AMAZING NEWS: 12/6/15 – ‘and all the children are insane’*

Star Wars vs Star Trek; sound wave tractor beams; longevity genes; technical difficulties


On Friday, 12-5, Amazing Stories experienced a series of outages.  Some data was corrupted (recoverable) and our SAN “experienced some issues”.  We are not sure if the problem(s) have been entirely resolved, so please excuse our technical difficulties.

Star Wars is now officially a glut on the market.  We think Disney is in serious jeopardy of turning folks off with Star Wars salt-n-pepper shakers, oven mitts, trash cans…what, no Star Wars condoms?

SF DOMINATES IMDB List of Top Films for 2015 (as has been predicted here numerous times – but its not like SF hasn’t been dominating for the past 4 years)

*The Doors: The End

PRESS RELEASES & NEWSLETTERS (see full text below)

RPG Newsletter #32; StarShipSofa; UK Blog Awards; Harlan Ellison Books


We’re not as rational as we’d like to believe:  flaws in our reasoning affect our ability to address climate change

Science Reveals:  Our brains are mashups of male & female “parts” (first study of “sex differences in the brain”;  note to misogynists:  so far as your brains are concerned, you’re all girlymen.  and there’s nothing you can do about it short of giving yourselves lobotomies)

NASA Comments on Katherine Jonson’s Medal of Freedom

How To Suppress Disabled Fans 

st vs swNeil deGrass Tyson:  The Enterprise.  Totally the Enterprise

Climate Change, Drone Style

Target:  Sexist or Ignorant

The Women of Gnome Press

You can’t be a scientist if you’re pregnant?


Every Star Wars Vehicle to Scale

Ghost Ships

One take on book readers…(via K. Davidson)

Honeymooning with Wookiees

XMas Tree Decoration, Federation Style (via K. Davidson)

Fans Discuss Heinlein’s Revolt in 2100

Comic Book Stores Will be Destroyed for Independence Day II

Cap’s Trailer Breaks All Records

Mad Max: Fury Road:  Best Film of 2015

More David Hardy Awesomness

Scalzi’s Holiday GIft Guides (this is one, there are others)

A Comprehensive List of Generation Ship Stories

Contemporary Romanian SF

Spanish Women of Wonder

Polaroids from 1st StarWars flick

New Batman vs Superman Trailer

Destroying the Deathstar Leads to Empire’s Economic Collapse

The Wreath of Khan

Walking Dead Prologue Trailer


Boskone Blog Interviews Robert J. Sawyer & Cerece Rennie Murphy
The German Book Industry under Hitler (note:  in Deutsch)

Scott Imes Video Archive of Convention History

Fourth PKD Film Festival

UK VAT Update

SFWA Author on the Love-Hate Relationship between Industry & SF

SFWA’s Nebula Suggested Reading List

Madeleine L’Engle Oddball YA Author

NY Review Readings 

Food for Authors:  CIA Field Manual Declassified

Is Hard SF Healthy?

Microsoft Co-opting SF?

TED Talk:  What is RetroFuturism?


REALLY Cool Timeline of Universe’s Evolution

Orion Nebula – New Imagery (utterly fantastic!)

Space Resources Conference on the new Bill allowing exploitation of resources

The Moon has become our Landfill

Longevity Genes Identified

Cygnus 3 Launch Rescheduled for Sunday at 4:44 p.m. EST,

Earth Return Vehicle Video

Climate Change Could Bring New Deadly Diseases

Sound-Based Tractor Beam


RPGnet Newsletter #32
December 1, 2015

The 2015 RPGnet Membership Drive continues and we appreciate your support! We’ve already hit our core goal, which guarantees all members 8 PDFs at the start of the year. If you’d like to be part of this bounty (and support the site!), please go pledge to our drive now.

Among the great PDFs you’ll get are a pair of Pathfinder supplements:

The Lonely Lyrakien is one of Legendary Games’ Ultimate Plug-Ins for Pathfinder. It describes an NPC emissary of Lady Luck who can be used as an ongoing character in your games.

Dungeonlands: Tomb of the Lich Queen is a megadungeon of the sort roleplayers dream of. It’s got extensive background, leading into the sprawling Tomb itself. For high-level PCs only (16-18!). If you enjoy the 144-page dungeon, Savage Mojo also has tons more on the Dungeonlands setting.

New Columns

As always, Christopher Cecil published another new edition of Fuzzy Thinking: “When An Army Turns Yellow …”.

Fred Furtado of Superseeds was also back with the third part of his ongoing series on a world of hypertalents: “The Boz, Part 3”. Outside of the pure superhero realm, there are some great story hooks in here for a pulp or modern action campaign.

New Reviews

RPGnet had a busy week on the reviews front, mostly thanks to prolific reviewer Antonios S. Be sure to check out:

Threads You Might Have Missed

TRO featured one thread last week that made yr. humble editor wish he had the power to delete threads from the site. Not because it broke any rules or featured an inappropriate topic, but because he worries that his players might catch on to one of his GMing tricks (please let him continue to believe that they haven’t already): “Ever Change Things to Match your Players’ Speculation?” Pop into this thread and see how this venerable technique can go both right and wrong.

