Starting on July 27, X-Men visionary Chris Claremont teams up with artist Sid Kotian for a five-part Gambit limited series. Claremont, the writer who defined the X-Men and crafted the franchise’s most influential stories, is back with a brand-new X-Men saga starring one his most popular co-creations—Gambit.
Featuring artwork by rising star Sid Kotian, Gambit will be a five-issue limited series that invites fans back to the exciting time when Gambit and a de-aged Storm forged an everlasting bond as they thieved their way along the Mississippi River!
The series will unearth a wide range of previously untold adventures, from a brush with the Shadow King to an array of earthbound and out of this world escapades, that gives Claremont a chance to further explore Gambit’s path to becoming a heroic X-Man. And it reveals new insights into another trademark character of his, Storm, at a pivotal moment in her history. Get your first look at this story of action, intrigue and revenge in new interior artwork and variant covers by all-star artists Salvador Larroca, Peach Momoko, Scott Williams, and InHyuk Lee.
When asked why he chose to revisit this specific era, Claremont told AiPT Comics: “Because I considered it somewhere that provided the opportunity for a whole-lotta-fun to be had by all involved. Think about it: who notices kids? The way Remy dresses, not to mention his great body and gorgeous looks, most of the time all eyes turn towards him. [Kid] ‘Ro remains functionally invisible. Target looks to Remy, ‘Ro picks his pocket. But the true reason, frankly, is that the story turned out to be a whole lot more fun this way.”
Gambit #1 hits stands on July 27. For more information, visit Marvel.com. See the variant covers following the jump.
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.
Rising out of the ashes of Inferno and emerging out of the vital time-travelling mission in X Lives Of Wolverine/X Deaths Of Wolverine comes The Second Krakoan Age of X-Men: Destiny Of X. Mutantkind is reshaped once more, as Krakoa’s greatest triumphs and most crushing challenges still lie ahead. The possibilities are endless as your favorite ongoing X-series embrace their future, starting March 30.
The rulers of Krakoa strive to hold mutantkind together, no matter how much they want to tear each other apart in Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck’s IMMORTAL X-MEN #1
Kate Pryde enlists a new crew to rescue rescue mutants and unravel a vital mystery stretching two billion years into the past in Steve Orlando and Eleonora Carlini’s MARAUDERS #1
Mutantkind has taken over Mars and now they have to fight for it. Join Storm, Magneto, Sunspot, and more as they strive to save the red planet from war in Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli’s X-MEN RED #1
Krakoa’s deadly strike team deals with the mind-melding new threat known as CEREBRAX as Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill launch an all-new arc in X-FORCE #27
Captain Britain recruits nine knights to join her on a magical quest for the holy grail of mutantkind in Tini Howard and Bob Quinn’s KNIGHTS OF X #1
As numerous new threats begin to close in on Krakoan’s first team of X-Men, an old enemy emerges as Gerry Duggan continues his hit run on X-Men alongside artist Javier Pina in X-MEN #10
Nightcrawler assembles a squad to bring justice and peace to Krakoa and protect mutantkind from its most soul-crushing threats yet in Si Spurrier and Jan Bazaldua’s LEGION OF X #1
Magik and the recently resurrected Madelyne Pryor compete for the throne of Limbo in Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ acclaimed run of New Mutants, igniting the all-new ‘Labors of Magik’ arc in NEW MUTANTS #25
Wolverine continues to take on mutantkind’s most brutal missions… with some unwelcome help from Deadpool as Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert continue their masterful run on Wolverine in WOLVERINE #20
Explaining his own plans for Destiny in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gillen said, “Immortal X-Men for me is this love story of two women across time. Saying that Destiny is Mystique’s moral compass is too simple, because that implies that morals are important. But she is the object Mystique orients herself around. That’s how I see it. She is of fundamental importance to Mystique, and vice versa.”
Get your first glimpse at what’s to come in the all-new Destiny Of X trailer. Then view the cover art for the series following the jump.
The next era of X-Men is on the horizon. With creative team changes and cast shakeups, Destiny of X will be a season of radical transformation for the X-Men line and its characters. The possibilities are endless as the second Krakoan age begins over the next few months. Fans can discover more about what’s to come this May in their most anticipated X-Men ongoing series.
Judgment Day is coming! Tying together current story threads in Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Valerio Schiti bring you the next Marvel Comics epic this summer. See the first seeds planted for this upcoming saga in issues of Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck’s Immortal X-Men! May’s Immortal X-Men #3 will dive into one of the most fascinating objects in the X-Men mythos: Destiny’s diaries. Over one hundred years ago, Irene Adler wrote twelve books. A sequel is long overdue.
The main team of Krakoan X-Men won’t be safe from the effects of Judgment Day either. Creative powerhouses Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz continue their hit run in X-Men #11. The women of the X-Men are heading for the hottest action in the galaxy…Gameworld! But if it’s true that the house always wins, they might be in over their heads!
The quest is revealed in Tini Howard and Bob Quinn’s Knights Of X #2. Betsy Braddock has assembled her Knights. Their mission: to save Otherworld from Merlyn and his powerful henchmen…by finding the holy grail of mutantkind. But Otherworld is vast, and innumerable armies stand in their way. When Merlyn targets the Crooked Market, a safe haven for mutantkind, the Knights must split up. Will Captain Britain find the grail? Will Gambit lead the others into a deadly trap? Death looms over the Knights — in more ways than one.
