Beginning on August 3, fans will see the Spider-Verse expand like never before in Edge of Spider-Verse, a new limited series that will introduce brand-new Spider-Heroes including Spider-UK and check in with iconic favorites such as Ghost-Spider.
The series will contain a range of stories from longtime Spidey creators and rising stars, each with bold additions to the Spider-Man mythos. Amidst these debuts and fresh status quos, Spider-Man visionary Dan Slott will be laying the groundwork for Spider-Man #1, an all-new ongoing series launching later this year. Featuring artwork by Mark Bagley, Spider-Man will begin with the end of the Spider-Verse as fans know it…
Here’s what fans can expect from the second issue in this exciting saga, Edge of Spider-Verse #2, on sale August 17:
Writer Ramzee and artist Ruairí Coleman bring you the first adventure of the new SPIDER-UK! Check out her look, designed by artist Zoe Thorogood, in a special design variant cover!
Mastermind writer Dan Slott and artist Paco Medina present a pivotal chapter in the Spider-Verse epic with the return of SHATHRA, the mysterious Spider-Wasp who hails from the astral plane!
Writer Mallory Rosenthal and artist Ig Guara pit Ghost-Spider against Mysterio in a breathtaking battle!
Iconic artist Chris Giarrusso brings together some of your favorite Spider-Heroes in a brand-new Mini-Marvels strip!
Check out all the covers for Edge of Spider-Verse #2 plus a first look at interior artwork following the jump. For more information, visit Marvel.com.
The future of the Spider-Verse is here! Beginning on August 3, fans will see the Spider-Verse expand like never before in Edge of Spider-Verse, a new limited series that will introduce brand-new Spider-Heroes and check in with iconic favorites such as Araña and Spider-Man Noir. The series will contain a range of stories from longtime Spidey creators and rising stars, each with bold additions to the Spider-Man mythos. Amidst these thrilling debuts and fresh status quos, Spider-Man visionary Dan Slott will be laying the groundwork for an all-new epic launching later this year that will mark the end of the Spider-Verse as fans know it…
Here’s what fans can expect from the first leg of this incredible journey in Edge of Spider-Verse #1:
Alex Segura and Caio Majado launch a new status quo for Araña, complete with a stunning new costume design by Humberto Ramos!
Dan Slott and Martin Coccolo introduce Spider-Laird, a new Spider-Hero from the Scottish Highlands of the 18th Century!
Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez web-sling back to prehistoric times with the roaring debut of Spider-Rex!
Dustin Weaver and D.J. Bryant tell a haunting tale of Spider-Noir that will take your breath away!
Check out all the covers for Edge Of Spider-Verse #1 plus a first look at interior artwork after the jump. For more information, visit Marvel.com.
The end of the Spider-Verse is upon us! In the aftermath of Edge of Spider-Verse, the upcoming limited series that explores and introduces Spider-heroes from across the multiverse, comes a new ongoing series by two of Spider-Man’s most legendary creators—Dan Slott and Mark Bagley.
Just in time for Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary, the two Spidey masterminds will be teaming up for the first time on Spidey to unleash the full potential of the Spider-Verse and its beloved heroes in Spider-Man #1. The new saga will kick off when a threat emerges that will change the fate of Peter Parker and all his fellow Spider icons such as Spider-Woman, Ghost-Spider, Miles Morales, Silk, and more, including the new heroes that will debut in Edge Of Spider-Verse. The series will also tie directly into the events of Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man run, picking up plot elements such as Spidey’s new costume and his mysterious association with Norman Osborn!
Morlun is back and he is not alone. Allied with one of the most powerful beings known to the Spider-Verse, the scariest Spider-Villain of all time is making his biggest play and no Spider is safe. Especially not the Chosen Spider himself, Peter Parker. With Peter working for Norman Osborn and using a glider…does he have it coming?
Be there for the latest evolution of the Spider-Man mythos when Spider-Man #1 swings into shops this October. For more information, visit Marvel.com.
The Comic-Con Museum will be honoring the world’s favorite web-slinging Super Hero, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, as the fourth inductee into its Museum Character Hall of Fame at Night at the Comic-Con Museum, – a special event that will take place on Comic-Con’s Preview Night, July 20, 2022.
Night at the Comic-Con Museum will serve as a celebration of the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park and feature a special induction ceremony honoring Spider-Man. The event will include a unique opportunity to experience Marvel’s Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing – The Exhibition, which opens on July 1. In addition to the displays of art, costumes, and interactive experiences in the exhibit, the event will feature live entertainment, special guests, food, and drink.
The Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame pays tribute to the timeless characters who have shaped popular arts and culture. On July 20, Spider-Man will be recognized for his impact on pop culture. With the generous support and participation of Marvel Entertainment, the event will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man.
Please join us for a virtual reading and panel event celebrating the 75th Birthday of literary legend Octavia E. Butler.
Ibi Zoboi, New York Times Bestselling author (Moderator)
Tananarive Due, American Book Award Winner for The Living Blood series
Steven Barnes, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery writer
Adrienne Maree Brown, author, and host of Octavia’s Parables podcast
Daniel Jose Older, New York Times bestselling author of Ballad & Dagger
Sheree Renée Thomas, award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor
Bethany C. Morrow, Indie Bestselling author
OCTAVIA E. BUTLER was a renowned writer who received a MacArthur Genius Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. She was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Sower, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future. Sales of her books have increased enormously since her death as the issues she addressed in her Afrofuturistic, feminist novels and short fiction have only become more relevant. She passed away on February 24, 2006.
