SFPA Issues New Rhysling Award Guidelines

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has implemented new guidelines for the organization’s best-known prize, the Rhysling Award.

The most significant changes are the addition of a jury to the process, and a rule to discourage entrants from also competing for two other SFPA prizes with the same poem.

JURY. SFPA members will continue to collectively create a list of nominees. The new Rhysling jury will select the finalists from their recommendations. SFPA members will still vote on the winners.

RANGE. The Rhysling Award will still be given in short and long categories, with the dividing point at 50 lines. However, there are now lower and upper limits to prevent “double dipping” into SFPA’s other awards, the Dwarf Stars and Elgin Award. Poems 10 lines and under are eligible only for Dwarf Stars. Poems 300 lines and over are eligible only for the Elgin.

The changes followed two rounds of surveying members and have been approved by SFPA’s executives.

2022 Rhysling Award Long Poem Winners

Beth Cato, Marsheila Rockwell, Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo are the winners of 2022 Rhysling Award in the Long Poem Category. Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association members voted their work at the top of the polls. There were 78 nominees.

Long Poem Category

First Place

Second Place

  • “Reservation Fairy Tales 101—Final Exam” • Marsheila Rockwell • Augur Magazine 4:1

Third Place

  • “Alexander’s Babylon” • Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo • Victims (Weasel Press)

Honorable Mentions

The 2022 Rhysling Chairs are F. J. Bergmann and Brian U. Garrison.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words. The 2022 Rhysling Award short poem winners were announced in June.

Pixel Scroll 8/25/22 Eats, Scrolls And Athelas

(1) RHYSLING REVAMP SURVEY REPORT. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) surveyed members about potential changes to their Rhysling Award. See their feedback here: “Rhysling Revamp” at the SPECPO blog. From the introduction:

The Rhysling Awards are in their 45th year of recognizing excellent speculative poetry, presented by The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA). Leaders have been monitoring the Rhysling Anthology as it grew along with membership numbers. The anthology has ballooned from 42 poems in 2002 to 180 poems in 2022. Continued growth would result in an anthology that is not feasible to print or read.

Here’s an excerpt from the survey results.

CATEGORIES

A continual discussion point among members is the question of “double dipping” on awards. Most respondents support that Elgin-length poems not be considered for the Rhysling (64%). A slight majority agree at setting a maximum line length for the Rhysling (53%), which would be consistent with considering extra-long poems being only eligible for the Elgins. On the other side of the spectrum, there is generally support (49%) for Dwarf Stars to be the only award that can catch the 1-10 line poems. Only 25% of respondents disagreed about keeping Dwarf-Stars-eligible poems out of the Rhyslings.

There was very little support for adjusting the length definitions, but lots of ambivalence showing in the swell of neutral responses (44%).

(2) CHICON 8 POCKET PROGRAM. In a manner of speaking. The 392-page Pocket Program is now available on the Chicon 8 website. There are two versions, (1) a single page version best viewed on phones and tablets, and (2) a two-page version which is best for printing.

(3) ALERT: FAUX CHICON 8 MERCHANDISE. The Worldcon committee issued a heads up that some t-shirt sites are selling Chicon 8 branded merchandise and saying they are official. They are not.

“Our only official site for Chicon 8 merchandise at this time is Redbubble. If you buy from anywhere else, it does not benefit the convention. Please shop wisely!”

(4) THE OTHER WORLD. This World Fantasy Award winner’s new book isn’t genre, but when speaking about her research she says things like this — “So I went on this fantastic two-week trip into a time and place that doesn’t really exist now.” “Sofia Samatar Brings a Second Coming” at Publishers Weekly.

Sofia Samatar has a way with a sentence. No matter what she’s writing—whether it’s short stories, like her quietly devastating Nebula- and Hugo-nominated “Selkie Stories Are for Losers,” or novels, like her World Fantasy Award–winning debut, A Stranger in Olondria—her work has a way of pairing the mundane and sublime with casual aplomb.

Her latest, The White Mosque (Catapult, Oct.), is a mosaic memoir that juxtaposes history, culture, religion and regionalism, tracing the journey of a group of German-speaking Mennonites into the heart of Khiva in Central Asia—now modern-day Uzbekistan—on a quest that promised no less than the second coming of Christ.

Samatar’s own journey to the site where the group’s church once stood started in 2016, when her father-in-law gave her a book titled The Great Trek of the Russian Mennonites, by Frank Belk. “This guy, who’s sort of a cult leader, predicts Christ is returning, and these people just uproot their lives to follow him,” she says, speaking via Zoom from her office at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., where she’s an associate professor of English. “Of course, nothing happens. But they stayed for 50 years, until they were deported by the Bolsheviks.”

Samatar, the child of a Black Somali Muslim and a white Mennonite, became obsessed with the story…. 

(5) CON OR BUST. Dream Foundry, which previously announced that Con or Bust is “folding into our (dragon) wing,” shared the program’s new logo designed by Dream Foundry contest winner Yue Feng.

Applications for grants are open, and they’ve already begun reviewing and issuing grants. If you want to help creatives and fans of color have access to conventions and other opportunities, donate here. To stay in the loop on Con or Bust news, sign up for the program’s quarterly newsletter.     

(6) BACK TO THE MOON. This NASA promo about the Artemis mission dropped yesterday. “Artemis I: We Are Ready”.

The journey of half a million miles – the first flight of the Artemis Generation – is about to begin. The uncrewed Artemis I mission will jump-start humanity’s return to the Moon with the thunderous liftoff of NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. This critical flight test will send Orion farther than any human-rated spacecraft has ever flown, putting new systems and processes to the test and lighting the way for the crew missions to come. Artemis I is ready for departure – and, together with our partners around the world, we are ready to return to the Moon, with our sights on Mars and beyond.

(7) WHERE’S THE LOOT? [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Financial Times behind a paywall, Tom Faber looks at the problems game designers have giving users rewards.

Most games interface short, mid- and long-term rewards that trigger at different times.  the short-term rewards often take the form of sensory feedback; the bright ‘ding’ when you get a coin in Super Mario, an enemy’s head exploding in a shower of gore in Grand Theft Auto.  These get boring after a while–behavioural psychologists learned that repeating the same rewards generates diminishing returns.  So developers offer midterm rewards:  new levels, items, skills, characters, locations or narrative beats.  The longterm rewards are often related to social competition and prestige, such as difficult high-level team challenges or rare cosmetic items which players can show off to their friends.

Loot boxes lean into several of these techniques.  They have been employed in all manner of games ranging from FIFA to Star Wars, and they’re very profitable.  Yet they have also faced a backlash:  a recent report from consumer bodies in 18 European countries called them ‘exploitative.’  Although they have been banned in Belgium since 2018, most governments have been wary of legislation–the UK recently decided not to ban loot boxes after a 22-month consultation.  Still, some developers have heard gamers are unhappy–loot boxes were removed from Star Wars Battlefront 2 after an outcry and Blizzard recently announced they won’t feature in upcoming shooter Overwatch  2.”

(8) AGAINST ALL ODDS. The New York Times drills deep into one writer’s experience in “How to Get Published: A Book’s Journey From ‘Very Messy’ Draft to Best Seller”. The author’s novel The School for Good Mothers is set in the near future.

…“I’d like people to know that it’s possible for a debut author in her 40s, a woman of color, a mom, who led a quiet life offline with no brand building whatsoever to have this experience,” said Jessamine Chan.

And yet Chan’s “The School for Good Mothers” was published in January 2022 — and soared to the best-seller list, catapulting her to literary stardom. Last month, former President Barack Obama featured it on his summer reading list.

How does a debut novel go from a “very messy” draft on a writer’s desk to a published book, on display in bookstores around the country?

Here, we take you behind the scenes to see how a book is born — the winding path it takes, the many hands that touch it, the near-misses and the lucky breaks that help determine its fate.

(9) WHEATON SIGNING SCHEDULED. “Wil Wheaton presents and signs Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA on August 31 at 7:00 p.m.

From starring in Stand by Me to playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation to playing himself, in his second (third?) iconic role of Evil Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory, to becoming a social media supernova, Wil Wheaton has charted a career course unlike anyone else, and has emerged as one of the most popular and well respected names in science fiction, fantasy and pop culture.

Back in 2001, Wil began blogging on wilwheaton.net. Believing himself to have fallen victim to the curse of the child actor, Wil felt relegated to the convention circuit, and didn’t expect many would want to read about his random experiences and personal philosophies.

Yet, much to his surprise, people were reading. He still blogs, and now has an enormous following on social media with well over 3 million followers.

In Still Just a Geek, Wil revisits his 2004 collection of blog posts, Just a Geek, filled with insightful and often laugh-out-loud annotated comments, additional later writings, and all new material written for this publication. The result is an incredibly raw and honest memoir, in which Wil opens up about his life, about falling in love, about coming to grips with his past work, choices, and family, and finding fulfillment in the new phases of his career. From his times on the Enterprise to his struggles with depression to his starting a family and finding his passion–writing–Wil Wheaton is someone whose life is both a cautionary tale and a story of finding one’s true purpose that should resonate with fans and aspiring artists alike. (William Morrow & Company)

(10) VIKING FUNERAL FOR BATGIRL? The Guardian hears “‘Secret’ screenings of cancelled Batgirl movie being held by studio – reports”.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed with multiple sources that a select few who worked on the film, including cast, crew and studio executives, would be attending the screenings this week on the Warner Bros lot in California. One source described them as “funeral screenings”, as it is likely the footage will be stored forever and never shown to the public.

…The Hollywood Reporter reported there was a chance Warner Bros would make “the drastic move of actually destroying its Batgirl footage as a way to demonstrate to the IRS that there will never be any revenue from the project, and thus it should be entitled to the full write-down immediately.”

On Tuesday, in an interview with French outlet Skript, Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah said they no longer had any copy of the film, recalling the moment they found they could not longer access the servers that held the footage.

…El Arbi said it was unlikely they’d have the studio’s support to release it in the future or that there could be an equivalent of “the Snyder cut” – Zack Snyder’s four-hour director’s cut of the DC film Justice League, which added an extra $70m to a $300m budget film.

“It cannot be released in its current state,” said El Arbi. “There’s no VFX … we still had some scenes to shoot. So if one day they want us to release the Batgirl movie, they’d have to give us the means to do it. To finish it properly with our vision.”

(11) TRANSFORMATIVE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. Seekingferret posted a “Panel Report” from Fanworks where the topic was “Ethical Norms in Fanworks Fandom”.

… I presented three models for fandom’s approach to copyright- the It’s All Transformative model, the It’s Illegal but I Do It Anyway model, and the It’s Not Illegal Because the Copyright Holders’ Inaction is an Implicit License model, and then the audience argued with me for a while about whether the second two models are essentially the same, which was a good, clarifying argument to have….

Also of interest is the panel’s accompanying slideshow.

(12) WARNING. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Since, fan-wise, many cons use Discord… “Roblox and Discord Become Virus Vectors for New PyPI Malware” at The New Stack.

If you can communicate on it, you can abuse it. This was proven again recently when a hacker using the name “scarycoder” uploaded a dozen malicious Python packages to PyPI, the popular Python code repository. These bits of code pretended to provide useful functions for Roblox gaming community developers, but all they really did was steal users’ information. So far, so typical. Where it got interesting is it used the Discord messaging app to download malicious executable files.

(13) BOOK PORN. [Item by Bill.] Whenever I see a photograph on the web that has a bookshelf in the background, I spend way too much time trying to figure out what the books are.  For example: 

Blogger Lawrence Person has posted photos of his SF book shelves, and there are a lot of titles I’d love to have in my own collection.  A few years old, but perhaps worth a look ….  “Overview of Lawrence Person’s Library: 2017 Edition”. He provides regular updates to the collection (see the “books” tag).  

(14) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.  

1989 [By Cat Eldridge.] Thirty-three years ago, the first installment of the Bill & Ted franchise, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure premiered.

Starring William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, portrayed by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as, and not giving a frell about spoilers here, time travelling slacker high schoolers assembling the ultimate history report. And let’s not forget Rufus as portrayed by George Carlin. I met him some forty years ago — a really neat gentleman. 

Stephen Herek directed here. He had previously written and directed the horror/SF Critters film. Nasty film it was. Chris Matheson who wrote all three of the franchise films co-wrote this with Ed Solomon who co-wrote the third with him and, more importantly, was the Men in Black writer.

By late Eighties standards, it was cheap to produce costing only ten million and making forty in return. Critics for the most part were hostile —- the Washington Post said “if Stephen Herek has any talent for comedy, it’s not visible here.” And the Los Angeles Times added, “it’s unabashed glorification of dumbness for dumbness’ sake.” 

It spawned not one but two television series named – oh, guess what they were named. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, an animated series that started out on CBS and ended on Fox, lasted twenty-one episodes over two seasons, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the live version, lasted but seven episodes on Fox. Evan Richards and Christopher Kennedy played Bill and Ted.

DC did the comic for the first film, Marvel for the second. It did well enough that it led to the Marvel series Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book which lasted for just twelve issues. And there was a sort of adaptation of the animated series that lasted for a year by Britain’s now gone Look-In Magazine.

Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a most bodacious seventy-five percent rating.

