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  • Capt. Xerox 1:25 pm on October 11, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    #scifi movies don’t traditionally do very well come Oscar time, but could Gravity change that? http://ow.ly/pJsif

  • Capt. Xerox 9:37 am on September 23, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards, ,   

    Nice to see that Robert J. Sawyer is getting a lifetime achievement Aurora at this year’s Can-Con. Only the 4th ever. http://ow.ly/p4b8V

    • Lazarus 10:44 am on September 23, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Needless to say, I’ll be there. Any chance that the Cap will make an appearance? Without Con*cept, this is the next best local con. The can*con site has a prelim schedule up.

      • Capt. Xerox 9:30 pm on September 23, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it. It conflicts with the kids’ hockey schedules so it will be hard to get away. Nice to see the convention continues to grow. I don’t expect Montreal will see a replacement for Con*Cept any time soon.

  • Capt. Xerox 10:41 pm on May 20, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 has won the Nebula. I’m actually reading it right now. I’m waiting for it to get better. http://t.co/OW4Gu6u2yE

  • Capt. Xerox 2:09 pm on May 3, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    The Guardian has a nice write-up on the winner of the Arthur Clarke award. http://t.co/lqD2qPLcWR

  • Capt. Xerox 11:31 am on April 5, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Clarke award shortlist is taking some heat for its all-male nominees list. Wouldn’t bother me if it was all-femae. http://t.co/75AGMrvWGX

  • Capt. Xerox 5:56 pm on April 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    Seanan McGuire, aka Mira Grant, garnered 5 Hugo nominations this year. Perhaps she’ll even win one. http://t.co/yuFUnESDHj

    • Lazarus 2:00 pm on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Harry Potter win (and I believe there were other HP books nominated in other years but did not win) has always really bothered me. While I agree that some works straddle the SF/Fantasy fence, these are clearly Fantasy and should have only been considered for such awards.

      I think the real problem is that when you look at it closely there are only a few thousand fans that actively participate in the nomination and final voting process that you can’t get away from these questionable works getting into the mix.

    • Lazarus 1:17 pm on April 2, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That is quite a feat regardless if she is the ‘real deal’ (Future grand master?) or just on some writing streak. I hate to bring it up but with the open submission process there is always the possibility that there was some orchestrated and organized effort by her fans. But I’m pretty sure we are all already aware of the pitfalls and vagaries of Hugo voting.

      I’m more concerned about the Captain’s other post regarding this year’s lineup for best novel. I agree with everything he has to say notwithstanding the personal assessments as I have not read any (as usual). I was hoping that Scalzi’s novel fared better in his eyes, but even I consider Scalzi hit or miss. Oh well.

      As for my CBIP: “Different Seasons” by Stephen King. Four novellas, including “The Body” (filmed as “Stand By Me”), “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” (need I say more), and “Apt Pupil” which was another one made into a movie that even I did not know about. I’m a bit late coming to the game, but I must say that I’m certainly enjoying and appreciating King more and more.

      • Capt. Xerox 8:24 am on April 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve often wondered if there were organized campaigns to get writers nominated. Lois McMaster Bujold seems to be nominated without fail and how did a Harry Potter book ever win the Hugo?

        More worrying to me is that only three short stories were nominated because no other stories received enough votes. Is that a comment on the state of the short-fiction market?

  • Capt. Xerox 5:51 pm on April 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    I am not inspired by the nominated novels for the 2013 Hugos. Perhaps my opinion will change once I read them all. http://t.co/bsV5wmjSWa

    • Capt. Xerox 10:04 pm on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ugh. I am not impressed by the list of Hugo nominees for best novel this year.

      Blackout by Mira Grant is book three of a trilogy in which I was unable to finish the first two because I was too bored by them. Can we move on from zombies already?

      Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is book umpteen by Lois McMaster Bujold in her Vorkosigan series. I’ve fallen out of touch with the series so have no clue if it can be read as a standalone.

      2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson scares me as everything I’ve read by him was turgid and this one looks like a brick.

      Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed is a fantasy novel. I’m not normally a great fan of fantasy books, but will give this one a try.

      Redshirts by John Scalzi is the only one of the books that I have already read and don’t really know what the fuss is about. It was entertaining, but fairly forgettable.

