Pixel Scroll 11/12/19 You Don’t Bring Me Vacuum Flowers

(1) X FACTOR. LAist interviews comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz: “Abstract Expressionism Gave ’80s X-Men Comics Their Superpowers — And This LA Artist Was The Mastermind”

He evolved his style over several issues of Moon Knight, then started putting it into comic book covers. Marvel offered him the chance to be the artist on X-Men — but he turned it down.

“Because, I told them, I want to do some experimentation. I want to just push and see what’s possible. So I don’t want to take Marvel’s flagship characters and drive them into the ditch,” Sienkiewicz said.

But he found a way in sideways. X-Men writer Chris Claremont came to him and asked if he wanted to work on X-Men spinoff New Mutants, and with more free range, he took the assignment as part of his quest to help change the perception of what comics are.

He used abstract expressionism, doing art that was more about the feeling than about being exactly true to reality. He describes his own work as being drawn well enough to look like what it’s supposed to, but that he’s more interested in what the people and the story feel like.

(2) PLAGIARIZED STORY? Pro-paying short story outlet Daily Science Fiction has published a story apparently plagiarized from another online source. Today’s story “No Time For Guilt Now” [Internet Archive link] credited to Abdullahi Lawal, is a copy of Avra Margariti’s “Ephemera”  [Internet Archive link] which ran in The Arcanist earlier this year. (Wayback Machine links to the respective pages are provided in case either original gets taken down.)

Several readers took notice in comments on DSF’s Facebook page. DSF has yet to respond either there or on its own website.

The Arcanist tweeted this reaction:

Update: Daily Science Fiction’s Jonathan Laden subsequently took down the story and posted this statement: “Apologies”.

A reader (and contributor) let us know that today’s story was evidently plagiarized from another story published by another site on the internet.

Please visit the Arcanist to read Ephemera by Avra Margariti.

We are reaching out to both the Arcanist and to Avra Margariti to make amends for our error in accepting this story as original by another writer.

(3) BEST FOOT FORWARD. SYFY Wire assesses “The best shoes in genre movies”. This is the kind of investigative reporting we need more!

Aliens (1986)

Sometimes a movie taps up a brand to design a shoe for a specific outfit and scene, which is how Reebok came to birth the Alien Stomper. A basic model of a basketball shoe provided the foundation for the sneaker that was worn by those operating the yellow Power Loader. A close-up reveals the Reebok logo in a moment of product placement. The sneaker saves Ripley in the climatic airlock sequence; which informed how the shoe was constructed, as designer Tuan Le explains — it needed to slip off with ease. On the 40th anniversary of Aliens, Reebok released a limited run of this iconic model.

(4) ASF IS CENTERPIECE OF SYMPOSIUM. “The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium: An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact” takes place December 12 from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. at the New York City College of Technology, 285 Jay St., A105, Brooklyn, NY 11201. In addition to participants from academe are Analog veterans Stanley Schmidt, Trevor Quachri, Emily Hockaday and others from sff.

The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium celebrates “An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.” Bringing together SF writers, scholars, and fans, the conversations today will reflect on the past, comment on the present, and contemplate the future of Analog SF. Linked to these discussions is the role of SF in a college of technology that recognizes the importance of the genre through its Science Fiction class and support for the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, an archival holding of over 600-linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and scholarship. Together, we will explore these connections.

(5) UNEXPECTED CONNECTION. [Item by Rob Thornton.] Ursula K. Le Guin is the only science fiction author that is discussed in Harold Bloom’s last book,The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Pynchon, which is a collection of essays about significant authors in America. According to Max Rubin, president and publisher of the Library of America, Le Guin and Bloom knew each other. “He “lived and breathed literature”—Library of America remembers Harold Bloom, 1930–2019”.

“Poetry…was always more important to Bloom than prose. Later in life he came to a real appreciation for the poetry of Ursula K. Le Guin and enjoyed a friendship with her via email.”

(6) THE FUTURE IS NOW. BBC’s David Barnett says it’s time to ask, “Are we living in  Blade Runner world?”.

…This may sound far-flung from our own reality, but as the opening credits tell us, the film is set in Los Angeles, November 2019. In that sense, Blade Runner is no longer science fiction. It’s a contemporary thriller. The question is: in the 37 years between Blade Runner’s release and its setting – our present – how close have we come to the future presented in the movie?

…However, beyond particular components, Blade Runner arguably gets something much more fundamental right, which is the world’s socio-political outlook in 2019 – and that isn’t particularly welcome, according to Michi Trota, who is a media critic and the non-fiction editor of the science-fiction periodical, Uncanny Magazine.

