Pixel Scroll 9/11/19 Starting At Jupiter, Ending At The Sun

(1) POKER. Terri Ash and Ariela Housman of Geek Calligraphy say they will put out an online fanzine at the end of the year “to provide a publication venue for fan art that is otherwise excluded from the Fan Artist Hugo award eligibility criteria”: “Announcing the Launch of The Very Official Dead Dog Art Zine”

Well, we’re putting our money where our mouths are. It’s important to us that there be as much access to Hugo Award eligibility as possible. That means both fixing the constitution (the root problem) and also providing an outlet for people while the amendment is ratified.

The only submission criteria for the Very Official Dead Dog Art Zine is that you follow our submission template. That’s it. The entire point of this zine is that everyone’s art is worthy of inclusion. There is no jury, no one will tell you that your art isn’t good enough. You made it. That’s enough for us.

“The Very Official Dead Dog Art Zine”  Tagline: “Because Nothing Pokes Someone In The Eye Like a Really Big Stick”

In 2019 the Hugo Committee ruled that, for the purposes of the Best Fan Artist category, art that has only been displayed online does not meet the requirements of this definition.

However! Fanzines that only exist online still count. (Don’t think too hard about this logic, it goes nowhere.) By publishing this zine at the very end of the year, we are offering a last rules-compliant venue for potential fan artists to display work they finished too late to display anywhere else.

Dublin 2019 Hugo Administrator Nicholas Whyte declined to comment when I asked him whether the above statement is an accurate corollary to the ruling he gave them about what could be allowed in last year’s Hugo Voter Packet, i.e., that art from an online fanzine would have satisfied his interpretation of the rules.

(2) WHAT DO THESE NUMBERS MEAN? This week two different writers have posted Hugo statistics showing the male/female ratio of nominees over the course of the award’s history. The Fantasy Inn created a animated graphic about the Best Novel category.

James Davis Nicoll ran the stats for all the fiction categories in “Gender and the Hugo Awards, by the Numbers” at Tor.com.

When I heard people were apparently upset about the gender balance of this year’s Hugo winners, I thought I could give the records a quick eyeball and fill the empty abyss of daily existence for a short time establish once and for all whether or not this year was particularly atypical. If there’s one thing known about human nature, it is that concrete numbers resolve all arguments.

When questioned about the purpose of his post, James Davis Nicoll said, “Actually, I just like counting stuff. I don’t know why people read agendas into a presentation of numerical data.”

For myself I’d say — I read all six novels on the Hugo ballot. There wasn’t one I thought didn’t belong. The field was surprisingly strong. And the book I expected to like the least (before I’d read any of them) is the one I ended up voting in first place. Does this ballot need to be defended?

(3) DINO ROCK. The third Jurassic World movie is scheduled for a 2021 release. Meantime, Director Colin Trevorrow is keeping up interest. He’s unveiling another short dinosaur adventure September 15 on FX.

(4) MORE TO READ. James Davis Nicoll scouts ahead and finds “Five Collections of Classic SF Ready for Rediscovery” at Tor.com.

Time erodes. Time erodes author reputations. When new books stop appearing, old readers forget a once favorite author and new readers may never encounter writers who were once well known.

It’s fortunate that we live in something of a golden age of reprints, whether physical books or ebooks. This is also the golden age of finding long-out-of-print books via online used book services. Now authors perhaps unjustly forgotten can reach new readers. I’ve been reminded of a few such authors; let me share a few of them with you.

(5) A THEORY ABOUT SFF FANS. After rereading John W. Campbell Jr.’s The Moon is Hell! James Wallace Harris asked himself, “Why Read Outdated Science Fiction?” Bear in mind this answer comes from the fan who writes the Classics of Science Fiction blog.

…Reading “The Moon is Hell!” showed me I didn’t care about science. Nor did I care about Campbell’s growing bad reputation. The story is everything. That’s what it comes down to. I’m also in a Facebook group that’s discussing “In the Walls of Eryx” by H. P. Lovecraft, another outdated story about intelligent life on Venus by another shunned writer. Again, it’s the story stupid.

