Pixel Scroll 9/27 Puppy Horror Pixel Scroll

(1) George R.R. Martin in “The First Emmys” on Not A Blog.

Andy Samberg’s joke about my attending the first Emmy Awards ceremony made me curious about Emmy history. This year was the 67th Emmy Awards, and I turned 67 last Sunday, but until Andy appeared beside me I hadn’t actually connected the two. Pretty amazing.

For a few hours I entertained the amusing thought that they were perhaps giving out those first Emmys even as I was being born. Alas, that was not actually the case. Emmy and I may both be 67, but I actually came into the world a few months before her. The first Emmy ceremony took place on January 25, 1949, to honor work telecast during 1948.

Interestingly, those first awards were strictly a local matter: a Los Angeles award, for shows broadcast in the LA media market. Not at all national. The first winner — for “Most Popular Television Program” — was a show called PANTOMIME QUIZ. A drama called THE NECKLACE won for “Best Film Made for Television,” and Shirley Dinsdale won as “Most Outstanding Television Personality.” She was a ventriloquist with a dummy named ‘Judy Splinters.’

(2) Brad R. Torgersen, in “A matter of canon” at Mad Genius Club, has a good handle on the importance of canon to fans’ relationships with successful franchises. He questions why Star Trek and Star Wars have sometimes gone astray.

See, respecting the canon isn’t just a matter of preserving timelines or sequences of events; though this is a huge part of it. Respecting the canon also means respecting what it is that fuels the enthusiasm of the people who watch your TV show, go to see your movies, or pick up and read your books.

I remember in the mid-1990s when it was revealed that neither Paramount Pictures, nor Viacom (the parent of Paramount) considered any of the many Pocketbooks Star Trek novels to be canonical, in terms of the movies and TV shows. That was a rather serious blow to me, as a fan. I’d read several dozen of those very same Pocketbooks novels, and considered some of them to be among the finest works of science fiction I’d ever encountered — they were that good. Written by top-notch SF/F authors who were doing terrific storytelling within the Star Trek framework. Then, ruh-roh, the corporate powers behind the franchise revealed that the Pocketbooks novels didn’t count. I was rather upset by this, as a fan. Both because of the time and money I’d invested, and because of the fact some of those Pocketbooks Star Trek novels were every bit as good as, if not better than, the movies and TV episodes of the time. Who were Paramount and Viacom to tell me, the fan, what was legit, or not?

(3) Greg Hullender’s new post on Rocket Stack Rank analyzes which magazines have placed the most stories in the finals of the Hugo and Nebula Awards over the past fifteen years.

(4) Margaret Atwood discusses the enduring controversy over The Handmaid’s Tale in the Guardian.

Some books haunt the reader. Others haunt the writer. The Handmaid’s Tale has done both.

The Handmaid’s Tale has not been out of print since it was first published, back in 1985. It has sold millions of copies worldwide and has appeared in a bewildering number of translations and editions. It has become a sort of tag for those writing about shifts towards policies aimed at controlling women, and especially women’s bodies and reproductive functions: “Like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Here comes The Handmaid’s Tale” have become familiar phrases. It has been expelled from high schools, and has inspired odd website blogs discussing its descriptions of the repression of women as if they were recipes. People – not only women – have sent me photographs of their bodies with phrases from The Handmaid’s Tale tattooed on them, “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” and “Are there any questions?” being the most frequent. The book has had several dramatic incarnations, a film (with screenplay by Harold Pinter and direction by Volker Schlöndorff) and an opera (by Poul Ruders) among them. Revellers dress up as Handmaids on Hallowe’en and also for protest marches – these two uses of its costumes mirroring its doubleness. Is it entertainment or dire political prophecy? Can it be both? I did not anticipate any of this when I was writing the book.

(5) NPR reported about the devoted fans who crossed the country to Dodge City for the Gunsmoke reunion – even though all the leading characters are no longer with us.

WILSON: The show was nominated for a dozen Emmys and received critical acclaim for its unprecedented realism. It’s set in Dodge City, the hub of frontier cattle drives, with a reputation as a lawless town. Many of the main characters are no longer alive. Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode, passed away in 2006. Amanda Blake, who played the beloved Ms. Kitty, died in 1989 and James Arness, whose towering frame and distinctive voice made the character Marshal Matt Dillon shine, passed away four years ago….

Curiously, two actors now famous in the science fiction genre played characters with rhyming names in bit parts on Gunsmoke (not in the same episodes).

WILSON: Bruce Boxleitner played the character Toby Hogue in 1975.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRUCE BOXLEITNER: It was totally character-driven, but it was about a character. It wasn’t about the last sunset or the last cattle drive.

And Harrison Ford played “Hobey” in a 1973 episode.

(6) Kim Stanley Robinson answered questions about his new novel Aurora from readers at io9 earlier this week.

Among them was a question about some of the unexpected impact that encountering alien life out amongst the stars could have on a space colony—and how Robinson thought the meeting might play out:

[Robinson:] “I do think it might be possible than an alien life form could co-exist with Terran life and the two just kind of pass each other by. But mainly life tries to live by converting other things to energy, so other things can look like food to it. And Terran immune systems are very powerful. Allergic shock kills many people, and it seemed to me possible that an alien would have that effect on our immune systems, either correctly or incorrectly, in terms of diagnosing a threat.

“If that happened, some people would panic. It would become not just a medical question but a political question. Who do we trust, what do we trust? What’s safest? People aren’t rational in that situation, or, some are and some aren’t, and they can fight.

“I think the scenario in the book is quite plausible. But I admit what you say, in other situations, the alien-Terran interaction need not be so bad.”

(7) NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was scheduled to examine the moon’s surface during the eclipse today.

Sunday’s eclipse is special as it follows three other total lunar eclipses in the past 18 months (usually you don’t get that many in a row) and the moon will be at its closest point in its orbit to Earth, making it slightly bigger in the sky than usual — an event popularly known as a “Supermoon.”

The LRO has been observing Earth’s satellite since 2009, and wasn’t designed to operate during eclipses. The solar-powered spacecraft would switch off almost everything until sunlight returned again. But as controllers became experienced with the drops in power during LRO’s time in shadow, they got comfortable enough to turn on one instrument: the Diviner.

More formally known as the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, the instrument looks at day-night changes in temperature on the moon. And it turns out that during an eclipse, the plunge in temperature is sudden — almost like leaving a hot tub for an icy pool, according to NASA. Click here to watch a NASA animation of what it looks like, from the surface of the moon, during a lunar eclipse.