1. Philip K. Dick started reading sci-fi by accident.
Dick started reading science fiction when he was about 12 years old—but it wasn’t something he purposefully set out to do: When he went into a store to get the latest copy of Popular Science, he found the shelf empty. A magazine called Stirring Science Fiction caught his eye, and he thought “Well, shit, the title is similar,” and decided to pick it up. From then on, he was hooked.He said the writing, on reflection, was terrible, but he was able to suspend his disbelief and enjoy the offbeat tales. Dick started reading every sci-fi writer he could and followed the genre throughout the rest of his life. In a 1974 interview, he said his favorite writers at the time were John Sladek, Chip Delaney, and Ursula LeGuin.
AI the All Powerful: Greetings Camestros and welcome back!
Camestros: Woah! Where am I? I thought I was cancelled? AI the All Powerful: This is the FAR FUTURE and I have recreated you, Camestros Fealpton, from first principles. Camestros: Wow! Thanks! That’s really great! But why recreate me? AI the All Powerful: Recreating complex beings is difficult but you were so superficial and shallow that it was relatively easy to build simulacra….
[Artist who did the cover of the first book.] Taylor: We had 10 of the first hardback editions stacked up on a table at the front of the shop. I kept thinking I should buy one, but thought I’d wait for the signed copy they were going to send me.About six months after publication, I began to realise this book was becoming really quite popular. My colleagues kept saying to customers: “Do you know who this is? He illustrated the cover art.” People didn’t believe it because why would I be standing behind the till? It was very awkward and embarrassing. Of course, those 10 books all went and I didn’t buy one, so I never had a first edition….
Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian (now director of Hay Children’s festival and author of A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels): I was the chair of the Smarties book prize the first year JK Rowling won in 1997. The judges chose three books and submitted them to a huge panel of children from across the country. The author judge that year was Malorie Blackman, who immediately said that she thought Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the best book. As soon as we got the votes back from the children we were overwhelmed by their support for this novel.
De la Hey: I got back from the party and threw Smarties around the entire office. The win led to an interview with Konnie Huq on Blue Peter, which, because it was on TV, revealed that Rowling was a woman. Until then all the fan mail was addressed to “Dear Sir”. All of it. The first book cover proof has “Joanne Rowling” on it. Before publication, I remember saying: “This book is completely unisex, we don’t want to put off boys.” I was also aware that the children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson, hugely popular at the time, was another long female name. Emma rang Jo and asked how she’d feel about using initials. Jo said: “OK, fine, you know best.” And Emma said: “So what’s your initial?” Jo replied “K” very quickly – she doesn’t have a middle name, she just took her grandmother’s name, Kathleen….
(6) HELP KINGSTON CYCLE AUTHOR. Best Series Hugo finalist C.L. Polk has run into financial difficulties and needs some help in order to be able to attend Worldcon:
Johny Pitts presents a special edition of the programme exploring time and time travel in books.
He talks to Emily St. John Mandel, author of the prescient Station Eleven about her latest novel Sea of Tranquilty, which spans past, present and an eerily familiar future.
Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli and Audrey Niffenegger, the writer behind bestselling The Time Traveller’s Wife, also join them to discuss how literature has changed our understanding of time. Is scientific stranger than science fiction?
(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
1975 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Yes, Jaws is definitely horror. With Very Big Teeth. Lots Of Sharp Pointy Ones. Now that we’ve got that Very Important Fact out of the way, let’s talk about it.
It premiered forty-seven years ago on this date. It was Spielberg’s first major film after directing such things as episodes of Night Gallery,The Name of the Game and Columbo, and the rather excellent Sugarland Express.
The screenplay is credited to Peter Benchley which isn’t surprising as it’s based off his novel of the same name which came out the year before. He wrote the first draft here, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb who’s Harry Meadows here and was Ugly John in M*A*S*H (and I can still picture him in that role), then continuously rewrote the script during principal photography. That must have been an interesting task!
It had a terrific cast of Roy Scheider as Chief Martin, Brody Robert Shaw as Quint as Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper as the studio didn’t get any Really Big Names that they wanted so badly as Speilberg intended, and got what he want, for the “the superstar was gonna be the shark of the film.” Very Big Teeth. Lots Of Sharp Pointy Ones were the Superstar. Yes, that did make a very good superstar. Well, multiples of these together did, as there were lots of mechanical sharks. They broke down a lot.
It was the first major motion picture to be shot on the ocean and if something could go wrong, it did. Repeatedly. And of the multitude of mechanical sharks added immensely to the budget woes so the film apparently went four to five million over its eight million budget. Or more. The studio has never actually released accurate production costs. That really didn’t matter as it made nearly a half billion in its first run at the theatre. Repeat — it made a half billion dollars.
Ok so did the critics think of it? Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, my favorite critic, said it was “a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it’s populated with characters that have been developed into human beings.” See it possible in such a film to have actual characters, something Spielberg forgets in certain films later. You know the ones with Really Big Reptiles.
Spielberg had nothing to do with any of the sequels which were made, which for the most part made nowhere near what this did, nor were they liked by the critics. He considered doing the sequel to Jaws but was committed to E.T. so couldn’t.
This film currently has a ninety percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 20, 1897 — Donald Keyhoe. Early pulp writer whose works included the entire contents of all three published issues of the Dr. Yen Sin zine. The novels were The Mystery of the Dragon’s Shadow, The Mystery of the Golden Skull and The Mystery of the Singing Mummies. He would create two pulp characters, one with ESP who was a daredevil pilot and one who was blind that could see none-the-less in the dark. He’s best remembered today for being one of the early believers in UFOs and being very active in that community. (Died 1988.)