(15) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 25, 1909 Michael Rennie. Definitely best remembered as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still. He would show up a few years later on one of The Lost World films as Lord John Roxton, and he’s got an extensive genre series resume which counts Lost in Space as The Keeper in two episodes, The Batman as The Sandman, The Time TunnelThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Invaders. (Died 1972.)
  • Born August 25, 1913 Walt Kelly. If you can get them, Fantagraphics has released the complete Pogo in twelve stunning hardcover editions covering up to 1973. Did you know Kelly began his career as animator at Walt Disney Studios, working on DumboPinocchio and Fantasia? Well he did. (Died 1973.)
  • Born August 25, 1930 Sean Connery. Worst film? Zardoz. Best film? From Russia with Love very, very definitely. Best SF film? Outland. Or Time Bandits you want to go for silly. Now remember these are my personal choices. I almost guarantee that you will have different ones. (Died 2020.)
  • Born August 25, 1940 Marilyn Niven, 82. She was a Boston-area fan who now lives in LA and is married to writer Larry Niven. She has worked on a variety of conventions, both regionals and Worldcons.  In college, she was a member of the MITSFS and was one of the founding members of NESFA. She’s also a member of Almack’s Society for Heyer Criticism.
  • Born August 25, 1947 Michael Kaluta, 75. He’s best known for his 1970s take on The Shadow with writer Dennis O’Neil for DC in 1973–1974. He’d reprise his work on The Shadow for Dark Horse a generation later. And Kaluta and O’Neil reunited on The Shadow: 1941 – Hitler’s Astrologer graphic novel published in 1988. If you can find them, the M. W. Kaluta: Sketchbook Series are well worth having.
  • Born August 25, 1955 Simon R. Green, 67. I’ll confess that I’ve read pretty much everything he’s written except that damn Robin Hood novel that made a NYT Best Seller. Favorite series? The NightsideHawk & Fisher and Secret History were my favorite ones until the Ismael Jones series came along and I must say it’s a hell of a lot of fun as well.  Drinking Midnight Wine and Shadows Fall are the novels I’ve re-read the most. 
  • Born August 25, 1958 Tim Burton, 64. Beetlejuice is by far my favorite film by him. His Batman was, errr, interesting. Read that comment as you will. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is definitely more Dahlish than the first take was which I think is a far better look at the source material, and Sleepy Hollow is just too damn weird for my pedestrian tastes. (Snarf.)
  • Born August 25, 1970 Chris Roberson, 52. Brilliant writer. I strongly recommend his Recondito series, Firewalk and Firewalkers. The Spencer Finch series is also worth reading. He won two Sidewise Awards, first for his “O One” story and later for The Dragon’s Nine Sons novel. He’s had five Sidewise nominations. 

(16) COMICS SECTION.

(17) HORROR WRITERS HAVE OPINIONS. Midnight Pals did a sendup of John Scalzi and his purchase of a church building. And his burritos. Can’t overlook those. Thread starts here.

(18) SPACE OPERA. “Friday’s Rag Tag Crew: Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky”, a review by Camestros Felapton.

… I found myself in the mood for a big space opera the other day and with the novel also being a Dragon Award finalist, it seemed like a natural choice. I wasn’t wrong in my initial assessment. It is in many ways a more conventional space opera than the books I’d read. Humanity is a spacefaring species with its own factions, in a galactic society with a range of aliens. There’s hyperspace (or rather “unspace”), a cosmic threat, mysteriously vanished advanced civilisations, space spies, space gangsters, badass warriors and epic space battles. This is all good but if you are hoping for the millennia-long deep dive into the evolution of a sapient spider civilisation this book doesn’t have anything like that. Which is fine because that gives Tchaikovsky more space and time to attend to a cast of characters….

(19) A CITY ON A HILL. Paul Weimer reviews Stephen Fry’s Troy at Nerds of a Feather: “Microreview [book]: Troy, by Stephen Fry”. There may be surprises in store for some readers – at least there were for Paul.

…In any event, Fry is here to help you. He starts at the beginning, as to how Troy was founded, and why, and brings its history up to date as it were. The delight in the depth of research and scholarship he brings is tha there is a fair chunk here I didn’t know about. Fun fact, the Trojan War is not the first time that Troy gets attacked in its mythological history, and you will never guess who did it before the Greeks got it into their heads to take back Helen, nor why…. 

(20) GOING PUBLIC. “Tom Lehrer: The Public Domain Tango”, a Plagiarism Today post from 2020.

…However, it seems likely that Lehrer may be set for yet another major revival as news spread yesterday that Lehrer, now 92, had released his lyrics and much of his music into the public domain. This has already sparked a great deal of interest in possible covers and recreations of his most famous songs.

Note: It’s worth stating that the declaration deals with his compositions and his lyrics, not the recordings. Those are most likely not owned by Lehrer.

However, the statement isn’t wholly true. Tom Lehrer didn’t actually release his songs into the public domain. While it may be pedantry given that there is no practical difference, the lengths Lehrer had to go to release what he did in the way that he did only further highlights Lehrer’s genius and is well worth exploring.

If this is truly to be Lehrer’s final musical act, it makes sense to see it for both the effort it took and the intellect required to conceive of it….

(21) AI GIVES ASSIST TO MUSIC VIDEO. [Item by Dann.] Someone recently made a video using the lyrics to “Renegade” by Styx.  The lyrics were fed, line by line, into AI art software to create the images used in the video.

While the lyrics aren’t explicitly genre centered, the AI created several images that evoked sci-fi/fantasy themes.  The rhetorical progeny of Edgar Allen Poe shows up a few times as well. “Renegade – Styx – But the lyrics are Ai generated images”.

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part I Pitch Meeting,” Ryan George says the producer in the seventh Harry Potter film mourns when several beloved minor characters die.  He is bored by the very long camping scenes (where the characters camp and camp and camp some more” but gets excited when Harry Potter gets to duke it out with Voldemort only to discover that this is the end of Part I and we have to wait for Part II.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Dann, Jennifer Hawthorne, Daniel Dern, Bill, 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 Daniel Dern.]

2022 Rhysling Award Winners

Mary Soon Lee, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Linda D. Addison are the winners of the 2022 Rhysling Awards presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).

The winners were chosen by SFPA members, with 114 votes cast.

SHORT POEM CATEGORY

First Place

  • “Confessions of a Spaceport AI” • Mary Soon Lee • Uncanny 43

Second Place

  • “Gravity (some things that fly)” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Space & Time Magazine 140

Third Place

  • “The Butterfly Affect” • Linda D. Addison • Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology, eds. S. D. Vasallo & Steven M. Long (Brigids Gate Press)

Honorable Mentions

  • “our translucent bodies” • Devin Miller • Mermaids Monthly 6
  • “dry land” • Maria Zoccola • Strange Horizons, 7 June
  • “Exquisite” • Lee Murray• Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, collab. antho. (Yuriko Publishing)

The 2022 Rhysling Chairs are F. J. Bergmann and Brian U. Garrison.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words. Voting continues on the Long Poem category until November 1.

SFPA will hold an official award ceremony and reading at LosCon in November 2022.

The 2022 Rhysling Anthology edited by F.J. Bergmann and Brian U. Garrison, with cover Image by Michal Kvác, can be purchased at the SFPA site.

Pixel Scroll 5/18/22 Fili, Scrolli, Pixeli – I Liked, Scrolled And Pixeled — Fiulius Pixar

(1) ANIME CENTRAL RELAXES MASK POLICY. Anime Central is a convention taking place in Chicago from May 20-22. At the end of April the con committee was adamant that for ACen 2022 they’d be requiring all attendees to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test result, and that this policy would not change.

However, their Covid policy has changed after all, reports Anime News Network: “Anime Central 2022 Reverses Mask Policy, No Longer Requires COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test”. ANN says, “An e-mail sent by and to Anime Central staff suggests that this was a decision made by the Midwest Animation Promotion Society (MAPS) following ‘lack of support from the venue’ and ‘last-minute communication.’”

Anime Central has changed its Covid policy to read:

…Our policies are based on current CDC Guidelines and align with the requirements of the Donald E. Stephens Conventions Center and state and local health authorities regarding large indoor events. Currently, verification of vaccination or proof of negative test are not required for admission to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center or Anime Central. We will continue to monitor the requirements and guidance from state and local health departments….

Face Coverings Required in Select Areas

In our recent vaccine and mask policy change announcement, we stated that face coverings may be required in some areas of Anime Central or at the request of our guests of honor at their events. We’ve received a lot of feedback for clarification on which areas and events will require a face covering and which do not. Face coverings will be required to enter:

  • All guest and panelist events
  • The Dances
  • The Exhibit Hall
  • The Artist Alley
  • The Gaming and Entertainment Hall

We strongly recommend wearing masks in all lobbies, hallways, public spaces, and restrooms. Our team will continue to do the best we can to help enforce this in our spaces, we ask that you also join in in masking even where it’s not required.

(2) A WARNING. “’Have we not loved you? Have we not cared for you?’: The Plight of AI in the Universe of Douglas Adams” examined by Rachel Taylor at the Tor/Forge Blog.

…When we think of the dangers of AI, we normally think of Skynet, HAL or AM. And sure, there is a non-zero chance that any Super AI might spend five minutes on the internet and think “ah, I see the problem. Where are those nuclear codes?” But honestly, if I had to place money on the science fiction writer who will prove most prophetic in depicting our future relationship with AI? Not Philip K. Dick. Not Harlan Ellison. Not Asimov.

Douglas Adams, all the way.

In the universe of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its sequels across all media the relationship between humanity and the various computers and robots they’ve created is less apocalyptic warfare and more like a miserably unhappy marriage….

(3) ROSWELL VOICES. Here are the celebrity readers for this weekend’s 2022 Roswell Award event. Register for the free Zoom presentation.

The Roswell Award and Feminist Futures Award: Celebrity Readings & Honors recognizes outstanding new works of science fiction by emerging writers from across the United States and worldwide, including the winner of this year’s feminist themed sci-fi story. This thrilling show will feature dramatic readings by celebrity guests from some of today’s hottest sci-fi and fantasy shows and movies. Following the readings, the authors will be honored for their writing! 

(4) AURORA VOTERS PACKAGE. Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association members can now download the 2022 Aurora Awards Voters Package. Login (or join) at www.prixaurorawards.ca. Downloads remain available until voting closes on July 23.  Voting for the 2022 awards will begin on June 11.

Have you started reading works by this year’s finalists? We are pleased to announce that this year’s voters’ package contains either e-versions or links for every single one of our 2022 nominated works and is open to all CSFFA members to download.

The electronic versions of these works are being made available to you through the generosity of the nominees and their publishers. We are grateful for their participation and willingness to share with CSFFA members. Please remember, all downloads are for CSFFA members only and are not to be shared.

The purpose of the voters’ package is simple–before you vote for the awards, we want you to be able to experience as many of the nominated works as possible so you can make informed decisions.

(5) HEAR RHYSLING NOMINEES READ ALOUD. The second of three readings of the short poems nominated for the Rhysling Awards will be held on May 20, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. Eastern, live on Facebook via Zoom. tinyurl.com/Rhysling2

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association presents the annual Rhysling Awards, named for the blind poet Rhysling in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “The Green Hills of Earth.” Apollo 15 astronauts named a crater near their landing site “Rhysling,” which has since become its official name.

Nominees for each year’s Rhysling Awards are selected by the membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. For 2022, 103 short poems and 78 long poems were nominated.

The last reading of the nominated short poems in the Rhysling anthology will be held on June 6, 2022 from 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. The readings, hosted by Akua Lezli Hope, are free and open to the public. 

(6) THE FIRST TRAILER FOR SHE-HULK. “You’ll like her when she’s angry.” She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, an Original series from Marvel Studios, starts streaming August 17 on Disney+.

(7) HIGHER LEARNING. In the Washington Post, Mary Quattlebaum interviews Dhonielle Clayton about The Marvellers, her YA magic-school novel. “’The Marvellers’ by Dhonielle Clayton features a diverse school of magic”.

… “So many people said it couldn’t be done,” said Dhonielle (pronounced don-yell) Clayton about a novel set in a school of magic. “How can anyone compete with Harry Potter?”

Well, Clayton proved them wrong. “The Marvellers,” the first book in her new middle-grade series, was launched this month.

The boarding school — called the Arcanum Training Institute for Marvelous and Uncanny Endeavors — is quite different from the Hogwarts of J.K. Rowling’s global publishing phenomenon. It’s located in the sky rather than a mystical land that resembles the Scottish Highlands. Young magic folks from around the world are invited to attend.

Clayton’s inspiration came from a real school, one in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood, where she was a librarian.

“The kids there were from different countries, different cultures,” said Clayton, who lives in the city. “They didn’t see themselves in the fantasy books they wanted to read.”

So for the past five years, Clayton devoted herself to researching and writing a book that might reflect and connect with those students — and so many like them, around the world….

(8) THOUGHTS AND PREYERS. Giant Freakin Robot assures us, “The Predator Actually Looks Good Again In The Trailer For New Movie Set 300 Years Ago”.

…Prey will stream on Hulu starting Friday, August 5. While it will technically be a prequel to the rest of the Predator films, it will reportedly not directly reference any of their events. Besides, you know. Having someone from the same freaky alien species hunting people down and murdering them….

