Pixel Scroll 10/23 Gilligan’s File

(1) A sweet new image for science fiction loving dogs!

Cool Corgi Dresses Up As All 13 Doctors From ‘Doctor Who’ —

(2) What brand of cigarettes did Godzilla smoke? I never wondered before. See behind-the-scenes photos from the Japanese movie productions, including the fellow who wore the monster suit taking a smoke break. At Dangerous Minds.

Actor Haruo Nakajima (pictured above) spent nearly 25 years inside the rubber Godzilla suit that he gleefully trampled over mini-Tokyo in for various Godzilla or monster-themed films from the early 50s through the 1970s.

(3) James Lileks’ satire for National Review, “The Twitterverse Strikes Back against the Phantom Menace of Anti-Star Wars Racists!”, begins –

According to my Twitter feed, gullible people are complaining –

I should just stop right there and wrap it up, right? After breaking news like that, where could I possibly go?

…Anyway. If Luke comes out in the new film wearing the Leia slave bikini; if Chewie marries Groot; if Han makes a big speech about how the end of the Empire means they can rebuild the galaxy along the lines of, say, Denmark; if the main villain is named Ben-Ghazi — then you might complain that you’re being Force-fed some political drivel. Even then it wouldn’t matter.

(4) A pretty fancy bookmark. A map of Middle-Earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien for illustrator Pauline Baynes is being sold by Blackwell’s for 60,000 reports the Guardian.

A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.

The map was found loose in a copy of the acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes’ copy of The Lord of the Rings. Baynes had removed the map from another edition of the novel as she began work on her own colour Map of Middle-earth for Tolkien, which would go on to be published by Allen & Unwin in 1970. Tolkien himself had then copiously annotated it in green ink and pencil, with Baynes adding her own notes to the document while she worked.

Blackwell’s, which is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000, called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.

It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

David Doering argues, “I feel that such artifacts need to be in public, not private, hands. This is a critical piece of our cultural history and is of immense value. It should not allowed to disappear into private hands.”

(Fifth 4) John C. Wright explains how “My Elves are Different; Or, Erlkoenig and Appendix N”.

When calculating how to portray the elves in my current writing project (tentatively titled Moths and Cobwebs) I was thinking about Erlkoenig and Appendix N, and (of course!) about GK Chesterton. There is a connected train of thought here, but it meanders through some ox-bows and digressions, so I hope the patient reader enjoys the scenic route of thought.

First, Erlkoenig. I had noticed for some time that there was many a younger reader whose mental picture of the elves (those inhabitants of the Perilous Realm, the Otherworld, whose ways are not our ways) was formed entirely by JRR Tolkien and his imitators. They are basically prelapsarian men: like us in stature and passions, but nobler, older, and not suffering our post-Edenic divorce from the natural world. This is not alien to the older themes and material on which Tolkien drew, but there is alongside this an older and darker version.

(5) Nancy Fulda outlines “What To Expect When You Start An Internet Kerfuffle” for the SFWA Blog.

And so you write a blog post.

It is the most difficult and most magnificent thing you’ve ever written, pure words of truth sucked directly out of your soul. You feel triumphant. Liberated. (Terrified, too, but that doesn’t matter now.) You have said the Thing That Must Be Said, and you have done so with courage and clarity. You click a button, and send your words winging toward humanity.

And then, of course, the internet does what the internet does best.

It starts kerfluffling….

Day 2: Negative feedback.

Your post has reached people with opposing viewpoints. Many of them. Blog posts pop up across the internet, criticizing and often misrepresenting your stance. Angry comments multiply like weeds. Email conversations ensue. You become embroiled in a number of difficult and confrontational exchanges, often with people who seem incapable of understanding what you’re trying to say.

You may get hate mail. Depending on what you’ve said and who you’ve said it to, the content of those emails may be very, very ugly indeed. Your hands are trembling by the time you click the delete button.

