Pixel Scroll 6/1/22 The Ones Who Scroll Away From Pixelas

(1) BURKE TELLS MORE ABOUT HER BALTICON EXPERIENCE. Stephanie Burke has written a 2600-word comment on File 770’s “Balticon Chair Apologizes After Author Stephanie Burke Removed From Panels” post that goes into fuller detail about her experience. The link is here. In the last two paragraphs she says —

…It took me close to 20 years to build up my reputation there as a person who did her best to make sure everyone had representation, that willful ignorance would be avoided, to be someone who was safe for anyone to speak to, to offer info, links, and some perspective that may help them as well as learn how I can improv myself, and now it is gone here with no proof and no way to defend myself. All I got was the decision of the board still stands and I still don’t have an idea of what exactly I was supposed to have said. They told me they didn’t have the recordings in the room where ever panel was recorded so unless someone is lying about the recording, I’ll never get the chance to defend myself. Unless of course, the recording is found at the last moment but to me that sounds like looking for proof of guilt than proof of evidence of innocence.

One of the last things I told them and still remains true, was that closest feeling I could aquait with being walked out of that room like that was a time when I was a teen working at a summer camp when some woman claimed that I had stolen her wallet. I was marched out of the room like the cops knew I was guilty, the accusing eyes and twisted lips, only to be let back in a few moments later with the woman happily calling out that she just misplaced her wallet and just found it in her purse and everything was all good and okay now, right? The cops kind of shrugged at me and said okay and that was it but I went into the bathroom and threw up my lunch. This was the closest I had ever come to feeling like that and I never want to feel like that again. I know would feel it again if I walked into another Balticon event….

(2) FIRE DISPLACES SFF WORKSHOP. Taos Toolbox has moved to Albuquerque this year. Nancy Kress announced on Facebook.

Taos Toolbox is not going to be in Taos this year. The two-week intensive science-fiction writing workshop that Walter Jon Williams and I teach is usually held at the ski resort of Angel Fire, near Taos, New Mexico. However, the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak wildfire is less than a dozen miles from Angel Fire and not yet close to being contained. Since it’s not good to incinerate workshop attendees, the workshop has moved to a hotel in Albuquerque….

Walter Jon Williams, the event’s founder, filled in the details on Facebook.

So quite a number of plans have gang agley in the last days, so I’ve been putting out fires— nearly literal fires.

Taos Toolbox, the master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy, starts this weekend, and has been held at the Angel Fire resort for the last decade or more. It’s a deluxe place in a beautiful mountain setting, and unless there’s a mountain bike rally or something, it’s not too crowded or noisy and we can concentrate on our work.

Except this year we have the Hermit’s Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history, over 300,000 acres and currently only 60% contained. It’s ten miles from Angel Fire, and when it gets a wind behind it, a fire can race along at 5 miles per day. Angel Fire has been at the “prepare to evacuate” stage for weeks now.

I mean, the pandemic wasn’t enough?

Now the fire is 60% contained, and the odds are Angel Fire would have been fine, but I couldn’t guarantee that. I couldn’t absolutely promise that Hermit’s Peak wouldn’t blaze up again, or that we wouldn’t have to evacuate 20 people to lodging unknown. So I moved the workshop to the Sonesta ES suite hotel in Albuquerque, which is quite luxe, offers free breakfast, and has a fine view of the semi trucks running past on the freeway….

(3) ROYALTY IN GENRE. The British Science Fiction Association anticipated Jubilee Weekend by launching this discussion topic:

Here are two of the many responses.

(4) THE GODFATHER. Craig Miller who created the Official Star Wars Fan Club for Lucasfilm told Facebook friends about his new nickname.

During the Star Wars Celebration panel “Fandom Through the Generations”, Dan Madsen – the founder of the Star Wars Celebration conventions and Star Wars Insider – called me “The Godfather of Star Wars Fandom”.

That actually felt a little weird. I suppose not entirely inaccurate. Part of my job was to take Star Wars to Fandom and to keep Lucasfilm of the mind that fans are important. But I’d never thought of it that way….

The post also contains a photo of the plaque and trophy Craig received this weekend when he was made an Honorary Member of the 501st Legion.

(5) SHOULD IT BE A PERMANENT HUGO? Trevor Quachri expands on a DisCon III panel discussion about the proposed Best Video Game Hugo in “The Play’s the Thing”, his editorial in the May/June Analog.

…So it seems straightforward: games, particularly of a “science fiction, fantasy, or related subject” bent (per the award description) deserve a permanent spot on the ballot, right?

Well, let’s hit the pause button for a moment.

Everyone on that games panel quickly stumbled over the same basic question: Given all of that background, what’s the primary criterion for judging the “best” game in a given year? And what makes the Hugo for Best Video Game different from any of the other already-existing game awards given out by fans, professional game designers, and the like? Is it a “writing in games” award? The Hugos may be primarily literary, but well-written games may not actually be the best games, taken on their own merits. (Chess, for example, isn’t a lesser game because the pieces don’t each have an elaborate backstory.)

And how do you explain what makes a good game to folks unfamiliar with them? Games are built from readily-understandable art to one degree or another—the graphics are art; the music is art; voice acting is acting, which is art; and yes, the stories in games are art—but the thing that makes games unique—the game part—isn’t so easily grasped….

(6) CORA BUHLERT. Camestros Felapton continues his series of why-you-should-vote-for each Best Fan Writer finalist with “Cora Buhlert: Hugo 2022 Fanwriter Finalist”.

Cora Buhlert is a prolific indie author, champion of independent publishing, blogger, pulp historian as well as a teacher and translator. Based in Germany, her sci-fi writing and reviews are primarily in English but she is also a tireless ambassador for science fiction from beyond the insular English speaking perspective on the genre.

(7) FROM THE START. Wole Talabi shared some “Preliminary Observations From An Incomplete History of African SFF” at the SFWA Blog.

When Did the History of Published African SFF Begin?

Tricky. And there is probably no right answer since publishing from early colonial Africa was problematic and it depends on what you define as SFF. I’ve arbitrarily limited my scope to works published between 1921 and 2021, even though I don’t have any entries from 1921. Why 100 years? To quote Geoff Ryman: Because it’s easy to remember. And the first entry in the database is Cameroonian Jean-Louis Njemba Medou’s Nnanga Kon, a novel published in 1932 in Bulu. I suppose that’s as good a point as any to start. However, that’s only one way to look at things. Another is to observe the rapid increase in published works that begins in 2011, peaks in 2016, and has somewhat stabilized since (although this could simply reflect my inability to keep up with documenting new works).

(8) COVID TRACKING. Balticon 56’s “Covid Reports” page lists five attendees who report they have tested positive.

This page will continue to be updated as COVID-19 positive tests are reported after the con. If you attended Balticon in person and have a positive test result before June 15th, please email covid@balticon.org.

(9) BACK FROM CONQUEST. Kij Johnson reports on a successful Ad Astra Center fundraiser in “Summer starts with a screeching sound, as of hot brakes making a hard turn.”

…Last weekend was a benefit auction for the Ad Astra Center, held at ConQuest, the KC SF convention, this was fantastic fun: we had a great team of six people, and ended up with more than 300 auction items, and made (we think) close to $3000, which is pretty extraordinary, considering this was a small con this year. (I also was on panels with Fonda Lee, Katherine Forrister, and other cool people.) Chris McKitterick and I had a chance to talk about what Ad Astra is looking forward to doing, and I am ever more excited by what’s going to be possible….

(10) SHALLOW ROOTS. Abigail Nussbaum says there’s a reason for the sense of sameness in the series’ second season in “Love, Death, Robots, but no Women” at Lawyers, Guns & Money.

…There have been thirty-five Love, Death + Robots episodes. Something like thirty of them are based on a previously-published short stories. Only one of those stories is by a woman. (Also, only one of those stories—not the same one—is by a person of color.) And frankly, that’s not only reprehensible in its own right, but it tells in the final product. There’s a certain laddishness to the stories the show chooses to tell, a disinterest in the inner life of anyone but manly, taciturn men. Bug hunt stories abound, and despite the show identifying itself as science fiction, there is no shortage of episodes that are just plain horror, whose appeal seems primarily to be watching a lot of people get torn to bits cinematically (“The Secret War” in season 1; “The Tall Grass”, season 2; “Bad Traveling”, season 3). Though some episodes have female protagonists, there are also a lot of stories where women exist to be ogled (“The Witness”, season 1) or fucked (“Beyond the Aquilla Rift”, season 1; “Snow in the Desert”, season 2).

I watched the recently-released third season over the last couple of evenings and was not impressed…. 

(11) STRANGER TV. In contrast, Nussbaum enthuses about “Stranger Things Season 4, Volume I” on her Tumblr.

Folks, I am somewhat flabbergasted to report that the fourth season of Stranger Things – a show that I would previously have described as “derivative fun, if you don’t think about it too hard” – is not only its best, but genuinely good TV. There are some caveats to this claim – the last two episodes haven’t been released yet, and the protracted episode runtimes (ranging from 63 to 98 minutes) are impossible to justify – though for the most part the show wears them pretty lightly. But even so, this sort of thing just doesn’t happen…. 

(12) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1984 [By Cat Eldridge.] I still remember The Dune Encyclopedia fondly as it is an amazing creation. Published by Berkley thirty-eight years ago, it was written by Willis E. McNelly and forty-two other individuals not as a work of non-fiction but rather as an in-universe work. Everything in it was something that was supposed to actually be true. It was edited by Hadi Benotto, an archaeologist you’ll find in God Emperor of Dune and Heretics of Dune.

It was authorized by Herbert, who considered it canon, and went into detail such things as character biographies, looks at the worlds in that universe, a look at the spice melange, how such things as the stillsuits and the heighliners of the Spacing Guild function.