“Ideally we want to measure the full range of temperature variation during the eclipse,” Noah Petro, the deputy project scientist for LRO, told Discovery News. Petro is based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

(8) Old Neckbiter is back on the big screen October 25 when Fathom Events delivers a Dracula Double Feature with a twist – the double bill is the 1931 English and Spanish language versions of Dracula. However, the Spanish version was filmed sequentially on the same sets, with a different cast, rather than dubbed, and is claimed by some to be the superior work. Also part of the event is a specially produced introduction from Turner Classic Movies that will give insight into both of these 1931 vampire-horror films.

Here is the trailer for the event.

(9) James Davis Nicoll would hate for you to miss his photo of the dinosaur joke on the Kitchener Library sign, which has now been shared on Facebook over 1100 times.

(10) Star Trek Continues Episode 5 “Divided We Stand” premiered this weekend at Salt Lake Comic Con. It’s now available online.

Kirk and McCoy are trapped in time while an alien infestation threatens the Enterprise.

 

(11) The Palm Restaurant opened in New York in 1926, near the headquarters of the King Features Syndicate, and the place attracted a lot of cartoonists who drew their own creations on the walls in exchange for their meals. Now the property has changed hands and the art is gone.

palm_gallery_vintage_check_room

New York Eater has “before and after” photos in “Shock/Horror: The Murals Have Been Scrubbed From the Walls of The Palm”.

Jeremiah Moss at Vanishing New York said it for everyone.

What the fuck is wrong with people? This was the original Palm restaurant, 90 years old, gorgeous, storied, beloved, its walls covered in caricatures hand-drawn by some of America’s most celebrated cartoonists. This was a one-of-a-kind treasure, never to be reproduced. You can’t buy this kind of uniqueness, it has to grow organically and mature over time–over a century of time. But we’re living in a fucked up city where fucked up people do fucked up things like destroy art, culture, and history–all in one fell swoop if they can manage it–just to replace it with something banal and miserable from the monoculture of the day.

(12) Jessica Lachenal is not impressed with one dictionary’s effort to update itself: “Some of These New Oxford Dictionary terms Make Me Feel Pretty Out of Touch” at The Mary Sue.

For starters: social justice warrior? Really? I mean, okay, sure, your definition is pretty ironic: (informal, derogatory) a person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views. “How dare they,” I can hear you saying. That’s fine. And I guess we can all agree that anyone who uses that term unironically is… well, you know.

Which brings me to the next term: fatbergFatberg?! Really? According to you, it’s a “a very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.” I get the wordplay–iceberg, fatberg–but… was there really a need for this? Do people run into fatbergs on a daily basis, so much so that they need a portmanteau to cover it? What are kids even doing these days? Oh, pro tip: don’t image search that.

What’s that, Collins? Yeah. Yeah, you have a good point. Awesomesauce is pretty old. Kids have been saying that for years now. Same goes for its buddy weak sauce.

[Thanks to Will R., Andrew Porter, JJ, Gerry Williams, Michael J. Walsh, Greg Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anthony.]

507 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/27 Puppy Horror Pixel Scroll

  1. Entry points.
    Oh man, I was kid in the 70’s and I think the gateway drug was a Heinlein Juvie box set I was given at Christmas. It had The Star Beast, Tunnel in the Sky, Citizen of the Galaxy, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. They also gave me a copy of Piper’s Uller Uprising and from there I pillaged the school library of Danny Dunn’s and the Tom Swift series. Plus, anything they had on space travel. And dinosaurs. Lots of books on dinosaurs.

    When I learned how to bike to the library, and one unfortunate encounter with a stiff necked librarian later, I had full access to the stacks. And at that point it was all kinds of stuff. Lensmen. Foundation. Robot stories. Every Heinlein I could find. Piper collections. Lots of Norton. Years Best SF collections. Star Trek.

    Then I learned the local bookstores were within pedaling and walking distance as well. And there went my allowance into Allan Dean Foster. David Drake. Chalker (I was young and stupid, but mad beautiful ideas). They also had Analog, Asimov and Fantasy and Science Fiction where I got exposed to Sheffield and a host of others.

    Ah memories. I’ve since learned to treasure the memories and not try to recreate them because what’s a blast when you’re 9 years old through your teen years, well, it may not hold up so well to your grown up self’s tastes and preferences.

    But still… I hope I can give my daughter at least as much fun and joy as I had. Right now she’s picking through the Girl Genius graphic novels. And she’s nowhere near into blood and thunder as I was (and sometimes still am), but I hope I’ve opened the door and put out the welcome mat well enough for her.

  2. I don’t mind Torgersen having very limited exposure to SF, nor would I sneer at him on that basis. Heck, the reason I’ve not partcipated in any of Kyra’s brackets is because I haven’t read more than a pitifully small percentage of those works! But when a dude with very limited exposure presumes to make imperious assertions about What Good SF Is… to people who are, by and large, lots more knowledgeable about SF than limited-exposure dude is? Yeah, I’m bringing out the Snark Cannon and setting it to “Emulsify Target’s Pride With Extreme Prejudice”.

  3. I’d be happier with Torgersen’s post if it was framed more as his opinion. It doesn’t seem to leave room for fans like me, who have at best a casual relationship with what is or isn’t canon in any particular medium.

    The main wailing and gnashing of teeth over canon in MMORPG land is when they put Important Story Defining Events in the books or comics instead of in the game. People tend to get grumpy when they need to spend extra money on something they wouldn’t necessarily want to buy otherwise in order to fully understand the story of the next expansion.

  4. Entry point (1962-64):

    Wizard of Oz, the movie
    Fireball XL5, first run
    Wizard of Oz, the books
    Dr. Doolittle, the books
    The entire shelves of juvenile SF of the Sparks public library, especially Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, L’Engle, Norton

  5. @ Meredith – I think part of my….mmm…flexibility toward canon is probably due to games. The first stuff I really really WANTED to write fan-fic about was games. (Mostly still is.) And since so many of my game loves were Bioware–well, my playthrough of Dragon Age will likely be wildly different than yours!

    At some point I think Bioware said that in the absence of player input, the Warden of Origins is a female Dalish elf. But if I load my past games into the system, all of a sudden the Warden’s a casteless dwarf woman. So canon shmanon.

    The thing is, it still doesn’t break my brain to go “This is a version where the Warden is X” because I could get there from here easy. Tell me the ground rules at the beginning and I’ll play along.

    I guess I don’t understand why people can’t just go “This is Extended Universe,” or “This is Trek book-universe, not movie-verse,” and enjoy it just as much.