By the end of the day, you’re afraid to check your email. Comments are still rolling in, and somehow, even the positive messages only make you more aware of the bad ones. You wonder whether this was all a mistake. At the same time, you can’t stop refreshing your screen. The rest of your life has ground to a screeching halt; deadlines missed, meals skipped, loved ones neglected. Even when you’re not online, your thoughts are spiraling around what’s happened there.

And people are still retweeting your post.

(6) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 23, 1942 – Michael Crichton

(7) Last weekend the Iron Hill brewery chain in Pennsylvania offered Harry Potter-themed fare reports Philly.com.

The pub will serve Dumbledore’s Dubbel, a sweet Belgian ale; and Voldermort’s Wrath, a West-Coast style IPA with an intense bitter hop flavor. In addition to the limited brews, a Harry Potter-themed menu will be served for those hungry wizards. Items include:

  • Aunt Petunia’s Mulligatawny Soup
  • Slytherin Smoky Pumpkin Salad
  • Ron’s Corned Beef Toasts
  • Hogwart’s Express Pumpkin Pastry
  • Dumbledore’s Cauldron Beef Stew
  • Butterbeer-Braised Pork Loin
  • Pan-Seared Chinese Fireball (salmon)
  • Mrs. Weasley’s English Toffee Crumble

For the non-beer drinker: Butterbeer and autumn-themed mixed drinks will be available.

(9) Details about J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter play are online. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will pick up 19 years after the seventh book, and it will focus on Harry and his youngest son, Albus. Here’s a brief about the plot play’s website:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

(10) Here’s some artwork from the forthcoming production.

(11) The pilot and second episode of Amazon’s original series The Man In The High Castle can be viewed for no-charge here through  11:59 PM PST on Sunday, October 25 in the U.S. and UK.

The season launch of all episodes will be November 20.

(12) Andrew Liptak recalls the history of science fiction in Playboy magazine at Kirkus Reviews.

(13) Alastair Reynolds covers his trip to Russia on Approaching Pavonis Mons.

My wife and I are big on art, and we’d long wanted to visit the Hermitage. I can safely say that it was everything we’d hoped it would be, times about ten, and although we went back for a second day, you could cheerfully spend a month in the place and not see enough.

(14) Zombie George R.R. Martin will soon be on the air:

For all you Z NATION fans out there, and those who aren’t (yet) too, my long-anticipated guest starring role as a rotting corpse is scheduled for the October 30 episode, “The Collector.”

(15) At Teleread Chris Meadows pays tribute to prolific Amazon reviewer Harriet Klausner, who was an important part of the growth of online book sales via Amazon.

Harriet Klausner, at one time one of the most recognizable names on Amazon, passed away on October 15, at the age of 63. Klausner was a speed-reader who was one of the most prolific customer reviewers on Amazon, with over 31,000 reviews to her credit at the time of her death. According to a 2006 Time profile of her, she read an average of 4 to 6 books per day. Although the details of her death were not disclosed, it must have happened fairly quickly—the last review on her Amazon.com reviewer page is dated October 12.

(16) Jonathan R. Eller speaks about Fahrenheit 451 at Wisconsin Lutheran College on October 26.

Eller at wisc luth coll

(17) The wisdom of the Fred!

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Robotech Master, Phil Nichols, Steven H Silver, David Doering, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day the indefatigable Will R.]

423 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/23 Gilligan’s File

  1. That’s no better or worse than joining the Wheel of Time campaign, or going to a Seanan McGuire fan site to find her five eligible things.

    These may or may not have been effectively gaming, but in the name of all that’s good and holy you surely cannot divorce the puppies from their rhetoric and from their stated intentions. They reviled and abused and told lies about the hugos and everyone involved. No surprise they turned out to be such colossally sore losers. To talk about the puppies and elide their rhetoric and behaviour is to lie by omission.

  2. @brianz

    respectful silence

    So then we’d have had months now of “turned their faces away and sat in stony silence to rebuke us for invading their awards” probably with added “while their house burned down around them they spurned us with their silence.”

    Hardly an improvement.

  3. Eugie Foster’s story wouldn’t have passed the 5% rule, unfortunately

    Actually, if it hadn’t been for SP3, the overall number of nominations would have been considerably less, and therefore “When It Ends, He Catches Her” probably would have passed the 5% rule.

