Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blogging from Galveston

I'm in Galveston right now, at the tail-end of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) annual meeting. In addition to the usual panels on topics of interest to people in the industry, there were the presentation of annual press awards. Our staff photographer took a third place in spots news photography - I'm sure she's pleased.

The event also includes a fund raiser auction and dinner to raise money for journalism scholarships. Among the fund raisers was the sale of books that the larger newspapers received as review copies. There were some great deals there. I assumed I would be able to pick up something in the genre that some newspaper hadn't been able to make heads or tales of. I was right.

I found the audio version of "The Yiddish Policeman's Union", unopened. It's unabridged, a 10 CD set with 12 hours worth of reading - the price on the box is $39.95. I got it for $3.33. I also got an uncorrected review copy of Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road" for nothing.

I also picked up a framed political cartoon about the Mars Rover that was done byy Etta Hulme of the Fort Worth Star-telegram in 2004. I will scan it sometime after I get home and post it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nice career milestone

Looking forward to the publication of "The Witch of Waxahachie" in Jim Baen's Universe in a few days, I had a nice little milestone creep up on me, in my real profession. I recently wrote a feature story for my newspaper (I don't get to actually write all that much - a managing editor is exactly that) and I ran it by the AP to see if they wanted to pick it up for their wire service. They did. It's about a neat little museum here that started when a fellow's collection of John Wayne memorabilia grew into a small Western-themed collection called The Legends and Lawless Museum.

That's the first time I've had a story picked up by the AP, so I guess that's a milestone.

The past two years, I've spent the last weekend in March at AggieCon in College Station, and I enjoyed it very much. But this year, the state Managing Editors annual meeting is also this weekend, so I'm going to Galveston instead.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Breakfast with Barry Campaign is a great idea


Jeremy Lassen posted the following missive on a Nightshade Books blog March 24th. I totally agree with these sentiments and urge you to take them to heart:

In 1982 Barry Malzberg’s stunningly, bitterly insightful autobiographical and critical collection of essays, Engines of the Night was published. It was nominated for (but did not win) the Hugo Award. Engines of the Night was controversial… too bitter… too uncomfortable… too true….

Last year Baen Books repackaged Engines… along with almost 30 new pieces written subsequent to Engines…. This new book, Breakfast in the Ruins, is awe-inspiring. Barry’s bitterness may have mellowed some with time, but his deep and abiding love for a field (whose shortcomings inspired that bitterness) has not. This affection comes shining through, in every word… every detail… every anecdote… every fond (and furious) memory… every pointed and dead-on criticism….

Barry’s fingers have been leaving a bloody trail across typewriter and keyboard for over forty years… a bloody trail, of fiction and non-, that charts the trajectory of the 20th century’s most marginalized yet exciting body of literature. That bloody trail has earned him the right to be bitter, angry, critical, and unflinching. What Barry’s bloody trail has not earned him is a Hugo Award.

One can love or hate his commentaries (or fiction), but one should never underestimate the importance of Barry Malzberg to the Science Fiction genre. And Breakfast…, an intimate, insider’s first-person account of the history of the genre, is one of the most important gifts Barry has bequeathed to us.

This year, Breakfast… has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the “related book” category. With respect to the other nominees in the category, I submit that Breakfast… is the kind of book that only comes around once or twice in a lifetime.

The voters for this year’s Hugo Award have a chance to recognize Barry’s work… to recognize him, and his lifetime of care and attention to a genre that has mostly ignored (and sometimes actively despised) him. And most importantly, the voters have a chance to recognize and honor the (sometimes ugly) history of the field, as recounted by one who was a part of it. I humbly urge the Hugo voters to vote for Breakfast….

If you are not a voter, please pass on, post or forward this missive, along with any notes or thoughts you yourself might have, concerning Barry Malzberg and/or Breakfast in the Ruins. Every campaign needs a catchy slogan, and I suggest this one be dubbed the “Breakfast for Barry” campaign.

Hopefully, on a sunny morning in Denver, after the Hugo Awards ceremony the night before, the entire genre can symbolically wake up and buy Barry breakfast - thanking him for his years of passionate contribution.

And most importantly, I exhort all of you who have not yet had the pleasure, to go out and read Barry Malzberg’s Breakfast in the Ruins.

(The photo of Mr. Malzberg courtesy of Baen Books.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hugo Nominees announced

Nominees have been announced for this year's Hugo Awards. Winners will be announced at the 66th World Science Fiction Convention, Aug. 6-10, in Denver. A complete list of nominees follows.

