Category Archives: Local Sensors Detect…


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.

Local Sensors detect:

  • A page has been added and another updated on our website under  Activities / Costuming . MonSFFA is looking for photos of YOUR costumes! Send photos to <> or bring photos to a MonSFFA meeting for scanning.  We know there are picts of YOU in Klingon gear, and fantasy costumes!


  • There will be a drawing at the March 12th meeting for movie passes to the advance screening of Life, showing at the Scotia Bank Theatre downtown, March 22, 7:30.


  • There will be a programming workshop at the March 12th meeting. Members will be asked to sort through a stack of programming ideas to choose and schedule the best! If you don’t show up, you might find yourself moderating the next 6 panel discussions! LOL


  • We will be Voting on the May 14 field trip destination, also. So far, we have two suggestions: the CSI exhibit at the Old Port or the EcoMuseum/zoo in Ste-Anne de Bellevue.


  • Found on the Internet: Which one are YOU?


Tolkien’s house on the market

Got a £1,250,000 to spare?

Beautiful home, check out the photos:


An imposing five bedroom detached family residence. Once home to the famous J.R.R Tolkien (1953 – 1968). Situated on the western side of one of the city’s most sought after locations. Extended and well proportioned character accommodation arranged over two floors and further attic room currently used as a gymnasium. The property is exceptionally well placed for access to the Headington hospitals and Oxford Brookes University.

Key Features
  • Two Principal Reception Rooms
  • Five Bedrooms (Four Doubles)
  • Bathroom & Two Shower Room
  • Light & Spacious Attic Room
  • Mature West Facing Rear Garden
  • J.R.R Tolkien Inscription in Stone
  • Gas Central Heating & Solar Panels
  • Double Glazed Windows
  • Driveway Parking
  • End of Chain Sale

Sensors Detect…

While I was away from the Internet for a little over a week:

  1. World Con 75-some polar bear fur  ruffled
  2. Best Series Hugo announced
  3. Vox Day launched Infogalactic


  1. A huge fannish ruckus broke out between two members of the Helsinki World Con concom, one of whom was a department head who ended up being fired. This being the age of social media, the ugliness hit the fan and for some of us reading all the he said, she said, and then the chairs said, it even overshadowed American elections.  I wasted several hours trying to catch up on all this, still haven’t read everything on the SMOF mailing list.  The SMOF list is a closed group, but if you are curious, check out File 770, this post in particular 

In some ways,  the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, but it does raise important issues, and questions conrunners will have to tackle sooner rather than later.

One of the wags on File 770 commented that Vox Day was probably watching all this unfold while munching popcorn. As it happened, he was, but when he stuck his foot into the muddy waters, everyone got off their high horses, apologies were issued, inflammatory posts taken down–in short, peace broke out.  Think we should send VD to the Middle East?

2) On a happier note, Helsinki is giving the Hugo for best series a trial run.

Montrealers remember that we gave the Hugo for best graphic novel a trial run, and it is now officially a Hugo category.

A list of series that could be eligible was published on File 770. Predictably, another hissy fit erupted, don’t read the comments.

3) On Thanksgiving Day, Vox Day launched Infogalactic  because, you know, Wikipedia has thought police.  You can read the press release here.  The more I look at it, the funnier it gets.  For instance:

Infogalactic’s anti-bias architecture will permit users to select their preferred perspective and automatically see the version of the subject page that is closest to it based on a series of algorithms utilizing three variables, Relativity, Reliability, and Notability. This means a supporter of Hillary Clinton will see a different version of the current Donald Trump page than a Donald Trump supporter will, as both users will see the version of the page that was most recently edited by editors with perspective ratings similar to his own.

“The single biggest problem with Wikipedia isn’t Jimmy Wales or its outmoded 1995 technology, but the fact that it is patrolled by 532 left-wing thought police who aggressively force their biased perspective on the rest of the world,” Vox Day, aka “Fenris” on Infogalactic, added. “This isn’t Conservapedia 2.0 and we aren’t replacing Wikipedia’s admins with their conservative equivalent, we are making the function of thought police irrelevant through technology. Our design philosophy is based on the idea that only the user has the right to define what his reality is.”

I can’t even begin to parse what he means by this.  Especially after reading the 7 Canons.

Just how are Starlords different from “thought police”?  The Corelords can buy their status??

I clicked on “random page” and got Bear Flat which I then looked up on Wikipedia. Exactly the same page, except Infogalactic has ” From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core” where wiki has ” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” .






Local Sensors Detect…

From the Montreal Gazette, July 16


For Adam Nimoy, making Spock doc was ‘nice way to share the mourning’

Adam Nimoy has been a busy man since his father died. For most people, the passing of a parent might put life on hold for a while; but for the son of Spock, it simply increased the pressure to complete a project begun just a couple of months before Leonard Nimoy’s death Feb. 27, 2015, at the age of 83.