Herbert wrote the foreword to The Dune Encyclopedia and said: “Here is a rich background (and foreground) for the Dune Chronicles, including scholarly bypaths and amusing sidelights. Some of the contributions are sure to arouse controversy, based as they are on questionable sources … I must confess that I found it fascinating to re-enter here some of the sources on which the Chronicles are built. As the first ‘Dune fan’, I give this encyclopedia my delighted approval, although I hold my own counsel on some of the issues still to be explored as the Chronicles unfold.” 

Brian Herbert later, being the, well, I can’t use the word I want to use, declared everything here non-canon. That allowed him to write anything he wanted to in the novels he and Kevin J. Anderson have putting out by the armload. He even said his father never intended it to be canon.

If you’d like to purchase a copy today, it’ll cost you dearly, particularly in hardcover. A good copy is now running around two hundred and fifty dollars. 

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 1, 1926 Andy Griffith. His most notable SFF genre credit is as Harry Broderick on the late Seventies Salvage I which lasted for two short seasons. Actually that was it, other than a one-off on The Bionic Woman. It’s streaming for free on Crackle whatever the Frelling that is. (Died 2012.)
  • Born June 1, 1928 Janet Grahame Johnstone, and Anne Grahame Johnstone. British twin sisters who were children’s book illustrators best remembered for their prolific artwork and for illustrating Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians. They were always more popular with the public than they were with the critics who consider them twee. (Janet died 1979. Anne died 1988.)
  • Born June 1, 1940 René Auberjonois. Odo on DS9. He’s shown up on a number of genre productions including Wonder WomanThe Outer LimitsNight GalleryThe Bionic WomanBatman Forever, King Kong, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryEnterpriseStargate SG-1 and Warehouse 13He’s lent both his voice and likeness to gaming productions in recent years, and has done voice work for the animated Green Lantern and Justice League series. He directed eight episodes of DS9. And he wrote a lot of novels, none of which I’ve read. Has anyone here read any of them? (Died 2019.)
  • Born June 1, 1947 Jonathan Pryce, 75. I remember him best as the unnamed bureaucrat in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He’s had a long career in genre works including Brazil, Something Wicked This Way Comes as Mr. Dark himself, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as Governor Weatherby Swann, The Brothers Grimm, in the G.I. Joe films as the U.S. President and most recently in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote as Don Quixote. 
  • Born June 1, 1948 Powers Boothe. Though not genre, he played saloon owner Cy Tolliver on the Deadwood series, and “Curly Bill” Brocius in Tombstone, one of my favorite films. Now genre wise, he’s in the animated Superman: Brainiac Attacks voicing Lex Luthor, The Avengers as Gideon Malick, Gorilla Grodd and Red Tornado in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited and a recurring role as Gideon Malick in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. (Died 2017.)
  • Born June 1, 1954 Michael P. Kube-McDowell, 68. A filker which gets major points in my book. And yes, I’m stalling while I try to remember what of his I’ve read. I’m reasonably sure I’ve read both of his Isaac Asimov’s Robot City novels, and now I can recall reading Alternities as well. God, it’s been at least twenty years since I read him which I thought odd, but then I noticed at ISFDB that he hasn’t published a novel in that long. 
  • Born June 1, 1966 David Dean Oberhelman. Another one who died far too young. Mike has an appreciation of him hereThe Intersection of Fantasy and Native America: From H.P. Lovecraft to Leslie Marmon Silko which he co-wrote with Amy H. Sturgis was published by The Mythopoeic Press. ISFDB lists just one genre essay by him, “From Iberian to Ibran and Catholic to Quintarian”, printed in Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. (Died 2018.)
  • Born June 1, 1996 Tom Holland, 26. He’s known for playing Spider-Man in five films: Captain America: Civil WarSpider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and the recently out Spider-Man: Far From Home

(14) IT’S GOT ISSUES. At The Verge, Alex Cranz says, “The merging of Comixology and Kindle has created a hell I’d like to escape”.

In February of this year, Amazon finally completed its consumption of the once independent app for downloading comics, Comixology. Amazon had acquired the app way back in 2013, and apart from removing the ability to buy comics directly from the app, it left it untouched for nearly a decade. But this year, Amazon changed things — incorporating Comixology’s digital marketplace directly into the Kindle ecosystem and totally redesigning the Comixology app. It has taken two distinct mediums — digital comics and digital books — and smashed them together into an unholy blob of content that is worse in every single way. Apparently, if you let one company acquire a near-monopoly in the digital books and comics spaces, it will do terrible things that make the experience worse….

…The new Comixology app is largely just… annoying. That’s the best word for it. Everything you need is still there, but the design isn’t really intuitive, and it can make a large collection of comics (I’ve been using Comixology since 2011) difficult to navigate. It feels sort of like when you go to the grocery store after they move aisles around. Everything is still there, but the change feels so dramatic after years of the familiar.

But where my local Food Bazaar will helpfully label the aisles, Comixology has not. There are no clear labels for useful built-in tools like its “Guided View,” which is designed to fluidly move you from panel to panel with a swipe instead of having each page take up the whole display. The Guided View is still there, but the clear explanation of what it is or how to use it is gone. You access it by double-tapping — which I only know because I was trying to access the menu to leave the book.

(15) CONFRONTING THE BLANK PAGE. Neil Clarke wrestles with the question of what he should be doing in his monthly Clarkesworld editorial: “Managing This Expectation”. He posits several ideas – here are two of them.

…Or perhaps, I’m filing a report of “criminal” acts? Earlier this week I was the victim of an ageist attack suggesting that I was “too old to be editing one of the leading science fiction magazines” and I should “get out of the way” so someone younger can do it. I’m only fifty-five, not the oldest editor I know, and not about to give up the magazine I started over one person’s disrespectful opinion on the matter. Their punishment is measured by the amount of time I continue to edit Clarkesworld.

Could be that it’s like being a referee, outlining how we’d like to see the game played? It’s perfectly fair to criticize or celebrate the finalists or winners of any award. Science fiction is a broad field with a variety of styles that might not appeal to everyone and the awards will reflect some of that. It’s only natural to be thrilled or disappointed when your favorite player wins, loses, or is benched. That said, we want a fair fight here. There should be no punching below the belt–criticizing or campaigning against based on anything other than the work they’ve done….

(16) FANTASY ART ON EXHIBIT. [Item by Bill.] The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, TN is holding this exhibition through September 5: “Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration”.

For hundreds of years, artists have been inspired by the imaginative potential of fantasy. Unlike science fiction, which is based on fact, fantasy presents an impossible reality—a universe where dragons breathe fire, angels battle demons, and magicians weave spells. Enchanted offers a thoughtful appraisal of how artists from the early 20th century to the present have brought to life myths, fairy tales, and modern epics like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Featuring nearly 100 artworks, the exhibition explores Greek myths, Arthurian Legends, fairy tales, and modern superheroes.

The Hunter’s description of the event isn’t much, and a better one can be found here at the Norman Rockwell Museum, which organized the event.

There is an accompanying book available from Amazon and Bud’s Art Books.

If you can’t make it to Chattanooga, the exhibition is also travelling to Flint, MI and will be on display at the Flint Institute of Arts from September 24, 2022 – January 8, 2023.

(17) SOME CAN AND SOME CANTON. Camestros Felapton, in “Some Swiss news about far-right publisher Vox Day”, covers Vox Day’s announcement that he’s threatening to sue [Internet Archive link] the journalists who reported his purchase of a Swiss castle.

The journalists’ article includes this paragraph:

…On the internet, Vox Day summarizes the alt-right – to which he avoids being directly attached – as the defense of “the existence of the white man and the future of white children”. The blogger also confesses a certain admiration for Adolf Hitler. “National Socialism is not only human logic, it is also much more logical and true than communism, feminism or secular Zionism,” the Minnesota-born American writes on his blog. …

Vox always objects to being identified with Hitler and Nazis (see “Complaint About Term ‘Neo-Nazi’ Results in Foz Meadows Post Moving from Black Gate to Amazing Stories” from File 770 in 2016).

(18) YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE. JustWatch determined these were the “Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies and TV Shows in the US in May 2022”

Rank*MoviesTV shows
1Spider-Man: No Way HomeStar Trek: Strange New Worlds
2Sonic the Hedgehog 2Obi-Wan Kenobi
3MorbiusSeverance
4Ghostbusters: AfterlifeStranger Things
5MoonfallDoctor Who
6FirestarterMoon Knight
7Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomThe Man Who Fell to Earth
8Jurassic WorldThe Time Traveler’s Wife
9The BatmanHalo
10Sonic the HedgehogThe Twilight Zone

*Based on JustWatch popularity score. Genre data is sourced from themoviedb.org

(19) BAGEL POWER. Accented Cinema is prepared to tell you “The Hidden Meaning of Everything Everywhere All at Once”.

Here it is! My analysis of the metaphors hidden in Everything Everywhere At at Once. Did you know why Michelle Yeoh put a googly eye on herself? Let’s find out!

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Game Trailers: Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodhunt,” Fandom Games says while earlier installments of this franchise “turned a bunch of nerds into enerds wearing eye shadow,” this installment is “the latest in the ‘kill people in a rapidly shrinking circle genre.”  The narrator thinks the game is boring and says, “call me when Bloodhunt has Ariana Grande and industrial dancing!”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Bill, N., John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Maytree.]

2021 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association today announced the winners of the 2021 BSFA Awards.

The awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and by the members of the year’s Eastercon, the national science fiction convention, held since 1955.

The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970. This year marks the launch of a new category, the Best Book for Younger Readers.