The YouTube intro says:

Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, “Prey” is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior. She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people. The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.

(9) MEMORY LANE.

2013 [By Cat Eldridge.] Ok I cannot do this essay without SPOILERS, so you are warned. Go away now if you haven’t read Ancillary Justice

Just nine years ago, Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie’s debut novel came out. And oh what a novel it is! It’s the first in her Imperial Radch space opera trilogy, followed by Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy. Breq is both the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery by her own people and the carrier of that ship’s consciousness. What an amazing job Leckie does differentiating between those two characters.

Doing space opera that feels original is damn hard but she pulls it off here amazingly well. The very personal and the grand political are present here, balanced in a way and tangled together as well that is rarely done so intelligently. Genevieve Valentine of NPR in her review agrees with me saying that it is “A space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias, Ancillary Justice is an absorbing thousand-year history, a poignant personal journey, and a welcome addition to the genre.” 

Everyone in our community liked it as not only did it win a most deserved Hugo at Loncon 4, but it effectively swept the awards season garnering an Arthur C. Clarke Award, a BSFA Award, a Kitschies Golden Tentacle for Best Debut Novel, Locus Award for Best First Novel, a Nebula Award for Best Novel and a Seiun Award for Best Translated Novel. And it got nominated for a Compton Crook Award, Otherwise Award and Philip K. Dick Award.

The next two novels in this trilogy are just as stellar. Ancillary Sword got nominated for a Hugo at Sasquan, and Ancillary Mercy would get a nomination at MidAmericaCon.

The audioworks are narrated by Adjoa Andoh who appeared on Doctor Who as Francine Jones during the Time of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. They are quite superb. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 18, 1930 Fred Saberhagen. I’m reasonably sure I’ve read the entirety of his Berserker series though not in the order they were intended to be read. Some are outstanding, some less so. I’d recommend Berserker ManShiva in Steel and the original Berserker collection.  Of his Dracula sequence, the only one I think that I’veread is The Holmes-Dracula File which is superb. And I know I’ve read most of the Swords tales as they came out in various magazines.  His only Hugo nomination was at NYCon 3 for his “Mr. Jester” short story published in If, January 1966. (Died 2007.)
  • Born May 18, 1934 Elizabeth Rodgers. Yes, Nyota Uhura was the primary individual at the communications post but several others did staff it over the series. She appeared doing that as Lt. Palmer in two episodes, “The Doomsday Machine” and “The Way to Eden”.  She was The Voice of The Companion in a third episode, “Metamorphosis”. She would also appear in The Time Tunnel, Land of The Giants and Bewitched. (Died 2004.)
  • Born May 18, 1946 Andreas Katsulas. I knew him as the amazing Ambassador G’Kar on Babylon 5 but had forgottenhe played played the Romulan Commander Tomalak on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m reasonably sure that his first genre role on television was playing Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and he had a recurring role in Max Headroom as Mr. Bartlett. He also had appearances on Alien NationThe Death of the Incredible HulkMillenniumStar Trek: Enterprise anda voice role on The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. Screw the damn frelling Reaper for taking him far too soon.  (Died 2006.)
  • Born May 18, 1948 R-Laurraine Tutihasi, 74. She’s a member of LASFS and the N3F. She publishes Feline Mewsings for FAPA. She won the N3F’s Kaymar Award in 2009. Not surprisingly, she’s had a number of SJW creds in her life and her website here gives a look at her beloved cats and a lot of information on her fanzines. 
  • Born May 18, 1952 Diane Duane, 70. She’s known for the Young Wizards YA series though I’d like to single her out for her lesser-known Feline Wizards series where SJW creds maintain the gates that wizards use for travel throughout the multiverse. A most wonderful thing for felines to do! Her Tale of the Five series was inducted into the Gaylactic Spectrum Award Hall of Fame in 2003. She also has won The Faust Award for Lifetime Achievement given by The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. 
  • Born May 18, 1958 Jonathan Maberry, 64. The only thing I’ve read by him is the first five or six novels in the Joe Ledger Series which has an extremely high body count and an even higher improbability index. Popcorn reading with a Sriracha sauce.  I see that he’s done scripts for Dark Horse, IDW and Marvel early on. And that he’s responsible for Captain America: Hail Hydra which I remember as quite excellent. Not surprisingly, he’s won Stoker Awards and nominated for at least a dozen more. 
  • Born May 18, 1969 Ty Franck, 53. Half of the writing team along with Daniel Abraham that s James Corey, author of the now-completed Expanse series. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen behind by a volume or two as there’s just too many good series out there too keep up with all of them, damn it, but now that it’s ended I intend to finish it. The Expanse won the Best Series Hugo at CoNZealand. The “Nemesis Games” episode of The Expanse is nominated at Chicon 8 for a Hugo as have two episodes previously. 

(11) FREE READ. “Grant Morrison Releases a Sci-Fi Comic He Made Back in the ’80s” and Gizmodo invites you to read it in a slideshow presented at the link.

Grant Morrison, multiple award-winning writer of acclaimed comic books like All-Star Superman, The Invisibles, Doom Patrol, New X-Men, Batman, and many many more, had a special gift released this past Free Comic Book Day. In wasn’t a new title; in fact, it was quite the opposite—a 40-year-old short story he’d written and drawn in the very early stages of his career. While Morrison originally posted it on their SubStack, we’re absolutely honored to be able to republish it on io9.

(12) A KALEIDOSCOPIC AUDIENCE. Charles Payseur, who now is reviewing short fiction for Locus and stepped away from his epic Quick Sip Reviews blog, speaks openly about how public expectations whipsaw critics. Thread starts here.

(13) ABANDONED LAUNDRY. The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan says, “Steven Moffat’s adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 bestseller is witty and well done, but it can’t overcome the novel’s depressingly old-fashioned and iffy implications.” – “The Time Traveler’s Wife review – far too much ick factor to be truly great”.

…He [The Time Traveler] learns to find his feet (and some clothes) a little faster each time. In the course of his many unchronological journeys, he meets his soulmate, Clare. They are wrenched repeatedly from each other’s arms to reunite weeks, months or years later in more or less romantic scenarios, depending on their ages at the time.

It is, in short, guff of a high order. But the new six‑part adaptation (Sky Atlantic) by Steven Moffat (a longtime fan of the book, which he used as inspiration for the Doctor Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace) does it proud. He takes the melodrama down a notch and salts the schmaltz with wit where he can.

Nonetheless, an emetic framing device remains….

(14) TELL NASA WHAT YOU THINK. “NASA Seeks Input on Moon to Mars Objectives, Comments Due May 31”.

As NASA moves forward with plans to send astronauts to the Moon under Artemis missions to prepare for human exploration of Mars, the agency is calling on U.S. industry, academia, international communities, and other stakeholders to provide input on its deep space exploration objectives. 

NASA released a draft set of high-level objectives Tuesday, May 17, identifying 50 points falling under four overarching categories of exploration, including transportation and habitation; Moon and Mars infrastructure; operations; and science. Comments are due to the agency by close of business on Tuesday, May 31. 

“The feedback we receive on the objectives we have identified will inform our exploration plans at the Moon and Mars for the next 20 years,” said Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “We’re looking within NASA and to external stakeholders to help us fine-tune these objectives and be as transparent as possible throughout our process. With this approach, we will find potential gaps in our architecture as well as areas where our goals align with those from industry and international partners for future collaboration.”   

(15) WEIRDO CEREAL NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Not even kids stoked on sugar wanted to see creepy creatures staring at them from the cereal bowl, so I bought a box on the half-price shelf today. “Minecraft” at Kellogg’s.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] The Blue Peter gang drive a full-scale Thunderbirds Fab-1 complete with a rotating license plate, machine gun, and a closed-circuit TV set in this 1968 BBC clip that dropped yesterday.

Blue Peter presenters Valerie Singleton, John Noakes and Peter Purves bring a fully-functioning life-size replica of Lady Penelope’s iconic Rolls-Royce, FAB 1 into the studio.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Olav Rokne, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

2022 Rhysling Award Candidates

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has finalized its 2022 Rhysling Award candidates. A record 113 members nominated.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words.

SFPA members will begin casting their ballots for the winners on April 1.

