SF Canada, Canada’s national association of SF professionals, has voted to remove Peter Halasz from membership.
Under the SF Canada bylaws the motion required a supermajority of 75% of the members voting to pass. The outcome of the vote was 78% Yes (35 votes) and 22% No (10 votes).
The text of the motion, made by member Robert Dawson and seconded by member Margaret Curelas, reads:
In light of various actions by Peter Halasz incompatible with a collegial relationship with the members of SF Canada, including but not limited to his release of members private email addresses on January 18, 2022, I move that he be required to resign effective immediately, as provided in the sixth clause in the section of our bylaws concerning conditions of membership; and that he not be permitted to rejoin.
6) Any member may be required to resign by a three-quarters (3/4) majority vote at the annual general meeting or a special general meeting, for any cause which the membership may deem reasonable.
Peter Halasz is a past President of SF Canada. SF Canada recently removed its webpage about him. Formerly accessible at https://www.sfcanada.org/peter-halasz/, it now returns “Page not found.” The removal has occurred since the last Google cache snapshot was taken on January 5 (still visible here.) (Should that screencap expire, the Wayback Machine has a March 2021 copy here.)
Halasz also at times has served on the board of the Friends of the Merril Collection, and the governing board of the World Fantasy Convention. He is a co-founder and one of the administrators of the Sunburst Award.
SF Canada has not yet responded to File 770’s request for comment sent through their website’s contact page.
(1) ANOTHER TESTIMONY ABOUT HARASSMENT AT CZP. Kelsi Morris,
who rose from intern to managing editor of ChiZine
Publications – all unpaid – shared a painful account of the chronic sexual
harassment she endured from its owners and authors on
Facebook. (Much more at the link.)
…I think we can all agree there is a clear pattern of financial mismanagement and ill treatment of authors. What has only just started to be touched on is the deeply rooted culture of bullying, emotional abuse, sexual harassment, and the silencing of victims. And this is why I think it’s important I finally say something.
I started with ChiZine in 2012, when I was 22 years old and less than a week out of publishing school…
…I did move up quickly. I started as an intern (unpaid, of course), then became the head of marketing & publicity (also unpaid), then at 23 years old, became the managing editor for the biggest indie speculative fiction publisher in Canada (still unpaid). And more than that, I had somewhere I *belonged*.
…I was considered cool enough to hang, which meant I got to go to the exclusive parties, all the cons and events (at my own expense, of course), was invited to the casual pool nights, and fancy family dinners. I loved being included, and I was still young enough to be starstruck around so many amazing authors I admired.
Being cool, and eventually becoming friends with the “inner circle”, also meant that everyone talked freely around me. I heard the cruel ways they talked about their friends who weren’t around. I heard them plan out ways of breaking up couples. I attended family dinners where folks brought short stories written by their peers to read dramatically aloud and laugh. I heard the boundless misogyny, the mockery of women who spoke out about harassment at cons & the snowflakes who found comfort in content warnings, and the resentment they held towards their authors who had the audacity to expect to be paid. I sat, and listened, and internalized the implicit threat of what could happen to me.
And so I continued to just sit, and listen, with an uncomfortable smile pasted on my face, when I was hit on by male authors more than 15 years my senior. I smiled when hanging out with the inner circle and they made jokes about my body. I grimaced when one of the authors caressed my ass in full view of all my colleagues in the crowded con suite, but didn’t move away. I dressed accordingly at events when Sandra told me the only thing that mattered was “tits and teeth”. I nervously laughed along with everyone else when I was the only woman in a room full of men, and one of them started making rape jokes about me. …
…There are so many people who were complicit in, or at the very least enabled, what has accurately been described as the cult-like culture of bullying, abuse, harassment, and silencing. This will continue to be a problem long after ChiZine is gone, if it’s not something we start talking about now….
(2) FIREBELL IN THE NIGHT. Silvia Moreno-Garcia has quit
the professional organization SF Canada over its lack of support for the
ChiZine authors who have voiced grievances. The thread here.
In order to deal with congestion issues at its warehouses,Amazon has been cutting book orders to publishers over the last several weeks. It isn’t clear how widespread the reduction in orders is, but several independent publishers contacted by PW reported cuts in their weekly orders since late October. One publisher reported that an order placed last week was about 75% lower than an order placed last year at this time. “It’s a nightmare,” the head of one independent publisher said.
…The head of yet another company said if Amazon orders don’t rise to what has been typical ordering patterns in past years within two weeks, “we [could] lose the entire holiday season.” He added that if problems with Amazon persist and orders continue to be low, it is possible that some online book sales could move to BN.com and other retailers such as Walmart, which has invested heavily in its online operations. If Amazon starts running out of stock, he added, “maybe they’ll lose some market share to their competitors.”
(5) WRITING ABOUT A DIFFERENT RACE. In “Who Gave You The Right To Tell That
Story?” on Vulture, novelists discuss how
they wrote about characters who were a different race than they are.
Among the writers who contribute short essays are N.K. Jemisin, Victor LaValle,
and Ben H. Winters.
