Pixel Scroll 10/21/18 These Pixel Scrolls May Contain Apocalyptic Stories About The End Of Days

(1) CONGRATULATIONS MAYOR RODEN. World Fantasy Award winner Barbara Roden (1997, 2005) is the newly-elected mayor of Ashcroft, British Columbia – the first woman elected to the office. The population of Ashcroft is around 1,500.

(2) AWARD FOR SJW CREDENTIALS IN LITERATURE. The Stephen Memorial Book Award for books with distinctive cats is a literary award that will be of interest to many Filers.

The 2018 winner is a memoir:

The Three Kitties That Saved My Life by Michael Meyer

Cat: Sable, Coco and Pom Pom
Story: The Three Kitties that saved my life.

A biography of troubles and the rescued cats (& Kitty) that pulled him through it. Touching, raw and heart-warming.

The three runners up are all SFF books and are listed here:

Cat: Dascha
Story: Familiar Trials by Taki Drake and T S Paul

Learning to be a familiar is something Dascha was not expecting, but when she does begin, she shows bravery both in and out of the classroom, while learning what it means to be a familiar.

Awarded to Dascha, for bravery and determination in the face of dangerous trials. Stephen Memorial Award 2018

Cat: Purrcasso
Story: The Creatures of Chichester by Christopher Joyce

The cat from the art galley. Wrangling both teenagers and ghosts that came to the Sloe Festival in Chichester. Despite floods and fears, standing firm and proud as only a cat can.

Awarded to Purrcasso, for his assistance in the saving of several ghosts Stephen Memorial Award 2018

Cat: Sir Kipling
Story: Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Cat Magic by Lydia Sherrer

A magical cat who can talk to his wizard. While she is away, he decides that he should, of course, be keeping an eye on anything magical. Of course, when someone evil does try something, Sir Kipling is on hand to ensure that such plans go awry.

Awarded to Sir Kipling, for showing that it takes a good feline to be in charge. Stephen Memorial Award 2018

The award also has a charitable component – this year they partnered with CatChat.org, the cat rehoming charity, and donated £1 for each book entered. Bookangel reports the award raised enough to rehome twenty cats.

(3) KGB READINGS. Ellen Datlow posted her photos from the October Fantastic Fiction at KGB readings where the guests were Tim Pratt and Lawrence M. Schoen.

Lawrence Schoen and Tim Pratt

(4) GAME OF THROWNS. Channel your inner orc at “LA’s premiere ax-throwing facility” — LA AX.

Axe Throwing is a unique and exciting activity that was brought into existence just over a decade ago in the backwoods of Ontario, Canada. Since then, it has exploded into a sport that is making waves on the international stage. Yes, you read that correctly, Axe Throwing is an international sport! How does one become a professional Axe Thrower? Well there are few ways to break into this sport!  Whether you just want to be a casual thrower, a serious professional, or you have a group of friends looking for a fun night out; our LA AX coaches will give you the knowledge you need to become a professional in your own right!

(5) HONEST TRAILERS: SOLO. “The coolest new Star Wars character is… Never mind.” Got that right!

(6) IN THE VACUUM OF THEATER SPACE. According to Looper, First Man failed to gain an audience.

By all accounts, First Man is an excellent film, filled with great performances from stars like Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. So why isn’t anyone going to see it? Here’s a look at why First Man has bombed at the box office so far…

 

(7) WHAT IF? The Hugo Award Book Club launches its review of Mary Robinett Kowal’s The Calculating Stars with this wee bit of snark —

While we quite enjoyed Seveneves, many readers described it as a bit dry.

A comparison between the two books is apt. Seveneves and The Calculating Stars are books that explore many similar ideas, but they do so in very different ways that will appeal to different people.

(8) WTF? Umm….

(9) FORWARDING ADDRESS. James Davis Nicoll explores “(Semi-)Plausible Strategies for Moving a Whole Damn Planet” at Tor.com. It’s a lot easier if you have the help of supremely intelligent aliens.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re living on a perfectly good planet in orbit around a perfectly acceptable star—and then suddenly, the neighbourhood goes to crap and you have to move. For a lot of people, this means marching onto space arks.

