(1) THE POPULATION OF CHICON 8. Chicon 8’s Star Chart reported on the con’s first day, September 1, as of 7:30PM CDT, there were 2,610 warm bodies on site.
(2) CHICON 8 BUSINESS MEETING. Alex Acks is liveblogging the Chicon 8 business meeting. See all the sausage being made here: “WSFS Business Meeting – Friday Liveblog”.
The top story to come out of today’s meeting is that the Hugo Study Committee is disbanded.
…Kent Bloom moves to thank the committee for its efforts over the last five years. Seconded by many. The committee is thanked for its efforts to applause….
There was also a “WSFS Preliminary Business Meeting Report (Friday)” published on the convention’s website.
Friday’s Preliminary WSFS Business Meeting set debate time limits for all pending Constitutional amendments and Standing Rules changes. No proposed Constitutional amendments were postponed indefinitely (killed). The four proposed Hugo Award eligibility extensions passed without objection. Most committees were continued as currently constituted; however, the Hugo Awards Study Committee was not continued and was thus dissolved, although proposals submitted by the committee will be considered this year. The meeting ran out of time to consider proposed changes to the Standing Rules and the two non-Hugo-Award-related Resolutions, so they will be considered at tomorrow’s meeting.
Kevin Standlee’s fully detailed report is on his blog here. You can also watch a video of the meeting recorded by Lisa Hayes.
(3) RINGS OF POWER FINALE. And now Camestros Felapton supplies a desperately needed moment of comic relief: “SCOOP! The final scene of the final episode of Rings of Power”.
…As I nodded off to sleep last night, my kindle slipped out of my hands and smashed me in the face (as happens most nights). I was startled by this sudden violence from the otherwise lightweight device but I was even more startled when it emitted a tinny voice. It was Bezos himself! He demanded to know what it would take for me to watch the show. Naturally, he refused my first choice (a bazillion pounds) and my second choice (remove all my personal data) and my third choice (kick off all the Nazis from your platforms) but he agreed to my fourth choice: tell me how the show ends….
(4) FILE 770 FRIDAY MEETUP. Hampus Eckerman is behind the camera taking this picture of the Filers who came to today’s meetup.
(5) CONGRATULATIONS, MARK! And here’s a good photo of Mark Linneman, last night’s Big Heart Award winner, taken by Andrew Porter during the 2018 Worldcon.
(6) IT’S THE BEST STATE FAIR IN OUR STATE. “An A.I.-Generated Picture Won an Art Prize. Artists Aren’t Happy” – the New York Times has the story.
This year, the Colorado State Fair’s annual art competition gave out prizes in all the usual categories: painting, quilting, sculpture.
But one entrant, Jason M. Allen of Pueblo West, Colo., didn’t make his entry with a brush or a lump of clay. He created it with Midjourney, an artificial intelligence program that turns lines of text into hyper-realistic graphics.
Mr. Allen’s work, “Théåtre D’opéra Spatial,” took home the blue ribbon in the fair’s contest for emerging digital artists — making it one of the first A.I.-generated pieces to win such an prize, and setting off a fierce backlash from artists who accused him of, essentially, cheating.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Mr. Allen defended his work. He said that he had made clear that his work — which was submitted under the name “Jason M. Allen via Midjourney” — was created using A.I., and that he hadn’t deceived anyone about its origins.
“I’m not going to apologize for it,” he said. “I won, and I didn’t break any rules.”
A.I.-generated art has been around for years. But tools released this year — with names like DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion — have made it possible for rank amateurs to create complex, abstract or photorealistic works simply by typing a few words into a text box.
These apps have made many human artists understandably nervous about their own futures — why would anyone pay for art, they wonder, when they could generate it themselves? They have also generated fierce debates about the ethics of A.I.-generated art, and opposition from people who claim that these apps are essentially a high-tech form of plagiarism….
(7) BE A COVER DESIGN JUDGE. Self-Published Science Fiction Competition 2’s Cover Contest currently has 451 votes with ~ 7 days to go. They would love to have even more voters weigh in. Registration required.
Covers are displayed in batches of 10 and their order is randomized for each viewer. Votes / frontrunners are hidden from participants until the competition is complete and all votes have been counted.
(8) MEMORY LANE.
1966 – [By Cat Eldridge.] I decided to go really, really obscure this Scroll so we’re discussing The Corridor People. I doubt the most of you who were resident in the United Kingdom in the middle Sixties managed to catch the brief four episodes which aired from the 26th of August to 16th of September 1966.
It was technically considered a detective series in which security agent Kronk played by John Sharp was battling villainess Syrie Van Epp as performed very much over the top by Elizabeth Shepherd as I said over the course of just four episodes. No idea why it was just four episodes but that was all it was.
