2016 BSFA Awards

The winners of the BSFA 2016 Awards were announced April 15 at Innominate, the 68th Eastercon, in Birmingham, UK.

Best Novel

  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)

Best Short Fiction

  • Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)

Best Non-Fiction

Best Artwork

The BSFA Awards are presented annually by the British Science Fiction Association, based on a vote of BSFA members and – in recent years – members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon.

BSFA winning artwork by Sarah Anne Langton

2016 BSFA Awards Finalists

The shortlist for the BSFA 2016 Awards was released February 19.

The Awards will be presented at Innominate, the 68th Eastercon, in Birmingham over the April 14-17 weekend.

BSFA members and attending members of Eastercon can vote on the winners online now, and voting will continue at the convention up to midday on Saturday, April 15

Best Novel

  • Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden (Gollancz)
  • Becky Chambers – A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter (Solaris)
  • Tricia Sullivan – Occupy Me (Gollancz)
  • Nick Wood – Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

Best Short Fiction

  • Malcolm Devlin – The End of Hope Street (Interzone #266)
  • Jaine Fenn – Liberty Bird (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
  • Una McCormack – Taking Flight (Crises and Conflicts, NewCon Press)
  • Helen Oyeyemi – Presence (What is Not Yours is Not Yours, Picador)
  • Tade Thompson – The Apologists (Interzone #266)
  • Aliya Whiteley – The Arrival of Missives (Unsung Stories)

Best Non-Fiction

Best Artwork

BSFA 2016 Awards Longlist

The British Science Fiction Association has opened the second round of BSFA Awards voting, which will reduce the longlist to a shortlist.

Members have until midnight January 31 to choose their shortlist from the collated nominations. The ballot is here. The longlist is here.

BEST NOVEL

  • Naomi Alderman The Power (Viking)
  • Charlie Jane Anders All The Birds In The Sky (Titan Books)
  • Stephen Aryan Bloodmage (Orbit)
  • Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds The Medusa Chronicles (Gollancz)
  • Chris Beckett Daughter of EdenI (Gollancz)
  • Elizabeth Bonesteel The Cold Between (Harper Voyager0
  • Gavin Chait Lament for the Fallen (Doubleday)
  • Becky Chambers A Closed and Common Orbit (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Matthew de Abaitua The Destructives (Angry Robot)
  • Mark de Jager Infernal (Del Rey)
  • Daniel Godfrey New Pompeii (Titan Books)
  • Matt Hill Graft (Angry Robot)
  • Dave Hutchinson Europe in Winter (Solaris)
  • N. K. Jemisin The Fifth Season (Orbit)
  • Yoon Ha Lee Ninefox Gambit (Solaris)
  • Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu) Death’s End (Head of Zeus)
  • Paul McAuley Into Everywhere (Gollancz)
  • Alan Moore Jerusalem (Knockabout/Liveright)
  • Claire North The Sudden Appearance of Hope (Orbit)
  • Christopher Priest The Gradual (Gollancz)
  • Alastair Reynolds Revenger (Gollancz)
  • Al Robertson Waking Hell (Gollancz)
  • V. E. Schwab A Gathering Of Shadows (Titan Books)
  • Johanna Sinisalo (translated by Lola Rogers) The Core of the Sun         (Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • Charles Stross The Nightmare Stacks (Orbit)
  • Tricia Sullivan Occupy Me (Gollancz)
  • Steph Swainston Fair Rebel (Gollancz)
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky The Tiger and the Wolf (Pan)
  • Lavie Tidhar Central Station (Tachyon/PS Publishing)
  • Peter Tieryas United States of Japan (Angry Robot)
  • Simon Kurt Unsworth The Devil’s Evidence (Del Rey)
  • Ren Warom Escapology (Titan Books)
  • Colson Whitehead The Underground Railroad (Fleet)
  • Nick Wood Azanian Bridges (NewCon Press)

