(1) BEYOND “MY BAD”. In this video Cat Rambo offers pro tips about “How to Screw Up”. Which maybe you thought you already knew how to do, right? That’s probably true. Cat’s advice is really about what to do afterwards.
(2) BONESTELLS SELL IN HERITAGE AUCTION. “Mars Illustration a Top Lot at $2.3-Million Heritage Auction” – Fine Books and Collections has the story.
…Just a couple of months after the Perseverance Rover landing on Mars, Chesley Bonestell’s The Exploration of Mars book cover, Winged Rocket Ferry Orbits Mars Prior to Landing after 250-Day Flight, 1956 soared to $87,500, nearly three times its high pre-auction estimate. The offered image appeared on the cover of Wernher von Braun’s iconic book, The Exploration of Mars. The painting illustrates von Braun’s design for the space ship that would allow humans to go where no man had gone before.
A second work by Bonestell, Mars as Seen from the Outer Satellite, Deimos, The Solar System interior book illustration, 1961, brought a winning bid of $41,250.
(3) WOMEN’S PRIZE. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] The shortlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, an important UK literary award, has been announced. Piranesi by Susannah Clarke is one of the finalists. Another finalist is at least borderline SF and yet another is a crime novel: “Women’s prize for fiction shortlist entirely first-time nominees” in the Guardian. The winner will be announced July 7, and receive £30,000.
The 2021 Women’s prize shortlist
- The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Dialogue)
- Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
- Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)
- Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Viking)
- How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones (Headline)
- No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood (Bloomsbury)
(4) DOCTOR WHO BLOG TOUR. Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: Vol. 1: Alternating Current blog tour will be visiting File 770 on May 24 to share an art preview.
(5) NO STARTING GATE. In “The Art of Worldbuilding In Media Res” on CrimeReads, Nicole Kornher-Stace recommends novels by Lauren Beukes, Hannu Rajanemi, and Stephen Graham Jones for readers who want to start their novels with an action scene without a lot of backstory about how the world you are creating operates.
…Stephen Graham Jones’s The Only Good Indians starts practically in the middle of a parking-lot bar brawl, full of asides about events and characters that will make no sense to you until you get further in, but you’re being reeled into the story one sucker-punch of a sentence at a time. You don’t care that you don’t understand yet. You don’t need to. You’re immersed, and you realize distantly that you have no idea who or what is being referenced in some of these asides, but by that point you’re in it up to the eyeballs, and the only way out is through….
(6) NOT A SILENT MOVIE. A Quiet Place Part II will be in theatres May 28.
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
(7) THAT’S T-REX SHIRT, NOT T-SHIRT. [Item by Daniel Dern.] From the company that has brought great (but not all still available) planets’n’space designs (see “Shirts Are The Reason for the Season”), a dino-themed Hawaiian shirt:
I don’t remember my dino chronology to know off-hand whether this is era-ologically inaccurate (were they all contemporaneous and in the Jurassic), but do we care?
I have several High Seas shirts already, they’re well made and worth the price.
I’d sent this to Robert J. Sawyer, since he’s a dinophile (or at least knowledgeable about ’em), for interest, along with my comment that I didn’t know enough to be sure whether the shirt was, chronologically, inaccurate/misleading. Here’s his reply, which he OK’d to use:
Robert J. Sawyer: “Very cool! They aren’t all contemporaneous, sadly. Triceratops (lower left) is the very end of the Cretaceous, for instance. But it’s a great-looking shirt!”
(8) NEW ATTITUDE. Here’s an art piece of Guilala, the kaiju in 1967’s The X From Outer Space — as a muppet. The artist is Melanie Scott/
(9) STRANGER THINGS. In “Stranger Things 4 clip teases Hawkins National Laboratory footage, Eleven clip”, SYFY Wire sets the scene.
Whatever’s happening underground at Hawkins, it definitely looks sinister… but then again, didn’t it always? Netflix is seemingly hinting that new evils are brewing for Stranger Things 4, and they’re unfolding mostly out of sight, inside the secret government lab that formerly served as Eleven’s supernaturally cold childhood home.
