Pixel Scroll 12/31/19 God Stalk Ye Merry Gentle Kzin

(1) PREACH IT! As the decade comes to an end, Cat Rambo comments on the writers driving the changes she aspires to keep pace with — “The New Rude Masters of Fantasy & Science Fiction – and Romance”.  One segment addresses “The Weaponization of Civility” —

As I’ve said, one cudgel used in this fight is a demand for civility, and I’m seeing it raised again in the debate surrounding the RWA ejecting Courtney Milan for speaking up. Courtesy becomes weaponized, a way of silencing. A way of forcing others to wait for the conversational turn that never gets ceded. Note Silverberg calling Jemisin’s speech “graceless and vulgar” and Spinrad weighing in to call Ng “swinish.” I cannot help but think that these men are less upset by what was said, than that it was not delivered with the deference that they felt Campbell, a proxy for themselves, deserved.

Hegemonic structures replicate themselves, continually pretending to reinvent and innovate but doing so in the same old forms. Traditional publishing is as prone to this as any other social structure. Indie writers get treated as though they were the nouveau riche, obsessed with money, when many of them are actually making a living at writing in a way our forebears—Chaucer, Shakespeare, Gilman—would have totally approved of. The truth is being a New York Times best-selling author doesn’t mean one is rolling around on moneypiles like Scrooge McDuck unless you’re part of a very very small group. For things to truly change, publishing must bring in new voices and not just allow them, but encourage them to speak.

Those voices are a diverse group, but one thing they often share is a lack of economic privilege, the sort that allows one to work as an unpaid intern, or pay for the grad school that gives one time enough to write or resources for focusing on craft rather than survival. That’s part of the undercurrent in those cries about vulgarity: an unease with people who haven’t undergone the same social shaping features, who may not have been signed off on by society with a standardized degree. To ignore the ways otherness has been used to justify discouraging those others is to be complicit in that act of silencing. And that, I would argue, is about as rude as it gets.

(2) SHORT STORY MARKET. Heather Rose Jones’ Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for short story submissions for audio publication during the month of January 2020.

Stories should be set in an identifiable pre-1900 time and place but may include fantastic elements that are either consistent with the setting or with the literature of that setting. And, of course, stories should center on a female character whose primary emotional orientation within the context of the story is toward other women.

Payment is the current SWFA rate of $0.08 per word. For full details, see the “Call for Submissions”.

(3) BE ON THE LOOKOUT. At Dragonmount: A Wheel of Time Community, JenniferL gets the logs rolling with “How Wheel of Time can Win a Hugo Award”.

Wheel of Time’s last chance

Despite its popularity and far-reaching impact on the fantasy genre, Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time have never won a Hugo Award. 

In 2014 the entire WoT series was nominated for (but did not win) the “Best Novel” award. The “Best Series” category did not exist at the time. WoT’s nomination caused a controversial stir, as some people didn’t feel it was appropriate to consider the entire 15-book Wheel of Time series as one single work. This helped prompt the World Science Fiction Society, which awards the Hugos, to add a new category in 2017, the “Best Series” award. 

At the time, it didn’t mean much for The Wheel of Time, but it did enable several other long-running and popular series (including Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive) to be recognized with nominations and awards. 

And now The Wheel of Time will have one more chance to potentially earn a Hugo Award. 

Earlier this year, in 2019, Brandon Sanderson published “A Fire Within the Ways”, a short story that was included in the Unfettered III anthology from Grim Oaks Press. This written sequence contained a lng set of “deleted scenes” from A Memory of Light. With Harriet’s permission, the scenes were lightly edited and submitted for publication in the Unfettered III anthology, with proceeds going to support health care needs for writers in need.  According to the WSFS bylaws, any new installment to a written series, regardless of length, makes The Wheel of Time eligible for the Best Series award. Therefore, A Fire Within the Ways makes WoT eligible for the first–and likely only–time.

