SFWA Opens Nebula Voting to Associate Members, Adds Game Writing Award

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has added Game Writing as a Nebula category and given Associate Members the right to vote for the Nebula Awards. These and other revisions to the rules were announced today on the SFWA Blog: “Nebula Awards Rules Changes: Associate Members Granted Voting Privileges, Game Writing Award Added”.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Both Active and Associate Members in good standing may vote in the Nebulas.

Thinking of joining? Here are the requirements to become an associate member.

A candidate shall be eligible for Associate Membership after acceptance and a signed contract or letters of agreement for:

  1. One Paid Sale of a work of fiction (such as a short story) of a minimum of 1,000 words to a SFWA qualifying market. We accept the following payment per word rates: 6c/word from 7/1/2014 – current, 5c/word from 1/1/2004 to 6/30/2014 and 3c/word before 1/1/2004; or
  2. A work of fiction (such as a short story) of a minimum of 1,000 words that has been self-published, indie published, or sold to small press after January 1st, 2013 and paid at 6c/word.  Income verification will be required to process the application.

Works must be in the English language in science fiction, fantasy, horror and related genres.

Associate dues are $90.00 USD annually.

(Note: As of this writing, the SFWA website entry had not been updated to reflect the new voting rights.)

GAME WRITING NEBULA: Game writers became eligible for SFWA membership in 2016 and plans to add a Game Writing category to the Nebula Awards were revealed in 2017. Here are the rules:

Game Writing Nebula

  • This new category is defined as “An interactive or playable story-driven work which conveys narrative, character, or story background.” (Section 5.5)
  • There is no word count requirement (Section 13.1)
  • To be eligible, a game must include at least one credited writer. (Section 6.6)
  • A new version of a game is eligible if substantive changes have been made. (Section 6.6)

OTHER NEBULA RULES CHANGES: SFWA also has clarified existing rules and made some housekeeping changes.

  • Audiobooks and podcasts have always been eligible in the appropriate category based on word count, but now they are explicitly mentioned. (Section 6.1.1)
  • The rule that allowed a novella to appear in the novel category has been removed. (Section 5.4.1)
  • SFWA members may request a paper ballot no later than two weeks before applicable ballot closing. (Section 11; Section 12.6).
  • Nomination numbers will not be released. (Section 11.2)
  • For the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, serial works must be nominated by individual episode. However, if there are no more than three connected episodes, a serial work may be nominated as a whole work. (Section 14.4)
  • Multi-author works will be awarded one trophy. Co-authors and translators will receive certificates. (Section 16.1)

The new rules are available here.

Mortal Engines – Extended Look

Here’s another 90-second preview of Mortal Engines, coming to theaters December 14.

Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London — now a giant, predator city on wheels — from devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.


Scouting Ahead: The Doom Patrol

By Daniel Dern: Catch a non-sneak peek at live-action The Doom Patrol, in DC Universe’s Titans Episode 4!

I’m still working on a more general review of DC’s new ~$7/month online streaming DC Universe — but right now, if you’re a DC fan, you want to know that while the live-action Doom Patrol show won’t start until mid-2019, Episode 4 of DC’s live-action Titans, which started dropping its weekly episodes in early October, includes ten-to-fifteen minutes of Doom Patrol — Cliff Steele aka Robotman, Larry Trainor aka Negative Man, Rita Farr aka Elastigirl, and Gar Logan aka Beast Boy (who, by the end of this episode, leaves the DP to be with the not-yet-a-group Titans), Dick Grayson (Robin), Cory Anders (Starfire), and Rachel Roth (Raven).

Titans itself is pretty grim’n’dark. The Doom Patrol, at least in their guest-starring roles, is much more of a broody-but-fun bunch — think a somewhat more chipper DeadPool. Don’t take my word for it, enjoy these (somewhat overlapping) video clips — the scene of Larry Trainor cooking up a storm — including a Robotman-shaped stack of onion rings — is a hoot.

Raven meets Doom Patrol Members Scene

My Dinner With The Doom Patrol

Origin of Doom Patrol Team

Dick [Grayson = Robin] and Starfire Meet Doom Patrol!

Beast Boy leaves Doom Patrol and joins Titans team

To learn more, see the Flash Season 5 Crossover – Titans Doom Patrol Origin Scene Explained (a few minutes of episode clips, plus backstory, info on this season’s upcoming “ArrowVerse” crossover):

and, via io9.com“The Doom Patrol’s Titans Debut Promises Horrifying Things for Their Upcoming Series”.

