Marvel’s vampire movie Morbius claimed two Razzies when the 43rd annual Razzie Award winners were revealed on March 11, with title character Jared Leto named Worst Actor and Adria Arjona Worst Supporting Actress.
Disney’s Pinocchio was branded Worst Remake. Despite that, Tom Hanks did not win for his performance as Gepetto, although he take the Razzies in two other categories for his non-genre work in Elvis.
Indirectly of genre interest was the first-ever Razzie given to the Razzies themselves, for originally having included The King’s Daughter actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, age 12, among the Worst Actress nominees. (The film is based on Vonda McIntyre’s novel.) The press release explains, “After their blunder of nominating someone who should not have been considered, the organization was put through the cyberworld blender. They publicly apologized to the actress, changed the rules for anyone under 18, rescinded the nomination and put themselves in her place on the ballot – which won by a landslide.”
43rd Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie®) Winners
Jared Leto / Morbius
Awarded to The RAZZIES for “Their 43rd Worst Actress Nominations Blunder”
RAZZIE® REDEEMER AWARD
Colin Farrell (From 2004 Worst Actor nominee to 2022 Best Actor Oscar Front-Runner)
Disney’s Pinocchio (NOT del Toro’s!)
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adria Arjona / Morbius
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks / Elvis
WORST SCREEN COMBO
Tom Hanks & His Latex-Laden Face (and Ludicrous Accent) ELVIS
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) & Mod Sun / Good Mourning
Blonde / Written for the Screen by Andrew Dominik. Adapted from the “Bio-Novel” by Joyce Carol Oates
The 43rd Razzie nominations are out and three genre works are contenders in several categories. The first two are named in the press release:
The year’s most ridiculed movie, Morbius (with Worst Actor nominee Jared Leto in the title role) collected five nods. Disney’s wholly unnecessary (and oddly creepy) live action/CGI remake of Pinocchio pulled our voters’ strings to make it into six categories.
Morbius is based on a Marvel superhero character of the same name.
Tom Hanks, not ordinarily associated with stinkers, acted his way into two categories, as Worst Actor for his performance as Gepetto in Disney’s Pinocchio, and as Worst Supporting Actor as Col. Parker in the non-genre Elvis.
The third genre contender is The King’s Daughter, based on Vonda McIntyre’s historical fantasy The Moon and the Sun. It also yielded nominees for Worst Actress and Worst Supporting Actress.
The 43rd Razzie “winners” will be unveiled on Oscar Eve — Saturday, March 11th.
43rd Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie®) Nominations
Blonde Disney’s Pinocchio Good Mourning The King’s Daughter Morbius
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) Good Mourning Pete Davidson (Voice Only) Marmaduke Tom Hanks (As Gepetto) Disney’s Pinocchio Jared Leto / Morbius Sylvester Stallone / Samaritan
Ryan Kiera Armstrong / Firestarter Bryce Dallas Howard / Jurassic Park: Dominion Diane Keaton / Mack & Rita Kaya Scodelario / The King’s Daughter Alicia Silverstone / The Requin
Blonde BOTH 365 Days Sequels – 365 Days: This Day & The Next 365 Days [a Razzie BOGO] Disney’s Pinocchio Firestarter Jurassic World: Dominion
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adria Arjona / Morbius Lorraine Bracco (Voice Only) Disney’s Pinocchio Penelope Cruz / The 355 Bingbing Fan / The 355 & The King’s Daughter Mira Sorvino / Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Pete Davidson (Cameo Role) Good Mourning Tom Hanks / Elvis Xavier Samuel / Blonde Mod Sun / Good Mourning Evan Williams / Blonde
WORST SCREEN COUPLE
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) & Mod Sun / Good Mourning Both Real Life Characters in the Fallacious White House Bedroom Scene / Blonde Tom Hanks & His Latex-Laden Face (and Ludicrous Accent) ELVIS Andrew Dominik & His Issues with Women / Blonde The Two 365 Days Sequels (both Released in 2022)
Judd Apatow / The Bubble Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) & Mod Sun / Good Mourning Andrew Dominik / Blonde Daniel Espinosa / Morbius Robert Zemeckis / Disney’s Pinocchio
Blonde / Written for the Screen by Andrew Dominik, Adapted from the “Bio-Novel” by Joyce Carol Oates Disney’s Pinocchio / Screenplay by Robert Zemeckis & Chris Weitz (Not Authorized by the Estate of Carlo Collodi) Good Mourning / “Written” by Machine Gun Kelly & Mod Sun Jurassic World: Dominion / Screenplay by Emily Carmichael & Colin Treverrow,Story by Treverrow & Derek Connolly Morbius / Screen Story and Screenplay by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Which, of course actually works. Turns out, calling the number and not being fictional rogue geneticist Adam Soong however, just gets Q mocking you for trying to call the mighty, incomprehensible society that is the Q Continuum. Check out our recording of the phone message below:
If you can’t hear the message, here’s a transcript:
“Hello! You have reached the Q Continuum. We are unable to get to the phone right now, because we are busy living in a plane of existence your feeble, mortal mind cannot possibly comprehend.