(4) AUSTRALIAN FIRES CLAIM FAN’S HOME. BBC has been reporting all day on the fate of the Australian resort town of Mallacoota as the east Victoria bush fires overtook it. Moshe Feder reports, “I just heard from Carey Handfield that longtime fan Don Ashby has lost his home to the fire.”

(5) CHANGE BACK FROM YOUR DECADE. Andrew Liptak’s “Reading List, December 30th, 2019” sums up the decade in 8 news stories.

…Plus, I think that there’s a better way to look at the decade: how did science fiction and fantasy storytelling change in the last ten years? Why? After consulting with a number of authors, editors, and agents, it’s clear that the entertainment industry and SF/F have experienced major changes in the last ten years, from the introduction of streaming services, to Disney’s franchise domination, gender and politics within SF/F, self-publishing, and a growing acceptance of SF/F content within mainstream culture. This list is broken down into those categories, with a representative example or two from each section.

Here’s how the decade changed in 8 stories.

(6) FUTURE TENSE. Slate has put up a list of the sff stories they published this year as part of the Future Tense Fiction series: “All of the Sci-Fi Stories We Published This Year”.

Future Tense started experimenting with publishing science fiction in 2016 and 2017, but we really invested in it in 2018, publishing one story each month. That year was capped off by Annalee Newitz’s quirky and urgent “When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis,” which won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year. Our hope was that these glimpses into possible futures could provide a thought-provoking parallel to our coverage of emerging technology, policy, and society today, inviting us to imagine how the decisions we’re making today might shape the way we live tomorrow, illuminating key decision points and issues that we might not be giving enough attention.

(7) MEN IN THE RED. “The greatest work of science fiction I’ve ever been involved with – my Men in Black profit statement” — “1997 hit ‘Men In Black’ is still yet to make a profit says screenwriter”.

Men In Black, the 1997 sci-fi comedy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, remains in the red despite making $589 million (£448 million) at the global box office over 20 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, that translates to $944 million (£718 million) in 2019 money, not taking into account extra ticket prices for 3D or IMAX.

This is according to the film’s screenwriter Ed Solomon, who adapted Lowell Cunningham’s comic book seriews for Sony Pictures, who then turned it into a mega-blockbuster with a $90 million (£68 million) budget that spawned three sequels and an animated series, not to mention shifting piles of merchandise.

Solomon, who also wrote all three Bill & Ted films, Now You See Me, and Charlie’s Angels (2000), shared on Twitter that he had received his “Men In Black profit statement” from the studio over the festive period which said that the film had lost “6x what it lost last period”, linking back to a previous tweet from June this year that said the film was “STILL in the red”….

(8) MEAD OBIT. In sadder news, Syd Mead, an artist who worked on Blade Runner, Aliens, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, has passed away. Variety has the story.

…Mead started his design career in the auto, electronics and steel industries working for Ford Motor Co., Sony, U.S. Steel and Phillips Electronics. He then transitioned to film. His career began as a production illustrator working with director Robert Wise (“West Side Story”) to create Earth’s nemesis V’Ger in the 1979 “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

He continued fusing technology with creativity, bringing to life some of the biggest films in science fiction. In 1982, he served as a visual futurist on “Blade Runner,” before collaborating as a conceptional artist with director Steven Lisberger  on the 1982 “Tron.”

He explained his inspiration for “Blade Runner” to Curbed in 2015, “For a city in 2019, which isn’t that far from now, I used the model of Western cities like New York or Chicago that were laid out after the invention of mass transit and automobiles, with grids and linear transport. I thought, we’re at 2,500 feet now, let’s boost it to 3,000 feet, and then pretend the city has an upper city and lower city. The street level becomes the basement, and decent people just don’t want to go there. In my mind, all the tall buildings have a sky lobby, and nobody goes below the 30th floor, and that’s the way life would be organized,” Mead said.

(9) INNES OBIT. Neil Innes, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles and in collaboration with Monty Python, has died at the age of 75.

