Pixel Scroll 1/3/24 Yippie-i-ay (Yippie-i-ay), Yippie-i-oh (Yippie-i-oh), Ghost Pixels In The Sky

(1) EMSH REVIVAL FOR AGAIN, DANGEROUS VISIONS. J. Michael Straczynski told Facebook readers about the work he’s doing to get the second Ellison anthology, Again, Dangerous Visions, ready for publication. It involves the interior art and graphics.

Now that Harlan’s first Dangerous Visions is locked for print, we’re now moving to getting a proper galley for Again, Dangerous Visions. The main problem, in my eyes, with that process is that many of the later editions used the same Ed Emshwiller graphics/stats made for the original book (second generation images), or worse still, simply copied/reproduced the graphics from the printed pages themselves (third generation images).

This needs to be the most pristine version of the book done since the original print run, so after an exhaustive search, Ed’s original stats/graphics were discovered, and despite being sick as a dog (long story) I’ve spent every night for the past several days, going until dawn in most cases, carefully scanning every one of those eighty-plus images at high res, using air-blowers to remove dust, and gloves to avoid getting finger oil on anything.

I’ve just finished the last of the scans, and these images are just gorgeous, in astonishing detail and clarity. Honestly, so many of them could have been book covers all by themselves. Thinking that assembling these along the lines we see in the book, joined by ECG like pulses, might make a really cool promotional poster (but that’s just a thought for the moment, haven’t discussed it with anyone yet).

(2) ON THE NOSE. Philip Athans describes the use of an evocative fiction technique in “Smells Like Vivid Description” at Fantasy Author’s Handbook.

…I was surprised to hear in this video that, “Smell is apparently the strongest inducer of memories—of early memories. And the beauty is, even people suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia, never lose their olfactory memory.”

If you look back to last week’s post about How to Tell, it’s all about triggering memories. So a particular smell can help introduce some further detail about either or both of the world and the character. For instance, I find the smell of old books particularly delightful. This is my childhood love of the old books in the library coming to the forefront, and helping to propel my own love of collecting vintage books decades and decades later. If I were a character in a novel the smell of an old book could trigger a two-paragraph mini info dump about my childhood spent primarily in books, which turned into an adulthood spent primarily in books….

… Smells can also poke certain emotional triggers in your POV character, and go a long way to establishing the atmosphere of a scene….

(3) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB speculative fiction reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present P. Djéli Clark and Eric Schaller on Wednesday, January 10. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern in the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003 (Just off 2nd Ave, upstairs).

P. DJÉLI CLARK

Phenderson Djéli Clark is the award-winning and Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon nominated author of the novels Abeni’s Song and A Master of Djinn, and the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums, and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His short stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com and in print anthologies including, Hidden Youth and Black Boy Joy. His upcoming novella, The Dead Cat Tail Assassins, will be out in 2024.

ERIC SCHALLER

Eric Schaller’s latest collection of dark fiction, Voice of the Stranger contains stories selected for Fantasy: Best of the Year, Best of the Rest, and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction. His fiction can also be found in his collection Meet Me in the Middle of the Air and in many anthologies and magazines. His stories are influenced in part by his studies in the biological sciences and the uneasy relationship humans have with each other and the world around them.

(4) WHAT TECH FORESEES IN 2024. Tech.co’s post “Experts’ Predictions for the Future of Tech in 2024” begins with a survey of sff:

2024 is about to dawn on the world. But in one of the most precient novels of the science fiction genre, it already has: Octavia Butler’s decades-old novel Parable of the Sower opens in Los Angeles in 2024.

Butler’s fictional world dealt with many of the social and environmental pressures that we’ll definitely be seeing a lot of in the real 2024. Climate change has boosted sea levels and increased droughts, increased privatization from greedy corporations is threatening schools, police forces are militarized, and a Presidential candidate is literally saying he’ll “make American great again.”

It’s hard to beat Butler’s entry when it comes to predicting what’s coming down the pike in the new year, and no one has really come close. Honorable mention goes to a 1995 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine featuring a time-travelling social-commentary jaunt to 2024 San Francisco that deals with revolutionaries and homelessness encampments. A distant finalist is a grim tale by Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog, which features a dystopian 2024 set among post-nuclear war mutated cannibals.

Things aren’t looking quite as bad for the real 2024, however. None of the dozens of industry experts and tech leaders that we’ve looked to for opinions about the future predicted a single incident of cannibalism….

(5) NOMINATE FOR THE REH AWARDS. “The 2024 Robert E. Howard Awards Are Open for Nominations!” announces the Robert E. Howard Foundation. You do not need to be a Foundation member to nominate.

…Under the new rules, nominations are due in to the Awards committee by February 15, 2024, with the Awards committee selecting the top nominees in each category for the final ballot by March 1, 2024….

(6) CRITTERS READERS’ POLL. Meanwhile, the “26th Annual Critters Readers’ Poll” is open through January 14. The Readers’ Poll honors print & electronic publications published during 2023. Its newest categories are Magical Realism, and Positive Future Fiction (novel & short story).

(7) MAYOR SERLING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Slashfilm reminds us of the time that Jack Benny took a detour through the Twilight Zone. No, not any of The Twilight Zone TV series nor the theatrical nor TV films. Not even the radio dramas. It all happened inside Jack Benny‘s own eponymous TV show. “Rod Serling Played The Mayor Of The Twilight Zone On The Jack Benny Program”.

…Serling’s episode aired on January 15, 1963, and, as was the show’s custom, he also played himself. In the fictionalized universe of the series, Benny hires Serling to help his struggling writers smarten up their material. Though Serling acknowledges he has little experience with comedy (before “The Twilight Zone,” he was probably best known as the Emmy-winning writer of “Requiem for a Heavyweight”), he’s excited to collaborate with Benny’s two-man staff.

This does not go well.

After repeated clashes with Benny’s writers, Serling gives up, citing his desire to tell stories with deeply considered characterizations and thought-provoking themes. Benny takes issue with Serling’s dismissive opinion of his style of comedy and fires back that “The Twilight Zone” can’t possibly tell stories of significance because the Twilight Zone does not actually exist. And you can probably guess what happens next.

After quarreling with Serling, Benny decides to take a leisurely walk home. On the way there, he gets lost in a thick fog and finds himself in an area of town he doesn’t recognize. Eventually, he encounters a road sign which tells him exactly where he is. It reads: “Welcome to Twilight Zone, Population: Unlimited.” Below this is an arrow pointing left to “Subconscious 27 Mi,” and one pointing right to “Reality 35 Mi.”

This is when matters take a distressingly surreal turn….

(8) JUST SEWN THAT WAY. Camestros Felapton gives the film a thorough critique in “Review: Poor Things”. Beware spoilers.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2023 film starring Emma Stone is a dark comedy fantasy set in an unreal, stylised world suggestive of the late 19th century. Based on the novel by Alisdair Gray (which I haven’t read) but stripped of its Scottish setting and metatextual elements, the film follows the strange life of Bella Baxter.

Dr. Godwin Baxter is a surgeon and a mad-scientist like figure who resembles Victor Frankenstein in his obsession to reanimate corpses surgically but who also resembles Frankenstein’s monster physically due to experiments conducted on him by his own father…

(9) MEMORY LANE.

[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

1990 — Isaac Asimov’s “The Fourth Homonym” story is the source of our Beginning this time. His Black Widowers stories of which this is one I think are some of the cleverest bar style stories ever done even if they weren’t set in a bar like Clarke’s White Hart tales.  

These stories which were based on a literary dining club he belonged to known as the Trap Door Spiders.  The Widowers were based on real-life Spiders, some of them well known writers in their own right such as Lin Carter, L. Sprague de Camp, Harlan Ellison and Lester del Rey.

This story was first published thirty-four years ago in The Asimov Chronicles: Fifty Years of Isaac Asimov. It may be the only Black Widower story not collected in the volumes that collect the other stories. 

There were sixty-six stories over the six volumes that were released. So far only one volume, Banquets of the Black Widowers, has been released as an ePub. And yes, I’ve got a copy on my iPad as they are well worth re-reading.

And now for one of the best Beginnings done I think in the Black Widowers stories…

“Homonyms!” said Nicholas Brant. He was Thomas Trumbull’s guest at the monthly banquet of the Black Widowers. He was rather tall, and had surprisingly prominent bags under his eyes, despite the comparative youthfulness of his appearance otherwise. His face was thin and smooth-shaven, and his brown hair showed, as yet, no signs of gray. “Homonyms,” he said.

“What?” said Mario Gonzalo blankly.

“The words you call ‘sound-alikes.’ The proper name for them is ‘homonyms.’ “

“That so?” said Gonzalo. “How do you spell it?”

Brant spelled it.

Emmanuel Rubin looked at Brant owlishly through the thick lenses of his glasses. He said, “You’ll have to excuse Mario, Mr. Brant. He is a stranger to our language.”

Gonzalo brushed some specks of dust from his jacket sleeve and said, “Manny is corroded with envy because I’ve invented a word game. He knows the words but he lacks any spark of inventiveness, and that kills him.”

“Surely Mr. Rubin does not lack inventiveness,” said Brant, soothingly. “I’ve read some of his books.”

“I rest my case,” said Gonzalo. “Anyway, I’m willing to call my game ‘homonyms’ instead of ‘sound-alikes.’ The thing is to make up some short situation which can be described by two words that are sound-alikes – that are homonyms. I’ll give you an example: If the sky is perfectly clear, it is easy to decide to go on a picnic in the open. If it is raining cats and dogs, it is easy to decide not to go on a picnic. But what if it is cloudy, and the forecast is for possible showers, but there seem to be patches of blue here and there, so you can’t make up your mind about the picnic. What would you call that?”

“A stupid story,” said Trumbull tartly, passing his hand over his crisply waved white hair.

“Come on,” said Gonzalo, “play the game. The answer is two words that sound alike.”

There was a general silence and Gonzalo said, “The answer is ‘whether weather.’ It’s the kind of weather where you wonder whether to go on a picnic or not. ‘Whether weather,’ don’t you get it?”

