Theodore Sturgeon Award Nominees Announced

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, located on the campus of the University of Kansas, has announced the list of finalists for this year’s Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction.

Director Christopher McKitterick made the news public today in a press release. The Sturdeon award, along with the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, will be presented on Friday, June 16th, as part of the annual Campbell Conference. This year’s conference celebrates the career of Dr. James Gunn, noted science fiction author and founder of the Center.

 

The nominees:

Nina Allan, “The Art of Space Travel,” Tor.com, 27 July 2016
Amal El-Mohtar, “Seasons of Glass and Iron,” The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, eds. Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, Saga Press, 2016
Carolyn Ives Gilman, “Touring with the Alien,” Clarkesworld, April 2016
Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom, Tor.com, February 2016
Ian R. MacLeod, “The Visitor From Taured,” Asimov’s, September 2016
Sam J. Miller, “Things with Beards,” Clarkesworld, June 2016
Dominica Phetteplace, “Project Empathy,” Asimov’s, March 2016
Catherynne M. Valente, “The Future is Blue,” Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, 2016
Kai Ashante Wilson, A Taste of Honey, Tor.com, 13 October 2016

Theodore Sturgeon’s heirs helped Dr. Gunn establish the award in 1987 to recognize the best science fiction short story of each year. Sturgeon himself was known for his award-winning short fiction.

Winners will be the Guests of Honor at a reception following the conference. For more information about the Gunn Center, click here.

 




Dr. Bashir Fights Google For CONTROL In Section 31 Outing

Section 31: Control
Written by David Mack
Published by Pocket Books (March 2017)
Mass paperback, 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501151705

That’s exactly what it is: Dr. Julian Bashir and his cohorts are up against a galactic Google that started as a surveillance program on Earth and has since morphed into a hot mess of an Evil A.I. that we all know Google will become one day.

It’s kind of a political thriller, kind of a cautionary tale, and to be honest, it’s a little disappointing.

David Mack is, in my book, one of the better Trek writers in the cabal at the moment, but the Section 31 stories are feeling less and less like Star Trek and more like James Bond vs. Hydra in Spaaaaace! The way Julian Bashir has evolved as a character, too, has become less and less interesting. Is it just me? Am I just getting old? I find I have less patience than I did for stories that just don’t feel like they gel.

Not to say it isn’t well-written. It is. Mack is still a very very good writer, and the craft of the book is top notch. Plus, he’s very good at getting the character voices right. Not only Bashir, but also Garak, Data, and Lal. But it’s the story that didn’t really engage me much. The idea of an over-reaching computer program that gains sentience has been done several times in Trek, and by now it’s become a tired trope. In addition to that, it was very easy for me to bounce out of the story and equate the Uraei program with the pernicious Google A.I. that reads our e-mails, watches the web sites we visit, and calls up advertisements based on our online behavior.

Besides Star Trek — with Vejur and the Borg and Nomad — there’s also The Terminator‘s Skynet, Minority Report‘s PreCrime division, Battlestar Galactica‘s Cylons, Ultron, Mycroft, HAL9000, Hex, all giving us massive pieces of technology that infiltrate our lives and spy on us “for our own good”. We even just got a version of it with AIDA becoming human and losing her marbles over on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is it a sign of the times? Are we collectively trying to warn ourselves against the Coming of the Google?

It never ends well.

There are plenty of moral dilemmas here. Bashir is so fixated on taking down Section 31 that he doesn’t really think through the possible consequences of his actions. And it would seem his days as a doctor are past, as he doesn’t really act like one in this story. Plus, there’s the question of what happens if/when Uraei is disabled. Or can it be removed from the galactic network? Is it so ingrained in the Federation’s computer systems that there’s no beating it? And who’s in charge, Uraei or Section 31? What happens if you cut off the head of the secret Evil Organziation? Do they fall apart? Go to ground? Regroup around a new leader? Come back stronger?

Bottom line: read it for the enjoyment of reading David Mack’s work, not for the wholly original concept of a vast network of artificial intelligence digging into every part of our lives.




2016 Nebula Award Winners Announced

On May 20, 2017, the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America converged in Pittsburgh to hand out the  annual Nebula Awards as part of the 51st annual Nebula Conference. The Nebula Banquet was hosted by NASA astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgren.

Included in the honors were the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, among others.

