Free Event: The Children of Mary Shelley

Free Montreal area event:

The Children of Mary Shelley

English | 60min | Adult, Fear & Darkness

Sunday Apr. 29, 2018 16:00 Salle Jardin (Hôtel 10)

Su Sokol will be moderating a panel discussion at the Blue Met/Metropolis Bleu Literary Festival on speculative fiction since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This may well be the first time that Blue Met has hosted a speculative fiction panel, and she has managed to get some great panellists: Hugo Award winning author Amal El-Mohtar, an Ottawan who is also now SFF reviewer for the New York Times, David Demchuck, whose book The Bone Mother may be the first work of speculative fiction to be nominated for the Giller Prize, and Melissa Yuan-Innes, a local doctor and award-winning speculative fiction writer.

Local Sensors Detect…

  1. The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred at Westminster Abbey in London, near the remains of fellow scientists Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
  2. English Traffic circles can send you to Neverland, Oz, etc
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey  at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
1. Stephen Hawking’s ashes to be interred near graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin
  • Professor Hawking will be buried near fellow fellow distinguished scientists
  • Family will hold private funeral at Cambridge University at the end of March
  • A public service will be held Westminster later in the year

A private funeral service for the physicist will be held at the end of the month, before a service at Westminster later in the year.

The Dean of Westminster, John Hall, said it was “entirely fitting” Professor Hawking be buried near his fellow distinguished scientists.

“Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882,” Mr Hall said.

2 YOU CAN GET THERE FROM HERE: You’ve heard that stone circles can send you back in time? What about traffic circles? Humour, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.This strikes me as funny on a couple of fronts–ever tried getting there around an unfamiliar traffic circle? Sometimes I have felt I was headed for Neverland!  –CPL

You can now get to Gotham City, the Emerald City, Neverland, Middle Earth, and other places via roundabouts on the A4130 in Didcot, Oxfordshire reports the BBC.

A county council statement read, in part:

“We will investigate as soon as the weather improves. While on the surface amusing, it is vandalism and a potential distraction for drivers.”

Local resident Charlotte Westgate said she saw a hooded man in his 20s adding “Gotham City” to a sign on Friday afternoon. She said: “He was on his own, and didn’t seem worried that anyone might be looking at him, but no one driving past did anything to stop him.”


3 MARVEL AT MOPOP. The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle unveiled the official poster artwork for its upcoming exhibition Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes.

Designed by Marvel artist Nick Bradshaw, the illustration depicts some of the most iconic characters created during Marvel’s nearly 80 year history including Spider-Man, Thor, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, and others. Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes is the first and most extensive exhibition celebrating the visual and cultural impact of Marvel Entertainment. The exhibition will debut at MoPOP on April 21, 2018. Tickets are on sale now at

Organized by the Museum of Pop Culture, SC Exhibitions and Marvel Entertainment, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will feature more than 300 original artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props, many of which have never-before been seen by the public. The exhibition will tell the Marvel story through comics, film and other media, taking place as it celebrates 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ahead of the 80th anniversary in 2019.  The exhibition will trace the story of the company and its influence on visual culture – including how it’s responded to historical events and addressed wider issues such as gender, race and mental illness – as well as uncovering the narratives of individual characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange. Immersive set pieces will bring the comic book world to life, and the exhibition will be accompanied by an immersive soundscape created by acclaimed composers Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer.

4 THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED. National Air and Space Museum will mark the 50th Anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey with an immersive art exhibit celebrating the film’s impact on culture and technology.

This spring, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will host a special temporary exhibition of the immersive art installation “The Barmecide Feast,” a fully realized, full-scale reflection of the iconic, neo-classical hotel room from the penultimate scene of Stanley Kubrick’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s landmark film, 2001: A Space OdysseyOpen to the public April 8 – May 28, the installation will be the centerpiece of the Museum’s celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary. Museum visitors will be able to enter the re-created room in small groups for short periods to experience the surreal environment depicted in the film. The public will get its first chance to see the installation as part of the Museum’s Yuri’s Night celebration, a ticketed, 21-and-over evening event presented with Brightest Young Things Saturday, April 7

National Air and Space Society members will get a special sneak peak of the exhibition on April 5. There is no charge for this members-only event, but advance reservations are required.

