Pixel Scroll 9/8/19 To Be Placed On Our “Do Not Teleport” List, Please Press 1

(1) WRITTEN AS A WARNING. Margaret Atwood was featured today on CBS Sunday Morning: “’The Handmaid’s Tale’ author Margaret Atwood: ‘I have never believed it can’t happen here’”.

…When asked her inspiration for the handmaids’ outfits, Atwood replied, “The concealment of the body, number one, and the limitation of the body, number 2, so other people can’t see you, but you also can’t see other people.

“So, that, and the Old Dutch Cleanser package from the 1940s,” she added. “A vision from my childhood.”

Outside the church, Atwood is recognized by teenagers attending day camp. At 79, she is Canada’s most famous living writer. She’s published 60 books, but “The Handmaid’s Tale” has overshadowed the others. In English, it’s sold more than eight million copies.

She began the book in West Berlin in 1984: “A symbolic year because of Orwell, and how could I be so corny as to have begun ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in that year?  I couldn’t help it!”

(2) NO AWARD. David Pomerico was incensed that Anne Groell finished behind No Award in the Best Professional Editor, Long Form Hugo category. While some of these tweets are a bit overwrought (“Of course, maybe Anne wronged 97 of you somehow, but knowing her like do, I find that hard to believe”), it’s very fair to say most voters have only a very general idea what an editor does, and to wonder how they decided to fill out their ballots. Thread starts here.

I have observed in the fan categories that No Award votes can function as a protest against the existence of a category. If something similar is at work here, it would only be unfortunate collateral damage that a person received fewer votes than No Award on the first ballot. Note that although she wasn’t the first choice of very many voters, the sixth place runoff shows 446 people ranked Groell ahead of No Award.

(3) PKD’S FINAL RESTING PLACE. “Arts and Entertainment: Community celebrates Philip K. Dick” — The Fort Morgan (CO) Times covers a local PKD festival. Why Fort Morgan? For a couple of good reasons:

…PKD died in Santa Ana, California, on March 2, 1982, at the age of 53. After his death, Hollywood would make some of his work popular with films such as “Blade Runner” (based on his short story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”); “Total Recall” (based on “We can Remember it Wholesale”); “Minority Report” and “The Adjustment Bureau.”

Dick is buried at the Fort Morgan cemetery next to his twin sister, Jane, who died at 6 weeks old. That grave is a popular draw for fans of the prolific science fiction author from all over the world, with cemetery workers often seeing little trinkets related to his tales left on the stone.

Another connection to Fort Morgan with the late author is that his father’s family was from Fort Morgan.

Two years ago, an expert on author Philip K. Dick who goes by Lord Running Clam (aka David Hyde) saw his dream of having a PKD Festival held in Fort Morgan come true.

And this year, the second version of that every-two-years festival was held.

… One of the big events at this year’s PKD Festival was a panel discussion about “The Man In The High Castle.”

“The Man in the High Castle” is what many consider to be Dick’s first masterpiece, but not everyone feels that way. The panel consisted of Ted Hand, Dr. Andrew Butler, Tessa Dick and Frank Hollander.

(4) CLINGERMAN APPRECIATION. The Library of America’s “Story of the Week is “Mr. Sakrison’s Halt” by Mildred Clingerman (1918–1997), originally published in 1956 by Anthony Boucher in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and recently anthologized in The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women.

During the last couple of decades the name Mildred Clingerman has popped up in prominent spots around the science fiction universe. Her works have been included in several significant anthologies and even in textbooks; indeed, her story “Wild Wood” is one of the more memorable entries in the late David G. Hartwell’s landmark collection of Christmas fantasy tales. In 2014 she received a posthumous Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, joining such previous honorees as R. A. Lafferty, Leigh Brackett, and the collaborative team Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. And two years ago her family assembled The Clingerman Files, a book collecting most of the science fiction stories that appeared during her lifetime, along with two dozen unpublished tales found in her papers.

