Continuum Panels on SF fans now online

Two panels about sf fans in the 60s and 70s from recent Continuums have just been published at doxa.podbean.com

SF Fandom in first half of the 1970s

Leigh Edmonds introduces the topic, SF Fandom in the first half of the 1970s, and panel: Rob Gerrand, Robin Johnson and Bruce Gillespie.

70s panel warmup
The Panel: Robin, Bruce, Rob and Leigh (Photo: Cath Ortlieb) 

and

Sixies SF fandom History panel from Continuum 14

With Lee Harding, Rob Gerrand, Bill Wright and Leigh Edmonds (moderator).

Note: The earlier panel from 2017, MSFC Fan History Panel Continuum 13
is also available for listening  here

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New maps: More uncollected John Sladek

from the ansible website:
NewMaps

New Maps: More Uncollected John Sladek was released by Ansible Editions in April 2019. 98,000 words. Trade paperback 9″ x 6″, 255pp, ISBN 978-0-244-15877-4. $20 plus local postage from Lulu.com: click button below. Ebook in the usual formats at £5.50: again, click button below.

New Maps complements Maps: The Uncollected John Sladek, also compiled by David Langford and published by Big Engine in 2002. Maps was an attempt to bring together all John Sladek’s fiction that had not appeared in the collections published during his lifetime. (Click here for a full description, with contents.) Now New Maps does the same for his nonfiction.

Actually it’s a little more complicated than that. Besides stories, Maps included some autobiographical nonfiction. Besides a great many newly collected essays and reviews, New Maps includes further Sladek stories, characteristically weird non-stories and graphic features that came to light over the years since Maps in 2002.
Click the “Contents” button below for the full New Maps contents list.

Author biography Contents

Author biography Order trade paperback

Author biography Order ebook

The Rook: a spy/supernatural series

Starz has adapted a successful australian SF novel, The Rook, written by Daniel O’Malley, into a TV show. Myfanwy gets hints as to what’s happening by discovering letters addressed to her future, amnesiac self, as “Hello You”.

[Note: The first novel that DanielO’Malley wrote was published in 2012. It was titled The Rook. The novel went on to become such a huge hit that it became the winner of the Aurealis Award in 2012 in the Best Science Fiction Book category. The TV series looks likely to repeat the success.]

The book and the series both center on Myfanwy Thomas (Emma Greenwell), a woman who wakes up next to London’s Millennium Bridge with no memory of who she is and a circle of dead bodies around her. She eventually comes to find out that she’s part of a British secret agency for people with paranormal abilities called Checquy.

“David O’Malley invented [a] really intriguing, bizarre British agency that we discover Myfanwy is a part of,” executive producer and co-showrunner Karyn Usher told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday. “We spend more time in this season … exploring who Myfanwy is. Her primary concern is her own identity, trying to figure out who she is. She has lost her memory and everything she touches is a clue, trying to figure out her past and what happened. That general premise we took from the book. The world we took from the book.”

— full article by Megan Vick at https://www.tvguide.com/

Hannu Rajaniemi on Posthuman Utopias

‘‘The Jean le Flambeur books have a few different inspirations. I encountered the work of Maurice Leblanc between ages eight and ten, which was my voracious reading period at the local public library in my home town. Besides the Sherlock Holmes stories, my favourite books were the Arséne Lupin books by Leblanc, which were translated into Finnish. There was a period around when I first moved to Edinburgh when I was interested in these post-singularity, posthuman ideas. Some sort of connection clicked. First of all, I read a book by Robert Axelrod called The Evolution of Cooperation, which is all about the prisoner’s dilemma, and how it turns out that certain kinds of altruistic strategies have something of an advantage. I started thinking, ‘Okay, what if there was a posthuman prison that tried to exploit that phenomenon by having this enormously large-scale simulated prisoner’s dilemma game, where prisoners would go through multiple iterations and evolve towards becoming altruistic cooperators?’ I started wondering what sort of criminals would be in the prison. Because I wanted a sympathetic character, I came back to Leblanc and his Arsène Lupin. I started thinking about Arsène Lupin in a bit more depth and realised that he’s, in a way, a posthuman. In the sense that Arsène Lupin is not his real name, it’s an identity he’s created for himself. He’s kind of superhuman in the Sherlock Holmes way, but what I’m referring to more is that in the Leblanc books he goes through one transformation after another. He assumes all these different identities. Across the course of the LeBlanc books he must have over a hundred pseudonyms of various kinds, including disguising himself at one point as the head of the police unit that investigates himself.”
— excerpt from an interview in Locus magazine

Gods, Monsters, Tea masters and Detectives… August Crit Mass

This is the last of three meetings looking at the Hugo nominated novellas.