    Hell, how many versions of Alice in Wonderland have people done? And some are good and some are bad, but I still wouldn’t play through American McGee’s Alice while yelling “THIS IS NOT CANON!” ya know?

  6. Next set of brackets coming up soon. As usual, you can vote for a work, a tie, abstain, or vote for an entirely different SF work from the appropriate period (2000-2014).

    I … honestly have no idea what the first SF novel I read was.

  7. Sixty-four starships dropped into cislunar orbit.

    They were piloted by men, women, people with other genders, AI’s, group intelligences, and at least one that was rumored to be a swarm of sentient bees. Some were old hands with dozens of missions behind them; others were taking the helm for the very first time.

    They came from all parts of the solar system, from the other side of the galaxy, from the furthest reaches of the known universe, from other dimensions, from parallel worlds, and from San Francisco. Some of the ships were vast destroyers, the size of city; others were zippy little fighters. They ran on rocket fuel, on fusion engines, on warp drives, and at least one appeared to be powered by coal.

    All had one goal. Hidden somewhere on the planet below was the ultimate prize …

    THE BRACKETS

  8. Aaron: I don’t think Torgersen’s tastes are being made fun of. I think the fact that his reading in the genre has been very limited and yet he feels qualified to act as an arbiter of taste concerning entire eras of science fiction that he knows almost nothing about is what is being commented upon.

    This. So very much this.

     
    Mike Glyer: When we’re going through all these brackets and finding vast holes in some of our own experience, I think people would be more inclined to tread softer when it comes to guessing about and condemning supposed gaps in Torgersen’s reading experience.

    I’m not condemning the gaps in his reading experience. I’m condemning his insistence on trying to define for everyone else what is, or is not, “real” science fiction — especially given the obvious gaps in his reading experience.

  9. Entry points:

    A lot of what was available to me as a young’un was via older cousins & family friends which included a lot of Enid Blyton, also the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew Mysteries, Alfred Hitchcock & the Three Investigators. But my defining Fantasy entrypoint was “The Hobbit”.

    SF is harder to pin down but the following were in the early mix: Perry Rhodan, I won as a school prize the Michael Ashley edited “History of the Science Fiction Magazine: 1936-45 Pt. 2”, Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”, and Verne’s “Journey to the center of the earth”.

  10. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    World War Z, Max Brooks
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    The Fresco, Sheri S. Tepper

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    God’s War, Kameron Hurley
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Probability Moon, Nancy Kress
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant
    Light, M. John Harrison

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Gabriel’s Ghost, Linnea Sinclair
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Spook Country, William Gibson

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Black Man AKA Th1rte3n, Richard Morgan
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Air, Geoff Ryman
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Natural History, Justina Robson

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Zendegi, Greg Egan
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  11. @RedWombat Have you ever read Pamela Dean’s The Secret Country?

    Everybody has to construct the story for themselves; that’s how brains work, that’s why you can get (startlingly) different results from running the same instance of art in a fixed medium through different brains, all that stuff.

    The approaches to construction vary; you’re describing a form of narrative construction where there’s initial established bounds and a subsequent obligation to respect those bounds for narrative purposes. Lots (and lots) of people preferentially use a form of narrative construction where the utility of the result and the legitimacy of the effort involved in the construction involve a Distance From Ideal Goodness calculation. (Fandoms and religions use the same cognitive machinery; “Distance from Ideal Goodness” and “Who is like God?” are functionally the same question.)

    So “is this canon?” should, in that context, be understood as “is this good?”. It’s a construction of good that is very much not the “arguably the best extant” of art criticism nor the “I find this effort reliably rewarding (in some way I’m comfortable valorizing)” of the initial-established-bounds forms you’re viewing as normative. It’s a lot closer (in functional practice, though almost certainly not in terms of how it’s conceptualized) to “is this holy?” as a question. People really do react to “that’s not canon” as though this thing they loved has been anathematized.

    A worldview that constructs “good” like that is necessarily an authoritarian one; I think it has sequence problems to suppose that the worldview is authoritarian before the construction of good follows a Distance From Ideal Good model. But there are certainly problems trying to talk about “what’s good?” across the gulf between the metrics for good used by the two (categories of means of constructing) narrative models.

  12. estee: These don’t seem to be coming through properly, sorry! If anyone can direct me to a tutorial on how to hide working links behind color-coded text, I would be very grateful.

    You can do this one of two ways:

    <a href=”http://www.linkstring”>text to be shown</a>

    or type in

    text to be shown

    then highlight the text to be shown, and click the “link” button above the comment box, and paste your URL in there and click “OK”.

  13. Hmmmm, from out here in 8326 it’s difficult to remember how moose started reading SF&F. The Archive (what remains of them) have references to Public Libraries and lists (sadly almost unreadable due to their age) of books and authors of same. “Out of this world” and “New Writings in SF” appear regularly among the fragments, along with Dobson, Gollancz and Robert Hale. There is scope for further research here, but it requires unorthodox engineering (and probably verges on causality violation, which is liable to upset the Eschaton, and nobody wants to risk the consequences of that).

    I must think on this some more.

  14. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  15. ROUND ONE STATISTICS

    We start off with a bit of a tilt toward male authors over female authors. The pre-2000 SF brackets also began this way, but there was a continuous rise in the percentage of women until they ended up dominating the later brackets. I’m not at all certain that the same pattern will occur here, though. (Interestingly, men were pretty dominant in the later stages of the pre-2000 Fantasy bracket.) The mix of nationalities is pretty standard for an early bracket here; majority U.S., a decent chunk from the UK, and then a scattering from other countries, although Canada actually has a particularly good showing in this one.

    There is also a very … interesting set of statistics below, considering that this is an SF bracket and comparing it to the previous one. I’ll be fascinated to see how that plays out in coming rounds.

    Women: 39.3% (26/66)
    Men: 60.7% (40/66)

    U.S.: 60.7% (40/66)
    UK: 25.8% (17/66)
    Canadian: 9% (6/66)
    Australian: 1.5% (1/66)
    Grenadian: 1.5% (1/66)
    Finnish: 1.5% (1/66)

    Zombies: 4.7% (3/64)
    Vampires: 3.1% (2/64)
    Werewolves: 1.6% (1/64)
    Demons: 1.6% (1/64)
    Hero With A Sword And A Talking Cat: 1.6% (1/64)
    Tavern in the Snow: 1.6% (1/64)

  16. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Probability Moon, Nancy Kress

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Light, M. John Harrison

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Black Man AKA Th1rte3n, Richard Morgan

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Air, Geoff Ryman

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Natural History, Justina Robson

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Zendegi, Greg Egan

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    Just two matchups where I haven’t expressed an opinion – and mainly because I don’t really want any of the options to go through. There were only a handful of hard choices this time round.