(5) TRUE CONFESSION. Cat Rambo is taking inventory:

(6) Q&A. Odyssey Writing Workshops taps into the experience of a successful grad — “Interview: Graduate Erin Roberts”.

Your story “Thanks for the Memories,” an interactive story about a woman piecing her life together one memory at a time, came out in Sub-Q in December 2018. What were some of the challenges in writing a story structured that way?

I had so much fun writing “Thanks for the Memories,” and it’s based on a story I wrote for my last week of Odyssey. I could never make it quite work in prose, but making it interactive and letting the player/reader experience the feeling of trying to work out the main character’s past from within her shoes, using her memories, was the perfect fit of story and format. The hardest part of doing it, other than learning a new coding language to write the piece, was figuring out how to make the piece non-linear (so you could experience the memories in any order), but also structured (so there was a set beginning, middle, and end to drive the story). My solution was to create a frame narrative with a ticking clock and key moments that always happened when the player got through a certain number of memories. That way their experience of the memories could always be different, but the story would still have a shape and forward plot momentum. I like to think it worked out in the end.

(7) HINTS OFFERED. At Writer’s Digest, Robert Lee Brewer has curated a list of links to other WD articles that will show you “How to Write a Science Fiction Novel”.

Whether you want to write about peace-loving aliens or a heartbreaking dystopian future, there are a number of practical strategies for starting your novel, building your world, and landing a satisfying finish. In this post, learn how to write a science fiction novel using some of the best advice on WritersDigest.com.

(8) A HISTORIC CONNECTION. Actor Robert Picardo celebrates Star Trek’s premiere 53 years ago today by sharing Trek-related things found in storage boxes at The Planetary Society’s headquarters. One is a signed letter from Gene Roddenberry encouraging the Star Trek community to join the Society.

Star Trek: Voyager’s holographic doctor, Robert Picardo, also serves on The Planetary Society Board of Directors. However, he is not the first connection between Star Trek and The Planetary Society. In 1980, the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, wrote a letter and sent it out to a Star Trek fans mailing list. In the letter, Gene invited his fans to join us on our mission to explore the cosmos. Hear the letter as read by Robert Picardo, listen to his Jean-Luc Picard impression, and see inside Bill Nye’s office for more Star Trek artifacts on hand at The Planetary Society.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 8, 1966 Star Trek’s first aired episode, “The Man Trap,” was written by George Clayton Johnson.
  • September 8, 1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series premiered on this day.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 8, 1911 William Morrow. He’s the first original Trek Admiral appearing as an Admiral in two episodes, Admiral Komack, in “Amok Time” and as Admiral Westervliet “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky”.  Other genre appearances include Cyborg 2087, Mission ImpossibleColossus: The Forbin ProjectPanic in Year Zero!The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler, Rollerball and Fantasy Island. (Died 2006.)
  • Born September 8, 1925 Peter Sellers. Chief Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films which are surely genre, aren’t they? Of course, he had the tour de force acting experience of being Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and President Merkin Muffley and Dr. Strangelove in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He also took multiple roles (even the Queen) in The Mouse That Roared. Amusingly he was involved in another of folk tale production over various mediums (film, radio, stage) including Cinderella, Tom Thumb, Mother Goose and Jack and The Beanstalk. (Died 1980.)
  • Born September 8, 1945 Willard Huyck, 74. He’s got a long relationship with Lucas first writing American Graffiti and being the script doctor on Star Wars before writing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And he was the writer and director on Howard the Duck which, yes, is a Lucasfilm. It’s the lowest rated on Rotten Tomatoes Lucasfilm production ever at 15% followed by Radioland Murders, the last script he’d write for Lucasfilm which would be a not quite so dismal 24%. 
  • Born September 8, 1948 Michael Hague, 71. I’m very fond of East of the Sun and West of the Moon retold by he and his wife Kathleen. Not to be missed are his Wind in The Willows and The Hobbit which are both lovely takes on those tales. 
  • Born September 8, 1954 Mark Lindsay Chapman, 65. Sorry DCU but the best Swamp Thing series was done nearly thirty years ago and starred the late Dick Durock as Swamp Thing and this actor as his chief antagonist, Dr. Anton Arcane. Short on CGI, but the scripts were brilliant. Chapman has also shown up in Poltergeist: The Legacy, The New Adventures of SupermanThe Langoliers and Max Headroom to name a few of his genre appearances.
  • Born September 8, 1965 Matt Ruff, 54. I think that his second book Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy is his best work to date though I do like Fool on The Hill a lot. Any others of his I should think about reading? 
  • Born September 8, 1966 Gordon Van Gelder, 54. From 1997 until 2014, he was editor and later publisher of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, for which he was awarded twice, and quite well deserved they were, the Hugo for Best Editor Short Form. He was also a managing editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction from 1988 to 1993, for which he was nominated for the Hugo a number of times. 
  • Born September 8, 1971 Martin Freeman, 48. I’m not a fan of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films but I really do think he made a very fine Bilbo Baggins. Now I will say that I never warmed to Sherlock with him and Benedict Cumberbatch. Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu works better for me.  
  • Born September 8, 1975 C. Robert Cargill, 44. He, along with Scott Derrickson and Jon Spaihts, worked on the script for Doctor Strange. More intriguingly they’re writing the script for The Outer Limits, a movie based on the television show. The film, produced by MGM, will be adapted from just the “Demon with a Glass Hand” episode begging the question of what they’re writing for a script given that Ellison did write the Writers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Script for a Television Anthology script. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) LOOK OUT BELOW. Speakers’ Corner finds an author who did a literal book launch: “Science Fiction Should Be Re-Named Science Prediction: Q&A With Sarah Cruddas”.

