Tagged: Hugo Awards

2016 Hugo Award Nominations announced

2016 Hugo Award Nominations announced

hugo_smThe finalists for this year’s Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 12:00 PM CDT. The announcement was made live to social media, including the Twitter and Facebook accounts of MidAmeriCon II, and via press release.

4032 valid nominating ballots (4015 electronic and 17 paper) were received and counted from the members of Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and Worldcon 75.

As was noted by Mike Glyer at File770 before traffic took down his site, it’s very much “Puppies all the way down”.

Theodore Beale, a.k.a. Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies slate placed 64 of its 81 recommendations on the final Hugo ballot. (Withdrawals or items ruled ineligible will not be made known until the voting statistics are released at the Worldcon.)

The following table shows in red the Hugo Nominees that were NOT on the Rabid Puppies List.

The Sad Puppies List is included for the sake of curiosity. It was handled much differently from last year. Items on the SP4 list were ranked in order of the number of recommendations they received. In only four categories did anything get double-digit numbers of recommendations.

We look forward to Mr. Beale crowing how he, Vox Day, got Neil Gaiman a Hugo nomination.

For further reading on the topic, we recommend Hugo Award winning author John Scalzi’s writeup at the Los Angeles Times.

Hugo Nominees Rabid Puppies List Sad Puppies List
BEST NOVEL

Ancillary Mercy
by Ann Leckie
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
by Jim Butcher
The Fifth Season
by N.K. Jemisin
Seveneves: A Novel
by Neal Stephenson
Uprooted
by Naomi Novik
BEST NOVEL

Seveneves: A Novel, Neal Stephenson
Golden Son, Pierce Brown
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C. Wright
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher
Agent of the Imperium, Marc Miller
BEST NOVEL

Somewhither
– John C Wright
Honor At Stake
– Declan Finn
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
– Jim Butcher
Uprooted
– Naomi Novik
A Long Time Until Now
– Michael Z Williamson
Seveneves
– Neal Stephenson
Son of the Black Sword
– Larry Correia
Strands of Sorrow
– John Ringo
Nethereal
– Brian Niemeier
Ancillary Mercy
– Ann Leckie
BEST NOVELLA

Binti
by Nnedi Okorafor
The Builders
by Daniel Polansky
Penric’s Demon
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Perfect State
by Brandon Sanderson
Slow Bullets
by Alastair Reynolds
BEST NOVELLA

Fear and Self-Loathing in Hollywood, Nick Cole
Penric’s Demon, Lois McMaster Bujold
Perfect State, Brandon Sanderson
The Builders, Daniel Polansky
Slow Bullets, Alastair Reynolds
BEST NOVELLA

Binti
– Nnedi Okorafor
Penric’s Demon
– Lois McMaster Bujold
Slow Bullets
– Alastair Reynolds
Perfect State
– Brandon Sanderson
The End of All Things 1: The Life of the Mind
– John Scalzi
Speak Easy
– Catherynne M. Valente
The Builders
– Daniel Polansky
BEST NOVELETTE

“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander
“Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai
“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu
“Obits” by Stephen King
“What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke
BEST NOVELETTE

“Flashpoint: Titan,” Cheah Kai Wai
“Folding Beijing,” Hao Jingfang
“What Price Humanity?,” David VanDyke
“Hyperspace Demons,” Jonathan Moeller
“Obits,” Stephen King
BEST NOVELETTE

“And You Shall Know Her By The Trail Of Dead” – Brooke Bolander
“Pure Attentions” – T. R. Dillon
“Folding Beijing” – Hao Jingfang translated by Ken Liu
“If I Had No Head and My Eyes Were Floating Way Up In the Air” – Clifford D. Simak
“Obits” – Stephen King
“Our Lady of the Open Road” – Sarah Pinsker
BEST SHORT STORY

“Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon
The Commuter
by Thomas A. Mays
“If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris
“Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao
Space Raptor Butt Invasion
by Chuck Tingle
BEST SHORT STORY

