2019 Utopiales Awards Shortlists

Finalists have been announced for two of the awards that will be presented at Utopiales, the International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes.

The Prix Utopiales recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period by a European author. The prize has a cash value of 3000 euros. This year, five books are in competition:

  • La trilogie Trademark – T.1 Bonheur TM by Jean Baret (Le Bélial)
  • Colonies by Laurent Genefort (Le Bélial)
  • Dans la toile du temps by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Denoël)
  • Helstrid by Christian Léourier (Le Béllial)
  • Les derniers jours du Nouveau-Paris by China Miéville (Au diable vauvert)

The Prix Utopiales Jeunesse 2019 (Utopiales Youth Award) recognizes a novel or a collection of short stories by a European author, published or translated into French during the eligibility period. The winner is chosen by a jury of readers aged 13-16. The prize has a value of 2000 euros. These five books have are the finalists:

  • In real life – T.1 Déconnexion by Maiwenn Alix (Milan)
  • La Voie Verne by Jacques Martel (Mnémos)
  • Le Cirque interdit by Célia Flaux (Scrineo)
  • Marqués by Alice Broadway (Pocket Jeunesse)
  • Rêves scientifiques, 8 nouvelles de science-fiction by J.-N. Blanc, J. Benameur, P. Favaro, Gudule, J. Héliot, C. Thiebert (Thierry Magnier)

The award ceremony will take place during the  Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes, October 31-November 4.

2018 Utopiales Awards Shortlists

Finalists have been announced for two of the awards that will be presented at Utopiales, the International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes.

The nominees for the Prix Utopiales 2018 are:

  • L’Or du diable, Andreas Eschbach (L’Atalante)
  • Espace Lointain, Jaroslav Melnik (Agullo)
  • L’âme des horloges, David Mitchell (de l’Olivier)
  • Station: La chute, Al Robertson (Denoël)
  • Amatka, Karin Tidbeck (La Volte)

The award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period by a European author. The prize has a cash value of 3000 euros.

The nominees for the Prix Utopiales Jeunesse 2018 (Utopiales Youth Award) are:

  • The Rain, Virginia Bergin (Bayard)
  • Les Puissants, tome 1: Esclaves, Vic James (Nathan)
  • Nouvelle Sparte, Erik L’Homme (Gallimard Jeunesse)
  • Star Trip, Éric Senabre (Didier jeunesse)
  • Le Mort du Temps, Aurélie Wellenstein (Scrineo)

The award ceremony will take place during the  Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes, October 31-November 5.

[Via Locus Online.]

2017 Prix Utopiales Winners

The Prix Utopiales 2017 were announced November 4 during an award ceremony at the Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes in France. Here are the winners in the fiction and comic book categories.

The European Utopiales Award

  • L’Installation de la peur by Rui Zink, translated from the Portuguese “A Instalação do Medo” (The Installation of Fear) by Maira Muchnik

The award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period by a European author. The prize has a cash value of 3000 euros.

Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse 2017 (Utopiales European Youth Awards)

  • Le jardin des épitaphes, tome 1: Celui qui reste debout, Taï-Marc Le Thanh (Didier jeunesse)

The award has a cash value of 2000 euros. The winner was chosen by a jury of seven young people from the Nantes region, aged between 13 and 16: Stellenn Le Moine, Alban Mentzer, Irenee Brasseur, Anais Gervais, Louis Espi, Garance Tulli-Houzet, Ruffine Kitenge. President of the Jury: Denis E. Savine, translator.

Prix Utopiales BD 2017 (for Best Comic Book)

  • La terre de fils de Gilpi (Éditiones Futuropolis)

Prix Extraordinare Utopiales 2017

  • Pierre Bordage, French sff novelist

Prix Joel-Champetier

  • Feldrik Rivat for Le Contrat Antonov-201

The prize is for unpublished short fiction in French by non-Canadian writers. The winner receives € 1000. The winning work will be published in the Winter 2017 issue of the Canadian prozine Solaris.

Presented earlier this weekend was the Julia Verlanger Prize, a literary award established in 1986 which honors science fiction and fantasy novels.

Prix Julia Verlanger 

  • L’espace d’un an et Libration de Becky Chambers (L’Atalante) (A Closed and Common Orbit)

2017 Utopiales Awards Shortlists

Finalists have been announced for two of the awards that will be presented at Utopiales, the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival.

The nominees for the Prix Utopiales Européen 2017 (Utopiales European Awards) are:

  • Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald, translated by Gilles Goullet
  • L’Installation de la peur by Rui Zink, translated from the Portuguese “A Instalação do Medo” (The Installation of Fear) by Maira Muchnik
  • Merfer [Railsea] by China Miéville, translated by Nathalie Mege
  • Mes vrais enfants [My Real Children] by Jo Walton, translated by Florence Dolisi
  • Spire by Laurent Genefort

The award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period by a European author. The prize has a cash value of 3000 euros.

