2018 Parsec Awards

The winners of the 12th annual Parsec Awards for Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting were announced December 17.  

Winners of the 2018 Parsec Awards

  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

PodCastle

Jen R. Albert & Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Six Jobs by Tim Pratt PodCastle  

  •  Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form)

Shadow Publications: Derelict Tomb

Paul E. Cooley

Derelict: Tomb by Paul E. Cooley

  • Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form)

The Gray Area

Edward Champion

Buddies for Hire by Edward Champion

  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form)

The Axe & Crown

Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard

The Axe & Crown (12 episodes)
by Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard

  • Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)

Uncanny County

Todd Faulkner

Uncanny County by Todd Faulkner, Alison Crane, William Franke, Nicole Greevy

  • Best Speculative Fiction Video Story

Active Radioactive Radio

Pendant Productions

Radioactive by Susan and Jeffrey Bridges

  • Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

Escape Pod

Mur Lafferty and S.B. Divya

  • Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team

The Phenomenon

Luciola Creative

  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)

To The Journey!

Kay Shaw,  Suzanne Williamson, Zachary Fruhling

  • Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General)

Kalanadi

Rachael (Kalanadi)

General interest science fiction reviews by Rachael

  • Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

Under The Puppet

Saturday Morning Media, Grant Baciocco

  • Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast

Astronomy Cast

Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain

  • Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast

Robotz of the Company

Dream Realm Enterprises

Robotz of the Company by Jonithan Patrick  Russell

Update 12/17/2018: The Parsec Awards committee subsequently added the following statement (which does not identify the winner at issue):

In the last 24 hours the Parsec Awards Steering Committee has been made aware that a podcast creator for one of the podcasts that was announced in the previous email as an award winner has a history of extremely disturbing behavior.

To the best of our knowledge, no one on this committee was aware of this nor had any direct contact with this person.

Before going on, we want to make it clear that in no way do we wish to condone, enable or ignore patterns of threatening, abusive or hateful behavior on line or in person. From the very beginning the Parsecs have striven to be fair, unbiased and inclusive.

Our process is necessarily blind. We vet nominations for accuracy and submissions for relation to category and duration. Judging is done solely on the basis of the audio file presented.  That is to say we are presenting awards to the podcast solely on the basis of the content and production value. Some members of the committee and judges are in the podcast community. Therefore, they may know nominees and exclude themselves from directly influencing the processing of those submissions.

We have tried to create an award that is based on merit and is free from popularity, politics or prejudice. As you will note from our qualifications, there is no mention of the podcast creators only the podcast.

It is from this basis that we find ourselves where we are now without a policy to address this situation nor a ready made recourse. 

Things are happening very fast and we are not organized to be rapidly responsive. The committee has not had a chance to meet to determine what response is appropriate. 

We beg your patience while we figure this out.

The Parsec Awards Steering Committee

Pixel Scroll 4/28/18 The Great Emu-Scroll War Was Lost When The Pixels Attacked The Gazebo

Now, where were we when we were so rudely interrupted?

(1) INFURNITY. Camestros Felapton, the world’s most understanding cat owner, provides his pet with “Tim’s Facial Hair Guide to Infinity War”.

So, I’ve explained before that Timothy doesn’t distinguish human faces well. He is also confused by facial hair. OK strictly speaking he is confused by human skin, which he assumes is fur and hence is doubly confused by facial hair which he thinks is fur that is growing out of fur. Look, the main thing is he finds beards confusing and panics if I shave.

So, Marvel’s Infinity War has many characters and about 40%+ of them have facial hair (90%+ if we count eyebrows – do eyebrows count as facial hair? I assume so.) Some of them i.e. Captain America have gained beards for this film.

So to assist Tim to keep track, here is a field guide to various beard styles in the film….

(2) PUBLIC ASKED FOR PODCAST NOMINATIONS. The Parsec Awards Steering Committee is accepting nominations of podcasts for the 2018 Parsec Awards through June 15. Nominate here.


Any material released between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018 is eligible for the 2018 awards. Material released needs to be free for download and released via a mechanism that allows for subscriptions. Thus, YouTube, Facebook, etc.. series are eligible.

If you are a podcaster or author, please feel free to nominate your own podcast or story

 

(3) MORE STAR WARS. Disney announced “Star Wars Resistance, Anime-Inspired Series, Set for Fall Debut”. The series is set in the era before The Force Awakens.

StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that production has begun on Star Wars Resistance, an exciting new animated adventure series about Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. It will premiere this fall on Disney Channel in the U.S. and thereafter, on Disney XD and around the world.

(4) BROADDUS JOINS APEX. Maurice Broaddus has been named nonfiction editor for Apex Magazine. Jason Sizemore, Editor-in-Chief, made the announcement April 2.

Maurice is a prolific and well-regarded author who works in a multitude of genres. He is also the Apex Magazine reprints editor and now wears two hats for our publication. Upcoming authors Maurice has lined up for essays include Mur Lafferty, Mary SanGiovanni, and Tobias S. Buckell.

You can find Maurice Broaddus on Twitter at @mauricebroaddus and online at www.mauricebroaddus.com. His novella “Buffalo Soldiers” was recently published at Tor.com.

(5) SWANWICK CITES LE GUIN ON PRESENT TENSE: Michael Swanwick would be authority enough for many, but first he appeals for support to “Le Guin on Present Tense” before handing down the stone tablets:

Here’s the rule, and it covers all cases: Only use the present tense if there is some reason for doing so that justifies losing some of your readers and annoying others. (This rule goes double for future tense.) Otherwise, use the past tense.

(6) THINGS FALL APART; THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD: Aalto University reports 2.7 billion tweets confirm: echo chambers in Twitter are very real.

Bipartisan users, who try to bridge the echo chambers, pay a price for their work: they become less central in their network, lose connections to their communities and receive less endorsements from others.

(7) STARTING OUT AS A WOMAN SFF AUTHOR. From Fantasy Café: “Women in SF&F Month: Ann Aguirre”:

…I first sold to New York in 2007, over eleven years ago. That book was Grimspace, a story I wrote largely to please myself because it was hard for me to find the sort of science fiction that I wanted to read. I love space opera, but in the past, I found that movies and television delivered more of the stories I enjoyed. At the time, I was super excited to be published in science fiction and fantasy.