James Drake stubbed out his cigarette and said, “We get it. The question is, how do we get rid of it?”

Roger Halsted said, in his soft voice, “Pay no attention, Mario. It’s a reasonable parlor game, except that there don’t seem to be many combinations you can use.”

Geoffrey Avalon looked down austerely from his seventy-four-inch height and said, “More than you might think. Suppose you owned a castrated ram that was frisky on clear days and miserable on rainy days. If it were merely cloudy, however, you might wonder whether that ram would be frisky or miserable. That would be ‘whether wether weather.’ “

There came a chorus of outraged What!’s.

Avalon said, ponderously. “The first word is w-h-e-t-h-e-r, meaning if. The last word is w-e-a-t-h-e-r, which refers to atmospheric conditions. The middle word is w-e-t-h-e-r, meaning a castrated ram. Look it up if you don’t believe me.”

“Don’t bother,” said Rubin. “He’s right.”

“I repeat,” growled Trumbull, “this is a stupid game.”

“It doesn’t have to be a game,” said Brant. “Lawyers are but too aware of the ambiguities built into the language, and homonyms can cause trouble.”

The gentle voice of Henry, that waiter for all seasons, made itself heard over the hubbub by some alchemy that worked only for him.

“Gentlemen,” he said. “I regret the necessity of interrupting a warm discussion, but dinner is being served.”

(10) TEA FOR 2(ND). Before reading Cat’s birthday, pour yourself a cup of “Second Breakfast – Chapters Tea”.

Small batch hand blended English breakfast tea with Marigold petals. Perfect for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, and afternoon tea. Enter our fan drawn rendition of a realm where friendship, nature, and the simple pleasures of life come first. Inspired by, but not affiliated with, our favorite series with a ring.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY.

[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born January 3, 1892 J.R.R. Tolkien. (Died 1973.) Obligatory preface — this is my personal encounters with Tolkien, so if I’ve not been up close with something say The Silmarillion than it isn’t here. And I haven’t with that work. Some works I haven’t read get included anyways as they passed through Green Man and have a Story attached to them. 

Tolkien in 1972.

J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the individuals who I always picture in the photo of him that must be of in his seventies with his pipe with that twinkle in his eye. He looks like he could be akin to a hobbit himself about to set down to elevenses. 

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again which was published by George Allen & Unwin  eighty-six years ago written for his children but obviously we adults enjoy as much, and so it is my favorite work by him.  Dragons, hobbits, epic quests, wizards, dwarves — oh my!  

I’ve lost count of the number of time I’ve read over the years, and the recent time, just several back as a listening experience showed the Suck Fairy enjoys it as much as I do.

I hadn’t realized until putting together this Birthday that all three volumes of the Lord of The Rings were published at the same time. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in 1954, The Return of The King the following year. I’m so used to trilogies being spread out over a longer period of time. 

Though I’ve not read the trilogy nearly as much I’ve read The Hobbit, and that shouldn’t surprise you, I do enjoy it though I will confess that The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite of the three novels here. 

It was nominated at Tricon for a Best All-Time Series Hugo. Asimov’s Foundation series won that year. It did garner an International Fantasy Award first Best Series and the same for a Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. I’m more than a bit surprised that it didn’t get nominated for a Retro Hugo.

Now unto a work that I like just as much as the sister of Kate Baker, Kathleen Bartholomew, does. That being Farmer Giles of Ham. Kathleen, who now has Harry, Kage’s Space Pirate of a parrot, says “Farmer Giles is a clever, solid, shrewd fellow, clearly cut from the same cloth as the most resourceful hobbits elsewhere in Tolkien’s most famous universe.” It’s a wonderful story indeed.

We got in a custom bag from the United Kingdom that the USPS made me sign for so that HarperCollins UK could sure that all twelve volumes of The History of Middle-Earth got here. No, I didn’t read it, but I did skim it. Liz reviewed it for Green Man and here’s that review thisaway. A hobbit sitting down and having elevenses is shorter than it is. 

A much, much shorter work is The Road Goes Ever On is a song cycle and much more first published in 1967. It’s a book of sheet music and as an audio recording. It is largely based off poems in The Lord of The Rings. Tolkien approved of the songs here. 

Why it’s important is that side one of this record consisted of has him reading six poems from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, than the first track on side two has him reading part of the Elvish prayer of “A Elbereth Gilthoniel” from The Lord of the Rings

I love Letters from Father Christmas which were originally written for his children. I see Allen and Unwin gave what I think was the better title of The Father Christmas Letters when they first published then collectively in 1976 which was more declarative. A local theatre group dud a reading of them some twenty years back — it was a wonderful experience as it was snowing gently outside the bookstore windows where they were doing it as we had hot chocolate and cookies.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something by him that I like but I think that I’ve prattled on long enough this time… 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Nonsequitur has a nice variation on the old Hans Christian Andersen tale.
  • Carpe Diem is a vision of the future.
  • Dog Eat Doug shows when the bark(er) is as fierce as the bite.

(13) BEGUILE THE DIAL. [Item by Steven French.] A call for more weirdness on U.K. TV: “Britain is plagued by bland, box-ticking television. Bring back weird TV” in the Guardian.

…Schedules from the 60s and 70s – the height of Britain’s TV weirdness –contained nuclear attacks, ghosts, war stories, brutal public safety films and intellectually demanding folk horror dramas such as Robin Redbreast, Penda’s Fen and Artemis 81….

(14) WOULD YOU BELIEVE…IRISH REUNIFICATION? Gizmodo reminds fans that “2024 Is a Hell of a Year in Star Trek History” with a slideshow that starts at the link.

A lot—a lot—happens historically in Star Trek’s 2024, crucially important events that go on to not just shape Earth as it is in the early 21st century, but form foundational pillars for the contemporary Star Trek timeline. It’s a year we’ve heard about, and visited, multiple times across several Trek shows. So what’s exactly wild about it? Well, let us take a look through Trek’s past to find out… and perhaps, our future?

(15) AI IN LAW ENFORCEMENT. “’Proceed with caution:’ AI poses issues of discrimination, surveillance” at WBUR.

There are many uses for AI as the technology becomes more accessible and normalized, but not everyone is excited about that premise. AI scholar and activist Joy Buolamwini is one of those critics. She’s the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League and author of the book “Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines.”

She started her journey as a scholar enamored by the promise of AI. But her views changed when she tried face-tracking software and it didn’t work well on her dark skin. However, the software registered her when she put on a white mask.

Buolamwini questioned whether her problem was unique or would happen to others with dark skin. And she found that the data was skewed.

“The data sets we often found were largely male and largely pale individuals,” Buolamwini says.

This poses problems especially when AI is used by law enforcement agencies to identify suspects, assess whether a defendant will commit another crime, and assign bond limits or flight risk status. Buolamwini uses Porcha Woodruff’s story as an example. Woodruff was 8 months pregnant when she was mistakenly arrested for carjacking after being misidentified by Detroit police’s facial recognition software.

“We’re creating tools for mass surveillance,” Buolamwini says, “that in the hands of an authoritarian state can be used in very devastating ways.”

Buolamwini stresses that even if data set bias was addressed, accurate artificial intelligence could still pose problems and be abused….

(16) UNFORGETTABLE IMAGES. This Yardbarker slideshow might just live up to its title: “The 20 most epic moments in sci-fi movies”. At least, there’s a bunch of my favorites here.

Science fiction excels at pushing the boundaries of the possible, both in terms of the stories it tells and the methods by which it brings those stories to life. People often go to sci-fi films to see the world brought to life in ways new, strange, and sometimes terrifying, precisely because the genre is so adept at taking things in the present and exploring what they might look like in the future. Some of the best scenes in sci-fi films take the viewer out of themselves, allowing them to encounter something akin to the sublime.

In sixteenth place:

The assembling of the Avengers during the battle against Thanos in ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Throughout much of the 2010s, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the franchise that couldn’t be beaten, and it had its fair share of epic moments. The pinnacle, however, was during the climactic battle against the genocidal Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, when at last, the Avengers and all of those who have been restored appear to strike back against the Titan. It evokes the moment in the first Avengers film where the beloved characters first united, and it is also a climactic moment for those devastated when so many were killed with the Snap. In the world of comic book movies, no one ever remains truly dead.

(17) ‘TIL THEN HE’S COPYRIGHT KRYPTONITE. Someday you may ask “When Do Superman & Batman Enter the Public Domain?” Yahoo! has anticipated your interest. First on the list:

When does Superman enter the public domain?

As per US law, 2034 is the year when Superman would be joining the public domain.

In 2034, fans of Man of Steel and a few other DC characters will be able to use Superman in their content up to a certain extent without being afraid of copyright, trademark, or patent laws as that’s when Superman will be joining the public domain (PD).

According to US law, a property introduced before 1978 makes its way into the public domain if 95 years have passed after its first publication. So, because Superman made his debut on April 18, 1938, in Action Comics #1, he will be joining the public domain in 2034.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Kathy Sullivan, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Michael J. Walsh.]

2023 Robert E. Howard Awards

The 2023 Robert E. Howard Awards have been announced by the Robert E. Howard Foundation this weekend at Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas.

THE ATLANTEAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK

THE VALUSIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK (ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION)

No Nominees

THE HYRKANIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ESSAY

THE CIMMERIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, SCHOLARSHIP (PEER-REVIEWED)

THE VENARIUM—EMERGING SCHOLAR

  • Antonio Marco Collares (Brazilian scholar focusing on Robert E. Howard, involved in many projects)

THE BLACK LOTUS—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, WEB-BASED

THE COSTIGAN—LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT

THE RANKIN—ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT

THE BLACK RIVER—SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

THE CROM AWARD

No nominees.

THE BLACK CIRCLE AWARD

  • Fred Blosser

2023 Robert E. Howard Awards Shortlist

The nominees for the 2023 Robert E. Howard Awards have been announced by the Robert E. Howard Foundation.

THE ATLANTEAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK

Requirements: Nonfiction work (print or digital), minimum 50,000 words, substantively devoted to the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible. Award goes to the author or authors.