“Asymmetrical Warfare,” S. R. Algernon
“The Commuter,” Thomas Mays
“If You Were an Award, My Love,” Juan Tabo and S. Harris
“Seven Kill Tiger,” Charles Shao
“Space Raptor Butt Invasion,” Chuck Tingle
BEST SHORT STORY

“Tuesdays With Molakesh The Destroyer” – Megan Grey
“Today I am Paul” – Martin L Shoemaker
“… And I Show You How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes” – Scott Alexander
“Asymmetrical Warfare” – S. R. Algernon
“Cat Pictures, Please” – Naomi Kritzer
“Damage” – David Levine
“A Flat Effect” – Eric Flint
“Daedelus” – Niall Burke
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” – Alyssa Wong
“I am Graalnak of the Vroon Empire, Destroyer of Galaxies, Supreme Overlord of the Planet Earth. Ask Me Anything” – Laura Pearlman
BEST RELATED WORK

Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986
by Marc Aramini
“The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson
“Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police
by Vox Day
“The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland
BEST RELATED WORK

Appendix N, Jeffro Johnson
Between Light and Shadow:
An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986, Marc Aramini
The Story of Moira Greyland, Moira Greyland
Safe Space as Rape Room, Daniel Eness
SJWs Always Lie, Vox Day
BEST RELATED WORK

Sad Puppies Bite Back
– Declan Finn
Appendix N
– Jeffro Johnson
Safe Space as Rape Room: Science Fiction Culture and Childhood’s End – Daniel
A History of Epic Fantasy
– Adam Whitehead
Atomic Rockets
– Winchell Chung
Legosity
– Tom Simon
There Will Be War Vol X
– Edited Jerry Pournelle
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) – Felicia Day
Frazetta Sketchbook Number 2
Galactic Journey
http://galacticjourney.org/
BEST GRAPHIC STORY

The Divine
written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
Erin Dies Alone
written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell
Full Frontal Nerdity
by Aaron Williams
Invisible Republic Vol 1
written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman
The Sandman: Overture
written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III
BEST GRAPHIC STORY

The Divine, Boaz Lavie, Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka
Full Frontal Nerdity, Aaron Williams
“Erin Dies Alone”, Cory Rydell and Grey Carter
The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III
Invisible Republic Vol 1 (#1–5), Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
BEST GRAPHIC STORY

Order of the Stick
Stand Still Stay Silent
– any 2015 plot arc
Schlock Mercenary Book 15
Empowered Volume 9
Saga Volume 5
Erfworld
Fables: Farewell Volume 22
Gunnerkrigg Court Chapter 15: Totem
Invisible Republic Volume 1
Lazarus: Conclave
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG FORM

Avengers: Age of Ultron
written and directed by Joss Whedon
Ex Machina
written and directed by Alex Garland
Mad Max: Fury Road
written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller
The Martian
screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG FORM

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Until Dawn
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Martian
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – LONG FORM

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Predestination
Ant-Man
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Inside Out
iZombie
(Season 1 as a whole)
Person of Interest
(Season 4 as a whole)
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Ex Machina
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – SHORT FORM

Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay
Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and
2
written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr.
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – SHORT FORM

Supernatural, “Just My Imagination” Season 11, Episode 8
Grimm, Season 4 Episode 21, “Headache”
Tales from the Borderlands
Episode 5, “The Vault of the Traveller”
Life is Strange, Episode 1
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic, Season 5, Episodes 1-2, “The Cutie Map”
BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION – SHORT FORM

Daredevil Season 1 Episode 2
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Person of Interest Season 4 Episode 11: If-Then-Else
Kung Fury: Laser Unicorns
TIE Fighter animation
by Otaking 77077
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Melinda
Daredevil Season 1 Episode 13
Doctor Who: Heaven Sent
Gravity Falls: Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons
Gravity Falls: Northwest Mansion Mystery
BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM

John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams
BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM

Jerry Pournelle
BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM

Jerry Pournelle
John Joseph Adams
S. M. Sterling
Jason Rennie
Paula Goodlett
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM

Vox Day
Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Jim Minz
Toni Weisskopf
BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM

Anne Sowards
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Mike Braff
Toni Weisskopf
Vox Day
BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM

Toni Weisskopf
Jim Minz
Tony Daniel
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Elmore
Abigail Larson
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

Larry Elmore
Michal Karcz (Karezoid on Deviant Art)
Abigail Larson
Lars Braad Anderson
Larry Rostant
BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

Abigail Larson
Sam Weber
Frank Cho
Larry Elmore
Dustin Nguyen
Richard Anderson
BEST SEMIPROZINE

Beneath Ceaseless Skies
edited by Scott H. Andrews, Nicole Lavigne, and Kate Marshall
Daily Science Fiction
edited by Michele?Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
Sci Phi Journal
edited by Jason Rennie
Strange Horizons
edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the
Strange Horizons
staff
Uncanny Magazine
edited by Edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
BEST SEMIPROZINE

Abyss & Apex
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Daily Science Fiction
Sci-Phi Journal
Strange Horizons
BEST SEMIPROZINE

Sci Phi Journal
BEST FANZINE

Black Gate
edited by John O’Neill
Castalia House Blog
edited by Jeffro Johnson
File 770
edited by Mike Glyer
Superversive SF
edited by Jason Rennie
Tangent Online
edited by Dave Truesdale
BEST FANZINE

Black Gate
Castalia House blog
File 770
Superversive SF
Tangent Online
BEST FANZINE

File 770
Nuke Mars
Superversive SF
Otherwhere Gazette
Tangent Online
BEST FANCAST

8?4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
The Rageaholic, RazörFist
Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick
BEST FANCAST

The Rageaholic
Hello Greedo
8-4 Play
Cane and Rinse
Tales to Terrify
BEST FANCAST

Tea and Jeopardy
Geek Gab
Hello Greedo
BEST FAN WRITER

Douglas Ernst
Mike Glyer
Morgan Holmes
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young
BEST FAN WRITER

Jeffro Johnson
Morgan (Castalia House)
Shamus Young
Zenopus
Douglas Ernst
BEST FAN WRITER

Jeffro Johnson
Declan Finn
Eric Flint
Mike Glyer
Brandon Kempner
Charles Akins
Dave Freer
Dorothy Grant (fynbospress)
Ron Edwards
BEST FAN ARTIST

Matthew Callahan
disse86
Kukuruyo
Christian Quinot
Steve Stiles
BEST FAN ARTIST

Rgus
Matthew Callahan
Disse86
Darkcloud013 (aka Christian Quinot)
Kukuruyo
BEST FAN ARTIST

Otaking
Karezoid (Michal Karcz)
Michael Callahan
Piper Thibdeau
CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

Pierce Brown *
Sebastien de Castell *
Brian Niemeier
Andy Weir *
Alyssa Wong *
CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

Pierce Brown
Cheah Kai Wai
Sebastien de Castell
Brian Niemeier
Andy Weir
CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

Andy Weir
Brian Niemeier
Alyssa Wong
Natasha Pulley
Becky Chambers
Scott Hawkins
Charlie N. Holmberg
John Sandford & Ctein
Sebastien de Castell

Happy Birthday, Phil Foglio!

Why don’t you give him a birthday present by contributing to his crowdfunding campaign for Girl Genius Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City, and he’ll give you a great read?

COLD FUSION MEDIA LAUNCHES SPACE ELDRITCH

Cover Art: Carter Reid

Cold Fusion Media has released Space Eldritch as an ebook with a print edition to follow.

Press Release:

Your long wait is over — your nightmare has just begun!

Startling Stories meets Weird Tales in SPACE ELDRITCH, a volume of seven original novelettes and novellas of Lovecraftian pulp space opera. Featuring work by Brad R. Torgersen (Hugo/Nebula/Campbell nominee), Howard Tayler (multiple Hugo nominee), and Michael R. Collings (author of over 100 books), plus a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia, SPACE ELDRITCH inhabits the intersection between the eternal adventure of the final frontier and the inhuman darkness between the stars.

