Pixel Scroll 1/8/16 Live Long and Phosphor

(1) THEATER OF BOOM. Not just the popcorn, but the whole theater — “One Plus Partnership’s cinema interior resembles the aftermath of an explosion”.

One Plus Partnership‘s Exploded cinema in Wuhan, China, won the Civic, Culture and Transport category at Inside Festival 2015.

The Hong Kong-based interior design firm arranged angular blocks in different sizes and materials to create the impression that a huge explosion had taken place in the space.

…Lung says that the idea was to create a space that feels like it could be from a science-fiction film.


(2) THE BOMBS OF OTHER DAYS. The “10 Least Successful Science Fiction TV Spinoffs” at ScreenRant. Number 10 is one I’ve never even heard of before –

The sci-fi series Total Recall 2070 was Canadian-German co-production that, in theory, sounded wildly ambitious. It drew inspiration from not just one, but two of the most successful Philip K. Dick movie adaptations. Similar to Paul Verhoeven’s darkly humorous blockbuster Total Recall, the story revolved around modified memories and took place on a futuristic version of Earth as well as the newly-colonized Mars. But Total Recall 2070 also followed policemen hunting renegade androids in a neo-noir megalopolis akin to the one in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Philip K. Dick wasn’t mentioned in the show’s credits though, as the series barely resembled original stories these movies were based on.

Total Recall 2070 premiered on Canadian TV channel CHCH in January of 1999. It also aired on Showtime, where network executives toned down show’s violence, nudity and strong language considerably for an American audience. Total Recall 2070 aired for one 22-episode season before being canceled.

Unlike most of these other bombs, both characters in the #1 worst show have rebounded from failure and are currently quite popular.

(3) RELEASE THE PRISONER MOVIE! Ridley Scott is in negotiations to direct The Prisoner reports Deadline Hollywood.

I hear that Scott is in early negotiations on a deal to come aboard and direct The Prisoner, the screen version of the 1968 Patrick McGoohan British TV series. This has been a plum project at Universal for some time with numerous A-list scribes including Christopher McQuarrie writing drafts. The most recent version was by The Departed scribe William Monahan. The film is being produced by Bluegrass Films Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark. Scott’s Scott Free team will likely become part of it as they get the script that makes the director happy.

(4) BBC HAS A CLUE. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency has been ordered to series at BBC America. The Hollywood Reporter has the news.

BBC America is getting its graphic novel on.

Drama Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency has been picked up straight to series with an eight-episode order, the cable network announced Friday ahead of its time at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

Based on Douglas Adams’ graphic novels first published in 1987, the story centers on the titular holistic detective who investigates cases involving the supernatural. Chronicle‘s Max Landis will pen the series, which is a co-production between AMC Studios, Ideate Media and comics powerhouse IDW Entertainment as well as Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead).

(5) BRUCE SHIPPED TO MUSEUM. The shark from Jaws has a date with destiny as a museum exhibit.

Bruce the shark, the famous seafaring predator from Jaws, has found a new home at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ museum.

The Academy announced Thursday that a full-scale model of the shark, the last surviving one from the 1975 movie, has been donated to the museum by Nathan Adlen. During filming of Jaws, director Steven Spielberg nicknamed the shark Bruce after his lawyer Bruce Ramer.

The Fiberglas model is the fourth and final version made from the original mold. Created for display at the Universal Studios Hollywood at the time of the film’s release, the prop remained a popular backdrop for photos until 1990, when it was moved to the yard of Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, a firm in Sun Valley, Calif., that regularly bought or hauled used vehicles from Universal Studios. With the business slated to close this month, owner Nathan Adlen is giving the historic prop to the Academy Museum, which is set to open in 2018.

(6) IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR. Jo Lindsay Walton’s “My favorite looks back at 2015 of 2015” is a compilation of links to around 30 different writers’ year-end posts.

Come home 2015, you’re drunk. Please come home. We need you. We need you.


Mathews, of course, was the star of two Ray Harryhausen fantasy movies,The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Gulliver’s Travels, as well as the similarly-themed Jack the Giant Killer (the latter, one of my all-time favorite fantasy films, in fact!).

