(1) GOLDEN VOICES. AudioFile Magazine’s 2023 Golden Voice Award winners are Nicholas Boulton, Marin Ireland and Kevin R. Free. All three have done some genre books. Narrator Kevin R. Free has done the most:
Tell us about a memorable character you’ve given voice to. And please name a couple of your favorite performances.
This is a difficult question! I really enjoyed creating a first-person narrative for Noa, the main character in A COMPLICATED LOVE STORY SET IN SPACE by Shaun David Hutchinson. He is a scared teenager with a bit of a sardonic edge. I also find myself thinking about THE COST OF KNOWING by Brittney Morris and THE BOOK OF FATAL ERRORS by Dashka Slater a lot, and how grateful I was to record those titles. The reads I have done of Brandon Taylor, F.T. Lukens, and Hilton Als change my life every time. And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries. Murderbot is the gift that keeps on giving!
(2) MAGNIFICON REPORT. Marcin Klak celebrates “20 years of Magnificon”, a Polish manga and anime con, at Fandom Rover. He comments on two major changes for the early days:
…Magnificon is now run by a company and is a commercial event. The dealer’s hall is one of the most important aspects of it. And in this regard a lot has changed. Firstly I was sad that there were no publishers or book stores selling manga. I would love to browse a bit and buy something interesting. On the other hand there were many booths of artists and I appreciate it a lot. I managed to buy a paper version of Yaoi Market. It is a Polish comic that mocks both cliches in yaoi manga and supermarkets in Poland.
Another big change (when comparing to “ages ago”) is related to guests. For years having a guest from Japan was a dream for M&A cons. At Magnificon there were guests from Japan (plural form!) including Mika Kobayashi. I didn’t listen to any of the concerts but am quite happy that we finally can invite Japanese guests including some very well known artists!…
…Receiving this grant is a tremendous honor for our organization. It validates the tireless efforts of our members in advocating for underrepresented voices in the speculative fiction genre. With this support, we can continue to foster a thriving community that celebrates and amplifies the narratives of Black creators, nurturing their talents and providing a platform for their imaginative works to shine.
The impact of this grant goes far beyond the financial assistance it provides. It serves as a beacon of encouragement, inspiring us to push boundaries, challenge stereotypes, and explore uncharted territories in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. The recognition from esteemed organizations like yours fuels our determination to break down barriers and ensure that the genre reflects the rich tapestry of human experiences….
(4) EASTERCON BELFAST UPDATE. [Item by James Bacon.] The 2025 Eastercon, which will be held in Belfast, N.I has delayed its membership rate increase until July 2.
Tommy Ferguson, Jo Zebedee and myself met for multiple meetings over the weekend. We are behind, so apologies for that from us as that is on us as chairs.
Tommy hurt his spine, while work has been busy for us all, and so we have fallen behind with some of our tasks that we expected to have had completed by now, the time of our first price rise.
So with that in mind we are going to pause our price rise until the 2nd of July.
Our Accessibility team and Code of Conduct team have signed off on those polices, and we are preparing our website.
We will have these policies up and live soon, and will let you know when they are live, shared on our site.
We are thinking about space allocation, which is important, and have had quotes from a local child minding operation.
We will be at Qcon in Belfast and Enniskillen comic fest to promote the con, and getting members, which is a priority for sure and as both these events are in June, we will take the price rise delay as a sales tactic to those events. Finding the positives as we can.
So once, again, our price rise will occur on the 2nd of July and we will share our website when it is ready, our apologies for the delay, we as chairs fell behind.
As ever welcome queries or questions to [email protected]
(5) LEARNING WHO’S WHO IN FANHISTORICAL PHOTOS. UC Riverside’s Andrew Lippert reports nearly 6,000 digitized images from the Jay Kay Klein photographs collection are now more accessible thanks to new, more descriptive and contextual information in this article from September 2021: “Klein photographs collection now more accessible”. One of the big issues when these photos from Worldcons of the Sixties and Seventies first went online is how few people had been accurately identified.
…“Special acknowledgement is also due to the FANAC Fan History Project and Fancyclopedia 3; they were both invaluable resources for this project,” Lippert said. “It is difficult to say that this work will ever truly be ‘finished,’ as there are always more identifications to make and more contextual information to add. However, this new version of the metadata will certainly make these photographs more accessible by orders of magnitude.”