  4. The 5% rule wouldn’t be a problem. If nomination counts on the short stories that actually appeared on the ballot were reduced enough that “When It Ends, He Catches Her” at least tied for 5th, the total nomination count would have to be reduced by at least 453 (achieved by sending the bottom four of the top five down to 44 nominations each). This leaves at most 721 nominations in the category, and WIEHCH at at least 6.1%,

  5. Nigel, at the time his fans had just been attacked across the internet as cheaters and neo-fascist minions for nominating a few books and authors they liked. Of course it was emotional.

    Whereas attacking Hugo voters at large FOR YEARS with baseless accusations of similar cheating by a small minority of voters with nefarious Stalinist intentions is perfectly reasonable. And it’s dreadfully unfair of those attacked to actually feel happy and relieved at the palpable, undeniable proof that no, they are NOT a minority cheating their way to Hugos regularly, and to express that happiness and relief emotionally. How selfish of them to express their own emotions when they SHOULD be thinking of their poor attackers’ hurt feelings.

  6. Why, exactly, should anyone care what the Pups think about people being happy that No Award won over their chosen piles of drek that they cheated onto the ballot? They were going to pitch a fit over any result short of handing their shitty flag-bearers a shelf full of trophies. The only reason they are making a big deal over the cheering is that they are befuddled by the fact that the people who voted against them weren’t sad about doing so. This whole routine is just the Pups saying “Why aren’t you sad? You were supposed to be sad! You’re so mean for not being sad!”

  7. jayn on October 25, 2015 at 8:11 am said:

    How selfish of them to express their own emotions when they SHOULD be thinking of their poor attackers’ hurt feelings.

    This. Entirely this.

  8. When your picnic is invaded by a skunk, the last thing you care about is making it feel welcome.

  9. attacked across the internet as cheaters and neo-fascist minions for nominating a few books and authors they liked

    Of course, if it had only been a few, and they had actually nominated books they liked rather than what they were told to nominate, it might have been a different matter!

  10. The Hugo Awards Ceremony is a celebration of excellence in SF and Fantasy storytelling and fanac by members of WSFS. Why should we not applaud when bad story telling lost to No Award?

    I’d rather have had good stories to vote for, but that option was taken from us by other members of WSFS who for some reason joined an organization they hated to poop in the punch bowl.

  11. Let us not badmouth skunks just becaus their defense mechanism is very effective.

    I had a video of an adorable baby skunk but every time I try to include it Safari crashes on my ipad and I am too lazy to get the laptop.

  12. IanP

    It’s definitely worth ransacking second hand book shops for Serpents Reach; it’s hard action, set in the far future of her Alliance/Union universe, and explores the consequences of an immortal mind learning that mortality exists. Since it’s Cherryh it explores a lot of other things as well, but those are a bonus…

  13. Serpents Reach, looks like I’m back to trawling Amazon’s 2nd hand sellers then…

    Look also for ‘The Deep Beyond’, which is Serpent’s Reach and Cuckoo’s Egg.

  14. @stevie

    Had a look at its wikipedia page and it sounds right up my street. Looks like there’s an omnibus edition available in print with Cuckoo’s Egg so that might be worth tracking down. Her and Walter Jon Williams are authors I’m making a real effort to fill in my reading of. Both I read from the library in my late teens then lost track of as it seemed they never got much distribution in the UK in mainstream bookshops.

    I’ve bought several things I remember from my youth off of 2nd had booksellers, mostly of the 5p for the book £3 for postage type.

    ETA: @P J Evans, yeah that’s the one.

  15. @Meredith
    re: sorting

    I think you should go for whatever is most convenient for you, especially if it’s a form which makes it easy for people to cross-check against their own records. Anybody who really wants a randomised list can always generate one by copying your list into a spreadsheet, adding a column of random numbers (=RAND() or equivalent), and sorting on that. (I just tried it with the 1941 Retro Hugo short story list; took just over 90 seconds)

    And my thanks for taking it on; my list of lists-to-make is long enough as it is.

