April 19, 2014

2014 Hugo Award Nominees

Presented at:Loncon 3, London, United Kingdom, August 17, 2014 Host: Base design: Awards Administration: Dave McCarty, David Gallaher, Vincent Docherty Best Novel (1595 nominating ballots) Ancillar...
So the Hugo Award Nominees have been announced.

Selfishly, I would like to put your attention on the Fancast category:


The Skiffy and Fanty Show, Shaun Duke, Jen Zink, Julia Rios, Paul Weimer, David Annandale, Mike Underwood, and Stina Leicht

Yup. I'm a Hugo Nominee.

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April 17, 2014

Reading Herodotus: A Guided Tour through the Wild Boars, Dancing Suitors, and Crazy Tyrants of The History<

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GRRRL4/

If you have any interest or curiosity about Herodotus, the "Father of History", Debra Hamel has helpfully focused on the "Good parts" (and yes, she does reference the Princess Bride in that). Hamel provides context, analysis and thought to the parts of Herodotus' History that she chooses to share with the reader. From crazy Kings to strange Oracles, this is one of the best ways for readers new to Herodotus, and those unwilling to read the whole bloody thing again (raises hand) to get a feel for what he was up to, and what riches there are to be found.

Highly recommended.

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April 12, 2014

8 Question Meme from SF Signal

On SF Signal:

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/04/an-8-question-science-fiction-fantasy-horror-book-meme/

The first science fiction, fantasy or horror book I ever read was:

I, Robot, by Issac Asimov


The last science fiction, fantasy or horror book I read that I'd put in my "Top 20″ list is:

Top 20 takes time, so probably American Gods, by Gaiman


The last science fiction, fantasy or horror book I couldn't finish was:

Pass. I'd rather not hurt some feelings here.


A science fiction, fantasy or horror author whose work I cannot get enough of is:

Elizabeth Bear

A science fiction, fantasy or horror author I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read yet is:

Shame is an odd word here. There are simply authors I've not gotten to, but there are few that I am ashamed I haven't read.

A science fiction, fantasy or horror book I would recommend to someone who hasn't read sf/f/h is:

(Wait, we did a *podcast* on this!). Leviathan Wakes, James S A Corey.

A science fiction, fantasy or horror book that's terribly underrated is:

Bitter Seeds, Ian Tregillis

A science fiction, fantasy or horror book that's terribly overrated is:

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

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April 11, 2014

The Balkanized Genreverse

Watching the sniping and play and counterplay...

I sometimes feel like I am the Sorcerer Errant, trying to peaceably wander the balkanized and often feuding duchies within fantasy and SF.

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April 8, 2014

Mars and the Orson Welles War of the Worlds

One thing I think everyone, and I do mean everyone misses is that the script of the War of the Worlds makes it plain that the events of the story take place on October 30,*1939*, a year in the future of the actual broadcast (10/30/1938)

In the thirty-ninth year of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.
It was near the end of October. Business was better. The war scare was over. More men were back at work. Sales were picking up. On this particular evening, October 30, the Crosley service estimated that thirty-two million people were listening in on radios.

Welles is basically predicting that WWII, in the War of the Worlds universe, did not and would not begin the following year (from the perspective of the broadcast) and that the Depression would ease.

Toward the end...

I walked up Broadway in the direction of that strange powder -- past silent shop windows, displaying their mute wares to empty sidewalks -- past the Capitol Theatre, silent, dark -- past a shooting gallery, where a row of empty guns faced an arrested line of wooden ducks. Near Columbus Circle I noticed models of 1939 motorcars in the showrooms facing empty streets.

Even better, I have astronomical proof, too. I fired up Stellarium to see what the night sky was like at around 9pm Eastern Time in Princeton, New Jersey. And guess what? Mars is below the horizon on 10/30/1938 (the night of the broadcast and when everyone seems to think it takes place) but Mars is well into the sky and visible on October 30,1939, which is the date that the show takes place, according to the script.

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