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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Pôl Jackson
    August 25, 2015 @ 10:55 am

    Hope to get some good Hugo-worthy recommendations here in the coming months! Short stories and novelettes are usually completely off my radar. Hoping to correct that.


  2. Eric Rosenfield
    August 25, 2015 @ 11:24 am

    I've referred to Vox Day as the living embodiment of human evil before. It seems he has fully embraced this identity now, which is interesting.


  3. iWill
    August 25, 2015 @ 11:41 am

    Well, if you're after short story recommendations, I've actually got one coming out myself this week!
    Shameless self-promotion aside, I look forward to reading more recommendations for sci-fi fiction here and around the web; I'm always on the lookout for good books, and shorter stuff is perfect for my general schedule right now. To kick things off: there's quite a good story in the latest issue of Interzone called 'Silencer- Head Like A Hole Remix' by E Catherine Tobler which I can recommend. It's a hellish psychedelic nightmare about gun violence, and it's very powerful stuff.
    So there we are. First recommendation for next year's Hugos. I look forward to hearing other people's over the coming months.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 25, 2015 @ 11:59 am

    I've already got a couple penciled in for the categories I historically pay the most attention to (which are not the prose ones).

    My Graphic Story ballot is dead certain to include Crossed +100, WicDiv, and Bitch Planet, with the other two slots up for grabs. (I'd like to have at least something digital; maybe Questionable Content. And I'm going to take a conscious look at some work by people of color.)

    Dramatic Presentation, Long Form is going to have Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ex Machina, and Mad Max: Fury Road on it.

    Short form's still in the air, obviously, with Doctor Who not having aired yet.

    And I reckon I'll put myself up for Best Related Work. πŸ™‚


  5. Nathaniel Lovin
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:06 pm is fantastic for recommendations (although the novel category is huge and the others need work).


  6. Reuben
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

    "Frankly, I don't think there's a world where China Miéville winning his first Hugo can be spun as a victory for fascism."

    It's probably the same world where Marxists are the REAL fascists.


  7. iWill
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

    Not seen/read nearly any of those- I'd definitely agree with 'Strange and Norrell', and I'd be very surprised if there isn't at least one Hugo-worthy Doctor Who episode this year.

    I'm sure at least one Game of Thrones episode will make it, my money's on 'Hardhome', and maybe True Detective? Not watched a lot of TV this year.

    For 'related work', I think 'Companion Piece' from Mad Norwegian is probably pretty good, not read it yet myself.

    Anyway, with that in mind, I'm off to read some book called 'Recursive Occlusion'. Maybe it's Hugo material. Who knows, eh? Who knows?


  8. Neo Tuxedo
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

    One of Vox Day's friends looks, to me, a lot like Tim Kreider's friend Boyd, though I doubt it's actually he; Boyd can be vile, but not in the ELE way.


  9. Neo Tuxedo
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:34 pm

    Actually, if Miéville picks up a rocket in Kansas City, it'll be his second Hugo win, unless we're not counting The City & the City (because it shared Best Novel with The Windup Girl? because we think it's technically slipstream like "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love"? because we think Gordon R. Dickson's "Delusion World" was a better take on the central concept or conceit?).


  10. Doctor Memory
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:35 pm

    Either way, though, you know what Vox Day's next move is going to be?

    Continue to spend relatively small amounts of his inherited fortune in order to prop up his Christian micropublishing hobby?


  11. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    Did he win? I must have misparsed the line in the "Awards" section of his Wikipedia article, which was what the research for that bit of the post consisted of.


  12. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 25, 2015 @ 12:47 pm

    Yeah, I'll probably have Hardholme on my ballot. Flawed as GoT was this year, that would be a Hugo contender in any year.


  13. Scurra
    August 25, 2015 @ 1:10 pm

    My concern is that even broad discussions about nominations will be immediately pounced upon by the Puppies as being "slates" – after all, they had no shame in labelling John Scalzi's annual thread as being the original Hugo slate despite that barely coming close to even a suggested list, let alone an edict from on high.

    But despite that, I expect there to be, if not necessarily more actual lists of things, then definitely more awareness of those lists that exist. Which will probably be a good thing.


