Rotsler Award Exhibit at Worldcon 76

By John Hertz: Andrew Porter shot these fine photos of the Rotsler Award exhibit at the 76th World Science Fiction Convention.

Some Worldcons have nicknames.  This year’s Worldcon was just “Worldcon 76” .

In fact I know people whose nickname is “Nick”.  Maybe you do too.

I digress.

The Rotsler is for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community.  The current judges are Sue Mason, Mike Glyer, and me.  It’s named for Bill Rotsler (1926-1997), a long-time wonder-worker.  It’s ordinarily announced at Loscon.

We try to put up an exhibit at the Worldcon showing sample work by all the winners to date.  The exhibits have been curated by me, recently with first-rate layout and electronics help from Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink.

In building the exhibit I try to choose images that are both representative of the artist, and visually interesting for themselves.  If you happen to know the context, or some of the in-jokes, that might be more fun, but (if I do it right) you needn’t.  The exhibit is designed (I hope) so you can look at it as you go by, or stop and study.

You’ll see from Brother Porter’s photos that winners each have a section, with their name and year at the top.  Also there’s a section about fanzines, and one about Brother Rotsler and the Award.  Many of the images appeared in fanzines.  There are a few other things, like cards from Bruce Pelz’ Fantasy Showcase Tarot Deck.

The Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a California non-profit corporation (yes, its initials spell SCIFI – pronounced “skiffy”) – and, because this is fandom, where every day is Anything Can Happen Day, SCIFI the sponsor of the Award is not the sponsor of Loscon where it’s announced.  We are large, we contain multitudes.

Some but by no means all fanart (which, like “fanwriting”, I make one word; a loudspeaker is not the same as a speaker who is loud, a boyfriend or girlfriend is not the same as a boy or girl who is a friend) can be found in Electronicland; if you live there, Bill Burns’ Website eFanzines.com is worth a look.  As to the rest, seek and ye shall find.  If you have nothing better to do (and if you have, do that), you can always write to me, 236 S. Coronado St., No. 409, Los Angeles, CA 90057, U.S.A.

Photos taken by and (c) Andrew Porter. Click for larger view.

It’s Not Hard to Find the Real Numbers

Today I read an indie author telling his fans that creators inevitably have to deal with “haters.” Then I scrolled through his recent posts and discovered he had written another assuring everybody he is unimpressed by the 2018 Hugo Award winners — and that his views must be widely shared because just look at the mass exodus of Hugo voters.

It seemed bizarre that someone capable of pointing people to the publicly-available 2018 voting statistics (as he did) thinks no one will notice his made-up “10,000 voters” number, which he offered as the figure from which this year’s electorate has supposedly declined.

Here are the number of final ballots cast in the past seven years, from the official Hugo Awards website. (Links to PDF files.)

2012 Chicon 7 1,922
2013 LoneStarCon 3 1,848
2014 Loncon 3 3,587
2015 Sasquan 5,950
2016 MidAmeriCon 2 3,130
2017 Worldcon 75 3,319
2018 Worldcon 76 2,828

Of course, you’d expect participation to jump in 2014 because Loncon 3 broke a Worldcon membership record that had stood for 30 years, and it picked up a couple hundred Correia voters because that was the first year of Sad Puppies, (“Somewhere Puppies Are Smiling”).

The next year, 2015, the Sad and Rabid Puppies took over the ballot (“Re-Entering the Lists: The Slates Impact on the Final Hugo Ballot”). However, while there were even more Puppy voters than the first year, the final results show a huge influx of voters joined to oppose them.

The people who joined to vote for Vox Day’s slate in 2015 didn’t stick around. And the even larger group of fans who answered the firebell that year didn’t all stay after the crisis passed.

But consider this graph –

The number of 2018 voters is still over 50% higher than in 2012, the last pre-Puppy year. So this looks to me a lot more like a new, higher plateau than it does free-fall.

And I have to wonder if the fellow lecturing about “haters” owns a mirror.

Night 1 of 2018 Creative Arts Emmy Awards

The 2018 Creative Arts Awards are being presented on two consecutive nights: Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9. Below is a recap of Saturday’s awards of genre interest.