My first professional appearance was scheduled at a small con in Alabama. I was so excited for that, so fresh and full of hope. Let’s just say that my dreams were dashed quite spectacularly. I was sexually harassed by multiple colleagues and the men I encountered seemed to think I existed to serve them. To say that my work wasn’t taken seriously is an understatement. That was only reinforced when I made my first appearance at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) six months later.

There, the moderator called me the ‘token female’, mispronounced my last name without checking with me first (she checked with the male author seated next to me), and the male panelists spoke over me, interrupted me at will, and gave me very little chance to speak. I remember quite clearly how humiliated I was, while also hoping that it wasn’t noticeable to the audience.

Dear Reader, it was very noticeable. Afterward, David Brin, who was in the audience, came up to me with a sympathetic look and he made a point of shaking my hand. He said, “Well, I was very interested in what you had to say.” With a pointed stress on the word “I.”…

(8) WTF? Can you believe somebody is comparing what they’re marketing to “The Veldt” as if it’s a good thing? “Madison Square Garden cites Ray Bradbury as an influence on upcoming Sphere Arena in Las Vegas”.

Madison Square Garden officials lifted the curtain a bit on their MSG Sphere Arena entertainment venues coming to Las Vegas and London, with a demonstration Thursday that hinted at advanced technology going into the design and experiences for audiences within the new-generation venues.

In his presentation at the Forum in Inglewood, which his company rejuvenated in 2014 with a $100-million face and body lift, Madison Square Garden Co. chairman James L. Dolan cited a short story from science-fiction author and futurist Ray Bradbury’s 1951 anthology “The Illustrated Man” as something of a spiritual model for the new facilities.

In particular, he referenced Bradbury’s story “The Veldt,” which centered on a high-tech room of the future, called the “liquid crystal room,” which could synthesize any environment in which children desired to play or explore.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 28, 2007 — Ashes of actor James Doohan and of Apollo 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into space aboard a rocket.

(10) SIXTY-THREE. Galactic Journey’s Gideon Marcus takes his monthly whack at my favorite-in-the-Sixties prozine: “[April 27, 1963] Built to Last?  (May 1963 Analog)”.

If this trend continues, we can assume that our children and grandchildren will not only have Burroughs, Wells, Verne, Shelley, and Baum to read, but also reprinted copies of our present-day science fiction, as well as the SF of the future (their present).  Perhaps they’ll all be available via some computerized library — tens of thousands of volumes in a breadbox-shaped device, for instance.

The question, then, is whether or not our children will remember our current era fondly enough to want reprints from it.  Well, if this month’s Analog be a representative sample, the answer is a definitive…maybe.

(11) HORTON ON HUGOS. Catching up with Rich Horton’s commentaries about the 2018 Hugo nominees and who he’s voting for.

My views here are fairly simple. It’s a decent shortlist, but a bifurcated one. There are three nominees that are neck and neck in my view, all first-rate stories and well worth a Hugo. And there are three that are OK, but not special – in my view not Hugo-worthy (but not so obviously unworthy that I will vote them below No Award.)…

This is really a very strong shortlist. The strongest shortlist in years and years, I’d say. Two are stories I nominated, and two more were on my personal shortlist of stories I considered nominating. The other two stories are solid work, though without quite the little bit extra I want in an award winner….

This is by no means a bad shortlist. Every story on it is at least pretty decent. …

(12) SIPPING TIME. Charles Payseur finds stories with reasons for the season: “Quick Sips – Fireside Magazine April 2018”.

Spring might finally be arriving, and at Fireside Magazine that means the stories are about rebirth and new beginnings, even as they’re about decay and endings. For me, at least, spring always brings to mind thaw. A thawing of the world after the long freeze of winter. Which means new growth, new green, but also means revealing all the death that the snow concealed. The roadkill, the rot, the dead leaves not yet turned to mulch. And these stories find characters at this point, seeing all around them the evidence of death and pain, and having to make the decision to also see the life. To see the good, and to try and foster that good, to help it grow. These are stories that show people pushing back against the pressure to die, to be silent, and embrace a future full of the possibility of failure, yes, but also full of the hope of success. To the reviews!

(13) GENIUSES AT WORK. Nine letters from the 1940s by Freeman Dyson show “Another Side of Feynman” at Nautilus.

l through a long life I had three main concerns, with a clear order of priority. Family came first, friends second, and work third.”

So writes the pioneering theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson in the introduction to his newly published collection of letters, Maker of Patterns. Spanning about four decades, the collection presents a first-person glimpse into a life that witnessed epochal changes both in world history and in physics.

Here, we present short excerpts from nine of Dyson’s letters, with a focus on his relationship with the physicist Richard Feynman. Dyson and Feynman had both professional and personal bonds: Dyson helped interpret and draw attention to Feynman’s work—which went on to earn a Nobel Prize—and the two men traveled together and worked side by side.

Taken together, these letters present a unique perspective of each man. Feynman’s effervescent energy comes through, as does Dyson’s modesty and deep admiration for his colleague.

(14) ADVANCED TRAINING. Did MZW graduate from this course?

(15) EJECT. Yes, this is me: I sometime I feel like I have finished delivering the info yet haven’t figured out how to end the sentence. “Your Speech Is Packed With Misunderstood, Unconscious Messages” at Nautilus.

Imagine standing up to give a speech in front of a critical audience. As you do your best to wax eloquent, someone in the room uses a clicker to conspicuously count your every stumble, hesitation, um and uh; once you’ve finished, this person loudly announces how many of these blemishes have marred your presentation.

This is exactly the tactic used by the Toastmasters public-speaking club, in which a designated “Ah Counter” is charged with tallying up the speaker’s slip-ups as part of the training regimen. The goal is total eradication. The club’s punitive measures may be extreme, but they reflect the folk wisdom that ums and uhs betray a speaker as weak, nervous, ignorant, and sloppy, and should be avoided at all costs, even in spontaneous conversation.

Many scientists, though, think that our cultural fixation with stamping out what they call “disfluencies” is deeply misguided. Saying um is no character flaw, but an organic feature of speech; far from distracting listeners, there’s evidence that it focuses their attention in ways that enhance comprehension.

