Pixel Scroll 7/22/20 Will No One Rid Me Of This Turbulent Pixel?

(1) HUGO VOTING LYRICS. The midnight (Pacific) deadline is imminent, inspiring 770’s reference to “I’m Getting Married in the Morning” in a post today — which Goobergunch celebrated by creating new words for the song.

There’s books and ‘zines all over town
And I’ve got to track ’em down
In just a few more hours….

I’m Hugo voting in the morning
That silver rocket’s gonna shine
Put up a racket
Download the packet
But make sure I go vote online

(2) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman, like so many others, won’t be getting to New Zealand this summer, so – “It’s time for a long-distance lunch and dinner with award-winning writer Lee Murray”. Listen in, at the Eatng the Fantastic podcast.

At the urgings of some of my Patreon supporters, I’ve decided to break bread anyway with some of the creators I’d intended to record with had I made there, only with 16 hours and thousands of miles separating us. So last night, I had dinner with writer Lee Murray, while she had lunch the following day.

Lee is a three-time Bram Stoker Awards finalist, and is also New Zealand’s most awarded writer and editor of fantastic fiction, having won two Australian Shadows and a dozen Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Her novels include The Battle of the Birds (2011), Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse (2019), as well as Into the Mist (2016), Into the Sounds (2018), Into the Ashes (2019), and others.   She’s edited fourteen anthologies, including Baby Teeth: Bite-Sized Tales of Terror (2013), Hellhole: An Anthology of Subterranean Terror (2018), and others.  Her first collection, Grotesque: Monster Stories, will be published July 24.

We discussed how she crafted her first short story collection, the importance of mentoring our next generation of genre writers, why we’re unlikely to ever go spelunking together, whether she prefers her zombies fast or slow, the unique awards club of which we’re both members, the way her use of New Zealand culture might be perceived differently by readers in and out of her country, the difficulties some seem to have with stories written in the present tense, the thrill of being the first New Zealander to appear in Weird Tales magazine, how the experiences of reading aloud The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings differ, and much more.

(3) GHOST STORY. Step into the booth and hear Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff’s “Confessions of a Ghost Writer: When to Hold an Exorcism” at Book View Café.

I recently had to exorcise, er, fire a client. One I’d been working with for years. I have written three complete novels for this fellow, rewritten a fourth and outlined a fifth. The novel we were working on when we parted company was one we had been at for roughly six years from the time when he turned over a research binder, a long, detailed, Harvard-style outline, and a number of drafted chapters and scenes.

I freely admit that I allowed the situation to go on too long, but I really dislike quitting, and I have first hand evidence of the efficacy of the Golden Rule. I know that if you treat even contrarians with kindness and friendliness, you will end up with a good friend….

(4) BRONY DOCUMENTARY. Jenny Nicholson narrates The Last Bronycon: a fandom autopsy

(5) COSPLAYER GALLERY. A San Diego Union-Tribune photographer thought it would be a shame to let all that talent go to waste. “Comic-Con 2020: All dressed up and nowhere to go”.

With this week’s Comic-Con International moving online because of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a whole world of cosplayers with a lot of creativity to show off. Since they can’t strut their stuff in the Gaslamp District, photographer K.C. Alfred asked them to suit up and show us their powers at various spots around San Diego County….

(6) COMIC CON ALTERNATIVE. John King Tarpinian tells me “We don’t need no stinkin’ San Diego” because this weekend they’re still going to hold the Casper Comic Con. No, it’s not for ghosts – yet, anyway. It’s happening in Casper, Wyoming.

The 2020 Casper Comic Con will be held INSIDE of the Casper Events Center. Mask are highly recommended
Guest appearance by FLASH GORDON Sam J. Jones

(7) SIZEMORE OBIT. Paranormal romance author Susan Sizemore died July 20 at the age of 69. She wrote fan fiction set in the Star Trek universe. She later began writing original romance novels and when she was about 40, she won the 1991 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, presented to a previously unpublished author. And soon after she sold her debut novel, a time-travel romance called Wings of the Storm. Later in her career, she was asked to write a media tie-in novel Forever Knight: A Stirring of Dust based on the television series. She created two original series about a vampire world, Laws of the Blood, and Primes. According to her friend Jody Lynn Nye, Sizemore was active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, where she was known as Sibeol the Sinister (she was left-handed). 

