Pixel Scroll 1/16/20 Maybe My Flubber Car Only Needed One Coat Of Anti-Gravity Paint After I Redid The Suspension Using Cavorite

I think the title is going to be longer than today’s Scroll. It’sbeen a busy day!

(1) YOUR EYEBALLS HAVE BEEN SPARED. Foz Meadows saw it soyou don’t have to — “TomHooper’s Cats: A Study In Vogon Poetry”.

I’m not putting a spoiler tag on this. It’s fucking Cats. Get a grip.

I saw Cats today. Voluntarily. On purpose. It’s important you know that I wasn’t coerced in any way, nor was the friend who accompanied me. Of our own free will, being of sound mind and body, we exchanged real human money for the experience of seeing Tom Hooper’s Cats on the big screen, in the company of other real human strangers. Not that our session was packed – aside from the two of us, there were only five other people in attendance, all older to middle-aged women – but the two ladies sitting near us not only cried during Jennifer Hudson’s bifurcated rendition of Memory (more of which shortly), but applauded during the credits. Their happy reactions, audible in the theatre’s yawning silence, added a further layer of unreality to what was already a surreal and vaguely disturbing experience, but once we emerged in the aftermath, stunned and blinking like newborn animals, their enjoyment helped us cobble together a theory about who, exactly, Cats is for – if such a film can truly be said to be for anyone….

(2) CHATTERJEE Q&A. Joseph Hurtgen recently interviewed Indian sffauthor Rimi Chatterjee for Rapid Transmission. Born in Belfast, UnitedKingdom and now teaching and writing in India, “Chatterjee offers economic andcultural perspectives that Westerners need to hear,” says Hurtgen. “The wonderof science fiction is that science and human conflict are universal languages.By embracing non-Western culture and non-Western SF, we discover more aboutourselves.” “RimiChatterjee: Love and Knowledge and Yellow Karma”.

RT: I read recently that William Gibson will look at the news, realize the book he’s working on is already outdated, and then revise accordingly. One particularly arresting intervention was the destruction of the World Trade centers, which he decided to include in his book Pattern Recognition–published 2003, though he was writing it in 2001. Does the pace of our 24-hour news cycle with its grim depiction of a world headed to WWIII and continent wide fires ever cause you to revise your stories?

RC: Mostly it’s the other way round: the universe treads on my heels. For instance a lot of the story of Bitch Wars is set in Malaysia in a fictional place called KL City (which has a slum called Climate Town where climate refugees or Climies live). So I was researching the 1MDB scandal for background, and the next day I open YouTube and Hasan Minhaj has done an episode of Patriot Act on Jho Low, Goldman Sachs and the whole sorry mess. I’m like: dude o_O.

(3) PEACOCK STREAMING. “All Your Favorite Stars Are Coming to NBC’s StreamingService Soon” – GQ fills you in. We’ll excerpt the part that’sgenre —

…The other series that’s based on an established IP also has a very loyal, even more niche audience is The Adventure Zone. Based on a podcast of the same name from the McElroy Brothers, who also host the comedy podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me, The Adventure Zone is a comedy fantasy adventure using the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. There is already a comic book adaptation of the series.

The Adventure Zone is a side-splitting and heart-filled fantasy animated comedy series that follows an unlikely, poorly equipped trio and their beleaguered Dungeon Master as they reluctantly embark on a quest to save their world,” reads the official synopsis.

(4) BETTER THAN A BOOK BOMB. In the Hindustan Times:“Bookstorefails to sell books, Neil Gaiman seeks Twitter’s help. This is how theyoblige”.  

Two days back, on January 15, Petersfield Bookshop took to Twitter to share an image and a sad incident. “Not a single book sold today… ?0.00… We think this maybe the first time ever,” the store wrote. “We know its miserable out but if you’d like to help us out please find our Abebooks offering below, all at 25% off at the moment,” they added. Along with the post, they also shared pictures of the empty bookstore.

The bookstore’s tweet captured people’s attention when fantasy and science fiction author Neil Gaiman retweeted it. In the caption, he urged Twitter to come together and do something good. “In these dark days it’s wonderful to see Twitter doing something good!” wrote Gaiman.