We don’t read for facts. We don’t care about literary standing or the author’s morality. Few readers compare the books in their collection to find the best one to read next. We select books on random whims. If the story grabs us we keep reading. Readers are simple creatures of habit. I could clear a shelf of my books without looking at the titles and it wouldn’t matter, because I’ve got plenty more to randomly grab.

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 11, 1856 Richard Ganthony. Playwright of  A Message from Mars: A Story Founded on the Popular Play by Richard Ganthony which is a genre version of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Really, it is. Published in 1912, it was filmed twice, both times as A Message from Mars (1913 and 1921) and I’m assuming as silent movies given their dates. It would be novelized by Lester Lurgan. (Died 1924.)
  • Born September 11, 1928 Earl Holliman, 91. He’s in the cook in Forbidden Planet and he shares a scene with Robbie the Robot. A few short years later, he’s Conrad in Visit to a Small Planet though it’ll be nearly fifteen before his next genre role as Harry Donner in the Six Million Dollar Man’s Wine, Women and War TV film. He shows up as Frank Domino in the Night Man series, an adaption of a Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse character. What the Frell is that publisher?!? Surprisingly he’s done no other genre series beyond being in the original Twilight Zone series premiere as Mick Ferris in the “Where Is Everybody?” episode. 
  • Born September 11, 1929 Björn Nyberg. A Swedish writer known largely for his Conan stories which given that he wrote just one non-Conan story makes sense. His first book in the series was The Return of Conan which was revised for publication by L. Sprague de Camp. Likewise, they later did Conan the AvengerConan the VictoriousConan the Swordsman and Sagas of Conan. The latter two are available on iBooks and Kindle. (Died 2004.)
  • Born September 11, 1930 Jean-Claude Forest. Forest became famous when he created Barbarella, which was originally published in France in V Magazine in 1962.  In 1967 it was adapted by Terry Southern and Roger Vadim and made into 1968 film of that name, with him acting as design consultant.  It was considered an adult comic by the standards of the time. (Died 1998.)
  • Born September 11, 1934 Ian Abercrombie. He played a most excellent and proper Alfred Pennyworth on Birds of Prey, a Professor Crumbs in Wizards of Waverly Place, was Wiseman in Army of Darkness and Palpatine in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. (Died 2012.)
  • Born September 11, 1941 Kirby McCauley. Literary agent and editor, who as the former who represented authors such as Stephen King, George R.R. Martin and Roger Zelazny. And McCauley chaired the first World Fantasy Convention, an event he conceived with T. E. D. Klein and several others. As Editor, his works include Night Chills: Stories of Suspense, Frights, Frights 2, and Night Chills. (Died 2014.)
  • Born September 11, 1952 Sharon Lee, 67. She is the co-author with Steve Miller of the Liaden universe novels and stories which are quite excellent reading. They won Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction in 2012.
  • Born September 11, 1960 William Tienken. Mike has an obituary here. (Died 2014.)
  • Born September 11, 1965 Catriona (Cat) Sparks, 54. Winner of an astounding thirteen Ditmar Awards for writing, editing and artwork, her most recent in 2014 when her short story “Scarp” was awarded a Ditmar for Best Short Story and The Bride Price a Ditmar for Best Collected Work.  She has just one novel to date, Lotus Blue, but has an amazing amount of short stories which are quite stellar. Lotus Blue and The Bride Price are both available on iBooks and Kindle. Off to buy both now. 

(7) COMICS SECTION.

(8) 91 PIECES OF ART ON THE WALL. …Take one down and write a big check…. Lots of great-looking artwork and all for sale. IX Gallery calls the exhibition — “Amaitzing: Don Maitz”.

IX Gallery is pleased to bring forth a veritable cornucopia of Maitz for your purchasing pleasure!

(9) ELLISON AT IGUANACON II. At the end of this Reddit post — “My Harlan Ellison photo – 1978” – is a link to the photo itself.

This is my Harlan Ellison story: I saw & met him in 1978 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Phoenix AZ over the Labor Day weekend. It was IguanaCon II, the 36th Worldcon, and Harlan was the Guest of Honor.

Harlan had boasted that he could write anywhere, any time — so the con organizers put up a clear plastic tent in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, gave him a table, a chair, a manual typewriter, and a ream of paper… and there he sat, for much of three or four days, banging out a short story while fans went about their way. The result was “Count the Clock that Tells the Time”.

