First Fandom has announced the candidates for the organization’s three annual awards. Members have until May 1 to vote
FIRST FANDOM HALL OF FAME
The First Fandom Hall of Fame, created in 1963, is a prestigious achievement award given to a living recipient who has made significant contributions to Science Fiction throughout their lifetime.
“Michael John Moorcock is an English writer, particularly of science fiction and fantasy, who has published a number of well-received literary novels as well as comic thrillers, graphic novels and non-fiction. He has worked as an editor and is also a successful musician. He is best known for his novels about the character Elric of Melniboné, which were a seminal influence on the field of fantasy in the 1960s and ’70s.” “As editor of the British science fiction magazine New Worlds, from May 1964 until March 1971 and then again from 1976 to 1996, Moorcock fostered the development of the SF “New Wave” in the UK and indirectly in the US, leading to the advent of cyberpunk.” “He also has published pastiches of writers including Edger Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and Leigh Brackett. He was a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers’ Guild of America. The SFWA named him their 25th Grand Master.” “Novels and series such as the Cornelius Quartet, Mother London, King of the City, the Pyat Quartet and the short story collection London Bone have established him in the eyes of critics.” (Excerpted from a longer article in Wikipedia)
William Patrick Murray is a prolific author, essayist, contributing editor, series writer, movie tie-in writer, producer of audio books and ebooks, ghostwriter, comics novelist, literary executor, collector, and contributor to encyclopedias and dictionaries. His work has kept alive beloved characters from the past. He is the award-winning author of hundreds of stories, non-fiction articles, books, and dozens of introductions to anthologies. He has written many short stories of the characters Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Honey West, the Hulk, Green Hornet, Zorro, and Lee Falk’s The Phantom. And, with Steve Ditko he created the super hero Squirrel Girl. He is a genuine enthusiast who has worked with the estates of prominent authors such as Lester Dent and Edger Rice Burroughs to write authorized adventures of characters from the days of radio and pulps, including the Shadow, Doc Savage, Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, the Spider, the Whisperer, Sherlock Holmes, Black Mask, Operator #5, G-8 and His Battle Aces, Spicy Zeppelin, King Kong, and H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. (Based on a longer article in Wikipedia)
POSTHUMOUS HALL OF FAME
The Posthumous Hall of Fame was created in 1994 to acknowledge people in Science Fiction who should have, but did not, receive that type of recognition during their lifetimes.
“Ken William Kelly (May 19, 1946 – June 2, 2022) was an American fantasy artist. Over his 50-year career, he focused in particular on SCIENTIFICTION 1Q2023 New Series #75, Page 6 paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres.” “Throughout the 1970s he was a prominent cover artist for Warren Publishing’s Creepy and Eerie magazines.” “His work often portrays exotic, enchanted locales and primal battlefields. He depicted Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, and the rock acts KISS, Rainbow, and Ace Frehley.” (Excerpted from a longer article in Wikipedia)
Conrad H. Ruppert
Conrad H. Ruppert was an early STF fan, a card-carrying reporter for Gernsback’s Science and Invention magazine (1924-25), a printer, and a pioneering science fiction journalist. He will likely best be remembered as the person who painstakingly set the type by hand for many of the earliest and finest fanzines such as The Time Traveller, Science Fiction Digest, Fantasy Magazine, The Fantasy Fan, and later, The Weinbaum Memorial Volume (1938) and The Souvenir Journal of the World Science Fiction Convention (1939). The professional appearance of Ruppert’s typeset publications set the highest standard for other fan printers and helped to legitimize the idea of fans publishing science fiction. He won a cash prize from Gernsback in an early contest that promoted science fiction. Ruppert was also a life-long photographer who stood outside the entrance to the first Worldcon on July 2, 1939, and made pictures of the big-name fans and pros as they arrived. Three dozen of Ruppert’s photos that he made at the 1939 New York World’s Fair are part of the Smithsonian Museum’s Collection. It is due to Ruppert’s tireless efforts as science fiction’s preeminent printer during a critical time in early fandom history that he is still remembered and highly-regarded today.
SAM MOSKOWITZ ARCHIVE AWARD
Sam Moskowitz Archive Award was created in 1998 to recognize not only someone who has assembled a world-class collection but also what has actually been done with it.