  16. @Cassy B

    Here’s where it gets complicated:

    I have a maybe-possibly project to compile all the File770 recs, for any topic, and put them into LibraryThing, for which I was considering a. tagging for individuals (because that way people can keep track of those Filers who have reliable taste) and b. excerpting comments to try and show the enthusiasm and general description. This is all, I think, basically fine so long as I let people opt out of being excerpted – except for the Hugo 2016 eligible works specifically, I then have the problem that people could count the tags or check the excerpted comment credits and I basically end up with the problems I’m trying to avoid with the basic list.

    So what I’m thinking is for the Hugo 2016 eligible works, I should keep records for the excerpts and the tags, but not enter them in until after the nomination period has ended – but I’m not sure whether it would be acceptable to leave in the excerpted comments but anonymise them (would anyone be offended?) temporarily, or whether I should just leave it blank until afterwards, or another option I haven’t thought of yet.

    Including an excerpt, even a very brief one, to the list on here would make it unwieldy (even the notes I add sometimes can be a bit over-long), but if leaving an anonymised excerpt on the LibraryThing version would be acceptable to people, then I could put a link to the LibraryThing Hugo 2016 tag… But that all depends on whether there’s enough suggestions for each of the categories that would be on there, too. Not much point in leaving out Novellas (for example) on the list because there are less than ten of them if someone can then trot over to LibraryThing and see the less-than-ten Novellas, you know? So yeah. This is where it gets complicated. 🙂

  17. Clarification: “because that way people can keep track of those Filers who have reliable taste for them.” For example, [Filer1] and I rarely agree, so their tag wouldn’t be very useful to me, but [Filer2] is nearly dead-on every time so their tag would be something I’d want to keep track of. Someone else might love [Filer1’s] taste but hate basically everything [Filer3] has ever written a kind word about.

    Definitely wasn’t intended as a statement that some Filer’s have better taste than others, and I should have made that clear in the original comment.

    Except my taste is impeccable, of course. 😉

  18. Meredith,

    I like that idea and was thinking of something similar myself. Would this be a dedicated LibraryThing account? If so, perhaps you could share access with trusted others…

  19. Maybe you can tell me what the acceptable audience response to No Award would have been?

    Charging the stage, bayonets fixed.

  20. @Meredith:

    “those Filers who have reliable taste for them.”

    Back when he was reviewing for Analog, Spider Robinson said that the function of a book reviewer was to act as “a weathervane of known prejudices” (my italics) responding to a correspondent who complained that he never liked any of the books Spider recommended, but enjoyed the ones that got marked down. (Spider couldn’t see that he had any cause for complaint, as a more reliable guide would be hard to imagine).
    Too many people fail to realise that reviewers aren’t much use until you can calibrate their taste against your own. It takes time, of course, but it helps when they give reasons for their judgements, and helps even more when they throw in references to other books.

    ETA: and while I haven’t done an in-depth check, my impression is that your taste is impeccable, or pretty near.

  21. Eugie Foster’s story wouldn’t have passed the 5% rule,

    Still the closest thing to tragedy in the whole affair.

    I do believe the 5% was skewed by the additional votes. It is a *percentage*, after all…

  22. No, wait, apparently the acceptable reaction would have been scattered applause, since that way the Pups could have insisted that the No Awarders were a minority after all — hear how little applause there was? — and the overwhelming results were the result of vote-fiddling by the conspiracy.

    Because once the Puppies fit you into the narrative, the only polite response is to behave as if their narrative is true. Anything else is just rude. Rude.

  23. I’m not sure I’ve really ever clearly stated what I’m considering as possible nominees for the Hugos yet … it’s seemed a little premature, since there are probably still around 10 books that I’m planning on reading and haven’t gotten to yet that look like they might possibly be contenders for me. Of the ones I have already read, I’ve got it down to a shortlist of about six, but given how many are left still to read, any of those could theoretically get knocked off.

  24. Kyra – if they’re worth considering, even if they get knocked off your list before it’s finished, they’re probably worth mentioning.