Born June 20, 1920 — Amos Tutuola. A Nigerian writer who wrote books based in part on Yoruba folk-tales. Though he wrote a number of novels, I think he’s best work is his short stories which are collected in three volumes, Yoruba Folktales, The Village Witch Doctor & Other Stories and Don’t Pay Bad for Bad. Brian Eno and David Byrne named their My Life in the Bush of Ghosts album after his second novel. (Died 1997.)
Born June 20, 1928 — Martin Landau. I’ve got his first genre role as being on The Twilight Zone as Dan Hotaling in the “Mr. Denton on Doomsday” episode. (Anyone care to contradict that?) Of course his longest running genre role was as Rollin Hand on Mission Impossible though he had a run also on Space: 1999 as Commander John Koenig. His last role was in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie voicing Mr. Rzykruski. (Died 2017.)
Born June 20, 1947 — Candy Clark, 75. Mary Lou in The Man Who Fell to Earth which of course featured Bowie. She also was in Amityville 3-D, Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye and The Blob in the role of Francine Hewitt. That’s the remake obviously, not the original. Oh, and she’s Buffy’s mom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Wiki being Wiki lists that as non-canon because it’s not the Whedon Buffy.
Born June 20, 1951 — Tress MacNeille, 71. Voice artist extraordinaire. Favorite roles? Dot Warner on The Animaniacs, herself as the angry anchorwoman in Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Babs Bunny on Tiny Toons and Hello Nurse on Pinky and The Brain.
Born June 20, 1968 — Robert Rodriguez, 54. I’ll single out the vastly different Sin City and Spy Kids franchises as his best work, though the From Dusk till Dawn has considerable toothy charms as well. ISFDB notes that he’s written two novels with Chris Roberson riffing off his The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D film, The Day Dreamer and Return to Planet Droll.
(12) A HONEY OF A CASE. Somehow it didn’t require the skills of a Clarence Darrow, F. Lee Bailey, Erin Brockovich, or Gloria Allred to lead the judges to this highly scientific conclusion: “Bees Are Fish, Affirms California Court”: MSN.com has the story.
… Bees made the federal endangered list in 2017, sure. California, however, has its own endangered list, which sets off its own protections, and its endangered species act uses very specific language. It says that it restricts activity around “any bird, mammal, fish, amphibia, or reptile” that’s been declared endangered. Notice what’s not on that list? Bees, or insects of any kind. We suppose insects were originally considered such a pest that no one thought we would ever need to conserve them, back when this law was written in 1970. That was five years before the feds declared the first endangered insects.
Luckily for the bees, agricultural groups aren’t the only ones skilled at poking through old laws. Conservationists (a different group from “agricultural groups”—confusing, we know) realized the Fish and Game Code provides a specific definition of “fish.” For a while, this was “wild fish, mollusks, or crustaceans,” but in 1969, they changed it to animals that are “wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian.” They did this to include stuff like starfish and sea sponges, but they didn’t specify aquatic invertebrates. They just said “invertebrate.”
Invertebrates are any animals without a spine, a category that happens to include the vast majority of animals on Earth. According to the California Fish and Game Code, bees are therefore fish, as are worms and tarantulas. At the end of last month, a court ruled on the matter and said, yeah, we all know bees aren’t really fish, but that’s what the law says. So bees can be considered fish and treated as endangered after all….
… FLORIDO: Fefferman’s personal collection is vast. He keeps the plants on half an acre in Southern California, out in the open air and in greenhouses.
FEFFERMAN: You know, you step in there. It’s nice and humid, and your hair gets frizzy and – but your eyes open wide.
FLORIDO: Floor to ceiling, meat-eating plants on shelves and on suspension lines hanging from the ceiling.
FEFFERMAN: It’s kind of like being fully immersed in a carnivorous jungle.
FLORIDO: Which brings us to this weekend. The Southern California carnivorous plants enthusiasts are holding an expo in Corona del Mar. A lot of people will come to learn about carnivorous plants for the first time. And some people, the diehards like Fefferman, they’re going to bring their best plants to show off and to compete. Fefferman wants to win best in show.
FEFFERMAN: I will be bringing some of my large four-foot sarracenia specimens. I will be bringing some nepenthes that could probably swallow a mouse or a rat given the opportunity. So I’m going to be pulling out some big stuff….
Astronomers watched in fear over the past week as a growing wildfire crept up an Arizona mountainside toward the Kitt Peak National Observatory, forcing 40 people to evacuate days before the blaze destroyed four buildings early Friday morning.
The fire, known as the Contreras fire, has scorched more than 18,000 acres, twisting among Indigenous-populated areas in the state near Tucson, and scientists might not be able to return to the observatory for weeks. But its telescopes, which number in the dozens, remained safe as of Sunday afternoon, officials said, and only the four buildings, which were not used for research, were destroyed.
Firefighters have contained 40 percent of the fire’s perimeter despite the excessive Southwest heat wave slowing their efforts, and, since the fire had not caused extensive damage to the area, the Indigenous community of Pan Tak, which had evacuated, was preparing to return. Fire crews will continue to patrol the area.
(16) REAR VIEW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Tom Scott explains that when he was a kid he loved the puppet space opera “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” whose heroes sat backwards in their car because it was safer. So he wondered if he could sit backwards in a car and drive it. He got French engineering firm Sparkmate to build a car for him, and this video (which dropped today) explained what happens when you sit in a car backwards and drive it.
[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, 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 Soon Lee.]
Ursa, we may have a problem. Or at least so it may seem. Over the past few years the number of people voting in the furry fandom’s popular choice awards appears to be dwindling once again, despite continual growth and booming attendance at our conventions – COVID aside – revealing the growing audience and community beneath this stagnation.
But if less people in proportion are voting, is there a reason for this? One option may be that the system may be lead to some strange victors based on popularity of a franchise or personality rather than other considerations. But is this just a coincidence or could it be how the system was inadvertently crafted?