Here’s the list of winners, followed by their fellow nominees:

Novel:

  • Winner: All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox GambitYoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

Novella:

  • Winner: Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • ‘‘The Liar’’, John P. Murphy (F&SF 3-4/16)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette:

  • Winner: ‘‘The Long Fall Up’’, William Ledbetter (F&SF 5-6/16)
  • ‘‘Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea’’, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 2/16)
  • ‘‘Blood Grains Speak Through Memories’’, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/17/16)
  • “The Orangery“, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 12/8/16)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • ‘‘You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay’’, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny 5-6/16)

Short Story:

  • Winner: ‘‘Seasons of Glass and Iron“, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies’’, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
  • ‘‘Sabbath Wine’’, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • ‘‘Things With Beards’’, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 6/16)
  • ‘‘This Is Not a Wardrobe Door’’, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine 1/16)
  • ‘‘A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers’’, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com 3/2/16)
  • ‘‘Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0’’, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed 3/16)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation:

  • Winner: Arrival
  • Doctor Strange
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’
  • Zootopia

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:

  • Winner: Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Dawson)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

 

2017 DAMON KNIGHT GRAND MASTER AWARD: Jane Yolen

KATE WILHELM SOLSTICE AWARD:  Peggy Rae Sapienza (Posthumous), Toni Weisskopf

KEVIN O’DONNELL JR. SERVICE TO SFWA AWARD: Jim Fiscus

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

Charlie Jane Anders also won the Crawford award earlier this year. You can read the SciFi4Me article here.

For more information on the Nebula Awards and the Conference, visit the SFWA website.

 




HBO Heads for LOVECRAFT COUNTRY with GET OUT Director Jordan Peele

[Banner image courtesy HarperCollins Publishers/Jarrod Taylor]

If you read Mindy Inlow’s SciFi4Me article a few weeks back, you already know that HBO is preparing for the end of Game of ThronesSeveral thousand (OK, four five) GoT spinoffs are now being developed. But thanks to Get Out director Jordan Peele, there’s going to be at least one horror adaptation among the fantasy epics.

Earlier this week, Deadline Hollywood reported exclusively that Peele and HBO, working with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros Television, are adapting Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel Lovecraft Country as an hour-long drama. According to the article, the producers are aiming to make “an anthological horror series that reclaims genre storytelling from the African-American perspective.” Misha Green, co-creator of WGN’s historical drama series Underground, will write the pilot episode and serve as series showrunner.

Lovecraft Country begins as a road trip story in a slightly off-kilter 1950’s America.  Atticus Black comes home to Chicago from a tour of duty in Korea. He discovers his estranged father is missing, and the few clues remaining lead him on a journey to Ardham, Massachusetts … and Lovecraft Country.

Matt Ruff, author of Lovecraft Country © 2006 Michael Hilliard/MHHM

If the television version of Lovecraft Country aims to tell stories in an anthology format, there’s a wealth of folklore to tap into. It’ll be interesting to see what happens after the series tells the story in Ruff’s novel. Will the series continue to explore a Lovecraftian inspired mythos specific to the novel? Or will it move into folklore-inspired stories based on the African-American experience – like the paths taken in movies such as To Sleep With Anger (1990, Dir. Charles Burnett), Eve’s Bayou (1997, Dir. Kasi Lemmons) or Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, Dir. Benh Zeitlin)?

Jordan Peele’s Get Out maintains a 99% Fresh Rating at Rotten Tomatoes. (image courtesy Get Out Official Facebook page)

Howard Philips Lovecraft (1891-1937) has, to put it mildly, a complicated legacy in the horror genre. Alongside his undeniable imagination and creative energy is a clear record of unabashed racism.  Perspectives on HPL vary wildly; passionate defenders like anthologist S. T. Joshi (visit his blog and scroll down to the 11-24-15 entry) contrast with authors like Daniel Jose Older, who launched the petition that ultimately moved the World Fantasy Convention to drop  HPL as the image of their award in 2015.

Joshi protested the decision by returning the awards he received from the group. You can check our article on the new award design here.

Perhaps it’s easier to deal with the views of an author when they’re safely removed from our own time by a hundred years. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), my favorite Great American Novelist, created the quintessential heroine in Hester Prynne and acted as a higher-brow creator dark gothic tales along with his contemporary Edgar Allan Poe. Hawthorne also held the deeply racist views of his time.

Richard Klayman, in his essay “What Should We Make of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Racism?” quotes Hawthorne biographer Philip McFarland about the discomfort in admiring the superlative work of people who have very real faults. “We would prefer that those we admire be admirable in every way.”