Meet Mother Righteous in Si Spurrier and Jan Bazaldua’s Legion Of X #2! Legion is offered an unholy deal by this major new character, the self-proclaimed wheeler-dealer of the astral plane. But is the price worth the prize for a young man stuck in his father’s shadow? Meanwhile, the Skinjacker grows bold. Not content with stealing identities of other mutants, he turns his powers on the Legion of X.
Launched in last month’s Marauders Annual #1, Steve Orlando continues his new run alongside artist Eleonora Carlini in Marauders #3. Panic in Shi’ar space! The Marauders are prisoners of the Kin Crimson, a secret society stretching back billions of years, who outrank even the Shi’ar Majestrix…or so they think. But Captain Pryde and the Marauders aren’t giving up, not with the Shi’ar holding the last survivors of mutantkind’s first generation hostage. With the weight of history looming like a nuclear threat, can Kate Pryde convince Xandra to side with mutantkind against her kingdom?
Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’s acclaimed run heats up inNew Mutants #26. While the queen is away, demons will play! A new queen has taken the throne of Limbo — Madelyne Pryor, A.K.A. the Goblin Queen! Meanwhile, separated from Limbo, Magik faces an enemy she thought she had banished long ago…
Wolverine masters Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert take Logan deeper and deeper into DANGER in Wolverine #21. Outnumbered and surrounded, Wolverine unleashes his berserker rage, and Deadpool embraces his deadly fighting skills in a last ditch effort to save mutant lives. But what’s with all the Robot X-Men, and what do they have to do with the X-Desk?
And over in Percy and Robert Gill’s X-Force #28, Cerebrax stalks the island of Krakoa, and no one is safe! Its hunger for minds is insatiable…but what happens when it absorbs the minds — and powers — of the most powerful mutants?! X-Force will have to STEP. IT. UP. – and Kid Omega leads the way.
And expect planet-size power grabs and enormous omega-level feats in Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli’s X-Men Red #3. Tarn the Uncaring waged war and torture on Arakko for centuries. He’s the most hated being on Mars…and he sits on their ruling council. Abigail Brand has a plan to remedy that — and reap the rewards. So does Roberto Da Costa. But only one of them can win…and Tarn’s going to make at least one mutant pay the price for it.
Marvel remembers that fifty years ago, Giant-Size X-Men changed our world. This June, Planet-Size X-Men changes our universe.
In June, the inaugural Hellfire Gala is where the first team of Krakoan X-Men will be announced to the world as well as the plans that mutantkind has in store for the Marvel Universe.
This comics event will unfold in issues of the ongoing X-Men series and in Planet-Size X-Men, a special double-sized one-shot from two of mutantkind’s most masterful creators: writer Gerry Duggan (Marauders, Savage Avengers) and artist Pepe Larraz (House of X). On sale June 16.
Omega-level mutants will take center stage and new omega-level mutants will be introduced as Magneto puts the pieces in place for an ambitious plan that will truly change everything…
Below, check out some never-before-seen variant covers by artists Olivier Coipel, Terry Dodson, and Rachel Dodson as well as a first look at interior artwork.
This June, Marvel’s Hellfire Gala, a first-of-its-kind crossover told across twelve issues, will offer different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it including the first Krakoan X-Men team’s debut, mutantkind’s planet-sized plans for the Marvel Universe, new directions for the most popular X-Men, surprise party crashers, and of course, high fashion looks crafted by some of the hottest artists in the industry.
Leading the initiative in creating these all new takes on “mutant fashion” is artist Russell Dauterman. His high fashion looks will grace the covers of all twelve Hellfire Gala tie-in issues as must-have design variant covers as well as one gorgeous connecting piece that shows the X-Men’s top A-listers including Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost walking down the green carpet, ready to show the world why mutantkind is the future.
See all twelve Dauterman Connecting Covers after the jump.
This June, the Hellfire Trading Company invites readers everywhere to the inaugural Hellfire Gala where the first Krakoan team of X-Men will be introduced to the Marvel Universe and mutantkind’s planet-sized plans for the future will be unveiled. Running through 12 issues of ongoing X-Men titles and the one-shot, Planet-Size X-Men, the Hellfire Gala will be a night filled with drama and developments that will alter the course of mutantkind.
The Hellfire Gala will welcome all of planet Earth—humans, mutants, super heroes, and more—so to look their best on this monumental night, X-Men artists have turned out outstanding high-fashion looks for Krakoa’s best and brightest. Last month, fans got to see Russell Dauterman’s designs, and now fans can check out the rest by some of the industry’s top artists including Lucas Werneck, Marcus To, Valerio Schiti, Marvel’s Stormbreaker Joshua Cassara, and more!
Incorporating real-world high-fashion concepts with character history and even mutant abilities, these looks are unlike anything Marvel Comics has ever put to page and will grace the covers of select Hellfire Gala issues as variant covers. And all this jaw-dropping fashion is only the beginning. Check out all ten character design variant covers now. For more information, visit Marvel.com.
(1) FUTURE UNIONS. “Workers of All Worlds Unite,” a public talk about labor unions in science fiction with Olav Rokne, is a free Zoom event happening Thursday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time. Join the Zoom free here. Or you could also support the event by getting tickets here.
Workers Of All Worlds Unite!