The nominees for the Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse 2017 (Utopiales European Youth Awards) are:

  • Jungle Park, Philippe Arnaud (Sarbacane)
  • L’Effet Ricochet, Nadia Coste (Seuil jeunesse)
  • L’éveil, Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu (Gulf Stream)
  • Le jardin des épitaphes, tome 1: Celui qui reste debout, Taï-Marc Le Thanh (Didier jeunesse)
  • New Earth Project, David Moitet (Didier jeunesse)

The award ceremony will take place during the Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes, November 1-6.

The jury for the Prix Utopiales Européen 2017 is —

Pixel Scroll 11/7/2016 Ugly Giant Bags of Mostly Pixels

(1) SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME. Last spring the EMP Museum opened public voting on the 2016 finalists for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

In honor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame’s 20th anniversary, we invited the public to submit their favorite Creators and Creations. After tallying up your nominations (nearly 2,000 submissions!), a committee of industry experts narrowed down the list to the final twenty nominees.

After waiting some months for further news, I contacted the EMP Museum and received this answer:

Announcement of the new inductees is tentatively planned for Spring 2017, with a more exact date to be announced later this month.

(2) THIS WEEK IN WORDS. Wonder what book she’s busy reviewing here?

(3) CELEBRITIES SAVING THE WORLD ON THEIR DAY OFF. Pretty damn funny. “Rachel Bloom, Elizabeth Banks Sing Their Support for Hillary in Profanity-Filled Funny or Die Video”.

“Holy f—ing shit, you’ve got to vote.”

Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Adam Scott, Mayim Bialik, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rachel Bloom were among the celebrities who gathered together with the help of Funny or Die to plead with voters to choose Hillary Clinton as the next president.

In an anti-Trump music video posted Friday, veteran Broadway star Patti LuPone and musician Moby are also seen belting out lyrics (with more than a handful of curse words) urging people to hit the polls.

(4) TWICE FIVE. On the eve of the election, Emily Temple offers 10 literary apocalypses from books published in the last five years.

Lucy Corin, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses

The apocalypses in this book—most just a few lines long, because sometimes that’s all it takes for the apocalypse, some a paragraph or more—are not necessarily global. They can be the end of a relationship, or a moment, or an idea, because any of these can feel like cosmic destruction. None of these apocalypses are likely to caused by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but they do serve as a reminder of what havoc we can wreak on ourselves.

(5) RAISING KIDS’ INTEREST IN ASTROPHYSICS. Hungarian illustrator Róbert Farkas wants to publish a trilogy that will attract kids to astrophysics. He’s raising money on Indiegogo to foot the bill.


Clever Fox’s Tales about the Universe


’Daddy, what are those million shiny spots up in the black sky?’ This is the question I want to be able to answer by the time my daughter will ask it. I invite you to help me answer this same question for hundreds, hopefully thousands of other kids all around the world.

About me

My name is Róbert Farkas, I am a freelance illustrator and animator. I live in Europe in Hungary with my family. Aside from drawing I like to read books about astrophysics in my free time, which influenced me in creating this trilogy.

About the trilogy

The first book is about the Big bang and particle physics, no joking! The second part takes us to the middle of the solar system, explains about core fusion, vacuum and what lies in the middle of a black hole. The third is a leap into quantum physics, with a taste of the speed of light, gravitational lens effect and dark matter.

To date $1,563 of the $6,900 goal has been pledged, with 25 days to go.

(6) NEW TERM BEGINS. Camestros Felapton takes in the opening stanzas of the latest Doctor Who spinoff in “Review: Class (episodes 1 & 2)”.

Class knows that it is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer clone and it knows that you know that it is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer clone. Coal Hill Academy is a school that sits at the site of damage caused to the space-time continuum by the Doctor’s meddling, a plot device that so neatly matches the hell-mouth of Buffy’s Sunnyvale that characters have to comment on it. And why not? Buffy was fun, so why not have a Buffy spin-off but set it in Britain and have a “bung-hole of the universe” instead of a Hell Mouth?

To this end (do a Buffy revival because the late 90’s/early 2000’s are due for a revival) the show just really needs permission to be strange and for viewers to suspend disbelief. Hence the Doctor Who connection – it is British and it is weird and hence it needs a blessing from the Pontiff of British weirdness.

(7) WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? James Davis Nicoll has an “Idea for a movie”.

Unable to surmount a career-ending injury, a Taoist sorcerer moves from Hong Kong to Boston, where he masters engineering in six weeks.

(8) BIRTH OF AN INDIE. Nick Cole, Dragon Award winner for CTRL Alt Revolt!, says “Never mind the Bullydom of Writing”.

Here’s what happened: Last year I wrote a novel called CTRL Alt Revolt! Fun little gamer novel, what some call LitRPG (Kinda like Ready Player One) My publisher (Harper Collins) was so offended by the fact that I showed an Artificial Intelligence being horrified by the callous act of murder we as a society call Abortion (It’s just a minor plot point in the book I used to give the Antagonist, a new born A.I. a good reason to fear for its life before it nuked the world) that they fired me. So I pub’d it as an Indie.

I’m recalcitrant that way.

I awaited the storm of self-righteous indignation from my peers within the community at large. I considered a career change.