In recognition of its legacy of boldly propelling science, society and culture where no one has gone before, the visionary science-fiction television franchise Star Trek was recognized with the prestigious 2018 Governors Award, chosen by the Television Academy Board of Governors. Bill Nye the Science Guy presented the Governors Award, which was accepted by the stars of the first and most recent series in the franchise, William Shatner (1966’s Star Trek) and Sonequa MartinGreen (2018’s Star Trek: Discovery) and an “out of this world” assembly of more than 80 Starfleet crew members and aliens from all Star Trek franchises, including Walter Koenig, Jeri Ryan, Levar Burton, Linda Park, Terry Farrell and Alex Kurtzman.

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance

Family Guy • Nanny Goats • FOX • 20th Century Fox Television
Alex Borstein as Lois Griffin, Babs Pewterschmidt, Natalia, Female Hippo, Woman in Car, Female Voice

Outstanding Animated Program

Rick And Morty • Pickle Rick • Adult Swim • Williams Street Productions

Outstanding Short Form Animated Program

Robot Chicken • Freshly Baked: The Robot Chicken Santa Claus Pot Cookie Freakout Special: Special Edition • Adult Swim • Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation (Juried)

Adventure Time • Ketchup • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios

Lindsay Small-Butera, Character Animation

Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie • Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon

Stu Livingston, Storyboard Artist

The Number On Great-Grandpa’s Arm • HBO • HBO Documentary Films

Jeff Scher, Production Designer

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular • Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation

Justin Martin, Background Designer

The Simpsons • Springfield Splendor • FOX • Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Caroline Cruikshank, Character Animation

Steven Universe • Jungle Moon • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios

Patrick Bryson, Background Painter

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Game Of Thrones • The Dragon And The Wolf • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Ramin Djawadi, Music by

Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie

Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Rowley Irlam, Stunt Coordinator

Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes

Game Of Thrones • Beyond The Wall • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Period Or Fantasy Program (One Hour Or More)

Game Of Thrones • Dragonstone • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour Or More)

The Handmaid’s Tale • June • Hulu • MGM, Hulu, The Littlefield Company, White Oak Pictures, Daniel Wilson Productions

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)

Stranger Things • Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer • Netflix • A Netflix Original Production

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)

Game Of Thrones • Beyond The Wall • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

The Handmaid’s Tale • After • Hulu • MGM, Hulu, The Littlefield Company, White Oak Pictures, Daniel Wilson Productions
Samira Wiley as Moira

Outstanding Sound Editing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special

USS Callister (Black Mirror) • Netflix • House of Tomorrow

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie

USS Callister (Black Mirror) • Netflix • House of Tomorrow
Selina MacArthur, Editor

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series

The Handmaid’s Tale • June • Hulu • MGM, Hulu, The Littlefield Company, White Oak Pictures, Daniel Wilson Productions

Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program

Westworld • Chaos Takes Control Interactive Experience • HBO • HBO, Kilter Films, Bad Robot

Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)

Westworld • Akane No Mai • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Kilter Films, Bad Robot, Warner Bros. Television

Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series

Westworld • Akane No Mai • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Kilter Films, Bad Robot, Warner Bros. Television

Outstanding Television Movie

USS Callister (Black Mirror) • Netflix • House of Tomorrow

Outstanding Original Interactive Program

NASA JPL: Cassini’s Grand Finale • YouTube • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Limited Series, Movie Or Special

Game Of Thrones • The Dragon And The Wolf • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

Outstanding Special Visual Effects

Game Of Thrones • Beyond The Wall • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; 360 Television/Startling Television

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy for the story.]

2018 Anthony Awards

Bouchercon logo

The winners of the 2018 Anthony Awards for crime fiction were announced September 8 at Bouchercon.

BEST NOVEL

  • Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

BEST FIRST NOVEL

  • Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

  • The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day

BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES

  • Y is for Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone #25) by Sue Grafton

BEST SHORT STORY

  • “My Side of the Matter” by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Gary Phillips, editor

BEST CRITICAL/NON-FICTION BOOK

  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

BEST ONLINE CONTENT

2018 Macavity Awards


Mystery Readers International announced the winners of the 2018 Macavity Awards during the opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in St Petersburg, FL on September 6.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Novel

  • Anthony Horowitz: Magpie Murders (Harper)

Best First Novel

  • Sheena Kamal: The Lost Ones (Wm. Morrow)

Best Nonfiction

  • Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (Poisoned Pen/British Library)

Best Short Story

  • Paul D. Marks: “Windward” (Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Down & Out Books)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Novel

  • Rhys Bowen: In Farleigh Field (Lake Union Publishing)

2018 Inky Awards Shortlists

The 2018 Inky Awards shortlists were announced August 10 – the Gold Inky for Australian titles, and the Silver Inky for international titles. The award recognizes achievement in young adult literature, with nominees and winners selected by voters under the age of 20. Some of these titles are of genre interest.

