Rock Around the Clockwork

The cops arrive too late to stop rock-‘n-rollers from finishing their set, but Ed Green is among the policemen chasing the group Billy Boy On Poison out of the building at the end of “On My Way.”

Shot last summer, the video now has been posted online. Ed says:

They got the name from the novel A Clockwork Orange, and it was directed by Kiefer Sutherland (yes, from 24)!

If anyone wants to post a comment about the video at Rockdirt, feel free, but Ed asks please don’t mention anyone but band members by name.

Battlestar Galactica Going, Going, Gone!

What was my first clue that the show is really over? The Official Battlestar Galactica Props and Costume Auction is selling production props by the ton – literally.

David Klaus reports, “Yes, you can buy the Viper Mk. VII and the Raptor from Battlestar Galactica. You’ll need a 10’3” Air-Ride tractor trailer as the Viper weighs 2,500 pounds and the Raptor weighs 6,000 pounds! (But both are on casters for easy moving around, wings detachable for easy storage, assembly manual included.) A 110-volt outlet also is required to power interior computer graphic display screens (disk included, no extra cost).”

Upcoming Signings at Mystery and Imagination

William Nolan and George Clayton Johnson Signing at Mystery and Imagination Bookstore

William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson are individually famous for many stories and scripts, but their work on Logan’s Run established them among sf’s most unforgettable collaborators. They’ll be signing at Mystery and Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, CA on March 28.  

Karen Anderson, a collaborator in the work of her late husband Poul, will appear on April 11 and sign The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Vol. 1 from NESFA Press. Note: The link is to John Clute’s review on SciFi Wire.

Karen Anderson Signing at Mystery and Imagination Bookstore

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story and posters.]

Stiles Steps Aside

Now that the 2009 Hugo Award finalists are posted renowned fanartist Steve Stiles has publicly announced that he turned down a nomination in the Best Fan Artist category. Steve explains why:

I’m always glad to get the nomination, but this time around I want to pass in favor of another nominee, Taral Wayne. For years I’ve admired his excellent skills as a cartoonist, and for years I’ve watched him get passed over despite his obvious talents. I believe this will be eighth time Taral will have been nominated, and as a GoH at Anticipation this will be his very best chance at finally winning a well-deserved Hugo.

Since I suspect that we draw votes from the same fan base, I wouldn’t want to jeopardize his chances at getting this way overdue award.

There can be no more sincere endorsement than that, Steve.

Bob Eggleton was a GoH at Chicon 2000, and that year Michael Whelan won the Best Professional Artist Hugo. Eggleton theorized that fans feel being GoH is such an honor that they tend to look for somebody else to give the Hugo. I personally doubt it, and off the top of my head I remember Harlan Ellison winning a short story Hugo when he was GoH at IguanaCon 2 in 1978. But it’s late: investigating whether it’s happened more than once will have to be a project for another day.

1971 BDP: No Award Really Did “Win”

David Klaus commented that Wikipedia’s entry about Jefferson Starship’s album “Blows Against the Empire”, nominated for the 1971 Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo, makes the claim:

Although the album garnered the most votes for the award, no award was given in 1971 for this category.

The article gives no cross-reference. That outcome should have been impossible under the 1971 rules (or today’s) where voters must rank “No Award” along with the nominated works. I wondered if the statement had a basis in reality or if it was sheer nonsense? Fortunately, the person best able to answer the question was easy to find: Tony Lewis. He replied:

Mike, I was chair [of Noreascon, the 1971 Worldcon] and also Hugo administrator. I ruled that Jefferson Starship’s Blows Against the Empire was eligible. Some people disagreed because it was a record (remember them) and thus not been performed on tv, film, or radio. I told them it had been played publicly. Another argument was that it was just singing with brief narrative threads to connect them; well, that’s Grand Opera also.

It received the largest number of votes for actual items in that category but No Award received a majority of the votes–I seem to remember that that happened on the first round.

The statement in Wikipedia might be considered true in some sense but it is certainly incomplete and misleading.

