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. 10) Also terribly written and acted. The only, I mean the only, good thing about that movie was the new-look Klingons speaking Klingonese.*

    Even as a 13-year-old Trekkie in a family of Trekkies, I left the theater feeling my time and my Mom’s money had been wasted.

    *OK, I have a certain fondness for McCoy’s rant when he comes aboard, but the rest? Utter bilgewater.

  2. @Douglas Berry
    I remember some of us figuring they were telling us something with the release date: December 7.
    It was pretty to see, though.

  3. @Douglas Berry, mostly I remember the ten minute (was it ten minutes? It seemed like ten minutes!) beauty-shot of the Enterprise.

  4. Re: Bjorn Nyberg. The Return of Conan and Conan the Avenger are pretty much the same book. “Conan the Victorious” is a novella carved out of it for magazine publication. Conan the Swordsman is a multi-author collection of short stories; Nyberg collaborated on just two of them. Sagas of Conan is an omnibus including Conan the Swordsman. Whatever one thinks of Nyberg’s Howard pastiches, what he wrote of them fits comfortably into a single standard paperback.

  5. @6: the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award is not given for fiction; it is given to people. (note that in this millennium it has been given 7 times to people who have not written a word of fiction.) @OGH: please fix

    @9: I was in The Sandpainter (the good restaurant at the non-Hyatt) on Monday night when Ellison, as melodramatic as usual, came dragging up to Ben Bova saying “I finished! I finished the goddamn story!”

    @P J Evans: on this side of the continent, someone (IIRC the MITSFS reviewer) called out the date explicitly (something about a more expensive bomb…).

  6. Chip: Did you know the full name is the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction? You could look it up.

    I have conformed the title.

  7. Chip Hitchcock says the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award is not given for fiction; it is given to people. (note that in this millennium it has been given 7 times to people who have not written a word of fiction.) @OGH: please fix

    Not this time, Chip. NESFA who administers says it’s the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction. And there’s no doubt that these two got it for their fiction writing so there’s nothing for Mike to be fixing. Just because sometimes it went to folks who didn’t write fiction such as Beth Meacham doesn’t mean it always went to someone that didn’t write fiction.

  8. 6) Kirby McCauley’s Dark Forces anthology (the first appearance of Stephen King’s “The Mist”) was formative for me as a young reader of horror. I revisited it a year or two ago and found it was still a very solid collection. I’m just always kind of sad that few, if any, of the anthologies I remember from my younger days will ever get any kind of digital release due to rights/licensing issues. Ah, well.

    10) I have to admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for ST:TMP, warts and all. In a lot of ways, it feels to me like the most Star Trekkiest of the films (if not the best), which with its lack of an actual villain and the way that it resolves the problem by using a combination of science and love.

  9. Mike, The language NESFA uses on the Skylark page (“as 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”) that it’s impossible to know just what they’re considering when awarding this honour. Certainly it’s given for specific works, but it’s almost certainly given for a body of work.

  10. Cat Eldridge: It’s a lifetime achievement award. I think we can guess pretty well what achievements those are.

  11. Joe H. says Kirby McCauley’s Dark Forces anthology (the first appearance of Stephen King’s “The Mist”) was formative for me as a young reader of horror. I revisited it a year or two ago and found it was still a very solid collection. I’m just always kind of sad that few, if any, of the anthologies I remember from my younger days will ever get any kind of digital release due to rights/licensing issues. Ah, well.

    There was a plan several years back by the packager of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror series to make those available in a digital format. He gave up after discovering acquiring digital rights would be night unto impossible, particularly for for the older volumes.

  12. Mike Glyer says to me It’s a lifetime achievement award. I think we can guess pretty well what achievements those are.

    Yes we can. Sharon and Steve got it most decidedly for their Liaden Universe fiction which an amazing series that they’re wrapping up soon.

  13. Huh. I have no reason nor need to go to Lee, but I did love the Victor Hugo, back when I went to high school in Boston.

    Possibly a day trip…

  14. (9) Speaking as a writer who prides herself on being able to write wherever, coffee shop or waiting room or noisy bar on karaoke night or, in a pinch, in my own home – that still sounds like a waste of a WorldCon weekend to me. Obviously mileage differs!