  • Capt. Xerox 1:54 am on March 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    This year’s Nebula nominees are out, but I always find it hard to get excited by them. I prefer Hugo winners. http://t.co/ppw56lxY96

  • Capt. Xerox 2:18 am on February 22, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    I am a bad fan. I haven’t seen a single one of the movies nominated for best #scifi for the Saturn Awards. http://t.co/5LL3TAdVsE

  • Capt. Xerox 1:28 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Time to nominate your favourite #scifi or #fantasy #tv show for the People’s Choice Awards. I’m picking Doctor Who. http://t.co/N3Gmu6aS

  • Capt. Xerox 1:32 am on September 4, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    I wasn’t online to see the livestreamed Hugo ceremony, but it sounds like a lot of people tried, but got booted off. http://t.co/r2z02yRs

    • Lazarus 1:20 pm on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      On the bright side, I believe that the entire show will be available for viewing at some point. I always found it odd that every time I went there were noticable professional camera crews filming these awards and could never find the video even for sale afterwards. I would really like to watch the 2003 show which had a very good speech by Spider Robinson. There were film crews at some of the more notable panels in L.A. as well. I clearly remember the Harlan Ellison ‘show’ being filmed and pretty sure the cameras were rolling for Bradbury. I hope these surface some day.

  • Lazarus 2:34 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    Congratulations to Jo Walton and all the other Hugo winners:
  • Capt. Xerox 8:36 pm on August 25, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards, ,   

    Once again this year, I endeavoured to read the Hugo nominees for best novel. I was mostly successful, although I skipped one book because it was book 5 of a series and another book I couldn’t finish. Here are my capsule reviews:

    EMBASSYTOWN by China Mieville
    China Mieville novels are not easy reading, but they are stories that will stay with you for a long time and Embassytown is one of those.

    On one of mankind’s most distant worlds sits a group of ambassadors who are our race’s only means of communication with an alien species which is one of the most alien ever imagined.

    These aliens have a language which is almost beyond human comprehension. It requires two humans to speak simultaneously, with each making different sounds in order for the words to be heard and understood. Ambassadors are twinned with each other at an early age so they can perfect this speech and live together as if the two are sharing one brain and thinking simultaneously.

    The story is told through the eyes of a woman who grows up in Embassytown, but leaves to be a star-faring space pilot, only to return years later with a lover who is a linguist fascinated by the language of the aliens.

    As the story unfolds, it seems that the aliens are addicted to the words and concepts that they hear and learn from the humans they speak with. Things go bad when one faction begins to break away from their addiction and clashes with those who remain hooked.

    It’s really a hard book to explain which is probably why you’d have to read it for yourself to grasp its complexities.

    It’s clearly not a book for someone seeking escapist entertainment, but if you’re looking to have your mind expanded and give your brain a workout, Embassytown is worth a read

    LEVIATHAN WAKES by James Corey
    The best way to describe this book is that it is a film noir space opera.

    With the backdrop of a war that spans the solar system, a weary, street-savvy detective from one of the asteroid colonies attempts to get to the root of the cause of the conflict and maybe save the Earth in the process.

    It is a time when Mars, the asteroids and moons of our solar system’s outer planets are colonized and there is as a thriving trade between them all, accompanied by the rivalries that come along with that as each vies for advantage over their economic competitors.

    Our hero works security on an asteroid colony and gets word that an heiress has gone missing and may be involved with a revolutionary group of nogoodniks. He sets out to find her and ship her back to Earth.

    During the investigation, he discovers a body that has been transformed beyond recognition by some sort of pathogen that may be powerful enough to destroy humanity if allowed to spread across the colonies.

    In a separate story line, a salvage crew discovers a lifeless spaceship near a tiny asteroid and board it to investigate. They find evidence that it may have been attacked by Mars’ navy. They are themselves attacked and manage to escape on a smaller, armed pinnace. They broadcast their findings to the solar system and nations start blaming each other and it quickly escalates into war.

    Meanwhile, back to our detective friend. He does some digging and finds a link with our disappeared heiress to the pinnace that was used by the crew in our other story line to escape. He tracks them down to whatever space rock they are hiding at and the two groups link up.