“It’s disappointing, to say the least, that what Blade Runner ‘predicted’ accurately is a dystopian landscape shaped by corporate influence and interests, mass industrialisation’s detrimental effect on the environment, the police state, and the whims of the rich and powerful resulting in chaos and violence, suffered by the socially marginalised.”

In the movie the replicants have a fail-safe programmed into them – a lifespan of just four years – to prevent a further revolution. Trota believes there is “something prescient in the replicants’ frustration and rage at their shortened lifespans, resulting from corporate greed and indifference, that’s echoed in the current state of US healthcare and globalised exploitation of workers.” She adds: “I’d have vastly preferred the flying cars instead.”

(7) JOIN SLF. The Speculative Literature Foundation has launched a fundraiser for its operating needs, a reading series, and a major project —  

THE PORTOLAN PROJECT. We’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal for 2020 — to develop the Portolan Project, an open-source creative writing resource — sort of a Khan Academy for fiction.

We’ve begun interviewing masters of the field (including so far George R.R. Martin, Nalo Hopkinson, Kate Elliott), on aspects of craft. We’re building out a free website to host those interviews, along with syllabi, lesson plans, individual lectures and assignments on aspects of craft (plot and structure, language and style, setting and world building, etc.), the writing business, and the writers’ life.

We’re also interviewing emerging writers from across the planet, developing a better understanding of the international speculative fiction landscape, and the challenges and opportunities for writers in both independent and traditional publishing. We have academics helping us build a searchable database of speculative literature, to make it much easier to find stories that are relevant to you and your own work.

SLF Director Mary Anne Mohanraj encourages people to become dues-paying members and to volunteer.


  • November 12, 1995 — The rebooted Invaders premiered on Fox.  Directed by Paul Shapiro, it starred Scott Bakula, Elizabeth Peña, DeLane Matthews, Richard Thomas and Terence Knox. Invaders Roy Thinnes very briefly appeared as David Vincent. The two ninety minute episodes were intended as a pilot for a series that never happened. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 12, 1917 Dahlov Ipcar. Though primarily an artist and you really should go visit her website, she wrote three amazing young adult novels between 1969 and 1978 which are The Warlock of Night, The Queen of Spells and A Dark Horn Blowing. She lived but thirty miles north of here and I was privileged to meet her a few times. Lovely lady! (Died 2017.)
  • Born November 12, 1922 Kim Hunter. She portrayed the chimpanzee Zira in the Planet of the Apes films For the first three outings. Her first genre role was also her first film role, as Mary Gibson in the early Forties movie The Seventh Victim. She’s June in A Matter of Life and Death, and Amanda Hollins in The Kindred. She has one-offs on Project U.F.O.Night GalleryMission Impossible and even appeared on The Evil Touch, an Australian horror anthology series. (Died 2002.)
  • Born November 12, 1929 Michael Ende. German author best known for The Neverending Story which is far better than the film.  Momo, or the strange story of the time-thieves is a charming if strange novel worth your time.   The rest of his children’s literature has been translated from German into English mostly by small specialist presses down the years. Unlike The Neverending Story and Momo, which I’ve encountered, I’ve not read any of these. (Died 1995.)
  • Born November 12, 1943 Julie Ege. A Bond Girl On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as Helen, the Scandinavian girl. She also appeared in Hammer ‘s Creatures the World Forgot and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. And in The Mutations which got released under the alternative title of The Freakmaker. She had a role in De Dwaze Lotgevallen Von Sherlock Jones which got dubbed into English as The Crazy Adventures of Sherlock Jones. (Died 2008.)
  • Born November 12, 1943 Wallace Shawn, 76. Probably best remembered as the Ferengi Grand Nagus Zek on Deep Space Nine, a role he only played seven times. He was also Vizzini in the beloved Princess Bride, and he played Dr. Elliott Coleye in the My Favorite Martian film.
  • Born November 12, 1945 Michael Bishop, 74. David Pringle included his Who Made Stevie Crye? novel in Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels, An English-Language Selection, 1946-1987, high praise indeed. Though slightly dated feeling now, I’m fond of his Urban Nucleus of Atlanta series. And Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas is simply amazing.
  • Born November 12, 1952 Max Grodénchik, 67. He’s best known for his role as Rom, a recurring character on Deep Space Nine. He has a long genre history with appearances in The Rocketeer, Here Come The MunstersRumpelstiltskin, Star Trek: Insurrection (scenes as a Trill were deleted alas), Tales from The Crypt, SlidersWienerlandThe Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Bruce Almighty.
  • Born November 12, 1982 Anne Hathaway, 37. She starred as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in The Dark Knight trilogy. More impressive she was The White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass, and she was Agent 99 in the remake of Get Smart! No, not as good as the original but fun none-the-less.