Science fiction is filled with depictions of standard capitalist employment relationships, but little thought seems to have been given to how workers in the future will assert their rights. Join Olav Rokne as he explores the troubled history of labour unions in science fiction, and makes an argument as to why this history matters.
(2) ELLISON TRUST VICTORY. Two weeks ago J. Michael Straczynski, Executor of the Harlan and Susan Ellison Trust, updated fans about a successful action to fight off opportunistic banks.
(3) EXTREMELY HONEST. Ian Moore takes the first step in his Hugo finalist Mt. Tsundoku 12-step program by admitting powerlessness:
Ken MacLeod’s Road Trip takes us from Scotland through the north of England and London to the far side of the Earth. Three talkative passengers – Charles Stross, Justina Robson and Tasha Suri – read from their work, and over the car radio Hannah and Sam Bennett play drive-time music live from the wonderful world of tomorrow. Hosted by Shoreline of Infinity – science fiction magazine and publisher based in Scotland for the world to enjoy.
… Not that Hubbard was some kind of White Knight or anything, far from it. Even a brief perusal of our work here at the blog would tell you very quickly that we don’t go easy on Mr. Hubbard. But, I don’t think that we need to discredit his actual bad acts by throwing out wrong characterizations and outright lies about him either.
Hubbard has two big holes in his Navy history that none of the so-called ‘experts’ ever noticed that I documented in my post. Either one of which could easily have been this Aleutians business, and I’m guessing it was the second “hole” from November 3 to November 25, 1944.
It actually fits well with then being tasked with Heinlein to deal with anti-Kamikaze tactics. Heinlein details that two assignments came to him from Naval Intelligence, practically back to back. The problem is, people have put wrong times for when these were. Times that don’t fit with KNOWN dates and events.
Heinlein and other science fiction writers were utilized several times for Naval Intelligence projects…
Right on the back of that is when Heinlein formed his Think Tank on Kamikazes with Hubbard etc. which was also called a “crash” project.
In 1944, Heinlein recruited Hubbard, Sturgeon and others for a project: “Op-Nav-23, a brainstorming job on antikamikaze measures.”  The Bradbury Chronicles by Sam Weller, p. 12
I had been ordered to round up science fiction writers for this crash project-the wildest brains I could find, so Ted was a welcome recruit. Some of the others were George O. Smith, John W. Campbell Jr., Murray Leinster, L. Ron Hubbard, Sprague de Camp, and Fletcher Pratt…
Ok, first question would be when were these kamikaze attacks?
Although there had been spotty “kamikaze” actions by Japanese fighter pilots with engine troubles etc. earlier in WWII, the first inklings of an actual program appears to have been decided upon by August 1944 but not acted upon until Vice-Admiral Takijiro Onishi, took command of the 1st Air Fleet in the Philippines on October 17, 1944. Onishi had initially opposed the idea, but changed his mind when he took command.
Three days later kamikaze attacks – kamikaze means “Divine Wind” – were introduced October 20 of 1944 and on October 25 the first formal (and mass) kamikaze attacks launched in the Phillippines….
(6) MEMORY LANE.
1976 – Forty-five years ago at MidAmeriCon, the Hugo for Best Novella went to Roger Zelazny for “Home Is the Hangman” which was published in Analog, November 1975. It would also win the Nebula the same year. The other nominated novellas were “The Storms of Windhaven” by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle [Analog, May 1975] “ARM” by Larry Niven [Epoch, 1975] “The Silent Eyes of Time” by Algis Budrys [F&SF, Nov 1975] and “The Custodians” by Richard Cowper [F&SF, Oct 1975]. It is collected with the other two novellas in this series, “The Eve of RUMOKO“ and “Kjwalll’kje’k’koothaïlll’kje’k“ in My Name in Legion which is available from the usual suspects.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born April 25, 1897 — Fletcher Pratt. He’s best remembered for his fiction written with L. Sprague de Camp, to wit Land of Unreason,The Carnelian Cube and The Complete Compleat Enchanter. I’m rather fond of The Well of the Unicorn and Double Jeopardy. I see that he and Jack Coggins were nominated for International Fantasy Award for their Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships, a non-fiction work published in 1951. Anyone known about this? (Died 1956.) (CE)
Born April 25, 1915 — Mort Weisinger. Comic book editor best known for editing Superman during in the Silver Age of comic books. He also served as story editor for the Adventures of Superman series, Before that he was one of the earliest active sf fans, working on fanzines like The Planet (1931) and The Time Traveller (1932) and attending the New York area fan club known as The Scienceers. (Died 1978.) (CE)
Born April 25, 1915 – Leslie Croutch. Television & radio repairman. Half a dozen stories. Contributor to The Acolyte, Futurian War Digest, Spaceways, Tin Tacks, Voice of the Imagi-Nation, Le Zombie. Various fanzines of his own, notably Light. See here and Harry Warner’s appreciation here (PDF). (Died 1969) [JH]
Born April 25, 1920 — John Mantley. He wrote but one SF novel, The 27th Day, but it rated a detailed write-up by Bud Webster in The Magazine of F&SF which you can read here. (He wrote the screenplay for the film version of his novel which gets an abysmal score of twenty-five percent among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.) He also produced a number of episodes of The Wild Wild West, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and MacGyver. (Died 2003.) (CE)