BEST SHORT FICTION

  • Vajra Chandrasekera “Applied Cenotaphics of the Long, Long Longitudes” (Strange Horizons)
  • Ian Creasey “No Strangers Any More” (Analog July/August 2016)
  • Ian Creasey “The Language of Flowers” (Analog May/June 2016)
  • Claire Dean “Is-and (Dead Letters ed. Conrad Williams, Titan Books)
  • Malcolm Devlin “The End of Hope Street” (Interzone #266)
  • Jaine Fenn “Liberty Bird” (Now We Are Ten, ed. Ian Whates, NewCon Press)
  • Dan Grace “Winter” (Unsung Stories)
  • Caroline Grebbell “Model Organisms” (Shoreline of Infinity #4)
  • Peter Haynes “Build a Cat” (Unsung Stories)
  • Kij Johnson “The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe” (Tor.com)
  • Carole Johnstone “Wetwork” (Black Static #52)
  • Inés G. Labarta  “McTavish Manor” (Holland House)
  • Ian R. MacLeod “The Visitor from Taured” (Asimov’s 09/2016)
  • Paul McAuley “Elves of Antarctica” (Drowned Worlds,  ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
  • Una McCormack “Taking Flight” (Crises and Conflicts, ed. Ian Whates, NewCon Press)
  • China Miéville “This Census Taker” (Picador)
  • Helen Oyeyemi “Presence” (What Is Not Yours Is Not Nours, Picador)
  • Vaughan Stanger “Insider Art” (Abyss & Apex 58)
  • Bruce Sterling “Pirate Utopia” (Tachyon Publications)
  • Tade Thompson “The Apologists” (Interzone #266)
  • Sarah Tolmie “The Dancer on the Stairs” (Two Travelers, Aqueduct Press)
  • Susana Vallejo (translated by Lawrence Schimel) “Gracia” (Strange Horizons)
  • IanWatson “Himmler in the Barcelona Hallucination Cell” (Barcelona Tales NewCon Press)
  • Ian Watson “The Brain from Beyond” (PS Publishing)
  • Aliya Whiteley “The Arrival of Missives” (Unsung Stories)
  • Kai Ashante Wilson “A Taste of Honey” (St. Martin’s Press)

BEST NONFICTION

  • John Clute “Scores column, articles published in 2016” (Strange Horizons)
  • Rob Hansen THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the UK 1930-1980 (Ansible Editions)
  • Erin Horakova “Boucher, Backbone and Blake: The Legacy of Blakes Seven” (Strange Horizons)
  • Paul Kincaid “This is Science Fiction?” (Los Angeles Review of Books)
  • Joel Lane This Spectacular Darkness: critical essays by Joel Lane ed. Mark Valentine & John Howard (Tartarus Press)
  • Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (CUP)
  • Anna Macfarlane Breaking the Cycle of the Golden Age: Jack Glass and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Ed. Christos Callow Jr. & Anna Macfarlane, Gylphi)
  • Jonathan McCalmont Nothing Beside Remains: a History of the New Weird (Big Echo)
  • Paul Graham Raven “New Model Authors? Authority, Authordom, Anarchism and the Atomized Text in a Networked World” (Adam Roberts: Critical Essays, Ed. Christos Callow Jr. & Anna Macfarlane, Gylphi)
  • Geoff Ryman 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer “Introduction to The Big Book of Science Fiction” (Vintage)
  • Glen Weldon The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture (Simon & Schuster)

ARTWORKS

[Thanks to Mark-kitteh for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 12/22/16 “You’ll scroll your eye out, kid!”

(1) NEW BOOK REVEAL: The Refrigerator Monologues – basically it’s The Vagina Monologues for superheroes’ girlfriends. Catherynne M. Valente tells the book’s origin story at The Mary Sue.

My partner answered, “Sweetheart, you know you can’t fix Gwen Stacy dying. She was always going to die. She always dies. It’s kind of a thing.”

