This is the guy who kept me in fandom 33 years ago
… but that’s another story. (Kees Van Toorn)
More pictures by Rich Lynch after the jump.Continue reading
This is the guy who kept me in fandom 33 years ago
… but that’s another story. (Kees Van Toorn)
More pictures by Rich Lynch after the jump.Continue reading
A cold truth surfaces…
The Dublin Convention Centre is too small for the size of this convention. By a lot. Thursday was chaos in the halls leading into the meeting rooms. Packed solid with people trying to exit rooms where panels had ended and others who were wanting to get into those same rooms for the next round of panels. Convention Centre staff became the traffic police in a mostly vain attempt to keep everybody moving.
By Friday the chaos had abated by a bit, but there have still been severe people flow problems. Overnight each floor of the Convention Centre was taped off into queue lanes, one for each meeting room. It’ll not quite an airport boarding lounge situation but very similar. And this created addition confusion until, finally, everybody started to figure it all out. But this system created lots of delays and there are usually lines of people waiting access for some rooms even after the scheduled panel starting time.
This has resulted in plenty of people with frayed tempers, from what I’ve observed, but no meltdowns. At least for now but there are still three days to go.
One other thing I observed— the traffic police are not to be messed with! More than one person was firmly directed to clear out of some area where queues would be forming. Don’t think anybody has dared to jump a line after seeing them in action!
Heicon Memories panel
Panel opened with round of applause for Silverberg when he stated that this is his 66th Worldcon. He has the record, I think.
Suzanne Tompkins, Ginjer Buchanan, Robert Silverberg, and Mary Burns.
Bill Burns and Geri Sullivan. Unsurprisingly, most everybody in the room not only knew about the site, they also were frequent visitors. And many of us even have Fanzines hosted by the site!
Keith Kato’s Chili Party
…was held in Oscar Wilde’s House. There was even a docent tour.
Geri Sullivan won the 2019 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund on the first round of voting. The administrators today provided a breakdown of the voting results by first preference. (“RoW” stands for “rest of the world.”)
|Hold Over Funds|
Following her return home from Dublin 2019, Geri will become the next North American administrator of TAFF, and will conduct the 2020 TAFF campaign and election in association with Johan Anglemark.
Fans throughout Europe who may be interested in standing for TAFF in 2020 should make a point of talking with Geri and Johan at the Dublin Worldcon, or elsewhere on Geri’s trip, if at all possible.
Because Worldcon will not take place in North America in 2020, it has not yet been decided whether the 2020 TAFF race will be westbound, as is traditional, or eastbound for a second year in a row, which has occasionally happened in the past for similar reasons.
For more information about the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund – past, present, and future – visit David Langford’s excellent TAFF website at www.taff.org.uk.
The 2019 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund winner is Geri Sullivan. She will be the North American TAFF delegate to the 77th World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland from August 15-19.
Co-administrators John Purcell and Johan Anglemark report 212 voters participated. The other candidates were Teresa Cochran, Sarah Gulde, and Michael Lowrey.
Need help deciding who to vote for in the 2019 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund race? Help is on the way! TAFF News Redux #2 [PDF file] is available on the TAFF Website with the candidates’ answers to a questionnaire.
Find out what Teresa Cochran, Sarah Gulde , Michael Lowrey, Geri Sullivan had to say when they were asked these probative fannish questions —
1) Tell us something about yourself and fandom: where did it begin for you and when.
2) Are there any specific subgenres of Science Fiction & Fantasy you prefer? e.g., hard science, alternative history, steampunk, etc.
3) Describe your fannish activity: clubs you’ve been in, official roles (club president, or whatever), cons you’ve attended/worked on, and fanzines you’ve produced, and so forth.
4) What was the craziest or most fun thing you have ever done or experienced in fandom?
5) If you win, what will your TAFF trip look like? Just Ireland and the UK or other parts of Europe (which?) too? How many weeks do you think you will be able to set aside for it?
TAFF voting to pick a North American delegate to send to the Dublin 2019 Worldcon is open until midnight EST of April 22, 2019. Get the ballot and voting information on the TAFF website.
The 2019 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund Race to send a North American fan to the Dublin Worldcon next August is now on! Voting runs from today, December 1, to April 22, 2019.
The candidates are Teresa Cochran, Sarah Gulde, Michael Lowrey, and Geri Sullivan. The ballot includes their platform statements. TAFF co-administrator John Purcell said, “I am happy to say that I know all four of these splendid candidates, and wish them all the best of luck and that this campaign/election/selection will be a lot of fun. Bon chance, mes amis!”
The online voting form is active at https://taff.org.uk/. A printable PDF file of the ballot with voting instructions also appears at the end of this post. Purcell is sending out paper copies with the next issue of his fanzine Askew in another week.