(10) DIAL M FOR MOTIONLESS. Writing for Gizmodo’s io9 (“The Beautifully Dull Paradox of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 40 Years Later”), it’s clear from the get go that James Whitbrook cares little for ST:TMP as a film even as he acknowledges its place in wider Trek fandom.

Forty years ago a landmark moment in Star Trek’s history arrived, in the form of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s an important chapter in the series’ survival, the turning point from canceled cult classic to enduring icon of science fiction. But there is a reason we remember The Motion Picture’s place in history more than we remember The Motion Picture: It’s boring as all hell.

As fans across America prepare to revisit TMP this month in celebratory screenings ahead of its actual 40th birthday this December, what they’re about to re-experience is a moment in history that is perhaps best remembered as such than for what it actually is. The Motion Picture’s existence is paradoxical. It’s both an important moment to be remembered, and a movie so cosmically overwrought and forgettable that to contemplate seeing it again in the dark environment of a movie theater once more is to challenge your eyelids to an existential test of endurance.

(11) NOT PETS. How do you move a lot of rocks? Very carefully: “Cambridge museum’s 150-tonne rock collection moves to new home”.

Geologists have begun the process of moving a museum’s 150-tonne “mountain” of fossils, rocks and dinosaur bones to a new climate-controlled home.

The vast hoard, ranging from mammoth tusks to meteorites, has been collected by the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge since it was founded in 1728.

It includes exhibits from Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage and Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition of 1913.

Museum director Liz Hide said it had “enormous potential” for researchers.

The two-year move involves transferring about two million specimens from the university’s Atlas Building to the £2m Colin Forbes collection centre in west Cambridge.

…The Sedgwick Museum is considered one of the largest and most historically important centres for rocks, minerals and fossils in the world, attracting global research teams.

It boasts giant Jurassic ammonites, intact ichthyosaur fossils and mammoth tusks unearthed locally – with some pieces thought to be more than 200 million years old.

Of course, the BBC uses the opportunity to pun out an obsolete measurement:

…Museum conservator Sarah Wallace-Johnson said the climate would be controlled to prevent rust and corrosion, as “rocks are surprisingly sensitive things”.

“We’re moving about 15,000 drawers of rocks – with an average weight of 10 kilos each – it is literally moving a mountain,” she said.

“Each column of drawers alone is about 300 kilos (47 stones).”

(12) HUGO REVIVAL. Maybe you visited its original location? “Legendary Boston bookstore reopens in Lee barn”SeacoastOnline has the details.

When Avenue Victor Hugo Books met the end of its nearly 30-year run on Boston’s Newbury Street, the building’s monthly rent had been raised from $12,000 to $25,000, and Diesel Jeans was slated to move in.

That was 2004. The redolent, woody fragrance of cedar and oak, emanating from millions of crusty pages in a dusty atmosphere — held dearly by those who valued the space as a literary haven — faded away.

Fifteen years later, the store is newly located in a bucolic red barn in Lee, beside a white farmhouse where owner Vincent McCaffrey now lives with his wife, Thais Coburn, and their daughter and son-in-law. After moving to Lee three years ago, McCaffrey and Colburn decided to revive the erudite escape.

It’s a reincarnation of the Back Bay shop, with the same wistfulness and feeling of being homesick, yet not knowing what for. But in New Hampshire, the barn is rent-free and has its own parking. There’s also little-to-no traffic on the quiet country road.

Avenue Victor Hugo opened in 1975, following McCaffrey’s ventures selling books from a pushcart and working as a desk clerk at a city hotel….

(13) GOT LACTOSE? “Earliest direct evidence of milk consumption” – BBC has the story.

Scientists have discovered the earliest direct evidence of milk consumption by humans.

The team identified milk protein entombed in calcified dental plaque (calculus) on the teeth of prehistoric farmers from Britain.

It shows that humans were consuming dairy products as early as 6,000 years ago – despite being lactose intolerant.

This could suggest they processed the raw milk into cheese, yoghurt or some other fermented product.

This would have reduced its lactose content, making it more palatable.

The team members scraped samples of plaque off the teeth, separated the different components within it and analysed them using mass spectrometry.

