Amazing News, Thursday, March 28th 2013

NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, articles linked to here are sourced from SF Signal and File 770.

One of my all-time heroes gets a “non-action” figure all to himself.  Forrest J. Ackerman, Science Fiction’s #1 Fan, Dr. Akula, the Amazing 4E, author, editor, agent and (unfortunate) creator of the SciFi acronym, Mr. SciFi himself now has a statuette dedicated to him from Dark Horse –


If you’re clueless as to the excitement:

Forrest J. Ackerman – Wikipedia; SF Encylopedia Fanac

4SJ wearing the first costume to the first Worldcon - 1939
4SJ wearing the first costume to the first Worldcon – 1939
Self-published tribute zine, cover based on Amazing Stories October 1926 cover
Self-published tribute zine, cover based on Amazing Stories October 1926 cover

Jim Mowatt is upping the ante of his TAFF bid with a viral music video titled “Vote Jim, Maybe”.  TAFF?  Trans-Atlantic Fan Fun.  Jump the Big Pond fund.  TAFF sends the winning fan across the Atlantic (in either direction, depending) each year for a convention.

Here. In honor of Poetry Month, Chizine is offering up a “Celebrate Sh*tty Poetry Month”.  In their own words: “CZP believes too many people are under the impression that they can write poetry. As a less restrictive literary form than novels or short fiction, the poetic form seems to lend itself to writers who think, “How hard can this really be?” The answer of course is: “Not very.” Not if it’s sh*tty.”

Maybe Amazing Stories ought to do a review of “Sh*tty Magazines”;  obviously just about everyone is under the impression that they can publish a magazine online…

(Previous not directed at Chizine, nor any online genre rag in particular.  Our taste in humor can be as bad as the next guys.)

Da Sofa via Da Signal:  A group interview with Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Gregory Benford.

Jamie Todd Rubin (one of Amazing Stories’ early – enthusiastic – supporters) pens an editorial for Astounding Analog SF.

New microscope allows for viewing of cancer cells in unprecedented detail (Huffpost)

From a mashup of 1984 and The Country of the Kind comes – brain scans that reveal which criminals will be repeat offenders. (Is Minority Report that far behind?)

And this, from Media Matters/Honest Reporting: Notes and Quotes from the Media Wars.  Philip K. Dick is quoted here – “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”

On a personal note:  I’ve finally gotten around to reading David Brin’s Existence.  A few others have remarked in reviews that it bears some resemblance to John Brunner’s trilogy Shockwave Rider, The Sheep Look Up and Stand On Zanzibar, each of which have (after nearly 50 years) proven to be amazingly prophetic in their treatment of population, ecology and sociological issues. I was preparing to email Mr. Brin in a quest for an interview regarding his book and intended to ask him “how much of this work is inspired by/homage/answer/continuation of those Brunner novels when I hit a chapter title – Scanalyzer.  No need to ask that question then.  I’m not that far in to Existence yet, but I’m very scared:  Brin has the background and potential to be as prophetic with this novel – perhaps even more so – than Brunner was with his trilogy.  We might very well be looking at a detailed picture into the world 50 years hence.  Someday, I’ll have a chance to devote some time to writing up Brunner’s predictions and tying them to current/recent event.  In the meantime, I continue to hope that someone else will take that task on.



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