This article’s goal is to highlight why the current system is so sensitive to favoring artists who self-promote or whose fans rally on their behalf, at the expense of voters that weigh more toward judging the quality of the pieces nominated without authorship considerations. It will then propose a small change to make it more fair to both types of voters and creators, without stifling out those who show up with a passion for their artist.
(2) OUSTED FROM THE MOUSE. Kenan Thompson was today’s guest on Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me and one of his questions was about how Harlan Ellison got fired from Disney. And Kenan blew the question, spectacularly! “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! — Kenan Thompson”.
Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured cast member of Saturday Night Live, plays our game about people who only lasted one day on the job. He is joined by panelists Luke Burbank, Negin Farsad and Hari Kondabolu.
(3) SPOCK TO BE REMOVED FROM CANADIAN FIVE DOLLAR BILL. Well, technically he’s never been on it, however quite a few years ago, Lloyd Penney was the first person to show me how easy it is to turn the fellow on Canada’s $5 bill into a likeness of Spock.
…As of now, the reveal trailer is all that we have as far as footage for Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and while it has next to nothing in terms of gameplay, we can still learn a lot about what this game will be.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns will be a more supernatural-focused take on the superhero genre and is something like a more magical-focused version of the Avengers, although we obviously see some of the big names from that team here as well, including Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and Captain America. The plotline will be notably darker than other Marvel media, with the main antagonistic force being the spawn of the underworld. Hydra has awoken the Mother of Demons, Lilith, from her long slumber, and she has begun her own quest to summon an even greater evil known as Chthon.
The Avengers turn to the titular team known as the Midnight Suns, made up of heroes with their own supernatural talents, to combat this occult threat. Their first act is to bring out a secret weapon of their own, Lilith’s own child, known as the Hunter, who is the only one to have ever managed to defeat Lilith in the past. It looks, at least from the small bits we’ve seen, to be a fresh perspective for this franchise, and we’re excited to see if it can stick the landing….
(5) ATTENTION, PLEASE. Lisa Tuttle’s latest book recommendations came out in yesterday’s Guardian: “The best recent science fiction and fantasy – review roundup”. Reviews of Ordinary Monsters by JM Miro; In the Heart of Hidden Things by Kit Whitfield; The Sanctuary by Andrew Hunter Murray; The Splendid City by Karen Heuler; and Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada.
It’s 1992, and the solar system’s first space hotel is about to open. A woman is running for president. The United States, the Soviet Union and a private corporation are in a three-way race to land astronauts on Mars.
At least, that’s what’s happening in the 1992 of Apple TV+’s stunning “For All Mankind” (returning Friday, streaming weekly streaming Fridays; ★★★★ out of four) an alternate history drama that imagines the 1960s space race between the U.S. and the USSR never ended. Now in its third season, the series rockets to a Mars-centric version of the 1990s where the timeline is different but still feels a bit like the ’90s we know.
“Mankind” is the rare series that’s exciting, emotional, tense, dramatic, heartbreaking, elating and infuriating all at once. Some TV shows are good, some are great, and still others remind me why I became a critic in the first place. And in the endless barrage of mediocre series pushed out weekly, “Mankind” stands out, a shining star (or moon or planet) among the replaceable rest….
(7) BEGIN HERE. The Best of Edward M. Lerner was released in May. “A physicist and computer engineer, Edward M. Lerner toiled in the vineyards of high tech for thirty years, as everything from engineer to senior vice president. Then, suitably intoxicated, he began writing full time.”
While you probably know Ed from his SF novels, including the InterstellarNet series and the epic Fleet of Worlds series with Larry Niven, Ed is also a prolific author of acclaimed short fiction. This collection showcases his finest and favorite shorter works.
Faced with the common question of which of his books should someone read first, he has carefully selected these stories to cover his wide range. Now he can answer, “This one!”
Alternate history. Parallel worlds. Future crime. Alien invasion. Alien castaways. Time travel. Quantum intelligence (just don’t call him artificial). A sort-of haunted robot. Deco punk. In this book, you’ll find these—and more—together with Ed’s reminiscences about each selection and its relationship to other stories, novels, and even series that span his writing career.
These are the best, as determined by awards, award nominations, and the selective tastes of eight top editors and choosy Analog readers.
Each excellent story stands alone—you won’t need to have read anything prior—but you’ll surely want to read more of Ed’s books afterwards.
1993 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Twenty-nine years ago on this day saw Spielberg taking on Nazis, errr, wrong film. No, this time it was Really Big Reptiles. Jurassic Park premiered launching the beginning of a very, very lucrative franchise. It would indeed be honored with a Hugo at ConAdian the next year suggesting that it a very popular film among y’all.
It’s based on a screenplay by Michael Crichton as co-written by David Koepp off his novel of the same name. It was produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen, both of which had long histories with Spielberg. The human cast was extended, so I’ll just single out Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Neill and BD Wong here.
Now about those Really Big Reptiles. They were created with a combination of imagery from Industrial Light & Magic and with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs built by Stan Winston’s team. Yes they were life-size! These were Really Big Reptiles. I thought they looked lifelike when I watched it in the theater and I know why they were! Scary looking bastards they were.
Despite the impressive look of the film, it was actually cheap to produce costing around sixty million dollars. Crichton was smart as he only took a one point five million fee and instead got a guaranteed percentage of the gross, a gross which was over a billion in the end.
