippocampus Press, 2022)
The Rat King • Sumiko Saulson • (Dooky Zines, 2022)
The Saint of Witches • Avra Margariti (Weasel Press, 2022)
The Saints of Capitalism • Benjamin Schmitt (New Meridian Arts Literary Press, 2021)
Saving Shadows • Eugen Bacon (NewCon Press, 2021)
The Sibyl • Hamant Singh • (Partridge Publishing, 2022)
Sifting the Ashes • Michael Bailey & Marge Simon (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2022)
The Silence Inside the World • Earl Livings • (Peggy Bright Books, 2021)
Some Disassembly Required • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • (Diminuendo Press, 2022)
Songs of the Underland • Kurt Newton • (The Ravens Quoth Press, 2022)
Stone the Monsters, or Dance • Ken Poyner (Barking Moose Press, 2021)
Summoning Space Travelers • Angela Acosta • (Hiraeth Publishing, 2022)
The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us from the Void • Jackie Wang • (Nightboat Books, 2021)
Superheroes Take Over the World • Wendy Rathbone • (self-pub, 2022)
Tombstones • G. O. Clark • (Weird House Press, 2022)
Victims • Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo • (Weasel Press, 2022)
The Voice of the Burning House • John Shirley • (Jackanapes Press, 2021)
We’ve Been Here Before • Anne Carly Abad • (Aqueduct Press, 2022)
What appears in the dark • Pete Kelly • (Yuriko Publishing, 2022)
Where the Wolf • Sally Rosen Kindred • (Diode Editions, 2021)

2022 Elgin Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Elgin Award winners have been announced by Jordan Hirsch, the 2022 Elgin Award Chair.

The award is named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, and is presented in two categories, Chapbook and Book.

CHAPBOOK CATEGORY

WINNER

  • Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota by Amelia Gorman (Interstellar Flight Press, 2021)

SECOND PLACE

  • Tug of a Black Hole by Deborah P Kolodji (Title IX Press, 2021)

THIRD PLACE

  • Visions at Templeglantine by John W. Sexton (Revival Press, 2020)

BOOK CATEGORY

WINNER 

  • Can You Sign My Tentacle? by Brandon O’Brien (Interstellar Flight Press, 2021)

SECOND PLACE

  • Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn (Yuriko Publishing, 2021)

THIRD PLACE

  • Unquiet Stars by Ann K. Schwader (Weird House Press, 2021)

There were 14 chapbooks nominated and 45 full-length books; 62 SFPA members voted.

2022 Elgin Chair Jordan Hirsch writes speculative fiction and poetry in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Her work has appeared with Apparition Literary Magazine, The Dread Machine, Daily Science Fiction, and other venues. 

2022 Elgin Award Finalists

Nominations for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Elgin Award have closed and Jordan Hirsch, the 2022 Elgin Award Chair reports the works named below are the nominees.

The award is named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, and is presented in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Works published in 2020 and 2021 are eligible for this year’s awards. SFPA members will have from July 1-September 15 to vote for the winners.