 BEST BOOK FOR YOUNGER READERS

  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao, Rock the Boat

BEST NOVEL

  • Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Tor

BEST SHORTER FICTION

  • ‘Fireheart Tiger’ by Aliette de Bodard, Tor.com

BEST NON-FICTION

  • Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Francesca T. Barbini, Luna Publishing

BEST ARTWORK

  • Glasgow Green Woman by Iain Clark, Glasgow2024
Aliette de Bodard with BSFA Award

2021 BSFA Awards Shortlist

The British Science Fiction Association today announced the shortlist of nominees for the BSFA Awards, for work published in 2021.

The awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and by the members of the year’s Eastercon, the national science fiction convention, held since 1955. Voting opens for BSFA members on Monday, February 28 at bsfa.co.uk

 This year’s Eastercon, Reclamation, will be held April 15-19, and is where the winners will be announced. The BSFA Awards ceremony will be free to attend by all members of Eastercon and nominees: details will be released closer to the date.

Members of the BSFA will receive a PDF with excerpts of the nominated works via an emailed newsletter in advance of the convention, and a physical copy of the Awards Booklet at a later date.

The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970. This year marks the launch of a new category, the Best Book for Younger Readers.

 BEST BOOK FOR YOUNGER READERS

  • The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis, Bloomsbury Children’s Books
  • A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger, Levine Querido
  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao, Rock the Boat
  • Redemptor, by Jordan Ifueko, Hot Key Books
  • The Empty Orchestra, by Elizabeth Priest, Luna Press Publishing
  • Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve, David Fickling Books

BEST NOVEL

  • A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, Tor
  • Blackthorn Winter by Liz Williams, NewCon Press
  • Purgatory Mount by Adam Roberts, Gollancz
  • Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Tor
  • Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley, Solaris
  • Green Man’s Challenge by Juliet E. McKenna, Wizard’s Tower Press

BEST SHORTER FICTION

  • ‘Fireheart Tiger’ by Aliette de Bodard, Tor.com
  • ‘Light Chaser’ by Peter F. Hamilton, Gareth L. Powell, Tor.com
  • ‘O2 Arena’ by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Galaxy Edge Magazine
  • ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ by Fiona Moore, Abyss & Apex

BEST NON-FICTION

  • Cyberpunk Culture and Psychology: Seeing Through the Mirrorshades, by Anna McFarlane, Routledge
  • Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Color, by Joy Sanchez-Taylor, Ohio State Press
  • The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture, by Mark Bould, Verso Books
  • Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Francesca T. Barbini, Luna Publishing
  • Octothorpe Podcast, by John Coxon, Alison Scott, and Liz Batty, Octothorpe
  • Science Fiction and the Pathways out of the COVID Crisis, by Val Nolan, The Polyphony

BEST ARTWORK

  • Cover of Eugen Bacon’s Danged Black Thing, by Peter Lo / Kara Walker, Transit Lounge Publishing
  • Cover of Eugen Bacon’s Saving Shadows, by Elena Betti, NewCon Press
  • Cover of Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Son of the Storm, by Dan dos Santos / Lauren Panepinto, Orbit
  • Cover of Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (ed.)’s The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction, by Maria Spada
  • Glasgow Green Woman by Iain Clark, Glasgow2024

Pixel Scroll 2/12/22 To Scroll The Invisible Pixel

(1) TAKE SANFORD’S SFF MAGAZINE SURVEY. Jason Sanford is running a new survey about how people view SFF genre magazines, described in his twitter thread about the survey. Sanford originally did a survey at the end of 2019 about people’s views on SFF magazines (also shared on File770). “I’d planned to release those results in the first quarter of 2020 but the COVID pandemic intervened. But having those pre-pandemic survey results allows me to run an identical copy of the survey right now and see if people’s views of SFF magazines changed over the last two years.”

Here’s the survey link at Google Docs

(2) AURORA AWARDS TIMELINE. Members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association have until midnight tonight (Eastern time) to add genre works to the Aurora Awards eligibility list that were done by Canadians in 2021.

On Saturday, February 19, they will open up the nomination forms so CSFFA members can select up to five different works in each of the categories to be on this year’s final Aurora Award ballot.  Nominations will be open for five weeks – closing on March 26 at 11:59 pm Eastern.  

(3) PROFIT IN ITS OWN LAND. The Guardian finds that entering public domain takes an unexpected toll on popular classics: “The Great Gapsby? How modern editions of classics lost the plot”.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” It is one of the most memorable literary payoffs in history, the end of F Scott Fitzgerald’s defining novel of the 20th centuryThe Great Gatsby.

Yet this famous ending will be lost to many readers thanks to the proliferation of substandard editions, one of which loses the last three pages and instead finishes tantalisingly halfway through a paragraph.

…In his study, to be published next month in the F Scott Fitzgerald Review, West contrasts the focus on accuracy of Fitzgerald’s publisher, Scribner, with today’s “textual instability incarnate”.

He pored over 34 new print editions released in the past year, from established and independent publishers and some that list neither the place nor publisher, although there are further digital ones: “Six are competently done, but the rest are rather careless, done just to pick up a slice of the yearly sales. While it was still in copyright, Scribner’s sold about half a million copies a year, which is remarkable for a backlist title.”

To his dismay, 17 editions dropped Fitzgerald’s dedication to his wife, Zelda: “Her name has been erased – a serious problem … because she was Fitzgerald’s muse. She was partly the inspiration for Daisy Buchanan.”

(4) A LONG GOODBYE. Jesse Walker shares a few quick thoughts about a new anthology in “Dangerous Visions and New Worlds” in Reason.

…The best thing about Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950–1985, an uneven but often incisive anthology of essays from PM Press, is that it covers the New Wave moment without limiting itself to the New Wave movement. The most talented New Wave writers are covered here—there are essays on J.G. Ballard, Octavia Butler, Barry Malzberg, and others—but so are TV tie-ins and porny paperbacks, showing how such ideas seeped through society…

(5) NOMMO SHORTLISTED WRITERS Q&A. The British Science Fiction Association and the Nommos Awards will hold a virtual event in March – date to be announced.

Last year the BSFA has funded 5 Nommo shortlisted writers  to virtually attend Worldcon, Discon 3. This March (date to be confirmed) we are holding a Q&A panel, based on the questions submitted by our readers. We are looking forward to receiving your questions on our facebook and twitter, or on a special email for the event: bsfa.nommo@gmail.com

Here is the list of participants in our Q&A.

Nana Akosua Hanson and Francis Y Brown (AnimaxFYB Studios)

Winners of the 2021 Nommo Award for best comic writer and best comic artist. All ten chapters of the winning comic are available here.

Nihkil Singh

Short-listed for the 2017 Illube Nommo Award for Taty went West and for 2021 Ilube Nommo Award for Club Ded.

His story ‘Malware Park’ is available here.

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

The winner of the 2019 Nommo Award for Best Short Story and the 2021 Nommo Award for best novella for Ife-Iyoku: The Tale of Imadeyunuagbon, available in Dominion An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. ‘The Witching Hour’ won the Nommo award for best short story in 2019. Here is another story of his, ‘The Mannequin Challenge

Stephen Embleton

His novel Soul Searching was shortlisted for the 2021 Ilube-Nommo Award.  We offer our readers a chance to read an extract from it. His speculative fiction available to read online includes “Land of Light” – Imagine Africa 500 speculative fiction anthology (2015) 

Tlotlo Tsamaase

shared the 2021 Nommo Award with Innocent Chizaram Ilo.

Her winning story ‘Behind Our Irises’ was part of Brittle Paper’s anthology Africanfuturism edited by Wole Talabi is available to read here. Her most recent fiction is “Dreamports” and “District to Cervix – The Time  Before We Were Born” 

Tochi Onyebuchi

won the 2018 Ilube-Nommo Award for his novel Beasts Made of Night

His novella Riot Baby was shortlisted for this year’s Nommo Award, and won in its category the Fiyah Award. A free excerpt is available here. His novel Goliath is expected in January of this year.  A free excerpt is available here.

(6) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1999 [Item by Cat Eldridge] Twenty-three years ago, the film remake of the My Favorite Martian series premiered. It was directed by Donald Petrie as written by Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver, both had been writers on the Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.

It has a good cast including Jeff Daniels, Christopher Lloyd, Elizabeth Hurley, Daryl Hannah, Wallace Shawn, Christine, Ebersole and Wayne Knight.  Ray Walston even showed up as Armitan/Neenert, a long ago-stranded Martian who has been masquerading as a government operative for years.

Some critics did like it, some didn’t.  As Robert Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times put it “The movie is clever in its visuals, labored in its audios, and noisy enough to entertain kids up to a certain age. What age? Low double digits.”  But Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times stated “Walston displays a crisp wit and blithe sense of whimsy otherwise lacking in this loser.”