The titles were selected by a panel of past Inky Awards judges, the Dog’s Advisory Board and Inside a Dog alumni, all young readers aged between 12 and 20 years.

Gold Inky Award – Australian titles

  • Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks
  • Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell & Fiona Wood
  • Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian
  • In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black
  • Paper Cranes Don’t Fly by Peter Vu

Silver Inky Award – International titles

  • Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Release by Patrick Ness
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Voting is open for the 2018 Inky Awards from August 10 – September 16.

Winners will be announced October 2 at the State Library Victoria.

2018 Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Readers’ Choice Award


Baen Books has announced the winner of the fourth annual Year’s Best Military and Adventure Science Fiction Readers’ Choice Award.

Kacey Ezell won for her short story “Family Over Blood,” which came from the anthology Forged in Blood, edited by Michael Z. Williamson. Like all the stories in Williamson’s anthology, it takes place in his Freehold series.

The award-eligible stories appeared in The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Vol. 4, edited by David Afsharirad, and the public was asked to pick one of the 15 short stories in his anthology as the award-winner.

The winning story was announced at Dragon Con in Atlanta on September 1. The author receives an inscribed plaque and a $500 prize.

Afsharirad reports, “We also announced that we are doing a volume five, which will be out next June.”

[Thanks to David Afsharirad for the story.]

2018 New Prize in Literature Finalists

By Ahrvid Engholm: The Den Nya Akademin (DNA – “The New Academy”), a private initiative organized among Swedish culture workers because there’ll be no Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018, has announced the finalists for the 2018 New Prize in Literature.

After nominations were taken from librarians, the finalists were selected by popular vote. A jury will select the winner. The prize is to be revealed October 12 and handed out December 9. The finalists are:

  • Haruki Murakami
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Kim Thuy
  • Maryse Condé

The New Academy is presently running a Kickstarter appeal to raise $27,318 to pay for the award ceremony.

It’s said to be a one-year thing because there’ll be no Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018. However, there are hints that if the scandal-ridden Swedish Academy can’t get their act together, there might not be a prize for 2019 either (and will The New Academy Prize step in for 2019 in that case?)

The New Academy was founded to warrant that an international literary prize will be awarded in 2018, but also as a reminder that literature should be associated with democracy, openness, empathy and respect.

In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes the counterforce of oppression and a code of silence. It is now more important than ever that the world’s greatest literary prize should be awarded.

The New Academy is a non-profit organization, politically and financially independent. It consists of a wide range of knowledgeable individuals. The New Academy works within the time frame of the Swedish Academy and in five different committees….

The New Academy will be dissolved in December.

Following weeks of internal bickering, sex-abuse allegations and a financial investigation by police, the Swedish Academy, the body that hands out the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, announced in May there would be two Nobel Prizes for Literature given next year, the 2018 prize and the 2019 prize. The decision was made on the grounds that the group was in too deep a crisis to choose a Nobel winner properly.

Since then, there has been more news about the “Old” Academy and the fate of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

On July 18, the daily Dagens Nyheter revealed a heated mail exchange between the Academy and the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Foundation controls the Nobel Prize money and is worried about the Academy’s competence, reputation and legitimacy — especially the last two. They thus demand that the Nobel Prize should for the time being be decided by a separate Nobel committee in which no Academy member who has been compromised in the recent scandals may take part (say, Horace Engdahl…). Such a committee would have non-Academy members, maybe being a majority.

But the Academy says no.

Instead they want to elect four new members this autumn (if they can, with only 10 active members) and continue as before.

This is a serious conflict, because the Nobel Foundation has the money and the power to remove the Prize from the Academy. It has been suggested it may be taken over by the The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, as the lengthy English name goes (Vitterhetsakademin in Swedish), a body of circa 60 scholars including many in the field of literature and language. This would be possible since Alfred Nobel only stipulated the body to be “the Academy in Stockholm,” where Vitterhetsakademien also is situated.