Contents:
Foreword – Larry Correia
“Arise Thou Niarlat From Thy Rest” – D.J. Butler
“Space Opera“ – Michael R. Collings
“The Menace Under Mars” – Nathan Shumate
“Gods in Darkness” – David J. West
“The Shadows of Titan” – Carter Reid and Brad R. Torgersen
“The Fury in the Void” – Robert J Defendi
“Flight of the Runewright” – Howard Tayler
Contributors
Cover by Carter Reid.

Story samples for each can be read tale at www.coldfusionmedia.us/space-eldritch.

Space Eldritch is currently available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. A print edition is coming soon.

Monday Mix-Up: Seasons of Love… in Klingon

Monday Mix-Up: Seasons of Love… in Klingon

Rachel Bloom’s performance at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention last year. She was at the convention because her song “Fuck Me Ray Bradbury” was nominated for a Hugo award, and this is her performing at a party late that night:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Q2HXXRlBM[/youtube]

Of course, the Klingon year is 384.2 days long or 553248 minutes, not the 525600 from the original lyrics. I have no idea if this was taken into account during the translation of the song.

Watch the video that got the Hugo Awards live stream shut down and interrupted Neil Gaiman

Back in March, I was asked to put together video clips for this year’s Hugo Awards ceremony, which took place during Worldcon in Chicago on Sunday. Simple assignment— find short clips of the nominated works to introduce them to the audience.

Well, it didn’t quite happen that smoothly. As you may have heard by now, in the middle of the Hugo Awards ceremony at Worldcon, with thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, from the people in the overflow room at the convention to people viewing it live at DragonCon to people all over the world, the feed cut off just as Neil Gaiman was giving his acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, “The Doctor’s Wife”, replaced with the words, “Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement.”

Here’s the video in question, the clip reel for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYFLWQstRfw[/youtube]

Do you see anything in there that violates Fair Use? Of course not. But then, you’re not an automated copyright violation monitoring service, which is what UStream is blaming the problem on. (You’ll note that this video is currently hosted on YouTube, and they don’t seem to be having any problems with it.) I happen to strongly disagree: this service worked almost exactly as UStream intended it to, with the exception that they couldn’t do anything when it was discovered that, whoopsie! The automated service has no intelligence and no off switch, and we’ve just pissed off people with millions of twitter followers. I also note that UStream has been taking down comments on their own site, which of course has not stopped people from commenting on Slashdot, TechCrunch, io9, and CNN stories.

I’m also marveling at the irony of cutting of Neil in mid-speech, as Neil is one of the foremost anti-censorship people in the comics industry, as a board member and major backer of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and a supporter of anti-censorship actions on the web going back to the 90s.

We’re still waiting for the full awards ceremony to be rebroadcast. In the meantime, we hope that you were following our Twitter feed, as we were covering the awards live. Universal Geek has posted audio of Neil Gaiman’s Hugo acceptance speech. And here is the clip reel for the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO_Umi29iYM[/youtube]

Congratulations to all the winners. We hope the rest of the world will be able to see your victories shortly.

UPDATE: Yes, irony of ironies, the video is currently offline at YouTube due to a copyright claim from the BBC. Yes, we’re disputing it.

Reminder: 2012 Hugo Awards Voting Deadline Approaching Fast

70th World Science Fiction Convention

A press release from Chicon 7:

Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), would like to remind members that the voting deadline for the 2012 Hugo Awards and John W. Campbell Award is July 31, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at 2:59 a.m. EDT). The same deadline applies for access to the 2012 Hugo Voter Packet, which can currently be downloaded via the Chicon 7 website.