It was never intended to taken seriously as the rest of the cast was given silly name as you see here — Gary Cockrell as Phil Scrotty, Alan Curtis as Inpector Blood, William Maxwell as Sergeant Hound and Ian Trigger as Nonesuch.
Yes, the two detectives working for Sharp (who isn’t particularly sharp though he’s supposed to an M like character), has two detectives working for him literally named Blood and Hound. And that episode made absolutely no sense. And reviews I read say none of the four episodes do.
If you really, really want to see it and you live in the United Kingdom , it’s available for a very reasonable price of DVD on eBay on Esty.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born September 2, 1899 — Martin Miller. He played Kublai Khan in the completed but erased by the BBC First Doctor story, “Marco Polo.” He’s in the first Pink Panther film as Pierre Luigi, a photographer, and has roles in Danger Man, Department S, The Avengers and The Prisoner. In the latter, he was number fifty-four in “It’s Your Funeral.” The Gamma People in which he played Lochner is I think his only true genre film though I’m obviously open to being told I’m wrong. (Died 1969.)
- Born September 2, 1909 — David Stern III. Creator of the Francis the Talking Mule character who became the star of seven popular Universal-International film comedies. Stern adapted his own script for the first entry, simply titled Francis. Talking mules are genre, aren’t they? (Died 2003.)
- Born September 2, 1911 — Eileen Way. She shows up on Doctor Who twice, first as Old Mother in the First Doctor story, “The Forest of Fear” and later in a major role as Karela in the Fourth Doctor story, “The Creature from the Pit”. She’d also shows up on the non-canon Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as simply Old Woman at the age of fifty-five. Other genre appearances I think are limited to an appearance on Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. Well unless you count The Saint which is at best genre adjacent. Hey I like The Saint! (Died 1994.)
- Born September 2, 1915 — Meinhardt Raabe.He was the last surviving Oz cast member with any dialogue in the film. He portrayed the coroner who certified the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. This film was his entire movie acting career. He did show up on a lot of tv show with his appearance being on Entertainment Tonight just five years before he passed on being the last one. (Died 2010.)
- Born September 2, 1936 — Gwyn Thomas. Welsh poet and academic who translated Tales from the Mabinogion with Kevin Crossley-Holland. “Chwedl Taliesin”, “The Tale of Taliesin”, was a short story by them as well. By the way my SJW credit is named Taliesin. And he tells a lot of tales. (Died 2016.)
- Born September 2, 1966 — Salma Hayek, 56. Her performance as Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk till Dawn is quite excellent. I can’t say the same for her performance as Rita Escobar in Wild Wild Wild West which got her nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress. (The film currently has a twenty-eight percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.) I really like her as Francesca Giggles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. She’s Ajak in Eternals film based on the Jack Kirby comics.
- Born September 2, 1968 — Kristen Cloke, 54. Captain Shane Vansen in the unfortunately short-lived but excellent Space: Above and Beyond, a damn fine series. She has one-offs in Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Millennium and The Others. She co-wrote with Shannon Hamblin an episode of The X-Files, “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” which I told is Base64 code for “Followers”.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
- xkcd shared a comparison table of “Universal Price Tiers”.
(11) A MASTER AT WORK. Deuce Richardson pays tribute to the artist in “Frank Kelly Freas: A Centennial Celebration” at DMR Books.
…I have loved the art of Kelly Freas since I found a copy of The Seas of Ernathe in an abandoned farmhouse–no lie–when I was barely a teenager. If anything, that love has strengthened over the years.
Drink to the shade of Frank Kelly Freas upon the (belated) centennial of his birth, sword-brothers. We won’t see his like again.
Feel free to enjoy the gallery of Freas art below.
(12) RINGS OF POWER. The in-jokes are already rolling out.
Express your road rage peacefully and quietly. Compatible with all vehicles, regardless of time period or propulsion.
(14) THE BACK OF HIS HAND. ScreenRant calls these the “10 Most Hilarious Examples Of The Robin Slap Meme”.
Since the release of The Batman, there have been countless fans calling for the introduction of Robin into the universe. After all, a Batman just starting his career needs a Robin, especially if he’s trying to figure out how to bring hope and life to the citizens of Gotham.
Yet, while Robin has always been a symbol of hope, Batman hasn’t always treated him well. In one popular meme, sourced from the comic, Batman even outright slaps Robin to keep him from asking him a question. Because the Robin Slap meme has gained considerable popularity through the years, there have been quite a few hilarious examples of it….
[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Angela Smith, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Daniel Dern, Andrew Porter, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]