  14. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 25, 2015 @ 1:14 pm

    I think just about the only thing we can do to guarantee Vox Day's victory is to start giving a flying fuck what he says on any level other than what it means for beating him.


  15. Scurra
    August 25, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

    And that's an excellent point, well made.

    (In passing, I really look forward to nominating at least a couple of things from Eruditorum Press next year. Is that lock-step enough for you? {joke})


  16. Sean Dillon
    August 25, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

    Well, looks like I'm gonna have to spend the next year campaigning for Week of Sardonyx to be nominated for longform.


  17. The Dapper Anarchist
    August 25, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

    If you want some good digital graphic work, have you been reading Strong Female Protagonist? Also sadly Templar AZ (Which I treat as the distant prequel to Transmetroplitan) hasn't updated this year…


  18. kateorman
    August 25, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

    Jon was on a business call while I read this, which meant I had to guffaw silently (especially at the four-dimensional chess / Calvinball bit) and nearly suffocated.


  19. Jeff Heikkinen
    August 25, 2015 @ 7:14 pm

    No matter what you do Day will find a way to declare that it somehow supports his claims, no matter how badly he needs to twist logic into a pretzel or how many of his own prior statements he has to ignore to do it. There's zero point in taking that into consideration. It's like playing chess with a pigeon, it doesn't matter what you do, the stupid thing is just going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway.


  20. mengu
    August 25, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

    A significant number of things now make more sense.


  21. Eric Gimlin
    August 25, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

    If we're going with Superheroes = SF, surely Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will need to go on my list this year. But I'm at least somewhat inclined to not want to go that route. (I still haven't gotten around to reading Ms. Marvel hangs head in shame, but I have the impression that the only major SF element was the Superheroes element in general.) Wicdiv is definitely on my ballot, really not sure what else to include yet.


  22. Doctor Memory
    August 26, 2015 @ 5:54 am


  23. Doctor Memory
    August 26, 2015 @ 5:56 am

    (I wouldn't say that knowing Rob Beale's story gives me sympathy for Ted per se, but it certainly provides an interesting shading to the story to realize 1. how utterly fucking vile his dad was, and 2. that even sons of vile parents are probably not helped by seeing them dragged off to jail no matter how well-deserved.)


  24. ScarvesandCelery
    August 26, 2015 @ 8:42 am

    Yes to this – though arguably nominating individual episodes for short form would work better for Steven Universe?


  25. Richard Gadsden
    August 26, 2015 @ 9:55 am

    I will nominate Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana for Dramatic Presentation Long Form, simply because it made me cry, and I don't care if I'm the only nomination it gets.

    Mad Max for sure. Neither of the Marvel films this year, which leaves some slots open. Need to watch Ex Machina and JS&MN, and there's going to be a new Star Wars and The Martian later this year for consideration.

    Neither Doctor Who nor Agent Carter have aired yet, so who knows for BDP short – but Hardhome deserves a nomination (and I didn't nominate AC last year because I didn't think it was genre enough). Need to get caught up on Orphan Black.

    For Related Work, the sheer stark beauty of the math behind E Pluribus Hugo gets a nomination in my book. I didn't think there was an original voting system still to be invented, but they proved me wrong, and did so with a work of art.


  26. Daibhid C
    August 26, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

    our only actual investment in the Hugo Awards is that we think they've done a pretty good job of recommending good stuff to read, and that they're fun.

    This, always this. Whenever anyone shows signs of taking the Hugos, as the Hugos, seriously, I remind myself that the one time Terry Pratchett was nominated he requested the book be withdrawn from consideration because he was trying to enjoy the convention, thanks. Which strikes me as an admirably healthy attitude.


  27. Daibhid C
    August 26, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

    It says a lot about how well QC does what it does that for a second I wondered if a comic which is currently mostly about underground robot fighting really counted as sf.