Born April 25, 1925 – Margery Gill. A dozen covers, as many interiors for us; much else. Here is Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds. Here is The Saracen Lamp. Here is Over Sea, Under Stone.Here is English Fairy Tales. Here is an interior from A Little Princess. See this appreciation in the Illustrators Wiki. (Died 2008) [JH]
Born April 25, 1929 — Robert A. Collins. Edited a number of quite interesting publications including the Fantasy Newsletter in the early Eighties, the IAFA Newsletter in the late Eighties and the early Nineties along with the Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review Annual with Rob Latham at the latter time. He also wrote Thomas Burnett Swann: A Brief Critical Biography & Annotated Bibliography. (Died 2009.) (CE)
Born April 25, 1941 – Stella Nemeth, age 80. Book reviews and occasional drawings in The Diversifier, Lan’s Lantern, SF Booklog, Zeor Forum; seen in Algol. More recently in Art With a Needle. [JH]
Born April 25, 1957 – Deborah Chester, age 64. Three dozen novels for us (some under different names); several others. Has a recipe in Anne McCaffrey’s Serve It Forth. Professor at Univ. Oklahoma. [JH]
Born April 25, 1961 — Gillian Polack, 60. Australian writer and editor. She created the Ceres Universe, a fascinating story setting. And she’s a great short story writer as Datlow demonstrated when she selected “Happy Faces for Happy Families” for her recommended reading section in the ‘04 Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She’s reasonably stocked at the usual suspects. (CE)
Born April 25, 1975 – Courtney Schafer, age 46. Three novels, one shorter story. Electrical engineer, worked in aerospace. While at Cal Tech (California Inst. of Technology) she also learned rock climbing, skiing, SCUBA diving; later, figure skating. Favorite series, the Lymond Chronicles; has also read Hidden Figures, The Little Prince, Watership Down. [JH]
Born April 25, 1979 – Christopher Hopper, age 42. Half a dozen novels, a score more with co-authors; one shorter story. Encouraged by his wife he has two million words published; also plays in her band. He’s breakfasted with Winnie Mandela, kite-surfed in Hawai’i, photographed white rhinos in South Africa, climbed the Great Wall of China. [JH]
Born April 25, 1981 — Silvia Moreno-Garcia, 40. Canadian of Mexican descent. She’s the publisher of Innmouths Free Press, an imprint devoted to weird fiction. Not surprisingly, she co-edited with Paula R. Stiles for the press, the Historical Lovecraft and Future Lovecraft anthologies. She won a World Fantasy Award for the She Walks in Shadows anthology, also on Innsmouth Free Press. She was a finalist for the Nebula Award 2019 in the Best Novel category for her Gods of Jade and Shadow novel. And finally with Lavie Tidhar, she edits the Jewish Mexican Literary Review. Not genre, but sort of genre adjacent. (CE)
(8) COMICS SECTION.
Bizarro finds something at the window gently tapping.
(9) X-MEN NEWS. Christian Holub, in the Entertainment Weekly story “Marvel reveals the results of X-Men fan election” says Marvel sent out a bunch of mini-comics before deciding whether Banshee, Strong Guy, Boom-Boom, or other rookies got to join the X-Men team. Those Twitter comics are linked at the end of the article.
…Election season is finally over for the X-Men. Back in January, Marvel conducted a public vote for fans to choose a member of the newest X-Men team that is set to debut at the much-anticipated Hellfire Gala in June’s Planet-Sized X-Men #1. As with any election, there can only be one winner, and unfortunately lots of losers. But at least fans get to see how each of the candidates — Banshee, Polaris, Forge, Boom-Boom, Tempo, Cannonball, Sunspot, Strong Guy, Marrow, and Armor — responded to the results in a new series of mini-comics published to Marvel’s social media accounts over the past week.
Written by Zeb Wells (Hellions) and illustrated by a variety of artists (including Rachelle Rosenberg who colored them all), each installment of these Twitter comics featured two candidates each reckoning with their loss. First up was Strong Guy and Forge, illustrated by Mike Henderson. Despite the fact that Forge has used his mutant affinity with technology to develop all kinds of bio-organic resources for the new mutant nation-state on the living island of Krakoa, Strong Guy points out that they’re equal in defeat….
In 1967 the cult classic TV series, THE PRISONER, came bursting onto the screen. The series, about an unnamed British intelligence agent who awakes to find himself trapped in an idyllic seaside village, was not only an instant hit with viewers at the time, it went on to be watched and re-watched obsessively by fans, quickly gaining cult status.
While there have been several collectables released over the decades, THE PRISONER has never received a line of OFFICIALLY LICENSED ACTION FIGURES… and Wandering Planet Toys is working with our licensing partners at ITV Studios to bring to life 4-inch RETRO STYLE ACTION FIGURES that celebrate Patrick McGoohan’s brilliant series.
… Want to get information about these figures? Good, because by hook or by crook you will!
No discussion of THE PRISONER is complete without mention of the Village’s spherical guardian and menace, ROVER. In order to evoke the iconic moment of NUMBER 6 pushed up against the gelatinous side of the guardian, we’ve created a Limited Edition plastic packaging unit depicting our hero in the belly of the beast. This package is a resealable clamshell so the figure can be removed for display, then reinserted.
(11) SENATOR, YOU’RE NO JACK KENNEDY. But he makes a pretty good John Scalzi.