Recapitulating Noah on a cosmic scale is such a pain, though. All that packing. All that choosing who to take and who to leave behind. And no matter how carefully you plan things, it always seems to come down to a race between launch day and doomsday.

Why not, therefore, just take the whole darned planet with you?

(10) BRADBURYIANA. On display at the Ray Bradbury Center in Indianapolis —

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born October 21, 1904 – Edmond Hamilton, Writer and Member of First Fandom who was one of Weird Tales’ most prolific early contributors, providing nearly 80 stories from the late 20s to the late 40s. Sources say that in the late 1920s and early 1930s he had stories in all of the SF pulp magazines then in publication. His 1933 story “The Island of Unreason” won the first Jules Verne Prize as the best SF story of the year; this was the very first SF prize awarded by the votes of fans, and one source holds it to be a precursor of the Hugo Awards. From 1940 to 1951, he wrote at least 25 Captain Future stories (a universe recently revisited by Allen Steele). From the early 40s to the late 60s, he did work for DC, in stories about Superman and Batman, and he created the Space Ranger character with Gardner Fox and Bob Brown. He was Guest of Honor at several conventions, including the 1964 Worldcon. He was married to fellow science fiction author, screenwriter, and fan Leigh Brackett for more than 30 years, until his death at age 72.
  • Born October 21, 1929 – Ursula K. Le Guin, Writer, Editor, Poet, and Translator. She called herself a “Narrative American”. And she most emphatically did not consider herself to be a genre writer – instead preferring to be known as an “American novelist”. Oh, she wrote genre fiction with quite some brillance, be it it the Earthsea sequence, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, or Always Coming Home; her upbringing as the daughter of two academics, one who was an anthropologist and the other who had a graduate degree in psychology, with a home library full of SF, showed in her writing. She wrote reviews and forewards for others’ books, gave academic talks, and did translations as well. Without counting reader’s choice awards, her works received more than 100 nominations for pretty much every genre award in existence, winning most of them at least once; she is one of a very small group of people who have won both Hugo and Nebula Awards in all four fiction length categories. She was Guest of Honor at several conventions, including the 1975 Worldcon; was the second of only six women to be named SFWA Grand Master thus far; was given a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement; and was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In later years, she took up internet blogging with great delight, writing essays and poems, and posting pictures and stories of her cat Pard; these were compiled into a non-fiction collection, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, which won a posthumous Hugo for Best Related Work.

