Something not quite right in the San Diego Comic-Con International souvenir book caught Scott Edelman’s eye: “In the midst of getting verklempt reading the In Memoriam section, I spotted a major error on the page honoring the late Ron Goulart — they’ve mistakenly used a photo of the very much living Joe Haldeman.”
Goulart, of course, actually looked like this:
Edelman understands these things can happen. Because it’s happened to him.
“My photo appeared on Robert Reed’s Wikipedia page for awhile, after I accepted his Hugo award in Yokohama.”
When Scott wrote about the Goulart mistake on Facebook, people chimed in with other examples they’d seen.
Mine was remembering that Torcon 2 used the wrong photo for fan guest of honor Bill Rotsler in the 1973 Worldcon program book. At the time someone said it was really a picture of Philip K Dick. Since I didn’t yet know what PKD looked like I always assumed that was the identity. And therefore, the following year when PKD no-showed for his guest of honor stint at the 1974 Westercon, I thought it was an especially funny inside joke that they brought on Bill Rotsler to give the guest of honor speech instead.
The post I planned to write was going to end there. I knew I could find that old 1973 program book on Fanac.org and copy the photo to run with it. Which I have. There is just one problem. I know what Philip K. Dick looks like now, and that photo doesn’t look like PKD to me. I have never seen a photo of PKD with a long scraggly beard. So who is it really?
I asked Andrew Porter, who turned to others in the Fictionmags discussion group for help. Not only did they come up with the name, they found a copy of the original photo online. It’s artist John Schoenherr. The photo was taken by Jay Kay Klein at the 1971 Worldcon.
Porter sent a copy of the photo to John’s son Ian Schoenherr who confirmed the identity. He also commented, “Still have that corduroy safari jacket somewhere – and the ceramic tiki bowl.”
You’ve written that fantasy involves images “bubbling up” from the writer’s unconscious mind. As you’ve thought about the “Dark Is Rising” novels and spoken about them, have you come to understand that unconscious bubbling in new ways?
I was a child of World War ll England, and if people are dropping bombs on you from the age of four to 10, you grow up with a powerful sense of threat, enmity, Them versus Us, the Dark and the Light. This is also, of course, the stuff of myth and legend, which I read thirstily when young. Ideas come from the imagination, but this unconscious mass is the soil in which it grows.
…Things began to sour just months after the 2020 Disney Investor Day presentation. [Tomi] Adeyemi, according to sources, grew disenchanted with the pace of the project and began pushing for a stronger voice at the table for the adaptation of her book. The author made the case that she should be the one writing the script, a request Lucasfilm was unwilling to accommodate, sources say.
The sides remained at loggerheads until the project was quietly put into turnaround in the fall of 2021. The bidding and winning of Blood and Bone took a couple of months, and when it landed at Paramount in early January with its original producers, Adeyemi now had what she had asked for: creative influence and the right to pen the screenplay.
In the meantime, Lucasfilm, according to sources, has decidedly shifted away from developing projects that are new and is leaning even more toward those already under its umbrella. Those include a series based on the 1988 fantasy Willow, Indiana Jones 5 and, yes, many, many Star Wars movies and shows….
(4) ERIC FLINT MEDICAL UPDATE. Eric Flint told Facebook readers yesterday he has been hospitalized with a staph infection.
Well, I have some bad news, I’m afraid. I’ve been in the hospital for two with a staff infection. Staphylococcus aureus, to be precise. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be MRSA or any other especially virulent form of the disease.
That said, staph is nothing to fool with. If it’s a blood infection, as it is in my case, it travels to every part of the body. Little problems become big problems and you’re soon in a world of hurt. So far things are looking good. Once they got me on antibiotics everything started improving. StIll, this take time. The doctors tell me a full treatment takes about two weeks and you can’t stint on it. Unfortunately, that’s going to bring us very close to Superstars Writing Seminar, which I may have to miss. We won’t know for awhile yet, I will keep you informed.
The actor playing Harry Potter has been fired from the Broadway production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” following a complaint by a co-star about his conduct.