FANTASIA. Adam Nimoy on the set of the original Star Trek TV series with his father, Leonard Nimoy. Adam Nimoy will be in attendance at a Saturday screening of his documentary, For the Love of Spock, as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival.

For the Love of Spock is a revealing documentary about the elder Nimoy and the character he made famous. Just in time for Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, director Adam Nimoy stops at the Fantasia International Film Festival on Saturday to present his insider’s take on one of the most affectionately revered characters of 20th-century pop culture.

“I’ve been travelling all over the country,” Nimoy said, on the phone from his L.A. home, Thursday morning. “Soon I’ll be going all over the world to screen the film at festivals like Fantasia; at conventions in Las Vegas, where there’s a Star Trek weekend for the 50th anniversary of the (TV) series. I’ll be going to New York City; to (Spain’s) Sitges Film Festival in October; to a convention in Birmingham, in the U.K.

Continue reading Local Sensors Detect…

Coming soonish, flying cars

Snipped from the Montreal Gazette, Sat July 9, article by Jacob Bogage, Washington Post.


Flying cars take a major step toward entering the consumer market

It looks like a goofy mosquito, its fat cockpit shoving through the wind while aloft, its wings folded up like a dragonfly while grounded. And it marks the biggest step toward a real, commercial flying car.

After a few more rounds of audits and paperwork, the two-seater mosquito-shaped Terrafugia Transition can take to the skies in the U.S. under the command of sport pilots, a low-threshold classification. It’s seen here at the New York Auto Show in April. STAN HONDA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILES
The Terrafugia Transition has earned an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration as a “light sport aircraft,” meaning the federal government is on track to legalize the first flying car.After a few more rounds of audits and paperwork, the Transition, a two-seated flying thingamajig, can take to the skies under the command of sport pilots, a low-threshold classification. Terrafugia can also commercially produce the aircraft without repeated burdensome federal airworthiness tests.

Flying-car industry executives say their products should enter the consumer market — albeit at a high price — in the next decade.

But all that depends on clearing regulatory hurdles both as automobiles and flying machines.

“We’ve worked with the FAA, and you’re going to have your bureaucrats and people who don’t want anything to change, but other people can see the future,” said Paul Moller, president and chief executive of aviation firm Moller International.

Light sport aircraft should weigh no more than 1,320 pounds, seat two people, have non-retractable landing gear and strict speed limitations.

The Transition gained exceptions to be heavier, caused by federal automobile safety requirements, and to exceed the speed limits, because a heavier airplane has to fly faster.

Pilots can operate the aircraft with a “sport” licence, which requires 20 hours of lessons.

The light sport classification was created in 2004 to allow airplane makers to design personal aircraft without the intense regulation required for larger flying machines. Bringing a new model aircraft to market in heavier “general aviation” classifications costs at least US$50 million, said Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia’s co-founder, chief executive and chief technology officer.

In the beginning, light sport classification did spur innovation among aircraft makers. Cessna, Piper and Cirrus all made light sports, then discontinued them. Profit margins were better on heavier, more luxurious aircraft.

That left the category mostly to inventors and small businesses that made planes for fun, said Dick Knapinski of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

And it left the skies open to flying cars.

A basic small car — the Toyota Corolla, for example — weighs 2,800 pounds. Strip out extra material to help it take flight, and it’s not hard to meet FAA weight requirements, especially with a waiver.

Terrafugia’s waiver shows a path for other flying car companies to get a federal go-ahead. Between roadworthiness and airworthiness, experts say, approval in the latter is much more difficult to attain.

In other words, it’s easier to make a street-legal airplane than an airlegal car.

The Transition, and models from other companies looking to utilize the light sport classification, have the footprint of a large pickup truck. They have side-view and rear-view mirrors or display screens that eliminate blind spots caused by folding wings.

Terrafugia designed the vehicle so those with basic drivers licences can use it on roadways, pending the approval of federal auto regulators.

They’re part of a camp in the flying car industry that sees their machines taking off and landing on a runway, like a conventional airplane, then driving the “last mile” to a final destination. Others see the contraptions lifting off and landing vertically without the use of a runway.

Both can utilize the light sport category.

Slovakia-based Aeromobil also makes a flying-car-type vehicle that uses a runway. “We’re trying to type-approve it as a plane and one that is recognizable as a plane, then we’ll try to approve it as a car,” said Douglas MacAndrew, Aeromobil’s chief technical officer. “Those things are certainly technical challenges, but they’re not legislative roadblocks as of now.”