…A spokesperson for the Innes family said he had not been suffering from any illness and had passed away unexpectedly on Sunday night.

…In the 1970s, Innes became closely associated with British comedy collective Monty Python, contributing sketches and songs like Knights of the Round Table and Brave Sir Robin, as well as appearing in their classic films The Holy Grail and Life of Brian.

He wrote and performed sketches for their final TV series in 1974 after John Cleese temporarily left, and was one of only two non-Pythons to be credited as a writer, alongside The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams.

A film about Innes called The Seventh Python was made in 2008.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • December 31, 1958 The Crawling Eye premiered. In the U.K, it was called The Trollenberg Terror. Directed by Quentin Lawrence, it stars Forrest Tucker, Laurence Payne, Jennifer Jayne, and Janet Munro. Les Bowiec who worked on Submarine X-1 did the special effects. The film is considered to be one of the inspirations for Carpenter’s The Fog. Critics found it to be inoffensive and over at Rotten Tomatoes, it currently a thirty percent rating among reviewers. 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 31, 1937 Anthony Hopkins, 82. I think one of his most impressive roles was as Richard in The Lion in Winter but we can’t even call that genre adjacent, can we? He was, during that period, also King Claudius in Hamlet. I’ll say playing Ian McCandless in Freejack is his true genre role, and being Professor Abraham Van Helsing In Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a plum of a genre role. It’s a better role than he as Odin has the MCU film franchise. What else have I missed that I should note? 
  • Born December 31, 1943 Ben Kingsley, 76. Speaking of Kipling, he voiced Bagherra in the live action adaptation that Disney did of The Jungle Book. He was also in Iron Man 3 as Trevor Slattery, a casting not well received. He’s The Hood in Thunderbirds (directed by Frakes btw), Charles Hatton in A Sound of Thunder and Merenkahre in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the third of three great popcorn films.
  • Born December 31, 1945 Connie Willis, 74. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for her work, a feat that impresses even me, someone who isn’t generally impressed as you know by Awards! Of her works, I’m most pleased by To Say Nothing of the Dog, Doomsday Book and Bellwether, an offbeat novel look at chaos theory. I’ve not read enough of her shorter work to give an informed opinion of it, so do tell me what’s good there.
  • Born December 31, 1945 Barbara Carrera, 74. She is known for being the SPECTRE assassin Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again, and as Maria in The Island of Dr. Moreau. And she was Victoria Spencer in the really awful Embryo, a film that that over five hundred review reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give a sixteen percent rating. 
  • Born December 31, 1949 Ellen Datlow, 70. Let’s start this Birthday note by saying I own a complete set of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror which yes , I know it was titled The Year’s Best Fantasy for the first year. And I still read stories for them from time to time. If that was all she had done, she’d have been one of our all-time anthologists but she also, again with Terri Windling, did the Fairy Tale and Mythic Fiction series, both of which I highly recommend. On her own, she has the ongoing Best Horror of Year, now a decade old, and the Tor.com anthologies which I’ve not read but I assume collect the fiction from the site. Speaking of Tor.com, she’s an editor there, something she’s also done at Nightmare MagazineOmni, the hard copy magazine and online, and Subterranean Magazine. 
  • Born December 31, 1953 Jane Badler,  66. I first encountered her on the Australian-produced Mission Impossible where she played Shannon Reed for the two seasons of that superb series. She’s apparently best known as Diana, the main antagonist on V, but I never saw any of that series being overseas at the time. She shows up in the classic Fantasy Island, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, Bitch, Popcorn & Blood and Virtual Revolution.
  • Born December 31, 1958 Bebe Neuwirth, 61. She’s had but one television SF credit to her name which is playing a character named Lanel in the “First Contact” episode of the Next Gen series during season four, but I found a delightful genre credential for her. From April 2010 to December 2011, she was Morticia Addams in the Broadway production of The Addams Family musical! The show itself is apparently still ongoing. 
  • Born December 31, 1959 Val Kilmer,  60. Lead role in Batman Forever where I fought he did a decent job, Madmartigan in Willow, Montgomery in The Island of Dr. Moreau, voiced both Moses and God in The Prince of Egypt, uncredited role as El Cabillo in George and the Dragon and voiced KITT in the not terribly we’ll conceived reboot of Knight Rider. Best role? Ahhh, that’d be Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
  • Born December 31, 1971 Camilla Larsson, 48. Therese in the first series of Real Humans on Swedish television. She was Jenny in the Mormors magiska vind series which is definitely genre given it’s got a ghost and pirate parrots in it! 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Lio warns us that pocket universes can pop up unexpectedly.
  • Scroll down to the third cartoon – a classic from The Far Side as cops deduce what killed these cats…