Mars is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because of the rusty, reddish-orange sandscape blanketing the planet. That comes into sharp focus in our first color photo snapped by the Mars Ingenuity helicopter.
That was taken about 17 feet above the ground. You can clearly see the sandy red-orange Martian surface. And if you look at the bottom of the image, you’ll clearly see Ingenuity’s shadow, with two of its spindly legs visibly jutting out from it’s rectangular body.
Those patterns in the ground that look like tracks are in fact… tracks left by the Perseverance rover, the remote-operated research vehicle that carried Ingenuity safely to Mars. Once it deposited its flying robot friend the Perseverance headed off to a new location, first to monitor the helicopter for a month and then to proceed with its other duties.
Here’s a closer look at those tracks….
(13) JOSH FIGHT. There can be only one… Josh! Wikipedia explains yesterday’s “Josh fight”. Which is sounds a little like a Pennsic Wars where all the combatants have the same first name.
Three ‘fights’ were held – one game of rock paper scissors for those named Josh Swain, a second with pool noodles for all attendees named Josh, and a third and final all-in battle for anyone in possession of a pool noodle willing to participate. Only two Josh Swains were in attendance – Josh Swain, the event’s creator, beat a rival Josh Swain from Omaha in the rock paper scissors event. A local four-year-old boy named Josh Vinson Jr., dubbed ‘Little Josh’, who had been treated at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha for seizures when he was two years old, was declared the winner and crowned with a paper crown from Burger King as well as a replica AEW World Championship belt
But companies are trying to develop robots to take humans out of the equation – driverless robot cars, package delivery by drone. Doesn’t an animal analogy conceal what, in fact, is a significant threat?
There is a threat to people’s jobs. But that threat is not the robots – it is company decisions that are driven by a broader economic and political system of corporate capitalism. The animal analogy helps illustrate that we have some options. The different ways that we’ve harnessed animals’ skills in the past shows we could choose to design and use this technology as a supplement to human labour, instead of just trying to automate people away.
The first thing that Rita Leggett saw when she regained consciousness was a pair of piercing blue eyes peering curiously into hers. “I know you, don’t I?” she said. The man with the blue eyes replied, “Yes, you do.” But he didn’t say anything else, and for a while Leggett just wondered and stared. Then it came to her: “You’re my surgeon!”
It was November, 2010, and Leggett had just undergone neurosurgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She recalled a surge of loneliness as she waited alone in a hotel room the night before the operation and the fear she felt when she entered the operating room. She’d worried about the surgeon cutting off her waist-length hair. What am I doing in here? she’d thought. But just before the anesthetic took hold, she recalled, she had said to herself, “I deserve this.”
Leggett was forty-nine years old and had suffered from epilepsy since she was born. During the operation, her surgeon, Andrew Morokoff, had placed an experimental device inside her skull, part of a brain-computer interface that, it was hoped, would be able to predict when she was about to have a seizure. The device, developed by a Seattle company called NeuroVista, had entered a trial stage known in medical research as “first in human.” A research team drawn from three prominent epilepsy centers based in Melbourne had selected fifteen patients to test the device. Leggett was Patient 14….
Even in his 70’s, Mel never lost those little voices. It amazes me how he could go from one to another so quickly and effortlessly.
[Thanks to Hampus Eckerman, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]
“Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural Hellfire Gala.
Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the Hellfire Gala were revealed by Entertainment Weekly, and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 Hellfire Gala issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.
One cover appears above — the other 11 covers follow the jump.
(1) WINTER IS HERE. The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop will host the Winter Writers Series, monthly conversations via Zoom between Clarion alumni and instructors about the art of speculative fiction and their writing careers. The conversations are co-hosted by Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. The online events are free and open to the public. Each conversation will include time for Q&A with the audience. RSVP to each event individually via the links below.
Writing the Magic and the Real. February 24, 2021, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
A conversation between Andrea Hairston, Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi and Sanjena Sathian about how they approach blending elements of realism—including historical events and contemporary culture—and the fantastic in their fiction.
Andrea Hairston is a playwright, novelist, and scholar. She has published three novels.
Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi writes dreampop speculative fictions and darkwave minimalist poetry that can be enjoyed on a bus ride or in line for coffee.
Sanjena Sathian was raised in Georgia by Indian immigrant parents. She’s a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an alumna of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, and a former Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. Her debut novel, Gold Diggers, will be released by Penguin on April 6, 2021.
Science Fiction: Balancing Worldbuilding and Narrative. March 24, 2021, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
A conversation about the art of creating science fictional worlds and the stories that bring them to life with Cory Doctorow, Karen Osborne, and Kali Wallace, three incredible writers and Clarion alumni.
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, and journalist.
Karen Osborne is a speculative fiction writer and visual storyteller living in Baltimore. Architects of Memory is her debut sf novel and its sequel, Engines of Oblivion, will be released on 2/9/21.
For most of her life Kali Wallace was going to be a scientist when she grew up. Only after she had her shiny new doctorate in hand did she admit that she loved inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked exploring the real one. Her newest novel, Dead Space, comes out on 3/2/21.
