(1) PROBLEMATIC PROGRAM CONTENT. Joshua Shaw raised a red flag in a public post at the Official Anime North Facebook Group.
This is a bit of a dour post and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun this weekend. Even still, please read because this is about an incident that is representative of an issue in the anime community.
My partner doesn’t have a Facebook so I’m acting mostly as a mouthpiece for her to share something that really bothered her at this year’s convention. During Anime Family Feud presented by Anime North Anime North Game Shows, there was an incredible game going on with a clever and exciting first category, the mood was brought down by the second category for the day: female anime characters most likely to have an onlyfans… as chosen by males.
Visible discomfort settled on the room. First of all, anyone can do an onlyfans, there is no real way to tell who has one. If there was a criteria, it would probably be people who are comfortable with their sexuality, and if people voted on the survey based on this it would probably be fine. But instead, participation was limited to men and selections only to women, the result was a forum for men to let everyone know not who would have an onlyfans, but who SHOULD have an onlyfans according to THEIR personal fantasies.
Enter Nezuko in position 8, a 13 year old girl. The audience was made extremely uncomfortable, and boos echoed from women in the crowd about the fact that this answer was even allowed. It’s really gross to allow this reflection of pedophilic beauty standards to be effectively normalized through the game. It basically is saying “Look! Other men like her, its normal for us to like little girls too. It’s all in good fun”. But it’s not, jokes and games are ALWAYS first steps that precede more violent and dangerous attitudes surrounding the issue.
You’d think in the accepting space of this community we would be above platforming pedophilic sexism in our events, but it’s clear that our beloved and appreciated organizers made an oversight and I’d encourage more robust efforts in the future.
(2) SNG Q&A. The Horror Writers Association continues a series with “Asian Heritage in Horror: Interview with Christine Sng”.
What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?
Horror allows me to write about what I observe and experience in this world. It has helped me process what I see, realizing that while there is an abundance of cruelty and evil in the world, there is also a lot of good.
(3) NEW ELLIS ART CATALOG. Doug Ellis has made his latest illustrated science fiction, fantasy and pulp art sale catalog is available for download as a PDF here.
You can also download jpgs of each image here (however, to see prices and descriptions you’ll need to download the catalog).
Artists are in order, alphabetically by last name, other than the famous “Unidentified Artist”. Note that some images do include nudity.
(4) HAZARDS OF BEING A WRITER. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] What happens if an author’s life partner doesn’t care for their latest work? Horror ensues. Or comedy about horrible feelings anyway. “’Deeper than a sexual betrayal’: what happens if your partner doesn’t like your writing?” in the Guardian.
…“Writing can be extremely embarrassing. It can be more revealing than porn,” said Moser, whose next book is a personal meditation on Dutch painting. “Whenever you put yourself out there, you are allowing not just the possibility but the absolute certainty of criticism. If you’re not supported by your nearest and dearest, it would be impossible to go on,” he said.
To hear Moser speak of the unflagging support that he and his partner, the novelist Arthur Japin, provide each other, one can’t help wondering if their mutual appreciation society isn’t partly a reflexive bulwark against an all but inevitable unraveling. “It would be deeper than a sexual betrayal,” Moser said of what happened to Beth. “You could hook up with somebody at a party, and whatever, a couple can recover, but [learning that your partner doesn’t think you’re a good writer] is an attack on your being.”…
(5) ANCIENT SPOILERS. “40 years ago, NPR had to apologize for airing ‘Return of the Jedi’ spoilers” and they still bear the scars. Spoiler warning, of course.
…At the time, though, these plot details really rankled NPR listeners. So much so that the next day Stamberg issued an on-air apology.
Well, sort of. Here’s what she said:
“Well, the comic book was a goof, but we certainly goofed last night. We goofed so badly that we changed our program before rebroadcasting it to the West Coast, which means that you West Coast listeners won’t know what I’m talking about. But enough of you on the East Coast called to complain that we want to apologize publicly to everybody.
“Calls — there were more phone calls on this one than we ever got in the middle of the hottest Middle East disputes.
“Calls — there were more phone calls than Richard Gere would get if he listed his number.
And all because last night on All Things Considered, we permitted a six-and-a-half-year-old boy to tell us everything — and I mean everything — about Return Of The Jedi. “You gave the plot away,” you said. “I’ve been waiting for that movie for three years, and now you have ruined it for me. How could you do a thing like that?”
“Well, we are sorry. We’re contrite, and we’re fascinated. Usually you get angry when we get our facts wrong. This time we got them right, and you got angry.”…
(6) MEMORY LANE.