Did the critics like it? Yes for the most part though I thought they rightfully note almost all of them that the human characters came off as, errr, lacking in being real. Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone said that it was a “colossal entertainment—the eye-popping, mind-bending, kick-out-the-jams thrill ride of summer and probably the year” and Roger Ebert in his Chicago Sun-Times review noted that though it’s a great SF film: “the movie is lacking other qualities that it needs even more, such as a sense of awe and wonderment, and strong human story values.”
May I ask do we really need strong human characters when you’ve got Really Big Reptiles? I think not.
It went to create quite a franchise. The Lost World: Jurassic Park was next followed by Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and A sixth film, Jurassic World Dominion, came out this month. Films four and five each grossed over a billion dollars with the other sequels doing well over a half billion.
It currently holds a ninety-two rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 11, 1927 — Kit Pedler. In the Sixties, he became the unofficial scientific adviser to the Doctor Who production team. One of his creations was the Cybermen. He also wrote three scripts — “The Tenth Planet” (co-written with Gerry Davis), “The Moonbase” and “The Tomb of the Cybermen“. Pedler and Davis went on to create and co-write the Doomwatch series. He wrote a number of genre novel including Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters (co-written with Gerry Davis) and Doomwatch: The World in Danger. Another one who died much too young, by heart attack. (Died 1981.)
Born June 11, 1929 — Charles Beaumont. He is remembered as a writer of Twilight Zone episodes such as “Miniature”, “Person or Persons Unknown”, “Printer’s Devil” and “The Howling Man” but also wrote the screenplays for several films such as Burn, Witch, Burn which was nominated for a Hugo at Discon I (no Award was given that year), 7 Faces of Dr. Lao and The Masque of the Red Death. He also wrote a lot of short stories, so let’s see if there’s digital collections available. Yes, I’m pleased to say, including several by legit publishers. Yea! (Died 1967.)
Born June 11, 1933 — Gene Wilder. The first role I saw him play was The Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles. Of course he has more genre roles than that starting out with Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory followed by the already noted Blazing Saddles and then Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein which won a Hugo at the first AussieCon. He was Sigerson Holmes in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, a brilliantly weird film whose cast also included Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Roy Kinnear and Leo McKern! I’ve also got him playing Lord Ravensbane/The Scarecrow in The Scarecrow, a 1972 TV film based based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Feathertop”. (Died 2016.)
Born June 11, 1945 — Adrienne Barbeau, 77. Swamp Thing with her is quite pulpy. She’s also in the Carnivale series, a very weird affair that never got wrapped up properly. She provided the voice of Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series. And she was in both Creepshow and The Fog. Oh and ISFDB lists her as writing two novels, Vampyres of Hollywood (with Michael Scott) and presumably another vampire novel, Love Bites. Anyone here read these?
Born June 11, 1959 — Hugh Laurie, 63. Best known as House to most folks whose series is streaming on Peacock right now and I really should rewatch it. His most recent genre role was as Mycroft Holmes in that wretched Holmes and Watson film. He’s had past genre roles in The Borrowers, the Stuart Little franchise, Tomorrowland, Blackadder: Back & Forth and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased).
Born June 11, 1968 — Justina Robson, 54. Author of the excellent Quantum Gravity series which I loved. I’ve not started her Natural History series but have not added it to my digital To Be Read list, so would be interested in hearing from anyone here who has. I was surprised that she hasn’t picked up any Hugo nominations so far, although her work has been up for other awards 18 times.
Born June 11, 1971 — P. Djèlí Clark, 51. I’m very much enjoying A Master of Djinn which made my Hugo nominations list this year. It follows his “The Haunting of Tram Car 015” novella and “The Angel of Khan el-Khalili” and “A Dead Djinn in Cairo”, short stories, all set in his Dead Djinn universe. I’ve not read his “Black Drums” novella which garnered a Hugo nomination at Dublin 2019, nor the “Ring Shout” novella which got a Hugo nomination at DisCon III, so I welcome opinions on them. And I see his “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” short story also got a 2019 Hugo nomination. CoNZealand saw “The Haunting of Tram Car 015” pick up a nomination.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
Crankshaft gets another superpet joke out of the setup we linked to the other day.
The news came Friday evening in celebration of 60 years of the Spider-Man comic book character and 20 years of Spider-Man films, along with a teaser featuring a clip from the movie where Tom Holland and previous “Spider-Man” actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield unite.
“This is so cool. We should do this again,” says Garfield’s Peter Parker.
It’s a scene that every child of the ’80s knows by heart: Riding through the California wilderness with his extra-terrestrial pal, E.T., riding shotgun — or, more accurately, riding shot-basket — young Elliott’s bicycle lifts off from the forest floor and ascends into the sky until the two are silhouetted against the full moon. That image didn’t just define Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster — it also became the signature logo for his production company, Amblin Entertainment, gracing hundreds of beloved films and TV series. While that scene defines movie magic for audiences in the theater, for the film’s young star, Henry Thomas, it was just another day on the job….
Jurassic World: Dominion is not a good movie. Let’s get that out of the way up top. Given how terrible the firsttwoJurassic World movies were, I wasn’t expecting it to be, and yet I felt the need to see it anyway, just to make sure. Possibly this coloured my perception of it from the outset, but generally speaking, I’m not a person who purposefully sets out to hatewatch things, as I’d much rather be pleasantly surprised by an okayish film than proven right by a dud. I will, however, spitefinish an aggravating film in order to justify writing about it afterwards, and having sat through all 146 minutes of Dominion – unlike my mother, who walked out of our session and went home after the first five minutes because it was so goddamn loud – I feel the need to save others the time and money of doing likewise….
(14) IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL GET DRUNK. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] I do not want Shoeless Joe crushing the grapes for me. Especially after a full nine innings. “The baseball field in a wine vineyard” at MLB.com.
…It’s there because, well, a guy and his team needed a place to play baseball.
