Glitter and Hope storybundle

The Glitter and Hope Bundle – Curated by Cat Rambo

I think I speak for all of us when I say that 2020 has not gone exactly how I expected it to, and this StoryBundle has been no exception. I originally conceived of it as a hopepunk centered bundle, but as I sorted through possibilities, I found less punk than plenty of hopeful stories that reminded me that hope comes in all sorts of forms, not all of them as in your face as hopepunk.

Hope can find its origin in friendship, whether on an alien planet or a New York street corner. It can come from writing, in a myriad shades as multi-colored as the ink in which it’s inscribed. It glitters at the bottom of Pandora’s box, waiting to escape. Waiting to provide comfort and lightand renewed vigor for the fight.

So this is a bundle centered on hope with a touch of glitter, rather than grit, and I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did. It’s a range of flavors as well as forms: novels, including some beginnings; connected short stories; sequential novellas; and an anthology of stories connected by theme. – Cat Rambo

You only have a couple of days left if you’re interested:
https://storybundle.com/blog/glitterandhopebundle/

Storybundle: Chills & Wonder

The Chills & Wonder Bundle – Curated by Kevin J. Anderson
Enjoy these thirteen books in the “Chills and Wonder” StoryBundle curated by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson. These are some of the best, most entertaining dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and thriller novels—all thirteen books for as little as $15, and a portion goes to support the Challenger Learning Centers. This bundle is available for another 17 days…
The StoryBundle includes the just-released anthology Monsters, Movies & Mayhem, with 23 all original stories about monsters and movies by Jonathan Maberry, David Gerrold, Fran Wilde, Rick Wilber, and many others. Lights! Camera! Monsters!
In the gritty thriller Disappeared by Lucienne Diver, a mother is missing, a father left to tell the tale, and their kids are determined to get to the truth or die trying. Steven-Elliot Altman’s Severed Wings is a romantic urban fantasy thriller that will make you believe in angels and demons and everything in between. Recommended for readers from American Gods to Twilight. In Keeper of the Winds by Russell Davis, nineteen-year-old Jenna Solitaire discovers an ancient family artifact, a wooden board covered in runes. It is coveted by powerful forces, and they will stop at nothing to take it from her.
In Amity Green’s The Witcher Chime, a deadly, possessive entity imprints on members of Savannah Caleman’s family, making her the latest object of obsession in this chilling, historical tale of haunted legacy and terror. In Book and Blade by Erik Lynd, Christopher never asked to inherit the office of the Beast or take up the mantle of the Hunter of Lost Souls. He never asked for his safe, comfortable world to be shattered and his family taken from him. And to make matters worse, it was all a mistake.
Melinda M. Snodgrass, one of the writers for Star Trek: The Next Generation, introduces readers to White Fang Law in This Case Is Gonna Kill Me. Fresh out of law school, Linnet Ellery is offered a position at of one the most prestigious firms in New York—one that caters to supernatural clients. Linnet will need all of her vaunted luck to avoid the cutthroat office politics, backroom deals, supernatural killers, and centuries-old schemers…
But there’s more—An insect-loving boy discovers that his new boarding school harbors a dark past and grisly secrets in Sarah Read’s The Bone Weaver’s Orchard. In The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, strange transformations destroyed Phoebe’s friends, and now threaten her own existence. And New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry presents a collection of hairy detective tales in Beneath the Skin, It’s hard enough being a low-rent private investigator—but when you’re also a werewolf, things take a turn for the weird.
The Chills & Wonder StoryBundle includes three exclusive titles, including a new edition of Alexandre Dumas’s long-unavailable classic The Wolf Leader, one of the first werewolf novels ever written, by the author of The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask. New edition with a Foreword by Jonathan Maberry.

Nova Mob Aug 5th: Farah Mendlesohn on Robert Heinlein

Nova Mob’s convenor, Murray, writes:
Our guest is Farah Mendlesohn, who is a simply amazing person: BSFA, Clareson and Hugo-award winning academic, critic, author, editor, essayist, historian, reviewer, disability advocate, con organiser and fan. Farah will be videoconferencing to us from London on Zoom, from what could be described as a door into summer. Her topic is: 

Robert Heinlein: 50 years as the SF genre’s pivot point. 

Farah’s latest book is The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein. In terms suitable for a festschrift’s blurb Paul Kincaid in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes it as “an ambitious and intensive argument for conceiving of Robert A Heinlein‘s long career as a surprisingly integrated whole; it won a BSFA Award for best nonfiction.”
That award was announced on 17 May 2020, and made Farah the only person to have won the BSFA twice for non-fiction; she will be speaking to us with the award newly perched in the trophy cabinet.
Nova Mob is now celebrating 50 years and a sterling examination of such a central author of the genre as RAH is a great way to do so. Twenty years in, this is the most significant critical work on Robert Heinlein of the millennium thus far.

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting:

Topic: Nova Mob Aug 2020 Farah Mendlesohn 

Time: Aug 5, 2020 08:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (7:30 Adelaide)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4177583193?pwd=VjdPL1BhSTBNclN2YnRsejN3Y1hlUT09

Meeting ID: 417 758 3193

Passcode: nova

Please share this invitation to friends of the Nova Mob.

The Pleasant Profession of Robert A Heinlein is widely available in e-book formats. 
Original crowd-funded publication:
https://unbound.com/books/robert-heinlein/

For Australian currency, booktopia has it for just over $10. 
https://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?author=Farah%20Mendlesohn

The accompanying bio says Farah Mendlesohn is “the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, and the Cambridge Companion to Fantasy and co-wrote A Short History of Fantasy, all with Edward James. Her other work includes Rhetorics of Fantasy and Diana Wynne Jones and the Children’s Fantastical Tradition. She won the Hugo Award with Edward James in 2005, and is currently working on a book about fiction about the English Civil War.”