“Furthermore, it’s pointless to leave a message, because we of course already knew that you would call, and we simply do not care. Have a nice day.”
The Timekettle team has launched cross-species language translation through its self-developed translation engine on April 1st, 2022. It is now possible to chat with aliens from the Klingon Empire, as well as with your pets via Woof or Meow.
Dern also suggested trying it on this: “GreenEggsAndHam” at the Klingon Language Wiki.
Paul Witcover‘s first novel, Waking Beauty (1997) was short-listed for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. He’s also written five other novels: Tumbling After (2005), Dracula: Asylum (2006), The Emperor of All Things (2013) and its sequel, The Watchman of Eternity (2015), plus most recently, Lincolnstein, just out from PS Publishing.
His 2004 novella “Left of the Dial” was nominated for a Nebula Award, and his 2009 novella “Everland” was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His short fiction has appeared in Twilight Zone magazine, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Night Cry, and other venues. A collection of his short fiction, Everland and Other Stories, appeared from PS Publishing in 2009, and was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. He’s been a frequent reviewer for Realms of Fantasy, Locus, New York Review of Science Fiction, and elsewhere. He teaches fiction at UCLA Extension and at Southern New Hampshire University, where he is the Dean of the Online MFA program.
We discussed the reason the pandemic resulted in some of the best years of his freelance career, the way he thrives as a writer when dealing with the boundaries of historical fiction, why his new novel Lincolnstein is “exactly what you think it is,” how he writes in yesterday’s vernacular without perpetuating yesterday’s stereotypes, what can and can’t be taught about writing, the reasons he felt lucky to have attended Clarion with Lucius Shepard, the effect reading slush at Asimov’s and Twilight Zone magazines had on his own fiction, what Algis Budrys told him that hit him like a brick, and much more.
(5) PATREON EXPLAINS IT TO JDA. Jon Del Arroz, who as usual says he didn’t do nothin’, asked Patreon to explain why they killed his account. They answered and he has posted their response letter — which mentions that “our guidelines apply equally to off-platform activity.” It would be ironic if Patreon bounced him for the racist and misogynistic tweets and YouTube videos he posts which those platforms permit to go undisciplined despite their own community guidelines.
(7) WESTWARD HO. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Financial Times behind a paywall, Tom Faber reviews Horizon Forbidden West.
The one-line pitch is that you’re a hunter-gatherer fighting robot dinosaurs across a post-apocalyptic US. With such a fun hook, nobody needed Horizon Zero Dawn to have a good story, yet its narrative proved unexpectedly compelling. The game takes place a thousand years after rampaging machines have wiped out most of humanity. Survivors have clustered into tribal communities who view relics of technology as objects of either suspicion or religious reverence. The dramas of warring clans are narrated alongside the tale of how our world came to ruin. Guerillas struck gold with flame-haired heroine Aloy, who balances grit and tenderness as one of the most memorable new characters of its console generation…
…Forbidden West is the first truly eye-popping flex of the PS5’s muscles, with graphics so beautiful that I have often found myself halting the adventure just to gawp at the landscape, whether dust clouds careening across the desert or forest leaves quivering in the breeze. The robot enemies are ingenious works of biomechanical clockwork, shaped like snakes, hippos, ferrets, rams, and pterodactyls, with electric cables for sinew and gleaming steel for ligaments.