What it didn’t make is money. On a budget of sixty-five million, it only made thirty-seven million. And it only gets a thirty percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes among audience reviewers.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 12, 1920 Louis Russell Chauvenet. Member of First Fandom, and a founder of the Boston’s Stranger Club which ran the first Boskones.  He’s credited with coining the term “fanzine” and may have also coined “prozine” as well. He published a number of zines from the later Thirties to the early Sixties. (Died 2003.)
  • Born February 12, 1929 Donald Kingsbury, 93. He’s written three novels (Courtship RiteThe Moon Goddess and the Son and Psychohistorical Crisis) that could be akin to the Asimov’s Foundation novels. Clute at EOSF says that the Asimov estate explicitly refused him permission to set Psychohistorical Crisis in the Foundation universe.  Now there’s a story there, isn’t there? 
  • Born February 12, 1933 Juanita Ruth Coulson, 89. She’s best known for her Children of the Stars series. She was a longtime co-editor of the Yandro fanzine with her husband, Buck, and she’s a filker of quite some renown. Yandro won the Best Fanzine Hugo at Loncon II in 1965. 
  • Born February 12, 1942 Terry Bisson, 80. I’m very fond of “Bears Discover Fire” which won a Hugo at Chicon V. And yes, it won a Nebula and a Sturgeon as well.  Some may like his novels but I’m really in love with his short fiction which why I’m recommending three collection he’s done, Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories, In the Upper Room and Other Likely Stories and TVA Baby and Other Stories.
  • Born February 12, 1945 Maud Adams, 77. Best remembered for being two different Bond girls, first for being in The Man with the Golden Gun where she was Andrea Anders, and as the title character in Octopussy. She shows up a few years later uncredited in a third Bond film, A View to Kill, as A Woman in Fisherman’s Wharf Crowd. 
  • Born February 12, 1945 Gareth Daniel Thomas. His best-known genre role was as of Roj Blake on Blake’s 7 for the first two series of that British show. He also had a minor role in Quatermass and the Pit, and had one-offs in The AvengersStar MaidensHammer House of Horror, The Adventures Of Sherlock HolmesTales of the UnexpectedRandall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and Torchwood. (Died 2016.)
  • Born February 12, 1954 Stu Shiffman. To quote Mike in his post, he was “The renowned fan artist, who generously shared his talents in fanzines, apas and convention publications, received the Best Fan Artist Hugo Award in 1990 and the Rotsler Award in 2010.” You can read Mikes’ gracious full post on him here. (Died 2014.)
  • Born February 12, 1960 Laura Miller, 62. Author of an essay whose title tickles me to the end: “It’s Philip Dick’s World, We Only Live In It“. Originally appearing in the New York Times, 24 November 2002, it was reprinted in PKD Otaku, #9 which you can download here.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

(9) WHO DREW? First Fandom Experience shows its detective chops and connections as they seek out the creator of this Thirties-vintage “Mysterious Early Fan Art”.

… Regarding the style of the piece, we believe it’s directly inspired by the work of Frank R. Paul — most specifically, this piece from Amazing Stories Quarterly, v1n1, Winter 1928, illustrating “The Moon of Doom” by Earl L. Bell….

(10) THAT’S NOT GIBBERISH, THAT’S SFF. Got to love this. Phil Jamesson “reading the first page of any sci-fi novel”. [Via Boing Boing.]

(11) BAKULA TO THE FUTURE. Will Scott Bakula be involved? Movieweb rounds up “Everything We Know About the Quantum Leap Reboot”.

…In Quantum Leap’s case, details of the new series are still sketchy, but it is believed that the premise will make the new series a continuation rather than a full reboot. Set in the same universe as the original, the new series will feature a new team of scientists resurrecting the Quantum Leap project, and attempting to find out what happened to Sam, whose fate was famously left up in the air by the original’s ambiguous finale….

(12) JWST TAKES SELFIE. “NASA beams back unexpected selfie of the Webb telescope from 1 million miles away” – see the image at Mashable.

We thought we’d never see the giant James Webb Space Telescope ever again.

The space observatory has traveled to its distant cosmic outpost, nearly a million miles from Earth. It doesn’t carry any surveillance cameras dedicated to monitoring the instrument as it traveled through space and unfurled. They were too complicated, and risky, to add.

But NASA still found a way to take a (somewhat coarse and eerie) selfie.

The space agency used an auxiliary lens on its powerful Near-Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, which will peer at some of the earliest stars and galaxies that formed in the universe, over 13.5 billion years ago.

“This special lens is meant for engineering, not science, and allows NIRCam to capture an ‘inward-looking’ image of the primary mirror,” NASA tweeted. “This image helps us to check that the telescope is aligned with the science instruments.”…

(13) YOUR NOTHING IN THE WAY STATION. This Budweiser Super Bowl commercial uses a lot of sf-style effects. But if that’s not enough reason to view it, you can get a head start by skipping it now!

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Rob Thornton, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

Second Round of 2021 BSFA Awards Nominations Begins

The 2019 BSFA Award trophy

British Science Fiction Association members will have until February 21 to help choose the BSFA Awards shortlists for works published in 2021. The voting form is available to BSFA members here.

In the first round, members nominated a longlist of 74 novels, 62 works of short fiction, 25 items of nonfiction, and 28 artworks.

Once voters have determined the shortlist, BSFA members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon will vote for the winners.

The full longlists follow:

BEST ARTWORK LONGLIST

  • Black Corporeal (Between This Air), by Julianknxx
  • Brick Lane Foundation, by Abbas Zahedi
  • Build or Destroy, by Rashaad Newsome
  • Cover of Danielle Lainton & Louise Coquio (eds)’s Pashtarina’s Peacocks: For Storm Constantine, by Ruby
  • Cover of Eugen Bacon’s Danged Black Thing, by Peter Lo / Kara Walker
  • Cover of Eugen Bacon’s Saving Shadows, Elena Betti / Ian Whates
  • Cover of Freda Warrington and Liz Williams’ Shadows on the Hillside, by Danielle Lainton
  • Cover of Jamie Mollart’s Kings of a Dead World, by Heike Schüssler
  • Cover of Rian Hughes’ The Back Locomotive, by Rian Hughes
  • Cover of Rosa Rankin-Gee’s Dreamland (artist’s name not given)
  • Cover of Shift #3, by Mark Montague
  • Cover of Shift #7, by Ian D Paterson
  • Cover of Simon Jimenez’s The Vanished Bird (2021 paperback edition), artist’s name not given
  • Cover of Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Son of the Storm, by Dan dos Santos / Lauren Panepinto
  • Cover of The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction Anthology, Maria Spada
  • Cover of Xueting Christine Ni (ed.)’s Sinopticon, by Bradley Sharp
  • Exhibition at 180 The Strand, by Ryoji Ikeda
  • Flyaway, by Kathleen Jennings
  • Late Hangout at Zuko’s, by Devin Elle Kurtz
  • MILK, by STREF (Stephen White)
  • Morando, by a’strict
  • Narrow Escape, by Larry MacDougall
  • Renaissance Generative Dreams: AI Cinema, by Refik Anadol
  • Rupture No. 1, by Heather Phillipson
  • Shift Pin-Up, by Warwick Fraser-Croombe
  • The Scottish Green Lady (for Glasgow in 24), by Iain Clarke
  • This Is The Future, by Hito Steyerl
  • Viscera, by Allissa Chan

BEST FICTION FOR YOUNGER READERS LONGLIST

  • A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger
  • All Our Hidden Gifts, by Caroline O’Donoghue
  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Lionheart Girl, by Yaba Badoe
  • Monsters of Brookhaven, by Pádraig Kenny
  • Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Redemptor, by Jordan Ifueko
  • Show Us Who You Are (Knights Of), Elle McNicoll
  • Skywake: Invasion, by Jamie Russell
  • Stella’s Stellar Hair, by Yesenia Moises
  • The Boy with Wings, by Lenny Henry, Mark Buckingham
  • The Empty Orchestra, by Elizabeth Priest
  • The False Rose, Jakob Wegelius, trans. Peter Graves
  • The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna
  • The Outrage, by William Hussey
  • The Planet in a Pickle Jar, by Martin Stanev
  • The Raven’s Heir, by Stephanie Burgis
  • The Shadows of Rookhaven, by Pádraig Kenny,
  • The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin discovered most of the Universe, Sandra Nickel, illus. Aimée Sicuro
  • Utterly dark and the face of the deep, by Philip Reeve
  • Victories Greater Than Death, by Charlie Jane Anders