THE VALUSIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK (ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION)

No Nominees

THE HYRKANIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ESSAY

Requirements: Nonfiction essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Short blog posts, news, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works are not considered. Award goes to the author or authors.

THE CIMMERIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, SCHOLARSHIP (PEER-REVIEWED)

Requirements: Scholarly essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year in a peer-reviewed journal or collection.

Considerations: Can be awarded separately to an essay that appears in a book that wins the Valusian. Award goes to the author or authors.

THE VENARIUM—EMERGING SCHOLAR

Requirements: Candidates must have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years.

Considerations: Previous winners are not eligible. Award goes to the individual.

  • Anthony Conrad Chieffalo (“Gendered and Genrefied: Transgressive Heroism in Sword and Sorcery”)
  • Antonio Marco Collares (Brazilian scholar focusing on Robert E. Howard, involved in many projects)
  • Nicole Emmelhainz (Co-editor of The Dark Man, “Gender Performativity in Howard’s ‘Sword Woman’”)

THE BLACK LOTUS—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, WEB-BASED

Requirements: Web-based content (i.e. digital magazine, journals, websites, blogs, podcasts, audiovisual/multimedia presentations, internet sites, etc.), substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, new content must have been published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible. Award goes to site owner/administrator.

THE COSTIGAN—LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT

Awarded for original creative writing that carries on the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, to better recognize and celebrate his influence on future generations of writers.

Requirements: Fiction (i.e. short fiction, novels, comic books, etc.), in the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Work must be substantial and original in content; translations and adaptations will not be considered. Award goes to the individual writer or writing team.

THE RANKIN—ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT

Requirements: Visual media (painting, comics art & covers, film, etc.), directly related to the depiction of Robert E. Howard’s life, characters, or fictional worlds; published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Work must be substantial and original in content. Award goes to the individual artist.

THE BLACK RIVER—SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT

THE CROM AWARD

Nominees will be made, (if there are any nominations for it) and voted on only by the REHF Board of Directors.

THE BLACK CIRCLE AWARD

  • Fred Blosser
  • L. Sprague De Camp (Posthumous)

Additional nominees may be made by the REHF Board, but the final list will only be voted on by the REHF Board of Directors

Pixel Scroll 12/2/22 Pixel Plus X

(1) STOCKHOLM BIDS FOR 2023 SMOFCON. A group is bidding Stockholm, Sweden at the site of the 2023 Smofcon. Their proposed dates are December 1-3, 2023, and the venue would be a culture center called Dieselverkstaden in Sickla. In Dieselverkstaden there are conference rooms, a public library, a room for indoor climbing, a restaurant and a café. The group has organized several Swecons in the same place.

The convention venue is a culture center called Dieselverkstaden in Sickla, where there are conference rooms, a public library, a room for indoor climbing, a restaurant and a café. Sickla is a suburb of Stockholm.

The bid committee members are Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf (chair) Tomas Cronholm, Britt-Louise Viklund, Marika Lövström, Nina Grensjö, Ann Olsson Rousset, and Shana Worthen.

(2) FREE EDITING PANEL. The Omega Sci-Fi Awards invite anyone, including those writing a story for The Roswell Award or the New Suns Climate Fiction Award, to get ready to edit with the pros.

Free registration here for this one-hour panel on Thursday, December 8 at 12pm PST to hear advice on sharpening short science fiction stories. Featuring: Tamara Krinsky, Howard V. Hendrix, Gwen E. Kirby, and Gary Phillips.

(3) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Richard Kadrey and Cassandra Khaw on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

RICHARD KADREY

Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir series. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Some of Kadrey’s other books include King Bullet, The Grand Dark, and Butcher Bird. He’s also written screenplays and for comics such as Heavy Metal, Lucifer, and Hellblazer.

CASSANDRA KHAW

Cassandra Khaw is an award-winning game writer, and a Bram Stoker, World Fantasy, Ignyte, British Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and Locus Award finalist. They have written for video games like Sunless Skies, Gotham Knights, Wasteland 3, and Rainbow 6: Siege. Khaw lives in New York, and spends a lot of time lifting large weights before putting them down.

At the KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003. (Just off 2nd Ave, upstairs)

(4) WHAT MADE THE POHL HOLE? On August 22 the IAU approved naming a crater on Mars after Frederik Pohl. Which is why his name appears on maps in news articles today bearing headlines like “Giant Asteroid Unleashed a Devastating Martian Megatsunami, Evidence Suggests”.

Multiple lines of evidence suggest that Mars wasn’t always the desiccated dustbowl it is today.

In fact, the red planet was once so wet and sloshy that a megatsunami was unleashed, crashing across the landscape like watery doom. What caused this devastation? According to new research, a giant asteroid impact, comparable to Earth’s Chicxulub impact 66 million years ago – the one that killed the dinosaurs.

Researchers led by planetary scientist Alexis Rodriguez of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona have located an enormous impact crater that, they say, is the most likely origin yet of the mystery wave.

They named it Pohl and located it within an area scoured with catastrophic flood erosion, which was first identified in the 1970s, on what could be the edge of an ancient ocean.

When NASA’s Viking 1 probe landed on Mars in 1976, near a large flood channel system called Maja Valles, it found something strange: not the features expected of a landscape transformed by a megaflood, but a boulder-strewn plain.

A team of scientists led by Rodriguez determined in a 2016 paper that this was the result of tsunami waves, extensively resurfacing the shoreline of an ancient Martian ocean….

(5) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to bite into blood sausage with Tim Waggoner in episode 186 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Tim Waggoner is a writer of dark fantasy and horror whose first short story was published in 1992 and first novel came out in 2001. Since then he’s published more than 50 novels and seven collections of short stories. He’s written tie-in fiction based on SupernaturalGrimmThe X-FilesAlienDoctor WhoA Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers, and other franchises, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Halloween KillsResident Evil: The Final Chapter and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. His most recent original novel, We Will Rise, was published earlier this year.

He’s the author of the acclaimed horror-writing guide Writing in the Dark, which won the Bram Stoker Award in 2021. He won another Bram Stoker Award in 2021 in the category of short nonfiction for his article “Speaking of Horror,” and in 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award in Long Fiction for his novella The Winter Box. In addition, he’s been a multiple finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award, and a one-time finalist for the Splatterpunk Award. In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.

We discussed whether being a horror writer gives him any special insights into the pandemic, the true meaning of his latest novel’s very specific dedication, the patience the writing life requires, what his agent doesn’t want him to let his editors know, the reason ghost stories have never struck him as scary, how to write about people unlike yourself and get it right, the unusual way he decided which characters would live and which would die, why Psycho was one of the best movie experiences he ever had, the most difficult thing a writing teacher can teach, and much more.

(6) FANCAST ILLUMINATED. Cora Buhlert has posted another Fancast Spotlight for the “Fiction Fans Podcast”.

What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?

We decided to do audio-only because it’s lower-key. Video editing is a lot more effort and also would require that we look at least semi-presentable when recording.

In terms of episode format, we always spend some time chatting about a good thing that’s happened recently and what we’re currently reading (not podcast-related) at the beginning of the episode, before we actually start discussing the book of the week. We like to have an initial section where we talk about non-spoiler themes or character motivations, before we dive in to a meatier full-on spoiler discussion of the book. We figured that if we were listening to a podcast about a book we hadn’t read, we would want a chance to stop listening before any major plot twists were spoiled for us. Be the podcast you want to listen to, right?

(7)  WHAT SHOULD WIN THE REH NEXT YEAR? The 2023 Robert E. Howard Awards are open for nominations.

We are pleased to announce the opening of nominations for the 2023 Robert E. Howard Awards starting on November 30, 2022. The Robert E. Howard Foundation has revised the rules and categories for the awards, so please read over the information below. Some categories have changed, and there is a new category for works of fiction. We have also brought back the Black River Award. Under the new rules, nominations are due in to the Awards committee by January 15, 2023, with the Awards committee selecting the top nominees in each category for the final ballot by January 31, 2023. The Final ballot will be uploaded on a website with its address sent out to all current Robert E. Howard Foundation members for voting on the winners on February 15, 2023.

You do not have to currently be a member of the Robert E. Howard Foundation to send in nominees…

(8) DRAWING A CROWD. I hadn’t noticed how this local event is blowing up: “LA Comic Con Expects 140,000 Fans This Weekend — And Plans To Keep Growing” reports LAist.

L.A. Comic Con had a rocky start. In its early years, issues ranged from a lineup without star talent to fire marshals shutting the doors and not letting more people inside.

Cut to this year, when one of its major guests is actor Simu Liu, best known for playing Marvel superhero Shang-Chi. Organizers also managed to bring in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in recent years. Convention CEO Chris DeMoulin notes that getting a current Marvel star is still unusual for L.A. Comic Con — the local convention that’s still not at the same level in the convention world as marquee events like San Diego’s Comic-Con International or New York Comic Con.

Still, what started as a rickety alternative has quickly grown, now featuring a who’s who of guests from the wider universe of pop culture…

(9) MEMORY LANE.

1912 [By Cat Eldridge.] Peter Pan in Kensington Garden

It of course is a statue of the character in Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, the 1904 novel by Barrie which actually started life two distinct works by Barrie, The Little White Bird, 1902, with chapters 13–18 published in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, 1906, and the West End stage play “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”, 1904.

It was commissioned and paid for by Barrie and sculpted  by Sir George Frampton, a Scottish sculptor best remembered as for having been commissioned by the Royal Family  during the Diamond Jubilee to sculpt a statute of Queen Victoria.

Now let’s talk about this statue which is located in London in Kensington Garden. If you should visit, you can find it to the west of the Long Water, in the same spot as Peter lands his bird-nest boat in “The Little White Bird” story.  This is close to Barrie’s former home on Bayswater Road. 

Barrie hired workers to put the statue in Kensington Gardens without permission from the City of London or the Borough of Kensington.

He published a notice in The Times of London newspaper the following day, May 1, 1912: “There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning. Down by the little bay on the south-western side of the tail of the Serpentine they will find a May-day gift by Mr J.M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around. It is the work of Sir George Frampton, and the bronze figure of the boy who would never grow up is delightfully conceived.”

