Pixel Scroll 4/6/17 Dr. Pixuel Johnson’s Right About Scrollson Johnson Being Right!

(1) WERE THEY UNDER ATTACK? Chuck Wendig launches “The Great Ewok Defense of 2017”. Make sure you never find yourself standing between Chuck’s Ewoks and a stormtrooper…

(2) DRAGONS FROM OUT OF TOWN. Aliette de Bodard tells about “My Favourite Dragons and How I Designed Mine” at The Book Smugglers.

It will probably not be a surprise that I love dragons — a lot of fantasy and SF readers also do! There’s something intrinsically fascinating, for me, about flying, graceful reptiles with magical powers.

You’ll notice I don’t say “reptiles that breathe fire”, and the main reason for that is that the first dragons I encountered weren’t the Western ones that needed to be killed by the likes of Saint George, but the r?ng, the Vietnamese dragons, who tend to live underwater, have deers’ antlers and a long serpentine body but generally no wings, and who are generally benevolent entities who dispense rain (or catastrophic floods if angered).

(3) REACHING FOR THE SHELF. Nicholas Whyte created a quick introduction to the Hugo Awards, which he administers for Worldcon 75.

(4) A SINGULAR SENSATION. I wasn’t able to help Jason Kehe when he asked me about Chuck Tingle – you know as much as I do — while Vox Day said on his blog he simply refused to answer questions from the media. But Tingle himself was happy to offer a quote for WIRED.com’s article “The Hidden, Wildly NSFW Scandal of the Hugo Nominations”.

Hiscock’s nomination is the work of the Rabid Puppies, a community of reactionary sci-fi/fantasy writers and fans who in 2015 sought to derail the Hugos’ big-tent evolution by stuffing the notoriously gameable ballot box with what they saw as criminally overlooked white male nominees. After the Rabid Puppies found huge success—they placed more than 50 recommendations—predecessors the Sad Puppies smuggled in a 2016 Best Short Story nominee they hoped would really tank the proceedings: Space Raptor Butt Invasion, an erotic gay sci-fi tale self-published by an unknown named Chuck Tingle.

Incredibly, though, the plan backfired. Tingle turned out to be a ridiculously lovable, possibly insane ally—or at least a very shrewd performance artist—who used his new platform to speak out against exclusion and bigotry in all their forms. In the intervening year-plus, he’s emerged as something of a cult icon, pumping out ebook after skewering ebook of wildly NSFW prose. His latest, Pounded In The Butt By My Second Hugo Award Nomination, refers to the recognition he got this year, on his own, in the Best Fan Writer category.

Here’s what the man of the hour had to say:

Chuck Tingle: hello buckaroo name of JASON thank you for writing and thank you for congrats on this way! i believe this author is put on the nominees by THE BAD DOGS BLUES as a way to prank the hugos like when they thought author name of chuck was some goof they could push around (no way buddy not this buckaroo). so it seems to be same idea as last year dont know much about it. thing is you cant just nominate some reverse twin of chuck there is only one chuck on this timeline and he is nominated as BEST FAN WRITER all by his own! this is a good way i am so proud! so long story short i hope this new author is not a reverse twin of the void but who knows i have not seen the end of this timeline branch yet.

(5) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog , Ross Johnson contends “The Best Series Hugo Is the Hardest Decision on the Ballot”.

A Best Series award makes perfect sense: when a book is part of a larger story, no matter how mind-blowing, it can be tough to judge it on its own merits—so why not take a look at series as a whole? After all, we all know SFF loves its trilogies (and its 10- to 14-book epic sagas). This is a great way to recognize a body of work, especially when the nth book of an excellent series generally has little chance of being nominated (let alone winning), but is still worthy of recognition. No one was quite sure how the nominations would shake out (could the entire Star Wars Extended Universe be considered as a singular series?), but there’s no arguing that the books on this inaugural ballot don’t seem to be entirely in the spirit of the award. There’s a wide-range of serious talent on the list, venerable classics alongside burgeoning favorites, all displaying the kind of character- and worldbuilding that can only be accomplished across multiple books.

(6) GOING TO THE WORLDCON. The Shimmer Program announced that the winners of the Worldcon 75 Attending Funding for Chinese fans offered by Storycom are Yang Sumin and Zhang Jialin (Colin). Each will get RMB 10,000 for use in attending and staffing the con. They are expected to gain experience in the Worldcon organizational work and help with future Chinese bids.