Unlike Hawthorne, HPL is of our time. He is intimately connected to the changes in society in 20th and 21st century America. Books like Lovecraft Country specifically address his complex legacy and movies (like Get Out) telling socially relevant stories through the lens of the horror genre insure that we’ll be debating HPL for some time to come.

 

 




THE BLACK WITCH – Superior YA Fantasy with Real World Echoes

The Black Witch
Written by Laurie Forest
Published by Harlequin TEEN (May 2017)
608 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0373-212-316

(Cover image courtesy Harlequin TEEN; Author Photo – Beltrami Studios )

 

 

 

Confession time – I am a charter member of the “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie” Club, especially if that doorstop of a book is in the Fantasy genre.

  • Maps in the front? Yes, please.
  • Lists of characters helping me keep track of who’s who? Bring it!
  • “Book One of the Something Something Chronicles?” I am so there!

I did read an advance copy of The Black Witch without the second item – so I made my own list of characters. Even without this tool, Laurie Forest’s debut novel makes it pretty easy to keep track of who is doing what. Teen and adult readers looking for their next Harry Potter or Chronicles of Shannara may find it in The Black Witch Chronicles.

In true “Harry Potter” fashion, young Elloren Gardner has spent her life tucked away in a remote corner of prosperous Gardneria, tending to the plants she feels so connected to. Luckily for Elloren, her uncle Edwin is a marked improvement over the Dursley family.

 

 

Elloren is soon whisked away from her sheltered existence to begin a formal education in the apothecary arts at the fabled (and distant) Verpax University. As her education progresses, we learn along with Elloren that the reality of her world, and her place in it, is far different than the comfortable assumptions of her childhood. Forest does an admirable job of drawing parallels between the issues of our world (racism, prejudice, fundamentalism) and the papered over conflicts that simmer beneath the surface of Gardneria.

Author Laurie Forest

As the first novel in a series, The Black Witch spends a lot of time establishing the world our heroine lives in – then revealing the hidden (and ugly) truths about that world. Even if I found some of the sections a bit stretched out, I enjoyed learning, bit by bit, the intricate (and interconnected) landscape Laurie Forest has built around her heroine.

It’s a good bet you will as well. Laurie Forest seems like an author who’s put an immense amount of effort in combining a vividly imaged world filled with interesting characters. The Black Witch ends on a cliffhanger (of course!); I for one will be waiting on Volume Two of The Black Witch Chronicles.

 

 




Review – SID THE SASQUATCH by Wendy Elliott

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Sid the Sasquatch - cover
Sid the Sasquatch | Copyright Wendy Elliott, 2016

Sid the Sasquatch
Written by Wendy Elliott
Illustrated by Joseph Cowman
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing (July 2016)
36 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1507826126

A few weeks back, during our live coverage of Planet Comicon in Kansas City on SciFi4Me, I snuck down to the convention floor to chase down a few leads on a story I want to look into. While I was out there, a kids-looking Sasquatch book caught my eye. Unfortunately, my wallet was back at the livestream stage and most vendors don’t take business cards for payment.

Fortunately, my colleague Maia was interviewing author Wendy Elliott about her new children’s book, which – just my luck! – was that same book. The convention gods had smiled upon me! Before I knew it, I was ready to sit down with my daughter and a brand new book to share.

Make no mistake, Sid the Sasquatch is a great book to share.  The story, which follows a curious and playful Sasquatch child named Sid, is written in a rhyme.  This creates both predictable pacing and a chance to let my daughter guess what happens next in the story. We see Sid’s family and world from his point of view, with its similarities and differences in clear and amusing illustrations by Joseph Cowman. Quite apart from the way I’ve always thought of a sasquatch, Sid and his family enjoy a downright cozy existence, always careful to remain out of view of the dangerous humans. But, just like my favorite mermaid Ariel, Sid’s curiosity about the world of humans constantly gets the best of him.

Sid the Sasquatch high in a tree
In a world of supernatural wonder, humans still capture Sid’s fancy | Copyright Wendy Elliott, 2016

Having watched about ten thousand hours of Disney movies, I was immediately sure I knew exactly where this was going. Sid watches the humans from afar but internalizes the warnings from his parents that humans are dangerous. When faced with a human quite by surprise in the forest, though, he is pleasantly surprised by the boy Ollie’s kindness. As a parent, I was even more pleasantly surprised at Elliott’s nod to the subtle surveillance that all parents do when their children are playing: Sid looks back to his mother, who had been quietly trailing him, for assurance that this situation was safe.