Mathews was a classic leading man, who had the unusual ability — still too easily overlooked when contemplating actors — to be believable in the wildest of celluloid special effects situations.


It’s a boy! It’s a Roy! For Blade Runner fans, 8 January 2016 is a date of major significance. It’s the “day of activation” for Roy Batty, one of the most charismatic and significant characters in this landmark movie. He’s a replicant, or android – and, although he might not be flesh and blood, he certainly makes us think about what it is to be human. He’s arguably the heart and soul of the movie, even more than its putative hero, played by Harrison Ford

Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, is one of the most influential films of the 1980s, a philosophical science fiction-action work set in the near future that’s steeped in a sense of the past, a reflection on memory, identity, emotion, creation and invention that takes place in a dazzling yet downbeat neo-noir urban landscape. Loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, its events begin to unfold in November 2019, in a world in which highly realistic androids, known as replicants, have been built by a company called the Tyrell Corporation.

Batty (brilliantly played by Rutger Hauer) is a replicant from the Nexus-6 class, and he’s looking for answers to questions about his own past and future: how he was made, and how he can prolong his life and that of his  Nexus-6 comrades. Ford plays a character called Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter. His job is to hunt down and kill replicants, who are illegal on Earth.


  • Born January 8, 2007 The Book Smugglers. And they know how to celebrate – by publishing a book!

…And a brand new anthology: Tales of First Contact collects the five short stories from our First Contact series and is available now from your retailer of choice. Or you know, via a review copy – all you have to do is ask. We are also happy to offer giveaway copies – just let us know.



(10) A REVIEW FOR MILLENNIALS. Austin Walker at Giant Bomb interprets The Force Awakens for his particular generation — “Off the Clock: Space Opera Millennials and Their Grand Narratives”. BEWARE SPOILERS.

Like most of us in our own lives, each of these characters has a limited understanding of the universe, and especially of the past. What do other worlds look like? What was “the Galactic Empire” really? Is the Force real, and if so how does it work? Nowhere is this difference in understanding illustrated better than in how these characters view Han Solo: For Ren, he’s an uncaring father, for Finn, he’s a brilliant war hero, and for Rey he’s a legendary smuggler. Each finds their understanding challenged by a more complicated truth: Han was an absent dad because he cared so much; the great Rebellion war hero is a scoundrel without a plan…

(11) DS9 +1. Maxistentialism makes the argument in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine In 82.5 Hours” that it is the best series in the franchise.

But some time between fifth grade and now, I’ve come to recognize that while Star Trek: The Next Generation holds a special place in my heart, it is not the best incarnation of Star Trek. That title belongs to what writer Ronald D. Moore called Next Generation’s “bastard stepchild,” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Deep Space Nine is a remarkable show. It is unfairly overlooked as one of the foundational programs (like Buffy, The Sopranos, and Hill Street Blues) of our current golden age of television. DS9 introduced long, serialized stories about morally ambiguous characters to network television ten years before Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones.

(12) DEL TORO. Guillermo del Toro is in talks to take over the Fantastic Voyage remake.

John King Tarpinian has little to say about the remake, but he remembers the year the original version came out:

When the original movie was in theaters my parents decided that summer vacation would be on Catalina Island.  Being parents they decided the best place for a kid to be on the island was inland at a resort with a pool so he could go swimming…but I digress.  One of the guests at the hotel was a Mr. Goff, who was some sort of designer of the sets.  The thing I remember that impressed my parent was he also worked on an old black and white movie, Casablanca.

(13) LEVERAGING YOUR WORK. Luna Lindsey at the SFWA Blog has an impressive, multilayered strategy for “Tackling the Dreaded Bio” – a writing chore that’s not as simple as it looks.

 What a Bio Accomplishes

Bios seem like such a chore, perhaps because we think of them as an obnoxious necessity rather than an opportunity. As writers, we also tend to dislike telling our own stories. And that’s exactly what a bio does.

