Friday Quick Updates: The Escapism Film Festival this weekend along with plays and musicals and comedy, John and Carole Barrowman announced as NC Comicon headliners, a free writing workshop, and more

Friday, September 19, 2014: Who’s up for a show? You have your pick between film, stage, musical, and comedy performances tonight, with The Escapism Film Festival, Little Green Pig’s HMLT, and North Raleigh Arts’ Xanadu playing through the weekend. Some of the Escapism lineup? Ice PiratesThe Princess BrideMad Max Beyond ThunderdomeThe Neverending StoryThe Last of the Mohicans, and The Last Unicorn. Yup, it’s set to be a fun weekend, though watch out for parking in downtown Durham as it’s also CenterFest, back after a year’s hiatus.

Meanwhile, NC Comicon had some big news, announcing that John Barrowman (Dr. WhoTorchwood) and his sister and frequent co-author Carole will join Fiona Staples (Saga), Nathan Edmonson (The Activity), and many more as guests this November. Additionally, the accompanying ComiQuest Film Festival lineup was announced, including AkiraConan the BarbarianFlash GordonIron GiantHoward the Duck, and more.


  • Melissa Scott and Jo Graham are in the Cyberpunk StoryBundle
  • John Hartness (And David B. Coe, among others) have mentioned a friend and writer who recently passed away, D.J. Davis, urging people to buy Davis’ debut novella
  • NC writers Nathan Ballingrud and Dale Bailey have a story, “The Crevasse” up on the Drabblecast podcast
  • Speaking of podcasts, the (Parsec Award nominated) Baen Free Radio Hour recently had local author David Drake on to talk about his new collection “Dinosaurs and a Dirigible” — and! today will debut part 1 of the locally-produced radioplay “Islands” which premiered at Raleigh’s Living Arts College on Wednesday

CROWDFUNDING ROUNDUP: For her birthday today, Emmett Davenport invites you to donate to the Kickstarter for a puppet show by Lady Attercop and Emmett Davenport called “Lushington’s Lounge” where we’re invited to “Join dashing steampunk darlings Emmett Davenport and Lady Attercop of The Clockwork Cabaret, or at least their puppet doubles, as they negotiate the thorny, tasty, and just plain bizarre landscape of vintage Victorian cocktails, and their modern counterparts.” And! Eryk Pruitt’s IndieGogo campaign for his new short film “The HooDoo of Sweet Mama Rosa”  successfully reached its $3000 goal, but there’s still time left (through midnight tonight) to be a part of it. Another Kickstarter with North Carolina ties is for a film of Terry Bisson’s fantastic “Bears Discover Fire”, which is currently $5,000 short of its $15,000 goal.

Next-to-Lastly, and a few of you should know that I’m looking right at you as I type this, the deadline to apply to be the Piedmont Laureate for Speculative Fiction is today, September 19. We have an absolutely fantastic collection of authors in the area, and I don’t envy this year’s judges in the slightest.

Lastly, speaking of the Piedmont Laureate program, a free writing workshop is coming later this month: “Join 2014 Piedmont Laureate Carrie Knowles for a free fiction writing workshop at the historic Borden House, site of the administrative offices of the old Methodist Children’s home. We’ll take a short tour and talk about how to use both place and time to anchor a story and create characters. During the workshop you will have a chance to write and get feedback on your work. Borden House in Fred Fletcher Park, Raleigh, Sunday, September 28 from 1:30-4pm. To register, please contact Carrie Knowles.”



4-20 — Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern presents “HMLT: a version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet”, with the first weekend at Oval Park in Durham (1100 Oakland Ave) and other venues for the second two weekends. “With a focus on the disintegration of two powerful families, Little Green Pig brings its signature intensity to Shakespeare’s masterpiece about the pathology of denial.” Trailer: and: Tickets:

5-21 — North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre stages Xanadu, the “hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you”. Reviewed quite positively in the N&O.

19 (Friday) 7 pm — DSI Comedy presents Show & Tell: My Kryptonite. “Storytelling you have to see to believe. Hear the stories of favorite records, inherited books, beloved dolls, found instruments. The only show where storytellers let you see and feel the objects that changed their lives. For this special Show and Tell, DSI is partnering with Chapel Hill Comics for “My Kryptonite,” an evening of stories about super heroes, comic villains, and maybe a few things our storytellers just wish they could just get away from.”

19-22 (Friday to Monday) — The Escapism Film Festival at Durham’s Carolina Theatre: “Your favorite childhood movie heroes are back: Jack Burton, Buck Rogers, Admiral Kirk, Snake Plissken, Kermit the Frog, Indiana Jones and so many more.  Escapism captures the magic of your favorite fantasy and adventure movies from the late seventies and early eighties. The ones you remember watching with your friends at Saturday afternoon matineees during summer vacations. Timeless examples of what movies do best of all – fantasy and adventure, epic in scale, heroic in concept, and imaginative in execution.  They’re fun movies. They’re meant to be.”

20 (Saturday) — SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Carolinas Fall Conference in Charlotte, NC. More info:

22 (Monday) 7:30 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts John Darnielle – ‘Wolf in White Van’. “As the creator of “Trace Italian”—a text-based, role-playing game played through the mail—Sean guides players from around the world through his intricately imagined terrain, which they navigate and explore, turn by turn, seeking sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. Lance and Carrie are high school students from Florida, and are explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called on to account for it.” (Fiction.)

23 — Local book release day for Shadow of the Ancients by Pierre Grimbert, translated from the French by Durham’s Matt Ross.

23 — Local author book release day for The Gifted Dead by Jenna Black (Durham).

24 (Wednesday) 7 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts Scott Westerfeld – ‘Afterworlds’. “You may know him best for his alternate history Leviathan Trilogy, or The Uglies science fiction series.  Now Scott Westerfeld brings us his new novel, Afterworlds, on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 p.m. It’s a smart, thought-provoking novel-within-a-novel about the parallels between a young writer and the heroine of her story. When Scott visited here a few years ago for Leviathan, he did a mesmerizing program. Strong and brilliant writing, for ages 14+.”

27 (Saturday) 6 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Gregg Cusick discusses his short story collection My Father Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible, with complimentary refreshments.

[As always for the full list of further-ahead events see the latest newsletter.]

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