Category Archives: Local Sensors Detect…

Good news, bad news, and opera

Good news, bad news, and opera

Not sure where to class an opera based on Coraline, so I will start with that.

Coraline, the Opera: The opera based on Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is available on the BBC iPlayer for the next 29 days: “Mark-Anthony Turnage: Coraline”.

Kate Molleson presents the world premiere production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline – an operatic version of the dark fantasy tale by Neil Gaiman, directed by Aletta Collins with libretto by Rory Mullarkey. Soprano Mary Bevan sings the title-role with a cast including mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately and baritone Alexander Robin Baker who are making their Royal Opera debuts. Sian Edwards conducts the Britten Sinfonia.

Good news: There have been several failed cons recently, some at the last minute, not even offering refunds. But fandom is family, and when Universal FanCon was cancelled, BSFS/Balticon was there with a special offer to the fans and dealers left in the lurch. This is sooo heart-warming!

Bad news: The continuing saga of the Writers of the Future and Scientology picked up a bit of steam, via Twitter. There is supposed to be a “firewall” between the two, but workshop attendees were given texts to read that included the first page of Dianetics.

Worse news: (You might not want to read this) (The news video comes with a warning)

Actress Allison Mack, best known for her role as Clark Kent’s clever confidant Chloe on CW’s “Smallville,” was indicted on Friday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, according to a statement released by the Justice Department.

She is pleading innocent.

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. 

Free reads, Firefly, and a couple of trailers

  1. FREE READS. Asimov’s has made four Locus-recommended stories available as free reads.

Congratulations to the authors of our stories on the Locus Recommended Reading List. We’ve posted the tales here for your enjoyment. If you’re voting in the Locus Poll and you haven’t read the stories or you’d like to refresh your memory please take a look at them now.


The Discrete Charm of the Turing Machine, Greg Egan – Nov/Dec 2017
Wind Will Rove, Sarah Pinsker – Sept/Oct 2017


Persephone of the Crows, Karen Joy Fowler – May/June 2017

An Evening with Severyn Grimes, Rich Larson – July/August    2017
Confessions of a Con Girl, Nick Wolven – Nov/Dec 2017

2) It may sound like something out of science-fiction, but it’s true: More Firefly stories are on the way. David Canfield
February 08, 2018 AT 12:00 PM EST

EW can exclusively report that Titan Books and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products have teamed up to publish an original range of new fiction tying in to Joss Whedon’s beloved but short-lived TV series Firefly. The books will be official titles within the Firefly canon, with Whedon serving as consulting editor. The first book is due in the fall. READ MORE

3) From the Trailer park, Venom and Jessica Jones

 One of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award® nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.

Netflix has released Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Season 2 Official Trailer.

Jessica Jones is back as New York City’s tough-as-nails private investigator. Although this time, the case is even more personal than ever before. Fueled by a myriad of questions and lies, she will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth.




STRACZYNSKI MEMOIR COMING. Harper Voyager US has acquired the imprint’s first memoir, written by J. Michael Straczynski. The book will be published in 2019.

Straczynski is one of the most successful writers of comics, TV, graphic novels, and movies in modern pop culture, and has emerged as one of the most respected voices in science fiction today, selling millions of comics, winning dozens of awards and working with such luminaries as Clint Eastwood, Angelina Jolie and Kenneth Branagh. He is famed for his work on the recent Netflix hit Sense8, his work on Babylon 5, Changeling, World War Z, Thor, and a seven-year stint on The Amazing Spider-Man. But despite forty years of twelve-hour writing days, there’s one story Straczynski could never tell: his own. This memoir chronicles the author’s struggle growing up surrounded by poverty, violence, alcoholism and domestic abuse. The result is an inspiring account of how he wrote his way out of some of the most harrowing conditions.

Local Sensors Detect…

  1. Fanzine to share: Ionishere
  2. ISS over Montreal tonight
  3. CSA proposes Solar Sail
  4.  Awards: Copper Cylinder, Past Words
  5. Go-Fund-Me appeals
  6. Discovery, reviews
  1. Fanzine to share: Ionishere Three Pro Interviews, with Jay O’Connell, Dave Creek and Jay Werkheiser One Fan Interview, with Steve Fahnestalk, poetry, art IO is compiled, assembled and edited by John Thiel

2 ISS over Montreal tonight

Time: Tue Sep 26 8:38 PM, Visible: 2 min, Max Height: 45°, Appears: 10° above WSW, Disappears: 45° above SW

The ISS is very bright, easily visible even in light polluted urban areas.

Artist’s conception of Deep Space Gateway with solar sail

3 CSA proposes Solar Sail : A Canadian Space Agency proposal would place a solar sail on the outside of the Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit.  Harnessing the slight pressure of solar radiation, a super-thin reflective film might help steer the Deep Space Gateway, or DSG, which is being designed by five space agencies to succeed the International Space Station.  READ MORE  (Thanks to MonSFFan Alexis Despand for pointing us to this story.)

4 Awards: Copper Cylinder, Past Words: The Sunburst Award Society’s “Copper Cylinder Award” is an annual members’ choice award. It takes its name from the novel A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, by James De Mille (1833-1880), which is considered to be the first Canadian science fiction novel. The winners receive a unique, handcrafted, copper cylinder trophy.  2017 Winners are Company Town by Madeline Ashby [Tor Books] and The Skids by Ian Donald Keeling. [ChiTeen]

Past Words: The Historical Writers of America (HWA), an organization for all historical writers, fiction and nonfiction, presented the initial set of PastWords awards at a banquet in New Mexico on September 23. Melinda Snodgrass was the awards banquet’s keynote speaker.