North America: John Purcell – Checks in US$ payable to “John Purcell”. Mail the ballot to John Purcell, 3744 Marielene Circle, College Station, TX 77845 USA. Paypal payments to: email@example.com
Europe: Johan Anglemark – cheques in UK £ or € payable to “TAFF”. Mail the ballot to Johan Anglemark, Lingonv. 10, SE-74340 Storvreta, Sweden. Paypal payments to: EUTAFF@gmail.com
The 2019 TAFF Candidates:
Reading has always been a solitary activity for me. I read SF for many years, and dreamed of meeting other fans. In the early 2000’s, I moved to Las Vegas and met many established fans. I began going to conventions. With the help of computer technology, it is much easier for me to write for fanzines. TAFF would give me an opportunity to meet fans and explore the social aspects of fandom. I could also publish a TAFF report in Braille! Don’t worry; it will be accessible to everyone.
Nominated by: (NA) Tracy Benton, Steve Stiles, Jacq Monahan; (Europe) Chris O’Shea, Martin Tudor
‘Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations’. Why the Star Trek slogan? First, I’m a hardcore Trekkie and co-editor of the December 2018 Star Trek issue of Journey Planet. Second, I’m passionate about diversity in fandom. I’ve been on diversity panels across the country, and even started my own diversity-focused mini-con.
I’m running for TAFF because I’ve pushed for change in my local con to help everyone feel welcome while celebrating their fandoms, and as the TAFF delegate I want to provide support for other fans who are doing the same. Interested? Let’s grab a beer in Dublin and chat! LLAP!
Nominated by: (NA) Chris Garcia, Curtis Chen, Nisi Shawl; (Europe) Fia Karlsson, James Shields
My first convention (1975) was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have loved, married and parented within the tribe. I’ve been active: the N3F, Usenet, apas. I’ve pubbed my ish, and been officer of a local club.
I am a Fan, free citizen of the ImagiNation. Whatever else I may be – husband, daddy, union leader, Esperantist, wearer of orange garments, Quaker, feminist, Irishman, Mac user, Wobbly, Hordesman, Wikipedian – this is my Way of Life. My cunning plan? I want to come from a land beyond the wave, meet fans all over Over There, and quaff girder-based beverages.
Nominated by: (NA) Steven Silver, James Nicoll, Arthur D. Hlavaty; (Europe) John-Henri Holmberg, Steve Green
Shortly after stumbling into fandom, I was found guilty of exhibiting enthusiastic energy and a propensity for getting things done. I’ve been hosting parties, publishing fanzines, running conventions, and organizing special projects ever since. Oobleck. Chocolate robots. Rocks, inflatable gargoyles, and remarkable bheer. You never know what I’ll bring, only that it all sparks connections….
If selected, I’ll share adventures from years knowing Walter & Madeleine Willis, James & Peggy White, and other legendary fans of yore while meeting new friends of all ages. Timebinding, you bet! Hope to see you on the Funway in Dublin and Belfast. She/her; fancyclopedia.org/geri-sullivan
Nominated by: (NA) Joe Siclari & Edie Stern, Pat Virzi, Dave O’Neill; (Europe) Claire Brialey, Gareth Kavanagh
2019 TAFF Ballot:
Voting on 2019 eastbound TAFF race begins December 1 and will continue until April 22, 2019. The winner will attend the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, Dublin 2019, on August 15-19.
(1) DOCTOR WHO, FASHION STATEMENT. The BBC gives us a glimpse of “Doctor Who: First look at Jodie Whittaker in character”. The outside of the TARDIS gets a makeover, too.
The first official photo of Jodie Whittaker as she will appear in Doctor Who has been released.
She is seen in cropped teal culottes with yellow braces, as well as a striped jumper and long trench coat.
The Broadchurch and Trust Me star has begun filming as the 13th Time Lord.
Whittaker, the first female Doctor, takes over from Peter Capaldi and will make her debut on screen when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas special on BBC One.
Her look is completed with brown boots, blue and turquoise striped socks and some unusual earrings, at the top and bottom of her left ear.
Reading about braces made me think of Christopher Robin, but another commenter said the outfit reminded her of Robin Williams’ outfit in Mork and Mindy, while JJ said the ensemble reminds her of ST:TNG’s Wesley Crusher.
While we might like to think the new Doctor’s clothing therefore has a rich science fictional pedigree, Radio Times says all these touches are references to past Doctors. (For example, I should not have already forgotten that Matt Smith wore braces.) See the full breakdown at the link.
(2) MORE EXCHANGES OVER SULEIMAN. After CA Suleiman was permanently banned from Horror Writers Association events yesterday, people continued to discuss both the charges of sexual harassment, and the tenor of statements by Green Ronin Publishing, which released him from a project.