Producers said Sunday night that, after an independent investigation of the incident, they decided to terminate the contract of James Snyder. The exact nature of his conduct was not specified. Snyder did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Producers said in a statement that they received a complaint against Snyder from a female co-star in November and immediately suspended Snyder. The female co-star has decided to take a leave of action from the Broadway show.
The play, which picks up 19 years from where J.K. Rowling’s last novel left off, portrays Potter and his friends as grown-ups. It won the Tony Award for best new play in 2018….
I’ve been connected to Whedon’s worlds both as a fan and as a pro since the late 1990s. I was a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, and I wrote four Buffy books (a novelization, two novels, and I worked on one of the official reference books) and novelized Serenity and wrote a Firefly role-playing game adventure. As a result, I was always heavily plugged into the intense fandom that grew up around his creations.
And I found myself concerned about the near-deification that went on surrounding him. The “Joss Whedon is My Master Now” T-shirts and the “trust in Joss” mantras — and just generally, referring to him as “Joss” as if he was their friend.
…The interview is the first time Whedon has spoken publicly since he was all but hung in effigy by the entire universe, and he didn’t waste any time inserting his foot once he opened his mouth. At no point does he take responsibility, and he spends lots of time making excuses. He unconvincingly denies many of the allegations, or tries to downplay them….
The untimely death of Robert E. Howard thirty years ago is one of the great tragedies of our genre. The lifelong Texan Howard had his first story, the prehistoric adventure “Spear and Fang” published in Weird Tales in 1925, when he was only nineteen years old. In the following eleven years, Howard published dozens of stories in Weird Tales as well as in long forgotten pulp magazines such as Oriental Stories, Fight Stories, Action Stories, Magic Carpet Magazine or Spicy Mystery. In the introduction to Conan the Adventurer, editor L. Sprague de Camp calls Howard “a natural story-teller, whose tales are unsurpassed for vivid, colorful, headlong, gripping action.”
In 1936, tragedy struck, when Howard’s beloved mother was about to succumb to tuberculosis. Overcome with grief, Howard took his own life. He was only thirty years old….
(8) GOULART REMEMBERED. Frances Goulart, widow of Ron, sent a kind note about File 770’sRon Goulart obituary.
Thank you so much for the tribute to my husband. He would be so pleased with all the attention and love he’s getting. Hope he can read it all wherever he is. We are planning a memorial in June. Please stay in touch for details.
Jean-Claude Mézières, cult comic book author, especially SF, died at the age of 83, on the night of January 22 to 23.
Born in 1938 in Paris, Jean-Claude Mézières is considered a figure of Franco-Belgian comics. He is mainly known for the adventures of Valerian and Laureline, two space-time agents. He worked on these characters alongside screenwriter Pierre Christin, his childhood friend.
(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
1947 — [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Seventy-five years ago today in New York City, the Lady in The Lake film opened. Based on the Raymond Chandler novel of the same name. It was the directing debut of Robert Montgomery who also played Phillip Marlowe. The rest of the cast is Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Leon Ames and Jayne Meadows.
Steve Fisher, a pulp writer, who published in far too many pulps too list here but I’ll note that wrote some of The Shadow stories, wrote the screenplay. His most significant stories, however, would be published in Black Mask.
Montgomery’s desire was to recreate the first-person narrative style of the Marlowe novels. As the film is up legitimately on YouTube as part of their film series, you can judge yourself if he succeeded in that.
So how was the reception? Well critics didn’t like it. Really they didn’t it at all. As BBC critic George Perry much later put it: “This is the only mainstream feature ever to have been shot in its entirety with the subjective camera. Which means that you, the viewer, sees everything just as the hero Philip Marlowe does. Every so often the camera pauses by a mirror and looking at you in the reflection is Robert Montgomery, who also directed, for it is he who is playing Marlowe.” And I think that’s reflected in the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes who give an ambivalent rating of fifty percent.
He would play Marlowe once more in Robert Montgomery Presents The Big Sleep, a hour long version of that novel that aired on September 25th, 1950. Robert Montgomery Presents for eight seasons.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born January 23, 1923 — Walter M. Miller Jr. He’s best remembered for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Terry Bisson would finish off the completed draft that he left of Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, a sequel of sorts to the first novel. He did a fair amount of short fiction as well. He’s poorly represented both from the usual suspects and in the dead tree sense as well beyond A Canticle for Leibowitz. (Died 1996.)