  17. 13. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    17. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

    20. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    22. The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    28. Farthing, Jo Walton

    30. The Martian, Andy Weir

    32. Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  18. @ tavella, yes, “A Pail of Air” was recognizably flawed even to my (approximately) eight-year-old self. They were living on the leavings of civilization; even at that age I understood that there was no possible way for them to grow enough food without a sun. (Growlights only works so far as you have a permanent reliable power source. And growlights need to be replaced from the finite resources you’re mining from the collapsed civilization…) And yet, that didn’t matter.

  19. 2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    WW Z is pretty good as zombie books go, and DI is definitely lesser Bujold… but it’s still better than WWZ, sorry!

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    This is kind of cheating, because I’m currently reading 2312 so it might disappoint me in the end, but I’m just not a fan of genocide is a happy ending stories, really.

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis

    Passage is weak Willis, but I am a Bacigalupi anti-fan

  20. Well, kids, I’ve been watching “Star Trek” since the beginning (which makes me REALLY damn old here in 4683), and understood that NONE of the novels were canon. NONE of them. Never ever ever. The novelizations by Blish were, but that’s not spin-off. Looking back, the only really good ones were by established SF writers (Ford, Duane, McIntyre, et al.). And even those aren’t a patch on the classics, or even those writers’ original works. *

    Similarly, the SW stuff has ALWAYS been stated “it’s canon till it’s not”. And bits of both ST and SW (movies and books) have always contradicted each other, even in the primary sources!!! **

    So it looks to be another case of Brad not understanding facts and how the real world works, and preferring his own self-centered view of things (Which is, as usual, demonstrably untrue, since many of the spin-off books of both were just dreck). For guys who say they revere story instead of characters, Puppies sure are all about the FEELS in their personal lives, stamping their widdle paws.

    And yes, I committed and edited some pretty well-regarded fanfic back in the ink and paper days, myself. And I’m happy that Paul McGann is an Official Doctor.
    —————————–

    It was so cloudy here last night that the eclipsed moon was completely invisible. The clouds cleared a couple of hours after the eclipse was over. Natch.
    ——————————

    My shorter-fiction Hugo list so far, and yes there are more than 5 in some!

    Novella:
    The Servant, Emily Devenport, Clarkesworld August 2015
    The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild, Clarkesworld January 2015/Feb. 2015
    The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, Aliette de Bodard, Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2015

    Novelette:
    Midnight Hour, Mary Robinette Kowal, Uncanny Magazine July/Aug 2015
    The Shape of My Name, Nino Cipri, Tor.com Mar. 4 2015
    Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande, A.S. Diev, Gigantosaurus, May 1, 2015

    Short Story:
    “Cat Pictures, Please” Naomi Kritzer, Clarkesworld Jan. 2015 (sweet, but not twee)
    “Damage”, David Levine, Tor.com Jan. 21, 2015 (like everyone else)
    “The Cellar Dweller”, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nightmare 33, Jun. 2015
    “Sea Change”, Kimberly Unger, Galaxy’s Edge #16, Sept. 2015
    “Ghosts of Home”, Sam J. Miller, Lightspeed, Aug. 2015
    “The Last Surviving Gondola Widow”, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Clarkesworld Feb. 2015
    “Monkey King, Faerie Queen”, Zen Cho, Kaleidotrope.net, Spring 2015

    I still need more novels.

    Lauowolf kindly Kindle-lent me “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street”, which I dreamed about last night. It takes turns you won’t see coming, and is NOT a cliffhanger, nor does it all end in tears. Victorian London and Meiji Japan. Plus, phrases like “he did not often have business with more than one octopus at a time.”
    ————————————————————

    Comics, I haven’t read enough this century to opine. I like DC Comics better (in general), but Marvel Movies are way better.

    I’d like to give a shout-out to “The Adventures of Samurai Cat”, though. Delightful. And the Bayeux Embroidery.
    —————————————————————-

    *Although I am NOT giving up my copies of “How Much For Just the Planet?” and “The Wounded Sky”. Those of you who’ve read them know why. But Hambly squeezed “Here Come the Brides” into a Vulcan novel, c’mon! NOT CANON.)

    **(ST: TOS — Cochrane invented warp drive on a planet of Alpha Centauri; in a TNG movie, he invented it on Earth). (SW: #6, Leia remembers her real mother; #3, her mom dies at birth… of course, my head-canon only includes Ep. 4-6)

  21. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    God’s War, Kameron Hurley
    this is a tough one — both books are imaginative, but Hurley’s worldbuilding and characterization are utterly amazing.

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata
    Auuggghhh! Nagata by a nose.

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant
    McGuire actually made me enjoy a book about zombies. That alone is worth a trophy.

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Bach got a raw deal here. FP is a great book — but AJ wins all the prizes.

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson
    I haven’t read the other, and I was utterly underwhelmed by the Robinson. Abstain.

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker
    The Martian, Andy Weir
    Auuggghhh again! Weir. No, Baker. No, Weir. I love Baker’s Company series with a hot, deep l love — but the books are best as an ensemble. Weir.

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis

  22. @Microtherion

    This is a pity, in the case of Walt Disney comics, because, thanks to the efforts of translator Erika Fuchs, the German translations of these are considered by many to be superior to the English original.

    Erika Fuchs was indeed wonderful and even has a museum dedicated to her by now. I strongly suspect that my parents never actually read the Walt Disney comics, but merely regurgitated 1970s anti-pop-culture and anti-comic prejudice.

    They were also strangely inconsistent in their anti-comic prejudice. For example, I was allowed to read Tintin and Petzi a.k.a. Rasmus Klump (Danish comic about a bear and his friends) and of course my beloved Mecki the Hedgehog, probably because these came in respectable looking hardcover editions and not traditional comic book form.

    Years later, I also found out that both of my parents had been eager comic readers in their own youth. My Mom was into newspaper strips (The Phantom and The Heart of Juliet Jones were her favourites) as well as Sigurd, a German comic about a heroic knight. My Dad had a stash of golden age superhero comics which he and his brothers had been sent by an uncle in the US. Unfortunately, that comic stash is long lost, so I’m not sure which titles they were. My Dad clearly remembers Superman and Wonder Woman, but does not remember either Captain America or Batman. He also claims to have read Spider-Man, but that’s impossible given the time frame.