HWA created the PastWords to recognize creators who have produced an outstanding body of work. The 2017 winners include Fantasy writer George R.R. Martin who accepted the award in person.  He wrote: It’s kind of cool to learn that even writers of honest to god real historical fiction and non-fiction enjoy my own fake histories.

5 Go-Fund-Me appeals: 2 well-known and respected fans have launched Go-Fund-Me appeals.

Guy Lillian is appealing for help to support his wife Rosie’s legal costs. She is being denied the inheritance from her mother despite the stated wishes of her mother and an agreement made at a legal deposition in December, 2016. The inheritance includes paintings by Frank Kelly Freas, a long-time personal friend.

Pierre Pettinger’s father died recently due to a house fire, and Pierre has set up a Gofundme campaign to help cover the funeral expenses — Pierre Pettinger [Sr.] Funeral Fund. Fans know of Pierre and Sandy Pettinger from their masquerade appearances.Pierre is Archivist for the International Costumers Guild, and both are fan GoH at Westercon 76.

6 Discovery:  reviews are everywhere! Everyone’s got an opinion, pro or con the new Star Trek Series.  A Google search will bring up enough articles to keep a fan busy to the end of the TV show’s season.  MonSFFA’s facebook group is asking for YOUR thoughts on the new series.

Local Sensors Detect…

Thanks to File 770 for these bits of news

  1.  World Con 75 videos
  2.   Brad Walsh, the new companion to the Doctor?
  3.  Australian city names streets after GoT characters
  4.   Actor Jay Thomas (1948-2017) died August 24.
  5.   Torchwood: Aliens Among Us Trailer

1.  Couldn’t go to World Con in Helsinki? Or, like me, couldn’t get into the room? First shock of the con was not being able to watch the opening ceremony because the room only held a couple of hundred! It seems the opening ceremony, the masquerade,  and several main event panels are on YouTube.  But no Hugo ceremony? How did that get missed?

2.  I have not yet seen confirmation, but some news sources are reporting that Brad Walsh is the new companion for the Doctor.

3.    A street too far? 

The developer of Charlemont Rise at Geelong in Victoria said he had been forced to change the name of Lannaster Road because of the link to the incestuous Lannister siblings from Game of Thrones.

“The name was knocked back by the developers next door because of the relationship between the Lannister brother and sister on the show,” said the project manager, Gary Smith. “I even changed the spelling to make it not as obvious.” Lannaster Road will henceforth be known as Precinct Road.

There have been no complaints about the other street names in the estate, more than a dozen of which were inspired by the show, Smith said. Among the names are Stannis, Winterfell, Greyjoy, Baelish and Tywin.

The most popular, however, is Snow Street – named after the fan-favourite Jon Snow. “The only big mistake we’ve made was naming a small street Snow Street. We thought Jon Snow was going to be dead but then he came back to life in the next season,” Smith said. “He’s everybody’s favourite – we should’ve given him a large avenue.”

4. Actor Jay Thomas (1948-2017) died August 24.His genre work included 20 episodes of Mork and Mindy, 6 episodes of Hercules, voicing an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and The Santa Clause 2 and 3. 







Local Sensors Detect…

1  Summer Reading for fans of Comics and Graphic Novels:

2  Microsoft creates and AI research lab

Microsoft has created a new research lab with a focus on developing general-purpose artificial intelligence technology, the company revealed today. The lab will be located at Microsoft’s Redmond HQ, and will include a team of more than 100 scientists working on AI, from areas including natural language processing, learning and perception systems.  READ MORE

3   FANTASIA: Filmmaker Jung’s twist on Nikita
Kim Ok-bin stars in The Villainess, an action-packed thriller that opens the Fantasia International Film Festival Thursday evening at Concordia’s Alumni Auditorium.

Jung Byung-gil wastes zero time with niceties in his wham-bam action flick The Villainess, which had a midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival, closed the New York Asian Film Festival and opens Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival on Thursday evening.

Therein, the South Korean director drops viewers into the thick of it: a black-clad individual enters an ominous industrial building in the middle of the night and begins killing everyone in sight.

Continue reading Local Sensors Detect…

Harry Potter themed resto opens in Mtl

Lockhart, already known for its Harry Potter themed restaurant in Toronto, has opened a branch  in Montreal at 3979 rue Saint-Denis.

The website for Montreal is here.  At the moment, it seems to be only available in French, but this may change.  According to our informant, Josée, the menu at the Montreal resto has slightly fewer choices.  The menu is here.

According to the facebook page, there is a possibility of Sunday brunch sometime in the future. If they do, it might be a fun outing for members to try out before a MonSFFA meeting.

They do not take reservations, and being a resto-bar, alcohol can only be served with meals.

Heures d’ouverture
Lundi – Mercredi 17h00 à 2h00
Jeudi et Dimanche 16h00 à 2h00
Vendredi et Samedi 16h00 à 4h00

Notez bien: Le Lockhart Montréal est un resto-bar et cela signifie (par la loi) que vous devez commander de la nourriture si vous voulez consommer de l’alcool.   Afin de pouvoir consommer de l’alcool, vous devez commanderau moins 1 (un) élément du menu nourriture (excluant les desserts). Obligatoire afin d’être conforme au permis d’alcool.