Born January 23, 1932 — Bart LaRue. He was the voice of The Guardian of Forever in the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of Trek as well as doing voice roles in “Bread and Circuses” (on-screen too) “The Gamesters of Triskelion” as Provider 1 (uncredited) “Patterns of Force” as an Ekosian newscaster (Both voice and on-screen) and “The Savage Curtain” as Yarnek. He did similar work for Time Tunnel, Mission Impossible, Voyage to The Bottom of The Sea, The Andromeda Strain, Wild Wild West, Land of Giants and Lost in Space. (Died 1990.)
Born January 23, 1933 — Emily Banks, 89. She played Yeoman Tonia Barrows in the absolutely splendid “Shore Leave”. Though her acting career was brief, ending twenty years later, she shows up on Mr. Terrific, a series I’ve never heard of, Fantasy Island, TheWild Wild West, Bewitched, the original Knight Rider, Highway to Heaven and Air Wolf.
Born January 23, 1939 – Greg Hildebrandt, 83, and Tim Hildebrandt (died 2006). I’d say best remembered for their very popular and ubiquitous Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, also for illustrating comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. They also did a lot of genre covers so I went to ISFDB and checked to see if I recognized any. I certainly did. There was Zelazny’s cover of My Name is Legion, Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham and Poul Anderson’s A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. V’nice.
Born January 23, 1943 — Gil Gerard, 79. Captain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. He also shows up in the very short lived E.A.R.T.H. Force as Dr. John Harding, and he’s General Morgenstern in Reptisaurus, a movie title that proves someone had a serious lack of imagination regarding titles that day. In Bone Eater, a monster film that Bruce Boxleitner also shows up in as Sheriff Steve Evans, he plays Big Jim Burns, the Big Bad. Lastly, I’d like to note that he got to play Admiral Sheehan in the “Kitumba” episode of fan-created Star Trek: New Voyage
Born January 23, 1944 — Rutger Hauer. Roy Batty in Blade Runner, of course, but did you know he was Lothos In Buffy the Vampire Slayer film? That I’d forgotten. He’s also William Earle in Batman Begins, Count Dracula himself in Dracula III: Legacy, Captain Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke, the very evil John Ryder in The Hitcher, Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula 3D, King Zakour in, and no I didn’t know they’d done this film, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power and finally let’s note his involvement in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as President of the World State Federation. (Died 2019.)
Born January 23, 1950 — Richard Dean Anderson, 72. Unless you count MacGyver as genre like I do, his main and rather enduring genre role was as Jack O’Neill in the many Stargate Universe series. Well, Stargate SG-1 really as he only briefly showed up on Stargate Universe and Stargate Atlantis whereas he did one hundred seventy-three episodes of SG-1. Wow. Now his only other SF role lasted, err, twelve episodes in which he played Enerst Pratt alias Nicodemus Legend in the most excellent Legend which co-starred John de Lancie. Yeah, I really liked it. And damn it should’ve caught on.
Born January 23, 1964 — Mariska Hargitay, 58. Did you know she’s the daughter of Jayne Mansfield? I certainly didn’t. Her first film appearance was as Donna in Ghoulies which is a seriously fun film. Later genre creds are limited but include playing Marsha Wildmon in the Freddy’s Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series. She also plays Myra Okubo in the Lake Placid film and voices Tenar in Tales from Earthsea. She is by the way in her twenty-third season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit of portraying Captain Olivia Benson which is now over five hundred episodes in length.
(13) A COMICS HISTORY MISFIRE. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In today’s NFL playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams, NBC broadcaster Al Michaels referred to an electronic gizmo around Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians’s neck as “a Rube Goldberg machine.”
“I’m sorry,” said Michaels’s colleague, Cris Collinsworth, “Rube Goldberg?”
“It was a long, long, long time ago,” said Michaels.
Al Michaels was born in 1944 and Cris Collinsworth was born in 1959.
