(1) HOGWASH, POPPYCOCK & BALONEY. George R.R. Martin quashed a current rumor in his post “Idiocy on the Internet”.
…All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING years ago is popping up everywhere. No, I am not going to provide links. I don’t want to reward purveyors of misinformation with hits.
I will, however, say for the record — no, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six
It seems absurd to me that I need to state this. The world is round, the Earth revolves around the sun, water is wet… do I need to say that too? It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books.
So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no “deal” to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.
(2) BUT THIS STORY IS TRUE. Martin confirmed a different report quoting his opinion of two characters created by Tolkien and Rowling:
At the Q&A following the premiere of the new TOLKIEN film in Los Angeles last week, I did indeed say that Gandalf could kick Dumbledore’s ass.
Gandalf COULD kick Dumbledore’s ass. I mean, duh. He’s a maia, folks. Next best thing to a demigod. Gandalf dies and come back. Dumbledore dies and stays dead.
But if it will calm down all the Potterites out there, let me say that Gandalf could kick Melisandre’s ass too.
(3) HORRORMENTARY. The new drama Years and Years, which follows a British family over the next 15 years began Tuesday night on BBC1 in the UK, and will be screened on HBO in the US later in the year. BBC contemplates: “How the near future became our greatest horror”.
…But if [J.G.] Ballard’s thinking was subversive at the time, now we’re beset by the nearest of ‘near future’ narratives. They are intent on imagining not what will become of us in thousands of millennia, or even in a few decades’ time – à la dystopian works like Blade Runner and Soylent Green, previously understood as ‘near future’ – but in as little as the next few years. In doing so, these near-near-future stories create realities that feel immediately recognisable to us, but invariably with a pretty unpleasant twist or three. In literature, these have gone hand in hand with the rise of the ‘mundane science fiction’ movement – which began in the mid-noughties and was built on “not wanting to imagine shiny, hard futures [but give a] sense of sliding from one version of our present into something slightly alienated”, says Roger Luckhurst, a professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at London’s Birkbeck College and an expert in science fiction.
And, at the moment, such stories are particularly prevalent on the small-screen….
(4) BLACK MIRROR. The show returns to Netflix on June 5:
(5) BEAUMONT REMEMBERED. Pulpfest’s Mike Chomko profiles “THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S Magic Man — Charles Beaumont”, who died too soon —
…At the height of his writing career, Beaumont began to suffer from a mysterious ailment. “By 1964, he could no longer write. Meetings with producers turned disastrous. His speech became slower, more deliberate. His concentration worsened. . . . after a battery of tests at UCLA, Beaumont was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease; he faced premature senility, aging, and an early death.” He died on February 21, 1967 at the age of thirty-eight.
(6) STORIES REBORN. Paula Guran’s anthology Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends was released yesterday by Night Shade Books.
The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend . . . Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty . . . Ys, the mythical sunken city once built on the coast of France . . . Ragnarok, the myth of a world destroyed and reborn . . . Jason and the Argonauts, sailing in search of the Golden Fleece . . .
Myths and legends are the oldest of stories, part of our collective consciousness, and the source from which all fiction flows. Full of magic, supernatural powers, monsters, heroes, epic journeys, strange worlds, and vast imagination, they are fantasies so compelling we want to believe them true.
(7) FRIEDMAN OBIT. “Stanton Friedman, famed UFO researcher, dead at 84” – CBC has the story.
A nuclear physicist by training, Friedman had devoted his life to researching and investigating UFOs since the late 1960s.
He was credited with bringing the 1947 Roswell Incident — the famous incident that gave rise to theories about UFOs and a U.S. military coverup — back into the mainstream conversation.
(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.
Apparently a big day in the history of B-movies.
- May 15, 1953 — Phantom From Space premiered in theaters.
- May 15, 1959 — Invisible Invaders debuted in movie houses.
- May 15, 1969 – Witchfinder General, starring Vincent Price, screened for the first time.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born May 15, 1856 — L. Frank Baum. I adore The Wizard of Oz film and I’m betting you know that it only covers about half of the novel which is a splendid read indeed. I’ll confess that I never read the numerous latter volumes in the Oz series, nor have I read anything by him. What’s the rest of his fiction like? (Died 1919.)