(8) CLARION WEST CLASSES. Registration for Clarion West’s Spring online classes and workshops is now open. Full information and ticket prices at the links.
This workshop aims to give you practical tools for evaluating publishing contracts. While it’s impossible to teach you everything there is to know about the legal side of publishing in a single class, it is possible to gain a general understanding of the rights involved and the practical mindset needed to protect your interests.
After a brief lecture on common publishing contractual terms, instructor Ken Liu (a lawyer and an author) will lead participants in interactive exercises to spot potential issues in language taken from actual contracts. Whether you’re looking at your first pro short story sale or an offer to adapt your novel into a TV show, the exercises in this class will help you.
Depending on the contracts used in the exercises, topics covered may include publishing rights (print, web, electronic, audio, etc.), performance rights, foreign language rights, media rights (gaming, film, and TV), royalties, advances, taxes, indemnification, etc. There will also be a Q&A period to address specific questions from participants.
This class is provided for educational purposes only, and none of the content should be construed as professional legal, tax, or financial advice.
With demand for transgender and nonbinary narratives on the rise, more cisgender (non-trans/nonbinary) people are adding trans and nonbinary characters to their stories. But what can you do to make sure you’re providing accurate representation? In this session, we will explore the “Three Es” of writing a trans/nonbinary character, the best craft approaches for each, and their potential pitfalls. We’ll also go over (in)appropriate reasons to write a trans/nonbinary narrative, general dos, and don’ts, and an overview of the experiences most often used incorrectly in stories.
This class for intermediate to advanced writers focused on craft to help you flex your funny muscles (since bones don’t flex). We’ll cover new ways to look at your funny fiction, techniques, exercises, the odd hack and trick- and culminate in a small mini-workshop where we’ll go over a piece you worked on!
This class meets three times: April 12, 16 and May 10, 2022, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Pacific.
This class will give an overview of the tools libraries use to discover materials and what makes a title more likely to be ordered for a library’s collection. We will also discuss the challenges and opportunities librarians face in acquiring materials and how authors can position themselves to be in a library’s line of sight when it comes to getting their books included in library collections.
We’ll cover physical materials (books and audiobooks) as well as the prickly digital (ebooks and audiobooks) library landscape.
Finally, we’ll also cover a little bit about doing library programs, like readings and classes.
Attendees will come away with a better understanding of how libraries locate and purchase materials and the limitations and differences between the library and the consumer markets.
You know it’s possible to be a successful short story writer with a full-time job, family, and hobbies. The question is, How? How do you get beyond the slush pile? How do you find the time to write when you have a million other obligations? This class will cover how to level up your craft as a short story writer and how to find the time, motivation, and persistence to stick with it while living a full life.
Suitable for writers at all stages of their careers, this class will emphasize self-compassion and give you ideas for how to level up your stories!
(9) HE WAS AN INFLUENCE ON BRADBURY. [Item by Alan Baumler.] Loren Eisley was a prolific science writer, and at least one sf writer liked him. About his book The Star ThrowerRay Bradbury wrote, “The book will be read and cherished in the year 2001. It will go to the Moon and Mars with future generations. Loren Eiseley’s work changed my life.” In “Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 1,059”, Erik Loomis traces the author’s life for readers of Lawyers, Guns & Money.
…As Ray Bradbury said of Eiseley, “he is every writer’s writer, and every human’s human.” This is a great description and his combination of interest in science, human origins, evolutionary theory, and what it means to be a human being continued to lead to best sellers. He quickly moved on his popularity to become the leading interpreter of science in the United States. Darwin’s Century followed in 1958. I haven’t read that one. I have read his 1960 book The Firmament of Time. This was an attempt to give people hope to live with science in an era of such astounding advances that it threatened human beings, particularly nuclear science….
(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
1995 — [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Twenty-seven years ago this evening on BBC One, the Bugs series first aired. The series was created by Brian Eastman and producer Stuart Doughty with input from writer and producer Brian Clemens who is best known for his work on The Avengers which is why he considered this “an Avengers for the 1990s”. No idea if that was true having not seen it.