Chapbooks (14 chapbooks nominated)
25 Trumbulls Road • Christopher Locke (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)
Borrowings of the Shan Van Vocht • Catherine Moore (Unsolicited Press, 2020)
Enkidu is Dead and Not Dead / Enkidu está muerto y no lo está • Tucker Lieberman (Glyph Torrent, 2021)
Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota • Amelia Gorman (Interstellar Flight Press, 2021)
Good Boi • Jason B. Crawford (Neon Hemlock, 2021)
Horrific Punctuation • John Reinhart (Arson Press, 2021)
Lexicon of Future Selves • Gretchen Rockwell (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021)
The Miseducation of the Androids • William Landis (Hiraeth Publishing, 2020)
Shadow Box • Luiza Flynn-Goodlett (Madhouse Press, 2020)
Tug of a Black Hole • Deborah P Kolodji (Title IX Press, 2021)
The Undead • Luiza Flynn-Goodlett (Sixth FinchBooks, 2020)
Unearthed • Federica Santini (Kelsay Books, 2021)
Utopian Problems • Jean-Paul L. Garnier (Space Cowboy Books, 2021)
Visions at Templeglantine • John W. Sexton (Revival Press, 2020)
Full-length Books (45 books nominated)
Arthurian Things • Melissa Ridley Elmes (Dark Myth Publications, 2020)
blips on a screen • Joshua Gage (Cuttlefish Books, 2021)
Bramah and the Beggar Boy • Renée Sarojini Saklikar (Harbour Publishing, 2021)
Can You Sign My Tentacle? • Brandon O’Brien (Interstellar Flight Press, 2021)
Carpe Noctem • Robert Borski (Weird House Press, 2020)
Cradleland of Parasites • Sara Tantlinger (Strangehouse Books, 2020)
Cleave • Tiana Nobile (Hub City Press, 2021)
Dancing with Maria’s Ghost • Alessandro Manzetti (Independent Legions Publishing, 2021)
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows • John Koenig (Simon & Schuster, 2021)
Echoes From an Expired Earth • Allen Ashley (Demain Books, 2020)
Eclipse of the Moon • Frank Coffman (Mind’s Eye Publications, 2021)
Exposed Nerves • Lucy A. Snyder (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2021)
For the Ride • Alice Notley (Penguin Books, 2020)
The Ghettobirds • Bryant O’Hara (Frayed Edge Press, 2021)
Grave Goods • Cardinal Cox (Demain Books, 2020)
Igor in Therapy • M. K. Garrison (Spuyten Duyvil, 2021)
The Journey • Anna Cates (Resource Publications, 2020)
Kraken Fever • Kyra Starr & Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing, 2021)
Maps of a Hollowed World • TD Walker (Another New Calligraphy, 2020)
The Martian’s Regress • J. O. Morgan (Jonathan Cape, 2020)
Midnight Comes Early • Marcie Lynn Tentchoff (Hiraeth Publishing, 2021)
Million-Year Elegies • Ada Hoffman (2021)
Monstrum Poetica • Jezzy Wolfe (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2021)
Night Song • Daan Katz (2021)
notsleepyyet • Alexander Garza (Weasel Press, 2021)
Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose • Maxwell I. Gold (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2021)
October Ghosts and Autumn Dreams • K. A. Opperman (Jackanapes Press, 2021)
Odyssey • John Urbancik (Dark Fluidity, 2021)
The Odyssey of Star Wars • Jack Mitchell (Abrams Image, 2021)
Past the Glad and Sunlit Season • K. A Opperman (Jackanapes Press, 2020)
Planet of the Zombie Zonnets • Juan Manuel Pérez (Hungry Buzzard Press, 2021)
A Predisposition for Madness • Aurelio Rico Lopez III (Hybrid Sequence Media, 2021)
A Ride Through Faerie and Other Poems • Clay Franklin Johnson (Gothic Keats Press, 2021)
Sacred Summer • Cassandra Rose Clarke (Aqueduct Press 2020)
The Saints of Capitalism • Benjamin Schmitt (New Meridian Arts Literary Press, 2021)
Saving Shadows • Eugen Bacon (NewCon Press, 2021)
Sci-Ku: Explorations into the Poetry of Science • Jay Friedenberg (2020)
The Smallest of Bones • Holly Lyn Walrath (CLASH Books, 2021)
Stone the Monsters, or Dance • Ken Poyner (Barking Moose Press, 2021)
Strange Nests • Jessica McHugh (Apokrupha, 2021)
Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken. • Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, & Geneve Flynn (Yuriko Publishing, 2021)
Unquiet Stars • Ann K. Schwader (Weird House Press, 2021)
Victims • Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo (Weasel Press, 2021)
who is owed springtime • Rasha Abdulhadi (Neon Hemlock, 2021)
The Withering • Ashley Dioses (Jackanapes Press, 2020)

2021 Elgin Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Elgin Award winners have been announced by Jordan Hirsch, the 2021 Elgin Award Chair.

The award is named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, and is presented in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Works published in 2019 and 2020 were eligible for this year’s awards.

CHAPBOOK CATEGORY

Winner: Otherwheres by Akua Lezli Hope (ArtFarm Press, 2020)

Second place: Twelve by Andrea Blythe (Interstellar Flight Press, 2020)

Third placeManifest by Terese Mason Pierre (Gap Riot Press, 2020)

FULL-LENGTH BOOK AWARD WINNERS

Winner: The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee (JABberwocky Literary Agency, 2020)

Second place: A Collection of Dreamscapes by Christina Sng (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)

Third place (tie): 

Mary Shelley Makes a Monster by Octavia Cade (Aqueduct Press, 2019)

A Route Obscure and Lonely by LindaAnn LoSchiavo (The Wapshott Press, 2020)

There were 19 chapbooks nominated and 64 full-length books; 62 SFPA members voted.

2021 Elgin Chair Jordan Hirsch writes speculative fiction and poetry in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Her work has appeared with Apparition Literary Magazine, The Dread Machine, Daily Science Fiction, and other venues. 

2021 Elgin Award Finalists

Nominations for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association’s Elgin Award have closed and Jordan Hirsch, the 2021 Elgin Award Chair reports the works named below are the nominees.

The award is named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, and is presented in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Works published in 2019 and 2020 were eligible for this year’s awards.