Jukka Halme, Chair of Worldcon 75 and Xia Jia, Chinese science fiction writer, selected the winners from five finalists.

There are photos and introductions to the two winners at the link.

(7) ISLAND NEWS Download Progress Report #1 for NorthAmeriCon’17, to be held in San Juan, PR from July 6-9. Lots of areas where they’re looking for staff and volunteers.

(8) FIRST CLUB. Joshua Sky sold this article to Mayim Bialik of Big Bang Theory for her site, Grok Nation. It’s about the origins of science fiction fandom: “The Scienceers: Where Science Fiction Clubs Began”.

All my life I’ve been a fan of science fiction, but I never knew much about the history of the field, nor did the majority of die-hard fans that I encountered. How could we – who could instantly recall every detail from our favorite comic books and every line of dialogue from Star Wars or Back to the Future – love something so much and know so little about its origins?

Last year, I found the answer when I was given a handful of wonderful out-of-print books chronicling the rich history of science fiction and fandom, including The Way the Future Was by Frederik Pohl, The Futurians by Damon Knight and The Immortal Storm by Sam Moskowitz. In their pages, I learned about the fascinating beginnings of fandom, which was mired in political warfare between overzealous teenagers, where clubs would form and disintegrate overnight. What I found most interesting, was an account of the first science fiction club ever established, called The Scienceers. It was founded in New York, on December 11th, 1929. Nearly 90 years ago. The first president of the club was a young African-American man named Warren Fitzgerald, and the first club meetings were held in his home….

File 770 took a look at that topic in 2014 from a different angle — “Early Science Fiction Clubs: Your Mileage May Vary” and “The Planet: One Last Landing” – and The Scienceers won the verdict of “first club” then, too.

(9) ALLIANCE FINALISTS. Realm Makers has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Alliance Award, the site’s new Readers Choice award for speculative fiction novel by a Christian author.

 

A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold Anne Elisabeth Stengl
A Time To Rise Nadine Brandes
‘sccelerant Ronie Kendig
Bellanok Ralene  Burke
Black Tiger Sara Baysinger
Darkened Hope J. L. Mbewe
Defy Tricia Mingerink
Domino Kia Heavey
King’s Folly Jill Williamson
New Name A.C. Williams
Rebirth Amy Brock McNew
Saint Death Mike Duran
Samara’s Peril Jaye L. Knight
Scarlet Moon S.D. Grimm
Siren’s Song Mary Weber
Songkeeper Gillian Bronte Adams
Star Realms: Rescue Run Jon Del Arroz
Tainted Morgan Busse
The Shattered Vigil Patrick W. Carr
Unblemished Sara Ella

(10) HEALTH SETBACK. Eric Flint told about his latest medical problems in a public Facebook post.

Well, there’s been a glitch in my serene and inexorable progress toward eradicating my cancer. I developed an abscess at the site where the pancreas drain came out of my abdomen from the splenectomy. (Nasty damn thing! Painful as hell, too.) So I had to go back into the hospital for five days while the doctors drained it and pumped me full of antibiotics. I’m now on a home IV antibiotic regimen.

In the meantime, my oncologists suspended the chemotherapy regimen until the 20th. Chemo depresses the immune system so you really don’t want to pile it on top of an active infection. (That’s probably why I developed the abscess in the first place, in fact.) I’d just finished the third cycle, so what’s essentially happening is that we’re suspending one cycle and will resume the fourth cycle right when the fifth one would have originally started…

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 6, 1968 — Stanley’s Kubrick’s science-fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey makes its debut in movie theaters.

Trivial Trivia:  In Kubrick’s next movie, Clockwork Orange, there is a scene in the record store where the LP for 2001 is displayed.

(12) RICKLES OBIT. Famous comedian Don Rickles (1926-2017) passed away today at the age of 90. His genre work included The Twilight Zone, “Mr. Dingle, the Strong” (1961), X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, both The Addams Family and The Munsters, The Wild, Wild, West, I Dream of Jeannie, and Tales from the Crypt. Late in life he voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story film series.

(13) DO YOU HAVE THESE? James Davis Nicoll is back with “Twenty Core Epic Fantasies Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves”

As with the two previous core lists, here are twenty epic fantasies chosen entirely on the basis of merit and significance to the field. No implication is intended that these are the only twenty books you should consider.