Hillary Monahan was the focal point for a long discussion on Twitter, now Storified as “GR and I’m Tired: Account of last night’s FB trolling” with numerous screenshots from Facebook. Monahan begins —
Going to speak to what went down last night now and frankly, at this point, I don't have much more to add to the situation beyond "believe victims" and that I'm frankly a little horrified that people are still willing to assume that the "real victim" is the beleaguered publisher.
— Hillary Monahan (@HillaryMonahan) November 9, 2017
Being aggressively hit on by CAS. The people present included the vice president of the HWA. She played along awhile, turning the advances down, but when she was groped beneath the table she excused herself from the table and went into the hall with the HWA VP.
— Hillary Monahan (@HillaryMonahan) November 9, 2017
And Green Ronin Publishers made a second attempt at explaining its stance in “A followup and clarification to yesterday’s statement.
Yesterday, Green Ronin’s leadership made a statement about allegations regarding the freelance developer of The Lost Citadel.
Valid concerns have been raised about the tone of our initial response, and for this, we apologize. We absolutely believe victims. Full stop. We always have, and we always will.
Our initial reactions were complicated, due to previous issues related to this matter (we will, once leadership is back in-office, release a timeline to clarify the sequence of events.). As new information became available to us, we have tried to adjust course as quickly as possible.
We put our foot in it when we did so. We have been rightly criticized for the way it was phrased and the way our tone cast blame at the concerned folks who felt we weren’t doing enough to manage the situation. Those critiques are fair, and we’ve listened.
The fact of the matter is that this is on us. We could have, and should be, handling this better. We will be, going forward.
Green Ronin remains committed to diversity, safety, and respect for all, but that does not mean we are perfect. What we can do, when we make a mistake is to take the situation and learn from it. We hope to use the dialogue surrounding these accusations and responses to create an industry that is truly safe for women and minorities, as well as continuing to improve our own responses, personal and professional.
We believe, passionately, in doing the right thing, and that sometimes the right thing is an evolving situation that we will have to adapt to as we go, making difficult and time-consuming decisions along the way. We will be instituting an external anti-harassment policy (applicable to our freelancers and volunteers) to accompany the internal employee policy, as well as working with our contractors and anyone who represents Green Ronin publicly to ensure that they meet our standards of respect, consent, and response.
Thank you for your feedback, and for your patience as we figure out how to prevent such issues going forward. We will continue to try and do better, and to earn back the trust that was previously placed in us.
Sincerly, Green Ronin’s Staff and Owners
(3) THERE IS ANOTHER. A third Star Wars trilogy has been announced: “Rian Johnson, Writer-Director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to Create All-New Star Wars Trilogy”.
As writer-director of The Last Jedi, Johnson conceived and realized a powerful film of which Lucasfilm and Disney are immensely proud. In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in U.S. theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.
(4) MARTHA WELLS. Tor.com has the text of “’Unbury the Future’: Martha Wells’ Full Speech from the 2017 World Fantasy Awards”, which addresses the WFC theme “Secret Histories.”
Weird Tales had women poets, a woman editor named Dorothy McIlwraith, women readers who had their letters printed in the magazine. There were women writing for other pulps, for the earlier Dime Novels, lots of them. Including African American Pauline Hopkins, whose fantasy adventure novel appeared in a magazine in 1903.
These women were there, they existed. Everybody knew that, up until somehow they didn’t. We know there were LGBT and non-binary pulp writers, too, but their identities are hidden by time and the protective anonymity of pseudonyms.
Secrets are about suppression, and history is often suppressed by violence, obscured by cultural appropriation, or deliberately destroyed or altered by colonization, in a lingering kind of cultural gaslighting. Wikipedia defines “secret history” as a revisionist interpretation of either fictional or real history which is claimed to have been deliberately suppressed, forgotten, or ignored by established scholars.
That’s what I think of when I hear the words “secret histories.” Histories kept intentionally secret and histories that were quietly allowed to fade away.
(5) FLOATING GREEN HEADS. Alan Brown recounts “Lessons in Chivalry (and Chauvinism): Have Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein” at Tor.com.
… I can’t remember exactly what edition of Have Space Suit—Will Travel I read first; I suspect it was a library edition. Sometime thereafter, I bought a paperback copy of my own. I certainly didn’t pick it for its cover, which portrayed the hero in his space suit with the Earth behind him, and the faces of many of the other characters in shades of green around the globe, floating like severed heads in space. Jarringly, the artist left out the main female protagonist, perhaps thinking that boys would not want a book with a girl’s face on the cover (but regardless of the reason, at least we were spared the sight of her portrayed as a severed, greenish head)….