SHORT POEMS (103 poems)
“The Butterfly Affect” • Linda D. Addison • Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology, eds. S. D. Vasallo & Steven M. Long (Brigids Gate Press)
“The Conqueror Worm(Hole)” • Linda D. Addison • The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October
“Hallucinations” • Amirah al Wassif • Silver Blade 51
“Forbidden Haibun: Expand” • Francis W. Alexander • Scifaikuest, February 1
“The Forbidden Path to Forgetting” • Daniel Ausema • Fantasy Magazine 71
“Tons of Liquid Oxygen Buckle Too Late Under Strain” • Eugen Bacon • Saving Shadows (NewCon Press)
“Curiosity Kills” • Alison Bainbridge • The Minison Zine 12
“The Other Crusoe” • David Barber • The Flying Saucer Poetry Review 1
“What The Time Travellers Stole” • L. X. Beckett • Uncanny 38
“Radiance” • F. J. Bergmann • Dreams and Nightmares 118
“Even Surrounded by Light, She Disappears” • Lisa Creech Bledsoe • Anti-Heroin Chic 23
“In the Library Annex” • Bruce Boston • Asimov’s SF, September/October
“SustainaCrock” • Rhian Bowley • Triangulation: Habitats
“Alice” • Anna Cates • Drifting Sands 11
“Little Black Box” • Anna Cates • Liquid Imagination 49
“Field Trip to See the Mermaid” • Beth Cato • Mermaids Monthly, November
“How to Find Yourself Again” • Beth Cato • Fantasy Magazine 69
“Dragonslayer” • Priya Chand • Fantasy Magazine 65
“Musée Dupuytren, Paris” • Carolyn Clink • Polar Starlight 2
“Watchmaker” • Carolyn Clink • Polar Starlight 2
“Sport on Mars” • PS Cottier • The Crow, December
“As We Were Saying Goodnight” • Henry Crawford • Rattle, Poets Respond October 31
“Psychopomp” • M. J. Cunniff • The Deadlands 1
“The Conglomerant” • David Davies • Granfalloon, Fall
“Gris-gris” • Deborah L. Davitt • Selene Quarterly 4:1
“Snails” • Denise Dumars • Spectrum 28
“the empires of old” • Robin Wyatt Dunn • Dissident Voice, December 19
“Witch Flesh” • Stephanie Ellis • Visual Verse 9:1
“Chernobyl Litany” • Gemma Files • The Deadlands 3
“Inheritance” • Geneve Flynn • Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, ed. Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing)
“Warrior over Washington” • Adam Ford • Star*Line 44.1
“Sylvan Succubus” • Joshua Gage • Star*Line 44.1
“No More Prying Eyes” • Maxwell I. Gold • Shadow Atlas, eds. Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge & Joshua Viola (Hex Publishers)
“In Memory Yet Green” • Alan Ira Gordon • Star*Line 44.4
“Aswang Mango: Santiago’s Fantasia” • Vince Gotera • MiGoZine, Summer
“Blood Spells” • Neile Graham • Polar Starlight 1
“find me” • féi hernandez • Nombono, ed. Akua Lezli Hope (Sundress Publications)
“Unexpected Malfunction in the Xenobiology Monitoring System at Arcturus-IV, or Sonnet #1” • Jordan Hirsch • Utopia Science Fiction, December
“Prologue: The Late Heavy Bombardment” • Ada Hoffmann • Million-Year Elegies
“Stratospherics 2” • Akua Lezli Hope • Eccentric Orbits vol. 2, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
“Michelangelo Carves David into Medusa” • Ellie Howard • beestung 9
“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • The Lost Librarian’s Grave, ed. Ann Wycoff (Redwood Press)
“Home’s Threnody” • Olaitan Humble • FIYAH 19
“Fragment of an Elegy” • Clay Franklin Johnson • A Ride Through Faerie & Other Poems (Gothic Keats Press)
“Interrupted Journey” • Tim Jones • Up Flynn Road, across Cook Strait, through the Magellanic Cloud, ed. Norman Franke (Orplid Press)
“In the Future We Will Live In Broken Houses” • Sandra Kasturi • Triangulation: Habitats
“Failed Space Colonists” Herb Kauderer • Asimov’s SF, July/August
“Little Red Loves Her Grandma” • Pankaj Khemka • Moon Tide Press, March 2021
“Stress Level Test” • Pankaj Khemka • Star*Line 44.2
“Ingenuity” • Deborah P Kolodji • Modern Haiku 52:3
“Lights Over the Midnight Desert” • David C. Kopaska-Merkel • Eye to the Telescope 40
“Swipples” • Craig Kurtz • Eye to the Telescope 39
“Gravity (some things that fly)” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Space & Time Magazine 140
“Confessions of a Spaceport AI” • Mary Soon Lee • Uncanny 43
“Daedalus’s Daughter” • Mary Soon Lee • Star*Line 44.4
“Sea Gods” • Mary Soon Lee • Eye to the Telescope 42
“Home Gravity Physics” • Sandra J. Lindow • Triangulation: Habitats
“What the Weed Whip Wanted” • Sandra J. Lindow • Dreams and Nightmares 119
“Anthony of Egypt, Professional Recluse and Patron Saint of Boneyards” • LindaAnn LoSchiavo • Drifting Sands Haibun 10
“Ode” • P. H. Low • Strange Horizons, 30 August
“shedding photons” • Richard Magahiz • Dreams and Nightmares 119
“Extrasolar Faeryland” • Avra Margariti • Utopia Science Fiction, June
“When the Martian Wind Blows” • Lauren McBride • Scifaikuest, August
“A Monstrous Life Well Lived” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Girls Who Love Monsters, collaborative anthology
“Thanks to Stanislav Petrov for Fairytales About Birds” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Utopia Science Fiction, February
“Under a Pale Moon” • Mark Meyer • White Enso day 58
“our translucent bodies” • Devin Miller • Mermaids Monthly 6
“Flying Horses” • Debasish Mishra • Spaceports & Spidersilk, June
“Ways of the Multiverse” • Vincent Miskell • The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December
“In Corfu” • Irina Moga • The Flying Saucer Poetry Review 1
“Crossroads” • Tiffany Morris • Nightmare 110
“There can only be one Soul Princess” • Michelle Muenzler • Penumbric 5:2
“exquisite” • Lee Murray• Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, ed. Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing)
“orchid moon” • Lee Murray• Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, ed. Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing)
“Dystopia” • Aminath Neena • Eccentric Orbits vol. 2, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
“A Martian Contemplates Earthrise” • KB Nelson • Polar Starlight 1
“Dracula Among the Ruins” • Mari Ness • Kaleidotrope, July
“Futuristic Funerals” • Dante Novario • Jersey Devil Press 112
“Sonnet of the South American Sphinx” • Katherine Quevedo • Honeyguide Literary Magazine 2
“Heart Tree” • John Reinhart • Taproot Magazine 43
“How Date Nights Bring You Ever Closer (A Forbidden Haibun)” • Terrie Leigh Relf • HWA Poetry Showcase VIII, ed. Stephanie M. Wytovich
“our stitching and unstitching” • Hester J. Rook • Liminality 28
“One of Us” • Louis Rosenberg • One of Us (Outland Publishing)
“Post Massacre Psyche Evaluation” • Abu Bakr Sadiq • Uncanny 43
“Extremophile” • Lauren Scharhag • Anvil Tongue Books, February
“The Galaxies Have Reversed Their Course and Are Hurtling Towards One Another” • Andrea Schlecht • Polar Starlight 3
“Cherry Blossoms (On Mourning a Distant Mother)” • E. F. Schraeder • HWA Poetry Showcase VIII, ed. Stephanie M. Wytovich
“Sepulcher of Saints” • Ann K. Schwader • Unquiet Stars (Weird House Press)
“A Banquet of Sugar & Tea” • Marge Simon • Silver Blade 50
“Graffiti Goddess” • Noel Sloboda • Abyss & Apex 79
“The Frozen North” • Marcie Lynn Tentchoff • Polar Starlight 4
“Cosmic Cooking” • Gretchen Tessmer • Kaleidotrope, Autumn
“Summer Encroaching, Winter Yielding” • Jean-Louis Trudel • Little Blue Marble, December 24
“Dragonrider” • Marie Vibbert • Simultaneous Times 20
“Princess Cat Robot Space Pirate” • Marie Vibbert • Utopia Science Fiction 2:4
“Pa and the Devil” • Susan E. Wagner • Apehelion 267
“The Reality of Ghosts” • Yilin Wang • Fantasy Magazine 70
“Wardrobe Malfunction” • Kyla Lee Ward • Infectious Hope: Poems of Hope & Resilience from the Pandemic, ed. Sylvia Canton Rondon (IFGW Publishing Australia)
“Reasons to Leave the Path” • Jacqueline West • Star*Line 44.1
[deep space Elvis] • Greer Woodward • Star*Line 44.3
“The Tiny Goblin” • Ann Wuehler • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter
“Adam-Ondi-Ahman” • Audrey Zheng • Strange Horizons, 5 July
“dry land” • Maria Zoccola • Strange Horizons, 7 June
LONG POEMS (78 poems)
“Astynome, After” • Mike Allen • The Deadlands 2
“Dispelling the Arcana” • Mike Allen • Roanoke Rambler, October 6
“Cinnabar” • Colleen Anderson • Shadow Atlas, eds. Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge & Joshua Viola (Hex Publishers)
“Topsy Turvy” • Colleen Anderson • Shelter of Daylight, Summer
“they came to new mexico” • Arachelle • Eye to the Telescope 41
“Spell 17” • Tristan Beiter • Mirror Dance, Spring
“The Bog Witch’s Brew” • R. Jean Bell • New Myths 54
“The Catfish Sisters” • Lisa M. Bradley • Mermaids Monthly 12
“The Mariner and the Sacred Foal” • Catherine Brogdon • Eccentric Orbits vol. 2, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
“The Revenge of Henrietta Lacks” • Cecilia Caballero • Star*Line 44.3
“Dinner at Wolf’s” • Anna Cates • Otoliths, June 9
“The Bookstore” • Beth Cato • New Myths 56/57
“Follow the Meandering Path” • Beth Cato • Abyss & Apex 80
“Echidna” • Donyae Coles • Fantasy Magazine, June
“Galaxy’s Heir to Forgotten Dreams” • Christopher Collingwood • Carmina Magazine, September
“Year’s Walk” • Scott J. Couturier • Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter
“Liminality in the Seafoam” • Koji A. Dae • Eye to the Telescope 42
“Among the Scythians” • Deborah L. Davitt • Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 49
“Feeding the Dead” • Deborah L. Davitt • Polu Texni, January 10
“Selachimorphosis” • Deborah L. Davitt • Eye to the Telescope 42
“Totems” • Deborah L. Davitt • Polu Texni, May 2
“When the Girls Begin to Fall” • Geneve Flynn • Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, ed. Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing)
“Mermaid as Lover: A Definition” • Joshua Gage • Dream of Rust and Glass
“Laughter out of the Sea” • Maxwell I. Gold • Spectral Realms 15
“Medusa Gets a Haircut” • Theodora Goss • Uncanny 38
“Babaylan” • Vince Gotera • Muddy River Poetry Review, Fall
“Obsidian Blade” • Scott E. Green & Herb Kauderer • Beneath the Misty Surface, eds. Rachel Crawford, Shannon Kauderer, Andy Lee & Lizette Strait
“Nine Lives” • Brittany Hause • Kaleidotrope, Autumn
“Loving Venus” • Jamal Hodge • Nombono, ed. Akua Lezli Hope (Sundress Publications)
“Dream Logic” • Ada Hoffmann • Climbing Lightly Through Forests: A Poetry Anthology Honoring Ursula K. Le Guin, eds. Lisa M. Bradley & R. B. Lemberg (Aqueduct Press)
“Epilogue: Memento Mori” • Ada Hoffmann • Million-Year Elegies
“Child Price” • Akua Lezli Hope • Gramarye 20
“The Queen of the Night” • Clay Franklin Johnson • Chlorophobia, ed. A. R. Ward (Ghost Orchid Press)
“Space Traveler” • John Philip Johnson • Altered Reality Magazine, October 8
“Specializing in the Prehistory of Whales” • Sandra Kasturi • The New Quarterly 160
“The Last Dragon” • Herb Kauderer • Altered Reality Magazine, December 28
“Scone Dragon” • Herb Kauderer • Altered Reality Magazine, December 28
“Dark Phoenix” • Luke Kernan • The Silent World in Her Vase 9
“In the Male Utopia” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Dreams and Nightmares 119
“The Corvid-Human Alliance” • Gerri Leen • Liquid Imagination 48
“Tributes” • Gerri Leen • Polu Texni, 27 June
“What of Me, Goose Girl? (Or Hard Questions from The Horse Still on the Wall)” • Gerri Leen • Dreams and Nightmares 119
“The House of Ill Waters” • R. B. Lemberg • The Deadlands 2
“Wendigo” • Trevor Livingston • Eye to the Telescope 40
“Biting Sarcasm” • Lori R. Lopez • Spectral Realms 14
“Searching for the Cottingley Fairies” • Kim Malinowski • The Metaworker, September 17
“The Time Travel Tourism Bureau” • Chris Marchello • Rattle 71
“Amphitrite Finds a Confidante” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Water: Selkies, Sirens, & Sea Monsters, ed. Rhonda Parrish (Tyche Books)
“Field Notes, Found Later” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Chrome Baby 98
“How The Rose Princes Came to Life” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 98
“The Wild Bunch” • Kate Meyer-Currey • Liquid Imagination 49
“Becoming” • Miguel O. Mitchell • Eye to the Telescope 42
“A Descendant’s Gift” • Miguel O. Mitchell • Dreams and Nightmares 117
“Ghost Town” • Sarah Fawn Montgomery • Split Lip Magazine, October 14
“Nyankopoxyican Breath of Fresh Air” • Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss • Nombono, ed. Akua Lezli Hope (Sundress Publications)
“Interview with a Goddess” • Lee Murray• Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, ed. Angela Yuriko Smith (Yuriko Publishing)
“Deep Diving” • Kurt Newton • Eye to the Telescope 42
“Tiny House” • Kurt Newton • Triangulation: Habitats
“Hastur Asks for Donald Glover’s Autograph” • Brandon O’Brien • Can You Sign My Tentacle? (Interstellar Flight Press)
“Hoop Dance” • Bryant O’Hara • The Ghettobirds (Frayed Edge Press)
“Haddonfield, New Jersey, 1980” • Cindy O’Quinn • Attack from the ’80s, ed. Eugene Johnson (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
“The Wreck of the Vigilance” • Michael H. Payne • Silver Blade 49
“Inescapable Personality Disorders of Supernatural Creatures” • P. Aaron Potter • Star*Line 44.3
“Erasing Myself from the Narrative” • Marsheila Rockwell • The Lorelei Signal, October
“Reservation Fairy Tales 101—Final Exam” • Marsheila Rockwell • Augur Magazine 4:1
“Priestess” • Lauren Scharhag • Lothlorien Poetry Journal, February
“The Captain Flies” • Avi Silver • Uncanny 42
“Alexander’s Babylon” • Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo • Victims (Weasel Press)
“Inseparable” • Hamant Singh • Illumen, Summer
“The Third Law” • Justin T. O’Conor Sloane• The Flying Saucer Poetry Review 1
“Snow Child” • Christina Sng • Ladies of Horror Flash Project
“Whales” • Christina Sng • Eye to the Telescope 42
“Pepie of Lake Pepin” • Richard Stevenson • Polar Starlight 3
“Woman in Black, Girl in Pink” • Richard Stevenson • The Flying Saucer Poetry Review 1
“Death Opus” • Romie Stott • The Deadlands 1
“The Retirement of Mechagirl” • Cathrynne M. Valente • Patreon, August
“Dispatch from a Ruin in Mitla, the Town of Souls” • Morgan L. Ventura • Strange Horizons, 12 April
“Toward Solstice Station” • Steven Withrow & Frank Coffman • The Exorcised Lyric (Mind’s Eye Publications)

Pixel Scroll 2/15/22 The Silver Mithril Playbook

(1) OSCAR FAN VOTING OPENS. “Oscars to recognize fan favorite film at 2022 ceremony” reports Entertainment Weekly.

…AMPAS announced Monday that beginning now through March 3, audiences can vote on Twitter for their favorite movie of 2021 using the #OscarsFanFavorite hashtag or by casting a ballot on the Oscars Fan Favorite website. The winning fan-favorite film of the year will then be announced live during the 2022 Oscars ceremony….

In addition to the fan-favorite vote, the Academy is asking audiences to use Twitter to vote for an #OscarsCheerMoment spotlighting moments that made them “erupt into cheers in theaters” while watching. Five winners selected from the pool of participants will win a package, including tickets to a full year of free movies in a theater of their choice, streaming subscriptions, and exclusive items from the Academy Museum shop.

(2) TRUNK MUSIC. And in relation to the previous announcement, CBR.com says the logrolling has begun in earnest: “Snyder Cut Fans Mobilize to Win Justice League an Oscar in the Fan-Voted Category”.

… The passionate fanbase surrounding Zack Snyder’s Justice League is back at it again, this time calling for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to give an Oscar to Snyder’s film.

… Following the film’s release, Justice League formed a wide and vocal fanbase, who spent years demanding Warner Bros. to allow Snyder to complete his version of the film. Some of the film’s stars joined in on the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement, confirming that his version was already near completion and only needed visual effects work to be completed.

(3) 2022 RHYSLING AWARD CHAIR UPDATE: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association today announced that due to unexpected medical reasons, Kimberly Nugent has had to step down from serving as the 2022 Rhysling Award Chair.

In her absence, SFPA President Bryan Thao Worra has appointed Webmaster F.J. Bergmann and Secretary Brian Garrison to finish out the Chair duties this year.

(4) BATTLING AMAZON KDP. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki has written a long catch-up post for Facebook readers, published yesterday, which covers many topics, including news that Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing restored his royalties, and that The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021) anthology has consequently been turned into a free download. Here is a brief excerpt:

…Amazon KDP did eventually pay my complete royalties, about $1500 which I got using Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s US account. Jason Sanford helped send the Gofundme money & I finished paying all the authors with it & donated all the Amazon royalties to the African Speculative Fiction Society as I promised. The money is being used to help set up a fund that will help African writers navigate institutional barriers to entry & participating in international SFF activities like the ones Amazon & other bodies have thrown up.

