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Life Itself, a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert, will be released July 4th. I have no idea how much time will be spent on his period as a member of science fiction fandom—something you can learn more about in an interview I did with him for Sci-Fi Entertainment in 1997—but his SF life did make a brief cameo in the documentary’s trailer.

RogerEbertTrailer

Visible on screen at the 29-second mark as one of the interviewees says, “he wrote a novel,” is something that isn’t a novel—the opening spread of Ebert’s short story “After the Last Mass” from the February 1972 issue of Fantastic. As far as I know, Ebert only published two SF short stories, the other being “In Dying Venice,” which appeared in the May 1972 of Amazing Science Fiction, so I was glad to see one of them making an appearance.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
21 April 2014 @ 02:29 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I went into D.C. Saturday to attend Awesome Con, where I took part in the panel, “Rise and Prevalence of Dystopian Science Fiction in Pop Culture” along with Patrick Thaddeus Jackson and Robert Chase. When I arrived at the room in which the panel was to be held, I was surprised to find (since I’m used to programming at SF cons rather than media cons) a long line of con-goers that stretched down the hall and vanished around a corner.

Which meant that our panel was remarkably well attended, with at least 250 people showing up to hear us pontificate. (Perhaps there were even 300 or more. Once a room gets past a certain size, I lose all ability to guestimate.)

I’m fairly certain that the audience wasn’t there because they had any idea who we were. I’m guessing they’d shown up because the topic, which promised that we’d touch on such things as The Hunger Games and The Walking Dead, was compelling. But based on the reaction we received, I think we kept people entertained. There was much laughter, and many great questions.

MyAwesomeConPanel

Here we are after the panel ended, appearing remarkably cheery for three guys who’d just spent an hour discussing dystopias.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Last Sunday, ukulele master Stuart Fuchs—aka “Stukulele”—taught the second part of a uke-a-billy workshop at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Gaitherburg. I’d missed part one the month before thanks to sleet and freezing rain, which would have prevented me from returning home had I ventured out, but I’d glad to say that due to Stu’s ability to convey information, I quickly caught up.

StuTeaching

It was very important to me that I do so, because Stu followed up his workshop with an amazing concert, during which the entire class was called on stage to back him up for “Rock Around the Clock” and “Twenty Flight Rock.” And I didn’t want to let him down!Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

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28 December 2013 @ 09:36 pm

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

Sean Howe, author of the wonderful Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, uploaded a recording to YouTube today of Stan Lee speaking at Princeton in March 1966.

There’s a ton of fun stuff you’ll want to hear, such as the boos that erupted when Stan mentioned Steve Ditko’s departure from Marvel and the cheers that arose when he brought up the Silver Surfer.

Plus there’s plenty of ammo for Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby partisans, such as when Stan called Ditko a “peculiar guy” who’s “a little eccentric,” and said that he hadn’t “spoken to this guy for over a year,” or when he talked about how surprised he was when the Silver Surfer turned up in the Fantastic Four, an event which had caused Stan to ask, “Who’s this naked nut running around?”

But what most piqued my interest, and caused me to consider a question I should have asked long ago but for some reason never thought to, was Stan’s explanation of the Marvel method, which begins at the 17:35 mark.

(And don’t worry—the audio quality picks up after the first few minutes.)Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
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Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

It was great to return to Readercon after missing 2012′s edition, because I became quite jealous of flat me, who due to an unfortunately coincidence, got to have all the fun last year.

I’m going to keep this short, because I want to throw myself quickly into Friday’s maelstrom.

For those friends who couldn’t make it this year, and wanted to see what it meant that there’d be no lobby during the con because of Marriott’s grand renovation plans, here’s a view toward the entrance from the hallway where registration to the con takes place. That’s the revolving door to the left, and to the right, that wall’s blocking off where the lobby usually is.

Readercon2013NonLobby

I hope that by the time they’re done, they won’t be too high class for the likes of us.

And here are two panels from last night, so those of you who couldn’t make it this year—or who did make it but were in one of the other rooms enjoying some other panel or reading—won’t miss out.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman

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I wasn’t able to make it to the June George Formby Society convention in Blackpool. I suspect you weren’t able to be there either. (Well, most of you, anyway.) Luckily, David Brindley was there to film the two-day event, and he’s since cut together a couple of hours of highlights.

Check out the strumming and merriment below!

George Formby Society Convention June 2013 – Part 1 from DeeBee Web Design on Vimeo.