Best Novel: The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, Brasyl by Ian McDonald, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, The Last Colony by John Scalzi, Halting State by Charles Stross

Best Novella: "Fountains of Age" by Nancy Kress, "Recovering Apollo 8" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "Stars Seen Through Stone" by Lucius Shepard, "All Seated on the Ground" by Connie Willis, "Memorare" by Gene Wolfe

Best Novelette: "The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairytale of Economics" by Daniel Abraham, "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang, "Dark Integers" by Greg Egan, "Glory" by Greg Egan, "Finisterra" by David Moles

Best Short Story: "Last Contact" by Stephen Baxter, "Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear, "Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?" by Ken MacLeod, "Distant Replay" by Mike Resnick, "A Small Room in Koboldtown" by Michael Swanwick

Best Related Book: The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Glyer; Breakfast in the Ruins: Science Fiction in the Last Millennium by Barry Malzberg; Emshwiller: Infinity x Two by Luis Ortiz; Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher; The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Enchanted; The Golden Compass; Heroes, season one; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Stardust

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Battlestar Galactica: Razor; Dr. Who, "Blink"; Dr. Who, "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood"; Star Trek New Voyages, "World Enough and Time"; Torchwood, "Captain Jack Harkness"

Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Ellen Datlow, Stanley Schmidt, Jonathan Strahan, Gordon Van Gelder, Sheila Williams

Best Professional Editor, Long Form: Lou Anders, Ginjer Buchanan, David G. Hartwell, Beth Meacham, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist: Bob Eggleton, Phil Foglio, John Harris, Stephan Martiniere, John Picacio, Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine: Ansible, Helix, Interzone, Locus, The New York Review of Science Fiction

Best Fanzine: Argentus, Challenger, Drink Tank, File 770, PLOKTA

Best Fan Writer: Chris Garcia, David Langford, Cheryl Morgan, John Scalzi, Steven H. Silver

Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster, Teddy Harvia, Sue Mason, Steve Stiles, Taral Wayne

The finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were also announced. The nominees are Joe Abercrombie, Jon Armstrong, David Anthony Durham, David Louis Edelman, Mary Robinette Kowal and Scott Lynch.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Clarke to Be Buried Saturday


In this photograph released by the President's office, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, left, places a wreath of flowers near the body of Arthur C. Clarke in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, March 20, 2008.

Clarke will be buried Saturday in his adopted country of Sri Lanka in a secular funeral according to his wishes, a spokesman said Thursday.

"It will be a secular, simple funeral and there will be no speeches," said Clarke's aide Nalaka Gunawardena.

Clarke who died at the age of 90 on Wednesday had left written instructions that no religious rites of any faith should be associated with his funeral.

He will be buried at Colombo's general cemetery in a plot owned by his friend and diving company partner with whom the writer lived for decades, Gunawardena said.

Fred Clarke, his brother, had arrived in the island to participate in the funeral, the aide added.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke's Visionary Voice is Stilled

Well,I'm sure you know by now that Sir Arthur C. Clarke passed away in Sri Lanka Wednesday. There are too many common but true observations on his role in society and literature to mention. I won't suppose to add anything significant - it's all being said by people better qualified than myself. I'll use my space here to post the video he released just three months ago on the occasion of his 90th birthday:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Some good words for Fencon


I should note that Fencon V is being held in Dallas October 3-5. They will be celebrating 50 years of s-f conventions in Texas; apparently a regional con, Southwestercon 6, was held in Dallas in July 1958. The guest of honor will be Dr. Gregory Benford, who as a youngster was one of the organizers of the event.

Jay Lake will be a special guest and running the writer's workshop. I also know that Howard Waldrop will be another special guest; this will be the first time he's gone to Dallas in many years.

Howard told me once he only goes to three cons a year, and that sounds like a sensible policy. It looks like that's what I will be doing his year. I've already been to ConDFW, and I will be going to Armadillcon in addition to Fencon. I hope to make it to the Nebula weekend, but then again, that's not a con.

Jesus in Birmingham

Next Friday is Good Friday, and although many Christians sleep walk through it and Easter Sunday - sometime we kinda focus and have a few glimmers of introspection. I was puttering around on YouTube and I found this video, the first part of a Good Friday sermon delivered in 1979 by Bishop Fulton Sheen.

It happened to be the last sermon he ever delivered - he died that December. It was given in St. Agnes Church in New York City. This part - dealing with the indifference by some many people of what happened on Calvary - I thought was especially appropriate.