Chapbooks (19 chapbooks nominated)
25 Trumbulls Road, Christopher Locke (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)
Alice Zero • Joshua Pantalleresco (2020)
Betelgeuse Dimming • Jean-Paul L. Garnier (Space Cowboy Books, 2020)
Borrowings of the Shan Van Vocht • Catherine Moore (Unsolicited Press, 2020)
Broken Nails • Susan Snyder (Madness Heart Press, 2020)  
Coronations • Catherine Kyle (Ghost City Press, 2019)
Inverted Night • John W. Sexton (SurVision Books, 2019)
The Island of Amazonned Women • Sandra J. Lindow (Cyberwit, 2019)
Kola Superdeep Borehole • Joe Fletcher (Bateau Press, 2019)
Manifest • Terese Mason Pierre (Gap Riot Press, 2020)
Odes to Scientists / Us, Clone (audio) • Jean-Paul Garnier (Space Cowboy Books, 2019)
Otherwheres • Akua Lezli Hope (ArtFarm Press, 2020)
[re]construction of the necromancer • Hannah V Warren (Sundress Publications, 2020)
Space in Pieces • Juan Manuel Pérez (House of the Fighting Chupacabras Press, 2020)
Titania in Yellow • Dayna Patterson (Porkbelly Press, 2019)
Twelve • Andrea Blythe (Interstellar Flight Press, 2020)
The Undead • Luiza Flynn-Goodlett (Sixth Finch, 2020)
Visions at Templeglantine • John W. Sexton (Revival Press, 2020)
What the Gargoyle Sees • Gene Twaronite (Kelsay Books, 2020)
Full-length Books (64 books nominated)
Algorithmic Shapeshifting • Bogi Takács (Aqueduct Press, 2019)
Altars & Oubliettes • Angela Yuriko Smith (2020)
The Ambassador Takes One for the Team • David C. Kopaska-Merkel (Diminuendo Press, 2019)
The Apocalyptic Mannequin • Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2019)
america, MINE • Sasha Bank (co-im-press, 2020)
Android Girl and Other Sentient Speculations • Michael H. Hanson (Three Ravens Publishing, 2020)
As The Seas Turn Red • Morgan Sylvia (2019)
Bad Jamie • Jessica Fordham Kidd (Anhinga Press, 2020)
Before We Remember We Dream • Bryan Thao Worra (Sahtu Press, 2020)
Black Flames & Gleaming Shadows • Frank Coffman (Bold Venture Press, 2020)
Burials • Jessica Drake-Thomas (CLASH Books, 2020)
Carpe Noctem • Robert Borski (Weird House Press, 2020)
The Ceremonial Armor of the Impostor • Gregory Kimbrell (Weasel Press, 2019)
Choking Back the Devil • Donna Lynch (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2019)
A Collection of Dreamscapes • Christina Sng (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2020)
A Complex Accident of Life • Jessica McHugh (Apokrupha Books, 2020)
The Configuration Discordant • John Baltisberger (Things in the Well, 2019)
Cradleland of Parasites • Sara Tantlinger (Strangehouse Books, 2020)
Cries to Kill the Corpse Flower • Ronald J. Murray (Bizarro Pulp Press, 2020)
The Cyborg Anthology • Lindsay B-e (Brick Books, 2020)
DMMTHL • C.C Hannett (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019)
Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning • Michelle Scalise (Lycan Valley Press, 2019)
Dub • Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Duke University Press, 2020)
Easy Travel to the Stars • G.O Clark (Alban Lake Publishing, 2020)
Echoes From an Expired Earth • Allen Ashley (Demain Books, 2020)
The Gates of Never • Deborah L. Davitt (Finishing Line Press, 2019)
goodwill galaxy hunting • LeRoy Gorman (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2019)
The Golem and the Nazi • Anna Cates (Red Moon Press, 2019)
The High Alive: An Epic Hoodoo Diptych by Carlos Sirah (The 3rd Thing Press 2020)
how to extricate yourself • Laura Theis (Demsey & Windle, 2020)
Into the Forest and All the Way Through • Cynthia Pelayo (Burial Day Books, 2020)
The Journey • Anna Cates (Resource Publications, 2020)
The Ladies of the Everlasting Lichen and Other Relics, Wade German (Mount Abraxas Press, 2019)
The Malevolent Volume • Justin Phillip Reed (Coffee House Press, 2020)
Many Restless Concerns • Gayle Brandeis (Black Lawrence Press, 2020)
Maps of a Hollowed World • TD Walker (Another New Calligraphy, 2020)
Mary Shelley Makes a Monster • Octavia Cade (Aqueduct Press, 2019),
Meaningless Cycles in a Vicious Glass Prison • Anton Cancre (The Dragon’s Roost Press 2020)
Monsters I Have Been • Kenji C. Liu (Alice James Books, 2019)
Monstrous • PS Cottier (Interactive Press, 2020)
Notes from the Last Age • José Chapa Valle (FlowerSong Press, 2020)
The Nurseryman  • Arthur Allen (Kernpunkt Press, 2019)
The Octopus Museum • Brenda Shaughnessey (Knopf, 2019)
Past the Glad and Sunlit Season • K. A Opperman (Jackanapes Press, 2020)
The Planets • Wendy Van Camp (2019)
Poems that Could End the World • Ronald A. Busse (Turning Point, 2020)
A Refuge of Tales • Lynne Sargent (Renaissance Press, 2020)
A Route Obscure and Lonely • LindaAnn LoSchiavo (The Wapshott Press, 2020)
Sacred Summer • Cassandra Rose Clarke (Aqueduct Press 2020)
Sci-Ku: Explorations into the Poetry of Science • Jay Friedenberg (2020)
Shadow Abyss • Luna Nyx Frost (Enchanting Tales Publishing, 2020)
Shelter in Place • Catherine Kyle (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019)
The Sign of the Dragon • Mary Soon Lee (JABberwocky Literary Agency, 2020)
Small Waiting Objects • T. D. Walker (CW Books, 2019)
The State She’s In • Lesley Wheeler (Tinderbox Editions 2020)
Such Luck • Sara Backer (Flowstone Press, 2019)
The Sun Ships & Other Poems • Steven Withrow (2019)
Tea with Death • Abigail Wildes (Alban Lake Publishing, 2020)
Temporary Planets for Transitory Days • Albert Wendland (Dog Star Books, 2020)
Toxicon and Arachne • Joyelle McSweeney (Nightboat Books, 2020)
Whitechapel Rhapsody • Alessandro Manzetti (Independent Legions, 2020)
Witch Doctrine • Annah Browning (The University of Akron Press, 2020)
The Withering • Ashley Dioses (Jackanapes Press, 2020)
Zen Amen: A Collection of Abecedarians • Michael Kriesel (Pebblebrook Press, 2019)