It stands about fourteen feet and is shaped a tree stump, topped by a young boy, about life size for an eight-year-old, blowing a musical instrument, maybe a usually thought to be pan pipes. 

The sides of the stump are decorated with mice, rabbits, squirrels and fairies. 

Barrie had intended the boy to be based on a photograph of Michael Llewelyn Davies wearing a Peter Pan costume, but Frampton instead, not at all pleased with him as Peter Pan, chose another model, perhaps George Goss or William A. Harwood, though no one is really certain. Barrie was quite disappointed by the results, claiming the statue “didn’t show the Devil in Peter”. 

In 1928, vandals tarred and feather sculpture. The bronze surface was exceedingly difficult to clean.

Royal Parks replaced the plinth, the base below the animals and faeries, in 2019, which caused great controversy. It had deteriorated badly due to exposure to weather and salt.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 2, 1937 Brian Lumley, 85. Writer of Horror who came to distinction in the 1970s, both with his writing in the Cthulhu Mythos and by creating his own character Titus Crow. In the 1980s, he created the Necroscope series, which first centered on speaker-to-the-dead Harry Keogh. His short story “Necros” was adapted into an episode of the horror anthology series The Hunger. His works have received World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Stoker Award nominations; the short story “Fruiting Bodies” won a British Fantasy Award. Both the Horror Writers Association – for which he was a past president – and the World Fantasy Convention have honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Awards.
  • Born December 2, 1946 David Macaulay, 76. British-born American illustrator and writer who is genre adjacent I’d say. Creator of such cool works as CathedralThe New Way Things Work which has he updated for the computer technology age, and I really like one of latest works, Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World
  • Born December 2, 1946 Josepha Sherman. Writer and folklorist who was a Compton Crook Award winner for The Shining Falcon which was based on the Russian fairy tale “The Feather of Finist the Falcon”. She was a prolific writer both on her own and with other writer such as Mecedes Lackey with whom she wrote A Cast of Corbies and two Buffyverse novels with Laura Anne Gilman. I knew her personally as a folklorist first and that is she was without peer writing such works as Rachel the Clever: And Other Jewish Folktales and  Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Childhood that she wrote with T K F Weisskopf.  Neat lady who died far too soon. Let me leave you with an essay she wrote on Winter for Green Man twenty five years ago: “Josepha Sherman’s Winter Queen Speech” . (Died 2012.)
  • Born December 2, 1952 O. R. Melling  70. Writer from Ireland. For novels by her that I’d recommend, the Chronicles of Faerie series, consisting of The Hunter’s Moon, The Summer King, The Light-Bearer’s Daughter, and The Book of Dreams are quite excellent; the first won a Schwartz Award for Best YA-Middle Grade Book. For more adult fare, her People of the Great Journey: Would You Go if You Were Called? – featuring a fantasy writer who is invited to take part in a week-long retreat on a magical, remote Scottish island – I’d highly recommend.
  • Born December 2, 1968 Lucy Liu, 54. She was Joan Watson on Elementary in its impressive seven-year run. Her other genre role, and it’s been long running, has been voicing Silvermist in the Disney Fairies animated franchise. I kid you not. She’s had a few genre one-offs on The X-FilesHercules: The Legendary Journeys and the Rise: Blood Hunter film, but not much overall haughty she did show up in Luke Cage.
  • Born December 2, 1971 Frank Cho, 51. Artist and Illustrator from South Korea who is best known as creator of the ever so stellar Liberty Meadows series, as well as work on Hulk, Mighty Avengers, and Shanna the She-Devil for Marvel Comics, and Jungle Girl for Dynamite Entertainment. His works have received Ignatz, Haxtur, Charles M. Schulz , and National Cartoonists Society’s Awards, as well as Eisner, Harvey, and Chesley Award nominations, and his documentary Creating Frank Cho’s World won an Emmy Award.

(11) ANTI-ANTICIPATION. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Comic writer and artist Tim Seeley posted this rather sad Tweet about the effect the rise of toxic fandom has on creators: 

It’s not certain which comic he is referring to. Several people assume that he was referring to the upcoming Masters of the Universe comics, since that normally friendly fandom has attracted a bunch of toxic jerks of late, but the new Masters of the Universe comics won’t be out until February 2023. Personally, I suspect it’s Hexware, which is debuting next week.

(12) SPOILER, MAYBE? “Disney Robbed Us of Maarva’s Choice Words for the Empire in the ‘Star Wars: Andor’ Finale” says The Mary Sue.

…In an interview with Empire Magazinestar Denise Gough talked about her first day on set and let us all know the truth about Maarva Andor’s speech at her own funeral. She really did say “Fuck the empire” in it. “My first day was Ferrix,” she said. “I was given my two Death Troopers – one of whom had to be trained to run like a Death Trooper and not like a musical theatre star – and I couldn’t help myself, I just started doing the [hums the Imperial March]. Then, everyone started doing it.”…

(13) GOSH. The Atlantic’s Marina Koren assures everyone “’2001: A Space Odyssey’ Is the Most Overhyped Space Movie”. (Behind a paywall.)

As the outer-space correspondent at The Atlantic, I spend a lot of time looking beyond Earth’s atmosphere. I’ve watched footage of a helicopter flying on Mars. I’ve watched a livestream of NASA smashing a spacecraft into an asteroid on purpose. I’ve seen people blast off on rockets with my own eyes. But I have never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This is an enormous oversight, apparently. The 1968 film is considered one of the greatest in history and its director, Stanley Kubrick, a cinematic genius. And, obviously, it’s about space. Surely a space reporter should see it—and surely a reporter should take notes.

What follows is my real-time reaction to watching 2001 on a recent evening, edited for length and clarity. Even though the movie has been out for 54 years, I feel a duty to warn you that there are major spoilers ahead. (If you’re suddenly compelled to watch 2001 first, you can rent it for $3.99 on YouTube.)…

(14) STREAMING LEADERS. JustWatch says this is what people were watching in November.

[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cora Buhlert, James Bacon, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

2022 Robert E. Howard Awards

The Robert E. Howard Foundation Award winners for 2022 were announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains, TX on June 11. The awards honor the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works.

THE ATLANTEAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK

Requirements: Nonfiction work (print or digital), minimum 50,000 words, substantively devoted to the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

  • Todd VickRenegades and Rogues

THE VALUSIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION

Requirements: Nonfiction anthology or collection of essays (print or digital), nonfiction, minimum 50,000 words, substantively devoted to the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

  • Jason M. WaltzREH Changed My Life

THE HYRKANIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ESSAY

Requirements: Nonfiction essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

  • Rob Roehm: “Robert E. Howard and the Later Weird Tales“, in The Weird Tales Story: Expanded and Enhanced

THE CIMMERIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, SCHOLARSHIP (PEER-REVIEWED)

Requirements: Scholarly essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year in a peer-reviewed journal or collection.

THE VENARIUM—EMERGING SCHOLAR

Requirements: Candidates must have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years.

[TIE]

  • Brian Murphy:–wrote Flame & Crimson: A History of Sword & Sorcery, articles on Robert E. Howard including “Myth Manifesting in the Present: Robert E. Howard’s ‘Marchers of Valhalla’” and “The Great Debate: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard”
  • Willard M. Oliver:–essays on Robert E. Howard, including “A Study of Cultural Trends Related to Robert E. Howard” & “Public Opinion of the Police in 1930s America: A Qualitative Historiographical Study”


THE BLACK LOTUS—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, WEB-BASED

Requirements: Web-based content (i.e. digital magazine, journals, websites, blogs, podcasts, audiovisual/multimedia presentations, internet sites, etc.), substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, new content must have been published in the last calendar year.

THE COSTIGAN—LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT

Awarded for original creative writing that carries on the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, to better recognize and celebrate his influence on future generations of writers.

Requirements: Fiction (i.e. short fiction, novels, comic books, etc.), in the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

THE RANKIN—ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT

Requirements: Visual media (painting, comics art & covers, film, etc.), directly related to the depiction of Robert E. Howard’s life, characters, or fictional worlds; published in the last calendar year.

  • Bill Cavalier: 2021 Howard Days Poster

SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS

CROM AWARD

  • Lee Breakiron

BLACK CIRCLE AWARD

  • Charles Hoffman

2022 Robert E. Howard Awards Shortlist

The nominees for the 2022 Robert E. Howard Awards were announced today by the Robert E. Howard Foundation.

THE ATLANTEAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, BOOK

Requirements: Nonfiction work (print or digital), minimum 50,000 words, substantively devoted to the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible. Award goes to the author or authors.

Nominees:

  • Fred BlosserExploring the Worlds of REH#2
  • Fred BlosserExploring the Worlds of REH#3
  • Dennis McHaneyRobert E. Howard and Weird Tales
  • Roy Thomas: Barbarian Life: Volume Three: A Literary Biography of Conan the Barbarian
  • Todd VickRenegades and Rogues

THE VALUSIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION

Requirements: Nonfiction anthology or collection of essays (print or digital), nonfiction, minimum 50,000 words, substantively devoted to the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible. Award goes to the editor or editors.

Nominees:

  • Dennis McHaneyREH Collector Vol. One
  • Jason M. WaltzREH Changed My Life

THE HYRKANIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, ESSAY

Requirements: Nonfiction essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Short blog posts, news, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works are not considered. Award goes to the author or authors.

Nominees:

THE CIMMERIAN—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, SCHOLARSHIP (PEER-REVIEWED)

Requirements: Scholarly essays (print or digital), no minimum word count, substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year in a peer-reviewed journal or collection.

Considerations: Can be awarded separately to an essay that appears in a book that wins the Valusian. Award goes to the author or authors.

Nominees:

  • Gabriel Momola: “The Conscience of Solomon Kane: Robert E. Howard’s Rhetorics of Motive, World, and Race” (  https://dc.swosu.edu/mythlore/vol40/iss1/8/ )
  • Willard M. Oliver: “A Study of Cultural Trends Related to Robert E. Howard”, in The Dark Man vol. 12, no. 1 (Jun 2021)

THE VENARIUM—EMERGING SCHOLAR

Requirements: Candidates must have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years.