2019 – [Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Julie E. Czerneda’s a Canadian who’s won four Aurora Award for Best Novel winners for In the Company of Others, A Turn of Light, A Play of Shadow and The Gossamer Mage which is the source of our Beginning this Scroll.
All of her novels are well-crafted in a detailed universe with stories that are well thought out. Her Trade Pact Universe series is fantastic space opera.
And John Clute said in the SFE: “As an anthologist, Czerneda has very usefully assembled several attractive volumes with high Canadian content.”
The world was not always thus.
Keepers of histories agree on this, if little else. Those from the southern continents insist the world began as a frozen hen’s egg, its yolk the ground beneath, its pristine white the ice, and its shell a sky of endless darkness and stars. When the shell cracked, in poured sunlight and warmth, melting the ice. Finally, the world was ready for people to live upon it, and so they did.
Historians and lore masters of the northern continent, experienced with ice, teach the world started in fire and it was only as it cooled that life of any sort could exist, be it hen or person.
Theologians both north and south avoid the topic, the present and future wellbeing of the souls in their care having the greater weight, the past being unalterable.
We were not the first here.
This is the truth no one—no person—dares imagine. That there were voices before ours. Hands. Hearts and love. Rage and a hunger so terrible it consumed the surface of the world, heaving mountains skyward, tossing continents, boiling oceans. Until nowhere was left unscarred.
Save one place.
This is a truth impossible to rediscover. Only in the names of places, only in that one place on all the world, could you glimpse it. For ages flew by and everywhere, even there, came new voices, new hearts and hands, to claim the land and write their truths upon it.
Magic, once, was everywhere.
Now magic is not, being confined to that one untouched place. Those of north and south might be curious. Might long for magic of their own. Might wish, in the fragile moment between twilight and the rise of the moon, to see a gossamer come to life before their eyes and transform the ordinary into wonder.
But there is only one place left in the world where you could. Where the words of those who came before linger. Where mage scribes write them down, to summon magic from the land itself. Tananen.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born May 27, 1894 — Dashiell Hammett. Yes, I know he’s written some genre fiction but I’m interested this time in his mysteries. He wrote The Maltese Falcon which was turned into the film you remember and another film a decade earlier. And of course there are Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man series that got turned in a six film series. Now my favorite character by him is the Continental Op in Red Harvest and The Dain Curse. And let’s not forget the Secret Agent X-9 comic strip which I think is genre, which artist Alex Raymond of Flash Gordon fame illustrated. (Died 1961.)
- Born May 27, 1911 — Vincent Price. Ok, what’s popping into my head is him on The Muppets in “The House of Horrors“ sketch they did in which he and Kermit sport impressive fangs which you can see thisaway. If I had to single out his best work, it’d be in such films as House on Haunted Hill, House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum. Yes, I know the latter two are Roger Corman productions. Sue me. He also did a lot of series work including being Egghead on Batman, appearing in the Fifties Science Fiction Theater, having a recurring role as Jason Winters on the Time Express and so forth. (Died 1993.)
- Born May 27, 1922 — Christopher Lee. He first became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a series of Hammer Horror films. His other film roles include The Creature in The Curse of Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, Kharis the Mummy in The Mummy, Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, Lord Summerisle In The Wicker Man, Saruman in The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit film trilogy, and Count Dooku in the second and third films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. (Died 2015.)
- Born May 27, 1929 — Burnett Toskey, 94. He was a Seattle fan who was a member of the Nameless Ones who served in various offices for them from the early Fifties to the mid Sixties. He was also the editor of Spectator Amateur Press Society. His work on Cry of the Nameless won the Best Fanzine Hugo at Pittcon, a honor he shared with F. M. Busby, Elinor Busby and Wally Weber.
- Born May 27, 1934 — Harlan Ellison. Setting aside the “The City on the Edge of Forever” Star Trek episode, I think I best remember him for the two Dangerous Vision anthologies which were amazing reading though I admit I read them long enough that I’ve no idea how the Suck Fairy would treat them now. His awards are far, far too numerous to recount here. His Hugos alone are legion and that’s hardly all of the awards that he was honored with. (Died 2018.)
- Born May 27, 1935 — Lee Meriwether, 88. Catwoman on Batman. (And if you have to ask which Batman, you’re in the wrong conversation.) Also, she had a turn as a rather sexy Lily Munster on The Munsters Today. And of course she had a co-starring role as Dr. Ann MacGregor on The Time Tunnel as well. And yes, I know I’m not touching upon her many other genre roles including her Trek appearance as I know you will.