- Born May 15, 1877 — William Bowen. His most notable work was The Old Tobacco Shop, a fantasy novel that was one runner-up for the inaugural Newbery Medal in 1922. He also had a long running children’s series with a young girl named Merrimeg whom a narrator told her adventures with all sorts of folkloric beings. (Died 1937.)
- Born May 15, 1926 — Anthony Shaffer. His genre screenplays were the Hitchcock’s Frenzy and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man. Though definitely not genre, he wrote the screenplays for a number of most excellent mysteries including Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express and Sleuth. (Died 2001.)
- Born May 15, 1955 — Lee Horsley, 64. A performer who’s spent a lot of his career in genre undertakings starting with The Sword and the Sorcerer (and its 2010 sequel Tales of an Ancient Empire), horror films Nightmare Man, The Corpse Had a Familiar Face and Dismembered and even a bit of SF in Showdown at Area 51. Not sure where The Face of Fear falls has a it has a cop with psychic powers and a serial killer.
- Born May 15, 1960 — Rob Bowman, 59. Producer of such series as Alien Nation, M.A.N.T.I.S., Quantum Leap, Next Generation, and The X-Files. He has directed these films: The X-Files, Reign of Fire and Elektra. He directed one or several episodes of far too many genres series to list here.
- Born May 15, 1966 — Greg Wise, 53. I’m including him solely as he’s in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. It is a film-within-a-film, featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing themselves as egotistical actors during the making of a screen adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s 18th century metafictional novel Tristram Shandy. Not genre (possibly) but damn fun.
(10) VIRGIN GALACTIC. The company’s press release, “Sir Richard Branson Announces Virgin Galactic Move to Spaceport America this Summer, as Company Readies for Commercial Service”, does not state when service will commence.
At a press conference [on May 10] at the New Mexico State Capitol Building in Santa Fe, hosted by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic’s development and testing program had advanced sufficiently to move the spaceline staff and space vehicles from Mojave, California to their commercial operations headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The move, which involves more than 100 staff, will commence immediately and continue through the summer, to minimise schooling disruption for families.
Virgin Galactic partnered with New Mexico in an agreement which saw the state complete construction of Spaceport America, the world’s first, purpose-built commercial spaceport, and Virgin Galactic committing to center its commercial spaceflight activities at the facilities once its vehicles and operations were ready for service.
(11) ZUBRIN’S CASE. The Space Review hosts Jeff Foust’s coverage of Robert Zubrin’s new book The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility.
…The second part of the book tackles the question of why humanity should move out in the universe. The reasons are familiar ones, from scientific discoveries to new technologies to the survival of humanity itself. For example, Zubrin reiterates a belief, dating back to his The Case for Mars book more than 20 years ago, that a human settlement on Mars will require ingenuity to survive, stimulating new technologies from robotics to fusion power that might not be developed on Earth.
Zubrin offers a comprehensive plan, one rich in technical detail—perhaps too rich at times, with some passages filled with equations describing chemical processes needed to extract resources on Mars or other worlds or discussing the physics of advanced propulsion technologies. But it seems a little fanciful to talk about concepts for interstellar travel like antimatter and magnetic sails when we find it so difficult today simply to get to low Earth orbit reliably and inexpensively.
(12) DAGGERS. The longlists for the The Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards have been posted.
Lavie Tidhar’s “Bag Man”, in The Outcast Hours anthology, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, is one of the works longlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger Award.
(13) REBELS WITH A CAUSE. Marie Kondo really struck a nerve.The Independent had no trouble finding people who have no plans to winnow their book stacks: “Going against the decluttering craze: the book hoarers who defy Marie Kondo”. For one example —
Jane Green, bestselling author who traded England for New England
I’ve run out of space. Books are starting to get stacked up on the floor, underneath tables, underneath chairs, on top of tables. They’re everywhere. With no more room on the bookshelves, I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous French armoire that takes up an entire wall. That wall is just perfect for shelves and would make the room warmer. I know, however, that my husband really likes the armoire. He sees: storage, storage, storage. I see: books, books, books. We’ll see who wins.