  • Born October 21, 1952 – Don Davis, 66, Artist and Illustrator known for his portrayals of space-related subjects. In addition to providing covers for several SFF magazines in the 70s, he worked for the U. S. Geological Survey’s branch of Astrogeologic Studies during the Apollo Lunar expeditions, and has since painted many images for NASA and provided texture maps for JPL’s Voyager computer simulations. He was part of the team of space artists who provided the visual effects for Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos – for which he received an Emmy – and he painted the cover of Sagan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Dragons of Eden, as well as contributing artwork to Sagan’s Comet and Pale Blue Dot. He received the Klumpke-Roberts Award for outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. The asteroid 13330 Dondavis is named after him, and in 2000 he was elected a Fellow in the International Association of Astronomical Artists.
  • Born October 21, 1956 – Carrie Fisher, Saturn-winning Actor, Writer, and Comedian who is best known to genre fans for playing Leia Organa in the Hugo- and Saturn-winning Star Wars films, a role she started at the age of 19. With her quick mind and sharp wit, she was well-known in Hollywood as the go-to script doctor for films with scripts in trouble. She became an outspoken advocate for the de-stigmatization of mental illness, having struggled her entire adult life with bipolar disorder and the substance abuse it engendered. One of her autobiographies, The Princess Diarist, was a finalist for a Best Related Work Hugo, and she won a Grammy for her audiobook narration of it. She died suddenly and far too soon in December 2016 at the age of 60.
  • Born October 21, 1958 – Julie Bell, 60, Artist and Illustrator who has provided covers for more than 100 science fiction and fantasy books, as well as covers for videogames and Marvel and DC trading cards. She sometimes collaborates on art with her husband, Boris Vallejo; they have done many paintings for worldwide advertising campaigns, and together they put out a Fantasy Art Calendar every year. She has been nominated for the Chesley Award four times, winning three of them. She is also (I did not know this!) the mother, with first husband SF scholar Donald Palumbo, of SFF artists David Palumbo and Anthony Palumbo.
  • Born October 21, 1967 – Jean Pierre Targete, 51, Artist and Illustrator whose early work was cover art for many Avon paperback editions, including Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, the Second Foundation Trilogy, and Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat stories. More recently, he has produced a lot of artwork for RPG books and materials, including for publishers Wizards of the Coast and Paizo. His works have garnered ten Chesley Award nominations, winning once. Some of his work has been collected in the book Illumina: The Art of J. P. Targete.
  • Born October 21, 1971 – Hal Duncan, 47, Computer Programmer and Writer from Scotland whose first novel, Vellum: The Book of All Hours, won a Spectrum Award and received nominations for World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Kurd Laßwitz, Prix Imaginaire, and Locus Best First Novel Awards, as well as winning a Tahtivaeltaja Award for best science fiction novel published in Finnish. His collection Scruffians! and his non-fiction work Rhapsody: Notes on Strange Fictions were also both finalists for British Fantasy Awards. An outspoken advocate and blogger for LGBTQ rights, he was a contributor to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project.
  • Born October 21, 1974 – Christopher J Garcia, 44, Writer, Editor, Filmmaker, Historian, Conrunner, and Fan who was the TAFF delegate to the UK Natcon in 2008. He has been editor and co-editor of several fanzines, and has been a finalist for the Fanzine and Fan Writer Hugos several times, including for The Drink Tank with James Bacon, which won a Hugo in 2011; his shall-we-say-effusive acceptance speech was nominated for Dramatic Presentatation Short Form Hugo the following year. He is a past president of the National Fantasy Fan Federation, and is known for running the fan lounges at cons. He has been Fan Guest of Honor at several conventions, including a Westercon.

(12) REASON TO READ. The Chicago Tribune advises, “Worried about the international panel report on global warming? Go read Octavia Butler’s ‘Earthseed’ books”.

…“Parable of the Sower,” published in 1993 when it was still possible to heed its warning, tells the story of a world collapsed due to climate change, economic inequality and unchecked corporate power. Resources are scarce, and only gated communities are safe.

Set near what used to be Los Angeles, the novel focuses on teenager Lauren Oya Olamina, who has “hyperempathy,” both a gift and an affliction that allows her to feel the pain she witnesses others experiencing. Spurred by her worldview, Lauren develops a new belief system called “Earthseed,” which posits that humans’ time on Earth is a kind of childhood and that they will emerge as adults once they travel to other planets.

It is a story of two diasporas, first as Lauren and other refugees are forced out of Los Angeles, and then as they look toward finding an extraterrestrial home.

(13) LOOK ALIVE. Rolling Stone asks just how far AR startup Magic Leap has gotten toward crossing the Uncanny Valley (“Is This Creepy New AI Assistant Too Lifelike?”).

Some people already talk to Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa like she’s a real person, setting her up for jokes, and having conversations that go way beyond the basic commands like “Alexa, play ‘Hurt’ by Nine Inch Nails.” And that’s how people are treating a disembodied voice. But what if you could see her — and what if she looked disturbingly human?

Magic Leap, an augmented-reality startup, introduced the next evolution of the virtual assistant at their conference earlier this month. Mica performs many of the same functions as Alexa or Apple’s Siri, but when users wear Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses, they can also see her incredibly life-like avatar. Mica smiles, makes eye contact and even yawns, making the interactions even more convincing. “Our focus was to see how far we could push systems to create digital human representations,” John Monos, Magic Leap’s vice president of human-centered AI, said at the conference. “Above all else, her facial movements are what connect you to her.”

(14) PAUL ALLEN AT THE BEGINNING AND THE END. In the Washington Post, Christian Davenport has an article about the Stratolaunch, a gigantic airplane funded by Paul Allen — “Paul Allen spent years building the world’s biggest airplane. He’ll never see it fly.”.  This passage explains why Allen was one of us:

Allen grew up knowing all the names of the Mercury 7 astronauts as if they were his favorite baseball players, he wrote in his memoir, “Idea Man.” And like many kids of his generation, he grew up wanting to become an astronaut. But then in the sixth grade he couldn’t see the blackboard at school, he told me in his office, and he knew that meant “my dreams of being an astronaut were over.”

