(1) GOLDEN GLOBES. The Golden Globe nominees announced today include these items of genre interest. The entire list of nominees is available in the official press release.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
- Amy Adams in Arrival
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
- Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
- Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
- “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
- Jóhann Jóhannsson for Arrival
- Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, and Benjamin Wallfisch for Hidden Figures
Best Motion Picture – Animated
- Kubo and the Two Strings
- My Life as a Zucchini
Best Television Series – Drama
- Game of Thrones
- Stranger Things
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
- Rami Malek in Mr. Robot
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
- Caitriona Balfe in Outlander
- Winona Rider in Stranger Things
- Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
- Christian Slater in Mr. Robot
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
- Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
- Thandie Newton in Westworld
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
- Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
(2) INDIA’S NOT-SO-HIDDEN-FIGURES: Read about “The women scientists who took India into space” at the BBC.
Two years ago, as Indian scientists successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, a photograph that went viral showed women dressed in gorgeous saris with flowers in their hair celebrating at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) in the southern city of Bangalore.
It was reported that the ecstatic women were scientists and the photograph challenged the stereotype that rocket science in India was a male preserve.
Isro later clarified that the celebrating women were administrative staff, but it went on to add that there indeed were several women scientists who had worked on the mission and were in the control room at the time of the launch.
The BBC’s Geeta Pandey recently travelled to Bangalore to meet some of the women who have taken India into space.
(3) AS SEEN FROM EARTH. Great photos of stars: “Sparkling starscapes caught on camera”.
Chow says the first time he saw the Milky Way it was like seeing a special effect from a film.
“Being able to capture the real thing – the beauty of the night sky – is just amazing,” he says.
(4) NEWLY DISCOVERED KLINGONS. Variety reports Star Trek: Discovery has cast three actors as Klingons in the forthcoming series.
Chris Obi, Shazad Latif, and Mary Chieffo have joined the upcoming CBS All Access series, with all three set to play Klingons — members of the fan-favorite alien race that is fundamental to “Star Trek” lore. Obi will play T’Kuvma, a Klingon leader seeking to unite the Klingon houses. Latif will play Kol, commanding officer of the Klingons and protégé of T’Kuvma. Chieffo will play L’Rell, the battle deck commander of the Klingon ship.
(5) FOUNDING FATHER? Eric Flint uses the pronoun “we” when referring to the Dragon Award founders in his latest post “Literary Awards Are Not Competitions”. Did I know this? I don’t remember having that piece of information before.
The Dragon Award was not set up to compete with any of the existing awards. We didn’t launch this new award because we were dissatisfied or disgruntled with the existing awards, such as the Hugo or the Nebula or the World Fantasy Award.
Our attitude stems from a recognition of something that is all too often misunderstood about literary awards. And that is the notion that a literary (or any type of artistic) award in some way or another ratifies a competition. To put it another way, that an award establishes which story or author (or piece of art or artist, or song or singer) “won the competition” in the period of eligibility. According to this notion, what authors and other artists do is in some way analogous to what athletes do when they engage in sports competitions. And, thus, receiving a Hugo or a Nebula or a Dragon or any other award is equivalent to standing on a platform at the Olympics and being handed a gold medal, or being presented with the Stanley Cup.
This notion is wrong, to the point of being perverse. Writers—the same is true for all other artists—are not engaged in a competition in the first place. I will expand on this point as the blog progresses, but for the moment I will leave it at this:
No writer ever sat down to write a story in order to beat another story, or another writer. It’s enough to state the idea to realize how ludicrous it is.
(6) THE NEXT COURSE. Scott Edelman invites you to listen to Episode 24 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast and an interview with Sam J. Miller.
Still have the meat sweats thanks to my recent run of episodes centered around Kansas City BBQ? Then you’ll probably welcome a break for Eating the Fantastic’s first vegetarian episode, recorded at Baltimore’s One World Cafe during the Baltimore Book Festival.
My guest who stole away from the Inner Harbor to join me this episode is Sam J. Miller, a writer who’s been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards, and who won the Shirley Jackson Award for his short story “57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides.” And who last shared a meal with me during the 2015 Nebula Awards weekend at Alinea, considered to be one of the Top 10 restaurants in the world. His debut novel, The Art of Starving, will appear from HarperCollins in 2017.
(7) TRIVIAL TRIVIA
The 1985 movie Back to the Future was banned in China because of its time travel and “disrespectful portrayal of history.” In fact, many of the movies on Mental Floss list of “10 Movies That Were Banned in China” are sf/f.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
- December 12, 1972 – Orange soil discovered by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt during their second day of exploration on the lunar surface. Frank Zappa warned them not to eat it.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born December 12, 1893 – Edward G. Robinson, whose genre roles include Soylent Green.