- Born May 27, 1966 — Nina Allan, 57. Author of two novels to date, both in the last five years, The Race and The Rift which won a BSFA Award. She has done a lot of short stories hence these collections to date, A Thread of Truth, The Silver Wind: Four Stories of Time Disrupted, Microcosmos, Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories and Spin which has also won a BSFA Award. Partner of the true Christopher Priest.
(8) SFF SNACKS. Bones Coffee Company has a whole lineup of sff-branded products. Here are two examples.
Inspired by Marvel’s Spider-Man, Web Slinger gives you the power you need to swing into action and get your flavor senses tingling!
They’re here from Chocolate Space! The Mint Invaders have come to planet Earth to harvest our most precious resource: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream! But…fear not, fellow humans! With the power of opposable thumbs and caffeine, we can send those little green jerks back to Chocolate Space! Will you stand with us?
(9) IN CASE YOU WONDERED. CBR.com keeps track of “Everything Added to The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions”.
Released between 2002 and 2004, the Extended Editions of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings — The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King — add a whopping two hours and 5 minutes of content to an already-lengthy trilogy. Some of the additional material consists of lengthened versions of existing scenes, but a good chunk of it is entirely new footage, unavailable outside of these cuts. There are also new musical cues and special effects to accompany the added content….
(10) SHOUT-OUT FOR THE EARLY SKY WATCHERS. “Nabta Playa: The World’s First Astronomical Site Was Built in Africa and Is Older Than Stonehenge” at Discover Magazine.
For thousands of years, ancient societies all around the world erected massive stone circles, aligning them with the sun and stars to mark the seasons. These early calendars foretold the coming of spring, summer, fall and winter, helping civilizations track when to plant and harvest crops. They also served as ceremonial sites, both for celebration and sacrifice.
These megaliths — large, prehistoric monuments made of stone — may seem mysterious in our modern era, when many people lack a connection with, or even view of, the stars. Some even hold them up as supernatural, or divined by aliens. But many ancient societies kept time by tracking which constellations rose at sunset, like reading a giant, celestial clock. And others pinpointed the sun’s location in the sky on the summer and winter solstice, the longest and shortest days of the year, or the spring and fall equinox.
Europe alone holds some 35,000 megaliths, including many astronomically-aligned stone circles, as well as tombs (or cromlechs) and other standing stones. These structures were mostly built between 6,500 and 4,500 years ago, largely along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.
…Located in Africa, Nabta Playa stands some 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It was built more than 7,000 years ago, making Nabta Playa the oldest stone circle in the world — and possibly Earth’s oldest astronomical observatory. It was constructed by a cattle worshiping cult of nomadic people to mark the summer solstice and the arrival of the monsoons….
(11) IN SPACE, EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU POOP. You probably didn’t need to read that. So be warned – it’s the subject matter of Futurism’s article “Space Tourists Learn Harsh Reality of Space Station Bathroom”.
… Private spaceflight companies have yet to overcome the challenge. SpaceX, for one, admitted in September 2021 that a previous crop of space tourists had struggled with waste management during a crewed mission. A month after that, we got more information when SpaceX revealed that it had fixed a problem on one of its Crew Dragon capsules in which its space toilet, which relies on two separate vacuum tubes for numbers one and two, was leaking and spraying urine onto the floor of the craft.
“We didn’t really even notice it, the crew didn’t even notice it, until we got back,” SpaceX’s Bill Gerstenmaier told The New York Times at the time. “When we got the vehicle back, we looked under the floor and saw the fact that there was contamination underneath the floor of Inspiration4.”…
(12) HOLE NEW THING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] NASA has published evidence of an intermediate mass black hole in the globular cluster nearest to earth — about 6000 light years away. “NASA’s Hubble Hunts for Intermediate-Sized Black Hole Close to Home”.
Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have come up with what they say is some of their best evidence yet for the presence of a rare class of “intermediate-sized” black hole that may be lurking in the heart of the closest globular star cluster to Earth, located 6,000 light-years away.
Like intense gravitational potholes in the fabric of space, virtually all black holes seem to come in two sizes: small and humongous. It’s estimated that our galaxy is littered with 100 million small black holes (several times the mass of our Sun) created from exploded stars. The universe at large is flooded with supermassive black holes, weighing millions or billions of times our Sun’s mass and found in the centers of galaxies.
A long-sought missing link is an intermediate-mass black hole, weighing in somewhere between 100 and 100,000 solar masses. How would they form, where would they hang out, and why do they seem to be so rare?…
(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Ryan George gets inside the experience of “When People Hate-Watch Stuff”.
[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Juli Marr, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, and Chris Barkley for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jake.]