For years, I couldn’t get rid of anything. I have had to learn to manage the flow. Paperbacks I tend not to keep unless I love them and know I’m going to reread them. Hardcovers are really hard for me to get rid of. They all signify a time in my life. They all have stories around the stories. I will sometimes just stand there and look at my books and remember.
(14) ANOTHER BRICK IN THE PAYWALL. Digiday elaborates on a trend that has made it more challenging for me to research Scroll items at sites that think I should pay for their material (the noive!): “Incognito no more: Publishers close loopholes as paywall blockers emerge”.
Subscription publishers have tightened their paywalls, plugging leaks and reducing the number of articles readers access before subscribing. But as reader revenue becomes more of a focus, more sophisticated ways of dodging paying have emerged.
There have always been a number of low-tech ways to circumvent cookie-based metered paywalls, where the same content is freely available in some but not all cases. For instance deleting cookies, using multiple browsers and copying the URL are go-to methods, and are near impossible to mitigate against. However, over the last 18 months, publishers have started plugging these gaps.
In February, The New York Times started tightening its paywall so readers couldn’t access paywalled content by switching their device to incognito mode. A New York Times spokesperson said it’s too early to glean the impacts of these tests.
(15) MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NOMMOS. The announcement of the 2019 Nommo Awards shortlist was followed by a press release with additional details:
The 2019 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans announce the shortlists for the Nommo Awards in all four categories – novel, novella, short story and comics/graphic novels.
The roughly 170 members of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) nominated works for the Awards long list and short lists. They will now have a three-month period to read the works and vote for the winners of the Awards.
The short-listed works must be speculative fiction created by Africans and published in calendar year 2018. The winners of the Ilube Nommo Award and the Comic/Graphic Novel award receive UD$ 1000.00. The winners of the novella and short story awards receive US$ 500.00. The ASFS thanks its patron Tom Ilube, CBE for his generosity.
The ASFS was founded in 2015. The creation of the Nommo Awards was announced at the Ake Festival in Abeokuta in November 2016. The winners will be announced at the Ake Festival in Lagos Nigeria in November.
(16) DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN. BBC:“Spider Uses Web As Slingshot To Ensnare Prey, Scientists Find”.
This high-velocity maneuver is a nightmare if you’re a fly.
There’s a type of spider that can slowly stretch its web taut and then release it, causing the web to catapult forward and ensnare unsuspecting prey in its strands.
Triangle-weaver spiders use their own web the way humans might use a slingshot or a crossbow. Scientists from the University of Akron say this is a process called “power amplification,” and they published their research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
(17) WWW. Cute name: “Wood wide web: Trees’ social networks are mapped”.
Research has shown that beneath every forest and wood there is a complex underground web of roots, fungi and bacteria helping to connect trees and plants to one another.
This subterranean social network, nearly 500 million years old, has become known as the “wood wide web”.
Now, an international study has produced the first global map of the “mycorrhizal fungi networks” dominating this secretive world.
Details appear in Nature journal.
Using machine-learning, researchers from the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and Stanford University in the US used the database of the Global Forest Initiative, which covers 1.2 million forest tree plots with 28,000 species, from more than 70 countries.
(18) ANCIENT PUNCH. “Chang’e-4: Chinese rover ‘confirms’ Moon crater theory” says the BBC.
The Chinese Chang’e-4 rover may have confirmed a longstanding idea about the origin of a vast crater on the Moon’s far side.
The rover’s landing site lies within a vast impact depression created by an asteroid strike billions of years ago.
Now, mission scientists have found evidence that impact was so powerful it punched through the Moon’s crust and into the layer below called the mantle.
Chang’e-4 has identified what appear to be mantle rocks on the surface.
It’s something the rover was sent to the far side to find out.
Chunlai Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues have presented their findings in the journal Nature.
(19) GAME OF PYTHONS. Funny or Die shows why “Cersei isn’t the only hard-nosed negotiator Tyrion’s ever faced.”
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Daniel Dern and OGH.]
(17) The latest Ologies podcast is all about mycology – I don’t think it goes into how they interact with trees so much but it does mention how big fungus networks can go, and also mentions in passing Star Trek: Discovery and the mycelial network.