If you’re tired of the ‘hack-and-slash’ part of the game, head over to “What works for a non-violent / low violence RPG?” and “Non-violent RPGs” and pick up some great tips on how to keep a game exciting without resorting to actual violence in game. If you’re getting tired of violence around the table, as opposed to in the game, you’re facing a different set of problems.

This week is also a great opportunity to highlight an area of the site that hasn’t seen much press here at the Newsletter: RPGnet’s Play-by-Post subforums. Yr. humble editor has participated in or GMed a number of PbP games at the RPGnet over the last few years, all of which have been great fun. The mod staff and poster base in the PbP forums work hard to keep games running and running well. Check out the Recruitment/Meta forum and see if there’s a game that looks interesting to you, or just take a spin through the Play forum and get a feel for how the games run!

Sign Off

Have a good week, everyone.

RPGnet Newsletter Staff:

  • Tectrix
    Actual Play Spotlight Columnist
  • Iustum
    Newsletter Editor

Time to dig out those stories – Far Fetched

Fables is open to submissions

Hello All,

Just a little News Flash! Got something good for you.

Gary Dowell, the editor over at Far Fetched Fables has just told me they are now open for submissions. Closing date is 1st January 2016. So… be quick, dig out those stories, read their guidelines and good luck! Far Fetched Fables might just be playing one of your stories in 2016!

And not forgetting StarShipSofa. Submissions will be open from December 14th to January 14th. Again, read our guidelines as they are different from FFF.

Good luck.

Take care and seen you next time. Sign up to the Submissions Desk newsletter to learn tips and tricks to keep out of the slush.

Tony C Smith

Subscribe to Submissions Desk


Where did 2015 go? December has landed, lights are twinkling, advent doors are opening and the smell of mulled wine forever tempts our winter taste buds. But alas, the month of the Christmas countdown (or should we say, Blog’mass) has not stopped individual and company entrants flooding in for a 2016 UK Blog Award.

Entries for the UK Blog Awards 2016 closes in less than two weeks. The final day for entries isTuesday 15th December 2015 at 10pm. This is the season to be jolly, therefore don’t forget to enter or nominate your favourite UK individual and company Blog.

It has been a busy week at the UKBA camp with Director and Founder, Gemma Newton being interviewed by Gorkana and the date for the 2016 awards being confirmed as, Friday 29th April 2016. We very much hope you can make the celebrations next year.

Last week, we shared an insightful Blog post which provided a further understanding into the UK Blog Awards entry and judging process. As well as announcing that all UKBA16 shortlisted candidates will received one free ticket to attend the UK Blog Awards next April.

In this weeks news, we are delighted to announce that Kate Russell, technology reporter and author who is known for weekly appearances on BBC Click and previous UK Blog Awards winner will host the UK Blog Awards in April 2016.

As the awards have grown, so have the categories. Did you know, there are five new industry categories being recognised in 2016: Dating, Photography, Green and Eco, Vlogger and Podcast. As well as, headline sponsor, ODEON Cinemas.

With multiple UK industry categories set to be recognised in 2016, the awards are set to be a great night to celebrate the best of British blogging. If you haven’t already entered, submit your Blog by clicking the button below. Best of luck.

Enter Now

Introducing: Kate Russell, Host, UK Blog Awards 2016

Journalist, reporter and author, Kate has been writing about technology and the Internet since 1995. Appearing weekly on BBC technology programme BBC Click she also speaks regularly at conferences and lectures in schools and universities inspiring the next generation of technologists.

Her website,, won the 2015 UK Blog Awards for best individual digital and technology blog, and in June 2015 she was voted the 25th most influential woman in UK IT byComputer Weekly magazine.

Her first book “Working the Cloud” delivered a collection of online tips, tricks and resources for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Her second published book, a science fiction novel based in space trading game, Elite: Dangerous, the childhood passion that inspired her love of technology was financed through crowd funding.

Kate is also a prolific speaker, commentator and facilitator on the technology scene, often being invited to speak in schools and at educational events to inspire the next generation of tech enthusiasts.

Connect with Kate:
Tweet: @KateRussell
Like: Click Kate
G+: KateRussellCoUK

Blog Post Recap: Your Stage to Exposure: the UK Blog Awards Process

Did you catch up with the post detailing the UK Blog Awards entry and judging process. We have lifted the veil and provided transparency for our entrants.

We hope you enjoy the read on the Blog.

What Makes the Best Blog Storyteller?

Impossible to answer? Maybe.

Whether your individual or company Blog covers anything from documentaries, diaries and life musings, ODEON Cinemas cannot wait to be drawn into your Blog world and turn your digital pages.

Enter now.

UK Blog Awards guest poster, Wil Morris has posted the first of his Facebook trilogy posts.

Wil debates Facebook as a platform, as well as looking at the services that the social giant provides.

