Nova Mob 7 December Meeting: Chris Flynn “Here Be Leviathans”

An end-of-year bonus meeting with Chris Flynn – best-seller, raconteur, dinosaur voice, and (we knew all along!) keen SF reader and fan.

In June 2021 we met Chris over Zoom to hear about Mammoth, which turned into one of 2021’s best-sellers and resulted in Chris being hired by Museums Victoria as the voice of Horridus the Triceratops. Now it’s his short story collection “Here Be Leviathans” and as well as enjoying Chris’s company, there will be opportunity on the night to buy copies. Last time, Chris outed himself as a fan and fitted in well as a Mob member, so expect a fine night to complete the Mob’s year. The publicity material about Here Be Leviathans tells us:

A collection of funny, brilliant, boundary-pushing stories from the bestselling author of Mammoth.

A grizzly bear goes on the run after eating a teenager. A hotel room participates in an unlikely conception. A genetically altered platypus colony puts on an art show. A sabretooth tiger falls for the new addition to his theme park. An airline seat laments its last useful day. A Shakespearean monkey test pilot launches into space.

The stories in Here Be Leviathans take us from the storm drains under Las Vegas to the Alaskan wilderness; the rainforests of Queensland to the Chilean coastline. Narrated in Chris Flynn’s unique and hilarious style by animals, places, objects and even the (very) odd human, these short fictions push the boundaries of the form by examining human behavior from the perspective of the outsider. 

CHRIS FLYNN is the author of three novels, the most recent of which, Mammoth, was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards and Russell Prize for Humour. His work has appeared in The AgeThe AustralianThe GuardianMcSweeney’sThe Paris Review and many other publications. He is Editor-in-Residence at Museums Victoria and the author of the Horridus the Triceratops series of picture books for children

Please share this invitation with like-minded friends and fans

Face to face 

You are invited to an in-person Nova Mob meeting at: 

Wednesday 7 December

8.00pm – 9.15pm 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.  Zoom session broadcast from the Kensington Town Hall. Questions or comments typed into the Zoom chat will be passed through to Chris as the opportunity permits.

You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Wednesday 7 December

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

This is the standard web link. It doesn’t change. Maybe add it to your bookmarks.

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Ian Mond’s best books of genre not packaged as genre

Critical Mass Nov 23rd: Ikarie XB-1 screening

Polák’s pioneering and much-imitated feature IKARIE XB 1 is one of the cornerstones of contemporary sci-fi cinema. It predates Star Trek and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and was clearly an influence on both – and on almost every other science-fiction vehicle that followed.

Adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Magellanic Cloud , the film is set in 2163 and follows a mission deep into space in search of alien life. On their journey the crew confront the effects of a malignant dark star, the destructive legacy of the 20th century and, ultimately, the limits of their own sanity. IKARIE XB 1 is imbued with a seriousness, intelligence and attention to detail rarely seen in science-fiction cinema of the period.

From the DVD liner notes…

For our November meeting, we’ve decided to screen the black and white 1963 Czech film Ikarie XB 1, which won joint first prize at the first Trieste Science+Fiction film festival.
Warning: do not confuse this with the recut/trashed American release version, called Voyage to the End of the Universe

Critical Mass meets at Kappy’s
6:15 for a 6:30 start. Best seen in person, but we’re happy to talk about the film with zoom attendees
— zoom in after the film screening at 8pm Adelaide time:

Critical Mass
Time: Nov 23, 2022 8:00 pm Adelaide / 8:30 Melbourne

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89275675259?pwd=UG4rT0RaNFpOOEwyWlJOU0xOcHJ1UT09

Meeting ID: 892 7567 5259
Passcode: CritMass

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.”

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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. 

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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.

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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).”

Nova Mob dates

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

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

Passcode: nova
Meeting ID: 417 758 3193

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

Genre Fiction

At last: the collection of Peter Nicholls’s science fiction essays and reviews that he first planned way back in the 1970s, and reconsidered late in life but never completed. All proceeds from sales go to support the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, of which he was the founding editor in 1979 – writing much of the text himself – and co-editor for the second (1993) and third (2011 online) editions.

Genre Fiction: The Roaring Years comprises 60 witty and insightful pieces by Peter Nicholls, including a long, previously unpublished speech and the new introduction he wrote in 2012. His long-time Encyclopedia colleague John Clute contributes a foreword. The collection was compiled by David Langford with the support and assistance of Peter’s family, and runs to more than 220,000 words of vintage Nicholls.
epub available from https://ae.ansible.uk/?t=roaring

Nova Mob Notes

Nova Mob Calendar

September 7 – Jane Routley & the Nova Mob discussion “My Favourite Utopia”. In person and Zoom.
October 5 – to be finalised. Zoom only.
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.
1st February 2023 – First meeting of the new year. Topic to be finalised.

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Jane Routley – “My Favourite Utopia”

September 7 – Jane Routley & Mob “My Favourite Utopia”.

In person and remotely by Zoom.

Utopias are perfect places, which is a problem for story-tellers because compelling stories require
conflict and the ideal utopia is universally a happy place. It follows that Utopian fiction is about the flies in the ointment, not the ointment itself. There is an exception, it’s of limited appeal, where recipes of the ointment are provided by way of tour guides of the utopia and not much happens by way of story. 

Jane’s been reading the 2022 Utopia Award nominees and it’s put the spotlight on the problem of Utopia as “ointment, would you like flies with that?”. According to some academics Utopian fiction is one of sf’s largest subgenres, or is a separate genre. If there’s so much of it, surely there should be some really good stories?  

Jane will discuss this year’s Utopia Award nominees.

Then it’s open discussion on these questions:

1.     one’s favourite utopia – in which utopia would you want to live?

2.     recommend a novel or story for someone new to utopian fiction

3.     best film or TV utopia

Of course, a utopia doesn’t have to be labelled as such to be perceived as being a utopia by the reader or by its inhabitants. Is the near-future of Star Trek a utopia? To many viewers, it is. 

Discussion will include Zoom participants. The list of stories from the night will be published.

https://www.android-press.com/2022-utopia-award-nominees

Jane Routley and the Nova Mob – “My Favourite Utopia”

– Nova Mob 7 September 2022

Please share this invitation with like-minded friends and fans

Meet the speaker face to face at the Kensington Town Hall

You are invited to a Nova Mob gathering at: 
Wednesday 7 September
8.00pm – 9.30 pm or so, first floor Conference Room

Kensington Town Hall 30 – 34 Bellair St
Kensington Melbourne VIC 3031

Simultaneously with a Zoom meeting.
COVID-19 protocols apply. Please don’t attend if you feel unwell, nor if you are not fully vaccinated.

By Zoom 

Wednesday 7 September

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

A note about Zoom

Each meeting we get a little better at Zoom, and encounter new twists to the conundrum of operating a seamless video conference in combination with the face to face meeting. We see this process of continuous improvement as never-ending, indeed interminable.