Pixel Scroll 1/2/21 You Put The Mime In The Tesseract And Drink Them Both Together

(1) DAVID WEBER STATUS. Word of this alarming news went out last night:

After the Turtledove tweet was reposted to David Weber’s author page on Facebook, his wife, Sharon Rice-Weber commented:

He’s doing better right now. I’ll try and keep everyone updated

Best wishes for a full recovery.

(2) NEW YEAR’S WHO. Camestros Felapton combines the features of a review and a complete script rewrite in his analysis of yesterday’s special: “Review: Doctor Who – Revolution of the Daleks”. BEWARE SPOILERS! BEWARE IMPROVEMENTS!

The New Year’s special provides a hit of Doctor Who but that is about all. The episode is inoffensive, it plays around with one interesting idea about the theatre of policing and the aesthetics of fascism but doesn’t know what to do with that. Above all, it exemplifies the frustrating aspects of the Chibnall era. There is always a feeling of a better episode, that is almost exactly the same, lurking around the same pieces….

On the other hand, this fellow found one part of the special to be exceptionally thrilling —

(3) IN BAD TIMES TO COME. Future Tense presents “The Vastation” by Paul Theroux, “a new short story about a future pandemic that makes COVID-19 look simple.”

Steering to his assigned slot in the out-going convoy behind a bulky bomb-proof escort truck, Father said, “We’re going to Greenville,” and looked for my reaction to this surprising announcement. Surprising, not just because Greenville was far away, and where my Mother had been living, but also because I had never been taken outside the perimeter of Chicago….

There is a response essay to the story by physician Allison Bond: “In a pandemic, what do doctors owe, and to whom?”

…Today—as in this story—we fight a deadly contagious disease that has hit some communities much harder than others, and through which xenophobia and racism have been allowed to fester. In Theroux’s story, people are segregated into camps by nationality, into “island[s] of ethnicity, renewed country-of-origin pride and defiance in the enormous sea of rural America.” Perhaps these stemmed from viewing people who are different from oneself as the enemy, and then working to avoid them—something that is already increasingly prevalent in our society, in part thanks to social media.

(4) TRAVEL SAFETY PROPOSAL. “What are COVID-19 digital immunity passports?”Slate explains.

This week, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the U.S.
With the FDA expected to approve Moderna’s vaccine imminently, people are already looking forward to a world where travel and gatherings are possible. But for those activities to be maximally safe, the country will either need to reach herd immunity—unlikely until mid-2021 at the earliest, assuming essentially flawless vaccine roll-out and widespread adoption—or to find ways to verify people’s negative tests or vaccination status in advance.