(8) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • July 22, 1959 Hercules Unchained premiered nation-wide. An Italian-French production, it was directed by  Pietro Francisci, and produced by Bruno Vailati. Screenplay was by Ennio De Concini and Pietro Francisci with the latter also writing the story. It is claimed that the story is based off of Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles and Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus. Primary cast was Steve Reeves, Sylva Koscina, Primo Carnera and Sylvia Lopez. Critics in general though it was better than the predecessor film Hercules and it was the third most popular movie at the British box office in 1960. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes really don’t like it and give it a 20% rating.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born July 22, 1881 – Margery Williams.  Wrote The Velveteen Rabbit.  Lovecraft’s “On The Thing in the Woods by Harper Williams” is about one of her books: HW a pseudonym.  Another novel, twenty shorter stories, for us, often with James Bowman; many others.  Forward, Commandos! (1944) has a black soldier, rare in literature then.  Translations from French and from Norwegian (with Dagny Mortensen).  Newbery Honor.  (Died 1944) [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1889 James Whale. He is best remembered for these Thirties horror films: FrankensteinThe Old Dark HouseThe Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein which are all considered classics. He also made during this period, The Man in the Iron Mask, which surely is genre adjacent. (Died 1957.) (CE)
  • Born July 22, 1898 – Stephen Vincent Benet.  “The Devil and Daniel Webster” leaps to mind.  Three dozen short stories, seven dozen poems, touching SF.  Guggenheim Fellowship.  Judged Yale’s Young Poets Competition ten years.  Three O. Henry awards (don’t minimize him either).  Member, Amer. Acad. Arts & Letters.  Fellow, Amer. Acad. Arts & Sciences.  Pulitzer Prize.  Look for him.  (Died 1943) [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1898 – Alexander Calder.  This edition of two Calvino stories has a Calder cover.  But AC’s relation to us is higher, or deeper, or something.  His mobiles (he invented them) and stabiles show an extraordinary joining of reality and fantasy — and science.  Here is Two Moons.  Here is Homage to Jerusalem.  He worked flat, too; here is a lithograph Black Sun.  (Died 1976) [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1932 Tom Robbins, 88. Author of such novels as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Another Roadside Attraction. ISFDB lists everything he’s done as genre and who am I to argue with them? Now Jitterbug Perfumethat’s genre! (CE)
  • Born July 22, 1936 Angus Allan. British comic strip writer responsible for such strips asThe Six Million Dollar ManLogan’s Run and DangerMouse. As the in-house writer for the Anderson’s TV Century 21, he provided the newspaper “news story” scripts for Fireball XL5Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.  He also wrote the novelization of Thunderbirds Are Go. (Died 2007.) (CE)
  • Born July 22, 1939 Dean McLaughlin, 81. His best-known work is “Hawk Among the Sparrows” which was short-listed for both a Hugo and Nebula Award for Best Novella. He’s also written Dawn, a novel based off of Asimov’s “Nightfall” novelette. He was won for Analog Awards for Best Novella or Novelette. (CE)
  • Born July 22, 1941 – Vaughn Bodé.  The equipment won’t show his name as he wrote it; over the “e” shouldn’t be an accent acute (which is what you see), but a macron (horizontal line), i.e. indicating a long vowel, not emphasis: it doesn’t rhyme with “okay”.  I never heard him say it; I spent years thinking it was like body, but maybe it’s like Commando Cody.  Anyhow, he gave us Cheech Wizard – and lizards – and much else.  Here is a cover for Galaxy.  Here is one for Amazing (with Larry Todd).  (Died 1975) [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1944 Nick Brimble, 76. His first genre role was in Lust for a Vampire as the First Villager. He next shows up in Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound as The Monster. He’s Sir Ectot in A Knight’s Tale which I really like be it genre adjacent or not. His lastest film genre role is as Dr. Zellaby in Soulmate, and he’s the voice of Owsla in the Watership series. (CE)
  • Born July 22, 1959 – Greg Costikyan, 61.  Among us he published the New York Conspiracy’s Hymnal.  Later, while staying with SF, he grew famous as a game designer and critic.  Many SF reviews in Ares.  Four novels (First Contract translated into French), sixteen shorter stories.  Five Origins awards.  Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame.  Much about his gaming in his Wikipedia entry.  [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1965 – Lee Ann Setzer, 55.  Editor (or if you prefer, editrix) for a while of The Leading Edge.  Short stories as Lee Ann Layton.  Children’s books; Biblical-fiction novels Gathered about Ruth, Hidden about Esther.  Her husband said “I had to marry you.  You’re the only one who truly understands about the US space program.” While in Japan ate nattô (fermented soybeans), hurrah!  [JH]
  • Born July 22, 1972 Colin Ferguson, 48. Best known for being Sheriff Jack Carter on Eureka. Damn I miss that series which amazingly won no Hugos. He’s also been in Are You Afraid of the DarkThe HungerThe X-FilesThe Outer Limits, the Eureka “Hide and Seek” webisodes (anyone seen these?) and The Vampire Diaries. (CE)

