(1) DEATH IN THE MOUTH 2 KICKSTARTER. Cartoonist and writer Sloane Leong and writer Cassie Hart have partnered to launch a Kickstarter appeal for a second volume of Death in the Mouth: Original Horror from the Margins. Death in the Mouth 2 is a horror anthology showcasing BIPOC and other ethnically marginalized writers and artists from around the world. It will feature twenty prose stories spanning the distant past to the far future, real and fictive worlds, all while exploring new and unique manifestations of horror. Each story will also be accompanied by an original black and white illustration by a unique artist.
Artists include Anand Radhakrishnan, Max Banshees, Rosío Airén, Eli Minaya, Tiffany Turrill-Gourdin, Julie Benbassat, Daylen Seu, Sloane Hong, Leslé Kieu, and Makoto Chi. They anticipate welcoming many new and underrepresented authors and artists through their open call.
At this writing the Kickstarter has raised $19,435 of its $40,000 goal with 16 days to go.
(2) HOW DARE YOU. At Black Gate, S.M. Carrière reminds everyone that “Reviews Are Not For Authors”, with a couple spectacular examples of writers who felt otherwise:
…The first case I was made aware of involved Susan Stusek, who was dropped by her publisher because of the backlash she received on TikTok and GoodReads following her behaviour. The book, to be released by publisher Sparkpress September 12th of this year was sent to several book reviewers to drum up publicity, as is the norm. One reviewer had the sheer temerity not to rate the book a perfect five stars, rating it instead four stars; still a brilliant rating by any measure. The accompanying review was also very positive.
Stusek did not seem to agree. She took to TikTok to voice her vexation with the four star review…
(3) WORK-FOR-HIRE. Rachael K. Jones shares expertise in “Work-for-Hire in Short Fiction: An Overview” at the SFWA Blog.
Work-for-hire writing jobs are common in novel-length work, especially in the world of tie-in fiction, but rarer in short fiction. If you’re primarily a short fiction author, you might be caught off-guard if approached with this kind of work. You may not have an agent who can give you advice. You might not know how much money to ask for, or how to tell a valid offer from a scam. If you’ve been approached with short fiction work-for-hire and don’t know where to start, this article is for you!
Overview of Work-for-hire
Work-for-hire is defined by the US Copyright Office as work where “the hiring or commissioning party is considered the author and the copyright owner.” This differs from a typical author–publisher relationship where the publisher purchases limited rights to use a story in a specific way. For example, if you sell a story to Clarkesworld, after the exclusivity period ends, you can reprint the story, include it in a collection, translate it, sell movie rights, write sequels, expand it into a novel, or use it any way you’d like.
Under the work-for-hire model, this isn’t the case. In exchange for the upfront payment, you assign the copyright to the commissioner of the work to do with as they please. This entity now has the right to use the story however they wish: they can include it in a collection, sell the movie rights, produce sequels, make it into merchandise or non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and so forth, while you lose the legal right to do so….
(4) INTERZONE. Gareth Jelley, Editor and Publisher of Interzone and IZ Digital reminded me the current website for Interzone is https://interzone.press and said Interzone #295 should be with subscribers by the end of September.
Because we were corresponding about the James White Award, he pointed out that one of the former winners, DJ Cockburn, has had some short stories in IZ Digital, Interzone’s online sister zine (which are free to read, though support is welcomed):
The stories in IZ Digital are not republished in Interzone, and vice versa. The two publications are related, but independent.
(5) SUNK WITHOUT A TRACE. The Guardian leads with the Nautilus cancellation on the way to suggesting why it happened: “The great cancellation: why megabucks TV shows are vanishing without a trace”.
A big budget series filmed in Queensland which employed hundreds of Australian cast and crew has become the latest victim of cuts at Disney, being dropped by the studio after filming – and before it even had a chance to be released.
Nautilus, a UK series that had been set to stream on Disney+, is a prequel story to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Shazad Latif stars as Captain Nemo, an Indian prince who became a prisoner of the East India Company and sets off on a mission of revenge on submarine Nautilus.