“Working on this project was a labor of love that immersed me in science fiction fandom and convention culture spanning several decades from the 1950s through the 1970s,” Lippert added. “Engaging with a single large archival collection on a daily basis always creates a sense of familiarity with the individual(s) and the subject matter that make up that collection; it was no different with Klein’s photos.” Lippert came to feel that he was getting to know some of the mainstays of the SF scene of that era as he found them in photo after photo at convention after convention. “My work on this project led me down countless rabbit holes, paths of discovery, and gave me so much invaluable context for the varied materials of the Eaton Collection as a whole,” he added….
(6) THE DEFINITIVE RANKING OF ANIMATED MOVIES. With the premiere of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, JustWatch offers fans this ranking of all of the animated movies by their popularity and where the Oscar-winning animated film starring Miles Morales fits in.
It’s not surprising that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse takes the first place, as the movie won Best Animated Feature and was an unexpected box office success. Right after the newcomer ranked the hits of 2001: Shrek and Spirited Away. A small waste-collecting robot WALL-E wins 6th place, scoring twice as many points as the movie Up.
(7) MEMORY LANE.
1986 – [Written by Cat Eldridge from a choice by Mike Glyer.]
Leigh Kennedy’s The Journal of Nicholas the American is the Beginning this Scroll.
American, she moved to Britain where she’s lived for over three decades. She was married to Christopher Priest from 1988 until 2011, they have twins.
She has two Nebula nominations, one for her “Her Furry Face” short story and the other for this novel. She’s written one other genre novel, Saint Hiroshima, and a generous amount of short fiction, most of which is collected in Faces and Wind Angels.
And now our Beginning…
17 February 198—
Papa visited me last night. I am thinking that I may have to hide now.
Once again, someone has discovered us–he’s looking for the family, looking for the pozhar-golava. When I was small, a man came looking for old scandal. He didn’t know that dealing with Fyodor Nicholaevich was like trying to fool yourself. Grandfather (my Papa told me once) had him figured out in a moment; he knew he could lie to him, and he did. No, the Dais were city people, from Petrograd–oh, no, we must call it Leningrad now, eh? The man was a refugee from the Hungarian Uprising in 1957, still new to America. Grandfather snowed him with political talk, but if he had been from the Soviet Union, all the lies would have been transparent.
The search for pozhar-golava was forgotten–obviously our family had nothing to do with strange powers and bloody nights.
When I got home from class yesterday, I knew that Papa was in my apartment, I felt him there as I wheeled my bicycle into the garage. I picked up the vodka bottle that I had tossed down onto the grass from the top of my steps last week when I’d been drinking. My landlady never seemed to notice such things, but I felt guilty.
As I got out my key–I don’t know why I always pretend ignorance about my father’s presence–he was already saying hello in his way.
“Papa,” I said, and set my texts on the bookshelves inside the door, then carried my package to the kitchen.
“How are you, Kolya?” “
“Fine, fine.” I opened the cupboard in my tiny kitchen and took down two glasses.
My father stood in the doorway. “Can’t we talk first?”
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born May 31, 1895 — George Stewart. Author of Earth Abides which won the first International Fantasy Award in 1951. It’s worth noting that his novel Storm which had as its protagonist a Pacific storm called Maria prompted the National Weather Service to use personal names to designate storms. (Died 1980.)
- Born May 31, 1897 — Christine Hartley, better known as Christine Campbell Thomson. Best known for her horror anthologies published in the 1920s and 1930s. The first, Not at Night gave its name to the whole series, which ran to eleven volumes. In all, there were 170 stories including ones by Howard and Lovecraft, and, according to bibliographer Mike Ashley, a hundred of these came from Weird Tales. All of the fiction she wrote was done under the pen name of Flavia Richardson. Neither the anthologies or her fiction appear to be in print currently. (Died 1985.)
- Born May 31, 1907 — Peter Fleming. Elder brother of that Fleming. Among his works is a novel written in 1940, The Flying Visit about an unintended visit to Britain by Adolf Hitler. It’s apparently a comedy. The Sixth Column: A Singular Tale of Our Time is also genre. (Died 1971.)
