There are two categories: Short poems of 11–49 lines (101–499 words for prose poems) and Long poems of 50–299 lines (500–1999 words for prose poems)
The selected poems appear in the 2023 Rhysling Anthology which can be purchasedhere.
“Harold and the Blood-Red Crayon” by Jennifer Crow, Star*Line 45.1
“In Stock Images of the Future, Everything is White” by Terese Mason Pierre, Uncanny 46
“Bitch Moon” by Sarah Grey, Nightmare Magazine 118
“First Contact” by Lisa Timpf, Eye to the Telescope 44
“The Gargoyle Watches the Rains End” by Amelia Gorman, The Gargoylicon: Imaginings and Images of the Gargoyle in Literature and Art, ed. Frank Coffman (Mind’s Eye Publications)
Short Poem Honorable Mentions
“Field Notes from the Anthropocene” by Priya Chand, Nightmare Magazine 116
“Near the end, your mother tells you she’s been seeing someone” by Shannon Connor Winward, SFPA Poetry Contest
“Dinner Plans with Baba Yaga” by Stephanie M. Wytovich, Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga, ed. Lindy Ryan (Black Spot Books)
LONG POEM CATEGORY
“Machine (r)Evolution” by Colleen Anderson, Radon Journal 2
“The Bone Tree” by Rebecca Buchanan, Not a Princess, but (Yes) There was a Pea, and Other Fairy Tales to Foment Revolution (Jackanapes Press)
“Igbo Landing II” by Akua Lezli Hope, Black Fire—This Time, ed. Kim McMillon (Aquarius Press)
Long Poem Honorable Mentions
“Herbaceous Citadel” by Avra Margariti, The Fairy Tale Magazine, January 4
“Living in Rubble” by Gerri Leen, Eccentric Orbits 3, ed. Wendy Van Camp (Dimensionfold Publishing)
“The Thing About Stars” by Avra Magariti, The Saint of Witches (Weasel Press)
PRESENTING THE SHORT POEM WINNERS
Shy and nocturnal, Jennifer Crow has never been photographed in the wild, but it’s rumored that she lives near a waterfall in western New York. Her work has appeared in a number of print and electronic venues, including Uncanny Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Wondrous Real and Analog Science Fiction. Curious readers can catch up with her on Bluesky @writerjencrow.bsky.social.
Terese Mason Pierre is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Uncanny, Star*Line, and Fantasy Magazine, among others. Her poetry has been nominated for the bpNichol Chapbook Award, the Aurora Award, and the Ignyte Award. She is one of ten winners of the Writers’ Trust Journey Prize, and was named a Writers’ Trust Rising Star. Terese is the co-Editor-in-Chief of Augur Magazine and the author of chapbooks, Surface Area (Anstruther Press, 2019) and Manifest (Gap Riot Press, 2020). Terese lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Sarah Grey’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in Lightspeed, Nightmare, Uncanny,Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, and elsewhere. She has degrees in Art History, Medieval Studies, and law, speaks multiple languages poorly, and enjoys world travel and roller skating. She lives in California with her family and an excessive quantity of cats.
Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her speculative poetry has appeared in New Myths, Star*Line, Triangulation: Seven-Day Weekend, Polar Borealis, and other venues. Her collection of speculative haibun poetry, In Days to Come, is available from Hiraeth Publishing. You can find out more about Lisa’s writing projects at http://lisatimpf.blogspot.com/.
Amelia Gorman spends her free time exploring forests and fostering dogs. Read her fiction in Nightscript 6 and Cellar Door. Read her poetry in Dreams & Nightmares and Vastarien. Her chapbook, the Elgin-winning Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota, is available from Interstellar Flight Press. Her microchapbook, The Worm Sonnets (2023), is available from The Quarter Press.
PRESENTING THE LONG POEM WINNERS
Colleen Anderson lives in Vancouver, BC and has a BFA in writing. A multiple award nominee, her work has been widely published in seven countries, in such places as Lucent Dreaming, HWA Poetry Showcases, and the award-winning Shadow Atlas and Water: Sirens, Selkies & Sea Monsters. “Machine (r)Evolution” is part of Tenebrous Press’s 2023 Brave New Weird. She is author of two poetry collections, I Dreamed a World, and the just released The Lore of Inscrutable Dreams. She served as a 2023 HWA Poetry Showcase judge and co-taught a poetry workshop through Crystal Lake. www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com
Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer and is a regular contributor to ev0ke: witchcraft*paganism*lifestyle. She has published short stories, novelettes, and poems in a wide variety of venues, most speculative in nature. When she is not writing, she is baking chocolate chip cookies and avoiding yard work. A complete list of her publications can be found at Eternal Haunted Summer.