When a reader bothers to check the bio, it’s because your story (or blog post, or appearance on a panel) has captured their interest. They want to know more and that’s awesome! A catchy bio will help them remember you, and they may even be inspired to seek out your other creations. That’s exactly what you want. Your bio will propel them into your other worlds. So make it good!

(14) AGAIN AND AGAIN. A Radio Times video identifies “18 actors who have travelled between the universes of Harry Potter and Doctor Who.”(This was posted a year ago. Have there been any more crossovers since then?)

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Alan Baumler, James H. Burns, and Will R. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

163 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/8/16 Live Long and Phosphor

  1. Just saw the video of the purples and greens Soon Lee linked too. It was hilarious! \o/

  2. Bruce Baugh on January 9, 2016 at 7:33 pm said:
    I loved Quark too. Tip: don’t rewatch it. The suck fairy’s been at it in a major way. Stick to memory.

    I suspected as much when I looked it up online to check its broadcast dates. Ohhh dear, those pictures.

    It looks like whatever is in my head canon, “Quark” was thoroughly a product of the mid-1970s, something of a cultural nadir in TV.

  3. I remember “When Things Were Rotten” Heck, I can still sing part of the theme song, and that was, what, almost forty years ago…?

    <edit> 1975. Forty-one years ago.

  4. @Kendall,

    Oh, I’m still reading for pleasure & buying books & readings the sorts of stuff I enjoy. It’s just that after last year (and what this year seems to be building towards), and given I *can* nominate this year, I feel an added responsibility to do so.

  5. They may be used by gamergate, but weren’t those the two colors of the rival religious sects on Babylon 5 when Ivanova had to resolve the conflict between them?

    Remember the B5 Mantra: Ivanova is always right. I will listen to Ivanova. I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations. Ivanova is God.

  6. @Cassy B:

    “Once upon a time when things were rotten,
    Not just food but also kings were rotten …”

  7. I really liked the first episode of Quark, with Hans Conried as the voice of The Source. “You didn’t trust me!” None of the others lived up to it, though.

    I guess “My Living Doll” was sort of SF too, and maybe as forgotten as those on the list. (Part of a boom of fantasy and SF troped sitcoms that would include “My Favorite Martian,” “Bewitched,” “It’s About Time,” and “My Mother, The Car.” And “Topper.”)

  8. Tip: don’t rewatch it. The suck fairy’s been at it in a major way. Stick to memory

    Thanks for the tip. Note to self: Do not rewatch Quark.

    For most of the past three decades, my SFF reading has tended to shorter work. It’s not that I don’t read novels, because I do, but they tend to not be SFF. Because I can and will nominate this year, I’ve been reading a lot more longer work.

    I do think of it as homework, but even when I haven’t really enjoyed what I’ve read, I’ve not found it onerous. It does feel like a responsibility, though, and one I take seriously.

  9. Peace,

    Quark was not bad!

    Well it probably was, but I was watching it when I was ~11 and had no taste.

    I remember the twins and Ficus the plant person(the Spock equivalent). Poor Quark was so put apon.

  10. Just saw the video of the purples and greens Soon Lee linked too. It was hilarious.

    Ivonova stories were always my favourite filler bit of B5. She snarks the military, gets exasperated by the civilians and aliens, and is always fun to watch.

  11. @Peace
    Yes. Even in 1964, I could tell that she was notable. I think all I saw was an episode, or part of an episode. My impression was that we were at my uncle’s house (he had a TV) and I saw that and perhaps the first episode of “Bewitched” the same evening. Not ambitious enough to do a search to debunk my memories tonight, though.

    ETA: I’m watching part of an episode now, on YouTube. The audience really seems to enjoy it. They’re robots too.

  12. Hugo reading: I’m more conscious of the reading choices I’ve been making in a different way then the last few years now that I’m nominating. Over the last few years I’ve been trying to read more non-cis, non-white, non-able bodied, non-USA/Eurocentric work. This year I added to that more new releases and more non-novel reading. At times I have to consciously remind myself that it’s ok to read old comfort reads or stuff I know I won’t nominate because it’s part of a long running series.