What inspired you to pick up a pen and write a book for children?

The Space Race: The Journey to the Moon and Beyond – which was released this May – is my third children’s book. Although I don’t see it as just a children’s book. Nearly all of us have a child like wonder about space, and I want to inspire as many people as possible about why space matters and how it is shaping our lives. What inspired me to write this book is that I wanted to inspire as many people as possible about why space matters. I even launched the book to the edge of space (using a balloon) to help showcase just how close space really is.

Wait, hang on – you actually launched your book into space?

Haha yes!

I launched my book to space using a special type of balloon filled with hydrogen gas. The science behind it is relatively simple, the gas in the balloon weighs less than the air around it, so that causes it to rise. The balloon continues to rise and expand until the air that surrounds is equal in pressure – at the edge of space at an altitude which in this case was 33.1km. It then pops and falls to the Earth by parachute.

However it’s also complicated in the sense, you have to notify the CAA and also track the balloon and predict rough landing sight using weather patterns. But it shows that space is truly not far away.

(13) GOOD AS GOLD. Somewhat unexpectedly, Joker has taken top prize at the Venice Film festival. Slate has the story: Joker Steals Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival!”.

               The Joker, that caliph of clowns, that prince of pranksters, that malevolent mischief-maker whose cunning capers continually confound the courageous crimefighters of Gotham City, has struck again! This time, the caped crusaders’ archest arch-nemesis has left Gotham for bella Italia—ancestral home of local heiress J. Pauline Spaghetti—to pull off his most daring, dastardly deed to date: Stealing the Golden Lion, the top prize at this year’s Venice Film festival, and awarding it to Joker, screenwriter and director Todd Phillips’ critically-acclaimed meditation on poverty, grief, and the myriad ways the social and economic forces of the Reagan era turned decent people into Clown Princes of Crime.