Some companies are looking to digital solutions. Airlines like JetBlue, United, and Virgin Atlantic have begun using CommonPass, an app developed by the Commons Project and the World Economic Forum that shows whether users have tested negative for COVID-19 for international travel. Ticketmaster, too, told Billboard that its “post-pandemic fan safety” plans include digital health passes that verify event-goers’ COVID-19 negative test results or vaccination status. While these digital health passes could become a prerequisite for some activities, widespread adoption of so-called immunity passports would require a level of coordination and organization uncharacteristic of the country’s response to COVID-19 so far….

(5) MEMORY WHOLE. The Guardian tries to answer its own question: “George Orwell is out of copyright. What happens now?” The situation resonates with Orwell’s pigs — some works are more out of copyright than others.

Much of the author’s work may have fallen into public ownership in the UK, but there are more restrictions on its use remaining than you might expect, explains his biographer.

George Orwell died at University College Hospital, London, on 21 January 1950 at the early age of 46. This means that unlike such long-lived contemporaries as Graham Greene (died 1991) or Anthony Powell (died 2000), the vast majority of his compendious output (21 volumes to date) is newly out of copyright as of 1 January. 

…As is so often the way of copyright cut-offs, none of this amounts to a free-for-all. Any US publisher other than Houghton Mifflin that itches to embark on an Orwell spree will have to wait until 2030, when Burmese Days, the first of Orwell’s books to be published in the US, breaks the 95-year barrier. And eager UK publishers will have to exercise a certain amount of care. The distinguished Orwell scholar Professor Peter Davison fathered new editions of the six novels back in the mid-1980s. No one can reproduce these as the copyright in them is currently held by Penguin Random House. Aspiring reissuers, including myself, have had to go back to the texts of the standard editions published in the late 1940s, or in the case of A Clergyman’s Daughter and Keep the Aspidistra Flying, both of which Orwell detested so much – he described the former as “bollox” – that he refused to have them reprinted in his lifetime, to the originals of, respectively, 1935 and 1936.

(6) STRANGER THAN FICTION. L. Jagi Lamplighter is interviewed by ManyBooks about her work with “A Magic School Like No Other”.

What inspired you to create the Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts?

The original game that the books are based upon took place at a popular magic school from another series. When I sat down to write this series, I had to invent a whole new magic school—and I had to make it something

My son, who was then about nine or ten, had come up with the idea that the colony on the Island of Roanoke had disappeared because the whole island vanished and that there was a school of magic upon it.

I loved this idea, but I didn’t really know much about the area of the country where Roanoke Island is. So I decided it was a floating island that could wander. Then I put it in the Hudson River, near Storm King Mountain, because that is a place I happen to love. I found out there was a small island in that spot that actually has a ruin of a castle on it. I made that island (Bannerman or Pollepel Island) the part of the island that was visible to the mundane world of the Unwary (us.)

I spent hours on the internet looking at photos of all sorts of places—forests, buildings—that I loved. Then I put those photos together to create the island and the school. So Roanoke Island has many things I think are beautiful, paper birch forests, boardwalks by a river, Oriental gardens.

Then I needed to design the school itself. I noted that there were series where the magic school is like a British boarding school and series where the school is like an American boarding school. I wanted something different. So I decided to model Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts after the college I attended. St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland is quite different from most other colleges. Students sit around one large table. They have core groups, other students who are in all your classes. They have tutors instead of professors. They have an unusual system of intramural sports—so strange that every time I put part of it in the book, my editor tags it as too extraordinary to be believable.

I took my experience at St. John’s and spun it into the world of the Hudson Highlands, creating a marvelous place that is delightful to write about and, God willing, a joy for the reader, too.

(7) PULLING CABLE. FirstShowing.net introduces the trailer for “Intriguing Gig Economy Quantum Sci-Fi Film ‘Lapsis’”.

… Struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother, delivery man Ray takes a strange job as a “cabler” in a strange new realm of the gig economy. This film is set in an alternate reality where the quantum computing revolution has begun, but they need to hire people to connect the cables for miles between huge magnetic cubes. 

(8) BOLLING OBIT. Pianist, composer, and bandleader Claude Bolling died December 29. The Guardian’s tribute notes —

…He wrote music for over one hundred films …  such as The Hands of Orlac (1960), … The Passengers (1977) [released in the US as The Intruder, based on Dean Koontz’s 1973 novel Shattered], The Awakening, a 1980 British horror film [third film version of Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars]. Bolling also composed the music for the Lucky Luke animated features Daisy Town (1971) and La Ballade des Dalton (1978).

(9) DOMINGUEZ OBIT. “Disney Legend” Ron Dominguez died January 1 at 85.

In 1957, Dominguez became the assistant supervisor of Frontierland, moving up to the manager of Tomorrowland in 1962. He became the manager of the west side of Disneyland and in 1974, was named vice president of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee.

In 1990, Dominguez became Executive Vice President Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast.

