Over the past seven years, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Michael Swanwick presented a new fiction series at Tor.com, consisting of stand-alone stories all set in the same world—an alternate fin de siècle Europe shot through with magic, mystery, and intrigue.
For this Critical Mass, we’re going to discuss the series to date: please read a few or perhaps all of the stories in the series. They can be found on the Tor.com website, listed in order on this page: Mongolian Wizard
Time: Nov 18, 2020 7:00-8:30pm Adelaide (7:30-9:00pm Melbourne)Note: There will be a ten minute tea-break at around 7:40
The 2020 edition of Some of the Best from Tor.com is an anthology of 29 favorite short stories and novelettes selected from the stories Tor have published this year. The eBook edition will be available for free on January 5, 2021. Of course, you can enjoy all of these stories right now at the links listed here.
Our guest for the October 21st Crit Mass is Kathleen Jennings, writer and artist. Kathleen Jennings is based in Brisbane. As an illustrator, she has been shortlisted four times for the World Fantasy Awards, once for the Hugos, and once for the Locus Awards, as well as winning a number of Ditmars. As a writer, she has won two Ditmars and been shortlisted for the Eugie Foster Memorial Award and for several Aurealis Awards.
One of Australia’s foremost fans, John Bangsund, died August 22 of COVID-19 at the age of 81.
It was his idea to have a Worldcon in Australia, and he served as Toastmaster when Aussiecon was held in 1975. Bangsund got into fandom in 1963. His first fanzine article was published by Lee Harding in Canto 1 in 1964. For years he was central to Melbourne fandom, a charter member of the Nova Mob and a member of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club.
His fanzine Australian Science Fiction Review, published from 1966-1969,was twice nominated for the Hugo (1967, 1968), and won a Ditmar Award (1969). (In 1969 he renamed it Scythrop.) Bangsund was a Best Fan Writer Hugo finalist in 1975. Scanned issues of Bangsund’s Australian Science Fiction Revieware available at Fanac.org.
ASFR lasted only a few years but it set a new standard for quality of reviewing, for reasoned criticism, for consistency, for intelligence and for humour. Not only that, but ASFR was noticed overseas as well, putting Australia on the map as a place where fans and writers existed; fans and writers who were worth reading and who were worth knowing. The Australian readers of the original ASFR went on to become our established SF writers, our most erudite critics, our Big-Name Fans and our Boring Old Farts. When the established mainstream author George Turner told his publisher that he was interested in Science Fiction, George was introduced to John Bangsund. John introduced George to a new world which George then made his own.
Irwin Hirsh also notes, “It was through John’s efforts in being able to get ASFR into Australian bookshops that many sf fans were introduced into fandom. Clubs in Sydney, Brisbane and elsewhere were formed out of people reading John’s fanzine.”
V.E. Schwab’s new novel The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is being made into a feature film. Studio eOne has acquired rights for the movie.
Schwab is writing the script (her screenwriting debut) based on an initial draft from Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage. The story follows Addie LaRue, who makes a Faustian bargain to live forever. In return, she’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. That all changes 300 years later, when she stumbles upon a man who remembers her name. The novel will be published on Oct. 6 by Tor.
Nova Mob have kindly offered us use of their paid zoom account, which would allow us to have longer meetings and breakout rooms.
Adam and Roman think this is most kind of them, but feel we should offer to contribute to the cost of the account. It would cost around $200 for a basic account if paid annually, so we suggested to Nova Mob that we appreciate their offer, but would expect to pay half the cost ($100).
If any of the members of Critical Mass would like to contribute towards this cost, please contact Roman via email to arrange payment of a contribution.
We think we might be able to use zoom to run a one-day online convention at the end of the year, perhaps inviting various fans to contribute talks, panel or workshops. Contact Roman or Adam if you’d like to help out. We have organised (in person) day-long mini-con events in the past with some success.
Australian editor and fan John Bangsund, 81, died August 22, 2020 of complications from COVID-19. He lived in Preston, Victoria, Australia. Born 1939 in Melbourne, Bangsund was active in Australian fandom beginning in 1963, and was a driving force in the scene through the 1980s. He was crucial in organizing the 1975 Worldcon in Melbourne, and served as toastmaster there. He was a charter member of the Nova Mob, a member of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club and a founding member of the Australian and New Zealand Amateur Publishing Association. He co-chaired the Australian Natcon in 1970, and was fan guest of honor at the 1974 Natcon. Bangsund edited numerous fanzines and apazines, including Australian Science Fiction Review (a Hugo Award finalist in 1967 and ’68, later renamed Scythrop), Philosphical Gas, Parergon Papers, and John W. Campbell — An Australian Tribute (with Ronald E. Graham), among others. He was newsletter editor for the Victorian Society of Editors. In 1975, Bangsund was a finalist for the best Fan Writer Hugo Award, and was a Ditmar Award finalist four times (Australian SF Review won in 1969). He won an A. Bertram Chandler Award in 2001, and a FAAN Award for Lifetimes Achievement in 2016.Bangsund was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-August, and his health rapidly deteriorated. He is survived by wife Sally Yeoland.