Thanks Tony. Add me to the list of people who are glad you broke down the walls in the Best Dramatic category. A friend of mine played the album for me in 1970 and when I saw it on the Hugo ballot I remember thinking it was exciting that sf music could compete for the award.

Now You Know the Rest of the Story

News services throughout the world reported that a Thai fireman turned superhero when he dressed up as comic-book character Spider-Man to coax a frightened eight-year-old autistic boy from a third-story ledge.

The Hugos being so much in the news this week, the last line of the Associated Press story really caught my eye:

Somchai said he keeps the Spider-Man costume and an outfit of Japanese television character Ultraman at the station in order to liven up school fire drills.

So when the chips were down, Ultraman got left in the locker and Spider-Man saved the day. When an Ultraman statuette decorated the Nippon 2007 Hugo base I laughed about a hypothetical New York Worldcon following suit with a Spider-Man base. Now who knows, if Somtow Sucharitkul held a Thai Worldcon they might really do it.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]

There’s No Serenity When Colbert’s Around

Firefly fans favoring the name “Serenity” weren’t the only tv viewers campaigning to name the International Space Station’s new habitat node. And in the end, their choice finished behind Stephen Colbert in NASA’s poll.

Colbert urged viewers of his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” to write in his name. And they complied, with 230,539 votes. That clobbered Serenity, one of the NASA choices, by more than 40,000 votes. Nearly 1.2 million votes were cast by the time the contest ended Friday.

NASA’s online voting site listed four suggested options, including Serenity, and also accepted write-ins. A bar graph shows Serenity captured 70% of the vote given to the four main options, but there were more write-ins for Colbert. NASA had always reserved the right to choose an appropriate name, so don’t bet the farm on the two existing nodes Unity and Harmony being joined by one named Colbert.

Chester D. Cuthbert (1912-2009)

Randy Reichardt sends word that Chester D Cuthbert passed away in Winnipeg on Friday, March 20, 2009:

Chester was a member of First Fandom, and had two stories published by Hugo Gernsback in the February and July 1934 issues of Wonder Stories. Chester was good friends with Sam Moskowitz and Forry Ackerman, both of whom visited him at his home during the Worldcon in Winnipeg in 1994. He was an intergral part of the Canadian sf scene for decades.

My university, the University of Alberta, accepted his amazing collection on donation in the fall of 2007, and the donation received international news coverage at the time.

Update 03/24/2009: A detailed obituary about Cuthbert plus a photo is posted here.

A Dramatic Change

Understandably, Steve Feldberg of is “ecstatically pleased” about the Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) Hugo nomination for his company’s audiobook METAtropolis. It’s the first audiobook ever nominated, ending the decades-long shutout of audio works in general from the Hugos.

The last audio work up for the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo, in 1979, was BBC Radio 4’s production of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Hitchhiker’s Guide finished second to the movie Superman.

Several record albums received nominations in the Seventies: two in 1971, Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers by The Firesign Theater, and Blows Against the Empire by Jefferson Starship. Later, nominations went to I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus by The Firesign Theater (1972) and Blood!: The Life and Future Times of Jack the Ripper by Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison (1978).

Another non-movie/tv work nominated in the Seventies was Phil Foglio’s 1976 cartoon slide show The Capture, which was accompanied by live narration and audience participation.

Every nominee after Hitchhiker’s Guide for the next 25 years came from film or TV. The division of the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo category into Long and Short Form, effectively doubling the number of works nominated every year, did little to broaden the types of media represented in the award. What finally interrupted the long-lived movie/tv monopoly was the “Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony (Opening Speech and Framing Sequences)” performed by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman at Interaction, the 2005 Worldcon, which made the final ballot in 2006. It also has the distinction of being the first live stage performance ever nominated.

No audio work has ever won a Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo. If that should happen in 2009 they’ll need a katyusha load of rockets for the writers — John Scalzi, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear and Karl Schroeder, and narrators — Battlestar Galactica stars Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani and Kandyse McClure, plus Stefan Rudnicki and Scott Brick. Congratulations,!