The post further debates, which social platforms are best for you and their differences. Read the helpful post to find out if you are on the right social media journey.

Gemma, Founder and MD of UK Blog Awards Ltd caught up with Gorkana this week.
Check out the feature to find out what makes for a “stand-out” blog, how brands can build relationships with bloggers and what roles blogs now play in influencing consumer and public opinion here.
This week, our Blogging community took to their virtual voting pads aka, mobiles, to vote for this Tuesday’s#BlogHour topic.
The chosen topic was, Marketing to Success.
We already have some fab questions in preparation for the hour, but if you would like your question to be included please email, Your question will then be featured on the Blog with links to your Twitter account, as well as being featured on the evening.
We look forward to Tweeting with you soon.
You are one click away to being recognised as the UK’s best industry Blog.


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We’ve had a bit of luck here at We have acquired a hitherto unknown supply of early titles from our original printers, and—because we’ll be fulfilling them ourselves, from our very own couch—we’re going to offer them signed by Harlan.

We’re hoping to make this as simple as possible, so please reply to this e-mail with:
1) Your Name
2) Your Country
3) The Title of the Book(s) You Want from the List of Available Titles Below
4) Whether You’d Prefer FREE Economy Shipping (US ONLY) or Priority Mail (price determined by number of books ordered)

NOTE: The free economy shipping almost certainly WILL NOT ARRIVE BYCHRISTMAS. We will prioritize the signing of books (and subsequent shipping) for Priority Mail customers, but we can’t 100% guarantee delivery before Christmas—we will do our best, but it may be close.

Within 24 hours of receiving your e-mail, we’ll issue a PayPal invoice (including a charge for the shipping if you chose Priority Mail or international). Invoices must be paid within 72 hours, or the books will be offered to customers on the waiting list.


(all but ROUGH BEASTS are first printings, unavailable since 2013)

BRAIN MOVIES, Volume One (The Babylonian Limited Edition) $125
A collection of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays and dramatic treatments featuring:
Two drafts of “Memos from Purgatory” from THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR
“Soldier” and “Demon with a Glass Hand” from THE OUTER LIMITS
“Paladin of the Lost Hour” and “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” from THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Ellison’s original script for “The Face of Helene Bournouw” from THE HUNGER
Also signed by BABYLON 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, who wrote the introduction, this out-of-print edition contains 17 bonus pages not found in the currently available version

BRAIN MOVIES, Volume Three (Standard Edition, First Printing) $75
A collection of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays and dramatic treatments featuring:
CUTTER’S WORLD, Ellison’s two-hour 1987 pilot for a Western-tinged science fiction series
The unfinished novel that evolved into the award-winning teleplay for “Demon with a Glass Hand”
“Who Killed Alex Debbs?” the first of Ellison’s four teleplays for the 1960s crime series BURKE’S LAW
“The Ship That Kills,” a “lost episode” of the 1974 series THE MANHUNTER, starring Ken Howard

BRAIN MOVIES, Volume Four (Standard Edition, First Printing) $75

A collection of Harlan Ellison’s teleplays and dramatic treatments featuring:
BRILLO, the two-hour ABC-TV pilot based on Ellison and Ben Bova’s short story
“Funny Money,” a further adventure for BRILLO
“Who Killed Purity Mather?” the second of Ellison’s four scripts for BURKE’S LAW
“Jeffrey’s Being Quiet” Ellison’s unproduced contribution to the THE SIXTH SENSE

Designed as both an introduction to Harlan Ellison’s vast body of work and as a manual for would-be writers, HARLAN 101 collects the best of the author’s short fiction, seven essays on the craft of writing, and a collection of rarely seen oddities from Ellison’s extensive archives

THE SOUND OF A SCYTHE (First Printing) $75
For the first time in 50 years, Ellison’s second novel returns to print in a substantially revised and expanded form. Also included are three of Ellison’s best long-form stories: THE RESURGENCE OF MISS ANKLE-STRAP WEDGIE, ALL THE LIES THAT ARE MY LIFE and MEFISTO IN ONYX

NONE OF THE ABOVE (First Printing) $75
Harlan Ellison’s never-before-published 238-page, unproduced screenplay adaptation of Norman Spinrad’s Hugo Award-nominated novel BUG JACK BARRON that was to have been directed by Costa-Gavras (Z) for Universal Pictures in the early 1980s

ROUGH BEASTS (Second Printing) $75
This anthology assembles seventeen never-before-collected pulp stories from the 1950s, including “Invulnerable,” which Stephen King described as “…one of my favorite stories…” in 1982. The Second Printing, the rarest state, features a unique spine.

We’re also offering the following signed, hard-cover books from Subterranean Press:


GENTLEMAN JUNKIE and other stories of the hung-up generation $60


Finally, we have an eBay auction for a never-before offered set of Ellison books—one of only three such sets in existence. 
The sales of these signed books will be used to help finance the completion of our next two releases:

THE LAST PERSON TO MARRY A DUCK DIED 300 YEARS AGOAvailable for pre-order in early 2016

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