John Bangsund (1939-2020)

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.

Notice in Locus magazine

There is a fine example of John’s writing in an essay he produced for the 25th anniversary of ANZAPA in 1993, “1968 and all that”, originally published in Philosophical Gas 93, available online.

New collection of Aldiss essays

The Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons by Brian Aldiss will be released by Ansible Editions on September 1, with a new introduction by Christopher Priest.
The Jonbar Point collects, for the first time, two major essays on science fiction which Brian Aldiss published in the two issues of SF Horizons
“Judgement at Jonbar” (1964) is a lengthy analysis on several levels of Jack Williamson’s pulp-era classic The Legion of Time, which gave SF the term “jonbar point” – where alternative timelines diverge. This essay is described in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as “one of the most penetrating studies yet written about a pulp-sf novel”.

from “New Collection of Aldiss Essays from Ansible Editions”, Mike Glyer, File 770

Oct Crit Mass: Kathleen Jennings

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.

Some of her recent work includes the heart of owl abbas ( and Flyaway (Picador, Aus). See her website

Sept 16th Crit Mass: A True Story

Adam digs deep in history to bring us A True Story by Lucian of Samosata.

Lucian of Samosata was a writer known for his satire. He was born in what is now eastern Turkey, in Samosata, about 120 C.E. Samosata was located in the ancient Roman province of Syria (not to be confused with the modern country); the site was recently inundated by the Atatürk Dam. Lucian was trained as a rhetorician (somewhat like a trial attorney). However, he made a living as an itinerant lecturer. Lucian traveled widely, as far as Greece, Italy and Gaul. He died in Athens, about 180 C.E. Over eighty works, written in Greek, are attributed to him, some probably spuriously. The best known of his works, A True Story, is considered to be one of the first science fiction stories.

The Internet Sacred text Archive

Widely hailed as the first science fiction story, A True Story, by Lucian of Samosata is a voyage to the edges of the universe and reason. The title is the first clue that this will be a tall tale. As much a predecessor of Douglas Adams as Jules Verne, Lucian’s fantasy explores not only outer space (where he brokers war and peace between the inhabitants of the sun and moon), but also the Elysian fields, the geography of the Odyssey, and the interior of a giant whale. includes parallel English/Greek translations of the work

One of the images from the Project Gutenberg translation of A True Story.

Full english text at Project Gutenberg

Critical mass Zoom meeting, Sept 16th.
Part 1: Sep 16, 2020 7:00pm Adelaide, 7:30 Melbourne
<tea break 7:40 – 7:50>
Part 2: Sep 16, 2020 7:50pm Adelaide, 8:20 Melbourne

Join Zoom:

Meeting ID: 751 5891 9590
Passcode: 1ve6jG

Nova Mob, Sept 2

Nova Mob’s Murray notes

At the September Nova Mob we look back about 150 years to early Australasian science fiction writers. Our speakers will be Anne Black and Lucy Sussex, and the discussion is set to cover Australia’s first science fiction novel and New Zealand’s second-most famous Victorian SF novel.

Anne Black will be talking about Adelaide writer George Isaacs who in 1865 had a short sf novel The Burlesque of Frankenstein published in Melbourne as part of a longer book Rhyme and Prose. The Burlesque of Frankenstein waited until 1989 before receiving stand-alone publication thanks to historian and fan Graham Stone. It’s not mentioned in the MUP Encyclopedia of Australian Science Fiction nor The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Anne has had published several articles and a book on George Isaacs.

Lucy Sussex will be discussing Anno Domini 2000, or: Woman’s Destiny, the 1889 utopian novel written by Sir Julius Vogel. Vogel was New Zealand’s Premier from 1873 to 1875 (when he was knighted) and again in 1876. Among other matters of note, Wikipedia says Vogel “is also noteworthy as one of the few practising Jewish prime ministers outside Israel”.

Our meeting will be by Zoom and is on Wednesday 2 September 8.00pm to 9.30 or so.  (7:30 to 9pm Adelaide time)

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting:

Topic: Nova Mob Sep 2020 Anne Black & Lucy Sussex 

Time: 2 Sep 2020 08:00 PM Melbourne, 7:30pm Adelaide

Meeting ID: 417 758 3193
Passcode: nova

If the meeting fails partway through, just click the same link again and re-join.

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:

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

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:

For Australian currency, booktopia has it for just over $10.

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