I withdrew the book from Amazon completely cuz the evil they’ve done is enough. & I just can’t trust em as a platform anymore.

…I have made the anthology, which is the first ever Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology entirely free in all formats as I promised.

You can download the file at Jembefola: The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021) by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

(5) ERIC FLINT MEDICAL UPDATE. Eric Flint told his Facebook followers yesterday that he’s in the midst of a long hospital stay for a staph infection.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and the reason is simple: I’ve been in the hospital for the past three weeks, sicker than the proverbial dog. I came down with a staph infection that caused me to collapse getting out of bed — and then I couldn’t get up, I was so weak. (Trust me, this is a a really scary experience.)

I’d always known staph infections could be rough, but I had no idea just how bad they could be. Happily, I’m over the worst of it and my recovery is coining along well. I’ll probably be released from the hospital in ten days, although I’ll still have to do home rehab for a while longer.

(6) BUTLER Q&A REVISITED. “Octavia Butler imagines a world without racism” on NPR’s Book of the Day podcast.

During Black History month, Book of the Day is bringing you some interviews from the archives, including this one with author Octavia Butler. Butler wrote many sci-fi classics, like the Parable series and Kindred, so she’s accustomed to imagining different worlds. NPR’s Scott Simon asked her back in 2001 to imagine a world without racism. Butler believed that in racism’s place we would have to have absolute empathy. But she told Simon that this would most certainly present its own challenges – and we would probably just find something else to fight about.

(7) BLACK HISTORY MONTH CONTINUES. The Horror Writers Association blog continues its “Black Heritage HWA interview series” –

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a writer. One of my earliest memories is folding white paper in half, drawing stick figures and captions, and titling the book “Baby Bobby.” On the back, I wrote “Baby Bobby is a book about a baby. The author is Tananarive Due.” I spelled a bunch of the words wrong, but BOOM. I came into this world understanding that I was a writer.

Do you make a conscious effort to include African diaspora characters and themes in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?

I do. I have several projects with my agent and every one of them has an African American protagonist. Each character has obstacles to overcome, which they do despite the deck being stacked against them. All of these are based on real life people. My intent is to put forth to the African American Community, especially the younger generation, that it is possible to overcome obstacles and not to be deterred from their final objective, goals, and dreams in life.

What has writing horror taught you about the world and yourself?

You know, I didn’t tend to think of a lot of it has horror going in, but certainly see how the label fits. I believe that we get through things, not over them. Sometimes the way through involves terror and tribulation—also that hope can be a twisted thing and at times you find flecks of it in the most unexpected places.

What inspired you to start writing?

Hands down, it was my father, Chris Acemandese Hall. He was a songwriter, artist, activist and author. As a songwriter, he penned the jazz classics, “So What” and “Bitches Brew” sung by vocalese great, Eddie Jefferson. As an artist, you may have seen his works from Let’s Celebrate Kwanza, Melanin and Me, the Lost Books of the Bible and Budweiser’s Great Kings of Africa promo where he did the Hannibal poster, the Ethiopian who led a Carthaginian army and a team of elephants against Rome in the Second Punic War. As an author, he was responsible for creating Little Zeng, a character I’m now developing in my new horror novel. Little Zeng was the first published African Griot superhero. He was published three years before Black Panther who Marvel introduced in July, 1966.

Dad also co-founded an activist group called AJASS (African Jazz Art Society & Studio), along with Elombe Brath and others. Among starting the Black is Beautiful ideology with the Black Arts Movement, featuring the Grandassa Models, AJASS’s influence in the African-American diaspora not only affected civil rights leaders, as well as poets, musicians, photographers, models, artists and singers, it influenced every cell in my body.

What is one piece of advice you would give horror authors today?

Bring your personal brand of weirdness to the page. I want to meet your demons. I want to be made to feel uncomfortable about how much you love vampires and werewolves. I want to see the monsters that frightened your great grandparents and the cultural superstitions that haven’t been white washed by American society. Tell me about the thing that scared you the most when you were a kid and why it still haunts you to this day. Write about race and sex and class and trauma and politics and religion and don’t pull any punches. I want to laugh, cry and clutch my pearls while you’re trying to scare me.

(8) HWA ON MAUS. The Horror Writer Association’s Officers and Board of Trustees issued a statement on a Tennessee school district’s decision about Maus.

The Horror Writers Association condemns banning books in no uncertain terms. We believe authors need to be able to tell their stories without fear of reprisal.
 
The banning of “Maus” in a Tennessee school district, which was done on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is nothing less than censorship and anti-Semitism.
 
“Maus” is not the first text to be excluded from school libraries. Recently, LGBTQ+ texts have been banned in a Washington state school district, and many other books by authors of color have been censored in districts across America. These are chilling examples of censorship, racism, anti-Semitism, and white washing. We all need to be more vocal each and every time this happens.

These actions set a dangerous precedent in a free society. They cannot and should not be tolerated. The HWA condemns all attempts at censorship, particularly these obvious attempts of the establishment to silence marginalized voices. We urge you to speak out in your local communities against such autocratic tactics that not only threaten our creative community but also make our world less safe.

(9) CALL ME UNRELIABLE. A guest feature by S. A. Barnes – “The Curse of Being an Unreliable Narrator” at Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup.

I remember clearly the first time someone else referred to Claire Kovalik, the main character in Dead Silence, as an unreliable narrator. My emotional response took me aback—first, surprise and then a sudden surge of defensiveness.

She’s doing the best she can, I wanted to say. I mean, come on, she’s locked up in what amounts to a mental institution at the start of the story, after a head injury and a traumatic incident that she doesn’t quite remember involving her crew and a mysterious ghost ship. What do you want from her???

The funny thing is, the statement wasn’t meant as a critique, not at all. It was simply a fact—Claire Kovalik is an unreliable narrator. Of course she is. She must be, for all the reasons listed above and more. And I’d done those things very intentionally, so why the strange and powerful reaction?

It took me a bit to step back from that moment and deconstruct what was going on in my mind….

(10) SF AUTHORS ANTICIPATE GENE EDITING. Fanac.org has posted video of the Tropicon 6 (1987) panel “Future Evolution” with Joe Green, Jack Haldeman II, Vincent Miranda and Tom Maddox.

Tropicon 6 was a small local convention, held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1987. This panel discussion about gene editing and the Future of Future Evolution is worth watching for several reasons. Thanks to author Joe Green, the panel focuses in very quickly on gene editing, and the issues it brings to confront humanity, both technically and ethically. The insightful comments by the panelists, and the issues and choices discussed are still very much with us, despite the panel having been recorded in 1987. One warning – there is loud background air conditioning noise for the first 15 minutes or so, but the sound is perfect for the remainder of the recording. The recording also provides a view into the dynamics of small, local conventions, where the writers are part of the community, know each other, and are not adverse to arguing with the audience. Everyone knows everyone, and no one is shy about asking questions. This panel was held at 10PM on Friday night, and there is silliness in the beginning. Some of the audience questions have been cut due to sound issues. Joe Siclari, now Chairman of the Fan History project, introduces the panel and the panel ending is signalled by me, Edie Stern, now FANAC.org webmaster.

(11) EASTERCON MEMBERSHIPS. Reclamation 2022 is this year’s Eastercon, the annual British national science fiction convention, being held April 15-18 at Radisson London Heathrow.

Membership is £70 until the end of February, after which it will £80. (And it will cost more on the door). Book here.

(12) HORROR WORKSHOPS. HWA’s Horror University Online is offering a series of workshops. Registration is $65 for non-HWA-members, $55 for HWA members, and four- and ten-course bundles are available. Here are the next few —

Jason Henderson, host of the Castle of Horror Podcast, publisher at Castle Bridge Media and best-selling writer of Night of the Book Man and the Alex Van Helsing and Young Captain Nemo series gives you a two-hour course in getting from idea to launchable manuscript in six weeks, covering: Choosing your sub-genre; Making Your Familiar Monsters Different; Outlining your novel; Forcing Yourself to Draft; Editing; and The Basics of Publishing- Traditional and Non-Traditional.

  • March 7: A Writer Prepares: Techniques for Character Development for Fiction Writing with John Palisano.

How does one develop compelling characters? What happens when you hit a wall in a scene and you’re not sure what to do or where to go? What if you just can’t hear the character’s voice? How do you create several characters within a story that all seem to be distinct and memorable?

In my class A Writer Prepares: Character development for fiction writing attendees will gain several useful tools as well as handouts they can use into the future for developing characters for their stories.

Using experience I gained while in Acting and Drama school, as well as real world experience in putting on plays, working on big Hollywood feature films with A-level talent, as well as in multi-award winning fiction of my own, this class A Writer Prepares: Character development for fiction writing is a riff on the famous Konstantin Stanislavsky book and method … but taken into the here and now! Get ready to have some fun!

What makes an agent, editor, or publisher interested in a pitch and how do you prepare to give one? What are the things a pitch should cover and how can you avoid basic mistakes in the process? This workshop is all about the pitches (two verbal, two written) you will need as a writer and the different times when you will use them. This workshop will include hands-on verbal and written pitching of stories with immediate feedback in a safe environment.

(13) FORBES OBIT. Author Lani Forbes died February 3 at the age of 35 reports Rediscovered Books, which invites fans to join them for Lani’s Book Birthday and a Celebration of Life and Literature on February 17. Full details and registration here.

 Young adult author Lani Forbes, whose critically acclaimed Age of the Seventh Sun series won multiple Realm Awards, died on February 3, 2022, in Boise, Idaho, after a nine-month battle with neuroendocrine cancer. She was 35….  

Lani Forbes was the daughter of a librarian and a surfer, which explained her passionate love of the ocean and books. Forbes was born May 6, 1987, in Huntington Beach, California. She grew up in California, and attended high school at Huntington Beach High School. In 2009, Forbes received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Hope International University. She then received her teaching credentials from Cal State University. After 10 years of teaching, Forbes went on to become a trauma counselor, serving women who had been abused by their spouses through addiction.

Her young adult book series, the Age of the Seventh Sun, premiered in 2020 with the release of The Seventh Sun, followed by The Jade Bones in 2021 and The Obsidian Butterfly in 2022. The Seventh Sun was a finalist for the Realm Awards Book of the Year and won Best Debut, Best Young Adult, and Best Epic Fantasy. Forbes’s passion was showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience….

(14) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1988 [Item by Cat Eldridge] Thirty-four years ago, the Red Dwarf series first aired on BBC Two. It was created by Doug Grant and Rob Naylor who based it off their Dave Hollins: Space Cadet that aired in the BBC Radio 4 series Son of Cliché show also produced by them.

As of two years ago, seventy-four  episodes of the series have aired, including one special, concluding the twelfth series. The cost has had myriad changes with only Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Craig Charles as Lister, Danny John-Julesas as Cat and Robert Llewellyn as Kryten being there for the entire series. 

Because Grant and Naylor not only directed the series but wrote the material and frequently changed everything as the series went along, critics came to be sharply divided on the series. The changes often caused them to loathe Grant and Naylor. Or love them. No middle ground at all. Grant and Naylor didn’t care one fuck. That’s a direct quote. 

BBC gave them two hundred fifty thousand pounds per episode, about three hundred thirty thousand dollars currently. Not a big budget but enough. It’s now broadcasting on Dave which is a British free-to-air television channel owned by UKTV, a joint venture of the BBC and Thames TV.

(15) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 15, 1883 Sax Rohmer. Though doubtless best remembered for his series of novels featuring the arch-fiend Fu Manchu, I’ll also single out The Romance of Sorcery, as he based his mystery-solving magician character Bazarada on Houdini who he was friends with. The Fourth Doctor story, “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” had a lead villain who looked a lot like most depictions of Fu Manchu. (Died 1959.)
  • Born February 15, 1907 Cesar Romero. Joker in the classic Sixties Batman TV series and film. I think that Lost Continent as Major Joe Nolan was his first SF film, with Around the World in 80 Days as Abdullah’s henchman being his other one. He had assorted genre series appearances on series such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get SmartFantasy Island and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. (Died 1994.)
  • Born February 15, 1939 Jo Clayton. Best remembered for the Diadem universe saga which I’m reasonably sure spanned twenty novels before it wrapped up. Damned good reading there. Actually all of her fiction in my opinion is well worth reading. Her only award is the Phoenix Award given annually to a Lifetime achievement award for a science fiction professional who has done a great deal for Southern Fandom. (Died 1998.)
  • Born February 15, 1945 Douglas  Hofstadter, 77. Author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Though it’s not genre, ISFDB notes he wrote “The Tale of Happiton “, a short story included in the Rudy Rucker-edited Mathenauts: Tales of Mathematical Wonder
  • Born February 15, 1945 Jack Dann, 77. Dreaming Down-Under which he co-edited with Janeen Webb is an amazing anthology of Australian genre fiction. It won a Ditmar Award and was the first Australian fiction book ever to win the World Fantasy Award. If you’ve not read it, go do so. As for his novels, I’m fond of High Steel written with Jack C. Haldeman II, and The Man Who Melted. He’s not that well-stocked digitally speaking though Dreaming Down-Under is available at the usual suspects.
  • Born February 15, 1948 Art Spiegelman, 74. Author and illustrator of Maus which if you’ve not read, you really should. He also wrote MetaMaus which goes into great detail how he created that work. (Discussed here at Green Man Review.) And yes, I know he had a long and interesting career in underground comics but I’ll be damned if I can find any that are either genre or genre adjacent. I know if I’m wrong that you’ll correct me. 
  • Born February 15, 1958 Cat Eldridge, 64. He’s the publisher of Green Man Review. He’s retconned into Jane Yolen’s The One-Armed Queen as an enthomusicologist in exchange for finding her a rare volume of fairy tales.
  • Born February 15, 1971 Renee O’Connor, 51. Gabrielle on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. I’m reasonably sure that I watched every damn episode of both series when they aired originally. Quite fun stuff. Her first genre role was first as a waitress in Tales from the Crypt and she’s had some genre film work such as Monster Ark and Alien Apocalypse. She’s also played Lady Macbeth in the Shakespeare by the Sea’s production of Macbeth

(16) FROM DEEP POCKETS TO DEEP SPACE. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport interviews billionaire Jared Isaacman, who went into space last year on the first private spaceflight.  Isaacman says he is launching another four-person private spacelight later this year, and the Polaris Dawn mission will have the first private astronaut performing a spacewalk. “Jared Isaacman to fund 3 SpaceX flights, including first crewed launch of Starship”.