His father was the associate director of the University of Washington Library, a second home of sorts for Allen. “My Dad was just letting me loose in the stacks,” he recalled. “I loved it.”

He devoured not just science fiction, but books about Wernher von Braun, the German-born architect of NASA’s might Saturn V rocket, which sent men to the moon. Once, Allen tried to build a homemade rocket of his own using the arm of an aluminum chair packed with powdered zinc and sulfur and firing it from a coffee pot. It didn’t work.

(15) FOUND AGAIN. There were huge losses in the museum fire, but at least the oldest human fossil found in Latin America was mostly recovered — “Brazil museum fire: Prized ‘Luzia’ fossil skull recovered”.

Most of the skull from a prized 12,000-year-old fossil nicknamed Luzia has been recovered from the wreckage of a fire in Brazil’s National Museum.

The 200-year-old building in Rio de Janeiro burned down in September, destroying almost all of its artefacts.

But on Friday the museum’s director announced that 80% of Luzia’s skull fragments had been identified.

The human remains – the oldest ever found in Latin America – were viewed as the jewel of the museum’s collection.

The museum staff said they were confident they could recover the rest of Luzia’s skull and attempt reassembly.

(16) A CAUTIONARY TALE. With many overseas fans contemplating a trip to Dublin for the 2019 Worldcon, this report from Forbes (“How To Handle Getting Ripped Off On Auto Insurance When Traveling Overseas”) could be of interest. Such a situation can happen anywhere, but this particular situation—where a Hertz clerk insisted wrongly on bundling an overpriced insurance product as a condition of renting a car—happened to be in Dublin.

[Rick] Kahler: As soon as we got back to the U.S., I filed a dispute with my credit card company on both the initial $424 car rental cost and the $584 insurance charge. My grounds were that Hertz violated their contract, which only required me to accept full financial responsibility or to have verified that I had insurance that would cover a loss. They violated the contact by demanding that I prove having coverage in excess of the value of the car and by refusing to accept that proof when I produced it. I eventually got my money back after I complained. But that doesn’t make up for the time and stress they caused me.

(17) ANOTHER SWORD FINDER. Unlike the girl Saga, this one is fictional…. The Kid Who Would Be King is coming to theaters January 25, 2019.

Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.

 

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Cora Buhlert, JJ, Cat Eldridge, ULTRAGOTHA, Chip Hitchcock, Steven H Silver, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

53 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/21/18 These Pixel Scrolls May Contain Apocalyptic Stories About The End Of Days

  1. Facebook meme: “If you were alone in a room with Mitch McConnell for 5 minutes, what would you say to him?”

    Response from Mike Resnick: “I would thank him for his efforts on my behalf.”

    (Yes, it’s the right one. I checked.)

  2. Looper is full of it. FIRST MAN will be a best picture nominee and Ryan Gosling will be a best actor nominee with Claire Foy possibly best supporting actress. The film is also a lock for sound awards.

  3. Martin Wooster on October 21, 2018 at 9:23 pm said:
    Looper is full of it. FIRST MAN will be a best picture nominee and Ryan Gosling will be a best actor nominee with Claire Foy possibly best supporting actress. The film is also a lock for sound awards.

    Agreed. That movie’s sound editing was on fleek.