               The Joker’s fiendish feat of film flimflammery is a festival first: According to the Cinematic Milestone Bat-Disclosure Unit, Joker is the first superhero movie to win the Golden Lion. The festival jury, headed by Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel, has not commented on its role in the Joker’s scheme, but Commissioner Gordon believes that an empty box of “Joker Brand Film Festival Jury Hypnotic Gas Pellets (Italian Formulation)” found in the gondola where deliberations were held may hold a clue to the mystery. Authorities acknowledge, however, that their theory that the festival jury was biased in favor of supervillains is not entirely consistent with the fact that they awarded the festival’s next highest award, the Grand Jury Prize, to a small-time sex offender named Roman Polanski for An Officer and a Spy, a movie about the Dreyfus affair. Holy Ham-Handed Historical Analogy, Batman!

(14) NAVIGATING OZ. Daniel Tures looks back at the books and 1939 movie in “Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, Oh My!” at the Los Angeles Public Library blog.

…As one of the cultural touchstones of the 20th century, almost any look into the history or production of The Wizard of Oz will spin the reader down endless rabbit holes of film criticism and intellectual wandering. From Judy Garland’s ruby slippers, silver shoes in Baum’s original book, illustrated by W.W. Denslow, to E. “Yip” Harburg and Harold Arlen’s iconic songs, and with heirs from The Wiz to the films of David Lynch, it stands at the crux of Hollywood history.

We tend to think of the books as being written in one place, and the movies based on them being made in another—yet strangely enough L. Frank Baum and his wife Maud Gage actually lived in the town of Hollywood from 1910 to 1919, at the end of his life, just as it was being transformed from a little-known agricultural paradise to a world-famous moviemaking one.

(15) KYLO REN IS DONE WITH IT. “Darth Vader’s Screen-Used Helmet From Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Goes up for Auction”: ComicBook.com says you’ll need a wheelbarrow full of cash.

Are you a Star Wars fan with $250,000 to spend? If so, iCollector has an item for you! The online collectibles auction is boasting a Darth Vader helmet worn onscreen by David Prowse in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

(16) HISTORY OF SF FILMS. Mr. Sci-Fi, Marc Scott Zicree, has been doing a History of Science Fiction, and in the third installment covers 1955 to 1959. He hopes viewers will support his efforts at www.patreon.com/marczicree.

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

93 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/8/19 To Be Placed On Our “Do Not Teleport” List, Please Press 1

  1. (10) I loved  Fool on The Hill and the Public Works Trilogy; Ruff’s time at Cornell overlapped with that of a friend of mine, so I like to imagine that she is in the background of that novel.

  2. re: Matt Ruff

    I really liked Lovecraft Country, the book currently under development (with Jordan Peele producing) for HBO. It’s set in the 1950s in the American South, and can be summed up as “Lovecraftian monsters wrestle with racism for what is the most terrifying, and racism wins.”

  3. (10) I love Fool on the Hill unreservedly but since I was attending Cornell when it came out I may be somewhat biased.

    And Lovecraft Country is largely set in Chicago, not the South, and that’s part of what makes it so effective. A lot of us were brought up thinking institutional racism wasn’t an issue in the North in the ’50s and ’60s and, as I’ve since learned, that wasn’t (and still isn’t) necessarily true.

  4. It’s set in the 1950s in the American South, and can be summed up as “Lovecraftian monsters wrestle with racism for what is the most terrifying, and racism wins.”

    It’s mostly set in Chicago and New England, though it starts out in the South.

    I thought the Lovecraftian parts were unsatisfyingly un-Lovecraftian, but the rest of the book — particularly the treatment of racism — was excellent.

  5. @4: that’s quite a story for its time.

    @10: I argued that Herbert Lom was genre-notable for using a disintegrator ray in his portrayal of Clouseau’s maddened boss ray; that Pink Panther movie at least is genre.

    @10bis: I understand some people think Ruff’s Lovecraft country is too gentle in portraying the US version of apartheid; I thought it harsh enough to be awakening, and a good story — not just a polemic.

    @Bonnie McDaniel: I’ve summarized it as “There are worse monsters already here than anything that can be summoned out of Lovecraft” — but yours is clearer.

    Edit: fifth!

  6. (2) It’s clear that the tweeter doesn’t really understand the Hugo voting system, given that he considers the No Award votes to be specifically and uniquely targeting Groell. Because, of course, those 97 votes were from people who felt that all 6 of the finalists were less deserving than no one at all.