(13) THE LONELINESS OF GENERAL HUX. [Item by Olav Rokne.] Nobody really understands the motivations of General Hux in the most recent Star Wars movie, so Slate Magazine’s Dan Kois (@DanKois) gets into Hux’ head with excerpts from the General’s private diaries: “The Lost Diaries of General Hux”. The results are laugh-out-loud funny: 

Kylo Ren loves making little comments about Starkiller Base. “I sense a great regret in your heart about the failure of your planet-sized death machine,” he says. It hurts my feelings. I spent years managing that project, prime years of my career, and I only got to blow up one star system before the whole thing was destroyed. Which, incidentally, was the fault of those horrid contractors, not me. I can’t complain to Ren, obviously. I wish there was someone I could talk to! I ordered a therapist droid from the medical bay but Snoke had them all reprogrammed to say “Your problems are inconsequential, focus only on crushing the Resistance.” No one knows how to reboot them. It’s too bad—therapy is supposed to be covered in the medical plan, and a lot of our nameless young stormtroopers could stand to talk things out about their kidnapping, parents being killed, etc.

(14) BACKSTAGE. NPR’s Petra Mayer finds out that “‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’ Makes Its Magic The Old-Fashioned Way”.

When the creators of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were working on adapting the wizarding world for the stage, they knew a lot of people have seen the Harry Potter movies. And they didn’t want to reproduce the things most people have already seen.

The result is a spectacle that relies much more on human-powered magic than special effects trickery. And the show’s creators have documented that process in a lavish new coffee-table book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey. So I went on my own journey, backstage at the current Broadway production, to see how that magic is made.

Around and under the stage of Manhattan’s Lyric Theater, there’s a warren of corridors and staircases so complex you almost expect to pop out in Hogsmeade. But instead, I end up in a rubber-floored workout room where today’s cast is warming up for the show, directed by movement captain James Brown III (who also plays the magisterially surly Bane the Centaur).

It’s pretty intense. There’s yoga, stretching, and some hard-core calisthenics. Grunts and groans ripple around the room as Brown leads everyone through their paces. This isn’t usual for a Broadway show, but then not that many shows are this physical. The actors in Cursed Child create effects that would have been done digitally onscreen with their own bodies, and with the help of some special crew members.

(15) PAST GAS. BBC posted its collection of “The best space images of 2019”.

With some blockbuster space missions under way, 2019 saw some amazing images beamed back to Earth from around the Solar System. Meanwhile, some of our most powerful telescopes were trained on the Universe’s most fascinating targets. Here are a few of the best.

Up in the clouds

Nasa’s Juno spacecraft has been sending back stunning images of Jupiter’s clouds since it arrived in orbit around the giant planet in 2016. This amazing, colour-enhanced view shows patterns that look like they were created by paper marbling. The picture was compiled from four separate images taken by the spacecraft on 29 May.

(16) FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE. Oscar and Grammy-winning film composer Hans Zimmer wrote the theme music for the BBC podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon. He shares how Nasa’s historic Apollo 11 mission influenced his work in the BBC video “Hans Zimmer: What inspired 13 Minutes to the Moon’s music?”