Akua Lezli Hope, a Grand Master of Fantastic Poetry (SFPA), is a paraplegic creator & wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, & wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, sculpture, adornments & peace. She wrote her first speculative poems in the 6th grade and has been in print since 1974 with nearly 500 poems published. Her collections include Embouchure: Poems on Jazz and Other Musics (Writer’s Digest book award winner), Them Gone, & Otherwheres: Speculative Poetry (2021 Elgin Award winner). A Cave Canem fellow, her honors include the NEA, two NYFA fellowships, Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association award & multiple Best of the Net, Rhysling, Dwarf Star & Pushcart Prize nominations. She won a 2022 New York State Council on the Arts grant to create Afrofuturist, speculative, pastoral poetry. She created the Speculative Sundays Poetry Reading series. She edited the record-breaking sea-themed issue of Eye To The Telescope #42 & NOMBONO: An Anthology of Speculative Poetry by BIPOC Creators, the history-making first of its kind (Sundress Publications, 2021). Her short fiction is included in the ground-breaking speculative anthology Dark Matter, and in the new, celebrated, Africa Risen anthology (Tor 2022,) among others. She founded a paratransit nfp in her small town that needs a vehicle. She exhibits her artwork regularly, practices her soprano saxophone, and dreams of access and freedom in the ancestral land of the Seneca.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has posted the Rhysling Award Long Lists of poems published in 2022. Juries for the long and short categories will now take these lists and narrow them down to 50 for the short category and 25 for the long category. The selected poems will appear in the 2022 Rhysling Anthology and will be on the ballot for SFPA members to vote on.
The jury will have their selections made no later than April 30. The Anthology will be sent shortly after that date, and voting will begin July 1.
SHORT POEMS (105 nominated poems)
After the Quest is Over • Lisa Timpf • Eye to the Telescope 46
Air Born • Brian U. Garrison • Corvid Queen, November 18
Angels • Frances Skene • Polar Starlight 6
Anima • Thomas Zimmerman • Pages Literary Journal, November 9
Animal House Speech • Dave Chandler • Failed Haiku 83
Anodized Titanium • Mary Soon Lee • Eye to the Telescope 44
Aswang Shaman Communing with Diwata for the First Time • Vince Gotera • Eye to the Telescope 46
Australopithecus • Jessica Lucci • How To Steal A Purse, April
bathroom chatter • Matteo L. Cerilli • Augur 5.2
Beneath Everything The Future Still Exists • Maggie Chirdo • Little Blue Marble: Warmer Worlds, ed. Katrina Archer (Ganache Media)
The Best Ambassadors • Adele Gardner • Felis Futura: An Anthology of Future Cats, ed. CB Droege (Manawaker Studio)
Big Brother, Little Brother, and the Sea • Geneve Flynn • Space & Time Magazine 142
Biophilia • Sarah Grey • Strange Horizons, Fund Drive
Bitch Moon • Sarah Grey • Nightmare Magazine 118
Bla Jungfrun • Deborah L. Davitt • Strange Horizons, September 26
Black Pastoral: On Mars • Ariana Benson • Paranoid Tree 17
Blond Date in a Laundromat • Mary Turzillo • Best of 22 (Ohio Poetry Association)
Bone November • Sandra Kasturi • The New Quarterly 164
Cassandra as Climate Scientist • Jeannine Hall Gailey • California Quarterly 48:4
The Closest Traitor • Richard Magahiz • Mobius: The Journal of Social Change 33:2
A Creation Myth • John C. Mannone • Songs of Eretz, Spring
Cursed • Lee Murray • The Gargoylicon: Imaginings and Images of the Gargoyle in Literature and Art, ed. Frank Coffman (Mind’s Eye Publications)
Dark Neighborhood • Cindy O’Quinn • Chiral Mad 5
Dead in Orange Red • Jamal Hodge • Monthly Musings, May 9
Derelict Dreams • Bruce Boston • Dreams and Nightmares 121
Dinner Plans with Baba Yaga • Stephanie M. Wytovich • Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga, ed. Lindy Ryan (Black Spot Books)
Domestic Tranquility • Brian U. Garrison • Radon Journal 2
Doppelganger • James Arthur Anderson • The Horror Zine, Fall
Draft • Lavina Blossom • Riddled with Arrows 5.4
The Epidemic of Shrink-Ray-Gun Violence Plaguing Our Schools Must End • Pedro Iniguez • Star*Line 45.3
Equus Aloft • Sterling Warner • Otoliths, February
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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 isRedbubble. 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.
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.”
…“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.
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)
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….
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 Tunnel, The 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 Dumbo, Pinocchio 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 Nightside, Hawk & 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 arethe 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.
… 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….
…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….
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.
(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.]
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.
(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.
…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 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.
…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….
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+.
… “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….
…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 Man, Shiva 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 Nation, The Death of the Incredible Hulk, Millennium, Star 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.
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.
…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.
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.]
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
…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.
… 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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Smart, Fantasy 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.
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….
…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….
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….
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.]