BEST NOVEL LONGLIST

  • 10 Low, by Starke Holburn
  • A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine
  • A Heart Divided, by Jin Yong
  • Alien 3, by Pat Cadigan and William Gibson
  • All our Hidden Gifts, by Caroline O’Donoghue
  • All the Murmuring Bones, by A.G. Slatter
  • Anna, by Sammy HK Smith
  • Artifact Sapce, by Miles Cameron
  • Barbarians of the Beyond, by Matthew Hughes
  • Bewilderment, by Richard Powers
  • Black Water Sister, by Zen Cho
  • Blackthorn Winter, Liz Williams
  • Blood Red Sand, by Damien Larkin
  • Catalyst Gate, by Megan O’Keefe
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
  • Cwen, by Alice Albinia
  • Darkest, by Paul L. Arvidson
  • Discord’s Shadow, by K. S. Dearsley
  • Dreamland, by Rosa Rankin-Gee
  • Elder Race, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Empire of the Vampire, by Jay Kristoff
  • Far From the Light of Heaven, by Tade Thompson
  • Fire of the Dark Triad, by Asya Semenovich
  • Firebreak, by Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • Four Dervishes, by Hammad Rind
  • Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells
  • Galactic Hellcats, by Marie Vibbert
  • Gardens of Earth, by Mark Iles
  • Gutter Child, by Jael Richardson
  • Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Jade Legacy, Fonda Lee
  • Kings of a Dead World, by Jamie Mollart
  • Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Library for the Dead, by T.L. Huchu
  • Light Chaser, by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell
  • Machinehood, by S.B. Divya
  • Master of Djinn, by P. Djeli Clarke
  • Murder at the Mushaira, by Raza Mir
  • My Brother the Messiah, by Martin Vopenka
  • New Gods, by Robin Triggs
  • Notes from the Burning Age, by Claire North
  • On Fragile Waves, by E. Lily Yu
  • One Day all This Will be Yours, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Perhaps the Stars, by Ada Palmer
  • Plague Birds, by Jason Sanford
  • Purgatory Mount, by Adam Roberts
  • Remote Control, by Nnedi Okorofor
  • Requiem Moon, by C. T. Rwizi
  • Shadows of Darkness: Remnants of Resistance, by Jonah S. White
  • Shards of Earth, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Skyward Inn, by Aliya Whiteley
  • Son of the Storm, by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  • Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Actual Star, by Monica Byrne
  • The Actuality, by Paul Braddon
  • The Chosen and the Beautiful, by Nghi Vo
  • The Fallen, by Ada Hoffmann
  • The Green Man’s Challenge, by Juliet E McKenna
  • The Jasmine Throne, by Tasha Suri
  • The Kingdoms, by Natasha Pulley
  • The Maleficent Seven, by Cameron Johnston
  • The Past is Red, by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Rage Room, by Lisa de Nikolits
  • The Raven’s Heir, by Stephanie Burgis
  • The Seep, by Chana Porter
  • The Unravelling, by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  • The Upper World, by Femi Fadugba
  • The Wisdom of Crowds, by Joe Abercrombie
  • This Is Our Undoing, by Lorraine Wilson
  • Three Twins at the Crater School, by Chaz Brentley
  • Twenty Five To Life, by RWW Greene
  • Wendy, Darling, by A. C. Wise
  • You Sexy Thing, by Cat Rambo
  • BEST SHORT FICTION LONGLIST
  • What is Mercy?, by Amal Singh
  • A Blind Eye, by M. H. Ayinde
  • Advanced Triggernometry, by Stark Holborn
  • An Array of Worlds as a Rose Unfurling in Time, by Shreya Anasuya
  • Clockwork Sister, by M.E. Rodman
  • Dog and Pony Show, by Robert Jeschonek
  • Down and Out under the Tannhauser Gate, by David Gullen
  • Dream Eater, by Nemma Wollenfang
  • Dreamports, by Tlotlo Tsamaase
  • Efficiency, by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe, by Vanessa Fogg
  • Fireheart Tiger, by Aliette de Bodard
  • First Person Singular, by Haruki Murakami
  • Fish, by Ida Keogh
  • Flight, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo
  • Flyaway, by Kathleen Jennings
  • Her Garden, the Size of Her Palm, by Yukimi Ogawa
  • If The Martians Have Magic, by P. Djeli Clark
  • Immersion, by Aliette de Bodard
  • Just Enough Rain, by PH Lee
  • Light Chaser, by Peter F Hamilton and Gareth L Powell
  • Metal Like Blood in the Dark, by T. Kingfisher
  • O2 Arena, by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki
  • Prime Meridian, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Proof, by Induction, by Jose Pablo Iriarte
  • Scars, by Bora Chung
  • Secrets of the Kath, by Fatima Taqvi
  • Seven Horrors, by Fabio Fernandes
  • Shutdown/Restart, by Jo Ross-Battett
  • Sorry We Missed You!, by Aun-Juli Riddle
  • The Abomination, by Nuzo Onoh
  • The Alien Invasion, by Ely Percy
  • The Alien Stars, by Tim Pratt
  • The Andraiad, by Tim Major
  • The Best Damned Barbershop in Hell, by Bruce Arthurs
  • The Center of the Universe, by Nadia Shammas
  • The Chorus, by Aliya Whiteley
  • The Constellation of Alarion, by John Houlihan
  • The Failing Name, by Eugen Bacon and Seb Doubinsky
  • The Farmers and the Farmed, by William C. Powell
  • The Forlorn Hope, by Verity Holloway
  • The Future God of Love, by Dilman Dila
  • The Ghosts of Trees, by Fiona Moore
  • The Graveyard, by Eleanor Arnason
  • The Hungry Dark, by Simon Bestwick
  • The Lay of Lilyfinger, by G.V. Anderson
  • The Man Who Turned Into Gandhi, by Shovon Chowdhury
  • The Mermaid Astronaut, by Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Metric, by David Moles
  • The Musuem For Forgetting, by Peter M Sutton
  • The Plus One, by Marie Vibbert
  • The Samundar Can be Any Color, Fatima Taqvi, Flash Fiction Online
  • The Song of the Moohee, by Emmett Swan
  • The Tale of Jaja and Canti, by Tobi Ogundiran
  • The Walls of Benin City, by M. H. Ayinde
  • Things Can Only Get Better, by Fiona Moore
  • Virtual Snapshots, by Tlotlo Tsamaase
  • White Rose, Red Rose, by Rachel Swirsky
  • Worldshifter, by Paul Di Filippo
  • Zeno’s Paradise, by E. J. Delaney

BEST NON-FICTION LONGLIST

  • A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders
  • Blake’s 7 Annual 1982, eds Grahame Robertson and Carole Ramsay
  • Cyberpunk Culture and Psychology: Seeing Through the Mirrorshades, by Anna McFarlane
  • Debarkle, by Camestros Felapton
  • Diverse Futures: Science Fiction and Authors of Colour, by Joy Sanchez-Taylor
  • Extraterrestrial, by Avi Loeb
  • Gendering Time, Timing Gender, by PM Biswas
  • Manifestos of Futurisms, by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
  • Octothorpe Podcast, by John Coxon, Alison Scott, and Liz Batty
  • On Writing Narratives, Questioning Standards, and Oral Traditions in Storytelling, by K. S. Villoso
  • Science Fiction and the Pathways out of the COVID Crisis, by Val Nolan
  • Science Fiction in Translation, by Ian Campbell
  • Science Fiction: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Sheryl Vint
  • Seduced, by the Ruler’s Gaze: An Indian Perspective on Seth Dickinson’s Masquerade, by Sid Jain
  • Space Forces: A Critical History of Life in Outer Space, by Fred Scharmen
  • Speculative Sex: Queering Aqueous Natures and Biotechnological Futures in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl, by Sarah Bezan
  • Star Warriors of the Modern Raj: Materiality, Mythology and Technology of Indian Science Fiction, by Sami Ahmed Khan
  • Storylistening, by Sarah Dillon and Claire Craig
  • The Anthropocene in Frank Herbert’s Dune Trilogy, by Tara B.M. Smith
  • The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe in Contemporary Culture, by Mark Bould
  • The History of Science Fiction: A Graphic Novel Adventure, by Xavier Dolla, illus. Djibril Morissette-Phan
  • The Importance of Being Interested, by Robin Ince
  • World of Warcraft: New Flavors of Azeroth, by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
  • Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Francesca T Barbini
  • Writing the Contemporary Uncanny, by Jane Alexander

2020 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association announced the BSFA Awards 2020 winners on April 4.

The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970. The awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and by the members of the year’s Eastercon, the national science fiction convention, held since 1955.

Best Artwork

  • Iain Clarke, Shipbuilding Over the Clyde, Art for Glasgow in 2024 WorldCon bid.

Best Short Fiction (under 40,000 words)

  • Ida Keogh, ‘Infinite Tea in the Demara Cafe’, Londoncentric, Newcon Press. Edited by Ian Whates.

Best Non-Fiction

  • Adam Roberts, It’s the End of the World: But What Are We Really Afraid Of?, Elliot & Thompson.

Best Novel

  • N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became, Orbit.

Pixel Scroll 3/11/21 Pixels Are Reactionaries, And The Scrolls Are Missionaries

(1) IT’S TIME. Kristian Macaron analyzes “Why I Love Time Travel Stories” on From the Earth to the Stars, the Asimov’s SF blog.

Time travel is never only about the science, rather, the impossibilities.

The science and whimsy of time travel are infinite, complex, and lovely, but I love time travel stories because the quest of traversing Time can explore how possibilities and probabilities shape the person we are in the Present, the person we become in the Future. Fate is more fluid than it would like us to believe.

There are three reasons I love time travel stories. First, it’s a form of storytelling that transcends genre; next, the rules of the time machine or loop are creative and crucial; finally, no matter the plot, Time as a player forces the character to confront the infinity of their impact….

(2) CUTTING OFF CIRCULATION. Washington Post tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler protests “Amazon’s monopoly is squeezing your public library, too”.

Mindy Kaling has gone missing from the library.

I was looking forward to reading the comedian’s new story collection, “Nothing Like I Imagined.” So I typed Kaling’s name into the Libby app used by my public library to loan e-books. But “The Office” star’s latest was nowhere to be found.

What gives? In 2020, Kaling switched to a new publisher: Amazon. Turns out, the tech giant has also become a publishing powerhouse — and it won’t sell downloadable versions of its more than 10,000 e-books or tens of thousands of audiobooks to libraries. That’s right, for a decade, the company that killed bookstores has been starving the reading institution that cares for kids, the needy and the curious. And that’s turned into a mission-critical problem during a pandemic that cut off physical access to libraries and left a lot of people unable to afford books on their own.

Many Americans now recognize that a few tech companies increasingly dominate our lives. But it’s sometimes hard to put your finger on exactly why that’s a problem. The case of the vanishing e-books shows how tech monopolies hurt us not just as consumers, but as citizens….

(3) BUTLER’S AND OTHERS’ LITERARY ESTATES. The Writers’ Room on NPR discusses “The State Of Literary Estates” with panelists Merrilee Heifetz, literary executor, the Octavia Butler Estate, and former agent for Octavia Butler; Blake Hazard, trustee, F. Scott Fitzgerald Estate and Zelda Fitzgerald Estate; great-granddaughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald; and Miranda Doyle, intellectual freedom chair, Oregon Association of School Libraries; district librarian, Lake Oswego School District.

Much has been made recently of the literary estate of Dr. Seuss choosing to discontinue printing several of his books due to racist imagery and stereotyping in several titles.

Some right-wing news outlets have decried the decision as an example of cancel culture, despite the estate making the decision independently. Seuss’ story isn’t particularly novel, either. Roald Dahl’s books for children have also been criticized for racist language and the author’s anti-Semitism. At the end of 2020, the Dahl family released a statement in which they apologized for “lasting and understandable hurt” caused by his anti-Semitic comments.

Many online and in the news are continuing to discuss the best way to handle problematic content in significant pieces of art from the past. But others are asking fundamental questions: What’s the purpose of a literary estate? And what’s their role in managing the legacy of an artist or author?