    What is the link between the war, the disappeared heiress and the deadly pathogen? That is the mystery that they set out to solve and that keeps the reader glued to their book as they watch them have one obstacle after another thrown in their path.

    I found Leviathan Wakes immensely satisfying as a good, old-fashioned science fiction novel. In some ways, the style and content reminded me of a book like Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon, but that’s a good thing since that was an excellent novel.

    AMONG OTHERS by Jo Walton
    This year’s Nebula Winner by Montreal-resident Jo Walton was a surprise because it was a lot better than I expected.

    It’s the first book of hers that I have read and found it hard to put down.

    It is a fantasy story set in Wales, Walton’s homeland, about a teenage girl who sees fairies. She is sent off to England to study at a boarding school. Because she’s Welsh, has a handicap from a car accident that hinders her walking and is a big reader of science fiction, I couldn’t help but wonder how autobiographical a story it is consdiring Walton is Welsh, walks with the help of a cane and is a frequent and excellent critic of science fiction.

    The book is written in a first-person, diary form and is set in 1979-1980. It recounts how our diarist is sent away after her sister dies in the car accident which leaves the writer with her disability.

    The two of them would frequently see and interact with fairy-like creatures that lived in the Welsh countryside, mostly found near the abandoned structures of mines.

    After the accident, the girl is sent off to a boarding school. Her tuition is paid for the aunts of her father, who she has never met since her parents split up a long time ago and now takes a more active role in her life. They bond because both are science fiction fans.

    One of the amusing parts of the story is the ongoing book reviews that the girl jots down in her diary of the different science fiction titles she reads over the months she’s at school. If you isolated just that part of the book, you’d be left with Jo Walton’s canonical list of science fiction!

    Because it is written as a diary, the story is very episodic and it may not appear to have a clear plot. As you read it, the story mostly deals with the day-to-day life of a schoolgirl with the usual concerns about friends, rivals and boys.

    The only difference is there are sporadic references to the fairies and magic being used by her mother against her.

    Considering that her sister has died, you start to wonder if these fairies are real or some sort of illusion created by her sick mind. For me, that ended up being the plot. Is this girl crazy or does she really see fairies? Finding the answer to that question was enough to keep me reading.

    DEADLINE by Mira Grant
    I y learned that this was book 2 of a trilogy, so set off to read the first book, Feed, which was nominated for a Hugo last year.

    Sadly, I could not finish it. It’s yet another zombie apocalypse book which I found too self-conscious to be interesting. I got about a third of the way through and said “who cares?”

    I’m sure it is beloved by many, but it was not my cup of tea and it’s extremley rare that I bail on a For the most part, I will slog through a book, no matter how dull or poorly written.

    A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
    Having not read the previous 4 Game of Thrones books, I wasn’t going to plow through those just to read this book. I am sure it is a worthy title for nomination, but fear that it’s only here because of the success of the Game of Thrones mini-series. My bigger fear is that the name recognition is enough to propel this book to victory.

    • Capt. Xerox 9:11 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m a bit surprised that Jo Walton’s Among Others won the Hugo, but am pleased. I really liked the book. It wasn’t my first choice, but if I was voting, it would have been second on my ballot. I liked Leviathan Wakes best. I suppose the fact that it won’t the Nebula might have pushed it over the top.

  • Capt. Xerox 5:01 pm on July 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes wins the Saturn for best #scifi film. Still don’t know why Breaking Bad won anything. http://t.co/Dr2nfY4N

  • Capt. Xerox 2:36 am on May 23, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Old news I know, but I was intrigued to learn that Walton’s Among Others topped Mieville’s Embassytown for the Nebula. http://t.co/u6hQ5001

  • Capt. Xerox 5:56 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Nice list of names for this year’s 2012 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Inductees. http://t.co/slSiS6G9

  • Capt. Xerox 4:23 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    The latest installment of Back to the Hugos looks at Dreamsnake, one of the few winners that I have never read. http://t.co/pnQbnnhT

    • Lazarus 1:13 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Got a copy sitting on my shelves along with a bunch of other unread books. But with descriptions like “At its worst, Dreamsnake reads like the dull bits of Tolkien – only without the jokes.” it may remain there unread for quite some time.

      • Capt. Xerox 9:56 pm on April 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve picked up my copy a few times, read the back cover blurb and put it back on the shelf. For whatever reason, it’s never tempted me.