Hugo Award voting, and access to the Hugo Voter Packet, is open to all Adult, Young Adult and Supporting members of Chicon 7. Convention memberships can be purchased online via the Chicon 7 website at www.chicon.org/membership.php. Full Adult Attending memberships currently cost $215 (rising to $230 from August 1), Young Adult Attending memberships cost $100, and Supporting memberships cost $50.

Members can submit their Hugo Award ballots online via the Chicon 7 website at www.chicon.org/hugo-awards.php, or by postal mail. Postal ballots must be received before the voting deadline. Members wishing to vote online will need their Chicon 7 membership number and unique Chicon 7 PIN. E-mail reminders of these details are currently being sent to all members who have provided their email addresses to the convention.

The Hugo Voter Packet is an electronic package of nominated works graciously made available to voters by nominees and their publishers. This year’s packet includes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction works along with art, music and webcast nominees.

FORTIER TAKES ON ‘GIRL GENIUS’!

ALL PULP REVIEWS- Reviews by Ron Fortier
GIRL GENIUS
(Agatha Awakens)
By Phil & Kaja Foglio
A 319 pg graphic novel.
Tor Books
One of the things I bemoan as a professional reviewer is the lack of graphic novels I’m sent to look at.  Note I did say, “look at.”  The fun of such material is that, when well done, it becomes both a literary and visual feast; a narrative told with both words and art.
The problem is that, even in our supposed enlightened times, most major publishers still do not appreciate or acknowledge graphic novels as legitimate and thus are not receptive to publishing them.  Those pioneer publishers who do are few and far apart.  Happily Tor Books is one of the leading pioneers in this acknowledgement and they deserve credit for not only publishing books such as the Foglios’ “Girl Genius” but also promoting them so heavily.
Since its inception as a webstrip many years ago, this manga inspired sci-fi steampunk comic about airships, monsters, half-humanoid beings and a magical talent called “the Spark,” has won three Hugo Awards and been nominated for both the Eisner & Eagle Awards; the best for American and British strips respectively.  It is a grand, over-the-top tale that showcases a world where machines are looked upon with fear by the average citizen and those scientist who can master them considered heroes of mythic proportions.
Agatha Clay, an orphan college student in Transylvania, is being raised by her aunt and uncle and has no knowledge that she possesses the Spark.  Her only clue being that she often awakens from deep sleeps in her uncle’s workshop surrounded by tools and bizarre, unfinished, “cranks.”  These are robot-like inventions that come in all sizes and shapes with a variety of functions.  Eventually, her secret ability begins to assert itself and she comes under the scrutiny of Baron Wulfenbach, one of the most powerful political scientist in all the world.  He ultimately brings her aboard his city-size airship and there she meets an assortment of characters, both human and half-human, along with a talking cat with attitude and the Baron’s handsome young son, Gilgamesh. 
The boy is keen enough to realize Agatha has the Spark and suspects her talents are greater than most others known to his father.  At the same time, the great ship is coming other attack by an alien entity from another dimension and in the end, there is a climatic battle wherein Agatha, using her gifts consciously for the first time, helps Gilgamesh save the day.  But not before she uncovers other mysteries of her past and her parents.  In the end she is forced to steal an airship and along with her pal, the feisty talking cat, makes good her escape, thus ending the first part of her saga.
At 319 pages, “Agatha Awakens” is a whopping chunk of madcap, graphic fun and action galore.  Although the first hundred pages display a roughness to the depiction of the characters, it is easy to reconcile this was the first year’s worth of pages and the artists were gradually beginning to know their characters.  By the second hundred pages, the art settles into an easy, cartoony style that is part manga, without being overly exaggerated, and typical Saturday morning fare.  I particularly liked the use of coloring, which has been redone for this collection.  It shifts from the duotone and sepia when detailing earthbound city scenes and then explodes with a vibrant rainbow palette upon arriving at the giant airships that cruise majestically through the sky.
Agatha and her supporting cast of characters are fresh, original and fun.  This beautifully produced hardcover is like nothing else I’ve read in graphic form and it truly impressed me a great deal.  If you are a fan of American manga, sci-fi or steampunk, you are going to love “Girl Genius – Agatha Awakens.”  Take my advice; get two copies, one for yourself and another for your pre-teen kids or grand kids. They’ll eat it up.