(10) TWO PLEASE. In Episode 32 of Two Chairs Talking former Aussie Worldcon chairs Perry Middlemiss and David Grigg talk about movies and TV. Which one is the tougher audience?

After discussing the current state of COVID-19 restrictions, Perry pans the movie Ad Astra, but cheers The Mandalorian series on Disney+, and the Netflix movie The Old Guard. David waxes enthusiastic about the Amazon series Tales from the Loop, and the movie Yesterday.

(11) ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR SALESPERSON. Need a little heavy metal? “Rare and Exotic Elements To Collect Including Uranium for Sale at Luciteria Science!”

For the academic, scientist, collector, or hobbyist with an interest in the building blocks of the natural world, obtaining pure, representative samples of elements can be a challenge. Since our inception, we started off as an oddball but fun sideline as the Lucite furniture company which then became, Luciteria Science. Today, we serve the discerning collector with Lucite acrylic displays of the elements in their raw forms, functional calibration reference cubes, hand- and machine-polished mirror cubes, and much more!

(12) URBAN SPACEMAN. “Hazmat Suits for Air Travel Are Here”Bloomberg has the story.

…Yezin Al-Qaysi says haute hazmats are just the thing to make flying feel safe again. In mid-April the co-founder of VYZR Technologies, a Toronto-based company specializing in personal protective gear, launched a new product called the BioVYZR via crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The $250, futuristic-looking outer layer resembles the top half of an astronaut’s uniform, with anti-fogging “windows” and a built-in hospital-grade air-purifying device. Paranoid flyers were quick to scoop it up, pre-ordering about 50,000 suits and raising $400,000 for the nascent company. The first batch is set to be delivered by the end of July.

Andrew Porter points out that sff got there first!  Photo from 1936 film Things to Come:

(13) BEST OF FIENDS. Io9 says “Marvel Villainous Is Perfect for Those Who Thought the Disney Version Was Too Nice”.

If playing Disney Villainous is like being in the fifth grade, Marvel Villainous is the first day of middle school. It feels the same, but it’s totally not. There are rules and norms you had no idea existed but are now the most important things in the world—and there’s a chance the classmates you came along with may not be your friends by the end of it. But that kinda makes Ravensburger’s board game a blast.

The latest board and card game release from Ravensburger (in a partnership with Prospero Hall) is a departure from the Disney Villainous series, which pitted different Disney villains against each other in a race to complete goals from their movies. This version ventures into the Marvel Universe to focus on the exploits of classic comic book baddies (they’re technically not the MCU versions but they have very similar designs and goals, so they’re pretty much the same thing).

The starting edition of this game, Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power, features five villains: Hela, Killmonger, Ultron, Thanos, and Taskmaster. 

(14) THIS IS THE CITY. Andrew Porter passed along links to two overviews of Los Angeles right after City Hall was built – terrain that will look familiar to those of you who have seen the Fifties monster movie THEM! (Or the original Dragnet series.)

