Pixel Scroll 7/11

Six news items and a video:

(1) Brandon Kempner has updated his SF/F awards meta-list on Chaos Horizons. Three Hugo-nominated novels have been among the most successful works during the current awards season – and two have not.

You can see my full list here: 2015 Awards Meta-List. I’m tacking 15 major awards. Let’s focus on the Top 8, everyone who received at least 3 different award nominations:

  1. The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu: 5 nominations, 0 wins (Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, Locus SF, Prometheus)
  1. Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie: 4 nominations, 2 wins (Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Locus SF, with wins in the BSFA and Locus SF)
  1. Annihilation/Area X, Jeff VanderMeer: 4 nominations, 1 win (Hugo, Nebula, Locus SF, World Fantasy, with a win in the Nebula)
  1. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison: 4 nominations, 1 win (Hugo, Nebula, Locus Fantasy, World Fantasy, with a win in the Locus Fantasy)
  1. Memory of Water, Emmi Itaranta: 3 nominations, 0 wins (Clarke, Tiptree, Philip K. Dick)
  1. Europe in Autumn, David Hutchinson: 3 nominations, 0 wins (Clarke, BSFA, Campbell)
  1. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Claire North: 3 nominations, 1 win (Clarke, BSFA, Campbell, with a win in the Campbell)
  1. Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor: 3 nominations, 0 wins (BSFA, Tiptree, Kitschies)
  1. The Peripheral, William Gibson: 3 nominations, 0 wins (Campbell, Locus SF, Kitschies)

(2) Here is an interesting twist in ESPN’s The Body Issue — the Super Heroes Edition.

Every day, all over the world, Marvel’s top comic book artists flex their creative muscles to illustrate the world’s mightiest super heroes. In the spirit of The Magazine’s visual celebration of athleticism, dedication and strength, a mix of those same artists took to their drawing boards to craft bold images of Marvel’s characters like never before.

Includes Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Medusa, Luke Cage, She-Hulk, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Hulk, and Ant-Man.

(3) Nina Horvath on Europa SF reports there is an exhibition on designs for the Soviet space program being held in Frankfurt, Germany.

sov space design

This monographic exhibition on the oeuvre of Russian architect Galina Balashova presents a unique collection of design proposals for the Soviet cosmonautical program: plans and construction drawings for Soyuz capsules and for the Salyut and Mir space stations. Balashova acted as a consultant for the Buran program, the Soviet counterpart to the US space shuttle. With her search for harmony and beauty, Galina Balashova lent the high-tech world of booster rockets, laboratories and life-support systems an emotional touch. We therefore have Balashova’s talent to thank for adding an important, rich chapter to construction history: cosmonautic architecture. Her extraordinary artistic oeuvre, and it includes designs for medals and awards, is to date hardly known inside Russia. Let Galina Balashova whisk you away into a world of architecture where gravity has been replaced by weightlessness.

Here is a direct link to more examples of the artwork.

(4) Microsoft is offering five $100,000 grants to academics to research new uses for holographic computing.

On Monday, the company published a request for proposals for researchers who want to use its augmented reality headset to develop new applications, ranging from data visualisation to medical training, remote support, first-responder emergency management, virtual conferences, and more….

Microsoft has impressed games developers with its demo of Minecraft through HoloLens, but the company has also been keen to show off to other codes its potential for business applications, such as in engineering, collaboration, and training.

With that in mind, it’s also working with NASA to put HoloLens to work on the International Space Station, giving it a high profile case study and a chance to show off its use in training and assistance. For example, the headset, with the aid of Skype, could guide an astronaut….

Request for proposal details are available at hololensresearch.com. The application deadline is September 5, 2015.

(5) A rare sighting on this side of the Pond: Ramsey Campbell and Stephen Jones will be among the Special Guests at Necronomicon in Providence, RI over the August 20-23 weekend.

(6) Hugh Jackman says the third Wolverine spinoff film will be his last and Conan O’Brien rounded up half of Hollywood to audition as his replacement.

On Wednesday night’s episode of Conan, O’Brien shared tapes of Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt, Larry King, Michael Sheen and Betty White, among others, auditioning for the part (CGI claws and all).


[Thanks for these items to Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor, and John King Tarpinian.]