From there, the book shows an immediate and apparently steadfast bond between Sid and Ollie. Each boy has something to teach the other, while the children reading along are able to see cooperation and friendship between two who were taught to fear the other. As an adult, this seems a little heavy-handed at times, but it’s a message that is clearly understood by my 5 year old.

After the initial read – difficult, at times, by some awkward stretches in the rhyme scheme – I put down the book and asked my daughter what she thought this book was supposed to teach us. (This is a familiar tactic that children of educators are subjected to, so she put on her characteristic thinking face). “Well,” she said slowly, “I think…it’s definitely about being good to people.” I nodded encouragingly. “And about how even when you think somebody is going to be scary or mean, maybe they’re not and you should try to be friends.” Then she smiled, and added, “If I take off Ollie’s skin and Sid’s skin, they have the same skeleton!”

This is an important, if macabre, message to take away. Under our very different looking skins, we’re basically the same. Sid the Sasquatch takes a new angle to that same old lesson, and in a way that speaks to children without exasperating adults. Between the melodic writing and the beautifully illustrated pages, I can see this joining the regular rotation of reading at our house.

I’m a friend of Sid. How about you?

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11th Annual Scribe Award Nominees Announced

The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers has announced the list of nominees for the Scribe Awards for 2017.

IAMTW is a professional organization for authors who write fiction based on established story universes. This can include licensed works in television, movies, gaming, or comic books. The fiction can be original works set in an existing franchise, or adaptations of stories that have appeared in some other format.

Adapted – General and Speculative
Assassin’s Creed by Christie Golden
Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins
Suicide Squad by Marv Wolfman

Audio
Dark Shadows: Blood & Fire by Roy Gill
Torchwood: Broken by Joseph Lidster
Torchwood: Uncanny Valley by David Llewellyn
Doctor Who: Mouthless Dead by John Pritchard

General Original
24: Trial by Fire by Dayton Ward
Don Pendleton’s The Executioner: Missile Intercept by Michael Black
Murder Never Knocks by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn by Ace Atkins
Tom Clancy’s True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney

Short Fiction
“A Dangerous Cat” by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins
X-Files “Drive Time” by Jon McGoran
X-Files “An Eye for an Eye” by George Ivanoff
X-Files “Love Lost” by Yvonne Navarro
X-Files “XXX” by Glenn Greenberg

Speculative Original
Assassin’s Creed Heresy by Christie Golden
Warhammer 40,000 Warden of the Blade by David Annandale
Star Trek Elusive Salvation by Dayton Ward
Supernatural Mythmaker by Tim WaggonerWinners will be announced at Comic-Con in San Diego, day and time to be determined.

 




Sony picks up WHEEL OF TIME rights

The Karaethon Cycle had it wrong, after all. Sony Pictures has thrown in its hat along with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures on a television adaptation of Robert Jordan’s prolific fantasy Wheel of Time series.

The series nominally follows Rand al’Thor, a humble farm boy from the distant edge of Andor who is unwittingly thrust towards his destiny. As the Dragon Reborn, a reviled and widely feared savior who would battle the Dark One Shai’tan for the fate of the world, thus ushering in a new age. Also of great importance are his friends Matrim Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, Egwene al’Vere, and Nynaeve al’Meara, all young people from the same village who find their own place of importance in the swifly shifting world.

This move by Sony marks the first update since legal issues were resolved in April of 2016, and details surrounding the project will probably be some time in coming. Fans of the book series – 15 books in total, 3 of which were completed by Brandon Sanderson with Jordan’s notes after the author’s 2007 death – eagerly await any hints ahead of production.

The Wheel of Time has been enticingly teased in both television and film formats since 2000, when NBC first gave us hope of a miniseries of the series. In 2008, interest flared up again as Universal acquired film rights a short time after Robert Jordan’s death. While neither of these projects came to fruition, each whisper of possibility renews hope.

The Karaethon Cycle, the Prophecies of the Dragon, claimed he would be reborn on the slopes of the Dragonmount. I suppose, in an Age that once was – an Age that is yet to be – that must’ve been what the people called Sony.