They detected a milk protein called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) in the tartar of seven individuals spanning early to middle Neolithic times.

…Genetic studies of ancient populations from across Eurasia show that lactase persistence only became common very recently, despite the consumption of milk products in the Neolithic. The mutation had started to appear by the Bronze Age, but even at this time, it was only present in 5-10% of Europeans

(14) ON THE BLOCK. Profiles in History is running an Icons and Legends of Hollywood Auction on September 25-26. The goodies include —

• “SS Venture” steamship filming miniature from King Kong (1933).

• “Dorothy Gale” scene specific screen used black and white gingham pinafore from The Wizard of Oz.

• 20th Century-Fox President Spyros Skouras’s Best Picture Academy Award for Gentleman’s Agreement.

• Orson Welles “Charles Foster Kane” coat from Citizen Kane.

• Marilyn Monroe “Clara” nightgown from A Ticket To Tomahawk.

• Property from the estate of Martin Landau including his Golden Globe awards for Mission: Impossible and Ed Wood.

• The very first Emmy Award for “Best Film Made for Television” ever presented.

• Original “Dragula” coffin dragster from The Munsters and Munster, Go Home!

• Original Type-2 Phaser Pistol used in the Star Trek: TOS episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” – from the collection of Nichelle Nichols.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “One Unique Creature” on Vimeo, Frances Haszard explores a mysterious hotel.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Chris Rose, JJ, Michael J. Walsh, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

89 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/11/19 Starting At Jupiter, Ending At The Sun

  1. Lis Carey: Every year before voting we are reminded that it’s not an award for professional achievements.

    What are we arguing about? The Skylark Award has been given since 1966 and it has never gone to anyone who wasn’t a distinguished sff writer, artist or editor. Yes, the winner must also have sterling qualities as a person, but NESFA doesn’t give it to people who aren’t working pros.

  2. But it’s not for their pro work. It’s about the other ways these pros make a significant contribution to this community.

    Pros get the award. It’s not ever for their writing, editing, or art. Cat’s saying that Sharon and Steve obviously hot it for their Liaden series (whatever the specific phrasing; I’m not scrolling back to check) is simply completely wrong.

  3. (10) We too called it Slow Motion Picture.
    It would be a decent movie actually, but the first half is dragging along, because the stuff obviously are amoured that this is a MOVIE now. So long shots of the Enterprise and long shots of the interiour and one sequence ejecting out of the ship just gor more long artistic shots… If you make it to the second half, things are much better (even if the core idea isnt new)

    Fly me to the moon… or better yet, take the space elevator!

  4. @Cat Eldridge et al, re “SF”: I’ve seen/heard that term as an abbreviation for the field Clute refers to as “fantastika” for decades. I’ve heard it interpreted as “speculative fabulation” — which seems a good read to me, as it combines the what-if and story-telling facets that are both needed.
    PS: JSYK — I’m also a NESFA member and have voted on the Skylark for over four decades. (@OGH: you knew this. Do I interpret LASFS to you?) The extended name is probably some pre-NESFAn’s puffery (which I would move to edit if I didn’t have form for getting people to vote the opposite of what seems reasonable to me). The awards page is clear about the joint purpose, but the complete rule. is clearer. (I’ve pinged the webmaster about amending the awards page; we’ll see what happens.)

    @Terry Hunt: the comment on “stones” was mine, reflecting that the BBC’s habit is to quote weights in some combination of pounds and kilograms even in stories about the UK; the writer might be a holdout, but it was an obvious place for them to be cute (and IME the BBC science writers, contra your assertion, don’t do cute much). A question to go with @Joe’s comment: how many of those at-least-half think of the weight of anything other than people in stones?

    @Lis Carey:

    Also: I’ve never been impressed by the occasional complaints by some that because the Hugos are officially the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards,” we should be worried when they are given to works of fantasy.

    My answer to this is based on a common instruction to trial lawyers. The fact is that fantasy has been recognized at least as far back as 1959 (“That Hell-Bound Train”). The law is that fantasy has been explicitly included in the award rules for decades. That leaves the objectors nothing to pound but the table, which is when I sit back and pick up the popcorn.

  5. Lis Carey says But it’s not for their pro work. It’s about the other ways these pros make a significant contribution to this community.