It has the usual Sheen rhetorical flourishes and his way of looking at a subject from outside the box. A good example is his throwaway line about our world being so insignificant it can be blown up by one bomb. The ending with the quotation from the poem about Jesus in Birmingham is great. I thought it was worth passing along.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Armadillocon 30

I have received - and most heartedly accepted - an invite to be a panelist at Armadillocon 30, which will be held in Austin August 15-17.
The last time I went to 'DillonCon was in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, I couldn't have gone because its weekend coincided with an annual event I had to cover in the city where I worked.
Last year, I was in a new job and had no vacation days available, plus I was still recovering from the blood pressure attack and inner infection that sent me to the hospital while I was at NASFIC in St. Louis.
Looking forward to this year, I was over a barrel, because WorldCon (Denvention) is the week before Dillocon, I would not be going to both - that would burn up too many of my vacation days too early (my anniversary day is July 30) plus I simply don't think I have the stamina. So I decided that if Dillocon would have me as a panelist, I would go. It will keep me closer to home, and the people I want to visit with will be there (I think a number of people who are going to Denver will be slouching to Austin).
The lineup so far is (according to their web site) is:
Guest of Honor - John Scalzi the Fluffy
Artist Guest of Honor - Dean Morrissey the Silly
Fan Guest of Honor - Kelly Persons the Handy
Editor Guest of Honor -Sheila Williams the Liberating
Toastmaster - Bill Crider the Outrageous
Special Guests of Honor - Joe & Gay Haldeman the Accidentally Timely
Other panelists include:
David Lee Anderson
Neal Barrett, Jr.
Matthew Bey
Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Elizabeth Burton
Scott A. Cupp
Aaron de Orive
Rhonda Eudaly
Mark Finn
Melanie Miller Fletcher
Brad W. Foster
Janice Gelb
John K. Gibbons
Beverly Hale
Rory Harper
Samantha Henderson
Kenneth Huey
Gorg Huff
Al Jackson
Rocky Kelley
Rick Klaw
Alexis Glynn Latner
William Ledbetter
A. Lee Martinez
J. M. McDermott
Paul O. Miles
C. J. Mills
John Moore
Gloria Oliver
Cary G. Osborne
Lawrence Person
John Picacio
Alan J. Porter
Doug Potter
James Reasoner
Jessica Reisman
Carrie Richerson
Chris Roberson
Paige Roberts
Selina Rosen
Josh Rountree
Patrice Sarath
Rie Sheridan
Willie Siros
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Debbie Lynn Smith
Mikal Trimm
Susan Wade
Howard Waldrop
Lynn Ward
Don Webb
Martha Wells
Patty Wells
K. D. Wentworth
Wendy Wheeler
Steve Wilson

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Carrying Free Trade too far


Well, I think my redesign on the blog has worked out. Locus on-line was nice enough to put it up as a blink on Wednesday. Since I used my most recent post to spread more information about "World Enough and Time", I think the effort was well worth it. However, you have to change your blog fairly often or people get bored, so I guess I need to keep posting.
Well, here's the story for today: A few months ago, my wife received some wall hangings for our new home she had ordered on-line. When I collected up the trash, I saw this label on both of the decorations.
I guess there is some free trade agreement that requires you to state the origin of your export - and the label is literally true - but it sure struck me as funny. Maybe in a few hundred years such a label will not be worthy of comment.
Maybe I've just screwed up some future historian's research on interstellar trading pattern: "That's ridiculous, Tralfaz! Earth was not exporting anything in the 21st century!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

"World Enough and Time"

In reaction to some comments that have been circulating regarding a work nominated for a Nebula award, the creator Marc Scott Zicree sent a letter - at the request of SFWA President Michael Capobianco - to members by way of explanation.

I found this very informative, and so - to help get the word out even more - I recieved permission to post this information. It's rather long, but fascinating:

#####

I’ve just been informed that there have been some misconceptions relating to the professional status of STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES “World Enough and Time,” starring George Takei and written Michael Reaves and myself, which has just been nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Script.

First off, I just want to say how deeply honored I am to be nominated for the Nebula Award. When I was a teenager and being mentored by Theodore Sturgeon at the beginning of my career (I’d just gotten back from Clarion, having sold my first short story), I remember going to his home and seeing the Nebula on his mantle. With its spiral galaxy held in that gleaming block of Lucite, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I was so impressed by Ted having written a work that had won such recognition, and hoped that someday I might create something of such merit it might have a possibility of winning that award.

I am so grateful to my fellow writers in SFWA, and so proud to be part of this community. Michael Reaves is recovering from recent brain surgery and somewhat out of commission, but I know I speak for him when I thank every member of SFWA – and all those who worked on “World Enough and Time” so selflessly and well -- from the bottom of our hearts.

As co-writer, director and executive producer of “World Enough and Time” (and also as someone with a thirty-year career as a writer-producer in network television), I’m glad to clarify things and categorically state that “World Enough and Time” was a professional production that utilized literally hundreds of men and women, many of whom work full-time in film and television, and that it was done entirely with Paramount’s knowledge and approval, and in no way violated their copyright.