N. K. Jemisin, The Broken Earth Trilogy
I’ve learned to not fear obviousness when I’m describing race or topics related to oppression. With an American audience, you have to be as in your face about it as possible because our society encourages delicate euphemism. I’d rather be accused of being obvious than allow people to get away with thinking all of my characters are white people. The truth is, when you walk into a room and you see a bunch of strangers, the first thing you notice is their appearance, their race and gender. When I first describe a character, I sometimes hang a lampshade on race. My narrator will immediately think: ‘She might be Latino, oh maybe not, she might be Indian.’ I render that mental process.
You’re not going to be perfect. In The Broken Kingdoms, my protagonist was a blind woman, and she had a superpower associated with her blindness. As I now know, disability as a superpower is a trope. I didn’t read enough literature featuring blind people to really understand it’s a thing that gets done over and over again. Ehiru, a character from The Killing Moon, is asexual, and I don’t think I explored that well. If I were writing it now, I would have made him more clearly ace. I figured this out by reading Tumblr. I am on Tumblr quietly — I have a pseudonym, and nobody knows who I am. Because lots of young people hang out there and talk about identity and the way our society works, it’s basically a media-criticism lab. It’s an interesting place to talk about identity, and I did not understand until I saw these conversations that asexuality was an identity. I thought about it as a broken sexuality. My story reflected my lack of understanding of how that worked.
The Neukom Awards, now in its third year, offers prizes in three categories of speculative fiction. Each category will receive an honorarium of $5,000 at a Dartmouth-sponsored event related to speculative fiction.
The speculative fiction awards are offered for playwriting, established author and first-time author.
The deadline for all submissions is December 31, 2019. The awards will be announced in the spring of 2020.
Joker has become the most profitable comic book movie of all time, having made more than $950 million (£738m) at the worldwide box office.
It tells the story of how Arthur Fleck (played by Joaquin Phoenix) becomes the Joker, Batman’s nemesis and one of the most infamous comic book villains ever.
Joker has now made more than 15 times what it cost to make, reports Forbes.
Director Todd Phillips made the movie on a budget of $62.5m (£49m), a fraction of the budget of many comic book adaptations.
Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing movie of all time, has earned close to $2.8 billion (£2.2bn) but had a budget of $356 million (£276m).
Endgame has made more at the box office overall, but Joker has made more in relation to what was spent to make it.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.
November 11, 1951 — Flight to Mars premiered. It was produced by Walter Mirisch for Monogram Pictures, and directed by Lesley Selander. It starred Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell and Arthur Franz. Most of the interiors are from the Rocketship X-M shooting. It currently has a 21% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born November 11, 1917 — Mack Reynolds. He’d make Birthday Honors just for his first novel, The Case of the Little Green Men, published in 1951, which as you likely know is a murder mystery set at a Con. He gets Serious Geek Credits for writing the first original authorized classic Trek novel Mission to Horatius. And I’ve seriously enjoyed his short fiction. Wildside Press has seriously big volumes of his fiction up at Apple Books and Kindle for very cheap prices. (Died 1983.)
Born November 11, 1922 — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.The Sirens of Titan was his first SF novel followed by Cat’s Cradle which after turning down his original thesis in 1947, the University of Chicago awarded him his master’s degree in anthropology in 1971 for this novel. Next was Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death which is one weird book and an even stranger film. It was nominated for best novel Nebula and Hugo Awards but lost both to Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. I’m fairly sure Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Mondayis his last genre novel there’s a lot of short fiction where something of a genre nature might have occurred. (Died 2007.)
Born November 11, 1925 — ?Jonathan Winters. He’s in a number of genre series and films including Twilight Zone, Wild Wild West, Mork & Mindy where he was Mearth, the animated Smurfs series and The Animaniacs. And that’s a very selective list. (Died 2013.)
Born November 11, 1926 — Donald Franson. Longtime fan who lived most of his life in LA. Was active in the N3F and LASFS including serving as the secretary for years and was a member of Neffer Amateur Press Alliance. Author of A Key to the Terminology of Science-Fiction Fandom. Also wrote A History of the Hugo, Nebula, and International Fantasy Awards, Listing Nominees & Winners, 1951-1970 and An Author Index to Astounding/Analog: Part II—Vol. 36, #1, September, 1945 to Vol. 73 #3, May, 1964, the first with Howard DeVore. (Died 2003.)
Born November 11, 1960 — Stanley Tucci, 59. He was Puck in that film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, his first role was asDr. John Wiseman in Monkey Shines. (Shudder.) he shows as in forgettable The Core, and was amazing as Stanley Kubrick in The Life and Death of Peter Seller. And I’m fond of his voicing Boldo in The Tale of Despereaux.
Born November 11, 1962 — Demi Moore, 57. Ghost, of course, getting her Birthday Honors. And yes, I did see it. Sniff. But she got her genre creds with her second film Parasite which is good as she didn’t do much after that of a genre nature.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
Grimmy shows why it can be disillusioning – but funny – to meet your heroes.