The social settings of the juveniles also can be jarring. The clichéd families, with the father serving as breadwinner and ruler of the household and the mother portrayed as obedient, passive, and nurturing, can set modern teeth on edge. While the male protagonists are all clearly beyond puberty, they display an indifference to females more appropriate to a boy in the pre-puberty latent phase of development. I wonder if this was something imposed on Heinlein by the publisher, as his own opinions in these areas were far more liberal.
The juveniles, however, excel in making the future seem believable, and are populated by characters the reader can identify with. And to a young reader, the grim challenges the protagonists faced in the books were the stuff of excitement. The books offered a view of how young people could face even the most daunting of challenges and overcome them. They offered a model of self-reliance and empowerment for the reader. It is no wonder they are remembered long after “safer” youth-oriented entertainment has been forgotten.
(6) TWITTER JAIL. Twitter has suspended Vox Day’s account. Just like the President, only longer.
I can’t say the Trust & Safety Council were particularly helpful, as they did not provide any explanation why or ask me to remove any tweets. I can still access Twitter from that account and see my notifications, but can’t actually tweet anything. It’s just as well, I have too much to do to waste time on social media anyhow. We apologize for this momentary disruption in the Daily Meme Wars, which will resume tomorrow in an email-only format.
(7) GALLIFREY ONE SAFETY UPDATE. Los Angeles’ epic Doctor Who convention has modified its antiharassment procedures: “Gallifrey One Faces Off… Against Harassment”
Right now, most of America is paying close attention to reports out of the entertainment industry (and elsewhere) about sexual harassment and other forms of bullying and intimidation. Indeed, Gallifrey One has already been planning to do our part to help with cyberbullying and harassment through the announcement of our support for the Pop Culture Hero Coalition as our 2018 charity.
But at-convention harassment, especially sexual harassment, is something that has been disclosed more and more of late, and something we consider to be a very big deal. Although we have always been readily available to deal with any perceived harassment reported at our convention, we want to do our part to ensure that all of our attendees feel Gallifrey One is a safe environment in which to enjoy what we have to offer. And most of all, we want every one of our attendees to feel their complaints about harassment are heard, understood, investigated and acted upon.
That’s why, effective with our 2018 convention, we have elected to modify our procedure just a bit to make things a lot easier on attendees who feel they need to report poor behavior to the convention. This begins with a central point of contact: we have appointed Joyce Lloyd, our Facilities & Hospitality Director, to an additional role as our Convention Harassment Ombudsperson.
(8) RANDY BYERS MEDICAL NEWS. One of the nicest fans I’ve ever met, Randy Byers, is in hospice care and nearing the end. As Geri Sullivan summed it up for File 770 —
The information is posted public to the world on Facebook, which is certainly in keeping with Randy’s decision to be public about having glioblastoma and the various treatments he’s been through for it since his first post early in December 2015.
The glioblastoma appears to be progressing rapidly at this point; IIUC, they don’t expect Randy to be conscious again. Here’s the perma-link to the Facebook post Randy’s sister LaVelle Allen put up Tuesday night: https://www.facebook.com/randy.byers.58/posts/1947245215290919
Just incredibly sad news.
(9) IN PASSING. Cora Buhlert says there was much more to the late actress than her most famous role: “More than just a Bond Girl – Remembering Karin Dor”.
Though the peak of her career was in the 1960s, Karin Dor continued to appear in movies, TV and theatre roles almost up to her death. Most of her later roles were in bad German TV shows, but occasionally she appeared in good stuff as well such as Margaretha von Trotta’s 2006 drama Ich bin die Andere (The Other Woman – trailer here). And because the Edgar Wallace movies, the Winnetou movies, the Dr. Mabuse movies, the Fu Manchu movies and the rest of the marvelously entertaining German thrillers of the 1960s were a staple on TV in the 1980s and 1990s and even show up on TV occasionally today, Karin Dor is still the iconic face of 1960s German cinema to a generation born long after these movies first appeared. She was definitely an important part of my childhood.
(10) POP CULTURE PANTHEON. British artist Chris Barker released a 2017 version of the Sgt. Pepper cover to follow his 2016 version:
(11) HORROR ANTHOLOGY. As recently announced on Episode 140 of The Horror Show with Brian Keene.
Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, and John McIlveen working in concert with Haverhill House’s Twisted Publishing imprint have launched a GoFundMe campaign for a collection of horror short stories titled “The Twisted Book of Shadows“. The unique feature of this collection is that all submissions will be made via a blind process. None of the slots will be reserved for premier authors.