Doctor Who’s 770 Reference

By Kirby Bartlett-Sloan: I was watching the recent Doctor Who episode “Arachnids in the UK” for the second time when I noticed the room number the Trump-y character is standing in front of when he meets Team TARDIS, he having just escaped from a room containing a giant spider.

It was Room 770.

Coincidence, or is there an old-time fan on the production team making an obscure reference?

That is either a built set, meaning the room number was chosen when creating it, or it was location shooting – and I can’t imagine they would take the trouble to go to the 7th floor for the scene so again the room number was chosen by the production team.

I’m attaching screenshots and enhancements.

Sci-Fi News and Analysis Roundup 11/3

Compiled by Carl Slaughter:

Star Trek: Deep Space 9

A prosperous future, filled with opportunity and upside burst from The Next Generation as Captain Picard’s Enterprise pushed the boundaries of space and humankind each week. Its follow up, Deep Space Nine, showed audiences a far bleaker part of space, in a setting more accustomed to thievery, infighting, and insurrection than TNG’s spotless bridge.

This angered many fans, but others still would argue that the new tone allowed for more ethically challenging themes.

Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek: Voyager didn’t follow through on the part of its premise that involved a Starfleet ship stranded 75,000 lightyears away from any military, technical, or mechanical support. That’s most evident in the ship’s consistently perfect condition throughout the run of the series.

The ship went through some major, major conflicts with nemeses like the Borg, Species 8472, the Kazon, the Hirogen – the list goes on. But apparently the repair crew (and the industrial replicators needed to produce the necessary materials) were really, really good at their jobs, because Voyager should’ve been a scrap heap.

More items follow the jump.

Continue reading

Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 Launches 11/6

The 25th issue of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine will be available on November 6.

Hugo Award-winning Publishers/Editors-in-Chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are proud to present the 25th issue of their 2016, 2017, and 2018 Hugo Award-winning online science fiction and fantasy magazine. As always, it features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture, along with a Parsec Award-winning monthly podcast featuring a story, poem, and interview from that issue. Stories from Uncanny Magazine have been finalists or winners of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards.

All of Uncanny Magazine’s content will be available in eBook versions on the day of release from Weightless Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Subscriptions are always available through Amazon Kindle and Weightless Books. The free online content will be released in 2 stages, half on day of release and half on December 4.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 Table of Contents


  • John Picacio-  La Valiente  


  • The Uncanny Valley (11/6)


  • Isabel Yap- “How to Swallow the Moon” (11/6)
  • T. Kingfisher- “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society” (11/6)
  • Naomi Kritzer- “The Thing About Ghost Stories” (12/4)
  • Monica Valentinelli- “My Name is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful” (12/4)
  • Cassandra Khaw- “Monologue by an unnamed mage, recorded at the brink of the end” (12/4)


  • Sofia Samatar- “An Account of the Land of Witches” (11/6)


  • Diana M. Pho- “ConCrit in Comments Only: What Writing Fanfiction Taught Me as an Editor” (11/6)
  • Steven H Silver- “Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Primer” (11/6)
  • Sarah Goslee- “There and Back Again” (12/4)
  • Nilah Magruder- “Through a Painted Door: An Ode to Children’s Science Fiction/Fantasy Art” (12/4)


  • Beth Cato- “smile” (11/6)
  • Hal Y. Zhang- “cardioid” (11/6)
  • Leah Bobet- “Osiris” (12/4)
  • Sharon Hsu- “Translatio” (12/4)


  • Caroline M. Yoachim Interviews Isabel Yap (11/6)
  • Caroline M. Yoachim Interviews Monica Valentinelli (12/4)

Podcast 25A (11/6)

  • T.Kingfisher- “The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society,” as read by Erika Ensign
  • Hal Y. Zhang- “cardioid,” as read by Stephanie Malia Morris
  • Lynne M. Thomas Interviews T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)

Podcast 25B (12/4)

  • Naomi Kritzer- “The Thing About Ghost Stories,”  as read by Stephanie Malia Morris
  • Leah Bobet- “Osiris,” as read by Erika Ensign
  • Lynne M. Thomas Interviews Naomi Kritzer

Historic Science Fantasy Recreated on Radio

By Jonathan Cowie: One of the most prominent screen writers of mid-20th century British SF was Nigel Kneale.

