By Fran Skene: Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) nominations are now closed for selecting a fan delegate to Pemmi-Con, the 2023 NASFiC, to be held in Winnipeg July 20-23rd. We had one nominee, Garth Spencer, who now becomes the delegate. Congratulations, Garth!
People who would like to vote for Garth and support his trip, can still vote with a donation of $10 or more to the fan fund. Send by PayPal or Interac e-transfer to Fran Skene at fskene(at)shaw.ca .
Garth has sent us his bio. Scroll down for an entertaining read!
The primary responsibilities of the delegate are to:
Attend the convention, take part in programming, and report back to fellow fans on the event.
Assist in raising funds for the next year’s delegate.
Administer (with the assistance of other Canadian fans) the process to select the next year’s fan delegate.
Promote Canadian genre-related media and fan activities.
As information on Garth’s schedule and his program participation becomes available, I will relay this in news releases.
Who is Garth Spencer?
Well, Garth is just this guy, you know …
Back in 1980, Garth joined a small SF club in Victoria B.C., and quickly discovered they had a library of fanzines – which meant, any small periodical a fan or club produced. At the time that was a major activity among fans. Within a few years (to the detriment of his post-secondary education) he was producing club newsletters and his own fanzines and, eventually, The Maple Leaf Rag – a newszine by and for Canadian fans, which succeeded Robert Runté’s famous New Canadian Fandom – with contributions from almost the whole country. His friends joked that he was a one-man threat to Canada’s forests.
Part of Garth’s thing, back then, was to clear up the unawareness and misconceptions some fans had about other fan groups and about convention practices. Another part was to find out what the Canadian SF and Fantasy Awards were. In 1985, Fran Skene in Vancouver asked Garth to handle the nominating and voting ballots for the Awards (dubbed the Caspers at that time; more info here) at Canvention 6/VCON 14 in Vancouver the next year. Then he had to step down because he became a nominee in the first fanzine category award. He won for The Maple Leaf Rag. The next year, he moved to Vancouver and became an active part of the B.C. Science Fiction Association.
The Maple Leaf Rag also uncovered the Canadian Unity Fan Fund. In 1987, the Canvention hosted by Ad Astra in Toronto revived it. In 1999, Garth was the delegate to that year’s Canvention in Fredericton, New Brunswick; he titled his CUFF newsletter Or Something, and his trip report What I Did on My October Vacation. In 2006 he won the same award, now-named Prix Aurora, for Best Fan Publication again, for The Royal Swiss Navy Gazette.
Garth served as editor of BCSFAzine, during its changeover from hardcopy to online publication. He has continued to issue his own personalzines – variously titled Scuttlebutt, The World According to Garth, Sercon Popcult Litcrit Fanmag, The Royal Swiss Navy Gazette, The Art of Garthness, and more recently, The Obdurate Eye – and has joined APAs (Amateur Publishing Associations) based in Canada and in the United States. He has also produced an anthology of fannish articles, stories and humour, Confabulation, which is available on his website (https://www.vcn.bc.ca/~garth2/).
Today, Garth Spencer is 66 years old, but he still dresses the way he did in the 1980s (unless he decides to show you the Royal Swiss Navy field uniform). He still doesn’t know what to be when he grows up.
By Fran Skene (CUFF 2019 Delegate to CanCon in Ottawa): Canadian Unity Fan Fund (CUFF) nominations are still open for selecting a fan delegate to Pemmi-Con (the 2023 NASFiC) in Winnipeg. Deadline for applying has been extended to March 15.
One nominee has already come forward (Garth Spencer); however, nominations remain open until March 15, for any others who are still considering it. If we end up with more than one candidate, we’ll have a vote.
Any fan from anywhere in Canada, active for at least the last two years, can qualify as CUFF delegate to Pemmi-Con, the 15th North American Science Fiction Convention in Winnipeg this July 20th through 23rd.
Note: This year, former CUFF delegates may also apply.
The primary responsibilities of the delegate are to:
Attend the convention, take part in programming, and report back to your fellow fans on the event.
Assist in raising funds for the next year’s delegate.
Administer (with the assistance of other Canadian fans) the process to select the next year’s fan delegate.
Promote Canadian genre-related media and fan activities.
Each nominee needs to apply to Fran Skene, the current administrator, saying why they would be a good delegate. Also, they need six nominators, three from the east and three from the west (separated by Manitoba-Ontario border).