(10) LEON OBIT. Talented comics artist John Paul Leon has died of cancer May 1 at the age of 49: “DC Remembers John Paul Leon 1972 – 2021” at the DC blog.
From his time drawing the iconic Milestone Media hero Static Shock while a junior at New York’s School of Visual Arts to his work on the genre-defining Earth X for Marvel in the late 1990s to his recent DC work with writer Kurt Busiek on Batman: Creature of the Night and the upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special, Leon brought his unmistakable take to everything that he touched.
DC executives and talent alike shared their thoughts across social media at the news of his passing. DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee offered high praise for Leon, saying, “One of the greatest artists of our generation, he was also one of the nicest and most talented creators one could be lucky enough to have met.”…
(11) MEMORY LANE.
1971 –Fifty years ago, Mary Stewart won the first Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for The Crystal Cave. The other nominated works were The Marvellous Misadventures of Sebastian by Lloyd Alexander, Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz and Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny. She would later win another Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for The Hollow Hills novel. These would be her only genre awards.
(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born May 6, 1915 — Orson Welles. Certainly the broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” in 1938 was his pinnacle of genre success but he also did for the Federal Theatre Project the 1936 adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast. That was known as the Voodoo Macbeth which might give you an idea of what he did to it. He would later do a more straightforward film of Macbeth. And of course he made a most excellent radio Shadow as well! (Died 1985.) (CE)
- Born May 6, 1923 – Gordon Davies. Ninety covers for us; some other work e.g. the Eagle Annual. Here is the Nov 52 Authentic. Here is Earthlight. Here is Space Cadet. Here is C. Brown ed., Alien Worlds. Here is M. Ashley ed., The History of the SF Magazine pt. 4. (Died 1994) [JH]
- Born May 6, 1927 – Gerard Quinn. Fourscore covers, two hundred eighty interiors. Here is Gateway to Tomorrow. Here is Jack of Eagles. Here is a drawing that appears to have been auctioned at Loncon I the 15th Worldcon. Here is the Nov 61 New Worlds. Here is the Apr/May 82 Extro. Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here. (Died 2015) [JH]
- Born May 6, 1946 — Nancy Kilpatrick, 75. Fangoria called her “Canada’s answer to Anne Rice”. I do recommend the anthology she edited Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper as it’s a most excellent horror collection. She’s exceptionally well stocked at the usual suspects. (CE)
- Born May 6, 1950 – Craig Strete, age 71. Six novels, threescore shorter stories for us; eight other novels. Did this cover for Red Planet Earth 2 while editor. First place in the 1984 Dramatists Guild – CBS New Plays Program. Sometimes uses the name Sovereign Falconer; he is Cherokee. [JH]
- Born May 6, 1952 — Michael O’Hare. He was best known for playing Commander Jeffrey Sinclair on Babylon 5. Other genre appearances were limited — he played Fuller in the 1984 film C.H.U.D, was Jimmy in the “ Heretic” episode of Tales from the Darkside and appeared as a thug on the subway train in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. And yes he’s one of many Babylon 5 actors who died well before they should’ve. (Died 2012.) (CE)
- Born May 6, 1955 – Barbara McClintock, age 66. Half a dozen covers for us. Here is The Red-Eared Ghosts. Here is a Complete Tales of Uncle Remus (who, I respectfully suggest, deserves study, even with our modern reservations, however late we have been with them, in hand). Various books and prizes; five NY Times Best Books, two Time Best Books. Sets and costumes for the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Twelve Dancing Princesses. Illustrated for Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. Website. [JH]
- Born May 6, 1962 – Kamil Vojnar, age 59. Threescore covers. Here is Killing Time. Here is Flying in Place. Here is Others of My Kind. [JH]
- Born May 6, 1969 — Annalee Newitz, 52. They are the winner of a Hugo Award for Best Fancast At Dublin 2019 for “Our Opinions Are Correct”. And their novel Autonomous was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novel, John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Locus Award for Best First Novel while winning a Lambda Literary Award. They are also the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction, ”When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis”. (CE)
- Born May 6, 1983 – Ingrid Jonach, age 38. One novel for us; three others. “Once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.” [JH]
(13) COMICS SECTION.