Considerations: Previous winners are not eligible. Award goes to the individual.

Nominees:

  • Angeline B. Adams:—Gave a talk on Disability and Heroic Fantasy at OctoCon 2021, and posts reviews and analyses of Howard’s work on her blog https://turniplanterns.wordpress.com/
  • Marco Antonio Collares—Doctoral student focusing on Robert E. Howard (his 2017 master’s thesis was on Robert E. Howard as well) and associated with Fórum Conan o Bárbaro (https://www.conanobarbaro.com/), where he has conducted interviews and written articles furthering Howard studies.
  • Ståle Gismervik:—Administrator of The World of Robert E. Howard ( https://reh.world/ ), a website that collects in one place a number of scholarly materials related to Robert E. Howard, his life, work, and the study thereof.
  • Brian Murphy:–wrote Flame & Crimson: A History of Sword & Sorcery, articles on Robert E. Howard including “Myth Manifesting in the Present: Robert E. Howard’s ‘Marchers of Valhalla’” and “The Great Debate: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard”
  • Willard M. Oliver:–essays on Robert E. Howard, including “A Study of Cultural Trends Related to Robert E. Howard” & “Public Opinion of the Police in 1930s America: A Qualitative Historiographical Study”


THE BLACK LOTUS—OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, WEB-BASED

Requirements: Web-based content (i.e. digital magazine, journals, websites, blogs, podcasts, audiovisual/multimedia presentations, internet sites, etc.), substantively focused on the life and/or work of Robert E. Howard, new content must have been published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible. Award goes to site owner/administrator.

Nominees:

THE COSTIGAN—LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT

Awarded for original creative writing that carries on the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, to better recognize and celebrate his influence on future generations of writers.

Requirements: Fiction (i.e. short fiction, novels, comic books, etc.), in the spirit and tradition of Robert E. Howard, published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Work must be substantial and original in content; translations and adaptations will not be considered. Award goes to the individual writer or writing team.

Nominees:

  • Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten: “The Red Man and Others”,
  • Jason Ray Carney, (Editor): Whetstone: Amateur Magazine of Pulp Sword and Sorcery, ( https://whetstonemag.blogspot.com/ )
  • Charles Gramlich: writing as A.W. Hart (author) : The Ranger. Wolfpack Publishing 2021
  • David Pinault (author)Providence Blue: A Fantasy Quest
  • Frank Schildiner (author): The Last Days of Atlantis: The Soul of Soroe
  • David C. Smith (author)Sometime Lofty Tower (Pulp Hero Press, 2021)

THE RANKIN—ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT

Requirements: Visual media (painting, comics art & covers, film, etc.), directly related to the depiction of Robert E. Howard’s life, characters, or fictional worlds; published in the last calendar year.

Considerations: Work must be substantial and original in content. Award goes to the individual artist.

Nominees:

  • Mahmud A. Asar: artist for King Conan #1 (2021, Marvel)
  • Bill Cavalier: 2021 Howard Days Poster
  • GessTHE MAN-EATERS OF ZAMBOULA 1 & 2
  • E. M. Gist: cover artist for Conan the Barbarian #18 (2021, Marvel)
  • Didier Normand: Cover art for REH Changed My Life
  • Valentin Secher: artist for Conan le Cimmerien, L’Heure du Dragon (2021, Glenat)
  • Geoff Shaw: cover artist for Conan the Barbarian #19-25 (2021, Marvel)
  • Mark Wheatley: cover of The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard volume 1: 1923-1929, the ultimate edition

Only current members of the Robert E. Howard Foundation can vote on the winners. Two other awards, the Crom and Black Circle awards, will only be voted on by the Foundation Board of Directors.

Pixel Scroll 1/16/22 I Hereby Dub The Current Dominant Genre (Whatever It May Be) Punky McPunkcore

(1) WOLVERTON FAMILY GOFUNDME. Following the death of Dave Wolverton, Dave’s family and friends are raising money on GoFundMe for his funeral and the family’s expenses. Here’s the link: “Please Help the Family of Dave Wolverton-Farland”.

David Doering also reports, “Spencer [Wolverton] called me to say his dad’s service will be this coming Friday, January 21, at 11 a.m. MST in St. George, Utah. There will be a link posted broadcasting the event for those who cannot attend.” 

(2) URSA MAJOR. Nominations for the Ursa Major Awards are open and will continue until February 12.

To nominate online, all people must first enroll. Go here to ENROLL FOR ONLINE NOMINATIONS or to LOGIN if you have already enrolled.

You may choose up to five nominees for each category:

Nominations may be made for the following categories:

Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
Best Anthropomorphic Novel
Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
Best Anthropomorphic Game
Best Anthropomorphic Website
Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

(3) REH AWARDS. Nominations for the 2022 Robert E. Howard Awards are open and will continue through January 31. You do not have to currently be a member of the Robert E. Howard Foundation to send in nominees at this stage of the process. However, the Final ballot will only be sent out to current Robert E. Howard Foundation members (members who have paid dues for the year 2022). That ballot will be released on February 15. See the link for the complete guidelines.

(4) HOWARD’S HOME ON THE RANGE. For more Robert E. Howard related content, The Cromcast has put a whole bunch of videos of the 2021 Howard Days in Cross Plains, Texas, on their YouTube channel here.

(5) CAUCUS RACE. On the third day, they squeed again: Simon McNeil picks up the baton with “Notes on Squeecore”.

…Now here I want to pause on one of the points the Rite Gud podcast were clear on here that, within their Squeecore definition it was not sufficient that a work be discursive so much as that a work must insist that its discursive element be seen and I think this is where Redshirts becomes a valuable point of discussion. Absolutely nobody is suggesting that the idea of disposable, red-shirted, extras on Star Trek was somehow unexplored prior to 2012. However Redshirts did a lot to foreground this through its fourth-wall-breaking conclusion. Now me? I like a fourth-wall break when it’s well executed and I think it was well executed in Redshirts. This essay should not be seen as an attempt to bury John Scalzi. But regardless of where we stand on matters of taste regarding the literary device or where we stand on the quality of execution of the device in this case, it still holds that this execution, in this story, served to underline the discursive elements of Redshirts such that it insisted the audience engage with them. It wasn’t sufficient to construct a funhouse mirror reflection of the Gothic as Peake did in his Gormenghast books, nor to interrogate the cultural assumptions of a genre as Pratchett did with classic British fantasy in his early Discworld novels – both of these were deconstructive works but neither, especially not Peake, felt much need to insist that the audience acknowledge that a deconstruction was in progress. But Scalzi had his characters literally escape from their work of fiction to plead for consideration from their own fictive creators. This is not a subtle work of deconstruction….

(6) SPSFC INSIDER. Alex Hormann of Boundary’s Edge shares what it’s like to be a Self-Published Science Fiction Competition judge so far: “SPSFC At Boundary’s Edge: Personal Thoughts”.

Thought #2: The 20% Rule

Generally speaking, I don’t DNF books. Even if I’m not enjoying a book, I push through to the end in the hopes of salvaging something from my investment. With the SPSFC, we had to read the opening 20% and decide if we should continue. This was a very different experience for me, and I’m still not sure if it was helpful. On the one hand, you can get a pretty good idea of what a book will be like from that sample. But on the other, you’re essentially reading an introduction with none of the payoff. There were some books that I knew within the first couple of pages that I wasn’t going to enjoy, almost always for stylistic or formatting reasons. Others proved to be strong enough in the opening chapters that they progressed further, only to lose my interest further on. I can’t help but wonder if those books I voted not to continue became something wonderful later on. And there was a book that made it through with a very strong start that completely lost me with its final chapters. This was also the stage of the competition where a book needed a majority vote to progress further. With only three judges, only two Yes votes were required, meaning we ended up with eleven books meeting the criteria. I don’t think letting an extra book slip through the cuts phase did any real harm to our allocation, but it did mean a little extra work in the next phase. Of the eleven that made it through, I had voted to continue with seven of them, and had voted for two more that ultimately failed to make the cut.

(7) ANSWER KEY. Here are Rich Horton’s “Answers to BIPOC SF/Fantasy Quiz” from Strange at Ecbatan.

1. Ava DuVernay, the acclaimed director of Selma, became the first Black woman to direct a live action feature with over a $100,000,000 budget with which 2018 film, an adaptation of a beloved Newbery Award winner?

Answer: A Wrinkle in Time

(8) SEE GERMANY’S BIGGEST SFF LIBRARY. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] German SFF writer Maja Ilisch reports about a visit to the Phantastische Bibliothek in Wetzlar, Germany’s biggest SFF specialty library. The post is in German, but there are photos: “Allein unter Büchern”.

(9) BILL WRIGHT (1937-2022). Australian fan Bill Wright died January 16. Bill was a founding member of both ANZAPA and the Nova Mob. He served as awards administrator for the Australian Science Fiction Foundation. He was secretary for the first Aussiecon in 1975 and helped organize the Bring Bruce Bayside Fan Fund in 2004. Bill was a Life Member of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club. One of his fanzines with an international following was Interstellar Ramjet Scoop.

In 2013 at the age of 76 he was voted the Down Under Fan Fund delegate. Bill was honored with the A. Bertram Chandler Award in 2017.

(And I was always in Bill’s debt for introducing me to Foster’s Lager when he and Robin Johnson were at L.A.Con I to promote the first Australian Worldcon bid.)

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1995 [Item by Cat Eldridge.]  “Coffee – the finest organic suspension ever devised. It’s got me through the worst of the last three years. I beat the Borg with it.” — Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager’s “Hunters”. 

On this evening twenty-seven years ago on UPN, Star Trek: Voyager premiered. The fourth spinoff from the original series after the animated series, the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, it featured the first female commander in the form of Captain Kathryn Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew. 

It was created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor. Berman served as head executive producer, assisted by a series of executive proucers — Piller, Taylor, Brannon Braga and Kenneth Biller. Of those, Braga is still the most active with work on The Orville.

It ran for seven seasons  and one seventy-two episodes. Four episodes, “Caretaker”, “Dark Frontier”, “Flesh and Blood” and “Endgame” originally aired as ninety minute episodes. 