I agree that was wise to say, since he omits the first three authors whose names I’d expect to see on such a list. On the other hand, if not for Nicoll’s list I would have remained unaware that Kara Dalkey (someone I knew at LASFS 40 years ago) has written a well-regarded fantasy.

(14) WHITEWASHING. Steven Barnes shares “Ten Thoughts on Whitewashing”. Here are the first five.

The whitewashing controversy is pretty simple at its core:

  1. if a character’s race is changed toward yours, you will tend to be sanguine with it. If it is changed away from yours, you will tend to object. If you have control of the property, you will choose changes toward you, on average.
  2. To this end, if you are group X, you will put X’s into makeup to resemble Y’s so you can control the image systems and keep the money circulating in your own communities. When that stops working, you’ll change the back-stories. It all achieves the same result, and other X’s will support any change you make.
  3. The changers will not be honest about the fact that they simply preferred the change. They will blame the audience, the lack of actors, the material, another country. Anything but themselves.
  4. The audience prefers it too, but also will not take responsibility. It is the creators, the material, other people. Never them.
  5. As this is what is really going on, and everybody does it, you can remove this entire issue from the table and ask instead: what kind of world do we want? I can answer this for myself: I want a world where art reflects the world as it is. Not “politically correct” but “demographically correct” which, we can see, translates into “economically correct.” But #1 continues to dominate far too often, corrupting the creative process (thank God!) and creating under-performing movies and television and outright bombs.

(15) TOR LOVE. The xkcd cartoon “Security Advice” became the most-clicked link from File 770 yesterday after Darren Garrison commented, “Well, it looks like Randal Monroe is part of the Tor cabal.” Read it and you’ll understand why.

(16) ALL ABOARD. Jump on Matt Lambros’  “Los Angeles Lost Theatre Tour”.

On Saturday July 1, I’ll be co-leading tours through seven of Los Angeles’s Lost Theatres as part of the Afterglow event at the Theatre Historical Society of America’s 2017 Conclave.

Starting at 10AM, we’ll be going to The Variety Arts, the Leimert/Vision, the Rialto, the Raymond, the Uptown and the Westlake. Photography is allowed, and I’ll be conducting short demonstrations and answering any questions you may have about architectural photography.

(17) BATGIRL. “Hope Larson discusses and signs Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside (Rebirth)” at Vroman’s in Pasadena on April 12.

Spinning out of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH comes the newest adventures of Batgirl in BATGIRL VOL. 1: BEYOND BURNSIDENew York Times best-selling creators Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time) takes one of Gotham’s greatest heroes on a whirlwind world tour in BATGIRL VOL. 1: BEYOND BURNSIDE. Barbara Gordon’s heart belongs to Burnside, the ultra-hip Gotham City neighborhood. But some threats are bigger than Burnside. And when those threats come calling, Batgirl will answer!  When Babs plans a trip to train with the greatest fighters in the Far East, she has no idea her vigilante life will follow her. Lethal warriors are out to take her down, each bearing the mysterious mark of “The Student.” And where there are Students, there must also be…a Teacher. As part of the epic Rebirth launch, Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside is a perfect jumping-on point to start reading about Batgirl and her action-packed, crime-fighting adventures!  (DC Comics)

(18) BESTER TV EPISODE. “Mr. Lucifer,” story and teleplay by Alfred Bester, can be seen on YouTube. Broadcast in glorious b&w in four parts on ALCOA Premiere Theater, starring Fred Astaire and Elizabeth Montgomery, on November 1, 1962.

In addition to “Mr. Lucifer,” Astaire played several other characters. Music by a much younger John “Johnny” Williams.

Links to parts 2-4 listed on upper right side of page.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Darrah Chavey, Darren Garrison, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day m.c. simon milligan.]

130 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/6/17 Dr. Pixuel Johnson’s Right About Scrollson Johnson Being Right!

  1. Some kind of terror attack in Stockholm. Just want to say that I’m ok.

  2. Hampus, glad to hear you’re ok. Our news this morning is dominated by the strike on Syria, so I’d not heard of anything happening in Stockholm. Hope the casualty list is low and the perpetrator(s) are caught.

  3. @Hampus – Glad you are well. Hope the miscreants involved didn’t get anyone. Recent trends suggest that hope might be misplaced, but I don’t want to see anyone purposefully victimized in a terror attack.

    VBR,
    Dann

  4. In regards to best series — I don’t understand how anyone can look at a series that contains FOUR Hugo-winning stories (three novels, one novella) and not say that it’s the best series in that bunch. Seriously.