    It’s not so much homework, but as someone upthread said, responsibility. It’s also being part of file770 and so many good recommendations as well as frequent links to Hugo eligible works.

    I think 2016 will be easier for a few reasons:
    1. I’ve got a year of experience
    2. I’m starting in January rather than partway through the year
    3. I’m getting more comfortable rotating new release, older stuff I want to read, comfort read
    4. I’m getting a better at tracking paper books on Goodreads, keeping a Hugo list with notes & making notes in kindle books so I can easily go back and look at what I liked

    I expect each year gets easier as the habits form.

  13. @Tasha: “I expect each year gets easier as the habits form.”

    That’s what the nuns tell me.

  14. Ivanova would destroy your average GG dork with a single glare. Or failing that, she could kill them with her bare hands.

    I rewatched Quark in the… 90’s? and it was not good. Particularly with the twins and the half male half female character. However, I also watched When Things Were Rotten (and sang the song) and it holds up better.

    I’m definitely reading more SFF this year, but I haven’t cut back on the mystery and non-fiction. I guess I’m reading less romance? And I’m watching less generic TV, so that’s good. Unless it’s SFF TV, which also works for nominating! I’m reading a lot of new SFF as opposed to catching up with older stuff. I figure I’ll have a good start so I’ll (hopefully) have time to read more old stuff after the nominations come out. It would be really keen if all the nominations were of things I’ve read. 🙂

  15. @Soon Lee: I hear ya – and good (the still reading the sorts of stuff you enjoy)! Despite my cavalier words, I get frustrated with myself for my generally low interest in short fiction (but I have a few things to nominate!) and my slow reading (argh!).

    @Cheryl S.: If you find something not enjoyable, do you stop? I know some people feel like they should finish a work regardless; I don’t like giving up on something, so I tell myself I’ll get back to it. It’s possible I’m not always 100% honest with myself about this. 😉

    @Tasha Turner: “I expect each year gets easier as the habits form.” – Yes. My habits are slow to form. It started with “mark things I’ve read in my book database” (started not really related to the Hugos), and I’ve just (blush) started making notes on things for a possible nomination list. Next up: tracking when I read something. And I probably should tweak the info in my database regarding copyright/publication info; the info it pulls from Amazon or wherever doesn’t always seem accurate.

    I’m kinda surprised I have three short stories to nominate so far, given how little short fiction I read.

  16. @Kendall – If you find something not enjoyable, do you stop?

    It depends on why I’m not enjoying what I’m reading. If it’s because it’s emotionally difficult, I persist, reading much more slowly than usual and taking breaks to read shorter work. Recently, I bailed from both The Traitor Baru Cormorant and The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass, because they both caused the eight deadly words to hover over my head like a raincloud and that’s not something I’m going to recover from, so stopping was the only sensible option.

  17. Thank you all for your great kindness. I think that this is the bit which VD and his pals just don’t understand; they have no bonds of fellowship, no interest in anything beyond their personal desires, no loyalty to anything beyond themselves.

    For all their claims to be the defenders of the west, I cannot imagine any of them standing their ground at the Black Gates, and for that I pity them.


    Caprica and Stargate Universe were my two favourite post-BSG shows. Both did very different things with SF, which made them feel more in line with books than the avterage TV series. Caprica was all about worldbuilding and kept the focus on normal people(well as normal as a mob lawyer and a hyper-rich industrialist can get); while Stargate Universe spent a lot of time exploring the logistical and psychological issues that you’d expect 150 people stuck on a spaceship they can’t control to go through.

    Also, Stargate Universe lasted two 20-episode series, not 10-episode ones…

  19. I recall at the time, I had wanted to love both Quark and When Things Were Rotten. Neither quite lived up to my expectations. Of course it didn’t help that I was often trying to defend them to my friends who weren’t at all impressed.

    I think to complete the trifecta, I should mention Wizards and Warriors which ran about 8 episodes in 1983. Most notable for Julia Duffy, later of Newhart, as Princess Ariel. IMDB says that John Ratzenberger was also in an episode.