BSFA Award Winners Announced

[Banner image courtesy British Science Fiction Association]

The British Science Fiction Association held their annual awards ceremony April 14-17, 2017, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole during “Innominate,” the 68th Eastercon in Birmingham, UK. The winners are as follows:

  • Best Novel: Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter  (Solaris)
  • Best Shorter Fiction: Jaine Fenn – “Liberty Bird”  (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
  • Best Non-Fiction: Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)
  • Best Artwork: Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar  (Tachyon Publications)

The BSFA Awards are based on a vote of association members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon. In each category, the BSFA  awards aim to recognize the most worthy examples in each category, promote science fiction as a genre, and most importantly, get people reading, discussing and enjoying all aspects of contemporary science fiction.

Check Sci-Fi4Me’s Calendar of Events for the next Eastercon as well as other conventions and shows scheduled in your area.

 




Philip K. Dick Award Winner Announced

The 2017 Philip K. Dick Award has a winner.

It was announced Friday, April 14 at Norwescon 40 that The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper has won the award for distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first time in 2016.

Set thirty years in the future, the story follows a former soldier Allen “Mercy” Quincy, survivor of the third world war. Mercy suffers from PTSD, and he’s haunted by survivor’s guilt along with mnemectomy — the process of putting unwanted memories outside of self in an attempt to degrade them. After meeting a dancer named Ruby and starting to move on with his life, Mercy’s brother reappears with news that Mercy’s missing sons have been spotted, and the two begin a search for the children in a journey north to the family cabin on Vancouver Island.

Special citation went to Unpronounceable by Susan diRende.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust, and is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society with the award ceremony sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. This year’s judges were Michael Armstrong, Brenda Clough, Meg Elison, Lee Konstantinou, and Ben Winters.

You can see the presentation here (thanks, Don!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtLrF36_lM

 




WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE Book Title & Release Date Announced

In early March, the folks behind the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale announced that they would be releasing another book. This was teased back in January 2016.

https://twitter.com/NightValeRadio/status/285419692582121472

The team already has one fiction book, Welcome to Night Vale, which hit #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list. They also have available two books that consist of episode scripts and extra goodies about the making of the podcast.

It Devours! looks to be another foray into the fictional side of the world of Night Vale. According to their website, it’s “a mystery exploring the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other, and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God.”

The podcast, which passed 100 episodes last December with a special episode, is still going on strong, and the team is currently touring another live show, “All Hail”. They’ve also been busy with the other podcasts on their network, with Alice Isn’t Dead just starting the second chapter.

It Devours! goes on sale October 17 in hardcover, ebook, CD, and audio, and is currently available for pre-order on their website.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




G33K Out: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

{Note: all photos by Angie Fiedler Sutton}

Episode 22: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

On April 2, I attended the 33rd annual Writers of the Future Award ceremony. With a dragon gracing the red carpet and the stage. the ceremony had a keynote from the co-founder and president of Dragon*Con Pat Henry, and presented this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Mike Resnick.

The 12 writers and illustrators received this year’s awards, with Jake Marley winning the Golden Pen Award for his submission “Acquisition”, and Michael Michera winning the Golden Brush Award for his illustration that went with C.L. Kagmi’s story, “The Drake Equation”.

The podcast combines some of the interviews I managed to get while attending and excerpts from the award ceremony.

Basic show notes:

  • Running time is 30 minutes, 15 seconds.
  • The main interviews were all recorded on April 2, 2017. I managed to interview the following:
  • You can view the entire Writers of the Future Award ceremony (as well as past ceremonies) on their YouTube channel.
  • For more information about the Writers of the Future Award, including ordering a copy of the 33rd annual publication, visit the official website.
  • Mid-show plug is from composer Marco Beltrami. More information on him can be found on his website.
  • Theme music is “Schoolyard Haze”, by Jari Pitkanen, available via the Free Music Archive.
  • This podcast is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
  • Interested in hearing other episodes of G33K Out? Check them out here.

And now, it’s time to geek out.

Created with flickr slideshow.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




2017 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

The World Science Fiction Society has announced the nominees for the 2017 Hugo Awards to be presented in Helsinki, Finland during the 75th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) to be held August 9-13, 2017.

Best Series

  • The Craft Sequence – Max Goldstone
  • The Expanse – James S. A. Corey
  • The October Daye Books – Seanan McGuire
  • Peter Grant/Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
  • Temeraire – Naomi Novik
  • The Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold

Note: The “Best Series” category is not a permanent category.