    Unless the other competitors in Best Series were on the ballot against those works, we don’t know how the Hugo electorate feels about that series in relation to the others.

    I don’t accept the premise that Best Series has to respect “consensus” as demonstrated by past Hugo performance of the installments in that series. A Hugo vote reflects a moment in time. Opinions shift on a book or a series. I re-evaluate my assessment of books all the time.

    Also, the idea I should vote a certain way because of how the Hugo electorate voted in the past is one I reject whole-heartedly. Or as my mother said in 1982, “Just because everybody else is wearing parachute pants doesn’t mean you should too.” But maybe she said that because she wasn’t made of money.

  5. We do not know much as yet. A truck was stolen and then used to run over several people at our biggest shopping street before crashing into one of our biggest department stores. At least three persons dead.

    After that, everything is confused. Talk of shootings. All of central Stockholm under lockdown. No subway or trains working, all shops closed. There is a film of police arresting one person, but not confirmed if it was the perpetrator.

  6. The Telegraph, as of about four minutes ago, says “at least” five dead. 🙁
    Stockholm attack

    I’m glad you’re safe, Hampus, and I hope everyone you know is, too.

    And that the death toll doesn’t rise.

  7. (12) RICKLES OBIT. There’s another sf(ish) connection that I haven’t seen cited yet — his appearance(s) in Jack Kirby’s NEW GODS/FOURTH WORLD run, in Jimmy Olsen — both Rickles himself, and Project Cadmus’ opposite clone of him, Goody Rickles: here’s pics’n’info:
    Issue 139
    Issue 141

  8. 1 – Ewoks are fluffy murderous little carnivores. Which makes them kind of like cats. So I like them.

    4 – Dr. Tingle is my spirit animal.

    5 – @Kurt

    TEMERAIRE – Loved the first one. Liked the second one. Felt like the third one was going through the motions, like I was reading someone’s account of their RPG session. Started the fourth one, never finished it. So at that point I decided I was just wasn’t the right reader for Novik. Then UPROOTED came out and people raved about it, so I read it and liked it a lot. So I think it was just that Temeraire had a great setting and cool set-up stuff, but the actual story didn’t hold me

    I’ve read them all but the latter ones aren’t as good, and the end is anti-climactic as all hell, so I don’t know that you missed out on much. I still love the series but a lot of that is on the strength of the first couple of books and how much I liked the setting.

    10 – That sucks, I wish him a speedy recovery so he can continue to defeat his cancer.

    13 – 1/20 and I like the fantasy genre. Guess I’m missing out on some good stuff.

  9. @kyra
    Interesting how different reactions can be — I love the Peter Grant series but have bounced HARD off the Cornell’s, which is annoying because on the face of it they should really suit me. Not quite 8 deadly words territory, but not people or events I wanted spending that much time in my head. I’m prone to and a survivor of depression and I really had no patience for the characters in Cornell. I’m also an engineer, and Peter Grant is a character who feels right to me on a deep level in the ways he approaches the world. I don’t think his world is safe, I think he (sensibly :-)) approaches it as a problem to be solved, and he has not given up hope of there being a solution.

    Griffin is not a familiar name. I may have tried a sample and bounced at some point. Possibly too many romance overtones, or too much horror? Or both? I’m finding as I get older that my tolerance for romance tropes is diminishing. And I have never really like horror as opposed to noir

  10. In regards to best series — I don’t understand how anyone can look at a series that contains FOUR Hugo-winning stories (three novels, one novella) and not say that it’s the best series in that bunch. Seriously.

    The thing that confuses me about this the most is a missing nominee. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released in July of 2016 making the series eligible in my mind. The Harry Potter series has been a finalist for Best Novel twice, a feat that only the Vorkosigan saga can beat from this years nominees. It won a Best Novel Hugo, again a feat that only the Vorkosigan series can beat. It is literally the most popular SF&F series of all time. It has sold over 450 million books, spawned 9 movies, and 2 theme parks. IMO the combination of critical acclaim from Worldcon fans and the popular acclaim from the wider SF&F fandom makes Harry Potter a glaring omission and something that would have competed strongly against the Vorkosigan saga.

  11. @jharaldson

    IMO the combination of critical acclaim from Worldcon fans and the popular acclaim from the wider SF&F fandom makes Harry Potter a glaring omission and something that would have competed strongly against the Vorkosigan saga.