  15. @Cat Eldridge–

    Mike Glyer says to me It’s a lifetime achievement award. I think we can guess pretty well what achievements those are.

    Yes we can. Sharon and Steve got it most decidedly for their Liaden Universe fiction which an amazing series that they’re wrapping up soon.

    Um. No.

    As voted on by NESFA members, it is explicitly a “good guy” award, recognizing the winner’s positive contributions to the sf community in ways beyond their professional work. Lee and Miller are pretty well known in at least some parts of fandom, and are much liked and respected in those corners for their friendly, helpful attitudes and behavior, and for showing the traits that are the good side of fandom. Every year before voting we are reminded that it’s not an award for professional achievements.

    Also, there was a rather entertaining thread on Sharon Lee’s Facebook page recently. It is apparently news to Lee and Miller that they’re wrapping up the Liaden universe soon. One particular arc within it, yes. The Liaden Universe, no.

  16. Lie says As voted on by NESFA members, it is explicitly a “good guy” award, recognizing the winner’s positive contributions to the sf community in ways beyond their professional work. Lee and Miller are pretty well known in at least some parts of fandom, and are much liked and respected in those corners for their friendly, helpful attitudes and behavior, and for showing the traits that are the good side of fandom. Every year before voting we are reminded that it’s not an award for professional achievements.

    Also, there was a rather entertaining thread on Sharon Lee’s Facebook page recently. It is apparently news to Lee and Miller that they’re wrapping up the Liaden universe soon. One particular arc within it, yes. The Liaden Universe, no.

    Ok, I was only going by what I found online. And the NESFA certainly doesn’t say it’s explicitly a good guy Award so I wouldn’t mind seeing the language where that’s stated please. You might be reminded of that but that’s not what the page for the Skylark says it is.

    Glad to hear the Liaden universe is continuing.

  17. @Cat Eldridge–

    Ok, I was only going by what I found online. And the NESFA certainly doesn’t say it’s explicitly a good guy Award so I wouldn’t mind seeing the language where that’s stated please. You might be reminded of that but that’s not what the page for the Skylark says it is.

    The Skylark page does say, and you quoted it, “exemplifying the personal qualities that made “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him. I guess you find that not explicit enough, which is unfortunate, but that doesn’t change what we’re thinking about when we nominate and vote. The considerations we’re reminded of do.

  18. List says The Skylark page does say, and you quoted it, “exemplifying the personal qualities that made “Doc” Smith well-loved by those who knew him. I guess you find that not explicit enough, which is unfortunate, but that doesn’t change what we’re thinking about when we nominate and vote. The considerations we’re reminded of do.

    It also says “through work in the field”. Are you saying that what they do isn’t really taken into account? That it’s a feel good Award? That we like them and that’s all that really counts?

  19. “So here is the gender split of Best Novel Hugo award nominees over time since their inception:”

    “James Davis Nicoll ran the stats for all the fiction categories ”

    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.

    I might not say this if this wasn’t about the ten thousandth time people have treated the fiction Hugos, or sometimes the “pro” Hugos, as the only real Hugos, while dismissing all other Hugos as somehow so entirely lesser as to not be named or counted. That is a really fucked up attitude. There are no second-class Hugos.

    And this faux division has been engaged in by many people since at least about 1960. I think 60-odd years of this division of the Hugos into “real” and “not worth mentioning, fuck you, Hugo winners who don’t write fiction” is far more than enough.

    Yes, people can now commence the various explanations we’ve heard for 70 years as to why this division is “reasonable.” Nobody will say anything not said since at least 1970 and thousands of times since. They’re still wrong. We had this fight in 1967 when Ted White invented the two new “fan” categories of the time of Best Fan Artist and Best Fan Writer and called them “Pongs.”

    Fandom revolted and Ted hastily revised the categories to be Hugos. (He was Worldcon chair that year and thus under his purview according to the rules of the time.) This argument ended then, in 1967.

    Except for all the people who have never noticed or cared. It would be nice if that changed.