        Other Hugo winners I have never read include The Snow Queen, Green and Blue Mars and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Not sure whey I’ve never read Snow Queen. Just never got around to it, I guess.

        As for Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars books, I hated Red Mars. I found it completely turgid so didn’t want to waste my time reading two more books out of some sense of duty.

        I have not interest in the Harry Potter books so wasn’t about to read the first three in order to check out the fourth book in the series.

        I fear that if George Martin wins this year, I’ll probably ignore that book as well.

        As usual, I aim to read all of this year’s Hugo novel nominees, but am skipping that book figuring there’s no sense reading a book in the middle of a series I know nothing about.

  • Capt. Xerox 5:09 pm on April 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    You can win a prize for book collecting? This grad student won one for his R.A. Lafferty collecton! http://t.co/2fHVpG9Y

  • Capt. Xerox 2:29 pm on April 11, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Despite Christopher Priest’s rant about the Clarke Award nominees, he managed to win BFSA prize with The Islanders. http://t.co/RpK6VsDo

  • Capt. Xerox 2:27 pm on April 11, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Have the Hugo Awards gone mainstream? USA Today makes mention of them, albeit in a superficial manner. http://t.co/spOYNsI6

  • Capt. Xerox 9:30 pm on April 8, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards, ,   

    I was just perusing the list of Hugo nominations. I am going to go out on a limb and predict, without reading any of the nominated novels, that China Mieville will with for Embassytown.

    Okay, I confess that I have read some of Embassytown as I picked it up in anticipation of it being nominated. I think that there is enough being said and written about the book that it will be an easy winner.

    Seeing that the Hugos are more of a popularity contest these days, I think the closest competitor for Mieville will be George R.R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons, not because it’s a great book, which it very well may be, but because Martin’s Game of Thrones has been such a success in its HBO television adaptation. That name recognition factor will go a long way to helping it win votes.

    Don’t get me started about how something with dragons in the title is being nominated for a science fiction award. You don’t see stories about rockets and robots when the World Fantasy Awards are handed out.

    Probably the strangest nomination is for something called “The Drink Tank’s Hugo Acceptance Speech” by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon from Renovation. How meta is that? If it wins, could the acceptance speech for that award be nominated for a Hugo next year?

    • Jeffrey Allan Boman 4:23 am on April 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve known Chris for about 6 years now. He was one of my nominators for DUFF in 2010. He’s a very entertaining person, so his speech was likely gold.

      I’m glad his zine (which I’ve written for) won. In the past years podcasts and other unrelated things have instead. He deserved one just for being prolific.

    • Kevin 9:54 pm on April 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Hugo Awards are not exclusively for science fiction. It says so right in their official definition in the WSFS Constitution, section 3.2.1: Unless otherwise specified, Hugo Awards are given for work in the field of science fiction or fantasy appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year.

      The World Fantasy Awards are presented by a small jury with strong administrative powers to arbitrarily define what they consider “fantasy” and “not-fantasy.” The Hugo Award administrators are strongly discouraged from applying any form of value judgements on the works, and to leave the decision as to whether a work is SF, Fantasy, or related to the field in some way up to the voters. Think of it as having a “jury” of over 1,100 members.

      • Capt. Xerox 10:46 pm on April 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the clarification. I never looked that closely at the definitions for the awards. In my mind, they’ve always been awards for science fiction, but clearly they are not. There certainly have been other fantasy books that have been nominated and won over the years and a few borderline cases that had me scratching my head over their inclusion.

  • Capt. Xerox 2:21 pm on April 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Is libertarian science fiction your thing? The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced its Prometheus finalists.http://ow.ly/a6cGQ

  • Capt. Xerox 1:46 pm on March 30, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    Chris Priest’s rant against the Clarke award nominees is getting him lots of attention. No more nominations for him! http://t.co/aDq8N97g

  • Capt. Xerox 4:34 pm on March 14, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards   

    After six years are The Constellation Awards gaining any traction? At least there’s a Canadian content category. http://t.co/XQp6DNBn

  • Capt. Xerox 7:07 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: awards,   

    More validation of how behind the times I am. The 2011 Nebula Award nominees are announced and I’ve read none of them. http://t.co/9SIu33Rv

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