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scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I returned late Monday afternoon from a magical weekend at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, where I attended one of the George Formby Society’s quarterly conventions. I met in the flesh many friends I’d already made through Facebook and Twitter, made many new friends, sung with a group atop the famous Blackpool Tower, bought my first banjolele (which I’ll tell you more about another day), saw some of the best live ukulele performances of my life, and was generally filled with so much joy that my face hurt from smiling so much.

Oh, and I performed “When I’m Cleaning Windows” in public for the first time.

Those who’ve been following my brief ukulele career (it’s only been about 15 months, remember) will have seen my overwrought thrashing out of that song early last year. But playing in front of others was going to be a lot different, even though the folks in Blackpool were about the kindest, gentlest, least judgmental bunch you’ll ever meet.

I didn’t dare do it on the big stage—that will come in the future once I’ve gotten my brain and fingers around the Formby style of playing—but luckily, the convention holds what’s called an Up and Comers session so that those of us who are still trying to figure out what the heck we’re doing can perform just for each other, rather than in front of the uke masters, who can be intimidating even though they don’t mean to be.

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scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

So you couldn’t make it to the World Fantasy Convention this year—or perhaps you could make it, but wasn’t able to figure out a way to be omnipresent—and are pissed? Don’t worry. There are at least three readings you didn’t have to be present to witness.

And here they are …

F. Brett Cox

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scottedelman

Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

On Sunday, September 2, 2012, Adam-Troy Castro, lover of spicy food and author of the Gustav Gloom novels, slipped away from the Chicago Worldcon and traveled to Bricks, where he attempted to eat a painful pizza, which consists of spicy pepperoni, purple onion, fresh jalapeno, garlic, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and lots and !LOTS! of hot sauce.

I was one of his sadistic friends who journeyed to witness (but not to partake in) this act of masochism. But just because you weren’t there, doesn’t mean you have to miss the madness.

Check out Adam’s agony below.

If the poor guy’s pain proves to be too much for you to watch, just skip ahead to 15:50 to learn how it all turns out and see him sum up his ordeal.

 
 
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Originally published at Scott Edelman. Please leave any comments there.

I wish I could have shared the following videos while Chicon7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, was still ongoing, as that would have hewed to Edelman’s Schadenfreude Rule of Convention Reporting. But alas, I was far too busy. (Future posts will show you just how busy.)

First up, on Thursday, August 30, Adam-Troy Castro read his short story “My Wife Hates Time Travel,” recently published in Lightspeed. Since you weren’t there, you don’t get any of the chocolate chip cookies he was handing out in support of his new novel Gustav Gloom and the People Taker—which should teach you to show up in person next time.

And then, on Monday, September 3, I read “A Most Extraordinary Man,” a sequel of sorts to Saki’s “The Open Window,” which will be published in the anthology The Monkey’s Other Paw: Revived Classic Stories of Dread and the Dead from NonStop Press.Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

 
 
scottedelman
03 June 2012 @ 05:50 pm

The 2012 Nebula Awards banquet was held Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. So why am I only getting around to sharing video of the event with you now?

Because the file you’ll see below was 4 gigabytes, and expected to take 15 hours to upload to YouTube with the puny Internet service I get here in the backwoods, meaning I’d only want to start it chugging along if I had plans to be away for the day and not expecting to have to do anything else online. And since yesterday was going to be an offline, wandering the world kind of day, I was finally able to get the video up.

Unfortunately, the battery of my Flip camera died after slightly more than an hour, right in the middle of Connie Willis accepting her Grand Master Award. I recorded the remaining half hour using my iPhone, but its microphone is so poor that those speaking on stage are barely audible. I may upload the rest someday, but believe me, unless I can tweak the audio, it’ll seem like pantomime.

But what you can see here is choice. Walter Jon Williams is entertaining as always, astronaut Mike Fincke is inspiring, and the tributes to Octavia Butler are moving, so I hope you still enjoy what’s there.

On another note—if you’re aware of a camcorder as convenient to slip in a pocket as a Flip that delivers equally as good picture and audio quality but with a longer lasting battery, let me know!

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
scottedelman
21 May 2012 @ 08:39 am

Why, yes, I did record Saturday night’s Nebula Awards banquet, but as the file is larger than six gigabytes, which in my neck of the woods would require about 20 hours of my total bandwidth to upload, making it impossible for me to use the Internet for any other purpose, like, say, earning a living, you won’t get to vicariously experience that night until the weekend, when I can start it uploading and then wander away from my keyboard for the day. (On the other hand, if you want to relive last year’s ceremony, you can watch a video of it right now.)