…In addition to the first commercial spacewalk, Isaacman said the first Polaris mission would endeavor “to go farther than anyone’s gone since we last walked on the moon — in the highest Earth orbit that anyone’s ever flown.” The record was set in 1966 by the Gemini 11 crew, which flew to 853 miles, the highest altitude for any non-lunar crewed mission, according to NASA.

The flight, which would take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, would require a license from the Federal Aviation Administration. But the FAA considers only the safety of people and property on the ground in granting such approval and not the risks their activities in space might pose to the crew.

The crew would also test SpaceX’s Starlink laser-based satellite communications technology in space. While Starlink satellites now beam Internet signals to rural areas on Earth, SpaceX is hoping to use the system for human spaceflight missions to the moon and Mars. 

(17) ENTERPRISE: SKELETON WAR. [Item by Ben Bird Person.] Fan artist Marieke (@Spacelizart) did this piece based on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) and the 2013 meme Skeleton War:

(18) HASBRO MAKES THE RUN TO MARKET IN 13 PARSECS. That Hashtag Show turns thumbs down on this action figure: “Hasbro Fails Miserably With Star Wars Black Series Krrsantan”.

Well folks, The Book of Boba Fett Season 1 is in the books. One of its unquestionable highlights was Black Krrsantan leaping from the comic book page to live-action. Carey Jones perfectly brought the gladiator-turned-bounty-hunter to life, ably joining the late Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo as Star Wars Wookiee mainstays. Hasbro, of course, is now looking to seize on Krrsantan’s popularity. The toy maker just announced a Black Series figure for the character, and frankly, it couldn’t be a bigger fail.

… Sorry, Hasbro, but the “new” Black Series Krrsantan is, in a word, awful. As many across social media have pointed out, the figure is nothing more than a repainted retread of an old Chewbacca figure from almost a decade ago. The only difference is the head sculpt. That, at least, features the Wookiee’s braids and scars. Unfortunately, the differences pretty much end there. Even the bowcaster weapon is the same. You can’t look at the Black Series figure and not think “black Chewbacca.” Plus, the monochrome accessories (while true to the comics) just look, well, cheap….

(19) GAME TO MOVIE. “’BioShock’ Movie in the Works at Netflix” says The Hollywood Reporter.

…The streaming giant [Netflix] has partnered with Take-Two Interactive, the game’s parent company, to develop a potential cinematic universe. Vertigo Entertainment and Take-Two will serve as producers.

No writer or filmmaker is on board at this time. The partnership deal has been in the works for almost a year.

Released in 2007 from 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two, the first-person shooter game featured a crumbling underwater city named Rapture, its society fragmented in a civil war with many inhabitants addicted or using a genetically enhancing serum that gives people powers while also living in fear of Big Daddies, mutated humans who have been merged with diving suits. Into this world is dropped the game’s protagonist, Jack, a survivor of a mysterious plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean….

(20) FOR THOSE OF YOU KEEPING SCORE AT HOME. The New York Times has an update: “China, Not SpaceX, May Be Source of Rocket Part Crashing Into Moon”.

The developer of astronomy software who said that Elon Musk’s company would cause a new crater on the moon says that he “had really gotten it wrong.”

…Part of a rocket is expected to crash into the far side of the moon on March 4. Initially thought to be a SpaceX rocket stage, the object may actually be part of a Long March 3C rocket that launched in 2014….

(21) SITH OF ONE, HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER. Lucasfilm Games dropped this trailer today: “Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Legacy of the Sith”.

Legacy of the Sith will send players to the darkest depths and farthest reaches of the galaxy and unlock the ability to choose your personal combat style.

(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers: Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the Screen Junkies say that the newest Ghostbusters movie “invites you to remember how great the original was and — that’s it. That’s the whole movie.”  The film “gives the loudest people what they want…Easter eggs the size of Denver omelets.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Ed Fortune, Rob Thornton, Chris Barkley, Ben Bird Person, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

2021 Rhysling Award Winners

Linda D. Addison and Jenny Blackford are the winners of the 2021 Rhysling Awards presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).

The winners were chosen by SFPA members, with 115 votes cast.

SHORT POEM

Winner: “Summer Time(lessness)” by Linda D. Addison, Star*Line 43.4

Second Place: “Why did white people conquer the world for spices and then never use them?” by R. Thursday, Drunk Monkeys (November 16)

Third Place: “Darning” by Sandra J. Lindow, Asimov’s Science Fiction (May/Jun)

LONG POEM

Winner: “Eleven Exhibits in a Better Natural History Museum, London” by Jenny Blackford, Strange Horizons (14 Sept.)

Second Place: “A Song from Bedlam” by Nike Sulway, Liminality 23

Third Place: “Devilish Incarnations” by Bruce Boston, Star*Line 43.1

The 2021 Rhysling Anthology edited by Alessandro Manzetti, with book design by F. J. Bergmann and cover image by Adrian Borda, can be purchased at the SFPA site.

2021 Rhysling Award Nominees

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has finalized its 2021 Rhysling Award candidates. One hundred six members nominated.

The Rhysling Award is given in two categories. “Best Long Poem” is for poems of 50+ lines, or for prose poems, of 500+ words. “Best Short Poem” is limited to poems of no more than 49 lines, or prose poems of no more than 499 words.

SFPA members have until June 15 to vote on the winners.