(4) CHINA THEME ISSUE. The British Science Fiction Association’s Vector 293 (Spring 2021) is devoted to the theme of Chinese SF, and is produced in collaboration with guest editors Yen Ooi and Regina Kanyu Wang. “Yen Ooi introduces the issue as well as many of its recurring concepts, such as techno-orientalism. Regina Kanyu Wang takes us through the history of women writing SF in China….” And much more.

One item from the issue is available online: “Chen Qiufan: Why did I Write a Science Fiction Novel about E-waste?” a transcription of a public talk given by the author in 2019.  

 …Many people have asked me why I wrote a science fiction novel instead of discussing the issue of environmental pollution in a documentary literature, if I wanted to talk about it. But for me, science fiction has a metaphorical role that cannot be found elsewhere. It can transcend the limits of the “present” and incorporate literary symbols that are applicable to all cultures in all countries concerning the imagination of the future. Thus, in science fiction, environmental issues can be generalised to a broader social context, and readers are more willing to consider how their personal actions can affect our environment, or the work and lives of garbage workers they have never met….

(5) SPEAKS VOLUMES. Elizabeth Knox’s “Metaliterary Worlds: On Fictional Books Within Books” includes a paragraph about Clifford D. Simak’s Time and Again. The post begins:

I set out to remind myself about fictional books within books and, researching, discovered how much has been said already about the cursed and forbidden ones. The characters of my novel, The Absolute Book, think about some of these in the course of the story—Lovecraft’s Necronomicon or, in Robert Chambers’ short story collection The King in Yellow, the eponymous play said to drive all who encounter it insane. I wanted to suggest that the Firestarter of The Absolute Book—an ancient scroll box which has survived so many library fires that scholars have begun to imagine it starts them—is cursed in some way. I also wanted to suggest the possibility that the Firestarter might in fact be blessed and revelatory….

(6) GRRM, DEVELOPMENT HELLION. George R.R. Martin has what seems like a pretty exhaustive list of all of his current media projects in his most recent post in “Coming…Eventually…Maybe” at Not A Blog. (This excerpt covers only part of them.)

…I am not quite sure why all these stories seem to be breaking now.   The SANDKINGS project has been underway for more than a year (Covid obviously shut things down) and IN THE LOST LANDS for something like six years.   We also have an animated feature of THE ICE DRAGON in development at Warner’s (as it happens I wrote “Sandkings” and “The Ice Dragon” within a couple weeks of each other, during a Christmas break from my job teaching college in Dubuque, Iowa — that was a good break).

And that’s just in the feature sphere.   In television, as seen here, I am working with Kalinda Vazquez on a pilot for Roger Zelazny’s ROADMARKS, and I am part of the terrific team that is trying to bring Nnedi Okorafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH to series on HBO…. 

(7) BAILIE OBIT. South African-born character actor David Bailie died March 5 at the age of 83. On TV he played “Dask” in the 1977 Doctor Who serial The Robots of Death, and also appeared in Blake’s 7. In movies, he played the mute pirate Cotton in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. His other film credits include The Creeping Flesh (with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing), Son Of Dracula (1973), Legend Of The Werewolf (also with Cushing), The Beyond (2017), The House That Jack Built and In The Trap. Bailie reprised his Doctor Who role as Dask in the Kaldor City audio drama series, and he was in Big Finish Productions audio dramas playing the “Celestial Toymaker”. Bailie also was a professional photographer, specializing in portrait photography. 

(8) TRIVIAL TRIVIA.

The New York Times article “A Model and Her Norman Rockwell Meet Again” focuses on how the artist often used people in his town as models. For most of them it was their main claim to fame, with one exception —  

…The people he painted were real, though. Like Sorenson in “Bright Future,” many lived in or near Stockbridge. William J. Obanhein, the police chief in Stockbridge, posed for Rockwell several times (though he was better known as “Officer Obie” in Arlo Guthrie’s Vietnam-era ballad “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” because he had arrested Guthrie for littering)….

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • March 11, 1971 — On this day in 1971, THX 1138 premiered. It was the first feature film from George Lucas. It was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Lucas and Walter Murch. It starred Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence. A novelization by Ben Bova was published. The film was not a box office success though critics generally loved it and it developed a cult following after Star Wars released, and it holds a ninety percent rating among the audience at Rotten Tomatoes. (CE)

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 11, 1921 F. M. Busby. Together with his wife and others he published a fan magazine named Cry of the Nameless which won the Hugo award in 1960. Heinlein was a great fan of him and his wife with The Cat Who Walks Through Walls in part dedicated to Busby and Friday in part dedicated to his wife Elinor.  He was a very busy writer from the early Seventies to the late Nineties writing some nineteen published novels and myriad short stories before he blamed the Thor Power Tools decision for forcing his retirement which is odd as he published a number of novels after that decision came into effect. (Died 2005.) (CE)
  • Born March 11, 1952 Douglas Adams. I’ve have read the book and listened to the full cast production the BBC did of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but have absolutely no desire to see the film. Wait wasn’t there a TV series as well? Yes there was. Shudder! The Dirk Gently series is, errr, odd and escapes my understanding its charms. He and Mark Carwardine also wrote the most excellent Last Chance to See. It’s more silly than it sounds. (Died 2001.) (CE) 
  • Born March 11, 1963 Alex Kingston, 58. River Song in Doctor Who. She’s in a number of different stories with a number of different Doctors and was the eventual wife of the Eleventh Doctor. She was in Ghost Phone: Phone Calls from the Dead, as Sheila, and she was Lady Macbeth in the National Theatre Live of Macbeth. Oh, and she’s in the Arrowverse as Dinah Lance, in FlashForward as Fiona Banks, and recently shows up as Sara Bishop on A Discovery of Witches, a series based off the Deborah Harkness novel of the same name. Great series, All Souls Trilogy, by the way. She’s been continuing her River Song character over at Big Finish. (CE)
  • Born March 11, 1967 John  Barrowman, 54. Best genre role without doubt is as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and Torchwood.  He reprised the role for Big Finish audiobooks and there’s one that I highly recommend which is the full cast Golden Age production with all the original cast. You’ll find a link to my review here. I see he’s been busy in the Arrowverse playing three different characters in the form of Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer / Ra’s al Ghul.  He’s also had a long history in theatre, so he’s been in Beauty and the Beast as The Beast / The Prince, Jack and The Bean Stalk as Jack,  Aladdin as, well, Aladdin and Cinderella as, errrr, Buttons. (CE) 
  • Born March 11, 1989 Anton Yelchin. Best known for playing played Pavel Chekov in Star TrekStar Trek Into Darkness and  Star Trek Beyond. He also was in Terminator Salvation as Kyle Reese, in the Zombie comedy Burying the Ex as Max and voiced Clumsy Smurf in a series of Smurf films. Really he did. (Died 2016.) (CE)
  • Born March 11, 1914 – Francis Towner Laney.  Active fan in the late 1940s, he left telling us all why in Ah! Sweet Idiocy! (1948).  He answered FIAWOL (“Fandom is a way of life”) with FIJAGH  (“Fandom is just a [gosh-darned] hobby”); we took things too seriously, he took 130 pages to say; we were a lot of fuggheads, a term he coined, cuttingly, disputably, memorably.  (Died 1958) [JH]
  • Born March 11, 1925 – Christopher Anvil.  Twoscore stories about the Federation of Humanity; another dozen about Pandora’s Planet; another nine about War with the Outs; fourscore others; half a dozen collections; two novels; comical, daredevilish, moving.  (Died 2009) [JH]
  • Born March 11, 1953 – Judith Silverthorne, age 68.  Six novels for us; nonfiction e.g. Ingrained about pioneer Saskatchewan woodworkers 1870-1930.  Two Moonbeam Awards.  [JH]
  • Born March 11, 1964 – Libba Bray, age 57.  Nine novels, half a dozen shorter stories.  A Great and Terrible Beauty NY Times Best-Seller.  Printz Award for Going Bovine.  [JH]
  • Born March 11, 1970 – Nicole Murphy, age 51.  Seven novels, two anthologies, 15 shorter stories.  Wrote up Artist Guest of Honour Shaun Tan for the Aussiecon 4 Programme Book (68th Worldcon).  Chaired Conflux 4, co-chaired 9.  [JH]
  • Born March 11, 1971 – Jonas Karlsson, age 50.  Actor (Guldbagge Award) and author; three novels so far available in English.  Born in Salem, the one in Stockholm County, Sweden, not the one in Essex County, Massachusetts.  Played Mats, which Swedish-speakers do not rhyme with “Do cats eat bats?”, in Bang Bang Orangutang, a Swedish film which is not SF but who couldn’t love the title? which rhymes in Swedish too.  [JH]

(11) SUING FOR SUPER NON-SUPPORT. Joe George is “Ranking the Live-Action Members of Superman’s Supporting Cast” for Tor.com. Did you ever wonder who is the worst Lex Luthor? Here’s George’s candidate:

9. Jesse Eisenberg (DCEU) — Okay, I’m going to lose some of you right away, so let’s get this over with. I dislike all of Zack Snyder’s movies, especially those with Superman in them. But the worst part of his very bad Superman movies is, without question, Jesse Eisenberg’s take on Lex Luthor. There’s potential here to update Lex from an early 20th-century mad scientist to a 21st-century villain like Mark Zuckerberg. But Eisenberg’s jittery, manic take is all irritating style and no substance, coming off as the perfect embodiment of the phrase “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.”

(12) THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS. Mental Floss says these are “14 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’”.

3. BEFORE CRITICIZING PROPAGANDA IN NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, GEORGE ORWELL WORKED AS A PROPAGANDIST.

During World War II, Orwell worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation. His role with the BBC Empire Service involved creating and supervising programming that the nation would feed to Indian networks to encourage a pro-Allies sentiment and spark volunteering.