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Sharknado Pitch Meeting” on ScreenRant, Ryan George explains that all the “science” in Sharknado was “pier-reviewed” because “some drunk guy on the pier reviewed it.”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Michael Toman, Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, Jennifer Hawthorne, and John Hertz for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]

57 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/22/20 Will No One Rid Me Of This Turbulent Pixel?

  1. (14) For many of us, that’s the Daily Planet building in The Adventures of Superman.

  2. (9) I think I’ve seen Ferguson in commercial as a sentient dishwasher which has to be genre.

  3. Birthdays: Stephen Vincent Benet also had a short story called “By the Waters of Babylon” that was pre-nuclear post-holocaust.

    Greg Costikyan wrote two humorous fantasy novels published by Tor: Another Day, Another Dungeon and its sequel One Quest, Hold the Dragons. They weren’t super-memorable, but if we’re listing his SFF-related accomplishments, I think they’re worthy of mention.

  4. John Hertz@8) “Stephen Vincent Benet. “The Devil and Daniel Webster” leaps to mind”.

    As does “By The Waters Of Babylon”. I greatly admire “John Brown’s Body”, too. It’s not genre, but it’s still epic.

  5. 12) New con idea- the concom buys these. Membership fee includes rental of a suit for the length of the con.

  6. @3 is a truly bizarre story. I would wonder why this client was willing to pay an hourly rate for writing and then not send it in, but staying well clear of someone so desperate to get into print seems better for my sanity.

    @9 (Benét, following David and John): I wouldn’t bet that “The Place of the Gods” is the first post-holocaust story, although I see it predates all of Nelson Bond’s set; there’s probably something obscure somewhere. However, it’s not only the first I read; the author’s name was enough to get it into an anthology of short stories published specifically for teaching (sets of stories showing each facet of storytelling) that was used in my 7th-grade English class.
    Typo note: all instances I’ve seen of his name have the accent shown in this comment.

    @John A. Arkansawyer: I greatly admire “John Brown’s Body”, too. It’s not genre, but it’s still epic. I did tech for a high-school production of the staging of this piece — a couple of years after having no idea what the point was of Jean Kerr’s MikeHammerish parody in Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. (It was a few years later before I realized she was being snide on the wrong side of The Knack.)

  7. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    I sent my ballot in already.
    Real mail remains, and works just fine.
    No log-in troubles.
    No electronic bubbles.
    So please do yours too, I have done mine.

  8. Well, I can’t say I made a good showing this year (at… anything, at all, but specifically getting to all the categories I wanted to) but I’ve voted on what little I could. So that’s something.

  9. (9) Vaughn Bodé. The equipment won’t show his name as he wrote it; over the “e” shouldn’t be an accent acute (which is what you see), but a macron (horizontal line), i.e. indicating a long vowel, not emphasis:

    Shouldn’t be? Okay.

  10. “ē” (or “ē”) should allow you to spell Bodē properly.

    I never had the chance to meet Vaughn Bodē, but his son Mark was part of our gaming circle when I was young, and I still see him occasionally, as his studio is just a few blocks from my house.

    Before I finally settled on the blue Spock-outline avatar, Cheech Wizard was one of the images I used to regularly use.

    eta: Apparently ē doesn’t work, but the decimal code does, but the system bizarrely refuses to escape the &amp part when I try. It’s & followed by #275;

  11. Thanks for the title credit!

    9) Whale was played delightfully by Ian McKellen in 1988’s Gods and Monsters, a film I haven’t seen in a while now.

