(1) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to savor sea food with Theodora Goss in Episode 195 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.
Theodora Goss is a World Fantasy, Locus, and Mythopoeic Award-winning author of the short story and poetry collections In the Forest of Forgetting (2006), Songs for Ophelia (2014), and Snow White Learns Witchcraft (2019), as well as novella The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017), and sequels European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (2018) and The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (2019). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and Shirley Jackson Awards, and has been on the Tiptree Award Honor List.
Her short fiction has appeared in such magazines as Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and others, and anthologies such as Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense, Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, and Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors. She has a Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University, and currently teaches writing and literature in the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program. She also taught in the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, the Odyssey writing workshop, the Alpha writing workshop for young writers, and in writing workshops at Readercon, Boskone, and Wiscon.
We discussed the ways in which being an immigrant is like living in a fantasy world, how she knows when a poem is a poem and a story is a story, the power of the specificity of prose, what Neil Gaiman once said about writing for theme anthologies which perfectly described her own process, our surprisingly similar experiences with editorial suggestions, why so many fantasy writers love Middlemarch, her theories about the best way to moderate panels, how she knows when a story is truly done, and much more.
(2) GUARDIAN SFF ROUNDUP. Lisa Tuttle’s “The best recent science fiction and fantasy – reviews roundup” in the Guardian includes Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh; The Ten Percent Thief by Lavanya Lakshminarayan; Not Alone by Sarah K Jackson; andCamp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling.
(3) TRIPLE THREAT. Three Star Wars projects were announced today during London’s Star Wars Celebration. Variety has the story: “’Star Wars’ Movies: Dave Filoni and James Mangold to Direct New Films”.
The directors will helm two separate films in the franchise. Meanwhile, a third movie that centers on Daisy Ridley’s Rey will be directed by Emmy- and Oscar-winning helmer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made the shock announcement at the studio’s showcase during London’s Star Wars Celebration, where fans were expecting the announcement of a single film and were pleasantly surprised by a trifecta of projects.
Mangold’s movie will go back to the dawn of the Jedi, while Filoni’s project will focus on the New Republic, and “close out” the interconnected stories that are told in series including “The Mandalorian,” “The Book of Boba Fett,” “Ahsoka” and other Disney+ shows….
(4) REY’S STORY. “Daisy Ridley’s Rey: New Star Wars Film Will Focus on Her Story” reports Variety.
The “Star Wars” movie future just came into sharper focus: Daisy Ridley’s Rey will be the center of the first “Star Wars” feature film since 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced at Star Wars Celebration in London on Friday. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (“Ms. Marvel”) will direct from a script by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”). The film follows the events of “Rise of Skywalker,” and will focus on Rey as she builds a new Jedi Order.
The project marks several major milestones for the franchise: Obaid-Chinoy is the first woman and the first person of color to direct a “Star Wars” movie….
(5) RETURN OF ANOTHER JEDI. “’Ahsoka’ Trailer: Rosario Dawson Stars in Star Wars Series” – Variety’s commentary is at the link.
Lucasfilm has dropped the first trailer for “Ahsoka,” showcasing the newest adventure for Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s beloved padawan. The trailer was released as part of London’s Star Wars Celebration on Friday.
The upcoming Disney+ series stars Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka, an exiled Jedi who was once Anakin’s apprentice before he turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader. The show will premiere in August, Disney confirmed at the event….
(6) MEMORY LANE.
1977 – [Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
You more likely know Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” from the nearly forty-year-old film by that title with Angela Lansbury and David Warner. But before that film existed, Carter provided the source material for the screenplay which would be written by director Neil Jordan and Angela Carter, and adapted by Carter from her short story of the same name.
Carter’s first draft of the screenplay, which contains some significant differences from the finished film, was published in The Curious Room anthology of hers that was published later on.
The story was first published Bananas, the one-off literary journal edited by Emma Tennant and published by Blond & Briggs in 1977. Carter would collect in her truly excellent The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, first published by Gollancz forty-four years ago.
The Angela Carter BBC Radio Drama Collection has a number of her stories, all narrated by her. They’re available on Audible and I assume other purveyors of audiobooks.
And now for our most fantastic in all senses for that word Beginning…
One beast and only one howls in the woods by night.
The wolf is carnivore incarnate and he’s as cunning as he is ferocious; once he’s had a taste of flesh then nothing else will do.
At night, the eyes of wolves shine like candle flames, yellowish, reddish, but that is because the pupils of their eyes fatten on darkness and catch the light from your lantern to flash it back to you–red for danger; if a wolf’s eyes reflect only moonlight, then they gleam a cold and unnatural green, a mineral, a piercing colour. If the benighted traveller spies those luminous, terrible sequins stitched suddenly on the black thickets, then he knows he must run, if fear has not struck him stock-still.
But those eyes are all you will be able to glimpse of the forest assassins as they cluster invisibly round your smell of meat as you go through the wood unwisely late. They will be like shadows, they will be like wraiths, grey members of a congregation of nightmare; hark! his long, wavering howl … an aria of fear made audible.
The wolfsong is the sound of the rending you will suffer, in itself a murdering.
“It is winter and cold weather. In this region of mountain and forest, there is now nothing for the wolves to eat. Goats and sheep are locked up in the byre, the deer departed for the remaining pasturage on the southern slopes–wolves grow lean and famished. There is so little flesh on them that you could count the starveling ribs through their pelts, if they gave you time before they pounced. Those slavering jaws; the lolling tongue; the rime of saliva on the grizzled chops–of all the teeming perils of the night and the forest, ghosts, hobgoblins, ogres that grill babies upon gridirons, witches that fatten their captives in cages for cannibal tables, the wolf is worst for he cannot listen to reason.