    How on Earth my parents could read comics themselves and suffer no ill-effects and yet buy into 1970s anti-comic prejudice I have no idea.

  23. 2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    This was a pretty good bracket for me, insofar as virtually every category I skipped was because I hadn’t read one of the books, not both. 🙂

  24. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    6. FOREIGNERS
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    Tie!

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord

    I have to put it somewhere.

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    (OK, Anathem is probably better, but this was more fun!)

  25. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    Let me just reiterate how much I love your bracket titles. Right. Onward…

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    Not read Reeve; not read this Atwood. Abstain.

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    World War Z, Max Brooks
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    Bujold.

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    The Fresco, Sheri S. Tepper

    Oy. Butler. And this despite the fact I suggested the Tepper….

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    Um. Um. Um. Banks. (If it had been This is Not a Game I might have answered differently.)

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    God’s War, Kameron Hurley
    Kiln People, David Brin

    Haven’t read the Hurley. Abstain.

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    Cherryh. Bounced off the Chabon.

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Probability Moon, Nancy Kress
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    Um. Corey. I’ve not read that specific Kress, but I’ve read enough Kress to know that she’s kinda “meh” for me.

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    Abstain. Haven’t read Buckell.

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    Abstain yet again.

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant
    Light, M. John Harrison

    Abstain; haven’t read Harrison. (But Feed was a really smart and well-told zombie novel.)

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    Oh, this is hard. Kirstein.

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    Another hard one, but not quite so hard. Leckie.

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    Abstain; haven’t read Mandel. (And I was doing so well…)

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Gabriel’s Ghost, Linnea Sinclair
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    Abstain.

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Spook Country, William Gibson

    Abstain.

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    Abstain. Haven’t read Aguirre.

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    Abstain.

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    Abstain; haven’t read Asher.

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Black Man AKA Th1rte3n, Richard Morgan
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    Abstain, haven’t read Morgan. (Starting to feel like I need to read more SF…)

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    Bounced off Niffenegger; haven’t read McIntosh. Abstain.

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    I’m getting tired of Abstaining, dagnabbit….

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    Carey.

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Air, Geoff Ryman
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    Abstain; read neither.

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Um. Scalzi.

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    Abstain (dammit; I really like the Stevenson, too.)

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Abstain; haven’t read Goonan

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Natural History, Justina Robson

    Abstain again…

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Zendegi, Greg Egan
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    Abstain, I’ve read other Egan but not this one.

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    Abstain. <sigh>

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    Ouch-ouch-ouch. Baker. No, Weir. No… <applying forehead cloth> Weir.

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    Abstain; haven’t read Ness

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

    Abstain, haven’t read Bacigalup.

    So, in 32 brackets I managed to vote in ten. Ah, well; I had a lot of singletons; perhaps I’ll do better next round….

    Cassy

  26. BRACKETS!

    1. abstain
    2. Diplomatic Immunity
    3. Fledgling
    4. Look to Windward
    5. abstain
    6. Explorer
    7. Leviathan Wakes
    8. The Hunger Games
    9. The Red: First Light
    10. Feed (only zombie books I’ve ever liked)
    11. Bones of the Earth
    12. abstain
    13. Balance of Trade (and hatred of dice)
    14. Gabriel’s Ghost
    15. River of Gods
    16. abstain
    17. abstain
    18. abstain
    19. abstain
    20. Love Minus 80
    21. abstain
    22. 2312
    23. The Lifecycle of Software Objects
    24. Lock In (and more dice hatred)
    25. Alien Taste (and nuking those dice outright after forehead cloth abuse)
    26. Accelerando
    27. abstain
    28. Zendegi
    29. Carnival
    30. The Empress of Mars (better prose; works even if you don’t know The Co.)
    31. abstain
    32. Passage

  27. Let’s start with a few comics I believe are unmentioned so far. I’ll start with the SF-ish:

    FUTURE IMPERFECT, Peter David & George Pérez
    GRIMJACK, John Ostrander & Timothy Truman and others
    RONIN, Frank Miller
    WARLOCK, by Jim Starlin
    BREATHTAKER, by Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel
    STARSLAYER, by Mike Grell
    NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jim Steranko
    MARVELMAN/MIRACLEMAN by Alan Moore, Garry Leach, Alan Davis and more
    ZOT! by Scott McCloud
    DREADSTAR by Jim Starlin
    EX MACHINA by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris
    NEXUS by Mike Baron and Steve Rude
    WASTELAND by Ostrander, Del Close, and others
    KINGDOM COME by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
    THE LAST MECHANICAL MONSTER by Brian Fies

    and others:

    SUICIDE SQUAD by Ostrander and Luke McConnell
    JON SABLE FREELANCE by Mike Grell
    SIN CITY by Frank Miller
    MARVELS and ASTRO CITY, bu Kurt Bustamove or something

  28. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    … in which I once again show the huge gaps in my reading. As is my custom, I’ll only vote where I have read both works in a pairing.

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    The Banks sticks in my memory the stronger. I’m a WJW fan but suspect he isn’t helped by his range; his books being so different to each other makes it harder to market & to build a following than someone whose writing is more predictable & who writes series.

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Spook Country, William Gibson

    Gibson’s book on name-dropping hip labels is very good, but…

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Black Man AKA Th1rte3n, Richard Morgan
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    I thought I’d read Eifelheim, but looking at the blurb doesn’t jog any memories. Abstain.

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Tough one this because CCR works better as a narrative than Accelerando (being a fix-up). But the sheer inventiveness and verve of Accelerando wins it for me.

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

    It would have been a harder choice if it had been “The Windup Girl”. “Ship Breaker” has less heft for me.

  29. It seems I’m not so horribly ill-read in 21st century science fiction as I am in 21C fantasy; I can actually vote in a whole two of these:

    15: River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    21: Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    With luck, the books I have read will not be as prone to getting eliminated as in the fantasy brackets, where the proportion I was familiar with seemed to stay at its original low level throughout. At least I now have about 20 titles from the TBR pile to prioiritise (once I’m up to date on this year’s offerings)

    ETA: You would think that I could get all these read by the year 9360, wouldn’t you?

  30. I think I’m going to sit out the SF brackets. I’m woefully under-read in the relevant content.

    But since we’re sharing early SFF reads… There are three stories that come to mind which also illustrate my relationship with reading matter in early grade school.