Nominators need to contact Fran separately. If a nominator is possibly not known to Fran, they should include info or a link to something that will verify the nominator’s bona fides as being active in Canadian fandom for at least the last two years.
As well, we are asking for a bond of $20 CAD from each nominee, which will be added to the CUFF funds. This (and all donations) can be sent to Fran Skene via PayPal or Interac e-transfer, using this email address: fskene(at)shaw.ca
(To pay another way, email or message Fran to negotiate.)
The trip will be paid for by CUFF funds (donations very welcome), Air Miles from Fran for plane fare; and Pemmi-Con will comp the con membership plus a two-queen bed room shared with another fan fun delegate (DUFF or TAFF) during the convention.
In order to be nominated for the CUFF this year an application must be submitted by March 15, 2023 to fskene(at)shaw.ca that includes a bond of $20. It should contain a brief fan-related bio and how you hope to make this trip beneficial for you and the Canadian fan community. The application must have a minimum of three fan supporters from the east and three in the west (six total).
If we have more than one candidate, voting will open March 15 and close April 15th, in order to give the successful candidate enough time to work with Pemmi-Con programming and to schedule their visit.
(1) DESTINATION FOR THE STARS? The New York Times’ Blake Gopnik reports that last week Christie’s auction house broke records by selling more than $1.5 billion in art from the estate of Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who died in 2018. Although a lot of high art went under the hammer, his pop culture holdings, including sf art, did not and may have a different fate.
… It all made me think of Allen as the kind of person who might have enjoyed buying, and owning, a $15 million Stradivarius violin and a $12 million Mickey Mantle baseball card and a $10 million stamp from British Guiana.
But there was one work in the sale — a real outlier — that meshed with stronger, more focused feelings that I seemed to glimpse when I met with Allen. Hanging among pieces by the certified geniuses of Western “high” art at Christie’s sat a dreamy, sunset scene of teen-girls-in-nature, painted in 1926 by the American Maxfield Parrish, best known for his truly great work in commercial illustration. It called to mind the tremendous excitement that Allen showed, a decade ago, when he had me look at a series of paintings that had been used, sometime in the 1950s or ’60s, I’d guess, for reproduction on the cover of science-fiction novels or magazines: I remember seeing weird Martian landscapes, galactic skies and maybe a rocket ship or two.
I can’t confirm those memories, right off the bat, because none of those pictures ended up at Christie’s. (Even though you could say that Allen’s Botticelli has some extraterrestrial strangeness to it, if only because of its distance from today’s culture, and that his paintings by Salvador Dalí and Jacob Hendrik Pierneef might work with stories by Philip K. Dick.) But I do remember that in our interview Allen’s enthusiasm for those objects from so-called “popular” culture seemed much more intense, and heartfelt, than the feelings he expressed for masterpieces that had cost him thousands of times more.
And that may be born out in the future that seems in store for those sci-fi objects, different from the fate of the ones sold into private hands at Christie’s. Last month, a spokesperson for Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, founded by Allen in 2000 — his sister Jody Allen is its current chair — told The Times that more than 4,000 objects of un-fine art and culture from the Allen estate, valued at some $20 million, were due to end up among its holdings, and I can only hope that the sci-fi paintings will be among them. (A representative from Vulcan, the Allen company in charge of his estate, later weighed in to say that the bequest to MoPOP was not final and that Vulcan could not confirm the exact number or type of objects in it. As when their boss was alive, his Vulcans play their cards close to their chests.)…
Archive of Our Own is probably best known as the place to read fans’ carefully crafted Harry Potter prequels or Lord of the Rings stories millions of words long. But the fanfiction website also has a lesser known, though no less important mission: to save older fanfic that’s at risk of disappearing. A new initiative, the Fanzine Scan Hosting Project, aims to make fan stories and art from physical fanzines accessible through the Archive, preserving pieces of history previously confined to university libraries, scattered eBay sales, and forgotten corners of attics….
Over the last year or so, however, Open Doors’ Fan Culture Preservation Project has expanded, finally giving them room to launch the Fanzine Scan Hosting Project. So far, they’re making their way through the backlog of scans that Zinedom has already accumulated, which Dawn estimates is “a couple thousand.”