But those books were published during horror literature’s glory days. In the years since, it has grown more and more difficult to persuade publishers to invest in horror anthologies (or anthologies of any sort, really). If Golden wants to pitch an anthology to a mainstream publisher, it’s necessary to compile a list of contributors first. Which means that there’s little opportunity to bring in unknown writers.
Yet those memories remain. We have talked for years about the desire to present an anthology that is open to anyone, and which allows us to follow some personal rules (outlined below). Yes, it’s a massive time commitment, but we-and John McIlveen of Haverhill House-believe it is absolutely worth it. We want to create a market for horror stories that presents a real, professional opportunity.
To that end, THE TWISTED BOOK OF SHADOWS…
- Will have zero spaces reserved for marquee names.
- Will use a blind submissions program (we won’t know who wrote the stories until we’ve selected them).
- Will pay professional rates-a minimum of six cents per word, with a cap on advances of $300 per story.
- Will pay royalties-a pro rata share of 50% of all royalties earned.
How the hell are we going to do this?
If you’re reading this, you already know. We’ve launched this GoFundMe page because we believe there are enough readers out there who will believe in this project to get it funded. We want there to be opportunities out there for horror writers to compete based solely on talent, and to be paid professional rates for their work. Yes, we’re aware six cents per word is not a lot of money, but it’s a start.
(12) THE SKUNKWORKS. You got that right….
I understand (no joke) a Pepe LePew movie is being scripted right now. Which, well. Maybe not a great idea these days. https://t.co/XGxWed3ofk
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) November 9, 2017
(13) BUGGY E-CASH. BBC has the story — “Code bug freezes $150m of Ethereum crypto-cash”.
The bug was in code written by Parity Technologies to create digital wallets holding virtual coins – called Ether.
It let someone hunting for bugs become the joint owner of hundreds of wallets.
However, when the unidentified person tried to reverse their mistake they stopped the original owners of the wallets getting access too.
(14) POTTERMON GO. Look out for this — “Harry Potter game is Pokemon Go creator’s next trick”.
One expert said the Harry Potter brand had the potential for similar success.
Publisher Warner Bros Interactive owns the video game rights to the Harry Potter series. It has previously developed Lego-branded tie-in titles via its TT Games subsidiary as well partnering with Electronic Arts to create action-adventures that launched alongside the movies.
Warner said Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was just one of several new games based on JK Rowling’s characters that are planned. They will all be released under a new label – Portkey Games – so-named because Portkeys transport wizards from place to place in the books.
(15) MOVING IN. The local News-Gazette celebrated their new neighbors, the editors of Uncanny: “Sci-fi-focused Uncanny Magazine takes up residence in Urbana”.
An award-winning online science-fiction magazine read by people all over the world has made the move to Urbana.
University of Illinois graduate Lynne M. Thomas is now a top librarian at the UI, but most of the literary world knows her as a five-time winner of the Hugo, the World Science Fiction Society’s top award.
Her husband, Michael Damian Thomas, a Parkland College graduate, is a stay-at-home dad who cares for their daughter, Caitlin, who has a rare congenital disorder called Aicardi syndrome. When Michael isn’t working as an advocate for children with disabilities, he has also managed to become a two-time Hugo Award winner.
(16) NAME THAT REDHEAD. In one minute, Marvel brings you up to date in X-Men: Jean Grey Through The Years.
Take a moment to relive all the classic moments of Jean Grey, from her debut in 1963’s X-MEN #1 to the return of her adult form in the upcoming PHOENIX: RESURRECTION.
(17) DOUBTFUL. Several members of the cast of Stranger Things were on The Late Late Show with James Corden where they did a skit that claimed at one point the Stranger Things actors and Corden were all in a Motown tribute group called “The Upside Downs.”
[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Dann, Jim Meadows, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Kathy Sullivan, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories,, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]
(1) CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING. Have comic cons reached a saturation point, or is it a problem with this company in particular, which turned over CEOs last year? ICv2 says gateshow runner Wizard World continues to tank — “Wizard World Sales Drop Nearly 50%”.
Wizard World has released its Q2 financials, and the situation has deteriorated even further from the big loss in Q1 (see “Wizard World Revenue Decline Produces Big Operating Loss“). Sales declined 49% in Q2 compared to the same quarter last year, and the company had an operating loss of $1.9 million, compared to a $475,000 operating profit in Q2 2016.
…The company says it is planning 22 events in 2017, and hoping to increase revenue over 2016. That seems a bit of a stretch at this point, with first half sales over $6 million less in 2017 than in 2016.
(2) HOLLYN ON CARSON CENTER ADVISORY BOARD. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln announces: “Carson Center taps arts, entertainment leaders”.
Twenty-five international leaders and innovators in new media will offer their advice and expertise to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.