People answered the call and orders came flooding in from different corners of the world. In fact, the store ended up receiving ?1,000 worth of orders overnight with many waiting to purchase more. The store also shared a tweet to give an update on the situation.

(5) FAST START. BBC welcomes us to “Meetthe NASA intern who discovered a new planet on his third day”. And notjust a planet, but one orbiting two stars, as in Star Wars.

As far as impressing your potential new boss goes, discovering a planet on day three of your internship at NASA is up there.

That’s what happened to 17-year-old Wolf Cukier while helping out at the space agency in the United States.

He was checking images from its super-strength satellite when he noticed something strange.

It turned out to be a new planet, 1,300 light years away from Earth. News just confirmed by NASA.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • January 16, 1963 Walt Disney’s Son Of Flubber premiered. Yes, it’s SF. Comedy SF we grant you but SF none-the-less.?Sequel to the Disney science fiction comedy film The Absent-Minded Professor, it starred ?Fred MacMurray of My Three Sons fame. It was directed by Robert Stevenson. A colorized version would be released in 1997. ?It was a box office success earning back three times what it cost to produce, but critics didn’t like nearly as much as they liked?The Absent-Minded Professor. Reviewers currently at?Rotten Tomatoes give it a 86% rating.?
  • January 16, 1995 ?— Star Trek: Voyager premiered on UPN. ?It would last for seven years and one hundred and seventy-two episodes, making it the longest running Trek series to date. Starring a very large cast that all of all you know by heart by now. It’s interesting that it would never make the final Hugo ballot for Best Dramatic Presentation, the only Trek show to date not to so. It rates very high at Rotten Tomatoes, garnering a mid-seventies rating from critics and viewers alike.?
  • January 16, 2015 — On Syfy, the Twelve Monkeys series debuted. It was by created by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, and it riffs loosely off Gilliam’s film and the original French short film Gilliam based his film on, La Jetée . We are not going to detail the cast as the four-season run lasting forty-seven episodes saw significant cast changes. Reception for the most part, excepting Gilliam, was positive. Ratings at Rotten Tomatoes are over 90% but we caution that less than a hundred individuals have expressed their opinion during its four-year run.?

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 16, 1887 John Hamilton. He’s no doubt remembered best for his role as Perry White in the Fifties Adventures of Superman series. He also was in the Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe serial as Professor Gordon, and I see he played G.F. Hillman in the Forties Captain America serial film.?(Died 1958.)
  • Born January 16, 1905 Festus Pragnell. Ok, he’s here not because he had all that a distinguished a career as a writer or illustrator, but because of the charming story one fan left us of his encounter with him which you can read here. Festus himself wrote but three novels (The Green Man of Kilsona, The Green Man of Graypec, and The Terror from Timorkal), plus the wrote a series of stories about Don Hargreaves’ adventures on Mars. Be prepared to pay dearly if you want to read him as he’s not made it into the digital age and exists mostly in the original Amazing Stories only. (Died 1977.)
  • Born January 16, 1948 John Carpenter, 72. My favorite films by him??Big Trouble in Little China and?Escape from New York. ?His gems include the Halloween franchise, The Thing, Starman?(simply wonderful), ?The Philadelphia Experiment,?Ghosts of Mars and many other films. What do you consider him to have done that you like, or don’t like fir that matter? I’m not fond of Escape from L.A. as I keep comparing to the stellar popcorn film that the previous Escape film is.
  • Born January 16, 1970 Garth Ennis, 50. Comic writer who’s no doubt best known for Preacher which he did with illustrator Steve Dillon, and his stellar nine-year run on the Punisher franchise. I’m very fond of his work on Judge Dredd which is extensive, and his time spent scripting Etrigan the Demon For DC back in the mid Nineties.?
  • Born January 16, 1974 Kate Moss, 46. Yes she’s done SF. To be precise Black Adder which we discussed a bit earlier. She played Maid Marian in “Blackadder Back & Forth” in which as IMDB puts it “At a New Millennium Eve party, Blackadder and Baldrick test their new time machine and ping pong through history encountering famous characters and changing events rather alarmingly.” You can watch it here.
  • Born January 16, 1976 Eva Habermann, ?44. She is best known for playing the role of Zev Bellringer on Lexx. She was succeeded in her role by Xenia Seeberg. Ok, I’ll confess that I’ve never seen the series which I know exists in both R and not so R versions. Who here has seen it in either form? She was also?Ens. Johanna Pressler in?Star Command, a pilot that wasn’t to be a series that was written by Melinda Snodgrass. And she had a role in the?Code Name: Eternity series as Dr. Rosalind Steiner.