John L. Coker III
For more than thirty-five years, hundreds of John’s photos and articles in the imaginative literature genre have been published widely in magazines, newspapers, on book covers, in digital media, as well as in program books for numerous World Fantasy and World Science Fiction Conventions and have been featured in such publications as The New York Times and USA Today Weekend. John has been a regular photographer and reporter for Scientifiction, columnist for Tangent magazine, and a contributor to LOCUS and SF Chronicle. John edited three books for Days of Wonder Publishers about David A. Kyle (2006), Ray Bradbury (2008), and Forrest J Ackerman and Julius Schwartz (2009). He was a contributing editor for The Sam Moskowitz Bibliography and Guide by Hal W. Hall (2017), and Futures Past: A Visual History of Science Fiction, 1926 (Jim Emerson, 2014). A founding member of First Fandom Experience, John is a contributing editor and principal historian for their books. John has assembled a large collection of vintage photos, fan magazines, and personal interviews which he incorporates into his publications. He is an active member of FAPA and N3F. With co-author Jon D. Swartz, he has published six volumes of the First Fandom Annual. John helped establish and nurture the First Fandom Archive to help preserve original science fiction-related items and make them available for historic research.
[From Scientifiction, the First Fandom quarterly newsletter, No. 75 – 1Q2023, edited by John L. Coker III.]
This year Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki became the first African writer to win the Nebula Award for Best Novelette for his story “O2 Arena ,” with that story also making him the first African writer to be a finalist for the Hugo Award in the same category. In addition, he became the first person from Africa to be a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Editor, Short Form, for his work on the groundbreaking anthology Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction.
This fundraiser is to allow Ekpeki to travel from Nigeria to attend Chicon 8, the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Chicago. In addition to allowing Ekpeki to attend the Worldcon where he is a finalist for two Hugo Awards, the fundraiser will also enable him to work on building in-person connections at Worldcon between genre fans and professionals from Africa and around the world….
(2) 2024 NASFIC BID. The Buffalo in 2024 NASFiC bid chair Wayne Brown answered File 770’s question about who is on the committee. Says Brown:
We have a small group right now but are looking to add more committee members. Right now the committee consists of:
The next day we had a parade through central London and even the Daleks were well behaved.
(5) PULP FOREVER. Cora Buhlert has an essay about Harald Harst, a forgotten German pulp detective of the Weimar Republic era, in The Drink Tank #439 on page 10:
So-called dime novels or penny dreadfuls are a child of the industrial revolution, when the invention of the rotary printing press made it possible to publish cheap literature for the masses. The dime novel was born in the mid-nineteenth century and in the United States gave way to pulp magazines at the turn of the twentieth century. But in Germany, the dime novel never died….
(6) HE’S BACK. Netflix announced The Sandman will begin airing August 5.
There is another world that waits for all of us when we close our eyes and sleep — a place called the Dreaming, where The Sandman, Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives shape to all of our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever. To restore order, Dream must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities — both cosmic and human — along the way. Based on the beloved award-winning DC comic series written by Neil Gaiman, THE SANDMAN is a rich, character-driven blend of myth and dark fantasy woven together over the course of ten epic chapters following Dream’s many adventures.
(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
1980 – [By Cat Eldridge.] It’s been forty-two years since this film came out and I can’t remember if I’ve seen it. It certainly sounds familiar but that doesn’t mean anything. So let’s get to it.
It was both directed and written by William Sachs who previously had done Secrets of the Gods (re-released in theatres as The Force Beyond in 1977) and The Incredible Melting Man. It was produced by Marilyn Jacobs Tenser who had absolutely no genre background though she did produce Superchick and The Pom Pom Girls.
The cast consisted of Stephen Macht, Avery Schreiber. James David, Hinton Lionel and Mark Smith. And one more individual — Dorothy Stratten. Now let’s be honest, Dorothy Stratten was Galaxina. Literally. And as she was a Playboy Playmate, she was the only draw for this R-rated SF film which also had a triple breasted alien in it a decade before Total Recall had its triple-breasted Mars whore.
As Jeffrey Anderson said in his review, “Unfortunately, the actual movie isn’t much. Stratten in fact plays a robot and doesn’t do or say much for at least the first half of the movie; and, despite her Playboy status, she keeps her clothes on. Then we’ve got the rest of the movie to deal with: it’s a lazy attempt to spoof the popular sci-fi movies of the day, including Star Wars, Alien, and many others, but the jokes are little more than references and they simply don’t work.”