First, a little history on STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES. Prior to my arrival on the scene and writing “World Enough and Time” with Michael Reaves (both of us having previously written for STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION), STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES had produced three episodes. Although a number of Industry pros worked on the episodes – including STAR TREK writer D.C. Fontana and STAR TREK actors Walter Koenig, Malachi Throne, William Windom and Barbara Luna – they were primarily episodes produced by the fans and intended for a non-professional fan audience.

When Walter Koenig told me of NEW VOYAGES and I viewed their impressive work, I first got the idea of teaming with the NEW VOYAGES crew to create “World Enough and Time.”

I didn’t want to exclude the STAR TREK fans from the production in any way – many of us who are now professionals in the Industry were inspired to these careers by watching STAR TREK when we were kids and still consider ourselves fans – but I was committed to raising the level of STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES to that of a network show and bringing aboard Industry professionals that I knew personally to augment the already-existing and very-talented NEW VOYAGES personnel to help make that happen.

This is in no way to denigrate or minimize the many in our cast and crew who came from other careers or had day-jobs in other pursuits; I found them as hardworking, dedicated and professional as the Oscar and Emmy winners they were often working shoulder to shoulder with on our production.

In all, “World Enough and Time” took one and a half years to make, and required all the skills and talents I have honed in a career that has included sales of over 100 scripts to all the major networks and studios. Pre-production took six months, we shot nine days in New York, two days in Los Angeles at the Gigapix Production Facility, and one day on the Universal lot in Florida with the effects team at the renowned DAVE (Digital and Visual Effects) School facility. Post-production took a full year. The episode was shot on state-of-the-art Hi-Def and boasts 700 effects shots, far more than any network show would ever be able to afford, and more than most features (made possible in part by my having decades of working relationships with the finest artisans and technicians in the Industry, and by relationships fostered by James Cawley and others on the team).

Additionally, I contractually had final cut as a director, which means that what Michael and I wrote is what got shot and what you will see in the episode. There were no script notes of any kind, and the final version is artistically exactly what we had in mind.

As to any rumors regarding STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES being unpaid and thus unprofessional, in several key and vital areas payments were made. Michael Reaves and I were paid for the script of “World Enough and Time” by James Cawley through his production company, Cawley Entertainment Company, prior to production. We negotiated a contract with James which was under WGA rules, as both Michael and I are members of the Writers Guild, as well as SFWA. In addition, my contract was under DGA guidelines, as I was also the director of the piece.

Beyond this, George Takei was paid to star in the episode. This was under a SAG contract negotiated with George’s manager and agent. Grace Lee Whitney was also paid under a SAG contract. All of our actors who were SAG members were hired under SAG contracts.

At an early stage of pre-production, I founded my own production company, the Magic Time Company, made up of myself, William H. Wallen – formerly Senior Vice President of Marketing for Sony/Columbia-Tristar – and one other partner, an investor in the film and TV industry.

It was clear by that point that “World Enough and Time” would be a huge undertaking in terms of production logistics and would require the full commitment of not only James Cawley’s production company, but mine as well. As a result, “World Enough and Time” became a co-production between Cawley Entertainment Company and the Magic Time Company.

In all, my company invested significant funds, largely for production expenses and key crew salaries. I personally hired my editor, Chris Cronin – a professional who works in Los Angeles on numerous TV shows, features and music videos – full-time for a solid four months, again at Industry rates.

Although “World Enough and Time” was not produced through Paramount, it was done with Paramount’s full knowledge, from Business Affairs on down, including J.J. Abrams, director of the new Star Trek feature, and Bryan Burke, producer of that film. J.J., in fact, advised me during pre-production as I was planning my directorial angle of attack, as did Guillermo del Toro, Frank Darabont, Roxanne Dawson (director of HEROES and LOST), Michael Nankin (director of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) and Armin Shimerman (Quark on DEEP SPACE NINE).

I consider all of these actors and directors friends and professional compatriots (I accepted Guillermo’s Hugo for PAN’S LABYRINTH at Worldcon when he couldn’t be in attendance) and, in fact, have worked with Armin when I wrote for DEEP SPACE NINE (“Far Beyond the Stars”) and collaborated with Michael Nankin when he and I wrote a pilot for Showtime.

“World Enough and Time” premiered August 23, 2007, at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills. The event was extensively covered by the press, including the L.A. Times, CNN, NBC and ABC News and many other radio, TV and print outlets. Since then, the episode has been screened at venues around the world, including Spain and Greece, at Worldcon in Yokohama with George Takei in attendance, at numerous conventions and professional conferences, and at the 2007 Nebula Awards, to standing ovations and rave reviews. In addition, the episode has been streaming online at www.startreknewvoyages.com and been seen by many millions all over the globe.