  4. (11) more natal days
    Brock Yates (1933 – 2016) has a single ISFDB credit — an article about a robotic race car driver in Amazing Stories in late 1961, reprinted from Car & Driver earlier in the year. He was a long time automotive journalist, and an editor at Car & Driver for ~30 years from 1966 until he was struck by Alzheimers. But the coolest thing about him is that he devised the Cannonball Run, an outlaw race from coast to coast, and won the first one. He wrote the screenplay for the movie based on it, after having written Smokey & the Bandit II.
    Martin Gardner (1914 – 2010) wrote his first published work in Feb 1930 (a magic trick in Sphinx), and kept at it for another 80 years, with items in press at his death in May 2010. He wrote a few short genre stories for Esquire in the late 1940s, some of which were reprinted in F&SF soon after. He had a long-running SF puzzle column in Asimov’s, was an expert on Oz and Lewis Carroll. It was often said that his 25 year recreational mathematics column in Scientific American “made mathematicians out of children, and made children out of mathematicians”. His Annotated Alice is a classic of the form, and has gone through multiple editions since its initial publication in 1960 (my 10th grade German teacher taught us the German version of “Jabberwocky” from the book). His favorite activity and writing subject, though, was magic (the sleight of hand kind). His first book was a compilation of tricks with matches, written while he was still in college. The biannual “Gathering for Gardner” in Atlanta brings together mathematicians, magicians, puzzle enthusiasts, Carrollians, and other like-minded folks to celebrate his interests, in his name.

  5. (2) I may have to read those stories.

    (8) I don’t see what your issue us. Disabled alligators need help, too. You want to prevent alligators from living, happy, fulfilled lives or something?

  6. (11) [Ursula Le Guin] is one of a very small group of people who have won both Hugo and Nebula Awards in all four fiction length categories.

    This isn’t quite true; she got seven of them, but never managed a Best Novella Nebula.

    (Connie Willis is the only person to get all eight to date.)

  7. 8) “Well,” the farmer said. “A gator like that, you don’t want to eat all at once.”

  8. (7) I don’t remember whether Seveneyes made it above No Award on my Hugo ballot, but if it did, it was only just barely. It was full of infodumps and I pretty much didn’t care for any of the characters after the Earth’s surface became uninhabitable, including after the fast forward. The whips were cool though, and if they work the way Stephenson described them, I wonder if they could be used to drop stuff out of orbit.

    (9) I hope they bring the moon too. I think we’d miss it terribly if it were left behind.

    I’m up too late, and I just happened to noticed that Todd McAulty’s The Robots of Gotham is on sale again for $2.99. I just finished reading it from the library, and liked it enough that I think I’ll have to buy it. I’m sure hoping for a sequel, though.

  9. 8)

    This oddly puts me in mind of a story I read, oh, way back in the mists of time. I don’t remember the author or the story name, it was an ancient anthology of what I think were horror stories. I had found this book in my HS library. Anyway, the premise of this story was about a scientist who decided to improve crocodile circulatory systems by surgery.

    In defiance of all laws of biology (I do think that this story was probably from the 1920’s or 1930’s), this turned the crocodiles into dragons, who then proceeded to start terrorizing all and sundry. Oops.

  10. Paul Weimer, I vaguely remember that story. Or at least the premise. But I, too, have no idea as to author or title. I agree it had a 1930s flavor, or perhaps 1940s.

  11. @Paul Weimer
    …and got it. “The Day of the Dragon” by Guy Endor (1934). I would have read it in “Alfred Hitchcock’s Monster Museum”, which also had a John the Balladeer story and Dunsany’s “The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles”.

    Story text here (thin stuff, though Endor seems to have been an interesting person according to his Wikipedia bio):
    http://www.scribbleandshutter.com/2007/writing/daybeaver/daydragon01.htm

    And this is the ISFDB entry for the anthology:
    http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?1939

    @Mark
    I think the Bastables are more likely a reference to Edith Nesbit – the Bastable family are the protagonists of “The Story of the Treasure Seekers” and a couple of sequels.

  12. @7: the Kowals are not easy reading — they are quite frank about overt and covert racism and sexism — to an extent that I think describing them as ~”Heinlein a little more woke” is underestimating them. But that’s a cute opening line.

    @14: I’ve read too many Post stories this month, so this one’s behind a paywall; do they go on to define “didn’t work”? ISTM that the usual consequence of that sort of experiment is a serious-to-fatal explosion, in which case “not working” may have been the best result.

    @Martin Wooster: how does your opinion vary from Looper’s? The Oscars frequently go to pictures that hold visibly lofty aims rather than stomping box-office competitors; the latter is what Looper analyzes. (I haven’t seen it yet, and am not sure I will after reading that it bogusly inflates Teh Feels.)