  20. 9) I was working security at Iguanacon II in 1978….responsible for ‘protecting’ Harlan during his scheduled two hour signing (he and I both thought that hilarious and spent quite a few words on the likely threats posed by various fen in line) and I am here to testify that HE/he did not spend anything resembling a majority of his time in that tent. A couple hours a day, max.

    I’ll be paying a visit to the new Ave Victor Hugo’s Barn tomorrow and will report back. any filers going, let me know.

  21. With Gary Farber’s comment in mind, I just ran through the Best Related Work category.

    By my count [with a few exceptions, I have judged gender solely by first name; where that was ambiguous, I have checked wikipedia or the author’s website. In two cases (Zoe Quinn and Sarah Gailey) I know a nominee to be non-binary. All errors are my own.]:

    Men have been credited nominees on only two works twice, in 2017 and 2018. There has never been a year where men have been credited on 0 or 1 nominees.

    There have been 23 or 24 [I do not know JJ Llewellyn’s gender] instances when 0 or 1 of the nominees have had a woman credited.

    In 2017 and 2018, a non-binary person was a nominee. In 2019, the Organisation of Transformative Works as a whole was listed as the creator for AO3; I have counted this as neither a man or a woman (but of the remaining five nominees, 3 had men credited and 4 had women credited).

    Aside from 2017-19, the only other year where more nominees have had men credited than have had women credited is 2013; additionally 2003 and 2010 had a precisely equal split.

  22. Someone else can feel free to run the numbers for Editor Short, Editor Long, Pro Artist, Fan Artist, and Fan Writer…

  23. @Joe: I was already working on (most of) those categories – and a bunch of other non-Hugo awards – when James’ piece was published. Hoping to have things finished in the next week or so, but there are some work-in-progress charts on my Twitter feed e.g. Best Fan Writer.

    (NB: that particular one is wrong – people who don’t have a proper entry in ISFDB were being omitted from the output when that was generated, but that bug has hopefully now been fixed.)

  24. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is not just a great Star Trek movie, it is a work of art. Robert Wise’s ponderous and thoughtful direction elevated the work.

    Not everybody loves Malik’s Tree Of Life, that doesn’t make it any less of an evocative audiovisual feast.

  25. This may be a repeat; if so, my apologies.

    @Cat Eldridge–

    It also says “through work in the field”. Are you saying that what they do isn’t really taken into account? That it’s a feel good Award? That we like them and that’s all that really counts?

    It’s for contributions to sf not captured by looking only at their writing or editing. It’s not just another “good writer” award, which are many and varied, but for the kind of contributions that make sf a community and not just another form of literature.

  26. Gary Farber on September 12, 2019 at 12:48 am said:

    “So here is the gender split of Best Novel Hugo award nominees over time since their inception:”

    “James Davis Nicoll ran the stats for all the fiction categories ”

    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.

    I don’t think it is tremendously insulting, particularly not in the context these stats were being done. A Hugo maybe a Hugo but a Hugo for a work of fiction is an award for a work of fiction and is comparable to other awards for works of fiction.

  27. @ Charon Dunn

    Daniel Johnston passed away today, far too young at the age of 58.

    Totally agreed. He was an amazing songwriter. Unfortunately, his demons were all too real.

  28. @Gary Farber: Did you notice that you just accused James Nicoll of insulting himself? Or is the abstract category “best fan writer” rather than any of the nominees that is supposed to feel insulted? (Paging Chuck Tingle!)

    I assume, from the vigor with which you have claimed that this argument was resolved while we were still in grade school and that everyone who disagrees with you “is still wrong,” that I may be wasting my time arguing with you because you know that nobody else has anything relevant to say. James has done a lot of work here, using publicly available data. If you feel strongly about the omissions, you could rectify them and send more complete numbers to OGH, or post them elsewhere, rather than assuming that the omission Means Something about James’s opinions of the Hugos other than those for written fiction.

  29. Lis says It’s for contributions to sf not captured by looking only at their writing or editing. It’s not just another “good writer” award, which are many and varied, but for the kind of contributions that make sf a community and not just another form of literature.