“You are always in danger in the forest, where no people are. Step between the portals of the great pines where the shaggy branches tangle about you, trapping the unwary traveller in nets as if the vegetation itself were in a plot with the wolves who live there, as though the wicked trees go fishing on behalf of their friends–step between the gateposts of the forest with the greatest trepidation and infinite precautions, for if you stray from the path for one instant, the wolves will eat you. They are grey as famine, they are as unkind as plague.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born April 7, 1915 — Henry Kuttner. I hadn’t realized how young he died. While he was working for the d’Orsay agency, he found Leigh Brackett’s early manuscripts in the slush pile; it was under his guidance that she sold her first story to Campbell at Astounding Stories. His own work was done in close collaboration with C. L. Moore, his wife, and much of they would publish was under pseudonyms. During the Forties, he also contributed numerous scripts to the Green Lantern series. He’s won two Retro Hugos, the first at Worldcon 76 (2018) for “The Twonky” short story, the second at Dublin 2019 for “Mimsy Were the Borogoves”. (Died 1958.)
- Born April 7, 1928 — James White. Certainly the Sector General series which ran to twelve books and ran over thirty years of publication was his best known work. I’ve no idea how many or even which ones that I read but I’m certain that it was quite a few as I really, really loved this series. I’m not sure what else by him I’ve read but I’m equally sure there were other novels down the years. He was a 1996 Worldcon guest of honor at L.A.con III. It appears that only a handful of his novels are available from the usual suspects. (Died 1999.)
- Born April 7, 1935 — Marty Cantor, 88. He edited with his then wife Robbie Holier Than Thou, nominated for the 1984, 1985 and 1986 Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine — losing in the first two years to File 770 and in the last to Lan’s Lantern. He also published Who Knows What Ether Lurks in the Minds of Fen?, a rather nice play off The Shadow radio intro.
- Born April 7, 1939 — Francis Ford Coppola, 84. Director / Writer / Producer. THX 1138, produced by Coppola, was George Lucas’ feature film directorial debut in 1971. Saw it late at night after some serious drug ingestion with a redhead who was seriously into Morrison — strange experience that was. Other genre works of his include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a episode of Faerie Tale Theatre entitled “Rip Van Winkle”, Twixt (a horror film that I’m betting almost no one here has heard of), Captain EO which featured Michael Jackson, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2.
- Born April 7, 1945 — Susan Petrey. Another who died far, far too young. Only three of her stories were published during her lifetime. More of her work appeared in the Gifts of Blood collection published after her death. She was nominated, also posthumously, for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, and her story ”Spidersong” was nominated for the Hugo Award at Denvention Two. The Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund annually awards scholarships to both the Clarion & Clarion West workshops and also supports an instructor at Clarion West as a Petrey Fellow. (Died 1980.)
- Born April 7, 1946 — Stan Winston. He’s best known for his work in Aliens, the Terminator franchise, the first three Jurassic Park films, the first two Predator films, Batman Returns and Iron Man. (He also did the Inspector Gadget film which I still haven’t seem.) He was unusual in having expertise in makeup, puppets and practical effects, and was just starting to get in digital effects as well upon the time of his passing. I think we sum up his talent by noting that his four Oscars include a pair he won for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup for his work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day. (Died 2008.)
- Born April 7, 1951 — Yvonne Gilbert, 72. Though best remembered for her controversial cover design of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s 1983 single “Relax”, she did a number of great genre covers including Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea for Bantam in 1991 and Beagle’s A Dance for Emilia for Rock in 2000.
(8) COMICS SECTION.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal shows how role playing games make life weird at the auto mechanic’s shop.
Directed by Hideaki Anno, who previously directed Shin Godzilla and wrote Shin Ultraman. This installment is his take on the original Kamen Rider tokusatsu series from 1971.
(10) SOMEBODY IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET. David Bratman is incensed about a response to a comment he left on Scalzi’s Whatever, as he makes clear in asking “how stupid can you get?”
… Unfortunately the thread was already a couple of days old and Scalzi closed it before I saw this and could reply, so I’ll expostulate here instead…
(11) JEOPARDY! David Goldfarb did not touch that dial while last night’s episode of Jeopardy! was on their air, and therefore was able to send the Scroll some SFF-related clues from the Single Jeopardy round.
Category: “Not Making It to the End of the Movie”
$1000: Sometimes, you get older, adamantium in your body poisons you & a clone of your younger self up and kills you like this 2017 guy
Challenger Cameron Creel knew that this movie was “Logan”.
$200: Tina Fey said “Gravity” was about how this actor would rather float away & die in space than spend time with a woman his own age
Cameron: “Who is George Clooney?”
$400: This last name of James Thurber’s character Walter can have -esque added to mean having fantasies far above your abilities
Returning champion Brian Henegar identified Walter Mitty.
$600: By its title, this Lois Lowry YA novel needs a receiver, & his name is Jonas
Challenger Eliza Haas Marr paired Jonas the receiver with “The Giver”.
(12) VINTAGE CLOTHING AND SFF. The folks at SFFAudio tried to solve this mystery today.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Scott Edelman, David Goldfarb, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Darrah Chavey, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cat Eldridge with an assist by OGH.]