(0) Short Scroll today – no reason, just not as many things I wanted to include.
(1) LE GUIN’S BEST BOOKS. The New York Times takes a look at why Ursula K. Le Guin matters: “Her powerful imagination turned hypothetical elsewheres into vivid worlds governed by forces of nature, technology, gender, race and class a far cry from our own.” “The Essential Ursula K. LeGuin”.
In her 2009 essay “On the Frontier,” Ursula K. Le Guin took stock of an abstraction endemic to both the American West, where she was raised, and her chosen genre of science fiction. Interplanetary wars, galaxy-spanning empires, brave men bounding toward their next conquest — all this action rests on a notion of the future as inchoate, waiting to be made. But that’s never been true, she argued, in America or her fiction. “The future is already full,” she wrote. “It is much older and larger than our present, and we are the aliens in it.”…
(2) THE TRIMBLES. Maggie Thompson posted this photo taken at Comic-Con showing her flanked by John and Bjo Trimble. Bjo recently turned 90.
(3) SIMULTANEOUS TIMES. Space Cowboy Books in Joshua Tree, CA has released episode 66 of Simultaneous Times, a monthly science fiction podcast. Stories featured in this episode are:
- “Cost of Living” by Mike Morgan; with music by Fall Precauxions
- “We’re All Family Here” by Mark Soden Jr.; with music by Phog Masheeen
Available on all podcast players or at Podomatic.
(4) THE GODS THEMSELVES. “’Percy Jackson’ Series Gets Teaser, Premiere Date on Disney+” reports Variety.
After a decade of waiting, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” fans will finally get an author-backed screen adaptation of the beloved young adult novels on Dec. 20. The series will arrive on Disney+ with two episodes, followed by weekly drops….
The teaser opens with voiceover from Virginia Kull as Percy’s mother, Sally Jackson. “The stories that I have told you about Greek gods and half-bloods — they are real,” she says over images of Camp Half-Blood, Percy on the elevator to Olympus, Ares (Adam Copeland) and different confrontations with monsters….
Here’s the teaser trailer: “We’ve Been Expecting You”.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Now Percy must trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.
(5) DON’T WALK A MILE IN HIS SHOES. “Minnesota man indicted over theft of Judy Garland’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ slippers” – CNN has the story.
US authorities have charged a man in connection with the theft of a pair of ruby red slippers worn by actress Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” nearly 20 years after they were stolen from a museum in Minnesota.
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted Terry Jon Martin on one count of theft of a major artwork for allegedly stealing “an object of cultural heritage from the care, custody, or control of a museum,” according to court documents filed in the US District Court of Minnesota. The slippers were valued at least $100,000, court documents stated….
BBC Sounds has recording of the Witness History interview with John Kelsch, one of the people who founded the Judy Garland Museum from which the slippers were taken in 2005: “The Wizard of Oz: The stolen ruby slippers”.
(6) CHRIS CALLAHAN (1944-2023). Chris Callahan, an active Washington Science Fiction Association member in the 1990s and earlier, died June 10. Rich Lynch notes, “She was one of the many people who worked on the 1998 Baltimore Worldcon and I am especially grateful to her for volunteering as a proofreader for the Souvenir Book. She saved me from many embarrassing typos, and had some valuable insights on how it ended up being put together.”
Callahan was part of the WSFA Players who performed Alexis Gilliland’s parody musical “2001 A Space Opera” at the 1974 Worldcon.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born August 18, 1925 — Brian Aldiss. Much honored, he’s was named a Grand Master by SFWA and inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. I’ll single out his Helliconia series, Hothouse and The Malacia Tapestry as my favorites. He won a Hugo at Chicon III for “The Long Afternoon of The Earth”, another at Conspiracy ’87 for Trillion Year Spree which he co-authored with David Wingrove. He’s well known as an anthologist and SF writer with Space, Time and Nathaniel, a collection of short stories being his first genre publication. He’s edited far too many collections to know which one to single out, but I’m sure that the collective wisdom here can make recommendations. (Died 2017.)