DENNIS O’NEIL’s Crystal Ball

Arm back, arm forward, release the ball and…three it goes, down he lane, heading for the pocket and…Kerflunkl

Strike!

But uh-oh. Look what happened. Somehow, instead of rolling a bowling ball we rolled our magic crystal ball and sure, we knocked down all the pins, but we also smashed the ball to smithereens. Dozens of shards scattered on the polished wood.

Well, we won’t be using that crystal ball to peer into the­­­­­ – or some – future and let the prophecies issuing therefrom provide fodder for this week’s blather. Nope. And there are things we’d like to know about the forthcoming comics world, like will DC be able to continue the success of its reworking of the superhero pantheon (lookin’ good so far, guys!) and just how damn digital will comics get and if they get any digitaler will the comic shops cope? Will their income really be seriously affected?

(I mean, they’re closing the Blockbuster I’ve been patronizing for the past dozen years or so. Nothing is sacred, or certain, and of course we know that, but it can still kick us in the shins.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Things we’d like to know. On a personal note…will I finish the book I’ve been futzing with for…is it three years now? And will somebody publish it? (And if our crystal ball had a literary critic app, I’d ask just how smelly a garbage heap the book is, anyway.) And back to comics-related matters: Will the Batmovie really knock everyone’s socks off? (And hey, Warners – must I pay for my own ticket or will one of you folks be kind to the ancient, doddering, mostly-retired, septuagenarian funny book hack and put him on a screening list? And not one for a screening in Los Angeles, please. He’s already scheduled to get on more airplanes than he cares to this year.)

Maybe we could pick up a shard and catch a glimpse in it if what the crystal ball would have revealed if we hadn’t stupidly mistaken it for athletic equipment. But what good would that do? Without a context – without the big picture – what we glimpse in a shard wouldn’t provide much information. Come to think of it…the whole and uncompromised crystal ball, pre-bowling fiasco, wasn’t really all that useful, was it? Not for what counts, not for what we really want to know. (Mostly: will I get what I want? How will it all turn out? And oh yeah…will I get what I want?) That ball was always pretty murky, wasn’t it? The images it presented were fuzzy and soft-edged and weirdly distorted, the colors all wrong, the backgrounds bizarre, and when time had passed and we were existing in the reality of those images, they never meant what we thought they’d mean.  There were also smells, which the ball couldn’t show.

Once, when I was interviewing the great Alfred Bester for a magazine piece, he showed me a statuette, a Hugo, the award bequeathed by science fiction fans for outstanding work – the first Hugo ever awarded for best novel of the year. He was using it as a doorstop because, he said, that’s what it’s good for.

Maybe crystal balls make good bowling balls.

RECOMMENDED READING: Alfred Bester received his Hugo for The Demolished Man in 1953. If you’d like to compare your preferences with those of readers of yore, you can probably find a copy of the novel.­­­

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011

Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011

Anne McCaffrey.

Image via Wikipedia

Tor.com reports the sad news that Anne McCaffrey, best known for the Dragonriders of Pern series, passed away of a stroke in her home in Ireland yesterday at the age of 85.

McCaffrey was the first woman to win a Hugo Award (for the first Dragonrider story “Weyr Search” in 1968) as well as the first woman to win a Nebula Award (for the second Dragonrider story “Dragonrider” in 1969) and the first author to hit the New York Times Bestseller List with an SFF title (The White Dragon, the third book in the series).

In 1991 Dragonflight, the first Pern book published, was adapted as a set of three graphic novels by Eclipse. The first two were illustrated by Lela Dowling and Fred Von Tobel, the third by Lela Dowling and Cynthia Martin. The story was adapted by Brynne Stevens.

She was an incredibly gracious lady, and will be missed.

via Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011 | Tor.com.