And I said, “YES I CAN. I’m going to write something and it’s going to be called The Refrigerator Monologues and it’s going to be The Vagina Monologues for superheroes’ girlfriends. I’m going to fix it. Hold my drink. Don’t believe me? Just watch!”

It’s not like I didn’t know Gwen Stacy was going to die. As has been noted, she always dies. But the way the movie was paced, I kind of thought they’d keep that for the third movie, because the Emma Stone/Andrew Garfield chemistry was kind of all that iteration had going for it. So, it blindsided me in a way that Gwen Stacy taking her dive should never blindside anyone born after 1970, and it was a sucker punch, because more or less the last thing Emma Stone does before she quite literally flounces off to meet her doom is snit, “Nobody makes my decisions for me, nobody! This is my choice. Mine.”

I can make my own decisions! Boom. Splat. Death. Girl down.

It felt like such a harsh slap in the face. People so often think of iconic characters as organic things that proceed semi-autonomously while the writer just records their actions, but someone chose to give her those words. They made it through many rounds of editing and screen-testing. Someone chose to have her say that right before it all goes to hell. To make those powerful words the punchline to a sad joke about female agency by punishing her for them, by making sure that no matter how modern and independent the new Gwen might seem, everything is just as it has always been. That old, familiar message slides into our brains with the warm familiarity of a father’s hug: when women make their own choices, disaster results.

(2) WRITER HOSPITALIZED. Peter David’s wife, Kathleen, reports “Yes, Peter is in the hospital. No, we are not entirely sure why”.

Well this time it is not a stroke or a heart attack. Right now we are eliminating things rather than getting a diagnosis because every time we think we know what is going on, we get another curve that sets us back to figuring out what is going on.

What we do know that Peter is in the hospital with severe leg weakness. He can’t walk and even standing is dicey.

(3) BEST TV. SciFiNow ranks the “20 Best TV Shows of 2016”. At the top of the polls is —

1) Stranger Things

We bet Netflix wished all of their shows delivered like this. Stranger Things became a phenomenon almost instantly, and it’s easy to see why. The Duffer Brothers created a show that was a love-letter to all of our favourite horror and fantasy films and books from the 80s (hands up who started re-reading Stephen King’s IT after finishing the last episode), while remaining thrilling, scary and accessible to a wider audience. It’s perfectly paced (going for eight episodes instead of 13 was a great decision), it’s both sharp and sensitive, and it is perfectly cast. There’s a reason why everyone went nuts over the Stranger Things kids, and why we were just as invested in Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) as we were in Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). There’s no weak link in the ensemble, and there is nothing about the show that lets it down. From the awesome opening credits to the teasers for the second season, we love everything about this show.

(4) BEST HORROR FILMS. Lower on the same page SciFiNow also picks the 16 Best Horror Films of 2016. And what movie was the most horrific?

  1. The Witch

Now that Black Phillip is a bona fide cultural icon, what’s left to say about Robert Eggers’ The Witch? Well, perhaps the most important thing is that it’s still, after repeat viewings, a truly chilling experience. It doesn’t get less powerful, it just gets more interesting. Eggers’ much-publicised attention to detail creates a film that really does immerse in you in the cold, uncaring wilderness with this broken family that’s wondering why God has decided to abandon them, and it is a very scary place to be. There’s nothing about the film that isn’t perfect, from the cinematography by Jarin Blaschke to the score by Mark Korven, and the cast is amazing, with Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson bringing a heartbreaking tragedy to their Puritan pilgrims and Anya Taylor-Joy providing a complex emotional anchor. There are moments when it definitely establishes itself as a genre film, but it’s the harsh reality of that life and the fear of God that really drive the horror of The Witch. It’s the horror film of the year and we can’t wait to watch it again.

(5) CURIOSITY. The child in me wants to know what story Lou Antonelli created to go with his title “If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love”.

Looks like I will have one last publication before the end of the year. Gallery of Curiosities is slated to podcast my story “If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love” as part of a double bill on Dec. 28. Mark your calendars!

