Category Archives: Fandom

The Futuristicostume” worn by Forry Ackerman at the first Worldcon

ORIGIN STORY. The International Costumers Guild revisits “The Futuristicostume” worn by Forry Ackerman at the first Worldcon in 1939.

We started our research by going back to the beginning, back to the first convention costumers Forrest J Ackerman and Myrtle Douglas.

Everyone is familiar with their photos. Most know the how and the why of their costumes. But how were they made? What color were they? We now have some answers and some theories along with new, never seen photos.

We now know his “futuristicostume” still partially exists. Most of the cape probably has not survived, but the pants and shirt are in the hands of a private collector. The shirt appears to be pale gold. As you can tell even in the black and white photos on line, the pants are most likely WWI military surplus. The most interesting story is about the cape. We found 2 references describing it as green. New photos from Ackerman’s personal collection recently came to light, so we snapped them up for the Archives. We understand that the cape he is wearing in them is a recreation, but it would appear to verify our references. However, in the book “House of Ackerman: A Photographic Tour of the Legendary Ackermansion”, by Al Astrella, James Greene and John Landis, there’s a color photo of what’s left of the cape, where it appears to be an antique gold. We are 90% certain we know the reason why. The clue was found in analyzing Myrtle’s costume…

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CanSMOF scholarships awarded

CanSMOF Inc, is pleased to announce that three scholarships for the purpose of attending SMOFcon 35 in Boston have been awarded.

The first scholarship was open to a Canadian citizen or resident, the
second was open to a non-North American resident, while the third one was open to anyone involved in running conventions, regardless of their place of residence or citizenship. CanSMOF Inc. created these scholarships to allow promising convention-runners to attend the annual SMOFCon convention-runners convention.

The first scholarship was awarded to Amanda Brant of Winnipeg MB, the second one was awarded to Marcin Klak of Krakow, Poland, and the third was awarded to Nina Törnudd of Helsinki, Finland.

CanSmof congratulates the three recipients and thanks all applicants.

SMOFCon 35 will be in Boston. MA, December 1-3, 2017.
For information about this year’s SMOFCon, see http://www.mcfi.org/smofcon35/
For information about SMOFCon in general, see http://smofcon.com/

Into the Unknown at the London Barbican

Into the Unknown at the London Barbican

Twiki, menaced by Robbie in the background

By Mark Hepworth: The events that London’s premier arts venue The Barbican is currently hosting include a production of The Tempest, a viewing of a David Lynch biopic, a display of paintings on the subject of Sufism and music…and an exhibition on the history of Science Fiction. There is often a feeling of tension between SF and the artistic mainstream, be it a sense of resentment when someone like Margaret Atwood seems to try to manoeuvre away from the genre label, or slightly dismissive reviews in the ‘serious’ press. While genre barriers do seem to be falling, it’s still unusual to see SF getting such deep attention, and so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to fit in a visit to “Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction” to see how it treated its subject.

Billed as a festival-style exhibition with more than 800 works, it is scattered across several floors and areas of the Barbican. The curator is Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger, whose bio gives impressive credentials – he was director of the Swiss SF collection “Maison d’Ailleurs” where he opened a wing dedicated to Jules Verne, has worked with the European Space Agency, run Utopiales, and been GoH at Eurocon.

‘The Extraordinary Voyage’ itself

His exhibition begins with a walk through four loosely-themed sections, and in the first his love of Jules Verne comes through very clearly as you enter: Extraordinary Voyages begins with the early years of wonder and speculation, filling the space with models, displays, films, and books either from the early years of SF or inspired by it. It has a story to tell but doesn’t press its conclusions on you; rather it allows you to wander through and let the theme assemble itself. For example, here you can trace a line from the prehistoric creatures at the Centre Of The Earth through the modelwork of Harryhausen to portrayals of Godzilla. Finding these mini-themes among the artifacts is a voyage of discovery.

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What the Fur? folds

What the Fur? held its last event last week. This was such a fun con, its members creative and bubbling with joy.  The con will be missed by the local furries and their friends.

A member has started a GoFundMe campaign to help Feli. Apparently, like so many conrunners, he has been putting his own funds into the con.

http://www.whatthefur.ca/home_en.php

https://www.gofundme.com/thefelifund

https://www.facebook.com/groups/WhatTheFur/permalink/10155691646064828/

Message from the chair;

Christopher Pilgrim, August 1 at 10:13pm

Another year has come and gone. Another What The Fur has filled so many of us with joy and laughter, as well as some tears. We closed the doors to the convention and sadly, this would be the final time doing so. After 8 wonderful and amazing years, we say goodbye to the splendor that has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Usually, I use this closing letter as a place to speak of the year’s event. I will do a little of that. But I hope that you will read on as I say a little more this time. It is truly not easy to write any of this, but it all needs to be said.