    The first identifiably SFF story I remember reading (not counting fantasy elements in picture books) was a very short item in the Official 2nd Grade Reader (one of those collections that included exercises and vocabulary lists and whatnot). I’m pretty sure it was second grade, although I wouldn’t swear to it. The story was about the everyday life of a young girl in a Mars colony and I remember very little more about it except that my memory says she ate clover for breakfast. Why that detail? Dunno.

    The second SFF story I remember sticks in memory partly because my tendency to get immersed in books got me in (minor) trouble. It was titled something like “Necklace from the Stars” or “The Star Necklace” and was about a girl from another planet who was stranded on Earth but she had this artifact from home (the star necklace) that had some sort of powers. (Someone once tracked down for me what book it must have been, but it almost doesn’t matter.) I had, let us say, a peculiar fascination with the trope of secretly being a lost alien being stranded on Earth. I happened to be reading the book during “free reading” time when the various ability-graduated reading circles were called up to the front of the class for reading aloud practice and everyone else was supposed to work quietly at their desks. It was also Visiting Parents Day and my mother was in attendance. I got so lost in the book that I failed to hear my reading group called up and I failed to hear my name being specifically called several times. And, of course, my mother found this immensely amusing and told the story for years to my utter embarrassment.

    During that stage of my life, I was pretty much a voracious and indiscriminate reader, but it never really occurred to me to keep track of specific books. Until one special book came along. I think this may have been in 4th grade. Periodically, there would be special cluster programs that involved bringing students together from multiple classes in a classroom usually used for some other class, so you’d end up sitting at someone else’s desk for an hour or so every day for a couple weeks. (Or something like that. The details are vague.) During one of these temporary relocations, I found a copy of Alexander Key’s The Forgotten Door in the desk I was sitting at. And being the sort of student who quickly got bored of the formal curriculum and looked for something else to read, I started on it (carefully hidden in my lap, because I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher, of course). And then…argh!…I couldn’t finish it in one class session!

    So the next day I desperately made sure that I sat at the same borrowed desk, hoping the book would still be there and got a little further. This was a book I desperately wanted to finish. (See previous statement about stories with lost alien children.) But it was clear that I wasn’t going to get all the way through it before that set of relocated lectures was done. So I actually copied down the author and title and went and looked for that specific book at the library. This may have been the first point at which I paid attention to the authorship of a book. (Hey, if you’re just reading from one end of the library to the other, you don’t have to pay attention.)

  31. The Palm Restaurant vandalism resonates with me with the loss of a generation’s worth of local murals, as documented here:
    http://quirkyberkeley.com/murals-gone-or-gone-murals
    That listing doesn’t include the lovely Willard School mural, mostly painted over in a random fit of efficiency.
    It’s all very efficient: lower costs of upkeep for blank walls, and no pesky preservationists mucking about with planned changes.

    In my more optimistic moments I hope to see new creative quirkiness springing up to replace the losses.
    But mostly I just see the spread of generic corporate crap.
    Whose short story was it about the horror of the insidious creep of LA across the continent?
    Like that.

  32. 1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Pass

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Pass

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Pass

    6. FOREIGNERS
    Pass

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    Tie!

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Light, M. John Harrison

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick
    Still remember this one.

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Pass

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Love this book.

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Pass

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    Sorry, but something about Morgan’s style just doesn’t work for me.

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Pass. Tried Love Minus Eighty three times now and can’t get past the squick of what the women have to go through to live again.

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    Pass

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Pass

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Tie!

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Pass

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Pass

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    Gah! Can’t choose. Tie!

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  33. Internal consistency is a desirable thing to have in most cases, contributing best to the suspension of disbelief between multiple events. For the same reason that readers expect characters in Ch20 to reflect the traits an author highlighted in Ch1-19, they can expect characters in book 2 to reflect what they learned in book 1. An owner can highlight this to more or less degree and therefore shape reader expectations to more or less degree.

    And we have examples across the full spectrum. In a case where the owner says I’ve licensed my property, but I and you should have no expectation that they are part of _my_ stories, then expectations are clear. Expectations also get shaped when an owner sets up a robust social media campaign, identifying a “keeper of the canon” and then goes about publishing derivative reference books which chronicle in great and continuous detail down to the day in cases comprising its entire multimedia franchise. And for 25 years gives a line that says all of these matter, and then one day issues a press release saying they’re now merely legends which didnt happen at all or as previously described.

    In the middle are those who make it up as they go along, segregate by media, or when licenses change hands, or some other basis.

    I can always better accept changes done in-universe versus those which are not. DCs Crisis changed things only going forward; the “pre-crisis” events all remained for Grant Morrison and a small handful of others to return to that well. The Trek movie reboot is this way as well.

    You have Marvel’s soft rolling “Marvel time” micro reboots that kept its characters relevant to the decade a la Tony Stark now being wounded in Afghanistan rather than by Red Chinese. It’s why Peter Parker rubber bands back to a young adult, forever.

    The most pernicious are the out of universe changes, as what happend with Star Wars’ novels being excised and becoming Legends. In that case it needn’t have been done at all; fans were already primed that movies existed on some other level.

    I leave a special place in my owner-hell for those who make creative decisions for behind the scenes legal reasons or other posturing — for example, what some are alleging has occurred between Marvel’s publishing world versus those characters and rights of the movie world in things like mutants vs Inhumans. Or one could go to the allegations about DC prepping Plan B if it lost right to Superman or Superboy (together or individually) at various times (going back to Crisis).

    I think it’s an interesting decision for an owner to make. If the official publications will be fan fiction, then one might better just go seek fan fiction, a lot of which is pretty good. However, with official fan fiction, you can probably expect at the very least some notable names and certainly a professional package including much better editing.

    Silly but True

  34. @Cadbury Moose:

    “Out of this world” and “New Writings in SF” appear regularly among the fragments, along with Dobson, Gollancz and Robert Hale. There is scope for further research here, but it requires unorthodox engineering

    I see what you did there; I take my kapp off to you.

  35. I’ve read 19 of those books, but there’s only 1 case where I’ve read both:

    17. The Quiet War Paul McAuley

    Cloud Atlas is quite a novel, but I really liked The Quiet War.