    Pros get the award. It’s not ever for their writing, editing, or art. Cat’s saying that Sharon and Steve obviously hot it for their Liaden series (whatever the specific phrasing; I’m not scrolling back to check) is simply completely wrong.

    Oh bull. The About page says clearly The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) is presented annually by NESFA® to some person, who, in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him.

    It says work in the field which mean their editing, their writing, whatever they do professionally. Why are you so determined that it’s simply that we like them and that’s enough to give an Award? There’s at least one Award winner that I can mention that really doesn’t build community beyond his most excellent blog. It’s a great blog, but he’s not a community builder in any meaning sense…

  6. Lis Carey says
    Cat Eldridge–This is getting beyond silly. You are saying that you know better than NESFA what NESFA gives the Skylark Award for.

    Not just me. OGH said the same thing. And that’s what the NESFS boilerplate says as well. It fascinates me that you apparently don’t care that they be active, well-respected pros so long as they contribute to the sf community. Sort of a variation on Niven’s Flash Crowd.

    Btw if indeed all NESFA cared about is that they built community, I’d expect well known fans to be getting this Award and they’re not.

  7. The revamped directors cut (or whatever it is called) of ST:TMP makes it more watchable and fixes some of the issues of the movie. My main memory from seeing it in the theater was having bought the big commemorative soda drink cup and needing to make a trip to the restroom during the long Vger sequence and realizing I didn’t actually miss anything.

    Also, there is a fan video (although I’m not sure if it is online anywhere) where all the scenes of the bridge crew looking at the screen in awe are cut together with the soundtrack of a porn film running. McCoy’s entrance to the bridge and abrupt departure is hilarious.

  8. @Cat Eldridge: I told you above that the award page is incomplete, and gave you a link for the full definition. Stop trying to tell the people who have worked with the award for decades how it’s given, don’t claim that somebody who lives across the country knows how it’s given, and don’t claim that a single web page is definitive — I’ve already been through that with someone arguing that Again, Dangerous Visions got a Hugo because a sloppy web page (now taken down) did not differentiate between Hugos and other awards given at the same time.

    @OGH: yes, the award is given to pros. Summarizing the rule I linked to, it’s given to pros who have done the opposite of turning their backs on fandom.

    Book recommendation. This was very close to perfect by my standards, which probably means nobody else will exactly like it but some will think it good.

  9. Just to go back to my comment about old anthologies briefly:

    If someone were to assemble an eBook version of the various Datlow, Windling, et al. year in review essays from Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, I’d buy that in a heartbeat even without the associated fiction.

  10. Joe H. says If someone were to assemble an eBook version of the various Datlow, Windling, et al. year in review essays from Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, I’d buy that in a heartbeat even without the associated fiction.

    Wholeheartedly agree. I only know of one contributor that his essays in usable form. I should see if I can reprint them on Green Man.

  11. @Chip —

    Book recommendation. This was very close to perfect by my standards, which probably means nobody else will exactly like it but some will think it good

    Really? I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed that it was so different from all her other books. I am a big fan of her Carol Berg incarnation; the jury is still out for me on the Cate Glass persona.

  12. When I was a kid (late sixties) in fandom, and the term “speculative fiction” was just starting to come into use, one of the advantages of that term that people often mentioned was that it re-used the initials “SF”.

    So “SF” for “speculative fiction” is almost, but not quite, as old as I am.

  13. @Lee Whiteside — thank you for mentioning the Director’s cut. Part of what made the original theatrical release so tedious was it was rushed into release (to catch the “holiday season”) before post-production, including effects, could be properly finished.
    I had the good luck to see a presentation by the team who redid the effects from the original storyboards for the Director’s cut. It motivated me to buy a copy as soon as it was available, and is indeed a much more watchable film.

  14. In my circle of fandom, ST:THe Motionless Picture was oft given the addendum “Where Nomad has Gone Before”…

    (Alas, coined afaik by a Missing Stair I am avoiding contact with).

  15. I’m still peeved that Paramount has been as of yet unwilling to pony up to get the director’s cut of ST:TMP onto Blu-ray or any other proper HD format.

    (Which yes, I realize would require pretty significant rework on the existing special effects, or just redoing them wholesale. But still.)