(2) Dumbledore and Gandalf wouldn’t fight at all, of course – they’d bond over their appreciation of Hobbit culture (Gandalf for the pipeweed and Dumbledore for the pastries, I imagine).
@9: I read most of the rest of Baum’s Oz, and the first of the Thompson additions (IIRC it was listed as Baum&Thompson, but Wikipedia says there are no collaborations or completed-by’s, just a misattribution). I loved them in 4th-5th grade (which was when I could get them — I might have read them earlier otherwise) but haven’t revisited since; these days they feel vaguely twee in memory, which is not reasoned but is there. I remember thinking the first Xanth book had something like what I remembered liking in Baum, but that faded on rereading Anthony.
@16: typo alert — the story is from NPR, not BBC.
@Andrew: Pastries? Dumbledore? I remember him sampling Bertie Bott’s Beans(sp?), but not being much about food in general; what/where am I missing? But I think you’re right that they wouldn’t fight, absent some truly massive miscommunication. Now I’m wondering what a faceoff between Dumbledore and Melisandre would look like….
@Chip: Well, Dumbledore did make sure that Hogwarts put on some very elaborate dinners, but I may be exaggerating his personal love of food. Upon further consideration, I think Dumbledore would be most appreciative of Gandalf’s fireworks, though – Dumbledore did enjoy spectacle, it seems to me.
Dumbledore did use the names of various sweets as the passwords to his office. I don’t remember if it was stated that he liked them or if that was just implied, though.
(16) NPR is late on that – it was in Science News in March:
You never know, this could have been my second look at the story. Though it’s not usually a 2-month separation, there have been many times I didn’t pick an item the first time somebody sent it to me.
Gandalf and Dumbledore, upon meeting, would frustrate each other enormously by always dropping hints, speaking vaguely and refuse to go give any information of substance. They would depart as enemies. Their personal conflict would lead to the first wizard war where no dark side was involved, only good guys battling each other. Standing on the ruins of Hogwarts, a mountain of dead elves, students and hobbits surrounding him, Gandalf would look at Dumbledore’s broken body and hiss through clenched teeth:
“Avada Kedavra, Wargf*cker!”
I have read and enjoyed all of Baum’s Oz books, and I carry the e-versions around on my kindle-phone in case of boredom. I read a few of the Oz books written by Baum’s successor, Ruth Plumly Thompson, but they didn’t have the same magic. Agree that Piers Anthony had something vaguely resembling Oz-magic, but filtered through a lot of creepiness. I recall reading Baum’s non-Oz books but I don’t recall anything else about them.
Oz however … the Oz books were genuinely creative in a very surreal way. People are still borrowing heavily from them — the face collection of the Faceless Ones in GoT reminded me a lot of Princess Mombi, who tries to add Dorothy’s face to her collection. Lots of good strong characters too, especially female ones. There’s a princess who spends most of her book as a boy until it’s revealed that she’s been under a wicked spell all this time and is really a girl. Baum was unprogressive when it came to Native Americans but I think his gender relations are exemplary given his time.
I just typed “The End” a few minutes ago, and right now I’m high as a kite on book-finishing endorphins. Wheeeee!
2) Dumbledore could have come back from the dead, he had the Stone which he left to Harry. He decided to die.
Gandalf has great advertising but we rarely see him do anything magical, I don’t know how much he can actually do.
I suppose they could fight over whether mass schooling or an apprenticeship system is the best way to train new wizards
1) Monday morning will be a new and interesting time and one unprecedented–the TV series will be done but the novels will not. Will people still be clamoring for the books six months from now? Longer? (I am not faulting Martin’s slowness in the series, epic fantasy is complex, by God). I do wonder if the window “begins to close”, and how quickly it closes.
Maybe the lack of an active series on a Jordan/Martin/Rothfuss level of success will keep the coals banked. But it just will take something to really catch fire as they do, I think…
Which is not to say there aren’t popular novels out there in genre circles, but among casual fans (such as the few SF readers at my work), few of them can name epic fantasy writers beyond that set (although I do have a Malazan fan amongst my co workers)
(17) “Wood Wide Web” is a cute name, but fans of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing might prefer “Parliament of Trees” or “The Green.”