These came from various sources, with Dawn doing a lot of outreach herself simply by searching Facebook for names she came across in zines and making phone calls. Janet Quarton, a Scottish Star Trek zine publisher and preservationist, scanned about 500 zines herself in 2013. But even Zinedom’s digital collection is only a fragment of what’s out there. One Zinedom participant has a collection of around 8,000 physical zines from the Star Trek fandom alone, and digs out the appropriate copies if Dawn is contacted by someone looking to save something in particular.
Open Doors is now preparing to post on the Archive those zines from Zinedom’s backlog which they already have permission to share. Some of these overlap with online zine archives that they’ve been previously importing, like the Kirk/Spock archive. But new requests and permissions have also been coming in since the announcement, and it will be an ongoing process, with volunteers working hard to convert and edit each individual zine.
(3) THE RIGHT WORD? Nisi Shawl was still in search of an answer that hits the spot when I looked at Facebook this afternoon:
What’s the word for the kind of apology you get that blames you for what went wrong?
What role, if any, did reading and writing play during your military service?
I still have stacks of my journals from the whole nine-year period sitting on my bookshelf, unread to this day. I had written poetry and journaled most of my teenage years up to that point, but when I got out of the service I stopped journaling and writing almost completely for reasons I haven’t quite grasped. That was over 15 years ago. Reading, on the other hand is something I have never stopped doing. These combat deployments were well before I had anything like an e-reader, so it was physical books all the way. I must have lugged around a ridiculous amount of books with me. The big ones that hit me the hardest while deployed are still some of my favorites: Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, Epictetus’ The Enchiridion, my first readings of Ender’s Game and that series. I got my first copy of House of Leaves while deployed to Iraq and that copy is scrawled with my own footnotes and reflections, and is falling apart at the seams. And then of course, King finished out The Dark Tower while I was deployed so I had those tomes sent to me and to tote around as well. So, yeah, I filled my spare hours with both reading and writing, quite a bit of both.
(5) BOOKSTORE REBOUNDS FROM ARSON ATTACK. “L.A. book emporium the Iliad recovering from mysterious fire” reports the Los Angeles Times. The bookstore’s GoFundMe has been an enormous success. The owner asked for $5,000 to cover his insurance deductible. “The response has topped $34,000, sparing him the need to file a claim at all.”
…The cause of the blaze remains unknown. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said it has been ruled undetermined.
[Iliad owner] Weinstein said he believes an arsonist started the fire. It appeared that books the store leaves outside for the community to browse were stacked in a pyramidal shape next to the entry door and lit, he said.
An inscrutable motive was suggested by 15 to 20 copies of a flyer Weinstein said he found taped to the sides of the building. It was a collage of conspiratorial references — the Irish and South African flags, a photo of the burned-out cabin where policeman-turned-killer Christopher Dorner died, an address of a nearby home, and a handwritten letter attributed to Alex Cox, a deceased figure in a complex family homicide case depicted in a Netflix documentary….
… The cuts, earlier reported by the New York Times, would represent about 3% of Amazon’s corporate staff. The exact number may vary as businesses within Amazon review their priorities, the source told Reuters.
The online retailer plans to eliminate jobs in its devices organization, which makes voice-controlled “Alexa” gadgets and home-security cameras, as well as in its human-resources and retail divisions, the person said. Amazon’s time frame for informing staff remained unclear….
(7) THE ART OF FANHISTORY. Garth Spencer’s name was chosen from the hat to be Corflu Pangloss’ Guest of Honour. He has published the speech he gave “revealing the hideous basic truths of fandom” in Obdurate Eye #21.
…There was a time when I thought every other country seems to have a published fanhistory; why shouldn’t a Canadian fanhistory be published? Maybe I could compile it, from any information I could gather. Then I got strange responses like “Who are you? Why are you asking me questions? Who sent you? I’m not responsible!” So, I learned that There Are Things Fans Must Not Put on Record. More to the point, my search to find out what people can be expected to do, when to expect it, and how to defend yourself, is not the first thing people think of when they think of fanhistory….
In 1891, Christopher Furness, owner of the Furness Line of steamships, and Henry Withy, head of the shipbuilding firm Edward Withy & Co., merged their businesses to form Furness, Withy & Co., Ltd. Starting out with 18 vessels, by the outbreak of World War I, it sailed more than 200–and it was ready for a new New York City branch office building….
Andrew Porter reminds readers that he published Chandler’s autobiographical “Around the World in 23,741 Days” in Algol 31. You can read it here.
