The time-loop movie Palm Springs got two nominations. The score from TENET is on the list. And there are two sff shows nominated for Best Television Series – Drama, Lovecraft Country and The Mandalorian.
The 78th Golden Globes will be presented on February 28.
The complete list of nominees is here. The categories which include works of genre interest are below.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (Four By Two Films; Amazon Studios)
HAMILTON (Walt Disney Pictures / RadicalMedia / 5000 Broadway Productions / NEVIS Productions / Old 320 Sycamore Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
MUSIC (Pineapple Lasagne Productions / Landay Entertainment; Vertical Entertainment / IMAX)
PALM SPRINGS (Party Over Here / Limelight Productions; NEON / Hulu)
THE PROM (Netflix / Dramatic Forces / Storykey Entertainment; Netflix)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
SACHA BARON COHEN BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
JAMES CORDEN THE PROM
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA HAMILTON
DEV PATEL THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
ANDY SAMBERG PALM SPRINGS
BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE (DreamWorks Animation; Universal Pictures)
ONWARD (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
OVER THE MOON (Netflix / Pearl Studio / Glen Keane Productions; Netflix)
SOUL (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
WOLFWALKERS (Cartoon Saloon / Melusine; Apple / GKIDS)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT THE MIDNIGHT SKY
LUDWIG GÖRANSSON TENET
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD NEWS OF THE WORLD
TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS MANK
TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS, JON BATISTE SOUL
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
THE CROWN – NETFLIX (Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television)
LOVECRAFT COUNTRY – HBO (HBO / Afemme / Monkeypaw / Bad Robot / Warner Bros. Television)
THE MANDALORIAN – DISNEY+ (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
OZARK – NETFLIX (MRC Television)
RATCHED – NETFLIX (Fox21 Television Studios)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
(1) JEMISIN’S LATEST MILESTONE. [Item by Rob Thornton.] N.K. Jemisin received an interesting present for Christmas when she learned that The City We Became was chosen as a Book Of The Month.
(2) AWARDED SFF BY POC. [Item by Eric Wong.] Rocket Stack Rank’s annual Outstanding SF/F by People of Color 2019, with 67 stories by 60 authors that were that were finalists for major SF/F awards, included in “year’s best” SF/F anthologies, or recommended by prolific reviewers in short fiction.
Included are some observations obtained from highlighting specific recommenders and pivoting the table by publication, author, awards, year’s best anthologies, and reviewers.
As for RSR, we recommended 11 stories (3 award worthy), were neutral on 18 stories, recommended against 13 stories, and did not review 25 (view by RSR rating).
(3) CALL FOR REVIEWERS. If you’re interested in reviewing PDFs of either of these for File 770, contact me at mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com.
FIREFLY: THE ARTBOOK An original glossy coffee table book bursting with brand new and exclusive art, includes over 120 pieces by professional artists, illustrators, concept artists, comics artists and graphic designers.
RIVERS OF LONDON BODY WORKS DELUXE WRITERS’ EDITION CSI meets Harry Potter in this fantastic DELUXE WRITERS’ EDITION graphic novel from Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the bestselling Rivers of London supernatural police procedural crime novel series! Presents the full script of the graphic novel along with the unlettered, full-color artwork, allowing the reader to read the original script and see the artwork side-by-side.
As one of Star Trek’s most beloved characters, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott spent a lifetime exploring the galaxy on the USS Enterprise, boldly going beyond the final frontier.
Now it can be revealed that in death the actor who played the starship’s chief engineer has travelled nearly 1.7 billion miles through space, orbiting Earth more than 70,000 times, after his ashes were hidden secretly on the International Space Station.
A note. In 2012, it was also announced that some of James Doohan’s ashes were being launched into space on a Falcon 9 flight that would put them in orbit for about two years. That was known, but not the same as Richard Garriott carrying his ashes aboard a Soyuz to place them on the ISS, which was not previously known.