(8) SPECIALSHROOMS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] At first glance, it doeskinda sound like mushrooms were involved. A very special kind ofmushrooms. 

Futurism: “NASA Wants to Grow a Moon Base Out of Mushrooms”

NASA scientists are exploring a peculiar strategy for building a Moon base and other off-world structures: growing them onsite out of living mushrooms.

The space agency first considered the possibility of fungal space habitats in 2018, but now scientists are conducting tests to determine how well mycelia fungus might grow in Martian soil, Space.com reports. If the research pans out, it would allow future astronauts to construct off-world settlements without needing to carry expensive, heavy building materials with them all the way from Earth — a game-changer in the plan to colonize space….

PS: Technically the structures would not be built outof living mushrooms… The shrooms would take nutrients from the Lunar (orMartian) soil, then the biomass would be heat treated to convert it intobuilding material.

(9) THE THIGH BONE CONNECTS TO THE INTERNET BONE. Slate’s“Future Tense” features “TheEthical Dilemmas Surrounding 3D-Printed Human Bones”.

Ten years ago, it wasn’t possible for most people to use 3D technology to print authentic copies of human bones. Today, using a 3D printer and digital scans of actual bones, it is possible to create unlimited numbers of replica bones—each curve and break and tiny imperfection intact—relatively inexpensively. The technology is increasingly allowing researchers to build repositories of bone data, which they can use to improve medical procedures, map how humans have evolved, and even help show a courtroom how someone died.

But the proliferation of faux bones also poses an ethical dilemma—and one that, prior to the advent of accessible 3D printing, was mostly limited to museum collections containing skeletons of dubious provenance. Laws governing how real human remains of any kind may be obtained and used for research, after all—as well as whether individuals can buy and sell such remains— are already uneven worldwide. Add to that the new ability to traffic in digital data representing these remains, and the ethical minefield becomes infinitely more fraught. “When someone downloads these skulls and reconstructs them,” says Ericka L’Abbé, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, “it becomes their data, their property.”

(10) FUTURE HISTORY HAPPENS. James Davis Nicoll got Tor.comreaders excited about “5Thrilling Tales of Deadly Nuclear Reactors”. Or maybe it was him nukingHeinlein.

“Blowups Happen” is set in Robert A. Heinlein’s Future History. Rising demand for energy justifies the construction of a cutting-edge nuclear reactor. There is little leeway between normal operation and atomic explodageddon, which puts a lot of pressure on the power plant’s operators. A work environment that requires flawless performances—lest a moment’s inattention blow a state off the map—results in significant mental health challenges for the workforce. How to keep the workers focused on their task without breaking them in the process?

This story dates from what we might think of as the Folsom point era of nuclear energy… No, wait, that’s unfair to Folsom points, which are sophisticated hi-tech, really. This was the era when the atomic version of fire-hardened spear points was still on the drawing board. Hence Heinlein can be forgiven for getting essentially every detail about nuclear power wrong. What wasn’t clear to me was how a power plant composed of pure atomic explodium got licensed in the first place. Perhaps it was because this nonchalant attitude towards safety infuses the whole of the Future History. Just ask Rhysling.

(11) CLOSE DOWN. “Twitter apologises for letting ads target neo-Nazis andbigots”.

Twitter has apologised for allowing adverts to be micro-targeted at certain users such as neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups.

The BBC discovered the issue and that prompted the tech firm to act.