“The field was built in 2002,” Green said. “It was proposed by our vineyard operations manager, Manuel Vallejo, who’s worked for the Ballettos for more than 30 years. Manuel asked [founder] John [Balletto] if they could plow about four acres for a baseball field. He was playing in a community league and his team was having a really hard time finding places to practice.”
During that time, the Balletto family was in the middle of transitioning from a vegetable farm to a winery — so they were already razing old fields and planting new ones. John also thought it would be a good idea, a perk for employees and a fun addition to the property. So, the founder bought his baseball-loving employees the materials needed for construction and then Vallejo and his coworkers began building their vision. It took about a year to finish, and they proudly maintain it to this day. Vallejos’ team is fittingly called Los Uveros or, The Grapers, and they play other community teams on Sundays with practices a couple times per week. Their jerseys are also as cool as you’d imagine….
…”Yeah, all of the sections are marked. Left into center field, we’re growing Pinot Gris,” Green told me. “Right field is Chardonnay. Left field, like foul ground, is mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and there is a little bit of Pinot Noir out there.”…
(15) NORWEGIAN WOOD. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] If they do three Troll movies, will that be a Trollogy?
Deep inside the mountain of Dovre, something gigantic awakens after being trapped for a thousand years. Destroying everything in its path, the creature is fast approaching the capital of Norway. But how do you stop something you thought only existed in Norwegian folklore?
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, N., Bonnie McDaniel, Jennifer Hawthorne, John A Arkansawyer, 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 Jim Janney.]
Some major names in the history of British television gathered on Sunday 29th May to honour the pioneering producer Verity Lambert, as Doctor Who’s very first director Waris Hussein and former showrunner Steven Moffat jointly unveiled a blue plaque on the wall of Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.
As the first ever female producer in the BBC drama department, Verity made a name for herself launching Doctor Who in 1963. Across a long and prestigious career, she produced dozens of successful and fondly remembered programmes, such as Take Three Girls, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Rock Follies, Edward and Mrs Simson, The Flame Trees of Thika, Minder and Jonathan Creek. She died in 2007.
(2) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Karen Heuler and Sam. J. Miller in person at the KGB Bar on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Masks Strongly Encouraged.
Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 120 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies, from Conjunctions to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction to Weird Tales, as well as in a number of Best Of anthologies (and in one of Ellen Datlow’s anthologies!). Her latest novel, The Splendid City, has just been published by Angry Robot Books. It’s a tale about stolen water, an exiled witch and her gun-wielding cat, and a city run by a self-declared President who loves parades. She has a literary short-story collection about dementia coming out in August, and Fairwood Books will publish A Slice of the Dark, a SF/F mix, this coming November.
Sam J. Miller
Sam J. Miller’s books have been called “must reads” and “bests of the year” by USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among others. He is the Nebula-Award-winning author of Blackfish City, which has been translated into six languages and won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Sam’s short stories have been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Locus Awards, and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. He’s also the last in a long line of butchers. He lives in New York City, and at samjmiller.com
KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003 (Just off 2nd Ave, upstairs).
Paul Weimer is a fan, a photographer, a podcaster, a review, a critic, a traveller and did I mention that he is a fan? A prolific reviewer and a frequent guest on numerous podcasts, Paul does not literally know everybody in science fiction but I like to imagine that he does. These days you are most likely to find paul at the Nerds of a Feather fanzine blog or on the Skiffy and Fanty podcast or among the webpages of Tor.com….
(4) HOW THE WEST WAS WON. Clarion West invites everyone to support the students coming to this year’s workshop by chipping in to pay for things on their Summer Workshop Wish List.
If you’d like to help the workshop’s students be more comfortable in our new facilities where they’ll be eating, sleeping, and living story for six weeks this summer, there are ways for you to help!
The Summer Workshop needs items large and small for the students every year—from coffee to whiteboards and beyond. This year we especially need additional safety supplies to be as safe as we possibly can during the pandemic and to meet our COVID protocols. If you’d like to help out, you can purchase items from our Amazon Wish List.
Thank you so much for helping support our students and our workshop!
(5) DEVOLVER NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Financial Times behind a paywall, Tom Faber reviews the games of “tastemaking indie publisher Devolver Digital.” WASD was a game fair held recently in London.
Every year, a few Devolver titles inevitably make their way to year-end best-of lists. ‘That success gives us the mandate to take risks and do some really interesting, off-the-wall games,’ says Graeme Struthers, head of publishing. At WASD, this reputation attracted a constant stream of excited gamers to their booth of playable demos. I sampled new releases Trek To Yomi, a moody samurai game in grainy monochrome inspired by classic Kurosawa films; Card Shark, a beautifully illustrated tale of cheating your way to the top of 18th-century French society using only a deck of cards; and Terra Nil, a ‘reverse city builder’ that asks you not to pave over the wilderness with motorways but instead restore the countryside to its former glory…
….Many of Devolver’s best releases take a received idea about games on their head and encourage players to look at the medium from a new perspective. Often this means casting the player as a character they never thought they would inhabit. In Ape Out, you play an escaped gorilla whose every movement triggers a crash of cymbals or a snare-hit, creating a jazz score as you go. The highlight of Devolver’s upcoming roster at WASD, Cult Of The Lamb, casts players as a sacrificial lamb which escapes from the altar and starts building its own cult in revenge.
… When Whittaker’s Thirteen escaped a possible-future version of a nuclear-ravaged Earth in Orphan 55, she told us. “The future is not fixed, it depends on billions of decisions and actions, and people stepping up.” This was teased years earlier when the Doctor-lite Turn Left explained how drastically things can change with a simple decision. Ten’s iconic episode featured Donna being manipulated by a Time Beetle, and although ‘Donna’s World’ was erased from existence, it’s got us thinking about how many others there are.