WW84 starts on a promising note, taking a page from the Superman playbook: Wonder Woman sweeps into a shopping mall and dispatches a gang of crooks while saving imperiled children, even sharing a knowing wink with one of them. It’s a moment of pure fun that leaves you with a smile on your face and shows our heroine actually enjoying her superpowers.
From that point on, the movie struggles to be relevant and serious, but in a superficial, cartoony way. It drones on for two and a half hours but it hasn’t got a lot to say, and sputters whenever it’s trying to convey a message. A prologue on Paradise Island only makes one wish they made more use of that setting and its strong female characters….
The other week I linked to a few “best of…” lists for 2020. On Twitter, Hampus also suggested another round-up source here https://www.cbr.com/best-video-games-2020/ I’ve since collated those lists along with the video games already listed on the Hugo Sheet of Doom. I’ll confess that I have taken a scattershot approach to deciding whether games are SFF or not. It isn’t always easy! Does a historical game count as alternate-history if you can reshape events (eg Crusader Kings III)? Is Call of Duty SFF because there is a zombie option? I don’t know!
(8) GUNN OBIT. SFWA Grand Master James Gunn died December 23. Colleague Kij Johnson has a tribute: “With great sadness”.
This morning, James Gunn passed on at the age of 97. We’re not sure of what, but it probably was congestive heart failure. He went into the ER on Saturday morning, where they were not able to regulate his heartbeat. There will be official announcements and eventually a memorial.
Gunn’s leadership in the field of sff studies at the University of Kansas is commemorated by the Center there that bears his name. His academic work included a series of filmed interviews with leading creators in 1970, including Rod Serling.
(9) MEMORY LANE.
In 1958 at Solacon held at South Gate, California, Fritz Leiber would win the first of ten Hugos that he would garner to date (counting Retros), for The Big Time. The Big Time was published originally in Galaxy Magazine‘s March and April 1958 issues as illustrated by Virgil Finlay who has multiple Retro Hugos as an artist. In 2012, it was selected for inclusion in the Library of America’s two-volume American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s.
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
Born December 25, 1890 – Robert Ripley. Dropping out of high school to help his family after his father’s death, he worked as a cartoonist, invented Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and became world-famous. Said he documented everything. Invited readers’ contributions, was read by eighty million, may have received more mail than the U.S. President. Short cinema features, radio, television, visited 200 countries. When R noted that in fact the U.S. had no national anthem, John Philip Sousa applauded “The Star-Spangled Banner” – which everyone had been singing – and it was finally adopted. Also NY State handball champion. Not in touch with us during his life (though he did interview Maud Baum) – he didn’t want fiction; the continuing R enterprise runs museums, publishes books: in RBI (R’s Bu. of Investigation) #2 The Dragon’s Teeth teen agents have special gifts. (Died 1949) [JH]
Born December 25, 1915 – Dora Pantell. Teacher, author of textbooks and manuals (many on English as a second language), she continued the Miss Pickerell books of Ellen MacGregor (1906-1954) about a New England spinster (as such were known until quite recently) with a good mind who takes technological adventures and applies science. EM left copious notes, DP wrote a dozen Pickerell books (MP on the Moon, MP and the Weather Satellite) and as many shorter stories. (Died 1996) [JH]
Born December 25, 1924 — Rod Serling. Best remembered for the original and certainly superior Twilight Zone and Night Gallery with the former winning an impressive three Hugos. He’s also the screenwriter or a co-screenwriter for Seven Days in May, a very scary film indeed, as well as The New People series, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekylland Mr. Hyde, A Town Has Turned to Dust, UFOs: Past, Present, and Future and Planet of the Apes. ISDB lists a lot of published scripts and stories by him. (Died 1975.) (CE)