This year, What The Fur welcomed 509 people to our humble little convention. And to be completely honest, that was a milestone that I didn’t think we would meet. 105 fursuiters participated in the parade, and there were several more wandering the halls and rooms. Too many for us to get a single group photo of this time. We were blown away. As a group, we managed to raise $930.35 for the Ecomuseum. Not as much as we have in years past but it isn’t the size of the donation that counts: it’s the intent and the meaning behind it.

Thank you. Everyone. Now to the part that will make me cry as I write it.

Continue reading What the Fur? folds

Trekkie licence plate sparks Indigenous anger

Pulled from use after Indigenous activists protest

The plate holder says, “WE ARE THE BORG” and “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”

Is the word assimilate offensive? At issue is a legal battle that has just been launched that pits the right of a Star Trek fan to have it on his licence plate against Indigenous groups opposed to the word.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nick Troller, a Winnipeg man whose licence plate — ASIMIL8 — was rescinded by the provincial government for being offensive to Indigenous people.

“It’s another case that pits the Charter freedom of expression against the new, phoney right not to be offended,” said JCCF President John Carpay, a former Alberta Wildrose party candidate. Carpay said he can understand why the plate might offend someone, but the word still shouldn’t be censored. “There’s a difference between words that are inherently offensive regardless of how you use them, such as vulgarities, obscenities, four-letter words, versus words like ‘war’ or ‘assimilate,’ which can have positive or negative connotations,” he said.

Troller said the licence plate is clearly a reference to the Borg, a fictional race from Star Trek that forcibly assimilates other cultures. The plate holder says, “WE ARE THE BORG” and “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”

“The word ‘assimilate’ is just a word — it is neither good nor bad. We assimilate nutrients into our bodies in order to live,” Troller said in his affidavit.

But Indigenous activists say Canadians should do more to understand why the word could be considered offensive.

Anishinaabe Nation member and University of Manitoba assistant professor Niigaan Sinclair called free speech a “bogus argument” and said that Indigenous people are having “a very understandable reaction.”

“If Indigenous peoples feel triggered by a licence plate or a sports logo, or the name of a historical figure on a building, Canadians would be best served to listen to why Indigenous peoples are triggered, and show some care and sensitivity when they express themselves,” he said.

“You can’t just say whatever you want to say without any worries of consequence or responsibility.”

Troller used the licence plate for two years before the provincial Crown corporation rescinded it in April, following two complaints from Indigenous people.

“The Borg uses these phrases and the word ‘assimilate’ as a core part of their dialogue,” he said in his affidavit. “The meaning of the word … has not changed between the time that I obtained the plate and the time MPI ordered me to surrender it.”

Sinclair said that’s the problem. Many Canadians aren’t aware of the struggles Indigenous people have faced in the past, which protects them from considering others’ feelings, he said.

“Canadians don’t know their own past — or they only know parts of it — and they particularly have not been trained well to understand the complexities that Indigenous peoples have experienced,” he said.

The word “assimilate” is a grim reminder of past pain inflicted on Indigenous communities, said Ry Moran, director of the Winnipeg-based National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

“For basically the entirety of this country’s history, Indigenous peoples have been forcibly assimilated through really extremely destructive means and ways,” Moran said. “Words like that, meant or not, have an actual impact on many people.”

Sinclair encouraged Canadians to reflect on whether their speech was “responsible.” “We live in a time period where we’re waking up to the violence and genocide of the past, particularly in this country, where Canadians have never had the opportunity to understand that, and Indigenous people are living in the intergenerational effects of that violence,” he said.

“It’s a very privileged position to ignore history …. Those of us in the Indigenous community, we live and breathe history every day.”

SMOFCon Scholarships announced

Up to 3 scholarships available for the conrunners’ con.

CanSMOF Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of up to three
scholarships for convention runners to be used towards the cost of
attending SMOFCon 35, to be held in Boston, December 1-3, 2017.
SMOFCon is the annual convention about organizing Science Fiction
conventions.

The first Scholarship of up to 500 CAD is open to a Canadian citizen
or resident involved in running conventions with a preference for
those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

The second scholarship of up to 1000 CAD is open to anyone not
residing in North America*, involved in running conventions with a
preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

The third scholarship of up to 500 CAD is open to anyone involved in
running conventions, regardless of their place of residence with a
preference for those who have not previously attended a SMOFCon.

Applicants will automatically be considered for any and all
scholarships for which they are eligible. Preference will be given to
fans who have not previously attended a SMOFCon, but this is not
necessary to be an applicant. The submission deadline is September
10th, 2017, 23:59 SST (UTC-11). We reserve the right to not award any
or all scholarships. Any questions should be directed to
smofcon.scholarship@gmail.com.