  7. I have voted no award for both editor awards as long as I have been voting. There is no rational way for me to determine what impact the editor had on the finished product. There is also no way for me to know whether the author sent the story to any other editors who rejected the story. In short there is no way for me to fairly judge between the nominated editors.

  8. (2) Ironic that the tweeter’s commentary raises the issue of how a fan can judge the award, when there is a decent chance that similar doubts drive the number of No Award votes.

  9. Lovecraft Country is an excellent novel but the title is a bit misleading as it’s not really Lovecraftian at all, as Kurt noted. (And only the opening section is set in New England.)

    Set This House in Order (borderline genre) and Bad Monkeys (unquestionably genre) are both brilliant; the latter is my favorite Ruff novel.

  10. And only the opening section is set in New England.

    It opens with Atticus driving from Florida to Chicago, right?

    From there, they take a trip to Massachusetts, and there’s a set piece there, then back to the Midwest for the rest.

  11. (4) If you want to read Clingerman’s oft-anthologized story “The Wild Wood”, it is online here.

    (10) “Bible” Baggins? How about “Bilbo”?

  12. I haven’t seen the Hobbit films; is “Bible Baggins” a character in the movies, not in the book? Maybe a puritanical Hobbit?

  13. @Kurt Busiek: Yep. By “opening section” I meant the first part of the book, titled “Lovecraft Country”, but they don’t actually get to New England until about one-third of the way in.

  14. So…I’m not on Twitter. Has anyone bothered to explain to Mr. Pomerico how Hugo vote counting actually works? Because it might make him feel a little better about things to know (as HRJ mentioned) that those 97 people weren’t targeting Anne Groel, but were, in fact, voting against everyone. (And, in fact, only two of them ranked anyone other than Noah Ward, as column three reveals.)

    I looked at the (lengthy) twitter thread, and there don’t seem to be any replies. Seems like it would be easy enough to clear up the poor fellow’s confusion.

  15. bill: (10) “Bible” Baggins? How about “Bilbo”?

    Wow, that’s really one of my better typos. I’m sorry I can’t leave it up!

  16. @Kathryn: Ten Thousand Doors is my OMG EXCITE book; I am sooooo eager for it to be out! It’s pure magic; it really is. And I’m not one to say that often about anything 🙂

    I am delighted to learn that Alix adores We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. It’s a favorite of mine as well, but I’ve found it to be something of a marmite book for a lot of readers. I am not shocked, but still very pleased, to discover which side Alix falls on. 😉

    Fictitious Podcast did a whole long interview with her, if you want something long and meaty. Some spoilers for the book, though, so possibly inhale the book and then go listen…

  17. Tom Boswell: I have voted no award for both editor awards as long as I have been voting. There is no rational way for me to determine what impact the editor had on the finished product.

    I’m curious: do you vote in the fiction categories? Because there’s no way to know, for a given story, how much of its excellence is due to a great writer, and how much is due to a great developmental editor — but the nomination and the Hugo Award go to the author, not the editor. And you don’t know how many editors rejected that story before one finally accepted it.

    It seems to me that if I can vote for a story I loved and feel that it’s okay for the author to get recognition for it, that it’s also okay for me to vote for that story’s editor, who was responsible for recognizing it as a work of excellence and acquiring it, and who had a hand in ensuring that the final product was indeed excellent in terms of substance, coherence, copyediting, and cover art.

  18. errolwi: Ironic that the tweeter’s commentary raises the issue of how a fan can judge the award, when there is a decent chance that similar doubts drive the number of No Award votes.

    It’s especially ironic in that the conclusion he drew from his assertion “Hugo voters can’t realistically judge this category” was not the very obvious “therefore we should get rid of the category” but the very handwavy “something should be done” and “Americans are at fault for not nominating and voting for UK editors”. 🙄

    David, if you really want to keep the category, then persuade HarperCollins to start publishing the editors’ names on your books’ copyright pages. Handwaving doesn’t accomplish anything, and your boss certainly isn’t going to listen to me.