Well, some scorn from the usual scolds but they’re boring and tired. Ask anyone.

Instead I sold a ton of copies. Won a major Science Fiction Award and significantly increased my reader base, as a whole community of angry fans and readers who are just plain tired and bored with agenda-driven message fiction swarmed Amazon and bought my book in droves. And here’s a stunner: They don’t even believe in what I believe. Some disagreed with me openly. Even super hardcore leftist socialists bought it, read it, and had a good time despite disagreeing with a few points. See, they’re smart people who can read something and think for themselves instead of needing a sermon via Slate, Salon, Wired, or whatever other entertainment the Radical Left is propping up these days, and still continue holding on to their beliefs. While having a good time. These are people who aren’t worried about being triggered by an image of a guy in a superhero costume. Or that Ghostbusters might give them PTSD. These are people who hate that “the right people” are playing games with what people get to write. These are the real free thinkers! They hate that PC ideas are taking the place of story and good old fashioned fun. They hate the scolds.


  • November 7, 1963 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was the first film ever shown at Hollywood’s famous Cinerama Dome.

(John King Tarpinian reminds everyone, “The palm trees at the end inspired the logo for In-N-Out Burger.”)

(10) A VISIT FROM THE SUCK FAIRY. In the Washington Post, Stephanie Merry talks about Quantum Leap and how she enjoyed the show a great deal as a teenager but finds it boring and dated now on rewatching — “Is it better to leave our favorite childhood shows and movies in the past?”

Sam, played by Scott Bakula, was an earnest everyman, not to mention a brilliant physicist, and he was trapped in a time-travel loop. Each episode, he teleported to a different era and inhabited a stranger’s body to alter history for the better. All the while, he kept hoping the next leap would bring him home.

I wasn’t a science fiction fan, but the show won me over anyway. Every adventure was so singular, and the series was remarkably progressive. Sam became a leggy blonde in the 1960s dealing with sexual harassment and a black man fighting discrimination in 1955, but also an unenthusiastic Ku Klux Klan member from Alabama. At one point he landed in the body of Lee Harvey Oswald.

(11) SUBMISSIONS OPENING AND CLOSING. The SFWA Markert Report for November is online, compiled by David Steffen.

(12) COUNTING THE HOUSE. France’s rapidly-growing Utopiales con drew 82,000 says Europa SF, about 17,000 more than reported a year ago.

(13) LATE BLOOMER. Genevieve Valentine wrote an appreciation of Sheri Tepper for NPR “Remembering Sheri S. Tepper, Eco-Feminist Sci-Fi Firebrand”.

She began publishing later in life (her first novel at age 54), and wrote more than forty under several pseudonyms. But she used her own name for the works that made her a fixture in science fiction and fantasy. Her most influential works straddle lines between her forebears and her peers; she sits among Margaret Atwood and Marge Piercy’s second-wave-feminist parables, and somewhere alongside the all-out otherworlds of Frank Herbert and Jack Vance.

Perhaps her most infamous book is 1988’s The Gate to Women’s Country, in which enclaves of women run society, relegating men to hyper-masculine garrisons, sending them off to war to thin the numbers, and trying eugenics to solve the problem of men. 1991’s Beauty is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth — a stew of fairy tales Tepper chews up and spits out, with a little time travel in case you wondered what’s in store for the natural world. (Nothing good.) And 1989’s Grass — the first in a trilogy, and perhaps her most famous work — circled questions of faith, ecology, class, and the ways nature gets classified as monstrous when people are the invaders.

(14) IN THE BAY AREA Remember when people banded together to save Borderlands Books? It really looks worth it when you see a list of forthcoming author events like these:

* Chris Roberson, FIREWALK (Night Shade Books, Hardcover, $24.99) on Saturday, November 12th at 2:00pm.

* Megan E. O’Keefe, BREAK THE CHAINS (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 1:00pm.

* Mary Robinette Kowal, GHOST TALKERS (Tor, Hardcover, $24.99) on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00pm.

* SF in SF with authors Nick Mamatas and Rick Wilber (at American Bookbinders Museum, 355 Clementina, San Francisco) on Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm – Suggested donation $10. Doors and bar at 5:30 pm, event begins at 6:30 pm. Each author will read a selection from their work, followed by Q&A moderated by Terry Bisson. Authors will schmooze & sign books after. Seating is limited; first come, first seated. Bar proceeds benefit the American Bookbinders Museum.  Phone (night of event) 415-572-1015, or <sfinsfevents@gmail.com>.

* CYBER WORLD (Hex Publishers, Trade Paperback, $14.99) event with Richard Kadrey, Aaron Lovett, Josh Viola, Isabel Yap, and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00pm.

* Dan Wells, EXTREME MAKEOVER: APOCALYPSE EDITION (Tor Books, Hardcover, $27.99 and Trade Paperback $17.99) on Saturday, November 19th at 5:00pm.