  16. @Joe H.
    I’m willing to give them until December. Big anniversaries are one of the excuses they have for re-releasing stuff.

  17. @Contrarius: AFAICR I’ve never read anything by Carol Berg in her own name. She certainly seems a competent author; what would you recommend I read first?

  18. @Chip

    I have quite a few Carol Berg books. Under that name, she writes fat epic fantasy with excellent characterization.

    My favorite is the (so far) standalone Song of the Beast, with dragons held magically captive to the kingdom and the imprisoned musician who (unknowingly) holds the key to freeing them.

    The Bridge of D’Arnath trilogy (Son of Avonar, Guardians of the Keep, and The Soul Weaver) also has an intricate and well-thought-out magic system, and a mother and son as the central protagonists.

  19. @ Joe H – I’m not sure it makes financial sense to re-do the visual effects. Budgets for effects-heavy SF movies run into the tens of millions, and a quick google shows that the best-selling DVDs of 2018 brought in around $20m. Bladerunner 2049 apparently grossed on the order of $5m. (To be clear, these are estimates, but you get the idea.)

  20. Cliff says I’m not sure it makes financial sense to re-do the visual effects. Budgets for effects-heavy SF movies run into the tens of millions, and a quick google shows that the best-selling DVDs of 2018 brought in around $20m. Bladerunner 2049 apparently grossed on the order of $5m. (To be clear, these are estimates, but you get the idea.)

    Where did you hear five milllion? It grossed two hundred and sixty million at the box office with more revenue to come from streaming and dvd sales. It’s not likely to be profitable at any meaningful sense as it cost at least one hundred and fifty million dollars, but it’s certainly not a financial disaster.

  21. Carol Berg’s fantasy is -terrific- and she always delivers a solid story. I do not understand why she gets overlooked so consistently; she is as good as any of the other epic fantasy writers in the genre and could write rings around some of the ones who have far fewer books yet much more hype about their work.

  22. @Chip —

    @Contrarius: AFAICR I’ve never read anything by Carol Berg in her own name. She certainly seems a competent author; what would you recommend I read first?

    Song of the Beast is actually my least favorite Berg (sorry, Bonnie!). It just has too many plot problems for me to swallow.

    As Bonnie and Cat noticed, Berg is an excellent writer of great characters and is criminally overlooked. OTOH, I always have some sort of quibble or other with her plotting — it’s her weak suit, IMHO. And you MUST be a lover of angst to appreciate her books — Berg is infamous for putting her characters through absolute hell. Which, ironically, is one of the things I missed while reading the Glass book — the Glass characters didn’t suffer enough!

    Her Bridge of D’Arnath books are good, but probably her most quintessentially Berg-ian books are the Rai-Kirah series. Terrible cover on the first book — ignore it. But seriously, I love just about every book she’s written as Berg. I hope she gets a lot more press now that she’s with Tor.

  23. @Cliff – The page you link to only shows DVD figures. There is a link at the top that shows Blu-Ray figures. There the top sellers brought in around 70 million. That’s 90 million combined and still doesn’t include downloads or sales outside the US.

  24. Lis Carey on September 12, 2019 at 7:52 am said:

    I’ve never been impressed by the occasional complaints by some that because the Hugos are officially the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards,” we should be worried when they are given to works of fantasy.

    Besides, the official name of the Hugo Award has been “Hugo Award” since 1993. The US Patent & Trademark Office denied registration on the service mark on “Science Fiction Achievement Award,” so upon the recommendation of the entity currently called the WSFS Mark Protection Committee, WSFS changed the official name to “Hugo Award,” with the change ratified at the 1992 WSFS Business Meeting, first affecting the 1993 Awards.

    I was responsible for the wording on the 1993 Hugo Award trophies, and I tried to split the difference by making the plaques read

    1993 HUGO AWARD
    for Achievement in
    Science Fiction & Fantasy

    …thus giving a nod to the old official name while leading with the new one. I still think that’s the best wording for the trophy plaques.

  25. Also, the time to worry about Hugos for fantasy was 1958, when Avram Davidson’s “Or All the Seas with Oysters” won. At this point it’s a few decades too late! 😀

    (I think I checked and found that was the first fantasy story to win, but I can’t guarantee my research was flawless.)