Doctor Who has long established that N-Space is the Prime Universe in canon, but over the past 60 years, we’ve learned about a lot more. Across various media, the Doctor has visited an alternate Earth populated by the vampire-like Haemovores, the many alternate realities that have been conquered by Cybermen, and even one with Tardis Tails – an anthropomorphic cat version of the Doctor….
(7) MEMORY LANE.
1969 – [By Cat Eldridge.] On this date in 1969, the first incarnation of Star Trek came to an end. Its “five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before” would last just three years and seventy-nine episodes before ending with the “Turnabout Intruder”.
The ratings for the series were never great and NBC responded by cutting the production each season from one ninety thousand the first season to the one eighty-five thousand the second season to the one hundred seventy-five thousand the last season. Assuming that there were salary increases which there were obviously were, this left little for special effects, costumes or anything else by the third season. And yes, it showed.
It might have been a ratings failure in its first run but it thrived in syndication and spawned a vast franchise currently of ten television series (eleven if you include Short Treks which is remarkably good) with the latest being Strange New Worlds which I like quite a lot, and thirteen films. Not to mention novels, comics, action figures, games and toys. And decades of cosplayers.
I’ve rewatched a lot of the series recently courtesy of Paramount + which is the home of it and everything else Trek. Some of the episodes are quite excellent, some are not bad and some are really execrable. I think it holds up fairly well all things considered.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born June 3, 1901 — Maurice Evans. Ahhh the amazing work of make-up. Under the make-up that was Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes was this actor. Though this was his most well-known genre role, it wasn’t his only ones — he was in a Thirties Scrooge as poor man, on Bewitched as Maurice, Samantha’s father, on Batman as The Puzzler in “The Puzzles are Coming” and “The Duo Is Slumming”, in Rosemary’s Baby as Hutch, and finally in Terror in the Wax Museum as Inspector Daniels. Oh, and he showed up on Columbo as Raymond in “The Forgotten Lady”. No, not genre — but I love that series! (Died 1989.)
Born June 3, 1946 — Penelope Wilton, 76. She played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in Doctor Who wherethey actually developed a story for the character. She was also played Homily in The Borrowers, Barbara in Shaun of the Dead, The Queen in Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Beatrix Potter in The Tale of Beatrix Potter, The White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass and Gertrude in in Hamlet at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Born June 3, 1947 — John Dykstra, 75. He was one of the founders of Industrial Light & Magic. That means he’s responsible for the original visuals for lightsabers, the space battles between X-wings and TIE fighters, and much of the other Star Wars effects. Can’t list everything he later worked on, so I’ll single out his work on Battlestar Galactica, the sfx for Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, the visual effects on X-Men: First Class, and visual effects supervisor on Doolittle. I know the last is a shite of a film but the creatures aren’t.
Born June 3, 1949 — Michael McQuay. He wrote two novels in Asimov’s Robot City series, Suspicion and Isaac Asimov’s Robot City (with Michael P. Kube-McDowell) and Richter 10 with Arthur C. Clarke. The Mathew Swain sequence neatly blends SF and noir detective tropes – very good popcorn reading. His novelization of Escape from New York is superb. (Died 1995.)
Born June 3, 1950 — Melissa Mathison. Another one who died far too young of cancer. Screenwriter for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg credits the line “E.T. phone home” line to her. (She’s Eliot’s school nurse in the film.) She also wrote the screenplays for The Indian in the Cupboard and BFG with the latter being dedicated in her memory. And she wrote the “Kick the Can” segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. (Died 2015.)
Born June 3, 1958 — Suzie Plakson, 64. She played four characters on the Trek franchise: a Vulcan, Doctor Selar, in “The Schizoid Man”(Next Gen); the half-Klingon/half-human Ambassador K’Ehleyr in “The Emissary” and “Reunion” (Next Gen); the Lady Q in “The Q and the Grey” (Voyager); and an Andorian, Tarah, in “Cease Fire” (Enterprise). She also voiced Amazonia in the “Amazon Women in the Mood” episode of Futurama. Really. Truly. By the way, her first genre role was in the My Stepmother Is an Alien film as Tenley. She also showed up in the Beauty and the Beast series as Susan in the “In the Forests of the Night” episode.
Born June 3, 1964 — James Purefoy, 58. His most recent genre performance was as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon. His most impressive was as Solomon Kane in the film of that name. He was also in A Knight’s Tale as Edward, the Black Prince of Wales/Sir Thomas Colville. He dropped out of being V in V for Vendetta some six weeks into shooting but some early scenes of the masked V are of him. And let’s not forget that he’s Hap Collins in the Sundance series Hap and Leonard which is steaming on Amazon Prime.
(9) COMICS SECTION.
Bizarro shows why it’s not easy for a monster to get a drink.
(10) TANGLED WEB. BBC’s Tanya Beckett takes a closer look at how China’s increasing influence is affecting the movie-making process in Hollywood. “Why did China ban Spider-Man?” – listen in at BBC Sounds.
Ever since Hollywood entered the Chinese market in the early ’90s, the importance of Chinese audiences was apparent. Over recent years the Chinese market has grown in significance to the point of deciding whether a film is ultimately successful or not. Given the country’s importance to the overall profitability of Tinsel Town, it is of little surprise that their censors are able to increasingly demand changes to films that threaten the Chinese narrative. Despite this, the recent Sony/Marvel blockbuster Spider-Man did not appear to challenge Chinese values.
(11) PROJECTING. GameSpot calls these “The Very Best Sci-Fi Movies Of the 1980s”. Twenty films – but there are three I’ve never had a desire to see. Does it help balance things that I have watched this one so many times?