(2) 2021 WESTERCON. Westercon 73, the one-year delayed Westercon in Seattle, posted on their website that the delayed in-person conference will now be a virtual/online conference. Also, due to health concerns Sally Woehrle has stepped down as convention Chair. Gene Armstrong has moved from Vice Chair to Chair of Westercon 73. The committee says she will be assisting the convention in going forward once her health improves. Meanwhile, Armstrong explained the move to a virtual event:
Since winning the Westercon 73 bid in 2018 our committee has been excited about planning and holding this Westercon! However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a number of changes in the last year no one could have foreseen and this Westercon wasn’t exempted from any of those challenges. We’ve all had to be patient and adjust to new ways of keeping in contact and that has also meant new ways of holding conventions. Even though vaccinations are starting to be available it doesn’t look like there will have been enough to make major gatherings safe by our original convention dates. That has led to hard conversations and decisions as to how Westercon 73 will go forward. Westercon 73 will NOT be an in-person physical convention.
In order to ensure the safety and health of all participants Westercon 73 will be a virtual/online convention. We are still working out key details of what this will entail but some decisions have been established. Virtual Westercon 73 will be held on the originally planned weekend of July 1-4, 2021. Westercon 73 will be offering a film festival, filking, and all the programming that can be managed effectively in an online format. The cost of a full attending membership has been dropped to $35 for the weekend to reflect the online nature of the convention. Please check our website or Facebook page for more information and updates as they become available.
(3) LEPRECON GOES VIRTUAL, TOO. LepreCon 47, a fan-run sff convention based in Phoenix, will be virtual from March 19-21, 2021 via Zoom.
Artist Guest of Honor (GoH) is Jeffrey S. Veregge, an award-winning Native American artist and writer from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. Also participating: artist David Dace, and authors Maxwell Alexander Drake, Gregory Benford, Larry Niven, and Evan Currie. FtM Musician Alexander James Adams will be doing a Filk Concert.
Akata woke before sunrise because a question occurred to her.
“What is joking?”
Samora, 300 kilometers away, rubbed sleep from his eyes and said, “Repeat?”
“What is joking?” Akata repeated.
“Umm.” Samora sat up straighter. He realized the question could mark one of those turning points that Project Sentience referred to as Levers, a window to wider dialogue between Speakers. It was a word the Project always spelled with a capital L, as if those working there needed to be reminded of its importance. Samora played for time. “Why do you ask?”…
Living in the Anthropocene is fraught with paradox. For centuries, we have convinced ourselves that we, humans, are special and superior to other species and the rest of the natural world. We stand as self-appointed speakers for the planet, as though no other beings can feel, think, or communicate.
Today, however, we are forced to acknowledge that we are not so special after all. On the one hand, we wonder and worry whether artificial intelligence will become conscious, leading us down a dystopian spiral of human irrelevance. On the other hand, we see a major shift in scientific thinking about plant intelligence and animal consciousness, suggesting that the difference between human and nonhuman species is just a matter of degree, not of kind. Meanwhile, our hyperseparation from the natural world is threatening every species on Earth—including humans….
On Thursday, Feb. 4, at noon Eastern, author Simon Brown and Iveta Silova, professor and director of the Center for the Advanced Studies in Global Education, housed under Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, will discuss this story in an hour-long online discussion. RSVP here.
[For Olon F. Wiggins and Lew Martin] at the Chicago gathering was essential, for they had already hatched a plan to propose that the following Worldcon in 1941 be held in Denver. So — how to get to Chicago?
According to Martin:
“It all began one meeting of the Denver Science Fictioneers when I asked Chairman Wiggins if he planned to attend the Chicago 1940 World’s Science-Fiction Convention. He replied that he was and I told him of my desire and determination to go. He planned to go via bus and I had planned to hitch-hike, picking up Al McKeel at Jefferson City, Missouri. Several meetings elapsed before we had compromised on accompanying each other via freight train.” — From “Via Freight Train” by Lew Martin, TSFF, v5n7, April 1941
(6) FELLOWSHIP OF TELEPHONE RING. [Item by rcade.] The science fiction author Cherie Priest has a Twitter thread about being hit up for professional book deal advice by somebody in desperate need of a come-to-Jesus. Thread starts here.
Spoiler alert: The guy was a major-league [redacted]. But her conclusion about the friendship of writers is quite nice, and includes —
Madeleine L’Engle’s mail arrived in prodigious batches by the summer of 1976, 14 years after the publication of A Wrinkle in Time. From her study in Manhattan’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, where she served as librarian, the 57-year-old author attended to editorial correspondence, fan art, manila envelopes stuffed with middle-school-reader responses, royalty statements, and speaking requests from around the world. Amid the usual haul, one correspondent stood out: Ron Irwin, inmate #130539 at the State Prison of Southern Michigan, a 25-year-old former member of the Black Panther Party.
Irwin, who later converted to Islam and adopted the name Ahmad Rahman, had just received an honorable mention in the nonfiction category of the 1976 PEN America Writing Award for Prisoners. PEN had recently launched a correspondence program pairing writers in prison with established writers on the outside. Rahman signed on, welcoming the opportunity for literary growth while completing his bachelor’s degree through Wayne State University. He articulated only one wish: that the correspondent not be antagonistic to his interests. “I do not subscribe to the so-called universalist school of Black literature that tries to downplay the uniqueness of the ways and politics of Black people in our American dilemma,” he explained. “I am not a writer first and then a Black man.”