Our investigation found it possible to target users who had shown an interest in keywords including “transphobic”, “white supremacists” and “anti-gay”.

Twitter allows ads to be directed at users who have posted about or searched for specific topics.

But the firm has now said it is sorry for failing to exclude discriminatory terms.

Anti-hate charities had raised concerns that the US tech company’s advertising platform could have been used to spread intolerance.

(12) WHO’S NOT BOND. “JamesBond: Barbara Broccoli says character ‘will remain male'” – BBC isshaken but not stirred.

The producer of the James Bond films has ruled out making the character female after Daniel Craig’s departure.

No Time To Die, which will be released in April, marks Craig’s final outing as 007, and his replacement has not yet been announced.

“James Bond can be of any colour, but he is male,” producer Barbara Broccoli told Variety.

“I believe we should be creating new characters for women – strong female characters.

“I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”

The forthcoming Bond film will see actress Lashana Lynch play a female 00 agent after Craig’s Bond has left active service.

Lynch was seen in character for the first time in the trailer, reigniting the conversation about whether James Bond himself could be re-cast as a woman for the next film.

Broccoli oversees the franchise with her half-brother Michael G Wilson. “For better or worse, we are the custodians of this character,” she said. “We take that responsibility seriously.”

(13) NOT SO PRIMITIVE. We keep finding we underestimated past versions of humans;now the BBC reports that “Neanderthals‘dived in the ocean’ for shellfish”

New data suggests that our evolutionary cousins the Neanderthals may have been diving under the ocean for clams.

It adds to mounting evidence that the old picture of these anciClam shells that wash up on beaches can be distinguished from those that are still live when they’re gathered.ent people as brutish and unimaginative is wrong.

Until now, there had been little clear evidence that Neanderthals were swimmers.

But a team of researchers who analysed shells from a cave in Italy said that some must have been gathered from the seafloor by Neanderthals.

The findings have been published in the journal Plos One.

The Neanderthals living at Grotta dei Moscerini in the Latium region around 90,000 years ago were shaping the clam shells into sharp tools.

Paolo Villa, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and colleagues, analysed 171 such tools, which all came from a local species of mollusc called the smooth clam (Callista chione). The tools were excavated by archaeologists at the end of the 1940s.

Clam shells that wash up on beaches can be distinguished from those that are still live when they’re gathered.

[Thanks to Contrarius, John King Tarpinian, Nina, Martin MorseWooster, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, N., and JJ for some ofthese stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day DanielDern.]

Posted in Pixel Scroll | Tagged Foz Meadows, Future Tense, Heinlein, James Bond, James Davis Nicoll, Joseph Hurtgen, Neanderthals, Neil Gaiman, Rimi Chatterjee | 2 Replies

Superman Comic Strip Debuted

By Cat Eldridge: On this day in 1939, the Supermancomic strip appeared for readers for the very first time.  Let metell about it as it’s a fascinating story. It began on this date, and aseparate Sunday strip was added on November 5, 1939. Both of the strips rancontinuously without an interruption until May 1966. In 1941, the McClureSyndicate which controlled its distribution had placed the strip in hundreds ofnewspapers. The Syndicate says that some three hundred papers with twentymillion readers had access to the strip at its peak.

Setting aside the numbers,let’s turn to who created it. Joe Shuster was the initial artist but within afew years, he had turned over those duties to his bullpen including Paul Cassidy,Leo Neowik and JerrySiegel who were among the first and Bill Finger would be the last to doit before it ceased in the Sixties. 

Siegel wrote them beforehe was drafted in 1943. Whitney Ellsworth, who had begun working on the stripin 1941, did them for four years. Jack Schiff began his writing on the strip in1942 and worked on the strip off and on until 1962. Alvin Schwartz firststarted writing on it in 1944, and he continued on the strip more or less until1958. Finger and Sebel finished off writing it in the last several years.

The strip had a number offirsts including the telephone booth costume change, the appearanceof a bald Lex Luthor, and the appearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk. 

Superman: The CompleteComic Strips 1939-1966 is anunofficial name for the strips now in exquisite hardcover collections publishedby The Library of American Comics. 

