A Future Ministry?

Wailin Wong, an NPR reporter for the economics show The Indicator— and Alec Nevala-Lee’s wife — has a new episode featuring Kim Stanley Robinson. Listen at the link: “A monetary policy solution to to the climate crisis : The Indicator from Planet Money”.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2020 sci-fi novel The Ministry for the Future imagines a not-too-distant world where central banks worldwide come together to create a carbon coin, a monetary-policy-based solution to the climate crisis. The idea has been sparking real word debate in policy circles. What can a novel teach us about the role of central banks in addressing the climate crisis?

from File770

New Doctor Who companion

The new companion for The Doctor, Ruby Sunday, will be played by Millie Gibson.

Gibson said in a statement, “Whilst still being in total disbelief, I am beyond honored to be cast as the Doctor’s companion. It is a gift of a role, and a dream come true, and I will do everything to try and fill the boots the fellow companions have travelled in before me. And what better way to do that than being by the fabulous Ncuti Gatwa’s side, I just can’t wait to get started.”

The Peripheral on TV

Gibson’s The Peripheral (2014) was a novel based around immersive virtual reality, which makes you feel like you’ve been transported to another place and even another person’s body. The book is set in 2032, in an age where it’s possible to move from one version of time to another. It’s not a kind of time travel, it’s a point in time where you can move backward, change the events of the past, and create two or more different branches of time. One might go on to become reality, and the other might disappear as a truncated “stub” of time.

Flynne Fisher (played by Chloe Grace Moretz), her Marine veteran brother, Burton (Jack Reynor), and their dying mother live in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2032. As their mother’s health deteriorates and the medical bills add up, Flynne and Burton make extra money playing simulations (Sims). When Burton is offered a chance to beta test a new Sim, it’s Flynne who ends up playing, pretending to be her brother.
The Sim takes place in London and it involves Flynne breaking into a corporation known as the Research Institute to steal a valuable secret. When the assignment goes badly wrong, Flynne begins to realize the Sim might be more real than she thinks.

Some of the strange additions to a future London in the Prime Video adaptation of the William Gibson novel The Peripheral.

The Arthur C Clarke Award

The annual Arthur C. Clarke Award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year.The award judges are a voluntary body with members nominated by the award’s supporting organisations, currently the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation and the Sci-Fi-London film festival.

Award media partner: SFX Magazine

WINNERS AND SHORTLISTS

2022
Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles – WINNER
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine
A River Called Time by Courttia Newland
Wergen: The Alien Love War by Mercurio D. Rivera
Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley

2021
The Animals in that Country – Laura Jean McKay – WINNER
The Infinite – Patience Agbabi
The Vanished Birds – Simon Jimenez
Vagabonds – Hao Jingfang
Edge of Heaven – R.B. Kelly
Chilling Effect  -  Valerie Valdes

Nova Mob, Nov 2: Ian Mond on the best books of 2022

Mondiale – Ian Mond’s best books not packaged as genre

One of the pleasures of the Nova Mob is Ian’s annual talk on the year’s best SF, fantasy, and horror books, selected from those that aren’t marketed as genre but instead typically have the words “A Novel” somewhere on the cover for the discerning book shop browser to be absolutely certain as to what it is they are buying. We welcome Ian again this year, and he has selected 10 books for your reading delight. Hear about them, and why #10 is good and his #1 pick is better, at our meeting on 2 November. As usual with Nova Mob talks there’s lively discussion, so attendance in person is recommended, however the Zoom option is available, it’s part of how we do things now.

Face to face

You are invited to an in-person Nova Mob meeting:
Wednesday 2 November
8.00pm – 9.15 pm or so, first floor Conference Room

Kensington Town Hall, 30 – 34 Bellair St

Kensington Melbourne VIC 3031

By Zoom – simulcast

For those who prefer not to travel or are unable to attend face-to-face. This’ll be close to a webcast or radiocast in style, emitted electronically from the Kensington Town Hall. Questions or comments typed into the Zoom chat will be passed through to Ian as the opportunity permits.

Wednesday 2 November

8.00pm – 9.30 pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney time / 7.30pm – 9.00pm Adelaide time
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4177583193?pwd=VjdPL1BhSTBNclN2YnRsejN3Y1hlUT09

Passcode: nova

Meeting ID: 417 758 3193

About Ian Mond

Last year’s list of recommended reading is attached.

Ian writes for Locus as well as being a Nova Mob member and enthusiastic viewer of Dr Who (and occasional writer of Whovian fiction), so I’ll quote from Locus by way of bio and an example of his work:

“Ian Mond loves to talk about books. For eight years he co-hosted a book podcast, The Writer and the Critic, with Kirstyn McDermott. Recently he has revived his blog, The Hysterical Hamster, and is again posting mostly vulgar reviews on an eclectic range of literary and genre novels. You can also follow Ian on Twitter (@Mondyboy) or contact him at mondyboy74@gmail.com.