Hugo Awards

Straight from CoNZealand, Ellen Boucher provides details of the award winners:

Martine, Jemisin, El-Mohar and Gladstone win 2020 Hugo Awards
by Ellen Boucher

Arkady Martine’s debut novel, A Memory Called Empire, which explores the links between language, culture and interplanetary politics, has won the Hugo Award for the Best Novel.
This Is How You Lose the Time War, a time travelling spy love story, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone won in the Best Novella category, and Emergency Skin, set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, by N.K. Jemisin for the Best Novelette.
For the first time ever, the awards were presented in a virtual ceremony as part of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).
S.L. Huang’s As the Last I May Know won the Hugo for the Best Short Story and the Expanse, by James S. A. Corey won the Best Series category.
Jeannette Ng’s 2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech, which led to the award’s name being changed, received a Hugo for Best Related Work.
— more details on the CoNZealand website

Crit Mass Aug 19th: The Kraken

This month, Kate Treloar will be looking at The Kraken.
As noted last newsletter, there are various items you might like to read/view.
NOVELS

  • Kraken by China Mieville (2010)
  • The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (1953)

SHORT STORY


Part of the installation Beatrice by Julia Robinson at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide. Do the tentacles look familiar?

As before, we’re meeting via Zoom

Meeting details:
Topic: The Kraken — Critical Mass, Adelaide
Start Time: Aug 19, 2020 7:00 pm Adelaide, 7:30 Melbourne
<tea break at 7:40pm>
Meeting resumes 7:50pm, for an 8:30 finish.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75115213552?pwd=eVdMNTBxOHVVTTMxQ0FGSDI5M3BjZz09

Meeting ID: 751 1521 3552
Passcode: Ds3ksp

On Stanislaw Lem

His impact on science fiction is undeniable – not only because of what Lem wrote and predicted (e-paper, for example), but also due to how he wrote it. His prose is very precise, carefully planned, seemingly concise and distant, only to reveal at a second glance an incredible depth of emotions, breathtaking imagination, painful questions and even more harrowing answers about human nature and the Universe. It’s paradoxical, at times absurdly funny, at times depressing, almost always unsettingly convincing. And in many cases, it’s just utterly brilliant. I won’t hesitate to put many of his novels among the best of the best in sf, ever. Mulling over Lem’s more difficult novels takes as much time – or more – as reading them; and they stay with the reader for a long time afterwards. But Lem also wrote wonderfully funny, witty satires, little morality plays dressed up as fables, hilarious accounts of interstellar travelers, and twisted crime novels with no perpetrators. During his later years he turned toward philosophical essays, analyzing the significance of nanotechnology, AI, and virtual reality – but his most influential, and the best in my opinion, are his science fiction novels.

— Ola G, “On Stanislaw Lem”, Re-enchantment Of The World

Crit Mass, Aug 19th: Kraken good reads

In August Kate Treloar will look at the Kraken – the myth, the reality it’s based on, and key inclusions in literature and popular culture.
Krakens are giant squid sea monsters from the ocean’s depths, capable of destroying ships and hurling hapless sailors to watery deaths. Seemingly based on real creatures, the line between reality, myth and imagination easily blurs, providing a fascinating topic to explore.
Before the Kraken catchup, you may be interested in delving into a selection from this list:
NOVELS

  • Kraken by China Mieville (2010)
  • The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (1953)

SHORT STORY

“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .”
—Algernon Blackwood.

MOVIES

  • Clash of the Titans (1981, 2010)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

MOVIE SCENE

POETRY
“The Kraken” (1830) – Victorian Web
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
“The Kraken”, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical by Alfred Tennyson

Further suggestions welcome!!

Crit Mass, July 15th: Octothorpe, Plokta! and Guff

Our special guest for the July Critical mass meeting is this year’s GUFF winner, Alison Scott. Undaunted by the COVID-19 lockdown, she is planning a virtual GUFF trip through Australia, culminating in Wellington for CoNZealand, this year’s worldcon.

As part of the Plokta cabal, Alison was involved in producing this award-winning fanzine. (See https://www.plokta.com/plokta/index.html for copies.)


She’s been involved in organising conventions, and was slated to appear as GoH at this year’s Eastercon. Undaunted by the lockdown, she still held her fannish room party — online!


Her fondness for the Traditional London First Thursday Pub nights prompted her to create an online equivalent via zoom rooms.

And then just to top it all, she’s recently launched a podcast, Octothorpe,
with John Coxon and Liz Batty.


This Critical Mass will be in three parts, each of 40 minutes duration.
Part One: A chat with Alison Scott
Jul 15, 2020 7:00pm – 7:40pm Adelaide (7:30 Melbourne)
<10 min tea break>
Part Two: More chatting + Q&A, initial discussion about the novellae
Jul 15, 2020 07:50 — 8:30pm Adelaide (8:20 Melbourne time)
<10 min wine break>
Part Three: Picking the Hugo winner & general chat
Jul 15, 2020 08:40 — 9:20pm Adelaide (9:10 Melbourne time)

Zoom meeting details:
Meeting ID: 768 9343 2810
Password: 2LYCvH
Note you will need version 5 of the zoom app!

We will be discussing the last two of the Hugo nominated novellae:

  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)

Critical Mass, July 15th

Once more, we will be discussing two of the Hugo nominated novellae:

  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga Press/Gallery)