Posted in Graphic Examples | Tagged Cat Eldridge, Superman | Leave a reply

Christopher Tolkien (1924-2020)

Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien and the last of the Inklings, died January 15 at the age of 95 the New York Times reports.

For nearly 50 years after his father passed away in 1973, Christophercontinued to edit and publish his father’s unfinished manuscripts, givingJ.R.R. Tolkien’s literary output the benefit of two lifetimes’ work. Christopherassembled from pieces the epic Middle-Earth predecessor to Lord of the Rings,melding them into The Silmarillion (1977). Inall, he edited or oversaw the publication of two dozen editions of his father’sworks, many of which became international best sellers.

Alongthe way he produced 12 volumes of The History of Middle-earth, acompilation of drafts, fragments, rewrites, marginal notes and other writings thatshowed the evolution of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium.

Christopher is also credited with creating the acclaimed 1954 map of Middle-earth.

DuringWorld War II, when Christopher was serving with the Royal Air Force in SouthAfrica, his father mailed him parts of The Lord of the Rings for commentand editing.

After the war he studied English at Trinity College,Oxford, taking his BA in1949 and his B.Litta few years later. He becamea lecturer in Old and Middle English as well as Old Icelandic at the Universityof Oxford. 

In 1945, he became the youngest member of the Inklings, a circle of Oxford writers and scholars started in the Thirties by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others, who met weekly in Lewis’s college rooms. Christopher was told in a letter from his father that the Inklings proposed to consider him “a permanent member, with right of entry and what not quite independent of my presence or otherwise.”

Dr. Diana Glyer, author of twobooks about the Inklings, including TheCompany They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, mournedhis passing:

I must refer now to all the Inklings in past tense; the last of them has died. I met Christopher Tolkien, talked with him, corresponded from time to time. I have devoted my life to studying the Inklings. Today, they have slipped from solid, real, and tangible into the past, beyond reach. I no longer have the privilege of studying what is, only what was. Everything has changed.

J.R.R. Tolkien biographer John Garth ended his Facebook announcementof Christopher’s death with this fitting quote from the end of Lord of theRings:

“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

Christopher is survived by his secondwife, Baillie, his sister Priscilla, and three children, Simon,Adam and Rachel.

Posted in In Passing | Tagged Christopher Tolkien, Diana Pavlac Glyer, Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkien | 2 Replies

Glasgow 2024 Weekend Meeting

[The Glasgow 2024 team had their initial team meetings and social gatherings in Glasgow this past weekend, and James Bacon has sent us a thorough write-up.]

By James Bacon: It was lovely to be back inGlasgow, amongst fans, looking at the Scottish Exhibition Campus (formerly theSECC) and being welcomed and to the city which held two Worldconspreviously. 

It issuch a wonderful city and I was impressed to find that there are now tours ofGlasgow Central Station going underground, overground and so forth in properhard hats (glasgowcentraltours.co.uk).I paused to look around the Central Hotel which has changed so much since theMoscow 2017 bid with their incredible amount of vodkas tempting fans to supporttheir efforts in 1995. The view from the bar in the hotel which has hostedEastercons, Albacon of course, and those parties in 1995 looking out over thebusy station is lovely. 

Imade my way to the new Forbidden Planet, in its new premises on Sauchiehall St,it is very large, and I was stunned by how many new comics they stocked. It wasa vast amount. The shop is spread over two floors, and I was pleasantly engagedby some staff, which was helpful. Also on my list to get to were Thistle Books,Caledonia Books, the Voltaire & Rousseau Bookshop  and City Comics.All four not far north from the area of the SEC. 

The walk from the city to the SEC has changed, The Anderston‘bridge to nowhere’  Footbridge which I spent a lot of time contemplatingin 1995, in its unexpected glory leading to the sky, and of course the IainBanks Espedair Street reference. The area around the SEC has developed mightilyalso, The RadisonRed hotel, now one of six hotels in the immediate area (and two more are beingbuilt.) has a fabulous interior. All of the 174rooms and public spaces have wallpaper designed by legendary Glasgow comicartist Frank Quitely, depicting scenes in a beautiful style. 