…One very early—but remarkably vivid—memory I have is of a Zeppelin raid on London during World War I. can still see the probing searchlights, like the questing antennae of giant insects and, sailing serenely overhead, high in the night sky, that slim, silvery cigar. I can’t remember any bombs; I suppose that none fell anywhere near where I was. It is worth remarking that in those distant days, with aerial warfare in its infancy, civilians had not yet learned to run for cover on the approach of raiders but stood in the streets, with their children, to watch the show….
(9) READ COMPLETE MOORE REMARKS ON KEVIN O’NEILL. [Item by Danny Sichel.] At the request of the New York Times, Alan Moore wrote an obit for Kevin O’Neill which was too long to publish. Jeet Heer posted it to Twitter.(O’Neill did the art for Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.)
…In addition to writing for Philanthropy Daily, Martin was a senior fellow at the Capital Research Center, and contributed significantly to research on philanthropy and especially the issue of donor intent. Martin’s contributions to questions around philanthropy, charity, and donor intent can scarcely be overstated. How Great Philanthropists Failed remains the leading book on donor intent and the history of failed philanthropic legacies.
Martin’s work has appeared everywhere from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Reason, and numerous other publications.
Martin will be sorely missed by all of us at Philanthropy Daily and countless others who have benefited from his important work.
(11) MEMORY LANE.
1985 — [By Cat Eldridge.]Shadow Chasers
Before we get started on talking about today’s essay, may I note that this was the day fifty-eight years ago that Santa Claus Conquers The Martians premiered was well? It was considered one of the worst genre films ever released, bar none.
Thirty-seven years ago this evening a series premiered on ABC, receiving almost no notice: Shadow Chasers. Let’s talk about the show before we turn to a brief autopsy on its numbers.
LOOK— I SEE BIGFOOT COMING WITH SPOILERS!
British anthropologist Jonathan MacKensie (Trevor Eve who played Peter Boyd in the excellent Waking the Dead forensic series) works for the fictional Georgetown Institute Paranormal Research Unit (PRU). MacKenzie’s department head, Dr. Julianna Moorhouse (Nina Foch), withholds a research grant to force him into investigating what she says is a haunting involving a teenage boy. He is paired with flamboyant tabloid reporter Edgar “Benny” Benedek.
Benny and Jonathan do not get along, but manage to solve the case without killing each other. The episodes continued in this vein, with Jonathan and Benny grudgingly learning to respect and admire each other, in the fashion of American cop shows.
LOOK IT WASN’T REALLY BIGFOOT, WAS IT?
Now for the rating autopsy I promised.
So understand that it was on ABC as I said for just ten episodes of its sad existence with the last four shows being broadcast solely on the Armed Forces network. Just how bad was its existence? It was the lowest-rated of a one hundred and six programs during the 1985-1986 TV season.
Why so, you ask? Well that’s easy. It was broadcast against NBC’s The Cosby Show and Family Ties and CBS’s Magnum P.I. and, later on, Simon & Simon on CBS. It didn’t stand a chance.
Indeed, local ABC affiliates within a few weeks in started preempting the series for other programming.
(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born November 14, 1907 — Astrid Lindgren. Creator of the Pippi Longstocking series and, at least in the States, lesser known Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and the Six Bullerby Children series as well. In January 2017, she was calculated to be the world’s eighteenth most translated author, and the fourth most translated children’s writer after Enid Blyton, H. C. Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. There have been at least forty video adaptations of her works over the decades mostly in Swedish but Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter was an animated series in Japan recently. (Died 2002.)
Born November 14, 1932 — Alex Ebel. He did the poster for the first Friday the 13th film, and his cover illustration for The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin published by Ace Books in 1975 is considered one of the best such illustrations done. I’m also very impressed with The Dispossessed cover he did as well as his Planet of Exile cover too. His work for magazines includes Heavy Metal, Space Science Fiction and Fantastic Story Magazine. (Died 2013.)
Born November 14, 1950 — Elliot S. Maggin, 72. A writer for DC Comics during the Bronze and early Modern ages of comics where he helped shaped the Superman character. Most of his work was on Action Comics and Superman titles though he did extensive work elsewhere including, of course, on the Batman titles.