We have jetpacks and we do not care. An Australian named David Mayman has invented a functioning jetpack and has flown it all over the world – once in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty – yet few people know his name. His jetpacks can be bought but no one is clamouring for one. For decades, humans have said they want jetpacks, and for thousands of years we have said we want to fly, but do we really? Look up. The sky is empty.
Airlines are dealing with pilot shortages, and this promises to get far worse. A recent study found that, by 2025, we can expect a worldwide shortfall of 34,000 commercial pilots. With smaller aircraft, the trends are similar. Hang-gliding has all but disappeared. Ultralight aircraft makers are barely staying afloat. (One manufacturer, Air Création, sold only one vehicle in the US last year.) With every successive year, we have more passengers and fewer pilots. Meanwhile, one of the most dreamed of forms of flight – jetpacks – exists, but Mayman can’t get anyone’s attention.
“I did a flight around Sydney harbour a few years ago,” he tells me. “I still remember flying around close enough to see the joggers and the people walking around the botanical area, and some of them did not look up. The jetpack is loud, so I promise you they heard me. But there I was, flying by on a jetpack, and they did not look up.”
(15) GAME GETS TV SERIES. This retro cartoon show is coming to Netflix.
Based on the award-winning video game, THE CUPHEAD SHOW! follows the unique misadventures of loveable, impulsive scamp Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman.
Current science and cosmology tell us the Universe will slowly die and ebb away countless trillions of trillions of years from now, but another model – the Big Rip – says that end may come far sooner, ripped apart by dark energy. Could civilizations survive the Universe itself being torn apart at the atomic scale?
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Bruce D. Arthurs, Chris Barkley, Jen Hawthorne, Cora Buhlert, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]
Ron Goulart died January 14, the day after his 89th birthday. A science fiction and mystery author, he published more than 180 books under his own and other different names, including the house names Kenneth Robeson and Con Steffanson, and personal pseudonyms such as Chad Calhoun, R T Edwards, Ian R Jamieson, Josephine Kains, Jillian Kearny, Howard Lee, Zeke Masters, Frank S Shawn, Joseph Silva – even William Shatner. (His interview about working on the Shatner-bylined Tek War comic series can be read in a 1992 issue of Starlog Magazine available at the Internet Archive.)
Goulart’s first professional publication was a 1952 reprint of the SF story “Letters to the Editor” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a parody of a pulp magazine letters column originally written for UC Berkeley’s Pelican.
His short story “Calling Dr. Clockwork ” (Amazing Stories Mar 1965) was a 1966 Nebula nominee. Translated into Japanese, “My Pal Clunky ” was a 2005 finalist for the Seiun Awards. He received an Edgar Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America Award for his science fiction novel, After Things Fell Apart (1971). That same year he won the Pat Terry Award for Humor in Science Fiction, which used to be presented at the Worldcon.
Goulart can satirize almost anything, and many of his stories are hilarious. He has also written some serious stories, of course, but he’s best known for his satirical fiction. Much of his funniest writing occurs in the several series he has written around his characters of Jack Summer (Death Cell, Plunder, A Whiff of Madness, Galaxy Jane), Jake Conger (the invisible government agent), and especially The Chameleon Corps stories about the shape-changing government agent Ben Jolson.
Mark Evanier’s News From ME appreciation adds, “He was a great lover of comic books and a fine historian of the form.”
Goulart put his genre knowledge to work on nonfiction books such as The Dime Detectives: A Comprehensive History of the Detective Fiction Pulps. a 1989 Edgar Award nominee for Best Critical/Biographical Work. Cheap Thrills: An Informal History of the Pulp Magazines, and Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History.
In the 1970s, Goulart wrote several scripts for Marvel Comics, mostly adaptations of classic science fiction stories. Later in the decade he collaborated with artist Gil Kane on a newspaper strip called Star Hawks. His comics work was recognized with an Inkpot Award from San Diego Comic-Con (1989).
For television, he scripted episodes of the series Monsters (1988), Welcome to Paradox (1998) and Thundercats (1985).