Born December 25, 1928 — Dick Miller. He’s appeared in over a hundred films including every film directed by Joe Dante. You’ve seen him in both Gremlins, The Little Shop of Horrors, Terminator, The Howling, Small Soldiers, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Amazon Women on the Moon, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm where he voiced the gravelly voiced Chuckie Sol and Oberon in the excellent “The Ties That Bind” episode of Justice League Unlimited. (Died 2019.) (CE)
Born December 25, 1939 — Royce D. Applegate. His best known role was that of Chief Petty Officer Manilow Crocker on the first season of seaQuest DSV. He’s got appearances in Quantum Leap, Twin Peaks (where he played Rev. Clarence Brocklehurst), Tales of the Unexpected and Supertrain. (Died 2003.) (CE)
Born December 25, 1945 — Rick Berman, 75. Loved and loathed in equal measures, he’s known for his work as the executive producer of Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise which he co-created with Brannon Braga. He’d be lead producer on the four Next Generation films: Generations, First Contact (which I like), Insurrection and Nemesis. (CE)
Born December 25, 1947 – Bill Fesselmeyer. Active U.S. Midwest fan, worked on MidAmeriCon I the 34th Worldcon, satirized our Worldcon Business Meetings – so hard that we don’t always do them well – in “How the Grinch Stole Worldcon”, as you can read here, thanks again to Leah Zeldes Smith. Earned a barony in the Society for Creative Anachronism. With wife Sherry, Fan Guests of Honor at BYOB-Con 7. (Died 1984) [JH]
Born December 25, 1948 –Kathleen Meyer. Chaired Windycon XI-XII and XV; Fan Guest of Honor at Capricon 8. Ran Membership Services at Chicon IV the 40th Worldcon; chaired Chicon V the 49th; survived to run Events at Chicon 2000 the 58th. Twenty-five years Treasurer of parent ISFiC (Illinois SF in Chicago). I knew her, Horatio. (Died 2016) [JH]
Born December 25, 1952 — CCH Pounder, 68. She’s had one very juicy voice role running through the DC Universe from since Justice League Unlimited in 2006. If you’ve not heard her do this role, it worth seeing the animated Assault on Arkham Asylum which is far superior to the live action Suicide Squad film to hear her character. She also had a recurring role as Mrs. Irene Frederic on Warehouse 13 as well. She’s also been in X-Files, Quantum Leap, White Dwarf (horrid series), Gargoyles, Millennium, House of Frankenstein and Outer Limits. Film-wise, she shows up in Robocop 3, Tales from the Crypt presents Demon Knight, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and several of the forthcoming Avatar films. (CE)
Born December 25, 1969 – Holly Phillips, age 51. Reared in Trail and other small towns in British Columbia. Sunburst Award for collection In the Palace of Repose. Anthology Tesseracts 11 with Cory Doctorow. Two novels, three dozen shorter stories, half a dozen poems. “As weird as I try to make my fiction, it’s never as weird as the real world.” [JH]
Born December 25, 1969 – Christopher Rowe, age 51. Three novels, thirty shorter stories. Co-author of Wild Cards 25, entitled Low Chicago. Extended chapbook Say…. into a small-press magazine for five years. Has read The Last Great Walk, Lolita, two Jane Austen novels, one Dickens and one Dumas, The Hunt for “Red October”, one Shakespeare. Website. [JH]
Born December 25, 1984 — Georgia Moffett, 36. She’s the daughter of actor Peter Davison, the man who was Fifth Doctor and she’s married to David Tennant who was the Tenth Doctor. She played opposite the Tenth Doctor as Jenny in “The Doctor’s Daughter” and in she voiced ‘Cassie’ in the animated Doctor Who: Dreamland which is now on iTunes and Amazon. And yes she’s in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot as herself. (CE)
The Hollywood Foreign Press has come under fire again for the rule that disallows “Minari,” the story of a Korean immigrant family struggling to build a better life in Arkansas, from competing in the Golden Globes race for best drama or musical/comedy. As the entertainment industry faces pressure to become more diverse and inclusive, both in the stories it tells and in terms of the actors and filmmakers it champions, the HFPA should have foreseen the outcry from Hollywood.