(10) ROCK TO THE END OF THE WORLD. The Book Smugglers have the answer to a popular question — “N. K. Jemisin: ‘So what would you do if a Fifth Season happened for real?”.
A Runnysack Moment
I often get asked, “So what would you do if a Fifth Season happened for real?” …
This became sort of a double-edged thing with the other topic that I researched deeply for the Broken Earth, however, which was prepper communities. I needed to get into the mindset of people who literally believe that civilization is going to end at any given moment. So to that end, I watched some episodes of the TV show Doomsday Preppers, I bought a few issues of Offgrid Recoil Magazine, and visited some prepper forums online….
Now, I did end up meeting some people who live with the perpetual belief that civilization will end, and who have had rather more actual societal experience of Fifth Season-like events than most preppers. When I went to Hawaii’s Big Island a few years ago, I met both some native Hawaiians and more recent comers who happily talked to me about what it’s like to live on top of an actively erupting hotspot that could turn into an Extinction Level Event at any moment. Their philosophy was markedly different to that of the prepper communities I’d previously studied — much less stress and fear, a greater emphasis on preparing through skills and handed-down wisdom, and a general feeling of hey, if Pele’s pissed off, there’s really nothing you can do but deal with it in the moment. It’s foolish to try and anticipate a goddess, after all.
Today’s auction is for an autographed hardcover copy of the book UP AGAINST IT, by Laura J. Mixon, writing as M. J. Locke.
About the Book:
Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of hard vacuum and unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony’s air lock, putting the entire human population at risk.
Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there’s a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea’s bowels.
Jane’s in the prime of her career?she’s only a bit over a century old?but the conflict between politics and life-support is tearing her apart. To save her colony and her career, she’s going to have to solve several mysteries at once?a challenge that will put her up against all the difficulties, contradictions, and awkward compromises entailed in the human colonization of outer space.
From Publishers Weekly (starred review): “Compulsively readable…Most of all, this smart, satisfying hard SF adventure celebrates human resilience.”
(12) YOU BETTER WATCH OUT. At this time of year we should all be getting to bed on time (remember “He knows when you’ve been sleeping/He knows when you’re awake”) but if Santa is not one of your worries, then viewing the annual Geminid meteor shower could be a late-night treat.
The Geminid meteor shower occurs every year from about December 4 to 16. The shower’s “maximum,” or time when the most meteors per hour fall, is usually on December 13 and 14. Get more information on our Meteor Shower Calendar.
(Note: In 2016, the meteors are battling a Full Moon, so it will be a bit of a hunt, but our observatory friends at Slooh predict that it “should still be one of the best, and most active, celestial shows of the year.”)
(13) THE EAGLE HAS LANDED. Foz Meadows’ post has moved into at its new home at Amazing Stories — “Guest Post by Foz Meadows: Unempathic Bipeds of Failure: The Relationship Between Stories and Politics”.
Steve Davidson has included his comments at the end about the definition of “neo-Nazi” and related questions.
(14) DUTY. Alexandra Erin, commenting on the Black Gate/Foz Meadows story: “The Banality of Banality”.
It’s part of the alt-reich’s standard operating procedure: you play at legalism and reference or even invent rules to get the other side, the side that cares about consequences and fairness, to abide by them, even while you don’t. He used these tactics to get Black Gate’s editor to back down, to blink, and now the text which correctly and accurately labels a neo-Nazi as a neo-Nazi politely redirects to another venue, to which it has deferred that duty.
And I look at this, and I look at what’s happening in Washington (well, mostly in New York and Florida, as our President-Elect sees the presidency as more of a side gig) and the way our national news media is covering things, and, I have to say… it doesn’t look nearly as pointless.
As above, so below.
(15) REINDEER SCIENCE. We’ve all heard the stories about dog owners who didn’t realize their pets were female ’til the puppies came. I’m just going to assume Santa is better informed than that…. The Farmers Almanac poses the question, “Is Rudolph a Girl?.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers each summer. Male reindeer shed theirs from late November to mid-December, but females retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.
This is because the mating season occurs in the fall. Once the male reindeer have used their antlers to impress their mates, they no longer have use of them, and they shed them before Christmastime. This means that the image most of us have of Rudolph with his antlers at Christmastime is not scientifically accurate.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Hampus Eckerman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]