Hard Places, Kirstyn McDermott (Trepidatio 978-1-68510-057-5, $22.95, 312pp, tp) July 2022.

“The year was 1994 and I was attending the monthly meeting of the Melbourne Horror Society at the Māori Chief Hotel in South Melbourne. Issue #3 of Bloodsongs – Australia’s first professional horror fiction magazine – had just been released, and the members, which in­cluded the periodical’s two editors, were poring over copies and discussing the content.

Sitting across from me at one of the tables was a new member, a young woman around my age dressed mostly in black. Before I had a chance to intro­duce myself, she asked me what I thought of “And the Moon Yelps”, one of the stories featured in the issue. I told her that I loved it, that I thought it was one of the best, if not the strongest piece, in the magazine. “I’m glad you thought so,” she said, “because I wrote it.” This is how I met Kirstyn McDermott. Twenty-eight years later and we remain close friends; we even host a podcast together (it’s called The Writer and the Critic; I may have mentioned it a few hundred times in this column). I’ve never really given much thought to what might have happened if I’d told Kirstyn that I didn’t like “And the Moon Yelps”. But then, I can’t imagine a possible universe where I didn’t love that story or the horror and dark fantasy she has written since. Now, with the publication of Hard Places, a curated collection of her short fiction, I have the pleasure of revisiting her work.”

💥 💥 💥

Pre-Mob dining – at the Doutta Galla Hotel 

November 2. Booking made. Hats and fascinators optional.

The usual booking has been made at the Doutta Galla for those who enjoy good pub fare. Usual story – arrive when you like and as a Mob member there’s a seat for you and any friends you bring along. Most folk arrive about 6.30p.m.

339 Racecourse Rd, Flemington. Corner of Eastwood St, next to the railway bridge immediately south of Newmarket Station.

Booking for: NOVA MOB REGULAR BOOK CLUB
Booking on: Wednesday, 2nd of November (2/11/22)
Area: Dining
Time: 6:00pm onward

I’m not aware of any alternative dining locations or groups being arranged. Cheap eats in Melbourne are a confusing picture at the moment. 

💥 💥 💥

Nova Mob Calendar

November 2 – Ian Mond “Mondiale – best books of 2022”. In person and Zoom.

December 7 – Chris Flynn “Here Be Leviathans”. In person and Zoom.

December 14 – end of year celebration event. In person only. Post Office Hotel, Coburg, 6.00pm until late (pub closes at 11.00pm)

1st February 2023 – First meeting of the new year. Topic to be finalised, as well as suggestions for the 2023 program.

💥 💥 💥

Shelley Parker-Chan wins Astounding Award

We rather like how the publicity was handled in Australia

“Hugo Award for Best New Writer” said the news release. 

Parker-Chan wins Hugo Award for Best New Writer

9 September 2022 

“Australian writer Shelley Parker-Chan has won the Best New Writer category at the Hugo Awards for science fiction.

“Parker-Chan’s debut She Who Became the Sun was first published in the US by Tor Books in 2021 before being published by Pan Macmillan Australia. The novel is a genderqueer reimagining of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang’s rise to power in 14th-century China. Zhu, a peasant assigned female at birth, assumes their deceased brother’s identity as they begin their path to unifying China under native rule and becoming the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

She Who Became the Sun was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel, which was won by Arkady Martine for A Desolation Called Peace (Tor).”

Ikarie XB-1: a film worth viewing

In 2011 the BFI Southbank ran a series of films under the collective title of Kosmos: A Soviet Space Odyssey. The expected Tarkovsky double of Solaris and Stalker aside, this was a revelatory collection that included such exotic titles as the 1936 Cosmic Voyage, the 1959 The Silent Star, the 1962 Planet of Storms, and the 1924 blockbuster Aelita, Queen of Mars. But prince of these splendid rediscoveries has to be Jindřich Polák’s 1963 Czechoslovakian space opera, Ikarie XB 1 .

Based on the novel Magellan Cloud by Solaris author Stanislaw Lem, the film is set in the year 2163 aboard a spaceship bound for the distant star of Alpha Centauri, which is orbited by planets that scientists believe are capable of supporting life. During the course of the journey, the routine and locational restrictions of their mission see the crew’s initial enthusiasm begin to wane, all of which changes when they encounter what appears to be an abandoned alien ship.