The rules around Golden Globes eligibility for best picture categories are outdated and need to be overhauled — fast.
“Minari,” which stars an American, is directed by an American and produced, financed, and distributed by U.S. companies, is ineligible in the best picture categories and must compete in the foreign language category. The problem was also faced by last year by “The Farewell,” Lulu Wang’s acclaimed dramedy, in 2019, which, like “Minari,” was forced into the foreign language race and excluded from competing for the Globes’ top prizes.
(14) SEEING VS. BELIEVING. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the December 19 Financial Times, Raphael Abraham interviews Soul director Pete Docter about how the Pixar crew filming Soul discussed how to depict a soul.
Having consulted clinical psychologists for Inside Out, which made manifest a teenage girl’s emotional inner workings, this time Docter and his team turned to spiritual advisers for guidance ‘We did a lot of research, talking with priests and rabbis, looking at Hinduism, Buddhism, all sorts of different traditions to see what they could teach about the nature of the soul,’ he says. However, when it came to visual representation, they came to a dead end, ‘Largely, it was not too helpful because it said they’re non-visible. And we thought: well, great, but we’ve got to film something!’
Looking within themselves instead, the animators devised a solution that has the film flirting with abstraction as the action moves from the temporal world to the ethereal landscapes of ‘The Great Beyond,’ ‘The Great Before,’ and the ‘Counsellors’ who inhabit them.
Here they turned to art history for inspiration. ‘We looked at a lot of modernist sculpture, Picasso wire sculptures, Alexander Calder. We thought of the Counsellors as the universe dumbing itself down so that the humans and souls could understand it.’
In Sicily, it’s said you should never give a gift in the shape of a cat to someone who is engaged to be married, as this foretells sudden and violent death. However, in other cultures, if your partner gives you an actual cat as a present, it means you will never be parted.
Tis the season to be jolly. That’s better than a season to be angry and mean. However, I find something unsettling about too much jolliness, especially when the jolly one is a snowman that has been brought to life by the magic in “an old black hat.” Whose hat was it? Huh? Did it belong to a serial killer, and did he die wearing it, and is his hideous, corrupted soul in that hat?
Frosty’s button nose is okay, but I’m creeped out by those two eyes made out of coal. We can often read other people’s intentions in their eyes, but NOT IN EYES MADE OUT OF COAL! The teeth in his grin are made of coal, too, and he’s always grinning, which suggests he’s psychotic…
(17) YESTERDAY’S MEDIA BIRTHDAY. This one is too good to skip. On December 24, 1916 the silent film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, directed and written by Stuart Paton, premiered. Starring Allen Holubar and Jane Gail, Carl Laemmle, later to be founder of what would become Universal Pictures, produced it. Paton used most of Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea novel and elements of Mysterious Island as well. Yes it’s in the National Film Registry as it should be. Indeed it was a box office success as it made eight million on a budget of two hundred thousand. You can watch it here.
… “Black hole radiation is one of the perhaps most peculiar processes,” Weinfurtner told Gizmodo. Thanks to her experiment, “you can reproduce this process in the lab.”
More complex dumb holes followed; Weinfurtner eventually went on to lead her own group, now at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, which devised a black hole analog from a vortex produced by a draining, rotating fluid. The vortex amplified waves traveling over the liquid that bounced into it, and the experiment became a first observation of a process called superradiance in the lab—an analogy to the Penrose process, where spinning black holes turbocharge the particles in the space around them….
(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “The Polar Express Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, Ryan George explains the premise of The Polar Express is that when a kid “gets into a stranger’s vehicle in the middle of the night, his life is going to change,” but don’t worry, the vehicle is The Polar Express, so this is supposed to be a fun Christmas movie, even if the motion-capture animation leads to “dead eye characters and uncanny valley vibes.”