  20. BTW I also remember Quark, and Wizards and Warriors, and no end of SF series like Phoenix, QED and Mr. Merlin. Looking back the 80s were a serious graveyard of short-lived genre shows.

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  22. I have fond recollections of Space Rangers, which, despite the best efforts of whoever came up with the premise to fill it with one-dimensional characters, got some decent writing and showed real promise.

    Also it was the first show I ever saw where someone had finally thought to install some frickin’ seatbelts in the spaceships.

  23. For all the times the Star Trek Enterprise bridge crew was tossed about during battle scenes, you would have thought they’d have seatbelts. I guess they were ahead of their time with all the standing workstations, though.

  24. They did give the captain of the Enterprise something like a seat belt in the first Star Trek movie. I think it was only shown during the wormhole sequence.

  25. I’ve been learning to not finish a book but it’s hard. It helps to make the decision early on. By the time I’ve read 1/2 I feel committed. I’m trying to teach myself that more hours lost to something causing me distress is really not good. It’s harder when the book is just annoyingly bad due to cardboard characters, overused tropes, everyone else adores the book & I’m trying to understand why, etc. I keep trying to remind myself I have a large and growing TBR and my time would be better spent moving on & I can always come back to the book later but maybe the book gets better in the next couple of pages…

  26. Kendall:

    IMHO the Worldcon masses don’t have an excuse. The problem for some who don’t vote is mistakenly believing they have to read everything (impossible) or at least some large nebulous amount, like a minimum threshold, in order to vote.

    There is a minimum threshold. to nominate, one has to have read one thing in each category for which one nominates. To fill out a complete ballot, one has to have read five things. But in practice, more than that, because not everything you read will strike you as Hugo-worthy. So let’s say ten things.

    I get the sense some people here can’t conceive of anyone who hasn’t done that. But there are, in fact, people with a lively interest in science fiction who don’t read anything in the year in which it first appears. They don’t typically read short fiction at all; and they read novels later, when they are available more cheaply, and when there are award nominations to guide them on what’s worth reading. (And if this were not so, awards would lose much of their point.) If these people want to nominate for awards, they do have to go out of their way to find material.

    I have been looking out for Hugo-relevant stuff, though not exclusively, and as far as I can see this is what I have read so far:
    J. Walton, The Just City. (Published early in the year.)
    A. Leckie, Ancillary Mercy. (Paperback original.)
    B. Chambers, The Long Way to…. (Second-hand, though it’s out in paperback now.)
    F. Hardinge, Cuckoo Song. (Second year of availability in the UK.)
    N. Okorafor, Lagoon. (Ditto)
    I. Tregillis (what, a man?), The Mechanical. (Paperback original, I think.)
    V. Schwab, A Darker Something or Other. (Ditto.)
    G. Cogman, The Invisible Library. (Ditto.)

    That’s more than I thought. Still, there are only three I think I would want to nominate. I intend to read at least Seveneves and Uprooted before the deadline, since they seem to be the books with the most buzz, and then see what comes to hand.

  27. @tasha

    I know what you mean. I take it as a sign of personal failure if I DNF a book. Its silly and stupid and I should read what I want and like, but not to finish a book feels wrong, somehow

  28. Kendall: IMHO the Worldcon masses don’t have an excuse. The problem for some who don’t vote is mistakenly believing they have to read everything (impossible) or at least some large nebulous amount, like a minimum threshold, in order to vote.

    I don’t know whether this statement was intended to mean that everyone should be nominating for the Hugos and has no excuse for not doing so, but that’s how it reads to me.

    I feel that it is very important to do so — as do many others here based on what they’ve said. And I agree that it’s important that people realize that they don’t have to read a huge amount to be “qualified” to nominate, that all that matters is that they feel what they’re nominating is Hugo-worthy.

    But I don’t want any Worldcon members reading here to feel that they are being condemned if they don’t nominate.