EstherMacCallum-Stewart had announced at Novacon in 2015 that a team wereinvestigating Worldcon venues in the UK, concurrently with the practical visitsand analysis, presentations at Eastercon Smofcons and Novacons, fans were asked— Where would they like to go? — and Glasgow was overwhelmingly the mostpopular choice of city. The selection process came to fruition in 2019 when itwas announced at Eastercon that the SEC was the venue that the team would lookto bid for the 2024 Worldcon. At Dublin 2019 Lewis Hou and the Science Ceilidh(https://www.scienceceilidh.com/) had stolen the show, and it was a bold move to bring over the band fromScotland, which along with their parties and continual table work, saw over 600people pre-supporting the Glasgow 2024 bid. 

Itwas nice to walk into the SEC, to contemplate the venue. Mike, it’s a feckinglifetime ago since I was an Area Head here in Glasgow, at a Worldcon, but it isa great venue and it feels so nice to be here. The SEC welcomed the bid andhosted these meetings. Signage throughout the venue was adorned with the 2024Logo and Space Field, both by Sara Felix. 

Wewere joined by Jennifer Roddie of the SEC and Aileen Crawford of the GlasgowConvention Bureau. Aileen has worked with us on the previous Worldcons atGlasgow and as there have been several changes to the venue since it was lastused it was a good opportunity for everyone to see it for the first time or with fresh eyes.

Thetour was lovely but there have been many changes, technology is now much moreprevalent, the area on the mezzanine has been developed into a meeting academy,with what was a restaurant now a very nice 400-seater room and soft furnishingsin the common area. Space is of course a fair question. Worldcons are popular.London, Helsinki, and Dublin have demonstrated that there is more interest fromfans.

It istoo early to make assumptions of what exactly space will be used for, but whatis interesting is that Mark Meenan had already spent considerable time on thematter, thinking about new programme space, and shared the concept of having a1,500-seater Second Stage in Hall 2, a 400-seater programme space in Hall1 and the addition of M1 with its 400 seats and taking ideas that worked well,such as the giant Gaming Marquee that held the successful gaming at Loncon 3.With eight hotels now in the immediate vicinity, there are also so many moreoptions on smaller workshop type spaces, and of course the Armadillo, which hashad a refresh since I was last in it, will be used the full five days. I admitI found all this very exciting… and we even found a throne for Esther.

Thevision for the convention was then worked through, teams using word associationand short tasks to come up with ideas and thoughts, which were presented back.Marguerite Smith did a very good job of getting everyone thinking andcontemplating what they want and hope for and with a quick and energisedapproach we were soon vectoring in on tangible elements and tasks. Timeline,budget, and recruitment were all important items on the agenda for the weekend,and Marguerite took the lead and managed the 20+ people present. 

MegMacDonald and Matt Calvert were announced as the leads for the Bid Promotionsteam, beautifully choreographed just in time to question the task-based ideasthat came from the Promotions Brainstorming sessions, again managed byMarguerite, but here the new leads got to engage directly and explore new ideasand established strategies. 

Welcomingnew fans was something that was recognised as being very important, and it wasnot lost on me that in 2013, some seven years ago, Esther walked in to a Loncon3 staff meeting a new volunteer herself, and was in charge of multiple areas bythe time the convention occurred, went on to be a successful Division Head forDublin and is now Bid Chair. Although Esther did go to Conspiracy in 1987,possibly by accident. Marguerite was part of the Valley Forge NASFiC bid, andin early 2016 joined the Dublin team as a volunteer, was soon promoted toDeputy Division head and then onto DH for promotions. Other fans in the room,who had only volunteered for Dublin were now looking at more senior roles. Itwas amazing to think that one of the participants in the room, had been ayoungster at YAFA* in 2005 and was now making a very important contribution.The doors are open, and fans are coming in. There were also Albacon, Eastercon,Satellite, Worldcon staff and chairs all adding experience as well as thosebringing skills from outside fandom to the conversations. 