Meredith Moment: The ebook edition of Octavia Butler’s Earthseed duology (Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents) is available at Amazon and Apple Books for $2.99. It may be elsewhere, so check your favorite ebook shop.
Paul: I don’t know, but if the show’s finale is as frustrating as it seems like people are finding it, people might eagerly clamour for the book out of the hope of a more satisfying ending.
(I am in the rare category of people not watching the series, though I read some of the discussion. I did read the first two books and decided I would reread them and read the rest when they were all done, no sooner. Although I knew spoilers enough to have had James Keelaghan’s “Everyone Dies” cued up to play as soon as the Rains of Castamere episode was over…)
I enjoyed several of Baum’s subsequent Oz books more than the original volume. Charon mentioned the princess with the collection of heads. She was named Princess Langwidere in the book Ozma of Oz; they combined the character with Mombi the witch in the film Return to Oz. Mombi was in fact the one who enchanted Princess Ozma and disguised her as the boy Tip.
I think the book that made the most impact on me was The Emerald City of Oz, in which Dorothy permanently settles in Oz along with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. But at the same time, the Nome King is forming alliances with some extremely strange and powerful beings (a real show of Baum’s creativity) to burrow underneath the desert that surrounds Oz and conquer the Emerald City from beneath. Baum included an epilogue saying that this volume would be the last, even citing an in-story reason why there would be no more “news” out of Oz. Of course, that did not hold.
@Hampus Eckerman: that scenario sounds all too plausible (except for the expletive — Gandalf doesn’t need them).
@Lenore Jones: I had forgotten that (if I’d ever even noticed). Interesting.
May 15th was James Mason’s birthday. He had some genre roles like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Heaven Can Wait. Also narrated a creepy animated Tell Tale Heart and was known to have SJW Credentials.
Also Ralph Steadman who is famous for his work with Hunter S. Thompson and who did illustrations for various books including a take on Fahrenheit 451. I also like his beer labels for Flying Dog.
And Brian Eno. Eno is God.
Taking Pixel Mountain (By Scrollology)
@Paul: I can almost imagine everybody gradually forgetting about the ASoIaF books,
and maybe even leave GRRM in peace and quiet for a little while,
and then, 5-10 years from now, out of nowhere, “The REAL conclusion you’ve ALL been waiting for,” and suddenly it would be a brand-new sensation.
One of my own stories (currently out on submission) is set in an alternate-history version of Oz. (Premise: When Dorothy ran away from home at the start of the first book, for protection on the road she stuck her Uncle Henry’s Colt revolver and a box of cartridges into her handbasket. Things go VERY differently in Oz….)
Off topic, but possibly of interest: Among Anne Braude’s papers, I found a small pamphlet listing “102 Great Novels” compiled by the Scottsdale Public Library circa 1962-63. Interesting to see how many are still regarded as notable, how many have had their reputation fade, how many I don’t recognize at all, and how few could be considered as SF/F as compared to similar lists from today. I finally got around to posting the list on my blog: Blast From The Past: 102 Great Novels as of 1962-63
2) I always thought that the point of Gandalf and Dumbledore was that their first thought was never to violence or aggression. Theirs was always the other paw. But that paw could be used in extremity.
I have moved from Midnight to winter in my traverse of Fractured Europe. The quality is maintained.
‘First we take the pixel, then we take the scroll’
Jack Lint notes correctly Also Ralph Steadman who is famous for his work with Hunter S. Thompson and who did illustrations for various books including a take on Fahrenheit 451. I also like his beer labels for Flying Dog.
Yep I almost included him for his work on those works but I’ve got a sort of absolute limit of eight Birthdays per day. The Parliament of Trees knows that means almost three thousand Birthdays every year get done.
And Brian Eno. Eno is God.
Indeed he is.
This is only my second time voting on the actual Hugo finalists. Whoof, is this a LOT of work!
I feel like where the Hugos really shine is specifically in the short fiction categories. Maybe more now than ever. Simply because taking note of six short stories, or novellas even, and then going ahead and reading the lot of ’em is pretty darn manageable. Enticing, even.