  29. I’m feeling very hesitant about nominating because, honestly, I’ve read very little f/sf since about August. A series of attention-eating calamities, crises, and ongoing situations hit, and I just found myself…not very often feeling up to any real intellectual or emotional challenges, and when I was, seeking them in other contexts. I’ve read a bunch of entertaining crap, and a fair amount of history, and a fair amount of horror, at levels of quality from drake to astonishing and powerful.

    I have moderately informed opinions on a few categories, but, like, I just haven’t read any of the leading contenders for novels, and I’m still not really up for f/sf reading that’ll call for serious engagement. (I started several and ended up stopping early each time with that “I’m not in the mood for this right now” feeling.) I couldn’t say just why it’s not clicking this season, but there it is.

  30. @Bruce Baugh

    If it helps, horror with science fiction or fantasy elements is perfectly eligible.

    I have a similar problem. I’ve read a little, but not nearly as much as I’d like, and I’m just so tired at the moment that I’m not sure I’ll be catching up much. I’m determined to nominate even if my choices are few, but I am hoping that I can increase them before the deadline. I’d like to have a respectable spread.

  31. @Paul Weimer exactly or I’m failing to be a good reader

    @all – things keep popping into my head about Hugos
    One thing to keep in mind is you can nominate in categories you feel comfortable that you’ve read a reasonable amount of work in but don’t have to nominate in all categories. Also if you’ve read 5 books & 1 stood out nominate it. Same with the shorter categories. It’s ok if you can’t nominate 5 in each and every category. Each nomination helps.

    If you’ve been reading works nominated in the past you can compare what you’ve read to those. It’s possible the 5 books/stories you’ve read are Hugo worthy if you’ve been reading recommended works or are lucky in what you’ve chosen to read.

    This is supposed to be fun. Nominating stuff you read and liked. LOL Now if only I could remember that…

  32. @Meredith: True about horror with sf/f elements, but that’s not been the case with anything actually good I’ve read lately, alas.

  33. @Tasha–

    After I finished reading last year’s nominees, I started tagging my reviews “2016 Hugo eligible” where applicable. That will help for about half the year…

  34. “Wizards and Warriors” was a dumb but cute show. Still love the line “I’m not wearing a hat.” I managed to get QED taped on VHS during a 90’s rerun. Still liked it then, nice proto-steampunk. Also liked “Space Rangers”.

    I started a document which is only a basic list. When I come across something that makes me go “Oooh!” I open the document, type title/author at the appropriate point, and hit Save. It’s one step above scribbling it on scrap paper or chalkboard. When time comes to send in the actual form, Decisions Will Be Tough, since I have more than 5 in some categories. And some of the categories have 1 entry. Doesn’t matter, I’m doing what I can.

    Even if your Hugo nominating ballot only has one entry in one category, it’s still worth sending it in if you really, really liked that one thing. Maybe it’s some deep complicated translated character study, or maybe you think “Darn it, I really liked Star Wars!” It all counts.

    Since it’s usually a form that you can change and resubmit, you can add to it right up to the deadline as you get around to reading more. I think I submitted my final ballot 3 times last year, once about an hour before the deadline.

    Life is too short to waste it finishing bad books. Or, hey, you might get back to it later. But if you hit the Eight Deadly Words, feel free to move on to something else that might be Hugo-worthy or at least tolerable.

  35. @Lis Carey I have similar shelves on Goodreads once I thought of it. Not sure how much got properly tagged this year. I wish kindle/kindle apps/collections & GR shelving integrated.

    I have wishlist set up for the next 2 years on Amazon for Hugo eligible. It’s amazing how early pre-orders are going up and if you stumble on one you find others.

  36. @ Tasha Turner
    I expect each year gets easier as the habits form.

    I feel the same way, although I don’t seem to be as organized as you are yet! :-9

    I can’t consume new stories, movies, TV, etc. at the rate some people can and I’m ok with that (after stressing myself about it for a while there). It does help that there’s a whole year to work on it this time. 😉

  37. I don’t use separate shelves to denote Hugo-worthiness. I keep shelves for each year’s reads, and I can then sort from highest to lowest rating. Take the five-stars, filter out stuff published in the wrong year, and there’s not much left to consider.