It was made in less than three weeks on a shoestring budget of about five million and the box office was somewhat less than that. It was never released outside of the States.
No, the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes do not like it, giving it just a twenty-three percent rating.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 6, 1918 — Richard Crane. In the Fifties, he would be cast in two of the series that largely defined the look and feel of televised SF for a decade. First, he was the dashing lead in Rocky Jones, Space Ranger which lasted for thirty-nine thrilling episodes; second, he’s Dick Preston in nine of the twelve episodes of the wonderfully titled Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe. He was also the lead in the fifteen-chapter serial Mysterious Island which was a very loose adaption of the Jules Verne novel. He died far too young died of a heart attack at the age of fifty. (Died 1969.)
Born June 6, 1931 — Joan Marshall. She played Lt. Areel Shaw in Star Trek‘s “Court Martial”, a rather excellent affair. Her other major genre other was as Wilma in The Twilight Zone‘s “Dead Man’s Shoes”. She also had roles in Men in Space, The Outer Limits, The Munsters and I-Spy. The Munsters appearance was in My Fair Munster, the Unaired Pilot as Phoebe Munster. (Died 1992.)
Born June 6, 1936 — Levi Stubbs. Remember the voice of Audrey in The Little Shop of Horrors film? (It was nominated for a Hugo at Conspiracy ’87 the year Aliens won.) Well that was this individual who was the lead vocalist of the Four Tops. Cool, very cool. On the film soundtrack, he performs “Feed Me (Git It)”, “Suppertime” and “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space”. (Died 2008.)
Born June 6, 1947 — Robert Englund, 75. I think his best performance was as Blackie on the very short-lived Nightmare Cafe. Short-lived as in just six episodes. Of course most will remember him playing Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. He actually appeared in a couple of now forgotten horror films, Dead & Buried and Galaxy of Terror, before landing that role. And he’s continued to do myriad horror films down to the years ranging from CHUD to Strippers vs Werewolves. (Really. Truly. He did.) Versatile man, our Robert. So versatile in fact that he’s on Stranger Things as Victor Creel in a recurring role.
Born June 6, 1951 — Geraldine McCaughrean, 71. Fifteen years ago, she wrote Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to Peter Pan commissioned by Great Ormond Street Hospital, the holder of Peter Pan’s copyright which J.M. Barrie granted them. So has anyone here read it? By the way, she’s extremely prolific having now written over one hundred and eighty books!
Born June 6, 1959 — Amanda Pays, 63. I first encountered her as Thero Jones on Max Headroom, a series I think should be considered one of the best SF series ever made. She appeared as Dawn in the Spacejacked film. She also had a guest role as Phoebe Green in the episode “Fire” of The X-Files, and was cast as Christina “Tina” McGee in The Flash of the 1990 series, and she has a recurring role on the present Flash series as the same character.
Born June 6, 1963 — Jason Isaacs, 59. Captain Gabriel Lorca, the commanding officer of the USS Discovery in the first season of Discovery and also provided the voice of The Inquisitor, Sentinel, in Star Wars Rebels, and Admiral Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Oh, and the role of Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise.
Born June 6, 1964 — Jay Lake. Another one who died far too young. If you read nothing else by him, read his brilliant Mainspring Universe series. Though his Green Universe is also extremely entertaining. He won an Astounding Award for Best New Writer and an Endeavour Award for Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection which collects a lot of his most excellent short fiction. He has two Hugo nominations, one at Noreascon 4 for his “Into the Gardens of Sweet Night” novelette and one at LoneStarCon3 for his “The Stars Do Not Lie” novella. (Died 2014.)
… On June 2, the Shah and his wife were due to visit West Berlin. Therefore, the student parliament of the Free University organised a panel discussion about the Iranian regime on the day before. Among those invited to speak at the meeting was Bahman Nirumand. The Iranian embassy in West Germany was incensed and demanded that the panel discussion be cancelled. However, the chancellor of the Free University refused, citing the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. This is not the first time that the Iranian government has tried to suppress criticism in West Germany, by the way. They have also repeatedly invoked a lese-majeste law dating from the days of the Second German Empire (which ended fifty years ago) in order to have unfavourable news articles retracted….