(6) HINES BENEFIT AUCTION #23. The twenty-third of Jim C. Hines’ Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auctions is for an autographed book and an album from Seanan McGuire.

Our final auction comes from award-winning and bestselling author, filker, and all-around talented person Seanan McGuire. Today’s winner will receive an autographed hardcover of EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, as well as a copy of McGuire’s album WICKED GIRLS.

About the Book:

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things.

No matter the cost.

(7) A 3M REVIEW. James Davis Nicoll has posted a review of Heather Rose Jones’ The Mystic Marriage “Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood”.

2015’s The Mystic Marriage is the second volume in Heather Rose Jones’ Alpennia series.

Antuniet Chazillen has lost everything: her foolish brother has been executed for treason and her mother is dead by her own hand. Antuniet has been stripped of her aristocratic rank. Determined to restore the family honour, Antuniet flees Alpennia for Austria, there to use her alchemical skills to win back for her family the respect and position her brother cost it.

In Austria she finds a treasure of rare value, a treasure others are determined to wrest from her. She escapes from Vienna to Heidelberg, but her enemies are still close on her heels. She sees no choice but to trade her virtue for transportation to safety.

Which means returning to Alpennia…

(8) SHORT BEER. Beer’d Brewing in Connecticut has a beer called Hobbit Juice. Martin Morse Wooster asks, “Is this what hobbits drink when they are tired of being small and want to ‘get juiced?’”

He’ll be here all week, folks.

(9) A VINTAGE YEAR IN SPACE. Robert Picardo hosts another installment of the Planetary Society’s video series The Planetary Post – “2016: A Magnificent Year for Space Exploration”

Greetings, fellow space fan! Robert Picardo here. As 2016 comes to a close, I thought it would be nice to look back at the year’s highlights in space science and exploration (and a few of the best bloopers from yours truly).

 

(10) BSFA AWARDS SUGGESTION DEADLINE. Members of the British Science Fiction Association – remember that December 31 is the deadline to suggest works for the BSFA Awards. The categories are — Best Novel, Best Short fiction, Best Artwork, Best work of Non-Fiction. Use the online form. Members will have the month of January to vote for the works that belong on the shortlist.

(11) WHEN SCOTTY INVADED NORMANDY. War History Online tells how  “Star Trek star shot two snipers on D-Day and was shot seven times in WWII”.

The beach was so thick with Canadians the later arrivals could not advance. As darkness fell, there was a risk they would end up shooting at each other – which was exactly what happened; not just at Juno Beach, but also at the other landing sites.

At about 11:20 that evening, Doohan finished a cigarette and patted the silver cigarette case he kept in his breast pocket. It had been given to him by his brother as a good luck charm… and a good thing, too.

Some ten minutes later, he was walking back to his command post when he was shot. Six times. By a Bren Gun. The first four bullets slammed into his leg, the fourth whacked him in the chest, while the sixth took off his right middle finger.

It was not a German sniper.  He had been shot by a nervous, trigger-happy Canadian sentry. Fortunately, the cigarette case stopped the bullet aimed at his chest. Doohan later joked it was the only time being a smoker saved his life.

(12) BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. “The Twelve Days of Christmas:  A Tale of Avian Misery” is a cartoon on Vimeo about what happens when a British woman living in a small flat gets ALL the presents from the Twelve Days of Christmas.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, and Jim C. Hines for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

2015 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award winners were announced March 26 at Mancunicon, the British National Science Fiction Convention.

 Best Novel

  • Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings, Gollancz

Best Short Story

  • Aliette de Bodard: “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, Clarkesworld 100

Best Non-Fiction

  • Adam Roberts: Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014, Steel Quill Books

Best Artwork

  • Jim Burns, Cover of Pelquin’s Comet, Newcon Press

2015 BSFA Awards Shortlist

The British Science Fiction Association has announced the shortlist for BSFA Awards 2015.