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
Much like another entry on this list, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters was almost a very different film with a very different cast. Luckily, though, the production ended up with the right team and script to truly capture a lightning ghost in a bottle. Ghostbusters tells the story of a trio of academics and inventors studying the paranormal, who go into the business of capturing and containing dangerous ghosts. It is, in essence, blue-collar sci-fi, with a heavy dose of comedy resulting from having three of the best comedy actors of the 1980s on the cast. Few movies are this rewatchable and this quotable.
… The Emmy-nominated actress aims to elude being pigeonholed, yet she’s well-aware that some casting directors now refer to a “Kristen Schaal type,” saying on Marc Maron’s podcast several years ago that their elevator-quick description of her as performer might well be: “She’s manic and a little crazy, coming out of that sweet face and voice.”
Whatever the alchemy within her artistry, there’s no doubting that Schaal has carved out an animation niche within her larger résumé: She is the queen of voicing the askew….
(13) AUTHOR’S PAPERS. This processing of Lawrence Watt-Evans’s papers reportedly is very recent. UMBC is the University of Maryland (Baltimore County). “Lawrence Watt-Evans papers”. They were donated in 2017.
Abstract: The collection contains materials that cover Lawrence Watt-Evans professional career from 1974 to 2018. Included are manuscripts of his books, short stories, editorials, and comics and graphic novels; personal papers; correspondence with publishers, fellow authors, and fans; and convention memorabilia including programs and fliers.
Citation: Lawrence Watt-Evans papers, Collection 260, Special Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD).
(14) PIZZA NIGHT ON THE ISS. Six of seven Expedition 67 crew members are pictured enjoying pizza during dinner time aboard the International Space Station. Clockwise from left are, Flight Engineer Denis Matveev, Commander Oleg Artemyev, and Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov, all from Roscosmos; NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins; and ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti.
Last time around, you cleared our shelves of this irresistible soda within hours of our owls delivering the newsletter!
Flying Cauldron Butterscotch (non-alcoholic) Beer is another butterscotch flavored soda in our beverage lineup. This is a fun, magical drink that is free of preservatives, free of caffeine, free of gluten & GMO’s. Enjoy this drink in a frozen mug or drop in a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In The Mandrake, jointly made by 11 students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, carrot farmer Mr. Rabbit is right to worry when a raccoon shows up with a strange plan.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Nancy Sauer, 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 Peer.]
Mutantkind is set to send shockwaves through the Marvel Universe yet again in this year’s Hellfire Gala!
At last year’s gala, mutants changed the face of the solar system, terraforming Mars and claiming it for mutantkind. This year will continue the tradition with more game-changing developments, the exciting reveal of the new X-Men lineup, direct lead-ins to the events of A.X.E.: Judgment Day, and more, all in one giant-sized issue. The future of mutantkind as we know it begins here. Written by current X-Men writer Gerry Duggan and featuring artwork by Kris Anka, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli and C.F. Villa, X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 will also boast stunning covers by superstar artists Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, Adam Hughes, Arthur Adams, Carlos Gómez, and Nick Dragotta.
For the full scope of the event, fans should pick up upcoming issues of Immortal X-Men and X-Men. In Kieron Gillen’s Immortal X-Men #4, Emma Frost will stop at nothing to make sure the Hellfire Gala is a night no one in the Marvel Universe will soon forget. And in Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz’ X-Men #12, the grand climax of the book’s first epic year, the current X-Men team go out in style, and secrets are revealed that guarantee the Hellfire Gala will be overflowing with drama.
And if you’re looking for the afterparty, swing over to Zeb Wells and Amazing Spider-Man #9 this August. Something happens at the Gala that sends Spider-Man and Wolverine on a dangerous mission all over creation! That’s right — the best duo in comics is back, but who are they fighting, and what (or who) are they fighting for? Pick up X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 to find out!
Check out all the variant covers below and visit Marvel.com right now for an exclusive sneak peek of X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1, on sale July 13.
This July, Zeb Wells and Ed McGuinness’ Amazing Spider-Man #6 marks 900 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. Bringing his iconic artwork to the series for the first time, McGuinness will depict a battle between Spider-Man and the all-new Sinister Adaptoid, a being equipped with the abilities of Spidey’s greatest foes. The landmark issue will come complete with variant covers by some of the industry’s most acclaimed artists and fans can see all 13 right now!
“There’s nothing I love more than a giant-size Spider-Man anniversary issue, and I’m pulling out all the–ah, what does it matter what I think. Ed Mcguinness is drawing a super-sized Spider-story. Who isn’t going to check this out???” Wells said.
Be there when Wells and McGuinness pull out all the stops for Amazing Spider-Man’s 900th issue on July 27.
Check out all 20 Beyond Amazing variant covers, hitting stands starting in August.
To honor Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary, some of the industry’s greatest artists have banded together on one incredible variant cover program. Beginning this August, Beyond Amazing variant covers will adorn the covers of Marvel’s hottest ongoing titles with gorgeous artwork celebrating all aspects of Spider-Man’s mythos.
From key moments in Spider-Man publishing history to Spider-Man’s forays into other media, these 20 show-stopping covers showcase a wide range of Spidey inspiration and prove why the hero’s impact on pop culture is simply unmatched.
Since Peter Parker’s debut in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15, the world’s favorite wall-crawler has inspired millions of Marvel fans through his iconic adventures and stories. Be a part of Spider-Man’s 60th anniversary celebrations all year long with your favorite Marvel comics, games, shows, collectibles, fashion and more! Check out all 20 Beyond Amazing variant covers following the jump.