Near earth sensors detect…

  1. Happy news from our youngest MonSFFAan, Isis
  2. Fanzine to share: Download Fornax. I found it interesting, once I got past the politics.
  3. Titan’s new comic series: The Prisoner
  4. CSFFA (Aurora Awards) launches new site
  5. The dogs of SFF


  1. Happy news from our youngest MonSFFAan, Isis: Proud Grandma writes:  Just thought I would pass on the great news that one of our own (and youngest?) MonSFFA Members, through a gruelling competition has been selected to move forward to international talent competition in Las Vegas.
    Isis has grown up with MonSFFA and wanted to share this good news with you.
    Long story short, Isis took it upon herself to sign up online to audition for Undiscovered Talent Group (Modelling, acting, singing, dancing, etc). She passed the first selection and was sponsored to attend their workshop/training. Two weeks later she was in a competition where there were agents from LA, NY, Toronto and… I can’t remember. She had to get at least three out of four of the agents votes to move forward to the international competition in Las Vegas. They only select a few as room is limited and their reputation is on the line to send only those who they think will do well. Adults and children are selected. Out of all the children (and there were quite a few from Montreal and Ottawa), it appears that only 3 were chosen – one of them being Isis! I thought because of her height they would chose Modelling for her, but I was surprised (and secretly very pleased) that they found her strength was in … Acting!
    With a little luck Katreina and I will be able to raise the money in time to send her in July. We are determined!
    Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

2. Fanzine to share: Download Fornax. I found it interesting, once I got past the politics.

3. PRISONER COMICS. First shown on Canadian and UK TV screens in 1967, The Prisoner was co-created, written, directed and starred Patrick McGoohan (Scanners, Braveheart). Titan’s new comic series is released for the 50th Anniversary of the first US broadcast in 1968.

Titan Comics are excited to announce that they are partnering with print and poster house Vice Press to create a Diamond UK exclusive cover for The Prisoner Issue #1. This first-ever Vice Press exclusive cover for The Prisoner Issue #1 – designed by Star Wars movie concept artist, Chris Weston – is based on his original silk-screen poster created for Vice Press to mark the 50th Anniversary of The Prisoner hitting US TV screens.

4. CSFFA (Aurora Awards) launches new site: The site has had a major facelift. While there is still some work in progress, the site looks sleek and easy to navigate. I will be testing it shortly. Have a look.

5. The dogs of SFF: There was a presentation at World Con in Helsinki on the subject of dogs in SF. The presenter was discouraged to find how very few dogs were portrayed in SF, and when they did appear, they were often subjects of inhumane military type experiments. OTOH, there are lots of dogs in fantasy. This oddity, which seems to imply that humanity’s best friend is not destined to follow us into space but will happily trot after us into Oz, is very apparent in this list which I found on the Wertzone. 

Amazing aurora display

On March 18th, an unexpected crack opened in Earth’s magnetic field, sparking a brief but potent G2-class geomagnetic storm.

Space Weather News for March 19, 2018

SURPRISE GEOMAGNETIC STORM: On March 18th, an unexpected crack opened in Earth’s magnetic field, sparking a brief but potent G2-class geomagnetic storm. Bright auroras ringed the Arctic Circle while, in Europe, the light show descended as far south as Germany. With the northern vernal equinox less than a day away, this is the time of year when such cracks tend to form. Today’s edition of explains the phenomenon of springtime magnetic cracks and how you can monitor them online.