* Richard Lupoff, WHERE MEMORY HIDES: A WRITER’S LIFE (Bold Venture Press, Trade Paperback (B&W Edition, $22.95), Trade Paperback (Collector’s Color Edition, $49.95) on Sunday, November 20th at 3:00pm. Local legend Richard Lupoff will show off his autobiography. From the book: “In half a century of publishing books and short fiction under his own name and at least six pen names, Richard A. Lupoff has spun some of the strangest fables, written a respected biography of Edgar Rice Burroughs, won a Hugo and has been nominated for multiple Nebula Awards.”  Dick Lupoff is a treasure trove of stories, both fictional and not.

(15) THE MONEY KEEPS ON ROLLING IN. At Kickstarter. The Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project, “to create definitive versions of all Harlan Ellison’s writings, fiction and non-fiction, to preserve in print for posterity,” is almost 40% funded with 23 days to go.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cora, Bence Pinter, and Rob Thornton for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day JJ.]

Pixel Scroll 11/6/16 The Sound Of One Pixel Scrolling

(1) UNREALITY CHECK. Damien G. Walter loves the Doctor Strange movie but he believes it’s time to explain again that Buddhism wont give you magic powers.

But can we please clear something up here? BUDDHISM IS NOT THE GATEWAY TO SECRET MAGICAL POWERS. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of hours you spend in meditation, you’ll never be able to summon power from other dimensions, conjure cool looking glowing sigils with wavy hand movements, or indulge in the joys of astral projection. Got it?

“Oh Damo!” I hear one of you sigh, “You’re just taking this all too seriously! Nobody believes Buddhism can REALLY give them magical powers. Any more than they believe they can really upload their mind into a computer to achieve immortality! Oh, wait, loads of people do actually believe that…” As, in fact, do many people really genuinely believe Buddhism will give them magic powers. And much as I would like to blame this on Hollywood, it’s a much, much older problem.

While I’m lucky not to have had my hands crushed in an automobile accident, my own life took me into the Himalayan mountains, to study at the Buddhist temples in Dharamsala. I’ve been a student of Buddhism for eight years now. I stepped out of a successful, creative career that was killing me incrementally and Buddhism was part of what helped me transition to a different kind of life. Now I live in Thailand, a Buddhist nation, to study Theravada Buddhism. In 2015 I travelled across India, to the capital of the Tibetan government in exile, and home of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, to study Mahayana Buddhism.

(2) STRANGE THOUGHTS. Paul Weimer shares some thoughts about the Doctor Strange movie.

Tell me if you recognize this story from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A brilliant, snarky, assholish rich person with amazingly skills strides through life blandly, confident that he knows everything, and often can back up his reputation with cold hard skills and knowledge. He is an endless deadpan snarker, always with a cutting jape or a quip for friend and rival alike. He has a long-suffering quasi love interest who clearly deserves better. We get to see him in his glory before an accident brings him low and nearly kills it. Worse, it doesn’t kill him, but gives him a permanent debility, changing his future plans forever. Said asshole learns to be better slowly and painfully in a period of retrenchment and regrowth, becoming a superhero in the process, and defrosting the heart of his love interest a bit whilst in the middle of battling the big baddie.

I could be describing Iron Man, but I am also describing Doctor Strange, and that is the core of one of the problems I found with the 2016 Marvel Cinematic Universe story.

(3) QUIZZING BUJOLD. Lois McMaster Bujold, who published a new novella this week, Penric’s Mission, is interviewed about her writing process (just in time for the National Novel Writing Month) — “Lois McMaster Bujold Answers Three (Okay, Four) Questions about the Writing Process”.

MD: So, National Novel Writing Month is basically about creating a first draft of at least 50,000 words. What’s your favorite thing about writing the first draft?

LMB: Finishing it. (-:

Starting it runs a close second, true. Then, probably, those moments when a sticky knot gets suddenly undone by some neat idea or inspiration that I didn’t have — often couldn’t have had — earlier.

I do rolling revisions — correcting, rewriting, re-outlining, and dinking as I go — because if I don’t get my edits in pretty early, my prose sets up like concrete, and it takes a jackhammer to pry it open. Also, by the end I will be tired and frantic and in no state of mind for careful polishing, still less major surgery. Since I’m usually doing novels or novellas, there’s too much to face, not to mention wrangle and just find, if I save all that till the finish.

This is a shift from earlier decades, when my method was to complete each chapter, print it out, run it past my test readers, and then do little more than make notes on the pages till I circled around for the final run/s. (There’s never only one.) In the past few years I’ve finally gone paperless, so I do a lot more micro-editing along the way now.

(4) WORLDCON 75 NEWS. The Worldcon 75 International Film Festival is accepting entries.  

Worldcon 75 international film festival is now open for submissions! Please read the official rules and send in your entry form and film by email or snail mail by June 1st, 2017: WORLDCON 75 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PDF (633 kB).

(5) OPERATION GONDOR. The Angry Staff Officer says Tolkien exemplifies sound Army doctrine, in “Warfighter: Middle-Earth”.

When I think of the six warfighting functions I always think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

What, you don’t?