“The problem is when you write about space, [as] we all know, there is no sound in space.”

Click the link to hear the full theme music from 13 Minutes to the Moon.

(17) UNDEAD SUPERHEROES. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] The LARGE majority of this list had me mentally screaming, “Noooooooo.“ In my very loudest mental voice. I’ve left out the reasons cited for wanting to bring each of them back in reproducing the list below. It’s kinder that way. CBR.com lists “10 Saturday Morning Cartoon Superheroes That Need To Be Resurrected”

Saturday morning cartoons. Before the advent of 24-hour cartoon networks and streaming services, this was the only way for kids to get their fill of both animated fare and sugary cereals. It was a Golden Age filled with characters that ran or drove past the same scene several times, animals that talked, and scrappy puppies that saved older cartoon franchises.

In the 1960s and 70s, it was also the place where superheroes came to life. Not only familiar ones like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. But also ones created for that precious five hours of time on Saturday’s. Some would continue on beyond this era. Others would vanish around the same time they premiered. Yet, they all have a space in our dusty and aging hearts. To honor these pioneers, here are 10 Saturday morning cartoon superheroes that need to be resurrected.

10 Captain Caveman

9 Superstretch and Microwoman

8 Frankenstein, Jr.

7 Web Woman

6 The Galaxy Trio

5 Freedom Force

4 Blue Falcon

3 Super President

2 Birdman

1 Space Ghost

(18) THIS IS THE CARD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. Baby Yoda’s trading card — “Star Wars: The Mandalorian TOPPS NOW” — you have only five days left to order it.

TOPPS NOW celebrates the greatest moments… as they happen!

(19) CLEVER COMMERCIAL. “Not genre but will put a smile on your face,” promises John King Tarpinian.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Olav Rokne, Darrah Chavey, Mike Kennedy, N., Heather Rose Jones, Nina Shepardson, Chip Hitchcock, Moshe Feder, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/31/19 God Stalk Ye Merry Gentle Kzin

  1. (6) I’ve enjoyed a lot of the Slate SF.

    (17) Bring back the live-action superheroes of Saturday morning, like Electra-Woman or Shazam (and his Mentor)

  2. A Kzin would have been an interesting addition to the Cats movie…

    Re: Kilmer, Also Real Genius is genre-adjacent at the very least.

    Happy New Year to Mr. Glyer and all of us Filers.

  3. (3) BE ON THE LOOKOUT.

    I predict that, should the Wheel of Time actually get enough nominations to make the ballot in Best Series, the Hugo Administrator would disqualify it, since it was already a finalist as a series in the Novel category, and it has not had the required 2 volumes and 240,000 additional words of original fiction published since then.

    And yes, the Hugo Admin does have the authority to make those sorts of decisions, just as they had the authority to decide that being a finalist in the 2017 one-off Series category counts toward eligibility in the ongoing Series category.

  4. (17) Space Ghost and (Harvey) Birdman have already been brought back, sort of, although not in a particularly nostalgia-feeding way. Both “updated” shows were simultaneously very bad (deliberately so), and much better than the original shows deserved.

    And the idea of a “played straight” revival? Honestly, I think we need to start doing some PSAs on nostalgia. You know, “This is your brain on nostalgia.” Or “Nostalgia! Not even once!” 🙂

  5. 11) Val Kilmer was great in Top Secret too, but yes, agree that Doc Holliday was his best.

  6. @11 (Willis): I sometimes have difficulty reading around obnoxious characters, so it’s not surprising I missed the point of “Fire Watch” when I first read it. When I reread it I concluded that it deserved every accolade it had gotten, and then some. (I’ve seen the memorial stone she refers to; the story made it much more resonant to me.)

    @11 (Datlow): she’s also done a large number of original theme anthologies; her reputation is high enough that she can get full books of good stories, instead of just a few with padding by underskilled writers.

    @12 (Lio): Omar Rayyan had a beautiful piece on that theme at the Art Show at your Worldcon.