(10) EUPHEMISMS FOR DOLLARS. The Publishers Lunch news service shared an intriguing bit of intelligence with potential contributors.

The Key

A handy key to our Lunch deal categories. While all reports are always welcome, those that include a category will generally receive a higher listing when it comes time to put them all together.

“nice deal”: $1 – $49,000
“very nice deal”: $50,000 – $99,000
“good deal”: $100,000 – $250,000
“significant deal”: $251,000 – $499,000
“major deal”: $500,000 and up

(11) READY FOR TAKEOFF. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum gives you a video ride-along: “Douglas DC-3 Moved to Udvar-Hazy Center”.

One of our collections staff takes you through the process of lowering, disassembling, and transporting large artifacts like the Douglas DC-3. These artifact moves are part of the multi-year renovation project at the National Air and Space Museum in DC to transform the museum from the inside out.

(12) DEALING WITH MOLD. Cnet says the Discovery Season 2 Blu-Ray gives fans an earful: “Star Trek: Discovery exclusive clip shows Vulcan-ear options”.

The clip shows two different Vulcan-ear options for actor James Frain in his role as Spock’s father, Sarek. We also get a look at how Kelpien faces are made.   

The clip comes from Creature Comforts: Season Two, a behind-the-scenes feature that takes fans into the design process behind the characters, from make-up to making molds. It includes a one-on-one discussion with makeup artist James McKinnon and Mary Chieffo (L’Rell).

(13) HEDGEHOG MAKEOVER. The Hollywood Reporter introduces “New ‘Sonic’ Trailer Sees Redesigned Character With Bigger Eyes, Less Teeth”.

The film’s original trailer dropped in April, and led to a deluge of mockery and fan backlash on social media for the way Sonic looked. The reaction was so negative it led to the film’s director Jeff Fowler announcing that his team would rethink Sonic’s design, all of which led to a three-month delay to the release date. 

(14) TRAILER TIME. Pixar In Real Life is a hidden-camera show on Disney+ that watches what happens when people meet live versions of Pixar animated characters on the street.

(15) AGE, SOCIAL MEDIA, BROKEN FRIENDSHIPS. Laura Lippman confesses she “is bummed by the ways in which friendships end as one gets older” in “The Art of Losing Friends and Alienating People” at Longreads.

…As a friend, I frequently break the first rule of fiction: I’m all tell, no show. I’m not going to remember your kid’s birthday, or even yours, despite Facebook’s helpful nudges. When you’re in a crisis, I won’t know the right questions to ask. I blame my Southern parents for placing so many topics in the forbidden zone. I grew up being told it was rude to discuss age, income, health, feelings. I often think that’s why I became a reporter.

I have a list in my head of all the friends I let down. It’s not long, but it’s longer than I’d like, and it’s probably longer than I know. Most of those friends have forgiven me, but I never lose sight of my failures. It’s like a stain on a busily-patterned rug; once you know where to look, your eye goes there every time. I know where to look. I am aware of my misdeeds. Every friend who has ever called me out on being a bad friend had me dead to rights.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe” on Vimeo is a surreal film about a rationalist scientist who discovers religion in a surreal manner.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, JJ, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Edmund Schluessel, Rob Thornton, Andrew, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

43 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/12/19 You Don’t Bring Me Vacuum Flowers

  1. (2) Wow. I read that story on DSF today (and didn’t recognize the plagiarism). Hope DSF fixes this quickly.

  2. 1) I remember Sienkiewicz was handling the art when I started getting New Mutants. It did take some getting used to, but I grew to really, really like it.

    Reading update: I’m about 1/4 of the way into Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea and am really enjoying it — a very worthy follow-up to The Night Circus, than which it is a very different book but with some of the same sort of magic.

  3. When Sienkiewicz was announced as New Mutants artist I was horrified because he was so weird, and got inner that horror in about three pages.

  4. I started to read Sienkiewicz in Moon Knight and at the time, he was one of my favourite artitsts. His style was perfect for the comic. I wasn’t as fond of his work on New Mutants, but I loved it again in Daredevil.