4. GEORGE ORWELL MODELED ROOM 101 AFTER AN OFFICE AT THE BBC.

Nineteen Eighty-Four’s most horrifying setting is Room 101, the Ministry of Love’s torture chamber in which victims are exposed to their worst nightmares. What readers might not know is that Orwell modeled the chilling locale on an actual room.

As a propagandist, Orwell knew that much of what the BBC said had to be approved by the Ministry of Information, possibly in the BBC’s Room 101. He probably drew the name of his nightmare room from there. Curious about what the dreadful room looked like? The room has since been demolished, but in 2003 artist Rachel Whiteread created a plaster cast of the room.

(13) URB BLURB. Science News reviews Annalee Newitz’ nonfiction book Four Lost Cities: “A tour of ‘Four Lost Cities’ reveals modern ties to ancient people”.

… The section on Cahokia (A.D. 1050 to 1350) — located in what is now Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis — offers an unexpected reason for a city’s emergence. Many people link cities with capitalism and trade. Cahokia’s 30-meter-tall pyramids, 20-hectare plazas and a population (at the time) bigger than Paris suggest that spiritual revival can also build a major metropolis. Cahokia and Angkor, which reached its peak from A.D. 800 to 1431 in what is now Cambodia, also show how cities can form when power gets concentrated in a few influential people. 

Through touring such diverse cities, Newitz shows that the move to urban life isn’t just a setup for a hero of a story. It’s a common setup for many ancient cultures….

(14) E.T. PHONE ROME. In “Extraterrestrials in the Catholic Imagination”, John C. Wright points out he is one of three sff authors who contributed to Cambridge Scholars Publishing’s essay collection Extraterrestrials in the Catholic Imagination: Explorations in Science, Science Fiction and Religion:

Included:

Sciopods, Blemyae, and the Green Children of Woolpit: “Aliens” in the Catholic Imagination, Premodern Era
Michael F. Flynn

What Has Outer Space to Do with Christ?
John C. Wright

Catholic Questions in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Tim Powers

I was honored to be asked to pen an essay titled “What Has Outer Space To Do with Christ?” for this volume. The burning question of whether soulless and dispassionate Vulcans can be baptized is not necessarily addressed, but questions of like magnitude are.

However, as is only to be expected, Mike Flynn’s essay on Sciopods and Blemyae is the more interesting. It is the first I ever heard about the Green Children of Woolpit — and if you have not heard these names before, prepare to be fascinated.

(15) FAIR HEARING. A reconstructed Neanderthal ear adds a new piece to the puzzle of whether the early humans could speak. “Neanderthals Listened to the World Much Like Us” in the New York Times.

…In the new study, the researchers used high-resolution CT scans of ear structures in five Neanderthals, 10 modern Homo sapiens and nine early hominids from Sima de los Huesos, an archaeological site in what is now Spain, who lived before Neanderthals.

The team created 3-D models of these ear structures and ran the measurements through a software model to calculate the sound power transmission, which describes the way sound energy moves from the environment into the ear canal and winds its way toward the cochlea — essentially how much of the sound energy ultimately makes it to your inner ear.

The researchers used this metric to calculate the occupied bandwidth, which reflects the range of frequencies in which at least 90 percent of the sound power reaches the inner ear — the “sweet spot” of hearing, according to Dr. Quam. This sweet spot is the range we hear best in, where our ears are most tuned to sound.

The study found the Neanderthal ear’s sweet spot extended toward frequencies of 3 to 5 kHz, which are specifically dedicated to consonant production. The researchers believe this optimization toward consonants could be a key sign that Neanderthals had verbal language.

“The use of consonants distinguishes human language from mammalian communication, which is almost completely vowels,” Dr. Quam said. “Like grunts, howls, shrieks.”

In fact, the study found Neanderthals’ sweet spot was the same as modern human hearing, whereas the early hominids from Sima de los Huesos had a hearing range somewhere between chimpanzees and modern humans….

(16) WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN? Here’s a show I knew would produce a Scroll item sooner or later. And the promise was fulfilled by the opening episode of its fifth season: “First reveal of ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 5 is ‘most famous guest ever’”.

This Wednesday, when guest host Niecy Nash removed the Snail’s stovepipe chapeau and Kermit’s adorable little green noggin popped out of a foxhole in the costume’s back, viewers were united in their excitement and delight over this meta, puppet-within-a-puppet, Russian-doll-like moment. (There was a pair of decidedly less adorable actual Russian Dolls who also performed on Wednesday’s premiere, but I’ll get to them later.) Judge Ken Jeong even declared Kermit the “most famous guest ever” to compete on the show, and — sorry Lil Wayne, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Tony Hawk, et al — Ken wasn’t wrong. Kermit is an icon… and, as it turns out, he’s not a bad Daryl Hall impressionist either.

Sadly, while Kermit the Snail gave a charming and not-at-all-sluggish performance, as he told Niecy: “It’s not easy being green, but sometimes it’s even harder being a snail!”…

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Rich Lynch.] “Right Up Our Alley” — not exactly genre, but it caught the attention of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. The video footage is not CGI.

[Thanks to Dan B., Mike Kennedy, Michael Toman, PJ Evans, Andrew Porter, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Daniel Dern, Rich Lynch, John Hertz, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]

2020 BSFA Awards Shortlist

The British Science Fiction Association has released the BSFA Awards 2020 shortlist.

The BSFA Awards have been presented annually since 1970. The awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and by the members of the year’s Eastercon, the national science fiction convention, held since 1955. The winners will be announced at this year’s Eastercon, ConFusion, which will be held online 2-5th April 2021,

Best Artwork

  • Iain Clarke, Shipbuilding Over the Clyde, Art for Glasgow in 2024 WorldCon bid.
  • Fangorn, Covers of Robot Dreams series.
  • Ruby Gloom, Cover of Nikhil Singh’s Club Ded, Luna Press Publishing.
  • Sinjin Li, Cover of Eli Lee’s, A Strange and Brilliant Light, Jo Fletcher Books.
  • Nani Walker, Four Black Lives Matter Murals in AR. Using drone photogrammetry, Nani Sahra Walker produced 3-D models of four Black Lives Matter murals as memorials to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by police. Published by the Los Angeles Times in collaboration with RYOT and reported by Dorany Pineda.

Note: Images of the artwork are online here.

Best Short Fiction (under 40,000 words)

  • Eugen M. Bacon, Ivory’s Story, Newcon Press.
  • Anne Charnock, ‘All I Asked For’, Fictions, Healthcare and Care Re-Imagined. Edited by Keith Brookes, at Future Care Capital.
  • Dilman Dila, ‘Red_Bati’, Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora, AURELIA LEO. Edited by Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.
  • Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, ‘Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon’, Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora, AURELIA LEO. Edited by Zelda Knight and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.
  • Ida Keogh, ‘Infinite Tea in the Demara Cafe’, Londoncentric, Newcon Press. Edited by Ian Whates.
  • Tobi Ogundiran, ‘Isn’t Your Daughter Such a Doll’, Shoreline of Infinity.

Best Non-Fiction

  • Francesca T Barbini (ed.), Ties That Bind: Love in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Luna Press.
  • Paul Kincaid, The Unstable Realities of Christopher Priest, Gylphi Press.
  • Andrew Milner and J.R. Burgmann, Science Fiction and Climate Change, Liverpool University Press.’
  • Adam Roberts, It’s the End of the World: But What Are We Really Afraid Of?, Elliot & Thompson.
  • Jo Lindsay Walton, ‘Estranged Entrepreneurs’, Foundation: the International Review of Science Fiction.
  • Jo Walton, ‘Books in Which No Bad Things Happen’, Tor.com.

Note: The two non-fiction nominees with similar names, Jo Walton and Jo Lindsay Walton, are two different people.

Best Novel

  • Tiffani Angus, Threading the Labyrinth, Unsung Stories.
  • Susanna Clarke, Piranesi, Bloomsbury.
  • M. John Harrison, The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, Gollancz.
  • N.K. Jemisin, The City We Became, Orbit.
  • Gareth L. Powell, Light of Impossible Stars, Titan Books.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, The Ministry for the Future, Orbit.
  • Nikhil Singh, Club Ded, Luna Press.
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky, The Doors of Eden, Tor.
  • Liz Williams, Comet Weather, Newcon Press.
  • Nick Wood, Water Must Fall, Newcon Press.

There was a multiple tie for fifth place this year. The committee decided that instead of abbreviating the shortlist, all nominees would be included.

Second Round of 2020 BSFA Awards Nominations Begins

British Science Fiction Association members will have from January 18 until February 5 to help choose the BSFA Awards shortlists for works published in 2020. The voting form is available to BSFA members here.

In the first round, members nominated a longlist of 46 novels, 43 works of short fiction, 19 items of nonfiction, and 27 artworks.

Once voters have determined the shortlist, BSFA members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon will vote for the winners.