BSFA members and attending members of Eastercon will be able to vote on the shortlist. Voting at the convention will be allowed up to midday on Saturday, March 26.

The winners will be announced on the evening of March 26 at Mancunicon, the 67th British National Science Fiction Convention, otherwise known as Eastercon.

 Best Novel

  • Dave Hutchinson: Europe at Midnight, Solaris
  • Chris Beckett: Mother of Eden, Corvus
  • Aliette de Bodard: The House of Shattered Wings, Gollancz
  • Ian McDonald: Luna: New Moon, Gollancz
  • Justina Robson: Glorious Angels, Gollancz

Best Short Story

  • Aliette de Bodard: “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, Clarkesworld 100
  • Paul Cornell: “The Witches of Lychford”, Tor.com
  • Jeff Noon: “No Rez”, Interzone 260
  • Nnedi Okorafor, “Binti”, Tor.com
  • Gareth L. Powell: “Ride the Blue Horse”, Matter

Best Non-Fiction

  • Nina Allan: “Time Pieces: Doctor Change or Doctor Die”, Interzone 261
  • Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce: Letters to Tiptree, Twelfth Planet Press
  • Jonathan McCalmont: “What Price Your Critical Agency”, Ruthless Culture.
  • Adam Roberts: Rave and Let Die: The SF and Fantasy of 2014, Steel Quill Books
  • Jeff Vandermeer: “From Annihilation to Acceptance: a writer’s surreal journey”, The Atlantic, January 2015

Best Artwork

  • Jim Burns, Cover of Pelquin’s Comet, Newcon Press
  • Vincent Sammy: “Songbird”, Interzone 257
  • Sarah Anne Langton: Cover of Jews Versus Zombies, Jurassic London

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 12/14 The Trixels Scroll

(1) SURREAL CEREAL. “When I just saw this, I did suddenly wonder, ‘Is nothing sacred?’” says James H. Burns.

Trix Pic-12142015-001 COMP

(2) RED LIGHT AT MORNING. Bob Byrne’s “The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: ‘Rudolph’s Performance Review’”  at Black Gate continues his tradition of holiday humor.

You’d think the reindeer with the shiny red nose would have knocked his annual review out of the park after that foggy Christmas Eve, eh? Well, that Santa is one tough reviewer. Read on, and I wish you a safe, happy and blessed Merry Christmas….

(3) DON’T LINK. Jenneral Geek’s theory about Doctor Who’s most popular episode suggests “’Blink’ Might be Even More Timey-Wimey Than You Think”.

Now, you may also remember a flirtatious babe from the same episode named Billy Shipton. Billy is a detective investigating the disappearance of people in relation to Wester Drumlins. This is what brings us to the lovely meet-cute in which Billy Shipton and Sally Sparrow flirt in front of a dusty blue police box. Billy gets Sally’s number and when he asks for her full name she retorts, “Sally Shipton” without thinking, followed by her instant mortification and departure. Cut scene and fast forward – Billy gets Weeping Angel’d back to 1969 where he receives instructions from the Doctor not to contact Sally Sparrow until after their original encounter. Billy lives his life back to 2007 and calls Sally. They re-meet minutes later for Sally and 38 years later for Billy in his hospital room. An elderly Billy tells Sally Sparrow information that is relevant to the plot, BUT he also tells her that he married a woman coincidentally named Sally from the 70’s. He even shows a picture of his dearly beloved, Sally Shipton.

I know this is timey-wimey enough as is, but what if there is more? At this point of the episode I had to press pause because my mind was going through the time vortex. Hey, how cool would it be if Billy Shipton actually married Kathy Wainwright’s daughter? So, I couldn’t resist whipping out my handy dandy calculator and pretending like I don’t blow at math.

(4) RETROSPECTIVE. TCM Remembers 2015 honors actors, actresses and filmmakers who passed away this year, among them Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lee, Rod Taylor and Wes Craven.