    It seems to me that would make more sense if this was a juried award, but the members of WSFS voted and it didn’t make the top 6, so it didn’t compete well in the vote for the shortlist.

    ETA I noticed it was eligible, based on, IIRC, a post here including eligible series, but I just checked, and I did not end up voting for it. I remember that I thought about it, so it was beat out in my head by other series. I suspect a lot of people hadn’t thought of the series as being eligible, since last year’s entry was not part of the main series.

  12. There are 26 production companies listed with the nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. That’s a lot of ballot clutter few Hugo voters, I’d imagine, care about. Most if not all of those companies don’t even notice when they are nominate or win.

    Is there a rule of thumb that could be established to list only the primary production company? When box office data is reported there’s generally only one or two studios identified. Here’s an example from Box Office Mojo.

  13. The thing that confuses me about this the most is a missing nominee. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released in July of 2016 making the series eligible in my mind.

    I expect there was some uncertainty or disagreement among voters about whether a stage play makes the book series eligible. If works in another medium are a continuation of a series, that’s like saying HBO’s Game of Thrones series makes the books eligible.

  14. rcade: I expect there was some uncertainty or disagreement among voters about whether a stage play makes the book series eligible.

    Two additional influences to consider. The negative reaction to her work on Potterverse’s North American expansion may have made Rowling voters less enthusiastic. And the controversy over Harry Potter’s 2001 Hugo win revealed some voters just won’t vote for fantasy.

    So if anything discourages the one who will, that’s an extra handicap.

  15. rcade: That’s a lot of ballot clutter few Hugo voters, I’d imagine, care about.

    They can leave off all the company names as far as I’m concerned.

  16. I have to say I didn’t really consider HP, and didn’t see much talk from others about it. Certainly Cursed Child made it technically eligible, but possibly there was a feeling that the series had been wrapped up in the original books and Cursed Child didn’t really bring it back? It’s hard to read the bones on something like that. Maybe it’ll be sat at 7th on the longlist or something.

  17. They can leave off all the company names as far as I’m concerned.

    For the entire ballot, or just the dramatic categories?

  18. 9) So by “Christian authors”, does this mean specifically authors who identify as Evangelical Christians and/or write works with strong specifically-Christian themes? Or is it open to anyone who would (e.g.) identify themselves as Christian for a hospital’s records or on the Census form? I looked briefly at the site and was unable to figure out exactly what they’re trying to say.

    13) I have and love 2 of these, have read but didn’t like enough to keep a third one, and am completely unfamiliar with 8 of the others, as in “I’ve never even seen that title or heard anyone mention it.”

    14) What about those who see a traditionally-our-X character changed away from our-X and say, “Well, that could be interesting and different!”? To me, changing the ethnicity (or gender!) of a character opens up all kinds of possibilities for exploring things the original character wouldn’t have had to deal with. Admittedly, there are times when this doesn’t happen and the new character is still written exactly like the original… in which case, why bother changing the character?

    @ Kurt: If you stopped after the first Toby Daye book, I strongly suggest that you read a few more. I think she really hit her stride with An Artificial Night (the 3rd book), and the series has gotten better with every book since then.

    The Vorkosigan books are best viewed as a very long game indeed. If you want to see the chickens coming home to roost, pick it up again with Memory and keep going from there. I greatly prefer the mature-Miles books to the young-Miles books, for pretty much exactly your reason. Also, I endorse the idea of “The Mountains of Mourning” as a good place to dip in; even though that’s still young-Miles, it foreshadows a lot of the growth he’ll be doing from Memory on.

    @ Andrew: Re The Interior Life, I’ve always sort of wondered if it wasn’t a standard quest fantasy that got rejected and then the author got a much better idea about what to do with it. I like it that there’s never any sort of attempt to explain how the mental connection between the main characters happened — it just IS, and the story goes on from there. But the interaction between the characters in the two parallel stories is what really makes it, and nobody else will ever be able to do something like that again without having it compared to this one.

  19. Ultragotha, ok, this proves William Hudson of “clipping” is one of us. From the interview: Even though there’s no way we’re going to win against “Game of Thrones” or “Doctor Who,” I want to be there. If for no other reason, I would happily, awkwardly, sheepishly approach my favorite authors and tell them what their books mean to me.

    That’s a true SF fan if ever there was one.

  20. @Ultragotha

    Oh, that’s a great article. I was a bit dubious about that nom but their enthusiasm really comes through.

