Poetry for the Doctor

If you think there’s a shortage of poetry about Doctor Who, author James Wylder may have created just what you want.

If you think there’s a shortage of poetry about Doctor Who, author James Wylder may have created just what you want.

Wylder is the author of “An Eloquence of Space and Time.” The book provides a poem for each episode of Doctor Who from 1963 through 2013, the 50th anniversary of the series, about the man who travels in time and space with companions in a blue box.

Wylder recently had a poetry reading and autograph session at the Who North America store in Camby, just north of the Morgan County line.

A Hanover College graduate who teaches high school English part-time in Elkhart when he isn’t writing, the 26-year-old author decided he wanted to do something special for the 50th anniversary of the BBC series, which first aired the weekend after President Kennedy was assassinated.

The poems cover the episodes of all the Doctors, from William Hartnell in 1963 to Matt Smith in 2013. Peter Capaldi became the Doctor after Smith. Although some of the episodes of the early Doctor have been lost after the BBC erased them, Wylder even has poems for the missing episodes.

“All are available on audio,” Wylder said.

It took a full-year for Wylder to complete the book. It also includes poems related to the Sarah Jane Chronicles, K-9 and Torchwood spinoffs, a short story by Wylder and essays by several authors.

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Wylder began watching Doctor Who episodes when he was 3-years-old. Paul McGann, who was only featured in a single movie, became a particular favorite. He has met McGann, Matt Smith, Colin Baker and several of the Doctor’s companions.

Wylder hasn’t traveled to Great Britain to promote his book, but has traveled to Canada.

“Mostly, people are joyful that the book exists,” the author said. “When I go to more metropolitan areas, they are less surprised.”

What has drawn the most joy has been the poem about the “Vincent (van Gogh) and the Doctor.’ In that episode, the Doctor convinces the artist of the value of his work, even though he wouldn’t profit it from it in his lifetime.

“It (the episode) means a lot to me and other people,” Wylder said. “I know it kept a lot of people from killing themselves.”

In addition to the Doctor Who poetry book, Wylder has written other poetry books, a play, a novella and a science fiction novel.

Wylder’s appearance at the store was one of several activities the Who North America shop, 8901 S. Ind. 67, has scheduled for this month. A “Doctober Fest” fall festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 29. It will include a Doctor Who look-a-like contest, a jack-o-lantern contest, face painting, carnival games and other activities.

 

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Barrowman, Lee coming to Comic Expo in Cincy

If you are interested in possibly meeting John Barrowman, the former star of Torchwood, you may have that opportunity Sept. 23-25 at Cincinnati Comic Expo in the Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati.

Barrowman is one of several significant guests with SF and fantasy backgrounds scheduled to be at the three-day event. Adam Baldwin of Chuck and Firefly, Billy Dee Williams as well as Peter Mayhew,

Chewbacca and Peter Mayhew
Chewbacca and Peter Mayhew

Ray Park and David Prowse of Star Wars are on the guest list.

Stan Lee at 2012 Dragon Con parade.

The headliner among the guests, however, is scheduled to be 93-year-old Stan Lee, the writer and genius behind many of Marvel’s comic creations. The event is being billed as the “Final Midwest Signing by Stan Lee.”

If you can’t make it to Cincy, I will be bringing reports back.

For more information about the expo, go to http://cincinnaticomicexpo.com/

A peek into the worlds of SF, fantasy stars,writers and more

All photos by Ronald Hawkins, except the ones he’s in.

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William Shatner at Wizard World Comic Con, 2015. Photo by Ronald Hawkins.

 

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Gillian Anderson in Louisville.
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Dean Cain

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Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor of Doctor Who.
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Sylvester McCoy, the seventh Doctor of Doctor Who, at Dragon Con 2015.
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Terry Jones of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and more

 

 

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Lou Ferrigno with Ronald Hawkins.
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Brent Spiner, aka Data.

 

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Ronald Hawkins, left, with author George R.R. Martin.
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Author Timothy Zahn, left, with Ronald Hawkins at InConJunction 2015.

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Jake Lloyd, 2015.
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Adam Baldwin
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Jenna Coleman
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Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullyea of 2001:Space Odyssey.
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Carrie Fisher

Bradbury honor among WorldCon highlights

KANSAS CITY
When I started strolling through the dealer’s room at MidAmeriCon II for the first time last week, I wondered if I would run into any of my friends whom I knew were attending.
I highly suspected that a couple from the Indianapolis-area Circle of Janus would be there, a fellow 1970s University of Kentucky graduate, a Greenwood artist and an Indianapolis musician would be among the thousands in attendance. But then I got a surprise from a person who very soon would be accepting a top honor at the convention.
Jonathan Eller, the executive director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, called my name. Eller was there to represent the Bradbury family at the Retro Hugo Awards, given to award SF creators from decades earlier. This year the Retro Awards were for 1941 and Bradbury was nominated for two awards.DSCN0776
I had interviewed Eller several times in recent years and even featured him in a short film I have shown at my library and InConJunction presentations. I had a packed copies of the film with me when I set out for Kansas City, but didn’t expect to see him. I was rather embarrassed that I hadn’t sent him a copy of the video.
As I walked along the convention floor, I heard my name being called out. When I turned around, I saw Eller, to whom I immediately started apologizing and then I started scrambling to give him a couple of the DVDs I was carrying with me.
Eller told me why he was there and encouraged me to be at the Retro presentations, which I planned on attending not realizing someone I knew would be accepting a honor.
Bradbury’s “Futuria Fantasia” was nominated for Best Fanzine and the late author also was nominated as Best Fan Writer. The year 1941 was years before his fame as author of “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and television episodes and a series based on his great stories.
At the ceremony in the Kansas City Convention Center, Bradbury was named the winner of both categories. Eller walked forward each time to accept the awards and noted Bradbury’s lifelong love of science fiction and fandom and how honored he would have been to receive the award.
When accepted the first award, however, Eller said Bradbury would have received a kiss not just the Retro Hugo Award. The female presented, however, gave Eller a kiss on the cheek when he accepted the second award on behalf of the Bradbury.
Not much later, I probably got closer to a Hugo Award than I ever will again. In a sub, sub-basement, a convention organizer boxed up the awards for Eller and I was asked to help carry it back to the hotel.
I gratefully accepted the opportunity. I never knew it would be such a big thrill to carry a box.

Hugo Award winners

The Hugo Awards are the top awards given annually at the World Con. The regular Hugos are for contemporary works.
Among the top winners awarded Saturday were Best Novel: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin; Best Novella: Binti by Nnedi Okoraford; Best Graphic Story: The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III; Best Dramatic Presentation long form: The Martian; and Best Dramatic Presentation short form: Jennifer Jones.
In a non-Hugo category but presented at the same event, the John W. Campbell Award for best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2014 or 2014 was awarded to Andy Weir, author of “The Martian.”
In case you are curious about winners of some of the other Retro Award winners they were: Best Novel: Slan by A. E. Van Vogt; Best Novella: If This Goes On by Robert A. Heinlein; Best Dramatic Presentation long form: Fantasia’ and Best Dramatic Presentation short form: Pinocchio.