Meanwhile, here’s a different, hour-long video which might appeal to you—though not if you’re looking for long speeches from writers thanking their editors, agents, critique groups, and spouses.

Back at the beginning of our recent Peru trip, on April 29, 2012, our first morning in Cuzco, our tour guide took us to the main square, the Plaza de Armas, to watch what she said would be a military parade. But it proved to be much more than that. Also marching were trade unions and university students, who made up the majority of the participants. I enjoyed most watching the faces of the thousands of those who marched. Some were deadly serious, some bored, some joking, some weary.

And now, prepare to travel to Cuzco, and see a microcosm of a country’s future in the faces of its students …

Also—I have uploaded all of my photos of Peru to Flickr. Haven’t had time to caption them appropriately yet, but perhaps you’ll find them interesting anyway.

And that should be the end of my Peru posts. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program of posts about writing, comics, science fiction, food … and, of course, the ukulele.

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

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Back in 1990, I was one of the first people interviewed by Fast Forward. (I was interviewed again in 2010, which you can watch by checking out the archives here, but since that’s only last year, stepping into the time machine won’t be quite as interesting as what’s below.)

The show is currently run by Mike Zipser and Kathi Overton (who recently dug out the video you’re about to see). John Pomeranz conducted the 21-year-old interview. How has time changed us? Well, here’s what John and I looked like together 17 years later at the 2007 Worldcon in Japan.

What did I learn when looking back at the episode (during which I share the stage with writer Judith Eckerson)?

First, that I sure said the phrase “and so forth” a heck of a lot! Sure glad I broke myself of that habit.

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Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
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02 November 2011 @ 10:01 pm

It’s hump day (though can it ever truly be considered hump day when you work seven days a week?), which means that Sunday in San Diego seems very far away. And yet I don’t want to leave you hanging as to the end of World Fantasy Con.

I didn’t have much of a Sunday morning. With the pre-banquet cocktail party beginning at noon, and me having both stayed up and slept late the night before, there was neither point nor time to have a full breakfast. So I grabbed some nibbles in the con suite (which I’ll say again, was well-stocked and well-run), sold a few more copies of What Will Come After out front of the dealers room to some attendees who’d let me know in advance that they’d wanted them, did some minimal schmoozing, and then headed back to my room to get suited up.

While hanging out at the bar, I was stunned to discover when the ballroom doors opened that the best table in the house, directly in front of the podium, hadn’t been reserved for a publisher, and was therefore free for unaffiliated attendees like me to grab. Which I did, resulting in a good angle for me to record the entire proceedings, which you can see below.

Also at my table were Karen and Charlie Newton, Mark Kelly, Terry Weyna, and a few others I was meeting for the first time, and whose names unfortunately didn’t stick. If one of those names happens to be yours, feel free to slap me around the next time you see me.

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01 November 2011 @ 11:46 pm

I woke Saturday morning at World Fantasy to a city in which I’d already eaten at every Man v. Food restaurant. What to do? Luckily, the locals had all raved about a place called Hash House a Go Go, which supposedly prepared amazing breakfasts—well, amazing everything—so that’s where I headed to start the day with Bill Shunn, Laura Chavoen, and Eileen Gunn.

But everything good comes with a price—and the price was that there was a 90-minute wait before we could be seated. Since it sounded like the food would be worth it, Bill and Laura were up for it. But Eileen had to be back by 12:30. So I returned her to the hotel (which apparently had a major problem I didn’t hear about until today) and got back to the restaurant with plenty of time still remaining to chat with Bill and Laura in the warm California sun while trying not to feel too guilty that my wife was back in the West Virginia snow.

I ordered the pancake of the day—banana coconut—which surprised me by coming with a few pecans, too. It also surprised by BEING THE SIZE OF A HUBCAP!

I assure you that I did NOT eat the entire thing. I was thinking of taking it back to the con suite, but pancakes do not travel well, and besides, we wanted to have a postprandial walk around the neighborhood, and so didn’t box up any leftovers. It was a good thing we took that walk, too, because it allowed Laura to see her first Bird of Paradise in the wild.

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Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
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Back in August, I announced a competition inviting people to create movies of at least three minutes in length from any section of my Shakespearean zombie play “A Plague on Both Your Houses.” The clip could be in any style—live action, claymation, puppets, whatever. The winner of the Blow the Top of Scott Edelman’s Head Off Really Cool Zombie Filmmaking Competition would get $200, plus a signed hardcover copy of my zombie collection What Will Come After.