Which speaks to the core issue at hand. The best way for anyone to be satisfied as to the quality and professionalism of “World Enough and Time” is to simply watch the episode. You can view it real time streaming in Standard Def or Hi-Def by logging onto www.startreknewvoyages.com (or if you’re a SFWA member and would prefer, drop me an email at marc@zicree.com and I’ll be happy to mail you a DVD). The work speaks for itself.

Since its premiere, numerous executives at Paramount/CBS in a number of key divisions in Los Angeles and New York have seen the episode and reacted favorably to it, as have the producers and stars of the new STAR TREK feature.

I should add too that “World Enough and Time” just won the TV Guide Award. The other nominees were all produced by NBC Universal. None of us were considered amateur productions in any way, and I’m proud to say that “World Enough” won the award.

In all, over 300 people worked on “World Enough and Time.” The following list covers only a small percentage of those who labored on the episode – not even most of our major department heads – but gives sense of our professional credits and standing, along with what we did on “World Enough” (and to our cast and crew, if I left you off this list it’s in no way a reflection of anything other than merely trying in a reasonable space to address the concerns that have been voiced by SFWA and others; I urge everyone to read our episode credits fully, and I thank every single person who made the episode what it is):

MARC ZICREE, Co-Writer, Director and Executive Producer: In addition to the 100-plus script sales (including STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, BABYLON 5, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE, FOREVER KNIGHT and many others), I’ve served as executive producer on numerous network pilots, producer on SLIDERS and THE LAZARUS MAN, executive story editor on BEYOND REALITY and story editor on FRIDAY THE 13TH – THE SERIES. My work, which includes such bestsellers as THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION and the MAGIC TIME trilogy, has been nominated for the American Book Award, Writers Guild Award, Diane Thomas Award and the Humanitas Prize. Currently, I’m in negotiations to write, direct and executive produce the series MAGIC TIME, based on my bestselling trilogy of novels for HarperCollins, in partnership with executive producers of a hit network show. I’m also in talks with a major Industry writer-producer (who must remain nameless at this time) to have his company come aboard to produce a previously-unfilmed Rod Serling TWILIGHT ZONE pilot, with myself as director.

MICHAEL REAVES, Co-Writer and Executive Producer: Emmy-winner for THE ANIMATED BATMAN, with over 400 script sales to all the major networks and studios. Other credits include STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION, THE NEW TWILIGHT ZONE (WGA Award nomination), SLIDERS, INVASION AMERICA (for Steven Spielberg), GARGOYLES and many more. He’s the only writer I know who’s personally worked with Spielberg, Lucas and Roddenberry. In addition, he’s been on the New York Times bestseller list many times (including twice in the last five months) and was nominated for the British Fantasy Award.

JAMES CAWLEY, Senior Executive Producer and Star: the producer-star who started it all and who has had a decades-long career in the entertainment industry, which includes work on STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION and who will be seen in the new STAR TREK feature film. None of this would have happened or been possible without him.

ELAINE ZICREE, Executive Producer: Numerous network credits as a writer and executive producer, including series and pilots. In pre-production on the feature film, THE VOICELESS ROAR, which she has written and will direct. Actors from THERE WILL BE BLOOD and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN are attached, as is Ed Asner, with Ed Harris currently reading the script to star.

WILLIAM H. WALLEN, Executive Producer: For seven years, served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Sony/Columbia Tristar, previously head of Wallen Media, the top marketing and design firm in Hollywood. Credits include the first three STAR WARS films, the Indiana Jones films, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, E.T., POLTERGEIST, MEN IN BLACK (which he discovered and brought to the studio), JERRY McGUIRE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, STARSHIP TROOPERS, hundreds more.

DOUGLAS DREXLER, Executive Producer: An Oscar and Emmy winner, Doug worked for many years on the STAR TREK franchise series, including THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE, and is currently head of CG Effects on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

MAJEL BARRETT RODDENBERRY, Enterprise Computer Voice: Extensive TV credits, including Nurse Chapel and Computer Voice on STAR TREK and Troi’s mother on STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION; is also the widow of STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry.

IAIN McCAIG, Character Designer: Lead concept designer on the last three STAR WARS films, designer of Darth Maul and Queen Amidala. Other feature credits include INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, HARRY POTTER, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, the live action PETER PAN and many others. Most recently, Iain worked on PRINCESS OF MARS for director Jon Favreau.

GABRIEL HARTMAN, Storyboards: Many feature credits, including SPIDERMAN 3, where he worked directly with director Sam Raimi.

