(1) THE TENTACLE RECONCILIATION. This just in — “Cthulhu Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize”.
OSLO, NORWAY — Dread Lord, and presidential candidate, Cthulhu has more to savor this week on the campaign trail than the vulture-picked carcasses of the campaigns of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Martin O’Malley and others. Cthulhu has been officially nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, according to Henriette Berg Aasen, Nobel watcher and director of the Peace Research Cooperative of Oslo….
Aasen told the Kingsport Star Herald that Cthulhu has been nominated, as He is yearly, by the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu (known also as CTHU). Cthulhu joins a long list of historical luminaries nominated for the coveted prize like Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Rush Limbaugh, Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin.
Aasen says CTHU selected the independent candidate and demon god because “when He rises from the Deep, humanity will finally know peace and understanding. Our conflicts will disperse. Our prejudices will fade. The Truth of existence will fill us. And those of us left will join as one in praise of Pax Cthulhia.”
(2) TORT SOLO. The BBC reports “Star Wars prosecuted over Harrison Ford injury”.
The production company behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being prosecuted over the incident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg.
The actor was struck by a hydraulic metal door on the Pinewood set of the Millennium Falcon in June 2014.
The Health And Safety Executive has brought four criminal charges against Foodles Production (UK) Ltd – a subsidiary of Disney.
Foodles Production said it was “disappointed” by the HSE’s decision.
Following the incident, Ford was airlifted to hospital for surgery.
Following an investigation, the HSE said it believed there was sufficient evidence about the incident which left Ford with serious injuries, to bring four charges relating to alleged health and safety breaches.
(3) PUT TO THE QUESTION. The characters in Redshirts are out of jeopardy, but not out of Jeopardy!
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) February 12, 2016
(4) MORE RECOMMENDATIONS. Black Gate’s John ONeill points out “Gypsies, Paupers, Demons and Swans: Rich Horton’s Hugo Recs”:
I cover a lot of short fiction magazines and novels, but I never feel adequately prepared for the Hugo ballot. But that’s okay, because I know people who read every single short story published in English, and can point me in the right direction.
Well, one person. Rich Horton. Seriously, he reads them all. No, really. All of them. When he modestly claims he doesn’t, he’s lying. He’s read some of ’em twice.
(5) HORTON’S RECS. The recommendations originated at Rich Horton’s blog Strange at Ecbatan.
For the past few years I have avoided the sorts of posts I used to routinely make, listing my favorite stories of the year and making suggestions for Hugo nominations. There are several reasons – one is simply that I thought my Best of the Year Table of Contents served such a purpose by default, more or less, another is time. And a third, of course, is a feeling of skittishness about the controversy that has arisen, from several directions, on the appropriateness of nomination lists, or, Lord preserve us, “slates”.
But hang it all, almost all I’ve been about for my time writing about SF is promoting the reading of good stories. Why should I stop? Why should anyone? I don’t want people to nominate based on my recommendations – I want people to read the stories I recommend – and lots of other stories – and nominate the stories they like best. I don’t want to promote an agenda. I don’t want to nudge the field towards any set of themes or styles. (Except by accident – I don’t deny that I have conscious and unconscious preferences.) In fact, I’d rather be surprised – by new ideas, by new writers, by controversial positions, by new forms, by revitalization of old forms.
This is, indeed, mostly the contents of my Best of the Year collection, with a few added that I couldn’t use for one reason or another (length, contractual issues, etc.). And let’s add the obvious — I miss things! Even things I read. There have definitely been cases where a story I didn’t pick seemed to me on further reflection to be clearly award-worthy.
I recently made a post on potential Hugo nominees in which I briefly discussed potential Best Editor nominations. I mentioned John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, Jonathan Strahan, Trevor Quachri, C. C. Finlay, Sheila Williams, Andy Cox, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, Scott H. Andrews and Brian Thomas Schmidt. And in all honesty, I think any of those people would be wholly worthy nominees. They have all done first-rate recent work. But that said, let’s be honest, I was being a bit timid. Who would I really vote for? I wanted to be a bit more forthright, and plump for a few folks I am really rooting for….
(6) DEFERRED GRATIFICATION. “20 Year Overnight Successes: Writing Advice” is a set of Storified tweets from Maria Dahvana Headley about writing.
Mark-kitteh sent along the link with a modest disclaimer: “Obviously I have no way of knowing if they’re good advice or not, but as Neil Gaiman commented on then approvingly I’m assuming they’re good…”
The most valuable thing I've learned as a writer: working your ass off actually pays off. Overnight success is rare. 20-year success? Real.