He is famous for the Quatermass TV series as well as controversial (among the establishment) TV adaptation of Orwell’s 1984.

To mark Halloween, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb has just re-adapted a found script for the lost television play The Road (1963).  This new adaptation has just been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as an audio play.

The Road is a science fantasy in which an 18th century scientist comes to a remote English village whose surrounding woods are apparently haunted. He and a small group set out into the trees to investigate…

Without giving you a spoiler, it has to be said that The Road deviates from where you think it is going with a very neat twist towards the story’s end. This turn makes the story more a science fantasy (than a fantasy horror).

The Road was only ever broadcast on television once but has stuck in the minds of many of those that saw that screening. This radio play adaptation is based on the original script and is therefore something of SF heritage value.

The radio play can be heard on BBC i-Player for the next three and a bit weeks: The Road.

Frankenstein on a Big Screen with Big Music

By Martin Morse Wooster: I was at the American Film Institute on Friday night to see the 1931 Frankenstein. The added value this time was a score by Michael Shapiro. Frankenstein doesn’t have a score except for the main title and one musical stretch) so Shapiro created one, which I learned from Shapiro’s website was first performed in 2002, and comes in versions for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, or wind ensemble.  The version I heard was the wind ensemble one, and the wind ensemble was the U.S. Navy Band.

The American Film Institute does a brisk trade in showing silent films with live accompaniments, but in these cases musicians are adding sound to films that don’t have any noise. Frankenstein has a reasonable amount of dialogue for a film and Shapiro’s score often drowns out what happens on the screen.  I don’t think Shapiro’s work adds to Frankenstein, and it occasionally subtracts from what is happening on screen.  I’m glad I heard it, and of course the Navy Band was competent, but I don’t need to hear Shapiro’s score again.

That being said, I’m very glad I saw Frankenstein on a large screen.  Given that I’ve seen the stage version of Young Frankenstein, which is a copy of a copy, it’s good to see the original again. Frankenstein has its problems.  At 71 minutes, it’s too short, and there are some scenes that are now clichés.  (Note to assistants of Frankenstein:  stealing the jar that says “Abnormal Brain” is a really bad idea.)  I also liked Frankenstein’s explanation that he has harnessed something even more powerful than the ultraviolet ray and “the violet ray.”

That being said, Frankenstein is a great film.  Colin Clive is excellent as Frankenstein, and gives a performance of controlled menace.  James Whale was an excellent director; you can argue whether this film or Bride of Frankenstein was better, but Frankenstein is in the first tier.  Whale picked Boris Karloff and was right to do so.  I thought the most powerful scene was when the monster kills a little girl because, well, he’s evil.  That scene was scarier than a lot of gorefests I’ve seen.

Michael Shapiro may have written a superfluous score, but I’m glad the American Film Institute reminded me of Frankenstein‘s excellence.

U.S. Navy Band rehearses Frankenstein score.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Trailer 2

The next How To Train Your Dragon movie arrives in theaters February 22.

There’s also a whole How To Train Your Dragon website at the link.

From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives. Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.


Cixin Liu and John Scalzi at Clarke Center 11/12

The Arthur C, Clarke Center for Human Imagination will host an “Evening with Cixin Liu and John Scalzi” at UC San Diego on November 12.

They will discuss their work and the power of speculative worldbuilding, and sign books following the event.

Cixin Liu, or Da Liu, as he is affectionately called by his fans, is the most prolific and popular science fiction writer in the People’s Republic of China. Liu is an eight-time winner of the Galaxy Award (the Chinese national award) and a winner of the Nebula Hugo Award. Translated in English by Ken Liu, The Three-Body Problem achieved major acclaim, including recognition by former president Barack Obama. Prior to becoming a writer, Liu worked as an engineer in a power plant in Yangquan, Shanxi.

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel for Redshirts, and his debut novel Old Man’s War was a finalist for Hugo Award. His other books include The Ghost Brigades, The Android’s Dream, The Last Colony, The Human Division and Lock In. He has won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for science fiction, the Seiun, The Kurd Lasswitz and the Geffen awards. Material from his widely read blog Whatever has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. His latest book is The Consuming Fire.

November 12, 2018
Telemedicine Auditorium, UC San Diego
Tickets: $12 via Eventbrite
Tickets are required
Books will be for sale courtesy of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
A signing will follow

Update 10/25/2018: Corrected press release from Nebula (which Cixin Liu has never won) to read Hugo (which he has.)