LEE STRINGER, RON THORNTON, RON B. MOORE, DAN CURRY, DAREN DOCHTERMAN, JOEL BELLUCCI, Special Effects: Multiple Emmy winners (more than ten among them), with credits that are a who’s who of film and television, including CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, E.T., BABYLON 5, the recent STAR TREK features and TV series, many more. Stringer and Thornton head up the spectacular DAVE School, which did the vast majority of the incredible effects shots.

STEPHEN LES, Post-Production Supervisor: Numerous film credits, the most recent being ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS for Rhythm and Hues.

TASHA HARDY, Line Producer: Many professional credits on features and music videos. Currently producing the feature film HUMANITY’S END.

DON BALDERAMOS, Co-producer and Unit Production Manager: Currently serving in that capacity for Gigapix, a noted soundstage and production facility serving the film and television Industry in Los Angeles.

SCOTTY MOODY, Producer: Works full-time in production at the CBS affiliate in Burlington, Vermont.

ERIC GOODRICH, Producer: Works full-time in production at the CBS affiliate in Burlington, Vermont.

CRYSTAL ANN TAYLOR, script supervisor: Has worked in that capacity on numerous network shows, most recently JOAN OF ARCADIA.

NEIL JOHNSON, Post Production: Editor and Director of thousands of music videos and nine feature films.

ALAN DERIAN, composer: Has composed scores for over fifty feature films.

LESLIE HOFFMAN, Stunt Coordinator: Stunt woman on many features and TV series, including DEEP SPACE NINE.

JOHN VULICH & OPTIC NERVE, Special Effects Makeup: Multiple Emmy and Oscar winner, credits include BABYLON 5, X-FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and BATMAN.

JACOB PINGER, Director of Photography: Cinematographer for many years on numerous network shows, including REAL STORY, the pilot Elaine and I wrote and executive produced in association with Executive Producer Tom Fontana (HOMICIDE, OZ).

JOHN LINDAUER, Camera Operator: Emmy-winning director of PEEWEE’S PLAYHOUSE, currently writing the sequel to 300.

And on and on.

All of which goes to show the enormous amount of time and effort and manpower it takes to create a piece such as “World Enough and Time.” I consider it my masterwork, of all the many shows and books I’ve done, and it pretty much sums up everything I have to say about why we’re alive and what makes the journey worth the candle.

And finally, of all the accolades we’ve received, for me the greatest lies in the many people who have gone out of their way to tell me how profoundly the episode has moved them, that they’ve found themselves in tears at the end of the episode. It’s true for me, too. I still cry when I watch it.

Again, thanks for all the many kind words that have been said, and for this wonderful science fiction community that has given me not only a rewarding career, but such a rich, full life.

All good wishes,
Marc Scott Zicree

STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES “WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME” BLURBS


“It’s just great!” RAY BRADBURY

“Great production values and an insightful, emotionally resonant script.” JOSS WHEDON, creator BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

“A major accomplishment. It’s a knockout.” JOSEPH DOUGHERTY, Emmy-winning writer-producer, THIRTYSOMETHING, SAVING GRACE

“It was cracking! I loved it!” PAUL CORNELL, writer, DR. WHO

“Enormously entertaining, and beautifully done.” MEL GILDEN, STAR TREK novelist

“Wow… a major turning point in the history of mass communication! I teach a mass communications class at my college and you’re now part of the curriculum.” PROF. SANFORD FRIES, Chicago

“It really is one of the best classic Treks, not a ‘fan’ film as the others have been, but a real episode -- and the best Sulu one done.” MARV WOLFMAN, creator BLADE

“The final product is very impressive indeed… An emotional story that focuses on a parallel life lived by Sulu following an away mission, it has a genuine feel of classic sci-fi and Trek” STAR TREK.com

“Despite low production costs (in comparison to a studio episode) the NEW VOYAGES production team has brought passion, meaning and good storytelling back to STAR TREK. Thanks for keeping the dream alive.” EUGENE “ROD” RODDENBERRY

“J.J. watch out! Wow. I felt like I was 9 years old again, sitting at the TV and watching Star Trek. Great job!” MARK ROSMAN, director

“Trek now has an 80th episode...well done.” MARK ALTMAN, writer-producer, FREE ENTERPRISE

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Upcoming Nebula weekend


Although I've mentioned it already on this blog, it bears repeating that the Nebula Awards Weekend will be in Austin April 25-27.

The registration rate is now $125, and the later you wait, the greater the possibility that you may not get a seat for the banquet.

As I previously mentioned, Joe R. Lansdale (right) and Ardath Mayhar have been named Toastmaster and Author Emeritus. I've cut and pasted some info here from the SFWA's news page:

"The event will take place at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown. The event will be hosted by the Austin Literary Arts Maintenance Organization (ALAMO), with the assistance of SFWA members Elizabeth Moon, John Moore and Lee Martindale. Advance registration is required, but the weekend is open to the general public.