- Born August 18, 1931 — Grant Williams. He is best remembered for his portrayal of Scott Carey in The Incredible Shrinking Man though he will have the role of the psychopathic killer in Robert Bloch’s The Couch. Of course, he shows in Outer Limits, he plays Major Douglas McKinnon in “The Brain of Colonel Barham”. And he’s Major Kurt Mason in The Doomsday Machine. (Died 1985.)
- Born August 18, 1934 — Michael de Larrabeiti. He is best known for writing The Borrible Trilogy which is noted by several sources online as being an influence by writers in the New Weird movement. Ok folks, I’ve not read so please explain how The Borrible Trilogy influences that literary movement as it doesn’t seem like there’s any connection. (Died 2008.)
- Born August 18, 1954 — Russell Blackford, 69. Writer resident in Australia for awhile but now in Wales. Author of Terminator 2: The New John Connor Chronicles, and editor of the Australian Science Fiction Review in the Eighties. With Van Ikin and Sean McMullen, he wrote Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction. And he wrote Science Fiction and the Moral Imagination: Visions, Minds, Ethics.
- Born August 18, 1955 — Tom Flynn. Journalist who edited Free Inquiry magazine from 2010 until his death. He waged a decades-long crusade against Christmas. Seriously he wrote a book titled The Trouble with Christmas. His only work was his Galactic Rapture/Messiah Games space opera which ran to six volumes. Only one volume, The Destroyer’s Creed, is available from that company shall be named and it’s quite expensive. (Died 2021.)
- Born August 18, 1958 — Madeleine Stowe, 65. She’s in the Twelve Monkeys film as Kathryn Railly, and she’s in the Twelve Monkeys series as Lillian in the “Memory of Tomorrow” episode. Her other genre work was a one-off in The Amazing Spider-Man which ran for thirteen episodes nearly forty years ago where she was Maria Calderon in “Escort to Danger” in that series, and she also played Mia Olham in Impostor which was scripted off Philip K. Dick’s “Impostor” story.
- Born August 18, 1966 — Alison Goodman, 47. Australian writer who’s won three Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Speculative Fiction for Singing the Dogstar Blues, The Two Pearls of Wisdom and Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact. The Two Pearls of Wisdom was nominated for an Otherwise Award.
- Born August 18, 1967 — Brian Michael Bendis, 56. He’s both writer and artist, a still uncommon occurrence. Did you know he’s garnered five Eisner Awards for both his creator-owned work and Marvel Comics? Very impressive! He’s the primary force behind the creation of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, launching Ultimate Spider-Man which is an amazing series which I read on the Marvel Unlimited app.
Queer Lodgings is a queer-led podcast covering all things Tolkien. Join Alicia, Grace, and Leah (and sometimes Tim), a group of fans and scholars, semi-monthly as we discuss Middle-earth from a lgbtq+-focused, intersectional, antiracist, and non-christian perspective.
They’re beginning to post transcripts of some episodes, and Reid provides in this issue of her Substack.
(9) FLY LIKE IT’S 1999. Plans are afoot for “The Eagle Has Landed” Documentary which will explore the legacy of the iconic Eagle Transporter from Space: 1999. The project’s director/creator Jeffrey Morris is launching a Kickstarter campaign on August 28 to bring it to life.
Meet the Visionaries: Icons of the Eagle Legacy
Click here to learn more about who will join Jeffrey Morris in the documentary, including:
Brian Johnson: Visual Effects Artist / Creator of the Eagle
Nick Tate: Captain Alan Carter in Space: 1999
Barbara Bain: Dr. Helena Russell in Space: 1999
Charles Duke: Astronaut / Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot
Kevin J. Anderson: Bestselling Sci-Fi Author / Space: 1999 Fan
Bill George: Visual Effects Supervisor
Robert Meyer Burnett: Filmmaker / Film Culture Podcaster
See a preview video here.
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Jean-Paul L. Garnier, Olav Rokne, Rich Lynch, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]