Founding Director Megan Elliott on Aug. 23 announced the center’s initial advisory board, which will partner in the center’s strategic planning and offer valuable industry insight. The board includes leaders in art, technology, gaming, television and film, design, interactivity, communications and business, among other fields, with experience and connections with mainstays such as Lucasfilm, YouTube, Google, Disney and Paramount Pictures.
One of them is a longtime fan —
Norman Hollyn, the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Film Editing at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Hollyn is a longtime film, TV and music editor.
(3) UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE. Now that its publisher’s attempt to game the NY Times Bestseller list has caused the internet to turn a glaring spotlight on Handbook for Mortals, more of their tricks are coming to light — like the cover’s similarity to another artist’s work.
"Hey can I copy your homework?"
"Yeah just change it up a bit so it doesn't look like you copied." pic.twitter.com/IYVUGBws0B
— Rick Capone (@rcrejino) August 25, 2017
(4) IT GETS VERSE. And Fran Wilde has commemorated the book’s delisting with this parody:
I have read from
on the List
And from which
You probably wanted
But it was bad
— Fran Wilde (@fran_wilde) August 25, 2017
(5) KEEP THE MONEY COMING. Sofawolf’s Kickstarter to publish T. Kingfisher’s Summer in Orcus as an illustrated book has reached all its stretch goals, but if in the remaining hours of the drive they hit $28K then backers will be rewarded with an ebook edition of Black Dogs by Kingfisher’s closer personal friend Ursula Vernon. 🙂
So what’s next? We’ve gone over the financial numbers and everything that we have already committed to, and don’t see enough room for another physical thing without having to introduce some new levels and the resulting chaos that would cause. However, just because we can’t offer another physical thing, doesn’t mean we can’t add on a virtual one.
Many years back, we edited and published the first novel Ursula ever wrote, Black Dogs, as a two-part print edition. For a whole host of reasons (mostly lack of time) we have been slow to tackle the conversion of much of our backlist into eBook format, but we know more than a few of you have been requesting Black Dogs for some time.
Now will be that time.
We’ve gotten the okay from Ursula to release the eBook editions for free to the Kickstarter backers as part of the final stretch goal, which we are going to set at $28K (since we are already almost at $23K and we expect the usual last week frenzy). This will be added to all levels from $8 (Baba Yaga) on up.
If you are not familiar with the story, we want to stress that Black Dogs is not like Summer in Orcus in many ways. While it too centers around a young girl, in this case named Lyra, it is an altogether harsher world which she inhabits; and she both comes from and passes through some dark places to get where she is going. The writing is both clearly very early Ursula, and at the same time, very clearly all Ursula (or T. Kingfisher, or whomever you care to reference).
(6) GUFF DELEGATE. Donna Maree Hanson is chronicling her fan fund trip online. The entries about museum visits are lavishly illustrated with photos of the exhibits. This excerpt is taken from one of the posts about the Worldcon – “Guff # 6 -The Hugo Awards”.
Then it was our turn to go on stage. The ceremony is on You Tube I believe and was webcast. We were in the beginning section. There was an International group of people presenting, South Africa, Poland, China, US and Australia. We had to sit on a sofa on stage and then after we presented we had a short interview. Amazing, John [the TAFF delegate] and I got to plug the fan auction to like 5000 people! They had John’s name wrong in the script so Karen Lord called him Jeff. We gave John a hard time. So Jeff what did you do with John etc.
After the awards ceremony we were invited to the Hugo Losers’ Party. There was a shuttle bus (a small one) so a lot of people took cabs. We waited with C E Murphy and ? (I’m sorry I forgot your name again) and Nalo Hopkinson, George RR Martin, Pat Catigan and others. A Finish fan guy leaped on the bus and Nalo can I come with you and did.
The venue was Helsinki’s steam punk nightclub. It was crowded by the time we got there. Winners turn up and are boohed and made to wear ridiculous head gear. There was an amazing steampunk cake. Lots of booze. Lots of food and desserts in mini containers. The music was good at first but then we tried to dance and the music went to shit. Go figure. I had a blast but wanted to go home. Beans, my daughter, wanted to party and dance and I didn’t get out of there until around 2 am. But I met people, talked to people. John and Valerie turned up late dressed in their steam punk gear. So cute.
Here is a collection of shots, including the steampunk cake. The steampunk couple are John and Valerie Purcell….
(7) MARS CON IN SEPTEMBER. The 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention will take place September 7-10 at UC Irvine.
The four-day International Mars Society Convention brings together leading scientists, engineers, aerospace industry representatives, government policymakers and journalists to talk about the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could help pave the way for a human mission to the planet Mars.
On opening night the convention will feature a panel of science fiction greats discussing “The Human Future in Space.”