  13. I did see First Man last week and liked it quite a bit — it’s as close as I’ll ever get to being in the cockpit of an X-15, or inside a Gemini or Apollo capsule — but I can kind of see why it might underperform at the box office. It’s much more of an Armstrong biopic than I had expected going in — the actual lunar mission is only the last 30-40 minutes of a 2:20 film — and less of a feel-good story than, say, Apollo 13.

    FWIW, I only had a very casual knowledge of Armstrong’s life, so a lot of what was in the movie (losing his daughter; the Gemini docking incident) was new to me.

    EDITED TO ADD: And on an unrelated note, that “Day of the Dragon” story almost sounds like a proto-Jurassic Park scenario.

  14. Chip Hitchcock on October 22, 2018 at 6:04 am said:
    @7: the Kowals are not easy reading — they are quite frank about overt and covert racism and sexism — to an extent that I think describing them as ~”Heinlein a little more woke” is underestimating them. But that’s a cute opening line.

    I don’t think on a fundamental level, we disagree about the book at all.

    Just because something’s easy to read doesn’t mean it can’t also have depth. Kowal does tackle these issues well, but at the same time her prose is accessible and easy to read. It has substance.

    Calling them ‘Heinlein, but a little more woke,’ isn’t meant as underestimating them. To me, that’s high praise. The clarity of Heinlein’s prose, the enjoyable Heinleinian protagonists … and it’s more in-line with modern progressive values? That’s a book worth celebrating.

  15. @Iphinome
    8) “Well,” the farmer said. “A gator like that, you don’t want to eat all at once.”

    “Well,” the filer said. “A pixel like that, you don’t ant to scroll all at once.”

    @Chip Hitchcock
    @14: I’ve read too many Post stories this month, so this one’s behind a paywall;
    If you use Chrome, try opening it in an “incognito window” (right click on the link, and that choice should be available). This setting starts from a cookie count = 0, so it won’t know you’ve already used up your limit.
    Likewise, if MS Edge/Explorer “inprivate window”.
    Likewise, if Brave “private tab”.
    Firefox has a similar setting, but I don’t remember what it is, and don’t have it installed on this machine.
    You can also try opening it from a different device if available (phone, tablet, work computer).
    The Washington Post’s story limit is frustrating, but resets every month at least, and is moderately easy to get around. The one that bugs me is the Wall Street Journal, which initially sets all stories behind a paywall, but allows access depending on the origin of the link (sometimes, for example, stories linked in Twitter are accessible.)

  16. #7 I laughed. I had to give up on SevenEves when I realized I had just read 3 paragraphs that amounted to “astronaut cut his forehead”.

  17. Note of possible general interest as we gradually move into Hugo-prep-reading season:

    There are several Hugo-related lists on Goodreads, which many of you may already know. I’ve started maintaining the novel and novella lists, and even got an early start on lists for the 2020 voting season.

    IMHO, voting on and adding to these lists can help increase Hugo visibility and, possibly, voting. It’s good to let less-involved readers know what’s available and what’s getting buzz. On the intro to the lists I’ve also included links to Hugo registration for any JQ Public who might be interested.

    I’d love to see participation on the lists by 770 regulars. Votes, additions, corrections, whatever. I’m also thinking of starting a list for eligible series, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet!

    Hugo 2019 Eligible Novels
    Hugo 2019 Eligible Novellas
    Hugo 2019 Eligible Graphic Novels
    Worldcon 2019 Eligible YA Novels (Lodestar)

    Hugo 2020 Eligible Novels
    Hugo 2020 Eligible Novellas

  18. (4) Maybe I’m being too twitchy, but the logo is designed such that the right-hand column resembles the “othala” rune, which is one of several symbols used by Neo-Nazi groups. (There are, of course, many uses of runes that are not associated with Neo-Nazi groups. Which is why I note that I may be bein too twitchy about it.)

  19. Great, Mark! The more, the merrier!

    Also, it seems to me that there’s a special need for novella suggestions. This is a bit trickier, since the vellas that are pubbed in mags may not have their own pages at Goodreads — but if folks will add such suggestions to the comments area at the bottom of the vella list, I’ll see what I can do about creating pages for them.