Remember, is on Facebook!
Above: Auroras over Denmark during the G2-class geomagnetic storm of March 18, 2018. Photo credit:  Ruslan Merzlyakov. For more sightings, visit’s Realtime Aurora Gallery.

Fanzine to download!

From George Philies:

The National Fantasy Fan,  Now in its 77th year of publication

Volume 77 Number 3 March 2018

Click here to download TNFF

In this issue:

New Neffy Nominations Needed Now
New Bureaus and Zines
Fandom Introduction Bureau — Origin
Anime and Comics Bureau — Mangaverse
Tightbeam—Eldritch Science —N’APA
Club Activities
Treasury — Membership—Birthday Card Bureau
Fan-Pro Coordinating Bureau—Fandom Introductory Bureau
Franking Service—Games Bureau—Round Robins
Recruiting Bureau—Video Scheduling Bureau—Welcommittee
Writers Exchange Bureau
Letters of Comment— Lloyd Penney
;N3F Founding Members: Henry Ackermann; Neglected Genre Authors: E Hoffmann Price
Cedar Reviews; Wars to End:, The D-Day Landing Has Failed
DragonCon Ad—Short Story Contest

Click here to download TNFF

Robert Sawyer, from the Gazette March 17

Never once did an American … push back against the Canadian content in my book. But constantly Canadians tell me, ‘You know you would sell better if you set yourself in Chicago or San Francisco.’ It’s that classic Canadian inferiority complex.

Award-winning sci-fi writer Robert J. Sawyer finds hope in ‘the Canadian example’

PETER J. THOMPSON “Fewer and fewer people are actually engaging with science fiction,” says novelist Robert J. Sawyer. “We have a culture that is fairly anti-intellectual at the moment.”

Does the future belong to Canada?  It does the way Robert J. Sawyer writes it.

The Ottawa native, who now lives in Mississauga, has been called the godfather of science fiction in this country. There’s a reason: His books bleed Canadian red and white.

A recent novel was set in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, drawing on everything from a Jets playoff game to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to the imagined election of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi as Canada’s next prime minister.

Speaking to Postmedia after being named to the Order of Ontario — the latest in what has become a litany of honours for the bestselling author — Sawyer was quick to wave the Maple Leaf, as he discussed the significance of being a sci-fi writer north of the border. It’s simple, really, he says. “I really do think Canada represents the future of the planet.” Sawyer has just finished watching an old episode of the original Star Trek television series, it should probably be noted. “The interesting thing about Canada is we are the bridge of the Enterprise, writ large,” he says, a nod to the classic TV show and its alien science officer, Scottish engineer, black communications officer, Russian ensign and Asian helmsman. “We have always been about inclusion and diversity in this country,” he said. “We’re only (36) million people, but that’s still a statistically relevant sampling to do an experiment to see if people from all cultures, from all faith groups, and lack of faiths as well, all gender orientations, can come together and collectively make something better than the sum of the parts.”

Sawyer doesn’t just talk a good game. He’s made a career of writing it. But surely at some point in the early days, some American exclaimed, “Enough with the Timmies and maple syrup?”

“Never once did an American editor, agent, publisher, book seller, reviewer or reader ever push back against the Canadian content in my book,” Sawyer says. “But constantly Canadians tell me, ‘You know you would sell better if you set yourself in Chicago or San Francisco.’

“It’s that classic Canadian inferiority complex.”

His career to date has validated his approach. He’s won the Hugo and Nebula awards, the industry ’s big prizes. He’s published 23 books, probing such themes as the nature of evil and the existence of divinity, along with the odd alien dinosaur. Before this latest provincial honour, he was already a member of the Order of Canada.

For someone who makes his living looking into the future during these days of global uncertainty, Donald Trump’s America, Brexit and more, Sawyer is an unabashed optimist.

But that doesn’t mean he’s without critique of the present, including the state of his beloved science fiction, a term he suggests has been hijacked by blockbusters.

Continue reading Robert Sawyer, from the Gazette March 17

Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association