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Showing posts from March, 2020

World Science Fiction Convention 2020 To Be the First Online WorldCon

Credit: Sergei Belozerov Shut-ins due to the Coronavirus outbreak may be changing the way science fiction and fantasy conventions are being performed not only now but for the future. Since the pandemic began, government orders to shelter in place have caused older pop culture cons to go virtual and for new ones to initiate online such as was the case with last weekend’s QuaranCon . Now the World Science Fiction Convention, more commonly known as WorldCon and which this year was to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, will for the first time in its history go virtual. Decision to Move World Science Fiction Convention 2020 To Online It was decided this week to move the World Science Fiction Convention for 2020, also known as the 78th WorldCon or CoNZealand, to online due to New Zealand’s lock-down. The change was announced by CoNZealand Chair Persons Kelly Buehler and Norman Cates in a March 25 press release .  Even though the con is not scheduled to occur until Ju

4 Online Sci Fi and Fantasy Conventions for a Shelter-In-Place

Credit: I know, it’s the third Saturday of the month and that we are supposed to have our Book-To-Movie this evening. It was supposed to be a review of “The Invisible Man” and its movie adaptations, including the new one that released at the end of last month . However, I wanted to refresh myself on the 1930s original and had to request my nearest library to order it on loan. But when it came I wasn’t able to pick it up because the library closed to take precaution against the Coronavirus. So I’m postponing the Book-To-Movie until the library re-opens which is impossible to say when that will be. I may, however, do a Book-To-Movie for another book in the next week or two, so keep tuning in here. Well, a book and movie review isn’t the only thing that’s being cancelled due to today’s version of the black plague. Because so many cities, ones here in the Sacramento region included, are going on shelter-in-place, sci fi and fantasy conventions are getting cancelled e

12 Post-Apocalyptic Sci fi Books for These Apocalyptic Times

Credit: Pixabay .com As we all know, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to rise and there’s no sign of it stopping. It’s like the black plague reincarnated. And we’re all seeing the effects of it. The store shelves are going empty. I actually bought nearly the last of four 1-quart bottles of spring water at my neighbourhood super market because all the two-gallon jugs were gone. Schools and colleges are closing indeterminately. And, worst of all, people disease the world over are dying from this. Hell! Even some of our government leaders are getting the virus! Kind of sounds like the science fiction we read and watch, doesn’t it? Maybe we’ve arrived at a science fiction moment in time. It makes many of us wonder, how many more days, months, years, etc. we, the human race, will be around. Considering the ongoing advancement in artificial intelligence, will the world be left to the robots? It even makes me wonder if we’ve reached the end times according to my own reli

Far Out Fantastic Finds: M.R. James, Ghost Story Author

Credit: Wikimedia Commons A couple weeks ago on a Saturday evening a strange coincidence happened to me while riding the bus back home. I had just purchased the October 2019 issue of “Famous Monsters of Filmland”. For those of you who aren’t horror or sci fi movie cinephiles, “Famous Monsters” is a horror and sci fi news magazine started by the late Forrest (Forry) Ackerman. Anyway, in that magazine I was reading an article about the 1957 movie, “Curse of the Demon”. It said that the movie was actually based on a short story by M.R. James. That name struck me as strangely familiar. I thought I remembered seeing the name in a story by Ramsey Campbell that I was reading only that morning while riding the bus to east Sacramento. So I checked the story in my copy of “Post Mortem: New Tales of Ghostly Horror”, the tales no longer being new because the book was published in the late 1980s. Sure enough M.R. James’ name was in Campbell’s story, “The Guide”. Because of this coincidence

IWSG: Alien and Post-Mortem Customs

It’s time for another Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG)  post! Every first Wednesday of the month we writers bring our writing challenges and problems out into the open to share with each other and try to come up with solutions. The IWSG question for this month: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories? At first I had a hard time answering this one because I’ve written so many stories involving different cultures and their customs that I couldn’t think of any specific ones. Maybe I had just taken for granted all those customs and traditions being reflected in my fiction that I just didn’t recognize them as such. However, I do recall two stories where customs and traditions are more emphasised.  “The Assassin”, my atompunk short story, has a race of humanoid aliens whose customs conflict with those of a retrofuture Earth. One of these beings is in in a kind of digital “cryogenic freese”, mean