    Also, I do not want to take anything at all away from JJ’s outstanding efforts on keeping Hugo-related pages here on 770. Those pages are a great resource, and I’m very grateful for them. The Goodreads listopia lists are just a different format, and are likely to catch a different audience. I think both 770 and GR can be very helpful, just in slightly different ways!

  20. Heather Rose Jones: the logo is designed such that the right-hand column resembles the “othala” rune,

    If you find any neo-Nazi references on their site let me know. I never heard of the othala rune before, and when I looked it up online all the examples had a closed square or diamond as the upper part of the rune. The LA AX logo does not have a closed square/diamond

  21. Contrarius: There are several Hugo-related lists on Goodreads… I’ve started maintaining the novel and novella lists

    I think this is a good resource for people who don’t visit File 770. Do you have the ability to edit other peoples’ additions to the lists? (I very deliberately don’t have a GoodReads account, for reasons.)

    The Novel list has two versions of Head On, Spinning Silver, The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky, Space Opera, and Record of a Spaceborn Few.

    In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard is in both the Novel and Novella lists, but according to Mark-kitteh it’s a 48,151-word novel, so outside the Hugo +/- 20% threshold for novella.

    “The Only Harmless Great Thing” is a novelette, not a novella. At 16,825 words, it’s within the lower threshold for novella, but for the people who want to nominate it, it would likely stand a better chance in novelette.

  22. Yes, the othal rune is one of the most common runes to be used by nazis in Sweden. It is used as a symbol for “homeland” or more nazi-like “vaterland”. Agree that it always has a closed square as upper part, but I did react too.

  23. @JJ

    GR has this frustrating mechanic of treating different editions of books (paperback, hardback, ebook, etc) as being able to be added to shelves as separate items, so I’d guess lists have the same problem. It’s really annoying when I try to keep my GR shelves organised

  24. @JJ — I do have magic librarian powers! I’m away from the puter — about to see the Cumberbatch/Miller Frankenstein! — but I’ll check those things out when I get home. Thanks!

  25. Hampus Eckerman: Ax-throwing in America has taken a long time to recover from this tomahawk demonstration on The Tonight Show

  26. Recently read: William Ledbetter’s “What I Am” in the most recent Asimov’s. A short story that made me smile. I needed that.

  27. @Heather Rose Jones
    (4) Maybe I’m being too twitchy, but the logo is designed such that the right-hand column resembles the “othala” rune, which is one of several symbols used by Neo-Nazi groups.
    Neither their customer base nor their staff give the impression that the business is worried about white supremacy. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, and deserve not to have speculation that they are tied to neo-nazis because of some geometric coincidences. (besides, the logo is shaped more like a lava lamp than the rune — should we be concerned that they are stoners?)

  28. “The Only Harmless Great Thing” is a novelette, not a novella. At 16,825 words, it’s within the lower threshold for novella, but for the people who want to nominate it, it would likely stand a better chance in novelette.

    Yep, although Tor Publishing marketed it as a novella. This is the third story they’ve done that with:

    The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor Publishing; 2018) 16,825 words

    The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde (Tor Publishing; 2016) 16,850 words

    Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Publishing; 2016) 17,200 words

    Although they never fall under the 14,000 “grace point” for novellas; they’ve never marketed anything as a novella that was ineligible for the Best Novella Hugo Award.

    They blow through the upper limit a good bit more often:

    The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang (Tor Publishing; 2017) 40,011 words

    Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear (Tor Publishing; 2018) 40,540 words

    Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson (Tor Publishing; 2016) 41,601 words

    The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor Publishing; 2015) 45,100 words

    Taste of Wrath by Matt Wallace (Tor Publishing; 2018) 45,820 words

    Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor Publishing; 2018) 47,885 words

    But, again, they’ve never exceeded the new 48,000-word grace point, so, out of the 81 Tor “novellas” I’ve reviewed so far, only these 9 were not technically novellas, but all were eligible as novellas. For the Hugo, that is, but not the Nebula, which has no tolerance on length.

  29. @ Cora. I disagree that it’s unfortunate. If we all start avoiding any symbol that vaguely looks like something the alt-right uses, we are limiting our own freedom of expression. Especially as the alt-right can and will keep adding new symbols. To me a better reaction would be to use those symbols aggressively for other things preventing them becoming solely alt-right things.