Let’s be honest, one does not immediately think of fantasy or science fiction when conversations turn to Army doctrine. Most vignettes that are used to make the subject understandable to the lowly minds of company grade officers are either historical or situational. And while there is nothing wrong with this technique, are we perhaps overlooking a missed opportunity for providing a broader understanding of our doctrine? …


Through utilizing the six warfighting functions, the Captains of the West were able to preserve their combat power, protect critical information nodes, deceive and confuse the enemy as to their true intentions, and finally mass key maneuver assets at critical points in the enemy lines. This led to an eventual tactical victory that reversed the course of ground operations in the War of the Ring.

Tolkien is assuredly cursing me profoundly in the afterlife.

(6) ON THE OTHER PAW. Rachel Neumeier decided that the B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog’s recent list of 25 cats in sf/f needed answering, so she listed the “Top ten dogs in SFF”.

  1. Barbara Hambly’s wonderful THE BRIDE OF THE RAT GOD actually made me fall a little bit in love with Pekingese, not ordinarily my favorite breed (sorry, Pekingese lovers; just a personal preference). Do NOT be misled by the title, which is deliberately B-movie campy. The story is delightful and the three Pekingese are real characters, real dogs, and also btw capable of hunting demons if any should turn up.

(7) SIGHTS SEEN AND UNSEEN. After being feted at Utopiales, Ann Leckie’s travels took her to Paris, as she tells in her latest post, “Utopiales”.

I did some very touristy things–the day I had to myself in Paris, the weather was clear and just chilly enough for a good walk, and the map told me the Louvre was only a few kilometers from my hotel, so I figured I’d go on foot. It was a nice walk! And the Louvre is just as full of looted antiquities as ever. Every now and then I’d see a familiar object–oh, hello Etruscan couple I’ve seen photos of you all over the place! Oh, that round hat looks familiar, could it be Gudea, King of Lagash? Why, yes, it is! The Dendera Zodiac I didn’t stumble across, though, I was actually looking for it. (And found it.)

I didn’t bother with the Mona Lisa. No doubt she was surrounded the way the Venus de Milo was. I found that kind of fascinating–there were dozens of other wonderful statues in the room, but everyone was just looking at her, taking pictures, and selfies.

A remark that brings to mind Art Buchwald’s famous column, “The Six-Minute Louvre” which begins:

Any sportsman will tell you that the only three things to see in the Louvre are the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” the “Venus de Milo” and the “Mona Lisa.” The rest of the sculpture and paintings are just so much window dressing for the Big Three, and one hates to waste time in the Louvre when there is so much else to see in Paris….

(8) ANTIHARASSMENT ALLY PROJECT. Steven Saus has created #IWillBelieveYou, “An Ally Project To Support Those Affected by Sexual Harassment and Assault In Fandom and Elsewhere.”

As he explains in a post on his blog Ideatrash:

After the revelations last month (reference one, two), those of us with enough energy, privilege, and resources have to do something. Something that shows both that we will support those who have been harassed and that we do not accept harassment in the places we gather. So, building on the example of Take Back The Night, as well as #IllRideWithYou and #IllGoWithYou, I created #IWillBelieveYou.

(9) ROALD DAHL’S TV SHOW. Atlas Obscura remembers that “In 1961, Roald Dahl Hosted His Own Version of ‘The Twilight Zone’” called Way Out.

Under the gun, some enterprising producers at the network began dreaming up a creepy drama show to fill the time slot, and they went right to Dahl. While he is best remembered today for his timeless works of children’s literature like Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, for a good portion of his writing career, he was better known as an author of twisted, devilish fiction. As explained in an article originally published in Filmfax Magazine, Dahl jumped at the chance to develop the series, spurred on by the fact that the show’s time slot (9:30 p.m. on Fridays) fell right before another thematically similar little CBS show, The Twilight Zone.

The black-and-white show would begin with what became its signature image, a slow pan over a series of mist-shrouded, disembodied hands, before resting on one which would burst into flames at the title came onscreen. Then, flexing his dry British charm like a more cosmopolitan Vincent Price, Dahl would give a short intro to each episode. The bulk of the program consisted of the main tale, usually a short morality play with an ironic or surprising ending or element, which often dipped into the supernatural. Then Dahl would close out the show with another direct epilogue, much like the Cryptkeeper of the later Tales From the Crypt.

(10) HELLO, I LOVE YOU. A Vintage News story tells how “Abandoned in space in 1967, a US satellite has started transmitting again”.

In 2013 in North Cornwall, UK, an Amateur Radio Astronomer picked up a signal which he determined to be the LES1 that was built by MIT in 1965. The satellite never made it to its intended orbit and had been spinning out of control ever since.

Phil Williams, the amateur radio astronomer from near Bude, picked out the odd signal which was transmitting due to it tumbling end over end every four seconds as the solar panels became shadowed by the engine. “This gives the signal a particularly ghostly sound as the voltage from the solar panels fluctuates,” Williams said.

It’s more than likely the onboard batteries have disintegrated, and something else caused its 237Mhz transmission to resume when it was in sunlight.

The LES1 is about the size of a small automobile and should not cause any issues more than any other piece of space junk in orbit.