Members of this special panel will include Greg Benford (Timescape, The Martian Race, Chiller), David Brin (Startide Rising, The Uplift War, The Postman), Larry Niven (Ringworld, Lucifer’s Hammer, The Integral Trees) and Jerry Pournelle (Footfall, A Mote in God’s Eye, Starswarm).
The science fiction panel discussion will begin at 7:00 pm at the University of California Irvine (A-311 Student Center) and will be open to the public.
Commenting on the panel, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin said, “This will be an extraordinary event. It’s like having a conference panel a generation ago featuring Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. I can hardly wait.”
(8) ARRRH. Gail Selinger’s new pirate history, Pirates of New England: Ruthless Raiders and Rotten Renegades will be released September 1.
One would be mistaken to think of pirates as roaming only the Caribbean. Pirates as famous as William Kidd and Henry Every have at various times plundered, pillaged, and murdered their way up and down the New England seaboard, striking fear among local merchants and incurring the wrath of colonial authorities. Piracy historian Gail Selinger brings these tales of mayhem and villainy to life while also exploring why New England became such a breeding ground for high seas crime and how the view of piracy changed over time, from winking toleration to brutal crackdown….
Gail Selinger is a maritime historian and pirate expert who served as a consultant on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels: Pirate Tech. Her commentary appears on the DVDs of The Princess Bride and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. She is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pirates and lectures on pirates and pirate history.
(9) NOT THE TERRITORY. Alex Acks explains why “I Don’t Like Fantasy Maps”. And it’s not because you can never get them folded up again. Here’s the first of 10 points:
Most of them are terrible. Like geographically, geologically terrible. You’ve already probably seen me complain about the map of Middle Earth. From my experience as a reader, and I’ll readily admit that I have neither had the patience nor time to read every fantasy book ever written, the majority of fantasy maps make me want to tear my hair out as a geologist. Many of them are worse than the Tolkien map, and without his fig leaf of mythology to justify it. (And sorry, it’s not a fig leaf that works for me.)
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
(11) ALIENS AHEAD. The New York Times previews an upcoming exhibit at UC Riverside: “For Latino Artists in Sci-Fi Show, Everyone’s an Alien”.
Starting Sept. 16, Ms. Cortez’s “Memory Insertion Capsule” will greet visitors to “Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas,” an exhibition at the University of California, Riverside that shows Latin American and Latin-heritage artists mining the tropes of science fiction.
Some, like Ms. Cortez, have created startling objects that offer portals into alternative worlds or mimic time machines. Others use the imagery of extraterrestrials to express something of the immigrant’s alienating experience. Most engage in the speculative thinking long associated with science-fiction literature and film to explore social issues.
(12) COURSE CORRECTION. Apparently there was a problem with fulfilling the incentives earned by backers of the 2015 Kickstarter for Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, because the publisher’s new CEO is trying to make it right.
I know that there are some of you who either weren’t sent the correct rewards or any rewards at all. I sincerely apologize for this. There is absolutely NO reason that you shouldn’t have your rewards by now. That is unacceptable and just a little ridiculous. You have our apologies. We’ll absolutely be correcting this sort of problem.
I also wanted it known that Jaym (Gates) is absolutely NOT to blame for the delays. That falls squarely on our shoulders. Throughout, Jaym has been absolutely professional and has worked hard as your advocate. I also wanted to issue a public apology to Jaym for all the delays as well. Thank you for all your hard work and patience, Jaym. We really appreciate it.
Now, onto fulfillment and reward questions. Right now, I’m going through and trying to figure out who has gotten what and who hasn’t. We’re taking steps to get this sorted out immediately and to get everything to you all that you backed in short order.
To that end, it would help us greatly if you would take a few moments and fill this form out –
(13) WHEN TROI WAS ALMOST CANNED. Paramount wanted to let Marina Sirtis know who was wielding the hammer in these contract negotiations.
The final film for the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew was nearly short one cast member. According to Marina Sirtis, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Deanna Troi, negotiations for her return in Star Trek: Nemesis were not going smoothly and at one point Paramount Pictures threatened to replace her in the film with Jeri Ryan, the actress who played the Borg Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager. …While this is the first time that Sirtis has openly discussed the threat, Ryan has mentioned in it the past, saying that she was utterly confused by how Seven of Nine could possibly make sense showing up in a Star Trek: The Next Generation movie. With Star Trek: Voyager off the air as of 2001, Seven of Nine technically wasn’t doing anything else, but with much of Star Trek: Nemesis revolving around Troi’s wedding the film’s script would have needed a serious rewrite to account for Troi’s absence and Seven of Nine’s introduction.