At the same time, we had the “Summer” talk by the former permanent secretary Sara Danius on Swedish Radio. The radio show “Sommar” (Summer) is a very popular – millions of listeners – show where a celebrity talks for 1.5 hour and plays his/her favourite music. She of course talked about the Academy crisis, for instance quoting the support (including from Horace Engdahl!) she got when she suggested to let a law firm investigate the affair last November.

And then Horace turned against her. And there was a lot of internal conspiracies that finally forced her to resign as permanent secretary and also as a working member of the Academy. She sounded very bitter in her radio talk: “History won’t be merciful towards Horace Engdahl,” she said. Her program is here, if you know Swedish: https://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/1077323

On top of this, the Jean Claude Arnault trial begins next month, the case against the man married to Academy member Katarina Frostenson who is charged with two cases of rape (other cases have been dismissed as being past the statute of limitation). This will put the Academy scandals in even more focus. The 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature has been cancelled because of this mess, but it’s not certain that there will be a 2019 prize either.

Then, in August, the three members of the Swedish Academy who earlier announced they’d “quit working for the Swedish Academy” (Sara Danius, former permanent secretary, Kjell Espmark, and Peter Englund, also a former permanent secretary) said they’ll return to help the Academy elect four new members this autumn. This is necessary to reach the quorum of 12 (they were 10 active members, now they’ll be 13) which the statutes require. (See Reuters’ August 30 story — “Three members returning to scandal-ridden Swedish Academy”.)

At the same time they’ll drop – for the time at least – their earlier demand that Horace Engdahl must resign. It is unclear if they’ll come back temporarily just to elect new members or if they’ll return in full to work for the Academy:

They have stated that they will return to save this old institution, which has been ridden with scandals the past year (sex crime allegations against the husband of an Academy member, economic irregularities, leaks of Nobel Prize winners, members quitting, harsh statements and ultimatums going back and forth).

My speculation is that this move has probably come out of negotiations between the three and the “rump Academy” and that is was no big concession to withdraw the demands on Horace Engdahl. He has been so vilified in media already and that would seem like sufficient “punishment.”

As I’ve noted before, there are several people with old connections to the sf community who could be potential Academy members! These are Erik Andersson, Steve Sem-Sandberg, Inger Edelfeldt and Anna Gustafsson Chen. Especially Erik (praised translator of James Joyce and himself an author) who in the 1980s was a leading fanzine editor and fandom columnist. Gustafsson Chen is a sinologist who could replace Göran Malmqvist, who at age 94 could be expected to pack his suitcase any day. The other two are authors with long, acclaimed careers. But we’ll see who they pick. (A delicate question is if people they ask want to join.)

The sexual assault trial against Mr JC Arnault — who ignited the whole thing as his past caught up with him — will be held in Stockholm September 19th, 20th and 24th. Expect extensive coverage in international media.

2018 Dragon Awards


The 2018 Dragon Awards were presented September 2 at Dragon Con.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • Artemis by Andy Weir

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt

Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

Best Horror Novel

  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Best Comic Book

  • Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics

Best Graphic Novel

  • Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • Game of Thrones, HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

  • Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

  • Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast

The award presenters included Larry Niven, Steven Barnes, Katherine Kurtz, Eric Flint, Cat Rambo, Laurell K. Hamilton, Paul Jenkins, Emily Goodman, Peter Kalamis, Bill Fawcett, and Michael Capps.

[Thanks to Red Panda Fraction for livetweeting the event, and Cora Buhlert and Mark Hepworth.]

Other Awards Presented at Dragon Con

At last night’s Dragon Con Guest of Honor Banquet the Julie Award and Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award were presented. (Also the Eugie Foster Award, reported last night.)

2018 Julie Award

  • Peter Capaldi

In 1998, Dragon Con established the Julie Award presented annually in tribute to the legendary Julie Schwartz. The Julie Award is bestowed for universal achievement spanning multiple genres, selected each year by our esteemed panel of industry professionals.

The first recipient in 1998 was science fiction and fantasy Grandmaster Ray Bradbury.

As it happens, Fran Wilde captured a shot of Capaldi at the banquet before she was named the Eugie Award winner.

2018 Hank Reinhardt Georgia Fandom Award

  • Robby Hilliard

The Hank Reinhardt Georgia Fandom Award is presented for outstanding contributions to the genre by a Georgia writer, artist, or fan.

[Thanks to Cat Rambo, Fran Wilde, and Matt Kressel for the story.]