Itwas good fun there was a dynamism and energy to the weekend that was reallynice. Esther has sought out and found fans who are so excited with the prospectof a Glasgow Worldcon and keen to help and it was good to be brought togetherto chat and catch up. 

Bothevenings, drinking and chatting took place. The bar was rammed on Saturday, andBowmore 12 year old proved very popular.  A cracking good weekend. I’ll beback up for a comic book swap meet event in March and then Satellite 7 in May.(https://seven.satellitex.org.uk/)

*YoungAdult Fun Activities at Interaction the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon.

Posted in Worldcon | Tagged Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Glasgow in 2024, James Bacon, Sara Felix | Leave a reply

Clarkesworld’s Statement About Fall Story

Neil Clarke, Publisher of Clarkesworld, today posted in “About the Story by Isabel Fall” an extended statement dealing with the response to the work, especially on Twitter. (See overview: “Clarkesworld Removes Isabel Fall Story”.)

The concluding paragraphs are:

…Going forward, we will bear these lessons in mind, and hopefully we will become better at fulfilling our responsibilities to our authors, and to our readers.

In the meantime I offer my sincere apologies to those who were hurt by the story or the ensuing storms. While our lives have likely been quite different, I do understand what it is like to be bullied and harassed for an extended period of time. I can empathize, even if I can’t fully understand life in your shoes.

I have also privately apologized to Isabel. She has chosen to sign over her payment for this story to Trans Lifeline, “a non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis—for the trans community, by the trans community.” They have been a vital resource for her and inspired by her actions, I have decided to match the gift.

Through the course of these events, I’ve encountered many deeply personal stories from readers and authors. I’d like to thank those people for sharing and providing many of us with further opportunities to learn from their experiences. Aside from getting to know Isabel, that has been the high point of this experience. I wish you all the best and appreciate you taking the time to share….

Posted in Like Show Business | Tagged Clarkesworld, Isabel Fall, Neil Clarke | 11 Replies

Wandering Through the Public Domain #26

A regular exploration of public domain genre work availablethrough ProjectGutenberg, Internet Archive,and Librivox.

By Colleen McMahon:

Itook a hiatus for the holiday season but I’m back and ready to dig into somemore of the public domain treasures out there for fans of old-time sciencefiction, fantasy, and horror.

Sincethe new Robert Downey Jr. version of Dolittle is coming out this week, Ithought it might be a good time to take a look at Hugh Lofting, the originatorof the Dr. Dolittle character and stories.

HughLofting(1886-1947) didn’t set out to be a writer. Born in Berkshire, England, hestudied civil engineering at MIT and London Polytechnic and spent several yearstraveling the world doing engineering work. When World War I began, he enlistedand served in France for several years before being wounded and invalided out.

Thecharacter of Doctor Dolittle, a Victorian physician who can talk to animals andministers to them instead of humans, originated in the trenches during the war.Lofting later explained that his actual experiences were either too horrible ortoo dull to include in letters home to his children, so he began writingstories about Dolittle and illustrating them with pen-and-ink line drawingsinstead.

Hecollected those stories into his first book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle,which was published in 1920 to immediate acclaim. He wrote seven more Dolittlebooks between 1920 and 1928, when he tried to end the series by sending DoctorDolittle off planet in Doctor Dolittle in the Moon

Populardemand led him to write four more Dolittle books in the 1930s and 1940s, andtwo additional collections were published posthumously in the 1950s. He alsowrote several works for children that were not in the Dolittle series, and abook-length anti-war poem called Victory for the Slain, published in1942.

Thefirst few Doctor Dolittle books are in the public domain now and are availableat Project Gutenberg:

DoctorDolittle’s Circus waspublished in 1924 and thus entered the public domain in the United States onJanuary 1 of this year. It will likely be released by Project Gutenberg in thenext few months.

Anon-Dolittle picture book, The Story ofMrs. Tubbs, wasalso published in 1923 and is on Internet Archive.

Librivox has multiple versions of TheStory of Doctor Dolittle and The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle,including dramatic readings (where different volunteers voice the variouscharacters) of both. Two v