"Joe R. Lansdale of Nacogdoches, Texas, is regarded as one of the most thoroughly Texan authors writing today. The author and editor of more than two dozen novels, short story collections and anthologies, he has won a variety of awards in multiple fields including the Edgar award for The Bottoms, the Bram Stoker Award six times and the British Fantasy Award. In 2007 he was named Grandmaster by the World Horror Convention. He has also written westerns, comics, dark suspense, humorous pieces and gonzo fiction that can only be described as Lansdale-esque. In addition to his writing, Lansdale is the founder and Grandmaster of the martial arts system Shen Chuan and an inductee of the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. His website can be found at www.joerlansdale.com.

"Ardath Mayhar of Nacogdoches, Texas, is known for her sweet, grandmotherly appearance which belies a quick wit and fast tongue. The author of 61 novels along with numerous short stories and poems, her publishing career began in 1979 with the philosophical fantasy How the Gods Wove in Kyrannon, and in 1982 she published Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey, a sequel to H. Beam Pipers Little Fuzzy. From there she published a wide variety of works including science fiction (The World Ends in Hickory Hollow), fantasy (Exile on Vlahil), westerns (under the pseudonym Frank Cannon), a mountain man series (under the pseudonym John Kildeer), horror (The Wall), folklore (Slewfoot Sally and the Flying Mule) and contemporary fiction (Medicine Walk). She also served on the Writers Digest instructional staff, passing her knowledge and critical eye on to younger writers. Her website can be found at ofearna.us/books/mayhar/books.html."

Michael Moorcock as been picked for the Grandmaster award. Again, a cut and paste from the SFWA newsroom:

"Famed British author Michael Moorcock will be honored as the next Damon Knight Grand Master for 2008 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The Grand Master represents SFWA's highest accolade and recognizes excellence for a lifetime of contributions to the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

"SFWA President Michael Capobianco announced the decision after consulting with the Board of Directors and participating past presidents. 'As one of the early members of SFWA I feel especially honoured to receive the Grand Master award and particularly pleased that I'll be in Austin to accept it, Moorcock said.

"Named one of the 50 greatest postwar British writers by The Times of London, Moorcock is best-known for his stories featuring the albino swordsman Elric of Melniboné. Other popular characters created by the prolific Moorcock include Jerry Cornelius and Hawkmoon, characters that, like Elric, are linked by their stories in what has come to be known as the Eternal Champion cycle. Among his many awards, Moorcock won the 1967 Nebula Award for Behold the Man, the 1993 British Fantasy Award and the 2000 World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. Other notable works by Moorcock include The Dancers at the End of Time and Mother London.

"Moorcock is the 25th writer recognized by SFWA as a Grand Master. He joins Robert A. Heinlein (1974), Jack Williamson (1975), Clifford D. Simak (1976), L. Sprague de Camp (1978), Fritz Leiber (1981), Andre Norton (1983), Arthur C. Clarke (1985), Isaac Asimov (1986), Alfred Bester (1987), Ray Bradbury (1988), Lester del Rey (1990), Frederik Pohl (1992), Damon Knight (1994), A. E. van Vogt (1995), Jack Vance (1996), Poul Anderson (1997), Hal Clement (1998), Brian Aldiss (1999), Philip Jose Farmer (2000), Ursula K. Le Guin (2003), Robert Silverberg (2004), Anne McCaffrey (2005), Harlan Ellison (2006) and James Gunn (2007).

Lansdale and Mayhar are home-grown born and bred native Texans. Moorcock has lived here many years; from what Howard Waldrop says, he lived in Bastrop.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The real 'Sergeant Lucy'


I'm looking forward to the April issue of Jim Baen's Universe, which will feature my alternate history/fantasy story "The Witch of Waxahachie". WW is my most prestigious publication since "A Rocket for the Republic" in the September 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, and only my second story which rises to the level of what the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) considers a 'pro sale'.
WW is currently available as an e-arc (electronic advance review copy) for Baen subscribers. It will have art when it goes live on publication.
As so often happens, many characters in the story are based on or are composites of people I have known. A crucial character is Sergeant Lucy, a police dog. I am proud to have been able to write a story where a dog - a normal real dog, not a fantasy dog or a transhuman dog - plays an important role, and Sergeant Lucy fit the bill.
There was a real Sergeant Lucy in the Ellis County, Texas, sheriff's department in the 1980s. Just a few weeks ago I was happy - as a result of Googling around - to find a photo, albeit of poor quality, of the real and original Sergeant Lucy. The deputy who was Lucy's handler was running for constable in the March 4th primary, and he scanned and posted some newspaper clipping documenting his experience. One of these from Oct 1989 showed him with Sergeant Lucy. I remember this story - I was editor of the newspaper at the time.
Ironically, Lucy's old handler lost his nomination bid, but it's thanks to him I found what little record is left of the real Sergeant Lucy.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