Born November 14, 1951 — Beth Meacham, 71. In 1984, she became an editor for Tor Books, where she rose to the position of editor-in-chief. After her 1989 move to the west coast, she continued working for Tor as an executive editor which she just retired from. She does have one novel, co-written with Tappan King, entitled Nightshade Book One: Terror, Inc. and a handful of short fiction. A Reader’s Guide to Fantasy that she co-wrote wrote Michael Franklin and Baird Searles was nominated for a Hugo at L.A. Con II. She has been nominated for six Hugos as Best Professional Editor or Best Editor Long Form.
Born November 14, 1959 — Paul McGann, 63. Yes, he only did one film as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who: The Television Movie, but he has reprised that role in numerous audio dramas, and the 2013 short film entitled The Night of the Doctor. He also appeared in “The Five(ish) Doctors” reboot. Other genre appearances include The Pit and the Pendulum: A Study in Torture, Alien 3, the excellent FairyTale: A True Story, Queen of the Damned and Lesbian Vampire Killers.
Born November 14, 1963 — Cat Rambo, 59 . All around great person. Past President of SFWA. She was editor of Fantasy Magazine for four years which earned her a 2012 nomination in the World Fantasy Special Award: Non-Professional category. Her novelette Carpe Glitter won a 2020 Nebula, and her short story “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” was a 2013 Nebula Award finalist. Her impressive fantasy Tabat Quartet quartet begins withBeasts of Tabat, Hearts of Tabat, and Exiles of Tabat, and will soon be completed by Gods of Tabat. She also writes amazing short fiction as well. The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers is her long-standing school for writers that provides her excellent assistance in learning proper writing skills through live and on demand classes about a range of topics. You can get details here. Her latest, You Sexy Thing, was a stellar listen indeed and I’m very much looking forward to the sequel.
Born November 14, 1969 — Daniel Abraham, 53. Co-author with Ty Franck of The Expanse series which won a Hugo at CoNZealand. Under the pseudonym M. L. N. Hanover, he is the author of the Black Sun’s Daughter urban fantasy series. Abraham collaborated with George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois to write the Hunter’s Run. Abraham also has adapted several of Martin’s works into comic books and graphic novels, such as A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, and has contributed to Wild Cards anthologies. By himself, he picked up a Hugo nomination at Denvention 3 for his “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” novelette.
(13) COMICS SECTION.
Speed Bump knows of one effect that’s not special at all!
(14) HAPPY NEW YEAR. Lois McMaster Bujold pointed out to her Goodreads followers that the next Penric book Knot of Shadows garnered a starred review in Publishers Weekly. The Subterranean Press hardcover is due to be released on January 1. [Update: Bujold’s author page shows the Kindle edition of Knot of Shadows came out last year in October, so this will be a new hardcover edition, but not a new release per se.]
Temple sorcerer Penric and demon Desdemona return in this page-turner fantasy mystery from Bujold, the 11th in the series (after The Assassins of Thasalon) and possibly the best yet. Penric and Desdemona, the chaos elemental who shares his body, are joined by Alixtra and her own demon, Arra, to help the healers of the Mother’s Order in Vilnoc with an unusual case: a corpse has revived and is now shouting gibberish. Penric discovers that the victim is not one but two dead people—a man slain by death magic and a ghost that has begun animating his body. Death magic is so rare that even Desdemona has never witnessed it performed. A supplicant offers their own life to ensure that the Bastard, Penric’s god, will kill their target. This ritual opens multiple quandaries: Who is the corpse? Were they the supplicant or the target? And where is the other party to the death prayer? Penric remarks that “this case is bound to get ugly and sad”—and indeed it does, in the most creative of ways. Bujold has her protagonists combine mundane and mystical investigative methods to unravel the questions at hand, creating a truly enticing mystery. Series fans and new readers alike will want to savor this intricate , unusual case.
… The challenge, Göransson says, was to find a new sound for the African kingdom of Wakanda and its grief-stricken people while also trying to imagine the sound of Prince Namor’s undersea kingdom of Talokan, whose origins lay in Mexico’s ancient Mayan civilization.
Göransson consulted musical archaeologists and spent two weeks in Mexico City collaborating with Mexican musicians. He auditioned “hundreds of ancient instruments,” from clay flutes to unusual percussion instruments, and saw paintings of Mayans playing on turtle shells, among dozens of similar musically inspirational moments. He discovered the “flute of truth,” a high-pitched whistle-like woodwind instrument, and vowed to incorporate the “death whistle,” which has a piecing sound like a human scream.