Disfluencies arise mainly because of the time pressures inherent in speaking. Speakers don’t pre-plan an entire sentence and then mentally press “play” to begin unspooling it. If they did, they’d probably need to pause for several seconds between each sentence as they assembled it, and it’s doubtful that they could hold a long, complex sentence in working memory. Instead, speakers talk and think at the same time, launching into speech with only a vague sense of how the sentence will unfold, taking it on faith that by the time they’ve finished uttering the earlier portions of the sentence, they’ll have worked out exactly what to say in the later portions.

(16) A MARCH IN MAY. Naomi Kritzer tweeted photos from a Mayday parade – including a notorious purple cat (who may or may not be named Timothy!…) Jump on the thread here:

(17) WHAT’S THAT SMELL. BBC tells how “Sentinel tracks ships’ dirty emissions from orbit” — unclear they’re picking up individual polluters yet, but that could come.

Sentinel-5P was launched in October last year and this week completed its in-orbit commissioning phase.

But already it is clear the satellite’s data will be transformative.

This latest image reveals the trail of nitrogen dioxide left in the air as ships move in and out of the Mediterranean Sea.

The “highway” that the vessels use to navigate the Strait of Gibraltar is easily discerned by S5P’s Tropomi instrument.

(18) EGGING THEM ON. Did anybody see this coming? “Chicken Run 2: Sequel confirmed after 18-year wait”.

The Oscar-winning animation studio hasn’t set a release date yet. Its announcement comes 18 years after the original flew onto the big screen.

Chicken Run is the highest-grossing stop-motion animation film of all-time – banking £161.3m at the box office.

 

(19) HOLD THE BACON. On the other hand, don’t expect to see this anytime soon: Hollywood Reporter headline: ““Tremors’ Reboot Starring Kevin Bacon Dead at Syfy”

Here’s a headline you don’t read every day: A TV reboot of a feature film toplined by the original star is not moving forward.

Syfy has opted to pass on its TV follow-up to 1990 feature film Tremors, starring Kevin Bacon.

…Bacon broke the news himself, writing on his verified Instagram page that he was “[s]ad to report that my dream of revisiting the world of Perfection will not become a reality. Although we made a fantastic pilot (IMHO) the network has decided not to move forward. Thanks to our killer cast and everyone behind the scenes who worked so hard. And always keep one eye out for GRABOIDS!”

(20) CHESLEYS. Here is the Association for Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) “2018 Chesley Award Suggestions List (for 2017 Works)”. The members have finished making nominations and ASFA says the finalists will be posted in a few weeks.

(21). UNSUSPECTED GOLDMINE. American news infamously neglects most countries of the world, but who knew there were big sf doings in Bulgaria? At Aeon, Victor Petrov discusses “Communist robot dreams”.

The police report would have baffled the most grizzled detective. A famous writer murdered in a South Dakota restaurant full of diners; the murder weapon – a simple hug. A murderer with no motive, and one who seemed genuinely distraught at what he had done. You will not find this strange murder case in the crime pages of a local US newspaper, however, but in a Bulgarian science-fiction story from the early 1980s. The explanation thus also becomes more logical: the killer was a robot.

The genre was flourishing in small Bulgaria in the last two decades of socialism, and the country became the biggest producer of robotic laws per capita, supplementing Isaac Asimov’s famous three with two more canon rules – and 96 satirical ones. Writers such as Nikola Kesarovski (who wrote the above murder mystery) and Lyuben Dilov grappled with questions of the boundaries between man and machine, brain and computer. The anxieties of their literature in this period reflected a society preoccupied with technology and cybernetics, an unlikely bastion of the information society that arose on both sides of the Iron Curtain from the 1970s onwards.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Cora Buhlert, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Jason, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day johnstick.]

2017 Parsec Awards

The Parsec Awards committee has announced the 2017 awardees for excellence in speculative fiction podcasting.

Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast

Winner: Star Wars Best in Galaxy Season 3 by Mark Restuccia & Patch Hyde

Finalists

  • Kakos Industries by Conrad Miszuk
  • Are You Scared of These Stories? by Robert Hibbs, Robbie Owens, & Josh Jenkins
  • Wynabego Warrior The Tale of John Waynnabe by Audioblivious Productions
  • Nerdy Show: Nerdcasting the Multiverse: Thanksgiving Special by The Nerdy Show Network
  • GnomeMatter: Cadavorue & Macoy in 2016 by Susan C. Tolly & Cary Michael Ayers

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

Winner: Calliope Writing Coach Podcast by Angie Fenimore & Michael Sheen (Dandelion Productions)

Finalists

  • Two Gay Geeks by Keith Lane & Ben Ragunton
  • Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast by The Nerdy Show Network
  • Audio Drama Production Podcast by Fiona Thraille & Sarah Golding
  • Stage Nine by Mike Schindler & John Mills

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)

Winner: Aggressive Negotiations: A Star Wars Podcast by John Mills & Matt Rushing

Finalists

  • Trek Geeks: A Star Trek Podcast by Dan Davidson & Bill Smith
  • Back to the Future Minute by Scott Carelli & Nick Jimenez
  • Beyond Westworld by Aaron Peterson & Troy Heinritz
  • Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast by John Champion & Ken Ray

Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

The Theatre of Tomorrow by Travis McMaster & Mark Whitten

Finalists

  • Seminar by Pendant Productions
  • Escape Pod by Escape Artists
  • Brick Moon Fiction published by Jason T. Reed
  • The Wicked Library by Daniel Foytik & Nelson W. Pyles

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General)

Winner: The Faculty of Horror by Andrea Subissati & Alexandra West

Finalists

  • Nutty Bites by Nuchtchas
  • Piper’s Picks TV by Piper Reese & Adam Feinsilver
  • The 602 Club by Matthew Rushing
  • MegaPodTastic by Krazy Joe

Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast

Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria by Cara Santa Maria

Finalists

  • Universe Today’s Guide to Space by Fraser Cain
  • Planetary Radio by Mat Kaplan, The Planetary Society
  • Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast by Zachary Fruhling & Mike Morrison
  • decipherSciFi by Christopher Peterson & Lee Colbert