[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, Eric Wong, James Davis Nicoll, Mike Kennedy, John Hertz, John King Tarpinian, Michael Toman, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anne Sheller.]
The nominations for the 2020
Golden Globes were unveiled in Los Angeles on December 9 by the Hollywood
Foreign Press Association.
Genre highlights on the television side are the nominees for lead actor in a television drama, Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Rami Malek, (Mr. Robot).
(Game of Thrones was otherwise shut out — Variety counted the absence of Peter Dinklage among the finalists as one of its snubs and surprises.)
In the movie categories, Joker and lead actor Joaquin Phoenix received nominations.
Genre dominated the Original Song (“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats, “Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2, “Spirit,” The Lion King) and Animated Feature (Frozen 2, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Lion King, Missing Link, Toy Story 4 ) categories.
The Golden Globe Awards will be presented on January 5. Tom
Hanks will receive the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award during the ceremony.
(1) SPECTRUM 24 CALL FOR ENTRIES. John Fleskes, Spectrum Director, has issued an invitation for professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artists’ representatives to submit entries to the 24th Annual Spectrum International Competition for Fantastic Art.
All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible for this show. Fantastic art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: There is no unacceptable way to create art, and there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts.
The Spectrum 24 jury is a five member panel of exceptional artists working in the industry today, Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee Brom, Mark Newman, John Picacio and Victo Ngai.
“Spectrum represents such a rich visual history and standard of excellence for what we collectively dream in the fantastic art field,” states John Picacio. “I’ve always been grateful any time my work was selected for inclusion in the annual, and it’s a profound honor and responsibility to give back to the book this year as a juror.”
I’ll have more to report by the end of the month, when all the tests and biopsy results finally come in. But here’s what definite:
I do have a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, although they still don’t know exactly what type. (That’s what’s taking so long for the biopsy to be finished.) Once they know what kind it is, they’ll start me on a chemotherapy program.
Sadly, my hopes in the hospital that since the surgery had gone so well maybe the cancer was completely gone turned out to be childish delusions. (Which I suspected myself, but…) Lymphoma is what they call a systemic cancer, which means that surgery by itself can’t do anything but arrest the malignancy for a while and provide the material needed for a thorough biopsy. But to really fight lymphoma, you need chemotherapy.
The good news is that lymphoma generally responds well to chemo, and it’s not uncommon for people to be cured of the disease altogether. We’ll see what happens in my case, but even in the worst case scenario it looks as if I’ll have quite a few years to fend the cancer off.
However, he says frankly that after chemo he may live for years to come —
if you look at it the right way. I’ll be 70 in a month. I don’t have to fight off lymphona indefinitely. I just have to fight it off long enough for something else to bump me off.
(4) EYES WIDE WHAT? Myke Cole’s next tweet will explain how his stories are like radio except with no sound.
(5) HOMAGE. The late Gordon Archer did a lot of commercial art for Weetabix cereal involving Doctor Who, Star Trek, Asterix and other pop culture subjects which his son now has on display on a website. [Corrected, because Archer is still with us, as his son states in a comment below.]
Winnie the Pooh creator’s letter reflects moral dilemma of pacifists faced with rise of Hitler in interwar period
…The Milne letter has been retrieved from its vast collection of documents and reflects the conflict felt by many pacifists who had experienced the horrors of the first world war and earnestly hoped “never again”.
“It encapsulates the moral dilemma that a lot of pacifists had in the interwar period,” said curator Matt Brosnan. “Milne opposed war but increasingly saw Hitler and the Nazis as an evil that had to be met by force.”
In his letter, Milne declared himself a “practical pacifist”, writing: “I believe that war is a lesser evil than Hitlerism, I believe that Hitlerism must be killed before war can be killed.”
(7) KOWAL INTERVIEW IN LOCUS. An excerpt of Locus’ interview with Mary Robinette Kowal has been posted at Locus Online.