  5. Neil Clarke just asked this on Twitter, and damned if I’m not furiously curious now:

    And while I’m thinking of Logan’s Run, does anyone know what happened with the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo in 1977? They no awarded a ballot that included Logan’s Run, Carrie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Futureworld. Has to be a story behind that decision.

    …anybody know?

  6. @ Cat Eldridge

    Bishop wrote more than one novel about the Urban Nucleus of Atlanta? Wow! I thought Catacomb Years (which I enjoyed immensely) was the only one of its kind. Good news indeed!

  7. @Standback: I’ve heard that everyone was so impressed by Star Wars that the previous year’s contenders just seemed unworthy. There also were people who were against the whole category, I think, at that time.

  8. Rob Thornton says Bishop wrote more than one novel about the Urban Nucleus of Atlanta? Wow! I thought Catacomb Years (which I enjoyed immensely) was the only one of its kind. Good news indeed!

    Yeah there’s two with one being the fix up novel of Catacomb Years and the other being A Little Knowledge. The City and the Cygnets: An Alternative History of the Atlanta Urban Nucleus in the 21st Century is not a novel but a collection of stories with connecting material but it came out in August of this year so it should be considered an authoritative history. Kindle has it available, Apple Books does not.

  9. I thought Catacomb Years (which I enjoyed immensely) was the only one of its kind.

    A Little Knowledge is the other one. The two books have recently been republished together in revised form as The City and the Cygnets.

    There’s also Under Heaven’s Bridge, co-written with Ian Watson, which takes place on the planet of the aliens from the series.

  10. James Moar notes A Little Knowledge is the other one. The two books have recently been republished together in revised form as The City and the Cygnets.

    Ahhh that’s what it is. Actiually I downloaded it and it contains all seven stories in the series as well! Bliss!

  11. @Standback: why does Clarke think that ballot had worthy candidates? Logan’s Run was ridiculous and widely derided (“The SF Boom Starts with a Bomb” — Cinefantastique), Carrie dropped much of the book’s stfnal justification for raw gore, and from what I read at the time Westworld was mindless adventure that might have been worthy before OST, and The Man Who Fell to Earth was … overimpressed with itself. (I saw the first two, hence the indirect comments on the others.) OTOH, @Andrew is probably correct that having Star Wars out almost three months before the ballot deadline (i.e., before most people would have voted) left voters wondering why they should reward second-rate material. Today SWIV seems antique in many ways, but it was so much better than anything else at using the resources it had (starting with a shot that conveyed scale better than any previous, even the bone-into-spacestation in 2001) that it shaded the eligible works. Contra @Andrew, I don’t remember any discussion at the time that the category itself was faulty; I wouldn’t even argue that it was a uniquely weak year — just a year in which the weakness was uniquely shown up. (If you wish, imagine me stamping cane and waving foot at Clarke’s youthful non-knowledge of what his elders didn’t have — although he’s not exactly young.)

    @9: this morning’s paper had a discussion of why new Democratic presidential candidates (Bloomberg) and possible candidates (Patrick) are appearing; the story made the mistake of using the word “clearly” in discussing the vulnerabilities of each of the current front-runners, and my immediate thought was “Clearly, I cannot choose the candidate in front of me!”. I suspect that Shawn will be remembered for that small role long after all non-fanatics have forgotten his Ferengi appearances.

  12. Correction: Kelly Robson in her Intro to The City and The Cygnets says it only includes one novel, A Little Knowledge. It appears that Catacomb Years is not being counted as a novel, but as a collection of stories.

  13. Standback:

    And while I’m thinking of Logan’s Run, does anyone know what happened with the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo in 1977? They no awarded a ballot that included Logan’s Run, Carrie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Futureworld. Has to be a story behind that decision.

    …anybody know?

    Despite the narrative, I never heard or read anybody at the time saying “Star Wars is so good, how can I vote for one of the eligible movies” and I know that wasn’t my analysis. In my opinion, what went down is that Hugo voters wouldn’t give the award to a horror movie, which left out Carrie. Futureworld was a weak sequel to another movie that didn’t win, The Man Who Fell to Earth was a David Bowie vehicle with a somewhat absurd storyline, and I saw a number of fans didn’t like Logan’s Run very much either. It’s important to keep in mind that Best Dramatic Presentation had already had a “No Award” outcome three times before 1977, and the Worldcon membership of 1977 included plenty of fans who had been around when those decisions were registered. The old biases were still in play. I don’t think people’s admiration for Star Wars was an important as that.