It lasted, despite almost being cancelled at the end of series three, for four series and forty episodes. It had an immense, and I do mean that, cast including Jaye Griffiths who was on Silent Witness early on (I’m watching all twenty-one series of it right now), Craig McLalachlan who was the lead in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Jesse Birdsall who played Fraser Black in the very popular soap opera Hollyoaks and Steve Houghton who’s Gregg Blake in the London Burning series.
So how was it? I couldn’t find any contemporary reviews, but this later review suggests that it was a mixed bag: “Bugs is a mid-1990s British techno-espionage TV series, intended to be The Avengers (1960s) for a new decade. Wikipedia has the facts. Absolutely laden with Hollywood Science tropes, and quite prone to So Bad, It’s Good.” Another review noted that, “The show does have a cult following in the UK and in 2005 was released on DVD. The main cast have also spoken very highly of the show and the work they did on it, expressing that Bugs was deliberately ahead of its time and set a bench mark for other shows to come.”
JustWatch says it is not streaming anywhere at the current time.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born April 1, 1883 — Lon Chaney. Actor, director, makeup artist and screenwriter. Best remembered I’d say for the Twenties silent horror films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera in which he did his own makeup. He developed pneumonia in late 1929 and he was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer which he died from. (Died 1930.)
Born April 1, 1917 — Sydney Newman. Head of Drama at BBC, he was responsible for both The Avengers and Doctor Who happening. It’s worth noting that Newman’s initial set-up for The Avengers was much grittier than it became in the later years. (Died 1997.)
Born April 1, 1925 — Ernest Kinoy. He was a scriptwriter for such stories as “The Martian Death March” to Dimension X and X Minus One as well as adapting stories by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick for the both series. He also wrote an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” for NBC’s Presents: Short Story. (Died 2014.)
Born April 1, 1926 — Anne McCaffrey. I read both the original trilogy and what’s called the Harper Hall trilogy oh so many years ago when dragons were something I was intensely interested in. I enjoyed them immensely but haven’t revisited them so I don’t know what the Suck Fairy would make of them. I confess that I had no idea she’d written so much other genre fiction! And I recounted her Hugo awards history in the March 7 Pixel Scroll (item #9). (Died 2011.)
Born April 1, 1930 — Grace Lee Whitney. Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek. She would reach the rank of Lt. Commander in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Folks, I just noticed that IMDB says she was only on eight episodes of Trek, all in the first fifteen that aired. It seemed like a lot more at the time. She also appeared in in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. By the last film, she was promoted to being a Lt. Commander in rank. Her last appearance was in Star Trek: Voyager’s “Flashback” along with Hikaru Sulu. Oh, and she was in two video fanfics, Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. (Died 2015.)
Born April 1, 1942 — Samuel R. Delany, 80. There’s no short list of recommended works for him as everything he’s done is brilliant. That said I think I’d start off suggesting a reading first of Babel- 17 and Dhalgren followed by the Return to Nevèrÿon series. His two Hugo wins were at Heicon ’70 for the short story “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones” as published in New Worlds, December 1968, and at Noreascon 3 (1989) in the Best Non-Fiction Work category for The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village, 1957-1965. I will do a full look at his awards and all of his Hugo nominations in an essay shortly.
Born April 1, 1953 — Barry Sonnenfeld, 69. Director of The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values (both of which I really like), the Men in Black trilogy and Wild Wild West. He also executive-produced Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which I’ve not seen, and did the same for Men in Black: International, the recent not terribly well-received continuation of that franchise.
Born April 1, 1963 — James Robinson, 59. Writer, both comics and film. Some of his best known comics are the series centered on the Justice Society of America, in particular the Starman character he co-created with Tony Harris. His Starman series is without doubt some of the finest work ever done in the comics field. His screenwriting is a mixed bag. Remember The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Well, that’s him. He’s much, much better on the animated Son of Batman film. And I’ll admit that James Robinson’s Complete WildC.A.T.s is a sort of guilty pleasure.