This proves electronics built around 50 years ago, 12 years before Voyager 1, and far before microprocessors and integrated circuits are still capable of working in the hostile environs of space. Phil refers to his hobby as “Radio-Archaeology”.

(11) TREACHEROUS HOME APPLIANCES. It’s great that Sixties electronics are still working in space, but look out for latest tech in your own home: the internet of things is a fertile environment for hackers, who can turn even the most innocuous thing to their purposes: “Why Light Bulbs May Be The Next Hacker Target” in the New York Times.

Now here’s the bad news: Putting a bunch of wirelessly connected devices in one area could prove irresistible to hackers. Researchers report in a paper made public on Thursday that they have uncovered a flaw in a wireless technology that is often included in smart home devices like lights, switches, locks, thermostats and many of the components of the much-ballyhooed “smart home” of the future.

The researchers focused on the Philips Hue smart light bulb and found that the wireless flaw could allow hackers to take control of the light bulbs, according to researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science near Tel Aviv and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. That may not sound like a big deal. But imagine thousands or even hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices in close proximity.

Malware created by hackers could be spread like a pathogen among the devices by compromising just one of them.

And they wouldn’t have to have direct access to the devices to infect them: The researchers were able to spread infection in a network inside a building by driving a car 229 feet away.

The new risk comes from a little-known radio protocol called ZigBee. Created in the 1990s, ZigBee is a wireless standard widely used in home consumer devices. While it is supposed to be secure, it hasn’t been held up to the scrutiny of other security methods used around the internet. The researchers found that the ZigBee standard can be used to create a so-called computer worm to spread malicious software among internet-connected devices.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Michaeline Duskova, Camestros Felapton, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

2015 Utopiales Awards

Prix Utopiales EuorpeenThe Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction in Nantes, France drew over 65,000 visitors to last weekend’s convention.

The full list of all awards given at the event, including the video game competition, film festival, and cosplay, is here.

Two major literary awards were presented.

Le Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse 2015
(The European Utopiales Youth Award 2015)

  • Humains, Matt Haig (translated by Valérie Le Plouhinec), ed. Hélium, august 2014

The winner was selected by a jury of young readers between 13 and 16 years old, Zoé Berthelot, Louna Boulic, Luna Brasseur, Barbara Chotard, Julien Couvert, Titouan Giraudon, Elena Guibert, Marie Perrault, François Philippe and Aglaé Thebaud.

The European Utopiales Award

  • L’Autre Ville (The Other City), Michal Ajvaz (translated by Benoît Meunier), éd. Mirobole, 2015

The award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period whose author is a citizen of a country belonging to the European Community. The prize has a cash value of 2000 euros. The winner was selected by a jury composed of Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Pierre-Michel Caillé and Stéphan Henry.

Also presented was the Julia Verlanger Prize, a literary award established in 1986 which honors science fiction and fantasy novels.

Prix Julia Verlanger 

  • Lum’en, Laurent Genefort, éd. Le Bélial, 2015

Mention spéciale du jury

  • L’Adjacent (The Adjacent), Christopher Priest (translated by Jacques Collin), éd. Denoël, 2015

2015 Utopiales Awards Shortlists

Prix Utopiales EuorpeenFinalists have been announced for two awards presented at Utopiales, the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival.

The nominees for the Utopiales European Awards are:

  • Celle qui a tous les dons” (The Girl With All The Gifts), Mike Carey (translated by Nathalie Mège), éd. L’Atalante, 10/2014
  • Lum’en“, Laurent Genefort, éd. Le Bélial, 05/15
  • Thinking Eternity“, Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac, éd. Mnémos, 08/2014…
  • L’Adjacent” (The Adjacent), Christopher Priest (translated by Jacques Collin), éd. Denoël, 04/2015
  • L’Autre Ville” (The Other City), Michal Ajvaz (translated by Benoît Meunier), éd. Mirobole, 04/2015

The award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period whose author is a citizen of a country belonging to the European Community. The prize has a cash value of 2000 euros.

The nominees for the Utopiales European Youth Awards are

  • Humains” (The Humans), Matt Haig (translated by Valérie Le Haig Plouhinec), éd. Hélium, août 2014
  • Ciel 1.0. L’hiver des machines“, Johan Heliot, éd. Gulf Stream Editeur, octobre 2014.
  • Mingus“, Keto von Waberer (translated by Jacqueline Chambon), éd. Le Rouergue jeunesse (Epik), janvier 2015
  • Memor : le monde d’après“, Kinga Wyrzykowska, éd. Bayard, mars 2015

The award ceremony will take place during the Utopiales International Science Fiction Festival of Nantes, October 29-November 2.

[Via Europa SF.]

2015 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire Shortlist

The nominations for the 2015 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire have been announced. (For English translations of the titles read the coverage at Europa SF.) The awards will be presented in November at the Utopiales Festival in Nantes, France.

Roman francophone / Novel in French

  • Bastards d’Ayerdhal (Au diable vauvert)
  • Les Résidents de Maurice G. Dantec (Inculte)
  • Drift de Thierry Di Rollo (Bélial’)
  • Trois oboles pour Charon de Franck Ferric (Denoël, Lunes d’encre)
  • Cosplay de Laurent Ladouari (Hervé Chopin)
  • Aucun homme n’est une île de Christophe Lambert (J’ai lu, Nouveaux millénaires)
  • Hysteresis de Loïc Le Borgne (Bélial’)
  • Dernières nouvelles d’Œsthrénie d’Anne-Sylvie Salzman (Dystopia)

Roman étranger / Foreign Novel

  • Anti-Glace de Stephen Baxter (Bélial’)
  • Le Cycle des Démons (Tomes 1 à 3) de Peter V. Brett (Bragelonne)
  • L’Océan au bout du chemin de Neil Gaiman (Au diable vauvert)
  • L’Éducation de Stony Mayhall de Daryl Gregory (Bélial’)
  • La Grande Route du Nord (2 tomes) de Peter F. Hamilton (Bragelonne)
  • Vlast de Peter Higgins (Bragelonne)
  • Notre fin sera si douce de Will McIntosh (Fleuve)
  • Nexus de Ramez Naam (Presses de la Cité)
  • Intrabasses de Jeff Noon (La Volte)
  • L’Obsession de James Renner (Super 8)

Nouvelle francophone / Short Fiction in French

  • Le Berceau des lucioles de Jacques Barbéri (in Faites demi-tour dès que possible, La Volte)
  • Noc-kerrigan de Thomas Day (in Bifrost n°76)
  • L’Été dans la vallée de Mélanie Fazi (in Le Jardin des silences, Bragelonne)
  • L’Opéra de Shaya (recueil) de Sylvie Lainé (ActuSF)
  • Finir en beauté (recueil) de Christophe Langlois (L’Arbre vengeur)

Nouvelle étrangère /Foreign Short Fiction

  • La Fille-flûte et autres fragments de futurs brisés (recueil) de Paolo Bacigalupi (Au diable vauvert)
  • Éparpillés le long des rivières du ciel de Aliette de Bodard (in Galaxies n°28)
  • Les Furies de Borås (recueil) de Anders Fager (Mirobole)
  • Dead Horse Point de Daryl Gregory (in Bifrost n°74)
  • Chants du cauchemar et de la nuit (recueil) de Thomas Ligotti (Dystopia)
  • The Algorithms for Love de Ken Liu (in Galaxies n°28)
  • Snodgrass de Ian R. MacLeod (in Alternative rock, Gallimard, Folio SF)
  • Foyer Sainte-Lucie pour jeunes filles élevées par les loups (recueil) de Karen Russell (Albin Michel, Terres d’Amérique)
  • Les Perséides (recueil) de Robert Charles Wilson (Bélial’)

Roman jeunesse francophone / Novels for youth in French

  • Le Jour où… de Paul Beorn (Castelmore)
  • Fuir Malco de Charlotte Bousquet (Gulf Stream)
  • Le Livre de Perle de Timothée de Fombelle (Gallimard)
  • Virus 57 de Christophe Lambert et Sam VanSteen (Syros)
  • La Seconde vie de d’Artagnan de Jean-Luc Marcastel (Matagot)
  • Bleu argent d’Olivier Paquet (L’Atalante)
  • Grandclapier de Joann Sfar (Gallimard)
  • Les Outrepasseurs (Tomes 1 et 2) de Cindy Van Wilder (Gulf Stream)

Roman jeunesse étranger / Foreign novels for youth

  • Zombie Ball de Paolo Bacigalupi (Au diable vauvert)
  • Barnabé ou La Vie en l’air de John Boyne (Gallimard)
  • L’Éveil des macchabs de Ty Drago (Bayard)
  • Humains de Matt Haig (Hélium)
  • Miss Peregrine et les enfants particuliers (Tomes 1 et 2) de Ransom Riggs (Bayard)
  • La Malédiction Grimm de Polly Shulman (Bayard)

Prix Jacques Chambon de la traduction / Jacques Chambon Translation Prize

  • Jean-Daniel Brèque pour Nexus de Ramez Naam (Presses de la Cité)
  • Carine Bruy pour Les Furies de Borås de Anders Fager (Mirobole)
  • Pierre-Paul Durastanti pour Anti-Glace de Stephen Baxter (Bélial’)
  • Anne-Sylvie Homassel pour Chants du cauchemar et de la nuit (recueil) de Thomas Ligotti (Dystopia)
  • Patrick Marcel pour L’Océan au bout du chemin de Neil Gaiman (Au diable vauvert)
  • Michel Pagel pour Notre fin sera si douce de Will McIntosh (Fleuve)
  • Laurent Philibert-Caillat pour L’Éducation de Stony Mayhall de Daryl Gregory (Bélial’) et Moxyland de Lauren Beukes (Presses de la Cité)
  • Marie Surgers pour Intrabasses de Jeff Noon (La Volte)

Prix Wojtek Siudmak du graphisme / Wojtek Siudmak Graphic Design prize

  • Olivier Fontvieille pour Hiroshima n’aura pas lieu de James Morrow (Au diable vauvert)
  • Nicolas Fructus pour Aucun souvenir assez solide d’Alain Damasio (Gallimard, Folio SF)
  • Victor Manuel Leza Moreno pour Le Roi Squelette – L’intégrale de Serge Brussolo (Bragelonne)
  • Manchu pour Les Perséides de Robert Charles Wilson (Denoël, Lunes d’Encre)
  • Aurélien Police pour l’ensemble de ses couvertures en 2014
  • Diego Tripodi pour Fées, weed et guillotines de Karim Berrouka (ActuSF, Les Trois Souhaits)
  • Johannes Wiebel pour Il est de retour de Timur Vermes (Belfond)

Essai / Essay

  • Les Dieux cachés de la science-fiction française et francophone (1950-2010) (Revue Eidôlon n°111, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux)
  • Philoséries : Buffy tueuse de vampires sous la direction de Sylvie Allouche et Sandra Laugier (Bragelonne)
  • Post Humains sous la direction de Élaine Després et Hélène Machinal (Presses Universitaires de Rennes)
  • La Bible Steampunk de S.J. Chambers et Jeff VanderMeer (Bragelonne)
  • Super-héros, une histoire française de Xavier Fournier (Huginn & Muninn)
  • Des mines du roi Salomon à la quête du Graal. H.R. Haggard (1856-1925) de Lauric Guillaud (Michel Houdiard)
  • Utopie et raison dans le cycle de Fondation d’Isaac Asimov de Anthony Vallat (ActuSF)

Prix spécial

  • Les 40 ans de la revue Solaris
  • Richard Comballot pour son travail de mémoire de l’Imaginaire, dont son recueil d’entretiens Clameurs (La Volte)
  • L’intégrale Stark et les rois des étoiles, de Leigh Brackett, Ray Bradbury et Edmond Hamilton (Bélial’)
  • Le Cabinet du docteur Black de E.B. Hudspeth (Le Pré aux clercs)
  • Midi-Minuit Fantastique – volume 1, dirigé par Michel Caen et Nicolas Stanzick (Rouge Profond)
  • Eerie et Creepy présentent Richard Corben (Tomes 1 et 2) (Delirium)

Award Winners at 2014 Utopiales Festival

PRIX_3The following awards were announced at Utopiales in Nantes on October 31.

Prix Julia Verlanger* 
L’esprit du Melkine by Olivier Paquet (Editions L’Atalante, 2013)

(*The Julia Verlanger Prize is a literary award established in 1986 which honors science fiction and fantasy novels.)

Prix Extraordinaire
Chris Foss

Prix du meilleur scénario de jeux de rôle / Best screenplay RPG
Les Brumes de Saint-Malo (for the game Les Larmes du Cardinal) by Pierre Éric Mouton

Prix du meilleur jeu vidéo réalisé à la Game Jam /  Award for best video game made during the Game Jam
Neuromance by Bastien Kerspern (GD), Charles Perinet (GD), Rémi Gourrierec (Graph), Alain Puget (Graph et Dev), Pierre Chabiland (Dev), Louis Godart (SD)

Prix de la meilleure bande dessinée de science-fiction /  Award for best science fiction comic
Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy (Éditions Urban Comics, 2013)

Mention spéciale du jury / Honorable mention
Kanopé by Louise Joor (Éditions Delcourt, 2014)

Prix du Jury – compétition internationale de courts métrages / Jury Prize – International short film competition
Reset by Marcus Kryler and Fredrik Åkerström (Swweden, 2012)

Mention spéciale du jury / Honorable mention
Triad by Bradley Oliver-White (Great Britain, 2013)

Prix du public – compétition internationale de courts métrages / Audience Award – International short film competition
The Nostalgist by Giacomo Cimini (Great Britain, 2014)

Grand Prix du Jury – compétition internationale de longs métrages / Jury Award – International short film competition
The Midnight After by Fruit Chan (China / Hong Kong, 2014)

Mention spéciale du jury pour l’interprétation /  Special Jury Mention for translation
Morse, the creator and investigator of the Sûreté du Québec
Tusk (by Kevin Smith, United States, 2014): Justin Long, Michael Parks and Johnny Depp

Prix Syfy du public – compétition internationale de longs métrages / Syfy Award – International competition of feature films
Predestination by Michael and Peter Spierig (Australia, 2014)

Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse / European Youth Prize
Pixel Noir by  Jeanne-A Debats (Éditions Syros Jeunesse, 2014)

Mention spéciale du jury / Honorable mention
Automne by Jan Henrik Nielsen (translated by Aude Pasquier), (Éditions Albin Michel, 2014)

Prix Utopiales Européen / Utopiales European Prize*
Sumerki  by Dmitry Glukhovsky (translated by Denis E. Savine), (Éditions L’Atalante, 2014)

(*Given by the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, the juried award recognizes a novel, or a collection, published in French during the eligibility period whose author is a citizen of a country belonging to the European Community. The prize is 2000 euros.)