    I don’t know how others weigh their star ratings, but I use this scale:

    1 – Yuck. I recommend staying very far away.
    2 – Serious problems, but there’s something positive I can say about it… even if it’s just the quality of the prose.
    3 – Decent book, maybe one major or a few minor problems, nothing special.
    4 – Thoroughly enjoyable, problems limited to a few very minor issues.
    5 – Excellent across the board.

    Editing can and does affect my ratings, as does formatting. Ugly books with an abundance of copyediting errors are less enjoyable to read than competently edited work that looks good.

  38. @ Bruce Baugh
    I have moderately informed opinions on a few categories, but, like, I just haven’t read any of the leading contenders for novels, and I’m still not really up for f/sf reading that’ll call for serious engagement. (I started several and ended up stopping early each time with that “I’m not in the mood for this right now” feeling.) I couldn’t say just why it’s not clicking this season, but there it is.

    I have gone through several stretches where I felt the same way since all this started and I committed to nominating. I’m going through a “can’t consume anything requiring emotional or intellectual stress” right now.

    I’ve decided to just relax and do the best that I can. There will be categories where I don’t nominate anything and some with only one nom. If you can only put in one nomination and you want to do it, that’s completely acceptable. If you don’t have anything to nominate, that’s also fine. I don’t think we should make this a source of stress or guilt. This is supposed to be something to love!!!!

  39. @Junego I feel the same way, although I don’t seem to be as organized as you are yet! :-9
    I’ve been working on getting my Goodreads better organized since 2012. Since being hit by the truck I’ve had time to learn & watch how others do things. I’m passing along what others have suggested over the years. 😉

    @Rev. Bob I don’t use separate shelves to denote Hugo-worthiness. I keep shelves for each year’s reads, and I can then sort from highest to lowest rating. Take the five-stars, filter out stuff published in the wrong year, and there’s not much left to consider.
    I’m finding it helps now that I’m distinguishing between all SFF books published in 2015 and books I think make sense to put on ballot. This means I’m not including book X (?) in Kate Daniels because someone coming in cold is unlikely to find it best book without having read the rest of the series. A number of my 5 star books just don’t meet standalone, unique, extra thing I’ve forgotten. Some are really good only when taken as part of the larger series or for hitting all my right buttons.

  40. Nominating a full field of works would be pretty hard for me. I find it just an eensy bit intimidating that people here talk of reading 300+ books a year. I am lucky to make it up to 50 on a good year.

  41. @JJ: I can see how it reads like that, but no. I’m just frustrated by folks who don’t nominate just because of various fallacies about Doing It Right, and used an example that especially bugs me. I’d love it if more people nominated, and occasionally I hear something that sounds like a poor excuse to me, but I’m definitely not trying to “condemn” anyone.

    @Tintinaus: And your 50-in-a-good-year even intimidates me a bit, LOL! There’s always someone who’s read less than you (or more, heh). 😉

    @Bruce Baugh: If you read/watched/etc. anything/anyone you feel is worthy, nominate away, but don’t feel compelled to!

    This part bothers me a little, sorry: “I have moderately informed opinions on a few categories, but, like, I just haven’t read any of the leading contenders for novels” (emphasis added) – but, but, but . . . that’s fine (even a good thing), at this stage! 😉 Who cares if it’s a “leading contender”; variety is good, and the long list always interests (some) folks, including me. Plus, one never knows when a nomination may make the difference.

    FWIW, I doubt everything I nominate isn’t deep or heavy or requiring serious engagement. A story, book, etc. can be an award-worthy work of art regardless, IMHO. On the other paw, my “no serious engagement required” may be your (or someone else’s) “way too much right now,” I realize.

    Anyway, I wish the best to you regardless of nominations and Hugos. We’re all more important than our ballots and should take first priority, despite my ramblings here.

  42. @Andrew M: As I wrote, “some large nebulous amount, like a minimum threshold” (emphasis added). I didn’t mean one, and I agree: someone who, for example, hasn’t read any 2015 novels shouldn’t nominate for Best Novel. 😉 My point was anyone thinking “oh I don’t read/watch/etc. enough” is mistaken, and it’s a bummer anyone believes that.