Of the series, and not at all surprisingly, Voyager gets the highest Bechdel test rating. Oh, and that quote I start this piece with in 2015, was tweeted by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti International Space Station when they were having a coffee delivery. She was wearing a Trek uniform when she did so.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 16, 1887 John Hamilton. He’s no doubt remembered best for his role as Perry White in the Fifties Adventures of Superman series. He also was in the Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial as Professor Gordon, and I see he played G.F. Hillman in the Forties Captain America serial film. (Died 1958.)
  • Born January 16, 1903 Harold A. Davis. Notable as another writer of the Doc Savage novels under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson. He was the first ghostwriter to fill in for Lester Dent on Doc Savage.  Davis would create the character of Ham’s pet ape Chemistry in Dust of Death.  (Died 1955.)
  • Born January 16, 1905 Festus Pragnell. Ok he’s here not because he had all that a distinguished a career as a writer or illustrator, but because of the charming story one fan left us of his encounter with him which you can read here. Festus himself wrote but three novels (The Green Man of KilsonaThe Green Man of Graypec and The Terror from Timorkal), plus he wrote a series of stories about Don Hargreaves’ adventures on Mars. Be prepared to pay dearly if you want to read him as he’s not made it into the digital age and exists mostly only in the original Amazing Stories only. (Died 1977.)
  • Born January 16, 1943 Michael Atwell. He appeared in Doctor Who twice, first in a Second Doctor story, “The Ice Warriors”, and later in the in the Sixth Doctor story, “Attack of the Cybermen “. He also voiced Goblin in the Labyrinth film, and had a recurring role in Dinotopia. (Died 2006.)
  • Born January 16, 1948 John Carpenter, 74. My favorite films by him? Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York.  His films include the Halloween franchise, The ThingStarman (simply wonderful), The Philadelphia ExperimentGhosts of Mars and many other films. What do you consider him to done that you like, or don’t like for that matter? I’m not fond of Escape from L.A. as I keep comparing to the stellar popcorn film that the previous Escape film is.
  • Born January 16, 1970 Garth Ennis, 52. Comic writer who’s no doubt best known for  Preacher which he did with illustrator Steve Dillon, and his stellar nine-year run on the Punisher franchise. I’m very fond of his work on Judge Dredd which is extensive, and his time spent scripting Etrigan the Demon For DC back in the mid Nineties. What by him should I be reading?
  • Born January 16, 1974 Kate Moss, 48. Yes, she’s done SF. To be precise Black Adder which we discussed a bit earlier. She played Maid Marian in “Blackadder Back & Forth” in which as IMDB puts it “At a New Millennium Eve party, Blackadder and Baldrick test their new time machine and ping pong through history encountering famous characters and changing events rather alarmingly.” You can watch it here.
  • Born January 16, 1976 Eva Habermann, 36. She is best known for playing the role of Zev Bellringer on Lexx. She was succeeded in her role by Xenia Seeberg. Ok I’ll confess that I’ve never seen the series which I know exists in both R and not so R versions. Who here has seen it in either form? She was also Ens. Johanna Pressler in Star Command, a pilot that wasn’t to be a series that was written by Melinda Snodgrass. And she had a role in the Code Name: Eternity series as Dr. Rosalind Steiner.

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON. “Video game preservation is complicated, both legally and technically” – the Washington Post tells about the challenges.

…A 2018 report by the Association of Research Libraries found that archivists are “frustrated and deeply concerned” regarding copyright policies related to software, and they charge the current legal environment of “imperiling the future of digital memory.” The obstacles archivists face range from legal restrictions around intellectual property to the technological challenges of obtaining or re-creating versions of the various consoles, computers and servers required to play various titles published over the years. Not only must the games be preserved, they also need to be playable, a quandary akin to needing a record player to listen to a rare vinyl album.

However, the legal hurdle to their research — chiefly, risking infringing on the copyrights of multibillion-dollar companies — remains the biggest for preservationists seeking access to games for academic research….

(15) SUPERNATURAL SUPERHIGHWAY. Paul Weimer shares his take about “Tim Powers’ Alternate Routes at A Green Man Review.

…Writing abouit supernatural doings in Southern California is nothing new for Powers, but this novel felt and reads distinctly different than his previous novels set in Southern California and wrapping around supernatural doings, but not always to its benefit. A Tim Powers novel for me is one with magic beneath the surface of our ordinary world that a few people can access. This often ties into a Secret History of events that we think we know, but we really don’t know the full story until Powers comes along. Characters with hidden motivations that make sense only in the denouement.. Lush use of setting and place. Tricks with time, character and perspective. Tim Powers work isn’t as byzantine as, say, Gene Wolfe, but paying attention and reading closely are absolute musts to figure out what is going on.

Alternate Routes has some of these but not as many as one might expect from a Tim Powers novel. For lack of a better phrase, Alternate Routes reads in a much more straightforward fashion, plot wise, than the typical Powers novel….

(16) WHAM! Meanwhile, back at Nerds of a Feather, Paul Weimer brings us up to speed about the second book in a series: “Microreview [book]: Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe”.

…Velocity Weapon tells a twisty story where Sanda is lied to and tricked by an AI on an enemy warship, and Biran desperately seeks political power for, primarily, finding out what has happened to his sister. The novel was particularly potent for a “Wham! moment” where Sanda’s understanding of what was happening to her, and why, turned out to be far far different than she knew.

Now, with a solar system seething with potential conflict, Sanda free of her captivity, and Biran in a position of power within the Keepers, Chaos Vector continues the story of these two siblings as revelations and conflicts from the first novel start to manifest…as well as new mysteries, and yes, new wham moments!

(17) VOX PLONKS HIS MAGIC TWANGER. Brian Z. asks, “Is it official puppy news when Scott Adams calls VD his mascot?” Oh, no – he’s going to sing!

(18) OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE. I’m not a big game-player, so I’m glad to have Joe DelFranco tell me what made It Takes Two a prize-winning game: “Microreview [Video Game]: It Takes Two by Hazelight Studios”.  

The Game Awards Game of the Year winner, It Takes Two, asks two players to come together to repair an ailing marriage. In many relationships, poor communication causes the initial bond between partners to break down. Therein lies the crux of the conflict with It Takes Two. Cody and May, fed-up with their relationship, cause their daughter Rose much distress. Rose consults Dr. Hakim’s Book of Love to help bring them back together. With her tears, she binds her parent’s souls into two wooden dolls. Now it’s up to the players to help the protagonists get out of this mess and back to their bodies….

(19) PREDICTING PARENTHOOD. “Futurist Amy Webb has predictions on 5G, the metaverse, creating babies and a host of other bold topics” in the Washington Post.

S.Z.: Reading your book it feels like you have an almost philosophical belief that people should overhaul what they think about how humans are created. If synthetic biology can deliver on some of these promises — if it removes any age restriction on egg fertilization, say, or if embryos can be gestated outside a human body — what do these changes do to us as a society? Do they alter it fundamentally?

A.W.: The thing is we never stopped and asked how we got to this point. Until now a baby was a man and a woman and having the structures to be in place for that to happen. And now synthetic biology is giving us other options. Forty years into the future, I think it may be the case that there are many parents to one child, or that a 70-year-old and their 60-year old spouse decide to have a baby. Why would we close ourselves off to those possibilities?

(20) THERPEUTIC CREDENTIALS. [Item by Michael Toman.] Be sure to check out the link on the fur color of your cat and the supernatural! “Research Shows That Owning Cats Can, Indeed, Heal You” reports MSN.com. Hope that all in your household, including the unmasked four-pawed mammals, are staying Safe and Well.

1. Owning a cat can actually reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

According to an impressive 10-year study of more than 4,000 Americans, cat owners showed a 30 percent lower risk of death by heart attack than those who didn’t have a feline companion.

Participants had a lower heart rate, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

Dr Adnan Qureshi, senior author of the study, said, “For years we have known that psychological stress and anxiety are related to cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks.”

(21) FROM BACK IN THE DAY. “Oldest remains of modern humans are much older than thought, researchers say”Yahoo! outlines the discovery.

Some of the oldest remains of modern humans in the world are much older than scientists thought.

The remains, known as Omo I, were found in southwest Ethiopia in the late 1960s. The bone and skull fragments researchers discovered were some of the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens.

Initial research suggested they were nearly 200,000 years old, but new research shows the remains are at least 230,000 years old.  The peer-reviewed research was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday

(22) PROLIFERATING PRESIDENTS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Last night Saturday Night Live began with a cold open in which President Biden blamed the Omicron outbreak on people buying tickets to Spider-Man and we found out that we actually don’t live in the real universe but rather one started as a joke by having the Cubs win the World Series. You know, that last bit makes some sense.

[Thanks to JJ, Chris Barkley, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Cora Buhlert, Brian Z., Jeffrey Smith, Bill, David Doering, John A. Arkansawyer, 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 Cora Buhlert.]

Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards 2020 & 2021

The Robert E. Howard Foundation Award winners for 2020 and 2021, honoring the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past two years, were announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 11.

2020 REHF Awards

THE ATLANTEAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Bobby Derie. Weird Talers: Essays on Robert E. Howard and Others (Hippocampus Press)

THE VALUSIAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Wheatley, Mark (ed.). Songs of Giants: the Poetry of Pulp (Insight Studios)

THE HYRKANIANOutstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)(Tie)

  • Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney. “By This Pen I Rule: Robert E. Howard as Gatekeeper in the Development of Weird Fiction” (The Dark Man Vol.10, issue 1)

THE CIMMERIANOutstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

[TIE]

  • Bob Byrne. editor of the “Hither Came Conan” series on BlackGate.com — LINK
  • David C. Smith. “Robert E. Howard as a Writer of Consequence” — LINK

THE STYGIANOutstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical
(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)

THE BLACK LOTUS – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia
(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • Ben Friberg – Howard Days 2019 Videos – LINK

THE RANKIN — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work
(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)

  • Etienne Le Roux, artist for Conan Le Cimmerien – La Citadelle Ecarlate (Glenat 2019)

SPECIAL AWARDS SECTION

THE CROM AWARD
Awarded by the Foundation Board of Directors for Special Achievement/Recognition

  • Dierk Gunther and Patrice Louinet for receiving Ph.D.s with theses on Robert E. Howard at Hiroshima University and the Sorbonne, respectively.