  19. Standback: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves [is] a favorite of mine as well, but I’ve found it to be something of a marmite book for a lot of readers.

    I thought the book was interesting and readable, but it’s not SFF, it’s just fiction. I’m always massively disappointed when a book is marketed as SFF when it isn’t.

  20. @JJ:

    Because there’s no way to know, for a given story, how much of its excellence is due to a great writer, and how much is due to a great developmental editor — but the nomination and the Hugo Award go to the author, not the editor. And you don’t know how many editors rejected that story before one finally accepted it.

    This is very true, but note that the Hugo Award goes to the story (or the novel), not the author.

    Yes, the author accepts it, absolutely! But “I edited Hugo-Award-winning novel X” or “I bought Hugo-Award-winning story Y” is a clear and meaningful statement,
    in a way that (IMO) “My editing of novel Z is Hugo-Award-winning” is… less.

  21. @JJ:

    I thought the book was interesting and readable, but it’s not SFF, it’s just fiction. I’m always massively disappointed when a book is marketed as SFF when it isn’t.

    Was We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves marketed as SF?
    I remember it being marketed as mainstream, IIRC.
    I certainly recall a great number of “BY THE AUTHOR OF” notes citing The Jane Austen Book Club, rather than anything SF-nal…

    (But I do love Fowler’s answer to “Do you write science-fiction,” on the Coode Street Podcast I think. She said, “I don’t know, but I write books I think science-fiction writers will enjoy reading.”)

  22. I had always thought, unread, ” Was We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” was SF under the (wrong) rubric that if a SF writer wrote it, it must be SF, perforce. Roberts, and SF writers (as witness the Nebula nomination)( would seem to have followed that line

  23. @JJ: Huh! I hadn’t realized that!

    I knew Fowler’s “What I Didn’t See” got a lot of attention, being both published as SF and winning major awards, despite no speculative element (beyond the homage to Tiptree).

    It’s no surprise to me that many SF readers should read and appreciate Fowler, in whatever genre. So reviews make sense to me. Winning awards is… weirder, but I guess she’s done that before, too 🙂

    Saying it was marketed to SF still sounds surprising to me, though — the examples you gave are all SF readers being interested of their own volition; unprompted. If you happen to have any examples of marketing, I’d be absolutely fascinated. (Not least because it’s a heck of a book to market! “It’s about… ummm.. never mind.”)

  24. BTW, I’m reading through the reviews, and they do all seem pretty clear on the book not being science-fiction.

    What’s more, while this book contains no science fiction whatsoever, it is very much about the practice of science, and about learning to relate to non-human species.

    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is one of those novels that would be described as transcending genre boundaries if it was a genre novel, but instead transcends the idea of literary-versus-genre to become a universal;

    Though this novel doesn’t fit the traditional definition of science fiction, it grapples with the implications of science in a way that few SF novels ever do.

    (I got to assume my readership is smart enough to figure this out but just in case; not a speculative fiction book that I am talking about here).

  25. Standback: Saying it was marketed to SF still sounds surprising to me

    Understand that from my point-of-view as a reader who relies on the major award shortlists for reading lists, being a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards is being marketed as SFF.

    I have since come to realize that the Campbell in particular often selects books which have little-to-no actual speculative content (The Rift, Underground Airlines, Galápagos Regained, Beside Ourselves, Hild, Shaman, Any Day Now, etc), so I’ve learned to research the books on that longlist more carefully to avoid reading disappointment.

    But I expect better from the Nebulas… although they have had their blips in the past (Beside Ourselves, The Drowning Girl, The Love We Share Without Knowing), and this year’s results indicate that I’m going to want to scrutinize their shortlists more going forward.

  26. @JJ

    being a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards is being marketed as SFF.