To apply for a scholarship, simply follow this link:
https://goo.gl/forms/lPeGaCiqrNyEGr7o2

More information on Smofcon 35 may be found at: http://www.mcfi.org/smofcon35/

General information about Smofcons, including a list of past Smofcons
may be found at: http://smofcon.com

*North America being defined as Canada, Mexico, the United States of
America, the islands of the Caribbean, St. Pierre et Miquelon,
Bermuda, and the Bahamas.

Remember, it’s smofcon.COM or   http://www.smofcon35.org/\, not smofcon.ORG
smofs mailing list
smofs@lists.sflovers.org
http://listsmgt.sflovers.org/mailman/listinfo/smofs
Sent to Cathy Palmer-Lister at cathypl@sympatico.ca
All posts to the SMOFs mailing list are copyright the individual senders.

World Con bids through 2025

To learn more about World Con, CLICK HERE

WORLDCONS (Seated)

2017Worldcon 75 Helsinki, Finland
August 9-13, 2017
http://www.worldcon.fi/

2017 NASFiC

(Not a WC, an alternative NA con for those who won’t go overseas–a bit of a controversy this year as Puerto Rico is not part of the mainland)

NorthAmeriCon ‘17
San Juan, Puerto Rico
http://www.northamericon17.com/
July 6-9, 2017

2018 Worldcon 76
San José, California  August 16-20, 2018
http://worldcon76.org/

WORLDCON BIDS
2019 Dublin
http://dublin2019.com/

2020
New Zealand
http://nzin2020.org/

Boston 2020 Christmas Worldcon

2021
Dallas/Fort Worth
http://fencon.org/texassf/
Washington, D.C.

2022
Chicago
Doha, Qatar

2023
Paris
https://sites.google.com/site/parisin2019/
New Orleans

2024
District of Columbia
http://dcin2024.org/
United Kingdom
http://www.ukin2024.org/

2025
Pacific Northwest
Perth, Australia

 

Local Sensors detect…

The Stop Motion Festival of Montreal has issued its infoletter, which can be viewed here.

A bit of fun: Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough and Sarah Solemani perform a satirical take on the Tory party’s human rights policy, inspired by the classic Monty Python sketch that asks ‘what has the European Convention on Human Rights ever done for us?’ Apart from the right to a fair trial, freedom from slavery, freedom from torture ..

James Davis Nicoll returns with “Twenty Core Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Speculative Fiction Works Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves”.

 

Craft Brewers Genre News

By Martin Morse Wooster: Here is some news I unearthed while attending the Craft Brewers Conference.

I know fans will enjoy the many fine products of Canada’s Great Lakes Brewery in their Take Ten series.  This is the brewery that dares to produce Harry Porter, Harry Porter and the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean, Robohop, and Octopus Wants to Fight IPA.  I bet they’d be sued if they produced beers with these names in the US (and with Harry Porter, they write, “Please don’t sue us”) but they’re Canadian, so presumably Hollywood doesn’t care.

I stopped by Geeks Who Drink, a nationwide pub trivia company.  Once I established my geek cred by telling them, “I once won a tossup round against Roger Craig” (which for Jeopardy! fans is the equivalent of saying, “I once hit a single off of Greg Maddux”) they told me everything, including that their annual Geek Bowl tournament was so geeky that they got Jim Parsons AND Wil Wheaton to pose questions.  If you visit their site you will find they are holding a national Star Wars trivia tournament on May 4.

Are you one with the force? Is the force one with you? Does your partner still hate you for insisting on answering “I know” every time they tell you that they love you? Then join us on May 4th, as Geeks Who Drink returns to a galaxy far, far away for our third iteration of Let the Wookiee Win: A Star Wars Quiz.

Listen up, because we’re going to kill a TON of Bothans to bring you this quiz. Our questions will cover the five, good theatrical Star Wars films and (pretty much) only those movies. That means you can expect a healthy dose of Episodes IV through VII and Rogue One and just a smattering of Extended Universe references to separate the contenders from the pretenders. Study like a thorough padawan; they may never say the names of those bounty hunters Vader sends after the Millennium Falcon, but we consider that fair game.

Star Wars “Snowflakes”

Mark Burakoff

 

These are really, really hard to cut, but the wow factor is way up there.  I had hoped we could try this at the MonSFFA meeting Sunday, but after breaking off blades and actually destroying a ceramic slicer, I got really frustrated.

So, I contacted Mark Burakoff who is way more experienced with paper- cutting.  He writes:

 Paper engineering report- wow! That was not easy. I tried out two of them- one each of the four and six repeat designs. The four wasn’t too bad, but required quite a few touch up cuts. I gave up trying to cut the six repeat in one pass, especially on tight curves. I think that trying this a Monsffa would result in a lot of shredded paper, some bloodshed, and not a few thrown knives.

But judging from the image at the top of the page, he had more success than I did! (and of all available designs, trust Mark to find the slave Leia!)

So, this is an activity you’ll have to do at home! Send me pictures, or better yet, bring your snowflakes to the meeting for show and tell.

You will find video instructions here.

 Index of templates: