Saturday Waffling (April 18th, 2015)
Right, so, we did get over $280 on the Patreon, first of all. That means that there will be a Game of Thrones review going up tomorrow around when “The House of Black and White” airs. “High Sparrow” will go up next week if it can cross $290.
Then on Monday starts the Super Nintendo Project, my magical ritual to destroy Gamergate, for which I’m very excited. And probably on Tuesday, though it might take until Thursday will be a related one-off that I wrote for my own pleasure, as opposed to for money. It’s called “Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and His Supporters,” and is about fifteen thousand words long. So that’ll be fun too.
Obviously, it’s about the Hugos, which raises our question for the weekend: of the many worthy things kept off the Hugo Ballot by Theodore Beale and his supporters, what are you saddest didn’t make it? What did you nominate, or would you have nominated if you’d had a ballot?
April 18, 2015 @ 12:48 am
Take a look at the shortlists for the Nebula, the Clarke, the Kitschies, or the BSFA award to see what might-have-been…
April 18, 2015 @ 1:16 am
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Claire North) is, hands down, the best timeloop book I've read for years – certainly it made Life after Life (Kate Atkinson) seem positively ordinary by comparison.
April 18, 2015 @ 2:13 am
I only read two novels in all of 2014, but one of them was Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor. That one would have got my nomination. Got me through a rough week.
April 18, 2015 @ 6:14 am
I'm really looking forward to the Super Nintendo Project. I'm going to try to support it at my usual place as best I can. Hopefully better than I did the Last War in Albion, which. I think is a bit too much for the usual demographics there. Sorry.
April 18, 2015 @ 8:53 am
Prophet, LazurusFinal Incal(Don't know the eligibility criteria for translated work so not sure it would qualify but it's Mœbius so there should be some flexibility there) or The Wicked And The Divine for the best Graphic Story just to get a completely puppy free award category.
A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tindhar for the novel category, which has the added bonus of providing a conceptual link to the 1963 winner, The Man in the High Castle showing that the notion that the kind of sci-fi they appear to hate (i.e. with ideas & intelligence) has been around and award winningly popular for half a century.
April 18, 2015 @ 9:04 am
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April 18, 2015 @ 9:05 am
Phil Sandifer – Best Fan Writer
April 18, 2015 @ 9:47 am
Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons: An Analysis of Theodore Beale and His Supporters
…will that internets be carry-out or delivery?
April 18, 2015 @ 11:42 am
"The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (Claire North) is, hands down, the best timeloop book I've read for years"
The Girl With All the Gifts (M.R.Carey) was the best zombie apocalypse book I've read 🙂
And on apocalypses:
Really enjoying Station 11 (Emily St. John Mandel)
David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks got sufficient love in the wider literary world, but it was my favourite speculative-fiction read of 2014.
April 18, 2015 @ 2:32 pm
I haven't heard much buzz from anyone else about Jo Walton's "Sleeper" (http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/08/sleeper-jo-walton), so I don't know whether it would have made it onto even an untainted short story ballot, but it's certainly what I would have been most excited about nominating in that category had I nominated.
April 19, 2015 @ 7:14 am
Ah – the old golden days when the Hugo winners were good clean rollicking fun like Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and not all this lefty feminist gender-bending sf.
Film: I liked The Legend of Princess Kaguya.
Short Form: Utopia, Series Two, Episode One. (I'd want Listen to beat it, but shoulda been a contender.)
Book: I tend to read things in paperback, so I may be a year out. Things I have enjoyed in the last year:
Arcanum by Simon Morden, or
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman,
or Broken Homes by Aaronovitch,
or possibly The Severed Streets by Cornell (I'm in the middle of this one). Incidentally, I presume the Severed Streets will get at least a passing reference in Last War in Albion for reasons that are technically a spoiler, but which Paul Cornell has mentioned several times in his blog.
April 19, 2015 @ 7:50 am
The Severed Streets was great. I don't know if Cornell needed to pull the cameo gag that he did, but full points for pulling it all the way.
_The Dark Defiles_ by Richard K. Morgan. I don't know if this is quite Hugo-caliber, but it's very good. Third book of a trilogy (which did not go out of control page-count-wise or volume-count-wise). Takes many tropes of epic fantasy — barbarian swordman, faerie, prophecies, gods — and puts them through an interestingly science-fictional wringer. Also, one of the viewpoint characters is an angry black lesbian elf ninja with a coke habit, so why are you not reading these books.
_City of Stairs_, Robert Jackson Bennett. (Unless that was 2013?)
_The Just City_, Jo Walton. This will probably not be as much of a fan-favorite as Among Others (which won in 2012) but if you think philosophy is a lively subject, you really have to read it.
_The Galaxy Game_, Karen Lord. I nominate this because I did not the hell understand anything that was going on. I realize this is a lazy-ass reason to recommend a book. This is the sort of SF which eschews infodumps in favor of total immersion in an alien society. (Human beings, but not on Earth.) But actually at least three different societies in the middle of massive social upheaval, so that literally every chapter yanks the context out from under you and expects you to follow along.
_Full Fathom Five_, Max Gladstone. Gladstone is great.
_The March North_, Graydon Saunders. This is self-published (search Google Play) so it would be very unlikely to get enough attention for a Hugo. But it is an excellent, excellent mil-fantasy novel.