Best Speculative Fiction Video Story

Winner: The Uncle Interloper Show by Grant Baciocco

Finalists

  • Grant’s Advent Calendar by Grant Baciocco
  • Country Bear Collector Show by Grant Baciocco

Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team

Winner: MarsCorp by Definitely Human

Finalists

  • Beyond Westworld by Aaron Peterson and Troy Heinritz
  • Synesthesia Theatre by Burning Brigid Media
  • Lesser Gods by Colleen Scriven
  • Aural Traditions: Crosswired by Straight Talk Entertainment

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)

Winner: Uncanny County by Todd Faulkner, Alison Crane, & Nicole Greevy

Finalists

  • The Byron Chronicles by Eric L. Busby
  • MarsCorp by Definitely Human
  • Radio Icebox Season 02: Rise of the Sirens by Jeffrey Adams
  • We’re Alive: Lockdown by Wayland Productions
  • Our Fair City by Clayton Feits

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form)

Return Home – “Genie” by Maia Brown-Jackson

Finalists

  • Return Home – “Hooves in the Dirt” by Jeff Heimbuch
  • The Voice of Free Planet X – “A Good Guy With A Magic Sword” by Jared Axelrod
  • Suspense – “The Black Madonna” by John C. Alsedek & Dana Perry-Hayes, from the short story by Harold Lawlor
  • Suspense – “Jinx of the Jellicoe Jasper” by John C. Alsedek & Dana Perry-Hayes

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form)

The Raven and the Writing Desk – “Things Unseen” by Chris Lester

Finalists

  • The Black: Outbreak by Paul Elard Cooley
  • The Adventures of Elizabeth Crowne – “The Woman in the Sky” by Robert Isenberg
  • Sable by Lane Lloyd
  • The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian by Jonathan Messinger

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

Winner: The Wicked Library – “Shadows” by K. B. Goddard

Finalists

  • The Lift – “The Lost Library” by K. B. Goddard
  • Seminar – “True Horror” by Jeffrey Bridges
  • The Junto Presents – “The Jack Of Lanterns” by David Parkin
  • The Junto Presents – “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve: Tiny Tim” by David Parkin

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Novella Form)

Six Stories, Told at Night by KT Bryski

Finalists

  • The Gray Area by Edward Champion
  • The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian by Typedrawer Media

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form)

Winner: Campfire Radio Theater – “Woods Ferry” by John Ballentine

Finalists

  • Punch It: Writing in Pop Culture – “The Last Will Be First” by Tristan Riddell & The Girl
  • The Theater in Your Mind – “Anything Helps” by Jon Holland
  • The Junto Presents – “Driver For The Dead” by David Parkin
  • Campfire Radio Theater – “Abduction at Willow Woods” by John Ballentine

2017 Parsec Awards Finalists

The 2017 Parsec Awards finalists were announced October 12.

The juried award recognizes excellence in speculative fiction podcasting. The winners will be honored during a ceremony to be livestreamed in November.

Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast

  • Kakos Industries by Conrad Miszuk
  • Are You Scared of These Stories? by Robert Hibbs, Robbie Owens, & Josh Jenkins
  • Wynabego Warrior The Tale of John Waynnabe by Audioblivious Productions
  • Nerdy Show: Nerdcasting the Multiverse: Thanksgiving Special by The Nerdy Show Network
  • GnomeMatter: Cadavorue & Macoy in 2016 by Susan C. Tolly & Cary Michael Ayers
  • Star Wars Best in Galaxy Season 3 by Mark Restuccia & Patch Hyde

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

  • Two Gay Geeks by Keith Lane & Ben Ragunton
  • Lightning Dogs: The Official Paw’dcast by The Nerdy Show Network
  • Audio Drama Production Podcast by Fiona Thraille & Sarah Golding
  • Stage Nine by Mike Schindler & John Mills
  • Calliope Writing Coach Podcast by Angie Fenimore & Michael Sheen (Dandelion Productions)

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)

  • Trek Geeks: A Star Trek Podcast by Dan Davidson & Bill Smith
  • Back to the Future Minute by Scott Carelli & Nick Jimenez
  • Beyond Westworld by Aaron Peterson & Troy Heinritz
  • Aggressive Negotiations: A Star Wars Podcast by John Mills & Matt Rushing
  • Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast by John Champion & Ken Ray

Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

  • Seminar by Pendant Productions
  • The Theatre of Tomorrow by Travis McMaster & Mark Whitten
  • Escape Pod by Escape Artists
  • Brick Moon Fiction published by Jason T. Reed
  • The Wicked Library by Daniel Foytik & Nelson W. Pyles

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General)

  • Nutty Bites by Nuchtchas
  • Piper’s Picks TV by Piper Reese & Adam Feinsilver
  • The 602 Club by Matthew Rushing
  • The Faculty of Horror by Andrea Subissati & Alexandra West
  • MegaPodTastic by Krazy Joe

Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast

  • Universe Today’s Guide to Space by Fraser Cain
  • Planetary Radio by Mat Kaplan, The Planetary Society
  • Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast by Zachary Fruhling & Mike Morrison
  • Talk Nerdy by Cara Santa Maria
  • decipherSciFi by Christopher Peterson & Lee Colbert

Best Speculative Fiction Video Story

  • Grant’s Advent Calendar by Grant Baciocco
  • The Uncle Interloper Show by Grant Baciocco
  • Country Bear Collector Show by Grant Baciocco

Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team

  • Beyond Westworld by Aaron Peterson and Troy Heinritz
  • MarsCorp by Definitely Human
  • Synesthesia Theatre by Burning Brigid Media
  • Lesser Gods by Colleen Scriven
  • Aural Traditions: Crosswired by Straight Talk Entertainment

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)

  • The Byron Chronicles by Eric L. Busby
  • MarsCorp by Definitely Human
  • Radio Icebox Season 02: Rise of the Sirens by Jeffrey Adams
  • We’re Alive: Lockdown by Wayland Productions
  • Uncanny County by Todd Faulkner, Alison Crane, & Nicole Greevy
  • Our Fair City by Clayton Feits

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form)