  14. (5)

    Ursula K. Le Guin is the only science fiction author that is discussed in Harold Bloom’s last book,The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Pynchon…

    Odd that Pynchon wouldn’t be discussed in that book.

  15. I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth before I read the book — and I, for one, was very impressed by it.

  16. We were very active moviegoers in the 1970s and made a point of seeing anything SF that wasn’t obvious schlock (though we did watch–and mock–Night of the Lepus on TV), including all those Hugo nominees except Futureworld. (We’d seen Westworld, which I thought routine but entertaining.) I recall that we found Logan’s Run silly (despite the presence of a decent cast and the cute irony of shooting it in a shopping mall) and The Man Who Fell to Earth a bit pretentious (despite rather liking Performance and being really impressed by Don’t Look Now).

    On the other hand, the next year we were knocked out by Star Wars despite its obvious pulp roots–or, in my case**, precisely because of the way that pulp space opera was turned into immersive movie-making. Lucas got the appeal of cheesy SF, but Roeg, somehow, didn’t.

    And FWIW, I didn’t care for the Logan’s Run, the novel, either, so the movie would have had a lot to overcome. Star Wars, on the other hand, was an obvious mashup of all kinds of movie and pulp-magazine tropes and images but pulled off with such ingenuity and affection that it didn’t need the gravitas of 2001 or the arty approach that some folks need to cover up the weakness of the SF underpinnings of the story.

    ** My wife is not that fond of pulp. I, on the other hand, can still watch, say, Flash Gordon with some pleasure. Can’t read the old magazines any more, but there’s something about bargain-basement SFX and poverty-row acting companies that charms in ways that bad prose doesn’t.

  17. I think it’s that the contenders just weren’t that good. Logan’s Run managed to take an interesting premise and render it ponderous (admittedly that was pretty much the point of 60s and 70s SF cinema) , and FutureWorld just was pretty awful in every respect. Carrie was a so-so horror movie. I’ve never seen The Man Who Fell to Earth…mainly because I read the synopsis.

    FWIW, I don’t think one can really say that Star Wars (though it was decried by some SF writers like Ellison), was really less intelligent than other contenders such as Logan’s Run. Granted it’s very much old Golden Age Pulp which gleefully ignored physics. But the main difference from its predecessors outside of incredible cinematography is that Star Wars wasn’t “Adult”. I.e. it wasn’t a tedious vehicle for showing an incredibly cynical and depressing view of the future and humanity. No wonder Ellison hated it, given his “A Dog and His Boy” won the Hugo two years previously.

    Star Wars was a game changer for SF cinematography and storytelling, as shown by the films that won afterwards. It would be 22 years before something even remotely close to the misanthropic cynicism of ADaHB win a Hugo. Maybe not until 2008 with Pan’s Labyrinth. It’s no wonder Ellison was pissed; the era of SF “Slit your wrists before the grim meathook future arrives” movies was pretty much over. And what of his work then?

  18. Rose Embolism: FutureWorld just was pretty awful in every respect

    Nah, the ending scene was pretty kickass — so much so that I still remember it many years after seeing the movie on late-night television. 😀

  19. I’m always confused by the fact that the movie The Seventh Victim is not the one based on Robert Sheckley’s short story “Seventh Victim”. That movie is called The Tenth Victim

    I liked The Man Who Fell to Earth, though I admit that “overimpressed with itself” is a fair assessment. It’s also not the sort of thing I would have expected the typical Hugo voter of the era to have appreciated, so I’m certainly not surprised by its failure to win.

  20. Star Wars‘ effectiveness was helped enormously by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra. The double LP was a huge seller on its own (and the single “Main Title”/”Cantina Band,” which I practically wore out a copy of in 1977, sold well too).

    FutureWorld featured Blythe Danner, so I tend to cut it some slack.

  21. 1977 is a few years before I was paying attention to fandom or the Hugos, but I suspect that people voted for “no award” because they didn’t think any of the nominees deserved a Hugo.

    Or, possibly, a bunch of people thought that, plus some who voted “no award” because if someone thinks the category shouldn’t exist, they might well conclude “therefore no Hugo should be given in this category” and vote accordingly.

  22. I like both Carrie and Logan’s Run and I liked Futureworld, when I first saw it, though I haven’t seen it in years now. Yes, Logan’s Run and Futureworld are both typical early to mid 1970s dystopian SF movies, but they’re better than many others from the same era and even have a happy ending of sorts.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen The Man Who fell to Earth. Someone at the local TV and radio broadcaster really, really hated David Bowie to the point that they boycotted pretty much everything he did for decades. They only started playing David Bowie again on the radio, when that person had either retired or died. And since that broadcaster operated the TV station which showed older SF movies in late night slots (that’s where I first saw Logan’s Run and Futureworld), The Man Who Fell to Earth would have been hit by the Bowie boycott.