    If the publisher pushes a book for Nebula/Campbell, that is marketing. If the Nebula/Campbell awards claim the book as genre, that doesn’t indicate marketing — it says more about the awarding bodies than the publisher.

    Yes, SF reviews claim the book. But none of the mainstream reviews (Wash Post, Guardian, Telegraph, Kirkus, NY Times, School Library Journal, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe) I looked at said anything about it being SF

    The publisher’s page for the book calls it “literary fiction.”

  27. First SF Radio Broadcast?

    The radio listings in the Philadelphia Inquirer for 9/14/1925 include the schedule for WRNY, a station recently founded by Gernsback. At 9:00 pm was a show listed as “‘Conditions on Mars,’ by Hugo Gernsback.”

  28. @JJ: Ahhh, got it.

    Yeah, I definitely hear you on that 🙂

    Personally, Awards-lists-as-reading-lists have never really worked too well for me; often they highlight amazing stuff — but they each have their own biases and idiosyncrasies.

    (Best-of-the-Year anthologies, in particular, always make me really uncomfortable, because it feels so… dispiriting if you don’t like a bunch of stories that are the best of the year!1 . And those anthologies feel like they’re under a lot of constraints.
    It helps when you realize not to take them quite that literally. And yet.)

  29. I’ve never voted on the Hugos, but my thought is that I would probably not vote at all on Editor or other categories if I hadn’t read the nominees.
    But having the “No Award” option makes it seem like it’s mandatory to vote something.
    So maybe just drop the “No Award” option.

  30. @PhilRM: Ruff’s book isn’t based on the creeping paranoia that infests Lovecraft; this is not surprising given that the point of the book is the real travails (“it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you”) of people Lovecraft despised. However, I think the title is justified, both because of the white idiots who try to summon Lovecraftian horrors and because for the protagonists “Lovecraft Country” covers much more than New England.

    @JJ:

    Understand that from my point-of-view as a reader who relies on the major award shortlists for reading lists, being a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards is being marketed as SFF.

    ISTM that stretches the bounds of the term “marketing”, which I would have said refers to forces originating from the publisher and/or author, rather than collective enthusiasms of readers.

    @Harold Osler: dropping No Award would mean that opinions about the relative merits of works that voters think aren’t worthy of a Hugo would not be heard. It would also edge the window for Puppy poo further open.

  31. @harold Osler
    “No Award” is not at all the same as not voting when you don’t know anything about the nominees. (When in doubt, don’t vote. Abstentions don’t affect the results like “no award’ does.)

  32. The Future is Female! anthology is edited by Lisa Yaszek, the Ga Tech prof who have the very interesting lecture on the history of time travel in Sf that I went to a couple of months ago. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  33. I am among those who “No Award” both editor categories every time I vote in the Hugo Awards, because I think (unlike the categories for works) it is impossible to effectively judge the work of an editor. I’d much rather see, say, a general “Best Magazine” category (and possibly a “Best Anthology/Collection”) and no editor awards.

  34. @Steve Mollman— Of course, “Best Editor” replaced “Best Magazine” back in the 70s, so that editors of original-story anthologies could compete with magazine editors.

  35. @Chip Hitchcock: Well, except that no one in the book is actually trying to summon Lovecraftian horrors, nor do they enter in any other way, which for me kind of undercuts the whole “Lovecraft Country” thing, much as I liked the book.

  36. bill: Yeah, that’s what we’re here for, to sell Brad Torgersen’s and Sarah Hoyt’s books. What a dick.

  37. @Mike —

    bill: Yeah, that’s what we’re here for, to sell Brad Torgersen’s and Sarah Hoyt’s books. What a dick.

    I actually bought the whole bundle when somebody else mentioned it a few days ago. I’ve been curious about both the Darkship books and Torgersen, and the bundle works out to $0.50 per book — not exactly sending tons of money to the authors, and you can designate that your purchase money gets sent to charity if you wish. I hardly ever take part in these bundles, but I thought this one was both a good deal and educational!

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