- Born May 31, 1918 — Bryce Walton. Writer on Captain Video and His Video Rangers though I can’t tell you exactly what that means as IMDB lists the numbers of episodes he did as unknown. He also wrote for Alfred Hitchcock Presents including “The Greatest Monster of Them All” which is definitely genre. He wrote one SF novel, Sons of the Ocean Deeps, and has one collection of stories, “Dark of the Moon” and Other Tales. (Died 1988.)
- Born May 31, 1930 — Gary Brandner. He’s best known for The Howling trilogy. The first book was adapted quite loosely into The Howling. Brandner’s second and third Howling novels have no connection to the movie series, though he was involved with writing the screenplay for the second Howling movie, Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf. Who came up with that title? Howling IV: The Original Nightmare is actually the most faithful adaptation of his first novel hence the title. (Died 2013.)
- Born May 31, 1946 — Melisa C. Michaels. Author of the Skyrider series, which starred hotshot belter pilot Melacha Rendell, and a handful of other books, mostly genre. Her short story, “In the Country of the Blind, No One Can See” was included in Terry Carr’s Best SF of the Year 9 anthology. She was SFWA’s webmaster for several years, and received a SFWA service medal in 2008. She also ran a couple of small presses over the years, including Embiid Publishing, one of the very first small-press e-book publishers. (Died 2019.) (Xtifr)
- Born May 31, 1968 — John Connolly, 55. Best known for his Charlie Parker noir crime series where his character solves mysteries by talking to dead. His Chronicles of the Invaders written with Jennifer Ridyard, his wife, are more traditional SF as is the Samuel Johnson series.
- Born May 31, 1979 — Sophia McDougall, 44. She has a very well crafted alternative history series, the Romanitas series, In which Rome did not fall and rules the world today. She has two SF novels —Mars Evacuees is sort of YA alien invasion novel; Space Hostages reminds of a Heinlein YA novel.
(9) COMICS SECTION.
- Mother Goose and Grimm shows two figures from horror experiencing a moment of unexpected terror.
- Lio catches a big one.
- Tom Gauld’s imagination isn’t on strike, but one of his creations is.
(10) FEAR THE INVISIBLE MAN. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] There’s a behind the scenes short for Fear the Invisible Man.
Looks like that despite some key changes to the novel, they are very much keeping in with the spirit of the novel. There is also a nod to James Whale version with Claude Rains costume near beginning.
(11) EARLY ASIAN-AMERICAN MOVIE SAVED. “A Rare 1914 Silent Film Was Considered Lost Forever. A Professor Rescued It From a Vault” from the Wall Street Journal. Northeastern University professor Denise Khor made the discovery.
…A film studio called the Japanese American Film Company made the movie, Khor said. The film had a mostly Japanese cast, a rarity in an era when white Americans used yellowface in other films. The studio portrayed a respectable Japanese man in the U.S. at a time of growing anti-Japanese sentiment, Khor said.
Japanese-Americans in the 1910s were trying to claim a place in the burgeoning U.S. film industry, Khor said. Anti-Japanese attitudes and small filmmaking and marketing budgets blocked their way.
L’Abbate, from the Eastman Museum, said the surviving 1914 film reels came from an unknown source. A donor gave them to the museum between 1950 and 1975, when the museum began collecting old film reels. They were placed for safekeeping in the museum’s frigid vaults in Chili, N.Y., outside Rochester….
(12) THE LAST MEN ON EARTH. Biosphere comes to theaters and VOD on July 7.
Billy (Mark Duplass) and Ray (Sterling K. Brown) are lifelong best friends, brothers from another mother – and the last two men on earth. Their survival is largely due to Ray, a brilliant scientist who designed a domed structure with all the systems necessary to sustain life on a planet that could no longer support it. Their custom biosphere is outfitted with basic necessities and creature comforts that make it possible to retain a sense of what life used to be like. A hydroponic garden provides fresh vegetables and a carefully managed fishpond supplies essential protein. Recently, however, fish have begun dying at an alarming rate. With a mere three fish remaining, Billy and Ray face an ominous future. But life may yet find a way.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Rich Lynch, James Bacon, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]