WWWednesday: July 4, 2018

If you live in the USA, happy Independence Day. Please enjoy your music and cookouts, and be very careful with fireworks!

Obituary:

Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Harlan Ellison, who changed the landscape of speculative fiction with works like “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” and “Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman,” passed away last week at the age of 84. Tor.com looks back on his life and influence. Locus does too.

Ellison was an influence on many of us here at Fantasy Literature. A few reviewers shared their thoughts and reactions to this professional madman, gadfly and possible genius.

Terry: I’m not sure which I read first during my high school years:  Dangerous Visions or “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” but both were eye-opening to a very innocent and naive teenager in small-town Illinois. As I got older and read things like Ellison’s script for a screenplay of Isaac Asimov’s I Robot, I was increasingly blown away by the man’s talent. He never knew it, and I never got a chance to meet him, but he was one of my lodestars.

Nathan: “I haven’t read a lot of Harlan Ellison, but I have never read, and never expect to read, a better WHAM line than: I have no mouth. And I must scream.”

Kat: Kat has reviewed Ellison for a long time. She sent me a long list of phrases culled from her reviews, and I have chosen four as her “tribute to a brilliant and cantankerous man.”

–So gut-wrenchingly horrible in exactly the right way.

–Most of these stories won’t make you think pleasant thoughts, but they will make you think. Most won’t make you feel good, but they will make you feel.

–…he’s a jerk (please don’t sue me, Mr. Ellison)

–What a great storyteller he is.

Conventions:

The Hugo voting packet is now available.

Books and Writing:

From July 30 to August 13, 2018, Tor.com is open for novella submissions. This novella window does not seem to be the one for incomplete works, which they discussed in their May submissions window (and I don’t see that question answered in the Comments). If you’ve got a speculative work between 20,000 and 40,000 words, consider sending it to them. Other works in the series, to give you an idea, include “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps”, by Kai Ashanti Wilson, “River of Teeth” by Sarah Gailey,“Brother’s Ruin” and “Weaver’s Lament,” both by Emma Newman,  and the Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor. (H/T to Locus.) Click on the links for our reviews.

MacMillan, the publishing corporation that is the parent to many of our favorite imprints, continues to celebrate its 175th birthday with events throughout 2018. Penguin Random House, one of their publishing divisions, is noted as being #1 on the Best Midsized Company to Work For in a Forbes survey. And in the bad news department, SF Site News and Times will be going on haitus.

Alexander Larman does not care for Chuck Palahnuik’s Adjustment Day.

Arthur Conan Doyle once used his own Holmesian technique to secure a pardon for a man wrongly convicted of murder. Margalit Fox’s nonfiction work, Conan Doyle for the Defense, sounds fascinating.

Yale professor Stephen Carter looks to speculative fiction to define his 12 Rules for Life. (H/T to File 770.)

TV and Movies:

Does a Chinese TV show copy a Harry Potter plot too closely? Loyal Potter fans say “Yes!” Others aren’t so sure. The hero of “Legend of Fu Yao” is female and attends an academy that teaches swordplay and sorcery, but the stumbling block is a mysterious contest among three groups, with a series of deadly competitions, where competitors must have reached the age of adulthood and “register” to compete by throwing their name, on a scrap of paper, into a cup. The Goblet of Flames and the Flamingo Cup seem to share a lot of similarities. There are some good links in the article, but personally I don’t think google Translate is quite ready for prime time.

Scene from "The City on the Edge of Forever," Star Trek, 1967. Original teleplay by Harlan Ellison.

Scene from “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Star Trek, 1967. Original teleplay by Harlan Ellison.

Just the other day I was thinking, “You know what we really need? A remake of Predator.” (Just kidding. I’d never think that.) Well, there is one. I don’t know about this blurb. “Disgruntled science teacher” reminds me of Mr. White in Breaking Bad. Anyway, enjoy the site and the trailer.

Lucasfilms may be putting the brakes on future “Star Wars Story” films because Solo didn’t do as well as they hoped. Collider reports that the Obi-Wan film is being delayed, and the Boba Fett movie has been delayed again. Can some tell me –and I’m not being snarky – why I should care about Boba Fett?

Collider also has a nice, brief article on M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming film Glass, also known as Split 2, or “the Unbreakable sequel,” and the teaser poster. The film is slated for January 2019. The poster is nice.

Internet:

Ars Technica discusses the use of last names versus first names in the field of science, and whether gender bias is connected. What happens next will not surprise you.

Finally, you can have James T. Kirk whiskey.

Earth:

The lost standing stones of Devon are still lost. The stone arrangement disappeared in the 1990s and the reason is not terribly mysterious; they were probably silted over by a watercourse change.


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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at deedsandwords.com, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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2 comments

  1. And one more thing about Harlan Ellison: he is THE BEST audiobook narrator in the business. Hearing him tell his own stories is a sublime experience. I highly highly recommend downloading this collection from Audible and listening. If you are not an Audible customer, you can get your first two books free (to support FanLit, please click on the Audible add in the sidebar to get this deal).

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