(5) BSFA AWARDS. Nominations are open for the British Science Fiction Association Awards through December 31.

Who can nominate?

You may nominate a work if YOU:

  • Are a member of the BSFA

AND

  • Send or give your nominations to the Awards Administrator to arrive by the 31st December of each year.

See here for further details.

(6) SEE ME. Now I’m surprised John Scalzi didn’t drop in this morning to support Buckaroo Banzai in Hampus’ next set of brackets.

But John, do you mean Perfect like Perfect Tommy, or like Roger Daltrey’s Tommy?

(7) ACKERMANSION II. There’s a petition at change.org calling on the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission to “Declare Forrest Ackerman’s house a historic monument!”  The Commission considered an application at its December 3 meeting – I don’t know what they decided.

Forrest Ackerman is considered “the father of science fiction.” He was a magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent who represented Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, J.P. Lovecraft and L. Ron Hubbard, among many others. His magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, was an inspiration to writers and filmmakers like Stephen Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Stephen King, J.J. Abrams and Guillermo del Toro. Ackerman housed his extensive collection of sci-fi memorabilia in a private museum at 4513 Russell Ave. in Los Angeles and this home was dubbed the “Acker-Mini-Mansion.” The Smithsonian described Ackerman’s home as “one of the 10 best private museums in the country” open to visitors every Saturday since 1951 until Ackerman’s death in 2008.  Please support designating Ackerman’s house a historic monument to prevent its demolition by developers who want to “put up a parking lot.”

I’m guessing “put up a parking lot” is a reference to Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” rather than an immediate plan for the property.

(8) THE VOICE. Last summer Natalie Luhrs raised $5,125 from folks who wanted her to livetweet her experience reading a Theodore Beale novel, and unlock another major incentive. And now that incentive has arrived — “Bad Life Decisions: Mary Robinette Kowal Reads Theodore Beale. Sexily” — at Pretty Terrible.

As promised at the conclusion of the fundraiser, here is Mary Robinette Kowal reading snippets from Theodore Beale’s Eternal Warriors™: War In Heaven in a very, very sexy voice.

(9) OKORAFOR. Nnedi Okorafor has been named the winner of Brittle Paper’s African Literary Person of the Year Award.

Brittle Paper is a blog written by Duke Ph.D. student Ainehi Edoro.

The 2015 African literary person of the year goes to Nnedi Okorafor for the many ways in which Africa inspires innovation in her approach to storytelling.

The way she writes about Africa is refreshingly different. Take for example her 2014 novel titled Lagoon. The novel follows the near-apocalyptic chaos that takes over Lagos when aliens land on its shores. In the novel, she pushes us to imagine a futuristic but recognizable Lagos swarming with aliens and creatures. The novel is a mashup of cultural iconographies that range from alien spaceships and viral youtube videos to Igbo ancestral masquerades and folkloric archetypes to Karl Marx and Danfo buses. She tells a story about Lagos by situating the city, its fears and anxieties, its history and its landscape within a global network of literary traditions and philosophical concerns. A novel such as Lagoon brings to the conclusion that African life is so complex, so rich that to adequately give an account of it we have to draw inspiration from everywhere—from Nollywood but also from Star Wars, from Esu but also from American rappers, from Pentecostal churches but also from underground LGBT communities.

(10) Today In History

Through physical experiments, Planck demonstrated that energy, in certain situations, can exhibit characteristics of physical matter. According to theories of classical physics, energy is solely a continuous wave-like phenomenon, independent of the characteristics of physical matter. Planck’s theory held that radiant energy is made up of particle-like components, known as “quantum.” The theory helped to resolve previously unexplained natural phenomena such as the behavior of heat in solids and the nature of light absorption on an atomic level. In 1918, Planck was rewarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on blackbody radiation.

(11) TOY AUCTION. An auction of over 600 Star Wars collectible toys on December 11 brought in more than $500,000.