(10) VOYAGER DOCUMENTARY ASKS FOR FUNDS. Comicbook.com gives fans a head’s up: “Star Trek: Voyager Documentary Announces Crowdfunding Campaign”.

The upcoming Star Trek: Voyager documentary is ready to begin crowdfunding. The new documentary would have commemorated Voyager‘s 25th anniversary in 2020, but the coronavirus dashed most of those celebration plans. David Zappone of 455 Studios, the production company behind previous Star Trek documentaries like For the Love of SpockChaos on the Bridge, and What We Left Behind, confirmed that filming for the documentary resumed in August. Now it seems the production has reached the point where it’s ready to raise funds from fans. As Voyager star Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim) explains in the announcement video below, fans will be able to donate to the campaign and pre-order the documentary beginning on March 1st.

Click to see the “Special Announcement From Garrett Wang”.

(11) TODAY’S DAY.

(12) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • January 2, 1978 Blake’s 7 premiered on BBC. It was created by Terry Nation of Doctor Who fame, who also wrote the first series, and produced by David Maloney (series 1–3) and Vere Lorrimer (series 4), with  the script editor throughout its run being Chris Boucher. Terry has said Star Trek was one of his main inspirations. It would would run for a total of fifty-two episodes. Principal cast was Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow and David Jackson. Critics at the times were decidedly mixed with their reaction which is not true of audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes who give an amazing ninety one percent rating! 

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born January 2, 1814 – Luise Mühlbach.  A score of historical-fiction novels; you can read Old Fritz and the New Era here (Fritz is a nickname for Friedrich; she means Frederick II of Prussia); it has fantastic elements.  She says “To investigate and explain … is the task of historical romance….  poesy… illuminated by historic truth….  Show me from history that it could not be so; that it is not in accordance with the character of the persons represented … then have I … presented only a caricature, faulty as a work of art.”  (Died 1873) [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1871 – Nora Hopper.  Journalist and poet in the 1890s Irish literary movement; Yeats said her Ballads in Prose “haunted me as few books have ever haunted me, for it spoke in strange wayward stories and birdlike little verses of things and persons I remember or had dreamed of.”  There’s a 2017 Trieste reprint.  (Died 1906) [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1920 Isaac Asimov. I can’t possibly summarize him here so I won’t. My favorite novels by him are the original Foundation novels followed very closely by his Galactic Empire series and I, Robot. I know I’ve read a lot of his short fiction but I’ll be damn if I can recall any of it specifically right now. And I can’t possibly list all his Hugos here. (Died 1992.)  (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1932 – Minagawa Hiroko, age 92.  (Personal name last, Japanese style.)  Three of her stories are in English, two in Speculative Japan 3-4.  Shibata Prize.  More famous for detective fiction; Honkaku Award for The Resurrection Fireplace (in Japanese Hirakasete itadaki kôei desu, roughly “I am honored to open it”), set in 18th Century London; Mystery Writers of Japan Award, Japan Mystery Literature Award for lifetime achievement.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1948 Deborah Watling. Best known for her role as Victoria Waterfield, a companion of the Second Doctor. She was also in Downtime, playing the same character, a one-off sequel to a sequel to the Second Doctor stories, The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. No Doctors were to be seen. If you’ve seen the English language dubbed version of Viaje al centro de la Tierra (Where Time Began, based off Verne’s Journey to the Center of The Earth), she’s doing the lines of Ivonne Sentis as Glauben. (Died 2017.) (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1954 – Ertugrul Edirne, age 67.  Twoscore covers in German SF.  Here is Galactic Trade.  Here is On the Great River.  Here is Kushiel’s Dart (German title In den Händen der Feinde, “In the Hands of the Enemy”).  Here is Not From This World.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1959 – Patrick Nielsen Hayden, age 62.  Long-time fan, also guitarist (lead guitar in Whisperado).  TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate with wife Teresa Nielsen Hayden, both wrote “TAFF in Thirteen Paragraphs”, fanzines e.g. IzzardTelos, Fan Guests of Honor at MidAmeriCon II the 74th Worldcon where at Closing Ceremonies PNH said “I can’t count the conversations I’ve had with total strangers”, see my con report (at the end, with a poem for each).  Meanwhile also active as a pro; now VP, Assoc. Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief at Tor.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1967 Tia Carrere, 54. Best remembered for her three season run as Sydney Fox, rogue archaeologist on Relic Hunter. She’s been in a number of one-offs on genre series including Quantum LeapHerculesTales from The Crypt, AirwolfFriday the 13th and played Agent Katie Logan for two episodes on Warehouse 13. (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1971 Renée Elise Goldsberry, 50. Best known for appearing on Altered Carbon as Quellcrist Falconer. She also performed the Johnny Cash song “Ain’t No Grave” for the end credits in the final episode of that series. Genre wise, she’s had one-offs on EnterpriseLife on MarsEvil and voice work on DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders, an all too cute series.  She was Selena Izard in The House with a Clock in Its Walls. And she appeared on Broadway in The Lion King as Nala.   (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1979 Tobias S. Buckell, 42. I read and enjoyed a lot his Xenowealth series which he managed to wrap up rather nicely. The collection he edited, The Stories We Tell: Bermuda Anthology of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, is well worth reading, as is his own Tides from a New World collection. And his Tangled Lands collection which won the World Fantasy Award is amazing reading as well. (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1982 – Aníbal J. Rosario Planas, age 39.  (In this Hispanic style two surnames are given, the father’s Rosario then the mother’s Planas.)  Drummer and author.  Here are a photo, a 150-word teaser from his story Pólvora y vapor (“powder and steam”; in Spanish), and links to his talk (in Spanish and English) about Steampunk Writers Around the World.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1983 Kate Bosworth, 38. She’s Barbara Barga in the SS-GB series done off the superb Len Deighton novel  which is definitely genre. She’s both a producer and a performer on The I-Land series where she’s KC, a decidedly not nice person. For a much more positive character, she portrayed Lois Lane in Superman Returns. (CE) 