(14) MORE ABOUT W75. Sarah Groenewegen’s Worldcon 75 report is rich in info about the panels: “WorldCon75 – All bound for Helsinki”.
Anyway, I didn’t end up seeing too many panels. I heard about some excellent ones, which will no doubt be highlighted in other reviews and reminiscences. The one that I did see that stood out was the one supposed to be on pre-Harry Potter magical schools. While I quite enjoyed it and found some of the panellists interesting – and I would have like to hear more about Italian versions, rather than just the Anglophone ones – it was a victim of too many panellists for 45 minutes, and the moderator was less than optimally effective, especially when a latecomer arrived on the panel and took over.
The Resistance panel was also good, but very heavily US-centric, saved by Kameron Hurley talking about her experiences in South Africa and drawing on her academic work in the field.
I enjoyed the one on Cyberpunk with Pat Cadigan (but, honestly, I could listen to her all day), and I found Quifan Chen’s contributions to be fascinating about real-life now cyberpunk cities in his native China. I’m reading Pat’s Synners, at long last, and greatly enjoying it.
(15) MAPS OF THE STARS HOMES. For those who have been worried about aliens tracking us down and mugging us based on information we’ve sent into the universe, this might represent good news…. Ethan Siegel tells Medium readers, “Voyager’s ‘Cosmic Map’ of Earth’s location is hopelessly wrong”.
Located throughout the galaxy, the Voyager golden records are emblazoned with the relative orientations, distances, and pulse timing frequencies of 14 different pulsars. (The Pioneer 10 and 11 missions also have the pulsar information on them.)…
Pulsars were only first discovered 50 years ago (by Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, above) in 1967; they were incredibly novel still when the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft were launched. Now that we have a better understanding of how they work, how ubiquitous they are, and how their apparent properties change over time, we can see that these are terrible long-term beacons! In hindsight, it would have been better to put together the astronomical properties of the Sun, along with the masses, radii, atmospheric contents, and orbital parameters of the planets. After all, those are the pieces of information we use to identify exoplanet systems today, and would be the best way to, on a long-term basis, identify our Solar System.
(16) BANGING ON. Someone wants to know: “Is Canada’s official residence in Ireland haunted?”
Canada’s ambassador to Ireland is concerned about ghosts.
Specifically, Ambassador Kevin Vickers is worried about a spirit that might be haunting Canada’s official residence in Dublin.
In a recent Facebook post, the ambassador describes hearing unusual bangs, laboured breathing and heavy footsteps in the residence’s halls.
Mr Vickers, a history buff, suggests it may be the spirit of one of the leaders of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising.
When he first moved into the residence, the ambassador heard rumours that Irish nationalist Patrick Pearse had once lived at the home in Dublin’s Ranelagh district.
Pearse was one of the architects of the April 1916 rebellion to overthrow British rule and set up an Irish republic.
(17) MINNEAPOLIS FANHISTORY. Fanac.org has posted a photo-illustrated audio recording on YouTube of the “Minneapolis Fandom, 4th Street Fantasy & Music” panel at Balticon 51.
Geri Sullivan (Balticon 51 Fan Guest of Honor) and Steven Brust (Balticon 51 Special Guest) tell the true story of Minneapolis fandom from rent parties to 4th Street Fantasy to the music. Steve talks about how he programmed conventions, and where he got the idea for his first book, and Geri talks about her first years in fandom. There are great anecdotes about Steve, convention running and more, but overwhelmingly this audio program (with supplemental images) is about the music and culture of Minneapolis fandom. The fan history program was developed for Balticon 51 by the Fanac Fanhistory project.
[Thanks to Greg Hullender, Carl Slaughter, JJ, Paul Weimer, Chip Hitchcock, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor Hampus Eckerman.]
By Rob Jackson: As Corflu Fifty administrators, Rich Coad and I are delighted to announce that Geri Sullivan has accepted the group’s nomination to travel to Tynecon III: The Corflu in Newcastle in March next year. (She not only said yes, but Rich says she said “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, oh my god, yes!”) The con committee have already decided she will be given free membership of the convention, but other details will be announced later.
Corflu Fifty members are invited to support the fund in the usual way $25 or £15, or whatever extra you would like to give – and those who are not members of the Corflu Fifty are cordially invited either to join (so you can help choose future nominees, of course), or to contribute to support Geri’s trip this coming year. If you would like to join or contribute, please get in touch with Rich or me for details.
Mail checks made out to Rich Coad, at 2132 Berkeley Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401; or PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org (I think if you say it’s a gift and personal there is no fee).
For UK contributions, either by old-fashioned cheque posted to me, Rob Jackson, at Chinthay, Nightingale Lane, Hambrook, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8UH, or by PayPal to email@example.com, (friends and family, I think you call it).