I’d planned to announce the winner during the World Fantasy Convention, but the all day/all night schmoozing took so much out of me that I didn’t have the brain left to draft this announcement. Now that I’ve recovered (sort of), I’m pleased to share the news that the winning entry was submitted by Drake Tucker of Phase2Films.

That entry, embedded below, was far more ambitious than I expected. Tucker and gang chose to film a populous and complex scene—the masked ball at which Carlo, the living son of the Mayor of New York City, first meets Dolores, the daughter of the King of the Zombies. The submitted piece has a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior vibe to it, yet also made me laugh in places. Plus I loved the choice of how they conveyed Dolores’ undead manner of speaking.

My hat—or should I say, the top of my head—is off to you! Congrats!

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
scottedelman
31 October 2011 @ 02:32 am

I started off my second day at the World Fantasy Convention with my second visit to a San Diego Man v. Food restaurant. Karen and Charlie Newton joined me at the Broken Yolk Cafe, where Adam Richman attempted the Iron Man Challenge.

What’s the Iron Man Challenge? Read it off the menu and weep.

There was no way I was going to attempt this (or any other) Man v. Food challenge, though I do sometimes order the meal in question just to see what it looks like in 3-D under my nose, and return with the uneaten portion and give it away in the con suite to a hungry fan. But since I didn’t think an omelet was likely to travel well, I went with the blueberry pancakes instead.

Back at the con, I found I very rarely ended up where I intended to go. I kept bumping into friends, getting swept up in their magnetic fields, and not making it to readings or panels I’d originally planned. I had a nice chat with Pat Murphy and Eileen Gunn about Joanna Russ and other things out in the warm San Diego sun, bumped into my old Marvel boss Len Wein, and more. I chose people over programming. The only official event I ended up at was Kathleen Ann Goonan’s 4:30 p.m. reading, which you can of course catch right here.

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Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
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16 October 2011 @ 09:56 pm

I had a wonderful weekend at Capclave. I did a reading and took part in two well-received panels, moderating one of them. I was originally going to participate in a third panel until a certain British knight decided to pop by.

To the surprise of us all, Sir Terry Pratchett made a last-minute visit to the con, as the final appearance in his U.S. tour for Snuff. In fact, his appearance was so final I believe he and his assistant Rob Wilkins headed off to the airport (and the UK) immediately after their noon Q&A.

As far as I’m concerned, it was the highlight of the con. I’d give up any number of opportunities to pontificate in exchange for a chance to hear Pratchett. And as those of you who know me already know, without me having to say it—I was in the front row with my Flip balanced on one knee.

Here, for those who couldn’t make it to Capclave—and for those who could, but would like to relive the lovely hour—is video from the event.

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
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A couple of months ago, I announced a competition to blow the top of my head off by creating a short clip based on my Stoker-nominated zombie play “A Plague on Both Your Houses,” with three winners to be unveiled at World Fantasy Con at the end of this month. The clip of no less than three minutes in length can be in any format—live action, animation, marionettes, claymation, kinetic typography, sock puppets—and it’s not too late to submit yours.

So if you’ve been thinking of picking up a Flip cam and giving it a try, check out all the info here. You’ll note that I said entries had to be submitted by this Saturday the 15th, but as I’m the only judge, and it won’t be necessary to coordinate extensive debate, I’ve decided to extend that another 10 days to October 25th, the Tuesday before World Fantasy. So if you’ve been thinking of entering, there’s still time! What else do you have to do the next two weekends?

And just to give you an idea of your competition, check out this ambitious entry from Drake Tucker and his frightening friends.

What are you waiting for?

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.

 
 
scottedelman
25 September 2011 @ 09:18 pm

Dan Harmon, the creator of the TV series Community, has a theory about the shape of stories, one which was shared in a profile recently published in Wired. It’s different from any other story shape I’ve seen, in that it’s circular, rather than the usual X-Y graph reflecting highs and lows, whether of fortune, or tension, or some other plot element.

He says that when watching movies and TV, “I can’t not see that circle. It’s tattooed on my brain.”

Here’s how he lays it out.

It makes for an interesting theory, but it’s not one I’m comfortable with accepting as the skeleton of story, due partially to the circle and partially the fact that I don’t see many of these numerical concepts as being universal.

For example—

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Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.