Clarke Center Screens Gattaca 8/11

Gattaca-Poster COMPOn August 11 the “Sci Fi Flick Series” continues at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination with Gattaca (1997).

Starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law, the movie tells how a genetically inferior man assumes the identify of a superior one to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Following the screening there will be a discussion between Larry Goldstein, Distinguished Professor of Cellular Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego, and Shanti Ganesh, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley.

Star Wars Rebels Trailer

Star Wars Rebels tracks an uprising against imperial tyranny and the Inquisitor tasked to hunt down the few remaining Jedi knights.

On the small planet of Lothal a big change is looming. A group of rebels meet a 14-year-old con artist named Ezra and soon it’s clear their destinies are linked. Aboard their ship, the Ghost, Ezra and the rebels embark on an adventure to ignite a rebellion and strike back against the Empire.

Here’s the latest extended trailer.

Aldrin Signs Tonight

Someday it may be easier to get an autograph from someone who’s been to the Moon but until then — here are two rare opportunities.

Buzz Aldrin is signing Mission To Mars at the Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica tonight at 7:00 p.m.

And on Monday, July 28 he’ll be in Glendale at the Americana Barnes & Noble at 7:00 p.m.

In between, you’ll find Aldrin at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Buzz Aldrin signing for fans young and old in London last March.

Buzz Aldrin signing for fans young and old in London last March.

2014 Endeavour Award Shortlist

The 2014 Endeavour Award nominees are:

  • King of Swords, by Dave Duncan
  • Meaning of Luff, by Matthew Hughes
  • Nexus, by Ramez Naam
  • Protector, by C.J. Cherryh
  • Requiem, by Ken Scholes

The Endeavour Award honors a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book (either a novel or a single-author collection) created by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. The judges this year are Catherine Asaro, Scott Edelman, and Matthew Johnson. The winner will be announced at OryCon on November 7.

Never-Winner Land

Mark R. Kelly has added the first set of FAQs, tallies and pages of statistics to his superb Science Fiction Awards Database (which started life as the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards.)

SFADB now provides an overall tally of the top winners and nominees of “Major Career Awards” and “Major Awards” – the SF Hall of Fame, SFWA Grand Master, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Andre Norton, British Fantasy, British SF, Campbell Memorial, Chesley, Arthur C. Clarke, International Fantasy, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Theodore Sturgeon, and James Tiptree, Jr. awards.

Who is the biggest winner of all time by this yardstick? Dave Langford, with 33 major awards – 29 Hugos, 1 British Fantasy Award and 3 British Science Fiction Awards.

I haven’t won enough Hugos (interrupted by shouts of “Like hell!!”) – I mean, to get above the SFADB event horizon as a winner.

But you will find me under “Total Losses.” What makes it more bearable is that I’m on the same rung (tied for 11th place) with David G. Hartwell, Kim Stanley Robinson, George R.R. Martin and Gene Wolfe.

And an amazing number of my friends are ranked in the tenderly named “Never Winner” category — folks who have accumulated lots of nominations without ever taking home the hardware, though their work has been held in high esteem to have been recognized so often.

Tied for second are Michael A. Burstein and Steven H Silver and further down the list are Guy H. Lillian III, Steve Stiles, Arthur D. Hlavaty, Evelyn C. Leeper, Taral Wayne, Andrew Hooper, Jerry Pournelle, Harry O. Morris, Jr., Bob Devney, Mark Plummer, Timothy Lane and Grant Canfield.

There’s a separate breakout for All Awards and Polls. Robert Silverberg occupies the top of this pyramid with 262 nominations. Appropriately for an sf writer, that practically puts him in another universe. He has 64 more than that the next person on the list, Ursula K. Le Guin.

Kelly has also created pages for UK Awards, Canadian Awards  (Lloyd Penney shows up twice), and Australian Awards (where it is revealed that Bruce Gillespie is the Langford of the Antipodes.)

Do visit the SF Awards Database — it’s a labor of love and one of the genre’s most valuable research sites.

Thomas Berger (1924-2014)

Thomas Berger, best known for his mordant frontier novel Little Big Man, died July 13 at the age of 89.

Over the course of Berger’s career he wrote in many genres and formats including horror, Killing Time (1967); science fiction, Adventures of the Artificial Woman (2004); utopian fiction, Regiment of Women (1973); the Camelot myth, Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel (1978); popular fantasy, Being Invisible (1987); and alternate history, Changing the Past (1989).

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

2014 Seiun Awards

The winners of the 2014 Seiun Awards were announced this past weekend at Nutscon, the 53rd Japanese National SF convention, in Tsukuba, Japan.

Here are the results as listed in a post with English translations.

Best Japanese Long Story

  • From Mt.Kororogi, From Jupiter Trojan by issui ogawa (Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.)

Best Japanese Short Story

  • Ima Shuugouteki Muishikio by Kosyu Tani (Kawade Shobo Shinsha,Publishers)

Best Translated Long Story

  • Blindsight by Peter Watts, translated by Yoichi Shimada (Tokyo Sogensha)

Best Translated Short Story

  • “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, translated by Furusawa Yoshimi-dori (Hayakawa 1/13)

Best Dramatic Presentation

  • Pacific Rim, Director: Guillermo del Toro

Best Comic

  • The World of Narue by Marukawa Tomohiro. Edited by Kadokawa Shoten. First published in Japan by Kadokawa Corporation, Tokyo

Best Artist

  • Naoyuki Katoh

Best Nonfiction

  • DIY Liquid Fuel Rocket by Summer Rocket team, Asari Yoshitoh (Gakken Education Publishing Co., Ltd.)

Non Section (or Freedom)

  • Nova SF, edited by Nozomi Ohmori (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers)

Some examples of the winning artist’s work are collected here.

First Wellman Award Goes To Lafferty

Lafferty_ShamblingGuide2F8-200x300Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City is the winner of the inaugural 2014 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The award was presented on July 12 by the North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation at ConGregate in Winston-Salem. The Wellman Award recognizes outstanding science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors and is voted by members of four North Carolina sf conventions (illogiConConCarolinasConTemporal, and ConGregate).

Hang a Horta on Your Christmas Tree

The hottest part of summer is just beginning, which may not be the most obvious time to start selling Christmas tree ornaments — unless you work at Hallmark, that is.

Horta ornamentAnd my gosh! What fan won’t rush to pay $29.95 for a 4-1/2 inch long statuette of freaking Spock mind-melding with a blobby orange-and-gray Horta that plays a recording of the dialogue? What says Christmas more than incoherent shouts of “Pain!!” ? (At least, that’s the dialog in the YouTube clip.)

The company that wants to associate Christmas with an episode titled “Devil in the Dark” also offers the “U.S.S. Vengeance” from Star Trek: Into Darkness – it lights up with the press of a button! – for $32.95.

Star Trek’s mellower fans looking to make their tree a monument to diversity should consider Hallmark’s other 2014 offerings –

Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu — The versatile and reliable helmsman operates a tricorder and communicator in this ornament sculpted by Keepsake artist Anita Marra Rogers. Sulu is the fifth in a Keepsake Ornament series titled Star Trek Legends, which each year features a TOS character. The ornament is 4 ¼” high and costs $14.95.

Vina —  This limited-quantity ornament celebrates the 50th anniversary of the production start of “The Cage,” Star Trek’s first pilot. It depicts the human woman as a dancing Orion slave girl as seen by Captain Christopher Pike in a Talosian-induced illusion. Sculpted by Keepsake artist Valerie Shanks, Vina stands 4” high and sells for $14.95.

Green slave girls. What kind of person does that say “Christmas” to? Someone whose address is a mountain crag above Whoville?