  12. My Systemically Anti-Black Hugo Ballot

    Best Novel A Memory Called Empire, but all the nominees are white
    Best Novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate 1st; The Deep second. This was pure guess based on about 1 chapter each.
    Best Novelette Tempted to give No Award in this category but the field was about as bad 2 years ago. “For He Can Creep” was unapologetically the one I liked the best, cat sentimentality and all. NK Jemisin’s story had many very powerful points but not sure that it’s a Hugo story and Becky Chambers is doing a few of the same things better. 2nd.
    Best Short Story “A Catalogue of Storms”. That absolutely is the sort of thing that should win. Also I stiffed Fran Wilde for the Lodestar. Rivers Solomon is 2nd–very well written and characterized story and central metaphor good
    Best Graphic Story It just has to be for the ages to beat Monstress. LaGuardia was a relatively simple story fabulously told. 2nd.
    Best DP Long Form Wasn’t organized enough actually to watch Russian Doll but Vulture convinced me it was brilliant. I thought that Us and Good Omens were two sides of the same coin where Us was in the darkness and Good Omens was in the light. Us got the edge for saying things that I wouldn’t consider in Jewish theology to be completely obvious. If Good Omens wins it’s a frabjous day. Nothing else on the ballot should be anywhere near the award.
    Best DP Short Form Watchmen “A God Walks Into Abar” Classic hour of TV.
    Best Professional Artist Rovina Cai. I don’t know how Alyssa Winans identifies but her art was nothing special
    Best Fan Artist Iain Clark. This was no contest. You could not have told me that this was fan art.
    Lodestar Dragon Pearl because it’s Yoon Ha Lee and was a delight almost from start to finish.

    I think Rivers Solomon has definitely obtained a fan so that’s something.

  13. Hugo thoughts:

    In Novel, I voted for A Memory Called Empire. It just felt like the best story, The Short Story seemed to be the weakest category, though I concluded one of the finalists deserved my vote. Novelette was strongest in terms of overall writing and execution, but Novella did have some standout candidates as well.

  14. Rob Thornton says Hugo thoughts:

    In Novel, I voted for A Memory Called Empire. It just felt like the best story, The Short Story seemed to be the weakest category, though I concluded one of the finalists deserved my vote. Novelette was strongest in terms of overall writing and execution, but Novella did have some standout candidates as well.

    My problem is that I’m a novel reader and rarely read shorter form fiction unless I find a series like Ailette De Bodard’s Xuya Universe that I’m really interested in, or read P. Djèlí Clark‘s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 which was fascinating enough that I read the rest of his fiction.

    I don’t subscribe to any of the genre zines, and I generally find most anthologies low on material I’ll actually read. So the first time I read most of the Hugo nominated shorter works was when I encountered them in the Hugo packet.

  15. @ Cat Eldridge

    So the first time I read most of the Hugo nominated shorter works was when I encountered them in the Hugo packet.

    Same here. I’ve lost the habit of reading the SF/F periodicals and I just have problems buying e-novellas ($11 for a 150-page novella from Tor–really?). It’s OK to have a fresh perspective on the finalists, I suppose.

  16. Anthony on July 23, 2020 at 1:45 am said:
    Meredithing time: In the unlikely event you don’t already have a copy, N K Jemisin’s The Fifth Season is a Kindle Deal of the Day on Amazon UK. As always, other tributaries may differ.

    Do already have a copy but looking at the Amazon page, that’s an impressive number of largely very positive reviews (1,945). I’m used to browsing genre books that only have a few dozen so that really jumped out at me.

    Maybe Hugo awards do correlate somewhat to sales and wider renown after all.

  17. rob_matic says Maybe Hugo awards do correlate somewhat to sales and wider renown after all.

    I really think that the Hugos are the only Awards that the general public who reads genre fiction recognise. None of the the other Awards really mean anything to them. You and I know what the Nebula or the the recently renamed James Tiptree Jr. Award is, but I doubt the general genre purchasing public does.

  18. Ron Thornton notes Same here. I’ve lost the habit of reading the SF/F periodicals and I just have problems buying e-novellas ($11 for a 150-page novella from Tor–really?). It’s OK to have a fresh perspective on the finalists, I suppose.

    It was interesting I admit to read that much shorter fiction in that short a time. I’d only encountered maybe one work in ten before hand, so most of it was new to me. I won’t say read all of it, but I read nearly all of it.

  19. I really only had time for the novel category this year. The number of repeat nominees in a couple of other categories was also a de-motivator.

    Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire
    Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
    A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine
    NA
    The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow
    The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Ander
    The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley

    Thinking about next year, some folks may enjoy Scarlett Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi. About the only flaw that I can see is that it is clearly the first book of a series. Otherwise, highly inventive world-building with a variety of perspectives. The story is set in an African-esque environment. The ubiquitous farm-boy/prince is ignorant of the fact that his sorcerer-mother has purposefully groomed him to be something more than a farm-boy/prince. He steps out in the world to figure out what that “something more” might be. Lots of magic. Lots of very grimdark elements.

    Very enjoyable.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway – John Wayne

  20. @me: Gods and Monsters was 1998, not 1988. Pixel twice, scroll once, Patrick…

  21. The short fiction categories are my favourites every year. One of the things I like best in sf/f is ideas, and short fiction does that very, very well.

  22. Meredith says The short fiction categories are my favourites every year. One of the things I like best in sf/f is ideas, and short fiction does that very, very well.

    It certainly helped that all the shorter fiction pieces were actually sent which wasn’t the case with the novels. I don’t do NetGalley as I keep all my fiction in iBooks and have no desire to add another reading app.

  23. Hugo thoughts back at ya:

    Among the finalists, I thought Gideon The Ninth was the most successful in terms of sustained tone and tempo, keeping my interest all the way through, and sticking the landing — but it is so morbid, and is another of the several finalists in various categories this year that revels in death — so I could see why others liked it, but that creates a ceiling on how much I do. Then A Memory Called Empire — I wondered, when the hell is the story going to start? The answer (according to my Kindle) was at about the 45% mark. Then it really blew up, became compelling, made its own internal sense, and started to approach the quality of the Ancillary Justice series. The last half was terrific. Shouldn’t it have been a novella? In the end I voted for The Light Brigade — the good and the bad thing is that Hurley does a frighteningly good job of tapping into the soldier’s experience of war, the shaping and damaging of human emotion, why people don’t just run away. It exacted a toll on me as a reader — which it seemed to me explorations of mortality should be expected to, if they’re touching something meaningful to human beings — and I decided that was where my Hugo vote belonged.

  24. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    @bill

    Yeah.

    And I know Cobalt-60 appeared in my own club’s zine.

    And you know what Cheech Wizard would probably do. He might even insist you get closer so he could.

    You probably know Wikipedia, the great and terrible, says

    As explained by Bod?’s friend Fred A. Levy Haskell, in the collection “Vaughn Bod?’s Poem Toons” (Tundra Publishing, 1989),”the line over the ‘e’ in Vaughn’s signature is not an acute accent, it is a long mark. That is, it is not part of the family name, and is not pronounced as if it were a long ‘a’ — he added it to his signature to indicate that you are supposed to pronounce the long ‘e’ at the end of his name.”

    I wrote to Fred today by real mail before I saw your comment.

    Maybe we’ll all learn something.

  25. @Meredith

    Thank you for the reminder.

    @OGH

    That was exactly the aspect of Light Brigade that I enjoyed the most. She nailed the interpersonal attitudes of military service really well.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The essence of America – that which really unites us – is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea – and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. — Condoleezza Rice

  26. I made an effort to watch/listen to all of the Retro Hugo Best Dramatic Presentation candidates this year. Everything was on Amazon except for the radio show Donovan’s Brain. That turned out to be two ghost stories, two Universal horror movies late in their individual franchise runs, the said radio show (mad scientist horror), and It Happened Tomorrow, a pleasant fantasy about a man who receives tomorrows newspaper (yes, even before it was printed). I think that had a ghost in it also. IHT got my vote this time.

  27. @John Hertz
    Bode signed his work “Von” early in his career, “Vaughn Bode’ ” (accent after the “e”, not over it) in the mid to late 1960s, including his work in his college paper at Syracuse, and with the macron over the “e” pretty consistently after 1969 or so. I’ve also seen work by him signed simply “Vaughn Bode”, with no diacritical marks at all.

    I’ve seen a piece he autographed as “Vaughn Bode”, again with no diacritical marks.