  26. @Xtifr: that was weird, but I’m not convinced it was out-and-out fantasy. Bloch a year later had a deal-with-devil story, which is definitely fantasy.

  27. (4) MORE TO READ. “After a meet-cute facilitated by H. P. Lovecraft . . .” The mind boggles (mostly, spinning silly possibilities like meeting while escaping a sacrifice to elder gods or whatever).

    @Bonnie McDaniel: In case you weren’t aware, Carol Berg’s “Bridge of D’Arnath” series is four books, not three; the final one was Daughter of Ancients. (You probably are aware, but just in case!) I haven’t read it, but I’ve enjoyed a few of her other novels. I enjoyed the “Rai-Kirah” trilogy that @Contrarius mentioned.

  28. @ Stuart – a bit of esprit d’escalier, but…. it’s still only $25m for Blade Runner 2049 in the US, of which apparently the studio takes around 60%. The take is smaller for overseas. So still not covering a modern vfx budget, let alone marketing. I doubt a Star Trek reissue would see very much higher sales than Blade Runner.

  29. @Gary Farber

    It would be really really really nice if people ever understood that a Hugo is a Hugo is a Hugo and that counting only the fiction Hugos as the only “real” Hugos is tremendously insulting to all the other Hugo nominees and winners, whose Hugos are precisely as valid and important and real as the fiction Hugos.

    (Sorry if someone has covered this point before, but I’ll lose the thought if I wait until I finish reading all the comments.)
    When someone explicitly says that they’re running stats on fiction Hugos, I think we can give them the benefit of the doubt that all they’re saying is that only the fiction Hugos are fiction Hugos.

    When doing demographic statistics like this, focusing on the fiction categories has several major advantages:

    Each item can only final/win in one specific year, with its appearance on the ballot tied chronologically to its appearance in print.
    Analyzing the meaning of multiple repeat finalists/winners in categories like editor, artist, publication, etc. can be muddled by the tendency for “reputation” to bleed over from one year to the next, or for past name recognition to result in repeat nominations/votes.
    Doing demographic analysis on categories that inherently have a large pool of creators (e.g., dramatic presentation) or where the nomination/vote is for an object/concept rather than a specific creator (e.g., semi-prozine) also greatly complicates interpretation.

    I don’t think there’s any need to read ulterior meanings into the choice of the fiction categories for chronological demographic studies of this type. It’s simply the subset of categories that lend themselves best to meaningful data.

  30. A further counterpoint on Carol Berg: I think the major thing that has kept her from being considered an excellent writer IS that she tortures her characters, physically and psychologically, in rather savage ways. Things tend to end well for most of the characters and for the world, but some might find the trip to the ending hard going. My favourite so far is the Lighthouse Duet, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, but I haven’t read all of the Bridge of D’Arnath series, though I started it, nor the Sanctuary Duet.

    The FIRST of the Rai-Kirah books (Transformation) is excellent, an outstanding debut. The second undoes a lot of that, and the third one I was mostly reading so I could say I finished the series. Once. I kept book one and sent the other two back to the used bookstore.

    I kind of liked how she rethought the worldbuilding so that as we learned more and more, we had to revise ideas that were the core assumptions of the first book, but I didn’t like her basically forcing the main character back to step one in all his character interactions repeatedly, and more than once it felt like someone he was interacting with was reacting the way they did, good or bad, because the Plot Required It.

    I never had that feeling in book one, or in any later series. Though I would agree that plotting is something of her weak point, character, especially character interaction, is usually not.

  31. @Leonora —

    A further counterpoint on Carol Berg: I think the major thing that has kept her from being considered an excellent writer IS that she tortures her characters, physically and psychologically, in rather savage ways.

    Yeah, I’ve often thought the same thing. She doesn’t write grimdark, but she does write a lot of grim for main characters.

    The FIRST of the Rai-Kirah books (Transformation) is excellent, an outstanding debut. The second undoes a lot of that, and the third one I was mostly reading so I could say I finished the series.

    I like them all, but I agree that book 1 is the best of that series. And if anyone is interested in trying Berg out, it can easily be read as a standalone.

    I’m currently back in the middle of book 2. Bad pacing, but I’m still enjoying it.

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