Here are the suggested readings for August, July 7th :
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press /
JABberwocky Literary Agency)
Bonus: *Time Was by Ian McDonald

TorNovellas5

Note that the bonus novellas (*) are three of five featured in Tor Editorial Spotlight #5, edited by Australia’s own Jonathan Strahan. The collection also includesThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan. 705pp for 5 novellas, around $15 as an ebook. More details at tor.com publishing

The “bonus” novella is just if you want to read some more, recent novellas.

Note: if you are a member of the Dublin worldcon, the hugo voter’s packet contains the full text of most of the nominees (see file770 ).
[ Supporting membership is 40 euros, which is approximately $AUS 65. Pretty good value for the packet contents.]

As usual, meeting at Kappys,  6:45 for a 7pm start.

Ann Leckie on Gender

‘‘At first, I was just playing with the universe for fun. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a society that genuinely didn’t care about gender?’ During Clarion West, I wrote a story set in that universe, and I used ‘he’ for everybody. I was totally unhappy with that. Why is male the default? Let’s make female the default! Of course, there are problems with that – serious problems. Using ‘she’ for everybody doesn’t genuinely give the impression of a society where gender doesn’t matter. (But it worked.)
‘‘The way you can’t deal with somebody without putting them into that gender pigeonhole is so strong! When you take a baby to the supermarket, everybody wants to lean over and coo at your baby, because babies are adorable. But sometimes, people lean over to coo at the baby and they stop, because they don’t know how to coo if they don’t know what gender the baby is. That blew my mind, when I had babies. They’d assume that my daughter was a boy, or my son was a girl, and I wouldn’t say anything, but at some point the truth would come out, and they’d go ‘Oh, I’m so sorry!’, like they ran over my dog or something. The baby doesn’t care, and how can you tell? There’s no reason to gender a baby.

from the August 2014 interview in Locus magazine

 

Ditmars 2019

The winners of the Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards for 2019 were presented at the 2019 Australian National SF Convention, (Continuum 15) in Melbourne on June 8.

Best Novel:City of Lies (Poison Wars 1), Sam Hawke, Tom Doherty Associates.

Best Novella or Novelette:
“Cabaret of Monsters”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Cabaret of Monsters, The Creature Court.

Best Short Story:
“The Heart of Owl Abbas”, Kathleen Jennings, in Tor.com

Best Collected Work:
Mother of Invention, Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Artwork:
Cover art, Likhain, for Mother of Invention, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium:
Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

Best Fan Writer:
Liz Barr, for writing in squiddishly.

Best New Talent:
Sam Hawke

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review:
Cat Sparks, for “The 21st Century Catastrophe: Hyper-capitalism and Severe Climate Change in Science Fiction” PhD exegesis.

The Rocket Man vs Rocketman

from File770:
ALL BRADBURY ALL THE TIME. Camestros Felapton points out the connections between Bradbury’s fiction and the Elton John biopic: “The Rocket Man versus Rocketman”.

Both the song and story feature a man who pilots an interplanetary rocket as a routine job that takes him away from his family for large stretches of time. However, the song places the perspective with the pilot (the titular rocket man) but the story focuses on the feelings and experiences of the pilot’s son.

Bradbury is such a powerful writer. Even though the sci-fi trappings of the story are of the gee-whiz 1950s style shiny technology, the story itself is focused on emotional connections and that signature Bradbury sense of the past and memory.

Crit Mass: July 3rd

We thought we’d look at the Hugo nominees for Best Novella over the next few meetings.

Here are the suggested readings:

July 3rd
Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
Bonus: *Proof of Concept of Gwyneth Jones
Note: the Binti novella is the third of the series; you might wish to read the first two to get the full story.

August
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press /
JABberwocky Literary Agency)
Bonus: *Time Was by Ian McDonald

TorNovellas5

Note that the bonus novellas (*) are three of five featured in Tor Editorial Spotlight #5, edited by Australia’s own Jonathan Strahan. The collection also includesThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan. 705pp for 5 novellas, around $15 as an ebook. More details at tor.com publishing

The “bonus” novella is just if you want to read some more, recent novellas.

Note: if you are a member of the Dublin worldcon, the hugo voter’s packet contains the full text of most of the nominees (see file770 ).
[ Supporting membership is 40 euros, which is approximately $AUS 65. Pretty good value for the packet contents.]

As usual, meeting at Kappys,  6:45 for a 7pm start.