  25. Peter J on October 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm said: Back when he was reviewing for Analog, Spider Robinson said that the function of a book reviewer was to act as “a weathervane of known prejudices” (my italics)

    Love your use of italics, and also, nodding my head in agreement.

  26. Reminder of clarification: Anything Hugo-relevant produced will be of things mentioned positively that are also Hugo eligible. Mostly because expecting disparate comment threads to fit nicely into a tighter category is, um, not going to happen, also because I don’t want to require people to declare their nominations in order to get stuff they like and think is worthy on the list (anonymity is valuable to a lot of people), and because as an aide to finding Good Stuff Out There restricting it to things people have definitely for sure already decided to nominate seems rather flawed.

    (In the case of the Retro Hugo, the system is “mentioned” without the positive requirement, at least for now – because that was the nature of the original comment thread.)

    @Nicholas Whyte

    I like that idea and was thinking of something similar myself. Would this be a dedicated LibraryThing account? If so, perhaps you could share access with trusted others…

    That was the plan! The outline at the moment is to play around until I have a system that works and then give the user/password out to interested parties (whose nyms I recognise) along with a short guide to how things get entered in. Feedback at all stages is, of course, welcome from anyone. I hope to at least have a test category or two up within the next couple of weeks.

    @Peter J

    I’ve been considering how that will work with a less direct review system, and obviously the ability to calibrate by reverse opinion won’t work that well with the tagging system as its currently conceived because I’m not likely to include negative opinions… But maybe I should? The Seveneves page would certainly look very interesting. 😉

    In all seriousness, I’m not sure that including negative opinions is going to work unless the LibraryThing system is more sophisticated than I think it is. I don’t want the tags to get crazy unwieldy.


    Selection Sunday is here, and our 64 contestants for the live-action TV tourney have been chosen. Now is the time for two March Madness traditions:

    1. Muttering darkly about the judgment of the administrators, and possible conspiracies. (To that end, it was probably a mistake for me to give Duke a Number 1 seed in a TV-show tournament…)
    2. Filling out brackets!

    That’s right: for the first time in File 770 history, you can enter a tournament don’t-call-it-betting pool. Grab a blank tournament bracket off Google Drive, save a copy (very important), fill out your predictions and share the result with me (Google account is on the form).

    THIS IS NOT WHERE YOU VOTE. This is where you predict how your fellow Filers will vote. Think of it as a potential hedge against the disappointment of seeing your own favorites go down in flames.

    There is one grand prize for the winner: a free e-book of Jack O’Lantern Girl by Jenna Moran, paid for by me. (If you win and already have a copy, a) Hooray! and b) We’ll come up with something else.)

    Brackets must be submitted by Monday, 9PM EST.

    Why do we gotta do this, Mister Henley?
    You don’t. Participation is optional.

    Still, we never had brackets like this before.
    That’s not a question.

    Pedant. Fine. WTF with the brackets?
    It has been said: Kyra is the best Kyra. Nobody else can be Kyra. Therefore I am being me.

    How do I fill my brackets out?
    Follow the handy instructions on the form. Ask any questions in this thread if you need further help.

    The scoring seems non-standard. What’s with the Fibonacci progression of the point values by round?
    The tricky business of trying to neither underweight nor overweight picking the final champion.

    Is there a charge for participating in the brackets?
    Nope. Unlike other tournament brackets you might have entered at your office, participation in the File 770 live-action TV-tournament brackets is absolutely free.

    Oh wow that’s great!
    Thank you!

    How come you didn’t complain that that wasn’t a question?
    I think we’re done here.

  28. Dumb question. I filled it out (with occasional editorial comments) but can’t see where to share it to.

    (To make it obvious who it was from, I entitled it “Cassy B’s Copy of File 770’s….”)

  29. @Meredith, honestly, you’re putting so much work into this that I’d be happy with whatever you chose to do. I don’t know that there’s a single good answer.

  30. @Cat Faber, well done!

    @Meredith, put the articles where you please and be damned. We’ll figure it out. You’re working hard enough already. I like the idea of crediting people in a blob at the end. On Retro-Hugos, I kinda don’t mind if there’s only one or two in a category, because many of my categories are only one or two. And after all, a Hugo nomination ballot is still worthy even if you only have one nominee in one category, as long as you’re sincere about it. Person not work, obviously surname.

    @CassyB: My thoughts exactly. “The Library at Mount Char” is Not At All the sort of thing I like, and yet it’s good that I read it. Compelling, with moments of huge beauty in the grimdark. If it had been written in Latin America and then translated to English, the reviewers would be worshiping it. It’s like if Neil Gaiman made you want to commit suicide.

    @Kyra: Mention away! Other Filers may find them fabulous even if you don’t. The more the merrier.

    Having managed in my adult life to entirely avoid spreadsheets, the Bracketology was almost beyond me. Picking what I think will win is less difficult than what I want to win, although it makes me think less of you lot. I think Jim will have gotten my bracket twice, but hey.

    Puppies are the epitome of #masculinitysofragile. And they DID cheat: the rules say you’re supposed to nominate things you personally read/watched. Not stuff a neo-fascist tells you to. Or even stuff an SJW tells you to.

    I am going to re-read Eugie Foster’s story and may be some time. Oh, that was so good, and it would have made the ballot (and probably won) if not for the evil — yes, it’s minor, petty evil, but still — ego of a few butt-hurt overgrown boys. @jayn said it all.

  31. @Meredith
    re: lists

    For people I prefer surnames. Using firsts can be very confusing because there’s more variability.- initials, middle names with first initial, etc. OTOH we’re not talking hundreds of names for each category, so given names are doable.

  32. @Stevie @ IanP

    Second and third rec for Serpent’s Reach. One of my favorite Cherryh books. Her exploration of what a human-alien interface might be with a truly alien intelligence is wonderful. What that interface might do to human culture, what cloning might do to the joint culture, etc. I reread this one a lot (or I used to BF – Before the File!)

  33. @IanP, if you can’t find a copy of Serpent’s Reach, I may have one I can give you. It’s packed away in the crawlspace, but should be reachable. But because it’s packed away in the crawlspace, it might take some time to find it….

  34. I also possess Cuckoo’s Egg, and I commend that one as well; parcelling it with Serpent’s Reach seems to me to be a bit strange, but anything which gets Cherryh’s works out to readers is A Good Thing.

    I also have a fondness for Port Eternity which I think is a rather better fit with Serpents Reach; CJ is probably the only writer capable of combining genetics and Arthurian legend and making it work.

    Hunter of Worlds is another riff on the difficulty of comprehending not simply an alien mindset but the vast power conferred by vast wealth, coupled with the willingness to destroy a planet in order to resolve differences which have nothing to do with that planet. It’s a great deal more cheerful than that sounds, by the way…

  35. I have a question about Hugo nominations in re: dramatic presentation, if those dramatic presentations are stage plays. If I were to nominate a play, would I be nominating the script of the play or a specific production of it? For example, The Tempest is being performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater right now, in a production adapted and directed by Aaron Poser and Teller, of Penn and Teller. Clearly, The Tempest was not written in 2015. But this production is different, and that’s what I would be nominating if it were a movie, so a new Superman is eligible even if Superman has been made into a movie a gazillion times. On the other hand, one would presume that the new Superman would have a different script than the old one(s).

    Would I be nominating a script that happened to get put in front of eyes in play or film form in 2015? Or am I nominating the 2015 production of something, no matter when the script was written?

  36. Then mention I shall, I guess. This is just for the novel category. And I’ve tried to include everything but I’ve likely forgotten some, both that I’ve read and that I’m planning to read.