In case you haven’t guessed it, the title of the film is also the name of the ship on which these cosmonauts are travelling, one that apparently translates as “Icarus XB 1,” a questionable choice for a craft that is heading towards a distant sun. Then again, the film makes no secret that the mission is destined to take a dramatic turn, announced in an opening sequence in which crew member Michal (Otto Lackovič), wide-eyed with terror and brandishing a laser pistol, proclaims that the Earth has vanished and then blows away the camera on which he is being observed by his concerned crewmates.

from Kim Newman’s review at http://www.cineoutsider.com/reviews/bluray/i/ikarie_xb_1_br.html

FANAC history series

Edie Stern notes: We’re gearing up for another year of focused Fan History Zoom sessions, and I hope you will join us. We’re doing 2 sessions this fall (and planning for 4 next spring), and the first one is coming up at the end of October. We are very pleased to announce:

Sunday October 30, 2022, 
Time: 2pm EDT, 1pm CDT, 11am PDT, 6PM London
, 3:30am Adelaide*
An Interview with Maggie Thompson: Before, During and After the Origins of Comics Fandom, with interviewer Dr. Chris Couch
A 2020 inductee into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, Maggie Thompson has the unique distinction of being a second generation science fiction fan, one of the architects of comics fandom in the early 60s, and a much revered professional in the comics field. With her husband, Don Thompson, she pubbed her ish (Comic Art, Newfangles), and went on to edit the Comic Buyers Guide and other publications. She has written extensively in comics, and received the Inkpot Award, Jack Kirby award, Eisner Award and others. Interviewer Chris Couch is both a (second-generation) fan and author of a number of books on graphic novels and comics. He is senior lecturer at UMASS Amherst. Join us as Maggie illuminates the whys and wherefores of the origin of comics fandom, and how it grew, and her role in what it has become.

Saturday, December 10, 2022, Time: 4PM EST, 1PM PST, 9PM GMT, 6:30am Adelaide
Fannish Life in 1970s Pittsburgh, with Ginjer Buchanan, Linda Bushyager, Suzanne Tompkins, and Laurie Mann(m).

Pittsburgh in the late 60s/70s saw an explosion of fannish activity, with the founding of the Western Pennsylvania SF Association (WPSFA), the creation of PghLANGE and the publication of many fanzines, including Granfalloon (Linda Bushyager and Suzanne Thompkins). What made Pittsburgh special? Why the resurgence of fannish activity? Who were the driving forces? In this session, Ginjer Buchanan, Linda Bushyager and Suzanne Tompkins, three of the movers and shakers of 1970s Pittsburgh fandom, talk about that era. Our Moderator Laurie Mann is a current Pittsburgh fan as well as a fan historian.

As we get closer, I’ll send out reminders and zoom links. You can always find the latest schedule at 

https://fanac.org/zoom.html and feel free to forward this to whoever might be interested.
Looking forward to seeing you all again!
Best regards…Edie Stern
FANAC.org Webmaster

*note that if this is not a good time, the recording of the interview will be posted to youtube — there’s a list of interviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/FANACFanHistory

Critical Mass: Gillian on fantasy Food, Oct 26th

Two recipes – they go very well together, are easy to make, and are fine for a whole bunch of food restrictions. They’re from the Conflux Medieval feast, way back when, which means they’re part of fannish history, which is not a bad thing.


Gillian

Pomesmoille

Ingredients:

450 g cooking apples (no modern variety of apple is correct: Granny Smiths are closest I have found of the main Australian varieties)

70-140 g ground almonds
(to make 2 cups almond milk)

Slivered almonds (optional). 

up to 1/2 cup sugar
(amount of sugar depends on
how sweet the apples are)

1/4 cup rice flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ginger

1 pinch each of ground cloves, salt

Nutmeg.

Method:

Make an almond milk with ground almonds and milk. Mix sugar, rice flour and almond milk in saucepan. Stir in apples and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until quite thick. Take a spoonful of mixture and combine with all spices except nutmeg and with the slivered almonds if you’re using them, then reintroduce to the rest of the pudding. Pour into serving dish. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and chill.

Hypocras (spiced wine)

Ingredients:

1 litre dry white wine 

150 g icing sugar (not icing mixture)

½ tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ginger

½ tsp dried galingale or a small piece fresh galingale (dried galingale is authentic, but fresh is often easier to obtain)

Method:

Grind spices together. Add sugar and spices to wine. Mix well and let sit for two hours. Filter wine very thoroughly (preferably twice, using a double thickness of filter paper or fine material) until it is quite clear. Keep somewhere cool for at least a day or two before drinking.

Our guest speaker this month is Gillian Polack, who will join us via zoom.

Talking about food in fantasy novels. 
Gillian will talk about some of the different roles food can play in fantasy novels, focusing on recent (ish) Australian fantasy novels. This will include how food can help build narrative and reinforce character, how writers world build using food, plus the role genre and the writer’s personal background play in how food and foodways are incorporated. Stew will not be forgotten.

Join Zoom Meeting 6:30pm Wednesday, October 26th Adelaide
7pm Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney
9am London /11am Helsinki

In Person: Kappys, 22 Compton St, open from 6:15 for a 6:30 start
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89275675259?pwd=UG4rT0RaNFpOOEwyWlJOU0xOcHJ1UT09

Meeting ID: 892 7567 5259
Passcode: CritMass