The higher-end items in Nigo’s collection were either rare or still in the original packaging, making them desirable collectors’ items.

A rare Luke Skywalker figure — one of only 20 confirmed — was expected to sell for $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $25,000.

The highest-selling lot, a seven-figure multi-pack sold exclusively in Canada in 1980, garnered $32,500 at the auction.

Among the items were two sets of “Star Wars” coins which were estimated to sell for between $25,000 and $35,000. They sold for $27,500.

(12) LITTLE TEENY EYES. Supervike is creating Monster Hunter International miniatures.

I paint and model little toy soldiers, and since there really aren’t any commercially available that represent the world of MHI, I’m trying to convert and paint existing miniatures to fit and represent the characters.

The scale of these miniatures is about 28mm.  That just means the ‘average’ man of 6ft tall or so, is represented as 28mm tall.  So, that’s a bit over an inch tall for us that never could figure out the metric system (thanks Jimmy Carter).

Some are fascinating, like the set in “It’s beginning to look a lot like Fishmen”.

Deep ones, those aquatic Lovecraftian fishmen, are only briefly mentioned in Monster Hunter International.  They serve as the badguys in a mission previously mentioned with a SEaL team and a cruise ship.

Turns out that the Deep Ones aren’t just interested in mindlessly attacking humans, they also prefer to lay their eggs inside a human host.  I’m assuming the outcome (other than the obvious madness) would be something like these guys.   These are Deep One Hybrids, the spawns of such an unholy union.

(13) PATENT FENDING. The Washington Post’s Larry Downs names “The 4 worst patents of 2015” after this introduction:

This was another depressing year for patent law, which long ago lost sight of its constitutional moorings as a balanced and limited source of incentives for innovators. Though Congress, the courts and the Patent and Trademark Office each tried in their own way to rein in a system widely-regarded as out of control, in the end nobody made much progress.

On just one day in November, for example, over 200 new patent lawsuits were filed, as plaintiffs rushed to beat a change in federal procedure that could require more specific claims. Most were from companies that buy up patents of dubious quality and use them to extract nuisance settlements from actual innovators….

To give just a sense of just how out of touch the law has become, I asked Daniel Nazer, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to highlight the worst patents he’s come across this year. Nazer, who holds the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents (yes, really), had little trouble coming up with these four, culled from a monthly “Stupid Patent of the Month” post he writes for the EFF site.  (The complete list is available here.)  Each one highlights a different crisis in our badly-misaligned patent system…

(14) VASICEK. Joe Vasicek’s latest proposition is “Disagreement is not offensive”, at One Thousand And One Parsecs.

If you take offense whenever people disagree with you, chances are that you’ll never be able to cut it as a writer. In order to write well, you have to be able to see things from inside the heads of people who aren’t like you and probably don’t agree with you.

This is why I support Sad Puppies: because the SJW types in Science Fiction are usually the first to cry offense over anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow worldviews. This naturally makes them as vehemently opposed to intellectual diversity as they (falsely) claim that the Puppies are to racial, sexual, and cultural diversity. When you look at the books and stories that these people uphold as shining examples of the genre, their rigidly ideological worldview is as plain as the emperor’s new clothes.

Disagreement is not “offensive.” In fact, it’s a sign of respect. If your opponent thought that your opinion or argument wasn’t worth engaging with, then they simply would have ignored you. By saying “I don’t agree,” they are acknowledging your position in an intellectually honest way. When you willfully misrepresent your opponent’s views, or bully them into silence, it is a sign of disrespect that warrants taking offense. And who is most guilty of that? I’ll give you two chances, and the first one doesn’t count.

(15) THE MAX. Blunt is one way of describing Max Booth III’s “Sad Puppies and The Goosebumps Rap: The Best and Worst Things to Happen to Literature in 2015” at Lit Reactor.