  • Return Home – “Hooves in the Dirt” by Jeff Heimbuch
  • Return Home – “Genie” by Maia Brown-Jackson
  • The Voice of Free Planet X – “A Good Guy With A Magic Sword” by Jared Axelrod
  • Suspense – “The Black Madonna” by John C. Alsedek & Dana Perry-Hayes, from the short story by Harold Lawlor
  • Suspense – “Jinx of the Jellicoe Jasper” by John C. Alsedek & Dana Perry-Hayes

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form)

  • The Black: Outbreak by Paul Elard Cooley
  • The Adventures of Elizabeth Crowne – “The Woman in the Sky” by Robert Isenberg
  • The Raven and the Writing Desk – “Things Unseen” by Chris Lester
  • Sable by Lane Lloyd
  • The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian by Jonathan Messinger

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

  • The Lift – “The Lost Library” by K. B. Goddard
  • Seminar – “True Horror” by Jeffrey Bridges
  • The Junto Presents – “The Jack Of Lanterns” by David Parkin
  • The Wicked Library – “Shadows” by K. B. Goddard
  • The Junto Presents – “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve: Tiny Tim” by David Parkin

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Novella Form)

  • Six Stories, Told at Night by KT Bryski
  • The Gray Area by Edward Champion
  • The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian by Typedrawer Media

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form)

  • Punch It: Writing in Pop Culture – “The Last Will Be First” by Tristan Riddell & The Girl
  • The Theater in Your Mind – “Anything Helps” by Jon Holland
  • The Junto Presents – “Driver For The Dead” by David Parkin
  • Campfire Radio Theater – “Abduction at Willow Woods” by John Ballentine
  • Campfire Radio Theater – “Woods Ferry” by John Ballentine

Pixel Scroll 6/15/17 Go Ahead, Make My Pixel

(1) THINKING INSIDE THE BOX. “This was amazing,” says James Bacon about a special feature of Lazlar Lyricon 3, a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy convention held last weekend. “I was on the committee and it was an incredible endeavour.”

It’s all about Chris Tregenza and Jess Bennett and “The Secret of Box 42”.

Idea, Idea, A Kingdom for an Idea

Even with our self-imposed restrictions we struggled to think of anything at first. Every idea was discarded as being too profligate, too big, too small or simply impractical.

Then, bouncing around ideas with the aid of a bottle of wine (or two), our conversation drifted onto computer games and how in games like Skyrim there are treasure chests scattered around from which the player can take loot. In any particular game, all the treasure chests have an identical appearance and the player quickly associates that graphic with a reward even though sometimes the chests are empty. This led the conversation into Pavlovian conditioning and Skinner’s pigeon experiments and then bang! We asked ourselves a question.

What happens if we applied the same psychology in the real world by scattering boxes containing treasure around a convention? ….

What’s In The Box

Our first step was to brainstorm lots of ideas for box contents which we then loosely organised into different types. After some refinement we ended up with five classes of boxes inspired by the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy: rewards, treasures, activities, quests and meta. Each of the types had a different purpose and place in the overall game.

Reward boxes were primarily a simple psychological conditioner. Inside these boxes were sweets or other gifts along with instructions to €˜help yourself’. These boxes were designed to build a positive association with opening boxes. Treasures were like rewards except they only contained a single valuable item which anyone could take if they chose. This introduced rarity and encouraged people to look in the boxes quickly before someone else took the item. Activity boxes instructed the opener to do something such as play a game or challenge someone to a duel. In these boxes were appropriate things (like a deck of cards or toy guns) but unlike the reward boxes, the instructions only suggested the box opener used them, not keep them. Meta-boxes contained nothing except a quote from the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The chosen quotes were amusing in their own right but also all related to the theme of hunting for the meaning of life.

(2) DITCHING THE RECEIVED WISDOM. Jason Sanford breaks the rules! gisp “Oh writing advice which I loathe, let me count the ways I’ve ignored you”. Sanford confesses eight violations.

Thinking about all the writing advice I don’t follow. This should mean I’m a literary failure. Instead, my stories are published around the world.

So what writing advice have I failed to follow? Let’s count down the greatest hits of advice I’ve ignored.

  1. “Write what you know.” Didn’t do that. I write science fiction and fantasy set in imaginary worlds I’ve never known. I create what I know!

(3) SOLAR TREK. From Space.com, Intergalactic Travel Agents rate the “Solar System’s Best and Worst Vacation Destinations (Video)”.

Part of the purpose of this interview is to promote Olivia Koski’s and Jana Grcevich’s book, Vacation Guide to the Solar System, which plans vacations using current astronomical knowledge.

(4) WHAT MUSIC THEY MAKE. Seanan McGuire recently had a special encounter with some children in an airport. The Twitter stream here is well worth a gander.

(5) KICKSTARTER REACHES GOAL. The 2017 Fantastic Fiction at KGB Kickstarter is a huge success, reports co-host Matthew Kressel, providing enough funds to keep the series running for at least six more years. The Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series Kickstarter ran from May 17 through June 14 and raised $9,771 (before Kickstarter and credit card processing fees)€¦. Dozens of rewards were chosen by 196 different backers.

Why We Needed Financial Support Each month we give the authors a small stipend, we tip the bartenders (who always give the authors free drinks), and we take the authors and their partners/spouses out for dinner after the reading. Since it typically costs us around $120 per month, we need $1500 per year to maintain the series. We were looking to raise $4500, which would allow us to keep the series running for another three years. Each additional $1500 let us run for an additional year. Fantastic Fiction has been a bright light in the speculative fiction community for nearly two decades, and because of your help we will continue for many more years to come. Thank you!

(6) DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING. Today Mary Robinette Kowal give her platform to Jon Del Arroz: “My Favorite Bit: Jon Del Arroz talks about FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY” .

(7) OH BOTHER. Goodbye Christopher Robin is the “based on a true story” movie about A.A. Milne, his son, and the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

(8) HARRYHAUSEN ART. Tate Britain will host an exhibition of The Art of Ray Harryhausen from June 26 through November 19.

Explore drawings and models by Ray Harryhausen with some of the art that inspired him

The American-born Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) is one of the most influential figures in cinema history. In a succession of innovative, effects-laden movies, from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 1952 to Clash of the Titans 1981, Harryhausen created fantastic worlds and creatures that have inspired generations. He is acknowledged as the master of stop-motion animation techniques, involving models being moved and filmed one frame at a time to create the illusion of movement.