An authentic Texas voice

One of the things that tickles me is when a critic opines in a review about the authenticity of my stories set in Texas (which is most of them). The irony - which is not lost on anyone who knows me personally - is that I was born in Massachusetts, went to college in New York City, and didn't move to Texas until I was 28. Yet somehow, I am being pegged as a "Texas" author.
I am comfortable writing about Texas locales, but whether I am a true Texas author is subject to some debate. Regardless, my only concern is whether my stories are fun. If they are, I don't really care. I don't have that much of an "artistic" temperament about my speculative fiction - I guess because I still think of myself as a journalist rather than a writer.
In the spirit of playing along, though, I have changed the title and look of the blog to reflect this Texas bent. I hope that makes it a little more interesting.
AND in this spirit, here is a very appropriate video. Sorry for the ad, but that's the price you have to pay:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rainy Monday

I had Monday off and got a lot of chores accomplished. It rained all day (fairly unusual for Texas) and that was a great incentive to stay inside and work. My normal day off is Monday, because it's the slowest day for a daily newspaper.

My biggest project was cleaning out and reorganizing files associated with three different enmail addresses. I had put this off for years because it was a big job. I finally got it done - it took all morning, but was worth it.

Patricia subbed, so I was home alone with the dogs - who were as bored as kids would be. At one point, I actually heard Millie (the Yellow Lab) make that kind of smacking sound with her mouth that we all do when we're bored. It must be the generic sound you make when your brain turns to mush. That was pretty funny.

I also worked on subs. I chatted with Brad and Sue Sinor on Sunday, carrying over a discussion we had at ConDFW. Brad has an idea for a collaboration, and he's dropped something in the email for me.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Moorcock named Grand Master

I would be remiss if I didn't use my blog to help spread the news. From the SFWA web site:

Famed British author Michael Moorcock will be honored as the next Damon Knight Grand Master for 2008 by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The Grand Master represents SFWA's highest accolade and recognizes excellence for a lifetime of contributions to the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

SFWA President Michael Capobianco announced the decision after consulting with the Board of Directors and participating past presidents. The presentation of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award will take place at the SFWA Nebula Awards® Weekend, April 25-27 at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, Austin, Texas. The Nebula Awards weekend is available to the general public with advance registration.

"As one of the early members of SFWA I feel especially honoured to receive the Grand Master award and particularly pleased that I'll be in Austin to accept it," Moorcock said.

Named one of the 50 greatest postwar British writers by The Times of London, Moorcock is best-known for his stories featuring the albino swordsman Elric of Melniboné. Other popular characters created by the prolific Moorcock include Jerry Cornelius and Hawkmoon, characters that, like Elric, are linked by their stories in what has come to be known as the Eternal Champion cycle. Among his many awards, Moorcock won the 1967 Nebula Award for Behold the Man, the 1993 British Fantasy Award and the 2000 World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. Other notable works by Moorcock include The Dancers at the End of Time and Mother London.

Moorcock is the 25th writer recognized by SFWA as a Grand Master. He joins Robert A. Heinlein (1974), Jack Williamson (1975), Clifford D. Simak (1976), L. Sprague de Camp (1978), Fritz Leiber (1981), Andre Norton (1983), Arthur C. Clarke (1985), Isaac Asimov (1986), Alfred Bester (1987), Ray Bradbury (1988), Lester del Rey (1990), Frederik Pohl (1992), Damon Knight (1994), A. E. van Vogt (1995), Jack Vance (1996), Poul Anderson (1997), Hal Clement (1998), Brian Aldiss (1999), Philip Jose Farmer (2000), Ursula K. Le Guin (2003), Robert Silverberg (2004), Anne McCaffrey (2005), Harlan Ellison (2006) and James Gunn (2007).

Until 2002 the title was simply "Grand Master." In 2002 it was renamed in honor of SFWA's founder, Damon Knight, who died that year.

Latest reviews

In a spare, swift, convincing narrative style, conveying in a deadpan voice a wide array of sometimes Paranoid suppositions about the world, Antonelli juxtaposes realities with very considerable skill, creating a variety of Alternate Worlds, some of them somewhat resembling the constructions of Howard Waldrop, and making some sharp points about American history, race relations, dreams, and occasional nightmares in which the twentieth century goes wrong. [JC]

---From the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be.

Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act.

This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read.

Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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