… I have a hard time writing about artists because their images speak so much louder and more potently than words. Just spend a minute looking at the covers of the Berkley Medallion Conans, and your tribute to Kelly’s passing is paid. Maybe you are lucky enough to have copies with the foldout posters intact. Kelly’s iconic images of Conan alone make him an S&S immortal, and of course they only scratch the surface of his epic 50 year career….
(11) LOVECRAFT: IT’S COMPLICATED. At Deep Cuts in a Lovecraftian Vein, Serbian horror author and scholar Dejan Ognjanović explains what the works of H.P. Lovecraft mean to him: “A Serbian Looks At Lovecraft”.
… In my childhood, in the early 1980s, during my initial investigations into the scarce horror fiction then available in Serbian, Lovecraft was literally unknown. Not a single story by him had been translated by my late teens, i.e. by 1989. Thus my first encounter with him was indirect – it was through the ideaof Lovecraft, as re-imagined in an Italian comic series Martin Mystere, the episode “The House at the Edge of the World” (“La Casa ai confini di mundo”, 1982), which I read in the summer of 1986, when I was 13. It was love at first sight: for the first time I encountered the concept of houses haunted not by ghosts or any traditional monster, but by unnamable inter-dimensional entities; it also involved places serving as portals into non-Euclidean spaces, nameless cosmic vistas, alien temples and weird-looking gods/demons…
A ‘Witcher school’ located in Poland has been forced to close after its licence was abruptly pulled by the game’s publisher.
The reasons for which are currently unclear but organisers have claimed that the decision was due to a staff member’s involvement with an ultra-conservative political group, according to Eurogamer.
[CD Projekt Red pulled the license because of a staff member’s involvement with the ultra-conservative Polish Catholic organization Ordo Iuris, which is anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ+, and rejects the idea of gender equality.]
The Witcher School ran live-action role-playing (LARP) events in Poland themed around the popular videogame series with 40 editions of the event and over 3000 “Witchers” taking part.
But after 7 years, the publisher of the hit videogame series, CD Projekt Red, officially ended the contract with the school in February 2022 with a three-month notice, effectively ending their use of The Witcher’s characters, setting and storylines.
It’s been forty years since Spock put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few — or the one — in the final moments of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. With the U.S.S. Enterprise‘s warp drive inoperable thanks to a devastating attack launched by Khan Noonien Singh (Richardo Montalban), Starfleet’s most popular Vulcan officer descends into the starship’s engine room and absorbs a lethal dose of radiation, surviving just long enough to save the day and say goodbye to his closest companion, James T. Kirk. And no matter how many times you’ve seen Wrath of Khan in the four decades since the movie’s June 4, 1982 release, Spock’s passing never fails to trigger tears, whether you’re human, Klingon… or Gorn.
The tears were certainly flowing on the Wrath of Khan set when William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy — who had been part of each other’s lives since the 1966 premiere of the original Star Trek TV series — played what was intended to be their final scene together. In his 2010 memoir, The View From the Bridge, Wrath of Khan director, Nicholas Meyer, described members of the crew weeping as Spock told Kirk: “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”…
The Webb’s two other instruments, the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) and the Fine Guidance Sensor/Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS) don’t capture photo-like images of the universe. Instead, they sort incoming light from distant objects into distinct wavelengths. Scientists can then use these data to measure the temperature and chemical makeup of those objects.
“We will release the scientific data from those observations as well — not just the color JPGs, but also the actual quantitative data — to the astronomical community,” Pontoppidan explains.
What can we expect to see in those first images and data? The Webb team is keeping specific spoilers under wraps, but they’ve offered a few (very broad) hints…
(16) NOSE FOR NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] This is the first trailer for Disney’s Pinocchio remake, which is not Guillermo del Toro’s version (That’s a Netflix project.)
This reminds me of the version of Pinocchio that sank Roberto Benigni’s career because he stupidly played Pinocchio instead of Geppetto. “Call the vice squad!” warned Washington Post critic Stephen Hunter. “It’s a 50-year-old man wearing jammies!”
(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] David Sproxton and Peter Lord, creators of Aardman Animations, explain how stop-motion animation is done in this excerpt from a 1981 episode of Blue Peter.
[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cora Buhlert, Jason Sanford, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kaboobie.]