Harryhausen attended art classes as a young man, and readily acknowledged his debt to earlier painters and illustrators. The epic scenery and towering architecture of 19th century artists Gustave Dore, and John Martin were especially important to him, and he collected prints and paintings by both artists.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 15, 1973 The Battle for the Planet of the Apes premiered

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born June 15, 1941 — Graphic artist Neal Adams.

Adams has worked hard in the comics industry bringing to life such fascinating characters as Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Spectre, Thor, The X-Men, and countless others. For those wanting to know about the man and his career, you can check out his website right here. Adams was born on this day in 1941.

(11) THIS JUST IN. AND OUT. The New York Post reports “Sex in space is a ‘real concern’ that science needs to figure out”.

Romping in space is a “real concern” for astronauts, a top university professor has warned.

It’s something we know little about — but it’s crucial if we ever want to colonize other planets like Mars.

During a recent Atlantic Live panel, Kris Lehnhardt, an assistant professor at George Washington University, said the topic needs to be addressed immediately.

He said: “It’s a real concern — something we really don’t know about is human reproduction in space.”

“If we actually want to go places and stay there, there’s a key component and that’s having babies,” he added.

(12) MIGRATION. Richard Curtis, President of Richard Curtis Associates, Inc. broadcast this information:

Our curtisagency.com server crashed, and as it’s been happening a little too often lately I’m going to switch to gmail. So please use rcurtisagency@gmail.com going forward.

(13) PARSEC DEADLINE. Podcasters who have been nominated for a Parsec Award must submit their judging sample by July 16.

Podcast material released between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017 is eligible for the 2017 awards.

Material released needs to be free for download and released via a mechanism that allows for subscriptions (RSS Feed, iTunes, YouTube…). More rules and guidelines are posted at our website.

(14) EXTRA CREDITS. Top 10 Marvel post-credit scenes. Carl Slaughter says, “Notice this is an Avengers heavy list. Also, there is a conspicuous X-Men and Guardians absence.”

[Thanks to James Bacon, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Rose Embolism, Jon Del Arroz, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Darrah Chavey.]

Parsec Awards Leave Dragon Con

The ceremony for the Parsec Awards for podcasts has been hosted by Dragon Con for a decade, but the organizers recently announced plans to begin holding a livestreamed virtual ceremony instead sometime in November (date TBA).

They raised the idea a few months ago and surveyed award supporters for their reaction.

By dissociating the awards with Dragon*Con, we feel that more of our community will be able to participate. No longer will travel to Atlanta be a prerequisite for presenters, entertainers or recipients. Many of those who attended Dragon*Con even found their schedules did not allow their attendance at the awards. We also feel that we can have a better chance of securing judges’ time when we are not smack in the middle of Con season as we can now have some flexibility in scheduling the awards.

One commenter asked why not do both – livestream a ceremony held at the con – and was answered “We have tried streaming the awards at D*C and have always had unreliable service and a poor experience for remote participants.”

Meantime, nominations for the Parsec Award are open and will continue through June 1, 2017. There are 15 award categories. Eligible nominees must fit this definition:

What is a “podcast”?

For the purposes of the Parsec Awards, we consider a podcast to be audio or video (“vidcasts”) delivered as part of a syndicated series streamed online or can be downloaded, via RSS feeds, podcast aggregators, or services such as YouTube or SoundCloud. Listeners or viewers must be able to subscribe to updates that are either delivered automatically or are made available to the subscriber in some aggregated format, free of charge during our eligibility period (May 1, 2016- April 30, 2017).

Pixel Scroll 2/21/17 Troll, Troll, Where’s My Scroll? Gone To The Pixel, Lol Lol Lol!

(1) SPIRIT QUEST. The Society of Illustrators in New York City will host a Will Eisner centennial exhibit from March 1-June 3.

  • An opening reception will be held at the Society of Illustrators on the evening of March 10, from 7:30 – 11:00pm. Suggested donation of $20 helps support our programming and exhibitions. Cash bar will be open until midnight.
  • On April 22, there will be a gallery talk led by curators Denis Kitchen and John Lind.
  • A panel discussion on Will Eisner is scheduled for May 9.

The lasting legacy that Will Eisner (1917–2005) has in sequential art cannot be overstated—he is known as the Champion of the Graphic Novel. His innovative storytelling, layouts, and art on his newspaper series The Spirit inspired a generation of cartoonists, and his turn toward an acclaimed run of graphic novels, beginning in 1978 with A Contract with God, helped pioneer the form. Among the honors bestowed upon Eisner are the Reuben Award, the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award, the Yellow Kid Award, and multiple Harvey Awards and Eisner Awards—the latter of which were named in his honor.

This two-floor retrospective—the largest Eisner exhibition ever in the United States—curated by Denis Kitchen and John Lind, comprises over 150 pieces including original artwork from Smash Comics (1939), key sequences from his graphic novels including A Contract with God (1978), Life on Another Planet (1983), A Life Force (1988), To the Heart of the Storm (1991), and over 40 pages of originals from The Spirit (1940–1952) newspaper section.

SI is located at 128 East 63rd Street between Lexington and Park Avenue in New York City.

(2) DRAGON CON LOSING AWARD? SF Site News carried the Parsec Awards announcement that they are surveying fans about their receptivity to a virtual awards ceremony in place of the annual presentations at Dragon Con. The Parsec Awards “celebrate speculative fiction podcasting.” From the awards site —

This is not something we take lightly. Over the years the awards ceremony has been an opportunity for us to share laughs, music, triumph and tragedy as a community. You, who have supported us and each other, are the reason the awards exist and we would be remiss if we didn’t attempt to serve you in the best way possible.

We feel that a virtual awards ceremony may help us do that.

By dissociating the awards with Dragon*Con, we feel that more of our community will be able to participate. No longer will travel to Atlanta be a prerequisite for presenters, entertainers or recipients. Many of those who attended Dragon*Con even found their schedules did not allow their attendance at the awards. We also feel that we can have a better chance of securing judges’ time when we are not smack in the middle of Con season as we can now have some flexibility in scheduling the awards.