(12) IT CAUGHT ON IN A FLASH. Cora Buhlert has a new story out. A flash story called “Rescue Unwanted,” it appears as part of the flash fiction Friday series of Wyngraf Magazine of Cozy Fantasy: “Cozy Flash: ‘Rescue Unwanted’”.
After a lengthy and laborious climb, Sir Clarenbald the Bold finally reached the summit of the Crag of Doom. The cave of the dragon lay before him, its mouth a dark void in the grey rock….
(13) WHERE IT’S AT. The Movie District has mapped out the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Filming Locations” with a combination of stills from the movie and contemporary Google Maps images. This is pretty damn interesting to me because I used to live two blocks from a few of the places in Sierra Madre.
The Razzie Awards have reversed their decision to stand by their “Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in 2021” award. “After much thought and consideration, the Razzies have made the decision to rescind the Razzie Award given to Bruce Willis, due to his recently disclosed diagnosis,” a statement by co-founders John Wilson and Mo Murphy says.
“If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and/or their performance, we acknowledge that it is not appropriate to give them a Razzie.” Willis’ family announced on Wednesday that the actor had been diagnosed with the cognitive disorder aphasia and was stepping away from acting.
The Razzie Awards came under fire on Wednesday for refusing to rescind the special award for Willis, and for making an inflammatory Tweet. “The Razzies are truly sorry for #BruceWillis diagnosed condition,” the parody awards ceremony wrote on Twitter. “Perhaps this explains why he wanted to go out with a bang in 2021. Our best wishes to Bruce and family.”
In addition, the organization took the opportunity to rescind another previous nomination – Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall in “The Shining.”
“As we recently mentioned in a Vulture Interview, extenuating circumstances also apply to Shelley Duvall in ‘The Shining.’ We have since discovered that Duvall’s performance was impacted by Stanley Kubrick’s treatment of her throughout the production. We would like to take this opportunity to rescind that nomination as well.”…
(15) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter says tonight’s Jeopardy! contestants struck out on this one.
Category: Books and Authors
Answer: In “The Story of” this man, his friends include Too-Too, an owl, Chee-Chee, a monkey, & Dab-Dab, a duck.
No one could ask, “Who is Doctor Dolittle?”
(16) JUSTWATCH – TOP 10’S IN MARCH. JustWatch says these were the “Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies and TV Shows in the US in March 2022”.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
The Adam Project
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Raised by Wolves
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Matrix Resurrections
*Based on JustWatch popularity score. Genre data is sourced from themoviedb.org
(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Hancock Pitch Meeting” Ryan George explains that Hancock has a scene where one character destroys her house to prevent her husband from knowing she has super powers. But the producer is troubled by another scene where Hancock becomes enraged and violent after he is taunted. “How could that happen?” the producer asks. “That’s just not in Will Smith’s character!”
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Cora Buhlert, Alan Baumler, Scott Edelman, Michael J. Walsh, Dennis Howard, Dan Bloch, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
[Update: 04/01/2022. In light of Bruce Willis’ family announcing that he has aphasia and is stepping back from acting, the Razzie award and nominations have been withdrawn.]
The 42nd Razzie® Nominations are out. “We simple Earthlings who did not ‘Look Up’ remained glued to the Razzie crap streaming, beaming and steaming from our various screens and devices,” begins the press release.
The choices for this year’s Worst Picture nominees include two genre productions, Infinite and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Each film is nominated in several more categories, however, they are eclipsed by Diana the Musical, based on the life of the late princess, which leads with nine nominations.
Actor Bruce Willis has worked so much lately that he is nominated eight times and designated a category by himself. Two of his roles are sff.
This year’s “winners” will be unveiled on the now traditional date of “Oscar Eve,” Saturday, March 26.
Genre movies (unfortunately!) dominate the satirical 41st Annual Razzie Award nominations for the worst cinematic achievements of 2021. The selections were announced March 13, as always a day before the Academy Awards nominees are released.
Dolittle was one of two pictures tied for the most Razzie nominations with six. Close behind was Fantasy Island with five. The marginally genre Hubie Halloween received three. Wonder Woman 1984 got two.
This year’s “winners” will be unveiled on the now traditional date of “Oscar Eve,” Saturday, April 24.