    @JJ: I thought his description of the bylaws was wrong….

  7. (4) there is footage from the air of what remains of Mallacoota. Many homes are simply flattened leaving nothing salvageable. Yesterday was a very bad fire day even for what has been a terrible fire season. A dark end for 2019.

    (9) sad news – Innes was the source of a lot of joy

  8. (11) Bebe Neuwirth was also Lola in Damn Yankees on Broadway in 1994-1995.

    Val Kilmer has a number of genre roles. In addition to those mentioned, add the ghost of Elvis in True Romance, Red Planet, The Saint (adjacent?), and the underrated Deja Vu (excellent time travel movie with Denzel Washington). His career has moved on to bit parts and B-movie/straight to video, but he often is better than the material.

    Anthony Hopkins — Magic, Hearts in Atlantis, Meet Joe Black

  9. 7) Ah, creative accounting. I’m not sure whether Hollywood invented or merely perfected it, but stories like this have been around for as long as I’ve been paying attention to the Biz. (And I’m, like, old.)

  10. (9) The Rutles’ songs were all written by Innes (my favorite track was and still is “I Must Be in Love”). The 1978 LP can be construed as genre – that is, not merely a parody, but rather an artifact from a world where the Beatles never existed but instead a band from Rutland led by songwriters who had one-tenth Lennon/McCartney’s compositional sense somehow became the foremost British pop group.

    (11) I can’t agree that Magic (the 1978 Anthony Hopkins film with Burgess Meredith, Ann-Margret, and Ed Lauter) is genre. He’s just a messed-up guy written by William Goldman. The ventriloquist episode of The Twilight Zone, however, I consider genre.

  11. Chip Hitchcock: I thought his description of the bylaws was wrong…

    Well, technically the WoT is indeed eligible in Best Series this year. But what she’s arguing for is essentially
    1) that it be eligible for a Best Series Hugo nomination for exactly the same work that has already been a Hugo finalist, and
    2) a really greedy expectation based on a technicality.

    And since technically the WoT was not actually eligible as a series in the year that it was allowed to be a finalist as a series in Best Novel (2014), and the Hugo Administrator let its nomination stand anyway, it would be perfectly reasonable for this year’s Hugo Admin to say “sorry, no double-dipping, it’s not eligible again until it meets the 2/240,000 re-qualification requirements”.

    This campaign seems to me to be a really Puppyish sort of thing to do to the Hugo Awards, and I am extremely unimpressed.

  12. Camestros Felapton: there is footage from the air of what remains of Mallacoota. Many homes are simply flattened leaving nothing salvageable. Yesterday was a very bad fire day even for what has been a terrible fire season. A dark end for 2019.

    This is really awful for all of the Australians who are affected, and I am hoping that things can be got under control soon. Stay safe. 🙁

  13. Even if WoT is nominated for Best Series, and not disqualified by the admins, I imagine that the Hugo voters will give short shrift to giving it Best Series based on a new short story. After all, Le Guin’s Earthsea didn’t even make the shortlist last year, with a similar case for eligibility, and she is much more widely beloved, and recently deceased, than Jordan.

  14. 3) If someone really does try to get WoT a bite at the apple on the basis of freaking outtakes, I will puke.

    11) Hopkins is great in the HBO incarnation of Westworld. I take it we are not considering his role as a Freudian gourmand to be genre adjacent?

  15. The WoT technicality is interesting to me because of the interaction between 3.2.4 and 3.3.5. As I recall, the 2014 nomination of The Wheel of Time essentially treated it as a serialized novel published in 14 parts under 3.2.4. So the question becomes: do you treat this as fourteen installments under 3.3.5 or one installment under 3.3.5?

    I think this is analogous to the scenario where a novel is serialized in parts in a magazine and then becomes a finalist for Best Novel. A sequel novel is then published. Would it make sense for the duology to be eligible for Best Series on the grounds that the serialization constituted multiple installments? (Example: at what point would Robert J. Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax have been eligible?)