The full longlists are as follows:

BEST NOVEL

  • 88 Names by Matt Ruff (HarperCollins)
  • Afterland by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)
  • Analogue/Virtual by Lavanya Lakshminarayan (Hachette)
  • Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
  • Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis (St Martin’s Press)
  • Beneath The Rising by Premee Mohamed (Solaris)
  • Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock (47North)
  • Burn by Patrick Ness (Quill Tree)
  • Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu (Simon & Schuster)
  • Club Ded by Nikhil Singh (Luna Press)
  • Comet Weather by Liz Williams (NewCon)
  • Dark Angels Rising by Ian Whates (Newcon Press)
  • Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (Granta)
  • Fearless by Allen Stroud (Flame Tree Publishing)
  • Ghost Species by James Bradley (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Greensmith by Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com)
  • Ivory’s Story by Eugen Bacon (NewCon Press)
  • King of the Rising by Kacen Callender (Orbit)
  • Light of Impossible Stars by Gareth L. Powell (Titan)
  • Liquid Crystal Nightingale by Eeleen Lee (Abaddon)
  • Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (Oneworld)
  • Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston (Tor.com)
  • Mordew by Alex Pheby (Galley Beggar)
  • Network Effect by Martha Wells (Tor.com)
  • Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen (Orbit)
  • Noumenon Ultra by Marina J. Lostetter (Harper Voyager)
  • People of the Canyons by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear (Forge Books)
  • Picard: Last Best Hope by Una McCormack (Simon & Schuster)
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • Saints of Salvation by Peter F Hamilton (Del Rey)
  • Saving Lucia by Anna Vaught (Bluemoose)
  • Space Station Down by Ben Bova & Doug Beason (Tor Books)
  • Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang (Head of Zeus)
  • The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey (Orbit)
  • The Breach by M.T. Hill (Titan)
  • The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)
  • The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
  • The Evidence by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
  • The God Game by Danny Tobey (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The Last Human by Zack Jordan (Del Rey)
  • The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (Oneworld)
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (Hachette)
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga)
  • The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • The Silence by Don DeLillo (Picador)
  • The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
  • The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez (Titan)
  • Threading the Labyrinth by Tiffani Angus (Unsung Stories)
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (Tor)
  • Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott (Tor)
  • Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell (Sceptre)
  • War of the Maps by Paul McAuley (Gollancz)
  • Water Must Fall by Nick Wood (NewCon Press)

SHORT FICTION

  • A Voyage to Queensthroat by Anya Johanna DeNiro (Strange Horizons)
  • All I Asked For by Anne Charnock (Future Care Capital)
  • All Your Bases, Yada-Yada by Paula Hammond (Third_Flatiron)
  • Always Forever Today, Andrew Hook (Frequencies of Existence)
  • Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super, by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny Magazine)
  • Carnival by Milton Davis (Hadithi and the State of Black Speculative Fiction)
  • Cofiwch Aberystwyth by Val Nolan (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • Convergence in Chorus Architecture by Dare Segun Falowo (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora)
  • Devil’s Road by Gary Gibson (NewCon)
  • Fairy Tales for Robots by Sofia Samatar (Made to Order)
  • Firewalkers by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Solaris)
  • Flight by Claire Wrenwood (Tor.com)
  • Fog and Pearls at the King’s Cross Junction by Aliya Whiteley (LondonCentric)
  • Georgie in the Sun by Natalia Theodoridou (Uncanny Magazine)
  • Give Me My Wings by Eneasz Brodski (Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses)
  • Grubane by Karl Drinkwater (Organic Apocalypse)
  • Honeybones by Georgina Bruce (TTA Press)
  • Ife-Iyoku, Tale of Imadeyunuagbon by Oghenechovwe Ekpeki (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora)
  • In the Storm, a Fire by Andrew Dana Hudson and Jay Springett (And Lately, The Sun)
  • Infinite Tea in the Demara Cafe by Ida Keogh (LondonCentric)
  • Isn’t Your Daughter Such a Doll by Tobi Ogundiran (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • Ivory’s Story by Eugen M. Bacon (NewCon)
  • Make America Great Again by Val Nolan (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • Mist Songs of Delhi by Sid Jain (PodCastle)
  • Odette by Zen Cho (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • Paper Hearts by Justina Robson (NewCon)
  • Placed into Abyss (Mise en Abyse) by Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com)
  • Rat and Finch are Friends, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Strange Horizons)
  • Red_Bati by Dilman Dila (Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora)
  • Rocket Man by Louis Evans (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • Saving Simon by Allen Stroud (Forgotten Sidekicks, Kristell Ink)
  • Selkie Summer by Ken McLeod (NewCon)
  • Seven Days in Geocenter by Yu Yu (no publisher information)
  • Seven Dreams of a Valley by Prashanth Srivatsa (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • Sin Eater by Ian R. MacLeod (Made to Order)
  • Singularity by Davide Mana (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • Soaring, the World on their Shoulders by Cécile Cristofari (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • SoulShine by Koji A. Dae (Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses)
  • The Abduction of Europe, Andrew Hook, in Frequencies of Existence (NewCon)
  • The Continuity by Philip Berry (And Lately, The Sun)
  • The Good Shepherd by Stewart Hotson (LondonCentric)
  • The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald (Tor.com)
  • The Road to Woop Woop by Eugen Bacon (The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories)
  • The Roman Road by Vajra Chandrasekera (Fireside)
  • The Thirteenth Floor by Robert Bagnall (Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses)
  • The Torch by Samantha Walton (Gutter Magazine)
  • The Translator, at Low Tide by Vajra Chandrasekera (Clarkesworld Magazine)
  • The Unclean by Nuzo Onoh (Dominion: An Anthology of Black Speculative Fiction)
  • Time’s Own Gravity by Alexander Glass (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • To Set at Twilight in a Land of Reeds by Natalia Theodoridou (Clarkesworld Magazine)
  • Warsuit by Gary Gibson (Interzone, TTA Press)
  • We are Still Here by Anya Ow (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • We Will Become as Monsters by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Future Fire)
  • Yellow and the Perception of Reality by Maureen McHugh (Tor.com)
  • You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh (DC Comics)
  • You Will Never Be Forgotten by Mary South (Fsg Originals)

BEST ARTWORK

  • Art for Glasgow in 2024 WorldCon bid by Iain Clarke (Shipbuilding Over the Clyde)
  • Cityscape by Myriam Wares
  • Cover of Aliya Whiteley’s Greensmith
  • Cover of Dark River by Rym Kechacha
  • Cover of Eli Li’s A Strange and Brilliant Light by Sinjin Li
  • Cover of Hag: Forgotten Tales Retold
  • Cover of Hao Jingfang’s Vagabonds
  • Cover of Ian Whates’s Dark Angels Rising by Jim Burns
  • Cover of Judge Dredd Megazine #426 by Tim Napper
  • Cover of Juliana Rew’s (ed.) Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses by Keely Rew
  • Cover of M. John Harrison’s The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by Micaela Alcaino
  • Cover of Mary South’s You Will Never Be Forgotten by Jamie Keenan
  • Cover of Nature 22 October 2020 by Paul Klee (‘Vaccine Design’)
  • Cover of Neal Asher’s Lockdown Tales by Vincent Sammy
  • Cover of Nick Wood’s Water Must Fall by Vincent Sammy
  • Cover of Nikhil Singh’s Club Ded by Ruby Gloom
  • Cover of Patrick Ness’s Burn by Alejandro Colucci
  • Cover of Robot Dreams series by Fangorn (NewCon)
  • Cover of Sayaka Murata’s Earthlings
  • Cover of Shoreline of Infinity 17 by Siobhan McDonald
  • Cover of Shoreline of Infinity 18 by Jackie Duckworth
  • Cover of Shoreline of Infinity 19 by Stephen Daly
  • Cover of Storm Constantine and Wendy Darling’s (eds) Para Mort by Ruby
  • Cover of The Breach by M.T. Hill
  • Four Black Lives Matter murals from LA rendered in VR/AR by multiple artists
  • Illustration for Val Nolan’s ‘Make America Great Again’ by Richard Wagner
  • Ponte La Mascara! by Noe Leyva (interior art for Cortex Prime RPG rulebook)
  • Samraaji Skyhavens by Steven Sanders (interior art for Terra Oblivion RPG rulebook, p. 42)
  • Shing Yin Khor’s series of famous artworks re-created in Animal Crossing.

BEST NON-FICTION

  • At the Brink: Electronic Literature, Technology, and the Peripheral Imagination at the Atlantic Edge by Anne Karhio (Electronic Book Review)
  • Beachcombing: And other oddments by David Langford (Ansible Editions)
  • Big Echo Interviews ed. Robert G Penner (Big Echo)
  • ‘Books in Which No Bad Things Happen’ by Jo Walton (Tor.com)
  • Diseases of the Head: Essays on the Horrors of Speculative Philosophy ed. Matt Rosen (Punctum)
  • ‘Estranged Entrepreneurs’ by Jo Lindsay Walton (Foundation)
  • ‘How Science Fiction Imagined the 2020s’ by Tim Maughan (OneZero)
  • ‘How the Federation Overcame its Shipbuilding Gap for the defense of Coppelius in Star Trek: Picard‘ by Claude Berube (NavyCon)
  • It’s the End of the World: But what are we afraid of? by Adam Roberts (Elliott & Thompson)
  • ‘Review of M. John Harrison’s Settling the World‘ by Martin Petto (Strange Horizons)
  • Science Fiction and Climate Change by Andrew Milner and JR Burgmann (Liverpool University Press)
  • ‘The 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist’ by Nandini Ramachandran (Strange Horizons)
  • The Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons by Brian Aldiss, with an introduction by Christopher Priest (Ansible Editions)
  • The Unstable Realities of Christopher Priest by Paul Kincaid (Gylphi)
  • Ties That Bind: Love in Fantasy and Science Fiction ed. Francesca T. Barbini (Luna Press)
  • ‘Zones of Possibility: Science Fiction and the Coronavirus’ by Rob Latham (Los Angeles Review of Books)

2019 BSFA Awards

The British Science Fiction Association presented the 2019 BSFA Awards in a video ceremony on YouTube today.

The results ordinarily would have been announced at the 2020 Eastercon, Concentric, in April, but the convention was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The winners are:

Best Novel

  • Adrian Tchaikovsky – Children of Ruin (Tor)

Best Shorter Fiction

  • Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone – This is How You Lose the Time War (Jo Fletcher Books)

Best Non-Fiction

  • Farah Mendlesohn – The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein (Unbound)

Best Artwork

  • Chris Baker (Fangorn) – Cover for ‘Wourism and Other Stories’ by Ian Whates (Luna Press)