By day, Göransson recorded with Mexican musicians, and by night, he was recording with Mexican singers and rappers. “I was using the morning sessions to put together beats and songs that we would use later that day with the artists,” the composer reports….
(16) ON THE GRIPPING HAND. Leaflock™ The Ent™ from WETA Workshop is only fifteen hundred dollars… The image of this veteran of the attack on Isengard “Contains two (and a half) Orcs, squashed, pinned and/or crushed by the Ent’s wrath.”
…But for every icon of the macabre, there are a much larger number of deranged dentists, serial-killing Santa Clauses, and sorority house murderers who don’t quite rank as highly in the frightening food chain. In fact, it’s been a while since a character came along and asserted his or herself as the next count of the Carpathians or chainsaw-wielding maniac. Whoever steps up next has some big shoes to fill, because these are the crème de la crème when it comes to history-making evildoers….
Dracula is the most influential horror villain of all time. The Count stalks like a slasher, murders in droves like a serial killer, and is the inspiration for every single vampire movie made after 1931. Dracula’s vast powers, and his immortality, make him the most formidable of any killer on this list, and while Bela Lugosi is most often associated with the character, it was Sir Christopher Lee who made the Count the vile, sadistic creature of the night.
Lee gave the character a grandiose feel thanks to his imposing height, and there was a sexuality the villain exuded which made him irresistible to women. Unlike his colleague and friend, Peter Cushing, Lee loathed reprising the role because Hammer wasn’t faithful to Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. “I wanted to play Stoker’s character,” Lee explained. “It wasn’t remotely like the book.”
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Danny Sichel, David Doering, Andrew (not Werdna), Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]
After the glorious accident of having been born at all, there are myriad ways any one life could be lived. The lives we do live are bridges across the immense river of possibility, suspended by two pylons: what we want and what we make. In an ideal life — a life of purpose and deep fulfillment — the gulf of being closes and the pylons converge: We make what we want to see exist.
(2) JOIN eAPA AND LEARN QUAINT AND CURIOUS FORGOTTEN LORE. [Item by Garth Spencer.] eAPA, one of the longest-running electronic Amateur Publication Associations, is a great place to find and learn Things Fans Were Not Meant to Know! Words that rhyme with orange, for instance, or the curse that sank Atlantis, or the REAL reason why the British Empire is no more!
You too can share your Forbidden Knowledge of the Lost Civilization of Sitnalta, why the fabulous city of Temlaham was buried under a landslide, and the Hideous Sign now covered by the Site C Dam! JOIN the international quest to save humanity from the approaching threat to us all!
Or just have fun writing fannish contributions to a monthly APA.
I’ve written several posts about a fairly new phenomenon in the world of writing scams: scammers that falsely use the names of reputable publishing professionals, including literary agents and publishers, to lure writers into paying large amounts of money for worthless, substandard, and/or never-delivered services.
This time, I’m breaking down a very similar scam that, capitalizing on the pandemic-fueled popularity of Netflix and other streaming services (as well as the eternal writerly dream of having one’s book translated into film), is appropriating the name of Clare Richardson, Senior Scout for film and TV at the New York office of Maria B. Campbell Associates, to hoodwink writers in an unusually complicated–and expensive–scheme.
… I have been longing to read Susanna Clarke again for 16 years, ever since I turned the last page in “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.” I was surprised to find PIRANESI (Bloomsbury, $27) anticipating pandemic confinement — the difficulty of dividing time, of maintaining a stable sense of self — through a filter of marble and gold, of rushing ocean, of tenderness and love.
Oceans may be rare in the inner Solar System—Mars and Mercury are too small for oceans while Mercury and Venus are too hot—but if we consider that water is composed of hydrogen (the most common element in the universe) and oxygen (the third most common element), it seems likely that water would be pretty common too. Indeed, if we look at the worlds out beyond the Solar System’s frost line, we note that there are likely to be oceans within Europa, Enceladus, Ganymede, Ceres, Pluto, and other small worlds.
As for exoplanets (which we have been discovering at a surprising rate, of late) … well, some of them must have oceans, or be covered with oceans, as well. SF authors, even before the exoplanet boom, have long been imagining water worlds. Here are a few books about ocean planets.