The moment I knew I was setting something during the First World War, I knew that darkness was going to be part of it, and that I would have to work really hard to keep the darkness from completely overwhelming Ghost Talkers. When you do any reading at all about the First World War, it becomes very clear why it made such a huge, permanent mark on Europe – and the US less so, because we were not directly touched by it. It wasn’t even the death tolls, because in England a lot of men actually came home, but everyone came home wounded in some way, either physically or emotionally. I read interview after interview of survivors saying, ‘I went over the top of the trench, and everyone in my platoon died. I don’t know why I lived.’ I knew going in that dealing with someone who deals with ghosts as her job, during WWI, would mean a darker book than people are used to from me. On the other hand, the last book in the Glamourist series, I jokingly refer to as ‘Regency Grimdark.’
But here’s where those voices have a point: if you wait till after you’ve put out your call for submissions to run around trying to fill in diversity slots for your anthology — you know, the “one of each so long as there aren’t too many of them” approach — you will more likely than not end up with a dog’s breakfast of a volume in which it’s clear that you selected writers for their optics, not their writing. That’s tokenism, not sound editorial practice. The time to be trying to make your anthology a diverse one is before submissions come in, not during or after.
On the other hand, if you just put your call for fiction out there and cross your fingers, you’ll end up with mostly the usual suspects. It’s not enough to simply open the door. Why? Because after centuries of exclusion and telling us we’re not good enough, an unlocked door is doing jack shit to let us know that anything’s changed. Most of us will continue to duck around it and keep moving, thank you very much. We’ll go where we know there are more people like us, or where there are editors who get what we’re doing.
So make up your mind that you’re going to have to do a bit of work, some outreach. It’s fun work, and the results are rewarding….
(9) RARA AVIS. Definitely not on my bucket list.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only Hugo Award winner to have once shoplifted an L. Ron Hubbard book.
Christensen saw himself not as the “fantasy artist” label given him, but rather as an artist who paints the fantastic.
“I paint things that are not real,” he told the Deseret News in 2008. “But fantasy often ventures into the dark and scary stuff. I made a decision long ago that I would not go to dark places. There’s a lot of negativity in the world. I try not to be part of it.”
His honors and awards include being named a Utah Art Treasure as well as one of Utah’s Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and receiving the Governor’s Award for Art from the Utah Arts Council. He had won all the professional art honors given by the World Science Fiction Convention as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Christensen had served as president of the National Academy of Fantastic Art, and he co-chaired the Mormon Arts Foundation with his wife, Carole.
Dave Doering paid tribute: “I loved this man. For various years he was our Artist GoH at LTUE but also quite well known in all fantasy art circles.”
(11) TODAY IN HISTORY
January 9, 1493 — On this date, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”
(12) WORLDBUILDERS. At Tor.com, David Weber discusses five authors who he says are “great world-builders.” All five of the authors are women: Anne McCaffrey, Katherine Kurtz, Mercedes Lackey, Barbara Hambly, and Patricia McKillip:
“[McKillip] is, without a doubt, one of my two or three all-time favorite authors. When I first read The Riddle-Master of Hed in 1978, I immediately went out and found Heir of Sea and Fire and then waited impatiently for Harpist in the Wind. In many ways, the Riddle-Master’s world is less fully articulated than Pern or Gwynedd, but I think that’s because so much of the detail is cooking quietly away in the background behind the land rulers. There’s a sense of an entire consistent, coherent foundation and history/backstory behind all of it, but the struggles of Morgon, Raerdale, and Deth take front stage with an intensity that reaches out and grabs the reader by the shirt collar and shakes him or her to the bone. Patricia’s prose is absolutely gorgeous and evocative and her stories fully satisfy the deep love for the language my parents taught me as a very young reader. I literally don’t think it’s possible to over-recommend this series … and the rest of her stuff is pretty darn good, too.”