A young PEN administrator named John Morrone played matchmaker. L’Engle, he knew, had asked to be a mentor. He forwarded Rahman’s concerns and writing samples. L’Engle saw raw talent. “I believe that literature is, in fact, a strong common meeting ground,” she responded to Morrone, “but he may not agree. I certainly have no objection to his writing out of his own background. That’s all any of us has to work from.” She typed an introductory letter to Rahman and had a copy of Wrinkle sent to the prison because, she told Morrone, “science fiction/fantasy transcends barriers of race.”
It was a match made of opportunity—as for alchemy, time would tell what no one then could have predicted: that a “mystical connection,” in Rahman’s words, would bind them for life; that their surviving letters—more than 200 pages—would lay bare the senselessness of excessively punitive “justice” and the ravages of mass incarceration; that the integrity of two extraordinary people would breed a leveling intimacy, making way for a mutual mentorship that purposefully, sometimes painfully, worked through the obstacles of politics, class, race, religion, gender, and generation….
(8) GUNN TRIBUTE. Catching up here with the photo-filled announcement “Founder James Gunn has died” posted December 23 by Chris McKitterick on the KU Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction site.
…When he was teaching – and for at least a decade after retiring – Jim would go to his office each day and write there, door open to passers-by. If anyone had a question, he’d pause in his work and welcome their questions. I once asked him if I had what it takes to become a writer, because it’s a difficult and painful calling. He asked me why I keep doing it if I felt that way. I said that if I don’t write, I get grumpy and unhappy, and then went on to excitedly explain what I was trying to say in my newest story. As I spoke, he smiled, then nodded and said, ‘Anyone who can be discouraged from becoming a writer should be. The rewards are small and delayed, few people will ever care about your work, and there are no guarantees. Only those who cannot be discouraged find success. You have what it takes.’
(9) MEMORY LANE.
1996 — Twenty-five years ago, the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel went to Christopher Priest for The Prestige. Runner-ups were James Blaylock’s All Bells on Earth, Tim Powers’ Expiration Date, Vikram Chandra’s Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Graham Joyce’s Requiem and Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s The Silent Strength of Stones. The film version of The Prestige would be nominated for a Hugo at Nippon 2007.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born January 30, 1866 – Gelett Burgess. Famous – in my opinion, deservedly, but he hated it – for “The Purple Cow”; see the original, his reply, and more here. Coined “blurb”, which most folks now take as neutral without bothering to learn GB’s distaste. We may claim – although there is something fantastic about all he did – three novels, half a dozen shorter stories; he drew things, too; Don Markstein concurrently calls him a cartoonist, although as you can discern, DM’s description is defective. (Died 1951) [JH]
Born January 30, 1924 – Lloyd Alexander. (See 28 Jan 57 note for Joanne Findon.) Five novels, eight shorter stories in the Prydain Chronicles; another score of novels, and another of shorter stories, for us; other books, some nonfiction. Cats recur. Newbery Medal, two Nat’l Book Awards. Co-founder of Cricket magazine. A story and a drawing in the Oz Hundredth Anniversary Celebration. Two translations of Sartre. Also a violinist; once sent this Christmas card. See a blog and a documentary about him. (Died 2007) [JH]
Born January 30, 1926 — Peter Brachacki. Set designer for the very first episode of Doctor Who. Everything I’ve been able to read on him and that work says that he was not at all interested in working on the series and did so reluctantly under orders. Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert would later recount that she was impressed with Brachacki’s work on the TARDIS interior even though she personally did not like him at all. His design elements have persisted throughout the fifty years the series has been produced. His only other genre work that I’ve been able to find was Blake’s 7 and a short series called the The Witch’s Daughter done in the late Seventies. The BBC wasn’t always great at documenting who worked on what series. (Died 1980.) (CE)
Born January 30, 1930 – Doll Gilliland. Beloved late wife of Alexis Gilliland and, with him, active in WSFA (Washington, D.C., SF Ass’n). They hosted WSFA meetings in their home 24 years and ran six Disclaves together. For Inside “2001: a Space Opera” see the ConStellation Program Book (41st Worldcon). Here is AG’s appreciation. Not every such widower is lucky enough to remarry but, like Kelly Freas, he did. (Died 1991) [JH]
Born January 30, 1937 — Vanessa Redgrave, 84. I think her role of Guinevere in Camelot is her first genre role. Yes, that’s a fantasy. From there I see she’s Lola Deveraux in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Max in Mission: Impossible, Robin Lerner in Deep Impact, Countess Wilhelmina whose The Narrator of Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story in which Jim Henson reworked the story to give it “a more ethical, humanist view”. Really. Truly. She next shows in the adaptation of Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord as Sister Antonia. I’ve only got two series appearances for her, one on Faerie Tale Theatre as The Evil Queen in, surprise not, the “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” episode; the other on the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles as Mrs. Prentiss in the “London, May 1916” episode. (CE)
Born January 30, 1941 – Jim Benford, age 80. Identical twin of Greg Benford (see Cat Eldridge’s note). Active as a fan, often with G; famously they both did the fanzine Void; since 2012, Motley; J has been in Lofgeornost, SF Review, Trap Door, Vertex, with and without G. Some pro work: three short stories together, two Science Fact pieces in Analog – more recently J did one with Dominic Benford; anthology with G Starship Century. [JH]