But I don’t feel like that quite works for the other categories? Reading six novels is a lot. Reading six novels for Best Novel, another six for Best Editor (Long Form), another six for the Campbell… These are all major undertakings. Six quicker books for Best YA is almost a relief. Don’t even get me started on Best Series. Even Best Graphic Novel, which isn’t a ton of reading time, requires getting up-to-date on six different series!
Obviously you don’t have to vote in all categories. But I do feel like voters should at least give consideration to all six finalists in a category in order to vote “meaningfully” on them. That’s a lot of work, in even a single category — and we’ve got so many categories!
I know I’ve got a few months still. But outside short fiction, and a few other categories where skim-judging is doable (art? Best Related Work, kinda?), I think I’m going to need to pick, like, one category to focus on.
That’s… slightly dispiriting to me, somehow. Thinking that LOTS of these categories only have a handful of voters (or worse, a handful of voters who have actually considered the finalists, plus a tidal wave of fans bullet-voting for one favorite without actually comparing the ither finalists).
I mean, it is what it is. That’s how the Hugo works; it has a huge popularity component baked right in.
Just, looking at the whole huge voter pack and leaping right to “I am going to read so little of this” is kind of disconcerting.
@Paul Weimer — I’ll be clamoring for the books. And, sweet summer child that I am, I still have hope that they’ll come out. (Oh, God, he hasn’t even started A DREAM OF SPRING. *sob*)
@Andrew Well, people started a petition to rewrite and remake the entire season 8 (I havent watched it), so…
I am curious if GRRM will be able to finish the books. Now that he was able to somewhat tell his story without a need to actually do the writing, it will be even harder to motivate himself i can Imagine
(9) Baum was a favorite read and re-read of mine throughout childhood. I loved his Oz books, though it is hard to pick a favorite. He had some Oz-adjacent books THE SEA FAIRIES and SKY ISLAND which had Trot and Cap’n Bill in them.
Probably my favorite non-Oz Baum book is THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS which inspired a Rankin-Bass special! I think I need to re-read this after finishing the Hugo reading, because it has been quite a while.
9)/@Beth in MA — That Rankin-Bass special was WEIRD. More of an epic fantasy story than a Christmas story. I only just discovered it a couple of years ago.
1) Add me to the list of people who’ll be happy to read the books when they do finally appear. And he still has a ways to go before the gap gets as big as, say, Glen Cook’s final Dread Empire novel or Diane Duane’s Door into Starlight (whenever she actually finishes that).
19) Another great Game of Thrones mashup. The burning of King’s Landing to Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”
Well said. I’ll vote on Best Series this time as I’ve pre-read most of the finalists but otherwise it is impossible. I’m currently a bit stuck in the weeds with Best Novella and have lost momentum and been distracted by other things.
@Camestros: I decided to get started early on Best Novella this tine, because (a) it’s manageable, (b) it’s a category I care about, (c) I’m still bummed I didn’t finish everything last time I voted for novellas…
(To be fair, last year there were multiple novellas I Did Not Like.
This year… ummm, there may also be novellas I May Not Like )
Even so, I’m hardly even at the halfway point yet…
There’s also a funny interplay, where the closer you are to the Worldcon gestalt, the easier time you have? Like, if you read the authors that are semifrequent finalists, then whether you nominate them or not — you have a way easier time voting. But if those authors aren’t your taste, then you’re reading one set of novels for nominations, and basically a whole new set for the final ballot…
(And I say this in a year where I actually have an unprecedented number of faves that got on the ballot! It’s amazing! It’s astounding! One of them is indeed Astounding!)
Voting systems are weird 😛
Thank you for your extrapolation of the Dumbledore/Gandalf confrontation.
@Peer: I think you’re responding to someone other than me
I feel like a Sherlock Holmes Pixel title – how about “The Scroll with the Twisted Pixel”
Ohh – here’s one “Ent no Mt Tsundoku High Enough”
I see a Dragon Award in your future! (Provided you include enough details about the exact model of Colt revolver).