The series was in production for most of 2022 on the Gold Coast, where it took up half the soundstages at Village Roadshow Studios to house the replica submarine. The cast also included Australian actors Georgia Flood, Pacharo Mzembe, Benedict Hardie and Darren Gilshenan, as well as international talent Cameron Cuffe and Thierry Fremont.
When Nautilus was announced in 2021, the Queensland government touted the production would inject $96m into the local economy and create 240 positions for crew and 350 jobs for background actors. At the time, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk flagged the prospect of multiple seasons to be filmed in the state. Screen Queensland declined to reveal the value of government incentives the production received, citing commercial in confidence….
…In May, Disney+ announced a content removal plan designed to cut US$1.5bn worth of content, meaning it substantially reduces the company’s value, giving it a lot less tax to pay. Nautilus is not the only victim: a live-action TV adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles was also completed and then axed. Disney isn’t the only network to abandon shows that have largely been made…
(6) A DECADE IN SFF ART EXPLAINED. Michael Gonzalez interviews Adam Rowe about his new book Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s for CrimeReads: “The Strange, Surreal, Visionary Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s”.
Tell me about your relationship with Vincent Di Fate, a legendary artist who also wrote the book’s introduction. What was your pitch to get him involved? Did he give you any advice about putting the book together?
Fairly quickly after deciding to write a pitch for this book, I realized there was a great art collection that already covered a lot of the same ground: Di Fate’s Infinite Worlds, 1997. It covers over a century of science fiction art, so it’s not the exact subject as mine, but I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed my collection.
I also talked to Grady Hendrix, an author who co-wrote the 70s and 80s horror fiction celebration Paperbacks From Hell in 2017 (a big inspiration for the format and tone of Worlds Beyond Time). Hendrix told me that talking to Di Fate had helped him understand the publishing industry better, and recommended I talk to him for my book.
I interviewed Di Fate a few times while writing the book, and his knowledge of science fiction art history was immensely helpful – I learned a lot. He told me about one of the most interesting shifts in ‘70s science fiction cover art history, the fact that cover art trends shifted away from surrealism and towards representational art in 1971, when two influential editors led the charge: Donald A. Wollheim left Ace Books to start DAW Books in 1971, the same year Lester and Judy-Lynn del Rey started the Del Rey imprint within Ballantine.
So, when I was looking for someone to write the foreword, Di Fate was my first choice. I’m thankful he agreed!
(7) ED HUTNIK (1956-2023.) Filk has lost another valued member of the community, Ed Hutnik. He died at home on August 25, 2023. He was the husband of Jeanne Wardwell. In addition to filking, he participated for many years in medieval re-creation activities. The family obituary is here. Fans have left memories on the Tribute Wall.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born August 29, 1854 — Joseph Jacobs. Australian folklorist, translator, literary critic and historian who became a notable collector and publisher of English folklore. Many of our genre writers have use of his material. “Jack the Giant Killer” becomes Charles de Lint’s Jack Of Kinrowan series! Jack the Giant Killer and Drink Down the Moon to give an example. (Lecture mode off.) Excellent books by the way. (Died 1916.)
- Born August 29, 1904 — Leslyn M. Heinlein. She was born Leslyn MacDonald. She was married to Robert A. Heinlein between 1932 and 1947. Her only genre writing on ISFDB is “Rocket’s Red Glare” which was published in The Nonfiction of Robert Heinlein: Volume I. (Died 1981.)
- Born August 29, 1942 — Dian Crayne. A member of LASFS, when she and Bruce Pelz divorced the party they threw inspired Larry Niven’s “What Can You Say about Chocolate-Covered Manhole Covers?” She published mystery novels under the name J.D. Crayne. A full remembrance post is here. (Died 2017.)
- Born August 29, 1946 — Robert Weinberg. Author, editor, publisher, and collector of science fiction. At Chicon 7, he received a Special Committee Award for his service to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. During the Seventies, he was the genius behind Pulp which featured interviews with pulp writers such as Walter B. Gibson and Frederick C. Davis. He also published the Pulp Classics, Lost Fantasy, Weird Menace, and Incredible Adventures series of pulp reprints at the same time. (Died 2016.)