    His son Mark has an extensive web page, and while he signs his own artwork with the macron like his father did, in text he usually refers to himself and his father as Bode. Sometimes it has the accent, and sometimes the accent is over the e (é), sometimes after it (e’). Sometimes it has the macron over the e.

    Given that the artist himself, and the son carrying his legacy, were/are so inconsistent with the spelling, I think saying that a particular way is how the name “should” be is more authoritative than the record supports.

    Further, to the extent that any particular variant is based on how he signed his work, I don’t see why that should be determinative when setting the artist’s name in print. To use some of his contemporaries as examples, Skip Williamson fairly consistently signed his work as SKIP WILLIAMSON (all caps). But it is routine not to do that in text referring to him. Jeffrey (Catherine) Jones signed his work with a dot in the “O”, or sometimes the “J”. Again, this doesn’t carry over to text references.
    When the Syracuse Daily Orange referred to him as their art director, he was “Vaughn Bode” (no marks). His death certificate said “Vaughn Bode.”

    Pronunciation: A NY Times article (which refers to him as “Vaughn Bode”) says the son Mark rhymes his name with Commander Cody, as you surmised.

  28. @OGH If it’s framed as a murder mystery in a world the protagonist is just getting to know firsthand I can tolerate a lot of the story being slow to get going. Also one of the main points is the disconnect between what the story really is and the byzantine narrative in Mahit’s head.

    Two categories I forgot because I voted for them a while ago–
    Best Related Work Joanna Russ
    Best Fancast Our Opinions Are Correct

  29. I guess people know me here. This year I made a real effort to assume from the start that black authors were participating in blackness-as-a-conversation (if I capitalize Black it’s performative) and portraying complex humans rather than portraying collections of racialized tropes in an effort to manipulate people. This still did not work as far as my ultimate vote but if others are practicing affirmative action it may put some of the work over the top. Also I’m 48 years old–I won’t vote for something that pats me on the head and says nothing but “Racism is bad,” like I’m a little kid.

  30. @OGH: Yes! You said that! My point about the disconnect makes no sense if you didn’t read the whole thing!

  31. 4jkb4ia: This year I made a real effort to assume from the start that black authors were participating in blackness-as-a-conversation (if I capitalize Black it’s performative) and portraying complex humans rather than portraying collections of racialized tropes in an effort to manipulate people.

    How generous of you. I hope you didn’t strain anything in your brain while trying so hard to regard Black authors as human beings.

    Of course, that assumes that there was something to strain, which seems doubtful. 😐

  32. Meredith Audible.com Moment:

    For the next 8.25 hours, The Last Smile in Sunder City (Fetch Phillips Archives #1) by “Black Sails” author Luke Arnold is $2.95 at Audible.com. The author narrates. 😉 The short description from the publisher is: “A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold.”

    I was interested in this already and the audio sounded pretty good, so yes.

  33. @Kendall —

    Oh. Well.

    I had just seen that the book was listed as a mystery, and I didn’t even check out the blurb. Silly me!

    Toddling off to spend a couple bucks….

    edit: Oooooo, I just noticed that the third book in Rachel Aaron’s Detroit Free Zone series has come out! Yes! If anyone wants to try recent UF, I’ve really enjoyed this one. And it’s narrated by the excellent Emily Woo Zeller. 🙂

  34. Oh, crap. Now I’m in trouble. You can BE a human being and not PORTRAY human beings. One reason for not portraying human beings is that you’re a bad writer or care more about portraying the science than the characters. In a normal (non-Puppy) year Hugo nominees are average to good writers and the science is rarely the focus of the story. Another reason for not portraying human beings is that every character in the story is literally a robot or an AI or an alien. (Look, it was obvious.) A third reason is that you have the worthy goals of subverting racist tropes or using some mythic/folkloric figure from your culture (or criticizing shortsighted expectations in your culture–for example I read black women being grateful that one or another piece of art doesn’t hold up the Strong Black Woman as an impossible standard) and the resulting characters come out flat or pastiches. I was trying to say, and it doesn’t look too good anyway, that if it was obvious that the character was fulfilling any of these goals the way I viewed the character shut down. I viewed the character as not a character but a bit of messaging. Of course, no woke critic at Vulture has ever done this and I have never rolled my eyes when they did it. (Snark) The characters in the Broken Earth trilogy I have never viewed as bits of messaging because they don’t correspond one-to-one with anything in our world that they’re critiquing.