But there were enough raspberries left over for deserving actors in other movies – John Travolta won for both his work in The Fanatic and Trading Paint, and Hilary Duff won for her film The Haunting of Sharon Tate, in which she played the iconic ’60s starlet in a horror film.
John Travolta / The Fanatic & Trading
Hilary Duff / The Haunting of Sharon Tate
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rebel Wilson / Cats
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
James Corden / Cats
WORST SCREEN COMBO
Any Two Half-Feline/Half-Human Hairballs / Cats
Cats / Screenplay by Lee Hall and Tom
Tom Hooper / Cats
WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL
Rambo: Last Blood
WORST RECKLESS DISREGARD for HUMAN LIFE and PUBLIC PROPERTY
Rambo: Last Blood
RAZZIE® REDEEMER AWARD
Eddie Murphy / Dolemite Is My Name
Eddie Murphy was snubbed at the
Oscars themselves for his work in “Dolemite Is My Name,” but he beat out Adam
Sandler for the Razzies’ Redeemer Award, which recognizes strong performances
from past honorees of the Razzies.
With over thirty films and hundreds of pieces of media spanning nearly seventy years, Godzilla is one of the most recognizable figures in all of popular culture. But as with anything that has become so enshrined in our collective imagination, there are more than a few falsehoods about Godzilla that many people continue to believe….
8 Godzilla is Green
This largely emerged from North American advertisements for the first G-film that depicted the monster in a shade of vibrant green. Throughout most of the franchise, though, Godzilla has been shown with grey or charcoal skin.
For the most part, this trait has remained the same, with the exception being Godzilla 2000, which was actually the first iteration of the creature to be green in color.
(6) EARLY PETER CAPALDI.[Item by Martin Morse
Wooster.] In theMaltin on Movies podcast with
Craig Ferguson at about the one hour mark, Leonard Maltin asked
Ferguson if he really was in a band called “Bastards From
Hell.” Ferguson explained that he was, but he was the drummer in
Peter Capaldi’s band. Leonard Maltin explained that Capaldi was best
known for his role as Doctor Who, and Ferguson of course said, “You
mean The Doctor.”
episode ended with the Maltins and Ferguson talking about their pets.
Ferguson explained that he kept chickens, and Jessie Maltin asked if the
chickens has Scottish accents. Ferguson said he didn’t know because
“I don’t speak chicken” but then gave his impression of what chickens
would sound like if they had Scottish accents…
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.
March 15, 1956 — Forbidden Planet premiered. It was produced by Nicholas Nayfack, and directed by Fred M. Wilcox. The story was by Irving Block and Allen Adler. It starred Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen. The narration was done by Les Tremayne. Shot in glorious Eastmancolor and CinemaScope, it is considered one of the great science fiction films of all time as it well should be. It features the first appearance of Robby the Robot who, under many different guises, will show up in different advertisements, films and series down the decades. You can go watch it here.
March 15, 1967 — Frankenstein Created Women premiered. It was yet another Hammer Frankenstein film as directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and Susan Denberg as his latest creation. Anthony Frank Hinds, who was also known as Tony Hinds and John Elder, wrote the screenplay. Critics generally generally found it Lis king a coherent script and gory while currently it has a 56% rating by the audience at a Rotten Tomatoes. You can see it here. Unfortunately we could only find it as a German print, so Cora may be the only one here who can fully enjoy it!
March 15, 1972 — Slaughterhouse-Five premiered. Based on the Vonnegut novel of the name, it would win a Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation at Torcon II in 1973. The screenplay is by Stephen Geller while the film was directed by George Roy Hill. It starred Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, and Valerie Perrine, and also features Eugene Roche, Sharon Gans, Holly Near, and Perry King. Critics in general liked it a lot, but more importantly Vonnegut thought it got the novel perfectly. It currently carries a 67% audience rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. It’s available on pretty much every streaming service in this universe.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born March 15, 1852 — Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory (née Persse). Irish dramatist, folklorist, theatre manager. With William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, she created the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre. She produced a number of books of retellings of stories taken from Irish mythology. Gods and Fighting Men, all seven hundred pages strong, is the best look at her work. It’s available at all the usual digital sources. (Died 1932.)