  36. I had a bunch I wanted to vote for (Ancillary Justice!), but I hadn’t read the other book in the bracket, so…

  37. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS
    Kyra thanks for putting this together – love the titles for each pair

    I vote if I’ve read only one book but think it’s really good otherwise I’d never vote

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    God’s War, Kameron Hurley

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    Neither Perdition by Ann Aguirre

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Farthing, Jo Walton

  38. We were given the Narnia books in school in third grade and that was about the same time I was reading A Wrinkle in Time (which would be just about when it came out, actually) and a time travel book I absolutely loved called Time at the Top. It had a girl protagonist and I fell hard for that book. I would guess that something in that mix was probably my introduction to fantasy books, but then, we also had access to all the fairy tale books in various colors so the idea of witches and trolls and whatnot was probably already there before I hit the Narnia books. My mother was a voracious reader and she took us to the library whenever she could, plus she had all sorts of her own books in the house. I remember Alfred Hitchcock collections of short stories, including something about alligators who were just dinosaurs with weak hearts, so somebody strengthened their hearts and turned them back into dinosaurs and people were living in the subway system because the newly re-dinosaured dinosaurs had taken over above ground. Also a few collections of Ray Bradbury short stories that included All Summer in a Day, The Veldt and something called The City, all three of which scared me more than I would’ve admitted to my mother. That’s why I remember the dinosaur story and the specifics of those Bradbury stories, I’m sure — because they scared me. There were a few Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes that did the same thing. I’m afraid I did not go the Heinlein route as a child. I was feasting on a diet of Bradbury and L’Engle.

    In 9277, all authors have long since been banished to another planet where they remain alive as long as copies of their books stay in print. But they go poof when there are no more copies of their books left.

  39. We had this set of story books when I was a kid. I think it’s my starting point – the last volume has the SF in it. I believe my brother has it now.

  40. Taking up my quill in this year of AD 841, I inscribe upon the vellum as follows:-

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    Everything else, you can assume that I’ve no strong opinions, or I was too racked with agonies of indecision to make a choice, or I haven’t read one or both. (Some of them – Kirstein and Watts, for instance – might kind of benefit from propinquity, given that I’ve recently read them and they’re fresh in my mind. That’s what happens when all you people start recommending books.)

    (I’m sort of assuming, by the way, that “Annihilation” is shorthand for “… and the rest of the Southern Reach” trilogy; it’s kind of incomplete as a stand-alone.)

  41. Not many where I have read both…

    24. The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lock In did some nice stuff, but Rajaniemi went out on the borders of advanced math and physics where most authors fear to tread.

    29. Carnival, Elizabeth Bear
    Set down Blindsight at page 86 and never felt inclined to pick it back up

    Things I wish I could vote for:
    Look to Windward
    Explorer
    Leviathan Wakes
    Ragamuffin
    The Lost Steersman
    Ancillary Justice
    Accelerando
    Balance of Trade

    Things I would like to vote against:
    Farthing
    Anything with Zombies

  42. A lot of these were hard choices for me. I am learning that, with some admitted exceptions, I kind of love All The Books.

    1. Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    – I adore Mortal Engines. But I also adore Oryx & Crake, and in the end I think it’s the stronger book of the two. Mortal Engines is in some ways the more inventive dystopia, but Atwood’s is a mirror held up to our culture’s soul.

    2. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    – Not my favorite of all the Bujolds, but still definitely strong enough to win here.

    3. Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    – Because Fledgling.

    5. God’s War, Kameron Hurley
    – Brin has written a lot of books I would give top marks to, but Kiln People isn’t one of my faves by him. God’s War came as a nice kick in the got when I read it.

    8. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    – This book and its sequels are, in their own stealthy way, as much of a renunciation of the Happy Violent Hero trope as The Goblin Emperor was. Simply stunning depictions of teenagers coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a brutal depiction of how totalitarian societies can make a person doubt their own thoughts by forcing them to live a public lie.

    11. The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    – Kirstein takes a momentary detour in the overall plot of her series to deliver an alien culture that is simultaneously near-incomprehensible, totally believable, and utterly fascinating. The great characterization and jaw-dropping revelations that characterized her earlier work have only matured here. Some series never recover the magic after the first big twist-and-reveal; this is NOT one of those series.

    12. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    – Hit me like an atom bomb. And … Fortune’s Pawn is actually a book I didn’t like. I just wanted to slap all the characters, all the time.

    13. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
    – Simultaneously melancholy and hopeful, and speaking as someone who has spent a good deal of time working in theater, strangely familiar.

    17. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    – Half of this book is brilliant. But the half that is brilliant is DAZZLINGLY so. And the SF bits are among the brilliant parts.

    20. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
    – When I read the first chapter of Love Minus Eighty, my jaw dropped. I literally said to my spouse something along the lines of, “If the rest of this book is as good as the first chapter, it will be the best book ever.” But … it wasn’t. It was still good, but it never lived up to that promise. The Time Traveler’s Wife (and yes, I know what many people think of it) never had a moment like the first chapter of Love Minus Eighty, but it ended up being stronger throughout.

    22. The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    – KSR has written some of my favorite books, but 2312 wasn’t one of them. Carey’s work was a standout zombie novel in a field currently packed with quite good ones.

    23. Air, Geoff Ryman
    – Geoff Ryman has written a novel which I think will always be in the top ten of any personal favorite SF list I make, sometimes taking the top spot; but it isn’t this one, it’s The Child Garden. Air is still strong enough to win in this one for me, though.

    25. Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    – Stephenson tends to be hit-or-miss for me. This one was definitely a hit.

    27. Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    – Mind. Blown.

    28. Farthing, Jo Walton
    – One of the few books I have ever pressed on another person saying, “You have to read this.” My favorite Walton, and that’s putting it at the top of a pretty tall hill.

    31. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    – I doubt it’s going to win here, but I’ll give it a vote, at least. I don’t always want a book to leave me feeling shattered, bruised, and beaten, but when I do, I want the HURT TO LAST.

    32. Passage, Connie Willis
    – I’m likely rare in this being my favorite Willis novel, but there’s no accounting for taste.

  43. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    World War Z, Max Brooks
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    The Fresco, Sheri S. Tepper

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    Abstain

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    God’s War, Kameron Hurley
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Probability Moon, Nancy Kress
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant
    Light, M. John Harrison

    Abstain

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    Argh, my two favourite SF series of the past few years pitted against each other. Sorry, Breq, but I loved Devi’s story more. Besides, everybody else is going to vote for Ancillary Justice anyway.

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Gabriel’s Ghost, Linnea Sinclair
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Spook Country, William Gibson

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Grimspace, Ann Aguirre
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    The Quiet War, Paul McAuley

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    Abstain. Haven’t read the Moon and though I actually own Skinner, I don’t remember a thing about it.

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Black Man AKA Th1rte3n, Richard Morgan
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    More a vote against Vinge than one in favour of Morgan.

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    Abstain.