Best Fan Artist

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Alex Garner
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Mansik Yang

Best Fan Writer

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Chuck Tingle

Best Fancast

  • The Coode Street Podcast – Gary K. Wolfe & Jonathan Strahan
  • Ditch Diggers – Mur Lafferty & Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour – Ana Grilo & Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia – Alisa Krasnostein, Alexander Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • The Rageaholic – Razörfist
  • Tea and Jeopardy – Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Best Fanzine

  • Castalia House Blog – Jeffro Johnson
  • Journey Planet – James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Erin Underwood
  • Lady Business – Clare, Ira, Jodie, K. J., Renay, Susan
  • Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together – The  G, Vance Kotrla & Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank – Greg Hullender & Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking – Bridget McKinney

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies – Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine – P. Alexander
  • Gigantosaurus – Rashida J. Smith
  • Strange Horizons – Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine – Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • The Book Smugglers – Ana Grilo & Thea James

Best Professional Artist

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

Best Editor – Long Form

  • Vox Day
  • Shiela E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Editor – Short Form

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

  • Black Mirror, “San Junipero”
  • Doctor Who, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
  • The Expanse, “Leviathan Wakes”
  • Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
  • Game of Thrones, “The Door”
  • Splendor & Misery

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

  • Arrival
  • Deadpool
  • Ghostbusters
  • Hidden Figures
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Stranger Things: Season One

Best Graphic Story

  • Black Panther Vol 1: A Nation Under Our Feet – Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
  • Monstress Vol 1: Awakening – Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
  • Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous – G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Paper Girls Vol 1 – Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, Jared Fletcher
  • Saga Vol 6 – Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughn, Fonografiks
  • The Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than a Man – Tom King & Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Best Related Work

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution – Kameron Hurley
  • The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg – Robert Silverberg & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
  • The View From the Cheap Seats – Neil Gaiman
  • Women of Harry Potter – Sarah Gailey
  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books – Ursula K. Le Guin

Best Short Story

  • “The City Born Great” – N. K. Jemisin
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” – Alyssa Wong
  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” – Amal El-Mohtar
  • “That Game We Played During the War” – Carrie Vaughn
  • “An Unimaginable Light” – John C. Wright

Best Novelette

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind by the T-Rex – Stix Hiscock
  • The Art of Space Travel – Nina Allan
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary – Fran Wilde
  • The Tomato Thief – Ursula Vernon
  • Touring With the Alien – Carolyn Ives Gilman
  • You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay – Alyssa Wong

Best Novella

  • The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson
  • Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
  • Penric and the Shaman – Lois McMaster Bujold
  • A Taste of Honey – Kai Ashante Wilson
  • This Census-Taker – China Miéville

Best Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
  • A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
  • Death’s End – Cixin Liu
  • Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Obelisk Gate – N. K. Jemisin
  • Too Like the Lightning – Ada Palmer

The WSFS also presents the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, given to the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer in the previous two years.

John W. Campbell Award

  • Sarah Gailey
  • J. Mulrooney
  • Malka Older
  • Ada Palmer
  • Laurie Penny
  • Kelly Robson

The finalists were announced via YouTube:

https://youtu.be/jm5zVLFWbqE

2,464 nominating ballots were cast this year, the second highest total in the history of the Hugos. Voting on the finalists will continue until July.

The Hugo Awards are presented every year by the World Science Fiction Society to honor the best of science fiction and fantasy from the prior calendar year. Only members of the WSFS may vote on the finalists to decide the winners. For more information on the Hugo Awards, see www.thehugoawards.org. For more information about the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, see www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell.

 

 




Dragon-Themed Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award April 2

{All images courtesy Steve Moyer Public Relations and Galaxy Press.}

It’s time again for tales of dragons and spaceships. Next Sunday, April 2, are the the 33rd Annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future Achievement Awards.

https://youtu.be/lk8OZVU3aRk

Honoring 12 writers and illustrators for their excellence in science fiction and fantasy, the awards are presented by Galaxy Press and Author Services, Inc. Each of the writers and illustrators are quarterly winners. Additionally, there will be a grand prize winner for each: the Golden Pen Award for the Writers of the Future Contest, and the Golden Quill Award for the winner of the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

Started in 1983, the contest was created to inspire more beginning writers to help break into the industry. It was so successful that the Illustrators award was created in 1988. Each year, the winners are invited to a week-long workshop that ends in the awards ceremony, which is also where the winning entries are released into a published anthology. The success of the program is apparent: since starting, the writing winners have published 1,150 novels and 4,450 short stories, producing 32 New York Times bestsellers. Meanwhile, the illustrators have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, and produced visually to 36 television shows and 46 movies.