(14) COMICS SECTION.

(15) GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna notes that Calvin and Hobbes’s last strip was on December 31, 1995, which gives him a chance to praise Bill Watterson and explain why his strip is timeless comedy.  In a sidebar, Cavna notes two other important comic strips ended in 1995:  Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” and Berkeley Breathed’s “Bloom County” spinoff “Outland.”  But he notes that Bill Watterson praised Richard Thompson’s “Cul de Sac” as showing that “the launch of great comics was still possible” and interviews Breathed, who revived “Bloom County” as an online venture in 2015. “’Calvin and Hobbes’ said goodbye 25 years ago. Here’s why Bill Watterson’s masterwork enchants us still.”

…Stephan Pastis, creator of “Pearls Before Swine,” views Calvin as an expression of pure childlike id, yet thinks there is a whole other dynamic that makes many of Calvin’s acts of imagination so appealing.

Watterson “accurately captured how put-upon you feel as a kid — how limited you are by your parents, by your babysitter, by [schoolteacher] Miss Wormwood. You’re really boxed in and all you have is individual expression,” says Pastis, who collaborated with the “Calvin and Hobbes” creator on a week of “Pearls” strips in 2014, marking Watterson’s only public return to the comics page since 1995.

“I think that’s why to this day, some people get [Calvin] tattooed on their bodies,” Pastis continues. “He stands for that rebellious spirit in the fact of a world that kind of holds you down. You get into adulthood, you get held down by your various responsibilities. Calvin rebels against that, therefore he always remains a hero.”

(16) FOR POETS. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) is taking nominations from members for two 2021 awards.

  • Rhysling Award Nominations: The 2021 Rhysling Chair is Alessandro Manzetti. Nominations are open until February 15 for the Rhysling Awards for the best poems published in 2020. Only SFPA members may nominate one short poem and/or one long poem for the award. Poets may not nominate their own work. All genres of speculative poetry are eligible. Short poems must be under 50 lines (no more than 500 words for prose poems); Long poems are 50+ lines, not including title or stanza breaks, and first published in 2020; include publication and issue, or press if from a book or anthology. Online nomination form here. Or nominate by mail to SFPA secretary: Brian Garrison, SFPA, PO Box 1563, Alameda CA 94501, USA.
  • Elgin Award Nominations: The 2021 Elgin Chair is Jordan Hirsch. Nominations due by May 15; more info will come by MailChimp. Send title, author, and publisher of speculative Star*Line 8 Winter 2021 poetry books and chapbooks published in 2019 or 2020 to [email protected] or by mail to the SFPA secretary: Brian Garrison, SFPA, PO Box 1563, Alameda CA 94501, USA. Only SFPA members may nominate; there is no limit to nominations, but you may not nominate your own work.

(17) OFF THE MARKET. Such is the draw of iconic movie locations. The LA Times explains the attraction of “Jim Brandon’s South Pasadena home”.

Jim Brandon better get used to unexpected visitors. The writer-producer, whose credits include “Arrested Development” and “Mixed-ish,” just paid about $2.2 million for a South Pasadena home with a special place in “Back to the Future” lore.

The 1985 hit doubles as a tour of L.A. County in many ways, with landmarks such as Griffith Park and the Gamble House popping up throughout the film. Another pivotal scene is set in Brandon’s new yard, where Marty McFly stumbles upon his father being a peeping Tom in the tree out front.

According to the home’s previous owner, filmmaker John McDonald, fans of the movie regularly make the trek to South Pasadena to pay homage — and climb up the now-famous tree to re-create the scene….