So far 73% of the respondents to the survey favor moving to a virtual awards ceremony.

(3) ONE STOP. Marco Zennaro has organized a cover gallery for the “2016 Nebula Award Nominees” plus a synopsis of each work and links where to buy or find them for free.

(4) PRAISE FOR RAMBO. Rich Horton comments on “Nebula Nominees”.

Three stories that showed up on my list of potential Hugo nominees. (“Red in Tooth and Cog” was on my Short Story list (my word count for it is 7000, making it technically a Short Story but eligible for nomination as a Novelette).) The other two are “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” and The Jewel and Her Lapidary. (Curious that in length those three stories are at the very bottom end of novelette, right in the middle, and at the very top end.) The remaining three stories are decent work that I didn’t have listed among my favorites of the year, but none of them strike me as poor stories. So, again, a pretty strong shortlist, with my personal inclinations favoring either Cat Rambo’s story or Jason Sanford’s story; with Fran Wilde’s a close third — a win for any of those would make me happy.

UPDATE: Apparently there is no deadband for Nebula nominations, and “Red in Tooth and Cog” has been declared too short for novelette. It would have been nominated as a Short Story, but Cat Rambo graciously declined the nomination.

This is a shame from my point of view — Rambo’s story is (to my taste) definitely one of the best couple of stories on either the short story or novelette list, and so the shortlist is diminished by its absence. (“The Orangery”, the replacement novelette, is a fine story, to be sure, but not as good as “Red in Tooth and Cog” (in my opinion).)

This also makes the overall shortlist even more Fantasy-heavy (vs. SF), which is of course totally allowed, but to my taste again a bit to be regretted. I do think the Nebulas recently are tending to lean a bit heavily to the Fantasy side.

(5) NOW READ THE STORY FREE. You can find “Red in Tooth and Cog” in its entirety online at at Cat Rambo’s website.

(6) GONE WITH THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. In a piece called “Warfighter: Toad Hall”, The Angry Staff Officer reimagines The Wind in the Willows as if it were a wargame for military strategists to analyze, complete with the use of animal intelligence or AMINT.

How Wind in the Willows can teach us about small unit actions in warfare.

That sound? Oh, that’s just the clunking of heads hitting desks, as people react to their beloved childhood book being brought under the scrutiny of the military microscope. But really, we’d be doing an injustice to that mighty asymmetric warfighter, the Badger, if we neglected to share his courageous story with an entirely new generation of military strategists. Wind in the Willows is not a military work by any means. But the Battle for Toad Hall bears noting, because Kenneth Grahame unwittingly factored in some key elements of small unit warfare.

(7) BELLE CHIMES IN. Emma Watson sings in this new Beauty and the Beast clip.

(8) SUCH A DEAL. Director Alfred Hitchcock paid $9,000 anonymously for the film rights to Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho.

(9) SAVAGELAND. The award-winning Savageland from Terror Films will be released online February 24.

Terror Films has locked in a U.S. release date for the multi-award winning film, Savageland. To celebrate the film’s February launch, a “Dead Alive” clip is available, now!

The film is centered on the night of June 2, 2011. On this date, the largest mass murder in American history occurs in the off-the-grid border town of Sangre de Cristo, Arizona, just a few miles north of Mexico. The entire population of fifty-seven disappears overnight and the next morning nothing is left but blood trails leading into the desert.

 

(10) LENGTHENING SHADOW. The final three Shadow Clarke jury members introduce themselves, followed by the first shortlist post.

In the world of translation lit-blogging, I also discovered the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (now Man Booker International Prize) shadow jury. The idea was that a group of bloggers would read the Prize longlist; write about and discuss the books; create their own shortlist; and choose their own winner. It sounded great fun, so I asked to join – and it was.

I’ve had such wonderful times as a shadow juror, it has become a highlight of my reading year. I’m delighted that Nina Allan has adapted the idea for the Clarke Award, and excited to be participating in the project. I look forward to new conversations about science fiction, new insights, thoughts and perspectives.

These days I would describe myself as a reader on the outer edge of the sf genre; a frequent dipper of toes but a dipper nonetheless. I say that in context. I read 100 fiction books last year, of which just under a quarter could be characterised as science fiction or fantasy.  That’s quite a significant proportion I suppose, and if asked I would identify sf as something I’m interested in.  But I know that in some parts of the reading universe that’s not a great deal, and that what I’ve read doesn’t qualify me as an expert in any shape or form. At the most basic level I think of my role in the shadow judging process in this way: I’m the kind of person who uses the Clarke Award as a litmus test of quality and a steer to sf books to look out for.  I’m looking for ways to supplement the limits of my expertise and this is one of them.  As a reader of predominantly ‘literary’ and historical fiction I’d like to think the Clarke shortlist is a shortcut to the most critically challenging, engaging and powerful fiction in the field in any given year.

Even as I grew to recognise science fiction as a specific branch of literature, I remained wholly ignorant, for a long time, of the culture surrounding it. I had no idea there was such a thing as SF fandom and, most likely because I knew no one else who read SF or even knew about it beyond the Doctor Who or Star Wars level, I rather think I cherished the idea that novels like The Time Machine and The Day of the Triffids had been written especially for me. How could it be otherwise, when these books contained everything I might hope to find in a story: mystery, adventure, that fabled sense of wonder and that secret silver seam of something else, something that tastes like fear but is closer to awe.

[Before I start, I would like to state for the record that for the purposes of the shadow jury I am pretending that The Gradual – written by my partner Christopher Priest – does not exist. As such I will not be considering it for inclusion in my personal shortlist, or talking about it in this post.] 

So here we are again – the submissions list for the 2017 Clarke Award has just been posted, and the speculation about the runners and riders can officially begin. I’ve been playing this game by myself for a number of years now, poring over the list, winnowing the wheat from the chaff, trying to arrive at a list of six books that I would consider my ‘ideal’ shortlist. It’s never easy. Out of the thirty to forty novels I would personally consider as genuine contenders – and for me that would be books that aren’t zombie/vampire/horror/fantasy novels with no science fictional sensibility or run-of-the-mill commercial SF – there are always around eight to ten I could pick quite happily, with the result that I usually end up feeling I’ve short-changed one book or another by not including it in my reckoning.