Saint Anthony of Padua’s the patron saint of Brazil, Portugal, pregnant women, and the elderly. He wears brown robes, and he usually holds baby Jesus and lilies. And – as one Brazilian woman discovered – a miniature figure of Santo Antônio also vaguely looks like Elrond, the elf lord of Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. Brazilian makeup artist Gabriela Brandao made the hilarious discovery last week and posted about it on Facebook for all to see. Brandao explained that her daughter’s great-grandmother prayed to the Elrond figurine daily, erroneously believing it was Santo Antônio.
(14) IMAGINARY HUGO RECOMMENDATIONS. There is no such work, except in your mind:
(15) BRIANNA WU’S CAMPAIGN. She’s already gaining media attention in Boston.
Brianna Wu was at the center of “Gamer-Gate” and received some horrific threats over social media. But instead of keeping a low profile, she tells Jim why she’s now planning on running for Congress.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, Andrew Porter, Rob Thornton, Arnie Fenner, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]
Two years ago, as Indian scientists successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, a photograph that went viral showed women dressed in gorgeous saris with flowers in their hair celebrating at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) in the southern city of Bangalore.
It was reported that the ecstatic women were scientists and the photograph challenged the stereotype that rocket science in India was a male preserve.
Isro later clarified that the celebrating women were administrative staff, but it went on to add that there indeed were several women scientists who had worked on the mission and were in the control room at the time of the launch.
The BBC’s Geeta Pandey recently travelled to Bangalore to meet some of the women who have taken India into space.
Chris Obi, Shazad Latif, and Mary Chieffo have joined the upcoming CBS All Access series, with all three set to play Klingons — members of the fan-favorite alien race that is fundamental to “Star Trek” lore. Obi will play T’Kuvma, a Klingon leader seeking to unite the Klingon houses. Latif will play Kol, commanding officer of the Klingons and protégé of T’Kuvma. Chieffo will play L’Rell, the battle deck commander of the Klingon ship.
(5) FOUNDING FATHER? Eric Flint uses the pronoun “we” when referring to the Dragon Award founders in his latest post “Literary Awards Are Not Competitions”. Did I know this? I don’t remember having that piece of information before.
The Dragon Award was not set up to compete with any of the existing awards. We didn’t launch this new award because we were dissatisfied or disgruntled with the existing awards, such as the Hugo or the Nebula or the World Fantasy Award.
Our attitude stems from a recognition of something that is all too often misunderstood about literary awards. And that is the notion that a literary (or any type of artistic) award in some way or another ratifies a competition. To put it another way, that an award establishes which story or author (or piece of art or artist, or song or singer) “won the competition” in the period of eligibility. According to this notion, what authors and other artists do is in some way analogous to what athletes do when they engage in sports competitions. And, thus, receiving a Hugo or a Nebula or a Dragon or any other award is equivalent to standing on a platform at the Olympics and being handed a gold medal, or being presented with the Stanley Cup.
This notion is wrong, to the point of being perverse. Writers—the same is true for all other artists—are not engaged in a competition in the first place. I will expand on this point as the blog progresses, but for the moment I will leave it at this:
No writer ever sat down to write a story in order to beat another story, or another writer. It’s enough to state the idea to realize how ludicrous it is.
Still have the meat sweats thanks to my recent run of episodes centered around Kansas City BBQ? Then you’ll probably welcome a break for Eating the Fantastic’s first vegetarian episode, recorded at Baltimore’s One World Cafe during the Baltimore Book Festival.
My guest who stole away from the Inner Harbor to join me this episode is Sam J. Miller, a writer who’s been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards, and who won the Shirley Jackson Award for his short story “57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides.” And who last shared a meal with me during the 2015 Nebula Awards weekend at Alinea, considered to be one of the Top 10 restaurants in the world. His debut novel, The Art of Starving, will appear from HarperCollins in 2017.