2021 REHF Awards

THE ATLANTEAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Brian Murphy. Flame and Crimson: A History of Sword-and-Sorcery (Pulp Hero Press)

THE VALUSIAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Ted Abrams & Elizabeth Nee (editors). The Rattle of Bones (Clover Press)

THE HYRKANIAN—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • Karen Joan Kohoutek. “More Than Meets the Eye: The Women Protagonists of the Conan Stories” (The Dark Man 11.1)

THE CIMMERIAN—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • John Bullard. “Beyond the Black River”: Is It Really “Beyond the Brazos River”? (Adventures Fantastic. 3 Part Serial) Beginning with: LINK

THE STYGIANOutstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical
(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)(Tie)

 THE BLACK LOTUS – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia
(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • Ben Friberg. “Tour of Robert E Howard Home”, – LINK

THE RANKIN — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work
(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)(Tie)

  • E.M. Gist, cover artist for Conan the Barbarian #13-17 (Marvel, 2020)

SPECIAL AWARDS SECTION

THE CROM AWARD
Awarded by the Foundation Board of Directors for Special Achievement/Recognition

  • Era Lee Hanke

THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar-due to 2 of the nominees being nominated for both years, we have decided to put both years’ lists together to help lessen the splitting of votes or electing the same person twice. Please vote for 1 person in each year, hopefully not the same person.

2020 THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar
(Candidates will have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible.)

  • Jason Ray Carney

2021 THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar
(Candidates will have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible.)

  • John Bullard

BLACK CIRCLE AWARD – Lifetime Achievement
(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades. Sixty percent of the vote is required for induction into the Black Circle)

2020

  • Paul Herman became closely associated with Robert E. Howard’s literary agent Glenn Lord, and an active member of Howard fandom. Paul created his own small press and published many collections of Howard’s stories. Much of the behind-the-scenes work of insuring the preservation of Glenn Lord’s collection of Robert E. Howard manuscripts and letters, and the formation of the Robert E. Howard Foundation and its associated press are due to Paul’s hard work.

2021

  • Arlene Stephenson is the President of Project Pride, and has been involved with Robert E. Howard’s legacy in Cross Plains for over twenty years. Her guidance and hard work have been essential to the preservation of the Robert E. Howard House and Museum, and she helps organize Howard Days and its various activities.

Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards 2020 & 2021 Shortlists

The Robert E. Howard Foundation’s Legacy Circle members have selected the nominees for the 2020 and 2021 REH Foundation Awards, honoring the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past two years.

Foundation members have until May 16 to vote on the winners, which will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 11.

2020 REHF Awards Shortlist

THE ATLANTEAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Fred Blosser. Silken Swords: An Informal Guide to the Women in the Fiction of Robert E. Howard (Pulp Hero Press)
  • Bobby Derie. Weird Talers: Essays on Robert E. Howard and Others (Hippocampus Press)
  • Dierk Günther. History in Robert E. Howards Fantastic Stories: From an Age Undreamed of to the Era of the Old West and Texas Frontier (Hiroshima University Library/Book Repository / September 2019) —  LINK

THE VALUSIAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Arellano, Francisco and Javier Martín Lalanda (trans.). Canciones De Un Juglar Loco (La Biblioteca del Laberinto)
  • Vandermeer, Jeff and Vandermeer, Ann (eds.). The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (Knopf Doubleday)
  • Wheatley, Mark (ed.). Songs of Giants: the Poetry of Pulp (Insight Studios)

THE HYRKANIANOutstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)(Tie)

  • Bobby Derie. “Robert E Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, and the Great War” (The Dark Man Vol.10, issue 2)
  • Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney. “By This Pen I Rule: Robert E. Howard as Gatekeeper in the Development of Weird Fiction” (The Dark Man Vol.10, issue 1)
  • Dierk Günther. “Faces of Kane: Exploring the Identity of Robert E. Howard’s Puritan Swordsman” (The Dark Man Vol.10, issue 1)
  • Karen Joan Kohoutek. “No Refuge in Idealism: Illusion Meets reality in ‘Xuthal of the Dusk’” (The Dark Man Vol.10, issue 1)

THE CIMMERIANOutstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • Bob Byrne. editor of the “Hither Came Conan” series on BlackGate.com — LINK
  • Tim Dedopulos. “The Life and Death of Robert E. Howard” series — LINK
  • David C. Smith. “Robert E. Howard as a Writer of Consequence” — LINK

THE STYGIANOutstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical
(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)

THE BLACK LOTUS – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia
(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • Ben Friberg – Howard Days 2019 Videos – LINK
  • The Cromcast – LINK
  • Mountain Man: Adventures of Breckinridge Elkins, Director: Stanislav Roud — LINK

THE RANKIN — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work
(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)

  • Etienne Le Roux, artist for Conan Le Cimmerien – La Citadelle Ecarlate (Glenat 2019)
  • Sana Takeda, cover artist for Age of Conan: Bêlit #1-5 (Marvel, 2019)
  • Mark Wheatley, artist for Songs of Giants: The Poetry of Pulp

2021 REHF Awards

THE ATLANTEAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Fred Blosser. The Annotated Guide to Robert E. Howard’s Weird Fantasy (Pulp Hero Press)
  • Charles Hoffman and Marc Cerasini. Robert E. Howard: A Closer Look (Hippocampus Press)
  • Brian Murphy. Flame and Crimson: A History of Sword-and-Sorcery (Pulp Hero Press)

THE VALUSIAN — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)
(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • Ted Abrams & Elizabeth Nee (editors). The Rattle of Bones (Clover Press)
  • Frank Festa (editor/publisher). Der Mythos des Cthulhu: Erzählungen (Festa Verlag)
  • Scott Lee (editor). The Cthulhu Stories of Robert E. Howard (Word Fire Press)

THE HYRKANIAN—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • Karen Joan Kohoutek. “More Than Meets the Eye: The Women Protagonists of the Conan Stories” (The Dark Man 11.1)
  • Ralph Norris. “The Coming of Kull” (The Dark Man 11.1)
  • Willard M Oliver. “Robert E. Howard and Jack London’s Martin Eden: Analyzing the Influence of Martin Eden on Howard and his Semi-Autobiography” (The Dark Man 11.1)

THE CIMMERIAN—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)
(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • John Bullard. “Beyond the Black River”: Is It Really “Beyond the Brazos River”? (Adventures Fantastic. 3 Part Serial) Beginning with: LINK
  • Jason Ray Carney. “1932, The Year of Conan: Sword and Sorcery and Historical Pessimism” (DMR Books, 26 Oct 2020), LINK
  • Bobby Derie. Unspeakable! The Secret History of Nameless Cults (On An Underwood #5, 31 May 2020) LINK

THE STYGIANOutstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical
(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)(Tie)

 THE BLACK LOTUS – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia
(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • Ben Friberg. “Tour of Robert E Howard Home”, – LINK
  • The Cromcast – LINK
  • Rusty Burke, Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney. “The Origins of TDM: Interview with the Founding Editor Rusty Burke.” The Pavilion Blog. LINK

THE RANKIN — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work
(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)(Tie)

  • Gess, artist for Conan Le Cimmerien – Les Mangeurs D’Hommes De Zamboula (Glenat 2020)
  • E.M. Gist, cover artist for Conan the Barbarian #13-17 (Marvel, 2020)
  • Park Jae Kwang, artist for Conan Le Cimmerien – Le Peuple Du Circle Noir (Glenat 2020)
  • Andrew C. Robinson, cover artist for King-Size Conan (Marvel, 2020)

SPECIAL AWARDS SECTION

THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar-due to 2 of the nominees being nominated for both years, we have decided to put both years’ lists together to help lessen the splitting of votes or electing the same person twice. Please vote for 1 person in each year, hopefully not the same person.

2020 THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar
(Candidates will have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible.)

  • Jason Ray Carney
  • Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney
  • Howard Andrew Jones

2021 THE VENARIUM — Emerging Scholar
(Candidates will have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible.)

  • Jason Ray Carney
  • Nicole Emmelhainz-Carney
  • John Bullard

BLACK CIRCLE AWARD – Lifetime Achievement
(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades. Sixty percent of the vote is required for induction into the Black Circle)

Nominees:

  • Fred Blosser has been involved with Robert E. Howard’s properties for almost fifty years. As a writer for Marvel comics from the 1970s to 1990s, Fred not only scripted the adventures of Conan and other Howard characters, but authored a number of nonfiction articles and essays exploring the history of Howard’s stories and his fictional worlds. Over the last few years, Fred has continued to contribute to Howard studies with works like The Annotated Guide to Robert E. Howard’s Weird Fantasy.
  • Paul Herman became closely associated with Robert E. Howard’s literary agent Glenn Lord, and an active member of Howard fandom. Paul created his own small press and published many collections of Howard’s stories. Much of the behind-the-scenes work of insuring the preservation of Glenn Lord’s collection of Robert E. Howard manuscripts and letters, and the formation of the Robert E. Howard Foundation and its associated press are due to Paul’s hard work.
  • Arlene Stephenson is the President of Project Pride, and has been involved with Robert E. Howard’s legacy in Cross Plains for over twenty years. Her guidance and hard work have been essential to the preservation of the Robert E. Howard House and Museum, and she helps organize Howard Days and its various activities.
  • Steve Tompkins (1960-2009) was a leading scholar of Howard studies, and wrote numerous articles on Howard’s work, introductions to volumes of his stories (notably the Wandering Stareditions, which are the basis of the popular Del Rey paperbacks), and was highly active in Howard fandom; he was the managing editor of the Cimmerian blog at the time of his death. Thousands of Howard fans have been introduced to Robert E. Howard the writer through Tompkin’s introductions, and his critical voice continues to live on.