  35. Novella was the toughest category for me to vote in this year. Ultimately, I gave In an Absent Dream the top slot, but Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom and The Haunting of Tram Car 015 were close behind.

  36. @4jkb4ia How condescending of you to assume that anyone who nominated or voted for any of the fiction by Black authors is practicing “affirmative action”, rather than voting an honest preference.

    Perhaps that’s not the tone you intended, but it’s certainly the tone you achieved.

  37. Scroll me tomorrow.
    Won’t you please pixel me?
    Scroll me tomorrow like today.

    Scroll me tomorrow; hurry back
    Can’t you see?
    I need to read more than yesterday!

    Apologies to Chicago (“Love Me Tomorrow”)

  38. Cassy B. says How condescending of you to assume that anyone who nominated or voted for any of the fiction by Black authors is practicing “affirmative action”, rather than voting an honest preference.

    I tend not to pay any attention to the race and / ethnicity of a writer, so I’m sometimes surprised to discover what it is, i.e. i delighted to learn Ailette De Dobard was of French and. Vietnamese ancestry given her Xuya universe stories.

  39. @Contrarius: 🙂 And thanks for the Aaron rec; I loved the “Eli Monpress” series and (mostly) Luke Daniels’s narration. I’m not a fan of Emily Woo Zeller’s style, but I’ll check out an ebook sample of the first DFZ book at some point.

  40. @Kendall —

    I’ll check out an ebook sample of the first DFZ book at some point.

    Free if you have KU!

    I liked Eli Monpress. I did NOT like her Heartstriker series. The narrator probably had something to do with that (that narrator seriously annoys me), though, and I never tried it in ebook. The Detroit Free Zone (DFZ) books are a spinoff from the Heartstriker series, but I like them much better.

    And yeah, I’ve seen a fair number of people who don’t like Zeller. She does have a definite style, but I like her. 🙂

  41. Contrarius: I liked Eli Monpress. I did NOT like her Heartstriker series.

    I really enjoyed Aaron/Bach’s Paradox series, but I haven’t tried any of the others.

  42. @4jkb4ia

    I guess people know me here.

    Bad news for you. I don’t find a random collection of letters and numbers all that memorable. Or maybe good news. I’m less likely to immediately recognize you next time.

    This year I made a real effort to assume from the start that black authors were participating in blackness-as-a-conversation (if I capitalize Black it’s performative) and portraying complex humans rather than portraying collections of racialized tropes in an effort to manipulate people.

    Gee, how sweet and generous of you.

    Y’know, you might try just reading stories as if they’re stories, rather than starting from the position that writers from certain backgrounds are more likely to be engaging in politics rather than storytelling.

    This still did not work as far as my ultimate vote but if others are practicing affirmative action it may put some of the work over the top.

    Geeze. No, random collection of letters and numbers, I didn’t vote for anything based on “affirmative action.” I voted for what I like d best–and that resulted in what I suspect are a bunch of votes that you would dismisss as “affirnative action.”

    Because you have very narrow worldview and aren’t really open to different viewpoints.

    Also I’m 48 years old–I won’t vote for something that pats me on the head and says nothing but “Racism is bad,” like I’m a little kid.

    And yet, you start from the assumption that anything that doesn’t start from a viewpoint you find familiar is an attempt at political manipulation, and that anyone who thinks it award-worthy is engaging in “affirmative action.”

    Which is really quite childish.

  43. As far as I can tell 4jkb4ia (if I may ask a favour from our lurkers and visitors, it’s for people to choose a more pronounceable pseud?) has previously posted four comments across two threads. Not enough to establish a solid sense of personality and preferences, I think, since the only one longer than two sentences that I found was this one.

    (The one shared trait is that I mostly have no earthly idea exactly what our new friend is trying to say.)

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