  28. Sean Dillon
    August 26, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

    True, but then you'd have to decide which ones. Rose's Scabbard, The Return/Jail Break, Sworn to the Sword, Alone Together, On the Run, Full Disclosure… I just feel that run of five episodes was the best of the bunch. (although if I had to pick one, I'd go with Rose's Scabbard)


  29. Matt Marshall
    August 26, 2015 @ 11:21 pm

    Wow, that's an impossible question really isn't it? I'd probably agree with you that Rose's Scabbard is the strongest individual episode that also works well as a standalone (as given how good the others are, they work a lot better with the buildup). Though if two-parters count as short form (do they?) there could be a very strong case for The Return/Jailbreak as in my book it's pretty much perfect (and of course has that Garnet bit that everyone loves)


  30. ScarvesandCelery
    August 27, 2015 @ 12:34 am

    I'd go with "The Return/ Jailbreak" in terms of what I think would do best in an awards ceremony, although I am incredibly fond of "Alone Together", that's marvellous. Also "Lion 3: Straight to video", but I think that's slightly outside the cut off point for nominations :/ That said, if I was going for a long form nomination, "Week of Sardonyx" does seem like the best choice – it's the most cohesive of the "Stevenbombs"


  31. Matt Marshall
    August 27, 2015 @ 12:48 am

    Lion 3 just got Emmy nominated, it's had its time in the sun!

    Week of Sardonyx as longform? Hrm. I dunno, I mean I really liked the first half, but felt the second half wasn't as strong and 'Friendship' didn't quite stick the landing (I did like that that Garnet quite explicitly DIDN'T outright forgive Pearl though). Maybe if they'd actually caught Peridot at the end it would feel more like a cohesive whole rather than more episodic, though I can see why they wouldn't have wanted it to end like that (as you'd then have two focuses on the ending)


  32. Kit Power
    August 27, 2015 @ 3:01 am

    And with that, Jeff, I rather think you win the internet for today. Bravo.


  33. ScarvesandCelery
    August 27, 2015 @ 4:32 am

    It has? Super. "You are going to be a human being" makes me tear up every time. It deserves the recognition.
    I thought it worked better as a whole than other Stevenbombs because every episode contributes to the ongoing arc, but I agree it has a few too many weak points (well, weaker, nothing bad) to quite work as an awards nomination, IMO. It's why I'd pick "The Return/ Jailbreak" (or any individual episode suggested above, they're all great) instead.


  34. Sean Dillon
    August 27, 2015 @ 7:12 am

    I'm don't think the point of the Week of Sardonyx was to catch Peridot, so much as the relationship between the gems (with a focus on Pearl and Garnet). I mean, we were shown early on in the final episode that Pearl was desperately trying to find Peridot to make all of this go away and everyone else was aware that this wasn't why Garnet was furious with her. That's why the climax of the episode was the return of Sardonyx and not Peridot's escape. I think they have more stories to tell with Peridot before we get the "and then she gets captured" bit.


  35. Matt Marshall
    August 27, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

    Well I meant more in that it would make it more of a cohesive unit rather than five episodes of a serialised television show. But you're right, the point was that catching Peridot was the /least/ important thing going on that week. I keep going back and forth on whether they should have caught her or not.

    Sometimes I hope that they never do πŸ˜‰


  36. Sean Dillon
    August 28, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

    I mean, on one hand we have the great comedic interpretation of Peridot as Zim, but largely successful (yet still as manic, especially when things don't go her way). On the other hand the nature of the narrative collapse within Steven Universe is one of the personal relationships being broken by forces from without (such as in The Return/Jailbreak) and within (such as the aforementioned Week of Sardonyx and Full Disclosure). Thus, considering both which of those stories was the season finale and the title of a future episode, it is most likely that they will not catch Peridot. Rather, she will catch them. And all hell will break loose in the process.


  37. Justin Cawthorne
    September 2, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

    I look forward to Vox Day enduring continued success where he had sought failure. I look forward to record numbers of people participating in the voting process, and resolutely failing to stand aside as the Hugo Awards obligingly 'burn to the ground'. I look forward to a renewed focus on diversity in science fiction and a heightened effort among the community to seek out stories that are written by authors who are not white, male heterosexuals, and also to look for those voices to be represented in the stories they read. I look forward to all of this happening both in spite of and because of Vox Day and his minions stamping their feet and standing bewildered as the masses turn their back on him and his minions and look forward to a better future instead of trying to reclaim a fictitious past.


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