Born January 30, 1941 – Gregory Benford, 80. His longest running series is Galactic Center Saga, a series I find a little akin to Saberhagen’s Beserker series. I’ve not read enough of it to form a firm opinion though I know some of you of have done so. Other novels I’ve read by him include Timescape (superb) and A Darker Geometry: A Man-Kzin Novel which was actually was quite excellent. (Yes, I do read Baen Books). (CE)
Born January 30, 1953 — Michael J. Anderson, 68. He’s known for being as The Man from Another Place in David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks, the prequel film for the series, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and as Samson Leonhart on Carnivàle. He had one-offs on Monsters, Deep Space Nine, X-Files, The Phantom Eye and Charmed. (CE)
Born January 30, 1955 — Judith Tarr, 66. I’m fond of her Richard the Lionheart novels which hew closely to the historical record while introducing just enough magic to make them fantasy. The novels also make good use of her keen knowledge of horsemanship as well. Her Queen of the Amazons pairs the historical Alexander the Great, with a meeting with the beautiful Hippolyta, who is queen of the Amazons. Highly recommended. (CE)
Born January 30, 1962 – Todd Hamilton, age 59. A novel and two shorter stories with Patricia Beese; mostly active in visual art: two dozen covers, ten dozen interiors. One Chesley. Served a term as ASFA (Ass’n of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists) President. Here is the Nov 87 Analog. Here is Through Darkest Resnick with Gun and Camera. Speaking of identity, here is A Case of Mistaken Identity. Here is TH’s Chicon in 2000 trading card. He also did the hippocampus for Chicon IV the 40th Worldcon; it’s on p. 1 of the fine Program Book, see here (PDF). [JH]
Born January 30, 1963 — Daphne Ashbrook, 58. Grace Holloway, Companion to the Eighth Doctor. Need I say more? And yes, she kissed him. Unlike so many other Who characters, she has not shown up in a Big Finish production. She’d show up as the title character in the “Melora” episode of Deep Space Nine, and she was Katherine Granger in the “A Knight in Shining Armor” episode of Knight Rider. (CE)
Born January 30, 1973 — Jordan Prentice, 38. Inside every duck, is a self-described person of short stature. In the case of Howard the Duck from the movie of the same name, one of those persons was him. He’s not in a lot of SFF roles after his performing debut there though he shows up next as Fingers Finnian in Wolf Girl, playing Sherriff Shelby in Silent But Deadly, Napoleon in Mirror Mirror and Nigel Thumb in The Night Before the Night Before Christmas. (CE)
Born January 30, 1986 – Rebecca Green, age 35. Of course a book called The Glass Town Game appeals to me; here is RG’s cover. See more, including Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea (AAAS/Subaru Prize), at her Website. How about a Wikipedia entry? [JH]
(11) PEEKING INSIDE THE GLASS BALLOT BOX. Marvel tweeted an in-progress report on the fan vote to pick the final member of the X-Men team.
…By the time he graduated from George Washington University with a degree in computer science (while also studying animation at the Art Institute of Washington), Okupe was shopping around an eight-minute animated trailer for an African superhero. Years before “Black Panther” would go on to make $1 billion at the box office, Okupe received little interest from the TV world. One producer told him his ideas might work if he changed the race of his heroes.
But Okupe never lost confidence in his dream, and in 2015 he decided to introduce his heroes to the world by self-publishing comic books.
Now, in 2021, Okupe’s dream will become mainstream….
(13) TOP OF HIS FIELD. David Morrell on writing novels is the first of a series of Zoom seminars by notable writers hosted by SouthWest Writers. Takes place February 6, at 10 a.m. The author who created Rambo (in First Blood)is also a three-time Bram Stoker Award winner.
Zoom Meeting Information: Topic: SWW Saturday Meeting – February 2021 Time: Feb 6, 2021, at 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join the Zoom Meeting. Click here to join the meeting. (Meeting ID: 446 372 3340, no password required.) For all sign-in options, go to the Zoom Meeting Sign In page.
(14) PAY THE ARTIST. Here’s Steve Wagner’s response to a t-shirt design contest.
…Kraft doesn’t want to overdo it, so you can’t buy Candy Kraft Mac & Cheese in stores. Instead, from now until February 8, interested fans need to go to CandyKraftMacandCheese.com to enter a random drawing. Kraft says 1,000 winners will be selected and have one box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and one candy packet to turn the Mac & Cheese pink delivered to their door by February 14.
Netflix has finally set the main cast for its forthcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s DC comic, The Sandman, a dark fantasy that has been in the works for quite some time now. (In fact, it was first picked up a year and a half ago. Can anyone even remember a single thing about 2019 at this point?) While there were early concerns that this project might roam Development Hell for a while, Gaiman recently assured fans and Seth Meyers that there was an active set after a brief COVID-related pause. Today, Netflix reveals the players that are on said hot set: Tom Sturridge, star of Starz’s Sweetbitter, will take on the role of Dream, Lord of the Dreaming realm. Netflix also added Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, and Sanjeev Bhaskar to the intriguing ensemble.
And for a serious kicker, Gwendoline Christie will step in to play Lucifer….
(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Cat Rambo reads her short story “Acquainted with the Night”. Trigger warning: child murder, violence. Rambo says: “This is an early superhero fiction story of mine that originally appeared in Corrupts Absolutely?”
[Thanks to John Hertz, JJ, Frank Catalano, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Todd Mason, Michael Toman, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, rcade, Woody Bernardi, Steve Wagner, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Anna Nimmhaus and Colin H.]