    You’ve reminded me of other fallacies out there, thanks: the myth of the “complete ballot.” Sorry, but I dislike that phrase, since to me it implies if one doesn’t fill every line available, one’s ballot isn’t up to snuff. Based on your follow-up comment, maybe that’s not what you meant – just the vibe I got.

    Regardless, some (hopefully few!) folks do believe they should or must nominate in every category and/or nominate five items in any category they do nominate in. It’s a bummer, since it’s just a misunderstanding. ;-( But of course, “all categories” and “five per category” are both maximums.

    “Sorry, that may have come over as fiercer than intended.”

    And if I’m too strong in return, my apologies! I’ve edited/thought/edited, but sometimes I over-edit and make it worse. (cringe)

    BTW re. your “books read so far” list: How’d you like the Walton and the Tregillis? They didn’t interest me, so I haven’t even read the samples, but I’ve heard good things about them. (BTW am I the only person who isn’t into steampunk?) I’ve seen folks talking about the Hardinge, so I should see what all the fuss is about, I suppose. 😉

    I’ve read a lot less than most folks here, but I do have five novels to nominate, and something in most other categories (but usually not five). I expect the next few months to change my list a bit, though.

  43. @Meredith: I noticed this ebook sale (U.S.: $2.99, U.K.: £1.99) and thought of you, for obvious reasons:

    Song of Dragons: The Complete Trilogy by Daniel Arenson
    The kingdom of Requiem, where men once took flight as dragons, now lies in ruins. Will a scattered band of survivors unite to fight the vicious griffins, or will their people perish forever? A complete, breathtaking trilogy for fantasy fans!

    Have you read it? Any good? Others also welcome to comment as well, of course. 😉 BTW if this has come up before and my memory just bites (as it does), sorry!

    Hmm, Vicious Griffins may be the name of my next rock band.

  44. the myth of the “complete ballot.”

    THIS. This is, IMO, pretty much the Puppy, particularly the Sad Puppy methodology. A bunch of people who happily nominated stuff they did in fact read and like (ie, Best Novel, BDP etc) and then, because of this myth, filled out the rest with entries from the slate, when under normal circumstances they would have left them blank.

  45. @Tasha: “Some are really good only when taken as part of the larger series or for hitting all my right buttons.”

    Agreed, and that’s where the “consider” phase comes in. Butcher’s Changes was a five-star for me, but it only works in the context of the rest of the series.

  46. Re: award nominations

    I intend to nominate for awards in any category where I’ve consumed at least one item I consider award-worthy. When I did my year-end reading summary, I discovered that I only read four novel-length 2015 publications in SFF. And I don’t necessarily consider all of those worthy of nomination. But there you are.

    And I’m probably not going to be nominating “big buzz” items, because I can’t afford to have my to-read list hijacked by the books that other people are most excited about, because then I’d miss the books that make me happiest. The more I pay attention, the more aware I am that buzz is an entirely separate attribute from quality and enjoyment.

  47. I spent the first half of the year reading vintage mysteries and catching up with a bunch of series, mostly urban fantasy, that are good to really good but not great.

    I like numbers, so I’ve been noodling around in Hugo stats. In 2005, there were 546 (valid) total nominating ballots submitted. In the Novel category, there were 424 nominating ballots submitted, for 230 titles total, with 1360 votes (or just over 3 novel entries per ballot).

    To me that says people loved a lot of different books published in 2004 and seem not to have been trying to optimize their votes. I think that’s a valid strategy and it appeals to me far more than one that tries to take into account the potential that slating in the nomination process has for taking all the slots in various categories.

    I can’t convince my brain to entirely ignore reality, but I plan on nominating things I love whether or not they have a chance at more votes than mine. And unless the last 2015 novels I read have a greater than normal percentage of gems (they might, because I’ve been working with recommendations from others), I’ll have only three entrants for novel. That’s fine with me.

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