Sad Puppies

The KKK Sad Puppies are a group of white supremacists science fiction writers set on fixing the Hugo Awards. They are very pathetic nerds who won’t be satisfied as long as people other than straight white males are represented in science fiction. Keep the genre pure, they say. Heil Hitler, they probably also say. Our penises are tiny and we need to make others feel miserable to satisfy ourselves, they almost definitely say. So, in 2015, they managed to get Puppy nominees in almost every category. Because of this clusterfuck, many categories were given “No Awards”.

World Fantasy Award

Hey, speaking of racists. This year also saw a very nice and welcome change: Lovecraft was removed as the model for the World Fantasy Award. Many non-terrible people celebrated this victory, and many other terrible people whined about it. Especially ST Joshi, whose recent blog posts are both hilarious and sad. It’s still unknown what will take Lovecraft’s place as the trophy model. I’ve already suggested myself, but have yet to hear back. I’ve also heard many people suggest a dragon, but dragons as we all know, are lame. Honestly, a giant dong might be the way to go.

(16) ONE STAR (WARS) RATING. Milo Yiannopolous argues ”Star Wars Is Garbage” at Breitbart.com.

With Star Wars, liberal Hollywood got it all wrong. They get everything wrong, of course, but this movie franchise really takes the biscuit. They turned the heroes into villains, and the villains into shining beacons of virtue. With a new film on the horizon, I feel duty-bound to warn you about the desperate shortcomings of this particular entertainment phenomenon.

If we’re honest with ourselves, the real wretched hive of scum and villainy is Skywalker Ranch, where George Lucas and his band of morally dissolute bastards created the Star Wars universe, a blight on western civilisation and culture.

This magisterial bit of trolling includes lines such as —

Jabba the Hutt was actually pretty progressive.

And –

Oh, and by the way, Darth Vader’s daughter was installed as the leader of the galaxy after he killed the rightful and democratically elected leader, Emperor Palpatine. I’m just saying.

(17) USE THE SOURCE. A “Google Chrome extension replaces all mentions of Donald Trump with Voldemort” reports the Telegraph. 

The Trump2Voldemort extension for the web browser replaces any text referring to the Republican candidate with ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ or ‘Tom Riddle’

The source is here:

(18) ULTIMATE TIME SAVER. Michael McNulty’s YouTube video plays Star Wars I-VI simultaneously in six side-by-side windows!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Jerry Pournelle, and Brian Z. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day James H. Burns.]

Cadigan and Aldiss GoHs at BSFA/SFF Meeting

The British Science Fiction Association reiterated yesterday on its Facebook events page that Pat Cadigan and Brian Aldiss will be the guests of honor at the group’s Annual General Meeting to be held in conjunction with the Science Fiction Foundation on June 6.

That’s great news for Cadigan fans in particular, as Pat has been undergoing treatment for cancer in recent months.

The AGM, and a mini-convention co-hosted by BSFA, SFF and the Imperial College SF and Fantasy Society, will take place on the Imperial College campus. See details here.

2014 BSFA Awards Announced

The British Science Fiction Association’s 2014 BSFA Awards were presented at Dysprosium, the British Eastercon, on April 5.

Best Novel

  • Ann Leckie, for Ancillary Sword (Orbit)

Best Short Fiction

  • Ruth E J Booth for “The Honey Trap”, published in La Femme, (Newcon Press)

Best Non-Fiction

  • Edward James, for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers and the First World War

Best Artwork

  • Tessa Farmer for her sculpture The Wasp Factory, after Iain Banks.

2014 BSFA Award Winners

The British Science Fiction Association announced the winners of the 2014 BSFA Awards at Eastercon in Glasgow on April 20.

Best Non-Fiction
Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer.

Best Art
Cover of Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London by Joey Hi-Fi.

Best Short Fiction
Spin by Nina Allan

Best Novel
(tie) Ack Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell
(tie) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The ceremony was hosted by Alice Lawson and Steve Lawson, with guest presenters Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Jim Burns, Andrew J. Wilson and Stephanie Saulter.