    Ok I’ll accept that though I find it fascinating that you refer to the Award recipients being an about what makes SF a community. Have you ever noticed I use the term genre in the Birthday noted and the Hugos (to use an obvious example) honour much more than just SF? I read as much fantasy as I do SF and the Skylarks have gone to folks like Martin who definitely write far more fantasy than sf.

  30. ST:TMP (commendably) took some risks in showing its characters to have moved on in the interval between the series and the movie, with Kirk in particular being shown to be in the wrong in his treatment of Decker and in his assumption that his skills as a Captain were just as strong as they were when he was doing the job regularly. This didn’t make the movie comfortable viewing for people who would have liked a return to the old status quo (and I was one of those), but I can admire the willingness to take a risk with the formula.

  31. Cat Eldridge: I find it fascinating that you refer to the Award recipients being an about what makes SF a community.

    A lot of people who use “SF” instead of “SFF” are referring to “Speculative Fiction”, which covers both science fiction and fantasy (as well as speculative horror).

  32. That Star Trek: The Motionless Picture article says:

    It’s a tight, focused hour of TV, retooled and stretched to a box office grandeur in an attempt to ape Star Wars to the point of narrative incoherence.

    which is obviously wrong. It is a tight, focused hour of TV retooled and stretched in an attempt to ape 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    And nothing wrong with that, unless you expect every movie to be pew pew Buck Rogers stuff.

  33. 11) First of all, nothing will stand in the way of a British journalist seeing an opportunity for a pun, but more to the point, stones are decidedly not an obsolete measurement in Britain – I’d guess that at least half the population (the older half, admittedly) think of their weight in stones and pounds (pounds only is perceived as a very American thing).

    It’s not that we aren’t aware of kilos, especially in any science-related context – I was taught metric units in school fifty years ago – but in everyday cultural terms many of us still think traditionally, and most of the genuinely elderly (such as my parents) wouldn’t really have any feel for what “300 kilos” meant and couldn’t, or couldn’t be bothered to, perform the mental calculation. “47 stones” however, immediately translates to “about the weight of 3 men” (it’s almost exactly 3 times my own weight, as it happens).

  34. @Terry Hunt:

    Whereas for me, the thought process is almost exactly “47 stones? That’s 47 * 6.5, so… 300 – 18 * 23-ish, eh, call it 300”.

    And on checking it, I have the wrong conversion factor memorised (it’s 6.35 kg, not 6.5 kg), good thing I was never likely to use it to calculate fuel loads in aircraft…

  35. JJ says A lot of people who use “SF” instead of “SFF” are referring to “Speculative Fiction”, which covers both science fiction and fantasy (as well as speculative horror).

    Thanks JJ. that wasn’t obvious to me as I’ve always known it as shorthand for Science Fiction.

  36. @Cat Eldridge–

    Ok I’ll accept that though I find it fascinating that you refer to the Award recipients being an about what makes SF a community. Have you ever noticed I use the term genre in the Birthday noted and the Hugos (to use an obvious example) honour much more than just SF? I read as much fantasy as I do SF and the Skylarks have gone to folks like Martin who definitely write far more fantasy than sf.

    Yes, I wasn’t being as obsessively precise as you’d prefer when referring to the genre, while arguing with you about the significance of an award given by an organization I’m a member of and which I’ve voted on many times over the years.

    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.

    So call me– Ah, never mind. Not worth it.

  37. 10) I recently watched ST:TMP on video.

    I fast-forwarded through the lovingly pornographic stroking the camera made alllll over that model of the Enterprise. Even on high speed it was still way too long and brain-liquefyingly dull. And I say this as someone who makes models and has been a ST fan essentially from birth.

    2) Maybe it’s too early and I haven’t had enough coffee, but what are people’s beeves with these? Is it that they only consider the best novel category or some such?

  38. @Terry Hunt: as a British millenial, I find that most of my generation still think of human weight in terms of stones, rather than kilograms, even if they use kilos for everything else: I generally prefer kilos, but definitely feel like the odd one out in this. Likewise, we use feet and inches for human height, and miles for distance travelled, even if we think of other dimensions in metric; many of my parents generation, by contrast, still refer to temperatures in fahrenheit, bake in pounds and ounces, and measure volumes other than beer in pints and gallons. Possibly the generation who are still in school now are truly metric-native?

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