    (I could probably argue both sides of this to be honest, given the committee report’s definition of “installment” (or “volume”) to “mean any story published separately from the others in a series”. Obviously traditionally-serialized novels aren’t really a thing anymore so this is generally an academic point.)

    @Joe: I suspect it also will not help that this post went up scant hours before the registration deadline for anybody wishing to nominate this year.

    Martin

  16. Goobergunch: Neanderthal Parallax

    Ugh, I wish you hadn’t mentioned that steaming pile of crap which has rape as a motivational plot point. 🙁

  17. I’m with JJ here: Wheel of Time had its shot. 2 installments totaling at least 240,000 words to be eligible again.

  18. Patrick Morris Miller notes correctly that If someone really does try to get WoT a bite at the apple on the basis of freaking outtakes, I will puke.

    Given how often novels are re-released with ‘extras’, does that mean they too are Hugo eligible again? I mean, to give an obvious example, Neverwhere was substantially changed when it it was released as the author’s preferred text. Does that mean it was Hugo eligible yet again the year that edition first came out?

  19. @gottacook: “songwriters who had one-tenth Lennon/McCartney’s compositional sense”

    The compositions are uncannily Beatlesque. It’s the lyrics that are sub-standard by non-parodic standards.

  20. Patrick Morris Miller queries Hopkins is great in the HBO incarnation of Westworld. I take it we are not considering his role as a Freudian gourmand to be genre adjacent?

    I don’t recognise that role. And I really, really don’t list everything an actor of his age has done in our community. That’s one of the reason that I use a performance in Who or Trek as a hook when I can. Everyone knows those shows and that places the performer in a context.

  21. So here we are in the far future. My goodness, the year 2020.

    So sorry to see the rather scary reports out of Australia.

  22. @Cat Eldridge “the Freudian gourmand” would be Hannibal Lector.

    Hopkins also played the title role in Titus (an adaption of Titus Andronicus), which also has cannibalism. He may have been in danger of being typecast. (Can we call it alt-history? Or is it just historical fiction with a very strong emphasis on the fiction and very little on the history)

  23. 11) Hopkins was also the head of the IMF in Mission: Impossible 2 (the John Woo installment) — I think MI is adjacent, at least.

    17) Any such list that doesn’t include Thundarr the Barbarian is invalid. I also wouldn’t mind a good reboot of Land of the Lost (with Sleestaks, pylons, time loops and Jurassic Park-level dinosaurs, but no Will Ferrell comedy hijinks).

  24. On Wheel of TIme, I think either 3.2.2 or 3.3.5.1 should apply. In the former case, It’s the Hugo admin who has the call as to whether the amount of new material is sufficient. Certainly percentagewise the new material is small, and more akin to adding an epilogue rather than to expanding a short story to a novel. In the latter case we need a specified total of new words, distributed among at least two new installments.

    Then, I’m not terribly fond of the Best Series Hugo to begin with.

  25. As a former Hugo Administrator (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2015), my philosophy when there was a gray area was “let the voters decide”. If the voters nominated a work that wasn’t explicitly ineligible (such as due to prior publication, being outside the category length or trying to nominate a fiction collection of stories from decades ago as a “Related Book” in 2002), I left it on the ballot.

    Unfortunately the combination of The Wheel of Time being nominated as a “novel” before the Best Series catergory came into being really makes it hard to determine what is the right course. It’s a combination of two edge cases.

  26. [1] The weaponization of civility is no new phenomenon. I refer the readership to Malvina Reynolds’ “It Isn’t Nice”:
    It isn’t nice to carry banners
    Or to sit in on the floor,
    Or to shout our cry of Freedom
    At the hotel and the store.
    It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
    You told us once, you told us twice,
    But if that is Freedom’s price,
    We don’t mind.