  21. The Best Semiprozine nomination for Uncanny Magazine is listed this way:

    Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

    Why is a podcast being credited when there’s another category honoring podcasts?

  22. I know that many people do use ‘series’ to mean ‘set of books in the same universe’, and I still think that was the majority usage on File 770 when we were discussing eligible series, but to me the Harry Potter series – a serially told story, with a definite arc – ended with Deathly Hallows, and that has not changed. Though still a fan, it did not occur to me to nominate this.

  23. Shifting of races: An interesting example is A Series of Unfortunate Events. In the books no races were stated, but I think most people read the characters as white. In the film all the major characters (from the first three books) were white. In the Netflix series, the Poe family, Josephine and the hook-handed man (which will have interesting implications later on) are black, and Monty is Indian. As far as I know this has been generally well-received.

  24. rcade Why is a podcast being credited when there’s another category honoring podcasts?

    I’ll take a stab at it – podcasts produced by a Semiprozine aren’t Fancasts?

    However, I personally would have preferred that podcasting just be another way of producing content, rather than the situation we have now.

  25. @JDN: is that your tongue sticking out of the hole in your cheek? Or do you have a bridge for sale? PS: 11/20 (maybe 12), and a lot of arguments about how epic some of those works were — can a work written in (effectively) 3rd-person singular be an epic?

    @Kurt Busiek: add me to the list telling you both Vorkosigan and Daye improve rapidly.

    @Contrarius: I support the arguments differentiating between single books and a series. Note also the number of nominated Vorkosigan works that didn’t win. Also note voters’ tendency to go with the familiar once it’s gotten notice, vs the relative newness of the other series nominees. And given the increasing number of novels coming out each year, the lack of nominations for the more distinctive works that started much later doesn’t surprise me. Note also that you’re arguing hard for your endorsed favorite, which makes “proofs” of its primeness suspect.

    @Rev Bob: The Pixel Out of Scrolls (by M.G. Filecraft?) [chortle]

    @World Weary: Fee Five in The Computer Connection is a precocious ward, not a romantic connection; Guig marries a grown woman who’s already turned down several proposals. But I agree with Ghostbird that the late Bester novels aren’t a patch on the early ones — although tCC has some good points, and I think the issue was being out of practice (he took ~20 years effectively out of the field) rather than failing to grow.

    @Kyra: I would also have been happy to see “The Dagger and the Coin” on the ballot; I think he took on a much more difficult task than (e.g.) the facile villains of The Expanse, and stuck the landing. Unfortunately that probably means it won’t be eligible in future years as the story is now over.

    @Ghostbird: implicit argument for “caring capitalism” administered by the sort of benign aristocracy imagined by people who’ve never really paid attention to history. An interesting reaction, considering the way he ripped the benign aristocracy a new one in a later book.

    @jharaldson: Potter got a Hugo in a very weak year, and AFAICT Rowling didn’t even acknowledge the award; add that to mediocre writing with a few interesting plot features and I’m not surprised it was ignored — assuming the publication of the play script made it eligible at all. (The word “written” appears in the preamble but not the inserted text; OTOH, all of the other award descriptions appear to assume “written” — none are explicit(*)– so I don’t think either the play production and move release extend the series even if you disagree with @Andrew M.) The script is clumsy and may not have attracted many readers, so many nominators may not have thought/realized the series was eligible. I will be interested in seeing where it came in when the long lists get published this August, but I’m sometimes morbidly curious.

    @OGH: What voters thought about fantasy 16 years ago may not apply now; I wonder how many nominators were even in fandom back then, even given the way it’s greying? And IIRC the controversy was more over being blown off than about the award going to fantasy. (Contrast Rowling’s behavior with the enthusiasm shown in Ultragotha’s clippings link.)

    @Andrew M: I can certainly see a lot of nominators taking that view, although I can see others (IMUUSWAG outnumbered) arguing with them. If you set it up I’ll bring the popcorn.

    * Possibly somebody should fix this, if only to avoid the sort of 1992 kerfuffle the World Fantasy Award is still trying to fix Ellison’s misstatement about. Anybody going to Helsinki with a few spoons uncommitted?

  26. Lee: 9) So by “Christian authors”, does this mean specifically authors who identify as Evangelical Christians and/or write works with strong specifically-Christian themes? Or is it open to anyone who would (e.g.) identify themselves as Christian for a hospital’s records or on the Census form? I looked briefly at the site and was unable to figure out exactly what they’re trying to say.