(11) DISNEY DROPS
SONG FROM REMAKE. Ethan
Alter, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story “The
Controversial Scene That’s Not In The Live-Action of The Lady and the Tramp“ says that in The Lady and the Tramp
remake, streaming on Disney+ on November 12, Disney decided to keep the scene
where the Lady and the Tramp bond over a plate of spaghetti but decided to cut
“The Siamese Cat Song” because it reflects a “50s-era
Orientalism” considered out of place today.
Interestingly, Disney+ subscribers will have the chance to watch both the the 2019 version of Lady and the Tramp and the 1955 version on the studio’s new streaming service, allowing families to compare and contrast the two films, and discuss moments like “The Siamese Cat Song.”
Judith Merril was a founding member of the Futurians, an editor, founder of what is now the Merril library and of course a science fiction writer.
“Wish Upon a Star” is a generation ship story. By their nature, the need for a stable society able to keep a small community functioning for decades in total isolation, generation ships are forced to make some striking adaptations. In most cases, those adaptations included mutiny, cultural amnesia, barbarism and eventual extinction.
Merril’s characters made very different choices. Let’s see what the Young People made of them.
(13) AN EARLIER STRANGER
IN A STRANGE LAND. Jeff
Lafcadio Hearn” at the LA Review of Books surveys the Japanese
Tales of Lafcadio Hearn,
edited by Andrei Codrescu, the author’s Japanese
and Monique Truong’s “mesmerizing”
novel The Sweetest Fruits.
In 1890, Hearn moved to Japan, where he was to spend the last 14 years of his life, initially teaching English in remote Matsue, in Shimane Prefecture, and subsequently at Waseda University and the University of Tokyo. He also had stints in journalism and became an influential and popular interpreter for a Western audience of what was regarded at the time as an inscrutable culture and society. He is now best remembered for his traditional Japanese stories about supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons. Hearn died from heart failure at age 54, yet he was a prolific writer, despite poor health in his final years. His insights into turn-of-the-century Japan attest to his powers of observation and interpretation. Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan (1894) is a classic, conveying his rapturous appreciation for all things Japanese, especially traditions, customs, and ways of living unsullied by foreign accretions.
Just a few months after the triumph of Apollo 11, Nasa sent another mission to the lunar surface. But it came chillingly close to disaster.
In November 1969, just four months after men first set foot on the Moon, Nasa was ready to do it again. Basking in the success of Apollo 11, the agency decided that Apollo 12’s mission to the Ocean of Storms would be even more ambitious.
Unlike Neil Armstrong, who had been forced to overshoot his planned landing site because it was strewn with boulders, Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad was aiming for a precision touchdown, within moonwalking distance of an unmanned Surveyor probe. Conrad and landing module pilot, Al Bean, would then spend longer on the surface – with two excursions planned – while beaming back the first colour television from the Moon.
On 14 November, Conrad, Bean and Command Module Pilot Dick Gordon settled into their couches at the top of the 111-metre-high Saturn 5 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Meanwhile, in mission control Houston, flight director Gerry Griffin took his seat behind his console – his first time leading a mission.
At the launchpad, the ground was wet from storms that recently passed through the area and the sky is overcast. But with the rocket and crew ready to go, and US President Richard Nixon watching (for the first time) from the VIP stands, all systems were green for launch.
At 11.22, the giant white rocket slowly lifted off the pad and accelerated into the clouds.
“This baby’s really going,” shouts Conrad to his crewmates as the launcher cleared the tower and Houston takes over control. “It’s a lovely lift-off.”
Then, 36 seconds into the flight, Conrad sees a flash. All the fuel cells supplying power to the capsule fell offline and the entire alarm panel lit up….
An endangered yellow-eyed penguin has won New Zealand’s coveted Bird of the Year competition after two weeks of intense campaigning.
The hoiho saw off more than five rivals to become the first penguin to win the annual honour in its 14-year history.
(18) RUH ROH! SCOOB! is a Scooby-Doo
remake which Warner Bros. will release in the summer of 2020.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy,
Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some
of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]
Canadian sff author Dave Duncan passed away October 29 after sustaining a brain hemorrhage in a fall.
Originally from Scotland, Duncan lived all his adult life in Western Canada. He worked as a geological consultant until at age 53 he made the transition to full-time professional writer.
Duncan was a prolific novelist who wrote both fantasy and science fiction, although he said, “I always regret that my SF books are less popular than my Fantasy. SF actually takes more work to write!”
His best-known fantasy series included “The Seventh Sword,” “A Man of His Word,” and “The King’s Blades.”
He sold his sixtieth book this year – the science fiction novel Pillar of Darkness.
He won two Aurora Awards, for his novels West of January (1990) and Children of Chaos (2007).
He was an eight-time nominee for the Endeavour Award, given for a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.
Duncan was both a founding and an honorary lifetime member of SF Canada, the country’s association for speculative fiction professionals. He was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Janet, whom he married in 1959, and by their son, two daughters, and four grandchildren
[Thanks to Susan Forest for the story.]
2009 Endeavour Award finalists Kay Kenyon and Dave Duncan with award committee member Page Fuller.