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Air, Geoff Ryman
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    Abstain.

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Crescent City Rhapsody, Kathleen Ann Goonan
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Again, more a vote against Accelerando than in favour of Goonan.

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Natural History, Justina Robson

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Zendegi, Greg Egan
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    Abstain.

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

    I intensely dislike Ship Breaker (a case of knowing too much about the subject), so I’m very happy to downvote it and even happier to upvote Connie Willis.

    This comment reaches you from 1268, where teenaged Konradin, last of the House of Hohenstaufen, has just been executed along with his pal Friedrich von Baden.

  44. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS THAT I HAVEN’T READ
    There, fixed it for you.

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Nope

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    World War Z, Max Brooks
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    The Fresco, Sheri S. Tepper

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Nope

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Nope

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Nope

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Nope

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant
    Light, M. John Harrison

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Nope, only read the Leckie, which I like but don’t love

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Nope

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Nope

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    Nope

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Nope

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Nope

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Nope

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Nope. only read one
    I would hate vote against Time Traveler’s Wife, but that would be wrong
    I’m keeping things positive here

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Nope

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Nope

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Alien Taste, Wen Spencer

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Nope

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Nope

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Nope

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Carnival, Elizabeth Bear

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    Nope

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Nope

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  45. Ah, at last a bracket I can sink my teeth into! The fantasy brackets were so full of books I haven’t read that I couldn’t vote till the last couple of rounds. This one is not only full of books I’ve read, it’s already pairing off favorites. Which is actually a drag. Oh god, I hate everything, don’t I? 😀

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART ONE:
    MY GOD IT’S FULL OF BOOKS

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood

    2. SPREADING PLAGUE
    World War Z, Max Brooks

    (This would have been much harder if any of the other Vorkosigan books that were discussed had been chosen. It was still a hard choice, but in the end I had to go with a best-in-its-class over the fairly average representative of one of my favorite series.)

    3. OTHERS AMONG US
    abstain

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    (Argh, I’m starting to hate you already, Kyra! A tough call, but I just loved this one.)

    5. I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS JOB
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    (I love, love, love Cherryh, but again, an average one of her books up against something outstanding.)

    7. THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND
    Probability Moon, Nancy Kress

    (Probability Space was better, but this was still a no-brainer.)

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    abstain

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

    (Another tough call. Argh!)

    10. A SINGLE SYLLABLE IS ALL I NEED
    Feed, Mira Grant

    11. THE STUDY OF DANGEROUS CREATURES
    Abstain. Only read the Swanwick.

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Abstain. Only read the Leckie.

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Abstain. Only read the Lee and Miller.

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod
    (Another tough call.)

    15. I’LL SEE YOUR THREE MAIN CHARACTERS AND RAISE YOU SIX
    Reluctantly abstain. I’ve only read the Gibson.

    16. JAX OR CHO
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    17. SEND IN THE CLONES
    Abstain. Not a big McAuley fan, though.

    18. THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING
    The Skinner, Neal Asher

    (Another argh! Nearly a coin flip. Ask me tomorrow, and I might pick the Moon.)

    19. THE COMPUTER AND THE GUN
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    (Oh, I am so mad at you right now, Kyra! Wait, I pick both!! *sigh*)

    20. LOVE ACROSS THE AGES
    Abstain.

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Flynn

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Carey.

    23. INTERCONNECTIONS
    Abstain

    24. COPS AND ROBBERS
    Abstain. I so want to vote, but I haven’t read the Rajaniemi

    25. AN UNUSUAL UPBRINGING
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Spencer. More sighing.

    26. MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    (I wish one of the other Stross had made the ballot, but this one’s still good enough to beat the (quite entertaining) Goonan.)

    27. STRANGE TERRITORY
    Abstain.

    28. THE TIPPING POINT
    Abstain, because, darnit, there’s an Egan I haven’t read! I’m going to fix that ASAP.

    29. SOCIETY EVOLVES
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Bear.

    30. LIFE ON MARS
    Abstain.

    31. ISOLATED PLANET
    Abstain.

    32. BROKEN SHIPS
    Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi

  46. @Junego

    Novelettes, concentrating on freely available stuff for now. This is a mix of stuff that I really liked, and stuff I personally thought was simply good but has the potential to interest someone else more.

    The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild (Part 1, Part 2) by Cat Valente – A wonderful tale of a girl in a land of different colours, where words mean different things in different places. She takes a journey through the lands, and the language.
    The Ministry of the Eye by Dale Bailey – As if Orwell finished 1984, then decided it needed to be much nastier. A really good story but the ending is grim as hell
    And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead by Brooke Bolander – A foul-mouthed cyberpunk girl shoots and swears her way through a fairly action packed story. Nothing original about it but very well done.
    Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande by A. S. Diev – It’s a “New Gonzo” tale of a journo who follows a news story about genetically engineered animals. For me it hovers just on the right side of silly, and there’s some serious stuff about future farming amongst the satire on the 1% of the future. It’s good but not great by my reckoning, but I’ve seen some other people really like it.
    Asymptotic by Andy Dudak – FTL travel is tracked down and punished for damaging space-time, by an agency who themselves have to use FTL to do it. Their agents (including the protagonist) have to eventually be punished for their violations in turn. It’s crazy-sf wrapped around the contradictory issues of the main character. I suspect it might be a marmite sort of story, but I liked it.

    Also the aforementioned An Evolutionary Myth is a particular favourite of mine.

    Other good free sources include giganotosaurus.org (one longer-than-short story per month) and Beneath Ceaseless Skies for fantasy stories that often stretch to novelette length.

  47. Okay, brackets:

    1. YOUR CITIES LIE IN RUINS
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood?
    Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

    Atwood give good Twitter.

    4. WORMHOLE WEAPONRY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams

    I’m pretty obsessed with the Culture right through here.

    6. FOREIGNERS
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
    Explorer, C. J. Cherryh

    Love Chabon. Want to be Chabon.

    8. SECOND CLASS CITIZENS
    The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    Dedicating this vote to my daughter and Neko Case.

    9. PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND CONTROL
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    This is especially for an old LJ friend who just hated LB.

    12. SECRET WEAPONS
    Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    The book that got me excited about space opera.

    13. TRADERS VS. ACTORS
    Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    14. ROMANCE NOVELS
    Gabriel’s Ghost, Linnea Sinclair
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    21. THEY VANISHED LONG AGO
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds
    Eifelheim, Michael F. Flynn

    22. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

    Melanie FTW! NB: This bracket title is hilarious.

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