Born March 15, 1911 — Desmond W. Hall. He served as assistant editor of Astounding Stories of Super Science. His writing career is best remembered for his Hawk Carse series which would as Space Hawk: The Greatest of Interplanetary Adventures in the Fifties. These were co-written with Harry Bates, Astounding Editor. Unfortunately, it appears that he never stayed in print, either in paper or digitally. (Died 1982.)
Born March 15, 1920 — Lawrence Sanders. Mystery writer who wrote several thrillers that according to ISFDB had genre elements such as The Tomorrow File and The Passion of Molly T. Now I’ve not read them so I cannot comment how just on how obvious the genre elements are, but I assume it’s similar to what one finds in a Bond film. One these novels btw is described on the dust jacket as an “erotic spine tingler”. (Died 1998.)
Born March 15, 1924 — Walter Gotell. He’s remembered for being General Gogol, head of the KGB, in the Roger Moore Bond films as well as having played the role of Morzeny, in From Russia With Love, one of Connery’s Bond films. He also appeared as Gogol in The Living Daylights, Dalton’s first Bond film. I’m fairly sure that makes him the only actor to be a villain to three different Bonds. (Died 1997.)
Born March 15, 1926 — Rosel George Brown. A talented life cut far too short by cancer. In 1959, she was nominated for the Hugo Award for best new author, but her career was ended when she died of lymphoma at the age of 41. Some wrote some twenty stories between 1958 and 1964, with her novels being Sibyl Sue Blue, and its sequel, The Waters of Centaurus about a female detective, plus Earthblood, co-written with Keith Laumer. She’s not available in digital form but used copies of her works are readily available on Amazon. (Died 1967.)
Born March 15, 1939 — Robert Nye. He did what the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy describes as “bawdy, scatological, richly told, sometimes anachronistic reworkings of the traditional material“ with some of his works being Beowulf, Taliesin (which is the name of my SJW cred), Faust, Merlin and Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works. Some of his works are available at the usual digital suspects. (Died 2016.)
Born March 15, 1943 — David Cronenberg, 77. Not a Director whose tastes are at all squeamish. His best films? I’d pick Videodrome, The Fly, Naked Lunch and The Dead Zone. Though I’m tempted to toss Scanners in that list as well. ISFDB says he has one genre novel, Consumed, which garnered a Bram Stoker Award nominated for A Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Oh and he was in the film version of Clive Barker Nightbreed.
Born March 15, 1967 — Isa Dick Hackett, 53. Producer and writer for Amazon who helped produce The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, and The Adjustment Bureau, all of which are based on works by her father, Philip K. Dick.
(10) NEVERMORE. [Item by Martin Morse
Wooster.] The Washington Post’s Kate Silver has a piece about
Nevermore Park: “In
Chicago, muralist Hebru Brantley’s outdoor art moves inside”. This is something
like Meow Wolf, in that it is an immersive art installation with lots of things
to do for your $28. It is also based on imaginary characters. But
the difference is that this is the creation of one artist, Hebru Brantley, and
this is Afrofuturist art.
In 2019, Brantley created Nevermore Park inside his old Chicago art studio because he wanted to tell the characters’ stories in a different way. He sought to explore how Flyboy and Lil Mama — the female character — live, what they eat, how they think, where they play, what public transportation looks like in their neighborhood. And he wanted it to be tangible, built for interaction. “In the higher-art world, it’s always ‘Look but don’t touch,’?” he says. In Nevermore Park, there are no such rules.
In the back corner of a burned lot in Australia’s fire-ravaged South Coast stands a torched tree. It’s uppermost branches reach into a cloudless sky, brittle and bare. Against its charred trunk rests half-burned rubble, remains from the gift shop it used to shade.
But that’s not where local resident Claire Polach is pointing. She gestures to the middle part of the tree, where lime green leaves sprout from blackened bark, as if the tree is wearing a shaggy sweater.
To Polach, the burst of regrowth is a sign that despite a months’ long assault of flame and smoke, the second-hottest summer on record and a multi-year drought, Australia’s nature “is doing it’s thing.”
As for people like her, recovering from the same? “We’ll follow the nature,” she says.