    Most of the nominated works come from the Christian publisher segment of the market.

    Also, I checked with nominee Jon Del Arroz who adds, “My book is not religious at all. It just said on the nom that the author has to be Christian not the work.”

    So, self-identified Christian seems to be answer. (Jon did not know if the award has a position on including/excluding Mormons or Catholics.)

  27. Why is a podcast being credited when there’s another category honoring podcasts?

    Because the podcast is part of the magazine?

    The people who edit stories for the magazines are listed even though there are other categories honoring both short stories and short fiction editing, because stories are part of these magazines too. In this case, Uncanny’s content includes a podcast.

  28. @Chip Hitchcock

    I support the arguments differentiating between single books and a series.

    Errr. I don’t even remember what part of which discussion this applies to.

    Note also the number of nominated Vorkosigan works that didn’t win.

    No matter how many didn’t win, the percentage of the Vorkosigan series that didn’t win is still much smaller than the percentage of any of the other series. And that percentage shrinks even further if you also consider the over all number of nominations.

    Also note voters’ tendency to go with the familiar once it’s gotten notice, vs the relative newness of the other series nominees.

    You can balance this against the short memories of many fans, however — newer often means shinier.

    Note also that you’re arguing hard for your endorsed favorite, which makes “proofs” of its primeness suspect.

    Absolutely. I make no pretense to objectivity in this context. Fortunately, the multiple Hugo awards (and additional noms) provide me with independently verifiable support for my position. 🙂

  29. Chip Hitchcock: And IIRC the controversy was more over being blown off than about the award going to fantasy.

    I remember being in the Hugo Losers party the evening Harry Potter won and somebody trying to enlist me to join in his complaint that a fantasy novel had gotten the award. And similar views were aired before. (It didn’t matter that I told him the Hugos had always been for sf and fantasy.)

    If some people later were peeved by her lack of acknowledgment, that would have added to the controversy, but it wasn’t the source of it.

  30. Kurt Busiek, please check your e-mail for a message from Cattimothy House CEO Timothy T. T. Cat. 🐱

  31. emgrasso —

    Griffin is not a familiar name. I may have tried a sample and bounced at some point. Possibly too many romance overtones, or too much horror? Or both?

    You may be more familiar with her under one of her other pen names, Claire North. You might want to give the books she writes under the Kate Griffin name a try. No romance to speak of (maybe something very mild in her Magicals Anonymous books?), and while there is a definite tinge of horror in her “Matthew Swift” series, it is definitely no more than what I read in Aaronovitch’s work.

  32. Even though there’s no way we’re going to win against “Game of Thrones” or “Doctor Who,” I want to be there. If for no other reason, I would happily, awkwardly, sheepishly approach my favorite authors and tell them what their books mean to me.

    He wants to be in the room where it happens?

    /obscure cross-genre jokes

  33. Re HP, I personally thought that taking the script from the play and releasing it as if it was a new HP book was a crass cash grab and I lost even more respect for JKR over it. So I wouldn’t have considered nominating it, even if the series had ended on a high note. I think #5 was the last book that wasn’t just going through the motions.

  34. Hampus, glad you’re okay. I haven’t seen any news today so this is the first that I have heard about this terrible crime.

  35. Cora: Stix Hiscock is another unwitting puppy hostage

    I feel a bit bad for her, being excited at the news and thinking that her work had genuinely gotten nominated on its merits, and then finding out that it’s just a cruel joke and that she’s been used by nasty people.

    But the story’s still going below No Award on my ballot, and I won’t be reading it.

  36. Re HP: I didn’t nominate it because The Cursed Child read like fan-fiction. The dialogue is so lifeless. I very much doubt if Rowling actually wrote any of the words on the pages. She likely just had the story idea and the co-authors converted it onto a fan-fiction-y script.

    (I kinda still like some of the plot ideas. But the execution, nope).

  37. @Chip Hitchcock he ripped the benign aristocracy a new one in a later book

    That’s very good to hear – I’ll put the rest of the series back on my list of potential reading. (I was a little surprised by the strength of my reaction at the time.)

  38. Quick quiz–which TV franchise has been on the air off and on for decades, been “re-visioned” a time or two, been nominated for a Hugo, and starred William Shatner and John Delance?

    That’s right, it is My Little Pony. (This is a couple of months old, but I don’t remember it being scrolled yet.)

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