Hugo Nominations!

Nominations for the Hugos are due in the next two days, and I got mine in yesterday. Time to talk about what I nominated, and why!

(These are not all that I nominated, just the most significant / interesting works.)

Best Novel

  • A Long Time Until Now, Michael Z Williamson. Great time travel story. Very interesting.
  • The Discworld [Complete Work], Terry Pratchett. Like Wheel of Time last year, the whole series as a single work. And what a work it is! Witty, poignant, insightful, imaginative. Pratchett was one of the best.
  • Strands of Sorrow, John Ringo. Last of his “Islands of Rage and Hope” series. Probably the single best zombie series, period.
  • The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher. Butcher’s best work. Simply stunning. My #1 pick.
  • Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C Wright. Brilliant multiverse book with a, so far as I know, utterly unique reason for the timeline divergences.

Best Related Work

  • “Appendix N”, Jeffrey Johnson. An in-depth look at the literary works and authors listed in the famed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Appendix N. As most of these works are utterly unknown to people who started reading sci-fi / fantasy in 1978 or later, it was not only illustrative of the assumptions behind D&D, but it illuminated a whole new world of fantasy and sci-fi, radically different from that I had know.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form):

  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Harebrained Schemes
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, CD Project Red
  • Fallout 4, Bethesda Softworks

It was only recently discovered that computer games qualify for the Best Dramatic Presentation award, so I nominated three of the best from last year.

The John W. Campbell Award:

  • Brian Niemeier. Sharp guy, great writer. One to keep an eye on.

Blue Wednesday

It be more appropriate if I shared this on a Monday, but you’re just gonna have to live with it. After all, it’s a great, if bizarre, cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday”.

The piece is performed using only instruments available in the 1930’s, including the theremin, diddley bow, hammered dulcimer and others. You can find out more about the piece, including all the instruments used to perform it, At The Link!

RIP, David Bowie

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David Bowie passed away yesterday morning at the age of 69. He had just announced a new album.

I’m not the biggest fan of Bowie, musically, but he did make several of my all-time favorite songs: “Let’s Dance”, “I’m Afraid of Americans”, and, with Queen, “Under Pressure”. Even though I don’t enjoy his landmark works, like Ziggy Stardust, that doesn’t preclude me from recognizing his talent and impact on the industry.

For example, when he found out Mott The Hoople was breaking up, he wrote the song “All the Young Dudes” for them in less than a day. It became a smash Glam Rock hit, one of the songs that shaped Rock & Roll. (More here.)

Talented, driven, alternately wildly successful and wildly unsuccessful, he was one of the greats. And, of course, he gave a brilliant performance in Labyrinth: Jareth, the Goblin King.

RIP David Bowie. RIP.

UPDATE: The last photo of David Bowie, taken a couple of days before his death.

Direly Dark Disney Yarns

The Brothers Grimm were, well, grim. And Hans Christian Anderson was no beam of sunshine. So Disney had to change all that…

So she danced… and every step was agonizing pain.
So she danced… and every step was agonizing pain.

Faerie tales were not bright and sunny pieces of literature. Too often we forget that.

This Was the Year That Was, by Dave Barry

As is his habit, Dave Barry has once again chronicled the insanity and irritations of the last year… and it’s a doozy.

[I]nstead of dwelling on the negatives, we’re going to start our annual review with a List of the Top 10 Good Things That Happened in 2015. Ready? Here we go:

1. We didn’t hear that much about Honey Boo Boo.

2.

OK, we’ll have to get back to you on Good Things 2 through 10. We apologize, but 2015 had so many negatives that we’re having trouble seeing the positives. It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and it’s tilting at an 85-degree angle with its propellers way up in the air, and we’re dangling over the cold Atlantic trying to tell ourselves: “At least there’s no waiting for the shuffleboard courts!”

Check the whole thing out At The Link!

TV Trailer Trio: Twin Peaks Returns, Knight Rider Returns and Full House… Returns!

Three TV shows you never thought you’d see again are ALL COMING BACK.

TWIN PEAKS:

KNIGHT RIDER:

FULL HOUSE:

Now that these three have come back to life, can a Small Wonder revival be that far behind?

9

Let’s hope not.