- xkcd has a bit of a time warp.
- While Dilbert has (theoretically) found a cure to racism.
- Danish cartoonist Wulffmorgenthaler’s May 3 has Sauron visiting a construction side. Translation to English: “Hm… Well, I know art deco is beautiful, but we were thinking more like gothic and black for my tower…” Lise Andreasen says, “I love the orc driving The Eye around.)”
(14) HERE’S LOKI AT YOU, KID. SYFY Wire covers an announcement by “Marvel Studios’ Loki”.
Channeling Loki himself, Disney+ decided to pivot without warning by moving the debut of the character’s Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show up two days to Wednesday, June 9. In fact, all episodes of Loki will now premiere on Wednesdays, instead of the usual Friday window that was reserved for WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Tom Hiddleston confirmed the news during a special video announcement that begins with an epic display of famous Marvel props: Iron Man’s helmet, Cap’s shield, and, of course, Thor’s hammer.
“Look, I’m sorry to interrupt,” Hiddleston says, abruptly cutting off the noble montage. “It’s just I’ve noticed that in these long superhero montages, Loki tends to get a bit left out, even though, arguably, he’s incredibly heroic himself [as well as] cunning and charming. I could go on, but maybe … why don’t I just prove it to you? Wednesdays are the new Fridays.”
(15) TRAILER ON STEROIDS. Screen Culture shares “DC’s The Batman (2022) Ultimate Trailer”.
Take a look at our ultimate trailer for Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022), the trailer features footage from ‘The Batman Official Trailer’ as well as from previous Batman films and contains scenes that resonates with the actual plot for ‘The Batman’
(16) COMICS/GAME CROSSOVER. Here’s a clip promoting Batman’s entry into Fortnite.
Featured in the new Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point comics, Grab the Batman Zero Outfit in the Fortnite Shop now!
(17) A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY NOT SO FAR AWAY. Mike Dunford, a lawyer who does law streams on Twitch called The Questionable Authority, did a lawstream about the time Star Wars tried to sue the original Battlestar Galactica series for copyright infringement. The discussion of the lawsuit itself is here if people are interested. The stfnal part starts 50 minutes in. He created a cool intro to his talk:
(18) SCREENLESS. [Item by David Doering.] The Engineering heroes at my alma mater, BYU, are developing incredible 3D simulations without monitors. Yes, free-floating 3D images of the Enterprise in combat with a Bird of Prey or a light saber battle. Wow. Has to be seen to be believed. “Using lasers to create the displays of science fiction, inspired by Star Wars and Star Trek”.
Inspired by the displays of science fiction like the holodeck from Star Trek and the Princess Leia projector from Star Wars, a BYU electrical and computer engineering team is working to develop screenless volumetric display technologies. Led by Dan Smalley, BYU professor of electical engineering, the team uses laser beams to trap and illuminate a particle and then to move the particle and draw an image in mid-air. “Like a 3D printer for light,” these displays appear as physical objects to the viewer and, unlike a screen-based image, can be seen from any angle. In this demonstration of the technology, the team shows how they’ve created tiny animations of battle explosions and other images created completely with laser light. Smalley also provides an update on new research that shows how to simulate virtual images in a volumetric display (research published in the April 6, 2021 issue of Scientific Reports).
(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Cat Rambo has lots of other good advice, in this video about “5 Tips for Story Submissions.”
I’ve talked before about sending out fantasy and science fiction story submissions. Here’s five tips (well, four and a half, really) about what to do once you’ve submitted a story.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Cora Buhlert, John Hertz, Dann, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Lise Andreasen, David Doering, Ben Bird Person, Cat Eldridge, Jennifer Hawthorne, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]