- Born August 29, 1951 — Janeen Webb, 72. Dreaming Down-Under which she co-edited with Jack Dann is an amazing anthology of Australian genre fiction which won a World Fantasy Award. If you’ve not read it, go do so. The Silken Road to Samarkand by her is a wonderful novel that I also wholeheartedly recommend. Death at the Blue Elephant, the first collection of her ever so excellent short stories, is available at the usual suspects though Dreaming Down-Under is alas not.
- Born August 29, 1953 — Nancy Holder, 70. She’s an impressive four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. I’m not a horror fan so I can’t judge her horror novels for you, but I’ve read a number of her Buffyverse novels and I must say that she’s captured the feel of the series quite well. If you are to read but one, make it Halloween Rain.
- Born August 29, 1954 — Michael P. Kube-McDowell, 69. A filker, which gets major points in my book. I’m reasonably sure I’ve read both of his Isaac Asimov’s Robot City novels, and I can recall reading Alternities as well which was most excellent.
(9) TEACHER’S PET. At KCET’s website you can watch a 4-minute clip from Antiques Roadshow where they appraised someone’s Ray Bradbury Archive. The books once belonged to an English teacher who had 17-year-old Ray in her class at Los Angeles High School.
(10) COLLECTORS POLL. Tumblr user Obsidian Sphere asks “Which Magazine Would You Most Like To Have A Complete, Restored Set Of?. They list nine choices (actually, they list them twice) beginning with these two:
Weird Tales 1922 Frankly, most of the stores were below par, “Beloved Dead” indeed, really only famous because of a few notable exceptions.
Amazing Stories 1926 The first all “scientifiction” magazine. But truth be told, most of the writing was just bad. (and then there was the “Shaver Mystery!”) In 1985, when Spielberg decided he wanted a TV series called Amazing Stories instead of just looking for another name when he found the Mag still had the rights to the title, he brought the whole catalog. He flushed it, calling it garbage so they could do stories about Grandpa’s ghost train and cute furry critter from space crying over Ricky and Lucy getting divorced….
You need to be a Tumblr user or log in some other way to vote.
(11) THE CAR IS THE STAR. “How ‘Back to the Future: The Musical’ created a DeLorean that flies” at LAist. Here’s part of the illusion:
…”Inside it all is a mechanical, steel, aluminum madness of gizmos and electronics and what we call turtles to make it spin,” said Hatley. “Motors, lights, effects, smoke machines, speakers. It’s crammed with that. You can just get a person in it.”
The car itself only moves slightly, while turning around. So to create the illusion of speed, Finn Ross installed an LED wall at the back of the stage and a scrim in the front, with the car sandwiched in between. It’s projected video, along with lights, sound and underscoring, that make it look like the car is truly hurtling from 0 to 88 mph….
(12) NEVERS LAND. Another peek inside an effects department is offered in “The Bewitching Victorian Era VFX of ‘The Nevers’” at Animation World Network.
…A signature sequence from Season 1A is the lake fight, where Nichlas ‘Odium’ Perbal (Martyn Ford), who has the ability to walk on water, attempts to drown Amalia True (Laura Donnelly). According to Han, “You couldn’t have done that by just letting one department take control. Stunts had to choreograph this sequence that was half above and below water. Special effects had to design all the rigs. Amalia had a winch cable that helped her to get almost a supernatural speed to swim across the tank. For us, we prevised the whole thing shot by shot. For every shot we did an isometric blueprint on paper so people could see, ‘For this shot we’re going to use wires and glass platform,’ or, ‘That shot will be done underwater with an underwater camera.’ It’s a great study piece of every possible component of visual effects, special effects and stunts working together.” …
(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] “The Art of Future Storytelling of 2000 AD Magazine” is a video from Art Shutter.
In this mini-documentary, we embark on a thrilling journey through the pages of 2000 AD, the galaxy’s greatest comic magazine. Join us as we uncover the rich history, iconic characters, visionary creators, and enduring influence of this British comic institution. From the stern visage of Judge Dredd to the mind-bending artistry of its pages, we’ll explore how 2000 AD reshaped the comics landscape and left an indelible mark on pop culture. Don’t miss this tribute to the geniuses behind illustration comics and other disciplines of commercial art!
[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Rick Kovalcik, Gareth Jelley, Dann, Steven French, Soon Lee, 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 Andrew (not Werdna).]