— Maria DahvanaHeadley (@MARIADAHVANA) February 11, 2016
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) February 11, 2016
(7) RANDOMNESS. Don’t know what this actually relates to, just found the stand-alone comment amusing.
If you seriously think "super-double-dupety" is "good writing" maybe you should write a book and send it to the Hugo awards?
— Redreg0n (@Redregon) February 12, 2016
(8) IAN WATSON. At SF Signal, Rachel Cordasco’s “Eurocon 2016: An Interview with Ian Watson”
RC: This Eurocon is taking place in Barcelona- what is the state of Spanish scifi today?
IW: Spanish SF (including, as I said, Fantasy and Horror) is thriving, but not nearly enough gets translated into English nor is published visibly enough. Félix Palma’s Map of… trilogy is certainly a best-seller in English (as the New York Times says) but consider a genre-bending author such as veteran Rodolfo Martínez, a major award winner in Spain: you can get a Kindle ebook of his novel
The Queen’s Adept in an English translation so good, of a book so good, that it reads like an original novel by Gene Wolfe, but you’ll find it in no bookshop in the USA or UK. (While on the subject of actual books, devour The Shape of Murder and Zig-Zag by José Carlos Somoza.)
Recent professional labour-of-love productions include The Best of Spanish Steampunk (big, edited and translated by James and Marian Womack, whose Nevsky press is based in Madrid), the crowdfunded Castles in Spain put together by Mariano Villarreal, and (in progress) the likewise crowdfunded competition-winners anthology Spanish Women of Wonder edited by Cristina Jurado, title courtesy of Pamela Sargent. Mariano Villarreal is also responsible for an admired series of original anthologies entitled Terra Nova, published by Rodolfo Martínez’s own Sportula press, of which one is in English translation: Terra Nova: An Anthology of Spanish Science Fiction. Ebooks only, these last three.
On the whole, things are humming.
(9) ALBERT FANDOM. Einstein is not only on a bubblegum card, he’s on a Star Wars gif too –
(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born February 12, 1915 — Lorne Greene, who played Commander Adama.
(11) MEET THE RABIDS. Vox Day adds to his slate: “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Graphic Story”.
- GamerGate Life by Kukuruyo
- Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams
- Erin Dies Alone by Cory Rydell and Grey Carter
- Awkward Zombie by Katie Friedrich
- Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell
(12) WRITERS OF THE FUTURE. The L. Ron Hubbard presents Writers & Illustrators of the Future Annual Awards Ceremony invitation was extended to LASFS members on Facebook. Information about the ceremony is here. The event is April 10, 2016 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. Doors open at 5:30 pm – Event starts at 6:30 pm. Party and book signing immediately follow. Black tie optional or Steampunk Formal. RSVP HERE
Past winners of the Writers of the Future Contest have gone on to publish well over 700 novels and 3000 short stories; they have become international bestsellers and have won the most prestigious accolades in the field—the Hugo, the Nebula, the John W. Campbell, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus Award—and even mainstream literary awards such as the National Book Award, the Newbery and the Pushcart Prize. The Illustrators of the Future winners have gone on to publish millions of illustrations in the field.
(13) CHARACTERIZATION. At All Over The Map, Juliet McKenna has some interesting advice concerning “The importance of thinking about ‘local values’ when you’re writing”.
On the other hand, you can turn this issue of local values to your writerly advantage, in the right place, for the right character. When I said minus three degrees or minus thirteen a few paragraphs back, I meant Celsius, because my local weather values are centigrade. When I come across temperatures given in Farenheit in US crime fiction, I always have to pause and do a quick mental conversion calculation. It disrupts the flow of my reading, so as far as I am concerned, that’s a bad thing.
But if I was a character in a book? If the author wanted to convey someone feeling unsettled and out of their usual place? Sure, that author could tell us ‘She felt unsettled by the unfamiliar numbers in the weather forecast’ but you could do so much more, and far more subtly, as a writer by showing the character’s incomprehension, having her look up how to do the conversion online, maybe being surprised by the result. It gets how cold in Minnesota in the winter?
(14) ALPHA HOUSE. To better organize the presidential candidates competing in the New Hampshire primary, Mic sorted each candidate into Hogwarts houses from Harry Potter. Still funny, even if the primary’s over.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark-kitteh, and James H. Burns for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jenora Feuer.]