Short Poems (103 poems)
“Summer Time(lessness)” • Linda D. Addison • Star*Line 43.4
“Timegeddon” •  Francis Wesley Alexander • Illumen, Spring
“The Void Blends in Your Hands” • Carmen Lucía Alvarado • Utopia Science Fiction, February
“The Tree Of Eyes” • Colleen Anderson • Literary Hatchet 26
“They Made My Face” • Sara Backer • Silver Blade 47
“Sealskin Reclaimed” • Alison Bainbridge • Glitchwords 2
“a siren whispered in my ear one night” • Ashley Bao • Arsenika 7
“Chrono-Man” • F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni, May 11
“Lesser Eternity” • F. J. Bergmann • Survision Magazine 6
“Chronovisor Wanted” • Robert Borski • Star*Line 43.1
“The Monster Maker” • Bruce Boston • Silver Blade 45
“When Change Comes” • Karen Bovenmyer • Arcana: Story
“The Edge of Galaxy NGC 4013” • Warren Brown • Speculative North 3
“He Sold What He Had Left” • Diane Callahan • Speculative North 1
“Three Triolets” • Anna Cates • Strange Horizons, 7 December
“Mrs. Housekeeper” • Beth Cato • Eye To The Telescope 35
“The Luck Eaters” • Beth Cato & Rhonda Parrish • Star*Line 43.3
“Post-Obit Cautionary Tale” • G. O. Clark • Tales From the Moonlight Path, July
“Zodiac Girl” • Carolyn Clink • Eye to the Telescope 36
“Back Story” • David Clink • Strange Horizons, 12 September 2020
“The dead couple of Blenheim” • William Clunie • Dreams and Nightmares 116
“an alien axiom” • Gerald L. Coleman • Star*Line 43.4
“Mouthing off” • PS Cottier • Monstrous (IP, Brisbane, Australia)
“Visit to Poe’s House” • Cynthia Cozette •  2020 SFPA Halloween Poetry Page
“The Memory of Summer” • Jennifer Crow • Polu Texni, May 31
“The Old God Dies” • Jennifer Crow • Liminality 24
“The Man with the Corpse on His Shoulders” • James Cushing • Rattle, October 1, 2020
“Isotropical” • d’Ores&Deja • Analog, July/August
“A Hand Against My Window” • Deborah L. Davitt • 34 Orchard 1
“A Touch of Lightning in the Soul” • Deborah L. Davitt • Abyss & Apex 73
“The Witch’s Cat” • Deborah L. Davitt • Eye to the Telescope 38
“Beneath the Fullest Moon” • Ashley Dioses • Midnight Under the Big Top, ed. Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance Publications)
“Disassembly at auction” • Robin Wyatt Dunn • Mobius: The Journal of Social Change 31:4
“Ghazal” • Joshua Gage • Silver Blade 47 (permission declined)
“Dragons Guard Our Family Fortune” • Adele Gardner • Star*Line 43.2
“Last Contact” • Jean-Paul L. Garnier • Poetry Super Highway, December 28
“The Mollusk God” • Maxwell Ian Gold • Space & Time Magazine 139
“Tree Limbs Block the Road” • Patricia Gomes • Wicked Women: An Anthology by New England Horror Writers, ed. Trisha Wooldridge
“Lucky & His Dad” • Alan Ira Gordon • Illumen Spring
“The Crib” • Vince Gotera • Making the Novel, August
“A Soldier Writes His Wife” • Vince Gotera • Ribbons 16:2
“First Contact“ • Robin Rose Graves • Simultaneous Times 6
“Teddy Bear Diner” • Michael H. Hanson • Android Girl and Other Sentient Speculations (Three Ravens Publishing)
“Hungry Ghost” • Millie Ho • Uncanny 33
“Ignorance, my prophylactic” • Akua Lezli Hope •  Eye to the Telescope 38
“Dolly Waits” • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • Final Cut Zine, October 31
“That is not what I meant at all” • Brian Hugenbruch • Abyss & Apex 76
“‘Flee’—The Last Dispatch from the Jemison Station” • Maya C. James • Star*Line 43.4
“Requiem” • Clay F. Johnson • Nightingale & Sparrow 8
“Form Factor” • Tim Jones • Eye To The Telescope 38
“Family Historian” • Herb Kauderer • Scifaikuest, August
“Cave Painting” • Oliver Keane •  Eternal Haunted Summer, Winter Solstice
“Posle Nas” • Rosalie Morales Kearns • Apparition Lit 11
“Star Trip(tych)”  • M. X. Kelly • Speculative North 2
“Witching” • Erin Kirsh • Speculative North 2
“Life Goes On” • David C Kopaska-Merkel • Anwen 107
“We sell skin on sale” • Rachel Lachmansingh • Augur Magazine 3.2
“The Forest in the Full of the Moon” • Geoffrey A. Landis • New Myths, December
“Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Space & Time Magazine, May
“Last Seen Sunset” •  Hazel Ann Lee • Star*Line 43.4
“The Cat’s Epilogue” • Mary Soon Lee • The Sign of the Dragon (JABberwocky Literary Agency)
“Cavall” • Mary Soon Lee • Asimov’s Science Fiction, September/October
“What Phoenixes Read” • Mary Soon Lee • Star*Line 43.3
“Darning” • Sandra J. Lindow • Asimov’s Science Fiction, May/June
“Rapunzel at Seventy” • Sandra J. Lindow • Taj Mahal Review, June
“Grass Whisperer” • Lynne M MacLean • Speculative North 1
“Lovely Ludwig Van” • Alessandro Manzetti • Space & Time 139
“Kings and Queens of Narnia” • Meep Matsushima • Octavos 9/24/2020
“Black Water, Black Bones” • Michelle Muenzler • Liminality 23
“Libations” • Soonest Nathaniel • FIYAH 15
“Cento for Lagahoos” •  Brandon O’Brien • Uncanny 36
“Mountain” • Cindy O’Quinn • Shelved: Appalachian Resilience Amid Covid-19 (Mountain Gap Books anthology)
“You Were With Me” • CIndy O’Quinn • Space & Time Magazine 136
“The Krakeness” • K. A. Opperman • Cosmic Horror Monthly, June
“On the Edge of Forever” • Josh Pearce • Star*Line 43.1
“Fin” • Terese Mason Pierre • Uncanny 36
“Like Clockwork” • Christina M. Rau • Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, March
“Bar Scene” • John Reinhart • Star*Line 43.3
“It Feels Like Drowning” • Terrie Leigh Relf • HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. VII, ed. Stephanie Wytovich
“fear of police, but as sci-fi, because /that/ you can understand -or, less passive aggressively- get these fucking phasers out of my face” • J. C. Rodriguez • Freeze Ray Poetry 19
“invocation of my guardian angel in six sexts” • Camille Rosas • Eye to the Telescope 37
“Arrival Mind” • Louis B. Rosenberg • Arrival Mind (Outland Publishing)
“Of fairy tales—” • David F. Shultz • Star*Line 43.1
“People Dropping Dead in the Mall Parking Lot” • lan Ray Simmons • Abyss & Apex 76
“Journey’s End” • Marge Simon • Silver Blade 46
“Old Playfellow” • Noel Sloboda • Abyss & Apex 75
“Riding the Exhale” • Angela Yuriko Smith • HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. VII, ed. Stephanie Wytovich
“The Deer” • Christina Sng • A Collection of Dreamscapes (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
“Dream Weaver” • Blaize Kelly Strothers • Apparition Lit 12
“The Selkie Wife” • Marcie Lynn Tentchoff • Speculative North 3
“Andromeda’s Lament” • Gretchen Tessmer • Liminality 26
“End Credits” • Gretchen Tessmer • Liquid Imagination 44
“A Tempest” • Sheree Renée Thomas • Star*Line 43.4
“Why did white people conquer the world for spices and then never use them?” • R. Thursday • Drunk Monkeys, November 16
“King Pest” • Richard L. Tierney • Spectral Realms 13
“Athena Holds Up a Mirror to Strength” • Ali Trotta • Uncanny 34
“Persephone’s Sneakers” • Amanda Trout • Little Death Lit 5
“Extinction No. 6” • Morgan L. Ventura • Augur 3.2
“Unlooping” • Marie Vibbert • Asimov’s Science Fiction, January/February
“Acacia” • Holly Lyn Walrath • Liminality 24
“we are all energy” • M. Darusha Wehm • Kaleidotrope, Spring
“The Paper Effigies Shop” • Deborah Wong • Eye to the Telescope 36
[hand-me-down] • Greer Woodward • Eye to the Telescope 35
Long Poems (65 poems)
“And It Was Bad” • Anne Carly Abad • Abyss & Apex 75
“The Looking Glass” • Colleen Anderson • Illumen, Spring
“Snow White’s Apples” • Colleen Anderson • Polu Texni, April 14
“Time Traveller’s Memory” • Davian Aw • The Future Fire 55
“Regarding” • F. J. Bergmann • Polu Texni, March 30
“The Riches of Cloud Country” • Ruth Berman • Asimov’s Science Fiction, May/June
“Eleven exhibits in a better Natural History Museum, London” • Jenny Blackford • Strange Horizons, 14 September
“The priestess’s daughter” • Jenny Blackford • Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, February
“The Third Sister” • Andrea Blythe • Twelve (Interstellar Flight Press)
“Parabiont” • Robert Borski • Dreams and Nightmares 115
“It’s Like This I Told the Archangel” • Marianne Boruch • The Georgia Review, Fall(permission declined)
“Devilish Incarnations” • Bruce Boston • Star*Line 43.1
“Wishes” • Jennifer Bushroe • Polu Texni, September 7
“Learning the Way” • Sarah Cannavo • Liminality 25
“My Cat, He” • Beth Cato • Uncanny 36
“Cursebody” • May Chong • Apparition Lit 11
“Municipal Ghosts” • May Chong • Eye to the Telescope 36
La Bête: The Beast of Gévaudan” • Frank Coffman • Black Flames & Gleaming Shadows (Bold Venture Press)
“The Wheel of the Year” • Frank Coffman • Black Flames & Gleaming Shadows (Bold Venture Press)
“The Imp and the Bottle” • Sharon Cote • Star*Line 43.2
“The King of Eyes” • PS Cottier • Monstrous (IP, Brisbane, Australia)
“Twisted Sayings” • Ashley Dioses • The Withering (Jackanapes Press)
“After the Decipherment” • FJ Doucet • SFPA Poetry Contest
“Penelope, the truth” • Clarabelle Fields • Corvid Queen, April 3, 2020
“The Mad Scientist to the Muse of her Dreams” • Adele Gardner • Dreams and Nightmares 114
“Odysseus Grins at Fate and the Gods” • Adele Gardner • Mithila Review 13
“Seven Steps to Reach Your Father Across the Great Divide” • Adele Gardner • Liminality 25
“Cellars, Caskets, and Closets” • Maxwell I. Gold • Baffling Magazine 1
“The Secret Ingredient is Always the Same” • Sarah Grey • Fantasy Magazine 61
“Fermi’s Spaceship” • Jamal Hodge • Star*Line 43.4
“Igbo Landing” • Akua Lezli Hope • Penumbra, Fall 2020
“First Turn” • Juleigh Howard-Hobson • Final Cut Zine, October 31
“The Finger” • Abi Hynes • Dreams and Nightmares 114
“An Offering” • Michael Janairo • Line of Advance (2020 Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Awards)
“The Emerald Witch Stone” • Clay F. Johnson • Moonchild Magazine, January
“The First Dragon” • Herb Kauderer • Altered Reality Magazine, 14 December
“The Unicorn Insane” • Herb Kauderer • Speculations II: Poetry from the Weird Poets’ Society, ed. Frank Coffman
“Dictionary of the Lost” • Luke Kernan • Déraciné 7
Robo sapiens Thinks He Thinks” • Geoffrey A. Landis • Eye To The Telescope 35
“Ford” • Mary Soon Lee • The Sign of the Dragon (JABberwocky Literary Agency)
“Jumble” • Mary Soon Lee • Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 43
“Two Weeks” • Mary Soon Lee • The Sign of the Dragon (JABberwocky Literary Agency)
“Invisible Ink” • Gerri Leen • Community of Magic Pens (Atthis Arts anthology)
“Social Graces” • Lori R. Lopez • Bewildering Stories 871
“The Whistle Stop” • Lori R. Lopez • Impspired 8
“The Son-in-Law from Hell” • LindaAnn LoSchiavo • Bewildering Stories 875
“Budapest: for Lianne” • S. Qiouyi Lu • In Charge Magazine, June 4
“Alice” • Alessandro Manzetti • Whitechapel Rhapsody (Independent Legions)
“the cage” • Alessandro Manzetti • Midnight Under the Big Top, ed. Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance Publications)
“The Believers” • Meep Matsushima • Strange Horizons, 21 December
“Nephele, On Friday” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Air: Sylphs, Spirits & Swan Maidens, ed. Rhonda Parrish (Tyche Books)
“There Must Be Blood” • Elizabeth R. McClellan • Rejection Letters, October 8
“lagahoo culture (Part I)” Brandon O’Brien • Uncanny 35
“Mise-en-scène” • Suphil Lee Park • Michigan Quarterly—Mixtape: Apocalypse issue
“Next!” • Michael Payne •  Silver Blade 47
“Caged” • Marsheila Rockwell • American Diversity Report, December 16
“Our Lady of the Archerontia” • Allan Rozinski • Spectral Realms 13
“Such Monstrous Births” • Emily Smith • Strange Horizons, 9 March
“All that I have lost” • Christina Sng • A Collection of Dreamscapes (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
“Dark Forest” • Christina Sng • New Myths 53
“Hansel and Gretel” • Christina Sng • A Collection of Dreamscapes (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
“Love Song of the Swamp” • Alena Sullivan • Crow & Cross Keys, December
“A Song from Bedlam (with apologies to Christopher Smart)” • Nike Sulway • Liminality 23
“A Dish Best Served” • Lisa Timpf• Liminality 23
“Daughters Saving Mothers” • Holly Lyn Walrath • Liminality 23

Update 02/24/21: The poems by Marianne Boruch, Cynthia Cozette, Joshua Gage and Hazel Lee have been removed from the Rhysling candidates page after being withdrawn by the authors.

Pixel Scroll 1/2/21 You Put The Mime In The Tesseract And Drink Them Both Together

(1) DAVID WEBER STATUS. Word of this alarming news went out last night:

After the Turtledove tweet was reposted to David Weber’s author page on Facebook, his wife, Sharon Rice-Weber commented:

He’s doing better right now. I’ll try and keep everyone updated

Best wishes for a full recovery.

(2) NEW YEAR’S WHO. Camestros Felapton combines the features of a review and a complete script rewrite in his analysis of yesterday’s special: “Review: Doctor Who – Revolution of the Daleks”. BEWARE SPOILERS! BEWARE IMPROVEMENTS!

The New Year’s special provides a hit of Doctor Who but that is about all. The episode is inoffensive, it plays around with one interesting idea about the theatre of policing and the aesthetics of fascism but doesn’t know what to do with that. Above all, it exemplifies the frustrating aspects of the Chibnall era. There is always a feeling of a better episode, that is almost exactly the same, lurking around the same pieces….

On the other hand, this fellow found one part of the special to be exceptionally thrilling —

(3) IN BAD TIMES TO COME. Future Tense presents “The Vastation” by Paul Theroux, “a new short story about a future pandemic that makes COVID-19 look simple.”

Steering to his assigned slot in the out-going convoy behind a bulky bomb-proof escort truck, Father said, “We’re going to Greenville,” and looked for my reaction to this surprising announcement. Surprising, not just because Greenville was far away, and where my Mother had been living, but also because I had never been taken outside the perimeter of Chicago….

There is a response essay to the story by physician Allison Bond: “In a pandemic, what do doctors owe, and to whom?”

…Today—as in this story—we fight a deadly contagious disease that has hit some communities much harder than others, and through which xenophobia and racism have been allowed to fester. In Theroux’s story, people are segregated into camps by nationality, into “island[s] of ethnicity, renewed country-of-origin pride and defiance in the enormous sea of rural America.” Perhaps these stemmed from viewing people who are different from oneself as the enemy, and then working to avoid them—something that is already increasingly prevalent in our society, in part thanks to social media.

(4) TRAVEL SAFETY PROPOSAL. “What are COVID-19 digital immunity passports?”Slate explains.

This week, the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the U.S.
With the FDA expected to approve Moderna’s vaccine imminently, people are already looking forward to a world where travel and gatherings are possible. But for those activities to be maximally safe, the country will either need to reach herd immunity—unlikely until mid-2021 at the earliest, assuming essentially flawless vaccine roll-out and widespread adoption—or to find ways to verify people’s negative tests or vaccination status in advance.

Some companies are looking to digital solutions. Airlines like JetBlue, United, and Virgin Atlantic have begun using CommonPass, an app developed by the Commons Project and the World Economic Forum that shows whether users have tested negative for COVID-19 for international travel. Ticketmaster, too, told Billboard that its “post-pandemic fan safety” plans include digital health passes that verify event-goers’ COVID-19 negative test results or vaccination status. While these digital health passes could become a prerequisite for some activities, widespread adoption of so-called immunity passports would require a level of coordination and organization uncharacteristic of the country’s response to COVID-19 so far….

(5) MEMORY WHOLE. The Guardian tries to answer its own question: “George Orwell is out of copyright. What happens now?” The situation resonates with Orwell’s pigs — some works are more out of copyright than others.

Much of the author’s work may have fallen into public ownership in the UK, but there are more restrictions on its use remaining than you might expect, explains his biographer.

George Orwell died at University College Hospital, London, on 21 January 1950 at the early age of 46. This means that unlike such long-lived contemporaries as Graham Greene (died 1991) or Anthony Powell (died 2000), the vast majority of his compendious output (21 volumes to date) is newly out of copyright as of 1 January. 

…As is so often the way of copyright cut-offs, none of this amounts to a free-for-all. Any US publisher other than Houghton Mifflin that itches to embark on an Orwell spree will have to wait until 2030, when Burmese Days, the first of Orwell’s books to be published in the US, breaks the 95-year barrier. And eager UK publishers will have to exercise a certain amount of care. The distinguished Orwell scholar Professor Peter Davison fathered new editions of the six novels back in the mid-1980s. No one can reproduce these as the copyright in them is currently held by Penguin Random House. Aspiring reissuers, including myself, have had to go back to the texts of the standard editions published in the late 1940s, or in the case of A Clergyman’s Daughter and Keep the Aspidistra Flying, both of which Orwell detested so much – he described the former as “bollox” – that he refused to have them reprinted in his lifetime, to the originals of, respectively, 1935 and 1936.

(6) STRANGER THAN FICTION. L. Jagi Lamplighter is interviewed by ManyBooks about her work with “A Magic School Like No Other”.

What inspired you to create the Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts?

The original game that the books are based upon took place at a popular magic school from another series. When I sat down to write this series, I had to invent a whole new magic school—and I had to make it something

My son, who was then about nine or ten, had come up with the idea that the colony on the Island of Roanoke had disappeared because the whole island vanished and that there was a school of magic upon it.

I loved this idea, but I didn’t really know much about the area of the country where Roanoke Island is. So I decided it was a floating island that could wander. Then I put it in the Hudson River, near Storm King Mountain, because that is a place I happen to love. I found out there was a small island in that spot that actually has a ruin of a castle on it. I made that island (Bannerman or Pollepel Island) the part of the island that was visible to the mundane world of the Unwary (us.)

I spent hours on the internet looking at photos of all sorts of places—forests, buildings—that I loved. Then I put those photos together to create the island and the school. So Roanoke Island has many things I think are beautiful, paper birch forests, boardwalks by a river, Oriental gardens.

