Two really big stories top off our news round up this week – a petition to the Chengdu Worldcon Committee to drop a Guest of Honor initiated by Polish fans and the availability of the January 6th committee’s final 845 page report on the attempted coup.
I strongly urge our readers to sign the petition. I and others at Amazing HQ have already done so. We also urge you to read, or at least scan, the report. It is important at times to be reminded of how our system of governance works, and to have the FACTS about the insurrection, as both ignorance and deliberate deceit contributed greatly to those recent events.
Open letter to the Board of Worldcon 2023 / List otwarty do Organizatorów Worldconu 2023 (The petition is offered in English, simplified Chinese and Polish):
(Extract) “We, the Polish fandom, can see what’s happening across our border. We do not agree with honouring a man who enthusiastically applauds the bombardment of Ukrainian cities and crimes committed by Russian soldiers. Appearing on Russia Today is tantamount to legitimizing the invasion of Ukraine.”
Jan. 6 Committee Report
The full report can be read here. The table of contents begins on page 19 of the PDF, page xviii of the report itself.
Follow-up: Representative (D NY) Adam Schiff has editorials appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post in which he expands and highlights the need to continue to investigate members of Congress who, even after the insurrection, continued to support measures designed to over turn the election:
“Multiple laws were violated in the course of a broad attempt to overturn the election, and not just by the foot soldiers who broke into the Capitol building that day and brutally assaulted police officers, but also by those who incited them, encouraged them and, when it was all over, gave them aid and comfort.”
(The article is behind a pay wall. However, you should be able to read it by searching for the headline in Google: “Adam Schiff: My Fellow Members of the Jan. 6 Committee and I Don’t Want You to Forget About ‘the Republican Congressmen’”)
Mini Editorial (the views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily those of Amazing Stories magazine): Traveling to the Chengdu Worldcon is not recommended at this point. Beyond the convention’s repeated violations of WSFS requirements and deadlines, beyond its selection of a genocide-endorsing guest of honor AND even beyond the convention taking place within and supported by the government of a nation currently engaged in genocide against its own Uighur minority, there is this to consider: the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is, according to reliable sources external to China, raging within the country. China unilaterally stopped using the WHO’s recommended method for reporting deaths from the virus and are seriously under-counting both those and infection rates across the country. Further, well less than 50% of its elderly population has been vaccinated, and China continues to insist on using its own, less effective vaccine. WHO has issued warnings that these conditions could very well lead to the creation of additional mutations of the virus. The issue here is that it has been demonstrated that Chinese reports of the health status and risks associated with traveling to China can not be trusted, creating an inability for the individual to properly assess their own risks in attending the convention. For your own physical safety, we urge anyone considering an in-person attendance at the convention to reconsider. Deceased fans can’t vote for future Worldcons.
(We hope that our fellow Chinese Fans remain safe and healthy throughout this ordeal.)
A paleontologist may have discovered fossils and other evidence from the actual day that an asteroid impacted the Earth.
Director of Flash Gordon (sorry, its mandatory to include “FLASH! aaaaAAAA” with any mention of that name) passes
Jerry Pournelle’s “Rods from God” now a Youtube video (Jerry was a friend as it was far easier to ignore political differences in favor of friendship back in those days, and he came up with a nifty idea that was almost included in the US military’s arsenal: telephone pole-sized tungsten rods dropped from orbit would have a devastating, though non-nuclear, effect. It’s a favorite of the MilSF crowd.)
NASA shares the last transmission from its InSight Mars Rover. Its sad and touching.
SMoF News (Petrea Mitchell) reports on a convention’s banning of AI art (and more)
Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki shares a really horrendous comment he received (not the only one) in response to his announcement of a story being selected for an anthology. (So sad to see jealousy take the form of bigotry. We’d suggest that instead of writing insults, the jealous parties practiced actual writing, but from the example provided, its obvious that that won’t help.)
And, just in time for Christmas morning, Charles ‘Happy’ Holton shares this cartoon of the impact of modern technology on myth
WISHING YOU ALL WARMTH, SAFETY AND HAPPINESS as we approach the end of this year and the beginning of a new one!
Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini) Героям слава! (Heróyam sláva!)
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!