(11) MONSTER ARTIST. A Guardian interview: “Emil Ferris: ‘I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution’”.

There has never been a debut graphic novel quite like Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. The 55-year-old artist’s first published work, which came out last week, is a sweeping 60s-era murder mystery set in the cartoonist’s native Chicago. It’s composed of ballpoint pen drawings on wide-ruled notebook paper and is the first half of the story with the second volume out in October. Before she began work on Monsters, Ferris paid the bills with freelance work as an illustrator and a toy designer, making figurines for McDonald’s – she sculpted the Mulan line of Happy Meal prizes for one of the fast food behemoth’s subcontractors – and for Tokyo toymaker Tomy, for whom she worked making the Tea Bunnies line of dolls.

But in 2001, Ferris contracted West Nile virus. At the time a 40-year-old single mother, Ferris’s work was all freelance, she said – with the effects of west Nile hindering the use of three of her limbs, her work dried up, and she looked for another outlet, in part for her creative output, and in part to exercise a dominant hand damaged by the effects of the disease. She went back to school and produced My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, which draws on her own childhood and on the experiences of family and friends who survived the Holocaust. But when her book was finished the Chinese company shipping the copies from the printer in South Korea to the United States went bankrupt and the whole print run was held hostage at the Panama Canal by the shipping company’s creditors along with the rest of the cargo on the ship carrying it.

Now, it is finally here.

(12) LOADED SF. Joshua Sky tells Tor.com readers about “Collecting Philip K. Dick: Science Fiction’s Most Powerful Gateway Drug”.

Philip K. Dick has a way of taking the reader there. Each of his novels presents a whole new experience in of itself; a totally different world that is both new yet enticingly familiar. The reader, upon finishing the book, finds that they’re no longer the same person who started it. As I’ve said, his work is perception-altering.

By age 22, I landed my first job out of college at Marvel Entertainment—it was just as the crash of 2008 was happening, so I was relieved to find something full-time. In my department was a Japanese fellow, Teru, who also collected PKD’s work and we bonded over that, swapping books and chatting about our interpretations of his stuff. Teru suggested that I also read Alfred Bester and J.G. Ballard. Another friend and co-worker during this time was a Brooklynite named Eric. We’d met at Brooklyn College and would discuss Dick’s work and make up different word games–my personal favorite was coming up with bad titles for PKD novels (since Dick himself had some deeply strange titles for his books, such as The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, to cite just two examples.)

The more I read, the more I learned about PKD himself. Turns out, most of what he wrote was first draft material with just a bit of polishing. He’d probably laugh at how most of the universities have trained an entire generation of writers to be self conscious and to over-rewrite, probably one of the most detrimental things a writer can do.

(13) LIBERATED JEDI. FANAC.org has added to its YouTube channel the video of MidAmeriCon’s (1976) audience Q&A session with the producer and leading man from the yet-to-be-released movie Star Wars.

Right out of the gate, some fan questions Princess Leia’s costume choice, and asks haven’t they seen covers of Amazing?

Gary Kurtz answers, “And we’ve got to remember women’s liberation. At this time we can’t be, we aren’t sexually selling females or males in this film.”

You didn’t know that, did you?

MidAmeriCon, the 34th World Science Fiction Convention, was held in Kansas City in 1976. Before the film was released, before Star Wars and George Lucas were household names, producer Gary Kurtz, star Mark Hamill and marketing director Charles Lippincott came to MidAmeriCon to promote Star Wars. This Q&A session is full of fascinating background information about the film, the filming and the attitudes of the Star Wars team. For example, listen to Kurtz talk about the massive $18M gate they would need to break even. This is brought to you by the FANAC Fan History Project, with video from the Video Archeology project (coordinated by Geri Sullivan, with technical work by David Dyer-Bennet).

 

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, JJ, Darrah Chavey, Mark-kitteh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Stoic Cynic.]

2016 Parsec Awards

Parsec Awards logoThe 2016 winners of the Parsec Awards for excellence in speculative fiction podcasting were presented at Dragon Con on September 4.

Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast

  • Improvised Star Trek -“The Voyages of the USS Sisyphus” by Christopher Rathjen and the USS Sisyphus Cast & Crew (Improvised)

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

  • The Journeyman Writer by Alastair Stephens

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (Specific)

  • Verity Podcast  by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

  • The Uncanny Magazine Podcast  by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Erika Ensign,  & Steven Schapansky

Best Speculative Fiction Fan or News Podcast (General)

  • The Incomparable  by Jason Snell

Best Fact Behind the Fiction Podcast

  • Universe Today’s Guide to Space  hosted by Fraser Cain

Best Speculative Fiction Video Story

  • The Ultimate Nerd-ament  by Grant Baciocco & Russ Walko

Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team

  • Uncanny County  by Todd Faulkner & Alison Crane

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)

  • Uncanny County  by Todd Faulkner & Alison Crane

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Long Form)

  • Reading Out Loud -“Property Damage Claim #1-1403986” by Ryan P. Duke

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Long Form)

  • After the Plague by Mike Bennett

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

  • Tales to Terrify -“Graves” by Justin Cawthorne

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form)

  • The Voice of Free Planet X  -“Oddfellows Local” by Jared Axelrod

Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Short Form)

  • The Galaxy Quest Restoration Project -“Balance of Darkness” by David A. Mackenzie

[Thanks to Mark-kitteh for the story.]

Nominations Open for 2016 Parsec Awards

Parsec Awards logoThe Parsec Awards recognize the best in speculative fiction podcasting.

Shows are nominated by fans, finalists are chosen by a steering committee, and the winners are voted on by an independent panel of judges. The winners are announced each year at Dragon*Con.

Nominations are open through May 31, 2016.

What is a “podcast”?

For the purposes of the Parsec Awards, we consider a podcast to be  audio or video delivered as part of a syndicated series can be downloaded or streamed online. Listeners or viewers must be able to subscribe to updates that are either delivered automatically or are made available to the subscriber in some aggregated format.

Click here for category descriptions. And here for the list of podcasts that have already been nominated — a podcast only needs to be nominated once to be screened for the awards.

When you are ready to nominate, click here.