Paul, I don’t know if I’m clamoring but I plan to buy The Winds Of Winter when it comes out in hardback (if you knew how cheap I am you might call that clamoring). I need the books to erase the show’s pictures (and plot) from my head, just like i did with the Hobbit movies
“Tsundoku Mountain Zhang”
@Standback and Camestros: Series is weird for me because it’s easier to vote for in a year like this year where most of the finalists have already appeared on a Hugo ballot , but IMO it’s less interesting than the previous ballots that featured a lot of series that were new to me. I was able to put a lot of my Hugo reading time last year into Series and I’m glad I did (notably, both Lady Trent and the Raksura hadn’t pinged my radar before their nomination).
I also think Novella is weird this year because it’s abnormally series-focused, with three of the six finalists being direct sequels to a previous novella. Not so much of an issue if you’ve been voting in this category for a while but if you’re a first-time voter you’ve pretty much got to read four other novellas to know what’s going on.
 Back-of-the-envelope stats: 5/6 of this year’s series have had at least one entry on a Hugo ballot before, and the outlier was (effectively) on a Campbell ballot. I believe only one of last year’s series (notably, the winner) previously had an entry on a Hugo ballot and 4/6 did in 2017.
(9) May 15th was James Mason’s birthday. He had some genre roles . . . (Jack Lint)
I also remember him as very creepy in Salem’s Lot and very Watson-y the genre-adjacent Murder by Decree.
(1) My beef with GoT’s final season is how individuals and groups go from fiendishly capable to idiots and back again for no particular reason (sigh). I know achieving a tight, internal logic in a long story is tough, but still.
Out of that 1962-63 list, I’ve heard of 64, read 21.
I note there’s a typo on the web page: The Old Man of the Sea should be and not “of”. I don’t know whether the error is in the original list or in the transcription.
I noticed another one: “Tale of the Genji” should be “Tale of Genji”.
It’s surprising how many of those are still on book lists. I’ve heard of nearly all of them, and read maybe 20 or so – some for school.
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Standback: There’s also a funny interplay, where the closer you are to the Worldcon gestalt, the easier time you have? Like, if you read the authors that are semifrequent finalists, then whether you nominate them or not — you have a way easier time voting.
I’ve always been mostly a Novel reader, and several years ago (because I am lucky enough to have a big library system which gets a lot of newly-published SFF) I started directing the bulk of my efforts at current releases. Since a lot of these are usually part of a series, it’s given me an excuse to go back and catch up on a lot of books I had missed. And doing the Novellapalooza has helped me to direct some of my efforts toward Novellas. But I discovered that trying to do those and just keep up with the short fiction in the 20XX Recommended SF/F list and read the Graphic Novel finalists and read the Campbell and YA finalists was too much to take on. It left me way behind on my reading for the new year. So I decided to mostly let those things go, and scale back my Novella reading to just the ones which interested me, and not let myself get stressed about it.
It may be, since it seems that short fiction is really your thing, that trying to do all of the Novels and Series as well is too big of an ask. And if so, that’s okay. Give yourself permission to do the things that are do-able and to let the rest go. 🙂
Wires got crossed with “The Tale of the Heike”, maybe?
(Which concerns a clan rather than an individual, hence ‘The’, although they’re just “Genji monogatari” and “Heike monogatari” in Japanese).
Yeah, I’m definitely 100% going to do this.
I think I’ll pick one “stretch category” where I’ll stretch myself and read a whole damn category. And only one.
I don’t think it’ll be Best Novel — that category is full of some derservedly-buzzy books which I kind of deliberately avoided or postponed, as simply not my thing. But the Campbell or Best YA might be nice.
(Or, I can double down on short fiction, and read all the semiprozine packets…)
(Reading for next year is definitely also a major consideration!
Especially with all the awesome books coming out this year…)
After being so noisily critical of Best Series I’ve felt somewhat obligated to give it a fair shake and attempt to participate in it, but I gotta say, doing so hasn’t changed my mind about its impracticality. Also, I’m not convinced that it has done the job of rewarding work that otherwise wasn’t getting acknowledged at the Hugos. So far it’s been very heavy on either works with prior nominations&wins or authors with prior nominations&wins.