(7) TRIVIAL TRIVIA
The 1985 movie Back to the Future was banned in China because of its time travel and “disrespectful portrayal of history.” In fact, many of the movies on Mental Floss list of “10 Movies That Were Banned in China” are sf/f.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY
December 12, 1972 – Orange soil discovered by Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt during their second day of exploration on the lunar surface. Frank Zappa warned them not to eat it.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
Born December 12, 1893 – Edward G. Robinson, whose genre roles include Soylent Green.
I often get asked, “So what would you do if a Fifth Season happened for real?” …
This became sort of a double-edged thing with the other topic that I researched deeply for the Broken Earth, however, which was prepper communities. I needed to get into the mindset of people who literally believe that civilization is going to end at any given moment. So to that end, I watched some episodes of the TV show Doomsday Preppers, I bought a few issues of Offgrid Recoil Magazine, and visited some prepper forums online….
Now, I did end up meeting some people who live with the perpetual belief that civilization will end, and who have had rather more actual societal experience of Fifth Season-like events than most preppers. When I went to Hawaii’s Big Island a few years ago, I met both some native Hawaiians and more recent comers who happily talked to me about what it’s like to live on top of an actively erupting hotspot that could turn into an Extinction Level Event at any moment. Their philosophy was markedly different to that of the prepper communities I’d previously studied — much less stress and fear, a greater emphasis on preparing through skills and handed-down wisdom, and a general feeling of hey, if Pele’s pissed off, there’s really nothing you can do but deal with it in the moment. It’s foolish to try and anticipate a goddess, after all.
Today’s auction is for an autographed hardcover copy of the book UP AGAINST IT, by Laura J. Mixon, writing as M. J. Locke.
About the Book:
Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of hard vacuum and unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony’s air lock, putting the entire human population at risk.
Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn’t bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there’s a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea’s bowels.
Jane’s in the prime of her career?she’s only a bit over a century old?but the conflict between politics and life-support is tearing her apart. To save her colony and her career, she’s going to have to solve several mysteries at once?a challenge that will put her up against all the difficulties, contradictions, and awkward compromises entailed in the human colonization of outer space.
From Publishers Weekly (starred review): “Compulsively readable…Most of all, this smart, satisfying hard SF adventure celebrates human resilience.”
(12) YOU BETTER WATCH OUT. At this time of year we should all be getting to bed on time (remember “He knows when you’ve been sleeping/He knows when you’re awake”) but if Santa is not one of your worries, then viewing the annual Geminid meteor shower could be a late-night treat.
The Geminid meteor shower occurs every year from about December 4 to 16. The shower’s “maximum,” or time when the most meteors per hour fall, is usually on December 13 and 14. Get more information on our Meteor Shower Calendar.
(Note: In 2016, the meteors are battling a Full Moon, so it will be a bit of a hunt, but our observatory friends at Slooh predict that it “should still be one of the best, and most active, celestial shows of the year.”)
It’s part of the alt-reich’s standard operating procedure: you play at legalism and reference or even invent rules to get the other side, the side that cares about consequences and fairness, to abide by them, even while you don’t. He used these tactics to get Black Gate’s editor to back down, to blink, and now the text which correctly and accurately labels a neo-Nazi as a neo-Nazi politely redirects to another venue, to which it has deferred that duty.
And I look at this, and I look at what’s happening in Washington (well, mostly in New York and Florida, as our President-Elect sees the presidency as more of a side gig) and the way our national news media is covering things, and, I have to say… it doesn’t look nearly as pointless.
As above, so below.
(15) REINDEER SCIENCE. We’ve all heard the stories about dog owners who didn’t realize their pets were female ’til the puppies came. I’m just going to assume Santa is better informed than that…. The Farmers Almanac poses the question, “Is Rudolph a Girl?.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers each summer. Male reindeer shed theirs from late November to mid-December, but females retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.
This is because the mating season occurs in the fall. Once the male reindeer have used their antlers to impress their mates, they no longer have use of them, and they shed them before Christmastime. This means that the image most of us have of Rudolph with his antlers at Christmastime is not scientifically accurate.
[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Hampus Eckerman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]