This cycle of fire, rain and recovery has played out in Australia for millennia. The majority of the country’s forests are uniquely adapted to fire. Some species need it. “Australia is, more than any other, a fire continent,” writes ecologist and historian Stephen Pyne in his book “World Fire.”
But scientists have long warned that a warming climate could mean more severe fires, more often. Now there are concerns that even a fire continent will struggle to recover from the scale and severity of recent events.
New research published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that a staggering 21 percent of Australia’s forested area burned in the 2019-2020 fire season, a figure the authors say is “globally unprecedented” and may indicate “the more flammable future projected to eventuate under climate change has arrived earlier than anticipated.”
The question now is whether Australia’s nature can keep pace.
…A year earlier, during his famous thousand-mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico, Muir recorded his observations and meditations in a notebook inscribed John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe. In one of the entries from this notebook, the twenty-nine-year-old Muir counters the human hubris of anthropocentricity in a sentiment far ahead of his time and, in many ways, ahead of our own as we grapple with our responsibility to the natural world. More than a century before Carl Sagan reminded us that we, like all creatures, are “made of starstuff,” Muir humbles us into our proper place in the cosmic order…
This time of year, pilots in small blue and white airplanes are busy gathering information about how much snow is on the ground — and more importantly, how much water that snow contains.
National Weather Service forecasters say parts of Minnesota could see flood conditions later this spring, according to preliminary outlooks. The National Weather Service flood outlook map says there’s a significantly elevated chance of flooding in the Upper Mississippi River and Red River watersheds.
On a clear, very cold morning at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, Lt. Conor Maginn and Lt. j.g. Mason Carroll warm up their twin engine turboprop and run down the pre-flight checklist. They are pilots with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Commissioned Officer Corps. On this flight, Carroll pilots while Maginn operates the scientific instruments and scans the navigation charts.
At 3,500 feet a half hour north of the Twin Cities, Maginn lets air traffic controllers know they’ll drop down to 500 feet, an altitude so low that snowmobile tracks, the stilts beneath deer stands, and the letters on the Mora water tower are easy to spot in the bright sunshine.
From a large tablet computer, Maginn activates the suitcase-sized gamma ray detector that’s mounted in the belly of the plane. The low altitude is critical; any higher and the instrument can’t get a good reading. They scan the horizon for hazards like birds and cellphone towers.
Once a second, the detector measures the amount of low-level natural radiation emanating from the soil and compares it to readings taken in the same spot last autumn, before the snow built up.
“If we fly over the same lines like we’re doing now, we can compare those two numbers and get an idea of how much water is in the snowpack,” Maginn explained.
The computer reveals that the snow in the sample contains about 3.5 inches of water. Because snow can be fluffy or compact or anything in between, forecasters calculate a figure called snow water equivalent. This is critical to forecasting how much will drain into rivers and streams when the snow melts in the spring.
(14) SPIN DOCTOR. In the Washington Post Magazine, Menachem
Wecker profiles Smithsonian cultural history curator Harry Rand, who, in his
book Rumpelstiltskin’s Secret: What Women Didn’t Tell The Grimms says
that the real fairy tale about Rumpelstiltskin, as conveyed orally through
women-only gatherings called Spinnstubes, is that the character is sterile.
a Smithsonian researcher reinterpreted Rumpelstiltskin for the #MeToo era”.
Harry Rand might be the most intriguing Washington researcher you’ve never heard of. The Smithsonian Institution senior cultural history curator is a published poet who holds a 1989 patent for design of a “modular space vehicle for deep space applications.” Rand has also penned critically acclaimed books on artists and has investigated topics from what Vermeer’s famous milkmaid is making (spoiler: bread pudding) to the social implications of medieval foie gras production to how the Trojan Horse was named. Still, it’s surprising even for such an omnivorous thinker to devote nearly 300 pages, with footnotes, endnotes and appendixes, to a fairy tale. But he does just that in his new book, “Rumpelstiltskin’s Secret: What Women Didn’t Tell the Grimms,” in which he claims that the story was never intended for children.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, John King
Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, and Martin Morse
Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing
editor of the day Kip W.]