Writers and Illustrator of the Future Awards trophies.

The event this year is themed ‘medieval fantasy’, and as such there will be a 12-foot long dragon head included in the red carpet. Dress code is listed as black tie-optional or medieval fantasy formal. The keynote speaker this year will be Pat Henry, the president and co-founder of Dragon*Con, Pat Henry. The awards will also have performances from EMCirque, and will also have artists Rob Prior and Larry Elmore create a painting from scratch. Finally, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to author Mike Resnick, author of 62 novels and over 250 short stories, and editor of over 40 anthologies.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, the event is free and open to the public. It will be at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and doors open at 5:30 pm, with the event starting at 6:30 pm. Following the show, there will be a book signing by the winning writers and illustrators.

The event will once again be livestreamed on the Writers of the Future website, starting at 6:30 pm PST. (Prior award ceremonies are available to view on the Writers of the Future YouTube channel.

For more information about the awards, and to RSVP if you want to attend, visit the Writers of the Future Award website.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




Adaptations 4 You: 21 Laps Continue Their Sci-Fi Run

With the successes of Oscar nominee Arrival and the Netflix hit Stranger Things, Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is going to continue down the sci-fi rabbit hole. They now have deals for the adaptations of four different stories: Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles, Raymond A. Villareal’s A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising, Larry Niven’s Inconstant Moon, and Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns.

The Age of Miracles is Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel, published by Random House in 2012. It follows a Southern California teen when she and her family wake up to find the rotation of the Earth has slowed down. The days and nights grow longer, gravity is affected, and people begin to fall sick to a new mysterious illness. She is forced to deal with the disasters of everyday life, struggling with her parents’ marriage falling apart and the loss of friends.

The book received positive reviews and been translated into many major languages. It was also nominated as part of the Waterstones 11 literary award in 2012.

Sinead Daly (The Get Down) will pen the script. AMC, who acquired the TV rights, will have Rafael Ruthchild and Allie Moore join Levy’s producing team of himself, Dan Levine, and Emily Morris.

Next, in the light of Paramount’s pulling of World War Z 2, it looks like 21 Laps and 20th Century Fox are ready to step into its place. Fox has acquired the rights to A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising. Levy will direct as well as produce with Dan Cohen.

The book was sold to Little, Brown in a four-publisher auction and will be printed at Mulholland Books and published next year. It is the first of a four volume series from Raymond A. Villareal and told in an oral history format.

Characterized as a World War Z with vampires, the novel is an “oral history” of the appearance, assimilation, and ultimately epic and violent confrontation of vampires with the human race. Chronicling the rise of The Gloaming (the name the vampires have given themselves) are multiple points of view, including a CDC investigator who discovers a mysterious virus, an FBI agent who forms the Gloaming Crimes Unit; a civil rights attorney’s analysis of the Gloaming Equal Rights Act, an obsessive Vatican librarian; and, of course, TMZ.

Fox and 21 Laps will continue their partnership with the adaptation of sci-fi legend Larry Niven’s short story, Inconstant Moon. Joining Levy will be Dan Cohen (Stranger Things) with James Ponsoldt (The Circle) directing and Daniel Casey (Kin, 10 Cloverfield Lane) penning the script.

The Hugo Award winning Best Short Story, Inconstant Moon, was released in the 1971 short story collection All the Myriad Ways. It follows a Los Angeles couple who notice the moon is unusually brighter and realize that a massive solar flare has destroyed the Eastern Hemisphere, which will eventually cause catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere. They prepare for what could be the last night on Earth.

The story was adapted in 1996 for The Outer Limits television series.

Finally, also with Fox, 21 Laps will be producing a feature film based on Kendare Blake’s young adult’s novel Three Dark Crowns, which is the first of a series of four. Levy will produce with Dan Levine and Natalie Lehmann.

Published by HarperTeen last September, the story follows triplets who are equal heirs to the crown. Each have a magical powers, one controls the elements a the snap of her fingers, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons, and one who can bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. Ascending the throne is not a matter of birthright; they have to fight to the death for it beginning the night of their sixteenth birthday.

The second book will be released this September. The following three novels will also become movies, based on the success of the first.