(18) MEMORY LANE.

In 1953, the International Fantasy Award was given to Clifford M. Simak for City, his first Award. This collection is sometimes presented as a novel which it is decidedly not as it is a fix-up of the stories “City”, “Huddling Place”, “Census”, “Paradise”, “Hobbies”, “Aesop” and “Trouble with Ants …”. The other nominations were Takeoff by C. M. Kornbluth and Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  A  Retro Hugo Award at CoNZealand in 2020 would be awarded to it as well. 

(19) NOTHING HAPPENING HERE, MOVE ALONG. In December someone pointed out that John C. Wright’s website was displaying an “Account Suspended” sign. My social media searches found no protests or grievances about this – or even that anyone else was aware of it. Wright subsequently explained the cause in “Account Not Suspended”.

My loyal webgoblin called the hosting company and reports that they said that the server was migrated this morning and that various changes are still propagating through their system. The “account suspended” message was a default one. The hosting company confirmed that there’s nothing wrong with the account and that the site hasn’t been pulled offline due to excessive bandwidth or any sort of legal action

(20) EXPANDING UNIVERSE. More Star Wars properties are on the way.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is an all-new animated series from Lucasfilm Animation coming soon to Disney+.

In another new Disney+ series, Star Wars: Andor, Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian Andor.

(21) FUTURE FORSEEN. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] “What Will Future Homes Look Like?  Filmed In the 1960s” on YouTube is an episode of the CBS News show 21st Century (which ran between 1967-70) called “At Home, 2001” narrated by Walter Cronkite, which tried to predict from the viewpoint of 1967 what homes in the 21st century would look like.  Among the predictions:  3-D televisions twice as large as the largest current flat screen, plastic plates that would be molded for each use and then put into a vat to be printed again for the next use, and dinners that were programmed and cooked via computer.  The show also saw that computers at home could teach kids and enable people to work at home, and there’s a prediction of something like cable TV.  What they got wrong:  there is no internet or YouTube.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Michael Toman, John Hertz, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Sam. And that came from Sam’s first-ever comment here!]

2020 Elgin Awards

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the 2020 Elgin Awards for best collections of speculative poetry published in the previous two years. Named after SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, awards are given in two categories: best chapbook and best full-length book.

FULL-LENGTH BOOK AWARD WINNERS

Winner: Soft Science • Franny Choi (Alice James Books, 2019)

Second Place: Elemental Haiku • Mary Soon Lee (Ten Speed Press, 2019)

Third Place: [tie]

The Comfort of Screams •  G. O. Clark (Alban Lake Publishing, 2018)

The Demeter Diaries • Marge Simon & Bryan D. Dietrich (Independent Legions, 2019)

CHAPBOOK CATEGORY

Winner: The Book of Fly • John Philip Johnson (Graphic Poetry Press, 2019)

Second Place: The Last Mastodon • Christina Olson (Rattle, 2019)

Third Place: Fragments from the Book of the After-Dead • Herb Kauderer (The Poet’s Haven, 2019)

This year’s Elgin Awards had 13 nominees in the chapbook category and 42 nominees in the full-length category.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association was established in 1978 and has an international membership. The 2020 Elgin Chair is Colleen Anderson, a Canadian author who has had over 170 poems published. She is a member of HWA and SFPA and a Canada Council grant recipient for writing. Her solo anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland was published by Exile Books. She has served on both Stoker Award and British Fantasy Award juries. Her short-story collection, A Body of Work was published by Black Shuck Books, UK.

2019 Elgin Awards

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the 2019 Elgin Awards for best collections of speculative poetry published in the previous two years. Named after SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, awards are given in two categories: best chapbook and best full-length book.

2019 Elgin Award Results

Full-Length Book Category

Winner: War • Marge Simon & Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2018)

Second Place: Artifacts • Bruce Boston (Independent Legions, 2018)

Third Place: Witch Wife • Kiki Petrosino (Sarabande Books, 2017)

Chapbook Category

Winner: Glimmerglass Girl • Holly Lyn Walrath (Finishing Line Press, 2018)

Second Place: Built to Serve • G. O. Clark (Alban Lake, 2017)

Third Place: Every Girl Becomes the Wolf • Laura Madeline Wiseman & Andrea Blythe (Finishing Line Press, 2018)

This year’s Elgin Awards had 10 nominees in the chapbook category and 26 nominees in the full-length category.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association was established in 1978 and has an international membership. The 2019 Elgin Chair is Charles Christian, who also has served on the UK Society of Authors’ Poetry & Spoken Word Group committee, is on the British Haiku Society management committee, and for two years was a judge for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel.Worlds: The 12 Rules.

[Via Locus Online.]