    Stuff I am currently considering nominating:
    Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
    Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
    Half The World by Joe Abercrombie
    The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones
    Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

    Stuff I liked a lot and might have nominated if I hadn’t already read books I liked even better:
    The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne Valente
    The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
    The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
    The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

    Stuff that was fun to read, but that I didn’t think was a Hugo-level book:
    Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
    A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
    Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
    End of Days by Susan Ee
    Half a War by Joe Abercrombie
    Kitty Saves the World by Carrie Vaughn
    Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn
    The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
    Originator by Joel Shepherd
    Serpentine by Cindy Pon
    Sorceress by Claudia Gray

    Stuff that just didn’t do it for me, for one reason or another:
    The Buried Life by Carrie Patel
    The Chimes by Anna Smaill
    Dearest by Alethia Kontis
    Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
    The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
    The Just City by Jo Walton
    Persona by Genevieve Valentine

    Stuff I am planning to read but haven’t yet, which turned out to be … more books than I thought it was going to be:
    Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
    Beastkeeper by Cat Hellison
    Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    Cold Iron by Stina Leicht
    Contagion: Eyre by Alison Sinclair
    Covenant’s End by Ari Marmell
    Dark Orbit by Carolyn Gilman Ives
    Darkness On His Bones by Barbara Hambly
    Depths of Blue by Lisa MacTague
    Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison
    The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
    The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
    In The Time of the Dragon Moon by Janet Lee Carey
    Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
    Last First Snow by Max Gladstone
    Magisterium: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
    Omega City by Diana Peterfreund
    Radiance by Catherynne Valente
    Railhead by Philip Reeve
    Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier
    The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
    The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    Slade House by David Mitchell
    Speak Easy by Catherynne Valente
    Touch by Claire North
    Ungodly by Kendare Blake
    Updraft by Fran Wilde
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik

  37. Would I be nominating a script that happened to get put in front of eyes in play or film form in 2015? Or am I nominating the 2015 production of something, no matter when the script was written?

    The Nebula Awards have an award for best script. The Hugos have awards for best dramatic presentation. A script is only a part of a dramatic presentation. I am not the authority on this, but I would think it would be the production, not the script. Different productions of the same play, opera, ballet, etc, would be different dramatic presentations. Changing the actors in a run probably does not create a new dramatic presentation.

    Though I wonder, if a production of a Shakespeare play won, who would get the rocket. I don’t think it would work to just leave it by his grave in Westminster Abbey.

  38. (continuation, after time to edit has expired)

    Practically speaking, unless somebody records the production, and makes the recording available to the general public, whether on TV, at the cinema, or on the internet, any particular stage production isn’t seen by enough Hugo voters to have much of a chance.
    Maybe if the production occurs at Worldcon itself.

  39. I wonder, if a production of a Shakespeare play won, who would get the rocket.

    The producers, presumably.

  40. @Kyra

    Of your “stuff not read yet” list, I would recommend The Fifth Season and Uprooted. I thought they were both fantastic. The former is quite dark, however.

    Right now, I ‘m in the middle of Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix. It’s. ..kind of strange. I’ll say more when I’m finished.

  41. The best book about shapeshifting starship-captains with an affinity for fine cheeses and a hedgehog fetish. Sounds intriguing. Any recommendations?

    Ancillary Hedgehog.
    The Shapeshifting Starship Captain Who Shouted “Fromage!” At The Heart Of The World.
    I Have No Hedgehog And I Can Haz Cheeze.
    The Stainless Steel Hedgehog Has A Harsh Mistress, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.
    Unstable Molecules: For Starship Captains Who Shift Shape, And Get Overly Personal With Hedgehogs and Fondu Pots.
    The Trouble With Hedgehogs.
    Time Enough For Hedgehogs.
    NSFW Fun With Your New Hedgehog.
    If You Were A Hedgehog, My Love.
    A Boy And His Hedgehog.
    Return To Hedgehogwarts.
    Teenaged Mutant Radioactive Shapeshifting Cheesy Ninja Hedgehogs.
    Vampire Elf-eared Zombie Shape-Shifting Warriors Of Gor.

  42. You know, this process would go a lot faster if I didn’t keep prowling my bookshelves for multiple copies of CJ Cherryh books which I could post off to people bereft of them: sadly they seem to have disappeared.

    I accept full responsibility for the chaotic nature of my existence, though there is an additional problem vis. lending wonderful books to people seems to spark hitherto unknown traces of larceny in their otherwise pristine souls.

    Also, Daniel, me giggling hysterically on the sofa is not getting this done any faster; I think you should have gone for serial release..

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