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Monday, April 8, 2024

Science fiction news

Frederik Pohl, center, with Donald A. Wollheim and John Michel, in 1938. Public domain photo. 

As there is considerable overlap between science fiction fandom and Robert Anton Wilson fandom, I thought I would share a couple of interesting news items.

Another exclusion

The main villain in last year's Worldcon censorship scandal, Dave McCarty, recently flew from the U.S. and tried to attend Eastercon, a science fiction convention in the United Kingdom. File 770, the science fiction news site, reported on March 30 that McCarty was refused admission when he tried  to buy a membership at the door. When he tried the next day and refused to leave, he was escorted away by security. 

I learned about this via Ansible, the monthly newsletter of SF fan Dave Langford, who used the headline Exclusion Act for the news item. This refers to an historic moment in fandom. When the first Worldcon was held in New York City in 1939, attended by about 200 people, "In addition to its groundbreaking role as the first of its kind, the convention was noteworthy for the exclusion of a number of politicized Futurians by convention chair Sam Moskowitz; those excluded were Donald A. Wollheim, Frederik Pohl, John Michel, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Cyril M. Kornbluth, and Jack Gillespie, an event known to fannish historians as "The Great Exclusion Act.' " More at the link, see also here. 

Murder in China

The fallout over the Hugo awards, which has cast a shadow over last year's first-ever Chinese worldcon, isn't the only scandal on the Chinese science fiction scene. The new adaptation of The Three-Body Problem, currently airing on Netflix, apparently was delayed when the Chinese businessman who brought it to Netflix was murdered by one of his employees. The New  York Times has the story.  See also this Hollywood Reporter article for background. 

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