In the late 1990s, the offices of Meanjin magazine in Melbourne would receive a package of tobacco-scented and wine-stained proofs four times a year.
They were from their charismatic editorial consultant John Bangsund who, with an unmatched studiousness and attention to detail, had pored over each issue to make sure no errors or inaccuracies had slipped through before it went to print.
It was this unwavering passion for words and writing, matched by a deep knowledge about everything from classical music to science fiction, that saw the Melbourne editor become a beloved figure within literary circles for decades…
It is with great sorrow that I report that Debra Doyle, my beloved bride of 42 years, died this evening at 1841 hours. She died of an apparent cardiac event, at home, in my arms.
Doyle authored or co-authored over thirty novels and more than 30 short stories, usually with her husband. Knight’s Wyrd, co-authored by Doyle and MacDonald, was awarded the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature in 1992. Their story “Remailer” was longlisted for the Tiptree Award in 2000. Both of them taught at the Viable Paradise genre writer’s workshop on Martha’s Vineyard.
This GoFundMe is to cover funeral costs, the extent of which is not currently known. Any additional funds raised beyond what is needed for burial will be used to ease the transition for her husband, Jim.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born November 1, 1897 – Naomi Mitchison. A dozen novels, fifty shorter stories, for us; a hundred books, a thousand short stories, book reviews, essays, travel, poems, recollections, in all. Much moved by leftist causes, though she was eventually unhappy with the political Left, her work, never neutral, at best finds its own strength. She wrote historical, allegorical, fantastic, sometimes scientific fiction. Feminist, gardener, rancher. (Died 1999) [JH]
Born November 1, 1910 – Malcolm Smith. Woodworker, pulp illustrator, staff artist for Marshall Space Flight Center; he drew for us, also detective stories, Westerns, newspapers. Here is the Apr 43 Fantastic. Here is the Feb 48 Amazing. Here is the Mar 50 Other Worlds. Here is the Feb 58 Imagination. (Died 1966) [JH]
November 1, 1917 — Zenna Henderson. Her first story was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1951. The People series appeared in magazines and anthologies, as well as the stitched together Pilgrimage: The Book of the People and The People: No Different Flesh. Other volumes include The People Collection and Ingathering: The Complete People Stories. She was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1959 for her novelette “Captivity.” Her story “Pottage” was made into the 1972 ABC-TV Movie, “The People”. “Hush” became an episode of George A. Romero’s Tales from the Darkside which first aired in 1988. (Died 1983.) (CE)
November 1, 1923 — Gordon R. Dickson. Truly one of the best writers in the genre. I’m not going to even begin to detail his stellar career in any detail as that would require a skald to do so. His first published genre fiction was the short story “Trespass!”, written with Poul Anderson, in the Spring 1950 issue of Fantastic Stories which was the first issue of Fantastic Story Magazine as it came to be titled later. Childe Cycle involving the Dorsai is his best known series and the Hoka are certainly his silliest creation. I’m very, very fond of his Dragon Knight series which I think really reflects his interest in that history. (Died 2001.) (CE)
Born November 1, 1923 – Dean Grennell. Pioneer Wisconsin fan, served in the Army Air Corps (“Nothing can stop…”), moved to Los Angeles where I met him. Fanzine Grue (its name a parody of True). Here is his cover for Sky Hook 25. Coined several fannish expressions e.g. croggle, “a verb signifying intense disturbance of a subjective nature” – H. Warner) and the unrelated if like-sounding crottled greeps (“But if you don’t like crottled greeps, what did you order them for?”). More here. (Died 2004) [JH]
November 1, 1941 — Robert Foxworth, 79. He’s been on quite a number of genre shows including The Questor Tapes,seaQuest DSV, Deep Space Nine, Outer Limits, Enterprise, Stargate SG-1 and Babylon 5. His first genre role was as Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein where Bo Swenson played the monster. (CE)
November 1, 1942 — Michael Fleisher. Comics writer best known for his DC Comics work of in the Seventies and Eighties on Spectre and the not very traditional Jonah Hex. (Hopefully they’ll be added to the expanded DC universe comics app next year.) He also has had long runs on Ghost Rider and Spider-Woman early on which shows that he is a rather good writer even then. (Died 2018) (CE)