20 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/11

  1. Ah, the ESPN special on Marvel just emphasizes the fact that superheroes are all basically naked people with painted on outfits. I love my superhero books dearly, but sometimes I wish people would wear clothes in them. You can tell a great artist if they know how to draw cloth draping properly.

  2. Annihilation/Area X wasn’t nominated for any Hugos, last I checked.

    It should have been. I’m waiting for the nomination data to be released, but I suspect it was one of the works pushed off the ballot by the Pups.

  3. @Mark Hopper: No, but The Goblin Emperor was and it’s fourth on the list.

  4. Just saw the Shannara Chronicles trailer they are showing at San Diego…looks amazing, and I’m not even a big fan of the books! Remains to be seen if the writing/acting is any good, of course–you can make anything look fabulous for 3 minutes. Appropriately for a series that was a Tolkien clone, they shot in New Zealand. It’s going to be on MTV(!) in January.

  5. @Tegan

    That’s something I really like about the Batgirl redesign (even if I’m still sore over Oracle going away). She’s wearing clothes!

  6. I love me my superheroes, but I do love the movement towards female heroes actually wearing clothing that normal people would wear. Yeah, I’m an Aquaman fan and it’s really unlikely that my characters are going to get real clothes any time soon (artists would have to be really good to draw clothing draping properly underwater!) but I do like the Batgirl redesign.

    And yeah, I agree with you about Oracle. One of the best characters ever.

  7. The things that pop out at you when you do a deep dive in a Marvel Unlimited subscription. That has become one of my favorite single panels in all of superhero comics.

  8. @Michael Eochaidh

    No, but The Goblin Emperor was and it’s fourth on the list.

    It should be third. Not to knock Annihilation at all(if anything it’d be my pick for Best Novel) but it’s too high on that list.

  9. Once I do the whole Hugo voting thing I will be back to pester you all about the comics I really should read.

    Bearing in mind the fact that the last time I was seriously invested in a comic it was called the Silver Surfer…

  10. Bearing in mind the fact that the last time I was seriously invested in a comic it was called the Silver Surfer…

    The current SILVER SURFER series is probably worth getting seriously invested in these days, too.

    It’s sort of like a cross between Jack Kirby space adventure and DOCTOR WHO…

  11. Okay, Filers, I finished Consider Phlebas and I have problems! I already know Bruce Baugh doesn’t remember the specifics of these, but perhaps someone here does.

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    2. Jul qvq Kbkneyr qryvorengryl fznfu gur znff frafbe? Ur rira fnlf vg jnf uvf znwbe pbaprea va gung ehfr, engure guna rfpncvat be birecbjrevat uvf pncgbef. Gur znff frafbe jnf fgvyy uvf orfg ubcr bs svaqvat gur Zvaq. Uvf frafvoyr cynl jnf gur fnzr nf Onyirqn’f – ovqr uvf gvzr hagvy uvf pncgbef yrq uvz gb gurve pbzzba tbny.

  12. Prompted by a review of the sequel (not yet out) to Rhiannon Thomas’ debut novel, A Wicked Thing, I bought it and it sucked the whole evening away.

    Here’s the review (with spoilers though not to the ending) to Wicked Thing at Book Smugglers (one of my favorite review sites).

    I’m a huge fan of new approaches to folk/fairy tales (loved Bryony and Roses), and A Wicked Thing is incredible (don’t judge by its cover, heh: Ana at Smugglers did and regretted it!).

    This one is going on my Hugo noms list, and I’ve pre-ordered Kingdom of Ashes.

  13. As much as Oracle vanishing into the ether was annoying, far more annoying was Cassandra Cain no longer being Batgirl. I really liked her, at least as written by Puckett and a few others.

    I too quite liked A Wicked Thing, though not enough to consider it for a best-of list. I’d certainly recommend it if the premise is at all appealing, though.

  14. @MaxL

    I love Cass, too. Her early Batgirl volumes were some of the first I bought. Losing Cass and Oracle at once was a double loss for the visibility of women with disabilities in comics, although they’d done their best to rub out Cass’ some time before. Oracle was probably the most visible female disabled character before that, so it was particularly painful (especially since I use a wheelchair part of the time myself).

  15. Jim – I’m sorry it’s been WAY too long for me to remember what the answers to those questions might be!

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