  27. Coincidentally I just spotted a new copy of The Eye of the World on the paperback rack at a local drugstore. Over 800 pages and probably not my kind of thing, so I wasn’t tempted.

  28. Another complication that comes to mind in the WoT case is New Spring, which was not considered as being part of the 2014 Wheel of Time nomination (it wasn’t in the voter packet) but was published in 2004. (And if you really want to get messy, it’s the expansion of a 1999 novella.) It’s certainly not “new” but it hasn’t been considered on the ballot yet.

    @JJ: Yeah, by no means was I intending to endorse the quality (or lack thereof) of the Sawyer — it was just the one that came to mind offhand.

  29. On an entirely unrelated note, did I not realize that there was going to be a third Revenger book by Alastair Reynolds? Bone Silence, due out in February, and happily it’s now preordered and will magically appear on my Kindle on the appropriate day.

  30. @John Arkansawyer: Yes, the Rutles’ lyrics were a bit off, but I was referring to the distinctly (deliberately) odd voice-leading and harmonic motion most easily heard in songs like “A Girl Like You” and “Love Life”.

  31. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    Seeing the title, my first thought was “what gentle kzin?”

    Of course that’s unfair. Just as I’ve said fanwriting is not the same as “fan writing” – a loudspeaker is not the same as a loud speaker – “gentlemen” has come to mean something different from (or, in the U.K., different to) “gentle men”.

    I suppose a gentle-kzin would be one of good family. He (you can read about females, e.g. here – I didn’t make this up) might not be at all gentle “within the normal meaning of that term”, as my father used to say when we played Guess What Daddy Had for Lunch.

    It’s been said you can tell a fan from others because, when others finish looking up something in a volume of an encyclopedia, they stop reading.

    So I gave this further thought. I had to think about it; it’s not my carol, I’m a Jew; but lots of Christmas music strikes me as beautiful whether I believe in it or not.

    I’ve changed. In grade school I wouldn’t sing “Christ our Savior is born” (it was a private school, there were Christmas carols). I told the teacher I’d be happy to sing “Christ your Savior is born”. It scans just as well, I said. I hadn’t even proposed “so-called”; I was already growing ecumenical. Anyway, I was so much older then; I’m younger than that now (not, I hope, in the sense of Lewis’ Perelandra).

    “Ye” is plural, and “kzin” is singular – the plural is “kzinti”. And “ye” is wrong anyway, because it’s nominative, where “God rest ye merry, gentlemen” calls for the accusative. I’ll even quote Wikipedia (footnotes omitted).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Rest_You_Merry,_Gentlemen

    The transitive use of the verb restin the sense “to keep, cause to continue, to remain” is typical of 16th- to 17th-century language(the phrase rest you merry is recorded in the 1540s). Etymonline.com notes that the first line “often is mis-punctuated” as “God rest you, merry gentlemen” because in contemporary language, rest has lost its use “with a predicate adjective following and qualifying the object” (Century Dictionary)…. The adjective merry in Early Modern English had a wider sense of “pleasant; bountiful, prosperous”. Some variants give the pronoun in the first line as ye instead of you, in a pseudo-archaism. In fact, ye would never have been correct, because ye is a subjective (nominative) pronoun only, never an objective (accusative) pronoun.

    Also I wasn’t sure what god could stalk anyone merry.

    I’ve gotten as far as a first stanza.

    God rest you merry, kzinti all,
    Let nothing you dismay.
    Your screaming and your leaping will
    Be timely on this day.
    Your prey will be within your reach,
    You won’t scare them away.
    Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

    “The Kzinti aren’t really a threat. They’ll always attack before they’re ready.” (L. Niven, “Grendel”, 1968)

    “You scream and you leap.” (L. Niven, Ringworld_ ch. 1, 1970)

  32. Oh hell – why couldn’t all of Niven’s work have been as wonderful as chapter 1 of Ringworld?

  33. It occurs to me that a nominative can also be used as a vocative (direct address). This would put the comma between “rest” and “ye”.

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