Then I needed to design the school itself. I noted that there were series where the magic school is like a British boarding school and series where the school is like an American boarding school. I wanted something different. So I decided to model Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts after the college I attended. St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland is quite different from most other colleges. Students sit around one large table. They have core groups, other students who are in all your classes. They have tutors instead of professors. They have an unusual system of intramural sports—so strange that every time I put part of it in the book, my editor tags it as too extraordinary to be believable.

I took my experience at St. John’s and spun it into the world of the Hudson Highlands, creating a marvelous place that is delightful to write about and, God willing, a joy for the reader, too.

(7) PULLING CABLE. FirstShowing.net introduces the trailer for “Intriguing Gig Economy Quantum Sci-Fi Film ‘Lapsis’”.

… Struggling to support himself and his ailing younger brother, delivery man Ray takes a strange job as a “cabler” in a strange new realm of the gig economy. This film is set in an alternate reality where the quantum computing revolution has begun, but they need to hire people to connect the cables for miles between huge magnetic cubes. 

(8) BOLLING OBIT. Pianist, composer, and bandleader Claude Bolling died December 29. The Guardian’s tribute notes —

…He wrote music for over one hundred films …  such as The Hands of Orlac (1960), … The Passengers (1977) [released in the US as The Intruder, based on Dean Koontz’s 1973 novel Shattered], The Awakening, a 1980 British horror film [third film version of Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel The Jewel of Seven Stars]. Bolling also composed the music for the Lucky Luke animated features Daisy Town (1971) and La Ballade des Dalton (1978).

(9) DOMINGUEZ OBIT. “Disney Legend” Ron Dominguez died January 1 at 85.

In 1957, Dominguez became the assistant supervisor of Frontierland, moving up to the manager of Tomorrowland in 1962. He became the manager of the west side of Disneyland and in 1974, was named vice president of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee.

In 1990, Dominguez became Executive Vice President Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast.

(10) VOYAGER DOCUMENTARY ASKS FOR FUNDS. Comicbook.com gives fans a head’s up: “Star Trek: Voyager Documentary Announces Crowdfunding Campaign”.

The upcoming Star Trek: Voyager documentary is ready to begin crowdfunding. The new documentary would have commemorated Voyager‘s 25th anniversary in 2020, but the coronavirus dashed most of those celebration plans. David Zappone of 455 Studios, the production company behind previous Star Trek documentaries like For the Love of SpockChaos on the Bridge, and What We Left Behind, confirmed that filming for the documentary resumed in August. Now it seems the production has reached the point where it’s ready to raise funds from fans. As Voyager star Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim) explains in the announcement video below, fans will be able to donate to the campaign and pre-order the documentary beginning on March 1st.

Click to see the “Special Announcement From Garrett Wang”.

(11) TODAY’S DAY.

(12) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • January 2, 1978 Blake’s 7 premiered on BBC. It was created by Terry Nation of Doctor Who fame, who also wrote the first series, and produced by David Maloney (series 1–3) and Vere Lorrimer (series 4), with  the script editor throughout its run being Chris Boucher. Terry has said Star Trek was one of his main inspirations. It would would run for a total of fifty-two episodes. Principal cast was Gareth Thomas, Michael Keating, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow and David Jackson. Critics at the times were decidedly mixed with their reaction which is not true of audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes who give an amazing ninety one percent rating! 

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born January 2, 1814 – Luise Mühlbach.  A score of historical-fiction novels; you can read Old Fritz and the New Era here (Fritz is a nickname for Friedrich; she means Frederick II of Prussia); it has fantastic elements.  She says “To investigate and explain … is the task of historical romance….  poesy… illuminated by historic truth….  Show me from history that it could not be so; that it is not in accordance with the character of the persons represented … then have I … presented only a caricature, faulty as a work of art.”  (Died 1873) [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1871 – Nora Hopper.  Journalist and poet in the 1890s Irish literary movement; Yeats said her Ballads in Prose “haunted me as few books have ever haunted me, for it spoke in strange wayward stories and birdlike little verses of things and persons I remember or had dreamed of.”  There’s a 2017 Trieste reprint.  (Died 1906) [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1920 Isaac Asimov. I can’t possibly summarize him here so I won’t. My favorite novels by him are the original Foundation novels followed very closely by his Galactic Empire series and I, Robot. I know I’ve read a lot of his short fiction but I’ll be damn if I can recall any of it specifically right now. And I can’t possibly list all his Hugos here. (Died 1992.)  (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1932 – Minagawa Hiroko, age 92.  (Personal name last, Japanese style.)  Three of her stories are in English, two in Speculative Japan 3-4.  Shibata Prize.  More famous for detective fiction; Honkaku Award for The Resurrection Fireplace (in Japanese Hirakasete itadaki kôei desu, roughly “I am honored to open it”), set in 18th Century London; Mystery Writers of Japan Award, Japan Mystery Literature Award for lifetime achievement.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1948 Deborah Watling. Best known for her role as Victoria Waterfield, a companion of the Second Doctor. She was also in Downtime, playing the same character, a one-off sequel to a sequel to the Second Doctor stories, The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. No Doctors were to be seen. If you’ve seen the English language dubbed version of Viaje al centro de la Tierra (Where Time Began, based off Verne’s Journey to the Center of The Earth), she’s doing the lines of Ivonne Sentis as Glauben. (Died 2017.) (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1954 – Ertugrul Edirne, age 67.  Twoscore covers in German SF.  Here is Galactic Trade.  Here is On the Great River.  Here is Kushiel’s Dart (German title In den Händen der Feinde, “In the Hands of the Enemy”).  Here is Not From This World.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1959 – Patrick Nielsen Hayden, age 62.  Long-time fan, also guitarist (lead guitar in Whisperado).  TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate with wife Teresa Nielsen Hayden, both wrote “TAFF in Thirteen Paragraphs”, fanzines e.g. IzzardTelos, Fan Guests of Honor at MidAmeriCon II the 74th Worldcon where at Closing Ceremonies PNH said “I can’t count the conversations I’ve had with total strangers”, see my con report (at the end, with a poem for each).  Meanwhile also active as a pro; now VP, Assoc. Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief at Tor.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1967 Tia Carrere, 54. Best remembered for her three season run as Sydney Fox, rogue archaeologist on Relic Hunter. She’s been in a number of one-offs on genre series including Quantum LeapHerculesTales from The Crypt, AirwolfFriday the 13th and played Agent Katie Logan for two episodes on Warehouse 13. (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1971 Renée Elise Goldsberry, 50. Best known for appearing on Altered Carbon as Quellcrist Falconer. She also performed the Johnny Cash song “Ain’t No Grave” for the end credits in the final episode of that series. Genre wise, she’s had one-offs on EnterpriseLife on MarsEvil and voice work on DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders, an all too cute series.  She was Selena Izard in The House with a Clock in Its Walls. And she appeared on Broadway in The Lion King as Nala.   (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1979 Tobias S. Buckell, 42. I read and enjoyed a lot his Xenowealth series which he managed to wrap up rather nicely. The collection he edited, The Stories We Tell: Bermuda Anthology of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, is well worth reading, as is his own Tides from a New World collection. And his Tangled Lands collection which won the World Fantasy Award is amazing reading as well. (CE) 
  • Born January 2, 1982 – Aníbal J. Rosario Planas, age 39.  (In this Hispanic style two surnames are given, the father’s Rosario then the mother’s Planas.)  Drummer and author.  Here are a photo, a 150-word teaser from his story Pólvora y vapor (“powder and steam”; in Spanish), and links to his talk (in Spanish and English) about Steampunk Writers Around the World.  [JH]
  • Born January 2, 1983 Kate Bosworth, 38. She’s Barbara Barga in the SS-GB series done off the superb Len Deighton novel  which is definitely genre. She’s both a producer and a performer on The I-Land series where she’s KC, a decidedly not nice person. For a much more positive character, she portrayed Lois Lane in Superman Returns. (CE) 

(14) COMICS SECTION.

(15) GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna notes that Calvin and Hobbes’s last strip was on December 31, 1995, which gives him a chance to praise Bill Watterson and explain why his strip is timeless comedy.  In a sidebar, Cavna notes two other important comic strips ended in 1995:  Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” and Berkeley Breathed’s “Bloom County” spinoff “Outland.”  But he notes that Bill Watterson praised Richard Thompson’s “Cul de Sac” as showing that “the launch of great comics was still possible” and interviews Breathed, who revived “Bloom County” as an online venture in 2015. “’Calvin and Hobbes’ said goodbye 25 years ago. Here’s why Bill Watterson’s masterwork enchants us still.”

…Stephan Pastis, creator of “Pearls Before Swine,” views Calvin as an expression of pure childlike id, yet thinks there is a whole other dynamic that makes many of Calvin’s acts of imagination so appealing.

Watterson “accurately captured how put-upon you feel as a kid — how limited you are by your parents, by your babysitter, by [schoolteacher] Miss Wormwood. You’re really boxed in and all you have is individual expression,” says Pastis, who collaborated with the “Calvin and Hobbes” creator on a week of “Pearls” strips in 2014, marking Watterson’s only public return to the comics page since 1995.

“I think that’s why to this day, some people get [Calvin] tattooed on their bodies,” Pastis continues. “He stands for that rebellious spirit in the fact of a world that kind of holds you down. You get into adulthood, you get held down by your various responsibilities. Calvin rebels against that, therefore he always remains a hero.”

(16) FOR POETS. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) is taking nominations from members for two 2021 awards.

  • Rhysling Award Nominations: The 2021 Rhysling Chair is Alessandro Manzetti. Nominations are open until February 15 for the Rhysling Awards for the best poems published in 2020. Only SFPA members may nominate one short poem and/or one long poem for the award. Poets may not nominate their own work. All genres of speculative poetry are eligible. Short poems must be under 50 lines (no more than 500 words for prose poems); Long poems are 50+ lines, not including title or stanza breaks, and first published in 2020; include publication and issue, or press if from a book or anthology. Online nomination form here. Or nominate by mail to SFPA secretary: Brian Garrison, SFPA, PO Box 1563, Alameda CA 94501, USA.
  • Elgin Award Nominations: The 2021 Elgin Chair is Jordan Hirsch. Nominations due by May 15; more info will come by MailChimp. Send title, author, and publisher of speculative Star*Line 8 Winter 2021 poetry books and chapbooks published in 2019 or 2020 to [email protected] or by mail to the SFPA secretary: Brian Garrison, SFPA, PO Box 1563, Alameda CA 94501, USA. Only SFPA members may nominate; there is no limit to nominations, but you may not nominate your own work.

(17) OFF THE MARKET. Such is the draw of iconic movie locations. The LA Times explains the attraction of “Jim Brandon’s South Pasadena home”.

Jim Brandon better get used to unexpected visitors. The writer-producer, whose credits include “Arrested Development” and “Mixed-ish,” just paid about $2.2 million for a South Pasadena home with a special place in “Back to the Future” lore.

The 1985 hit doubles as a tour of L.A. County in many ways, with landmarks such as Griffith Park and the Gamble House popping up throughout the film. Another pivotal scene is set in Brandon’s new yard, where Marty McFly stumbles upon his father being a peeping Tom in the tree out front.

According to the home’s previous owner, filmmaker John McDonald, fans of the movie regularly make the trek to South Pasadena to pay homage — and climb up the now-famous tree to re-create the scene….

(18) MEMORY LANE.

In 1953, the International Fantasy Award was given to Clifford M. Simak for City, his first Award. This collection is sometimes presented as a novel which it is decidedly not as it is a fix-up of the stories “City”, “Huddling Place”, “Census”, “Paradise”, “Hobbies”, “Aesop” and “Trouble with Ants …”. The other nominations were Takeoff by C. M. Kornbluth and Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  A  Retro Hugo Award at CoNZealand in 2020 would be awarded to it as well. 

(19) NOTHING HAPPENING HERE, MOVE ALONG. In December someone pointed out that John C. Wright’s website was displaying an “Account Suspended” sign. My social media searches found no protests or grievances about this – or even that anyone else was aware of it. Wright subsequently explained the cause in “Account Not Suspended”.

My loyal webgoblin called the hosting company and reports that they said that the server was migrated this morning and that various changes are still propagating through their system. The “account suspended” message was a default one. The hosting company confirmed that there’s nothing wrong with the account and that the site hasn’t been pulled offline due to excessive bandwidth or any sort of legal action

(20) EXPANDING UNIVERSE. More Star Wars properties are on the way.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is an all-new animated series from Lucasfilm Animation coming soon to Disney+.

In another new Disney+ series, Star Wars: Andor, Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian Andor.

(21) FUTURE FORSEEN. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] “What Will Future Homes Look Like?  Filmed In the 1960s” on YouTube is an episode of the CBS News show 21st Century (which ran between 1967-70) called “At Home, 2001” narrated by Walter Cronkite, which tried to predict from the viewpoint of 1967 what homes in the 21st century would look like.  Among the predictions:  3-D televisions twice as large as the largest current flat screen, plastic plates that would be molded for each use and then put into a vat to be printed again for the next use, and dinners that were programmed and cooked via computer.  The show also saw that computers at home could teach kids and enable people to work at home, and there’s a prediction of something like cable TV.  What they got wrong:  there is no internet or YouTube.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Michael Toman, John Hertz, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Sam. And that came from Sam’s first-ever comment here!]