    Anyway, if I had been a Hugo voter in 1977, my best dramatic presentation ballot would have looked as follows:

    Logan’s Run
    The Man Who Fell to Earth

  23. Vicki Rosenzweig: …plus some who voted “no award” because if someone thinks the category shouldn’t exist…

    There’s no doubt some of the No Award votes came from that motive. Just as the fan categories have always been a target of people who feel the same about them.

  24. @Vicki Rosenzweig: That is, mostly likely, the mundane and very accurate answer. But I believe there is a chance that No Award could win even if everyone thought at least one candidate deserved to win. As a final step, after the normal rounds of elimination determine a potential winner, the candidate is then compared head-to-head against No Award, ignoring everything else on all ballots.

    (Apologies to anyone who already knew this–I just learned about it recently, and thought it was interesting. Though I doubt it’s ever affected the actual first-place ranking.)

  25. @Xtifr: I don’t suppose the Hugo voting tally for 1977 is available anywhere (I didn’t find anything in a few minutes of Googling).

  26. Andrew: @Xtifr: I don’t suppose the Hugo voting tally for 1977 is available anywhere (I didn’t find anything in a few minutes of Googling).

    George Flynn and I got the rules changed in 1978 (and ratified the next year) to release the voting statistics. Before then, the numbers weren’t released. (Although there are a couple of instances where they have been discovered later, like 1964.)

    However, the ranking of the 1977 BDP finalists was published. No Award came in first, Carrie came in second, etc.

  27. @gottacook: oh yes. 2001 had symphonic music, but it was all pre-existing; Williams’s original music, using the full range of a symphony orchestra, was a significant part of the experience — especially continuing all the motifs into the end credits, decades before people stayed for credits because they expected bonuses.

    @OGH: the fact that Carrie came in 2nd kind of undercuts your argument that fans wouldn’t vote for a horror film (and IIRC it was entirely a horror film, with none of the classic justifications for a poltergeist). I also didn’t hear anybody saying “I won’t vote for this lot because there’s something so much better for next year” (but back then even NESFA didn’t do Hugo discussions); however, I suspect that the existence of SW made voting No Award easier. Of course, we’ll never find out the truth from this distance — unless you’ve been keeping the time machine from “The Men Who Corflued Mohammed” in storage….

  28. Chip Hitchcock: @OGH: the fact that Carrie came in 2nd kind of undercuts your argument that fans wouldn’t vote for a horror film

    I see your point, but isn’t the question why No Award won, not whether any Hugo voters at all would back Carrie?

  29. Reading Neil Clarke’s query about the 1977 Best Dramatic Presentation No Award makes me feel very old.

    I was an active movie-goer and a reasonably active SF fan in that year; I saw both LOGAN’S RUN and THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH in theaters. My recollection aligns with @OGH Mike’s above: fans, in general, felt CARRIE wasn’t science fictional, by 1976 standards, and the other nominees weren’t very good films.

    I’ll repeat my story about THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH: As we exited the theater, an usher was handing out flyers to explain the story we had just seen.

  30. Addendum: Hard to imagine now, when superhero, fantasy and SF films and TV shows dominate pop culture, and most of them are at least competently done. But between “2001” and STAR WARS, the bulk of genre movies were pretty bad. There was a winner or two — I have an abiding fondness for SILENT RUNNING — but usually in that decade I would go to genre films out of a sense of obligation, and the movie would live down to my expectations.

  31. @OGH: true enough (re the original question); I doubt we’ll ever really know, but it makes for fascinating discussions. I’m remembering the incredible lines to see SWIV and guessing a lot of people thought “None of these are good enough!” — enough to overwhelm purists (such as George Flynn) who argued that the award is for the best of the year rather than some abstract level of quality. (I wouldn’t wish the hoo-hah on anyone, but I would have been fascinated to hear his take on 2015.) OTOH, I couldn’t even swear to my own feelings from that long ago, especially given all that was going in my life then.

    @Ken Josenhans: that’s about my reaction; ISTM there’s a reason why DP was the only NA’d category before the Puppies pooed all over the Hugos. Personally I didn’t think much of Silent Running — among other things, the {,heart}string-pulling was too blatant — and still like Young Frankenstein, but there certainly wasn’t much there there.

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