Born November 1, 1956 – Lynne Jonell, 64. The Secret of Zoom (a topic many of us wish we understood today) was a School Library Journal Best Book of 2009; President Obama bought one for his daughter (no blame to him that it has an orphan boy named Taft). Ten more books, some about rats, cats. “I’m tall. I like to sail…. I have a patient and loving husband and two wonderful sons who are loving (but not so patient)…. I like to look out my widow at the branches of trees…. This is good for inspiration and also lets me pretend I am thinking hard.” [JH]
November 1, 1959 — Susanna Clarke, 61. Author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell which I think wins my award for the most footnoted work in genre literature. It won the World Fantasy, Nebula, Locus, Mythopoeic and Hugo Awards for Best Novel. It was adapted into a BBC series and optioned for a film. The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories collects her short works and is splendid indeed. Her latest novel, Piranesi, is getting good reviews here. (CE)
Born November 1, 1964 – Karen Marie Moning, 56. Eight books about highlanders, a dozen in a Fever Universe; Shadowfever and more have been NY Times Best Sellers. Two RITA Awards. Her Website quotes Jorge Luis Borges “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library,” hello Evelyn Leeper. [JH]
Born November 1, 1965 – Alberto Varanda, 55. Portuguese working in French. A dozen covers; here is The Angel and Death; here is The Death of Ayesha; here is Enchanter; here is Blood of Amber. [JH]
November 1, 1973 — Aishwarya Rai, 46. Actress who’s done two SF films in India, the Tamil language Enthiran (translates as Robot) in which she’s Sana, the protagonist’s medical student girlfriend, and Mala in Action Replayy, a Hindi-language SF romantic comedy. She was also Sonia in The Pink Panther 2. (CE)
Guernica: Encountering your work, it’s almost like you need to get something out of your system— which gets crystallized in Blue Light of the Screen. Did you think of this book as an exorcism of sorts?
Cronin: It became something like that towards the end. It’s definitely confessional, [and] a little bit psychoanalytic, but I was the therapist and the patient.
Exorcism stories are not resolved at the end. Well, some exorcism movies do resolve the demonic possession, but even when that happens, there is still the sense that evil is floating around in the ether, waiting for its next victim. And in true stories of demonic possession, a victim often has to be exorcised many times, over many years. The threat doesn’t really go away.
In the case of my book, I did attempt to find resolution, but of course the problems that I deal with keep going. There’s still evil in the world and plenty of reasons to feel despair. Though I wanted to show that I’d found some self-awareness and faith through my struggles, I didn’t want to write a happy ending. I don’t believe in happy endings; they’re not true to life. At the end of a ghost story, something ominous still lurks.
[Thanks to Daniel Dern, John Hertz, Steve Miller, Danny Sichel, Mike Kennedy, Garth Spencer, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]
R. Graeme Cameron announced his selections for the first Canadian Fanzine Fanac Awards on October 2 at VCON 36:
Best Fan Artist: Taral Wayne.
Best Fan Writer: Garth Spencer.
Best Loc Hack: Lloyd Penney.
Best Fanzine:WARP, Cathy Palmer-Lister, Editor.
Life-Time Achievement: “The Unknown Faned” who published Canada’s first SF fanzine in early 1936 under the title The Canadian Science Fiction Fan. (Unknown because in his 1936 review of the zine Donald Wollheim neglected to mention the editor’s name!)
All winners will receive “The Faned” figure sculpted by Lawrence Prime, and a certificate designed by Taral Wayne.
Cameron knows his new award needs lots of publicity if it’s going to have a bright future:
These first awards are entirely by fiat, being my personal decision based on what I consider to be the most obvious choices, the CFF Awards being entirely a one-man show at this point.
I’m hoping this is so outrageously abnormal compared to the usual peer-determined, incestuous, in-fought, excessively emotionally violent fan activity (of any sort) we are all used to that vast amounts of publicity will be generated by fan reaction to the awards (and this sentence).
Got to seep into widespread fannish consciousness somehow!
Next year I will be taking peer input into account. After that? Maybe an actual vote (rigged or otherwise).
Since I currently publish five fanzines (and am about to launch a sixth) I withdrew my name from my own consideration to create an illusion of impartiality. My first impulse, to award myself all five Faneds, took at least an hour to argue myself out of… for this year anyway. I make no promises.
(And if the above paragraph doesn’t generate yet more publicity I’ll be greatly surprised. I’m discovering that ‘doing’ publicity can be fun!)