He is survived by his wife, author Frances Sheridan Goulart, and two sons.
took a hiatus for the holiday season but I’m back and ready to dig into some
more of the public domain treasures out there for fans of old-time science
fiction, fantasy, and horror.
the new Robert Downey Jr. version of Dolittle is coming out this week, I
thought it might be a good time to take a look at Hugh Lofting, the originator
of the Dr. Dolittle character and stories.
(1886-1947) didn’t set out to be a writer. Born in Berkshire, England, he
studied civil engineering at MIT and London Polytechnic and spent several years
traveling the world doing engineering work. When World War I began, he enlisted
and served in France for several years before being wounded and invalided out.
character of Doctor Dolittle, a Victorian physician who can talk to animals and
ministers to them instead of humans, originated in the trenches during the war.
Lofting later explained that his actual experiences were either too horrible or
too dull to include in letters home to his children, so he began writing
stories about Dolittle and illustrating them with pen-and-ink line drawings
collected those stories into his first book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle,
which was published in 1920 to immediate acclaim. He wrote seven more Dolittle
books between 1920 and 1928, when he tried to end the series by sending Doctor
Dolittle off planet in Doctor Dolittle in the Moon.
demand led him to write four more Dolittle books in the 1930s and 1940s, and
two additional collections were published posthumously in the 1950s. He also
wrote several works for children that were not in the Dolittle series, and a
book-length anti-war poem called Victory for the Slain, published in
first few Doctor Dolittle books are in the public domain now and are available
at Project Gutenberg:
Dolittle’s Circus was
published in 1924 and thus entered the public domain in the United States on
January 1 of this year. It will likely be released by Project Gutenberg in the
next few months.
Librivox has multiple versions of The
Story of Doctor Dolittle and The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle,
including dramatic readings (where different volunteers voice the various
characters) of both. Two versions of Doctor Dolittle’s Post Office are in
progress, a solo version and a dramatic reading, and will be released in the
next few months.
(1893-1961) came up in the birthday lists this week. He’s best remembered now
as a fiction writer — one of the “Big Three” of the early years of Weird
Tales (the other two being H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard), but he
began his writing career as a poet.
Gutenberg has two volumes of poetry by Clark Ashton Smith:
contains a long blank-verse poem called “The Hashish Eater, or the Apocalypse
of Evil”. This poem caught Lovecraft’s attention and his fan letter to Smith
initiated years of correspondence and collaboration.
poem and nineteen other works are included in a recent Librivox release, Lovecraft’s
Influences and Favorites. The compilation was inspired by Lovecraft’s 1927 essay,
“Supernatural Horror in Literature”, and collects the stories and poems
Lovecraft mentions, from Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” to “Seaton’s Aunt”
by Walter de la Mare.
(1933- ) shares his birthday with Clark Ashton Smith, and is represented at
Project Gutenberg by three short stories:
In the future, people will be fitted with clockwork devices in their heads which, among other things, allows them to travel through time. Well, it seems one of these devices has frizzed-out, and a Clockwork man appears in the middle of a cricket match in 1923. The Clockwork Man by E.V. Odle is believed to be the first instance of a human-machine cyborg appearing in literature.
This is a 1924 fantasy novel by Anglo-Irish writer Lord Dunsany, which became public domain in January 2020. It is widely recognized as one of the most acclaimed works in all of fantasy literature. Highly influential upon the fantasy genre as a whole, the novel was particularly formative in the subgenres of “fairytale fantasy” and “high fantasy”. And yet, it deals always with the truth: the power of love, the allure of nature, the yearning for contentment, the desire for fame, the quest for immortality, and the lure and the fear of magic. Arthur C. Clarke said this novel helped cement Dunsany as “one of the greatest writers of this century”.
Under the terms of a will, the Wildersham children have to relocate from the family house in the city to “Crossings” in the country, and to spend the first fortnight alone fending for themselves in the house. The children encounter interesting country neighbors, including ghosts and fairies. Or are they dreaming? Walter De La Mare was a poet, and we have a number of his poems available at Librivox. This is his only play.
This is a book of remarkable nautical ghost and horror stories written by William Clark Russell in 1893. The stories are for the most part set on ships and bring the reader on board for ghostly nights, wonderful sights, and strange occurrences.