  30. @JJ —

    Okay, I’m home. Cumberbatch was brilliant! I thought Jonny Lee overacted — and he sounds like he had laryngitis! — but I’m looking forward to seeing the version with him as the monster, which will be broadcast next week!

    Now, back to your comments about the Hugo list —

    The Novel list has two versions of Head On, Spinning Silver, The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky, Space Opera, and Record of a Spaceborn Few.

    I can’t replicate your finding here. None of these are showing up as duplicated for me. I even tried with two different browsers, once signed into my account and once not signed in.

    Did you follow my link to the list, or did you get there some other way? I’m concerned if this is going to be a widely experienced problem, but I’m hoping this was just a one-off for some reason.

    In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard is in both the Novel and Novella lists, but according to Mark-kitteh it’s a 48,151-word novel, so outside the Hugo +/- 20% threshold for novella.

    Fixed. Thanks!

    The Only Harmless Great Thing” is a novelette, not a novella. At 16,825 words, it’s within the lower threshold for novella, but for the people who want to nominate it, it would likely stand a better chance in novelette.

    Fixed. Thanks!

    Thanks again for taking a look and commenting on what you noticed. Any and all additions and/or corrections welcomed!

  31. @Hampus: “Size doesn’t matter.” I’m part of a throwing group; the example in @4 looks a bit heavier than most of our typical equipment. (The most common version is a Norse Hawk, which really is a tomahawk or hatchet rather than something that could cut down a tree.) If that’s actually a double-bitted hewing axe — occasionally somebody throws something like that, but only for show.

    @OGH: Well, that was certainly something; it will be forwarded appropriately. (I found out recently that nobody else in the group knew who Jack Paar was; I suspect they’ve heard of Carson, but not seen him.)

  32. Contrarius: I can’t replicate your finding here. None of these are showing up as duplicated for me. I even tried with two different browsers, once signed into my account and once not signed in.

    The duplicates are gone now — and I know that they were there, because I double-checked to be sure, and <ctrl>-F in my browser was showing 2 results for “head on”, “spinning”, “space opera”, “fated”, and “calculating”. Is anyone else able to edit the list? Or perhaps it was a glitch in GoodReads’ page display code.

    Whatever it was, it seems to be resolved now.

  33. @JJ —

    The duplicates are gone now

    Great.

    As I understand it, anyone can remove a book that they themselves originally added to the list (as opposed to voting for a book that’s already there), at least as long as there are no other votes for it. So it’s likely that someone got over-enthusiastic and added several books, then went back and figured out that they had added duplicates and removed them.

    Thanks again. The more eyes, the better!

  34. Zimmer Land“, from Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s collection Black Friday, was just posted over at BookRiot. Definitely worth a read.

    Given the current state of politics and culture in the USA this type of entertainment feels sort of…inevitable. I am reminded of the “mass slaughter of foreign invaders” genre video games where the “bad guy” graphics could be swapped out to be e.g. “Middle-Eastern”, “Asian”, “African” or the like. Those games were quite popular in arcades here in Michigan back in the early 1990s.

  35. @sophie Jane.

    Omigosh…that’s it! Thank you!

    Looking at the ISFDB…I didn’t read it in the Hitchcock anthology but rather Tales of Terror!

  36. @Hampus: those are interesting specs. Aside from looking like conversions of English measurements (because the metric figures are all odd numbers while the English are round), the description seems a little lightweight and wide-faced for a double-bitted felling axe. (This is a guess; I don’t have a chopper to measure, but my throwers are 18″ long and weigh 1 1/4 pounds.) You’re also using a bigger target and longer distance (we start at 10′ for lighter weapons, 15′ for spear), and throwing 2-handed (which IMO is harder to do safely) rather than 1-handed. There’s a link for local rules at the bottom of https://thrown-weapons.eastkingdom.org/wordpress/. This has no specs about weapon size — I’m describing what I’ve seen used typically; non-typical devices include something like a headsman’s axe, horse decoration rings, refrigerator magnets, kitchen utensils, and rubber chickens.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.