2019 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards Shortlist

The Robert E. Howard Foundation’s Legacy Circle members have selected the nominees for this year’s REH Foundation Awards, honoring the top contributions in Howard scholarship and in the promotion of Howard’s life and works from the past year.

Foundation members have until May 12 to vote on the winners, which will be announced at Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains on June 8.

The Atlantean — Outstanding Achievement, Book (non-anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

  • FRED BLOSSER – Western Weirdness and Voodoo Vengence(Pulp Hero Press) – LINK
  • DON D’AMMASSA – Masters of Fantasy, Volume One (Managansett Press) – LINK
  • DON HERRON and LEO GRIN – Famous Someday: A Robert E. Howard Biography(The Cimmerian Press) – LINK
  • PETER OSTERIED – Die Filmwelten des Robert E. Howard: Conan, Kull und andere Abenteurer (Createspace Independent Publishing) – LINK
  • DAVID C. SMITH – Robert E. Howard: A Literary Biography (Pulp Hero Press) – LINK
  • MICHELE TETRO –  Robert E. Howard e gli Eroi dalla Valle Oscura (Odoya) – LINK

The Valusian — Outstanding Achievement, Book (anthology/collection)

(Books may be print or digital, must be a minimum of 50,000 words, and must be substantively devoted to the life and/or work of REH. Reprinted works without significant revisions are not eligible.)

[No eligible candidates]

 The Hyrkanian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Print)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short pieces, interviews, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • BOBBY DERIE – “That Fool Olson” – Lovecraft Annual 12– LINK
  • RICK LAI – “Poseidon and the Gods of the Robert E. Howard Universe” – Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents #4: Pulpourri – LINK
  • DAMON YOUNG – “I Love, I Slay, And Am Content” – Island Magazine #124 – LINK

The Cimmerian—Outstanding Achievement, Essay (Online)

(Essays must have made their first public published appearance in the previous calendar year and be substantive scholarly essays on the life and/or work of REH. Short blog posts, speeches, reviews, trip reports, and other minor works do not count.)

  • BOB BYRNE – “By Crom: Arthurian Elements in the Conan Canon’” – Black Gate– LINK
  • BOB BYRNE – “By Crom: Conan and the Khoraja Saga: Beyond Robert E. Howard’s ‘Black Colossus’” – Mighty Thor JR’s Blog– LINK
  • BENJAMIN CHEAH – “H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard: A Contrast in Horror” – PulpRev– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “A Lost Weird Anthology, 1932-1933” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK 
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Bêlit’s Bane: Where the Falling Demon Meets the Rising Ape” – Mighty Thor JR’s Blog– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Conan and the Acolyte: Robert E. Howard and F. T. Laney” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Conan and E’ch-Pi-El: Robert E. Howard in the Biographies of H. P. Lovecraft” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Conan and Sappho: Robert E. Howard on Lesbians (2 parts)” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK – LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Dear Mr. Jacobi; Cordially, Robert E. Howard” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Fan Mail: Bloch vs. Conan” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Fan Mail: Prohibition in “The Souk”” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “First Fans: Robert E. Howard and Emil Petaja ” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • BOBBY DERIE – “Robert E. Howard’s Reefer Madness” – Messages from Crom – LINK
  • BOB FREEMAN – “Beyond the Bounds of Reality: Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Sword & Sorcery” – Mighty Thor JR’s Blog– LINK
  • BEN FRIBERG –“Bigfoot vs. Bigfoot: Biggest Bout of the 19th century! Or…The Four Deaths of Chief Bigfoot” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • MORGAN HOLMES – “Robert E. Howard and the Third Reich”— Castalia House Blog– LINK
  • ROB KING – “Robert E. Howard on the Llano Estacado and the Collection at Texas Tech University’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library”— On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • MATTHEW KNIGHT – “Nosferatu Necronomica – Solomon Kane in the Hills of the Dead” – DMR Books BlogLINK
  • KAREN JOAN KOHOUTEK – “By the Phoenix on This Sword I Rule” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • JORDI MORERA – “La Pluma Salvaje de Robert E. Howard” – Studia Humanitatis– LINK
  • DEUCE RICHARDSON – “Stephen Fabian and Robert E. Howard (3 Parts)” – DMR Books Blog – LINK– LINK – LINK
  • ROB ROEHM – “Footnotes #1 and #2” – Howard History– LINK – LINK
  • KEITH TAYLOR – “Black Vulmea – Robert E. Howard’s Roughneck Pirate (2 Parts)” – DMR Books Blog – LINK– LINK
  • BILL THOM – “The Art of Robert E. Howard” – Messages from Crom– LINK – LINK – LINK
  • TODD VICK – “The Blunders of One Weird Tales Artist: Curtis Charles Senf” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • TODD VICK – “The Last Line of the Last Letter” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • TODD VICK – “The Weather is Good but the Beer is Lousy” – On An Underwood No. 5– LINK
  • MICHAEL WASHBURN – “Robert E. Howard: Literary Artist or Pulp Hack?” – Book and Film Globe– LINK

The Venarium — Emerging Scholar

(The following candidates have recently begun making significant contributions to Howard scholarship through publications and/or presentations over the past few years. Previous winners are not eligible)

  • BOB BYRNE – Contributed essays for Black Gate
  • PHILIP EMERY – Completed Doctoral Thesis on REH and Sword and Sorcery
  • NICOLE EMMELHAINZ – Presented paper at ICFA.
  • ROB KING – Contributed essay to On an Underwood No. 5
  • MATTHEW KNIGHT – Contributed essay to DMR Books Blog
  • JORDI MORERA – Contributed essay to Studia Humanitatis

The Stygian—Outstanding Achievement, Website or Periodical

(Eligible candidates are limited to print or digital magazines, journals, blogs, or internet sites with substantive material that is primarily devoted to scholarship on the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Websites must have been updated with new content at least once in the previous calendar year. Print periodicals must have had an issue published in the previous calendar year. Non-static social media like Facebook and Twitter would not be eligible.)

  • BLACK GATE (John O’Neill) – LINK
  • DMR BOOKS BLOG (Dave Ritzlin) – LINK
  • HOWARD HISTORY (Rob Roehm) – LINK
  • HOWARD WORKS (Bill Thom) – LINK
  • MESSAGES FROM CROM – LINK
  • MIGHTY THOR JRS – (James Schmidt) – LINK
  • ON AN UNDERWOOD NO. 5 (Todd Vick) – LINK
  • THE SWORDS OF REH FORUM (Jason Aiken, et al.) – LINK
  • ROBERT-E-HOWARD.FR (Claude Ghedir and Patrice Louinet) – LINK
  • ROBERT E. HOWARD GOODREADS GROUP (Vincent Darlage and Jim MacLachlan) – LINK
  • REH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER (Lee Breakiron) – LINK

The Black Lotus – Outstanding Achievement, Multimedia

(Eligible candidates have produced a multimedia or audio/visual work or series of works, such as videos, documentaries, podcasts, animation, etc. related to the life and work of REH)

  • THE CROMCAST (audio podcast) – Josh Adkins, Luke Dodd, and Jon Larson – LINK
  • EXTRA CREDITS: Lovecraft & Howard – Pulp! Weird Tales (video podcast) – James Portnow, et al. – LINK
  • HOWARD DAYS 2018 (videos)– Ben Friberg – LINK
  • P. LOVECRAFT LITERARY PODCAST (audio podcast) – Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey – LINK
  • ROGUES IN THE HOUSE PODCAST – Matt Sullivan, Logan Whitney, and Alex Kostopoulos – LINK

The Black River—Special Achievement

(The following eligible candidates have produced or contributed something special that doesn’t fit into any other category: scholarly presentations, biographical discoveries, etc.)

  • DIERK GUENTHER and JEFFREY SHANKS – For participating in an REH paper session at ICFA 2017.
  • MARK HALL – For his years of service as editor of The Dark Man
  • PATRICE LOUINET  – For his commentary on the Conan graphic novels by Glenat
  • JEFFREY SHANKS, ANDREW McFEATERS, THADRA STANTON, and HEATHER YOUNG – For the REH House Archaeology Project
  • ROY THOMAS – for his publication of Barbarian Life, the history of Conan in the comics.
  • DAMON YOUNG – Reading Workshop on Robert E. Howard at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and contributed article to Island Magazine

The Rankin — Artistic achievement in the depiction of REH’s life and/or work

(Art must have made its first public published appearance in the previous calendar year.)

  • PIERRE ALARY – Conan le Cimmérien, Tome 1 : La reine de la côte noire (Glenat) – Adaptation of “Queen of the Black Coast” – LINK
  • BILL CAVALIER – Cover Art for Pictures in the Fire (REHF Press) – LINK
  • TOM GRINDBERG – Cover art for Conan the Piratesourcebook for Conan RPG (Modiphius) – Depicts “Queen of the Black Coast”– LINK
  • ANTHONY JEAN – Conan le Cimmérien, Tome 3 : Au-delà de la rivière noire (Glenat) – Adatation of “Beyond the Black River” –  LINK
  • ROBIN RECHT – Conan le Cimmérien, Tome 4 : La fille du géant du gel (Glenat) – Adaptation “The Frost Giant’s Daughter”- LINK
  • MANUEL SANJULIAN — Cover art for Ancient Ruins and Cursed Cities (Modiphius) – Depicts “Red Nails” – LINK
  • RONAN TOULHOAT – Conan le Cimmérien, Tome 2 : Le colosse noir (Glenat) – Depicts “Black Colossus” – LINK

Black Circle Award – Lifetime Achievement

(Individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to REH scholarship, publishing, or the promotion of Howard’s life and works. Eligible candidates must have been publicly involved in Howard-related activities for a minimum of two decades.)

  • FRED BLOSSER
  • LIN CARTER (posthumous)
  • MARC CERASINI
  • LYON SPRAGUE De CAMP (posthumous)
  • PAUL HERMAN
  • CHARLES HOFFMAN
  • BILLIE RUTH LOVING (posthumous)
  • GEORGE SCITHERS (posthumous)
  • JAMES VAN HISE
  • DONALD WOLLHEIM (posthumous)